Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester

I was hoping to visit others blogs last night but I just didn't have the heart to do so.  My husband and I were watching the news in the wake of the Manchester attack.  So much hate and evil in the world.  My heart and prayers go out to the families.

I rarely post anything political or newsworthy and it even feels strange to post what I have.  I tend to shelter myself away from as much of it as I can.  I'm not sure if that is entirely healthy, but for me, it is what I can do.

May God grant peace, comfort, and justice for those who are suffering.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Wonder of the Woods



I love looking at the little touches of wonder in the woods.  Everywhere I look, there is something new.




I find mushrooms quite fascinating.  I know ~ Do Not Eat them! (although the strange man down the street showed me some mushrooms in his yard and said they were edible...  I was thinking no thanks).  I do enjoy looking at them.

I was remarking to my husband just last week that I hadn't seen very many mushrooms this year.  And then it rained a lot and BOOM!! Mushrooms!!

In my photograph above, I am especially fond of the big mushroom in the front.  It almost looks like a scone or possibly a meringue.  I imagine the fairies in the gardens are as delighted as I am.

Have you mushrooms in your garden, field, meadow, or woods?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

About the Sheltered Garden Ground


About the sheltered garden ground
The trees stand strangely still.
The vale ne'er seemed so deep before,
Nor yet so high the hill.

An awful sense of quietness,
A fulness of repose,
Breathes from the dewy garden-lawns,
The silent garden rows.

As the hoof-beats of a troop of horse
Heard far across a plain,
A nearer knowledge of great thoughts
Thrills vaguely through my brain.

I lean my head upon my arm,
My heart's too full to think;
Like the roar of seas, upon my heart
Doth the morning stillness sink.

Robert Louis Stevenson
beautiful photograph via pixabay

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Happiness Blooms

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower. ~Author Unknown

It seems I often find many of my favorite decor items either at a thrift store, a craft store, or an estate/garage sale.  I love this wooden sign that I found a few weeks ago.  I placed it in my entry way above the bench seat.


Happiness has bloomed in abundance for me this week.  Two days with little Sam, a day of church, and a day of Ladies Bible Study. Five or six days of sunshine. Countless cups of coffee. Mornings on the back porch. Strolls in the woods.

Did you have a blooming happy week?

Friday, May 19, 2017

this moment ~ Rustic Potatoes


this moment

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lullaby Time



Hush my baby, don't you cry
while your mama
sings a lullaby
Hoot owl murmuring
in a nearby tree
that tranquil evening melody





Peace, be still, the Lord is near
He will kiss away night tears, lay all your fears upon Him
By your side He will remain
And chase the misty night away and beckon golden dawning

Hush, now baby, close your eyes while your daddy sings a lullaby
Wind chimes dance beneath the starry sky
To a tranquil evening lullaby

Peace, be still, the Lord is near
He will kiss away night tears, lay all your fears upon Him
By your side He will remain
And chase the misty night away and beckon golden dawn in

Peace, be still, the Lord is near
He will kiss away night tears, lay all your fears upon Him
By your side He will remain
And chase the misty night away and beckon golden dawn in

Peace, be still, the Lord is near
Peace, be still, the Lord is near
Peace, be still

Jamie Owens-Collins, Peace Be Still

This evening I want to share with you my absolute favorite lullaby.  Jamie Owens-Collin wrote and sang it in the '80's.  I first heard it on a lullaby album that is no longer available.  I'm thinking it was around 1986 because I remember singing it to my third daughter.

I found a youtube video of the song sung by Jamie Owens-Collins but the pictures are really random and not so great.  Not nasty or anything, just not what I think works.  If you'd like to hear the song, you can listen to it here.

Do you have a favorite lullaby that you would sing to your baby?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cookbook Countdown

3..2..1..


I ordered three new cookbooks and I am excited to get started cooking. Have you ever seen the Taste of Home magazines?  I received it years ago and really enjoyed their simple delicious recipes. Since we've moved and found a lovely church family, we are going to be breaking bread with various groups of people on a regular basis. I need some new ideas!

The first cookbook is Taste of Home's Make It Freeze It.  There are 275+ freezer-friendly recipes for busy families.  I love the idea of making some meals ahead of time whether it be because I am too busy to cook or perhaps I want to make a meal for someone that is not well or just had a baby.  They can put it right in the freezer until they need it, thaw it out, and then bake it.


The second cookbook is Taste of Home's Ultimate 9x13 Cookbook. In this book there are 315 recipes for my 9x13 pan. There are main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and more.  I love this size pan because it's perfect for a potluck dinner ~ enough for a number of hungry people but not too much. All the pictures on the cover look so delicious. I've never made a 4th of July cake like the one picture but I've had one that looks like this and it was good.  I did look at this particular recipe and it is different than the one I tasted. Can the 4th of July just hurry up already!


The third and last cookbook is Taste of Home's Church Supper Recipes. There are a whopping 359 crowd pleasing favorites inside. Love the pictures, recipes, and inspirational Bible quotes that are in each chapter! There also are bonus chapters with holiday favorites and extra-large yields. I'm not sure what extra-large yields are but I'm guessing the recipe makes a LOT! (for some reason, I'm picturing a road worker with a really big YIELD sign!)

I would love to try a new recipe each week from at least one of these cookbooks. Practice makes perfect! ♥

Have you tried a new recipe lately?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Simply Rustic Frittata


The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you're not a traveler. You're a tourist.
~Guillermo del Toro


Love the quote from one of my favorite movie director/producers. Recipes, like journeys, sometimes need to be spontaneous. You need to mix it up a bit and see where you end up!

I decided to wonder off the beaten path with my latest frittata.  As you may remember, I made a delicious Ham & Asparagus Frittata. I had ham and asparagus left over from Easter and decided to whip up a frittata.  It was a hit with everyone. ♥

I was plumb out of asparagus and though I have some ham in the freezer, I decided to make a Spinach and Mushroom Frittata.  I picked a tomato from the garden and added that as well.  Oh my!  I think it was even better than the Ham & Asparagus Frittata.

I love cooking & baking in my big cast iron skillet.  And I absolutely love simple rustic dinners.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tired but Happy

I am exhausted!  In fact, I think I will be in bed before 8 pm.  I'm desperately trying to stay awake until then.

Today I had the joyful opportunity of taking care of baby Sam for several hours while my daughter slept.  Who would have thought that snuggling a sweet baby would be so exhausting?  He drifted off to dreamland after some quality lullaby time.  I put him in his little bed and had time for a cup of coffee before he awoke and needed to be changed.  A little more rocking and singing and he was down for the count.

I am tired but very very happy.  I could get used to this! ♥

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Mother's Day to Remember


If I could have anything, anything at all this Mother's Day, I would choose to relive as many beautiful moments with my children that I could remember.


I would spend the day at the Zoo with the twins.  They would be three years old.  I would push the double stroller and we would visit all the animals.  We would laugh at the monkeys ~ especially the orangutans who were especially interested in my purse.  We would eat crackers and drink from juice boxes.  We would watch the mice in the little bread house.  We would pet the soft downy fluff of the chicks.

I would spend an afternoon singing Bible rhymes with my third daughter.  She would be two years old.  God pushed up the mountains and rolled out the seas.  He painted the skies and then he made me.  We would make all the hand gestures together that matched the little songs and we would laugh.

I would march along with my son.  He would be almost two and have a large yellow mixing bowl on his head as he marched.  Then I would  sit on the floor and play trucks with him.

I would visit the library with all the children.  They would be all ages and so excited to explore other worlds with books.  We would carry armfuls home for a week, read them, and then return the following week to repeat the same.

I would read aloud to my children.  So many books ~ especially all the CS Lewis Narnia books. Their eyes sparkled at the wonder and beauty of the land beyond the wardrobe.

I would sing with them all the Donut Man songs we knew together.  I would listen to the Adventures in Odyssey cassette tapes again and again.

I would watch all the old Disney movies with them.  And then of course, we'd watch Star Wars.  We all loved the original Star Wars movies ~ especially my son who would pretend he was Luke.

I would play countless board games and card games and even the really noisy Hungry Hungry Hippos.

I would plant a garden with the children.  I would watch them grow as surely as the plants did. Water them with encouragement. Harvest their love for learning. Oh how they bloomed!

I would hold their hands as we walked.  I would hold them in my lap.  I would rock them to sleep.

So many things I would do again if I could relive those moments. But now is the time for grandchildren. And love begins again.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Popcorn & a Show ~ The Orphanage


I'd grab the camera and tell people what to do, and when I was 14, someone told me that it was called directing. ~ Guillermo del Toro



My goal is to watch and review one foreign film a month this year. So far this year, I've seen one Swedish film, one Korean film and two Persian films. This month, I chose a Spanish film.

The Orphanage is not a new film to me. It is one of my favorite movies, foreign or otherwise. I love the characters ~ especially the main character Laura (in Spanish pronounced La-or-a). The scenery is gorgeous. Guillermo del Toro is the executive producer/director. I am a big fan of all his films! And although the film is in the drama/horror genre, I didn't find it scary at all.

The Orphanage is a movie you will not soon forget.
Laura, a former orphan, raises her adopted son Simón together with her husband Carlos in an old house and former orphanage where she was raised. While at the orphanage Simón tells Laura that he has five invisible friends which she believes are a product of his active imagination. Laura decides to reopen the orphanage to cater for disabled children and throws a party. During the party Simón tries to persuade Laura to go and take a look at his friends cabin but she's too busy. Later on she sees a mysterious masked boy and realizes that Simón has also disappeared. Laura feels the presence of other people in the house and months later Laura invites a team of parapsychologists to try to unravel the mystery. (click on the link to see a trailer for this movie)

If you have never watched a foreign film before, the Orphanage is a great one to start with. Enjoy!

(You can find links to my other foreign film movie reviews in the right sidebar.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

this moment ~ Berry Hopeful


this moment A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

Thursday, May 11, 2017

All in a Golden Afternoon


Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.
~Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers

Snapdragons are such cheerful flowers.  I am so delighted to have freshly cut flowers that grew in my very own AeroGardens. These remind me of the song All in a Golden Afternoon from Alice in Wonderland.  

Little bread-and-butterflies kiss the tulips
And the sun is like a toy balloon
There are get-up-in-the-morning glories
In the golden afternoon

There are dizzy daffodils on the hillside
Strings of violets are all in tune
Tiger lilies love the dandelions
In the golden afternoon

There are dog and cat-erpillars and a copper centipede
Where the lazy daisies love the very peaceful life
They lead...

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There's a wealth of happiness and romance
All in the golden afternoon

All in the golden afternoon, the golden afternoon

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
For especially in the month of June
There's a wealth of happiness and romance
All in the golden afternoon

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The F Word

It is difficult for me to pass up a good deal when it comes to grocery shopping.

Yesterday I shopped out of necessity. Our cupboards were bare and now they aren't.

My grocery store has great buy 1 get 1 free deals or even sometimes buy 2 get 3 free!! And since FULL PRICE is the F word in my house... I do my best to take advantage of sales.

I think the best sale yesterday was on the store brand shredded cheese (buy 2 get 3 free).  I bought mozzarella and cheddar.  I see chicken parmesan and enchiladas in my future (not together ~ separate dinners). Win Win!

Today I went grocery shopping again because there were new sales and if you spent $100, you would get $20 off.  I very carefully added up my items in my head as I placed them into my cart.  I didn't want to end up with $99.  I was spot on and happy with my purchases.  The best sale this week is on Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice (buy 1 get 1 free).  My husband and I like the 50% sugar Cranberry Juice (not the lite one).  We've both been good about not drinking soda (though I do splurge once a week and have a diet 7up float).

Is FULL PRICE the F word in your house?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Key to Happiness

I don't drown my sorrows; I suffocate them with chocolate.
~ Author Unknown

I love this little metal trinket tray.  It has lacy metal edging and a metal key standing upright in the middle. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it would make a perfect candy dish.  It reminds me so much of Alice in Wonderland.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Playing Catch Up

I feel as if it has been ages since I've been home when in reality I've been home in little bits and pieces.  Today, I am not going anywhere!

Friday's this moment ~ Storyteller Woods photograph is of my front side yard.  In the right corner of the picture, you can see a portion of the fence and the gardening shed.  Isn't everything a lovely green?  I love North Carolina.

Saturday and Sunday's posts were little bits of  baby news.
Yes, he has arrived!

My daughter went into labor around 7:30 Saturday night.  Off to the hospital we went to join them.  We spent most of the evening & early morning, visiting my daughter during labor and waiting in the waiting room.  She preferred we not be in with her for the birth so we decided to go home for a bit.  Their dog, Toby, needed to be taken out etc. so my husband and I left at 2 am to take him out and go home to take Little Bear out.  We went to sleep around 3:15 am until 5:30 am.  Coffee and off we went to pick up Toby to take him to his dog daycare/boarding.


Sweet Toby in the back seat!

He hopped right in the car and plopped down.  After we took off his leash, we were good to go. Toby is a HUGE Airedale that my daughter adopted a few years ago.  He is deaf and a BIG love bug!

After we dropped Toby, his bed and food off, we drove back to the hospital.  Just in time to meet baby Sam!  He is a little peanut of a baby weighing in at 6 lbs 5 oz.  He has reddish blonde hair (more peach fuzz than hair) and is the sweetest little baby boy.

We spent most of Sunday helping them and holding the baby while my daughter slept.  It's a hard job, I know, but someone has to do it! ♥  We left the hospital after 6 pm and went home.  I think we were in bed asleep by 8:30.

Being a nana is the best!  But boy am I tired still!  Today is a day of rest and tomorrow I need to go to the market as the cupboards are bare.  Wednesday, I plan on going to my daughter's home for several hours to take care of the baby while she sleeps.  I love holding Little Sam.

I think I've caught you up with my news and I am hoping to catch up on your new posts throughout the day.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Welcome Baby


Welcome Baby Samuel!

I am utterly exhausted.  I will, Lord willing, be able to post a proper update tomorrow.  Thank you for your prayers.  All are well!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

It's Time

We are at the hospital!  The baby is on his way ~ tonight or tomorrow! ♥

Friday, May 5, 2017

this moment ~ Storyteller Woods


this moment A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Lovely Days of Spring



I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

The greeness of the spring is upon us. Little touches of yellow and pink are evident in the budding flowers.




Dawn arrives earlier each morning to softly chase away all the sleepiness.

On the other hand, dusk is in no hurry to arrive and bid the day good night.

Evening whispers to turn down the sheets and climb into bed.

These lovely days of spring are to be treasured.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

To Bake or Not to Bake



I never met a cookie I didn't like.  
~yours truly

It seems as if I haven't baked in ages. I've missed it but if I bake, I eat. and eat. and eat.  Oh bother!





Yesterday, I baked dozens of our favorite cookies: Aunt Selma's Oatmeal cookies. They are thin and delicate and delicious!

And I had good reasons to bake...

1.  To eat cookies
2.  To share cookies
   2a.  with a new friend
   2b.  with my daughter and son-in-law
   2c.  with relatives and visitors that come to the hospital to visit the new baby
3.  To enjoy making cookies

Do you enjoy baking?  What did you last bake?

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Frittata in the Making

Simple dinners are on my mind lately.  I want to be able to dash out to the hospital when my daughter goes into labor.  I don't want a roast in the oven or a stew simmering on the stove.


 On the menu tonight was a rustic frittata.


I started off with these beautiful sweet peppers from Costco. I have baby pepper plants growing in the garden but none to harvest any time soon.




I diced some of the peppers along with some sweet onions.  I then sautéed them in a bit of butter in my cast iron skillet. Next I added some diced ham. In a medium size bowl, I whisked together eight large eggs with some salt and pepper.




When the onions and peppers were done sautéing and the ham warmed, I added the egg mixture to the skillet. After it had cooked a little while (eggs almost set), I topped it all with shredded cheese and popped it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Delicious!


It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.     ~CS Lewis


Do you have any simple dinner suggestions?

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Monday, May 1, 2017

A Vintage May Day


I love this old vintage calendar page and sentiment.

My May Day  was a bit unusual.  It started out like an ordinary day. Coffee & yogurt.   Tidied up. Made cookie dough to bake cookies tomorrow.  Bible study homework. And then the phone rang....

My daughter called and said that she had just been to the doctor's office and discovered she had a flat tire. Road side assistance was on its way but it would take an hour and a half.  My sweet husband and I drove to where she was to bring her a little something to eat and to keep her company.  I really didn't want her to be alone waiting in her car.  She's now 39 weeks pregnant.  It took about 25 minutes to get there and then we visited in the car until the man came.  And of course, it was pouring rain. After the donut tire was put on and road side assistance gone, we all drove to Costco to get a new tire.  Her original tire was shot. After another hour, everyone was on their way home.

Home again before the REAL heavy rain & thunderstorm hit. Little Bear was happy to see us.  BOOM the thunder rolled and Little Bear hid under the bed for the next couple of hours.

Oh bother!

The storm passed.  Little Bear emerged.  Dinner was served and now for a bit of quiet time before bed.

How was your May Day?