Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 11 Hodgepodge


Lovely Scripture graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
 Yes, it's Wednesday again, so it's time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond

Why not join in this week? Just head on over, copy the questions, then paste and answer them on your own blog.  Go back over to Joyce's to link up, and you're done!   Here are this week's questions: 

1. What's something in your house you'd like to get rid of but can't?

The awful musty odor that our old furniture takes on only when it's hot and humid outside.

2. When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

Every day this week as I've been working on Christmas in July posts for my Christmas blog, I've found myself wallowing in nostalgia for the 1950s and 1960s.  Several of the posts have to do with memorabilia I've been finding as I sort and sell items from my childhood home.

3. You're only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet...which three do you keep?

I don't have a smart phone and have only a very few apps on my tablet.   There are really only two apps I would not want to be without: Pinterest and Instagram.  I use my jigsaw puzzles app often, too, but I could do without it.

4. July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What's the last thing you baked?

I do like blueberry muffins (especially made with fresh blueberries and warm from the oven) but they are not my top favorite.  

If I were going to buy a muffin I would choose the raisin bran or the gingerbread variety from our local supermarket bakery. 

If I were baking muffins I might choose a banana muffin with chocolate chips, an almond joy muffin, or a raspberry almond muffin.  Here's the link for the first one: Gluten free chocolate chip banana muffins.  You can find the others in this post, along with a bunch of my other favorite breakfast recipes.

The last thing I baked was a pan of brownies last Thursday morning, to take to an event at church that evening.
Almond Joy Muffins
5. What's the biggest way you've changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

Biggest and most complete way I've changed: becoming a different person since trusting Jesus as Savior.   A few of the smaller ways: I can eat eggs now (though the whites need to be mixed in); I can deal with bullies without crying; I can't walk on hot asphalt in bare feet as I used to then; I still like to read but my nose is not always in a book.

How I'm still the same -- I know I'll forget many ways, but here are a few: I still love color and beauty and nature -- only now I know Whom to thank.  I still love Christmas (only now I understand what it's all about!) and family traditions.  I still love lakes and still wish I had a cottage on a lake shore.  I still love long walks, music, wildflowers, cooking and baking. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

If you haven't visited my Christmas blog this month,  you might like to visit for Christmas in July.  I've been busily writing and scheduling posts, and just barely staying ahead of the game.  There are all sorts of ideas that might interest you.  Later in the month I'll be announcing a Christmas in July sale at my Etsy shop, too.

So ends another Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 09, 2018

A delicious and easy summer side dish


I've been meaning to share this one for a few  weeks: Summer Squash and Potato Saute.  I may have blogged about this recipe in a previous summer.  It's a good summer side dish to know about -- great with fish, chicken, or even a grilled burger or steak.

Recently, though, I tried a spin on this recipe that makes it even easier.  I had purchased some yellow summer squash and zucchini, and had thought to make this side dish with them.  But I also had on hand some microwave-ready potatoes in the Savory Herb flavor from the Little Potato Company.  So I decided to incorporate them into the saute.

I just sauteed the sliced squash in olive oil until crisp-tender, then microwaved the potatoes according to package directions.  When the standing time had elapsed, I stirred the potatoes into the skillet with the squash and heated the mixture through quickly.

It turned out to be quite an inspired idea.  I liked the saute even better with the small whole potatoes than with the sliced red potatoes which the recipe calls for.  And the savory herb flavor was wonderful with the squash.   I have since tried the Garlic Parsley flavor in this recipe and it is also delicious.

Have you tried the products from Little Potato Company?  I had actually never heard of them until a few years ago when I won a giveaway featuring them.  I haven't tried all of the available products, but I can say that the microwave-ready potatoes with seasoning pack are absolutely wonderful. 

Of course, you can make this recipe as originally published.  But if you want a quick and easy side dish that will use up some of that zucchini and summer squash, you may like to try this variation as well.  I don't think you will be disappointed.


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

A blessed and glorious Fourth of July to you!


Lovely photo and graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Wishing all of you a most blessed and glorious Fourth of July!

May we all take time to thank the Lord today for the blessings that are ours living in a free country, and to pray for those brave and committed men and women who are serving right now to protect our land and keep our nation free.  May we take a moment to pray for our country, so deeply divided and so much in need of the healing that only God can truly bring.

Do you pray for our nation regularly?  I take some time every Thursday to pray for some specific requests.  (Of course, I pray for America on other days too when the news is particularly bad or there is an urgent need.)

I begin by thanking God for the blessing of living in a free country.  I thank Him for the freedom to worship, the freedom to share my faith with others, the privilege of voting, and the privilege of living in a country with so many natural resources and such natural beauty.    I then pray for our president and other leaders, our men and women in the military, our judges and courts, and my state and governor.

The printed page you see across the bottom of my prayer journal is from a pdf titled How to Pray for America.  It's a free download at Revive Our Hearts, and I have found it very helpful in praying for our country as a whole.  If you are not in the habit of praying for America, may I encourage you to do so?

Later today we will be attending a Fourth of July gathering at the home of friends.  There will be food, fellowship, and very likely fireworks as well.  Hope all of you will also enjoy a blessed day celebrating with family or friends!  Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, July 02, 2018

July goals

In Elko, NV last summer
So it's a new month, and time to set some goals for July:

* Continue with my Bible study of Colossians
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 to 8 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  
* Limit sugar and red meat.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Walk and/or exercise each day.
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week.
* Do something creative each day
* Post in my Christmas blog daily this month for Christmas in July
* Post in this blog at least twice weekly if possible
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Send lengthy email to a friend
* Call faraway friends to chat
* Learn more about cultured foods and begin making more of them
* Declutter and reorganize my closet
* Declutter and revamp computer room
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Continue to encourage and support my hubby as he works through a pastoral search for our church
* Clean church and set up for fellowship time
* Help with a meal for a college music team at our church for a concert
* Attend a wedding in Maine
* Hopefully meet up with a blog friend while in Maine
* Spend time with faraway friends who are in our state for a few weeks
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate
* Possibly plan an overnight with my hubby
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating

JULY'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully
WORD FOR 2018: Settled
 🍓    🍒     🍉     🍃      🌻     🎈      🍓     🍒     🍉     🍃    🌻    

And here is how June went:
* Continue with my Bible study of Colossians -- done!
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones -- done!
* Add 4 to 8 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook -- done!
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus -- done!
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night -- not done
* Limit sugar and red meat -- not done consistently
* Drink enough water each day -- not done consistently
* Walk and/or exercise each day -- think I managed about 20-24 times
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week -- not done
* Do something creative each day -- done!
* Post in my Christmas blog at least once or twice this month -- done!
* Work on posts for Christmas in July -- -- done!
* Post in this blog most weekdays if possible -- not done
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects -- done!
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones -- done!
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items -- done!
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family -- done!
* Send lengthy email to a friend -- done!
* Call faraway friends to chat -- done!
* Learn more about cultured foods and begin making more of them -- not done
* Declutter and reorganize my closet -- not done
* Declutter and revamp computer room -- not done
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able -- done!
* Continue to encourage and support my hubby as he works through a pastoral search for our church -- done!
* Clean church and set up for fellowship -- done!
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate -- not done consistently
* Possibly plan an overnight with my hubby -- not done
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating -- done!

JUNE'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully
WORD FOR 2018: Settled

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

June 27 Hodgepodge


Where, oh where does the time go?  Incredibly, it's Wednesday again, which means it's time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  I like to play along because it means I'll write at least one post in a week, though I like to aim for more. 

Why don't you join in this week? Just head on over, copy the questions, then paste and answer them on your own blog.  Go back over to Joyce's to link up, and you're done!   Here are this week's questions: 

1. Security or freedom? Can you have both? Explain.

Pretty sure this isn't the answer you're looking for, but yes.  Security in knowing that I am in God's hands, secure for all eternity, and that my times are in His hands.  And freedom -- freedom from the bondage of sin, freedom from myself, freedom from worry -- I could probably go on for quite awhile about the security and freedom that are to be found in Christ.
This delightful Scripture graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

2. If you could visit any historical American site what would it be? Why?

Not a historic site in the traditional sense but ... I have always been fascinated with St. Joseph, Missouri, the jumping-off place for so many wagon trains headed West.  In our visits to Elko, Nevada we have enjoyed the California Trail Center, where they have an area set up to look like a street in St. Joe, where the pioneers would purchase the items they needed for the arduous trip.  That has only increased my interest.

3. Free as a bird, free rein, be free of, free enterprise, free trip, walk away scot free, free for all...which 'free' phrase can best be applied to your life in recent days or weeks? Explain.

First of all, as a bona fide English/grammar geek, I must point out that the phrase "free reign" should be "free rein" as I have corrected it above.  The dictionary says:

I can't see how any of the above phrases can be applied to my life in recent days or weeks.  I will say, however, that on that future day when my trust responsibilities are finally completed and I can finally  be free of them.  I will undoubtedly feel as free as a bird!

4. Something in your fridge that's red? 

Strawberries!  Not as many as you see below, however.  We picked those in 2015 when our daughter and family visited. 

Something in your house that's white?

The kitchen appliances.  

 Something in your view that's blue?

The sky!  It's a gorgeous shade of blue as I write this early Tuesday afternoon.   The picture below is from a previous summer, but the sky is just as blue.

5. July 27th is National New Jersey Day. Have you ever visited The Garden State?

Yes, I have.

 If so where did you go? 

We took the ferry from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, NJ, one stormy night in 2001.  We then had supper, spent the night and part of the next day visiting friends in Rio Grande, NJ before driving home to NH.

Are there diners where you live? 

Yes, indeed!  We love our local diners!  And even our not-so-local diners (the one below is in Maine).

 Have you tried Taylor Pork Roll? 

I had to look it up!  No, I've never had it, but it sounds actually quite good.  (Or maybe it's just that it's time for lunch.)  My mother used to cut slits in the edge of bologna slices when she fried it, that looked just like that. 

Do you like to play Monopoly? 

 Yes!

Salt water taffy-yay or nay? 

Yay!  I don't love salt water taffy, but it's good, especially when freshly made.  But chocolate dipped  almond brittle is better.

How do you feel about shopping at the mall? 

I'd rather not.

10,000 times better than shopping at a mall
Springsteen, Sinatra, or Bon Jovi - you have to pick one.

Sinatra, hands down.

Raise your hand if you know why these add-on questions are appropriate on National NJ Day.

This is not actually my hand -- the image is from Pixabay, but if possible, I would raise my hand with an ice cream cone in it!   At the beach.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Exciting mail in my mailbox today from Gooseberry Patch!  They are publishing two more of my recipes!  I can't even count the number of free cookbooks I have received in this way!

So ends another Hodgepodge!  Happy Wednesday, all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20 Hodgepodge


 Yes, it's Wednesday again, and time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond. Why not join in this week?  Joyce's questions and our answers make for some interesting reading.  It's always fun to learn more about our fellow bloggers! So head on over, copy the questions, then paste and answer them on your own blog.  Go back over to Joyce's to link up, and you're done!   Here are this week's questions: 

1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.

• Ice cream with Vee
• Miniature golf with friends
• Time with faraway friends who'll be visiting in our state

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?

 Let's see.  At the pond by our family summer cottage, we used to collect pails full of freshwater mussels (and then throw them away).  When I first saw the photo below, I assumed that's what was in my hand.  Recently my cousin had the photo enlarged for framing and she told me the object in my hand was actually a large bloodsucker.  That explains the odd look on my face.

Another thing I remember was that sometimes when family visited we would all spend time on my grandmother's spacious front porch and there would often be homemade ice cream.  Usually either chocolate or vanilla, and then my very favorite, pineapple sherbet.

3. Rooftop or backyard? Why?

Backyard, because our roof is not flat.   Realistically, my choice would likely be the gorgeous back deck that my son-in-law built.  We recently bought at a very good price a patio table and chair set, something we have never owned.  I see us spending more time out there this year than ever before. 
Not my back yard, but the one at our extended family's cottage
4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?

I do read food labels.  And mostly I do place importance on the information I'm looking for.   I always look for, and avoid, high fructose corn syrup.  I like to see what oils are used and where fats and sugars are in order on the ingredients list.  Recently I was looking for a specific flavor of salad dressing at the supermarket,  and a lady stocking shelves was interested when I picked up an extra virgin olive oil version -- I think it was Wish-Bone.  She commented that she cooks for someone with a soy allergy and that nearly every bottled salad dressing contains soybean oil.  Yes, she was right -- even the "EVOO" one I had picked up, and even Newman's Own.

And I am interested in where my food comes from.  Our local supermarket is good about making it very clear when fruits and veggies are locally grown, and when dairy products, meats. and other products like maple syrup are local.  Having said that, our store has been having sweet corn from Florida on sale at great prices, and our local corn won't be ready for weeks yet.  I am very impressed with how sweet and good that Florida corn is, even after traveling all this way.

5. A song you'll have on repeat this summer?

Probably none.  I don't tend to listen to songs over and over.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 
 The gorgeous rosebud above is on a wild rosebush in the backyard of my childhood home.  So pretty!

So ends another Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A little sale at my Etsy shop

 Just a note that I'm joining in with other shops offering sales this week in celebration of Etsy's 13th birthday!  You'll find 10% off on selected vintage items now through Friday, June 22.  Vintage sewing patterns, stationery items, cookbooklets and more are on sale, so if you like vintage things, head on over to A New Hampshire Attic and browse around, just for fun.  I will never want anyone to feel obligated to purchase from my shop, but did want to make you aware of this little sale.  Happy browsing!