Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Windows Live Writer Experiment and Much More

I am writing this on Friday evening (4/03/09) using the new Windows Live Writer and will post it sometime next week. You know, I’ve been complaining for some time about the limits of Blogger. When I want to set a paragraph in, I expect it to happen. When I want to center something, I expect it centered. You know, the usual formatting issues. I just downloaded Windows Live Writer and I suddenly have my MSN Messenger back, along with a lot of other neat things. (ETA: Not everything works. The new picture program nearly crashed my computer.) The screen looks like this by the way. (This photo was added Monday night from the regular Blogger program.)

Let’s see if I can center this.

Oh yes I can!

I am brilliant lucky!

Just was able to add a picture albeit an artsy, crooked one from the photo album using the button pictured above. It's on the right side of the screen. Oh, I don't like that "view full album" feature one little bit! It shows up automatically and hyperlinked below any photo uploaded using this program. I was able to remove it, but that will prove to be a pain because it needed to be removed using Blogger in Edit Html.

View Monitor

Surprise, surprise! I think that I will be sticking with Blogger after all! Otherwise, I would have to go back and forth between programs to get the best features of both. I'd go with the Live Writer if the photos worked the way that I want them to.

Google "Windows Live Writer" if you’re interested in learning more. I don’t dare to try the hyperlink. If you've used this program, please let me know how you like it.

You may already know that I am one of the most blessed gals in Blogdom. Truly.

Yesterday, another package arrived. Though the resident prankster tried to keep me from getting my hands on it, even he couldn't manage to keep it away. Gheesh! The things some gals must go through!

This is a wonderful package from Miss Sandy who shared all about it here. I have also added a button on my sidebar so that you may check out this event for yourselves. What a wonderful seminar for Christian women, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home! So far, I've listened to one live session, but I will be able to download all the sessions in the future and I plan to. I'm so excited about Wednesday's session with Melissa who spoke about it here.

The pretty package picture story follows...

Is it any wonder that I feel so blessed?

Click on any photos that you'd like to see better. You may even be able to read what I circled at the bottom of the page. Nope, it's too tough. It says: Prayer is not all that you can do. It's the best that you can do.

Thank you again, Miss Sandy. You are a blessing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sap Buckets and Sweater Pillow

Weather Report: Sap is still running. No, not all over the ground. There are lids on those buckets. Yup, it's been windy. The snow is going fast.

My mother returned a sweater vest to me that I had given to her because she had given it to me. Are you still with me? I decided that there was no way that I wanted a blue stripe right across my mid-section with ducks swimming in it so was preparing to pop it into the Goodwill bag when I thought that I'd save the sweet buttons on it. Yes, they're sheep.

Then, just as I was preparing to take the first snips another thought. Whoa...Wait a minute, Chickie. You can do what Judy did right here. So I did, minus the felting. I remember that Manuela also did one...a red one...at her former blog. OOPS! Manuela informs me that the information is available right *here* . (My memory is shot! I actually did a search this morning, but must've been too specific.) I think she said something about not being too fussy so I wasn't too fussy following Manuela's good advice. It was the kind of project that wouldn't make any difference in appearance whether one spent 30 minutes or 3 hours. So there it is and, no, I'm not packing it away until next winter. Even though it's a sweater, it has a springy scene...apple trees, flowers, ducks swimming, and sheep grazing.

Enjoy your Monday, Dear Ones!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Where's My Donkey?

Sometimes I get the impression that God wants me to give him something and sometimes I don't give it because I don't know for sure, and then I feel bad because I've missed my chance. Other times I know he wants something but I don't give it because I'm too selfish. And other times, too few times, I hear him and I obey him and feel honored that a gift of mine would be used to carry Jesus to another place. And still other times I wonder if my little deeds today will make a difference in the long haul.

Maybe you have those questions, too. All of us have a donkey. You and I each have something in our lives, which, if given back to God, could, like the donkey, move Jesus and his story further down the road. Maybe you can sing or hug or program a computer or speak Swahili or write a check.

Whichever, that's your donkey.

Whichever, your donkey belongs to him. It really does belong to him. Your gifts are his and the donkey was his. The original wording of the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples is proof: "If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkeys, you are to say, 'Its Lord is in need.'"

~Max Lucado from And the Angels were Silent

Though I can't find the Bible version that says "Its Lord is in need," I fully agree with Mr. Lucado. Everything is the Lord's. Guess it's time to head for the Strong's Concordance.

Have a wonderful and blessed Palm Sunday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Found: One Chicken Casserole Recipe

Yes, along with at least three other chicken casseroles. (This post is completely intertwined with yesterday's so if you find yourself wondering what's going on here, besides not much, that explains it.) Several recipes have been printed out multiple times. I think I could be much more organized if and when I get this book together. Someone asked if I have these on the computer and the answer is yes, in triplicate. I don't have a laptop, though, so don't much thrill to running up and down the hall to look for the next ingredient or to print it off again. Some fine day, I'm certain that I will may get it all together.

Anyway, since you asked, and you won't be disappointed, and IF you make this one I really, really do want to hear about it, here ya go.

Vee's Creamy Chicken Casserole for Four


* 2 cups dry whole wheat noodles. (We prefer Heartland Rotini, but you use what you like.)

* 1 can cream of chicken soup (mushroom in a pinch)

* ½ cup milk (we use skim)

* 1 cup grated cheese (we like cheddar)

* ½ tsp poultry seasoning

* ¼ cup mayonnaise

* ¼ cup plain yogurt

* One cooked chicken breast cut into small chunks or a 12.5 oz can of chunk white chicken rinsed and drained well (we don't need all that salt)


* Heat oven to 350°

* Boil noodles of choice until done and drain

* Add milk, yogurt, and mayonnaise to the soup and heat until it just begins to bubble

* Add seasonings (you can play around here...we've settled on the poultry seasoning as our favorite)

* Stir in half of the cheese until melted

* Add the noodles and cooked chicken and stir to coat completely

* Spoon into a casserole serving dish suitable for four servings

* Sprinkle with remaining cheese

* Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with a vegetable or salad and enjoy!

You'll find that this recipe is a wonderful one to tweak. It can easily be doubled or even tripled, but since we are watching our portions around here and there are only two of us, I usually stick to the smaller recipe. This or that can be substituted. Please let me know what you come up with if you give it a try.

For dessert, I made a delicious Peach Dump Cake. It's another recipe that's fun to tweak. I substituted a can of Comstock cherry pie filling because I didn't have two cans of peaches. It's a peachy cherry delight...hmmmmm. Whaddya mean that we're on some diet? :>

Enjoy your weekend, Dear Ones!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chicken Casserole Recipe, Where Are You?

I'm so upset with all of you right now! Just look at this! Dinner is to be on the table at 1 p.m. and here it is 11:20 a.m. and I can't find a thing. You are to blame on a number of levels. ;D

First, I've been visiting blogs all morning and that's obviously your fault. (tee hee)

Second, these are all your recipes!

You don't believe me?

For starters!

And the latest?

That's it! I've no time to waste. I must paw through that pile looking for my famous chicken casserole recipe. You'd think I'd remember it by now!

Recipes Mentioned: Cinnamon Cake, Rhubarb Platz, Apple Pancakes, Oatmeal Cinnamon Crispies

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Have you noticed all the playing with headers around here? Oh my! I've been so taken by what's been going on at Whispering Poppies (long gone) that for a second or two I thought that I could actually do what Louise does. Silly, silly me! Needless to say, I fell back upon my old standbys from Big Huge Labs.

Still, there is something that I am planning to participate in on April 15, besides taxes that is. I'm going to accept the invitation from Whispering Poppies and display some vignettes. Romantic ones? Not sure, but I have been practicing lately. Why here's one that I did yesterday and I seriously apologize for the light...there's been precious little around here for days and days.

Isn't it beautiful? A real Monet as they say... I couldn't risk showing the real before close-up, it would frighten you! But if you'd like a hint you can visit *this post* and you'll find the location just to the right of the apron nook. Okay, enough goofing around...this is a little tidying up and shifting about.

Recently, I read a little decorating tip that wouldn't cost a thing, but time. It is to gather all decorative items and place them on a table and then to redistribute them throughout the house. Kinda labor intensive, but I'm thinking it could work.

My daughter visited last evening and brought her latest painting fresh from the framer's to show us. We've been watching it evolve over the weeks so I was quite tickled to see it all done and framed. Can you tell what it is?

Not sure? Can you tell now?

John sat looking at it for some time while my daughter and I were busy elsewhere. He said that he got the same sense of vertigo as he has when truly lying on the grass looking up through the tree limbs. I didn't get the chance to look at it for that long, but I am looking at it today and I do wish that its new home were that spot. It isn't. Shoot!

One last thing...I miss the "widget within" a wee little bit. If it actually chose one or two (not three) former posts and if it stuck with that post, I'd have left it alone. The constant rolling about was frustrating to me. Nevertheless, if you want your numbers to go up by at least twenty-five per cent, it's just the thing. At this point in blogging, I think I'm nearly done with the where are you from, how long did you stay, what post did you enjoy, and what my numbers in general are doing. My new goal? A tightened, less-cluttered blog. Perhaps in the future I'll aim for concise speech, elevated thoughts, and significance. Right! =D

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some Fine Day Perhaps...

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England — now!

~Robert Browning

I'll catch up with you all Thursday...have a fun April Fool's Day!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Awards and Honors and Gratitude and Oh Help

Recently, I've received two delightful awards. The Sisterhood Award comes from my dear friend Barbara @ Ramblings from an English Garden. Barbara and I have been visiting back and forth consistently for two years come September. That's a long time in Bloggy Years! I appreciate her so much and I'm glad that she thinks of me as a member of the Sisterhood.

The second award comes from a new-to-me blogging friend Lisa @ A Cottage to Me. I like its sassiness. It comes with requirements: List 10 things about yourself and then pass it on to others.

1. The Award Issue is a sticky one for me. I never follow the rules; I have often left awards on the table; I'm honored and pleased, yet, at the same time, conflicted. I am conflicted because to pass them on has always felt awkward. It would be like walking through Keukenhof Gardens and selecting just one tulip. Impossible!

2. Therefore, I have been most snobby and have appreciated most those awards that were created by a blogger and not meant to be passed on such as the two you'll find on my sidebar for today only. Yes, if I'm going to say what I'm about to say, I think that even they must be placed in my file of treasures.

3. File of treasures? Oh yes, I do have a file filled with these awards. It is much like the file I've kept of all the drawings and letters my children have given or that my students gave me or even my love letters. Some things are special, after all.

4. So from now on, if I should receive an award, I will kindly thank you for even thinking of me. I'll take it and place it in my treasure file, but it won't be mentioned here; so there'd really be little point for anyone to give one.

5. This little button is going to sit in my sidebar, down low and away, and after a while, even he will fly off.

I'll be like Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti who says that your comments are her awards. I find that the same — your visits and your comments are my reward. Actually, my visits to your wonderful blogs are truly my reward.

6. And see? I just can't follow the rules.

Enjoy your Tuesday...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Consider the Tulips

a photo of Keukenhof Garden from Gardening Illustrated (allowed to stand)

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28–29

Hope that you'll have time to enjoy this video of Keukenhof Garden. It's good for lowering blood pressure. God bless your Sunday!

ETA: Having just come from morning devotions and the reading of Streams in the Desert, I want to say that I did not sneak a peek prior to my post this morning. ;>

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Future Burp Cloths

How fun to be visiting Homemade by Jill again and find just the thing that I need for the future generation of my beloved's family — a tutorial on making burp cloths. Currently, Jill has quite a number of tutorials for making wonderful infant items so I may become tempted with other things if I hang out there too long.

Speaking of infants...perhaps you've heard that *Linds* and *Dawn* are brand new, for-the-first-time-ever paternal grandmothers. I think it's just so cool. If you want to see pictures, all you have to do is click on their names.

A blessed weekend to you all!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Penny Postcards

My son and daughter-in-law gave me a genealogy program with three months of online membership to Ancestry.com. It's been sitting on my shelf calling my name. Thing is...once the research bug has bitten...it's hard to shake yourself free. I know. I've been bitten before.

But little things like looking for *penny postcards* (eta: this link no longer works) can be a lot of fun. I'm sorry that this will only work for the U.S., but you might find it interesting to click on your state, find your county, and see what's there. I found ever so many things of interest even if I was unable to find my own hometown.

Let me know if you find something fascinating!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Day of Crafting

It's always a good thing to get away to putz. Create would be the better word, of course. Personally, I get a little antsy if I haven't been able to do something different and fun after about four days. How about you?

There are a few things in my craft room that I haven't shared...like those cute hankie curtains. It's an idea I stole from Linda at Blue Gate Blog; I've lifted some of my best ideas from Linda.

Oh, and the apron tied around the chair (which you can barely see)? I lifted that from Linda at Restyled Home right *here.* I must have a thing about stealing from Lindas.

Four of you should be able to find some little things that you may partially recognize. Yup. I'm playing games again today. Look around...it's a "Where's Waldo" kind of day.

Oh, I've been meaning to show you these cute little buttons that I found in the stash my mother gave me. They're peg clothespin buttons! I know, I've got so much stuff on my bulletin board that they're hard to see plus the quality of the photographs isn't so hot today. (I may be such a perfectionist that this pic and a few others will change at some point.)

My number one errand of the day is getting to the post office. That and making my beloved his dinner. Have a great day everyone!

Edited to Add: Just dropping in a better daylight photo of the aproned chair. I see that my take on it is a bit different from Linda's...my chair is more bibbed than aproned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mackintosh Toffee and So Much More

It was another delightful day here in my corner. Another day, another package. This time from Lovella of What Matters Most! (Oy vey...the cost of postage.)

Check out this loot! Since my family is one with strong Canadian ties...half the family here, and the other half there...we know something about Canadian candy. The best! Coffee Crisps are, I believe, the number one candy bar in Canada. We love them! My son has been known to drive six hours one way to get some. (I'm tossing one of these his way.)

But this is the candy bar that started it all. My personal favorite — the Mackintosh toffee bar. Just gaze for a while on its creamy toffeeness.

Beautiful, isn't it? Yes, I've displayed it against the terrific dishcloths that Lovella sent as well so as to enhance its sweet, sweet self. The thing is, Lovella tells me that Mackintoshes will no longer be made in the 56g bar. What is the world coming to?! I've enjoyed this candy all my life!

Such fond memories I have of buying a bar so stale that it would split into lots of toffee shards upon impact. Yes, this was the candy bar that required a good smacking and could be shared with at least a dozen kids. What's not to love about that?

Yesterday, I shared my last toffee bar with my nana and my mom. We cut it carefully into strips for it was as fresh and soft as could be. We savored it. Thank you, Lovella!

Oh, not to be forgotten, I also have two wonderful magazines to enjoy. I've had the chance to read them both and I will reread them until they are dogeared. Then I will pass them along to my mother who is quite excited to think about a current Chatelaine. She showed me some of her vintage copies yesterday.

There was so much tucked into that package, but what I mostly sensed was friendship, thoughtfulness, and charity. Thank you again, my friend!

Now for the burning question of yesterday: Just how many bags of jelly beans did it take to fill the jar? Three!

Unbeknownst to my readers, this was a real contest with real prizes. Sort of a silent giveaway, if you will. I'll be notifying the winners later today. Thanks to everyone for playing and making it fun!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jelly Beans

Eventually, everything comes full circle to jelly beans, Peeps, and Cadbury eggs. You can not argue with that logic! We've had our share of Cadbury eggs and Peeps, but no jelly beans. Since they're not a favorite, I felt it would be safe to send my beloved out to fetch some for the empty jar you see above.

Can I just say that I love a man who'll run to the store? I've never known one of them until now. It's so nice to be married to one.

Doesn't that bag look a little heavy?

Well, no wonder. Seven bags of jelly beans!

The jar is definitely filled.

Now, you've seen these little contests all the time at banks, car dealerships, you name it. Let me know how many bags you think it took to fill the jar. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Weekend Story

This is my weekend told in pictures.

There was some crafting.

Some visiting with my son and grands.

(Yes, that's my sneakered foot. I'm multi-talented. I can take photos and keep a toddler on the sofa at the same time, which is, from the amusement on the grand's face and the concern on the son's, perhaps not something I should try often.)

Some baking.

This is the regular straight-off-the-bag recipe, which I've included below just in case. The thing is, I love to play with the two or three cups of added ingredients at the very end. For example, my cookies have one cup of chocolate chips, ½ cup crasins, and ½ cup chopped walnuts. I didn't mess with that third cup thing, but you could. Sometimes I add peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, Rice Krispies, oatmeal, you name it, it's fun to play with different combinations. I do want to say very clearly right now before some wise guy comes in here and asks — I.did.not.use.any.onions. What combinations do you use?

Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts optional

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


A wonderful Monday to you! Yes, you!!