Sunday, May 29, 2011

Almost as good as being there

My girl and her husband live at the bottom of the world. My girl is having her first baby. I wish I could be there to pat her belly. I can't. Not yet, anyway. But in the meantime, I'm so grateful for this little film. Her dad and I can't watch it without wiping away tears. Thanks, Rhys and Joy, for generously letting me share this.

And thank you for the video, Jade. We pray God will take you far with the talent He has given you. You're already a legend in our house.

So dear friends, please watch this little film and celebrate life with us.

Boy? Girl? from Jade Lee on Vimeo.

399 - celebrating God's blessings

400 - your children's children

401 - technology that shortens the miles

Joining Ann today

and Laura

Friday, May 27, 2011


Not quite Idgie Threadgood, but learning. Who da thunk you could fall in love with a bug? But I have. These are the gentlest of creatures, and I do feel very relaxed and at peace around them.

Here I am checking on the hive for the first time

Is my bee shirt on inside out? Yes. I was so excited about getting out there that I wasn't even paying attention

I want to thank my husband for standing by. Even though you can't see him, he was giving me words of encouragement. And thanks to my daughter for taking the photos, especially because she's not crazy about bees

Good girls

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Still in Progress

"Life cannot be divided into a spiritual part and a non-spiritual part. If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, he must be Lord of all in every area."

Francis Schaeffer

A self-portrait of sorts, a work in progress, like me. Rough spots brushed smooth. Less shadow, more light, please. Paint, pray, play. I know my limitations, but I also know that You're greater than my limitations. Use everything, even my shortfalls, to bring You glory. I'm still reaching.

oil on canvas

Joining Emily today

And Laura @

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Counting blessings

391 - soaking seeds

392 - busy bees

393 - spring light

394 - reflecting

395 - good eggs

396 - outside work

397 - mending fences

398 - Boylan's Black Cherry soda on a hot day

Joining Ann today

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yeah, I'm a Newbie

For the longest time now, I've wanted to raise honeybees. As I've said before, I am enchanted by all things beeish...honey, beeswax, etc. I've dreamed of being a bee charmer like Idgie Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes, or sending the love like August and Lilly in The Secret Life of Bees. Finally it happpened. At last I'm realizing this dream and thanking God for creating the marvelous, gentle honeybee. My husband and I had the best time setting up the supers and releasing the little winged lovelies. We didn't get stung once. I did burn myself twice with the smoker. But that was okay. I was too happy to care.

Counting blessings

381 - For meeting Jeff Eckel of We Bee Brothers who provided me with the bees he raised and the equipment I needed. You should visit him here. These guys are so cool.

382 - my hive packed up and waiting to go home with their new mama

383 - We Bee Brothers inspirational and amazing urban farm gardens

384 - my frame-filled supers

385 - bringing my Russian/Carniolan babies home

386 - random backyard beauty

387 - bees' new neighborhood

388 - there's veggies to pollenate

389 - flowers to visit

390 - home sweet home

Joining Ann today

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Like Buttah

Do you see this lovely object before you? It was handmade for me by my Texan daughter-in-law. This, my friends, is a dasher. It's a tool needed for making butter the old-fashioned way.

This is my beloved butter churn, given to me by my beloved husband. The only thing that was missing was a dasher. And the proper lid, which was also supplied by the aforementioned beloved daughter-in-law.

Does it look like I'm hugging my butter churn? Because I am! I love butter in a Julia Child sort of way. And I love making my own butter. Want to join me?

First we'll need to scald the churn and dasher with boiling water.

Next, we add some heavy cream which we've allowed to reach room temperature. Cold cream won't work. Not sure why, but it doesn't. There is a scientific answer, but do we care? Meh!

By the way, I used a pint of cream. We're going to move the dasher up and down like a plunger, keeping a steady pace. Now you know why pioneer women were buff...

It's going to take thirty to forty-five minutes, so we'll kill time reading a book about beekeeping, which is our soon-to-be next adventure. Woot!

We know we're ready for the next step when a soft mass of butter begins to form on the dasher. The sound in the churn will be less splashy and more thunky. Holding a strainer over the bowl, pour the butter out.

Did you ever wonder how buttermilk was made? There you go. The white liquid remaining is buttermilk. Pour it into a jar and save it for some baking.

This is my ever-so-cool antique butter paddle. I don't like antiques you have to dust, I like antiques you have to use. And what is more...oh, let's just move on

Place the buttery blob in a bigger bowl and use the paddle to squeeze out the excess buttermilk while rinsing the butter with cold water. This prevents the butter from turning sour. You press it against the sides of the bowl until all the buttermilk comes out. When you rinse, the water will come clean. Then pour all of the rinse water off and discard.

Next, add a pinch or two of salt and mix in.

Lastly, I wrap the butter in a lightly greased piece of parchment paper.

Refrigerate until firm. I'm on the hunt for an affordable antique butter stamp. I passed one up in Texas, and I'm kicking myself now because I found after some investigating that the one I'd seen had a really reasonable price compared to what they go for here.

Well, we don't have to have a press to enjoy what we've made. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prayer journal scribbles - Beyond the border

*Click on the image and read some life (Mk 12: 32-34, The Message)

Joining Emily today

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Texas Thrifty

The lovely Leila @ Like Mother, Like Daughter( the question, "Do you like thirfting?" Yes indeedy, we do like thrifting at our house. But the rule is, 'something in, something out', so we're not just accumulating a bunch of stuff. And it has to be beautiful and useful, a la William Morris. "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Looky here. A beautiful--to me--vintage, enamelware double-boiler, and graniteware colander thingy. Now I no longer have to stick a small pot in a frying pan to do my double-boiling. And the colander, wowwie! Where I live, old graniteware, no matter how beat-up, is expensive. So this was an amazingly cheap find. I'm imagining just-rinsed, deep red strawberries sitting in it. I think it's pretty enough to plop on the table.

Next were the books. I don't think I'll be painting china anytime soon, but it did have some excellent illustrations on how to paint fruits and flowers. And the added bonus: folded inside the book were some delicate tissue paper sketches that must've belonged to the previous owner. How nice!

I actually got a whole bag of books for $1.78, and most of them went to Calamity Jane.

The 1957 copy of Winnie the Pooh came home with granny (clears throat) for when grandchildren visit. And the primary hymmnal, circa 1929, was too sweet to resist. I find a lot of comfort in reading the words of old hymms.

Do you like thrifting? If so, what have you thrifted lately?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"The cowboys cry - ki-yip-pie-yi"

Had a rootin', tootin' time in Texas with my wonderful son, his lovely wife, and our darling dear grandbaby. I'm grateful; so I'm

Counting blessings

370 - Granny's little cowpoke

371 - Small towns

372 - Rush hour

373 - Blue Bell!

374 - Peeps

375 - My new kicks--yeah, I'm bad

376 - Western Swing

377 - The old codger who taught my baby the Foxtrot

378 - Great-tailed Grackles

379 - Discovering Cascarones

380 - Boy, Howdy!

Joining Ann today


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