Thursday, September 30

*suprise harvest

This past weekend we were cleaning out the small garden area since all the plants had finished producing. During the growing season I mulched as much as my kitchen scraps that I could remember to put in the pail. Obviously at some point, Henry must have thrown the discarded vegetables etc right into the garden spot instead of the mulch pile. Shoot, for this one I would even be happy to stand up and say, "I did it". So we gained a sweet potatoe plant from a volunteer along the way! 

While cleaning out the plants, stems and weeds that were left behind I had noticed a sweet potatoe vine growing amidst the old tomatoe plants. I gave no further thought to it really. As I got closer to the area where the vines branched off from the ground, I could see a sweet potatoe! So of course, I went to digging! To my suprise I found, not one, but five sweet potatoes.    Henry and I (not Eric, cause he is not in his right mind - he doesn't like sweet potatoes) had these along with the rest of our dinner on this very night!

Wednesday, September 29


Come on...really? Really?

 This is what I walked into this evening while entering Kohls.  Aren't we jumping the gun a bit?

Thursday, September 23

*sixteen candles

Today, sixteen years ago, a vibrant little baby girl was born!  She was one of  three embryos that started sharing her mothers uterus.  Only one survived.  What a blessing that Mary was given as a gift and heritage to Franziska (my BFF) and her husband.  I love this picture of Mary (I stole it from her).    God designed, shaped and formed her specifically for the things He has laid out before her.  Specific giftings. Specific attributes. Specifically to be used for His purposes to bring glory to His name. Specific weaknesses so that He can show Himself strong on her behalf.  May it be so that Mary (and all the young people in my life) seek Him diligently, chase after Him fervently, love Him deeply and always, always trust in His ways!

Happy Sweet Sixteen Mary!  May this be the best year yet!
I love you.

Saturday, September 18

*a new favorite

Earlier this year I was visiting my motherinlove and had some time to look at some of her magazines; specifically her Cook's Country Magazines!  I have always loved cook books and have several times found myself in need of thinning my collection.  My motherinlove has this disease too.  Many of my cookbooks have been passed down from her shelves to ours.

There are many reasons why I find this magazine a must have.  The Cook's Country is jam packed with useful information from recipes to tasters reviews to ratings of cooking tools.  I also like the way the pages are edited with photos of each recipe and bold and colored text throughout.

As much as I can tell, each issue has several cake recipes as well. Tomorrow I hope to make a Gingerbread Cake from one of the issues.  With the air starting to hint at Fall, I am eager to make some pumpkin muffins or maybe the Gingerbread Cake to celebrate the coming season.

Tonight I made mention of making beer bread with one of the bottles of Samuel Adams we have had in the fridge for a while. I did not get right on it, but was urged to do so by my dear hubby. His mother used to make beer bread and he has always enjoyed it.  I have made beer bread many times over the years - sometimes I am successful and sometimes not.  Now the best beer bread I have eaten was just a year or so ago while I was visiting Franziska.  Her mother came down (from her house just up the hill) with a warm loaf of Beer Bread for us.  I am almost ashamed to say the entire loaf was divied up between the five of us and out of sight in less than five minutes. It was GOOD!   So tonight, with that bread in mind.. I pulled out the Cook's Country December/January 2008 issue out and made the Beer Batter Cheese Bread.  YUM.
This bread was quite tasty. You can taste the light fermented flavor that the beer adds to this bread.  You get that yeasty taste that is yielded in about an hour as opposed to the half a day that a yeast recipe normally calls for.

Here is the recipe:
8 ounces of Gruyere Cheese
  (4 ozs shredded and 4 ozs cubed) - I didn't have any Swiss Chees so I used Sharp Cheddar
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 oz light bodied beer
4 tablespoons of melted butter

Adjust your rack to middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
Mix all cheese and all dry ingredients together then add the beer.  Pour into a greased pan.  Pour melted butter over the top of the batter. The butter will give the bread a crusty top (you wont be sorry!) Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (45 to 50 minutes baking). Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out to rack. Cool completely (oops.. I cut pretty much right away). 

Enjoy.  Oh, and check out your local used book store for the Cooks Country Condensed Cook Books or their magazines - or subscribe to receive them in your mail box!

Friday, September 17

*on the road again

When we arrived home on that early Friday morning in the wee morning hours from our trip to Florida, we were greeted with crisp sixty degree temps!  Delightful!  In that very moment after having driven twelve hours straight, I did not think I would be traveling again any time soon.  My dear hubby had to arrive at the airport on Monday morning for a business trip that would keep him away for the week.  But Henry and I had no exciting plans for the upcoming week, besides school.   Monday came quicker than any of us wanted!   Over the weekend I spent time going over and writing up Henry's lesson plans for the first week of his sophmore year. 

After dropping my beloved off at the airport, I called to talk to my BFF, Franziska.  We talked a bit and got caught up. I mentioned in our conversation that if it were any other year of my life I would be packing the car and coming to visit for the week.  I have this large 'beast' that keeps me from doing certain things the way I have always know them.  (WHAT WERE WE THINKING?)   Franziska has a small dog of her own, so it does not make visiting with a large dog easy.  She suggested that I pack up the crate, just like we did when we traveled to Florida and get on the road. Not having made my plans known to her - Tuesday morning Henry and  I joyfully packed our clothes, school books, sewing machine, crate, etc and got on the road.    We arrived just after lunch on Tuesday and stayed until Friday morning since I had to be back in town to pick up my beloved from the airport in the afternoon.

We had a great time. We always do.  Mary (Franziska's youngest daughter) and Henry had more one on one time to hang out than most of our visits. I think they had a great time chillin together. It was really great to hear Sarah, Mary and Henry laughing and acting silly the night before we left.  

On Thursday afternoon while Sarah had to run out to work, the rest of us took a drive up to Lake Lure.  We had a couple of shops to hit and then we had lunch at a local restaurant - the burger was DELISH!   Mary had fried pickles which I got to sample - yummy. After lunch we took a walk along Broad River.  Franziska took us to some of the areas where she sometimes comes to sit and think and pray.  The spots were so very peaceful.  I understand completely why she and the girls are taking drives to Lake Lure so often.

Mary and I sitting on one of the many rocks along the river bed.

Henry had spent most of his time adventuring, climbing from rock to rock, testing the waters around the rocks.  Here he lays for just a moment to take in what surrounded him in a more serene way...
Going to the mountains on this trip was like a little gift to me (and Franziska).   I am so very grateful for the time and opportunity to travel up.  Until next time..

Sunday, September 12

*Voices of the Past update

This quilt may look difficult, but it really is not.  There is a lot of piecing, but I think the pattern is worth the work for the finished product.  I have one other patriotic quilt and it is one of my favorites, and it shows due the wear you can visibly see on it. 

So I kept trying to get a great shot of the quilt top from above but to no avail I failed. I finally put the chair away and simply took some shots at different angles so you could get a better view.  Oh, you noticed my shoes did you? That is a whole separate post in itself, which will come soon. We (all three of us) LOVE our Vibrams!

This pattern is one of Kaye England's Voices of the Past samplers.  I have really enjoyed working on the Besty Ross Sampler. I have a knack for not always following the lay out plan on any given pattern, and this one is no different. I actually decided to use the my scraps to make sashing on each block. I love the way it has turned out.  I do have some work left to do on this quilt, such as borders before I can set it in.  My goal however, was to finish all the piecing before I have to pack up my machine and other sewing items.  If I have the opportunity I may even get the borders on too!  

I actually learned this sashing layout from Wendie who not long ago set one of her quilts using her scraps from piecing. I remember admiring how the left over pieces played even a part and had a creative function in the quilt.  As you look you will see the zig zag pattern that each color creates as it works its way to the edge of the quilt.

Saturday, September 11

*good Morning Sunshine

Having grown up on the coast, I am happy to be returning to it in my forties!  The ocean will be just under an hour drive, so much more doable than the drive to the ocean from where we currently live. Thankful for God's handiwork all around us!  It has been a great ride living here in North Carolina.  I have been the partaker for many years of the glorious show of Dogwoods here in the area, that I will miss.  I am convinced that each place on this creation has beauty just around the bend - waiting to be discovered and appreciated! 

Our oldest son lives only ten or so minutes to the beach, so this week while staying with him so we could look at some properties, I  cheerfully awoke just before sunrise each morning and started my day with  the ocean sun rise.  The beaches on the gulf coast  are powdery, not the grainy sand that you will find on the east coast.  This, my friends, can make jogging, walking or even running on the beach next to impossible.  I ended up walking on the sidewalk among many early risers who were getting their exercise in on those mornings as well.  If you park you car and walk two and half miles in the opposite direction, there is no doubt you will get your five miles in on that particular day!   Eric even went out with me on one of  those morning, and while he doesn't usually do the five miles that I try to get in each day, we walked three and a half together.  I was loving every minute of it. 

..maybe, just maybe

We have been away for a week, and are finally back to our lovely home. A house is not a home until you spend time putting your special touches on it.  Although we went to Florida this past week to look at houses for our upcoming move, it was really nice to get back to our home here in North Carolina.

We did look at houses. And more houses. Remember a while back I posted an entry on my love for barns and a desire to have one on our property?  Well, if all of the inspections go without a glitch, and our financing does as well, we will have the desires of our hearts!

I am trying not to get too attached at this point since we have many hoops to jump through until things are finalized.  Our house is still on the market (we are prepared for this.. so don't be fearful for us), we would much rather it sell quickly, but God's will be done.  Prayers welcome!

Have a great weekend.