2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers: "The Lord be with you!" And they answered him, "The Lord bless you!" Ruth 2:4
"If Boaz had been on a NASCAR team, he would have been the owner. He was wealthy, confident, responsible, concerned for his crew, and cheerful. When he walked into a room, the whole place brightened. When he visited the fields, the morale of his workers shot upward. He loved the Lord, lived a God-guided life, and exuded a joy that cheered those around him.
Cheerfulness is an almost lost asset nowadays. Life has become so hard, the world has become so hardened, and our schedules are so cluttered that joyfulness is almost crowded out.
On five different occasions, however, Jesus said, "Be of good cheer!" Proverbs 15 says that a cheerful heart has a continual feast, and Ecclesiastes 11:9 commands, "Let your heart cheer you." It says about Boaz in Ruth 3:7: "His heart was cheerful," and his words and presence were a blessing to others. Are you cultivating a cheerful heart? Cheerful people are cheerleaders for others. Put a smile on your face, and see who you can cheer up today!"
"Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, filling it with a steady and perpetual serenity." ~ Joseph Addison
I am trying to be cheerful this dreary, rainy morning. I have to leave at 7:30 a.m. to head over and get one of our vehicles inspected before the end of the month; first come-first served, sit and wait it out, and I've been told it will be very crowded. I think this was a good devotional to pop up on my screen this morning! What are you determined to be cheery about today?
My sister over at Dappled Things is getting a head start and asking for our best Thanksgiving dish recipes. I'll post a favorite of ours that I first started making back in the 80's... and, yes, we still chop those cranberries every Thanksgiving! (My motto is, "If you find something your husband likes, keep making it!")
I'll also post a pineapple casserole recipe that's been a favorite ever since my friend Linda brought it to a church potluck years ago. I've not seen it served anyplace else.
1 12 oz package fresh cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple
2 large oranges
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
At least 5 hours before serving or day ahead, coarsely chop cranberries and apple. Place in large bowl. Coarsely grate peel from oranges and reserve. Cut off white membranes from oranges and discard. Chop oranges.
Add orange peel and chopped oranges to cranberry mixture. Stir in nuts, marmalade, raisins, and brown sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.
2 large cans chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons flour (1/3 cup + 2 tsp)
2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 stick butter
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled
Mix pineapple, sugar, flour, and cheese in a 7x11 casserole or 9x9. Melt butter and mix with crackers and put over top. Bake 20 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
The Vermont Country Store - practical and hard to find gifts. We've been very satisfied with products received from this company.
Southern Supreme Gourmet Specialties - you may think you don't like fruitcake, but you've not had fruitcake until you've tasted Southern Supreme fruitcake. Delicious! We love going to craft shows and seeing the Southern Supreme booth set up with their free samples. They have delicious nuts, chocolate, and pepper jellies, too.
Gooseberry Patch - my kind of country items including cookbooks, jars, candles, etc. I've ordered several times from this company, and the customer service has been excellent.
The Country House - lots of quality country items: curtains, stars, samplers. My favorite items in this catalog are the wooden plaques with various sayings. This one would be perfect for Sarah if it were only half-price: "There is nothing like staying home for real comfort" ~Jane Austen
Boden - never heard of this clothing catalog until I saw it mentioned on someone's blog. My copy just arrived yesterday so I've yet to check it out.
L. L. Bean - reliable quality clothing every time we've ordered.
LANG - beautiful folk art calendars, note cards, address books, recipe cards/boxes, huge selection of Christmas cards.
The Urban Homemaker - bread machines, grain mills, books, dedicated to teaching "old-fashioned skills for contemporary people."
Library & Educational Services - wholesale Christian books and videos available to homeschool parents, teachers, pastors, and church workers; however, not available to the general public. We've used L&E for years and couldn't be more pleased with the discount prices. (Example: L&E price for G. A. Henty hardcover books is $12.97!)
Soundforth - quality music by the Soundforth singers (BJU-Press). This catalog really gets dog-eared and marked up around our house!
Majesty Music - home of all the Patch the Pirate Adventure CD's and other quality music by Ron Hamilton and others. My wish list usually includes something from Majesty Music.
I enjoy shopping by catalog and online, but I also don't mind braving the crowds (when there's a good sale)! And my closet has already become a hiding place for some goodies after a few secret shopping trips and UPS deliveries. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Or do you wait until after Thanksgiving? Or are you a Christmas Eve shopper? What type of shopper are you?
This is the season to prepare our saved seeds for spring. Today Hannah and I walked around the garden to see what remaining seeds still needed to be collected. Here's a wild indigo plant and the black pods it produces. We collected these pods and will store them for next year. This will be the first time I've tried to reproduce this particular plant.
Hannah also collected three bags full of scabiosa seeds, and I gathered the hyacinth bean plant pods (below right) and hibiscus seeds. We will dry and store them in glass jars in our shed which will be cool and dry.
Others we previously collected are: hollyhock, columbine, cockscomb, and Siberian Iris.
In a recent Old-Fashioned Living--Garden Tidbits newsletter this is what Leonard Perry from the University of Vermont had to say on saving seeds:
If you have leftover vegetable and annual flower seeds, save them for next year by storing them in securely closed, insect-proof containers. Screw-top glass jars, vitamin containers, or jars with lids with rubber gaskets all work well. Store at 35 degrees to 41 degrees F, and keep as dry as possible as moisture is an enemy of stored seed. Label each container with the plant name, date of purchase or collection, and the year.
And Organic Gardening magazine has more how-to's on storing saved seeds. Would anyone be interested in any of the scabiosa, cockscomb, hyacinth bean, hibiscus, or siberian iris seeds? We have some to share. (Siberian Iris seeds should be planted now in late October and spend the winter outdoors rather than being stored.) Email me your mailing address at girotti (at) ntelos (dot) net.
Today's treasure is a new acquisition--a country bell--and one I have been interested in enjoying as a decoration in our yard since last summer when I wrote a post about finding a wonderful old bell at a yard sale. However, that bell was a lot out of my price range, so I put one on my wish list for the future.
My mom gave me this bell last month, and Tom and Jonathan recently installed it--after many trial and error placements. Hannah and I were pretty good at telling them to move the heavy post here...and then move it there...and there...and eventually we moved it back to almost the original spot again. :)
Hannah then worked with a string on the lawn to scope out the exact shape of the new flower bed we wanted around the bell, and Tom killed the grass there. Over the past weekend Hannah and Sarah tilled the area because we originally thought plants would go in that spot this fall, but the ground was much too hard to dig. We'll scoop some manure at stables close by and add it to this flower bed so it will be enriched through the winter and ready for planting next spring.
Here's where the bell finally ended up--right by the driveway--and I like where it's placed. It's a good thing, because (I've been told) that's where it's staying! We still need to attach the cord/rope so we can hear it ring occasionally.
I've taken pictures of old bells that I spot when we've been traveling so I would have pictures to go by whenever we planned our bell area. Here's the bell we saw when we were on the tour of Sherwood Forest, John Tyler's plantation home, during the History of the World Conference--the bell's post is an old tree!
And here's a bell I liked in Georgia when we visited last year.
Do you like country bells? Do you have one? Do you call your kids in from play with its ringing? I'm looking forward to enjoying mine in the months to come. Now this winter I can dream and plan what I'll plant there next spring. Any suggestions?
Yesterday we had church at our house, and the home fellowship traveled here from Richmond and points beyond.
I wish I had pictures to share the special time with you: the families arriving with their food, the ladies in the kitchen pricking the potatoes to pop in the oven while the chili simmered in my roaster oven, the hymn singing, Jonathan's "Who Am I" Bible trivia for the younger crowd, the dads' praying, Tom's teaching on sin, confession, and forgiveness, the ladies' afternoon tour of the yard and gardens, the guys taking turns playing guitar and singing more hymns, the kids enjoying themselves, the many conversations going on among various folks...can you get the picture without seeing a picture? It was very enjoyable.
And next time we're a host family I will set my alarm so I don't oversleep; I will remember to have enough chili powder on hand (or whatever other spice I might need) instead of running out; I will make a note to double check the fridge for items so I don't find the sauteed onions and celery that were supposed to go in the chili hours later after everyone has gone home; and I will make sure my camera is downstairs and ready for pictures!
If we couldn't be there, getting to read about all the exciting happenings at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and at the Film Academy is the next best thing. Here are three of the blogs that I know have been blogging about the events as they happen:
Doug's Blog - hearing George Sarris on the San Antonio River Walk would have been amazing and one of my favorite parts of the Festival.
My sister tagged me over a week ago to play along with this meme, and I'm finally doing it; she'll be surprised! She picked the four words, and I'm to write what comes to my mind when I hear them. Here are the choices she gave me: work, play, faith, and fall.
work - when you enjoy something you do, it's not really work at all. I'm thinking of outside fun gardening work when I say this. I enjoy spring gardening work more than autumn gardening because it's a season of new life springing forth rather than putting my plants to bed for the winter.
play - "go play" is a constant phrase around our house when we leash our dog out in the yard on her long rope. We want her to "play" and stop barking!
faith - Forsaking all, Itake Him.
fall - I think most people would answer that this is their favorite season because they think of autumn colors and cooler temperatures when they hear this word. But honestly, the first thing that came to my mind was "fall-ing down." It's a fear I have that one day I really will hurt myself because I've fallen in the middle of a street before and down a flight of steps (and dropped the baby!).
Because this meme has been going around the blogs for awhile already, I won't specifically tag anyone unless you'd like to play along and answer in the comments. Take the same four words and say what comes to your mind.