Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things In My House Thursday

I'm participating this week in MommySweetMom's meme, Things In My House Thursday. I would post the darling little button if I weren't so computer illiterate that I can't figure out how to get the thing here. You'll just have to trust me that there is a button, and it is cute.

These really are on a shelf in my house, but due to inadequate lighting for picture taking, I sat them outside my house to photograph them. They are of no value, other than sentimental. The object on the left, which I refer to as "object" for the mere fact that I am unsure what it is. A cat? A bunny? A dog? Your guess is as good as mine. I do know it's a bank, as there is a slot on the back for coins. The object on the right is obviously a tiny little picture. It's bisque, I think, and stands about three inches tall.
Both these items belonged to my mother when she was a girl. Twice in her childhood, her family lost their home to a fire. The last one being when she was in the 8th grade. Both these items of her's survived the fire, though the cat/bunny/dog did suffer broken paw tips. Sadly, in 1990, my mom and dad's retirement home also burned to the ground. These items again survived the fire. My mom has suffered many tragedies in her life. I don't display these as a reminder of a tragedy, but rather as a reminder of the triumph of survival.
I was going to post some pics of Nikki that we shot at the airport this week, but since she is no longer "in" my house, I decided to wait. ;-)
I want each of you who read my blog and have commented to know I am genuinely blessed by your comments. Seriously, the highlight of my day is opening my e-mail and seeing Blogspot's notice of the various comments I have received. With each comment, I feel a little closer to you; I get to know you a little better. If a comment comes through from a new person, I normally hurry straight to their blog to read it. Many of the blogs I read, I have discovered by clicking onto the blogs from the commentor forms.
The reason I'm sharing this truth now is that I've not been replying to comments left on my blog in recent weeks. Oh, I've responded to one here and there, but for the most part, I've been negligent. I'm reading them, I assure you, but I haven't been responding to them. I've not been reading all the blogs on my normal reading list, either. My daughter was here for nearly the entire month of August, and my mom and her husband were here much of that time. For someone who leads a normally somewhat sedate life, things have been hopping around here. I want to be sure you know I haven't been ignoring your comments. On the contrary, I've cherished them.

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Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
~Matthew 24:35 NKJV

Friday, August 22, 2008

Say "Ah"!

I snapped this photo just as my dog was yawning. She really is a cute dog, though this picture doesn't prove it!
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You're all I want in heaven!
You're all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.
But I'm in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is!
I've made Lord God my home.
God, I'm telling the world what you do!
~Psalm 73:25-28 The Message

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

30 Years Ago Today....

I was married.

Sadly, the marriage lasted only seven years, as death claimed my handsome husband far too soon. It was a good seven years, though.

It doesn't surprise me to look back on these pictures and see how young my husband looked, for he still looked young when he died, so that is the image I'll always carry of him. I find it rather shocking to see how young I look, though. And thin, thin compared to now.

We had fun together. I think you can see that in our faces. I know it was our wedding day, and everyone's happy on that day, but we really did have good times. He had a hilarious wit. He used it to his advantage whenever he made me mad. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I thought he deserved my anger, he'd always have me laughing within minutes. I just couldn't help myself. He was that funny. Nikki is alot like him in that respect.
My son was 2 1/2 when we married. He has no memories before that time. John was always just "Daddy" to him, and he was a great dad in every sense of the word. I wish Nikki could have known him. She was only 13 months old when John died. My son, John, who took his daddy's name (of his own volition) was nine, and has quite a few memories, thankfully.

The pictures, I realize, aren't that great. I don't have a scanner, so I took pictures of pictures. This was an afternoon, somewhat informal wedding. My bridesmaids wore matching (but different colored) pastel floor length sundresses. My mom made the dress I'm wearing. I still have it hanging in my closet.

This is me and my mom. Wasn't she gorgeous? And thin! I have never been that thin in my life. I think she probably weighed about 100 pounds. She's struggling with her weight these days (she's in her 70's now), but I believe it's because of all the cortizone shots she's had in the past couple of years.

I found this stuck in the back of our wedding album, taken at a fair or carnival, I believe.
I realize some may look at my post today and feel pity for me. Please don't. Yes, twenty-three years ago I was devastated, as were my family and John's, but time and the compassionate presence of God in my life have removed all the hurt. I am now blessed with a godly husband, and we'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year. Today, I just felt like honoring the memory of my late, but dear husband John.

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And the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.
What therefore God has united (joined together), let not man separate or divide.
~Mark 10:8-9

Monday, August 18, 2008

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning RED,
Crying's not for ME,
'Cause I'm Never Gonna Stop the Rain by Complainin',
Because I'm Free, Nothin's Worryin' Me......
Sorry, whenever I think, hear, or speak the word 'raindrops', that old BJ Thomas song from my youth starts running through my head. We've been enjoying rain and unseasonably cool temperatures for our part of the country. Temps in the 70's are practically unheard of for us in the month of August. It's awesome! When I look outside, I see such lovely shades of green, rather than the drab brown's we are used to seeing this time of year. Praise God for the rain!
I thought I should pop in and announce that I have not dropped off the planet. My mom and her husband have gone home, but my daughter will be with us until the 26th, at which time she's flying to Baltimore. I'm loving having Nikki here. I'm also remembering how exhausting she can be to have around all the time. She's high energy, she's loud, she's funny, she's mischevious, she's gregarious. Did I mention she's loud? I love her with all my heart, but it never ceases to amaze me that this beautiful creature, who is as opposite of me as day is to night, sprung forth from my loins. I find her highly entertaining, and yet I also need breaks from her. When did I get so old?
Nikki and John, my son, have gone to the Dallas Fort Worth area for 2 or 3 days to go to 6-Flags and Hurricane Harbor together. Mr. Studley and I are enjoying a quiet house. I assure you, once Nikki has left for England, I will not be enjoying this quiet house. I will be sad and mopey, just as Leyna (my Min Pin) is today, since Nikki isn't here to play with her. Nikki and I are too opposite to enjoying living together, but I do wish she lived near enough that I could see her more than once a year or so. In my heart, I was always prepared for this, though. I knew she'd have to spread her wings.
Even more than I've missed blogging for the past couple of weeks, I've missed reading my regular blogs. I know there's no way I can possibly catch up on my reading. I'm tempted to just hit the "mark all as read" button for each blog on my Google reader list. I hate thinking of what I may be missing, though. I knew I should have taken that Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course years ago!

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God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.
For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’;
Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.
He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work
~Job 37:5-7

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Recipe Box Swap~Homemade Ice-Cream

swap blogpost
The first Thursday of the month is set aside for the Recipe Box Swap. Randi, at i have to say... hosts this each month and posts a Mr.Linky for bloggers who wish to participate in sharing their favorite recipes. This month's theme is "Garden Fresh". Some of you are probably wondering about now what ice-cream has to do with garden fresh. The answer is, absolutely nothing. ;-Þ
I'm preoccupied with visiting family right now, and the Recipe Box Swap sort of snuck up on me. I'm replaying a picture (down below) which I've already shared on my blog in the past, and posting a recipe which has nothing to do with garden fresh food. I'm holding my breath that the Recipe Box Swap Police doesn't come and take away my recipe book, or at the least throw garden fresh rotten tomatoes at me. Wait, fresh and rotten would be an oxymoron, wouldn't it? Sheesh, I'm getting sillier and sillier, so I'll get on with it before my subscribers drop me like a garden fresh hot potato. Oh, I know, that was one too many garden fresh comments, so without further ado, I'll post my recipe for homemade ice-cream, which you can top with a peeled and choppped garden fresh peach, just as I did. Enjoy!
Homemade Ice-Cream
whole Milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 pint whipping cream
2 /12 cups sugar
5 med-large eggs, or 4 x-large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla (or to taste)
1 4oz box Junket Vanilla Ice-Cream mix ( in most grocery stores for a little over a dollar)
rock salt
In a large bowl (I use my really big tupperware bowl), starting with 4 cups of whole milk, add all the ingredients and beat very well with an electric hand mixer.
Pour the mixture into your ice-cream freezer's cannister, then finish filling it up to the fill line with whole milk. Stir with a long spoon. Put the lid on the cannister then follow your freezer's directions to freeze.
The milk part of it is really a matter of preference. If I only have whole milk on hand, I just fill the cannister with it. Or you can use a quart of whipping cream and skip the evaporated. The more whipping cream you use, the creamier your ice-cream will be. It really depends on how much 'fat' you want in your ice-cream. You can also chop fresh fruit such as bananas, peaches, or strawberries and add to the mixture before freezing.
This makes enough for a 1 gallon electric ice-cream freezer.
If you're worried about the raw eggs, all I can say is, I've been eating it this way for right at 50 years, and have never once gotten sick from it. Neither has anyone in my family.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!

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Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who makes the Lord his refuge and trust, and turns not to the proud or to followers of false gods.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonderful works which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; no one can compare with You! If I should declare and speak of them, they are too many to be numbered.
~Psalm 40:4-5 Amplified Bible

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Me & My Peep!

Is that not the cutest little thing? It was made by Blair at wise craft. She makes and sells them in her etsy store, wisecraft handmade goods by Blair Stocker. I've been admiring them for a really long time, being the bird nut you all know me to be. Guess who had a contest on her blog to give one away, and guess who entered and won said contest. That's right, moi'!

The contest was for the Peep, but would you look at all the goodies Blair included in my package! My picture doesn't do the pretty skein of yarn justice. There were some darling little stitchmarkers in that envelope, which I forgot to include in the picture. See the picture of whales on the left? That is a stack of post/note cards handmade by her. I am totally enamored by them. Even the pencils were an added bonus, as I can never find one when I need it. And did you notice that "Thank you, Renna" on the envelope? She's thanking me? She blessed my socks off!

If you're a crafty sort, check out Blair's blog, wise craft. She really is a wise crafter. You will be inspired. She's a wise mother, too. Check out her remedy for bored, bickering kids. Now, that's a creative mamma!
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I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
~Proverbs 8:12 King James Version

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Keeping Cool

This was in the late afernoon, after the temperature had dropped.

This was in the yard mere inches from my feet, letting out not a peep. It's a miracle I didn't step on him. It could have been a 'her', but since I'm unsure, I'll call it a 'he'.

Here he is again, having hopped up to the porch when I attempted to pick him up. I was going to tuck him safely in a nearby tree until 'Mom' returned with breakfast, but I didn't catch him. Notice the little "gift" he left me. Yep, it was bound to be a 'he'.

Just a shot of the ivy in our backyard, gradually taking over our backyard.
I've been busy preparing for company this week. My mom and her husband arrive on Monday, for an extended visit. My daughter, Nikki, is driving down from Minneapolis this week. She'll stop over at her stepbrother's around the Arkansas/Missoure border to spend a night or two there before continuing on here. She said her length of stay there will be determined by whether or not she can sleep on the blow up air bed on the floor. Their apartment is small and they don't have an extra bed. She's young, and can probably handle it. I, on the other hand could not.
As you can imagine, I am very excited to see my daughter. She'll be here much of the month of August. She'll be off seeing friends some while here, and she and her brother are planning a trip to the DFW area to go to 6-Flags and Hurricane Harbor and spending a night or two over there. Still, I'll get plenty of time with her while she's here.
She's got a busy summer planned. After she leaves here toward the end of August, she's flying to DC to spend a few days with a friend from Germany who's living in the states now. After a few days there, she'll take the train to her cousin, Mandi, in Virginia (who's fiancee' Rich had the recent kidney transplant) to visit for a few days. After that it's another flight to Orlando to spend a week or so with her best friend, then it's off to Dublin, Ireland. From there, she'll catch a plane on to Leeds, England, where she'll meet back up with her boyfriend. Phew! It all makes me tired just thinking of it! She leads a much busier life than her mamma ever did.
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When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
~Ephesians 4:26 Amplified Bible