Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year

New calendars, new journal, new pens and file folders. New Year.


Full of promise and rife with possibility.

The last couple days of 2012 are winding down and I'm looking towards 2013 with enthusiasm.  I think I'll forgo the usual resolutions and instead make a list of things to explore this year.  Books to read, new things to learn, experiences to try.

I've also chosen a phrase that I'm going to try to keep close to my heart this year.  It's from the Prayer of St. Francis . . . grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand.

That last part is something I've been pondering of late, amazed at the grace it has brought into my life.  It's interesting how a phrase can bring to light, something that should be so obvious.


Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2013!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry After Christmas

I really had intended to write a post before Christmas, and then a post for Christmas, to wish you all a Merry one.  Then, I thought, well, I'll write one the day after Christmas, which is one of my favorite days of the holiday season.

How about the day after, the day after?  We had a very nice Christmas, just wonderful in so many ways.  The being together, the way we simplified our gift giving, visiting with friends -- the day before Christmas Eve, Dan and I went together to deliver some treats to various friends, and ended up staying at one of their houses to watch part of a football game.  Just a really nice, relaxing time, the way the holidays were meant to be.

Today, I'm tidying up the house.  I put away all the wrapping paper and supplies, which covered the dining room table.  It was Gift Wrap Central and was still being used late on Christmas Eve.  I put away all of the baking supplies and combined a few treat baskets.  Some of the delicious loaves and coffee cakes we received went in the freezer.  They'll be yummy treats for tea time this winter.  Finally, I cleaned out the fridge and the freezer, finding enough food to plan a month's worth of menus.

We had one major mishap a couple of days before Christmas, when George got into a fight with a wire fence in the backyard.  George lost.  He is having surgery #2 as I type this, to repair his leg.  Greyhounds are extremely sweet dogs. . . and notoriously big babies.  After his first surgery as he was leaving the clinic, the vet gently admonished him to "Be tough, George."  He has been a very good sport and even looked quite festive for Christmas day.


Hope your Yuletide was quite festive as well!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Favorites


#1  On Monday night, my spiritual book club met at my house to discuss what we've been reading for Advent.  Our discussions usually center around a book that we're all reading together, but for Advent we decided to each read something on our own.  This is my choice, a collection of writings by some of my favorite theologians.  I'm loving it. . . .


#2  Packages!  Daily, there are one or two new ones on the front porch.  Just love those brown boxes with the familiar logo of my favorite online store -- the 2012 version of 'brown paper packages tied up with string'!


#3  Our local dairy has the best eggnog ever.  We always include a bottle or two in our weekly order.

#4  Spending time with someone I love doing ordinary things.  On Wednesday, I spent the day with my aunt.  We baked.  We cleaned some of the high spots in her apartment that she has a hard time reaching.  We went to lunch.  

#5  Simple traditions.  When I was a child, this candy dish was always filled with colorful hard Christmas candies.  It's something I continue to do and it reminds me of the year when my brother and I were little kids and bought the dish at a church bazaar for our mom.


I'm linking up with Susanne and friends for Friday Fave Five!  Join us!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shrimp Dip Recipe

One of the ways I've learned to simplify my life a little bit is to find a recipe each season that can be my "go to" for occasions when I'm asked to bring a dish or even when I'm planning something myself.  How often do you find a recipe that calls for fresh herbs and you use a few tablespoons and the rest goes to waste?  Or you buy an entire bottle of a particular ingredient and use less than half of it?

This recipe for Shrimp Dip is one my friend Kathy gave me several years ago.  I now have most of the ingredients on hand, I even keep a couple of bags of shrimp in the freezer.  It's been a while since I've made it, so for most of my family and friends, they think I've come up with something brand new:)

It goes well with crackers or fresh veggies.  I like English cucumbers and sugar snap peas because the flavor of the dip can really dominate!

Shrimp Dip

2 lbs shrimp -- shelled and cooked
one clove of garlic, minced
one cup of mayo
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbs. chili sauce
2 Tbs. fresh dill
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped

Using a food processor, blend the garlic, mayo, olive oil, and chili sauce.  Add dill, celery seed and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Add celery and onion with shrimp, and mix in food process until shrimp is chopped.  Chill in fridge before serving.

I'm linking up with Cooking Thursday.  For more great recipes, check it out!

Another Christmas favorite



I think I lost a post.  Yesterday, I wrote about how much I love my new cookie press.  And now it's gone.  The post, that is.  I wouldn't put it past myself to have deleted it somehow.  But, for the record, I love these cookies and the now that I have my handy dandy cookie press, they're even  more fun to bake.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Favorite Thing


Today, I'm linking up with Claudia's "Favorite Things" party.

When we gave the kitchen a "face lift" my favorite thing was the changes we made to the island.  Originally there were two small drawers, and the lower half was a cabinet.  It was really hard to keep things organized and get at things that kept falling to the back.

So, my handy dandy hubby replaced the cabinet part with four deep drawers.  They're great for keeping tupperware, pot lids, large bowls and other assorted items.


On the other side, we put two towel racks.  I use these for my holiday towels and aprons, and a few vintage tablecloths that I've collected.



There are lots of great ideas linked up to Claudia's, "My Favorite Thing" party.  Head on over and take a peek:)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Musings

Today is Monday, November 25, 2012
Outside: Cool with gray skies
Listening to: Darius Rucker Don't Think I Don't Think About It
Feeling:  Agreeable


1.  I'm making turkey pot pie for supper.  That will finish up the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  

2.  I'm so thankful for a husband that is handy around the house and loves to do projects.  My dad was that way, too, so I always assumed it was something that all guys can do.  I guess I'm pretty blessed.


3.  Thanksgiving week was awesome.  All the kids were home and we spent lots of family time just hanging out.  

4.  I usually spend the weekend following T-Day putting up Christmas decorations.  For some reason, I just couldn't get there this weekend.  We put up our outdoor lights.  I found a Christmas candle to put on my desk, along with my Christmas box filled with cards, stamps, stationery, to start writing.  I'll ease into it this year.

5.  Saturday night, Dan and I had the house to ourselves and just 'chilled.' We watched a western on t.v. (Appaloosa with Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons and Rene Zellwegger -- good movie) and heated up some leftover burritos for supper.  I love evenings like that.

6.  I'm meeting my brother, Matt, at our favorite coffee shop this morning.  He is my youngest brother, the one who I cried when he was born because he was brother #3 and I SO wanted a sister.  But, he has become a best friend, and the sister I never had.  We drink coffee, gossip . . . if only he liked to shop.


7.  My friend Pam is putting me to shame because she is well into her Christmas shopping, and I'm not. Waah.  Okay, I'm going to go order a few things so I'll feel better.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

T-Day plus one

I love Black Friday.  Or, let me rephrase that.  I love being OVER Black Friday as a shopping day, and enjoy it for being a 'free day.'

There was a brief period of time when Kathy and I would get up at the crack of dawn -- in those days the stores opened at 6 a.m. -- and one of us would head over to  ToysRUs to get a place in line, while the other grabbed the Starbucks.  We loved "the thrill of the hunt."  Our kids were young enough that we didn't have to drop a week's worth of grocery money for a few toys and things to delight them.

This morning I got up early -- aroused from a tryptophan coma -- and had the house to myself for an hour or so.  Then Joe joined me and while he worked on his computer, I put away dishes from yesterday and organized my recipe box, sorting cards and clippings from yesterday.  I also printed out a couple of recipes for leftover turkey from All Recipes dot com.


I have a small file book that I use for favorite holiday recipes.  The Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Au Graten recipe from yesterday will go in that.  It was a big hit and one that we'll want to make again.  It now has a place of honor with our family's favorite stuffing recipe, my mom's cheesecake recipe and Aunt Mary's sour cream mashed potato recipe.


I also put yesterday's menu in the three-ring notebook that is my homemade cookbook.  There's a section devoted to holiday menus to help remember what I cook each year.  It's also helpful to have a menu already planned when I don't want to start from scratch.


A few years ago, we started a Thanksgiving tradition where everyone in our household is assigned a dish to  make.  It makes preparing the dinner a whole lot more fun for me, and the hope is that eventually I'll work myself out of a job:)  With my mother-in-law's fantabulous rolls, dinner was THE best.

For the rest of today we'll be putting up Christmas lights.  We'll have leftovers for supper and find a movie to watch tonight.

Happy T-Day + One to everyone!  How will you be spending your day?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feathering the nest

Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of this piece before I started the makeover, but here is a picture of the doors to the small cabinet that I decided to turn into a bookcase. Because a house can never have too many bookcases, do you agree?

I left the doors off and filled the holes where the hinges were with wood putty.  Gave them a quick sanding, and then primed the piece.  I chose Behr's Straw Hat for the color.


Here is the finished piece, at home in the spare bedroom. . . for now:)


I'm linking up with Brenda's Tweak It Tuesday.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Special moments

In this season of gratitude, I'm especially thankful to Susanne for hosting Friday Fave Five, week after week.  If you haven't joined in yet, take the plunge!  

Here are a few of the moments of grace I'd like to reflect on this week.

#1  On  Monday, I stopped at a new (for me) quilt store.  Before I knew it, I had lost track of time.  It's been ages since I've lost myself like that in a fabric store.  The colors and patterns and textures. . . eye candy!

#2  Last weekend, we had a completely empty calendar.  It was perfect for puttering around the house, doing some chores here and there, taking my time.  I started the week completely rested.  Ironically, I just read in this book about creating "white space" in your life.  Not to rest up or prepare for busy times ahead, but to just BE.  The author and her husband plan one weekend a month where they have no plans.  Love that idea. 

#3  Anticipating Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Oh, I love the holidays, and the anticipation of them is a big part of the excitement.

#4  This morning I met a friend at St*arbucks and had my first 'holiday drink' in the red cup:)  We sat for an hour and talked about writing and books and our goals.  So nice to have someone to share such passions.

#5  I may have mentioned this before, but one of my favorite things about where I work is that we have a therapy dog in the office, who works with our child psychologist.  I adore that dog.  She's a golden doodle, named Gadget, and she brings so many smiles to everyone who comes to see us.  I love watching how tender she can be with the kids, and she loves the biscuits I keep in my desk:)   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Monday Daybook


 For Today, November 12, 2012

Outside my window. . . The sky is blue, the sun is shining bright, and it is freezing cold.  Patches of snow lay in some of the shady spots.

I am thinking. . . how nice it is to have a hot cup of tea to drink as I'm writing this.

I am thankful . . . for all of the brave men and women who served and are serving in the military.  It's a sacrifice that the rest of us will never truly understand.  

In the kitchen. . .Baked chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots.  Standard fare, but one of our favorite meals.

I am creating. . . quilted table runners for Christmas gifts.  (shhhh. . . .don't tell!)

 I am hearing. . . the dogs give a noisy welcome to Dan coming in the door.

I am wondering. . . what to do about some Christmas gifts this year.  None of us needs anything!

I am going. . . to try not to over-think these questions as I'm typing:)

I am reading. . . Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano

I am looking forward to. . . meeting with my Spiritual Book Club tonight to discuss a few more chapters of  Abundant Simplicity

I am learning. . . to make pie crust.

Around the house. . . someone left the t.v. on, the laundry room looks like a tornado went through it, and I can't believe I just vacuumed two days ago.  (See 'dogs' comment above).

I am pondering. . . how this last election caused more divisiveness and hurt feelings than in years past.  There is so much anger lingering in the air.

A favorite quote for the day. . . "True ordinariness is tangible holiness. Find your own identity -- the one given you by God -- and then seek to be this same person with everyone."

One of my favorite things. . .this dish soap.  The Lemon Verbena scent is heavenly.  It costs a little more, but you don't have to use much to get lots of suds!


A few plans for the rest of the week. . . get the kitchen organized for the holiday ahead.  Clean out a few cupboards and the pantry, so I have space to put extra baking supplies and ingredients when I pick them up on sale.

A peek into my day. . .my 'books-to-be-read' pile.  I have absolutely no business ever buying another book, ever again! (But that won't stop me;)

 
If you'd like to join in and write your own Daybook, focusing on the simple things that make life extraordinary, here's the link

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One of my favorite things

I'm linking up with Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage this morning, to join in on her weekly post sharing favorite things.

This is one of my favorite things, that I wear almost daily.  It's a ring that belonged to my grandmother, that her father gave her when she was a young woman.  The carnelian stone in the center is surrounded by seed pearls.  My favorite part of the ring is the delicate design on the sides -- if you click on the picture you might be able to see it better.

Wearing this ring makes me feel close to my grandmother, and to my aunt -- one of my favorite people in the world -- who wore it often, before she passed it on to me.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Faves


I'm looking back over the past week for five favorite things, special moments, blessings big and small.  Some weeks are easier to find them than others.  This week was very easy. . .

1.  Having friends and family who share my love of quilting.  My sister-in-law, Jenny, came to stay last weekend and we worked on our family quilts.  On Monday, I met up with my friend Kristan at a quilt store, and we spent a couple of hours searching through fabrics and finding new treasures.  It was a great way to spend a fall morning.

2.  Cool museum exhibits.  Dan and I celebrated my aunt's birthday with her by going to the Pompeii Exhibit at our local museum.  It was fascinating.  Room after room filled with artifacts from an affluent Roman society, including beautiful pieces of art and sculpture, as well as every day utensils and tools. Just as we felt we were getting to know these people, the exhibit abruptly changed, detailing the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and how its destruction of Pompeii also preserved the very culture that it destroyed.  It was sobering to say the least, how fleeting life can be.

3.  And really cool performances.  Dan, Joe and his friend Liz, and I went to Cirque du Soleil. Wow, it held me spellbound.  The movement, the artistry of the human form.  I really didn't know what to expect, but the show was far beyond anything I could imagine.

4.  Modern Family, pizza and beer.  Dan and I joke about how the show, "Modern Family" is our therapy!  Laughter is such good medicine. One night this week, after a particularly frustrating day, we broke out a recently recorded episode and ordered a pizza, ate in our jammies and put the day's frustrations aside for just a while.

5.  Some special people who have come into my life.  Amazing how God will put the right people in your life, just when you need them. I can't say enough about how I am soooo grateful and thankful for their presence. God's plans are so spot-on.

If you have some favorites from this week, link up here!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thinkin' out loud

Since taking up blogging again a couple months ago, I seem to go at it in fits and starts.  It's the way I do most things, and it goes well with being a procrastinator.  Go great guns, put the project aside until a deadline looms, and then race for the finish line.

I'm working on a 'schedule' for my blog.  Daybook on Monday, free write on Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday (a photo), recipe on Thursday, Friday Fave Fives . . . how am I doing?

I guess I could write about Election Day today, but honestly we are so full up to the gills with politics right now.  Our phone rang at 10 o'clock last night and again at 7 this morning, both calls from candidates.  We gave up watching television last night, the ads ran ad nauseam, and this morning Dan changed the channel from our usual morning news program to the movie channel.  We had a pep to our step as we went about our morning routine humming "Oklahoma!" and "Surrey with the Fringe on Top."  I think we should start our mornings this way more often!

Daylight Savings is still throwing me off a bit.  Wouldn't it be great if when we moved the clocks back, we could move all of our scheduled activities back an hour, too?  Then, the day would be finished an hour earlier.  Does that make sense?   Lilly's thinking about it. . .
"I don't get it."

I'm wearing my U.S. flag pin today, the one I received at my brother's deployment ceremony five years ago.  A reminder that it's not about the phone calls, the ads, even the candidates today.  It's about the fact that we live in the greatest country in the world, and voting is a right and a privilege.  Happy Election Day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Daybook


FOR TODAY, November 4, 2012

Outside my window...It's early afternoon, the light is soft and diffused, trees are stripped of their leaves and November is here in all its naturalness.

I am thinking...of the wonderful visit I had with my friend Pam last week.  Oh my gosh, we had the best time.    
Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.  It's laughing yourselves silly.  Remembering the smallest details about each other's kids when they were babies.  Cleaning up the kitchen together and knowing instinctively where dishes are stored and groceries put away.  Making dinner for your friend because she had to work late. (Okay, that wasn't a little thing, it was HUGE, and my family loved every bite AND the leftovers the next night). 

I am still laughing about...how Pam and I put brown bags with holes cut out for our eyes, and went trick-r-treating at our friend's house.  Her reaction was priceless.

I am thankful...the election will be over on Tuesday.


In the kitchen...homemade bread.


I am creating...plans for Thanksgiving.


I am going...to meet a friend at a new quilt store tomorrow, and then we're going to lunch.


I am reading..."Roxie and the Hooligans" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, for this great program.


I am hoping...for an expected letter to arrive this week.


I am looking forward to...preparing my house for the holidays.


Around the house...fall candles, pumpkins, turkeys, and autumn colors.


I am pondering...lessons in "Abundant Simplicity" by Jan Johnson. I'm continuing a study of this book with a group of friends.  


A favorite quote for today...On the 'gift' of failing. . . "Flops are part of life's menu and I'm never a girl to miss out on a course." (Rosalind Russell)


Some of my favorite things...Watching my favorite t.v. show on Sunday nights (The Good Wife), Caramel Salted Mochas, old books.


A few plans for the rest of the week. . . A Day in Pompeii, an exhibit at our local museum, followed by lunch in celebration of my aunt's birthday.

A peek into my day. . .Lasagna Spirals -- find the recipe here.




Linking up to A Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HaPPy HaLloWeen!!

1963 (With my brother Mark --that's me on the right.
  I still love red shoes:)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On my mind

If ONLY I could find the cord that connects my camera to the computer, I would share with you the pictures from last weekend.  Dan and I took a car trip a few hours from home to a bed and breakfast in Colorado Springs. The house is a Queen Anne Victorian built in 1891.  Not being able to download photos the way I used to is just ONE of the frustrations of learning this "new to me" computer.  I've been told that once you learn the Mac, it is so easy.  I'm sure that's true, but right now I desperately miss my PC.  I have so little patience when it comes to new technology.

The number of political phone calls we get is increasing exponentially as election day nears.  Living in a swing state and being unaffiliated with neither of the major parties makes it even worse.  And it's not just in the evening, but all.day.long. that the phone rings.   I have to wonder if the calls make one bit of difference in swaying anyone's vote?  I can't imagine that they do.

On a brighter note, our area has had the most beautiful year for changing seasons.  Spring was delicious (literally) in that all of the fruit trees in the area were able to go full cycle and produced an abundant crop.  This fall, the wintry weather has held off and the trees have gone full cycle in changing colors.  It's unusual for our area, where winter will often step on the toes of fall and spring.

I've been busy all week preparing for a visit from my bff, Pam!  We go 'way back' to junior high school.  Some of my fondest memories of that time are third period study hall, raiding the vending machines for Cheetos and chocolate pudding snacks (who said school cafeterias were healthier in those days?)  or sneaking out for lunch period to a local restaurant where a friend was a cook.  We'd hang out with him in the kitchen and he would make us hot fudge sundaes. . . He sure knew the way to a young girl's heart.

Today is Dan's birthday.  I sent his mom flowers, thanking her for the best thing that has ever happened to me.  He truly is.  My rock, my friend, my everything.  Love you, Sweetie.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Daybook


FOR TODAY, October 22, 2012

Outside my window...I'm writing this late in the day and it's the 'golden hour' when the sun is low in the sky.  The sounds of the neighborhood include kids playing and lawn mowers going.

I am thinking...about the nice weekend we had.  I will share some pictures as soon as I figure out how to get them from the camera to the computer.  I'm slow learning about the Mac vs. my good ole PC.


I am thankful...that I found a new groomer for our dog who does a great job and is a bargain to boot!


In the kitchen...pork roast, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls.


I am creating...menu plans.


I am going...to figure out the Mac, come hell or high water.


I am wondering...if Barrack or Mitt get a bazillion political phone calls interrupting their dinner?


I am reading..."Helen of Troy", by Margaret George.


I am hoping...for another nice week of fall weather, before the snow sets in.


I am looking forward to...my friend, Pamela, coming to visit this Friday!


Around the house...fall candles, pumpkins, and autumn colors.


I am pondering...lessons in "Abundant Simplicity" by Jan Johnson.


A favorite quote for today...(from "Abundant Simplicity) . . "Practicing frugality reinforces intentionality, prodding us to continually ask ourselves, What do I want? and What do I really need? Our heart also gets cleaned out, a process that creates the opportunity for many inward conversations with God."


Some of my favorite things...unique postage stamps, solving a math problem, finishing a crossword  puzzle.


A peek into my day. . .




Linking up to A Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Daybook


FOR TODAY, October 15, 2012

Outside my window...the sky is blue and clear with just a few wisps of clouds.  It's going to be another beautiful day!

I am thinking...that getting a new phone and switching to a new computer all in one weekend is just too much for my brain.  My PC is close to death, so I took over the kid's old Mac.  I got a cheap upgrade and now have an iPhone. It's all so different from what I'm used to.  

I am thankful...to have live-in tech support in the form of our two sons.

In the kitchen...the fridge is stocked with leftovers from the weekend.  I made baked potato soup on Saturday, spaghetti sauce on Sunday.  I'll only have to plan a couple of new meals for the week.

I am creating...still working on the slipcover.  Did some sewing for others over the weekend, covered a cushion and mended a jacket.

I am going...on a weekend getaway with Hubs.  Hoping for good weather.  Will share photos next week.

I am wondering...about a lot of things, but for today:  why do dogs shed so much?  We have hair and we don't shed.  And how is that a greyhound, who is practically bald, still sheds?  

I am reading..."Healer" by Carol Cassella

I am hoping...The house fairy shows up soon and gets some cleaning done.

I am looking forward to...the weekend.

Around the house...such disarray, you really don't want to know.

I am pondering...why the Kalinda story on The Good Wife has become so ridiculous.

A favorite quote for today...You have encircled this mountain long enough, now turn North. (Deut. 2:3)

Some of my favorite things...seashells, fall candles, brand new uncut fabric.

A peek into my day. . .


Linking up to A Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Snow!

This has been a crazy year for us for travel. I've never been on an airplane so many times in one year in my whole life. Dan and I were out in the midwest again last week, and our karma must've been in all the right places, because we got bumped up to first class:)

The view out the window was spectacular. I felt like we were flying over the Arctic . . .



As beautiful as it was, it is nice know that we'll have our feet on the ground for a while.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, Monday



For Today. . . October 1, 2012

Outside my window...the day started out with a light rain, but the sun eventually came through.

I am thinking...this weekend was full of new experiences including the Women of Faith Conference and trying Pho Vietnamese food for the first time (my son's treat!)

I am thankful...for friends who make me laugh.

In the kitchen...a recipe from the Pioneer Woman:  Pepperoni Pizza Burgers.  I made them for supper tonight with Sweet Potato Fries and everyone loved them!

I am wearing...capris and sandals.  I just can't bring myself to put the sandals away yet.

I am creating...order out of chaos at my desk.

I am going...to take my friend to a doctor appointment this morning.  We're praying for good news -- she had foot surgery six weeks ago.

I am wondering...if I'll ever get caught up and have my entire house clean at one time.

I am reading...Abundant Simplicity by Jan Johnson.

I am hoping...to clean my desk off sometime this century.

I am looking forward to...a trip with Dan later this week.
Around the house...freshly vacuumed, dusted, bathrooms cleaned!  I have two painting projects to complete.
A favorite quote for today... "For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."  Matt.6:21

One of my favorite things...the pearl earrings Dan gave me our first Valentine's day together.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Work, travel, pay bills.

A peek into my day...



Linking up with A Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday, Monday



FOR TODAY, September 24, 2012

Outside my window...is overcast and dreary.  Rain is expected in the next couple of days.  We desperately need it.

I am thinking...that September is my favorite month and it's almost over.

I am thankful...for Facebook, as odd as that sounds.  It's so nice to keep in touch with family, especially my nieces:)

In the kitchen...a recipe for Scallops and Sweet Potatoes, from Glorious One Pot Meals is on the menu for tonight.

I am creating...a slip cover for a chair in the guest room.  Wish me luck.

I am going...to try to find someone to re-cut a mirror to fit a sweet round frame that I have.

I am reading...The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Muhsin Hamid

I am looking forward to...the season premiere of Modern Family this week.

Around the house... Just finished vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen.  Son #1 is doing laundry, Son #2 just waking up (from graveyard shift), Hubs is making lunch:)

I am pondering...how God's plans are always so different from our own. (Same as last week, but I need reminding of this)

A favorite quote for today... "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." ~~Annie Dillard

One of my favorite things...Bath & Bodywork's Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I'm attending the Women of Faith conference in Denver this Friday!

A picture for you...a flower shop in Sausalito.

I'm linking up with The Simple Woman's Daybook.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Favorite Thing Saturday #4


I'm linking up with Claudia this morning for A Favorite Thing Saturday.  I love this idea of sharing our favorite things.  Claudia started this meme about a month ago, but this is my first time.  I enjoy hearing the stories behind people's treasures and I hope you'll enjoy mine as well.


This is my tea set from when I was a child.  It belonged to my mom and I remember the day she gave it to me to play with when I was about 7 years old. I was thrilled to be given a gift so beautiful and delicate, and it wasn't even my birthday or Christmas!  It had been given to Mom as a child but she never got to play with it because her mother was afraid she might break a piece.  By the time Grandma gave it to Mom, Mom was much too old to play with tea sets.  She told me to enjoy playing with it and not keep it on a shelf. I remember having tea parties underneath a tree in our backyard.  Sure enough, a piece or two was broken, but I had so much fun along the way.  One of the pieces that broke was the teapot, but I found another on Etsy not too long ago and it's a pretty good match, don't you think?

Share one of your favorite things by stopping by at Mockingbird Hill Cottage.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Favorite moments


I'm linking up with Susanne's Friday Fave Five!  Still relishing memories of the trip to California with Dan and my mother-in-law earlier this week.

1.  We got to help with some 'Backyard Wine Making'!  Everything from harvesting grapes, to crushing and pressing, and -- best of all -- sampling product;)  Here is Dan's sister Carol and her partner Sonia at the crushing and stemming machine.



2.  Sonia never ceases to amaze us with the fun stuff she comes up with for us to do.  One night we went to a brewery and got to try our hand at being artists -- Cocktails and Canvas was the theme.  It was a blast!

We all came home with finished paintings . . .

3.  Our day in Saulsalito was one of my favorites.  We had lunch at a restaurant called le Garage -- an old garage turned into a wonderful French cafe.  The food was delicious and the view was spectacular.  Here's a photo of Dan, his mom Sheila, and Carol.

4. We took the ferry from Saulsalito to San Francisco.  It was chilly and breezy and so much fun!

5.  A little more Backyard Wine Making, pressing the crushed grapes. . .

Carol with some of their finished product!

A glimpse of Carol and Sonia's back yard in Sacramento . . .

. . . including the vineyard.

Such a great time, making memories with some of my favorite people.