Sunday, March 1, 2015


Do you remember this photo that I posted a few weeks ago?
We were hosting our "dinner club" for a Valentine's meal.
That was the evening that I said that my dinner did not turn out the way I wanted it too.
But, that also was the evening that stands out as being one that we shared and laughed
more than normal.  We talked about serious issues too.  We sat at the table longer than
normal.  We all came together years ago, when our children went to the same school.
We have been meeting together six times a year, for the last 10 years.


This picture was taken from one of our Christmas dinners, a few years ago.


The host couple, turned their family room into a dining room, so that the twelve of us
could sit together at the same table.  It is a wonderful memory!

 
At that Christmas dinner, this was the host couple of the evening, and what an amazing host
couple they were!  Warm, gracious hospitality was always extended here, as in every one
of the homes we took turns visiting it.

This past Thursday, this dear friend, Rick, went to heaven suddenly and unexpectedly!

No warning.  At fifty-five years of age.  No health issues.  You know.  The call you never
want to get.

Since that time, we have reflected back over our many years of dinners, and over the
dinner on February 7th.  I have often thought of the words in the book of Lance Wubbels,
"If Only I Knew".  In it he states this; "We live in an uncertain world.  When we leave
home in the morning, we assume we will return in the evening.  When we say goodbye
to loved ones, we take it for granted we will see them again.  We presume they know we
love them, so we seldom say the words.  Unfortunately, we fail to consider the mortal
reality that this may not be the case...until it's too late.  Tomorrow does not always come.
Someone once said that "life is short, so keep short accounts with God."  That is wise
advise, but I'd like to add that we should keep short accounts with every person who is in
the circle of our lives.  We never know when life will be dramatically changed...
sometimes permanently.Take the time to make someone feel special." 

Thank you Lance Wubbels for writing the special little, but powerful book, "If Only I
Knew."  Because truly, we don't know when it will be our last time to be together
with those special in our lives.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to this dear family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015



What if you knew someone close to you,  who was celebrating a milestone birthday.  You
know you could always go to the store and purchase a card that expresses your sentiments
to that person, or you could try what I did recently.  I purchased a box of the Cinnabon
Cinnamon Rolls, that is now being marketed in all of our local grocery stores.  The
instructions are easy and quick.


You just place the four ready to bake rolls unto a cookie sheet.  Add the cinnamon mixture
on top of each roll, and bake.


When finished baking, you remove from the oven, and from the pan.  You drizzle the
pouch of icing over the steaming hot rolls, and mission accomplished.


Then you take a plastic plate, or one of the cupcake pedestal plates that I recently purchased
at Marshall's Store. 


A little less than 2.00 for each little glass pedestal plate.  Quite a deal, especially since
they are so pretty!





Or you could purchase a pack of these clear plastic plates, from the party section of the
local Walmart Store, to place a cinnamon roll on.


One warm, gooey, scrumptious cinnamon roll fits perfectly on either
plate.


  When cool, cover with plastic wrap, or place in a
clear cellophane bag.
 

And, like always, add a homemade tag. You have a small gift that actually costs
less than most birthday cards today.  After all, when you have a milestone birthday,
it is okay for you to treat yourself to a warm cinnamon roll and some coffee...right?

ps. The sticker on the card, is from the Dollar Tree.
 

Or, if you wanted to go another route other than a card, you could purchase one of these
pretty, sparkly, and festive battery lit candles instead.  The battery is included, and the
cost is $ 1.00 at the local Dollar Tree.  When you flip the tiny switch underneath the
candle, the light inside changes colors in a soft and calming manner.  I also know for
a fact that the battery lasts a long time. 

 
Wouldn't this look nice sitting on a co-worker's desk, as a
"Happy Birthday" wish?  You could write a note and place it with the
candle. 
 
 
Same candle when it changes to the blue.

 
These pictures do not do it justice.  Just a pretty little way to let someone know
you thought about them, in a way other than a card.  And, if you really want to
be generous:), you can include another battery for when their battery stops
working.




 
Really, the way you extend wishes to anyone on their birthday, or at any time,
is not important.  The fact that you thought of them, is what really counts. It
really makes me sad, when I hear people say that they don't get any cards on
their birthday.  Birthdays are special, and acknowledging birthdays of those
in your immediate world, is important, in my book.

Another fun way to use these candles, would be to place one in the powder room of a
friend, when you visit them some evening.  Flip the switch to "on", before you leave
their home.  A tiny surprise at the end of a day, for any hostess...this pretty, simple
color changing candle.

Just a little something for you this evening...from me:).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


What's for dinner?  This is a question that I often hear in my home.  I think the little guy
above must be wondering that too, as my daughter sent this picture to me recently.  While preparing dinner, she found her son staring into the oven. (I wish he was in my kitchen right now!)

Below, I'd like to share a delicious recipe with you, in the case need an idea for dinner.



The recipe comes from my friend's daughter, and she is a very good cook!  She often
 uses the "Cooking Light Magazine".  This particular recipe she found in the
"Fix It and Forget It Cookbook".  This is the easiest recipe!  She wrote on the recipe to me,
"we just had the best soup for dinner and I needed to share it with you.  So super easy-
I love crockpot cooking!"  

Here is the recipe for the "Chicken Tortilla Soup";

4 chicken breast halves (I used five frozen chicken breast tenders)
2 15 oz. cans of black beans, undrained
2 15 oz. cans Mexican stewed tomatoes, or Rotel tomatoes
1 cup of salsa
4 oz. can chopped green chilies
14 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
grated cheese

1.  Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover.  Cook on low for 8 hours(do not open the lid during the cooking).
3.  Just before serving, remove chicken breasts or tenders and slice into bite sized
     pieces.  My chicken tenders just fell apart, so I shredded them.  Stir back into the
     soup.
4.  To serve, put a handful of chips in each individual bowl.  Ladle soup over the chips.
     Top with cheese.  Enjoy!

My husband and I both agree with the one who gave us the recipe.  It tastes so good!



Here is where I shredded the chicken before putting it back into the soup.

 
I placed some tortilla chips before adding the soup.
 


Thanks Shawna, for sharing another one of your amazing recipe choices with us. 

If you have someone asking, "what is for dinner?", you might want to try this recipe.

Thanks for stopping by.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

 

I watched this little guy, sitting outside my kitchen window last evening.  I thought to myself,
"what a total expression of contentment."




Even as the snow starting covering it's little body, it sat so peacefully on the limb of
the pine tree, giving me a perfect example of the words, "peace in the midst of the storm".


Earlier in the morning, I captured these pictures from my mother's birdfeeders.  It seemed
to me, that birds of all varieties, decided to visit her feeders, at an appointed time, almost
like they would have received a memo.

 
I took each one of these pictures within a few minutes time.


Their unique designs and colors, made them so much fun to photograph, as I stood at
the window on my second floor, using the zoom lens on my trustworthy Sony camera.








Reminds me of something I read recently;

"In 1904, a songwriter, Mrs. Civilla Martin, went to visit a bedridden friend in Elmira,
New York.  Mrs. Martin asked the woman if she ever got discouraged because of her
physical condition.  Her friend quickly responded;  "Mrs. Martin, how can I be
discouraged when my Heavenly Father watches over each little sparrow and I
know He loves and cares for me."

On her journey back home, Mrs. Martin completed the writing of her new text, which
has since been a source of much encouragement to many people.

  Why should I feel discouraged,
  Why should the shadows come,
  Why should my heart be lonely,
   and long for heaven and home,
   when Jesus is my portion?  my constant friend is He;
   His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

  Let not your heart be troubled,
  His tender word I hear,
  and resting in His goodness,
  I lose my doubts and fears,
  though by the path He leadeth,   
  but one step I may see;
  His eye is on the sparrow,
  and I know He watches me.

  Whenever I am tempted, whenever storms clouds arise,
  When songs give place to sighing,
  When hope within me dies,
  I draw the closer to Him; from care He sets me free,
  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me..."

Article by David Padfield.

This song has been song often, and touched lives, since the 1904.  I can still
hear George Beverly Shea singing this on many occasions.  He always seemed
to make it come alive, when he sang it's comforting words.


George Beverly Shea was often known as "America's beloved gospel singer".  He
went to his heavenly home at the age of 104.

Wishing you moments of contentment today!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

 


Some years ago, an article in a "Martha Stewart Magazine" caught my attention.  It was
titled, "new jobs for old fashioned jelly jars".  I saved the article, and filed it away,
thinking that maybe someday I would come across some similar jars. By now, you
know how much I like old mason jars, but along with that, I have always liked old
glass jelly jars. 

Recently, I visited a local "Reuzit Store" in a nearby town.  As I was scouring the
kitchen section of the organized, and interesting store, searching for one
particular item,  I saw a well worn cardboard box nestled underneath the shelf of
used cake and pie pans.  I recognized immediately, that it contained the old jelly
jars like the magazine article.  The very old, worn looking lids were included,
and the price was unbelievable!  I brought them home, cleaned in hot soapy,
vinegar water, and used them to serve fresh fruit in at a dinner. 

A few evenings ago, I took three of the jars, with their pretty designs and placed
them on my kitchen island.  I added tea light to them and was impressed as the
light radiated from them, creating perfect designs on my island.


 In the article it states, "Paneling magnifies the play of light from flickering votives."  I
also like seeing the bubbles in the thick glass of some of them.


Here is the first page of the article, featuring the various years and designs of the
old jars.

Personally, I would like to find one like the square one and the swirled one above.
I will keep looking for them:)


And as always, Martha's magazines continually present beautiful ways to display
everything that she features.  The above display, is no exception.


This is also a lovely summer vignette, offering a simple, yet elegant table centerpiece,
if needed.


I turned some of my jars upside down and took this picture, revealing the unique
designs of each small jar.  I learned from the article that the bottoms of the jars show
the time period that each was made.





Since I was simply experimenting with the jars, and having a good time trying
uses for them, I put together this vignette, by my kitchen sink, using a mirror,
a glass pedestal plate, the jelly jars, an old ice cream dish holding what was left
from my Valentine flowers, and tea lights.  I thought it was a good way to
occupy my winter evening.  How do you all pass the time during the bitter cold,
windy nights?


The article also states, "that the housewife would buy jelly to get her glasses",
says Margaret Shaw, a collector in Boggstown, Indiana, who publishes "Jelly
Jammers Journal.  This marketing scheme coincided with the Depression, when
recycling was especially relevant.  The mass produced jelly jars of the 1930s have
thinner, clearer glass than earlier containers."


The vignette sparkled when lit.  It offered such an elegant light display by my sink, that
it almost made me want to wash more dishes.

By the way, this is a well designed centerpiece, that I won at a banquet on Saturday
evening.  I was happy to bring it along home, and saved the idea in my mind, for the
summer when I have my own flowers to arrange.


Hopefully, you will now look at old jelly jars, in a new way.  You too, will be able to
use these sparkling vintage pieces, to dress up your kitchen or dining room tables.

Thank you for stopping by, and allowing me the privilege of sharing yet another one of
my glass jar collections.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015



President's Day, 2015.  The Pillsbury Company and the Reynold's Wrap Company helped
this grandmother fill up some hours of our day.  Let me fill you in with a few details;
~It has been days of bitter cold temps, and intermittent snow storms.
~There have been some vacation days due to the holiday.
~All outdoor activities have been alleviated.
~Five housebound children and one very tired mother, were rescued by this
  grandmother yesterday:), and that is where the above mentioned companies came into
play.


They surrounded the kitchen island.  Some more enthusiastically than others.
I pulled out all the stops in making this seem like a fun activity.


We took the hotdogs, the crescent dough packages, several cheeses, Jane's Crazy Salt,
and some Hershey's chocolate, and we began.


We cut the seamless dough sheet into pieces.

 
I showed them how to roll up the hotdogs.  And for those who preferred
cheese in them, I showed them how to slice them and place the cheese in it
before rolling.  Eagerly, they all took their turns at rolling.
 
When we used up the hotdogs, we made cheese bread with some of the
dough, using a bit of butter, wedges of The Laughing Cow creamy cheese, and then
sprinkled Jane's Crazy Salt on the dough before rolling.
 
 
At this point, they were taking the task seriously.
 

With the remaining dough pieces, they spread lightly with butter,  generously with
Hershey's Chocolate Spread, and rolled them, before placing in the oven.

Waiting until they were baked, was the most difficult part.


When their grandfather came home for lunch, and the oven timer finally rang, they were
ready.  Let the fun begin!  Yes, you do see right, they are using Christmas paper plates,
but they did not care one bit.


The hotdogs and the cheese bread were devoured, leaving the anticipated
chocolate rolls next.


We sprinkled the warm rolls with powdered sugar, and I must say, they did not last very
long.


That took up the lunch time hours, but what do you do with a long, indoor afternoon?

I had been in a coffee shop recently, and they had an "aluminum foil artist", creating the
most amazing pieces of art, out of aluminum foil.  I thought to myself, that artist had to
start somewhere in his life, so maybe I could produce some of my own aluminum foil
artists:)  Maybe.  I once again, enthusiastically presented my idea, and fortunately, they
embraced the idea.


One chose to design a Christmas tree, raiding my sticker department.


One decided to design her name, and was happy when I gave her the blank wooden sign to
use.  She asked me to hot glue the letters onto the board for her, because she said, "that her
mother told her that glue guns were dangerous".


Speaking of "dangerous", one little guy produced this sword, which he continually
pronounced as it was spelled, "sword". 


Here we have the American Flag creation.  She started gluing white stars on
it, but did not have the patience to continue.  Proudly though, she waved her
flag.
 
A snake with black eyes painted on it, was this little guy's choice.  Who would have
thought, that a roll of aluminum foil would occupy a few hours of time, for this
"desperate" grandmother.


In the later hours of the afternoon, their grandfather took us all on a drive through
the country, which produced the questions of, "where are we going, and when will
we get there?"  They had no idea, that we were driving only to pass the  time, giving
a few educational lessons along the way, and answering questions like, "what are mules?"


We couldn't imagine how cold these children were, with the temperature's showing
11 degrees, and the winds were strong.  They didn't seem affected by the weather
though, as they made their way home from their school.

 
The grandchildren went home last evening.  This morning, this is the sight they woke up to,
with another two hour delay from school.  Winter is a beautiful time of the year here, but
the indoor hours, with five young ones, can be a real test for those in charge. 

I appreciate you stopping by today, and for allowing me to share my "profound" ideas for
passing time with children:)  Maybe you might pull out the Crescent Roll or the
aluminum foil today.  I hope you think of me if you do.

Thanks for stopping by!

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