Childrens Stories, Critters, dolls, life stories, Show and Tell

Once upon a time


Under the Apple Tree: remembering stories of a little girl and her adventures

There once was a little girl who lived in a far country. She loved to play pretend. She was the only little girl in her family. She had no brothers nor sisters. She had lots of cousins, but they were boys. And the boy cousins were much older than she; too old to play dolls under the dining room table when all the adults were talking about important stuff. So the little girl was content with her dolls and animals and the little sandwich she snatched off the table.

“Ok, Dollie, you stay here and keep guard and I’ll be right back” the little girl put her sandwich on Dollie’s lap and peeked out from under the table..all clear.. She thought she heard Grandfather go out the kitchen door and that meant only one thing .. the workshop!

She quickly slipped out of the house to follow Grandfather. “Wait for me,” she called “what are you doing?”

Grandfather slowed his walking and held the door open for his favorite granddaughter. “I’m just putting away some of these empty bottles. We might be able to use them later.” But the little girl wasn’t really listening…she had already begun asking more questions about all those tiny drawers. She skipped over to the dresser and opened the first drawer she could reach. ever so carefully, she slid it open just enough to look inside.

“Nails, hmm..long ones, short ones, teeny tiny ones,” she announced as she picked them up one by one.

“But Grandfather, why do you have so many?” It seemed curious to the little girl that Grandfather would have such a workshop because he was a baker.

The next drawer had little strips of papers. Some of the papers had numbers in rows, some had tiny flowers painted on them, some had numbers and names.

“why do you have all these little papers, Grandfather?

“What is this envelope?

“Can I have one to give to Dollie?”

Grandfather smiled and took the little envelope to have a better look, “these are flower seeds for the garden. You can have this one.” he said handing it back to the little girl.

“What kind of flowers?” She asked.


Triumphant of found treasure, the little girl put the envelope in her pocket to show Dollie and taking Grandfather’s hand they walked back to the house.

Quickly she scurried back under the table and was about to tell Dollie about her treasure, when…

“Nora, where are you now? Are you getting your dress dirty? Nora?” uh oh…Mommy was calling .. “time to go. Come out from under the table.”

And out she came, for Nora was a good little girl and always tried to obey her Mommy and Papi. With Dollie, her flower envelope, and the last bite of her sandwich, Nora waved goodbye to her aunts and uncles.

“I know, Dollie, we’ll start planning what to do with the pretty envelope that Grandfather gave us when we get home.”

— to be continued

So there it is. The beginning of many stories. What did you think? I would love your feedback.  I need a title for this story.  The name of collection is Under the Apple Tree.

I leave you with this:

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.    –Matthew 18:4-5

May the LORD bless you and keep you in his lovingkindness,

Until next time,

Cristina aka Granny

Childrens Stories, Critters, Sewing, Show and Tell, Word of God


Scruffy: untidy, shabby


We all have those days.  Whether it is the mess of  dishes, chores,  work, or everything all at the same time.  Scruffy is not limited to our daily activities but also includes our emotions.  We can feel untidy, which is different from dirty.  Untidy says unorganized, not enough time or strength to take care of the details, and maybe some apathy that has crept in as we attempt to juggle the cares of the day and the people in our lives.

When my mom died, things went wonky in my thoughts and emotions.  As Christians, we have a hope when our loved ones pass on ahead of us.  (Our hope is in Jesus Christ and his redemption on the cross, his rising on the third day, and him being seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven)  The wonky came not with death but dealing with the life we live now until we do meet again.

We all have to keep living, doing, talking, and being a blessing to those around us even as things around us go wonky…unplanned, unexpected, inconvenient, and hard.

My Dad and I are working together and reseachering famiy history and compiling a book of rememberance: a biography.  We are enjoying  putting together our own memories of Mom with her childhood stories, matching old photos with family stories, peoples, and places.  In so doing, there are many times it seems emotionally overwhelming…memories can bring with it so many emotions simulatiously that it can cause a brain fog.

Scruffy:  We know we should be OKAY; yet our feelings aren’t agreeing.   Have you felt like that?  What can be done? Many say it’s just grief.  Yes and no.  These overwhelming life situations are not limited to loss of a loved one.  Death does seem to magnify the emotions beyond what we think we can handle; but there are those who are in tough situations and feel hopeless, stuck, or just trying to survive.

Take courage!  The God of ALL comfort is faithful and trustworthy to help us through the most difficult times.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.        ~Psalm 27:14

This brings me to my project: learning how to make little critters (mouse, lamb, bunny)

Mom loved to tell stories to her grandchildren but never wrote them down.   So, I’m going to write children’s books based on those stories.  And I decided to learn to make these little critters to go along with my writings about my Mom.

I cut out the pattern on some muslin fabric to practice.  As I began putting the pieces together, I grew frustrated because I couldn’t seem to get them together in the correct order..I didn’t have the instructions, just the pieces.  How hard could this be?  It’s just a little mouse.  I do know how to sew.  I do know how to figure things out.  And I couldn’t call my mom to ask her any questions…ugg!




Guess what?  The LORD God of heaven knows how everything fits together.. yes, even pattern pieces of a little mouse.  Remember this from Matthew 10:29-31:

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. “

Putting the pieces together is a specialty of our loving God.  These little critters remind me everyday how true that is.  If I, an amatuer doll maker, can cut out the pieces, throw away the scraps and sew something beautiful, then HOW MUCH MORE our Creator and God!!  This makes me happy!


Now I know you may be thinking that Scruffy is not that beautiful..but he is a work in progress…like us.. hehehe.  His story is still being written.  (and I’ll be sharing it the next post)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:  -Philippians 1:6

Meet cousins of Scruffy from his mother’s side of the family:  Ivan and Hazel.  Hazel is the older sister; but Ivan thinks he’s older because he has grown much taller than Hazel. Doesn’t she know that if you are taller, you most certainly must be older?  Silly mouse, thinks Hazel as she poses for the camera.


Next time, we’ll have a listen to Scruffy’s story.  He’s a little embarrassed to have a story written about himself; but he knows you’ll enjoy it.

If you would like to follow the critters and me on Instagram, we’d love to have you. (@mama8hawks)  You’ll get to see some behind the scenes, meet new critters, and maybe smell the cookies from this Granny’s House.

Hugs and keep looking up!


aka Granny

Baking, Baking Biographies, Show and Tell

Singing Bread

​  ​

​I am beyond excited that the bread that I made actually sings!  You will have to turn your volume up all the way to hear it.  Listen carefully.  Did you hear it?  Oh, how I wish you could smell it!!

Let me tell you the story… a while back, when spending time studying about baking, I came across an article recommending great bread baking books.  I read the reviews and decided that this book was for me.   Secrets of a Jewish Baker: Authentic Jewish Rye and Other Breads by George Greenstein.  Immediately, I felt as if I was sitting in his bakery watching and learning.  Oh! the aroma!

Here’s what Master Baker Greenstein wrote to open his book,

The author of this book is a master baker who has spent his life working with his hands in pursuit of the perfect loaf.  What is the perfect Bread? How does one know when it has been found?  Who is qualified to judge?

One night, working alone while the others were asleep, a baker was standing in front of a huge oven.  Behind him was an wire rack containing more than 200 loaves, hot, just removed from the oven.  All was still in the bakery that very first time when he heard the rye bread sing.  He turned, stood listening, at first without comprehension, then he smiled, recognized the sound — for him, a melody!

Occasionally when making bread everything comes together in harmony.  The dough is flawless and the surrounding conditions are ideal.  When the rye bread is removed from the oven, the crust begins to crack in the cooler air and form a finely veined alligator-like appearance.  To the baker’s ear the almost imperceptible crackling, multiplied a hundredfold, is a song of praise for the perfect loaf.

So, yesterday, I made Mr. Greenstein’s Rye Sourdough bread.  The timer rang, and I took the loaves out of the oven and set them on the cooling rack.  I’ve made bread so many times, I really can’t even count.  (27 years worth)  And as I was preparing the next batch, I heard it!  The bread was singing!!  I ran and grabbed by phone to share with you. Never before had I even noticed.  Maybe, I’m paying more attention now or maybe as Mr. Greenstein wrote about.. finally… a perfect loaf.

Baking, Show and Tell, thrifting

Thursday Thrifting

thrifty nifty banner

It’s Thrifty Nifty Thursday!  This week has been a good week in general.  For that I should call today THANKFUL Thursday.  (the kitten is just for #CUTENESSOVERLOAD) 

It’s funny how we feel the need to categorize our stuff, maybe that helps us with a sense of order in this crazy world.  Or maybe it serves as a reminder to stop and smell the roses, as it were, to admonish ourselves to remember the good things, those thing that bring a smile to our face, and just be grateful.

There is an amazing Bible verse that helps to keep our mental stuff in its proper perspective.  Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

And with that, I’ll move on to something lovely and of good report!  It was the end of May,  my husband and I were out running errands and decided to make a quick stop at a thrift shop on the way home.  It was actually a shop we had not visited before and so it was exciting .. treasure hunting, you know.

Most of the time, I have a running mental list of things I may be interested in, if the price is right and IF I have the funds.  We usually start looking at the kitchen things.  New, kitchen things are expensive and always worth the investment…but if you can find it for a fraction of the price .. SCORE!

So I’m looking at baking pans and my eye catches the outline of something that I’ve been dreaming about.  I walk quickly, but not too quickly as to draw attention to myself and the excitement whelling up in my heart. It’s a KitchenAid mixer! At the thrift shop?  Those are well sought after and hard to find second-hand.  Just the week before, while at a yard sale, I found a little KitchenAid mixer in working order and the owner wanted $300! at a yard sale?! It was the smallest one KitchenAid makes and came with a pasta maker attachment, but still .. $300? at a yard sale? I come from the era of yard sales that people still charged less than $20 for big items and nickles and dimes for the small stuff.

Anywhooo… back to my story… I look at the mixer skeptically as I search for the price.  Some thrift shops are getting mighty proud of the donations they receive…I find the tag .. I ask my husband to look at the tag to make sure I read it correctly.


Yes, you read that correctly.  $34.99!  Well, did it have all the pieces? Check.  Does it work? We hefted it into the cart and went over to ask the clerk if we could plug it in and make sure it worked ok.  IT WORKS!  Calm down, Cristina, calm down...I kept telling myself as we were checking out.  By the time we reached the car, I was doing the dance of joy!!  This Kitchen Aid mixer is my preferred color of white, it has all the pieces, it is the ‘professional’ model, and it WORKS!!  AND I had the funds to purchase it!  My birthday was the week before and our sweet children (who know how much I like to treasure hunt) had given me birthday money.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning

-James 1:17



that little scuff on the front is the only blemish .. there are no dings nor nicks.  I am beyond thankful to the LORD God who set this mixer aside for me to find.  He gave me a lovely birthday present!!

I have since used it to make my cookie dough and royal icing.  Beautiful.

What treasures have you found this summer?  Talk to the LORD, he knows what you have need of, and he loves us to walk with him and delight in his ways.  He will direct your steps if you let him.

By the way, I have my favorite tools and resources linked to Amazon.  So if you need something quickly or you haven’t found it at your local thrift shop or yard sale, you can get it on Amazon.  By purchasing your supplies via this page you are supporting my blog and little bakery .. Thank you!


You deserve some sweetness in your day!


Baking, Baking Biographies, Show and Tell, thrifting

the Adventure Begins

the adventure begins

Hello Dear Reader! and thank you for joining me on my little bakery adventure as I have officially opened my online neighborhood bakery.

This blog has a two-fold purpose: first, to share with you my adventures in baking and life and second to encourage in the daily stuff.  We all need a little joy and encouragement to help us get through the mundane, stressful, or unsure days; as well as sharing the hopeful, cheerful, and good days. I hope my little blog can help you.

iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 724

homemade pretzels! gone in a flash!


I think I have a plan.  They say you should have a plan.  I grew up making lists, my dad is the king of list making.  So, I suppose that my plan can be like my list for the the blog.  It should keep me on track, right?

MONDAYS:  I’ll share a preview of the week .. upcoming bakes .. maybe a vlog .. something to get the week started right.

TUESDAYS:  Show and Tell! I love show and tell! PHOTOS! recipes .. links .. and some DIY

WEDNESDAYS:  The WORD on Bread :  seeking for and finding the substance and nourishment of God’s written Word.

THURSDAYS:  Thrify Nifty Reviews :  treasure finds, bakery tools, cookbook reviews, and dressing your mealtime table.

FRIDAYS:  Baker’s Biographies : I love to hear about and read stories of those who have paved the way for the next generation.  We’ll discover together the history of baked goods, stories from Grandmothers and Grandfathers, and even meet some of today’s sweetest bakers.

Along the way, you may have to humor me as I share bits about quilting or knitting, or posts about how much I love our children,  our grandchildren, and sheep.  There might even be a mention or two of my moto-adventures with my best friend, my handsome husband. 🙂

There will be affiliate links to Amazon in order for you to have easy access to some of the treasures we share here.

Baking, Show and Tell

Beautiful Weddings

fondant flowers and leaves 042017

Our family has celebrated another wedding and that is the reason for my lack of posting lately… ya know .. wedding stuff ..

Our youngest daughter got to have her outside wedding.. she did a beautiful job in planning and execution of her vision.  A small wedding in our oldest son’s backyard was the perfect setting for the celebration.

You know how the day before the ceremony, everyone is bustling and decorating and there’s commotion at every turn .. now .. add to that a very unusual snow in the morning followed by sunshine and then a dose of hail in the afternoon for good measure … it was a day full of weather surprises, for sure! Despite all that ‘raining down’ on an otherwise beautiful outdoor wedding, everything went off without a hitch… well, except for the ‘hitch’ at the I Do’s — hahaha!  (sorry, I had to say it)

I was honored to make the wedding cake.  It was so much fun to learn how to make fondant (or sugar paste as is known outside the USA) flowers.  My husband’s niece helped me to bake all the cake layer and was such a blessing!!  We made 4 -14″ squares and 4-14″ rounds to create one giant heart!

iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 886

Our second son’s girlfriend was my assistant decorator — another blessing!! Thanks, Noelle!  I definitely learned so much during that whole process!!  I suppose that’s a good thing.. to always be willing to learn and grow and improve..right?  We still have an abundance of Strawberry Cream cheese Filling!  In my endeavor to have enough, I made a gallon too much!  Into the freezer that went, I’ll let you know of future baking that may or may not have some extra Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling in it.

Our daughter and son-in-law loved the cake and that is what’s most important!
iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 896

Here is the inspiration for the cake .

Would you like the recipes?  First let me explain .. no let me sum-up .. After several practice cakes, I discovered that our daughter is Goldie Locks .. and not just for her blonde hair .. but that she wanted her cake to be just right.  She wanted a lemon cake. Simple. or so I thought.  The first cake was a lemon pound cake made with cream cheese in the batter .. that was too dense.  For the second cake, I used a different recipe that omitted the cream cheese and used sour cream instead.  Beautiful.  Perfect sponge, perfect fresh lemon flavor.. but no .. not quiet right, said she.  I was resolved to make everything from scratch.  Our daughter’s wedding is a big deal and I wanted the cake to be superb.  In desperation for the perfect wedding lemon cake, I asked my niece for suggestions.  She had a recipe that used as it’s base boxed white cake.  She explained that the science of the boxed cake helped in the overall sponge of the cake.  OK.. At this point, okay, it just needed to be more light in texture.

We used her ‘doctored’ box cake recipe with lemon emulsion and Voila! Success!!

stay tuned for the recipe … I have to go find it …


you deserve some sweetness today,