Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cold and Cloudy Calls for Soup

We've had many cloudy days of late which means cooler weather, too.

40's at night and 60's during the day.

Funny how people complain about the heat all year and then winter comes and they complain about the cold.

The only thing I can't get used to is the fact that it is still dark when we get up in the morning.

Although I make soup year-round, a big bowl of hot, hearty soup is especially enjoyable when it is cold and cloudy. I made Herb Lentil Soup last night from a recipe I tore out of a 1996 Country Home magazine.

Rinse and set aside one cup of brown lentils. Heat 1 TBS of olive oil in a large pot and saute one cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic til tender but not brown. Stir in lentils, one can of chopped tomatoes, 4 cups of beef broth, 1 TBS of worcertershire, 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme, 1 tsp of fresh chopped parsley, 1/8 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp of black pepper and 1 bay leaf. Bring to boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of chopped carrots and 1/2 cup of chopped celery and simmer an additional 15-20 minutes. Discard bay leaf before serving.

I never follow any recipe to a tee. I only use vegetable broth. Didn't have fresh herbs so used Italian seasoning. Didn't have celery so used green pepper. And always add more spices than what is called for. I like to jazz things up to suit my taste. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes never hurts either.

I'm headed this evening to a Textile Group meeting where crochet is on the agenda. Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas at Ikea

When it comes to Christmas shopping and holiday festivity, Ikea is the place to go.

I went there over the weekend for candles and whatever else happened to find its way into my basket.

Also picked up these cute holiday cards.

Ironically, while blog hopping yesterday, I came across a giveaway hosted by Maaike at creJJtion. She bought fabric from Ikea that depicts the same Santa around the world as on the postcard above, and made little pillow ornaments from it. The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, December 7th and will be able to choose which Santa they want.

I'm off to crochet more stockings. Hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stockings to Stuff

While visiting Angie at Le monde de Sucrette the other day, I came across her pattern for Little Christmas Socks and immediately decided to try it out.

I made the first one with leftover scraps of cotton yarn. The second one is from acrylic. And the third from cotton yarn. I wound up with stockings in large, medium and small sizes.

Angie's instructions were so easy to follow. And best of all, it is a simple pattern that is quick to work up. She put some really cute embellishments on hers which I haven't done yet. I will definitely be making a bunch more.

Hope your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Long Time No See

It doesn't matter how much time goes in between visits with these gals; when we get together, it is like we've never been apart. Conversation flows easily and the affection we have one for the other is evident.

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. (Edna Buchanan)

We met for brunch yesterday on a cool, cloudy morning at one of my favorite places.

By the time our first dish arrived, I forgot all about taking pictures of food.

Afterwards, we walked next door to Nestle Toll House Cafe. It seems this is one of four in the Middle East and there are nearly 100 Cafes by Chip across the United States.

I didn't know the franchise existed until this one opened up.

Melissa gave me this magnet yesterday.

Melissa and Elena.

Me and Zainab.

Melissa and Zainab looking at us from inside the Nestle Toll House Cafe.

There are many people That we meet in our lives. But only a very few Will make a lasting impression On our minds and hearts. It is these people that we will Think of often And who will always remain Important to us As True Friends.

Friendship blessings, Tammy

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finding Beauty

Shanda at A Pause on the Path hosts a Finding Beauty Blog Hop so I thought today I would participate for the very first time.

November through March marks the rainy season in Kuwait.

And today is a cloudy day in my corner of the world.

Although we don't usually get a lot of rain, it does mean that this is our growing season since the rest of the year is too hot for much to survive.

This is the time of year when everyone goes out to the nurseries for flowering plants and trees and bushes.

Bougainvillea do really well in this climate all year round but can be seen in all their colorful glory now.

Yesterday I spied a pretty yellow butterfly flitting about outside on the balcony.

And this morning, Jingles decided to enjoy some fresh air.

But after a few minutes with no sun to warm her, she decided hunkering down in a pot of moss roses was much more comfortable.

Today marks the Islamic New Year on the Hijrah calendar. Although a new year is not traditionally celebrated, the passing of time is acknowledged and it is a time to reflect on our own mortality.

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

(William Arthur Ward - American dedicated scholar, author, editor, pastor and teacher)

I think we should consider every day as the beginning of a bright new year filled with possibilities. Wishing you much peace and many blessings today and every day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Market on Black Friday

For the first time this season, hubby and I ventured out to Souk Al Jumaa (Friday Market). We are having blue skies and beautiful weather today.

There's lots of used items and things you can buy on the cheap, but I like to check out the antiques section.

It turned out to be more of a photo opportunity than anything else.

Hubby got a kick out of seeing this balance scale for food items as it is the type used when he was little.

He came home with a carpet for his office, but I didn't buy a thing.

Today is Black Friday in the States. I don't do crowds or crazy.

Did any of you kick off the holiday shopping season with a mad dash to the stores?

“Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you a day of peace and blessings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prayers of Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! ~Henry Ward Beecher

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Peace and blessings to one and all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tea on Tuesday and Another Thank You

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I am joining Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons for tea.

This evening I had Tazo Refresh tea which is an herbal infusion described as "a bracing blend of mint with a pinch of tarragon". It went really well with the brownies I made this afternoon.

We had rain during the night and the sky was so dark this morning, but the afternoon turned out to be cool and absolutely beautiful.

It seems that the postal workers in this country finally did a bit of work since I received three packages all on the same day. The third came from Sweden.

In August, Sussie from the blog Lotusblommans had an August giveaway of her Marie Antoinette art cards and I was the winner. This package arrived at the mail sorting center in Kuwait on September 19th; it was then sent to the Salmiya post office on October 27th; and I received it on November 20th. If only these packages could tell the story of what they've been through to get here.

Thank you so much Sussie for your lovely cards. And thanks Kimmie for hosting Tea on Tuesday.

Blessings to one and all!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meatless Monday and More Surprises

I've posted this soup recipe before but it is one of my go-to's because it is so easy to make, healthy and delicious.

Spiced Lentil Soup: Brown 1/2 cup diced onions, 3 cloves minced garlic and 1/3 cup of barley in 1 TBS of olive oil. Add 3 quarts of vegetable stock and 1 cup of orange lentils. Cook til tender. Add in 1 can of chickpeas, 1/2 lb of spinach and 12 oz of salsa. Heat through and serve. (I use more salsa than called for and frozen spinach.)

Even better the next day.

Yesterday I posted about the lovely giveaway I received (finally by mail) from Val. She happens to live in the same town in Louisiana where I graduated high school and lived before I moved to Kuwait. Talk about a small world.

In October, Yvonne from Ink Spillers Attic had a studio stash giveaway and I was one of the winners. Her package arrived yesterday (and only took 5 weeks to get to me).

The envelope was filled with a card, handmade book and all sorts of things to craft with.

Now I just gotta get those creative juices flowing! Thanks Yvonne. I appreciate you taking the chance to send some of your stash to my little corner of the world.

Best wishes and blessings to one and all for a wonderful week of thanksgiving.
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