With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: 1/2/11 - 1/9/11

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Making Time for Friends

Very early this morning, I met up with a dear friend since childhood for breakfast at a nearby diner.
Carolyn and I were next-door neighbors since she was born 8 months after me.
We spent most of our childhood together.
I previously posted about the beautiful afghan her mom made for me when I was a kid.
Here we are at my cousin Karen's 1st birthday party. (Only the back of Karen's head and party hat are seen). Looks like a pretty rowdy group if you ask me!
Carolyn and I liked to bake cakes together.
This one looks like a 4th of July cake.
Carolyn's dad was from the Spartenburg, South Carolina area and several times her family invited me along on their vacation.  This shot was taken with her sister while visiting Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Carolyn and I were about 15 and 16 years old here.
On the Stone Mountain Tram lift.
Carolyn was in our wedding as was baby Karen (mostly grown up here).
Wes is John's brother, Dean is John's cousin.
I thought about changing this photo to black & white but decided to share it in the original colors of the 1970's Polyester Burgundy shade.  You just don't see many men wearing these tux's in their weddings any more! Don't tell me your opinion of the pink ruffled shirts, the sideburns or the platform shoes.
We thought we were stylin'.
The fashion styles have not lasted (thankfully) but the marriage and the friendships have :)
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is
a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Prov 18:24 
"Keep your friendships in repair."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can never think of promoting my convenience at the expense of a friend's interest and inclination."
- George Washington

Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant."
- Socrates, Greek Philosopher

"I will speak ill of no man, and speak all the good I know of everybody."
- Benjamin Franklin

"With every friend I love who has been taken into the brown bosom of the earth a part of me has been buried there; but their contribution to my being of happiness, strength and understanding remains to sustain me in an altered world."
- Helen Keller 

"The friendship that can cease has never been real."
- Saint Jerome

"Do not save your loving speeches
For your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones,
Speak them rather now instead.
- Anna Cummins 

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
- Helen Keller 

"Never injure a friend, even in jest."
- Cicero

"Friendship? Yes Please."
-Charles Dickens

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ella Grace!

My little weekday friend just had her 4th birthday and to celebrate, Abbey and I took her to the the mall this morning, to Build-A-Bear Workshop so she could make a special bear to love.
  After choosing her bear body, Ella headed to the fluff machine.  Using a foot pedal, she pumped until her bear was stuffed just right.  Then she picked out a heart and helped insert it into her bear just before sewing closed.  Finally, off to the computer to prepare the birth certificate for "Princess Bear".
How did we guess that Ella would choose a pink Bear with pretty bows and a shirt with a big heart...
cause she is all girly-girl!
enjoying a banana in the food court watching the morning crowd stroll by.
Sitting a spell waiting for the stores to open.  Yup, we're early birds.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Learning About Spain

We had the privileged of meeting, Sergio, Aldara's boyfriend, as he is visiting the United States for the first time. They came for lunch with another sweet girl that works at the same company as John.  What a joy to spend time with such bright and interesting young people!
Sergio brought gifts from Aldara's mother. 
These two beautiful books that are written in both Spanish and English.  The first is Nuestros Tesoros (Our Treasures) with photos of some of the most gorgeous places in Spain.  A most lovely book.  The second book, 101 Tapas imprescindible de la cocina espaƱola
is a cookbook written in four languages: Spanish, English, French and German!
 Doesn't this look good? Garbanzos con bacalao (Chickpeas with Cod)
How about these roasted vegetables? Escalivada (Roasted Vegetable Salad)
 A few of Aldara's favorite food just might take some pallet stretching on my part.  :)
I love how Aldara describes some of her favorite foods (like the Morcilla da burgos picured above).
She says, It's AMAZING!
from About.com:
Morcilla is a sausage, like chorizo that is very much a part of the ritual of the “slaughter” or la matanza in Spain. Extended family, friends and neighbors get together in small towns all over to sacrifice their fattened hogs to make chorizo, morcilla and jamon. Like most agrarian societies, Spaniards make good use of just about every part of the pig from the hooves to the jowls and ears. The blood doesn’t go to waste either! It is quickly drained into a large pan and immediately taken to the kitchen where morcilla preparation will take place.

Morcilla typically has onion, garlic, sweet and spicy paprika, oregano, pig’s blood and rice. Variations include the addition of clove and/or cinnamon to the list of spices. In some regions, squash is used instead of rice, which completely changes the texture and flavor of the sausage.
No matter which ingredients are used, it is worth trying morcilla, even if the idea of eating pig’s blood is not appealing to you. Like many dishes containing ingredients you may not be accustomed to eat, you may be very surprised at how much you like it! Many tourists arrive in Spain and try morcilla before they know what’s in it and like it! So, buen provecho!
 In addition to meeting new friends it is so special to learn more of the language, the food and the culture of Spain!  Thank you, dear friends for your kindness!
Linking with Mary's Mosaic Monday!

Pomegranate Champagne Toast for New Year's Eve

Pomegranate Champagne
Recipe courtesy of Katie Lee The Early Show

1 ounce pomegranate juice
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Pour 1 ounce of the pomegranate juice into a champagne flute (I used wine glasses). Top with champagne and a few pomegranate seeds for garnish.
For a non-alcoholic version, I substituted a light color soda like Ginger-ale or 7-Up for a festive and refreshing beverage.
Following a recipe for Emeril's Pomegranate Vinaigrette, my little kitchen helper, Ella and I made a colorful salad using pomegranate juice and arils.

Thank you to the folks at Pom Wonderful for sending me this product.  Though not requested, I had fun incorporating Pomegranate juice into several recipes and liked the results.


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