Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Organizing guru

As soon as I saw it.....I fell in love with this so totally impractical sunflower piece, (that I don't even know what to call it...is it a vase? Is it a pitcher?)

Jim had been commenting recently on how messy these open cabinets above the baking center in the kitchen were. "People could tell just by looking at these cabinets, that we are disorganized people" I believe is a pretty accurate quote. So I took the opportunity during phone chat time this morning, to give them a thorough cleaning.

Have I told you how much I love cookbooks? And cookie cutters?

The little kitchen angel is to happy to have a clean shelf....but she would be happier if her little hands and tiny cake were glued back into place. (Things get knocked off and broken, when you are rummaging for the baking powder at the back of a messy shelf.

OK, these cupboards are clean....must mean that now just by looking at these cabinets, people can tell we are organized people, right? .....riiiiight.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Living Lovely Desk Challenge

After browsing some favorite blogs, I noticed that Heidi had a desk cleaning challenge this past week. How very serendipitous! That's what I've been up to. This old Craig's list desk was not working out as great as we would like.....as in..... it was falling apart. It was too bulky for the area, and just "not me".

Some time ago, I had fallen in love with a sawhorse style desk that I saw in...Pottery Barn, I think. So decided this was a good time to go for it. Built these 2 sawhorses, and used the desk surface from the old falling apart one. Now just have to sand and stain the works to match. So far, I'm loving the feeling of it.

This is just a sneak peek at what has been happening in our library/office. If you remember; This was the room of focus for January. More reveal to come!

Oh, Look!
When our girls were little, the first draw to Patricia Polacco's books was the resemblance of the Grandmother in "THUNDERCAKE" to my own paternal grandma.
I fell in love with her stories, frequency of my beloved nubian goats and other farm animals,

Grandma's, Mommies, and kidlets.....

My 3 little girls:

her earthy colors:


With the Russian/Ukraine colors and pattern influence; I'm calling these my POLACCO socks:

After doing some research and reading about Patricia Polacco, I found that her parents divorced when she was 3 and both her mom and dad moved back in with their parents. She feels her relationships with her grandparents have very much influenced her life and work. Most of her stories show interaction between very small children and elderly persons. It has been a heart warming thing to read, and is an encouraging word at the perfect time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sour Cream Apple Pancakes

Making up new pancake variations reminds me of my Dad. Growing up, Mom was our family cook, but it was a bit of a party when Dad would come in the kitchen, and invent a new pancake. He would add a bit of mashed potato, or a bit of grape nuts or whatever. These days, breakfast visitors are treated to his collaborating with Aunt Jemima in the kitchen. I remember his rule "Don't flip a pancake more than once. Wait for the bubbles....." As a child, I was fascinated by the rings he would make on the pancakes as they cooked, like growth rings on a tree.

These pancakes are a spin-off I made of Ina's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, which we all really love too.

1 1/2 cups flour (can use some, or all whole wheat pastry flour if desired)
3 TBS. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 c. sour cream (I've used yogurt, when we were trying to be "good")
3/4 c. + 1 TBS. milk
2 extra large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. apples, chopped, and cooked in microwave with a bit of water,til tender. (I used a pint of my homemade apple pie filling. If doing that, drain off the liquid part and cut/smash up the fruit, some.)
(Since my pie filling was seasoned, I added the amount of spices called for here. With plain apples, you might wish to add more)
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
Stir the wet and dry ingredients together, just until combined.
Use about 1/4 c. or so of batter for each pancake.
Cook on lightly oiled griddle, 2 - 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top, and bottom is browned.
Flip and cook another minute or so, til browned.

I hope this recipe works for you! I do a lot of "winging it" when I cook. Some things turn out better than others. If it's a total flop, the worst thing is, it would end up fed to the chickens. So far, we are MUCH fatter than they are, so must be doing OK.

In the Early Morning Rain

It has been a typical rainy Northwest January. Some people are bothered by it, and can't wait for the warm weather. Personally, I love the rain. I love the coolness in the air, and the misty fog that drapes between the hills in our little valley like a gauzy tent.
Bella and I take our walks in the rain, amid the oak leaves and puff balls scattered on the mossy knoll. She is intrigued by a raccoon or some other wild animal that has made a place for itself in a gnarly wild hazelnut tree. Every sound and smell captures her attention. She's in no hurry. She doesn't mind the rain either.

We return to the house and set to making a winter breakfast;

like Sour Cream Apple Pancakes with pure maple syrup:

I close my eyes and pretend I'm at the Original House of Pancakes in Portland, on Barbur.
I love that place! The knotty pine and little lamps remind me of our kitchen when I was a freshman and sophomore in High School. So warm and cozy. The rain outside, makes it seem even more so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Makin' dreams come true

THIS IS ME.........

It didn't work.
Soooooo, amid fighting colds and crud......I've been busy fighting clutter and chaos.
Ya know, sometimes a girl's just gotta MAKE her dreams come true.
Blessings to you as you pursue yours.
(Real before and after pictures coming soon)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Play Misty for me

Awwww, I hadn't been 'puterin' for a few days, so didn't see the sweetness on my
Sarah's Doodleblog, until just a little bit ago.
(I'm so glad you liked your present, Sweetie. You make me blush, and we got all misty around here, when we read all of your kindness.)

I had fun making her necklace, and see those little disks that I stamped the J & M into? Well that's the find that caused the giddy hootenanny dance at the store! I had tried some other beads, and hadn't been happy with them....these were JUST what I had been looking for, to work with. Don't YOU just love it when a plan comes together?! me too :)

The Truth about Cats and Dogs

Remember that movie from the 90's?

Well the truth it seems; requires some deductive reasoning:

This morning here at home:
Little SISTER: Nanny, Bella has whiskers. DOGS have whiskers?
Nanny: yes, DOGS have whiskers

Little SISTER: And CATS have whiskers?

Nanny: Yes, Birdie and other cats, have whiskers too.
Little SISTER: Well, I must not be a dog or cat, cuz; I don't have whiskers.
(cracks me up.)
It's evident why you always see more food and knitting photos on this site, rather than living breathing, beings. Easier, to get a clear shot, and with much less coaxing! Who ever heard of having to bribe an apple to sit still and look pretty?
Yes, our CAT is named "Birdie"....what would you expect from people that named their DOG "Cricket"? What can I say......He's not Adam, and I'm not Eve.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Homemade Chicken Soup

Waiter, There's a HARE in my soup!
The girlies like it when we make our chicken soup into "Rabbit Stew".

Homemade egg noodles

Beat 2 eggs in a bowl,
Add a Tablespoon of butter, softened
Add 1/2 cup milk, stir,
Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix well.
Let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out on floured surface, and cut into desired shapes.

cutting out the bunny noodles

While the soup simmers

Little Sister wanted to help cut out noodles.
I tried to explain that maybe, I should finish them tonight, because the dough was too tender and they just weren't cooperating .
She looked at me very seriously, shook her head in agreement, and said innocently in her little 3 year old lisp....."Nope they're just not (another word that sounded similar)"

Well, we ARE talking rabbits here. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

We have recently begun attending a new church. It is quaint and old fashioned. The people are genuine, country folk, and very friendly. But most important of all...The Word of God is preached. Plainly and simply. No frills, no entertainment, just the truth. Today's message: Without the shed blood of Jesus, there is no remission of sin. Heb. 9:22

It's a wrap!

**UPDATE: The caramel apple socks

This was the Urban Outfitters inspiration for the saggy beret.

Dark background makes it difficult to see, but this is the results after the do-over.

And after looking at this picture, am wishing I'd have done a cable version, for more body.

Sarah, think we would wear that yarn out, going for third time's a charm?

I know we're rapidly approaching the 4th day of the New Year, but tomorrow seems sort of like the 1st. Back into normal routines.

I was so glad to get the tree and decorations down the day after Christmas this year, and actually packed away, instead of in piles stuck here and there for weeks on end. That's been a long time issue with me, and it felt good to conquer it.

There's something cathartic about finishing projects and starting the new year with fresh plans and ideas, to carry out. I finally got the carmel apple socks off of the needles....my record holder for the longest time on one pair of socks, ever. (Sick of looking at them, truth be told.) And watched all of the episodes of Charles Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend", whilst doing the "DO OVER" on Sarah's beret. Who wants to be going into the new year, knitting last year's Christmas presents? We delivered it to her this afternoon. YAY. I didn't want it to join the ranks with Kate's pajama bottoms from last year, which are still awaiting needed adjustments.

Just wish I were thrilled with it....hate not being....

After delivering the beret, we went in search of Jim's new office chair. The store here in town, was out of the one we wanted, but fortunately Sarah's local one had it in stock. We were glad they did, because the "library" is one of our January projects, and we're anxious to get started on it.

Do you have any special projects for January?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose --
More numerous of Windows --
Superior -- for Doors --

Of Chambers as the Cedars --
Impregnable of Eye --
And for an Everlasting Roof --
The Gambrels of the Sky --

Of Visitors -- the fairest --
For Occupation -- This --
The spreading wide of narrow Hands
To gather Paradise --
~~ Emily Dickinson

My prayer for this year is that I will be open to the things God has for me to do,
and treasure each moment.


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