Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wake Up Call


Nothing beats waking up to wonderful aromas emanating from the kitchen. Imagine a thin white vapor trailing gracefully in the air – beginning in the kitchen and then making its way slowly through the house, weaving through each room and arriving at a sleepy head. The vapor forms itself into a finger and stretches ever so carefully to




on the sleepy head’s nose. “Wake up, wake up! There is something delicious being prepared for you in the kitchen”, announces the vapor.


Sleepy head reluctantly crawls out of bed, half asleep. As he makes his way downstairs, he is greeted with a “good morning” and a plate of warm cookies, fresh out of the oven.


It is ok to have cookies for breakfast, isn’t it?


We like to think so.


P1010015c Oh how I love the smell of cookies baking in the oven. Who isn’t filled with joy when tempted by the penetrating aroma of rich and spicy molasses cookies? It really is a wonderful way to start a new day!


Soft Molasses Cookies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

3 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

1 cup light brown sugar – firmly packed and sifted

2 eggs – well beaten

3/4 cup molasses

3/4 cup sour milk (see below)

white vinegar

granulated sugar

1. Sift the flour with the baking soda, ginger and salt.

2. Cream shortening, gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

3. Blend in the well beaten eggs. Add molasses and continue to beat.

4. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the milk, beating until smooth after each addition.

5. Chill dough in refrigerator several hours, or overnight.

6. Turn onto floured surface. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with scalloped cookie or biscuit cutter. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

7. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes.

This recipe yields about 3 dozen, 3-inch cookies.

SOUR MILK: Add 4 teaspoons of white vinegar to the measuring cup first. Add the milk to the same measuring cup to bring the volume to 3/4 cup.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Better Than Faire


Mix in a day of sunshine, antiques, collectibles and grilled onions with hot links and you have a better than fair day for a peddler’s faire. My husband and I – with doggies, too – strolled amongst all of the wonderful booths filled with antiques and vintage collectibles. No, we didn’t take home the scottie things here, but Miss Jean did score a wonderful scottie painting and I found an old dog print, a vintage tablecloth, an old crock, a scottie towel and a fabulous green chippy paint cabinet.

IMG_3164 It was a fun morning and we ran into a lot of friends whilst there. The faire was held in a historic town in the foothills of California. My husband, with camera in hand, took all of the pictures. I had to be “hands free” to shop, dontchaknow! IMG_3168 Well, at least one hand free as Miss Fiona hung out with us girls.







The posse patrol…. they did a good job and maintained a "high profile" amongst the crowd. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and hopefully there weren’t any problems.



The setting for the faire was just lovely. The adjacent river was flowing nice and strong from all of the snow melting in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Green hills, oak trees and a blue sky made for a perfect backdrop for a delightful day.


There is a wonderful covered bridge in the town and you can read more about it HERE. It just so happens to be California’s longest covered bridge.






These buildings are the remains of the old Grist Mill and date back to the mid 1800’s.


IMG_3217 Where is Duhgall this entire time? Why, here he is – do you see him? …..Time to go home, little buddy…….time to hit the trail back home.

Friday, April 23, 2010

simple times


As I was going through some of our photos tonight, I came upon this one. It made me stop and think about life – life now and life years ago. These little children – these cute little barefoot kids – grew up in a very modest home. Times were always hard. Two of their homes had honest-to-goodness dirt floors. They did not have a lot. For play time, they made their own toys from found objects. For art, they drew in the dirt. Shoes and clothing were hand-me-downs. They made the best with what they had. There was always a hot meal on the table, even if it was only corn bread in warm milk.

My mom shares stories of her life as a kid. One of the stories that I love is of my grandfather playing his fiddle on the front porch. If grandpa wasn’t fiddlin’, he was strummin’ his guitar or playing a mean harmonica. Now grandpa wasn’t the only musically gifted person, grandma could play a mean harmonica as well. Now you get the two of them together, and it was a knee slappin’ good ol’ time!!

Even though they did not have a lot, the one thing that they always had was love for each other. They were family. They were inseparable. They did not yearn for what others had, as most of those they knew lived simple lives as well. At the end of the day, no matter what, they had each other. Family. Absolute Love. Together. Glue.

This photo is my family. My roots. My foundation. My inspiration. My blessings.

Left to right: My late aunt Sondra, my dear sweet hair-in-braids momma and my uncle Butch. My very favorite photo of my sweet family.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flower Power on Earth Day


My children’s Radio Flyer wagon….


…now powered by flowers. Gives a new meaning to “flower power!”


Inspected by the Scottie Squad…..



who give their paw of approval.

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Great Outdoors


A favorite place to go for a drive to is Yosemite National Park. We love it there, especially this time of year. With all of the rain we have had this winter, there were gorgeous and colorful wild flowers everywhere and the waterfalls were showing off in all of their powerful glory!

Above photo is of my two boys..."human boy, Spen-Man and doggie boy, Doogie P."

IMG_2941 Duhgall and Fiona love it there, too. They get plenty of attention from park visitors. Scotties have a way of just making people smile!



IMG_2949 We didn’t see any wild animals today, but I have to wonder about this tree! See the face? Do you think this is a Dogwood?



See the layers of the waterfall? It was breathtaking, to say the least. Many visitors took in the beauty and wonder that day.




God’s creations. Glory, glory!

These photos made me think of the first song on my playlist….

……Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Will There Be Cake In Heaven?

Oh how I love chocolate cake! Love, love, love it! One of my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipes came from my dear and wonderful friend, Kim. The very first time that I had it was when Kim made lunch for Laura, Spencer and I. She served the cake for dessert and it was love at first bite!

Side note: My fourth grade teacher taught me this: There are two “s’s” in dessert because you want to make it last and last. There is one “s” in desert because you want to get out of it as fast as you can. Isn’t that just too cute? P1010031

It is rich, dense, moist and filled with gooey melted chocolate chips. Heavenly! I pray that God will have chocolate cake in Heaven!

P1010038 So what do you think Fiona?

P1010039 She’s thinking…..

P1010040 And she comes up with this: “I hope that there are tasty doggie treats, too!”

If you would like to make this fabulous cake, here is Kim’s recipe:

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 package INSTANT chocolate pudding (small box)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1- 12oz bag of miniature chocolate chips
Lightly spray a bundt pan. Mix above together in a bowl. Pour into bundt pan. Bake @350 for 45-50 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.


I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. - Proverbs 8:17

Friday, April 16, 2010

Summer Blouses

IMG_3023 And the story continues…..

Yes, more summer blouses.  Cool, crisp, colorful and one-of-a-kind.  It has been so much fun making these blouses and more fun finding just the right fabrics to use.  This can be a challenge as I love so many different fabrics!IMG_3019 This blouse is made from my stash of fabrics that I just could not buy enough of.  Plump pink and red cherries against an aqua blue.  Many have asked what pattern I used for this blouse and THIS ONE…

IMG_3026 …and here it is:  Simplicity 2415.  It really is “SO EASY”.  The two adjustments that I made was to add extra length to the bottom (I am very tall) and added about 1/2” more just under the arm - at the top (arm-pit area).


Awhile back I made this blouse with a tossed cherry print. 



I used the same vintage peasant top pattern for this blouse, however I extended the length of the sleeve and added in an empire elastic waist.  The length is a little longer, too, to make it more of a tunic.  It is fun to tweak a pattern – a bit frustrating at times, but a good challenge!


IMG_3131 The pennant banners are all packaged and listed on etsy, too. IMG_3102

I am taking a bit of a break as I am working on a big project.  A first for me….lots of thinking involved….planning….check and re-check…and involves plenty of coffee to induce good brain stimulation!  I’ll share later!