Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Laurel Tunic and Musings of a Veteran Homeschool Mom, plus my Minestrone Recipe!

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you:  compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.   ~Colossians 3:12

Laurel by Colette Patterns  One of my re-do creations I made into a Collette Laurel.   I have worn this and worn this and worn this gals!  I made it from a black wool-like wrap around skirt that had become a bit big.  I thought to myself...Ya know?  This is an awful lot of nice fabric! So clip I went, and made a sleeveless  jumper tunic from it.   I like black under black with silver hoop earrings, wide legged relaxed black yoga pants and I'm ready to head on out!  I keep it simple, it's a go-to outfit and I can exhibit kindness and love when I can dress and go feeling good and unhurried. : )

I really like this Laurel pattern from Collette.  I have also made a seersucker one with matching wide leg pants.  These tunics remind me a lot of when I was a little girl, say around '68 and when we went to school and it was freezing outside we could wear pant-suits, not pants but pant-suits and certainly not jeans, you would get sent home in jeans! : )  When we went to church only pant-suits were acceptable. I think they had sense then wouldn't you agree?  I know my daughters would!

When I do these Laurel tunics or my Laurel knee length dress, I personally omit the back darts, that's just me.  On the tunics worn over pants it gives me a bit more wiggle room.  If I do another Laurel dress I may try the back darts, it would probably be rather pretty.  We shall see.   I used bias tape for a quick facing.  And I also omitted perfectionism!   There are some seams here and there from the skirt, where one piece of fabric was not quite large enough.  It's okay, it works!  It works well!  Yay!  If it looks good from three feet away...I'm good.  Yes indeedie.  A 70% works.

I think tunics are great, for one reason, I for one don't really like to display my fanny to the world, I feel vulnerable like that.  *wriggles nose*.

This photo is enhanced a bit.  Edit:  Photo has been removed...Jem took it on my tablet and I applied a few techniques. Not sure if it makes me look better or worse! Such is life, we have to do what we have to do-s to make ourselves look decent in the afternoon...after a tired ol' day.  It reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird... The opening of the movie with the southern lady narrating...(Could be me)...

...Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning.  Ladies bathed before noon, after their three oclock naps, and by nightfall were like soft tea-cakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

People moved slowly then.  They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything.  A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer...

....  Well I don't know what my excuse is but I feel like a wilted something or another even on a sunny winter afternoon!  *big southern smile*.

Speaking of To Kill a Mockingbird, (One of my favorite movies ever)  ..I have been listening to the soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein.  *Oh. So. Lovely*.   It brings back memories of the little town I am from...the homes, no sidewalks..the precious people there.  My dad growing up there, both he and my mom, he a blonde curly headed little boy, mother with dark brown curls...a German family and an Italian family.  Pasta dinners in a simple home, laughter, good eats and love, love, love.  No diamonds, no custom curtains....just love and care from my Italian grandparents.  That is what is real and what is Eternal right?

Getting things accomplished isn't nearly as important as taking time for love.   ~Janette Oke

Here in the forest the soundtrack rings deep in my heart...
  Oh the emotions and memories from these times...How old are you Mrs. Amelia?  I am 54 dear one.  Our daughters are now 21 to 32, they are here too and I enjoy every minute possible, they are in and out doing life.  It seems it was just yesterday I was teaching phonics to our precious little girls...Just yesterday.

Here's some NEWS:

loading ... The book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee will have a published sequel this summer!  Harper Lee had actually written another book before To Kill a Mockingbird that has been found and Harper Lee in her golden years will be publishing it this summer!   Is that not something?  I am excited about it. Yes indeedie!

What else has this veteran homeschool mom, everlearning been listening to?  Our daughter Joycie and I listened to James Taylor on the way to the grocery store in smalltown the other day...You must picture our drive to the grocery in smalltown.  It's down a skinny road once made for model T cars.  It's through the beautiful forest with dripping oaks and open green pastures... It's magnificent and we count our blessings for this beautiful painting of life here.  It's a simple life and I like that.  The Walmart is the tiniest you've ever seen, shocking if you are from the city, the grocery is the old fashioned size...Dollar General is great fun.  An old 1920's jewelry store is still in operation...It's really great if you see it.  If you really, really see.  

It is my calling to treat every human being with grace and dignity, to treat every person, whether encountered in a palace or a gas statin, as a life made in the image of God.   ~Sheila Walsh

It's a strange feeling listening to this James Taylor song with our 28 year old daughter...I fell in love with this song when I was around eleven...The Vietnam war was raging and things were very uneasy in the culture and I could so sense it as a little girl, I had longed for a sweet childhood and it was turning into a drug culture...It was upsetting to me back then...I sensed it the first time I noticed my Italian Grandma's Life Magazine with Paul McCartney and Twiggy in it..I could. just. tell.  When I saw that magazine I was no older then second grade.  James looks like he is doing well, I think Jesus did look upon him as the song he wrote says.  I like James, he is the same infp personality type I am.   I also like to see him in his older years, for he also reminds me of my stepdad in the 90s who is with God and is sorely missed.  Sorely missed.  Have you ever had someone you loved dearly, and suddenly they were gone?

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Here are three books I've read or are in the process of reading and am enjoying, or have enjoyed!

At present:  Dominion by Matthew Scully, former speech writer to George W. Bush, he shares some very important thoughts on the rights of animals and how we must not diss the present suffering.   Factory Farms are shameful, there is no way the Lord blesses that!...and many (most) Christians ignore it or are willfully ignorant of it.  The writer is amazing and brings out some much needed, timely points.  Refreshing conviction and common sense coupled with biblical mercy and justice.  He also addresses the unbelievable cold attitudes and jesting about animal suffering that to me?  Totally ruin a Christian witness and personally it grieves my heart greatly.  Please check the amazon link out for more info.  So far, a must-read!

At present:  Sergeant Stubby:  How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation.  Oh my, what can I say?  I just started this book and am smitten!  Fascinating book!  I've fallen in love with this precious dog as I have our own precious fur angels...

Finished and will read again:  The Lessons of Saint Francis, How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life   Great lessons in this book...Francis of Assisi, wow what a neat soul.  The first half of the book is especially good.  It is written by John Michael Talbot.  Are you familiar with his wonderful praise music?  I am not a practicing Catholic, Baptist or any of the above in case you are wondering. : )  I like to consider myself Juris Naturalist.  I go with Christ.

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Now for my recipe to share!

This Minestrone turned out SO good!

This serves our family of six adults with a bit of leftover too.

Amelia's Minestrone Soup

This is a very filling soup, the quinoa makes for great nutrition and a most soothing addition.  The overall flavor and fragrance is that of an old world Italian home.


2 onions (cut)

8 garlic cloves or so (sliced)

6 fresh roma tomatoes or so (cut in half slices)

3 tsp. dried basil at least

6 yellow potatoes or more if small in size.  (cut in very large chunks)  I leave skin on.

a small 12 oz. bag of frozen green beans

a small 12 oz. bag of frozen italian vegetables

3 small bags of 12 oz. frozen lima beans

1 cup of quinoa (I used the regular size bag which was a little under one cup)

10 cups of water with a couple of veggie broth cubes thrown in

a jar of tomato basil pasta gravy

2 veggie broth cubes

salt and peppa to taste ; )

Olive oil

Now to cook!

I use a most liberal amount of olive oil and simmer the chopped onion until transparent, a little browning won't hurt the taste of onion.  Then I add sliced garlic, but simmer only until fragrant! Any more will make your garlic bitter!  (Just ask my Grandma Oddo from Naples!)

Then add the sliced roma tomatoes and sautee til very soft.

Add salt, pepper and basil.

Add your water and veggie broth cubes, pasta gravy.   When it comes to a boil you may add your frozen veggies.

Last but not least...The last 30 minutes or so, add the yellow potato chunks and quinoa until tender .



I hope you all are having a wowee week.

Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.  ~A.W. Tozer

We do not need to search for heaven, over here or over there, in order to find our eternal Father.  In fact, we do not even need to speak out loud, for though we speak in the smallest whisper or the most fleeting thought, He is close enough to hear us.   ~Teresa of Avila

The Lord...is close to all who call on Him sincerely.  ~Psalm 45:17-18  

Signing off from the Forest Cathedral,   Til the next time...   Take care Loves,     ~Amelia


Beloved's Redheaded Bride said...

I thought of you as soon as I heard she was doing a second book! I know you were so tickled pink to hear that!

Those looks like very interesting books. I would love to know your thoughts on the Francis book. "adding simplicity to one's daily life"!

The quote about making everyone feel special was so good so they know Christ was very good. I will be meditating on it! It quickened my heart!

Amelia said...

Isn't it exciting about her new book? I think it is so intriguing...and it was written *first*. Wow. : )

The Francis book is worth reading for sure, it does have some catholic doctrine in it here and there that one may not agree with but the basic teachings on simplicity and avoiding busyness and noise...achieving true Peace through Christ is excellent. The writer also shares how Francis stood against the positions in the church then and refused them! Very neat and great thoughts to ponder.

Yes, I do believe that some of the best friends ever are people who I have known through the years who work at the gas station and the grocery store etc. True saints of God in all of His humility. Many are the true flowers in life often overlooked. There is a lady that works at our grocery store, she has been there for years and she always, always, always blesses our hearts in her attitude and smile. Her name is Willie and she now walks with a limp and has salt and pepper hair...but her smile is ever glowing and her words are love straight from Christ. No matter what she says she encourages. Amazing saint of God.

Our children will catch so much of this...They are watching us and how we observe. : )

Beloved's Redheaded Bride said...

Mrs. Amelia. I would have responded back to this before but I got locked out of my blog. I finally got unlocked.

Thanks so much for your wisdom. I have thought over and over again about that quote and I believe I am going to post it on fb. It speaks volumes to me and I really want to pattern my life after it!

I hope you are doing well. I will catch up with your sweet post soon!

Congrats on the announcement the other day as well! - Carmen

Amelia said...

Thank you Carmen! <3 I just saw this comment, so glad the quote spoke to your heart! : ) I hope to post soon, it's a bit busy around here! Ha! Ha!