“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Saturday, December 05, 2009

♥My PINK SATURDAY bedroom sampler♥

Before I begin to share little tidbits about the items I have for you this week, I'll address Beverly's request for this week. She asked that we share a favorite childhood holiday memory. Given the fact that this is the Christmas Season I'll share a memory that goes back to my early childhood - something that I can conjure up and relive easily - with little to no effort at all.

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I  can close my eyes and smell my mother's kitchen filled with the aroma of baking cookies - butter, nuts, spices, dates, raisins, cherries.  Varieties so numerous that when the cookies were arranged on a huge, round plate that she used exclusively for the holidays, it reminded me of a patchwork quilt. It was gorgeous. So pretty and colorful that you almost - and I say almost - didn't want to touch that beautiful array of delicacies. But, heck, dig in we did, and with gusto. During the holidays my mother's kitchen was always warm and always busy and always producing some of the most remarkable meals and pastries in all of Saginaw, Michigan.

Back when my hands were more nimble and my eyes a little better I would spend hours and hours devoted to counted cross stitch. It was so relaxing for me to get lost in what I was doing when the boys were napping or had been put down for the night. The above piece I completed in 1983. My gosh, has it been that long? Seems like a lifetime ago...

This little sign rests on an antique chest of drawers in my bedroom because I just haven't found the perfect place for it - at least not yet. I adore the sentiment. No matter how old my grandchildren are they are still babies in my heart and I will always and forever have milk, cookies, hugs and kisses ready for each and every one of them when they come through the door of my home.

This plaque was painted for me by a good friend back in 1995. The story behind it is a little unsettling and isn't all that important for today. This sign was painted to remind me of the fact that unless we can promise something to ourselves and produce it by ourselves - everything else someone promises to us is a PROBABLY. We are the only ones that can guarantee anything in any amount of certainty to ourselves. We cannot rely on anyone - ever - to make us happy. That is our responsibility because everything else is a PROBABLY.

Isn't this little basket of blossoms adorable? This is a Goodwill Store find from years ago. Delicate and sweet, it sits on the dresser in my bedroom. It really doesn't have any purpose other than to make me happy and to make me smile and to make me feel good. It does all of those things easily and gets an A+ for effort☺

If you are a lover of pink and someone who enjoys lovely blog photos and great places to visit then you must travel over to Beverly's HOW SWEET THE SOUND today and check out all of the other wonderful people who participate in this special day - PINK SATURDAY. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, December 04, 2009

♥Sweet 'n Smokey Herbed Cashews♥

Thursday, December 03, 2009

These aren't your grandma's paper snowflakes anymore

Homemade paper snowflake garlands are a perfect solution to a tight budget this Christmas season.  Not only do they look enchanting, but they are so much fun to make to make and cost practically nothing.  Hang them using fish line, clear thread or metallic silver or gold crafting threads.   Horizontally, vertically, or one by one – snowflakes are an easy craft to do with your family and a fun way to begin the holiday season.

All my paper snowflakes were made from folding circles of white paper (cut using an assortment of plates, saucers and cups as templates) and snipping away. I've used construction paper, tissue paper, paper plates (the centers) and a few others that I can't recall right away (that's what happens when you get older☺) to make these cutie pies. Gather up the kids and the not-so-much-kids in your life and have some fun! Times are tough and money is short plus we NEVER spend enough time with the people that we l♥ve.

I sewed mine together using a bit of white thread. Prior to sewing a punched teeny holes in the ends with an ice pick. Just tiny ones - enough to get your needle through without hurting your fingers.

Did you forget how to make a great paper snowflake? Find out how here with a tutorial by Curbly Videos.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

♥EZ Delicious Candied Citrus Peels♥

This holiday, I wanted to make homemade candy as one of my edible gifts for friends, and I concluded that candied citrus fruit would be the perfect choice. The recipe only calls for fruit, which I always have on hand, and sugar. Candy making doesn't get more basic than that!

I used oranges, but any combination of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit would be wonderful. I can't wait to give this handmade, preservative-free candy to my friends and family. Of course, the standards will all be on hand, too, but I thought I'd start the recipe chain with these☺


Makes 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 grapefruits, 3 oranges, or 4 lemons
  • 4 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 4 cups water


  1. Using a paring knife, make 6 slits along curve from top to bottom of each citrus fruit, cutting through peel but not into fruit. Using your fingers, gently remove peel. Reserve fruit for another use. Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Using a paring knife, remove excess pith from each strip and discard.
  2. Place strips in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice.
  3. Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Add strips to boiling syrup, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until strips are translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, and let strips cool in syrup. (Strips in syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.)
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe off excess syrup with paper towels, then roll strips in sugar. Arrange in a single layer on a wire rack, and let dry for at least 30 minutes. Sugared peels will keep, covered at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dress your holiday windows with pine cones and beads

I ♥ quick and easy. I also ♥ crafts that require no particular skill level because I will often look for projects to do with my grandchildren when they are here for a sleepover. There is a gigantic pine tree on the side of my property that blesses me with thousands of cones each year - big ones, little ones. Not all of them get used but I do my best to make sure they don't go to waste!

To make this delicate garland, drill a small hole into the top and bottom of each pine cone. Thread silver beads onto eye pins and stick them into the holes. A dab of glue will keep the beads in place. I use my glue gun because it is so quick and easy. Use fine wire ribbon to hang cones from a string of beads. These don't have to be elegant - beads can be multi-color with white cones or green cones or red cones. Use your imagination and have fun. After all, if it's not fun - why do it at all

Monday, November 30, 2009

♥My last post for the 30 days of blessings challenge - I saved the best for last♥

  1. My son is safe. My heart is aching so deeply for the four police officers that lost their lives in Washington State. My heart is breaking for their wives and little children. It is absolutely beyond my comprehension that anyone - at anytime - would want to hurt someone so badly that they would take their life. We have only one life. It is precious. How on earth can we call ourselves mankind when we show no kindness to each other on so many occasions? My son is in border law enforcement. I thank God each and every day when he ends his shift and goes home to his family.
  2. Our Father in heaven. The only thing that helps me to keep my sanity when such horrible things take place is that those who have lost their lives are in the arms of Our Father.
  3. My grandchildren. Each and every one of them is more precious than all of the gold on earth. Each is as different as a snowflake - hearts as delicate as snowflakes - and lives as remarkable as snowflakes. I pray to my loving God that I can watch them graduate from college and dance at their weddings. I pray that I will hold my great-grandchildren - to rock them - to kiss their soft cheeks - breathe in the sweet aroma that only a baby can give to the world.
  4. My friends. Near or far - in the flesh or virtual -  each of them has graced my life with happiness and a shoulder in times of need.
  5. My last blessing to note this year - my animals. My dogs - unconditional love at it's finest. My cats - beauty, grace and affection housed in small, angora-like bodies.
That's it, folks. My 30 days of blessings. Five blessings each day for a total of 150. Are there more? You betcha! I could do this each and every day until the end of time and I know that you could, too. So, until next year when we do this again - I wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with good friends, good food and good times.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sometimes very old is much better than anything new - Life's blessings that endure

My mind wandered today remembering how good it feels to snuggle into my favorite chair, book in hand and cocoa on the side table. I was reminded of bitter cold winter days and fingers so cold from shoveling snow that you thought they would drop off if they didn't get warmed soon. Little things that we take for granted that mean so much when we want them and want them NOW!
  1. The printing press. I love to read. I love to read just about anything: books, magazines, recipes, newspapers, the Bible. Just imagine what your life would be like without the printing press and the freedom to read whatever you please whenever you please. 
  2. Library books. Books about cooking and gardening and crafting and decorating and novels and biographies and history and - and - my list is enormous. I'll sit outside in the summer listening to the birds sing and the neighborhood children at play and read. I read whatever suits me. I sit near the fireplace in the winter, book in hand, and feel the comfort of its bound pages and tight spine - the new smell if it's something I haven't read before. Books bring such a perfect serenity to an ordinary day.
  3. A really comfortable chair. You know, the kind that fits you like a glove and may look like death warmed over but you just can't bare to part with it because you ♥ it. The kind of chair that cuddles you the moment you settle into it and keeps you there long after you should have left it behind to do other things.
  4. An old afghan. New ones just don't have the same snuggly feeling as the ones with thread bare edges and seams and faded fabric. Maybe your favorite is made of yarn - the one your mom or auntie made for you when you went off to college. The one that should have been used for the dog's bed years ago but you just can't convince yourself that there isn't one more season left in it to warm your tootsies by after shoveling snow.
  5. Hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows. Rich, thick hot cocoa made with whole milk - not that thin, modern and dietary correct stuff that you should drink. Nope, the stuff that you had as a child. The stuff that tastes like a melted candy bar and satisfies you all the way down to your little toes. The stuff that is served so hot that you can barely hold the cup; wishing that it would hurry up and cool because if it doesn't you are going to burn your tongue right out of your mouth.
I'm taking part in an exercise during the month of November to list the blessings that encourage us to give thanks. Take a peek on my sidebar. There are a couple of buttons that will take you to the blogs that are sponsoring this event. Believe me - when you do this, it really puts life into a more clear perspective.