Monday, January 31, 2011

The end of January

It's shocking isn't it?
In some ways. . .
Christmas seems like months ago and yet the month of January has flown by so quickly I was amazed at all that has occured in the first month of this year.

We had blue sky yesterday as a weather consolation prize for the heavy grey skies that broke up the month  of the rain.

We took full advantage of the lovely day.
Though the wind gusted all day from the northeast . .
we walked quickly to keep warm and slow enough to maintain conversation.

I looked up at the trees. .
and can you believe what I saw?

On the second last day of January. . .
pussy willows.

Every season God is faithful.
While I was busying myself with things that may or may not matter most . . .
God was preparing the pussy willows.

I just can't begin to tell you how deeply that gift touched my heart.

all for now . .

Friday, January 28, 2011

fireside supper

Yesterday my beloved suggested that we do one of our favorite things.
We went out on a date . .
and after an afternoon together . . .
 we picked up a loaf of heavy whole grain bread . . .
a tube of liver sausage and a brick of red pepper cheese.

Two tiny pieces of that left over carrot cake was the perfect ending.

Sweet common simple things that speak peace and comfort.

( and the bonus was that when I went to take a picture before we began to eat  ...
he took it all in stride ..   I noticed that too)

all for now .. .

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

how to ice a cake in one minute or less

Yesterday afternoon .. .
I was icing a cake to take out in the evening.
As soon as I started . . .
Kanneloni Macaroni's icing radar went off and she pulled the ever ready kitchen stool up to help me.

We both hurried. . .
I iced as quick as I could.  ..
and she made three consecutive swipes with her pointer finger.

A little crushed walnut topping and we were done in one minute or less.

Oh .. she cracks me up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the pitter patter of rain

I'm not complaining.
I'm just saying that I think I'm getting scurvy.
There is nothing like the sound of pouring rain while I lay in bed.
We always sleep with our window open. . .spring, summer, fall and winter.
In the southern most corner of the British Columbia coast. .
all you need is rubber boots and one rain jacket. . .
the rest of the wardrobe is just a cover-up.
But. . .I'm not complaining.

all for now. .

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hemming Jeans with original hem

I have shorter legs than I should have.
Over the years the jean hem has given me cause to grimace.
If the jeans are not too long I can wear a pair of heels and sometimes get away with the length depending on the brand.
Not all jean brands offer different inseams so what's a girl to do?

I thought that if this is my problem  .. .
it might be yours as well.

This solution isn't 100% undetectable but unless someone is really scrutinizing my hem.. .
(and now you will. ...)
I can get away with keeping the hem I paid for.

It's rather simple really.
I essentially put a tuck in the bottom of the jeans.

Try on the jeans and decide which length you want them.
Pin the jeans as I have done.
Try them on once more and check the length.
Stitch as close as possible to the original stitching without going over the original.
You want to stitch on the right side of the fabric hem. . not on the wrong side of the fabric just past the hem.
(you should be able to see my stitching in the photo below)
You want the original stitching to show.

This will work well for boot cut or skinny jeans but not as well on flared jeans.

After you have sewn around the hem. .
turn them right side out and press with a hot steam iron.

Now. . you can either cut the excess away and zigzag to keep the excess from fraying. .
or you can take the remainder of the fabric and do a blind hem.

If your denim is quite thin, I would rather recommend that you cut away the excess and zig zag
because the blind hem might eventually leave a tell tale "impression" on the right side.

Once you have done that. .
turn it right side out and give it a final press.

It's not perfect. . .
but then neither am I. . .
so it works.

All for now. .

Friday, January 21, 2011

finding rest

I've been watching this little fellow through my front room window nearly every day during the winter months. 
Back in the 90's I filled baskets of hydrangea blossoms near the end of summer to bring a country crafty feel to the indoors.  Remember that? I  made hydrangea wreaths, tucked dried bits into the Christmas tree and glue-gunned individual blossoms to wooden crafts.

The last few years, I've been  leaving the  tired old blossoms on the plant.
I leave them on until spring and once broken branches begin to litter the garden from nest making projects,
I take my clippers and clean the old growth to allow the new growth room to sprout.

The little fellow and I have an arrangement.
I'll leave the hydrangea alone.
He'll come to rest away from the tedious squawking of the crows that sit on a telephone lines across the way.

Yesterday we attended a memorial for a very dear friend who we learned to know through marriage mentoring.  It was a beautiful service full of loving tributes and pictures and one amazing song "I can only Imagine".  I saw her little grands sitting there in the front row.  The family will miss this beautiful woman who somehow succeeded in living an uncomplicated life.  Marie's journey can be read through the words of her daughter-in-law here.  Like Marie, we will all pass from this world one day.  I learned so much from Marie as she rested in the knowledge that God was in control.  She said to me one day as I was visiting her.  "Lovella. . .I will not die one day sooner than God intends."  (she was smiling as she said this) 

Another family that I do not know but know people that are walking this journey alongside is saying goodbye to a husband and daddy today.  Jillian writes so beautifully out of her pain.  I just can't imagine what they are going through but I see that through her writing,  her journey will help others when they face difficulties that this world brings.  My heart is heavy for them today.  I woke up early this morning and prayed that they will have strength and rest in a day that should leave them exhausted and broken. I know that they are surrounded by such dear friends who are providing them little avenues of rest in the midst of the storm.

Early this morning I heard of yet another friend who's husband is in surgery.
I pray that his life will be spared and his loving wife will find rest. .
in the middle of this storm.

all  for now . .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Global TV Interview with Mennonite Girls Can Cook

I stumble. . .and look for words that should be there.
It is so humbling to see oneself in this format.
Without questions beforehand it is impossible to know what to expect.
We are grateful for Sophie Lui who was such a gracious interviewer.

When I review it. . .which I have done enough times now. .
I realize that it is not about us. . .it's truly not, but rather it is about being willing to share what God has done.. . and what he is about to do. . .and how he can use ten homemakers to do something beyond the perimeters of their kitchens. . recipe at a time. 

  We had purposed not to share the date and time of the interview because it is a quandary in our minds between humility and shouting from the rooftops that this journey moves on and we are hanging on for dear life.

I choose to look beyond the moment and look toward the goal. . .
walking with assurance that each day we are given opportunities and it is up to us to be ready to give an answer.

If you'd like to see the interview . ..
click HERE to the MPN website and scroll to the bottom of the page.

all for now. .

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm grounded . ..and happy about it

I realized yesterday that I do not seem to have Dorothy's Pastry posted on its own. .
and I made note to myself to do that soon over at MGCC.
The pastry is so easy to work with. .
even a three year old can roll it out. .
and roll it out. . .
and rereoll it out. . .
and then claim it is ready. .
and it is still turns out light at flaky.

The kids all wanted to come I wanted the kids to all come over Monday, the day after the big hoopla over at Global news to debrief.

I was just about to roll out some pastry for a chocolate pie in the afternoon when the offer to assist came swift and without hesitation.
Of course he could help.
The lil' farm hand whipped off his shirt. . .( I didn't enquire why). .
and proceeded to roll out the extra bits of pastry.

He did well.
I handed him the sugar shaker and the cinnamon shaker and he sprinkled a good dose of each on his rolled out pastry.

I started him rolling it up. . .
and he declared he could do it. .
and so he did.
He also felt quite adept at cutting off the little rolls and then assisted Grandpa in placing them on parchment paper.
He cleaned up. ..three year old style.

Kanneloni Macaroni. . .
pushed over a chair when she saw that it was time to wash the lettuce for the salad.
She took the washed lettuce out of the sink. .
and hucked placed it into the lettuce spinner.

I spun the lettuce and then held the bag for her to put the dried lettuce into.
This as you can well imagine . . .
made the job much longer quicker.

Eventually. .
all the lettuce made it all into the bag. .
and we drained the sink.

So. . .
the day after the big hoopla. . .
I was firmly grounded by the grands.

At dinner time. I was sitting between the two oldest.
I leaned over and asked Grandgirlie (who is also three) . . "did you see grammie on TV?"
"yup".. .
as though it was the most natural occurrence.

Yesterday it was back to normal routines.
I had a hygiene appointment.
I ran a bunch of errands.
Made my beloved's favorite cookies. .
and ran to the shop on and off to see what he was up to.

I did some laundry .. .
some ironing. . .
and joined some dear friends for dinner.

It might be a lot of fun to do things that we will only do once in our life. .
but at the end of the day. . .
if I had to choose doing either day only once in my lifetime .. .
I wouldn't trade my Monday for a year full of "that" Sunday.

 Remembering what matters most.

all for now .. .

Monday, January 17, 2011

going global

Do you watch Global BC Noon News?
If you watched it yesterday you will already know what this post is about.
On Thursday I received an email from Vineeta the producer of Global BC News.

She asked if I would be interested in coming in for a chat.
I emailed back and said. ..we`d all be delighted to come. .
She emailed me back and said .. . .bring one.

So . .I sent out an email to my girls and told them . . . and asked who would come hold my hand. .
and Kathy. . Kathy my friend for over thirty years. .
who knows everything about me and is still my friend . .
said. .
I will.

So . ..on Sunday morning we baked up a storm. .
dusted the flour off our faces . .
hopped into the back seat of the pickup. . .(it is often said that Mennonite the women travel in the backseat . ..really .. .we just love to chat  :)
and had our husbands . . .
drive us to the Burnaby studio.

On the way.  ..we practiced. . .and giggled. . .and panicked. . .and prayed.

We signed and clipped on our visitor passes . . and we sat down to "relax".

The waiting area had a TV tuned to the Hour of Power .. .
which is just before the News.

I often watch Hour of Power while I make brunch for the kids.
They (the kids. . not the Hour of Power people) had been notified that brunch was off.
I called all my "besties" at home. . . .
asking them to pray for us.
The home version of the Hour of Power in action.

We sat underneath the wall of news celebrities and watched the news.  ..
of course.

Vineeta the producer came to get us ..
and was happy to see the food.
Being regular Global TV News watchers. .
we know how they love it when someone brings food. . .
so we had already thought that one through.

The camera man put on our mics and asked told us not to talk during the weather.

The set that always looks beautiful when we watch it on TV was really all just a green screen.

Kristi Gordon the meteorologist was busy explaining all the rain we've been having. . .
and waving into the green screen behind her.

The guys. .
were allowed to come right into the studio and had a spot to watch from the sidelines.
We both .. .
as if we were synchronized women . .
handed the cameras to our men.

Sophie Lui . . .waved at them as she came to sit for the interview.

The camera man asked if he could unwrap the cupcakes Paska.. . .
and Sophie. . .did a thirty second .  .."hi ..I'm Sophie. .how are you? .. .is that the cookbook cover behind us?" and then the interview began.

They seems so nice when you watch them everyday on TV. .
and they are.
She was warm and if I really tried. .
I could almost believe we were just talking.

While the interview was going on . .
we saw Jay Janower the Sports reporter eye the food as he walked to the sports desk.

We also know by watching the Global Noon News regularly ..
that Jay Janower loves Ukrainian food.
And then. . .
five minutes after it began. . .
it ended.

On the way out the door. .
we stopped to chat with the producer Vineeta.

She was kind and gracious.

These are the people that we invite into our living rooms everyday.
I always wondered if they were nice. .
and now I know.

We went out to Cactus Club for a celebratory lunch.. .
oh it tasted ever so good.
I was reminded in the morning of the first time I can recall public speaking.
It was for my parents 25th wedding anniversary when I was 8.
My mom had picked out a 25th anniversary card and had me memorize the verse.
The morning of the anniversary when my sister-by-love was putting my hair up. . .(suddenly thinking here a similarity in public speaking events with my hair). . .
I told her I was terribly sick. . .couldn't go.
She said. . ."you are just nervous"
I said. . "I don't think so.  ..I'm terribly sick"
Miraculously moments after reciting my recitation in front of the church full of people.. .
I felt ravenous.  This was a similar feeling.

If you missed the interview. . .but you already know what Mennonite Girls Can Cook is cooking up.. .
then you know what we said. 

This journey with Mennonite Girls Can Cook continues to be a gift.
Thanks to Herald Press . . we hope to feed lots of hungry kids.

God is so amazing.
He has done this thing.
He alone is responsible for the gift of creativity and the gift of joy in giving and the gift of sharing friendships.

all for now. . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday blessing

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians 2:16,17