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  • Archive for September, 2009

    A thought for your evening (or your morning)

    Thursday, September 17th, 2009

    Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I Found God…

    Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

    I like the silent church, before the service begins, better than the preaching.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I find God in silence.  Where do you find Him?

    And Adventure Days begin

    Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

    As part of our little home preschool, we have instituted Adventure Days. On Wednesdays we’ll head out with friends and experience some sort of adventure, be it in nature, a museum, or just running around free.

    Today’s adventure was to the local wildlife refuge, located along the shoreline. Our subject for preschool this week was birds, and oh goodness, did we see birds.

    The kids had a great time, and I think the other moms did too. I know I came away from our time outside inspired by the gorgeous color combinations and  lovely flocks of flying birds.  And I came home feeling renewed and more at peace.  Too much time stuck indoors is just no good for anyone.

    (In the third picture down, everyone is looking at a rabbit. Can you see it?)












    Your challenge, should you choose to accept it:

    Have an adventure day.

    Spontaneous or planned- just get out and enjoy something new and different. Then tell us about it!

    Browsing for inspiration

    Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

    Sometimes you just need a little inspiration.

    Some new ideas.

    A fresh approach.

    When I feel that urge, I hit the library. (Oh, how I love the library.)


    Not only do the ideas inspire me (how would I think of them on my own?), but the  lovely images inspire me to pursue greater beauty. (All pictures within the pictures are copyrighted by the people who, you know, actually took and published said pictures.)





    The item in the third picture down is a measuring tape cover. How delightfully ridiculously cute is that? I MUST have one. And now I can make one! And I love those cheese grater lanterns. And the blues in that top picture… sigh.

    For me, when the inspiration yearning hits, I have to stick within the areas I know and am comfortable with. Crafts? Sewing? I’m so on it.   Gorgeously written novels  inspire my writing, but also spark creativity in other areas. But the other day I went and browsed the cooking/baking section and came away befuddled and empty handed.  Just as I’m sure Martha Stewart’s 415 page behemoth would completely discourage some of my non-craft inclined friends, I need to take my “learning books” in smaller doses, and not expect them to serve the same purpose  as my “inspiration books”.

    So, two questions. First, what books (specifictitles or general types) inspire you? And second, anyone want to suggest a good, non-befuddling, inspirational cooking book?

    Contemporary Music Sunday

    Sunday, September 13th, 2009

    We sang all contemporary Christian praise songs at church today, instead of traditional hymns.  I was moved to tears by this song:


    What hymns/praise songs/psalms speak to your spirit?

    And the winner is……

    Sunday, September 13th, 2009


    Julie wins the shower gel of her choice….”LEAVES!!! Fall is my FAVORITE season. I have embraced it so that my family room is decorated in pumpkins and LEAVES!!!”

    You will love it!

    Please e-mail me (themaryanne at gmail dot com) with your address, and I’ll get it in the mail to you so you can get to enjoying it right away!

    All of you who didn’t win, don’t despair! There’s another HUGE giveaway coming this next week. So stay tuned!

    Learning to Walk: A linky link

    Saturday, September 12th, 2009

    Yesterday morning was rough.

    The dock that I use to update my iPod was being a punk, the other cable that should have worked wasn’t, then my mouse stopped working, and despite turning the whole thing off and turning it back on, everything still refused to work. (Well, the mouse came around.)

    All I wanted to do was to get some songs over to the iPod so that the girls wouldn’t lose their minds on the way up to Grandpa’s house; something that should have taken 2 minutes, and instead took 15 and had me frustrated,  snapping at the girls, and using all of the “mad” words we allow in our house. (They’re “aaarg”, “balderdash”, and “pants”, should you want to know.)

    And then I was frustrated with myself, because aren’t I supposed to be improving? My whole goal is to not have a frustrated, snapping house, and I thought I was making progress, but there I was, right back at square one. I was still chiding myself for it last night and this morning.

    Then I read this. (Please, go read it, and come back!)

    A is learning to walk right now, so this imagery hits especially close to home.

    So today I’m saying, “Go, go! Keep trying! You can do it!”, to me, and to you.  Won’t you join me in a round of applause? I think we could all use one.

    PS. Don’t forget about the giveaway going on down here! Click on over and leave a comment before midnight tonight!

    Unexpected Company

    Friday, September 11th, 2009

    I found myself with unexpected (not at all unwelcome) company for breakfast this morning.  What to eat?  Coffee Cake :)

    Coffee Cake

    1 1/3 c. flour

    2 t. bkg powder

    1/4 t. salt

    1/4 c. butter

    3/4 c. sugar

    1/2 t. vanilla

    1 egg

    1/2 c. milk

    1) Preheat oven to 350, butter brownie pan

    2) Combine flour, bkg powder, salt

    3) Cream butter, beat in sugar, vanilla and egg

    4) Add flour mixture and milk, alternatively, to wet mix

    5) Pour into pan, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake 25 minutes

    6) Enjoy :)

    Coffee Cake

    Cooking Feeds More Than The Body

    Friday, September 11th, 2009

    This past weekend I went to visit family and friends in the Bay Area for Labor Day.  I have so many good memories, including watching Coraline with Justin and Hilary wearing 3D glasses and riding the carosel at the Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park with my Mama.  The best part of my trip, though was Sunday evening, when I baked an apple pie with my Mama.

    Mama makes pieMama and I sat across from each other and peeled apples and we talked.  We talked about her upcoming retirement and my adventures in dating.  The pie was delicious (obviously):

    Apple Pie…but the time I spent making it was even better than eating it :)

    Please comment any experiences with household chores/activities that feed more than the body…

    Embracing Autumn

    Friday, September 11th, 2009

    Here in California, we don’t really have autumn. Not like other places do.  While some leaves are turning brown, for the most part the trees are still green. It could get up to 94 degrees today. Z is wearing shorts.

    While I love this weather, part of me longs for clouds,warm sweaters and blustery crisp days.

    I may have found an alternative.

    Bath and Body Works has a new line called The Perfect Autumn,  with scents called Harvest Berry, Ginger Vanilla, and Leaves.


    Of course I had to check it out, because who makes a body lotion/bubble bath/candle that smells like leaves?

    And what do leaves even smell like?

    I don’t think it answers the question of what leaves smell like, but




    It’s a combination of “golden nectar, juicy mandarin and red delicious apple, paired with toasted cinnamon stick, mulled spices and freshly picked berries” and it is seriously divine.

    Divine, I tell you.

    I used it last night in the shower and just stood basking in the lovely smell swirling all around me. It was almost enough to make me forget the heat.

    Seriously delicious.

    So delicious, in fact, that I am following a very wise woman’s advice to never squelch a generous impulse, and sharing it with you.

    Leave me a comment stating which smell of shower gel you want, and I will pick a random winner. The winner will receive a 12 oz shower gel in the flavor they requested.

    Yes, really.

    You have until midnight tomorrow night to comment. (That would be Sept. 12.)

    The drawing is open to anyone, including contributors to the site.  Please only comment once, and make sure you state what flavor you’d like. If you don’t win, don’t despair, there’s a HUGE giveaway coming soon. But don’t say I told you.

    The Flavors:

    Ginger Vanilla: Rich, creamy caramel, fresh nutmeg and delicious gingerbread are blended with candied apple, lemon zest and warm vanilla

    Leaves: Golden nectar, juicy mandarin and red delicious apple, paired with toasted cinnamon stick, mulled spices and freshly picked berries

    Harvest Berry: Luscious berries, invigorating bergamot and cassis are blended with white citrus, jasmine and anise


    PS. If your comment doesn’t show up right away, just wait. The spam filter is being a little tetchy, so I may have to go in and approve your comment.