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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?

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