Thursday, January 14, 2016

Treasures Of The Heart...

Today as I carefully packed this fifty-year-old Christmas card away with all the other decorations, I smiled, and was reminded of how our personalities are shaped in so many ways and by so many things as we grow. On the inside, it says, "Merry Christmas to Mother and Daddy Love, Kathy."

I don't remember making it, but what I do remember is having a coloring book at my grandmother's house when I was about six. I remember asking my uncle if he wanted to color a picture in my book. I watched him as he outlined and colored each item on the page. I clearly remember thinking how beautiful his picture was and how I needed to outline if I wanted mine to be beautiful. To this day I outline every picture I color. I think that simple experience may have shaped me, may have caused me to be more careful, more meticulous, wanting my efforts to be just right, or maybe it had nothing to do with anything at all.

I found the card while cleaning out my parents home after both of them had passed away. It reminded me of how, we as mother's save so many little things our kids make for us. We save ornaments that we hang on the tree year after year, construction paper paintings, letters they've written to us... We save these things never knowing what will become of them when we're gone.

A lot of things have to be thrown out. You can't keep it all, but every now and then something comes along in the form of a treasure. You know it's a treasure because it speaks to your heart. This is one of those treasures. The heart kind. The kind that reminds us to remember.

It reminds me of that little seven-year-old girl who must have been outlining and trying to make her picture as beautiful as she could. It reminds me of time spent at my grandmother's house and of the mother who lovingly put it away, only to have it resurface 50 years later. I'm glad she did. I framed it and hung it behind the Christmas tree.

Today I carefully packed this fifty-year-old Christmas card away with all the other decorations. I wrapped it in cotton batting, the kind that sparkles with glitter, and when it resurfaces again next year I'll smile, and I'll be reminded, and I'll remember.

I hope your January has started out to be the beginning of a great new year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Distant Hours...

“Happiness in life is not a given, it must be seized.”
Distant Hours  

A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WWII. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.
Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in ‘the distant hours’ of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it. ~Goodreads.

Author: Kate Morton
Published: 2010
I have read more than one of Kate Morton's books and enjoyed them all, some more than others. Kate Morton is a very accomplished writer. The way she tells her stories in flashbacks always makes me excited to get from now to then. Distant hours with it's castle, moat, and mysterious characters make it a hauntingly, gothic-like novel. The Blythe sisters each had their own story to tell and it kept me guessing and trying to solve the mystery. I did feel that it was a little too wordy and therefore could have been shorter and could have moved a bit faster in places, but it was definitely worth the read. I give it  four stars.  I can't wait to read her newest novel, The Lake House. I highly recommend any of Kate Morton's books.
Happy Reading!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

It All Has To Go...

               The time has come once again to pack it all away.
     The Santa,
      and the favorite book.

The pictures
and the lighted houses.
 The bells and ornaments,
and things from the past.

Christmas cards and Santa mugs,

Angels, carolers, and advent calendars that decorate the mantel.
snowmen and snow globes,

it all has to go.
Normally, I feel like it's over before it begins, but this year I started decorating in November and next year I may start in October. I love Christmas and everything that goes with it.
Hope everyone has a wonderful new year filled with the best that life has to offer.
Have a great week!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mother's Baked Beans...

For every family get together that we have my kids want me to make baked beans. In September, for Labor Day, I decided to surprise them by making a Crock Pot full of Great Northern beans. I love white beans. My grandmother used to make them and call me to come eat with her and take home the left-overs. She would always say nothing tasted good if she tried to make it for one person, so she would make a whole pot. Well, after Labor Day, to my surprise, the kids informed me that they wanted me to stick to the baked beans. Even my newest son-in-law requests the baked beans.
My husband's family is having their Christmas party tomorrow night, so in the morning I will get up and make baked beans. Sunday we are having Christmas at our oldest daughter's house, so Sunday morning I will get up and make another pot of baked beans.
When I first got married in 1975 my mother-in-law shared her recipes with me and this was one of her recipes. I call it Mother's Baked Beans. I get so many compliments on these beans that I thought I would share.

  • 1 can of Van Camp Pork & Beans
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 T of prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces 
Mix all ingredients together and pour into baking dish. Cook 3 hours at 250 degrees. The last two years I have used the Crock Pot to cook them. I put the pot on low and let it cook for about 6 hours. It works fine.
This is the original recipe. I have never made it using only one can. I use 6 cans and it fills my Crock Pot. If the beans have a lot of liquid in them I will partially drain because the Crock Pot seems to create it's own liquid. If you are using a baking dish you may not need to drain them. I don't care for too much celery, so I just guess at the celery, a couple of ribs may be all I use in the whole pot. When it comes to the onions I cut up two or three medium to large onions. I cut the bacon into 1 inch square pieces. It will seem like a lot of bacon, but when it cooks up it isn't too much. I follow the recipe x 6 for the rest of the ingredients.  
My mother-in-law with my kids in 1987. She was a good cook and we enjoyed many wonderful meals prepared in her kitchen.
Have a nice weekend!

Meet Inka And Piper...

I have had them for about eight years. They are now eight and ten. The oldest one, Piper, is starting to have problems. I took her to the vet thinking it might be diabetes. The testing was inconclusive.
She wasn't really overweight, but the vet thought it might help if I cut back on her food, so I did and she immediately lost weight. I can now clearly see the shape of her spine and ribs and even though I have begun to feed her more than ever, she can't seem to gain. She seems healthy as far as her personality goes, but seems to be wasting away.
 L to R, Inka and Piper
Inka normally weighs about 2 lbs. and Piper can be anywhere from 7 to 10 lbs. Since this might well be the beginning of the end, I have taken to spoiling her a bit lately. Monday night while Christmas shopping I bought her a huge, nasty looking, hog femur. She loves it. It is the worst smelling thing I think I have ever smelled, but poor Piper, she has been such a good dog, so for now, I will sit in my chair, and watch T. V. and pretend a pork roast is cooking in the oven and that I am enjoying the aroma of her tasty snack.
Hope you have a great weekend!!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Bed For Baby Jesus...

In April, while in Santiago, Spain, I bought this baby Jesus as a souvenir. The young man that ran the store was very nice. I was thinking about buying the large one for double the price. He told me he thought the medium size would work for me and he was exactly right. Then he opened at least five boxes trying to find the perfect one. One with no flaws. He was an example of every Spanish person we came in contact with.
Some wood, some glue, a piece of cotton and
Baby Jesus has his bed. He's going under the Christmas tree.
Have a nice week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Party...

Happy Birthday, Little Lawly!!!

This past week was our little Lawton's 3rd birthday. I think the last time I blogged about him he was a newborn.
 His mom threw a great party. We had all the taco salad and tacos we could eat. Afterward, we had cookies and cake with little Lawly being the center of attention.
 He loves Mickey Mouse, so of course, that was the theme of the party.
Blogger won't let me upload anymore pictures, so
Have a great rest of the week!!!

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