Monday, January 26, 2015

Beef Stir-Fry...from Leftovers

I think I have told you this before, but I really do like leftovers.
I mean, it nearly hurts me to the core to throw out good food!
When I think about throwing out food that is still good to eat,
I don't necessarily think about those starving children in Africa or India... know, like your mama would tell you about if you didn't eat your dinner.
(actually, if I recollect, I think I was told the children were in China)
But I immediately envision the homeless folks who basically live right in my own back yard.
They would give anything for a hot meal.
I just won't throw out good food...which leads me to write this post.
So what can you get when you take a little piece of leftover grilled steak,
(you can see a few sauteed mushrooms and peppers too)

some leftover Chinese take-out...rice and still a bit of broccoli,
(I ate all of the chicken out of it) 

 some frozen veggies,

and a few seasonings?

How about a beefy stir-fry over rice...of course!

Sometimes food gets better the second time around.

Or the third.

Don't you think this would also belong under the category of...
Y'all know how I love to repurpose!

P.S. Please know that I am not judging anyone who doesn't like leftovers :)

sharing at:
Roses of Inspiration
Grace at Home

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Tale of Two Debbies

Once upon a time in a small town in Ohio, there lived two young girls.
Their houses were in the same neighborhood, they attended the same school,
and rode the school bus together...many times, sharing the same seat.
Not only did they share these things, they also shared the same name...well almost.
One Debbie spelled her name with an "ie" at the end...the other Debby with a "y".

During their junior high and high school years,
the Debbies became good friends.
They enjoyed talking, laughing and doing what teenage girls do best...
...being quite silly at times! 

When the Debby with a "y" was a senior,
she began to attend a different high school and didn't see Debbie with an "ie" as often.
 Debby with a "y" became involved with new friends from her new school...
...and slowly, began losing touch with Debbie with an "ie".

Time passed.
More time passed.
Months became years and years became decades.

During these years, Debby with a "y" married a man named Jim and they had a son.
Soon they moved to Kentucky where they had another son,
and several more years later, moved even further south to North Carolina.
Life had gotten very busy for Debby with a "y"... it most assuredly did as well for Debbie with an "ie"...
...unintentionally letting their friendship slip through the cracks.
Yes, it slipped right through the cracks of time.

After many more years had passed,
 the invention of a strange thing called the internet became available to nearly everyone.
Oh, it was a really strange thing, alright... gave a person the ability to communicate without wires...
 ...and find out all kinds of useful things...even the ability to find long lost friends...
This became a way of life for many.
They called it Facebook.

One day, out of the blue, Debbie with an "ie" sent Debby with a "y" a friend request...
...yes, you can actually request a friend with just one click.
This made Debby with a "y" very happy and right away accepted her request.
Then one day, after catching up a bit,
Debbie with an "ie" posted these photos on Debby with "y"'s page.

(Yes, that's a skinnier version of me...the one with the shorter hair.)

This put a big smile on the face of Debby with a "y".
She remembered these two young girls goofing off in that photo booth.
She also remembered that you got four photos for a quarter...
...and that she had kept the other half of them.

She also knew exactly where she had kept them all these years.
So very promptly, she posted them to Debbie with an "ie"'s page... she could share the joy!

The End

Actually, I hope it's not the end, but just the beginning of our resurrected friendship!
Debbie with an "ie" still lives near our hometown.
The next time I visit my family in Ohio, I plan to look her up :)
What a blessing this has been for me!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Grateful Jar

Just so you know, I started writing this post on January 3rd or 4th.
I put off publishing it for no other reason than it getting shoved to the back burner,
not unlike many other things in my life that should have been a priority.
Here's how it started out...
I'd seen the idea before.
 A friend posted this on Facebook, and I knew right away I wanted to do it this year.

Nothing hard about it.
Lord knows I've got plenty of Mason jars...
...Lord knows I've got plenty of things to be grateful for.
The idea is to start it at the beginning of the year and add to it daily.
Yes, daily.
Even on my darkest day, there is something for me to be grateful for...
...simply the ability to breathe in air...on those days when it seems God is far away.
So I made up a cute little label, added some ribbon and slapped it on the jar.
I'm keeping it on my kitchen counter top with some little squares of paper.
It only takes a minute to write it down...and I plan to put the date each one.
 It is one thing that my way-too-often-undisciplined-self can do.
Yes, I can will do this!
At the end of 2015 there should be 365 little pieces of paper in my grateful jar.
  Since I'm getting a late start I'll have to put in more than one here and there to take up the slack :)
That's when the fun begins...when you go back and read them all... New Year's Eve.
Oh mercy...I may not be able to wait that long!

So, that being the original post, let me continue...
I was all set to do this...except for hitting the publish button.
I was doing good, adding my little pieces of colored paper with grateful thoughts jotted on them...
...for about a week.
I would walk into my kitchen, the little jar catching my eye each time.
It got easier and easier to say to myself "Oh, I'll do this later, right now I'm so busy doing..."
Doing what??
Was I really too busy doing whatever to stop for a second and add to my little Grateful Jar?
In the beginning I took quite a bit of time preparing this...
...making that cute little label...
...coming up with the decoration on top...
 ...and cutting all those colored pieces of paper.

It deeply pains me to admit that I was failing to hold to my commitment.
Several more days have passed and I have not taken those few moments to add to my jar.
That is until this morning when I read this post from Gayle at Solitary Moments.
You may want to take the time now to read her post and then continue mine.
So let me just tell you, her words hit me right between the eyes.
Actually, it was the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart...
...God's amazing grace...right when I needed it!
I know that right away I need to open my jar and go through it until I find that last one I wrote...
...yes, I dated them, so it won't be hard.
If I have a hard time remembering something specific for those days,
I have NO excuse...

...since I can always be grateful...even for the air I breathed in.
Thank you, Gayle for this awesome reminder.
Yes Lord...You certainly do work in mysterious ways...even through blogs :)


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Repurposing: Mother/Daughter Aprons

Hello my friends...and I hope you all are staying warm!
I'm linking up with Stephanie at Roses of Inspiration
and also Beverly's Pink Saturday
You know, I don't seem to hear the word repurposing used much anymore.
Now, the word seems to be upcycling.
I looked them both up recently and they basically mean the same thing.
I actually prefer the word seems to tell it like it is.
You are basically making one something into another something...that it wasn't before.
I think I'll stick with it :)
A few days before Christmas my son, Adam and his family moved into their new home.
We were also able to enjoy it for a few days during our visit over the holidays.
It is just loaded with rustic, country charm...and I do mean rustic...
 ...many of the building elements came from a one hundred year old barn. 
They are all about living the simple life on these beautiful 30 acres
and are planning to live off the land as much as possible.
Adam does a lot of hunting and they hope to plant a big garden this coming spring.
So I had been pondering the idea for this project for a while...
...I mean, country girls need aprons, right?
It wouldn't even hurt a city girl to have an apron or two!
Shortly after I started my blog in the summer of 2013,
 I shared a couple of posts about making aprons from repurposed items from Goodwill.
If you haven't been with me that long, you can check them out here and here.

So, on to my latest apron project...
...mother/daughter aprons for my sweet DIL and my one and only grand-daughter!

As you can see, they had been olden bibbed overalls in their former lives.
The skirts of the aprons are made from a floral and lace bed ruffle, also from Goodwill,
and trimmed with fabric remnants that I had on pattern...
...pretty much making it up as I went along.

I started out by cutting the front of the overalls away from the back,
and also cutting and removing the straps (since they are actually part of the back).
An adjustable neck loop made from some of the fabric and original metal hardware replaced this.

I apologize for not having an actual tutorial...
...I seem to always forget to take photos during the process!

So, using good sharp scissors, cut as close to the double seam as possible,
leaving the double seam on the front.
For DIL Carrie's apron, I cut the front of the overalls off just below the pockets.

Before I added the skirt to the bottom of the front,
I used a zig-zag stitch along the cut edge of the overalls, catching the bottom of the pocket linings,
(making sure they were flat) so the pockets could still be used.
I sewed the piece of the lace-edged bed ruffle (which was already gathered),
along with a shorter overlay ruffle of the contrasting fabric.
I used some of the extra lace (trimmed thinner) and top stitched it to cover the seam.
The sides were then turned under and finished with a machine stitched hem.

I made the apron ties from long-ish strips of the floral ruffle fabric,
pulling the ends through the existing button holes on the sides to create a loop and then sewed them.
I was thinking how handy those button holes were!

So for Olivia's apron, I followed pretty much the same procedure...
...but decided to cut the overalls off  just below the waistline, as you see below.

I wanted to use the denim patch pockets on the skirt so I cut them off the back of the overalls.
 I didn't cut the actual pocket but right up against it where they had been sewed on...
...I did not want to rip out any of that great stitching!
Since I had cut them completely off the overalls, the pockets had two layers... I removed the inside layer by cutting very close to the top stitching inside the pockets.
I then sewed them on to  the skirt, stitching right up next to the original outer top stitching,
using a denim blue thread that blended right in.
Can you see the stitching?

I didn't think so :)

Of course a much shorter skirt length was need for Olivia's apron... I removed the deep lace edging from the bottom, cut it to the appropriate length
 and added the lace back to trim the bottom.

There were metal buttons on the buttons holes,
 so I made a waist band, continuing it to become the ties and trimmed with a thin edging of lace.

As in Mom's apron, a neck loop was added,
 and I finished each apron by adding a cute little rosette to them.

A strip of lace and fabric, hand gathered to form a circle and a button in the center.
They are attached with a safety pin to remove when laundering.

The girls just loved their aprons!

I have visions of these two cooking up a storm in their new country kitchen!

Do you repurpose or upcycle???


*also sharing at* 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'm Starting Over

OK, let me just be honest here.
New Years Day has come and gone and I have to admit I've been feeling a little blue.
I can't really put my finger on one thing in particular.
I am usually all about making a New Year's resolution of some sort.
They are probably very similar to the the ones you make...
...eating healthier or starting new diet...
...or maybe to begin exercising regularly... read my Bible more...
...I'm pretty sure you know how it goes.
And yes, I need to do all of these things, even if it wasn't a brand new year.
I can't explain the lack of enthusiasm that I'm feeling as this new year is unfolding.
And if 2015 flies by as quickly as 2014 did, it will be gone before I get a handle on things.
This morning as I was sorting through one of the drawers in my office,
I came across this poem that I hadn't seen in probably fifteen years.
I don't even remember how I came across it in the first place all those years ago.
What I do remember is that it really spoke to my heart back then...
...the same way it spoke to my heart this morning.
 And I am completely in awe of the way my God works.

~by Woodrow Kroll

When you’ve trusted God and walked his way
When you’ve felt his hand lead you day by day
But your steps now take you another way …
Start over.
When you’ve made your plans and they’ve gone awry
When you’ve tried your best and there’s no more try
When you’ve failed yourself and you don’t know why …
Start over.
When you’ve told your friends what you plan to do
When you’ve trusted them and they didn’t come through
And you’re all alone and it’s up to you …
Start over.
When you’ve failed your kids and they’re grown and gone
When you’ve done your best but it’s turned out wrong
And now your grandchildren come along …
Start over.
When you’ve prayed to God so you’ll know his will
When you’ve prayed and prayed and you don’t know still …
When you want to stop cause you’ve had your fill …
Start over.
When you think you’re finished and want to quit
When you’ve bottomed out in life’s deepest pit
When you’ve tried and tried to get out of it …
Start over.
When the year has been long and successes few
When December comes and you’re feeling blue
God gives a January just for you …
Start over.
Starting over means “Victories Won”
Starting over means “A Race Well Run”
Starting over means “God’s Will Done”
Don’t just sit there …………
No, my year hadn't been as bad as all of that.
There had been many blessings laced among the heartaches of 2014, of that I'm sure.
And I really don't understand the whys and wherefores of my indifference to the new year.

But God does.

And He's about to show me something new.


Sharing with:

 Stephanie's Roses of Inspiration
Grace at Home
Spiritual Sundays
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...