Monday, January 30, 2012

Just a Sweet Reminder, Dear Friends ~

Just a sweet reminder, dear friends . . .
that no matter what you may be going through . . .
in good times, and in not-so-good times . . .
when you feel lovable, and especially when you don't . . .
Jesus is with you - holding you close -
and reminding you that He loves you!
(and so do I!)
Hugs to you!!

The Story That Clotheslines Tell ~

You could always tell what was going on in a family's life
by observing their clothesline.
This is the clothesline - see it dimly near the bottom of the photo?
that once stood behind our family's Kansas farmhouse.
It is gone now - and so are most of the trees around it.
But it would have told you a lot about us -
and what was going on at my grandparents farm!

I loved hanging the laundry on the line for my Mom when I was growing up -
first running a wet cloth over it so the dust wouldn't stain the freshly washed clothes -
then hanging things "just so" -
sheets, towels, and blankets on the outside -
"unmentionables" on the inside!
And everything "shared" a clothespin with the item
on either side of it!

I sure do miss having a clothesline!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

From My Pinterest Boards - A Blast From The Past!

Those of us who grew up in - or have come to love - the 1950's and '60's will have fond memories of these things!

What little girl didn't love playing with the original Barbie dolls?

I remember spending many happy hours playing with these toys when I was little - do you?

A tall glass of cold Hi-C fruit drink really hit the spot on a hot summer day!

"Lassie" was my absolute favorite TV show - especially the original version with her best pal, Timmy!

Every little kid I knew loved playing with Lincoln Logs - and oh, the fantastic things we would build with these!

Hope you enjoyed our little trip together down Memory Lane as much as I did!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Beauty of Old Barns ~

There is a certain unique beauty in old barns.  Whether still in use, or dilapadated and falling down, the colors of the weathered wood, the lines and angles, have always fascinated me.  Old barns - in their own peculiar way, all have a story to tell.

Their silos - that held the fruits of so many, many wheat harvests.  They also provided a place where Grandpa could rest for a few minutes in the shade on a hot summer's day after a grueling day on his tractor in the fields nearby.

Their cattle chutes and lean-to's - providing guidance and protective shelter to numerous cattle, mules, and - on Grandpa's farm - mama pigs and their new little litters of baby pigs - so precious!  One of my earliest memories of our farm is of going with my Mom and Uncle Bertus into the barn, and getting to pet a brand-new little white baby piglet - oh how he squealed!  And oh how much I enjoyed that!

Yes, if you look just beyond the surface of things - which to many people may not be appealing - you can "see" a beautiful story, if you have the eyes to perceive it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A House, And A Dreamer

"If I were asked to name the chief
benefit of the house, I should say
the house shelters day-dreaming,
The house protects the dreamer,
The house allows one to dream
in peace."

(Gaston Bachelard)

I'm dreaming of a cozy refuge - free of clutter,
organized, and a great place for friends to gather, eat and gab!
What dreams do you have for your home today?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Old Roses By The Farmhouse Porch ~

These lovely old-fashioned roses grace the porch and steps at my grandparents farmhouse.
There is just something charming about them -
and about the old steps -
they've always been a favorite of mine.

I guess it's because of the precious memories they invoke -
I have such happy memories of our family farm -
and of gatherings on the porch with
loved ones.
Aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents -
and of course our "four-legged family" -
Old Shep - a sweet collie who was my Grandpa's farm and cattle herding dog -
and Old Susie - a three-legged dynamo of a hunting dog who was also guardian, adventurer, and bestest buddy to me all rolled into one!

So, what places are special in your heart?
Would love to hear about them!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Red Box Recipes - Turkey, Bean, and Dressing Casserole

Here's a family favorite my Aunt Pauline shared with my Mom a few years back - so easy and dee-lish!!  (And you know we looooove "easy" around here!)

Ingredients ~
Prepare one package of dressing according to instructions on the box or bag.  Add celery, raisins and sausage to taste.  Place half the dressing on the bottom of a casserole dish.

Turkey - cut in small pieces and cooked.  (Great use for leftover turkey!)
One can of green beans
One can of mushroom or chicken soup

On top of the layer of dressing place the turkey, then the green beans, the soup (directly from can - no water added), and lastly place the rest of the dressing on top.  Bake at 350 degrees until the dressing is golden brown and done.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Look What Popped Up In My Yard!

Lots of 'em!!
This cheery sight greeted me one morning
a few weeks ago
 when I first peeked out my livingroom window!
(I could sooooo get used to that!!)

And no - I didn't plant any wooden sticks that
sprouted "blossoms" overnight - or
plant some plastic flowers that "bloomed" - tee hee!
Our local grocery store had a fundraiser going -
 a fun one!
You could choose someone to surprise with the pinwheels
being "planted" in their front yard.
 Then, for a modest donation to our grocery store
(for much-needed new equipment there) -
they could;
1.  Find out who put them in their yard, and
2.  For a little more $$ - they could pass the pinwheels on to someone else!

The whole little town got involved -
and we all had lots of fun surprising our neighbors and friends -
and yes - raised a lot of money for a good cause, too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sometimes It Really Is OK ~

To play with your food!!!!!
This little cutie pie is actually
sitting in  -
coffee beans!!!!!

And sometimes . . .
A gal just has to be a little bit goofy!!!
(It saves your sanity!)
Hope you are having a day filled with
happy surprises!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Red Box Recipes - Quick Dessert

This one is sooooo easy, fast, and yummy!  My Aunt Pauline gave it to my Mom - back in 1961!

Quick Dessert ~ 

Ingredients -

1 Can Wilderness Pie Filling - any flavor.

1/2 package white cake mix (dry) patted down

1/4 pound margarine, melted

  Directions -

In a 5" x 8" Pyrex (glass) baking dish, pour in the pie filling.  Pour the white cake mix on top.  Pour the margarine over all.  Bake at 350 degrees til top is golden.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Have a blessed SONday ~

This song really touched my heart - hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Down a Country Road . . .

It's such a lovely, sunny day out here today . . . so what say let's go for a drive?  Let's go exploring down a lazy country road . . . and see what we might find!

We might pass the old one-room schoolhouse my Grandpa attended as a boy . . .

We will probably see lots of cattle - out grazing in the fields!

My Grandpa raised Herefords - so I'm rather partial to them!

We'll see lots of cheery sunflowers alongside the road . . .

And rosebushes blooming beside an old farmhouse.

. . . and a simple, white cross . . .
pointing the way to a little country church.

Yes, we'll see lots of country goodness as we ramble along today . . .
down a lazy country road . . .
and when we return home . . .

won't you join me for a nice, hot cuppa coffee as we reminisce about what we saw along the way?
That would be an especially nice way to end our journey, don't you think?

Thank you for coming along with me -
this has been such fun today!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

From My "Pinterest" Boards - Fun Craft Ideas!

Today I thought I'd share with you some fun craft projects I hope to try this year - which are posted on my Pinterest boards. If you click on the links below each picture - it will take you to my Pinterest board, where you can click through to the instructions.  And if you would like to see more projects click on the red  "Pinterest" button in my sidebar! 

A colorful afghan -

Source: via Pauline on Pinterest

Some pretty and practical dish cloths -

And here is an angel I painted this past Christmas for a craft sale my church had.  I plan to do LOTS of decorative painting to sell at craft shows this year!

I have already been busy knitting LOTS of dishcloths - using all-cotton yarn.  I just love it's feel - and the "vintage" appeal of the pattern.  So let's chat - what craft projects are you working on now, or what do you hope to create this year?  I always love to hear!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Red Box Recipes - Great Aunt Bertha's Ice Box Cookies

  I just adored my Great Aunt Bertha!  Spent quite a bit of time with her, in her teeny tiny little house, when I was growing up.  She taught me how to make paper doilies, gave me "very grown up" Gardenia scented stationery for my 10th birthday, and introduced me to "Bozo the Clown" on TV!  (Is my age showing just a little here??)  What a sweet, fun, Christian lady she was!

Back in the 1930's, she wrote this recipe down on a little card.  That was in the days before refrigerators - when you had to keep food fresh in an "Ice Box" - that had a big block of ice in the top compartment to keep things cold (for a few days, anyway!)  Then the Ice Man had to replenish your supply - by horse-drawn wagon - old fashioned goodness!

Ice Box Cookies -

Ingredients ~

1/2 Cup shortening
1 Cup brown sugar - "roll out lumps"
1 egg
Cream together and add -

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 Cups flour - more if needed to make roll.
(Sifted together)

Chill overnight, slice, and bake in 350 degree oven.
(Doesn't say for how long - but these are done when the edges are lightly browned.  So you'll have to experiment!)

These were a favorite of mine as a child - and have a lightly sweet, old-fashioned flavor - Mmmmmm!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Red Box Recipes - Fry Pan Pizza ~

Because you friends are so special to me - and so are these recipes - I'm starting a new "feature" here called "Red Box Recipes".  So what are those?  They are a lot of very special recipes that have been carefully and lovingly stored - on handwritten recipe cards - in a slightly battered, somewhat-falling-apart dear old red box - by my late Mom.  So in a sense - I'm doing this as a tribute to her, too - because she was one fabulous cook!  And my very dearest friend as well as . . .well,  the best Mom a girl ever had!!!!!!  I grew up on these recipes - some of them date back to the 1930's - nothing like some good old-fashioned deliciousness!! 
So here is the first recipe -

Fry Pan Pizza

2 Tablespoons shortening - to grease a cold skillet.

Ingredients -

1-1/2 Cups Bisquick
3/4 Cup Milk
Mix these together, and spread in the skillet.

Top with -
1/2 pound meat
1 small can of mushroom pieces - cut up
1 can tomato paste
Oregano and Romano Cheese on top

Bake 10 - 15 minutes at 325 degrees in skillet, or 25 - 30 minutes on pizza pan in oven.

We had this many times on Saturdays, as a special treat!  I can still see my Mom putting it all together over her electric skillet - good times!!!  Hope you enjoy it, too!

Love Makes All Things Beautiful ~

From My Pinterest Boards - Home Decor Ideas!

Just thought I'd share with you today some inspiring things I've found while surfing around the Internet!  I saved them to my Pinterest boards.  To find the instructions, see the original posts, or just get a better look at the pics - simply click on the pic you want - it will take you there!

And to see more from my Pinterest boards - just click the RED Pinterest button on my sidebar.  If you have never heard of Pinterest before - it's a wonderfully fun, easy way to "save" all those great ideas, pictures, and "how-to's" you find as you surf the 'Net!  (I'm practically a" Pinterest junkie"!!)
Keeping the things you want in view helps keep you inspired, too!!

This top pic is my ideal apartment!  Am striving for a similar look at my place - taking baby steps!

Can you tell that RED is my favorite color?????
What is your favorite color???  Use it liberally around your home - especially in accents.  It will really brighten your day to see cheery splashes of it all around!!

Don't know if the cute lil' RED HEART candy shows up here - but click on the pic and you should see it - sooooo adorable for a darling Doll House!!  (I want a Doll House someday!)

So - what do you dream of for your home???

Monday, January 9, 2012

Easy-Peasy Busy Day Casserole -

This is so easy, I almost hesitate to even call it a recipe!  It's one I use when I'm basically too (pick one here)
~ Too tired to cook!
~ Out of fresh veggies!
~ Having a crazy-busy week and don't have time to really "cook"!
(You can choose "All of the above", too! LOL!)

You get the idea.  But you still have to eat!  And preferably eat a balanced meal -
~ sooooo ~
here it is, folks!

1 pound ground beef (ground turkey or sausage work well, too)
1 pound pasta, cooked. 
3 cans vegetables - your choice.

Directions -

In a large pan, or a Dutch Oven - cook, rinse, and drain the pasta.  Brown the meat either on the stove, or in the microwave, and add this to the pasta after the pasta has finished cooking.  Lastly, add the 3 can of vegetables.  Mix thoroughly.  Cook on medium heat for approx. 5 minutes, stirring periodically.  Then let simmer on low heat for approx. 15 minutes.  Plate and enjoy!  You can also top this with grated cheese, or pour gravy or your favorite meat or tomatoe sauce on top, and it will be yummy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh, What A Crazy-Good Mess!!

This has been a long, drawn out, crazy-messy,
crazy-schedule, but crazy-good thing. 
That's three "crazy's" in a sentence.  I think it's OK.

 It's been going on for over a month now.

It has terrorized Peanut - who in turn has driven his Mommy (Ummm . . .  that would be me!)
totally nutzo.
In a way only a pet-Mommy can understand.
So what has been causing this profound sense of disruption and chaos in our lives here?
A blessing, actually!!
Yes, sometimes great blessings can be a bit . . . well . . . super-messy!

The apartment complex where I live is having installed -
1.  Central heat and air-conditioning - Yay!!
2.  New windows - Yay!!
3.  New hot water heaters - Yay!!
in every apartment!

Which means ear-splitting air hammers,
total strangers tramping in and out of my apt. every couple of hours -
- and pet-Mommy here guarding the door with an eagle eye so that
Peanut doesn't make "The Great Escape".

I will be soooo glad . . . in numerous ways . . .
when it's all over!!!

Set Goals, Not Resolutions! Why???

We're Going Places!!!!!
So here's another new-to-me idea I learned yesterday - Set goals for yourself, not resolutions!
What's the difference, you may say?  I was curious to know, too.
So here it is - and this will set you free from a whole lot of guilt later on -
Goals are something you work toward, step by step, at your own pace.
Resolutions are hard and fast - you either meet them or you don't.
And here's the biggest difference - people tend to beat themselves up if they don't meet a resolution -
but since a goal is something you work toward, or more precisely
keep working on -
it has no set deadline, and as long as you keep taking baby-steps towards it -
you'll feel good, feel like you're accomplishing something worthwhile - and
will keep working on it til it's done!!!
(Yay for you!!!  Clapping!!!)

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Simple Cleaning List ~ To Keep On Top Of Things!

Daily chores 
make beds
load/run/empty dishwasher
sweep kitchen and entryway
clean kitchen sink
clear/wipe kitchen counters
wipe out bathroom sinks
empty trash
inventory frig contents and plan meals around leftovers
vacuum main/public rooms or first floor
wash porch rug
clean up computer hard drive-delete unwanted files
dust office
clean toilets
clean bathtubs and shower
clean bathroom mirrors
vacuum bedrooms/second floor
clean out file cabinet

Wednesday  pull dead leaves off houseplants
clean vent hose on dryer
de-clutter/organize night stands-master bedroom
pick one box/bag of clutter and sort through it
dust master bedroom
Thursday  clean microwave-inside and out
clean freezer compartment on frig
mop kitchen
sweep/mop bathrooms
check prescriptions-call in refills if necessary

Friday clean dishwasher door
sweep porch
change sheets
dust dining/breakfast rooms
straighten master bedroom closet
do a quick tidy/put away in each room of the house

I got this from an online group I belong to - have tried it for several months - and with a few modifications to fit my own situstion - it really works well!!!!!!!  So please feel free t0 copy it and change it to fit your needs - and let me know how it does for you, OK?  I would love to hear!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Save Your Dream - It's Easy!

Just one simple thing I do - it may help you, too - is to
write down/file/re-work the dream as necessary in a
 "file folder"
(how's that for a run-on statement??!!) 
on my computer! 

Makes it so easy to find - and no paper mess!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby Steps & Victory Dances!

I'm going to share with you a very simple truth I learned a couple of years ago that has been a real encouragement to me - and that is this -

"Every day that you make a baby step towards your goal is a good day."

Dr. Mike Murdock teaches that - and that we should also celebrate whatever successes we attain!  So go ahead - do a little victory dance whenever you get something accomplished that you wanted to do - yay for you!

(I'm cheering for you, too!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

If You Have A Dream ~

Write it down!
Research shows that dreams
which are written down are
about 75% more likely to be accomplished! 

(Another really simple way to make your dreams come true!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Key To Making Your Dreams Come True ~

 . . . . . isn't something you can do by yourself!!  Actually - it is found in God's Word (the Bible).  It's very simple, yet very profound -

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  (John 15:5)

20 "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. " ( 2 Corinthians 1:20)

How many times have you made New Year's resolutions - and failed at keeping them?  Probably a million times - as have I!  But if we have trusted Christ as our Savior - then all the promises of God are for us!  And our ability to make changes in our lives depends ONLY on our faith in Him to keep His promises!  By ourselves, our plans are doomed to failure.  Guaranteed.  Always.  But He has promised to conform us to the Image of Jesus, His Son - and said (speaking of us as believers) -

13"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  (Phil. 4:13)

When our dreams line up with His Word - that's what He will do!


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