Tuesday, January 31, 2023

{ Blog 365 #31 - Another Winter Storm }

It is another cold day here in Northern Texas, as we are currently under another Winter Storm, this time an Ice Storm.  There was no work or schools yesterday, nor today, and apparently not tomorrow either.
There is a cold air storm moving in from Canada, and then we have warm air moving in from the South of us, and it is all converging where we live.  South of us will get lots of rain, north of us will get lots of snow, and we are in what they're calling The Battle Zone.  Right?  Makes you want to run doesn't it?  

Apparently it means we are where they meet so we get the ice, freezing rain, and sleet conditions.  It is dangerous, it is nerve wrecking and above all it is cold.


Curt and I were up early this morning, and by early I mean 3:30 AM.  Kaia needed to go potty, and then we couldn't fall back asleep, so we laid in bed chatting, playing with Kaia and by 4 just figured we might as well get up.  So we did.

I made my way, coldly, into the kitchen, and started our coffee, and while the water boiled, I got a fire started, and mixed together a dough for some Portuguese bread.  Pao Caseiro.....which literally means Homey Bread, because this the kind of loaf you will find in old Portuguese homes in the quaint little villages in Portugal.

There is nothing to it but 4 ingredients, but honestly, you can't beat the taste of rustic warm fresh bread, slathered in butter.


With the house being so cold, I set the bread to rise near the fireplace, where it stayed nice and toasty, and within an hour, it had doubled in size.

In the meantime, I got 2 packs of bacon into the oven.  Curt and I were craving bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast, and I needed to cook the two packs before they expired.  The rest of the bacon is in a ziploc in the fridge, and will be used throughout the week.



While the bacon cooked and the dough rose, I also made a batch of Homemade Peppermint Mocha Creamer.  I find it not only cheaper, but also healthier to make it at home, especially when you actually take the time to look at the ingredients on the back of the store bought creamer.  What on earth?

It's a bit scary.  It's also getting more and more expensive, so for the moment I'll just make it at home.


The rest of the day, I didn't do much at all.  I have a horrid hormonal headache, cramps and the usual Perimenopause light headedness.  It makes it hard to get much done, so I'm thrilled I got so much sorted early morning.

We are now bracing for the incoming snow and ice overnight, and into Thursday morning.  I just pray our pipes don't freeze again.  

If you're in the path of these Winter Storms, stay warm and stay safe.  I'll be praying for us all.

Right, I am going to sign off, I just got out of the shower and washed my hair, now I want to go give it a quick snip snip, just on the ends.  Then I'll be reading, watching some tv and going to bed early. 



I will leave you with a little peek at one of the Kitchen Towels I sewed last week.  I am in love with it, and it matches my kitchen perfectly.

Have a wonderful night ladies, and I'll see you all tomorrow.  

By the way, I can't believe I was able to post every single day in January.  Wow!!!  It is getting easier to post, at least for me, although I'm sure there will be days that I'll probably feel like I don't know what to talk about.  Hahah

Anyway, we will deal with those as they come. ♥


Monday, January 30, 2023

{ Blog 365 #30 - Happy Homemaker Monday }

Good morning my sweet ladies.  Welcome back to my little corner of the world. 
It is so cold this morning, the current wind chill is 5.  5!!!!!  
We are under another Winter Storm Watch from 6am today through Thursday.  I have a feeling things will be shutting down again as the roads become undrivable.  
Anyway, I have a very hot cup of milky tea, just had my breakfast too and now I'm settling in to work on this post.  I do have to go out in about 2 hours but then I'll be home.  I have a house to clean, need to get some baking done too and really want to get things ready for the incoming storm. 
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and wish you all an abundantly blessed week ahead.
Now, let's get on with our Happy Homemaker Monday. 
Have a blessed week friends.

The Weather:::
Currently 20 degrees with a wind chill/real feel of 5.  So cold.  Our winter storm is incoming, so between rain, freezing rain and snow, it will be quite a mess.    
Monday - Cloudy, 26
Tuesday -  Winter storm, 27
Wednesday - Winter storm, 32
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 52
Friday - Sunny, 55
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 62
Sunday - Sunny, 62

As I look outside my window:::
Grey cloudy skies, and very windy.  My poor gazebo is struggling to stay in place.  I see a lot of the outside decorations, all over the yard, which means I'll have to go out there this morning, collect them all and put them in under the patio. 

Right now I am:::
Sitting in bed, sipping my hot milky tea, typing up this post, and watching a homemaking vlog on the telly.     

Thinking and pondering:::
About sewing projects I want to do.  I tend to leave my sewing machine packed away for months on end, then when I pull it out, I want to sew, sew, sew as much as I can. 

On my bedside table:::
Bottle of water, my cup of coffee, the tv remote and a crochet hook for the bag I'm finishing off. 

On my tv today:::
Youtube videos - homemaking, book hauls
Period drama of some kind

Listening to:::
The sound of the video on the tv, and the wind howling outside.   
On the lunch plate:::
Not sure, but I made chili yesterday and have a little tiny bit left, so may have that.   
On the dinner plate:::
American Goulash, Salad, Garlic Bread

On the menu for this week:::
Will be working on the new menu throughout the week.  But, this is what we have coming up from today until Friday.

Monday - American Goulash, Salad, Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Honey Pepper Chicken with Macaroni and Cheese, Sauteed Squash
Wednesday - Salmon Croquettes, Tomato Rice, Salad
Thursday -  Cheeseburger Gnocchi, Garlic knots
Sunday -

On my reading pile:::
A Feather on the Water by Lindsay Jane Ashford, on my Kindle

On my to do list:::

Clean and tidy the house
Take out ground beef for dinner
Make sandwich bread
Make Cinnamon Rolls
Make sugar cookies (I have a package in the fridge that needs using up)
Bible Study
Laundry - take load out of dryer, fold and put away

Plans for this week:::
Finish my second kitchen towel, and make one or two more
Start second crochet bag and take pictures of the first one I made last week
Post every day

What I am creating:::

Lucy's Crochet Bags and kitchen towels 


My simple pleasure:::

Reading cookbooks.  That may sound strange, but I don't just flip through the pages and look at the recipes, I actually enjoy reading the descriptions, who made the recipe, and how it came about.  My favorite are the cookbooks that have family stories included. 
Looking around the house:::
It is quite dark.  I haven't opened the curtains today, usually it's the first thing I do when I head to the kitchen to fix our coffee.  However, it is so cold, so I'm keeping the curtains closed to keep the warmth in.  
I have two piles of clean laundry on the dining table, waiting to be folded.  I'm also really wanting to switch my table back to my window.  If you know me, you know I switch the couches and the dining table every year.  During the summer, the couches are by the fireplace and the dining table by the big window, so we can look out into the beautiful trees while eating.   But, I kind of want to read by the fireplace, and want to have dinner while watching the winter storm outside......so this week I plan on switching everything around again.

From the camera:::
Blogging is hard.  If you're a blogger you know what I mean by that.  It's not always easy to sit down, think of something to say and share.  However, I am so glad that I have pushed myself to stick with it, since that very first post on February 6th, 2006.
I had been reading blogs for a while, but starting my own was so scary.  I just jumped in and went with it and I am so glad that I did.  Because, even though it gets hard at times to keep going, the memories that are stored within this little corner of the web, are priceless.  
This picture below was taken when we were stationed at Luke AFB.  We used to take the kids out every day for a walk, after dinner.  They loved it, and we enjoyed the time out with the kids and our two pugs, Bella and Lola.   It's funny how a picture can bring back so many memories. 
Bible verse, Devotional::: 
To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have a home, it's all a miracle. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

{ Blog 365 #29 - Delurk and say hi }

The last time I had a de-lurk day, was back in 2012.  My word, that is a long time ago.

I thought it would be fun to do another one this beautiful Sunday.  We are heading into the last few days of January, so why not come out of hiding, and say hi. 

So, how does it work?

You just de-lurk, and leave a hi in the comment section down below.  I have a ton of readers and followers, that just like myself, follow many blogs, but don't always leave a comment, or have time to.

Would love to know who is reading, how long you've been following me, and if you have your own blog that we can go and say hi at.

That's it!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

{ Blog 365 #28 - Fabric stores }

I have many fond memories of my grandmother Odete.  We were extremely close, we pretty much did everything together.  For some that may seem strange, but I know that there are many more out there that understand the love for a grandmother.

She was my listener, advisor, partner in crime.  

She taught me how to sew, how to use sewing machines, how to do everything relating to sewing, actually.  But she also taught me how to cook, she told me stories, we shared cups of tea and took long walks, and I mean, longgggggg walks from our home to town.

We enjoyed lunches at Wimpy, eating burgers and fries.  Or we would skip the food and order their waffles with whipped cream or ice cream.

One of the things we most enjoyed doing, was walking through the local fabric stores.  There were some that she would specifically go in for crochet yarn, and others were just fabric.

I was sitting watching TV yesterday, and I don't even remember what I was watching, but a fabric store came into the screen.  I was taken aback by just how quickly it transported me back in time.

It's almost like I was right there.  I could even smell the fabric.

The thing I most remember?
The rolls of fabric.  Every color and pattern you could imagine, just laid out.  Some on shelves, and some on long tables.  I would sit and look through each one, feeling the fabric slip through my fingers.

We would pick out fabric for her seamstress business, and for ourselves.  

I remember I wanted a dress, made in the most beautiful pale blue linen.  She obliged and made me the prettiest form fitting dress, which I proudly wore to work.  I wish I had kept it, but I think it was in one my boxes left in South Africa, and now, it's probably gone.

I helped her make that dress, and was so proud of it.  

Another thing we loved doing was pick out sewing thread and patterns.  Oh my word!!!

The boxes and boxes of patterns.  Simplicity and Burda.  Do you remember those?  She had so many vintage looking patterns that I loved looking through.  I used to make a pile of the ones I wanted to make for myself, never quite getting to make them, but that pile was mine none the less.

Whenever she had a client that needed something made, she would ask me to cut out the pattern.  I can't tell you how excited I used to get, cutting through that flimsy brown tissue paper.

It makes me miss those times.  

In the back of our house, we had a small room that she turned into a sewing studio.  She had tables along the back wall.  One for cutting, and then one for her sewing machines, and another for her overlocking machines.  Those were my favorite to use.  Hahahah

The fact that the machine sewed and cut the fabric at the same time, fascinated me.

She was very meticulous about her work, and very strict with her machines.  But, she let me work on them under her watchful eye.  I vividly remember the day she said I could try the overlock machine. 

We had bought some fleece fabric to make some blankets or something, I can't even remember.  She let me make my own.  I sat at the machine, eager to get going, and she stood right behind me, telling me what each part of the machine did, how to thread it, how to hold the fabric, where to place my hands and so forth.

At the time, I was a little frustrated because being 13 years old,  I just wanted to let it rip, so to speak.  

Today, I completely understand why she watched me like a hawk, and boy would I give anything to have her stand behind me today, when I sit at my own machine.

Her machines????

All from Singer.  That was her favorite.  I'll have to tell you one day, of how I worked at a sewing shop at our local mall, and I had to take a sewing course for a week.  My grandmother went with me every day, because it was given by Singer itself, and she was just thrilled about that.

My machine today?  From Singer of course.


Sewing Day

As I pulled out the machine this past week, and made the plastic bag holder, and some kitchen towels, I realized that I need to do more sewing.  I love it, love everything about it.  

Hence, my post today.  

Because the machine, and then the fabric store on the tv, brought back so many wonderful memories.  I want to sew, I want to make things for myself, for my home, for fun.

I want to look through patterns and cut them out, and buy colorful thread, oil my sewing machine and sit at the table pinning and cutting.

It's an art.  An art that is being forgotten, and like much else nowadays, being passed over for other things like tik tok videos or the latest fad.

I say we bring back the things that truly matter.  I want to see more women sitting at a machine, hand sewing or embroidering.
My first candlewicking pillow.  It's so old and falling apart, but I love it so much.


Speaking of embroidering, that's another art that I plan on revisiting.  I have all my embroidery floss, and even have a new project that my sister in law gifted me for Christmas, so keep an eye out for that in an upcoming Blog 365 post.  I plan on doing a lot more of that, including Candlewicking which I LOVE and haven't done in years.

My friends, my sweet ladies, I have to tell you that I didn't understand why I was doing Blog 365, or why God had put that on my heart.  But, I can tell you with all certainty, that merely 27 days into it, I think I know why.

Through this process of blogging every day, and trying to make sure I have something to blog about, I have re-found my love for some many activities I used to enjoy.

What a blessing!

Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you, for making me remember who I am, for pulling me away from the modern world and back into what truly matters.  

I think 2023 needs to be the year, to bring back Homemaking and all the lost arts, in all their full glory.

What do you say?


Friday, January 27, 2023

{ Blog 364 #27 - I am from.....}

Many years ago, back in 2008, I wrote a blog post  based on a meme that I had seen when I first started blogging.
You know when you read an entry on a blog, and it touches you so deeply, and invokes in you a feeling of nostalgia that is hard to shake.
The whole premise was to write a post, about where you came from, kind of in poem form but not really.
Just putting it down on paper (so to speak).  I immediately knew that I needed to write my own, and even knew what photo to add.  
If you've never written one of these, I encourage you to do so.  It is something you will forever remember, and can pass down to your own children and grandchildren.  

My grandmother's hands....I LOVE this photo

I AM FROM.....

I am from aprons and great grandmothers cooking in the kitchen, from tea with milk in the morning and wholesome homemade food for dinner.

I am from a seaside town, from fresh seafood and big family gatherings. From the smell of the ocean and the sound of the seagulls, from the narrow roads and the sound of kids playing outside until after sunset, from cashew nuts and warm afternoons on white sandy beaches.

I am from palm trees, from dense scrub-brush and impressive palm groves, from waves washing onto the beach and tourists sun tanning.

I am from big family dinners, talking and singing, from a loving family, from Ema and Eduardo and Odete and Julio, from Jacinta and Antonio. I am from skillful hands, and loving hearts. From talented singers and painters.

I am from Christian family loving people, from dinner tables set for twenty, from beer bottles and wine, from talking too loud and laughing too much. From survivors of the Independence War in Mozambique, from fighters and courageous souls. From Portuguese, Brazilian and French.

I am from "wear a coat or you'll get sick" and from "don't go swimming right after you eat, wait at least 3 hours".

I am from Mozambique and from Portugal, from big plates of prawns and curry, from steaks and fries and from sweet rice pudding.

From the men who went to war during the independence and fought with all their hearts, from the great grandmother and grandmother who bought me little toy pots and pans to practice cooking, from grandfather Julio who loved life and loved to laugh, from grandfather Antonio who was a brilliant guitar player and accompanied one of Portugal's famous Fado singers.

I am from old photographs kept in boxes in the closet, from photo albums stained from age barely holding together the memories of years gone by, from crocheted pot holders created by loving hands and big family trips by car.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

{ Blog 365 #26 - Cooking Thursday - Portuguese Milk Rolls }

 Imagine if you will, you are 6 years old and it's a Saturday afternoon.  You are sitting in a Pastelaria (bakery) in Lisbon, Portugal and you are surrounded by the amazing scents of freshly baked bread and a myriad of cakes, different shapes, different sizes, colors, some are sugared and others covered in chocolate ganache....everyone around the table places their order and then it comes to you.  Cake, bread, what am I going to have?

Paezinhos de Leite

For some it may seem like a hard decision and actually looking back I would have thought that too, but for me there was only one thing on my mind.  Paezinhos de leite com fiambre e queijo.  Portuguese Milk Rolls with Ham and Cheese....oh and a Galao (a hot drink made with espresso and foamed milk).  THAT was my piece of heaven right there.

It's been so many many years since I've had one of these rolls, but today I was sitting in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make for lunch and it hit me.  Why not make this special lunch for my children and pass on to them not only a bit of my heritage but some of the amazing memories which I still carry with me to this day?

Paezinhos de Leite

These are similar to the Hawaiian rolls, so if you like those, you'll enjoy these :)

You can find so many different recipes out there, I have one that I have used for many years.  I actually made it in the bread machine today using the dough cycle and it came out really well :)

Paezinhos de Leite

Paezinhos de Leite - Portuguese Milk Rolls

1 cup and 2 tablespoons of milk
1 and a half tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup  sugar
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 packet dry yeast
1 egg + little milk for egg wash

Place the ingredients in your bread machine following the directions.  For mine, I add all the liquids first, then the dry except for the yeast.   I then make a small hole in the dry ingredients using my finger and pour the yeast into the little well.   Set to the dough cycle.

When done, remove the dough, place it on a floured surface, then make small rolls by pinching off balls of dough.  These rise quite a bit so don't make them too big.

( for those that don't have the bread machine, to make it the traditional way,  slightly warm the milk, add the butter and yeast.   In a bowl, add the dry ingredients, make a well in the center and add the liquids.  Knead well for a few minutes until you get a dough that is smooth and doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl.    Make a ball, cover with a dish towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.  Proceed with making the individual rolls )

I like shaping mine into ovals.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the beaten egg with a little bit of milk.

Paezinhos de Leite

Brush the tops of the rolls and then let them rise for about 30 minutes.

Paezinhos de Leite

Place them in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until nice and brown.  Enjoy!

Best way to have them, or at least my favorite way, is to eat them warm, slathered with butter, a slice of cheese and a slice of ham.

Paezinhos de Leite

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

{ Blog 365 #25 - Read with me....}

I love reading, and love books, but I don't always have the time to sit and indulge. I try to, and usually the only time I can get some reading in, is right before bed. 
I'm sure you know where I'm headed with that thought.  Hahahahah
Yep, a few lines in and I have fallen asleep with the book on my lap.  But today, I decided that it was a reading day.  I got up, did what I needed to and then grabbed my book.
So, come with me as I start reading Longbourn.  If you're a fan of Jane Austen, and more specifically Pride and Prejudice, you will probably enjoy this one.  It is the re-imagined story of Pride and Prejudice, but told from below stairs, and through the eyes of the servants.




So far I'm really enjoying it.  
Not only am I a huge Jane Austen fan, but I also quite enjoy books or series about the servants in these big manor houses in England.  I remember watching Upstairs Downstairs, and lovinggggg the series.  It was like a special treat every time a new episode began.  I may need to re-watch.  Hmmm!





Do you ever have a reading day? 

A day where you grab a book, and just read.  Sometimes in between cooking dinner, or waiting in the car for one of the kids or grocery pickup?  

On days like these, I drag the book around everywhere I go, and any chance I get, I read a page or two.  It actually helps me get through my reading pile.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

{ Blog 365 #24 - First snow of the season }

It's always been interesting to me, how much snow we get here in Texas.  I guess I never associated snow with this State, I don't know why, but I am glad that I was wrong because I love a good snow storm.

Every year, starting at the end of January and through March, we have quite a few snow days, and if you remember, obviously if you live here in the United States, we had that horrible snow storm two years ago, that shut down 90% of our state.  It was awful.  

We got a Winter Storm Warning yesterday, and early this morning it started raining, then within an hour it switched to snow.  It has not stopped since. 

Of course, I had to document it, not just for our Blog 365, but because I always do when we have our first snow of the year.   I just find it breathtakingly beautiful.  
Hope you enjoy these!