Sunday, November 27, 2011

Season of Advent

Christmas is more than a time of music, merriment and mirth;
it is a season of meditation, mangers and miracles.

Christmas is more than a time of gaiety, greenery and gifts;
it is a season of wonder, worship and wisemen.

Christmas is more than a time of tinsel, trees and toys;
it is a season of preparation, prayers and peace.

Christmas is more than a time of festivities, family and friends;
it is a season of generosity, gladness and gratitude.

Christmas is more than a time of carols, cards and candy;
it is a season of dedication, direction and decision.

Christmas is more than Santa, stocking and surprises;
it is Christ, care and concern.
~William Arthur Ward~

Blessings of joy and hope to each of you, as we enter this season of Advent.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the hay and the corn and wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song, and the harvest brought home.

Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the working man's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought.

Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with the purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea to sea,
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free".

Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving!
~Author Unknown~

Wishing all of you an abundance of joy and bountiful blessings on this Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Comfort Food - Biscuits

Sometimes we all need something to comfort us on gloomy days.
The gloom may be in the form of chilly or rainy weather.
It may be a case of sniffles that you just cannot shake.
It may be missing family and friends as holidays grow near.
It may be the ache in your heart when a friend loses her battle against cancer.
My comfort food is warm buttered bread, and lately I have needed a lot of it.

The recipe for 7-Up Biscuits has been popping up all over blogs and Pinterest lately.
Having all the ingredients, I decided to give them a try.
Now, some of you may cringe since the ingredients include Bisquick.
Just bear with the rest of us who often rely on quick and easy!
I used the recipe found here.
The ingredients were things already stocked in my pantry or refrigerator.
I was halfway to soothing my soul!

I find baking helps soothe the soul.  The house seems a little warmer.  The air fills with delicious aromas.  The world slows just a little.

As the recipe states, this is a sticky dough. 
On the initial try, it was a really, really sticky dough!
My first attempt resulted in more drop, than cut, biscuits.
They were still hot, yummy and comforting.

On the second attempt, I added a few more spoonfuls of Bisquick to the dough.
Instead of just dusting my pastry mat, I coated it with a substantial layer of the mix.
That allowed me to scrape the dough from the bowl, more easily turn it a couple of times on the mat, then cut the biscuits.

The addition of sour cream makes these very moist, and the 7-Up adds to the fluffiness.
With the butter in the bottom of the baking dish, there is really no need for additional butter.
Although, who can ever resist adding just a bit?


Sunday, November 20, 2011


Dallas Arboretum, Autumn 2011

I thank thee, God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys;
The song of birds, the strong, sweet scent of hay
And the cooling breezes in the secret dusk,
The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
Hills, and the lonely, heather-covered moors,
Music at night, and moonlight on the sea,
The heat of waves upon the rocky shore
And wild, white spray, flung high in ecstasy;
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of kin and fellowship of friends,
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.

I thank Thee, too, that there has come to me
A little heartache and the loneliness
That comes with parting, and the word, "Goodbye,"
Dawn breaking after dreary hours of pain,
When I discoverd that night's gloom must yield
And morning light break through to me again.
Because of these and other blessings poured
Unasked upon my wondering head,
Because I know that there is yet to come
An even richer and more glorious life,
And most of all, because Thine only Son
Once sacrificed life's loveliness for me --
I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.
~Elizabeth Craven~

As we enter this week of Thanksgiving,
I am grateful for friends made here;
for those of you who still come to visit even though I have fallen off
the blogging wagon of late.
I hope to be more present in days to come.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


When you're criticizing others,
And are finding, here and there,
A fault or two to speak of,
Or a weakness you can't bear;
When you're blaming someone's weakness,
Or accusing some of pelf --
It's time that you went out
To walk around yourself.

There are lots of human failures
In the average of us all;
And lots of grave shortcomings
In the short ones and the tall;
But when we think of evils
Men should lay upon the shelves,
It's time we all went out
To take a walk around ourselves.

We need so often in this life
This balancing of scales;
This seeing how much in us wins
And how much in us fails;
But before you judge another
Just to lay him on the shelf --
It would be a spendid plan
To take a walk around yourself.
~Author Unknown~

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering in appreciation

Remembering and thanking all Veterans,
past and present;
especially my father.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Suddenly I realized that the missing ingredient in my prayers
had been "with thanksgiving".
So I put down my Bible and spent time worshiping Him
for who He is and what He is.
This covers more territory than any one mortal can comprehend.
~Ruth Bell Graham~

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oh, Happy Day!

It's back:
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake.
Heaven in a cup!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Imaginary Sewing

This is a peek at my current sewing project:
a version of Rose, the latest pattern from Children's Corner.
I selected a large size gingham in hunter green, accented with red piping and buttons.
It is approximately three-fourths constructed, but a cold has zapped me of sewing energy.
I also discovered that sneezing and watery eyes do not help with sewing straight seams!
So, we will do a little imaginary sewing while waiting for the medicine to kick in and the sneezing fits to pass.

While I still love the traditional Christmas colors of red, green and white, it is also fun to play with some of the more trendy color schemes.  Turquoise and red have always been a favorite combination of mine, and they are showing up more and more in holiday decorations and fashion.
This turquoise houndstooth in a brushed cotton would be cozy and warm for the winter months.  I can definitely see it smocked, embroidered or appliqued with jolly red Santas!

To extend the wear beyond the holidays, a winter themed smocking plate is perfect!
The snow and evergreen trees in this design by Little Memories lend a bit of holiday feel, but could easily be worn well beyond the holidays.  Turquoise and pink or always a fun combination!

Another idea for turquoise and pink, and another fun winter themed smocking design from Little Memories!  Who can resist mittens and snowmen?

We cannot forget the boys, either!
I think turquoise can be a fun color for little guys, too.
Think of brother and sister outifts with these precious penquins!
The plate on the left is by Junebug Designs, and on the right, another plate by Little Memories.
By changing the floss colors from pink and lavender to deeper and more "manly" colors, you can achieve a completely different look.

I hope sudden winter storms and colds have not sidelined too many of you.
I plan to be back at my machine and visiting here more often, once I quit reaching for a tissue every few minutes. Thanks for joining me in some imaginary sewing in the meantime!

All fabric,smocking plates, floss and trim available at BessieMary.

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