Being Quiet in our Thoughts

I had the best weekend retreat with my church-lady friends.  We laughed, talked, shared.  We are all different, but we share one thing in common.  We love the Lord. During our Saturday evening Bible study, during the power outage while we sat in candlelight, we talked about our gifts.  Words others may use to describe us.  Things like loyal, warm, funny, smart.  We shared how taking the time to be thankful for these gifts is important.  To practice self-compassion.  We show compassion for others, but how often do we show compassion toward ourselves?  Somedays we can be so hard on us.  I’m not this, I’m not that. So, we “resolved” to set aside a minimum of 5-10 minutes each day to pray for thanksgiving.  To be quiet in our thoughts.  To learn that what seems urgent should not replace what is important.  Sometimes there’s a big difference.  To practice self-denial.  Sunday mornings come and we … Continue reading “Being Quiet in our Thoughts”

Beverage Cart Rehab

This little sad cart was what I started with… It sat next to Daddy’s chair and since he couldn’t see real well, it suffered a few spills of his favorite beverage, Diet Dr. Pepper.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it.  It has a alot of charm.  Tiny, vintage, wooden wheels, and a removable tray top. I even tried to give it away, but no one wanted him.  Then one day when I was skimming through one of my magazines, I saw this and got a light bulb idea: I thought it looked so much like my little cart.  I took my new paint color, Florence, from the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint collection, a little of their clear wax, chalkboard paint, and a tube of Rub-n-Buff in antique gold and went to work. This is side view of the paint application and the Rub-N-Buff along the top edge. This is … Continue reading “Beverage Cart Rehab”

Christmas Day Scavenger Hunt — A Visit from the Past

I had one of the most restful Christmas seasons I can recall in a long time.  I cut way back on commitments and running around.  I only spent $50 on new Christmas decor — a doormat and a cute Santa for the front porch table.  I re purposed the decor I already had and even took some to Goodwill.  I made most of our gifts and cut way back on Miss Bee’s gifts.  I don’t think she believes in Santa anymore, but for fear he may not visit our home if she reveals her disbelief, we stay silent on the subject.  But, I think since this was the first time in 12 years we haven’t left cookies and milk for him, I think that speaks volumes. What I did do instead was focus more on spending quality time with the hive residents.  I was able to focus on baking, which I love to … Continue reading “Christmas Day Scavenger Hunt — A Visit from the Past”

Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot

This is how my friend Cindy normally looks.  I love hanging out with her.  She’s fun, kind, and we laugh about everything.  She’s the”he dropped his Prostate” friend. Today was our annual cookie baking day.  We hang out at her house, bake cookies for all the people we’re gifting for Christmas.  She usually feeds me something yummy for lunch and we burn a few batches of baked goods because we’re distracted with laughing. Well, today was a little different.  Cindy called and said she was sick with a cold.  Her head hurt, she couldn’t breathe.  What should she do to get better before her birthday wingding on Saturday.  I told her to sit tight, I’d be over in a jiff with my pot — just the thing that would cure her right up. This is what Cindy looked like when she opened the door.  Girl, she needed help. So instead of … Continue reading “Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot”

Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot

This is how my friend Cindy normally looks.  I love hanging out with her.  She’s fun, kind, and we laugh about everything.  She’s the”he dropped his Prostate” friend. Today was our annual cookie baking day.  We hang out at her house, bake cookies for all the people we’re gifting for Christmas.  She usually feeds me something yummy for lunch and we burn a few batches of baked goods because we’re distracted with laughing. Well, today was a little different.  Cindy called and said she was sick with a cold.  Her head hurt, she couldn’t breathe.  What should she do to get better before her birthday wingding on Saturday.  I told her to sit tight, I’d be over in a jiff with my pot — just the thing that would cure her right up. This is what Cindy looked like when she opened the door.  Girl, she needed help. So instead of … Continue reading “Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot”

Simone — the Sewing Table

I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.  I just moved my Grandmother Ruby’s sewing table from storage into my bedroom to make it a dressing table.  I am the only person who probably gives her furniture names. Meet Simone. Sewing Simone is named for Simone Beck, author and expert in French cooking.  With Julia Child they wrote The Art of French Cooking.  I imagine Simone could have whipped up pot holders or aprons at this table.  Simone is going to the spa for a little updating, but I thought you’d like to see her first.  I love the drawer handles.  I think I am going to try to clean them up a bit with Rub-n-Buff.  At first I thought I wanted to paint her and even though the top is not in the best shape, with Miss Bee’s encouragement I am going to … Continue reading “Simone — the Sewing Table”

Need a dessert for a Christmas Party?

The Black Russian Bundt Cake recipe my neighbor shared with me is the bomb.  Easy to make and especially pretty if you have a decorative bundt pan.  Several years ago I purchased this Nordic Bundt pan shaped like Christmas trees: Be sure to grease and spray it carefully and thoroughly.  I used Baker’s Joy flour/non-stick spray and it worked great.  This cake is moist and transports well.  A few people on my Christmas list are getting these… Black Russian Bundt Cake 1 box yellow cake mix (without the pudding) 1/2 cup sugar 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix 1 cup oil 4 eggs 1/4 cup Vodka (I used vanilla vodka) 1/4 cup Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur) 3/4 cup water (or I used left over coffee) Combine everything in a mixer and beat well.  Pour into well greased pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for … Continue reading “Need a dessert for a Christmas Party?”

Move over Mrs. Doyle

In honor of National Cake Day on Monday, I made the Mrs. Billett’s cake  from the cover of December’s Southern Living magazine.  Mrs. Billett is my new best friend.  The wintry white confection was submitted to SL by Mrs. Sue Winter for their annual December cake contest.  She acquired the recipe from her mother.  Like my beloved Elizabeth Doyle’s chocolate cake, she and her mother never knew who Mrs. Billett was but have been making her white cake for every birthday since the 50s. The only modification I made was not making the fondant snowflakes.  Mr. Bee is not fond of fondant and at $12 a package I didn’t want to waste it on him.  But if I were to make this for an event, I would give the fondant a whirl. While it wasn’t a complicated recipe it takes longer than a usual cake.  But. Oh. My. Is it worth … Continue reading “Move over Mrs. Doyle”

Heirloom Recipe Wednesday

Today’s topic:  Buttermilk Pie.  Love it.  I think the first time I ate it was at the Nut House in Granbury, Texas.  I was probably younger than Miss Bee is now.  It’s very southern.  I was nine when Earnie purchased this cookbook by mail order.. Copy write date Somewhere along the way I discovered the buttermilk pie recipe and from the looks of the page, it was a frequent occurrence for me to make it.  Earnie added the note about adding lemon juice. So I made one last night.  All the talk my Austin besties were doing about spending Thanksgiving together tomorrow made me all nostalgic.  So I made one.  I plan to eat a big slice tomorrow. I even tried a new pie crust recipe from my friend David Venable’s new cookbook (we’ve never met, but I consider him my friend.  He’s a cutie). Pie.  It’s the most important … Continue reading “Heirloom Recipe Wednesday”

Yummy Fall Cocktail

Last night, at a progressive dinner gathering of friends, we ended the night with after dinner drinks.  I made butterscotch martinis.  I saw the original recipe on the Food Network with Sandra Lee. She calls her version a Butter Martini, but the butterscotch Schnapps is so flavorful and makes the drink tastes more like the candy instead of a stick of butter. Here’s what you need: Cocktail shaker — not required, but will make you look really cool while mixing the cocktail Crushed ice cubes One part Vanilla Vodka (I put my bottle in the freezer to make it really cold) One part chilled pineapple juice Splash of butterscotch Schnapps Splash of Chamboard (a raspberry liqueur) For the “one part” I just used the little jigger on top of the cocktail shaker.  Mix all the ingredients in the shaker, then pour into glasses. It was just the right blend of flavors.  … Continue reading “Yummy Fall Cocktail”