Friday, January 20, 2012

Gifts for My Heart (400th Post)

 When I was a little girl I remember watching my grandmother putting on these earrings for very special occasions.  She had several piece of costume jewelry along this line. They seemed very fancy to me.  Of coarse I didn't know the difference between these and the real thing back then. Now they are the real thing.  Pieces of my memory that bring back for me treasures that cannot be boughten.

For Christmas this year my youngest daughter Jenna Dear made me this special gift. 

 This picture frame with lace gave me the opportunity to sift through my jewelry memories, and come up with some lovely treasures of my heart, and a wonderful way to display them.
All the rings represent various gifts from my mom, my husband's grandmother, a daughter's promise ring left behind (thanks Judy for the inspiration here) a gift from my husband pre engagement...

The heart locket with my name engraved on the back was gifted to me as a baby from my Aunt Angie who I only remember as a small toddler.  A precious sister to mother indeed.

The aged faux pearl bracelet very much reminds me of my mother who passed away 23 years ago every time I look at it.  You see all this jewelry was just sitting around in old jewelry boxes hidden from my heart.  There is nothing fancy here by any means except the keys to my hearts memories.
This was another special gift from my oldest daughter Meg.  I love the style and the reminder of the many wonderful years God has given my husband and I as a team made in heaven. 

My daughter's know my heart and their special gifts this year have gone deep inside it.

Update: I just noticed this was my 400th post! WOW I have done a lot of blogging. Crazy how time flys. 

Podso wondered how I was fairing with the storm?  I was home four days in a row, while others were stealing   using my SUV for work, and school, you know those unimportant things.  Anyways I did get out for church today.  The blessed Chinook winds hit on Saturday and melted the snow on the roads.  So life is back to normal as far as transportation is concerned.  It must all seem a bit crazy to folks who have snow all winter, but our community is just not equipped to deal with it, so we come to a grinding halt in a bit of snow =)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Humor Me...winter storm on the way

 Dear Gentle Readers...Humor me today as I need to be reminded of flowers and summer. As you suspect this is a repost of scent and bloom.  There is apparently a huge snow storm coming my way.  So Vee it looks like you did let me borrow some of your winter ;)

 My favorite rose of the moment...Lillian Austin
Taking a break from garden carnage to have a cool drink and breath.   Two days till vacation at the beach, and life in the garden needs some control!!!  I rather love it though really.  Whacking, prunning, planting, weeding, dead heading, lifting and rearranging.  I have friends that are flabbergasted that I keep such a large garden in their opinion.  My last garden was three times the size on 3/4 of an acre and every square foot planted. 

 What they don't get is that first I love being in the garden, whether it is to do a morning or evening posy walk, pluck a flower, arrange a bouquet or grab an herb for dinner.  Second, it is one of the few forms of exercise I truly enjoy.  I am bored, bored, bored out of my brains in a gym.  My daughter just went to one that was like a movie theater in every room...well maybe.  Still a bunch of other stinking sweaty people around me panting and huffing...I don't care how cute of an outfit :) I would much rather be outside accomplishing other tasks.

 My lily walk on the north side...the scent is intoxicating!

   The only thing that would complete this for me is a pool.  If we can ever figure out how to put one in the ground with out spending a fortune. Prices have literally tripled since we installed our last pool. And yes swimming is one of the other forms of exercise I enjoy! Perfect combo really!

This was what we woke up to this morning.  Actually I woke up to the sound of Dan shoveling snow.
The snow is quite lovely and I will pretend I am back in New England for the few days this will last.  I know I have no legit reason to whine.  Some of you must feel stuck in eternal winter.  Mmmm breath deeply, can't you just smell that heady scent of lilies <3

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Start Growing Something

That is it, I finally got all the Christmas decorations down.  Yes the tree wasn't too much of a pain getting it back into the box.  I am satisfied on that account with my first artificial tree.  I still have my "Winter" decorations up though.  A few scattered twinkle lights here and there, glitter and candles, sparkle and glow that helps get me through the bleak winter days and nights.  Yup...not my favorite season.  Perhaps nobody loves winter after Christmas unless you ski.   As always this time of year I am looking forward to green.  Not just the color but the real green that comes only from the natural world of life and growth!

Fortunately I was able to grab some late winter bulbs as I was shopping for said Christmas tree.  I found a few amaryllis bulbs, and then some tulips in my garage that didn't get planted this fall.  Popped them into pots and glass containers, and now I get to sit back to watch and wait for growth.  It is so encouraging to my soul and spirit to see this process in nature.  I would also like to see similar growth in my own life in several areas.  I guess even at my age I don't want to think of myself as fully mature.  I know only too well that I still have much more room for growth on the inside of my being. Hopefully not on the outside =)

So as I start this year I hope to be sowing some things into the soil of my heart that I can sit back in patience and wait for "green."  Or maybe find some forgotten "bulbs" that still need to be planted, that really only need some moisture to get the roots started.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.  I Corinthians 13:13 MSG

 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:16-18 NLT

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Soup Reinvented is the nectar of the gods to me.  I adore soup. I have blogged on my love of soup before. I am the queen of soup some may say.  Then enters youngest daughters boyfriend. He makes soup. Okay you say he makes soup, what is the big deal?  I am an amazing soup maker, always from scratch, fresh ingredients. None of this processed anything. Right?  One day Jenna dear comes home with a cup of soup from boyfriend. Hmmm it is my favorite soup,  minestrone, my families heritage.  I can MAKE this soup.  So I take a bite thinking how sweet he sent me some soup.  My jaw drops and I am at first shocked, then puzzled, then what?????  This is ridiculously, the best soup I have ever tasted, for sure the best minestrone.  After  weeks of I don't believe it...I would even say a little miffed =)  I finally corner boyfriend.  He grins and gives me that downcast shy look and shrugs his shoulders. I want to know HOW he made that soup????  Roasting he says.  What I say?  He tells me he simply just roasted all the veggies first then makes his soup.  I do disensemble most of the ingredients from him...little by little he gives me his list.  The end being fresh basil and rosemary.  Really in the middle of winter?  Who is this kid?

So the moral of the story I guess is even and old dog can learn new tricks.  Even plain old chicken soup tastes amazing when you simply roast all the veggies first in a little olive oil tossed with garlic, salt and pepper.  So today I am trying butternut squash soup.  He still won't tell me his exact ingredients, but I will out do this young wipper snapper if it is the last thing I cook!!!!!

Post note:  My soup was amazing! I even came up with a few more ingredients then boyfriend uses...haha!

So here is the rough recipe:

Cut into sections the butternut squash and micro wave 6 minutes, let rest, then six more minutes.
(okay so I didn't roast this part because it is easier to scoop out squash then to cut up and peel hard squash)

Rough chop two stalks of celery, 1 onion, 1 apple, 2 carrots.  Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper.   Roast in oven on a cookie sheet 20 minutes or so 375. Scoop out squash from skin after it is cooled.

Put all ingredients in a large pot, add one box of organic chicken broth, salt and pepper, two handfuls of brown sugar, (maybe about 6 tb).  1 tsp or so of poultry seasoning, a dash more of just sage.  Use a hand held immersion blender in pot till smooth. Or dump it all in your regular blender.  I also added about 3 tablespoons of butter.  Boyfriend also added potatoes, which I think I will try next time.  Oh and a touch of fresh grated nutmeg.  At the end I also added more salt and about 1/4 cup of cream cheese.

It turned out  heavenly and Jenna dear even takes it to work with her, where boyfriend make his soup for the coffee shop.  Round 2...I win =)
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