dessert, yes, please!

Several years ago, Mr. Right built our coffee table.  She is a beauty.  It is square with two generous drawers.  One for display and one drawer to hide goodies in.  It is topped with a thick, substantial, beautiful beveled piece of glass.

You can tell when the Grands come to visit.  Mr. Right removes the piece of glass and in its place 20160413_144534-1inserts a piece of wood painted as a chalkboard.  It is BRILLIANT.  We put out the chalk and the kids get to create and draw whatever pleases them.  On occasion, the parents join in and draw as well.

While creativity is wonderful, the main reason we switch from glass to chalkboard is so that the Grandparents don’t ever have to say, NO.

Please don’t beat your toys on the glass.  Please don’t scrap your cars across the glass.  Please don’t put stickers on the glass.  You get the idea.   Also, their parents aren’t jumpy and nervous.  Everyone can get behind the idea of a chalkboard.

Wait for it,  this year, another BRILLIANT idea to share………. a successful idea these Grandparents came up with.

The parents of our grandsons try to avoid giving the kids sugar.  So that means after they finish their dinner,  this Granny doesn’t have glorious desserts baked and ready to shower her grands with.  I did not bake chocolate chip cookies or make Rice Krispie squares, no lollipops, and so forth.

After dinner when they are clean plate club members…… I had nothing to give them! 

GASP! 

So, I invented the Dessert Basket!  After each dinner, if you have used good manners, eaten most of your meal (or not, I’m the granny, I make the rules about the dessert basket)……. You get to choose one item from the basket.

I bought an inexpensive plastic, colorful basket.  I filled it with Hot Wheels cars, and finger puppets, mini dinosaurs, plastic sharks, squeezie bathtub toys, stickers, eyeballs, paddle and ball toy, and more.  Nothing was wrapped, everything in plain sight.  The little person who was done with dinner got to choose a dessert.  Once chosen, the basket went out of sight until the next day.  20190526_220348

One day, while bike riding, the four-year-old asked me, “what do you think I should choose from the dessert basket tonight?”

Um, I think I love this idea.

  1. Parents are happy. no sugar.  check.

2. Grandparents are thrilled to give goodies to their grands.  check.

3. The grands seem to like the idea.  check

The only downside?  When the basket is empty, the glass is back in the coffee table ………….that means the little people have gone home.20190603_112059

Guess I need to get busy and start refilling the dessert basket for next time.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

Fancy floss tube follow up

In November of 2018, I put on my snazzy red cowgirl boots and gathered up some courage and made my first floss tube video.

My mission?  Meet and Make new friends.  Boy Howdy, I hit the Jackpot.  I have met the kindness, nicest folks.

My stitching friends have bathed me in Grace and Goodness and I feel so lucky.

Here are a couple photos of some of the pieces I spoke about today.

First, here is the cardboard pattern I made to create the sachets.

I used DMC  208, 209, 211, 469, 471 and 550.  It is what I had on hand.
I made the template out of a piece of cardboard.  It is 4 inches wide, 5.5 inches tall and I rounded the top corners.
 I used a 1/4″ seam to sew together.  Also, I cut a piece of ribbon 8 ” long and put it in between the fabric before stitching.  I sewed together, turned, rolled out edges, clipped corners and ironed.  I added between 1/3 and 1/2 cup dried lavender prior to my hand stitching closed.
I added some beads and a charm to the top, right under the ribbon.  On the back, I stitched on a tassel.
I used Summer House Stitch Works, Rebecca’s Primer for the upper case letters I stitched for certain people.  Or I left them off, still looks nice.
I used 100% cotton fabric for the backing.  The mystery linen (most likely 28 count)  I used is leftover pieces of this and that from projects I have done.

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Needleworker’s Sampler by Brenda Gervais.  I am stitching on 28 count linen with the called for colors.  I began this piece on May 6, 2019, my birthday.  It is a pleasure to stitch and the colors are lovely.

Today’s scrumptious snack was a berry smoothie and savory hummus.  Please, no eating in the sewing room.  That berry smoothie could cause havoc.

 

I finished Awake my soul and Sing by La-D-Da.  28 count linen.  It was blue to begin with.  Once it was stitched, I did not care for it.  I tea and coffee dyed it and then baked for 20 minutes.  I pinned and this was my first time using double-sided tape.  I used a frame that I already had.

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Thanks kindly for stopping by.  I appreciate you being in my sewing circle.

To think we are all connected by thread is humbling. 

In this together,

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

 

nailed it

I create with my hands, a lot.   Here are just a few of my finished cross stitch projects from 2018.

20181120_154655-1-1

Similar to most folks, every single hobby I enjoy involves using my hands.  Gardening, baking, sewing, quilting, crocheting and cross stitching.   (Okay, technically, while reading I hold the book or kindle, however, not much wear on my hands.)

Currently, I have been crocheting hats for the grands.  As you can imagine, all those fibers catch on rough cuticles and my dry hands.

 

Don’t even get me started on counted cross stitch.  I am just now venturing into the world of silk thread.  Even the slightest rough cuticle or dryness and it has me putting down the project.

No, you can’t just fix the problem right then.  Oh, sure, putting on hand lotion, seems at the time that it will smooth out the rough spots and you can be on your way.  A quick fix for a short-term solution at best.

Before practicing the piano, I would soak my hands in very warm water for a few minutes.  Yes, it would help loosen them up and calm the rough spots during 30 minutes of practice time.

These will help albeit for a few minutes.  However, it is not a long-term solution.

Here are a couple of things that have really helped my hands and nail cuticles.

I can’t use any chemicals to remove dried cuticles so……………..

For a few minutes, a couple of times a week, I soak my hands in warmed milk.   Since we don’t drink milk here, I purchase one of those individual size containers of whole milk.

The lactic acid in milk helps remove dead cells and soften the cuticles; the natural fats help replenish dry skin.  After soaking I push the cuticles back.

Try, oh for the love of Pete…….try not to cut your cuticles.  I only typed that to REMIND myself of this.  That is a tricky one.

Once a day, sometimes in the winter, twice a day, I rub a healing oil on my nails and cuticles.  (I don’t think I have to tell you not to touch ANY of your projects until the oils have soaked in and you have washed your hands with mild soap.)

 

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Before I share the recipe, I put all of the ingredients into a roller ball glass container.  It makes it easy and mess free to use.  BIG, helpful tip…………BUY the opener.  Just do it.  Spend the $5.00 and buy the opener.  Stores that sell essential oils usually have them right at the check out stand.  Seems like a waste of money.  Until you actually have to open a roller ball glass or essential oil container. (which will be slippery because you are …duh….using oils)roller ball opener

Into a glass roller ball container, here is what I mix up:

1 1/4 teaspoon Jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon vitamin e

5 drops lavender

5 drops lemon

5 drops frankincense

5 drops myrrh

You can also add other helpful oils like eucalyptus, grapefruit & rosemary if you like.

One more crazy tip?  I can’t use this after 2pm or I don’t sleep well that night.

The harsh winter months really emphasize how dried out our hands can become.  I hope these couple of tips will help you continue to create and work with your hands, and keep them not only beautiful but healthy.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.