Monday, November 22, 2010

Where's Waldo - Monday

Having a wonderful time with our family in North Carolina. We’ve logged over 2,000 miles of driving and are happily visiting with Josh, Jessie, Hannah and Mikayla. To say that our grand-daughters are super sweet, beautiful and smart would be an understatement. And we’ve felt very welcomed and are relaxing and rejuvenating. Sunday we went to Ft. Fisher beach. The water was a bit cool for swimming but we enjoyed wading around and looking for shells.

We even found a washed up jellyfish. I don’t know if Kent and Steph are yelling at it or getting ready to eat it…

Jessie found a great area with rocks and a row of “pillars” where she did a photo session. She takes the most beautiful photos and has an amazing eye for framing a great shot. It was fun to watch her work…

We played on the pylons...

We played on the rocks…

What a good-looking family…

We visited and enjoyed watching the girls…

We wrote our names in the sand…

And I really enjoyed being with my daughter again after over 3 months apart.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where's Waldo - Thursday

Almost Heaven

Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River

C'mon. You gotta have it figured out now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where's Waldo?

I don't know but I'm between here

And there.

Our travel has been uneventful and we are thanking God for safety and a smooth ride. I hope your day went well also.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Because We Need It

And we have since the beginning of time.

The enemy hates us and he hates our marriages, which are meant to be a reflection of Christ and His bride. Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

I'm sure he really hates it when husbands and wives pray for one another and for their own character to be developed in Christ's image. Here are some good daily prompts for those prayers:

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband

31 Days of Praying for Your Wife

Or, if your spouse isn't apt to pray these for you, you can pray for him/her and yourself.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hair Bear

Yeah, I know they may not be as popular as a Care Bear, but they are definitely more realistic. I mean, when's the last time you saw a pink bear with a rainbow on it's tummy in the wild? I'm guessing almost never. Unless, of course, your cider has aged a bit much.

I brushed the dog this evening. What you can't see is that this pile is about 12 inches deep, as well. I've got enough here to construct a second dog, I think. I'd consider getting a herd and spinning yarn for hats if you wouldn't smell like a wet dog every time it rained.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pretty Paper

Do you like to be creative? Do you like to send a card to brighten someone's special day? Do you have scrapbooking supplies? Then may I suggest that you might be in a perfect storm of greeting card creation?

I am never fully satisfied with boxed cards and I can't begin to afford all those Hallmark moments. But I do like to send a card to let people know they are remembered. This is month two of allowing myself useful creative time to "play around" and make cards. I try to make all I need for the month in one night. I let myself feel no guilt over spending time in my creative zone. And I end up with happy little bits of paper to mail out at the appropriate times.

Here's a birthday card. I had fun with the layered stamping for the flower and crimping paper.

And I got the "two peas in a pod" thing stuck in my head when considering an anniversary card. Here I embossed the peas, with their hand-drawn faces, with a sparkly clear powder. I added depth to my pod by shading with chalk and sealing with a blast of cheap hairspray. And I incorporated some pea themed paper.

And this is the card I made for my husband's birthday. He surely is the love of my life. The butterfly is embossed with glitter, I used a gold metallic paint pen to highlight the deckle edge I cut on the paper and, well, the inside is personal.

So there you have it. I use supplies I already have, I enjoy creative time without guilt, and I've got cards to share with family and friends. I think I'm on to something.

Friday, November 12, 2010

And to go with That Coffee

Try some of these delicious Pumpkin Spice Pancakes. We had them yesterday. I did make a few changes. Of course I made a few changes. I can never leave well enough alone. So while I'm sure the original recipe is fabulous as is... because I'm me, here's what I did. I cut the ginger down to 1/4 tsp since DH doesn't care for it strong, I added 1/2 tsp ground cardamom and 1/4 tsp Mapleine flavoring. I also used melted coconut oil instead of melted butter. To serve, I drizzled with genuine maple syrup and sprinkled on toasted chopped walnuts.

Go ahead, you know you want some.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One of My Favorite Smells

The heavenly aroma of good, fresh coffee beans. Oh, I do love a good snort. And yes, I can coffee beans. Kind of. I put them in quart jars and vacuum seal them before putting them away in my pantry. They stay so fresh that way and with my PumpNSeal it's a simple as can be. If you are a coffee lover, I suggest you consider this option. Unless, of course, you can go through your beans faster than I. You see, while I love coffee, it doesn't love me back. My affection is unrequited. So I can't drink it with the abandon I would like.

But I still love it. Look at all my lovely friends here. Ooooooh!! This is a mix of First Colony Organic and my favorite, San Francisco Bay French Roast. This batch filled 9 quart jars and topped off the one that was already open on my shelf. Come on over and I'll make us a cup.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mondays with Tristan

For the last four Mondays I've gotten up extra early to go spend the day with Tristan, a precious little boy who is 1 year and 5 months old. I admit that I was very apprehensive about the first day. It's been 20+ years since I'd spent that much time alone with such a little one. I wasn't sure what to expect, whether he'd be upset to be with me, or what to do with him to keep him happy and busys. My fears were completely unfounded.

I mean, look at this face and those big eyes. He's just a bundle of love and curiousity waiting to burst open and fill your day with fun. Anyone remember cupie dolls? I love that he had this little tuft sticking up on top of his head all day. We have had lots of snuggles and hugs, played with wooden animals, cars, blocks and action figures. We've taken walks and explored nature. We've read books and books and books. And I really wished for puppets after I discovered that I could make him laugh and stay interested in a stuffed monkey just by pretending it was talking and doing things. It's been great.

Things that surprised me were his ability to play alone for 15-20 minutes at a time, talking to himself and playing with small toys. That it wasn't hard to get him to nap if I was observant of the first signs of tiredness and laid down with him until he fell asleep. The only crying was the tearful departure of mom or dad which calmed down as soon as he heard the car pull away. And that we could communicate quite well even though his vocabulary was pretty much limited to eat, juice, cat, dog, car and balloon.

I'll be traveling for a bit but when we return and get settled, I must make a play date with Tristan.

Oh, and I shouldn't forget that we were not alone. Smokey, one of the sweetest and best behaved dogs I know, and a couple of cats also joined in the fun.

Here's Tristan at work building on our block castle. Yeah. I actually really enjoyed some of our play. I never did outgrow blocks, tinker toys or lincoln logs. Oh, and don't get me going on Leggos.

And here's a little video. I wanted to capture his deep concentration and careful work.


I know I've commented on this before. Sunday morning was so beautiful, I bring it up again. I will miss watching the sunrise in the west. Pink glow illuminating clouds and snow.

And then watching the shadowline walk toward the east as the sun itself makes contact with the higher mountains to my west while our own little mountain keeps us waiting until the last moment to be doused with warmth and light.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Windows Vista

Ah, perhaps you think I’m going to launch into a tutorial or perhaps a critique of the latest Windows operating system. No. I’m just going to share the vista seen from my home office window

And from my living room windows

It's pretty glorious, really.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Refrigerator Wisdom

Getting our house ready to be shown has meant removing some of our personal “clutter,”things that house shoppers don’t really care to see. That included stripping years of magnets, photos and memorabilia from the fridge. Most came off with little regret, me knowing that I can put it back up when we’ve moved and settled in our new location. But the word magnets, which over time had evolved into a series of shorthand commentaries on life, gave me pause. It was the combined efforts of Kent, Stephanie and me that had transformed this box of magnets into sweet and even wise phrases. We’d used up every single word. When I would stop to read our creations, it always made my heart glad. So I got out my camera and took pictures before I removed them.

May I present to you our family free-form refrigerator poetry:

Friday, November 5, 2010


Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
Cats, when they sleep, slump;
When they wake, pull in -
And where the plump's been
There's skin.
Cats walk thin.

Cats wait in a lump,
Jump in a streak.
Cats, when they jump, are sleek
As a grape slipping its skin-
They have technique.
Oh, cats don't creak.
They sneak.

Cats sleep fat.
They spread comfort beneath them
Like a good mat,
As if they picked the place
And then sat.
You walk around one
As if he were City Hall
After that.

If male,
A cat is apt to sing upon a major scale:
This concert is for everybody, this
Is wholesale.
For a baton, he wields a tail.

(He is also found,
When happy, to resound
With an enclosed and private sound.)

A cat condenses.
He pulls in his tail to go under bridges,
And himself to go under fences.
Cats fit
In any box or kit;
And if a large pumpkin grew under one,
He could arch over it.

When everyone else is just ready to go out,
The cat is just ready to come in,
He's not where he's been.
Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
~ Rosalie Moore ~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Prepare to Be Prepared

So with the weather beginning to be like this at times

I’m motivated to make sure we are ready and I began assembling our winter car kits. Since we will also be making a family trip in this weather at some point, I wanted to make sure we were extra prepared.

This year’s car kits are the most comprehensive I have ever done. And I also determined it was time to make that complete first aid kit I’ve often thought about assembling. In fact, I’m thinking that these efforts really go a long way toward our Go Bag that’s also been on my to-do list forever but just hadn’t materialized. Living in the forested mountains, we are frequently advised to have emergency kits and go bags ready. There are lots of lists of what should be in them. And, in fact, it can seem a bit overwhelming. So here’s my solid start. There’s a real sense of accomplishment and peace in having these ready to put in our vehicles tomorrow.

A simple fishing box

Has become a pretty comprehensive first care kit. I tried to get a bit of everything that seemed potentially helpful in there.

For a complete list of the contents, go HERE

And the car emergency kits fit into small backpacks

For Him

And Her

Here’s my MASTER list for the emergency car kits.

Now let’s pray we don’t need any of this!

Tiny Bird

Have you got something you want to share with us, Valerie?

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the Winners Are...

I was gone all day but this evening my lovely assistant, Kent, drew three winning names from the blog giveaway entries. I am pleased to announce that our winners are Debra, Diane, and Mrs. Mordecai. And the winner of the bonus Lavendar Essential Oil is Mrs. Mordecai.

If each of you ladies will please leave me a comment with your address. I will use it only to retrieve your address and then delete it without posting. I look forward to sending you your laundry detergent kits. Thanks to everyone who entered. I hope you had fun.