Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A rainy day Hodgepodge


 It seems like a very long time since I've been able to participate in the Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.  On an impulse I checked out today's questions and you know what?  I think I can do this.

1. What are some memories you associate with spring? 

For early spring it would be maple sugaring.   My aunt always brought our cousins up to visit the family farm sometime during the sugaring season.  I'm pretty sure the photo below is from one of those springtime visits.  Other springtime memories might include dressing up for Easter and one year, as a teen, I remember our youth group went to the woods to gather mayflowers (trailing arbutus) which we then packaged up and took to senior citizens in our church.

Easter 1955?

2. April showers bring May flowers...was that saying proven true where you live? Snapdragons, anemones, carnations, lilacs, sweet peas, tulips, lily of the valley, orchids, roses, gardenias...which one on that list is your favorite May bloom? 

We are having a showery April day today, but really we haven't had a lot of rain lately and we really need it.   So far the only flowers I've been seeing are forsythia, daffodils and a few tulips.  Of the flowers on that list, my favorite would be lilacs.

3. What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them? 

Let's see.  Blogging might be one.  I often deal with it by starting a draft post to get some of my thoughts "on paper" so to speak, and then I can return to the business at hand.  Checking email could be another, especially on my tablet.  I've taken to keeping it in Do Not Disturb mode which really makes a huge difference in how often I pick it up.  Just random thoughts in the course of trying to do something else can distract me.  My way of dealing with these is just to jot them down and revisit them later.

4. Do you eat beef? In the course of a week, how often is beef on the menu? A hamburger, steak, prime rib, or a roast beef dinner...which beef entree would you choose and yes you have to choose. Unless you're a vegan, and then you may pass. 

We don't buy beef and it's not something I usually cook and serve.  However we do eat beef occasionally, at someone else's home or when eating out.  Of the entrees mentioned here I would  pick a hamburger.

Or, even better, this Cheeseburger Meat Loaf Sub

5. In what way were you creative during the month of April?

Hmmm ...  I feel as if I was creative very little during the month of April.  There's been a little cross-stitch, a little crochet, and some thinking about sewing projects, but very little has actually been done.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It's a bit drizzly here today, hence the name of my Hodgepodge post.  (We do need the rain; fire danger has been very high here with the snow gone, little precipitation, and recent high winds.  Heavier rain is predicted for the night.  It should all make a difference to our fire danger.)  My friend and I got several miles in on our walk and only got a little bit wet.  Mr. T is out cutting a few boards in the garage in hopes that the weather clears a bit and he can finish his outhouse project at the camp.  Yesterday, he and our grandson Sam got most of the outhouse built.  They need to add a few more boards and make a door.  It's a blessing having a capable teen living next door when one is renovating an old place.  Sam has helped with carpentry and electrical wiring so far.    And below you see him and his dad  last summer, working on putting new flooring in place in the camp kitchen, which they did as a surprise for Mr. T.

So there you have it ... a rainy day Hodgepodge.

Monday, April 26, 2021

And just ten more reflection questions ...


 Yes, just one more post concerning 2020, but this one also includes questions to reflect on for the year ahead (or the 2/3 of the year ahead, as the case may be).  If you are completely done with reading my "reflecting on 2020" posts, I don't blame you one bit.  I'm doing this for my own use and I certainly don't want to bore anyone, so feel free to skip this post if you are done with 2020 meanderings.  I plan on this being the last one!

These reflection questions are from Denise Cunningham at RefreshHer.  If you are not familiar with Denise, she is a pastor's wife and a much-loved speaker at women's events.  Her blog is such a blessing -- a mix of spiritual counsel and solid advice on marriage, parenting, and homemaking.  She has some of the best recipes out there, too!  

I used these ten questions last year and found them so helpful!  They are a little more detailed than the 10 questions I shared earlier, and I like that they also ask about the year ahead.  So here goes:

1.  What hindered my spiritual growth last year?  What moved it forward?

I'm not sure that my spiritual growth was hindered much in 2020.  I did find that my prayer life was disrupted a good bit by my summer walking schedule, when my walking partner wanted to head out at 6 am.  She was wise to want to go then, before the heat and humidity kicked in, but it still wreaked havoc with my schedule.  However, though my prayer life was disrupted, I did still stay consistent with it.

As far as what moved my spiritual growth forward, I think that God used the coronavirus restrictions in a number of ways to promote my spiritual growth.  For one thing, while our church was closed, we were able to attend "Sunday School" and "church" online, from various sources and we got some very, very encouraging truths and great teaching in that way.  I also did a number of Scripture writing challenges last year that kept me in God's Word and strengthened me in Him. Then, I also believe that the whole political/virus scene strengthened my faith and trust in God.  The pandemic also helped me to assess my priorities and to realize that my relationships -- with God, my family, my church family, and friends -- were of primary importance and were far more necessary than compliance to arbitrary restrictions.  Another means to spiritual growth this year was a ladies' Bible study that I attended monthly.

2.  What did God teach me last year?

As mentioned above, the importance of relationships.  But also, He taught me just how little control I have over anything in my world -- and how I can trust Him, the only One who is sovereign over all things and is working them after the counsel of His own will.  He also reminded me that we never know what a day may bring forth, and that life can turn upside down in a heartbeat, so staying close to Him is the way to be prepared for whatever comes our way.

Image from Rachel Wojo

3.  What did I see God do in answer to my prayers last year?

I saw Him answer many, many prayers for Him to work in the lives of those we are mentoring, in many different areas of their lives.  I saw Him bring healing to the lives of several who were very ill indeed -- and yet I saw Him answer prayers for others by bringing them Home to be with Him.  They were restored to health, just not in the way I had hoped for.  I also saw God provide a new job for a friend who was becoming burned out in the job where she was.  I saw Him answer countless prayers for guidance and wisdom.  He also answered prayers for safe, uneventful cross-country travel and provided times of refreshment through fellowship with friends and getaways.

4.  To whom did I give my life the most?  Does this need to change?

First and foremost, I gave my life to God, then my husband and family.  I also gave myself to others by investing my time, energy, thoughts, and prayers in them -- especially to those we are mentoring but also to the ladies in my Sunday School class.  I don't think that any of that needs to change.

5.  What activities did I participate in that I need to repeat this year?  Which activities should I consider removing from my schedule?

I realized that I'm not exactly sure what was meant by "activities."  I initially took this to mean anything that I do outside of my homemaking, family, and ministry life.  But I noticed that things like social media are covered in a different question, so I'll say activities I participated in included: mentoring younger believers, showing hospitality; daily walks with a friend; attending a ladies' Bible study; a couples' retreat with my husband; and of course activities with family and friends.

Scene from a retreat/getaway this fall -- love the color combination!
I'd like to continue all of these activities this year and hopefully attend a ladies' retreat as well.

6.  What did I read last year?

I read over a dozen books, which was about what I hoped to do. You can read about them here: End of the year book talk; here: A bit of book talk; and here: A little book talk.

One of the books I read in 2020; it was excellent.

7.  Did I spend too much time on social media, television, or Netflix?  Do I need to set limits for myself?

I think I'm okay with all of these.   I consider my blogs a ministry, thought technically I suppose they are social media.  I don't really view them that way.  I find myself spending less and less time on Instagram.

I never watch TV at home, only very occasionally on a getaway.  We might watch an hour of news on the internet on a typical day.  Since we don't watch TV, I consider this a reasonable amount of news -- and it is accurate!  

My sadly neglected Christmas blog
8.  What creative outlets do I enjoy?

Writing and blogging; cooking, baking, and seasonal decorating; crafts like sewing, crochet, embroidery, cross-stitch and paper crafting.

A stack of crocheted hot mats
9.  Did I get enough exercise?  What could motivate me to do more?

Probably not!  I walked a lot, perhaps not every day, but most days, all year round.  I do, however, feel the need for more targeted exercise.   As to what could motivate me to do more, I'm motivated in mind and even in body, but I just need to carve out the time and do the work.

A scene from one of my daily walks

10.  What area of my life brought the most joy?  The most frustration?

Most joy -- serving God through hospitality, mentoring, teaching, writing -- and just plain being creative.  Crafting brings me so much joy! There is much joy in my relationship with my hubby as well.  And we are both finding a lot of joy in fixing up our little cottage, especially the frequent presence of the grandkids.

Most frustration:  Housework.  It just won't stay done!   Maybe this will be the year I'll get a new handle on that responsibility.

And there you have it!  I promise this is my last "new year" post until 2022!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 I'm continuing with a little series of Scripture Sunday posts, sharing some of what I learned last fall from my study of 2 Corinthians with Good Morning Girls.  Today I'll share from 2 Corinthians 2, verses 8 and 11.  As I mentioned last week, I utilized the SOAP method of Bible study.

S=  "Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him ...
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices."
(2 Corinthians 2:8, 11)

O=   Paul is instructing the believers at Corinth as to how to forgive and love someone who has fallen into sin and then repented.  They are to offer him forgiveness and comfort (verse 7) "lest he be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow" (verse 7) and to confirm, or reaffirm, their love for him.   They do this for the encouragement of the restored one, as well as for the blessing they themselves gain by obeying Christ.  They also know that Satan would desire to use their lack of love for his own purposes.

A=  Paul is giving excellent advice here.  Having been a Christian for many years and having seen all different types of situations over that time, I know he is right.  This is how we're called to forgive, and for very good reasons: the spiritual health of the repentant sinner; our own spiritual well-being and that of the church;  and the thwarting of Satan's schemes.

P=  "Lord, I thank and praise You for the important principles in Your Word.  You provide guidance and direction for every season and situation of life that we face.  I thank You that I have seen this particular principle lived out in others' responses to a repentant sinner.  It is such a blessing to see the truths of Your Word in action!  I pray that You will help me to be kind and loving in my responses to others' repentance as situations like this arise in life.  I thank You for all that You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Supper in a hurry

My season of life right now is quite a busy one.  Last fall, it seemed that we often found ourselves finishing up a work session at my childhood home just in time to come home and figure out supper.  This spring, we are apt to get involved in work sessions at our little cottage, as there is much to do there to make it truly livable and comfortable. So we will be facing the same situation again.  I was talking with my friend Jennifer the other day about how challenging this is and how important it is to have in mind in advance what supper will be.

Many days, of course, I'll put something in the slow cooker ahead of time, and that works perfectly.  But there are many other days when a last-minute meal is in order.  It occurred to me that others might like some ideas for this sort of meal.  After all, the working person gets home just as tired and often has the same problem of figuring out a meal.  So does a stay-at-home mom with a fussy baby or a busy homeschooling schedule.  So I'll just share a few ideas I've relied on over the years, and a couple of newer ones.  Most of these meals use regular items you can just pull out of your pantry.

If you have an hour and a half-- this will be mostly unattended cooking -- make Chili-Topped Baked Potatoes.  Bake potatoes in the oven as you usually would.  Then, maybe 15 minutes before serving,  heat up canned vegetarian style chili to serve over them.  Serve with any kind of toppings that would be good on tacos -- shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, shredded lettuce, chives or green onions.  This makes a wonderful supper on a cold night.  You could serve it with maybe a salad or baby carrots.

If you have an hour and fifteen minutes -- again, this will be mostly unattended baking -- make 


1 package of chicken sausage (fully cooked type such as Al Fresco) -- in the sweet apple flavor
1 large sweet onion
1 large apple (Honeycrisp is the best!) or 2 smaller apples
1 tube garlic and herb polenta
Olive oil
Salt & pepper (optional)

Have a 9 x 13-inch baking dish ready and just add the ingredients as you prepare them.  Slice up the chicken sausages.  I slice each one lengthwise and then cut them into about 1/4-inch slices crosswise.  Peel the onion, cut it in half and cut each half into wedges.  (Or cut them smaller if your onion is really huge.)  Wash, core and slice the apples into wedges.  Don't bother to peel them.  Then slice your polenta.  I cut it in quarters lengthwise and then slice it between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch thick.  Now drizzle some olive oil (at least a tablespoon, but it's up to you) over the ingredients in the baking dish.  Salt and pepper to taste if you like, but it's really optional.  I forgot it last time and the dish was still wonderful.  Stir everything together well.

Bake at 375ยบ for 1 hour.

I think you could make endless variations on this dish by using other flavors of sausage and including different vegetables like peppers, zucchini, etc. rather than apples.

This is the sausage that I use

If you have 45 to 60 minutes, you could make Corn Chowder or Clam Chowder.  Here is how I make corn chowder:


Use a heavy kettle or Dutch oven that will hold enough soup to feed your family. Chop 1 or 2 onions and, if you like (though these aren’t “traditional” ingredients) you can also chop a couple of celery ribs and shred a couple of carrots. Saute´these in your heavy kettle in some butter or olive oil. You won’t need much -- maybe a couple of tablespoons. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender. Now, peel and dice as many potatoes as you need to feed your family. I would probably use at least four medium potatoes. Now add hot water to nearly cover the potatoes. Add a few shakes of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add 1 (15 oz.) can of whole kernel corn, undrained, 1 (15 oz.) can of cream style corn, and 1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk. If you have a large family or a large kettle, you can add one more can of each. Heat through and add salt & pepper to taste. If you enjoy the flavor of herbs, a sprinkle of thyme and/or marjoram go nicely with corn chowder. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

This would be great with whole wheat or multigrain bread. If you are feeding even heartier appetites, you could serve the chowder with grilled cheese sandwiches or tuna melts.

And here is my easy recipe for 


2 Tblsp. butter
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
4 potatoes, peeled and diced (I like Yukon Gold)
2 cans chopped or minced clams, not drained
1 large can evaporated milk
Salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning and paprika to taste

In a large soup pot, melt the butter. Add celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender.  Add the clam juice; refill the bottle with water a couple of times and add the water to the pot as well.  Add the potatoes; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the clams and evaporated milk; heat through.  Add seasonings to taste.

There would be time while this simmers to make biscuits to accompany the chowder, if you like.  My favorite recipe for  biscuits is Iron Skillet Biscuits from Marilyn at Mountain Top Spice.

If you only have a half hour or so, you can make an easy dish we really like: Tuna Mac'n'Cheese.  Just make up 2 packages of boxed macaroni and cheese according to the package directions.  We buy the Annie's organic type so we don't feel quite so guilty about it.  The variety pictured below is the one I most often use.  Then just drain and flake a can of solid white tuna, mix it into the macaroni and cheese, and heat through.  That's it.  It would be good with a bagged salad, or coleslaw, or cooked frozen green beans or canned beets, heated, or even grape or cherry tomatoes.  Something to make the plate a little more colorful.

Also in the half-hour category:  Pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs or omelets would all make great quick meals if your family will eat breakfast for dinner.  Mine would always happily do that.  A fruit salad would be nice and you can make one quickly if you keep frozen and canned fruit on hand.

If you only have 15 or 20 minutes, you could make up some quick wrap sandwiches with any kind of wraps or with flour tortillas.  Spread these with mayo or mustard, layer in some sliced cheese, deli meat, lettuce, pickles, sliced tomatoes -- whatever you have.  If you have deli coleslaw, pasta salad or potato salad on hand, that is great.  If not, serve with any type of chips or raw vegetables -- or heat up a can of tomato soup.

Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup is a classic quick supper that most people enjoy.  My hubby and I also like fried egg sandwiches. We just fry the eggs and add a half slice of cheese on top of each.  Sometimes I will saute chopped green peppers and chopped onions (from bags of the frozen veggies) before adding the eggs.  Then we just make toast, sandwich the eggs in between and add ketchup or mustard.  All we need is a side of chips, salad, roasted veggies, baked beans, home fries or whatever we might have.

I hope that these simple ideas are helpful to someone as we come into the busy season of spring cleaning, gardening, house projects and more!

Monday, April 19, 2021

10 Questions to Reflect on 2020

These ten questions, from Holley Gerth, have been a part of my new-year reflections for awhile now.  As to why I'm posting about them now, in mid-April?   I've mentioned a few times recently that I've been really slow musing on the year just past and am trying to do so before it's really too late.  (Pretty sad, isn't it?  It's already "really too late" in most people's thinking.)  Again, if you don't want to hear even one more word about 2020, feel free to skip this post.  I won't blame you one bit -- I'm just writing these posts for my own information and remembrance.  Here we go:

1.  What went well this year?

This was 2020, after all -- the year of the coronavirus, during which nothing went as expected.  And yet we were still able to accomplish a lot in spite of it.  While churches were closed, we developed a new Sunday routine which included a special, leisurely breakfast;  Sunday School and worship service online and an afternoon routinely spent with family.

We also managed to fulfill some responsibilities (selling land for my dad's trust and getting his home completely emptied).  We took a trip to national parks out West with family; did a lot toward making our little cottage livable; did two sugar fasts and a lot of walking; and took several lovely getaways here in New Hampshire, even including a couples' retreat.
From our trip to some western national and state parks in summer 2020

I was thrilled to be able to make a number of handmade gifts for birthdays and Christmas this year.  I read  over a dozen books (that's a lot for me!), kept up somewhat with my blogs, and stayed current with my Sunday School lessons and Bible study in addition to doing several Scripture writing challenges throughout the year.
From our getaway to Deering, New Hampshire in October

Cleaning and then painting the kitchen cabinets at the cottage

Kids in the rafters as we worked at renovating our little cottage

From our getaway to Pittsburg, New Hampshire in September

2.  What did not go well?

Everyday life was somewhat frustrating, with coronavirus restrictions at every turn.  Dental needs went by the wayside.  For much of the year, thrift stores were not accepting donations; transfer stations (aka town dumps) had reduced hours; hazardous waste collections and document-shredding events were canceled.  All of these factors complicated the cleaning out of my childhood home, but we were eventually able to do most of what we needed to do.  I had also thought this might be the year we would declutter our own home once and for all, and be able to get the housework on a schedule, but with all of the complications mentioned above that didn't happen.  Hopefully in 2021!  We have a good start!

3.  What do I want to do the same this year? 

 I need to sell a final piece of property for the trust.  We want to do a lot of work on our cottage and we also hope to make fasting from sugar a more regular part of our lives.  I hope to continue walking a lot.  We had planned another trip out West to see family, and have in fact already completed that trip as of April 6.
The main reason for this visit: baby Rosemary!

Family pic from the last night: local granddaughter Julia, who went with us, is at right

4.  What do I want to do differently?

I want to do more crafting and more reading.  Completely declutter the house and get the housework on a workable schedule.  Do much more blogging.  Get much more serious with my Etsy shop.  It takes time, but must be done.

5.  When did I feel most in my "sweet spot"?

Sunday School lesson preparation  and teaching; getaways with my hubby; time with family and friends; crafting, blogging, journaling, planning.
Getaway to Back Lake, Pittsburg, NH

View from a covered bridge while visiting friends in Vermont

Another from our getaway to Deering, NH

6.  When did I feel the most exhausted and drained?

Dealing with difficult people and restrictions concerning the virus; coping with difficulties resulting from political fallout.

7.  What did I say "yes" to that I wish I had said "no" to?

At first I couldn't think of anything.  But then I remembered that photo shoot my son-in-law talked me and my hubby into, at Coral Pink Sand Dunes.  I'm just not photogenic.  Enough said.  But the sand dunes, seen below, definitely are.

8.  What did I say "no" to that I wish I had said "yes" to?

I couldn't think of anything in that category.

9.  What helped me to stay close to God this year?

Having a consistent quiet time and prayer life.  Relying on Him for wisdom and strength to handle the "pandemic".

10.  What did God teach me that I want to live out in the coming year?

He reminded me that He is always in control -- that even when things look out of control, they never have been, and never will be, out of His control.  I can trust Him through everything.  I feel that He also taught me -- or maybe reminded me -- that relationships with Him, with my family and church family, and my friendships with fellow believers are incredibly important and take precedence over any government orders to the contrary.

So there you have it .. a few reflections on 2020.  I do have one more post that I'd like to write on this topic, but we will see.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Scripture


 Back in fall of 2020,  I did a study on 2 Corinthians with  Good Morning Girls.  Somehow,  I thought I had blogged about my study, but I guess that I have not.  (I did post a few thoughts on Instagram at the time, but I know that not all of my readers are on Instagram.)  So I think that for awhile, I will plan some Scripture posts for Sundays.

These will just be very, very simple posts about my study of a selected passage for each chapter of 2 Corinthians.  I'm just going to share from my journaling of each one.  I used the SOAP method of Bible study.  Bear with me on the autumnal graphics, which are also from Good Morning Girls.  If I happen to have other graphics for these verses, I will use them.  

So for 2 Corinthians chapter 1, the passage I looked at was verses 3-4.

S"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
"Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted on God."  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

O=  In verse 3, Paul blesses God, and addresses Him by several of His names:

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
The Father of mercies
The God of all comfort.

This is the God who comforts us in all of our tribulations.  One purpose of our suffering is so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the same comfort with which God has comforted us.

A=  It's such a blessing to be reminded that our God is such a personal God.  He is indeed the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.  He has many reasons for allowing difficulty in our lives, including spiritual growth and the development of patience.  But He comforts us in all of our tribulations!  And one purpose is so that we can reach out to others in trouble, and comfort them as God has comforted us.

P=  "Lord, I thank and praise You so much that You are the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.  These aspects of Your character bless my heart deeply.  I thank You so much for the many ways and situations in which You have comforted me.  I have felt at times even the sense of a reassuring hand on my shoulder, an assurance from You that all would be well.  I pray that You will help me to extend a comforting hand and word to those who need it most, and that You'd bring me across their paths.  In Jesus' name, Amen."

Friday, April 16, 2021

Opening up the cottage for the season


One of the kitchen windows.  The breadbox will not "live" in that particular spot; it's just handy there for now as it contains napkins for the kids to use for their cookies.

Although snow is currently falling outside my window -- a crazy spring storm that is frosting the forsythia and other seasonal blooms -- there were some beautiful days last week, and we were able to open up our little camp for the season.  Very exciting!  Here are some photos from one of those days.

Here's another shot from the same window (but there are four windows in this tiny kitchen!).  This one doesn't show the dilapidated outhouse, soon to be replaced.  It also doesn't show what I saw when I first opened the windows last Thursday:

Yes, there were sap buckets on some of those trees!  Lord willing, next spring there will be even more.  But I'd forgotten to bring the camera on Thursday, so couldn't get a photo.  Before that day was done, Mr. T and the grandkids had taken all the sap buckets down.
Another kitchen view.  The canisters at this point contain K-cups and clothespins.  I've yet to use that percolator but I think it looks so perfect there.  We bought a Keurig on a black Friday sale to use at the camp.  So convenient!  We don't even have one of those at home, but it's just right for the camp.
Out the bathroom window.  So many old stone foundations around this place!  we plan to plant bulbs and summer flowers out there.
The sleeping nook and its window.  This view looks out to the dirt road.

The old pump organ in the large room.  You can see into the center room (those curtains -- which I assumed were gray until I soaked them multiple times in Oxi-Clean -- hide the sleeping nook) and on into the kitchen where you see my hubby standing.  Love the slightly curved archway into the kitchen.  The green area above the pine paneling marks the original roof line of the little logging camp that forms the first two rooms.  We'll be keeping it green for the historical value.

The coasters above were a Christmas gift from our two  oldest granddaughters.  They selected these designs with the camp in mind!
Out a screened window: Loon Lake is in the distance.
Large screened windows with the table beneath.
Mr. T made this bookcase for my sister.  When we cleaned out the old homestead, we decided the bookcase would work well at the camp.  It's next to another of the large screened windows.
My hubby works at cutting up some fallen limbs that came down over the winter.  Arielle (below) helped by carrying the pieces to the campfire pit.  Then she turned to collecting sticks from around the yard and placing them at the fire pit as well.

Grandson Sam is just emerging from the woods between their place and ours.  There's not much sweeter than seeing them come along one of the paths through the woods or riding up the dirt road on their bikes!

Hope you've enjoyed this look at our simple little cottage as we prepare for a spring and summer of work and play over there.  Lord willing, a lot of exciting changes are coming.