"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whimsical Wednesday!

Today is my dear friend Rosemarie's birthday!
This is Rosemarie pictured with my daughter Sarah at her Baby Shower. ( above)

Our friend Vicki joined us for lunch at The Olive Garden Restaurant.
We had all you can eat soup and salad. Fabulous food and a great deal for under $40.00 ;the three of us ate as much soup, salad and bread sticks and tea and lemonade one could possibly consume; AND we purchased a whole chocolate cream cake too!
                                                  This is a picture of Vicki with Sarah above.
Have you ever had so much fun that you wished the time could be frozen a bit to make the good time last?
This is how I feel when I am appreciating and enjoying my friends!
We also had FABULOUS weather! Everything around is in bloom. The air is bright, warm and clear.
After lunch, we three went to the Mall to check out a sale at Macy's.
Strangers stopped us and complimented us (our clothes, jewelry and our countenances).  It is so easy to give kindness and joy, and it means so much to the recipients.

Saturday, March 26th my daughter's friend along with her Aunt; gave her a beautiful Baby Shower! We all had a wonderful time. I am so grateful for the beautiful surprises and love my daughter received.
I often have trouble receiving, I always feel like I want to repay every kindness ever bestowed on us. I am learning, that to receive something graciously; also blesses the giver.
I am thinking of people who might not have someone in their lives to celebrate with!
God promises never to leave or  forsake us. Hebrews 13:5
I think well, I wish God were right next to me so we could eat together, or laugh together, or so He could give me His opinion when I am sad or lonely.
I have a story! I don't have the best memory so I shall paraphrase it:

There was an old widow woman who received a letter in her mail box. It was from Jesus! It said:
On Tuesday around noontime, I would like to have lunch with you at your house. Don't go all out. I mainly want to visit with you dear one. My angels tell me that you are feeling lonely and sad, and that you cry for your dead husband. I too, am lonely for your company. See you Tuesday at your house.....Love,...GOD!

So the widow woman went to her money box and she only had just enough money to purchase milk, cheese, a loaf of bread and some eggs. She thought she had enough flour and sugar to bake a cake, and she had some lemons to squeeze for tea or lemonade.
Tuesday morning came and it was pouring rain! The widow woman put on boots, a scarf and her winter coat.
As she was walking to the market, she worried about having enough money to host Jesus. She had polished her mother's teapot and she set the table with a beautiful hand-crocheted Lacey tablecloth. She placed a colorful bouquet of different flowers from her own garden in a special crystal vase her husband had given her on one of their Anniversaries.
The rain poured down harder and fiercely as the widow hurried to the market.
After buying her groceries, she decided to walk through an alley; because it was a straight line without stop signs, crossings, or cars.
She was in such a hurry, only 2 hours before Jesus would arrive.
A lady was sitting in the alley. She was soaking wet as she was trying to keep her baby dry. She asked the widow woman, "Please dear woman could you spare your scarf or your coat to keep my freezing baby warm?" The widow replied, " I would love to help, but Jesus is coming soon and I must hurry. I am wet and cold also!" The widow walked on and her conscience bothered her. She went back and gave the alley lady her coat. Now I will look awful when I meet Jesus, she thought to herself.
Next, the widow approached a forgotten man and his dog.  He said, "Lady could you spare any food for my dog? He has been my only friend for 18 years. We haven't eaten in two days. I'll do okay, but the dog is sick." She gave them 4 slices of cheese and four slices of bread, and one carton of milk. "I am sorry I cannot give you more, but you see, Jesus is coming to my house for lunch and I must feed Him."
Finally, the widow woman made it home. She was mixing a cake when her doorbell rang. It was her nasty neighbor from next door. The one who always fought with the widow woman's husband about his trees over growing onto her property. "Yes? said the widow woman to her neighbor"  "Well, my grandchildren are coming to visit tomorrow and they love deviled-eggs. I have boiled 6, but I need 3 more. I don't want to be out in this weather. May I borrow 3 or 4 eggs from you?" "Well, you see..." said the widow woman, "Jesus is coming to lunch in a little while and I only bought 6 eggs and I must make Him a cake!"
"Goodness!" replied the nasty neighbor, I am not asking for gold! I never turned your husband in to the city for his over grown trees! Honestly, you need your Doctor to check your mind! Jesus! really?"
"Okay!" said the widow, I guess I can spare 3 eggs. I'll bring them to your house in just a few minutes, I must get dry or I'll catch cold!
So, the widow changed her clothes, put her cake in the oven, boiled water for tea; and she sliced the cheese and bread to make sandwiches for Jesus.
When the widow went next door to deliver the eggs, her neighbor was on the phone and didn't answer the door for a few minutes. The widow woman finished her business and ran back home to turn off her tea kettle. Her clock struck noon. Whew! she thought. The cake should be done just in time for Jesus!
Eventually, the clock struck one, and then two, and finally at three O'clock the woman realized that she had been late for Jesus. I must have missed Him while I was at that nasty neighbor's house.
The widow began to cry. The sandwiches, the cake and the tea got cold. She wasn't hungry. Just disappointed as usual. She put everything away and went to bed. "I guess I am crazy! delusional! or sickly mourning my husband to the point of imagining things."  SHE THOUGHT...
...The next day the widow woman went to her mailbox and she received only one piece of mail; a letter from JESUS! It read: "Dear child! Thank you for our wonderful luncheon! I only wish more of my children would invite me.
When you clothed the baby, fed the man and his dog, and when you loved your nasty neighbor as yourself in sharing your eggs, I was there! Your humble house is beautiful! I enjoyed the food, the cake, the warm tea and cheese sandwiches. I remember when your Grandmother made that Lacey tablecloth. She wondered if anyone down the line of her lineage would appreciate all the time and effort she put into making it; but mostly I enjoyed your LOVE! Don't cry my daughter, we had lunch together!"

Matthew 25 verse 34: The king will say to those on His right, "Come you who are blessed by my Father; Take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me."
verse 38:  " Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?
Or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in?
Or needing clothes, and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
AND THE KING will reply: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, YOU DID FOR ME!"
Be kind to someone, even if it isn't your nature to be: Hebrews 13:2 
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have ENTERTAINED angels without knowing it."

Monday, March 28, 2011

My first try at WOOL ROVING: Robert's Lamb

My daughter and I were at a craft store and we saw a most unusual book.
My daughter admired the darling little animals and other creatures which were featured in this book, so I decided to purchase it. After arriving home and realizing what I got myself into, I put the book away for a few weeks.
After re-reading the instructions of how to make these animals, I learned that special tools are required. I also became aware of the fact that no store I went to; had raw wool for sale. Finally, I ordered some wool on-line from a farm in Colorado. I am talking raw, right off the animal wool.
 I also ordered some already dyed colored wool samples. I used the pink wool for the inside of this lamb's ears!
                               This art is called: "Wool Roving"
No pins, sewing needles, thread, dowels, wires or glue is allowed. I used a very sharp roving needle to weave and push the wool together to form this little lamb. It is similar to sculpting. When the wool I ordered arrived, it was brown and filthy.
I bleached it for 3 days and then combed it out before rolling it into balls to rove the lamb together. Quite a feat for me. I intend to make a bunny, a squirrel, a cat, and a Robin bird. I need time to relax from making "Little Lamb."
I was extremely tempted to buy a little woolen toy, but Robert will be my first grandchild and one day he will realize how dear he is to me!
I wanted to share a picture of my finished product. If any of you have heard of, or have done ROVING, please let me know. I am so eager to learn about this art. :) 


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Whew! I made it! Wednesday evening at 11:55p.m.

Well, I have been busier than a bee making a hive!
Saturday was my daughter's Grandfather in-law's 80th. Birthday. What a great party!
Sunday was a Baby shower for my daughter. Boy oh boy was it a SHOWER!! It was uncommon rainy weather for Southern California. Everyone attended despite the rain and it was lovely!
Today, Elizabeth Taylor passed.  It  just made me feel sad that the only actress I now admire is Meryl Streep!
The great ones are so few and far between; May she rest in peace!
I wrote a fan letter to Elizabeth Taylor once, and she answered me back in handwriting with beautiful violet stationery. I loved her best in the film, "Giant."
I was thinking of the word, "movie star" I wonder where it originated from; who used it first?
I know that Jesus is the bright and shining star, the rose of Sharon, the Living water and so much more.
We are on this earth for such a short while.
 As I get older, the funerals I attend become frequent and familiar.
My ambition is to be a bright light reflecting the LOVE God has given me through His grace and mercy!
As I visit The Griffith Observatory, the view of the stars at night is perfection. They look like diamonds sparkling oh so brightly! Before we go to heaven, I believe we can shine love to others so we may be stars on earth. As God goes to His spiritual Observing place; we would want Him to say,"Well done good and faithful servant!"
If you died tomorrow, what would you do differently in your life today? Remember, none of us have the promise of tomorrow!
 " Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...
that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths."  Isaiah 2:3
Have a worthwhile Wednesday! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

LATE Wednesday! Well, I finally got to the computer at 1:14a.m.

I got my hair cut today. Afterwards, I went to the market, the Post office, the craft store, and to the library.
Everything started out miserably! I don't have the kind of hair I wish I had; mine is thick and unruly!
The price of gasoline and groceries seems to soar by the minute, my letters needed 2 stamps instead of 1, and my coupon was not valid at Michaels craft store.
The icing of the afternoon was my trip to the library. There was a very stange woman sitting next to me. She coughed like she had double Pneumonia. She spoke out LOUDLY!! The library did not have any information on the subject I was searching for. I kept moving away from this strange cougher, and it seemed like everywhere I moved , she was there. Oh! and she touched 3 different computers and tons of books. WHY DON'T SICK PEOPLE STAY HOME???????????????
When I returned home, I did the dishes, cooked dinner, and fed the cats. I heard loud hissing on my front porch, I opened the door and I saw a beautiful gray cat eating my cat's food. This angered me and I told that cat to get out of my yard (like it cared or even understood) and then I threw a newspaper at that free-loading cat.
I decided to look in the mirror and asses my haircut. While looking in my mirror, two things happened: 1. My cat , Little Bear cracked me up. She was admiring herself in the mirror next to me. I ran and took a picture to share with you. Unbelievable! I cooked dinner and she was still in the mirror purring away! This made me feel sorry for the free-loader cat. I put a cup of food on the porch and it came back and ate.
#2. I realized how much joy we get from little things. I started re- evaluating my frustrations.
I made meatball subs, a caesar salad and baked potatoes. I am grateful that I can afford food and not have to grow it, raise it, or ship it.
A very kind girl at the market helped me carry my things; another kind woman waved me on to cross the street when she could have gone first.
A man walked up to me at the craft store and asked me if I wanted his coupon for 1/2 price frames (as I was purchasing a picture frame) Well, the cashier would not accept the coupon because my frame was "liquidation" not "sale". Another woman in line gave me her 40% off any item coupon, and STILL it was not applicable for "liquidated" items! BUT, the kindness of strangers was my lesson!
I had to spend 80 cents to mail my Doctor a COPY of a form which they MISPLACED! BUT, I have insurance which I need to value these days!
AND the letter I sent to a friend that weighed too much? Well to cheer a friend up should be worth 80 cents! It's cheaper than treating for lunch :)
AS FOR THE LIBRARY COUGHER? I still think she should have stayed home! The Resource lady was a doll. She tried so hard to help me with my project, and I got to see our new, beautiful multi-million dollar library that my taxes helped pay for.
It truly is a choice to see goodness in challenging events.
Remember to wear GREEN or you will get pinched! OR maybe not, and enjoy the pinch!
Have a blessed rest of the week :) :) :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pineapple Cherry Cake Recipe

The other day I made a cake for my dear friend's birthday. I am NOT a good baker, but how can you mess a cake mix?
To my surprise, this cake turned out BEAUTIFULLY!

Pineapple Cherry Cake
Here is what I did: I used Pillsbury moist supreme cake mix; Pineapple flavor.
I followed the directions and I used 2 square cake pans.
I used 2 tubs of already made cake frosting: Butter Cream flavor. I frosted each layer individually before putting the filling in between the layers.
Here is the magic! I felt like putting a filling in the middle between the layers, but I didn't have time to chop and boil fruit. I used 1 can of comstock canned cherry pie filling.
While the frosting was still soft, I filled between layers of the cake with 1/2 the can and then I poured the other 1/2 over the top of the cake.
I set the cake uncovered, inside the refrigerator until morning. It set nicely.
This was the most delicious, and simple cake I have ever tasted!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crocheted Necklaces

Recently, I have been making crocheted jewelry because it is easy to travel with some thread, scissors, and a hook. My daughter and I saw some real diamond jewelry that was similar to the lay out of this one for thousands of dollars. I thought, why not make a thread version. So this is what I came up with
Each of these three flowers are doubled (flower on top of flower) which gives them a 3-d effect) The picture really doesn't do justice. In person , they really sparkle!
I bought a box of beads at an estate sale, so I decided to mix different shades of pink to make this 3-tiered necklace. Again, it sparkles much better in person. I wanted you to just get the concept of mixing crocheted thread with beads.
This pin-on  flower is by far my most favorite. I bought this sweater for my friend on her Birthday. Her personality really shines. The crochet thread is exactly the color and texture of the sweater. I sewed on a multi-faceted glass ball that looks like silver mercury glass. This too, shines in person better than in this picture.
I won't make this one again! I like it very much, but the measuring and balancing was no fun. The middle of this flower has a very old rhinestone pin that shines a mile away. This necklace looks great, however it was just an experiment of mine. I don't have patterns I just make them up as I go along. I am sure a common flower pattern could be googled if you are interested in making one.
Here is another view of the same necklace from above.
Raising Homemakers


I looked at my calendar and noticed that it is Ash Wednesday: "Dies Cinerum" Welcome penitential season of Lent.
 Oh the memories I have of the first twenty eight years of my life; of the things I gave up for lent.
I gave up: chocolate, dessert, television, going to the movies, dances, my allowance, cursing, wearing make-up, wearing nail polish, eating meat on Fridays and dating. I attended Mass every single day for 40 days and it was in Latin.
I remember a priest writing an ash cross onto my forehead with the prior year's palms that were burnt from Palm Sunday. I remember my mother insisting that we ate fish every Friday.
In the OLd Testament, Ashes symbolized humility/mortality. Granted, I learned discipline and fear.
Examples: Ezekial: to be spared from punishment
Numbers: to be made clean, and in Revelations and other books.
The books of Matthew and Luke speak of repenting etc...
I was asked several times today, "What are you giving up for Lent?"
My answer is, I will be adding to, not taking away.
I don't need to look repentive or sad or righteous like the Pharisees or like the girl in Literature who wore the scarlet letter for all to see her sin.
Jesus went off to the mountains to pray. He fasted, and He humbled Himself by dropping perfection down to a flesh level. All for us!!!!!
 JESUS states in Mark, 7:7: " They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!"
1 Peter 1:3 : " Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! according to His great mercy He has
caused us to be BORN AGAIN to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ through the dead."
I often wonder if the  people who celebrate "FAT TUESDAY" ever wake up so drunk that they forget about having to hurry up and get their ashes before the sun sets on Wednesday?
Oh what a priceless gift we have in Jesus. I will not mourn the bridegroom while He is here with me; body mind and spirit. We are but filthy rags without the cross, but we are made whole and free and Christ-like when we receive that gift.
I choose the mark/ the branding of the BLOOD of Jesus to be written all over me spiritually. The hands of God cleansed me. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me for the next 40 days, and then for eternity. I know who I am in Christ, and with Him all things are possible. He gives me the words, the inspiration, and the path to follow. My sins are all covered by Him. I will not repent for what he paid for.
I will revive, review, and regard God's greatness during this time, and always. I will be humble and most grateful to Him because of His greatness.
My "TRADITION" this Lent and every one to come shall be to aim to give: Love  Joy  Peace  Patience  Kindness  Goodness  Faithfulness  Gentleness  and  Self-control.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday! Out to Lunch...

... I have a dear friend who's husband is recovering from Lymphatic cancer. Her father died almost two weeks ago. She became a Grandmother for the second time almost a year ago, and in-between our pre-Golden years; she has raised four children. One of them is a Doctor, and the other is a Teacher, the two others are hard working young adults. When I think of Liz, I hear her telling every young person she comes in contact with: "Get your education, it is like a diamond, and no one can ever take it away from you!" I laugh because she pushes Education to an extreme. My poor daughter just has a mom who went to Junior College. By the grace of God, my daughter valued and sought her education all on her own will. I have learned through the years that Liz values the places that education soars one to.
 I called  Liz and asked her what I could do to help her. She has three sisters who support each other beautifully, so I thought, or I felt a little awkward in trying to support her. I just pray for her behind the scenes. She asked me to meet her after work at a little Deli, so we could visit. I met her today for lunch and we sat and talked for three hours! What I learned was: despite all of  life's trials, there is ALWAYS a bright ray of  joy and love; God is merciful! Liz lit up like a light bulb as she spoke about her two grandchildren.
The comfort her sisters bring to her seems to carry her through anything. Lastly, I learned that our friendship since the fifth grade, has had many facets, and that "going out to lunch" means, "I value you and your presence comforts me!"
On Tuesday, my daughter and I met her dear friend Summer, for lunch.
Summer is working at a near by college. She works in the office full time and she is a student there at night working on her teaching credential. She already graduated from Cordon Bleu as a Pastry chef.  Meanwhile, she has purchased a house and is very busy fixing it up! Oh the energy of youth!
On Monday, I ate lunch over the phone with a dear friend from Kansas. She had a Turkey sandwich and I had an egg. She has a very bad sinus infection. We discussed antibiotics and steroids, and Doctors. We have been praying together for thirty years;  two times a week. We laugh and we cry, and we plan, and we hope.
Tomorrow, I will be having lunch with my two fairy Godmothers. I usually see them once a week. I value them so much! I can't wait to see the menu, or hear about what they are up to, or even just to see how the table is set, they also dress with such style.  Because I am an artist, I think of everyone as a picture with a story that just has to be interpreted by me!
Next time I see a salon, a restaurant or anywhere that posts a sign saying, "OUT TO LUNCH" I must remember to respect what it means; out living, out tending, out nurturing someone or something.
On Friday, my daughter is taking me out to lunch to one of her favorite restaurants at the beach.
Besides my hips going way out to lunch, my heart is touched by the cherished conversations and the valuable lessons we all share while eating those lunches,
Just as Jesus is the living water, I believe eating together can be the living love of Christ!
Invite someone out to lunch and listen to them the way you would love to be listened to!
Happy, blessed, wonderful Wednesday!