It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Salsa 101

I love salsa!  My sister and I refer to ourselves as "salsa aficionados" and really the whole clan are lovers of this miracle food.  Real salsa is homemade with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice and a host of other ingredients. Jaydon and I made a double batch for the girls' party.  We had fun making it but the best part is sampling it to make sure the seasonings are just right!

This is the perfect salsa!  Not too hot, but big on flavors!
As I enjoyed some of the leftovers this week I couldn't help but think about how good it feels to eat salsa.  I don't think of it as comfort food, like homemade macaroni and cheese, but it tastes good and leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth and in your "taste memory". 

Jaydon is good help in the kitchen, but I had to watch him with the Tabasco.  He and I both love it but I know that a few drops go a loooonnnngggg way! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guess Who's One!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girls!  You are now one year old!

Their parents gave a fabulous party for them last weekend!  We had so much fun watching them eat their first birthday cake.  We had yummy food and everyone had a good time!

The kiddos weren't bothered by the heat but, come to think of it, the adults weren't either because we sat outside visiting for quite a while!

Happy Birthday Emma & Ellie - You are loved!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Hot Is It?

I really shouldn't whine about the weather on this blog but I just have to, sorry.  It isn't even July yet and the temperatures here are ridiculous.  By noon today it was already 100 degrees.  So, just for fun, I pulled up the weather in Ogunquit, Maine.  Ahhhh, 64 degrees.  Yes, the humidity there was a very high 88% but after all, it had been raining and more rain was expected.  Can you guess where I wished I was this afternoon? And tonight, how hot is it now?  It is down to 100 degrees with heat index of 103. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Consider the work of God.                                           Ecclesiastes 7:13
I've always loved hibiscus shrubs.  They are fairly tropical, I remember them being everywhere in Florida the times I was there.  I remember my great-aunt (who lived across the road from my maternal grandparents) had a large hibiscus that grew outside her kitchen door.  It had bright red blossoms and bloomed all summer or so it seemed.  Looking back, I'm sure that Aunt Tient (yes, that was her legal name) must have wrapped the bush up during the winter to keep it alive, as it does get very cold in Mississippi. Whenever I see a red hibiscus I think of her.  She always called them "hi-biscuits"!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Path Ahead

I made this several weeks ago while walking the dogs (yes, that is a dog in the foreground).  As I stood there looking down the path at the small bridge and curve ahead I thought about the paths of life that we walk.  Sometimes we can see ahead a great distance, sometimes not.  And sometimes there is a curve awaiting us, or a decision of which path to take. 

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
by Robert Frost

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Triycle, cont.

I've done several posts about Jaydon and the tricycle. The tricycle saga continues.

It was very hot this afternoon, but Jaydon wanted to play outside.  He has actually outgrown the little wading pool, but just like the tricycle he continues to play creatively with it, too!  We filled it with water when we got home from church (the water in the hose was hot) and topped it off around 2 p.m. when we went out.  After sitting in the sun on the concrete the water was very warm!  Jaydon hopped in and quickly hopped out and got the tricycle and put it in the pool for a scrubbing! He has age appropriate toys but these are still high on the entertainment list!  It is the simple things that provide hours of fun, isn't it?

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Happy Wanderer

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.
My knapsack on my back.

I remember singing that song as a kid, both in school and in scouts.  I always liked the tune, especially the ha-ha-ha part of the chorus.  I couldn't help but think of it this week.  I love to just get in the car and go out and spend time about wandering around.  In the past few years I haven't really had time to do much wandering, so to speak.  

Lately I've been reading blogs, probably too many but it has been slow at work so what else can I do to pass the time.  I like to read blogs about old buildings and restoration projects.  I enjoy the ones with scenic pictures and descriptions of little travels.  Reading the posts is like taking a little wandering internet tour through different places.  Now I'm anxious charge up the camera battery and head out some where and wander about in the real world.  I don't have a knapsack (aren't those an old fashioned back pack?) but I do have a small "freebie" drawstring back pack that I use when I take the dogs to the park.  I think I need to load it up and head out soon.

I couldn't remember the rest of the verses of the song, although I did remember there were several.  When I looked them up I was reminded that the name of the song was The Happy Wanderer!  And the last verse is really one I should memorize:

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God's clear blue sky!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly

This is a knitting story.

I learned to crochet when I was 5.  I can crochet almost with my eyes closed, without thinking.  I don't need much light and I can skim through a pattern and pretty much have it in my mind. I can pull out rows and rows of crochet and know right where to start.  

I taught myself to knit when I was 9 or 10. Although I made a few cotton dish clothes years ago I am not a proficient knitter.  I would always look at knitting patterns and wish I was better and could produce those adorable little things.  At the 2010 Quilt Festival I fell in love with a little bolero type knitted shrug at one of the booths that featured yarn.  The dear lady working there assured me that if I could knit and purl that I could make this sweater.  So $75 later I walked away with 3 skeins of Baby Alpaca yarn and the pattern.  I fussed at myself for spending so much money on something I would not make.  Yes, yes I will I told myself.  So last summer I got the yarn out and started casting on.  To make this story short, Blossom ate three sets of circular needles and I had to start over even more times.  But I knitted while waiting to pick up Jaydon at VBS, I knitted while the twins were born, and I took the knitting bag along on my New England trip. I realized that I needed two more skeins and tracked some down through a shop in Connecticut.  Just before Thanksgiving I finished and it was cool enough at Thanksgiving that I was able to proudly wear the shrug.

This is The GoodThis yarn is 100% made in America! 

The Bad:  Encouraged by my knitting success I visited the yarn booth again at last year's Quilt Festival.  I bought more yarn to make a small triangle shoulder scarf.  Instead of being one twisted strand of yarn it was composed of a thin thread-like strand with sequins attached, one ribbon like strand and a third twisted strand of multicolored yarn.  After several attempts to start the scarf I was thoroughly frustrated.  The yarn was hard to work with, the three strands slipped all over the place among other problems.  Plus I was having a hard time with the pattern.  Combined together the yarn and the pattern were The Bad.  So I pulled out two skeins of another yarn I had also bought at the Festival (yes, I do buy quilt things, too, at the Festival) and decided to try the pattern with this yarn.  It was a twisted strand so I thought that would make it easier since I wouldn't be fighting with the different fibers.  I was successful, the yarn was easier to work with and the pattern started coming together after a start of two.  But wait, this is where the story twists.

The Ugly, the Really Ugly:

Yes, that is a really soft, pretty looking ball of yarn, right?  It was a beautiful tweedy looking reddish-purple but very soft and light (note that the camera revealed the multi-colors of the yarn, they are not visible with the naked eye).  Half-way through the project I was horrified with the progression of color. Ugh, the yarn got uglier and uglier as I pulled it out.  But I kept going because I wanted to master the pattern.  When I finished I had to shudder because the colors were hideous!  The yarn must have been hand dyed but I can't imagine why anyone would use these colors together.  Lesson learned to ask if the color is the same throughout the skein or if it is hand dyed and varies through the skein.

I love the pattern and the scarf is perfect to put around my shoulders and pin together.  But I will not be wearing this anywhere.

The Really Ugly
But wait, there is a good ending to this long story.  I got the Bad yarn out and started the scarf again.  Now that I have the pattern mastered the Bad yarn is working out much better.  It is still tricky to work with, but I think I will be able to finish a scarf that I will wear.  When finished I'll post a picture to conclude the story.