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Thursday, December 30, 2010

My New Year's resolution: "Try to keep an open heart!" (above "Open Hearts by Jane Seymor)

Today I received a Peace pledge by Judith Fein in a newsletter from Spirituality and Health. Here is an excerpt:

"I suppose you could say that the cycle of hatred is created and maintained by attack and counterattack. I vilify you for doing something and you, feeling vilified, attack me back. Then I, angry, attack you. You, enraged, lash out at me. And we feud on and on and on. There is no more dialogue. There is reaction and counter-reaction.

“Don’t fall for that. Stay open,” my heart urges me, and I suspect that, as
usual, my heart is right. I solve nothing by engaging in the blame game. I also
learn nothing. I reduce your group to labels and adjectives and you do the same
to mine.

I have no illusions that I will change the world or stop people from demonizing
each other. But I can do something small that satisfies my own heart: I can
refuse to engage in hateful language about groups of people in my own country or
in countries abroad.
I can take a pledge of non-polarization.
I will not divide the world up into good and bad.["us and them" thinking--Lila] I will not wipe out whole groups by declaring them bad or worthless. I will not assume that what they
think and the way they behave are insane or evil. I will give them the benefit
of the doubt—that they are reacting to something, entrenched or angry because
something happened to them or they fear something will happen to them. I will
try to understand what it is.

I will not condone behaviors like war, violence, rape, or cruelty. I will fight
against them any way I can. But I will not condemn the way groups of people
think, even if it is radically different from the way I think. They are as
entitled to their beliefs as I am to mine.

I can be angry with and disappointed in individuals. I can choose not to engage
with them or make them part of my life. But I will try, to the best of my
ability, not to add to the polarization on our planet by verbally vilifying
groups that are not mine. A terrorist to some is a freedom fighter to others. I
will try to understand.

I will obey the request of my heart.

The photo above is from blogger's post. Between Sunday's the blog of a Lutheran pastor (there I go with those group labels again, LOL!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We've just come to the end, today, of a very sweet Christmas time with our family!

The Gansey wool sweater I knitted for Andrew is a hit!

I love playing with 3 year old B!

B3 and sister Lilia will soon have new siblings, Mom is expecting twins in June!

A very happy Christmas morning!

Beaming with joy! (The gray hair is not a big hit with the gals in the family....)

After Christmas Eve candlelight church service.

Father and daughter together for a few days!

Mom (who stands at 5'10") and Andrew are having a good visit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Still loving pomegranates! My photo below....and the results of searching for images on line.

I'm collecting ideas and materials for a pomegranate art quilt. These art pieces are great inspiration! This will be a project to start after the holidays! [Sorry about not giving individual artists credit here, but "Google" "art quilt pomegranate" then "images" and you will find these and many more with links to their source! ]

Before those quiet days of working on the art quilt arrive, I have the excitement of the family coming for Christmas!!!!

I have been working out possible menus....have even ordered a deep fried turkey!

One tried and true recipe for buffet meals and family gatherings has come back to me, Broccoli and Sunflower Seed Salad! Even non broccoli lovers seem to like this one!

Here is a rough scetch of the menu as it develops....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Glittery sparling fruit ornaments from ETSY, GypsyDreamz shop.......I just had to have the pear and the pomegranate!

I bought the pattern for this sweater last year. Yesterday I found some bulky cream colored yarn and have started knitting. It is worked from the top down on circular knitting needles.
I think it will work up quickly and be fun to wear!


In my e-mail this morning was a notice of a giveaway at the Rookery Ramblings blog. Six lucky winners wll receive one of the antique pink lusterware tea cups in the photo. This is blog written by some of Tasha Tudor's family and is wonderful to visit, even without the giveaway!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Being busy getting ready for our children and their spouses and families, makes this a really fun time! So, I am behind on blogging visiting blogs!

Above is the new wreath I created for our front door. I love the lime greens with the turquoise door. (Please ignore the bit of orange tag peeking out. It is no longer there!LOL!)Inside the house, we have been busy sewing pj's (flannel of course!) and knitting sweaters and mittens. Some socks have been started too! [My compulsive, creative "busyness"...nothing "centers" me as well as working on a project!]

Outdoor lights are glowing every night and the Christmas tree is set up. Presents for the little ones are wrapped and the anticipation of having family come is mounting! My daughter is adding to her lovely family, and we have learned that, "Surprise, surprise!!!! It is twins!!!!"

[Yeah! More projects ahead! I will be making quilts and knitting baby things as soon as the holidays pass. We don't know more than that they are fraternal, if I make 4 quilts, 2 "qirly" and 2 for "macho" babies, I will literally have the bases covered....yes and a couple for gifts to others, too.]


I had big plans to bake lots of Christmas cookies....found wonderful recipes. But I kept having second thoughts. Then, at a yoga class the word of the day was "transformation". A big word with lots of deep, significant meaning....but it begins with making small changes. So I am trying to choose healthier ways to celebrate. Warm cups of herb tea with local honey are wonderful in this COLD SNAP! ( hasn't been above freezing for several days!) Almonds are a good snack to munch!

Also, we have a new (to us) computer. I don't yet know how to make it use my digital photos from the "old" camera. So I am "photo challenged" in writing these blogs. [I may scan some things, but we will see.]

In the midst of all this happiness and planning, I received a wonderful e-mail from my good friend, fellow artist and quilter, Paula, who lives nearby on an Ozark mountaintop. [ In a solar home.] Paula has a wonderful new digital camera and sent me photos of her seasonal decorations. I love what she has done and have her permission to share them with you!

Using mirrors, the space seems larger and the tree and ornaments are reflected, showing both sides! I love her blue ornaments and the touches of nature, so appropriate for a gardener's tree. It is perfect for the winter solstice!

Using another mirror (below), objects on the mantle seem twice as amazing! Paula's palette of white, silver, soft blue and green remind us that this is a season of gentle peace and quiet when the natural world "goes to sleep" for a time ( note the clock!).


Thinking of Christmas treats again, our pastor makes a wonderful dessert from his native country, Brazil. It is a custard with caramel sauce. It uses sweetened condensed milk, very popular in Latin countries. His version has some citrus, coconut and 5 I have been studying recipes on the Internet. I think I can find a recipe and make one for Christmas Eve....and yes, it is gluten-free!

[Photo from opensource]

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Right now, I have one Fuyu persimmon which I was using for still life painting. I am through with the paintings. Mom says, "You need to do something with that persimmon!" OK, Mom! LOL!
It is wonderfully and lusciously ripe so I have "mushed" it up ( my word meaning that I made it into mush in the food processor!) and am making some persimmon muffins....the one persimmon made 1/2 c. of persimmon pulp.
Off to google a recipe now!

[Here is a link to an NPR program about persimmons. Very informative!]
I found a recipe from [this is the recipe, I halved it].
Persimmon Muffins
1c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. mace
1/4 t. cloves
1 cup ripe persimmon pulp
1/4 c, vegetable oil
1/3 c. honey
2 large eggs
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. walnuts.
Make persimmon pulp in food processor. Add wet ingredients. gently add dry ingredients.
Pour into prepared muffin tins and bake at 350-375 for 12-15 min.
We are changing out our old computer for a new one. This has made getting posts done more we learn how to load and save photos, etc. It won't even publish the post once I write it! So I will publish from Mom's computer!
I had a wonderful weekend and was too busy for a few days, with company to get a post done. My sister and my aunt were able to come for a few days. Because they were here, my two brothers and their wives came over too!
We had a wonderful time and now look forward to more company over the holidays when our children and their families are coming.
So, today in addition to making persimmon bread. I have been up and down a step stool ( a good one!) hanging more Christmas lights. I do NOT go on the roof....but we have well lit bushes and windows! Now off to buy another extension cord and some ornament hangers!
[Getting the indoor tree up too!]
How are you decorating this year?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another yummy pie is calling to me! This time I will try coconut pie with a gluten free crust and less sugar, of course.
The pie is Easy Coconut Pie from Taste of the South magazine.

I am expecting some family members who have been on a gluten free regime (and feel it is more "free" than "regime" once you get the hang of it!) They report that they are feeling better than ever.
[More products are available in gluten free versions all the time. EVEN BISQUICK now has a gluten free variety!]

So, I will try this pie crust recipe from Gluten Free Girl's blog.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm loving juicy pomegranates! They are in season now!

This beauty came home with me from the grocery store yesterday, then I used it in a sketchbook journal page with the bottle of wine. This is my homework for the final class from Joggles with Jane LaFazio.

....and below a free motion stitched collage of pomegranates with pears. [For sale on ETSY! see my link in the side bar]

Here is a link to more artisic inspirations from pomegranates! I love seeing all these wonderful, creative approaches!
Now to bake the dessert we are taking to the Thanksgiving meal and service at church tonight.
These are so easy (and no soggy crust as in pumpkin pie)!
Pumpkin Spice Bars
1, 18.25 oz pkg of spice cake mix ( or similar size cookie mix)
1 egg, 2 TBS. butter
Mix this together and spread in a 9X13 pan ( or similar). Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat 1, 8 oz. pkg. low fat cream cheese until fluffy, add 1, 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 1, 15 ounce can of pumpkin, 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Pour over the crust. Sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecans over filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Chill. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It is very mild and almost muggy today. But I know winter will be here, and I want to be ready.....loving these boots...on sale at Victorias Secret (.com)

The black are so chic and dressy and comfortable ( most inportant, comfort!!!) Even though they will be great with dresses or skirts, they remind me a little of "Puss in Boots" or maybe pirates, or Robin Hood's merry men???

I think I need the brown for a more casual blue jean look, too!

I am planning to cook this meatloaf recipe tonight. It is my daughter's favorite, she makes it for her family! I think instead of noodles, I'll do some scalloped potatoes!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just working on fall projects! [One which Mom did was similar to this photo from Martha Stewart's newsletter; so easy and such a good way to enjoy the color of fall!]

Our pints of relish are getting labels and bows.......

What is behind the jar of relish???? Another project.....

This is a gansey designed by Ann Budd. The pattern is from I am enjoying using some yarn from the stash which Mom has. This is wool called "brandy heather", we do love the color! [above, not in the pattern photo below]


Under this antique granite ware cake pan (which was my grandmother's), is another treat!

It is an apple walnut cake!

As the pan was smaller than called for, I made 2/3 of the recipe . It is very tasty! We didn't even bother with the "cider sauce", prefering to drink our cider!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, we walked through the old quaint downtown area of our small city. Mr. P has a new camera and I asked him to photograph this.....

perhaps I was secretly longing to just sit for a while. I do love chairs!


This morning, a newsletter from Martha Stewart's Whole Living had this photo and

a wonderful article on the Japanese approach to daily life called "Wabi Sabi".

To quote:"Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental."
To illustrate: Wabi sabi is asymmetrical heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery, crow's feet and the frayed sleeves of a favorite wool sweater, exposed brick and the first draft of a difficult letter.
You won't find wabi sabi in Botox, glass-and-steel skyscrapers, smart phones, or the drive for relentless self-improvement. It's a beauty hidden right in front of our eyes, an aesthetic of simplicity that reveals itself only when animated through the daily work of living.Read more at Wabi Sabi Your Life: 6 Strategies for Embracing Imperfection

On our walk yesterday, I also asked for this peaceful and humble and yet perfectly imperfect!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finished in time! Flannel pj's for B3's birthday! He is turning 3 on Wednesday.
Now Mr. P will rush them to the post office!

I found this flannel at the fabric store where I work part time, Hancocks. It has safari animals and a touch of the rain forest. The fabric also reminds me of old souvenir luggage stickers. I piped it with green and used green buttons!Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 12, 2010

working up a Christmas card for my daughter's family.....

Rather like doing a cartoon! Here it is Friday already! Next week is the grandson's 3rd birthday! So down to the sewing studio to finish his gift. [Flannel PJ's, see next post]

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Having a colandar of small green tomatoes from that "lasagna" garden has led to researching and finding a relish recipe which my mother always made.
She is very excited to be making it again this year now that she lives with us! We have just returned from the store with all the other ingredients which the recipe calls for.
Now to get out the food processor and begin.
Mr. P loves hot dog relish....
We canned 6 and 1/2 pints! In a couple of weeks, we can have our first taste!

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