Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nothing Says Christmas...

Like a tree covered in pretzels!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sesame and Lilies

"The chance and scattered evil that may here and there haunt, or hide itself in, a powerful book, never does any harm to a noble girl; but the emptiness of an author oppresses her, and his amiable folly degrades her.  And if she can have access to a good library of old and classical books, there need be no choosing at all.  Keep the modern magazine and novel out of your girl's way; turn her loose into the old library every day, and let her alone.  She will find what is good for her; you cannot; for there is just this difference between the making of the girl's character and a boy's: you may chisel a boy into shape, as you would a rock, or hammer him into it, if he be of a better kind, as you would a piece of bronze; but you cannot hammer a girl into anything.  She grows as a flower does, - she will wither without sun; she will decay in her sheath as a narcissus will if you do not give her air enough; she may fall and defile her head in dust if you leave her without help at some moments in her life, but you cannot fetter her; she must take her own fair form and way if she take any, and in mind as in body, must have always -
'Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty.'
Let her loose in the library, I say as you do a fawn in the field.  It knows the bad weed twenty times better than you, and the good ones too, and will eat some bitter and prickly ones good for it which you had not the slightest thought would have been so."

Tea for One

Flowering jasmine green tea and tea set from China (thanks to MIL).
It all just seems extra pretty tonight. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Recipes

Paula Deen's Beef Stroganoff

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake (minus the brandy and cherries)

I hope everyone's having a wonderful week before Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Temple of the Holy Ghost

"The lanterns gilded the leaves of the trees orange on the level where they hung and above them was black-green and below them were different dim muted colors that made the girls sitting at the table look prettier than they were. "

"She could hear the distant sound of the calliope and she saw in her head all the tents raised up in a kind of gold sawdust light and the diamond ring of the ferris wheel going around and around up in the air and down again and the screeking merry-go-round going around and around on the ground."

"She had since changed and decided to be an engineer but as she looked out the window and followed the revolving searchlight as it widened and shortened and wheeled in its arc, she felt that she would have to be much more than just a doctor or an engineer.  She would have to be a saint because that was the occupation that included everything you could know; and yet she knew she would never be a saint."

"The sound of the calliope coming through the window kept her awake and she remembered that she hadn't said her prayers and got up and knelt down and began them.  She took a running start and went through to the other side of the Apostle's Creed and then hung by her chin on the side of the bed, empty-minded."

~  All quotes from the short story: A Temple of the Holy Ghost by Flannery O'Connor

Friday, December 9, 2011

Guest Post

Wazzup blogosphere?! Ralphie can call me Goose, my friends do. And I consider yous my friends.

See here, it's time to get festive, folks. Get your Christmas on. Light some logs in that fireplace, cozy up at the hearth, lap up some hot cocoa, and howl a carol or two. A favorite of mine is The Holly and the Ivy.

Peace out and puppy on.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is what you get...

When you combine equal parts...

French Braid tutorials

and good wine

With an extra helping of ME.  

A really sad attempt at my very first ever french braid.  Notice...I have baby find hair so you can barely tell what the heck is going on with my hair.  

Another glass of wine please!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seattle is pretty...

...Even on a drizzly day, even when I'm wearing my glasses because I broke my contacts. Even on a day like this, I seriously love this place.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What do you know about Bhutan?

I'm not sure if you've heard about Bhutan's GNH (Gross National Happiness), but it inspired this artist to create an online art installation chronicling some of the people of Bhutan and what makes them happy...what they wish for.  The balloons symbolize happiness and the colors are as vibrant as the people.  I recommend taking a look and a listen.

One of the things that struck me, a brash American girl, is that so many of these folks are very soft spoken, even shy, hesitant to share such private thoughts; the artist/chronicler is so clear-spoken and delicate in his approach I found myself smiling ear to ear at these exchanges.

Enjoy and have a blessed Sunday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Part VI

Psalm 104, verses 26 through 30
There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Part V

Psalm 104, verses 21 through 25
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Somewhat Silent Sunday

In the stillness of creeping fog, even shouts are muted.

Footsteps fall in quiet plunks upon the ground.

The middle of each word spoken fills with a cool, rounded breath.

In the fog, the ugliness is forgiven by a cloud's progress.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Part IV

Psalm 104, verses 16 through 20
The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Part III

Psalm 104, verses 11 through 15
They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.

How Do You Mend...?

I just finished watching Beyond Borders, which means any trace of mascara is gone from my eyelashes.  My heart is bare and I'm wondering.  How do you mend a world that is unravelling at the seams.  There is prayer and there is action...and there is also conviction.

I wish they hadn't Hollywooded the film with a love story.  There would have been enough love without it.

"He was my first save, 10 years old. So thin he could barely stand. But he still found the strength the bury the rest of his family. We have no idea what courage is... He used to write me little notes. He helped me in the clinic. He was good. He was sweet, he was good. He wanted to be like me, I liked that. I mean, it was silly and childish, but it made me feel good about myself. So I took him with me to London, you know, my talisman, my courageous Africa... - pauses - How could I be so bloody stupid? How could I be so totally selfish? The point is... he was my friend. He had a name. So now I HAVE to remember him. If everybody I lose has a name..."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Part II

Psalm 104, verses 6 through 10

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Can't Wait for Christmas

The cutest video I've seen in a long time, from a couple whose music I love to listen to. 
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Part I

 Psalm 104, verses 1 through 5

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good Soup - Bad Picture

To use up the remaining, large chanterelles, I embarked upon a soup making adventure and oh my sweet Lord, how it paid off.  I just ate two full bowls and wish I had more.  Mmmhmmm...

Sautee 1/2 sweet onion diced in 3 tablespoons butter (plus a splash of vegetable oil) for 2 minutes on medium.  Toss in some finely chopped asparagus (I used 4 spears) and chanterelles (I had five large-ish ones), sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir around.  Sautee for an additional 3 minutes, stirring regularly.  Splash in a bit of white wine vinegar and cook, while stirring for another two minutes.  Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour and stir around, cooking for 1 minute.  Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of dried parsley, stir and bring to light boil - cook for 10 minutes.  Pour in 1/2 cup of milk (I used 2%) and a large dollop of sour cream, stirring until it is all blended together.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve and delight in the unusually tasty repast. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Enjoying Chantrelles

Step 1: Buy smoked cheese and smoked salmon from a lovely fellow who has just gone foraging for chantrelles.  
Express enthusiasm for said chantrelles.  
Graciously accept his edible favor.

Step 2: Dredge sliced shrooms in egg, flour, & spices.  
Fry up in skillet full of always acceptable to the taste buds: butter & garlic.  

Step 3:  Eat those babies up like someone is trying to steal them off your plate.
Which, as butter does, calls any living thing with a nose nearby, you may indeed have to do anyway.  

Step 4: Wipe mouth clean and pat belly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I really like this new sweater made out of sweatshirt material that I bought a couple weeks ago when I went shopping with my mom. It's nice to be able to just wash and dry it and not have to worry about laying it out to dry an lightly ironing it with tender loving care. It feels practically indestructible, but I still feel put together. Loves it! Plus, the fact the it a 50% off (thank you Eddie Bauer outlet) doesn't hurt either. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When I am Afraid

I'm spamming my blog tonight, but I'm inspired and I've got so much energy and I'm jamming all by my lonesome (is that possible when there are three living, breathing beings within three feet of you?).  All I can think about is the way God's light shines across the surface of everything I see and then I feel so blessed to see the world through his eyes more and more as I walk this path, this life He gave me.  And then I bust a move.  And feel perfectly sane.  Haha....

Exchanged in Secrets

The Highway I Travel

You are the highway I travel
'Cause I watched you carve streets of gold
From the sand and gravel
I gave you brokenness, you gave me innocence
And now this road leads to glory

Verse from For Love of You - Audrey Assad

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pine Cone Frames

"Gone was the old-fashioned combination bookcase and secretary that Mrs. Baker used to say belonged to her great grandfather; and all the musty old books that gloomed forth behind the grimy glass doors.  Even the two faded photographs of deceased parents framed in gilded pine cones were gone.  They used to swing on red worsted cords and when the wind blew in at the front window it would waft them around till they made a scratchy sound on the old ugly red wall paper that was faded to a dull magenta in spots.  They were all gone and the rooms were dusty and empty."

~ Partners by Grace Livingston Hill


"She came back with her coffee pot, bread, butter, some cereal, a tin box of crackers, half a dozen oranges, and a little bottle of milk.  She felt that she would rather get her own breakfasts than to be always going out for them."

~ Partners by Grace Livingston Hill

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm cutting out Starbucks save for the weekends with my husband.  I love saying "my husband." :)  And really, while I Starbucks, I love saving money even more than that if you can believe it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Holiday Bliss

My favorite magazine has always been Victoria, and the special "Bliss" editions are also incredibly inspiring. They feel much more like a book than a magazine so I don't minding spending a bit more for them.

I can't wait to try some of the recipes...
*Chai Shortbread Buttons
*Smoked Cheddar & Sun-Dried-Tomato Crisps

And the visions of Christmas decorations are sure to light a fire in me to spruce up our house for the holiday season (pun intended).

If you can find a copy for yourself, I highly recommend the investment!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Honeymoon in Bloom

I'm finally getting through some of the photos from our honeymoon and the flowers at Butchart Gardens are stealing the show.  We both got in on photographing the gardens because they are SPECTACULAR!  Everywhere you turn you lose your breath from the gorgeousness of it all.  As you can see by the light in these photos the weather was as close to perfect as we could have hoped for.  Sunny skies and about 70 degrees.  Pure bliss!  We'll treasure these memories for as long as we live.