Pie on Pi Day

To celebrate the beginning of my 67th year on this earth Dear and I drove to downtown Seattle for an early dinner. We found a parking garage close to the restaurant we’d be having dinner at and then walked down the 5 blocks to the waterfront by Pike Place Market. We were headed for Cutter’s Crabhouse to enjoy some oysters and drinks at their happy hour. Although the day started out gloomy and wet the afternoon shaped up and was sunny and glorious. When we walked into Cutters trying to decide where to sit a man at the bar suggested that sitting at the bar would be more fun than sitting at a table by ourselves. We smiled, thanked him and took his advice. We were able to engage in conversation with the bartender and the two gentlemen sitting close to us at the bar. One of the men was a Sounders Soccer fan so he and I exchanged some thoughts about “our team”. When we were done with our first round of oysters and drinks I ordered my second drink and when the bartender set it down in front of me he let me know my new soccer buddy had paid for it. What a nice gesture and our three new acquaintances wished me a happy birthday.

We settled our bill at Cutters with a gift card Katie and Andrew had given us for a Christmas gift. Then we enjoyed the views of the waterfront before trekking up the 5 blocks to Lola’s Restaurant on 4th and Virginia. We chose this Tom Douglas restaurant over his other establishments because of the variety of lamb dishes they offer. I had the Lamb Shoulder Tangine and it was delicious. Dear got the Lamb kebabs. The red you see on my dish are a generous topping of saffron threads. Our beet starter and the rice dish loaded with pistachios and Greek olives were delicious, too.

Since it was Pi day we ordered the Coconut Cream Pie for dessert to share.

When our bill came our waitress informed us the pie was on the house. Sweet! We paid for my birthday dinner with another gift card we had from Josh and Laura from Christmas.

All in all it was the most lovely celebration and on the way home I enjoyed several phone calls from our kids and my brother from Texas. His kids serenaded me with their rendition of Happy Birthday Aunt Ellen.  Fun times. Thank you Lord for showering me with beauty, good food and loved ones.

My Birthday Hodgpodge

It’s just about time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks the questions and we answer them. Here are the questions for Volume 344!

1. Best place you’ve been lately?

The best place I’ve been lately is under the same roof with our little grand watching all her new skills and quirks and expressions. We just returned home after spending four days with her and her dear parents.

2. What’s something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

Yes to letting things go and not regretting that I let them go.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘green’?

Some years I do set a St. Patrick’s Day table and most years we enjoy some corned beef and cabbage.

The first thing that came to my mind on the subject of green was my kitchen. Our home has many shades of green in it and on it’s exterior, too. We happen to live in the Evergreen state and Seattle is the Emerald city we are happily surrounded by all kinds of green year round.

4. What’s a product or service you love so much you’d happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I can highly recommend Grace to You and their daily broadcasts and sermon archives. The faithfulness of John MacArthur in teaching the truth of the Bible verse by verse makes me a fan. Dependable, consistent, accurate handling of the Word of God is the best resource to have for life.

While we were at Dan and Jamie’s they pulled out their super duper butter mill to spread on hamburger buns before grilling the buns. We were really impressed with the ease of spreading butter using one of these mills. Here’s what they look like. If you use real butter I would highly recommend one of these gadgets.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What’s the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What’s your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

March 14th happens to be my birthday and this year I’m turning 67. How did that happen? I do have some math skills and I had to use those skills to figure out how old I was turning this year.

Berry pies are my favorite kind of pie or fresh strawberry and fresh peach.  Al a mode or as my pop would say “pie alamo” is good for the berry pies and the fresh pies require nothing on top for me.

I do NOT like Cherry pie. The texture of the cherries in cherry pie do not appeal to my palate. When I was young one of my aunts served cherry pie and I took a bite and did not like it. She made me eat the whole piece anyway even though it made me gag. Ever since then I’ve turned my nose up and refuse to eat cherry pie. For that reason and many others I did not like this aunt. Just typing this makes me realize I need to talk to God about my ill feelings toward her and forgive her in my heart since she died several years ago.

Boysenberry pie was probably the first kind of pie I had growing up from Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California. My mother did not bake pies when I was young or even into my teen years.

This is a photo that I love of my parents from Knott’s Berry Farm taken sometime in the 1950’s.  Knott’s Berry Farm was one of the very few places we ever ate out as a family. We enjoyed their popular fried chicken dinner with their famous boysenberry pie for dessert. A very special treat for all of us.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Thanking God for another year in the books and for what this new year holds for our family. Lots of changes are coming and I pray that things will move along smoothly.  Asking God to provide the right home and the strength to make this big move. Also asking God to lead and guide our youngest and her hubby as he completes his degree in June and he looks for a job somewhere in these United States which will mean a move and a new place to live for them, too. Moving is the theme for the majority of our immediate family in 2018.

An update on my dear old pop. He is spending more of his day in bed these days. His eyesight has deteriorated enough that he can no longer read his Bible or do his jigsaw puzzles. He has got to be so bored! Hopefully he will have his major heavenly move this year, Lord willing.

A Royal Tea

On Saturday I met up with our DIL Laura’s family to celebrate her Grandma Wilma’s 95th birthday. Laura made reservations for the seven of us at a new to us tearoom in downtown Bothell, Graham’s Royal Tea. Laura and her sister-in-law, Lisa, are flanking Grandma Wilma who had the royal chair and crown for the day.

Grandma Wilma has four daughters and a son. Three of the daughters including our Laura’s mom were at the tea. One of Laura’s aunts lives in Colorado and was not in town for this regal event. Wilma’s son lives in Australia. There was a room where you could choose hats and boas to wear. My mink Fascinator kept falling off my head.

I was very happy to be invited to come and celebrate, too. Doesn’t Wilma look fabulous at 95?

We all had a very nice time and enjoyed the savories and sweets on our three tiered servers. We are planning to return to this tearoom in the future. Thank you Wilma for inviting me along to enjoy your Royal Celebration. God bless you dearly.

January’s End Hodgepodge

1. Speaking of endings….at your wit’s end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all’s well that end’s well, or no end in sight…which ‘end’ phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.
I’m going with…no end in sight. Miles to go before we move. So many obstacles to work around. One of those obstacles is finding the best moving company option for our stuff. We were disappointed to find that no Pod companies deliver to the zip code we are moving to. We are now thinking seriously of getting rid of a lot more stuff instead of paying to have it moved. We are in “getting the house ready to sell” mode.
 2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

I don’t know how my brain brought this one up to the forefront. In junior high I had to have the latest fad/trend going around in southern California, suspenders. I nagged my mother relentlessly to be able to buy them. My family never had extra money and I’m sure this request seemed ridiculous to my parents. For me it was a “need to have”.

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

The sun, the sun! The sun broke through and the rain stopped long enough for me to finish pruning the pear tree! Woohoo! And then I spotted my sweet Lenten Rose blooming!

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We’re having chicken salad for lunch…would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

Yes and yes, sweet and savory. We just had my “not your mamas chicken salad” on croissants last week. And we also had that filling on Belgium Endive as an appetizer for Josh’s birthday dinner.

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

From the first to the last we enjoyed celebrations of birth and marriage with thanks.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Besides birthdays, rain was a constant theme for the month of January. It was so nice to have a spell without that blessing from the sky on Tuesday. I want to remember to stay up and gaze on that Blue moon tonight.

Our little Addy is walking like a champ and next week I’ll have fresh photos to share of her because I get to fly to California with her parents and her to spend a few days with my extended family. This Baba is excited to see her face to face after more then a month. She’ll be meeting her only great grandfather who is alive, my dear old Pop while we are there, too.

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She asks the questions and we answer them. Thank you for reading my answers.

Barns and Birthday!

We spotted these red barns on Conway Hill road in Skagit County back in December of 2017.

Linking up with Tom The Backroads Traveller for The Barn Collective.

Back to the present. We had a wonderful time catching up with our Western Washington kids over a belated birthday dinner for our son Josh.

Looking forward to some plans and ideas that we came up with to make moving easier for everyone! We also enjoyed lots of good food.

Appetizers, then salad and on to the main course of rack of lamb with rice pilaf ending with chocolate cake and ice cream.

How was your weekend? Was it quiet or filled with activity?

Weekend Roundup “D”

It’s just about time for Tom’s Weekend Roundup and the prompts for this week are.

1. Starts with “D”   2. A Favorite   3. Details

Starts with “D.”  

Deer or…

my Dear.

A Favorite (or Favorites)!

Daughter, Daughter-in-laws, granddaughter and…

Our son Dan who is now a daddy with our granddaughter.


Dinner table decorated. It’s all in the details.

Our table is set for a belated birthday dinner on Saturday evening. Our sons and one of our daughter-in-laws had birthdays in January but we only get to set a table for Josh since Dan and Jamie can’t travel over the mountains at this time to be included. I love the DETAILS when setting a table and seeing how things come together. Josh, Laura, Andrew, Katie, Dear and I will be sitting at this table.

Here are the details: I wanted something a little more masculine so I chose the English Transferware dishes with English scenes on them. They are Royal Stafford, made in England. Pewter seemed like a good choice to add and I was able to scrounge up 6 Pewter tankards, which are manly. Dear and I purchased two of the tankards in London in 1974. The rest of the tankards although purchased here and there over time are all made in Sheffield, England. The sterling is 1810 International, a wedding gift from my parents back when sterling was less than stainless is now. Each of the napkin rings has a story. Two matching were souvenirs from a trip to England in the 70’s. The one with my name engraved on it was a birthday gift from Dear many years ago. One is from a set of 8 sterling rings (Gorham) gifted to us as wedding gifts from Dear’s parents. Two others I found at Goodwill. The metal candle holder in the center was something I picked up at Goodwill. The little flower pot name place holders were purchased at a junk trunk show in Monroe a few years back. Pewter salt and pepper sets have been around a long time and I can’t remember where we purchased them. The napkins,  tablecloth and tablerunner all came from thrift stores. That’s probably way more details then you wanted to read.

One more thing, I hope I remember to take a photo of all of us sitting at the table enjoying the birthday meal we prepare for Josh.

Next week’s prompts.
Starts with “E.”
A Favorite

Thank you Tom for hosting.

Still Blogging Hodgepodge

Crystal Cove Beach, California, January 2017 with my sister Vera.

It’s time to answer the Wednesday Hodgepodge questions…

1. What keeps you blogging?

I’ve thought about laying it aside and then I bump into someone who says they are reading my blog and enjoying it. I’ve been able to go back and read things I’ve forgotten over the years. If I look at it as a journal I’m content to keep going. From the beginning I’ve wanted my blog to honor and encourage and I hope that it has brought some glory to God and encouragement to others. I’m also interested in what’s going on in the lives of fellow bloggers.

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-
 St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)
Well leave it to Southern Living to list Southeast beaches as the best in the U.S., LOL. I’m of the mind that any beach is great to visit in the Winter!
I love the beach in winter and most of the beaches I’ve visited in winter are West Coast beaches. From San Diego to Central California for me winter at the beach is best. Last January I spent time at Port Hueneme, Huntington Beach and Crystal Cove.
Port Hueneme with extended family staying at a VRBO to attend a family wedding north of Santa Barbara.
The Orchid Farm in Goleta, California at our nephew Joe’s wedding in January of 2017.
Huntington Beach pier in January 2017.
 Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter?
I have not been to any of the towns listed and they are not on my bucket list. When our son-in-law completed his Marine Corps grueling basic training, my daughter and I flew east and drove to Parris Island for his graduation. We stayed in Beaufort. Later when he was stationed in Jacksonville, N.C. at Camp Lejeune we helped our daughter set up their home on base just before Andrew returned from Afghanistan. While there we took a day trip to Emerald Isle.
Emerald Isle, North Carolina December of 2011.
3. What’s a song you’re embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?
I’m not embarrassed about any song I know all the lyrics to and am quite excited if my memory serves me that well.
4. When you were a kid what’s something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you’re an adult you realize it’s not all that fantastic?
I’m kind of sad to admit this but I thought that being a teacher would be fantastic but when I finally made it into a classroom the federal requirements and paper work wore me down and it was a discouraging endeavor for me. I was happy to retire when our first child was born. My first classroom was on the stage of the cafeteria because the school was over crowded. Yikes. My second classroom was a portable which I got locked in once. My third classroom was a regular classroom with nice windows. Our school was in a low income area and was federally funded, keeping up with the federal paper work made it hard to teach and have good one on one time with the students. I loved the kids but didn’t like the federal meddling.
5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
6. Insert your own random thought here.

It’s a big birthday week at this old house. Monday was our daughter-in-law Jamie’s birthday. Tuesday was our son Dan’s birthday and Friday is our son Josh’s birthday. We aren’t seeing any of them on their day since Dan and Jamie are in northeastern Washington and Josh and Laura are celebrating in Hawaii.

Miss seeing our little Addy, too. It’s been almost a month. I’m always a little worried she’ll forget us but she has a sharp fresh mind so I should just let those thoughts go…

Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce and thank you to those of you who took the time to read this post. I appreciate your visits!