Monday, April 14, 2014

Joy for a Woman's Soul

How does a woman find Joy?  How does anyone find Joy?

God promises to refresh our spirit.......but we have to open our eyes and our hearts!

As I started to pull my thoughts together for this blog post, I searched my many photos of flowers and architectural items because, other than my family, I love to photograph the unexpected and well, I just love flowers too!

I was looking for a photo that would capture....JOY!  This is what landed right smack in front of me..........
This photo stackable order from top to bottom....Kiley, Robin (me!), Robbie, Nannie and Dad.  Five generations of joining hands, pulling together and as you can see from Nannie's grip...refusing to let go! JOY. 

I've had a dream, vision, call it what you want for the last 4-5 years or so to revive our women's ministry at church.  For years my prayer has been....God show me what I need to do to for this thirsty ministry.  Last week the direction changed a little....well it changed 'a lot a little'!

God - tell me what YOU want me to do and I'll do it.  In a matter of minutes, I'd taken over the Young Women's Sunday School class, talked about plans for the women's ministry and headed for home not even worried in the slightest how I'd manage to pull all this together. JOY. 

I picked up my Daily Devotional today and the message for today......The Joy of Being Me!...........I fling joy - beyond my next door neighbor's fence, clear across town and into the universe.  Then it curves right back around to me.  Sometimes with a whack on the head when I need it.  Sometimes with a thwack into my heart.  But it always comes back. No doubt about it.

Now back to the Young Women's Sunday School class...........If you are a young woman between the ages of 18-25, I invite you to come to our class.  You will be blessed!  You will be inspired!  You will laugh and possibly cry, but you will find JOY...because God promises it will be there.

Flowers.......just because!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Now residing with the Ward family.....Goadie Nell!

There was no question that I would have a painting of a cow in my kitchen!  Not a 'Guh-huh...Giddy Up Cow' and not one that looked primitive.  I wanted one that's different and well, ME!

I love Pinterest and started my search there.  I typed in 'cow painting' and looked at what seemed like hundreds of possibilities. 

Finally, with the scroll of a finger THE cow appeared!  I couldn't  tap on it quick enough to take me to the web-link.  All excitement, including the smile on my face and flash in my eyes immediately vanished with the words....NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

If you know me, you know I'm not a quitter.......I kept searching....found the luck!  Even found some other possibilities and all wonderful, but not MY cow.  I had to resign to the fact that this was not going to be an easy task and if this cow was meant to be in my kitchen, it would appear. 

In the meantime, I became friends with T-bone, Lola & Millie at the Meadow's Farm!  Love these three and their personalities.  Yes....personality!

I'd been playing around with many options for my cow painting and trying to decide whether to play around with the photos of my new friends and do a canvas wrap or one of many cool photo printing techniques on you guessed it....Pinterest!  OR.....try to paint it myself.  Hmmmmm....what's a girl to do?

Imagine my excitement when I was scrolling through Facebook early one morning when one of my favorite Facebook pages...Antique Farm House posted a giveaway......and it was MY cow!  I could hardly contain myself!  I wanted to order it right away fearful it would be sold out or something, but hey I've got just as much chance as anyone to win it too!

The drawing was in four days...I can wait!  I can wait!  I can wait! (I know what you are thinking....order the daggone painting and if you win, return the one you bought!)  I checked into that and this painting could not be returned.  No worries - I need to learn a little patience anyhow!  D'lawd it was killing me!

I didn't win!  But the winner was announced at 11:30am and by 12:00 noon she had started her journey to the Ward's home!

She is here!

She arrived and needed a name!  I already knew I was going to use the name 'Goad' somehow because Stephen's grandparents used to farm this land and yes, had cows! (That's why I wanted the painting in the first place).  However, I want her to have a clever folksy name.......Goadie came to mind immediately and I loved it!  But what else...she either needs a middle name or a last name....I prefer a middle name. 

I consulted Melvina (aka Cindy) for name recommendations and we came up with the following:
  • Goadie Maude (Mom had an Aunt Maude)
  • Goadie Ward
  • Goadie Gertie (Pap used to call someone Gravel Gertie!!)
I was just about set with Goadie Maude and asked Stephen what Grannie Goad's first name was......Nellie!  Oh My Goodness!  Are you kidding me! 

I didn't want her exact name....Nellie Goad....but decided to flip it and MY cow's official name is:

Goadie Nell

She is beautiful and exactly what I wanted!  Goadie Nell - Welcome to the family!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

WANTED: Bob's Red Engine Walkers......Hospice Hike 2014

Only caption I can come up with......Love this!

Bob's Red Engine Walkers are gearing up for the Hospice Hike and we have 12 people registered to participate (Team goal: 20 hikers!).  We've also had donations to help us reach our team goal of $1000!  We are now at $700!

If you are thinking of joining us, don't be afraid of the walk!  It's not a run....It's not a fast paced trot....It's a leisurely stroll through Governor's Land and only two miles.  You walk that far when grocery Short Pump shopping....or at a flea market! 

Additional perks.....for the first 20 people to register to walk, you'll get a free t-shirt! I don't have a live version to share with you, but I can show you the artwork.....

T-shirt front!  The t-shirts will be red, of course!  (I drew the truck and then my friend and co-worker redid it into a format we could use for the t-shirts - Thanks Kealan!)

The back of the shirts will have a saying that Dad used to say all the time.....Great Day!  Great Day...look at that old truck!  Great Day...that's a good report card! Or sometimes just.....Great Day!  We felt that saying was appropriate for this occasion as well!

T-shirts will be ordered next week so if planning to join us, please message me your t-shirt size (unisex sizes)!

The link below will take you directly to my web-page via Hospice House and just follow the directions to join a team.  The team to join of course is Bob's Red Engine Walkers!

The countless hours of the Hospice House staff and volunteers are such a blessing to those in need.  Yes, our loved ones were patients and in need of comforting during those final weeks, days and hours.  But we needed the care and compassion as well and what better way to give back to this wonderful establishment in our very own community.....Let's Hike for Hospice!

Love you all!

Friday, March 21, 2014

What else? Make cookies!

What does one do with leftover white chocolate and a box of carrot cake mix?

What else......MAKE COOKIES!

When  Peyton was here for a visit this past weekend, I promised her we'd make cookies.  Grammie went to work to find the easiest recipe because I knew the fun would be in the icing of the cookies.  And....I was right! 

The Funfetti cookies, made from a Funfetti cake mix were a hit!  And yes, the strawberry icing was the exact final touch they needed.

I started thinking....what other cake mixes would work?  I just so happened to have a carrot cake and because this afternoon was the first time all week I'd felt like moving, I needed to do something. 

Here is my recipe:

  • 1 box of cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • icing (or in this case dipping chocolate!)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, combine first 5 ingredients and mix well.  Batter will be thick because this is cookies, not a cake!

I used my Pampered Chef cookie dough scoop and on a lightly grease cookie sheet, dropped each scoop about 2 inches apart.  Lightly press down each scoop. I'll warn you now, don't try and squeeze all the cookies onto one cookie sheet!  They spread out and you'll have one large cookie bar vs individual cookies.

Cook for 10-12 minutes at 350.  Mine weren't quite ready after 12 minutes, so I cooked them for another 2 minutes.  Put the cookies on a cooling rack and then move to a plate/platter.....waiting patiently to be dipped!

 If you are planning to dip the cookies into white chocolate like I did.  You might as well wait until after the cookies have cooled completely before starting the melting process.  It only takes a few minutes and you don't want to dip warm cookies. 

These lovely wafers can be found at your local grocery store in the baking section.  Suggestion:  Get the real chocolate!  Why go to all this trouble and then use fake chocolate?  DONTMAKENODERNSENSE!

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and start dipping!  I tipped the bowl up a little so I could get as much on one side as possible. Let the extra chocolate fall off into your bowl and then place on the parchment paper. (Now you can put them close together).

I had leftover chocolate!  Imagine that!  I sure wasn't going to let it go to waste, so I double two Ziploc bags and poured the rest into the bag.  I let it all pool into one corner and barely snipped off a corner.  See where I'm going with this?

I drizzled the undipped portion of the cookie with the chocolate and then let them cool for about 20 minutes.  The chocolate doesn't take long to harden and after not having much of an appetite this week......I assumed the position on the couch with my newly created carrot cake cookie and enjoyed every bite!


Monday, March 3, 2014

A Sewing Frenzy with my Brother!

Growing up, the oldest of two girls.  And the only children in our family of four....I remember wanting an older brother!  Ha! 

Maybe that's why I thoroughly enjoy using my Brother sewing machine! It's nothing fancy and it won't embroider or monogram anything (pause for a moment of silence while I dream!)  OK - back to reality!

I recently pulled out my sewing machine because I had to make the curtains for our family room (that's another post!) and that lead to pillow covers...that lead to curtains for the apron.....and of course the most fabulous pink hat!

Here we go.....

This is me playing with Photo Explosion!

These were probably the easiest curtains I've ever made.  The fun floral print is backed with burlap and looks like a roman shade, but it's not.  I simply made one panel the width and length of the entire window.  Made a casing at the top for spring rod #1 and set it in place.  I placed spring rod #2 about 10 inches below #1 and draped the panel over it.  Next, I measured 10 inches down and put spring rod #3 in place and you guess it...draped it one last time.  With a straight pin, I did secure them in place but once the burlap and fabric relaxed, it would probably be fine.
The pillow on the right was the start of a small quilt top I made many years ago and never did get around to finishing it.  Now that I'm using red as an accent color in the kitchen and family room, it's perfect as a pillow top. does pay to hold on to things!
I love making pillows because I am by no means a perfectionist when I sew.  Sometimes I'll wing it and other times I'll follow the pattern to the final step.
Here's an example of winging it.....

Ladies - you know when your husband, boyfriend, etc. wears that certain pair of jeans?  This WAS that pair of jeans.  Stephen decided he no longer wanted to wear them because they had a hole in the knee.  I swiped those bad boys out of the trash and made myself an apron!  D'Lawd...don't make no dern sense to throw away a perfectly good pair of jeans!

I used scraps from my pillow making frenzy, kitchen curtains and a little black and white check. 
I cut out one square using pinking shears and then used it as a guide to cut out the rest.  I pinned them around the apron (not on the bottom though) and pinned them into place.  I freestyled around the apron about 5 times with my sewing machine..... making sure at least one of the stitches caught the corner of each square.  Next I added the ties around the waist and neck and I'm done!  What else ya got in that closet you want to get rid of?

This hat has nothing to do with my sewing frenzy but I do love it.  I did however buy it during a thrift shop frenzy with Kathy & Cindy.....$1.00

I do have another pant leg from those jeans!  So here's what I'm thinking.....if you'd like an apron, put a comment on the actual blog post and I'll put your name in the hat.  Drawing will be.....MONDAY, MARCH 10TH!! (I'm trying to get exposure for my blog so please put your comment on the blog not Facebook).

Now get your Brother out of the closet and start sewing!   

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Williamsburg Hike for Hospice.....Bob's Red Engine Walkers!

2014 Williamsburg Hike for Hospice

We all hope a Hospice relationship is one we never have to encounter.  But chances are we have or know of someone who has.  And I know I'll be forever grateful for the kindness and compassion Dad's Hospice nurse showed both Mom & Dad.  And...she had to drive from over past Smithfield.  A nurse following her calling!

I can't believe it's been two years since Dad took his last breath here on this earth.  For about a week prior, I'd sit with him and he'd hold my hand and pray.  He'd say out loud...It's not time yet Bob!  It's not time yet.  Monday, February 6th....he knew.  He took his oxygen off and entered the Promise Land!  I'm certain Pap was there waiting for him....doing a jig! 

Friends, when it's their time, they will know.  And when they've been under the care of Hospice, the staff and volunteers are there for you each step of the way.  They know it's hard....they know the months to come aren't going to be any easier....but from personal experience, the minute the nurse walked into the house our healing began.  Was the healing immediate?  Oh no!  Not by a long shot (as I sit here using my sweatshirt sleeve as a tissue).  But her kind words and knowledge of 'what to do next' made the next few days bearable.  And for that support, I want to give back. And, I'd like to ask you to consider doing the same.

Our team goal is to have 20 walkers!  We will have team t-shirts and for the first 20 people to register, the t-shirt will be FREE!  (make sure you message me your size after registering).  If you cannot join us, but would like to make a donation, the link above will walk you through that process. 

Dad driving Engine 3 in the Christmas Parade.  The same truck that took him for his final ride!  Love ya Dad!

Several have inquired about purchasing a t-shirt and we will be happy to order one for you.  The cost will be $15 ($5 going towards our total Hospice donation).  Make sure you get your money and sizes to me by March 28th!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love and support. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Chips are free.....and so is the HEAT!

Happy Valentine's Day!
As with every year, I tried to find something clever to give for Valentine's Day!  For the last two weeks, I've been scanning Pinterest and yes, I did find some cute ideas.  But I didn't find THE idea!
Enter one chips and salsa lovin' husband (he is crunching in the background as I type!) and I came up with an idea I think will be perfect. 
I've been wanting to try making my own salsa and while looking for a good recipe, I stumbled on a quick one and decided to just wing it and see what I came up with.  Well, I'm here to tell you it's pretty stinkin' good! Wait!  Should the words 'pretty' and 'stinkin' be used in the same sentence to describe something you are going to eat? 
Quick rundown of the recipe.....really this could not be easier!
  • 1 can Great-Value Fire-roasted diced tomatoes - Salsa ready
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes (I like it HOT!) or you can get the sissy can called 'Original' or 'Mild"
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Cumin, to taste
Before you start...drain the cans of tomatoes but SAVE the juices in a small bowl. 
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients, except for the onion, garlic and Cumin.  In medium pan, saute' onion, garlic and Cumin in olive oil until slightly browned.  Just before ready, add enough of the saved juices to deglaze the pan (get all the good stuff off the bottom of the pan) and continue to stir for another minute or two.
Add onion mixture to your salsa and stir well.  It's good right away, but even better if you put it in an airtight container (mason jars work great) and let it set overnight in the refrigerator. D'lawd...some good eatin'!
OK - back to business for my Valentine treats!
Off I went to Walmart - again!  I needed to buy the goods and the cute little mason jars!
After the salsa was added to the jars, they were placed neatly in the 'frig.  The HEAT needs to permeate throughout all the 'maters in the jar.   In a perfect world, I would have tried canning the jars of salsa.  That's another day! 
I sat down at the computer and tried to come up with a cute little poem that would be appropriate to give co-workers, but all in fun for Valentine's Day too.  Here's what I came up with....
I'm showing you the entire page so you'll see how easy it is to do a bunch of tags at once. And, instead of white paper (which would be fine too), I used a piece of leftover scrapbook paper. It reads.....Valentine's are red-Chocolates are sweet-The chips are free-And so is the HEAT!
These small brown envelopes were in my stash of "Ya Nevah Know!" and worked perfectly! 
I also found cute plastic bags at the Dollar Tree with red hearts and for each jar of salsa, I'll give them a small bag of FREE chips (get it?)...the Chips are Free!

I'll probably check out my stash again for some raffia to tie around the jar, but if I don't have any, that's fine too!  I'm learning not to sweat the small stuff!
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day and someone or something will happen tomorrow to touch your heart!  This doesn't have to be a day of spending lots of money to say you could really just be a post-it note that simply says....You make my heart smile!
WARNING:  If you are on my team at work and reading this before tomorrow...bring milk! (Just kidding - it's not THAT hot!)
Love ya...mean it!
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