balance, beauty, good marriages, goodness, grace, great marriage, great marriage secrets, haPPY, health, pure goodness, wellness

visions of sugar plums…

sugar plumsVisions of sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free plums danced in their heads.  (just kidding)

Right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle that seems to hover over this month, have you taken time out for you and your person?  In between signing cards, wrapping boxes, baking treats, have you taken a few moments to bathe your master bedroom in grace & goodness?

Have you announced to the universe that your sanctuary is of value and importance?

Does your better half know without a shadow of a doubt that you hold your relationship in the highest of regard and continue to lift it up on a daily basis?

Have you taken 30 minutes to quickly deep clean, de-clutter, dust, vacuum, and gussie up your sanctuary? Are there fresh, ironed (yes, ironed) linens on your bed?  Have you brought in fresh flowers or greens or even a tree?  Have you brought in beautiful candles, a soft, cozy throw for the bed?  Did you place that festive pillow you found in your decoration box, just so,  to add a little something-something to your bed?  Have you sewed new, softer than mink, white pillow covers that look like they are covered in mini snowballs?

Or has it become the catch-all?  Wrapping paper leaning behind the door.  Gifts secretly crammed beneath the bed.  Clean laundry waiting to be folded.  Does your dresser top hold odd change, one stray button, and a broken necklace?  Is the room filled with stress?  Do you close the door to avoid looking in there?

Or the moment you step into your private sanctuary, does it fill you with calm and beauty? Can you feel it? Does it feel like goodness?  When you spy that bed, do just want to burrow in and surround yourself with fluffy coziness?  Just by walking into that room, do you feel fortunate, harmony and peace? 20171215_094358-1_resized

A gentle suggestion?  Take 30 minutes and create a little beauty.  Our world is harsh, tricky and can be brutal.  Some days it feels like more bad news than good.  We all need a place that we can go to breathe and feel the solitude and safety.  No electronics, no ugly noise, no demands.  We all need and crave a place to restore our spirit & soul.

May you make and enjoy a small corner of peace this season.

Sweet dreams.please do not disturb

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

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beauty, gift giving, grandchildren, haPPY, Homemade gift, pure goodness, splurge

mad about hats

 

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I have been sewing, quilting, cross stitching since I was 12 years old.  I also took knitting lessons, twice.  (It was not the teacher, it was most likely the student.  I am not a knitter.)

I started learning to crochet on February 1, 2017.  Technically I am a beginner, however, my daughter in law thinks I can easily call myself an “Advanced Beginner”.

I like that.

Advanced Beginner.  You know that feeling when you have accomplished quite a bit and you are just about to move ahead to the next grade?  Excited, anxious to learn something new, yet feeling all puffed up about yourself with what you have already learned.

I think I will start a new hat today!  20170927_110716-1_resized

Then all of a sudden, some unkind, dreary, non-sparkly person says, “Enough with the hats, I think you got that, time to move on to something else.”

Actually, I like making hats.  OODLES and OODLES of hats!  I like to donate hats.  I like to make them for gifts.  I love to make them for my grands.  Yes, I am well aware that not everyone likes or uses handmade hats.  Secretly, I think everyone would feel special if someone made them a hat.  Just my opinion.

Our grands all live in very warm places.  So the amount of time they actually “need” a warm hat is not very long. I am okay with spending my time, money and effort on a hat for my grandchildren EVEN IF they only wear it one day!  How’s that for a granny who loves them?? They also like to play dress up and pretend that it is winter indoors sometimes.  That’s where having a hand crocheted hat from their granny comes in handy!

Hats work up fairly quickly and with each one or two, I am trying to learn a new stitch or a new method.  While making these, I learned how to make bigger, fluffier, pom poms. 20171022_122030-1_resized

I even had my own tags made.  The tags say, Splurge with my initials underneath.  I like the thought of splurging on fancy yarn to make something special for the grand little people in my life.20171024_201802-1-1_resized

On these hats, I learned the cluster stitch. 20171031_135009-1_resized

These booties were made for a new little girl & the hat for her big brother.  With these, I learned to crochet plaid.20171104_102636-1_resized_1

I like to celebrate with my friends when they tell me they are going to be a grandma.  I like to share in their happiness.  Making something makes me feel connected. Sewing or crocheting something with my hands does my soul good.  20171106_204031-1_resized

These are a gift for twin boys about to be born and a special one for their big brother.

It is a true honor to participate in historic traditions.  Makes even the silliest of hats seem worthy.

Love to hear what you are making with your hands to feed your soul and spirit.

Guess what I am going to start today?  🙂

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

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blendtec, fresh, garden, gardening, grateful, pure goodness, recipe, summer, vegetables, wellness

tomato round up, yeehaw

20170913_132317-1_resizedThis year, the first weekend in May,  we planted 2 tomato plants.  The varieties were Early Girl and Big Boy.  One we purchased and the other was a free start!

Boy Howdy did we have a good year!  Gorgeous color, amazingly rich, bold flavor.  These beauties made some of the best sauce to come down the pike.

Sad side note:  Because of the wildfires in Canada and Eastern Washington and wind,  our tomatoes had a light covering of ash.  While good for the soil, we did rinse them off before bringing them inside.

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Once ripe, we ate fresh tomatoes almost daily.

20170907_180035_resizedOne older neighbor wanted one, plump, beautiful tomato to enjoy.

We gave away 3 bags full along with fresh picked Basil.  (I save those small gift bags through the year, then use them to nestle fresh picked produce in to share with the neighbors. So much cuter than filling a used grocery bag.)20170919_172531-1_resized

Then I kept track of how many pounds we picked & brought inside for us to process and use.  Are you ready?  Hold onto your cowgirl hats!

We had a grand total of 27.4 pounds!  That was from just 2 plants!!!!!

After I make yard sauce, which I use as a base for other sauces (rough chop a pan full of tomatoes, onion, and basil, sometimes Rosemary… olive oil, S & P, roast for 50 minutes on 425*, plop in Blend-Tec and push the button)

 

or spaghetti sauce, I freeze the bags flat.  I can stack the frozen packages book style, save oodles of space in the freezer and can easily see what each package contains.

 

 

Our evening temperatures are dipping into and below the 50* mark.  That means our on the vine tomatoes will not ripen any longer.

We do have a couple left ……………

I spy with my little eye………………something green.   I have a wonderful feeling that Fried Green Tomatoes will be making a debut on our plates in the very near future! 20170921_112458-1_resized

We are so grateful to have grown such a beautiful, lush, prolific garden with enough bounty to eat, share, process and freeze for later.

Already planning on what to plant next year and where.  Yes indeed, we will be rotating where we plant things.  We will nourish and feed our soil this winter.

How did you do?  Did you have extraordinary success this year?  I would love to hear how your harvest turned out this year and share any tips/tricks or common sense ideas you figured out from this season.

In this together, friends. Happy Harvest.

Chat soon.

cooking, food review, friends, friendship, pure goodness, sewing, Uncategorized

Guest Author, Chef Natalie

It gives me much happiness to introduce to you,  my guest author, Chef Natalie.20161220_131129_resized_1

I wrote about our adventures in a previous post.   https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/5-star-soup-10-star-chef/

Housekeeping:  Because my guest is under 18 years of age, I have asked  and was granted permission of her parents to share some pictures.  

I am delighted to share this post with you my kind hearted & charming readers.

Please leave a positive, uplifting comment, send my guest Good Karma and by all means please share this post on your blog or on Social Media.  Thank you, kindly.  I appreciate your kind feedback and I know for sure, she will.

I have this funny feeling, we are all in on the ground floor of ……. something pretty special. 

Please welcome my friend, Chef Natalie!

Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m 10 years old and I love to cook. I started cooking with my mom when I was 3. I love helping my mom cook and I love seeing people like my food.

I spent the best day ever at Miss. Daleens house. We started the day by making a delicious 20161220_090844_resizedsmoothie. It was a banana, strawberry, spinach, lime juice, chia seeds and coconut smoothie. I got to crack open a coconut with a hammer and a coco jack. we used the meat scraper to get all of the meat. The tools that we used to open the coconut were so much safer than using a knife and a hammer which did not work out for me before. I had to get 3 stiches! Oww! Once we were not hangry any more we made palmiers. p.s hangry means your so hungry that your grumpy. The palmiers are like a light fluffy 20161220_105041-1_resized_1crossont covered in sugar. They were my favorite cookie of all because they were sweet but not too sweet. They were super easy but looked like you spent hours on them.

Next we made the dough for Daleens Famous molasses cookies. While that was chillin we tried facon!  Its coconut, tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup. It tasted surprisingly like bacon. After that the dough was chilled so we scooped it into marble size balls. We baked them for 14 minutes. Once all those were finished we moved onto the pizelles which tasted wonderful.

20161220_124152_resizedPizelles are like a flat pretty waffle cone. But it was not a cone. They can be flat or you can wrap them around a wooden cone shaped mold but you have to wrap it around when it comes out of the burning hot pizzelle iron. It was really hot. I think I20161220_125817_resized_1 burnt of 3 layers of my skin! Even though it hurt, in the end it was all worth it. For my family I filled them with ice-cream and put whipped cream on top. We loved them. You can also fill with ricotta and powdered sugar mix. For a fancy vibe you can add whipped cream on top. They 20161220_131653-1_resizedwere delicious and beautiful.

 

Ok time for a break, Im getting hangry again. Lets have lunch. For lunch we made vegetable bisque and cheese crackers by putting parmesan on a baking tray with parchment paper and baked it at 350 for 15 minutes. The soup and the cheese crackers together were fenomenal. We laughed talked and had a good time. We

talked about presentation for our food and how important it is because people eat with their eyes first. Also you need to put some of the ingredients in your food on top so if 20161220_115822_resized_1people are allergic to something they can see it on top and know they cant eat it. You have to be careful of allergies when your cooking for other people. Ask them ahead of time if they have any allergies and stay away from those things. For example nuts are a very common allergy

Back to work.

First we did the dishes and cleaned up. Into the sewing room to make the last thing, pot holders. We made a practice one and then made my mom two. They were so 20161220_144736_resized_2easy to make. It was good for my first time using a real sewing 20161220_155827_resized_1machine. Its cool to see how it works. Miss Daleen taught me a little bit about the parts. Its important to iron so you have clean

 

sewing lines and it looks more professional. Later when my mom came home I gave the pot holders to her for an early Christmas present. She loved them so much

All in all it was a great day hangin out with my best pal Miss Daleen. Hope we can do it again soon.

 

cross stitch, gifts, pure goodness, Uncategorized

secret clues stitched

Today being Thursday,  I will finish this, (28 count linen) “Sepia Sampler” by Notforgotten Farm, designed by Lori Brechlin……….right between Work in Progress Wednesday and Friday Finish.20161222_075541-1_resized

Once again, in years to come, when the kids are deciding which things to sell at a yard sale for 25 or 75 cents, I hope they hang on to a couple handiwork pieces.

As you know, I hide clues in my work,  fingers crossed this piece will be chosen by our youngest son.

By changing the year to 85, highlighting the initials GW & birth date 20, I am hoping to catch the attention of Gabe.

This particular piece is fashioned after an original sampler from 1863.   So you will note:  a missing letter J and Q.  (Unlike written samplers were to teach the actual alphabet, stitched samplers were to teach the shape of letters and you can garner those shapes from other letters.)

Yes, I have already given framed pieces to both Daughter in Laws.  Some  pieces I keep and enjoy for a time.  Those particular pieces I stitch initials or dates or secret clues. In the last few years, in place of my initials (who stitched it) I chose a family member and use theirs.

I enjoy the stitching process.  I love the planning, the choosing of thread.  You know I am giddy with that first X.  Then like a really good book, I am thrilled and a little bit sad to put the final stitch in place and put that particular pattern away.

Oh, look, what a pretty little bird in a nest………. and just like that, a new project has begun.

Love to see what you are creating.  Please share.

In this together, folks.

PS.  After I published this post, it has been brought to my attention that not only is there a 25 and 75 cent table, there is actually going to be a $2.00 table for the “good stuff”.   Does a mom’s heart good to know.

 

grandchildren, grateful, great marriage secrets, haPPY, pure goodness

45, 46 & 47

Hello campers!  I have been away from real life for 7 days.

Read that as I was playing hooky from life.  In other words…… VACATION!

States I have visited now equal…..45, 46 & 47.

We started in Louisiana.  Then meandered through Mississippi and ended up in Alabama.  Alabama….. land of grandgirlies!

Sometimes, when I attempt to write on my blog, I make a list of words to help me remember.  Maybe I should just type the list of words?   Before you read through the list, let me just say in advance, today and every single day this week, I will be biking 5 miles and walking 2 miles. This week will be green juice and more green juice.  Every single meal will be vegetarian and whole real foods.

one dayRead that as, “How I ate my way through Spring Break 2015”. 

Leave home at 2:45 am

Airplane

New Orleans

36th floor room

French Quarter

wrought iron, exquisite iron lace balconies

architect’s Row

ferns

fountains

Mississippi River

Plantation houses

statues

Lake Pontchartrain

jazz

Bourbon street

Cigar making shop

Voodoo shop

health and healing bracelet

Cooking school

music

Pralines

River boat

Beignets & cafe au lait

horses

art

artists

Shrimp and Grits (oh, la, la)

French Market (America’s oldest continuously operated public market, 1791)

three prints and two t-shirts

Voodoo Dolls

Christmas ornament

Edgar Degas House

Spanish, Mohan cheese

Crepes

cafe du mondeBeignets & cafe au lait

Seafood Gumbo

Mardi Gras Masks

Beads, beads, beads

postcards

Chicken and Waffles

Shrimp Po boys

Rich, spicy Cajun food

biscuits

butter, more butter

Beignets & cafe au lait

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAabove ground cemeteries

rental car

Biloxi Bay Bridge

Pascagoula

79*

Mobile, AlabamaFour GRANDS!

GRANDGIRLIES: hugs, kisses, more hugs, high fives, smiling

presents for girls

began teaching “On Top of Spaghetti”

Lunch at Mud Bugs (Seafood Galore!)

Tour city

Mardi Gras store (bought a fancy mask)

Moon Pies

Malaga Inn, 1862 (sweet Southern Charm)

girls pretend to sleep on hotel bed

Peanut shop

Chocolate for grands

breakfast with the grands

made beaded necklaces and bracelets

balloons

dogs

singing “Let it Go” really loud

Point Clear

37* (did not bring heavy coats or mittens or ear muffs)

Fabric Store

Panini

Beignets and fresh lemonBeignets and lemon

Mobile Museum of Fine Art

Renoir

Mardi Gras exhibit

gowns, crowns, shoes, beads, beads and more beads

take out food for supper

playground park

fast food with the grands

Frozen yogurt and all the toppings you want with the grands

dollar store with the grands, (of course you can have a princess balloon)

SURPRISE Southern Craw fish Boil 

Southern Hospitality

Craw fish, shrimp, corn, potatoes, celery, garlic, mushrooms

beer

popcorn

Craw fish beads

bon fire

plastic Craw fish (called mud bugs) for everyone

morning visit, sang song 3 more times

sad goodbye (yuck)

stupid rental car

back to New Orleans

Airplane

read 371 page book (tried to forget about sad goodbye)

planned next vacation

drove the hour home

home at 1:30 am

started first of laundry

slept in own bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gift giving, grace, grandchildren, haPPY, pure goodness, sewing

who?

The question swirling around our house and discussion among our friends…………If you could magically make it happen, Who would you have dinner with? 

Place cards need to be made for the following people:

Thomas Jefferson, Julia Child,  Benjamin Netanyahu, Beethoven, Harry Truman, Henri Matisse, Mike Rowe,  Billy Graham,  George S. Patton,  Amelia Earhart, King David, Renoir, Wallace Simpson, John Wesley, Cher, Johanna Budwig, Carrie Walton Penner….

The list will go on, as will the discussion.  We will think of a name while on a walk or in the shower.  Of course, for this 870th blog post, after I hit the publish button, I will instantly remember a name I wanted to add to the mix.  Certainly, each name brings with it lively and interesting conversation.

There is nothing more satisfying than a wonderful meal & lively discussion, over coffee and homemade pie,  that lasts well into the evening.

I will have to make a 3×5 card for each person.  I have oodles of questions to ask.

Do you have a list for dinner companions you would enjoy?

~~~~~~~~~~

Second Topic for today:

20150226_215934Who wants an Owl Dress?

Grand number 2 asked me very politely if I would make an owl dress for her birthday.  This Grandma got right to work.  When your sweet Grand asks for an umbrella and an owl dress for her presents……….she came to the right Grandma!

The dress is complete. (& the umbrella and boots with owls are purchased)  The dress is fully lined.  Now, I know she may not understand that, as a friend said, she will appreciate how nice it feels to wear.  I adore the material that her mom found.  Owls with umbrella’s.  Who wouldn’t 20150226_215929like that??

Of course, the last thing I did was sew the jingle bell inside the dress.  Who wouldn’t want to jump, dance, squirm and wiggle to make the bell jingle? 20150226_215951

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Third Topic for today:

Who wants a cracker?

20150226_131801 (1)I purchased a mini cookie cutter.  I took a picture on a post it note to show the size.  I am making crackers for my grands!!!!  No, I don’t use dyes or chemicals.  Yes, I know it is going to take a long time to cut out each fish.  My grand children are worth it.

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Fourth Topic for today:   Who has a brand new, amazingly large, pig-tastic, coffee mug?  I do!

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Fifth Topic for today:

Who has the best Sister in Law in the land?  Me, that’s who!

Since she received a little gift in the mail this week, I can share.  Vermont has been dancing with cold and snow…………brrrrr for what seems like forever.  I wanted to make her a little something to brighten her spirits and warm her heart & soul.  (hand made gifts do that) Since she makes the best pies in the20150211_080519 (1) whole world, I chose to embroider a dish towel with a pie and cherries.20150211_080512

Now, Who wants coffee with their pie?