Friday, January 31, 2014

Awareness in the Cow Pasture

 Some might remember me mentioning our nature walks in the cow pasture back when my younger three were elementary age. That was when we moved from south country to north country.
We would pack a picnic lunch and a blanket and a good book and we'd go sit by that ditch creek pictured above and read and relax and pet the horses' noses when they shyly approached us.
Those were the days before digital cameras, smart phones that sported the convenience of recording memories immediately as they happened, and (though I began my first blogging experience in 2006) I didn't have the convenience of digital pictures to log. Everything had to be scanned from a printed pictures. Thus, no cow patty scenes.
My girls still wander out to the cow pasture with their friends.
When I see their pictures I often wonder that their bravery to face the cattle in the pasture.
But they also face something much larger than surly cattle.
They face the broadness, the flight, the immensity, the fierceness, the beauty, the brokenness, and the reality that is nature and truth.
Nature helps one make sense out of life.
Nature helps one meditate on the reality of who they are...
... and who God meant for them to be.


 {Photo Credits: Chelsea, Hannah, and Mackenzy}

Sending Pie Love Home

{Mitford Cookbook}

What I did last night...
I gave lots of love in the image of pies...
chicken pot pies...
I am not a touchy-feely, huggie-buggie, kissy-kissy type of person.
I show my love for family in other hidden ways.
And I pray they remember those hidden ways were my weak way of saying, "I love you."
This recipe is from one of the godmothers. She whipped them up and delivered them at Christmastime a couple years ago. A perfect gift and my family loved it!
It can be baked and eaten the day of preparation or left unbaked, wrapped, and frozen until one of those cold nights you need to pop something into the oven, have your whole house permeated with love, and feel like you're Paula Deen...or Rachael Ray...or Ree Drummond (whichever your favorite is ;-)

They can be given as gifts (as my daughter's godmother did), taken to a sick friend, or taken to a newly-wed child and her husband who are moving into a sweet little house next month, and we all know how hard it is to scratch up home cooking when you're packing boxes and transferring furniture.
Will the kids like? Will someone who doesn't care for chicken pot pie love it?
Let me just say that last night our one-year-old grandson finished off my bowl, ate a bowl of his own, then went and found one of the aunts and finished off her bowl.
So...yeah...they'll love it.
Chicken Pot Pie
(for the record, I tripled this recipe since I have children with homes of their own and a sweet friend who is undergoing chemo and who appreciates meals for her family when she is not able to cook)
4-5 boneless chicken breast
2 deep dish pie shells (1 package of 2--or--2 homemade)
2 flat pie shells
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can mixed vegetables
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 pepper
(adapted recipe for freezer meals or large family baking)
8-10 boneless chicken breast
6 deep dish pie shells (3 packages of 2--or--6 homemade)
6 flat pie shells
5 cans cream of potato soup
3 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cans mixed vegetables
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. pepper
Season and brown chicken breast and dice.
Mix all ingredients together and divide into pie shells.
Top each pie with flat crust. Remove excess and press edges together.
Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour (when top is brown).
Put foil around edges so they don't brown too much.
If you are freezing them, don't cook first.
{Tip: when you remove excess pie dough, chances are you'll have enough to roll out another pie.}


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Brave Mother Shares

Four years ago, you may remember, many of you offered prayers and we gathered roses into a rosary for my online and real-life friend Colleen as she walked the very painful valley of grief upon the loss of her infant son to SIDS.
Hearts of mothers reached out in a huge, great, big, very wonderful circle of concern and support.
We collected monies through Tastefully Simple and sent a food basket to their home and I tucked a some fund-raising dollars and prayers into Colleen's hand as we hugged a greeting at Houston's Homeschool Conference later that spring.
It was a full-hearted attempt at reaching out. As our mutual friend Katherine described so beautifully when the rest of us were at a loss for words:
"Being in an online community, we feel like we have friends right next door. But when tragedy strikes, it becomes painfully obvious that we are not right next door. We cannot pop in with a casserole and a hug. We cannot take the kids and give a grieving mother time and space. All we can do is pray."
Today Colleen talks at Motherhood Unadorned about
She writes about her experience, self-imposed labeling, anxiety triggers, reoccurring concerns, getting professional aid (or not), and how she copes with the on-going reality that is her life yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
One of the bravest things a person can do is to share their experience about mental health.
On second thought probably the bravest thing a person can do is to share their heart and soul concerning their personal losses and sorrows.
Colleen does both.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

An Entirely New Life

"I want to live an entirely new life.
No one must know the struggles, regrets, and griefs that, like every other person, I endure; I must organize my life in such a way that all its various and sometimes complicated duties have their place.
Since I do not have a consistent life in broad, clear lines but must partly conceal my inmost being in order to encounter ideas and feelings opposed to mine, I want at least to unite with this first duty my desire to work for God and for others.
It is a delicate task, for which I need the help of a strength beyond my own.
Help me, my God, and, without my knowing it, use me for a little good."
~ Elisabeth Leseur (+1914)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Louisiana Sneaux Day




Death of a King Cake
 Unique view outside a Louisiana office...
Poor child...Locked herself out of the house.

Ice Girl

Hudson makes a visit. Not impressed with snow days or oversized coats.

Poem for the Day and strong hot tea with honey
Ending the day with fire on the hearth and homemade chili at Parian's place...

A day just wouldn't be complete without hiking to the top of Mt. Everest



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