Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut…

…sometimes you don’t! I usually choose Almond Joy over Mounds!

It’s time for a nutty Hodgepodge. Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for the questions!

1. February 16th is National Almond day…are you a fan? If so what’s your favorite food item or recipe that contains almonds? 

I am a fan of almonds and love the crunch and interest they add to a dish.

Favorite savory dish would be rice pilaf with butter sauteed raisins and slivered almonds.

On the sweet side of things Haagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond ice cream.

2. Something you are currently ‘nuts’ about? 

I think I’ll always be ‘nuts’ about these two…

3. Something currently driving you ‘nuts’? 

Okay…you asked and I’ll be truthful. It drives me nuts to see children in masks. Unmask our children! Stop the madness!

4. Something you recently bought for ‘peanuts’? 

Greeting cards at the Dollar store, which by the way is not the dollar store anymore but the $1.25 store! They still do sell some of their cards at two for a dollar. It’s hard for me to purchase a $4.95 card that will probably get thrown in the trash after opened and read.

5. Share a favorite quote uttered by any U.S. President ( if you’re not an American, a quote made by the leader of your own country). 

Since we used to celebrate Lincoln’s (12th of February) and Washington’s (22nd of February) with a day off for each of these birthdays way back when I was in school I found a quote I can stand behind from each of these Presidents.

If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. 

~George Washington

So my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.

~Abraham Lincoln

The photo at the top of my post is a collage from the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The statue of George Washington gets such great light reflection from the stained glass window during certain times of the day. I was happy to be able to capture it when we were there in May of 2011.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

On Valentine’s Day we received about 3 more inches of snow. The forecasters underestimated the amount by 2-1/2 inches, so it was a surprise to see the large fluffy flakes keep falling, and falling until we accumulated three or more inches.

Happy Day to all of you!

Weekend Roundup “I”

Weekend Roundup “I”~  Starts with “I.”  A Favorite.  Inside.

1. Starts with “I”.

Iwo Jima starts with I. The anniversary of the Flag raising at Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima is on February 23rd. I visited the monument in D.C. in 1970 for the first time. I was nineteen in this photo.

img316-0012. A favorite: Our day in St. Ives, England in September of 2013 with our oldest and his wife.

2013-09-18 St6As I was going to Saint Ives,
I crossed the path of seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kittens,
Kittens, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to Saint Ives?

2013-09-18 St4

St. Ives sunny 0263. Inside:

Inside the heart of our home, the kitchen. Lots of activity happens around the kitchen Island.

Next weeks prompts: Starts with “J.”  A Favorite.  Joy.

Linking up with Tom The Backroads Traveller for Weekend Roundup.

Even though we had rain through our sleep hours the day dawned with no more sprinkles. Happy to run several errands without the need of a rain coat and all accomplished by the early afternoon. This weekend there are two events that are out of the ordinary and that I’m looking forward to. What are you looking forward to?

Historical Hodgepodge

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

A very manicured home or a completely cluttered home. I like something in the middle with comfortable places to sit.  Driving on snow and ice throws me over the edge. Lying in a dentist’s chair makes my blood pressure go up. Right now because my master bathroom is totally gutted (see photo above) I’m way out of my comfort zone.

2. Your least favorite spice?

This is a tough one for me. I like a variety of spices but not used in an overpowering way. I’ll say my least favorite is curry.

3. What’s a small change you’d like to make?

Flossing so I can use up the 500 free floss containers the dental hygienist has gifted me over the years. BTW: she wouldn’t think this is a small change.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes?  What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been?

Yes, and yes. The closest historical buildings I’ve been to are located at Bothell Landing. Yes I’ve been to the landing but I’ve only seen the outside of the buildings.

Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they’re as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway’s home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list?

img317In the early 1970’s my best friend and I made a trip east from Southern California and one of the places we visited was Mount Vernon. I have a post about my first plane ride and all we saw and experienced here.

Biltmore 004

Biltmore 002Our daughter and I were at The Biltmore in Asheville in May of 2014 on a cross country trip we made. I have several posts of the gardens and grounds. One of the posts and photos is here.

If so, of the homes you’ve visited which one was your favorite?

I’ll have to say that the Biltmore was my favorite of these homes.

Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

Since I’ve never been to New Orleans I’ll say Longue Vue House and Gardens.

5. What’s something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Dvd’s and dvd players. I’m pretty neutral about it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are having an early family Thanksgiving this weekend. We are going over the mountains and through the woods to granddaughter’s house. She’ll be 8 months old on November 20th. We’re slowly accepting some big changes at this old house. We are finally saying that Dear is retired instead of unemployed. With that fact there are many new choices to consider.

Here we are halfway through November! How did that happen?

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Inside the National Cathedral

For InSPIREd Sunday I promised a couple weeks past that I’d share some inside shots from the Washington National Cathedral.

We searched the crypt for this very nook because we own a painting by a friend of ours that was inspired by this very spot in the cathedral. The next photo is of our painting that hangs in our home.

These photos I’ve shared today are just a very small sample of the amazing architecture and beauty of our National Cathedral. You can spend a day touring the Cathedral and Close and still miss some beautiful details. If you ever find your way to Washington D.C. take a Tour Trolley out to the Cathedral!

Hope your weekend has been inspired in some way.

My First Plane Ride…

In 1970 my best friend and I were able to plan a trip east to see her family and meet up with friends for a wonderful tour including Mackinac Island, New Jersey, New York City, Buffalo, Boston, Connecticut and Washington D.C.  This would be the first time I took a trip that included flying in a plane. Here are my old photos from that trip.

img327I’m really not sure exactly where we started from and where we ended this trip. My friend Heidi and I traveled from Los Angeles. One of the spots we stayed was in Michigan at our friend Faye’s home. Faye’s dad was our pastor at Bethany Baptist in L.A. for several years. When they left L.A. they settled in Troy, Michigan. Faye and Heidi were best friends through high school. We also spent time on the lake at Peter and Ruth Leonovich’s home. Peter and Ruth took the three of us to Mackinac Island for a day.


We had loads of fun riding bikes around the island. On the way to the island there were threats of rain and I remember Pete stopping the car so the 3 of us could do sun dances instead of rain dances. Looks like it worked.



img324In New Jersey after we visited Heidi’s grandmother and uncles and aunts we were guests at Peter Leonovich’s brother’s home. Al and Babs treated us to wonderful meals and a trip into New York City to see the sights including the Statue of Liberty.





img306Somehow we also ended up in Buffalo New York with more “friends of friends” who took us to see Niagara Falls and we had the most delicious barbecued corn during a backyard barbecue that I had ever tasted.


img308Andy Semenchuk was our amazing tour guide to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington D.C.

img309Boston was beautiful. I remember how shocked I was at seeing how small Plymouth Rock was.





img314Because we were from California we had to pose next to Junipero Serra in the National Statuary Room. Turns out the first school Dear and my two sons attended was Junipero Serra Elementary School in Ventura, California.



img317George Washington’s Mount Vernon

img318Looking back I’m so humbled at how hospitable everyone was to us. A place to lay our heads, food, sightseeing trips, and transportation everywhere we needed to go and didn’t need to go but these amazing people wanted to treat us to these sights. Thank you, thank you, to Andy Semenchuk, the Al Leonovich Family, Peter and Ruth Leonovich, and the Chechowich family. You broadened our horizons and our world view and modeled hospitality to us! I am forever grateful…


…from Spring 2011 in Washington D.C.

These photos are all from the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. What a national treasure it is!

I’m joining Vee at A Haven for Vee for her August Notecard party.

Just wanted to give an update on our refrigerator. It is now fixed and the Sears repair man that came to the house was a hoot! We thought it was worth the wait. The interior of the unit is light and bright again.

U.S. Capitol Grounds

This is the Peace Monument on the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington D.C.

“At the top of the monument, facing west, stand two classically robed female figures. Grief holds her covered face against the shoulder of History and weeps in mourning. History holds a stylus and a tablet that was inscribed “They died that their country might live.” Below Grief and History, another life-size classical female figure represents Victory, holding high a laurel wreath and carrying an oak branch, signifying strength. Below her are the infant Mars, the god of war, and the infant Neptune, god of the sea. The shaft of the monument is decorated with wreaths, ribbons, and scallop shells.”

This next mosaic is of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.

“The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial sits at the base of Capitol Hill amidst other important Washington D.C. monuments such as those built to honor Lincoln and Washington. It is currently the largest equestrian statue in the United States and the second largest in the world.”

There is so much to see and document in Washington D.C. You can never exhaust the treasures there in one visit. We were there in May of this year and I’m still pulling up more photos and history to share.

I’m linking up with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Thank you Mary for hosting this weekly event and sharing your beautiful photography with us.


It’s time for our alphabet letter of the week and we are on the letter V.

 I’m linking up with Jenny at Alphabe-Thursday.

 I am choosing the 2nd definition listed in the dictionary for vertical.

Situated at the vertex or highest point; directly overhead.

I’m heading back to our Spring trip in Washington D.C. to the U.S. Capitol to show you what I photographed at the highest point.

The Apotheosis of Washington is the immense fresco painted by Italian artist Constantino Brumidi in 1865 and visible through the oculus of the dome in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. The fresco is suspended 180 feet (55 m) above the rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet (433.3 m2). The figures painted are up to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall and are visible from the floor below. The dome was completed in 1863, and Brumidi painted it over the course of 11 months at the end of the Civil War. He was paid $40,000 ($711,135 adjusted for inflation, as of 30 December 2009) for the fresco.

If you ever visit Washington D.C. I would recommend the Capitol tour. It was well worth the time.

Is it getting cooler in your neck of the woods? We have been experiencing some cooler temps here in the Pacific Northwest.

Hope to see your V posts soon!

National Statuary Hall ~ Father Junipero Serra

When I was in Washington D.C. in May of this year I took a tour of the Capitol building. In the National Statuary Hall I was struck with how many of the statues donated by the states in our country were pioneers who were also known for their faith. I really enjoyed how the sunlight rested on the cross that Father Serra is holding in this statue. The statue of Junipero Serra was donated by the state of California. The statues donated by my current state, Washington, are of Marcus Whitman and Mother Joseph. In 1856 Mother Joseph lead a group of 5 missionaries to the Pacific Northwest Territories. She was responsible for the completion of 11 hospitals, 7 acadamies, 5 Indian schools and 2 orphanages. I didn’t get a photo of her statue but it’s one of her kneeling in prayer. It just made me chuckle to think of the climate in Washington and schools these days to forbid crosses, Bibles and prayer when our nation and so many schools were built by pioneers who carried their Bibles across the wilderness and prayed this country and schools into being with Christ and his work on the cross as their motivator. Now some would love to re-write history to suit their unbelief.

When we were living in Ventura California from 1984 until 1988 our sons attended Junipero Serra Elementary School. There is a large statue of Junipero Serra in front of the City Hall in Ventura.

This is the statue of Marcus Whitman donated by the state of Washington. He is carrying a Bible along with his medical bag.  The next quotes on the history of Junipero Serra and Marcus Whitman are taken from the Architect of the Capitol website.

“Father Junipero Serra (Miguel Jose Serra) was one of the most important
Spanish missionaries in the New World. Born in Majorca on November 24, 1713, he
joined the Franciscan Order at the age of 16. He soon gained prominence as an
eloquent preacher and eventually became a professor of theology. His dream was
to become a missionary to America. He arrived in Mexico City in 1750 to begin
this new life.

In 1769 he established a mission at the present site of San Diego,
California, the first of a number that would include San Antonio, San
Buenaventura, San Carlos, San Francisco de Assisi, San Gabriel, San Juan
Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara. This was a herculean task
considering that Father Serra was already in his fifties and suffered from a
chronic ulcerated condition in one leg. Serra was ascetic and uncompromising in
his zeal to convert the Indians to Christianity and to make his missions self
sufficient. Inhabitants built their own homes, spun wool for garments, and
pursued careers as masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, and millers; thousands of
barrels of grain were kept in reserve supply, and herds of cattle, sheep,
horses, and swine were maintained.

The ulcerated condition of Serra’s leg eventually spread to his chest. At the
age of 71, aware of his deterioration, he made a final visit to his missions.
The well-known and beloved missionary died in Monterey, California, on August
28, 1784; his missions continued to flourish for another 50

“Marcus Whitman was born on September 4, 1802. At the age of seven, when his
father died, he went to Rushville, New York, to live with his uncle. He dreamed
of becoming a minister but did not have the money for such a time-consuming
curriculum. Instead, he studied medicine for two years with an experienced
doctor and received his degree from Fairfield Medical College. In 1834 he
applied to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Two years
later, Whitman married Narcissa Prentiss. A teacher of physics and chemistry,
Narcissa was eager to travel west as a missionary but, as a single woman, had
been forbidden to do so.

Marcus and Narcissa made an extraordinary team. They joined a caravan of fur
traders and went west, establishing several missions as well as their own
settlement, Waiilatpu, in the Blue Mountains near the present city of Walla
Walla, Washington. Marcus farmed and gave medical attention, while Narcissa gave
classes to the Indian children. Returning from a trip east, Whitman assisted in
the “Great Emigration” of 1843, which clearly established the Oregon Trail.

The primitive health practices of the Indians and their lack of immunity to
diseases such as measles fostered the belief that Whitman was causing the death
of his patients. The Indian tradition holding medicine men personally
responsible for the patient’s recovery led to the murder of the Whitmans on
November 29, 1847, in their home.”

Our nation was built on the backs of people who trusted God and were guided by the Bible. I hope that is never written out of our history.


“It would have been pretty darn difficult for actress Dina Merrill to have ever pulled off playing a commoner on stage, film or TV. She just had too much class. The epitome of poise and glamor, the New York-born socialite and celebrity was born in 1925 the daughter of financier E.F. Hutton, the founder of the Wall Street firm, and heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post of the Post cereal fortune”. (from a mini biography of Dina Merrill)

I really enjoyed the glamour surrounding the Hillwood Estate in Washington D.C. I’m not one to fuss much with glamour but I can appreciate it in others. Unlike Dina Merrill I can pull off being a commoner every day.

I’m quite comfortable in blue jeans and a comfy tee-shirt. I like a certain level of glamour once in a while. That glamour still has to have an element of comfort with it.

Dina Merrill whose birth name was Nedenia Marjorie Hutton, was the only child of Merriweather’s union with E.F. Hutton.

Wow! How about these wedding bouquets!?

Marjorie Merriweather Post seemed to have connections with other very glamorous people, too.

I think my most glamorous days have been at weddings. Growing up my mother always made sure my sisters and I had a new home sewn dress for Easter and Christmas. Those were glamorous days, too. How about you? Do you enjoy glamour and what was the most glamorous event you attended or were the star of?