Hello and welcome!

This blog is an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. Regarding use of content: please see "the fine print" at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Randomness On An Escaped Day



So, I’m late with this post today.  Well, it’s a long story, but also short.  The day got away from me.  I didn’t feel well part of it, and I diddled part of it, and I did other things part of it, and then I looked out the window this afternoon and saw my brother and brother-in-law arriving home from work and thought, “Wow, they’re early,” and wondered if one of them wasn’t feeling well.  Then I looked at the clock.  Oops!  Where did this day go?? :-(  Time to get dinner!

Here are just some random things then.

Mail Call

One day last week our cat got 2/3 of the mail!  Ok, there were only three pieces of mail that day, but two of them were “for” her.  One was a reminder to come get her rabies shot (something we do faithfully since we live in a rural environment and she’s an indoor-outdoor cat).  The other was a sample of cat food.  (I would like a sample of chocolate in the mail, personally.)  She liked the free cat food really well, but she will hate going to get the shot. :-)  The shot is actually the least of her worries.  She hates riding in the car.

Yours Truly

My favorite color: Pink
My favorite time of day: Sunset to dark or early morning when it’s still cool out.
My favorite place to eat: Home
My favorite pass time: Reading
My favorite cookie: Peanut butter chocolate chip
My favorite food: Chicken fried chicken, Buffalo chicken wings
My favorite pet: The cat we have now
My favorite fiction author: That’s hard. Jane Austin and Grace S. Richmond
My favorite hobby: Um…it’s kind of moody. I go through phases.
My favorite blog: Stop….Have A Chat
My favorite fabric store: Fabric.com

Random Links

A Recipe for Orange Julius (orange milk shake)

Homemade Fudge Making Tips

Watching the News

What Did I Say?

What Grownups Can Do

Chocolate Quotes

“I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process…. It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?”  - unknown

“Carob is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. Some consider carob an adequate substitute for chocolate because it has some similar nutrients (calcium, phosphorus), and because it can, when combined with vegetable fat and sugar, be made to approximate the color and consistency of chocolate. Of course, the same arguments can as persuasively be made in favor of dirt.”  (Pretty much my sentiments too.)

Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do in the morning. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.

Nuts just take up space where chocolate ought to be.  (My brother would’ve said this if he’d thought of it.) :-)

My youngest brother.  I thought you might like to see a picture of him. ;-)
(Taken some years ago, but you’d hardly notice.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Are You A Friend of God?


James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Abraham was "the Friend of God".  We are Abraham's children through faith in Christ.

Galatians 3:6-14 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Abraham lived by faith, not the Law (Rom. 4:12). He didn't even have the Law in his day, though he did know right from wrong since the law is written in every heart (Rom. 2:14-15). But, a friend likes to please his friend. Abraham obviously desired to please God, and he believed God. God knew that Abraham desired to please Him and He honored that. 

Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sew Happy Friday – Disappearing Hour Glass

I have to admit, Jenny Doan at the Missouri Star Quilt Company still fools me from time to time.  I’ll see a video with a complicated quilt behind her and I’ll think there is no way she can make that easy, and then I watch it and she does.  Don’t let the quilt behind her in this one fool you.  She did figure out how to make it without cutting all those itty bitty pieces! :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Update On Getting Rid of 365 Things


You may recall that this year I challenged myself (and anyone who wanted to join me) to get rid of 365 things.  I’ve kept working on that goal even though I’ve failed at posting any further updates till now. :-) 

For some reason, I started at 365 and have been counting down.  I think it would have been easier to count up, but - Oh well.  I started this week at 141 things left to get rid of.  Since there are 162 days left this year I’m ahead of schedule, which is very gratifying.  Plus it gives me a buffer for weeks when I might not be able to make much progress.  If I’d counted every item individually I’m sure I would have been past my goal by now.  But, I was intentionally under counting some things in order to make it harder on myself and more effective.

The worst weeks were two different weeks when I only managed to get rid of one item.  I think I was sick part of one of those weeks and the other one was the week we tried to go on vacation.  (I say “tried” because we ended up coming home early.  Long story.)  The best week so far was a few weeks ago when I got rid of 27 things!  That was satisfying indeed.  I also had two different weeks in which I discarded 24 items. That really helped me catch up.

Just for interest I’ll list some items here that I’ve either thrown away or donated (or will be donating).  These are not necessarily the total amounts of these items I’ve gotten rid of.  I haven’t added up totals for categories (as yet) and maybe won’t.  These are just numbers taken from random weeks – in other words, I got rid of this number of whatever it is in one week – not all total.  I hope that makes sense.

1 sun catcher
1 spice carousel (in the way and seldom used)
1 bag of orange peels (from the fridge. They were being saved for making candied orange peels, but I realized it wasn’t going to happen and gave myself permission to throw them away, and to count them. ;-)
1 bed skirt
1 bed coverlet
2 packages of trim (sewing type trim)
1 jug fancy fabric scraps
1 tea kettle
1 old garden hose segment with sprinkler attached (Yeah. That was sitting out in one of the gardens. What? Don’t ask.)
1 bag candy :-)
1 catalogue (Well, it was a quilting catalogue that I especially liked – Hancock’s of Paducah – and I wanted to keep it!)
3 shirts
1 string (It was a string of considerable substance and color and it hadn’t been used in all the time it was stored and it was cut in an unlikely segment.  Huh.  Sorry, some of you just won’t understand that.  I think it’s a genetic thing. :-)
1 container of old feta cheese (Because it was given to me and I kept thinking I’d use it, but it was getting strong and a little weird and finally I just decided to pitch it.)
1 computer chair
4 garments
1 corn syrup (Found on its side in the back of the pantry. It had leaked. Ugh.)
1 dead plant (don’t ask – Not donated, don’t worry.)
1 package stale pancake mix (It was given to us, but my husband makes them from scratch.  What can I say?)
1 frying pan
"1 useless gadget" (That’s actually what I wrote in my record. I don’t even know what it was. LOL)
12+ various food items (things I wasn’t going to use)
1 item d├ęcor
6 jars old food (These were mostly things my family has been carrying around for years that ended up in my store room.  They were old.  Yes, they should have been used, but that’s how it goes sometimes when you home can food and can’t stand to use it up too quickly, but don’t use it quickly enough.  Blah.  I want to try to break that trend for my own part. :-)
1 plastic container
2 batches of bows (See photo below.  Confession time – I have a weakness for gift bows.  I use them on both wrapped packages and on gift bags.  Well, I didn’t really know how many I had until I decided to sort and reduce the gift wrap collection which involved more than one box.  Ahem!  I realized I have a problem that has to stop!  Yeeps. :-o)

These photos in this post were taken on my cell phone, hence the poor quality.

So, this is my mid-year update on this challenge.  There may not be another one till the end of the year.  We’ll see.  If you want to tell us about your efforts please leave a message.  If you’ve blogged about it yourself leave a link too, please.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Evening Song – We Gather Together


Romans 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Banana Brownies

This was originally published in August 2009.  This recipe can be altered a number of ways as the note at the bottom indicates.

Banana Brownies

Mix together:
2/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla or almond flavor
2/3 C. mashed, over ripe bananas
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1 egg lightly beaten

Pour into a greased 8x8 inch pan. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350F. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan to a wire rack to continue cooling.

With white flour these brownies will be more like cake, but with whole wheat they are heavier like true brownies should be, and healthier like true brownies usually are not. :-) 

There are some great ways to dress up or vary this recipe as well. Sprinkle nuts, chocolate chips, or drained maraschino cherries on top and gently push into the batter in the pan before baking. Once I left out the cocoa powder and added spices instead to make a banana spice cake. To do this measure the spices you want (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) into a 1/4 C. measuring cup. Add enough flour to make up the difference and add in place of the cocoa. Be sure to use vanilla extract for this change, and nuts are a nice addition. You could also add some orange zest for an interesting flavor. (I wonder what this variation would taste like made with canned pumpkin instead of the bananas. Hmmmm.) Also you could try using other flour mixtures for a healthier brownie - 1/4 C. oat flour plus 1/4 C. whole wheat, etc. (Not all flours respond the same in recipes, so remember to make appropriate alterations accordingly.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Burden of Israel – by Annie Johnson Flint

This poem seemed appropriate for today.

Zechariah 12:2  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all
the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against
Judah and against Jerusalem.

Zechariah 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were
a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah,
and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall
be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

The Burden of Israel

Behold, thou art a burden, O house of Israel,
A curse among the nations wherever thou dost dwell,
They hate thee and they fear thee as all the world can tell.

Thou art a fire, O Jacob, among the forest leaves;
A flame of fear devouring, a torch among the sheaves;
A trouble to the countries, for which the whole earth grieves.

A thorn art thou, O Judah, a terror to the lands,
Sharp stone and rock of stumbling that cuts the meddler's hands,
A snare to the oppressor who binds thee with his bands.

Thou art a cup of trembling, Jerusalem, today;
The mighty men are gathered, the battle in array,
The Gentile hosts assembled, that God may have His way.

A joy unto the nations, O Judah, thou shalt be,
When out of all the countries the Lord hath gathered thee,
And thou shalt be a blessing from sea to farthest sea.

By Annie Johnson Flint


Friday, July 11, 2014

Berry Fun Friday – Fun Strawberry Fabrics


[In order to keep my posts on Saturday from piling up, I’ve decided to move the sewing and strawberry posts to Friday.  This will also give my readers the opportunity to do some of the projects over the weekend, if they want to.]

Here is a small collection of fun strawberry fabrics that are available now.  I have some of them and other I just think are quite cute.  (This post is not subsidized by Fabric.com, nor requested by them.)

As far as I can recall, this is the most recent strawberry fabric that I’ve purchased.  The strawberries were bigger than I thought because I didn’t pay enough attention to the ruler, but I like it and it will make some fun small project.  (source)

This flannel is very cheerful and would make cute winter things for little girls, or playful detailing for a ladies’ garment. (pink & white)

I have some of this fabric too.  It’s so pretty and bright.  At first I thought I’d make an apron, but I realized all that white would soil very easily.  I have at least one project in mind where I want to incorporate some of this.  (source)

Although these last two fabrics don’t appear to match in color in the pictures, they are from the same set and do go together.  I have some of this also and have at least one project in mind for some of it.  (source)

If when I get some of these projects done I hope I’ll remember to share some with you. :-)  In the mean time, you can enjoy the eye candy or even purchase some for to work with yourself if you like it (provided they aren’t out of stock).  (Once the fabrics are no longer offered by fabric.com the pictures will disappear.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Morning Visit In Our Garden


Since I missed yesterday’s post and didn’t have anything scheduled for tomorrow, I thought I’d combine the two with a little talk about the garden and accompanying photos.  I took the photos another morning this month but a little later in the morning, not the one I’m telling about here.

Pride of Barbados

This time of year in the Texas Hill Country the best time of day is early in the morning before the sun comes up and just after.  The air is still cool then and if there’s a breeze at all it’s almost intoxicating compared to the heat of the afternoons.  There’s a good reason why people compare good news or events to “a breath of fresh air”!  It puts something into you that it’s hard to get otherwise.  Plus, since we’ve had more rain this year (thank the Lord!!), it’s still quite green out there, and the garden is bursting.  Our little spot here is so pretty that sometimes I think it’s like some pretty camp ground or “in the rough” park.  It’s hard for me to get inspired to go sleep in a tent when our own yard is so lovely right outside my own bedroom. :-)

Yesterday morning I just couldn’t stay in bed knowing all that good fresh air was going to waste, and since I couldn’t sleep any more anyway for various reasons, I got up.  I opened a couple windows and turned on a fan at the opposite end of the house to get as much of that goodness inside as I could before it was gone.  Then I went out to work in the garden.

It’s so peaceful at that hour.  My fan was maybe the only “noise pollution” I could hear.  :-) The birds were singing, a rooster crowing in the distance,  maybe a peacock calling – it was all very idyllic and pastoral.  On mornings like that I think we get a little taste of how God meant this world to be, don’t you?  Genesis 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

I went to the garden for the purpose of picking yellow beans which my dad had told me were ready to pick.  At first I couldn’t find the plants.  He has planted things very crowded this year to help conserve water.  I think it’s working, but I’m not sure how we’re going to pick some of the stuff when it’s ready!  It’s a challenge now, but it’ll be a regular jungle when the plants are all grown.

I saw a butterfly that I think was just newly out of it’s chrysalis.  It may have been a day or two old, but the wings looked so bright and fresh to me that I think it was a brand new one.  I wished I’d taken my camera, but I was trying to focus on the work that morning (no pun intended), so I didn’t get any pictures.  :-)

I wished for it again shortly.  I heard something in the woods, but I didn’t see it so I wandered down to the end of the garden past Daddy’s gigantic non-GMO corn.  There I heard something else up toward the property line and saw an animal come leaping down toward where I was, but it was on the lower side of the fence.  (Our property has a fence around it and across it so that we can keep the donkeys on the lower property away from the houses.)  It turned out to be a fawn and it stopped and looked all around for a few moments so I got to really enjoy it.  I stood very still!  One of the dogs saw it and came running, but thankfully she can’t get through the fence there.  The fawn is much safer from the dogs on the lower side of the fence because the donkeys hate the dog and won’t let her chase the deer.  If she goes down there, she gets chased herself.  :-)

I ended up picking some sweet potato leaves for our dinner and a few peppers that were ripe. Then I looked around a bit more and finally found the yellow beans.  I didn’t know how many there would be so I went and got a basket to pick them into since my colander was partially full by then.  It wasn’t a lot, but I got some good stretching and squats in trying not to step on all the plants around the beans.  I’d rather get them that way than doing my exercises. Ha.  ;-)

I also watered a couple flower beds while I was out and at the end swept the steps and sidewalk.  Before I went in Mom showed up and we had a nice natter.  We “solved” a few problems and enjoyed the fresh air and breeze.  :-)  It was lovely. 

This weather won’t last much longer.  Early mornings won’t be this cool before too long, so I want to drink them in as much as I can before they end.  Some years they end earlier than this, so I’m extra thankful to the Lord that we’re still having it now.  “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him all creatures here below…”

Come and look.

Aji Dulce peppers
They look and taste like habaneros, but with very little heat!

Squash blossom

South Indies cucumber blossom.
Isn’t this an amazing flower?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.
An added bonus of getting out early is that there are some blossoms in the garden that will wilt when the day heats up.

Noodle beans
Yes, they really are that long.
I picked these another day.

Noodle bean blossom

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Grace of God – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

I love the message of this poem.  Annie was blessed with such a gift for arranging words to really speak to the reader.  She attained that through much hardship and sorrow.  She knew whereof she spoke.

2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The Grace of God

"My grace," 'tis the God of all grace who hath spoken,
Whose word in the heavens forever is set;
Whose covenant promise hath never been broken;
Who never can fail or forget;
Who knoweth my needs and who seeth my sorrows,
However so many and great they may be;
Who heareth my prayers for the days and the morrows;
His grace is sufficient for me.
"My grace;" all His blessings this work is unfolding,
His love and His power in harmony blend;
Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sew Happy Friday – Disappearing Pinwheels


[In order to keep my posts on Saturday from piling up, I’ve decided to move the sewing and strawberry posts to Friday.  This will also give my readers the opportunity to do some of the projects over the weekend, if they want to.]

These “disappearing” blocks are based on the Disappearing Nine Patch block, only you start with a pinwheel block.  Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Company shows us two different blocks that can be made with this method.  The results look like you did a lot more fiddling work with tiny pieces that you actually have to do.

Disappearing Pinwheel Part 1

Disappearing Pinwheel Part 2

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Australian Memories – Nap Time with the Koalas

Koalas really know how to sleep!  These photos were taken at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane.  We were told that they are so lethargic because the eucalyptus leaves they eat actually have a drug effect on them.

Time to wake up already??

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Roman Miracle

Photo by John Snyder via Wikicommons
Here’s a poem with a surprise ending for you today.  :-) I think this has been set to music, but I couldn’t find it online.
A pretty maid, a Protestant, was to a Catholic wed;
To love all Bible truths and tales, quite early she's been bred.
It sorely grieved her husband's heart that she would not comply,
And join the Mother Church of Rome and heretics deny.
So day by day he flattered her, but still she saw no good
Would ever come from bowing down to idols made of wood.
The Mass, the host, the miracles, were made but to deceive;
And transubstantiation, too, she'd never dare believe.
Continue Reading.