All Booked!

Fox CottageAfter very little discussion Dear and I decided that the best place to go to celebrate 40 years of marriage would have to be England. The discussion was easy, hitting the purchase button for the flights was a little more difficult but after we did it was full speed ahead to book places to stay. The first spot we chose is a self-catering cottage in a very small village in the Cotswolds. The photo above is the exterior of Fox Cottage. We will spend a leisurely 7 nights here and explore several towns and villages in the area. We’ll venture off as far as Oxford from this spot. “Self-Catering accommodation simply refers to an efficiency in which guests take care of their own meals, laundry and other needs. The accommodation provided has facilities that allows guest to cater for their own day to day needs. Self-Catering accommodation includes a suite with a fully equipped kitchen mainly for guest to prepare their own meals.”

EastviewThe second spot we are going to stay for 3 nights in in Ross on Wye in Herefordshire. We chose this spot because we really want to visit Hay on Wye which is well known for Used Book Stores. Here’s what wiki says about this town “Hay-on-Wye, is a small market town and community in Powys, Wales, situated on the English border. Often described as “the town of books”, it is the National Book Town of Wales.”

red_lion_postcardOn our way back to a closer proximity to London Heathrow we will re-visit the town of Henley on Thames. Dear and I stayed here in 1973 or 1974 with our Christian Rock Band. We will be staying for one night at the Red Lion that you see here on this old postcard. We hope to visit some of the villages around this area where Midsomer Murders was filmed. We will definitely visit the Argyle in town for a meal.

OakleyCourtExteriorNEW1700Our grand finale for two nights will be the Oakley Court in Windsor. Isn’t it grand? We will spend some time in the town of Windsor and if the Queen is not in residence at Windsor Castle we hope to have a tour. From Windsor we’ll make the short drive to London Heathrow and fly home.

Our actual anniversary isn’t until December but we are choosing to celebrate in England in July.  The first 2 times Dear and I traveled to England together was in July of 1973 and July 0f 1974. During our trip in 1974 we were already engaged to be married with our wedding planned for December of that year. If anyone has any suggestions for places to visit in the areas of the Cotswolds, Oxford, and Southern Wales please let me know.

Hope you had a nice weekend. I know our Canadian Hockey Fans across the line enjoyed their Sunday. Congrats to Canada on winning the gold.

Buh buh buh buh B!

It’s time to present something for the letter B at Jenny’s Alphabe-Thursday. I was scratching my head wondering what to post and then I thought why not bore all of you with some brief bullet points about ellen b. I hope by now you’ve noticed the letter b‘s in this post are highlighted in blue!


I’ve always been ellen b. My maiden name and married name begin with the letter B. Here I am in my predominately blue apron doing a cooking demonstration with some of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook at Lepp Farm Market in British Columbia.

I’m not Mennonite but the Mennonite Girls adopted me because many of our recipes are similar since my heritage is 100% Russian. We started with a blog together and now we have our very own cookbook!


This is one of my recipes in the book from my mother Nadia Bagdanov for Blintzes! You can order the book at Amazon! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have some recipes in a published cookbook but blogging has a way of taking you to places you never dreamed of.

Speaking of being published, another brief story I wrote was published in this book…

It’s the story of my father coming to Christ at the Billy Graham Crusades in Los Angeles in 1963 and the impact that had on the Bagdanov family. You can read my post about that here.


After my father came to Christ we stayed in a church he was raised in until he decided to be baptized. At that point the group we were part of ostracized him and we joined the Russian Baptist Church where my Babushka attended. Babushka is the name for grandmother in Russian. My maternal grandmother was a wonderful lady who raised 3 children and was an amazing embroiderer even though she only had one hand. She lost one of her arms from the elbow down when she was a little girl in Russia. My mother had been raised Baptist but left the church when she married my dad and then we all ended up rejoining the Baptist church. Here’s a photo of my little maternal Babushka. We all really loved her!


Funny side note: There was a rumor in the Persian Village where my parents were married that my father could not have children. Well that rumor was put to rest when my parents ended up having 9 children. You might be wondering how my parents ended up in Persia since they are Russian. Both of their families fled Russia separately in the early 1930’s because of religious persecution. They traveled on foot into Iran and settled in villages outside of Tehran.

Russian Baptists can sometimes be quite legalistic. No dancing, drinking, smoking, playing cards, or going to movies. Thankfully my parents weren’t strict Legalists. They even took us to the drive-in theater to see all the great Walt Disney Movies growing up. But they’d still be surprised to know their daughter enjoys one of these every now and then.


A Bloody Mary. Maybe I’m on the carefree, wild side because of my birth order. I was #4. I have 2 older sisters and an older brother. The fact that I was the baby of the family for 7 years before 3 more brothers and a sister were born into our family might have something to do with my “who cares” attitude!

Before I stop my babbling I wanted to share that we are planning a wedding for our daughter and her Marine husband Andrew in January of 2012, after Andrew returns from his first deployment. We booked the wedding venue today. We chose Blue Ribbon on Lake Union in Seattle because of their total package weddings and the fact that they have a military clause that will allow us to change the date if we have to. Andrew and Katie got married in a civil ceremony on March 11th of this year in North Carolina. Our friends and family will come together to celebrate that union at a wedding ceremony to offer belated witness to their vows. One of my younger brothers who is a pastor will perform the ceremony next January.


Hope you made it to the end of my bullet point post. I’ll be coming around before you know it to see what you’ve been up to with the letter B! Thank you Jenny for hosting this meme!

Photobucket replaced all my photos with blurred out versions and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

FFF ~ Marching Along…

It’s that time of the week when we look back and choose our favorites. Susanne at Living to tell the Story is our hostess and you can click on the logo above to get to her site and join in this worthwhile exercise. Here are my 5 for this past week.

1. Dinner with our kids on Tuesday evening. I made a Russian favorite Golubtsi Голубцы (stuffed cabbage).


2. Elizabeth Goudge books. I re-read The Bird in the Tree and now I’m continuing on with the 2nd book in the series called Pilgrim’s Inn/Herb of Grace. The 3rd book is Heart of the Family. I also was able to check out one of her books I’ve not read yet called The Castle on the Hill.


3. More books including travel books for Washington D. C.  After checking out different travel guides from the library to determine which guides I liked best I ordered my own copy last week. I also ordered a box of 50 cards that spell out 50 different walks around D.C. The cards are great because they are easy to follow with a map and the route outlined on one side and a description of what you will see on the other. Groupon, an online site offers deals via email that alerts you to special deals in the many cities across the U.S.A. Besides Seattle I signed up to get Washington D.C. deals emailed to me. I’m concentrating on the dining deals since we’ll be eating all of our meals out. I’ve gotten 2 great half-price deals already.  Along with my travel books I ordered The Amish Cook’s Baking Book and I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes.

4. Road Trip on Saturday with Dear to Cabela’s and the state capitol. It’s been a while since Dear and I took off on a Saturday. It was a good diversion from the regular. The weather was nice, too. We shopped, had a wonderful meal, and saw some great sights!


5. Whoohoo! My 2011 packet with my season tickets and new Sounders Season ticket member scarf was delivered by our son Josh. The season begins at Qwest field on Tuesday evening against the L.A. Galaxy. Happy Days are here again.


So how did your week go and what are some of your favorites?

I’m watching what’s going on in Japan and the countries affected by the Tsunami warnings this morning. Praying for the people of Japan and that the Hawaiian Islands stay safe.

Psalm 46: 1-3 (ESV)

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

From The Message

God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

Memorial Day Tribute ~ Home on the Range ~ Dickenson

Memorial Day Greetings to you.  God bless our Troops and Veterans!

For Memorial Day weekend I’m posting this quote from Home On the Range ~ A Century On The High Plains by James R. Dickenson.

Home on the Range chronicles the epic drama of the settling and development of the High Plains, as viewed through the saga of journalist James Dickenson’s family and the wheat-farming community of McDonald, Kansas.

He speaks of Dear’s mother, my MIL Verna who’s father and brothers served in civilian and military duties in World War II. Verna was a school teacher in a one room schoolhouse in Kansas before she married Rex (Dear’s father), who also served in World War II.

“The father of my fifth-grade teacher, Verna Moline, a pretty young woman whom I adored, was a civilian construction worker on Midway Island at the time. His family obviously had many anxious moments about him until the naval battle of Midway, a turning point in the war in the Pacific, ended the threat that Midway would suffer Wake Island’s fate of invasion and occupation by the Japanese. He returned safely shortly thereafter. On days when the news was particularly dire, we kids would crowd around her desk before class to ask anxiously about him and voice our sympathies – probably seeking reassurance ourselves in those dark early days of defeat at the hands of the Japanese. However, as my mother, who was teaching English in the high school at the time, finally pointed out, our constant solicitude was something Miss Moline probably could have done without, although she was too gracious to show it.”

Remember our troops and pray. If you know someone who served our country give them a hug and a thank you. Blessings on this Memorial Day Weekend!

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

See What He Will Do…


About two years ago the Billy Graham Association was asking for email stories of how Billy Graham’s Evangelical Outreach had touched our lives. I sent in the story of my Pop’s conversion. Previously to this request, when our daughter was at Wheaton College in Illinois we were able to visit the Billy Graham Museum on campus. Emotions came to the surface when I saw the photos from the Los Angeles Crusade at the Coliseum in 1963. I knew my dad and I were somewhere in that photo of the stadium filled to overflowing.


I sent in my story hoping that Billy would hear and know that I thanked God for his devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it impacted my family.


What a thrill to get this book in the mail this past month, skimming through and seeing my story about Pop published.



I can hardly wait to show my Mom and Pop the book…

My parents are soon turning 86 and 85.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Fall Into Reading ~ 2008

It’s time to join Katrina at Callapidder Days for another round of Reading Fun starting September 22 and going till December 20th.


Fall is filling up with obligations on my part so I’m only going to put a few books on my Fall reading list. I’ll be reading my Bible on my quest to read every book of the Bible several times in a month before I move on to the next. I’m in the book of Mark right now. So here are the other books on my list.

Beatrix Potter -A Life of Nature ~ by Linda Lear

Father Brown Crime Stories ~ by G.K. Chesterton

Transforming Grace ~ by Jerry Bridges

The Heart of the Family ~ by Elizabeth Goudge

Green Dolphin Street ~ by Elizabeth Goudge

I might even re-read The Wind in the Willows

Happy Tea and Reading Weather to one and all. Enjoy…

For more Fall book reading lists click here.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!

ABC Wednesday ~ F is for

F is for Friends of the Library Bookstore!

Camarillo has a beautiful new library with a fabulous Friends of the Library Bookstore.

It is one of the bigger Friends of the Library stores that I’ve ever been in.

Their sections include hardbound fiction, paper back, Classics, Children’s, Travel, Food, Gardening, Craft, Poetry, Mystery, Science Fiction, Magazines, Large Print, etc.

Everything is reasonably priced. The majority of the books and magazines range from 25 cents to $2.99. Some of the more collectible books are priced higher.

These are some goodies I picked up yesterday.

I’ve purchased lots of books here that are in wonderful shape for a fraction of the price when brand new.

My favorite find this time around is this classic children’s book by Burgess that has a copyright date of 1910.

For more ABC Wednesday click here.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!

Ruby Tuesday ~ My Ruby Living Room

My living room in my home in Washington has a lot of Ruby/Burgundy accents.

It always cracks me up when I try to describe our style. Kind of an old lady, vintage, modern, eclectic, traditional mish mosh of stuff we’ve gotten stuck with inherited and purchased over the years.

Some of our Books

Kipling, Browning, and Favorite Poems ~ all very old with ruby covers!

For more Ruby Tuesday visit Maryt at Work of the Poet. You can join in any time, too!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage on their site and have replaced my photos with black and grey boxes of ugliness. I’m slowly deleting those boxes from my blog and trying to update so many posts, very frustrating.

Ruby Tuesday


A favorite author of mine is George MacDonald and this is one of his stories that I really loved. It just happens to be Ruby bound so I’m sharing it.

And I saw these pretty little Ruby Flowers (Sweet Williams, thanks Lovella) at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens today and I’m throwing them into the Ruby post, too!


For more Ruby Tuesday Posts visit our lovely hostess Maryt at Work of the Poet.

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage. They have blacked out all those photos on my blog posts. OH BOTHER! I’m slowly cleaning up my posts.

Welcome May!

A Happy May to everyone. I hope that you all will be blessed with lots of May flowers.


This is from the beautiful book that I recommend to you.


It is a enjoyable simple book filled with beautiful illustrations and poetry.

This is a watercolor I have in my home in Washington and it makes me wonder if my Apple Tree is blossoming…

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!