Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Magic

 The Sugar Maples in Middle Canyon outside Tooele, Utah are "putting on the Ritz" this year with a breathtaking array of color. Although it was warm the day we took this walk, you could feel a change in the air, along with a difference in the sunlight. There's a mellow cast to everything, and a softening of the look touch and feel, even in the temperatures.
 I spent the afternoon raking leaves from my Willow. There's something magical about a pile of crunchy, rustling leaves, that had me wishing my grandchildren were here to play in them.
The sweet, pungent odor of fallen leaves all piled up beckons wonderful memories of other walks in the woods, and playing in raked up mounds of earthy foliage. The God of nature gives us a gift each Fall, with a reminder that life is ever changing, and continuous. He sends us little gifts each season, and for me, Autumn has some of the most rewarding. Swaths of vivid color painted across the landscape, cooler temperatures that have us pulling out cozy sweaters, biting into a crisp, juicy apple straight from our tree, sharing our harvest bounty with friends and family, all a part of a season of change.
In this life aging is necessary, and so is dying, to continue on in the plan God has for us. The elderly have always held a dear place in my heart, so perhaps that's a part of why I love Autumn. The years of wisdom and knowledge our older friends and loved ones have, combined with a renewed courage to take life by the horns and enjoy their best years, is inspiring and strengthening. As we get older hopefully we shed the foolish trappings of our selfish youth, and put on a more glorious cloak of purposeful living, helping others find peace and joy. May today be a day of wonder and delight in the magic of Autumn. Share it with a friend or loved one won't you?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Corn Husk Wreath for Autumn

Okay, so it's not finished; here's why. I started this wreath with an idea in mind from a wreath a friend had made many years ago. I have another way to use the corn husks, actually two, that I got from Better Homes & Gardens, again years ago. But oh no, I wanted a fluffy wreath like my friend had. So I thought I would try an "easier" way to put one together, instead of using straight pins to tack each strip to the form I decided to wrap twine around and catch each strip as I go. So far it's taken me 3 hours of time investment.
Yeah, I didn't think this one out too clearly as I haven't come to the end yet and need to figure out how to wrap the rest on and have the first strips overlap the last ones. Plus, I ran out of corn husks. So off to the store I go to get more, and when I finish with all the added touches I'm thinking about, I will share. I will also make the other style so you can have two versions to hopefully spark your interest. Mom says I should add glitter, I would have never thought of that, but I do have some pretty Martha Stewart glitter in various shades of Autumn richness, so I may toy with that a bit. For now, it's time to go shopping!  If you have a moment, take a look at my other blog and my newest gourd creation, Spooky Dude

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Pretty New Pair of Earrings

Okay, don't laugh, it's pretty obvious I need to finish that table, but in the meantime here's a lovely pair of earrings that just happen to match an even lovelier necklace. Stop by my Simply Sheryl's shop for more details: Bird In Hand Earrings

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spiced Pear Syrup on a Why Not Wednesday

I was supposed to do a Tasty Tuesday share, but  it's obvious I missed that due to how crazy busy I get this time of year. Sooooo here's a recipe for Spiced Pear Syrup that's a delicious reason for why you should save your pear peelings and cores as you are canning. Make sure you have pint or quart canning jars sterilized and ready to fill and process.

Set up a big pot next to where you will be peeling and coring your pears. Make sure you wash your pears prior to doing this. As you prep your fruit for canning add all the peelings and cores that aren't buggy or rotted into the pot. When done fill the pot with water to cover the fruit scraps. Simmer until until everything is mushy, about an hour.
Take a colander and line it with cheesecloth. Put the colander over a large bowl and pour the fruit scraps into the colander. Let drain until all the juices are in the bowl. You might have to help this along by pressing your fruit pulp and moving it around in the colander. Don't be afraid to squeeze handfuls to get any extra juice.
Discard your scraps into your compost pile if you have one and measure your liquid. Pour into a large stockpot. For every cup of liquid add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, plus one tablespoon of lemon juice for every 8 cups. Add 1 teaspoon each ground ginger and nutmeg for every 8 cups of liquid. Stir to blend in the cornstarch and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once thickened and hot pour into jars, wipe rims and cap with lids. Process for 20 minutes for pints to 30 minutes for quarts. This is a great way to use your fruit scraps without having any waste. The syrup is mild and absolutely wonderful over pumpkin pancakes. Any questions, drop me a line!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Anniversary Honey!

We woke up to a cool and fresh morning, much like the one on our wedding day 12 years ago in Anchorage, Alaska. After having days and weeks of hot weather here, with no end in sight, the parched desert was drenched with torrential (isn't that a great word?!) rain. So this morning the air is clean, and the temperatures are what I would expect from a Labor Day weekend in Alaska.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the day we married, with the birch trees starting to show promise of the gold dressing they wear for Autumn. The skies were a vivid blue, with puffs of clouds here and there. A perfect Autumn setting, which I had always wanted, for the start of a new life together. We did it right, no living together first, or any of what goes along with that. We put our faith in God that we were doing the right thing, and he has helped us endure the challenges and grow stronger together. Our love has grown, because we have faith and trust in each other, and we like each other, along with loving each other. We made a promise to each other to be faithful, true and work together to have a happy life.

Here's to at least 12 more years together on this earth, and eternity to come. If that seems to be a short time to ask for, well, you never know what will happen, but the beauty of knowing that this life isn't the end for us is comforting. The knowledge that on August 31, 2002 we started our eternal life together is a blessing! I love you Kent. Thank you for asking me to be your wife.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pear Perfection

We are in the car on our way to Heber Valley so my time here may be short, but I have to share some ways to enjoy pears this Autumn. I bought a box of pears from a friend at church in Oregon. On the way back to Utah I get this phone call from a sweet elderly woman who had more pears than she knew what to do with so I scored big time! Yay! The first box of pears are already on the shelf in the form of pear sauce, much like applesauce only yummier in my opinion. I also saved the peels and made spicy pear syrup for pancakes. Due to the battery getting low on my puter I will share the recipes with you on Tasty Tuesday, but I had to let you know I'm still here, just canning and painting and canning some more. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!