Monday, July 31, 2017


RAWR! August birthdays are slowly sneaking up on me. Two of my three sons-in-law have birthdays within the next two weeks.

I made this birthday card over the weekend. Walter (married to daughter #3) is a nerd and will love this dinosaur card.  (the first photo is the front of the card and the second is the greeting inside the card)

I need to make David's (married to daughter #1)  card later this week.  He too is a nerd. I'm thinking of making a different dinosaur card for him. Maybe I will go with a hieroglyphic look with dinosaur fossils? Love this stamping set! ♥

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Popcorn & a Show ~ Pan's Labyrinth

The underground of the city is like what's underground in people. Beneath the surface, it's boiling with monsters.
~ Guillermo del Toro

I love the above Del Toro quote.  Sometimes in movies and in real life, the people are far worse than the monsters. 

This month's foreign film  certainly attests to this conclusion. I chose to watch yet another Spanish film by one of my favorite writer/directors, Guillermo del Toro ~ Pan's Labyrinth.  Though I have seen it before, I always come away with a feeling of awe of his storytelling and the beauty of this magical film.

That being said, Pan's Labyrinth is an intense movie and definitely not for children.
In 1944 falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again.

Watching this foreign film wasn't as tricky for me as watching some other foreign films.  Spanish is my second language (though I am a bit rusty).  I confess that when the dialogue was spoken quickly, I had to read the words.

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, two Spanish films, two Persian films, and a French film.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

You Deserve A Bit of Pampering

Christie held out her arms, saying with an irresistible longing in her eyes and voice: "Let me hold her! I love babies dearly, and it seems as if it would do me more good than quarts of tea to cuddle her, if she'll let me."
~Louisa May Alcott
"Through the Mist," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873

Times have changed and, with time, so have disposable diapers.

When my twins were born, they wore cloth diapers for a little while but I just couldn't keep up with the laundry.  We didn't own a washer and dryer.  We had to use the laundromat.  It would cost as much to wash and dry them as it did to buy disposable ones.

If memory serves me correctly, we mostly used LUVS diapers. They were cheaper than Pampers and if you saved the LUVS points off the packages, you could send them in for different size baby/toddler sneakers.  The little shoes were red and white and they were great!  The sneakers that I got for free with the twins' diaper points, I used with my other two children as well.  They all wore those red and white LUVS sneakers from 18 months until they outgrew size 4/5 shoes.  Win Win!

Disposable diapers in those days fastened with tape.  If you didn't tape it correctly, chances are when you undid the tape, the diaper would rip.  You had to do it right the first time.

Today's diapers (Sam wears Pampers) have thin velcro fasteners instead of the tape.  SO NICE!  If you need to adjust it, the diaper doesn't tear at all.  Today's diapers also have a little yellow line in the front that indicates that the diaper is dry.  If the line turns blue, then the diaper is wet.  I wonder if girl diapers turn pink?

In the case of disposable diapers, I say hip hip hooray for progress!

Friday, July 28, 2017

More Zucchini Delight

Earlier this week, I posted a recipe that I had made for tasty zucchini boats.  It was delicious but a lot of work to prepare.  As I am still tired from watching little Sam this week, I decided to make an easier zucchini dish.

Using my crockpot, I cooked meatballs, tomato sauce, garlic, and herbs on high for two hours and then on low for a little more than two hours. I sliced a large zucchini (not monstrous but still a good size) into about 1/4-1/2 inch slices and added them to the crockpot. I turned the heat up on high for about fifteen minutes, checked to see if they were tender, and then added mozzarella cheese on top of everything.  The cheese melted in about five minutes and then it was ready to serve and eat.  LOVE it!  Simple and Delicious!

When was the last time you used your crockpot?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Morning Glory

Morning glories have always had a special meaning to me.  They tend to show their faces when I need a little reminder of God's glory.

And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.
~Frances Hodgson Burnett

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Swing Envy

Today I had the pleasure of watching little Sam all day long.  I woke up at 4:45, had yogurt and a cup of coffee, got dressed, and headed out to my daughter's house.  Little Sam was taking his early morning nap in his swing when I arrived.

Baby swings have changed since my babies used them.  My daughter's swing can be a cradle as well as a swing.  It can play music.  You can choose slow lullabies or more upbeat melodies. There is a cute animal mobile that moves if you choose it to. And the icing on the cake... you plug the swing's cord into the electric socket, turn it on and it goes on and on and on... forever!

The baby swing that I had for my children had a manual hand crank. It would only swing for about five minutes and then stop.  It was so noisy every time you turned the crank.  If you were fortunate enough for the baby to fall asleep, as soon as you turned the crank, the noise would startle the baby and the baby would wake up. Ugh. I think I would have sold one of my kidneys on the black market for an electric swing.

Sam and I had a busy day. It was wonderful and I am exhausted. I stayed all day and arrived home after 6 pm. And I get to do the same thing again tomorrow but earlier.  I'm off to bed.  I hope to visit everyone on Friday. xo

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Aging Beautifully ~ Let's Get Physical

Let's get physical, physical
I want to get physical
Let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk
~Olivia Newton John

Oh bother!  I've had to put my walking on hold because I've injured my right ankle and it swells up if I walk on it too much.  I had to figure another way to get physical.  And so I did!

For the last three weeks, I have been getting physical by doing yoga. My body's talking and saying Hooray! You go girl!

I don't know of any yoga classes nearby so I turned to the internet.  Because I'm a beginner, I decided to start with chair yoga.  Chair yoga is a great beginning if you are new to yoga, have limited motion,  a senior, or need to start slowly.

I watched a few different yoga videos on YouTube and found one instructor that I really liked.  She is encouraging, knowledgeable, and not into the eastern religion aspect of yoga.

Actively Aging with Energizing Chair Yoga: Sherry Zak Morris' Chair Yoga Class at the Yoga Vista Studio brings seniors together every week to help them stay healthy, confident and independent. Here's 30 minutes of our one hour class that incorporates warm-ups, upper body stretches, standing and balancing poses and some great sequences for flexibility.

I have been watching the above video and doing yoga with Sherry on average 5 days a week.  Not only do I feel stronger and healthier but I've lost 3 lbs in just 3 weeks.  Happy Dance!

The video is about 30 minutes long.  She has another one on YouTube that is an hour but I'm hoping to work my way up to that one.  She also sells a DVD with 3 different yoga classes on it.  I may order it in the future but for now the one online is working well.

If you are looking to get more physical, I highly recommend doing yoga. Your body will cheer!

This is the sixth post in my Aging Beautifully series. To revisit earlier posts in the series, you can find them by clicking on the link in the Sampler left sidebar.

In this series on Aging Beautifully, I hope to touch on all aspects of beauty and how we can nurture beauty in our lives and ourselves. I hope that you will join me and celebrate our beauty within and without (not without without but rather on the outside).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tippecanoe, Can You? Zucchini Boats

The strange thing about growing zucchinis is that one day there aren't any and the next day, the zucchinis are HUGE!

So what do you do with a huge zucchini?

I decided to try a new recipe this afternoon and it was surprisingly delicious!

2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches)
3/4 pound ground beef
pulp from zucchini, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 tbsp ketchup
salt and peper to taste

I tweaked the recipe a little bit as it called for 2 medium zucchinis and I had only 1 mammoth one.  I also doubled the recipe.  Instead of ketchup, I used tomatoes from the garden.  I also added some garlic powder to taste (I thought it was a bit bland without it.)

Trim the ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2" shells. Finely chop pulp.

I accidentally cut through one half and hoped to keep it together with a strip of foil.

In skillet cook beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until meat is not longer pink. Drain.  Remove from the heat.  Add 1/2 c cheese, ketchup, salt and pepper; mix well.

Spoon into the zucchini shells. Place in a greased 13x9 in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

My husband really liked the zucchini boats too. Next time, I think I'll add a small can of tomato sauce to make the meat a bit moister.

We shared one zucchini boat between us. Delicious!

I cut the leftover one in half to fit it on a dinner plate, wrapped it with plastic wrap, and popped it in the refrigerator.  All set for lunch tomorrow!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

At the Table of the Lord

We sang this song in church this morning. It is an older song but this was the first time that I had heard it.

I will feast at the table of the Lord
I will feast at the table of the Lord
I won’t hunger anymore
At His table

I will feast at the table of the Lord
I will feast at the table of the Lord
I won’t hunger anymore
At His table

Come all you weary
Come and find
His yoke is easy
His burden light
He is able, He will restore
At the table of the Lord

There is peace at the table of the Lord
There is peace at the table of the Lord
And I won’t worry anymore
At His table

There is healing at the table of the Lord
There is healing at the table of the Lord
Oh and I won’t suffer anymore
At His table oh at His table

Come all you weary
Come and find
His yoke is easy
His burden light
He is able, He will restore
At the table of the Lord

Oh I know He has a place for me
Oh, what joy will fill my heart
With the saints around the mercy seat of God

Come all you weary
Come and find
His yoke is easy
His burden light
He is able, He will restore
At the table of the Lord

At the table of the Lord
I’m invited to the table of the Lord
I’m invited to the table of the Lord
He says, “Come just as you are”
To His table

~Chris Tomlin

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Growing Older Sometimes Pays Off

I wish I'd taken a picture of my hamburger today but I didn't remember to do so before I ate it all up. (This picture is courtesy of a free image website.).

My hamburger didn't look as appetizing as this one does and I don't drink beer (or other alcohol).  I would love to have a hamburger served on a round wood platter though. ♥

This post isn't really about hamburgers but it is about how growing older sometimes pays off.

Did you know that some restaurants offer discounts to senior citizens?  The term "senior citizens" is defined differently by different restaurants.  Some say that 55+ qualify for a discount.  Some say 60+ or 65+ qualify.  The restaurant we had lunch at today offers a 10% discount off your bill for 55+ years old.  You can find lists of restaurants that offer discounts online. I found this list on The Senior List.

While researching senior discounts, I discovered that there are alternatives to AARP.  My husband and I are hesitant to join AARP due to their liberal leanings.  I did discovered AMAC (the Association of Mature American Citizens).  I know they are much more conservative but I haven't spent very much time researching it yet so I can't give two thumbs up right now.

Do you find that growing older sometimes pays off?

Friday, July 21, 2017

One Side Will Make You Grow Taller...

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, 'One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.'

'One side of what? The other side of what?' thought Alice to herself.

'Of the mushroom,' said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.

'And now which is which?' she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect: the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the lefthand bit.

~Lewis Carrol
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I found these mushrooms growing in the woods and in my garden. They look so pretty and delicate!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sam in the Middle and Sam at the End

of the week, that is.

Wednesday afternoon, we had a big thunderstorm. My little town had thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. My daughter's town in the next county got all of the above plus hail and strong winds. They lost power and I offered to have them stay with us until their power returned. They arrived in the evening and it was a delight to give little Sam a kiss good night. He slept a good six hours straight at Nana's house. ♥

Sam slept in Thursday morning. Thankfully, I had just finished my cup of coffee! He woke up all smiles! And I was all smiles!! After he nursed, I cuddled and rocked him.  Their power came back on and then sadly, they returned home.

Tomorrow and I'll be back with little Sam while my daughter goes to the dentist.  I hope he won't  be napping!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Dream Hair Style

In my dreams, I would have long flowing hair. I'd braid little strands here and there but most of it would just be loose. I am beautifully ethereal.

In reality, my hair will never be long and flowing. Once it gets to my shoulders, I can't take it and I just cut off. Today was one of those can't stand my hair length days. It was almost shoulder length and I took my shears and snip snip snip. It is now resembles a pageboy bob. My bangs are a bit above my eyebrows and the majority of my hair length comes to the bottom of my ears. Somehow, I managed to cut the very back the same length with a bit of a wedge layered look (if that makes sense). I don't know how I did it but I like it. I've seen similar styles online but I didn't set out to cut it that way.

It feels good to have the hair off my neck and not up in a messy ponytail. Does your hair style drive you crazy sometimes?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nature's Blessing

Stop and look... the small, simple things in nature bring so much richness to life.
~Marjolein Bastin

Marjolein Bastin is one of my favorite artists. You may be familiar with her work which is often featured in Hallmark stores. Her watercolor paintings are glorious! Her artwork often depicts the beauty of nature.

Yesterday I received this beautiful card and bookmark from my sweet friend Anne. Anne blogs at Highview Farm. I have been blessed to know Anne for a number of years. Her sweet spirit is a great encouragement and I am in awe of her quilting skills. Thank you so much, Anne, for this gorgeous card and bookmark. ♥

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Dillar A Dollar

a diller
a dollar
that make you

Lame rhyme I know...  I just made it up off the top of my head.  But the excitement is far from lame!

I picked up these sweet after the 4th of July items on clearance plus 30% off at Kohls on Saturday.  I've actually two of the corn cob sets and four of the red burger basket sets.  They were both regularly $7.99 each and I paid less than $2 each.

The corn cob sets I was mainly buying for the little cob skewers but my husband liked the corn trays.  He said he had them when he was young.  I've never seen them before.  He said he liked them because you could just put butter in the dish and roll your corn around in it.

The red burger baskets are what I am excited about.   I've included another picture of them so you can see how deep they are.  They will be perfect for sandwiches and such when the grandchildren visit.  It is a lot more fun eating out of these rather than a plain old plate.

I guess my plates really aren't old or plain ~ the ones for the grandchildren anyway.  I should write a post about all the special little place settings I've bought over the years (on sale, of course) for the grands.  I am tempted to use them myself!

Do you have fond memories of burger baskets and/or corn cob trays?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon

It's a quiet Sunday afternoon.  It's a quiet sultry Sunday afternoon.  It's a quiet sultry Sunday
afternoon and it is time for a cup of coffee.  All of the above.

Little Bear is woofing more than usual today.  My husband is gone for the day and I think she is impatient for him to return home. When I am gone for the day, she lays about looking sorrowful.

There is no need to cook today.  We are still eating leftovers from our Thursday gathering.  Not complaining, mind you.  I do my best not to work on Sundays as much as I can.  A day of rest is much needed after a busy week.

Love to everyone and hopes that no one is melting in this heat. xo

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heart With Nature

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.
~Alfred Austin

Friday, July 14, 2017

Diane, I Love This!

I received the sweetest gift from my dear blog friend, Diane. Diane blogs at Lavender Dreams.  I was so surprised and blessed to receive this beautiful little book that she made!

Diane included a little note about this book.  She even chose one of the cards that I had made a long time ago that she had saved to be the first page of the book.  I am so touched that she saved the card.

I loved each and every page ~ so beautiful and the vellum sheets added such a delicate touch.

Aren't the illustrations perfect?!

Diane even included some pages at the back of the book for writing down thoughts and ideas.

I absolutely love my book, Diane.  Thank you so much.  I am so blessed with your friendship.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fun, Fellowship, & Food with the Ladies

We all have our good old days tucked away inside our hearts, and we return to them in dreams like cats to favorite armchairs. ~ B. Carter

What a wonderful morning it was!  Everyone gathered at ten and stayed past noon.

I woke up bright and early at six because I didn't want to rush around getting everything ready.  An hour to wake up with my coffee and then get to work!

I mixed together my coffee cake and popped it in the oven by 7:30. Halfway into the bake, I realized that I had forgotten to put the eggs in.  Oh gosh.  I am SOOO glad that I realized that I'd forgotten the eggs.  It would have been worse to have served a rotten cake.  (rotten - not as in spoiled but as in lousy) Out came the cake.  I mixed together another coffee cake with ALL the ingredients this time and popped it in the oven.

Things were crazy after that.  I lost quite a bit of time and I was scurrying around like a squirrel burying nuts.  Tidying and setting the table....  Out came the cake and in went the Sausage Egg Casserole.  (I am SOOO glad that I prepared it yesterday afternoon...). I loved this breakfast casserole, as did everyone else, and I will post the recipe soon.

Long story short ~ I was able to shower, get dressed, and get everything done just as the ladies arrived.  Whew!

The ladies brought chocolate zucchini bread, lemon cranberry bread, blueberry pie, yeast rolls, cheese and crackers, and beverages.  Delicious!

I am so blessed to be in this Bible Study group.  The ladies are wonderful.  Everyone loved the food and kept telling me that they loved my home.  That made me very happy. ♥

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

As Busy As A Bee

I've been as busy as a bee today.  Tomorrow I will be hosting the Bible Study ladies at my home.  I've lost count of how many are coming but I think there will be about 10 ladies attending.

This morning, I went grocery shopping to buy everything I need to serve them.  I had hoped to go earlier but it wasn't meant to be. This afternoon, I did my kitchen prep work.

My house is 95% clean but I want to tidy up before they arrive.  I will give everything a quick dusting and make certain that there are clean hand towels etc in the restroom.  The biggest tasks that need to be done before they arrive will take place in the kitchen.

I need to slice the fresh vegetables to add to the cold pasta salad: cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and scallions.  I need to bake my favorite coffee crumb cake.  Then an hour before they arrive, I need to pop the hash brown/egg/sausage/vegetable casserole into the oven to bake.  The casserole is a new recipe that looked really tasty.  I found it online and tweaked it a bit.  I love that you can make it the night before and then bake it the next morning.  That is exactly what I was doing this afternoon ~ it took over 2 hours to prep it for baking tomorrow.

I hope everyone enjoys the food. ♥

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Thirty-Seven Years Ago...

Thirty-seven years ago, my sweet husband and I said I do.  The wedding took place on a Friday evening at 7 pm. ♥

We were married in a little church not too far from where my husband grew up.

Today, four children and three grandchildren later, we drove into the big city and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at our favorite restaurant.  We were pleasantly surprised with complimentary cheesecake for dessert for our anniversary.

We reminisced about our wedding, reception, and honeymoon so many years ago.  To this day, he and I have kept our romantic honeymoon destination a secret.  We've never told anyone.  Perhaps one day we will return to the place where our marriage began.

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Shot in the Dark

Well not exactly in the dark!  More like in the leg (both legs).  I'm talking about little Sam getting his 2 month shots today.

I spent the day at my daughter's, visiting and watching little Sam while she ran errands.  After lunch, we all went to the pediatrician's office for his 2 month baby checkup.

Sam is growing like a weed.  He is almost 10 lbs and has grown 4 inches since he was born.  The doctor gave him two thumbs up on his health.  And Sam was a real trooper taking his three shots.  He cried a little but not as much as I remember my children crying with shots as a baby.

Shots have changed, ladies, since our children were little.  As well as I can remember, my babies just had one shot at their 2 month visit.  I believe it was their MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) shot.  I had to look up online what were in the new shots because everything is more complicated now.

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)
Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b)
IPV (polio vaccine)
PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
HBV (hepatitis B)
RV (rotavirus)

The RV one is an oral medication that Sam just happily slurped down.

Sam is a very content happy baby.  He has the most adorable smiles and his eyes twinkle sometimes when he smiles.  I am not quite filled up to the brim with baby smiles yet.  I will need to top them off some time soon.

PS I'm exhausted and I hope to visit you all tomorrow.  xx

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What a Beautiful Name

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again
You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign
Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus


Saturday, July 8, 2017

An Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor

I don't cry over spilt milk, but a fallen scoop of ice cream is enough to ruin my whole day. ~Terri Guillemets

My husband and I drove into the next little town in search of an ice cream parlor.  A few ladies from my Bible study recommended this particular one.  It wasn't terribly difficult to find.  It was a little hole in the wall place with an adorable older gentleman (owner) who scooped the ice cream.  He seemed a bit grumpy but you could tell that inside he was a sweetheart.

The parlor had a few picnic tables inside where you could sit if you liked.  Next to the tables was a small arcade of games.  There was bulletin board with a lot of business cards tacked to it along with a drawing of Jesus.  Random stuffed clowns were also pinned to the wall.  I am not sure if you could win the stuffed clowns or if they were just decorations.

The only menu was on a chalkboard on the wall.  The prices were exceptionally reasonable.  You could order scoops of ice cream or cones.  You could order a hot fudge sundae or banana split.  And of course, there were also shakes, floats, and sodas.

I ordered a hot fudge sundae and it was HUGE!  Seriously, it had to be a pint and a half of ice cream along with hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.  I only ate about half of it and brought the rest home for another time.  It was delicious! The ice cream was creamy and not too sweet.  It wasn't heavy like Cold Stone ice cream.  My husband had two scoops of different flavors.  He did not bring any home but ate it all up.

I love living in North Carolina. ♥

Friday, July 7, 2017

this moment ~ Northern New Jersey 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, July 6, 2017

Trusty Old Rabbit Ears

Last month, my husband and I decided to unplug from cable/satellite television.  There really wasn't very much on television to watch that we were interested in.

Rather than continue to pay for unsuitable content, we chose to cancel our service. We do, however, still have high speed internet as my husband needs it for work etc.

There are a few shows that do not want to do without and these we can either rent or purchase on iTunes.  We are still saving quite a bit of money by doing so.

My husband enjoys Fox News and sometimes we both watched it in the evenings.  Never fear!  We subscribed to XM Sirius radio ($20 a month for internet and car streaming) and we can listen to our favorite Fox News shows live.  If there are any must see clips, we can generally watch them online.  There are also countless different XM radio stations with pretty much any kind of music that you can imagine.  My husband likes to drive and is loving all the music choices.

Netflix and Hulu are definitely options to stream television shows but neither appeal to us at the moment.  I am thoroughly enjoying subscribing to PBS shows online (or streaming through our AppleTV).

I've been watching episodes of the Great British Baking Competition and expanding my baking knowledge.  I am amazed that there are so many different kinds of pastry (most I've never heard of before).  I am also really enjoying Masterpiece Theater's My Mother and Other Strangers.  This series in set in Ireland during World War II.  The subscription price for PBS is only $5 a month.

I also recently subscribed to BritBox ~ which you can watch either online or through a streaming device.  I am finding British dramas to be better in every respect than American dramas.  There are so many shows to choose from and I don't know which to watch first.  The subscription price of BritBox is only $6.99 a month.

And then there are the trusty old rabbit ear antennas!  They may look a bit different than those in the past but they work very well even in the woods!  My husband hooked them up and we are able to watch six or seven stations (live of course) if need be and weather permitting.  Rain & thunderstorms tend to mess up the reception but for the most part, the picture is fairly clear.  It reminds me of television when I was a child.  There is no pausing or rewinding or fast forwarding.  Want snacks or a cup of coffee?  Have to get them during a commercial.  Need to use the restroom?  Commercial time! We don't have to get up to turn the channel or change the volume though. ♥

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Not a Party Animal

The day after a party is usually a slow going day.  By nature, I am not a party animal.  I do enjoy small gatherings but I'd rather not go big (I'd go home!).

All the special dishes, platters, glasses, silverware, and such are washed, dried, and packed until next time.  The linens are ready to be washed, ironed, and put away.  The 4th of July decorations will stay out until early August.

Little Bear has been under the weather these last few days and thankfully the veterinarian had an appointment open this afternoon.  He prescribed a new pain/anti-inflamatory medication for her.  She will start it tomorrow morning (she'd already had a different one today).  I pray that the medication will make her more comfortable.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and I hope to visit your blogs tomorrow.  I'm off to bed.  Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Patriotic Desserts for You and Me

Happy 4th of July!

The party is over.  The barbecue was a big success!  And it didn't rain!  The weatherman kept predicting thunderstorms all day long but he was wrong.

I decided to make individual patriotic trifles in little mason jars.  I layered pound cake, fresh strawberries, creamy custard, fresh blueberries, more pound cake and a final layer of creamy custard on top.  Topped off with a bit of whipping cream (once the jar lids were removed).  Oh my ~ they were so delicious!  I love the red white and blue layered look to them.

Today is a day of celebration, remembrance, and thankfulness.

God bless America!

Monday, July 3, 2017

My Bonus Daughter

For thirty plus years, I have been blessed to be the mother of three daughters and one son.  Four years ago, I was gifted with another daughter ~ my bonus daughter, N.  She and my eldest daughter met during their medical fellowship in New York City.  They became good friends and she became part of our family.

As children do, she found a wonderful job on the West Coast and moved away.  It has been a year since I've seen her until today! She came for a visit and it was so wonderful to see her again.  It did this mama good to hug her.  We talked and laughed at my daughter's home.  Baby Sam was quite taken with her. ♥ I was so sad that our visit had to end.

My heart is filled with love for all my children ~ all five of them. ♥

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Shape in the Sky

There's a shape in the sky beckoning me
There's a sound in the wild wind calling
There's a song to be sung for glory
And I feel that it's coming our way

There's a pain on the land weakening me
There's a sigh in the city of sorrow
There's a shadow of darkness accumulating
And I feel that it's coming my way

Father of all things, Mother of light
Soothe and ease our human plight
Mary in mercy, Jesus in joy
Please, won't you help us win the fight?

There's a love for all men sleeping within
There's a friend of a friend awakening
There's a jubilant joy bursting to be
And I feel that it's coming our way

Father of all things, Mother of light
Soothe and ease our human plight
Mary in mercy, Jesus in joy
Please, won't you help us win the fight?

There's a shape in the sky beckoning me
There's a sound in the wild wind calling
There's a song to be sung for glory
And I feel that it's coming our way

There's a shape in the sky beckoning me
There's a sound in the wild wind calling
There's a song to be sung for glory
And I feel, yes, I feel, yes, I feel
That it's coming our way

Donovan,  Shape in the Sky

I love all the songs from the soundtrack of the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon.  Sometimes Donovan's songs just hit the spot.  I love their verses full of simplicity and truth.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

God Provides Even in Little Ways

Bless us, O Lord,
and these, Thy gifts,
which we are about
to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen

God provides every single time. I see it in big ways and I see it in little ways. It is as if God is reminding us to cast every care (even the smallest ones) upon Him.

Case in point, I stock up on certain foods for my pantry because I know we will use them and I do my best to buy them on sale. When I am running low and are either out of something or almost out of something, what I need goes on sale at a great price.

My husband and I no longer drink soda (diet or regular). Instead we drink OceanSpray Cranberry Juice Light (50% less sugar ~ not the diet one). We mix it one part juice to three parts ice water. This juice can be expensive (normally $3.98 ea). I really don't want to pay that much. It never fails ~ when I am down to almost my last bottle, my store has a great sale. Buy one get one free! This week my store had this sale and I stocked up juice. I make sure the expiration dates are at least four to five months away.

My store also had a great sale on BBQ sauce and Hidden Valley Farm Ranch Dressing. The BBQ sauce was buy two and get three free! With my coupons and the sale, I only spent 65 cents a bottle (16 oz ea and with an expiration date late 2018). The dressings were also on sale and with my coupons I paid 80 cents a bottle (16 oz ea and with an expiration date of early 2018).

I get so excited and am so thankful to be able to save money as I grocery shop. I want to be wise with our money and be able to give more to others as well. ♥