Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to post a little something wishing all our friends in blogland a Blessed Christmas.

Here in the holler, we are blessed beyond measure and pray you are the same.  We will enjoy a quiet Christmas and plan to spend a good deal of time cooking, of course, but also, remembering that Jesus Christ birth is the reason for our day of celebration.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about Him long before He was born in Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christmas blessings to you all from the holler...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Population growth in the holler...

We have been blessed with a precious new neighbor (we can see her house in the winter!) So, naturally, I wanted to get after sewing her a blanket from us. I had recently received some material from an estate and there were all the making for a Dutch Doll style quilt. I put an applique on the back that the previous quilter had hand-stitched with the tiniest most perfect stitches.

This last weekend JP decided he wanted to make more sausage so we made Brats and Andouille sausages. The Andouille were smoked.

Last night, we boiled some of the Brats in beer and water then JP grilled them to perfection. We had them on hot dog buns with mustard, onions and peppers. Delish!!

 I hope all is well with you all. I'm off to visit your posts. Blessings from the holler...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hi, my name is Mrs. JP...

I feel like I should re-introduce myself because I've been gone from blog world a while. This new format (I held out until the bitter end) is taking some getting used to but I'll press on.

What have I been doing? Well, nothing of significance, or I should say nothing out of the ordinary. Just the same grand old thing, but isn't the everyday stuff important? Laundry - that's important; errands - those are important, and cleaning the house - also, important but not a high priority unless there's company coming then it's all hands on deck!!

Here's the news - I got new glasses so I bumped around (quite literally) the grocery store getting used to them. I'm getting accustomed to progressive lenses, we won't call them bi-focals, okay? I really like them, now I have all my vision needs in one pair of glasses. I was so distracted on the way home - looking at trees, grass, animals, and the clouds,,,oh my,,,I am a cloud gazer from way back. I'm sure glad I have auto-pilot in my truck and it brings me home safely. Just kidding, JP, I pay strict attention to the roads always :)

The pack? They are laying around staying cool. Charlie is always within eye-shot of me, his new nickname is Chuck. Speedbump is usually found laying over an air-vent. Daisy, our oldest, is still up for stick game whenever Charlie is ready. Scrappy is a spoiled brat but is so cute she gets away with much. Corrie and Violet, our "sisters", are doing very well.

JP, you are doing good too right? He's been filling in as Sunday School teacher some and doing a great job. I get to do what I love and play the piano at church. I just remembered, last week, to thank my mom for persevering with me and making me practice while learning to play. It is such a joy and really a friend to me now.

Our garden is pathetic. I started some tomato plants and between the drought and my lack of attention to them we're down to only four plants. That's giving us enough to have for slicing which was my goal. Usually, a couple at church brings in produce to share and we get to sample theirs too.

I've been working on a "block of the month" quilting project which has been fun. This is it so far.

Oh, JP and I love baseball and cheer the Atlanta Braves on most every game from the comfort of our T.V. Go Braves!

That's about it; you are officially caught up on the not-so-much news. Blessings to you all from the holler.

P.S. in case there are no paragraph breaks,,please forgive. When I "previewed" this post it was all smooshed up.  (JP skillz to the rescue! ;o)

Friday, June 29, 2012

I thought I needed a bath...

Before you freak out - let me explain. In the afternoon I'll be going to do some errands and so I went outside with the sole purpose of letting the windows down in the truck so it wouldn't be so hard on the air conditioner to cool me when I go. Then I thought, "you know it's so hot and I bet the birds would like some water." So, I started looking around the house for bird-bath possibilities. I had some specific criteria; I didn't want something else for JP to have to mow around, I didn't want it so near a feeder that it would get seeds in it (done that, didn't like it), I wanted it close to a door so I could keep it clean and filled, and I wanted to be able to see it. So here's what I came up with. The pictures aren't great but you get the idea.

I am tickled pink with the whole thing. It's on the front porch where there's already lots of bird activity and being able to use this old chair and the Nandina bush behind for cover is perfect. I should be able to manage the one step out the front door to keep it filled even during the winter and I can see it from our front windows. The only thing I'll have to watch for is if this starts attracting critters it will have to be moved. The "critters" have the creek and I'd like it if they stay there.

Okay, there has been a revision to the bird bath. I talked it over with JP and I really didn't want this to become a hunting ground/ambush spot for the cat - Spaceghost - hunter extraordinaire. So, I moved these wooden barrels I've been saving for "something" and now the bathing spot is off the ground. Better yes?

Okay, enough running up and down the front porch stairs. I'm not used to this kind of cardio. Front porch steps repeatedly in 100 degrees is not my style of exercise. I'm more of a yoga, pilates in the a/c kind of gal.

What a happy side track that turned out to be. Now I can get to cleaning the floors. Of course, there will be numerous trips to the window to see who is first in the pool. Blessings to you all from the holler...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's not even summer yet...

It's already hot and dry here in the holler and it's not even summer officially yet!
Speedbump prefers laying on the air-conditioner vent or right in front of the fan.

While Daisy and Corrie like to soak up the sunshine.

JP did get inspired weekend before last and made a whole Mediterranean feast.
The hummus was so good.

We made falafels but my absolute favorite thing was the grilled chicken.

Anyway, that's a few pictures of the goings on in the holler. Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bloomin' Wednesday

I realized after I'd taken the photos that all of these flowers were gifts. It makes the blooms sweeter because of the giver. That being the case, all of nature cries out "God planted this;" be thankful for the gift from The Giver.

The pictures aren't as pretty as the blooms so use your imagination. Thanks.

I've just put our garden (only six tomato plants) in the garden. This is an all-time late garden for us. Maybe it'll yield enough tomatoes for eating, "putting up," and to bless others too.

Blessings from the holler...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Me and my shadow...

Do you know what your shadow looks like? I do!!! It looks just like this.

Yes, it's Charlie or Chuck as he's sometimes called. This charmer attaches himself to me with this invisible cord and goes everywhere I go. As I type this he's laying right behind my chair. It is very endearing but at times he gets on my last nerve and I turn and say "go away Charlie!" He never does go away though, he's just that loyal and/or needy. He might back up a step or two but when I make a move to go somewhere, anywhere, he's either in his self-imposed heel or right behind me. I'm talking when I stop walking I feel his nose touch the back of my knees.

Yep, there he is, following me wherever I go. You have to love a mug like that one, his breath could use a mint or two though :O) Blessings from all of us in the holler but Charlie says an especially close hello...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Before and After...

One of JP's old cassete tape holders.

Sewing Organizer.

Last weekend I walked by this empty cassette holder and knew immediately that it is the perfect size for sitting just beside my sewing machine and holding all the stuff that flies around when I'm sewing. All I did was cut a piece of cardboard to fit just inside the box, use fabric glue to cover it, and slide it in there. Done in less than 30 minutes. That's my kind of craft...easy peasy.

By the way, the weather here in the holler is magnificent. The windows are open and it still feels like I have the air conditioner on. Thank you Lord!

Blessings from the holler...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Peonies and Pie...

Well, the work on the house to repair hail damage started again today. The workers needed to run an electrical hose that had to be close to our peonies in the flower bed. I had been meaning to get out there and cut some of the old blooms off anyway so I took this opportunity to cut a basket load.

When I came in I got out my vases and went to work surrounding myself in the pink lovelies. Don't they paint some walls in prisons pink to calm the inmates? Anyway, that was an arbitrary thought I had. I'll have so much pink in the house that it will serve as a calming thing. Being surrounded by God's handiwork always serves to cheer and calm me. I'm not going to keep all this to myself--our neighbor is pregnant and I hope to get one of these arrangements to her this afternoon.

My Mom and Dad came over a few days ago and brought me some strawberries! They were so pretty I had to make a pie. When I got ready to make it, though, there was no pie crust in the freezer. I like to keep those "store bought" crusts on hand. I was determined to have pie for desert last night so I got on and found a simple recipe that I made in my food processor. I was so encouraged that it turned out good. I forgot to take a picture before we cut it :)

Oh, it's raining now so all is peaceful. Praise The Lord from Whom all blessings flow. Blessings to you all from the holler...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Springtime blessings...

I went outside today to enjoy our spring flowers. As I picked off the dead ones I was startled when.....Meoooowwww! Right in one of our Iris beds was laying Spaceghost, the cat, like he owns the place. So, that prompted the cutting of some flowers to make an arrangement. He'd already lain/laid (?) on them so I surely would not let these blooms be wasted. I usually put my bouquets on the kitchen counter since that's where I see them most but today I decided to grace our little "half moon" table.

See the blue picture above the table? We have a set of them. They are from JP's Granny's collection. This lady wrote the book on "eclectic." She and I had the same tastes though. She liked all kinds of different things and I am so happy that we have a few of her things. Each time I see the "cow creamer" or the "blue bird pictures" I think of her. It's because of one spoon rest that she gave us that I bought a whole collection of Blue Ridge Mountain Dishes to match!! She was a love.

Below is our granddaughter, honey girl. She is proudly wearing the "twirly skirt" I made for her out of my fabric stash.

Blessings to you all from the holler...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A couple of stories I forgot to share with you...

Today as I sat reading your blogs I thought that surely something has happened recently other than my thyroid issues and a stray dog! I mean, really, that can't be the only thing going on in the holler. So, I looked and found some pictures in our camera of a couple things I'd not put in the blogosphere.

We had a severe hail storm back in early March. We are currently dealing with contractors to replace one end of our house vinyl siding, the whole roof of our house and a storage building, etc. But that's not the story, that's life! I'm not saying it won't turn into a story,,,hahaha.

That said, I was out in the "dog's yard" after the storm getting ready to do our first and much needed mow of the year but I had to get all the limbs and sticks out of the yard first. I would walk along and throw sticks next to the fence, Charlie would then go and get as many as he could and bring them back to me. I laughed so hard. *side note* notice, in this picture, Scrappy is leaving us.

Then, of course, you know what happened...........STICK GAME!!!!!

So, I knew I wouldn't get anything done with this crew "helping" me and let them play. I decided to walk on up the fence line and see what was so interesting to Scrappy that she didn't want to play stick. What? It's a tunnel with several entrances. Can you see it? Sorry the picture doesn't do it justice.

She had her own little subway culminating in this huge mess right by the fence. All I could do at that point was plug up the deepest points with rocks, which we have in abundance on our property, to keep her from digging a hole under the fence. That done, I couldn't say that I'd cleaned up many sticks but I certainly had my cardio workout for the day carrying rocks up and down our hill!

On a much more peaceful note, another morning back in March I pulled up the shade in our den and saw this most beautiful sunrise. Again, the picture doesn't grasp the depth of color I saw. It took my breath away and all I could do was thank God for this beautiful way to start my day.

Blessings to you all from the holler...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just another update...

Irises are starting to bloom! Oh, that green bushy thing behind the irises and in front of the Japanese maple tree,,,,that's oregano! That stuff is going crazy. I have to pick and thin soon.

Also, I am so thankful that the radio-iodine pill I took has worked and my thyroid is now being chemically controlled :) I have been taking my first doses thyroid hormone for a week now and am feeling much better. I actually wore a sweater today! I haven't been cold in three years. Yeah!

All is well in the holler. Bluebirds are nesting, flowers are blooming and once again, God has shown Himself faithful. Blessings to you all...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy, happy update...

We received great news over the weekend. The dog that showed up on our porch,,,remember?

She has a home!!! Woohoo!!! We are just so relieved and wanted to share the good news with you all.
Blessings from the holler...

Friday, March 23, 2012

This is such a hard thing...

On Monday morning when we woke up, someone had thrown out this beautiful little dog and she had found her way to our front porch. She was shaking and looked scared.  I knew immediately that we couldn't keep her, we are doing all we can to give six dogs a good place to live! So I had to call animal rescue and they came and got her. She has one blue eye,,awwww.

Anyway, yesterday I found out about this place that rescues and places dogs called "Throw Me A Bone Rescue", so I called them to let them know where this darling dog is. This morning I saw this caption on their facebook page. MANCHESTER POUND IS FULL...NEED COMMITMENTS BY MARCH 23RD AT 2:30.

As I write this my heart breaks. Why do people do these things? How can someone sleep who has dropped off a dog not knowing how they will survive? I am just at my wits end. Please someone rescue her.
Throw Me A Bone Rescue

Blessings from the holler...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring update from the holler...

Just a few springy things to share. The picture above is our forsythia, which I posted a picture of last spring. But, I can't help it,,,,it looks like a spring explosion to me! Also, the blue bells are up and I brought a few inside. All my vases swallowed them up then I thought to try this cow creamer given to us by JP's Granny. Isn't it adorable?

I took this picture of Scrappy because she had her "cute" face on. She doesn't need it to be spring to have a project. Oh boy, does she have a project--it's a tunnel!!

These are my african violets. The sun was shining in the window just right.

So there you have the spring update from the holler. We didn't have much of a winter here but I'm always glad when spring comes. Spring reminds me that God is faithful. After the winter there will always be a spring. Maybe it's that way so we'll appreciate it, maybe we should look at the "winter times" of life knowing that God will, in His time, provide the respite of future springs of hope. Spring blessings from the holler...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Easy Peasy Smore Krispies...

I've been meaning to make this recipe since Christmas and am so glad that I finally did. Even with my low energy levels it was a snap and so good. I used the amounts in the following recipe only I made mine in one bowl in the microwave. I was done in 5 minutes.

Smore Krispies

• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 (10 oz) bag regular marshmallows
• 1 box of Golden Graham cereal
• 1-2 cups Chocolate Chips
• Magic Shell (optional)
In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and keep stirring until the marshmallows completely melt and you get a marshmallow sauce. Remove from heat. Like I said I microwaved the butter and marshmallows together (only takes about 1 min - I do 30 sec intervals) then mixed in the rest.

Add Golden Grahams and stir until they are all well coated. You can chose to crush some up before adding them if you want some smaller pieces. Next stir in chocolate chips.

Grease a 9x13 pan and press S'mores down.

Once they are all pressed down and slightly cooled, drizzle with some magic shell if you would like for a prettier appearance. I thought it was sweet enough so I left out the "shell."

Blessings from the holler...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Okay, so here's the dealio...

I had decided not to post about this but changed my mind today. I'd like to explain a few things to you, our blogging friends. In the last year or so I started having troubles with my thyroid. I saw a specialist and have been diagnosed with Graves disease (it's not as grave as it sounds), a form of hyperthyroidism. I am fortunate not to have the eye problems that sometimes go with the disease. My symptoms were trembling hands, heart racing, a general crawling of the skin and other unpleasantness. Blood and nuclear tests confirmed the diagnosis.

The treatment options were surgery to remove the thyroid or a radiation treatment to destroy the function of the thyroid. The later being the least invasive is what I chose. I went to the hospital where my doctor gave me this unassuming capsule and I came home. This procedure requires the patient to be essential in isolation. Thank goodness my JP is so awesome in the kitchen and just a great all around husband. He took the my week necessary isolation off work to take care of me and cook for me. I was on a strict NO iodine diet for about a week. No iodine essential means cooking every single morsel from scratch using kosher salt and he did so well.

During the proceeding days I felt like I had the flu kind of. I've got all that behind me now and am left with fatigue and feeling generally yukky! BUT, there is hope!! The first week of April I'll be started on thyroid hormones and I'll be all better. I'm just finding my new normal :)

It's so awesome of God to have us studying II Corinthians in our Bible Study. I am living out how God's strength is showcased in my weakness. While this time has been an almighty trial, I wouldn't trade the blessings I've received for anything. So, I write this as a tribute to God's faithfulness to me His child and to JP's true devotion and care for me. Who wouldn't feel blessed beyond what they deserve? I've been treated like a princess.

So, that's why I haven't as faithful posting things and visiting your blogs. Thank you for being patient with me this post. My thoughts are jumbled and I wanted to focus on the good which has come to me. As always,,,blessings from the holler...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Links of love...

Hello to all, we're still here in the holler doing the blessed everyday thing. Except that this past weekend JP made sausage. He made chorizo and andouille sausage and they are both delicious. *side note, why does this speller not recognize chorizo and andouille? Anyway, here are the pictures I took.

Here are the little darlings going into the smoker.

The Andouille.

The Chorizo.

While we waited for the sausage to smoke we made this breakfast of pancakes, JP's bacon and fresh strawberries. It's always great when the strawberries come in from Florida. Oh, I really have nice dishes, I just happened to grab a plate with a chip in it. Hey, when the food's being served my only criteria is that the plate be clean. It's grab and growl around here!

I'm off to do errands before the bad storms come this afternoon. I plan to visit your blogs today so see you there. We pray that you all are well. Blessings from the holler...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Down by the old creek...

This winter is so unusual, so far, it has been really mild. So, the buttercups are up by the creek which means I had to get down there and get up close. I love our buttercups, some were here when we bought the place but some of them are from JP's grandmother's house. My mom had gotten some from her back when we got married and then when we moved here she gave me follow?

The creek in the holler.

Ya'll have a great weekend. Blessings from the holler...