Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where do I begin?...

It's been a busy week thus far, but, tonight our sweet granddaughter is coming to visit for a few days, so we kick into fun times!! I must share something first. During my quiet time this morning I read a verse in Proverbs that struck me as so profound.
Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

If you think about the influence you have in your home, on your husband and family, it is quite sobering. I can build my home with a kind heart and kind words, with prayer, organization, provision, a good attitude and respect. I can also tear it down with bitterness, laziness, a quick temper and by being judgmental. This is the lesson I learned today. And please, know that I'm judging myself here. I really want to be more simple, not mentally (LOL), but spiritually. Life is too short to be hard to figure out, moody and complex. Wow,,,okay,,,I'm done with the heavy stuff, but I had to share what I learned from God's Word and I pray that it blesses you.

This week, I've been trying to keep up with the produce from our tiny garden and from the peach trees. Peach season is officially over. We have some peaches to eat on and I made my last batch of peach jam.

The zucchini is producing more than we can eat so I made a small batch of relish. I don't know how it'll turn out; when I tasted it I thought it was more like a chow chow. Either way, it's something we'll use.

Lena reminded me of the salsa recipe I used from last year, so I made a batch of that. The one jar that didn't get filled all the way is for us to enjoy this weekend!

And, also from Lena, I used her starter resipe to make sourdough bread. The one on the right is cinnamon/raisin bread which I will put a glaze on. I've been craving french toast, so I pretty much know what I'll be doing with the other loaf. :O)

I took these pictures of the gang (the ones who would cooperate anyway) sending you greetings.

This little goof is coming to visit today. She took this picture of herself using her mom's cell phone. Our daughter-in-love was taking a nap (I think that's what happened anyway) and someone decided to play with the cell phone.

We send you all blessings from the holler...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bird Bed and Breakfast...

We have a nice front porch that gets morning sun. JP and I really enjoy the evenings there because it's usually cool and our view is wonderful with the hills across the road. The birds love it in the morning, they will come just to sit there and soak up the sun. This blue bird just decided to lay down on it's side and take a nap. This is not a sick bird, I saw it fly away to the nesting box seconds after this photo was taken. Maybe it's the mom and this is her little get away from the kids.

That picture was taken in 2008. This morning, after JP went to work, as I walked in the den I saw it again!! I didn't get another picture because I wanted to see if it was ill or just resting. What is the deal? Have you ever seen a bird lay down on it's back or side like that? Should I make some tiny pillows and Velcro them to the porch in intervals so everyone is comfortable? My word, I don't want to be a bad hostess!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I wish it was wordless...

Who knows how to beat the heat? Scrappy, that's who. She is so spoiled it's funny. She has developed a new talent. She looks out the back door, growls really low, then barks and gets everyone all stirred up to go out and bark at whatever....THEN, I open the door, they all go out except Scrappy!! She walks away like, psych, I just wanted you all out of the house so I can go back to my chair.

Now, about the wordless part. I heard my voice on our answering machine several times yesterday. I sound like a hick!! I mean I'm as country as you can get and proud of it. We're talking raised listening to country & gospel music, watching Hee-Haw (JP thinks it's funny that I know the songs on that show), I learned to drive out in my Dad's hay field; you get the picture. I think maybe we should go back to the pre-installed computer guy's voice.

Ya'll have a great rest of the week now, ya hear! Blessings from the holler.....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Here we go...

Our garden has started to really produce, and I pray the blessings will go through to the fall. Please don't quote me on this later, because I'll be whining for sure in a month. I've learned that one zucchini plant is plenty for two people, with enough to share with others (that's my favorite part). The tomato plants are doing pretty good, although, we've got blossom end rot on the Roma variety again, so I'm boosting their calcium. The peppers are junin' along as are the lima beans, but it'll be a month before we have to do anything with them. Those darker colored tomatoes are heirloom Cherokee Purples, we'll see how they taste!

Speaking of blessings, yesterday I was driving along listening to my music in the truck and this song came on that is one of my favorites by MercyMe. As I sang this to God, I felt so thankful that He spoke my name. I hope you enjoy the lyrics below and have a blessed weekend from all of us here in the holler.

When I first spoke Your name
I used it like a blade
Cutting sharp a mask to hide the pain
When I first spoke Your name

When I next spoke Your name
I could no longer bear the weight
Of years hiding behind the ache
When I next spoke Your name

But when You spoke my name
Oh I swear the angels sang
Peace came and stole my shame
When You spoke my name

Now when I speak Your name
I sing it like a sweet refrain
I have found a peace I can't explain
When I speak Your name

Cause when You spoke my name
Oh I swear the angels sang
Peace came and stole my shame
When You spoke my name

I can hardly speak
Knowing You know me
Thank God I'm free

Now my world has completely come undone
For I can hear the Son
Calling out to me

Cause when You spoke my name
Oh I swear the angels sang
Peace came and stole my shame

When You spoke my name
Oh I swear the angels sang
Peace came and stole my shame
When You spoke my name

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just trying to keep up...

Is anyone else remembering just how busy summer can be? So far, I've frozen peaches, made peach jam and dill pickles. That's just the start of it because the garden is just starting to produce. Pretty soon I'll be blessed by tomatoes everywhere!! During the winter, when I'm picking out what I want in the garden, I have forgotten what a whirlwind it can be. But isn't it a blessing to have a little piece of land where we can have a garden? We have zucchini too; we've been enjoying that sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper. So how does your garden grow?

Blessings to you all from the holler!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bumpy's spa day...

I'm late this year, as with most everything, in giving Speedbump her summer hair cut. I'm not a groomer but she doesn't care; she enjoys the attention. The other day I got out the shears and got it done. Mostly, I just thin her mane so she can get closer to the air conditioner vents - her first love. The hair I clip off her (a shopping bag stuffed full) I take and spread around the garden to keep varmints away.
So here she is before.....mid-yawn.

And here she is after her hair cut and just before I clipped those ridiculous nails. That's as demure as you'll ever see Bump.

We're keeping it as cool as we can here in the holler. Blessings to you all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chicken in pockets...

We don't entertain guests much here in the holler and when we do, more than likely, we're serving up something from the smoker. But this recipe is one of my favorites and it's good for company. I got this recipe from JP's boss, she is a wonderful chef too. I call it chicken pockets. Here are the ingredients you need:
One box of puff pastry,
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless/skinless - I like the thin sliced for this),
prosciutto ham (can substitute country ham or leave out),
Fontina cheese and preserves (whatever you like - I used peach)

First, season and saute the chicken breasts in olive oil until just done and set aside. Cut the chicken in two or three pieces. Then I fried my country ham. Of course, you wouldn't need to fry prosciutto. Set all this aside and let cool to room temp.

I flour my counter and roll the pastry dough out just a little and then cut it into four pieces.

Layer the goodies in the pastry like the picture and then seal the pastry by bringing corner to corner and folding down the top. Don't worry about how they look because when they bake they look wonderful. I put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed. Then bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes, this gives the cheese time to melt. I roasted some asparagus to go with our "pockets" but I pull them out at 10 minutes so they're still a little firm. I just cut off the tough end and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

After supper, we went out and picked this bowl of peaches. The big ones are white peaches and the small ones are just regular old sweet peaches. Yum, yum, yum.

We are grateful to celebrate another Independence Day and are thankful for those who worked and sacrificed to form this nation. Blessings to you all from the holler.