Tuesday, May 31, 2011

If not now, when?

 This little birdhouse is actually a small night light.  And I made it!!!  I found all the materials at a local craft store and decided to try to replicate the one I saw in the store (Ben Franklin at Macon).  It goes right along with the birds I'm seeing everywhere and the happy ones outside my window every morning..
 One of my favorite things to do in the early  morning is grab a cup of wonderful hot tea or coffee and slip down here by my window.  I check up on all of you in Blogland and discover the many joys of having many new events happening to my blogging friends. 
 My dad had a star-shaped birdhouse, and it is home to a cozy wren family right outside my door above the woodland ferns he transplanted from our forest.  Almost any time of the day is a good time to spot that little wren coming out of the wee hole in the star...
My jewelry box holds a few special pieces, some I wear often and others I simply enjoy having to look through on a rainy Missouri morning (and we had another one of those today.)

Mom and I went through an old desk today, sorting the papers and pens, cards, envelopes, and old craft projects.  Some cards and stationery in there belonged to my grandmother as long ago as 1980 and earlier probably...  We saved so many envelopes (in case) that I teased Mom she could write to someone every day for the rest of her life, my life, and an unborn child's life somewhere....  Maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but we have a lot of envelopes...

If not now, when?  That is the question posed by Mark Nebo in a daybook he writes about his journey with a life-threatening illness...  He writes it took the illness to wake his life to the reality of brevity...  of the swift passage of our days...  It is a wake up call for sure, one to rival my dear birdies...

Have a beautiful week...  Enjoy the singing of your own special song... now.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorable---- and a Cranberry - Orange Coffeecake

Even though today was the actual holiday, my family just took it easy...  It was a day off for my son, so he and his lady love took that opportunity to go on a date to Columbia...  Earlier, however, we managed to display a little American pride right in our own front yard. My son and his friend worked on our flag pole.  After the windstorms from last summer, we had a problem!  The flag dipped at a peculiar angle, and it looked terrible.  So, a few bags of concrete did the trick...  and we raised a new flag today... in honor of my Dad, a WW2 veteran.

 Any kind of an event seems to call for a celebration, and my family loves to have something baked in case we have unannounced visitors, which I love!...  I have a great little cookbook by Shelley Reeves Smith and Roxie Kelley.  This one had an orange-cranberry coffeecake in it that seemed to call my name today...

Cranberry-Orange Coffeecake
1 Yellow cake mix
1 orange
Enough oil, eggs,water to make mix according to directions
1 12 oz. pkg frozen cranberries/  I used half frozen and half dried.  I think blueberries would work also
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. ground  cinnamon
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees/  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with shortening.  zest orange.  Should have 1 T zest
squeeze juice and remove seeds/  Reserve 2 T juice for glaze/  Add remaining juice to water or liquid called for in cake mix.  Add  zest and stir up cake by directions.  Add half sack cranberries  Pour in pan and top with other half sack of cranberries.

Mix brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon and crumble over top.  Bake 35-45 minutes.  Don't overbake. 

Mix powdered sugar, orange juice, and 2 T water to make glaze.  Drizzle over warm cake.

This is a very moist cake with great textures from the nuts and sugary topping.  It is moist and tart from the cranberries...  and sweet, too...  I think it's a "keeper."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Tomorrow is the day to honor our loved ones, living in this world and the one beyond..  I hope you have a lovely day filled with good things from the heart.
Today was a great way to spend a Sunday.  Our kiddos came for lunch, and then some went on to work and others fixed the flagpole so we can proudly fly the American Flag tomorrow.  

Always Faithful...  May you ever be true.  True to yourself, true to your God, your family, and your principles.  Hugs from Missouri.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Midnight at Noon. . .

Mom and I went to the cemeteries this morning, a family tradition.  We dodged this storm at noon by visiting our favorite restaurant...  Skies were dark for a while....  Have a good holiday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer salad

Here is a recipe for a yummy alternative to Three Bean Salad.  I love it!  We made it this morning.

Summer Vegetable  Salad

1 family-size pkg frozen mixed vegetables (microwave 12 minutes)
1 12 oz. pkg cooked bow-tie pasta
1 chopped green pepper
1 c. chopped celery
1 can rinsed, drained red beans

dressing  --cook over low heat until thick

1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c/ vinegar ( I prefer apple cider vinegar)
1 t. salt
3 T. flour
1 T. yellow mustard

whisk while cooking.

Combine and cool!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The house in the roses: A day of prayer

The house in the roses: A day of prayer

In the light of the overwhelming need to do something for those who have had their lives ripped apart during this stormy spring, Cielo at House in the Roses began a Prayer Chain early this morning...  Here is a link if you would like to leave a prayer on her blog.  You may also like to read the prayers and simply say your prayers silently.  Any thing is fine.  If you would like to leave a comment here or a prayer, you are also welcome...

My facebook community is joining in a movement called "Light up Facebook" with candles posted as profile pictures in memory of those in trouble and at a loss due to the storms...  So many spirits are sore and bruised and battered, but they are still so sweet and tender...  This devastation is horribly bad...  but God is still good...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today's bright spot

This morning we ran some errands and sped through town.  These bright flowers cheered us homeward.  Cozy and simple are my summer days with Mama...  That is a welcome respite from schooltime bustle and blur.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quiet Thoughts

 Today I took a break from little chores and sat on the porch with a warm chocolate chip cookie, a cup of chamomile tea.... and an upcoming summer storm. 
 A little prayer this day for those in soul pain over all the storms recently.  My heart feels torn by the stories and the sadness.  Joplin, although in the opposite part of my state, is near in my thoughts. 
God's healing and his peace...  those are my prayers....  My pastor's words from years ago:

Sometimes God calms the storms.  
At other times He lets the storms rage. . . 
and he calms his children.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Opening of the Garden...

This afternoon was the annual "opening of the garden" party, given by my dear friend in Bevier...  Hope you enjoy the scenes of her quaint Italian garden...  How lucky we made it between showers...  Have a nice week, everyone.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Road Trip... and Home Stay...

First Saturday of Vacation. . .  We didn't do a major thing today, just took a circular drive and reached the South by Sailing North...  Happened upon a rainbow in the west early in the morning...  and tonight has the portent of lightning, wind, and hail...

Hope you and all your loved ones are safe and sound. Happy Weekend...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Messenger. . .

 This cold, rainy day...  Mom decided to cook, and I decided to shop.   Bought some comfort food for my son's girlfriend who had dental surgery....  and the pink carnations were for her.....  He has had bronchitis and has been really under the weather....  so I got him a goodie bag, too.....

My cousin is coming down later to work on a project...So, day two of vacation was a success....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Patriotic Touches

 What do you like to do on a cool, rainy Thursday?  Well, for my first day of summer, I worked up the Memorial Day/Patriotic mantel....  What could be more fun than rummaging in the china cupboards for blue dishes, red glassware...  little touches of patriotic memorabilia?
 Mom's Jim Shore angel reigns over one corner next to a small, antique mug that flaunts the pale script, Souvenir of Macon, Missouri...  It is a five-generation piece, owned by my Great, great grandfather, Pappy Joe...

 Fostoria pieces of cobalt and red....
My heart goes out to the military families...  those who have loved ones in service and those who have lost someone in action...  and those who have made it through the time and are again together...  at home at last.  Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The gremlin powers...

Our winter here has gone on way longer than usual...  Our television station warned of frost earlier this weekend...  and the furnace has hummed along merrily alternating with the AC a few times the past month...  Mom's furnace, that is...  Well, earlier this week we began to hear a LOUD hum...  more of a roar...  After some checking, Mom called Wendoll, our totally lovable furnace repair man...  He arrived with the news that the old beauty in the basement had sheared a fan blade and would have to be down until Thursday.  It's the end of May, dear heart...  Do we really think we will need it repaired?  Um...  maybe.  Mom was tucked in this morning under a warm blanket in the living room when I left for my last day of school...  I think possibly the gremlins that live in all things mechanical have conspired to help us get rid of all trace of winter...  However, I am thinking the same blower probably motivates the AC, as well...  Better get that fixed, Wendoll!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Last Day

I have been missing my blogging the past few weeks...  Today is the first I have had even one moment to write...  But while I have been silent, I have been conversing with the fairies, talking to the sprites, and walking with the wee folk that live in the forests near our home...  This is the last full day of school...  More time for this kind of rare and beautiful events lures me toward summer...  See you soon!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Table...

 Our tablescape today is blue and white...  vintage glassware purchased by my gramma on a trip she took to St. Louis.  She walked by Famous and Barr's window and fell in love with these glasses on sight...  I am so glad she did that!
 Our menu is a fun one to fix --- and a popular one with our family...  casseroles, salads, and a treat of Tortellini soup...  I am guilty of setting the table and then trying to come up with a menu to support the choices!!!  The large mugs called for something, and we have a last batch of tortellini in the freezer...  So the menu evolved just a little!

I know if you have your mom, you are cherishing her...  and if she's gone, you are treasuring those happy memories you once made together...  I am blessed to have my mother still...  and she is cooking up something delicious upstairs (I think it's her famous baked beans!)...  But today I remember the other special women in my life...  Both my grammas are in heaven, and I can only begin to imagine the joy and happiness they are experiencing with God ----their daily rounds filled with families and loved ones gone before...  What a table they would be preparing!!!  I miss my grandmothers today and every day for the unconditional love and the strength they added to my life.  I love them and my dear aunts today and every day...  Both my dad's sisters were always such a part of my life with their laughter, delicious hot rolls, fancy cross stitching, ballerina dresses, and wonderful marshmallow salads...  My great-aunts, too...  My great aunts lived all over the country, and I confess to feeling a loss this morning that I have no aunts left in this world.  I do have, however, wonderful memories...  and some "fantabulous" cousins...!!!    These are the women I come from:  a strong and life-affirming legacy of love.  I have much to ponder on this beautiful, sunny Sunday morning...  I ask God to bless us all and to send his special care into your weeks ahead...  Hugs from a Missouri Morning...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Weekend. . .

May all of you enjoy the beauty and the happiness of your families and friends this weekend.  I hear thunder rumbling in the west, but  we have had a couple beautiful days...  We had frost Monday and Tuesday when I went to school...

You may have noticed my absence from posts lately...  Much work is facing us as we start the last full week of classes.  Our principal is retiring and we are planning a big farewell party and program...  Book orders....  testing....  grades....  May 18 will look pretty good to all of us..  I am reading all your wonderful blogs and visiting your recipes and pretty gardens...  I'll be in touch soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cinco De Mayo... (a bit early!)

Our family gets together on Sundays, so I decided to have enchiladas and Latin-American food in honor of Cinco de Mayo...  These little dolls are very old.  A friend from my mother's elementary school days sent them to her from Albuquerque, New Mexico...
The tablecloth was more green than blue, but the light made it photograph this vivid blue color...

Fiesta salad...
Confetti cupcakes with a topper of Reese's...  In my dreams it was to have looked like a sombrero...  It did not...  Perhaps a bowler???
Enchiladas in progress....

We had a lot of fun, played Spinner, and then the kids all went to see Fast and Furious Five....  one of my son's favorite series of movies due to the fast cars....  When Fast and Furious Two (whatever the name is)came out, he got enough friends together including me...  and we rented the theater at midnight the day it premiered...

Today is day one of testing at school...  Gotta fly...  Have a great week...