Friday, January 23, 2009

It All Started with One

...and now a Superior Scribblers Award...Oh my! I followed a trail of crumbs that led me into this wonderful, mystifying World of Blog, a world I did not know existed until the evening of December 13th, 2008. Earlier that day I had picked up a card in a friend's shop and when I got home I typed in the blog address for Sweet Repose. It all started with that one blog.

Holy cow! What a trip. I innocently asked my husband what this blog-thingy was all about that evening five weeks ago, and three hours later, my blog was up and running. I even had my first post. Now, on a daily basis, I talk with people all over the world and all over the page! One of those wonderful bloggers with whom I have connected is Peggy @ Johnstone Journal and she has graciously presented me with a Superior Scribbler Award. I accept this award from her, still giggling, but honored, that anyone would spotlight my posts! Thank you, Peggy. You are a dear.

Rules are rules, so I must pass along this award to five (5) others who I have found to be thoughtful, creative, and most importantly, entertaining. ;}

Russell @ Iowa Grasslands -- a fellow statesman whose blog I visit daily to view his many fotos of Bailey, and those of the landscape from his spot in the state. Where ever that is???? And quite honestly, I am touched (and intrigued) by his close friendship with another blogger, Jo in Vancouver.

The Pink Cowboy --here is someone with a nifty gift for words. I am most certainly entertained.

Phil @a vagabond's sketchbook -- the creative flow from this guy's fingers (keyboard?) is touching, no, endearing. He says it's just "cut and paste", but I say it takes the World of Blog to a "ho nudder lebel"*

Clare @ Three Beautiful Things -- When I read this blog, I am reminded of the Benediction....Praise God, from Whom All Blessings simple, so elegant.

Meri @ Meri's Musings -- I found this blog tonight through Peggy's blog. What a story! What spirit. What a nice place to call home...Gig Harbor. :}:};}

If you choose to accept this award, here are those pesky rules:

* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to Scholastic-Scribe, which explains The Award.
* Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

All Things Orchid....

I love orchids. Those in our dining room are in full bloom, so I thought I would stop by the campus greenhouse on my way to class to see who was showing off their colors in the dead of winter.
The walk to campus was cold, so when I stepped inside the vestibule of the greenhouse, I braced myself for that first breath of warm, thick humidity. Upon opening the inner door, I was hit by that heavy, moist fragrance. I can't help but gasp when I take in the dampness through my nose and into my lungs after stepping in from the January cold.

There they were, arching out over the greenery, wearing their beautiful colors for all who would come to see their show. (it is here that I have to pull out my McCoy pot with all the Prismacolor colored pencils to get these colors exactly right!) Sunburst Yellow with freckles of Mahogany Red. Process Pink melting into Dahlia Purple. Veins of French Lilac and Greyed Lavendar sliding into throats of Tuscan Red.
Ohh...the greens. I could go on and on, for green is endless when Mother Nature is present. Peacock green with Yellow Chartreuse. Apple Green. Olive Green. There is Jade Green and Limepeel, then Apple Green again. I see Celadon with dots of Parrot Green. All beautiful, plentiful green.

Orchids are delightful anytime of the year, but especially so when the wind is howling and the snow is piling up outside. Gazing upon the face of an orchid blossom in the depths of winter brings the fragrance of spring rains and the warmth and humidity of heavy, summer thunderstorms.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here is Bread...

Here is Bread, which strengthens man's heart,
and therefore called the staff of life.

-Psalm 104

I have been making bread for years. My mother-in-law gave me a new-fangled bread machine twenty years ago, which started me on this journey. My family didn't enjoy the loaves of bread so much, so I let the machine mix and knead, then I would turn the dough into delicious rolls. Every night we would eat fresh, hot rolls with our evening meal.

To this day, I rarely buy bread from the store. I shape big rolls for hamburger buns, long ones for brat buns, medium-sized for peanut butter buns for Tess' lunch, and small ones for snacking. My husband surprised me with a Kitchen Aid mixer for my birthday, so the bread machine went to the basement and now the dough hook does its thing. Being in school put a crimp on the bread-making, so I started buying it from the store, but no one would touch it! Over break I started baking again, and it just seems right to have fresh bread in the house. Now that I'm back in that crusty groove, I throw the ingredients in the mixer in the morning, let it rise while I'm at school, shape the rolls when I get home, then bake them before we sit down for our evening meal. Tonight it was chicken noodles with Focaccia Bread, my favorite.

Over the years, I've tweaked a basic recipe and use the same one for all my bread-making- the rolls, focaccia bread, and thick-crust pizza dough. Here's my recipe if anyone wants to try their hand...kneading is optional.

Focaccia Bread

3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. instant dried milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. bread machine yeast
1 egg
2 Tbsp. vanilla yogurt
5 Tbsp. olive oil
7.5 ounces water

I usually throw everything in the K.A mixer, attach the bread hook, lock 'er down, and turn it on (not over #2 setting). Then I walk away for about 6 or 7 minutes. When I return, I remove the bowl from the stand, cover with a damp towel, put the mixer bowl in a warm oven (turn it on maybe 1 or 2 minutes, then turn off), and let it rise.

After about 1 hour, I sprinkle corn meal on a half sheet pan, remove the dough from the mixer bowl onto the baking sheet, let it rest for 10 minutes, then proceed to push it to the corners of the pan with my fingers (sometimes I use a rolling pin).

For toppings, I sprinkle with olive oil, black pepper, garlic SALT, rosemary, and Asiago cheese.

I pop it in a preheated oven of 425 degrees and bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until golden. OMG! (I believe that's the first time I have ever typed that :o)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have a dream...

George Washington Carver, 1864-1943
Agricultural chemist and teacher at Tuskegee Institue. He discovered new uses for the peanut, sweet potato, and soy bean. He worked to improve relations between black and white people.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've Been Tagged

Going thru my reader early this morning, I happened to catch my blog name in The Queen of Seaford post. So here is my fifth foto in the fifth folder.

I clicked this foto as I was driving north up I-35, heading home after my road trip to Atchinson, KS. Check out my post Road Trip!!! (1/07/09). I was toolin' along, minding my own business, when I felt this glow on my cheek. I turned my head and wooooah! The sky was on fire! I kept my eyes on the road, held the camera over my left shoulder, and clicked away. This is what downloaded onto the laptop. Pretty awesome :O

Here are my 5 taggees:
St. Mary
The Pink Cowboy
The Next FL Olmsted

The rules are:
open a document or file folder,
click on the fifth folder
and then the fifth photo.
Post the photo and describe it.
Then tag 5 other bloggers.


Many, many years ago, a friend and I found our way into an antique shop in an old hen house way out in the country. I had recently acquired several old pieces of furniture -a Bentwood baby cradle, an oak icebox, an oak chest of drawers, and a round, oak table. These were a start in furnishing my first apartment. I favored oak and began the search for more furniture to round out a basic wardrobe for my first home.

Everything that was of interest to me in that antique shop was out of my price range, so I just poked around, waiting for my friend to finish her transaction. What I found, and ended up carrying out the door, was an old cookie jar. Everyone needs one of those on the kitchen counter, right? I purchased an old McCoy Mammy cookie jar for a couple of dollars and have used it now for over 30 years for...cookies. I could hear when one of the kids had their hand in the cookie jar because the top was impossible to replace without that familiar clink of pottery.

I bought my first McCoy vase at Sister's Garden almost ten years ago. It's the pink one in the foto above. Ever since, I have been finding a pot here and there, never paying more than a dollar or two. I've never used them to pot any growing thing, but since starting school, I stand my pens and colored pencils in several of my favorite ones. The pink one holds my many pair of peepers!

The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company was formed in 1910 in Roseville, Ohio because of the abundant clay and an experienced workforce that knew how to manufacture earthenware. The product line consisted of functional items such as jars, jugs and crockery, but also poultry fountains and foot warmers. Because of the success of the company early on, the McCoy family ventured into specialty art pottery for the upper middle class. They produced umbrella stands, vases, and jardinières. Designers and artisans were hired to meet the growing demand for these decorative products. The company used blended glazes of earthy tones that highlighted their designs of leaf and berry motifs. McCoy pots are collectibles now. I recently spotted a pink McCoy vase with a bird motif that was selling for $30! But keep your eyes open-McCoy pots turn up at garbage sales for pocket change.