Friday, July 13, 2012

Just being quiet - an unexpected meeting

Life sometimes gets so busy.  Life happens.  The days just whirl by.  I don't know about you, but my days have been a blur lately.  There was one day, recently, where I actually had no where to be!  I could not believe it.  I kept checking my calendar just to be sure.

It was a wonderful day!

I kept hearing a voice staying, "Be still..and know...that I am God."

So, I went out on my front porch and just sat.  Usually, I sit in the backyard overlooking the lagoon.  For some reason, today was different.  I opted for the front porch.  It was wonderful.  There was a slight breeze, and the Spanish Moss was just gently swaying in the trees.  I could smell a mix of cedar and gardenia as the breeze carried it by.

I felt like I was being watched.  So, I sat still a little bit more.

About five feet away, a visitor sat on a limb, camouflaged in the Spanish Moss.  He sat and watched me for quite some time.  I was amazed at how intrigued we both were with each other.  He patiently waited while I went in the house to retrieve my camera.  I think he was a Cooper's Hawk.  Quite handsome and quite large with brilliant colouring.  What a photo I took!  I thanked him for his kindness, and sat a while longer.

"Be still...and know...that I am God" popped in my head again.

Then, he was gone.

I am so thankful I did not miss out on the special meeting.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Rose Hill Cottage Birdfeeder

I love my bird feeders.  I love my feathered friends who come to visit me each day.  Each one has its own personality and traits.  Much like people, I suppose.   I tend to name my feathered visitors as they come and visit.  Some blast through, eat and run.  Others take their sweet time and mingle.  Some are more sociable than others and as always, you need to be wary of the "quiet" ones.  I enjoy sitting in my chair and taking photos of my friends while they stop by.  Flick, the Hummingbird, is the hardest to capture on film.  He and his wife, Jewelia, tend to come by when you least expect it.  They stay for the summer and then, they leave for a winter in Mexico.

 Jethro, my Wood Stork, likes to come by twice a day.

 He is quiet and is most happy when fishing. Jethro is very, very patient and very set in his ways.  He enters the lagoon the same way each day....nothing wavering.  He looks like an old war veteran who has alot of stories to tell.

  General, my cardinal, and his wife, Leah, visit most frequently.  They are my old, married couple.  Leah tends to follow General around and appears to be the very devoted wife.  General finds his seed and always takes the time to feed Leah and make sure she is taken care of.

  On to Sunshine, my bluebird. Sunshine is somewhat timid and unaware of his beauty.  He never stays long enough for me to take his picture...he eats and leaves. But, he is always bubbly and even if he is having a bad day, I would never know it.  

And then, there is Gary the Cooper's Hawk.  Gary comes through and when he is near, all else ceases.  He is quite the handsome fellow and tends to spend his time watching and observing the rest of us.  Gary is very gracious and bares with my folly of picture taking...he will actually wait for me to take his picture.

I learn quite a bit from my feathered friends.  The devotion that General and Leah have to eachother.  Jethro who never gives up.  Flick and his wife who are diligent and quite adventurous.  Sunshine the encourager.  And Gary, the handsome observer.

And all this goes on at the same feeder!  They all have their place and they are happy in that place.  There is no rebellion, no discontentedness, and meanness.  Flick doesn't whine about how far he has to travel each year, and Jethro isnt seeking out a plastic surgeon because he is.....well, he is......not very cute.  Leah doesn't cry that she is somewhat nondescript and Gary doesn't flaunt his stuff.  They do what God purposed in their hearts to do.  I do believe they are in perfect harmony with God the Creator.  No wonder I prefer the solitude in my little haven of rest.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

NOTEBOOKING Pages Information

Hello to all my Homeschooling Friends!

As we are planning our lessons and curriculum for the upcoming school year, I thought I would offer this to you!  Check it out and let me know what you think......enjoy! am could use notebooking for your Bible Study, Prayer Life....lots of other ideas besides homeschooling......

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Greening of the Fountain in Savannah!

Well, you know Spring had SPRUNG in Savannah, not the flowers.....the "Greening of the Fountain" in Forsythe Park!  Yes, Savannah, GA is home to the second largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the entire United States (second only to New York City of course).  And, they start out the festivities by turning the beautiful waters of the fountain in historic Forsythe Park a lovely shade of shamrock green.

The local whose who all take turns pouring the "magic" green liquid into the fountain and then.....voila!  The fountain shoots green water for at least the next week.  Following are some pictures I was able to take during the festivities.  I enjoyed seeing all the doggies dressed for the occasion.  Too cute!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Scratch or Not?

This photo is so fitting!

I LOOOOOOOVE to bake.  Well, sorta.  I love to cheat bake.

I remember having this conversation with my grandma, many years ago.  I was joking with her as she was making one of her famous lemon meringue pies.  She would make her own pie crust, complete with lard and ice cubes.  No measurements.....everything was hand measured.  I learned to measure the amount of ingredients I needed by using the palm of my hand as she poured in the proper amount. It was all by feel and sight.  She would make her own filling.  She would top it with mounds of meringue.  And, it tasted heavenly.

At the time, the doughboy had introduced his rolled up, ready to bake, pie crusts.  I remember asking Grandma, "why don't you use that?"

"Never!" she replied.

"But Grandma, really?  The crust is that important?"

"You can cheat at some things, but baking is not one of them."

And, her pies were so heavenly, I believe her.  But, life has happened.  With all my time saving devices,  I just do not have all day to bake a pie.

So, what is the deciding factor if something is from scratch or not?

What if you use the little doughboy's "aid" and fill it with scratch filling?  Or, what if you use store bought flour?  Or is the store bought flour cheating, and you really should harvest your own wheat?  Should I be growing my own lemons?  Raising my own chickens for the eggs?

What if you use a cake mix, and add to it?  What if you bake a "not from the box" cake, and cheat with the frosting?

I'm confused.  The doughboy is so cute.......would he lie to me?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hello friends!

I am so sorry I have been away for a bit.  The flu thingy went through our entire family; and, of course, I got the worst of it.  After much medication, I seem to be moving on and feeling like myself again.  The sinus and ear infections have gone and the vertigo has let up.  As for updates, everything is moving along.  I signed on to be a consultant for Thirty One Gifts and am thrilled about it.  I decided that if I wanted to meet new ladies (since I've only been here one year), I need to venture out and find them.  So, ThirtyOne has given me that opportunity to get out there.  I am so excited about it!

Spring has sprung in the lowcountry.  My azaleas are blooming and my car is covered with yellow/green pollen.  Two little bluebirds are making a nest in my tree as we speak. And, of course, the alligators are up.  So, since the animals are sending all the signals that spring is here, I ventured to Lowe's and bought some pretty flowers.  One of which is Jasmine!  It smells divine.

The photo is of my daughter wearing her "tacky hat."  Every year, on Hilton Head Island, the Tacky Marsh Races are held on Hilton Head beach.  It is a hundred plus year old tradition of racing the Marsh Tacky Horses along the beach at the first of spring.  All southern ladies wear their Tacky Hats to the race; and my daughter made this hat last year at Honey Horn.

And, with spring in the lowcountry, comes tornadoes.  We are under a watch as I write this.  Hopefully, I wont get up close and personal and the thing will just stay up in the sky where it belongs.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shabby French Desk Redo

I had the lovely library table that I knew had such potential.

But, I wanted to make it look more shabby and hide the wires that come along with all electronic devices.  Not to mention, do something with that cat!

And, I wanted to be frugal about it.  

So, I thought, and thought.  

First, I sponged areas of the desk with black, creme, and grey paints.  I did a freehand diamond pattern to give the carved work some added dimension.

Then, a miracle happened!

One day, while thrifting, I found this bedskirt....

 and knew I could use it to make a skirt for me desk and chair.  So, I (who does not now how to sew)...fired up the sewing machine.  It took me three hours to learn how to thread it.  But, I did!

After I hemmed the fabric, I used clips to clip it up to thumbtacks I placed at strategic locations.  

I then found a chairpad in a shabby red rose print.  I added the leftover bedskirt fabric to it to make a shabby skirt.

So, there you have it!

I did all for $9.97 ($4.00 for the bedskirt, $2.97 for three bottles of craft paint, and $4.00 for the curtain hooks).

And, here it is:  

As for my Bible verse, I found the frame at Michaels for $.50.  I played with fonts on my computer and typed out the verse that God uses to keep me on track.  It's so adorable, isnt it?  

So, there you have it!  Now, to keep the kiddies and kitties away from it : )
The Lesson of the Giraffe:

While at the Jacksonville, Fl zoo, I had the opportunity to capture a photo of this giraffe.  No matter what type of moods folks were in at the moment...they became merry when watching this creature.  Isn't it interesting how God knows exactly what we need and when?  God will even use the beasts of the field to speak to our hearts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hold On, My Child....Joy Comes In the Morning!

I took this photo of my "little friends" while in my garden in Upstate New York.  I was always impressed with how my little friends would be so lovely each morning, despite their toiling all day and then enduring the dark, chilly night.  This verse always would come to mind.  I am happy to share it with you.  I hope to be posting more.  Please feel free to follow me and I will do the same.  Happy to call you Friend and have you as part of my garden : )

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan Roll-Ups

Eggplants and Italians go together like cookies and milk. Just the thought of a nice breaded eggplant cutlet makes one sigh in delight. I am smiling right now as I type this : ) Dreamy! This cute take on eggplant parmesan is one of my favorites. It's healthy, looks fantastic, and it's delicious with a side of gluten free pasta. I do have thoughts about the gluten free pasta as well. Although they try, it's really hard to convince an Italian American regarding the goodness of gluten free pasta? But, as my body changes, I must adapt. The vote is in: Rice Pasta is the closest to the real thing. And, you MUST stop by cook time 1 minute before the time on the package to make it truly al-dente. Pasta that is mushy is not fit for dogs....anyway...on with the eggplant.....
1 medium eggplant and gluten free pizza crust mix for dredging * 2 eggs, beaten * olive oil * 1/2 bag of Gluten Free Shredded Italian Six Cheese * 8 0z. container of Gluten Free Cottage Cheese * 1 tsp. cinnamon * 1 Cups Marinara Sauce (I will be featuring that recipe soon); however, your favorite jarred sauce will do in a pinch * Parsley, Cilantro, Basil if desired * Put your cottage cheese (ricotta if you can eat it), cinnamon, a pinch of each parsley, cilantro, and basil into a small bowl. Mix it up and set aside. Wash your eggplant carefully; remove stem, peel, and slice thin lengthwise. Dredge eggplant slices in your pizza crust mix. Dip into beaten egg and fry until golden brown. Pat dry with paper towels. Place a spoonful of shredded cheese in the middle of each eggplant slice. Add a scoop of your cottage cheese mixture. Roll up eggplant slices and place eggplant rolls, seem side down, in a greased shallow baking pan and top with a little of your marinara sauce. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 30 minutes. If desired, garnish with chopped parsley and grated cheese. Enjoy it with pasta on the side and a nice salad.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Springtime In Charleston, South Carolina

Well, here we are in January in The Lowcountry. Winter is pretty mild here as compared to the Great Lakes region I grew up in. In fact, it was 68 degrees here today. A beautiful day. But, the flowers are sparse and the leaves trees are bare temporarily. The birds were singing today....that sweet familiar song that Spring is in the air. Of course, in NY you wouldnt hear that tune until April/May...but, down here I guess they start in January. Who knew?

As the birds were singing of springtime, I was reviewing pictures that I took a few springs ago In Charleston. How I love Charleston. I enjoy everything about it. It is a city untouched by time. The shots I am sharing with you were taken during an afternoon stroll. I so enjoy visiting churches and their historic cemeteries. Believe it or not, I search out tombstones that have King James Bible verses etched upon them. I receive such a blessing from these pilgrims who went before me and are in heaven. I feel like I know them as a brother or sister in Christ, because they left a precious verse on their stone. What a generation of people they must have been.

As I walk down the historic streets of Charleston, I enjoy viewing the various window boxes all in array with their flowers. How creative Charlestonians are. I love when they add their beloved pineapple into their decorating schemes. After all, the pineapple is THE symbol of Charleston hospitality.

And, the gates! How ornate they are. You can peek directly into their private courtyards and get a feast for the eyes. My son and I have two favorite gates. We call one "The Narrow Gate" and the other "The Broad Gate to Destruction".

So, I hope you enjoy my photos. I'll be heading back up there soon. One can never get enough of Charleston. Until then, meet me at the pineapple......

Monday, January 16, 2012

My New Coffee Nook

Well...i'm in the new cottage home and slowly turning it into our special home. I especially loved this home because of the size of the kitchen.

This kitchen is enormous in size to the scale of the house. My cottage appears to be a "capecod" from its appearance, but once inside it is truly special. It is appx. 2000 square feet on one floor. Oh, the things I could achieve if I ever expand into the attic....hmmmmm.....

But, for now, I have been busy painting, installing this and that, changing things, etc.

Back to the kitchen...I made a little coffee nook and have it located precisely next to my desk and workstation. I can roll my chair right over and get to pouring.

The challenge is that I love everything from shabby chic, to country french, to suburban country, and collect everything from Chintz China to Longaberger to Crystal. I love everything pretty and functional. I'm not one to put things away and bring them out again....if I have it, I want to use it.

So, my challenge was to incorporate my Longaberger and my crystal into my kitchen. Here is the end product of my coffee nook:

I have placed my Fantasia Dessert Plates, in my Longaberger Server with Longaberger Mugs in Paprika. I placed my shabby "chicesque" FAITH ornament on the top. Now, I'll be reminded of my faith every morning. My coffee, biscotti, stevia, sugar, are all contained in my 1991 Yuletide Basket. Everything is handy and in its place. Now, I hope the hubby realizes this.

I hope this may inspire you and get your creative juices flowing, too.



I dont know what happened!

But, my "Followers" box had disappeared along with some of my followers. I had to install a new one and hopefully my friends will check back in and re-follow. I think something may have gone wrong when I changed my "look". So, sorry all!

Thank you to Mariette for pointing this out to me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barbara's Yummy Eggs in a Mug

What a wonderfully delicious surprise!

While I was intensely fixed upon my laptop, my daughter surprised me with a lovely breakfast in a mug! She prepared a mini omelette in one of my Longaberger coffee mugs.

It was delicous! It was so delicious, and clever, that I decided to take a picture of it and share it with you. (But, i took my picture after I already had my spoon in it and mixed it up) heehee

So, here is her recipe:

2 eggs
2 Tbs milk
2 Tbs shredded cheddar cheese
salt, pepper, and chili pepper to taste
pinch of chopped parsley (optional)
squirt of hot sauce (optional)

Spray the inside of your microwave safe coffee mug with cooking spray. Add eggs and milk, beat until blended.

Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave about another 30 seconds until eggs are set.

Top with cheese, season with salt, pepper(s) and parsley.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

My attempt at Gluten Free (well, sorta)

I have suspected for quite some time that I may have an issue with gluten.

Why, you may be asking?

All types of signs my body has been displaying (and has been quite along). But, as an italian girl, that is not exactly something I want to pay attention too. I mean, like, really? No bread, no pasta, whaddaboutit?

And, may I mention my last blood panel has been issuing that little nugget as well....

Moving on....

I havent eaten gluten in 3 days. I must say, I do feel alot better already. I've been getting by with jasmine and basmati rice. I eat it just as I would pasta and so far, I am content.

Then today, I wanted Chicken Piccata! Oh yeh, baby! I wanted the real stuff. But, not with rice. And, how would I flour my chicken filets? Oh, the pain.....

Ding! Idea!

I'll create Gluten Free dusting flour! Instead of breadcrumbs, I will make my own.

I remembered seeing gluten free flour by "that Bob Guy"...and thought I would check it out.

I purchased Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (Gluten Free). I added pepper, garlic salt, chopped parsley, and some grated parmesan cheese to it. I threw it in a gallon ziplock and shook my chicken in it. Aaaah! It was coming together.

I gently sauteed my cutlets in olive oil and butter till a nice golden brown colored emerged. I then transferred them to a 13x9 pan and doused them with chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice, 3 pats of butter, and some grated cheese. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I boiled my SamMills 100% Corn spaghetti and cut it a minute short so it wouldnt pass al dente. I microwaved my cauliflower, carrot and broccoli mix. (I picked out my broccoli because Aubrey said to).

I served it up this way: pasta first, chicken on top, veggies on the side, and sauce all over.

Voila! Very yummy!

See for yourself (remember to activate the scratch n sniff button on your screen...heehee)

I'll keep posting about My Gluten Free Adventure!

Saving 4 Six: Wednesday's What I Found - Felt Flower Scarf

Saving 4 Six: Wednesday's What I Found - Felt Flower Scarf: I came across a darling scarf at a linky party a few weeks back and was eager to try to make one.  I was visiting my mom and so she made one...