Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Little Bit of Art

Fidget and I finished school this morning and wanted to do something fun this afternoon when it was scheduled to snow but only a little, and most of it is supposed to be sleet. I decided to try something I got as an assignment in grad school. That is, sketch a bunch of animals and then combine two or more to make your own creature.

 We have had fun drawing and painting our ideas and are going to make paper dolls from them next.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pie for Breakfast and Past Valentines

Here is what is left of the strawberry pie after we had anniversary pie for breakfast. You must try pie for breakfast if you never had. It is a special way to start the day. You wouldn't do it every day, and that's what makes it so great. 

Here also are some valentines and anniversary treats from years past. We almost always try to do something special for each other.

The Pres made the cedar heart coat rack for me our first anniversary. The heart pillow I made the year the Pres was heading out to deploy to Haiti as an enlisted heavy equipment operator. What memories these things bring!

 We knew we'd only be here one year, so we didn't put all our valentine treasures out. The heart rack had been put away for a long time. Maybe we will actually put it up and use it at our next duty station.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Here's the 20th Anniversary card I made for the Pres. Our big day is tomorrow.

 I used some old postcards I found with policemen on them and signed it from the Ol' Ball and Chain.

The words are sewn using my Bernina sewing machine with the quilting foot, the feed dogs lowered and the darning setting on.

Inside is a chain I made, a padlock I found down at the shore as well as a bottle opener that looks reminiscent of a key, which I got from a blacksmith at a festival one time when the Pres was deployed during our last duty station.

I am so glad God has kept us together all these years. I wouldn't want to spend them with anyone else. It is humbling. We aren't great. And we haven't always even been that great at being married. But God has shown us favor. In this we rejoice!

" are precious and honored in my sight..and I love you." Isaiah 43:4

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Apple Cobbler

I got this fancy little baking bowl for Christmas. It came with a little pamphlet of recipes and other good ideas for the bowl's uses. We loved the spinach dish I made in it. Last night I tried the apple cobbler recipe. It's really the same as apple pie, just in a deep bowl.

It calls for the slices from 3 apples, 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon tossed together, with butter on top. The bowl is small enough that though it calls for a top and bottom crust, I made both out of one crust and still have half the crust recipe left to use in another way. 

I love this bowl. It doesn't look like it holds much, but for our family of three, it makes a perfect amount. 

Fidget was very excited to try apple cobbler. It turns out she isn't interested in it after all. What she wanted was the ice cream.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Slipper Bread

A lot of times I feel like I have very little to give when it comes to holidays. I like to give home made gifts, and sometimes they take a lot of thinking about before I come up with something. The Pres is such a thoughtful gift giver. Even right before Valentines' week, I had come up with nothing. It goes without saying I always want to make a card, but what else? I finally thought of reuben sandwiches, which are one of the Pres' favorite things that I almost never make.

This year, part of my Valentine to the Pres and Fidget was ciabatta bread. This word ciabatta comes from the Italian for slipper. So sometimes we call it slipper bread. But the taste is far from shoe-like. And it would be perfect for showcasing the special taste of reubens.

The biga, or starter, has to be prepared a day in advance. It is in the green milk glass bowl, above. It has to be added bit by bit to the ciabatta dough in the mixer. While it takes almost half an hour to add, it makes a wonderfully complex taste, like sourdough. The biga and ciabatta come from this book, The Village Baker, which I highly recommend.

After a little while the dough rose and bubbled like a science experiment. Bread is so exciting!

 I wish this had smell-o-vision. There's nothing like the aroma of bread dough, especially the tang of an artisan bread dough.

 This recipe makes four loaves, plenty to keep and share. You also have the option while at this stage, of saving some for grissini, that is, Turinese Breadsticks, but I can never make myself do it.

Naturally I forgot to take photos of the reubens on Valentine's Day. These loaves were enough for reubens, as well as served another night with butter and my sister in law's wonderful spiced lentil soup. One morning Fidget had the bread with honey butter for breakfast. And I brought some soup and bread to two friends. I love it when baking works out and there's plenty to share.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lately I am learning about the sacrifice of praise as God has given me several friends with new babies. I had so longed for another baby, and I thought that desire was settled and put behind me. But I am finding that desire is still there, that my heart can become restless with the thought. 

When people ask me how I know God is real, this is how I know: He can fill in where I sorely lack. He has flooded me with joy for others' new babies to the point where it has surprised me. I feel strengthened by praising Him, not only for what He has given me, but for what He hasn't. And because I have had a friend miscarry a baby this week, I also feel sympathetic and able to comfort her in a way I couldn't otherwise. God truly does know what He's doing. And He has been good to me.

Some of the greatest blessings are the unseen joys of the heart.