Saturday, March 12, 2022

March Days


Early morning light.

Well.  A lot has happened (and continues to happen) since the last time I posted.  I have a feeling that if I was on other social media such as YouTube or Instagram or Twitter or whatever else is out there, I would get a lot of comments on why in the world I would think that talking about homemaking is appropriate at this difficult time.  And I have to admit I was wondering if I should.  But in our home, our daily lives continue as I'm sure yours does too.  There are things that need to be done.  There are meals that need to be cooked.  There is laundry and cleaning.  There are out-of-the-house responsibilities.  As homemakers, the difficult world we live in is a great opportunity to rise above it and stay strong for our families and to keep trusting in the God who knows everything and is still in control.  It's the helpless feeling that is hard.  We live under the rule of people who are doing things that show us how much they don't care and like I said in my last's going to probably get worse before it gets better and we need to be prepared.  As homemakers, we can do what we can to prepare.  In Proverbs, this wife of noble character: (in a nutshell)

*helps her husband
*works with eager hands
*brings food into her home
*works vigorously
*gives to the poor
*makes sure her household is taken care of
*makes things
*is dignified and is joyful
*speaks with wisdom
*is not idle
*her children call her blessed
*her husband praises her
*fears and praises the Lord

THIS is what we can do!  No matter what else is going on, we can do this.  I don't have a lot to post, but I did want to connect with you now with a few recipes, what I've been doing and working on around here, and some miscellaneous things as well.

One thing that I've been working on is getting my sense of smell back.  Since I had covid in October, my smell is gone in a lot of ways and then what I do smell is "off" and sometimes just plain awful.  Coffee smells terrible.  Onions smell terrible.  When I put something in the oven I don't even know that it's there!  So, I'm trying olfactory therapy with essential oils twice a day for 3 months.  If that doesn't work, I try 4 new essential oils for three months, and then if that doesn't work, I go to the last new 4 essential oils for another 3 months hoping that my the end of 9 months (9 months mind you) it should be restored if not better.  I know, I know.........if this is the only thing that I have to complain about after having covid, I'm probably doing okay.  But our sense of smell is so important - it's not just a pleasant thing, it's a necessity.  So, we'll see how it goes!

I finished my first cross stitch sampler.  I am finding cross stitch to be very therapeutic and I'm very happy that I'm doing it.  Here it is finished and made into a pillow:

simple, yes, but it's mine.  : )

Here is the next one I'm working on:

I have quite a bit to fill in yet, but I'm liking the way this turning out.  I am truly enjoying the designing and when I say designing I mean taking the different motifs and putting them where I want them and using the colors I want instead of relying on a ready-made stitching kit.  I will frame this one when I'm finished.

I've been reading quite a bit and there was one Grace Livingston Hill book that I just bought and read that I found hard to put down!!!  It is "The White Flower" and it was a page turner.  Quite different from other GLH books but so good.  I'm a little confused about the name of the book though - it didn't fit with the story.  If any of you have read this book and can explain the title that would be great!  I'm not going to worry about it, but just wondering.

Mostly, I've just been working around the house.  We have had such frigid temperatures that it makes us want to hunker down and not go out which can be good as it forces us to get to things before the warmer temps finally do come our way.  I like to keep a clean and tidy house so that is a daily thing and I've been planning food and continue to keep our pantry stocked.  I've been making plans to use up the older items before buying new.  I've been planning what our gardens should look like this year.  I also just realized that I have to go out thrifting for some Spring/Summer clothes as I have nothing in this area.  Since our Winters tend to be longer, I've always made sure that this season is taken care of so I gotta get out there before Winter turns to Summer and I'm unprepared for it!!!!

And then I have three recipes I wanted to share with you.  I'm back to making bread in our bread machine and this one is very good.  I know eating white bread is supposed to be a no-no but, seriously, it will come in handy if you don't have anything else.  I know not everyone has a bread machine either so please forgive me for sharing something you might not be able to try.  Here it goes:

POTATO BREAD (sorry, no photo!)

1 1/4 cups water (70 to 80 degrees)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
7 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. mashed potato flakes 
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order given.  Select basic bread setting.  Choose crust color and loaf size (1 1/2 lbs.).  Start.  Check the dough after 5 minutes of mixing to see if you need to add a bit more flour if too wet or more water if too dry.

Hope you can try this!

We had hot roast beef sandwiches with this bread and it was so good.  : )  Which brings me to the next recipe.  What is a hot roast beef sandwich without gravy (and lots of it).  I don't like the jarred gravy so I found this recipe on-line.  I know, gravy is gravy and should be easy to make but I don't trust myself in some areas of cooking without a recipe and this is one of those areas!


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef broth
1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. pepper

Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until melted.  Stir in flour and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until mixture is deep brown, stirring often.  Whisk in broth until smooth; simmer 3 minutes stirring often.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook 2 - 3 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in bouillon and pepper; stirring until combined.  Season with salt, as desired.

VERY good.  : )

And then, lastly, we love our oatmeal for breakfast and we had stocked up on steel-cut oats but they take forever to make when I don't want to take all that long in the morning.  So I found this recipe to partially cook them the night before and let them set overnight and just re-heat in the morning.  Perfect, I said.  : )


1 tsp. butter or olive oil
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
pinch of salt

The night before, toast the oats in the butter or oil in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Fry them until they start smelling toasty, about 3 minutes.  Add the water and salt and bring to a rolling boil.  Turn off the heat and cover and let sit overnight on the stove.  Say "good night" to everyone and go to bed.  : )

The next morning, uncover the pan and bring the oatmeal back up to a simmer.  If you need to thin it out, just add a bit of coconut milk (or whatever milk you use).  Heat to warm and enjoy.

This makes 4 servings so I just leave the other 2 servings in the same pan until the next morning which makes it even more convenient.  Just cover and refrigerate.  And they say you can keep it for up to 5 days.  Just reheat in the same way.

I've mentioned in past posts that I like to do oatmeal packets and I do that with this as well.  In a ziplock bag, I put the 1 cup oats in along with some flaxseed meal, some chia seeds, a little brown sugar, and a bit of dried milk and then just follow the instructions above.  

Well, I think that's about all I have.   Today is Saturday and I have my list of to-do's and then I want to get to some stitching yet.  I have my Spring decorations in a box downstairs that I have to bring up and start putting them up even though it is only 14 degrees as of this writing.  I have to get my gardening journal out and start thinking of seeds.  I want to call one of my sisters yet and bake some chocolate chip cookies (even though I won't smell them).  : (

So........I'd better stop and get going!!!!  I will leave you with a few photos I took recently:

Another stitchy thing - I designed this wool applique last night and cut everything out so I'm hoping I'll begin the hand sewing part of it sometime today.

I love close-ups of flowers - the intricacy of one flower is amazing!  I'm trying to keep fresh flowers in the house during the cold months and then planning on growing flowers this summer to cut.

Another close-up.

I love purple and yellow together.  : )  Isn't the purple gorgeous?


And then, while Mr. Squirrely is stretching, Mr. Bunny waits patiently below for some of those apples to fall to the ground.  

Okay.  That's it for now.  Thank you SO much for taking the time to stop by and read what little I have.  I do hope that we can all keep our heads up, our hands folded, and our trust in the Lord to keep us in His care.  God bless all of you.  See you next time!!!!