Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ruthie's New Drop Waisted Dress

 Here is Ruthie modeling one of the new dresses that I have been making. This is reminiscent of a time when dresses were made from feed sacks. I love the coordinating prints. It reminds me of when my grandmother told me they used every scrap during the depression era so nothing went to waste although creativity took the prize in a woman's sewing basket.

 I decided to enter a sewing competition over at Mommy By Day Crafter By Night. I am participating in Week 4, Anything Goes. I found this delightful pattern in Dressing Up Dolly by Lorine Mason. It has been fun to use my stash for some of the outfits in this book that offers full sized patterns. Check out the competition on Ashley's blog. While you are there, become a follower; she has great ideas!

Here is a view of the back...
lots of good details on this dress.

I love the detail of the borders and buttons too! Clean finishing and good fashion sense.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


This month in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have focused on gratitude. What a rewarding project that has been an unexpected surprise. It relieves stress and gives me a more patient attitude. I found that when I truly look for good things I find how wonderfully blessed I truly am.  So I am going to begin Journaling things that I am thankful for. It is not a new idea, I know there are books written on the merits, plain books I can purchase to fill with my own thoughts and there are books with guidelines inside. What is new though is my attitude toward gratitude and the timing for me to take this on. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! I enjoyed a wonderful day with family around the table. I am so thankful for my family. We are blessed with good health, a nice home and plenty of food on the table every day. I am grateful for simple things like acorns on the ground, a child's smile, dinner in the kitchen, a good book and listening to music.  I love having my grandchildren drop by unexpectedly or spend the night watching a Disney movie with popcorn. How wonderful it is to have the love of my family and friends. God has bestowed many gifts on me. Who can ask for more?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Apron A Day....

Thanksgiving is a time that I find myself in the kitchen baking, cooking and reminiscing about days gone by. I remember others in the kitchen with me. As a child the kitchen was filled with the aroma of pies baking, yams being peeled and watching my mother stuff the turkey. An important part of any holiday was the apron. Mom had plenty of aprons. Cobbler aprons, hostess aprons and special embroidered gingham aprons made by my grandmother. I liked her aprons.

An important gift to new brides when I was a little girl was an apron. When the first of my sisters got married when I was ten, there were plenty of lovely aprons among the gifts. The lovely aprons gave way to simple butcher style aprons that were simple to make with no frills. I am happy to see retro-styled aprons tucked among the folds of my blog friends posts. I see them in gift shops, and craft fairs. I see them in thrift shops being snapped up by women too young to remember the apron days gone by yet cherish the style and practical beauty that is added to day to day cooking.

Here is my new apron that I made for Thanksgiving. I will wear it proudly in honor of all those who will be with me in the kitchen, if only in spirit.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Potato Crescents....

Sweet Potato Crescent RollsThanksgiving wouldn't be the same if I didn't make these Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls. Ten years ago I bought my KitchenAid stand mixer. It is one of my favorite toys in the kitchen. I returned to my bread making with my shiny white beauty guiding me in my search for new holiday recipes that would not break our traditions. I found this recipe on Land O'Lake's website. The picture temped me! The rich color says harvest and I thought about how much fun it would be for a child to peel apart those layers, eating them one by one. They are easy to make and they are quick because I made them after work one night. My grandson called me this past summer to tell me he missed Thanksgiving. He asked me if I would make those good rolls with the crescents. I told him of course I would and he responded that he was relieved because he just loves those rolls. It is nice to think these rolls are part of his memories. He has helped me make these rolls a time or two. Watching his little hands roll these crescents is a good memory for me too. He will be 8 next week, reminding me how quickly children grow. Yes, these rolls will be in the bread basket once again this year and all the years ahead. This tradition will be part of the family for many years to come.  Give them a try. You can get this easy recipe right here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thirty Days of Giving...

I took on the Thirty Day Challenge But what can I give every day this month that will make a difference? Money? Friendship? Time? Support? November is nearly half over and I am still thinking about it! Pondering this thirty day giving challenge, I wonder what I have given that is going to make a difference. If I just give money, how will I know it really makes a difference? Donations are often fraught with administrative fees. Some organizations have great marketing programs, (also spendy) that are pretty good at convincing us that their organization is the one that makes the biggest impact. How do we really know that!

I want to make a difference in people's lives; not with my name in lights but individually in a quiet unassuming way. I can't help but think of that starfish poem where the young man throwing the starfish back into the ocean to save their lives. An older man asked why he would do this when there were so many starfish on the miles and miles of the beach...the young man replied "It made a difference for that one." Imagine making a difference one person at a time. While there are so many in need, helping one person leads to another person helping two people and so it grows. I believe one person can make a difference, one day at a time. It may take longer than the thirty day challenge, but going along this way will make a difference to others and to me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You Veterans!

Take a few minutes this Veterans’ Day and thank a veteran. My husband served in the Marines as his father before him. My four brothers served in the Army, three of them were paratroopers who jumped out of “perfectly good airplanes,” as they would often say.
My Dad was unable to serve in the armed forces. On a given Tuesday evening when I was a little girl, my father would open a box from the dry cleaners and pull out a crisp white shirt, put on his suit and tie and head over to the Vet’s Hospital to visit the vets. I am proud of my father’s service to others. Even though he could not serve, he honored the men who served our country by giving his time to those who could.
As I write of this, I am reminded of the countless vets from every war who never came back: “All gave some, Some gave all.”

Thank you to all who served and continue to serve.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corp.

For 236 years the few and the proud have served our country. Many think only of the battles fought but I think of the men today who individually signed on to serve and protect our nation. My 89 year old  Father-in-law was in the Radar Battalion in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  He earned a Purple Heart but never talks about it.  He doesn't talk about the fighting either. He has maintained that he likes to focus on the good time. I think he is one of the bravest men I know.

My husband joined the Marines in 1969. I was devastated. He was my high school sweetheart and I just could not bear the thought of  him leaving during the Vietnam war. The draft was still being enforced and while his service could be deferred while he was in college he chose to enlist. He was not called to battle, for that I thank God.

Both men honor the Both are proud they served and I believe that sets them apart. The way they stand, the discipline, the stick-to-it-iveness is amazing.

The Commandant of the Marines sent a special message that I found on Facebook today. If you know a Marine in active duty, thank him for his service! If you know a Marine veteran, honor them too!

Semper Fidelis.

Monday, November 7, 2011

 I took a pledge to spend 30 days of giving.  What can I give as one person in the cog of a much larger wheel? As I think of this my heart shouts that I can give time. Time for others is a tremendous gift for young mothers who need time for themselves. They have so much on their plates and when the babysitter can't come, it is a blessing to have someone step in and say I will take your child. I will welcome them and make them feel loved.  I like to give this time to my daughters when I can. I know that I would do this whether being challenged or not. However, when a child is teething or needs a  hug when they crash and burn it takes patience to take time to smile and give a child what they need right now. It is easy to be busy and when children are around that changes what we want to get done for the day. I like to remember the words to a song I like from Steven Curtis Chapman: "You are changing the world, one little heartbeat at a time..." small but mighty changes to my agenda are powerful when it comes to the love we give a child.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cheesy Chicken, Rice and Beans....

I follow many a blog and one blog leads me to another....a few days back I found Musings of a Housewife and found myself enjoying her menu planning and recipes. Sometimes I just can't decide what to make for dinner. Is anyone else in the same boat? I found her recipes practical and healthy with simple things I have on hand. This Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole is just what I have in mind for a day like today! It was super easy to make and while it was cooking I just enjoyed that wonderful aroma of delicious dinner is on the way smell that fills the kitchen. It was a hit with my husband too so this recipe is now encased in a clear page protector and will reside in my special make again binder!  Check out Jo-Lynne's blog and try out this recipe!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Farmgirl Gourmet - Delicious Recipes for the Home Cook: Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte

Farmgirl Gourmet - Delicious Recipes for the Home Cook: Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is a great fall treat! Check out this link so you can make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte at home! Serve it in your favorite cup and saucer and you will feel like  you are out in the most comfortable coffee spot in town!