Thursday, February 25, 2010

Home, Designs, Dilemmas, and Little Blue Birds of Happiness

 This is a crazy picture but I wanted to share the little Blue Birds of Happiness.
Hubby and I have been in such a quandary about housing. We sold our home a year and a half ago.  And believe it or not it took 5 days.  Now that left us in need of a place to move to in a big hurry.  We found an apartment but have never really felt quite at home because we kept thinking we'd stay long enough to find the place we really want to be at.  Well, the cosmic forces have collided and we have found it necessary to make some difficult decisions.  The job hunt in Savannah is over! After over a year of working on a teaching position I'm done.  We made two trips there, meet with 17 principals and was offered an interview exactly 5 days before I started this current school year. Ethically I couldn't break my contract for a possibility.
As time has unfolded we trusted God to reveal his will for us.  I have the opportunity to begin my Masters Degree work this April. It is a big committment in addition to teaching full time but I feel confident I can do anything if i tackle it one day at a time.  I am going to become a Reading Specialist.
Now that brings us to a committment of at least two more years. So...back to the living we stay put, do we move to a bigger place, UGH!  After much consideration, prayer, and meditation we have decided to stay put.  This decision means we have to do some things to increase comfort, functionality, and decrease clutter.  I need a larger office space, a place to be creative and John needs his own comfort zones.
All this has to happen in a four room apartment!
Now to "complicate a ham sandwich!" :) we have furnishings that are in most cases too large for the space.
I kept things from our home thinking we'd only be in the apartment a short time!  :) So much for thinking! :)
So here is the challenge I am faced with.  Design four spaces to get maximum potential out of each space and do it without spending a trunk load of money.
The planning begins...more to come later.
May the Blue Birds of Happiness sit on my shoulder as I proceed!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life Eclectic

I am finally on the mend.  I haven't been this sick for this long in years. Teaching puts me in the middle of germs galore. I generally feel that my immune system is strong but the past almost three weeks proved otherwise.  My husband has been wonderful.  He cooked, andd cleaned, did laundry, and went to the grocery store and basically took care of me.  What a lucky girl I am!
I got to run a few errands after school yesterday and stopped to see one of my favorite thrift store owners who had set aside a few treasures just for me. Thanks Granny! (of "Granny's Attic")
The first of the items was this pair of vintage glove stretchers.  They were used to reshape gloves after washing them. (2.00)

The second item was this pattern. I am definately going to make this doll.
As a little girl Mary Poppins was one of my heroes.  I watched Julie Andrews adaptation so many times I couldn't possibly count.  Her disposition, her voice, and those beautiful songs...I just may have to rent it this weekend. (.25)
And the last of the treasures was a collection of artificial vegetables.  I not sure how I will use these yet but I have faith I'll figure it out!
Like this eclectic collection of is my life.  I have learned to surrender to the moment I am in.
It may not always feel like it flows or that I even can make sense of it sometimes but if  I surrender and live the moment I am in I am always happy at the end of the day.
Gratitude is the Attitude that will provide the joy and contentment in knowing all is right.
May you have moments that make you smile today. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nostalgia printed on the pages of time...

Wednesday brings a stroll through yesteryear.  Hope you enjoy yourself...

All of these wonderful pieces were purchased at a local thrift shop for 10 cents a piece.  It was a very small price to pay for nostalgia that dates back as far as 1925.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I've Been Sick

Due to a terrible cold and the last three days in bed I have had to postpone the
next "Cooking with Tasha" entry for much later.  I have turned over all food duties to Hubby.
I hope to double up on the next entry during the coming weekend.
On the menu will be: Chicken Salad and Corgi Cottage Soup

Beautiful Life Lesson from the Pantry

A Life lesson from the simple goodness of eggs, carrots, and coffee...

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and
how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to
make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling.
It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with
water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In
the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the
last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without
saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished
the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and
placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning
to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.
She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the
daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she
observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The
daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked,
"What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the
same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently... The carrot
went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the
boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile.
Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after
sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The
ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the
boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks
on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong,
but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes
with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup,
a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and
stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and
tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot
water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.. When the water gets
hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean,
when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation
around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest,
do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials
to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to
make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of
everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along
their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you
can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and

This was sent to me by a dear friend.  Thank you Dianne.  Hope New York is treating you well.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vintage Valentine Wishes

May you find the love and share the love with
Valentines young and old.
Happy Valentines Day

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Snowing Inside and Out!

Treasures come in many shapes and sizes. 
I was going through some books the other day and as I opened one out fell a snowflake!  I don't know who made it or how it found a home between the pages of a classic piece of American Literature, but I was captivated.  It was snowing outside and now inside as well.  I think I may frame it and add it to a collection of tiny treasures.  It has been said that no two snowflakes are the same.  I think that goes for people as well.  We may have common characteristics but we are each unique.  It might show in the way we smile or crinkle our nose.  Maybe it's the gentle words or touch we share.  It might be a God given talent or a challenge we have overcome.   No matter what the element is it becomes the glitter that makes us sparkle just like a snowflake fluttering in the sun.
May your unique qualities sparkle for all to see.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cooking with Tasha Tudor

Here it is Tuesday already!  I think I said I was going to do this on Sundays and Mondays.  Oh well, life is what happens when I'm busy making plans.
The opening line of this weeks recipe mentions stuffed eggs as a part of a memorible picnic.  Tasha talked about learning to make these eggs while spending summers in Nahant, Massachusetts with her lifelong friend Jeanie Paine.  I was instantly inspired to have a picnic!  Now it's snowing outside and about 19 degrees but a checkered tablecloth and some traditional fare including Tasha's Tomato Salad with french dressing.

The recipes were easy and each dish was really eye appealing as well.
We had hot dogs, and some kettle cooked chips for a fabulous treat!
This was so fun I don't know why we haven't done it sooner.
If you are interested in these recipes let me know and I will share them.
But for now, Collect up your loved ones and have a picnic!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Everyday Images...

A blog friend I have been following has offered up a meme that I thought would be fun to emulate. (Michelle at The Pink Rose Cottage) The challenge was to take photos of the following:
A corner of my kitchen.

What's on your feet?
The top of my kithen cabinets.
A pet or child pic-Buddy fills both those categories as we are empty nesters.
If he could talk he'd be saying, "Awe Mom do you really need another picture?"
My nightstand.
I don't knit so I have substituted my favorite craft these days-building dollhouses!
Outside a window.
It is interesting to look at images we see daily in a new way, with a new perspective.
Try it you never know what you might discover.

And in closing I'd like to share a favorite quote:
"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."  Anne Shirley of Anna of Green Gables

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipes and Reminiscences with Mrs.Tudor

The Tasha Tudor Cookbook
Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage

I have decided to prepare one Tasha Tudor recipe a week.  The cookbook is a beautiful collection of recipes, reminiscences, and artwork.  She was a wife, a parent, a teacher and an artist. She was a woman I have grown to admire. I started at the beginning, Appetizers and Salads and will make one recipe a week and then post the results on the following Monday.  It's a kind of "Julie and Julia" process! Corny maybe but fun! The recipe for this week was "Nancy's Hot Cheese Rounds".  (Mine however, are rectangles!) Nancy was a friend of Tasha's.  She was a mathematics teacher at St. Paul's School.  Tasha'a grandfather was one of the first students at St. Paul's, in the 1860's.

1 loaf of Pepperidge farm or other good quality bread (I used whole grain bread)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 farm-fresh egg yolk, beaten well
1 cup Vermont sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Heat the broiler.
Cut rounds (or rectangles!), butter the bread well and fry them on both sides in a hot skillet
until browned
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and egg yolk, then add the grated cheese, garlic, and salt and pepper
spread the cheese mixture on the toast, place them an ungreased cookie sheet and broil until cheese is puffed and brown.

I left them in the broiler a minute too long but they were still delicious. The cheese was very creamy.  I served tortellini and chicken chowder and salad along with the toast points.  It was a rustic meal perfect on a cold winter evening.
Next Monday: Stuffed eggs and Fresh tomato salad with French dressing

May all your meals feed your body and the company you share them with feed your soul.