Saturday, November 30, 2013

cedar wreath

Claudia inspired my wreath-making today.  
I loved the fresh simplicity of her advent wreath and gathered my
own branches off the cedar tree out back.  It smells wonderful in the house.
I used rosemary branches for the smaller candles.  I have a monster 
rosemary bush in the front that needs regular trimming anyway.

I enjoy candles.  I don't like to over-do Christmas decorating.
A tree and candles is enough for me. Oh and lights, of course.
I want to keep things simple and cozy during the holiday season.
That is my cup of tea.  

We had big plans today, but I don't feel my best.  So we
had to stay home.  Imagine this,,, I also opted not to go to the clinic 
where all I'll get is the usual bottle of antibiotics.  Instead I drank a ton
 of pure cranberry juice that I made from all those cranberries I bought.
I drank onion juice and I crushed/swallowed 5 cloves of garlic 
mixed with flax oil.  This is getting really unappetizing, but I'm 
desperate not to have to take antibiotics.  

Stay well my friends and may the beauty
 of the Christmas season fill you with peace.

~     ~     ~

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Days

Potato Latkes
First day of Hanukkah
I started observing Hanukkah years ago with some friends back in Texas 
and it became a tradition I held to as a single person for years. For me,
it's a time to reflect on God's goodness and His miracles throughout the year. 
I also feel that lighting a candle adds to all the other candles being lit around 
the world - a spiritual synergy. A time of celebration and wonder.

The backyard.
I found some prairie bling and
a little snowy heart during my walk....

The Yellow Rose of Texas' Apple Pie

I made my first apple pie from good scratch.
I found it on The Yellow Rose of Texas blog.
She just called it pie - but on my recipe card,
it's named in her honor.  This recipe's a'keeper.

Found an old bottle.
View of Prairie Hill from Lake Lawtonka side.

Did a wonderful walk-about on my prairie,,,  and headed NW
down to the lake.  I once found a really neat cocoon in this
particular area, and I was hoping to find another.
I did!  I did!  I did,,,, under that berry bramble!
A gift for the seeker.

I've been working on various projects.
One of my favorites is this chalkboard paint covered journal.

Gave one of my mini curios a paint make-over.

Day #3 of Hanukkah 
Our days have been wonderful.  Quiet. Cozy and relaxing.

S    H    A   L   O   M

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Orange Pecan Teacakes

Cranberry Orange Pecan (or Apple) Teacakes
          1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

·         2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

·         3/4 cup heavy cream (I SUBSTITUTED WITH MILK)

·         Finely grated zest of 1 orange, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         1/4 teaspoon baking powder

·         1/4 teaspoon baking soda

·         1/4 teaspoon salt

·         1 cup sugar   (I REDUCED TO 3/4)

·         2 large eggs

·         3/4 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

·         1/2 cup  walnut coarsely chopped (I USED MY WILD-HARVESTED PECANS)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter nine 4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Combine cream, orange juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, orange zest, and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add eggs,  1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of cream mixture; beat until combined. Gently fold in cranberries and nuts.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Place pans on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until cakes are golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.

I bought two bags of fresh cranberries and didn't have a clue on what to do with them.  So I searched the internet and went with a Martha Stewart recipe.  I've never baked a cake/bread with cranberries before so I was timid - and decided to add diced apples to half of my batter just in case the cranberry cakes tasted horrible.  Turns out, the cranberry ones tasted better and are super delicious.  I have lots of cranberries left so I can make more tea cakes.  

Cold weather is my main inspiration for baking. :)  

My favorite drawer in the kitchen - the tea stash.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November Snow and a Calico Landscape

Looking over at neighbor, Jed's place...
We're not going anywhere!

Just look at our Prairie Hill today!!
I really don't remember ever having a heavy snowfall, or any snowfall before
Thanksgiving.  My, my my!  I feel confused, and I'm ready to celebrate all
the holidays (Thanksgiving, Hannukah and Christmas) next week!!

It's beautiful outside.... I call it a Calico landscape.

Since Greg can't play out in the snow, I made him something special.
These were really good!  ha ha

Babies in the snow. 
Dee & Lee

 I fell in love with this photo when I saw it at the antique store a few weeks ago.
"Dee & Lee" were scribbled on the back of this vintage photo.
 I slightly cracked the studio door so that I could preserve these twins in encaustic.
  They also needed something special, so I gave them my precious
 pom pom flowers that I picked in Assisi, Italy.

They warm my heart!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

On Ice

The latest medicine bags on ice!
I kinda like the turquoise drawstrings on these...

We are cozy and warm inside with plenty of hot coffee, comfort foods,
and candle-light.  I can see the icicles slowly melting a little in 34 degrees.
It's brutally cold out there with the wind added in!  I don't know how the
old pioneers survived on the prairie in their sod houses or log houses!  
I'm so thankful for all my electrical comforts! 

Prairie Hill today,,, with my future cedar Christmas tree...
Do you see Zody? 
There's a little layer of ice on everything...

This made me smile - Greg's nook.
Greg.  In an air-cast and on crutches and ON ICE!!!
Does it get any crazier than that?
His ankle isn't broken but he's pulled ligaments and
his poor foot is badly bruised and swollen.

Greg's been in rehearsal for weeks with his cast (people :)
and getting ready to put on another performance of the musical
that he and his daughter co-wrote: The Juries.
I'm looking forward to the show on December 7th.

~       ~       ~       ~       ~

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their 
labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mount Lincoln Boulders

We bouldered in the Mount Lincoln area of the wildlife refuge today.
It was sunny and beautiful.  We just had one problem, Greg fell,,, not down a 
ravine ;), but he twisted his ankle pretty bad.  Luckily it happened on our return 
and we were fairly close to the car.  His swollen ankle has been on ice and elevated.  
We had a lovely weekend, except for this painful tumble.

Wishing you a great week ahead! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

OKC Outing

In front of 'Jane' by Alex Katz
Dale Chihuly Glass
Greg & I spent the day in Oklahoma City.  It was the last 
weekend to catch "Of Heaven and Earth: 500 years of Italian Paintings
 from Glasgow Museums."  A Sandro Botticelli even found its way to 
OKC!  My favorite painting in the exhibit though was by Luigi da Rosi called
'Overlooking a Canal' - the women were described as fishermens' wives.

Source: Internet

I just considered this painting timeless!
OKC Memorial

We also visited the OKC bombing memorial.  The reflection pool was emptied of
 water due to maintenance.  Under peaceful evergreens, there's a chair for each
child and adult who lost their life in the tragedy.  A very solemn & sacred place for OKC.
I brought home two pinecones to place with all my other special cones.

~  P e a c e  ~

Friday, November 15, 2013


Stopped me in my tracks!

Since rest hasn’t come easy, 
which is the best course usually.

A sore throat wants to put its noose on me,
I’m fight with natural cures:  
Eat well - fruits & vegetables!
Warm lemon water
Salt water gargles
Lots of rosehip tea
Elderberry syrup and lozenges
Mediterranean-sourced Wild Oregano Oil
 And an Advil as needed. Ha!

It's supposed be a very pretty and warm
weekend so I want to feel well and energetic.

What are some of your home remedies when you get ill?

Wishing you a healthy and happy weekend!