Monday, October 30, 2017

From the October archives, part 2

This delightful free image is from Little Birdie Blessings
Here we go with a few more links to posts in the October archives!  I had so much fun browsing the archives to decide what to share.  I hope you'll take a look through the archives for yourselves.  After 12 years, there is a lot here!

Ham and Bean Chowder is a recipe I've had for some time and finally tried it one fall.  It's deliciously hearty and very warming.  Next time you have a ham bone to use, give it a try.
Photo from Taste of Home
From 2013, this grocery shopping perk is a great reminder of the little blessings that come our way when we're simply going about our everyday tasks.

Two nice fall recipes, from 2014, shares a main dish and a side dish filled with wonderful fall flavors.  You'll want to try one or both of these!
Speaking of which, if you enjoy the fall flavors of pumpkin and apples, you really must bake a Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie!  It's a favorite Thanksgiving pie for us and perfect for any fall event.
And lastly, Autumn in the Air is a nostalgic read about a 2001 visit to Cracker Barrel and how God used it to encourage us on a stormy night.
Hope you've enjoyed this browse through the Kitchen Table archives as much as I have!

Friday, October 27, 2017

From the October archives, part 1

I took a look through the October archives and nearly got lost myself.  So many fun fall posts to read and share.  I hope you enjoy the ones I chose to share with you all.

 Little Fall Ornaments showcases some ornaments I sewed quite a few years ago now.  I keep thinking I'd like to make more with Christmas designs.  These look really cute hanging from cabinet doorknobs.
From 2009, A quiet prayer corner is a great reminder of the preciousness of beginning our days with prayer.  I don't have that same corner any more as some things have changed in that room, but reading this post certainly did make me homesick for that particular corner!  Especially now when the early mornings are dark and sometimes chilly.
2010's results of zucchini bread recipe testing may give you some new recipes for Christmas and Thanksgiving baking.  I tried out two different recipes with the idea of choosing one to make in little loaves for Christmas kitchen gifts.  Read about the delicious results and use up any zucchini you may have around!

You may have seen this fun sewing project using vintage hankies before.  It was such a neat project and I made three of them.  I've now acquired enough more hankies to make a dozen more runners (but I probably won't).
And lastly, An autumn morning by the fire, from 2012, reminded me that we never did get a backyard campfire permit this summer, and consequently we haven't had a quiet time by the fire even once.  We will have to make that a priority for next year!
More from the archives in a day or two!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Woman's Day calendar page October 1959

Isn't this a lovely illustration?  As I've been doing cleaning and sorting of my childhood home, I've come across several of the Woman's Day calendars for various years.  I've always loved them,  as the illustrations are so nice and each page includes Scripture. 

I thought the page for October 1959 was simply beautiful, and I love the accompanying Bible verse.   I'll be posting the pages for the rest of 1959 as the months roll on, also.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing this vintage paper treasure!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Last Hodgepodge of October

Wednesday again!  Time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over and get the questions, answer them on your own blog and then on back over to Joyce's to link up!   Here are the questions for this week:

1. What's surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Oh, my, what a question! I guess maybe "surprised by God's grace" could sum it up.  My life has been far more blessed, far more interesting, far more fulfilling and joyous than I could ever have expected.  It's all due to God's amazing grace and the blessings of being His child.
Leaf line courtesy of my friend Vee
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?

Another tough question!  I like all of these things, though the caramel apple would be last on my list.  I guess if I had to choose just one thing, it would be a toss-up between the butternut squash soup and the sweet potato fries.

3. What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

There are a number of well-known books set in New Hampshire.  Some of the better-known ones are not books I could recommend.  Here are a couple of lesser-known titles that I have enjoyed:  String Too Short to be Saved, by poet Donald Hall,  is a book of recollections of summers the author spent on a New Hampshire farm.  I'd rate that one a 5, though it's been some time since I've read it.  A child's book, Sarah Whitcher’s Story, by Elizabeth Yates, is based on a true account of a child lost in the New Hampshire woods just a half hour from here.  I'd give that one a 4.

4. There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? 

Yes, I have started my shopping some months ago.  I have a few things stashed away labeled with Post-its with the recipients' names and "Christmas 2017".

How do you stay organized for the holidays?

Well, I have a Christmas notebook and I really try to plan well.  For an introduction to my Christmas notebook, go here: My Christmas notebook, Part 1.  In fact, you might be encouraged by any of the posts found by clicking on "Christmas notebook" in the label cloud over at My Christmas kitchen.

I try to start planning right after Christmas.  That said, my planning is never quite good enough, but if I didn't make any attempt to plan, things would be disastrous.  Planning has been helpful not only with gifts and crafts, but also with meals, decorating, and so on. 

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day? 

I have never been to Tennessee, but it's definitely a state I want to visit some day.

The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis's Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)
How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

Well, obviously, since I've never been to Tennessee, I've never visited any of these attractions.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a place I'd love to visit.  Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge interest me.   Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley Railroad sound interesting as well.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

What a warm October we've had -- I believe the temperatures have been record-breaking this year. The fall colors have not, for the most part, been as vibrant as usual (though I have seen many notable exceptions -- some glorious red and orange trees) and I think the warmer temperatures are most likely to blame.  We have not had a hard frost here at our home at all yet this fall.
And so ends another Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday to everyone!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Glorious October days

Our weather has been just lovely this week.  Cooling down and getting downright chilly at night, but then the days have been warm and sunny.  And the foliage is becoming more colorful by the day.  Here are a few recent pictures.
Peaceful old cemetery
Another view of the cemetery
"Field and forest, vale and mountain"
Red and orange
Love this orangey tree behind the old picket fence
Some oak leaves do turn red and orange.
This was right near the red oak leaves and I liked the jumble of leaves and the pinecone as seen against the gray tree bark.
These pretty trees are near an intersection close to my home.  I stopped the car on the quiet road and snapped this from inside the car.
And this spray of red leaves is in my front yard. 
Hope you've enjoyed these glimpses of glorious October.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Secrets of the slightly organized

Make that "only slightly organized".  I'm a busy person and if I didn't make some attempt at being organized, nothing would get done.  For awhile I've been meaning to put together a post with links to some of my older posts about planning and organization, with the idea that it might be a help to homeschooling moms and other busy people.  But time constraints have prevented me.

A good place to start might be with considering the why of planning and goal setting.  This post, More thoughts on goal setting, from January 2015, will help you consider your overall purposes in life -- the why behind what you do.   If I am to bring glory to God with my life, then I need to use every moment to maximum effectiveness -- a lofty goal that I fall far short of every day.

I shouldn't, but I tend to get a little bit annoyed when people ask me what I do all day.  This post -- Just Busy -- from 2015 gives an idea of just what I'm busy with.  The only thing that has really changed since then is that I no longer have the responsibility of caring for my dad.  We do help my husband's mom with things occasionally, but she is still somewhat independent.  Also, she has other children and that responsibility is shared among them all.  The eldercare, though, has been replaced with responsibilities for his estate, so I am still spending an hour or two a day working on that.  And any references to making gifts and such -- I have much less time for that than I used to, so don't do much (if any) crafting in a given day.

This 2013 post, Where did it go? resulted from taking a look at my week to see just where it had, in fact, gone.  If you ever find yourself wondering that about your own week, it can be very valuable to sit and ponder just where the time has gone.  Looking honestly at this has really helped me purpose to use my time wisely.  This quote from Elizabeth George in A Woman After God's Own Heart is in that post, but it's worth copying and pasting it here, too:

  "God’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great!  So every morning remember that your goal is simple: you want to have just one good day of living your priorities.  Then keep focused on following God’s plan for your life for just this one day.  For just one day, try putting first things first.”  By God's grace, I intend to do just that today and every day this week!

Lovely graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Thinking about goals and accomplishing more of them, from 2012, tells what happened when I realized I wasn't accomplishing as much as I once did, and how I began to solve the problem.

A weekly calendar page, from 2008, tells how I designed the weekly calendar page that I use.  This is an invaluable part of my planning, as it shows me a picture of my entire week.

Every morning I then take a small note pad and jot down what the priorities for my day must be.  I suppose the list is usually ten items or less, but if I fit in more activities, that's fine too.  And then I like to make a time schedule for the day, just so I fit each priority in at the most effective time.  This really helps me to get things done in a timely way -- for example, to be sure I've allowed enough time for preparing a meal or getting ready to go somewhere.  It also helps me to schedule important tasks (like those  that require thinking clearly) for earlier in the day when I am fresher, and no-brainer tasks like folding laundry for the end of the day.  I tend to schedule my day in half-hour increments, but I don't stick rigidly to those times.  I just use the schedule as a guideline and stay pretty flexible.  Remember, if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time!

If you can't face the idea of a time schedule, certainly you could start by just making a small list for each day's priorities.  Just considering what the priorities for each day must be is a huge help.  Start by listing things you must do,  like scheduled appointments, commitments, or kids' activities, and preparing supper or doing laundry.  If you can also find time for other things, good for you!

Another practice that has been a huge help to me is planning menus for each week.   I plan my menus at the same time I make my grocery shopping list, and I plan most of the meals around what's on sale that week, plus what's on hand in freezer, fridge, or pantry.  Having a plan means less scrambling around at the last minute for getting a meal together, and it prevents takeout or drive-through meals so often (though these measures do occasionally have their place).  In thinking about menu planning, I think this topic is worthy of its own post, so I will try to do that later this week.

Hope these simple thoughts are helpful to someone.  I am by no means a time-management expert (quite the reverse, in fact), but if I made no attempt at managing my time, I would be accomplishing even less than I do.  And we do realize God wants us to use our time wisely, for His glory, so let's be inspired to do just that!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Five things I love about fall

Inspired by this post: 5 More Things I Love about Fall at Creekside Cottage, I decided to answer her question here on my blog.

1. Gorgeous colors in fall foliage.  The photo at top was taken at my husband's job site (he works all over the state; never know where he'll be next!) last fall.  I also love looking at individual leaves; they vary so.

2. All things apple.  Cider, apples, apple crisp, apple pie, apple crisp pizza, pretty much anything apple.  Click "apples" in the sidebar label cloud for some good ideas.
3.  All things pumpkin.  Pumpkin desserts, pumpkin muffins, doughnuts, and coffeecakes, pumpkin spice coffee ... Again, click "pumpkin" in the label cloud to see some good recipes.

4.  Cooler temperatures.  I simply love the crisp, cool, brilliant sunny days of fall.  It's the nicest time of year here in New Hampshire.
5.  Fall retreats!  I've saved my favorite for last.  There is just nothing like a fall retreat.  I've been to 2 ladies' retreats this fall and am headed off to a couples' retreat soon.  The glorious scenery, the great fellowship and food, the encouragement from God's Word, the relaxed time to focus on God and on one another ... well, let's just say my hubby and I never want to miss a retreat.  We are so incredibly blessed to have The Wilds of New England here in our state!
And there you have my five favorite things about fall.  What would yours be?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11 Hodgepodge

From Baptist Bible Hour
 It's time again for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over and get the questions, answer them on your own blog and then on back over to Joyce's to link up!   Here are the questions for this week:

1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

I think I would rate my sense of direction a 7.  I'm pretty good at remembering how to get places.  Not as good as my hubby, though -- I would rate him a 10.   He can even find his way out of the woods under almost any circumstances.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

 Let's see.  Probably a few weeks ago.  I was trying to find a particular (and well hidden) cemetery. 
My husband has a New Hampshire Gazeteer with really detailed maps of every township, so I was looking at that.  This newer edition that he has doesn't show cemeteries, however.

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I'll choose up north, because later this month we will be going up to northern New Hampshire for a three-day getaway at our favorite quiet, remote lake. 

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Wow, that is a good question.  I chatted with my daughter on the phone, but that was really the only actual conversation out of the ordinary yesterday.  I would be hard-pressed to say whether I did more talking or more listening.  I would prefer to do more listening, for sure.

As for my yesterday described in one word -- full.
Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

Time, without a doubt.  Not really sure what I can do to change it.  I try hard to manage my time wisely, but right at this season of life I have more to do than I can find time for.

4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family road trip from your own childhood.

We didn't take regular vacations -- wait, let me rephrase that.  My dad had vacation time (usually about a week) every July.  We usually spent it at this little cottage above, which was located maybe a half hour from home on a dirt road deep in the woods.  It had electricity and even a phone, but no insulation or plumbing.  My dad rigged up a gravity feed system from a spring up in the woods, so we had cold running water into the kitchen and so could have water for cooking, brushing teeth, etc.  Of course we had to heat it to wash dishes.  The "bathroom" was an outhouse in the woods a short distance away.  Despite my dad's efforts to keep it clean and well sanitized, I still hated it. 

We did take a lot of day trips too, mostly to visit relatives, and there was apparently a day trip to Story Land that I'd nearly forgotten.

We took one memorable overnight road trip, to Plymouth Rock and other historic sites in that area.  I quite enjoyed it, but my parents declared "never again", so that was the only overnight trip I remember us taking.
At Story Land in 2012

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

Avocados, because I love them and they are so expensive at the grocery store.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Am I capable of random thought?  Or any thought, for that matter?  Really looking forward to the couples' retreat this weekend at  The Wilds of New England, always a refreshing and revitalizing time.  We now consider it a must for our marriage and we are so thankful for this wonderful place only a little over an hour from home.
And so ends another Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday!