Start Your Day with Coffee and a Prayer

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting ready for 2010

Can you believe it, 2010 is almost here. I am ready to take stock. What can I do to be better? I want to be a better daughter, mother, co-worker and friend. All those things are me and the best thing to improve on is my response to those around me. Take on a better attitude. Stop being the one who has to be right all the time.  Next year this time I hope to be better.

Happy New Year to all of  you and thanks for checking out my blog.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New opportunities

If you are not careful you can get a bit of a let down after Christmas. All that anticipation and preparation can be a bit overwhelming especially if things did not turn out as you planned. I usually start reflecting on myself. Thinking of things I can do to be a better person. I ask for forgiveness and set new goals for myself, ones I know I can achieve. There is always a time for getting yourself in order. Sort of like cleaning out a closet, a room, the house, the garage, etc.  You get my drift I am sure.

Enjoy your weekend with family and friends. Take some time to encourage yourself so you can encourage others. Welcome those new opportunities.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I love the feeling of Christmas

Our work place is closed today and for that I am so grateful. Today will be a peaceful day. I intend on making some treats to share with neighbors. Go to Christmas Eve service at church. Tomorrow go to my daughter's house, spend the day and enjoy the grandgirls.

Tonight is the night we celebrate the birth of Christ.

"Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will your recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!"

(The Living Bible  Luke 2 verses 10-12)

Can't you just hear the angel all excited and telling the shepherds the news.
1. Do not be scared.
2. This is the best news ever.
3. Everyone can be a part of it.
4. He is the one you have been waiting for.
5. You can recognize him, he is not hiding from you.

I never really looked at the different messages but there they are. No one is left out of this special birth.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

KISS (Keep It Simple Susie)

This is the last weekend before Christmas. Shopping for gifts, and shopping for food. About this time you have either wrapped the last present and on your way to cooking the last of the sweets. My motto is keep it simple. I know those recipes look tempting and those ads tell you to come on back and buy something else but you probably have enough already. By keeping things simple you put less pressure on yourself and now you have time to really enjoy the season.

Tomorrow we will have our Family Christmas. We have exchanged names and that makes shopping easier. I have the 2 daughters and my Mom bringing a side. I will cook the meat, rolls, potatoes and carrots. I have decided that my house does not have to be perfect. I am really looking forward to another day with my little family.

May you have a peaceful weekend, remember whose birthday it really is and KISS.

I don't think this is Susie, maybe her cat is called Susie.

Picture came from titled -- Mrs. Yandle Cooking on Coal Stove, Yacolt Mt, Future Recipients of Electricity from Bonneville Dam   by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Window Views and Doors

Sweet little bakery I found on the trip in Michigan.

For more Windows and Door views go to

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Gift for you

This time of year can bring on many emotions. A lot of people feel that they cannot buy enough for their families, they get in debt and the expectations of euphoria explode and they are empty. Shopping is fun this time of year but really not a necessity. For families with young children they put so much pressure on themselves that the true meaning of Christmas seems to fade in the christmas presents opened and laid aside. Usually the child finds one toy they really love and play with it the whole day.  Commercialism has it place but we all need to put it in its place. Take a few minutes to stop and remember what Christmas is all about. God's precious gift to mankind, his Son. Not only is it time to read the story of the birth but remember the shadow of the cross.  That is where the true gift lies. He loved us and gave His sacrifice, the ultimate gift. No store bought, handmade, or kitchen sweet concoction can ever measure up to that one gift to all. So do not be overwhelmed by this time of year. The best gift has already been given and all you have to do is receive it, untie the bow, and hold it close to your heart.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday

I have been very busy this week. Just cannot get a handle on work. Sometimes I feel like I cannot even get organized. I have to have some semblance of order before I can work. Are others like that? I have to stop during the day and see where I am if my desk gets too messy.  I have a very small (closet size) office but I am grateful because it has a door (yea). The door can be shut if the hallway gets too crazy. During this next year I want to come up with some ideas to streamline my duties at work. I have the job of 2 people. Most of us are doing just that, taking on extra work because well--we just have to. That is the law of the land now a days. Belts are tight and everyone has to give their all and more. Not complaining really just want to know how I can keep my santity and still be a happy team player. Better get going, the office is waiting. Have a great Friday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday morning...vacation day.

I have a few vacation days left til the end of the year. Taking today and going to a fancy mall in Atlanta. I am going to enjoy looking, may find a few interesting things and will take my camera to snap decorations, etc. My two friends are joining me, they took the day off as well.

Just a picture to get you in the cookie mood, ours were a bit different.
Yesterday had the 2 grandgirls. Made Christmas cookies, our favorite thing to do. We make this recipe all year and we have different cookie cutters and sprinkles for the season. The recipe we love is Martha Stewart's basic sugar cookie recipe with royal icing.  We have tried them all and this one is our favorite. The cookie is crunchy and has a perfect taste. That morning I made the dough and 11 yr old did all the rolling, and cutting out while battling with the 2 yr old. She kept snatching cookie dough and flour to eat. Hopefully her stomach can handle the raw egg. She was fast, popped it in her mouth before we knew what happened. Jorden took all the cookies to give out to her neighbors. We will make some more for mine before Christmas.

Basic Sugar Cookies


Makes about 2 dozen 4-inch cookies

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and more if needed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Royal Icing (see below)


1.Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn out dough, and divide in half. Flatten each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

2.Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to just under 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut out cookies using desired cutters or templates. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets as you work. Roll out scraps, and repeat once. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Chill cookies in freezer until very firm, about 15 minutes.

3.Bake cookies, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Decorate with Royal Icing. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

Egg Free Royal Icing


Makes 5 cups

2 pounds confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed

2/3 cup water, plus more if needed

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder (

Gel-paste food coloring (


1.Mix sugar, water, and meringue powder with a mixer on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. Icing should be the consistency of glue. (If icing is too thick, mix in a little more water. If icing is too thin, add more confectioners' sugar.) Add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired color is achieved; if making more than 1 color, divide icing and work in batches. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 week. Stir before using.

Around 6:00 took them to meet their Mom (we meet halfway at a QT since they live a bit away). This works out well.  When I walked back into the house I could not believe the mess. Talk about a cyclone hitting the house. J does not pull things out anymore but Addisun does. Baby Jesus and his manger is missing. He is very small. I asked her where baby Jesus was and she said in my room. I guess he will show up. I still have a room to clean up (I am sitting in it and every once in a while an electronic toy goes off especially when I step on it).

Have a great Monday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Window Views for Thursday

East Randolph Street in Chicago, IL 2008

For more window views and doors click below.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Spending time with friends

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day and it was spent with my two friends, one whose birthday was the 21st of November. She turned the nice age of 60. We went to Maggioni's Little Italy restaurant. Sampled some wine. Had a nice meal. I made a version of Black Forest Cake which we had back at my friend's house. She opened her gifts, we talked, had coffee and cake.  It seems around this time of year it is hard to get together. If we see each other, it is usually on the weekends and we have only 3 of those left before Christmas. Wow time is really flying by. So we need to cherish what we have and those we love.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shopping, me? No way!

I never go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I have always gotten that day off and relish in the joy of being home. I usually do something a little constructive. My daughter called and said they went shopping all night (early Friday morning)--11:00 pm until 5:00 am. They went home took a nap and they were on the road again by 4:00 pm. They will have all their shopping done and decorations up by Sunday (tomorrow). She certainly did not get that from me. So while everyone was out in the masses, I got my oil changed and a free car wash (barely got the grime off) and took a walk over at the college. Such a nice day. It was cool but the sun was shining and life is so good.  Rented a movie and called my friend (she was out in the masses), asked her if she wanted some dinner. She said OK as soon as she could get out of the outlet shopping area. We had a nice dinner and watched The Proposal. This was not my most favorite Sandra Bullock movie.

Well today is Saturday and I will drag all my Christmas boxes out and decide about decorations. It will be a gorgeous day to do this, no rain in the forecast.  My goal every year at this time is to be stress free. I have been successful in this endeavor especially now that my children are grown. My plan is not to spend very much money and being the bargain shopper I am, the plan works pretty good. I do not have peer pressure anymore.  I still have a few things I like to do 1) bake cookies with my grandgirl and give some to the neighbors, 2) go see the Nutcracker (we will be given free tickets, so nice) at the Fox in Atlanta, 3) church on Christmas Eve, 4) find any charity to donate money, food or toys. I never feel like I give enough. I always want to do more.

Life is fragile, handle with care.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Got back last night from our road trip. It was quite a journey. Had some car trouble but all in all everyone including the dog enjoyed the trip.  God was definitely in control.  For this I am thankful.

Everyone have a wonderful day where ever you are. It is going to be a beautiful day here in Georgia.

"Trimming the Pie" by Joseph Christian Levendecker 1935

Monday, November 23, 2009

Together for a short while

My thanksgiving flag.

Everyone was together yesterday. My little family includes my Mom, Jonah, his wife Amber, Alecia, her husband Josh and their 2 girls, Addisun age 2-1/2 and Jorden age 11. We had vegetable tray with ranch dressing, chips with salsa (my Mom's friend brought it to her from Ft. Worth, Tx), Stover's lasagna, garlic bread, brownies with vanilla ice-cream and sweet iced tea.  Everybody was hungry which I like, and ready to eat. The time seems to go so fast. Eat, talk, hug goodbye.  We did exchange names for Christmas gifts. We started doing this last year. We put a $50.00 limit which I think may still be too much. In fact we forgot to say the money amount yesterday.  Since we were getting together for the Thanksgiving holiday I kept thinking it was Thursday. I did get a turkey breast and pumpkin pie to cook for Thanksgiving. My favorite food for TG is white meat of turkey, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. When I cook for myself and Mom, that is all I fix.  Yum. 

Jorden spent the night and we are going on a little road trip for a couple of days. I love spending time with her. She is growing up so fast and I know these little trips won't last forever. She will have her own family one day which I look forward to being a part of.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

All done with the den

Finished painting. Cleaned all the books out that were unnecessary and needed another home. Did I mention all the tile I had lined up against the wall that I got for free. I have been holding on to this but again cannot use because it is such a big deal to lay it down. Preparation for this is too difficult.  Oh well. I have put it on the deck and may list it on craigslist for free. Hopefully it will be gone before too long.  Sometimes the projects you want to do are not always workable. I find it very hard to find a "handyman". My new front door has been behind my couch in the living room wanting to be put up for probably 2 mo. I guess I will have to get "Home Depot" to do it. I thought I could find a HM but to no avail. Apparently there is work but where are the workers.

How do we collect so much stuff.  I still need to get a handle on it. Free or cheap is not the reason to collect stuff you are not using. If you cannot use it right away -- then don't bring it home.  Right?

All in all the den looks so much better. 

Books before the purge.

Working on moving the bookcases. Condensed down to two.

The tile mess.

Tile on the deck waiting for a home.

The den all cleaned up. Not beautiful but functional.

Now to work on the kitchen, and living room, expecting family over tomorrow for Thanksgiving lunch (lasagna I think still pondering the menu, not turkey). Doing it early makes sure we are all together close to the holiday. As our families grow our time together gets less and less. I love my little family and want them to have their own traditions and not feel pressured to chop up their holidays.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Skywatch Friday

One of my favorites of the sky through the top of the trees in my backyard this summer. For more pictures of the sky go to Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Project Den--the books.

I am in the middle of a project. My den which is really my garage is getting painted by me. I have been putting off cleaning up this room for a while. I decided to start painting and you know how that is, you have to move things around to get to the walls. I had 3 bookshelves completely, I mean overfilled with books. I had to sort through them and decide what to keep. I ended up with 3 huge containers filled with books. I kept 2 bookcases and as I was painting one wall I moved them over to the freshly painted wall. Now 2 bookcases full.  Last night I took the books to Goodwill. I asked him if he was strong, he had to lift the containers which he did. I wanted the containers back. So off I go into the store, you know I have to look. Found a great jean jacket, it was just waiting for me, right size, etc. Oh yeah yesterday was senior citizens day, over 55, yea, 25% off.  Would you not believe I went straight to the books. What is wrong with me. I made myself leave that area. I saw a purse I donated and had to remember not to buy it back.

So what is wrong with a person who constantly thinks she has to have a bargain. I must leave so others can shop. My new motto.  Oh and before going to the Goodwill I went to Walmart, big mistake. Most of my cart was groceries but still the final amount was way too much. I will never be able to semi-retire if I keep going to Walmart.

Will continue my project saga, I even took pics to see my progress. Will post later.

Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

Notice the yellow jacket sitting on the leaf. Feel free to tell me what kind of flower this is. I have no clue, was taken at Biltmore Gardens.  Have a Happy Monday.

For more of the color yellow go to Mellow Yellow Monday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Way Thurs Way, a Thursday Meme

When I was driving around Sunday I decided to go to Rex, about 10 miles or so from me and take pictures of the old grist mill. When I got there I saw they had built a bypass and the road to this mill is hardly used anymore. There is a one way bridge and I guess there became too much traffic to use the road anymore.  The mill has been there a long time.

For more pictures of signs and scenes from the road go to This Way Thurs Way.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My World this Weekend

I have had a truly beautiful weekend. It all started Friday morning when I woke up dizzy. I just could not get it together and drive to work. So I called in sick. No problem. Have not taken a sick day all year. Later in the afternoon I felt better and cut the grass and leaves in the front yard. I felt like a little fresh air and exercise was in order. Friday I had promised my granddaughter we would go to a wedding reception at the local Indian Hindu temple. A young girl was married in India 3 months ago and invited me to a small wedding reception. 

On Saturday I just cleaned up the leaves in the back yard and had a nice relaxing day.

Today I visited a monastery (Monastery of the Holy Spirt in Conyers, GA) and was just planning on taking pictures around the grounds but got to go in the beautiful cathedral and hear The University of Georgia chorus, concert choir and symphony orchestra. Music consisted of the following:  Five Negro Spirituals from A child of our time by Michael Tippet. These are beautiful songs: Steal away to Jesus, Nobody knows the trouble I see, Go down, Moses, By and By and Deep River. Also Dixit Dominus by George Frideric Handel and Mass in B-flat Major, Harmoniemesse by Joseph Haydn. It was beautiful.  Could not have planned it better. The acoustics were terrific.

I did take pictures of the stained glass and the outside gardens.  They had a ginkgo tree. The most beautiful yellow tree. The leaves would fall around you so gently, it was like snowflakes. I really enjoyed my weekned. 

This is the large piece of glass as you look forward. It is just beautiful.

Some very colorful pieces of glass. There were many.

Facing behind you. The balcony. Beautiful architecture.

Yellow snowflakes. Ginkgo Tree.

Mother and Child

A close up. So sweet--just like a mother and her baby.

To see some very creative and wow monochrome pics go to link above.

A nice place to sit on a monochrome monday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Watery Wednesday

For more watery wednesday pics click on title.

Nice walking path. This is one of the more open spots, most are in the woods with the canopy of trees. 

Went over to a place called Reynold's Nature Preserve. There was a Judge and his wife who lived on this wooded property when I was a kid, it almost backed up to our house. My Dad had some horses and would ride them over there. There was a lake and the Judge would shoot rock salt at anyone who set foot on his property without permission. Needless to say my Dad made friends and would go over there quite a bit. When the Judge died he willed it to the county. They keep it up pretty well. It is a wonderful place to go and walk the trails and enjoy nature. Back when I was a kid I did not know what I had in my own back yard. My Mom still lives in the house I grew up in and I only live about a mile from this place as well as her. Sometimes we have a lot in our own back yard if we just look.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A little something in black and white.

"Do not be fooled I am really hot pink."

For more black and white photos go to monochrome weekly theme blogspot.