Saturday, March 28, 2009

Whew...what a week!

Hello my faithful readers! Sorry it has been a bit since I posted, but my week as been a whirl-wind in and of itself. I've been traveling quite a bit for work and my time on the computer has been extremely limited, which backs me up on everything! However, all of that traveling has lead to some great things for my job, so it has been worthwhile. Even though there have been some great moments this week, it has had its sadness as well. My dear friend Tracy's mother passed away on Tuesday evening and she was laid to rest this afternoon. She had been ill for some time, but it is still hard to lose such a blessed person. I was always "Tracy's little friend" or "the little girl from church"...I love any name that refers to me as little :) She also liked to tell stories about Tracy and gave us plenty to laugh about during our frequent outings. I had the distinct honor of singing "The Lord's Prayer" at her funeral today and had to keep on going when the cd player went on the blink. Every singers music! Oh well, the show must go on! Well now I am going to spend some time with my husband and watch a movie or I may try to convince him to rub my feet ha ha. I hope you are all having a splendid weekend! God Bless!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rain drops on roses...

Oh my my, will the weather ever decide to make up its mind and stay cold or finish warming up? My wardrobe is in limbo ... I am ready to pull out the skirts and sandals, but Mother Nature thinks that I need to hold on to that sweater for one more day! I'm also ready to retire the ice scraper to the trunk :) Waking up 15 minutes earlier to scrape off the vehicles is not my favorite winter activity! However, I will miss the occasional snow days that allow me to lounge around all day in my comfy pj's!
With the warmer weather, I totally crave salads, other fresh dishes and grilled food! We cook outdoors year round, but the warmer weather gives us the opportunity to utilize it more. I love grilled peaches and pineapple with honey my mouth is watering. Since Steven and I have been looking for new dishes to try that are tasty and budget friendly, my food network viewing has increased a little bit. Last night, mom and I watched "30 Minute Meals" and can't wait to make the spinach artichoke mushroom caps. Yum-O! The caesar scampi salad looked amazing as well. So, I think I know what we will be having for dinner this weekend :) I have to help with a memorial service at the church, so a quick and easy meal will be best and I think this fits the bill.
With March nearly over (oh where did it go?), I need to start working on flowers for the cemetery. I make arrangements for family members on my Dad's side and assist my Grandma in making several for my Mom's family. I didn't know a lot of the family members that have passed, but I learn a lot about them as we work on the flowers. What an interesting way to absorb your family history! While I have the flowers out, I might as well work on my arrangement for 4-H open class. Oh yes, I still like to compete in 4-H, but now I am in the adult category.
Well I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy all of the sunshine and the last few breaths of winter. Ring-a-ling, I hear spring!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A sense of community

Through a community initiative from two local churches and the YMCA, the Randolph County Community Garden Program is starting to take shape! Our church (First Presbyterian) purchased a piece of property next to our church manse and tore down the existing structure last week to make room for our section of the community garden. We will be one of two sites at this time (the other will be located at the YMCA), and will give those within the city, especially those with limited transportation, the opportunity to participate in the program. Steven and I will be joining the church garden committee and help with the logistics of the garden. Mr. Fields has quite the green thumb and can grow a garden in the harshist conditions. In an effort to channel my 4-H roots and current involvement with the Randolph County Extension Homemakers, I am suggesting that we provide canning/preservation and cooking fresh classes to provide an additional service to the community. The other perk of the community garden is the fact that portions of the produce grown will be donated to our local food pantry. I've witnessed a fantastic outpour of support for our food pantry over the past few months in order to assist them with the growing need of food assistance. Mom and I belong to the local Curves club and we are currently trying to collect 2500 pounds of food to be donated...close to 400 pounds has been donated within the last week alone! These women are fantastic! Well, I must get focused on the task at hand and keep plugging along towards my work goals :) I hope everyone is able to enjoy the day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring has sprung!

What an exciting weekend! I was so amazed that the temperatures flirted with the 70 degree mark and left me with a beautiful time to celebrate my birthday. That's right, the big 2-6 and on the downward slope to 30!! No worries with being 30, I've already booked the band for the amazing party that my family will throw for me on that glorious occasion (hint, hint, clue, clue) ha ha! Even though the weekend is over, I get to enjoy the beautiful pale purple tulips from my parents and all of my other lovely gifts. What a lucky girl! My in-laws bought me some new cookbooks to add to my collection and I have already picked out recipes to try :) For those of you who do not know, I have a very extensive cookbook collection and feel the need to add on to my kitchen to make more room! I absolutely love church cookbooks and Gooseberry Patch!! So if you don't hear from me in awhile, it is because I am cooking up a storm. I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and take in the beauty all around.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Edible Easter Grass

On one of my occasional trips to the local Walmart, I decided to peruse the Easter candy row. Everything is divided by color and they have added some unusual items...including cherry drink mix with sour gummy worms on top, mini tubs of cotton candy and edible Easter grass. So curiosity got the best of me and I paid 2 bucks to see what this edible grass is all about! I had heard about it before, but this was the first year that our local store had carried the item. As I placed it in my mouth, I expected something sweet and satisfying, boy was I wrong! EWWWWWW! It tasted like a piece of computer paper with a grain or two of sugar for good measure. Yes, I am fairly certain that it is more environmentally friendly than its plastic cousin and obviously wouldn't hurt children or pets if ingested, but I wouldn't suggest it as the highlight of the Easter candy season. However, I think that I may purchase a few more colors and let the kids make jelly bean nests. It does seem to be durable, just not a tasty edible! Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The start of something good!

Good afternoon friends! Wow, the Indiana weather is crisp and cold...would an early spring be too much to ask for? In an effort to help the warm weather move in this direction, at least in my mind, I've been working on a few projects! Steven and I are trying to finish our house in order to host Easter dinner for my side of the family, but my mind has completely went to seasonal decorating and trying new dishes. I should probably be more concerned that we still have rooms to plaster, paint, plumb, etc.!!! However, in these current economic times, I am finding ways to be thrifty while still being trendy! Since the decor in our home is very "country bumpkin" and utilizes a rich color scheme...I'm going to get a bit clever with my spring updates. So here are a few of my ideas:

Let the outdoors come in: Daffodils are beautiful and start to become readily available in early spring (Kroger already has some on display in their Greenville, OH store). Small planters on a windowsill or a basket filled with artificial make a home feel warm and springy! There pale yellow and sometimes white color make them an easy addition to any decor.

Country Easter Basket: Since we have no children at this time and light pastels don't fit in the color scheme of my main living space, I have to update the traditional Easter basket. By changing the liner to a neutral tone on one of my simple market baskets and adding raffia instead of plastic grass, I'm well on my way! I also have some beautiful ceramic eggs that were painted by my great-grandmother and a small, realistic looking stuffed rabbit that I will add to give the basket some charm!

Spring is in the air: I will also update the candles, air fresheners and soaps that I use throughout the house to give it a spring scent!

Well that is all I have at this time, but I am working on my creative Easter menu on a budget. Let's see how far that dollar can stretch! Until next time, take care and God Bless!