Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Rose Chintz and Tulips

Life is like a camera...
Focus on what's important
Capture the good times
Develop from the negatives
And if things don't work out
Take another shot. ~ unknown

Hello everyone! It has been very cold here on PEI. At the moment, the sun is shining brightly but the temperature is cold at minus twelve degrees Celsius and a wind chill of minus twenty-one. So, what does one do when it is too cold to venture outside? Well, one hunkers down inside with a cup of tea or coffee. 

It was one of those weeks when I didn't have a lot of energy so I didn't get a post ready until the weekend. Extreme temperatures play havoc with my body and I figured I had better get a picture of these pretty tulips before they start dropping their petals. 

They were the most gorgeous shade of pink in the beginning but after a few days, they have faded and they are opening up to resemble something else. Tulips this time of year are such a welcome sight because they bring a little touch of Spring into one's home.

Tea is to the body as music is to the soul. ~ Earlene Grey

Tea is on the menu today as well as some sugar plums I had frozen from Christmastime. My family loves them and I have a few left to nibble on.

I brought out my Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz as I haven't used it for tea time in a while. I have many pieces of the pattern now since my auntie gave me all of hers and I use it every day. I oftentimes use other teapots but the colour of the tulips goes so well with the pattern. 

The curtains are drawn most of the way today because the wind is howling outside and one can feel the cold just looking out the window.

Another angle I thought was pretty. Yes, I have eaten one cookie already!

Tomorrow, there will be another snow storm with twenty to thirty cm of snow. The older I get, the more I detest the wintertime. I try to enjoy it but it's not easy. 

When one is sitting around home a lot like I do, you tend to do a lot of over-thinking. I am housebound most of the time because of a medical condition but I try to keep my mind active. These are the times when I have to turn my mind over to thinking on the blessings in my life and not the negatives so much. I'll be honest, I find wintertime the hardest. So, I drink some hot tea, read a good book, watch a good movie, or listen to music. On a good day, I will have a friend over for company.  And I pray. 

I often pray when I'm doing the dishes. The warm sudsy water on my hands is soothing and whenever I pull up a piece of pretty china from the water, it makes me happy. That's why I think it's important to use pretty china. Don't leave it in the cupboard until a special occasion. Use it now; enjoy it! 
In my case, the Rose Chintz reminds me of warm summer days and whisks me back to my childhood when I visited my auntie. Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time  knows the story of the Rose Chintz and how special it is to me. 

Someone once said that if you have something in your home that is not beautiful or useful, then it's best to get rid of it. This is why I use pretty china. It is beautiful, it is useful and it makes me happy. 

How about you? Do you have pretty china that makes you happy? Do you use it often or does it sit looking pretty in your cabinet?

I lead a simple life and I enjoy simple things. A sunny day, the laughter and love of family, a message from a grandchild letting you know they love you, etc... My life is not at all the way I thought it would be but it's the life I have been given and I thank God for it.

Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you're living. ~ unknown

I am planning a special treat for Hubby on Thursday. I'll tell you about it next time.

Have a beautiful day, dear friends, and enjoy it to the fullest. Happy Valentines Day!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Thursday, 31 January 2019

An Easy Peasy Recipe and My Four Foot Tree for Valentines Day

There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere...and of leaving it behind them when they go. ~ Frederick Wm. Faber

Hi everyone! Here we are, the last day of January and I'm so glad! Not that I'm wishing my life away, but I'm always happy to get January and February over with because I know Spring is that much closer. 

It is cold outside but looking out my window today, it is bright and sunny. Nature has gifted us a fresh blanket of snow which appears to be strewn with diamonds glittering all over it. It is a beautiful day and I am sipping my first cup of coffee, feeling blessed!

I still have my four foot tree up in the family room. It is decorated mostly in reds so I'm leaving it up for Valentines Day. My guys decorated it when they were home for Christmas and other than the beaded star they hung on the top, I haven't changed it. The star has been replaced by my little fairy which I think is more in keeping for Valentines Day.

This tree holds mostly ornaments gifted to me by family and friends. There are a lot of birds on it because everyone knows I'm a bird lover. There are also snowflakes like this beautiful Swarovski crystal ornament given to me by a good friend at Christmas. The ornament was very hard to photograph and this is the best shot I could get. The second photo shows the thickness of it with the crystals in every other point.  

Silently, like thoughts that come and go, 
The snowflakes fall, each one a gem. ~ William Hamilton Gibson

There are hearts too. 

This sweet quilted one was gifted to me by a blogger friend and the teapot below was also gifted to me by a blogger friend. This one has upside down hearts in it.

The birds were all given to me by my sons. Mostly cardinals but there are a couple of doves and a gold finch.

Oops, these are blue birds, but they're cute snuggling under the hat!

The guys also paired red and white balls on the tree. That is something my youngest always saw me do when he was growing up. 

Hubby and I enjoy the soft glow of the lights when we spend time in the family room.

This is the time of year that I like to make comfort food. The other day I made Johnny Marzetti. I got this recipe from a friend back in the seventies and I make this every once in a while because it makes a great big roaster full. We enjoy it for a couple of meals and then I freeze the rest for later. 
I used to have large groups of people in and this was always one of the dishes I made because it feeds quite a few people. It is very easy to make and would be wonderful for a church supper or any large gathering. I always serve it with salad, rice, and garlic bread.

I was curious to find out where the recipe actually came from and this is what I found. It originated in Columbus, Ohio at Marzetti's, an Italian restaurant established in 1896 by an Italian immigrant named Theresa Marzetti, and Johnny was her brother-in-law. Theresa must have been quite the cook!

I don't know about you, but I love old recipes that have a history like this one!

I make my recipe a little different than some. It calls for both hamburg and sausage, but since I can't eat sausage, I make it with all hamburg.

Here is my recipe:

Johnny Marzetti

3 pounds hamburg 
2 pounds hamburg and 1 pound of mild sausage
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper

2 large tins tomato sauce
2 large bottles spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
2 cans mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 cups pasta bows, cooked
1-2 cups of cheddar cheese

Salt, pepper, oregano, and Italiano blend of herbs to taste.

Cook the hamburg until brown then pour off the fat. Saute onions, celery, and green pepper and add to hamburg with the drained mushrooms. 

*I cooked everything on top of the stove in the roaster before putting it in the oven.

*My recipe called for pasta bows but I didn't have any on hand so I used shells instead.

Add the tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and cooked noodles to the hamburg mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve with rice, garlic bread, and a salad. 
This recipe will make a roaster full and it will freeze well. Enjoy!

Have a delightful day, dear friends! 

In winter we lead a more inward life.
Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Heart of Winter

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you....In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savour belonging to yourself. ~ Ruth Stout

Hello my lovely friends! We are having very cold weather right now and although it is very frigid outside, the sun is shining which is always nice. I really don't mind the cold temps so much as long as I don't have to be out in it for very long. It's the snow storms I mind mostly; one of which we just had over the weekend. There was a lot of ice and rain with it. Quite nasty!

It is almost the end of January and it is the heart of wintertime. This is the time the snow mobilers like to get out and play on the trails and the back fields. Folks are skating on ponds and others are skiing. Still others who are brave enough to weather the elements will get out for a brisk walk on the boardwalk at the Park. 

As for me, I like to enjoy all this cold and snowy beauty from indoors. Cozied up on a comfy chair with my book and a cup of tea or coffee. 

I picked up a bug and wasn't feeling very well for about a week. I haven't been out of the house in over a week. There is a lot of flu here right now and I pray my mother doesn't get it. Last year she got the flu in March and they didn't think she would make it but she surprised us all and bounced back again.

There is a lot of ice around and one doesn't want to take a spill. My poor Auntie P took a fall on the ice just before Christmas. She didn't break any bones but she is still very sore. Bless her heart!

Someone who will keep your secrets and is always on your side....Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend. ~ unknown

This is Auntie P on one of her adventures with her granddaughter. Her granddaughter takes her out about once a week to dinner or a drive. 

So other than her injuries from the fall a month ago, she is doing well and she is happy. She calls me about once a month. We still miss those days when we emailed one another our "books" as Hubby called them. What fun we had in those days! It's hard to believe she will be 84 on her birthday in a couple of months!

Do you have a special aunt or relative in your life?

Yesterday I had a friend over for company and so today I'm having a piece of apple pie left over from our visit. I just found out after visiting my friend Pamela's blog that today is National Pie Day. So apple pie is quite appropriate for today's post.

I had bought two apples pies from my neighbour up the street just before Christmas. She and her daughter had baked pies to raise money for a Youth Conference in Arizona later this year. I had served one of those pies for Christmas and yesterday I baked the other for my company. It is delicious!

Hubby likes his apple pie with ice cream but I prefer a nice cheddar cheese. This Applewood Smoked cheddar cheese is simply delicious and goes very well with apple pie.

When your day is topsy turvy and as stormy as can be
There is nothing quite as tranquil as a nice cup of tea. ~ unknown 

My thoughtful hubby surprised me with these pretty tulips and they remind me that Spring is coming. This time of year tulips really perk up a room, don't you think?

I must wrap up this post as it's getting a bit long. Hope your day is going well and do enjoy that wee bit of daylight lasting a little longer each day!

The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. ~ Vita Sackville-West 

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi