Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kindred Connection--Bursary of Bliss Edition

Hope everyone is having a great wednesday thus far!  I wanted to join in Kristin's kindred connection party today..its a good one that requires some thought and reflection!  Hope you'll enjoy this edition and join in the party over at her blog!

Windy Poplars

What are you feelings about a Bursary of Bliss? Are you conscience of yours? Do you surround yourself with opportunities to feed your soul daily?

I'll make a list of the things that I find comforting to me and that soothes my soul....
  1. Being with the one I love
  2. Fresh sheets
  3. A purring cat
  4. Sunsets at the ocean
  5. Being on the receiving end of a hug
  6. The haze after an evening rainfall
  7. A freshly bloomed rose
  8. A young child at church
  9. Seeing a young couple in love
  10. Talking with an elderly person (and seeing that "twinkle" in their eye!)
  11. Hearing stories of the "old days"
  12. Coming across my favorite song on the radio
  13. Getting a card in the mail from a good friend
  14. Seeing a rainbow!
  15. Looking at the shelves of my pantry knowing that I put alot of time and effort into canning our produce
  16. A goodnight kiss...


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home Tour--Bedrooms

Its another week of sharing our homes over at the Home Tour series at Natalie's Extraordinary Love blog!  I have two rooms I'll be sharing with everyone this week and I'll be honest..they aren't much to brag about!  The first room is my husband's "hunting room"/guest room.  We bought a futon last summer while he was laid off from his was about all we could afford at the time and though its functional for the room..its not how I would go about decorating it!  Then again..thats why its his room! 

The second room I'll be showing is my room/crafting room.  My sewing machine has its home in here..which I love having it by the window so I can look out into our backyard while sewing if I wish! 

Also my makeup vanity is in this room.  It makes getting ready so much easier since my husband works the night shift and I have to get ready in another room other than our master bedroom! 

Our cat, Thomas, is currently taking up residence in my little room.  When I went to feed him today outside (he's an outside boy) I discovered he was limping pretty badly.  We can't find a thing wrong with him and he doesn't seem to be in any pain we're going to give it a few days and thought it would be a good idea if he rested indoors so as to not try to overdo it!  Lately he had gotten into the habit of getting up onto one of our smaller buildings that contains our well (think Snoopy).  So we're thinking he may have possibly sprained a muscle jumping off the building!  Please pray for our little guy!!

The one thing about my room I'm not crazy about is the use of 2 different types of paneling (can we say..YUCK! and 'what were the previous owners thinking?').  I'd love to paint this room but haven't been able to decide on a color for a couple reasons.  One..I don't want anything too dark b/c this room is the darkest room of the house (it gets the least amount of natural light)..and since I feel like I've used cream in enough rooms of the house already..I really don't want do paint this room that color!  The second reason..if we ever have a little "bundle of joy"..this room will probably be his/her I have that to think about as well!  Any suggestions?

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  In case you've missed any of my previous posts of the home tour, you can still check out the Master Bedroom, Living Areas, and Kitchen/Dining Rooms!  Hope to see you next week!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Munchies-Mud Brownies

Do you have the monday munchies yet?  I hope you do after you read the recipe I'm about to share with you today!  It's an old standby and I've lost count of the times I've whipped up this dessert when I was just in the mood for something chocolate..needed a quick go-to dessert for a church function..or when it had been too long since I'd last made it!  I call it "Mud Brownies"..sort of a take off of the old recipe Mississippi Mud Cake that my dad used to make alot when I was growing up (he did alot of mom sticked to meals mostly but baked when she was able to get me and my dad out of the kitchen long enough!).  Anyways..I "converted" this recipe since I'm such a HUGE fan of brownies (who isn't?) and I personally think its way better than the original made with a cake-base! 

Mud Brownies

4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Baking Chocolate

3/4 cups butter or margarine (1 1/2-sticks)
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extraxt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13x9 pan with baking spray (like Pam).  Microwave the chocolate squares and butter in a microwaveable safe bowl, stirring occassionally as to not burn the chocolate, for about 2 minutes.  In a bowl, mix the sugar and chocolate mixture, then add eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the flour and nuts (if using) until all is combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes, checking often for doneness using a toothpick (when it comes out clean..its done!). 

As soon as you remove the brownies from the oven, spread an 8 oz. jar of marshmellow cream over the brownies.  Let cool completely.

1 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup evaporated milk (can use regular milk also)
1 box (or about 2 cups) powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa

Sift the sugar and cocoa.  Mix with melted butter.  Add the rest of ingredients and mix until smooth.  Spread over the cooled brownies.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Devotional

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes : but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 12:15


Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Just wanted to wish everyone a "happy weekend"!  I'm not going to be blogging for a couple days (though I do have my sunday devotional already pre-posted)..Damon is off for the weekend and we got a busy couple days ahead of us!  I'll be sure to return next week in full force and hopefully refreshed as well!  Until then..everyone have a fun, eventful, safe, and stress-free weekend!!  :-)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

I thought coming up with something to be thankful for today might be a little hard.  I had such aggrevation on wednesday (which this is still wed. night for me as I type this) with putting a big scratch on my glasses.  Its just been on my mind constantly of how careless I was.  Something I've always done is to take good care of my glasses.  I guess you could say it was my first major mishap I've had with any pair I've ever owned (and I've worn glasses since 6th grade, btw) I've done nothing but kick myself for not paying close attention to what I was doing.  Anyways though..there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, right?  I have to say..I'm very thankful I started this blog a little over a month ago.  So far, I've met some great people, and I'm really hoping to meet more of you bloggers out there!!!  Please stop by..and if you do..please leave me a comment!  You don't know how much it makes my day!!  I'm currently getting it set up so I have a page on facebook just so I can link up a networked connection..hopefully that will help draw more people over to Country Roads.  I'm thankful God led me to start a blog..cause gives me something to really look forward to each night.  I'm hopeful to meet new people, to share some laughs, and our adventures in life along the way!


Kindred Connection Party--Movie Edition!

Windy Poplars

Time for another party at Kristin's place!!  Hope I don't disappoint in this one as I'm not into movies as much as the rest of the world (or so it seems to me anyways!).  Hop on over to the party if you haven't already! 

1. What was your favorite movie as a child?

Would have to be The Wizard of Oz for sure!  I remember my mom telling me how she'd watch it when she was a kid..and how her grandmother watched it as well (with her I'm tvs back in THOSE days!)..and that just thrilled me knowing that!

2. If you could live in any movie as your fictional world, which one would it be?

Hmmm..probably Hope Floats but not the circumstances that surrounds the movie (aka..humiliating divorce..death in family..etc..etc!)..but I just LOVE the small town feel and the laid backness (is that a word?) associated w/the movie!  Looks like a place I feel I would fit right into!

3. Have you ever seen a midnight showing, or hosted a movie release party? Tell us about it!

Nope I've never had the opportunity.  I would love, however, to go to a drive-in theatre..I've never experienced that before and it just looks like it would be so neat!
4. What movie release are you most looking forward to this year?

Well we have set a record this year so far and seen 2 movies (both animated (kiddie) flicks), Shrek and we're doing exceptional this year thus far!  I havent really seen anything advertised thats really "caught my eye"..but Valentines Day is one I've been wanting to maybe I'll rent it now that its out on dvd!
5. Are you a theatre goer, renter, or wait-and-buyer?

We rent more than any of the I'd have to go w/that..but we do love actually going out to the movies!  Its something different to do for a change and is just a nice experience!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The crazy things dogs do..

I only wish I had taken my camera with me this afternoon...

We gave our 15 year old beagle, Blaze, a bath down in the creek this evening.  It was such a HOT day outside we  Damon figured it would be a great evening to give her a bath.  Serve two purposes basically, to get her clean AND cool her off at the same time!  Not to mention cool our tootsies in the nice, cool creek water.  :-)  She was doing good..until..we got to the part of rinsing her off.  Does anyone else's dog start whining at an ear piercing decibal when bathtime comes around?  Blaze has a tendency to do this everytime we bath her..though today I have to admit..she did much better than usual.  Still though..its embarrassing!!  I wait for any minute for someone to come running to where we are at saying, "What are you DOING to that dog anyways?!?!?".  Its that bad!  The last time we bathed her..our neighbor heard her howl (if you want to call it that)..and mind you..its not a real close distance from our houses to the creek!  But thankfully..after all is said and done with..Blaze is a happy camper and acts like nothing ever happened..until the next go around that is!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Home Tour--Master Bedroom

Today we'll be visiting my master bedroom in the home tour over at the blog, Extraordinary Love.  Hope you'll join along in tour!!  The first picture is how our bedroom looks as you walk through the door from the living room.  I've got it decked out in, what else, americana! 

I made a couple of wall signs a few years back using the tea staining method I read about online.  So simple and so fun..though I can't remember step by step how I did it now..but it wasn't hard I promise!  Here is one of them.

This picture is beside our bed..I love the sign I bought in Amish Country a couple years ago hanging above our dresser chest.

Looking towards the master can see my jewelry armorie in the distance..

Overall I really like our master bedroom.  When we first got our house last year..I thought for sure I'd be wanting to paint over the wood paneling in here...but after I got my decor in place..I thought it actually went with everything pretty well!  Though its not exactly what I'd pick myself..its alright, imo!  The couple things I wish is that our bedroom was bigger (would be nice to fit a little loveseat and a blanket chest at the foot of the bed) and that we had another window!  I dont think I've ever seen a bedroom with just one window before..odd..but then again the previous owners were quite odd in how they did things with our place!

Hope you enjoyed the tour..see you again next week!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Munchies

Good morning everyone!!  Hope yall had a nice weekend!  Thought I'd share with you a recipe I sort of "invented" last week and it turned out divine!!!  Its really a no-brainer type recipe..nothing complicated and GREAT for the summer months!  I was out shopping at my local Kroger's..looking to purchase some vanilla wafers for the banana pudding I was going to make for my step-daughter's arrival Memorial Day Weekend and found *gasp*, lemon wafers!!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  Had never seen them before and made a mental note to self..make some sort of lemonish pudding using those in the near future!  So last week I was in the mood for something lemon-y (I LOVE lemon stuff, btw) and created this..I call it "lemon cheesecake pudding"..YUMO! 

1 (8 oz) carton Cool Whip
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar (approximately)
1 large box cook and serve lemon pudding, prepared according to package directions and cooled
1 box lemon wafers

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Fold in 3/4 of the cool whip until all is combined.  In a trifle bowl, or any large bowl, layer lemon wafers, cooled lemon pudding, and cream cheese/cool whip mixture.  I made 2 layers total.  Top with remaining reserved cool whip and top with crushed lemon wafers.  Store in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Devotional

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly...But his delight is in the law of the Lord...he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water....

Psalm 1:1a, 2a, 3a


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Purse Addiction

Ok..I admit..I have an addiction to purses.  I've never denied it, mind you, but I never really realized how many I've collected over the past few years until we moved last year.  You know how most women need a closet just for shoes (I'm guilty of that too..but thankfully I have a closet just for my shoes now!)..I seriously need one just for my purses!!  I have them all crammed in the bottom of my closet and frankly..its a little ridiculous.  Of course, I had the same problem at our old house.  It got so bad I had to make a list of all the purses I owned, complete with description, so I wouldn't accidentally "forget" about a particular favorite, or one I'd want to use for any given season. At last count..I had well over 20 (can't find the list though I'm pretty sure its not updated).  Anyways, the other night I changed out my bags.  I was using one of my favorites (and ironically one you see most every woman carry), my knock-off Dolce & Gabanna giraffe print and changed out to a homemade, yard sale find, americana purse.  Great for the summer!  I love that little purse!  Well to my suprise, today while out and about in Charleston, I receieved 2..count them..2 compliments on my little handmade purse!!!  I found it funny..since I own many other purses that are well..better looking so to speak..that I'd receive compliments on that particular one!  It made my day though and just goes to show you..homemade never goes out of style!!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Coal Miners Tribute

I guess most of you have heard the song "Coal Miner's Daughter" is a song that runs true for many here where I live!  I am a coal miners daughter (though my dad is retired now)..and most currently..a coal miners wife.  Coal mining is in most everyone's bloodline in southern WV and is something all are proud of as well.  This week..we are celebrating coal mining in my county with the annual Coal Festival!  Damon and I headed down this evening to walk around for a bit like we always do.  Its not a huge festival by any means, we usually go just to see who we can run into and chat with for a bit, and of course see the mining displays they have each year.  This year, with the tragedy that struck that unfortunately took 29 miners lives, they set up a display in front of the courthouse as a tribute to those who had fallen. 

I have to say I'm very proud and thankful for every coal miner.  I'm thankful they put their lives on the line each day not only for their own families to provide for them..but for everyone so we can have electricity for our everyday needs.  I can't put into words how proud I am of my husband for working in the career he does.  Its not one most would want to choose by any means..and isn't cut out for most.  It does, however, provide for my family, and for that I am most thankful.  Here is a piece of machinery that Damon has operated in the give you an idea of the type of machinery it takes to do their jobs.

Hope everyone found something to be thankful for this thursday!  :-)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kindred Connection Party--Pet Edition!

Welcome to another kindred connection party..if you've never joined one..why not give it a shot now?  Its alot of fun and a great way to meet new people!  Just link up over at Kristin's blog and post the party on your site!

Windy Poplars


1. What pets currently reside at your house?

(If you don't have any now, tell us what you grew up with)

Currently, we have 3 pets total!  My biggest baby is Raven (aka "Ravey") along with Thomas and our beagle/curr mix, Blaze!

2. What is one really strange thing your pet(s) does?

Ravey is very strange as she knows what certain words mean!  She knows treats, dry food, birdie, and pray for daddy (and she does help me pray for Damon almost every night by laying over my arms while I'm praying!). 

Thomas is a special cat in that he adopted us after we moved into our new home last year!  He only has one eye (bless his heart) so he is one special kitty...he LOVES Damon and loves to help him most times you will find him sitting in the garden "watching the corn grow" as we often say!  He hops around the yard like a kangaroo and oh did I mention..he thinks he's a dog?!  Yeah..every time we take Blaze for a walk..Thomas comes too! 

We just found this summer that Blaze LOVES to eat popsicles!  Her and the neighbors dog, Lady, will have "popsicle parties" quite often..both crunching away on their frozen treats!

3. Now fess up here: give us your nicknames for your pets (we KNOW you have them- and we KNOW they're good)!

LOL!  Ok Ravey goes by many names such as Ravus, Boogie, Suggie Bug, Ravey May, Sow Cat (Damons term for her.."sow" aka--female pig..LOL).  Thomas goes by Tom Cat and Bubba and Blaze is sometimes referred to as Blazer!

4. Are your pets spoiled or not (grin)?

Oh definately YES!!!  Ravey is addicted to treats and is probably why at the last vet's visit..weighed in at a whopping 16 pounds..YIKES!

5. Insert pet pics here :-)

This is Thomas!

Miss Ravey!

And last but not least, Blaze!


Home Tour-Kitchen and Dining Rooms

This week we're sharing our kitchen and dining rooms with everyone..and I hope yall enjoy seeing mine!  I've decorated for the summer..which means americana!!  I'll start with the kitchen..I made this little valance last year after we moved in with some material I'd been hanging onto for forever to use for something special!  Nothing more special than making some curtains for your new home!!

My stove area..nothing special..but I do make sure to hang a coordinating dishtowel for each season....

A favorite picture I bought last year at a yard sale...

Ok...let's go to the dining room!  I LOVE the placemats I bought last year for my table!

Just finished making this valance in time for this post..I really made out with a great deal on the fabric at Hobby Lobby.  Notice Ravey sitting in the chair in the second picture!

My little jams and jellies cabinet I bought in Amish Country last year...

And lastly my little "catch-all" table.  It used to be my microwave cart in our old house..but since there is a space just for my microwave here in our new place..this now gets used for a mail station/bread box holder/display area for flowers!  As you can see the pretty flowers Damon bought for me at Walmart recently (isnt that sweet?)! 

Only thing I wish is that I had a nice hutch for this room!  Some of my dislikes for the kitchen would have to be the crazy "floating" cabinet over my stove (the one I mentioned last week that is visible from the living room).  We definately will have to work on a solution to that in the future!  I saw at Lowes about a month ago some gorgeous looks like granite but its not (its cheaper)..I don't remember what it was called but it literally stopped me in my tracks when I was walking past the display (anyone ever do that besides me?)!  I'd LOVE to have different countertops in the future (when we could afford it!) and it would be great to have smudge-proof stainless steel appliances also.  I wish our kitchen were bigger so we could have an island in the middle for prepping foods, etc..I've always found that an atractive feature in a kitchen. Also a pretty backsplash would be a great addition as the gray paneling thats in there isn't my taste.  As for the dining room...the sliding glass door (where my valance hangs) that the previous owners put in is pretty ridiculous (considering the main front door is right next to it!) and we've wanted to replace it with a big bay window (again..when we could afford it) thats probably my biggest pet peeve for that room.  Considering we had an eat-in kitchen in our previous home..I'm grateful to have a dining room!!

Hope everyone enjoyed looking at my pictures of our kitchen and dining rooms!!  Let me know what you think..I love comments from my readers!!  :-)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recent Relaxing Weekend..

Good evening everyone!  My hubby and I had such a great weekend (finally!) I wanted to share it with yall today along with some photos that I took while we were on our mini-getaway!  Everyone deserves to do this every now and then and I encourage anyone who has the time (and money) to re-visit your state..whether it be local or a few hours away.  We had been to Pipestem Resort State Park many times and love it very much there..its a very relaxing place to go that has many activities such as golfing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, etc, etc.  Though we only were able to spend one night..we made the most of our time and enjoyed all that we could!!  The main goal for us though was relaxation!!  After a few hectic previous weeks..enduring a bitterly cold winter..a summer-long layoff last year..and many other things I could name off..we were needing this!!! 

We stayed in the McKeever Lodge though I would have liked to of tried the Mountain Creek Lodge just for the experience.  To get to the Mountain have to ride on an aerial tram 3600 feet that carries you deep into the Bluestone Gorge.  That is the ONLY way to get to the vehicles..just the guests and nature!!  Can we say..ahhh?  Here is a picture of the tram that we took.

Like I said..we enjoyed some of the activities while we spent the night including the indoor pool and some putt-putt golf!!  They also had a fantastic seafood buffet the night we stayed!

Here is a picture of me being silly while driving around the park...

After we left on saturday..we stopped by an Amish Bakery near Hinton, WV that my dad told us about.  I wanted so badly to take pictures, but if you know about the Amish you know they don't like their pictures to be taken, so I had to hold my camera at bay.  They were selling many pastries, desserts, homemade bread, quilts, and fresh eggs!  You should have seen the cute eggs on display to purchase on the counter, 6 brown eggs and 6 pale blue/green eggs!!  Too cute!  We bought some sticky buns and a raspberry cinnamon roll type dessert (minus the was the best thing next to sliced bread!).  We headed onto Beckley afterwards and watched the movie Marmaduke for fun..its a cute movie if anyone is looking for a fun date night movie to watch anytime soon (though the newest 3D Shrek movie is much better IMO!).   Overall we had a GREAT weekend and felt so refreshed after returning home saturday only regret is that it didn't last longer..but then again..any type of vacation never lasts long enough, does it?

Have you taken any recent mini-getaways/vacations?