Friday, April 28, 2017

Flowers Smile Upon Us

Flowers adorn our lanes, fields and fells, and... smile upon us and cheer and bless us in our country rambles.... the lovely blossoms... kiss the clear brooks and mountain wells...
~James Rigg, 1897

I am very pleased to report that the flowers in my aerogardens have bloomed!  I've snapdragons, lavender, and I'm not quite sure flowers.

The lavender is still an off white color. It won't be long until they will have a soft purple hue. I can't decide if I will plant them outside or just enjoy their beauty and scent inside. I definitely plan on drying them to make sachets.

You may remember that not too long ago, my aerogardens look liked this. To read more about their beginning, you can click on the post here.

I moved the aerogardens into my laundry room as their LED lights are on 16 hours a day and there is a slight hum to the planters. It seems I am always in my laundry room for one reason or another so I am able to visit them quite often. When the flowers are a might larger, I will prune them and put some of them in a pretty vase or pitcher.

I absolutely love watching plants of all kinds grow.

I splurged with my allowance and bought a couple of more aerogardens on sale. If you bought a medium size on, you received a smaller one free plus 20% off (and free shipping). In these I will plant herbs(Genovese Basil, Curly Parsley, Dill, Thyme, Thai Basil and Mint) and mini cherry tomatoes. If you are interested in reading about Miracle-Gro AeroGardens, you can read about them here. My new one is in the Harvest Premium one in this lovely copper color and the little one that I got for free is black.

*This is not a sponsored post. I just love them and want to share.*

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

All Things New

I mentioned last week that I started going to a ladies Bible study at church.  That in itself is a miracle as I normally shy away from people I don't know but I felt the Lord's prompting and so I went.  I was thankful that I had.

This morning was the second meeting and I admit that I felt quite apprehensive about going.  I was a bit lightheaded and my heart was racing.  I prayed and sang praise songs in the car on the way and I made it.

I was quieter this week than last week.  Some of the ladies shared some of the struggles that they either are dealing with or have experienced.  I struggled whether or not to share and almost did but we ran out of time.  I thought I would have a sense of relief but I did not.

The verses that stood out the most to me are 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

There is great risk in sharing. Would they see me differently? Would they understand?  And would I be afraid?

It is far easier to share in writing than in person.  I am a writer and not a public speaker.  My sharing comes at great cost to me but my desire is to share how much God has turned what was meant to be bad into something very good.

But is it fair to burden others with what happened?  I know what the "answer" would be is that as the church we are to bear one another's burdens  Still, I am uncertain what to do.

God does make all things new but that does not make the suffering go away.  I do not know what each day will bring ~ how I will feel ~ but I do know that God's grace is sufficient for me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Nightmare Chili and Guacamole

Tonight, I made one of my husband's favorite dinners ~ Nightmare Chili and Guacamole.

The chili recipe I use is from a little cookbook that my husband bought me when we were first married.  It is a basic recipe and I've tweaked it over these past 36 years.

The guacamole I make is just like my the one my mother used to make.  The recipe is quite simple and I prefer it to the guacamole that you often find in restaurants.  Usually, the restaurants add tomatoes, cilantro, and lime.


2 Fresh Avocados
Diced Onions
Chopped Green Chilis
Lemon juice, just a bit
Garlic Powder to taste
Salt to taste

Mash avocados well.  Add diced onions.  Add chopped green chilis (canned is ok if you can't find fresh). Add a few drops of lemon or lime juice.  This will help your guacamole not turn brown.  Add garlic powder and salt to taste.  Mix well.  Serve with tortilla chips.

The amount of ingredients is really up to you.  Some people like it spicier than others.  You may have to mix it, taste, add more of something, mix, and taste again until it is just right.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Farewell to Easter Decor

Taking down holiday decorations is always a little sad.  But it needs to be done.

I've gathered the Easter baskets, wooden eggs, chicks, and most of the bunnies and they are waiting to be put away. The more spring-ish garden bunnies are allowed to stay at least until summer.

On a lighter note, the sun shone today!  We have had such gray days with so much rain for the last several days.  The ground is so soggy and ready to dry out.  Thankfully, the garden is quite resilient and determined to grow in spite of April's torrential showers.

Have you put your holiday decor away?  Did the sun shine?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dinner by the Numbers

Life is more fun if you play games.
~Roald Dahl

My husband and I love to play the number tile game Rummikub (rumma~cube). It is mostly a strategy game ~ no adding or subtracting numbers. My husband and I are evenly matched when we play (even though he has a bachelors and masters degree and I have neither). I feel smart when I play. Bwahahaha

This past weekend was busier than usual and there was no time to play. I suggested that we play tonight during dinner. I made some delicious chicken parmesan, set the table, and won 2 of the 3 Rummikub games. Win win! ♥

Do you have a favorite board game?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Strange Weather

April Showers
May April Flowers

We should soon have lots and lots of flower!  It has been raining nonstop today.  Actually the last few days it's been raining but more off and on.  The temperatures today dropped 30 degrees from yesterday.

What strange weather!

This morning, I went to church wearing a cotton floral dress and a little white lacy blouse on top.  I was fine arriving at church but leaving ~ I was freezing!

I was smarter this afternoon and wore pants and a floral blouse for our "Dessert with the Pastor".   I was nice and cozy.

Back home again and in my pajamas.  A cup of tea and a little something sweet and I'll be ready for bed in no time.  Sweet dreams!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Books, Hot Cocoa, and More

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.

~William Styron, 
Writers at Work, 1958

Today, I spent a glorious morning (2 plus hours!) sitting in Barnes and Noble with a few books and big stack of magazines. Add a grande hot chocolate and I'm in a literary paradise. My sweet husband had a photography club meeting and I was very content to spend time all by my lonesome until my eldest daughter dropped by.  What a lovely surprise!

I wasn't certain that she would be able to visit but she was and she did.  I wanted to give her the little baby booties that I had made. She was thrilled with them and I was thrilled with her.  We chatted for a while and then she left to run errands.

I barely touched the magazines.  I decided to work on my Bible Study homework first.  I joined a Ladies Bible Study at the church and we're going through a study on 2 Corinthians by Kelly Minter. It's been ages since I've joined a ladies study and I am so glad that I did.  I am generally very shy but with God's grace, I went and enjoyed the study and getting to know the ladies.

After Barnes and Noble, my husband and I went to our favorite hamburger joint, the pet store, and Costco. Home again and it was time for a quick nap. We are still stuffed from lunch so dinner will be light and delicious and maybe just dessert. ♥

Friday, April 21, 2017

Baby Crochet Surprise Reveal

Mike Wazowski!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about hoping to finish a crochet project before my daughter's baby shower.  I wasn't able to finish it in time but now I have.

My daughter loves Disney's movie, Monsters Inc.  Mike Wazowski is her very favorite.  I decided to make baby booties in a sage green with a single eyeball. (just like Mike!)

I had a terrible time crocheting the soles for the slippers.  I lost track of how many times that I had to take them completely apart.  Finally, I got the soles right.  I was so happy! (And yes, I made two booties but posted just one.)

I found the pattern for the above slippers in this really cute crochet book.  This particular pattern was for an alien with antenna but I tweeked it to look like Mike W.

I plan on giving the booties to my daughter tomorrow.  I think she will love them.  I know I do! ♥

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Mother of Level Measurements

Fannie Farmer

I was wandering about a second hand store and I found a rough copy of Fannie Farmer's cookbook. It reminded me of my mother as she had one years ago. I decided to not buy this copy as its pages were a bit gummy (yikes!). Instead, I checked Amazon and found a brand new copy that was on sale.

The cookbook arrived today and I am enjoying reading the recipes and techniques that Fannie Farmer suggests. I was very curious about Fannie Farmer. Who was she?

Fannie Farmer was born on 23 March 1857 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, to Mary Watson Merritt and John Franklin Farmer, an editor and printer. Although she was the oldest of four daughters, born in a family that highly valued education and that expected young Fannie to go to college, she suffered a paralytic stroke at the age of 16 while attending Medford High School. Fannie could not continue her formal academic education;[1] for several years, she was unable to walk and remained in her parents' care at home. During this time, Farmer took up cooking, eventually turning her mother's home into a boarding house that developed a reputation for the quality of the meals it served.

At the age of 30, Farmer, now walking (but with a substantial limp that never left her), enrolled in the Boston Cooking School at the suggestion of Mrs. Charles Shaw.[1] Farmer trained at the school until 1889 during the height of the domestic science movement, learning what were then considered the most critical elements of the science, including nutrition and diet for the well, convalescent cookery, techniques of cleaning and sanitation, chemical analysis of food, techniques of cooking and baking, and household management. Farmer was considered one of the school's top students. She was then kept on as assistant to the director. In 1891, she took the position of school principal.[1](from Wikipedia)

Fannie Farmer was also known as the Mother of Level Measurement.

I have heard a homemaker referred to as a Domestic Engineer but not a Domestic Scientist before.

I like that!

Do you have a Fannie Farmer cookbook in your cookbook collection?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Such a Ham!

You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good from fresh ingredients.
~Julia Child

Dinner tonight was just a little something that I threw together.  I made some au gratin potatoes then added ham and asparagus.  Bake it all together and, oh YUM, I must say it was delicious!

I cut up the rest of the Easter ham and divided them evenly into three different meal portions.  I'll freeze them to use for another time.

Sadly, there are no more leftovers. Whatever shall I make for dinner tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sweet Spring is Near

Welcome, welcome,
little stranger,
Fear no harm,
and fear no danger;
We are glad
to see you here,
For you sing
"Sweet Spring is near."

~Louisa May Alcott,
"To The First Robin," 1840

Sweet Spring is indeed here!

The woods have come alive with beauty and song. I am spending as much time as possible either outside or in the back porch. Springtime seems to go by too quickly and the heat of summer will soon be upon us.

I love this little birdhouse that we bought on our visit to Boone, North Carolina.  I've yet to see a bird peeking in or out but the season is young.  Welcome, little birds!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Dinner After

What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
A.A. Milne (1882–1956)

Is there a dinner more wonderful than leftovers?  All the work is but a memory!  You can enjoy a holiday meal without being exhausted.

Unfortunately, the asparagus didn't reheat as well as I'd like.  They ended up a little limp tho still tasty.  The twice baked potato was already put together but not baked twice yet until this afternoon. The ham is more delicious today.

I may have to freeze some of the ham. There is quite a bit left over (even after sending some home with my daughter). I think I'll freeze it in meal portions and can either use it in a quiche, a hash brown casserole, soup, or just as is.

I could never have too much Berried Treasure pie!  There are two slices left, one for me and one for my husband. ♥