Friday, January 30, 2015

Tea for two...

Our Saturday 
so glad to be back home together tea...

Peanut clusters made this way:

3 ingredients:

1 bag of quality butter scotch chips (12 oz)
1 cup of chocolate chips 
1lb Spanish redskin peanuts. 

Microwave the chips for 
30 seconds on cook level 7
stir (won't see much melting yet but stir anyway)
then microwave again for
15 sec at level 7 
stir after each 15 seconds.
do this until fully melted...
when its smooth with no lumps then quit microwaving, 
dump peanuts in, skins and all,
stir and then drop spoonfuls of it on to wax paper. 
Use a smaller spoon to do this - not a big soup spoon; not a tea spoon
but a normal 'small spoon'.
They will harden and be ready in about 10 minutes! 

They keep well in tins with wax paper keeping the layers of 
peanut clusters separated. 

Christmas cookies and peanut clusters! 
Our Sunday Tea...

A fancy Swiss chocolate that Mr. Husband brought back
to us in August...

It's really lovely and quite pretty.
We also had stroop waffles :)
Stroop means syrup from what I know of Dutch cuisine :)
My Mom had told Mr. Husband and myself that
warming the stroopwaffle up over tea is a
lovely thing to do...

So we did!

It was fun... I think we could of keep them on top
even more to warm them up further... 

But it was fun and a nice way to have tea on a Sunday...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gladness at Mr. Husband being back home

Saturday morning I was just so excited to have
Mr. Husband back home
that even breakfast seemed extra special! :)

We had some of the Christmas cookies I made ahead of time
with cups of tea! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Saint Maybe, Blue Blanket & Other Knits

New Blues for what I think will be a blue
checkered blanket...
Also my grey mink shawl (a little more done) and new white wash cloth
(up top of the picture they are)...
I hope to go a bit of a ways by train soon and will be
bringing the blue yarn to use on the trip!
My husband was talking the other week about how when he was in
grad school he would listen to books read on the radio 
as well as classes.
He's always been a huge nerd that way and it makes
me fall in love with him at the past years in his life,
though I did not know him at the time.
One of the books he listened to was
He told me that it was about a boy
who blurts out his suspicion that his older brother's
new wife is cheating on him. 
It leads to the death of his brother and his brother's new wife
and the boy ends up raising the kids and getting involved
in a fairly fundamentalist, if a bit cooky, church.
I read it the week my husband was away for work
and wow, that first part was hard reading.
But then, I loved it.
The author really loves her characters,
there is a lot of redemption in the book,
a lot of growing in humility, love and mercy.
In other parts of creative life,
yesterday I made a cheesecake
and last week I used a sewing machine for the first time
in at least 28 years.

 My friend whose machine I was using helped a lot
and it felt momentous! :)
I did a fairly strait line!
I hope to get into sewing more after Easter,
as I have a lot of things to do between now and then!
What are you making and reading?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bread Baked Before the Blizzard

Using the 5 minute a day recipe that I have used before...

I made up the batter last night and refrigerated it... 

Made three loaves.

Remembered to score them.

I had a hard time getting one or two of them off of the
pizza peel; perhaps I did not have enough corn meal and flour
to keep them from sticking... 

They turned out pretty well though! :)

Mr. Husband came home early from the storm
and we had warm bread together and cups and cups of ginger tea...

So nice to have him home to have some fresh 
bread with butter and jam.

A real blessing!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A dinner with 'out takes' and preparing for a storm

I had dear friends over for dinner last
Thursday night...
I kept looking at the table in puzzlement,
thinking to myself,
all the food is there, but what is missing?

Potato with fried onions and goat cheese,

Salad (brought by friends!), orange juice and honey glazed carrots,

It was not until a few minutes that I realized
that I had wine in the fridge to put out
and I got my answer!
drinking glasses! I forgot them!
And napkins :)
Phew, that explained it all!

It was a lovely meal with such
good friends and gentle, worthy and real conversation. 

There, with glasses. :)
All better...
Well, Cleo and I are preparing for the snow storm we 
are said to be getting.
She's preparing by making daring and funny leaps 
onto furniture...
Actually she did the funniest thing last night, 
too bad I did not get a picture...
Mr. Husband and I were eating a lovely meal of 
the left over ginger lemon chicken, 
with some mashed potatoes (with butter and soup cream!)
and salad and there was Cleo on the
very top of the seat back of our chair by the kitchen island counter
standing as tall as she could looking down at our meal
with great interest, her eyes as wide as can be.
Mr. Husband, knowing her to be a sneaky thief of food,
and now seeing her so blatantly looking,
gently but quickly stomped his foot and she scurried away...
a bit behind my dining chair, still looking!!!
So funny.
Anyway, I am doing lots of wash
at present and am planning on baking bread soon,
making this week's smoothie, 
watching the weather (all window shades are open in my living/dining area!) 
and praying.
I am also planning on getting out our blessed Candle-mas candles that 
are for times of trouble, strife or storm.
I won't use them until the snow really hits...
Meanwhile, I also have to relight many of my lampadas,
but do have some candles faithfully burning meanwhile.
My only request for this storm is two fold:
1. no injuries or death of anyone
2. that power does not go out.
Please join me in prayer for this and for all those who are 
suffering today!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reflections Part II: My Grandma's words ~ Strength will be given just when you need it

So I called my Grandmother yesterday evening,
while monitoring my beloved husband's plane trip online.
He's getting in late, probably between 1:30 - 2 AM.
I am so waiting up for him!
As I wrote in my last post
I think sometimes on the fact that my husband may die before me.
So last night I called my Grandma (I try to call at least once a week!)
and we talked and before we said goodbye,
I thought I should just ask that question I was thinking of, so I did.

I began, and almost immediately began tearing up,
Yes, she said.
You know how Aunt H. married Uncle J. and he was older 
and now she is alone?
Well, I married [Mr. Husband] and I may have the same thing happen.
Yes, she said, You might.
But Grandpa and I were the same age, I thought due to his health problems
that he may go first but only by a few years but here it was
9 years already since he is gone.  I thought I would follow him in a few years...
And we talked about how you never know when something may happen
and that while it is possible that Mr. Husband will go first, 
we just never know...
And I edged closer to my question, 
yes, but Grandma how did, how do you do it? How do you cope
being alone, without Grandpa?

And she immediately answered,
God gives you the strength when you need it.
I really felt God's peace ~ 
that all was Okay and like it was supposed to be.
Grandma was ready and God took him {a mercy}...
She went on, God gave me peace and things to do 
to keep busy, though I do miss him, it's the way it is 
supposed to be, God had it planned.
I feel like we had the time together that God had for us...
we are not given the strength ahead of time,
but when we need it, then it will be there.

She said sometimes she is lonesome sometimes, 
but I never feel all alone, I feel like God is with me,
God's Presence.
It's why I like to listen to nice music {hymns, Gaithers}...
all of a sudden I will stop what I am doing, put the book down
and just listen, 
and feel that [through the music] God is speaking to me....

She went on to tell me,
Years ago I read a story by Corrie Ten Boom,
that when she [Corrie] was a little girl, 
she would worry and how her Father taught her
by use of example of going on the train, 
and her father told her that just like he does not give 
Corrie the train ticket until the train is there,
so God will be there for you when the time
comes for [that time of particular need]... 
and my Grandma went on to tell me,
just like Corrie's father would not give her the ticket 
for the train before she needed it,
so not a day early will you be given the strength ...
and she quoted the Psalm.. [long as your] days so your strength shall be...

And my Grandma went on...
Elizabeth, I don't know the future, when I will die,
if I will need to go in a nursing home or what will be...
but I am not worried because where ever I am,
God will be there with me.
I feel God's Presence,
So precious to know that we are never alone, 
and sometimes I have to remind myself, 
if I feel sorry for myself, 
that I am never alone.
Jesus has promised, never will I leave or forsake you.
And that is what my Grandma told me
and I am so very glad I asked.

Reflections ~ marriage and living like you are on borrowed time

This week has been the first time I stayed home when my husband
had to be away for work for a few days.
My husband is older than me and teases me often 
about 'when he was __ age, I was __ age' and the like.
Now my husband is quite healthy, eats really well
and is more fit than I am!
(I need to work on that, baby steps!)
Anyway, so it is not that I expect to lose him soon,
though I think about it a lot sometimes;
it actually helps me love him more fiercely; more 
consistently, daily, hourly....
I think because I have had various people die very suddenly in my life; 
it never really leaves someone,
the awareness of the suddenness of things,
of how we are all in some ways on a thin blade of grass,
not knowing what comes next.
And I hear about something sad with someone I know
almost daily it seems.
Yet at the same time we are not to worry about tomorrow
and so I always have work to do in this....
CS Lewis, in his letters to an American Lady,
writes that it is much better to welcome death as St. Paul than
to ignore or avoid it....
Anyway, my husband's absence this past week not only makes
my heart fonder but quite reflective.
I think a lot about how my Grandma lives now
without my Grandpa, who died some years ago. 
She keeps busy,
sees friends for Monday dinner weekly,
leads Bible study, bakes for others weekly, visits others,
reads, prays, talks to her sister nightly on the phone, etc.
So I see how to cope or what one can do,
if one is left in the situation of being a widow.
But she will also say that she never stops missing 
my Grandpa...they were married for over 50 years 
from what I remember...

We had very little time between being at liturgy
for Theophany, driving back home, eating a great lunch
at our local diner and him packing the last things for this
trip for work.
But we managed a cup of tea, good earth sweet and spicy,
my husband's favourite....

And we had chocolates on the glass heart 
plate that my Mom found for us,
she had it at our MI family after our wedding
(a few months after) reception, with some mints on it.
My husband, the ever disciplined, only had 1 but I,
mmmm more like 3 chocolates I think :)
And we did the travel prayers we always do 
and we talk/email/chat daily while he is gone.
And I am doing well about it all,
as in arranging my schedule to see at least one person a day,
and I am baking, crafting, writing, taking pictures,
using all my pretty dishes, keeping the house tidy.
But at times I sure miss my beloved.
And I know how very very blessed I am to have
him to miss...

{PS: writing this on Wednesday night but not posting until he
is back home, as I know this is what he would wish for me to do}

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Please pray for my dear friend's Father!

One of my oldest Orthodox friends,
who was christmated at the same church I was years ago,
that very same summer,
needs our prayers.
Her father, John, has recently be diagnosed with a brain tumor.
He has surgery tomorrow morning and 
radiation and chemo DV in two weeks.
Please pray for John, my dear friend's father!
And of course my friend, her Mom and brother...
Lord have mercy!
Lord have mercy!
Lord have mercy!

Christmas Ginger & Lemon Chicken

A special extra virgin olive oil from France,
a Christmas gift to Mr. Husband and I.

The chicken...will repeat what I wrote here:
"Did a roast chicken this way:
butter under skin with garlic cloves,
one small onion in quarters, fresh organic sage and half a zested lemon in the cavity,
French Lemon & Ginger infused extra virgin olive oil over the skin,
with salt, pepper, dried ginger and lemon on top...
450F for about 2 hours... I think next time I will take the chicken out a bit 
before 2 hours.... it was great though and I trussed the chicken 
for the first time (did not want the cavity onion and lemon falling out!)"

The skin was very crispy and the chicken very flavourful!

{Hospitality @ Home} ~ Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

For my birthday I got 4 gold rimmed plates, 
three gold leaf rimmed bowls and 
6 gold rimmed saucers 
(for 6 teacups that had none).
I think I will always think of these 4 plates and 3 bowls
first as Theophany dishes,
as I used the first time this week, 
the week of Theophany.
They were actually gotten so that 
I could have an 8 person Christmas dinner
this will have to wait DV till next year.

So my friend and I had dinner at my place last night.
I used my new beautiful dishes 
(gotten secondhand, vintage made in England, via Etsy)
during this week of Theophany.

I got the same meal that Mr. Husband and I 
Above is the orange mango glazed chicken.

The other bowls have the beef, garlic potatoes and Brussels spouts...

I must say I would love to learn how to make potatoes like this!

We had a bit of white Zinfandel wine, 
my friend's request when I told her of the few we had 
to choose from.

It was lovely.

Just the right amount of scrumptious food for a
festive meal during this beautiful week!

I also set a pretty table for breakfast, using 
many of my Grandma's dishes.

It is such a joy to take care when setting a table to share
with a friend.

The place mats I had from years ago when I was in
Halifax for a wedding.

All of my China dishes were gotten either from family,
antique stores (some of my nice tea cups, my Grandma and I used to 
go shopping for them over Christmas years ago), garage sales,
rummage sales or used via Etsy.
So all more from people (rather than big stores) and for good prices.

The pretty bowls my husband had from years ago.

We have two of them, different styles.
I love the shape of them!

We also had a simple lunch, 
salad, potatoes and some really good fair-trade vegan chocolate! 

Chocolate, after all, as I say, is 
Vitimin Ch (for CHocolate) for woman ;)

I also made my second ever smoothie. 
I made enough to have left overs that I keep in a mason jar in the fridge.
Ingredients were:
red kale, 1 carrot, 1 banana, kefir, blue berries, cinnamon,
shredded coconut, Dutch cocoa powder and a bit of honey and milled flax seed.
Next time I want to add more fruit as well as vanilla, a bit more honey, cinnamon and cocoa. :)

The chocolate, very good.  Best eaten a little at a time :)

It was a fun meal! 

And I do love my Grandma's dishes...
These were her everyday ones!