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