Let's get to green soon!!! (And I mean the color green) : )
Hi ladies. I thought I'd better get another post in before we turn the calendar to March. I say this ALL the time but really......March already. Closer to spring! We just got about 6 inches of snow (5 on Tuesday, 1 last night) and as of this typing, it is 6 degrees. So spring is a big deal and getting closer to it makes me very happy. : ) I would be the one to admit that spring is my least favorite of the seasons because when the snow melts it reveals all the icky stuff underneath and it's sloppy and we bring it into the house and.............but this year I'm very ready for it.
I hope this finds you doing okay and feeling well and getting through. So many things going on right now, aren't there? I could go into it and I have before but at this point there is something inside of me that is telling me to just stick to the homemaking and to encourage all of you to keep on keeping on. Keep on loving your family, your friends, your home. We can't (and shouldn't) bury our heads in the sand and act as if there aren't some very concerning things going on, but I think the best thing we can do as women of our homes is to keep it up and make it a place that is different than the outside world. I believe there will be some difficult times ahead. Unless you make a lot of money and that is not an issue of concern, it will be a challenge. But homemakers have always faced challenges and we can do this.
At this time of year I re-read the Little House on the Prairie books and am ALWAYS amazed at what they went through and how they got through it. How little they had at times and stilled survived (barely sometimes, but they did it) and how innovative they were at making do with what they had. As a modern-day society we have been SO used to having pretty much everything we want and need, so the idea of those things being taken away can be kind of scary. But there is so much we can do without and maybe it IS time for us to learn those lessons.
One thing that I always notice is that the Ingalls women always worked before play. They spent the morning cleaning and getting food prepared so that by the time afternoon rolled around they were able to sit and read or knit and crochet or whatever else they wanted to do. I also noticed that when they did sit down to do these things, everything they worked on had a purpose. It was going to be used in some way - they didn't just make things to make things - they had a reason to the making. So, I'm kind of following that same routine, although some of the things I work on in the afternoon don't necessarily have a purpose, but a few do. Here are some things I've been working on (and I've mentioned some of these in past posts):
I've been enjoying embroidering - wanting to make some things for the pantry room.
STILL crocheting those quilt blocks!! I was hoping to have a "quilt" made this past Christmas - obviously it didn't happen.
And......now.....this is my newest interest. And I do mean interest - maybe passion - but I'm smitten. On YouTube I've been watching to/listening to various cross stitchers (never know if it's one word or two) and I was bitten by the bug. I had to order this book that everyone seemed to rave about:
And then I had to buy the Aida cloth, and then I had to buy the embroidery floss and then I had to find some motifs and then I had to stitch the design! Here is what I've come up with so far:
Now, I will be the first one to admit that this is not a necessary hobby. But time and time again, when listening to other women, they will talk about how therapeutic it is for them. Some are going through really difficult times and if they can just sit and stitch for a while during the day it helps them tremendously and I would agree to that. That is why in past posts I have tried to encourage everyone to find something to do - paint, sew, make cards, crochet, draw, knit, quilt..........for yourself. You will never know what will jump out at you unless you give things a try. If you don't like something try something else.
A couple of weekends ago when it was beyond frigid, I just went back to my craft room and did all kinds of things and then I lost all track of time and it brought me joy. I truly hope that if you don't have something creative to do, that you will try to find it this year. : )
Along with crafting, I love reading and since I have literally run out of NEW books to read, I ordered a few - 2 new-to-me Grace Livingston Hill books, and 3 new-to-me Nancy Drew books. I can't wait to receive them and dive right in!!! I seriously don't like not having something to read and since I collect the Nancy Drew books and Grace Livingston Hill books, I don't mind purchasing them.
Speaking of YouTube, I have a couple more for you:
*Dr. Berg, DC - I'm big on nutrition for health so he's great to listen to. Don't get me wrong.....I'm very thankful that the Lord has gifted men and women to be doctors to help us in our time of need, but the thing I have a problem with is when we go in not feeling well in some areas, I think (my opinion) that they should always check for nutritional deficiencies/vitamin and mineral deficiencies FIRST. There are so many things that can be helped just by finding out what we need in that area.
*In Touch Ministries with Charles Stanley - we've all heard of Charles Stanley, haven't we? He is one of the best preachers. ALWAYS speaks truth from the Bible - and don't we all need truth nowadays?
Next, I have 3 recipes to share with you (two with photos this time!!!). : )
The first one is candied orange peel. I don't know about you, but around here we eat LOTS of oranges and grapefruit (and I know they are expensive right now, but I'll keep buying them). And instead of throwing the peel, it's great candied. I just put them in a jar and they're great for snacks. Here it is:
CANDIED ORANGE PEEL(you can also use lemons, limes, grapefruit)
5 large oranges or about 10 of those little mandarin ones (our favorite)
3 cups sugar (I know.......a lot.....but the peels are bitter and need to be sweetened)
Cut the peels into strips about 1/2 inch wide and place in a pan, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, then repeat this step four times, using fresh water each time. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water and the 3 cups sugar and heat until dissolved. Add the peel and cook slowly, partially covered, until soft (30-40 minutes). Cool thoroughly and then sprinkle with a little sugar. Yum. : )
**Important - when draining the peels from the sugar water, keep the sugar water in a jar in the fridge and use this as a sweetener for your tea!!! Again, yum. : )
I think I may have shown you this next recipe, but I made it again and forgot how much we like it. It requires Spam.....yes, Spam. Some people like Spam, some people not-so-much. We like it so this is for those of you who aren't wrinkling up your noses right now. : )
SWEET AND SOUR SPAM
Saute' chopped onion and a red bell pepper. Add chunks of Spam to cook and brown it. Add 1 can of pineapple chunks with the juice, and some of your favorite BBQ sauce to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt (though not much because Spam is salty) and pepper.
Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onions.
Hope you can try it and let me know what YOU think. : )
This next recipe is one that I haven't even tried yet, but was reminded of because of the seemingly shortage of cream cheese (of all things). This recipe was in my Spring 2015 Capper's Farmer magazine (see.....it pays to save some of those old magazines!). Now, I know we can all live without cream cheese, but do we really want to? ; )
HOMEMADE CREAM CHEESE
1 quart homemade or store-bought plain yogurt (whole milk or low-fat)
*Place a clean kitchen towel or piece of clean muslin in a colander, and then place the colander in a large bowl. Add the yogurt to the lined colander and wrap the towel over the top to cover it, or use a plate. Leave this to drain for about 5 hours in the fridge. If you want a thicker consistency, leave it longer, making sure to empty what is being drained so it doesn't reach the bottom of the colander and get reabsorbed.
*Transfer the cream cheese to an airtight container. Cover and store in fridge. The homemade cream cheese will last as long as the yogurt would, so if you used purchased yogurt check the expiration date.
*They also suggest that you can add your own flavorings to your homemade cream cheese - different jams, dehydrated onions, green onions or chives.........doesn't that sound great?! I can't wait to try this.
Well, I think that's pretty much it for today. I have crossed all these things off my list of what I wanted to share with you. : ) Thank you SO much for stopping by today. I appreciate all of you.
Before I leave, I just wanted to remind those of you who have not yet turned your life over to Jesus, to do so today. The Bible says that "today is the day of salvation" and with the world as it is we need to be ready for Jesus' return. And since we don't know when that will be, it's vitally important to be ready. It's not through being a "good" person that we are saved because none of us can be good enough in front of a Holy God. It is through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross - he paid our sin debt in full - so it is by God's grace that we are saved not through our works. Then when we are saved, the work that we do in Jesus' name is important and Holy Spirit led.
This is important, it's always been important, but in these days we need that assurance of salvation so that we will be together with Him forever!!!!! Great news!!!!!!
God bless you all and God bless your homemaking endeavors. See you next time! : )