Autumn Longings and Inspiration

Hello Leisure Lane friends!

Is anyone else in the mood for autumn? I know the word “longing” seems negative, but more so, it describes the joy of the season that I look forward to, even if I don’t live in an area that has your typical Fall imagery. But that is what memory and imagination is for – am I right?

Anway, I’m getting in the mood for some cool weather, autumn leaves, warming soups and of course pumpking pie – O Yum! I’m looking forward to reading autumn poetry, Halloween favorites, the aroma and taste of Cardamon shortbread cookies, and the comforting warm feeling of knitting and crocheting.

And, I’m wondering if I’ll ever finish this colorful crocheted, Oh-so-autumn cardigan sweater I started in 2020. Gee, I hope so.

What about you? What’s your favorite part of Fall? I’d love to hear. Thank you for joining me today on Leisure Lane. Feel free to take a stroll around the lane – there’s sure to be something here to inspire you or simply make you smile. Remember to laugh today, give someone a smile, give thanks, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne
author

The Seedstitch Mug Rug

Good day, my Leisure Lane friends!

Today, I’d like to share a little hobby of mine. If you didn’t already know, I am always excited about vintage kitchen linens and things, and I have been enjoying crocheting and knitting “mug rugs” in all shapes and sizes to use in every season to hold my tea cup, coffee cup, or just about anything. They can also be used for dishcloths, counter or table mats, kitchen towels, and more. And they make great gifts – I’ve gifted many to friends and family. Crochet has always been my hobby, but I’ve learned simple knitting techniques, and I enjoy employing them for simple projects such as these mug rugs. Anything simple when it comes to knitting is my cup of tea 😉 .

I always use 100% cotton yarn for these projects; any good brand will do. This particular mug rug was knitted with the very easy seed stitch on US size 6 needles. If you’re not familiar with the knitted seed stitch and would like to learn, I will provide a link below, which gives the easiest directions. It’s where I learned it.

I like that you can adjust the size to fit your needs, so you can make them as small or as large as you prefer. The size I normally make is usually a 5″ or 7″ square. And, if desired, you can crochet (or knit, if you’re an advanced knitter) a pretty border around the edges. I crocheted a simple border around this mug rug.

I hope you enjoyed this post and were inspired to give the seed stitch a try. If you do, let me know – I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to stroll along the lane. You may find more things to inspire your day.

Remember to enjoy life, laugh often, give thanks, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound.

Marianne
author

Note: click here for link to easy instructions for the seed stitch.

A Hint of Autumn

Hints of Autumn

I’m not one to want to wish away the days, because each one is precious…but, with the temperatures being in the high 90s-100 since the beginning of MAY, I’m looking forward to some autumn weather. What about you?

And this morning, there was a breeze; not your typical summer breeze, but a special sort of breeze that seemed to whisper, “Autumn is coming, autumn is coming.” Yes, a hint of autumn was in the breeze, and it made me smile.

If it’s hot where you are, I hope this hint of autumn will keep your senses keen, with the promise of a new season on its way and the hope tomorrow and a cooler day.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne
author

Quick and Delicious Ideas with Left Over Pie Crust

Good day, friends! Thank you for joining me on Leisure Lane today. I have a couple of quick and delicious ideas for you with left over pie crust that I think you and your family will enjoy. Let’s get started!

Sugar and Cinnamon Strips

These are so delicious and super easy. Simply roll out any left over pie crust dough and cut into strips. I made mine approx. 1″ x 5″. You can also cut triangles, it’s up to you – whatever your imagination inspires. Place the strips on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and prick them with a fork. Next, in a small bowl mix cinnamon and turbinado sugar and sprinkle on the dough strips. Pop them in a 350F preheated oven for about 7-9 minutes. Every oven is different, so you want to make sure you watch them. When they’re lightly browned around the edges, they’re done. Let them sit a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooking rack.

Enjoy with some coffee, tea, or milk. These will probably last a day or two in a tightly sealed container – if they last that long, that is.

Peaches and Brown Sugar Delight

This second yummilicious dessert is also “easy as pie” 😉

For super quickness, use canned or jarred peaches. I like the kind in real fruit juices with no added sugar. Depending on how much pie crust dough you have left over will determine the size of the casserole or pie plate you’ll use. I had a small amount of dough left over so, I used a small casserole dish.

Prepare oven safe casserole dish by lightly coating with butter. Fill about half way with peach slices. Add a few Tablespoons of brown sugar, more or less to your taste. I don’t like anything too sugary sweet, just enough to give a sweetness and enhance the flavors. Roll out left over dough and add to top of peaches. My dough had been in the refrigerator for a couple of days and cracked a bit, so I placed ontop in pieces. It still tasted delicious!. If you add it in one piece, remember to prick some holes in the crust for steam to escape. Place in preheated 350F oven on top of a piece of aluminum foil (just in case there is any overflow) for about 30 minutes, until pie crust is lightly browned like in photo. When done, remove from oven and let cool before digging in. You can eat it warm topped with vanilla ice cream – O YUM! Or you can simply have it plain, which is how I enjoyed it.

These two recipes are sure to be a hit. If you prefer bigger batches of these recipes, you can always use a full recipe of pie crust. But, these were a couple of simple recipes for any left over dough you might have on hand.

I hope you were inspired by this post, and if you try them, please let me know. I’d love hearing from you.

Again, thank you for stopping by. Feel free to stroll about the lane. There is sure to be something here to inspire you. If so, please let me know and share with your friends and family. Well…

Until next time, may happy days abound!’

Marianne
author

Inspiration For the Day – Create Some Beauty

Good day, friends, and welcome to Leisure Lane. I hope you are well and rejoicing in the day the Lord has made.

I decided to post a bit of inspiration for our day. During the autumn of 2020, I enjoyed knitting big, cozy shrugs for my friends – something they could wrap themselves in on cooler days. One is featured in the above image. The colors are beautiful and though I’m not a seasoned knitter, it turned out very well. I love giving gifts to others, and there are so many possible ways to do that. And the best part is you don’t have to be an artist of any kind to create beauty around you…something as simple as a smile is a perfect solution. So, today, if you find there is no beauty around you, create some for your own.

A Little Something Extra

On a side note, I’m happy to say that the spiritual book, The Gardener of My Soul, is once again available in my Amazon ebook store (US $3.99). My prayer is that it helps to guide anyone beginning or going through the spiritual journey. The pages within offer some good insights and/or reminders to stay focused on the All Good. If you are desiring your soul’s survival, this may be of help to you.

Thank you for joining me here at the lane. Feel free to stroll around for your enjoyment. My hope is that you find something here to inspire you. Leisure Lane is a place where you can relax with your cup’o and breathe. Grace and God’s best to you, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne
author

Ideals Easter Edition 2022 Publication

Good day to all you Leisure Lane strollers,

There’s been a lot going on, and I haven’t been able to post so much of what I’ve wanted to share with you. So, here’s one of the items I’ve been meaning to post…a little late, but nevertheless, just as exciting.

Last year, Ideals, that delightful nostalgic publication, made a dream come true by publishing one of my poems, Easter Baskets, in their Easter 2021 edition. You can check it out here. I’ve shared my mother’s love of the magazines since childhood and have fond memories of the two of us reading their poems and stories together, as well as delighting in their superb photography. So, it was a dream of mine to be published in one of their editions. Well, I’m happy to say, that they republished Easter Baskets in their Easter 2022 edition!

Ideals used to publish quarterly, and their glorious photos of autumn in New England were always the best! Though they only publish now a Spring and Christmas edition, their content still retains all the integrity and character it’s always had for as long as I can remember. Thank you Ideals, for bringing readers uplifting, inspirational, and character building content. If you want to check out their recent and past issues, you can check out images here.

You can also check them out on facebook.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. Stroll around the lane if you’d like, and see if there’s something else that may inspire you, or simply make you smile. And, until next time…

may happy days abound!

Marianne
author

Elsie’s Rose Water Scones

“Elsie, what a nice surprise!” exclaimed Catherine.  “Please, come in.  I was just about to have some tea, and I’d love for you to join me.”  She hugged Elsie, who gingerly held a platter with some scones she had baked.

“Here you go, my dear,” Elsie said, handing her the platter.  “I thought you might like some of these, and they’d go perfectly with our tea.”  Her silvery voice and Mancunian accent seemed to sing the words.

“Oh my, thank you!”  She took the scones and led Elsie into the kitchen.  “Have a seat, Elsie.” A rose scent wafted up to Catherine, as she removed the plastic wrapping from the scones.  “Elsie, they smell heavenly!”

“Rose water scones,” Elsie acknowledged.  “I made them this morning and thought you and Alan might like to try them.”   Excerpt from Chapter three, River Runs Deep

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good day, friends!  Welcome to Leisure Lane.  I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend and are ready for a lovely recipe.  In all the business of the holidays, I forgot to post it for you.  It’s one of two recipes that can be found at the end of my kindle romance ebook, River Runs Deep.  These scones are pretty and delicious, and they’re perfect for tea with friends or anytime.  If you try them, let me know.  Have a wonderful week, and until next time, may happy days abound!

Elsie’s Rose Water Scones

Makes 8

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
½ Tblsp baking powder
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 Tblsp cold butter, cut in chunks
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ – 2 tsp. of rose water (food grade)
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F

*In a medium size bowl add flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and mix well.
*Add butter and blend with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.
*Add rose water and extract to milk and pour liquid into dry mixture. Stir gently with a spoon until blended and dough forms. The fewer strokes the better.
*Knead gently 2 or 3 times to form a solid ball.  Use a little flour if dough seems sticky.
*Place dough on greased cookie sheet and use fingers to pat into a circular shape 1- inch thick.  Cut circle into 8 wedges and slightly separate leaving some space between the wedges.
*Bake for 12-15 minutes until they begin to lightly brown.
*Ice or drizzle with rose water glaze.

Recipe may be doubled, if desired.

Rose Water Glaze

Ingredients:

1/8 cup of confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. rose water (food grade)
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Less than a drop of red dye for pink glaze – if desired.

Directions:

Place sugar into a small bowl.  Add rose water, extract and red dye.  Stir until glaze is a loose consistency.  You may add more rose water to get the proper consistency.  May be drizzled onto scones or spread on top of scones to thinly cover tops.

Enjoy with hot tea or coffee and a friend!

Thank you for strolling by Leisure Lane for a visit. If you try the recipe, please let me know; I’d love to hear from you, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne
Author

Note: This post originally published 12/11/2017

Be Inspired For Christmas

Last year, I gave my friends and sister Christmas pins. They’re the first things in December I pull out to spark that Christmas feeling, inspiring me for the rest of the month. If you’ve never worn a Christmas pin, this is the perfect year to begin. It really will set the mood inside and out.

I am so partial to them, that I wrote a story around them; a story, I believe inspires the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas Pin Society is a lot of story that won’t take up a lot of your time during this busy season; a novella that will definitely generate the inspiration, faith, and heartwarming center we look for in our lives all year round.

This month I’ll be featuring two more stories to enhance your holiday spirit and open your heart to more than just tinsel and bows.

And don’t forget your Christmas pin – in fact, surprise your friends with one, as well. Be the first of your friends to start the tradition just like Emma in The Christmas Pin Society.

Thank you for joining me here on Leisure Lane. I hope you found some great inspirations here.

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne
Author

Black Pearl and the Clanking Monsters – New Amazon Kindle Release

Black Pearl lives in a quiet village in the beautiful forest near the South Pacific ocean. Many of the forest creatures are her friends and she spends her days among them playing and sometimes healing their wounds with medicines that grow in the forest. Her grandmother had told her stories of great, clanking, roaring monsters in bygone days, which destroyed much of the forest and pushed her people closer to the ocean. Now, they have returned, and Black Pearl sets out to face them. Can she save the forest, the creatures who live there, and her village; or will the Clanking Monsters leave a path of destruction that can never be restored?

Good day to everyone. I hope you are all well and enjoying the beginnings of Autumn.

Well, as I promised at the end of my last post, Get a Start on Halloween, my new children’s book release, is now available on Amazon kindle. I wrote Black Pearl and the Clanking Monsters in 1986 while finishing my degree. While writing a paper about herbal medicines – their importance and the danger of losing them due to deforestation – the idea for Black Pearl came to me. This story has been sitting in a drawer for much too long, and it’s time for its debut.

Black Pearl and the Clanking Monsters features a female heroine who is sure to uplift, encourage, and whisk your child’s imagination to a brighter future. And I think today, more than ever, children need to be encouraged and uplifted with wholesome stories that help their imaginations soar above the fray, into brighter and more positive outlooks.

Thank you for strolling by Leisure Lane today. I hope you found something here to enlighten, encourage, inspire, and simply make your day a little brighter. I’d love to hear what you think of the content here on the lane, so please, feel free to leave a comment.

God bless and protect you, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

Get a Start on Halloween

Halloween Collection: The Cook in the Nook is a compilation of fun and spirited poems and short stories; delightful inspirations to bring out the child in us all. Accompanied with some vintage-style illustrations, the spirit of Halloween can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere for years to come. Includes Little Jack’s Big Purpose and The Midnight Monster.

Good day, everyone,

Welcome to Leisure Lane, where I hope you find some things that make you smile and encourage you.

September is almost gone, which always makes me a little sad, because I love the month that ushers in Autumn, my just about favorite season, but it goes by so quickly. On the bright side, when one good thing is gone, there is always another good thing waiting in the wings to brighten our lives, and October surely does that with a burst of vibrant color and pizazz – at least for those of you who live in areas where the trees love to dazzle you. I grew up in an area like that and so I always pull on my memories for some wonderful visualizations.

October is also the anticipation of Halloween, and believe it or not, people here have already decorated their yards – that’s right – as of a few days ago, there have been goblins and ghosts and Jack O’ Lanterns ready and waiting for that day. Me, I like to celebrate life, so my ideas are more in line with cute black kitties, happy Jack O’ Lanterns, harvest fun, colored leaves – things that make me smile.

For reading, though, I don’t mind some spirited and fun poems and stories. For those of you who would like to get a start on October and get in the mood of some spirited and fun reading, the Halloween Collection is perfect for the whole family. This Kindle ebook, which can be read on your phone, computer, or kindle, includes two of my amazon short stories the kids will surely like.

I’m also adding another new children’s story to my Amazon kindle author’s page, and it should be available tomorrow. I’ll post about it then. UPDATE 9/29/2021: This new release, Black Pearl and the Clanking Monsters, is now available on Amazon Kindle.

Well, thank you for stopping by today. May God bless you protect you always, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!

Marianne

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