About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sesame Christmas Cookies

I probably got this recipe 20 years ago and it's been a favorite cookie recipe of mine ever since. This is one of those recipes that doesn't require a lot of ingredients, is fast and easy to make, looks pretty and is "melt in your mouth" yummy!

Sesame Christmas Cookies

1 cup margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
sesame seeds
strawberry or raspberry preserves (I prefer raspberry)

Cream together the first five ingredients. Shape into small balls and roll in sesame seeds. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Make thumb print in center of balls and fill with strawberry preserves. Bake 400 for 10-12 minutes. My oven bakes slow and takes about 17 minutes.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Dad's Art

Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years ago, my dad became an artist, in his own eyes. I don’t know how it all came about, but he began painting scenes that he saw in old calendars and country magazines. He loved painting and was so proud of his artwork. He even stepped it up a notch and started making frames to showcase his artwork.

Dad was a serious artist and set up a little studio out in his work shop. It didn’t matter that his studio also housed his hammers, nails, screw drivers and other tools. A desk near a window for perfect lighting, a heater for the winter and a fan for the summer was all he needed for a perfect studio.

Dad was always so proud of his artwork. His talent didn’t quiet measure up to his love of painting, but we never let him know that. There was definitely more talent in his frame making than in his painting. I remember one year we bought him a couple of books on learning to paint and he was actually a little insulted! He was far too advanced to learn anything from those books! That’s when we learned to buy canvases, paints and brushes for him and to stay away from anything instructional.

Once Alzheimer’s set in, Dad painted less and less. One day after he passed away, Creston and I were looking in his workshop at his art supplies and found some blank canvases stored in a cabinet with his tools. I could envision him putting them away, thinking he was putting them where they belonged. Creston gave me a light-hearted moment when told me about seeing one of Dad’s paintings lined up with the others in the game room and thinking “Wow, Grandpa has really improved.” He picked it up for a closer look and realized that in his confusion, Dad had framed a picture out of a magazine.

About a month ago, mom was out with her caretaker doing some errands. Missy decided to stop at a yard sale and Mom opted to sit in the car. At the last minute Mom changed her mind and got out to glance over the items for sale. She walked up to a table and found a 5x7 framed piece of art, that my dad had painted in 2004. Apparently the guy having the sale found it in a shed he was cleaning out and added it to his yard sale. He gave it to Mom and she brought it home. When I asked Mom to show it to me, we both looked at it and started crying. Unselfishly she offered me the painting and it has become one of my most prized possessions.

Yesterday when I was sorting through my Christmas decorations, I came across another one of Dad’s little masterpieces. It’s an unframed 4x5 inch canvas that he painted of a house with snow on the roof. My dad always had beautiful handwriting and he wrote, “Merry Christmas” on the front of the painting and on the back of the canvas he wrote, “To Molly From Dad. Christmas 95. Love U.” I remember how proud he was of the Christmas card he painted for me that year.

Oh how I wish I had shown more interest and been more complimentary when Dad showed me his latest work. No matter how many canvases he painted, each piece was special to him and a work of art. After a while his work seemed so commonplace that I barely gave it a second look. The two little pieces of art that I’ve recently came across have made me aware that no matter how insignificant something might seem to me, I need to be more sensitive to the other person and before more considerate of their feelings. A little more time, a little more kindness and a little more praise would have meant so much to my dad and would have only taken a few minutes of my time. Thank you God for your creative ways in sending me a couple of precious reminders to help me become a better person.