Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The charm of these fresh little pansies, lies not only in the flowers but also in the containers one sees them in.  Yesterday I picked up a pack of pansies at my local grocery store.  I brought them home and planted them in one of my old glass pedestal bowls and set it in the center of my kitchen table.

Their pretty little faces lift my spirits, especially on this cold, dreary afternoon.  I like opening my cupboard and pantry doors and finding innovative containers to transplant storebought flowers in.  The character of the container often adds to the beauty of the colorful flowers.

Years ago, as a young girl, I clearly remember climbing the dimly lit attic steps in my grandma's house.  At the top of the stairs and off to the side, was a huge dark green cardboard box, filled with my mother's postcard collection.  I would sit there for a long time and look through all of her beautiful and sentimental collection.  Years later, I discovered the collection accidently got thrown away in my grandma's move from the old farmhouse, to the stone rancher.

Last summer, I spent an afternoon at one of our local antique malls.  With extra time to spare, I leisurely made my way through each and every booth.  I found a big box of postcards for sale.  I purchased a few of them for sentimental reasons.
I will share them with you.  Most of them were written in perfect penmanship, and all of them were dated.
This one was dated May 21, 1913 and sent to Nelsonville, NY

This one was addressed to a lady in Morrisville, PA who just happened to be a tax collector(or so the card says).
Date...March 1907

Addressed to friends in Haddonfield, NJ, once again in perfect penmanship
Date...April 18, 1907
I had to think as I read through each one again, how vastly different our world is today, than it was in 1907.  They certainly never could have imagined what life would be like in 2012. 
Makes me remember back to talks with my grandmas and the drastic changes they had seen in their lifetime.

Dated...June 18, 1907

The words on this one were so comforting in today's world, that I added some touches of glitter and placed it on my tiny plate rack.  It looks good sitting in my powder room.
Even though it was sent over 100 years ago, the message is still as relevent today as it was back then, and the flowers are just as pretty.

That's it from my corner of the world today.
Thank you so much for stopping by.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Good evening!  A Saturday post is quite rare for me, but tonight let it be known...

...this mawmaw still is having a most difficult time telling these two apart.
Their older sister continues to call them this boy and that boy.
The fun thing is, they both look at you and smile when you call either name.

Let it also be known tonight, that this mawmaw can also create spikes on the little guy's hair, and fulfill his other request..."can you please give me a mustache like pawpaw"?
Sure I can do that.

And he was one happy little guy.  Who better would I want him to emulate?  Can't think of one person. 

Having the five children here this weekend, has convinced me more than ever that my daughter and son-in-law sure do have a most busy life!  It's 8:30pm and I am so tired!

Just in case you happened to need a smile on this Saturday evening, maybe this post will help.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Friends,
I am sure you are probably puzzled as to why the owner of this blog, chooses to change the banner picture as often as she does? You might be wondering as to why wouldn't she keep the same picture for at least a few weeks?  Well, you see I am the type of person who would love to redecorate her home once every few months, change the paint colors, change the furniture arrangement, change the lighting fixtures, just because I enjoy decorating and change in this area of life.  But, since that is not possible at this time, I have fun using photography to change my blog banner.   So thank you for giving me the privilege of fulfilling my desire to create change, in this way.

Guess who is coming for the weekend?
Their parents are celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary.
We are looking forward to a fun, busy weekend.
I can guarantee you that I will not be changing my banner picture again this weekend:)

...because I won't have time to make changes to anything.

Hoping you find time to enjoy some of your favorite things this weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cream cheese is product that has been around for a long time.
It is something that can usually be found in my refrigerator.
I have found many different, delicious uses for it.
Tonight I thought I would share a few of them, just in case you ever need to prepare something quickly.

I prepared this dish for a family today, along with a cooked chuck roast. 

I cooked the Penne pasta, drained it, added a pack of cream cheese that I cut up and stirred into the hot pasta.  I also added  1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheese, a can of sweet corn and a bag of cooked mixed vegtables.
I covered the top of the casserole with a pack of crispy onions.
So easy and so good!

Recently we were invited to a party and were asked to bring a snack.
This is one of our simple favorites.
Once again, I will share it in case you are ever asked to bring the same and you don't have much time.

Three ingredients.
Two cans of Hormel Chili with no beans.
Put in a skillet and heat.
Add 3/4 package of cream cheese and stir until melted.  Serve warm.

Along with a bag of tortilla chips and the snack is complete.

To make the above warm dip even better, I sometimes add 1/2 cup of this Mexican shredded four cheese and stir until melted.

 I also create this quick, easy snack too.
Cover one pack of cream cheese with pepper jelly.
Serve with crackers.

A few other ideas involving cream cheese;

Blend shredded Cheddar and deviled ham with cream cheese.  Form into a ball; or pack in a crock and coat with toasted chopped walnuts.
Serve with crackers or pretzels.

Blend with a can of deviled ham and coarse-grained Dijon mustard and put in little crock.
Serve with little sweet pickles and crackers of your choice.

If you find a package of cream cheese(I often use the one with 1/3 less fat), and you aren't sure how you want to use it, hopefully one of these ideas may help.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 20, 2012

We were invited to our oldest daughter and son-in-law's home for lunch on Sunday.
The house smelled so good when we walked in the front door.
Roasted vegtables were one of the dishes she prepared.

Fresh vegtables drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
I can't tell you how delicious this dish tasted to us.

Eagerly, our granddaughter told us that she, along with her mother and sister, made cookies the evening before, and that we would have them for dessert.  The cookies were "Brer Rabbit Molasses Cookies".  They were a family favorite recipe from Aunt Julie's collection.  In fact, they are one of the best recipes Aunt Julie makes, so I knew what I had to look forward to.

The batter needs to chill at least 3 hours, but they refrigerated it overnight.
Part way through the meal, the tray of 1 inch dough balls went into the oven(on the reliable Pampered Chef stone tray).
You can imagine how good it smelled and how amazing these warm cookies tasted...

...with the hot cups of decaffeinated Starbuck's coffee.
If you want to impress someone, maybe this would be a route you might want to take, no matter what time of the day it is.

I would like to share this old family favorite recipe with you, thanks to Aunt Julie;

Brer Rabbit Molasses Cookies


1 cup butter
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Brer Rabbit Molasses(green label, full flavor)
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tea. baking soda
2 tea. cinnamon
1 tea. ground cloves
1 tea. ginger
1 tea. salt


Cream shortenings and sugar, add molasses, eggs, and beat well.  Sift dry ingredients, add to first mixture, mix well.  Chill for at least 3 hours, dough will roll much easier.  Form into 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar.  Place on cookie sheet, bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven.
Then stand back and watch your family and friends smile:)

  She helped make us cookies and she was visibly sad to see us leave.  How blessed are we!

Wishing you a good Monday on this President's Day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. 
 Surprise me,
amaze me,
awe me in every creavice of Your universe...
Each day enrapture me with Your marvelous things without number.
I do not ask to see the reason for it all;
I only ask to share the wonder of it all."

~Abraham Joshua Heschel


"Loving Creator,
help me reawaken my childhood sense of wonder
at the delights of Your world!"

~Marilyn Morgan Helleberg

Somedays I find it more difficult to see the wonder in this world.
It is easier to be incumbered by the negative happenings in the world.

I wish for moments of wonder for each of us today.

( the above pictures captured by my uncle)

Friday, February 17, 2012

I like things that smell good...

 I enjoy foods that taste good...

I like things that look good...
( I discovered her with this play cowboy hat on this evening, and she was so proud of herself).

But, I also like things that do not smell good...

The last few months, every morning and every evening, my husband takes a glass of water and adds a teaspoon of cider vinegar.  He drinks this concoction because of a recommendation from his sister-in-law, who learned of it from her aunt.  She said that it took the pain of arthritis out of her knee.  She was thrilled.  Now that he has taken up this ritual, he no longer has the strong pain that arthritis caused in his knee.  Now, how is that for some helpful advice.  Both of them have discovered this to be a true remedy for them.  I will never look at cider vinegar the same again.

Another less than pleasant smelling item, is the white vinegar that I use in the rinse cycle of my wash machine.  It rinses all the remaining residue off of the laundry, it makes my clothes feel clean,  soft, and it leaves no odor.

 And, I actually pour some of this in my dish water, along with hot water and my favorite dish detergent.  It does a great job in cleaning everything, especially my glassware.
So there you have it, a few of the insignificant "good" and the "bad" of my life.

Wishing you some good moments in the weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reflecting on the pink in my life...


...and realizing with certainty that, "It will be gone before you know it.  The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher.  Then suddenly they disappear."   ~ Dorothy Evslin

So, I am treasuring the moments.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012.

The reasons I have to smile today.

My hot cup of morning coffee with a tiny red heart on the side, was the perfect way to start the day.

My candle lit breakfast added a touch of romance.  Of course, that is a daily practice in our household.

I really like the little soft heart-shaped candies that I picked up at Trader Joe's on Saturday.
They look so good on my old rose plate.  Would you agree?
But, most of all on the this day set aside for "love", I am thankful for the guy that I have shared 38 Valentine Days with.
What an amazing thought that is for me today.
I remember clearly, the Valentine day before we were married.  I had heard him proclaim that chocolate whoppie pies are one of his favorite foods.
I baked two dozen of them and put them in a big box.  He told me years later, when he opened the gift, he felt like he would be eating them for the rest of his life(because of the amount and the size of each one). It was the thought that counted, right?  I guess two dozen was over doing it:)

The two of us in 1975 and newly married.

In 1987...looking forward to the birth of our third daughter.

In 2011.

"Love at first sight is easy to understand.  It's when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle."   ~Sam Levenson

We have been looking at each other for many years, and he remains... my very favorite reason to smile today.

Wishing each and everyone of you, a reason to smile today, however small that reason may be.

This rose is for you!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

 The invitation said" Girl's Night Out". 
Wear pink and/or black.
Guestlist is a surprise, so no discussing this with anyone.

My youngest sister was the hostess.  She told us that this was the first time in her life that she decorated any part of her home for Valentine's Day.  She certainly did a beautiful job!  The tablescape was a masterpiece!

She purchased this foil tree from Target.  Then she took a strand of foil hearts, cut them apart, and glued them onto the tree.  It immediately dressed up her big round table(that her husband built for her), in a colorful, festive fashion.

We freely gave our hostess ideas as to how she could dress up this tree, for many holidays:)
What a fun way to add pizazz to a Valentine party.

As each guest arrived, the surprises continued.  It was so much fun seeing who was invited. 
We are a group of family and friends who spent many Thursday mornings together years ago, when we got together for a weekly Bible study.  We shared memories, laughter, stories, updates, lessons learned and blessings we gained from our studies together.  Years have passed since our times together.  We now found ourselves, a group of "almost" empty nesters, empty nesters, and grandmothers sitting together, amazed at how quickly it all happened. 

The details of this table were endless.

One of my favorite details were the glittering initials tied onto each chair, identifying where we were to sit.

I don't think I ever saw so much pink.  Pink is a happy color!

The tomato bisque was exceptionally good!  The hearts were cut out of slices of American cheese and added yet another artistic touch to the meal.  My sister credited our mother for that suggestion.  She added touches of beauty to every food she served in our growing up years, and now, we find ourselves doing the same.  Thanks Mom!

We were each given a pink, sparkly bag with a small gift inside.  We were to open them and share what was inside them with everyone.  If someone wanted what we had opened, they could take ours.  In other words, it was a bit like..."now you have it, now you don't".   You can imagine how much fun and laughter this game generated.


But, the main reason for this party, was for the elegant looking lady in the above picture.  She is our dear, life long friend and is going through a difficult journey right now.
Having been diganosed with cancer this past summer,
she had one of her many chemotherapy sessions the day before this party. 
We were thrilled to have her join us.  It was a much bigger feat (to attend), than any of us could imagine, and we each felt gratitude in our hearts, that she was there.

She shared what was on her heart.  We laughed and cried with her.  What a lady!
I told her, "that she was a beautiful example of looking good through cancer".  Her blond wig was the perfect style for her.
We were all honored to have her with us, and it certainly gave the "heart holiday", a new perspective for each and every one of us.

All the ingredients were present to make this a most memorable evening.
It was a Valentine party extrordinaire!
Thank you dear sister for all you did to create this wonderful evening for each one of us.

Wishing you a good weekend!
It is snowing and cold here.  I know that "cold" is relative.  Where my youngest daughter lives, it was minus 40 degrees yesterday.  Bless her heart!


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