Mrs. P and The Button Clip-On Earrings

July 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm (Jewelry, Musings...)

I know this amazing lady.  She is my sister, Esther’s mother-in-law.   I call her Mrs. P.  She is 84 or 85, and has an amazing amount of energy and zest for life.

Mrs. P and Ian

I had a great conversation with her at Caleb’s graduation party.  She was admiring my bracelet and I explained that I made it and was looking for vintage clip-on earrings to make more.   You know how some people say they are going to do something, but don’t really mean it??  If Mrs. P says it, she intends to do it.  Our conversation took place on Sunday.  Today I got a call from her and she asked me to stop over at her house.  She had a tray full of earrings for me.  They are varied and all beautiful.  The first bracelet I am going to make is for Mrs. P. ~~ gunmetal gray and white. 

Me, a pretty bunny, and my latest jewelry creation ~~ the bracelet 🙂

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Patrick

July 27, 2010 at 11:05 am (Musings..., MVD)

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:2

I met Patrick in the hospital when I was in for my MVD in March.  He was battling brain cancer.  I was sitting outside of my room to get away from my looney roommate, reading, and he stopped, asked if he could sit down.  I told him, “sure.”  We started to talk.  He told me about his battle ~~ it had been a short one with aggressive cancer; he told me about his life ~~ it had been a hard one.  He had no children, two sisters.  I encouraged him.  I read some scripture to him (I had my Bible with me).  I asked him if he knew Jesus.  I briefly explained the way of Salvation.  I asked him if I could pray for him and he said I could.   I prayed that he would have courage and peace, the peace that passes all understanding  (Philippians 4:7).   I have continued to pray for Patrick.

Patrick died on July 25.  I read his obituary in the paper.  I now know his last name.  He is survived by two sisters and many nieces and nephews.   I pray that God was able to use my encounter with Patrick. 

 

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I Could Be a Hermit

July 20, 2010 at 10:58 am (Musings...)

her-mit 1 a: one that retires from society and lives in solitude : recluse.

That’s me!!  However, I am working on being more social.  My friend, Juel, is coming for coffee today.  I would have baked a loaf of Lemon Tea Bread but then we wouldn’t have had enough milk for coffee.  Tomorrow I am meeting with my young friend, Amanda and she is going to show me how to photograph my artwork and jewelry. 

But, in my soul, I am a hermit.  Give me coffee, cereal, a few good books, the Internet,  my art supplies, jewelry stuff, pilates and eliptical machines and I could stay in my beautiful home for weeks on end. 

My Art Room

My latest creations... a Zhostovo-inspired teapot, bent-wire earrings and bracelet

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Fighting Fear

July 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm (Musings..., Scripture References)

What are you afraid of?  I don’t mean snakes and spiders fear (although my fear of snakes IS very real!).  I mean… well, here are a few pictures of my fears…  

Fear of Success

Fear of Failure

Fear of Losing my Musical Abilities

 These fears paralyze me.  They keep me from finishing well.  Fear renders me deaf and dumb, immune to those who try to encourage me.  Fear weakens my resolve to live for Jesus. 

Pastor Ray, Jr. at EBC has been doing a series on fear.  Today, using some of the passages he referenced and using my handy-dandy concordance, I found a few verses.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7
 
“The Lord is my light and my salvation.  Whom  shall I fear?”  Psalm 27:1
 
“So do not fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10
 
“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear.”  1 John 4:18
 
Unfortunately, I was not a good model of courage for my children.  I watch as they struggle, as I have with fear of failure.  I wrote out this prayer today…
Lord, my life is often ruled by fear:  fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of people’s reactions, fear of finances.  You promise that your perfect love casts out fear.  I am embracing, filling myself with your perfect love, so that I may approach this day, tomorrow, and the days following with courage and boldness.  I want YOUR WILL to rule my life, not fear.  I love you.  ~~ Your Daughter ~~  Melodye Joy.

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Tiramisu Cheesecake

July 6, 2010 at 10:30 am (Recipes)

I made the regular “master cheesecake” for darling DannyO’s birthday.  It was delicious!  I made a cherry sauce for on top of it.  I warned my friend,  Jana, that my 4th of July dessert would be an experiment.  She said that would be just fine.  Don’t be intimidated.  It is very easy to make!  Of course, if you aren’t a baker, just make sure and follow the steps as they are laid out and you will be fine!

Master cheesecake

The crust components

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter (for brushing the sides and bottom of pan)
  • 3 tablespoons crumbs from chocolate wafers, graham crackers or gingersnaps. OR
  • 1 (3 ounce) package soft ladyfingers left whole but trimmed to fit the pan. (They need cut in half).

If you are making just the “master cheesecake” recipe and prefer a thicker graham cracker crust, follow the directions on the cracker package or crumb mix package.  (I used the thicker bottom crust, and thin side crust when I made mine.)

The body of the cheesecake.

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

The “extras” needed to make it a Tiramisu Cheesecake

  • 6 tbsp strong coffee and 2 tbsp rum (for brushing the ladyfingers)
  • 2 tbsp espresso or instant coffee powder
  • 4-ounce bar of semi or bittersweet chocolate
  • remainder of heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup of confectioner’s sugar

The recipe calls for wrapping a 9-inch spring-form pan with aluminum foil so it can sit in a water bath.  That didn’t work for me because no matter how hard I tried, the water leaked through the springform, into the cheesecake.  I actually made the recipe two times because of this issue!  I ended up filling an 8×8 cake pan half full with boiling water and putting it on the second oven rack, letting the steam do the work

1. Brush the interior of the springform pan with melted butter.  Add crumbs of choice and tilt pan in all directions to evenly coat.  OR  Dip the lady fingers in 6 tbsp strong coffee and 2 tbsp rum.  Trim the lady fingers in half so they go around the perimeter of the cake pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with the remainder of the ladyfingers.

 2. Mix cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated.  Scrape down bowl sides and beat again until smooth.  Beat in eggs one a time. Slowly beat in vanilla and sour cream and heavy cream. 

At this point, I poured 1/2 of the mixture into the pan.  I then added two tbsp. instant coffee to the remaining batter, mixed well and then added to the pan, allowing the swirls and twirls to happen. 

Put in oven 325.  Put pan with boiling water under the springform pan; do not put the pan in the water.  Cook 50 minutes.  The cheesecake should be firm around the sides and a bit jiggly in the middle.  Turn off the oven, open the door and let the cheesecake in the oven for 30 more minutes.   

Cool.  Whip the remaining heavy cream, add 1/8 cup or so of XX sugar.  Spread over cooled cake.  Shred bittersweet chocolate on top of the whole cake.

The basic cheesecake recipe is marvelous. The addition of the coffee, the rum, the chocolate, just made the cake absolutely “sing!” It was indeed a hit at the party!

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Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

July 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm (Recipes)

My mom insisted that I borrow a brand new book she received, “Christmas, Book 11, by Gooseberry Patch.”  As I was perusing through it, I came across a recipe I thought I’d try. 

It is delicious!!

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of water
  • 15 1/4-oz. can of corn, drained
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 12-oz. bottle green taco sauce
  • 4 1/2-oz. can chopped green chiles
  • 1-oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix

Garnishes:  sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese.

Brown beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat: drain.  In a slow cooker, combine beef mixture and remaining ingredients except garnishes.  Cover and cook on high setting for one hour.  Garnish, if desired.  Serve with corn chips or tortilla chips.  Makes 8 to 10 servings.

I had never used green taco sauce.  When I make this recipe again,  (and I will), I’ll probably use fresh or frozen corn.  It could be cooked on top of the stove, sort of like a chili.  My 30-year old crock pot needed almost 2 hours to cook this.  Of course, she is old and tired 🙂 . If you use a newer pot, the cooking time is probably just right. Even though I usually associate the crock pot with cold, winter nights, it is actually a perfect fit for hot summer days ~~ it doesn’t heat up the kitchen!!

It was not too spicy and my darling DannyO and Daddy absolutely loved it! 

 

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