It’s been a while.

It’s been a while since I last posted on this site.  Life has been…to say the least…quite a ride.  I won’t go into details, details don’t really matter. What matters to me now is returning to this blog and being able to share, as I had before, not only little tidbits of my life but things I find important to help others in theirs.  So, that said…we begin the second journey.

Feeling a bit nostolgic.

I’m not sure how many of you remember this needlecraft work or the company who made them.   These are vintage patterns and I think they are amazingly beautiful considering their age and the methods used at time they were produced.  These two prints (5×9 pictures) will be completed and framed for a lovely lady who found them in her Grandmothers supplies and wished to honor her memory by having them displayed on her walls.

Yes, that is duct tape. It keeps the edges from fraying while working, removes potential oil stain from fingers while holding,  and will be removed prior to framing.

It’s been a challenge, fun but a challenge in redoing my kitchen island the last few days.  Texas heat and humidity this time of year is not a painters best friend but the project is finally finished and I think it turned out looking pretty nice.

The actual island is a non typical one, it’s a desk/dresser I picked up a while back at near to free price. I loved it’s look and that inside the doors were shelves on the left and basket drawers on the right.  I had plans from start to paint it  to fit more into it’s current task as an island for my kitchen but  I did not wish to do anything with it until after I had finished the flooring in the room to get an idea of what colors would look best with it.   The floor finally done, it was time to face the challenge.

I won’t go into great detail on the how, it was the typical sanding, priming, base coat, top coat, laminate method.

This is the final results.  Next step to work on the table behind the island in picture to paint the outer edges and legs black to match.  I won’t be touching the wood top as that was my inspiration.

All the babies are growing up! While I do miss the cute little bundles of downy chicks chirping and the sweet little baby goat suckling from her bottle I am glad to see they are healthy.

I had planned to post sooner, but May has not been a kind month and truthfully I just haven’t felt much in the talking, much less posting mood.  It is not always easy taking in animals and not matter how much I fight for their lives, death sometimes wins.

But on a more positive note, I figured I would share some pictures of the farm flocks.  I always end up with a smile seeing them and their antics, especially Miss Frizz and Clyde Rooster as they do their mock battles to see who will win to be King of the Chair (they love to sit in a old green patio chair) that day.


Minestrone Soup

My dear friend Alicia sent me this recipe of a soup her father made for her when she was feeling sick to share with all of you.  He got the recipe from Giada De Laurentis.  I wish I had a image of the soup to add to the post but truth told I have been so busy of late and when  I made it  it was consumed to fast to get a picture.  I agree it is extremely delicious and a wonderful comfort food.

  • Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis.

  • prep time 15 minutes

  • yields 4-6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pound swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chipped

  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig

  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans low sodium beef broth

  • 1 ounce piece parmesan cheese rind

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

  • salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, blend 3/4cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off the stem.)

More Easter Goodies.

Finally finished the rest of the goodies today. Angus/Buffalo BBQ sausage, Creamed peas and carrot casserole, Strawberry, Caviar and smoked cheddar finger sandwiches and Fancy Tuna Salad Finger sandwiches which include capers & pimentos along with a mixture of herbs.

The Easter Marathon.

I’m done!  Well almost, there is still the meal tomorrow and the protecting the 3rd attempted surprise Easter baskets to get through, but the major hurdle is behind me.  Today was spent cooking, baking and boiling.  I think I did alright for being short handed and short on time.

There is a basket of White Chocolate Coated-Dark Chocolate Wrapped Malted Milk Eggs wrapped in Tulle for favors,  Lemon-Poppy Seed-Lavender Mini Biscotti with Honey Lemon Mint Glaze,  Deviled Eggs with prosciutto, capers & saffron filling,  Summer salad with strawberries, spinach, gala apples, onions, sunflowers and seared prosciutto drizzled with citrus vinaigrette, Rosemary-Sage-Beer Rolls, Cheddar and Chive Rolls and Little Easter Basket Cookie Bites.  Also the basket of eggs which have aided in my unusual coloring patten.

Actually I would have been fine, but the children decided to aim the toothbrushes being used to splatter at each other, and they were on either side of ME at the time.

I’ll work on getting recipes up later, tonight I’m simply to tired to try to think straight.  I think I need a vacation.

MYO Mock Corn Syrup

By now we all have heard how High Fructose Corn Syrup is bad for us and yet it seems to be in nearly everything we eat and drink.  You also probably have heard the warnings about other sugars, though I believe I would rather consume natural white sugar over corn syrup.

There is a way to make an alternative to Corn Syrup that can be used in recipes requiring it which uses natural white sugar in it’s ingredients.

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup water

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and put a cover on for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.

Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for 2 months. Yields almost 2 cups.

This month is Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to write something on the subject matter.

As many know already my son was diagnosed with ADHD/Autism/OCD when he was four years old.   I thought I had my plan laid out for what to write, what to say, I was wrong.  I’ve typed, erased and retyped entire books worth of telling you about my son, explaining how he is, how he was through the years.  I’m not comfortable with any of that.  Oh, it would be true and would paint a good picture, but he’s not a picture, he’s not something that can be broken down into categories, symptoms, excuses or explanations of various behaviors.  He is what he is, unique, gifted, testing, trying, loving, giving, he is so many things.

I wrote up how it is to be a Mother of an Autistic child.  Paragraphs worth of information and I erased it.  Being my son’s Mother is wonderful and something I would never wish to not be no matter how struggling things can be it times.  In many ways he’s taught me far more then I could ever teach him, just with different lessons.

So, maybe I will try this. I will tell you what I love about it and about him.

I love that he holds a huge heart and when he says he loves, which has always been a word and emotion so deeply guarded by him, it isn’t just a saying or gesture but true on genuine.

I love he does not take things at face value.  He requires honestly, openness, directness and responses which offer him no room for guessing.  In turn I love that he also offers this back. If he feels something or thinks something he is forthcoming in expressing it if he feels comfortable with you enough to talk to you.

I love that he’s logical, even in fits of melt downs where his own thoughts are illogical he requires others to be logical with him.  Yet I also love that he holds ability to still believe leprechauns come to dance in the trees on St. Patrick’s eve.  Trolls live in rotted out tree stumps,  and per his own words. “I don’t care Mommy if other people say Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren’t real, if I want to believe in them and keep them real to me that’s alright isn’t it Mommy?”.  Of course I said that was just fine with me.

I love that he can hold on to the joy of the simple and small things in life many of us have grown to overlook.  The small bug on the blade of grass, the cocoon under a leaf, a tiny flower no bigger then a pencil eraser.

I love that he loves “hugs sleep on’s”.

I love his passion for discovery.  Insects, plants, unusual rocks or just really cool looking shape or colored ones, reptiles, amphibians..pretty much fauna, flora, the heavens and earth in that order are areas of enormous interest to him.

I love his smile and his laugh. For many years he did not hold facial expressions or a true ability to laugh,  what he did hold was mimic of what he seen another do.  I love that he finally has gained ability to offer genuineness of both.

I love his strength.  He’s been through so many trials and tests with this condition. Bullies at school and outside of school, physical conditions resulting from or linked in with his condition, mental challenges, general public lack of understanding and yet he continues on and doesn’t let it stop him for long.  Oh sure, he might slide and pause but given reassurance he’s loved, he’s alright and you are still there he tries again.

There are far to many loves to put in this post so I will simply sum it up.  I love being a Mother of an Autistic child and I’m thankful he’s been brought into my life.

Roses and Rain Drops.

Finally getting a day with some breaks between the rain I managed to get my lawnmower fixed, I might turn into a mechanic yet…not likely. The lawn cut in places dry enough, that means I got about 1/8th of the entire yard done with a couple pushing of the mud moments I won’t talk about. Managed to poison the fire ant mounds the grass hid and I kept finding to step in, and sport new war wounds for the effort. Dug up, separated and set to dry more daffodil, hyacinth, crocus, yellow freesia and tulip bulbs to be moved to a new bed (yet to be built) this fall, and noted the mint beds once more need another harvesting as well as the basil near stage for first harvest.  I also got to play chick wrangler when my daughter let the older chicks loose and I spotted them parading happily across the yard while throwing together a haphazard and reluctant enchilada dinner for an event tomorrow.

My mini roses are beginning to show their beauty. Knowing their deep love of tomatoes I have planted the two together and both are thriving, I highly stress the use of “family” and “companion” planting when putting together your own garden plans.

At the moment I have two in full bloom, Gingerbread Man, pictured above, and Tangerine Twist which is second picture on page.  These are two of ten miniature roses I picked up out of dumpster at an area Assisted Living Home two years ago, placed in ground and pretty much left them alone to see what they would do.  The first year four of the ten came back, this year I have eight of the ten that have greened out.  Sometimes patience does pay.