Monday, February 26, 2007

Are you ready for a splash of summer?

"Thou hast established all the boundaries of the earth; Thou hast made summer and winter." Psalm 74:17

You've just got to try this. I know it's a summer recipe, but it is a truly wonderful splash of summer goodness!

Fresh Dill Tzatziki
Bon Appetit, August 2004

2 c plain whole-milk yogurt
1 12-oz unpeeled English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, coarsely grated
1 t coarse kosher salt
1/4 c sour cream
1 T minced fresh Italian parsley
1 T white wine vinegar
2 1/2 t minced fresh dill
1 1/2 t olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced

Line sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth; place over deep bowl. Spoon yogurt into sieve. Cover; chill sieve in bowl overnight. Toss cucumber and 1 t salt in bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Drain as much liquid as possible from cucumber, then pat dry with paper towels. Transfer yogurt to bowl; discard liquid. Mix cucumber into yogurt. Mix in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill 1 to 4 hours.

NOTE: It tastes best when eaten with plain crackers such as Carr's Table Water Crackers. Chew very slowly and let it sit in your mouth for just a few seconds before you swallow. Your tongue will love you for this! Let me know if you try it.

The Lord's touch

"Bow Thy heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, that they may smoke." Psalm 144:5
Last weekend, Hubby and I took a little trip to the other side of the mountains. As we journeyed up to the pass, this was the scene. Breathtaking! How can one see such beauty and not glorify Him for His handiwork?

Friday, February 23, 2007

A special treasure

"Let marriage be held in honor among all..." Hebrews 13:4a

Wonderful, sweet, darling Hubby surprised me the other day with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

The colors blend so nicely and look brilliant sitting on my desk.

He doesn't often buy flowers so when he does, it's very special.

The Lord never ceases to confirm that our marriage pleases Him very well.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


"In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." Prov. 14:23
Please excuse my absence. The best thing about being self-employed is that I can give myself a pay raise anytime I want. And that's exactly what I've decided to do. What a busy week! More phone calls and more appointments leads to more profit. However, it does not leave much time for our blog. Or checking your blogs either, unfortunately. Petunia's Gardener and I haven't walked at all this past week.

Thank you for all your comments regarding my most recent post. I did research each suggestion; however, I still haven't found the one verse that smacks me between the eyes. When I get something in my head, I am bound and determined to find just exactly the right thing. Still looking!

We'll be out of town visiting friends this past weekend, but I do hope to get caught up next week. Hope all my blogger friends are doing well. Have a great weekend!

(P.S.: The woman in the picture is not me and that's not my office. Mine is much neater than that, thankfully.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

In every part of life

"For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?" Eccl. 2:25

Many of you have expressed appreciation in the fact that I start each post with Scripture. Let me explain.

First, when I developed our blog, I was completely unaware of exactly how large the blog world is. After several weeks of searching other blogs, I was encouraged to find bloggers with Christian beliefs and values who expressed them freely. This was my first inspiration.

Second, I firmly believe the Lord is involved in every circumstance whether we acknowledge that or not. With each new post came a growing excitement to find a verse to match. The Holy Spirit has challenged me daily to NOT find a verse. (I am much more productive if I'm told I can't do something!) This was my second inspiration.

So far, I've been able to find just the perfect verse for the topic. Until today. I've spent almost an hour searching the concordance in the back of my Bible and an exhaustive concordance I have on the shelf, but to no avail. And now it's time to go to bed.

Maybe you can help. Can you find a verse that better explains the presence of God in every situation? I'd love for you to share it with me. I know it's hidden somewhere in those 66 books, but I'm just too tired to keep looking.

Friday, February 9, 2007


"Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days." Lev 23:40
After seeing such great photos here and here, I was inspired to experiment with my own.

The texture of the cut wood is my favorite part, I think. Can you see how wet this middle branch is?

I'm not sure if the bark in the third picture is normal for this type of tree or if it became a woodpecker's best friend.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A little diversion

"For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God." Hebrews 6:7

Hubby spent quite a few hours on this drainage ditch for the driveway slab - digging the trench, laying rock, ensuring the slope is just right.

This project was a must as the garage is at the bottom of a small hill in the yard. Water (and mud) sitting on our driveway was a regular occurrence.

He did a fantastic job! It works like a charm.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Little household work savers

"And as you enter the house, give it your greeting." Matt. 10:25

Housekeeping is not on my list of top 10 favorite activities. However, there is a certain peace which accompanies a clean home. Wouldn't you agree? Last night we were expecting guests. As I looked around the house, I noted laundry had been put away, dirty dishes had been moved from the counter to the dishwasher, floors had been swept, and little piles of paper had been sorted through. Our house was in order. I was prepared to enjoy our company and give them my full attention. I was excitedly anticipating a fun, laughter-filled evening.

Let me share a few more helpful hints from 1964 (first installment).

"Rid rooms of stale tobacco smoke or sweeten air in closets like this: mix 2 T ammonia with a cup of water in a shallow bowl and let it stand in the room overnight."

"Banish white marks from mahogany furniture this way: spread a thick coat of petroleum jelly over the spots, let it stand 48 hours, polish off."

"If a dripping faucet is robbing you of your sleep, tie a string to it, long enough to reach the drain. Water will run down the string noiselessly until you have time to fix the faucet."

"To stiffen flower stems for table arrangements, put a couple of pennies in the water and soak them a couple of hours in water almost as high as the blooms. Wonderful for tulips!"

"To clean a tea kettle, fill it with water and 2 T ammonia. Let water come to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, empty and wash thoroughly."

Let me know if you decide to try any of these tips!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Honor your father & mother

"Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you." Exodus 20:12

Last fall, I visited my father for a few days with the intentions of "helping" him with a project. Mind you he's in construction, so I wasn't sure how much help I'd actually be. This back-yard creek was his current project at the time; however, there were no plants. When he heard I wanted to help, he purchased plants. Then he purchased more plants. Lots of plants. Almost 200 if I remember correctly. Virtually every plant and tree you'll see was planted by the two of us in ONE day!

Looking east toward the waterfall.

Looking west toward the fish pond.

Here's a close-up of the waterfall. Eventually, that PVC pipe will be covered.

We had the best time working together that day and loved what we saw. However, when we awoke the next day, we were even more amazed. In Dad's words, "This is gonna be more awesomer than I thought!" (He likes to be goofy, at times.)

Dad, thanks for letting me help with one of your projects. I just wish we lived closer so I could help more often.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Hubby: my personal chef

Chocolate Souffles with Peanut Butter Centers
"O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8

This smooth, creamy, warm, rich treat made our lazy Sunday afternoon quite special. Hubby loves to cook and I don't mind a bit! His approach toward food is quite different, though - cook a recipe once then toss it and move on to the next. The Lord has made available so many flavors, why get stuck in a rut? Several times a year, he purchases the current Bon Appetit magazine. This particular dessert was published in the November 2006 issue.

At first, this philosophy was rather difficult for me as I love my comfort foods; however, I've grown to enjoy it immensely. It takes much less time to select an item from a menu. It's all food. Next time chose something else.

(Just between you & me, I've saved a few of the recipes which demanded another taste-test!)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Now that's what I call a fire.

"Fire shall be kept burning continually on the alter; it is not to go out." Lev. 6:13

After posting the firewood, I thought I'd post the scene I awoke to this morning. Even with a minimal supply of cured wood, Hubby was able to get a roaring fire going. His secret is to start with one or two pieces of split cured wood, get the fire really hot, and add green wood to keep it going. As it cools throughout the day, he simply throws in another piece of split cured wood. Works like a charm, as you can see.

However, we still rely on the furnace during the weekdays and at night after the fire cools. The Scripture quoted is our goal for next year.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Never enough firewood.

"And we will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon..."
2 Chron. 2:16a

OK. So this timber did not come from Lebanon; however, it is a nice start to our wood supply. All traces of snow have disappeared as this photo was taken in December. These three stacks represent approximately half of our current supply. The pile in the middle (the shortest one) represents our minimal amount of cured wood, so we're not able to use the fireplace as our single source of heat, yet. Next winter will be a different story, though.

Having the fireplace really makes our house feel like a home. There's nothing like curling up under a blanket with Hubby and watching a movie with the fire going. So romantic! See our fireplace here.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Today is a new day!

"If I take the wings of the dawn,...even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me." Psalm 139:9a, 10

Thank you for your concern these last two days. Last night I slept! I started to get tired around 6:30pm and was in bed, fast asleep, with the light still on, by 7:30pm.

This photo, taken this morning from our back deck, indicates the new energy I have through Him. Brilliant sun without a cloud in the sky. Today is day three of following His schedule rather than my own. I must admit He is much more productive than I. Mind you, I'm not moving at rocket speed; however, items are being checked off my "to-do" list.

Petunia's Gardener shared a thought which made me laugh: "Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." Kurt Vonnegut. (I love to dance!!)

Then she asked, "So when something unusual pops up in the day, do you feel God's hand in it?"

Honestly, my first reaction is frustration because things are not going according to my plan; however, the last several days have been all about His plan. So, my answer would be that I'm still getting used the idea of allowing someone else to be in charge of my schedule. It gets easier each day because I love the results!