Monday, August 02, 2021

Celebrate our failures

                               My first attempt *ever* at water color flowers.

 "We need to own our failures, celebrate them, share them, and learn from them" ~ Margy Malan from Green Renaissance video "Make Mistakes - Abandon your 'Perfect Life'" Oct 2, 2019 

Celebrate our failures? Most of us want to forget our failures. 

I am learning there is wisdom in my failures. 

How would I know that using a double acting baking soda will make my gluten-free biscuits rise? Guess how I know. Because I have used regular baking soda that wasn't fresh. Ooops. 

 I have longed to start a project and make it "just so" when I start. Then failure to meet my vision sets me back. 

 Ms. Margy teaches me a new perspective. Celebrate it! Woo hoo! It didn't turn out, now...what did I learn from that...and go forward. 

 Don't stew in it. Don't give up. It's in the trying again that we succeed just a little bit better than last time. 

 There is an old saying from when we lived in Okinawa many moons ago...7 times fall down, 8 times get up. 

 Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Letters from the heart


Old fashioned Homemakers postcards found at an antique shop. "Drop a line", "What's cooking here", "Between pressing issues" are some of the sweet quotes.

Fun stickers to decorate envelopes!

 Hello Ladies~

Today I want to share the lovely art of letter writing. Some of you may already do this, and some may not or have not learned the skills. This is something we can keep alive in this time of technology. Technology is helpful, but it is so thoughtful to write letters and take a few moments for  phone calls. 

Please keep this close to your heart - people still need to know you take the time just for them. Even if just 5 minutes to write a note. 

Something to brighten their mailbox.

I try to write at least one letter a couple times a month. Usually to my dear cousin, sometimes my sweet grandchildren (they are so delighted at this) and sometimes to a homemaking friend I have met here, blogging.

National letter writing day is December 7th, but I have learned there is also National letter writing to an Elder and a Day of Letter writing. How fun that we have so many opportunities!

When writing a letter, the traditional way is to date the top left corner. Then comes the salutation: Dear Lisa, or Hello Mr. Snicklefritz. 

Writing thoughts or questions are always nice and show concern: "I hope my note finds you well" or "How are you doing since we last spoke?" 

Ideas for writing? You may think "what do I write about I talk to her all the time" or " we email/text daily". This is the time to write from the heart. Those lovely things that don't get shared when sending a one sentence text. Or 3 sentence email.

How's your homemaking decorating? Have you had new ideas you want to share? Maybe you want her ideas for new front door decorations? What projects are you working on? What have you participated in that you enjoyed? Have you taken and "adventures" like a drive through the country? Did you finally get to a to-do project and you feel grateful for. 

It's my humble opinion to stay clear from negative and opinionated statements about somebody. You want your letter to be sharing about YOU, not gossip of what someone else has done.

Something that Amy from On the Journey does, which I love, is break up the page into various portions. You can see a picture of what I am describing by going to her blog and looking at her "Snail Mail" link at the bottom of her posts. 

She usually has a quote or scripture written at the top and various tips or ideas written in various ways. Maybe even a quote that your friend will find very uplifting or a reminder of how much they are loved. 

Lydia and HomeLiving has done letter writing in the past and has a post about it on her blog. As well as Mrs. Sherman

My book of months with dates and sweet cards I find at antique shops and thrift stores.

My book I have that I keep cards in shows how me what birthdays are coming up or anniversaries so I can make sure to have them stocked. (If not I keep a few in my letter drawer in my desk just in case ;-) 

Decorating the envelope is something else I love to do. That is my "touch". I know a friend who draws on my envelopes. I am not quite that talented. I can do a flower :-) 

I usually have a stash of stickers to decorate the envelope or box. It really is so much fun. 

I hope you have enjoyed my ideas of what I do and want to encourage you to get a small paper and envelope to write a little note to someone you know. Just to say "I'm thinking of you!"

Have a lovely day,

Mrs. Peterson

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Recipes from the Heart of the Home

 "No one shall appear with his hands empty before the Lord; but everyone shall offer according to what he has, according to the blessing of the Lord his God shall give him." Deut. 16:16-17

If you have followed my blog before, you know I find happy faces in the oddest places. 

Hello Ladies~

I hope you are well. I chose the verse above because it reminds me each week to bring an offering (in my heart) to the Lord when I go to church. My offering is what I have made by hand through the week. It gives me a sense of doing for Him.

Today I am writing to you from the Heart of the Home - the Kitchen. I am often in here, either cooking or making something for the house. 

In all the years I have posted blog posts, I have never shared my homemade All-Purpose Cleaner. Now, I know there are many lovely ladies who post all kinds of variations. Truth be told, I have tried many and always come back to this one. 

It sanitizes, it cleans and it smells good.  Since I cook so much from scratch my counters are wiped down daily and I trust this version. Some are too complicated. Some leave me wondering if my counters are really sanitized. 

I always seem to come back to my old faithful. You know that saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Well, there is nothing wrong with it, I just try other variations. But always end up with a giggle when I am getting out my 20 year old trusty plastic squirt bottle that the recipe is taped to the front! I am not always THAT creative with those fancy labels I see today.

Ingredients for my All-Purpose Cleaner

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 Qt warm water
1 tsp Borax
1 tsp dish soap (or 13 squirts from a dispenser)
1/4 c. vinegar
20 drops lemon oil
10 drops tea tree oil

Mix in spray bottle. Great at cutting grease!

I am truly not aware of where I got the basics of this, but as with all recipes. I take the basics and add what I want or take away something that doesn't appeal to me. Since this has been with me for almost 20 years, I have no idea where I may have seen it. But it works!

Now for my other recipe this week. 

From my little nook, an herb crust for chicken.

This one is a rub I use for cooking chicken. It gives a lovely crust and tastes delicious when reheated. The original recipe, called Rub for meats -AIP, has variations that I don't use. I don't think I ever follow a recipe exactly.

Herb Crust for Chicken

1 1/2     tsp sea salt
2 T     powdered garlic
1 T     dried oregano
2 tsp     thyme
1/2 tsp     cinnamon
1 tsp     dried minced onion
1/4 tsp     ground ginger
1/4 tsp     dried dill

I blend them in a small coffee grinder that I use only for herbs. Store in a glass jar.

When I am cooking chicken, I use a bit of oil on it then I use a teaspoon to scoop a bit from the jar and tap it gently to "sprinkle" the crust mix on the chicken. If I use the spoon alone and sprinkle it tends to use way too much for each piece. My goal is a bit for flavor not completely covered.

Well, that's all for this week. We are preparing for Lent next week. In the mean time, please fix yourself a little cup of tea and sit down to gaze out the window at the beauty God has made right where you live.

May God's peace be with you,

Mrs. Peterson

I will close with a bit of humor for you from a little book we have called Holy Humor by Cal & Rose Samra:

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." Victor Hugo

Monday, January 18, 2021

Audio book Marriage to a Difficult Man

Sunrise at our country home.

 Hello Ladies,

I am stepping out of my usually once a week post to share a book that has been mentioned many times in paths I've crossed, whether online blogs or in person friends. The book is called Marriage to a Difficult Man by Ms. Dobbs.

The audio book found here Marriage to a Difficult Man is on and is free. The story is something I am enjoying as I go about my housework, though it is not as clear of a recording I would like, but I'm grateful it's free.

A free audio supports my goal this year to not purchase anything new unless it's replacing something. I am finding this is challenging, which is very good for me. 

Have a blessed day. Enjoy a cozy afternoon and cup of tea, and know I'm praying for you.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Christmas memories

Hello Ladies~

It's always a bittersweet time of year for me when we are past the Epiphany and it's time to take down the Christmas decorations. Before I do, I wanted to share wonderful Christmas memories.  These memories are made mostly during my marriage of almost 29 years. Prior to this, some memories are great and others not so great. 

I heard once we can recreate our holidays based on what makes us happy rather than what we are "suppose" to do. One lady I know started collecting holiday socks to wear, as a child she was not given that opportunity. Another story I've heard is of wearing fun holiday earrings, whether for Easter, Christmas, or Valentines, even her birthday she had little present earrings. So much fun!

For me, it was choosing to go away from the fancy decorated trees to a simple tree. Filled with memories. My husband and I love nice things, but in our hearts we are simple and love homemade and meaningful things. 

So my tree is a memory tree. My whole family knows this and each year before Christmas we scan the year and ask "What was the one most meaningful thing to us this year?" And then we hunt for an ornament. 

I even have an ornament of a tent camper with a little fire next to the tent. All you see is eyes peeking out from the tent and bear tracks outside. Well, this happened to us 3 years ago! We were tent camping and forgot to lock up the dog food and a bear stole the whole container! We found it off in the woods of the campground, with holes from his teeth and he/she ate the whole bag of dog food. Probably had a belly ache later. 

So we've been able to find all sorts of ornaments that represent the one major event of the year. This year, we wondered? Mask? or kitten? I don't want a mask ornament, so we are still hunting for a Ragdoll kitten ornament. So sweet and soft!

Here are some favorites on my tree:

The hand print of my grandson at 2 years old. They put glue on this hand, dipped in glitter then wrapped it around the little ball.  I love anything with handprints!

This was a magical year for me. I had always wanted to ride the Polar Express since we moved here. One year my husband's son, Evan, came out and graciously paid for all of us to ride the Polar Express. (The local train converts every year and we take a short ride north of town to the North Pole and see real reindeer). This was my ticket. My bell is on the tree too, and if you are wondering, yes we all wore pajamas. I had full footed bunny pj's with my snow boots, long coat, hat and scarf. It was so cold outside!

My sweet husband painted this for me when we were dating. I used to paint ceramics for fun, and he joined in one day. I have always treasured this as this is not something he usually does.

This sweet and simple little bell brings back a host of memories. We were stationed in Okinawa and my husband was gone. My youngest step-daughter was in Kindergarten and the school had a Christmas performance that each student held one of these to ring as they sang Jingle Bells. Oh my goodness were they cute!

1976  was one of the years I was in Brownies and we made these after school with our troop leader.  Such a long time ago, but good memories.

There is poor lighting here, but this is our lovely manger scene. Baby Jesus is hidden from view somewhere near until Christmas. Then the wise men "travel" across my living room from Christmas day to the Epiphany when they arrive at the stable. Yes, we still do this even though the kids are gone. One year the grandchildren helped move them along, that was fun. 

Sometimes I want to replace our stockings I made back in the first year of our marriage, but I always choose not to. The decorations on them were found at the Okinawan dollar store and the felt is what I had on hand. The toe of the girls stockings had a button that when pressed sang Jingle Bells. Memories. 

Thanks for letting me share with you. I hope this may inspire you to think of Creating your own Christmas or holiday memories.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New year,

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Today is my birthday!

This is my favorite type of tea: frozen or fresh blueberries, hot water, and whipped cinnamon honey. So comforting!

Hello there to you!

Today is my birthday and I am so excited:

I have been through many things through my 50 something years and am excited to see what God has for me in the remaining years.  

My word this year is Create. To create joy, create relationships, create fun with my husband, create order and beauty in my home.

I have healed from Lyme, am journeying through menopause (albeit a rough one!), and can now say I have survived COVID. I have learned a great deal of Hope and Trust in God.  For it is by His hand that I am where I am today.

This season in my life has been much about reaching into that place in me that I so loved as a child, before the world said "you must do x", "your suppose to x".  What about the space of wonder, the place that gets terrible excited to get a bicycle bell for her new bike! (Yes, that was me last Christmas).  My husband as seen this part of me through the years, but now it's time to be genuine of those things I love. 

Like making baskets and weaving in recycled material, and doing away with plastic bags as much as possible. I've written about that before, so I won't go say too much here.

That I love to sit outside in the morning hours and watch the sun come up and thank the Lord for all the wonders of the earth and how they awaken more and more as the sun comes closer to full rise.

I love homemaking, but am learning it can't be my all. God created me to also create. The greatest flattery is imitation, I plan to use my word of the year to create more, and see what God has for me in learning more about "Create." To be more intentional about using recycled materials.

Seeing first hand how much I declutter, and take car loads down - but you can't tell, has opened my eyes to all the clutter I manage.  I have learned the term "inventory to manage" from Minimal Mom on you tube.  She has inspired me to relook at all the things sitting around that is actually using my mental energy. Trying to find time to clean out, put away, oil, tend to, dust, find a home for. All these things are "inventory to manage". I have other things I want to do in my life, so I am managing much inventory right out the door.

Since my oldest daughter and her family now live 4 hours from us, and my youngest daughter and her family (40 min from us) are very tied up with schooling from home and full time work, I am growing through a new season as a step-mom.  I raised them, but now see I can't put my life all around them. God made me for many things, this was one of them.

Fun is a word that I want to incorporate after almost a year of being home. Speaking of!!! 

Starting today! My husband joined me on a little walk on our snow packed gravel road. Coming back I noticed the road was very slippery so we did something WAY fun! I held his hands while being behind him and he ran just a bit so I could "ski". His shoes gripped better than my snow boots, so I was able to slide. Oh how fun! We did something like that YEARS ago when he was training in the Marine Corps. I put on my skates, and he put a jump rope around his waist and ran with me behind him. Oh you can only imagine!

Most of all my heart longs to reach out to every person who is home, lonely and forgotten. The ones that have no family. The ones who do have family but they are not involved for whatever reason. I would love to hug you and give you a lovely cup of tea to say "you ARE me and Someone greater than me."

Have a blessed day! If you have tea today pray for me, and I will pray for you.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Merry Christmas from the quiet cottage

 May your Christmas and the following 8 days of celebration be merry & bright!  

We had a quiet Christmas. No Zoom, no large meals, but we do have our own traditions that we developed since the kids have grown and gone.

Each year for Christmas we get up, make something hot, start a fire and open our stockings.

While it's simple, it gives us so much excitement in the simplicity of it.

Then we make breakfast, go to church and come home.

After declaring "comfy clothes" we get something hot to drink and settle down to open our presents. 

Each year we try to keep presents simple. Not a lot. Only 3. Like the 3 gifts of the Wise Men.

We have tried in the past to do 3 gifts with a dollar amount, but that became too stressful. 

Keep it simple.

3 gifts. 

Our stockings are also simple. I needed help years ago because the girls stockings were getting out of hand. Not to mention extended family also contributed. Then I ran across this jingle:

Stocking stuffer guidelines:

*Something to eat

*Something to read

*Something to play with

*Something you need

These have served us well, and we still use them today. My husband has several little puzzle type things on his desk, of which he uses in those meetings that aren't always attention getters ;-) 

I hope you enjoy the pictures. It has been awhile. I will post more later. But know if you are reading this, I have prayed for you, for your needs, and for God's peace to rest in your heart.


A little tree someone decorated on the trail.

A tiny little tree growing amongst those who are quiet.

A lone Christmas ball hanging on another tree.

 Fascinated at the tiny leaves with spots on them.

C and I on our Sunday walk. That hill behind us is not the one we walked. It is to the left out of the picture.