Sunday, November 29, 2009

~ Happy Sunday! ~

I hope that everyone has had a blessed and happy thanksgiving weekend!  My vertigo is better, however, it's still here so I am a bit limited in my activities.  Good enough excuse huh?  ;-)  I am in the mood to decorate for Christmas so we shall see how it goes.  I'm loving all the Christmas music and the excitement is building for everyone it seems.  I shall return!

xo ~ Pat

Thursday, November 26, 2009

~ Happy Thanksgiving! ~

“If the only prayer you ever said in your whole life was,
“thank you”, that would suffice.”
~ Meister Eckhart
 
Things I'm thankful for: The young, the old, and the in between, The possessions I have, and the things unseen, The family and friends along my way, The contentment I wake with every day.

I have been given the gift of vertigo for this holiday ~  :-(   So very glad I'm not hosting today. This is where my daughter & son-in-law and I are going.  http://www.denton-wildwoodinn.com/index.html  A good friend of mine's daughter and s-i-l own this amazing place and it is just delightful!  It always makes me happy and appreciative to enjoy a meal and visit there.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! 
 
xo ~ Pat

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

~ Count Your Blessings ~

You've gotta really admire this guy!! His body no longer works, but he's still thankful. Something to think about this Thanksgiving. This takes a few minutes to watch, but you will be blessed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3HnUfqCBfc

Monday, November 23, 2009

~ Missed Connections ~

This blog is by children's book illustrator Sophie Blackall:
http://sophieblackall.blogspot.com/

and her other blog, Missed Connections:
http://missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com/

Missed Connections is so intriguing to me ~ and it's so very true. When you really think about those moments in time that bring 2 people together in a fleeting moment and the what ifs in case they did not speak to each other.  Just makes me wonder what I might have missed out on when I was much younger and always rushing from one place to another, always in a hurry and pushing toward whatever I thought was 'next'.  I really try to take the time now to nod, smile, speak or engage in conversation.  I find that Ms. Blackall's drawings are simplistic but so telling...she's a very talented and creative lady.

Another thought just crossed my mind...do you ever read Post Secrets? http://postsecret.blogspot.com/      Frank, the creator, updates the site every Sunday morning. I will always remember one postcard that said something like, "everyone thinks I died as a result of 9/11".  Wow!  

Just a few thoughts I felt like sharing this evening.

xo ~  Pat

Saturday, November 21, 2009

~ I'm so excited! ~


Another reason for gratitude today!  This beautiful cake platter and server are from Diann at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/  How exciting is this?
Thanks so much!

~ Saturday Stuff ~

Do you ever wake up grumpy?  ....or do you just let him sleep?  Joking!!   I did not sleep well at all last night and woke up with a migraine and feeling just flat grumpy.  That's rare for me but just telling you the truth. I worked with my camera forever last night...just could not get pics transferred to the computer.  I tried again, f o r e v e r, this morning. I was thinking it would be simpler to just throw the camera out in the street and forget it!  Well, the folks at Kodak finally communicated to me ~ in a way that I could "get it" and found that the USB port was not working. Trial & error and I think all is ok now!  I told them I was technically challenged and to just feel free to chat with me like they would a 12 yr old....oh not even that old....how about an 8 yr old?  Prolly most of them know more than I ever will about computers & technical stuff.  I know my grandkids have been pros since a very early age. :-)

Ok, before I found a "fix" for the computer/camera problem, I decided I needed to get myself out of the grumpies and adopt a new attitude. I started thinking about all the things I have to be grateful for and, wow, it's a lot!  Here's a few things:
. my health...minus the migraine
. my home
. my family
. Forrester ~ my adopted Shih Tzu
. healthy food, even though I stray over to the unhealthy too  :-(
. rockin' friends
. great coffee
. washer & dryer  (dear washer, please hang in there for a while longer...please.)
. phone calls with dear friends & laughter that makes it all better
. cool temps
. Christmas music
. bling
. the color red and how happy it makes me!
. candles
. white twinkle lights
. YOU!

Tell me, what are your thankful for today?

xo  Pat

Friday, November 20, 2009

Praline-Pumpkin Cake


A cake mix and purchased frosting pair up with a few extras to create a delicious pumpkin and praline dessert. **  If you use the cake pans, be sure and grease generously and then place parchment paper in the bottom of each pan. This helps to avoid having the praline mixture stick to the pans. *** I like to use a 9 x 13" pan...less trouble...and make my own frosting with 1 pkg cream cheese, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and a bit of lemon juice.  Seems less sweet ~

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup (from 15-oz can) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 container (1 lb) cream cheese frosting
Caramel topping, if desired
Additional coarsely chopped pecans, if desired


1. Heat oven to 325°F. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, stir together butter, whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 2 (9- or 8-inch) round cake pans; sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup pecans.
2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Carefully spoon batter over pecan mixture in each pan.
3. Bake 43 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Stir remaining 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into frosting. To assemble cake, place 1 layer, praline side up, on serving plate. Spread with half of the frosting. Top with second layer, praline side up; spread remaining frosting to edge of layer. Drizzle with caramel topping and additional pecans. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
Makes 16 servings

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

~ Decorating Life ~

This is from today's "Daily OM". If you are not familiar with the web site, you can take a look here ~ http://www.dailyom.com

Decorating Life
The World as Home
There are few things more thrilling than having a new house or an empty room to decorate. Our imaginations soar as we consider the many possibilities. In the same way, our lives offer us the opportunity to express ourselves within various contexts, to ask ourselves questions about what we want to see as we move through our days and how we want things to flow. Some people do this instinctively, moving through the various environments they inhabit and shifting the energy with their presence. These people have a knack for decorating life. This can be as simple as the way they dress, the way they speak, or the fact that they always bring a bouquet of wildflowers when they come for a visit.

As we move through the world, we make a statement, whether we intend to or not. We shift the energy one way when we enter a room dressed elegantly and simply, and another when we show up in bright, cheerful colors and a floppy hat. One is not better than the other. It is simply a question of the mood we wish to create. What we wear is just one choice we can focus on. The way we speak to people, or touch them, shifts the energy more profoundly than almost anything else. The words we speak and the tone in which we say them are the music we choose to play in the world that is our home. Some of us fill the space with passionate arias, others with healing hymns. Again, one is not better than the other. We are all called to contribute.

Just as we consciously create an environment within our homes, we can consciously choose to decorate life itself with our particular energy. Ideally, in doing so, we express our deeper selves, so that the adornments we add to the world make it more meaningful, more beautiful, and as welcoming as a beloved home.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

~ Unconditional LOVE ~

This is just the best!! Caution too ~ tissue alert. :-)

Dog Cries When Soldier Returns Home

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nqo7Ncj4zg

Monday, November 16, 2009

~ 10 Things ~

10 Things
Sometimes when i don’t know what to say or write, I make lists.

Your homework assignment, should you decide to accept:

1.) If you usually wear your hair up, wear it down. And vice-versa. This throws people off and attracts special attention...and we all want special attention don’t we?

2.) Take time for YOU today. Stop and breathe deeply, have a cup of coffee or tea, listen to some soothing music and just be.

3.) Carry crayons and coloring books in your bag or purse. Next time you see a bored child in a restaurant/coffee shop/Dr's office or any waiting area, give it to them. (I have a friend that does this)

4.) If you are feeling triggered by someone or something today, try and find one good thing about them. You don’t have to like them or change your mind, just notice something positive. God loves everyone! ;-)

5.) Create a note that says “it's going to be ok” and put it on a stranger's car.

6.) Go outside. Find something beautiful in your yard, and take a picture of it. If you are at work, take a quick break if you can and do the same. Beauty is always there if we just stop and notice.

7.) Find something soft to touch. Don't you just love squishy, soft throws or pillows, wonderful fabrics? I'm a very tactile person and touch is a habit with me.

8.) Commission a child to write you a poem or draw something for you. They will have a great sense of acknowledgment and pride. My 6 yr old neighbor did this for me Saturday. I think it helped his mom for him to be occupied.

9.) Make a nature arrangement out of sticks, leaves, flowers, etc. Don’t think about it too much. Now...take a photo and show me.

10.) Decide to let go of one thing today. Just one. Feels great doesn't it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

~ Holiday Mail for Heroes ~

For your consideration ~

Please take a few minutes to thank and honor those serving our country! Pass this on!

The American Red Cross is accepting cards as part of it's "Holiday Mail for Heroes".

Holiday cards should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

No care packages, monetary gifts, using glitter or including any inserts with the cards.
(Teachers...make it a class project!)


Cards will be accepted through Dec 7
No care packages, monetary gifts, using glitter or including any inserts with the cards.
(Teachers...make it a class project!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not sure what's happened...

I had a new background and a few new items....saved....and now it's all disappeared. When I try to edit, one area entitled "fonts & colors" is frozen.  Any advice is welcomed!
Pat
>>>> Cue music from "The Twilight Zone" !  ;-)   Seems to be functioning again after I deleted a widget that I installed earlier.  Do you think I'll get the hang of all this?  LOL

Friday, November 13, 2009

#1 Christmas Song for 2009

This is my personal opinion....we need to take back Christmas!  I do not want anyone telling me I 'should' say holidays, season, whatever.  Christ is what Christmas is all about and I will continue to say "Merry Christmas!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAckfn8yiAQ


xo
Pat

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Who is the Susie in your life?

WET PANTS

Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, 'Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.'

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!'

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful.

But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!'

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, 'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie whispers back, 'I wet my pants once too.'

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

~ Cake Bites ~



This is a great way to serve bite size portions of cake, brownies, breads for your guests.  During the holidays especially, most folks want to sample everything but cannot or choose not to eat a large piece of dessert.  These could be decorated with a small design feature and look very festive!  Use your favorite recipe and bake in a jelly roll pan or large baking dish.  Enjoy!


Monday, November 9, 2009

~ Kindness Week ~



Do you like to perform Random Acts of Kindness?  I do!  And, I think the best are anonymous. I love to leave notes, cards, etc., for others to find as well as a small gift or note at someone's door.
Occasionally, I leave Smile cards  or just a typed note on my neighbor's doors...and on my door too...so they don't suspect me.  It's fun to hear their comments, wondering who does this.  I play along of course like I'm wondering too.

There are a million ways to show kindness and make someone else's day brighter.  Try it this week!  You can find information here ~  http://www.noogenesis.com/malama/kindness/index.html

Stories and suggestions ~

Let me know what you do and how you feel, ok?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

~ Rustic Pear Tart ~



I made this with apples but sharing the original recipe calling for pears. 

Rustic Pear Tart
6 servings
Ingredients

Crust:
•1/2 cup whole-grain pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
•1/2 cup all-purpose flour
•2 teaspoons granulated sugar
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
•2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk
•3 tablespoons ice water

Filling:
•3 medium pears (you can also use apples, peaches, etc.)
•1 tablespoon lemon juice
•1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
•3 tablespoons light brown sugar
•1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Glaze:
•1 teaspoon honey
•1/4 teaspoon boiling water

Directions
To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour, all- purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt. Add the butter and using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until you get a pebbly, course texture. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and ice water. Using a fork, gradually mix the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Pat the dough into a 4-inch round and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare the filling. Peel the pears, core them and cut into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl toss the pear slices with the lemon juice. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss until the pears are evenly coated. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a large circle about 9 inches in diameter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draping the dough over the rolling pin, transfer to the prepared baking sheet. If the dough breaks at all patch it up with your fingers.

Arrange the pears in a mound in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling. It will only cover the pears partially and does not need to be even.

Bake the tart for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, keeping the tart in the oven all the while, and bake for another 40 minutes, until the pears are tender and the crust is golden brown.

In a small bowl stir together the honey and boiling water to make a glaze. When the tart is done remove it from the oven and brush the honey glaze all over the top of the fruit and crust. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

This is a "healthy" version...of course you can use another glaze & serve it with whipped cream or ice cream...southern style!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Soldier's Angels



I mentioned the incident at Ft. Hood earlier today and I wanted to offer a suggestion for those that might like to volunteer.  Our military personnel need support desperately!  I've been a part of this group since 2003 when I retired. I just cannot tell you how much it means to me to be able to do a small part, at least in my mind, to support those in harm's way. You can contribute in sooooo many ways ~ write letters, send cards, send CARE packages, bake monthly, sew, you name it!  There are many awaiting an angel to adopt them and they are absolutely thrilled to receive a simple card or letter in the mail. They are often in an area where basic hygiene items are not available, much less socks, sheets, blankets, movies & junk food. They LOVE receiving packages from home and each person that I've supported always shares with their buddies. The holidays are coming and it's a great time to let them know how much they are appreciated. If you are so inclined, the web site address is on my side bar.  I promise you'll never look back!

Ft. Hood, TX



Please remember the victims and families of the Ft. Hood shootings. It's heartbreaking to think that our military personnel experience so much in Iraq and A'stan and, in my opinion, they should feel safe and relaxed at home.  Prayers for all would be much appreciated!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

~ More Gratitude ~

I want to publicly thank Gloria from Happy To Be for her incredible patience with me and all my questions, her guidance, sense of humor and encouragement.  She rocks!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

~ An Attitude of Gratitude ~

gratitude  n.   The state of being grateful, thankfulness, appreciation...


Thanksgiving is an American holiday but an attitude of gratitude is global.  Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."  Gratitude helps me in so many ways ~ to be conscious of all that I have rather than being concerned about what I don't. It helps me to let go of fear, worry, frustration, envy and regret. Then it fills my heart with peace, love, happiness, joy and excitement. Years ago, Sarah ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, was on Oprah off & on. She recommends keeping a gratitude journal and listing at least 5 things each day that you feel appreciation for.  I started my gratitude journal then....late 90's when I was still working in a very high stress position. Some days I could only write down a few simple things with major impact on my life ~ the fact that I made it through the day, I had a safe drive home, I had healthy food to eat, a safe home to live in and my bed.  In time, my list grew longer and I felt incredible joy inside.  It will change your life if you do this! 


I'm glad you stopped by ~ I appreciate YOU!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome!

This is my first attempt to enter the blogging world so I hope that you will bear with me! I'm finding my way around and any & all help, suggestions, guidance, kick in the pants will be appreciated. I've seen some incredible blogs from great people ~ fun, fun!  This process is very confusing and I am continuing to seek information and learn the process.