Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry Chutney

I never thought much about cranberries and Thanksgiving dinner until I found a recipe for Cranberry Chutney. Pre-recipe, cranberry "sauce" appeared as a can-shaped block, complete with ridges from the can. After trying Cranberry Chutney, I never looked back.

Among many other ingredients, the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice. In the early years, I bought small jars of both. But because both are used sparingly (if at all) in anything, I found that I was throwing away tasteless jars of powder the next time Thanksgiving rolled around.

Enter mortar and pestle, whole cloves and whole allspice. Not only did I learn a new technique, I discovered the joy of very fresh spices. My beloved chutney was elevated from wonderful to

There are two quarts of freshly made chutney in my fridge right now. I like it best when it has a few days for each flavor stop shouting its own name and learn to blend its voice in that "fabulous" harmony.

Oh... life is good. And I am so thankful.

I hope for you a Thanksgiving filled with the blessings of God... from small things like chutney to the greatest of all, salvation.

O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. I Chronicles 16:34

Monday, November 14, 2011

Instructions for life

I read this quote a few weeks ago -
"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Talk about it."
The quote is from a woman far from God. No person intent upon living a holy life would emulate her lifestyle. And yet, as I read these short statements, I was amazed at how perfectly they capture the way every christian should live!

antique German tiles

Pay attention - Do you notice the hand of God upon your life? Do you see the blessings that fill your minutes, hours, days? Do you read His Word and find guidance for your life? Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:18)

acquired on a recent trip

Be astonished -  It is astonishing that the God over all is aware of us, works in us. Aren't you amazed that God's grace is freely given to you?  "I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh on me..." (Psalm 40:17)

Talk about it - Do you? Do you talk about what God does in your life? Do your friends know how that verse you read today has impacted your thinking, your actions? Do your kids know what you saw God do today? Is He the passion of your life that you can't keep to yourself? "In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name forever. Selah." (Psalm 44:8)

"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Talk about it."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Catching up

The last few weeks have been filled, edge to edge, with wonderful moments. I 've been so busy living them, I haven't blogged them. Today is the day to start the catch-up process...

Our annual church bonfire was amazing. Every year the flames go higher and the question is raised... Do you suppose the astronauts on the space station can see this?

Note the tiny people on the right. That's as close as anyone could get to the heat!

We celebrated two family birthdays. The time has come when the chosen desserts won't hold the correct number of candles, so we use as many as will fit. Hmmm... mini bonfires?

two cherry cream pies!

Gramma's reward for making pie just for him.

There has to be time for guerrilla art. I'm still having fun finding new ways to use the time cards and the library file cards. 


There's more... but, bread needs to go in the oven, dinner needs to be on plates...

You know how it goes.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. III John 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Patience prolonged

After waiting the full 90 days, it wasn't too hard to delay the exploration of my paper bundles for another 5 days. Late Saturday night, I cut the wires and started digging through my treasure.

It was still damp (even after 5 days in the house) so I peeled the layers apart and laid them all over the workroom to dry. My first impression? *sigh* At least it wasn't labor intensive.

Yesterday, I started sorting the dry papers. Some went straight to the wastebasket. Others, though they don't look like much, hold some promise with a bit of manipulation. A few, just a few, were worth the wait.

Interesting color bleed from the book covers

A weathered edge that might add texture to a project?

This tattered piece was my favorite.

Rust patterns from the wires holding the bundles together.

The book covers that were the center support for the bundles showed the most change.

Yards of lovely rusty wire. I hope it's malleable.

I'm not overwhelmed with visions of beauty in the making... but there's always hope. For a person who hates to throw anything away... this is a monumental challenge.

I hear that winter is going to be very harsh this year. That's OK. I'll be hunched over the work table trying turn bits of paper into bits of beauty. Time will tell if it works.

Check with me in 90 days. *grin*

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalm 119:18