Heavenly Hodgepodge

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar…what’s your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

Yes we did watch the solar eclipse. We did not have the full deal but it was cool. I had a post up yesterday on the great eclipse shadows we enjoyed. A Sunkist orange is the favorite from that list.

2. What are you ‘over the moon‘ about these days? What’s something you enjoy doing every ‘once in a blue moon‘?

This little one is what I’m over the moon about these days, sweet little Addy May!

Once in a blue moon I will try a craft project. I find crafts and sewing frustrating and generally I don’t get a great result.

See these cute little Matryoshka dolls my sister Lana, daughters Katie, Laura and I created in 2011. Mine is the angry one on the right side. Just wanted to show y’all proof that crafting isn’t my gift.

3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

Tides and the ebb and flow of water. Whenever I’m close to the ocean I’ll make sure to have a walk along the water or to the end of the pier.

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

I was always very excited to go back to school. My mom made sure I had a new dress which I was proud to wear. I’m olden and girls were required to wear dresses or skirts and blouses to school all my schooling years from K-12 except for physical education in junior high and high school where we had gym uniforms issued to us.

The photo above is of my niece Hope walking to school a few years ago with the Matryoshka back pack I bought her in Poulsbo where I was visiting and shopping with my friend Beth. (Hi Beth!)

I’m on the top row on the left. Looks like I’m the happiest kid in kindergarten!

5. I’ve seen several versions of this around the net so let’s make one of our own…share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

Grace: Greater than all my sin.

Forgiveness: Undeserved but so grateful for it.

Peace: With God through Jesus.

Joy: Down in my heart.

Family: Accepted, loved and appreciated.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Addy’s mommy and daddy surprised us with a special overnight stop at our house last Friday even though it took them well out of their way on their way home from vacation on the Oregon Coast. We were so surprised and overjoyed to enjoy them and our other kids who live close by. They made sure to hang out for as many hours as they could. We ate meals together, took a walk and had turns holding and entertaining Addy. It was Christmas in August for all of us!

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Hodgepodge Wednesday. Joyce provides the questions and we answer them.

Lavender and Pewter…

I’m joining the Tiered Tray Extravaganza hosted by Thoughts of Home. I used a metal tiered tray that I’ve had for a few years purchased at a thrift store. The tray and pewter make me think of fall so I decided to use some of my pewter pieces on the tiers.  My lavender is still blooming so I cut sprigs of it and added them on the tray.



The sugar and creamer on the top level of the tray are part of set with a coffee server, too. The photo below shows the coffee server.

p1060691The next level has an older pewter creamer that I purchased at a thrift store and a pewter wine bottle coaster that I have some old nails and clock winder in.


On this next level I have my pewter napkin rings and Salt and Pepper Shakers. The shell rings are from the U.S. and the more ornate pair of rings are not pewter but silver plate bought in Canterbury England.


I’m sharing two other tiered pieces I have at my home that aren’t trays.


My attempt at a little fall decorating outside our front door.


This is my Russian Heritage 3 tiered piece with some of my Matryoshka Dolls and wooden spoons. I have samovars, laquer boxes and other Russian treasures in other parts of this old house.


tiered-tray-image-001Thanks to the ladies that host Thoughts of Home on Thursdays for this extravaganza. Click on the logo above to see more!

September 13th is the day we have always celebrated my parents wedding anniversary. My pop is still alive but my mom died 3 years ago on her and my pop’s 70th wedding anniversary. I’m happy for all the years they had together.

B is for Birthday Blessings!

Two of our sons and our new daughter-in-law have birthdays in January (15, 16, 19) along with a nephew, brother and niece (16, 22, 25). On Friday night last we had an early birthday dinner celebration for our oldest, Josh.

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Since we were having a couple Russian dishes for the main meal the table was set in a Russian theme.

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We had Loppsha (Russian Noodle Soup) for our starter.

Our main dish was Golubstzi (phonetic spelling of the Russian pronunciation) for cabbage rolls. This photo is from another time we had this dish.  I forgot to take a new photo on Friday night.

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Our son and daughter in law were celebrated in Northeastern Washington, too. We couldn’t be there but they sent us this photo from their celebration with their Birthday Cookie!

pictures dj15 For our boys, our dil and the rest of our family who have birthdays in January we pray this special blessing from the Lord…

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and administrated by Roger and a team of volunteers. Thank you!

Photo-A-Day ~ November

I’m joining Kati’s November Photo-A-Day Challenge with days 10 through 16.

Day 10 ~ Yellow

This is one of the tiles that are part of our back splash behind our stove top.

Day 11 ~ Outside my Window

Ha! First, I had to use some glass cleaner on my window before I snapped away.

Day 12 ~ Small

Day 13 ~ Large

The contrast between the large and the small…

Day 14 ~ Swirl

Day 15 ~ Animal

It’s November so I’m sharing the wild turkeys we saw in Eastern Washington while visiting our son. This part of Eastern Washington is known as the Turkey Capitol of Washington State!

Day 16 ~ Red

For red I’m going back to Windsor England with the Guard in their dress uniforms.

It’s late on Friday and it’s been a busy day for me. After my exercise class I powered up the lawn mower and mowed the lawn which consisted mostly of vacuuming up the fallen leaves from the Maple, Pear and Apple Tree. I’m wondering if this will be the last mow of the season or if there will be one more. I’m sitting with my feet up now and am happy that we have a quiet weekend ahead. We are still in a dry, very cold weather system with plenty of frost in the mornings. I’ve been amazed at all the winter snow photos from many of you. Our son had snow in Eastern Washington.

Love this photo of my pop, sister Lana, and niece Melissa from their Thursday night dinner together.

pop lana melissaHave a wonderful weekend.

Snow Trumps All…

When snow falls in our area it trumps everything. We were at a Memorial Service yesterday afternoon where it was so good to see so many loved ones we don’t see often. Forever friends are good to have. After the service we had dinner out with our kids. When we got home we started seeing that some of our Facebook friends south of us were seeing snow fall. At about 8 P.M. it started falling at our house in earnest.

Feb Snow 030When we woke up this morning we had a nice 2 to 3 inch covering. That probably makes some of you snow worthy people chuckle. Here in our area where snow is always a surprise 3 inches is enough to keep us at home and some events end up being cancelled.

feb snow day 034We didn’t watch any news yesterday so we did not hear any warnings about a possible snow fall which made it a delightful surprise.

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feb snow day 032Snow is great around these parts only if it doesn’t hang around for too long. Remember we are an area with lots of steep hills. You cannot describe our part of Washington as flat. This old house is at the top of a hill so for us to get out and about we have to go downhill which can work okay but then we have to come uphill to get home and that is a bit tougher.

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feb snow day 004It will be interesting to see when this snow will melt off. I just told Dear he might have to make a run down the hill to buy some milk and try out his 4 x 4 Jeep in the snow. You think he’ll jump to my challenge? Time will tell. Well that didn’t take long. Dear did go down the hill and made it back with no problem but at the very bottom of our hill signs were up saying “Road Closed”. Dear made it through the barriers and up the hill with no problems but there were cars abandoned on the road that could not make it up…oops!

Are you watching the Olympics? It’s been fun for me to hear the Russian and understand some of it. I was able to sing along with the Moscow Nights number in the opening ceremonies. And we keep wanting to train the U.S. announcers on the pronunciation of Matryoshka (the Russian stacking dolls). Three syllables not four!! Maw-trosh-kah or Maw-trosh-key (plural) is the easiest way I can spell it phonetically. Love seeing these dolls at all the venues!

After shots 003Watching the Winter Olympics with snow on the ground outside seems quite appropriate. Hope you have a good week!

As if…

…I needed it confirmed yet again, my name is Ellen and I’m horrible at crafting! I am real good at recognizing wonderful craft projects and appreciating wonderful craft projects. Not so fond of the mess and time it takes to create a craft especially when this is how my efforts turn out…

Please, go ahead and laugh because the 4 of us around the crafting table were rolling in laughter at my angry Matryoshka!

My sister Lana, Katie, Laura, and I had a great time laughing through our creating endeavors. We really had high hopes of making many of these little dolls but those hopes were dashed after 3 hours with only these to show for our efforts.

Even though we knew it would be easier and faster to create more after we worked through the process once,  we looked at each other and decided it just wasn’t worth it.

Just so you know that I can learn from my mistakes here is how my 2nd one turned out…she’s not as angry as my first one!

You might also find it cool that I did not pass on my crafting genes to our daughter Katie as you’ll see in the next photo of her Matryoshka.

Our time together was fabulous. We all needed that good kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes. Yummy savory blintzes, pumpkin cookies, Monk’s brewed tea, and background music added a lot to our good time.

Earlier in the morning I took off for a 5.5 mile walk with a couple good friends of mine. When I returned home I was greeted with a new faucet in my sink that Dear installed.

His handy man skills are never in question! I’m looking forward to enjoying my new faucet especially since it doesn’t show spots like my old one did.

Hope you had a nice weekend. I’m thinking about my bloggy friends that might have lost power in that surprise snow storm back East. Hope you are all sitting in front of a cozy fire and drinking something hot!

I’m linking up with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday . I think Mary might be one of the many people who have lost power. Hope you get power back soon Mary! Stay warm…

Ruby Tuesday ~ Matryoshka Doll


My heritage is Russian and I have a collection of Russian Keepsakes around my home. This is one of my Matryoshka Nesting Dolls that my mother and father bought in Russia a few years back.

A set of matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure which can be pulled apart to reveal another figure of the same sort inside. It has, in turn, another figure inside, and so on. The number of nested figures is usually five or more. The shape is mostly cylindrical, rounded at the top for the head and tapered towards the bottom, but little else; the dolls have no hands (except those that are painted). Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan. Inside, it contains other figures that may be of both genders, usually ending in a baby that does not open. The artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be extremely elaborate.

Matryoshkas are often designed to follow a particular theme, for instance peasant girls in traditional dress, but the theme can be anything, from fairy tale characters to Soviet leaders.

For more Ruby Tuesday visit Mary at Work of the Poet.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and demanding a ransom for me to access them. I’m slowly cleaning up many of my posts where PB have added ugly black and grey boxes where my photos used to be. So frustrating!