Thursday, August 10, 2017

Beauty in the Storm

 Hello friends~

I'm not going to say how long it's been since I last posted.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record.
All I can say is that I miss you all
and I am trying.

And it seems that I'm not the only one absent.

As you can see by most of my photos, I am a country girl.
So at least that explains WHERE I am and what I'm DOING
 much of the time. 

You'll often find me
wandering about in the beautiful outdoors working
or taking in as much beauty as I possibly can.

Is there anyone else out there that feels the draw of that
magical and wondrous place
outside your four walls?

The other day my daughter and I saw a T-I-N-Y
fawn hopping through the field with it's mother!
So sweet.
Makes hanging around outside so very worth it.

If someone told me that I was part gypsy,
I would nod my head and say,
"I knew it all along!"

And then there are the storms...
 This photo made me think of the song
 Gentle on My Mind,
 sung by the amazingly talented guitarist and singer,
Mr. Glen Campbell.
He will be greatly missed.

"You're moving on the backroads by the rivers of my memory and 
for hours you're just gentle on my mind."

Such sad days when we lose one more of the great artists.
I had just learned that song in the last week and I'm so happy that I did.
It will be a honor to sing it and I will always think of him when I do.
 It's always nice to have a friend nearby during stormy times.
 The beauty of it all just calls my name.
It feeds my soul and brings me peace in times 
when chaos is looming and threatening.
While it's pouring rain,
 the lightning electrifies the air and the thunder 
is rolling through the mountains,
it's a good time to jot down what's been happening 
and send some letters off to friends and family
  in  far away places.

Do you like writing others and making handmade cards?
After the rain stops, it's fun to wander around outside.
There are usually some little surprises just waiting to be spotted!
Here, a Cicada has just some out of it's shell.
Kind of ugly...
But sort of miraculous.
How DO they do that?!

I have a time lapse video of the one above coming out. 
I had to watch it for twenty minutes. 
I got impatient toward the end and almost missed it!
Are those raindrops on my wings?
During my wanderings, I often find little treasures to create with.
What have you been doing?
I know everyone has such interesting lives and this time of year
is full to overflowing with work and play and 
special outings with family and friends!

I'd love to hear about some of your adventures!
I do hope that you are well and that 
life is treating you kind.

As always...
Thank you so very much for coming by and visiting my
little online world. 

Blessings and happy summer days to you!
Tamara xoxo

Monday, July 24, 2017

Taking Time ..... Thoughts and an Altered Tea Pot

Hello and welcome to.. 
Where Blessings Gather.

If you're new here let me tell you a little bit about my blog.
It's where I share about anything and everything
as it brings a blessing to my life!

There are so many things in this world that enrich my everyday
 and I enjoy writing about them.

I'm a hugger, so here's a 
squeeze to new friends and old friends as well.
I hope you enjoy your visit!

I know life is not without it's challenges but I hope
 that each one of you have at least one special 
something gracing your life.

One of those things for me is the joy of taking a
simple object like a plain, black teapot and with paint,
paper and other materials,
transforming it into something that, 
hopefully, inspires or encourages someone. 
 Whatever you have sitting around that is calling to you to 
  give it a little makeover, might be fun to try!
Use any theme or colors that you love.

Working everyday or found treasures into something creative or 
unique is one of my favorite things to do.
And my message of course is to 
TaKe TiMe~

The bad news is that time flies..
The good news is that you're the pilot!
Michael Altshuler
Bits and baubles
Paper and paint
Are what I like!

Stamps and ink 
A bit of wire
What do you think?

Just a little poetry fun.

I hope you're having a wonderful summer so far.
Some are talking the end of our fair season already!

My goodness! I hope not...
What a lovely summer it's been.

I know the time will pass but we can make the most of it
and find the magic in it.

We can find the hidden nuggets as we live in the present and not
allow circumstances to over-shadow the beauty of the moment.

Thank you so much for coming by.
I am slowly making my way around to visit again.

Blessings of beauty, joy and peace to you.

Tamara xoxo

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Hello and how are you?

I hope that you had a meaningful
and super-fun holiday with your family
and friends.

It can be a good time to teach our children
and grandchildren
the true meaning of Independence Day.

A much as I enjoy the magic of fireworks,
the community parade and family gatherings
with games and food, I want the history and those that
gave and those that now give so much to be remembered.

If you've never seen the mini series, John Adams,
and you're interested in history, you may want to
watch it.

A while ago, I shared some photos of my homemade bread
with the promise of sharing the recipe...
so here it is.

I use to make bread by hand but as our family grew
to 11 members, I decided to buy a Bosch Universal Machine.
That was more than 20 years ago and I still enjoy making bread
and so I still use it to mix and knead my bread.
A warm slice of homemade bread spread with butter
and dripping with molasses is near the top of 
my favorite things list.
The recipe is as follows and makes 4 loaves.

Add to the machine mixing bowl
or a large stainless bowl.

If you're mixing by hand, you will 
probably want to cut the recipe in half.

2 C milk (heated for 1min 45 secs)
2 C hot water (not too!)

2 T yeast
2 T dough enhancer (totally optional)
I never used this back in the day ;)
1 T salt
mix well

Then add:
1/2 C honey/sugar/ or molasses
1/2 C melted butter
2 C unbleached flour

and then slowly begin to add whole wheat flour
until the bowl sides begin to mix clean or until your dough isn't too sticky. You want it just a little sticky or 
it will be too dry!

(I grind my own wheat so whatever brand you like)

After you're done kneading, divide dough and 
shape into loaves and drop into 
generously greased loaf pans..

I let my dough rise until it's close to 
being double is size... or for about 20 minutes, covered 
with a tea towel atop a stove with the oven 
pre-heated. That extra added warmth helps 
it to rise. 

After it's risen to double it's size, place in a 
325-350 degree oven.
My oven is a bit hot so I bake my bread at 325.

You can have some fun with your dough. 
You can twist it or make pull apart bread or make 
tiny loaves for the kids or grandkids! 
The giggles were here the last time I 
baked so they filled some heart pans
 to take home to their mommy.
Now comes the anticipation of smelling 
that deliciousness
as it comes floating out from the
 oven door and into the kitchen!
Oh, I have happy memories of when my mom used to 
make homemade rolls to go with
the big pot of beans that she made!

I think that was my dad's favorite meal.
He was raised down on the farm in the hollows of 
West Virginia. He was the 6th of seven children
and they ate very simply.

I don't have photos of any sliced..
 Bad blogger! AAgghh!

But the next time I bake bread, 
I will take some and post them.

When the bread comes out, it cools for a few minutes
and then gets brushed with butter!
So delicious.
I hope you get a chance to bake some
happiness and share it with someone.


There are so many other things happening.
I'll save that for another time.
But I will say that this crazy plant lady
FINALLY finished the last 
(we'll see... are we ever done? I think not! ;)
of her planting this morning!
It has been such a joy and lots of work too.
Perennials... herbs.. vegetables....annuals, 
Virginia Creeper and a new bush. 
Photos to come! 
The Gypsy Camp is growing and going through
all kinds of changes.

And then off I go tomorrow
 to the city with three of my daughters
to play. We're going to get a tattoo,
 dress up and go out to eat,
swim, shop and who knows what else!

I can hear the laughing now and of 
course we'll have some 
serious heart to heart talks, too.

I wish you a joyous rest of the week.
And thank you ever so much for coming by.

Tamara XO

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Back Home Happenings~

Hello Everyone!
It brings tears to my eyes as I think how long I have been away!
How I have missed all of my lovely friends and visitors.

I had no intention of being unplugged for so long and it has just confirmed
that we are making the right, but very difficult decision, to 
cut back on our travels back east. 

It has gotten to be too much .
It's interesting that I was gone for 3 1/2 weeks and it's taken me almost 
exactly that long to get back up to speed. 

(It's possible that I could be doing more but have
lost the motivation to try to be Super Woman 
and I'd rather enjoy
making more of every experience.)

We won't be selling our Sugartree cabin but will be renting 
to our niece and youngest daughter.
I have mixed feelings about that but I believe it's a good thing
and the right time.

Fly away little bird.
So, I have been planting and gardening 
like a crazy plant lady.
Spending hours every day out side 
trying to water, mulch, plant and arrange. 
I haven't taken many pictures but will share some soon!
It takes a while to get things looking pretty and our temperatures 
have been in the mid-90s. 
We have been spending so much time with our kids having 
cookouts, going to the movies, eating out, 
birthday parties and other family celebrations!
Whew! It has been lovely so far and  it seems it's just beginning.

Our singing engagements are up to at least two a week and though 
it's work we find it to be great fun as well.

Not only do I say FLOWERS always FLOWERS!
I say MUSIC always MUSIC :)
I'm not sure if I ever made it clear that I'm on a quest to 
know my self better and to find my true authentic self. 

Anyway, I am and  have begun by being more
 honest with myself and others.

I want to live in a place where I am more real and free to be me.
It's not easy but worth it. I see it as a kind of refining and what 
I have in the end will be more pure.
My masks have been removed.

I am so happy to be back and can hardly wait to come and visit.
 I apologize to those who left comments and I never got back to you
and to those whose emails that I haven't answered yet! 
I am slow but will get it done.. 
Thank you all so much for your patience and for coming by to visit!

Please, please do tell me what you've been doing!
I hope you're enjoying your summer so far and
 that life is being kind to you.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

travel photos

And Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I hope this finds you all doing well.
I am still away from home and am roaming in the gorgeous 
rolling hills of southeastern Ohio.

I'm visiting family and some friends.
And we've been working on the details
of readying our little cottage for winter living
so our youngest daughter and my niece can 
rent it from us.

We were planning to sell which was a very sad thought.
It's a gorgeous spot which affords us much beauty and
 a place to stay when I get a chance to visit family and friends
and journey down the lane of girlhood memories.

I moved away technically but a big piece 
of my heart has remained here for many reasons.

Here are some photos of our trip that began on
May 11th. On the first day, 45 miles out of town, 
we blew a tire. I was driving. 
We were thankful that we were safe.

The steel belts were showing but as 
I stopped, the tire was slowly
deflating as I got out of the van.
It's still a mystery how that happened...
 We see it as God's protection.

What a beautiful view of New Mexico skies!
 Driving through The Narrows of New Mexico.
 This is Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo.
We've driven by for 30 years
and decided it was time to stop!
If you venture by here on eastbound
I-40, bring a can of spray paint and you can 
add your artistic grafitti to the cars.
 Here are Jeff and I with our OK grand babies.
We had a sweet visit and very special to be there on
Mother's Day.
This unique bridge spans the Ohio River 
between Kentucky and Ohio.
 We saw kids in Oklahoma, Mo, Indiana
 and my brother who resides in the 
Ohio Veteran's Home near Cincinnati.  

I was so happy to see him. He used to be 
near our cottage but has now 
re-located to the Veteran's home which is
four hours from here.
 Wild Irises
 Raspberry Vanilla swirl, waffle cone with...

Very tasty :)
I love to find them everywhere.
 one of my favorite things...
I will be remembering our veterans this 
weekend and those who are
currently serving. 

I wish you the best as you gather with
family and friends this weekend to be together
and to remember those who have died and 
those who live still
to protect our country and
to help others.

Wishing you 
magical, harmonious days
 filled with blessings.

Thank you so much
 for coming by to say hello.
I will be back home on the 3rd of June and
  back in touch~