Friday, January 11, 2013

Sadness and Cookies

Sadness this morning for several reasons in Blog World.  

Leontien Vandelaar lost her fight against cancer yesterday at noon, surrounded by loving family.  Leontien, as some of you know, emigrated from Holland, and, with her husband Bastiaan, worked at a huge dairy in Indiana.  Her blog is here.  You may also remember that bloggers united to send "Flowers to Leontien" and "Leaves to Leontien" last year, and she wrote in November how it made her feel to know that everyone was pulling for her.  A beautiful young woman, gone to her Maker too soon.  I hope everyone can stop and say a prayer for her family today. 

And one of our side-bar bloggers, Kerin, at "Always Fixin', Never Sittin'" has announced yesterday her decision to stop blogging.  She has had two lovely blogs, and did stop once before, last year.  How I will miss her posts... I suspected this was coming again, as she had stopped posting regularly.  She did come up against the dread Blogger freeze, but I am not sure knew that downloading Google Chrome or using Firefox would have solved it.  Her "Attitude of Gratitude" made me stop daily to say a thank you for my blessings.  Kerin, we will miss you! 

And speaking of the Google changes.... I find that since switching to Chrome to do my posts, they move along at the speed of light!  No more sitting here, waiting for things to load.  I am so very grateful to everyone who gave me the information to move things along. 

Today we were told that the temps would get up to the high sixties, after yesterday's rain.  Right now, at 2:19 PM as I type this, it's 57 degrees out. My plans of opening windows and airing the house out did not work out.  It is also very gray out, and looks like more rain. 

Keith has gone to Salina for a meeting, so I am "batching it" today. 

Two years ago, I bought this from my sister in law, and put it on a shelf in the laundry room, and NEVER USED IT.  

I was intimidated, and I'm not kidding. 

So, all along, I've been using a 20 year old hand mixer. 

Four days ago, I got this out and thoroughly cleaned it.  Then, I let it sit on the sink all week while I studied it and was very sick on Wednesday, the day I had planned to bake.  

I had to figure out how to raise and lower it, etc., because I got no book with it, and also, how to put the attachments on. 

My gosh, I was stunned at it's ease of use. 

Here's what I was making.  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies... look how big they are! 
You can find the recipe here from the Brown Eyed Baker. 

Keith will be surprised when he gets home.  Someone else ate one, though, when I turned my back.  And she wanted more....

While I made the cookies (most of which will be going to son Jim's family tonight or tomorrow morning), 
I had soup cooking on the stove.  I have become very adept at using small amounts of meat left from meals to start soup or stew batches.  We are trying very hard to cut down on large amounts of meat, and eating more vegetables and fruits.  I had maybe an ounce or two of meat left from our Swiss steak meal the other night, and made soup with it and plenty of vegetables, and that was my lunch. 

We had a sourdough boule of bread with our dinner last night, and I had a piece off of it with my soup.  Now the soup is on low, and I'll have another bowl at dinner time.  Keith will be back fairly late, and I'm thinking a small bowl of soup might just satisfy him if he's hungry when he gets there.

Here's Lilly this morning, laying out in the yard and intimidating the squirrels from eating at our feeders. 

This pretty girl cracks me up! (and as of 2:43, she's back in the same place!) 


  1. I just got a KitchenAid mixer this Christmas, and used mine today too! It is a dreary day outside, great for baking something comforting.
    I was sad too, to hear the new of Leontien's passing. Way too soon...way too young. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

  2. Oh Mary Ann...
    So sad about Leontien. She gave that old cancer a good fight.

    Thanks for your kind words for me. I appreciate it so.
    I am frustrated with Blogger, and my laptop loads pictures fine, but there are some other factors that helped me decide that for now, I am done blogging.
    I find myself spending hours and hours blogging, and I'd rather invest my time elsewhere.

    Someone suggested to me, that perhaps I could post once a month.... maybe I will do that, we'll see :)

    Love those KitchenAid mixers! I make everything with mine. They are quite the workhorses.
    I use mine for bread sometimes, pizza dough, cookies, etc...
    I'll bet you find yourself using it a lot now :)

    Enjoy your baking, and nesting today. You are so lucky to have warmer temps.
    We had about a foot of snow last night, and more expected today.

  3. I bought myself a KitchenAid mixer a couple of years ago. I don't have a cabinet I can put it in, so it sits on the counter inviting me to mix-up something. I love it. Those cookies look fabulous. We are enjoying the 70 degrees and sunny weather here before it starts raining again tomorrow. But I will not complain about rain after the past 2 summers.

    Every bird feed needs such a diligent guard dog.

    Will remember the lost ones in my prayers.

  4. We sent your friend a card right before Christmas, I am so sorry to hear you have lost her now!

    Wow those cookies look so good, oh my gosh, my moms cookies never ever in a million trillion years look like that...we usually have to order from people who can bake, if we are having something special at our house, you are very talented.

    Thank you also for telling us about google chrome and foxfire. We never could get chrome to work, but foxfire worked right away, mom just had to learn how to run it!
    It is nice here today also, mom is going to run to get groceries after work, which is a hour drive there and back, but she decided to do it tonight rather than waste her time tomorrow. We will be by ourselves a little longer now...s.igh.....
    stella rose

  5. Your cookies look great! Isn't it funny how something so simple as a mixer can
    intimidate us? Have fun with it.
    Sorry to hear of Leontien-blessings and prayers for her family.

    Have a great weekend.

    M :)

  6. Mary Ann, I did not know Leontien's blog and am so sorry that I didn't. I just came back from reading the first page and can understand just from reading it that you and others who knew her through the blog, and especially personally must be feeling bereft knowing she won't be here to continue writing and living in the lovely way she did. I'm sure she probably spread more joy in her short time on earth than many do in a long lifetime.

  7. I have that exact same KitchenAid mixer. It was my Mother's, and I really enjoy it.

  8. I sit beside you- and blogland - shoulder to shoulder as we think about Leontien.
    She was a beautiful gift that was shared with us for a season, and for a reason.
    Now its hard and sad to let her go.
    She fought so hard on her journey- we prayed for her,and we walked beside her.
    She wanted to share her love with all of us. We could feel it- couldn't we?
    Her giving heart did not shut us out. Now she is being hugged by the angels.
    I am a better person for having met through blogland- precious Leontien- she touched all of us just like the most perfect snowflake that falls from the sky- for a season.
    love, tweedles
    I would like a cookie please.
    My paws are around your neck

  9. I did not know the two bloggers you mentioned but I'll pray for the family that lost a loved one. I've blogged for over 8 years now and have got to know lots of people who I call friends. I've lost a few and many have quite blogging, but are fondly remembered. We do miss them. I love the picture of your dog enjoying the outdoors in the sun there. I even got out for just a little while to enjoy it myself yesterday. It felt good and I needed some fresh air. Those kitchen aides are nice. I have one on the shelf that is quite old but put it away as counter space is limited here and I'm back to using the hand mixer. Hope your Saturday is a super one!

  10. I was so sad to read the post on Leontien's blog. I had hoped a miracle would have happened. You are so correct about Google Chrome. I switched to that mid-2012 and it's been a lifesaver! I can't believe you hadn't used your Kitchen Aid until now. Goodness, I use mine for bread {mixing and kneading}, cookies, pies, etc... I'm glad you tried it. :) And the cookies look scrumptious.....I can see why one has disappeared. :)

  11. Goodness, there's been too much sadness already in 2013. I knew about Leontien, but didn't follow the situation closely. I am sad,however, to hear that she lost what was a long and good fight. And I echo your thoughts on Karin leaving the blogging world and I'll miss reading what she's up to. But I'm comforted in knowing that she will still be around and hope she will leave comments now and then.

    I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather yesterday also, Mary Ann. My chickies were happy to be out scratching around in the garden beds and stretching their wings. Too bad we're back to old man Winter today, though!

  12. Well I didn't know yet about Leontien since I've been offline all week. Can't say that didn't make me cry. I can't get over how strong she was - emotionally and mentally. I'm sure she had so much to deal with and we didn't know about the way she dealt with everything but still, in her words you see the strength and how grateful she was for her life. It's amazing... but also completely heart breaking.

    Your cookies look wonderful! I wish I had some to have with coffee right now. I don't use my mixer a lot, but when I need it, I love that thing so much! I can't imagine life without it. :) Super warm here too, rain, and lots of melt! It's crazzzyyyy!

  13. Yes, I have been so sad about Leontien. I am sad for her parents and her husband. I didn't know about Kerin, I will stop by her blog. Thank you for sharing. You did make me laugh about not using that mixer. I love mine and I would be so lost without it.
    It was nice getting to stop by today.

  14. Sorry to hear your sad news.

    I love my KitchenAid.

    Lilly is a beautiful girl. Those squirrels better watch out


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