Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Holiday

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo

Image via Wikipedia

I wish to share a thought for those who are alone on this day.  Although you may not have company in a physical form, that spirit which was sent by him who’s day we are celebrating today is with you if you listen.  The Holy Ghost was sent to all as a witness and a comfort in all times, and in all places.

No matter your status, your location, or your health, he is with you. You have only to reach out with your heart and mind, and be willing to listen with your spirit in order to hear him.

You will know when you have heard him, as he always speaks peace to your soul.

With all sincerity, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements
kittens spooning

Image via Wikipedia

IMG_9066
Image via Wikipedia

For Angel and Sirocco

We gave away two kittens today, one female and one male.

One had dark brown ears and bright blue eyes and stripes upon his tale.

One lithe and quick and playful, one thoughtful and sincere,

One’s throat as clean as fallen snow with paws almost as clear.

One’s coat as short as velvet, one’s shiny as sateen;

One’s face a mask of smoky streaks, with sand thrown in between.

We gave away two kittens today, but all we now can feel

Is sadness that we’re missing more than two could e’re have been.

 

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I love a beautiful, lush garden in the front yard of any home.  Some neighborhoods aren’t allowed to have vegetables in the front yards, but did you know that there are a lot of edible flowers?  Some of them used to be grown for food, but people have forgotten that they were good for that too, and just grow them for their beauty instead.  The salad garden used to be full of edible flowers.  Roses were used for salads, including the rose hips, which are known for their vitamin C content.

Lilies.  All the true lilies are edible, root, stem, leaf and flower.  And they are delicious. I especially love the short  little yellow lilies that are grown so often in clumps as a favorite of landscapers.  They bloom all summer long, and their flower petals are  slightly sweet, and ever so slightly spicy.  You can grow several different kinds of Lilies and have different colors blooming all summer long.

Don’t include in that group the Lilies of the Valley which are not actual members of the same family.  They are more a cousin of Foxglove and both provide forms of digitalis.  The little flowers have a smaller amount than the larger flowers.  They are good for people with heart problems, but not for people who have a healthy heart beat.

Chrysanthemums are used in a variety of ways in China, including as a form of tea.  Sometimes they are used as a fancy garnish on food plates.  Their flowers are edible.

Speaking of fancy teas, Jasmine flowers make a wonderful, relaxing  tea.  I just love the smell of Jasmine tea.

Hibiscus flowers also make a great drink.  Take the flowers and dry them. Crush the dried flowers into water and let steep.  Serve hot or cold with as much sweetener as suits your taste buds.

Grow peppermint in your garden. You can harvest it about three times a year.  My peppermint started from one sprig that got chopped up by a weed-eater.  Since it rained a lot right after that, all the pieces took root.  I soon had a garden full of peppermint. It has lovely little purple flower stalks on it in the late summer. The bees love it .  My daughter uses it for her digestion.  She puts a little sugar in it for sweetening.   She also likes it with lemon juice added to make a Peppermint Lemonade.  It’s especially refreshing on a hot summer day, and you can’t beat it served hot for helping ease your breathing when you have a cold in the winter.

Of course there are some fruits that are also good for growing in your gardens.  Strawberries make a great ground cover, and they are one of the earliest  fruiting  plants.  Raspberries are early bearers too.  Their canes are tall and have thorns so be sure to grow them in the very back, and they grow well in shade.  If you grow them under your windows, they are a natural deterrent for thieves.  If you want a later bearing fruit, blackberries also grow on thorny canes, and they don’t mind shade or boggy ground, but don’t cut them during the growing season.  They will spread out along runner roots all over your garden.

Tomatoes are a fruit too, and used to be grown only for their decorative effect, back in the days when it was thought that their red fruits were poisonous.  They are worthy of being grown in the front yards in the sunny corners.  And I just love the beauty of a watermelon vine. the leaves on them are so gorgeous, who wouldn’t want to see them twining their way through a patch of other assorted flowers, like nasturtium, which has a spicy flower and leaves, or around the base of your rose bushes.

I know some of you are thinking, “Why is this silly woman writing about this now?”  “This is the wrong time of year for planting!”

That’s true, but it’s the right time of year for planning what you want to grow next year.  This is a great time to buy gardening books as presents,  and don’t forget to order the seed catalogs. Happy garden planning everyone!

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dressing, whether made from chicken or turkey bits, is a wonderfully variable and easily adaptable snack. Today, partially because I didn’t shop in time for the ingredients I listed on the last post (the stores were all out of raw sunflower seeds – go figure), and partially because things otherwise never go as planned, I made several substitutions and variations in the recipe for the Pecan, Mushroom, Sunflower Seed, Turkey Dressing.    Dressing is a very forgiving kind of food.  It doesn’t mind if you change things up a bit. When you vary things, use your nose to decide what goes together.  Use an extra fork or spoon and your tongue to determine how much of something is needed.

1) I didn’t spread the butter and spice mixture on the bread before it got dried out.  I added it to the cooked turkey giblets instead.

2) I didn’t leave the all the giblets in the pot as my cats were begging, and I took pity on them (the smell was driving them crazy).  I gave them the liver and heart, and other small bits from the neck bones.(there was plenty of meat left as I did have the two turkey wings in it).

3)  I added a whole cup of chopped Hazelnuts to it.

4) My turmeric had previously been combined with some curry powder, thus, my recipe now had added ginger and some other unidentifiable spices into it.

5) To compensate for the ginger, etc., I added more of the full bodied Molasses, all total, about 1/4 cup full bodied type.

6)  I added a little more iodized salt (salt to taste)

7) I toasted the bread to get it dried in time.

8)  I used hot dog buns instead of bread slices.

9) I used 1/2 cup of roasted in the shell sunflower seeds, painstakingly taken out of their shells by me and my youngest daughter ( it was so hard not to eat them while doing so).

10) I added  a little more butter to the pot of cooking meat and all, etc.( It makes so much difference in the way things taste).

As the meat, nuts and seeds cooked down I added water along the way to maintain enough moisture to be able to stir it all into the dried bread chunks.  All in all, I had a whole sauce pot of ingredients when I finally added it all to the dried bread in the pan.  I had enough left over that I added the rest into the already slow cooking turkey in the crock pot (I have a 6 quart crock pot that I used for the turkey, hence, no wings on my bird).

Yummmmm….. it smelled so good, I could hardly stand to wait for it.  It’s a good thing I’m the cook, I got to taste test things all through the process  🙂

This happens to be another great way to use up turkey left overs.  Make several different types of dressing out of it.   It tastes good with many different meals, and works well as a cold refrigerator snack as well.  Happy cooking to you all.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I wrote this a few years ago… It’s still relevant today.
Dear Friends and Family,
I was just sent an email in a round about way from an old friend. There was apparently a discussion going on about God, country, and natural disasters. Many people have asked, “Why did God let this happen?”Some sources blame the result of the natural disaster on God’s getting out of the way because we as a country have backed away from praying in schools, acknowledging God in our institutions of learning, or requesting his help in our governing practices, whether on the home front, or in our places of governance.
Here’s a different thought ….. God gave most of us the ability to tell right from wrong, to understand the difference between a Good outcome and a bad one. In addition to that, we have several books full of guidance on what works well and what doesn’t, know matter which religious order you follow. With all that, I’m sure he or she or it (depending on your personal interpretation of what a higher power consists of) expects us to follow along doing the right thing by each other, and not just think about ourselves and the short term expediency.
Unfortunately, even though for several decades, we have known that the levees around New Orleans weren’t built well enough to withstand a major Hurricane, we have shrugged our collective shoulders and said, we’ll do it another time, gambling people’s lives that a major force hurricane wouldn’t happen before we got to it. This didn’t happen because God allowed it to happen….. It happened because WE allowed it to happen. The same thing could be said for any number of other massive destructors. We have the technology for early warning systems for things like Tsunamis, but not the political will to put them in place and give up some other comfort. In fact, it’s those other comforts (luxuries – not necessities) that stop us from doing a Lot of things we should be doing. How many people really NEED a nintendo or an Xbox. and yet, how many people Have them? How many people will put themselves in debt for a new item that is just coming out, but won’t spend the time or the effort to fix things that need fiixng around the house, their neighborhood, or in their local communities.
Until we start seeing the needs of others as As Important as the needs of ourselves, we will Not prosper as a nation, as a people, or really, as individuals. One way to start making a real difference in the world, is to look around and find a family or an individual in your area who is worse off than you and give them the help they need to make their lives more successful. In raising others, we raise ourselves. This is the essence of Godliness.

If everyone did this just once, we would be better off, but if everyone does this as a matter of course, sprinkled throughout their lives, there would be no poor, no needy, and no major force natural disaster would catch people by surprise.

If we were a more ideal people, we wouldn’t lie about each other, expect to be treated more specially than others, believe ourselves better, or treat others poorly. If we really Wanted to work together we could accomplish so much more than we have already, and even in an unstable natural environment, we could protect ourselves and other people better.
People would move out when a force of nature threatened, and would have somewhere to go, because other people would help them get out in a timely manner and take them in. A sudden Earthquake might collapse poorly built structures, but since we know how to build better ones, we would have done that already too. We’d be prepared for disasters. We wouldn’t build downstream from Dams. We wouldn’t maintain dams incorrectly, we wouldn’t cut corners on construction projects and we wouldn’t ignore the warnings given us by our local officials when it was time to move out to maintain our safety.
Too bad we aren’t that ideal of an people yet….. Maybe it’s about time we started working on that, from within each and everyone of us. May your Holiday be Happy because you did something to make someone else’s Holiday more successful.
Best Regards,
Ellen

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: