In the Kitchen, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Coffee Connections

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I think I first started drinking coffee just so that I could sit out on the porch to have coffee and chat with my dad. It only took one cup, a porch and a rocking chair for me to realize how precious that time was. Through the years, we practiced making the perfect cup for each other, and maybe talk about life, or just sit there and enjoy each other’s company and silence. Either way, we had coffee and we were happy together.

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I remember him getting up a good hour earlier than he ever had to so that he could sit and have his coffee quietly without interruptions.  As I get older, I find myself doing the same thing and appreciating how peaceful it is to have the quiet time to think. Even though he is no longer with me, I am able to smile with every cup and be thankful for the time that we had.

Funny how such a simple habit as drinking coffee can create relationship bonds that run so deep.

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In the Music Room, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

“The Bare Necessities”

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I’ve embraced the message in this song as my students learned it in Music this week. We teach our children to have an attitude of gratitude, yet we are constantly acquiring more stuff. As I watched my kiddos happily dance and sing, I was reminded to embrace the pure love of life and simply enjoy the LIFE right in front of me!

The Bare Necessities (From "The Jungle Book"/Soundtrack Version)

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In the Kitchen

Fresh Peach Cobbler

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Fresh GEORGIA peaches…does it get any sweeter? Only in a cobbler, or maybe homemade peach ice cream!

While traveling this past week through the Georgia mountains, we took time (this is huge for me, I’m always in a get-everything-done rush!) to stop at a neat roadside stand with fresh vegetables and fruit. Corn picked straight from the adjoining field, cabbage, peas, local honey, and PEACHES! While I cut up some of the peaches to eat as “dessert” that night, the rest made a great cobbler.

Years ago, a friend shared this perfect and simply easy recipe with me. Enjoy!

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Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Random Acts of Kindness

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There’s a Jolly Rancher wrapper tucked in my wallet.  (No, I’m not a trash hoarder!)  I put it there to remind me of someone’s kind actions, to remind me to pay it forward this week.

I could not quit coughing (seems to be the asthma-norm these days) in church yesterday.  Though I was trying to tough it out, I sent my daughter out for my inhaler, and at the same time the thoughtful soul next to me left the sanctuary.  I thought he was leaving to check on his child in the nursery.  I even gave away his seat to one of the praise team members!  Instead, he came back and handed me help in the form of candy.

Seemingly little acts of kindness are huge, and I’m thankful for my reminder to DO for others!

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In the Kitchen

Pineapple Plant Perfection

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“Check out my pineapple plant!” including an attached picture, was the quick email I sent my Uncle Hugh.  Here’s a hint of the reason why I love that man, his partial reply:

It will be beautiful for a long time.

“Have you ever seen a pineapple bloom? It is beautiful and orchid like.

If you will upsize your pot to at least 2X what you have, water regularly and feed not too much every 6 weeks or so, in a year or two it will bloom and fruit. As wonderful a thing to watch and grow as there is. I’ve had one bear fruit about the size of your fist. Dad had a couple over the years to bear fist size fruit. But the bloom is exotic. As I remember he did not put it in full sun in the heat of the summer as it will burn it up, but I’m sure it can take 2/3 of a day’s sun in the Deep South. You will see if the leaves start to scorch and burn. They should be that dark forest green all the time, but it’s hard to keep your tips from burning.  The ideal spot was the south west edge of Dad’s south facing front porch, there it would get most of the morning sun, then miss the heat of the day and get a little afternoon sun.  You may be mild enough where you are not to have to put it in the garage or inside for a few of the coldest weeks of winter.  But I’m sure anything below 45 to 50 degrees is not good for the little apple plant. A larger pot makes it much harder and more awkward to handle, and the prickly leaves will grow ever longer and require much more space, not to mention cutting you quick.”  (Hugh Hays, 2011)

 

So today, as I sliced my pineapple, I thought of my uncle, always willing to share his time and talents!  He taught me how to slice a pineapple “the safest way” using a knife.  BUT I pulled out the EASIEST way, a  Pineapple Corer  that was a GREAT gift from my mother!

First, Uncle Hugh’s advice to me for picking out the perfect pineapple, ready to cut.  Make sure the inside leaves of the top are still a pretty and healthy green – alive.  Also, you want the pineapple to be a good mix of green and yellow to get the perfect ripeness.

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Pictured below are quick steps to using the fancy pineapple corer. Once you cut off the top, don’t hesitate to stick it in a pot of dirt to get your own pretty pineapple plant for those “exotic” blooms!

Extra tip:  keep the shell and fill it with seasonal flowers for a pretty table centerpiece!

Extra, Extra tip:  notice I put the pineapple in a bowl before I used the pineapple corer?  That’s so the juice isn’t lost, too good to waste!

The last step, placing pineapple chunks in my grandmother’s old bowl, makes it perfect!  Cover with Press n Seal and enjoy!

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In the Music Room

Making the Music Connection

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“That’s what it’s all about!”

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