Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Re-entry and re-invent

My last post was a vent about being an un-employed teacher...Pic to the left shows my recent gig, being a  long term sub, Family and Consumer Science position, for a maternity leave, in an urban high school.  From September to mid November, I taught Child Development and On Your Own; both subjects I enjoyed thoroughly, though I was challenged to create plans and activities around what was left for me.  I worked hard at it, in my usual way, throwing myself into the assignment, spending hours planning and grading, and putting personal life aside.  It is my way...does it pay? You probably already know the answer.  I continue to put myself out there in the hopes of a real full time gig.  This one didn't materialize into a job, but I did make connections.

And I recently took off on a long weekend off from school, took a trip south with my daughter to investigate the possibility of a job opp and a move. Beach pic is of Hunting Island Beach, near Beaufort, SC.  Bro n law and sis n law vacation in Hilton Head frequently, we enjoyed a night and dinner with them at their lovely condo.  I so love the relaxed and comfy feel there and watching the job postings online, there seem to be more teaching jobs and a lower cost of living.  Will this be our future?  Don't know but have been praying on where we will be next.

News flash: after beginning this post, I have begun to bring my dream into fruition.  I have found a single room in a rental house in Beaufort, SC and hop to be able to drive there with hubby and daughter during Christmas break to be dropped off, move in, and pursue subbing and other opportunities for our family.  My goal is to be available for when the teaching position posts and when interviews begin.  Meeting with the teacher that is planning on retirement on my last visit, gave me hope to begin laying the groundwork for my teaching and spending our twilight years as southerners. I covet prayers as I take this bold leap, and live for the first time in 35 years of marriage without hubby in the same house.  I know a short break will make us all appreciate what we do to keep things going around our home.  A few months of living and exploring jobs and accomodations will give us the groundwork needed to make this major move from our home and family in Cleveland.

Crafting and tutorials, have been on the back burner for some months, but my attention now begins to turn to my Christmas workshop.  As usual, I am trying to create rather than buy.  I have seen some cutesy ideas online, and I love making things that re-cycle and reuse.  Here are a few of my latest thoughts...
My favorite cookie:  Speculaas  I have misplaced my mom's recipe, but this looks awful close.  I also have used my Spritz press, but the dough needs to be way softer to work well.  I have made them in a log, and simply sliced and rolled in sprinkles or pressed with cookie cutters.  They pack and mail best this way...A shout out to this web site, Taste of Home...

Dutch Speculaas

These Dutch spice cookies taste similar to the windmill cookies we enjoy in the United States. In Holland, it's tradition to mold the dough into the shape of St. Nicholas and serve the baked cookies on Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day).
30 ServingsPrep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
·         Waxed paper
·         1 cup butter, softened
 Dutch Speculaas·         1 cup packed dark brown sugar
·         Eggland's Best Eggs
·         1 tablespoon molasses
·         2 teaspoons grated orange peel
·         3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/2 cup finely ground almonds
·         3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·         1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
·         1/4 teaspoon white pepper
·         1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
·         1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
·         Milk and chopped sliced almonds
·         Trace template onto waxed paper; cut out. In a large bowl, cream
·         butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs,
·         molasses and orange peel. Combine the flour, ground almonds,
·         cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, ginger and
·         cardamom. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and
·         refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until easy to handle.
·         On a parchment paper-lined surface, roll a small amount of dough to
·         1/8-in. thickness. Trace around template or cut with floured 3-in.
·         holiday-shaped cookie cutters, leaving 1 in. between cookies. Remove
·         excess dough and reroll scraps if desired.
·         Slide a baking sheet under the parchment paper and dough. If using
·         template, trace decorative details with a toothpick. Brush cookies
·         with milk and sprinkle with chopped almonds as desired. Repeat with
·         remaining dough.
·         Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
·         Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
To Make Ahead: Dough can be made 2 days in advance. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out. Cookies can be baked 1 week ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen for up to 1 month.
© Taste of Home 2013

In my craft room are pieces and parts of lace, stiffened into making jewelry, I am hoping to finish up my little pretties for my co-workers and  to get in the mail, by the beginning of the week.  My southern family gets to have my homemade love, since I can't be there physically, most years.  I am heading to work soon, but reeling from very sad news from several directions.I always head to making something to soothe my soul.  What about you?  In this time of great happiness, sometimes the sad things seem even sadder, I try to focus on what we have...though I need constant reminding.  

Hope to post my crafty successes next post, till then...sweetness and goodness

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