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~


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sneak Preview


During my Son's visit, they shared with us a view of the costume Elias will wear for his trick or treating outing. Fortunately, his costume is not of the scary sort. I have always felt that 'cute' would be the only kind of costume I could possibly approve of for my Children or Grandchildren. While I had no say in this costume, I am just tickled pink over the choice. A cuter Yoda character you will not see!

I suppose a disclaimer is in order. My two Sons as children were allowed to dress up in costumes for trick or treating. However, as time passed, and I came to understand Scripture more, I came to the conclusion that Halloween is a pagan celebration, not unlike the rituals passed down through the ages and certainly one which has no place in a Christian follower's life. It is a delicate subject to broach. It is for that reason that I seldom do." 'Tis best to live your life as you see fit, and let others do the same." I do try to live by that adage, but when you know something of great importance, and there is any degree of danger involved, but still you don't share it.... then you in a sense become responsible for any harm which befalls due to ignorance.
As to my own Sons, they are adults. They know my feelings and views. All I can do is pray for them always. My hope is that they would seek to know the Lord more. To walk closer to him, to want what the Lord wants for their lives. To seek to please him over all others, even when that may be difficult.
When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel, 3:18

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Cozy Meal

Today's lunch was grilled cheese sandwiches and soup from a can. It doesn't get any easier or simpler than that. Now, when we really get cold weather, I hope to make some REAL soup, aka Caldo de Res (Beef Soup) a hearty and robust meal in itself. Menudo would also be nice for keeping us warm. The spicy soup made with beef tripe, hominy, and red chile seasonings is said to also be a cure for a hangover.

What a wonderful thing that by cooking and baking we can stay warm and cozy. I love that!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Cold!

The early hours of the morning gave us our first inkling of cool weather for the first time since Summer ended. We actually took out a warm blanket to add to our sheets. An even better indication is that I am actually wearing my soft fuzzy sock slippers around the house for the first time this season also. My feet are cold! I'm not about to turn on the heat when the temperature outside is 75F degrees and the sun is shining brightly! According to the little weather icon on the google bar, the low was only 52F degrees today. I can only imagine how cold it must feel in regions northward. On television, I see images of people all bundled up in coats and scarves. Not so where I live. Of the cool blast from last night, only cold feet remain.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In Thanksgiving

Today was about spending a little time with loved ones. I say 'little' because time sure does fly when your loved ones have to say goodbye. My youngest Son left today, but not before seeing his older Brother arrive with his family. My eldest Son of course is only here in town until tomorrow. He'll be spending the night at his M-I-L's house with his Wife and my precious Elias. It's only fair that the other Grandmother also spend some quality time with her Grandson.

We do have many great and wonderful things to be grateful for! As always, the Lord's blessings are given in abundance.My sweet D-I-L wanted to see her Mom to give her the news that they are awaiting the arrival of another precious bundle of joy! So Elias will soon be also looking forward to a little Brother or Sister. We'll know sometime in December as to the gender. So many wonderful blessings to look forward to! And so it is when Families live in far or distant places. We make room for arrivals and departures with grace and thanksgiving, always asking for God's blessing and protection over them.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Ephesians 6:18

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Bliss

On a light and quick note, we 'broke in' our new gas grill today. Since our baby Son came down for a visit, we wanted to make something special and that he loves. Our dinner fare consisted of juicy rib eye steaks cooked over the fire along with smoked sausage, cheddar topped baked potatoes, and a steaming bowl of 'frijoles borrachos' or drunken beans. Freshly made hot sauce and a stack of home made flour tortillas completed the meal fixings. I have to credit my mate for his grilling the steaks to perfection! Gas grills really are convenient, no smoke inside the house, thank you very much. However, I have to say, mesquite firewood is the best for really bringing out the flavors of any meat. I do think though, that the Mate prefers the ease of the gas grill. There is a preparation and planning factor involved with using firewood, as well as an allowance for time to let the wood burn to just the right temperature. Not so with the grill. You just fire it up, and you're good to go after a few minutes. Very nice!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

From The Pumpkin Patch

One of the nicest aspects of this time of year is the visit to the pumpkin patch. What Grandparent doesn't look forward to receiving pictures from the little ones frolicking in the midst of such beautiful Autumnal fruits?

With glee I received some pictures of my Precious! He is growing so fast, and has already begun walking. Now we have to chase him to keep up with him! So it's no surprise that he had a wonderful time when his Parents took him to visit the pumpkin patch. Along with enjoying the sights and smells of various kinds of pumpkins and apples, he also enjoyed his first pony ride. Wish I could have been there!

Enjoying some rays of sunshine among the blaze of orange splendor!

Here, his Daddy showing him the reins...

He also got to paint his very own pumpkin. Last I heard, it's part of the Fall decor around his house. Here, he is so focused on the job at hand with a little help from his Mommy. Great job, Elias!

It's always great to see pictures of the family. I do wish we lived closer to them and could see my Precious every day!

It's wonderful that the Holidays are coming up, so family get-togethers are in store for all of us! I am so looking forward to Christmas! And it's right around the corner now! It's such a magical time of year. Hopefully by then we'll get some nice cold weather. But for now, onward we trod, trying to keep up with the times.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elizabeth from pigtailsandsnails is having a fantastic giveaway! She has a beautiful quilt made from her own pattern up for a giveaway. For all the details click on the link above or on the Quilt Giveaway button at my sidebar. Wishing all good luck!

Vintage Aprons

I've talked about sharing positive shopping experiences before. Again, I really have to give a shout out to two very talented seamstresses/bloggers. I do so because sometimes it's hard to find good quality products at reasonable prices. And partly because I'm what you could call a "wannabe" seamstress. Oh, sure, I love to sew, but so far only for myself and family. I've never taken a sewing class, so I'm less than confident about my sewing skills. Suffice it to say I consider my sewing 'adequate'. So when I saw the quality of stitchery in the items I've purchased from these ladies, I am just so impressed!

By now it's quite apparent that I'm totally into vintage aprons! I've been buying patterns hoping that someday I too may be able to make some pretty ones for myself.
These are just a few of the apron patterns I have.
I know my desk area looks quite chaotic. I can't seem to decide which apron to start with! Must buy ready-made!
That is why I purchased aprons from these ladies and was utterly happy with my acquisitions. Without further ado they are:
Cheri from a Joyful Handmaiden from whom I bought this apron, made from a 1940's vintage apron. I guess I'm just very impressed with how well sewn the apron is even with all the bias binding.....I love bias binding! When I grow up I want to sew just like her!!
Missy from Spring Bean Things from whom I bought this and this. I've also got my eye on this apron with its beautiful big flower detail. The sewing is impeccable!
I am certain you will not find better quality at any brick and mortar store! These ladies know a thing or two about fine sewing. So now I urge you, share your positive shopping experiences! We want to hear about it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Blogging Group

I just joined this group of blogs which feature people who love to craft. It was started by Keri from Quaint and Quirky website. She wanted to create a community of bloggers who could help and inspire each other (and anyone) with ideas and to also help increase traffic to those sites. By showcasing their talents and projects, it can only spell positive things for all involved in this venture. Anyone can participate, and for an idea of how to join, please do visit the SewCraftBlog.

You will find a fine group of people from diverse backgrounds all wanting to share their anecdotes, projects, pictures, tutorials, and all around helpful hints. In addition to having access to the blogs, many of these people also have online shops where you can find a variety of things for the home and for gift giving. It promises to be a fun experience for all! Furthermore, and perhaps of greater importance, is that it is also nice to support the 'handmade' and 'made at home' artisan movement.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Preserved Fruit

Sometimes it's very hard to come up with ideas to blog about. I wish I could blog every single day just to flex my writing muscles. Chores, commitments, and sometimes just being lazy can get in the way of that. So when a fellow blogger suggests a topic in a comment, I say "Why not?"

A while back we harvested an awesome amount of guavas from our tree. I posted about it
here. I would have liked to show the whole process, but as time constraints dictated otherwise, I simply touched on sharing photos of the fruit. I actually spent about five hours just processing the fruit to remove the seeds. Guava has an inordinate amount of seeds! I must find some kind of gadget which will dispense with that chore in a timely fashion.

The actual canned fruit ended up being stored in the freezer. After reading on another blog that regular canning jars could be used, I decided I would try that. I was fortunate to find some Ball brand jars which are freezer safe in our grocery store.

A closeup of this delectable jar of fruit. This photograph is of the jars inside the freezer.

I found that yes, the fruit does taste just as good once thawed in the fridge, and the texture did not change at all. In the meantime, I'm in the market for a good water bath canner and hopefully a seed separator of some sort. Any hints from anyone would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Molcajete Curing Link

I just wanted to add a little bit more to my previous post on molcajetes.
Bob of Mexico Bob blog fame suggested sharing more info on the curing process. Excellent request! As it happens, I have found several methods, the more common one being to grind uncooked rice in the mortar several times and then rinsing each time until the water runs clear. I did also find this site which lists a few more methods. Makes for a little bit of interesting reading. They also offer a few models, though they are a little pricey. Of course, I haven't shopped for a molcajete in quite a while, so I don't know what the going rate is if purchased in Mexico.

Again, I have to reiterate that while making a hot salsa in a blender is an easy and convenient and certainly inexpensive way, there is just no comparison to the taste and texture of one prepared in a molcajete. It does involve a little more 'elbow grease', but it is so worth it!

Of Ancient Lava Rock

My little molcajete collection needed a thorough dusting, so I took it out from the kitchen book cabinet. I seriously need to add the 'pig' molcajete to the set. I'd also like the 'bull' shaped one. Of course, most of these are just decorative. The only one I actually use is the small one in the middle.

You can see how dusty they get! The rectangular one on the left is called a 'metate', and for it to be a 'working' model it would probably need to be a bit larger. My Grandmother used to describe grinding corn on a metate back in the days when everything was made at home!

I love that they come in all shapes and sizes.

And this is my valuable and trusty molcajete. It has great sentimental value to me because it belonged to my beloved Abuelita! It's also the only one I use. In it I grind cumin and garlic. Funny how spices seem to come alive with flavor when ground on a molcajete. Must be something about the basalt rock that interacts. I need to get a much larger one for grinding jalapenos and tomatoes. You'd think by now I had one for that. I don't know why I haven't just gone to buy one yet. Salsas made in a molcajete are divine bliss! Nothing in the world compares to the flavor. The large one in the photo above is pretty much useless to me. I've tried 'curing' it with several different techniques I've read about, but nothing works. It still releases a lot of grit and sediment. It's kind of like cast iron pots, you need to cure them, but once you have a well seasoned one, it will give you a lifetime of use. Must make a shopping trip to Mexico for a big molcajete!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Food Inspiration from A Can

As I was walking the aisles of the grocery store yesterday, I happened to see a picture of a recipe on a container of breadcrumbs. It sure looked good! I thought to myself "Self, why don't you see what you need to get to make this yummy recipe?" Being that I was already in a food store, I quickly surmised that I could find all I needed to bring to fruition my plans of delivering on a tasty and nutritious meal for my better half and myself.

After quickly scanning the recipe, I found I only needed to buy the breadcrumb container so I could get the recipe. If only the recipe had been on a seasoned breadcrumbs container. As it was, I was stuck with plain breadcrumbs. But not to worry, I said to myself. Seasoning breadcrumbs is easy and inexpensive, and what's best I happen to have a well stocked herb and seasonings pantry.

After finishing up my shopping jaunt, I headed home and put away my foodstuff. Ah! But this meal would have to wait one day. And that day happened to be today! So many 'day' words in this paragraph, I must admit, sure can make my day!

And so without further ado, I present my version of the breadcrumb canister recipe: Swedish Meatballs!

I say my version, because I have been known to tweak a recipe here and there. The original recipe had no 'extras', only basics such as salt and pepper. I threw in some garlic powder, Emeril's 'Bam' seasoning, parsley flakes, and some grated parmesan cheese. I also opted to add some chopped green poblano peppers and a wee bit of celery to the meat mixture.

Paired with some plain egg noodles, I'd say it's a good combination.

The finished product already plated:
Believe me, it tastes better than it looks. The food colors look dull in this light somehow.

On to some other news, a fun project helped keep me busy.

I'm speaking of course of this lovely yarn I received from Amy not too long ago. I posted about it here. I'll be making a basic brimmed felted hat. But boy! At this point it's huge! Which is understandable, being that after it's washed, it will shrink considerably. I can hardly wait to get to the felting stage. That is just so much fun for me! I think it's the total transformation of the fibers which enthralls me. I absolutely love this color too. Perfect for this time of year!

And that's it for now. Armed with my journal and lovely necklace pens, I'm set to begin blogging with more frequency now. We can hope, can't we?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gifts From Gloria

Surprise, surprise!! What a wonderful parcel arrived in today's mail. My good friend Gloria had notified me that a package was on the way, but I never expected so many goodies. Thank you Gloria! I loved every single item, and that journal is going to be put to good use, believe you me. And how did you know I love the fragrance of freesia? Everything is so appreciated. Gifts from the heart are priceless! You really made my day!

As I've said before, it's not about the material gifts per se, it's about listening to that voice inside that urges you to give and share whether of your time or just a thoughtful gesture such as this. While we can't be giving things all the time, monetary expense being a prevalent reason, there are times when it's just about reaching out. Who knows if your act of kindness changed a person's life? God works in mysterious ways! ".....but the greatest of these is charity." I Cor 13:13

The lovely cherry tote will be perfect for transporting my knitting projects plus a good book or two. I plan to use this journal for writing down ideas on what to blog about and other interesting things. Many hugs, Gloria! ♥♥♥


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