Monday, July 31, 2017

Woodland Lake

I think I've mentioned before that I have a small stack of New Hampshire Troubadour magazines that my mother had given me years ago.  I enjoy re-reading them seasonally.  On the back of the July 1950 issue I found the following beautiful poem:

Woodland Lake
by Ruth M. Hill

A mirror lake, within an emerald grove,
Reflecting dark, tall trees with branches low;
The shadows cool and deep, to where below
In quiet back-curve of a little cove,
As in that strange behind-a-mirror place,
The stems of lilies, with a flowing grace
Find root and to the lucid surface grow.
A roving cloud and bird reflected are;
Nor can a storm this mirror break or mar.
Each storm must pass.  And all the tempest tossed
Upon these liquid depths is quickly lost;
The surface scarless, now reflects a star.
A mirror mingling fantasy and scene,
Beneath blue skies a woodland lake serene.

Such a beautiful poem.  I especially like the line, "Each storm must pass.  And all the tempest tossed/Upon these liquid depths is quickly lost." It's very meaningful to me to think of the storm passing, the surface of the lake smoothing out again and then reflecting a star.  Love those thoughts.
I know I have shared all these lake photos before, but didn't identify the lakes.  The top photo is of Echo Lake; the middle one is Newfound Lake, taken from Sugarloaf Mountain; and the bottom photo is of Back Lake.  Hope you all enjoyed this poem as much as I did!

Friday, July 28, 2017

From the July archives, Part 3

Glorious photo by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Here's a final post from the July archives.  Enjoy!

This post about two crocheted dishcloths in Sweet Pea Stripes yarn might inspire you if you're looking for a fun and simple summer crochet project.

God’s pruning in our lives  is a post you may find encouraging as you consider spiritual growth and some of the ways in which it comes about.
Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Back in 2011, I wrote this post about some of the July flora and fauna around our home.

I love to decorate with banners or buntings using vintage book pages (or sometimes sheet music) as a base.  These Strawberry Book Page Banners are a project I came up with myself, so this post includes a tutorial for making the banners.  They are hanging above my dining room windows at this very moment.
I'll be back in August with a few archival posts from that month!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26 Hodgepodge

 Another Wednesday!  Time for the Hodgepodge fun at From This Side of the Pond with Joyce and friends.  Head on over, get the questions, blog about the answers -- then link up at Joyce's.   Here are this week's questions:

1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?

Hmm, what was I doing at 3:15 yesterday?  Not sure. -- probably scheduling some blog posts or doing some cleaning.  Nothing too exciting.  My energy level is generally pretty decent that time of afternoon.  Let's say an 8.

2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.

Not a frisbee, not a party, not a punch ... not throwing in the towel or a tantrum .... have to say it's a curveball, but I can't elaborate right now.

3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.

One of those thought questions!
  1) Some sort of personal transporter to get me from New England to Nevada without the hassle of flying.
2) A good night's rest.  It's been a tiring few weeks.
3) A week in a lake cabin.  Too much stress in my life right now.

4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?

Only spiritually strong, which after all is the most important.  And that is only by God's grace.
5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?

I used to enjoy historical fiction very much.  Not so much any more.  Of fiction set in the past, probably the Anne of Green Gables series is my very favorite.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Hmmm...  Seems the older I get, the more sleep I need.  Not very profound.

Monday, July 24, 2017

From the July archives, Part 2

Here are a few more posts from the July archives.  I'm planning to do one more before the month ends.

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Dessert is a delicious frozen treat that I want to make again soon.   I had actually planned to make it for yesterday's potluck at church, but that didn't happen. 

Photo from Jamie Cooks It Up!
I decided I was too pressed for time and made a double batch of no-bake cookies instead. This is so good, and quite easy.  Give it a try this summer, why don't you?

This post may encourage you if you are in need of strength today: The strength that comes from God.
Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
A day in the mountains recounts a fun day in the cool of the mountains while the valley sweltered.  I can still recall how hot and humid it was at home and how blessedly cool in the mountains.

And last but not least, a seashore-themed project which I had so much fun putting together from repurposed items.  It still hangs on our bathroom wall today, and it still makes me smile!
Another archive post to come this month, I hope.  Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19 Hodgepodge

 Can it really be Wednesday again, and time for another Hodgepodge?  It must be, for Joyce has new questions.  Why not go on over and snag them for yourself at From This Side of the Pond, post the answers on your own blog, and then go back there to link up?  So here we go with this week's questions:

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.

My paternal grandfather died long before I was born, and my dad's mother, who lived several hours away, was busy earning a living as a practical nurse.  So I didn't see her much at all.  I appreciated and enjoyed her, but wasn't close to her.

My maternal grandfather died when I was four.  I have very few memories of him, other than he stopped by to see me often (they lived next door) and he always had candy in his pockets.
My maternal grandmother was the matriarch of a large family and successfully ran a farm and business after her husband died.  I'm not sure I'd say we were close, but I did spend a lot of time with her and I learned a great deal from her, especially in the kitchen.  I know I was also greatly impacted by her love of beauty and her creative bent.  She also had a beautiful singing voice, and I loved it when she would sing in the car or around the house.

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?

Evidently Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was just becoming famous, for I'm told I had a Rudolph toy.  I don't remember if it was a stuffed animal or some sort of soft plastic, but apparently I did love it.  No idea what happened to it, but I expect it's probably still at my parents' home.
No Rudolph here ... looks like a baby doll.
3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.

I see the forest, literally.  We are surrounded by woods here.  I think (if I understand the saying correctly) that I also see the forest, figuratively.  I think that I tend to be more of a big-picture type person -- and for me,  that's a good thing because it's important to remember that God sees the big picture and He wants us to look at things that way too.  Of course, God is also a God of detail, and so it's good to look at individual trees as well.  We need to take time to notice the details and thank God for how He works in them.  But we never want to get so caught up in the details of a situation that we fail to step back and consider the big picture.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 
Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?

 I don't particularly like sour candies, other than a lemon drop occasionally.

Of the foods listed, I guess my favorite would probably be grapefruit, but I also love lemon.

I have never eaten a kumquat.

Here's a great lemon recipe:Lemon Trifle.

Photo from Taste of Home
Or, if you would like something more savory using lemon, how about the Lemon Pasta that's a side dish in this recipe?

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.

It's become a very challenging year with much time spent out of my comfort zone.
Now this is IN my comfort zone -- at a favorite ice cream place.
6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Too many thoughts going through my head to choose one, so I'll add a verse that's all about random thoughts:  "In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Thy comforts delight my soul."  (Psalm 94:19)
Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

Monday, July 17, 2017

Butterfinger Blonde Brownies

Photo by Inside BruCrew Life
I was sure I had already posted about this recipe, but apparently not ... just mentioned I had taken them to a recent church potluck.  It's Butterfinger Blonde Brownies from Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life.  Jocelyn is a reliable go-to source if you want to bake something that people will love.

I've made these several times now and they always go over well.  I use a couple of secrets to make them just a bit easier.

1) Instead of crushing up Butterfinger® bars, I use about half a bag of the crushed Butterfingers that are sold for baking.  You will find these near the chocolate chips and other baking chips at the grocery store.

2) Instead of making a chocolate glaze for the top, I just sprinkle the chocolate chips called for over the top of the brownies when they come out of the oven.  Let set 5 to 10 minutes or so, and you can then spread the melted chocolate over the top to form a glaze.  This works very well!  Saves a few calories too, since you are not using the cream the glaze calls for.

If you need a potluck dessert people are sure to enjoy, you'll want to bake up a pan of these blonde brownies.  Happy baking!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 12 Hodgepodge

 Another Wednesday!  I'm a bit late getting this posted, but want to get in on the Hodgepodge fun at From This Side of the Pond with Joyce and friends.  If you've never joined in on the Hodgepodge, head  on over and snag the questions Joyce posted yesterday, then answer them on your own blog (or here in the comments, if you don't have a blog).  It's lots of fun, I promise!
1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)

Hmmm ... it has been a long time since I chatted with a neighbor.  Could it have been Christmas time when our neighbor brought over a loaf of his fabulous sourdough rye bread?  Or maybe it was some time this spring when he happened to be outside and I went to the mailbox and we chatted about the weather.
2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?

Which one am I most like?  Good question.  I love the ocean, but of all four I probably like lakes the best.  However, I realize that wasn't the question.  How about this?  A spring-fed lake, like some we have  here in New Hampshire.  Only this lake is fed by the springs of Living Water.
3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. 

I have been through Delaware but my only real time spent there was at a scenic overlook at the end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, where we got out to sight-see and inadvertently locked the keys -- both sets! -- in the car.  Should you be interested in reading "the rest of the story", you can find it in this post: Comfort and Joy, a rather lengthy Christmas devotional piece.
What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?

Our state is nicknamed The Granite State and yes, that does make sense to me.  I wouldn't change it.  Lots of granite here and our folks have a reputation for being rock-ribbed.
4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?

I brought a Greek Pasta Salad (a main dish salad using chicken, although you can leave the chicken out and serve as a side salad) and a pan of Butterfinger Blonde Brownies, a recipe I thought I had blogged about but apparently haven't.

We have a potluck lunch at church every Sunday, so I have a stack of go-to recipes and enjoy trying new ones as well.
5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?

Get all the rest you can, however you can.  You need sleep more than anything else and you are going to be sleep-deprived for at least a year.   (Edited to add: don't neglect a quiet time with the Lord each day, even if it has to become much shorter or at a crazy time of day.  You need that to handle sleep deprivation and all of the rest with grace.)
6. Insert your own random thought here.

For those who may be interested, I'm featuring Christmas in July every day this month over at my Christmas blog,  Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen.  I know, most people would rather not think about Christmas right now, but check it out if you are so inclined.  Lots of short, simple ideas and inspiration there!

And so ends another Hodgepodge!

Monday, July 10, 2017

From the July archives, Part 1

Just sharing a few links from the July archives.  Enjoy!

From 2006, Words to Wash Dishes By shares some quotes I have pinned up above my kitchen sink.
On Working Efficiently, from 2007, will not be a revelation to most organized people.  But it was a lesson I was excited to see myself beginning to catch onto.

I love it when God shows me Spirit Lifters in  the course of my daily routine.  They're always there.  Do we have eyes to see them, and do we know whom to thank?
When you are overwhelmed could be an encouragement if you find yourself overwhelmed by life for any reason.  These are lessons God taught me during a season of life that could have felt impossible.
You might also be blessed by this devotional thought: Trees of God’s Planting.

Want a perfect summer pie to share with family or friends?  Strawberry Lovers’ Pie is a good option.
Photo from Taste of Home
Finally, these Vintage-Style Pillowcases from my Christmas blog are a simple, fun sewing project to do in July.  They make nice gifts for either kids or adults.

 Later in the month I'll probably do a second July archive post.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

July 5 Hodgepodge

 Wednesday again, and Joyce is kindly hosting the Hodgepodge over at From This Side of the Pond.  Joyce asks the questions; bloggers copy, paste, and answer them on their own blogs.  On to this week's questions!

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? 

I've seen fireworks in a lot of different places, because for years my hubby's vacation time was always the week of the Fourth and was our only time to travel.  We saw fabulous Fourth of July and Canada Day fireworks in various locations. 

I took the photo at top last night at a Fourth of July party we traditionally attend, at the home of my husband's boss.  They always have wonderful fireworks and I felt fortunate to capture this with my Kindle and no expertise whatever.  These backyard fireworks are the best to me because they are shared with friends and family in a beautiful place.

One year we watched the fireworks in Elko, NV from the back yard of friends and that was a very special time and great fireworks as well.  Our hosts brought out a beautiful cake decorated in red, white and blue and we all sang Happy Birthday to America!

Speaking of you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

 I know that being easily irritated is one of my character flaws, so it's something I pray about frequently.  I know that God doesn't want me to have a short fuse.

"He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly."  (Proverbs 14:17a)

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath."  (James 1:19)

 That said, things that can really irritate me are: gossip; inattentiveness; lack of courtesy -- things like that.
 2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

We have not hosted any outdoor summer parties yet this year, but we still might.

 Yes, we enjoyed a wonderful outdoor graduation party for a girl in our church in June; we had our church 4th of July picnic this past Sunday afternoon; and then last evening attended the Fourth of July picnic and fireworks at the home of friends.

 I think a great outdoor party includes as few flying insects as possible and has both sun and shade available, with seating in both areas.  There is plenty of good food (potlucks are the best!) and ice cold water and non-alcoholic beverages.  There's good fellowship and conversation, with old and new friends and maybe some family as well.  If the evening ends with a campfire or fireworks, even better.

3. What does freedom mean to you?

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."  (Romans 8:1-2)

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."  (John 8:36)

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)

I can't say it any better than that!

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?

Talking (or worse, texting) while driving even when it is against the law.  I also find it annoying (or maybe more sad) that people seem to be looking at their screens every waking moment and respond instantly to incessant beeps and chirps.

5. What's your current summer anthem?

A hymn has been going through my mind a lot this past week:

"When morning gilds the skies, my heart awaking cries, May Jesus Christ be praised!"

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Summer in New Hampshire is simply glorious.  Fall is my favorite season, but New Hampshire on a perfect summer day -- blue sky, puffy clouds, sunshine, low humidity, and just enough breeze to keep things comfortable -- is beautiful and -- simply glorious.