December 30, 2014

Ending 2014 With Thanks

The third memory bracelet is this one in purple with silver charms.  It was part of a group which were made for three friends at a difficult time in my life. I just wanted to thank them for being there in spirit and in words.

I thought it would be nice to end the year on my blog with a Thank You to readers who stopped by on a regular basis and to readers who did a quick drive by just to see if anything was interesting.

2014 kicked me around, and made life difficult. However, I survived bruised and cautious with a deeper understanding. 2015 better watch out!
 



Happy New Year ...
May 2015 be
Generous and Kind
to YOU!

December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014 Traditions Yes and No

















There's a little dry spell here on the word front, what with packing, unpacking, painting, and other stuff. I looked back at my posts from Christmases past and there are recipes and videos, and lots of Lucy's precious memories.

This year I am going very low key on the cooking, in fact there's a choice of meatloaf or nachos debate going on in my fridge. I bought some sprouts and carrots for roasting, so I may jazz up the meatloaf and mash with some of those veg on the side. Try as I might, I am not a traditionalist when it comes to holiday cooking. Are you?

You don't have to know, nor care, who would? TMI that I still have turkey in the freezer and leftover ham beside it. (That's why meatloaf sounded good.) 

Don't we live in remarkable times when we can just retrieve food from the fridge/freezer? Unlike the Waltons.


This video with silent excerpts from 'The Children's Carol' a Christmas episode has Mariah Carey and a choir singing, 'Silent Night' in the first part. The last 60 seconds is a clip from the episode where the family and friends sing Jason Walton's Christmas song.  

Two British children, temporary refugees from the bombing in London, end up staying with the Walton family. Apart from the seriousness of the war, this episode is a reminder that things never stay the same, they often change and we have to adapt and accept. 
People and other loved ones come in and out of our lives and we come and go in theirs. 

I had the opportunity to visit Schuyler, Virginia some years ago. The 'Walton Mountain Museum' is located in the school. I had a white knuckle grip on my steering wheel driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains- something I'd not like to repeat. But, if I hadn't persevered, I wouldn't have talked to some interesting and likable people who love the Walton stories.  (Earl Hamner, the author, his career includes movies, tv series, and so on. Twilight Zone included!)  

(I feel a dry spell moistening up here, so I better wrap this up.)   
  
I leave you with my wishes for a 
Happy Holiday!
Hope you have a safe and peaceful Christmas.

Enjoy the sprouts and the eggnog!

December 12, 2014

Playing With My Food Making Corn Muffin Waffles in the Waffle Iron

As if I don't have real work to do at home. Yes, I played with my food again. This time, I made Corn Muffin Waffles, and I liked them. There's a song in there somewhere.

Stuffed French Toast Waffles got me thinking about what else I could cook in the underused waffle iron. I had two boxes in the pantry of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix and decided to sacrifice one in the test.

I made the waffles/muffins according to the directions on the box, and added a tablespoon of vegetable oil. I thought the oil might help the waffles not stick to the waffle iron- and it worked. Whether they would have stuck without the added oil, I don't know.

You can see the results of my experiment, noted A, B, and C. I got sidetracked on C and left them in too long, but they were still edible.  A was me being too anxious to see what was going on. B was because of the little bear's bed, no that's the wrong fairy tale.  But it was nearly perfect.


So, I think the experiment was a success. I got 6 waffles from one box of mix. When I wanted to eat one, I just popped it into the toaster to reheat. Lovely.

These are good topped with a fried egg, the egg keeps the waffle warm and steamy, not hard and crisp. No sawing required.

Sometimes it's okay to play with your food. You might like the result and be inspired to play some more. Not always, but sometimes.



December 9, 2014

Two Things I'm Happy About

Wanted to share with you two things I'm happy about. One is this beautiful Christmas Cactus. I bought it last week and it's blooming like crazy.

I think it must be enjoying the new Swan White color on the walls of the parlor. I know I am. The previous color(s) were depressing, so although the white is a drastic change, I'm going to see how it feels over the next few months.

The ornaments image was taken last year(?), could have been the year before.

The second thing I'm happy about is sharing the second memory friendship bead bracelet.  I made three bracelets and this is the second one to show you. I showed you the first one in this post, Blending.

This one was made considering how much she enjoys her plants and nature.

I used antique glass seed beads, new charms and new wood beads.

I wanted to give each of the ladies something to recognize them individually and to thank them for their support and good wishes.  I can't measure what that means to me and I think they know that.

It's just a little thing, but making these bracelets helped me, too.


December 5, 2014

Eggsactly As You Like It Easy Casserole

Hope your December is off to a good start.  The computer hobgoblins visited me last week, so I decided that waiting them out instead of fighting them was the way to go. Things seem normal again, so I am sharing a recipe that is easy for you to make, bake, and hopefully, enjoy.

I call it
Eggsactly As You Like It Easy Casserole. (Corny)

It's been about a month since my last food post. Holiday leftovers could be used in this casserole, so instead of forgetting to share the Sausage and Stuffing Muffins from Thanksgiving of 2013, I thought I'd better get to this one before the leftovers are gone. Thank goodness for freezers.
  • Preheat Oven to 350F
  • Grease or Oil Spray a small baking dish     (Mine was an 8 inch square.)


Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup Milk or Half and Half
3 slices of bread or enough croutons to cover the bottom of the dish
Dash of salt or omit it
1 cup cooked diced Ham or Turkey or Sausage or combination thereof
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese or other cheese that you like
Spinach, thawed or fresh, chopped, about 1/2 cup, omit if you're not like Popeye.
Spices or Herbs added to your taste including liquid seasonings if you like.
Any other vegetable if you like, cut small or shredded, about 1/2 cup.

Directions:
Cut and fit the bread or croutons into the bottom of the baking dish. I removed the crusts,
     but you can leave them on or not, your preference.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and any spices/herbs/sauces.
Add any vegetable to the wet mixture and stir.
Pour the wet mixture onto the bread.
Top with cheese.
Bake for about 55 minutes.  That's it. 

Note: This could be doubled easily.  I will make this again without the bread and see if it's doable. I made this one with leftover ham and turkey, the next one will be with sausage or sausage and cooked bacon.

I like the ease of this recipe, and I can walk away from the kitchen while it's in the oven. I never used to like casseroles, but they are a help to me. What about you- do you like to eat casseroles?  

December 2, 2014

Blessings in the palm of my hand

Something's going on - it always is. Sometimes the joys come out of nowhere? We don't expect them and feel unworthy when they come to us.  

A few weeks ago this ------------------------------>
lovely little Blessings heart showed up in a package at my front door.

That morning was going downhill fast and then out of the blue a message from a special friend and the gift. The message was a hug from an understanding friend.

The heart, small and substantial, polished and smooth with indentations.  Not unlike a human heart being welded together, all the broken bits- splits and chips, melding together into one workable, wiser, and defensive thing.

This heart, shiny and new, is weighty, like an anchor in the turmoil of the past few years and months. Focus on the blessings, I tell myself.

I let her know how much this meant to me. With things up and down as they often go, I was blessed from out of nowhere, not actually nowhere, but out of the ordinary. That's what she is. Extraordinary.

I wish everyone of you will have an out of the ordinary day whenever you are most in need of one. You are blessed and a blessing to others.      

November 17, 2014

Blending New and Old in Friendship and Memory Seed Bead and Charms Bracelet



It's snowing here today, the first of the season. I'd been expecting it, and sure enough, this morning it was all over the trees and the ground. The snow is piled on top of the fence line and the big trash can at the end of the driveway has an inch or more on top of the lid.


A few birds are looking for their early morning feed amongst the unraked leaves in the snow. Squirrels are still laughable as they shake their tails and run in circles up and down the big tree trunk. I have to hold on to these images, for soon these little peeks into the natural world will disappear until Spring.



In a little while I'm going to paint my parlor or living room as it's also known, sorry I have always called it a parlor. I hope this is no more than a three day job, for I am slowwww and meticulous. I still carry the damp rag, to wipe up my accidents. I might be meticulous, but there's still some clumsy in my movements. I'll probably never grow out of clumsy, and not for lack of trying. Just put the table over that spot.

The snow is steady and heavy at the moment, so I am going to distract myself from the white onslaught by sharing this bracelet with you and then start moving the furniture and getting on with the paint job.

When I moved into the house, the parlor had a mucus-like green swirly stripy look and it made me nauseous just to be in or walking through the room. The front door was the same snot-like color. Sorry, I wanted you to know how much the green was a poor choice. Weird, ugly, just repulsive.

I painted the parlor a beigey/tannish color and one wall was a very light yellow- all because I ran out of paint and energy. I wasn't happy with the end result, but had to let it stay those colors for a while.

For a few years I fought the urge to paint it white, but no longer. I have given in and bought a primer and paint-in-one in something called, "Swan White." It should be white enough, not gray and not too glaring.  I hope it's worth the extra money for a primer and paint in one.

I thought this striped design might poke through, even with a primer, so I used some light colored paint leftover from another room to paint over the stripes.  

Some of my furniture has white in it and I bought a small coat rack with iron hooks to put on the wall after I clean and paint it in a white color, too.  More ornamental, but still useful. (Finally, a thrift store score.)


It's been three months since Lucy died, and yesterday was the anniversary of my Mom's passing. It's taking everything I can to muster the energy and do the work in myself to move forward. Setbacks not excluded.


The snow is not helping, but I can't control the weather. That cold blanket of white, just confirms the finality of things. It's going to be a long time before there is life again. No green poking through, the birds, squirrels, and rabbits take themselves to another place.

I don't want any big changes right now. For me, painting is an exercise and a comment that no matter what happens, life doesn't ever stay the same. Even though I'd give anything to have them back with me.

I wanted to show you this bracelet, it went to a friend. It was a labor of love and helped me to make a little inch-hold in moving on. Not quite a foothold, in due time, though.

The glass seed beads are antique, some of the other beads are upcycled, and other charms are new. The bracelet was made with the wearer in mind.


I found the burlap bags in a craft store. I sewed on the flower and button felt. The reverse side has a white heart (to which I added her initial.)

Whatever you're doing this week, be safe, have fun and keep your chins up.

All the best,
Gloria

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