Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Learning Curve...You Knew This Was Coming, Yes?

 The new rolling pin...it was not exactly what I had pictured, but, I liked it, and oh my, what a workout!! The tomatoes used for the sauce...
 So, I thought I would try putting finely chopped basil in the mix. It seemed like enough, not sure, but it looked right...I was wrong!
 The requisite ball of dough, kneaded and...
 quartered...
 and rolled out. I definitely was able to roll the dough further w/ the right tool..again, good thing I cut the dough into 4 pieces...because, I broke a sweat rolling it all out! Yes, I am the pasta making machine...no need to purchase one @ Crate & Barrel..
 I cut the dough thinner than last time..
 and unrolled those babies...so pretty...
 This is 1 pound of pasta...looks like less, I think..
 Boiled for about a minute...I think it could have used maybe 15 seconds more in the water..but throwing it right into the bubbling sauce, the pasta was still cooking..
And, taaa daaa (again)...turned off the fire, added a little parm, some fresh basil for garnish. To me, I needed much more chopped basil in the mix...but, my expert, Edward just tasted it, said it tasted fresh, which is good. I am certain of one thing, it will not go to waste...the experimenting  continues. (Now to clean up the mess...I make such a mess in the kitchen...even the camera had flour on it).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

So, This Happened...DIY!!!

 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, whisk eggs and oil while including the flour until it becomes a ball. Knead by folding and pushing for about 5-10 minutes. I had to add a little extra oil, because it felt too dry.
 I put the dough in a bowl  then covered w/ a dishtowel and let it rest for 30 minutes. I cut it into 4 sections. This will make 1 pound of pasta, or 4 servings (or if you want more or less, of course).
 JUST as I had the flour, eggs and oil mixture sitting there, I realized that I did not have a rolling pin. I can see one in my head. Is it packed away, was it distributed to my brother or nieces. Either way, necessity being the true mother of invention, I began to scout the kitchen. The olive jar, nope too small, the olive oil jar, nope too big, a glass, nope too dangerous. Alas, after giving it a good wash, the empty coconut water can. Perfect!! It worked, whew!! Buy a rolling pin, check..
 I rolled out the singe portion of the dough w/ the can on the floured surface as thin as I could.
Then, I 'jelly' rolled it, getting ready for cutting...
 Rolled up..
 ...and cut...
 ...and nested...so pretty..
 Single portion...
 After boiling for less than 2 minutes, right into the pan w/ the awaiting sauce...already prepped. Turned off the heat, added some parm...
And, taaaaa daaaaa...it was SO GOOD!!! I put the 3 other pieces in the fridg and will roll out, cut and cook today. It was easy, fun...the games have officially begun!
YAY!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Good Grief...


Upper Rhoda Pond, or Lake Rhoda
I started this blog in 2008. I had recently opened one of my Etsy shops, and was inspired to start the blog by other Etsy sellers, basically, to sell my handmade jewelry. Over these 7 years the blog has taken its own twists and turns, as life has happened. Everything is well archived, and these days especially, I am most grateful to use those archives for reference. What year, month or day was that, or, I know I wrote about that, where is it. I have found that not only has the blog been an excellent personal resource, but it has given my voice a little volume. I enjoy sharing from my heart, even the really tough stuff which happens. It has been 2 1/2 years since Mom passed, and I have not cried. Any of you who know me, really, know that it is in my DNA, we cry. I just have not been able to get it out; the grief. There is never any right or wrong way to go about the process of losing a loved one, a parent, a Mom. I have talked to friends who have lost their Mom's and for some, like me now, it has taken years to get through the loss. One friend told me it took her a good 3 years, punctuated by, and we didn't even have a good relationship. As you know, Mom and I adored one another, so I am surprised, in a way, that I have just not fallen completely apart. On the other hand, not.

I sent an email to a dear friend who is going through chemo for leukemia. Thankfully, she is responding well, and has been giving us updates after each round. I know that she always wants to know how her friends are doing, really doing, and I told her the truth. After I read it back, I realized, that this is what I wanted to post, this is what I really wanted to say, but the words simply had not come up and out, until now. So, here is a portion of that email:

'For me, well, I did get in touch w/ a grief counselor, and I meet w/ her in Littleton on Tuesday...we spoke on the phone, and we had a good first chat...again, the grief is in my throat and ever ready to burst forth...here is an amazing thing...we have a very active camp wall on Facebook...we went to camp in the beautiful Berkshires for 12 summers, from the time I was 5 years old...loved every minute of it...Mom was the Arts & Crafts counselor, and so much more, to the hundreds who called her 'Aunt Bunny', Dad came up on weekends, friends and cousins spent many happy carefree summers on the lake...when Mom died, my brother and I batted around what we might do w/ Mom and Dad's ashes...the only place we could think of, which was the most meaningful, was the lake @ camp..well, lo and behold, one thing has led to an another, and a group of us have rented a big house right on our most beloved lake @ the end of June...we will be spreading Mom and Dad's ashes there...I am overwhelmed by the enormity of the act, and that it is actually coming to pass...those who have signed on so far to come in June, all adored Mom and Dad..it is beautiful, and a huge answer to prayer...so, I am on the right track...my body has been betraying me a bit, I am certain, from all that I am holding in...'

It is clear that I am making progress to understand the loss, to deal w/ how profound losing Mom is, along with having the opportunity to go back to a place, a tiny little town in upstate NY, which I (and so many...), hold so dear, to spread Mom and Dad's ashes on the lake as their final resting place.., well, now,  I am at a loss for words.

'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;...'
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Trees...

There is something so beautiful to me about the late afternoon light any season of the year. Here we are, it is early February. The 5 o'clock hour, is no different on bare trees, maybe even more beautiful, as the trees show their complex design. With the big Colorado skies as a background, I was happy to capture this one shot as we drove through the park on our way home yesterday. Bowls me over every time...and then this morning in my readings from Streams in the Desert, this, love this: 


'Be like a bird that, halting in its flight,
Rests on a bough too slight.
And feeling it give way beneath him sings,
Knowing he hath wings.'




BOUGH: a main branch of a tree, branch, limb, arm, offshoot
"apple boughs laden with blossom" 
'snow-laden pine boughs'

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Homemade Pasta on the Horizon...

 I am inches away from making my own pasta w/ this cute little pasta machine from Crate and Barrel, or maybe just a simple rolling pin and some elbow grease will do...but, look, how beautiful are the possibilities!!
Check out this blog post from Garden Betty!

'And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.'
Genesis 1:29

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

No words necessary...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

At The Heart of Orion...

 Orion, the Hunter, is by far the most famous seasonal constellation. No other is more distinct or bright as this northern winter constellation. The famous Orion's Belt makes the hunter easy to find in the night sky.
The photo taken by László Francsics from Hungary, is an amazing, jaw dropping gorgeous picture of the famous Trapezium Cluster in the Orion Nebula. He was one of the winners of  'Astronomy Photographers of the Year, 2013'.

'And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.'
Genesis 1:14-18 

'Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the [loose cluster] Pleiades, and the [vast starry] spaces of the south; Who does great things past finding out, yes, marvelous things without number....'
Job 9:9-10

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Just a Walk in the Park...


Walking in Cherry Creek State Park...the backdrop..
Sunrise...the Rockies (today)
Morning, snow capped Rockies (today)
Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek, different filter..for fun
One entrance to Cherry Creek State Park..
Here's the thing about The Rockies; they go on and on and on. When we lived in Colorado Springs, gorgeous as Pikes Peak was to look at 24/7, you did not get the same sense of how The Rockies really do go on and on and on...and on. They stretch more than 3000 miles from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in Western Canada, to New Mexico here in the States, with other mountain ranges breaking off into Alaska, and down into Mexico. The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago. Very hard to wrap your brain around any of these numbers. But, here we are. When looking out of the windows, or taking a walk in Cherry Creek State Park, when we drive anywhere in and around Denver, we can see Pikes Peak in the distance, but we are blown away by how much more of The Rockies are in our range of vision. So, a walk in the park, adds up to more than just a beautiful winter scene. We are reminded over and over and over again how tiny we are, what a wonder that we behold such majesty as a backdrop to our daily comings and goings. And, as I have said over and over, how deeply grateful we are to witness such beauty, and hopefully/prayerfully capture some of that beauty through the lens of a camera!

'For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is His name'.
Amos 4:13

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

See You There...2015!!!!

A
Joyful
Hopeful
Inspired
Healthy
Blessed & Peaceful
2015

'See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert.'
Isaiah 43:19

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

We Walked on Water!!!


So, okay, it was frozen. In and around the perimeter of the lake there was no telling where the shore met the water and it was beautiful, simply beautiful. We saw people quite far out, on what we were told was a good 4 inch layer of ice, seriously praying that they would not wind up on the 6 o'clock news. We were a bit more cautious and stayed closer to what we thought was the shore...but, on the ice we walked!!! We spent well over an hour navigating our way through the footprints in the snow, which was the only indicator of where the paths to the lake existed. Amazingly, even though the temps were in the 30's, it did not feel cold and there was no wind to speak of. The long shadows being cast by the bare trees made for such a picture perfect winter scene, I just could not help myself and took pic after pic after pic. Normally, if I take a boat-load of photos, I am happy if I actually get one 'good one'. But, yesterday, the lake was camera ready; she smiled and posed @ every turn. We figure, that maybe by mid-January, we will go further out on the frozen water...until then...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

And, Christmas!

To All who celebrate, a
 hopeful, joyful, peaceful, grateful, graceful, inspired, 
prayerful, bless-ed, safe and warm Christmas!!!

Isaiah 9:6
'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.'

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Festival of Lights, From Generation to Generation...


 We repeat the story of Chanukah every year, from generation to generation. It is a great great story! So, again: 2200 hundred years ago, without the wonders of modern technology, and social media/networking, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, (et al), just imagine this: a small group of Jewish rebels, led by the Maccabee band of Brothers (love those boys) stood, up to the Greek kings who were forcing the Jewish people to worship their gods and Greek idols in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem....hence, the wondrous resistance and the miracle of the purified oil...given all the upheaval we see around the world, even today, this story may sound somewhat familiar...here is their story:

About 2200 years ago, Greek kings, who reigned from Damascus, ruled over the land of Judea and the Jews living there. One Greco-Syrian King, Antiochus Epiphanes, forbade the Jewish people from praying to their God, practicing their customs, and studying their Torah. Antiochus forced the Jews to worship the Greek gods. It is said that he placed an idol of the Greek God Zeus on the alter in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. In response to this persecution, Judah Maccabee and his four brothers organized a group of resistance fighters known as the Maccabees. They fought against paganism and oppression.The tenacity of the rebels, which came from their steadfast faith in one God, is one reason this military victory has been so celebrated by Jews in future generations. In one battle near Beit Horon, Judah's small army is intimidated by the size of the enemy army and Judah tells them to have faith that God is on their side:

"But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said unto Judah: 'What? shall we be able, being a small company, to fight against so great and strong a multitude? ...' And Judah said: 'It is an easy thing for many to be shut up in the hands of a few, and there is no difference in the sight of Heaven to save by many or by few; for victory in battle standeth not in the multitude of an host, but strength is from Heaven. They come unto us in fullness of insolence and lawlessness, to destroy us and our wives and our children, for to spoil us; but we fight for our lives and our laws. And He Himself will discomfort them before our face; but as for you, be yet not afraid of them."
(The First Book of Maccabees)

Against great odds, after three years of fighting, the Maccabees succeeded to drive the Greco-Syrians out of Judea. Chanukah proclaims the message of the prophet Zachariah: "Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit." Chapter 4:6

The Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They cleaned the Temple, removing the Greek symbols and statues. When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they rededicated it. On the 25th day of the month of Kislev in 164 BCE, the Temple was purified and rededicated. According to tradition, when the Maccabees entered the Holy Temple, they discovered that the Greco-Syrians had defiled the oil which was used to Temple's menorah. Only one vat of purified oil remained - enough for only one day. It would take the Jews a week to process more purified oil. Then a miracle occurred. The Maccabees lit the menorah and it burned for not one, but eight days, by which time the new, purified oil was ready. This is why the Chanukah Menorah has eight candles (not including the shamash candle used to light the others) and one reason why Jews celebrate Chanukah for eight days!!!

Happy Chanukah!
Happy Festival of Lights!!
This is our Menorah, which holds the drippings from the candles of Chanukah past, as we prepare the light the first candle tonight @ sundown!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's a Vase, No, It's a Puzzle, No, It's a Vase...

'Tis the season!! We have Chanukah, Christmas, Jimmy's birthday and mine all in less than 2 weeks of one another!!! That's allot of celebrating!!! What a wonderful thing to come home to a package, w/ my name on it from National Geographic. 'Did I order something and forget that I ordered something?', was my first thought, as there were 2 other packages @ the front door. Much to my surprise, it was a gift from my friend Suzie. She knows me all too well, and ordered this wonderful, 3D puzzle/vase/ (it really works), which is also very beautiful! I opened it up, and the delicate pieces feel like fine porcelain! Here is what National Geographic has to say about the puzzle:

'Archaeologists assemble fragments of evidence sometimes literally to give us a clearer picture of the human past. This unique 3-D puzzle vase is created in the same spirit of focusing on the parts to better understand the whole. Assembling the 160 curved plastic pieces is a challenge for any puzzle fan, and requires an artist's eye as well as an engineer's sense of problem solving. When you're finished, a watertight insert lets you use your creation as a vase. Includes a decorative display stand.'

W/ this thoughtful gift, many bases of things which I love, have been covered! So, thank you Suz!!! Will take another pic when it is finished and full, probably w/ a philodendron which so easily grows roots!

Friday, December 5, 2014

I Can't Breathe...

How ironic, from last weeks post of, 'That breath that you just took...that's a gift', to this week:

I CAN'T BREATHE
I CAN'T BREATHE
I CAN'T BREATHE
I CAN'T BREATHE
  I CAN'T BREATHE  
I CAN'T BREATHE
I CAN'T BREATHE
I CAN'T BREATHE
I CAN'T BREATHE
 I CAN'T BREATHE 
  I CAN'T BREATHE  

'He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination unto the Lord'
Proverbs 17:15
Proverbs 17:15
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Injustice,-Hated-By-God#sthash.nfdT2g2d.dpuf
Proverbs 17:15
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Injustice,-Hated-By-God#sthash.nfdT2g2d.dpuf
Proverbs 17:15
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Injustice,-Hated-By-God#sthash.nfdT2g2d.dpuf

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks...


 
#GRATEFUL         

'It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;'
Psalm 92:1

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!