Tuesday, December 16, 2014


1  approximately 6 pound beef brisket
16 oz organic (We use home canned from the garden, but you use what you have.) tomato sauce
12 oz non high fructose corn syrup ketchup
12 oz beef bone broth (Recipe Here(or you can use beef broth just watch for yeast extract as it is MSG and high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.)
½ cup organic butter
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 onion finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes or equivalent of bottled lime juice
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce.    
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Mrs. Dash
Celtic Sea Salt
2 large onions cut in rings
1 jar 14 oz jalapenos (juice reserved)

Pre-heat your grill for indirect heat over medium heat.  Place brisket in medium pan and poke about holes in each side with fork.  Season with garlic powder and sea salt & Mrs. Dash.  Pour juice of peppers on each side.  Cover and cook ½ to 2 hrs. 

Cook onion slices and jalapenos together. 

Baste sauce on brisket 1/3 of sauce.  Remove from grill and top with onion pepper mixture and serve with remaining sauce.  Makes 8- 10 servings.

Serve with Broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, eggplant, garlic, okra, spinach, peas, string beans, cucumber, pumpkin, onion, leaf lettuce (all kinds), mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke, leafy greens (kale, collard, broccoli, mustard greens, etc.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

5 Christmas Mantle Ideas

Hello everyone! I am sorry that we have been so quiet for awhile.  We thought we would do a post on simple Christmas mantle decorations for different distinct looks.  The first one we will look at is a simple western motif.  We really love this one. 

Western Mantle:

The picture over the fireplace is Wizzy over at the R-Lit Ranch.  It was taken at a great event over at the ranch last year.  I paired it with some metal candle sticks and some cream colored candles. 
The simple garland is made of pine cones and twine.
I think they look great together, simple but festive.

Old Fashion Christmas Mantel:

This mantle is a simple one.  The iron candle holder give some soft light in the evenings.  The gold ceramic one gives a pretty glow even when it is not cold enough for a fire.  The stockings I sewed out of ticking material once used for feather mattresses and pillows.  It is a tan striping and I just love the vintage feel.  On the mantle and above the fireplace on the wall are old family photos that just bring warmth and fun to the room.

 Hippie Chic Mantle: 

This is a more fun design.  The picture above the fireplace is an original piece that I did to match the decor.  It is a peacock feather in watercolor.  On each side of the mantle we have some iron candle holders and candles and hanging in the center is another pretty blue and metal candle holder we picked up at Ross Dress For Less.
The garland is simply beads picked to match our fun Batik fabric stockings that I made in tie dye colors.  We made a fun and funky Christmas tree out of a flower basket turned upside down and given a bit of chic with a pink and a purple boa wrapped around it.

Elegant Christmas Mantle:

This is a simple but pretty mantle.  We found this mirror at a great yard sale and painted it (tutorial here).  These stockings we made last year and they came out so fun.  We made them out of burlap and muslin and made each one of the different.  One has a vintage button and looks more masculine, the rest are bedecked with ruffles, vintage buttons and bows.
The garland is a simple faux pine garland with a beaded ice garland woven in. 
Next I added some clear lights to the garland to give the sparkle.  I just love how this turned out. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cream Of Broccoli Soup

Need a yummy soup recipe for a cold afternoon? Or a bowl of comfort food that always makes you feel like you are home? This recipe is bound to fit the bill!

1/2 Cup Organic Butter
1 Cup Organic Flour
2 Cups Organic Milk
6 Cups Organic Broth
2 Cups Organic Broccoli 

In a large pan melt butter, add flour. Stir in milk and broth. Cook stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened. Meanwhile steam broccoli until tender. Add the steamed broccoli to soup. 

If you are using bread bowls cut the middle of your bread out and ladle soup into the inside. We like to add a touch of hot sauce to ours but either way is delicious! 

If you don't have the organic stuff then just use what you have. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I know Just What You'd Say...

The house is so quiet, so still. How can life change so fast? Your clothes are still hanging in your closet. Your bed is still made where I made it the day after you went to the hospital. I walk through your room so still. Everything just the same... or almost just the same.  The night light in the bathroom is off. Your cane rests in the corner of the room instead of in your hand. 

Despite the heater humming your room seems so cold. Like stepping outside on a snowy morning and knowing no one else is out. Your footsteps seem to echo over the frozen ground. 

I can't stand to stay in this room long but sometimes I just can't stay away. I half smile at the boxes of Christmas village stacked in one of your closets that you loved so much. How many years did we put it out together? How much fun we had as I handed you things to put out and smiled up at you telling you if it was "the perfect spot" which of course it was... perching on a ladder with steaming hot cups of coco on freezing morning putting Christmas lights up. 

And then one year we switched, I was the one on the top of the ladder you at the bottom smiling up.  Oh how you loved Christmas! And then as the years went on, I did more by myself but the light was still there in your eyes. Making you almost look like a small child filled with the magic of Christmas... But as the years went on that to began to dim... until only at certain moments could you see it in your blue eyes. But it was still there. I can almost hear your voice in my mind as I run my hand over the rough cardboard boxes. 

I know just what you’d say…

You’d say “oh my goodness” and “I love you honey”.  “Do you want to spend the night?”, “Can I pray for you?”. And with that guilty look of yours and a hand over your heart “Who me?” followed by a twinkle in your eye and “How could you think so?” 

“Drive carefully," - even if you’re just walking “I pray a hedge of protection around you and your car” or “Lord surround their car with angels” and “Can I sing you a song?” 

You see Grandma I know just what you'd say... "It so nice to see you," "Do we have anything sweet?"  "Ice Cream sounds good" and "Bless you heart". And "I need to blow my nose."

You would pray every day for your children and grandchildren, on your knees even when it hurt to do so.  When you would hear of a need you were quick to offer help, love, a place for those that needed a home.  You stood in the cold serving food you helped cook for the homeless and you were not afraid to love on the ones that stood before you. Strangers became family in the blink of an eye.  Sailors hundreds of miles away from their family found family in your arms.  Those hurting and needing a home found a place of love and care seldom seen in this world.  Orphans became grand children in the blink of an eye.  You held nothing back from anyone.

I can still hear your voice as we sit around the table... and I know just what you'd say... Faith plops down beside me with a sigh and I know just what you'd say, " What's wrong pooch?" 

The Most Important thing to me is ending up in heaven and having all of my children and grandchildren make it there, so be there everyone. - Martha Gibson 1996

Saturday, November 22, 2014

For Everything There Is A Season

Your breaths come further and further apart.

We stand around your bed as the sunshine streams in the window with tears running down our faces. The door squeals as it opens and your sweet nurse enters with tears in her eyes, and she joins our huddled group.

Christmas carols play softly. You love Christmas so much... Sirens in the distance mark another ambulance's path and another life forever changed. You have touched so many lives. You are loved so much. A friend slips in and comes to your side, it is agony to watch the monitor as seconds pass with out a breath but its even worse not to watch. How did we get to this point?  I'm so tired.

I'll be home for Christmas... If only in my dreams...

Notifications pop up on my Facebook from friends and family sharing old pictures of you and words that though they are hundreds of miles away to be whispered in your ear.
There is a time for everything,

 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,

 a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,

    a time to tear down and a time to build, 

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,

    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

    a time to search and a time to give up

    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

    a time to tear down and a time to mend,

    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    a time to love and a time to hate,

    a time for war and a time for peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 
Goodbye grandma...

Waiting with you...

I watch your vital signs on the monitor.  I watch your life sustaining breaths grow further apart and more ragged.  I listen to phone calls coming in – final words being spoken and I wonder.  I wonder why do we leave things undone and unsaid.  Everyone with smart phone and I-phone in their pockets and purses but why are we all really so un-connected.  There is Facebook and Twitter and still mostly it is just meaningless. 

 I think for all of our so called connected-ness in our modern age I think we really are one of the most unconnected societies.  Sound bytes and 140 characters but where is the heart?  A check in from Starbucks and Chicago O’Hare but how is your family?  A photo from Chuck E Cheese and a day at the beach but are you really happy?  Can I pray for you? What is a burden you are carrying?  You had a cheese burger today and you like a vegan pumpkin pie recipe but what is your joy? What burden are you carrying that I can walk with you through and help you carry.  You see for all of this connected-ness, the heart and soul of communication lay withering on the vine. 

We get so busy with the business of life.  With the pulse of our daily duty - the breathing in and breathing out of life, work, commute, doing…  We miss out on so much.  Relationships are not found in sound bytes but in the walking out of life. 

Your breathing is more ragged now and tears stream down my cheeks as I think of all the words that have been left unspoken because of the business of life. Is it worth it?

Again they say you have only hours and we watch the lengthening flat lines appear where breaths should be and then a ragged breath and your frail chest rises once again.  You are so small and helpless in that great big hospital bed.  I know that healing and restoration is awaiting you when Jesus comes to take you home.

Then that part of me, that selfish part of me- as the flat line crosses the screen my heart screams inside of me No! Not yet!  Don’t leave me yet! Oh selfish, selfish heart.  Another breath comes and I breathe again, realizing I too am holding my breath until my lungs burn at the holding of it.