Showing posts from October, 2011

Life At Its Best

Fire burning brightly in the stove, soft music, hot chocolate and good conversation with the man of my dreams. Gentle moments. Easy day. Life at its best.

Autumn Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

Pumpkin Raisin Cookie Recipe

1 1/4 cup whole wheat Pastry flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoonw pumpkin pie spice 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (Himalayan if you have it)
1 can pumpkin
1/4 cup oil ( I used olive oil)
1 cup honey
1/2 raisins
beat oil and honey together until they are well blended, add pumpkin to the oil and honey, then add the dry ingredients. Mix well. I mixed it all in the big mixer.

lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Drop by rounded teaspoon onto the cookie sheet.   Makes about 3 doz small cookies

bake at 350 for 18 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned.

"Let Us Go Back"

Let Us Go Back

~Thomas Curtis Clark~
Let us go back To the simpler and better things. Let us retrace our steps From our greed-born bickerings Back to the quietness Of plain, good friendliness. Let us go back To the old roads of beauty's quest. Let us again find joy In the fields and the woods, possessed By the thrill of the spring, And of summer wandering. Let us go back To old-fashioned content, our wealth Found in the garden nooks, And beneath home roofs. Let the health Of the trees and the grass
our two girls nearly 20 years ago


~Polly Ward~
Don't you love autumn When the leaves come tumbling down, Where they fall in billowy carpets For the wind to toss around ? The air feels cleaner, calmer, As the sounds float o'er the hill. . . Of the gathering of the harvest As the barns and cellars fill. It seem that in autumn The aroma of burning leaves . . . Just fill our heart with gladness While we're bringing in the sheaves. And the smell of spicy cooking Of applebutter, jams an jell . . . And all those pickles mother makes, And preserves we love so well. Autumn is : "the summer gone" And "winter on the way," An all those cherry autumn shades Can't help but make us gay. I love the Indian summer With its flaming painted sky . . . Like an artist at his canvas, With a thousand pots of dye. It seems that in autumn Nature folds her work for rest: And gathers up her children. . . And holds them to her breast.

A Piece of My Day

The scent of balsam in the room, mixed in with the smell of the wood stove burning.  Gray clouds like a blanket of soft velvet fill the sky.  The smell of rain hangs in the heavy air.  Lamp light fills the room with a homeyness that wraps around me like a comfortable shawl.   It is a perfect day.  Break is rising in the kitchen, while I crochet some more on an afghan for Mei-Lings up coming recovery.  A star made with rainbow color yarn and white sparkly yarn.  Things she loves.  Fabric on the table waiting to be turned into pillowcases for her long recovery.   I wonder how many it will take to make her recovery brighter, dear sweet child.  She asked me once when I was telling her that my mother was in Heaven, "if my mother had taken Gods hand when He held it out to her."  I said I was sure she did and this tender child told me, "Mimi I did not take Gods hand when He held it out for me, and He smiled at me."   It makes me wonder a bit about the many times she has c…

Watercolor Day at Mimi's House

Three colors of paint can make all kinds of colors !  The joy of discovery.

"Life's Canvas"

Life's Canvas

Edgar Guest
Sunshine and shadow and laughter and tears, These are forever the paints of the years, Splashed on the canvas of life day by day, We are the artists, the colors are they. We are the painters, the pigments we use Never we're wholly permitted to chose. Grief with its gray tint and joy with its red Come from life's tubes to be blended and spread.
Here at the easel, the brushes at hand, Each for a time is permitted to stand. White was the canvas when first we began, Ready to picture the life of a man. Now we ar splashing the pigments about, Knowing the reds and blues must give out, Soon we must turn to the dull hues and gray, Painting the sorrows that darken the way.
Now with the sunshine and now with the shade Slowly but surely the picture is made. Even the gray tints with beauty may glow Recalling the joy of the lost long ago. Let me not daub it with doubt and despair, Deeds that are hasty, unkind and unfair, But when the last bit of pigment is dried Let me look back at my…

Changes in Life

In the past 10 months I have lost 40 lbs, 25 of that being lost in the past 9 weeks, when I got serious about weight loss.  At the beginning of this month, Steven, Priscilla, Emery and I began attending a program called Coronary Health Improvement Project.  Its a month long series of lectures on improving your health, not limited to Coronary health but also Hypertension and Diabetes.   The seminar is being held at a nearby hospital, with a Doctor at each meeting to answer questions and add information to the video lectures.  There is also a dietitian and specially trained professionals for the program, helping us along the way.  At the beginning of the seminar we had our blood drawn and had our weight and blood pressure taken.  The Doctor went over our results a couple weeks later, showing where we needed improvement.   At each meeting, we are also served samples of food from the plant based diet they have us eat.  The food has been fantastic !  The information, nothing less than enli…

Arise And Shine - The Wedgwood

When I was in High School I wore this album out, so happy to find my favorite song from this album on YouTube. Today is a big cooking day at my house as the children are coming over for supper, and this is the music that is inspiring me while I work

Mei-Ling Update

By the grace of God, Mei-Ling is doing fine.  Medication will take care of the problem until her surgery can be done.  Thank you all for your prayers and concern.  How blessed we are that so many people are praying for her.    Her attitude is precious through all that she has to go through and we all benefit from the healthy way in which her family, her doctors and how she herself, openly deals with her medical issues.   

Melanie, Melissa, Yen and Mei-Ling

How to Waterproof Your Life

This video, about 25 minutes long, is so good.   Well worth watching.  
How to Waterproof Your Life
"When life is rushing by leaving you with an endless to do list, when you feel swamped with the demands of life, how can you cope?"   A good lesson from Noah and the flood.

Prayers For Mei-Ling

Last night my daughter took Mei-Ling to the emergency room for a problem with her vesicostomy.  The Dr at the ER decided they needed to rush Mei by ambulance to the Children's hospital.   Still no word on how she is doing and I hate to call since I am not sure how much sleep anyone got etc.  Many of you know that Mei-Ling was born with Heterotaxy Polyspleenia, a condition where several organs are not in the right place, missing or too many of them.  Praying that all is well and they were able to fix the problem easily.

Fall Garden

There are such blessings to a fall garden here in North Texas.  No searing heat, very few weeds and just a few brave bugs.   Most years we have collard greens and cabbage throughout the winter.  Carrots planted in the fall, grow slowly all winter and are harvested in early spring, sweet as can be.
Emery uses a high wheel cultivator fromLehman's, I use it too, but can't manage take pictures of myself using it !

The Simple Life

A morning walk on our land is like the Balm of Gilead for my soul.   All the shopping in the world cannot do for me what a walk in nature does.   I recently read a study that showed people could lower their blood pressure by walking in the woods.I am fond of saying that God did not start mankind off in nature by accident.  He could have created a city setting for Adam and Eve. 
When I was 16 years old I read this quote and memorized it and its always been meaningful to me and served as a sort of guidepost for me.  When I get caught up in something that is what I consider deep inside me to be in truth a bit "artificial" I center myself with the thoughts John Muir spoke about in this quote...
"No sane man in the hands of Nature can doubt the doubleness of his life. Soul and body receive separate nourishment and separate exercise, and speedily reach a stage of development wherein each is easily known apart from the other.

Living artificially we seldom see much of our real se…

"True Evangelical Faith Cannot Lie Dormant"

"True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all people."

~Menno Simons~

Fall Cleaning

This year my fall cleaning is a bit later than most years, but with Emery sick, I had a higher duty than deep cleaning.   His check up with the Doctor on Tuesday went well and he is feeling better each day. 
God has heard the prayers offered for my dear husband.
The morning started out beautifully, with the sound of a woodpecker on the dead tree beside the kitchen window, the branches have been removed, but the truck remains, mostly because we love to watch the birds gather on it, waiting their turn at the bird feeder by the window.  The woodpecker was a busy boy, checking for the right place to do his pecking, then he hopped over to the bird feeder, hung upside down, checking out each little nook and cranny to see if perhaps there was a spot for him to work at.  Emery and I sat at the kitchen table amused for many minutes watching this colorful bird.  How wonderful it is to see the workings of nature each day.  I enjoyed my time outside washing windows on this bright sunshine filled m…

"Let your gentleness be evident to all."

Let your gentleness be evident to all... Phil 4:5 Yesterday, I watched a woman conducting business with a sales person and although I couldn't put my finger on exactly what seemed a bit abrupt in her attitude, there was something just a bit wrong.   I spent much of the afternoon thinking on and off about what I had seen and heard, you know during the down time in the day,  in those moments when there is time to think, like when washing dishes or hanging laundry on the line.  I saw a bit of myself in this woman and I think that is what bothered me.  I really don't want to come across the way she did.  It was nothing overtly offensive, but just maybe a bit pushy or something.   Finally when I sat down to do a bit of knitting it came to me, just what was missing in the conversation I had heard.  There was no gentleness in her.  Not a single soft word, even though she never was unkind or harsh.  It was that there was no gentleness evident.  Even in doing business we need to let ou…

First Fire of The Season

We knew a cold front was coming our way so Emery had brought in a stack of wood and kindling for me.   I love our wood heat and can't imagine my life without it.  For about 21 years we have used wood heat and I never grow tired of it.  Yes, its a bit more work then turning on a thermostat, but I get such delight out of seeing the smoke curl above our roof, and find great joy in cooking a soup all day long on top of the stove.  And no one can dispute the wonder of heating our home for less than $400 a year and that would be a very cold winter.  Last year we spent less than $150 for the entire winter on heat, (wood purchased).     This morning as the fire burned brightly, casting its copper colored reflections on the floor, I heard the farm gate open, its sound so familiar, so distinct.   Then passing by the window, my gentle husband marching by with a 50 lb sack of feed slung over his shoulder.  Pep in his step, with a look of contentment on his face.  A wink and a smile as he look…

North Wind Blowing

North wind blowing, leaves swirling and dancing as if let free for the first time.  There is still life in them.   Curtains dancing in the open windows.   The sounds of Autumn are finally here.  My hands even got a bit cold watering the animals this morning.   In one water bucket, raccoon prints in the muddy bottom and a carrot top.  I suspect the little creature took it from the compost pile, delighted in his or her find, but having to leave it in haste as Maddox discovered this masked intruder into his territory and barked with all the ferociousness that a dog his size can muster up.   The moon was still high in the bright blue sky this morning, still a bit of a glow to it, not the milky white you often see against a bright blue sky.   We had rain last night, such a blessing.   The garden is loving this liquid manna from heaven. How much we too should grow under the blessings of the living water that pours forth upon us.   Listening is good, listening and applying what we hear is ev…

Busy Day

I woke with a full agenda for the day.  Out on the track walking before the sun was up.  Came home fixed breakfast, which these days is more like most folks evening meal.  We are eating breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and supper like a Pauper.  Feeling great eating a plant based diet with daily exercise. The weight is just coming off so easily.  37lbs in the last 10 months, slow at first but now its picking up steam and I am needing to buy new clothes !  I had big plans for the day, lots of cleaning and cooking for the next few days, but then something far more important came up.  Melanie and Mei-Ling stopped by for a visit.  Melanie had purchased some fabric to make hospital gowns for Mei-Ling and her doll, for her surgery.   With such a long, painful recovery, we all are wanting to make it as enjoyable as possible.   A big girl bed is in the works, and of course we will try to find sheets that will make her smile and I am going to be collecting special pillowcases for her…

More Surgery for Mei-Ling

It looks like there will be a big surgery coming up for Mei-Ling in the upcoming months.   Our sweet Grandblessing has gone for quite some time with no major health issues and now its time to do one of the surgeries they knew would have to take place.  They will be doing work on her bladder and bowel.  A six hour surgery, with a long recovery.  At least a week in the hospital and three weeks of bed rest after that.  My heart aches just thinking about her having to go through it but it will make her life so much better.   Lots of tests in the near future before the surgery.   Lots of prayer needed.  
In the photos, she is examining all the finds she made on a nature hike with Papa.  All going in her treasure box !

Time for Some Amish Pumpkin CInnamon Rolls

Its that time of year again !   A true family favorite and certainly part of our Autumn traditions.
follow the link for the recipe
Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

A Chill In The Air

The need to pull the quilts up over me early this morning reminded me that the long hot summer is finally a thing of the past.  We went to sleep with the box fan going in the window and it was chilly this morning to be sure.   Hot cereal was the perfect choice for breakfast. 
Next week we are supposed to have low temps in the 40's and that means the first fire of the season is approaching.  Since I have recently blackened the stove, I will have a fire one morning this week with the windows open, just so I can burn off the blackening smell and not have to stink up the house.   Its not a terrible smell, but not wonderful either, but its a short lived sort of thing.
The bright moon last night confused the ducks and they did not want to go in their house last night.  Emery was out there around 10 p.m. rounding up the ducks to get them to go home.  We have predators in this neck of the woods and leaving them out all night made them vulnerable.   It was just over two years ago that we ne…

More Cornbread Recipes I use


Cornbread Recipe

click on the link below for the recipe I use most often
Sweet Cornbread

Lazy Day

Its damp and cool this morning, a great day to just sit on the sofa with a good book.  There is plenty I could be doing and some things I should be doing, but a do nothing day is in order.  Life has been pretty hectic around here of late and its time to take advantage of a day of no real demands.   We so often spend our lives measuring ourselves by our accomplishments only, but in reality we need a day once in a while where we recharge our batteries, take it slow and easy.  Read a good book, draw a picture, spend an hour looking out the window.  Sit and think and spend some time in prayer, not the hasty kind of prayer, but the kind that pours forth from our hearts and grows from one thought to another.  Where a mention of one person, turns to another and so on.  Where we can see our own selves clearly and honestly and speak to Our Father about our desire to change what is not right in our hearts and where we can spend countless minutes in gratitude for His blessings in our lives.