Monday, March 31, 2008

Day Before April


The day before April
Alone, alone,
I walked in the woods
And sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone
And sang to the birds.
The tune was God's making
But I made the words

Mary Carolyn Davies

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fashion and Fine Art

Yellow is the color!

Last week I was out shopping with the bride-to-be and noticed the fashion trending of the color *yellow*.

We found the perfect yellow accent bracelet for her blue dress.

Ever thrifty :) tho, I made no personal purchases, but came home determined to find the yellow in my wardrobe.



In the bottom of my scarf drawer, I rediscovered this fun *flower power* pattern.


After months of early sundowns and wintery colors, I am sooooo ready by March to wear Springier colors, but know that the temperatures continue to be cool. Hence, the cotton turtleneck.

You can't see that I'm wearing dark gray slacks and black boots.

Background art was painted by previousely mentioned DD#2 when she was in high school. Now she's an art major in college and preparing for her senior exhibit in six, short weeks.

Find the yellow in your closet and post a picture.

Fashionable is fun.

And proverbial :)



She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Proverbs 31:22

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shel Silverstein's March 25th poem goes here (scroll down).



I have searched the home book shelves high and low in an effort to locate our volumes of his entertaining verse.


We loved reading and listening to him when the girls were youngsters.




DD#3 could quote him at length.

No doubt they each have a favorite.

Mine might be the one about the girl who is *sick*... until she finds out it's Saturday...and she doesnt have to go to school anyway :)

Since I couldnt find our copies, I may have return to the public library and borrow theirs. Surely they are here somewhere! But it would be ok to visit the library because then I could also borrow again The Spoken Arts Treasury, volumes (I, II, & III). These are audio renditions of poets reading their own works. It's interesting to hear their voices.

None, however, have been as entertaining as Silverstein.

Consider visiting his website.

Send an e-postcard.

National Poetry Month is just around the corner.

Added later:

MERRY...

No one's hangin' stockin's up,
No one's bakin' pie,
No one's lookin' up to see
A new star in the sky.
No one's talkin' brotherhood,
No one's givin' gifts,
And no one loves a Chritsmas tree
On March the twenty-fifth.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Leg of Lamb

BEFORE

6.16 lb leg of lamb
rubbed with a paste
of spices including
rosemary
garlic,
and
salt/pepper

Preheat oven
to 300 degrees.



Roast meat for one hour at 300. Turn temperature down to 190 and roast for 8 more hours. Do not open the oven door.

Here are the tender results.

AFTER















The formula for the slow-roasting methoding of cooking larger, less-tender cuts of meat is taken from Adelle Davis's cookbook.

Cooking the meat at 300 degrees for one hour kills any harmful bacteria.

Then turn the oven down to the internal temperature of the meat at desired doneness (somewhere between 160 - 190 degrees) depending on the type of meat.

Continue roasting at this temperature for three times the *normal* length of time.

So, if lamb should be roasted for 30 minutes per pound at 325 in order to be fully cooked. Then I multiplied the 30 minutes times three and got 90 minutes per pound. I multiplied that figure times the 6 lbs for my particular piece of meat. Total roasting time was 540 minutes.

I put my leg in the oven before bed on Saturday night, enjoyed the wafting aromas during the night, and pulled it out of the oven Sunday morning. It was very tender.

Hope I have not confused you.

I've been cooking this way for years.

Here's a link to the same method but with a turkey.

Have you ever tried it?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Feasting

After a very fine sermon on Psalm 16, we enjoyed a family meal.

The conversation was lively and diversified.

Dessert and coffee did not interrupt the flow.




Top to bottom clockwise:


Roast Leg of Lamb
Eggplant Casserole
Steamed Sweet Peppers
Steamed Asparagus
Yeast Rolls

Black Swan Shiraz-Cabernet

Caramel Cake
Coffee

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wedding Details

DD#2, aka The Bride, is home for Spring Break and we are working hard to check things off the never-ending list associated with planning a wedding.



I've posted about R.U.T.s (really useful tips) on Xanga site and it's got me thinking. Item#4 talks about using professionals whenever you can, which is the subject of the rest of this post.


Today the most pressing item is pinning down the style and color of the bridesmaids dresses. After numerous visits to several salons in three states, we're close to reaching a decision. For me, it is important to use a locally convenient shop and capitalize on their customer service. One shop was tossed out immediately because the attendant did not look up from her desk, when we walked in .


DD#2, aka The Artist, is very creative and has designed three color palettes for the florist to work with. We met with him on Monday evening. If there is ever a person who puts my mind at ease over this particular detail, it's this person who has been in business for over twenty years.

Tomorrow we meet with the Stationer, a fine Atlanta company, who like the experienced florist, knows exactly what to do and keeps me from making mistakes.

Friday, the Bride and Groom have their Engagement Photo Session with the Photographer. I highly recommend this couple who did a fantastic job for the wedding of DD#1. We are honored that the first picture you see after *entering his site* is from that special day.

Saturday may be booked with completing registries. Beverly Bremer's is a must.

Thank goodness there are still five months until the ME (Main Event).

That means that Labor Day will be here in 165 days!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chicken and Artichoke Minestrone


Here's the end result of about an hour's worth of labor.

I made economical use of leftovers along with some staples from the cupboard.

Very easy and serves a crowd.



Here's a photo of my dinner plate.


I started by turning the kettle on to boil several quarts of water....to make my bouillion and pulled out the cutting board for dicing and chopping.

3 Tbs olive oil
2 lg onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, pressed



Saute the onions and garlic in a 10 qt stock pot.

Then toss in 8 oz sliced mushrooms (yes, these were leftover, too)

Stir.

Cook slightly.

It warmed my heart to use up these BBQ'd chicken thighs which had been in the back of the 'fridge for several weeks. It's a testimony to the quality of my refrigerator that this meat was unspoiled.


I removed all the skin, most of the sauce, and chopped 'em up.

End result:

4 Cups diced chicken



Additional ingredients added to the pot after the mushrooms and chicken:

1 14.5 oz can white beans, undrained
1 15 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
12 oz frozen yellow corn
3 qts chicken bouillon

Bring the soup to the boiling point.

Carefully pour soup over 1 C dry orzo, 10 oz pkg of frozen spinach, and one 28 oz can diced tomatoes, which have been placed in another large pot.

Cover tightly with lid.

Start cleaning up.







Remove lid after 30 minutes. Pasta should be cooked.

Stir. Then taste.

Season with salt and pepper, which i did not find necessary.

Makes 8 quarts.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Covenant Theology

I set my bow in the cloud,

and it shall be

for a sign

of a covenant

between Me

and the earth.



Genesis 9:13

Yesterday even though I checked the weather report before DD#3 and I set out for a walk, we were caught in a short thunderstorm. By the time we reached the car, the wind and rain had stopped.

And we realized there was a beautiful rainbow covering the sky.

Even a faint view of a double.

It was a welcome reminder of God's promises.

He is faithful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fashion on Fridays

In contrast to a previous Friday when I posted a picture of my *work boots*, today's fashion trend is hiking boots.





Just two weeks ago DH and I hiked some property in Ellijay and these *REI specials* protected my feet and ankles against rocks, tree roots, and water. This is a public thank-you to Hiker Hubby who gave them to me.

Only two weeks left for me to complete my Idita-walk Challenge.

But I may only need my Nikes :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Forsythia



Forsythia
Out
Races
Spring's
Yellow
Telegram.
Hope
Insists
Action



Poem by Mary Ellen Solt


Blooming wildly around here, this perennial bush is a favorite of many. Some prune the unruly branches in an effort to control its size.

In the poem posted above the author has planted her seeds of poetry in base of the bush. Can you see the letters F.O.R.S.Y.T.H.I.A.? Words spring forth. Morse Code follows.

Neat, huh?

It's called *concrete poetry*

Here are the forsythia which bloom next door to my house.
















Are there signs of Spring near you?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Power of a Letter














The United States Postal Service is highlighting letter writing in the months of February and March, 2008. For my Fine Art Friday entry at my Xanga site, I posted Vermeer's Lady Writing a Letter.

Here is picture of the well-addressed envelope of one of the most special letters I have ever received. I often think of this person whom I'd known all my life, but whose life was tragically cut short at the age of forty-eight. That was in 1983.

I learned many lessons from him. Lately I am disappointed to realize that I have no pictures of the two of us. However, it's not like I need one to validate that we knew each other.

I have one other from LPMcD, postmarked just thirty days before his untimely death.

It will provide a little window into the past....for someone else....some day.

Perhaps there will be a book....based on his letters.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wedding Vows

Not very often do I swear (or make an oath). Perhaps my first was when I was confirmed in 1971. Then when I married in 1980. Later still when our daughters were baptised. I've never been on the witness stand, but I have been sworn in as a juror. At any rate, today I'm posting wedding vows: ones similar to what I expect DD#2 to make on August 30, 2008, deo volente.

Some people write their own. Ours were taken from the Book of Church Order (PCA). It's good to re-read these from time to time.

D-, wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live with him after God's commandments in the holy estate of marriage? And wilt thou love him, cherish and obey him, so long as ye both shall live?

I, D, take, thee, K, to be my wedded husband, and I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful wife in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, as long as we both shall live.


There was a *short* sermon based on 1 Peter 3:1-7 at our ceremony years ago.

What do you remember about your wedding ceremony?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Coleslaw Preparation

Cast of Green Characters


Green Cabbage

Green Onions

Green Sugar Snap Peas



Almonds, Sesame Seeds, Ramen Noodles

The full recipe is posted on my Xanga site along with a photo of the finished product.

Boy! Using a food processor makes this recipe easier. The almonds are roasting in my toaster oven.







Sometimes grated cabbage is available at the grocery store, but I prefer a finer grind :)







Hand chopping doesnt bother me and it allows for better control of the shapes.








Last but not least is preparation of the dressing, which I do in my blender. I skip the sugar, an ingredient found in most slaw recipes. It seems like an easy way to cut back on calories. That's 2/3 C safflower oil and 1/3 cup white wine vinegar for 2 packets of Ramen seasoning.













Usually there are leftovers of this wonderful salad.

Here's how they become useful: I'm planning to add 1 C of slaw to 2 C chopped Romaine plus some leftover rib-eye steak, a handful of Bleu Cheese, a cuke, and some cherry tomatoes. Serve with a bit of French bread and a glass of Merlot.

Voila! Bon Appetit!

Edit: Photo here :)

How are you using leftovers at your house?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Late Winter Hike

This past Saturday DH and I drove 70 miles north of Canton into Gilmer County, GA where we own several acres of land (woods). It was a beautiful afternoon that begged for company.













Can you say *straight up?* Our property is at 2200 feet above sea level. The top of the mountain (hill) is 2600.
















Here's a picture of the Georgia sky for blogging buddy, Magistramater, who highlighted her Oregon blue last week.















It took about 45 minutes to walk around the property. We're on a little road off of Rocky Hollow called Woodring Road. DH bought the acreage 18 years ago, after the birth of DD#4.

I'm thinking he was looking for an escape route :)

Where have you been?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

For the Record


Anticipating a sermon on Psalm 13 and singing hymns based on those verses, I'm looking forward to congregational worship today.







We're working and singing our way through sermons on the psalms.

Last Sunday I attended church in the morning at Christ Church Cranbrook, in Bloomfield Hills, MI where DD#1 sings in the choir. Later in the day, we attended an evening worship service at the newly form Hillsdale OPC, on the campus of Hillsdale College where DD#2 is a senior & DD#3 is a sophomore.

After church today we'll have lunch with our fellowship group: I'm bringing Oriental Coleslaw (recipe to follow), Creamed Corn, and a Praline Peach Pie (store-bought). By 3pm, we'll be gathering for Lovett's Upper School Choral Concert. DD#4 sings with this group and has a solo in the spiritual *Wade in the Water*

The weather is beautiful here, so I think I'll try and squeeze in a walk. And then wind down by watching Masterpiece Theater, which this week is focusing on the production of the Jane Austen series.

Blessings on your Sabbath.