Wednesday, February 28, 2018

March To-Do's

No way.  Tomorrow, March?  Yes, it is.  And according to our to-do list, there are only two things this month that we will want to spend some time on:

*Clean and organize the gardening equipment - while looking out our window at a couple feet of snow in places, this seems a bit early.  But since there are 31 days in March, I'm hoping that by the end of the month it will seem more likely.  It's still good to go out and see what you have and what might need replacing and plan things out.  : )

*Make household cleaners.  Forget about buying expensive cleaners at the store that are full of chemicals we shouldn't be breathing in.  There are tons of "recipes" for homemade cleaners on-line to check out and try.  I have an all-purpose cleaner that I make all the time and it's the one we use all the time.  In a spray bottle, pour in a little Dawn dish soap, then a little white vinegar, and then some water.  Give it a gentle shake and it's ready to use.  I don't measure the amounts - after a few trys in making it, you will find out what amounts of each works best.  Inexpensive and very effective.  We use it to clean everything.  Forget about toilet bowl cleaners - simple baking soda and vinegar fizzes up and sanitizes - just scrub and flush!  In cleaning the bathtub I just sprinkle baking soda in and add some of the Dawn dish detergent on that and scrub away.  Nice and bright.  : )

So I would encourage you to use more natural products this year in taking care of your home.  No more heavy chemical smells!  : )  And remember - keep opening those windows every morning to air your home.  

The other thing I wanted to post about is thinking ahead this month about taking care of others.  In our area, it is food shelf month.  Our church collects food all month to take to the local food shelves.  If your church doesn't do this, just taking over a bag or two on your own would greatly help those in need.  I know some who have a hard time doing this because they feel people take advantage of food shelves.  We have to remember that it is not our place to judge.  None of us knows what someone else is going through.  All we can do is give back since God has given us so much.  Maybe this is the month where you stop buying coffee every morning at the local coffee house and save that money to buy groceries for someone else.  I know there are a lot of ways to stop spending and give instead.  Also, and I've mentioned this before - if you live in a small town and don't have a food shelf to give to, how about getting together with other townspeople and begin one!  Growing up poor, I know how I wish our small town would have had one.  There were a lot of people who could have used it.  Pray about it and see how the Lord would lead you in this.

And the last thing is Easter.  It's good to plan ahead where holidays are concerned.  Easter is THE important holiday in the life of the believer.  It is where Jesus gave his life for us.  It was God's plan of salvation for those of us who believe in Christ as our personal Savior.  We all get excited about Christmas (and should!) but Easter is such a blessing that we should begin now to try and make it special.  Some things to consider:

*Church - are you planning on inviting someone?
*Outreach - how can you reach others for Christ?
*After church - where will you spend it?  Some people like to go out for an Easter brunch, others like to have it at home.
*What will you plan to eat?
*What kind of table decorations?  How can you keep it Christ-centered?
*If you have little ones around (kids or grandkids), it's fun to keep the tradition of Easter eggs.  We always enjoyed coloring eggs and then we enjoyed hiding the plastic eggs for a hunt.   You could get everyone involved with this (adults too) and enjoy being together.
*Do you send out Easter cards?  This could be very meaningful for those who don't always receive cards.  Card-making supplies are very reasonable, it's fun to do, and will make someone's day.  Or the dollar store has lovely inexpensive cards to buy.  You could include notecards with Scripture written on them.  Again, our goal is to think of others.
*If you don't have someone to be with for Easter, is there some place that you could go and volunteer or visit?  Nursing home?  Hospital?  Homeless shelter? 
*For me, it's fun to put Easter baskets together.  For family members but, also, is there a family that you could bless at church anonymously?  We tend to put on such happy faces at church and hesitate to admit that there might be a need, but there is always someone who needs a little lift.  

Well, I'm sure that the list isn't complete, but it IS something to think about and plan for.  We all know that the months fly by, so it's never to early.  : )

That's it for this day.  It's been a good day so far - all the weekly shopping is done, groceries put away, menus planned, and now off to do something else.  Thank you for stopping by.  I do appreciate it.  God bless.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


So pretty.  : )

While working in the home this past week, I was mentally taking note of what, in our homes, can show love.  And some of these things are surprising - things that we probably don't think matters all that much.  We get used to a routine and want so much to get our work done that I'm not sure that we take the time to really look around.  It's just there and we take care of it.

As Christian women I think we need to really do our very best in presenting our homes as a place of continuity, safety, love, comfort, hospitality, and so much more.  We need to put our thinking caps on and think of what the needs are and go about with great determination to carry them through.

Of course, the first thing to think of is our family - the ones that live there and the ones that come and visit - whether for the day or for an extended stay.

*make notes about what your family likes to eat (and what they can't!).  Play chef and get into the kitchen to try new things (yet keeping the old family favorites).  If someone is staying for a while, do you have a place for them?  What would that look like?  Think it through.  Think of what you would like if you were to stay at someone's home. What about the occasional visit from a loved one?  Do you have things to share with them?  Coffee?  Tea?  Soft drink?  Some homemade cookies in the freezer that will thaw out quickly?  Do you play games together?  What would that be?  Do you like to send them off with something?  What do they like?  A slip from a houseplant?  Canned goods?

*make notes about other important people in your life (friends, neighbors, etc.).  Is your home inviting?  Do others like to be there?   Remember to sit in all the chairs of your home.  Does each chair have a place to put a cup of something?  Will they be comfortable or will they be crowded?  How about the heat or coolness of the home?  

*make notes about the people you enjoy helping out.  Do you give to local charities?  What does that look like?  Do you tend to give money or do you give tangible items like food to the local food shelves?  Do you have a pantry to buy food to give?  Do you have a place where you can fill some gift baskets - a place with baskets, wrapping paper, tissue paper, scissors, little gift items, etc., where it would be easy to give with ease?  When you go out and about, it's very easy to just pick up a little something extra to set aside just for this purpose.  Again, think about what you would like to be given in such an instance and go from there.

So, I'm encouraging you to look at your home - really look and really think.  While cooking and cleaning and organizing, look at what we all can do to make it a home for others.  A home away from home.  There are several occasions that I fondly look back on when I have had people in my home - how they sprawl out on the couch, covering themselves in a blanket, pulling a book from the shelf and sitting and reading, or downstairs playing a game, or staying late instead of leaving early, or helping themselves in the kitchen.  To me, that looks like they feel at home and they feel comfortable.  There is never a more wonderful feeling for me.

I truly believe that this makes our Lord happy as well.  Because it's not always an easy thing to do.  It can stretch us and it can make more work for us sometimes.  It teaches us hospitality, it teaches us patience, it teaches us sharing and giving without expecting anything in return.  We love and care for others through the use of our homes.  If He provided this wonderful place for us to live, we really need to extend it to others too.  Like I often say, have fun with this.  Get creative.  Invite.  Then see what happens.  : )

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A New (to us) BBQ Sauce

We had round 1 of a snowstorm Thursday afternoon into the night and cleaned all that up yesterday.  We are having round 2 of another snowstorm as I type this which is supposed to give us 4-8 more inches tonight that we will have to dig out from under tomorrow.  I know March is next week, but it feels like it already with the mild temperatures and heavy, wet snow.  It's pretty, and we always need the moisture for Spring, but when a person (me) is ready for it to go away already, I don't get very excited about it.  : )

Yesterday.  My husband had an all-day seminar to go to so while the cat's away...........I moved some of our living room furniture around.  When he's here and I talk about doing that, he gives me that look.  So, in order to escape the look, I took advantage of his absence.  ; )

I only moved two things.  The small couch used to be in front of our picture window and a table used to be where the small couch is now.  That's it, but we really enjoy it so much better.  When my husband came home, he actually liked it.  Yea!!!  I have been thinking about this change for quite a while now.  I have always wanted a table and chairs by the front window.  A place to have a cup of tea and look outside.  We even had a small lunch there today and enjoyed looking out.  It feels cozy like a coffee shop or small cafe'.  It will be a place to write letters and cards and do Bible study lessons.  A good move!!!

Now to what the post is actually about - a new BBQ sauce.  We had pulled pork in the freezer that I needed to use and since I'm trying to limit tomato products we couldn't have the usual BBQ sauce.  While going on-line looking for sauces, this one came up several times and I've seen it in the supermarkets as well.  I had good intentions of taking pictures of it, but when I tried I read a message on the camera that said "the battery is exhausted".  Poor thing.  I then proceeded to plug it in to revive it but by the time it was revived, we had eaten everything. pictures to show.  : (

I made it.  We liked it.  Very much.  It is mustard based instead of tomato based so it's quite tangy, but the addition of molasses cuts the bite.  Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it:


1 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne (I left this out)

Combine dry ingredients in a saucepan.  Add a little cider vinegar to stir the seasonings together.  Place over high heat and add remaining vinegar and the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Just pour this yummy stuff over the meat and stir - butter some hamburger buns and toast them in a skillet, top with this mixture and enjoy!!!!!   I also think putting some sweet pickles on top would be great.  I served these with sweet potato chips and fresh fruit.  Hope you like it too!!!! : )

That is it.  It's evening now and time to relax.  Thank you for your visit.  God bless.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Food Crazy and Sewing

I've been spending a bit of time looking for dairy-free recipes (especially ice cream) and I've found quite a few that I'm excited to try.  I'm also looking for tomato free sauces and other recipes that don't have tomatoes (that's the difficult one for me as I love tomatoes).  As a homemaker, I'm trying to take this on as a challenge and a learning experience.  The kitchen is a place to try new recipes and gather some new favorites to make throughout the upcoming years.  Something that's not only good for us to eat but tastes good as well and I have found several already that I will try to share with you.  : )

Yesterday, I finished sewing the little girl dress:

I say I'm finished but I'm thinking pink rick-rack along the bottom would be nice.  I don't have a little girl in my life, but I really enjoy sewing children's clothing because it doesn't need to be fitted like our big girl's clothes do.  Don't look too closely, though - it's not as good as it should be - but it was fun.  Hoping I'll do more soon.  : )

Before I go, I want to lift up my thoughts and prayers to the family of the Reverend Billy Graham.  What a strong and humble man of God.  Throughout my growing up years whenever he had a crusade on television, we all sat in the living room watching and listening.  Such powerful messages that planted seeds.  I was also able to see him in our city downtown for a crusade.  Hearing the song "Just As I Am" being sung while watching people go down and accept Christ as their personal Savior was so very moving.  Now he is in heaven meeting Jesus face to face.  Amazing.  : ) 

That's it for this day.  Thank you, once again, for dropping by.  God bless and keep you.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Strawberry Avocado Salad

I usually save main dish salads until Spring and Summer because, well.....they're cold and it's cold outside and we prefer hot dishes this time of year, but when we got home from church yesterday, I craved a salad.  We had all we needed to make this salad, so with whole-grain crackers and fresh apple slices on the side, this meal tasted delicious.  I think it was because it was something different.  

I added a lot to the original recipe, so I'll give it to you the way I made it:


First, make the dressing:

In a small jar with lid add 2 Tbsp. white sugar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 4 tsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and 1 tsp. lemon juice.  Shake to combine.

On each plate:

Layer a variety of salad greens (I used the Spring mix along with Romaine for crunch), an avocado - peeled, pitted, and sliced in chunks, sliced strawberries, chopped walnuts, a handful of blueberries, sliced carrots, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and because my husband likes meat, slivers of ham.  And, of course, you could keep adding (or subtracting) whatever suits your fancy.  But it is, after all, a strawberry and avocado salad.  : )  Drizzle with the salad dressing and there you have it.  SO GOOD!

Well, we've had freezing drizzle this morning, then snow on top of that, then freezing drizzle again, and snow on top of that - kind of a layering of things going on - along with blustery winds.  A good day to just clean the house, do the laundry, make the menus for two weeks along with the grocery list, and blog.  : )

Thank you for the short visit - nice to have you drop by.  : )  God bless.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Cloudy, Blustery, Sunday

Gooseberry Falls in northern Minnesota.

The beginning of a new week.   Starting it in church this morning with fellow believers in Christ was (and is) a good place to start.  : )    There were more people in church today.  It was good to see.  This has been another difficult week to stomach as we heard about the (yet another) senseless act of murder in Florida.  Usually, when something like this happens, church attendance goes up.  I remember September 11th after the attacks - churches were VERY well attended.  I remember members of Congress on the White House steps singing "God Bless America".  And then........well.......things get back to some kind of normal and we stop going and we stop singing.

Sundays become just another day.   People come to God in the chaos (and that's okay), but then become complacent when things are good again.  On, off, on, off.  I do understand that not everyone can go to church on Sundays.  People, unfortunately, have to work.  There are others, for health reasons, simply cannot go.  Some just have no way of getting there.  God's grace covers that if they are already followers of Christ and can have the motivation to worship God where they are in Bible reading and prayer and maybe listen to a pastor on-line or on the radio.  We can worship God from a hospital bed just as well as a pew.  

But, for those who can, God's church isn't just a physical place to go.  It's a fellowship in Christ.  It's where we learn and grow and love each other (warts and all).  Understanding that none of us is perfect yet we build each other up and we learn perseverance and patience and kindness.  One of the commandments is to set a day aside (Sabbath) to keep it Holy.  I think that's difficult to do if we treat Sunday like any other day of the week.  There is something about coming home from church with the sermon still fresh in your mind that gives you something to think about and pray about and try to work on throughout the week.  It should touch us and want us to change things within us that need changing.

Having said that, though, it can be hard to find a Bible teaching church.  Nowadays, more churches are not teaching the Word of the Lord as truth or as it should be taught.  They are slipping in their own ways of thinking and doing things and going along with worldly views.  So be cautious!  If you are hearing and seeing things that a red flag goes up within you, beware.  I think it's really important to carry your Bible with you to church so that when the pastor is giving Scripture you can follow along.  There should be no "adding to" or "taking away" from the Word of God.

When we see what's going on this world, there is no denying that God is trying to draw us near to Him.  But He doesn't just want our time and attention when things are upside down and crazy and scary - He wants us ALL the time.  He wants us to believe in The One He sent to die in our place so that we have eternal life.  He wants us to believe in His Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us and be with us always as our helper.  He wants us to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus and that Jesus will come back.  He wants us to know that the evil one will be destroyed.  Won't that be amazing?!  

I hope that you will draw near to God today and He will draw near to you.  You are precious in His eyes because He created you.  He loves you.  He is your Father in Heaven.  He knows every little thing about you - He knows what you're thinking, He sees what you're doing, He understands you more than you understand yourself.  So, please........draw near.  Set aside a Sabbath day.  He is worthy to be praised and worshiped.  Let's get back to the way it used to be.  When I grew up in a small town in South Dakota (during the 60's and 70's) you stood out like a sore thumb if you didn't go to church on Sunday.  You either had to be out of town or ill.  Churches were full.  Sundays were special.  Nothing was open.  We had Sunday meals.  It was all a way of putting God and His day first.  I had to miss the last couple of Sundays do to illness and coming back today was so nice.  People notice when you're gone and glad to see you when you're back.  How lovely is that?  What a blessing.

I would really encourage all of you to put God first this week.  If you've been gone for a long time, He's just waiting for you to come back.  : )

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Slow Cooker Savory Beef over Noodles

This recipe was actually named a Beef Stew, but when it came time to serve it, an idea came to me and that was to keep it "soupy" and serve it over egg noodles.  Sure glad we did because the noodles took on the flavor of the broth and was excellent and hearty.  : )  The other thing I did with this recipe is to not put the can of tomatoes in nor the tomato paste and left out the potatoes as well (which would have given it an entirely different taste and more depth I suppose, but because of not eating tomatoes and tomato products, along with potatoes, I left it out).  I'm not very good at tweaking recipes.  I'm the kind of person who follows directions and am very afraid to veer off.  But in this case, while eating it and enjoying it, I totally forgot that there were a couple of things missing from it.  And there are leftovers for today's meal!  : )  I served fresh fruit and whole-grain crackers with this meal and I'll be writing this down as a keeper.

Here is the recipe as it is written (with the tomatoes, tomato paste, and potatoes included for those of you who might want them in there):


2 cups coarsely chopped onions
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 lbs. boneless stewing beef, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tblsp. oil
3 1/2 cups beef broth
1, 15 oz. can diced tomatoes in its juice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Spray the inside of your slow cooker.  Layer the onions, carrots, and potatoes.  Combine stew meat with the flour, salt, and pepper in a large resealable bag and shake well to coat the pieces.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.  Shake excess flour off meat pieces and add to oil in pan to sear on all sides (do this in batches - if you crowd the meat, they will steam instead of brown and you want the brown!).  After the pieces are seared and browned, add to vegetables in the slow cooker.  Pour the beef broth into the pan that you seared the meat and stir to get up all those good browned bits that are left in the pan then pour all of that over the meat and vegetables in the slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and give it a good stir.  Cover and cook for 8 - 10 hours on Low.  Uncover and discard the bay leaves and taste to see if you need more salt.  If you want a thicker stew, crank it up to High and leave it uncovered until it thickens.  Serve and enjoy.  : )  Again, I served the not thickened stew over egg noodles that I had drizzled with a little olive oil.  Scrummy.

Well, another Saturday is upon us.  There is always a special feeling on Saturday mornings.  Lounge in bed a little longer, sit in your jammies a little longer, plan the day (or not).  I'm a planner by nature and I love my to-do's, but even I make Saturdays a little different than the rest of the week.  A chance to get out of the weekly way of doing things.

*Watch morning cooking shows.
*Hopefully finish a little girl dress that I started yesterday (I will, of course, post pictures).  : )
*Hopefully go to a local florist shop to soak in the sights and smells of greenery and flowers (they also have a little restaurant attached so we might have tea?).

And I think that's all I can think of!  Whether or not any or all of these things happen (except for the blogging), I guess we'll see.  : )

I hope you can enjoy this day.  Thank you for dropping by to visit - I appreciate it!!!!  God bless. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Spring Reading and New Cookies

In a few months, the fragrance from our Azalea will be a welcome thing.  : )

Around this time of year when I get cabin fever and can't wait for the snow to melt and green grass to appear, I begin to bring out the books, notebook, magazines, and seed catalogs to look at, read, write things down, and dream.

Our books.

Our notebook to hold magazine articles and notebook paper to jot down what worked and, most importantly, what didn't.

Just a few of the magazines I've kept over the years.

I even have a couple of Gooseberry Patch books that have fun summertime ideas.

I can't say that I have a green thumb.  I struggle with making things grow - the right and wrong ways of doing things.  But every year I try and though there have been mistakes, there are some things that go right too.  So, I keep at it because I enjoy it.  There is something about growing things that bring such pleasure.  I don't exactly rank pulling weeds right up there, but there is a deep satisfaction of pulling those weeds and then standing back to admire how it all looks.

I would encourage you to at least try something this year if you haven't yet.  What is your favorite flower?  Can you grow just that?  What is your favorite vegetable?  Can you try that?  I know a lot of people don't have the space, but even a deck or patio can grow something.  When you're home during the day, just keep track of the sunlight and how much it gets and plan around that.  There are shade loving plants out there too. Our backyard has become quite shady over the years as the trees have matured, so our gardening looks a lot different than when we first moved here.

If you have grandchildren or children, letting them have a pot or window box or a little portion of land in the yard for their very own is a wonderful project for them through the growing months.  It teaches them so many things and it's something that they will take with them as adults.  Hope you can give it a try.  If you don't have books and magazines like we do, there are so many on-line helps that you really can't go wrong.  I do highly suggest keeping a notebook though.  It has been fun through the years to go back and read and look at the articles we cut out and saved, hoping to do them. 

Now, for the cookies.  : )  We are having Bible study tonight and our friends always bring ice cream for our treat afterwards, and I usually provide cookies to go with.  Well, since I'm off dairy right now, I'll let them have the ice cream, but I can still have a cookie!  : )  And since I'm trying to find recipes that are healthy (but tastes good too!) I found this recipe quite a while ago but until today, haven't tried it.  I made them this afternoon and they are GOOD!  Here is the recipe for you to try as well:

POWERBALL COOKIES (these are no-bake which makes them very easy)

In a standing mixer, blend 1 cup peanut butter with 1 cup honey until smooth.  Mix in 3 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick-cooking), 1/2 cup flaxseed (ground), 1 cup dark chocolate chips, and 1 cup of any combination of nuts and dried fruit (I used 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup dried blueberries).  Shape into balls (I used a tiny scoop and wet my hands) and put onto lined baking sheet.  Freeze.  Then put them into a freezer bag until you want to eat them.  Just take them out and let them come to room temperature or warm them a bit in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

I had a couple before they went into the freezer and they are excellent.  So good for a quick, healthy treat.  Definitely keeping this recipe!  I hope you enjoy it too.  : )

That is it for this day.  Thank you for dropping by for a visit - I enjoy it when you do!!!!!  God bless.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Re-thinking Food

Last Wednesday, before bed, I got really sick.  At first I thought the flu that's been so widespread but this felt a little different.  No chills, no aches.  I waited through the weekend to find out what it was as I was still experiencing symptoms (although getting better as time went on).  I found out that it is gastritis.  It's in the stomach and I am to treat it as though I have an ulcer because it can turn into one, or worse, stomach cancer.

Well, to me, either one is very scary.  My mom had bleeding ulcers so I know from what she went through it is something I do not want.  I've had to go on-line for foods to avoid and foods that will help in the healing.  Hence the name of my post today.  Re-thinking food.

Although I try to cook healthy food and mostly from scratch for the added benefits that promotes, knowing that I had to cook differently now made me a little sad.  And while writing our menus out yesterday for the next couple of weeks, I actually found it difficult.  The foods to avoid - no caffeine (no morning coffee! - and I'm already experiencing the headaches), no refined foods or processed foods, no citrus (no morning grapefruit! or oranges, etc.), no tomatoes or tomato products (so I'm looking for pasta recipes and how to top a pizza without tomatoes), no spicy foods, limit sugar intake, no pain medication (for those headaches), and limit dairy to kefir and yogurt with probiotics, no chocolate (what?).

There are two ways I can look at this:

1.  The food I CAN eat is actually food that is very good and very healthy - the way we're probably supposed to eat anyway - LOTS of fruits and vegetables, high fiber foods, Omega 3 foods (eggs, fish, lean beef), garlic, healthy fats, walnuts and flaxseed - things like that.  And, really, I've been incorporating these foods into our menus anyway.  It was just the dairy, tomatoes, and citrus products that threw me for some reason - probably because I really like eating them!

2.  I'm just part of a vast majority of people who need to be on special diets.  If someone reading this right now is on a special diet for some health reason and has had to change their eating habits for a long time, they will probably not have much empathy with me as I bemoan losing my dairy, tomatoes, and citrus.  So, as with everything else it's a transition and if it's going to make me feel better then it's what I have to do.

I guess it's just that I've been spoiled in preparing food.  There really weren't any limitations for all these years except for bean allergies in our family - but really, how hard is it not to add beans?  I have my tried and true recipes and a lot of them call for tomatoes, and a lot of them call for dairy, and a lot of them call for spices that are now off-limits.  So it means that I either have to re-write my old recipes or find new (which isn't the end of the world).  

Let the work begin!  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Cold Sunday Morning

Lake Superior.

This past week has given me lots of time to think.  It has given me some time to watch old movies and old television programs (on DVD's).  It has given me time to read (re-read) old books.  And the common denominator in all of this was old-time values and morals. It is a way to escape I guess.  It's a way to see how television programs and movies were made so that you could watch them with the whole family.   Made so you didn't feel you needed to close your ears, or hide your eyes, or feel a blush approaching.  I've asked this before and I'll ask it again - does anyone blush anymore?  Are we so desensitized that all the sex, violence, and vulgar language that we see and hear doesn't even get to us anymore?  It brings tears to my eyes.  It truly does.  I'm re-reading "Little Women" and I tear up because this is a book that was a must-read for girls growing up and rightly so.  It teaches morals and values that a girl should live by.  And there are dozens of other books (from back then) that your child would have picked up and read and not wonder whether or not it would influence them in a bad way.

I'm not so naive as to think that sinful behavior is a new thing.  It is not.  What we see going on today is what has been going on for a VERY long time.  The Bible gives us information into what was going on in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Book of Genesis (Chapter 19).  As you read, you will notice similarities in what is going on in the world today.  Also as you read, you will notice that God destroyed them with fire.  Sin has consequence.  

Back in the day, so to speak, people were shocked at certain things.  People had a conscience - a knowing of right and wrong and of a deep need to change it back to right if it was wrong.  I don't see that happening much anymore if it all.  I feel we've become slothful and lazy and our society has a do-whatever-you-want-to-do attitude and never mind the consequences.  BUT!  There are consequences and God is watching and His mercy will only last so long.

I think that is the restlessness that I feel.  I just want to shout from the rooftop about how we need Jesus!!!  What a difference it would make in everyone's life if we just believed in God and in His Son Jesus!!!  That there is a day of reckoning on the horizon and unless we change the way we do things and the way we think and the way we act and what we allow and how we speak up, the consequence will be upon us and it will be too late for many.

What can we do?  I think a lot of us feel that our voice won't be heard or that it won't matter but with God on our side it does matter.  Write letters to whom it matters.  Congressmen/women, Representatives from your State, the newspapers, the magazines, the sponsors of certain inappropriate television programs, stores in your area that are making inappropriate decisions - (did you know that Walgreen's has now determined that they will let men into women's restrooms?  They've jumped on that bandwagon with Target lately).  Call them.  Write to them.  Talk to the store manager and tell them.

Everyone is so bent on being fair that they've given up on what is right and decent.  Because of all this "fairness" going on, our world is spinning out of control.   Because of what Jesus did on the cross on our behalf (and that is defeating sin and death for believers) the evil one knows this and he is ramping up and people are playing right into his hands.  Can't you feel it?  Never before have people been so mean and outrageous and disrespectful and rude and selfish.  

Again, what can we do?  We can continue to be different. We can be followers of Christ and live by His example and hold on to the values and morals that we have within us because of the changing power of the Holy Spirit.  Because in the end (and there WILL be an end) I want to know that I had the courage to hang in there when it got tough.  Because after the end of this world as we know it, I am looking forward to spending eternity with the Lord who will make all things new.  Hallelujah for that!!!!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday Morning

Violets near the window.  : )

Well, this has been an unusual week.  I think we all know that when we plan our weeks sometimes it works out as planned and then, with others, plans just kind of fly out the window.  I had a little of both.

Whenever I post lists of things to do, I often say that lists are a guide to go by and that it's okay when some of those things go unfinished.  I had to remind myself of that.  I started the week strong and did get things done but then by mid-week I began to slow down and not feel well again so had to give up on what I had originally planned.  I was supposed to concentrate on deep-cleaning the kitchen this past week for my "week 1" schedule of cleaning but didn't get to it so now that I'm feeling better I'm hoping today something will get done.  Not everything, but something.  

I'm thinking the important kitchen cleaning jobs are to keep the oven clean (inside and out) and keep the refrigerator clean (inside and out) and that is my plan.  But before I do that, I want to bake the Valentine cookies and make the fudge.  If I get to those four things today I will definitely be a happy camper.  : )

The whole week was not lost though - when I'm not feeling well (if it's not the stay-in-bed kind of not feeling well) I do enjoy pulling out the creative, crafty things.  For me, that is part of my feeling better again.  There is something about doing something creative that pulls you away from things for a while and gets your mind on the task at hand.  Here is what I worked on:

I can't paint, but I love paper crafts and this idea popped into my head a while back after viewing an oil painting.  It was a simple (kind of primitive) painting and I wanted to try a paper version.  I like the way it turned out.  I have an idea for another one but have yet figured it out, so we'll see.  : )

Still working on the yo-yo's.  I have a LOT to finish yet, but I do like how it's turning out.  When I'm finished making them, I might rearrange them into another pattern.  : )

My embroidered owl has finally made it into a hoop for hanging.  : )

And this is my next hoop project.  I need to embroider a little something in the middle and call it good.  It reminds me of a honeycomb, so I'm thinking maybe a little flower in the middle with  a cute little bumble bee.  : )  This octagonal shape is my all-time favorite when it comes to quilts.  I absolutely love that look, but after doing just one of these, I would never have the patience to do a whole quilt of them.  I will have to settle for doing them as little projects instead.  : )

Well, that's it.  I hope that you will have a constructive day and get to some projects that you've been wanting to work on, or maybe you need a day of relaxation after a week of projects that you've already been working on!  Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy this day.  Thank you for your visit - I do enjoy it when you do.  : )  Take care and God bless.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lemon Cookies

When I have guests in for coffee or tea, I really don't serve a dessert anymore.  I feel it's so much easier to hold a cookie in one hand and a cup of coffee or tea in another.  I save the desserts for a sit-down type meal where the plate can sit on the table while you're eating it.

I really enjoy making cookies.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  And I especially like these lemon cookies!  When I serve them, everyone thinks they're special.  It's not a bold lemon flavor but you know it's there.  They are soft and buttery.  Yum.  : )  

If you'd like to try them too, here is the recipe:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together - 2 3/4 c. flour; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/2 tsp. baking powder; and 1 tsp. baking soda.  Set aside.

Beat till fluffy - 1 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar.

Add to this - 1 egg; 1/2 tsp. vanilla; zest of one lemon; 4 Tbsp. lemon juice.

Add the dry ingredients, mix well.  Roll into balls and roll the balls into granulated sugar; place on parchment lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for approximately 8 minutes.  You don't want them to brown, but the underside should be just getting there.  Let stand for 2 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets on to a wire rack for cooling.  SO good.  

That is all I have for today.  We're still waiting for the cold snap to end so baking and cooking are pretty welcome on days like these.  Thank you for your visit.  God bless.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

First Sunday in February

I can feel the warmth.  😎

We are back in the deep freeze this weekend.  I have to admit that I'm getting a little weary of it.  I would love to be back in the above photo with a pretty skirt on and a short-sleeved top, walking along the shoreline breathing in the fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sunshine.  In saying that, once August gets here with the high humidity and temps to match, I'll probably be weary of that too.  So, I need to just breathe deeply and keep busy and this, too, shall pass.  : )

Like I said in past posts, I'm in the Book of Proverbs for a while, taking notes and praying about things.  Last week, Proverbs 14:1 was a good reminder:  "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

The definition of wise:  "marked by a deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgement."

The definition of foolish:  "absurd, ridiculous, a marked loss of composure."

In my opinion, in order for a woman to be wise (or gain wisdom) she would first have to believe in God and ask Jesus into her life.  We are born into the world sinful creatures and the sinful nature we have is not wise.  That would be something God would instill within us as the years go by.  It doesn't come naturally.  So, I think the first step to wisdom is to: 

*believe in God, pray to Him daily, and get into His Word.  It is only through this that we would gain "deep understanding, keen discernment, and sound judgement" and less "absurdity, being ridiculous, and lack of composure."

I would so much rather be a wise woman than a fool, but I have to say - I've been both at times.  And wise feels SO much better than the fool.  

Wise - taking care of myself, being diligent and discerning in what I eat, how I exercise, etc.
Fool - being slothful and uncaring, letting myself get rundown

Wise - watching how I spend our money through budgeting (the old adage - if we can't pay for it with cash, then don't buy it)
Fool - getting in debt for things that aren't necessary, letting my wants overrule the needs

Wise - taking care of the home I have, staying on top of things
Fool - letting the house go because I don't feel like it

Wise - taking care of those under my roof, putting their needs ahead of mine
Fool - letting them fend for themselves and feeling like I don't care

Wise - helping others because of their need
Fool - not helping because of selfishness and don't want to give my precious time up

And the list could go on and I'm certain we can all think of more areas in our lives where being foolish has gone ahead of being wise.  I'm sorry that I can't think of the verse in the Bible where it says - "If anyone lacks wisdom, ask God."  This is terribly important.  I don't know about you, but I want and need the wisdom that comes from God.  I need His teaching.  I need His work in my life so that as I get older, the foolish things slowly fade away more and more and what God requires of me is seen more often.  Again, we aren't perfect people, and God doesn't require perfection, but He does want us to grow and learn and get better.  : )

I hope you have a wonderful upcoming day and week ahead.  Thank you for your visit.  God bless.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Under The Weather

So beautiful!!!!!

Since Tuesday evening I've been a little "under the weather" - I've always wondered where that term came from.  Is it due to how we feel when there are changes in the weather?  If anyone knows the answer, please don't hesitate to tell me.  : )

Anyway, it wasn't a full-blown cold or this nasty flu that's been hitting hard, it was a general blah feeling - a little sore throat, a little achy, very tired.  So I didn't get much done this past week.  On Monday and Tuesday I worked really hard and got more done than I thought I would, but then after that...............nothing.

But when I'm feeling like that, I don't want to sit and do nothing and I can't stand having the television on during the day especially during the work week, so I gathered a few things together and this is what I came up with during those times that I didn't sleep and wanted to keep my mind and hands busy:

I'm re-reading "Little Women" - I totally forgot how much I love this book.  : )

Still working on the yo-yo's - I have a LOT of them to finish yet!  But as I finish each one, I'm laying them out in a pattern and it's beginning to look really pretty, so it will be fun to be finished and see how it turns out.  : )

I keep hearing how we should go back to our childhood and remember what things we really enjoyed  doing and those things would probably be what we would still enjoy doing as an adult.  And it's true.  I LOVED coloring as a child and I STILL do!  There are SO many coloring books out there for adults and this one is from "Birds and Blooms" - so fun.  : )

And I enjoy working on crossword puzzles and word-finds.  Again, keep the old brain working while sitting!!!!

I keep a fashion notebook on color, design, and style.  I've always liked doing this.  At Hobby Lobby these old pattern books were on sale for $1.60 each, so I bought 4 different ones to look through.  If I see a particular fashion that I like, sometimes I cut it out and glue it into my notebook.  It's a good study in seeing what we are drawn to.  I'll tell you though - the fashions don't exactly excite me nowadays.  But I did find a few that were at least feminine and had some style to them.  

So, those were the five things that kept me occupied while "under the weather."  : )  I'm feeling much better this morning, so I will look forward to a day of catching up a bit.  

Before I go, I would encourage you to think of Valentine's Day this year.  Is there someone that you can remember to at least send a Valentine card?  It may seem like a little thing, but snail mail is still important (it is to me anyway! LOL).  My mom, bless her heart, used to start right after new year in making Valentine's cards for the veteran's home in South Dakota.  She would literally make over one hundred cards and send them off in a large envelope and they would love receiving them.  She would sometimes get a thank you from those who could.

I often wish that I could have carried on that tradition because I think she was one of the last who does that kind of thing.  But even if we remember a few people in our lives (and even outside of our sphere of friendships) it would be a very meaningful thing.

Another idea would be to make some heart-shaped sugar cookies and take them to work for everyone.  Maybe tuck a little homemade fudge in between?  I'm going to be working on making a basket for someone who might need a bit of love at the woman's shelter - fill it with girly things that will make her feel special.  I think Valentine's Day for most of us women can be lonely - I'm not sure why that is - I suppose because commercialism, once again, makes a big deal out of it.  And if we don't have anyone to make it a big deal for us, we feel sad and lonely.  But, I have found that the one way to get out of that is to do for someone else.  Get my mind off me and on to others.  : )  Hope you can begin to think of who you can be a blessing for this year!!!!!

Well, that is it for today - thanks SO much for your visit.  I really do appreciate it.  God bless.