Sunday, July 30, 2017

Everybody's Got a Story to Tell

As I thought and prayed about today's post, I started to doubt if I had anything at all in which to say.  I mean, if you were to walk beside me this past week and read the posts from this past week, it wouldn't look like much.  I woke up early to have my time with Lord and read from His Word (I'm in the book of Psalms now), I got ready for the day, had breakfast with my husband, worked on my to-do's for the day, rested and read a little, prepared the evening meals, went to bed.  Nothing in any of that that would be of any meaning for anyone other than us here at home.

But then I thought about it a little more.  What got me to the point of where I am now in this moment of time.  To the point of having a husband, having a son, having a home, having friendships, and the ability to enjoy them all.  The road that led to this point has certainly been a rocky one.  Ups and downs and twists and turns, even a deep pit where I lingered longer than I care to admit.  So, how does one who is all bruised and dirty get to the point of being so grateful and thankful and satisfied and blessed?  God.

My Heavenly Father.  My Pursuer.  My Strength.  My Shield.  My Teacher.  My Friend.  My Mighty Warrior.  My Guide.  My Rock.  My Fortress.  My Protector.  The Holy One.  The King.  All Majesty.  All Knowing.  All Powerful.  MY EVERYTHING.

One thing that did cross my mind, if only for a moment, was how I could go back to all those people who saw me at my worst and tell them that I have been repentant and redeemed and changed and forgiven and made brand new.  All those people in my past that I have hurt not knowing how, now years later, I feel so sorry about so much and wish I could let them know.  As far as I know they may still think that I live in that pit.

There is one thing that I would love to tell middle school, high school, and college-age kids - be SO very careful NOW in what you do, what you say, and how you act, because there WILL be a time that you grow up.  And if you don't behave responsibly when you are young, the irresponsibility will follow you into adulthood and you will influence people in a way that is not good and your reputation will be at stake.  I know that when we're young, we tend to be very selfish and self-centered.  When we're young, we can't think past this day let alone look into the future.  

It's difficult to live with regret and every so often I struggle with it (because there is an enemy among us - Satan - who wants to keep reminding us).  But, because I have been saved from my past by God, I can quickly choose to not dwell on it.  Christ died on the cross to save me from all those sins - He bore the sins that I committed and was willing to die a horrible death.....for me.  And you.  If you are struggling with sin (past or present) please ask Jesus into your heart.  Confess your sins to Him and let Him take over.  You will be absolutely astounded at the change you will experience.  And, then tell someone about the decision you made to make Jesus the ruler over your life.  Believe me on  this one. I know.  First hand.  If He can change me, He can change anyone.  

God loves you dearly and so do I .  : )

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Simplicity, Work, and Creativity

Badlands of South Dakota.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm reading "Anne of Green Gables" (for the 100th time), but I'm finding myself using the word "delicious" quite often in referring to anything I find fun or exciting. For example, when we had a day like this last week:

I kept calling it a deliciously rainy day.  I often enjoy a rainy day here and there.  Ever since I was little, a rainy day was something special.  It was different.  It kept me in.  It made me feel more creative.  As a little girl I would pull out my watercolor paint set or coloring book and crayons and lay on the living room floor and paint or color.   As a grown woman, I still find myself doing the same thing.  It may not be painting or coloring, but I tend to pull out some fabric or paper and see what I can come up with.  This is what I ended up doing:

I made gift bags. These can be pretty expensive at the store and I already had the plain brown paper bags, I have a lot of stamping supplies, a lot of scrapbook paper and glue, so the little girl in me found great pleasure in another rainy day!!!  : )

I was also thinking of how summer makes me work towards simplicity - in housework, in dressing, in cooking.  Lately, I tend to get my housework done in the morning hours while I'm fresh and somewhat energetic so that I can have the afternoon hours to work on things for my shop.  I tend to just pull on a skirt or jeans and a simple top (instead of the layering we all do in the winter) and quickly get ready in the morning.  And, we love the simple foods of summer.  I can't imagine making a casserole or a pot of soup in the summer.  But put a plate of watermelon in front of me.........yum.

Here are four quick, easy, and simple ideas to put together for a light lunch or supper:

I ALWAYS keep flour tortillas in the fridge.  And this is such a tasty idea to use flour tortillas with - I simply open an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and pour the contents of our homemade pizza seasoning mix in - give it a good stir - place tortillas on the pan and put as much sauce on as your heart desires and then top your "pizzas" with whatever toppings you have on hand.  I had pepperoni and Mozzarella cheese.  Pop into the oven for about 10 - 15 minutes and there you have it!  Served with a side salad and fresh fruit this is a light meal that is very satisfying.  

The other things I keep flour tortillas for are things like:  fish tacos, chicken enchiladas, stir-fry fajitas, cheese quesadillas.  All of these are very quick to put together and served with chips and salsa and, again, fresh fruit it's a very good meal.  Hope you can try it!

The other thing we enjoyed this week was:

a baked potato (with yummy toppings) meal.  Again, served with a salad and fruit, we couldn't believe how good this was and how filling!  Pop the potatoes into the oven at 350 degrees for about and hour and a half and pull out whatever toppings you like.  It's also very frugal.  All I needed to buy at the grocery store was the potatoes and green onion (which I needed anyway for another recipe).  I already had the sour cream, bacon, and cheese in the fridge.

And then I wanted to try a recipe that I had found quite a while ago:

ham and cheese roll-ups.  All you need to do is buy a can of crescent rolls (at Aldi I think they were about .89), and unroll them.  In a small bowl, mix a little mayo, ketchup, and pickle relish together and spread this on each piece of dough.  Then put a half slice of cheese on each, followed by a thin slice of ham on each.  Roll up and pop into the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the rolls are light brown.  SO simple and they were very good!  In the winter they would go great with a bowl of tomato soup or something.  But, I served them with a summery pasta salad and, of course, fresh fruit.  

Lastly, yesterday, I made homemade ice cream that doesn't need an ice cream maker (and I don't want to buy one).  It's an idea from the "Domestic Geek" that I watch occasionally on YouTube.  Here is what the ice cream looks like:

It is absolutely delicious (there's that word again).  But this time, the word fits the subject.  : )  And it couldn't be easier.  Using an electric mixer, whip 2 cups of whipping cream with 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk till light and fluffy.  Add 1/3 cup of a brownie mix or chocolate pudding mix (which I used) and whip till combined.  Gently fold in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (I used chips because that's what I had on hand) and 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks (again, using the the white chips instead) and transfer to a freezer safe dish.  Drizzle with fudge sauce and freeze for about 6 to 8 hours.

Wow!  This is SO good.  I will have to say that the next time I make it, I will decrease the the chips by about 1/2 because it was a little to much crunch for us and I will serve smaller portions because it is quite rich.  But it is smooth and creamy and I couldn't believe I made it - it tasted like an ice cream shop.  : )  Another summery thing to eat!!!

And as far as the work part of this post goes, I'm just keeping up with the household things.  Pulled quite a few weeds yesterday and got the backyard looking presentable again.  Not a lot of organizational work going on right now, but I know I will need to do that again soon.  So, like I've said before, there's never a lack of anything to do!  And I love it all.

I do hope you will love what you do today.  I think having a grateful heart does help and remembering to Whom you are doing it for makes all the difference in the world.  : )

God bless the works of your hands!  Thank you for your visit - I do appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Keeping the Mind and Hands Occupied

This is one of my new projects.  I found this pretty piece of quilting fabric when we were on vacation up north.  In this tiny little town there is a quilting shop where I always like to stop and look around. I seem to always find something.  : )  The backing is on with batting between and now I have the fun task of hand sewing around the pictures and sides to give it a quilting effect.  This will probably end up in the Etsy shop.  I thought I was going to begin a second shop, but in my quest to try and keep things simple, I have decided to just keep the old one open and add the vintage clothes there with the homey things.  I found out rather quickly that I don't want to check and maintain two shops!  : o

On Sunday afternoon, I had the relaxing time of going through old magazines - just re-reading interesting articles and tearing some of them out that I felt I would like to refer back to and things I would like to try.  As I was looking at them, I kept a small notebook nearby to write some things down as far as wanting to try or reminding me of projects that I used to do but just got out of.  The list looked like this:

*Try my hand at braiding a rug or get back to crocheting a rug (or both!).
*Make homemade soap.  I LOVE homemade soap but I don't want to fool around with the lye, so I came across this wonderful "recipe" that uses a glycerin soap base and essential oils and fresh herbs.
*Keep increasing my cooking/baking skills especially artisan breads.
*Try making a barn quilt.  If you haven't seen these, just look them up on-line.  It's so fun to see one on a barn out in the country.
*Learn more about herbs, spices, and certain foods that can help with good health and nutrition.  I find it so interesting to learn how God has provided these things to help us feel good or, at least, better.  (Just a note here - I also believe that God has gifted men and women to become physicians and we definitely need their help in maintaining health and helping us with difficult health problems - so I'm not in favor of using food only to try and make us better, but I do think there are healthy foods that we should be eating instead of foods that are not good for us.  If you feel you have a problem, I'm all for going to the doctor to find out what is wrong.)
*Try making some skin care products.  Starting out with one first and see how that goes and maybe going on to something else.

I think that when we read and do research on what interests us and then actually trying to make things, we benefit ourselves tremendously.  We become more interested and interesting.  We have success in something and then are willing to go on to the next thing.

When we homeschooled, I absolutely loved unit studies.  A unit study is when you take a certain book (in our case, of course, the books were for children) and while reading that book you write things down that you need to look up, or there are projects in the book that you would like to try, or they're cooking something that sounds good.  It was so much fun.  Even if you're not homeschooler, you can still do this at home.  For example, taking the "Little House on the Prairie" books - the first few chapters of the first book have all kinds of things that can be done at home.  It talks about making meat jerky, stocking a pantry with all kinds of preserves from the summer garden, it talks about making paper dolls, it tells of what a simple Christmas looked like and what kind of foods they made. Just with these few things, you and your children or grandchildren can have fun and emulate what you've just read!

And you don't have to be a child (or have a child) to do unit studies in your own home.  Just ask yourself what you're interested in (unfortunately I'm interested in a lot of different things that it can drive me crazy because I know I'll never get to everything!).  Then do the research.  Write things down.  What would you need?  Then tackle it.  Well, maybe not tackle it, but give it a try.  : )  Yes, you may find that you didn't enjoy it after all.  That's okay.  Now you know.  But don't stop there.  Try the next thing.  You didn't enjoy that either?  Okay.  Move on to the next thing.  What I'm trying to say is to not stop trying new things.  Don't stop learning.  And don't stop doing.  Stay interested and interesting!!!

Thank you for your visit.  I ALWAYS enjoy it when you do.  God bless.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

All to the Glory of God

During the week in the mornings while getting my housework done, I often have Christian radio on listening to messages and sermons given by pastors I admire and trust.  So last week, when I heard (from two separate pastors) that we need to think about what we do on a daily basis and begin doing it for the glory of God, I took notice and began to put it to work in my own thinking.

We all know that sometimes life can become mundane.  The work can seem drudgery or unimportant. But we really are to change that kind of thinking and turn it around to thinking of it as a blessing from God.  I know.  It's hard to think that way when you're changing the baby's 8th diaper that day and you know you'll have more diapers tomorrow and the day after and the day after.........  It's hard to give God the glory when you're waking up in the morning and going to a job that is less than fulfilling. It's hard to give God the glory when you're cleaning the bathroom (again).  I think you know what I mean.

But, how different would that look if you praised God for that baby you diaper every day?  How different would it look if you praised God for that job?  How different would it look if you praised God that you have a bathroom to clean?

It's not that I grumble at the day to day stuff.  I really am grateful that I'm here at home and get to clean and cook and take care of my family.  But I guess I never actually, throughout the course of the day, thought for Whom I am working.  While I was stirring something on the stove my thoughts were "I'm doing this for you, God."  While I was doing laundry - "I'm doing this for you, God."  While I vacuumed - "I'm doing this for you, God."  It's an especially important assignment because, you see, God has provided us with everything we have.  So, if I'm stirring something on the stove, God provided me with the ability to stand at the stove.  He provided capable limbs in which to stir with. He provided the house in which the stove is placed.  He provided a kitchen in which to work.  He provided the food that I'm stirring.  He provided an environment in which to enjoy the food once it's prepared.  

EVERYTHING you do, EVERYTHING you have, EVERYTHING you enjoy, is provided by God and He SHOULD get the glory and the thanks and the gratefulness.  I think it's especially important to do this on those difficult days - where maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or everyone seems to be hard to live with, or you just don't feel like doing one more load of laundry. Those are the times when remembering Who you're doing it for will help in how you respond to the situation.  It was helpful to me, I hope you can give it a try too.  : )

God bless you in the upcoming week.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Freezer Meal

I'm sitting here with my pupils dilated from an eye exam so if I make a mistake, I apologize.  LOL

I've been wanting to try a freezer meal recipe that I've had for quite some time now and yesterday was the day.  I don't know why I don't do more crockpot meals because I love the convenience of them when you know you're going to be busy and all you have to do is work on the side dishes when it comes time to eat in the evening.  

This certain meal was a good one and I will try it again, so I hope you can give it a try as well and hope you like it.


In a gallon-size freezer bag, put in boneless chicken thighs and tenders.  In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 c. hoisin sauce, 1/2 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c. honey, and a shake or two of powdered ginger.  Pour over chicken in bag.  Zip. Blend.  Freeze.  (Of course, label your bag)

When ready to make, thaw your bag overnight and put everything into crockpot the next morning and cook on Low for 6 -8 hours.  (At this point, I have to tell you that I cooked mine for 8 hours and it really was a little too long - I think the 6 hours would be perfect.  Because the thighs and tenders are small, they don't need a real long cooking time.  Also, with the longer cooking time, the liquid ingredients got a little bit of a bitter taste to them as well.)

When finished cooking, put your crockpot on warm and dip out all the lovely liquid into a small saucepan on the stove.  Bring to a boil and thicken with a little cornstarch mixed with cold water and stir the sauce until thickened.  Meanwhile, cut up the chicken in the crockpot either into shreds or cubes.  Keep warm.

Serve the chicken over hot rice and pour the thickened sauce over it all.  Oh, yum.  : )  Steamed broccoli on the side and fresh watermelon slices to cool it all off with was perfect.  I didn't have them, but I think a sprinkling of sliced green onions would have been good on top.  Again, I hope you can give this a try.  

That's it for today!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit - I really do appreciate it.  God bless.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Just Chatting

It doesn't take very long to get back into the swing of things.  ALWAYS something to do.  : )  Typical cleaning of the house, laundry and ironing.  I finished the apron I was working on.  Trying to figure out the next project.  I really want to start on pillowcases and blankets for charitable giving and then I'm already thinking about Fall clothes.  There is very little that I like on the clothing racks so I need to find some "Very Easy" patterns and see what I can come up with.  I'm definitely not a seamstress so the pillowcases and blankets I can do - the clothes, not so much.  LOL

One thing about not cooking for a few days is that it motivates me to get back to it.  We tend not to eat as healthy as we should while on vacation, so I'm liking the scratch cooking again with fresh fruits and vegetables.   When I'm in the kitchen, I still watch the "Great British Baking Show" to get me thinking of what I could maybe come up with.  The thought came to me - what about a banana split cake?  I have ripe bananas, I have maraschino cherries, I have nuts, and I'm going to buy whipping cream tomorrow to top it off with.  I will bake these as cupcakes instead of one big cake.  I'm looking forward to at least trying it and will let you know of the results.  : )  Then I got to thinking of how well raspberry and chocolate go together - how about chocolate cupcakes filled with raspberry filling and topped with chocolate glaze?   Seriously.  I have the baking bug now and want to try all kinds of flavor combinations.  FUN!!!!

I'm reading lots of magazines and writing ideas down of things that I would like to make, recipes I'd like to try, and getting back into making homemade products again.  Three-fourths of those ideas probably won't come to fruition, but at least it gets me thinking and they're all in one notebook, so that if I get the urge to do something different, I'll know where those ideas are.  

My next organizational project is in the storage area downstairs (once again).  I think I work on this area at least a couple of times a year because it has a door on it.  Meaning that things can just be put in there and we close the door!  I hesitate because there is so much to go through and get rid of (but you would think that would be motivation enough!).  Anyway, it's written down on my to-do's list and I see it every day so maybe I'll get tired of seeing it and just do something about it.  : )

Like I said above - there's ALWAYS something to do.  I thank you for dropping by for this little visit. I appreciate it very much.  God bless your homemaking efforts!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Ponderings

Being away from home during the past week, I had a chance to think. No housework, no phones, no appointments.    Though we did have a television in our room, we did not have it on constantly (we don't at home either).  I don't have a fancy cell phone (and the little flip phone I do have is off at ALL times - it's for emergencies which, thankfully, I haven't had to use for such an instance).  I didn't bring the computer in order to check any e-mails.  It was the most freeing feeling.  

We have been dooped into thinking that we absolutely NEED all of this connective-ness to the outside world.  Remember when people called the home phone (even before answering machines) and if you weren't home they would just call back?  I heard that most people don't like to go on vacations (without their devices) because they are so afraid that they might miss something.  If they can't check e-mails or social media outlets of some kind 24/7 they actually have panic attacks. Seriously?  Um.......correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the same as an addiction? Even at the place we vacationed, I saw almost everyone looking at their phone.  Beauty ALL around us, and they were looking down and their thumbs were going like crazy (I think that's called texting?).  The only ones that seemed like they were actually enjoying themselves were the children who were too young to have phones yet.

I know.  It's Sunday.  And I'm complaining.  I'm sorry.  But it really made me sad.  I'm a watcher of people - always have been.  And being hooked on technology is scary to me.  Being hooked means never totally getting away from it all.  Relaxing.  Restoring.  Being hooked means having the phone in one hand and trying to drive with the other hand (and we saw a LOT of that).  Being hooked means a family sitting at a table not talking very much but each one has a phone in their hands.  

I know I sound out of it, old-fashioned, strange.  But has anyone asked the question - what are we doing?  I suppose one could question ME on my use of the computer for my blog and small business or checking my daily e-mails, or looking things up on-line for information.  I would answer yes, I do all of that but not ALL the time.  Yes, technology has a place.  A good place sometimes.  We are able to connect with people like never before.  So, it's not that I'm anti-technology.  I'm anti-addiction to it. As with an alcoholic, if you can't go a day without thinking about your next drink, you have a problem.  

So, please, I would encourage you today to limit looking down at your phone and look around instead.  There is much to see.  There are many to help.  There are people to actually visit with face-to-face.  There are things to be done.

The pondering is over.  Thank you for your visit (I know you had to use some kind of device to even get here to read this).    God bless your day and the upcoming week!  : )

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Back From a Little Break

We went on a little vacation this past week up to one of our favorite go-to spots for a getaway - the north shore of Lake Superior.  So, I'm going to share some of our photos with you today.  : )

We left last Sunday and drove in the rain for most of the way up.  I was looking forward to a picnic, but that wasn't going to happen.  Fortunately, I packed these:

Salads in jars.  This is two days worth (one jar per person).  We always keep a travel bag in the vehicle at all times - it has a tablecloth in it along with paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, paper towels, wet wipes, salt and pepper, etc. - everything one would need to just stop somewhere with a ready-made lunch or just stop at a fast-food place and take it to some place pretty. 

Since it was raining, we just pulled into a road-side rest area.  We were already up in the "north woods" so it was a very pretty rest area.  I pulled out the travel bag, grabbed the plates, napkins, and forks, and just poured our salads out and commenced to enjoying them while the rain came down outside.  : )

Back on the road.  All the while I was praying silently that the clouds would go away and blue skies would reign once we got to the north shore.  Well...................

it did!!!!!!!  This is an area that we go to all the time (and so do a lot of other people).  It's just a little area where you can sit and enjoy the beauty or go and walk among the rocks on the shoreline.

After spending some time here, we proceeded to get to the place we were spending the week in.  The weather continued to be beautiful throughout that whole day - thank you, Lord.  : )

This is the view we enjoyed from our deck everyday:

We enjoyed our breakfast every morning looking at this.

The breakfast table.

On the first day out, we went sight-seeing:

A railroad museum - (we love trains).

Gooseberry Falls (we love waterfalls).

Walked out to this little lighthouse (we love lighthouses).

And took LOTS of photos of God's beautiful creation.  : )

Then, unfortunately, the weather changed on us.  Here was the progression of things:

Thunderheads in the distance.

The heavy fog settled in.

Red sky in the morning - sailors take warning.

Uh-oh.  The rain begins.

Then the gale-force winds, and the crashing waves.

This all began on Tuesday, went into Wednesday (the worst day of them all) and then gradually decreased on Thursday.  All I can say is that we watched a lot of the old shows on the television, read a lot of magazines, and played a lot of games while munching on the food we brought up.  : )  Not exactly what we had in mind, but it DID make us slow down and rest and relax AND it still was pretty.

This is what it looked like yesterday morning when we left:

The clouds, wind, and rain - gone.  Time to go home.

That's it from our vacation!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  Enjoy your weekend.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit.  : )

Friday, July 7, 2017

Another Recipe and Blog Break

It's been so hot and humid here that I've been mostly indoors.  However, today the wind switched to the northwest and in came the "cooler" weather and low humidity, so tonight will be lovely again to just sit outdoors and rest after a busy day.

I have another recipe to share with you but unfortunately I have no pictures to prove to you that I actually cooked it.  It was the 4th of July entree' and with taking care of the other things that went with it, I totally forgot the photo side.  You'll just have to take me at my word that these are some of the best pork chops on the grill that we eat.  I have to admit that I make them only once a year (I have no reason why that it is especially when they are so good!).  Well, enough explaining - here is the recipe:


1 1/4" thick pork chops - trim the fat
Place chops in a plastic ziploc bag.  In a separate bowl, combine 1 medium onion, chopped; 1/4 cup soy sauce; 2 Tbsp. olive oil; 2 Tbsp. ketchup; and 1 clove of minced garlic.  Pour over the chops in the bag and marinate from 4 - 6 hours, turning every so often.  Remove from the bag when ready to grill and sprinkle with a bit of black pepper.  Grill on grill rack of an uncovered grill over hot coals for 2 - 4 minutes per side.  Stand chops on end, bone side down (there is a special gadget for this and it's very handy).  Lower the grill hood and cook directly over the hot coals for 25 - 35 minutes or till juices run clear.  Watch carefully!!!!  It can go from beautiful to black rather quickly!  But, like I said, these are so very good.  I hope you can give them a try at your next backyard BBQ.  : )

I spent all afternoon yesterday working on the apron I cut out on Wednesday.  This is what it looks like so far:

I have the facing and tie ends to put on yet and a little coordinating rick rack and it'll be done!  This goes together so quickly and it feels good to get back to sewing again.  I love taking my time to be sure it's done correctly.  The basics - read the pattern guide thoroughly, baste everything, sew, press. I'm hoping it will be good enough to go into the new Etsy shop.  : )

And here are a few more charitable organizations that I wrote down while listening to "Sewing with Nancy" - 

*Sew for HOPE Quilts
*Project Linus
*Comfort Doll Project

I'm getting motivated to do something, are you?  : )

And then, like the title of the post reads, I am taking a blog break for about a week.  I just want to take some time off and re-think things and hopefully come up with some more ideas to write about!

So, thank you for stopping by today and I will look forward to "seeing" you again in about a week or so.  I pray you will stay safe and enjoy your home.  God bless you.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Back At It

It was a nice, long, holiday weekend and I tried to stay busy with some different things.  It's fun for me to work on one project for a while and then get up to work on something else and then, again, go and work on something else, and so on..........  You may think that's not a very efficient way of getting things done, but it really does work for me.  It gives me that balance I need.  A little crafting, a little cleaning, a little gardening, a little baking/cooking, etc.

I'm still working on this (and will be for quite some time):

I'm working on the embellishments now.  Lots of embroidery ahead and then backing it and lastly, framing it.

I worked on only one organizational project:

This may not look like much, but it was a mess.  It's all the DVD's and even VCR tapes!  Yes, we still have a working VCR player.  : )  From the looks of it, you wouldn't think that I filled a brown bag of old movies to give to the thrift store, but I did!  I still think there are others that I could possibly get rid of and make it look better, but since it's much better than it used to be, I'm satisfied for now.  I used to store the Christmas movies away with the Christmas decorations but I found that every year I wanted to watch a couple even before the decorations went up, so I kept them all in with the regular movies and that's why there is less room.  Plus some of these movies aren't even ours - they belong to our son who will be taking them with him in the Fall after he gets married.  : )

I spent more time outdoors pulling weeds.  An area that was just bothering me for weeks now.  With all the rain we've been getting, it was so out of control.  Now it's somewhat in control and it feels good.

And I worked a little on this:

Homemade greeting cards.  I got the pretty little bird stamp for my birthday and just had to try it out.  : )

I mentioned last week that my crafting table is near my computer, so I've been watching all the episodes of "Sewing With Nancy" on-line and not only am I learning a lot from her on sewing and quilting, but she also has many guests on talking about various charitable organizations they represent and how we can help.  I don't know about you, but I really DON'T know who needs help and HOW I can help, so while working on my projects, I wrote some down for future reference and I wanted to share them with you as well for all you seamstresses and quilters out there (I know it's making me think as to what I can do) - you can find out more information on-line for the ones that interest you:

*Honor quilts - make a quilt to honor someone in the nursing home.  Either call and find out who might enjoy a quilt or go and interview the elderly to find out what they used to do, what they used to like, etc. and incorporate those likes into the quilt.
*Quilts for Kids - homeless shelters, hospitals
*Quilts of Valor - for our servicemen
*Pillowcases for homeless shelters
*Pillows for Dialysis patients (12" x 18")
*Pillowcase dresses for African girls

And these are only the few that I've listened to so far - there are many more - but it's enough to get us started on something!  : )  I've said this in the past - it's better to do something than nothing.  We can't help the whole world, but if we can help even one person, it will have mattered.

This afternoon, I pinned an apron pattern onto fabric that I've had for quite a while.  I just finished cutting it out and tomorrow I'm hoping to begin sewing.  I love the Paris fabric.  Last Friday I opened up a second Etsy shop:

It's called CopperHanger (I'm hoping to get it onto the sidebar of my blog for easier access).  We'll see how this goes.  I love vintage clothing and would like to sell them.  The above Oscar de La Renta dress is the only item in this new shop and if the apron turns out (though not vintage, but homemade) I'll add that too.  It's an experiment.  If it works, that would be wonderful.  If not, it'll be okay.  : )

Then lastly, it's been a very warm day and because I've been working on a few things, I didn't want a heavy meal and I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I found a VERY quick and easy spaghetti sauce that we all really enjoyed so I wanted to share it with you before I go:


2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 of a small onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1, 28 oz. can of peeled and diced tomatoes
4 tsp. dried basil
4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. white sugar

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute' until onion is translucent.  Stir in other ingredients, bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

That's it!  It doesn't make a lot, so you could double if needed.  But no heavy tomato sauce or paste - it was very light and savory.  I served garlic toast with it and cut up cantaloupe.  Very good.  : )  I hope you can try it.

Well, I must admit that I am tired.  So I'm looking forward to just going outside for a while and sit and rock in the glider and watch the birds to relax before calling it a day.  I hope this finds all of you well and getting back into the swing of things.

Thank you for visiting - it's fun to have you here.  God bless.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Look Back

Not only am I looking back on the past week, but I'm looking back at the past year as well. Tomorrow I will be turning 58 years old (so no post for tomorrow!).  When I say my age out loud, I'm totally surprised.  Other than looking in the mirror and seeing, yes, I AM 58 years old, and a few aches and pains upon rising, I feel younger so the two clash on a regular basis.  Unable to do EVERYTHING that I used to be able to do sometimes bums be out.  Getting tired more quickly isn't fun.  Once the makeup I wore used to make me look a bit better, now I'm constantly trying different techniques to keep up with the baggy eyes and sagging jowls (I still haven't found the technique!).  My hair is thinning.  Clothes that once upon a time looked halfway okay look a little silly.  

I understand that those are outer things and the Bible even warns us that there will be a day when all of this happens so don't put stock on what we look like on the outside.  But, unfortunately, I do.   Of course I want to be nice, I want to be patient, I want to be kind, I want to be compassionate, I want to be helpful, I want to be friendly, I want to be loving, I want to be understanding.......but, unfortunately, I'm not.  Not all at once anyway.

As I get older, I try very hard to look for aging men and women who have the qualities I would like to emulate.  I'm finding people who have a wonderful sense of humor.  Such a good ability to make others laugh and smile.  Who don't take everything so seriously (there is a time and place for that but they seem to know when to balance it).  I'm finding people who REALLY care for others.  They are ALWAYS there for a talk, a prayer request.  They are the ones that everyone goes to when they need support.  I'm finding people who are sweet.  They are the quiet ones, but makes you feel welcomed and wanted.  I'm finding people who are encouragers.  Just the right word for just the right time.  And I could go on.

So, as I continue to work on the outer "shell" - the one everyone sees - I'll need to continue to work on the inner too.  The past year has been so difficult in so many ways.  Many lessons.  Many emotions.  Much sadness.  When you think about it, God uses those things to transform us.  We grow, we change, we learn.  I'm the kind of person who wants the easy way but it doesn't work that way. Easy makes us stagnant.  We get lazy.  We go our own way and forget the ways of God.  When I think about the people I mentioned above, I have a feeling they figured that out.  That's why they are the way they are.  Not perfect, but aware.  Aware of Who it was in their life that sanded the edges, that gave them the balance of laughter and mourning, that gifted them with empathy and compassion.  

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  But if I have another day given to me I will try to sing while doing one more load of laundry.  I will try to laugh when I clean the bathroom.  I will try to think of others instead of myself when going about my dailies.  And I will try to remember that every day is a new beginning (even at age 58).  : )

God bless your day and thank you for visiting.