Friday, April 26, 2013

Cookies !! I ADORE Cookies!!

I'd eat them all day if they were healthy, low calorie, grain free, and I was eight LOL..... I best love cookies with lots of "stuff" in them, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, coconut, m&m's you name it, throw it in! I've lately been thinking about looking for a good bacon cookie recipe!
I told all my family and friends that for my birthday this year, what I want most is a batch of special cookie dough from everyone, the more imaginative the better. I'm going to portion them out into lg. cookie sz. and freeze them individually. If all my friends and family participate I'll have a cookie supply to last a full year! I'll just cook them up, one at a time when I feel like a little lovin' from the oven and I'll smile as I think of the loved one that provided my mini cookie vacation :) I even have a wee cookie sized cast iron cookie skillet to bake it in! 
At first, I'll admit, I felt guilty asking such a request. "Ask for a present?! And then tell them what to give me?!!! <GASP>" But then I realized, wait, these are people who love me, and truly, the thought of a years supply of beautiful tasty cookies makes me positively giddy with joy! (Have I mentioned recently that I love cookies) Please forgive me if I don't show proper decorum. If you don't wish to make cookie dough I promise I'll not think twice about it and I'll still love you forever and ever!  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Random thought

Sitting on the couch, silently snacking on a bit of cheese and onion w/ crackers and some grapes with my love. He looks at me and says "You're so funny" I'm like "huh?? Where did that come from??" I get that a lot, out of the blue, from lots of people and for no apparent reason. Which, leads me to wonder..... "Maybe, just maybe, I'm weird???"

Love Letter Wall Project

I saw this picture on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with the idea. The only problem is how/when to do it. It's in bad form to write a love letter to my husband, the love of my life, while he watches on, or even worse, is being neglected as I paint it for who knows how many hours.... I put the idea on the back burner for awhile.
Then I got the news. He would be gone for the weekend while helping his buddy move from CA back to AZ. Yay! So glad his buddy will be in the same state again. Sad for me that I won't see him at all this weekend :(  but great opportunity to implement my plan on painting the wall... :) He knew nothing about it, only that I was planning on doing a painting technique in our room while he was away.
Here is an email I sent to my good friend a few hours into the project...

Re painted the kitchen stool I just got... success! Re painted the kids chairs in the kitchen... success! Re painted the hardware for the kitchen island... success!  Time to start on the bed room. Want to use brown markers (so much easier than paint... I'm brilliant!) No brown markers to be had in this town. Okay, get black markers, but not a bold one, so the contrast isn't too much.... Come home, try it, can barely see it. Go back to the store, get a bolder marker... skips over texture too much even for the rustic look I'm going for. Okay, going to have to use brown paint over the marker, it'll take awhile, but worth it.... Tried it... not so sure I'm liking this.... hmmmm okay, don't give up. how many people like a project mid project? No one, that's why everyone says don't look yet, it's not done.... First line almost done uh oh, running out of wall mid word.... step back, double uh oh, my words got much bigger as I went.... Okay, looks like I'm going to have to go and buy some paint the color of the wall so I can cover my mistakes. I look at Kiddo who is the voice of reason. "If that's what it takes!" Good girl! Dig out paint chip. uh.... I don't think that's it, I thought it was a strip with several colors on it. This is a single color. Hold it up in the bedroom. sure looks like it's it, but was so sure it was a different chip..... look some more, can't find any other chip that is close. Go to the store. Kind gentleman hems and haws a great bit and scratches his head a lot and finally produces a gallon of paint the color of red terracotta..... Uh, that's not even close to the light tan paint chip. hems and haws a great deal more.... waiting waiting waiting while he talks to other customers and tidies up his work station and scratches his head a bit. I excuse myself to do more "shopping" and go to the sporting goods department. Says I to the young lady behind the desk... "Can I count on your discretion? I need paint, the gentleman at the desk is having great difficulty but I don't want to embarrass or humiliate him. I want to respect him. Can you just happen by and give him some help?"  She goes over tries to help him. I say tries because she doesn't seem to know any more than he does, but she thinks she does and they soon get into a disagreement. They bring in someone else, who apparently doesn't know how to color match either. They all decide it's hopeless. Although they can't make the color match machine work they've found the paint formula, but since they no longer carry that brand have told me that it won't work on any other. I ask if they can please try, that if it's close I can just paint the whole wall. They agree to try. It looks close, maybe a bit light. The woman from the sporting goods dept. says a bit loudly. "It's a good thing I just happened by!" (wink wink) I thank all three and an hour after I arrived at the paint counter I'm on my way home with my gallon of paint and 2 liter bottle of cherry coke I bought to console myself and give me energy which I'm sure I'm going to need. I climb on the ladder and paint over the words that were done incorrectly the first time... I wait 20 minutes for the paint to dry. The paint is too light. I'm now going to have to paint the entire wall and let it dry before I can begin the painting technique... that I'm not even sure of. I told Hubby this morning that I'm working on the wall, not sure about it, on my 4th attempt and if it doesn't turn out to please be kind and not put on a "bad face" But I'll paint over it in a couple of weeks when I feel recovered again!
how was your day? LOL

I'm pleased to report that after watching a show on HGTV network to regroup I went back into our bedroom to survey the situation and wrote another email to my friend....

Subject: A little less drama please
Yay! Checked again after my 20 min. break. The paint isn't too light!!!! I don't have to repaint the whole wall!!! Thank you Lord :))) 

18 hours later and it is finished. This is how I did it... I measured down from the ceiling and used blue painters tape to mark off lines every 8 inches. I didn't follow the lines, but rather used them as guides to make sure my writing didn't start going "down hill". I confess I originally made my spacing 12 inches, but after I had painted 3 lines I discovered that it would never do and I painted over the bottom two lines and repainted them 8 inches apart. Frustrated that so much of my time had been wasted, but it's better to paint it correctly than paint it fast. 8 inches = much better :)  My good friend T.K. later made the suggestion of using a yard stick and marking my lines with chalk, which could be easily wiped off after the paint dried using a damp cloth. Ah Ha!! Wish I had thought of it. But I had already marked all my words when I had gotten the email. Next time, yard stick and chalk! (will there be a next time??)
Hubby called when I was finishing. I couldn't help but tease him a bit. He called and asked how it was going. When I told him how long I had been painting his reaction was "For one wall?! Why so long?" Keep in mind he didn't know what I was doing other than a painting technique. I told him "Oh there were so many lines and so much painters tape to deal with. I tried using my level, but it's so small it was useless, so I had to eye ball it." I just KNEW he was thinking I was going for some circus tent effect and that my lines were going to be all wavy LOL. I waited for his reaction to this mental image...  My sweet husband says to me "Oh, just go into the shed and get one of my 4 or 6 foot levels."  WOW I have an amazing man who has a LOT of trust in his silly wife!  Thank you Lord! Such a blessing!! I later asked him what he thought I had done. He said he thought it was probably red, brown and white stripes about an inch thick all across the wall. He said he wasn't looking forward to it, but that he trusted me." I say again "WOW" :))

For the words I originally chose the phrase "I love you more than ever" the same as in the inspiration picture. I soon found out that it would fit perfectly however, and so would cause a problem with staggering it. I didn't want it to look like I had written it much as a child would write a chastisement on a chalk board. LOL
I'll love you more than ever
I'll love you more than ever
I'll love you more than ever
So I added "forever and always" to the phrase randomly. Now I had the staggered effect I was looking for. To close my letter I added to the end. "I love you more each day. You are my hero. Thank you!"

I also highlighted the words "I" "Love" "You" "My hero" with reddish brown paint in just a few spots for a subtle effect. I've circled them here so you can see just where they are.

It's finished and the room is put back together. I like it. I suppose I wish the hand writing was a bit more like calligraphy, but I was going more for a rustic, simplistic affect... And besides, it's hard to write neatly in 5 inch letters on a wall with a tiny paint brush! Although I do like it, I think I'll have to get used to it a bit, but hubby likes it and that's why I did it :)  ! The most important thing though is that hubby is back, at home, with me, and I'm ecstatically happy about that! 
BTW 'see the pillow on the bed? The one with the words on it? I had it made for my husband for our anniversary. It says "Some people read of heroes in storybooks. Mine walks in the door each night and tells me he loves me."  Have I mentioned lately how much I'm blessed??? ;)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Keep your eyes on the one who created us.

I've had a worry, a concern, a burden, a struggle. I've been carrying this load for a long time. I was losing my Joy. Not the everyday living type of joy, but the deep down in your heart that everything is okay type of joy. I felt a constant frustration that life was pulling me in every direction, demanding a piece of me.

"Has it been well over a year now Lord?"

I've tried to deal with it on my own. I've cried about it. I've anguished about it. I've prayed about it. I've ignored it and come back to it. 
"Lord I know you see, I know you hear, 
Lord show me the way". 
His silence told me. 
"Not yet. You are not ready for my answer." 
 I waited, I prayed, I struggled some more. Then, yesterday I went to the house of my good friend Helen and God said 
"Now it's time. Now you are ready."  On the chalk board in her dining room she had written the focus of  her devotions. Four simple words... "Joy vs Self Pity" God told me. "Now you are ready to hear. It's your fault that you struggle. You struggle because you are too busy looking at your worries and not looking at me." "You mean this frustration and lack of joy I feel is self pity Lord? How can it be self pity. I detest self pity." "Self pity can come in many forms, among them anger or frustration. When the cares of this world back you into a corner and make you feel worry, you can either look at them and feel wronged, or you can look at me and feel my love" and the burden was lifted. What an awesome God we serve! Thank you Lord!!