Looking for something I mentioned in a post? You can find it in my shop!

Looking for something I mentioned in one of my posts? You can find it here, at my shop! Just click! Thank you for your support! A Gathering of Days Shop

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sabbatical

Good morning, friends. 

Many of you who follow my blog also follow me on Facebook, and so you are aware of my mom's passing on Friday, May 12. Prior to my mom's passing I was consumed with finals during my last semester in school, so those two things combined are what have led to my lack of posts. At this point I fully intend to return to regular posting, but as the next few weeks will be devoted to preparations for my mom's funeral and then beginning the process of paperwork and sorting through her things, I am going to take a sabbatical until the first of June. I appreciate your taking the time to visit with me here, and appreciate your prayers during this difficult time.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Pleasant Way to Spend an Easter Evening


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I receive a percentage of the profits from the sale.  Thank you!

I spent part of my early Easter evening crocheting, watching the first three episodes of the first season of When Calls the Heart (I've never watched it), and reading a bit in this charming little book, Red Sky at Night.  I actually bought this book back at Christmas when I came across it on a friend's Instagram account, but last night was the first chance I'd had to read a little of it and I  really enjoyed it!  It appealed to me immediately when I read this in the product description;

"In a world of traffic congestion, supermarket shopping, and 24-hour Internet access, it is easy to feel disconnected from the beauty and rhythms of the natural world. This is the book for anyone who has ever gazed in awe at stars in the night's sky, tried to catch a perfect snowflake, or longed for the comfort of a roaring log fire."

Here were a few things that caught my eye;

- Bee Lore, because I'm a wanna-be bee keeper!

- Building the perfect bonfire, because I was always been the kid who played with matches, and I'm a great fire builder, so I figured I could only improve!

- How to predict the weather, which includes things like watching the condensation trails left by aircraft because the longer they are visible the greater the amount of moisture is in the upper part of the sky. And apparently insects don't like rain, so if there are plenty of bees and butterflies around, you can be pretty confident of pleasant weather.

- A personal favorite was Pooh Sticks, from the beloved Winnie the Pooh stories, which is just throwing sticks in to a river to see whose emerges first, but the fact that this little game originated in these charming stories lends to the charm of simplicity of the game itself.

There is also an entire chapter devoted to The Turning of the Year which covers things like

- The Quarter Days
- The Twelve Months, which includes this cute little poem by George Ellis

Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,
Showery, Flowery, Bowery,
Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy,
Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy

- British Feast Days (It's a British book but perfectly applicable here in the states)
- The Special Days of the Year
and
- Birthdays

A few others I enjoyed were;

- Gardening by the moon
and
- Home remedies

It's such a pleasant little read, and while most of the reviews I read were critical of the fact that you could open it up and read a paragraph and be done, that is actually part of the appeal for me. One reviewer wrote that they were "disappointed that "How to Navigate By the Stars" was not more in depth, but in my mind, if you REALLY need to know how, you shouldn't be consulting a little book like this, you should probably be taking a course! It was a perfect choice for me because there are times when I only have a little time reading and this fits the bill for those times.  Anyone who likes British books and gardening and folklore, will enjoy this gem.  I'm also REALLY enjoying When Calls the Heart!  I think I watched the first episode some time ago when it first came out, and I'm not sure why I didn't continue with it, but I'm happy to have found it.  I'm also going to look at Home Fires, I think I might like it too!  But for now I am, sadly, off to prepare for a math test I have tomorrow!  May 8 is my LAST day and I can hardly wait!

Until then my friends, take joy!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Snippets - .02

♥︎ vintage ads!



I ♥︎ this song, another personal favorite

The Good Life
sung by Frank Sinatra




♥︎ this movie! I am a HUGE Sandra Dee fan,
and this is one of the best!

If A Man Answers




Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Delightful Dozen - 13


1. All Dressed Up to Keep House, admittedly I will probably stick to a more "casual" choice when cleaning, but I do like to reminisce about  the more formal air of times gone by.

2. Liturgical Living for the Everyday Woman

3. What Your Favorite Winnie the Pooh Character Says About You

4. What You Were Made to Live For

5. A Woman's Work is Never Done

6. Living a Quiet and Simple Life

7. Life Lessons From Anne of Green Gables

8. 20 Ways to Savor Spring Time

9. How to Detangle Productivity and Your Self Worth

10. How to Miss a Childhood

11. 10 Memorable Literary Friendships That Will Inspire You To Be a Better Friend

12. The Disappearance of Childhood And What We Can Do To Get it Back


However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.” 

 ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hot Pastrami Sandwiches



I'm back today with another favorite family recipe.  I mentioned this sandwich in an earlier post when I shared my recipe for my favorite potato salad, so I wanted to be sure to come back and share it, as promised.

*Image credit unknown.

Apparently this recipe was originally featured in Sunset Magazine, though it didn't come up when I tried searching it at their website.  I have had it in my collection for several years now and by the time I came across it I think it may have been reproduced elsewhere.  At any rate, I'm not really sure who to credit, but to whoever the mastermind is behind this wonderful sandwich, I thank you!

Hot Pastrami Sandwiches
2 pounds thinly sliced peppered pastrami
2 pounds thinly sliced corned beef
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
16 slices rye bread
8 slices Swiss cheese ( I always use Baby Swiss)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard (I prefer Grey Poupon Country Dijon Ground)
About 3 cups coleslaw (homemade or from the deli) (I use Sauerkraut in place of coleslaw, see below)
 
1. Place pastrami, corned beef, and broth in a slow-cooker.* Heat, covered, on lowest setting until hot, stirring periodically, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

2. Set out bread slices and cheese on a platter, and mustard and coleslaw in small bowls. Cover with plastic wrap until served (up to 1 hour).

3. When pastrami mixture is hot, invite guests to make their own sandwiches, or assemble for them: Spread 2 slices of bread with mustard. Pile a generous helping of the meats onto 1 slice, then top with a slice of cheese, about 1/3 cup coleslaw, and the second piece of bread. Cut sandwiches in half, they're large, so consider sharing.

*If you don't have a slow-cooker, put the pastrami and corned beef with a little broth in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and warm in a microwave oven.

Now I will tell you that instead of slaw I put sauerkraut on mine, and I always use this brand. because it's the best! If you can't find it any canned kraut will actually do, I've several different varieties but just like the taste of Claussen the best.  They also have the best pickles, in my opinion, if you've never tried them, you should.  They are in the refrigerated section typically wherever you find packaged lunch meat at your local market.  I also wanted to add that we use Pepperidge Farm's Deli Swirl Pumpernickel and Rye bread with this recipe.  It's pretty much our go to bread for almost any sandwich, but it pairs especially well with the other ingredients in this recipe. If you don't like Pumpernickel or Rye, then any bread will do really.  There is a lot of room for variation in this recipe!

Please let me know if you try this recipe out at home and what changes or variations you made!  I'm always eager to hear how others have enjoyed my favorite recipes!
Save

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Reflection on the Little Things in Life

I came across this sweet little poem in my collection of posts I've kept from my previous blog, Life in the Little Nest.  I just love the sweet sentiments expressed here, a good reminder that some of our most treasured memories are made up of life's littlest moments.  Enjoy the "little moments" of your day today, my friends!

Little words are the sweetest to hear;
Little charities fly farthest, and stay longest on the wing;
Little lakes are the stillest;
Little hearts are the fullest,
and little farms are the best tilled.
Little books are read the most,
and little songs the dearest loved.
And when Nature would make anything especially rare and beautiful,
she makes it little; little pearls, little diamonds, little dews.
The Sermon on the Mount is little,
but the last dedication discourse was an hour long.
Life is made up of littles;
death is what remains of them all.
Day is made up of little beams,
and night is glorious with little stars.

~ Author Unknown

Until then . . .

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Old Time Radio Stations That Are Free Online


Along with movies and TV shows from the 30's - 60's, I love music from this time period, as well.  When I got my new car last Fall, it came with a free three month trial of Sirius XM and I fell in love!  It is so much better than regular radio, less adds, more selection and the quality of the broadcasting is unmatched.   When my trial ran out I called to cancel and they offered me an additional six months for $30. I happened to have a little extra money at the time, so I took it and I'm so glad I did.  My favorite channels are Seriously Sinatra, 40's Junction,  50's on 5, and 60's on 6.  They offer the ability to listen online, but that is extra and I didn't feel that I could justify the cost, especially on my budget.  But because I enjoy listening to similar music in my home, I decided to search the internet to see if I could find some good oldies stations with quality programming.  I also have a free Spotify account, but sometimes I prefer the sound of an actual radio station.  Thankfully I was able to find a few that I have really enjoyed, and I'm going to share them here with you today.

Crooner Radio is by far my favorite so far!  In addition to their wonderful selection that is free to listen to online they have a great line up of shows every weekend, including Crooners and Cocktails, on Fridays, Swingin Saturdays, on Saturday and The Sounds of Sinatra on Sundays.  This is a recent discovery and admittedly since coming across it I've listened to little else.

Slacker Radio is  a close second.  They offer 25 stations featuring Oldies Music.  I typically listen to 40's Hits.   You can create a free account which is easy peasy if you link with your Facebook or Gmail account and then you will have access to My Music which keeps track of all of the music you've recently listened too.  If Oldies are not your thing Slacker offers a number of other genres to choose from.  Unlike Crooner Radio, they offer more variety.

Radio.net is a hub for a multitude of radio stations of varying genres that are free to listen to online.  Here is the link to the stations that play oldies, and as you can see there are a lot to choose from!  Depending on my mood I've enjoyed listening to The Doo Pop Express, Radio Old Timer, and America's Ultimate Oldies Channel.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see that there are several more pages of selections available.  A lot of the broadcasts are from other other countries and their ads are in foreign languages as well as some of the music, but they are worth checking out if you're looking for something a little different.

And finally,
There is a local station KAAM 770 AM Radio that I enjoy.  During the daytime hours they have a LOT of talk shows that I am not interested in, but they do play a nice selection of artists like Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and many more.  You can listen for free online.  This was the first station I found and listened to after moving back to Texas. They are playing Neil Diamond as I am writing this post!  Very nice selection if you like oldies' but want a variety.

If you enjoy oldies, like I do, then hopefully you'll find something here to listen to as well!

Until then . . .

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

FREE Vintage Resources for Homekeepers - Marian Harland

Today I wanted to share some FREE resources I've found on the Internet.  I've been collecting these

links and downloading resources for years and I have a complete library of vintage homekeeping books.  These gems from days gone by are fun to read if only for the nostalgia, but many of them have ideas and recipes that are still relevant and tasty today!

One of my favorite authors of vintage homekeeping books is Marian Harland, which is actually her pen name, her given name is Mary Virginia Hawes.  Marian grew up in Richmond, Virginia and began writing as a child.  In her early days she focused primarily on novels, but after marrying her husband, a minister, she moved North. Shortly after settling she began to struggle with household tasks and cleaning and realized that there was a serious need for detailed, practical manuals for maintaining a household. Her response to that need, published in 1871, was Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery,  which sold more than a million copies and was kept in print for the next fifty years. Through this book and others of its kind that followed, Marion Harland became a household name.

Her works on cooking, housekeeping, and etiquette all celebrate "the talent of home-making, precious and incommunicable," as she described it in The Secret of a Happy Home (1896). Though Harland made it clear that women were duty-bound to keep a well-ordered home, she also recognized and lamented the limitations placed on women. "It must be a fine thing," she wrote, "to be a man on some accounts;—to be emancipated forever-and-a-day from the thralldom of skirts for instance, and to push through a crowd to read the interjectional headlines upon a bulletin board, instead of going meekly and unenlightened home." In the face of these challenges, however, Harland urged her readers to develop their other talents and their intellects.

Eminently practical, witty, sarcastic, encouraging and kind, Harland's manuals were a boon to women throughout the country. Common Sense, for instance, includes instructions for common household problems, such as removing stains or making a wound stop bleeding ("cobwebs and brown sugar, pressed on like lint"), as well as scores of recipes.

I've collected links to several of Harland's works, including;

Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery

The Dinner Year Book

Marian Harland's Cookery for Beginners: A Series of Familiar Lessons for Young Housekeepers

Marian Harland's Complete Etiquette: A Young People's Guide to Every Social Occasion


Of these I particularly like The Dinner Year Book, because of course, it's seasonal!

If you enjoy vintage books, and FREE books, then take a little time and peruse Marian Harland's offerings!  You won't be disappointed!  If you do spend some time perusing them I'd love to hear your opinion!

Until then, take joy, my friends!

Save

Monday, April 3, 2017

Old Movie Monday - The Mating Game

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I receive a percentage of the profits from the sale.  Thank you!

As most of my friends know, I am a HUGE fan of old movies, primarily from the 30's - 60's.  I love radio shows and TV shows from that era, as well, what can I say, I'm an old soul!

I have a fairly impressive collection that I've built over the years and there are not too many movies that I haven't seen at least once, so when I came across The Mating Game on the guide recently I was shocked that I'd never seen or heard of it before.  TCM devoted an entire day to Debbie Reynolds following her death, so my DVR was set to record almost all day long!

Over the weekend I finally had a chance to watch a few of the recordings and The Mating Game was my first choice! I have to say I was not disappointed and I'm shocked that I'd never watched it before as I have always been a huge fan of Debbie Reynolds!  When I started looking for the images to include in this post I noticed that it was based on the book The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates. I've never read the book, either, but I'm definitely going to seek it out!

Here's a summary of the movie from Amazon;

Golden-Globe nominated and Emmy Award-winning Tony Randall ("Pillow Talk," TV's "The Odd Couple") plays Lorenzo Charlton, a stuffy taxinvestigator sent to the farm of Pop Larkin (Paul Douglas) and Ma Larkin (Una Merkel) to find out why they haven't been paying taxes. He discovers that the Larkins, instead of money, use a homegrown barter system. Overwhelmed by their complex economic network, Lorenzo drinks one home brew too many. Awakening from a hangover, he sees a vision of loveliness before him -- the Larkin's spunky daughter Mariette (Debbie Reynolds). Enraptured by Mariette, he decides to stick around and find a way to get the family out of their onerous tax burden. George Marshall ("How the West Was Won," "Destry Rides Again") directs this breezy romantic comedy.

I LOVED this movie and I will definitely be adding it to my collection soon and enjoying it again and again!  Here's a little sneak peak from the original trailer.


If you're a fan of Debbie Reynolds, or old movies in general you are sure to enjoy the Mating Game!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Audible Deals on One of My Favorite Children's Series!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I receive a percentage of the profits from the sale.  Thank you!

Audible currently has a deal on one of my favorite children's book series, The Fairchild Family Series! This set of 4 books by Rebecca Caudill present the lives of the members of the Fairchild family who live in the Kentucky hills during the early 1900's. The author has a keen insight into the feelings and desires of young children and brings special moments to life through great visual descriptions. The depiction of wholesome family life is highlighted. The books in this series are an enjoyable read for children. The series includes: Happy Little Family, Schoolhouse in the Woods, Schoolroom in the Parlor, and Up & Down the River, and are recommended for grade 4 and up.  You don't need an Audible account to be able to enjoy this wonderful series!  You simply purchase them from Amazon and then listen on your phone, tablet or computer using the FREE Audible app


Click on images below to take you to the link!

Happy Little Family, Fairchild Family Series - $4.95



It is a good thing that mothers understand what no one else seems to when you are the youngest child in the family, and are finally four years old. Bonnie is more than ready to join her older sisters and brother in the many adventures she sees come their way, whether it be sliding along the ice, searching for arrowheads, or going on that journey of all journeys-across the swinging bridge to school. Winter or summer, something is always happening in the Fairchild house, tucked amidst the pine trees of the Kentucky hills 100 years ago or more. And, four years old or not, Bonnie usually manages to be in the middle of the action!

Schoolhouse in the Woods, Fairchild Family Series - $4.95



The Fairchild family is here again, and this time, Bonnie is old enough to begin the great adventure – school! We join Bonnie in the excruciating anticipation of the first day, when she will wear her new dress, carry a first reader and slate, and displaying nonchalance as she braves the swinging bridge – enter into the mysteries of schoolroom learning and playground rites in a woodland setting of the early 1900s. Bonnie’s older brother and three sisters, her various classmates, and Miss Cora, her teacher, add their liveliness to an eventful season of learning on every front in the Kentucky Hills.

Up and Down the River, Fairchild Family Series - $4.95



Bonnie’s and Debbie’s desire to get rich causes them to respond to a sure-thing magazine advertisement. They are soon embarked upon an ambitious summer of selling up and down the river. Not that circumstances end quite in the way they had imagined! In a surprising flurry of trading, the girls somehow accumulate wealth in the form of unexpected friends, assorted animals, and unforeseen situations, even as their collection of dimes and dollars seem always to be slipping through their hands. Bonnie and Debbie Fairchild occupy center stage in this story of a summer season in the lovely hills of Kentucky of the early 1900s.

Schoolroom in the Parlor, Fairchild Family Series - $4.95



School in the Kentucky hills goes from August to the last Friday before Christmas. After that the snows are too high, and later, the thawing rivers too full, for the Fairchild children, and their neighbors, the Wattersons, the Sawyers, and the Huffs to make it safely to the little school house in the woods. Now that Althy is 14, Mr. Fairchild has other plans for the long winter months. Learn, along with Bonnie, Debbie, Chris, and Emmy, what it is like to have school at home in the early 1900s. The fourth and final book in the Fairchild Family series.

Be sure to check the prices prior to purchase as Amazon changes their prices frequently!

Sunday Snippets - A Gathering of Loveliness - .01

Each Sunday I'll be sharing some of the things I love, from music, to movies, to books and recipes, you never know what might pop up here.  Just simple joys and pleasures I find along the way and want to pass along!
Maybe you'll discover a few you love, too! 


I ♥︎ This Song (My All Time Favorite)

What A Wonderful World


I ♥︎ Old Time Radio Shows


I ♥︎ Old Movies

Fathers Little Dividend
with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Nature Stories For Little Ones - Among the Forest People

Although we no longer homeschool, I have 20+ years of experience and a vast treasury of files and resources that I've kept over the years.  With that, one of my objectives for blogging is to share those resources with my readers.  Whether you homeschool, or are just looking for some fun books and activities to share with your children,  hopefully you'll find a few new favorites and be inspired to spend some time with the littles in your life.

One of my daughter's favorite subjects during school was Nature Study, and in her elementary years she especially enjoyed nature stories.  One of our favorite authors, Clara Dillingham Pierson, wrote a series of books, Among the Forest People, Among the Farmyard People, Among the Meadow People, Among the Pond People and Among the Night People, all featuring delightful stories of animals and insects in various habitats and discussing the lives they lived there.

I'm going to cover each book in the series over several posts linking to the texts and to websites where you will find pictures of each animal/insect featured in the book as well as coloring pages. When Kate was reading through the books I always made sure to introduce her to the featured animal/insect by showing her a picture before we read the story so that she would have a mental image of it in her mind.  Then after we finished reading she would orally narrate the story and then color the picture. But before we jump into the first book, I want to share this for anyone who may be using this in your homeschool.  The first three books in the series, Among the Forest People, Among the Farmyard People, and Among the Meadow People are 20 chapters, 18 chapters and 29 chapters long, in that order.  With that, you could easily schedule these twice a week, I always preferred Tuesday and Thursday, and in doing so, you will finish reading all three books over the school year, based upon a 12 week semester/36 week school year.  You could then follow up the next year with the remaining two books and the series would be complete!  So let's get started with the first book, Among the Forest People!


Among the Forest People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson


Audio books are another fun way to enjoy stories, and this entire series is available for free!

Chapter 1
Learn more about the the Red Squirrel, here.
American Red Squirrel coloring page.

Chapter 2
Learn more about the Great Horned Owl, here.
Great Horned Owl coloring page.

Chapter 3
Learn more about the Crow, here.
American Crow coloring page.

Chapter 4
Learn more about the Red Headed Woodpecker, here.
Red Headed Woodpecker coloring page.

Chapter 5
Learn more about Moths, here.

Chapter 6
Learn more about Bees, here.

Learn more about the Kingbird, here.
Kingbird coloring page.

Chapter 7
Learn more about the Cowbird, here.
Cowbird coloring page.

Chapter 8
Learn more about the Mourning Dove, here.
Mourning Dove coloring page.

Chapter 9
Learn more about the Blue Jay, here.
Blue Jay coloring page.

Chapter 10
Learn even more about Red Squirrels, here.
Another Red Squirrel coloring page.

Chapter 11
Learn more about the Rabbit, here.
Rabbit coloring page.

Chapter 12
Learn more about the Bat, here.

Chapter 13
Learn more about Bee Hives, here.

Chapter 14
Learn more about the Ground Hog, here.
Ground Hog coloring page.

Chapter 15
Learn more about the Rattlesnake, here.
Rattlesnake coloring page.

Chapter 16
Learn more about the Mole, here.

Chapter 17
Learn about the Wild Turkey, here.
Wild Turkey coloring page.

Chapter 18
Learn more about Bird's Migration, here.
Bird flying coloring page.

Chapter 19
Learn more about the Ruffed Grouse, here.
Ruffed Grouse coloring page.

Chapter 20
A Mild Day in Winter

I made up a chart that maps out each week's reading, if you want to use it.  If you are using it for home school, this would cover the first 10 weeks of the first semester, and then you would begin with the next book in the series, Among the Farmyard People in Week 11.  I'll be posting  links and a schedule for that book soon.

I hope that some of you might find this useful.  I miss our days of homeschooling at times, and sharing these resources here with you is like revisiting old friends!

Until then, take joy!

The Delightful Dozen - 12



1. Classic Children's Book Quotes Every Adult Needs to Hear Again and Again

2. 52 Obtainable Ways to Simplify Your Life

3. Reading Is Not Enough

4. How to Open a Can Using a Spoon, because everyone could do with this little tidbit of information now and then!

5. Bookworms, Rejoice! You May Live Longer

6. The Disease of Being Busy

7. 12 Housekeeping Secrets to Steal From Grandma

8. Enough

9. Why You Should Wake Up at 5 a.m. Every Day

10. Whatever Is Pure and Lovely

11. 11 Sayings Kids Today Just Don't Understand

12. Dear Dads, What Your Daughter Needs From You


"I make myself rich, by making my wants few."

- Thoreau
SaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Friday, March 31, 2017

Slowing Down to Savor Spring

With the exception of a nasty storm in this week, the weather has been absolutely wonderful!  Bright
blue skies, a cool breeze and abundant sunshine.  It looks like rain for the weekend, but honestly, that's fine with me, too.  There's nothing like a rainy day to set my heart to dusting and cleaning and I've been so preoccupied with my studies recently the house is in desperate need of it.

I'm still striving to live intentionally, and things are going well, I'll be updating about that soon, but this morning I came across a post while perusing some of my favorite blogs that I want to share with you.

I've been reading Monica's blog, The Homespun Heart, for several years now.  She is truly a kindred spirit, a "stop and smell the roses" kind of girl, and I'm always so inspired by her efforts to live slowly and with intention.  She also posts the cutest ideas for enjoying small, everyday celebrations on a budget, even a zero budget, by making use of items you already have at home. If you haven't discovered her blog yet, pour yourself a cup of something warm and spend some time perusing her offerings, you are sure to be inspired!  I'm very excited about a series of posts that she has planned for slowing down and savoring Spring, you can read more about it here

Even though I've made good efforts and even had some success in slowing my life down a bit , I must confess that this Lenten season has not been what I envisioned or even wanted it to be.  So much of that has to do with the amount of time that I am engaged in studying, and I am beginning to realize that if getting my degree is important to me, and it is, that is just something I am going to have to accept.  I also know me, I'm a Rodger's and Hammersteins production on a Dollar Tree budget, and often my dreams and expectations far outweigh my ability.  So when I read Monica's post I thought perhaps following along with her for the next few weeks and refocusing in these days before Easter might be just what I am looking for.  There's really no point in being disappointed that things didn't turn out as I had hoped, especially when there's still time to enjoy this somber but lovely season.  So if you're looking to slow the pace of life down a bit and relish these lovely Spring days, then I would encourage you to follow along as well!  Monica is a truly a gifted writer and I find her posts so encouraging and inspiring!  For now, I have a Texas History test to prepare for.  My plan is to be done with my studies early today so I can savor the weekend!

Until then, my friends, take joy!

Save

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Joy of Simple Things

Grace Noll Crowell has long been a favorite of mine, with her charming reflections on the home.  Her words reflect the soul of a "kindred spirit", who takes the time observe the small, ordinary moments and details of life.  If I'm having a busier than I'd prefer kind of day or just need a little pick me up, reading her works always sets my heart to rest.  If you haven't discovered Grace Noll Crowell, I'd encourage you to look her up!  I've found several of her poems online, which have quickly become personal favorites, and her collections, which are mostly oop, are available from Amazon.

I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through the door.

I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.

Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight
That very close to home the great joy                                                      
The elemental things- old as the race
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.

 ~ Grace Noll Crowell

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Roasted Potato Salad With Mustard Dressing


This is by far my favorite potato salad of all time!  I wish I had a picture to post of it and I'm a little surprised I don't since I've made it so many times!  Maybe I'll make it again this weekend and I'll be sure to take one and share it!  Not your traditional potato salad, which I also love, but this pairs well with so many things, though we typically like it with brats or hot pastrami sandwiches, another great recipe I'll be sure to share soon!  I hope your day is shaping up nicely, it is a lovely day here after a night of violent storms, but thankfully our area faired well.

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing 
3 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bacon slices (uncooked), chopped
2 cups diced Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

 Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring once. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds. Add onion mixture and bacon to potatoes; toss gently. Let stand 15 minutes. Combine mustard, mayonnaise, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add mustard mixture and parsley to potato mixture; toss gently.

Until then . . .

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Vintage Educational Videos - The Family Dinner Date

I remember in when I was in school, when the big blue film projector was rolled into the room it was a cause for celebration! Aside from a few duds, I always loved the fun educational films and found them to be a welcome break from our usual studies.

A few years ago in doing some research on the internet, I came across a number of educational videos on YouTube, and while I don't recall ever watching anything like, "How To Have a Family Dinner, A Date With Your Family", below, I was intrigued by its sweet, wholesome message.  While some of the ideas may seem a bit old fashioned, I'm not so sure we wouldn't all do well to take a cue from the past and be a bit more "formal", perhaps, in our attention  and preparations.  I did have to laugh at the admonishment not to "tie up the phone for too long", though I do remember those days well.  I just love vintage things, including old sitcoms and commercials, so when I ran across these videos I saved a number of them to my library to enjoy.  If you like vintage, too, and want to take a little trip down memory lane, perhaps you'll like them as well.



and before I close, here's a commercial for Gold Medal flour from 1951.


Hmmm, I might have to try out that recipe as well, those biscuits look good!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed a little trip down memory lane today! I'm off now, though not to make dinner or biscuits, I'm afraid, I have a math test tomorrow and I need to prepare!

Until then . . .

Sunday, March 26, 2017

5 Family Friendly Movies That Are Free On You Tube


(1962)
A young working-class lad named Tony (Vincent Winter) dreams of lending his own angelic voice to the world-renowned Vienna Boys' Choir. Though his engineer father wants Tony to follow in his footsteps, the boy wants only to sing. Once he finally joins the ranks of the choir, he finds new trouble in the form of a broken-voiced boy named Peter (Sean Scully), who becomes jealous of Tony's ability. What unfolds is a tale of friendship, ambition and the healing power of music.

(2000)
Devoted teacher Anne Sullivan leads deaf, blind and mute Helen Keller out of solitude and helps integrate her into the world.

(1970)
As a teenager has difficulty coping with his mother's remarriage, he finds and nurses back to health a German Shepherd, but keeps him a secret for fear that his stepfather would return him to his original owner.

(1973)
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, two friends in a Mississippi River town, have one adventure after another - including attending their own funeral and being pursued by a murderer.

(2002)
When fisherman Ford Lofton's wife dies in a horseback riding accident, the devastated widower tells his daughters they can no longer ride. The younger of the two, Virginia can't shake her passion for horses, and cares for a young foal named Stormy behind her father's back. When Ford moves to sell Stormy, the girl enlists a friendly horse trainer named Jessie Eastwood (Joanne Whalley) to try to change Ford's mind and let Virginia keep Stormy for her own.
Save

Traffic

Yesterday, sitting at a stop sign on a residential street less than a block from my house, I caught myself yelling at the other cars in the crossroad, admonishing them to hurry up. Less than five minutes from my house and I was already tense and impatient. I’ve lived in this city most of my life. In my late thirties I commuted an hour and a half each way, every day, for my job. So when I noticed myself all tensed up and angry, I realized that something was going to have to change.


One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in life, or rather, I’m still learning, is to simply accept things as they are. I may not have chosen to be where I am , to have come back to the big city, but having found myself here again, traffic is just one of the things that comes with the package. The trade off is all the wonderful things about this city that I love, the culture, the food, the museums and concerts. The good definitely outweighs the bad.

Since living my life intentionally and unhurried has become my manifesto, I concluded that in the future I have to have a different approach to driving and specifically to traffic. So here are my thoughts.

Leave early so that I am not in a hurry.
This one should be easy, since I detest being late to anything.

Realize that almost everyone else is in a hurry, or they are old, like me, and tend to drive slow. Funny how I’m fine with the idea of driving slow myself, but only as long the person in front of me isn’t driving slower than I am.

Accept the fact that there will be traffic almost everywhere you go. It’s the destination that is important, not necessarily how long it takes you to get there.

Find alternative routes with less traffic and better scenery.
Since moving back here last year and with the help of my GPS, I’ve successfully avoided the freeway the majority of the time. With the exception of a few road trips, I’ve found that the backroads of the city are easier to navigate. I’ve also learned to trust the fact that even though my GPS tells me that I could cut fifteen minutes off of my commute, that’s not factoring in sitting in traffic, so while the time it adds in taking the back roads appears to make it longer, it is typically faster.

And finally, turn on some relaxing music and enjoy the ride.

Thankfully today is Sunday, when my I try to keep my drive time to a minimum, and I think I heard that a storm may be in the forecast for later today. Sounds like the makings of a perfectly delicious day.

Until then . . .