Quote – Heart’s Gratitude

“Thanksgiving is very vocal: doorbells ringing, kitchen sounds, automobiles hurrying up driveways, and in cities hasty footsteps resounding on pavements. It is also full of sounds of greeting, welcome, laughter, and reunion.

But it’s quiet during the moments when we pause to offer heart’s gratitude, not only for the blessings of the months past but for the disciplines; and above all for the ability to believe in the future, whatever we may read or hear; to believe in friends, in love, in the world itself, no matter how troubled it may be.” ~ Faith Baldwin

I always feel a sense of calm when I read the reflections of Faith Baldwin. I have three of her books and most often when I read her words I am inspired by her insight. The quote above was taken out of Evening Star, pubished in 1966.

Plant – Thanksgiving Cactus

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I’ve been to the store yet again this week, gathering, gathering, gathering what I need in anticipation of the dinners I’ll be preparing tonight, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after. I’m excited at the prospect of having those I love at our dinner table.

I’ve brought my Thanksgiving cactus upstairs from its usual home in a bright basement window well. The plant will be the centerpiece for my dining-room table. Throughout the summer months the cactus thrives on the screened-in porch. I water this plant once every three weeks. Too much water will doom the succulent leaves to a soggy death. Better to underwater than overwater succulent plants. The cactus is rewarding me for my near-neglect with many buds. I will enjoy its blossom time over the next few weeks of the holiday season.

Phavorites – November Reruns

This is my fifth year creating content for “Minding My P’s with Q.” Some good ideas and posts from past years are buried deep in the archives. I’ve unearthed a few November “phavorites” from 2011 to the present to share once again.

Sweet Potato Vine

Growing a Sweet Potato Vine is easy and a fun way to continue gardening indoors.

the stowaway

When you bring in your houseplants from the porch and yard be sure to check for Stowaways.

pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin Cookies, nutritious and delicious, are a perfect November snack.

pressed flower house

You can use Pressed Autumn Leaves to create structures within pressed flower cards.

milk carton cloche

A Milk Carton Cloche is an easy way to extend your growing season.

Amaryllis

Amaryllis are available now as bulbs or potted plants for Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday cheer.

Paper Snowflakes on my windows are one of my favorite Christmas decorations. To have enough by December 1st, I will begin cutting at least five every day.

Last, but certainly not least, enjoy the beautiful “A Song of Thanksgiving” by U2.

Pot and Pans & Problem-Solving – Avoiding the Fat

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This jar contains broth/pan drippings I gathered from the last roast chicken I baked. Many people use these drippings for gravy. To do so while they are still hot makes it impossible to remove the fat that you can see gathered at the top of the jar. To save my family’s health, I always use the previous chicken/turkey’s broth and pan drippings in my cooking, enabling me to remove most of the dangerous fat. Refrigeration causes the broth and fat to separate making it very easy to lift the hardened fat away from the broth.

Today, knowing that the Thanksgiving turkey is going to need a lot of gravy, I purchased three turkey legs. Tomorrow I will cook these down in the crockpot with several cups of water. I’ll add celery, onions and garlic for richer flavor, and have a luscious broth to use for a healthy gravy on Thanksgiving Day. I’ll refrigerate the broth after it cooks down, skim off the hardened fat, and freeze the broth for a couple of days. I’ll leave myself a big note on the chalkboard on Wednesday, reminding myself to take it out of the freezer for the big turkey day. It’s good to think ahead when it comes to sauces and gravies and take a few moments to create a healthier alternative to using the fatty and heart clogging drippings straight out of the pan.

Projects – Pressed Leaves

Blog Leaves

It’s not too late to press a few Autumn leaves for crafts and Thanksgiving table scatter. They look lovely hung from mantels or chandeliers. They make great place cards. Write the names of your guests on them with metallic felt-tipped markers. Encase within pieces of glass, seal edges with copper tape or decorative duct tape and use as trivets for your holiday table. Have fun!

Praise – A Duet With Jesus

Creek at Hickory Run

I try to walk daily. Often as I walk I will softly sing songs of praise. A few days ago, as I happily strolled and sang, I heard another singer down the road a stretch. He was a jogger, with earphones, singing along to the tune. Suddenly, he let out a happy whoohoo in the midst of the song, and I smiled with happiness at the joy in his voice. The thought of his unabashed singing has uplifted me many times throughout the week.

I love this Bible verse: “For he (Jesus) says in the book of Psalms, ‘I will talk to my brothers about God my Father, and together we will sing his praises.’ ” Hebrews 12:2 (The Living Bible)  I like to think that when I sing songs of praise I am singing a duet with Jesus. Singing songs of Praise and Thanksgiving often ignites the presence of God within my life. It doesn’t matter if I harrumph along like a frog or trill melodious as a bird. The Lord God will inhabit the songs of his people.

I wonder how the world would change if people all around the world would stop throughout the day, lift up their voices in songs of praise, and sing a duet with Jesus.