Monday, November 28, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking

I have always loved papers and fancy fonts and inks and anything pretty. I've always loved building collages, headers and buttons and graphics for websites, ever since I edited With all of thy Heart e-zine and website.
  I had a wonderful program that I used for years, but a few computer changes and upgrades later, I don't have that particular program anymore. I was a little handicapped for a little while as a result.
  I started looking around for another program similar to my old standby. Only problem though, I hate paying full price for anything. Yeah, I'm one of those. So I looked through several programs that were available to download for free and found the one that works the best for me.

Click here to go to download page
I choose Craft Artist Compact because it is a digital scrapbooking software with many features.  It is awesome! Your projects have multiple layers, it is compatible with all image file types and best of all, it's FREE.

 Craft Artist Compact is available for free from DaisyTrail , an online digital scrapbooking community. Also available from DaisyTrail are several free digikits with backgrounds, brushes, embellishments, photo frames, scrapbook page layouts, and other great stuff.

  You can create printable scrapbook pages, graphics and collages for websites, either from scratch or use one of the many templates that comes with the program. Those are just a few of the features of Craft Artist Compact. You can also design and make gift boxes, gift tags, cupcake toppers and wrappers, invitations, buntings--everything you need for a party--plus greeting cards and stationary.
 It is so easy to use, with almost no learning curve at all.
  The possibilities are nearly endless--I love this program!

Created using Craft Artist Compact

EOA link up

Thanksgiving Weekend Deerlease Trip

We made it home safely and quickly from our weekend at the deerlease. Our Thanksgiving was very fast--we arrived at my parents' home Wednesday night and headed out around 3:30 the afternoon of Thanksgiving, after making the rounds and seeing the grandparents.
  This was my first "official" deerlease trip to make with Jacob. We made a quick trip during the summer, but it wasn't hunting season. My dad and brothers arrived before we did and  the rest of us made it around 10:30 that night.
 The weather turned very cold and it rained during the night Friday. It is really beginning to feel like winter now.
  Here are the promised pictures!

The fellas, cleaning their guns and getting ready to hunt.
Josh and Jacob discussing the mechanics of...something, I'm not sure what ;)

 While the menfolk finished cleaning their guns and getting ready to make sure the guns' sights were accurate, I took a little walk and snapped some shots of the scenery. It was lovely and the weather was perfect.

All throughout the property runs the remains of an old stone wall that dates back to the Texas Revolution. It was neat that after all these years, so much of it remains and you can really tell what it was.
Sheep :) The deerlease owner's son trains sheepdogs and they have a small flock.

There are rocks everywhere.

Josh and Thomas. True story: Thomas was looking through the spotter scope and saw a fly on the target 100 yards away and told Josh: "Hey shoot the fly!" And he did ;) Yes, my little brother is a great shot.
The last of the flowers before the cold weather kills everything.
Ready to head out!

I went hunting with Jacob in the evenings. All we saw were very young deer, but it was fun just the same, even though we didn't get anything. I didn't know this until I went with Jacob, but deer will bark and warn other deer if something isn't right. We had been watching the two young does above for a while when they began to nervously look to the left. Then they started barking and lo and behold what walks out of the woods but a housecat ;)
 I hope you enjoyed all the photos!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Vacation

The last few days have been spent at the deerlease relaxing. It has been so nice to visit with my dad and brothers--I don't get to see them as often as I see Mom and the girls. My in-laws are here too so we have been having a wonderful time.
  The country is beautiful here and I've got a post full of photos in the works. The internet connection out here is very slow so pictures will have to wait until we are home.
 Just popping in for a minute,


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vintage Pineapple Doily Pattern Set Download

Here is another delightful vintage doily pattern set for your enjoyment. This one is also from my old crochet patterns book from 1946.  I have made several doilies by this pattern and greatly  enjoy using them around my home. I think I can safely say this is my favorite pattern yet. Click the button at the bottom to download the pattern.

My latest doily, almost finished

Here is the introduction to the Pineapples chapter:

There's certainly no need to take a poll to determine America's most popular fruit—at least when it comes to crochet. Never a day goes by but requests come pouring in from crochet fanciers.
It so happens there are excellent reasons for the popularity of the pineapple. Decoratively it blends with any period; beautiful with Colonial furniture, it's very much at home with 18th century English, has exactly the right flair for modern, graces with equal charm formal and informal settings. Then, too, from the point of view of design it lends itself to endlessly lovely variations.
As you see, we've picked as choice a crop of pineapple beauties as ever set a crochet needle whirring through the thread—a dinner cloth, handsome enough to grace the most important occasions, a matching runner to set off a gleaming copper bowl or your best candlesticks, a luncheon set your friends will admire, a chair set in an unusually beautiful pineapple design, and a trio of lacy doilies for the daintiest of undercover work.

EOA Link-Up

Monday, November 21, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 20 & 21

 I've been thinking a lot lately about the Godly heritage I've been blessed with in my parents and grandparents. Both sets of grandparents have lived and example of dedication and faithfulness to God's Word and  His precepts. They have always encouraged and exhorted me to grow closer to the Lord and follow hard after him with all of my heart. They have always been there when I needed advice, or just for someone to listen.
 On one side of my family, a great-great-grandfather of mine was a brush arbor preacher.  Farmers and ranchers, our family has always been tied to the land.
My Nannie and Papa have been married over 50 years and my Nana and Poppa are almost to the 50 year mark. Their examples of love and faithfulness over the years are an inspiration to me.
 I am so thankful that I have been able to have them with me for so long. I can't wait for the day when I can tell them that they will be great-grandparents. So many people don't have that privilege.

Jacob and I with our grandparents at the wedding

On another note, I am so excited that in two days we'll be going home! I have missed my family so much and can't wait to see them.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving; Days 18 &19

Ok so I said I should be able to start posting more regularly since we're settled in, but I wasn't expecting  the effect my husband's work schedule to make such an impact on my day ;)
 While we are here--at least for a little while--Jacob is working four ten hour days. That means we have a three day weekend every weekend. That's like two Saturdays in a row!
 That's what I'm thankful for today and yesterday.
 We slept in, which is something we haven't be able to do in forever and Jacob made breakfast. Jacob washed his truck and I cut out sewing patterns, but other than that we did a whole lotta nothing.  We made supper together and I tried out a new dinner roll recipe. (Recipe below) I'll be making them for Thanksgiving this year.
 I think today we'll probably venture out and maybe do some Christmas shopping.
  I'm so thankful for our uninterrupted, relaxed time together. I know that it won't always be like this, so I want to cherish and end enjoy every moment.

30 Minute Rolls

1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1/3 C oil
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/2 C flour

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In your mixer bowl combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.  Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour.  Knead with hook until will incorporated and dough is soft and smooth. (Just a few minutes)
Form dough into 12 balls and then place in a greased 9 x 13 pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.

Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Thursday, November 17, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 16 & 17

This week has been rather busy and it's been hard to stay on top of blogging so today is catch-up day again.

 I was so blessed to be able to spend most of the day yesterday with some good friends of ours that live here in our new city.
 I met Elizah 5 years ago. At that time she and her husband Brian only had one child and were expecting another. Now they have three--two girls and a boy. We don't get to see each other much, so when we learned that we would be living so close we were so excited.
 In recent years I've also become acquainted with some of Elizah's sisters.
  Yesterday we visited and Elizah worked on some matching jumpers for her girls. I am working on another big pineapple doily, so I took that to work on while we visited. Her youngest sister Devorah (de-vor-ah) was there too.
  Elizah and Brian raise and sell certified organic chickens. They are going to a farmer's market this weekend so the second part of the day Elizah and I went to Sam's to get supplies for baked goods for Elizah to sell.
 I had such a good time and I am so thankful that we have friends here. It helps make the move easier.
  Another thing I am excited about is that very close to where Elizah lives is a little store where I can get essential oils. I've been seeing some recipes for homemade cleaning products and now I can try them since I'll be able to get the ingredients locally. I'll let you know how they turn out. Unfortunately, some of my experiments have been less than stellar.
  Our new apartment is beginning to feel more like home. My car is almost emptied and I have some of our pictures and decorations from home out. My coffee maker and KitchenAid mixer are in the kitchen now--that goes a long way in making the place feel like home :)
 It has turned chilly and Jacob and I can't wait to try out the fireplace in our livingroom! It's been years since I've had a fireplace. It will be so fun to decorate for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 15

 Today I'm thankful for God's healing power. Sunday while we were bringing things upstairs ( 3 flights, remember?) I pulled something in my left side. It actually felt like when I had a rib out of place a few years ago. Lifting things while in an awkward position is never a good idea. Maybe one day I'll learn my lesson.
  It didn't really begin to bother me until I lay down to go to sleep. Then it became so painful to breathe I could barely draw a breath. It felt like something was squeezing and gripping my left side.
  It was so unexpected--I didn't even know I'd pulled anything--it scared me and Jacob. I didn't know what was going on. Rather frightening--our first night in a new town and I might need medical attention. I'm the type that hates having to go to the doctor and will usually wait til the very last minute.
  To make a long story short, Jacob began to pray for me and ask the Lord to take away the pain and repair any damage that may have been done. He asked that I be able to relax and have a good night's sleep. After about 5 minutes of prayer the pain suddenly stopped and let go and my breathing did not hurt and my whole body relaxed. I was asleep in a matter of minutes and had one of the most sound night's rest I've had in a while.
 Yesterday there were occasional twinges of pain, so I was careful with what I lifted. Today I didn't hurt at all! I was able to get my car nearly empty.
  Thank the Lord!

The Bride

Many times in Scripture the Church is referred to as a woman--the beloved and the Bride of Christ. We as ladies are privileged to be able to be the physical representation of the Church to the world. We are able to show the world what a Blood-bought bride looks like and how she lives in her new life.
  The parallels and contrasts that are repeatedly drawn in the Bible confirm this. The similarities of the husband and wife relationship and of Christ and and the Church fill the pages of the Bible, not only in the New Testament, but also the Old Testament books. The books of the Prophets are replete with examples of the Lord wooing His beloved Israel (a type and foreshadow of the Church) from her sin-filled, empty life to a new life with Him.
  There is much we can learn and glean from the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. The people of Israel were different and set apart from the other nations of the world around them. They had a different lifestyle, a different set of rules, different dress, diet and style of worship. This was because of their relationship with Jehovah, the God Who led them out of Egypt and the wilderness. There was no doubt to Whom they belonged, or Who they worshipped.
  There wasn't a question of "Are they Hittites or Hebrews?" or "Well, they kind of look like Egyptians, but they talk about Jehovah so they must be Israelites." No, there was none of that. Everyone knew what they were and what they stood for.
That is how it should be with the Church. When people look at us, it should immediately be apparent that we are set apart. There should be no question whether we are His or not.
  Most of the time you can look at a married woman and at a glance see what her husband believes and stands for. If a woman is truly in love with her husband and in submission to him, she will be the image and the embodiment of what he believes and values.
   Since I became a married lady earlier this year, I am beginning to understand the Christ and His Bride relationship more fully than in times past. We married, I took his name and left my old life--my childhood--behind. Everything is new. A new home, a new church, new dishes, new furniture, new clothes :)
  I love my husband. Actually, I adore him and think that he hung the moon AND the stars. To please him is and make him happy is one of my greatest joys. I know what things make him feel loved. I know how he likes me to dress--what colors are his favorite on me--and how he likes my hair to be fixed. I know what he would like to see in my life.
  It is my privilege and my delight to please him and conform to his tastes and preferences. I love him so much and the best way I can think of to show him is to do the things he likes. It shows him that he has first place in my heart and affections, that my world revolves around him. This makes him adore and spoil me even more than he already does. He misses me when we are apart and if I send him a text or email that says "I miss you and love you and can't wait till you get home" it makes his day. When I brag on him, or praise him or something he has done, it just triples the effect. He loves and cherishes and adores me even more, and that makes me want to do more for him. It's like a circle :)
  I can't help but stop and think that if my earthly husband loves for me to lavish attention on him, and do things for him just because I love him, and tell him how wonderful he is, how much more does our Bridegroom love attention and affection and praise from His bride? When we do things that He asks, just because we love Him, not just because it will get us to Heaven. When we do things for Him, when we conform to His will, out of love and not expecting a reward, how do you think that makes Him feel?
  I don't want there to be any doubt His mind that I love Him completely and unreservedly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving; Days 13 and 14

We made it safely to our new (temporary) home yesterday evening around 6:30pm. We had a safe, uneventful, easy trip with no detours and no stalls, just like we asked the Lord for :)
 It was my first time to drive that far alone (3 hrs!). I was following Jacob, but I had never been through the way that we came and I was a little bit nervous. Also, that is the longest we have traveled alone since we've been together. We have always ridden together and wow, that was a lonely trip!  Thankfully we didn't get separated in the traffic getting out of the city and soon we were back to two-lane highways, which are way more to my liking and style.
  Now the fun begins. Even though it is a fully furnished apartment that his company is providing for us, Jacob told me to bring as much as I needed to make it feel like home. We are on the third story and there is no elevator. My husband had the wisdom and foresight to bring home small boxes that do not hold much for me to pack in. My day today will be filled with many trips up and down stairs emptying my car. We took care of the truck last night and today is the  day all my "toys" get brought in.
 After I get everything unpacked I have big plans of adding to my winter wardrobe and working on Christmas gifts. AND figuring out my new sewing machine :)
  Now I'm off to make trip #20 of 350 up and down stairs. Oh boy....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 12

Busy, busy busy! That is me right now.

This week started off rather sorrowfully--my beloved sewing machine nearly gave up the ghost. I just knew she was mortally wounded and rushed her to the hospital. There is an elderly man in my hometown who works on sewing machines and is amazing with them. That's where I took the 'ole girl. He and his wife have been married almost 60 years and they are wonderful Christian people.
 He called me about an hour later and told me that the clutch assembly had gone out (I didn't even know my machine had a clutch!) and sadly, Singer had discontinued that line of parts. He was checking with some other suppliers to see if he could get a matching part for it. But it would probably take a little while to get the parts in. This was not good news, especially since we are about to move. I didn't want to be without a sewing machine for a few weeks.
 Thankfully, my Mom had a spare machine she had picked up at a yard sale about a month ago. It needed to be put back in time and needed a presser foot. She dropped it by the sewing machine shop the same day that I took mine. Mr. Williams went ahead and fixed Mom's machine so I would have one to take with me.
  Well, yesterday Mom and the girls came over and brought the machine to me. Mom decided to just give it to me! I was shocked and so excited. So I'm saved :) and have a machine to take to Waco.

This is what my home looks like right now--boxes everywhere. My poor coffee table is buried. I'm trying to get everything packed to leave. I've got multiple lists of things we can't forget scattered throughout the rooms. I don't really like moving :(

This is what helps me keep going ;) Thank the Lord for coffee!

Friday, November 11, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 11

Today I am thankful for my Mama.

  She is the one who taught me everything I know about homemaking, being a wife and being a lady. Her example that she lived before me as I grew up made me desire to be a homemaker and wife. The love that she and Daddy share made me crave a godly marriage like they have.
 She taught me how to cook, how to sew, how to do bookwork, and how to be a helper. If there was a skill I wanted to learn that she didn't know, she would find someone who did know how so I could learn from them. She instilled a love for the home family in me that I don't think will ever go away. I have seen the love she has for Daddy, for her children and for her home and how completely happy and satisfied she is with what the Lord has given her. That speaks volumes in this world where women are always trying to "find themselves" and find fulfillment.
 My mom is very humble, not quick to bring attention to herself or her accomplishments. So I will :)
  I'm convinced  if there is a such a thing as Superwoman, that's my mom. Not only does she homeschool all of my school age siblings--from high school to pre-K--she is the secretary and accountant for my Dad's business. She is an amazing cook and seamstress, and accomplished organist. I'm told that she was once very much at home on horseback, but I don't remember it because once she starting having children she gave it up.
  She is considered a homeschool veteran, as she has graduated two and has another one nearing graduation. She has always been around to help counsel people who are considering homeschooling and has helped many families in our area get started.
 We are best friends, and have been for as long as I can remember. We have grown even closer since I married. She is the first person I go to when I need advice or a sounding board. She is someone who I know will not steer me wrong, and always encourages me to love my husband and honor him and put him first.
 She has shown me how to be a good mother and a good teacher. She and Daddy were brave when they began homeschooling me in kindergarten and made the choice to opt out of the public school system.
  She gave birth to my last three siblings at home with a midwife, and showed me that labor and giving birth, while it's hard, it's not something to be feared. I am so glad I was able to be with her and witness my sister's births.
 She and Daddy have been married almost 26 years. They are even more madly in love now than when they started 26 years ago. My mom adores my father and he feels the same way about her. I try to treat my husband like a king, just the way Mama has always treated Daddy. People are often surprised at me and some of the things I do for Jacob, and laugh and say "Well, you're still newlyweds. All that won't last long." Jacob is quick to tell them that his in-laws have been married over 20 years and are still the same. :)
  She is truly a Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 lady. I want to be just like her.

EOA Link up #16

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 10

Yesterday was spent busily packing and preparing to leave, with almost no time to write, so today is catch-up day.

Today I am thankful for my church and pastors. I was blessed with a wonderful church and pastor growing up--I was at the same church and had the same  pastor till I married-- and I thank the Lord every day for them. They helped my parents place in me a love for the Word of God and for Truth. That love helped carry me through some rocky times growing up. I am so thankful for their Godly influence in my life.
 My church family is like family to me and I miss them greatly. It was so good to see them all last Sunday when Jacob took me home for a visit.
 Even though I was transplanted from the place and  people I loved so much, the Lord has given me a wonderful new church who already loves me greatly, and I them. My new church is home now. We have amazing leadership in our church that I am growing in respect for more everyday.
 The Lord has blessed me with many sweet friends at my new home and I am so thankful for them. Gone are the days of feeling out-of-place and like an outsider.
  And now, we'll be moving to a new church for a few months, and I already miss everyone. I didn't realize how much everyone already meant to me til now. That makes me happy, because there was a time when I wondered if I would ever really feel like I belonged there.
  I have been so blessed throughout my whole life with wise, kind pastors and loving churches who really care about the lost.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 9

Today I am thankful that I am able to be a homemaker. It was always a desire and a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I always just wanted to be a wife and mommy. I am so thankful that that dream was able to become a reality from day one of our marriage.
  I love being at home and making our little place a home. The home is such an important place for a family. For too many people and families their home is just a place to eat and sleep. They live most of their lives away from their home. I can't imagine how that would be.
 I am so glad that Jacob loves me being a homemaker. Honestly, at first, he wasn't too sure about the idea. Most of the ladies he knows work outside of their home. And he was concerned about how tight our finances would be on only one income--a very valid point. But I expressed my desire to stay at home to him and he consented. Now he loves that I stay home. And since we have started out on only one income, I won't be quitting a job when the day comes that we have children, so it won't feel like are getting a pay cut.
 But as I have said before, God has always provided--He is honoring that we chose for me to stay at home and to trust Him. He always comes through for us :)
  Another plus to staying at home, right now I have lots of time to sew and make things. I have a way to generate income from my home, which is great :) I am learning lots of new skills that make my products better.
 And perhaps the best thing about being a stay-at-home wife right now is that I am able to jump up and go with my husband wherever he goes. This upcoming move would be at lot more difficult if I had a job. Some of my girlfriends' husbands work away for a few weeks at time, and they aren't able to with them. I can't imagine that!
  I am so blessed!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 8

Today the things I'm thankful for may seem silly, but I am grateful for them :)

  Coffee and chocolate are two of my very favorite things :) And when they are together--almost Heaven on earth!
 Coffee is one of my best friends. Unfortunately, I am usually not a very nice person in the mornings until I get my coffee. My siblings have been known to warn others about me before I have my "morning devotions" ;) I've also heard things like "creature from the Black Lagoon" and "Mrs Grinch" whispered as I made my way to the coffee pot. Sad, but true...things are getting better though. I'm also an afternoon coffee lover. I look forward to my coffee in the afternoon so much everyday. When I lived at home one of my favorite times of the day would be when we would all stop for coffee. It just isn't the same sipping coffee alone.
 Believe it or not, I drink my coffee black, with no cream or sugar. My brothers drink it how they say they like their girls: blonde and sweet. Oh brother....

Ah chocolate, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! I love thee in cakes, in cookies, in ice cream and all by thyself. I love you in almost every form you come in. I'm not sure who brought chocolate to the New World, but I am so glad they did.

Apparently I'm not too silly dedicating a blog post to coffee and chocolate--Tchaikovsky wrote two pieces in The Nutcracker Ballet one titled "Coffee" and the other "Chocolate". Maybe he felt the same way about them as I do. Below are both pieces, so grab a cup of coffee and some chocolate and enjoy!

Being a Helper is Powerful--Revive our Hearts Broadcast

Today I listened to one of my favorite programs, Revive our Hearts, with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The broadcast today was titled "Being a Helper is Powerful" by Mary Kassian. It was so good I had to share it with you. It painted a beautiful picture of the creation of woman, paralleled with the love between Christ and His bride, the Church. Awesome, awesome stuff. Hope it encourages you as much as it did me!

Being a Helper is Powerful

Monday, November 7, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 7

Today I am thankful for adventures that the Lord gives us.
 I feel like my life has been full of adventures thus far. A few months after I turned sixteen my family moved Campeche, Mexico. My father had a job offer to manage a rice farm there. We lived there for a year. It was one of the most fun and unique things I've ever done. We were in a completely different culture, away from everything and everyone that was familiar to us. It caused our family to grow closer and stronger.
  We were almost in the tropics, and we were surrounded by iguanas, howler monkeys and wild parrots. We lived 45 minutes away from Mayan ruins and six hours away from Cancun.

Not too far from us there  was a very old city named Palizada. It was an import city on the Palizada river. The houses have red-tiled roofs like you would see in Italy or France. The ships would use the tiles for ballast on the journey over then would remove the tiles and fill with cargo and leave the tiles in Palizada.
  It was always hot where we lived, and for two birthdays in a row (my 16th and 17th) I got to go swimming. This was a real treat as my birthday is in December! My 17th birthday was spent in Rio Indio, a small little place with snow white sands and clear deep blue water. It was heavenly! We had miles of beach all to ourselves.
 We moved home when we learned that Mom was expecting Hannah.
 My father and I went to two father/daughter retreats in Georgia. It was wonderful. The second year we took Wendi with us.
  Now the newlywed adventure occupies me and we have been presented with another opportunity. We're moving!  Jacob's work is moving us to another city about 4 hours away for a few months.
 I'll be preparing this week, deciding what to take and what to leave. I never thought I would live in TWO cities! :)
  I was visiting with one of my grandmothers last weekend and she told me that we never know how what we are learning now will affect our lives down the road.
 So even though I am a little unsure about this next little adventure, I want to learn everything that I can from it, and be content wherever I am.

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Days 5 and 6

 I'm thankful for our weekends in the country.
We spent days four, five and six with my family. It was wonderful! My mom and I drank endless pots of coffee :) and I played and played with my little sisters.
 Our menfolk and Wendi hunted Saturday morning and my Dad and youngest brother both shot a doe. Sunday morning before church my other brother got a doe as well. Lydia was so excited about the deer on Saturday she kept asking during breakfast when they were going "to peel the deer." We laughed and laughed
 It was great to visit my old church on Sunday morning and see all of my old church family.
  I was also able to go and visit with all of my grandparents this weekend. I am so thankful to still have all of my grandparents alive and doing well. I love having them to draw wisdom from. My dad's parents have been married over 50 years, and my mom's parents are almost there too.
 I am so grateful for the Godly heritage the Lord has blessed me with.

Friday, November 4, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 4

Today I am thankful for the deliciously cool weather that blew in this week. In our part of the country, summer heat often extends into October and occasionally November. Cool weather brings so many wonderful things. Here a few of my favorite things cold weather brings:
  •  I'm so happy to pull out all of my cute cool-weather clothes--sweaters and jackets and boots. I love wearing boots and my favorite pair are a pair of cowgirl boots Jacob bought for me on our honeymoon. I wear them all the time, they are so comfortable.
  •  When I lived in the country, usually the first good cool night we would build a fire outside and drink hot chocolate and roast marshmallows. Since I'm in the city now, I'm content just let my coffee cup warm my hands :)
  •   Cold weather brings out the soup and stew lover in me so big batches of soups and stews are in our future.
   When the cool weather blows in, all of the men in my family get itchy trigger fingers and are ready to get in a deer stand. Camouflage is the color of choice during this time of year for many people I know.
   Last year Daddy, my brothers, and Jacob harvested several deer and combined the meat and we made a couple hundred pounds of smoked venison sausage. It was so good! We don't put cure or any preservatives in the seasoning mix. The recipe was given to us by one of our dear old neighbors who used to own a meat packing plant.
  It is something we do every year and I can't remember a time when we haven't done it. It is one my favorite times of the year. Over the years we've had various "uncles and aunts" -- close friends of the family-- help us and it is always a fun time of visiting.
  Here are a few pictures from last year.
 Our manly men cutting up all the meat. We girls got in on it too, but there is no photographic evidence.
 Yours truly weighing and packaging some of the fry meat and backstrap that we didn't turn into sausage. That we some of the meat we use in stews and shish-kebobs.
 Wendi and Jacob  moving meat to Daddy to be ground. In the pans in the back are meat that was just ground, ready for stuffing.
 Stuffing the sausage into casings, with little peoples looking on.
 Ready to go in the smokehouse.
 Smoked sausage on top, jerky on bottom. Every year my brothers try to make jerky--we're still learning. It gets better every year ;)
Yummy! Daddy and Josh packaging the smoked sausage for the freezer.

Hurray for cool weather!