Saturday

"Anyone who has ever cleaned out a closet
and taken stuff to Goodwill knows how liberating it is.
You feel lighter, your mind feels clearer."
Cecile Andrews (author and sustainability proponent)


"I've been getting rid of some clutter —
anything that doesn't serve a positive purpose in my life —
and making room for things that feel happy to me.
Because I get to make my life whatever I want it to be.
I get to make the room feel however I want it to feel.
I get to make the closet as full or as spacious as I want it.
And, if I have more clutter to get rid of after Christmas,
I'm not going to wait a year, or two or three to do it."
Jan Denise 



Hello fellow blogging friends,

I don't have anything exciting to write about or show today. The weather here is incredibly overcast with the cloud cover so low that I cannot see past the church steeple I often feature in my photos and blog headers.

This kind of weather gives me a good excuse to clean out my closet. I have had some work clothes taking up almost one entire closet that haven't been worn in several years.  They are still in good condition but I don't plan on wearing them anytime soon and they are taking up precious space in my small condominium.  I thought of selling the clothes to make a bit of return on all the money I spent.  However, that kind of project takes up too much time and effort and there is no guarantee of selling anything.   So I'm bagging everything up and hope to deliver them to the goodwill later this week. 


"Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough."
Author Unknown

"Bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it,
it's clutter, and it needs to go."
Charisse Ward

I've done a lot decluttering over the last 2 1/2 years but haven't gotten rid of my work clothes or shoes.  They are still in good condition and I was reluctant to part with them in case...

Now that time has come.

I need to make room for other things, mainly craft items and things I inherited from my mom almost 2 years ago.  I'm slowly working through mom's stuff to see what needs to be kept and what can go. I've saved all her important paperwork of course but it is her crafting things and appliances that take room and I want to  keep as much of it as possible since I got rid of so much already.  In addition, my own paperwork needs more sorting.  It was about one year ago when I had some time to purge a lot of very old paperwork.  I didn't quite finish the project but it isn't as overwhelming now.

While I'm doing this project, I may be scarce for awhile (or I may pop in here to post something or drop by and read your blog posts, when I want and need a break). Hopefully before the end of this month I will have made some terrific progress on making room in my condo and blessing someone else through donations to the Goodwill and Freecycle.

Please feel free to browse through some of my older posts while I'm taking a short break.  You can find them by doing a subject search.  You might find it easier just checking out my blog "archive list" in the sidebar to the right of my blog.

Happy Thanksgiving, November 22nd, to all my American friends. In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October.


MySpaceGraphicsandAnimations.com

Take care everyone and see you soon.

Beauty in the Sky




A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them. ~Leonard Louis Levinson 


God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. ~ Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther 



And they were canopied by the blue sky, So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful, That God alone was to be seen in Heaven. ~Lord Byron 



Join here for Skywatch Friday. 

Golden Rays



The season is changing fast to Winter but I am squeezing out every last ray of sunshine and golden Fall leaves. These photos were taken just about a week ago.










I am joining up with
Mellow Yellow Monday
Mandarin Orange Monday
Our World Tuesday
 
My Photo  

LorikArt Our World Tuesday Graphic

Pumpkin Muffins



 
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, or less if you want it less sweet. I probably used half a cup.*
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup nuts (I had leftover pumpkin seeds and some chopped almonds)
1/2 milk or just enough to make a muffin like consistency

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl.
3 Whisk pumpkin, brown sugar (or Splenda), eggs, oil and chocolate chips in a second bowl until well combined. Stir the wet ingredients and raisins into the dry ingredients until no traces of dry ingredients remain.
4 Drop the batter by level tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing the cookies 1 1/2 inches apart.
5 Bake the cookies until firm to the touch and lightly golden on top, 10 to 12 minutes, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Cool and eat or freeze for later.
This recipe made 6 large muffins and 6 small ones. You could also make 12 medium ones but  I wanted different sizes.


This is virtually the same recipe I used for my diabetic pumpkin chocolate chip cookies the other day; except that I added milk, omitted the chocolate chips and added nuts.  The muffins looked good and tasted good but they were slightly on the dry side.  If you make these please  add another egg and more milk or possibly some yogurt to the recipe above. I'd love to know what you think about them too.

I haven't baked for a long time. Now I have enough healthy muffins and cookies to last me for the foreseeable future.

November 11 @ 11 O'Clock

In Canada each year on November 11 at 11 o'clock, we remember the fallen soldiers. I think many countries have a similar Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.

Photo credit: Remembrance Day Canada


The poem below was written by John McCrae, a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae


Now that I have seen....

I am responsible.


People often wonderful why I have thrown my heart and soul into Missions of Hope in Kenya. Though this video and song are about Rwanda, they express my heart for Kenya and my hopes for Kenyans. I have been to Kenya several times.  I have seen the poverty and the hardship with my own eyes, and now I am responsible.

Lyrics to "Albertine"

I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own
Rwanda

now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet
Rwanda

I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine

I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

Though I am not on a stage with a thousand eyes on me and my platform is small in the scheme of things;  the work(s) I do are what I can do  in my own circumstances, and I am willing.  I will tell the world.

Edwin

Since I last wrote about the missions, my friend Jonah, overseer of the Missions of Hope, contracted typhoid fever while in Uganda at his convocation and he has been in hospital.  Also Edwin, the young man in the photo above who is battling cancer, has been hospitalized. Please keep them in your prayers.




Orphans

If you have already started thinking about Christmas gifts for family and loved ones in 2012, you might want to consider giving of a different nature this year. Missions of Hope has some unique gift ideas for you. Click here.

I have also started to add items to my Etsy shop. You can see the items here. More will be added over the coming days.  All proceeds go to the Missions of Hope.

I Went Searching for Sugarman

I went Searching for Sugarman on Tuesday and found him! Just like many others in North America and around the world are now finding him. I hope you enjoy a peek at his life.



I enjoyed the film a lot. I was inspired by the humility of this man, Sixto Rodriguez and by his philosopy toward life and art. An added bonus was getting to visit parts of the world where I have not yet been; the beautiful coastline of Cape Town, South Africa and the gritty streets of Detroit, Michigan. Another bonus was being able to understand the situation of apartheid from the white perspective, a little better.  Though this film is not about apartheid, apartheid is definitely wrapped up in the story.  This film came along for me shortly after having viewed "Come Back Africa", a film about apartheid through the experiences of black South Africans.

If you get an opportunity to see this film, I hope you take it.

November Images










 


Join Our World Tuesday here.


Diabetic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

After a evening of mending and another day of rain on Sunday, I felt like some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  I saw some of these cookie recently on a blog but they didn't leave a recipel  I went in search of a diabetic recipe and tweaked what I found to better meet my pantry supply and to cut down on the sugar.



DIABETIC PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, or less if you want it less sweet. I probably used half a cup.*
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
8 oz chocolate chips (1 cup)**

*Taste the batter before you drop it on the baking sheet to see if you need to add more sweetener.
**The recipe I tweaked used raisins (and less pumpkin and flour).

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl.
3 Whisk pumpkin, brown sugar (or Splenda), eggs, oil and chocolate chips in a second bowl until well combined. Stir the wet ingredients and chocolate chips into the dry ingredients until no traces of dry ingredients remain.
4 Drop the batter by level tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spacing the cookies 1 1/2 inches apart. I never am too careful about uniformity. I actually use a roundish shaped teaspoon and fill it up.
5 Bake the cookies until firm to the touch and lightly golden on top, 10 to 12 minutes, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Cool and eat or freeze for later.

I made 2 and a half dozen cookies using my teaspoon for dropping the batter on the baking sheet.

I found these cookies were sweet enough.  They were soft inside and had just the right touch of sweetness with the added chocolate chips. I didn't grease my pan and it would have been better if I did. So I've written up the instructions for lightly greasing the baking pan before dropping the cookie batter onto it. I had a large can of pumpkin so I decided to make pumpkin muffins too. I'll have enough pumpkins and cookies for awhile.

Pumpkin is full of vitamins (A & C), minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc) and fibre.  Not only that; it smells wonderful when baking. Enjoy!

My Day Today

“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat 
I couldn't resist a photo of the beautifully coloured orange leaves.


But as you can see from the photo below, it was raining very heavily. It has been raining heavily here for some time.



On days like this I like to stay home and make some hot soup or bake something comforting, read a good book or go to the movies.

Today I went to see "Midnight's Children". 


It was a rather long movie set in post-independence India, and based on the book and screenplay of the same name by Salman Rushdie.  I won't give away the plot but I did enjoy it.  It seems there are many good movies being released in November and December. It's a great relief to know that there are still good movies being made. The next one I hope to see is "Searching for Sugarman" (already released) or "Anna Karenina" (released on November 21).

A Peek at the Garden

To date the spring season has been quite cool and a lot of rain. I haven't had to do much in the garden as a result and I find it isn...