Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Easygoing Day & Tennis

Today has been a happy and easygoing one...
I woke up this morning and headed
down the street to my neighbors' to babysit for a little while.
I am not a morning person at all and getting up in the morning is probably my
least favorite thing (when it's early anyway) so you know I don't mind
babysitting if I woke up early for it during summer, haha.

I have spent my day so far afterward not doing much... 
but I have had a lot of things on mind. I've been researching a few different
 things and one in particular is something I hope to share my thoughts on soon.
Both before and since I've been home I have been
really wanting to get outside for some reason.  I am enjoying getting outdoors
to do anything more and more and one thing on my mind today
was getting out to play tennis with my family.  This is something we love
to do every summer when we have free time and it's a fun way to get exercise
while having your mind occupied in a game. This way it doesn't feel so much like
exercise at all, which I love. With the Southern humidity of the summers
the way they are though, we have to take advantage of the last bit of
what is technically Spring- before it gets hotter than it already is.
I am hoping we get to go today... we went earlier this week and had
a great time...



We have a lot of fun playing, but sometimes the enjoyment of
being out there is more about the surroundings than the game...
the court we play at is near country and there is a cornfield and crops
on the way...

and my favorite thing is looking out past the courts to the field
with fresh hay bales, so serene and pleasant...
 
.  .  .

A small part of my day I spend doing something
I enjoyed, which was just relaxing for a few minutes with
the QVC channel on.
It is relaxing to watch sometimes and they have such neat
items.  A segment I caught today got me exhilirated because
it was about something I love: 
Southern cooking and baking!
I watched for awhile and was so impressed by all of
the wonderfully delectable looking Southern recipes in the book they were
selling that right now I am still envisioning them.
There were all of the recipes and amazing foods that make me proud
to be from the South: fried green tomatoes, grits, butter cake, fried pie,
fried chicken (and lots more fried things!) and more, such as
cornbread salad... there's a Southern recipe if I ever heard one!
My mouth was watering more than it has in awhile and
boy did it remind me how much I love being from and living in the part of the
world with arguably the best food around!

I guess if I order it, Ishould try to get in more tennis games
than usual, haha.

That has been a bit of my day. Thank you for reading &
have a Blessed day!!

:)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Flowers and Fountains

Today started off well,
but by noon it was sort of feeling like one of those days...
hot and nothing too exciting happening... and usually I know how
to make the most of one of those days, seeing it as an  opportunity to relax.
We decided to get out for a little while though, and do something
simple, so we went and walked around Lowe's...  that may not sound like
the most thrilling activity, but I can remember so  many times going there
since I was little and walking around with my mama while
 she looked at the flowers, and it truly is a fun and easygoing thing
to do to just relax... although I can say I do enjoy looking at all the
flowers and gardening things more now that I am older.

Part of the calming environment of the garden area is
the beauty surrounding you as you walk through the aisles of
lovely floral amazingness!

As we were walking around, there were some flowers
I noticed that really caught my eye and I thought they were so
perfectly beautiful.
This one was such a lovely color...

...then there was one type of plant in particular, a Petunia, that had
such beautiful and delicate design in it's blooms.  It was unique and I
loved the beauty of it so much that I couldn't take just one picture.
 

Nearby was probably my favorite thing we looked at...
the garden fountains.
I have always loved seeing these fountains any place I go
that sells them.  The designs are so beautiful, and how
peaceful fountains are with the light trickling sounds they make
and just aesthetically overall.

My favorite was this one, sort of sweet and old-fashioned...

Just being there today, looking around, being in the garden- it all
reminded of me of how de-stressing it is to be in such a peaceful place
 surrounded by so many wonderful things...
nature, butterflies, and the blessing of all those amazing flowers.

Wishing you a blessed day as pleasant as the
sound of a fountain or the 
 beauty of a flower :)


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Daybook

My Daybook
FOR TODAY...

Outside my window... it is getting darker and darker, night is falling, and the junebugs seem to be flying around with excitement.

I am thinking... about how late it is to be just now making supper... but I can't wait. We're having pasta.

I am thankful... for having prayers answered when a situation turns out better than I expected.

In the kitchen... supper is cooking and the ingredients for the cookies I am about to bake are set out.

I am wearing... simple dayclothes and some new sandals, which I am ready to change out of and into some soft lounge clothes.

I am creating... a new blouse I am sewing, for which I just purchased some lovely lacey trim.

I am wondering... what our plans are going to end up being for tomorrow and where we might go?

I am reading... (or actually thumbing through) the new books I just got at the library, mostly on outdoor living and decorating.

I am hoping... for a weekend of enjoyment and fanily time.

I am looking forward to... having a night of movies and games.

I am learning... that sometimes you just have to tell yourself you're going to have a good day and things fall into place so that you do.

I am pondering... what type of pattern I am going to pick out for my next sewing project.

A favorite quote for today... "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game." -Babe Ruth

One of my favorite things... getting to be around precious little animals like the sweet dog I am pet-sitting for a neighbor right now.

A peek into my day...


On the way home from the library today...
a few of the books I checked out.
Have a wonderful weekend!

:)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Old-Fashioned Schoolhouse

Lately I have been sort of
leisurely reading up on something you really don't see anymore...
the one-room Schoolhouse.
The vast majority of them were done away with
during the seventies and eighties, but before then they were operating
still in many of the rural areas of America... places like country
towns from South to North and places such as Iowa, as well
as Maine in the East.

I have found myself reading books that take place in the time
when schoolhouses were the only form of schooling in existence, and I
have fallen in love with the way things were then. That is not to say that I disagree
 with all of the more modern ways of schooling, but most elementary and secondary
schools that exist publicly here and now are large and impersonal.
The old-fashioned Schoolhouses were classic, personal, friendly, cozy and homey. 
They surely had a feeling different from any school I have ever attended.

I actually found a list online of one-rooms that are still in existence, but 
most are not in operation anymore. Here are a few from this list and elsewhere. 
Looking at them, I can't help but see a sense of purity, beauty and old-fashioned
magic in these quaint buildings that used to be- not to mention
the nostalgic history that lies within them...

The mountains of Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Amboy, Minnesota

Lincolnton, Georgia

Storm Lake, Iowa

Putnam County, West Virginia

North Reading, Massachusetts

Log cabin style schoolhouse in
Fort Worth, Texas

One thing I noticed looking at the photos I have come across of
 these classic schoolhouses is that they allowed children to be near nature...
 many are in the mountains, the woods, near creeks, just in
 peaceful and natural settings all around.

I wonder if children in public schools now would trade their
school for one of these... I know I would have.

What do you think of one-room schoolhouses?

. . .

Thankyou for reading.
 Have a beautiful day!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Cake (with a twist)!

This weekend I finally got around to making
a cake I had been wanting to bake!
It was recommended to me by a lovely blogger, Joy, who writes
a blog called Joyness Sparkles that I follow
 and very much enjoy reading!
One of the main reasons I was anxious to make this cake was that
it is a vegan cake... I have never baked anything vegan before and it sort of
amazed me that a tasty cake could be made without eggs or butter...
but it turned out wonderfully!

I recently got an official recipe book that I copied family
recipes and others into, instead of just having them written on different slips of paper...
there was something about this being the first thing I am
making out of my new recipe book that made it all the more exciting!
The recipe for this chocolate cake calls for:
1 and 1/4 cups flour
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white vinegar (or apple
cider vinegar)
The chocolate glaze topping calls for:
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons soy milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
(you can use regular milk instead if you aren't
making it to be vegan)

The original recipe can be found here.

First I added all of the ingredients in a bowl and stirred.


Then I mixed the wet and dry ingredients together with a
hand mixer.
I poured the batter into an apx. 8x11 cake pan I sprayed with
cooking spray and put into a 350 degree oven for about
thirty-five minutes (my oven cooks fast) and waited for the
amazing scent of baked goodness to come.

Because I've been limiting the sugar I eat, I decided to use a different
topping than what the recipe provided- although the glaze does sound
delicious.  Something we've been loving on cakes lately is
a chocolate mousse topping... it's delicious, light, and not too rich
like a lot of frostings.
For the chocolate mousse topping:
Mix up one pack of pudding mix (I used sugar free which tastes
fine) with the amount of milk, or soy milk, that is called
for.  Once it is mixed into pudding, add desired amount of
whipped cream and fold into the pudding until it
makes a chocolate mousse...

...and looks something like this.

For the mousse topping to stay solidified, you'll want to keep the
cake refrigerated.  I love how refreshing and cool it is
every time you get it out to get a piece!

And this is how the finished cake turned out!

Just wanted to share this delicious cake.
Thankyou Joy for the recommendation of this recipe!  I truly
appreciate it and my family and I have been
enjoying this cake very much... probably a little more than
we should ;)


Happy baking!
Have a Blessed Day!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Classic Southern Names

Ever since I was in my first years as a teenager,
I have been interested in names... or rather what is in a name.
Not exactly the meaning of names, although that's also interesting, but
just exploring names from different cultures and what names
seem to fit different people.  It probably started when my
friends and I used to dream about what we would name our future
children as little girls, haha.

In the South, names are seen as very important for different reasons,
which is perhaps why monograms are so popular here.
Growing up here, I love the sound of classic Southern names,
especially those that are old-fashioned, and decided to look
up some to share as well as a few that I know:

Dallas
Jackson
Wyatt
Dean
Vance
Scarlett
Grace
Anna
Charlotte
Virginia
Ruth
Marie
Georgia
Leigh
Magnolia
Clairee
Adelaide
Everett
Jean
Joshua
Tennessee
Beau
Olivia
Emmie
Lucille
Landon
Abigail
Caroline
Rebecca
Lawrence

These are just a few... I do like some over others, but ultimately I think
 it's neat that many classically Southern names can be seen in a variety
of places from films and literature to the bible.

What do you think of Southern names? Or what are
your favorite names, Southern or not?

~Have a Blessed day~


Monday, May 14, 2012

Experiencing the Library!

This weekend was really laid back,
but on Saturday we did go out and do something fun
and sort of different... we went to the grand opening of the brand
new little library in our town!
I say little, but actually it isn't little, just perfect for the area and
sort of quaint.  There were refreshments and activities for kids but the thing
I was most excited about was getting my own library card.
Once I signed up and was given my card, I was so excited... I haven't
checked out a book or used my library card since I can't even
remember when, partly because I moved to a new town.  I miss the old
library I used to go to growing up, and I actually still have my
library card from back then in my wallet... I kept it for some reason after
all these years.

This may seem like something so simple to be excited about, but it was
a big day for me getting to not only get my new library card, but bring home
the first few books I have brought home from a
library in quite awhile.
Since I'm still reading a book of my own right now, I decided not
to check out any novels or fictional books... instead I chose a couple of books
on gardening and flowers!  I have really enjoyed looking at them so far,
especially since they have advice for Southern gardening and lovely photos of
everything from plantation gardens to orchards to
home gardens.

One of my favorite things about being there
was when we were browsing and came to a quiet area in the back with
a few reading chairs.  There were windows and glass doors going
out the back of the library and right outside aways was a secluded area
that went into the woods, with grass, trees, and a historical old shed type barn.
Nothing else but trees and the barn.  It was neat just looking
at some books with the peaceful view out the door-
 just a simple thing I found joy in. I hope to sit in that spot with
 a good book and look out at that
 barn more this Summer.

I also loved experiencing the feel of a library...
I felt strangely rejuvinated and excited just walking in between the
bookshelves, finding the aisle with all of the Nancy Drew's and
books I recognize from years ago.
I loved the feeling of being there and it sort of brought me back to the Summer
days eight or ten years ago when I was always at the library looking
for the next book that was going to come home with me,
begging my Mama to let me just pick out one more.

I had forgotten how much I love libraries.  My favorite are the
old, historical libraries that are so enormous they echo, like the library
in 'The Pagemaster'. Do you remember the library from that movie? It was so
amazing... but I like country libraries like ours too and I'm thankful
for the new library and the chance to enjoy it :)
I love buying books but I'm also going to start enjoying the library
again.

That was a fun experience I had this weekend I wanted to share...
Do you like libraries or go to yours often, or do you prefer to
buy books instead, or both?

Thanks so much for reading.
Hope your weekend was blessed and
wonderful!






Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers

Mothers are meant to be cherished, honored and adored.
The way I was raised, your Mama is the symbol of comfort and home from birth to
forever really... she cares for you and leaves a mark on your heart
for the rest of your life like no one else can.

Today is May 13th and a special day for families and Mothers,
but it is also the day of my Grandma's birthday, and is for me a day for
remembering her.
In her early twenties, as a young Mother
My Grandmother was beautiful, kind, graceful, patient and
probably the most loving woman I have ever known. She was a
true Southern Lady.
I hope to be just like her someday... I looked up to her
so much for her love of life, God, and her children.  My Grandma, who had seven
children of her own, loved children and babies and saw what gifts they were
from the Lord and inspired me to have that same attitude and
see such blessings in children as well as life.
Her life was not easy, but she lived to take care of her family,
was always calm, patient and hospitable and opened up her heart & love
 not only to them, but all of us grandchildren as we have been born.
None of that ever changed for all the years I was
privileged to spend with her.

My Grandma passed away six years ago, and I miss her so much...
but I hold memories of her in my heart, and will always
have her there- the woman, aside from my own Mother, who taught me as
her granddaughter so much about life, about being a lady,
and who was one of the greatest mothers I have ever
had the privilege of knowing.
I love you Grama.

If you're reading this and you are a Mother, I hope your day
is blessed! And if you aren't, may you give thanks for
the mother God gave you and may your day be
 just as wonderful!



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Summer Break & My Reading List!

Looking out the back window has been so pleasant today...
it is another rainy day and I can hear the faintest trickling
sound on the roof as the raindrops hit the shingles and spill downward
onto the plants and flowers below.

This pleasant day is also the first day of my summer break from my studies,
and although it isn't looking like summer from the weather outside,
it somehow feels like it to me.
I slept in this morning and had breakfast around
noon.  Then I got to read a little bit which was really nice... yet I almost
feel sort of lost without any work to do or place
I have to go.

I always love the first day of a good break though, because it
gives me an amazingly relaxing time to just think
and ponder over life and the weeks to come- things I hope to do over
the summer, projects I want to start, and things I'm excited to do
with my family.
One thing I'm pondering over today
is what books I hope to read now
that I have time...
I think many people, regardless of having a 'Summer Break' or not,
make a goal or list of however many many books they hope to read over summer...
so I decided to make a list myself.
Not a list of books I will follow exactly, but just to set a goal to
 read books I have wanted to read for awhile.
My list:

1. 'Farmer Boy', the second book in the 'Little House on the Prairie'
series (and as many of the books in the series as I
have time to read).

2.  'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe'
by Fannie Flagg

3.  At least one or two Nancy Drew books
(I have missed these so much!)

4. 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen

5. 'Tending Roses' by Christian fiction author Lisa Wingate

6. 'Gone With the Wind' by Margaret Mitchell
Being a Southern girl, I will be so thrilled to get to
read this.

7. 'Before You Meet Prince Charmin' by Sarah Mally.
This book has been on my heart and mind for sometime
and I am anxious to get the time to read it.
~

I'm so excited to get to enjoy leisure reading more and 
I am thankful for the simple joy and blessing of reading!
There are so, so many books I would love to read, but this will just
give me an idea of what I have the opportunity to read within the next
few months...

Have you read any of these books?
Do you have any specific goals or lists of things you want to
do or books you want to read for Summer or just
the year?

Thankyou so much for
reading!
~Hope your day has been Blessed~


{photos courtesy Goodreads}

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Things I Love About Today...

I've been home all day today and I
have had a lot to do and take care of throughout my
day, but it has been lovely.... there has been a cozy shower all
day, sometimes heavy and sometimes just drizzling.

Here are a few simple, random things
I have enjoyed about this day:

Lucie doing her favorite activity ;)
1. Spending the day with my dog.
There's something so pure and comforting
about being around sweet little animals.

2. Waking up to see new sprouts and
growing sprouts from the seeds I planted
both this weekend and last.

3. Watching the rain through the window.
It's so soothing, hearing it patter on the roof and
watching it as it splashes on the porch
and on flower petals.

4. Seeing my Daddy for a little bit
while home on his break.

5. Reading and being inspired... by blogs,
magazines and books I am thoroughly enjoying.
~

What were some of your favorite things
about today?

Hope your day was blessed &
wonderful!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

When I Grow Up...

Isn't it funny how much your dreams and goals can
change as you grow up?
Aside from the serious and deep goals and aspirations I have
for my life, I was thinking today about how much my thoughts
 on the future have changed throughout the years and my
childhood-  simply my hopes and thoughts on
'what I want to be when I grow up'.

So for a fun and personal post, I thought I would just share those
changes  as they have happened in my life.
And there have been a lot.

The first thing I ever remember wanting to be, when
I was about 6 or 7, was a cashier.
At the time it seemed to me like a good, life-long
occupation... but to be honest, the thing that excited me the most was
that cashiers (at least the ones I'd seen) all got to wear pretty acrylic
nails, chew lots of gum and wear a cool
nametag. That seemed like the neatest thing to me
then! hahaha.

When I was around 9 I wanted to be a librarian.
It was for a similar reason to wanting to be a cashier... because
I'd get to do something that looked fun, in this case
getting to stamp the dates in books and scan them.
I also loved books, which hasn't changed.

By my 11th birthday, I had thoughts of being a teacher.
I always admired my kindergarten teacher and it looked
like a nice job to get to be around kids all day and get to teach
and influence lives of children.

When I was 13 or so, one of the aspirations came to me that
 stayed with me for the longest I
 believe- the hope of being a wedding planner.
This was something I began to suddenly
 show interest in, mostly because I read books and saw films with 
beautiful weddings.  I love being creative and decorating and it
 seemed like something that was right up my alley. I hung on to this plan
 for my occupation in life until about three years
ago, when other things started to influence my thoughts and made
me think deeper about the future... but it is still something that interests
me somewhat.

When I was 17 I started to look into being a nurse.
It was something that interested me, and to tell you the truth
it still does... but the idea of seeing blood and other things
and sticking people got to me and I don't think I could get through
what I'd have to see in the schooling let alone the job.

And now... well, now that it truly matters, I don't have anything
that I know in my heart I truly want to be.  I have thought again of being
a teacher, because as I've read (and watched) 'Little House on
the Prairie' Laura Ingalls inspires me and she was a teacher.
I have to think more on it.

...and one that I think they call a 'pipe dream' is I would love
to live in a small town and open and run a Southern diner or cafe.
I think that would be so much fun!


What did you want to be when
you grew up?


Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY...

Outside my window...
it is bright and beautiful, the sun is drying out everything that got so soaked from the rain showers last night.

I am thinking...
about picking up some ingredients at the store for an end of weekend dessert.

I am thankful...
to God for the healthy results of my blood tests this past week :)

In the kitchen...
we are cooking homemade gravy and preparing dinner early.

I am wearing...
my favorite baseball tee, capris, and my hair in a ponytail for this heat.

I am creating...
a garden!

I am wondering...
how on earth the days go by so fast on the weekends.

I am reading... 
emails from a friend I haven't talked to in a while whom I have missed.

I am hoping...
that I get to spend some good time with my family later this evening.

I am looking forward to...
the summer.

I am learning trying to learn... 
to be patient and wait on answers to my prayers.

Around the house...
my Mama is cooking, it is a lovely and relaxing Sunday, and we are rearranging/decorating the guest room.

I am pondering...
where to get some scenic photos to hang... maybe from a calendar?

I am praying...
for whomever it is put upon my heart to pray for :)

A favorite quote for today...
"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare." -Mark Twain

One of my favorite things...
standing barefoot on the back porch in the warmth of the sun.

A peek into my day...
These are my Bachelor Button sprouts from the seeds I planted last weekend.  So fun seeing them grow day by day :)

Have a Blessed, beautiful Sunday!


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