Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

This blog started in the "playroom". That's what DH calls artwork- playing. Wish I could live in the "playroom" forever.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jesus is Enough.....

Jesus is Enough.....
I want to write you about Jesus,
and how much He can fill your heart,
especially if you feel abandoned,
lonely, or if you feel as though
you have nothing.
I met Him personally,
through the Holy Spirit,
back in February 1978.
There are certain people whom
you’ll come across in life who
just EXUDE Jesus love.
Lester Sumrall, an evangelist,
was one of those people.
I was watching his Saturday morning
program, and I can’t recall all his words now,
but it was such a sincere message.
It was a gentle voice, of how much love
Jesus has for me (and you).
I was a young adult then, living at home
on the farm, between college and a job.
I was really doing some soul searching.
I was sincerely seeking meaning to my life,
and a direction. I felt the Holy Spirit
tugging on my life, all my life it seems,
but I really needed to know Jesus existed.
Well, He showed up!
After watching the program, I took my
camera and went for a walk on our farm.
I knew every inch of that place.
It was cold, it was February. There was
plenty of snow on the ground, but it was
sunny and beautiful.
I walked to one of my favorite places,
the fallen down log cabin where my
dad grew up. There was a shed still
standing there, where I went often
to sit and listen to the birds, and watch the
squirrels in run and play. There were
plenty of black walnut trees there, so
there was always an abundance of nuts
for the squirrels.
I went there, to my special place.
I prayed. I prayed for God to show me
that He really does live and exist.
He Came.
 I heard His voice in my head,
telling me He loves me. And Jesus loves me.
There was a rainbow around the sun that day.
It was beautiful.
My life was never the same since then.
The black and white photo at the top is a picture I took close to that
moment where God spoke to me,
at my Special Place.
From then on, I knew God would never
abandon me. I KNOW He lives. There
is no question. And I know He takes care
of us, no matter where we are or what
circumstance we’re in.

That’s how I know Jesus is Enough.
Christmas is a celebration of His birth.
It’s great to give and get presents at
There’s nothing wrong with
that, I think, as long as everything is
kept in perspective.
When you strip it all down to why we
even have Christmas at all, you too will know

that Jesus is Enough.
Do you have Jesus in your Heart?
Do you know He still lives?
Do you feel Him tugging on your Heart?
He is there. Keep looking, you will

find Him. Keep seeking, keep asking,

Keep Praying. He will show up.
Christmas Blessings to You All!


Painting of my Special Place

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Soul Surfer - Watch this Movie as a Gift to Yourself

I just saw this movie for the first time last evening.  I know, I'm waaaay behind, this movie came out last year. Click on Bethany Hamilton to read more about her.
However, I recommend anyone to watch this story.
It will definitely give you a lift for the day, and I guarantee you will reflect on your own life circumstances and how you get through
the difficulities in your life.
The story will inspire you.
Even though this isn't a "Christmas" movie, per se,
I'm considering it my
Christmas movie for this year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi - Review of Cookie Recipe

Hello All!

I’ve got a tip for you on a new cookbook, or rather a baking book!

It’s called Momofuku Milk Bar , by Christina Tosi. I believe this young lady knows what she’s doing!   She looks like a little pixie, don't you think?  
First of all, don’t you just LUV that name “Momofuku”?! It’s from the name of the restaurant started and owned by David Chang. Christina was hired as a pastry chef there and has, I believe, since gone on to be a Star in her own right. (If you click on the word Momofuku, you can find out more information.) The word sounds playful and like toy-like to me. I’d love to have a pet named “Momo”!
Anyway, back to the subject- the cookbook.

I only heard about this on Saturday, December 17, 2011, when I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows on NPR, “The Splendid Table.” (Click on the words The Splendid Table to link to the website.  Go here for the recipe:  Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmellow Cookies.)
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmellow Cookie
Baked in Convection Oven
All you Honeybees out there: I’ve been baking for quite some time and can tell from reading a recipe and it’s directions whether or not it’ll be good. Christina doesn’t hold back on this recipe– she uses Butter!! Yes, Butter– I always make sure to buy the SWEET CREAM UNSALTED butter. (If you buy the salted butter, everything you make with it will have too much salt– If you buy it by mistake, leave out the added salt in your recipe.)
***Update: I have now made these cookies several times and have made it with ONE stick of butter, instead of two.  Cookie turns out GREAT.  I also freeze the unbaked dough in scoops, and take out one or two to bake at a time-- works great in my little convection oven--16-17 minutes.  I can also bake them on the little aluminum pan that has been sprayed well with vegetable spray.  You could also use Crisco.)

Cookies beginning to spread while baking
Okay, lets get to it. This cookie tastes like a dream– it’s a little bit chewy, and crunchy, what I call a good “tooth”. It has a slightly carmel taste with a touch of chocolate. What I like about it the most is that it has a sweet and salty taste at the same time, which is really satisfying. You’ve got to try this recipe if you like that combination. I must say she uses a lot of sugar, so if you're diabetic, these recipes are out.
Cornflake crunch that goes into the cookies--Love this stuff!  It tastes great!
I have some notes for you on this recipe: KNOW your OVEN! I used all three of my ovens because the recipe calls for a large scoop of dough that has to be placed 4 inches apart on your pans, and I didn’t want to be baking all night. So I tried all of my pans. I used my countertop convection oven with its’ aluminum pan; an airbake pan (has a double layer of aluminum) and my old dark cookie sheets (not nonstick). I placed a sheet of parchment paper in each. You’d better use parchment paper for this recipe or you’ll have trouble getting them off the pans.)

Cookies overbaked in a too hot oven

Well, low and behold, the little convection oven baked the most perfect cookie. So, if you are planning on getting a new oven, I’d recommend a convection oven. I’m almost thinking about replacing my electric oven based on this because it just overbaked this wonderful recipe! You can see from the pictures how the cookies should look– and the electric oven was just too hot for this task. I even turned down the temperature and they overbaked, quickly. So you’ve got to watch these, carefully.

Cookies Baked in Convection Oven
Well, I think I like Christina, because she said in her interview with Lynn Rosetto Kasper, on the The Splendid Table that she grew up liking cereal. Lynn had asked her why she puts different cereals in her recipes. I grew up liking cereal too, and would sit at the breakfast table with my box and bowl. I just recently remembered what I like about Rice Krispies! You can see what’s in my pantry right now– not particularly adult cereals.

This is a girl after my own heart, I tell ya! I don’t have her cookbook yet– but it's going to be the first book I down load into my new e-reader!!! And even if I have to limit myself to one cookie a week and put the rest in the freezer, I'll do it.


Monday, December 12, 2011

I Have a Confession to Make.....

I don’t mind being

I like eating good food.
I spend a lot of time thinking about food.
I collect cookbooks.
I spent most of my life in a job where I had to worry about my weight.  I was always a little bit “chubby” in middle school and high school, until I turned 17.  Then miraculously,  with no effort, I slimmed down and was actually kind of beautiful. 
Now, my feet hurt if I walk too far, my hips hurt if I sit too long, and I can’t find too many clothes that will make me look beautiful. 
I've been struggling with middle age, hot flashes, menopause.
I’ve tried to lose some fat, but before that can happen I have to SEVERELY cut down what I eat in order for any fat to come off, which means I have to practically eat NOTHING. 
It’s not worth it.
I can’t see the point of making myself miserable just so I can be skinny and wear “hot pants” (short shorts). 
I have found some clothes that cover my fat, they’re not too tight. I don’t wear dresses.   I wear athletic shoes.  I am comfortable. 
Something drastic would have to happen  for me to stop eating.  In the meantime, while I’m waiting for that dramatic moment,  I will visit, and you must visit NOW
Hurry, hurry—GO NOW!   Eat, eat, Little Bird!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving - Letters from the Past and Today

Letters from the Past
Dear Sarah:
You must think that I have forgotten you but
I am heartsick every time I think of owing you a letter. 
Am working just as hard as ever.  Work til seven every night and eat my supper at 8 '0'clock. 
 This is not very much time for any thing. 
Heard Claus and Mollie were out to see you. 
 They certainly don't bother any of us. 
 Never called on Irene yet or me. 
We have the phone they could easyle ring us up and let us know they would come. 
 It's hard to be poor and be looked down on
but they nednt be ashamed to call on Irene.  That's a cinch. 
Will surely write you later.  Best wishes to both of you from your loving sister,
Letters from Today:
Dear Friends:
I pray you are all well and are able to celebrate the day will some good food and friends.
I pray all the little children in your care,
and even the ones
who have no one,
are blessed today.
I pray all the ones who are lonely,
old and young,
find a blessing in their heart,
a sign of hope
from the ONE who gives us
all the Great Hope.
I wish you Peace


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why I Like Christy Jordan - Southern Plate - Cookbook Review

Christy Jordan
I like her because:  She's from Alabama; she has great family values; She has shared her family recipes! 
I am sure you will love this cookbook if you like Southern cooking and ease of preparation.
Christy believes that however your mother made it is the right way, so there's no arguement from her that only her recipes are the best.  (She's humble.)

Squash Casserole-- I eat this for breakfast!!

Her recipes are down to earth- she doesn't want you to go out and buy exotic ingredients.  Many times she will tell you to buy the cheapest brand.  (She's practical.)
She doesn't leave anything out of her recipes, but there is room for you to add your own touches.
EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING, I've made from her cookbook tastes great.
Back cover of book.

This book has been out for a year now.  You can buy one at her website, but you can also find used ones in like new condition at several places.  I usually go to Bookfinder, or Amazon, but you can also go to Half.com.
Christy also has a website that has much more!!  Recipes and giveaways!!  And more stories about herself, family or what's going on in the world.
I thank her most for this recipe for Greens-- I've made this recipe several times and I think I've died and gone to heaven!  You can make it with Collards, Mustard or Turnip greens.   It's akin to Barbeque to me!!

I rate this cookbook a 10 - 10 - 10.   That equals 30!
Ease of use, lots of pictures, easy to find ingredients, interesting to read.  I think this would be a GREAT cookbook for a beginner cook.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Very Few Things Surprise Me Anymore..... But......

I must say, I'm to the age where not too many things surprise me anymore, however, I just have to comment on this Mini Whoopie Pie. 
First, let me say this:  I love Starbucks.  I have nothing against it.
But, when I ordered this Red Velvet Whoopie Pie off the drive-thru menu, I was kind of excited.  I guess I skipped the part that said, "Mini".
They nearly forgot to give it to me, and practically tossed me the sack it was in.  Hubby looked in the bag, and he asked, "Is that what they're calling a Whoopie Pie?  Is that the size they're supposed to give?"
I then glanced in the sack my self, and saw this Little Gem for myself.  They don't place any waxed paper around it before they toss it in the sack, like you would a doughnut, it's just laying there in the sack, so the "frosting" gets smashed on the inside of the sack.
I laughed!  Yes, this is what Starbucks calls their "Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pie".
I must say I was surprised, for what I got for my money.
If you've never had a REAL whoopie pie, I guess you would think this little sample would suffice.  But not for Big Girls, like me!
Starbucks' pastry chefs have obviously never been to the Paula Deen School of Cooking!!
Just Four Little Bites
and it was gone.
Taste:  a little dry, but it did have that cocoa taste needed for Red Velvet.  The little smattering of cream cheese middle was fair.  I mere drop in the bucket of my stomach.  But this is still not what I want if I buy a Whoopie Pie in the south.
For  a REALLY GOOD Red Velvet Cake recipe, see Paula Deen's Recipe, and / or Bobby Flay's recipe!  (Click on their names to get to their recipes.)  You can make your own Whoopie Pies-- that'll keep you satisfied!
BTW-- real pies are approximately 2 1/2- 3 inches in diameter!
Bless Your Heart, Starbucks!  You tried!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Going with the Flow-- About Lydia

Have you ever started off with an idea, and it ended up somewhere else?
That's what happened with Lydia....
Here's the story:
Since I began making Peony, I've wanted to make a little witch doll.  I loved the book called
Little Witch  by Anna Bennett, which I read over and over in grade school.  The story is about Minix, who is a little girl, and a witch, who doesn't like her mother much- who is not really a kind witch at all.  Minix wants to be a kind witch.  At the time, I really wanted to believe in magic and wanted to fly.  I imagined flying over all the fields and houses on my way home from school, which seemd to take forever on the bus, our's being the third to last stop.  So I have an affinity for Minix and her ability to fly.
I began designing my "little witch" doll with a definite result in mind, and most of the time, this doesn't work out.  When it comes to new designs, sometimes you just have to GO WITH THE FLOW.
I tried to tease my little witch out, trial and error and experimentation and poking and prodding and redesigning and finally just gave up and said:
"I've got to let this one breathe life into it's own, whatever it wants to become."

In the process, two little sisters were "born", which aren't very pretty, aren't exactly like I wanted them to be, but here they are, and I will not destroy them.  That would be like having an abortion, and that, I cannot do.  Their little lights will shine on my shelf and remind me that sometimes, I am not in charge of creation, even the creation of my own little witch doll.

So in comes Lydia.  I only named her yesterday.  It means "noble one", and has a greek and germanic origin.  So what does the name Lydia have to do with a Mexican holiday?  I'm not sure, but the holiday is about honoring the dead in your family, and that is what I want to do. 

I am honoring my ancestors, whose graves I cannot visit, but I know where they are.  I also feel their presence in my "playroom", whenever I am creating something new.

So, thank you for Lydia. 
And thank you for her sisters.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Peony for Playtime

"Bee Happy"
Peony For Playtime is here!  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy Autumn!

These photos are not retouched or photoshopped in any way.  Look at the gorgeous colors!  If you are interested in using any of these photos, please contact us at the email address on the right sidebar.
All photos copyright 2011.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Let's Talk Food - Namely Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks!

First of all, I must say I DO NOT get paid to endorse any products mentioned on this blog.  I find things I like and simply share them with YOU- so that you can join in on the fun!
Secondly, I have to say I love, love, love Gooseberry Patch products.  Even if you are a beginning cook, you simply can not go wrong with the recipes in these cookbooks.  You will probably not be able to limit yourself to owning just one- they're addicting!!

They've also been featured in the latest issue of Mary Jane's Farm magazine.
They've been in business a long time, and have gotten better and better.  I can't resist their graphics- I love anything with a tiny gingham print!
The recipes I've made have ALL come out good!  Like I said, you won't go wrong.  Just make sure you use all the ingredients called for in the recipes.  I have found with using ANYONE'S cookbooks, that it is essential to use what is called for to get the results you want.  Substitutions don't work, unless there is a substitution mentioned in the recipe.
The best-est Carrot Cake EVER-- and I've been around a while, guys and dolls!! I made these this past summer and OH MAN!!  It was the best I've ever had-- and easy to make.    I did use Paula Deen's recipe for the cream cheese frosting:   (Click on Paula Deen to go to the website for her recipe.)  I made a full recipe because I made two cakes, which is a lot of frosting-- and I had some leftover to frost an 8 x 8 pan of brownies too.)
I give these cookbooks a 10-10-10 rating:
East to follow, don't use unusual, hard to find ingredients, pictures are great, there's little interesting notes and stories, and the food is GOOD!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It was on a day like this......

I had lunch with Mary Jane today, on the front porch.......

....and I couldn't help thinking about what happened on a day like this, ten years ago.......

I'd just finished the two blocks below in my "Women's Voices" quilt (a civil war era quilt).  This block is called the "tombstone" block.  Women used this block to commemorate their loved ones in quilts.
I used my blocks to commemorate those who died that day.
It's my permanent reminder of marking that day, for me, in my quilting history and world event.  It is my very best quilt.  It's been looked at by judges and I was told the hand quilting is "exquisite."
So, I'm marking this day- September 9th, 2011 (two days early for the actual anniversary), with my lunch with Mary Jane, on the porch, with the flag flying, in the beautiful air and light.  And saying a prayer of blessing for those left behind, and a prayer for those who've passed from this world.
Dottie Rose always told me "Roses are for Rememberance."
Here are roses for you and in rememberance of those we have loved and lost.


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