rise & shine, glory glory

Years ago, I remember hearing my sister-in-law talk about getting up at 3:15 am to make breakfast for my brother-in-law.  Yes, tough Army guys need a good breakfast to be ready  & raring to take charge of their troops.

When you hear that “the Army does more before 9:00 am than most folks do all day”….they aren’t kidding.  That also means some of their wives were up prior to that getting them going on the right path.

I asked Mr. Right, do you want me to get up and make you breakfast?  He said in the nicest, kindest way….sweetheart, no one wants to eat what you cook at 3:15 am.

That pretty much sums up my abilities in the early hours of the day.  I am not very creative or cheerful or thinking straight …I’ll just say what everyone is thinking, I am not a morning person.

20190517_165425Recently, on my latest youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnjZZpUledU I asked folks to tell me how they started their day. I asked what kind of rituals they do to set themselves up on the right path.

It has been lovely to read everyone’s routines.  Many different, so many the same.  From scratching their dogs’ belly to listening to uplifting music, prayer, breakfast, and devotionals,  the glorious coffee/tea seemed to be a repeated necessity.

Since so many shared, I thought I had best jump on here and share how my day begins.

I have found that routine helps me navigate the early morning hours.

The moment, I wake, I say thank you.  I am grateful for another day.  I start the day with light ankle/leg stretches.  I put on my walking clothes and somehow manage to corral my beautiful, huge, “joyful” hair into/under a baseball cap. Brushing my teeth and putting on lip gloss is next as is drinking one glass of water.

Five days a week, (4 weeks a month, 12 months a year) I read my letter.  Yes, Mr. Right leaves me a note.  Stickers, stick figure drawings, always an excellent, kind comment about last nights’ dinner, bread or dessert.  Sometimes he writes a poem, a joke, leaves a pun, a count down to something fun we are planning.

Yes, every workday morning, I read and keep my love notes. 20190525_073806

I make my bed.  Yes.  Every single day.  When my sisters and I were little, our mother 20171018_141746-1_resizedwould say we were not allowed to go to school unless our beds were made.  Oh my, to think we couldn’t go to school!  Geesh. The habit has remained with me.

I take our Sweet Liberty outside.  Now, that she is elderly, she no longer joins me for my walk.  She relaxes at home and gets an extra wink or two of beauty sleep.

I make her breakfast, give her fresh water, brush her every morning. (Yes, a girl needs to have a daily comb out.)

If I don’t walk, I ride my indoor bike.Rise and Shine

During biking, I read The Upper Room and  The Christian Science Reading Daily Lift scripture and thoughts.  My morning devotionals last for 3 miles, about 22 minutes.

I use my Rebound-air for 9 minutes.  (Here is the goodness:  2 minutes on my Rebound-Air equals 6 minutes of running or 10 minutes of swimming or 22 minutes of walking.)

Boy Howdy, it’s fun, helps my lymphatic system & makes me happy.  I can listen to music or a video or let my brain swirl.  When jumping, so I don’t slip,  I use socks with little rubber nibs on the bottom.  They even have a powerful message for me each morning!

20180214_204856My morning juice is already made (the night before by Mr. Right) and chilling in the refrigerator, six days a week.  It is 4 carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 orange, and 1/2 lemon. (fyi, our jars are from the Love Bomb company in Oregon.  It’s a great company & we love our jars!)  https://www.thelovebombcompany.com/

Some mornings I sail through my routine, other days, with my eye on the prize, I stumble each step of the way.

The prize you ask?  Oh, I think you already know.

A beautiful cup of coffee.

Dark Italian Roast freshly ground beans.  I add some coconut sugar and a splash of 20180830_074754coconut/almond creamer.  Depending on my need, I choose a beautiful cup or a comfortable Polish pottery mug.  Once in a while, when the day calls for a big, bold choice, an overly large mug, with a big handle and the perfect curve of the lip, fits the bill.

Whether you jump start your day like a military person on a mission or you ease into the morning slightly slower….

I hope you set yourself on a path of gratitude.  Grace and glory will surely follow.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

soup+bread=comfort

I woke up to pouring rain and 46*.  It was dark and dreary.  There was a chill in the air.  I was walking barefoot across my yard.  (grounding, it works)  I slipped on my boots to go tend to my chickens.  As I fed them and gave them treats and fresh water, I told them how it seemed like a soup and bread kind of day.  They all chatted back in agreement.  It sure doesn’t feel like the middle of May.

 

I knew I was going to bake bread.  I try and do one tricky thing and one or two super simple dinner ideas. Each packed full of nutrients and flavor, always lots and lots of flavors.

The soup was an easy peasy choice and you can start to finish have this soup on the table in about 30 minutes.  Not much effort for brilliant results.  I used Brandi of The Vegan 8 fame recipe.  https://thevegan8.com/2018/01/25/tomato-vegetable-soup/

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While flipping through a couple of my bread books, I happily stumbled upon Onion Rosemary bread.  This is a good one.  The recipe calls for one LARGE loaf.  I prefer to make two smaller loaves.  A couple of reasons.  1.   I can keep one and give one to a neighbor.  2.   there are only two of us.  We get tired of the same bread over and over and over.  Now and then, I prefer to divide the recipe in half.  We are able to devour a small loaf of bread in 2 or 3 days.

Here is what you knead (get it, a joke…knead…need, Come on, that was a good one!):  1/4 cup butter (you know I use Earth Balance, vegan butter) 2 cups of onions, chopped finely, 1 envelope of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use coconut or date sugar), 1 cup warm water, 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan salt and please for the love of good flavor, measure the salt), 1 HEAPING Tablespoon of finely chopped Fresh Rosemary (fresh makes a ginormous difference).

rosemary*side note suggestion:  At our previous home, I could not for the life of me get my Rosemary to grow well.  I have a friend who was hacking her Rosemary bush back constantly.  So one day, I said, I will trade you fresh Rosemary for a loaf of bread.  She gave me a GROCERY BAG full!  haha.  I did bake a couple of loaves for her and gave her two other recipes to use.  It was a beautiful barter.  I am SURE you have something you can barter with a neighbor in exchange for a handful of their fresh Rosemary?  

Melt the butter on medium/low and toss in those beautiful fragrant onions.  Cook for about 20 minutes until they are golden.  You know they are done when you want to sneak one for a taste.

While those are cooking, in your mixing bowl, combine half the flour, sugar, water and yeast. Let sit until bubbly, takes about 20 minutes.

Next add your remaining flour, salt (measured) and Rosemary.  Mix well with a wooden spoon (if you have or want big arm muscles) or just turn on the Kitchen-Aid.  Gradually add the onion/butter mixture.  This will form a slightly sticky dough.

Use your dough hook and let it do it’s magic for 10 minutes.  Or if you are upset about something or fretting, toss that dough on the counter with a little flour and work it out.  Knead the dough for 10 minutes.  It is a rather satisfying feeling.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  Arrange the dough in a slightly flattened circle.  Cover with a damp tea towel.  (here is where I set the whole cookie sheet on a medium warm heating pad) Let rise for 45-50 minutes.

Bake 400* for 30 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack and brush with melted butter.  I save a pinch of rosemary and add that to the butter.  The aroma of freshly baked onion bread and rosemary is divine. 20190515_152011

The table is set with big soup bowls, oversized linen napkins, the bread is on a board, sliced & ready to choose your perfect slice…..you sit down………………say Grace and pick up your soup spoon, gingerly take that first small sip.  Oh, my.  Another larger spoonful….and the conversation begins………….

that my friend is comfort, pure and simple.

 

In this together,

Chat soon.

PS.  Printed on the soffit above my kitchen, I have a quote,

“they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46

Sweet Pea and Georgina

20190423_115536-1Today on my Youtube video, entitled, Sew Grateful, I shared a couple of finishes.  The idea of sharing them on this blog is to give a bit closer up photos of the projects.

Yes, I have crocheted baby blankets, however, never a big girl blanket.  Lucy at attic24 changed that.  https://attic24.typepad.com/

I will say, the final product is quite pleasing to the eye, the colors fall into the next.  My brain swirled & fell in love with the colors so passionately, I’ve since planted half a flower bed with sweet pea seeds.  Fingers crossed I will be bathed in Grace & colors & sweet scents in a couple months.  Until then, I can wrap the colors around me and dream.

Side note:  Good news, Mr. Right used it to take a nap and he said it works well.

 

Next project, The Georgina Thomson 1895 Sampler. She turned out beautiful and is now complete.  We will be taking to the framers this weekend.  Mr. Right’s grandmother is Georgina.  Listed in the Sampler is her home address where she grew up in Scotland, her name, her birth year, the initials of her 6 children and in the lower case letters, the initials of her 13 Grandchildren.

Finished scottish sampler

I began this piece on March 2, 2019, and completed today, April 26, 2019.  It was stitched on 28 count linen, the color called, White Chocolate.  I used overdyed threads.

Once framed, there will be a written family history explaining the family names, dates, places as well as the information regarding the linen and pattern…placed on the back of the piece.

I shared one other smaller scale project.  My lavender sachets.  I grew and dried the lavender.  Using up bits of leftover linen and thread, I stitch the sachets and add some beads and ribbon as adornment.  I give them as small tuck in gifts or add to a wrapped gift.  Some, I personalize with an initial.

The picture below is the window in my sewing room.  I use lavender as the “curtain”.

20160920_151104_resized_2lavender bundlesHere are some bits and pieces of my sachet making.

It was a pleasure to share my projects today.  Thanks so much for taking an interest in my hobbies.

I will leave you with some backyard spring flowers.

Happy Spring.

In this together, chat soon.

Daleen

flosstube notes of goodness

Hi Friends,

20180710_132418-1_resized_1Today’s blog is slightly different and happy.

I started making video’s on YouTube in November 2018 and today I made my 9th video.  After some very kind suggestions, I think every now and then I will use this blog to share notes from the videos.  I will also share pictures of some of the stitching that I talked about.

My channel name is Sew Grateful.  I have 1,070 new friends to talk stitching with.  That makes me very happy and yes, SEW GRATEFUL to have found a circle of folks with similar interests.

If you have a moment, please stop by my video and have a look.  You are more than welcome.  https://youtu.be/A8okw

In today’s video, I talked about my mother in law’s recipe for Banana Bread.  A slice with a nice hot cup of coffee was the perfect thing on this drizzly day.  Come to think about it, I have been baking this bread for over 36 years.  I am now calling it “my” banana bread recipe.  🙂

20190404_092356-1Banana Bread

3 large, ripe, bananas, mashed, 3/4 cup brown sugar (I use coconut sugar), 1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance) Mix together and add:  2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter flour mix, gluten-free), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt.  (here you can add chopped nuts if you fancy)  Place in a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Cover with foil or a lid and continue baking 10 additional minutes.  If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.  Now the waiting…………..cooling…….cool some more….then slice and enjoy!

20190405_094919-1I talked about my current work in progress, the Jane Pattison Scottish Sampler.  I will now be calling it the Georgina Thomson Sampler.  As her name is now stitched and the year she was born.  Georgina Thomson is Mr. Right’s grandmother.  I will be including initials of her children, her husband and 8 Ord Street, Scotland where the family home is located. 20190405_094938-1

 

I shared a small moth cross stitch.  I will include the blog post where I first shared about this.  It is a pattern from  The Cricket Collection.  Here is more information if I piqued your interest.

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/wip-wednesday/

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At the end of my videos, I like to share some things I am Grateful for.  In today’s line up, I mentioned that I am mighty grateful for homemade Ketchup!!!!  YUM.  You are just four minutes away from tasty goodness!  Oh look, there are some homemade buns as well.  Delightfully good.

https://thevegan8.com/2019/03/28/easy-homemade-ketchup-10-minutes/

Before I sign off, thank you again for all your kind wishes, prayers, good karma and thoughtful questions regarding my sis in law, Janis.  She is on the mend and doing better every single day.  Our family is mighty GRATEFUL for your concern and help.

Oh, maybe, just maybe it was the pillowcase I made her to help her feel better?  “Hope you are feeling chipper soon”.  (laughter is indeed the best medicine)

 

Thanks for stopping by today,

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

6 years

In a weird calendar of events, I honestly have ZERO idea who thought February 4th should be “World Cancer Day”.  To celebrate?  To make money?  Is there a person alive today on the face of the earth that needs to be informed about the disease?  This is my blog, and I can say what I want.  I think the idea is stupid.

If you have cancer, every day you wake up, it is most likely the first or near the top of the list of things you think about. every. single. day.

sixSix years ago, on January 22nd, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and hypoparathyroidism.  The doctors told my husband, I most likely would not live to see Christmas.

One of the things that makes me slightly different from most stories you hear… I chose the path less traveled.

With tears in my eyes, I said a polite but firm NO, thank you to their “offer” of chemotherapy and radiation.

(side note:  chemotherapy is successful in 3% of the cases.  To those people, I applaud you.  You are angels among us. You deserve our light & encouragement.  You made an extremely tough choice. I am mighty grateful you are in this game of life.  I am grateful for your walking through the fire before us and for giving us hope.)

Now, I won’t go into how many medical personnel, “friends”, family as well as strangers felt the NEED to tell me I was crazy.   Should I count and tell you how many friends walked out of my life?

I will tell you that Mr. Right saved my life.

 Absolute truth.

Our four adult children were right there in the trenches with us.   My sister-in-law, brother-in-law & niece have shown and continue to show 100% unconditional love and support.  (even if they think my 64 ounces of green juice is “yucky”.  haha)  I had one friend, several states away, who while chose differently than I, supported me and encouraged me every step of the way.

The road less traveled is not decorated with pink boas or certificates or cute tutus or supportive people.  The road less traveled is quiet, lonely, scary, uncertain and foreboding.  There are zero insurance companies signing up to help you purchase vegetables for juice, or supplements or bio-mats or Vitamin C treatments or a new bike or Re-boundairs or trips to Salt Caves or $15.00 deodorants or all new makeup or all new cleaning supplies and on and on the list goes.

I am here today,  6 years and 2 weeks (yes, I count the days)  crazy alive, grateful and typing.

Chris Beat Cancer is a book written by Chris Wark.  On the back jacket of the book this is what it says:

“I am not “lucky” or special.  I am just a regular guy who listened to his instincts, stepped out in faith, and took massive action to help his body heal.  

I eliminated everything in my life that may have contributed to my disease, and changed the internal terrain of my body- making it a place where cancer could not thrive.  What I did, I believe anyone can do, including you. “

This is exactly what I did.  I made 157 changes to my life.  I am still studying for and researching health and wellness 1 hour a day, five days a week.

After 6 years I still feel jumpy that I may “jinx” it by talking about healing.  I still only trim 1/8 of an inch of my hair at a time.

Are people still gobsmacked when they run into me at the store?  “wow, I thought you would be dead by now”.  “We were waiting for the other shoe to drop.”  “You just need to pray more”.

This whole ordeal has brought out the worst in people.  I might never again go back to a Woman’s Bible Study or do more than listen politely when people tell me I am crazy for not following the norm.

The great news is, it has brought out the BEST in some.

Just yesterday our son told me about a Chili cook-off he has entered.  He has been practicing.  For the competition, he has to offer up 25 gallons of chili.  Then he went on to say, he chose to make a Vegetarian version that will knock the socks off any meat-eater out there.  He thought it would be weird to use meat in a competition that was to benefit a cancer research project.

Kids DO NOT listen…………………they watch exactly what you do.

They are smart that way.

cropped-lush-arrangemnt.jpgSo, on the anniversary of the 6th year of living and thriving, I brushed my dog, talked to my grands, went out for a fancy-schmancy lunch at the Fairmont and yes, I drank my green juice.

Here’s to year seven!20190122_134918-1

May we all walk in health and wellness.

Chat soon,

Daleen

 

chick inn

You all know the story by now.  (If not, I’ll give you the micro Cliff Notes.)

5 1/2 years ago when I was extremely ill, a life long friend drove into our circle driveway with a horse trailer full of supplies.  She & her teenagers dropped off a coop, feed dish, water container, bedding, straw, food and 3 chickens.  She got back into her truck and I yelled, WAIT!

I don’t know a thing about chickens!

She said, then I guess you will need to learn fast.  Good Luck, you’ll be fine.

Everyday after that, I had to get up and go out to the backyard and tend to my chickens.  Every single day, I read and read and read until I couldn’t find anything else to read and learn about chickens.  The first weekend, Mr. Right drove me to the library and a book store.  The boyfriend carried arm loads of new books.

Pretty wise girlfriend.

I went outside morning, noon and night to check on Lovey, Mary-Ann and Ginger.  I had to lift small buckets of feed and drag the bag of bedding.  I lifted the small, then large containers of water.  I spilled, sweat, was frustrated and kept trying.  Mr. Right only helped me when he had to.  I did 95% of the work (slow & steady) all by myself.

Fast forward 5.8 years.

My fascination (sounds way better than obsession) with chickens has grown.  I try to learn new things all the time.  I use only natural methods of raising them.

 

I include fresh-cut Rosemary when laying in fresh straw to discourage bugs and just this past week, I learned to tie a cooper coupling on the fishing line in my water container to reduce algae growth.

The time had come for a new Coop.  20180828_071910-1

While standing in the kitchen (which I do a LOT), I look out the window and can see the chickens.   I wanted to be able to see them, yet I wanted their new digs to be nice looking.

We did a little research and ordered a basic coop.  When it arrived I painted the parts and Mr. Right put it together.  Then we (read that as I picked things out, he figured out how to install them and make it all work) upgraded some of the hinges, locks and he reinforced some of the places that would get the most wear and tear.

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The run, which we refer to as the “East Wing” was designed and built by Mr. Right.  Yes, the same Mr. Right who continues to refer to the girls as “Buzzards”.  I think secretly he likes them.  haha20180828_072001

The run is actually built in two, five foot sections and can be taken apart for cleaning etc.  It is attached to the main coop and can also be taken apart.  We put clear carpet runner 20180828_071754on top of the wire in one section to provide more cover from the elements, yet still allowing sunshine and light to get through.

20180828_071813-1We made a feeder and water container out of pvc pipe.  So far, working well, with only a slight adjustment needed on the feeder.

This morning, while checking on the girls Ginger, Dolly (Madison), Margaret (Hatcher), Dixie (Chick) and Queen Frosting…. I gratefully collected egg number 2, 224.20180828_072907

I am grateful to be healthy enough to take care of them.  I will be forever grateful to my friend for slapping me upside the head with a slipper to gently encourage me to get off the sofa and back to living & working.  And of course, Mr. Right for indulging me by listening to one more crazy idea for the chickens.

Hey, Mr. Right, I did have a small idea on how the feeder would work more efficiently.  Here, let me explain……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

secrets in a garden

garden quote

Good morning, friends.

After my morning walk, instead of going back indoors, I walked to the side yard and opened our gate.

As I was watering  & tending to the garden, I decided to allow all the secret mermaids, dragonflies, hearts, rocks, flowers,  nurture my soul and bathe me in Grace.

Do you have a secret garden?

I thought I would share some of mine today.

In this together, friends.

Take care of your soul, you are worth it.

Chat soon.