Sunday, March 21, 2021

Delightful March Greens

 

This is such an exciting time of year.  Seeds that were started in my greenhouse
are now sprouting, and growing quite happily!  

You may have noticed that I don't use the black seed pots.  I started using plastic containers (spinach, strawberry, salad containers, etc) several years ago, and have had great success planting like this.  I start the seeds first in seedling soil, and then once they grow two strong leaves, I transplant into Black Gold organic soil. What you see in this picture are my sunflowers transplanted into the Black Gold soil.  

The chickens had a scare this past week.  Something attacked one of my hens, and my rooster, Pepper.  When we first saw the feathers, we thought for sure he couldn't have survived the attack, but he did! We believe either the hawk or a stray dog may have attacked them, but we really don't know. We never saw or heard a thing. I'm just thankful that they are both doing ok! 

Here is Pepper, without his feathers.  He looks quite forlorn! But, he is alive, and for that I am thankful. His feathers should grow back. 

Here is my hen with the gash under her wing.  She has recovered and healed almost completely as well. I'm so thankful! 


Earlier this month, we enjoyed corn beef brisket soup...
it was so delicious, always a treat to enjoy in March! 


Something new I tried recently was a 5-minute chocolate microwave cake.  It really tastes more like a brownie, with the rich ganache frosting and pecans.  If you'd like to try to make it yourself, here is the video on youtube that shows you how to make it. It really does cook in 5 minutes and is delicious! If you have company arriving and need a dessert, this definitely will please :) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2OpqAe-cEY&t=18s


A couple loaves of my sourdough bread, I enjoy baking these loaves once a week. If you are interested in the recipe I use, let me know. It is such an easy recipe, and produces amazing bread every time :) 

Springtime chores!  Burning brush that has come down during the winter.  It was a beautiful spring day with bright sunshine, and burning the brush was a great way to enjoy the gorgeous day! 



My chickens enjoyed helping me in the garden this week.  Early in spring, and late in fall, I do let the chickens in to help do some early spring cleanup.

My brother saw this hoodie, and thought it had my name on it, and sent it to me.
What a sweet surprise in the mail to receive this! 

Our daughter and her husband celebrated birthdays within just a few days of each other, so his family held a birthday party for both of them. It was so much fun! And as you can see all three of my kids are in this picture.  Ryan made them a coat rack for their home. We joked at the party that they will never celebrate birthdays alone again... {smiles} They did get a lot of really nice gifts for both their home, and themselves. It was a wonderful evening. 

Zak's family's home sits on a hill and overlooks the mountains.  I enjoyed the evening's sunset immensely.  Whenever I see the beauty from the sun's radiance ending the evening, it makes me breathe a deep sigh of joy... because I know the Master Painter's handiwork in the skies was for our bedtime delight. How Great is our God! 


Now the sun is coming up in the mornings right through my living room windows, and splashing on the world, as well as my heart as I have my morning devotions.  Such joy in my heart to begin the day with both sunshine, and His Word in my heart. 


Our dear Mister Simba taking his nap in my chair.  It always amazes me how cats have perfected the art of complete and total relaxation in their sleep! 


With the season of Spring being announced as here, Winter has declared... "not so quick young lady", and we are expected to get several inches of snow tonight and tomorrow.  We, of course, know that this is always the case, and also know that it will melt very quickly.  I have been enjoying the sunshine we've had lately, getting spring chores done, and working in the garden.  The seasons pass quickly, and we certainly have looked forward to spring coming this year, and all the blooms and delights that it holds for us.  

Enjoy the beauty that Spring brings, look for it in the sweet and simple places.  No matter how dark and difficult the world seems around us, we must always remember that the Lord Jesus reigns over this world, and the tactics of the enemy will only serve as a stepping stone to mighty miracles that only He can perform. Keep your hope and your heart set on Christ, He has a plan, and purpose for your life.  

I want to share Psalms 37 with you, as it has become a precious chapter to me recently.  If you are fretting because of evil-doers, this chapter gives us insight into how it will all end. May the blessings of the Lord be rich in each of your lives today :) 

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, 

neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

 Trust in the Lord, and do good; 

so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

 Delight thyself also in the Lord: 

and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

 Commit thy way unto the Lord; 

trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 

 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:

 fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, 

because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Psalms 37:1-7







Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Rounding that Springtime Corner!

 

Can you believe it is that time of year again? I know... I really can't either!  But, the middle of February has passed, and it is time to start our tomatoes and peppers here in the northwest.  We have such a short growing season that we have to give our plants a huge headstart. I did not start seeds last week, as the entire world, it seemed was in a deep freeze!  


We did get some snow here last week, but it was very minimal, and while our temperatures hovered around 7 at the lowest point, with a windchill in the minuses, it was not too bad.  We are used to those kind of temperatures here this time of year and are prepared for them. I walk no matter the weather, and just bundled up with a few more layers, and I was perfectly warm and cozy as I walked in those temperatures.  Of course, the dogs are so blessed... they are perfectly suited to this kind of weather as well! In fact, they loved every minute of it! 

We own a Mr. Buddy propane heater, and use it for added comfort and warmth on cold days, and as a source of secondary heat.  As you can see, Riley enjoys this heat as well! The Buddy heater is a very safe alternative for heating in the case of very cold weather, we have used it for many years. 

My heart went out to those living in Texas and across the south who suffered from far more extreme temperatures than we have even seen here this winter, and lost power!  It would be miserable even for us here, should that have been the case.  But having lived many years in Texas, I know how unprepared homes are for such weather, and how unbelievable that such cold weather came, and stayed for so long. Thankfully all of my family and friends survived the miserable weather.  Some had pipes burst, but those can be fixed.  Were any of you affected by the extreme weather this past week? You all were in my thoughts and prayers throughout the week.  It was such an unusual, really historical event. 

Today it was so wonderful to see the sunshine and blue skies! 

As the dogs and I walked, we lifted our faces to the sun, and enjoyed every bit of it! We get little precious sunshine here in the winter, and when we do get it, we love it!  

I spent time in my greenhouse today planting peppers and tomatoes, along with some greens, sunflowers and sweet peas. I am allowing myself to get excited about spring now, although we no doubt have more winter weather before spring truly arrives. 

February always brings warm weather during the day, and freezing at night, which means... ice.  So February is the month where we are very careful when walking, because ice is always underfoot! I enjoyed the glorious sunrise one morning as it colored the world in bright orange rays! 



I was blessed to see this local herd of elk recently.  This was before we got our last snowstorm, and you can see what a mild winter we are having... no snow on the ground in late February! Aren't they magnificent creatures though! 

It is always such a treat to see wildlife in our area. 

During the winter, I take the time, if I have the time, to make myself a cup of tea, and it is a perfect opportunity to sit, pray and talk to the Lord as you drink the tea. 
Tea and prayer are great companions :) 

Here we are, in the last week of February, and spring is around the corner! I am sure that the first blooms of spring won't be far away now, as I've already seen a few green shoots coming out of the ground!  I look forward to seeing crocus, daffodils and tulips before long! How about you? Are signs of spring arriving after the cold freeze last week?  

There is an old saying that says "springtime snow is poor man's fertilizer"... well... I hope that rings true for all of us this year, don't you?! 

May the sweet blessings of the Lord be with you 
and keep you in His peace in these trying times! 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Foxwood Tea House

 Today I want to share a delightful experience that took place over 8 years ago.  A dear friend of mine and I visited a local teahouse together.  We were treated to a 5-course meal in a charming home served by the owner in a most delightful setting.  It was a treasured time for both of us.  I've always wanted to create a memory book of that visit, but have never gotten around to doing it. 

Recently I became a member of a digital scrapbooking group where each month the members receive incredibly beautiful digital files to use in their own projects. The Handmade Club's owner Kerry-Anne lives in Australia, and she is a precious soul who crafts the most beautiful files and shares them with her private member's group (which is VERY reasonably priced!) and as well, on her website, she also shares a lot of freebies.  I have dabbled in digital scrapbooking for years, but paper scrapbooking and card-making will always be my first love.  The nice thing about Kerry-Anne's digital creative work is that you can print them out yourself, or you can use them digitally, making it a win-win for me :) 

January's kit for the Handmade Club was titled "Teatime Friends".  I knew when I saw this kit that I needed to create a digital scrapbook of our visit to the Foxwood Tea House. 

So, today I am going to share with you my digital scrapbooking pages created with Kerry-Anne's most recent member's kit, Teatime Friends.  Now, I am not a pro at Photoshop at all, but her images make the work of creating a digital scrapbook quite simple and so much fun!  I smiled as I created, remembering the special Mother's Day tea that my dear friend Robin and I were able to attend.  Sadly, this tea house has since closed down, in fact, it closed not long after we had this tea together.  But I'm thankful for the special memories that we were able to make together and to be able to share them here with you today.










I hope you enjoyed my fun trip back through time into this delightful tea house!  We have no other tea room in our area any longer, and that makes me sad, as I dearly love tea-time adventures :) 

Even though Foxwood Tea House is no longer available to visit... my daily tea time adventures always continue.  Canadian-born soul that I am, taking a daily tea is a precious time to me.  I enjoy coffee in the morning with my Bible and Jesus, but in the afternoon, if time allows for it, tea-time is a chance for me to correspond with dear friends.  I try to write several cards a week to friends that around the world.  I also teach a bible study once every two weeks and hold a ladies prayer meeting in my home each week, so I often share tea with those ladies as well.  There is something special about tea, prayer and fellowship with dear friends who love the Lord! 



I must have color in my world!  This time of year, I enjoy fresh tulips from the local market, until the day that they bloom in my own garden :) 

Something about their bright colors bring joy into my heart! 

I made this little scripture journal some time ago, and keep it in a place where I can read the scriptures often, and see them as I am at work around my home. It is good to have scriptures in places around your home to remind you of the promises of the Lord throughout the day. 

I am hopelessly in love with teacups, and even though I live in a very tiny home (less than 800 square feet), I have created a space in front of our living room window to display my favorite teacups. 

Reading one of my favorite magazines... Tea Time... and I have a certain furry orange-haired dear soul that loves to come and join me for my perusal through the magazine {smiles}! 


Carnations in a pretty vase... pearls and ribbons... 

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I've decorated with a few touches of red and pink throughout my home.  


As the snow falls gently today, really not amounting to anything at all... still as I watch it half-heartedly fall to the ground in gentle whispers of white, I enjoyed sharing with each of you some of the little things in my life that are blessings to me today, and I hope you've enjoyed the journey with me to a tea-time at a tea house, and the tea adventures I continue to have. I wish all of you many sweet and precious blessings from the Lord, who is the dearest and most precious love of my life.  

My soul, wait thou only upon God; 
for my expectation is from Him. 
He only is my rock and my salvation; 
He is my defense; I shall not be moved.  
In God is my salvation and my glory: 
the Rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  
Trust in Him at all times ye people, 
pour out your heart before him: 
God is a refuge for us. Selah.  
Psalms 62:5-8



Friday, January 29, 2021

Savoring Winter's January Days

What is it about the long winter days of January that call me into the kitchen? I do find something quite comforting about spending time in the kitchen, baking and cooking up wonderful things for my family to enjoy.  

Recently I enjoyed an outing with some of my dear friends to a local Greek restaurant.  It was a lovely way to spend a drizzly, rainy day in January.  

If you are a local to the Post Falls area, most likely you will recognize this restaurant for its incredibly good food... that is FULL of garlic! Oh yes, this restaurant specializes in all things garlic... and they have a reputation in the community for their amazing food! 

All of us ordered something different, and then shared a "taste" with the rest of the group, which was so fun!  I ordered the Traditional Gyro with their signature fries and pasta salad.  Oh my... soo soo good! In fact, even after sharing a "taste" with  my friends, I still couldn't eat it all, and brought some home for lunch the next day!

But perhaps the real reason for my excitement eating at this restaurant was their amazing
Tiramisu and Baklava.  

Oh this tiramisu was so good, and there were no leftovers to take home... ha!
Coffee and chocolate are decadent dessert companions! 

Now, has anyone else ever experienced your phone "listening" to you? Well, my phone must have heard us discussing tiramisu and upon arriving back at home, what did I find but an advertisement for a recipe for tiramisu from one of my favorite online video cooks, Natasha's Kitchen. (https://natashaskitchen.com/tiramisu-recipe/)  Well, this was ONE time that I was glad to follow the link, and thought, why not?  So I found the ladyfingers at my local grocery store and I followed the wonderful video directions to making this amazing dessert. 


Every bite was delicious! 

I made my tiramisu without alcohol, using espresso coffee and real vanilla extract.  If you love a light dreamy, coffee-flavored dessert with overtones of chocolate... then my friend, this is the dessert you must try! {smiles} And it really is very easy to make, worth the time! 


Homemade Tortillas... another project in the kitchen. These are so easy to make ahead, and there is no comparison to the taste as compared to store bought.  Truly, these are amazingly easy to make... just mix the dough in your mixer, roll into small balls, flatten, and let rest for a couple of hours.  Then roll out and cook in a dry hot skillet... you might not ever buy store-bought again! 

Each one takes just a few minutes to cook, and the results are light and airy tortillas. 

Truly so yummy... and taco night will never be the same again.  I'll share the recipe below. 


HOMEMADE TORTILLAS
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup oil
1 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients well. Combine oil and warm water, pour slowly into flour mixture, stirring constantly until dough forms.  Continue kneading until dough pulls away from sides and is soft and supple.  Let dough rest a few minutes, then form into 16 balls.  Press balls to flatten, and let rest on plate for at least 15 minutes, and up to 2 hours.  When ready to cook, heat skillet (I use iron) over medium heat. On lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a tortilla shape, place tortilla in dry hot skillet and cook for about 1 minute, or until there are small bubbles seen, and the bottom has light brown spots, flip tortilla and cook an additional minute or so until lightly browned. Remove to a warming plate.  Repeat with remaining balls, and serve hot... drizzled with honey and butter... they are a yummy sweet treat too! 

I found a good recipe here almost identical to mine, if you'd like more in-depth instructions.


With all the time I've spent in the kitchen... it is a good thing my dogs and I are walking 5+ miles each day, rain, shine, snow or rain!  The dogs don't read the weather reports, and I guess I don't pay much attention to them either, as they are usually... inconsistently right... or wrong {smiles} 

Most of you know how much I love to cross-country ski in my back acreage each winter, but this winter, snowfall has been so light, that hasn't been possible. 
So our walks each day are the highlight of our days.  

Since we built the roof over our home, we have a huge covered area now, and the chickens have taken up residence here during the day.... I wouldn't mind their presence, if it wasn't for the little "presents" they leave behind, ha! 

The skies have offered up some glorious sights as we walk...
how grateful I am for each and every beautiful scene before me as I walk! 

This beautiful old red barn fills my heart with pitter-patters of delight each time I walk by! 

Returning home one evening right at sunset after a day of town errands,
this beautiful sunset greeted us as we got closer to home. 



We have had a very mild winter here so far, and spring doesn't seem that far away.  It is time for me to start my tomato and pepper seedlings in February, and I can hardly believe that time is upon us already!  Since winter has been a bit of a disappointment this year, I am very much looking forward to the blooms of spring that as soon as we get through February, will be here to enjoy.  

Below is a special scripture that has comforted me many times, and I pray it brings comfort and joy to your hearts today... no matter the difficult circumstance of life we face... the Lord's promises remain... and as the Creator of this earth, of  you and me, our hope in Him remains steadfast regardless of the circumstances of life around us. 

Isaiah 51:11-16
11 Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, 
and come with singing unto Zion; 
and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: 
they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: 
who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, 
and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

13 And forgettest the Lord thy maker, 
that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; 
and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, 
as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?

14 The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, 
and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.

15 But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: 
The Lord of hosts is his name.

16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, 
and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, 
that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, 
and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.



Yes! He has put His words in our mouth to speak His praises, and He has covered us in the shadow of His hand.  We are His people, and in Him we trust!  

If you have a minute, please write and share with me what you have been doing to pass the long winter days of January and what scriptures have blessed your heart during this season. 

Sharing love and the Lord's richest blessings to all of you, my precious readers!