Thursday, December 25, 2014
Luke 2:8-14King James Version (KJV)
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I don’t quarrel with revisionists in general. But my looking back on Christmas wasn’t always the rose-colored picture I painted in the first paragraph.
I suppose we made paper chains—that seems a normal things for kids to do—but I seem to recall we cut out shapes from construction paper and fashioned other holiday decorations for our room. Best of all, we learned to draw simple shapes, like evergreens, to decorate notepaper.
|Last year's snow|
Nowadays I decorate less, and seldom make the decorations that I do use. But I listen to Christmas carols on the CD player, watch movies on the DVD player, and do some shopping to feel the excited energy of people revving up for the holidays.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Here’s what I think: I think somebody got a thank-you campaign going; something like—“See how many times in a day you can thank someone out loud.”
P.S.--In case you think I'm a paragon or campaigning for sainthood, I have to correct that. Tortoise-like drivers still send my BP up several points. Mistakes on my online orders get me growling. And the little loaves of bread I baked a few days ago--and burned--made me scream. Well, didn't make me, but I screamed anyway. I try to keep those times to a minimum, make allowances, give others the benefit of the doubt, yada yada . . . but I firmly admit to being human. (Sorry if that bursts your bubble.)
Have a lovely day anyway!
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Looking back, at this time of my life—some people would say that’s all I do, but please don’t pick up that ball and run with it, okay?
Once in school, there was more to look forward to: holidays meant we made stuff in art class to decorate our classroom or to take home as a gift to our parents. And the biggest anticipation of all—going to the next grade. It wasn’t so much the new teacher, the new room, or being bigger, it was what all that stood for: growing up! Heady stuff.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
THANKSGIVING DAY - 2014
We might have—I’m sure we did—go to Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins’ house. By the time I was 11 or 12 they were in their early 70s and probably didn’t have the big meal at their house. (Not surprising—they had 10 children, with spouses, 26 grandchildren—or was it 27?—and by then a handful of great-grandchildren. Too many for a small house!)
2/3 c. cottage cheese
2/3 c. plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works well)
2/3 c. mayonnaise
Thursday, November 20, 2014
We've been visited by Young Man Winter (he hasn't been around long enough to be Old Man Winter) who lives up to his name: youthful, in-your-face, a real go-getter, eager to show his stuff. Bah!
I'm handicapped here at Thursday's Child--I try to celebrate whatever comes down the pike. Not an easy job if you're housebound by snow/ice/wind/dropping temps (all of the above some days).
So I'm not ready to celebrate Winter, because--duh--Winter isn't due for another month. I'll be glad to wait, thank you.
While I'm hibernating in my cave--fully equipped with WiFi, videos/books/yarn/fabric/food, and coffee/tea/hot chocolate--I've taken to surfing the 'Web for new ideas. Wow!
My big find is The Missouri Star Quilt Company, located in Hamilton, Missouri--up in the northwest corner, population between 1,700 and 1,800, most of whom work for the Missouri Star Quilt Company!
You can read all the info about the company if you search on the name and look for a link to an About Us section (probably at the bottom of the home page).
|A selection of precuts from my stash:|
L to R: charm squares, strips, fat quarters.
I've fallen in love with the tutorials! Every time I check the website there seems to be another one. They're all free. They're all excellent. Most, but not all, use precuts of fabric (fat quarters, strips, charm squares, 10" squares, and other types). If you're looking for a lovely project and you're in a time crunch, this is your store.
Best of all is Jenny Doan, the star of the company, who makes most of the videos. I love her enthusiasm, her joy in creating something from all those fabric choices, and her down-to-earth personality. Jenny is not a perfectionist--I tend to be too much so, and I find her free spirit approach to a creative endeavor liberating. What she brings to the sometimes-daunting process of quilting is a talent for making it efficient and do-able by beginners, as well as appealing to busy advanced quilters. Her quilts are always beautiful; her approach is get-it-done, on-to-the-next! My kind of teacher. And a great "face" for The Missouri Star Quilt Company.
While I was temporarily not poking my nose out of my cave, I made voluminous notes from her videos for such patterns as:
Exploding Block Quilt - Bordered Square - Square in a Square
Double Slice Layer Cake - Windowpane Disappearing Nine Patch
Disappearing Four Patch - Jelly Roll Race I and II
Then there are sewing projects requiring little or no quilting: Totes, a Minky Scarf, Christmas Stocking, Fabric Ornaments, Christmas Table Runner, Christmas Table Topper (doubles as a mini tree skirt), Chicken Pincushions (great to see the thing being made--I never could get my head around it just by reading instructions). These sound like great gifts--fast, beautiful, easy.
If that's not enough for you, there are tutorials on binding your quilt, free-motion quilting, sashing; plus tips and techniques scattered through the various sessions. Or if you're free-motion challenged (I seem to be), the quilting of these projects, including the big quilts, can be done on the home machine. Really!
I'm now looking at my super-sized stash with new eyes--strip sets? charm squares? 10-inch squares? fat quarter packs? Oh, yes, pick one of these and one of those, use Jenny's tutorial, and voila, a quilt is born!
Creativity shows up everywhere . . . be on the lookout for that new approach, fresh viewpoint. People like that are inspiring.
Let's celebrate creativity, wherever it shows up.
|Takes some cutting, but worth it.|
This is a 45x57 lap quilt,
Easy Does It, by Darlene Zimmerman.
(Made from fat quarters.)
Thursday, November 13, 2014
When I left for the Y this morning at stupid o'clock--still dark, still cold, me still half-asleep--I was jarred awake by snow! On the mulch around my big maple out front. On the vehicles that live along our street and have no garage to call their home. Wow! Snow.
The receptionist at the Y said it for all of us: "It's not even the 15th of November yet!"
As an aside: I may be at fault here--yesterday I couldn't stand it any longer so I played the White Christmas DVD . . . "snow, snow, snow, snow, SNOW!" Anyway, thought I better confess.
When I got home from the Y, my thoughts turned immediately to soup.
Now, I don't have soup for breakfast, unless you count soupy oatmeal which I have once or twice a year. But I remembered the Butternut Squash Soup I made recently, and that's what we're having today--you, the reader, and I.
It's a slow cooker recipe, but doesn't take all day, even on low. This recipe came to me by chance. I was waiting at the doctor's office for my appointment . . . the receptionist said the doctor was delivering a baby and would be along shortly. Uh-huh, I remember being the one who delivered babies myself and there was no "shortly" about it. But it wasn't her own baby, so maybe the mom would take pity on us patients waiting (patiently, of course) for the doctor to return to her office.
While I waited I browsed magazines. I don't take many periodicals nowadays--I can read what I want to at the library, the doctors' offices I visit, and the style salon I go to every three weeks.
That day's offerings included a current Woman's Day.
So here 'tis. I've tinkered with it, as I always do, so you're getting my version.
|Here's what I started with|
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & WHITE BEAN SOUP - Slow Cooker
Serves 4-6 (from Woman's Day, October, 2014)
Use a 5-6 quart slow cooker.
Whisk together and put in the cooker:
1 tsp. coriander (or curry powder or savory)
1 tsp. ground ginger (or grated if you can get it in a jar)
Salt & Pepper
1 small onion (or shallot), finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or minced out of a jar)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Cook until squash is tender, approximately:
HIGH - 3 hours
LOW - 5 hours
Drain and rinse contents of 15-oz. can of cannellini beans.
Mash half of the beans and add to the soup. Stir, then add the rest of the unmashed beans.
If you have enough squash, you may also add a 15-oz. can of chickpeas (rinsed).
One tip: butternut squash is a very firm creature. The next time I make it I plan to cut off the neck and cut it into thick slices, clean the seeds out of the bowl of the squash, and microwave the whole mess for 3 or 4 minutes. Then peel. My hands haven't quite recovered from peeling the raw squash.
The recipe called for this to be served with a couscous garnish (mixed with apricots, pistachios, scallions, and parsley). Since I don't eat couscous, I skipped the garnish and ate my soup with buttered multigrain gluten-free toast.
Let me tell you--this is a hearty soup. A small bowl or cup of this soup is filling and just right for these cold days.
|Thick enough to be called a stew. Yum!|
Thursday, November 6, 2014
If you're a regular on Facebook, you know that November is the month for "30 Days of Gratitude."
Anyone who wants to participate signs on and lists something for Day 1, Day 2, and so on.
I usually forget to do something like that every day. My daily must-dos are walking, pills, and rest in the afternoon.
So I'm taking today's blog as a time to run through a week of Gratitudes.
Thursday - I'm grateful for the Internet - email - blogs. So much information is available, and quickly, right in my own home. I can keep up with friends and family easily. And I can get my entertainment on other people's blogs. I might learn something, too!
Friday - I'm grateful for health care workers and for those who work in alternative healing, such as acupuncture, Reiki, and other types of energy work.
Saturday - I'm grateful for the abundance and availability of items when I go shopping. My new refrigerator makes it easy for me to stock up for a week, instead of buying only what I can use in a day or two.
Sunday - I'm grateful for my church where this Sunday we will honor all who have served in the armed forces. My gratitude for all veterans and those currently serving is boundless.
Monday - I'm grateful for friends who want to sew and knit with me. We enjoy each other's company, share each other's burdens, and make useful items for families in need.
Tuesday - I'm grateful for teachers and instructors who work at the senior center; their dedication to good health practices helps many who otherwise might not have the opportunity to reap the benefits of yoga and tai chi.
Wednesday - I'm grateful for strength and stamina to do my own yard work; our leaf crop this year is especially abundant.
If you can't do the 30 days of gratitude on Facebook, make yourself a list of seven days. Write down what you will do each day. Then write down why you are grateful for that day's activity.
Have a good week!
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Great to have you visit Thursday's Child, Liz!
Hey, Judith, thanks for having me!
Thursday, October 23, 2014
(The Year in Review)
I’ve loved Judy Collins’ songs ever since I first heard them and sang along in the ‘70s. I loved the ones she wrote and the ones she sang written by other people. Many of her songs spoke to me, such as “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” (Cue the CD.)
|October in NE Indiana|
In October 2013, we began our odyssey of celebration: the everyday, the holiday; ordinary, extraordinary; whatever came across my mind and heart that might be worthy of note. Or not.
|Makes me cold to look at it!|
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Now—turn that ordinary day into something extraordinary. I just did.
|Roadside Beauty in Indiana|
Thursday, October 9, 2014
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
From The Waste Land, Part I-Burial of the Dead:
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s--he takes the lead
In summer luxury,--he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.