Scattered Thoughts From A Maryland Cottage

Scattered Thoughts From A Maryland Cottage
The Yin and Yang of Thankfulness

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Yin and Yang of Thankfulness

“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful..we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..” 
                                                                                                 Joel Osteen

it's windy, wet and I see a few flurries
outside my bedroom window while I
write this post and I've been thinking about so
many things on this early release day. I work in a 
high school health room which means
everyone left early for the holiday. as always, 
it was a crazy pre-holiday week because not
everyone is happy about Thanksgiving. some families 
are broken, homeless, hungry and all of the above.
I didn't realize to what degree until I began this career
11 years ago. I've always had a meal. 
in fact, I've usually trying to lose a few pounds.
so as I sit here, I began to think about this past year
 and the title of this post 
"The Yin and the Yang of Thankfulness". 

I don't believe I take the time every day 
to be thankful enough. 
for every moment with my kids
instead of saying "I wish I saw 
you more often" - I want to just 
enjoy them!
and there's a little one on  
the way in a few weeks
enjoying the stillness of winter,
school snow days, comforters,
Christmas... instead of moaning about 
slush and short dark days.
bringing more flowers inside the house
and taking road trips to gardens
I've always wanted to see.
I had both knees replaced in March,
I'm pain free and this is 
going to be my summer!
and thanking others... I want to bitch less -
and thank more.
Well, I'm going to try.  
Because I have so many, many things
to be thankful for.  Jenn

Give this a try... I want to!

Grapefruit Cranberry Marmalade
adapted from myrecipes
  • 4 large grapefruit (about 4 pounds)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2.5 cups cranberries
  • 3 cups sugar
  1. Carefully remove the rind of each grapefruit with a vegetable peeler or pairing knife, being careful to avoid the white pith. Slice the rind into thin strips. Place in a large saucepan.
  2. Peel and section the grapefruit: Slice off a piece of both the top and bottom of each grapefruit until the fruit is visible. Place on a cutting board. Starting at the top and following the curve of the fruit, cut away the remaining pith until only the flesh and membrane are left. Holding the fruit on it”s side, slide a pairing knife between one section of fruit and the membrane that is holding it there, loosening it”s hold. Cut alongside the opposite side of the fruit to loosen it from the membrane on the opposite side. Continue all the way along the grapefruit. Place the grapefruit sections into the saucepan and discard the empty membrane.
  3. Add 1.5 cups water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 min, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cranberries and simmer for another 10 min.
  5. Add sugar and simmer for 30 min until slightly thickened. Continuing to stir occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 min. Poor into jars or plastic containers and allow to cool for another 20 min before putting on lids. Let sit on counter until room temperature. Store in the fridge or freezer.
Makes approx: 5 cups
*This will keep for 3 weeks in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
*Cranberries have enough natural pectin to set this jam by itself. It is important to note that fresh cranberries have more pectin then frozen ones and therefore will set firmer. I did use frozen cranberries for mine and it turned out fine.
*To remove excess pith from the peeled rind: hold the rind firmly, pith side up, with one hand and drag your pairing knife in the opposite direction, shaving away the pith.
                                              thank you to...      Kitchen                    

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vibrant Summer Flowers and Fruit

Poppy's Flower

       Lovely is unspoken beauty of flower. The sweet smell of its petals in your hand, as they grow like a miracle from there stems. A Precious gift from mother nature for many to admire...but for few to truly understand.
For the blossoming of there beauty is a miracle on a sunny spring day. Reaching higher and higher towards the sun as the grow more lovely.
But no know just how they grow or why they bloom...Like love within a persons heart.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shenandoah National Park

 We just returned from a short vacation to Massanutten, Va!
Time flew by and I had such a wonderful time being with my kids. 
It's memories of time spent together that mean so much to me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NEW for my garden and... celebrating in my home!

Been havin' fun
I've been to a few Goodwills, antique shops,
thrift shops... enjoying my days off and I've found a few more fun items for my garden...
a chicken feeder
a garden sign
a bike basket
and I made jam...
and the best of the best....
my son Matt and his wife Connie are back from teaching in Thailand!

then celebrate with...

The Ultimate Ketel One Lemonade

U.S.MetricConversion chart
  • 1 1/2 ounce(s) Ketel One Citroen Vodka
  • 2 1/2 ounce(s) fresh lemonade
  • 1 piece(s) lemon wheel

  1. Shake vodka and lemonade with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Strain into ice-filled highball glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Celebrate in the sun or shade! Jenn

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chill and Serve!

What's New In Your Garden?
While you're out treasure hunting for the day
looking for rustic gems for your yard, things you cannot live without, going for a scenic drive, meeting a friend for lunch.... you can have the recipe listed 
below in your crock pot!
I have been collecting primitive odds and ends for quite some time. The inside of my house is getting less cluttered - whew. But my gardens are being tucked with perennials, buckets,funnels, baskets & more!
Etsy and EBay along with perusing magazines have continued to feed my wild imagination.
see what I mean... it amazes me what's out there!
It's been a fun summer of collecting, planting and friends.
Is there something you're on the hunt for? 
What do you collect?
I'm looking for:
  • a claw foot tub
  • an enamel colander
  • chicken feeders
  • funnels
  • money in the bank
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches: Place bone-in leg quarters in the crock pot and baste with your favorite barbecue sauce and add 1/2 cup of broth in the bottom of the crock pot. Cook on low for about four hours then shred chicken and allow to marinate for an additional hour in excess sauce. When shredding with a fork, do not overdo it as this will make your sandwich soggy in the end. To serve, scoop the meat on a sturdy roll and top as desired—try provolone, crisp lettuce, onions or coleslaw.

Come home, put comfy clothes on,
paper plates, an icy drink & dinner's ready!

Friday, June 7, 2013


When you dream, ponder things,
use your imagination....
do you ever think about being
something else in nature?
I've wondered what it would be like to be my dog many a time! She has a loving and sheltered life. Her needs are met, she gets treats. Autumn is loved and shown a a great     deal of affection which she soaks up to the point of sheer bliss and wagging tail.
delightful, vivid colors
patterns, shapes
almost perfect in design!
They flutter, they flit, they fly. Wouldn't you like to be able to do that?
and they bring smiles to people's face -
be it young or old...
Would you like to be a horse
galloping in a field of green,
a sassy cat perched in a window watching the squirrels play, a child again?
I think I might be a soaring bird.... but then I'm quite content being me too!
I'd love to hear from you, Jennifer