Bears in the Sand Box

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This is what happens when Grandma plays in the sand box.

Pink Bear and Spotted Bear in the sand box, thinking of the beach!

Pink Bear and Spotted Bear in the sand box, thinking of the beach!


When was the last time you played in sand? We keep a bin of sand on a side table on the deck for the grandchildren to play with. It keeps them busy and happy for hours!
Now I know why – Sand is summer’s velvet!

Encouragement for you

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photo card I Pe 2 9

photo card Ps 138 3

photo card Zeph 3 17

The first and third photos were taken at Sunset Beach, NC. The photo in the middle was taken in my backyard. Please feel free to copy, save and print these encouraging cards if you want.

Edited to add: I just remembered when that first photo was taken. My granddaughter and husband were with me to hold my camera gear as we walked to the beach. We had been at the beach house for five days and I still had not walked down to the beach because I was in so much searing pain and seriously disabled. I suspected my back was broken but it had not yet been confirmed. I could barely walk or move. But I was determined to not miss an opportunity to photograph my granddaughter in the sunset and asked God to please help me make it down to the shore and back. During the slow and painful walk, the sun broke through the clouds. I have never seen such as spectacular sky as that evening. Instead of remembering the terrifying unstable spine, I have photos such as this to remind me… God was with me.

Sourdough Breadstick Cobras

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We were scraping the bottom of the barrel for supper tonight. Things went from bad to worse when he forgot to put the yeast in the bread dough. He forgot to add the honey too and I forgot to check the dough, so much later we found the forlorn little lump in the bottom of the bread machine bowl. I was going to throw it out but decided to try breadsticks and called him out to help.

“What are we doing?” he called from the other room.

“Making bread sticks,” I called back. “Help me roll all these snakes.”

And so he did. I watched as he coiled up his snake like a … snake.

So then I figured we might as well make a bunch of snakes, cobras, actually, with little flat heads and perky tails. They were delicious and adorable!

The recipe is my Sourdough Grain Bread recipe, found here, but WITHOUT adding yeast or honey and using the starter cold, straight from the refrigerator unfed.
These chewy breadsticks need a tiny little rise so it’s essential to use a good sourdough starter in the recipe.

SOURDOUGH BREADSTICK COBRAS

Prepare a shallow muffin tin by greasing the muffin cups. Place a tart tin upside down as shown next to each muffin cup. Roll a small piece of tin foil into a ball and place in each muffin cup.
Roll a piece of sourdough bread dough, about the size of a small egg, 16″ long, with a little taper at one end for the tail.
Sourdough Breadstick Cobras-2

Lift the long piece of dough and place the tail over the muffin cup edge. Slowly lower the long piece of dough into the muffin cup, around the foil ball twice and then back up out of the muffin cup, draping the end over the tart tin. Pinch the end flat to form the cobra head. Ours puffed up more than I thought in the oven so next time I will flatten them even more.

The sourdough "snakes" are formed into snakes and positioned over a foil ball and tart tin.

The sourdough “snakes” are formed into snakes and positioned over a foil ball and tart tin.

Beat one egg white and use a small brush to brush the cobras. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. (NOTE: Ours seemed barely underdone so next time I will quickly remove the foil balls and pop them back in the oven for another minute.)

Bake at 375 for 15 or so minutes.

Bake at 375 for 15 or so minutes.

Remove from oven and remove from the muffin cups. Pull out the foil balls. Ours didn’t stick, even though they weren’t greased.
Sourdough Breadstick Cobras-4
Sourdough Breadstick Cobras-5
Aren’t they adorable?
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Sourdough Breadstick Cobras-7
Who could complain about a sorry-lettuce salad, canned beans and fried egg yolk supper when there were Sourdough Breadstick Cobras?

Salad with beans and Fried Egg Yolk and a Sourdough Breadstick Cobra

Salad with beans and Fried Egg Yolk and a Sourdough Breadstick Cobra

Perfect for a warm summer evening. So what started as a recipe fail ended up as an Oh my goodness “play with your food” meal!

On my worktable – beads

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…and a doll, Sarah, with her girl. I made the doll for her three years ago, following a wonderful Indian Dolls pattern by Joan Russell. (Woman’s Day magazine, 1966) Sarah was showing signs of love and needed a new dress.
loving her dolly
I wasn’t up to sewing so I sat in the rocking chair and cut out pieces to make a “no sew” doll dress out of non-fraying stretchy, shimmery fabric. We cut a rectangle with a small slit in it big enough to fit the doll head for the bodice and slid it over the doll’s head. I cut narrow “ribbon ties” in the side of the bodice and tied it at the doll’s waist.

The skirt was a long rectangle with tiny slits across the top through which I threaded a long pink fabric sash and tied the skirt around the doll’s waist. Doll dress made from three rectangles and no sewing. That was fun!

But a girl has to have beads, right? So we strung beads together to form a necklace and made loops of beads to put over the skirt sash.
On my worktable - No sew doll dress 1
Sarah looked lovely in her stylish, beaded ensemble but of course a girl with imagination won’t let a tray of beads go to waste. So a tiny stone was the friend of hundreds of little beads…
On my worktable - No sew doll dress 2
…which kept piling on top of her and looking like snow…
On my worktable - No sew doll dress 3
Children have exquisite imaginations!

Shelle Hill’s bird

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The eggs got put away and I had a little nest with no bird. Then I saw my friend Michelle’s sweet little birdie, all bedecked with a beaded crown. I can almost hear bird song from the tree now!

An adorable little bird from Shelle Hill on Etsy.

An adorable little bird from Shelle Hill on Etsy.

Shelle Hill birdie 1b
The bird was going to perch on one of the library shelves in a different room. So I will have to visit Shelle Hill on Etsy again and get another bird for the library. A bird with words is the perfect bookshelf visitor.

Thank you, Michelle.

Enjoy the journey

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Sometimes it seems like we’ll never get there.
Toy boat 1
We walk and walk and walk.
Toy boat 2
We even do some climbing.
Toy boat 3
And then there is even more to do.
Toy boat 4
Toy boat 5
Toy boat 6
But maybe it wasn’t about going to sea at all.
Toy boat 7
Perhaps it was all about the journey…
…and feeling the sand on your toes…
Toy boat 8
and the wind in your hair…
Toy boat 9

Enjoy the journey.

He liked the cutting board!

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It was a happy 21st Birthday! Twenty-one is a big birthday and the “toys” will never be the same again.  We got our son 4 items: a big hunk of awesome steak wrapped in meat paper, a loaf of hearty homemade bread wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, a bottle of champagne, and a bread board.

He was amused at the loaf of bread and had not yet opened the steak wrapped in meat paper and cutting board wrapped in cutting board paper.

He was amused at the loaf of bread and had not yet opened the steak wrapped in meat paper and cutting board wrapped in cutting board paper.


The meat and cutting board wrapping paper were great! I got them from a kickstarter project. The wrapping paper is available here from Gift Couture.
I took a discarded but still functional breadboard, sanded down the scruffy top and carved words in the sides. It was comforting using my dad’s old carving tools again.
Bread board 1
Bread board 2Bread board 3Bread board 4Bread board 5
He’s an awesome cook and appreciated the gifts.

Thank you, God, for good bread, for good meat, for good wine.
Life doesn’t have to be complicated.
Enjoy the people you love!