Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I've been staying busy since my last post with my editing and writing work as well as preparing for a spring garage sale. The highlight of last month was getting to see the classic ballet, "Giselle", at Stephens Auditorium in Ames. The Russian dancers did an amazing job and I so loved seeing the ballerinas' beautiful costumes. I didn't expect to let so much time elapse between this and my last post but here it is February already! In my last post, I shared a photo of a vintage skunk pincushion I recently found and I promised to post about another recent vintage pincushion find. It's this sweet sofa pincushion. At only $8, I couldn't resist buying it!

This pincushion is quite large as it doubles as storage for sewing supplies. I'm not very good when it comes to dating fabric, so I can't be sure of when it was made. If any of you have a clue, please feel free to email me at tkhook@msn.com. Perhaps some of you have a similar pincushion passed down from a family member? I'd love to hear from you. The little sofa looks so cozy, it makes you wish it was large enough to snuggle up on and read a book!

Speaking of feeling cozy, I love drinking a warm cup of chai tea to chase away the winter blues. This is my favorite time to year to make my chai tea. I simmer it on the stovetop for two hours, then add cashew milk and a small amount of honey. This is the batch I made this morning.

As I drank my cup of chai, I was wishing I had more of the delicious scones that my husband and I enjoyed at a tea shop last week. This herbs de provence scone was among the best I've tasted.

We saved a matcha one to share when we got home and it was equally delicious. And what a treat that it was adorned with equally tasty icing.

This winter I've been reading a lot of books on the healing properties of herbs and I recently had an experience that enlightened me to their healing powers. I've always enjoyed using them in cooking but rarely used them for other purposes—except for drinking elderberry syrup from November to April to ward off the flu, which I haven't gotten for 12 years now. In January, we inherited a fairly new car with seat warmers. Well, to make a long story short, I suffered first-degree burns from my seat warmer. I sought help from the usual place you would go to for a skin issue, my dermatologist. The cream they prescribed did not work and they told me the burn would likely cause as scar. I didn't much like that so I decided to go to my herbalist/naturopath. When western medicine fails to solve a medical issue, I have no problem seeking alternative solutions and wow, did my herbalist come through for me. She made this healing herbal comfrey salve for me. In just under two weeks, the burns were completely healed—with no scars! This experience left me disappointed in my doctor. I don't know why she didn't recommend an herbal solution that could have solved my problem in little more than a week?! I am starting to see why more and more people are advocating an integrative approach to treating patients, using the best of what BOTH western and herbal medicine have to offer. Have any of you had similar experiences when a simple herb solved a problem that your doctor couldn't? 

And one last question—this one is for those of you who have made your own yogurt. Have you ever made it in an Instant Pot? I've been wanting to learn how to make my own yogurt since the kind I get is quite expensive. Since I'm lactose intolerant, I have to eat coconut milk yogurt instead of the traditional dairy kind. Well, the hubby surprised me with an Instant Pot for Valentine's Day and I hope to learn how to make yogurt in it so I don't have to keep buying it. For Valentine's dinner, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Django's. I wore my favorite pair of cat shoes on our outing. Just looking down at them makes me smile and I hope it leaves you with a smile, too, as I close this post. Thanks for visiting!