The Weekend Round-Up~ G

Starts with “G.” 

Gramps with his Granddaughter.

A Favorite 

Our Mom and Pop’s grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Great.

Great Britain and The Cloisters at Gloucestire Cathedral. Great, grand and Gothic.

And a bonus shot from Gloucestire…

Linking up later today with Tom for The Weekend Roundup ~ “G”

Singing My Heart Out…

When we can’t see her in person and are 6 hours away my eyes light up when I see the little green light on my phone saying you’ve got a message. Our daughter-in-law is good at sending us photo updates of little Addy May. Thank you dear Jamie!

Our two girls from across the state staying warm in their icy cold conditions.

Here she is just chillin in the kitchen while mama gets something done. Dan and Jamie are going to have to make a more secure play area for her since just this week she’s learned to use her play toys to climb up onto the couch and be able to escape her cordoned off play area.

What does all of this have to do with singing?

I’ve been singing all my life and it’s an important part of my life. My love for singing started in church. In my father’s Molokan church growing up into my teens singing was acapella. There were no instruments in the church and the songs were mostly from the Psalms in the Old Testament portion of the Bible. My father was a “songleader” in this church. For Easter and Christmas we would visit my maternal grandmother’s Russian Baptist Church where we enjoyed singing with piano and organ. In junior high school choir was one of my classes and I was introduced to notes and music. After my father attended the Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angles in 1963 he started a new life of following Christ as his Savior and we eventually left the Molokan Church. We started attending my maternal grandmother’s church. At the Baptist church my sisters and I were part of the youth choir which eventually worked on recording tapes of Russian hymns for Far East Broadcasting and Slavic Gospel Association to be broadcast into the Soviet Union over radio waves. During my high school years our youth choir went out every Christmas Eve to carol in Russian and English at old folks homes. We’d choose the homes where folks from the Russian churches were housed. There was one apartment building a couple doors down from Bethany Baptist Church in Los Angeles where several of our widowed grandmothers lived in separate apartments next door to each other. We’d always start our caroling there. I have to add that in my junior high and high school years I memorized and sang along with the Beatles and Leslie Gore and with whatever other group was popular. I was a “songleader” in high school. We were part of the cheer squad at sporting events and mostly yelled chants while performing routines with pom poms. “Push em back, push em back, waaaaay back. LOL!

In my college years our Los Angeles Russian Choir added some Russian voices from around the state of California and we recorded an album in a professional studio. During this time we met a studio musician who directed a Christian singing ensemble that toured the states and Great Britain. My best friend at the time auditioned for his group. She was added and toured England with them in the summer of 1972. I met the members of Tom Keene and the Contemporaries before they left for England and when they returned an alto left and I auditioned and joined the group in fall of 1972. Dear, his brother and sister in law were part of the Contemporaries. Dear and I started dating. We performed most every Sunday evening at a different church in the greater Los Angles area singing and giving our testimonies. We had weekly practices. Dear and my relationship grew and we got married after our second tour of Great Britain.

This was a newspaper article from a British paper about our group touring and singing in local schools.

Chalk church in Gravesend

All this talk about singing was inspired by the fact that today Laura bought tickets for me, my sister Lana and Katie to attend The Sound of Music sing along at the 5th Avenue in Seattle. The four of us are meeting for lunch and then popping into the theater for what I’m sure will be a fun time of singing our hearts out! Have you ever attended one of these sing along events?

Looking forward to spending a few hours with these girls. Wish our girls from across the mountains could be with us.

My semi professional singing days are well over and now my favorite times to sing are still in church and to little Addy May. I sing nursery rhymes and other songs to her. She doesn’t care that my voice cracks and I don’t stay on key or…if I make up the words! Looking forward to when she can sing along with me!

Till next time, The hills are alive…

Getting to Know You…

I enjoyed reading Eileen’s Getting to Know Me and Mildred’s, too, so I’m answering the 25 questions.
1. What is your middle name?: 
I do not have a middle name on my birth certificate. In my Russian culture I would be introduced as Ellen, Moisi’s (daughter) Bagdanov. Everyone would then know that I was Moisi’s daughter not Ivan’s daughter.
That’s my maiden last name in Russian on my paternal grandparents’ gravestone.
2. What was your favorite subject at school?:
Any class where the teacher made me feel like they appreciated having me as a student especially my English teachers in high school. I enjoyed Home Economics and ended up majoring in Home Economics.
Mrs. Nicolaus was my favorite primary teacher.
3. What is your favorite drink?:
Morning: coffee  Cocktail: Gin and Tonic
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?:
Adore by Chris Tomlin
5. What is your favorite food?:
It’s hard to beat a good Ribeye steak or Osso Bucco or Prime Rib. I can’t narrow it down to one. My easy go to comfort food is probably Mexican food but I love finding good Persian restaurants that take me back to my food roots. I’m going to say my favorite food is food!
6. What is the last thing you bought?:
A large angel at Homegoods today.
7. Favorite book of all time?:
Yikes! Another hard one to narrow down. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter Series.
8. Favorite Color?:
Blue
9. Do you have any pets?:
No
10. Favorite perfume?:
I don’t wear perfume and if you do please spray lightly. Thank you. 🙂
11. Favorite holiday?:
Easter is my favorite.
12. Are you married?:
Yes, this month we’ll celebrate 44 years!
13. Have you ever been out of the country?:
Yes. Great Britain seven times, Italy (Milan) once, Mexico once, Canada too many times to count.
14. Do you speak any other language?:
I can speak Russian poorly. I understand it better than I can speak it.
15. How many siblings do you have?:
Eight, 4 brothers and 3 sisters.
This photo is from my sister Kathy’s wedding. The groom and best man that are flanking Kathy aren’t part of the my 7 siblings and Dear is standing next to me. All the rest are my brothers and sisters who are now 44 years older! Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana and Leonard. The last two are twins.
16. What is your favorite shop?:
Homegoods
17. Favorite restaurant?:
For a nice hunk of meat, Metropolitan Grill. My all time favorite places to eat are Pubs in Great Britain.
18. When was the last time you cried?:
Last week. I cry easily during worship services.
19. Favorite Blog?:
I like a variety of blogs and especially enjoy visiting blogs that don’t bombard me with ads. I’m sad that a few of my favorites aren’t up and running at present.
20. Favorite Movie?:
The older Pride and Prejudice series with Colin Firth. Does that qualify as a movie?
21. Favorite TV shows?:
Great British Baking Show, Alone, Top Chef, Project Runway, Live PD, Survivor, NCIS, just to name a few.
22. PC or Mac?:
PC
23. What phone do you have?:
Samsung 4 or 5 , probably time to upgrade.
24. How tall are you?:
5′ 4-1/2″
25. Can you cook?:
Yes I can and I’m part of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. My mother was a great Russian cook. Her love language was to cook for others and to feed them. She loved to listen to cooking shows on the radio and try to write down the recipes. Since she didn’t know how to write in English this was a challenge for her. She enjoyed trying new things and inspired all of her kids to cook. The photo above is from our humble home in Montebello at a dinner prepared for the cheer squad by my mom, Borsch, Meat and Potato filled Perishky and Blintzes. My parents modeled hospitality even though they always struggled financially while we were growing up.
Thanks for visiting today. We are hoping our counters will be able to be cut and installed on Monday!

Far from Perfect Hodgepodge…

From this Side of the Pond 1. What is one area of your life where you’re a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?

Cleaning. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea with this answer. My house is NOT that house that is always spic and span and where you can see vacuum trails and everything sparkles and you can smell cleaning solutions and you are afraid to sit down for fear of messing something up. But…when I do finally decide to clean an area of my home I go for every corner and nook and cranny and behind and under. That’s when I can announce that it’s clean! This is a photo of me getting ready to wash the floors on my hands and knees. Perfection??

Knee pads. Three pocket apron where I like to keep glass cleaning rags in one side and on the opposite side non glass cleaning rags. Never mix chlorine and ammonia as in bleach cleaners and window cleaners! Middle pocket I use for trash and other things I pick up along the way.

The hard side of what I define as clean is when we rent a place to stay and someone says it’s clean and I can see dust bunnies and all other kinds of things that are not clean. I get miffed especially when they add in a $200 cleaning deposit!

Last but not least I want to say I enjoy a cozy home, it does not have to be perfectly cleaned, unless I’m paying for it to be clean.

2. What’s something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Older women in leggings without their bum covered with a long top.

3. What’s a skill you’ve developed by way of that old fashioned saying, ‘practice makes perfect?

Being able to put a meal together that’s edible in a flash or over the course of a day with whatever is in the pantry or refrigerator or with all the special ingredients shopped for ahead of time. In other words, we can eat like common folk or like kings and queens at this old house because of much trial and error and success in the kitchen. There’s very little fear in my kitchen today except for my latest conquests that involve waiting for yeast to rise!

Growing up and into my adulthood before I was married my mother made every meal including school lunches for her 8 children. Her love language was putting food in front of us. Kids in our Russian culture stayed home until they got married. I did not cook or bake or do anything (maybe I made cookies) in my mother’s kitchen growing up. When I got married is when it was all on me. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds because I did learn from watching my mother that many great things are possible in the kitchen with limited resources. I should mention my major in college was Home Economics and I learned a lot in those school years.

4. What’s your idea of a perfect breakfast?

Something savory with a little something sweet, too.

5. What’s a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you’ve taken that you’d rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.

Any trip we’ve taken to Great Britain ranks a perfect 10 in my book. Why? The history, the architecture, the pubs, the Full English Breakfasts, the scenery, the museums, the cathedrals, the Bed and Breakfast establishments, the villages, cobblestones, castles,  Austen,  Tolkien, Sayers, Lewis. Should I go on? Long live the Queen!

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can’t do perfect, how about one that comes close?

“Practically Perfect in Every Way” I think this quote can cover most anything because of the practically part! I don’t expect perfection on this earth. I’m looking forward to perfection when I see Jesus face to face.

Philippians 3:12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

7. How would you spend $300 today?

On baby equipment that a granny/baba would find useful to have in her home. If you have any suggestions let me know. What have you found useful? I’m thinking of looking at garage sales for some of this kind of stuff.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

March is an exciting month for our family. Our little Addy will be making her debut before the month is over. Our son and daughter-in-law will be a daddy and mommy for the first time. Our daughter and son-in-law celebrate 6 years of marriage. I’ll be a year older very soon and I intend to celebrate all month long. Spring arrives in March! Can I hear an amen!? Spring flowers will be popping up all over.

Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Click over to join in the fun.

 

Cheers From England ~ #1

Day one in England 7-4 007We arrived safely in Jolly old England on Friday the 4th of July at noon. After going through customs and retrieving our luggage we headed to the car rental agency and took the time we needed to become familiar with the car and set the SAT/NAV (GPS) for our first stop on our trip. It’s not easy navigating roads, especially the narrow lanes with tired eyes and little sleep but Dear managed to get us to our destination just before four in the afternoon safely. This is the wonderful cottage we will be staying in for seven nights. It is (what the U.K. calls) a self-catering cottage which means we pay to stay in a fully equipped space but we do our own pampering. No one cooks us breakfast or makes our bed each night. I will journal our days as much as I can while it’s fresh to me so I can remember our days when we return home.

When we unpacked the car and met the owner of the cottage we set off to get a refreshment at a Pub in a village close by that he highly recommended. Nothing is really that close to our quiet cottage so we will be navigating the narrow lanes of the Cotswolds a lot. After we return home I will post photos of the inside of our hand hewn, oak beamed, open vaulted ceilings and other very cool architectural features of the cottage and the setting it is in.

For today (Saturday) we will regain our balance and do some grocery shopping so we can make our own breakfasts at the cottage.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

I is for St. Ives

When we were in England last September we traveled to St. Ives and I’m ignoring the St. and calling this Ives for my ABC Wednesday Post. Thanks to Denise Nesbitt for starting this meme and for friends in keeping it going.

St. Ives is on the West coast of Cornwall, England.

St. Ives sunny 008As 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 St6

2013-09-18 St4

St. Ives sunny 026

St. Ives sunny 013

St. Ives sunny 090

St. Ives sunny 106

It was a nice train ride in and out of St. Ives. St. Ives draws the crowds and even in September it was wall to wall people in the narrow lanes in town.