I Still Call It Easter Break Hodgepodge

Time again to answer Joyce’s questions for Wedneday Hodgepodge. 

1. We’re in to a season students call ‘spring break’. Did you/your family travel over spring breaks when you were growing up?  Tell us something about a ‘spring break’ you remember (from childhood or adulthood, either one). 

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s we always had Easter break. I forget when it was changed to Spring break. I’m not sure if we had the full week leading up to Easter off or starting on Good Friday for a full week. My family did not travel over Easter holidays. My mother was too busy baking Kulich (Russian Easter Bread) and making Seernaya Paska and sewing Easter dresses to go off galavanting. 🙂 We would fast on Good Friday and then attend a Good Friday evening service and when the service was over we would break our fast together with a meal at church. On Easter Sunday we would all dress up in our Easter finery and celebrate Jesus Christ’s Resurrection and come home to a luncheon of Lamb with colored Easter eggs and of course the delicious Russian Easter Bread for dessert.

In 1997 I had an epic road trip during our kids’ ‘Spring Break’ to Southern California. Dear was working but our two sons and daughter, our oldest son’s girlfriend (whom he married in 2001) and our middle son’s best friend, joined me as we traveled down I-5 with stops in Yuba City (at Dear’s mom’s condo) and then to our destination in Yorba Linda at my Mom and Pop’s home.  Our oldest son was accepted to Westmont College in Montecito (Santa Barbara) and would be attending there come August so we made a trip there on one of our days. We had beach days, cousin days, a Disneyland day and Baba and Dzeda days before we headed home stopping in Clovis (at my cousin’s home), and Yuba city to have one more visit with Gommy (Dear’s mom). That stop and visit on April 18th/19th was the last time we would have with Gommy as she died on May 6th of that year, unexpectedly. Collages at the end of this post are from this epic road trip to Southern California. The photo at the top of the post was from this road trip, too.

3. March 7th is National Cereal Day…are you a fan? What’s your favorite? If not cereal what’s your favorite breakfast? Your typical breakfast? 

I do enjoy breakfast cereals like Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini Wheats and Granola. My favorite breakfast is our family traditional meal of Swedish Pancakes and little smokies because we are all sitting around the table enjoying that breakfast together. If we eat breakfast at a restaurant I enjoy Eggs Benedict.

A typical breakfast would be high fiber cereal with blueberries or toast with avocado.

4. Break ground, break of dawn, break down, break the bank, break one’s stride, break the ice, break a law, break a habit, break bread…choose one of the idioms listed and tell us how it applies to your life currently. 

I’m in the throws of trying to break the habit of going up on the scale after I’ve gone down on the scale. So far so good. The up and down and up again has been a yearly habit so it would be nice to break that cycle this year and stay on the low end.

5. Where do you go to connect with friends and family? What do you like to do most when you’re home alone? 

Because of our moves later in life I’m disconnected from my longer established friendships. We’ve been in our current country location for 4 years and we are establishing new friends. We go to church to connect with friends. We connect with family and friends in our home or in their homes. I’m thankful for friends and family that come visit and stay overnight. Also thankful for trips to see friends and family.

I’m a list maker so when I’m at home alone I like to tick off my list. I like to have at least one day a week where my calendar has nothing on it and I can wile away the morning in my jammies and robe.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

March is my birthday month and this part of our state is not ideal for travel on my birthday, usually. We are re-thinking a night away and postponing that to the beginning of May, Lord willing. We’ll check the weather and try to get down to Spokane for a nicer meal than we would get in Colville on my birthday but time will tell. We also want to get to Spokane to see ‘Jesus Revolution’ while it is still in theaters. Growing up in Southern California we had experience with the Jesus People at Calvary Chapel (the original one) and want to see how it’s been portrayed in this film. Have any of you seen the movie?


April 12th we traveled in a rented van from Bothell to Yorba Linda. We made a rest stop to kick the soccer ball around. If I remember correctly we stopped in Yuba City for an overnight (or maybe that was an overnight on the way home) before we made it to Yorba Linda. Cousins came to visit us at Baba and Dzeda’s house on the 13th. On the 14th we headed to the Huntington Beach where our rented van broke down. I worked on getting that remedied while the kids enjoyed the beach.

On the 15th we drove to Santa Barbara (Montecito) and visited Debbee (cousin/niece) and to check out the campus that Josh would be attending.

On the 16th we had more cousin time playing card games.

On the 17th we had a Disneyland day with my sister and a cousin Melissa.

On the 18th we hit the road with stops planned in Clovis to visit cousins and then in Yuba City to see Gommy again.

Keble College Chapel

We entered the chapel here.

Keble College Chapel was opened on St Mark’s Day (25 April) 1876. The College was founded in memory of John Keble, a Victorian clergyman who, with others in what became known as the Oxford Movement, had a profound impact on the Church of England in the mid 19th century, renewing and strengthening it in the catholic tradition. The architect was William Butterfield (1814-1900), a renowned exponent of the Gothic style. His masterpiece, the College Chapel, is perhaps the grandest ecclesiastical space in Oxford and the interior is decorated with colourful tiles, mosaics, and stained glass. 

The organ, built by Kenneth Tickell, was installed in 2011. The Chapel’s resonant ‘cathedral-like’ acoustic is home to a lively and active music foundation in which the Chapel Choir plays a primary role.

I will save the mosaics and the famous Light of the World Painting for another post.

We saw so many beautiful old doors during our time in Oxford and beyond in September of 2022. When we were at the Ark in Kentucky in 2021 we picked up a brochure that talked about the Doors of the Bible.

On the back of that pamphlet it talked about The Door That Leads to Life.

What will you do with Jesus Christ? Your answer to that question has eternal consequences.

We are all guilty of sinning against our holy creator. Because he is holy, God must judge sin. Take an honest look at your life. Have you ever lied, stolen anything, disrespected your parents, or failed to honor God? If so, then you have broken God’s law and are a sinner in need of a Savior.

There was one door into the ark that saved Noah and his family from the flood. Similarly, there is only one door that can save us from eternal judgement. Jesus Christ is that door. The Bible states that now is the day of salvation. If you have not already done so, will you turn from your sins and call on the risen Lord Jesus to save you?

By faith, enter the only door that leads to eternal life today.

Keble College ~ Oxford Colleges

On Friday afternoon September 23rd, 2022 we were able to visit Keble College to see the grounds and the chapel. The dining hall was closed to visitors during our visit.

The idea to found a new college in memory of John Keble was discussed by a group of his friends at Keble’s funeral in April 1866. By modern standards, the speed with which their plans were realized was little short of miraculous.

In four years they raised enough money to buy the land, commission an architect and complete the east and west ranges of Liddon Quad and the imposing main gatehouse, all ready in time for the first forty undergraduates to take up residence in the autumn of 1870. Building continued throughout the 1870s: the Chapel was completed in 1876, the Warden’s Lodgings in 1877 and the Hall and Library in 1878, by which time 140 undergraduates were living in Liddon and Pusey Quads.

Keble’s founders chose William Butterfield (1814-1900) as its architect. A man closely associated with the Oxford movement, he had designed churches and vicarages for Anglo-Catholics all over Britain as well as in the colonies, Melbourne cathedral in Australia being a particularly well-known example. His was a controversial choice, and Butterfield’s architecture has long provoked argument.

For decades ivy hid much of the polychrome brick and the buildings were variously derided as hideous and a joke. Opinions began to change in the latter half of the twentieth century and Butterfield’s Keble, Grade 1 listed, is now widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic anywhere.

The photos from Keble Chapel will have to wait for another day. Be forewarned there are a lot of photos to share. It was one of the larger chapels we were in on this trip.

Back to the Present: We are still having winter here in N.E. Washington state. We had a busier than usual weekend and it was full with Joy and Sorrow and Joy. Today is my hair day, nothing new always the same do. Hope you all have a good week ahead.

HT: Keble College

God Holds the Key ~ Hymn

God Holds the Key

God holds the key of all unknown,
And I am glad;
If other hands should hold the key,
Or if He trusted it to me,
I might be sad, I might be sad.

What if tomorrow’s cares were here
Without its rest?
I’d rather He unlocked the day
And, as the hours swing open, say,
“My will is best, My will is best.”

The very dimness of my sight
Makes me secure;
For, groping in my misty way,
I feel His hand; I hear Him say,
“My help is sure, My help is sure.”

I cannot read His future plans,
But this I know:
I have the smiling of His face
And all the refuge of His grace
While here below, while here below.

Enough! this covers all my wants,
And so I rest!
For what I cannot, He can see,
And in His care I saved shall be,
Forever blest, forever blest.

Words: Joseph Parker

Creamy Cubano Soup

This is a simple to make creamy soup version of the popular Cubano Sandwich that is typically made with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle, and mustard. The homemade crunchy croutons for the top of the soup stand-in for the bread in the sandwich. This is a soup with a Latin flair.

1 sub roll or other rolls you have on hand cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon mustard
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 cups half and half
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded
1-1/2 cups fully cooked diced ham
Salt and Pepper for seasoning, to taste
2 dill pickles, minced

Heat a pan (cast iron if you have one) over medium-high heat. In a mixing bowl, combine bread cubes with the oil, toss to coat. Spread in single layer in the pan and toast, turning often, until the croutons are crisp and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the mustard and flour, and whisk well to combine. Add the stock and half and half, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheeses, whisking until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the ham and continue cooking until the ham is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I found that no extra seasoning was needed since the cheese and ham are salty to begin with. Ladle into serving bowls, top with a spoonful of minced pickles and a handful of the reserved croutons. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Serves 4 generously.

Note: My photo of the bowl of soup is not topped with the diced pickles because I forgot them. Photo fail but the soup was delicious.

Balliol College ~ Oxford Colleges

On Friday September 23rd, 2022 after we took in the Natural Museum we headed across University Park to the River Cherwell and we found a bench dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. The bench has seen better days and could use a sprucing up.

A few of our family are huge fans of Tolkien and his work.

We continued down the river path to a another path that led to South Parks Road and on to Parks Rd.

When we reached Broad we took a right to see if we could get into Balliol College.

Success! From the brochure we were handed we learned some interesting things about Balliol.

The current ‘Master’ of the college says, “Balliol is arguably the oldest college in Oxford, founded in 1263. It has stood on a single site (where you are now) longer than any other college in the English-speaking world. It has also over the centuries played a leading role in the intellectual life of the University and the public life of Britain and the wider world.”

This is the hallway that leads to the Chapel entrance.

A smaller chapel but one we could walk into and enjoy all the windows and other craftmanship.

An eagle lectern is a lectern made in the shape of an eagle on whose outstretched wings the Bible rests. Because it soars upward, the eagle is often used as symbol of Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension (lifting up) into Heaven. The eagle is also the symbol used to depict St John.

The eagle lectern was given to the College in about 1635 by Edward Wilson, a former Senior Fellow.

THE FLYING eagle is the symbol of John the Evangelist (see Revelation, ch 4, v 7) who proclaimed Christ as ‘the Word of God’ at the beginning of his Gospel. The flying eagle is thus a suitable emblem from which God’s word is read, reaching to the ends of the earth.

Oxford Day 6 099

The present chapel is the third on the site and was built in 1857. The architect was William Butterfield, who also designed Keble College. Keble is the college we visited after Balliol so that post is yet to come.

This is a link to another post on Balliol College when we visited in 2014.

I was fascinated to read that John Wycliffe, first translator of the Bible into English, was Master of Balliol in 1360. Later on this day we saw this sign.

When we lived in Huntington Beach from 1975-1984 we attended Huntington Beach EVFree church and shared the Wycliffe Bible Translators office space on Sundays for extra Sunday School rooms. We also shared the parking lot. They are no longer at that location in Huntington Beach.

Here’s some history about Wycliffe Bible Translators:

In 1917 a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. But he was shocked when many people couldn’t understand the books. They spoke Cakchiquel, a language without a Bible. Cam believed everyone should understand the Bible, so he started a linguistics school (the Summer Institute of Linguistics, known today as SIL) that trained people to do Bible translation. The work continued to grow, and in 1942 Cam officially founded Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Over the following decades, Wycliffe celebrated many milestones — from the first translation completed in 1951, all the way to the 500th translation completed in 2000. Around the same time, Wycliffe adopted a new challenge — a goal of seeing a Bible translation project started in every language still needing one by 2025.

Truth for Today #45

Thursday March 2nd

On Thursdays my posts will include verses that stood out in my readings from the Bible during the week. One, two, three or maybe more. If you have a verse/verses that you read during the week and would like to share, leave it/them in the comments and I will add it/them to the post. Let’s dig deep in God’s Truth again this year!

Psalm 34:4-7

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

From Vera:

‭‭Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭24‬-‭25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

From Karen:

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Marching Forward Hodgepodge

Our back acres taken yesterday morning. It snowed much of the day.

Joyce From This Side of the Pond has the questions ready for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Marching forward…

1. Hello March! Is it coming in like a lion where you live?

We are having light snow showers so I’d say not so much like a lion. It’s typical for this time of year here.

How do you feel when it rains? It depends. If it hasn’t rained for a while it’s nice to hear the pitter patter on the roof. If it’s the 5th day in a row of rain I long for a dry sunny day.

2. What’s something you’d like to do differently this week than the last? Explain. 
We are supposed to avoid inflammatory foods so I’d like to cut out some of those and replace them with something healthier for us.
3. March 1st is National Sunkist Citrus Day…do you drink orange juice?
I do enjoy a glass of orange juice but not on a regular basis.
Orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit…what’s your favorite citrus fruit?
As a fruit to eat it’s a toss-up between an orange or tangerine. Lemon is very versatile in baking and for salad dressings, etc. Limes for guacamole and a G & T. Grapefruit juice might just be my favorite to drink. One of Dear’s new medications has a warning for him not to have grapefruit anything.
A dish you love with a citrus fruit as one of it’s key ingredients? 
I really can’t come up with a dish but I do enjoy lemon curd.
4. What do you consider to be your culture. Elaborate. 
What best describes my culture is ‘Conservative Christian’. Being a follower of Jesus Christ has the most significant influence on the things I choose to do, wear, say, read, enjoy. Praying I represent my culture better each day.
I could also say that I used to be a ‘city girl’ but in the last 4 years I’ve become a ‘country gal’ because of the huge difference in the area I live in now. My wardrobe has taken on more boots and snow appropriate clothes.
5. Sum up your February in fifteen words or less. 
Losing the same ten pounds again this year that I gained back last year, OYE!
6. Insert your own random thought here. 
I came across this little quote that maybe I should tape to my bathroom mirror…
“Taste your words before you serve them.” 
I’m looking forward to seeing some Spring green and color hopefully by the end of March.

Museum of Natural History ~ Oxford

On Friday September 23rd, 2022 we had breakfast at the hotel in Woodstock and then checked out and waited for a taxi to take us back to Oxford where we had reservations for our last night in England.

This was the lodge we stayed in on Banbury Road. Check in wasn’t until four so we had many hours to see what we could see after our taxi dropped us off. Thankfully we could leave our luggage at the lodge.

We found our way to Parks Rd. and made note of when it would be possible for us to get into the grounds of Keble College, not until the afternoon. Across from Keble College was the Museum of Natural History so we decided to take a peek.

I was drawn to the statues throughout the museum of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers. I only took photos of a few of them and probably missed the more famous.

In the main exhibition room of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (built 1854-60) are 18 statues of eminent scientists, philosophers and engineers and 10 busts of Oxford men of science that have made a significant contribution to the Museum, plus a portrait medallion of the architect of the building. The 19th statue is that of the founder, the Prince Consort, is placed more central in the hall.
The plan was that each pillar around the gallery would play host to a statue of one of the great scientists. The statues were paid for by private subscription however, and unfortunately only 19 full statues were completed. Many of these were presented by Queen Victoria. All but one of the statues is carved in Caen stone – a limestone from Normandy in France. Many of the sculptors were well-known Victorian artists.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz German mathematician and philosopher

Euclid ~sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria, Greek mathematician, often referred to as the ‘Father of Geometry

Joseph Priestly credited with the discovery of oxygen.

Sir Humphrey Davie ~ British chemist and inventor

John Hunter ~ Scottish surgeon, one of the most distinguished scientists and surgeons of his day.

This bear was labelled from Washington State which made me smile and click a photo.

From the museum we walked across University Park to get to the River Cherwell and walk up the river path to make our way on the back roads to Broad Street.

Just a few more posts to finish off our travels from Oxfordshire in September of 2022.

Back to the Present: This is a busier week for us starting with a nice long doctor appointment and new instructions for Dear’s treatments. We had a little more snow overnight and our temperatures are still starting below freezing but managing to get up over freezing as the day progresses. My sister, Vera, is celebrating her birthday today. She’s a Leap Year baby so on the off years we celebrate her on the 28th. Happy Birthday dear sister!!

Blenheim Palace Park and Gardens

On Thursday September 22nd after a early morning walk on the Blenheim Palace grounds and lunch we returned for a self-guided tour of the courtyards of the palace, the water terraces, the Churchill Memorial Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Grand Cascades.

The Churchill Memorial garden needs some freshening up. It was interesting to walk the path that had engravings in the stone to mark different important dates in his lifetime.

1900 Member of Parliament, 1902 Edward VII Crowned, 1905 Under Secretary, 1908 Marries Clementine, 1910 Home Secretary, 1911 George V crowned, 1914 WWI Starts, 1918 WWI Ends, 1924 Chancellor of Exchequer, 1933 Marlborough Published, 1937 George VI Crowned, 1939 WWII Starts – First Lord of Admiralty, 1940 Prime Minister, 1945 WWII Ends – Election Defeat, 1951 Prime Minister, 1953 Elizabeth II Crowned – Knighthood – Nobel Prize, 1955 Resigns as Prime Minister, 1963 Made US Citizen, 1964 Leaves Parliament, 1965 Buried at Bladon.

The Rose Garden which is usually in it’s prime in late June, early July. We were here in September so way past it’s prime.

This patch is filled with the Jubilee Rose.

The Grade 1 Listed Rose Garden is contained within a circular walk, surrounded by blue cat mint and arched over by slender hoops supporting climbing white roses. At its centre is a fountain within a circular pool and surrounded by symmetrical beds; each filled with a variety of different roses.

Here’s a photo I found to show what it looks like in it’s prime.

The Grand Cascades September of 2022.

The Grand Cascades in April of 2004 on a trip to England with our daughter.

The brown section on the bottom right of the map is the village of Woodstock. The rest of the map shows the grounds of Blenheim Palace, over 500 acres. We walked the upper circular path to the Grand Cascade and back to the palace and then back to Woodstock. We should have used a pedometer on this trip to log the steps we ended up with! The Feathers Hotel in Woodstock is where we stayed for two nights. The marked yellow path is where we walked early in the morning to see the Harry Potter Tree. That was a separate post.

Back to the Present: We had a new covering of snow over the weekend and more is predicted for later today into tomorrow. It’s always fun to see some distinct paw prints in the snow (feral cat). On Sunday our church body had a time to grieve together over the passing of our dear church secretary of many years with our pastor sharing some great stories about her and their working relationship before our service. Today we have to head out early for Dear to meet his new Primary Care Doctor. Hope you all have a good week.