"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

unplugged



It seems like an eternity since my husband unplugged the computer waiting for our internet security to arrive.  Was it really only 5 days ago?  Well, then there were the few days previous when we were fearful every time we sat down in front of it.  Afraid of what our little hacker buddy may have been up to.  We are pretty green around here when it comes to computers and maybe some of you who are more experienced are chuckling at our predicament.  Maybe we were making a mountain out of a molehill.  But I will say, it's disconcerting to have somebody sending messages from your address and under your name.  Then, getting a message from your bank asking if it was you requesting info about your account.  No, it wasn't.





Things have been moving right along around here.  Funny how unplugging yourself doesn't turn you off.  Did you ever wonder?














Yesterday found our family and another and a passel of stray teens braving the second major winter storm of the season to strap on ice skates at the rink over in the 'big' city.  Despite harrowing tales and warnings, we made the decision to press on.  The drive over was a breeze.  The first couple of hours on the ice (albeit quite cold) was lovely.  The snow started getting serious just about the time we called everyone off of the ice and invited them to eat by the fire.  Heads down and huddled, we all munched while trying to protect our faces and food from the swirling ice.  It was a quick meal... even for a bunch of teens.







Then came the long cold trek back to the vehicles.  Sweet hubby gathered keys and went ahead of us providing warm cars for our wet, frozen bodies.  The first half of the drive back (it's a one hour drive) was exciting with snow, ice and wind.  The closer we got to our little valley, the less we had to deal with.  I must say though that I was sure the house was going to blow down in the night.  This morning I'm looking at just about an inch of snow.  Definitely not enough to please the girls when they get up.  I'm sure the 'big city' is thickly blanketed.  They always get more than we do... higher elevation.  An inch of snow may not be enough to inspire play for my older young people but it's enough to inspire hot cocoa and knitting.  I think it's going to be good day!

Blessings, Debbie

Thursday, February 23, 2012

girl meets horse










For years this dreamy daughter of mine has been a horseless rider.  She reads (and re-reads) everything she can get her hands on about horses - collecting books by Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley and Anna Sewell.  The stable in the computer room houses myriad breeds of stallions, mares and foals (Breyer). She has subscribed faithfully to Young Rider magazine for 8 years.  She draws horses, paints horses, watches horses, works with ponies, pony sits (kinda like babysitting/house sitting, but involves Welsh ponies).

Today we signed the lease papers on sweet Barr.  Erin has a horse and a whole new world has opened up for her.  She's learned a lesson in perseverance.  Hold onto your dream... it really can come true.

Blessings, Debbie

    

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

sunny side up



Egg on my face... er, egg on his face... umm...  Here is egg face.  Some days... this is as good as it gets.  Enjoy your day!

  ~Thanks Erin, for the creative cooking and the clever photo.


Blessings, Debbie



Monday, February 20, 2012

who needs a groundhog? (sorry punxsutawney phil)




Guess who's gettin' busy... and it's not the Easter Bunny!  Hurray for longer days.  I took a walk the other afternoon.  Around the house I strolled with my camera looking for signs of spring.  I got up close and personal with many of the shrubs and trees that make their residence on our property.  Nada.  No sprouts, shoots, buds...  But then my hubby came in with his sweatshirt pocket full of these beauties and I was satisfied.  We are getting closer.  The hens say it's so. 

Blessings, Debbie



Saturday, February 18, 2012

clay




Clay
Debbie Penington
February 17, 2012

Lying in my slumber bed, dreaming of a lump of clay
Hands that knew just how to form it
reached right in, took it away

From my hands and into His, with tender care he drew it near
The lump of nothing I'd created
He held close as if  'twas dear

As I fought to get it back, because you know, it first was mine
I slowly changed my thoughts to join His
when I recognized the fine

vessel that was taking form, as I watched Him quietly awed
A master potter smoothed perfection
into what my hands had flawed

A vessel fine and fit for service was His skillful offering
Nothing that this child could give it
added to it, not a thing

 No longer did I want it back, in fact I gladly gave him more
clay from my own messed up life
He took it, ne'er demanding more

Now I dream with hands held open ever since that joyous day
The Master took the time to show me
just what He will do with clay.



Blessings, Debbie

Thursday, February 16, 2012

a late night purchase







Talk about fast service!  I purchased this beautiful batt just before midnight on the 13th (no I am not in the habit of shopping at that hour) and received it today.  Today!

If you spin you are probably already aware of Ashley of Neauveau Fiber Arts from her fabulous YouTube tutorials.  When I found her I was immediately smitten.  She's exciting to watch and interesting to listen to. Luckily she has  many, many wonderful videos.

A couple of weeks ago I visited her shop/blog.  She was quoting scripture and praising the Lord.  My youngest daughter thought I was completely off my nut as throughout the day I kept grinning and sighing... "Ashley is a believer!"  It was just such a delight to know the little darling that had me believing I could get outrageous with a wheel was a sister in Christ.

Anyway, the other night, I was drawn (Holy Spirit) to her site and found that she was not having a very good time.  She was discouraged by some personal circumstances.  She needed some quick financial stimulus and was offering 30% off everything in her shop.  I LOVE her stuff.  I've never purchased fiber online but my sister needed help and I was made aware of it in the middle of the night...  hence the late night purchase.

If you are so moved, I know that Ashley would appreciate your prayer.  She included a very nice note that confirmed that she's feeling a bit better.  Grin.  "Ashley's a believer!".

Blessings, Debbie

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a properly attired recipe



A few of you may have noticed that there once was a recipe here... and then there wasn't.  So, here's the story.  I was doing a little blog visiting when I landed at Cobble Hill Farm. Breezing through some older posts I found a recipe for spaghetti pie.  I found this funny because just the day before, I had served it for lunch.  Ha ha!  O.k., this may not seem funny to you but I thought that I had made it up.  We had leftover spaghetti and I'm always trying to be creative with leftovers so they seem like 'new' meals.  I thought I had invented spaghetti pie.

When I saw the recipe I got excited, called one of my daughters in to witness this crazy coincidence and then surprised her with even more mama drama.  I highlighted the recipe, copying it to paste onto my word processor page and then save.  Unfortunately the word processor didn't want it.  Not a problem for a creative mama.  I just clicked 'new post' for my blog and pasted it there.  Enter problem.  Instead of saving as a draft as I had intended, I accidentally hit publish.

Here's where it gets even funnier.  Ha ha?  It wasn't until about an hour later that I pulled up my post (fully expecting to see the valentine craft pic) and saw a recipe for spaghetti pie!  It had posted?  And people had seen it sitting there all naked?  Just a recipe... no picture, no text, no signature, no credit to Staci...  I panicked.  I couldn't figure out how to make it go away and I wanted it to go away fast.  Of course, it was right about now that I noticed that people had actually seen it and commented.  I didn't bother to see who, I was too busy smacking buttons trying to delete.  I finally regained my brain and accomplished the task.  

So, that's what happened to the recipe and today, I give it to you properly... all dressed and presented as it should be.




click link to see photo

Crust:
4 ounces angel hair or thin spaghetti noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten

Filling:
2 t. vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, minced
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
salt and pepper
1 - 24 ounce jar (or homemade) spaghetti sauce (*if you like it less saucy, use 3/4's the amount)
1 c. ricotta or mascarpone
1 large egg
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain.

Combine the cooked pasta, butter, Parmesan, and egg in the pan used to cook the pasta in (or a medium bowl).  Press the mixture into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate.  Bake, with the rack in the center of the oven, until the crust is set, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack until the filling is ready.

For the filling:
While the crust is baking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add beef or turkey, stirring while cooking, until cooked through and lightly browned, 7-8 minutes.  Drain off excess fat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce and simmer until heated through and thickened slightly.

In a small bowl stir together the ricotta or mascarpone and egg.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Stir ricotta mixture evenly over the pasta crust.  Top with the meat sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake until browned, 25 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool about 15 minutes before serving.  Slice into wedges and enjoy!
Blessings, Debbie




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

feelin' the love










It was a very good day!!  Et tu?

Blessings, Debbie



Sunday, February 12, 2012

something beautiful



Heart Bouquet

~Cut 2 hearts from felt
~Stitch together with embroidery floss leaving the bottom open
~Stuff
~Finish stitching closed leaving a very small opening at bottom
~Insert skewer or chopstick
~Add rick rack, ribbon or lace  (thanks for this one, Laura)











Today I'm thinking (again) about creativity and individuality.  And once again I'm marveling at the fact that we are created by the creative Creator, God.  I love that He says we are created in His image.  There are so many things that I can understand about my God just from that statement alone.  

When I watch my children do what they do best, it's beautiful.  When I watch my children do what brings them joy...  when I watch them overcome a difficulty.  Beautiful.  

This weekend my son drove two hours to visit his sister and brother and law... again.  Erin and Audrey spent most of their weekend creating and laughing.  They are all best friends and that is a very special kind of beautiful.  




This is a little something beautiful that came to me from the talented Courtney of Sassafras and Winterberry. It's so me! I'm telling you, creative reflections of the creative Creator everywhere.  All you have to do is look.

Blessings, Debbie


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