Monthly Archives: October 2010

Odds and Ends

I’m up and waiting… waiting for the cookie icing to dry.  Yep, folks, I baked 30 something cookies for Mark’s potluck tomorrow.  If you haven’t already guessed I am getting a jump on Friday.  It is like 11pm on Thursday night.. so excuse the typos and the misspellings… it’s late and well…I should be in bed.

This evening, I made my infamous ghost cookies.  Okay, right now, the ladies I used to teach along side are like freaking out.  They LOVE my ghost cookies!!  I am sure my phone will be ringing sometime tomorrow and “UH Where’s my ghost cookies?” will be booming from the other end. So anyways, I made these cookies from scratch.  I rolled the dough, cut it into ghost shapes, and decorated them with cookie icing and mini-chocolate chips.  As I made them, my thoughts wandered to a time when my baby girl was.. sniff, sniff. a baby toddler girl.  I made these cookies for her Halloween party every year.  I would be up to 1 or 2am making them.  In fact one year I made 80 cookies.  I was crying by the time it was all over.  Ms. Linnie, one of the preschool teachers, would turn the calendar to October and start the reminders for me… “Regina, the party is on October such-n-such.  I’ll put you down for ghost cookies.”  When my son finally graduated from preschool, Ms. Linnie cried.  Not that my wonderful two children were leaving her nest, but because there would be no more ghost cookies.  ((Sigh)) I must admit they are pretty good.. if I do say so myself.  Now watch they will taste horrible since I’m bragging!!

Oh, I borrowed the most intriguing book from the library.  The title caught my eye and I could have sworn I heard the book squeak, “Read Me.”  The title is The Outsider Interviews:  A New Generation Speaks Out on Christianity. I am in chapter 3 right now and well, it is quite interesting.  It is based on four separate panel interviews.  The panelist consisted of two believers and two non-believers.  Their interview questions asked for their insight on Christianity.  So far, their statements left me wondering if my behaviors may cause others to feel like an outsider.  Questions like, “Do I show love? Judge? Point fingers?” raced through my mind.  We, believers, are portrayed as if “saving” lives is a game…earning points for each person we help save.

I have to hang my head.  It bothers me to think that non-believers will walk away thinking this is just a ego game.  I hope that people who I may pass in Wal-Mart, Dollar General, and at the Shelter, judge me by my Christ-follower attitude and actions.  I started thinking about how during last month’s communion service, I found myself saying, “Wow, there is so many new people.”  Now, that is good but did I introduce myself to a single one of them…ahem…not yet.

Well, folks, I must go to bed.  I’m tired and well.. have a big day tomorrow… I mean today!

Enjoy your weekend.. Have a safe Halloween.. God Bless..

Christmas 2010: Stockings

Over the past two years, I have given my family a Christmas challenge.  The first year, we made all of our gifts.  Everything was handmade and of course, it was the year I explained that the kids were receiving 3 gifts from our family unit (1 from Santa, 1 from mom and dad, and one from each other).  We loved it!  Last year we had a recycled Christmas.  We used materials only in our home and garage.  It was almost too much for us to handle.  I think we started too late!  Anyway, this year, we are having a “natural” Christmas.  Everything we use to decorate and give each other in our immediate family will be from “mother nature.”   The store-bought garland, tree, and decorations will be kept in storage this year.  I want my kids to experience a more “pioneer” decorating display.

Call me crazy, but I think we will have a blast!!

So I have designated Thursdays to Christmas ideas.  Please feel free to share your own ideas!!  I would love to hear them!!  And today’s topic:  the Christmas Stocking..

After reading about the history of the stocking, I found that there really isn’t one time/ one person who created the Christmas stocking.  There are a couple of legends I want to tell you about..

1.  It was said that a poor widowed man and his three daughters lived in a small village.  The man was too poor to marry off his daughters.  He was the target of the town gossip concerning his daughter’s affairs.  He asked St. Nickolas for help.  On Christmas eve, St. Nick came through bringing three bags of gold.  St. Nick couldn’t find anything to put the bags into except the stockings that were hung to dry over the fire.  So, thinking quickly, St. Nick put the bags in the stockings and the family woke up rich.

2.  Children would leave their boots (wooden shoes, shoes, slippers) at the hearth filled with straw and carrots for Santa’s reindeer (donkey, horse, etc).  In return, Santa would leave gifts in the children’s boots.  Eventually the boots turned into stockings..

So there ya go.. the legends behind the stockings.  Simple enough.. right????

Now, where are you going with this, Regina… may be what you are thinking.  I have been inspired by my mother-in-law.  She has knitted each grandchild a stocking.  So, I have decided to make a stocking.  This should be interesting since I can’t knit.  Although I have found some really cool patterns for crocheted and sewn stockings.   Since I can’t knit, it may be safer for me to make mine by crocheting or sewing.. what do you think??


Here’s the kicker though…. all natural materials.  There wasn’t synthetics in the pioneer days.  So, sackcloth or all organic cotton may be used.  Wool yarn or another animal hair yarn will be used.  I might even felt a wool sweater from Goodwill to make my stocking.

There is the nice website that has gathered free patterns for knitters, crocheters, and seamstresses alike.  Check out Love to Know.  Now here’s the sweet thing.. make one and send me a picture.  I want to share with my other readers.  I hope you are inspired to try.  I will probably only get one done.. especially since I already have beautiful knitted ones from Mom.

Merry Christmas…. God Bless…..

Hot Chocolate

This morning, I did a happy dance in my kitchen.  There wasn’t any music playing; but there I was just a dancing!  It is cool enough for me to drink hot chocolate and I was celebrating!

I danced to the tune of the microwave as it heated up my cup of water.  I took in a deep breath over the hot chocolate mix canister.  MMMMMM……. chocolate!  I smelled so hard that some of the powder tickled my nose.

When the microwave beeped, I was so excited I almost giggled like a little kid.  Counting 1, 2, 3, teaspoons of the powder mix, I almost overflowed the mug.  The scraping of the spoon as I stirred made my taste buds water.  Holding the mug between my hands, I lifted it to my nose for another smell.  My whole body shook from all the excitement.

I could hardly wait to take a sip….. siiiiipppp….. OUCH!  MAN!!  THAT’S HOT!!  Of course, I burned my mouth!  But who cares!!  It’s hot chocolate!!  No pain, No gain…. right????

Enjoy your Wednesday!  God bless……….

Pumpkin Bread

My dear sweet friend, Kimberly, famous for her pumpkin roll, came to my latest speaking engagement.  She is just the sweetest thing!!  She hands me a bag and I knew instantly what was in it!  I rushed home afterwards and tore into the bag.  Ahhhh, pumpkin roll….. wait!  Where’s the cream cheese middle?  Where’s the roll??

Please don’t think I was disappointed by all means!!  I was thrilled to have something home baked by my dear friend.  I just thought it was her traditional….. ahem…. the pumpkin roll I am addicted to!!  Literally, I would attack any teacher, student or office staff in our middle school who would dare take a bite of the coveted pumpkin roll.  Many a students’ hands were slapped away from the confection!!

But anyway, the pumpkin roll may not have been the traditional happy dance roll, it was, however, YUMMY!!  In fact, I think it is like…. my new favorite!  I love pumpkin bread….. but the extra ingredient CHOCOLATE chunks…. OH MY WORD!!  Can I just say, “To die for!!”

Kimberly is one of my readers and I hope she will share HER recipe with us.  But in the meantime, I found one with the ingredients she listed (She is such a sweetie!  She listed the ingredients in case I was allergic!!  Now that is a true friend!!).

Hope you take a minute or two in the near future to try this yummy, pumpkin bread recipe.  And Kimberly if you would please, leave your recipe in a comment!  We would love your version….. cause I know it is YUMMO!!

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread

2 cups flour

2 tsp.  CALUMET Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp.  salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp.  ground nutmeg

2 eggs

1 cup  mashed cooked fresh pumpkin

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup  firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup  oil

6 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped

make it

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices until well blended; set aside. Beat eggs, pumpkin, sugars, milk and oil in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Stir in chopped chocolate.

POUR into greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.

BAKE 55 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 18 (1/2-inch thick) slices to serve.

Enjoy your Tasty Tuesday!!  God Bless…….