Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coming Soon!

I've decided to incorporate a regular themed post each week starting in the month of April. Several ideas for other weekly posts are floating around in my mind, but I think we'll start of gradual and see how it goes. :)

We all know Mondays can be a bit gloomy and blue, right? What better to fix that (other than lots of coffee of course) than music!

I am a lover of music. Many types. Sweet symphonies, razzmatazz jazz, rhythmic rumbas, and  lots more including Christian, Celtic, folk, and soundtracks. 

I'll try to mix it up and hopefully you will hear something you like.

So, I hear by institute Monday Melodies...or should it be Musical Mondays? Melodic Mondays? Hmmm, what do you think? Let me know which name you like best, or suggest one for me! Do you think you'll tune it?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Field Trip

Today I had an early day off from work.

The sun was shining, the weather lovely, and I do so enjoy a good summer's day car drive.

So, by whim of the wind, I convinced my home-bound family members to go on a drive with me out to the old railroad track and bridge Mrs. P had shown me on one of our outings.

It was pretty country and a very pleasant little excursion.

Vibrant yellow flowers  dot the countryside

A beautiful wild flower.

The two young ones walking the abandoned tracks
 in search of rocks.

Stepping on the past.

Wild, Texas scenery.

The boys explored under the bridge.
Can you get a feel for how high it was?

A wee bit windy.

We came home with a trunk full of rocks, a couple railroad spikes, and these pictures. Hope you enjoyed 'em! 

Corn Bread Recipe

Hey y'all!

In my last post I talked about corn bread and buttermilk and I didn't think it fair to leave you in mouth watering wonderment! While I can't help you with the buttermilk, I can share our corn bread recipe, and the one I used that day with Mrs. P. It is pretty simple!

Corn Bread

1 cup corn meal (we prefer white, but there is also yellow)
1 cup flour
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend together all the dry ingredients.
Add the egg, buttermilk and oil.
Mix together well, being sure you stir in all of the flour and corn meal.

Now, you can simple pour the corn bread mixture into
a greased 9x13 pan OR this is how we like to do it...

In a large, cast iron skillet, pour a little bit of oil,
enough that when spread around it covers the bottom.

Put this in the warm oven and let heat.
You know it is warm enough when you hear it popping.

Remove from oven and pour corn bread batter into the pan.

By doing this, is makes the bottom layer nice and crispy!
Give it a try!

Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until a knife or toothpick
comes out clean.

Fresh out of the oven, cut a piece and crumble it into a cup or bowl, drizzle just a little bit of honey over it, then add some milk, as much as you think you need (I like lots, and the corn bread will soak it up as you stir it in).


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cown Bread 'n' Buttermilk

Photo from Flickr
Have you ever had a simple, insignificant moment in time leave an unexplainable impression on you, one that will last a lifetime?


Me too. :)

In an earlier post I introduced to you to Mrs. P, whom I feel will be a reoccurring character in the stories of my life. If you haven't met her yet, hope over to my post Mrs. P outlived and I'll introduce you to her.

As Mrs.P's caretaker, I...well, care for her! Part of that includes seeing after her nourishment and meals.

On one particularly good day this week, after a rigorous span of house chores, I decided to whip up a good ol' pan of corn bread.

For those of you unfamiliar with this cuisine, google it, then make you some! It's nummy stuff, and common fair here in the Lone Star state.

It didn't take long before that pan of golden goodness was done and tempting my snack-prone tummy. Now, Mrs. P eats like a bird (have you ever pondered how absolutely ridiculous that statement is?! Birds eat at least half of their body weight each day!) I was saying...she eats less than a bird, but today! Today she was ready for an afternoon snack!

In true southern fashion, she was going to eat that cornbread....soaked in buttermilk.

Now, fortunately for me, even though I grew up in the north, my daddy was southern and he had introduced me to this little southern treat years before, otherwise I fear it would have been strange indeed to me!

However, since buttermilk has much the same consistency of yogurt, you will understand why I opted for straight milk instead.

Mmmm, mmmm, mmm, that warm, oven fresh cornbread crumbled effortlessly into our tall glasses. As it steamed up the sides of our glasses, we drizzled a bit of honey, then finished it off with a generous helping of milk over top.

A better comfort food, I don't think there eva' was.

Corn bread is a great equalizer, because there, sitting at her kitchen table, our spoons sounding the tink of glass as we feasted, this dear lady seemed to view me not as young, hired help but as friend and fellow women.




Not a chance.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blackhawk Up

I wonder what your story is.

What have you seen...

what are the events that have shaped your life, made you who you are?

These are things I wonder. And today I had one of those wondering moments.

Today was a beautiful summer day, over 90 degrees!, and I decided to tackle that task know as 'cleaning the car'. It needed it...bad!

So, while sunblock-coated me was outside car cleaning, a deep rumbling sound hummed in my ears,  growing increasingly louder, and it wasn't the sound of the vacuum cleaner!

I looked up to the sunny blue skies and found my answer: two very low flying Blackhawk helicopters were fast approaching. Shielding my eyes, I watched them fly right over head (literally), close enough I imagine I could almost make out a human form through the windows.

Photo by David Jackmanson via Flickr

I'm sure they saw me gawking up at them, and I thought latter how rude it was of me not to wave, but I was in fact caught up in a world of thoughts which went something like this....

See I'm a romantic. A dreamer. Sometimes just *a bit* unrealistic. Anyone else know what I'm talking about?! And...well...I couldn't help wondering about the men who occupied that cockpit.

Where were they going?
                       Where had they been?
                                          What were they thinking?
                                                         What had they seen in their time of service?
                                                                                                                Were they lonely?

I wondered these things and thought how fun it would be to meet them someday and find out. And maybe, just maybe, one of those young soldiers had espied me out that window and thought the same thing. Maybe, he mentally noted this location and vowed someday to come back and meet this nameless face that watched him go by...and maybe...

But wait.


My imagination bubble bursts...

I'm getting ahead of myself.

Faceless Mr. Right will just have to wait...

                               the backseat still needs vacuuming. *Sigh*

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mrs. P- Outlived

Photo by compujeramey on
She outlived the railroad.

The railroad: a sign of industrial advancement, moving forward, progress.

She saw it come... she saw it go. And she's still here.

'She' is the 98 year old lady that I spend 8 hours a day with. We will refer to her as Mrs. P.

Today was a beautiful day, and if there is one thing I've learned about Mrs. P. in the short time I've been her caretaker, it is this: she has lived this long because she has worked hard! If you keep going, I guess it is harder for death to catch up to you. :)

Well, as I was saying, today was a beautiful day, and Mrs. P. decided we were going to go for a drive (don't worry, I do the driving!).

The roads we took were bumpy and dusty, but her 'memory lane' sure wasn't. She took me out to the old sites where she grew up, both as a child and as a young married bride.

"That's our land over that-a way," she would say, gesturing with feeble, paper like hands out the open window. The warm breeze blew through her thin, silver hair and brought slight color into her otherwise lean, pale cheeks.

She pointed out numerous plots of lands which her sons now farmed and cared for.

We drove by the old school house plot, the sites of several of her homes, barns, and neighbors' places. We even drove over the railroad. I say we did all this, but in reality....there was nothing there.

The houses were gone...the barns long since disappeared....even the school lot was now just a junky horse field. Even the railroad was a memory....a narrow lane etched into the earth where once metal beams paved the way to prosperity.

After my little tour of a once thriving, sturdy, rural community settled in this ruggedly beautiful Texas countryside, I realized things had changed so very much for this woman riding with me.

Nearly every trace of the life she had lived before was erased from the land...the only firm imprints left were those on her heart and memory.

It hit me: she was a living piece of history!

This was an amazing woman. I felt a moment of awe as I realized...

She had outlived the railroad...

Seen it come and seen it gone....

And she is still here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Blog is Born

Hola mi amigos! :)

Well, the other night, somewhere between 1:30 and 4 a.m. I couldn't sleep so I decided to make this blog.  Or maybe, I stayed up and made this blog and that's why I couldn't sleep??

Soooo, some of you know and follow (thank you!) my other blog Streams in the Wasteland, so you may be wondering, why another blog?

Well, Streams in the Wasteland was designed as a devotional blog, a more serious minded and spiritually based place for me to share my spiritual thoughts and verses the Lord has been teaching me on. A very good thing and I intend to keep it up.

BUT, for quite a while I have had other things which I have wanted to share in a blogging style that is more daily living, light, fun hearted and not-so-deep. And THAT is gonna be the purpose of THIS blog....a more lighthearted place to share the simple goings on of normal life, from recipes, family news, pictures, projects, funny stories, and other randomly wonderful stuff that I want to share with you.

I hope in the days and months to come Gladness of Heart will be...well...just what it says! A place of lighthearted joy and sharing. :)

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20-- Then I realized that is is good and proper for a man to eat and drink and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-- for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work- this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keep him occupied with gladness of heart.

So, welcome, and thanks for coming by. As long as you are here, I wanted to share a little something with you that gave me some heart gladness today! Enjoy this song!


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