Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sadly, my computer is broken and hopefully will be fixed very soon.  Until then, enjoy the Season!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Plate Craft!

I recently learned at church how to make a decorative plate (this one for Halloween!) that requires only the following items:

A plain glass plate Fabric of your choosing
Mod Podge
styrofoam bowl
Dark pen

1. Start with a plain glass plate...You can get these at the Dollar Store.

And fabric of your choosing...Mine is Halloween themed.

2. Place the plate face down on the fabric, centered over the area you would like to attache to the dish.

3. Use a dark pen or sharpie to draw around the dish, so that you have a circular piece of fabric.

4. Cut the fabric out.

5. Now, with the bowl still face down, use a sponge to apply a good layer of Mod Podge. Do not allow the Modge Podge to dry (here I am using different fabric - I made several of these plates).

6. Immediately apply the circle of fabric, right side down, to the back of the plate, beginning at the center and working outwards.

7. Leave the plate to dry.

You can make these plates to celebrate any holiday.  Some of my friends did these on Christmas themed fabric...  They are fun and don't take much time at all.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Have A Good Scare: Halloween Movie Recommendations

I love this time of year and I love a good scary movie, but with a footnote..I hate blood & guts, gory, chainsaw murderer type movies.  That is no fun.  Instead, I am fond of ghostly, atmospheric movies.  If you like those, too, here are a few movie recommendations you might like to check out before Halloween. 
The Uninvited (1944)
Stylish, well acted and with what was then cutting edge technology for special effects.

The Vampire Bat (1933)
Creepy and very well acted by top actors of the day.

The Innocents (1961)
Is the haunting real or in the mind of the haunted.  You must decide.  The wonderful Deborah Kerr is marvelous in this!

The Others (2001)
A classic haunting with a twist of an ending.  Artfully shot and very well acted.

Poltergeist (1982)
Easy to forget how frightening this movie was when it came out.  Still holds up with its wonderful blend of humor and horror.

Burnt Offerings (1976)
I was recently also given a recommendation to see this, but I haven't yet seen it.  It is rated PG, which bodes well for my list. :)
All these movies can be rented through Netflix.

What are your favorite Halloween movies?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Together, Even in Death

Following is a touching story from Yahoo News:;

..A devoted Iowa couple married for 72 years died holding hands in the hospital last week, exactly one hour apart.

The passing reflected the nature of their marriage, where, "As a rule, everything was done together," said the couple's daughter Donna Sheets, 71.

Gordon Yeager, 94, and his wife Norma, 90, left their small town of State Center, Iowa, on Wednesday to go into town, but never made it. A car accident sent the couple to the emergency room and intensive care unit with broken bones and other injuries. But, even in the hospital, their concerns were each other.

"She was saying her chest hurt and what's wrong with Dad? Even laying there like that, she was worried about Dad," said the couple's son, Dennis Yeager, 52. "And his back was hurting and he was asking about Mom."

When it became clear that their conditions were not improving, the couple was moved into a room together in beds side-by-side where they could hold hands.

"They joined hands; his right hand, her left hand," Sheets said.

Gordon Yeager died at 3:38 p.m. He was no longer breathing, but the family was surprised by what his monitor showed.

"Someone in there said, 'Why, then, when we look at the monitor is the heart still beating?'" Sheets recalled. "The nurse said Dad was picking up Mom's heartbeat through Mom's hand."

"And we thought, 'Oh my gosh, Mom's heart is beating through him,'" Dennis Yeager said.

Norma Yeager died exactly an hour later.

"Dad used to say that a woman is always worth waiting for," Dennis Yeager said. "Dad waited an hour for her and held the door for her."

The inseparable couple was engaged and married within 12 hours in 1939 on the day Norma Yeager graduated from high school.

"She graduated from high school on May 26, 1939, at about 10 a.m., and at about 10 p.m. that night she was married to my dad at his sister's house," Sheets said.

The vibrant duo had a "very, very full life."

They worked as a team. They traveled together, they were in a bridge club together and they worked in a Chevrolet dealership, creamery and other businesses together.

"They always did everything together," Sheets said. "They weren't apart. They just weren't."

Dennis Yeager described his father as an "outgoing" and "hyper" man who was still working on the roof of his house and sitting cross-legged with no problem at age 90.

"The party didn't start until he showed up," he said. "He was the outgoing one and she supported him by being the giver. She supported Dad in everything. And he would've been lost without her."

Dennis Yeager said it is strange today to go into his parents' home and see the "two chairs side-by-side that they sat in all the time," empty. He said it was in those chairs that his parents cheered on the Arizona sports teams they loved and rarely missed an episode of "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price Is Right."

According to their obituary, besides their children, the Yeagers are survived by her sister, Virginia Kell, and his brother, Roger Yeager, as well as 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Their grandson Randy Yeager said he has been inspired in his own 13-year marriage by his grandparents' loving and lasting marriage.

"Grandpa and I were talking this summer about all of the people getting divorced for this reason or that and he mentioned that nobody stays together anymore," Randy Yeager wrote to ABCNews.com in an email. "I told [him] that my wife Mara and I would never be getting a divorce and he said, 'That's because you're old school, like me!'

"That was one of the greatest compliments I could have ever received and one I will strive to live up to for the rest of my life," Randy Yeager said.

The couple were put in a casket together holding hands for their funeral this week, but are being cremated and will have their ashes mixed before burial.

"All their life has been together," Sheets said. "So, when it came to the funeral home, the family asked, 'Can we have them put in the casket together holding hands?' Because that's the way their life was."


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Natural Remedies

This time of year, we are all about stocking the pantry and food storage, harvesting and preserving...However, this year we didn't plant anything, knowing we would be away in California for the balance of the Summer.  The only thing we have to harvest and preserve this Fall is our perrenial herb garden..We leads me to re-educate myself on the medicinal properties of herbs.  Hope that you enjoy reading the article which I've quoted below:
Purple Sage
Herb Lore: Natural Remedies.
Romans paid taxes with anise, and it was used in cough drops.

Precious to lovers in Italy and considered sacred in India. Many years ago, Italian men wore a sprig of basil to indicate their intended marriage. A cup of basil tea after dinner helps digestion. Ease a headache by drinking tomato juice blended with fresh basil.

The Romans believed the herb to be an antidepressant, and ancient Celtic warriors took it for courage.

Caraway was used to scent perfumes and soaps. The Greeks used it for upset stomachs.

Eating a whole plant would cure hiccups; chervil was said to warm old and cold stomachs.

Bunches of chives hung in your home were used to drive away diseases and evil.

Romans made wreaths and garlands out of dill. Dill keeps witches away.

Bunches of fennel were used to drive off witches. It was used in love potions and as an appetite suppressant.

It was thought to give strength and courage. Aristotle noted garlic's use as a guard against the fear of water. It's also been widely used against evil powers.

Chewing on a piece of the dried root will keep you awake. Lovage warms a cold stomach and help digestion. Added to bathwater, it was believed to relieve skin problems.

The Greeks believed it could revive the spirits of anyone who inhaled it. At weddings wreaths and garlands were made of marjoram.

It was believed to cure hiccups and counteract sea-serpent stings. The Romans wore peppermint wreaths on their heads. It was added to bathwater for its fragrance.

Used for "sour humours" that plagued old farmers. Also used for scorpion and spider bites.

Used for wreaths and in funeral ceremonies. Believed to repel head lice and attract rabbits.

Rosemary in your hair will improve your memory. It will protect you from evil spirits if you put a sprig under your pillow.

Thought to promote strength and longevity and believed to cure warts. American Indians used it as a toothbrush.

Summer Savory
It was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Some thought it was a cure for deafness.

Put in shoes before long walking trips to give strength. It has been used to relieve toothache and as an antifungal.

Burning thyme gets rid of insects in your house. A bed of thyme was thought to be a home for fairies.
Anyone who has sage planted in the garden is reputed to do well in business.

~~ The Old Farmers Almanac

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Lord Chasens Those Whom He Loves

Hello, Friends and Visitors,

Normally I would be posting a weekly menu plan  with links for you today.  However, my heart is still full from a lesson we had at church yesterday.  So much so, that I've decided to share some of it with you here...

Yesterday, I was asked to read a quote for a lesson on the purpose of adversity in our lives.  As soon as I read this quote to myself, I knew that the Lord was speaking to me directly.  Following is the section that I was asked to read aloud to the class and a few of my own thoughts on the subject:

"God uses another form of chastening or correction to guide us to a future we do not or cannot now envision but which He knows is the better way for us. President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:

'How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.'

President Brown replied, 'Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’

Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:

'I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.

'And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …

“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”5

God knew what Hugh B. Brown was to become and what was needed for that to happen, and He redirected his course to prepare him for [future church leadership work].
                                                                     *     *     *
I don't believe that there is one person on this earth who will not have the experience of watching a dream or well laid plan fall completely apart.  This may involve a marriage, children, career, health or, as with Job, everything all at once.  These situations bring us to a crisis in faith where we may begin to ask how a loving God could allow these things to happen to us.  When we have only sought to do what is right, how could our actions be met with heartbreaking disappointments and crushing defeats?  Does He not love us?  Are we abandoned?  Does He not care how we feel?
I have asked myself all of these questions at one time or another.  I realize now that it was because I didn't fully understand a spiritual truth that is of extreme importance - that the Lord's Plan of Happiness (eternal happiness) for His children requires that we suffer in this life.  We are tried, tested, and chastened for the sole purpose that we may be humbled, shown our weaknesses, gain compassion and understanding and may come to fully rely on the Lord.  We don't have to beat ourselves up because we seem to lack desired blessings.  We aren't challenged because we are necessarily unworthy of the Lord's attention, it is because He seeks to build our character to be more like our Savior's and if Christ, being perfect, suffered in this life, how much more do we, being imperfect, require trials to school our souls?
It isn't easy to submit ourselves to the Lord's will in this life, especially when we don't have the answers to all of our questions.  Although some problems we face will eventually lead us to understand the greater purpose for those problems in our lives, others will never be completely understood while we are in mortality.  These unaswered questions can lead us to rely solely on the Lord and to trust that in the next life, enlightenment and understanding will go hand in hand with relief from our suffering.  A childlike trust in our Maker, while not bringing us all the answers we desire, can give us peace to endure.
Peace that surpasseth our understanding.
A true understanding of this principle has greatly eased many of my burdens that I have been asked to shoulder in this life.  While doing the best that I can with what I have, I no longer beat myself up or become angry at our Lord.  Instead, I ask for His help that I may progress in a way that is pleasing to Him, as I fulfill my responsibilities and seek to overcome my many weaknesses.
I pray for this same peace for you as you go forward along your path in life.
Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Gardening Chores

The soft wind and the yellow leaves
Are having their last dance together.

–Harriet Eleanor Hamilton-King (1840–1920

Fall Gardening Chores
The Farmer's Almanac

Apples keep well for about six months at temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees F.

A Styrofoam chest or a double cardboard box in a cool mudroom or cellar can approximate root cellar conditions. Remember to give your apples an occasional change of air. Apple cider may be frozen after first pouring off a small amount to allow for expansion.

Store beans in a moisture-proof, airtight container. Beans will stale and toughen over time even when stored properly.

Onions and garlic: mature, dry-skinned bulbs like it cool and dry, so don't store them with apples or potatoes. French-braided onions and garlic are handy and free to get some ventilation as well.

Brush your root crops clean of any soil and store in a cool, dark place. Never refrigerate potatoes and apples together; the apples give off ethylene gas, which will spoil the potatoes. Clipping the tops of parsnips, carrots, beets, and turnips will keep them fresher longer.

Squash don't like to be quite as cool as root crops do. If you have a coolish bedroom, stashing them under the bed works well. They like a temperature of about 50 to 65 degrees F.

Put some parsley plants in a box and place the box in a light cellar or shed.

Put some frozen rhubarb roots in a barrel of dirt in the cellar, where they will produce stalks for winter use.

Dig up and store dahlias, gladioli, and other tender plants.

Plant hardy spring-flowering bulbs.

Clumps of sensitive chrysanthemums can be set in a cold frame for the winter. They will yield many divisions in the spring.

Clean, oil, and store lawn mowers.

Paint any garden structures that need it.

Clean up and burn diseased plants, spread manure, and plow the garden.

Rake up the fallen leaves and use them as mulch for flowers and shrubs. Hardwood leaves such as oak and chestnut contain more plant food than those from softwood trees.

To balance all the harvesting, do a little indoor planting, which will liven up the house later. Calla lilies and begonias can be planted now, and paperwhite narcissi can be started

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Candlelight on Cool Autumn Nights

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than candlelight.  Any season of the year, it makes an evening more special by bringing a feeling of intimacy to a room.  I love candlelight the most on cool Autumn and Winter nights.  The light from the tiny fire invites one to speak in more subdued voices.  It draws loved ones together and casts a softening light on one's surroundings.  It rests the eyes from the glare of artificial lighting and promises warmth and coziness.  It sets evening apart from day as a special time, as perhaps the highlight of the day.

We rush around so much from one thing to another that often we just feel happy that we can serve our families any meal at all at night.  Rarely do we give a thought to setting the mood.  But when we remember that as homemakers, we are responsible for not only nourishing the body, but also the soul, then setting a mood for the sacred time when our family gathers together at table becomes truly important.  Candlelit meals can be an integral part of that.  It signals to our family that the cares and stresses of the day are to be left behind and we can now relax and enjoy each other's company.

Let's recapture the evening as a special time set apart for the family, even if that feeling only lasts as long as mealtime.  To that end, light some beautiful candles table top, turn off the lights and let the magic begin.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn at Gardner's Village, Utah

Welcome to the first Outdoor Wednesday that I have done in ages!  My subject is the beautiful, folksy Gardener Village, in Utah.
 The are celebrating Fall and the coming of Halloween with pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!
 Gardner Village is a collection of old small homes and cottages which were moved from their original locations to the area around a former grist mill.  The mill is now a restaurant and store of charming country furniture; the cottages are now shops filled with wonderful country charm.
 Some wonderful items are being displayed outside for a sidewalk sale...
A small, picturesque creek runs through the village and is decorated with  pumkins.
 If you look close, you will see a witch inside the pump house, below!  She opens and closes the shutters there.
 My husband spends time with a very handsomely attired witch (if you are a spook!) on one of the many sweet benches to be found in the village.
Love this wagon house.
There are witch rides at night until Halloween, but they won't be riding in this vintage wagon.

 Oop!  A witch flew into the old grist mill and has stuck there - OUCH!
 Hope you enjoyed your mini-visit to Garnder Village in the Fall.
Come back soon~

(For more Outdoor Wednesday posts, please visit A Southern /Daydreamer!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Willow's Pony Party! (Great Party Ideas!)

 Okay, before anymore lyrical (ha) posts about Fall, I have to tell you all about my little grand-niece's birthday party.  Willow Kate turned 3 this month and her family threw her a fabulous Rainbow Pony Party at the park.  Don't you love how they floated rainbow colored balloons at the entrance to the terrace where they held the party?
 The decorations were adorable, but the piece de resistance was definitely this cake, made by an aunt.  Inside this cake (my camera broke right before they cut the cake - aaargh~), were five layers, each a brilliant color of the rainbow!  I am saying, this cake was too beautiful to eat (alright, I ate some of it).
The decorations were beautifully prepared by all the family, according to my niece's instructions.
Here is a cute, goodie basket with pictures of the birthday girl.
 Okay, here is my beautiful niece, Emily, marathon-runner, wonderful wife and mother and creator of incredible birthday parties.
Here is the precious Willow, so adorable and getting really big (I meant to whisper in her ear that she musn't get any bigger :)  )
 My niece's father-in-law rented this pony for the party.  He was very sweet natured, from what I could tell, and was a fun ride for Willow and her friends.
Here Aunt Kellie and two of Willow's friends, Jane and Cosette (with mom) make lovely bracelets at the craft table.
 It is amazing what some colorful beads, some pipe cleaners...
and little hands can do!
 Lunch was a buffet bar, contributed to by all the members of the family (what a great idea).  Great-grandmother is on the left and Grandma Gibson (can she really be a grandmother?  You look too young) is on the right.
After lunch were all of the games.  You can't have a Pony Party without a pony race!
 (Girl in pink:  what the heck, just run!)
Willow wins!
A pony pinata ...
 ..dumps many wonderful treats (with a little help from mom)!
 Yum, yum!
 Looks who scavenges for the leftovers :)
There are treat bags for all.
 And a beautiful birthday girl, with lovely manners, who said thank you when handed gifts.
This was a wonderful day of family, fun, food, all brought together by the love for one very special young lady - Happy Birthday Willow!

We love you!