Friday, May 31, 2019

Friday five for May 31

Somehow Friday has rolled around again, so it's time to list five blessings from the past week.  Here goes:

1.  Being able to post in my Christmas blog.  That's something I've been neglecting, so it felt good to put up a short post and blog about these ornaments:

These are from Shutterfly, made of metal and really such a lovely gift to make and give.

2.  Seeing our dear friend Terry able to get out to church on Sunday after many weeks of having to miss it.  What a blessing!  The joy on her face and her delight in worshiping God alongside her church family blessed all of our hearts.
3.  A delightful time of food, fellowship and Bible study with our dear young friends Sam and Jenn on Sunday evening.  A blessing all the way around.

4.  A nice low-key time of celebrating Memorial Day with our daughter, son-in-law and family -- always a joy to spend time together.  We had a nice meal of burgers, pasta salad, oven fries and a peanut butter cookie dessert.

5.  Getting out to walk four or five times.  The fresh air is so good and the exercise even better.  It's wonderful to see all of the trees and flowers coming to life again after a long hard winter.

And a bonus!  I'll hopefully blog about this blessing later, but a surprise package came in yesterday's mail from my dear blog friend Vee (we've also had the pleasure of meeting in real life!).  She had snagged, titled, printed and framed this fun photo from my blog:

And there are some blessings from my week!  How has God blessed you this week?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wednesday Medley for May 29

Image source: Photos Public Domain
Wednesday again, and time for the Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida.  This week's Medley has an unusual theme, as Terri is basing the questions off National Paper Clip Day.  We all use paper clips, and this Medley theme is a bit of a challenge, so why not head over to Terri's and get the the questions to answer them on your own blog? Here goes ...

1.  Wow!  Had you ever heard of the Holocaust project involving paperclips?  It is a great teaching project, for sure!

No, I had never heard of the paperclip project, but I do think it's a wonderful idea.  It is all but impossible to picture what six million of anything would look like, and the significance of the paper clip to the Holocaust makes it the perfect symbol to use.  We need to be sure children continue to learn in age-appropriate ways about the Holocaust and other instances of genocide such as the killing fields in Cambodia.  Yes, it's horrible, but so very, very important.  Many would like to rewrite history and pretend these things never happened.  We must never forget and we must make sure succeeding generations don't forget either.  

If we ever get to visit Tennessee, I would love to tour the Children's Holocaust Memorial that resulted from this project.

2.  Have you ever created a paperclip chain?  How long did it get?

I don't think that I ever have created a paper clip chain.  I remember some of my friends making gum wrapper chains, but I never got the hang of that.

3.  I use paperclips as hooks at Christmas time to put ornaments on the tree.  Works like a charm!! What is something you used a paperclip for, other than holding papers together?

Let's see ... Probably the most unique was for starting a computer.  On our older computer, the power button stopped working.  My hubby found that if he opened up a jumbo paper clip and used one end of it as a hook, he could reach the hook in there and activate the power button.  

I too have used paper clips to hang Christmas ornaments, and once I used a few of them to temporarily hold a fallen skirt hem in place.

4.  I am amazed at the shapes and colors of paperclips available.  I found my favorite... share your favorite with us here!

Wow, I looked on Amazon and was surprised too at the variety!  Take a look here: paper clip shapes.  My favorites are the pink flamingos and the heart shapes.

5.  Say goodbye to May on this last Wednesday of May.  Be poetic if you will, or simply bid it adieu.

Oh, May.
What can I say?
So many cold
and rainy days.
I'm glad that June
is coming soon
and you won't stay.
Hooray, hooray.

6.  Tell us something about your week so far, please!

Oh, let's see.   I'm trying to do some deep cleaning in our bedroom -- have been trying to get that accomplished for several days but have not completed the task yet.  Monday, Memorial Day, was a lovely spring day and I had the windows open to the sun and breeze and birdsong while preparing food to bring to a cookout at our daughter's in the evening.  Today, Tuesday as I write this, we are experiencing pouring rain.  

And that wraps up this week's Wednesday Medley!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day

Lovely photo by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
  I really couldn't let the day go by without speaking just a word about Memorial Day, and I do hope that all of you have been enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  As we enjoy family, friends, cookouts, parades, picnics, and more, let's be sure we take some time to remember those who have given their lives that we might live in freedom.  If we will be with young children or grandchildren, let's be sure to try and convey to them just what this holiday is really all about.  And let's take a moment, too, to pray for those brave men and women who are currently serving our country, some in very hard and dangerous places.  We owe them much gratitude for their service to America.

Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said,  "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." 

This seems as if it has never been more true.   The men and women who gave up so much, and in many cases, their very lives, for the cause of freedom, are such an inspiration,  and we owe them much.  We should never take our freedom for granted, though many do.  Let's be sure we are showing our appreciation to our veterans, thanking God for the freedoms we enjoy, and praying faithfully for our nation.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday five: May 24

Time again for Friday five! 

As I was trying to think what image to use here, I remembered some 1950s calendar pages that my mother had saved for years.  I scanned them awhile back and had sort of forgotten about them.  Today while out walking I was mulling over images in my mind and remembered these.  This is a particularly glorious springtime illustration, I think.

On with the five:

1.  Seeing God answer fervent prayer for a friend.  We were praying for wisdom for her in a difficult situation and then for a good resolution to her situation.  God answered both prayers marvelously.
Wonderful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

 2.  The opportunity and good weather to get out and walk four times this week.  The apple trees we pass are just beginning to look like the one below.

3.  A lovely phone chat with a dear young woman I'm mentoring.  Also a lovely email from a friend.
Graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
4.  The opportunity to attend our granddaughters' public high school spring concert.  One sings in the chorus; the other plays saxophone in the band.  The concert was excellent. 

5.  Time to do a little bit of crafting!  It's exciting to find a little bit of time to work on a handmade gift using sewing and embroidery.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Road Trip edition

Wednesday again, and time for the Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida.  This week's Medley has a fun theme, as Terri is basing the questions off National Road Trip Day, this coming Friday.  Road trips are fun, and this Medley sounds like fun too, so why not head over to Terri's and get the the questions to answer them on your own blog? 

1.  Have you ever done a spur-of-the-moment road trip?  Where did it take you?
I'm sure we've done that more than once,  but one that stands out in my mind is a day when our girls were young teens and it was a pouring down rain type of day.  It was either a Saturday or a vacation day -- probably a vacation day, now that I think about it, as Mr. T worked most Saturdays back then.  We wanted to take a road trip but the weather was not at all conducive.  Mr. T suggested that we take a drive to the very tip-top of New Hampshire, where none of us had ever been.  So we got in the car and just headed up there.  No snacks, even, as I recall.  We stopped in Colebrook, the largest town up there, and had lunch at the Wilderness Restaurant.  
Then we drove on and saw the Connecticut Lakes and turned around before getting to Canada, if I remember right.  I'm pretty sure it never did stop raining!  But it was a fun trip, mostly because it was so unplanned.  Below is a very blurry photo of the second Connecticut Lake.
 Now the trip to the Great North Woods has become more familiar as we've traveled up there many times to stay in a favorite cabin on Back Lake.  But it's always a wonderful getaway -- and the Wilderness Restaurant is still a good place to eat!  Its sign still looks the same also.  Below is a sunset on Back Lake. 

2.  If time and money wasn't an issue, what roads would you choose to travel and how long would you be gone?
We have talked about this more times than I can count.   We would love to take a road trip all across the USA and visit friends (and blog friends!) all along the way.  We would be gone for as long as it took!  A train trip across the US would be fun also, the type of trip where you can get off the train along the way and get back on a day or two later, if Amtrak still offers that option.  But I think we would really prefer the road trip.  Lord willing, it will be a retirement project!
3.  When you go on a long road trip, what snacks and beverages do you take?  Do you pack a picnic? Does the back seat turn into a nest? 
We nearly always take trail mix.   Sometimes a picnic.  Usually water to drink, but with us a road trip pretty much always involves at least one stop at Dunkin' Donuts for a coffee or iced coffee, depending upon the weather.  Our most recent vehicles have been an SUV and a minivan, and with both of those we can pretty much contain the travel gear to the cargo area where it doesn't get too disorganized.
4.  Please tell us about something interesting or strange you have seen on the side of the road. 
A few times we traveled in upper Michigan at night.  There were deer literally lining the sides of the highway and grazing on the grass there and in the median.  That was just plain scary.

One of the neatest sights we have seen on the side of the road was a moose we saw a few years ago who seemed to be posing for us!  These photos were taken as we rode by and are not the best, but you get the idea.

The sights below are both from a trip to Freeport, Maine a few years back.

5.  Who does the driving when you head out in the car?  Do you stop in the rest areas along our Interstate highways when you have to use the facilities, or do you choose a fast-food restaurant or gas station instead?  Not TMI... inquiring minds want to know!
Mr. T does the driving.  We usually do stop at the state rest areas when traveling the interstates, unless it happens to be mealtime.  Ideally, then, we would find a Cracker Barrel.  
Check out a couple of our amazing New Hampshire state rest stops and welcome centers here:  The Common Man Roadside.  You will be surprised at how nice these are and how well they represent our state.  The photos below show a covered bridge that is built inside one of these welcome centers. 

 Meanwhile, on the other side of the country (more or less) the photos below are from the Schellbourne roadside stop in Nevada back in 2016, I believe.  Lots of fascinating information there about the  Pony Express and local Indian history as well.

 On secondary roads, we might stop at a gas station/convenience store, a fast-food place or a Dunkin' Donuts.  And one time, out West, an Indian grocery store, which was a very nice and well-stocked supermarket with the only public restrooms for miles around.  There were lines!
6.  Please share something with us about your week so far.
It's had its share of weather extremes!  Hot and humid Monday with periods of torrential rain.  Today (Tuesday as I write this) it's windy and very cold.  I felt as if I had a very productive day at home yesterday, which is quite unusual for a Monday.  Three loads of laundry done and put away, supper made, blog post written, work on my Sunday School lesson and a craft project -- and no doubt more that I can't think of right now.
Are you planning a road trip for Memorial Day weekend?  We aren't, but we hope to take one soon!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Waffle buffet: a fun meal for guests any time of day!

One thing we wanted to do while our Nevada daughter was here was to plan a simple way for my hubby's 92-year-old mom to see and enjoy her visiting great-grands along with some of the local ones.  We decided to have a simple meal to share at our home on Sunday afternoon/evening.

The next decision was what to serve.  There would be about 18 people.  Our Nevada grandkids had made a few requests of both Grammy and Aunt Carrie (especially Aunt Carrie) for meals they would enjoy while here.  One was Grampa's waffles!  We decided to plan a simple waffle buffet.  It worked out so well, I would like to share the idea with others.

This was the menu:

Grampa's Sunday Waffles
Strawberry Sauce
Blueberry Sauce
Lemon Curd
Maple Syrup
Whipped cream
Breakfast Sausages & Bacon

I cooked the sausage and bacon in the oven, which makes things really simple.  I made the fruit sauces ahead of time and served them warm, right from the saucepans on the stovetop.

We set up several tables and put a stack of sturdy paper plates along with napkins, cups, and silverware in a central location near the waffles.  We borrowed a waffle maker from friends so that we could cook more waffles at one time.  Theirs is the fancy type that one turns over partway through cooking, and one of those is definitely on my hubby's wish list!

When a good number of waffles were ready, I transferred the bacon and sausage to paper-lined serving plates, having kept the meats in the oven until that point.  We placed these on our dining table along with the whipped cream, maple syrup, and lemon curd.  People would go through the line, get a plate, utensils and a waffle and then proceed to the stove if they wanted a berry sauce and to the table if they wanted one of the toppings available there.  People sat where they liked (we also had a table set up on the deck, but it was a bit chilly and no one sat there) and it was all so easy and simple.  People came back for seconds and even thirds.  Mr. T ended up using all the milk in the house as he made a third batch of waffle batter.  (He had thought a a double batch would be plenty.)  Every last waffle got eaten!

We offered only water for a beverage because no one seemed to care about coffee or tea, but depending upon the group (and the time of day) I would offer hot beverages another time.

Here are the recipes for the waffles and the berry sauce.


2 eggs, beaten in large bowl
2 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tblsp. sugar

    Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the beaten eggs in the large bowl.  Sift the remaining ingredients into the liquid and beat until smooth.  Bake in waffle iron according to the directions for your particular waffle iron.  Yield:  10-12 waffles.

    This great recipe is one I copied from The Beany Malone Cookbook, which shared recipes used by the Malone family in the series of books by Lenora Mattingly Weber.  The vanilla was not in the original recipe, but makes a good recipe into a super one!

Mr. T used to make these every single weekend in years gone by -- and, in 2015 he had this recipe published in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook!  You can read about it in this post if you missed it: He Was Published!.


1/2 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 cups blueberries, raspberries, OR cut-up strawberries

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Add the fruit and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Makes about 2 cups.

This is a wonderful, versatile recipe that tastes so good on waffles in particular. It’s also good on pancakes or French toast and would probably be good on vanilla ice cream as well. You can make blueberry sauce, raspberry sauce, or strawberry sauce -- all are wonderful. Or you might like to use a mixture of these berries to make a mixed berry sauce. When I do that, I usually also add a few cranberries to the mixture.

 Other toppings that might be included would be peanut butter, applesauce, jams or jellies, or chocolate  hazelnut spread.  You could even branch out and make a savory topping like chicken and gravy or sausage gravy, but if you did that I think you'd want to omit the vanilla from the waffle batter.

We were so pleased with how this hospitality idea worked out, and people seemed to love it.  We are planning another waffle buffet for a smaller group very soon!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A day at the ocean

While my Nevada daughter was here, we took a day trip to the ocean.  Since she and the kids were only here for one week,  they wanted to just spend most of it hanging out with family.  But they did hope for one nice day to go to the ocean.  The one good day of their visit was the Monday -- we had rain at least part of all the other days.  So we headed for York Beach and Nubble Light.

We spent a good bit of time at Long Sands beach, where the kids enjoyed beachcombing and playing in the sand at the water's edge.  It was mostly sunny with a few clouds and not too chilly, although there was a bit of a breeze.

This photo just does my heart good.  I enjoy so much when my two girls can be together, even though it is very seldom.
We had brought picnic lunches, and took them over to Nubble Light.  It was a lot windier there and we really had to hold onto our food so it wouldn't blow away.  After lunch the kids explored the rocks and tide pools, pretty much to their heart's content.
 Elliott and cousin Ben (both part of the Nevada group)
 We got to see a lobsterman tending his traps.  That was so neat!
 A group of scuba diving students preparing to enter the water
All nine kids together!
 The ever-photogenic Nubble Light.

After leaving Nubble, we went up to Ogunquit just for a quick stop at a shop that had one of those souvenir penny-flattening machines.  The kids have special books for collecting these flattened pennies and so they like to seek out a machine in areas they visit.  (The photos below are from Shoshone Falls, Idaho this past fall, but it will give you an idea what the penny machines look like if you've never seen one.)

Between penny-flattening and souvenir shopping at the same shop, we adults debated whether to stop for fast food on the way home or to go for a regular restaurant which might serve seafood.  We opted for a nicer place and enjoyed a lovely fish and chips special!

 Several of the kids occupying themselves while waiting for our food
The Nevada contingent
It could have been a bit warmer and a little less windy, but it was the day God had given us and we couldn't have been more thankful for our day at the ocean!