Monday, March 17, 2014

Celebrating A Saint



Today we are celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  This year, probably for the first time, I actually researched the origin of this special holiday. What I discovered was that up until this year I have been celebrating the wrong thing.

I have always worn green, ate the "right" foods, looked for a four leaf clover, and thought a Leprechoun was somehow involved in the whole process.  Boy was I way off!

The holiday is actually a celebration of the life of Saint Patrick.  He was born and raised in Roman Britain.  As a teenager he was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved in Ireland.  He escaped but returned to the country after converting to Christianity and becoming a priest.  His calling was to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Irish. He built schools and monasteries. He was belittled in the country but continued his mission.  He used the shamrock to teach the people about the Holy Trinity.


It gave baking my shamrock cookies a whole new meaning today.  I gave some to friends and told them of the things I had learned.  They were also surprised to find out the true meaning of  the holiday.


I suppose that like many holidays things become commercialized and the true significance of the day is lost.  I am glad that I  took the time to get my "facts straight" about this special day.


Gracie and I want to wish all of you a Happy Saint Patrick's Day! We both still wore green and  ate the "right" foods but now we know that today is about celebrating a Saint who sacrificed so much to spread the Gospel.  Blessings!


 






Sunday, March 16, 2014

Seesaws.....A Childhood Memory




Recently my thoughts were taken back to a simpler time.  The many hours spent on the church playground.  I was fortunate that I grew up going to a church that was directly across the street from the town park.  I spent many hours with my best friends swinging, sliding, running, climbing, and of course playing on the seesaw.  Now the "old fashioned" equipment of the past has been replaced by the modern plastic playground of today.  Supposedly the new designs are safer than that of my childhood.  The funny thing is, I don't remember anyone getting hurt when my friends and I played.  I only remember the great joy we found being free just to run and play. My children also enjoyed spending many hours playing at this park.  Easter egg hunts, church picnics, and family gatherings are all a part of my fond memories at this wonderful space.


My son recently sent me a picture of himself on a seesaw in Oregon.  Apparently it is still OK to seesaw there.  :-) As you can see...happiness happens when you are on a seesaw!  Oh I can remember having tricks played on me and I played a few myself. :-) You know what I mean.....jumping off and causing the other person to land.....hard.  Mean yes but all done in fun not to intentionally cause harm.  My son told me that this seesaw has an old tire placed in the ground so that if you should go down unexpectedly the landing is much softer.  Good idea!

Whether you called it a seesaw or teeter-totter the joy that you felt going up and down is the same.  Ironically that is how life is too.  An up and down journey that often leads to a hard landing.  Just like the seesaw hopefully we remember that there are also those moments when you are high in the air and grinning from ear to ear....just like my son.

What about you?  Did you ever play on a seesaw?  By the way I plan on visiting my son this Summer and having a go at the seesaw is on my list of things to do.  I promise to take a picture!  Blessings!




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Terrific Lady Day


On Saturday I spent the day with my Dear Daughter.  The Historical Society in her community was hosting a special event and she invited me to come.  The weather was perfect and of course so was the company!  The daffodils were in full bloom everywhere.  A beautiful sign of Spring!

Several authors were on hand to give demonstrations and inspire those in attendance.  There were book signings, tastings, and fun!
I had ideas swirling in my head.  So many things that I want to do!  I had to write them down because I know my brain.....I forget! LOL

My Daughter had already purchased several of the books for me.  All of this was part of my birthday present and it was certainly a perfect idea.   


One of the presenters was Sara Foster.  She got her start with Martha Stewart and now owns Fosters Market in North Carolina.  I loved her demo.  She was very knowledgeable and seemed like such a nice lady.  Her cookbook is just wonderful.  The recipes are straight forward and simple.  My daughter gave me one and I came home and immediately ordered her newest book, Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen.  


Today I made Country Muffins with Carrots, Coconut, and Pecans.  Need I say more?  I will say more because they also contain apples and raisins.  So good! This recipe came from The Foster's Market Cookbook that my daughter gave me.  I have several other recipes I am planning to try this week.  I used my new muffin tin that I also purchased at a kitchen store this weekend.  I haven't had a new one since I got married so I am pretty sure it was time.  New recipe.....new cookware.....I am spoiled.

We had lunch at a lovely cafe and enjoyed catching up on all the "girly news". We also visited a few of the local boutiques.  Let's just say that I contributed to the local economy on Saturday.

It was truly a "Terrific Lady Day"!  We all need one every now and then.  A break from the routine and time to catch up with our Dear Daughters.  I had a terrific day with a terrific lady!  Who could ask for more?  Blessings!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolate?



This isn't just any day it's Valentines Day and that means chocolate and lots of it.....or does it?  Are you a chocoholic?  Well I know that I may not hold the popular view.....especially on this particular day....but I am not a huge chocolate lover.   Now if you hand me a bag of chips just watch out!  I can devour the entire bag in a very short amount of time!  That is why you will never find salty goodies in my house.  I lose all control once I take the first bite! :-)


Last night I decided it was time to get my dining room ready for the big day and in less than an hour I created a Valentines Day table.  Fortunately I had purchased some Valentines fabric several weeks ago.  A 10 minute table runner seemed like the best use for the materials I had on hand and fortunately there was enough fabric to create two.  There are directions online for these.  My favorite can be found here.  I added my completed runners to some goodies I already had on hand.  Notice that some chocolate was used in the creation of this tablescape. (at the base of the candles)  I do eat an occasional chocolate kiss!!


If I could choose what to put in my box on Valentines Day I think this would be perfect!  A heart full of thread.  What would be better for a "Domestic Designer"?


 What is in the box...Chocolate or thread?  You decide!  I know what I would choose!  Unless of course a bag of chips could be hidden inside....then watch out!!!

 Before I say good bye I have a confession.  The first picture of the chocolate lava cake was a dessert my hubby and I shared at dinner tonight.  I promise you that I only tasted the ice cream! :-) Blessings and Happy Valentines Day!



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Wonderland!



Once again old man winter has visited Mrs. DD land!  The big difference with this storm was that terrible word.....ice!  I can handle snow and the cold weather that comes with it but I do not like ice.  With ice comes the dread of power outages, falling trees, and falling people.  This is my third day of being inside and I am just slightly stir crazy!  I have a big day out planned for tomorrow.....fingers crossed that the weather cooperates!


My husband was trapped at work again so the dog and I have had a "fun" time.  We only lost power once and for only three hours so I can't really complain.  I know so many have had a tremendous amount of damage and are still without power. 


Last night when I went to bed I was ready for it all to be over.  My husband had finally made it home and we were warm and safe.  We awoke to the most beautiful site!  A true Winter Wonderland!  The pictures don't show just how amazing it was.  After midnight a band of snow had come through the area and covered the ice with this beautiful blanket!


A pure bright white that can't be described!  So peaceful....not a sound....just wonderful! I truly believe it was the most beautiful snow fall I have ever seen!  My bad attitude changed and I realized that I do love snow....just not the trouble it can cause.


I remember as a little girl we experienced frequent winter storms. My parents both had jobs that allowed them to stay home and what a fun time we had!  My brother and I would climb into bed with my parents to stay warm.  My Dad would get up and build a roaring fire and my parents would prepare a breakfast feast cooked over the fire or on the hot coals.  Scrambled eggs, bacon, even toast and of course coffee for my Mom.  The world stopped.  All the businesses closed and people enjoyed just being together.  Now the world continues and people can't wait to "get out".  We are constantly connected by technology so no one is truly "home".  I long for those times and I suppose that this morning I was reminded of the "true peace" we used to experience with snow. 


I know we can't go back but perhaps we can slow down just a bit and enjoy the miracle of snow.  They say no two flakes are the same...a miracle!  I know we are all eagerly awaiting Spring but I think, just for today, I am going to enjoy my "Winter Wonderland" and recognize the true beauty it brings to my life!  Blessings!






Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Big Chill....Big Stitch


This Winter has been one of the coldest that I can remember.  Statistics back me up!  I know we are all ready for an early Spring, but if we believe in the legend of the groundhog then we have a few more weeks to endure the "big chill".


Weather like this seems to be the perfect time to work on hand projects that may have been put on hold for a while.  Before Christmas I took a class at my local quilt shop.  The class was called Big Stitch Quilting and promised to be a quicker alternative to traditional hand quilting. The stitches are 1/4 inch in length instead of the tiny, tiny stitches we are so familiar with.  The description  sounded really good to me!

There are many tutorials online for the big stitch or utility stitch quilting and each instructor seems to have their own method. The end result is the same.....a hand quilted treasure in a shorter amount of time! 


My instructor used Tiger Tape to assist in making the stitches even. This product makes the process easy and gives you results you can be proud of immediately!


Pearl cotton is the thread of choice along with crewel embroidery needles.  The color choices are unlimited and can really add some dazzle to your quilt.  The examples that we were shown in class truly inspired us all!


My goal has been to complete one block on my quilt each night while watching television.  Now I know that I probably won't keep up this pace but so far it has been relaxing and I am making quick progress.

My grandmother hand pieced and hand quilted each of her quilts.  My Mom machine pieced and hand quilted her quilts. They both used the big stitch and those quilts have lasted decades.  Now maybe I can say that I too have hand quilted at least a few quilts.  In the future I would love to hand piece and hand quilt at least one creation! We shall see!

The "big stitch" is making the "big chill" a little more bearable and hopefully by the time Spring arrives I will have a completed quilt to commemorate this record setting Winter.  Blessings!



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frozen In Place


Winter storm "Leon" arrived with a vengeance on Tuesday.  I know that those of you in the north are used to winter storms but those of us in Mrs. DD Land are not.  We got a rare 4 inches of snow and we are truly "frozen in place"!  Yes the headlines of the local newspaper says it all! 


I am truly blessed!  I am at home.  I am warm, well feed, and safe.  My Hubby is "stuck" at work.  He has worked 27 hours straight and is finally at a hotel resting for a few hours before he returns to work 14 more hours.  He does have food and a warm place to lay down.  Many people are trapped on the highways and have been there for almost 24 hours!  I feel so sorry for them all!  They are cold, hungry, and very frustrated.  What are the answers to preventing this?  I don't  know the answers but I do know that the issue needs to be addressed.  I am sure that those in power will look at the situation and learn from it.  I hope!


Because I am at home I was able to appreciate the true beauty of freshly fallen snow.  The "peacefulness" of my surroundings is breathtaking. Most of my pictures have been taken from porches or even out of windows.  My yard is slick and treacherous.  I am smart enough to stay inside and observe the beauty from a distance. :-)


The birds have been busy eating away and have been wonderful entertainment. 


Gracie has eaten her share of snow but seems extremely confused with the entire event.  (more about my new doggie in a future post)   

The temperature is not going above freezing today so tomorrow we will once again be "frozen in place".  I will be staying inside...safe, warm, and well fed! 

Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together!  This quote says it all! Stay warm and safe!  Blessings!




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