Saturday, February 04, 2017

On Choosing joy!

The Happy Hour book Group (yes, we should be taken seriously) chose the book When Breath Becomes Air for the January discussion. It's written by and about Paul Kalanithi, a 36 year old man on the verge of completing ten years of training  in Neurosurgery, when he is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

At 36, his life was laid out in front of him, And then this. Did he dare hope for any kind of future. His oncologist offered him hope but encouraged him to consider what was most important to him. He and his wife decided to have a child. He performed surgery until he could no more. He started to write this book.

I was struck with his courage and in spite of this tough diagnosis, his will to move forward,

I shared with my book group the story of Lee.

In 2013, my friend Lee Fowler died from cancer. She was another remarkable person who refused to let cancer dominate any portion of her life. She always said that she was going to live until she died and that is exactly what she did. About three months before she passed away she sent an email to a number of her quilter friends. She wanted to make a pickle dish quilt but didn't think she could get it done on her own. Would any of us be willing to make a few blocks. I'm sure, before the week was out, she had all the blocks she needed to make that quilt. Other friends helped her sew it together and another quilted the top and bound it.

Here are pictures of the quilt, most of the gang and Lee.

Each of us who worked on this quilt was given the opportunity to have it for a month or so. It came with a journal so that we could write our memories of  Lee, Having the quilt gave me a chance to consider what a gift she had given all of us. She pulled people together who cared for her and shared her quilt love and the work brought joy at a time which might other wise have been quite sad. We all pulled together for Lee. And then she gave it back to us for a bit. It is a joyful, sunny quilt.

I am amazed at how people face death. Lee showed us all to choose joy!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On the 12th Day of Christmas

to all my blog readers

May your days be Merry and Bright!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

On the 11th Day of Christmas

I offer you Straight No Chaser singing The 12 Days of Christmas. You must promise to listen to this all the way through because it is different than all the others and truly creative and just totally fun!!!

And today and tomorrow are about FUN, FAMILY and FRIENDS and FOOD!


Friday, December 23, 2016

On the 10th Day of Christmas

Brian Andreas, creator of Story People, makes great whimsical art with wonderful little bitty stories. Sometimes they tug at your heart strings. Other times they are reminders of how good life is. Enjoy this one and do click on the link I have provided to see what other wonderful things he has to offer.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

On the 9th day of Christmas

These are my personal favorite cookies for the Holidays. Enjoy!

Best Ginger Cookies

Best Soft and Chewy Ginger cookies

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups shortening
3/4 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Gradually add the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Stir in the flour mixture with the electric mixer.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. You can freeze these now or roll the balls in the 3/4 cup coarse sugar. (Turbinado, which is raw sugar, works well)

 Place about 2-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are light brown and puffed. (Do not overbake or cookies will not be soft and chewy.) Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

On the 8th Day of Christmas

Today, I will start you with Christmas humor. You might need it if you still have shopping to do. After you've had a laugh, read the recipe for some really good Christmas Wassail and do make it but fair warning...

Recipe for Christmas Rum Cake
  • 1 or 2 qts. of rum
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • baking powder
  • tsp. baking soda
  • lemon juice
  • brown sugar
  • nuts
  1. Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality.
  2. Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. It must be just right! To be sure the rum is of the highest quality, pour 1 level cup of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat butter in large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of thugar and beat again. Meanshile, it’s important to make sure the rum is of the finest quality—try another cup.
  4. Open the second quart of rum if necessary. Add 1 arge leggs, 2 cups of fried druits and beat till high.
  5. If the druits get stuck in the beats, just pru it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the rum again for cinscistincy.
  6. Next, sift 3 cups of salt and feffer (it really doesn’t matter). Sample the wum again.
  7. Sift 1 pint of lemon goose, add 1 bablespoon of brown thugar, of whatever color tou can find. Mix well. Grease oven, turn cake pan to 350 greeds.
  8. Noe, pour the whole mess sinto the boven and ake. Check the crum again and go to bed.
Now on to the good stuff. awesome Wassail, complements of Pumpkin Ridge Golf.

Wassail Recipe --  Serves? Depends on how much you drink

  • 8 packs of spiced cider
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Molasses
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • Lemon Zest
  • Nutmeg – grate some in – I don’t have a measure on it, but to your taste
  • Cinnamon sticks – however many suit you

  • Here’s the fun part – add one jigger each of:
  • Southern Comfort
  • 151 Rum
  • Brandy
  • Apricot Brandy
  • Peach Schnapps
  • Grand Marnier

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On the 7th Day of Christmas

If you need to pause during the hustle and bustle of the season, this will certainly do it for you. I invite you to click on the image below and then close your eyes and just listen. George Winston's playing of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in C is simply beautiful. It comes from his album December, which I highly recommend.