Friday, December 31, 2010

hanging out


just hanging out in my jammies today, watching the snow as the old year rolls out, and the new one rolls in....happy day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010










He spreads the snow like wool and scatters
the frost like ashes.
Psalm 147:16






Friday, December 24, 2010

merry merry


Merry Christmas, blog friends! we are ushering Christmas into sd with several inches of perfect snow and beautiful warm temps. i wish you all safety, warmth and blessings.

ps. i'm gonna try real hard to take a little computer break, so i may not be back for a few days...i hope you all have a great post-christmas week too!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

good to know


did you know that chickens don't mind the cold? hmmmm. going to keep that in my hat for future reference ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

vaca and pie




officially, today is the first day of my 'vacation.' i've told people for about a month that i will be taking this time off, but to be honest, no one really cares. the good thing is that i still have a few billable things to do, but no pressing deadlines. which is really kind of like vacation.

i'm not sure exactly what i will do with myself for 12 days. i hope i will have some creative moments, some work moments, some family moments, some God moments, and some rest moments. that's not too big of a list, is it?


one of the projects on my list by friday is to make a pie. has anybody ever made a sour cream raisin pie? the story in my family is that no one did, until a cousin married a great gal who started bringing them to family christmas. we loved val, and we loved her pie. it was very sad when as a young woman she developed brain cancer and passed away about a decade ago. my mom and i were talking and want to resurrect the SCRP tradition. problem is, none of us have her recipe.

so, i'm scouring the internet. actually, the recipes are quite varied. although her recipe had a meringue topping, i'm not super nuts about meringue, are you? it's goopy and weird after about 3 hours.

so, i think i'll try this recipe.


My Grandma's Sour Cream Raisin Pie

1c sugar

2 c sour cream

½ c raisins

½ c nuts, chopped

2 eggs

½ t salt

½ t cinnamon

Plump raisin in boiling water. Discard water. Lightly dredge raisins in a very small amount of flour. Discard flour. Beat eggs and sugar. Combine thoroughly and then add other ingredients, folding in raisins and nuts last. Line pie tin with a rich pie crust. Fill with above mixture and bake at 350° until a golden brown and toothpick test comes clean, approximately one hour, maybe more. Don't be surprised if it takes a lot longer to bake than you'd originally planned. It's well worth the wait. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed with homemade whipping cream.



wish me luck, maybe make a pie for yourself, and have a happy wednesday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

okay so yes



you guys KNOW me. it was a fair assumption to guess i would like the show 'american pickers.'

i really really fell into fantasy world, i want this life! these guys do kind of seem to like 'boy stuff' - but i kind of like antique toys and motorcycles and signs too. i really think a smaller round south dakotan who likes grandma linens and kitchenware might be a great addition to the show, don't you?

Monday, December 20, 2010

joy comes in the morning


unfortunately, over the last couple of years, my sweet little neighborhood has taken a turn for the worst. quite often, there is unusual activity in the late evenings...more cars in the alley, more voices shouting outside my window, and more police/fire etc...

i try not to worry too much, but for some reason on saturday night, there was lots of weird going on. it never helps that i watch 48 hours on saturdays sometimes. scary stories and nighttime are not a good combo for me ;)

anyway, i went to bed like always, and woke up sunday morning like always. i happened to peek out the window, and the pic above is what i saw. ethereal and gorgeous. i thought to myself, 'well, darkness, i guess you just don't have any power today, because it's LIGHT out now!'

i found myself thinking about how God is light, and how Jesus is the Light of the World. it made me want to look up some scriptures, and explain the deep peace i felt inside, along with the beautiful sunrise.



In the dark, thieves break into houses,

but by day they shut themselves in;
they want nothing to do with the light.


For all of them, midnight is their morning;
they make friends with the terrors of darkness.

Job 24: 16-17

______________

...giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Col: 1-12

______________

The Light of Israel will become a fire,
their Holy One a flame;

in a single day it will burn and consume
his thorns and his briers.

Isaiah 10:17

______________

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

1 John 2:8

______________


For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

2 Cor 4:6

______________


For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Eph 5:8-9


______________


there now, isn't that reassuring? i have decided that the darkness surrounds my neighborhood only in the crevices of night, but that God's light is greater, that it shines into the darkness, and that it comes each and every day!!! with that power in and around me, how can i be afraid?


:) happy monday folks!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

cute overload


i've noticed a theme this year in the christmas card category - CUTE cards! wow, i am just so impressed at the level of design in the cards i'm getting! these are giving hallmark a run for its money, i bet :)

plus. it's fun to see my friends and their families. you guys look good in print ;)


oh ps. carey, your card is cute also. siesta is enjoying her festive glittery fur because of you :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

stopping the madness







yesterday afternoon, after a morning of ad deadlines, phone calls and general goofing off that i like to call work, i decided to forego the gigantic looming task of final grading....and rearrange my office.

i tell ya people, once i started, it was a mad and furious task. i still have half of the old office sitting in my kitchen, not sure exactly when i will deal with that fact.

but for now, this morning as i did a 360 spin with my chair, i am totally ordered and happy. i'm sure it is no coincidence that as i was sitting and reveling, 'this good day' - my favorite song in the whole wide world, came up on genius.



this IS a good day, and i will rejoice and be glad! i hope you will, too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

happy happy joy joy


whew. 'sort of creepy' snow guy is happy that it's friday. still a lot of mountain to climb by next week, but reason to celebrate! hope your snow guy is in a similar mood :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

calling anybody!


anybody technically oriented, that is. i have decided that with the coming of the new year, i am going to jump into the smart phone realm. and i don't like to jump.

seriously, what should i get? it seems an iphone is just out of reach, since i cannot yet get one....but verizon has some nice knockoffs. that one above is the 'fascinate' - i do kind of like the name. and it's a little pretty.

what other things do i need?

:))

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

what did we say?


i just had a 99 minute phone conversation with Carey. it was mostly about work, and i know i was quite animated and worked up for much of it, but i actually cannot remember what we talked about.

oh christmastime, i need you so badly :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

white stuff




well, there's no doubt about it now. we'll be having a white christmas! yay!

i'm thankful for many things, not the least of which:

• neighbors on BOTH sides with snow blowers. it takes me awhile to do my steps and driveway, but i always seem to get help with the main sidewalk. plus, i like the straight edges ;)

• my new sorrel boots and the columbia jacket i got on clearance last spring at the outlet mall. i was outside for almost an hour in the snow and -4 degree weather, and i was actually WARM....

• mabel and her 30 year old furnace, which still seems to be working well! i am trying to keep the heat as low as possible, but still....what a huge blessing to have a warm home in a blizzard. and electricity. and the internet.




alas, but last night at 8pm, the plows came through. so, back to work this monday. the birdies still have not tried the new peanut butter cakes i made for them on saturday. birds are funny. they don't cotton to new stuff just because it's there. i'm hoping this week they'll dig in and try though. one blogger labeled the recipe 'bird crack.' now, that would be something to see!

Peanut Butter Pudding
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup lard (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup white/wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Melt lard and peanut butter. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into plastic freezer containers or forms (use previously purchased plastic suet containers). Freeze or refrigerate until use (if use is intended within a week - otherwise freeze). You can also add various dried fruit and sunflower "meats" to this basic recipe during winter months for woodpeckers, finches, and other grosbeaks of all varieties. Expect squirrel problems with this nutty, intoxicating stuff...hang the pudding in an "upside down" feeder, or location you can provide some squirrel patrol. Double or triple the receipt, but don't forget to use heavy duty utensils, this stuff is thick and heavy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

toffee and the end of the semester


so, i had to make toffee last night after looking at that photo for a few days. i could not find my candy thermometer, surprise, surprise. i decide to make it anyway, since i kind of know what it looks like when it is 'ready.'

oh my. just what i needed. a pound of temptation looking at me every time i walk anywhere NEAR the kitchen. in fact, i think i hear it calling right at the moment.

oh. i sprinkled a little sea salt on the chocolate before i added the nuts on top. because sea salt is the new cool thing. really good idea.




oh. and i wanted to show you a picture of one of my actual students, so you know i am not making it up about teaching. i'll leave her name off for privacy, but i did tell her i blog about everything.

this is her senior show, which i judged yesterday. i had never seen her dressed up before, which is kind of funny now that i think about it. she was happy. and i was proud of her.


:) happy friday!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

ruh-roh


i am currently trying to convince carey to make her own homemade butter toffee.

yes, folks, carey with molten-hot, lava-like liquid and a spatula.





i should send her a gift certificate to the ER for christmas, i guess ;)

i live alone


and yet, i made a lasagna for myself for dinner last night. let me note that this is the first time in my life i have ever done such a thing. however, carbs were necessary for my well being....

anyway, i kind of made up the recipe, based loosely on this one. i used leftover butternut squash SOUP, because i used no-boil noodles and needed extra liquid anyway. also used leftover spaghetti sauce. and cooked up some onion and spinach in a bit of olive oil. then, kind of just made lasagna like i always do....

the verdict? well, it was good. i do think it might have been a touch better if i had used the bit of italian sausage i had in the freezer. the sweetness of both squash and spaghetti sauce left it tasting a bit one-note, and i think the meat would have added texture and contrast.

that sounds sort of like i know what i am doing! ha. anyway. leftovers anyone????


:)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

whirlwind days


friends, i can tell we are all in the midst of whirlwind days. i keep getting a mental picture of satan stirring up things so that we all lose focus of our Lord. not that he always is not milling around, but somehow, his efforts seem ramped up this time of year.

this morning, i woke up at 4am, and just surrendered. i got up, i made coffee and i sat in the colored lights of my living room, and prayed. i repented of all of the myriad of things i have done wrong lately, and begged for help with all of the things i cannot control. i also asked God to have mercy on me, that i know there are consequences for all of my sinful ways, but that right now i just needed to know He is there, and that He loves me.

i opened up my daily bible to this chapter of Hosea 6:

Come, let us return to the *Lord.

He has torn us to pieces, but he will bring us health.

He has caused us pain.

But he will cover the parts that hurt us with pieces of cloth.

After two days he will bring us back to life.

He will raise us up on the third day.

Then we can live near him.

Let us be humble before the *Lord. Let us really try to know the *Lord.

It will be like the sun that rises at the beginning of the day.

He will come to us like the rain.

now, i should note, these are the wishes of the people of Israel, when they know their hearts have been away from God. God's response to these words is in the next verse and sounds like "what am i going to do with you people?"

i'm trying to take this verse to heart. If i want the things that the people of Israel wanted from God, i need to listen to what He wants from me, and be willing to let my own selfish interests go by the wayside.

i should probably wake up at 4am and study the Word more often :)) happy tuesday, blogsters.



oh. ps. the light fixture is a great find from my 'basement shopping this past weekend. these weird ornate old fixtures (i have two) were in mabel when i bought her. i removed them swiftly at the time. now, i cannot imagine them not being on display. sigh. times change.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

snow globe day




it's a beautiful snow globe-like day here on the back forty. the whole gang is chillaxin' and wants to wish you a very happy sunday!

Friday, December 03, 2010

jesus is kind of heavy


in fact, he and his cohorts are made of plaster, and weigh about 20 pounds. they are currently rescued from thriftdom and hanging over my head as i sleep.

that, my friends, is called faith :)

the road trip that was


it's been quite a blessing to be able to get out on the road these last few weeks for the rural development project that i am in the middle of. the trip yesterday was to britton, sd. it's about 3+ hours north/west of SF, and i wasn't super excited to go (surprise, surprise).

oh, me of little faith. what a good day. as you can see, the roads get alot more rolly polly as you go up to the glacial lakes area. there was actually a light dusting of sparkly snow yesterday, and a very bright blue sky. i wish i had taken a photo, but this one will have to do...



britton is right by sica hollow. ya'll have heard of there, right? i have always wanted to go, but had no real idea of where it was. now, i have my next little mini vacation planned out. get ready, lou ;) we are going there next summer.



here are the kinds of amenities this small town (1,300 pop.) has:

• historic theatre that brings a new movie every week
• state-of-the-art wellness center connected to the hospital
• cute little downtown with a retail shop called 'dizzy blondes' and a bistro for the fancy people who might show up


thankfully, they also have my next house waiting for me at 805 5th Street.


i'm thinking it will be as good a place as any to start my new life's adventure. who wants to come visit?


:) happy friday.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

ha ha ha


i love that even andre jordan (my favorite cartoonist from my almost-favorite gardening blog by margaret roach, the new york gardener with a martha stewart past) is in on the 'new boots' conversation. i also love that he is a londoner who actually LIVES in south dakota now! what a small world! and now he is making cartoons about us!!

i also love that i am a south dakota bird, through and through.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

yay me!


i have a junco! i have a junco! oh happy day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tuesday reflections


woke up this morning to the sound of wind whipping around rather fiercely, and the remembrance that yesterday i drank the last drop of coffee in the house. let's just say i was glad to be able to linger in my down-filled bed for a moment longer.

i am still thinking about last night, when i helped my friend anne and some of her other friends make bunches and bunches and bunches of these strange little candy balls for a school fundraiser. i have to be honest. i did not really want to go help, i would rather have spent the evening snuggled in a quilt with a book. the day had been long, and my body was feeling the toll.

naturally, i was blessed to not be able to do what i wanted to do. the conversation of the women last night was something i was hungry for, the open admission of God working in our lives, wanting to fulfill plans for us, if we are able to accept and trust that His way is really the only way. it was so what i needed to hear, even though i have heard before. so, the women shared stories of how God directed their lives, once they put things in His hands. good stories. stories built as only He can build them! seriously, you cannot begin to manufacture the way God works. EVER. and yet, we always see the goodness, the 'rightness' in His doings. oh, how i want to hold and remember that truth, always, every day.

and so, for another day, i am filled. filled with the knowledge that even though the world assaults and throws curveballs and seems so exhausting to try and figure out, God is there. He does not miss a thing. He knows me better than i know myself. and i can admit to him that i am tired. that i am not sure what i want anymore. that i am feeling vulnerable, and that i want Him to bring me to a place, His place. that i don't have to wait until tomorrow, or someday in the future, but i can be there today. right now. and that everything will be okay. IS okay. and so that is how my tuesday will roll...:) and that's a good thing.


By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain . . .
1 Cor 15:10

Monday, November 29, 2010

fa la la la la






forgive me if i stay in christmas decorationland just a bit longer!! love. love. love.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

a new season




sigh. well, thanksgiving has come. which means a 'flip' in thinking over here on the back forty. time to let fall go, and embrace the new season.

i am always a bit sad, because i hang onto the plants in the yard until the VERY end. then thanksgiving comes, and i realize the magic of the holidays. i love that we are more family focused, at least most of us. at least me.


and we eat pie. and talk about pie. and make more pie. and think about pie. or maybe just me!


and i go over the river and thru the woods to my old homestead. this year the day was a bit bleak, but just over yonder is my family. i have missed them. i don't go home nearly often enough.


and then, i come home to a new season. lights and warmth and a fuzzy cat on my lap while i read my book. sigh again. much to be thankful for, and much to gain by stopping for yet another moment to thank Him.