Thursday, September 30, 2010

Somewhere to Turn...

In God is my salvation and my glory; 
The rock of my strength, 
And my refuge, is in God.  
- Psalm 62:7 (NKJV) -


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fresh Baked Bread...

Today I'm making Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread in the bread machine.
I received this recipe from Marilyn, a friend I met on one of my crochet forums.  It's a great recipe filled with wholesome goodness.  The bread has a wonderful nutty flavor that goes great with soups and stews.  I'm making it to go along with my Beef Stew that I wrote about back in August and make on a regular basis.

I've posted the recipe for the bread below.  If you have a bread machine, and enjoy a nice hardy loaf of fresh baked bread, this recipe is for you.  Don't let the flax seed and sunflowers daunt you, both are readily available at WalMart or any local grocer.

Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread

yield 1 - 1 1/2 pound loaf

1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1.Place all ingredients (except sunflower seeds) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
2.Select basic white cycle; press start.
3.Add the sunflower seeds when the alert sounds during the knead cycle.

Joy in a cool day where nothing tastes better than a hot meal for dinner!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Few Ramblings...

An Apple a Day...

You know the old adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".  I don't think they meant loaded in pies and crisps with sugar, cinnamon, and butter........

I was going to make applesauce with the remainder of my apples, but dear husband begged for another crisp.  So I made THIS recipe.  It looks really good, but I haven't tasted it yet.  And really, how can you go wrong with those ingredients?   

Apples are just one of the reasons I love Fall.  There is something special about the season.  To me, Fall is the start of a new beginning; a prelude of sorts.  I know most people probably look at Spring that way, but plants and flowers need to die off first and rest before new growth can take place.  People are that way too.....there is often something planted inside us, a bad habit, thought patterns, etc., that need to die off before we can experience new growth.  I think Fall is a good time for self evaluation and thoughtful introspect.  (And, the colorful foliage is certainly a delight for the eyes!)

Joy in a little quiet thought.....


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Little Red Schoolhouse...

Our pastor has been preaching a series on "The Little Red Schoolhouse By The Big Red Sea" for the past few weeks.  I'm going to borrow the first part of his title for my blog post today.  I don't think he'll mind, since I am giving him the credit. 

We've been doing a lot of preparing lately to begin homeschooling our son.  This isn't a decision we take lightly and felt that this year was a good year to "test the waters" so to speak. 

So we've been getting an area in our lower level all set up for the first day of school; today!

Our workspace is ready with our books and pencils......

And, the calendar is up to date (as of Sunday).

I've pulled all our materials together and even have an easy Fall craft planned.

Here's hoping our day will be filled with learning and fun; and that I'll still be able to get some laundry done in the afternoon.

Joy in the day!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vegetable Beef Soup...

Crock Pot style!  

I knew today was going to be busy, so last night, before I headed to bed, I laid out all the ingredients to make my vegetable beef soup.  

My internal alarm woke me at 6:00 a.m. this morning, I threw on some sweats and went downstairs to start the day.  

First thing I did was load up the bread maker with the ingredients for french bread.  It takes 6 hours to make, so I wanted to get that going.

Then, onto the soup.  This soup is one I've adapted from a recipe someone gave me a few years ago.  It's really tasty and makes a big batch for freezing or for lunch through the week.  

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

1 lb lean ground beef (browned and drained)
46 oz can Vegetable Juice (I used Red Gold)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
15.25 oz can corn (drained and rinsed; you could use frozen corn)
15.5 oz great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
14 oz package frozen mixed vegetables
6 cups beef broth

4 potatoes (peeled and diced in bite size pieces)
2 Tablespoon dehydrated minced onions (or 1 med. onion diced)
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf

+Brown meat
+Put all ingredients in large crock pot (mine was full to the brim)
+Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 - 8 hours

It turns out great every time!  

We came home from church and the house was filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread and yummy soup.

Joy in an organized day!  (And, hoping to have more of those!)


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Pie

As if things haven't been busy enough, I decided to bake an apple pie.......

While my mom was here, we visited Rouster's Orchard, which is about a 30 minute drive from where I live.  It's a family owned farm and their apples are really, really good. 

So in keeping with my Fall mindset, I made apple crisp the other night; it's all gone.  And today, I decided to make an apple pie.  I used the recipe from Joy of Cooking for my apple filling and the traditional Crisco Recipe for my crust.  I used the Deep Dish Double Pie Crust recipe as the pan I used is a little larger than most. 

Now, I'm no "Martha Stewart", but I think it turned out pretty good for a gal whose pies usually fall around the Thanksgiving holiday in the pumpkin variety. 

I've never quite learned how to make it look pretty.  Maybe I need to make a few know the old saying, "practice makes perfect." 

Joy in cooking! 


Friday, September 24, 2010

A Good-bye Tear...

My mom was here from out of town for a few days to help celebrate my son's birthday.  We crammed all sorts of fun stuff into our days together.

Monday was the zoo...

Tuesday we enjoyed a little shopping...
Wednesday we went to a pumpkin farm, apple farm, and McDonald's play land for lunch... 

And, Wednesday evening was the birthday boy's celebration.  

Thursday was subdued after the festivities earlier in the week.  We took a neighborhood walk while my son rode his bike and spent some quiet time doing things around the house. 

Then it was time for good-byes.

In the car, after we'd dropped off my mom, my son said, "I miss Grandma already" and he quietly shed a tear.  Once we got home I gave him a big hug and held him for a while.  I gave him a kiss and told him we'd see her again soon.  Later, he was playing with his new Buzz Lightyear toy and his hero came home from work.  All is well in the world.

It's always hard to say good-bye, but knowing you'll be reunited again lightens the sadness.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tweed Stripe Ripple Update

Life has been busy lately, so my hobby time gets crunched down to a few minutes here, there, or anywhere I can find the fleeting moment.  That being said, I have made decent progress on my Tweed Stripe Ripple and since it is a Christmas gift, I'm not in a huge rush....

I really like the woodsy effect of the self striping yarn in these colors.  I'm doing three rows of each and then repeating.  I'll be thinking about doing a border, or not, in the next couple of weeks.  Ripples don't really need a border, but I like the finished look a border affords. 

I need to think of other projects that I can make with this yarn.  I absolutely love it!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens

We had a wonderful family day yesterday.  My mom is here visiting and we celebrated my son's birthday a little early with an outing to the zoo. 

The Cincinnati Zoo is a beautiful place to visit.  The grounds are lushly landscaped and the new animal exhibits are fun to walk through.  We spent the majority of the day there and still didn't get to see everything! 

I did catch a pretty bloom that hadn't yet lost it's summer luster...

And a couple of items that spoke of Fall...

We also had a hungry peacock, who had no fear, come right up to our lunch table looking for scraps.  We did indulge him and gave him a few of our fresh cut fries. 

But, I think the highlight of the day was seeing Dora and Diego in their 4D adventure.  What fun!

All in all a superb day!


Monday, September 20, 2010

I Received an Award!

Debi Y at Hooks and Yarns recognized me with an award.  Thank you so much Debi!
From what I understand it is Portuguese for "Recognizing Your Talent".  I'm honored Debi, thank you!

This is my first award, but from what I understand, you pass them on to others.  I don't have a lot of followers, but I do enjoy reading many varied blogs.  With this in mind, I'd like to pass on the award to:

Ramblin' Southern Woman for her upbeat/positive blog and her encouraging comments
Room on the Left for her beautiful photos
Happiest At Home for her pretty projects and yummy sounding recipes
Coffee and Crafts for her inspirational devotions

Enjoy perusing these blogs and thank you again Debi!


This is fun...

......and easy!  I'm working on the above afghan with my new yarn I talked about yesterday.  The picture above is from Lion Brand's website showing their finished pattern.  I really like the subtle tweed look.  The pattern is free and can be found HERE.  It's a simple ripple pattern and has been working up fairly quickly. 

By the way, the Tweed Stripe yarn is really nice to work with.  It is similar to Homespun in the way it looks in a finished project, but has a different texture and is MUCH easier to work with.  I think it would be really pretty for winter accessories too.

Once I get a little further along, I'll post some pictures.

New project joy! 


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tweed Stripes

I know, I know........I said I wasn't going to buy any new yarn for a while.  What can I say, I'm weak. 

I have been wanting to try this yarn ever since it came out.  It's one of Lion Brand's newest yarns called Tweed Stripes.  Isn't it pretty! 

I'm looking forward to a little crochet time this evening and seeing how this yarn works up.

It's a bit more expensive than I usually pay for yarn even though it's an acrylic.  I was hoping for a good sale, but one never came up (or I didn't wait long enough).  In all reality though, it's not REALLY for me, I'm going to make a Christmas gift with it.

Enjoy your Saturday evening, I know I will!


Friday, September 17, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Barbeque pulled pork sandwiches! 

This is one of my husband's favorite crock pot meals and it's so simple and absolutely delicious.  I plan on making cole slaw to go along with the sandwiches. 

The recipe can be found on the back of the McCormick BBQ Pulled Pork seasoning packet and I've written it out below as well:

3 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
1 Pkt McCormick Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork seasoning packet
1/2 Cup ketchup
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup cider vinegar
  • Spray crock pot with cooking spray
  • Place roast in crock pot
  • Mix together seasoning packet, ketchup, brown sugar and cider vinegar.  
  • Pour mixture over roast
  • Place lid on crock and don't disturb for at least 4 hours.  

My crock pot cooks really hot, so I usually put it on low for 4 hours.  Once it's cooked, you just shred the pork and give it a good stir. 

Happy Friday everyone.  Hope you enjoy a great weekend!


Thursday, September 16, 2010



My son's school books arrived in the mail! 

Now to look through the material and get a plan in place.

The books I quickly glanced through are beautifully done and even the teacher's (aka Mom's) material looks interesting.  I'm so excited to be embarking on this journey!  I can't wait to get started!

My mom will be here next week, so I think our first day of school with be Monday, the 27th.   Maybe I need to get a little bell.  Jing-a-ling, class will soon be in session!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I believe that God leads the Christian's paths and through His Holy Spirit guides and directs us in the ways that we should go.  The bible is a lamp at my feet (Psalm 119:105) piloting my life and (hopefully) preventing me from stumbling.  I believe that God knows everything about me and through prayer, studying God's word, and consulting with godly people, I am able to make decisions that are within God's will for my life.  Often times the paths God leads us down, are unfamiliar and may not make sense to others, or even ourselves.  But, through faith, as the old hymn says, it is our responsibility to "trust and obey".

I have faith that God will point me in the direction I should go.  Only He knows the plans (thoughts) He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11)

Psalm 139:1-10

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
 1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.
 4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
         But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
 5 You have hedged me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is high, I cannot attain it.
 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
 9 If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
         And Your right hand shall hold me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm in a whirlwind...

My mother is coming.....

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm really excited about my mom's upcoming visit and I'm looking forward to seeing her and spending some good quality time with her.  But......

The house needs to be cleaned!  Top to bottom clean.  I'm not just talking running the vacuum and wiping the furniture with Pledge.  I'm talking a good, get down on your knees scrub the floors type of clean.  The kind you might do if you were having a white glove inspection and your life depended on it type of clean.

Now, my mother always tells me, "don't go to any trouble."  But, I feel like I must!  The overwhelming urge to turn the house inside out and make sure there aren't any dust bunnies hiding under the bed is a driving force bursting from within.

On Comet, on Windex, on Pledge and Febreze!  From the bowels of the basement to the highest peak of the roof!  Dust away, dust away, dust away all!

(Love you mom!) 


Monday, September 13, 2010

On Your Mark...

On your mark....

Get set....


Hope your Monday gets you off to a great start of the week!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

What Next.....

So now that I've completed my most recent crochet project, I find myself pondering "what next".

I really want to start working on Christmas gifts and have some ideas in mind, but they require purchasing new yarn.

Forking over money for new yarn right now, is, well, hard to swallow.  Especially when I know I have a closet full of beautiful yarn just waiting to be worked into a warm cover-up or blanket for .......ummm, someone. 

I always purchase my yarn with a project and/or person in mind.  I very seldom buy yarn "willy-nilly".  It's always for this afghan, that blanket, or the latest, isn't that project beautiful just to discover that it has, oh yuck, treble crochets in it.  LOL!  (I really don't like doing treble crochets.)

So, with these thoughts in mind, my next project will likely be with yarn from my "stash".  Which, by the way, was all purchased on sale or, with a coupon.  (I'm a very frugal shopper to my delight and sometimes my husbands dismay.)

Joy in pondering, contemplating and thinking about the little things in life.....that make my life enjoyable!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Crockpot and a Power Outage

I saw the truck pull up to the utility pole in the front corner of our yard.  "Oh, no!", I thought.  I had just loaded the crock pot full with what I hoped to be tonight's dinner. 

I opened the front door and tried to make eye contact with one of the workers.  They either didn't see me, or were ignoring a nosy housewife.  So, I yelled out, "Are you going to be turning the power off?"  They said, "Yeah".  "Humph", I thought to myself.  The guy then, obviously having second thoughts, turned around and asked, "Do you have someone sick in the house?"  "No", I said, "I have the crock pot going and I don't want to have to throw away my dinner."  He said, "Let me see what I can do".  At that, I closed the door and thought to myself, "whatever will be, will be." 

About 15 minutes later, a nice guy came to the door and said they would have to shut off the power, but they would keep it to 15 minutes.  My humph quickly turned to a hurray!

True to their word, they only shut off the power for 15 minutes.  I think my crock pot meal will be fine.

Joy in an understanding utility worker whose wife must also use a crock pot!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hobby Invader...! 

Something has been invading my hobby time lately and that something is called life.

Hubby was off work for four days with the Labor Day holiday, so our schedule got a bit disheveled.  With that in mind, yesterday was "catch-up" day around the house. 

Dear son and I did enjoy a nice walk this morning.  It is a beautiful day with clear blue skies, nice breeze blowing through the trees, and temps in the low 80's.  I have the windows open and am hoping the cooler weather is here to stay. 

I haven't had much time lately to work on my Moorish Mosaic Afghan.  I have one more round of border to complete it.  Then, all that is left is to weave in the loose ends.  Once I'm able to do those things, I'll get some pictures posted.  I just seem to run out of steam when hobby time comes my way.  The afghan is very bold and different.  I like to call it "artsy".   

Joy in real life even if it does steal away some of my "hobby" time.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day's Nature Walk

It was a beautiful Labor Day!  Our little family went on a nature hike to celebrate the day and enjoy the end of summer weather.

A lot of people were on the trail walking their dogs and we even saw a couple walking their cat!  It had run up a tree and they were patiently waiting for it to come down.  You don't see people walking cats too often.

The water levels in the gorge were way down and the greenery was dry from lack of rainfall, but it was still nice to get outside and spend time together.

Joy in family time.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Funny Story and Happy Labor Day...

Saturday, we put out our corn stalks around the light post in our front yard.  The corn stalks are still green and have corn attached to them.  I thought it gave an authentic decorative look, so we left the corn on the stalks........

That evening, as we went to bed, we left our windows open.  The cool front was predicted to continue and I enjoy the night air.  At 3 AM in the morning, I was suddenly awakened by a sharp "snap" noise.  I listened for a little bit and heard some further rustling in the front yard.  I woke up my husband and in a loud whisper said, "I think something is outside eating the corn!"  I quickly got out of bed and peeked through the window.  I saw a dark shape by the corn stalk about the size of a small dog.  I thought, "What is that!".  So, I quiety, as not to disturb our visitor, told my husband, "I'm going downstairs to take a look." 

I tried to get a better view of the creature through the downstairs windows, but I wasn't having any luck.  The saying, "it's darkest before dawn", rang true for me right then.  I was left with no option but to turn on the light to satisfy my curiosity.  Long story, short, I turned the light on and whatever it was ran away.  Pure disappointment.

I headed back up to bed and told my (already back to sleep) husband, we'd have to take the corn off the stalks in the morning.  I stayed awake for a while listening for the intruder to come back and enjoy some of his new found food stock to no avail.  He either never came back, or I fell back asleep. 

I'm thinking it was a raccoon or a skunk.  Based on the size, I'd say raccoon and there was no residual odor when I turned on the light to see what it was.

Joy in an unexpected visitor and a little excitement!

Happy Labor Day, one and all!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Was Making Up For Lost Time...

After laying on the couch for two days, I was making up for lost time today.  

We were up early this morning, so we all got ready, and headed to one of our local farms.  They were loaded with end of summer produce and fall decorations.  I purchased the mums I've been waiting for (although they haven't opened up quite yet), corn stalks for around the light post, and Indian corn for the front door. 

After dropping off our purchases, we headed to our local Lowe's for potting soil and a couple bags of mulch.  We browsed around the store for a bit, it's always fun to get home improvement ideas.

Once home, my husband and son went straight out back and started clearing out more of the back fence line.  While they did that, I prepared peach cobber in the crock pot to cook while we worked.  The recipe is from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook and, as I write this, I'm enjoying the fruits of my labor.....yum!

Lastly, we cleaned out my little shady patch flower area and put down a layer of mulch.  

Joy in a family work day and loving it!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Under The Weather

I've been feeling a little "under the weather" the past couple of days (flu-like stuff). 

Hubby's making pancakes for he and our son for dinner and whipping up a couple of eggs for me. 

Joy in an understanding and supportive husband!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I got a new book today...

I saw it, as I was pulling into the drive yesterday evening.  That little brown box on the front door step.  Written on it, were the magical words that read....."Amazon".  (Big smile, toothy grin inserted here.)

I love Amazon; they have great prices and I even had a $5 off promotion code they had sent me for some reason.  So I got got an exciting new crochet booklet at a VERY good price!  Here it is...

It's a new Fair Isle afghan pattern book with 5 gorgeous patterns.  I'm especially drawn to the Southwest Warmth one pictured on the right.  I've never tried the technique that is used to make these.  And, I'm thinking this might be something to start once all the holidays are over.  But, I'm so excited to have it and be able to drool over the beautiful patterns. 

Joy in a new booklet!