Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunshine Makes Me Wanna Sing!

More snow fell yesterday/ last night. But what a difference a day makes! The sun is out today and I am cheered!

The temp on the deck porch this morning:
Almost 14 degrees! Heat wave!

I have to work tonite so I knew I needed to get out this morning and shovel away the new snow. I tied Cady out on a long lead and she kept me company while I shoveled. It was a much, much lighter load than yesterday!
I love my shovel.....it's easier for me to use than a straight handled shovel. And I do own one of those, too.....I keep it in my car....just in case!

This makes me want to sing......♪♫ "Nothing but blue skies....heading my way"♪♫♪
This is the tall bush beside my front deck door steps. Gotta love that blue backdrop, ain't it grand?!?! Snow, blue skies, sunshine, greenery....all I need is a rainbow!
♪♫ "Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows...."♪♫

I found the icicles hanging from the roof to be even kinda pretty this morning....at least they're not accompanied by an additional 6 or so inches of snow! That's a huge blessing!

Last, but certainly not least, Cady.....with her teal bandana on today. Gotta admit, she doesn't pose very well, so getting her to sit when we went to come in was a plus. I love my dog...she is such great company for me!
 There is also some snow on the deck from where the wind blew it in under the windows that line the porch. Not much, but enough!

Spring, I just know it, must be around the corner....sometime between now and the end of May. That should be plenty of time for all the snow to melt again, right? Flowers to bloom....birds to sing....dandelions to grow....grass to be mowed...wow, moving right into summer in heartbeat!

So, today, with a heart attitude of gratitude, I am blessed beyond measure and hope the same is true for you!

Enjoy today while it is today!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Hello, Monday!

Blessed Beyond Measure: Hello, Monday!: "Happy President's Day! Happy Holiday! I know, I know! I've been kinda quiet this past week. Not much new going on and work was really busy, ..."

Hello, Monday!

Happy President's Day! Happy Holiday!

I know, I know! I've been kinda quiet this past week. Not much new going on and work was really busy, so gotta say, was much too tired to type! I did get to have six days in a row off, this being the last one. I got caught up on home stuff and some reading and just relaxed. Not to mention, I got some needed sleep!

The weather was grand and glorious last week. I had one day when I was outside with just a sweatshirt jacket to keep me warm, that's how nice it was out!

Yeah, this is what I awoke to this morning. It started last night and the end product was....several inches of snow and a little bit of ice mixed in. It was a heavy mix, believe me! My first inclination this morning was to go out and deal with it.

Instead, I took a poll among friends on Facebook....do I shovel snow or bake cookies? They all said, "Cookies!!!!!"

Cookies it was! I made an Eggless Toffee Chip cookie recipe and can I say...yummmmo! And delicious!

I took one with me when I went out to survey the snow situation.....just look at that cookie....nicely baked and not burnt! ☺

Here's the recipe for my cookies:

Egg-free Toffee Chip Cookies
1. In a large bowl, cream together: 1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

2. Beat in: 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

3. Combine in a seperate container: 2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

4. Add dry mixture gradually to creamed mixture and mix well.

5. Stir in: 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup English toffee bits

6. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

7. Flatten with bottom of small glass.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

9. Remove to wire rack.

Makes 4 dozen, at 88 calories per cookie.
I also had thrown two chicken breasts in my crockpot first thing this morning, along with a can of undiluted cream of chicken soup, some shredded carrots, diced celery and diced onion. I just took the chicken out a little bit ago and shredded it and added it back to the mixture. Supper tonite will be chicken and biscuits, with sugar free raspberry jello for desert (I added bananas and manderin oranges to that!). The cookies are for a snack later!

The biscuits turned out great, too.....just look!
No, I didn't do them from scratch. I had purchased these a few weeks ago when they were on sale. This will be a nice change of pace for dinner!

Once I made it outside, I took some pics of the bush beside my front entry door:

If you look close, you see not just snow, but the ice particles hanging on for dear life! Rumor has it that it will warm up again later in the week. I hope so, but in the meantime, I thought it would be good to look for something good from the latest downpour of solid water....or not so solid, but pretty close! The ice droplets looked really pretty.....

Got to spend time with my youngest sister yesterday. Was blessed, as always, by my time with her. We enjoyed a great lunch at the Italian Oven in our neighboring town. (We meet halfway when we get together!). We also were able to both find shoes for work! We both work at Walmart and good shoes are a must! I was blessed to find mine on sale! So I was able to purchase two pair for what I would have paid for one, originally! Awesome!

I have been blessed by the recent sunshine, good conversations with friends, warmth in my home, and time off. God has blessed me immensely by providing, always, for my needs. I am thankful to Him for His faithfulness to provide!

Came across this verse last week, which says it well:
"Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown You and say, " Who is the Lord?" Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."
Proverbs 30:8-9

He has proven Himself to be faithful, over and over and over again. He supplies all that I need and blesses me beyond what I could ever measure. Walking in faith with Him, trusting Him daily, is the best choice I ever made.....and I pray I continue to make!

Be blessed today, wherever you are, and rest in His peace, His grace and His love!
May His favor be upon you,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: What? Snow?!?!? Again?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Blessed Beyond Measure: What? Snow?!?!? Again?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!: "Guess it was bound to happen, since it technically is still winter and will be for several more weeks. But to be honest, I'm up to beyond my..."

What? Snow?!?!? Again?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Guess it was bound to happen, since it technically is still winter and will be for several more weeks. But to be honest, I'm up to beyond my hairline with the snow. My patience is wearing very thin. I've been telling the Lord this morning, "Enough already!" But it's looking like I'm not influencing the weather any by complaining! So, I will adapt...again....go out and do what needs to be done with a few more inches.

Just had a thought....wonder what the fisherman on the boat with Jonah thought of the storm they found themselves in or the disciples who were with Jesus when He calmed the seas. Life does that to us, doesn't it? Like being on a bumpy ride, a stormy sea, being tossed to and fro...and we cry out, "Enough, God! Enough!" And what does He do, but calm our storms, our fears and brings us peace through His Spirit and His Word.

Speaking of bumpy rides......I got out of the house for awhile yesterday. Headed to the library, filled the gas tank up, stopped at Goodwill and the Christian Book Store before heading home. The sunshine was AWESOME!!!!  Felt nice and warm in the car....LOL...not so much outside the car!
Below is a picture of the ice crater lake. Beautiful blue skies and then there's that big ol' puddle in the middle.....

A closer view of the "lake"

This is the same puddle on the way back home.....it was worse coming back than it was going! Yikes!

Driving over to town, took this picture of the woods....God knows how to paint the greatest pictures!

 First stop was the library, where I needed to pick up some Federal tax forms. Wow, those booklets are thick! And confusing! My state taxes are done, but the federal ones are gonna take a little bit more paperwork. I took early retirement in mid-2010 from my time with the school district (over 11 years ago) to help pay off some debt and have some extra income each month. The tax forms are a wee bit confusing and the booklets that come along with them.....OK, more like a small book with no cartoons or pictures! Yuck!

I did find a couple of books to take out! Jan Karon's The Mitford Bedside Companion and Beverly Lewis' The Missing. I love both of these authors, two of my faves! I haven't read either of these!

 Next was filling up the car with gas. The price has gone back up again! To $3.159 again. Sigh.....another bumpy road as the prices go up and down and up and down and....well, you know! The wind was horrific at the Sheetz station! C-O-L-D!!!!!!!

As I was coming through town, I snapped a pic of the thermometer on the one bank. Although you can't see it, it said it was 30 degrees! Heat wave! That's what the red dot in the middle of the picture says! 30 degrees!

Next stop: Goodwill store. Wasn't sure what I was hoping to find. I like to go and check things out because sometimes I get ideas for projects or find clothes for really cheap prices. Well, yesterday was 50% off! YEA! So instead of paying $24 for three pairs of Denim & Co jeans, a top, and a book, I paid $12! That's my idea of bargain shopping!

 I just did some checking online...those pants originally sold on QVC for $31 a pair! Plus shipping and handling! They are almost like new! I feel blessed! You can't tell too well, but I was able to get a pair of brown, black and blue denim ones. The blue shirt has nice colorful flowers and the book is a compilation of stories. Nice shopping trip!

Last stop was the Christian Book Store. They were doing a 20% off sale on most of the merchandise in the store, so I picked up a Beverly Lewis anthology and saved over $2 on a book!

Well, that was yesterday! Today has been a kickback kind of day. I've been up for awhile trying to download Java to the computer. I was having issues and uninstalled the version I had. But I was having a really tough time trying to get a newer version to download and install! It finally has, but there are a few bugs yet, but they can wait til another day!

Time to go check out the snow and clean up after it before getting some sleep for the shift tonight. May you keep warm, wherever you are, rest in peace and walk in truth.

Here's a quote for you as I sign off. I read this in the front of the one book I'm reading:

"For everything you have missed, you have gained something else...."
~ Emerson

Be blessed beyond measure...today and always!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Been a few days since I last posted. Not much new ...

Blessed Beyond Measure: Been a few days since I last posted. Not much new ...: "Been a few days since I last posted. Not much new going on, unless you count work, sleep, snow, ice, work, sleep, snow, freezing cold, work,..."
Been a few days since I last posted. Not much new going on, unless you count work, sleep, snow, ice, work, sleep, snow, freezing cold, work, sleep, snow...LOL...I'm sure you get the picture!

Have several days in a row off this week. Got to go and eat out with girls I graduated from high school with last evening. There were about 10 of us and it was a very enjoyable time. Freezing cold outside, but good conversation and good food inside! We do this every other month or so and it's been really nice since moving back to PA last fall to be able to go out with them.

Today, as part of day #2 off, I am doing the household chores! So far, here's what's done:
  • dusted/vacuumed carpets
  • stripped and remade bed after rotating the mattress
  • washed dishes
  • working on load #4 of laundry
  • putting laundry away
  • dog fed
  • floors swept and rugs taken up to be laundered
  • changed covers on couch and chair (Cady shed, so they needed it since she likes to sleep on them!)
  • bathroom cleaned
  • made cherry Jello (w/mandarin oranges and peaches) and chocolate pudding for later
  • threw together a ham and bean soup in the crockpot
  • divided up some sliced ham I got that was marked down and put in freezer for later use
  • gathered up the garbage for trash night
And now? Well, now I'm catching up with you! I've missed not writing but, honestly, didn't feel I had too much to say. Work has been keeping me busy and the weather as well.

SNOW! I will be so glad to see it thaw! I am so ready to see green grass again!

The road around our little trailer park circle is pretty much ice....and it's rather thick! We even have what I am calling a crater lake at one place. The ice melts, has nowhere to go, and thus a puddle formed. The puddle has now grown and I've taken to going in the opposite direction to go anywhere to avoid being swallowed whole in the water! Not sure how deep it is! I may have to take some pictures and share!

No water issues this week here at home with the freezing temps, praise God! That is a HUGE blessing! Have had a tiny trickle running in both the kitchen and bathroom a couple of nights this week with the very frigid wind chill factor. Downright beyond cold! Cady doesn't stay out too long when I take her out. She does her business and is ready to come back in fairly soon! I feel bad for her little paws...that ice-encrusted snow has to be hard on them!

Making ham and bean soup today in the crockpot. Oh, does it smell good! I went to the pantry and was going to make potato soup with the ham I had bought, but decided to make bean soup instead as I haven't had that in a while. And beans are good for you! ☺

So what's in the pot today? Well, diced up ham, couple of cans of northern beans (a fave of mine in soups!), chopped/diced onion, carrots, celery (love the color they add!), a can of diced potatoes (for fun!), and chicken broth. If it tastes anything like it smells, I'm gonna have one great supper!

I will add some French bread that was reduced at the store (OK, I admit that I check out the reduced racks at Walmart for bargains! It allows me to try different things without paying full price!). The bread has "everything" on top of it...very good sliced and toasted!

I'm glad you stopped by to catch up with me! May God continue to bless you beyond measure and keep you in His care!

Always trusting in His peace,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Goodbye January, Hello February!

Blessed Beyond Measure: Goodbye January, Hello February!: "It's 4:30 AM and I'm awake and have been for about two hours. Such is the life of an overnight cashier. In order to get a decent sleep patte..."

Goodbye January, Hello February!

It's 4:30 AM and I'm awake and have been for about two hours. Such is the life of an overnight cashier. In order to get a decent sleep pattern, I tend to sleep from early afternoon to mid-evening. That will be the pattern for today, as well. My body thinks right now it should be at work!

I can hear sleet hitting the side of house....it's been pretty persistent for about a half hour. It was just lightly starting when I let Cady out when I got up around 2:30. Has been more insistent the last half hour or so! Yikes! Hope that doesn't turn to ice later on! Snow, I can deal with. Ice....another story altogether! As I looked at the area map on the Weather Channel's website, yep, it's a mix! We're in the pink...and I'm not sure that's necessarily a good thing! My experiences in the South with ice storms leave me praying that there are no downed trees or wires from this. No electricity is not a good thing, for anyone, in this kind of weather!

Yesterday was a day off! I got up around 12:30 AM and did a bunch of reading and then started my household chores. Feels good when you accomplish those tasks! 3 loads of laundry, dishes washed, strip the bed, flip the mattress, and fresh bedding. Ahhhhh...gotta love fresh bedding! ☺

Took Cady for a walk down to the mailbox to mail out bills. The SUN was out yesterday!!! What a joy that was! To feel the sun and it's warmth! Still cold, but treasured, nonetheless!

When we got back, I decided to do a small project that I had an idea for. I wanted to make a table runner for my kitchen table. The idea came to me when my friend, Ida, gave me these bear curtains that match some other bear items she'd given me earlier.  (She keeps finding them - and we both are known bear collectors!)

I actually had gotten the first items of Ida's at an auction our church (Smithtown Community) held last fall to raise funds for the annual missions conference. I bid on a box and was top bidder. Little did I know there was more to the box than just the box! Anyways, I digress!

I have two sets of windows in my kitchen but only one pair of the bear curtains. So I decided to take the bottom part of the curtains and sew them together to create a table runner. Very simple project...just sew the tops together and make a seam.

This is my sewing nook. Care to guess where it's at? The sewing machine sits on the sewing machine desk inside the spare bedroom closet. I just take the chair from the table and come over and sew. It was a creative way to have the machine in the room, yet not take up valuable space out in the room. It's not a big room and I have a table and a twin size bed in there as well. The table is what I refer to as my crafting table as I have my stamping stuff nearby. There is also other craft stuff located in the closet on the opposite side. I love how I can just slide the closet door shut and it's all out of sight, but easily accessible! And I love having a specific place set aside for my crafting stuff rather than pulling it in and out of storage!

Finished product is on the table. See how it nicely matches the placemats? And curtains, colorwise? LOVE that! Those oranges and tangelos are a nice pop of color, too! Not to mention juicy and downright tasty! ☺

OK, gotta let you know that on the opposite side of the placemats are chickens. Got the placemats at the same auction. I am not a collector of chicken paraphenalia. However, the flipside matches perfectly with my curtains and the new table runner! And if I want a quirky, eclectic look, I can always flip the chickens up, just for variety! ☺

More things that grace my table from the auction. The bear napkin holder and coaster holder are from the same bear set Ida gave me. The black bear is actually a salt and pepper shaker holder. All of these items sit on a round lazy Susan. (So glad they don't call it a lazy Suzanne!)

Here's a project I am hoping to finish very soon. It's a wall hanging (or will be) done in cross stitch. I have the lower right square to finish embroidering and then I can finish it. It may end up gracing the walls in my home or I may hold on to it for a gift for someone else.  It looks great with it being all in red. I want to finish this project so I can move on to another embroidery project. I find it's best to just do one a time!

That was my day yesterday. Not much planned for today, besides waiting to hear what Phil has to say about winter and whether Beauregard Lee (Georgia's own version of Punxsutawney Phil!) agrees or not. From the sounds I still hear outside, it's still winter out there right now!

Getting ready to start a study on the book of Ruth and am hoping to glean from that. One thing right off the bat that I find interesting is the meaning of people's names. For instance, Ruth's brother-in-law, Chillion - his name meant puny or wasting. Wow, what thing to be stuck with! I'm sure that didn't inspire confidence!

I look at my own name, Suzanne Jane. I was named for two aunts, Aunt Sue and Aunt Lora Jane. However, Suzanne means "lily" and Jane means "graceful". So my name means "lily full of grace." Which...when I think about it....is also a description of Who Jesus is as well! He is the Lily of the Valley, and we know He is full of grace! What a blessing beyond measure!

Whatever our name, we should always seek to be more like Him every day. In the little things, in the big things, and always. And what a blessing to also know that He knows us by name, no matter what it is!

May your day be blessed beyond measure and full of grace!