I’m Still Here!

September 14, 2010

Hi everyone!  Miss me?  I know my blogging lacks….consistency. But I look at other blogs, and it’s tantamount to trying on bathing suits with Heidi Klum- I’m intimidated.  But I will persist!

I have also had a stinky summer.  Two deaths in my family, helping with funerals and cleaning and hosting relatives, lots of driving, and right before the kids came home from grandparents’ house my hubby hurt himself at work and has been way-laid on bed rest and loopy pain drugs!!  So I’m striving to “let go, and let God.”  At times you really need to just surrend and realize you have no control over life.

Moving on- school has started, and I found a great granola bar recipe.  I tried it last night- in true Sam-fashion, my changes are: grape nuts and milled flax seed instead of wheat germ (didn’t have any in the pantry), 1 cup of Craisins for the dried fruit (decided to guess an amt.) and I threw in a small handful of choc. chips I had left over from another recipe. Yummo!  Next I will make a tropical dried fruit and nut bar with coconut.

If you still have real tomatoes available, I suggest making pasta sauce. The other week I made tomato sauce the crockpot.  I didn’t follow a recipe- I just blanched*, peeled, seeded** and chopped up tomatoes, threw them in the crockpot with some sautéed (in olive oil) onion, green pepper, garlic and carrot (all diced in food processor), some tomato paste, fresh rosemary, s&p, bit of sugar, Italian seasoning, red wine and a few meatballs for flavor.

* Cut a shallow X in the bottom of the tomatoes, drop in a pot of boiling water for 15-45 seconds, then quickly drop in ice water.  the peel will slide right off. Works the same with peaches.

** Just squeeze a cut tomato till the seeds squoosh out!

If you have access to REALLY good real tomatoes, I suggest making an open-faced tomato and feta sandwich with basil.

It’s quite scientific- mix some feta with mayo, pepper and chopped basil.  Slather the mixture on your bread (this was homemade bread), place a layer of tomato on top- CHOW DOWN!

Back soon with a new post- I want to show you some of the junk wonderful new treasures I acquired this summer.


Almost Spring

March 14, 2008

365 2008-03-03
Even though I said I was going to cut back on all the “stuff” I agree to do, it hasn’t helped. I guess it’s Lent and all that- it’s always a bust time at church.  Potluck every week, more services, etc.  There has been a rash of funerals at church too, and I of course offered to help with those.  How can one NOT help??

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week– very busy.  But I love it.  Yes, it’s depressing and all, but it’s like a sling shot- the further you pull back, the farther you fly into the happiness of Easter when you let go.  One needs to be in touch with the reality of Christ’s sacrifice- all the pain and suffering- to understand and appreciate Him and His love for us all.  Can we ever repay Him?- no, but we can certainly honor and love Him by acknowledging Him,  living God’s word and fulfilling our place in the Body of Christ- however big or small.


I haven’t been doing many crafts of sewing but I have found a bunch of cool links- check out the new additions to my “Lovely Places”.  There are a handful of great tutorial pages- enough to fulfill all your Christmas and birthday needs.

I need to go meet a good friend for lunch- Thai food!! I’m off my head with joy!!!!!!!!



July 12, 2007

Where is my summer??  I’m tired.  Dog tired. 

I went to the 400th anniversary of Jamestown and the Anglican church in the New World Eucharist in June- cool.  Then I had my high school reunion the following weekend in PA- awesome to see everyone and re-connect.  Took the 5 hour+ train ride up and back (fun!). 

But am I done? No…….

We have Vacation Bible School this week at church and I am in charge of the acting portion.  I DID get someone to act on 2 of the 5 days, but I do the other three.  AND like a dingy I said SURE!! I can do a separate program for the preschoolers!! 

It really isn’t that bad- it just takes up a whole week and it’s…….tiring.

Last night I finally got around to dealing with the cherries I bought 2 weeks ago.  They are in remarkable good condition with only a few bad ones.   I still don’t have time to make my jam (see above) and besides I haven’t picked blueberries yet, so I dried some of the cherries.  Considering dried cherries cost about $8 a pound, this is a bargain.

I don’t have a cherry pitter, so I used the old paper clip pitting trick.  It works, kinda.  Faster than with just a knife, but still not as pretty as the pictures.  Maybe it’s because my paper clip is cheap and the cherries are not overly-ripe (meaning soft).

I’m going to take a nap- I’m a bit cranky- a gallon of milk and the pineapple rolled out of my car when I popped the hatch after I got home.  I had to deal with spewing milk and a dented pineapple- B-E-A-U-tiful.

As soon as VBS is over I need to plan and prepare and pack for the annual family trip to the farm in MI- 14 hour drive.

Where’s my pillow……..

School’s Out!

June 14, 2007

Today was the last day of school.   Whooooooo- HOOOOO!!!  I still get excited at snow days and holidays, even if I am not the one in school.  I picked up my child at school and the school buses circled around and around in front of the school like cowboys at a rodeo.  The teachers stood on the front sidewalk with paper tears taped to their cheeks, waving, while the children leaned out of the bus windows smiling and waving and yelling wildly.  It was great!

Once the kids get their fill of TV we’ll start on our summer project.  Last year we attempted to collect postcards from every state in the union- mailed to the kids from that particular state.  I think we ended up with 3/4 and at least five foreign countries!!!

This year we might do a letter writing/pen pal project.  Writing at least one letter a week, sending special things, etc. Of course to be a penpal the other kid has to be committed to it also, and that’s why I haven’t decided 100%.

I finished the elephant baby quilt top I started for a friend.  Now I need to quilt it.  I’ll post pictures soon.  I like how the appliques turned out.

Baby elephant quilt   Here is the photo to the right again, a close-up of the baby, a close-up of the mama, a detail shot of the clouds, and the whole quilt (showing the borders).  The borders aren’t perfect, but what ya gonna do with a plaid!!

OH! And thanks be to God, those little eggs in that little nest finally hatched today!!! I’ve been worried sick that they weren’t viable- it’s been at least 6 weeks!!  I’m not sure how many are hatched- I don’t want to spook the mother away from her babies.  I peeked and saw a couple tiny open mouths- their little heads are the size of peas!!

One more thing- watch the show Creature Comforts on CBS- it’s hilarious!!  I watched it online- I was laughing out loud.  It’s claymation done by the Wallace & Grommit guys.  Check it out!

Strawberry Therapy

May 11, 2007

I’ve had one of those weeks- the kind you wish you could get back some how?  Dealing with my MIL and all her “stuff,” etc.  Trying to make chicken salad out of chicken $&@#.  A no-win situation when the person who needs help fights you tooth and nail!  As with all of life, it can only be fixed by- da-da-da-DAAAAA!!!  GOD!!!  I just pray that nothing tragic happens to her and he will change her heart.  God was the only thing keeping me strong and sane these past 7 days……

So, what did I do today to soothe my nerves? Some Strawberry Therapy!!  I went berry picking at Adams Acres in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.


It was great- warm day in the 80*s, breezy, very quiet.  I had some nice “alone” time.  The fields were brimming with berries- I made one pass down a row and picked this much.

I plan on making jam at some point this season, but tonight I will make an awesome dessert- strawberry pudding.  The name leaves a LOT to be desired- I’d rather call it “strawberry delight” or something.  And if you use low-fat or no-fat and sugar products it’s not that bad health-wise.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!  Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Pudding

1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 c. sugar
1 pkg. strawberry jello
3 boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 c. cold milk
1 c. sour cream
1 large container cool whip (I used 2- 8 oz. containers)
1 box vanilla wafers
Combo first 3 ingredients in saucepan and heat until jello dissolves. Set aside.Mix pudding with milk. Fold in sour cream and 3/4 cool whip (I did 8 oz.).Use a 9×13 dish. layer vanilla wafers in dish and then put layer of pudding mix, then layer strawberries (including liquid)- continue to layer wafer, pudding and strawberries until all 3 ingredients are used up. Put in fridge to let the strawberry layer jell- about 15 minutes. Top with remaining cool whip. (I add fresh sliced strawberries on top as decoration.) Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

I saw this as I drove through the country- cracked me UP!! Nope, can’t tell at all what’s there.

I’m working on a baby quilt for a friend- SHHHH!!! It’s a secret!  And now I’m behind because of the MIL fiasco…… But anyway- this is the mock-up.  I’m still trying to decide what else to do- I want it to be baby-sized, which is much bigger than what i have so far. Work in progress!

 The kids are hungry and that dessert won’t make itself…. talk to you later!


Hello Out There!

May 6, 2007

I was surprised to see me as the “featured blog” in the latest Kids Craft Weekly!!  It’s a great newsletter.  Hello to all you who came to peek in on me!

I’m having one of those weeks- the kind you hope is quiet, but is NOT.  My MIL is still in the hospital, I’m dealing (well actually dealt) with a someone questioning my integrity (they were WAY off base and need to examine their own guilty thoughts!), helping someone with problems that are WAY out of my league, etc.  But, if this is what God wants, then that’s ok.   It’s those trying unknown times that allow God’s grace to seep in and fill us up, if we only ask and patiently wait.  I have a book called Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman- awesome when one needs encouragement.

I can’t believe it’s MAY already!! I’m behind in many things, but I’m very behind in my Christmas planning. Yes, I said THAT!!!  I like to make many of my gifts- budgetting necessitates it and I just like to make stuff.   And if I use seasonal items I can’t start in November!!! Here are some things I’m considering:

I’m off to put little ones to bed and get ready for the week! 

Thanks for visiting!!


April 12, 2007

I’m cleaning in the attic- “cleaning” is a loose term- it’s more like shifting boxes around and hopefully throwing stuff away!  It’s a work in progress……. it’s like Flylady says, it didn’t get that way in a day and it will take more than a day to declutter!

I’m taking a break- it’s hot up there!!

Here is a poem I really like- it’s from a funny little book called Bless This Mess and other prayers .

It takes courage
    to be crocus-minded.
Lord, I’d rather wait until June,
    like wise roses,
    when the hazards of winter are safely behind,
    and I’m expected,
    and everything’s ready for roses.
But crocuses?
    Highly irregular.
    Knifing up through hard-frozen ground and snow,
        sticking their necks out.
    because they believe in spring
    and have something personal
    and emphatic to say about it.
Lord, I am by nature rose-minded.
    Even when I have studied the situation here
    and know there are wrongs that need righting,
    affirmations that need stating,
    and know also that my speaking out may offend–
        for it rocks the boat–
    well, I’d rather wait until June.
    Maybe later things will work themselves out,
    and we won’t have to make an issue of it.
Lord, forgive.
    Wrongs don’t work themselves out.
    Injustices and inequities and hurt don’t just dissolve.
Somebody has to stick his neck out,
    somebody who cares enough
        to think through
        and work through hard ground,
    because he believes
    and has something personal
        and emphatic to say about it.
Me Lord?
Could it be that there are things that need to be said,
    and you want me to say them?
I pray for courage.