Welcome to DreamChallenge

Having a dream to share my knitting creations, cooking adventures and caregiving stories with others is now a reality. I bet you know someone right now who is at home taking care of someone they love. A phone call, e-mail, note card or some food would all be appreciated. Sometimes an offer to stand in for that person is a wonderful gift. Think about getting a hair cut, what if there is no time or person to sit with your loved one? What can you do to help someone else, or if you are that caregiver, how can you get people to understand you would like to see them or have their help? Knitting helps me stay calm. Knitting helps my blood pressure stay normal. What helps you? Cooking is an adventure for me. My husband is a dedicated 'clean-up' person. Join us on this part of our life's journey.

Choosing to send out cards is one way I stay in touch with others. I address cards on Sunday and my husband puts them in the mail on Monday. There is always someone who needs a card.

After several months of blogging there is a reality that lots of people really enjoy this activity. Positively delightful people, living life to the best of their ability. There is such fun in hearing from others who have ideas, stories, crafts all to share with those who choose to read. Thank you my new friends in this unknown world/way of communicating.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Every (almost) spare minute reading blogs.

Thank you Karen for this wonderful opportunity to share time and our creative spaces with people all over the world.  Since I spend most of Saturday and Sunday reading blogs, decided better take care of the garden and a few things around the house.  Put stew meat, potatoes, onions and tomatoes in the crock pot and went out to the garden. 

Wait, what is that???Right, two beautiful pea blossoms.  They have not given up with all this heat.  So, of course, I did not pick all the vines. 
ohen I saw all the beautiful kale and ask my Bob, husband,to please pick all he could, so he did.  A whole sink full of kale ready to wash, strip and steam.  Ready for the freezer.  Yes, it is finished. 
Do you ever put kale in your
brown beans?  Well I like it that way. 

My friend, Vicki, who is also sharing her awsome Yarn Room Creative Space http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.com/2010/06/sacred-yarn-room-my-creative-space.html  told me I was NEVER to cook brown beans again.  LOL  It seems that Italians just do not understand that tomato paste does not go in everything and the beans were, well shall we say, awful.  I took them out of the crock pot, put them on the stove with onion, salt and pepper and cooked them another hour.  We ate them and Bob said they were good, but we both know, next time Mrs. Vicki will be cooking our beans.

Sure hope each and every one of you are as happy as I am with finding new friends.  Please come again, Jan

Friday, June 18, 2010

Space for DreamChallenge

Since I am a very new blogger, please forgive the fact that a picture is first and not a very sincere WELCOME to each and every one of you who chose to visit my blog.  I am so grateful to Karen for sponsoring this "Share your Space Day". 

This is my evening knitting space. 
I use this space to be close to my husband because when the news comes on this is the couch where Bob sits. He loves to watch the news and I love to be near him, especially if it is a work day for me and I have been gone all day.

Sometimes we have such special gifts that just the feel will give delight and happiness. 
That is what these two sets of VERY OLD wooden hand carved needles do for me. 
 I just love the feel and smell.  And Yes, I do knit with them as I sit in my corner of the couch.  They are a very special gift from my housekeeper and friend.  Juanita is a blessing to Bob and me.

Growing up in an Italian Household allowed me to share a room for many years with an Aunt.  Then when I became a teen and was given the small room at the back of the hall of my very own, it was a joy.  Today, our home affords me space abound, but my craft space is mine alone.  This is my space for bill paying and keeping my Etsy Account up to date.  That is the Ohio River in the background.

As I sit in my space in the pantry, this is the beautiful rock garden entry that Bob built.  It is lovely and has seasonal flowers as well as a flowing red Japanese maple tree in the background. The pantry in our home was built so I could look out the window as I sewed on the same sewing machine my parents gave me when I began sewing classes in High School. Remember Home Economics classes???I totally loved my Home Ec. classes and learned so very much. Thank You Mrs. Gooch where ever you are. 

Here is my space to sew and store yarn.

 Bob, my husband, put the shelves together so I could ORGANIZE my yarn. Now those of you who have yarn realize that just putting the yarn into color combinations will never work, but we are going to give it a try. He and our youngest daughter did an excellent job trying to help me be organized.

We all need a space to store our beads.  This lovely wooden wine holder was just what I needed to add to the pantry space.  All my beads and nylon thread for securing them to the garments fit nicely into this wooden box.  Little did my brother and sister-in-law know what the box would be used for after we finished the refreshing wine.  Thank You both for this treasurer. 
Notice the antique Coke bottles.  Coke is my choice drink.

We all have little scraps and I find keeping them in this jar is an easy way to see what colors are available.

Sometimes we have favorite yarns.  Here are some of mine. 
This beautiful woven basket is just the place for my special treasurers.

Even though the space is small, it is mine.  The view is fabulous and the lighting very good.

Here I am making a credit card holder using left over fabric and lace.
This creation makes nice little gifts.

In the spring, summ and fall, I may be found out on the patio enjoying the river, boats and animals.  We have ducks that think we are their sole source of food.  Then the birds sing as though they know us.  Just beautiful.
This particular yarn took me a LONG time to find.  I was looking for just the right colors for a little blonde.  Now that I have found it, the sweater will be finished in a few weeks.

This table scape is my first attempt at a craft sale.  Our local church Our Lady of Fatima, decided to combine a rummage sale with a craft sale.  It was great fun setting up.  Normally I just knit for friends and now that Etsy craft space is in my life, this seemed like a good idea. 

My space is a treasure and I am so thankful you took the time to visit. 
Please come again and be my friend.
May Blessings and Peace fill you and your space.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mushroom Pea Soup

Wanted to share this delicious soup with my new blog friends.  The fresh peas were not in the original recipe, but they were on the counter so I threw in a handfull or so.  Fabulous addition to an already good soup.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 fresh green onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
sald and black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound wite buton mushroom caps,  may use an assortment of fresh muchrooms which I did not have, rinsed and sliced
1 tsp. basil finely chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) dices tomatoes with liquid
6 cups water
1 pk onion lipton dry soup mix
2 beef bullion cubes
hand full or two of fresh peas
1/4 to 1/2 cup of broken in bite size pieces of whole wheat spaghetti (could use any pasta shape)
Bring to a low boil, reduce heat with lid on pot and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve with hard bread.  Enjoy.

Fresh Peas

My husband's raised bed garden has produced a wonderful crop of peas this year.  I love fresh produce and enjoy new recipes using the fresh items.  Here are today's crop:
Straight from Bob's Garden to our kitchen. This is the third crop. The peas are tender and almost finished producing for this crop. I made pea salad and mushroom soup with fresh peas. Cooking is such fun.
Pea Salad:  After blanching and removing the peas from their pods, chop one fresh green onion, 1/2 cup fresh parsley and slice 1 cup of fresh mushrooms.  Sprinkle olive oil over mixture and add 2 tablespoons of low fat hellman's mayo.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss lightly so the peas and mushrooms are not mashed.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.  Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.  I added 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese for a little protein and color.  Delicious.