Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beam me up, Scotty

Counting blessings

450 - Boy, oh boy! I'm grateful. Bless you Lord for technology, for it allowed me to see this gorgeous little Texan, our grandson Rembrandt, even though we live on the East Coast. I received this picture via my cell phone shortly after his birth on Thursday:

451 - And thank you, for it permits me my weekly chats with his big sister, where I'm able to see her dimples and hear her voice shout, "Hel-lo, Ganny!".

452 - And thank you again, for it enabled me to attend my daughter's baby shower in New Zealand via Skype. She's due in two and a half weeks. Wahooooooo!!

As many of you know who come here often, I work on an 18th century farm, interpreting the life of a woman from that period. I love the old ways...of living history. I often think about the lives of people who immigrated to this country and colonized a new land, and of their children and their children's children, many of whom travelled West.

O Pioneers! I can only imagine what it must have been like--the heartbreaking farewells of those who left loved ones to travel across the country or over the sea, understanding that it might be the last time they would ever "see" each other. Having to wait ages before even hearing from them, or about them, by letter or word of mouth.

Yes, I do love the old ways. I often grumble against machines, and the fast pace of the world today. I've heard some people say that they identify with the past so much that they believe they were "mailed" wrong. But God makes no mistakes. Even though some of my children are far away and the grandbabies are time zones from a kiss and a snuggle, the times I live in have provided me with a way to be there instantly, even if virtually. And we can board airplanes to cover distances in hours that not so long ago would have taken months.

453 - Thank you, God, for knowing me inside out.
454 - Thank you for knowing what my heart can take and what it can't. I was born for such a time as this, in more ways than one.

Joining Ann today

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Counting blessings

The Tree, Karle Wilson Baker

My life is a tree,
Yoke-fellow of the earth;
By roots too deep for remembrance,
To stand hard against the storm,
To fill my place.
(But high in the branches of my green tree,
there is a wild bird singing:
Wind-free are the wings of my bird:
she hath built no mortal nest.)

444 - poetry

445 - tree shadows

446 - orange and blue

447 - this time of year

448 - moss on a roof

449 - beautiful handwritten letters from a favorite poet

Joining Ann today

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to the drawing board

If anyone out there has any sourdough starter experience, I'd love to hear from you. I made the starter, then fed and nurtured it like a good mama. Everything was going along fine.

I was able to get two delicious loaves from the experiment.

The recipe came from here. A nifty little book lent to me by a friend.

Here's the author. Don't you dig the Carol Brady vibe?

Anyways, the other morning I was all prepped to make a couple more loaves. I went to scoop out some starter only to find that it had turned into a moldy, disgusting, oozing mess. I couldn't stop gagging long enough to photograph it (not that you'd really want to see it).

So my question is - what happened? I did everything right - I think.

My second question is - fridge or counter?

After researching sourdough starter on the internet, some people said keep it in the fridge, others said no way, that will kill it. I kept mine on the counter, because for me, out of sight is out of mind.

I'm not ready to give up, so any advice would be most appreciated.

In the meantime, I returned to "old faithful", pictured above.

Works every time.

Still want to learn sourdough, though.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Color, Colour, Curiouser and Curiouser

My daughter Joy who lives at the bottom of the world sent me this little video clip 'cause she knew I'd love it. And I hope that any of you colorlover, seer, curious types (or even if you're not) will give it a look-see. It's very short--almost too short in my opinion since I enjoyed it so much. What he said resonated with me on so many levels that it almost made me weepy. I wanted to sit down at this guy's table, eat pasta, and ask questions.

Now I suppose that Mr. Wolff was coming from a secular point of view, but I pondered over how his perspective is applicable to me as a believer-artist. When I watched this six-minute documentary, I couldn't help but rejoice at how God has wired us as unique individuals, and invites us to participate in His creative fire, to exercise the gifts he gave us. Surrendering my life to Christ has made it all doubly good because He has sanctified my curiousity, appreciation, and imagination, and puts it to use for His purposes. The whole package.

I'd be very interested to know what you think.

Joining Emily today

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bee-attitude gratitude

We were able to christen our brand-spankin' new honey extracting equipment this weekend. While we haven't harvested our own backyard hive yet, friends brought the frames from theirs. We couldn't decide whether to play at being Hobbits at the house of Beorn or characters from the Hundred Acre Wood. Holy beehives, Batman, emptying ten frames of liquid gold was a lot of work, but the satisfying kind. We fortified ourselves with plenty of yummy food, great conversation, and of course, smackerals of H-U-N-N-Y.

Counting blessings

438 - Friendship/fellowship

439 - Divine order witnessed in a beehive

440 - The gentle honey bee

441 - Honey harvest

442 - The more than enough

443 - Bronwyn, who made this little slideshow

Joining Ann today

and Laura

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Of Cabbages and Kings Oliphants

"OK then, the sauerkraut experiment was a success!" she said modestly. Time to can.

The first step is to remove the topmost, slightly scummy layer of kraut, and discard with haste. By the way, can you see the little oliphant in the background? He seems to be rolling his eyes at my endeavor. He's a kitchen pal that makes me smile.

I found him in a thrift shop years ago, collecting dust among a bunch of old ceramic plant pots. He was quite disgusted, since in his former life, he had been a cherished teapot. Sadly, he had lost his lid and handle, but that was no reason to banish him to the Land of Misfit Pots. Twenty-five cents later, he came home with me. Don't you love the curly tail and the wrinkled bottom? I do.

Ollie has been repurposed as a garlic holder/aerator. I use garlic the way a kindergartener uses glitter--with abandon. It's good to have it within reaching distance rather than to have to hunt for it behind the pickles in my too-small refrigerator.

"Oh, the indignity of it!" he seems to be saying. But I know he's secretly pleased. Now back to the cabbage.

Sauerkraut must be brought to a simmer before canning. Then it is added to hot, sterilized jars, which I later processed in my pressure canner. I have no pictures of this, but trust me, I did it. I have no interest in poisoning anyone.

So, fifteen minutes later at five pounds of pressure for quart jars, voila!

Stoneware crock is now doing service as a sourdough starter container. Our next culinary adventure. So stay tuned...


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