Sunday, February 24, 2013

Out with the Red ~ In with the Yellow

You saw in a couple of posts back, that we cleaned out the garage looking for all my Easter and Spring decorations.  I started with the kitchen.  The "red" is gone, and "yellow" is in.  I look forward to this every year.   It feels like it's brand new when you only use it for one season a year.

I can't remember how long I have had this little carrot/rabbit that fits over a doorknob.  I had to get my glue gun out and put his little paws back in place.  He's good for a few more years.

Decided to use some purple and lavenders in the living room so a swag over the mirror to match the quilt my friend gave me for Christmas.

The quilt is filled with hats and purses and beautiful purples and lavenders.  I just wanted to show it off, so I put in on the back of the love seat.  I have to find a few more things now for the coffee table and desk top to go with this theme.  It's a new one for me this year, and that's kinda fun.
I found this Bunny Welcome sign at our Thrift Store, and decided to hang it inside, at the top of the "light window" in the living room.
By the way... you are welcome anytime!  There's cookies in the cookie jar, some banana bread, and it won't take long to whip up that delicious Meyer Lemon Tart.  Shall I get the coffee started?

Saturday, February 23, 2013


The Song that meant so much to me in my journey to intimacy with the Lover of my Soul was a song I had learned as a child.  It took on new meaning as I spent time in the early morning hours in my Garden Vineyard.
I come to the garden alone
While the dew  is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And he Walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
This is what was happening in the early morning hours at a little glass table in the corner of a living room.  You can have your own private garden too.  Find a place and time to meet the Lover of your Soul.  It's the best thing I every did to nourish my soul and my daily walk with the Lord.
illustrations from

Friday, February 22, 2013


We were cleaning out the garage as I was missing some of my Easter Decoration, and knew they had to be somewhere in the "back" of the garage, where everything I'm looking for HIDES!
Going through an old trunk, I found my wedding gown in a plastic bag.  It only seemed fitting that I should find it now a few months before our 52nd Anniversary.  

If I fast from now to June, I think I could fit into it. HaHa.   It's certainly has had its "Wedding Moments".  I wore it in 1961, a friend of mine later in the 60's and then our oldest daughter Michel wore it 20 years later!  It's amazing how well it's held up since after the last wedding it was never sealed in a vacuum bag.  Maybe I should have it cleaned.  Who knows if I ever have a great great granddaughter, she might be interested in wearing an "Antique".

Now I've got to put everything back in the garage.  But it wasn't in vain...I did fine ALL MY EASTER AND SPRING I'm ready to get into Spring mode very soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Like the layers of an onion, my relationship and friendship with Elizabeth bring new stories and insights every time we visit.  I'm sharing my life and stories with her, and it turn she is now sharing more and more of her life with me.  She had told me about making dolls, but today her son had brought some for me to see.

 This one is extremely fragile, and she was hesitant to even let me hold it.  She told me how she and several of her friends had taken classes to learn doll making.  This would be over 20 to 30 years ago.
This is a porcelain doll and the dress is layers of lace, then layers of a substance to make it look and feel like glass.  You just can't see the detail with my camera.  You can see the size by Elizabeth's hand holding it.  She is just an exquisite piece of work.

This little boy doll is about 10 inches high and his name is "Hans".  The clothes and shoes were all hand made by Elizabeth.  Again, a porcelain doll and hand painted.

And this tiny little girl doll, is only a few inches high, as you can see by Elizabeth's hand and the little sweater she's wearing is a lovely piece of detailed crocheting.  I'm just so impressed with Elizabeth and her knowledge of so many different things.  We also discussed cooking today and some of the things she would fix from her Hungarian background.  I look forward to Thursday's and my weekly visit.  She said today when I was leaving, "You made my day."   I laughed and said "NO, YOU made my day."  And then we both laughed!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Tart
I love getting a new recipe from a blogger friend.  Sue gave me this one, and I'm really excited as my neighbor has a Meyer Lemon tree and keeps my basket full.  I've tried several recipes using these delicious juicy lemons and this one's delicious.

We ate a slice warm with a cup of coffee, and it was really nice and smooth.  I did refrigerate it and tomorrow we'll see how it tastes cold.   It may even be better.  I'll let you know.

·         Ingredients:
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP. heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 TBSP. melted butter
1 1/2 TBSP fresh Meyer lemon juice
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
3 TBSP all purpose flour
1 prebaked tart crust (you can use a store-bought graham cracker pie crust)
1/4 cup sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven 300*
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, buttermilk, and melted butter.
Slowly whisk in the lemon juice, zest and flour.
Whisk until all lumps of flour have disappeared.
Carefully pour buttermilk mixture into the prebaked tart shell.
Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until the tart is just set (when gently tapped the center should no longer jiggle) about 35-45 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then slice into wedges.
To serve, top with whipped cream. Store in fridge.  Enjoy.
Recipes are for sharing!


My dearest has a "thing" about hats! (baseball caps I should say)  He's been wearing and collecting them as long as I can remember.  Today he was looking for a particular "Bronco" one (he has several in different colors) and was taking them from the top of the closet and piling them on top of each other.  He jokingly put the stack on his head, and I grabbed the camera.  When I told him I was going to call the blog post "The Mad Hatter" ~~ he added or "Just Plain Nuts"  They both work. HaHa

It's rather obvious he's a Boise Bronco fan and has the hats, sweat shirts, and jackets to prove it.  When we took out trip to Boise last year to see our cousins....they outfitted him in style and even took us to a Boise State Bronco Football game!!
Do you have a "mad hatter" in your family?

Saturday, February 16, 2013


It was the Winter of 2003 and not only was the weather cold and dismal, but that's the way I felt in my Spiritual Journey ~ cold and dismal.  It wasn't that I was going through some deep or difficult circumstances.  Just the opposite ~ I was a leader in the Women's School of Ministry, teaching a Women's Bible Study, visiting the elderly ~It was a good time of Ministry.  And that was the problem ~ I was so busy studying, leading, visiting that I was neglecting the Lover of my Soul.  I longed for solitude and quiet ~ time to just spend with my Lord.  I was longing for intimacy with Him, and one night, just fell on my face and cried out I want to spend time with you Lord, but I can't find any!!  When you are in the pit, and cry out really seeking an answer....He will give you one. 
I went to bed that night exhausted from pleading so hard and fell into a deep sleep.  At that time, beside the Church activities, I was was working in Property Management full time and got up every morning at 6:30 AM to get ready for work.  At 4:00 AM on the DOT, I woke from a deep sleep, and though I didn't hear an audible voice, it could not have been any louder in my soul.  "Wanda, come and meet Me at the little glass table in the corner of the living room." 
And for the next 2 years, I woke up at 4:00 AM and hurried to my "Private Vineyard" where I spent and hour or so, in my "Garden" where I met and fell in love with Jesus and His Word in a way that changed my life.  I no longer worship Him from a distance, but face to face every morning.  Learning new and wonderful things.  Finding new nuggets of truth and application in His Word.  I had been given a beautiful Journal with a lavender cover and a bunch of grapes on the front, so that became the book I recorded this journey in.  I also added some artificial grapes and pomegranates in a bowl and a candle on my little glass was truly my Secret Garden Vineyard.
With my Worship Bible, my journal and my songbook I began a journey that changed my life forever.
Song of Songs 7:12 "Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom ~~there I will give you my love."
So I prayed this prayer every morning ~ Oh Lord, I will rise early to meet You.  I will spend time alone with You, whispering the secrets of my heart. I will wait for You assurance and celebrate your presence.  In the vineyard of Your love I will be satisfied.  For You are the Vine and I am a branch.  Abiding in You, I receive all that I require to live as Your child in this world ~ all the peace, the power, the grace, the hope, the mercy, the love.  So I will rush to Your Vineyard in the early hours where I know I will find You waiting for me."
Next Sunday, I'll share the song that became so real, and part of this journey into intimacy with the Lover of my Soul.
PS.  I did go back to bed by 5 or 5:15 and grabbed another hour or so of sleep!!  I was always able to fall back asleep and wake up refreshed... It was a "God" thing.

Friday, February 15, 2013


 As a young girl I loved all the Beatrix Potter stories.  I think it was where my love of watercolor began with her illustrations, and also the illustrations in my Beginning Reader of Dick and Jane.  When the movie "Miss Potter" came out I saw it, and bought it, and have watched it many times.  I also loved ready the biography's of Beatrix Potter.  What a woman, what a story, what enjoyment she has brought to so many.  I've been collecting her books and have a set of her miniature books.
All that background to say I found a treasure at the Thrift Store today.  A large book in pristine condition.  No marks anywhere on or in it.  "The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter" was published in 1992 and contains 19 of her stories and illustrations.  It was $1.99 and I've been reading it to myself all afternoon.  Do you like Beatrix stories?  Have you seen the movie...I think you'll love it.

I can't wait to read these stories to our new grandbaby when he/she is old enough!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


This afternoon, my dearest took me to The Olive Garden for an early Valentine Dinner.   If you look very close at his face, you will see something I've been asking him to do for 50 years.  He's growing a beard.  I have always thought facial hair on a man was handsome.  You can blame Tom Selleck and that great mustache that started it.  It's just a start...can't wait to see it when it's a full beard.
When I woke up this morning I wanted to bake something Valentine, but didn't have anything in the house to use.  Then it hit me... I had bananas, and I had strawberries.... Why not Strawberry Banana Bread?  It's yummy.  A new invention.  My landscapers thought so too.
After our early dinner, we decided to bring home the dessert and have it at home with a nice fresh cup of coffee.  It's a a mixture of chocolate cake, cheese cake and chocolate mousse.  It's been a great Valentine Day.  Hope your day was as special as ours.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A Friend Is Someone
© Leah Ross
A friend is someone
You turn to.
A friend is someone
You confide in.
A friend is someone
Who stands by you.
A friend is someone
Who lifts your spirits.
A friend is someone
who encourages you.
A friend is someone
You treasure always.
A friend is someone
Who makes you smile.
A friend is someone
Who brightens your day.
Happy Valentines Day to all my dear family and blog friends.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Several of you asked if I'd share the short devotion I gave at our Ladies Night Out.  Here is the outline. 
Girl's Night Out Devotion 
Did you ever wake up and say:
This isn't the life I planned or dreamed about!
This isn't the job I wanted.
This little paycheck is NOT the paycheck I wanted.
I'm single, and longed to be married.
I'm married, and would love to be free and single.
I want children, and can't.
These children are driving me nuts.  I never have any time to myself.
I'm lonely ~ wish the kids would call.
I hate being sick!  Why me?
I'm tired of being the 24/7 care giver.  I need some help.
Lord ~ this isn't the life I dreamed of.
Ever felt that way ~ I have!
I think Ann Voskamp felt that way  and why she wrote the book ~ "One Thousand Gifts"
A hog farmer's wife, raising half a dozen children, crops of corn n the Mennonite countryside of southwestern Ontario, decided she could complain and be negative about everything, or choose to see things in a "different light" seeing the gifts and blessings we fail to see right in front of us, right under our nose.
I read her book and started my 1000 gift list April 1, 2011.  I just added 1019 today ~ Girl's Night Out!
It's not the big things that really bring us joy every day, it's the "little" things, things we overlook that could make us positive women of gratitude.  Here are a few random ones from my list.  (I read them from my journal)
The little handout is my way to get you started on your own journey of 1000 gifts.  Counting your blessings instead of your pain, problems and heartbreaks.  It won't take them away, but it will help you to rise above them and see God work in new and wonderful ways in your life.
It's been said, "every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness".  We need to meditate on good things, and fill your heart with praise.  We need to DARE TO LIVE FULLY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. 
"Finally (Sisters), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy ~meditate on these things."
Philippians 4:8 is a great place to begin.  You have a little slip of paper with the verse written out.  I'll close with John MacArthur's Study notes on this verse.  I just love the explanation of each word.
TRUE ~ What is true is found in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and in God's Word.  You can be sure that any of those four sources...are TRUE.
NOBLE ~ The Greek term means "worthy of respect:  Believers are to meditate on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, i.e. the sacred as opposed to the profane.
JUST ~ This refers to what is right.  The believer is to think in harmony with God's divine standard of holiness.
PURE ~That which is morally clean and undefiled.
LOVELY ~ The Greek term means "pleasing"..By implication, believers are to focus on whatever is kind or gracious.
OF GOOD REPORT ~ That which is highly regarded or thought well of.  It refers to what is generally considered reputable in the world, such as kindness, courtesy and respect for others.
How are we going to stay positive in a corrupt and negative world..we need to carve out 5 to 15 minutes every day to be in God's Word.   Meditate on each of those words, and the personal associations we can put with them, and try to add at least one thing you are grateful for every day on your 1000 list, and see how fast it grows, and how your gratitude will fill you and it will show, and others will notice.
Of course, you know me, I did some off the cuff that isn't in my notes, but you get the jest of of.  It was a great evening, and the devotion well received.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Tonight is "Girl's Night Out" for the ladies of our Church.  We're meeting at local cafe for dinner and I've been ask to bring a short devotional at the end of the evening.
Since Valentines Day is just around the corner, I made some cute "handouts" with hearts and ribbon that will be used in conjunction with my devotion on "One Thousand Gift" book, and my own Journal I've been doing over the past year of my own 1000 list of things I'm thankful for on a daily basis.  The handouts have 10 pages, and will give the gals a place to start their lists.
Also sharing the verse "Philippians 4:8" on what to meditate on daily!
Details of the Devotion on Sunday.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Step One ~ bring in the large folding table from the garage so I had a place to work.  Last quilt I made I laid it out on the bed, and when I finished pinning...had pinned some of it to my bedspread. teehee.  The table worked much better.  Fabric, and batting trimmed and ready to pin in place. 
I'm using the backing to trim the quilt.  I like the way it looks and it saves time from a separate binding.  It's all pinned in place.
This morning, I will press all the binding and blind hem all the binding, then I can use my hoops and start the quilting around all the squares and little animals.  Little Baby Scott (baby's last name) Let the quilting begin!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Today I found the perfect fabric for our new baby.  Jill is decorating with the wild animal print, and I found "Wild Jungle Babies."  Are they not adorable?  Baby lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, monkeys and even a baby hippo.
The backing for the quilt, which will be crib size is the tiger print.
Then I found a piece of fabric with the same baby animals all together, and there was just enough to make a couple of pillows.
I found it all at JoAnn's Fabric and since this material is a 2006 pattern it was 40% off.  I can't wait to get started.  I thought I had some batting, but must have used it, so tomorrow I'll pick up the batting and then get started quilting.   I will be hand quilting around the squares and the animals and it should turn out really nice.  It's the way I made the quilts for all the other grandchildren.
Will give updates as it comes along!
Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments and stories about when you started blogging and why on yesterday's post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Click on pictue to enlarge
Seven years ago, today with fear and trembling I pushed the publish button for my first post.  I called my blog "Brushstrokes from the Heart ~ Wanda's Way of Life to share my watercolors.
The banner at the top was my header for many years as I share my paintings.
But life changes.  We retired, we moved closer to family, and I put my painting on the back burner.  My family and my new little kitchen became my love.  I still love to paint, but find myself only doing it for Creative Tuesdays.
Life is interesting that way...
I do love to paint children, and the ones in the banner are from a brochure for Samaritan's Purse, Operation Shoe Box.  The girl in the white dress is kneeling in adoration and worship.
When did you start blogging, and why?  Just asking!
PS ~ Such a busy weekend with Jon's Birthday and Super Bowl, I didn't get back to respond to your comments on the Nursery, but loved them all.  Thanks.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The baby is due in June, and Jill is getting the nursery ready.  Since they have decided not to know if they are having a girl or boy until it's born, and since Jill has always loved animal prints they are going with that theme.
She's waiting to see if there will be some splashes of blues and greens, or pink and lavenders in the room, but now she had some giraffe print curtains with stuffed lion ties.  I talk to her today, and she said, "Mom, remember the Lion and Cub you painted for me, it's hanging in the babies room on the wall next to the Lion Ties on the Curtains."
I'm really excited that my Daddy Lion and cub will be hanging in the Nursery.  I saw this picture in a National Geographic Magazine, and fell in love with it.  I said I've got to paint this.   I love Daddy Lion babysitting while Momma Lioness is out getting dinner.
It's been a long time since I decorated a Nursery...How about you?

Friday, February 1, 2013


Going along with my "February Theme" it was time for some Valentine cookies.  They look so pretty on the red plate don't you think?
Such an easy recipe. 
1 box white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. oil
1 1/4 c. M&M's
Drop by spoonful
Bake 350 ~ 10 minutes