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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Looking Like Christmas...

~ daybreak over the valley ~
Is it because of Santa and the North Pole we equate Christmas with snow? Yesterday afternoon, right at 3:00 -as if by some timetable known only to God- it began to storm. And, storm it did with a passion! Miss G. was here to share lunch and then to sew and when I looked out the window I gasped and said, "Miss G! You're welcome to spend the night but if you want to get home, you'd better leave NOW!" She laughed, gathered her things up and started for home. It's strange where we live; if we want to go anywhere, we have to cross one mountain and, most times, two mountains. It took Miss G. an hour to drive about twenty miles but she got home safely and that's all that matters. 
~ bean, kilbasa, kale, bread soup ~
Lunch was a hearty soup that, I'm positive, someone else came up with eons ago. Here's the recipe but you need to tweak according to your own taste. Also, it's quick because I used canned beans.

Chop and brown a couple of sweet onions in a TBL of EVOO
Slice a package of kilbasa, add to onions
When those are browned, add
1 quart chicken stock
4 cans cannelloni beans, with the broth and
Simmer for an hour or two - it's a very forgiving recipe -smile-
When the soup is thirty minutes from the table, add at least 1/2 package of kale. I add the whole package but some folks might think that's a bit of overkill but, in the winter, can we get enough green? I think not.
Stir the kale in and simmer for about thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, back at the counter take a loaf of stale bread and cut it into rough pieces. Melt some butter...if I told you how much butter I used, your arteries would collapse! but I don't think a stick is unreasonable, do you?...mix in some herbs...I used Italian, Basil and Garlic Pepper Salt...then pour over the bread. Slip the bread into a hot oven and bake for the last thirty minutes of the cooking soup. 

When the soup goes into the bowl, place some pieces of bread on top, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Most of the time my bread is stale; yesterday, the bread was hard enough to beat a crow so letting the bread soak in the soup juices was a Very Good Thing. Have I mentioned how delicious was the soup? As Daddy likes to say, "good enough to make your tongue slap your brains out!"
~ wreaths on every gate ~
Miss G. and I are working on individual projects; she on a quilt and I on Christmas stockings. There are eight children I know who might enjoy a hand made Christmas stocking stuffed with some little treasures and one is for an adult. Hopefully, she still remembers the magic, joy and reason for Christmas...hopefully.
~ breakfast of champeens ~
I've always though hay bales, covered in snow, looked like Frosted Wheat cereal; there's enough to last a couple of years so the horses and sheep won't go hungry any time soon.

Yesterday was the first "normal" day I've had since Dave died; thanks to Miss G. and the work of my hands, God is doing His work in my heart. Undoubtedly, there are still dark days ahead but yesterday, God gave me a glimmer of what will, in time, be my new normal. No, I don't understand, and never will this side of the veil, but I still choose to accept His will. I choose to trust Him to know what's best for me and, yes, I still ask questions. Christ asked questions of His our Father, can't I as well?  
~ barn cat, after breakfast ~
As Elisabeth Elliot says, "You are loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms!" 

Bless His name forever.

Blessings ~ Miss G ~ sewing ~ the work of our hands ~ snow ~ soup ~ healing ~


  1. Hello Sandra:
    We have been absent from the Blogosphere for a little while and so it was with a little skip in our hearts that we saw your post pop up in our Google Reader. And, how we have been comforted in our concerns for you by this most charming of posts.

    The daily round, the common task and the happy companionship of a friend are such blessings in enabling one to find a new normality in living without one's life partner. We are delighted that you have projects underway and know that your handmade stockings will delight the lucky recipients.

    We are great soup afficionados and yours looks hearty and warming. Just the thing for a sub-zero Budapest. Soon it will be snowing here too we think ....!!!

  2. Hello from Kansas!
    We're expecting snow to blow in late this evening.
    Think I'm finally ready.

    Soup is a wonderful dish.

    God bless and continue to comfort you,

  3. We are expecting only an inch over nite. Our first accumulation. I'm glad to hear you had a good day with your friend.

  4. I found your blog about 4 months ago. I was so sorry to read of your Dave's passing. I think of you often and check your blog, always saying a prayer for you.

  5. "God is doing His work in my heart"
    I am so happy to read this!!! And when I say 'happy', I really feel joy and I am very thankful to God for You!!!

    The receipt sounds delicious!!!
    And the wreaths look so beautiful!
    I hope we will have some snow soon...:o)

  6. good soup, a friend and useful work --reasons for a better day - He gives us each day only what we can handle - and takes up any excess Himself.
    Good to hear about your heart (a stick of butter is health food!) lunch and stocking plans.

  7. BTW my little aphorism was not meant to be perky - you know how I loathe perky! LOL

  8. Anonymous4:39 PM EST

    Hi Sandra, Such pretty snow pics. Often when I eat shredded wheat cereal, I think of hay!!!!!
    So happy you and your friend enjoyed your time together and working on your projects.
    That soup and bread have my mouth watering.
    You are never far from my heart and thoughts.
    (love the barn kitty!)

  9. so glad you had a "normal" day. i agree about the haybales covered in snow. add a little milk and give me a spoon! may God keep you in the palm of His hand as you travel through this holiday season!

  10. It does my heart good to hear you had a good day yesterday - even a glimpse of "normal" is a good thing. Mmmmmmm frosted mini-wheats - my favorite cereal. And that soup looks really good too. Big hugs!

  11. So beautifully said! A normal day is good, praying for more!

  12. We got the storm this morning. It made everything white for a short while. Normal looking for December. I love your pic of the mountains. One day at a time. One day at a time.

  13. A day spent with a friend, projects and yummy soup . . . so lovely. Your farms looks beautiful with snow. So grateful for a sweet day for you in the midst of hard ones.


  14. I'm glad you are having some bright days! That soup looks delicious, and the farm so peaceful.

  15. Thank the Lord for a normal day!
    And what a photographer you are! I can't get enough of that view of your valley, whether in snow cover or green. Staring at the snow is like staring at the fireplace or the ocean --very calming. And the sweet kitty face. The bread in the soup --sounds like a tasty idea. Friends are such a treasure. My friend is also my dental hygienist. We had a lovely visit today. She tries hard not to hurt me, but she does a good job. Reminds me of the verse...faithful are the wounds of a friend. (smile)

  16. Hearty soup, working with your hands aside someone who shares the time with you, the knowledge you will be O.K. in the midst of cold and forbidding weather, in the eyes, arms, and hand of God, who loves you more than any other...all in all, a very good day for anyone, especially you Sister. A new norm, God has our lives ever-changing, doesn't He?

  17. Loved this post - wonderful pics, sentiment.. and SOUP!!!... thanks for sharing.

  18. Ooohhhh . . . does that soup sound deeeeelishess . . . and the bread, (and BUTTER) sounds perfect too! I just might try it and do my tweaking and creating. Soup weather, don't you think?

    I am happy for your happy day of friendship, cooking and creating . . .

    My caring . . . about you . . . right this very minute . . .

  19. Anonymous1:22 PM EST name is Drema..I read your blog last evening and was so very blessed by the many ways you shared the goodness of Jesus in your life..I am thankful that you know Him, and that He is your strength!
    I am originally from WV and I loved the pictures of the hills and the snow.. The "soup" you shared has encouraged me greatly..Blessings upon you in this season of the receiving of we once more acknowledge our Heavenly Father's greatest gift.
    ps....I came upon your blog through searching out a recipe for chow-chow..(my Mother used to make it..loved it)..I am thankful that I kept "checking" things out.

  20. Sandra,

    That soup looks so yummy, and so perfect for this time of year. Love, love, love your little barn cat.


    P.S. I sent you an e-mail this morning.

  21. Sandra, your snowy pictures are beautiful... I have to admit I'm just a teensy bit jealous. :) But I know we will have our share as well... probably too soon.

    The soup looks and sounds so delicious... and I'll bet the good company made it even better!

    I had to laugh at your comparison of the rolls of hay to the frosted wheat cereal... my hubby doesn't care for that cereal too much- the first time he tried it he said "it tastes like little dry square bales of hay." *hehe*
    I like it, in fact I eat it lots of mornings... I guess it's the sheep in me.
    Hope you have a wonderful day... you are still in my prayers, dear friend.

    p.s.~ I like my butter too... *giggle*

  22. thank you for your kind kind words....

  23. Oh, it's so nice to hear your voice!
    That barn cat is adorable.

  24. Goodness, Sandra! I made your soup recipe complete with undisclosed amount of butter, and my, my. I'm not sure my kitchen will ever be the same. We will definitely eat this soup for many winters to come. Thanks for sharing. You were on my heart while we ate it.



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