Friday, November 27, 2015

Join me for the gentle season...

“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, 
They danced by the light of the moon.” 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

My dear Irish writer and Priest

                    On Waking
            by John O'Donohue
I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life.
The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.

Clouds and noodles

Today was the one year anniversary of Mom's big, bad fall. Don't think everyone in our family didn't remind her to be careful! Our family Thanksgiving was on Sunday, so today Mom and I alone watched the Macy's parade and ate on our Friendly Village China.

I got up early and poached some chicken breasts and fixed her a favorite surprise: noodles and mashed potatoes.

The bluest clouds gather and shake their dark locks at all of us. Forecast is for wintry bluster and more noodles. Happy Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Another little Turkey Time

The thoroughfares of the home are getting crowded as totes and boxes slide along these highways... Autumn up. Wise men out.. Gingerbread...turn on your blinkers! You need to exit in the kitchen. What is in all these boxes, and why don't I have anything for anybody but I have all this?

But honeys, none of this matters. We all know it. What truly matters can't be boxed, decorated, or hauled from storage. So very thankful for everyone in my life, both past and present.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Sunday we celebrated our Thanksgiving with my son, a good friend of his, Mom, and a dear friend of mine. After two days of cooking and planning, it was just so much fun to laugh together, eat turkey and all the trimmings, and play Spinner. It was a perfect day.

And now we begin to decorate and wrap, savoring the agendas of the bright holiday... Yet...

One of my dear cousins lost her son this week. I cannot breathe when I think about it. Thanks for our dearest blessings often turns to clutching fear, doesn't it..?

I have been lost in the gateways of Youtube this month. So many videos... It's unimaginable. I've been watching videos and vlogs (video blogs) about journaling, planning, and living that best life we think we can maneuver... I kind of realize those are hours I can't get back, but I watch late at night so technically I wouldn't be working anyway.

Ugh. Dentist tomorrow. Boy Howdy, I hate to go, but I lost a filling.

Have a lovely Gratitude Day...  I'll probably pop in again this week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rainy November Night

Today has been that deep grey that only November can bring... Rains, clouds, and the promise of a dip in temperatures and maybe a little wintry mix on Thanksgiving next week.

I have been trying some much needed organizing, but once again it seems as if I'm trudging see through quicksand. Nobody knows what's been bought or what's up really. I'm short tempered and generally in line to be spotted by Santa as a Grinch... I read too much and plan and... Here I am...

Upbeat, in love with life, running around in the Autumnal glory.. However. .....

I'm very grateful at this Thanksgiving time to have helped Mom through a year since her terrible fall on Thanksgiving day a year ago. I am to the moon grateful for my son, and I wish him to be happy and healthy. I love my family and friends so much.

Lots to be thankful for. And I am.

I'll no doubt pop back in before the Turkey Day itself. We are celebrating with a couple friends here on Sunday because my son goes to his Dad's family on the day. I love cooking for my family and friends. Just wanted to touch base auth all of you.

Stay safe in body and spirit if you can. The world intrudes its bludgeoned heart in all the news. We Cannot help but feel assaulted. Because we have been. While we pray for peace we need to pray for wisdom.

FINALLY some sunshine on Thursday.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Soupy Weather

These past few day have been definitely soup weather days. I know Mom just loves soup, so I have probably worn her out on it. I fixed her favorite Potato Soup with Pennsylvania Dutch Rivels on Tuesday. Then tonight I was working on a recipe for a dear friend who wanted to try my Broccoli Cheese Soup. I usually don't have a recipe, so this one is just what I do. My big dutch oven from Lodge has been getting a workout.

Can't really get a grip on anything this week. It seems like I'm either looking for something I've misplaced or starting a project and quickly regretting the mess it's making! I hear there are only 49 or 50 days before Christmas. What seemed to be early birdness has quickly turned here...  I am the original hare from Aesop's Tale...   Asleep while every kind of tortoise buzzes right by.

Here is my recipe!

Serves 6 – 8
Gayla's Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 pkg. baby broccoli from Schwan
4 c. water
3 boullion cubes
½ chopped onion
3 ribs chopped celery
Boil together for about 20 minutes until celery is tender.
1/3 of 2# loaf Velveeta Cheese, cubed
Stir in and let melt. (Keep stirring a lot)
1/3 c. flour (I have used cornstarch, and either is fine.)
¾ c. water
pinch pepper
additional salt if desired. (We don't add more)
Shake these three ingredients in a pint jar or shaker
Add to soup and stir three minutes. (Stir a lot more)
¾ c. + desired amount milk or cream or half and half. (We use 2%)
Add enough milk to thin to desired consistency

Cover, turn off heat, let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend.

  • Some like this soup blended, but we don't particularly need that, so we don't blend it. The food show chefs recommend to let the soup cool partially and add only small amounts at a time to blender if you choose to do that. Some blend only half the soup and add back for a variety in consistency.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, November 2, 2015

All Saints and All Souls

Welcome, November. The year has turned, and it is nearly holiday time. Rather than yap about what a shock this is, I'll just leave a couple little photos.

Sometimes the season just creeps into the soul. They say the veil between the worlds is thin. I can believe that because I've been contemplating my dad, my grandparents, and the spirit and soul left in my life from each of these dear ones who have passed.

I wish for my dad's ingenuity and ability to solve issues. He always rescued me, and I can admit here I often shut my eyes and wait for that magic to happen. Rescue isn't coming. I need to do it myself. But I'll forever miss my dad, his optimism, and his goodness.

I can recall my grandfather on my mother's side as he watched his world slip away due to arthritis, which did lead to depression although we didn't treat it as such. He rode around the precious farm on a little Ferguson grey tractor as long as he could. I do well to use his persevering tactics to fight against the family devil named arthritis.

My gramma, his loving wife who was so wonderful, short, fiery, and unmistakably Leo fierce in her love and faith. She spoke the language of persistence and cooking, prayers and sewing and hugs... Images of her pink and red kitchen, her busy sewing machine, and her kitchen filled with spices and warmth... I do well to bring all of her unconditional love and gifts into my soul.

And my dad's mother, Ma... Mellow and cooking for just one or a hundred with equal passion and peace. She believed everyone did the very best they could, given their circumstances. She patiently navigated her world, turning everything into its possible best, spinning straw into gold. I hope I am like her, as well.

Saints and Souls. November enters the gates with Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Glimpses of Halloweek...

They say mighty oaks from little acorns grow, but in this case it's a mighty Sugar Maple in our front yard. This beauty is stunning every fall, and it's finally big enough to be called a tree! It has a lovely, sweet history. My mother was born and raised in Indiana until she was a senior in high school. For many, many years she felt she was a "Hoosier," and that fact always made me a little nervous. I remember wanting my mother to be a Missourian like me and my dad. Finally, she is totally Missouri, but that process takes time.

This little tree was a gift from her dear Uncle Alta in Centerpoint, Indiana. We had visited him and his wife one year right about time to transplant trees, so Uncle Alta took that opportunity to dig up the scrawniest little sapling and tuck it into a coffee can of dirt. I recall Mom and Dad ceremoniously planting that little thing, watering it, putting a fence ring around it...  Generally, the tree took forever to grow. Other maples in our yard and locusts were saplings from our woods, and they, acclimated to this territory, grew much faster than Mom's little sugar maple. However, at last she has claimed her rightful place in the yard, a bit too close to the house perhaps, but lovely and quite sturdy...  The old locusts, all scraggly and needing a trim (even with the ground some would say), are losing limbs and have totally lost their leaves already.

This is a beautiful fall, although I believe it seems a bit short. The leaves turned vivid, then plummeted to the earth in short order. It already looks like early November in most directions--- that dull, brown, starkness against October blue skies. Spectacular in my mind. Our yard is filled with leaves that we rarely have ever raked. It seems too much with the amount of trees and no place to put them. They serve as a mulch and a protector for small critters (don't say bugs) through the chilly weather, mulch up in the first spring lawn mowings, and don't seem to require raking.

Here my little crows or vultures are having a fine Fall day in the midst of acorns and fall leaves.
They were a gift from a dear friend and are actually a little fountain. I think they remind me of that long ago cartoon of the fifties, Heckle and Jeckle.

My fairy awaits the first frost on the front porch. Sometimes she is out farther in the yard, but lately she has stayed close to the house in anticipation of winter, I think.

Another shot of the Sugar Maple when the sun isn't igniting its leaves in golden rushes of glory. Wouldn't I love to have been a little girl like my Gramma Minnie, trolling along with her older brothers and father as they gathered the sap from their trees in the spring, boiled it down, and made delicious Indiana Maple Syrup. I remember the scary story of the boiling sap spilling and covering her brother in major burns. The elder's remedy for such a burn was to take the leaves from three specific trees and cross them, lie them over the burn and cover loosely. The story goes that these leaves pulled the "fire" from the burns and dried up the wound. Evidently it worked in that case because my uncle was quite well and able to return to the "Sugaring Off" the next year.

Oops! I guess the frost got my pretty fall mum. I sent my son out to take pictures, and he didn't think to remove it...  This year was a short season for my mums. I don't plant them, so it's hard to know when to buy.

I have not posted in a while, but there is really no good reason, other than the cozying in required to prepare for the shorter days and longer nights. Wish all my blog sisters could pop in this afternoon. The coffee is on, the cider is ready to mull, spice cupcakes await in my cozy fall motif...  I'm ready for a visit!

I love these little seasonal cupcake liners, and I'm loving my ceramic Temptations cupcake bakers. Something about the ceramics makes them remove from the pan and also from the liner. Magic, I guess. My latest short cut (and I'm all about the short cuts at times) is to douse the top of the cupcakes with sprinkles in fall colors before baking. I put a good amount of sprinkle on there. Then after it bakes, they melt a bit and soak into the top layer of the cupcake. It's a hint of sweet but not that gooey icing thing that seems to overtake the cupcake entirely. These might be a cousin to a muffin this way, but it's a hit with Mom, so it's a hit with me.

It will be Saturday night before I know it, and the trick or treaters will have come and gone. We have a store of candy to create our treat sacks. Mom insists on ten little candy bars of different kinds in each sack because that's the way she and Daddy did it. Works for me, as long as there's some Reese's left over! HAHA..

Little Esmeralda from Marie Osmund was Mom's 90th birthday doll from me. She was ready to come out for the season, but usually she's in my Mom's room.

Have a lovely Halloweek. I will try to pop in with something new during the next few days. Enjoy every day.