Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sister Agnes

As I run around this place on the Lord's Day, trying to bring peace to all who enter here -- I feel a bit disheveled more often than not.  Things aren't what they ought to be, and sometimes, quite frankly, I don't even care.

It brings to mind a dear sister in the Lord, Sister Agnes, who ran her home in much the same way.  I'm pretty sure she was spread way thinner than I am now.  Her home was, oftentimes, in disarray.  But if you visited there, you felt the hospitality of the Lord, and you were welcomed and never judged.  Especially if you were a raggedy, dirty little child.  Dear Agnes never saw that dirty child.  She only saw that dear creation of her Lord, made for a purpose.  She really was blessed.

I remember thinking, in my foolish youthful mind, that I wouldn't want to run my home in such a way.  So, when we judge, the dear Lord gives us a measure of understanding. 

He judges us by who we are, by our faith, by how we love him, by our service, not how others judge us.  So I'm taking comfort in the fact that I know that folks are blessed when they come here.  They keep coming back in droves.  And friends, that's not me.  It's not my home.  It's nothing here.  I strongly suspect my dear Sister Agnes had some of the same thoughts running through her head as well.

It's God's love.  It's peace.  It's real joy.

I'll leave you with this...because it's what I'm listening to right now...

A Very Good Day

Whilst roaming through the images on dear Stiva's cell phone, I came across this image.  It was the picture of a very, very good day, enjoyed by all.  I don't remember the circumstance of the celebration, but I do remember the enjoyment of these kids (our foster kids at the time).  As I stated in a previous post, a picture paints a thousand words.  The looks on these kids faces says it all -- as does the look on Stiva's face!!!

They Don't Send Valentines to Afghanistan

Seriously?  I got an email from the USO recently (an awesome organization, and one I fully support) and realized that many deployed soldiers will not get a valentine this year.  This isn't good -- these dear ones shouldn't feel like Charlie Brown!!!
If you haven't gone to yet, I don't know why.  If you have, get on the letter writing team today and send out some Valentines!!!!  If you have already enlisted to adopt a soldier -- you can still join the letter writing team or the cards plus team.

Let's get some loving valentine wishes out there to those kids who are doing so much for us!!!

Word, Part IV - ELSA

Stiva and I went to visit Elsa yesterday, and she certainly is a shy girl.  Yet, she is a lovely little lady.  I think she is either a "Sweet Pea" or a "Sweet Petunia" or most likely, a combination of both.  She did shoot us a few looks, and as we all know, a picture paints a thousand words.  A few of those words weren't exactly ladylike, but under the circumstances, this was completely understandable.  But she let us both pet her, even big Steve, with all his whiskers and size.  And that was an encouraging sign that Elsa is well on her way to enjoying life to her fullest.

Another potential family is visiting her today.  I'm sure that whomever is selected to adopt this dear one will be the best family for her, in the eyes of Peppertree, and I will be happy no matter the outcome.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WORD - Part III - Elsa

We received word this morning that Elsa's needs as a "super shy" dog are being seen to by being with a succession of foster families so that she can understand that people in general are not a threat to her.  So she's not available to be adopted just yet, but of course, the best things come to those who wait.  I've done a little reading on her situation -- there is a wealth of good information on the web.  I'm sure this approach will be helpful for her, so of course, we'll wait. 

Anyway, I still think it will work out.  She has already tucked herself into my heart. 

So keep your fingers crossed for us all, and keep those prayers coming!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pulled Pork

Not to let anyone down.  We're here on duty.  Tonight was pulled pork, and it was freaking awesome.

We took a 7 lb-ish shoulder of pork, with the bone, and roast it all day long at about 250.  8 Hours minimum.

Then you cry (becaused you watched Lucy and Ricky) in a previous post, and it's all good.

Then you make this sauce:
The firey sauce known as NC Style

1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup ketchup
2 cups water
Tabasco sauce

I know it doesn't sound elegant, but hey, neither is a pork shoulder.  So pull that danged blasted pork, and be careful not to let the dog have too many bites, if you're intending to sleep tonight.

Simmer that sauce for a while, then put that shredded pork in.  That's all there is to it.  I'm a gluten free zone, so I had it over rice.  Others at tonight's table put it in rolls. 



No word yet on our precious Elsa.  She's all we can think about.  God willing, she will join us very soon.  Isn't she pretty?


Seriously, that word means so much.

In positive terms of having received word (OMG, I have become such a middle-aged something or other) I received FREAKING AWESOME WORD TODAY from my dear buddy Dave ... witness

HEY HI !!!!!!!!!!!

How are you !!! ??? so sorry for the delay, we were without internet for a while and we were on the move again.... had an opportunity to get out of there and went.....
I just got home friday night !!!!!!!!! back in the USA!!!

Thank you for all of your packages!!!!!!!

So anyway, no matter what else today, it is an awesome blessed day!!!  You have no idea.  This man, whilst deployed in the hellholes of whoknowswhere pulled my sorry butt out of the "IWORKWITHA$$HOLES" more times than any friend should have been called upon.  I will  never forget the encouraging words -- "Tell him to go pound sand -- and if he doesn't know where to find some I can send him about a trillion truckloads!!!" -- Words of encouragement!! 
But praise God, Dave is home, safe and sound. And TRUST GOD, his life is just beginning.  And the terror and challenges are real here, but I feel that he is able to deal with it.  And if not, HEY, there's always a room here at the Haney Place!!!!

Hey, I'm just enjoying my ecstacy at this very precious human having returned home.  GOD BLESS US, EVERYONE!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We're Having A Baby, My Baby & Me

f you are familiar with the Riccardo's (I Love Lucy) you'll understand the lyrics. 

Were having a baby, my baby and me
You'll read it in Winchell's
That we're adding a limb to our family tree
We're pushing our carriage
How proud I will be
There's nothing like marriage
Ask your mother and father and they'll agree

He'll have toys, baby clothes
He'll know he's come to the right house
By and by, when he grows
Maybe he'll live in the White House

Our future gets brighter
But definitely
We're having a baby
We're having a baby
We're having a baby
My baby and me

Her name is Elsa.  If fate is smiling upon us, she will bless our home, and we will be a blessing to her.

Keep posted...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Flatt & Scruggs

It's what we're watching tonight, thanks to Netflix.  Kind of takes the edge off, if you know what I mean.  And we're thinking about some cornbread, friends.....

You have that recipe from me.  If not, just email me....

It Doesn't Seem Fair

We're just recovering from grieving the loss of our best friend, Theo.  And now, PooPoo seems to be shutting down.  Granted, she's a gazillion, trillion years old.  But she has always been too mean to go away.  Mean, aggressive, just plain full of chutzpah!

PooPoo has been with me for the raising of my children, she has moved to three different homes, she understands more about me than anyone I know. 

We've said for months now that she is nothing but skin and bones, despite her appetite.  Well, she is a hundred and a gazillion years old.  It's just that this week, I'm noticing.  She lives to warm herself on the radiator, and not much more

PooPoo, I love you.  I know it's almost your time, but I don't have to be ok with that just yet.

Bless her.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Just What We Are

This video is a few months old.  But it's just what we are.  Just down-home.  Some music, some sewing, a dog or two, some ancestors.  Good times.  There are those who think we're ultra-interesting.  And I'm sure there are those who think we're excruciatingly boring.  And I'm sure they're right.  But seriously, this is just what we are.

He's Going to Haiti

We have been troubled here at the Haney Place as much as anyone else by the tragedy unfolding in Haiti.  We were encouraged today to learn that Anthony will be leaving for Haiti imminently, as early as tomorrow, as part of the US Military response.  Our prayers go with him.  We know he goes with God.

News of world events is bleak these days.  There is so much loss, so much suffering.  Wars, and rumors of wars.  Pestilence.  We won't continue.

In these days that try men's souls, let us focus on what is good, what is positive.  We offer two thoughts:

"In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway.  And so it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place:  the opportunity to do good work, to fall in love, to enjoy friends, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby."
     - Alistair Cook

And more importantly, God's word, which seems to be so much more relevant in this day:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
     - Philippians 4:8

It's not that God is giving us an "out".  It's just that He understands there is just so much pain that the human spirit can handle.  He is encouraging us to concentrate on His creation, His beauty, His love.  If we truly walk with him, even in these days, there can be a perfect peace.  We can be productive, positive, respondent, at any time.  We can be a part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
     Philippians 4:7

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All American Apple Pie

From Better Homes & Gardens "All-Time Favorite Pies" - 1978.

Pastry for double crust pie
6 cups thinly siced cooking apples (2 lbs)
1 tlb lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 tlb all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
1 tlb butter or margarine
sugar (optional)

  1. Prepare & roll out pastry  line a 9" pie plate with half of the pastry.  Trim pastry to edge of pie plate.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg (for a very juicy pie, omit the flour).
  3. Add sugar mixture to the sliced apples.  Toss to mix.
  4. Fill pastry lined pie plate with apple mixture; dot with butter or margarine.  Cut slits in top crust for escape of steam; place pastry atop filling.  Seal and flute edge.
  5. Sprinkle some sugar atop, if desired.  To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil.  Bake i 375 oven for 25 minutes.  Remove foil; bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or till crust is golden.  Col pie on rack.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Ok, so that's what the recipe says.  And it's awesome.  But please, put a foil lined cookie sheet under your baking pie.  Stiva was seriously concerned about the amount of smoke in our house tonight, until he saw the pie and the source of the smoke.

I can't eat it (not gluten free) and I don't care.  BH&G rocks when it comes to somewhat vintage baking recipes.  Just looky here:


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Oh my.  I declared, to the agreement of those within earshot of me within my office space, "I am in semi-hibernation".  Oh, yes.  This year, worse than many and worse than any in my recent recollection.

I'm not sure William Shakespeare completely understood, but I have a hint:

WHEN icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;

When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit! tu-whoo! A merry note!

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all around the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl—
Then nightly sings the staring owl

Tu-whit! tu-whoo! A merry note!

Tribute to Theo

So we are finally able to do this.  Saying goodbye is so hard.  Theo was so much to us.  He was the first real dog Steve ever loved.  He was the portrait of what a Christian ought to be.  He was a true friend.  He was a good and faithful servant, to the end.  We could go on for pages on what he meant to us.  Anyway...


???/1996 - 1/2/2010


Also known as

"Good Puppy"

"Best Boy"


"Bless Your Heart"

To know Theo was to understood why dogs are known as "Man's Best Friend"

Theo's favorite activities were

Rolling around on the warm grass

Guarding Mommy

Hanging out while Dad worked in the garden

We miss you, dear friend.

Mommy, Dad & Tuffy

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stiva's Italian Sausage Casserole

I had a recipe in mind to make tonight, but Stiva totally reworked it.  I'm sure my original recipe would have been awesome (to me) but Stiva had definitive ideas about what he was hungry for tonight

So.....I have to admit, it was delicious.  We all had seconds, and we've already made our lunches tomorrow from the leftovers.  The pan is already washed and in the drainboard.

So we're sharing.  And best of all, it's gluten free.

Stiva's Italian Sausage Casserole

1.5 - 2 lbs. hot italian sausage
1-2 onions, chopped
garlic, if you like it
10-12 potatoes, peeled and cut up small
2 15 oz. jars of Classico Alfredo Sauce (because it is certified gluten free)

  • Cut up the sausage into bite size pieces and brown in a bit of olive oil.  Drain and place into a casserole dish (we used a broiler pan tonight).
  • Lightly brown the onions (and garlic if you like it) in the same pan, and then toss into the pan with the sausages.
  • Put the peeled, cut up potatoes into the same pan, and toss again.
  • Finally, put in the alfredo sauce, and toss thoroughly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes
YUMMY!!  Seriously, you can't go wrong with this recipe.  Now, we don't mind eating at 7-ish, or so.  We appreciate the ease of preparation over the time it takes to cook.  There's always something else to do while the oven is doing all the work, and when the timer goes off, it's such a splendid surprise.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Best Cornbread Ever

This recipe is worth a try.  It is simply the best cornbread ever.  It' more like a side dish than a bread.  But it does cut into squares like regular cornbread.  If you try it, let me know what you think.,168,132175-243199,00.html


1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 can undrained corn
1 can creamed corn
1 box Jiffy cornbread
2 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar

Sauté onion and celery in butter. Mix eggs and Jiffy, add corns, onion and celery. Pour into greased casserole dish. Top with sour cream dollops, sprinkle lightly with sugar and the cheese.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.

I left out the sugar, and mixed the cheese into the bread.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Recipe List

  1. A pan of tiramisu -- for tonight's dinner.
  2. A batch of sweet potato latke's -- some for tonight and the rest for the freezer.
  3. 5 lbs. of homemade hash brown potatoes (I can't believe how much they charge for these at the grocery store!!!).  We use these a lot in breakfast casseroles.
  4. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Banana Bread.
  5. Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies.
  6. Gluten Free Pancakes (Frozen, for a quick microwave breakfast, served with maple syrup, or homemade preserves).
  7. Regular pancakes (Frozen, for a quick microwave breakfast, served with maple syrup, or homemade preserves).
  8. Gluten free granola bars -- for snacks and lunches.
  9. Breakfast burritos
  10. Applesauce Cookies
  11. Italian Sausage Sandwiches for the freezer

OAMC - Shopping Day

I've done once a month cooking type sessions in the past, and thought it was time I invest in another session, just to give myself a break during the week.  So today was shopping day, and all I can say is WHEW!!!  The store was absolutely jam-packed, and the lines to the registers went all the way up the aisles, so we were literally shopping through folks who were waiting in line.

But I got the whole list, and I'm sitting down to make the plan of attack for tomorrow.  There will be a concentration on baking, both gluten free and regular, and some made up entrees, as well.  This time, there will be some interesting dishes, a little out of the ordinary.  I got some smelts and some calamari.  Then there are the usual staples like ham, bacon, sausages, chicken, etc.

Here's what the ingredients look like right now:

As you can see, there is even a little kahlua in the front, for the tiramisu we're having tomorrow.  Our friend Rob is coming over to play guitar with Steve.  Some good music should make the work more pleasant.  He may bring his little girl over, which will also be nice.  She's a real nice little thing, a good kitchen helper, and she'll perk the place up while I work.

I'll post the list of recipes later -- as soon as I get myself together and get these groceries put away.

Tomorrow is supposed to be bitterly cold and very windy.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......  What a blessing to be able to spend the day in a warm kitchen with plenty of food.

Friday, January 8, 2010


If you are angel material, even if you think you're not, but you wish you were, there are almost 2,000 soldiers deployed in harm's way waiting and praying for an angel.  The limit is three.  I'm at my limit.  So I'm begging you, be an angel and adopt a soldier today.  It could change your life and get you off your comfy fat-a$$.  Sorry, but Anth (Army NG) told me that the Drill Seargeants have no tolerance for weenies eating fatty-cakes.  So maybe you could forego the fatty cake a few times a month and bless a soldier who is SACRIFICING EVERYTHING FOR YOU TO BE A COUCH POTATO.  I'm just sayin'.

It's OK -- We'll Be Ok

So many good folks have asked about our absence.  It's just that we're grieving the loss of our friend.  Our best friend as a couple.  There were times he was our only friend and only advocate as a couple.  And that is a huge loss.  Something you can't do neatly, in a day, or a week.  As I told someone yesterday, what can you say?

Well, tomorrow we'll be back.  And we'll have something to say.  A tribute to Theo, the awesome.  And then we'll be back.

Thanks so much to all of you who care.  It means more than you know.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Well, you chop onions and peel carrots

That's what you do when there's nothing else to do.  So numbly, dinner was:

Salmon, oven baked with sofrito, then topped with cheddar cheese and re-baked, along with deconstucted stuffed peppers with rice, mushrooms, onions, and cheese, served with sage cornbread.  I'm sure it was very tasty.

For tomorrow, I've already simmered a chicken carcass, and added some dried zucchini and leeks from the garden, along with carrots, celery and onions.  If history repeats itself, it will be very good.  It's just that I've lost my sense of taste and smell along with my bestest friend.

If Theo has his way, I will resume real life.  It's just going to take a while.  In the meantime, I'll be peeling carrots, and chopping onions...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Theo -- 1996 - 2010

Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Matthew 25:23

Our hearts are heavy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ear Scratching Smiles!!!

Of course, dinner (especially with an entire chicken carcass on the table) draws the attention of the resident canis lupis familiaris!!!

But chicken carcass aside, there ain't nothing better than ear scratching!!!

Just look at that smile...

Our Secret

You'll need to read this whole post to learn the secret!!!
A productive day at the Haney Place, if I may say so.  Stiva built an enclosure for the dishwasher with  a plant rack.  Tomorrow, then, I need to repot several plants to make them presentable for the new piece of (as yet unfinished) furniture.  As soon as Stiva paints it with something highly glossy (and thus wipeable,) I'm going to adorn it with some Amish hearts, or something like.  See here:

I don't know how he does it.  I am almost ashamed to admit it, but when I do a sewing pattern, Stiva often helps me figuring out the layout.  There was a time I got him involved in a pattern, and he ended up doing the whole thing!  But I digress.....Then he went and built up a thingy (the technical term) for Theo's food dish, so that his old, arthritic spine and neck wouldn't have to bend over so far to enjoy his dinner (one of his few remaining joys).  Looky here:

So now, it's time for dinner, and the "boys" have been fed and they are well content, especially Theo, to whom I have given one of my mother's hand sewn pillows upon which to lay his head.  And if you should tell Nonnie about this, I'll be sure to eat your liver sometime soon!!!!  That's the secret, and if you let it out, I'll come and find you.  Bwaaa-haa-haa!!!!

At any rate, it's Spanish style roast chicken tonight, with baked potatoes (upon which to heap the roasted salsa, tomato, garlic sausage-y type stuff that was roasted under the chicken.

I'm just sayin'.