Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prayer Shawl

Sometimes when life is a struggle, it helps if you focus on someone else's struggle. My brother rents from a lady named Loni, (her and her husband were friends of our parents when we were younger) Loni has cancer and is in the last days of her life. I made her a Prayer Shawl, first to spend more time praying for someone other than myself, second to let her know that she is being prayed for.

Yarn balls all lined up to make sure I have enough.

I am finished with the shawl, but not with the prayers.

The inspiration came from here, Barb made me a comfort quilt to lay under while I recover from surgery. Since sewing is painful for me I crocheted the shawl. I have spent so many hours under my comfort quilt. When Randi and Jeremiah's baby boys were born silently, her and I both sat under the comfort quilt, sometimes alone, sometimes together. That kind of comfort is meant to be passed along.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Taste of Brasil

This dish is called Feijao, it was introduced to us by our foreign exchange student Denise. We actually think of her as our Brasilian daughter more than our exchange student. Any-whooo, Feijao is a black bean soup, served with rice and what Brasilians call vingrete. Denise told us that the way to eat it is to put a bit of each on your fork. It's a good combination of flavors and temperatures. Denise also taught me how to make rice -- the right way!! I miss that girl! We are expecting a visit, maybe in July from Denise, her mom, sister, and god parents. We are so excited to see her and meet her family. If you think I spelled Brasil wrong, I spelled it the way the people of Brasil spell it.
Grace eats hers in two piles. One with vinagrete on rice, the other feijao on rice.
Grace in keeping with the spirit of the meal eats hers like Denise did, with a fork and knife. The rest of us use a fork, but that knife thing is a little tricky. The rice helps absorb the juice from the bean soup.
This recipe for Feijoada-here is from cookbrazil.com. It is a little different than the recipe we use and also a different spelling. We tweaked our recipe according to what Denise explained as far as taste and meat cuts.

Feijao -- The Denise way
10-12 cups water
2 bags black beans (need 2 to make it thick enough)
1 ham bone with a good amount of ham still on
1 lb beef tenderloin (I have used left over roast beef)
2 lg onions cut up
bay leaf
Beef bullion (optional - if ham bone isn't flavorful enough, it bugs me when that happens!)
Wash beans and soak overnight. Rinse beans. Put water, beans, bay leaf, and ham bone in large kettle, bring to boil, reduce to simmer until beans are tender. Here I take out the ham bone and pull off any ham still attatched (I also remove anything that will yuck me out). Add beef, onions, salt, pepper, and here I go with the Lawry's again! Simmer until onions are soft and flavors all incorporated. If you have a small ham bone just half everything.
1 lg green pepper diced (seeds removed)
3-4 med. tomatoes diced
1 bunch spring onions sliced thin
3/4 cup olive oil
Cilantro - is optional, we don't use it
3/4 cup vinegar (can use less if not a fan of vinegar)
-we also use Lawry's
The dicing needs to be done pretty small.
Mix all ingredients together.
4 cups water
2 cups rice
2 tbs butter
1 rounded tbs salt
1 small onion diced (I prefer) or 1 clove minced garlic
Heat water until boiling. Add rice, butter, salt, & onion. Stir.
Cover and reduced to simmer. Let simmer without lifting lid.
Check after 20 or so minuets. Rice is done when tender.

Dressed for Success

As a new term begins, A & W start dragging home text books to be covered. I think I do a half way decent job at it. We did try those stretchy book cover things but my kids were not impressed. Whoever shops next will have request paper to replenish my stash of brown paper bags, they come in so handy!! I started using duck tape a few years ago, it was more for the look, we also found that I had to recover less often. Once again duck tape has played an important role in the educational process.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My My

This is "My Randi" our oldest, the child I have loved the longest. She loves to laugh and has a contagious love of life about her. She has had to pack a life time of hurt into the last few months of her young life. She is growing and learning from that hurt in a way that is graceful. Her days are filled with keeping up with the child she will love the longest, the little chap upon her lap. Her and her husband live in central Missouri, they have taken us to some really fun places when we visit them.

This is "My Tami" I say My Tami because there are other Tammy's out there, and when talking about her I say "My Tami" so whoever I'm having a conversation with knows which one I speak of. Tami is my only sister. She is a military wife and mom of three amazing children that she is homeschooling. They have lived all over this nation, top, bottom, both coasts, and a number of places in between. They travel quite alot and do some really fun stuff. Tami is very energetic, she always has a few irons in the fire. She is so photogenic, I'm jealous. I love my sister, we chat a few times a week, ok we have been know to chat a few times a day.

Both "My's" have now joined the wide world of blogging!!
I am so excited to get to peak into their lives on a regular basis. I have linked them so just click on their web address.

Randi's family blog will be about "the boy" that keeps them busy! http://helveyhappenings.blogspot.com/

Tami's blog will take us on adventures and chat our ears off!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Know My Rights

#6 on The Midwestern Bill of Rights states that we reserve the right to...Consume a meal that is entirely composed of pale food, including but not limited to mashed potatoes, apple sauce, boiled fish, rice, pork chops, gravy, scrambled eggs, white bread, and lemon Jell-O or vanilla ice cream for desert.

Our supper falls well into the color scheme, Swedish meatballs, egg noodles, corn, milk, and for desert, left over Christmas baking, Russian Tea Cakes, and Lace roll-ups. We did break away a bit with the sweet gherkin pickles. This was to pay honor to our pioneer ancestors, the only green on their tables from October to May was in the pickles they put up. I read that in my Little House Cookbook. Willy made most of the supper. No one guessed that the secret ingredient in the Swedish Meatballs was nutmeg.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rag Time

I started this rag rug by following a tutorial, it soon took on a life of its own and I ended up ripping it out and just freelancing (my way of saying I winged it). The problem was that the fabric was too thick and I had cut the strips too wide. The fabric used here was thrifted curtains that cost me $1. The giant hook was my birthday present and it cost $2.49. That's alot of fun for under $5 !!!

Crocheting the rug, working on those PT chin tucks--multi tasking, and hanging by the pellet stove with Otto. I like to think he's guarding my rag ball from the cat, who can reap havoc on anything that can be unwound.

The finished product is 20 x 30 inches.
Thank you !!!
The rug was a gift for Bonice who... (deep breath cuz the list is long) brought Grace home from Wed. night Church ###'s of time's, made a puppy run many hours away, lobbied for said puppy (there are days that one doesn't count), hauled me to many Dr. appointments, asked questions that I forgot to ask of the Dr, re-answered those questions when I would call because a brain on pain can't remember which end is up, went on info seeking missions for me (a shout out here for Gus, Bonices's husband who works in the medical field), brought me food, brought me pillows (if ever you have a back surgery latex pillows are the way to go), brought me pajama's, brought me dvd's to watch, brought me books to read (still challenged in that area-- the brain on pain thing), brought that puppy treats and toys, gave tons of puppy advice, watched very large energetic puppy for 6 days so we could visit Randi's family for Christmas ... you get the idea.