Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A hike with the grandkids


A view from the trail
I hope to post more about this tomorrow or Thursday, but last Friday Mr. T and I had a lovely surprise ... he had most of the day off while a change in job sites and equipment was taking place.  I had already planned to meet our local daughter and her four kids at the lake.  Mr. T decided that even though he had plenty to do at home (as did I) that a relaxing break was in order.  Off we went to the lake!

There is a nice lakeside hiking trail at this particular state park, and Mr. T and I planned to walk it at some point during the day.  The three older grandkids (ages 11, 9, and 7) found the mid-morning water a little cooler than they liked for swimming, so they were happy to accompany us and warm up.  I will just share some of our pictures and simple captions.  We are still getting used to our camera and the pictures are not top quality, but you get the idea, anyway!
Along the trail.  Orangey blazes like the one on this tree marked our path.
Looking back at how far we had come.  If you click to enlarge the photo, our spot on the beach was near the lifeguard chair farthest to the right.
When the trail leads to a fishing area with rocks, they must be climbed, don't you agree?

Oh so peaceful.  We love this lake.
A sign on a tree proclaimed this to be the Big Rock.  Of course they had to climb it!

The trail brought us within good sight of this little island.
Boys on a rock!
Blurry photo, but this was another big rock
Another view of the island.  I thought this tree was such an interesting shape!
Such a sweet smile!
These kids love the outdoors!
Framed by hemlock boughs.  Those specks are kayaks, I think.
If you click to enlarge, you can see tiny hemlock cones hanging from the boughs.
Photo is blurry, but what an interesting polka-dotted yellow mushroom!
Loved this one!
The hike is supposed to take 30 minutes, but it took us at least an hour to stop and look at different signs on the nature trail, to climb on rocks and admire pretty leaves and unusual mushrooms.  Plus, one of our hiking companions was barefoot -- not that it slowed her down at all!  We were all ready for lunch when we returned to the beach ... and the water had warmed up.

Monday, August 03, 2015

A Saturday afternoon date


Photo from Pixabay
A couple of weeks ago,  Mr. T and I had had what felt like a crazy week.  Have I mentioned that I struggle with taking time away from my own home and responsibilities to attend to other, nearly as important things out of the home?  I'm sure that I have!  That week had been a killer of a week with two appointments for my dad, a dental appointment for myself, and much, much more.  As the weekend neared, both Mr. T and I were hoping to carve out a little time for ourselves on the Saturday.  I pray regularly that we'll both have time to relax.  He has a demanding job and sometimes a lengthy commute.  I have a full plate of home, eldercare and ministry responsibilities.  God always provides what we need in the way of relaxation, one way or another, in His  perfect timing.  He knows what we need and when we need it.

But Saturday we both had plenty of other things to do.  We pondered going out for breakfast, but  finally decided that we would both work as hard as we possibly could in the morning and then go somewhere for a picnic lunch.  I had in mind a park I had read about, but we never did find it.  But very interestingly, through an unexpected series of events, we did stumble upon another park which had everything I hoped for: a quiet spot with a picnic table (under a roof since it looked like rain); leafy trees; and a lakeshore with the soothing sound of lapping water.  (It was a much nicer and shadier spot than the one  at the top of the post, but I failed to take a picture.)  We spent a quiet half hour there eating a late lunch and talking.
Lovely lakeside spot
So relaxing
These pretty flowers were growing at the water's edge
We then made a quick stop at a fabric store for some fabric my daughter told me about.  It matches perfectly with fabric I already have for a handmade Christmas gift.

I had kept our picnic lunch on the light side in case we wanted to stop for ice cream on the way home.  We took a series of interesting back roads, most of them dirt, and eventually did end up at a seasonal ice cream place.
Photo from Pixabay
Sitting in Adirondack chairs, we savored every bite of our ice cream and then headed for home and more responsibilities awaiting.  We had been gone less than three hours, but felt so refreshed.  So thankful to the Lord for this little respite!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

August 1953


Here's the August page for the Woman's Day 1953 calendar.  I am not completely certain of how this fits with August.  The field looks newly plowed.  Yet the grasses at the edge are taking on a yellowish autumn look.  Still it is a pretty picture and I like the little white house at the edge, sheltered by trees.

I do love the Scripture verse that was chosen for this one.  Many days I feel laden down with responsibilities.  It is a good reminder that the Lord will give me rest (as well as strength) as I look to Him.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

August goals


Lovely graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
In some ways July flew by.  In other ways it seemed longer.  During the time our family from out West visited, there were many days that seemed several days long because each day was packed so full of activity.

In any case, it is now August and time to post my tentative goals for this month:
*Meditate on a passage from God's Word each day.
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Continue study for Sunday School -- Following God With All Your Heart
* Continue to re-read Say Goodbye to Survival Mode; continue to journal and implement what I learn
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times.
* Get to bed by 9:45 pm each night. 
* Limit sugar and red meat.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week.
* Spend some serious time decluttering closets
* Post in both of my blogs as often as possible
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects
* Get together with friends visiting from out of state
* Plan and send gifts for an August birthday
* Plan and create gifts for a September birthday
* Apply wall decals to our freshly painted bathroom wall
* Reduce grocery bill by $5 per week consistently
* Spend several hours updating my A-store.
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal
*  Continue trying to help and encourage my elderly dad
* Sort out and declutter my dad's basement
* Transfer important items to new computer
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating

AUGUST'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully

WORD FOR 2015: RENEWAL

And here is how July went:
*Meditate on a passage from God's Word each day -- DONE!
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones -- DONE!
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook -- DONE!
* Continue study for Sunday School -- Following God With All Your Heart -- DONE!
* Continue to re-read Say Goodbye to Survival Mode; continue to journal and implement what I learn -- DONE!
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times -- DONE!
* Get to bed by 10 pm each night -- did okay with this
* Limit sugar -- did fairly well with this
* Drink enough water each day -- did fairly well with this
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week -- not done consistently, though progress is being made
* Spend some serious time decluttering closets -- not done
* Post in both of my blogs as often as possible -- DONE!
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects -- DONE! (the projects are not done, but I have continued to work on them)
* Apply wall decals to our freshly painted bathroom wall  -- not done
* Continue planning activities for visit from our Nevada family -- DONE!
* Enjoy 4th of July activities with friends -- DONE!
* Enjoy our visit with our Nevada family, which continues until July 11 -- DONE!
* Reduce grocery bill by $5 per week consistently -- not done
* Spend several hours updating my A-store -- not done
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family -- DONE!
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able -- not as much as I'd like
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal -- DONE!
*  Continue trying to help and encourage my elderly dad -- DONE!
* Sort out and declutter my dad's basement -- not done
* Transfer important items to new computer   -- have begun the process, at least!
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating -- DONE!

JULY'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise -- did fairly well with these!

WORD FOR 2015: RENEWAL

We will see how August goes ....

Friday, July 24, 2015

A day at the lake


I'm still posting a few pictures from the time our daughter, her hubby and family were with us earlier this month.  One thing they really wanted was to spend some time at a lake.  Their kiddos have never experienced the fun of just being able to run into a lake.  We are fortunate to live quite close to Wellington State Park, and I grew up going there frequently, as did my own kids.  So during their visit, we took an entire day (we had hoped to take more) at Wellington, and met up with friends and family there too.




Emily's sand airplane, which Sam built around  her.  Note frisbee propeller at front of plane.  (A detail I missed at the time.)
I took this as we were leaving.  Hadn't noticed that those folks sitting back in the shade were in the picture, but I envy them.  This is a very relaxing place!
 Hope you have enjoyed this look at our day at the lake!  I hope that Mr. T and I can find time for a few hours there ourselves before summer is over.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Loon Center

This was not taken at the Loon Center, but on Back Lake in 2010.
This is also on Back Lake in Pittsburg, NH, in 2012.
Among the day trips we took when our daughter and family were visiting was one to The Loon Center in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. They do not have loons in their part of the country and were very interested in learning more about them.  Mr. T and I have always loved loons and their calls, and also wanted to learn more about them.

It's free to visit the Loon Center, which includes a wonderful visitor's center, a fantastic and unique gift shop, and is also home to the trails of the Markus Wildlife Sanctuary.  The Loon Center is also the headquarters for the The Loon Preservation Committee, which has a mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire.  They are doing a fantastic job but the work is ongoing, as might be expected.

I wish I had gotten more pictures, but hopefully I can add some in when we get the pictures from our son-in-law.  The only two we got were of Lake Winnipesaukee as seen from the trail.

We went into the visitor's center first.  There's an informative and very beautiful film to watch about loons.  I learned some things I didn't know!   After viewing the film,  the kids had a fantastic time doing the necessary activities to become Junior Loon Biologists.   The number of activities a child has to complete varies with age.  Some of the activities are quite easy, like counting the number of stuffed loons in the center or doing a simple jigsaw puzzle.  Others were a bit more complicated, like word searches and building a loon nest from the materials provided.  The kids loved this and were so excited to complete the necessary tasks!
A scan of a very informative brochure on loon behavior from the Loon Preservation Committee.
After receiving their awards, the kids were eager to get out on the trail.  Along the way, we were able to see a loon's nest with a loon sitting on it, though the staff at the center said there might not be eggs in the nest.  It was still very neat to see.  The trail is about 1.7 miles long and had enough twists, turns, boulders and muddy spots to make the kids very happy.

The gift shop contains probably hundreds of lake-themed and especially loon-themed items, everything from mugs to Christmas ornaments and much, much more.  I bought a really beautiful mug from the sale table and have been enjoying it so much.

If you live in New Hampshire or plan to visit, you will want to take an afternoon and spend it at the Loon Center.  I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Strawberry picking

We got three flats of these gorgeous strawberries!
 It may seem simple, but another thing my Nevada daughter wanted her kids to experience was picking strawberries.  As it worked out, peak strawberry season fell during the time they were able to be here.  We took a morning jaunt to Pierson Farm,  our favorite place for U-pick strawberries.  Since this is in Vermont, it made another state for the grands to visit.  They spent time in four of the six New England states while here!

I wish I had gotten some pictures of the picking in progress, but I did not.  I am quite certain that they did, so when they send us their photos, I may add some in.  The kids all pitched in, and some of the cousins and their parents met up with us in the fields too, so it was a fun time.

I had planned on getting two flats, but my son-in-law decided to buy a third so there would be plenty of strawberries to eat fresh as well as to freeze.

After lunch we washed and hulled the strawberries and began the process of quick-freezing them. 

These cousins had so much fun together!
So much fun, with a delicious yield at the end.  I had intended to make strawberry shortcake the way we had it at the Brunswick Diner in Maine -- with vanilla ice cream sandwiched in between the biscuits and strawberries -- but it just never happened.  Maybe next visit!