Thursday, October 8, 2015

Friday Favs...our new home and a Spice Cake recipe

Tomorrow will be one month since we closed on our new to us house and began to move in.

In spite of the fact that there are light fixtures still to install...

boxes of hardwood flooring and light fixtures piled in the living room...

ugly vinyl flooring waiting to be ripped up so hardwood can be installed...
In spite of all of that and more,
we've had people over for dinner three times already this month!

Ok, ok, so the first time I made homemade soup for friends that were helping me unpack.
The second time I made dinner for friends that were helping to put up the new lighting.
Today, our Truelife Espanol pastor's wife wanted me to teach her how to make my chicken and rice soup
 and homemade bread.
She came over this afternoon and we made the soup and bread, 
and then she and her husband and their baby enjoyed it along with us!

Earlier in the day, anticipating them having dinner with us,  I made a spice cake for dessert
 using a recipe from an old American Family Cookbook that my mother-in-law gave me when I was a newlywed.
Of course, I never leave well enough alone as you can see.
I think the next time that I make this I am going to use 1/2 cup of canola oil,
 in place of the butter flavored shortening I used today, to make it even more moist.
I also omitted the raisins, since I wasn't sure if our company cared for them.

I frosted it with a simple cream cheese frosting that I happened to have left over
 from making pumpkin bars for a church event last week. 

Dinner and dessert was a big hit with everyone!

Well, it's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and a
SAFE and BLESSED weekend!


TidyMomShabby Art Boutique

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Random Acts of Poetry day...

It's Random Acts of Poetry day!
In honor of this occasion and because today we had some long overdue rain here in the Portland/Vancouver area,
I'm reposting this poem by yours truly.

Ode to A Soup Pot

In summer it sits upon the shelf and rarely sees the light of day
Come fall and winter out it comes on gloomy days with skies of gray
Its color red it is my favorite, no plain jane pot will do for me
It makes me happy just to see it, filling heart and home with glee
A pinch of this, a dash of that, who knows what wonders it contains?
I want to eat its lovely contents, with bread to sop up last remains
A spicy chili?  Marinara?  A Sendak style soup with rice?
The smells they waft, they woo, they linger, they oh so shamelessly entice
Oh lovely soup pot, ‘tis your season, these Northwest rains they beckon me
To bring you out from hidden pantry, this year’s debut, what shall it be?
Boeuf Bourguignon?  It was a highlight, on autumn day some months gone by
A hearty stew? A roasted chicken? A flakey crusted chicken pie?
Whatever it is, it’s sure to gladden, sure to cheer and to sustain
Oh lovely soup pot how I’ve missed you, it ALMOST makes me glad for rain!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Autumn beauty...

(edited with Kim Klassen's urban texture, hard light, 50% opacity)
After getting my exercise by walking/jogging the same circuit around our old neighborhood for over sixteen years, it's been a challenge for me to find my groove since moving to our new neighborhood.  Today I think I finally have a good hour long walk/jog through our new neighborhood figured out, which makes me happy.  

(edited with PicMonkey's tranquil preset, 70% opacity)
This scripture was quoted on a podcast I was listening to on my walk today.  As I sat down to edit these photos of some flowers I foraged on my walk,  the truth of this verse wouldn't leave my mind.

(edited with Kim Klassen's music texture, screen mode, 30% opacity)
You know what I've discovered after 39+ years of married life and sixteen moves?  There is no perfect place. When I'm craving something or someplace, (like my dream beach cottage),  I idealize it in my mind.  But, I can tell you from experience living on the coast that beach cottages often come with issues like moisture and mold problems.  It's true, there is no perfect place.

(edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, lighten, 20% opacity)
I learned to love and enjoy our former home, in spite of it's imperfections, (like its itty bitty kitchen).  I'm learning to love and enjoy our new to us home, too.  It's sad how often we don't enjoy what we have because we're too busy craving what we don't have.  Been there, done that.

Today I enjoyed what was available to me on this warm and sunny autumn day.  These beautiful autumn blooms were spilling out of someone's yard, over and through the fence, and into the street.  I rationalized that they were now on public property and broke off a couple of sprigs to enjoy and photograph.  I hope you enjoy the results.

(edited with Kim Klassen's flow texture, hard light, 30% opacity)

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Living the prayer of thanksgiving...

My home state of Oregon was rocked this week with a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. It's hard for the human mind to grasp such senseless violence and such tragic loss.  It almost feels wrong to continue with daily life, to enjoy daily life, when for the loved ones of those whose lives were taken life will never be the same.  I'm not sure I know how to mourn with those who mourn other than praying for those who are living through this nightmare. It somehow feels not enough.  Meanwhile, I'm holding my loved ones a bit tighter and continuing my commitment to live the prayer of thanksgiving. 

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-a sweet visit with my sister-in-law
-God's tender words of love in Isaiah 62
-confirmation from God to trust Him
-a sweet evening with my guy

-laughing that our original idea was to buy a house with a tiny easy to maintain yard
 and it didn't quite turn out that way
-fresh veggies from and a good visit with friends
-a nice evening walk in our new neighborhood
-falling asleep early

-making my husband a yummy frittata for breakfast
-God's provision of a good dentist
-a spontaneous date with my husband to see a good movie

-a foggy fall morning
-so much help from our church family with our move and renovations
-reading the book of Romans-thanking God for the peace of God that I have through Jesus
-spending the afternoon with my youngest grandson
-discovering our neighborhood park
-more people at our weekly prayer night
-the joy of worship 

-a new stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher on clearance for half price!
-Friday date day!
-a great lunch out with amazing service
-hanging out with our two oldest daughters and their families at the home
 my second born and her husband are renovating
-the two youngest granddaughters having their first sleepover at our new house
-some good news

-our electrician friend from church putting in new lighting for us
-going to the park and to our oldest grandson's football game with our granddaughters

-my first post for Woman to Woman Ministries

-the Name above all names
-His broken body and shed blood for me
-Sunday afternoon resting

gratefully yours,

Sunday Soul Food at Woman to Woman Ministries...

This summer my husband spoke at a church conference in London.  What a wonderful blessing it was to participate in this conference and to visit London.  Of all of the amazing sights we crammed into our nine days there, one of the most meaningful was our visit to Westminster Abbey.  No photography is allowed inside, but if you've watched any of the royal weddings you have some idea of the splendor of this place of worship.  I was particularly moved by seeing the burial place of missionary David Livingstone as well as the burial place of my favorite composer, George Handel.  However, what impacted me the most were the words of Revelation 11:15 written on the wall of this abbey, the place of the coronation of the kings and queens of Britain down through the centuries. 

 "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,
 and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever."...

To continue reading please join me at Woman to Woman Ministries on Sundays where I am sharing some "Sunday Soul Food".

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Friday Favs...Pumpkin Cookies with maple glaze

Tis the season for all things pumpkin!
Last week I made some pumpkin cookies with maple glaze for the dessert bar
 that our nephew had at his wedding.
I thought I'd share the recipe with you, found here.

Pumpkin Cookies with maple glaze

Whisk together:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Add to butter and sugar and beat until smooth:
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add dry ingredients and combine.

Preheat oven to 350.  Pan spray cookie sheets.  Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are firm.  Cool on wire racks.
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Maple Glaze:
Combine 1 teaspoon maple flavoring, one cup powdered sugar and a scant amount of milk and whisk together until no lumps remain.  Put glaze into a clean squeeze bottle and drizzle over cookies.  (Place wax paper under wire racks first.)  Let glaze harden before storing cookies in an airtight container.

Look at the sidebar of my blog under categories for some of my other favorite pumpkin recipes!

It's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!


TidyMomShabby Art Boutique