Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dream Banner

One day I was sitting in my bedroom looking at the blank wall above the bed. I began wondering what I could do with this space. First you have to know I'm one of those people when I see a blank space on the wall or flat surface I just have to "fix it", now empty space is safe. Honestly, I couldn't think of a thing - so it was time to dig through old magazines and books for inspiration. I ran across an article in an old Victoria magazine on women entrepreneurs. One of the items one woman sold was various wooden letter to hang on the wall to spell out whatever - hum. My brain flew from there and I came up with a "DREAM" banner. Now I needed a way to hang it. Rummaging through my boxes, drawers, cedar chest, and bags of tricks I found some vintage glass doorknobs (these were salvaged from the old doors we replaced in our house and I haven't hung them yet). Well, there you have it - oh my mom gave me the set of oriental women plates, the sequenced handbag was from the thrift shop. I'm in the process of making another to hang over the large mirror over the fireplace mantel in " Joy". Goes to show you that the best idea come when board, day dreaming or in the middle of the night when you can' t sleep and are staring at the ceiling. Then you know how it is - you jump up and get going and drag through the next day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Many of the recipes that I make have been handed down from family members over the years. Most are simple and some are super simple like the following. It was given to me by a cousin when I was in my early teens. Now I know when you look this your going to say, " These can't possibly work!" Trust me they do and they are very yummy.

Missy's Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Mix all the ingredients together. Drop by the rounded tablespoon on an ungreased cookie sheet and criss-cross with a floured fork. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until firm. Let cool for one minute and move to a rack to cool completely.
That's it ladies. Now grab yourself a cold glass of milk and have a few before the rugrats wipe them out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

The way you can lay in the shadow of a tree on a warm day and watch the sunlight dapple through its leaves.

The way a squirrel knows where to dig for that nut he buried last season.

The smell of the breeze when the honeysuckle, lilac or jasmine is in bloom.

Irish songs sung in Irish Gaelic – I don’t understand a word mentally, however, it’s like and Italian opera (which I’ve come to like) – you don’t need to know the words because the emotion is powerful enough to get the message through.

The wonders of Monet’s landscapes and the brilliance of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers.

How you can cut an apple cross way and find a perfect star.

Dark Chocolate and Key Lime Pie

A quartet of Cellos & Violins

Starbucks pumpkin spice and white chocolate mocha latte

The bright glistening light of a full moon on a blanket of snow

Reading the thesaurus

Dill pickle chips

Veggie Taco with just a crispy corn shell, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and Louisiana hot sauce

Pot of tea at the bookstore while rummaging through the magazines

Rich , deep jewel tone colors – purple, red, gold, blue, fuchsia - however my favorite color is a soft mossy green

The softness of real cotton against my skin

The desire to read Plato, Socrates and Aristotle

Bach, Beethoven , Mendelssohn

The cool earth between my fingers as I dig the soil to plant herbs.

I love that I can look at or smell an herb and name it even more that an herb can be used to cure – a blessing

The wonderment in a child’s face when they “get it.”

The sound of chickens softly clucking as they forge the yard for the next bug.

Cool, crisp autumn evenings - the smell of the changing season.

I like autumn the best as far back as I can remember.

Bright burning fire on a dark chilly night.

Yellow roses, white carnations, English ivy, wild lilacs and violets

The luscious colors you find in a fabric store, its just like a candy store.

Black cats

You can’t have too many writing implements

Keeping journals & cookbooks

Making the best tasting cupcake or muffin

Slow drizzling rainy days that are cool and so lazy that all I want to do is sit and cuddle with my honey

The soulful sound of church bells ringing

The word “HOPE” because when you have it your have a possibility of everything

Velvety black night sky painted with stars

Hot Tea & Toast for breakfast

Learning to cook Vegatarian

The call of a whip-o-will

Lavender, lavender, lavender, lavender

The sound of the birds just before sunset followed by the calm silence when they have roosted and the beginning of the crickets song braking that silence – sunset sounds

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The majority of our curriculum is Charlotte Mason, however, when the boys are in need of more hands on stuff we pull our volumes of KONOS off the shelves and jump into a unit. These are the best investment I ever made. They are so full of everything hands-on. They are christian based but they are very do-able with out the religious reference. This year we started out with Grains, Yeasts, Molds, and Bread Making. This turned out to be a royal hoot, especially with the making of the bakers hats.The boys really did gain lots of new knowledge here.

Wheat farming from field to store, drawing the stages of seed growth from their own growing seeds, the parts of the wheat stalk, the mapping of where in the US it is best for wheat to grow, designing and making of their own baker's hat, reading & copying recipes on bread, baking their own loaves of bread, making their own butter (all right, I added this one - what's fresh bread without fresh butter!), mold experiments and notebooking their observations, making vocabulary cards on new words they ran learned. Whew! It was busy.

Needless to say fun was had by all. The following are pictures of the boys bread baking day.

The Boys Garden Project

What do you get when you give three boys a shovel,eight boards, a length of rope, a packet of birdhouse gourd seeds, and a packet of pumpkin pie pumpkin seeds? A lovely surprise. Enlisting the help of my go-getter hubby we built a frame for the vines to climb up. Honestly at times I was beginning to wonder about this projects. It seemed like forever that all we had was a wooden frame with rope wove around it. A wooden frame in the yard is not a pretty sight after a while! However, once it rook off it went crazy. We have to keep trimming it back to keep it from taking over the back half of our backyard. We got this project idea from Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy. Her books are a delight for kid and adult alike! If you haven't checked one out for yourself you really must - you will not be disappointed - you'll just might have problems trying to decide what to do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nature Study In The Fast Lane

I guess before I start typing away I should let you know about our boys Kody is 12, Collin is 10 - our ADHD child and Joseph is 5 and we are grand parents raising our grandsons. They are all brothers.  Hubby and I brought each one home from the hospital to live with us and later we were given guardianship of each of them until they reach legal age.

Today was very eventful for the older boys, however Joseph seemed more into to prospect of catching bugs as ususal. He is definately going to grow into an entomologist. This child has been catching every creepy, crawly thing he has found since before he could walk. I had hoped he's out grow this, however, it seems to grow more intense as time goes on. I'm just thankful he hasn't picked up anything dangerous beyond a honey bee, yes he has been know to catch them with his bare hands, too! We try to keep an ever growing supply of "bug boxes " for him (empty Florida Crystals sugar containers). This week we did make a wonderful nature study with the White Sphnix Moth Caterpillar (aka. Tomato Horn Worm) that he found. There was a great section in our Handbook of Nature Study.

The boys really found this facinating for a change. Last year I couldn't get them interested enough for nature study and journaling. So this truly took me by surprise. All three listened as I read about the caterpillar from the book and asked questions. Joseph surprised me by remembering the most from the reading and gave his older brothers a disgusted look when they couldn't answer what he thought was so easy. Like I stated, he is a budding entomologist. We have also done studies on the praying mantis, pill bugs, ants, grass hoppers, earthworms, Monarch and Black Swallowtail Butterflies.

I am hoping to get to a deacent study of fish (we now have 3 tanks full of live berers- this lovely project started with 3 little fish), an indepth study of birds, beyond birdwatching ( We have 5 backyard chickens which Joseph thinks are as good as the cat to snuggle with and has named them all Buttercup Ladies), a cat (KoKo), a dog (Charlie Bug) and Hermit crabs (we have 5).

You always hear the expression "Boys and their Toys", well, our boys aren't much into toys and never have been but if it creeps, crawls, flys, swims, and runs and is of the amimal (non-human) variety. They will catch it, save money to buy it, or request it for a gift. These were the boys that for the last two years I have had to pratically beg to do Nature Study. Now it lives on our doorstep, in our living room, in their bed room (and sometime under the bed), in the laundry room - well you get the picture.