Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Annual Post

Roaring River State Park, Missouri
I'm not really sure why I hang onto this blog. Obviously it's not a place I often visit, other than in my head.  I do sort of use it as a  timeline, or mile marker. The older I get, the harder it is for me to remember what I did, and when. Granted, I'm not logging much here, but what little I do, at least I know when it happened!

We were  thrilled to have our daughter, Nikki, home with us over the Christmas holidays.  Her husband is working out of the country, so she loaded up our two grand puppies, and  made the 12 hour trek  from Colorado to Texas to spend her two week break from school with us.

I loved having her here, but with  such a lengthy stay, I got used to having her around. It  made saying goodbye harder than usual.  I watched her that last morning, busying herself with packing her bags, loading her car, and getting the pups ready.  As she stood there applying her make-up in my bathroom, I went back in time. It's like I was seeing her at 9 or 10 years old.  I thought to myself, "This can't be right. She can't be packing and planning on driving away from us. She's only a child!".  I guess I still think of her as my baby, even though she's in her late 20's.  I try not to treat her as one, but I can't help that I still feel that way. Maybe it will change when she has children of her own?

This last year has brought about changes in our lives, but nothing too spectacular. New health challenges have cropped up for both Mr. Studley and I; nothing too serious, but leaving their mark on our day-to-day lives, nonetheless.  Plus, Studley has completely retired now. That means more of him at home, which I do love, but a serious dent in our monthly income, which I don't. God is good, though. He is our Provider. On paper, things often look bleak, and yet, provision often comes from the most unexpected sources.  We're faithful in our tithes and offerings, and we have learned over the years to trust in our God.  He has never failed us!

We spent a week camping on Table Rock Lake, in Missouri, last May.  May, for us here in northeast Texas, is already summer weather. We did check the forecast before we headed up to MO. I knew it would be 'cool' there that week, but we never anticipated the surprise winter storm that blew in SNOW. Neither of us packed clothing for freezing temps. We made a run to Walmart in nearby Cassville, only to discover that they'd sold out of winter wear. Fortunately, I found a zip-up hoodie of my son's in our closet, and Studley had brought a hoodie. I did find a pair of velour yoga pants at Walmart, in my size, and marked down to $2.  I got way more than $2 worth of wear out of those pants.  We survived, and after a few days, the nice weather returned, and we made a trip to nearby Roaring River State Park. That is only one of 100+ pics I took of that river. I fell in love with it. It seriously soothed my soul to stand and watch the never ending flow of blue-green water.  We also spent a week camping by a river in Arkansas in May (same one as last year), as well as two weeks there in the fall. The foliage was spectacular this year!  We love being there.

I am thrilled at the return of Downton Abbey, for season 4.  I have laid claim to the tv on Sunday nights, or at least to the dvr. I actually record it, then watch it later when I'm alone. Studley has this habit of walking into a room talking. It's a tad annoying to be watching the last 5 minutes of a show, usually a climatic scene, and have him walk in and, in his booming voice,  ask me  if we're out of popcorn, or some other inane question which COULD HAVE WAITED.  For the sake of peace in our midst, I've determined that dvr'ing now, and watching later, is the best way to go with a program that I really want to hear.
Icepocalypse 2013

The picture above is of our house in the recent Icepocalypse. It was bad, seriously bad. It had rained for three days prior to the subfreezing temps. All that water froze into a thick layer of ice on all the trees. The weight of the ice had trees snapping all over town. It was quite eerie lying in bed at night, listening to the snap, crackle, and popping of tree limbs, followed by the 'kabooms!' when they landed on our roof. We could hear this all so clearly, since there was no hum of the central heating to disturb us, seeing that we had NO POWER. At least ours was only out for 3 days. Many were without power for much longer.  We were cold, but not miserably so. I was still able to make it to facebook on my trusty iPhone, which I charged in the truck.  Sadly, we lost two very large trees. I keep thinking about all the birds and squirrels that took refuge in them.  It's so strange to look up and down our street and see so much sky, where before we saw trees. Many trees were lost as a result of the ice.  

Being dog people, we enjoyed having Nikki's pups here with her. Charlie, the small dog, was adopted from a rescue center (actually, both her dogs were) last summer. He & Macy became immediate friends, and love to play. Charlie's an adorable little dog, who loves nothing better than to lay in your lap. Unfortunately, he's bitten Nikki a couple of times; once when she picked him up to move him, and another time when she attempted to take something from his mouth that he wasn't supposed to have. She's a firm disciplinarian, who is very consistent in her training. I feel she'll manage to break him of this bad habit. I pray he doesn't seriously hurt her before it happens.  Any suggestions from anyone who's dealt with this?

I'll sign off with a picture of my two sweeties.
My grandpuppies, Macy (at top) & Charlie

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
~Matthew 7:7-11 the Message Bible

Thursday, April 25, 2013

There's A Spring In My Step

I think there's a direct link between the sunshine and my moods.  I rarely get in 'bad' moods, but when the day is sunny, I have a better outlook on life. I get energized, I become more creative, I embrace the day!  Though our little spot on the map has relatively mild winters, we do have a lot of overcast weather that time of year. Combine that with shorter days, and I often find myself bordering on the glum side of life. Though we're still dipping into the 30's at night, I think spring has finally sprung. Today's forecast is for a high of 73 (perfect!). The sky is blue, and the sun, she is a shining.  Hallelujah!

We made a whirlwind trip to see our daughter, Nikki, in Colorado Springs last month.  I think it's the most fun I've ever had visiting her. Mr. Studley had to deliver some trailers to Denver, so I rode along with him. Nikki and I got to spend a lot of one-on-one time, something we so rarely get to do anymore. When she visits us in Texas, there are so many relatives and friends to see, that she often feels stretched thin. Most times we've visited her at her home in Colorado, other relatives have visited concurrently, so again, not much time for just the two of us, or even three of us, including Mr. Studley.

It seems that most of what we did while there was eat. There are some great restaurants in that city, and we tried out a few of them!  I do wish I'd removed that ugly, plastic ketchup bottle before snapping the pic above, lol.

Nikki introduced her daddy and I to our first sushi experience. I'd always resisted the idea of eating raw fish (and yes, I realize not all sushi is raw fish). I hear so many people talk about how much they love sushi, and finally decided, that many people can't be wrong!  Nikki took us to a nice little place near her home. The atmosphere was fun, and the food was fabulous. I am now a sushi convert.  Seriously, I love me some sushi!

I'm still struggling with understanding the blogging process. Before, I'd go to Picasa, add the pics I wanted to post to the photo tray, then click "blog this" to add each picture; plus it would give me the option of the size picture I wanted. The 'blog this' button is no longer in the updated Picasa, so I am now forced to use the 'insert image' icon at the top of the blogger posting page.  It doesn't give me an option of size, though.I don't like these tiny little pictures (stamping my foot)!  If anyone has tips or suggestions, or knows something I apparently don't about it, I'm open to advice.

Studley and I spent a week last fall by this lovely river in Arkansas. It was a perfect week in October. The air was crisp, the foliage colors were brilliant (tho not so much in this picture), and the temperatures were just right for bundling up and sitting by the campfire.  It was a tad nerve wracking at night when we'd hear packs of coyotes howling at the moon...or howling at something. They were loud, and sounded too close by for comfort.  We really did have a good time, though. Fall camping is the absolute best. When I say 'camping', I'm talking about the kind of camping where I have a bathroom indoors, along with a plush mattress for snoozing. The youngsters can have the tent camping. I prefer our 5th wheel!

I've had an unrest in my soul for some time now. I wasn't sure if I was going into a depression or not. I'm not prone to depression, though I did go through a spell of it a year or two ago (hormone related, I'm sure).  Mr. S read something to me the other night from a book he's reading. The author mentioned something that grabbed my attention. I can't remember the exact phrase (Studley & his book are both out of town, or I'd go ask him), but I think it was 'spiritual unrest'...or maybe it was the word was 'dissatisfaction' . I can't remember, but the gist of it is I think that's what is going on with me. I think God's put something in me that needs to come out, or that He wants to lead me into doing.  Because I've not been able to put my finger on what's causing the 'unrest', or 'dissatisfaction' in me, I thought maybe it was depression. I believe that line from the book is God's way of saying to me, "wake up and listen to what I'm saying; seek me with your whole heart".  I think, in these latter days, God is likely causing this unrest in a lot of people's hearts, to get us busy about doing His will.  Food for thought.

And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.~Matthew 17:8 KJV

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Was In The Neighborhood...

A year has passed since I last shared here.  I'm somewhat rusty.  I'm not sure I even know how to use Blogger now.  I've forgotten a lot, and what I see looks very different to me now.  I'm not sure I can keep up with the technology.  We've all heard the saying, the older you get, the faster time flies.  I feel like it's  moving at warp speed.  I sound old. I'll stop now.

There haven't been many changes in my life.  I'm mostly satisfied with that, as I'm one of those who struggle with change. Mr. Studley, my polar opposite, could stand with some changes (he'd like to move), but mostly we're content.

My daughter, Nikki, did get married last summer.  She seems happy, which makes me happy. They will possibly (likely) be relocating out of the country again at the end of this year.  That makes me sad. With all the technology we have today, at least we can still 'see' each other (skyping or facetime).  That makes me happy.

I had both my kids here this weekend, which made me very happy. They flew out together this morning for a vacation in the sun, in a nice resort which sits on a nice beach. That's making them very happy.  Nikki's husband is working out of the country, in a cold, cold, land, far, far, away, so he didn't go.  Maybe we won't talk much about it to him. ;-)

Mr. Studley & I are grandpuppy sitting for our daughter's sweet dog, Macy. She is intelligent, beautiful, loving, and challenging!  She seriously cannot be left unattended for 5 minutes or she'll clear off the kitchen counters. The second night she was here, she inhaled half an angel food cake! This morning, she pulled down a bowl of kitchen scraps I'd created while cooking breakfast.  I was only in the next room at the time!  I'm thinking there's no way Mike and I can both be gone from the house at the same time. Nikki gates her in her kitchen at home, keeping everything off the counters. Occasionally, in her rush to get somewhere, she'll forget something left on the counter. It will be eaten/destroyed upon her return. Once, while Nikki was showering, Macy chewed open a bottle of naprosyn's.   The dog is a mess, I tell you. It's a good thing she's so lovable.

I still knit a little, but not too much. Our weather is beginning to warm up, and I lose the urge to have a pile of wool in my lap. I have taken up a new hobbie, sewing!  I have always known how to use a sewing machine, and have sewn simple stuff for crafts. I even sewed my daughter simple little outfits when she was small.  I never seriously took an interest in it, though. Now, it seems I have. Currently, I'm sewing baby stuff, mostly for gifts. Hopefully, I'll be more proficient by the time I BECOME A GRANDMOTHER (are you listening, kids??).

I just love youtube and all the sewing blogs out there. It's so helpful when learning something new. My biggest hindrance is reading patterns. They could be written in Russian, and I'd comprehend them as well, which is not at all. I'm learning a lot, though, from what I'm seeing others do in the videos, so I'm encouraged.  

I'll post some pictures of  some things I've sewn  when I get I mean my son's camera back. It's on perpetual loan to me, but he decided to take it on vacation with him. The nerve!  Meanwhile, here's a random shot of my mom when she was young. I think she was darling. And would you look at that figure. I did not inherit her body shape.

Well, I tried to insert said random picture 'here', but it went 'there' (at the top of the page). Like I said, Blogger's different. Looks like I'm going to have to learn some new tricks, and frankly, I feel like an old dog.

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. ~Psalm 3:3 King James

Friday, February 24, 2012

Yarn & Food, Two of My Favorite Things

This  (bread) bowl of yarn was once.....

....this sweater from Goodwill.

I know, you're thinking it can't be, as they aren't even the same color. Try as I might, I couldn't get the yarn balls to photograph right. It was a bit late in the day when I took pictures of the wound balls of yarn. The partially dismembered sweater above was actually a whole sweater when I bought it. I didn't think to photograph it bfeore I began the long and laborious job of deconstructing it.  I've recycled thrift store sweaters into yarn before, but never one as time-consuming as this. I was disappointed to find many knots in the yarn, too; hence so many varied sizes of balls.  Goodwill's sweaters are $3.49, but they were having a buy-one-get-one-free sale, so this sweater only cost me $1.75. I couldn't find another worthy of recycling, but I found a lovely chocolate brown zip-up cardi in great shape, which I think my daughter might  like.

The sweater's yarn color was much richer than it looks in the picture above. The color of it really jumped out at me in the store. I usually look for size large or extra-large sweaters, so I'll get more yarn. This was sized small, but such a pretty color. I'm thinking of knitting an infinity cowl with the yarn.   I realize winter is nearly over; but knowing me, it may not get  completed before next winter. It took me  a few days to get to this point with the yarn. I still have to wash it, then hang it to dry over the shower stall.  I'll weight the ends  to pull out the kinks in the yarn. I'll then wind it back into balls and be ready to get my knit on!

A little something to tempt your taste buds.

My son saw this dish being cooked on a morning news show earlier this week. He's not one to care about cooking or recipes, but he does know what looks good to him, and apparently this dish did.  I googled and found the recipe here. I'm not one to take someone else's recipe and pass off as my own, but I will type it out here, simply because I made some modifications, which I felt it needed. The original was the idea for it, though.

Crock Pot Soft Chicken Tacos
1)Put 3 or 4 chicken breasts (I used frozen) in your crock pot. Spellchecker reminded me crock pot is two words. I can never remember that. Yea for spellchecker!
2)Add  one can Rotel tomatoes (I use store brand equivalent).
3)You can add in a diced onion, or you can wait & use fresh chopped onion as you're making your tacos, which is what I did.
4)Add one can whole kernel corn, drained.
5)Add one can black beans, drained (I rinsed mine in a colander).

Sheesh, that was hard, huh?  Seriously, for starters, that's all there is to it. That makes the filler for your tacos.  All I did differently was to add seasonings. I did this after cooking it, when I realized it was somewhat bland.

I added about a teaspoon of cumin, and some onion  & garlic powders, all to taste.  You could probably even add a package of taco seasoning to the crock pot as you're cooking the chicken, but I'm trying to get away from using processed foods. I'm not there yet, but I leave them out when I can. Of course, you can also make your own taco seasoning, which I guess is sort of what I did.

To make the soft tacos, I buttered one side of corn tortillas, laid them buttered side down in a nonstick skillet on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
After removing from the skillet, I sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top.  You can use cheddar, but just sos' you know, it's nearly twice the saturated fat grams as the white stuff. Just sayin'.
I spooned the chicken mixture in a strip across the center of the tortilla, sprinkled a little more cheese on top of the meat, then carefully folded over the tortilla and returned it to the pan. You may have to hold it with a spatula to keep it from unfolding.
After a minute or so, gently turn it over to the other side.  This doesn't make the tortillas crispy like a store bought shell, but it gives them a slight crunch, and makes it easier to hold when eating.
Return the taco to a plate, then fill with whatever ingredients you like in a taco. Mine has diced tomatoes, diced onions, sour cream (nonfat), picante sauce, & shredded lettuce.   This meal was a big hit with Mr.Studley & my son. I used 3 chicken breasts in mine, and it made a LOT.

I celebrated a birthday last week. Well, celebrated might be stretching it a bit.  We live in a small town, with a handful or restaurants, and not a lot else. Eating out isn't a big deal since we do it through the year anyway, always at the same old places. We could've driven a couple of hours to big  D, but I just wan't feeling a road trip. Mr. Studley took me to a couple of thrift stores, waiting patiently while I looked to my heart's content, then we went out for some yummo  Chinese food.  Hardly an exciting way to commemorate my 56 years here on this earth, but a fun day for me, nonetheless.  I always have fun hanging out with Mr. Studley.

Our weather has been mild, and I'm starting to see a lot of these. They always make me smile.  Be blessed!

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
~1 Peter 4:8 Amplified Bible

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just Thinking....

I've mentioned before my lack of computer expertise. I'm not what you'd call a geek or a nerd,  titles I'd happily wear. I do thoroughly enjoy my computer, though. I love looking at knitting patterns on Ravelry.  I spend countless hours each week pinning recipes, crafts, & decorating ideas at Pinterest.  My first destination  online each morning  is  Facebook, to see what my friends & family have to say.  And of course I can't forget the fun of blogging. I've met so many neat people over the years that I'd never have otherwise had the privilege, if not for the internet.  I know there's much evil and demoralizing content online, but the places I go fulfill me. I can't imagine life without it.

Sometimes I think back to  what life was like before we went 'online'.  What did I do to fill my day?  Okay, maybe my house was a little cleaner, and probably I read more books, and I was busy homeschooling my young daughter back then.

I remember being at the homes of friends when they showed us the things they did "online". Studley & I ooh'd and ahh'd over their access to this exciting new world.  We  were like a couple of little kids watching another kid play with his new toy, and wishing desparately that we had a new toy, too.

We finally got our new toy about 14 years ago when Mr.Studley was sent a laptop by his company for job use. Studley needed it through the day, but after about 7 or 8 at night, when he'd finished using it for his job, the laptop became mine.

Oh, the thrill of hearing  the sound the  dial-up made as I logged on to the internet (which was really a screeching, rather repelling sound). The first thing I did was look for homeschooling related sites. I don't think Google was even around, or if it was, I didn't yet know about it. I used a search engine called dogpile. The first place I discovered and landed was a homeschooling message board forum~slash~used curriculum sales.  The Homeschooler's Curriculum Swap, more commonly known to regular users as "the Swap".  It became my second home.  Being mostly at home at that time, the friends I made  there, known as Swappies, gave me the social contact I craved. My family teased me mercilessly about my "imaginary friends". Yet, let one of them have a question none of us could answer, and they were the first to  suggest, "ask the Swappies!".

The Swap has seen changes over the years; passing into fresh new hands as the old hands determine they've fulfilled their duties and are ready to move onto other things (usually because they're no longer homeschooling). I and another Swappie, my friend, Marilyn, were a couple of the 'old hands' (figuratively speaking) who ran it for six years. It came with it's challenges, but overall, was quite rewarding.

Even though many Swappies have come and gone over the years, there are still many there who were resident when I first discovered the Swap.  The forums have a feel of family, a family who is always eager to accept new family members with open arms. The love of God, and instilling godly values in their children while training them in academics, is at the heart of the Swap. It's been over ten years since I finished homeschooling my daughter, though I did stay on there long after she was an adult. I don't spend much time time there now, simply because my life is running in a different direction these days, but I always feel right at home whenever I visit, just like going home to family.  Of course, I see much of my Swap family on a daily basis on facebook. ;-) I still recommend it to new (or old) homeschoolers, though. There's MANY years of homeschooling experience there, and they are more than willing to answer questions and steer newbies toward the things they need.

I didn't set out to write about the Swap today. I was  merely contemplating how different life is with the internet; a life most young people today have never experienced, just as most have never known life without a cell phone. Since the Swap came into my life at the same time as the internet, the two bring up the same memories for me.

I'm changing the subject, but I believe I was a bit confusing in my last post about the greens. I mentioned I hadn't taken a picture of the purple colored greens, then my last picture posted was a sack of kale. Some thought that was the mystery greens. No, I knew that was kale, but here's a picture of the mystery (to me) greens. They're purplish on the front side, and green on the back. They're soft, not sturdy like kale. Can anyone identify them for me?

I'm very excited. I used Christmas money I got from my mom to order an e-reader this week. I can hardly wait to get it. Meanwhile, I've downloaded the free Kindle app on my desktop computer, and have already started reading one of the freebie books available through the Kindle Store at Amazon. After asking a lot of questions of friends with e-readers, I  determined the Kindle Touch would be a good fit for me. I love that it's easy to read outdoors in the sunlight, it has a long lasting battery life, and it's slim and lightweight.  Of course I still love the feel of a real book in my hands, but I think I'm going to love the feel of my new Kindle in my hands, too!

Remember, do something nice for someone today.  God bless you all, and have a great week-end!

Is it summer yet?

Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.

~Romans 12:16 Amplified Bible

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Garden Goodies Galore!

These started out as a pair of mittens for a little girl who likes yellow. I ended up frogging them, as they were looking more like a pair of mittens for a big girl, who may or may not like yellow. No, I didn't do a guage swatch, but when I'm knitting something that small, I figure it doesn't take me any longer to knit part way up  the pattern than it would to do the swatch. For my non-knitting friends, frogging means to rip it out. Rip it. Get it?   Okay, well, in other news, look below at the yummy goodies we got today.

Mr.Studley & I have been very blessed by friends this week. On Sunday, a man at church brought us a big bag of turnips, as well as turnip greens.  Today, a woman from church dropped us off two huge bags of yummy goodness  from her & her husband's garden.  I, I LOVE turnips. The greens I can take or leave, but I'd just  as soon eat a bowl of stewed turnips as I would a bowl of ice-cream, and I do like ice-cream.  In case you're from some far away place that's never heard of turnips, or maybe you have, but thought they were some odd thing southerners eat, like fried okra, or fried green tomatoes, I'll tell you how to cook them. I'm sure there's more than one way, but this works for me.

How to prepare turnips:

Slice off the ends, like you would with an onion
Cut into 1-2 inch cubes
place in a 1 1/2 to 2 quart microwaveable bowl
Add just a little water, maybe a half cup or so
nuke on high for about 5 minutes, then check them by seeing if a fork easily penetrates the cube; this will take longer or less time, depending on the amount of turnips you're cooking
When done, drain the water, or at least most of it
Add a 'sprinkling' of sugar, but not too much. You don't want to sweeten them, you merely want to take away the bitter edge turnips sometimes have
Add butter/margerine, or whatever you use for that, and salt & pepper

That's it. You'll love 'em, or you'll hate 'em, but I'm betting you'll love 'em. If you want a simple meal, whip up a pan of cornbread and bake it in a cast iron skillet.  When you cook your cornbread in a cast iron skillet, put a little oil in the skillet (I use olive oil for just about everything), then put the pan in the oven while the oven is preheating. If you'll let your pan heat  for at leat 10 minutes before adding the cornbread batter, you'll get a nice, crisp bottom crust, and the entire round of cornbread will easily slide out of the pan onto a serving plate; and  assuming you have a well seasoned skillet, all the cleaning  it will need is a quick swipe with a paper towel.  Do all this, and  you've got yourself a nice little southern meal right there, I tell you what (sorry, I have Hank Hill on the brain right now).

I didn't take pictures of everything, but there were turnips, green onions, carrots, turnip greens, kale, collard greens,  cilantro, thyme, and dill, all freshly picked this morning from our friends' garden.  Heaven...I'm in Heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.....and that's all I can remember from that song. ;-)

I'm still spending lots of time at Pinterest, mostly at night before I go to bed. A neighbor's birthday was yesterday, so I made her this coffee cake, then topped it with a glaze from this recipe.  The recipe for the cake is enough to make two 8 x 8 coffee cakes.  Whatever was I supposed to do with the second cake??  I could have frozen it, I suppose....but Studley and I had much more fun eating it. Sorry, I didn't think to take  a picture, but I baked one in my one-and-only 8 x 8 pan, and the other in my 9 1/2" cast iron skillet. Just as I do when cooking cornbread, I let the skillet get sizzling hot in the oven before I poured in the cake batter. After it was out of the oven and cooled a bit, I slid a spatula around it to loosen the edges of the cake from the edge of the pan, then placed a plate over the skillet and flipped it over. Of course, this put the top of the cake facing down. I then flipped it over again onto another plate, and voila',  it stayed intact. I poured the cooked glaze over it, and once the glaze had cooled a bit,  I had a very pretty  cake for sending over to my neighbors.  I let Studley take it over, since it was raining cats & dogs at the time. He's so handy at times like that. He even volunteered to do it. All I had to do was lament, "how ever will I get that cake next door in all this rain?", followed by a big sigh. Next thing I knew, he was heading out the front door, a cake in one hand, and an umbrella in the other.  I'm a blessed woman, I am.

Among the greens we received, there was a batch of one kind that I didn't recognize. They looked similar to the turnip greens, but one side of the leaves were green, and the other sides were a sort of burgundy color.  Plus, I think they were a bit more oblong shaped than the turnip greens which were slightly more rounded.   Come to think of it, the leaves were more pointed and narrower than the turnip greens.  While some types of  kale have a purplish color, I do know these aren't kale.  Anyone have a clue what they are?  I forgot to take a picture of them, and have already cleaned them and packed them away. I'll send out two of my handknit dishcloths to the first one to comment (with a continental US address, please) who can correctly identify them for me.  In the unlikely event that two of you comment at the same time on the clock, I'll send you each two dishcloths.  You'll have to give me a day or two to get more knit in the event of their being two winners; and yes, I realize that constitutes about 98% of my readers. ;-)  Meanwhile, I'll give my friend a call this week to see what the greens are, so I'll know who got it right.

You guys have a great week, and remember, try and do something to bless someone today!

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
~Psalm 13:6 Amplified Bible
"We are born helpless....
We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually;
We need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves."
~C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In The Words of Cookie Monster....


I had a hankering for homemade cookies today.  I don't need to be eating cookies.  Somehow I manage to convince myself that if the cookies are chock full of oats & raisins, they must be kind of, sort of healthy.  Sounds logical, right?

Can I just say, I love my KitchenAid mixer. I've wanted one for years.  Though I have no recollection of ever mentioning this to my mom, apparently I did, as she surprised me with this one for Christmas, a year ago.

See the red mat lying to the left of the mixer?  My niece sent it to me for Christmas this year, along with several other goodies. It's a dish drying mat, and I've been wanting one for a couple of months (and I did't tell her that, either!). It was a surprise and a delight to find it in my bag from her. I told her she's a "gifted gift giver". She always chooses gifts I really like. She said that when she goes shopping, she just buys things she knows she'd like. How clever. Wonder why I never thought of that.

Ahh, now to eat the fruit (so to speak) of my labor. I knew these cookies were going to be good by how tasty the dough was.  I got this recipe from Pinterest, my third home (Facebook being my second).   This recipe made a lot of cookies.  I couldn't, in good conscience, keep that many cookies on hand, for I know where my hand would constantly the cookie jar!  I took about half out and wrapped them up nicely, and asked my son to take them to work with him tomorrow to share with his co-workers.

Isn't this a lovely picture? It's a place in the UK called Scafell Pike. It's the highest mountain in England. While my daughter, Nikki, was living in England, she went with a group that camped and hiked to the top. I have a few more pictures she sent me at that time which I'll share  later. Isn't the scenery  just gorgeous?  I'm pretty sure Nikki's somewhere on that rock bridge in the distance, but you can't quite make her out.

May you have a wonderful weekend. As Joyce Meyer (teacher of God's Word) is always saying, do something to bless someone every day!

I am not moved by what I see-
I am not moved by what I feel-
I am moved by what I believe!
~Smith Wigglesworth
There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another-showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way.  Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
~2 Tmothy 3:16 the Message


Friday, January 13, 2012

A Cherished Gift

The above creation is a primitive cat named Putty Tat, after our very own cat named Putty Tat (as in, I tot I taw one)  How about that!  The primitive Putty Tat  was gifted to me by Kat, from Scaredy Kat & Her Own Crow.  Kat is one of the neatest people I've met via blogland. She is a walking, breathing, talking testimony of what God can do in, and for a person when they submit to him.  Her past life was a mess, bound by addictions.  Today, she is cleaned up and  living each day to the fullest. She's got a heart as big as Texas. If you go to her blog, you'll see some of  her divine creations,  most of which seem to be gifts of appreciation bestowed  on those to whom she's grateful.  She shares some of her testimony here, if you'd like to read it and be uplifted. Kat is a hoot, and I consider her one of God's blessings to me that I got to meet her (cyberly speaking).

My son bought me these cookbooks for Christmas. Actually, the one on the left was given to me last Christmas. I love all of them (I should, as they were all on my wish list which I shared with family), but the one I'm most excited about is the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'm going to have fun with it!

John also overwhelmed me with a new dinette set for my kitchen. I casually mentioned how much I liked this particular style when we were in a store over a year ago. I never dreamed he was even listening to me, as he tends not to, or at least seems not to much of the time.  He was not only listening, he was filing that tidbit away for future use.  I am absolutely loving the gift, and shake my head everytime I think about how thoughtful he was. He & Nikki are both extremely thoughtful gift-givers, always giving both Mr.Studley & I gifts that we  love. I'll snap a pic of the table & chairs one day soon and show it here.

This is a little hat I knit for a gift last year.  I wish I could've gotten a picture of it on the baby, as it doesn't do it justice on this too-small doll's head. It's a darling pattern which was an easy knit. The pattern was not free, but was worth the purchase price. It's raveled here.

I've got to get cracking this weekend. I still have Christmas stuff to be packed away, and I've been dragging my feet about it.  The tree is down, but the rolled up lights are still sitting on a chair in the living room where they've been for nearly a week, and that's not the half of it.  I also have plastic tubs of Christmas decor stacked in the sun room.  What I really wish I'd gotten for Christmas is a maid!

"You do not have to live with secrets that allow negative emotions to control you.  Our feelings are real and they are powerful, but they are not more powerful than God and truth."
~Excerpt from Living Beyond Your Feelings, by Joyce Meyer

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
~John 8:32 Amplified Bible

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another Post-I'm On A Roll!

I knit this Harry Potter scarf for my niece for Christmas a year ago, along with a slouch hat & fingerless mitts to match. Those who know me on Ravelry have already seen these knitting pictures. The scarf is raveled here, the mitts are raveled here, and the slouch hat, which I have blogged about is raveled here.

This scarf was also knit for my niece, and it's raveled here.  I loved how it turned out.  It was soft & squishy, and super long so she could wrap it around her neck a couple of times, and still have it hang down long on her tall self.

Nikki & John, Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, CO March 2011

If at all possible, on the years Nikki's living in the states, my son, John,  takes a week's vacation and visits her the week of her birthday. These are two kids (to me) who did more than their fair share of fighting in their years of living at home together. When Nikki was first born, John, who was 8 1/2 years older adored her. He called her his little babycakes.  Anytime we went anywhere, he and their daddy would race each other to the door by Nikki's carseat, each trying to be the one to get to carry her (little princess, she was!).

As I've mentioned here before, my late husband, Nikki's biological daddy, died in an accident when she was 13 months old.  Bubba, as we call John here at home (yes, we're from the south, and we have a bubba) helped me immensely in taking care of his baby sissy.  I remarried when Nikki was 5, and suddenly she had a big sister around John's age.  The newness and novelty of having a sister caused her to shift her affections from Bubba to her new sis; who, being a teenager at the time introduced Nikki to the use of sarcasm, something our family hadn't really dealt with prior to that point. I'm not blaming her. Lots of teens are sarcastic. John could deal out sarcasm with the best of's just that, being a small close-knit family who'd lost one of it's members to death, we'd never gone down that road with each other. At least not before then.

As Nikki learned to be sarcastic with her brother, giddy with the knowledge that she now had a big sister, a rift developed in my children's relationship. It saddened me, but there it was. As Nikki entered her teen years, being of a strong choleric temperament, she and John had some doozies of fights, which even became physical a couple of times.  Our trusty Chow, Yogi, was always there to shut those down in a hurry, though. Good old Yogi Bear, how we miss him still.

After Nikki left home and moved to Germany at the age of 20, by the time she was able to return for a visit nearly 3 years later, though still always the little sis, she and John were now both adults, and able to interact as such....well, to a degree.  They can both resort to childish behavior in the blink of an eye now, but it's the fun part of childishness.  Bubba is always there for his sissy, a fact which brings me great comfort.

My little movie star. When I was a kid in the '60's, I remember that anytime we kids put on a pair of sunglasses, we'd always say something like "look at me, I'm a movie star"; or an adult would say "look at that little movie star". I can only surmise that movie stars must've been the only ones who wore sunglasses. Maybe sunglasses were very expensive, or maybe it was a bold fashion statement not made by the masses. I really don't know. I need to remember to ask my mom about that sometime.  Of course we all wear sunglasses now. You can even buy them on the cheap at dollar stores. Yet I still think to myself when I see pics like this of Nikki, "ooh, look at that little movie star".
John at Seven Falls, outside Colorado Springs, CO March 2011

John never smiles for pictures, and Nikki is never not smiling for them (or any other time). It does no good to encourage him to do so; he'll just get all the more serious looking. Must be a firstborn thing.  That's okay, I love him to bits despite his gruff exterior, and I know he loves me, too.
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"If you feel unusually sad or as if you are carrying a heavy burden you don't understand, ask God what is wrong before you start assuming things.  It is amazing what we can learn by simply asking God for an answer and being willing to face any truth He might reveal about us or our behavior.  Sometimes we feel emotional because of something someone has done to us or an unpleasant circumstance in our lives. But at other times we feel that way because of something we did wrong and ignored."
~excerpted from Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer

"When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long."
~Psalm 32:3 Amplified Bible

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who Wears Short Shorts?

My mom wore short shorts. This was taken around 1956 or '57. I think she was adorable. She had really nice legs. Even now, at 77, she has nice looking legs.  No varicose veins, no wrinkling, no sagging of skin.  White enough to make you grab your sun shades, but nice.  I remember one time when she was in her early 50's, she commented that she rarely had to shave her legs anymore. I was shocked.  I was also excited, thinking "well, there should be some rewards to growing older". Trouble is, she didn't bother telling me  those hairs that quit growing on your legs have to find some place to come out. I'd rather have leg hair than chin hair any day of the week!

I was about a year old when the Royal Teens recorded "Who Wears Short Shorts?". Not that I remembered the year, or even the name of the group, but I do remember singing that song with friends when I was a little girl, as we danced around the yard in our short shorts, thinking we were hot stuff.

I love this video. Get a load of the lack of expression on the girl's face, on all their faces for that matter. Not sure if they were that emotionless, or just trying to look super cool.  I'm figuring the latter. Watch it and see if the song doesn't get stuck in your head.  But first, scroll over to the right and pause my music player. Not sure Kiss From a Rose playing simulatneously with Who Wears Short Shorts would make for pretty music.

I  also love this picture of Nikki. She looks so relaxed and happy. She was taking her vacation days, and though she loves her job working with small children, she was enjoying just hanging out with the fam.

She drove down in October and went camping with us. Nikki, my son, John, my mom & her husband, Mr.Studley & I, our Min Pin Leyna, and Nikki's chocolate lab all in our 5th wheel. It sleeps plenty, but that doesn't mean plenty actually sleep!  It was fun, though. One night Nikki, John, and I stayed awake long after the others watching some silly dvd and giggling like 5 year olds. I can't remember the last time we had that much fun together. Even my son's flatulence was giving us the giggles, and trust me, there's nothing really funny about John's flatulence..

The older I get, the more my memory fails me. By staying away from blogging so long, I managed to forget a lot that I'd learned about it. Add to that, there's been changes around here in bloggerville. She's done gone and gussied herself up a bit since I was here last.  I used to run hollering to my friend, Marilyn, at A Mixed Bouquet whenever  I needed help with my blog. She helped me set it up, and installed the design stuff for me, but Marilyn's got her hands full these days, having gone back to college to get her nursing degree.  Don't expect anything fancy schmancy around here, as I'm just not smart enough to pull it off. I am happy for Marilyn, though, and so proud of her!

Nothing earth shattering  going on around here. I've not even been knitting. What a slump I've been in; just can't seem to get started on anything. Last year, Mr.Studley had a hernia operation, which seemed to go fine until the incision area got infected about a month after the surgery. In & out of the ER, a stint in the hospital, and a couple visits per week to the doctor for a few weeks (won't gross you out telling you what took place there with a really big needle), and he's finally back to normal. Well, all except for his belly button, which doesn't look normal at all now.

In other news, my son, John graduated from his Paramedic course (yea!). He still has to take his state test, which I know he'll ace.  Mr.Studley is almost fully retired, and we enjoy our days together. We've fit into a comfortable routine,  only occasionally getting on each others nerves; and really, I can't even remember the last time that happened.  I'm blessed by God, and I know it. He love me, and He loves you, too!

I'm reading  Joyce Meyer's new book, "Living Beyond Your Feelings", which I got for Christmas. I'm not too far into it, but already I've learned things I know will help me in my life. That's my idea of a good book, one that helps me make changes for the good. Who doesn't have room for improvement?

If you're reading this post, you probably had me in your google reader, or whatever reader you use. I want you to know I'm happy you came by. My post is short, but I'm going to try and ease back into blogging. I don't have much to say, but I remember back when I blogged regularly, the excited feeling I got when someone left me a comment.  Isn't that funny, how excited we can get by the comments of  strangers?  Of course, some of you aren't strangers, at least not anymore, as I got to know you back then. I pray your life is going well, and that you find joy in each day.  Be blessed!

Mike, Leyna, Nikki, & Macy at Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow, OK

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"Words are containers for power, and as such they have a direct effect on our emotions"
~Joyce Meyer, excerpted from "Living Beyond Your Feelings"

A Man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment-how good it is!
Proverbs 15:23 Amplified Bible