Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

FOLLOW


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Influenster VoxBox 2012 And FreeAmazon Shipment

This is just a short video I recorded on my cell phone. Not the greatest quality, but this is one of my first forays into video recording.



Disclaimer: I have received the aforementioned products free of charge from Influenstar for testing/sampling. Opinions stated are my own and I have not received any money or payment for them.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Determined

I WILL write again. I WILL sew again. I WILL embroider again. I WILL knit again. Above all, I WILL bake again. I WILL CREATE AGAIN.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waging War

There are those battles which are waged in the mind and which sear through to the depths of one's psyche or Spirit. Oftentimes, as is my case, these battles are waged for years. One would think that this constant barrage would make anyone strong, but I suppose that won't be known until the end. Many times I find myself feeling stronger, but that is not always the case.


I have chosen to inscribe in words a little of this struggle, because how else can I truthfully say what is in my heart, if bits and parts of my soul are not visible even to myself. I consider my life a journey, with pit stops and highlights along the way. I guess today I sit on a cliff and stare out in awe at the view and expanse of my life before me.


When I was nine years old, I was 'informed' by a well meaning neighbor of my Grandmother, that my Parents were not my parents. That my Mother was in fact the woman I had known as my Aunt, and whose daughters with whom I had played and cavorted in childhood abandon and known as my cousins- were in fact my Sisters.


I was stunned! Not because the news was so earth shattering, but because My Mother was a woman who had never shown any love or tenderness toward me. At best, she was not even a doting Aunt! Even at such a young age, my heart struggled with the reality I had been shown: I was born an unwanted child. How do you grapple with that when you are a sensitive little human? How do you make the transition from being in blissful ignorance of your beginnings to a knowledge of beginnings unlike those you saw around you: children whose Parents loved them and wanted them. How do you process this information when you are not yet equipped mentally or emotionally to cope with raw truths? Furthermore, this jagged knife piercing through my heart was two-fold. I now knew that the people who I called Parent could never feel the bond that I was certain existed in blood kin. That truth coupled with the fact that those Parents I had known were never particularly doting or loving themselves really threw me a curve ball. I became in essence a puzzle piece tossed, misplaced and forever lost from the original masterpiece.


Fast forward decades- my perception of the truth has remained unchanged. A whole lifetime has transpired, with much of it pretending that many things did not matter, when in fact they did. But being flexible in Spirit is one of the things that has enabled me to remain silent, to remember that once something is spoken, it can never be retrieved. And so it is that little has changed except what I have forged within myself to accept: people make choices in their lives which affect their offspring, but the offspring have no say or fault in the matter. Case closed.


I don't know if there is any value in writing about this struggle. I only hope to run a good race, and finish at the time my Creator decides. The end is yet to be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Praying and Believing

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” ~Lamentations 3:22-24

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lila Downs Video- Beautiful Tribute to Mexican Culture

I love the vibrant colors and beautiful landscapes of Mexico! Lila Downs at her best. I am enamoured of the clothing she wears in this video and the beautiful textiles and embroidery some of the women in the video wear.


  
  And this! Such beautiful images and music! "Agua De Rosas"
 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweets For The Sweet



Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! May your day(s) be filled with sweetness and joy!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Cheerful Garden

Brr...it's so very cold this morning! I love this weather! Right now it's even staring to drizzle, so yes, it's a cold one! When I got up this morning, which wasn't that early, around 8am, it was under 41F. Right now it's 42F, so it's still pretty cold.

Good thing yesterday I was outside taking advantage of the sun's rays to capture some photos. They will have to do for today's blog post. Too cold to be outside taking any pictures today. I really loved watching the honey bees buzzing around my pink oxalis. It's such a cheerful little plant- flowers all year long, even through the Winter.






And of course, must share a photo of my beautiful clay pots next to another pot of oxalis and a small pot of 'Snow in Paris' which I need to repot.





I named this photo 'For the Birds and the Bees' because the flowers are a popular dining spot for the bees and the water- well, it's for the birds AND the bees.




Being that it's that time of year when all the citrus trees are laden with blossoms, I could not resist sharing a photo of the fragrant 'azares'. They really perfume the air! This photo of my Meyer Lemon blossoms brings the hope of freshly made lemon curd and maybe even some limoncello! I guess I am looking forward to the growing season in the garden. But I still greatly enjoy cold weather while it's here.





And speaking of fragrance, these beautiful purple blooms really permeate the environment around  here. It's called Texas Mountain Laurel, and the aroma it emits is amazing. It actually smells like grape soda! Yumm!






I enjoyed using one of the Instagram software filters on this photo.   It almost has a vintage look to it.





 And that's my post for the day. An attempt to brighten up an otherwise gray day.

Until next time, have a little faith!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Clarity Of The Night

An ode to many a sleepless night:

Clarity Of The Night
 ©YayaOrchid

Daylight hours, they stifle my voice,
The sunlight shines too bright for me,
But cloudy overcast skies, are like a royce,
So misty, softly hued, perfect as a tree.


And oh, what joy awaits
When nighttime finally arrives
The hours they fly in haste,
Thus ends the mood in which my soul thrives.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fresh Roasted Coffee And a Video

I'm thankful and happy for this continuing cool weather we're having. It's the type of weather which makes me a bit more creative. I tend to want to do more hands on projects when the days are cool. So today being overcast and cloudy, my Sweetie and I decided we should roast some more coffee, because our canister was running a bit low. That and the possibility of rain coming in later in the day and even possibly tomorrow, prompted us to make good use of the day at hand- since we have to do the roasting outside. To demonstate I even made a short video!

This was our fourth batch of coffee which we home roast, and I like to think we've become very adept at it. In any case, we do enjoy our freshly brewed pots of coffee, freshly ground with our grinder. All the more so when the coffee is freshly roasted. So I decided to upload a video of the process. This is actually the second video, but the first was just a short few seconds, with the process not really shown. I think this video is a bit more detailed. Hope it is helpful to anyone who wants to try roasting their own coffee.


We ordered our green coffee beans from Burman Coffee. They list a very good variety of beans. I selected their dark bundle combo because we enjoy a dark French roast. This latest batch they sent us was from three different estates than the last combo, but is also for dark roasting. I'm pretty certain that even though it's made for the dark roast, you can also roast it to what is called a regular 'city' roast. I've found that really, coffee roasting is more about finding the 'color' that you like. Since we always bought our beans whole and for a French roast at the store, we figured we'd just roast to 'that' same color. This system has worked for us.


It may sound intimidating, but it's so easy, I just wish we had done this earlier. Truth be told, I had the green beans in the pantry for over a year before I finally mustered up the courage to give roasting a try. And as I explain in the video, all we needed was the whirly pop pan which I purchased at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for under $15 and with the 20% off coupon, got it at a good price. We also use a timer to get a sense of how much time elapses or must elapse to begin really watching the beans for the desired roast. The third item is a colander- or rather two colanders. You'll need them to pour your beans into from the whirly pop so they can begin to cool down and also to remove the debris and chaff.  It's probably best to watch the video to get a sense of how really simple and easy the whole process is. As to the amounts used, I merely measure out one cup of green beans from each of the three bags in the combo for a total of three cups of green beans. Once they roast the beans expand a great deal and you end up with a lot of coffee- enough to fill a medium size canister. The coffee lasts us about a week and a half more or less. We only drink a mug of coffee twice a day. So this amount works for us. It's also nice that our coffee is never more than a couple of weeks old. Doesn't get fresher than that! I think it ends up tasting better than the popular coffee shop fare. Hope you decide to give it a try. It's not only delicious, but oh so much fun to make!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Plain Sandwich Bread

We've been having such wonderful cool weather. Cool weather makes me feel cozy and happy. Perfect state of mind for baking bread. And wouldn't you know it, because I posted a photo of my bread on Facebook, a fellow bloggie friend requested the recipe. Well, that was enough to get me in blog writing mode. So thank you Jayme for inspiring me to get off my blah non-writing mode and into sharing and creating mode again!

First a glimpse of the bread:


I have to first add that this recipe is 46 years old! It was given to me by my then Third Grade Teacher, Mrs. Copeland. If not for this dear sweet woman and excellent Teacher I might never have started on my journey of bread baking- indeed on my love of bread! She gave us all her beloved recipe in a simple index card after sharing with us a slice of freshly baked bread. All these years I have hung on to this recipe, yet only until recently have I actually used it. I think I had forgotten I had it! What makes this recipe unique is that it does not contain any measured amounts of flour, you simply add flour as 'needed'. In my particular climate and humidity I generally use seven cups of flour, but what I think makes it so precious is that there is no set rule. The amount may change in whatever environment you may be, and that's ok.

Old and battered, but oh so precious to me:



And so without further ado, here is the recipe, which is enough for two loaves. I will share it here in the style Mrs. Copeland wrote it. For the yeast, because nowadays most people use the powdered yeast, I adapted it to be 2 1/2 teaspoons of regular Fleishman's yeast. Enjoy!

HOMEMADE BREAD

2 cakes yeast, 2 t sugar and 1/3 c warm water in a small bowl.

In a large bowl put 2 eggs, 1/2 c sugar, 2 c warm water, 2 t salt, 3 T oil. Add yeast to these ingredients. Add flour to make a batter and beat well. Now add flour to make a dough. Put on the dough board and knead until smooth. Put in oiled pan to rise. When it is double punch down and let rise again. Now punch down and shape into rolls or loaves. Put in greased pan and let rise until double. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

(I divide the dough in half for two loaves)

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