Saturday, October 22, 2005

Knitting


I have several knitting projects going on right now .... one a baby blanket and a scarf (not necessarily for anyone in particular) ... just for fun. I am trying bamboo circular knitting needles for the first time. They are awesome and I will have a hard time going back to plastic or metal needles. With Michael's and Joann's coupons it will make it more affordable to buy these. The advantages of using these include: uniform knitting gauge and a beautiful finish, gives smoother touch and smoother yarn feed. If you're a knitter, give these a try.

Purpose


I have been involved with a women's Bible study since September. We have been using a study guide, "Becoming a Woman of Purpose" by Cynthia Heald. Last week our study was on God's Purpose: To Accomplish His Plan for Good. I loved the quote by Phillip Yancy ... "Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse." This helps me accept life from the perspective that ... no matter what I'm going through ... it all ultimately has meaning. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Romans 8:28-29 NIV
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Creative Sketches


If you get a chance to buy Becky Higgin's new edition, Creative Sketches, it would be well worth the investment. It is packed with so many new and clever ideas plus layouts for as many as 15+ photos. I am so excited to get back on track with my scrapbooking ... this really got my creative juices going. I am stuck at Christmas 2003 and want to move forward. The 15+ photo layouts will help me pick up some speed. The next subject to work on will be the snow storm we had that December and January. I have enough papers and embellishments to do several blizzards!
I am hoping to work more scrapbooking time into my schedule before I get busy with the holidays.
Happy scrapbooking .....

Friday Fun in Sunriver


We just got back from El Burrito House in Bend. We had a wonderful dinner but feel like we ate too much. Walt ordered the tostada dinner and I ordered the enchiladas. We split them so we could try each plate. The food was so tasty! We highly recommend it if you are ever in this area.
What a gorgeous day we had today while staying at Sunriver. We’ve been sleeping in … reading and relaxing … going for long walks … sitting on the deck soaking up sunrays … enjoying the Jacuzzi. I could easily adapt to this lifestyle!
Today we walked over to the lot Sharon & Tim are building on. It took us about a half hour to get there. I brought my cell phone and called her at work as we took pictures of the construction to email to her. She was explaining the design and layout as we were walking through it. At this point it is only framed but it was pretty easy to identify the rooms and layout. It’s 3,000 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms w/bathrooms, a game room and a loft. Looks to be a good retirement home.
From there we walked to the Mall and my reward was to have an ice cream bar from Goody’s ….. Ol’ Nutty Marion ….. mmmmmmm! When we finished our return walk home I believe we had walked 5 + miles. This afternoon we spent some time sitting on the deck – it was almost too hot – can you believe that for this time of year.? I fixed a little “healthy” snack plate and we sat and read magazines while listening to Rod Stewart’s American Songbook #4 in the background. Walt bought it for me for our trip. It's very relaxing background music.
After relaxing in the Jacuzzi we got ready to head to Bend for a little shopping and dinner. We bought tennis rackets at Goodwill since we left ours at home … dang! That’s what our plan is for tomorrow … a beautiful day to play tennis and enjoy the sunshine!

Fall Fun With Colin



Grandchildren can make the holidays so much more fun. Earlier this month we went out with family and friends to the Lakeview Farm in North Plains. The weather was a bit cool but we hitched a ride on the farm train out to the patch, found just the right pumpkin, and rode their sternwheeler back to their country store. It has been ages since we’ve bought pumpkins. Without the kids around we had lost interest in some of our family traditions. My pumpkin is very small and I plan to carve it as a baby and put a pacifier in its mouth!
Last weekend we had a family “Harvest Lunch” with soup and cornbread. We spent the afternoon decorating our traditional pumpkin cookies and enjoying hot cider. This tradition started with a recipe my friend Barb gave me. Over the years our pumpkin faces have gotten quite silly but it gives us a creative outlet and they are quite yummy. Give this recipe a try and start your own tradition:

Pumpkin Cookies
4 c. flour
2. quick oats, uncooked
2 tsps. soda
2 tsps. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. soft margarine
2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 16 oz solid pack pumpkin
1 c. chocolate chips or raisins
Assorted icings, peanut butter, candy corn, raisins, nuts etc. for decorating

Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon, salt; set aside. Cream butter; gradually add sugars; beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and spread into circle shape. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 mins. After cool; decorate using icing or peanut butter to affix candies.

The Holidays are Coming ...


Even though I've seen Christmas decor in the stores for several weeks and have tried to avoid it, it is now officially noted when I found my favorite holiday tea on display at Fred Meyer: Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea. It is a blend of peppermint, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and sweet blackberry leaves. Ahhhhhh .....
You have to buy it early and in bulk or you won't find it in any stores as the holidays approach. Sit back with a cup of tea and start making those holiday plans!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Feelings on Fall and Friendships


I love the colors of fall. The leaves change to the most vibrant shades of gold, rust, orange and yellow. Of course, they are falling and creating a lot of work but on a crisp fall, blue-sky day the picture is a beauty to behold.
I love the smells of fall. Spice, pumpkin and apple fill our home from the candles burning to cookies baking. The d├ęcor looks nice with our color scheme. Everything feels “homey” and relaxing.
I also love the smells as I shop for groceries …. dill fills the produce section and my memories of canning. My good friend and former neighbor, Barb taught me “Canning 101” in the late 70’s – early 80’s.
One August we drove out to Sauvie’s Island – both of us pregnant – Barb with two kids; I with one. We picked and picked and picked beautiful large peaches. When I carried my baskets up to be weighed and check out I found that I had spent our entire grocery budget for the week. Back then our budget was very tight. To justify this expense I remember thinking of all the creative meals I could put together with peaches as one of the ingredients….hahaha
For the next two days we canned at each of our houses giving the opportunity to “mess up” each kitchen and giving the kids new toys and yards to play in. We canned our peaches in syrup made from vetch honey. We would purchase it from a Bee Supply Co. over off 82nd & Halsey. The syrup was light allowing the fresh peach flavor to dominate. At the end of two days we had 80 quarts of peaches in our pantry. For the next few seasons we could enjoy the taste of summer.
It’s sad that after Costco opened in our area I quit canning. It seemed for all the work involved you could buy canned peaches in bulk for a fraction of the cost there. They don’t taste quite the same and also missing is the camaraderie of sharing time, skills and tasks with other women. It’s not so much about filling our pantries as filling our lives with rich relationships.
Today Barb & I have both moved to the Westside and still live relatively close by but our lives are filled with different schedules in this season of life. We both work full-time and are busy with our grown children etc. but we do keep in touch through email, at birthdays and Christmas. We may not have time to get together for canning and the other things we did when the kids were small but we can count on each other when in a crisis for prayer & support. Thank you, Barb for sharing not only your canning skills but for filling my “life pantry” with love, support and friendship.