Saturday, November 30, 2019

Saturday Morning

We are having a slow Saturday, and it feels good!  What does it look like?

For my husband it looks like this:

For me, it looks like making muffins, folding laundry, washing dishes, and putting up a new shower curtain.

For my children it looks like an Advent project, playing house, reading stories, making yogurt, and listening to 8-tracks.

I hope your Saturday is just as cozy.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Fashion Commentary

Today my daughter and I were going through a closet full of my mother's clothing. While some of the items brought memories, others provoked comments from my daughter which made me chuckle because I am a child of the 80s/90s.

First garment to receive her scrutiny was one of my mother's dresses: "Are these shoulder pads?" Yes, oh, yes, my daughter. Shoulder pads. Did anybody actually like shoulder pads? (I hated them and usually cut them out.)

The second item was a t-shirt. Daughter said, "What color is that?" It was neon green. Or neon yellow. Is there a difference?

I know fashion seems to repeat itself, but I will not cry one single tear if shoulder pads and bright neons escape the fashion cycle.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Gratitude List 2019

I need an attitude adjustment. The holiday season begins this week, and instead of facing it with a pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a frosted sugar cookie in the other, I’m dreading the whole thing. You see, my mother passed away in September.

Those of you who have lost a mother will likely understand the difficulty of putting into words how I’ve felt since then. It’s an actual physical ache somewhere near my heart that only goes away fully with sleep. Who would have guessed that every last thing in the world reminds me of my mother and my loss and my sorrow?

But that’s not what Thanksgiving is about. Enter my old and neglected friend, my yearly gratitude list. Maybe a little gratitude can change my attitude. I’ll give it a try for 2019.

I’m grateful that my daughter thinks it is disgusting when people bite their toenails. That my son thinks technology is interesting and fun; you should see the the digital doohickeys he creates for my online shop. That another son attempts to keep me on track at the Friday night auctions so I don’t do something stupid like accidentally bid on rusty old c-clamps. 

I’m grateful for little boys who whisper big dreams of playing in the NFL before drifting off to sleep. I think I’m thankful that diaper days are over. And for my “baby” who at the age of four can do so many big-girl things on her own but who still wants me to help her sometimes. Being needed feels good.

I’m thankful when people apologize to those they hurt, even when the hurt was accidental. Sincere apologies do make a difference.

I’m grateful for Jane Austen’s novels that I binge-read this summer; if I had read them in junior high, I would’ve ditched New Kids on the Block for Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley. Also I’m grateful for my lovely oldest daughter who encourages me to watch movies based on Austen’s novels.

I’m grateful for my mother-in-law’s homemade tomato soup which she continues to make for others despite the fact that eating tomato products puts blisters in her mouth. For dark chocolate, for Earl Grey tea, for freshly ground coffee, and for any friend (or stranger) who supplies me with these indulgences.

I am thankful for emu oil and arch supports because arthritic feet are no fun.

The organist at our church has considerable skills; you should hear her play on Reformation Sunday! I’m thankful God gifted our congregation with her talents. And I’m thankful for my son’s beautiful singing voice; his strength of both voice and spirit lifted me up in some of my darkest hours.  Also for my youngest children who flock to me when I cry; how can concerned, loving little faces attached to hugging arms not bring joy?

For my sisters, I give thanks. Without them I’d feel so alone because only they understand my sadness completely. For Daddy who cared for my mother’s needs so well as her health failed. And for my mother because she taught us all how to love each other.

I’m thankful for the man who organizes all my messes, who entertains the children by playing video games when I need a nap, and who doesn’t flinch when I wipe my tears and my nose on his shirt. And babies! My niece is having one tomorrow, and I’m ecstatically thankful; every mourning family should have a new baby.

Mostly I’m thankful for a loving Father from whom all of these blessings flow. I sincerely wish for you all a happy Thanksgiving.


My Thanksgiving rolls are rising!

That gratitude list was long overdue. This recipe is years overdue; it’s been hanging on my kitchen cupboard since the last time I wrote a newspaper column. My friend from church shared it with me, and it is a versatile one—suitable for any holiday get-together. 

Quick Fruit Dessert

1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 can fruit filling

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in the almond extract. Next mix in the flour and baking powder.

Butter a 9 x 13 inch cake pan and pour or turn mixture into pan. Spoon in the pie filling in 6 to 16 spots on top of mixture. 

Bake at 350℉ for 30 to 35 minutes or when none of the flour mixture comes out when you insert a toothpick. You may top this dessert with powdered sugar.

Recipe note: You may use only 2 eggs if that’s all you have, and either homemade or store-bought fruit filling will work. You may also add more flour if the consistency seems off.

**This column was printed in the November 27, 2019, issue of the Hancock News.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Puzzle Sale

We are back from vacation, and that means I need to put my nose to the grindstone with school and with my Etsy shop.

Something happened around August with Etsy that has caused me to have fewer sales. I also closed my shop in September because of my mother's illness and death, and that's never good for an online business.

So in an effort to jumpstart some business, I kicked off a sale on all of my puzzles-- 20% off until November 29th.

Who wouldn't want to piece this cute puzzle?

Aren't they adorable?

I'm also considering taking the plunge into social media to promote Sideling View Crafts. I've held off for quite some time because it isn't my "thing," but I think I'd like to try to step things up a bit in my shop. If that means stepping out of my comfort zone, then I might just need to do it.

What do you think? Any tips or ideas?

P. S. I updated some of my links because some shops have closed and some have changed names. Check them out because my friends might just have something you need to buy for a Christmas gift.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Official Heat Day 2019

Today-- Monday, November 4, 2019-- is the day you've all been waiting for-- Heat Day 2019! 

Yesterday it was a bit chilly in our house, but we didn't have to deal with the cold at night since we left for a quick overnight visit to my dad. When we returned this evening, it was too cold for me. If I hadn't felt like I might be coming down with something, I might have toughed it out for another day or so. 

But I'm not too disappointed since we made it into November. Is it November 23rd (our record)? No. And while I will forever harbor the dream of lasting until December, I think we all know that's unrealistic. 

Here's to waking up with toasty toes in the morning!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Quotation of the Day

In case you were wondering, my eldest daughter takes after me. This morning she said, "Ketchup is enough meat for me."

My sentiments exactly. Aren't french fries, after all, just edible spoons?