The Comfort Of A Safe Place - Guest Blogger

What a joy to have Jan on my blog today.
Jan is a new blogging friend
and I am having such a wonderful time getting to know her :)
I have been enjoying the recipes she shares on her blog
and the pictures she puts up of the food makes me want to pull it out from the computer
and devour the tasty treat!
Please enjoy her lovely post - she has some wonderful things to share.

* * * * * * * *

...click her Banner...

Because alot of you don't know me, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit about me.  

My name is Jan.
Hubby and I are retired and share our home with our PuppyKids (3 small furry, four-legged dogs).
We live a normal life, nothing special or out of the ordinary here.  I love it!  

I thought I'd tell you some of the things that I'm Passionate about...
the first thing being the 3 PuppyKids I mentioned.
They make me smile and laugh everyday...and they also comfort me when I need it.
Each one has their duty in the pack and each of them has their own and very different personality.

When hubby and I go on vacation, our 3 Pups travel with us
 and stay with us in Vacation Rental Homes...and they truly enjoy themselves.
There are 2 girls and a boy, from 10 months up to 6 years of age.
None of them weighs more than 12 pounds right now.  

They mean the World to Us

Angel is a Coton de Tulear and 10 months old - she is so sweet and cuddly {at 12#}
and the Leader of the 3-Pack.
She alerts us to people around or near our yard.  She's on guard all the time.

Jasper is a Maltese and he is 6 years old - and we've nicknamed him the Grumpy old Man,
because if neither of us or the other 2 pups get too close while he's laying around
or napping on the floor or on a chair, he growls.
They all sleep together in a crate and he doesn't do it there.  Funny!

Rosie is a 4 year old Toy Poodle.  She weighs in at 11# and she is a Spit-Fire
{although a little quieter since Angel came into our lives}.  

Up until last month, I was their groomer, taking care of their every need...
last month they went to a professional groomer for the first time
and she couldn't get over how good they were for her, knowing they'd only had me work on them.
I trained them from the time they first came here to our home...
anywhere from 11 weeks to 9 months of age...and I continue to.  It's a daily adventure!
I'm proud they're my Pups...because they are well behaved, nice and funny!

Now, you may be wondering why there are photos of 4 Pups in the photo above,
when I mentioned we had 3...here's the story.

Our youngest Pup, Angel, arrived just 3 weeks after we suffered a terrible loss
of one of our Furry Kids.
Benny, {the 4th Pup in the photo), a Havanese, who was the Leader of the 3 Pack,
our Guard Dog and a comfort, who weighed 18#, was only a little over 4 1/2 years old,
woke up one morning, lame on one of his hind legs.
After seeing the Vet, we came home with some meds for him and an appointment to return
after the weekend for X-rays.
By that evening, it was apparent to the ER Vet we went to that he was much worse
than anyone could have ever known.
He was suffering from an acute onset of neurological problems.
He was seizing so frequently, couldn't hear or see, didn't know where he was
or even whether he was upside down or right side up.
No ones knows how, why or anything as to how this came about,
but in less than 12 hours - from the time we saw our Vet in the morning
and when we saw the ER Vet in the evening,
we knew he wasn't going to make it through the night.
We decided we had to put him to sleep.
We couldn't allow him to continue suffering.  It was terrible.
I'd never experienced anything like it before.
But it was the right choice and the only choice we could make for such a special dog.
I'm certain he was Heaven-sent, just special,
to help me through a nearly 2 year (and continuing) recovery from Bell's Palsy.
He knew when I was in pain and would come by me to give me comfort.
He knew right where the pain was, too.
He would nuzzle me with his nose and lick the spot
and then place himself in such a way as to use his body heat to warm up the sore
and stiff, paralyzed muscles in my face, neck and head.  He knew.  It was hard to let him go.
The days following his death on December 7, 2013, were harder.
They are better now, but I still miss him. 

The new 3-Pack has been a great pack...getting along so well,
playing and running around and generally being Pups!
You can read more about all of the 3 Pups Here.

God gave me Gifts and Talents, about which I am Passionate.  I knew, when I was a kid, that I had these talents - loving and caring for animals, cooking and baking and creating things with my hands...but it wasn't until I was saved that I understood how I got them and where they came from and why I always felt a need to use them.  I've always been a very detailed person...and that started in childhood, too.  And my 3 Talents all include DETAIL.  So did I become a detailed person using my talents?  Or did God already instill in me the ability to be DETAILED?  I don't know...but whatever HE did, HE did right!!  I've used my Talents throughout my life. 

 Here are Three of them...

Interior Design

As a child, I often moved my bedroom furniture around, creating new window treatments and sitting areas in my small bedroom.  I'd prompt my mom to rearrange the living room furniture too.  I liked helping my parents select paint colors and work on the house.  As I got older, I would decorate my own apartment and then began helping others decorate their own homes.  In 1981, I began my career as an Interior Designer at Ethan Allen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I was able to support myself and use a Talent from God and for that I'm very thankful.  Through the years, of course, my taste and style has evolved.  One thing that has never changed is my love of the color BLACK.  It anchors a room and just balances other colors.  It's been my one constant in design.

The next 2 photos are of my initial Interior Design of our new home.  It stayed this way for 6 years and has undergone a big change...which I hope to begin sharing very soon on my Blog...

The Comfort of a Safe Place.

I've been in the midst of a whole house re-design for quite a while.  While I was recuperating from the worst of Bell's Palsy, I did nothing.  I can't remember the summer - the entire summer and fall of 2012, the year I got it.  I was in so much pain, I would sleep and sleep and sleep.  I wasn't taking medications to make me sleep, my body just needed it.  And two years later, my energy level is still low...but improving.  My recovery continues.


As you can see the table in my Dining Room is Set for Lunch...with a Friend...complete with Tea.  I love decorating and setting a pretty table and serving delicious food.  On my Blog, you'll find lots of Recipes that are either mine or tried and true Recipes from other friends.

To me, there is nothing more loving and comforting than preparing a meal or Tea and serving it to others.  I know sometimes I rush around and probably even appear frazzled but it's only because I want everything to be just right for my guests.

Here's a Great Summer Salad Recipe that I love.

Creamy Cucumber Salad 
(BETTER FOR YOU - in parenthesis)

1 medium red onion, roughly diced
2 medium cucumbers, halved, peeled &sliced 1/2" thick
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced 
2 large cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons granulated sugar (or 2T honey)
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or Garlic, Thyme, or any other seasoning)
1 tablespoon fresh dill (or as much as desired)

Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe Preparation Instructions:

Place the diced onion, sliced cucumbers (*see note below), sliced green pepper, halved cherry tomatoes into  a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, mayonnaise, parsley flakes, sugar (or honey), salt/seasoning and dill.  Pour over the "veggies" and toss.  Refrigerate at least 2 hrs (stirring at least once to redistribute ingredients).  The dressing gets a bit thinner as all the flavors blend and the juices of the "veggies" come out.

*Note: The cucumber cut is especially important. If thinly sliced, most cucumbers wilt & do not retain their crunch.

I love using my pretty things - Dishes, Silver Flatware, Crystal, Serving Pieces, so here are a few that I like to use - whether serving lunch or dinner or Tea - and even use every day.  These are pretties that I've collected throughout my life.

And I even use my PINK PYREX Dishes!!

Most people I know...who take a vacation...no matter who they are, no matter how much they love cooking and baking, choose to NOT DO ANY while on vacation.  NOT ME!!  I even take items from home that I know I will need in order to cook my meals and bake some goodies.  I take 2 full bins that fit in the trunk, filled with needed bowls, mixer, pans, mixing bowls, panini press, griddle...pot and pans, knives...you name it, I take it...after carefully planning a menu for the week we'll be away.  Sometimes, if the owner of the Vacation Homes we stay in are on the Property or near...I've been known to take them a meal, too!  It does my ♥ good to serve others.

Working With My Hands
Hand-Crafted Jewelry & Rosaries and Crochet
I like keeping busy, even when I'm relaxing and God has given me a Talent that allows me to do that.  I crochet and design and create Rosaries and Jewelry, some of which is in my Etsy Shop.  I feel the best when I'm using all of my talents and I bet you do too.  Here are a few items that I've created.

I'm so fortunate to have these Talents...and that I've been able to support myself using them.  God has been so good to me by giving me these talents, that I feel the need to use them daily.  And, using them daily, makes me the happiest.  While I'm happy with what I create, I know that the ideas in my head come from God and He guides me as to what I should be doing with my talents.

What are your Talents that you've been blessed with?  How do you use them?  Do you use them often?  How long have you known about your talents?

Blessings to each and every one of you...have a great week!

Stop by and see me sometime...I'd love to meet you!


Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jan, So loved this post from you as a guest blogger for sweet Stephanie. We have been friends for a long time and I love reading about your special talents which I have known and have the joy of having your designs myself.

God has blessed you with a creative spirit and you are using it to bring joy to others.
Can't wait to see your home updates. I use black as an anchor too and love it.

So enjoyed your post Jan. Have a wonderful time away Stephanie and blessings to you both.


Debbie Harris said...

What a beautiful post Jan! Now I really have to say that we have lots in common. :-)
So much here, and I enjoyed every bit of it.
Have a beautiful day! Debbie

Debby Ray said...

Hi Jan...you most definitely are one talented lady! The cucumber salad looks heavenly...I may be trying that...and your jewelry is breathtaking!

Breahn said...

I love love love Mrs. Jan!! She is a beautiful soul! I adore her jewelry and her rosaries. I was gifted a rosary made by her, and I use it every single day..... Thank you for having her on your blog, which I also love! ♥

Jan Hermann said...

I just want to say a big thank you to Stephanie for having me here today as her Guest Blogger. It's been fun! I'm enjoying seeing new people and some old friends commenting.

Celeste...you've been a dear friend for a long time...and you bless me with your kind comments! ♥

Debbie...you're a new friend, who I'm loving getting to know. We DO have lots in common...that's for sure. Have a wonderful day! ♥

Debby Ray...I'm pleased to meet you. Thanks for the compliment on my Jewelry...I do enjoy making it! You'll love the Cucumber Salad, it's delicious! ♥

Breahn...Where in the world have you been? Your blog profile is not public...and I lost you on Facebook. I'm so pleased to see you here today! You've been a blessing! ♥

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hi Jan,
Upon reading your wonderfully thoughtful post, I will be visiting your blog ASAP.
I think God has given me the gifts of humor, intercession, encouragement, and quilt designing. At least those are the ones that popped into my head. Many Blessings to Stephanie and you.

Jan Hermann said...

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! It's nice to meet you. I love your gifts! What a Blessing! I've already been to your blog for a visit! ♥ Jan

Valerie said...

Hi Jan, So nice to meet you. What a lovely post. That salad looks yummy! Will have to save it to try later! =) Blessings and Sunshine, Valerie

Anne Payne said...

The salad looks delicious, and I adore your pink Pyrex!

Linda said...

Please forgive me, I have been meaning to stop by this week while Stephanie is on vacation..what a wonderful guest post..I just love your style and that pink pyrex! I don't think I have ever seen pink before. Blessings

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Hi Jan, I loved this post you did on Stephanie's blog. I loved reading about you and I too enjoy cooking and crocheting. I am now following you on Bloglovin. I do hope you see this as I tried to leave a comment on your blog but could not find the comment area. Sorry.
Julie's Lifestyle

Denise said...

Enjoyed your post very much Jan.

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Jan, Yes, it was nice to see some of your many talents and lovely home. And it is God who blesses us with such amazing talents. I seem to have a knack for being the last comment on every blog!
Well, better late than never!
I am so glad to know you Jan you are very special to me!
Love, Roxy

Jan Hermann said...

I want to thank each and every one of you who read my post! The comments do my ♥ good!

I'll come around to your blogs and leave comments - and I will be adding blogs to my Blog List, because I want to visit you all more!!

Thanks Stephanie for this opportunity to be a Guest Blogger, it's been a blessing! ♥

Conniecrafter said...

so sorry to hear of your loss of your furbaby and after such a short time, sounds like God blessed you with a sweetie there to help ease your hurt.
You do such beautiful work with your beading!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Dear Jan...anyone would be proud to have you as their guest blogger. You did a fantastic job in letting us get to know you. You seem such a warm, caring and wonderful person..not to mention talented.
Loving your little pups..really touched my heart.
My best to you in all you do. It's been a pleasure meeting you!

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