Warm Your Winter Belly

Cold winds are blowing, temperatures arewinterhouse freezing and below, snow is falling, and the ice on the steps refuses to melt. Sounds like the basics of weather this time of year. These conditions make it hard to be outdoors, but it’s a wonderful time for some rib-sticking comfort foods.

While researching this article I started by looking at what my family has been having on the supper menu the last couple of weeks. Although we are located in North Carolina, the temperatures here have been unusually cold, with nights in the single digits and days barely getting out of the teens. Our family meal choices have reflected the foods I grew up with in the Northeast. Continue reading

The Gift of a Story

Our neighbor is 96 years old and she still goes for a walk severalchicken-petting times each week. Very slowly she makes her way along the pasture fence between our properties. Then she turns around and goes home, carefully avoiding the ruts in the dirt road.  I have gone out to greet her only occasionally.

A simple hello always means a commitment to thirty minutes, or more, of conversation. I know that’s not much in the larger scheme of things. And, it means so much to older people when you give them the gift of time. But these days life seems to be all a rush and time is a precious commodity. Often my husband reminds me that I’m not keeping up with everything I have committed to do. I get stingy.

That’s why I’m pleased to share what I’ve learned about another gift we can give each other. It’s the gift of Story. Yes, it takes time. But it’s fun too and it fuels the imagination. Here’s how I learned about it. Continue reading

Money on your mind – the budget

writingcheckThis year it seems everyone has money on their minds. In order to make the most of yours, a spending plan will help you pay the bills and realize your goals. How do you start? Here’s some steps to take to begin. Realize that it’s a plan and if you don’t follow it the first time, keep trying till you succeed. In the end, you will be glad you did.

Here are some other tips to make managing money in your home a little easier: Continue reading

The Seven Wonders of a Life

writingMy daughter just finished a book called The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. In the story a boy is challenged to search out the Wonders in his small, seemingly-boring town. Like the boy in the story, it reminded me of how often I overlook the things that can inspire awe in the daily routines of life. But Brigit, age 9, was willing to take the novel character’s challenge. Within two days she wrote down The Seven Wonders of Brigit Brown.

Her Wonders began nine years ago with a twenty-four hour plane trip. She was born in Vietnam and had appeared in dreams for three years before her birth. I was living in Florida with my husband and young son. I flew around the world to bring her home when she was only 4½ months old. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Holidays are over – now what?

Deep in thoughtAs we see the snowflakes fall and feel the winter weather take hold, I hope that you can take advantage of some family time together. Sometimes it’s hard after all the preparation for the holidays to get back into the swing of things for the new year. As we enter into the winter months sometimes it’s hard to have something to look forward to. Here are some ideas that might spark an interest and you may consider during your winter evenings at home. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

How to Care for your Wisteria Plant

Wisteria is a beautiful addition to your landscape. The large cluster of purple flowers is very pretty and has a wonderful fragrance. The downside to this bush is it will spread and can be invasive. Wisteria also comes in white and pink.

In the winter when the plant is dormant use pruning snips and cut back all the over growth. These above ground shoots can travel surprising distances from the parent plant in a very short period of time and be quite destructive. Wisteria plants can grow over 10 feet in one year-be aggressive in your pruning.  Wisteria also spread by their root system. In fact, Continue reading

From My Kitchen to Yours—What’s Cooking?

Place settingQuite often over the years people have asked me , “What do you eat? Or does it get boring eating from the garden all the time ?” So I thought I would share some of our favorite recipes with you from time to time. Let me say right here not everything we eat comes from the farm. About 90% of what we eat we produce. Some things I do buy at the grocery store but you don’t need a farm or garden to use these recipes as the ingredients are available at the grocery store.

Let me begin with breakfast because for us it is essential  to give us energy to begin the day’s work. Almost every day begins with oatmeal with other things added that are both nutritious and tasty. We do eat other things too sometimes. Continue reading

You know you’re in love . . .

Wooden HeartAt some point in life, sooner or later, some gadget or widget or whatsit will make the heart go pitter-pat. It’s inevitable. Maybe it’s a gizmo for pitting fruit. Or maybe a concoction for sucking spilled oil out of the shop floor. Who knows. It doesn’t have to be high tech. It just has to be new to you and there when you need it most.
Continue reading