Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brunch of Stuff!

The FIRST garden bouquet! The irises are blooming! I have roses starting too, which means the heat is about to begin....
I so do not like to sweat...so you that are cold don't have even one pang of jealousy. When you are having your comfortable days in August, I will so be wishing to be in some beautiful beach resort with a fanning attendant and nice cool drinks on ice. As long as I am fantasizing here, made by the Noble Pig, guaranteed to be beautiful to look at and enjoy.

We had some friends over for brunch. The garden is getting luscious. I wanted to get some photos but the sky was really overcast. Our friends stayed for a leisurely time of eating and visiting, we gabbed for a long time. Just the way I like to visit best, over food and tea. They spent 37 years living in Colombia working as missionaries. They are wonderful people and fun! There was a lot of laughter amidst the story telling today, and we all ate like SNORTS!

Check out that loaf of bread right out of the oven! This time I followed Karey's recipe for Breakfast Bread. The only thing I changed was that I used 1/4 c. of real buttermilk instead of powder, omitted molasses, and used 1 Tbsp of cinnamon. She says to use raisins or dates, I used 1 c dates and 1 cup cran raisins with the whole ground up orange. I really cannot describe to you just how delicious this bread is! It rose out of the pans and started breaking on the side. the loaves were huge! If you want the recipe go over to her blog and ask her about it.
She's on my blog roll. Karey's Overflow. I'm still rereading her book. She talks in it about life, raising kids, and faith in God. I'm getting more out of it the second time.

You'd think that would be enough for one day, having a lovely party, lots of laughter and sharing. These friends helped get our hearts ready for our neighborhood Bible study. This Saturday we have invited everyone on our block to come to our home in the afternoon for a "getting to know you" open house. We will then invite them to come back for an informal Bible study discussion group. A lot of prayer goes into something like this. It's not our idea. God has been leading Jimmy in this and after about 6 months of wishing it to go away, ( and it didn't) here we are. We start on the 4th! I thought the perfect people to encourage my husband to jump out of his comfort zone would be a couple who has spent their whole life listening to God and saying yes. They were.

After that my husband surprises me with a plan for a really big vegetable garden, goodbye lawn (weed patch). I really wouldn't put it where he wants to put it, but it's his gig so I shut up. Yeah, I know you are shocked. Sometimes my mouth does close at that opportune moment. It is rare but it can happen.

Well, that should be a really full, really great day right? I came up here with the intentions of writing a short post about the bread. But over at The Righteous Buzz my friend Coffee Bean has something for me. She gave me a sisterhood award. It's cute the denim pocket and the flower, but what is very special about it is the write up she did on her post, about all those she shared this with. CB is hysterically funny, and sometimes she has hid behind her humor. This woman has developed more courage and VOICE in this past year than some people do in a life time.

Some people never share who they really are. I loved the way she talks about blogging friends and how this process we participate in actually makes a difference in other peoples lives. She talks about how one persons victory over a struggle makes it seem more possible for victory in her own life. Isn't that true? When we meet the kind of folks who are "the rubber meets the road" people, the "salt of the earth" people, the faithful when others are faithless people; we become inspired. We believe we too can aspire to achieve.

I believe that there are many people in this world connected by this www, who are actively seeking to make a difference, blooming where they are planted. Some of us encourage others. Some teach others. Some share their talents of art, humour, homemaking, friendship, and the list goes on; but the point is we share. We stop being a part of the mindless rat race to express ideas, to connect, to change, and to be heard. It's ironic really that computer technology is enabling people to make this earthy, rich, deep, grassroots connection, and ya'll wonder why we are so "addicted"? Reality contact! We were made to produce, not just consume. We are made in the image of God full of life and creativity. We are made to connect.

(I am going to take some time to share with my 10) enough for one day already! Besides everybody on Coffee Bean's list would have been on my list, except for Rick,. nominating a guy for a sisterhood award, now that is hilarious! Go read his comment over there you'll fall out.)

PS please pray for Stellan over at MckMama's, he's a 5 month old baby CRITICALLY ill with a major heart problem. She is on my blog roll too. you can click on my blog roll to hop to another blog. This baby was supposed to die at birth and didn't. The problem the doctors predicted has now surfaced now that he is 5 months old.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Days Are Done.

My week is finished. I am adjusting to my 3 12hour shifts. I can't do anything else on those days but work and sleep, it's a total immersion experience. When it's done though it's done and I can relax, rest and enjoy life. This is not a bad way at all to get the bills paid. I do need to be careful of my back it is just killing me tonight but a few days rest and we will back in business. I don't really understand it but it seems once you've had a bad injury to your back your just more prone to back problems. I've hurt mine plenty. I have been very careful to use proper body mechanics. sheet leverage, and even breathing; and still I am on fire; but it will pass. I really don't know why I'm talking about this, it's NOT the subject of my post!

Recently my dear dear much loved friend Debbie in CA. (which is also dear to my heart) wrote a post about her best recipes for pie crust and biscuits, and she recommended some recipe books.
Well, the truth is no book she recommends is ever bad, not even mediocre. There are gourmet cooks like Cathy at Noble Pig who I am sure never makes anything that is a flop. There are gourmet artists and craftsmen you know people whose excellence in what they do is just plain inspiring. Debbie is on that level with books. Every book she has ever placed in my hands has delighted me. When we had the joy of being neighbors for a season and God wove our lives together we ministered to each other in beautiful ways. I was a nurse for her darling children and adored them all. Rachel Kaye was a newborn babe with her little dried cord still intact. I immediately fell madly in love with the little newborn. The next little girl was the busiest fairy princess I have yet to ever meet again; her world was in her imagination she dressed the part with lovely little frocks and stories coming freely about her candid adventures with her imaginary friends. Move over Darby O' Gill and the little people, you have been one upped. The eldest girl was a dear, moving towards adulthood with the firm hold on her position of eldest she was ever mindful of every ones needs and careful to assist her parents with the family's daily schedules. The boys were special needs people; as our society calls them. To me and to their family they were, and are the special joys! My little buddy loved opera and books. He really did, though he couldn't speak, he communicated very effectively with great sounds of gusto when happy, and big outbursts of laughter when tickled. He was crazy in love with baby RK, totally smitten. I introduced them to the Gaither videos, after their initial shock at hair spray and big belt buckles; and Debbie introduced me to her collection of books. Her excitement over what she is growing or cooking or reading is always spilling over and it very contagious. I'd listen and nod and then devour whatever it was that she said,"I simply must read." I found myself coveting her children's' home school life and wishing I could be one of her children which wouldn't work out very well since I am quite a bit older than Debbie!

This rambling epistle is to introduce the cookbooks she recommended. When Debbie recommends a book it is an E.F.Hutton type of moment. Be quiet and listen! After looking at them on line some were just irresistible. since discovering used books on line they can be purchased quite cheaply. I found a Farm Life Cooking book by Susan Loomis in nearly new condition for 72cents! The most appealing one was of course, "The Amish Cook." It arrived today, it is a documentary of Amish life, and also the story of one family. I started reading it and am just in love with the tale. While reading, I realized just how much that I have been blessed in my own life by similar simple country touches.

My own mother grew up on a farm in East Texas. Her mother had 9 children and was widowed for the third time when my mom was only 5 years old. Mother's only recollection of her father is that the funeral home shaved his beard, and she had never seen him without it, so she felt oddly confused and upset at his burial. She said he had red hair. Since Granny was poor she sharecropped and her children had to work in the fields with her. They worked cotton. They also raised vegetables and canned. Mama used to run off with Big Red the plow horse and ride him bareback for fun. He wouldn't let anyone else ride him like that, which of course made her very proud. She was a little hellion and had a tiny fraternal twin. Other kids picked on her sister at school and mama would fight them. When she got home she'd get a whuppin for fightin, and do it again the very next time someone picked on her little twin. She was tough. Mama learned to cook in the country without a recipe book. She never saw a recipe book. Everything was prepared with knives, spoons and forks. Measurements were done in the hands and with regular table cups and bowls. You learned to scoop by eye and pour until the batter was right. She trained me to cook in this same way. To this day my idea of cooking is to look in the refrigerator or the pantry and see what I have. After thinking about what sounds good together I just get started and "cook something up." It is most always delicious. I also have an uncanny knack to take the ingredients apart in a dish I haven't cooked and figure out what is in it. I can come pretty close to duplicating things we eat at restaurants and don't have a recipe for, unless it's totally foreign to me.
While reading The Amish Cook tonight I reflected on what a rich blessing this is in my life. My mother taught me to make something from very little, or something special when their is a lot.
My grandmother taught me her traditions from Europe and Denmark. I learned a great deal from her. My grandfather and father taught me how to bake. I also grew up and had these experiences before the technological age. TV was very new. TV was black and white and we had channels 2,4,5, 7, and later 9. We only watched it in the evenings and on Saturday morning. TV had not moved into our homes like it has today. Families spent time together teaching and enjoying. Our family had rich traditions of food and laughter at the table. I can remember so many festive gatherings with a table loaded with mouthwatering dishes, so many aromas to choose from and the excitement of the feast. Mother loved to set a pretty table and she lit candles and made bouquets from her flower beds. I do the same. My husband says I love to set the mood. It's true. To prepare wholesome and delicious dishes accompanied by just the right music and pretty lighting, does something to the soul and the stomach. It lifts our hearts and makes us merry. We feel festive, we relax, we unwind and enjoy. People begin to talk and share ideas, sip a little wine and sigh over a tasty morsel. This is abundant living. To enjoy the produce of our work. To enjoy the company of family and friends. To take a real rest from every day strife and stress. To enjoy a simple meal prepared in a beautiful way. It can have the same effect as a vacation to relax like this. It sure beats shopping and running up a credit card bill. It's up to us also to pass it on, to let the younger women know these joys.

This evening as I relax and unwind from my intensive training in intensive care, I am planning a quiet lovely meal. Times of refreshing for the weary, and I am thankful to my mother, my grandmother, and my friends, that have shared their gifts with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm usually the last to know, but does the government really need to stick it's ugly hands into our back yards? Organic gardening is beginning to put a dent in the commercial growers wallets.
I love farmers markets, fruit and vegetable stands, and the FREEDOM to chose what kind of food I want to buy or grow.

There are 2 pieces of legislation to stop all of this in the name of safety. Give me a break. Safe food does not have tons of chemicals sprayed on it. The government has almost destroyed the small farmer in terms of cattle raising and dairy production. Now they turn their ugly eyes onto vegetables. STOP this MADDNESS and call your representatives today, do it NOW!

HR 875 and S 425. check it out this is for real.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inspirational Day of Cooking!

There are cook books, and then there are books that talk about cooking, health, home making, and well,... they are inspirational books.

A long time ago Debbie in CA from Wisteria and Roses gave me a copy of "Hearth and Home" by Karey Swan. Recently I found Karey's blog called Karey's Overflow. http://kareyswan.com
It intrigued me and I pulled the book off the shelf and read it again. I had a recipe for biscuits in my reach and just forgot where to look. Debbie just posted her best biscuit recipe, "Sky High Biscuits," right out of this book. The book she gave me! We are both short on memory.

Quite a few people I know are putting up food in pantry's and storing up because they are worried about the economy. Karey presents a balanced view. Having a stocked pantry for the freedom from endless shopping as well as having good healthy ingredients to make the best foods for our bodies with the least expense. Good deal. We can be frugal, be smart, but not be worried.

For a long time I have used a Kitchen Mill and a Bosch bread mixer. I had a K Tec bread mixer that I actually like better because it had a slower speed. These mixers take the work out of making whole grain breads. the freshly ground warm flour mixes well and the smell is heavenly. My family, like Karey's family, prefers Prairie Gold wheat in their breads. I found it interesting that she discovered that grinding popcorn makes the tastiest cornmeal. I discovered that one time when I had run low on cornmeal, but had a large amount of popcorn. Necessity being the mother of invention, out came the mill, and we had the BEST cornbread ever. It's kind of like the difference between canned corn and freshly picked very sweet, corn on the cob. Your right, there is no comparison!

The mixer is easy to use. I "proof" my dry active rapid rising yeast right in the mixer. The warm water, honey and yeast go in first. While it is proofing or actually berserking, I go outside and grind the flour. That too, is easy, pour in the grain and out comes warm fresh flour. Give your mill little breaks to keep it from getting to hot. Mine is about 15 years old.

Picture of yeast going berserk. I'm surprised no one ever made a horror movie of yeast. I keep mine in a mayonnaise jar which needs a label on it. I just realized this because my husband thought it was cereal and said he almost cooked it. Wouldn't that have been an interesting kitchen moment? Like a rerun on an "I Love Lucy," show.

(My blogger has mixed up these pictures and I have cut and pasted till I'm sick of it. I think you can see that some of these are not in the right order.)It is operator error I am sure.

When the flour is finished the yeast has poofed, and the oil and salt are added.
I add all the liquids in the beginning and then turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and add one cup of flour at a time until the dough pulls cleanly from the sides. It's like magic. One second it is sticky, the next it is cleaning the bowl. That is when it ready to knead. Leave it on low for 6 to 10 minutes depending on your flour. Prairie Gold tastes more like a lighter wheat it really is delicious, and it makes a nice soft bread. I could really go for a fresh tomato sandwich, with cracked black pepper, but that is farther down the road in summer.

2 of these loaves on the left have a filling of oranges, dates, pecans a bit of brown sugar and a tad of cinnamon, more inspiration from Karey.

These are loaves ready for the oven. I actually let this dough sit in a well oiled bowl and rise a couple of times just because. It is not necessary with a Bosch. You can mix, shape, and bake which gives you a nice big batch of bread in about an hour.

I come from a long line of bakers. My Danish grandparents and father were bakers by trade. I just have to let dough mature a bit by sitting, it's just me.

So while we are in the mood to cook, how about a meatloaf and some baked potatoes? The oven is on. My family likes everything plain so after I saute these lovely veggies they will go into the food processor to make a puree. The meatloaf will have all these good flavors and no one will be the wiser. I decided to go ahead and just cook the meatloaf in the skillet and save a dish. There was no ketchup so I mixed up tomato paste, brown sugar, brown mustard, a bit of vinegar, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce, mixed it with a fork and spread it on the top.

That is one huge portabella mushroom.

Like that wasn't enough work for one day, a big batch of granola to boot. Bread is done, lets eat!

Whole wheat bread for mixers.
5c of warm water
1/2 c honey
1/2 c oil
2 tbsp salt
2 TBSP YEAST - rapid rise dry active.
12 to 14 cups of freshly milled flour.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Old Days or The New Days- What do you think?

I have read in other peoples comments that they never know what they will get over here. Today won't be any exception to that.

Recently I went to a baby shower and noticed a lot of new inventions that modern women require to care for infants. We now have Babies R Us stores. Huge stores devoted to all things needed to raise a baby. At this shower the MIL mentioned that the registry list was 17 pages long.

Deep breath, slowly relax, exhale, can you feel it coming? 17 pages!!

What the heck for? For one year? By the way we made our gifts.

Do we even know how to live simply anymore and just enjoy life? Where is the home and hearth? I would really like to know from young mom's why this is essential? Is it just cute? Does it make you feel like a better mother? Do you feel like your baby will fare better? Do you work at a job or at home with the baby? How much does all this cost? Where do you put it? Does it resell well second hand?

Here is the point. Some where along the way of our consumerism mentality we bought off a big chunk of what might be nonsense from somewhere, and some one; probably marketers. Marketers that have a vested interest in keeping young mothers busily working in the job force with their babies in day care. It keeps the wheels of progress turning. It keeps the coffers in the economy full. But what of home making? What of the heart?

I was poor when I had my baby so there was no choice. I had no skills to market so I took care of her myself. I did most everything the way I had learned from my own mother and as inexpensively as possible. Just for comparison let me tell what I actually had and used for my baby.

I had a baby back pack. That was my biggest splurge, on something really not necessary because it was a cool way to travel. It just didn't take a lot of effort to put "the little", in there and take off. I had a front carrier when she was teeny and put her in that to do house work, and be busy and just let her sleep. It was a kind of long extended pregnancy, but you know little newborns never let you sit down anyway! They always want to be walked so why not?

I had an umbroller stroller again for convenience it was small, portable and easy for me to tote along and use. A crib and a high chair.

My grandmother, my mother, and I all used the kitchen sink to bathe a baby. You put down a towel alongside the sink. Wash and soap the little fella and then using the football hold and firm grip around the arm pit you wash their hair and then sit em in the water, they love it. Easy peasy. No mess, no fuss, no bulky plastic tub with a humongous frog face on it. No tub to put in the tub, oh my aching back. I may be crazy but a lot of babies that I meet smell like they need a bath, maybe it's because of all the rigmarole to wash them.

A high chair is pretty nice, one of those little clip on chairs that can hook on the side of your table are really cool. I'd actually like to get one of those again for little visitors. Baby food was people food ground up or just soft foods like mashed potatoes, bananas, and cooked cereals. A burp rag was a clean diaper or cloth. We didn't have wipes. We used a warm wash cloth.

Recently I saw a picture of "cloth" diapers on a post. I almost fell out. These are really fancy pants shaped like a butt onezies with velcro and a whole host of other gadgets. Plastic wraps.
I busted out laughing, cloth diapers? Anyone out there besides me remember a real cloth diaper?
They are soft white rectangles of cotton cloth. They are FOLDED by you after you wash them. They are pinned on with diaper pins, that may have little ducks on the tips in pink, yellow, or blue. Then you put plastic pants over that. Let me tell you about poop duty with cloth diapers. First you shake out what isn't squished, you hope it isn't squished. Then you stick your hand into the toilet with the poopie diaper and vigorously swish that diaper around enough to get the bulk of the evidence to rinse off. You then put that diaper into a diaper pail that has some detergent and water in it to soak until you have a whole load of wash. Pleasant experience isn't it? You then wash your hands up to your elbows with pine sol and hope you don't have any hangnails. It is very nice to hang them on a clothes line to dry, they "air out". The sun bleaches them and babies skin faired better with less rashes when the diapers were dried outside. We had to go to a laundry mat. I put my baby daughter in a red wagon along with her diaper pail and we walked to the laundrymat.

So why then if we have disposable diapers, do we need, disposable diaper baggies, and disposable diaper pails? Tying it up in a Walmart shopping bag those ones we have hundreds of and putting it outside in the garbage can. would save money.

I am not even going to get started on all the baby hygiene products, toys, computer things, training things, baby genius devices, DVD's, CD's and actual entire TV stations of programming for the little baby to become an Einstein. This scares me. What kind of people will these infants be? What happened to holding and rocking? To patta cake and mud pies? To scooting around under foot with pots, pans, and spoons clattering away and making a racket? Was that really so deprived?

I actually think that why I am a good cook is because I grew up in the kitchen. I grew up under mama's feet. Playing in her cabinets. Handling scraps of biscuit dough or pie dough. Banging around with the pots and pretending to fix something. Which progressed to standing on a chair to watch. Standing on a chair to help. Bringing something to mother. Becoming tall enough to stir, tall enough to pour, all those things that made me feel so special and important. It was a big deal to pour milk. Now we poke a straw into a disposable sac or box.

I'm not saying these things are bad. They may be fun to use. I am just raising questions in our faltering economy about what we are doing and why do we do it? Why do we buy all this stuff and then have to go to a job to pay for it? Does it make us happier? My days of being a young mother are way in the past. My big splurge was a backpack. My indispensable item a play pen. I never had a baby swing, a baby tub, or any computer toys. So what do you think? Were we deprived? Is it all that it's cracked up to be? Speak up or forever hold your peace!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today Is THE DAY! THE WINNER IS.....ta da da

Did you think I'd forget? I like all these people. Oh dear, I want them all to WIN! Therefore, I cannot be trusted, not to cheat!

Help DADDY BB! Will you do it? Will you pick the WINNER?

There were 32 entries all in all. I have come a long way baby! My first contest had about 6 people in it! Not that I care about being a super blogger with hundreds of readers. I couldn't keep up with all those people. I like knowing who YOU are and reading your blogs. I really really could not pick, the winner. I could however PICK the PRIZES!

A little teapot that looks like a purse.
A cotton crocheted washrag made by me.
A decadent chocolate bar of extra dark extra rich chocolat.
A very good old movie. Fiddler on the Roof.
A little Amish cookbook.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pray for Angie http://aboneill.blogspot.com/

Angie at "Keep Believing," said goodbye to her dear husband Brian today. He had brain cancer. They have had a difficult time to say the least and it has been an exhausting and intense trial by fire. Please pray for them all, their young sons, their deep fatigue and total exhaustion, all the details to accomplish next and for comfort. she really does appreciate comments on her blog, if you are so inclined go by and leave one. If you are at a loss for words, "I'm so sorry," goes a long way.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The First Thoughts of Spring

( I'm cheating, this is a re-run but it's pretty good.)

Early spring is here. Where else can one have a soft snow fall on one day and a spring sunshiny day the next? I have been trying to weed and clean up to let all my perennial beds do their thing. I am not the gardener I once was. I used to work in any weather, not any more. I am a fair weather spring and fall gardener now. The plants have to thrive on there own.
One of my favorite areas is the side yard. I have developed a kitchen garden. It’s a mixture of course it’s not strictly edible. I discovered that fresh herbs grow like weeds once they get started. Several varieties of basil spring up each year they reseed themselves. Tomatos are a must have and sometimes a few peppers. The important plants are the necessary ingredients for Italian sauces and fresh tomato sandwiches. Italian food and spring go together for me. Lovely days make my heart sing and it’s easy to feel grateful. Gratitude is not natural for me I have to work at it. My husband the easy going one in this partnership, he has discovered that thanksgiving is the secret to contentment. He’s shared the secret with me, but unfortunately I always seem to have a want list. It may be as short as a chocolate bar, but it’s a list.
If you are like me then one of the things on your long list of wants is to have a shorter list. I desire contentment. To live a simple and frugal life and be fulfilled. Why then is it so elusive? How do we cultivate a thankful heart? Could contentment be as simple as enjoying a fresh simmered sauce over pasta? Sometimes it is. I love to play my “Romance in Venice” CD while I’m cooking it sets a lovely mood. My husband will come into the kitchen and we dance. The spring day, the pretty sounds, the fresh herbs, all fill my heart with joy. As we dance to the sounds of a far away land I forget the list. When my family gathers around the table to enjoy our garden feast and warm bread we are smiling at each other. We laugh, we eat, we enjoy dinner and each other, and I will think to myself, “life doesn’t get any better than this”.
Spring is that time of year for new beginnings, new babies, new flowers, new life. We can also decide to make it a time of new attitudes. We can cultivate simple pleasures and thankful spirits. We can dance in the kitchen and experience romance. Life at its best is simple and full.
“This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look;ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Great Cooks Speak Now!

The unthinkable has happened. I need advice. I am one of those kinds of people who follows the beat of my own drum; a good thing since I alone can hear it. In my self contained oblivion of knowing all that I need to know, (yikes is this a confession?)or actually, maybe, pretend to know! There, that is better. Anyway the bottom line is I have lost my edge.

I used to have the knack for pie crust. I made them often and they were perfect. Thinking this might be like bike riding one of those things you never forget, I have tried a couple of times, and the whole lousy mess went into the trash. I knew it was over worked, I knew it was tough, and there was no use in even putting it in the oven. Here is the problem, listen closely!

#1. I used to use a pastry blender and after cutting my nearly frozen pieces of tiny butter and a small dollop of shortening I worked by hand to make my crumbles. After refrigerating it and using ice water I forked the water in gently, barely touching it and then rolled it with flour until the whole thing magically turned into a nice soft crust, a thing of beauty.

#2. I have however become LAZY! That pie crust however good, is a TON of time consuming work! I saw Julia Childs use her food processor and whip up pie crust in less than 5 minutes. THIS appeals to me! Every time I use the processor out comes bricks.

#3. For years now I have been cheating and adding a bit of flour to the pre made rolls of pie crust that you buy in those red boxes. No one ever guesses that they aren't home made. But the prices have gone up, and up, and up. Have you noticed how stingy I have been getting? I don't want to buy 2 pie crusts for $3.00. I also don't want to spend an hour or more with my hand pastry blender and my bowl. I used to make about 6 crusts at a time. I also HATE CRISCO. I hate shortening in any form. That stuff is artery clogger. It is vile and disgusting. If you don't believe me then go take a nice big spoonful and eat it straight. Right. Anything that requires that many other ingredients to make it edible was never intended by God to be eaten. It's toxic refuse. Sorry to all the shortening lovers.

#4 The big question. Does anyone have a recipe or method for wonderful pie crust that can be made very quickly and does not contain shortening? Or at the very least just a little bit of shortening and real butter? Does anyone make pie crust?
Really, how about biscuits?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Miss You

I miss you. I miss all the little comments and visiting my favorite blogs. I am just too tired these days to have any ideas. My mind is full of lab values, and ventilators. I am entering the big league world of medicine and it's really difficult. I have tunnel vision.

I did take a break and get my hair done, do you like it? It's really short now but when you get up at 4:30 am that can be a good thing.

We did have a nice treat today. My friend brought over her big baby Rasmus, actually he's a black standard poodle puppy. He's not related to my boy but he sure does feel like he is. Even the girls think so. He is adorable. I helped her trim his face. It was the first time he had his face clipped and he was a wiggly wiggler; it was a challenge! He's so cute it was fine.

We also had a baby shower to attend. I had crocheted a baby blanket and Kayla had painted a baby dish at the ceramics store. We have been painting at that shop and it is so relaxing! I have found a new form of therapy. I really enjoy it, what a forgiving medium to express some artistic feeling in. I think anyone can paint ceramics and enjoy the results. I'm painting bugs. Hee hee. Actually I painted a dragonfly, and made a travel mug. I think maybe I like bold color because I seem to chose it almost every time we paint something. This shop offers such reasonable prices that I'd like to go every week!

Our ride to the party was absolutely lovely. Kayla snapped dozens of photos of dogwoods in full bloom. Usually this time of year is sunny. We are having pouring down rains and clouds mixed with all these blooming things. The wisteria are in full bloom, I love their fragrance.

My husband took me out to dinner on wednesday first time in ages. We have been on the economy plan. It was so wonderful to just sit and look at him and enjoy food that I hadn't cooked and eat on dishes that I wasn't going to wash. Awhhh, the pause that refreshes. I think when we don't have those experiences as often they are more special and savored a bit more for the preciousness of a lovely experience. There was a bit of humour in our evening. The manager stopped by our table to ask if everything was good. My husband had fairly devoured a shared portion of Tiramasu. He looked up and started in,"That was the worst tiramasu I have ever eaten and I don't know how you could serve something like that." The manager looked at him and said, "For a man who prays over his food you sure are a good liar." They both busted out laughing. If they were watching him eat that desert they knew he was loving it, and next to desert the only thing he enjoys more is a prank.

This evening the sheets are calling for an early turn in and to slumber and dream. The rain is still coming down, the house is warm and my eyelids are heavy. Goodnight friends.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hey the Contest is ON!!!

OK in case you didn't scroll down there is a contest here for a comment driven give away.
You may have one entry, BECAUSE for every 7 entries I will add another surprise item to the gift.
I think we have about 2 and a half right now. So peoples lets get with it! Becky was hoping for a refrigerator box full. THAT would be a big drag, yeah right funny. Scroll down two post too Spring surprises and enter if you haven't already.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Good start on the contest, 2 items in the first day. Please see the next post if you haven't entered already. It's a good thing I thought of it before the time change. I am an official wreck. I was getting used to 4:30 just barely, and now...well you do the math. It's too painful to discuss and I need to go to sleep at least 2 hours ago. Which means, I cannot go visiting until a day off. I think I may change my name to Karen Deborah Grinch -Atillah the Hun. Are you grumpy too?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Sprung & Sweet Surprises

This is snow in the South! Aren't you impressed? Isn't it amazing?

This is the storm that washes the snow away.
Last week the weather was cloudy, stormy and we had a real snow fall. Yes, that smattering of white stuff on the grass and flowers is a snow fall. Don't snort your coffee up your nose choking please. We were impressed, there was enough to make a snow ball and it was gone by noon.

This week we are into flowers and spring sun. It's bee you ti ful!

This is a peach tree in full bloom.

So I thought we could celebrate a little. I love it when the peaches are coming, peaches get me happy. Let's see celebrate how? Like a spring splurge, a surprise for you. I would like to offer a surprise give away. I'm not going to tell you what it is but I'll hint a little of what it might be.

It might be a cute thrift store find, it might be something good to eat, it might be something homemade by my lovin hands,

or it might be something good to drink with something good to read. It just might be an incredible jackpot of all of the above or maybe not. What will make the jackpot bigger is to have more contestants. So spread the word. Just leave a comment. One entry per person.

We are not savy enough to use random integer. We draw names from a hat, with a photo of the drawing and the winner. For every 7 contestants I will add another goodie to the box,a good goodie. Does it sound like fun? Do you want to win? Then leave a comment and check back now and then to be sure there are others entering the drawing. It will close in 2 weeks on March 22nd at noon. I will add up the 7's and determine how many items will be in the package. My friends already KNOW that I build cool presents so get busy.

Aside from this little brainstorm my brain is in a pretty continuous state of gel mode. I learn so much every day that I work. Actually it would help if studied when I'm home but so far I haven't done that, bad girl. It isn't a requirement but it will help, so maybe I'll pull out a drug book tonight and read up on "pressors."

The ICU brings up a lot of ethical issues, so bear with me as I'm sure there will be times when I cannot avoid a heavy discussion. BUT not today! Today it is spring and it is pretty! The biggest temptation I have right now is to flip the switch from heat to AC. I won't because this is the time of year we can actually save a bit on our energy bills and just have everything off.

Speaking of off, the TV is officially dead. No one is missing it! NONE of us are joan-zing for the TV. I actually think my blood pressure is lower and I am feeling more relaxed. Now when I can't sleep I'm crocheting little cotton dish rags- yeah I know what an OLD LADY thing to do. It hypnotizes me, I will get sleepy...I will get sleepy...

So what if a whole lot of people turned their TV's off? You know a boycott. What if we boycott TV, and Pepsi CO, and mail a tea bag to the white house on April Fools day, would it do any good? I don't know. I don't know if our government is even in the business of representation any more; it may be a big business that is interested in itself, or so it would seem. However in the smaller scope of things turning the TV off is benefiting our family already. We are talking more. We look for somebody to do something with, or talk about making something instead of flopping on the couch with the remote. My honey is out working in the yard which is just fantabolous, and I'm cooking of course. Our little experiment is working.

The next course of action is going to be removing as many pre made items from the grocery list as is possible. It takes thinking, there is a lot more to eat than beans, it's just the first thing I think of because of crazy Dave. Eat beans and rice he says. He has obviously never delved into the delights of scratch cooking and home made food. I'm pretty good at it but I'd like to kick it up a notch. I'd like to invent good breakfast items like breakfast burritos and ....what? What ideas do you have? On the days you go to work do your kids reach for the Wheaties? What about ways to premake stuff? The manufacturers do it. One month of cable,$50, 3 large boxes of cereal from Sams club $25, no drive thru junk food, $50,you see how it grows? What are you doing these days to cope with the rising prices? Are you saving money by spending less?

Too bad the government is too stupid to figure out that paying off debt with more debt is dumb, pay as you go, even if it's slow. But no THAT would be a sensible thing to do.

Your 2 cents is welcome feel free to speak up, and oh yeah, enter the contest.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Surprises

We awoke to a blanket of soft white fluffy stuff all over the FLOWERS! It's been warm enough last week that it was a big temptation to flip the heater over to the AC, and then....WHAMMO. Last night it sounded like our little house might just blow away to the land of OZ, and not a pair of ruby slippers in the house. No sirreee no red shoes at all. The snow has already melted, but not the chill, so back out with some nice heavy warm sweatshirts and soft woolly socks. I thankfully did cover my hydrangeas before going to bed last night. They have budded and have very tender new leaves. They are protected and will hopefully make it threw this little roar of the lion of March.

Our TV is officially off. It's kind of weird and kind of nice. I actually took the time to load my little 6 CD player and put it on shuffle to have a little nice music in the background, a lovely touch if I don't say so myself. I love music but my man tires of it. If he enjoyed it, we'd never a minute of silence.
Think I'll be going to the library a bit more often, at least to take Tigger.

The message I heard today was "fear not," the coming of the Lord is not the blessed fear, it's the blessed hope! That's right it is, smile, sigh...

We have had a very fun filled few days off. Isn't that alliteration?

Went to a party. Played the write 2 things true and one thing false game and had to guess who it was. Nobody guessed anybody but me. I wrote that I would've run off with Sam Elliott as my false and everybody thought it was true, including my loving man! Go figure. 53 years old and still way to easy to figure out. I really wouldn't run off with him, but he IS easy on the eyes. I'm a sucker for real cowboys.

We had friends over, a little spontaneous get together. Luckily I had a big left over casserole and a salad already fixed. They don't mind leftovers at all, so we had a nice time! Would you ever serve people leftovers? Am I crazy? My friends don't mind my leftovers, they'll eat anything I have. Guess they just aren't picky.

I also got to sleep in one day until 11:00, I know Jeri that it isn't fair to even mention it. I think my job is almost as tiring as Miss Ky, those 12 hour shifts are looooonnnnng.

This week my goal is to do well at work. Fall asleep early, 4:30am comes so fast. Take some purty pictures for my bloggy buddies and write a happy post. Wish me luck! Or better yet blessings, or good tidings of great joy, or a pep talk, or forgettta bout it. Ya'll have a good week.