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!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Gluten free cranberry orange muffins

Photo from Pixabay
 For quite some time I've had "bake GF muffins" on my list.  I like to keep a container of them in the freezer to heat for a quick breakfast with coffee some mornings.  I don't have to eat gluten free, but I just feel better when I do.  I went entirely gluten free for about 3 years and was simply amazed to find that after several months, the hip pain I'd been experiencing went completely away.  Now I find that I can eat some gluten, but I quickly know if I'm overdoing it, because my joints ache.  I use gluten free pasta (the Ronzoni is the best and most economical, in my book) and pretty much any baked goods I prepare at home will be gluten free.  For cookies, cakes, muffins, and biscuits, I like to use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour* because it means I can just use my old favorite recipes, substituting this cup-for-cup for regular flour.
That's what I did with these Cranberry Orange Muffins that are an old favorite I blogged about in 2007.  These muffins also have some cornmeal in them, which is a nice bonus.  I didn't have any oranges on hand, so I used a bit of pure orange extract in place of the orange rind.  I think I used about a half teaspoon, but a little more wouldn't have hurt.  I also used dried cranberries that were already julienned so that I wouldn't need to bother chopping them.  I had bought a package of these to use in cookies, but there were some left over, so this was the perfect use for those.

These came out so well using the gluten free baking flour!  I have a container of the muffins in my freezer right now, and plan to bake more for our coffee time at church this Sunday.  Hope you will enjoy these muffins, either gluten free or regular, if you try them!

 * Don't try to use this flour for yeast breads or pizza.  It won't work and you will be sadly disappointed. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13 Hodgepodge


 Somehow 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 can make for interesting reading; it's always fun to learn more about our fellow bloggers.  Head on over, copy the questions, then  paste and answer them on your own blog.  Speed back over to Joyce's to link up, and you're done!   Here are this week's questions:

1. What happens to the mail at your house?


I try to deal with it very promptly.  We have a basket for bills and other items that need immediate attention.  Checks go into the safe until we are ready to deposit them.  Junk mail hopefully gets thrown away immediately.  Flyers we will actually use (like the grocery store, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid) have a dedicated spot and are purged weekly.  Personal notes, letters, and cards, of course, are perused and savored.

2. Something you always splurge on? Any guilt associated with the splurge?


This is somewhat of a more recent splurge, but I've been buying the in-store prepared fresh pineapple chunks and "berry cups" which include strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  I just find myself not having time to deal with fresh pineapples right now, and the berries in the berry cups always look nicer and fresher than buying the berries separately.  I am purchasing these without a twinge of guilt, for these things will actually be eaten, where their less expensive counterparts may not.

3. There are many, but what are two important questions you think every bride and groom should ask/answer before they plan their walk down the aisle?

1) Are we on the same wavelength spiritually?  Obviously if one is a believer in Christ, both need to be.  But it actually goes far beyond that.  Are both interested in spiritual growth, in truly living the Christian life, in walking with God every day, in making Him the head of their home and their lives? 


2) Have we had good, quality premarital counseling?  Do we intend to take that advice or do we think somehow it doesn't apply to us?

4. What's the best advice your father ever gave you?

"It's a poor day when you don't learn something."

5. Your favorite movie where a father features heavily in the storyline?


I seldom watch movies, and those I can remember really liking don't seem to have featured fathers very heavily.  So I will cheat and pick a TV show instead: The Andy Griffith Show, which I never saw while growing up (likely due to our limited television reception) but have thoroughly enjoyed as an adult.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We have been having such gorgeous, perfect summer weather!  Warm and sunny, yet with a glorious breeze.  We  recently acquired a patio set for our back deck (something we have never had) and oh, how nice it is to spend time out there in this glorious weather.  As a bonus, my Mother's Day plant is still alive!  (I recently saw a garden stake that reads: "I tried.  It died."  I may yet need one of those, but so far, so good.

So ends another June Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday, all!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

June 6 Hodgepodge


Well, it's Wednesday again, and time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond. You can get in on the fun, too.  Joyce's questions and our answers make grand fodder for blog posts.  So hurry on over, copy the questions, then  paste and answer them on your own blog.  Then go back over to Joyce's to link up.   Here are this week's questions:

1.Describe your 30's in one sentence. If you're not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade.

What a challenge!   I hadn't actually thought of a sentence yet, but maybe that one will work. 

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?

Exercise.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn't put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-
bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV.

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?

Let's see. We still have (and use) bookshelves, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, a printer, printed phone books, an answering machine, a paper shredder, a home phone, a DVD player, calculators, takeout menus, and incandescent light bulbs. They may be obsolete according to some, but we like them.  I honestly don't think bookshelves or file cabinets will ever go away completely.

4. What's something you see disappearing in the next ten years?

Hmmm ....  I am going to say printed phone books.  Ours has already gone to simply business listings.  Probably incandescent light bulbs, too.

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?

From what I can remember, we probably went to my local daughter's home and celebrated my birthday there with her and her family.  That is typical.   She's a great cook and baker, so birthdays usually involve a delicious meal and a special cake.  I think this year's dessert was a gluten free dark chocolate tart with an almond crust, if I remember right.  I need to write these things down somewhere -- often I have noted them down in my scrapbook journal, which I really want to get back to.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I seem to have New Hampshire lakes on the brain now that it's June.  The ones in this post are  (starting at top) Big Squam; Winnipesaukee; Newfound; Big Squam again; Back Lake;  Newfound again; and Echo Lake.  My hubby and I tried to have a picnic at Newfound Lake on Saturday evening, but it was far too windy to be relaxing.  We had to hold everything down!  We'll give it another chance, though.😊

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, June 01, 2018

June goals


A new month, and time to set some goals!  Here are my hopes and goals for June:

* 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 at least once or twice this month
* Work on posts for Christmas in July
* Post in this blog most weekdays 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 potluck meal
* 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

JUNE'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully
WORD FOR 2018: Settled
🍉   🌿   🌸    🍉   🌿   🌸    🍉   🌿   🌸    🍉   🌿   🌸    🍉  
And here is how May went:

* Finish up an informal study of Charles Swindoll's Come Before Winter for my quiet time -- done!
* Pick up with my study of Colossians after finishing the above -- 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 consistently
* Limit sugar and red meat -- really fell down on this in May
* Drink enough water each day -- not done, I'm sure
* Walk and/or exercise each day -- I'm thinking I walked 25 days out of the 31 -- not bad at all!
 * Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week -- not done, though I'm making progress
* Do something creative each day -- done!
* Post in my Christmas blog at least once or twice this month -- done! (glad I set the bar low on this one!)
* Post in this blog most weekdays if possible -- managed 12 times; not bad considering that May was a very busy month.
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects -- put in a little time on one of these
* 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 -- not done
* Call faraway friends to chat -- not done
* Learn more about cultured foods and begin making more of them -- not done, and I don't really see myself accomplishing it in June either, but I want to keep it on my radar screen
* Declutter and reorganize my closet -- not done
* Declutter and revamp computer room -- I did start on this; decluttered lots of magazines that I wished I could have kept, but I need that shelving for my Etsy items ... so out they went, with me on the verge of tears the entire time.
* 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 potluck meal -- done!
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate -- not completed, obviously, but I did complete a very large trust-related task
* Plan an overnight with my hubby -- done!
* Start serious planning for our next trip out West -- done!
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating -- done!

MAY'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully -- May was a mixed bag as far as this was concerned.  I did lots of walking but know I didn't drink enough water.  Some days, nowhere near enough.  I did plan (and we did eat) meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating.  But we also consumed several hamburgers during this month, several doughnuts, and "fair food" galore at the Loggers' Expo.  (We do try and handle this more wisely by just getting one of whatever we order and sharing it.)
WORD FOR 2018: Settled -- Still clinging to this.

And hoping for a productive month in June!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

This 'n' that


How can someone who is so busy find so little to blog about?  At the very least, I guess I can share some of what I've been up to.  Many readers enjoy random posts ... in fact, I enjoy them myself on other people's blogs.  Let's begin with some kitchen news.

Last week our local supermarket had split chicken breasts (the bone-in type) on a great sale, so on Thursday I bought a package and marinated them as soon as I got home from the store, to make Garlic Lime Chicken, an old favorite.  It sort of kicked off summer, with some purchased potato salad and steamed snow peas.

We had a busy weekend with lots of cooking and eating going on.  I took my favorite Bacon Chive Potato Salad to a cookout with friends on Friday night.  Not much was left to bring home!
My chives are looking really skimpy these days.  I spotted a bunch at my dad's place and am thinking I will transplant them into a large container and bring it home.  I like to use chives in many recipes in place of raw onions or green onions.

I had offered to bake cookies for a graduation party last Saturday.  So I spent a few hours over several days,  baking different kinds.  I like the idea of a varied cookie tray or plate and also the idea of  having tins of different varieties of cookies stashed in the freezer.  This accomplished both.  Here are some of the kinds I made:

Moose Tracks Cookies

Photo from Inside BruCrew Life
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Crunchy Toffee Crackle Cookies


Cookie Dough Brownies (I usually omit the nuts on top)

On Monday we had a cookout with our local daughter and family.  Burgers with chips, deviled eggs,  and salads on the side.  I made a roasted sweet potato salad, and my daughter made Greek Pasta Salad, minus the chicken, which is a huge favorite with her kids.  I made a strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert but the filling didn't thicken enough.  It did taste good, thankfully!

I've made Tuna Pasta Salad several times in recent weeks, as I mentioned, I think, in a Hodgepodge post.  It's a favorite warm-weather meal and my hubby loves it.  To lighten things up, rather than serving this with corn muffins as I might usually do, I've been serving it with a tossed salad on the side instead.
Not much happening on the crafting front, though I do have a little sewing project cut out for when I find some time.  I'm crocheting and embroidering in bits and snippets of time here and there.  The Scalloped Potholder pattern is easily memorized and continues to be a favorite of mine.  I'm really itching to get back to sewing and embroidery, but we will see!

I've been trying to walk with a friend nearly every morning, and it's been great.  Tomorrow I plan to take the camera (if I remember) and take some pictures of spring blooms we've been noticing.

Of course, many other things have been going on -- trust responsibilities of all sorts, Sunday School preparation, supporting my hubby in his pastoral search responsibilities,  and also the finding and purchasing of tickets for a fall trip to Nevada.

That's a general wrap-up of what's been going on here.  How has your May been?