Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Berry Delicious Medley

So it's Wednesday again, and time for the Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida!   Terri asks the questions and bloggers come up with their own answers. 

 Wouldn't you like to join in?  It's easy, and could make for a fun blog post on a wintry day.  This week's questions have a strawberry theme, which is really appealing to me.  Maybe to you too?  Just head over to Terri's blog, get the questions, then copy, paste, and answer them on your own blog.  Then you can go back to Terri's and link up, if you like.   Here goes!

1.  Given all that information on this 🍓National Strawberry Day🍓, do you have a favorite recipe for strawberries?  Would you share it with us?
Oh, I have many favorite recipes using strawberries.   The Strawberry Lovers’ Pie is probably one of my favorites.  Click the "strawberries" label in the label cloud to see a few more recipes.
2.  Some people think the smaller, northern varieties are sweeter than the larger berries that grow in the south and in California.  What are your thoughts on that?
I really don't know.  I've not yet been to California, and I have never eaten a strawberry in Florida that I remember of.   I've certainly eaten strawberries from those states during winter up here in New England, and they are fine, but the New England berries I've picked in New Hampshire and Vermont are definitely smaller and they do seem sweeter.  But maybe it's just that they are in season and freshly picked.
3.  There is a Strawberry Festival right here in Plant City, Florida (next town over from Lakeland) and it is a huge event that lasts 11 days with headliner acts each day.  Have you ever been to a Strawberry Festival?
I don't believe so.  I've always thought it would be fun, though.   In a way, I have a strawberry festival going on in my kitchen and dining room for much of the year.  Strawberry wallpaper in the kitchen (which really needs to be replaced, but ... ) plus a strawberry collection.  You can see some of it in this post: A look at my strawberry collection, but if you also type "strawberry collection" into the search box at top left or click on the "strawberries" label in the label cloud at right, you will find even more about it.  There are several pages of posts with the "strawberries" label, so if you enjoy picking, eating, or decorating with strawberries you may want to check these out.

4.  Strawberries are grown in every US state.  Have you ever grown them in your garden?
No, I haven't, but my parents did a few times and my daughters also have.   I do have strawberries "planted" on the walls of my kitchen. 
5.  Strawberry is the only fruit that has seeds on the outside, and technically it is not a berry but rather a fruit, and would you be surprised to learn that strawberries belong to the rose family?  Do you have any strawberry trivia to share with us?
I did know that strawberries belong to the rose family.  Here's some trivia for you concerning how I acquired the pitcher below: Now It Can Be Told.  If you haven't previously read this, you might enjoy it.
6.  Tell us something random about your week!!
Hmmm .... it seems to be getting off to a slow start, as my hubby had Monday off.  I accomplished almost nothing that I had planned to do; however, with his help, I accomplished a lot of work at my childhood home: cleaning, sorting, and disposing of items to the dumpster, thrift store, and book drop, and even a visit to a consignment place where we may be able to sell some of the furniture.  So a lot got done, and if today (I'm writing this on Tuesday) feels a little slow, that's okay.
That's it!  This week's berry delicious medley is a wrap!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday five ~ February 22

Gorgeous antique image from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Yes, it is Friday again and time to jot down five things about my week.  Good thing I am keeping track of a blessing each day in my Best of My Days calendar notepad.  So glad I printed out one of these for myself.  I keep it on my nightstand and jot down a blessing each evening.  It's probably not too late to print out one of these for yourself, so check out the link if you are interested.  You can start anytime!

So here goes with a few blessings from the week:

1.  A great time around a meal and Bible study with our friends Sam, Jenn, and Noah on Friday evening.  Always a delight to spend time together in fellowship and study!  Below you see the study we are currently working on.  It's very good.

2.  Finally getting the year-end bookwork done for my Etsy shop and getting many more items listed.  Vintage patterns like the one below are among the things for sale.  Lots of vintage cards, too -- really, a great variety of unusual vintage items at A New Hampshire Attic.

3.  Seeing answered prayer this week in several challenging situations.  Even when an answer isn't always the one we were hoping for,  it's always a blessing to see how God works.
Another beautiful graphic from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
4.  Strength to clean the church this week and also strength to deal with challenging situations in daily life.  Truly, He gives strength according to the need of our days.

5.  The blessing of having a home that can minister to all who enter.  Someone told me this week what a peaceful place they find our home to be.  It's true that one of my goals is for our home to be a peaceful, orderly refuge from the world -- but I feel as if I fail miserably at the "orderly" part so often.  It was an encouragement to me to see how God is helping this goal to be reality.  (The photo below was taken by Mr. T when he went out for a moonlight snowshoe the other evening.  Sort of a cozy view of our home from the outdoors in winter.)
And there's my Friday five for this week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A bit of winter decorating

Now I have tweaked my winter decor in the dining room to include hearts and Valentines for February, but I thought I would share a few photos from January.  Our dining room table is so wide that it's hard to stand in the right place to get a photo of all three hutch shelves, so this time I didn't even try.  Got a photo of the top two shelves and then one of the bottom shelf.
That pretty tapestry place mat looks like a family heirloom ... I got it on clearance at Ocean State Job Lot for under $2.  It's beautiful.
I also cropped the photo of the top two shelves to give you a closer look at each one.
 I grouped together several of my glitter houses.  The church is new this year.  I added lots of bottle brush trees from my stash and some sweet acrylic trees (on either side of the church) that I found at Walmart.  A white reindeer is peeking out from the "forest" on the lefthand side.
Just couldn't put away my vintage jadeite, so I added a pine cone sugar and creamer set and an Old Curiosity Shop plate with a snowy scene.
The above glass dish looks as if it is made of ice.  My hubby gave it to me years ago with matching candle holders.  I've showed a photo of it empty so that you can see the pretty winter scene in the bottom of the dish.
For January I filled it with glittery snowflakes and pine needles, plus a red berry or two and some silver pine cones, along with a wintry papercrafted tag.
A closer look at the January tag; below is the back of the tag.
 And below is the front, complete with a vintage photo from my childhood, a favorite poem, and a snowman charm.
This tag was one of my first attempts at paper crafting.  You can read about it here: Winter tag making, if you are interested.    So much fun, and so many ways to display.

Seasonal decorating is so much fun, don't you agree?

Monday, February 18, 2019

A few snow and ice pictures

It's been snowing all day, but none of these pictures were taken today.  I guess, though, that the falling snow got me thinking about posting a few snowy pictures taken over the past couple of weeks.  Doesn't that top photo look as if the branches have been flocked with white flocking?  It really surprised me to see real snow coat the branches in that exact way.

These pictures so reminded me of Isaiah 1:18 -- "Come now, let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I love this verse which speaks so beautifully of God's love, mercy and grace!

In fact, I love it so much that I once stitched a cross-stitch version of it.  I still love this design! And I do apologize for the wonky angle of the photo, but it was the best I could do given the narrowness of the hallway that these samplers are hanging in.
Just a few more snow and ice pictures.  Love the little icicles on these fir trees!  we  have had so much rain this winter, pretty much alternating with the snow, that some days there are icicles in very unusual places.
"He  giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.  He casteth forth His ice like morsels; who can stand before His cold?" (Psalm 147:16-17)  

Hope you've enjoyed this look at winter in these parts!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday five for February fifteen

Wow, is that an alliterative title or what?

Somehow it is Friday again, and snowing like a bandstand (as we say in our family -- long story!) so I'm taking a few minutes to share five blessings from the week.

And no, those Valentine cookies aren't real.  I did use a cookie cutter to make them, though. Need to get back to making some felt food, as I still have grandkids young enough to be interested.  My Nevada daughter told me the other week that they had gotten out some of the felt food for the youngest one, but all of the kids ended up getting involved -- playing grocery store, restaurant, and more. 

1.  Breakfast out with my hubby last Friday.  We went to a new-to-us place with a pretty limited breakfast menu, but thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere.  Wish I had thought to take some pictures.

2.  Finding time to blog about the Christmas cookie book I made with Shutterfly.  It's on my Christmas blog -- Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen -- so do check it out if you've never visited.  I'm so tickled with this book, as it's a project I've been thinking about for awhile.  (Yep, those are felt Christmas cookies on the cover.  Recipe for those not included, though.) I have lots more photos of pages from the book in the post on my Christmas blog.

3.  Being able to get out and walk both Monday and Tuesday.  The weather hasn't been conducive since, but those days we had mostly bare roads to walk on and got in probably close to 8 miles.

4.  A fun day in the kitchen on Valentine's Day.  I have a friend with a Valentine birthday and really wanted to bake a few goodies for her.  Of course, Mr. T was delighted, as well!
There are marshmallows hiding under the frosting ...
 5.  A nice surprise in the mail yesterday when a handmade Christmas ornament I'd ordered from an Etsy shop arrived.  Check out this pretty ornament from Treasures with a Twist!  Check out the shop, too.  Marjorie has made many other gorgeous ornaments of the same type.  They are good quality and good value, too.  My scan does not begin to do it justice.
That's it for this week's Friday five ... Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine Medley for February 13

 Somehow it's Wednesday again, and time for the Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida!   Terri asks the questions and bloggers come up with their own answers. 

 Wouldn't you like to join in?  It's easy, and could make for a fun blog post on a wintry day; this week's questions have a Valentine theme.  Just head over to Terri's blog, get the questions, then copy, paste, and answer them on your own blog.  Then you can go back to Terri's and link up, if you like.   Here goes!
1.  I think St. Valentine's Day is for everyone, whether you have a romantic love interest or not.  I received a Valentine card from my sister (thank you Patti!) - case in point.  It is all about LOVE, not just romantic love.  What are your traditions for celebrating Valentine's Day?
I agree with you.  Valentine's Day can celebrate family love, the love of friends, and more.  We have no hard-and-fast traditions I guess ... we have learned to be flexible as to how we celebrate.  Sometimes I will make a special supper or breakfast for my husband and myself on Valentine's Day, or sometimes we will go out.  We tend to save money we would have spent on gifts or flowers to use on getaways at a later date.  When the kids were younger, and even a few years with grandkids,  as below, we would make Valentine cookies together.  When my kids were at boarding school for high school, and then when they were away at college, I would send Valentine care packages. 
2.  When you were in elementary school, did you decorate a shoe box and deliver those little valentines to all your classmates?   Perhaps in Sunday School?
Loved this illustration of a Valentine box on Terri's blog, so kept it when I copied and pasted.  It wasn't always a shoe box, but yes -- in elementary school, we would decorate boxes in which the little Valentines from our classmates could be deposited.  Valentines like the one below from the 1960s.  We decorated the boxes with construction paper cutouts, paper lace doilies, red heart stickers, and much more.
3.  Do you enjoy playing Cupid?  Have you ever introduced a couple who really clicked?

Not really.  I know some people love to play matchmaker, but I'm not one of them.  Too much responsibility.  No, I don't think I ever have introduced a couple who really clicked.
4.  Which traditional Valentine's Day gift would you rather receive:  Chocolate, flowers, or a card with a personal message?

A card with a personal message.
My daughter made this Valentine for me probably 30 years ago.
5.  What is the best movie to watch on Valentine's Day?

I almost never watch movies so I have absolutely no idea.

6.  Tell us something random about your week!

It's likely to be interrupted by a major snowstorm -- though nowhere near as major as what those in the midwest and northwest are getting.  Our winter storm warning for Tuesday said snow was to start at 4 pm.  It's Tuesday at 4:07 as I write this and, sure enough, light snow is beginning.

That's the Wednesday Medley for this Valentine week!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Friday five for February 8

Gorgeous graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
 Time again for the Friday five!  Here are a few of the things I'm thankful for this week:

1. Glorious, beautiful sunny warm weather for the first three days of this week!  Tuesday was in the 60s -- pretty much unheard of for New Hampshire in February, but we'll take it.

2. Our van passing the state inspection on Monday.  Those "check engine" light problems can be tricky.  So thankful to have a sticker for another year.

3.  Mostly clear, mostly dry roads for walking on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  My walking buddy and I were able to cover a total of 11 miles on those days!

4.  Being able to take at least four full bags of clothing to our local thrift store and box after box of books to a book drop.  These are items from my childhood home and I am so thankful to be making good progress in clearing it out.

5.  My hubby having today off from work unexpectedly.  One never knows what conditions will be on a logging job -- and on his job site today he just didn't need to be there.  What a blessing to have him around home and be able to do our grocery shopping and some other errands together!

And there you have this week's Friday five!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

A delicious winter side dish

Photo is from Taste of Home
 I was going to wait and share this recipe in November or December, because it would make a perfect festive side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  But then I realized that Brussels sprouts are fresh in produce departments right now, and so any time in winter might be a good time to try this way of preparing them.

In keeping with my habit of reading through my past issues of Country Woman and Taste of Home during the appropriate months, I was glancing through the December/January 2011 issue of Country Woman last month and came upon this interesting-sounding recipe: Maple Bacon Glazed Brussels Sprouts

I had everything on hand that I needed to try making them, including a bag of fresh Brussels sprouts that really needed to be used up.  (Well, I didn't have bacon, but I did have real bacon bits, so just sprinkled some of those on at the end.)  The only thing I would do differently another time would be to use less maple syrup.  I think 2 or 3 tablespoons would be plenty.  It was just a little sweeter than I felt necessary.

One reviewer said that she simply roasted the Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper -- and that when they were tender she just drizzled some maple syrup on them and sprinkled on some bacon.  I think I might try that next time, as it would be less work at the last minute.

Mr. T is not a Brussels sprouts fan, so he looked at them warily but was game to taste them.  He was very pleasantly surprised and said that he actually likes Brussels sprouts when prepared this way.  I do like Brussels sprouts as a rule, and this is a fabulous way to prepare and serve them.  Maybe you would like to try this, too!