Friday, July 22, 2011

a little summertime sewing

An apron made in a cinch with a packaged deal I picked up one day while roaming the aisles of *Hobby Lobby*. They were selling for 50% off, and I thought I would be silly willy to refuse such a bargain. It is becoming my daily cooking apron on these summer days when the making of pestos, salsas and tarts are the norm.

Charlotte became my photographer upon its completion.
 No heads please.
And where's the iron? Oh, that is right, it is summer.
 I forgot I am allergic to summertime ironing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

random grace moments

"And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace."
John 1:16

As I sat outside this morning my journaling began with random thoughts jotted down neat and packaged with little dots resting beside each one, somehow maybe I was grasping for a connection in these thoughts. I remembered that God is never random. Everything HE does is with purpose and for my good.  I scrunched down, satisfied in his grace and sovereignty.

But here are some of the randomness of my morning thoughts:

*smocking guild tonight
     embellishing a journal cover

*leftover lasagna in the fridge to warm up for tonight's dinner, tossed salad on the side with the addition of tomatoes due to their bounty

*A time of swimming this afternoon, perhaps

*laundry, sheets to change

*read to my girls aloud , Charlotte will eat an icy popsicle

continuing the randomness even with  photos

Friday, July 15, 2011

camp and arbors

We left early this morning to fetch Rose home because she had been attending this camp all week. We stopped for a late lunch

and because the weather had taken a pleasantly comfortable turnabout we dined outside under the arbor.

During the springtime blue-violet pendent clusters of wisteria dot the cedar-stumped arbor, but these days the leafy verdancy creates shade and an aura of charm. This is one of my most favorite places to visit.

Then of course we popped into the bakery on our way out of town.

The discussions began on the way home of what she had learned and gleaned from the week at camp and I expect many more will continue in the days to come. But it certainly is good to have her home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

burying myself in words...

...on the written page.Sitting on a vintage glider, 
 propped up against a needlepoint pillow,
   reading a good book.
 Francine Rivers never disappoints, she writes books I find extremely enjoyable.

Even though we have been involved with Classical Conversations for the past two years, it is only this year I began reading this book written by Leigh Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations. Some books are destined to be picked up for a refresher when you are on a particular course, whatever that course in your life might be, for me this happens to be the classical mode of teaching and learning. It puts the questions of," Exactly why am I teaching this?" to a better understanding and makes the path clearer, and therefore, not as difficult. I will try to remember this when daily Latin lessons overwhelm.
 And because I can not be found just reading one or two books, that is far too simple, these books are on my nightstand with appropriate bookmarkers of sales receipts, coupons or clothes tags. I do believe I need a good week at the beach to enable full days of reading.

I sincerely hope you are burying yourselves in some good reading this summer. I know some of you are.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

a "spoonful" of sugar

Rose is having a few friends over tonight for a cookout. Seeing that this week has been a myriad of t-storms the cookout will more than likely move inside...sounds familiar.

We eat fairly healthy around here...for the most part. I have been preaching healthy eating habits for years and serving foods that are good for you. Notice I put that in italics because there are those around here that carry a different perspective on the word good. But I do not stuff food down your throats. I present it, even give adequate explanation when needed and leave it at that. You know the saying, "you can lead a horse to water but..."   Limiting the intake of sugar in our diets has been like a challenge course...probably up there with swimming the English Channel. Sugar in moderation is my mantra, and I have even convinced myself that Truvia in my morning's cup of coffee is rather good..or at least okay.

Because of the 12 teenagers coming this evening, cookies were baked; an all time favorite, chocolate chip. And sometimes you just have to add sugar, the masses are satisfied and I find dogmatism has no platform. I do cut back on the amounts of sugar though, and I do not think it is missed one little bit. Handfuls were taken and devoured.

cooling on these hot days of July....I like that!

Friday, July 8, 2011

more on fermented vegetables

Several of you appeared curious about fermented vegetables and wanted to know more; therefore, I thought I would expound and share the tiddly winks bit of information that I have learned. I find that I learn so much more by doing.

*It is delicious!
*It can be made with several recipes, all which are mainly made of raw cabbage, carrots, greens, peppers, brine and good probiotics.
*It becomes something you almost have a "craving for" several times throughout the day.

Here is a link that explains it all very well.

My first batch recipe:
2 heads of green cabbage
1 head of purple cabbage
6 carrots
2 red peppers
2 poblano peppers
1 bunch of kale

A brine was made of:
filtered water
1/2 green apple
4 stalks of celery
wakame (seaweed)
culture starter (good bacteria)
a scoop of probiotics

I also added a small bunch of garlic chives and basil to a few jars. You do need to be aware of adding herbs or garlic though. A little goes a long way. Salt is also dependent on your taste and health awareness. I added about 2 teaspoons max.
I allowed it to set (ferment) for seven days before I tasted it. When you first open a jar the smell is strong, but not bad. Surprisingly, the taste is not strong at all.  I have been told you would know if a jar was "bad" by its smell.

I will make a few changes to my next batch, but nothing major. Another thing you might consider is to start your daily allowance with a small helping (1-2 teaspoons) to see how your body system reacts.  After all most of us are not use to such a super food on a daily basis and digestion  initially may be affected.Two to three tablespoons three times a day is an optimal amount. As I have mentioned before it is so tasty that it is a pleasure to eat it. I usually eat it as a snack on a corn tortilla chip several times a day. I have been told it is "magic" in that your body will not crave sweets any longer when you are on a regular diet of fermented raw vegetables.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

embroidery in the corner

There has been something I have been wanting to share with you, a little something I have been working on these days. The embroidery bug bit hard back in the spring and when I discovered this free pattern I almost tripped over myself in the process of starting to stitch one. I have little wall space in the sun room, but still I thought using this design with the rug's colors could be definitely squeezed into a corner somewhere.

 It does not scream,"Look at me!" when one walks into the room. But it certainly has a gentle and pleasing presence to catch your eye, as it is framed and hanging in a corner in the sun room now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gracious Plenty

The days of July paraded in just as one would hope and have already provided for us mornings of berry picking, days of celebration and nights of fun.

Instead of eating outside on the fourth as planned, we moved all inside due to the heavy rainstorm that rushed in and spread the red, white and blue tablecloths on the dining room and plastic foldout tables for the twenty-one persons to eat.  Grilling the hamburgers presented itself as a small challenge for my husband until there was enough of a slack in the rain to roll the grill to the garage.  Due to the delay I decided to uncover the many side dishes on the kitchen table where several nibblers and hungry souls had arranged themselves. After all chips, salsa and sangria only hold for a spell.

Then the rains graciously stopped, cooling the night air and permitting us to go outside to spin sparklers and observe the colorful lights bursting in air.

at the shore cum amica mea

So it was that on Thursday afternoon we headed out to the beach, two young girls (Charlotte and her friend), me and my friend, and Rancher, ...