Friday, April 29, 2011

~ Prayers for those in the storm's wake ~

My heart is heavy seeing all the damage and the huge number of lost lives in the Southeast. The royal wedding has been such a huge contrast ~ total devastation and loss of lives vs. all the pomp and circumstance. Hard to wrap my head around it.... 

All of my friends are safe even though there is tremendous damage to property and homes. It just all comes down to "things" which are not important in the scheme of things.  Please say a prayer, light a candle, meditate, whatever feels comfortable and remember those in need.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

~ Giveaway! ~

A subscription to Traditional Home Magazine! Yes, they have an online version now but don't you just love to have a new magazine in hand and browse while you're having coffee?

I haven't done a giveaway since Valentine's Day so let's do one now!  I so appreciate each of you that follow along and support me in this blogging adventure. The rules are simple ~ you just need to be a follower....that's all!  You don't have to go to 4 other sites and return with comments or choices, you don't have to tweet or do anything on FB, you don't have to turn in circles 3 times or dance to your favorite song.  Easy, peasy!  ;-)

Just let me know you're interested by becoming a follower and leaving a comment. Winner will be announced next Wednesday, May 4th, 12noon. 

~ Black Bean and Corn Salad ~

 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (A must to use fresh limes, not the bottled juice)
 1/2 cup olive oil 
 1 clove garlic, minced  (Add more if you like)
 1 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (Again, amount is optional)
 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
 1-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
 1 red bell pepper, chopped (I prefer green bell peppers...use what you like!)
 2 tomatoes, chopped
 6 green onions, thinly sliced  (I sometimes use purple onion as I did on Sunday)
 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Another must)

Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
  1. In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve chilled.
I make the dressing and refrigerate. I combine all the salad ingredients except the avocado and tomatoes and chill. Just before serving, add all together and serve. It's ok the next day but not as good,
in my opinion. :-) Adding some minced jalapeno adds a great kick to it!

I'm joining Miz Helen and Michael Lee West for their weekly memes. Be sure you stop by both blogs for some of the best recipes ever!

I also joined the Crafty Soiree!

Monday, April 25, 2011

~ Let There Be Light...and Color! ~

I was so busy all weekend that I didn't make it here to say Happy Easter!  I hope that each of you and your loved ones had a very blessed and fun day.  I had my family here and it was great! I love cooking for others.
I finally found a lamp that "turned me on" for a dark corner. It was on sale at Steinmart plus I had a coupon for 20% off.  That's the kind of buy I like!  It's red...of course, right?  :-) It has a rustic look with the touches of greenish/turquoise on the handles and around the base. I love the shade too....a tan linen.  Let me provide a disclaimer too for the quality of pics ~

A little bit better view of the base ~ although blurry.

Shade close-up ~

And another of the base ~

As most of you are aware, I recently moved. It's taken me longer to decorate here for some reason.  I am in the mood now to get 'er done so hopefully I can share more pics soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

~ My Front Door ~

I've tried a few different things on my front door but this one makes me the happiest!  Of course, I LOVE RED!  :-)  I had the container....I think it's from Michael's 2 or 3 years ago. Found the flowers at Hobby Lobby and just stuck them in the container.  Hope it makes you happy too!  :-)

Come see me!
I'm a little late but I'm joining my friend Kara  for her Whass-up Party!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

~ Eight Years Ago ~

Eight years ago today I received a phone call from the nurse at 5:30 a.m. stating that my mother had just passed away. She had been in a nursing home for a very long time and had severe health problems. This was truly a blessing for her...and we had expected it for a long time. We had been told by Drs several times that it was iminent, however, she always rallied. It was still a shock, an ending and, in the days to come, the feeling of being an orphan overcame me.  My step-dad passed away quite suddenly of an aneurysm when I was 14 and my brother was 9. My dad passed away suddenly in 1983 of a heart attack. Those were shocks indeed but, in my humble opinion, so much better than watching the deterioration of my mother. 

She was an extremely strong person and had faced many challenges throughout her lifetime. She was in the "middle" of a family of 9 siblings and given the name of Genevieve. I always loved that name!  In later years, I teased her and called her "Ginny" at times. I was the only child born while she and my dad were married. Unfortunately, he had an affair while my mother was pregnant with me and they separated when I was 6 weeks old and my mother found out.  At that time, we went to live with her parents. We were there for 2-1/2 years...until she married my step-dad. I did NOT want to leave!  I honestly don't remember my grandfather as he passed away 6 months after we moved, however, I had an extremely close and wonderful relationship with my grandmother, "Mama", until she passed away in 1966. I think of her constantly. We had such a special bond!

My brother was born when I was 5-1/2 and I was so mad!  LOL  I don't think they even thought to discuss this impending birth with me....things were so different back then. They just brought him home from the hospital and said "You have a baby brother."  Just remember...I had been the only child up until this event. :-)  He's a wonderful person and I adore him!

My mother and I did not have the "perfect" relationship at all. I always needed an emotional bond with her like I had with Mama but it didn't happen. She was always, always "busy" ~ washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, polishing, shining, name it. She was very hard on me and I always wondered if it was misplaced anger due to my dad. I had more of his outgoing personality and mischievious nature too. :-)  I asked about this in later years but she always denied that I was treated differently than my brother.  Not true!

She went to work outside the home for the first time after my step-dad passed away.  We didn't have a lot compared to many families, however, we had a nice home which was impeccably clean (sterile is the word!). My mother was an incredible cook and between her and all my aunts, I started my attempts at cooking around the age of 8. I'm so glad!

A friend of her's encouraged her to go back to school for certifications for nursing home administration. She was quite successful and was Administrator of the nursing home where she lived after her health began to deteriorate. We were so fortunate because they took such good care of her!  She was given a private room and we were able to move some of her furniture there as well as painting, hanging drapes, etc.  There are no words to express how wonderful it was to have her safe and well cared for!

She was always quite active in the community and very involved in her church. Her first love was for her Lord, then family and friends. I know that she has probably exhausted everyone in Heaven with all her cleaning & polishing!  :-)  As I stated earlier, it was so difficult to see her when her body was so frail and she didn't know us. I always wondered why God allowed this to continue. I know, I know...we're not supposed to question "why" but I did. She passed away on Wed morning and Easter was the following weekend. She LOVED Easter!  Also, my son & his family were living near Houston at that time and my nephew & his wife were in PA.  They were all coming here for Easter and everyone would be together for the first time in awhile. I really think that she and God decided to make it easy for everyone. :-)  

If you did read all the way through, thank you!  I just felt that I needed to write this today. She loved pink roses and these are for Ginny with much love ~

Sunday, April 10, 2011

~ The Hiding Place ~

I'm reading this wonderful book again...I've lost count as to how many times I've read it since 1985. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it! 

Sorry for the blurry picture, but this is where the Jews were hidden in the ten Boom home.

An excerpt about the book:

For her efforts to hide Jews from arrest and deportation during the German occupation of the Netherlands, Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) received recognition from the Yad Vashem Remembrance Authority as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" on December 12, 1967. In resisting Nazi persecution, ten Boom acted in concert with her religious beliefs, her family experience, and the Dutch resistance. Her defiance led to imprisonment, internment in a concentration camp, and loss of family members who died from maltreatment while in German custody.
The ten Boom family were members of the Dutch Reformed Church, which protested Nazi persecution of Jews as an injustice to fellow human beings and an affront to divine authority. In her autobiography, ten Boom repeatedly cited religious motivations for hiding Jews, particularly her family's strong belief in a basic tenet of their religion: the equality of all human beings before God. Their religious activities had also brought the family a history of personal connections to the Jewish community. Corrie's grandfather had supported efforts to improve Christian-Jewish relations in the nineteenth century. Her brother Willem, a Dutch Reformed minister assigned to convert Jews, studied antisemitism and ran a nursing home for elderly of all faiths. In the late 1930s that nursing home became a refuge for Jews fleeing from Germany.

After World War II began, members of the ten Boom family became involved in resistance efforts. Two nephews worked in resistance cells. Various family members sheltered young men sought by the Nazis for forced labor and assisted Jews in contacting persons willing to hide them. Corrie became directly involved in these efforts when, along with her father and sister Betsie, she decided to hide Jews in the family home in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Using her job as a watchmaker in her father's shop as a cover, Corrie built contacts with resistance workers, who assisted her in procuring ration books and building a hiding place in the family home.

Six people, among them both Jews and resistance workers, hid in this hiding place when the Gestapo (German secret state police) raided the house on February 28, 1944. Those in hiding remained undiscovered. Several days after the raid resistance workers transferred them to other locations. In the meantime, however, the Gestapo had arrested Corrie ten Boom, her father, her brother and two sisters, and other family members. In addition, the Gestapo arrested several resistance workers who had unwittingly entered the house during the raid, as well as many family acquaintances who had been attending a prayer meeting in the living room. Altogether, the Gestapo arrested some 30 people in the ten Boom family home that day.

After holding them briefly in the penitentiary in Scheveningen, a seaside town close to The Hague, the Gestapo released all but three of the ten Boom family members. Corrie ten Boom, her older sister Betsie, and her father Casper remained in prison. Casper ten Boom became sick in prison and died in a hospital corridor only ten days after the arrest. The sisters remained in the Scheveningen prison until June 1944, when officials transferred them to an internment camp at Vught, in the Netherlands. In September 1944, the Nazis deported Corrie and Betsie ten Boom to the Ravensbrueck concentration camp in Germany. In Ravensbrueck, the sisters managed to stay together until Betsie died that December.

The camp administration released Corrie ten Boom in late December 1944. Along with other released prisoners, she traveled by train to Berlin, where she arrived on January 1, 1945. From Berlin, ten Boom journeyed across Germany by train until she reached the Netherlands, where she reunited with surviving members of her family.

After the war, ten Boom advocated reconciliation as a means for overcoming the psychological scars left by the Nazi occupation. She later traveled the world as an evangelist, motivational speaker, and social critic, referring to her experiences in Ravensbrueck as she offered solace to prisoners and protested the Vietnam War.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

~ Apple Nut Coffee Cake ~

Another family favorite! 
 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium (2 cups) cooking apples, peeled, chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all cake ingredients except apples in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth. Gently stir in apples.

Spread batter into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Combine all topping ingredients in small bowl; sprinkle over batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
You can substitute 1 (16-ounce) can peaches, drained, chopped...other other fruits.

Once again, I'm joining these ladies for their weekly memes. Please stop by their fabulous blogs and check them out! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

~ Sherwin Williams Paint Sale ~

I tried copying the email I received, however, this is all that copied.  Just sharing in case you are not aware of the sale and need paint and/or stains for all those spring projects.

Monday, April 4, 2011

~ Treats for ME! ~

I don't shop that much retail...has to be on sale, coupons to use, gift get the picture!  I'm retired and a fixed income is very relative to shopping.  I had a couple of gift certificates and also coupons to use so I shopped for "me".  You can tell I love black & white and animal prints!  :-)  The loot included 2 handbags, a set of sheets and a pillow for the sofa.

Flower designs are on both handbags ~

 I had a set of these sheets when I had my king size bedroom set. Now I have a queen size and found the sheets again at Stein Mart!  Happy, happy ~

 The zebra pillow was found at Walmart for $10!  I already had the toile & black pillows in the background.

I also bought some spray paint to redo a few things on my patio, however, the wind has been horrendous....about 30 mph and gusting to 40 yesterday & today.  Not fun!  Hopefully, it will die down soon and I can do some painting and planting ~ :-)