Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wanda posted this on facebook I had never heard or read this quote before. I like it!

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

See Post: How the Fragrant Hand Got It's Name

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wendolonia - Bento Box Lunches

Wendy Copley is one of the many creative Moms I enjoy conversations with on Twitter. Her website Wendolonia first came to my attention when she shared about her son's lunches. Here's a picture of one of them.

You see Wendy packs these amazing Bento Box lunches. I wasn't really aware of Bento before I saw it on her site. I've been looking for Bento supplies as I think this creative and attractive way of packing food would make it more fun to eat... and Ethan has trouble eating his school lunches in the small amount of time allowed. He also has trouble opening commercial packaging so this would be a great way to go. The site has also helped me get some new ideas for fresh and healthy things to put in a lunch box. Here is a link to Bento Box Posts on Wendy's site. Oh wow I missed her Lunch Box Ideas post the first time around, this is a great list of things to consider. Today Wendy added a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page about Bentos

Update: December 12, 2009 Wendy was mentioned in the Jan 2010 issue of Parents on page 23 her blog was sited as an example of setting a daily challenge for yourself.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Do You Have Fragrant Hands?

A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.

As women we turn our hands to so many tasks. We clean and beautify our homes, kiss and bind up hurts. We express our creativity in our interests, develop special talents and deep friendships. We help with homework, and teach our children some of life's most important lessons. It is we who prepare the sustaining meals that fill our homes with aroma & bring our families together. We create the holiday and everyday traditions that give our children a sense of belonging.

Our hands are fragrant with the perfume of our labors. This is the meaning I had in mind when I called my blog The Fragrant Hand. I thought of my lovely mother's soothing hands, so full of talent. I considered my own hands and found them fragrant.

As you go about your day-to-day, think not of the dishes that will need to be done again tomorrow... think instead of the sweet fragrance that you alone can add. Your hands are perfumed by all you do. You too, have fragrant hands.

In memory of my lovely Mother, Cathy Black.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I love this song

and I think they goofed with the title, becuase it doesn't show the lyrics.

You Wouldn't Cry (Andrew's Song) is from Mandisa's album Freedom.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Desert Island Question - What would you take?

Ok so Cathy Zielske is the teacher of Me, The Abridged Version a scrapbooking class that I am taking online from Big Picture Scrapbooking... I'm not that hot into scrapbooking just now, I have a lot going on in my life, but the class I took from Cathy last spring was so much fun, that I decided to try another. It's the writing and self-discovery about her classes that I find so enjoyable. So, for this class she's emailing us a thought provoking (or fun) question each day to help us with writing about ourselves. Here is today's question:

Today's question: You are going to a desert island for the rest of your
days. Excluding people, what five things do you take and why?
I haven't done my writing for this yet... but this is my initial response:

  • Pride and Prejudice - no scratch that I'd take my Kindle and load it up with all
    my favorite books, hurrah for technology!

  • My Chef's Knife --- The whole of life runs more smoothly when you have a good knife in the kitchen.

Anybody wanna share what you'd take?

I'm back. I just keep looking with affection at this picture of my favorite knife. Seriously, I should name it. Any ideas of a good name for a kitchen knife?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The package I was waiting for arrived, today. I ordered Photoshop Elements for an online class I am taking (Cathy Zielske's Me, The Abridged Version) and I had ordered Another Stab at Life a book by Anita Higman. Anita Higman is a Christian author from here in Houston. I met her at work last year and she gave me an autographed copy of book 2 in this series (Another Hour to Kill), I was looking for book 1 at my Christian Bookstore or on Kindle but finally broke down and ordered it on Amazon. Next time, I will believe Amazon when they say their super saver shipping takes 9 days. My Photoshop class started a week ago, oops! At least now I'm all set to read & write.

The second delivery was wholly unlooked for. Today is my 14th wedding anniversary and hubby has a business function to attend tonight... but at 4 PM there was a knock on the door & lo and behold he sent me some lovely flowers (no photo because he took the camera for the business function.) Robert doesn't usually "do" flowers so this is a big deal. My sweetie! :D

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tip-Of-The-Day BLT with Avocado

OK I burned the bacon. I cook it in the oven and my hubby phoned while it was in & I forgot about it... but if you are still willing to listen to my advice... I have a tip for you, today. I love Bacon & Tomato sandwiches (not technically BLT because I don't like lettuce on them) I toast bread, I slather on mayonnaise, I pickles, bacon and tomatoes, sometimes mustard, but the BEST thing about Bacon and Tomato sandwiches if you can get it, is avocado!!! I was born in California where I lived until about 9 years ago & as is proper to a California native I grew to adore avocados. When hubby was being transferred to Houston, TX I had one question... "Can you get avocados there?" The answer came back "YES!" and the rest is history. (You don't get them for free because they are falling off your uncle's tree faster than they can be eaten... but hey, you can get them for ready money and that is good enough.)

Anyway on to the tip. Generally I mush the avocado up with a bit of salt and then smoosh it into the bread with a fork. At some point I noticed that everything tastes better if the dill pickles are touching the avocado. I don't know when it came to me, but I always do this now... the next logical step is to add a spoonful of juice from the pickle jar to the avocado when you moosh it up (then you don't need to add any salt, because the pickle brine is salty). It is so wonderful on the sandwich! It's so good I sometimes make avocado and tomato and skip the bacon. Heck I have made avocado and pickle sandwiches.

Sorry I don't have any photos, but Robert has the camera, today... and besides, you don't want to look at photos of burned bacon... but give it a try. Avocado and pickle juice, it's some good stuff!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Updated Picnic chicken recipe

I've learned that fresh garlic is a must in my Easy Picnic Chicken. I updated the recipe with an explanatory note. I'm putting this into the buttermilk, today, so I can bake it up for lunch after church, tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Cookbook

What's your first cookbook as an adult? This is what Colleen is asking over at Slice Dice & Dish ( This is a fun topic so I thought I'd post my answer here & encourage you to join in the comments or give a link to the answer on your own blog.

My first cookbook as an adult was Heartland by Marcia Adams. Everything I ever made out of this book was wonderful. Marcia had a cooking show on PBS called "Cooking from Quilt Country." This book had a chapter featuring recipes from each of the Midwestern states. Marcia's book introduced this at-that-time California Native to regional dishes from the Midwest. This was a new kind of comfort food I had not encountered, before. This was my first branching out cooking adventure, a stepping beyond the recipes of my Mother and Aunt Virginia (both excellent cooks!)

Marcia's recipe for Swedish Rice Pudding is still the one I make, people who claim not to like rice pudding like this one. For years whenever I had a chocolate craving with no chocolate in the house, I'd make her from scratch brownies (I seldom run out of cocoa powder.) Her recipe for Creamy Potato Salad is still my favorite and her Bread & Butter Pudding Cake with Caramel Sauce was AMAZING! That reminds me, I've been wanting to make some of those Marshall Field's Cinnamon Crunch Muffins again. Oh and how could I forget Chicken Breast Baked with Pecan Dressing.

I think this was the first cookbook I ever owned for myself, I KNOW it is the first I ever wrote in. I made recipe notes, starred recipes in the index and wrote the following on title page:

"I purchased this book for myself on November 9 of 1992. It signifies a renewed interest in cooking piqued by Marsha Adams' wonderful television series.
I have now enjoyed two years of cooking from this book and find my skills improved and my repertoire extended.
I expect continued pleasure as I discover the flavors of our nation's Heartland."

I used it so much that the gold letter of the title are wearing away on the spine. The dust jacket was long-ago discarded, it got in the way of use and although some of Marcia's other books are on Amazon it looks like Heartland has gone out of print.

Here is Coleen's post

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kelly's Wellies

I know Kelly from Twitter. You've got to see the cute altered Wellies that she made (for my fellow Yanks, wellies is short for Wellington Boots - they are great for rain, not just gardening... I wish they were easier to find here in the states.)

Anyway Kelly started with an adorable flowered pair, and altered them to make short boots. I have curvy calves as well & frequently have the same problem she does with high boots being too tight. --- Scrapbookers, here's a teaser.... she used her Crop-A-Dile on this project! Multi purposing Scrapbook tools is always a great thing!
With all the rain we have here in Houston, I think I need to start seeking a nice pair of Wellies online. I had no idea they made them in such cute prints! Perhaps it'll be my jump into sewing project. I secretly want to sew, I am just afraid of failure...

Go see Kelly's cute wellies over at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What is a Blog?

If you've just seen Julie & Julia and are wondering about blogs
Here is a simple video explanation by the people at Common Craft.