January 2011

I LOVE Valentine’s Day! I always have 🙂 Probably because I’ve always loved making Valentine’s Cards and gifts…….the only thing I like better than making these goodies is giving them! 🙂
I already found my new card for this year and will start making them tomorrow…..for now….here are some of the designs I made last year…..some of you might have received one 🙂
Keep in mind…I am a really bad photographer…..on occassion, I get a nice clean snapshot of something but about 85% of the time….I just sigh a big sigh and use what I end up with. I don’t know what I do right when I end up with a nice picture and I don’t know what I do wrong when I end up with a bad one…..I’ve considered taking a photography class at our local Community College several times…….maybe I just need so sign up for it…….we’ll see 😉
I’d like to have some fun with my family, friends and blog readers…..soooo……drum roll please…..and here we go….
I have:
10 Stamps
10 Cards
10 Envelopes
For the first 10 people that comment on this post….I will send one of the cards you see below (my pick) to one of your family or friends (you pick) 😉 I will sign it from you and send it with your return address…..your recipient will receive it by Valentines Day!
Let’s play!
In His Grip~
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”
-Proverbs 31:13
I’ve been having fun making these therapy bags for people for about 2 months now. My daughter, Ashley, works at a Luxury Massage Therapy Salon in Salem Oregon and the owner of the salon asked her if I could make something up for use in the salon as an added service. She sent home this bag to see if I could reproduce it and I’ve been having fun ever since!
I gave them to almost everyone on my Christmas list this year and have been busy filling orders for more. Several of my friends are hair stylists and they have been using them in their own businesses for their customers….they simply pop them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and place them over the shoulders of their clients….then put the aprons on over that and their clients are in heaven!
These are filled with flax seed and are weighted to help pull stress and tension out of the neck and shoulder areas. I also add lavender Essential Oils so there is a nice mild scent of lavender emitting from them as well…..so soothing and calming.
I make them by hand….meaning…I don’t use a sewing machine. Every stitch is loving stitched by hand. I use Quilting Thread (doubled for extra durable construction)
These can also be put in the freezer for cold therapy. Some injuries require alternating heat/cold therapy…..these are perfect for that! Something I did discover though…if it is put in the preezer…it must be slipped inside a ziplock type freezer bag. It is important that the therapy bag always be free of moisture. It will affect the flax seed and cause the seed to swell.
It’s a perfect gift for someone who works at a desk all day long….several of my sons co-workers have purchased them and now….most of the office wants them too!
Ahhhh….I love being kept busy during the long winter days…..
Valentines Day is coming into view so I will be putting my therapy bags aside for just a bit and will crack out my paper crafting supplies!!!!
What keeps you busy these days?
In His Marvelous Grip~
I am so fortunate to have been surrounded by so many Godly women in my life….women who showed by example how to make a house a home and how to live in such a way that pleases God….my mother being the best mother ever!!! The Lord took her home 12 years ago to be with Him and blessed our family with Rita a few years later! I have learned so much from her!!! She shines with God’s love and shares it with everyone she meets 🙂 This recipe is one that I had the priviledge of tasting back in Oct. of 2010 and loved it! She remembered….and blessed us with a sausage making kit for Christmas! Now we can make it ourselves and pay it forward! I love you Reet….for all that you are! For loving my dad like you do! We are all better for having you in our lives!
I made this for the first time this week and it was great fun! It was easy and the house smelled delicious all day long! I was able to vacuum seal four packages of two, for treats at a later date 🙂 We often get together with friends and these will be perfect for a quick appetizer!

Mama Reet’s Homemade Sausage

3 pounds ground beef
2 pounds ground turkey breast (I used ground pork)
4 tsp. black pepper (1 tsp. can be cracked peppercorns if you like)
1 Tbls. sugar
1 3/4 tsp. salt cure
1/2 tsp. cayenne (red pepper)
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
2 tsp. garlic salt ( can use minced if you prefer…1 tsp.)
1 cup water
Place meats in large mixing bowl, combine spices and mix well before adding to meat. Add spices to meat and 1 cup of water. Mix all together well….get your hands in there and mix! 🙂 Cover and refrigerate 12 hours.
Divide the mixture into 5 or 6 balls. Shape each ball into a log. Place on a broiler pan so the grease will drip down while cooking. Bake at 200 degrees for about 8 hours. Let cool. I always papertowel off the outside a bit to remove any grease that might have accumulated. Seal up and freeze….leaving one out to eat!


1 pound ziti pasta

1 pound of lean ground beef

1 pound of Italian sausage (I added that)

1 onion chopped

2 jars of spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 cups sour cream

6 oz provolone cheese slices (can use a little more)

8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

(OK…..I added 1/4 cup of Merlot to this recipe! It was wonderful!)

Cook noodles for 8 minutes or al dente. Butter the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan ( I use a 10 X 14 and it is stuffed full). Cook meat and onion over medium heat until brown. Drain meat. Add spaghetti sauce to meat and simmer for 15 minutes…..after simmiering….you can add a wee little bit o’ red wine if you’d like…. (I add some garlic too). Heat oven to 350. Layer 1/2 of the pasta in the pan. Then add 1/2 of the meat sauce. cover with the provolone slices and then the sour cream. Add the rest of the pasta, add the mozzarella cheese and then add the rest of the meat sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

If you make ahead and refrigerate you need to cook for at least 70 minutes.

A great Big Hat Tip and THANK-YOU to my cousin Tracy for sharing this jewel with me!!! We loved it!

Tip…..This makes a HUGE batch of Ziti…..

I baked it in a 11×14 in. pan. We had a lot of it leftover…fortunately…Italian food gets better as the days go by >smile< I was able to get 4 extra meals put up in my Seal A Meal for future dinners!

Olympia TenEyck


Olympia “Lym” Ten Eyck, age 92, of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan passed away at Tendercare Nursing Home on November 25, 2010.

Lym was born in Sault Ste. Marie, MI on May 19, 1918. She worked at Sears for over 20 years and was a member of the Christopher Columbus Ladies Auxillary, and the First Church of Christ. Lym enjoyed sewing, cooking, gardening and walking. Her cookies and breads were given to her neighbors at the Shallows and relatives for many years at Christmas time. She was an avid walker and walked over 5 miles a day.

She is survived by her children; Judy (Ross) Vert of Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Joan Heffner of Kutztown, PA., and David Ten Eyck of Shepherd, MI. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren; Debra (Bryan) Wells, Lori (Lynn) Gerig, Sherri (Tye) Godfrey, Rick (Tracy) Sweet, Steve (Salina) Vert, Wendy (Rudy) Pataro, Kathy (Dave) Poluck, Tracy (Ken) Grix, Melissa (Bob) Losito, Tiffany Ten Eyck and Tanya (Darin) Mogg. 21 great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Also surving is her sister Rita Hudson of Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Lym was preceded in death by her husband Paul Ten Eyck, two daughters, Barbara Sweet and Paula Ten Eyck, her parents, John and Madeline Raffaelle, six brothers; Roy, Robert, Eugene, Joe, Albert and Bill; three sisters, Teresa Lawrence, Helen Rosini, and Etta Leitz and daughter-in-law, Patty Ten Eyck.


Paul was a man who suffered the loss of everything according to his own claim. Yet any loss he counted as pure gain. The key to this transforming of earthly losses into heavenly gain is love.

What do we love? If our hearts are set on people and possessions and position, the loss of those will indeed be irreparable. To the man or woman who heart is set on Christ, no loss on earth can be irreparable. It may shock us for the moment. We may feel hurt, lonely, outraged, desolate, regret or helpless. That is our humanity. But the Lord can show us the “long view” , the incalculable gain in spiritual and eternal terms, if we love Him above all. Everything that belongs to us belongs also to Him. Everything that belongs to Him belongs also to us. What, then can we finally lose? If we lose not Christ Himself….we have finally lost nothing, for He is our treasure and He has our hearts.

2 Timothy 1:12 (New King James Version)

12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Rest in peace dear grandma…..I know you wouldn’t come back if you could! You are with our Lord! I love you…and I know you are In His Grip~