The First Year of Life

I was blessed to carry and give birth to a son. That is the wonderful
news. When placed in my arms I kissed Patrick hello and I kissed him
again to say goodbye. No there was nothing wrong, truly! The second
kiss was to remind myself that he was only on loan to me. It was so
important to me to give our son “roots” and ” wings”. Mr. Pat and I would
both give our son the roots of love, values, and a nurturing foundation.
We also wanted to give him the freedom and opportunity to discover, to
learn and to grow reaching for his own dreams.

Well we had our plan but I knew nothing about infant care. Well, I did know what end needed diapering and Patrick and I had a great time
figuring out how he would be fed. I will never forget the beauty, joy and delight when I pressed and milk streamed into his mouth. The doctor came in as we were figuring this out and smiled at us.

Mr. Pat worked two jobs the first fifteen years of our marriage. My college
years were 15 years in future. There was no internet to ask questions. There were many things I did not know. I did know I was a “MOM” and babies don’t come with instructions so I better get busy.

During the coming week I will share with you some of the knowledge I acquired as a mom, a student of early childhood education and my employment working with parents and babies, prenatal to five years of age. Joy!

Happy New Year!

It is always a bit sad when it is time to tuck away Christmas. This year was not nearly as sad because I planned ahead for the changes I wanted to make. I took pictures of some of the things I have done and will share them with you. It is very important to me that you understand that this was done without my leaving home and using things I had.

First this fall I made new living room curtains from sheets. I had some blue gingham and made tie-backs.

curtians

I had a finished a snowman quilt and hung it from the shelf Patrick made.

nowman quilt

My wedgewood dishes are blue and white. Patrick worked cleaning out an old house and he choose these dishes for me as payment. Joy! I put light blue candles in my grandmom’s wooden candle holders. I placed my pieced tree and a hand carved bird in front of my tree.

couch and quilts

I placed a quilt that has lots of blue in it on the back of the sofa. The cover on the sofa is a painter’s drop cloth.

Drop cloths come in three sizes, and each time they are washed they get softer. My coffee table and the quilt ladder were made locally and very affordable.

coffee table

To finish I did a walk through to be sure there was no clutter. In the kitchen I left my shelf with my snowman up and put a blue and white tablecloth and blue gingham valences in the kitchen. The cloth and valences are home stitched. I sew neat old white buttons on the valence hems.

snowman shelf

The little pair of gloves hanging from the snow shelf were Patrick’s when he was little. My mom got them for him. Can you find little Patrick on the shelf?

Here is a view of my kitchen.

See if you can use what you have and make small changes that make you smile. I made the casing for my snowman hanging and hung it on the front door to say welcome.

Patrick's Snowman
Patrick’s snowman

I hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun!

With very best wishes for blessings in the new year, Trudy


Homemade Bread

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Today Miss Trudy makes homemade bread.  From scalding the milk to dissolving the yeast through kneading, rising, punching down to final rising in the pan and baking.

There is so much beauty in bread
Beauty of sun and soil,
Beauty of patient toil
Winds and rains have caressed it,
Christ often blessed it.
Be gentle when you touch bread.
-Author unknown

RECIPE:  White Batter Bread
from: The Margaret Rudkin Pepperridge Farm Cookbook

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 20 minutes before loaves are ready to bake.

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup warm water

2 packages of yeast
4 1/4 cups unsifted flour

Scald the milk stir in the sugar, salt and the butter.
Cool to lukewarm.
Measure the very warm water into a large warm bowl.
Sprinkle in the yeast;stir until dissolved.
Add the lukewarm milk mixture.
Stir in the flour; the batter will be fairly stiff.
Beat until well blended, about 2 minutes.
(I kneaded the bread, set it on wax paper, washed my mixing bowl
and while it was still warm buttered the bowl.) I next put the batter
in the warm bowl and covered it with a buttered piece of wax paper.)
Let rise in a warm place free from draft, until more than doubled in
bulk, about 40 minutes.
Stir the batter down.
Beat vigorously, about 1/2 minutes.
Turn into 2 greased loaf pans, 9 by 5 by 3 inches.
Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for about 50 minutes
(I divided the batter between 3 smaller pans and baked it at 350 for 40 minutes.)