March Joy Dare — Part 1

One Thousand Gifts in 2012

March Joy Dare–capturing these gifts and joining Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience.

“Joy is always a function of gratitude — and gratitude is always a function of perspective. If we are going to change our lives, what we’re going to have to change is the way we see.”

March 1 — 3 gifts at 3pm

Watching the chickens run out of their pen for free-range eating
The quiet of nap time
Gathering fresh laid eggs

March 2   — 3 gifts green

I have started two knitting projects of the same pattern
both in green different size yarn

but oh how different

New Spring green growth

March 3  —  3 gifts wore

A hair net to keep the bun in place
Tights, I love tights.
My shawls, knit, ripped, re knit by me, until I got it right.

March 4  –3 gifts HARD to give thanks for

Leaving our home
The illness of a daughter-in-law
The learning in this season of my life

March 5  — 3 gifts found

Primroses pushing up out of the barren looking soil
Knitting needles hiding in yarn dens being organized
A place for a dresser returned

March 6  —  gift bent, gift broken, gift beautiful

Our deck furniture is wrought iron –bent
My idea for my future is broken
God’ perfect plan for me is beautiful,
Psalm 18:30  As for God, his way is perfect:

March 7  –3 gifts in the kitchen

New pans from Brother Bob
Just enough storage space
A window over the sink

March 8 —  3 gifts  loud

This littlie is very loud

the Farmer’s tractor (sometimes the loud is a bit too much)
The singing at family night

March 9 — 3 gifts carved

A pair of knitting needles made from the walnut trees grown
at the farm where I purchased them
White washed wooden candlesticks
A bear from my Mom and Brother

March 10  3 gifts in Christ

Every need supplied
Job 23:10  But He knoweth the way that I take:
2Corinthians 1:3 -4 Blessed be God, . . . the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,

Gifts 296 — 326

Published in: on March 12, 2012 at 2:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Five Minute Friday — Empty, Yet Full

We lie down in our words and make snow angels.We try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Snow angels come in all sizes and shapes, so our words reflect us and it is not until we get up, turn around and look – that we see. . .

Today’s prompt  —  Empty


It was the last day I would ever walk in the house that had been my home for the previous 13 years.

I picked up the leavings,
the last of the remnants of the life lived

I check the closets, the drawers, the cupboards

I looked in all the rooms,
gazed up at all 12 of the skylights,
dusted the mantle of the river rock fireplace,
and finally mopped the hard wood floors for the last time.

I listened and heard

laughter and raised voices
singing and prayers
whispered dreams and loud defiance
cat purrs, dog barks, bird singing
candles, birthday cakes, Mom’s meatloaf, family nights,
thankfuls around the circle

The house was empty, quiet and still

My eyes will tears overflowing

My heart with so many memories . . . full.


To read about other’s emptiness go here

Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 11:01 am  Comments (11)  

The Saga of the Bologna Sandwich

It was time to make cornbread for family night.  Mary was making jambalaya and fried zucchini so cornbread seemed to be the proper compliment. What about Cajun cornbread instead of the tried and true version I’ve been making since I was 8 years old.

Where else to look for a recipe in these modern days but Google. came up with several versions. I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of them. So while pondering do I fake it, do I run 🙂 to the store and buy stuff, or…….. when I saw listed  —  Bologna Sandwich.

I couldn’t help myself …………….

Buy some ham or bologna (one pack) and some bread (one loaf) and buy a little jar of mustard. Then you make yourself a bologna sandwich. Put the bread down on the table, put the bologna on it. Spread the mustard on the bologna. Put another piece of bread on the bologna, then eat it with some milk. Then clean up.

and  5  PAGES  of comments. Talk about a walk down memory lane.


with white bread

with mustard

with mayo

with lettuce, tomato, pickles

with Miracle whip

with peanut butter (I’ve never done that one)

Fried bologna

Babs – Am I the only person who’s fried bologna makes a big bump in the middle?

Fran  – yes it will make a bump in the middle! You take a knife and make a slice in the middle, then slice the outside rim (4-5 slashes around) for it not to curl!

Fried called a Flat Dog Sandwich

Grilled  with cheese

Ghetto steak and cheese:  from Bid Daddy  “OK here’s what you really do… butter 2 slices of bread and place the bologna and Sharp Cheddar in between them… now place the sandwich in the skillet buttered side down… basically your making a grilled cheese sandwich with a Lil flat hotdog in the middle… now enjoy what me and my kids call “ghetto steak and cheese sandwiches” camping favorite…. don’t forget the strawberry soda and the potato chips…..”

Isabella said, “OK here’s the deal. Cut all the crust off of two slices of white bread. The fresher the bread, the better. Then put a slice of bologna on one slice of bread, and mustard on the other slice of bread. Put them together like a sandwich and with your hand press down on the sandwich until the mustard squishes out and the bread is as thin as the bologna. It’s so good this way and your sandwich won’t fall apart. I guarantee.”

Robert added, “I am a food vender. I cook bologna on a smoker grill. I cook with wood, people love it. I put cheese on it with a little mayo and a tomato on it but I call this Kentucky round steak. They love this at the fair’s.”

Noelle replies  “Wow, who knew that a simple recipe would evoke such a passionate & nostalgic response? All the recipes sound great. My grandfather used to fry a piece of bologna in an iron skillet & place a square of American cheese on top while in the pan just so the cheese would melt ever so slightly. The square on the circle looked so neat to me as a child. He called it a flying saucer because the balogna would bump up in the center. You can bet that all of us grandkids were eager to eat something with such a cool name.”

Remember this:  from Hanna – When I was a kid, the greatest snack was a piece of bologna and eat two holes for your eyes then a hole for your mouth and its tons of fun! I’ll have to try frying my bologna – that sounds yummy!

International :  All Austinians know fried boloney is elephant ears, and all off the aforementioned recipes are just as good with spam if you add melted brown sugar & butter. Boloney & gym, here I come =:)  Hormel Baby

I would never have thought of this from Francis

“John, from Wisconsin, I have enjoyed reading all of these recipes, but loved your remark, before you clean up, make sure you offer your mother one, since I am a mother. I am for the deep fried bologna, dipped in milk, not water, followed by immersion in flour, then fried in bacon drippings, followed by deep fried tomato slices, loaded onto cheap rainbow or sunbeam bread, smeared liberally with mayonnaise. If you must have mustard, open the jar, set it in the middle of the table and stick a flower in it for ambiance.”
(Apparently she doesn’t like mustard.)

Thanks for the help:

Thanks I’m just learning how to cook. This one really helped, anyone have a recipe to peanut butter and Jelly? – Marcy

OMG … mom use to make a sandwich just like this one. I lost the recipe years ago,I never thought I’d EVER find it again. Bless you for posting it. My kids and I thank you 🙂  -Denise

Thanks so much!! This is my husband’s favorite meal and my mother in law would never give me the recipe (she even took the recipe card out of her box when we house sat). I’m going to run out to the store and make this for him tonight. I’ll show her!!  Debbie

Jennifer —  Back home in Minnesota, we didn’t eat much bologna. We ate SPAM. Fry the SPAM, golden brown on both sides, toast and butter your bread, then slather with Miracle Whip, add the fried SPAM, and you have yourself a serious Northern meal!

But that’s a different subject!

I had so much fun reading  and remembering——–Mom, “go to the store get 1/2 lb. bologna, 1/2 lb, chopped ham )you do know what chopped ham is, don’t you?), 1/2 lb. salami and a loaf of Wonder bread.”  It was time for lunch!

Here’s where to go to see this for your self.,169,145181-224202,00.html  

Thanks to for such a delightful time of smiles, snickers and wishes for bologna in the fridge.

Oh, I ran out of time looking at bologna that I had to make the plain jane  cornbread. 🙂

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Open Letter to the New Owner

One day I drove by this house, and everything I saw caught my attention. The house was empty. If a house is empty, I take advantage of the freedom to snoop. I looked in every window I could. What I saw was the fulfillment of a dream I didn’t know I had. I didn’t know I loved hardwood floors, river rock fireplaces with bookend bookshelves, sky lights and windows, Oh, I loved the windows. I loved the craftsman style and colors.

Later when I told the Farmer (who was then the Welder) about the House, I said, “It is everything we would want, but I know we can’t afford it. Please just come and look at it.” So we did. As we walked through the house marveling over the features we loved, we knew we could do this or this for the Lord here.
The Welder said, “Let’s try to buy it.” Fifteen days after we looked at the house on Lincoln Avenue we were signing papers to purchase the home.

I always wanted daffodils. Now I had daffodils.

As you walk through this door, I want to tell you a little about it. This House is a treasure box  filled with love and laughter, children and grandchildren, health and healing, sickness and sadness, singing and praying.

This House has been a house of parties, guests numbering from just a few to over 100. Emily’s never to be forgotten 12th birthday party held less than a month after we moved in.  Alex’s first birthday party was held on the newly finished 1ooo square foot deck. His grandparents and uncle from Hawaii came to celebrate with us. I can’t number the times after church,  “Come,  Bring your own snacks.” My father’s 70th birthday party as  he was entering into Alzheimer’s grip. Monthly family night get-to-gathers  full of good food, laughter, singing, games, birthdays, children, anniversaries, stories, thankfuls, and prayer.   The Crain Thanksgiving, 3 day event, often with 40-60 relatives and friends sharing much love and laughter. Ladies with their handwork and Gentlemen with their laptops.  Young People’s Class parties in October initiating the new members.  We even hosted a wedding!

This House was always seen in our eyes as belonging to God. We were the overseers. The House has been a refuge for family and friends who needed a home, or a time of care, or a place to stay between now and later. Some stayed for a few days, some for months. The House just seemed to expand and adapt and accept all that came through the door.

The door that was always open and the house always welcoming.

You would have had to see the gardens to believe them.

You would have had to taste the veggies to appreciate the freshness.

You had to be here to see how grandchildren and their fathers played.Our chicken pen

In 2010, we lost our business, we lost our home, but we did not lose our memories.  We did not lose our faith. We have not been forsaken or left alone. Our God didn’t need this house anymore, so it was time for us to move on. This was God’s plan. We haven’t understood all that has happened or why. We have trusted anyway, even in the shadows and darkness of sorrow and grief.

So today, I wiped down counters, picked up remnants of livingand put into the trash the leftovers of sorting. I vacuumed and mopped the hardwood one last time. (Use Pledge for hard wood floors, it gives the floor a beautiful satin glow) I remembered so many good times, hard times, and precious times of loving family and serving God.

Today I said good bye and walked out the door, and thanked God with my whole heart for the privilege of living and loving in the house He provided for us all to enjoy.

Dear new owner, if you will pause and listen carefully, you’ll hear whispers of love, children’s giggles, running feet, crackling fires, music loud, sometimes raised voices, questions, sighs, sobs…because real people have lived in this house.

I only ask: bring love and joy to this house, and this house will love you so much.

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 12:09 am  Comments (6)  

Simple Woman’s Daybook — August 16, 2011


TODAY is  August 16,2011



Outside my window…it’s 10:58pm PDST, I can see a street light.

I am thinking... I really should be in bed.

I am thankful forToday is my birthday, I’m thankful for the long life I have been given, 49 years ago Doctors told me I had a week to live.

From my learning roomsI’ve been pondering a portion of a post from Ann Voskamp on the Lord’s Prayer:

Give us this day our daily bread… I trust that in this day, You’ll give me what is nourishing, what I need. Keep me from chewing at tomorrow’s worry, gnawing at yesterday’s regrets. Today, I will simply collect the manna You’ve given for this day, and know that what You rain down in this day is what is best. My daily bread. Cause me to give thanks and eat what You give.

From the kitchencheck out the picture, fried zucchini, a summer time treat. I don’t know why but I hardly ever make this during the rest of the year.

I am wearinga black cotton knit nightie

I am creatingstill in the process of building a log cabin quilt

I am going...  out to lunch at the Claim Jumper tomorrow

I am readingPlain Promises by Beth Wiseman

I am hopingto finish a quilt (not the log cabin, a different one from the Kaye England quilt group, it just needs binding) for new baby girl by Saturday.

I am hearing... crickets and night noises, (and one pesky fly ugh!)

Around the house...the laundry is washed and folded and put away, sounds a little like bragging, but I’m glad it’s done.

One of my favorite things is to rock little babies, my daycare child’s mom just had a new baby girl, so I’m looking forward to more rocking.

A few plans for the rest of the week: lunch out tomorrow, visit a shut-in on Thursday, make potato salad on Friday for family night on Saturday, Kaye England quilt group on Saturday morning, and a meet the new baby brunch on Saturday. Looks like a full and blessed rest of the week.

Here is picture I am sharing…

Scripture…Promises given 49 years ago.

Psalms 91:14-16  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Join Simple Woman’s Daybook and  me to pause and reflect on Tuesdays

What Happens at Family Night gets posted!

Family night was a fun place to be! Everyone but two were able to come, Aunty A and Cousin C were very much missed.

The boy cousins 12 and under arrived in the afternoon with pool time with Uncle A and Uncle D.  Most got some SPR (swimming pool rash); ALL had a great time.

I see some SPR on this Guy…but he doesn’t see us!

Our menu included Grandpa T”s tri tip shish kabob with zucchini (from the Farmer’s garden, mushrooms, and onions, rice  a roni, rolls, salad with cucumbers and cherry and yellow pear tomatoes (from the Farmer’s garden, and three kindsa  pickles.  Chocolate cake, cinnabon cupcakes, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, and bo’nilla ice cream. YUM!

Aunty M and  Aunty E use their time to advantage.

Some serious thinking occurred.

And a little educational reading happened.

SEVEN birthdays ( we had missed June) and ONE anniversary were celebrated.

A rousing sing a long kept us laughing.

Uncle A read us the story of David and Goliath, several thought provoking comments were added by the listeners.  Pray was made for dear ones far away but close in our hearts, and for near ones with special needs, and for all Little I’s friends.

Ten people were able to be thankful, I wish I had written them down. The variety of blessings are beyond number, and always worth the telling.

The Old folks left (Uncle b and the Farmer), the younger battled it out on the Wii

A serious player

and a somewhat lopsided game of 5 Crowns was played in the dining room.

Some of the crew!

Thank you Uncle A and Aunty A for extending again your warm welcome to your home for our family’s night together.

(PS. The quilt in the back ground of some of the pictures was paper pieced and quilted by Aunty E.)

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm  Comments (10)