Friday, October 31, 2008

If you would like to join in the fun of Show and Tell Fridays, just click HERE sign up at Kelli's blog!


I snuck my little trip in to the thrift store yesterday - between picking up a few last minute items for Mr. Miles birthday. While I was there I checked a rack I normally overlook. Most of the clothes are simply 'dated' and far too big. But yesterday, this dress caught my eye.

I looked the tag up on the internet - only found one other Dress Town dress - I think it was on ebay - a german sales add for a pretty, soft mint green shorter dress. Asking $100 US. From the small amount of information I could glean, this was a company from Manitoba, Canada.

It came with this broach affixed - a perfect match to the pretty pearl accents sewn onto the neclkine and wrists.

I'm not sure if you would call this an 'empire' waist?

The belt ties at the back into a bow.

click to view larger

Hangs to floor length. This dress is 100 polyester - the kind they used to make ladies stretch slacks out of, heavywieght. I'm grateful for this because I get cold easily. I will appreciate this in the winter.

While my hair still had a bit of curl from dressing up for Mr. Miles' birthday celebration last night, I had him snap a photo before leaving for a workout at the gym.

This cost me an entire $2...

Canadian. With our dollar the way it is, this is REALLY inexpensive.

Thank you for all your comments and well wishes for Mr. Miles birthday yesterday. We had a wonderful day, and we have more quiet plans this weekend. So, I will be visiting everyone for Show and Tell - early next week!

Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


(actual childhood photo - googly eyes added)

googly eyes - scrappin cop
frame and ribbon - LLW (Linda) Fall Splendor
screw - barb derksen - heart music

October 30th is my sweetie's birthday. Yes, Mr. Miles ages another year. He gets great glee out of the fact that for a few short months of each year he's only 1 point something years younger than me, and then when his birthday arrives he's 2. Such a baby!

Not bad for an 'old-timer' - KIDDING!


barb derksen - heart music kit
(created with a TON of KimB's CU products)

Yes, the years have certainly been good to my man. And why is this - men age and get more 'character' while it seems to 'suck' the color right outta my skin, my hair, why everywhere! Ah, but age has not made my honey to lose his 'spark' He sparkles mighty fine!

Take a picture - it lasts longer!

Barb Derksen - Heart Music

Miles I love you now more than ever. The years seem to blend one into another, so fast. If you were a cheese, you'd be a good one. Sharp, rich (not in money perhaps, but in charm, talent etc) I could list a MILLION things I love about you, but I'll whittle the list down to 48 - your age.

  1. You are one of the exceptional examples of chivalry in this age – you're not a chauvenist. You take the lead in our marriage, but you also do it in a serving way.

  1. You open doors.

  2. You pull out chairs.

  3. When we ran road races you always stayed back with me – never mind the timing!

  4. You always give me the 'best' of a meal, insisting I take that little bit of tenderloin.

  5. You took me faithfully to see my Grandma before she passed away.

  6. You encourage me to visit with family.

  7. You buy me cream puffs from the place I like them – the one with the 'real' whip cream

  8. You make emergency Cheezie runs on a Friday night before a movie.

  9. You'll cave to a chick-flick instead of the sci-fi you've been wanting to see.

  10. You take out the trash.

  11. You take care of Sabastian (our van) – keeping her fueled and ready and clean should I need a thrift store run.

  12. You make sure I have cash for the thrift store.

  13. You go to the thrift store with me.

  14. You go yard saling with me on the weekend, even if you have a busy schedule.

  15. You go for a walk with me daily, even if you've been to the gym in the morning and are dog-tired.

  16. You let me chatter on and on and ...

  17. You honour our parents.

  18. You enable me to shop at Claire's – my little addiction.

  19. You teach me computer skills – even after a 12 hour day teaching students.

  20. You use photos of me in your Photography classes.

  21. You bring me up in conversation if an attractive female seems over-friendly at school or elsewhere.

  22. You TELL me if an attractive female finds seems over-friendly.

  23. You invite me to spend time at the school.

  24. You phone and check with me even when there's a meeting you 'have' to attend.

  25. You've never spent a night away from me – NOT ONE.

  26. You bring me coffee in bed – every day.

  27. You shave for ME every day. You ask me if I'd like you to!

  28. You take out the compost regularly.

  29. You cook for me.

  30. You bring me flowers.

  31. You don't swear – you find creative ways to express your frustration.

  32. You're faithful, obedient and encourage me in our Faith.

  33. You take time out of each day to connect with me.

  34. You like me to read to you.

  35. You buy me all the latest 'toys' – when I would go with something simple.

  36. You teach me how to use these toys.

  37. You encourage me in my art.

  38. You warm the van for me on cold days.

  39. You rub my feet when they are cold.

  40. You do 90% of the grocery shopping for me.

  41. You paint my toenails.

  42. You always unlock my door of the van and adjust the cover.

  43. You encourage me to sing – even though I don't have a very great voice.

  44. You believed in my artistic talent and skills before I did.

  45. You phone me on EVERY school break – just to say “I love you”

  46. You let me use your good razor blades for my legs, even though it kills your face if you don't have a new one left.

  47. You drive everywhere for us, unless I want to. Even on holidays when we go thousands of miles.


Want to know how amazing my man is? Its like this.

I get up this morning, all bedraggled and dreading the thought of canning the 55 lb of tomatoes waiting for me in the kitchen. Mr. Miles comes bouncing in to my bedroom, with a fresh, hot, steaming cup of coffee, all shiny clean and dressed ready for school and he asks me if I 'have two minutes' I snuggle up in his arms and he says - "I just want you to know that I went down this morning to get a jar of peaches from the pantry, and when I looked at all the jars of fruit and produce you've put up I was proud. I just want you to know, you're the BEST wife."

*lump in my throat*

Canning was not a problem.

That's my man.

Miles, I love you more than words can say! I thank God that you are the ONE He chose for me!


And so, to celebrate my beloved's special day, I made you a kit! He has the birthday, YOU get a present! I hope you like it. I called it heart music because my baby is a VERY talented musician.

Barb Derksen's HEART MUSIC - a Happy Birthday kit for Mr. Miles!


(a LOT of this kit was made using KimB's CU products -
which are on SALE BIG TIME, right now - go get!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

I received this lovely little award from Alicia - on her blog "Confessions of a Snowflake" Doesn't her blog name just BEG you to ask? I love it! Alicia does have a wonderful explanation if you read down her blog - just click HERE.

Thanks so much for your award - I did leave you a message and tell you that most awards make it TO my blog... and often thats as far as they get. I have to be honest. I'll work on getting it forwarded ... if I can eke out a chunk of time in the next week!

This award came with these instructions, at any rate:

This award says I am supposed to

Mention the blog that gave it to me: Alicia

Comment on their blog to let them know you have posted their award

Share 6 Values that are important to you:


Share 6 Things You do not Support

Human Slavery

Share the love with six other blogs wonderful blogging friends!

I NEVER listen well, so I'm awarding it to seven of my friends.

Kim B. - like her blog visitors number - I have a MILLION reasons to love Kim. Kim is one of the most generous, kind, sweet, bananas, funny, real people I've met blogging. You keep me on the edge of my seat, always. (bathroom trips are FREQUENT, you make me laugh so much!)

Kim's having a BIRTHDAY BASH over at her blog (her actual birthday is Nov. 4th, but she's celebrating early on her blog) Funny thing about being designers, somehow birthdays can end up the birthday girl GIVING gifts - so it is with Kim. She's got a KILLER deal for her products AND a Fab-O CU giveaway! Just click HERE to go acelebratin'

Judy - I love how much you've grown in your digi scrapping. You are so creative with your layouts and have even begun to make some things of your own. You amaze me with your insatiable thirst to learn, even though it does not always come easy. I'm so glad we share this interest. I hope little Abi is doing well, SIL!

Valinda - What can I say - you are a CONSTANT in my life. There's not a blog post that goes by that you are not faithful to be here to say hi, encourage me, help me. You are a VERY talented lady, your designs are completely unique. I'm enjoying getting to know the REAL you - via our emails etc. Amazing we have so much to share.

Gina - Gina's been part of my blog family, like forever. We've history together - and is one of the few bloggers I've met 'for real', and if I based all my blog meetings on us, I'd rush out to meet every one of you.

Gina, you are a HUGE inspiration to me. No matter what life throws at you, you push on through. You have such a trustable down-to-earth personality, but you have a sizzle of witty dry humour. You are multi, multi, multi talented - some of your talents are coming to fruition. I'm so excited to see what the future holds for you!

Guys, if you have not been to Gina's and seen her ETSY store you are missing the best handmade Holiday shopping opportunities ever.

JanMary - You're always involved in so many neat projects and things, I can hardly keep track of you. You find and create all sorts of cool ideas and recipes. You can 'bake' things without actually... baking. You share so much great info and insight into your beautiful part of the world. You share your strengths and weakensses and you continuously challenge yourself. I often come to your blog just to be invigorated!

OMGRACIOUS - you MUST go to JanMary's blog to see the incredible photos she's taken of a place called Dark Hedges! Just click HERE. Funny thing is, I'd seen an article online on award winning photographs, and there was one taken here, which I somehow suspected was near where JanMary lives... so, I sent her an email, she said yes indeedy (with a sweet Irish accent, I'm sure) and so she went out and took some photos. Which do you like better, the colour, or b & w? I can't decide.

AmyW. - Even though we've not had a chance to visit for a LOOONGGG time, I miss you so badly. You always super-charged me. You inspire me with your drive to learn and to take the plunge to learn. You've always given me so much support and tons of ideas. Hay Chika, when are you coming back to me?

Linda - You keep me ROTFL. Your blog has my eyeballs and ears swivelling this way and that. I click on your blog and I'm assaulted on all sides. You're a feast for the eyes and ears LOL. Party at Linda's - thats what your blog says to me. And its constant. I don't know how you keep creating non-stop, you MUST burn the midnight oil.

Hmmm... guess I DID forward this award, didn't I? (that wasn't so hard!)



Today I wrestle with 55 lb toms.

Yes, I sent my dear husband to the fruit stand to pick up just another 20 - figured to get that 'last batch' in. He said he just kept putting nice looking ones in the box ... es. Two boxes. 55 lb later.

They should be FULLY ripe tomorrow. His birthday. So ripe or not, they are getting turned into sauce TODAY.

And of course the bread is an ongoing saga. I've been making these AMAZING flatbreads. If you're new to my blog, you will want to scroll back a week or two and find out about this recipe for Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Or, type into the search-box, top left of my blog for Artisan Bread. Or... go buy the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" - TOTALLY worth every penny, and visit the OFFICIAL WEBSITE by clicking HERE. Truly, this is a killer recipe. Mix in a bucket, all at once. No kneading - ever.

Puffs up Nicely!

All I did is roll out small fist size balls of dough to about a 1/2 inch thickness. I then placed them in a teflon frying pan, heated at about medium - or just under. No oil of any kind. Just dry. Put a lid overtop, cooking for a few minutes, then check. Once it puffs up like this, and is lightly browned underneath, then FLIP!

Nicely Browned!

When you flip it over it will 'resist' because of the pockets of air trapped in the middle. Take a wide spatula and press down in different spots to flatten it down, then put the lid back on and check in a few minutes. When done, take and remove to a wire rack.

A Fresh Stack of Delicous FlatBread!

I made all these out of what was left of my batch of dough. I'd already made two sets of two flatbreads the previous days - so this recipe makes a LOT. For PENNIES.

Wow, when I think now of what they charge in the stores for even six of these, its astronomical.

Tandoori Chicken Taco

I made these Tandoori Taco's the first night (and yes, I sprouted the alfalfa sprouts myself as well) (and hay, look I used up 1 of Miles' 55 lb of tomatos, ha ha!) Yesterday I made taco's with ground beef and it was 'to die for' too.

I've got a batch of caraway seed pumpernicel dough rising now.

We're still on a diet in our house.

Ya, right.


Time for a little chuckle. This is a small slideshow of my friend, Shreddie. Why Shreddie? Well its because this elusive little creatures (this is a RARE sighting of him) has been visiting my patio for this past spring and summer and has been eating away at the two chairs out there. As Mr. Miles says, its my own darn fault. I thougth he was so CUTE at first that I was leaving nuts out for him. Anyways, after only seeing evidence of his presence by bits of foam and pieces of shredded material clinging to the astroturf on the patio, I finally caught this glimpse of him on the hedge the other day...


If you like to learn about other countries, customs, foods etc, I'd HIGHLY recommend another visit to Betty's blog. Betty is a former Canadian living in Paraguay, and she has been educating us on what its like living there. Seeing as she's been 'transplanted' there from here, she has a perspective of both places, thus her explanations are very helpful, interesting and easy to follow. I had asked her what a drink called Terere was. She has blogged the answer. If I've piqued your curiosity then you can find out for yourself by clicking HERE.

ps - Betty seems open to the questions you might have about where she lives! Thank you Betty!


I did mention tomorrow is Mr. Miles birthday. There WILL be a 'little something' for giveaway. Stay tuned! You won't want to miss this!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Golden Finale!

Ahh, this is a final look at fall in our neighborhood. We woke to -4C degrees this morning - brrrr!

This photo was taken late last week. The peach trees are shedding their leaves, soon there will only be bare branches as winter starts to leech away the warmth and colour. Right now, on these last sunny days of fall, when there is still a hint of heat in the sunshine, the backlit peach leaves look like slices of peach dripping from each branch. Such beauty!

Pink Ladies

These Pink Lady apples still hang on the trees near the roadway. I'll have to take another photo of them, for the trees are high density, so they are smaller, and with thier diminished size and all the wealth of apples upon them, they truly do look like little 'pink ladies' bedecked like a fall version of little Christmas trees. They almost form a little decorated 'dress' on each. Remind me to take a photo for you today!

These little ladies still have about one more week - they are a late apple, full of fizzly, sharp tartness! Just mention them and Mr. Miles' mouth puckers!

Oh, and speaking of Mr... I sent him for 20lb of tomatoes yesterday, thinking I might do ONE MORE BATCH of salsa or tomato sauce. He said he just kept putting nice looking ones into the box. How could he help it if they weighed out to 55 lb? Hmm. How will this work as they should be just perfect for canning on Thursday. His birthday.

Shaggy Manes

And within the orchard stands a grouping of shaggy mane mushrooms. These are delicious to eat. As a child I certainly would not have said so. They were nearly a staple in our household, with my Father eagerly visiting his special places to harvest them when the conditions were just right. He turned them into many dishes - in particular I recall he made 'mushroom pancakes'. Nowadays he would have been considered an adventurous gourmet cook - then I thought we were just plain weird.

Isn't it funny how we grow to like foods as an adult? Is there a food you've come to love as a grown up?

Shaggy Manes must be harvested and eaten in a short time, for they deteriorate into a black soft pulp if left. Do you have mushrooms you harvest and eat?

High Heel Galoshes

My sister lives in a city and when she got married she had some of her photos in bare feet. She lives in a coastal city, and was married in a park (really, she's not a hippie) To make it brief, the grass was damp so her high heels would have sunk into the soil if she hadn't removed them. I'm sure the groundskeepers would have liked it being aeriated for free, but still...

Anyways, as soon as I saw these little galoshes for high heels I thought of her. Who would have guessed there was such a thing?

By the way, THANK YOU all so very much for your many comments. I was bowled over!

Cicero's Bread

Mmmmm - ahhhh, can't you just SMELL IT from here?

What have I started? This is a photo of my friend E.'s bread, made from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes day - the basic recipe. And this is her first attempt!

One slice or two?

Looks like she achieved great texture too! You can visit Cicero's blog by clicking HERE - I think she's going to attempt another batch soon, as she tells me. She's always got a ton of wonderful photos and facts about the flora and fauna in her beautiful corner of the world.

I've been making some naan and flatbreads from my dough. I also bought some rye and whole wheat flours on the weekend to play with. I'd love to know what you make too?

Speaking of cooking up STUFF, you can find some wonderful downloads today from the following designers blogs - well worth the clicking:

1. KimB - has a MILLION thank you's - she has hit ONE MILLION visits to her bloggy today. Congrats Kim! Just click HERE.

2. Linda - has links to two fabulous giveaways and a quickpage, and as always great music and chatter. Just click HERE.

3. Valinda - has a SWEET 8 x 8 inch qp download featuring a victorian doll. Perfect for those girly layouts! Just click HERE.

Thanks for baking me happy ladies!

With Thanks

It was communion yesterday in our church. We broke with tradition and simply gathered around to share the elements and share fellowship about what it meant to take communion together. I love that we can do this.

Because I've been baking bread, and giving loads away, it especially means to me the joy of SHARING the knowledge of Christ in my life. It occured to me that this bread, which we take as the body of Him is meant to be shared out from ourselves.

And I'm so thankful that because of this sacrifice I'm here to share with you. I'm so glad that the USA Thanksgiving is after our Canadian one, for it keeps me in the thankful thougths. As the following states:

Thanksgiving was never meant to be
limited to a single day.

"O Lord my God,
I will give thanks to Thee forever."

Psalm 30:12

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My friend JanMary has invited and encouraged me several times to join in the Friday Show and Tell and I've always hesitated. Till today. It looks like fun so here is my little addition. Thanks for inviting my JM! (don't forget to check out JM's VERY interesting family history show and tell on her blog by clicking HERE.) If you would like to join in the fun of Show and Tell Fridays, just click HERE sign up at Kelli's blog!

I'm going to share about dolls. These are not ordinary dolls. I know of no store you could ever purchase one of these for they were all handmade by my Grandmother. She and her sister, my Aunt Margret (who was also my Godmother) made these dolls for many years. I really don't know where they came up with the idea for them, or got the pattern from.

credit: Judy Forsyth
(my sister in law - you can visit her blog HERE)

Grandma made two types of dolls. The first ones were these adorable clown dolls. They came in two different sizes. They had vinylette shoes with elastic sewn in so children could slip their feet in them and 'dance' with the doll. The hands had little 'mittens' as well, with a tab of velcro on each, so that the doll could 'hug' or hang on for the dance! I had many happy dances with these dolls!

I think in their lifetime Gramma and Aunt Margaret made several thousand of these dolls, all the money going to charity.

Red Riding Hood Doll

This is MY doll. I had a clown one once upon a time, but lost it somewhere along the way. I love the Red Riding Hood though. Grandma didn't branch off making these till later on. I suppose that after a thousand or so dolls she may have wanted a change.

Turn Riding Hood UPsideDOWN and ...

The sales of these dolls were completely by 'word of mouth' only. Someone would tell someone and then Grandma would recieve a letter and cheque in the mail. The dolls went all over the world, eventually. I remember one time there was one ordered from Japan!

There's GRANDMA!

There were always several bodies in various stages of being completed sitting on her couch when we would come to visit. She always took care to cover them up with a blanket if their bodies did not have 'clothes' yet. Too funny! She would chuckle and ask how we would like it if someone came to visit and WE had no clothes on...

Notice the little wire frame glasses too! The clown dolls all got a touch of real 'blush' on their cheeks too.


I washed wolfie and some of his felt teeth fell off - I must take him to the 'dentist' one day soon.

I shopped with Gramma a lot when she would buy yards of material. I can still see her sitting and trying to decide which color/pattern of material for each doll. There was a tremendous amount of work in each doll too - I'm sure each one took several weeks.

She made black, white and ... well pinkish or tan colored dolls too, something for everyone.

Memories of Grandma

Gramma passed on December 4, 2005. I miss her more than ever. I'm so glad I have one of her dolls as a sweet memory.

Thanks for allowing me to share with you!


I also want to share a ministry I've become involved in. My friend Amalia came to Canada many years ago from Argentina. We became neighbors to her about 10 years ago and became fast friends.

Each year Amalia and her husband travel back to Argentina to visit family. They come from a small villiage in an impovrished area about 16 hours out of Buenes Aires. Each time they travel back they help the people there. They give food, clothing and help. They take people to get medical aid. They help build. They personally see that every penny, every item gets DIRECTLY to the children and families in need. They also have a heart for these people to know Jesus as their Savior - so this is a faith based ministry as well.

They also gather and send many, many items from home here. I've donated some things in the past, but this year I was able to come help package items up, VERY inspiring. I've assembled a slideshow of the process.

From Movies

You will have to hit your BACK button after watching the movie to return here.

If you would be interested in helping this ministry you can contact me for more information.

It was amazing, but after I decided to post about this ministry, for this area, I was thinking of putting some information together about the region - what the culture is like, the plants etc, and lo and behold, I came across a blog that can give you a good overview of what its like. BETTY is a transplanted Canadian who is in ministry in Paraguay - thats the state next to Argentina and its very similar. Betty would love for you to visit and she's invested a good amount of time into putting together a terrific presentation.

It sounds like you are making a difference where you are, Betty - and I will be lifting you and your family in prayer!

You can visit Betty and see her presentation by clicking HERE.

Thanks for stopping by today - I'll be back next Friday, if not before!

If you are looking for some DELICIOUS downloads (free of course - but leave some love) both KimB (click HERE) and LouCee (click HERE) have some lovely things to play with!

Mmmm - Nummies!

Ok, so now there is a little TRENCH around our mailbox. I was heading out for a walk yesterday and checked BEFORE walking {like how silly is THAT?} and what should I find to my complete and utter astonishment? Another parcel!

I was in disbelief! So, I did a few little loops round the boxes {neighbors must really wonder!} and even though I was on my way TO my walk, I could not resist. I was careful to check the package cuz it was from my sister, and she knows I'm such a kid that I can't wait to tear open a parcel. Sometimes she puts a caution on the package, like "do not open till ???-day" Sometimes she's even MORE clever, she will address it to Mr. Miles and have him be the gaurdian.

But this parcel had nothing on it, so I opened it immediately.

It was these neat candies and a beautiful card! Or should I say a BOO-tiful card as it was a halloween themed one. I'll really have to take a pic of that too! She rocks at card building, I'm envious of her paper-craftiness!

The candies taste great - the ones in the far dish are like tiny wine gums, VERY sticky to the teeth, but they almost have a floral taste, cuz Sis knows I love the taste of Thrills gum. Do any of you remember thrills?

LOL - the picture I picked of the gum has been altered!

Mr. Miles agrees with this pic tho. He won't kiss me {well he would never REFUSE to kiss me} when I chew thrills, cuz to him they DO taste like soap. I do have to admit that I can only chew it for like 10 mins then it turns to hard rubber, but I do enjoy the flavour.

The other candies are sours - cute shapes!

Fangs Sis!

Speaking of TREATS - KimB has a nice QP for download today, click HERE, and Linda is supposed to be offering another part of her rain kit today... click HERE.

Barb's Apple 'Slaw' or 'Apple 'Sgetti"

I know I've been baking bread almost daily and on the other hand telling you the Miles household is on a diet. We only eat a slice or two a day, thats it. Mr. Miles likes cutting of the 'bumms' - good thing I make round loaves so then he gets 4 on each loaf LOL!

But for breakfast, I've never been a big breakfast eater. Its hard for me to put food in my tummy till noon. But I know I must to have proper nutrition so I created this recipe. Its fast, easy and healthy. And I think Kids would like it because it looks like spagetti, sort of.

1. I take 1 apple. Wash it carefully and dry it. Grate it with the cheese grater into a bowl.
2. top it with any variety of fresh nuts, snipped dried fruits, raisins, raw bran, oats etc
3. season with cinnamon, nutmeg or whatever you wish.

Thats it. I could easily see making a Apple Sketti 'Bar' for kids - grate the apples, have everything else ready to sprinkle on. I think kids eat more if they are given the choice to build it for themselves, no?

I'd love to know if you try this!

Shoeboxes DONE!

I finally got my shoeboxes ready for giving. Last year I totally got behind and had to rush putting them together. This year I put it high on my priority list. I have discovered a few helpful things this year.

1. If you don't have your own custom shoebox you decorate, simply take the flat, unfolded box that Samaritan's Purse supplies and lay it down on the undecorated side of christmas wrap (or any pretty wrap) Use double sided bits of tape to secure the wrap in a few places around the edges so that the wrap and box hold together. Make sure you have a good cutting surface underneath and then, using a sharp xacto knife cut all around the edges. When you are finished you simply have to fold the box together. It helps to use some packing tape to make the box more stable (that the wrap won't rip off on handling) I understand some of the children like the boxes almost as much as the gifts!

2. Make a THEMED kit. What do YOU like to do? If you are like me, put together an ART kit, with brushes, sketchpad, paints, pastels etc. If you are a musician, how bout a harmonica, a recorder or any other instruments that will fit in a box. Some friends of mine take little TOOLBOXES and fill them with inexpensive tools from the local hardware. These may even help a child earn a living one day!

3. Use plastic 'tubs' or containers - the see thru ones. It saves the people who inspect them time of having to open each single one.

4. Start collecting for next year's boxes NOW. A year slips by pretty fast.

5. Collect as a GROUP - if you're on a team or group of any kind, get a box started as a group - many hands make light work!

6. A church member showed us that if you use your own shoebox, a good way to judge the size (cuz there ARE rules) is to lay the Samaritan's Purse BROCHURE out over the top of the box, it should not measure bigger than that. If you don't have a brochure handy then spread your hands wide - the length should measure the span of your two hands, the width one hand span.

Oh, and if you don't know about Samaritans Purse Operation Shoebox, you can find out more by clicking HERE.


I've been really used this week to have my eyes opened to some needs. Some needs I can address in a physical way, some only by prayer, but I am so grateful for having been made aware of them. Now I'll do whatever I can to help.

Find out where you can render a service;
then render it.
The rest is up to God.

~ S.S. Kresge

"Therefore, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to all people..."

Galatians 6:10

The one thing we can ALL do, is lift these needs. Can you do this for me today, please? These are the specific prayer requests I have.

1. For G. for her son.

2. For Barb - who has hurt her back. Her son was in a motorcycle accident this past summer, losing some of his limbs. The family has been through so much. She needs a rest.

3. For G. a friend of ours who lost his wife to cancer a few years ago. He's alone, they had no children. He's hurt his back too. Can't work. Won't accept welfare. Living in lesser circumstances.

Please pray we will be used to help these people. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpernickel Rye Bread - without the Rye?

I just can't stop baking bread!

There are so many wonderful variations of this super easy bread that I can't help but keep some going. Today I decided to make Pumpernickel Rye Bread, but you know what? I had no rye flour. That did not stop me. I put in all the ingredients it called for, just using the white flour instead of the rye and then I added in a tad extra molasses and a cup of bran. I plan to buy both rye and whole wheat flour next trip to the city.

Our diets are going well despite this. We ration our bread eating to a few slices a day. We give lots away. Its just fun to make.

The Moon over Osoyoos, BC

I thought I would share a few photos with you. This ones not mine. This was a photo taken by our friend Roger from his back yard. He has allowed me to share it with you. I know he lives a few miles out of town and must be higher up than us cuz the moon is very SMALL in our back yard. LOL! - great shot, Roger!

And Roger and Marie are my friends with the Alpacas. I took my friends Elaine and Jim up to meet them because they used to raise sheep and thought they might enjoy meeting these fleecy critters too.

I love the eyes - they are so huge and expressive!

Oh Bother! - Visitors AGAIN!

Like she could care less if we stayed or went.

Friends with FOOD!

Its an entirely different story if you bring something edible along. These are my friends Jim and Elaine taking part in the chow line.

What a camera lens smells like...

I'm sure the critters think I'm strange with my lens stuck up to their snouts etc.

Is it real?

The long necks of these guys are nice for hugging, but can appear to make some several-headed groups!

No-One checked with ME!

This is the head lady, for I'm sure I've seen this look on a teacher I had once.

Marie and a friend.

Marie and Roger have always been very gracious and accommodating to the friends I drag up to their place. If they charged, they could add a new wing onto the Alpaca's shelter, or give them some exotic premium food! Really, I can't thank you enough for all the times we've invaded your place.

And then SHE said...

I dunno, do you think Jim and this gal were having a good gossip? I thought I heard...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bread Heaven *sigh*
(baked fresh today)

I'm sorry I've not 'cooked up' any free scrapping or graphic goodies lately. I'm just going through a very dry spell right now with designing. One day, as it is with all things truly 'art' - I'll find myself creating again, and you will be rewarded for your patience. I just can't 'force' my art.

But I HAVE been cooking. A lot. I'm in love with the recipe for this artisan bread. I'm so in love with it I've been making it every which way for the past month. And now, I'm going to share it with you. Gina - you in particular (she's always making wonderful foods!) would love this recipe. Its SUPER EASY, inexpensive and you can make those artisan breads that one usually sees at bakeries, quicky, in your own home.

Its the crust, you know, in particular which I never thought I could achieve. This recipe makes a crust, that after its taken out of the oven to cool begins to audibly CRACKLE after about five minutes.

Yes, I've done the old 'sourdough' recipes that went around ages ago - making the starter and feeding it regularly and *bleh* I'm so not into all the work and stuff.

This bread? Its NO KNEAD. You just mix it up in a bucket (ice cream pail works great) - toss the few, simple ingredients in and mix a few times, put a loose fitting lid on (not sealed) and .... George is Your Uncle (we will see if Mr. Miles is paying attention today, he HATES all these old sayings LOL!)

After the initial mixing, let rise for 2 hours. You can now use the dough. Or not. This dough keeps up to two weeks in the fridge. The longer you leave it the more tasting toward sourdoughish it gets.

Each time you want fresh bread just haul your little bucket out of the fridge and cut off the size of dough you want and handling it as little as possible make a loaf. Let rise, (notice no kneading! - to me no kneading also means no mess!) Bake.

The recipe does call for you to use a pizza stone and cornmeal. I own no pizza stone, so I use a silpat mat. Nothing sticks to a silpat. You can find them at most kitchen stores. I'm sure the pizza stone would be the best thing, but I'm not running out to buy one, its going on my Christmas Wish List. So, using the Silpat I don't use cornmeal either.

The key is STEAM. When you bake this bread you keep a pan in the oven while heating, then when you put the bread in you QUICKLY toss some water in the pan and shut the door quick. I actually refresh the water a few times during the bake.

This bread is delish! And this is just the master recipe. The basic one. Here's a YouTube video made by Zoe and Jeff about their recipe, technique and book.

You can find the master recipe on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes on The Splendid Table by clicking HERE. You can also visit the official Artisan Bread in Five Minutes Website by clicking HERE.

I have never ordered a book online. Till now. I ordered the cookbook from Chapters. Its going to be worth every cent. There are all sorts of options for this bread and technique. I'm going to try them all.

Did I mention we are on a diet? Even if I get one slice of this a day, its worth it!

Now, go forth and BAKE! I'd love know how you do with this incredible recipe!

Awww - I inspire Eileen!

I received this lovely award this morning from a new blog friend Eileen, who has a great blog happening herself. SUCH good photography. Thanks Eileen, I shall pay this forward right now - seeing as how it does not come with any work involved. I am SO BAD at sending these things out. You can visit Eileen by clicking HERE.

I'm going to pick three people who I've never awarded before.

BUNNY - anyone who can take a dead appliance and turn it into an RIP has caught my attention. Really, one day there was a framed pic of her dead dryer, with flowers on her blog. I almost lost it. But for all your wonderful designs and card ideas and HUMOUR. Thanks for brightening my day and inspiring me.

HELENA - I don't really know Helena, but I visit her blog now and again and she's always got something interesting. I'm always inspired by her artistic ideas. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us, and congrats on your pregnancy!

- I don't know Elizabeth either - but she inspires me. She's VERY talented with designing, photography and journalling, but the thing I most admire is her dedication to her family and marriage. Its always inspiring for me to see strong marriages like this. Thanks E!

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