Thursday, March 31, 2011

The final poultry post

Lest you think I'm a chicken when it comes to show and tell, here's a peek at what I did with some of my painted (formerly ugly) papers.

My prayer album was long overdue for a remodel, so I used the project as a chance to put my rescued papers to good use. In fact, 12 of the 20 pages in the album are paper that should have been discarded. *Go green*

These are a few of my favorites with both purchased and painted papers...

store bought
store bought
I wish you could see the actual colors. My very favorite is the third page shown - rescued paper with the "city" from a rescued book. Love the way that page came together.

So, on this last day of poultry month and the first day with my new album, I think we'll celebrate!

Doesn't chicken sound yummy?

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beauty for ashes

In keeping with poultry month, behold this picture. Hard to believe any creature this ugly could be the focus of Thanksgiving meals... that so many happy memories begin at a table filled with family/friends enjoying a roasty, toasty, u-u-u-gly turkey.

Which brings to mind my ugly paper project. After all that paper was covered with layers and layers of new paint, I held a beauty contest. Of course there were the "also-rans", and there were the traditional runners-up. But this, by far, was my favorite.

The color is not exactly true, but pretty close!
In both cases, while the "ugly" is still there, they have been transformed, made acceptable.

March is always a hard month for me. It brings a Grey cloud that hovers over my head until the dates on the calendar show that yet another year has passed since my last conversation with my son... since that last time I heard him say, "Ma-a-ather. Wha-a-t's goin' on?"

Yet, while dwelling underneath this hovering cloud, there is the shining remembrance of my verse for that dreadful day (chosen while life was still so normal and undisturbed), I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13) Before I knew I needed the help, God was there with His Word, to comfort my heart and strengthen my being.

How precious this particular verse is to me. Above all others, it shows me the concern of an Almighty God for a poor and needy mother.

My son is gone from my reach. The ugly fact is still there, but my life has been "sloshed" by God, who gives "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't be a chicken!

It's time to redo my prayer album. There are some cut-to-size background papers in my stash... but ugh. They are completely uninspiring. No that's not true. the truth is, they're downright ugly!

It's nearly impossible for a person dabbling in collage/scrap "art" to discard any little bit of anything, let alone throw away perfectly good (yet ugly) paper. So, what am I going to do?

Today, I solved the problem. I quit being a chicken...

and started sloshing paint all over those ugly colors.

Some I just love. Others? Not so much. But, (yay!) I don't hate any of them any more. *smile*

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring in Michigan

A brief break from poultry month...

Spring has to be stubborn to make itself known in Michigan. Winter hangs on with a vengeance, wringing snow from the sky and shivers from our bones until the warm temperatures overpower, and a tornado pushes it below the equator.

This morning I found valiant little crocuses that pushed through the ground to announce, "Spring!"

But here's the amazing thing...

See the open blossom? It has a collar.

That plucky little plant apparently had enough of waiting below the ground and poked through whatever got in its way. And doesn't she look charming?

Could spring be here at last?

And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good... Genesis 1:31

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Water Glass

Did you know that farm fresh eggs can be preserved in Water Glass for up to two years? Talk about going green... no electricity needed.

The instructions (from a 1942 Victory Canning cookbook) say to use "perfectly clean, but not washed eggs." That seems a bit of a contradiction, but then I learned that an egg is delivered *ahem* with something called "bloom", applied as it enters the world. God's very own natural protection for the goodness inside that shell. After mixing the Water Glass with water, the submerged eggs will stay fresh for an amazing amount of time.

Water Glass is still available today if you want to try this. Ask for sodium silicate.

So, now you are informed. If only I had known this back when we had chickens. Oh the things I could have done!

But then again... who would have tried the first 8 month old egg?

"Not me!" said the mama.

"Not me!" said the children.

Hmmm. Maybe refrigeration is necessary after all.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. I Peter 1:24,25

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thrift store books

When I enter a thrift store, my first question is, "where are the books?" I love perusing the shelves, looking for a well worn, beautiful cover to be repurposed, or pages that beg to be part of a collage... for the right price, of course.

Lest you think I have forgotten my poultry month, read on.

Several months ago, I found an early 80's elementary reading book, filled with great art. Right in the middle of all the new stories was the old favorite, The Little Red Hen. I did a mental review of the story while I was making bread today and discovered that I couldn't remember exactly how it ended.

Surely the Red Hen shared. She couldn't have been that vengeful.

So, I grabbed the book and reread the story. And yes... yes she was. She was that vengeful! Wow.

Which brought to mind this verse - Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and running over, shall men give (to you). For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured unto you again. Luke 6:38

Although this principle would not be easy for anyone in the Little Red Hen's shoes, my heart tells me it's a better choice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March - in like a chicken

It appears that this will be a poultry month.

It began with the lovely brown eggs delivered to my door... immediately followed by free range chicken horrors memories. Ahem.

Finish that week with a Cheesy Bacon and Egg Casserole disaster entree for the Men's Breakfast at church. Argh.

In the midst of all this my computer laid an egg. So I'm figuring... why fight it? Let's just have a poultry month. Who knows what will happen by the time March 31 arrives?

In keeping with this theme, here's a yummy way to put our feathered friends to good use. (No, not a Cheesy Bacon and Egg Casserole! That recipe has been destroyed!)

Thai Chicken - 8 servings
(crock-pot recipe)

4 whole chicken breasts (I used boneless, skinless - worked fine.)
1 Tbsp grated gingerroot
3 green onions, sliced
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water
Cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Cut chicken breasts in half, making 8 pieces. Place chicken in a slow cooker. Add ginger, green onions, coconut milk, turmeric, and pepper flakes. Cover and cook on LOW 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Turn control to HIGH; add drained pineapple. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into chicken mixture in cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH about 15 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with peanuts.


He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Free range chuckles

Opening the container and seeing these farm fresh beauties, brought such a flood of memories. If I forget the nasty roosters, they were fun memories. Or, maybe I should say, laughable memories.

We had chickens on our farmette... free range chickens that would give us extra-nutritious, big brown eggs. The problem with those noisy creatures is that they thought free range meant they could go anywhere in the neighborhood! I usually caught them before they left our yard, but every once in a while, the entire flock (flock?) ended up 2 doors down, enjoying their new found buffet.

I, being the uptown girl who would never step foot uninvited into someone else's yard, did the only thing my pride would allow. I pushed my four year old daughter out the door and said "Go get them! Chase them back to our yard!"

While I hid behind the curtains and watched, she ran like a crazy woman, arms flailing, shoo-ing those stubborn creatures back to the safety of our acre-plus.

I don't know... when a child renders such a service, are you ever out of debt?

It still makes me laugh... Thank you, Marcie.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. I John 4:11