Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Penny at Home

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, Penny and I decided to make some hot cross buns to enjoy with my family when they gather on that special day. I enjoy the flavor of these rolls with the sweet bits of fruit inside. I found my recipe on the Taste of Home website: Traditional Hot Cross Buns. Lets gather the ingredients, Penny.

Let’s take time to write out the recipe to be handy as we work here at the counter.

Penny is the reigning Kitchen Queen with her giant wooden spoon!

She watches over me as I mix the yeast into the warm milk and let it rise. I love the frothy stage of growing yeast.

Penny prepares the eggs, two large homegrown eggs from our hen house, to be exact.

Next, I got a bright idea, for the quarter cup of sugar called for in the recipe, I used pure Merle’s maple sugar from where my brother works tapping trees for springtime syrup making.

We add all these ingredients to the bowl of starter, including the soft butter, and the cinnamon and allspice.

Today we are using the KitchenAid mixer and I tell Penny to step back as it whirls around energetically. Be careful there, little girl!

I add one extra rising in here, to make a nice dough. I let it rise in the mixer bowl before I knead it on the counter.

Once it reaches this high, I dump it on the counter and begin the kneading process.

Keep your hands well floured, Penny, so you don’t get sticky!!

Now we cut them into divisions and roll them smooth, with hints of the dried fruit peeking out. I made two pans of a larger and small size, and let them rise before baking.

I let them rise a bit too much before cutting the “X” on top, so its not quite so distinct. Oh well.

Come celebrate with me as we sample our finished Hot Cross Buns with the frosting added, accompanied by spring flowers picked fresh from my garden.

Let’s celebrate the Easter season together.

Its wonderful to have fresh daffodils, so cheery and bright.

I have been enjoying this very special song, An Easter Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen and lyrics by Kelley Mooney. It is such a hauntingly beautiful song of praise sung here by Cassandra and Callahan Armstrong.

The lyrics begin with:

“A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said, “Did you forget me, Father did you?”
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”

And they follow the story all the way to the empty tomb, and the risen Lord, Hallelujah!

Have a Blessed Easter, my friends. ♥ Christ is risen indeed!!


We sure have had a snowy February here in New York! It has been clean and bright white, but the sunshine has been rather rare. One frigid day, Penny went out for a walk in the snow on our farm. She climbed an elm tree to gaze about. Suddenly, she heard a warm and friendly voice from below inviting her to drop in for a visit.

Mr. Jedidiah was so happy to have some company after so many cold and snowy days when most creatures have been staying indoors. He met Penny in the tree and showed her how to reach his home under the low gnarly log.

WEEEeeeeee!! Down Penny slid in the soft, fluffy snow.

Mr. Jedidiah had a safe little porch where they could chat together and gaze at the lovely scenes around them.

Such a delightful visit it was for both of them as Mr. Jedidiah was full of knowledge about the forest and all the critters that lived there. He also had a rich memory of many past winters and the varieties of weather he had seen and the adventures he had lived through. He was eager to share stories and tales with Penny and she really enjoyed making a new friend that wintry day as the snow fell softly around them.

After Penny trudged home to the dollhouse that night, she fixed herself a cup of hot cocoa and burrowed down in her favorite chair to sip it slowly and recall the stories of the afternoon. The fire in the fireplace crackled and popped contentedly beside her.

Just a little whipped cream on the cocoa added the perfect touch, and Penny even got a bit on her nose before it all melted away into a hot creamy pool.

This jar of cocoa mix came for Christmas and he is sure loving Penny’s warm house. How about a cup for yourself, Mr. Jolly Cocoa Jar?

“Don’t mind if I do,” says he.

May you all have a safe and warm winter season where you are today!

God bless you, real good!

*****


Happy Easter, friends! Penny and I have been enjoying the New York spring coming on and doing a little happy crafting by making some quick newspaper daffodils for decorating with this Easter.

I found this video on YouTube, Easy Newspaper Flowers DIY .
We decided to try it out by making some bright yellow newspaper daffodils. Time to get out the paints and brushes, Penny!

We painted several yellow three petaled flower sets in various shades of yellow and orange. I cut them out, then layered four of these papers with a small circle in front for the center trumpet. A button in the center is held with a small wire folded back to poke through the layers holding them all together. The instructor said to crumple the paper roughly in your fist, then spread them out, and fluff out the layers. Hey, that doesn’t look too bad! What a fun project.

I recently colored this page with colored pencils to celebrate an Easter style bouquet. This is from one of my favorite adult coloring books , Its Simply Tuesday, by Emily P. Freeman. Several friends and I color a page weekly then send each other photos of our work. It has been a fun way to share some coloring time together, even from a distance.

The facing page has a quote from Scripture.

Thinking of the wonder of Easter, and how God so loved the world that He sent His Son – John 1:14 fits so well: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Then I added Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visited him?” What a wonder. He came among us. His death, and the glory of His resurrection. Death could not hold Him down. And that same resurrection power is available for all who love and trust Him. Romans 8:11. Who can fathom it?

This week, I decided to experiment and make the traditional Easter Hot Cross Buns for my first time. These soft rolls have dried fruit and spices inside, with a frosting cross on top. These were a fun treat for our family. Its a keeper! I’ll be making them again in the future.

I’ll leave you with a little sunshine, some forsythia blossoms from out by the barn that I cut early and brought inside to brighten our table.

May you have the joy inside you of new life.

A gift from the Giver of Life this spring.


 

Here we are, celebrating a beautiful summer.  The rains have been plenty lately and the gardens are lush and colorful.  I wanted to share a little of that with you, not that photos can do it full justice, but I hope this will add a little brightness to your day.

 

 

These hibiscus were grown by a neighbor who brought them over to us.  They are simply HUGE!!  One I measured was ten inches across!  I took a big one out and propped it up in the wisteria so I could pose Penny beside it.  It gave her a rather shrinking feeling.  What an enormous beauty.

 

 

“Oh, that we could reason less about our troubles, and sing and praise more!…

We can sing our cares away easier than we can reason them away.”

 

 

“Sing in the morning.  The birds are the earliest to sing, and birds are more without care than anything else that I know of.

 

 

“Sing at evening.  Singing is the last thing robins do.  When they have done their daily work; when they have flown their last flight, and picked up their last morsel of food, then on a topmost twig, they sing one song of praise.

 

 

“Oh, that we might sing morning and evening, and let song touch song all the way through.”

 

 

“Don’t let the song go out of your life

Though it chance sometimes to flow

In a minor strain; it will blend again

With the major tone you know.

 

 

“What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,

And hide for a time the sun,

The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,

If you let the melody run.

 

 

“Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Though the voice may have lost its trill,

Though the tremulous note may die in your throat,

Let it sing in your spirit still.

 

 

“Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Let it ring in the soul while here;

And when you go hence, ’twill follow you thence,

And live on in another sphere.

 

quotes from Streams in the Desert  (May 5th ) – Mrs. Charles Cowman

 

 

 

 

A peek through the wisteria arbor at our sunflower “trees”.

 

 

 

Gracie in the evening rain at sunset.  I love this shot.

 

 

My quiet time lately has been in the Psalms enjoying these two books in the photo below with their comments.  Today’s reading was in Psalm 37.  “Fret not” is repeated three times in this Psalm.  Then I highlighted the thoughts, “Trust in the Lord and do good… Delight thyself in the Lord…  Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him…  Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him…  The Lord upholds you…. He is ever merciful…  The Lord shall help… and deliver…  because they trust in Him.”

Don’t let the song go out of your life, (fret not), but cling to Him.

Rest in the Lord.  He upholds you.

 

 

 

 


 

Welcome Snowdrops, the sure sign that Spring is on its way!

I have a collection of pictures for you of the various February happenings here at our farm.  We moved from big white snowbanks, to oodles of mud, to bits of green hinting of spring.  My Valentines project called for collecting grapevines in the cold sharp wind and shaping some wreaths to decorate with hearts and ribbons.  So pretty, with a curly touch of natural beauty.

 

 

 

Maybe you’d like to see this prickly Valentine I received as a token of smiling friendship.  It tickles me!

 

 

Typically these are called Christmas cactus, so why would this be blooming for Valentines Day?  One more thing on my list of things to be grateful for.

 

 

 

A big project over this winter was beading laces for the Fellowship of Christian Farmer’s ministry.  As you recall, we like to take part in providing these laces for the folks in the ministry to pass out at fairs and farm shows where they are each tied onto a walking stick that gets handed out for free to those interested in hearing the Gospel story that the beads represent.  You can read more about that on my site here:   FCFI  

 

 

We were happy to have completed 3,500 laces.  You can see some of them here tied in bundles of 100.  It is a privilege to be involved in supporting those who work with sharing God’s good news.  Is there anything you can do to help spread the Word?

 

 

Here is a card that is attached to the walking sticks to explain the story of the beads.

 

 

This is the little tray that I use to hold the bead supply as I work.  First a knot, then the 5 beads, then another knot.  Then into piles of 100 to bundle.  Meanwhile praying that God will bless the people who hear as well as the people who share the love of God from their hearts.

 

 

Another exciting part of February is the return of the eagles to the Wildlife Refuge near us.  My Dad took these pictures through the spotting scope he uses.  This shot shows the eagle at the top of the tree where they have built a new nest this year.  Just look at the size of that nest!  Imagine them flying in with sticks that big.

 

 

Below you will see the head of the female as she has now begun setting on eggs.

 

 

This next shot is a real classic.  The eagles are such noble birds.

 

 

And now for some adorableness.  Gracie is growing so quickly!  At 14 weeks old she is loving lots of attention and a good romp with some silly fun thrown in.

 

 

Some longer hair is growing on her tail and belly but she is still so soft and fluffy, a joy to stroke.

 

 

The book I have been reading lately is The Autobiography of George Muller.  He was the one to run the orphanages in Bristol, England in the 1800s totally on faith without expressing his needs to anyone but God alone.  His desire was to show that God can be trusted, that He does care about our daily needs and can be relied upon to supply as the needs arise.  God enjoyed the chance to demonstrate His abilities and did so amazingly.  This book has been hugely inspiring to me.

 

 

Here is a quote from his May 7, 1841, diary entry:

“The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord.  The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished.  I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit.

The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it.  Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed…

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man.  What is the food for the inner man?  Not prayer, but the Word of God – not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe.  No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts…

Through His Word… our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us…

Meditation on God’s Word has given me the help and strength to pass peacefully through deep trials.  What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning!  Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.”

~ George Muller

 

 

 


 

Little puppies spell J.O.Y.  Little bundles of lively squirming affection that warm your heart.

 

 

We have added a new puppy to our family circle this January.  She came with a big pink bow tied around her neck and was a delightful surprise to me.  Isn’t she darling?

 

 

I named her Gracie, and she has a sweet and gentle nature.

 

 

Half the time she is bouncing with joy, and the other half she is snoozing adorably.

 

 

Gracie’s favorite snoozing place is in the back entrance curled up against my boots.

 

 

She loves to help with the farm chores, and happily admires the chickens while I collect the eggs.

 

 

Potty training requires constant sudden runs outside no matter how nasty the weather, day or night, but this adorable face makes it all worthwhile.

 

 

A picture of patient affection.

 

 

And one of silly goofiness.  We laugh a lot these days with Gracie around.

 

 

Hello Adorable. ♥  Settling into her new home.

 

 

Last night we got mounds of fluffy snow and that tickled her delightfully all day today, just to toss about and romp in the soft snow.

 

 

So sweet and playful.

 

 

One miniature puppy checking out Gracie’s toy rope.

 

 

One growing puppy checking out her new friend Penny.

 

 

 

Thank you, God for puppies.

 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  James 1:17