Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I'd been thinking about making my own tortillas. I figured if I made corn tortillas, they would be gluten free. And it might be fun!

I found some masa farina at Aldi.  A 5 lb bag was only a little over $2.
I followed the instructions and mixed 2/3 cup warm water with a cup of the masa farina and a dash of salt.  Kneaded it for 2-3 minutes and wrapped tightly in plastic until I was ready to use it.

I took a golf ball sized piece of dough, flattened it between 2 pieces of a plastic freezer bag, rolled it out, then peeled it off and laid it in the hot (no oil) cast iron skillet.  Baked and flipped.

I had cooked and shredded some chicken, added some homemade salsa from last year's garden and some taco seasoning.

Here it is.....tortilla, baby spinach, chicken, cheese.

Rolled it up and oh, my goodness!  It was soooooo wonderful.

And now, on to the List.  Joining Fawn at Happy Wives Club......

39.  He is extremely intelligent.
40.  He makes sure to hug me several times a day.
41.  He is a man of integrity.
42.  He is a man of influence, a humble and honorable man.
43.  He is FUN!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Amaryllis, Round Two, Smitten

So the second amaryllis stalk bloomed.  I read that normally there are 4 blooms/stalk.
This stalk had FIVE blooms.

 What a beautiful extravagance.

 So nice to watch the progress daily behind the kitchen sink.

It's a blessing to be able to look around and see beauty, extravagance in the midst of life's storms, isn't it?

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Note Card Party at Vee's.......February!

Thank you, Vee, for hosting every month!
So this month I chose note cards that reflect gardening, and the simple pleasure of anticipating the approaching gardening season.

Last year, I built this bed to the left of the railing and concentrated on lots of flowers in pots on the porches.
The bed holds herbs, lilies and asparagus.

After the 15 minute chore of cutting and sweeping the grass is completed each week, it feels good to survey my work.
Here's the view from the back yard.

This past year I finally got a community garden!  They are in short supply;  I was on the list for about 8 years.  Looking forward to planting, weeding, harvesting and canning this year.  I think it's going to be a big year for beans.

The sun on the front porch in the morning always raises my spirits.
How do you like the chippy old bench thing I found in the creek a few years ago?

We only submit 4 pictures for note cards.  So this is just a cheery reminder of how a $3 pot and some sweet woodruff from the yard can brighten the day.

Hope you are having a wonderful week, anticipating good things to come!
Just one more thing.....joining Fawn at Happy Wives Club.....

35.  I can trust him with my heart.
36.  He is my biggest cheerleader.
37.  He's always got my back.
38.  He loves my daughter as if she were his very own.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Interesting Day, and The List Goes On

It's an interesting day today.  Two things are unusual about it.
  • I have no car.  Not today, not tomorrow.  I'm ok with that.
  • I am only having clear fluids and jello in preparation for tomorrow.  A little less ok with that.
So here is what I've been up to!
I'm doing lots of laundry.

Eating jello.  At least it's pretty!
I made granola.  The usual recipe.

Checked out the second round of the Amaryllis blooming.  Here it is 2 days ago.
Had some white grape juice.

Next, I made pumpkin bread.  I've made this for many years, and it is terrific.  The recipe makes 3 loaves.
Ran a loaf down to the in-laws.  Yes.  Ran.  They live behind us, so I don't need a car.

Thought how the Amaryllis is looking rather Valentine-y today.
Is it not?

Started thinking about Valentine's Day and made my own cards.   (I don't have a car today.  Or tomorrow.)
Found some construction paper, printed this free printable from Time Warp Wife, glued it on.
This is so beautiful.  I recommend you check it out!
Obviously the card was created with limited skill, but the words more than make up for that.

I was on a roll, so I made a card for Chickie.
When I was growing up, my Dad always MADE us Valentine's Day cards.  Kind of like this, but he' d write his own verse.

My mom always sang the verse that I wrote on Chickie's card:
  Valentine, Valentine,
  Would you be my Valentine?
  She nodded her head,
  And gaily said,
  "I'll be your Valentine!"
I'll affix this to a big bag of M&M's and give it to Chickie tomorrow.

And since it's Thursday, and Valentine's Day, it would be unconscionable not to continue The List.
32.  He still flirts with me.
33.  My sister reminded me of this and told me she "expected to see it on the list"!.........
 I worked Friday nights for many years.  When I got home, Mister would often have a special dinner from the local farmer's market, a fire in the fireplace, and sometimes a bath drawn with rose petals strewn across it.  He bought a kind of wire tray to lay across the tub that held a candle and a glass of wine.
34.  Our first Valentine's Day, when we were dating - I came out of work that night to find my car full of big red heart helium balloons.  Driving was a bit tricky, but that was ok.  There were red hearts with messages he had written, taped to the dash.  He even taped some hearts to the sign out front of the clinic, next to my name.  I'll always remember it, because no one had ever done anything even remotely like that for me!

I love you, Mister!  With all of my heart.  Happy Valentine's Day!

And Happy Valentine's Day to the rest of us!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Spiritual Sunday

Crazy Peace

Crazy Peace. That's what someone I know who has been in a great battle for his life calls it. It's supernatural. It's inexplicable. It's beyond our understanding.  I am reposting this from 2/5/11 to tell you that my friend has recovered from an unusual cancer of the appendix that was unusually aggressive and had spread through his abdomen, and had also been suspected to be in his chest.  That's right.  Recovered.  Healed.  Brought back from the brink of death.
It's God.

Walking beside us.

Carrying us.

My sister was telling me about a book she just read by Carol Kent. Carol's son is a Christian who has been given a life sentence in prison. In spite of all their efforts to appeal, his sentence stands. My sister said it was a new perspective to her...... if in spite of prayer and standing for something, if deliverance never comes,
that God isn't necessarily concerned with solving all of our problems. It is more important to Him that we grow in Him, rather than that all our problems be solved.

It's scary. Unless you have Crazy Peace.

Here's our promise:
John 14:27 NIV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Beyond our understanding. His Peace. Crazy Peace.

Joining Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Why I Don't Need Candy for Valentine's Day, after all

This year, for a change, I did ask Mister to get me some candy for Valentine's Day.  I've got a procedure scheduled for that day, so I thought it would be my just reward.

I've changed my mind.

I just came from the kitchen where I made, that's right, MADE what I'm going to call My Very Own Milk Duds.  So please, no more candy!

I love Milk Duds.  They do a number on my TMJ, but there's no help for it.  The sweet chocolate outer layer, the sweeter inner caramel.  I always eat them two at a time, because, well, it just seems right.

It all started with hunger pangs and fondly thinking about the cans of sweetened condensed milk in my pantry.  I could just eat that stuff from the can.  Actually, I did just that, eventually.

I searched Desserts at, excluding the ingredient flour, but including my delicious sweetened condensed milk.  That is how I came across the recipe for Chocolate Covered Caramels.

I was intimidated by using a  candy thermometer, but I do have one, so thought, why not?

The top end of the glass was broken off, but the thermometer itself was intact.

I halved the recipe, and proceeded thusly:

I placed waxed paper with Pam sprayed on it in an 8x8 baking dish.

1 stick butter in a heavy saucepan.

1 cup and 2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Stirring constantly, I heated to soft ball stage.  My thermometer seemed a bit wacky because when I dropped the caramel in the cold water it made a soft pliable ball, but the thermometer said it was nowhere near ready.  I went with the soft ball stage.  After all, you saw my thermometer!

Removed from heat and stirred in:
about 1tsp vanilla

(I always generously overguestimate vanilla)

Poured into my prepared pan.

Now, I have dipped homemade Easter egg candy before in chocolate, and it wasn't too pretty.  So when I make something like this, I do chocolate the lazy way.

Take some of the leftover sweetened condensed milk, add some chocolate chips in, microwave to melt chocolate, dump in some vanilla, stir, and pour over the caramel.  So much easier.

It's cooling on the sunporch.  I'll see about cutting it when it sets.

I thoroughly cleaned the pan, the can and the chocolate melting measuring cup by scraping out and eating the contents.  I'm so glad I don't know what my blood sugar is right now!

As a side note, remember my Amaryllis that was blooming a couple of weeks ago?  (here)  Well, we are starting Round 2.  In the kitchen, behind the sink, bloom 2 is coming along nicely.

 Right where I can check on its progress through each day.  How wonderful is that?!

 I had showed you the container I planted it in.....a glass container I dug up in my back yard years ago, in my first home.  But I neglected to show you the back side of the container, so here it is.....

One Dry Pint.

Have a marvelous weekend!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tale of Two Honeys

Local Honey is a little luxury, a little simple pleasure to me. Raw, unprocessed, local. It's supposed to be good for your allergies too, if it's local.

I've been making Honey Granola weekly for about 10 years now.  It is so fabulous, prep time is less than 5 minutes and bake time 25 to 30 minutes.  It's a basic recipe, and you can add raisins, fresh fruit, nuts, whatever, when you eat it.  Here is the recipe:

Honey Granola

Greased 9x13 pan
350 degree oven

In microwave, melt and mix together:
    1 stick butter or margarine (butter takes it over the top)
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    3 T brown sugar

Pour over and mix with
     5 cups old fashioned oats that you have measured into your greased 9x13 pan

Bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for 10-15 more minutes.  I just keep in a plastic cereal container.  Never had it go bad or stale.  I've even made up 3-4 weeks worth when we redid our kitchen so that we'd have plenty.

It's good for breakfast (lunch or dinner, just saying), good on ice cream, yogurt, whatever.

Now on to that never-ending list of mine......(linking with Fawn at Happy Wive's Club again), where I continue to extol the virtues of my other honey.......

28. He looks great in a tux. Get this.....I sweated and starved to get a couple of pounds off for this formal event. He just got a bigger vest - and it works! Sheesh.
See what I mean?

29.  He is a great dancer.  (I'm not.)
30.  I love the way he looks in a jacket and tie.
31.  He has little quirks.  Just found out the other day that when he first gets up in the morning he washes his face with cold water. (I only know this because his hands feel like Blocks of Ice afterwards.)  Ever hear the saying about throwing cold water in your face, to wake up? So he applies that saying to himself.  Every morning. Cold-as-possible water.  We laughed a lot about it.  I asked him if he'd ever heard the saying "go jump in a lake".  Seems like jumping in a lake in the morning this time of year would be quite the invigorating way to wake up.

Hope you are having a great week, rife with simple pleasures!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cold Weather Nesting

If you ask me, it's all in the details.

The original light fixtures, the wood work, (btw, my next project is painting the stair risers and side trim white), the lamplight.

Night time gives a warm and welcoming glow to home.  Coming upstairs, 4 rooms lead off the hallway in the original part of our home.

Chickie's room.  The wallcolor (Venus Teal, Behr Self Priming wall paint that only required one coat and no touch ups - and that was painting over stripes!) is actually a deeper color than it looks here, and bluer.

I painted all the trim and doors in the spare bedroom white week before last.  It had been a dark green that was getting tired looking and dated.

You can see the original light fixture up here.  Actually, it was in the dining room when we moved in, and there was just a cheap globe here affixed at ceiling height.  We have a lovely chandy in the dining room now, and Mister had the genius to move the fixture up here.
That's Chickie's TV room to the right of this shot.

Standing in the original bathroom (with claw foot tub), you can see that the hall is nice and roomy.  The previous owner painted the floor up here and in the foyer downstairs, that you can see in the first shot.

So there you go.  You rarely get to see this part of the house, so I thought I'd provide you with a quick tour by lamplight today!

So, I'm staying home and nesting and being so cozy!

How about you?

                                    Linking with Mary at Little Red House where the theme is Home..