Little Jack’s Big Purpose

It’s a little pumpkin lantern’s first Halloween, and he’s got a big job to do. But when things aren’t turning out the way he expected, feelings of failure enter into Little Jack’s heart. Can Little Jack’s zest be renewed? Perhaps the stars have some wisdom for him…perhaps they have some wisdom for all of us. Find out in Little Jack’s Big Purpose.

Hello everyone. I hope you’re enjoying a good day.

Do you sometimes need a reminder that you have purpose? Do you ever feel no one notices what you have to offer, or that the light within you isn’t needed by the rest of the world? I think we all feel like that sometimes, and Little Jack is no exception. Perhaps his sweet story might give you the encouragement to keep your light aglow, no matter if you wonder if anyone is noticing. Sometimes what we feel or think may be, is not really what is.

Little Jack’s Big Purpose is a perfect story for children of all ages, and young and old can glean its wisdom wrapped up in this delightful Halloween tale. It’s available on Amazon Kindle for only 99 cents. And, if you don’t have a kindle you can download the free app to read it on your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Just click on read on any device under the order section.

Let me know how this unique Halloween tale has helped you. And let your friends know about it – we all could benefit from some lifting up every now and again.

Thank you for visiting Leisure Lane, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!



Delicious Leek Quiche

Good day, everyone. I hope you are well and enjoying your weekend.

Today, I’d like to share a delicious leek quiche recipe I found on Pinterest. It’s quick, easy and the leeks really make it wonderful. I happened to have one leek stalk left from a recipe I made earlier this week, so this was a perfect recipe, as it calls for one leek 🙂 .

I was so hungry, I forgot to take the photo before digging in. I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

The great things about these recipes is they can be altered to your taste, and you can add or subtract depending on what you have on hand. For the cheese in mine, I used only about 1/4 cup, maybe less, of goatmilk soft block cheese. I’ve been eating a lot of cheese this week, so I thought I’d give it a break. And, I didn’t add a crust because today I was giving carbs a break, as well. If you want it crust-less, just make sure you grease the pan or pie plate. I used grass-fed butter to grease mine. I also only baked it for about 33 minutes, then checked it, and the knife came out clean. My last quiche I cooked a bit too much, and it got a bit too brown on top.

All in all, this is a wonderful recipe, and I’d like to thank Joanna Anastasia, from Lifestyle and Design for sharing it. If you’d like to make it yourself, you can find it here. If you do, let me know what you think!

Thank you for visiting Leisure Lane. I hope you enjoy your stroll. I’ll be sharing more things soon, so…

Until next time, may happy days abound!


Fabric YoYos in a Pretty Round

Happy Friday, everyone and welcome to some leisure time. Pour yourself a cup of tea (or coffee), sit back and relax while I share one of my fabric projects.

This pretty table topper idea is similar to one I saw on Pinterest and made with fabric yoyos. While it was my first time making them, I was very happy with how they turned out. I had my friend, K, in mind while making it, as she loves the color yellow. And I was able to enjoy it for a while on my own table until it was time to visit her. It was part of her birthday gift. I also gave her a very pretty vintage, yellow bone china tea cup and saucer, but forgot to take a photo of it.

The yoyos were quite therapeutic to sew by hand and I enjoyed the whole process. I used fabric remnants I had for quite some time, waiting for just the right project.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your visit today. I’ll be sharing more with you soon. Please feel free to stroll around the lane or visit past posts you may have missed. I enjoy hearing from you, so don’t be shy about leaving a comment. Maybe this has inspired you to make your own table topper. I hope so.

Until next time, may happy days abound!



Mug Rugs Galore

Autumn ensemble

Good Tuesday, everyone! I’m so glad you’ve strolled by the lane to visit. Since June my hands have been creating all sorts of yarn and fabric goodies. As you can see I’ve been quite busy knitting and crocheting mug rugs galore (also known as dishcloths or pot handle holders). Some to give away and some to keep. Just getting the above photo was worth making them.

I enjoy putting my morning cup of coffee or tea on them – it’s such a cozy feeling.

I’ve been finding good tutorials on Pinterest and learning all sorts of new and simple crochet and knitting patterns that I can practice while making these mug rugs and dishcloths.

Still on my autumn theme, I made this set for my friend, M. and presented them tied together with an autumn bow.

A set of 4 did the trick in the very first diagonal pattern I learned from another friend. I posted the pattern some years ago, but if you didn’t see it, you can get it on my Summer Potholders post. You can whip these babies out in no time and make them any size you desire. It’s a perfect pattern for beginners, too. Trust me, I know…I was a knit-whit ( 😉 ) when it came to knitting.

Since I was learning new patterns, I surprised her in her mailbox with this cute one and a letter of “thanks” for teaching me to knit. She loved it and said it came at a most poignant and perfect time. It made her know God was caring for her. Again, another God-gifting moment. They are amazing!

So, you can see I’ve been having a lot of fun making these in all different colors and patterns.

By the way, aren’t those little spring eggs in wire baskets the sweetest things? I bought them years ago at a small tea room and gift shop.

for my friend, K. (you may know her as Kare, from Kare and Mare).

The Linen Stitch in crochet. This is a very easy stitch and works up very quickly.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you were inspired to get out the yarn and create something fun for you or a friend. Visit me on Pinterest, where you can find most of these and more crochet and knit patterns. If you try them or have worked these patterns before, please share. I’d love to hear about it.

Thank you for visiting, for your comments, and for your support. I look forward to sharing more fun things with you, so…

Until next time, may happy days abound!



Chocolate Covered Banana/Peanut Butter Bites

Good Monday, friends, and welcome to Leisure Lane. I hope you all had a nice weekend, and are ready to splurge on a delicious snack.

These snack bites are all over Pinterest. They’re a healthy treat and easy to make. One of my family members likes peanut butter and bananas, so I thought these would be something good to try without all the bread.

You’ll need:
2 bananas – sliced in 1-inch chunks
Smooth or chunky peanut butter (I used an Organic smooth)
Dark Chocolate Chips – enough for dipping. (I used Organic 72% dark chocolate chips)
Tooth picks (or any utensil needed for dipping banana ‘sandwiches’ in melted chocolate)

*Place the banana chunks on a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper, and put in freezer for about 30 minutes, or until frozen.
*In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
*Remove the bananas from the freezer and sandwich some peanut butter between two chunks. Place the still frozen sandwiched chunks on a toothpick and dip it into the melted chocolate. Wait a few seconds for the chocolate to harden and place back on cookie sheet, removing the tooth pick.
*Continue until all sandwich chunks are dipped and ENJOY! You can put any left overs (ha) in a freezer or refrigerator safe container and keep cold.

Easy and yummy and oh, so healthy, too. If you try them, let me know what you think. I’ll be back soon to share more homemade items. Be safe and healthy, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!



Encouraging Pins and Needles

No, not the kind you get when you’ve been kneeling too long 😉 ! Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to Leisure Lane, where pins and needles are kept in check.

I made this pretty pin cushion in June, for my friend, M., while I was already thinking about autumn – hence the colors. I had heard she loved to sew, but hasn’t had the chance in a while, so I thought I’d make her something to encourage her to pick it up again. And I’m glad to say she’s been sewing a little here and there most recently.

I used materials and odds and ends I had around the house, and since she likes pompoms, I decided to add them from my stash. Of course, since my mood was gearing toward colored leaves and cool breezes, I decided to use autumn colors, and added that adorable maple leaf button.


This is the first pin cushion in this style that I’ve made, and I hope to make more at some point. I just cut out one circle each of corresponding fabrics, and with right sides together, hand-sewed around the edge, leaving about a 2-inch gap for stuffing. After stuffing, I whip-stitched the gap closed and began to embellish, tying off sections with matching floss and adding the pompoms and buttons. At the time I made this, M and I had not seen each other in quite a while, as she had been so busy with work, family, and such. So, as I made things, her gifts just kept adding up, and I think I mentioned in another post, it was like Christmas when she finally got to open them. I’ll share other gifts I made for her and other friends in future posts.

Thank you for visiting today. I hope this inspires you to make one for yourself or give one to a friend. And, here’s a thought, they are a perfect place to store decorative brooches. Or, if you want to gift a brooch to a friend, a pin cushion would make a lovely presentation for it.

Well, I’m beginning to get pins and needles from kneeling on a chair while writing this (that’s what happens when you’re not tall enough to sit like a grown-up at the table…LOL!) See  you soon♥

Until next time, may happy days abound!


Post Script and Maple Pecan Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Happy Wednesday everyone, and welcome to Leisure Lane.

Before I get to the recipe I promised to share, I’d like to add a post script to yesterday’s post, An Optimistic Soul. Yesterday afternoon, I watched a testimony of a young mother talking about how her son was healed from a autism diagnosis. My eyes teared as she related how after all her prayers, her son didn’t seem to be getting better, and one day she went to the Lord to humbly tell Him she didn’t know what to do any more. She told him that she believed, but asked him to help her unbelief and that she didn’t seem to be able on her own strength to manifest the healing she so desired for her little boy. She asked God to show her what she needed to do…where to begin. He told her that her son’s healing was already provided and to use His Word to speak over her child – every day. The GOOD NEWS – her son not only improved week after week, but there are now no signs of any autism in Him. His doctors were amazed. And that brings glory to God – not sickness.

Her heartfelt prayer resonated with me to my very core. Oh, how often I’ve said those same words, asking God to help any unbelief I may be clinging to. There is a coincidental story to the first time I ever said it, but I won’t go into that. Also, this woman’s prayer resonated with me because she didn’t know where to begin and neither did I – it was the very thing I had asked the Lord the morning I was given the duo necklace/earring gift.

Today, in this morning’s prayer time, I was contemplating some things with God, and I remembered that dear woman’s plea. I looked again at the words on my necklace…An Optimistic Soul…and I realized that wasn’t just how God saw me, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, but an answer to my question, “Help me, I don’t know where to begin.” “Begin with an Optimistic Soul!” That’s the beginning point to all healing in every area of life. It is the root place to start. Thinking of it as a tree, most of us try to heal all the individual branches, which so desperately need healing, but the branches are usually only as healthy as the root of the tree.

But where do we get an optimistic soul? Certainly not from the world! Yes, there are wonders to be treasured and to be grateful for in the world, but the world is not running in an optimistic flow. We get optimism from God and His Word. He is the source of all good and hope. Our faith and trust in Him, mixed with hope is the beginning of healing for  the soul (soul=the mind – thoughts, will, and emotions). The branches will follow suite. Not long ago, God led me to Isaiah 30:15…”In returning and rest, you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence (trust), shall be your strength.” Returning to what? God. Resting in what? God. Trusting in what? God – the only being that has your good, your welfare, the flourishing of your future in His Mind, His Heart, His Thoughts.

Many of you may not need or desire this message. But, I know there is someone out there, like me, who may need to hear this. It may be just the seed planted in their (your) heart they so desperately need to begin healing in some area of their life. So, that is the reason I’m sharing this today. I hope it finds the soul who needs it. Oh, what Joy!

Now for the recipe!

Maple Pecan Baked Oatmeal (with Bananas)

I’ve been finding and trying different healthier recipes on Pinterest. This recipe is absolutely delicious! A flour-less, easy, warm, cozy, perfect autumn breakfast, but couldn’t resist making it in August ( 😉 ). I topped my serving with a sprinkle of dark brown sugar (you can drizzle some extra maple syrup, if desired) and Yummilicious! I will definitely make this again. I used the bananas, as suggested in the recipe, but, I bet it would be scrumptious with apples, as well. Also, I used regular milk instead of almond milk, but you can adjust it to suite your own tastes or needs.

I forgot to take the photo before I “dug” into it -yes, it smelled that good and looked that yummy, and I was hungry – but you get the picture (no pun intended – okay, maybe just a little). I hope you try this recipe and if you do, let me know how you liked it. You can find it on the blog Eating Bird Food.

Thank you for visiting today. May you be healthy in spirit, soul, and body, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!


Note: Thank you to Pinterest and Eating Bird Food for the above recipe.

An Optimistic Soul!

“God has us do something for someone, like buy them a gift or paint them a painting ( 😉 ), at a certain time, even though it may not be for that particular moment, but for a moment “down the road”.”

Hello friends, and welcome to Leisure Lane. The above quote is from my August 26th post, Home is Where…, which talks about the surprises God has for us at a particular time. I promised to tell you a similar story in the next post which recently happened to me, but kept forgetting. So, here it is!

I’d like to share the story of how I came to be given the above beautiful, handmade copper and jasper necklace with copper earrings. About 9 months ago, I was next door visiting my friend and neighbor, T., and she told me she had something for me, but it was at her South Dakota cabin and she would bring it next time they went up there. In the past, she sometimes brought me back pretty jewelry from the artisans there; a silver necklace, a pair of beaded earrings, etc. Only one other time she gave me a pair of copper earrings. I think I shared them in a past post.

Months came and went, and though they made several trips to South Dakota, she never brought back the gift she. They were in the process of moving a lot of things, downsizing, and fixing up their local home to sell it – getting ready for retirement in the next couple of years and permanently moving to South Dakota (where it’s sooo much cooler 😉 ). She and her husband spent this past summer at their South Dakota cabin and recently came back the last week of August – she teaches nursing at a local college.

Though my soul had been doing much better and healing nicely, there were certain recent circumstances in the lives of my friends and relatives that began to bring fear back again into my soul. There is a reason the scriptures consistently tells us to “fear the Lord”, because, as I was taught by God, the thing we fear is the thing we give power to. We also take on the attributes of the things we fear, especially in our soul, which in turn affects our body and circumstances.

The morning of August 23rd, I awoke feeling that fear in my soul, and I fervently called out to God to help me. I even went as far as to say, “if all that the scriptures and Jesus taught about you is true, please help me. I can’t do this without you. I am having trouble getting rid of fear.” It was a heartfelt prayer – and even though deep within my spirit I knew that God is able, is willing, and desires good for us, I just needed something, and I didn’t really know what. After breakfast, I went outside to be quiet with the Lord and to pray again. Sometimes nature is very helpful in connecting us. I sat in a chair and began to ask for God’s help, again. I told him that I didn’t know where to start because my soul needed so much healing; that I needed His help. It’s strange in a way, but humility, which seems weak, is actually a strength. It is the place where God shows His strength through you. It’s a hard thing to explain because the concept seems illogical. But, remember, logic has no place in the spiritual, because it’s limited and the spiritual is not.

Immediately after my request, my neighbor friends pulled up into their driveway. I went over to bring her a surprise I had made for her and wanted to give it to her before she or I got busy. She got out of the car and handed me a package. It was the beautiful necklace and earrings. “I could not find these,” she said. “I bought them and put them away and then couldn’t find where I put them. Then I decided to look again, and they were in my closet, right in front of me!”

Ah! God had “hidden” them from her sight because He knew the exact moment I would need them. “An Optimistic Soul” stared up at me. OPTIMISTIC?! I certainly didn’t feel like that. I certainly didn’t see myself that way, at least not lately. But, you see, that is how God sees me – it’s how He desires me to be. And He was letting me know. “I desire for your soul to be completely healed, Marianne,” He is saying. “I see you in a way you can not understand, I desire your healing, your completeness, your happiness. I desire to help you beyond what you can imagine.”

Then, something inside of me told me to look up the symbolism of copper and the jasper stone. Copper represents inspiration, creativity, love, and unifying opposites. BUT, above all of that it symbolizes healing! Jasper is associated with autumn – and I love the autumn!

Copper is the the most conductive element just below silver. The message that went through my soul was that I was a very conductive being, but God was telling me that I was allowing myself to conduct the wrong energies – sadness and fear. I was not only conducting them, but keeping them built up within me. He is asking me to be a conduit of Him. “I desire that you conduct my Love, my power, and transmit that into the world.”

I believe, by faith, that God used my friend to give me a gift from Himself…an answer to my prayer just at the right moment, and she whole-heartedly agrees . He knew when I would be most receptive to the gift. His greatest gift was Jesus – His anointed one and His anointing. But, living on the earth is a constant process of keeping our eyes, our ears, our thoughts and emotions (our soul) on those things that are “above”, on that anointing and not just what our 5 senses tell us.

I hope this inspires you to know that God is for us – for you! He is willing and able to answer us with good. He desires more than anything to give us our needs, our desires, our good, “to do far above and beyond what we can imagine”, but we have to be willing to ask and be expecting. Expect His Best! I will be doing that with you. Know the love that God has toward us. It is not like the love of the world, for it never wanes, only keeps expanding, and if we can teach ourselves to live in a state of expectancy, we will experience it beyond what we can hope for.

I love you and pray for you today all the good I wish for myself and my loved ones. Thank you for strolling by to visit with me today. Next time, I hope to share a recipe. May you be blessed and inspired, and…

Until next time, may happy days abound!


Note: The above jewelry is by the artisan, Ginny Wolf. If you are interested in seeing more of her work, you can visit Ginny Wolf Studios.

Vintage Textile Soak

Hello everyone, and welcome to Leisure Lane! I hope you are winding down your week in good health and creative ventures.

Eight years ago, I posted, “Giving Vintage Linens and Things a Second Chance”. Vintage Textile Soak was the star of the post, and though I had not used it myself at that time, I was recommending it through another person’s experience. But today, I’d like to share my own experience with the product.

Three vintage hankies, which were still in my mother’s home before it sold this year, were sent to me. They brought back many childhood memories when I opened the envelope. Two of which, shown above, were in need of some tender loving care. I tried everything short of bleach…vinegar and water, lemon juice, salt, and sunshine…you get the idea. Nothing helped and, as you can see in the photo, they were still as dingy and stained as they were when I took them out of the envelope.

Still stained and dingy

Then, I remembered the Vintage Textile Soak, and immediately ordered some. Since the white hanky with the playful young women was the worst, I’m using it as the example. I followed the directions and soaked all three hankies for 8 hours.

Results after an 8 hour soak

As you can see, the soak released the dinginess and most of the staining, but the arrows show some still noticeable stubborn yellow along part of the edge and the folding line.

The hanky with the little deer was not quite as yellowed to begin with and fared much better with the soak.

It says that you can soak up to 24 hours, but I felt at this point, this was the best I was going to get with the white one. So, since the hanky was already saturated with water, I dabbed the most wee bit of bleach onto the stubborn spots, and that did the trick.

My hanky went from this…

to this!

You can see it looks like new.

Now, I have three clean and pretty hankies ready for use.

All in all, the Vintage Textile Soak worked wonders. I would suggest that if you decide to use it on some very yellowed items, you soak it for the length of time they suggest, even up to 24 hours. I would not normally suggest bleach on fragile vintage linen fibers, but if for some reason you must use some on your whites as a last resort, make sure the fabric is soaking wet to help dilute the bleach and you use the least amount possible. I used literally a dab on the very wet white hanky, and then rinsed it out very well.

Well, I hope this inspires you to be hopeful about any dingy, yellow stained linens you may have needing just a little loving care to bring back to life. If you’ve used Vintage Textile Soak before, let me and our Leisure Lane visitors know how it worked for you.

Thank you for strolling by the Lane today. I look forward to our visits. Oh, I forgot to share the promised follow-up story to my “Home is Where…” post! My apologies. Next time, for sure! And…

Until next time, may happy days abound!


Tea Reader

Good Wednesday, everyone. I hope you are in good health and enjoying your week.

Today, I’d like to share one of the first little fabric crafts I began making in June. My friend, M., loves to read and loves tea, so I thought the idea for a tea bag book marker I saw on Pinterest would be a cute one for her. I added my own spin on it by embroidering the play on words, “tea reader” – get it 😉 ? I don’t have a working sewing machine right now, so all of my fabric creations are sewn by hand; which sounds tedious, but actually is quite meditative.

I made a tea bag template out of card stock and used left over fabrics I had on hand. I embroidered another extra piece of fabric and sewed it to the main piece. A bit of string and another squared fabric bit drapes out of the pages to remind her where her reading left off. I made other gifts for her and for other friends, as well (which I’ll share another time), wrapped them all beautifully in wrapping papers, tissue paper, and ribbons I’ve collected from the dollar store. On our next Dunn Bros. coffee outing, I presented them all to her in a delightful pile on the table. It was like Christmas, and I received such joy watching her open them.

Well, I hope this post inspired you. Maybe you have a friend or family member whose day could be brightened by something you make especially for them, or a handwritten note, just to say “hello”, and dropped in the mail (a nice surprise from bills 😉 ). It’s nice to know someone is thinking about you and cares enough to share a little “piece” of themselves.

Thank you for visiting Leisure Lane. It’s always so nice to share with you. It’s a good day for a miracle, so keep yourself opened for one.

Until next time, may happy days abound!


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