Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A random April hodgepodge

 Wednesday again; time to link up for the Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond with Joyce and other friends.  Joyce asks the questions; bloggers answer them on their own blogs and then link to the Hodgepodge.  Why not join in?
Mural in Ely, NV
 (Note: the photos interspersed are from various touristy (or not so touristy, as the case may be) places I've been.)
Seaside, FL
1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 

My April has been filled with showers. We've had lots of rain this month; more than usual, it seems.  I usually wear a slicker if I have to be out in the rain, so I can put the hood up.

My April has also been filled with busyness.  Lots of things to do this month; my calendar has been very full.
LL Bean, Freeport, ME
2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

Probably how to make a certain recipe that I have memorized, like my mother's fish chowder recipe, for example.   If I needed to add more information fill up the 30 minutes, I could share memories of times when she served fish chowder and how it was a favorite meal of certain friends and family.
Wiscasset, ME
3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

This is a tough one because there were so many.  Both my mother and grandmother were amazing cooks, as were my aunts.  One favorite one I recall was coming home to the scent of baked potatoes and creamed chipped beef.  Comfort food for sure!  My aunt Dot made fantastic pies.  She made a date cream pie that was simply incredible.  And my mother often greeted us after school with the scent of just-baked brownies, cookies, or homemade bread.
Cabbage Island Clambake
4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

Drawing a blank on this one, but I'm very sure there were some.
Story Land, Glen, NH
5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I've been to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, but it was night time and we were in a hurry.  So it doesn't really count, I'm sure.    I've also been to Times Square, eons ago, and to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market a few times.  I'd have to say yes, I felt like a tourist in every instance, but didn't really care, I guess.

I think a good many of the places I like in New England could possibly be considered tourist traps (but then again, maybe not).  But I love them anyway.  Probably the one that could be considered most like a tourist trap is Boothbay Harbor, ME -- a place I would never have opted to visit in the summer.  But I have done so, and I enjoy it.
Boothbay Harbor, ME
 6. Your signature clothing item?

Some people would say it's a vest.  I own a few, but don't constantly wear a vest.  Other than that, no signature item.
Nubble Light, York, ME
7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Hmmm ... this is a tricky one.  Joyce is trying to make us think again. I thought of salvation, but that would be only once.  How about this -- the realization of how much God loves you.  Because that would change us from the inside out and transform our world.
Ely, NV
Ely, NV
 8. Insert your own random thought here.

My brain feels utterly fried today. Guess most any thought I have would be considered random!
Bliss, ID
Castleford, ID
 Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, April 21, 2017

From the April archives

Photo from Photos Public Domain
I hope to do one of these "from the archives" posts every month, both here and on my Christmas blog.  We will see!

From 2007, I chose this Meals as Ministry post.  I had planned to write a second post on this topic, but it hasn't happened yet! However, I have learned a lot more about meals as ministry in the ten years since this was written, so there's still plenty to write about.  There are often situations where we can help a friend, neighbor, or relative by providing a meal -- often on a regular basis, as with someone undergoing cancer treatment.  This post contains some ideas for you.
Continuing on God’s Path, from 2008, offers encouragement and a book recommendation for those going through trials of one sort or another.

This Chocolate Chip Coffeecake, which I shared in April 2009, has stood the test of time.  It's one of the coffeecakes my hubby baked for the Easter sunrise breakfast at church again this year.
Lovely graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
God is in the Details of Life is a post I wrote in 2010, updated from an earlier one.  Hopefully the examples shared here will be a big encouragement to someone!

A post about a completed embroidery project showcases a spring tablecloth that took years of work to complete, but still shines on my daughter's table for spring events.

Another crafting post, Felt Food Frenzy, from 2012, pictures some felt food I made for grandkids' birthdays that year.  Still fun!

A finished project, from 2013, shows a very special project requested by a very special little girl.

If you are one of those who enjoys completely random posts, Mud Season Meanderings, from 2014, might interest you.  Lots of recipe links there and other fun stuff, too.

 And there I will quit.  2015 and 2016's posts are not that long ago, so I shouldn't need to link to any of those.  I enjoy looking around in archives and hope that others do too.  Have fun!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hodgepodging on the fly

These photos show a place we hope to fly to in the next few months:
Northeastern Nevada
 Wednesday again!  Joyce is back so we will join her and other bloggers for the Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.  Joyce asks the questions -- so do head over there and snag them to answer on your own blog and then link up your post for today's Hodgepodge.  It's great fun!

1. Tell us about a time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'.

 Good question.  I try not to do this.  I prefer to be prepared.  I tend to remember parenting as an endeavor in which I did a lot of flying by the seat of my pants. And, it occurs to me now, I am doing eldercare in much the same way.

2.  When or where would you most like to be 'a fly on the wall'?

Since this past weekend, pondering the Resurrection of Christ, the events surrounding it as recorded in Scripture  are still fresh in my mind.  I'm thinking I would have loved to be a "fly on the wall" on the road to Emmaus when Jesus appeared and walked with two of His followers, and then ate supper with them and was "known of them in breaking of bread". ( Luke 24:35) 
I snapped this photo from the car window years ago as we were leaving a family reunion.  The butterfly was right there on the lilac bush.
3. 'Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.'-Henry David Thoreau 

Would you agree? Why or why not?

I do agree in some ways.   I have often thought that many people waste their lives living for the next big moment that they think is going to make them happy.  Meanwhile, life is going on and they are failing to enjoy it.  But if they pay attention, they can find joy and happiness in the everyday happenings that really do make up our lives.

4. Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in its title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.

"I'll Fly Away".  The songwriter is Rev. Gary Davis.  Some of the words go like this:

"Some glad morning when this life is o'er
I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away.
I'll fly away, O glory!
I'll fly away;
When I die, hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away!"

5. What is one task or chore you tend to do 'on the fly'? Is this something that really needs to be done another way?

I was trying to think of a good answer for this.  Then I added in the butterfly photo above.  One could say I took that photo "on the fly" from the car window.  And it occurs to me that I often take photos this way, just in passing, not really thinking about the composition, lighting, or anything else.  I really do need to learn to use that camera.

6. What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud, 'Wow, time flies when you're having fun', and you meant it.

Hmmm .... good question!  It has often seemed to me as if time flies whether one is having fun or not.

7. This Thursday is National Garlic Day. Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday? Do you like garlic? What's your favorite dish made with garlic?
Photo from Taste of Home
I do like garlic. It's likely to be in my menu on Thursday, because I use garlic in cooking a lot.  One of my favorite recipes showcasing garlic is this one:


1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
6 garlic cloves, minced (or equivalent amount of jarred minced garlic)
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tblsp. dried coriander
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
4 to 6 bone-in chicken breast halves
1 to 2 Tblsp. vegetable oil

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first 8 ingredients. Add chicken; seal bag and turn to coat chicken with marinade. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Discard marinade. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil and brown the chicken on all sides. Transfer to a greased 15 x 10-inch baking pan. Bake chicken, uncovered, at 375ΒΊ for 30 to 35 minutes or until the juices run clear.  (If preferred, this can also be grilled, for approximately the same amount of time.)

Yield : 4 to 8 servings

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

This morning I was telling a friend about the sweet wildflower "Bird on the Wing" which in my mind looks a lot like a little airplane, complete with propeller.
 And thus ends another Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A blessed Easter to you!

Beautiful Easter graphic from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Mr. T and I would like to wish all of our friends and readers a very blessed Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   May each of us ponder all that our salvation cost the Lord and may we take time to thank Him for His willing sacrifice on our behalf.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
"And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

We serve a risen Savior! This is truly worthy of celebration!  Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Early spring decorating and more

We do still have snow on the ground, but spring is on the way.  We had nice warm temperatures Tuesday, though today has been rainy and cooler.  I thought I should share a bit of my early spring decorating before I forget about these pictures.

Last week I decided it was time for the top shelf of my hutch to change from winter to spring.  I quickly moved my jadeite plates up there, along with a pretty old sugar bowl, my Royal Doulton Bunnykins mug from childhood, and a pitcher of silk daffodils.

The middle shelf, with its maple sugaring display, stayed the same
 except I pulled the jadeite plates out of it to move to the shelf above.

Below, you see the bottom shelf with a green and white nod to St. Patrick's Day.  For early spring, I took out the St. Pat's Day tag but left the rest of the shelf the same because I like the look!

The green-edged doily is a recent find.  I love it and think it may have been crocheted by one of my great-grandmothers.
 And now for the surprise!  I won a surprise giveaway on my friend Vee's blog. In this post, she had showed a picture of a piece of toast spread with something delicious-looking -- a snack she had recently enjoyed -- and off-handedly asked her readers if they ever had this snack.  She didn't necessarily ask people to guess, but they did.  Unbeknownst to her commenters, she planned to put the correct guesses in a hat and pull one out for a surprise giveaway.  Only she didn't have to do that.  Mine was the only guess of brown sugar and butter.  Other yummy guesses included apple butter and apricot jam, etc.  So in due time I received the following happy mail:
Pretty envelope, bowl cozy, magazine, chocolate, tea, and  Pioneer Woman cloth napkins!
What a fun treat!  Thank you, Vee!  She even included a magazine (not pictured) for my hubby.  We shared the chocolate, too.
Hope you've enjoyed this look at my early spring decor and my fun surprise.  I know that many of you have real spring flowers in bloom already, but they are a long way from blooming here!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lovely lemon dessert

This dessert recipe is one I've made many times over the years.  It would make a really nice Easter dessert because it is pretty, somewhat light, and has the bright flavor of lemon.  I made it yesterday, though, for a potluck lunch at church where a ministry team of teenagers would be eating with us.  Here's the recipe if you are interested:


1 (18.25 oz) lemon cake mix, plus the eggs and oil it calls for
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup sugar
2 (3.5 oz.) packages cook-and-serve lemon pudding and pie filling, plus egg yolks, water and sugar called for
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flaked coconut

     Bake the cake as directed in a 13x9x2” pan.  Combine the pineapple and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and boil 5 minutes.
    Pour pineapple mixture over the hot cake.  Cool pineapple-topped cake in pan on rack.
     Cook the lemon pudding mixes as directed, with the egg yolks and water called for.  Pour the cooked pudding over the cake and chill until firm.
     Whip the cream until medium-stiff peaks form, gradually adding the confectioners sugar (which serves as a stabilizer).  Beat in the vanilla.  Spread the whipped cream over the pudding.  Sprinkle the coconut over the whipped cream and refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
 Yield:  12 servings.

 This cake has been a family favorite for years.  I copied it years ago off the radio cooking show, Gus Saunders' Yankee Kitchen. Although the dessert is easy to make, it is somewhat time-consuming because the cake needs to cool and then chill in between the different steps of the recipe.  I'll run through those with pictures and captions.  (All photos were taken with my Kindle and so the quality is not of the best, but you will get the idea, I'm sure.)
Mix the cake with eggs, oil, and water as the package directs.  I used coconut oil because that's what I had.  Bake the cake as usual.
When the cake is done, put the undrained pineapple in a saucepan with a cup or less of sugar; bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes and pour over the hot cake.  Let cool completely.
When the cake is cooled, cook the 2 packages of lemon pudding as the package directs.  The kind I used called for egg yolks and water, and I think some sugar too.  When  a recipe calls for 2 egg yolks, I always substitute a whole egg (unless there is a meringue involved to use up the whites).  Spread the pudding over the cooled cake.  Place the dessert in the refrigerator until the pudding is cold.  You can even chill it overnight at this point.
Whip cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla.
Spread whipped cream over the chilled pudding layer.
Sprinkle coconut  over the whipped cream.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cut in squares of desired size to serve.  Enjoy!
Hope your family enjoys this recipe if you try it!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Early April Hodgepodge

Antique card from my personal collection
 It's Wednesday again, and that means it's time for the Hodgepodge with Joyce and friends at From This Side of the Pond.  There will be no Hodgepodge next week, April 12, so why not jump in and answer the questions this week?  I am so glad that I decided to try linking up with the Hodgepodge on a regular basis.  It's so much fun and is such a great way to get to know other bloggers.  Here we go with this week's questions:

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what's the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.
I will have to go with a 1.  My lawn and garden are buried beneath many inches of snow and even when it melts off, there will be no improvements anytime soon as it will take weeks to dry out.  So, no lawn or garden plans for this month, other than hoping to see them appear from under the snow.

2. "Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there." ~Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Hmmm ... this could have several meanings.  One thing, of course, -- maybe the first thing that comes to mind -- is weeds.  We don't intentionally plant them, but they sure do thrive in our gardens unless we take active measures to keep them out.  And then, some things grow in our gardens which we did not intentionally plant, but which we are happy to see there.  Sometimes volunteer tomato plants or squash plants will spring up.   Sometimes sunflower seeds dropped by the birds produce flowers, or the wind carries wildflower seeds or even some flower seeds from a neighbor's garden.

This could obviously have a deeper meaning as well ... we want to be very careful about the things we allow to take root in our lives.

[ETA: Be sure and see Joyce's take on this quote at From This Side of the Pond.   She looks at it from an entirely different angle, but a very good one!] 
🌻     🌻     🌻    🌻     🌻     🌻    🌻     🌻     🌻     🌻
3. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

 Psalm 90:2 -- "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."
 And Isaiah 46:9-10 -- "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me,
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure."

 And then of course God's amazing love in sending His only Son to die for our sins, and His incredible power in Creation .... well, I could go on and on, but the verses I shared above were the first things that sprang to mind when I read the question.

4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

Hmmm .... this is a tough one.  I am really not sure.  Maybe I might be talking a little too loud or a little too fast.

5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan...which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I do like the color yellow and you would definitely find yellow in my kitchen, plus here and there in a bedroom or bathroom.  My favorite yellow bloom on the list: probably black-eyed susans.
Delightful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
6. Flip flops or bare feet?
 Neither.  I detest flip flops.  They are fine for other people but I just don't like or wear them.  Although I went barefoot every summer of my life right through my teenage years, I seldom do so now except at the beach.

7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you'll carry out this month.

We will have our annual sunrise service and breakfast on Easter morning.  It's always a precious time of remembering our Savior's victory over death and the grave, and all that His death and resurrection accomplished for us.  At the sunrise service, we traditionally sing the hymn below:

Another gorgeous graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
The breakfast is always delicious, too, with egg casseroles, ham, pastries, fruit, juice, coffee and more.
Naturally colored eggs I dyed with my granddaughters some years ago.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Today is my wonderful daughter Carrie's birthday.   More than my daughter, she is a good and trusted friend and a blessing in my life.  I admire her care of her husband and family more than I can say.  And, though she looks like a teenager in this photo, let me assure you that she will not see 35 (or even 38) again.
And so ends another thought-provoking Hodgepodge.  Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Winter's last word?

I hope so!

The above photo was taken this past Saturday, April Fool's Day, when we ended up with about a foot of heavy wet snow.

I had seen a sign at a local diner as we drove by Wednesday night on our way to church:


Very, very appropriate to the weather we've been having.

Last Friday and Saturday we had a large storm predicted.  Although the snow didn't actually start falling until around noon, here is what our sky looked like Friday morning.

You know what "red sky at morning" means, right?

 "Red sky at night, sailor's delight;
   Red sky at morning, sailors take warning."

Did you know that this is mentioned in the Bible?

In Matthew 16:1-3, the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus, asking Him to show them a sign from heaven.  Here is Jesus' reply:

"When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather; for the sky is red.
"And in the morning, It will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.  O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"

In looking at "the face of the sky" we discerned on Friday morning that a storm was indeed coming.  It did snow most of Friday afternoon, but by evening there was not a lot of accumulation.  Overnight, however, was a different story, as you can see at the top of the post.  It snowed heavily.

Saturday afternoon, my husband wanted to take 3 of the grandchildren for a snowshoe hike out to a remote pond.  Wouldn't you like to go along?  I had hoped to add in a little video here, but it is just too long and won't load.  So we will settle for a few pictures.

Trailside tree
Putting a new slant on things
Putting a new slant on things take 2
Of course, there had to be a snack at the return of the snowshoe hikers!  I hope they will forgive me as they all have "hat hair" in this photo.  And my table is looking a little tired too.  But the hot chocolate and cinnamon roll blondies were good!
I'm so thankful that Mr. T can do things like this with the kids.  His dad always loved to take family and friends hiking, on snowshoes or otherwise, and it's a real blessing to see that tradition continue with our own grandkids.

I had heard yesterday that we might be getting more snow today, so checked out the weather forecast.  5 to 8 inches of snow?  Oh, I hope not!

Thankfully, that has now been updated to 1 to 3 inches, along with some rain, so -- while it's still not a wonderful outlook -- it's more hopeful than it was.

But it sure seems like Winter is determined to have the last word.