Monday, March 31, 2014

Love's embodiment

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I found this folded in her bible.

 

A story of love, duty and moms

A mother has no need for praise, no more than spring has or a rose in bloom.

She is, above all else, love's embodiment, and love seeks no praise for it needs none: it desires only to do its lovely duty.

A mother is the vessel through which love's duty is performed, manifesting itself in the simplest chore as well as in the greatest sacrifice: the made-up bed to self-denial for others.

Love is a mother's instinct, her magnificent gift from nature which in turn becomes a measureless and an inexhaustible fount of giving.  It is the profound theme running the very width and breadth of nature.

I observed a mother recently performing her instinctive duties in a profound and graceful manner.  It seemed the grand symbol of the essence of motherhood.

From a window I watched as she busily brought in food to her three infants and hastily carried out the trash, and when this work was done for a while, she sat on guard nearby ready to defend to her death against any harm that came toward her kin.

Then thunder roared overhead and lighting streaked and rain began to pour, but fast as had been the lightning streak, the mother cardinal was in her nest hovered over her three babies not two weeks old and not a rain drop would touch them.

Turning upward her red-tipped beak as if in a show of pride, the mother bird puffed out her breast and spread her feathers, making a perfectly warm and dry embrace for her young.

The rain poured and splattered about her and a steady stream found its way through the leaves and limbs that cradled her nest, but she seemed not the least perturbed by it.

Even when the wind began wrenching the bush that held her and her young, the mother cardinal moved not a single feather.  She surely would have clung to the nest even if it had been blown to the ground where the flooding rain water likely would drowned her.

The next day the sun was bright and hot, and the mother puffed up  her feathers to allow the coolness  of a soft breeze to touch her young.

And as if she had a built in clock that signaled feeding time she would fly off and return with some morsel for hungry mouths, never gone long enough or far enough for the nest to be without ample protection.

It was a simple symphony of giving.

Love.  Duty.  A praise-worth performance that needs no praise.

Written by Joe L. McDonald/ The Daily Leader

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wisteria

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I just couldn't wait.  I know it's a little early for the wisteria as they aren't completely  into full bloom but they are so pretty now and against that blue sky, wow! Everything is greening up and looking so lush outside.  It's funny how you forget just how green nature is every winter.  I know I really miss the color  in winter but I forget how intense the colors are.  Then Spring comes bursting out and it makes everything so alive!  It's hard to stay inside when it's this pretty.

I finally got a header for the blog!  Hip hip hooray!!  Now I'm looking more official!  Thanks go to my offspring! Sometimes you just have to remind them of those labor pains you went through for them and they will do anything you ask as long as they don't have to hear anymore!

Have a beautiful week!

Jan

 

 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Decorating the Mantel

Hey! Ya'll okay today?  Good!  I wanted to share a couple of photos of my mantel.

 

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I got real lucky this past summer and ran across this very old mirror.  It's really very fragile and I don't believe it can be hung on the wall anymore as its so old and the frame is barely holding it.  But I knew when I saw it this mirror it would look good leaning against the wall over the mantel.  It has places where the mirror has faded away ,which I love, that makes it so rich with history and gives it such a time worn patina.

 

My greatgrandmother was an artist and this is one of her paintings.  I love the red in it and it being a flower, but it is very sentimental to me as well. I don't know what kind of flower that is, do you?  I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas!  I found the two plates at a consignment store.  The green plate is stamped Autumn Leaves Hand Painted with a Royal stamp.  The other plate with the white background said Very Old Plate on the tag when I bought them.

 

 

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The hydrangeas were from our hydrangea bushes last summer.  I dried them out and was able to really put them use!  Oh and the fancy lamps!!  I know, aren't they something?!!  I got those girls at the dollar store!  I had a lamp that I really loved but broke it when I was rearranging one day.  (Sometimes I am like a bull in a china shop!)  It had those really pretty globes on them with the fringe.  I really have a thing for fringe!  Well, I really didn't want to let those globes go, so on a whim I said what the heck I am going to try this.  And I stuck each one on the dollar store lamps, and they fit!!

 

The wooden bowl pedestal was my grandmother's.  I turned it upside down and put the green bowl on top of it.  The green bowl was my mother-in-law's.  The bowl went with the color of the hydrangeas so well.  I put some I had left over at the base of the wooden pedestal.  I like this for almost any time of the year.  But my husband insists I move it when we have a fire going in the fireplace as they would catch on fire so easily.

Thank goodness we are through with the cold weather now(as I cross my fingers) and won't have to worry with a fire.

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Thanks,

Jan

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's a Bird

 

It seems I like decorating around birds...wasn't really aware of it until I went through some photos I have taken around the house.  I think we are all drawn to certain things for our homes.  It's a certain look we find ourselves drawn to over and over and probably don't recognize it.  That can be especially true with color.  Maybe you have neutral walls but you find you consistently are drawn to the same color in your clothes.  This says a lot about what colors you are naturally drawn to and usually look great wearing.  This is certainly a cue as to decorating with colors you won't get tired of.  You want them to be easy to live with but not boring.  Of course boring to one person may be perfect for another.  I love seeing yellow in someone else's home.  But I can't live with it...it gives me the heebie jeebies!  Nervous Nellie!!  I can't imagine gray walls in my living room but my sister has them and they are beautiful.  Of course she gets strong afternoon light and I don't. I have seen beautiful homes with neutral wall color but they weren't afraid to bring in the color with their furnishings.

Of course the bird "look" here is in my colors.  The colors I always am drawn to.  For me that's blues, greens, reds and even a little purple.

 

This first photo is the wallpaper I have in my kitchen and dining area.  What's that about wallpaper went out?  Oh it's in style again?!  Ok, well we've been together twenty years now.  Did I go through a time that I was tired of it?  Yes, it was invisible to me.  But thank goodness I didn't do anything to it.  It has all the colors I naturally am drawn to and is a great launching point to decorate from.

 

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Even during Christmas the birds got in on the action.  In this photo I forgot to take the price tag off but the bird didn't mind!

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Hope you have a great weekend!

Jan

 

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chicken Salad with Grapes

 

chicken salad with grapesHey! Ya'll doing okay?  Today I wanted to share a chicken salad with you.  I went a long time not eating any chicken salad because I have a sensitivity to msg and was worried about the mayonnaise.  One day it was lunch time and I was starving and there was nothing else available so I decided to just go ahead and eat it and pay for it later if I had a reaction.  Wow!  Was it good!!  Mama mia! What have I been missing out on?!  Let's get started.

 

These are the ingredients you will need to make this. Don't overlook the eggs! (They are hiding on the far left)

 

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Oops!!  Don't forget the pecans.  Now here in my neck of the woods, we say pah-con!!  First using the boneless, skinless chicken thighs I used one pack per pan.  I line the pans with aluminum foil and throw the thighs in.  I season the chicken with the paprika, garlic and onion.  I use a little salt too.  I go pretty heavy with the onion and paprika.  I like to use a little olive oil on them too since they don't have any skin on them.  The oil gives the seasonings something to hold on to.

 

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You need to cover both pans with foil.  I baked them at 375 degrees for one hour.

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I like to slice my grapes into fourths.  They are seedless and sweet.  Roughly two cups.

 

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I used a little over two cups with the grapes and celery.  You will want to have a big bowl handy for the ingredients.  I added each ingredient after chopping

 

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I boiled three eggs while chopping up the celery and grapes.

 

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After cooking your chicken, let it cool and tear or cut into bite sized pieces.  Add to the bowl with pecan pieces.

 

 

 

 

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You will add your mayonnaise now and I add the seasonings again that I used on the chicken.  I used roughly 4 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise, but I like to go light.

 

 

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I use the salt, onion powder(again I go heavy on this), paprika and pickle juice.    I barely used the garlic at this point, just a hint.   I used roughly between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of pickle juice.  Adjust to your liking.  I don't measure seasoning, I just taste till it tastes right!

This makes a good bit.  Enjoy!

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Jan