Wednesday, March 14, 2007


This element was created using a reference photo from sxc using a picture by Mooncat. I've still got many more animals lined up for the zoo - I hope you are enjoying this series, as much as I am enjoying making them!

Today is a day where I'm not quite sure whats going to happen here on my blog! I have not figured out anything concrete to write so I will make 'blog salad' - share all the best little bits in my heart and mind.

First of all - the packing is coming along. I got about 5 boxes of 'non-essentials' boxed up out of the kitchen yesterday. As I was puttting the tape on them I was thinking "You know, if this box somehow DISAPPEARED, I would be able to live without it..." Thats what sort of stuff was in those boxes. This wild little urge comes over me... host an impromptu yard sale and sell the entire boxes at a set price, ha ha! (But then the practical side of me takes over and wrestles me to reason)

Other than our 1.5 hour walk last night and a quick trip to the thrift yesterday, I stayed home and snug. These long walks at night are really making a difference! The only excersize I have been doing, along with watching what I eat, is to walk nightly (most nights) and do sit ups. I hit the floor many times during the day to do sets of 50 sit ups at a time. Often I can rack up about 600 sit ups a day. Now this is from building up since January - don't go trying this right away! I started with doing sets of 5 and working up to the 50. 5 used to kill my stomach, now 50 is a breeze. I have a flat, muscley stomach and I feel so strong. My back feels so strong. Did you know that if you strengthen your stomach muscles you strengthen your back at the same time? The reason the sit ups work for me is because I can do them practically anywhere, any time, with no extra equiptment. Why don't you try just 5 for me today?


With making healthier eating choices I am becoming attracted to finding cooking methods which are low fat and easy. I just came across a recipe in the Sunset Magazine 2007 issue I would like to share with you - It uses parchment paper!

First of all, they provide instructions on how to make a parchment packet:

The term for cooking in parchment is "en papillote" and the shape of the paper is important. Fold a piece of parchment paper about 2.5 times the size of what you will be cooking, in 1/2 and cut into a 1/2 heart shape.

Unfold, fill 1/2 with your ingredients, and fold the 1/2 over to close. Start at teh top of the heart in the center of the dip and fold about 1/4 of the edge toward the center and start rolling it around the rim, crimping the roll to seal it. When the roll reaches the bottom tip of the heart, twist to seal.


4 fillets sole

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

3 green onions, cut into 3 inch lengths and sliced thinly lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fold 4 pieces of parchment paper (12 x 14 inches) in 1/2 to form 7 x 12 inch half-heart shapes as large as the paper allows. Unfold into hearts. Place a fish fillet to one side of the center of each heart and sprinkle with 1/4 of the salt. Spread each fillet with 1/4 of the ginger. Drizzle with 1/4 of the sesame oil and top with 1/4 of the green onions. Fold papers over fillets and crimp edges to close. Put packets on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily in the middle - if not done bake 5 more minutes.

Makes 4 servings

PS: I also read somewhere for Valentines day or a Romantic Dinner, you can make the packages out of two full heart shapes and do this, then you serve your sweet one an entire 'heart' package!


With all the excitement in our lives at the moment I find myself needing some 'grounding'. Its become harder and harder to find some quiet time. I find myself a bit on edge, with friends and family - and often speaking to my beloved in a less than loving tone. I find myself resisting and assuming and more concerned with 'me' than 'thee' and so I know I need a spiritual 'tune up'. I need to BE STILL. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to NOT do...

Be still! Just now be still!

Something thy soul hath never heard,

Something unknown to any song of bird,

Something unknown to any wind, or wave, or star,

A message from the Fatherland afar,

That with sweet joy the homesick soul shall thrill,

Cometh to the if thou canst but be still.

Be still! Just now be still!

There comes a presence very mild and sweet;

White are the sandals of His noiseless feet.

It is the Comforter whom Jesus sent

To teach, thee what the words He uttered meant.

The willing, waiting spirit, He doth fill.

If thou would'st hear His message,

Dear soul, be still!

JOB 6:24

Teach me, and I will be quiet;

show me where I have been wrong.

How do YOU get away for prayer or quiet time in today's busy times? I would love to hear from you!


Picture This - Anywhere in the World!

I have to thank blog reader JOSEY for providing this tip for us today! This site is like, and works with Google Earth and Flikr (something termed a mashup) to enable you to view photos from all over the globe! No need to download any software. This would be a terrific site to share with friends and educators! If you upload some snaps send me a link?



  1. Barb!! I am amazed at how your animals are so lifelike!! They are Amazing! GREAT JOB and thank you so much for sharing them with us.. :) I for one am not that artistic and love being able to make my layouts look Unique!! :) THANK YOU:) I will Email you when I use them :)

  2. Thank you for the monkey.

  3. Thank you for the hyena and mooncat monkey (that animal is a new one to me!) Your downloads have been little treats that brighten my day, and your generosity inspires me to, in turn, be more generous.

  4. Thank you for another of your fantastic animals!

  5. Thank you so much for these wonderful African downloads. I will probably use them for my daughter's sixteenth birthday party pics. She had a leopard/African theme for her party. I would just love it if you had a leopard/cheetah/lion/tiger or something like that tucked away somewhere. This is the first time I have ever requested anything so I hope you are not offended. No pressure, just musing... Thank you again. God bless you and yours and I hope your day is wonderful, as you have certainly brightened mine.

  6. Good Afternoon Barb:)
    I had errands to run this morning and my dh is off today so I haven't been able to blog very much.
    I was hoping there would be a monkey on your ark.:)This one is a cutie.:) You did an excellent job on it.:)Thank you for sharing.
    You are right..the oven didn't get cleaned yesterday.I started to open it to look inside and got know those movies where the kid goes to the basement and the furnace comes alive and scares the begeebbers out of them?That kind of scared.LOL But I am determined think about it.LOL
    Have a fantastic day!


  7. Hi thank you for the newest addtion to your freebies. They're wonderful...I'm planning a trip to Chicago, IL to go to their Zoo's. They have 2 zoo's and I hear they're really cool. So all that your doing is going to help me with the pictures I take and scrap... Thank you also for the share on the recipe..It sounds yummy...Take care.


  8. Wow...what a wonderful monkey...Thank you!!!

  9. Wonderful monkey today Barb! (Much better than yesterday's-lol) Thank you for visiting my blog today and for going over to help me pick on Jess- she's such a silly goose. I did however get her to finally post something so I guess it worked. I've actually cooked stuff in parchment just as you described. I made some rosemary and garlic potatoes- oh yummy they sound good right now. I'll have to dig out that recipe.
    Hugs to you and Miles,

  10. What a cutie monkey (maybe a face only a mother could love)! I think that would be fun to use your box and sell idea. Thank you for creating, inspiring, and sharing.

  11. Ack - monkeys - evil creatures. *snicker* They will steal anything & leave a 'treasure' behind after they leave.

    All your walking is very inspiring. Hope my honey is well soon so I can get out for some hiking after work now that we have all this wonderful LONG LIGHT!

    I like the "Be Still" song/poem.

  12. I love your blog missy! I don't skip it if I can help it but I am a bit behind playing catch up tonight.

    About the "be still"... I tend to be still and just think through things when I sit here at my computer. My 2 year old keeps me pretty busy so I am always multitasking. I try to think things through while I design things for scrapbooking, which is why some of my designs come out a little goofier than others. Also, I like to read quotes and scripture verses and use them as inspiration. A lot of my word out comes about this way.

    I am so busy these days with the warmer weather because we can't get Maia to come in the house, so I spend a lot of time just relaxing on my back porch admiring the yard and searching it for potential while she plays on her slide and swingset. I love the quietness mixed in with the sound of her giggling, it's perfect :)

  13. Thank you for the monkey! I also meant to thank you for the fire starter instructions, those sound easy to make. Connie


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