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. ♥