I didn’t realize this post was left as a draft! Life has indeed been crazy as we finished up our school year and began our summer school session. And some of the circumstances left me in a slump during which I simply focused on the extremely important and urgent things I needed to do. So it’s a been a while since this event which happened in January. I hope you will still enjoy reading about it and the photo I was able to catch during the trip.

Our family visited San Antonio, TX last month. We’d gone there to witness the graduation of the USAF TACP Eagle 100 class. My husband is part of Eagle 23 class. It was nice to see some positive changes in how the TACP tech school is done. There’s a fantastic graduation ceremony for those who pass the course, as well as a question and answer session for spouses and parents to get a general view of what their loved ones will be living once they join the career field.

When the graduation service was over, we walked out of the building and I saw this beautiful sleeping tree. The sky was extremely clear and the branches stood out so perfectly against that crystalline sky. I snapped a couple of shots with my cell and created this photo-manipulation. I added an overlay I created by using the fisheye mode on my cell to snap a blurred macro shot of a makeup sponge covered in soft pastels. The overall effect was pretty surprising and I’m really happy with the result. I hope you enjoy it, too! If you like what you see, please share this post. If you’d like to purchase a print or photo gift with this print on it, these options are only available on deviantArt for now. I’ll be uploading to Society6 and Redbubble as soon as possible.




Preparations Anew

Once again, we’re preparing for another arctic blast. The temps are dropping as I type. So after working most of today, since I’ll miss my other work days this week, there will be an intensive preparation going on at our house. I actually started a bean stew in my crockpot last night. I thought we’d eat it for tonight’s supper and then I thought better of it. I thought we might just save that for tomorrow. No one is going to feel like cooking on such a cold day as tomorrow is supposed to be. When the cornbread that’s now baking in the oven is done, we’ll bake a couple of batches of drop biscuits. I’m thinking a batch of cinnamon-banana-oat biscuits will be nice. I’m also thinking I might try to make some spiced orange and cranberry biscuits. When I am able to transfer the beans to the refrigerator, I may start another pot of a soup or something like that in the crock pot. I don’t like the idea of not being able to cook a meal if the power goes out. Since this blast is supposed to be worse than the one we experienced last week, I’m preparing for a power outage, just in case one occurs.

On the topic of jewelry, I have to complete the set I was creating for the local theater awards that are coming up next month. I posted a photo of the earrings a few months ago. I want to try my hand at creating a collar-style necklace with some of the weave patterns created for making sheets of chainmail. Even if the power doesn’t go out, I’m hoping to start working on my necklace by this weekend. I ordered some special beads and a pendant to add to it. I can’t wait until the supplies come in!

Please stay warm and safe this winter! We’ll try to do the same!

One kind word can warm three winter months.” ~Japanese Proverb

Good Things Come

It doesn’t often get so cold in our area that standing water freezes. I’m not a big fan of cold weather. I’ll take a hot, humid Louisiana day with those pesky mosquitoes over cold weather any day. But one good thing about this cold weather is that John usually gets creative with his photography. I’m a huge fan of artsy photography and I can’t wait to see what John will create next. It’s amazing how creative you can get when you have no choice but to stay in one place and use what you have at hand to create more products. I highly recommend you stop by John’s blog and check out his latest work if you enjoy artistic photography.

“Necessity, who is the mother of invention.” ~ Plato

Cold and Calculating

As I sit here to write this blog post, I am forced to think about being cold. The temperature has really dropped since yesterday! One good thing about cold weather is that the drinking of coffee and hot tea is so much more appreciated. I’m so thankful for my warm slippers, my heaters and my mug of hot green tea!

I can’t blog too long tonight. This month and next are going to be pretty full for us. I want to work on some new design ideas (using existing weaves) and I have some more school paperwork to take care of. There is a ball gown waiting to be cut out and sewn together. And the dreaded tax season is coming around again so I’ll need to start getting ready for it. I already start to feel overwhelmed when I think of the many things I have to accomplish this week, much less what has to be accomplished by the end of this month. But then I remind myself to take it one step at a time, taking care of things in the order of proper priority (calculating). I know that I will get it all done by the time it all needs to be done. When I am calm, I can see things much more clearly. So I’ll just keep working steadily, pacing myself so I don’t get too tired, making sure I’m getting as much rest as I can and eating better stuff. Anyone else feel overwhelmed? What do you do to help you calm down and take things one step at a time?

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe


Cold, Wet, Rainy…Winter Has Arrived

Black and white photo of a bejeweled spider's web after a rain shower. Taken by J.D. Kittles Photography & used with permission.

Black and white photo of a bejeweled spider’s web after a rain shower. Taken by J.D. Kittles Photography & used with permission.

This photo was so very appropriate for today. John took this last year and it’s still one of my favorites. Today has been cold, windy, gray, and wet…a true Louisiana winter day. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and cold. I’m looking forward to the sun but the temps will drop even more tomorrow. So what is the best thing to do during this kind of nasty weather? Stop in at the local coffee shop, of course! In the midst of all the hustle and bustle in preparation for Thanksgiving, the quiet of the coffee shop offered a pleasant atmosphere in which to take a short rest. Speaking of rest, I need to get some. I hope you’ll enjoy this photo and that your weather is better than ours has been today.

One kind word can warm three winter months.” ~ Japanese Proverb

Cold Weather, Warm Drinks

One nice thing about colder weather is the opportunity to try new cold-weather recipes. We’ve never had mulled wine before. We were able to try some mulled mead yesterday. A very good friend brought some along when he stopped in for a visit. How yummy! I wasn’t sure what to expect. I like mead cold but wasn’t sure how that would translate into a warm beverage. I’m pretty sure it’s a new favorite! We enjoyed a bottle of Chaucer’s Mead but I know there are others available. Winter is a great time to try new soup and stew recipes, too. I want to try a butternut squash soup recipe soon. We are having nasty winter weather somewhat earlier than usual this year so maybe I’ll have more opportunities to try more recipes.

This kind of weather makes me think of blankets and heaters. I wish I was more involved in textile arts. I’d love to be able to sit down and knit or crochet but I’m rather scatterbrained. I frequently lose count and end up with more frustration than accomplishment. Both my mom and my grandmother crochet and Nojo knows a bit about knitting.  It’s a tradition in my family that when a new baby is born, the grandmother crochets a blanket for the new Little One. I guess I’ll have to quilt my offerings when the time comes.

What is your favorite thing about cold weather? Is there a particular cold-weather tradition you would like to share here? Feel free to post your comments. Wishing you all the comforts of a warm and happy home!

The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain.  This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you’d just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency.”  ~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

Seasons Change

Every year when the season changes, it’s almost a given that at least one of us will suffer either a cold or sinus trouble. My allergies actually get worse in winter because it’s really damp in our area. I keep a healthy supply of raw honey (for allergies and sore throat), ginger tea (for swelling, asthma and stomach issues), peppermint tea (for stomach issues) and echinacea tea (for allergies) on hand for these occasions. It’s no fun when any of us is not feeling well. I just want to do all I can to make that healing go faster. Keeping those things in mind, I thought I’d post a few links to yummy or useful goodies to help with seasonal changes and the troubles they bring. I hope you find them helpful. 

I just tried this recipe last night. It’s pretty doggone tasty! I was pleasantly surprised. It did make my throat feel better and I think I slept better. Hot Toddy Recipe

Chicken Soup Recipe from The Pioneer Woman blog

I don’t know how effective these would really be, nor do I think I’m dedicated enough to give them a try but some of you might find these helpful. At least you’d know what’s in them and not have the added sugars and chemicals that are in the cough drops and such available at most stores. Cough Drop Lollipop Recipe and I think it’s only right to include the Herbal Oils and Remedies blog where I found the link to the recipe.

This is a recipe I’m definitely going to try as soon as I can get my hands on some eucalyptus oil. Homemade Chest Rub

I hope these links are helpful. I’m almost certain you can add a bit of that oil for the chest rub to a hot bath and find a bit of relief that way, too, though I’m going to leave a bit of room for error there. When using any home remedy, one should always keep in mind the possibility of allergic reaction to any of those things you’ve never tried before. For instance, try the chest rub on a small patch of your skin before slathering it on a larger area. If you try it on your inner arm, it’ll be easier to deal with there than if you have a reaction on your upper torso.

With that, I’ll close. I hope everyone is enjoying a good week so far and that it only gets better from here. See you again tomorrow!

“The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience.  Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.”  ~Larry Dossey

The longer I live the less confidence I have in drugs and the greater is my confidence in the regulation and administration of diet and regimen.”  ~John Redman Coxe, 1800

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  ~Irish Proverb