Friday, October 30, 2009

White Space

What a lovely fall! We live in the woods and are surrounded by all sorts of trees, especially hickory trees. Their leaves turn a glowing gold in the fall.
Artists and decorators will tell you to leave a little white space (empty spots) in the project to give the eye a rest as it travels through the view. I try not to cover every square inch of the walls with decor. I like to create art pieces that allow some areas to shine more while others rest in the background.
I like to leave a little white space in my day also. Then I can be available for the unexpected...a friend in need, bouncing on the trampoline, a nap, a good book, a chance to give a little, a lovely view.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apple Dumplings

This is a great fall recipe. I found this in the Busy Bee Trader, submitted by Lucy Bradley of TN Farm Bureau/Country Classics. (Gotta give credit where credit is due, my mama always said.)

2 granny smith apples

1 (8 count) can crescent rolls

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

1 cup orange juice

1 tsp vanilla

Peel and core apples and cut into fourths. Unroll and separate crescent rolls. Wrap each apple piece in one crescent roll. Place in 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Combine margarine, sugar, and juice in saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour over rolls (syrup will cook down as dumplings bake). Bake in a 350* oven for 30 minutes. Spoon pan juices over rolls when serving. Recipe may be doubled- bake for about 45 minutes. Really excellent served with a scoop of ice cream!

Hope you enjoy the lovely fall!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My dirty little secret

Everyone has at least one and top on my list (that I am willing to share) is my shower. I am a quick, first-thing-in-the-morning, shower person who usually is wearing glasses (VERY bad vision without). That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. So, I am shocked when I notice the yuck in my shower. I read that the scum/mildew/yuck can be discouraged by a coat of car wax. So, today, after an extreme cleaning, I coated the shower stall with car wax. I did not put the stuff on the floor of the shower because my tip source says it would be unsafely slick. At the very least, it is clean and shiny and would be recommended if I were trying to sell the house. It looks great. I am hopeful...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Make time

I thought this was a great photo of a very happy little girl going for a pony cart ride with her grandpa. This will be a memory she will treasure. Doesn't she look proud to be going for an adventure? This man has made time to do something that will speak joy into this little girl for many years to come. It has taken a little effort, no doubt, and he could have been doing something comfortable/fun/relaxing for himself.
Our society has promoted many wonderful time-saving devices...don't even think I would give up my dishwasher or microwave. At the same time, we have constant access to mind-numbing TV and work via cell/laptop.
We have to make time to do the things that are important to us. What we invest ourselves in today, will be obvious when we see our fruits tomorrow. Make time for what is important to you.
Blessings on this new day...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a table to sit by the fire

A cozy spot by the fire...

Yes, this is a set of antique sewing machine drawers! It is the perfect height and width to sit just on the brick hearth next to my favorite spot next to the fire. The custom cut top is glued to the drawer set and attached to the wall with a simple L-bracket. I was blessed with a gift of a matching pair of these drawers and I have done the same on the other side. My dear husband loves symmetry and this works.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cake Recipe...chocolate, coconut, caramel, Oh my!

This cake recipe is easy and very flexible. No one has complained and I always bring home an empty dish. You get to name your own creation, if you wish.

1 cake mix (see flavor combos below)
ingredients required by mix, i.e. oil, eggs, water
1 reg can sweetened condensed milk
1 can goodness (see flavor combos below)
another secret ingredient (again, see flavor combos below)
Cool Whip

Bake the cake in a 9x13 baking dish per mix ingredients. While the cake is still hot, use a wooden spoon handle to punch several holes in the cake, like every couple of inches. Pour over the cake both the sweetened condensed milk and the can of goodness, about a cup of each. Top with secret ingredient and cool whip. This is best if made the day before so the cake can absorb all the goodness. Be sure to refrigerate.

I have made this in the following combos:
1. devil's food cake, hersheys syrup, and cherry pie filling
2. yellow butter cake, coconut milk, coconut and/or crushed pineapple
3. chocolate cake, caramel syrup, toffee chips and/or chopped nut
Let me know if you have any other great combo ideas. Have a wonderful day!
Kelley B

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Loaded Question #2

If you have already figured out your proposed path (because you must know that God has His plans for you), then answering loaded question #1 was no big deal. Some of us are still struggling to know what we are supposed to be doing. And that brings me to #2:

What is your passion?

Each of us are created uniquely to fulfill a purpose. We know we are in the right groove when we are following our God-given passion. Believe me, He can use anything. My favorite things to do are decorating and number puzzles. I found a group at church that does "Divine Do-overs" for needy families. We have done homes and homeless shelters: painting, furniture, organizing, crafting, all on a very tight budget at that. I mentioned to a friend at one of the jobs that I love budgeting (weird, I know) and numbers. She remembered this and introduced me to another opportunity to serve struggling women who are studying for their GED. I have no doubt that I was where I was supposed to be in both those opportunities. So, yes, He can use anything.

How do you find your passion so that it can be used and you know you are in the right groove? What experiences have you had that seemed like you had a "tailwind", like it was something you couldn't have done on your own? What activities/projects/ideas/plans keep you awake at night in a good way, and you think of first thing in the morning? What have you done that others seem to support (people you trust for more than polite lip service)? I would suggest that if you still haven't found "it", then maybe you have been in your comfort zone too long. Maybe you need to try some new things that you have held back on but always dreamed of. Fear is not a God-given trait.

Consider this encouragement to embrace the person God created you to be and to get about His business.


Kelley B