Thursday, September 11, 2008



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Who can resist a smile or a flower? I created this simple graphic simply to help you lift the corners of your mouth today instead of letting gravity drag them downwards! I was inspired by the sentiment on my calendar I recently read - I hope it encourages you.

Through a happy springtime
And a summer filled with love,
May we walk into the autumn
With our thoughts on God above.

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Today value the beauty of the changing season.
No matter the time of year there is evidence that God is near.



*****



Mom and Dad's Wedding

~A Day to Remember~

This photo is not to celebrate the anniversary of my parent's wedding, its to celebrate the memory of my Mom. This has to be the happiest photo I've ever seen of each of these important people in my life, my Gramma, Dad and my Mom. Mom is just beaming here - there were so many hard times in our childhood, financially and otherwise, but Mom stepped into our lives (wound up with 8 kids to look after!) and stood in there for it all. For a lot of my life I never really appreciated all she did for us - its only in introspect I see how she denied herself for us, time after time. As the saying goes, life is lived forward and understood backwards.

Today is the anniversary of my Mom's passing. My Dad loved her passionately and she returned his love. She stood in to be my Mom through countless moves around the province, from mining town to mining town. Often having to take two vehicles/airplanes at a time to accommodate our whole entourage. She went out to work to make sure we had food on the table and gifts under the tree each year. I wish I would have taken the time to know her better while I had the opportunity.

Things were often not perfect in our home, but I do know, now as a grown woman, the gifts she gave me I'd not otherwise have. She taught us manners, respect and how to take care of my home. She tried to support me in my artistic abilities, something I'd not realized till a short time ago. I wish I could find the one snap I have of her - on a bike in some funny looking shoes - she WAS adventurous! She was a terrific cook, bringing her English recipes with her. I remember mint jelly on lamb, a roast with yorkshire pudding every sunday, fresh homemade doughnuts, cream puffs and trifle. She made exceptional bread.

I miss her, very much.


*****





Apple Butter - mmm...

And its a time to preserve!

I've got it in my bones, I suppose. Some of my fondest memories are of my Gramma putting up fruit and jams. Why, if she had enough only for one jar she had a special setup for that. She had a medium sized pot, just taller than a mason jar. She put something in the bottom of it - I'm not certain if it was a twisted wire or an inverted saucer, so that a jar would not be sitting directly on the bottom. She'd cook the single jar up, nothing went to waste.

So, I've got the bug. Checking out what fruit is available, and then hunting for recipes. I found this lovely All Day Apple Butter recipe at the following website, just click HERE. What I really appreciate about it is being able to cook it all day in a crock pot. Or, night. Ya, its marvelous to wake up to the pungent, tangy, sweet almost heady scent of apples, cinnamon and cloves wafting through the house. Hits your olfactory system hard - better than the best Yankee Candle.

Of course, I'm not content to leave well enough alone with any recipe and always find ways to adapt it to my own. I put ground pepper in mine, and I'm not shy with it at all. On my second batch I actually tossed the contents of a Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice teabag into a coffee grinder I keep specifically for grinding spices, whirled it up and cooked that into the mix. So my first batch is more fiery and sweet, while the second is more subtle and 'buttery'.

This should work equally well as a spread on toast, with or without a layer of cream cheese, or this Apple Butter could be used as a condiment with pork or chicken nicely. I've also got plans to adapt a loaf recipe I spied on another blog site - the Apple Butter will become a topping! I'll keep you posted.

Hmmm....

To make a THIRD batch or not?



Peaches for my Sweet!

Mr. Miles loves peaches. He'd eat them almost daily, but we settled on me making enough that he could eat a jar a week - almost. It took two days out of my existence to put these up, but worth every second as this is his love language.

My friend Elaine has inspired me to do something novel. I'm tithing 10% of my preserves this year. I usually do wind up sharing some of it, but though we tithe on our income I'd never thought to tithe on my 'stuff' before. I suppose my free giveaways on my blog are always a tithe too, for no matter how busy I get designing for the shop, I've always got something FREE for everyone here, but I'd never considered about other areas of my life. We've got a young couple in mind for these yummy peaches and preserves.

Do you ever tithe things other than part of your income?



My Redecorated Space!

'Fall Cleaning' has hit my home. I felt the urge to rearrange part of our 'nest' - my desk/craft area in this instance. I'd decorated the back wall with samples from a wallpaper book some time ago, but it never looked quite finished. Then, I was inspired by a Martha Stewart craft idea to put the ribbons criss crossed to hold photos and such.

I'd just tacked the ribbons in, as its cork board in behind, and the tacks looked 'tacky' (pun intended) - so I got a brainwave to hot glue buttons in neutral colors over the heads of the tacks - now it looks pretty. I'm going to WANT to spend time in this space!

Do YOU get a fall cleaning bug too? Any project you are working on lately?



Beautiful Layout by my Sister In Law

Speaking of making me SMILE - this layout was created for me by my thoughtful Sister in Law Judy. She's always an encouragement and inspiration. I'm so glad we can share our Faith, Digital Scrapbooking and love of family. Thank you Judy, I'm going to treasure this.

Speaking of Rellies (fambily members) - my brother and sister in law, Dave and Neti are on vacation at the moment (green with envy here, folks) and they've been sending photos of their adventures. I'm going to share some on my next blog post - stay tuned in!




Whooooo - are you?

What Mr. Miles saw on his walk the other day. This is his little show and tell, as he invited me down to see, but I did not make it. This impressive bird stayed put through two of his visits!

17 comments:

  1. I'd love to see such an owl!

    Your firey apple butter sounds ... interesting. We go through a LOT of apple butter. I can't wait to get my apples. Soon. Those peaches look so yummy. I made a peach cobbler for last night's dessert. Quite tasty. A new recipe with a strange twist but it turned out and that's the main thing.

    Are you getting ready for a big birthday bash or is it a ways off yet?

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  2. Hiya Barb!!!
    Talk about memory lane...I havent had apple butter since I was little...my grandma used to make it....
    We picked the last of our peaches off the tree last night..not enough for a pie or a cobbler but perfect for milkshakes... :D
    Thanks for making me remember something I had fogotten so many years ago....
    xoxo
    Kristine

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  3. Lovely memories of your mum.

    Was she english?

    Love the sound of apple butter. Never tasted it, but sounds delicious.

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  4. It's funny how owls are so "in" in the scrapbooking scene right now - the digi ones are so much cuter than the real thing! Granted he's handsome, regal even, but he's certainly not cute like the digi ones we see!

    Visiting from IL via the DST blog train - come find me here: htpp://isladeangela.wordpress.com/

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  5. I'm sorry for the loss of your mother. What a beautiful page to remember her by! And the freebie is darling!

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  6. wow love all the canning ..can't wait to have a taste...Yes Carol had a lot of good in her ...she always made me welcome and the kids to . Yes that Grama... wasn't time you did not leave her house with out jams and goodies ...I am glad to see that you have kept some of the neat ideas and recipe and traits has they had. Love that owl.
    all our love sis
    P.S. the picture is back on my blog ...don't know what happen

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  7. Those peaches look so tasty, makes me wish I had not passed on the peaches when I had a chance at some yesterday. What a wonderful tribute you shared of your mother.

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  8. Good Evening Barb:)
    I haven't been on the puter much today.I spent the morning watching the news and clips etc from 911.It's amazing how those awful feelings reappeared as I watched it.:( I had tears running down my face as I remembered the punch in my stomach.You can most likely understand even more about how I felt ..cause you got one too.Soo sorry about your Mom.:( I know you miss her and from the way YOU turned out..I know she left behind a wonderful gift for us all.:)Love your layout too.!!
    Thank you so much for the happy little flower.How cute!:)
    You are making my mouth water with your preserves.mmmm.Not sure about the black pepper though.LOL My Dad would love it.I think he ate everything with black pepper on it.
    Your desk area is so cute! I have been fall cleaning too.I cleaned out the kitchen drawers and under the kitchen sink this week and today I did the refrigerator.:)With four adults in the house..I will have to repeat it real soon.LOL
    Have a wonderful weekend if I don't see you before.:)

    Hugs,
    Valinda

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  9. The one thing I miss most about living in Florida is that I cannot have a vegetable and fruit garden and I cannot can. Oh well, but I thank you for those sweet memories.

    I hope your day of remembrance for your mother was a joyful one. It sounds like it since the memories you recount are so wonderful.

    And Mr. Miles got a terrific shot of that owl. He is impressive!

    Victoria

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  10. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 12 Sep [LA 12:00am, NY 02:00am, UK 07:00am, OZ 05:00pm] ).

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  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,HAPPPPY BIIIRRRRRTHDAY to you- my dear friend. Who has my mouth watering here.lol
    My friend, I wish you nothing but the greatest happiness and joy always. And that you have a fantastic day today. Hope the Mr is going to spoil you rotten. You deserve it!
    Love ya tons
    ME

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  12. Hello!

    Coming from Kim B's blog to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

    :D

    Have a great day!

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  13. Happy Birthday.

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  14. Happy Birthday Barb!!! May your day be filled with love and laughter and your heart filled with song!!

    Mwah!
    xoxox
    Kristine

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  15. Today is Monday 15th and I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday, allthe best, hope you are having a great day !!! Roselily

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  16. Coming from Kim b's and Amy W.s blogs as it is my birthday on the 16th I wish you a very Happy Belated Birthday. Virgos Rawk!!!

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  17. You don't know me, but i've been visiting your wonderful blog for awhile now, wanted to wish you the Happiest of Birthdays to you Barb!! Better late then never I say..

    I can't wait to try your apple butter, sounds delicious and sounds even easier to make. I've been busy putting up canning our extra pumpkin, peppers and tomatoes (not together though lol) I'm sick of making salsa already! Never considered it tithing before you said it, but we always give away over half of what we grow out of our garden every year, many have tried to buy it from us now..but we won't consider it at all. I get pleasure of doing for my neighbors and the poeple I know would could really use it. I'm disabled and at home, but my better half takes alot to work as well to hand out.

    I too have had a major cleaning bug lately, tired of all the dust, think it is worse then spring time clearing out! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your parents and gramma, I know mine used a clean bike chain curled up with several coffee filters over it, in a medium sized pot for smaller canning :) Your peaches looked lovely, would you consider sharing your canned peaches recipie? I'd love to try it, that's one I don't have.
    Wish you the best and thank you for spreading the word!
    TrevelynP aka. OnlyEagle2u

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