Saturday, July 4, 2009

Return from Philly

A summer dinner
Abbey returned last night after FBC's Philly Week ministry where teams of young adults have morning and afternoon Bible Clubs on the streets of Philadelphia for the kids living there. Here is a picture of just one of the sweet kids that she prayed with as he made a decision for Christ. One of the highlights of her summer!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finished Projects Part 1 ~ The Hallway

My trend for the past few years has been toward neutrals and a less busy look in my home. It feels more spacious, relaxing and calming to me.
THE HALLWAY
It had been painted with light green stripes above the chair rail but I re-painted with light tan paint left over from a previous project. I wasn't sure I liked the wall color as it seemed to have too much yellow in it. As soon as I painted the ceiling, the area brightened and the wall color became more subtle and pleasing.
*
Years ago, we added the wood trim on the bottom of the walls and painted with a bright white semi-gloss. It has held up well and is easy to wipe away smudges made by little and not-so-little hands.
*
The Venetian mirror in the middle of the hall was found at a garage sale long ago. I purchased two old mirrors that had broken and missing pieces but was able to construct one decent mirror from the various shaped parts. It is not only useful, but also adds sparkle and reflects the available light keeping the area bright.
*
For understated interest at the end of the hallway, I painted branches with blossoms and birds in a very light tan. It doesn't jump out at you but catches your attention as you pass by.
*
The wall grouping on the left is what is seen as you climb the steps. I have been waiting for the right place to hang the heavy iron piece with the urn of fruit, birds and flourishes because it required a molly bolt. (unlike my husband, I like to hang things on my walls with straight pins or the thinnest nails possible, but I had to concur on the molly bolt here.)
*
A dried hydrangea in a glass bottle and a very special little frame, with the word "faith" hand-stitched by a sweet blogging friend is just the perfect accents on the small shelf.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Do You See What I See?

Have you ever watched fluffy clouds pass overhead and imagine shapes of animals dancing in the sky? My daughter and I still have fun seeing shapes in the clouds. We must have similar imaginations as we often agree on the ever changing menagerie that drifts by while my husband just shakes his head thinking we are a bit out there.
~*~
For the past several years, while sitting on the patio,
I see a recognizable shape in the trees...
Do YOU see it too?

keep looking...

Do you see it now?
~~~
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There he is! :)
(I bet you are shaking your head and rolling your eyes thinking this is a real stretch and this blogger would absolutely fail an inkblot test for psychological evaluation.)
:)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Backyard Wrestling

Innocent enough looking picnic table... BUT... let me tell you what this baby put me through last night... Lovely evening, gentle breezes, husband working late... just me. The perfect time to paint the picnic table. A tedious job getting between those boards but I am patiently moving along as I enjoy the sights and sounds of a summer evening.

hmmm... It would be easier to paint the underside if I just leaned it on its side... I know it's heavy but I can do this... There, leaning on the the seat edge... one more tilt and I'll have it where I want it...
~~~
THEN...this seemingly innocuous monster comes alive: With all of my strength I try to balance what now seems like a redwood tree as it lurches toward the steps. Great! I can use the brick steps to rest it on! Oh, No! This Paul Bunyan of boards knocks over the can of paint pouring the contents onto the patio floor. I can't see the can, of course, but just a glimpse of a huge puddle now pooling on the floor.
~~~
With all of my might I try to brace the table and "somehow" get my foot under the top edge. In some bizarre dance I can not free both of my feet. To free one foot leaves the table sitting on the other. I *seriously* think I am going to break the toes in both of my feet. I have no idea how but I manage to get the table off of my feet and as gently as possible, drop it face down on the patio floor. I stand dazed, wondering, "What just happened?"
~~~
I ran into the house to grab a pan and spatula to scoop up as much paint as I could and then I hosed and scrubbed and hosed and scrubbed some more. The stain is actually worse than it appears in the photo.
When my husband came home and saw the oval paint can he suspected something went awry. He said the table weights over two hundred pounds and thought the center of gravity changed when I put it on its side.
~~~
Putting last nights nightmare aside, I finished painting the table today. I was more than happy to crawl under the table to paint the underside.
~and~
I was especially appreciative of my toes!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Sweet Summer Evening

80 degrees and low humidity... a perfect evening to enjoy a casual dinner on the patio. Our neighbor sent over delicious roast beef left over from her daughters graduation party last night and I added slices of watermelon and a home made Strawberry Rhubarb pie. A peaceful time to chat and enjoy one another.

Of all the pies and cakes I have made, this is my first Strawberry Rhubarb pie. The crust was good and rolled out very nicely but the pie filling was missing that wow factor. Definitely not worth all of those calories.
~~~
Do you have a favorite recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie?

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