Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coming To You From Next Door!

I wonder why I have allowed not be able to read all of my favorite blogs every day paralyze me into not being able to write my own? Well, "Enough!", I say. Time to stop wallowing. There, done.



This morning I have had a change of attitude, so no more whining and complaining on my part. Nope, it's going to be happy thoughts and sunshine from now on.
This morning I decided to make bread. Lots of bread. Five loaves, in fact. I'm using a new recipe and I really like it. It is super-duper simple to put together and there is nothing like kneading bread dough to get your frustrations out.
The crust has a lovely snap to it when you cut into the loaf and the insides are moist and tender. Mmmm, this will be our bread for the week. I'm not buying it at the store any more. I like making my own food and I wonder how it is that I got out of the habit of doing so. I would much rather pull a fresh loaf out of the oven than an oldish one from a shelf any day!
One thing about not having Internet access is that I get a lot done at home. I've been puttering and changing things around everywhere. In fact, tomorrow and Saturday, I'm having a yard sale. If you live nearby, you may want to come. There's some good stuff and it will be cheap! I want it all to go. ;)
I have also been exercising and have successfully Wii-ed off seven pounds! If I keep this up, I will be able to wear the blouse my mother-in-law bought me for my birthday by the fall. Perfect.
So, dear friends, I've totally snapped out of it! Thank you for all of your kind words and thoughtfulness. You are, each of you, the reason I do this. I love the connection to you through this little machine.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend and I will be back with more fun stuff. Promise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This Is How I Feel


Yep, I feel a bit like Gussie, perched on the back of the sofa,
looking out through the window at the birds eating seeds at the bird feeder,
cut off from the things she loves.
When will this madness end?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Withdrawals

Oh, the pain, the agony of not being able to sit at my own computer and read everyone's blogs. It is a travesty, I tell you!
I don't feel as though I can commandeer my dad's computer all day to satisfy my curiosity as to what you have all been up to, so, I must be content with reading one or two blogs a day. It is not enough.
Soon, soon, I am hoping to be back in the computer chair, tap-tap-tapping away on the keyboard and letting you all know how much I miss visiting with you every day.
Until then, don't forget me, okay?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Computer Woes

I'm using my dad's computer to post this. :( Our computer is having difficulties and as soon as they are all sorted, I'll be back!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Down Memory Lane.

Whenever I go to a yard sale or estate sale I go directly to the kitchen. It never fails that I find, tucked away on a shelf, a small stack of recipe booklets. These booklets are among my favorite things.
Most of them are published by flour, baking powder or other brand familiar companies- Jell-O, Rumford Baking Powder, Spry Shortening, White Lily Flour are just a few.
I'm a bit picky about which booklets I buy because I know if I bought every one that I see, I would have no room for anything else in my kitchen!
These are a few of my favorite booklets:




The Joys of Jell-O with recipes like Crown Jewel Dessert and Apple Tuna Mold. Homemaking with a Flair with recipes by James Beard- Hamburgers on a Stick and Gado Gado, a Japanese dish. Husband-Tested Recipes by Mary Lee Taylor. Just look at the centerfold! Ha! I'm pretty sure that my husband would not be happy with a spaghetti dinner that had hot dogs arranged on the top. But, some of the other dishes look delicious!



Here are a few more of my faves:



Aunt Jenny's Favorite Recipes comes with cute photos and, even better, solutions for your baking problems in the guise of clever conversation.



Even the cover has this bit of not-so-subtle advertising:
"How did you ever decide what recipes to put in this book of yours, Jenny? Why, you must know thousands!"
"Well, Calvin, I knew folks would want receipts for every day- not too fussy or hard on the pocketbook , but good-tastin'. These sure are- an' so digestible even a child can eat 'em, for they are all made with Spry!"
You will find words like humdinger and dandy within its pages, and they absolutely describe this adorable booklet.



With White Lily flour, you have friends everywhere, along with menus for planning out your weekly meals!



While the retro charm of these booklets is clearly their appeal, the recipes are actually worth revisiting. Some of them have found their way onto my dinner table to raves from my family. They are practical, thrifty meals designed to feed a family with wholesome goodness. Making foods from scratch is not only cheaper but healthier.
Next time you're at a tag sale, yard sale or estate sale, head to the kitchen and pick up a few of these treasures. You never know, you might find me there as well!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Well, That's a Nice Surprise!

This morning, on my way to feed the hens, I caught a flash of red from the corner of my eye. Cardinal, I thought and went on with my chores.
After changing the water and filling the feeder, I looked back over to the spot where the flash came from. Cardinal? No! It was even better than that. I rushed to get my camera so that I could share this sight with each of you!




On Christmas Eve the Smith family gathers for dinner and a gift exchange at my mother-in-law's house. We have a limit of $10 for the gift. Two Christmases ago, John Albert received a box which contained two pots, some dirt, paper white bulbs and an amaryllis bulb. He was thrilled.
We brought them home and planted them the next day and waited for them to bloom. And bloom they did! They were magnificent.


Well, the pots ended up being put outside when the weather warmed and were, sadly, forgotten. Thinking that the plants were dead I tossed them, dirt and all, into the woods to compost. Clearly the amaryllis had other plans!


The bulb, rejuvenated by heavy spring rains, sent roots down into the leaf mould where it found an abundance of nutritious earth. The bulb, as you can see, lays on top of the ground but the roots are solid. This little plant took advantage of its surroundings, drew in the goodness that was around it and fulfilled the measure of its creation by sending up a bounty of beautiful blossoms.
Had I not walked that particular path this morning to the hen house, I would have missed the flash of red, and in doing so, would have missed this little miracle resting along the edge of the wood.
There's a lesson to be learned from this little plant. It could have, without notice, withered and died, but it did not. Instead it did what it was created to do. That same thing applies to us-no matter where we are, we can take from the good things that surround us and produce something of beauty from deep inside ourselves. Or, in other words:
"Bloom Where You Are Planted."
Literally.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Contentment

This beautiful first of June dawned with a dose of peace and calm.

First light illuminating a rose campion volunteer in my garden.

Dappled sunlight on new grass.


Eggs in the nest box, still warm.


The girls enjoying a breakfast treat.



The irony of Hazel perched on the grill.



Hanging laundry and watching it sway in a breeze that is barely felt.



Simple sights, simple chores, simple joys.



Happy Monday.