Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer Afternoon

"Summer Afternoon - Summer Afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~ Henry James

Say "Cheese", Please!

My friend, Alexandria over at Happy Hearts At Home has a link to an easy recipe for making cheese! Go to her blog and scroll down to her Monday, July 28th post. Click on the post title and you will be at the recipe.

I am going to try this soon and show you the results!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Grieving for My Friend

Whenever someone close to me dies, I always register such complete and utter shock that I am unable to express my emotions. I cannot cry. I walk around and around my house, distracted by this hole in my heart, but unable to release the pain with an outpouring of feeling.

Imagine how especially shocked I was by my friend, Melissa's, death, as young and vibrant as she was. She had everything to live for. She wasn't old and failing, like my mother was when she died. Although it is sad when an older parent dies, it makes sense. But, when some one as young as Melissa goes, it is stunning in its impact. I did not expect to receive the call that told me that she was gone.

Yesterday, a wonderful gift came to me when Melissa's sister, Ginny Thompson, sent me the link to a video tribute for Melissa (see July 29th post). You see, one of the things that was hurting me about Melissa's death is that I had not seen her recently and have no new pictures of her. She'd only sent me pictures of her children. I wanted to see my friend's face so badly.

I clicked on the link and sat back to watch my beautiful friend, smiling again, posing with her children and loved ones. I saw her with her mother, Ann, and her sisters. I saw her standing in front of White Lake, which is the area of North Carolina that my ancestors settled. Melissa and I both shared a love of that lake. I was so happy, so sad. My heart brimmed over with feelings and I finally was able to cry and cry.

That place in my heart which holds Melissa is still very tender, but I no longer have that awful hollow feeling. Watching the video brought her back to me, all the best about her that I loved so much. It brought back warm and funny memories. It made me feel like I had spent time with her again. While I was watching it, I talked to her in my heart and said, not "good-bye", but... "I love you, dear friend. I will see you later, farther down the road."

Melissa will always be alive to me. She will always be my sweet, guileless friend. Furthermore, I know she is happy and at peace with God and, that above all, is pretty much everything.

Love, Elizabeth
*(Again, I ask that you pray for the Love/Spruill families, especially for her children, Emili and Elijah. They are suffering terribly..Thank you!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Video Tribute to Melissa Spruill

Melissa Spruill's sister, Ginny Thompson, sent me this tribute. If any of you are interested in seeing it, just clink on the link.

Thank you, Ginny.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid, or cup of frozen corn
1 cup water
1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook stove-top in a dutch oven (or big soup pot or slow cooker), simmering for a couple of hours.

Serve with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream, if desired!

For a low-fat version, try ground turkey breast for the meat.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

For Melissa


I passed the way of Heaven's Gate
And breathed the air of mortal state,
To rise and fall by freedom's choice
And give with love the softer voice.

In me, the wisdom of childhood eyes
Embraced the best, cast out the lies
Of those who passed my sojourn's way
And shared with me in Life's sweet play.

Find me now in the morning dew,
In the tapestry woven by sunset hues,
In the lofty glide of an eagle's grace,
Beyond the veil of earthly trace.

You and I, we were always one
With Mother Earth and the Celestial Son.
Love divine, without rebate,
Unlocks the doors of Heaven's Gate.

Love Divine, without rebate,
Waits for you at Heaven's Gate.

Mark W. Gibson

In Remembrance - Melissa Love Spruill

Early this morning, I received the very unexpected message that my dear friend from North Carolina, Melissa Love Spruill, had passed away.

Melissa and I met back in 1993, when we were both working for a title insurance company in Chapel Hill, NC. I had just moved there from Los Angeles and was lonely for friends. Melissa and I clicked right away and had many fun adventures together. She was someone to whom I could tell anything, with whom I could always be myself. We laughed a lot. Shared much.

Eventually, life took me far away from North Carolina to live in Utah. We e-mailed and kept in touch. I was suppose to visit her this summer, but my trip back East fell through.

This past Thursday, Melissa went to bed with a bad headache. When her mom got to the house to pick up the children, Melissa couldn't be awakened. They believe she had passed away from an aenurism.

Melissa had overcome many trials in her life with faith, had settled down with a young family, which she adored. She leaves behind her husband, David, and their two young children, Emilie and Elijah. They and the whole Love family could use your prayers. Her funeral is tomorrow at the Efland Methodist Church, in Efland, North Carolina.

I will miss my dear friend, with her strong faith and easy laugh.

Take care, dear friend, we will all see you again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tag, You're It!

Ruth over at Visions & Revisions has tagged me for a meme in which I post seven facts about myself.

Here are the rules:
1. List these rules on your blog. 2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog:

My 7 Facts:
1. I was born in Savannah, GA, where my father was working as a tugboat captain. My mother was a homemaker. Soon after my birth, Daddy joined the Coast Guard as an officer.
2. With my family, I moved 11 times in the 18 years of my life at home: Savannah, GA, NC, Virginia Beach, VA, San Diego, CA, Port Angeles, WA, Memphis,TN, Raleigh, TN, Wilmington, NC, Reston, VA and Herndon, VA.
3. My favorite places to live were San Diego and Wilmington.
4. I left home at 18 and eventually moved out West...and went to school in Provo, Utah.
5. Lived from age 24-35 in Los Angeles, Ca, where I pursued the entertainment business, appeared in small roles in some films and then decided that it wasn't for me.
6. Met my husband on Sept 15, 1991, at a church singles conference. Knew almost immediately that he was the one! (I was right!)
7. My husband and I decided not to raise children in LA, so we moved back "home" to NC, where most of our relatives are, and lived in Chapel Hill for 5 years, before work called us to Utah (where I am now trying to learn to "bloom where I'm planted").

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

My seven people are...
Dawn at The Feathered Nest
Emma at Charming the Birds from the Trees
Alexandra at Happy Hearts at Home
Mrs. U at Making a House a Home
Cindy at My Romantic Home
Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse
Kelli at There's No Place Like Home

Many Humble thanks to Ruth, who taught me how to create links in my posts!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend's Thrifting Finds

Okay, now I can show you what were the results of my thrifting this past weekend! (Blogger pictures wasn't working over the weekend, for some reason)

Above, are some small, ceramic, pumpkin candles - all like new! Aren't they cute?

Above is a resin plaque of irises. It looks really beautiful in real life!
Lastly, here is an interesting candle holder/holders. It has lots of possibilities for different seasonal displays.

That's all that I found this weekend in my favorite thrift shop. Can't wait until next Saturday and whatever new treasures I will find.

Love, Elizabeth

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Whole Wheat Muffins!

I was going to show you my thrift shop finds today, but Blogger seems to be having picture issues. So...Another tasty whole grains recipe - tried and true!

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 t. salt
4 1/2 t. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Combine wet ingredients, thoroughly mix. Add dry ingredients to wet, stir until just moistened. Fill oiled muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes.
Eat with jam, butter, honey-butter. Yum, yum!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Whole Wheat Cornbread

1 1/2 c cornmeal
1 c whole wheat flour (patsry is best)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder

3 T honey
2 large eggs, beaten
2 T melted butter
2 c buttermilk, or 2 c 2% with 1 T vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Stir dry ingredient together. Mix liquids together. Add dry ingredients to liquids. Stir til smooth. Pour into greased 8"x8" pan. Bake 25 minutes.

Serve with honey butter. Yum, Yum!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shadow Box #2

Happy Wednesday!

I've made another shadow box. This time, instead of using an old crate like the one displaying my mother's things, I used a basket that I found at a thrift store. I used a lace scarf for the backing and then anchored the picture frame. These are pictures of myself when I was a baby. This will go on the opposite side of my hutch from the shadow box of my mother. I'm going to add something under it, which I am currently working on...

Does this shadow box need something else to make it look better?? Any suggestions?

More later,

Monday, July 14, 2008


I am still working on my shadow boxes, which I hope to show you soon. But, today, I thought that I'd introduce you to Robert. I have said many things about my Sarah on my blog, but I also have a precious son.

Doesn't he have a nice face? It matches his soul, believe me.

Robert was born the day Princess Diana died, almost 11 years ago. I think of this, because when I went out to the livingroom, after midnight on August 31, 1997, to tell my husband that I was having contractions, he turned around and said, "Princess Diana is dead." I remember having such mixed feelings - absolute shock about Princess Diana and total excitedment over having my son...He was born at 3:37 p.m. that day, after a bit of a struggle. His little soul felt peaceful and sweet, as he nestled in my arms. We knew he would be someone very special.

Robert has always been a wonderful combination of physically strong and emotionally sensitive. He has always had the build of a little linebacker and loves using his physicality, but this is balanced by his gentle spirit and his unique ability to perceive the emotional landscape of those around him. He has often surprised me with his observations about friends and love ones, even myself, at times. Also, sometimes when I think he isn't listening to something at all, he will later tell me that he was "quite touched" by the very thing I thought he was ignoring.

Robert always yearns to do what is right. He has mischevious ways of pushing the line at home, but deep in side he wants to do what is right and good with people. I admire his values and his strong sense of right and wrong.

Robert says that when he grows up he wants to be three things: a professional football player, a singer/songwriter and a chef. He plays football and the guitar and loves to cook. Yesterday afternoon, he asked me if he could make me lunch, so he cooked me up a veggie burger and put everything on it the way I like it and set me a place at the table. It was very sweet and very yummy!

Well, there you have it!

Tomorrow, I will show you some more shadow boxes.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In Remembrance

After all of the thrifting and yard sale-ing I've been doing, I have become extremely fascinated with the possibilities of using different objects for shadow boxes. I have several in progress, but I finished one tonight in honor of my mother, who passed away, December, 2006. Above you see her with some much loved items that remind me of her...
A Monogrammed hankerchief (her name was Kathleen), her bookmark (she was an avid reader), some perfume she saved from her younger years, and a silver brush that was bought for her first-born, my brother, David, who died as an infant. The strand of pearls is the same three-tiered strand she is wearing in the picture.
On top, is a black and white photo of my Sarah, my mother's only grand-daughter.

This shadow box is by my dining room hutch, which I am re-decorating on a theme of family, with black and white photos of loved ones.

The sign below Mama's shadow box says, "Families Are Forever". In my heart I know that it's true.

We will see them again.


Yard Sale Saturday

Alright, I admit it. I went to yard sales this morning, after thrifting, yesterday. I got the above basket to use as a shadow box. I've already got a nest in it. Now, I need to look around the find what else I want to use in it...Any suggestions?
I also picked up this mirror for a song. It has a beautiful walnut finish and pretty woodwork.
Anyone else go yard sale-ing today?


Friday, July 11, 2008

Thrifty Friday

I love to go thrifting on payday Fridays. Today, I visited my favorite thrift store and came away with a number of treasures...Above are four saucers that have all of my livingroom/diningroom colors on them. I will either display them on my wall or in my hutch.
I love the beauty of glass (these would be prettier if I'd washed them first, but I was too excited to show you). The decanters I will use in my bathroom for cotton balls and cutips. The pitchers will be great in my kitchen for syrup and juices.

Here is the candlestick up close. It has a Fall design. I will put it away until Autumn.
Isn't this a pretty saucer? It has sage green and pink and will look pretty either on my wall or in my hutch.
Last, but not least, my favorite stoneware pattern: French Countryside, by Mikasa. I found four of these cups and saucers.

I also got a beautiful basket (not shown) and some kitchen utensils. I spent $20 on the whole lot. What a great price!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Husband

For those of you who kindly answered my call for prayer by offering up thoughts in behalf of my husband, I thought that you would like to know that he is getting better. He is able to raise his bad arm over his head, a great improvement from when he couldn't raise it laterally at all. He still feels acute pain with his arm in certain positions, but things have eased up enough for him to use it in normal daily activites, as long as he is careful.

We both thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your warm and generous responses. If you don't mind, please continue to hold him up with your prayers, as we still need to make it to August 1st, when our insurance kicks in, before we can take him to the doctor.

Please let me know whenever we can pray for you. We would love to be of help in any way.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Firecracker Chicken!

Check out this wonderful new recipe from allrecipes.com. If you love spicy food. You'll love this!

8 chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable oil

To Marinate: Remove skin from chicken and place in a resealable plastic bag. Pour sauce over chicken, seal bag and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the spicier it will be.

In another resealable plastic bag combine the flour, cornmeal and salt. Add chicken, seal bag and shake to coat.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet to medium high heat. Add chicken and fry, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Turn occasionally to brown evenly.
I served this with white basmati rice and steamed broccoli. YUM, YUM, YUM!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bedroom Musings

Isn't this a lovely picture? I found it on the Internet and it inspires me. Oh, how I love a beautiful bedroom! It's a place for dreaming...
Our bedroom is blue and our furniture is a really nice french provincial. I am looking for just the right coverlet for our bed.
Isn't this one pretty?

Friday, July 4, 2008

The 3rd of July

Yes, you read that correctly, the 3rd of July.

A nearby town has its big celebration the day before the other towns do and my friend, Teri, who lives blocks from the school where this celebration takes place, hosted the funnest BBQ/swim party at her house.

Above is Teri's daughter, Mara, and my Sarah. They sang a wonderful duet of patriotic songs!

Above is my Robert with Teri's son, Josh, battling each other with a "noodle".
More fun! Aubrey and Teri.
The food was really yummy. Everyone brought something to share and then we all BBQ'd. But, the best part was sitting around talking.
This is Sarah and her poor dad, who came to the party despite a bad injury to his shoulder. He was in a lot of pain.
The fireworks were a blast. We let off some of our own and then we sat in the front yard and watched the big show above the rooftops. It was one of the best shows we'd ever seen.
What did we do for the 4th?
We slept and slept and slept. Then we saw a movie, visited with friends and went to see another, more local fireworks show.
Our favorite part of the holiday? Teri's 3rd of July party!!


I can't access your blog at all, not even using the link from Sarah's blog (it doesn't work). Please give me your web address!

Thank You So Much!

To all of you who have said prayers in our behalf, my husband and I are so grateful. Currently, Mark is holding his own. Although he cannot raise his right arm past about the point where he would shake hands, if that makes any sense, he is not in terrible pain anymore. He's in doable pain. He is having trouble sleeping and driving a stick shift (one handed!). However, he actually attended a BBQ with us last night, although he spent most of his time resting on a couch while we were all outside.

We are taking this one day at a time.
Thank you again!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Prayer Request

I have a prayer request for anyone who accesses this post. Last night, my husband injured himself pretty badly. He believes he may have done serious damage to his rotar cusp, right shoulder, (he has a background in physiology) and is in a lot of pain. Our health insurance doesn't kick in until August 1st. Please pray we can make it until then before going to a doctor. Our hospital bills are steep.

Thank you so much and I will let you know what happens!

Favorite Nook

Hello, Friends!

Today, I thought I'd show you one of my favorite places in my house. It is a little corner of my livingroom that is great to curl up in with a book, if the kitties don't curl up in it first and steal the whole thing for themselves.

I'm not happy with the picture, because the flash from my camera washes out the color. Ugh. Oh, well.

I feel like the seat needs a nice accent pillow (something with flowers in it?). And the table needs another accent cloth on it.

This tea set was left to me by my mother, who passed away in 2007.

I will show this to you again when I've done more to it. Any suggestions?

Don't you just love green? It is the color of living things.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Drip System

Hello, wonderful friends!
Today, I want to show you my homemade drip system. I learned how to do this from the Internet and then gave it a try. It works!

Store-bought drip systems can be expensive and time intensive to set up. This method is inexpensive - all one needs is recycled milk jugs (or even kitty litter jugs for big watering jobs!) and it only takes a few minutes to put into place. Using this system also helps protect against water born problems that can be introduced to your vegetable plants by overhead watering. This is an ideal system for drought stricken areas, plus it saves on one's water bill big time!

All you need to start is an empty milk jug and a kitchen paring knife. Turn the jug upside down and begin working a small hole in the bottom, right about here...

Be very careful to make this hole slowly, because it is easy to make too big of a hole. You want just enough of an opening to allow for a steady drip of water, not a stream. Too small of a hole will become easily clogged up and won't work. I went through a couple of milk jugs before I got this part down right.

Then, you just fill with water, nestle the jug up against the plant stem and let it do it's job!

I mainly do this for my veggie garden and for my flowering plants in the backyard. I am aware that milk jugs in the front yard might impress my neighbors too much. :)

Take care and have a great day! Elizabeth