Monday, December 31, 2012

We got a Duck for the Holidays!


Look what a sweet parishioner gave us, duck bread.
How adorable is this?



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Sunday, December 30, 2012

TIme for Stromboli

Ahhh, the fast is over.
How many ways can you find to combine meats?
How about a nice warm crispy stromboli?
Mouth watering yet?

Start by rolling out your dough.
Store bought, made from scratch, doesn't matter, it's all good.


Layer some spicy mustard and honey mustard, then ham slices and pepperoni.
Add some swiss slices, or provolone.


Start to roll.


Score to let out some steam, and bake at 350 degrees for 30- 40 minutes, 
or until brown and toasty looking.


Cut and serve warm!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Forever in the Heart






From the Ministry of Health Slovak Website
This sculpture was made by Martin Hudáčeka of Banska Bystrica and dedicated to the unborn and the mothers that are forever changed and forever keenly aware of the value of human life.  The first time I saw this sculpture, I cried for a solid hour, I found it so moving. I thought of all the mothers whose arms are empty and who ache to hold their children.


Little Soapbox moment: Loss is painful, Loss is hard, Loss is not fair. Miscarriage, Pregnancy Loss whatever you wish to call it, is all of these.  Losing a child at any age is like this. There are no answers and even when there are, they are never sufficient as a piece of your future is forever missing.  A piece of your heart is gone.


Having said this, with a heart full of compassion and love, Abortion is not loss, it is a choice.  No matter how many try to "reframe" it into being the same as pregnancy loss.  It is NOT the same. Pregnancy loss has no choices. Healing after making this choice, just as making other choices, is possible. If you choose to reframe choosing abortion into pregnancy loss, what healing is felt, what healing is possible when you lie to yourself?  I have known women who have spent their entire lives lamenting their decision to end a life. True healing for those who have chosen this road can be possible, but just like healing from other choices, one must first acknowledge it and it's truth.  

Seek out a spiritual father, there is hope.  

For those considering it, please consider another choice, a loving choice, a choice for life and respect, 
CHOOSE ADOPTION. 

As painful as it can be to make this loving plan, and it is painful for all sides, it is less painful than the other choice.  There is pain, there is a sense of loss for both mothers the one placing and the one accepting.  It takes a strong woman to acknowledge this and to go against society's push to end things quickly, to move forward, to hide a pregnancy, and to choose destroying a life.  It takes a strong woman to acknowledge her limits.  It takes a strong woman to love another person so deeply, and to accept the limits in their world as part of God's will. I have known women on all sides.  It takes a strong woman to choose adoption. The women whose children were massacred by Herod, had no choice, only loss and pain and grief.



There are no easy choices. But out of pain, there can be JOY!


Adoption is LOVE and TRUTH and LIFE. 

It is another gift from GOD. 

The choice is yours.
Empowered Women CHOOSE ADOPTION.


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Friday, December 28, 2012

A Plea to help protect Religious Freedom


This affects everyone. 


The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) has launched an online White House petition urging President Obama to “Stand up for the rights of endangered Christian minorities around the world this Christmas season.”  The petition can be found at www.hellenicleaders.com/freedomAccording to WhiteHouse.gov rules, if the petition reaches the 25,000 signatures threshold, the White House has to issue a formal written response.  We have until January 6, 2013.

The petition language explains that:

Christians in the greater Middle East face extinction in their homelands. In Syria’s civil war, Christians who make up 10% of the population are targeted. Christians in Egypt (12% of that population) suffer social persecution and political exclusion. Christians in Iraq (1% of that population) face daily threats and violence. In Turkey, the number of Christians has plummeted to less than .1% due to systematic rights violations, including the oppression of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In occupied Cyprus, the Turkish military has essentially snuffed out Christianity to around 400 survivors. The administration should act now to protect the rights of these groups by calling on countries in the greater Middle East to protect religious freedom, especially that of their Christian minorities.

Endy Zemenides, Executive Director of HALC explains the timing of the petition: “As we wrap our gifts, Syria’s Christians are being attacked, Egypt’s Christians are being excluded from the forming of the new Egyptian state, and enclaved Greek Cypriots need to seek permission to celebrate Christmas in occupied Cyprus.  Turkey continuously lied about opening Halki throughout President Obama’s first term, and this Christmas, the future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is as uncertain as ever.”

The rights violations identified in the petition were analyzed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom which, earlier this year, downgraded Turkey to the list of “Countries of Particular Concern,” the list of the worst violators of religious rights in the world.  The grassroots effort of this petition can help turn the USCIRF recommendations into actions by Washington to protect the human rights of Christians whose very survival is at stake.  Christians can voice their support for the universal human right of religious freedom by signing this petition and by calling attention to the vulnerability of Christians struggling to survive in the ancient lands of Christianity. 

Visit 
or
and do your part and help shine the light on the plight of Christians this Christmas.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Easy Peasy Appetizers Continued...

Happy 12 Days of Christmas!
Being that we are still in the happy celebrating place in the calendar,
decided to share some more thoughts for easy-peasy appetizer ideas.
How about...

IDEA#1


Stuffed Peppapews


I used marinated mozzarella balls,
cut them in half,
 then placed them inside the peppapew.
What is a peppapew, you ask?
Just about the yummiest sweet pepper there is.
They are about the size of a cherry tomato
and have a teeny tiny kick to their flavor.
I've seen them both in the gourmet mediterranean bar area of grocery stores
and pickled in jars.





IDEA #2

Jarlsburg cheese and Granny apple slices on a Triscuit cracker.



Both of these really complement the flavors of their partnered food
and are super-easy to make.
Who wouldn't love that combination?

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

For a Christmas Smile


This is something I came across a few years ago.
It always makes me smile and sometimes laugh out loud!



www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8
Apr 25, 2006 - Uploaded by mikado95
3:26. Watch Later Straight No Chaser- 12 Days of Christmasby LoveLakink 114,869 views ...12 Days of Christmas



Merry Christmas
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beeswax Ornament

Year before last I made beeswax ornaments.
I gave many as gifts and saved this one for us.
To make it I used candy molds in this pretty snowflake patterns.
It has a beautiful aroma and is one of my favorites.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Feast of Saint Spyridon

Xronia Polla to all those celebrating with Saint Spyridon the Wonderworker
December 12


Here is a preview of our Christmas Mantle
For more information on Saint Spyridon , you may click here

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Maple Apple Crisp in a Pinch


Things have been busy, busy, busy.  
Wanted to share, that before Thanksgiving, 
we had our church kids come together to stuff special food boxes for the local pantry, 
it included everything one would need for a meal and then some. 
Encourage everyone to do this, 
food pantry needs help not just around the holidays, but people are hungry, everyday.  
Thee kids did a great job and there was so much enthusiasm! 
I was running between errands, work, etc. and was behind on making something for the shared table.  So, I whipped up some apple crisp, but realized too late, 
was out of regular oatmeal!


What to do, what to do? Just use brown sugar, flour and butter (BFB).
Could. Or...


 We did have some Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal in the cupboard.  
Hee hee hee, I used that! I mixed it with the BFB. 
Then, brought it still hot, to the church hall, and it was throughly enjoyed!  



So, whatever your plans ahead, don't be fearful to tweak something.  
You may just find a new favorite around the next box in the cupboard. 
We've had crisp for desserts and works for breakfast too!
I'm thinking I might plan it for a Boxing Day treat?


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feast of St. Nicholas


Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas
December 6

Icon from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Website

What a beautiful day this gets to be, thanks to the good works of St Nicholas.
There are so many resources out there and even societies about preserving his memory.
He is one of the most popular saints in the world.
I am not exaggerating. 
There are 43 churches in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,
which includes, the sweet community whose church building was destroyed on September 11, 2001. There are 65 churches listed in the Orthodox Church of America, 14 in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdioceses of America and 4 churches in the Romanian Orthodox Church.
640 churches listed by the Catholic Church of America.

In our home, we start the day checking our shoes for treats left overnight?
If we get something, it is a good indicator that he may come back at Christmas.
We always find some assortment of chocolate and oranges and candy.
This year, it was one orange, with gumballs, lollipops and gold coins (three of each).



After the oranges are eaten,
 the peels are added to a pot of boiling water with some cloves and a cinnamon stick, 
for the beautiful aroma. 




St Nick cookies and Raisin Tarts are a sweet treat for the day.



I don't have a special cookie cutter. 
I just use the one shaped for a girl.
We have in the past also surprised a family member, and/or a parishioner or two,  
with decorating their front door with candy canes and gold chocolate coins. 
To be discovered when they come out in the morning. 
Not as easy to do with a little one in the house and early church services
but I love what we have now, and look forward to restarting this fun tradition, 
in the future.

How do you celebrate?

The winner of the 100 and Counting Giveaway is Mat. Anna.
Email me.
Congrats!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

I say Merry Christmas!

I had to share an experience from today. While shopping for our Church's Children's Christmas Party today, I dissolved an entire group of sales-ladies (not sales associates) for they were ladies and sweet ones, at that.  Anyway, I had finished my purchase which included a brief discussion of what it was all for. The  sweet girl ringing my out, finished and  looked at me meekly and said, "Happy Holidays".  I glanced at her for a moment, and said, "Merry Christmas!" at which she looked relieved, her whole face brightened and she responded, "Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too".  I asked her in a hushed tone, "you're not allowed to say it, are you?" "We are allowed to respond" she replied.  

So, before I exited the store's electronic doors, I put away my receipt and loudly exclaimed, 
"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!" Which was met with gales of laughter and a very enthusiastic 'response'.  

For those who do not believe Christianity is under attack, you are wrong! So, I have a Christmas challenge for you! When met with a "Happy Holidays", I urge everyone to give the people serving you a chance to get to say what is truly in their hearts, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

100 and Counting Giveaway


Hard to believe, Fields of Basil, is 100 posts old.
So happy you are all here to,
SHARE THE DAY!

So you may have noticed a gap in posting...
I'll admit I have been staring at this 100 number for the last little while and blocked on what to write.
Do I say anything, do anything, or just let it pass?
Not to mention I've been swamped with life in general.

Thought I would share some stats with you.
People who have visited to share the day have come from (in no particular order)
USA, Canada, Russia, Philipines, Sweden, Ukraine, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Brazil, Tanzania, Spain, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Israel, Venezuela, Portugal, Germany and a few more I didn't get to catch and write down at the time. Every so often, stats drops them. 

Thank you to all for visiting and I will also admit, when we see an interesting location pop up, we do go to the map and look it up.  We love geography! 

Top Posts to this date have been

6.  Marine Art




And an extra-special thank you to the other places that like to share the day and have been the top 8 referring sites for this little place in cyberspace.

2. Google
8. Pinterest

Posts from this little place to share the day, have also been featured on
Knock Off Decor
Jennifer Rizzo
Doodles and Stitches
Cozy Little House


Now to something fun.  Haven't done this before and so...... drumroll please....

Our first Fields of Basil giveaway!

I found something sweet and that feels almost decadent to use.
Exotic Rosewood Crochet Hooks and Knitting Needles!
The giveaway includes, Crochet Hooks (sizes I and J) and a pair of knitting needles size US 10
and a little baby white yarn.
Can't wait to see who gets a little early Christmas present and what you will make from it?
I imagine little snowflakes, hmmm.




So if you would like a chance to enter,
please click to follow me and leave a comment below.
If you have been already following, please just leave a comment.
 Everyone who has already been following also gets a double chance!
(Hee hee, my blog, my rules.)
Thank you all!
Happy December!
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Drawing will be held on the Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6)






Monday, November 26, 2012

Paper Rose Christmas Wreath

Wanted to make a paper rose wreath for our beautiful teen niece.
This isn't it, but it's the starting point.
This wreath was used as a centerpiece for a baptism.
It was made with a wreath form inside.
I then had wrapped different gift-wrap paper from our baby shower inside a layer of tulle. 
Finished it off with blue ribbons and teddy bears. 
Each centerpiece was special.
They were on the tables surrounding hurricane lamps.
It really looked beautiful.  



So I started by deconstructing the centerpiece.
You can see it in the picture below in the back.
I wanted to make paper roses and decided coffee filters were the way to go.
So I searched for some tutorials/patterns.
I found the exactly what I was looking for here


Make and make and make.
Glue and glue and glue.



To finish it, 
added a purple sparkled pointsetta 
and a beautiful matching peacock.


These pictures are with different flash settings, I really like the glow in this one, but the detail of the  flower  and peacock in the one below. Which one do you prefer?


She loved it!



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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tis The Season


Whoo Hoo, here we go!
I love this season.
Full of Joy, Full of Love.


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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tweeked Feature

THANK YOU BRENDA
for a Thanksgiving Tweak Feature 

Photobucket

Go and visit her at
Cozylittlehouse.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not just Purses.

You might remember I recently finished a little project for two important somebodies.  
I'm currently working on a few more for a couple more somebodies special. 
Christmas is coming after all.
I thought I would share with you how to make the sweet little squares,
 to me they look like little byzantine crosses.
It's an old pattern. 
Handed down from our Mom.
So, it is very dear to me and one of my faves.
Love you Mom.

*****
You start with a chain of 6 or 8 (depending on how big your want the center to be)
and join it into a ring.
Chain 4, then triple crochet into the ring.
Repeat three more times.
Chain 5 then start triple crochet , 
join with slip stitch to center and repeat.
When completed fourth set of four triples, 
join last with another slip stitch to the first and then fasten off.
*****



I decided to make more so that my amazing cousin,
 could have something to match her girls.
So I blocked a scarf.
Then stitched them together.



Then added a simple border of single crochet.



I loved the result, mistakes and all.
 I hope she does too!



Here they all are together.
What do you think?



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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Here I go again.

I'm generally a half glass full type of person if you haven't surmised already.
Feeling a bit discouraged today, had to unravel an entire project last night and start over.  
(extreme big sigh) 
I was knitting in the round
and have no idea how but somehow it got twisted
(big sigh).
I was being so careful. 
So no picture, just another deep long sigh.
Here I go again.
A positive, the yarn is glorious! Silk Bamboo and heavenly to touch.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin Centerpiece Revisited

Fall is here.
A pretty centerpiece for Fall and Thanksgiving was still needed, 
even though not a lot of time to put towards it.
I really wanted to carve this craft pumpkin into something similar to this sweet one.
Not quite what was planned
but still good.
Sometimes in life like crafts, it's not what you plan but what you make out of it.
"It's all good!"



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Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Completion

What a great feeling when you have been making something and finally finish it!  Not in the way that it feels like it a chore, this doesn't.  When taking care of chores and even work outside the home, it can feel a bit monotonous.  Not to mention, sometimes you can clean something and moments later it's like you never touched it! The wonder of children.  It's a shared joy every mother can appreciate.  I actually don't look forward to the day when everything stays neat.

Anyway, with knitting and crochet, even if I only get a chance to add one line a day, it eventually will be done. It's that wonderful feeling of completion.  I started knitting and crochet for that exact feeling, the feeling of completion, I was hooked! (excuse the pun)





Back to the purses. Yeh, they are done!
You can see that I stitched in a little liner.
Next time I would add a little batting to stabilize it a bit more.




I have wanted to give these to my sweet little nieces for so long.
You might remember some of the progress here.

I'm so excited to have sent these to them!
They are shoulder bags for the early grade school crowd (size-wise).



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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hope

This time we got lucky and were  blessed.
Our area was hit hard last year, hurricane, floods, tornado.
This is a tree felled nearby then.



Look-the tree has sprouted again and another tree is starting to grow from the bottom of the rootball.


What this says to me is...
HOPE!
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Honored to be featured by Nicole
at 



Thanks so much!
So pop on over and
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