What About You Hodgpodge

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

I’m social and I like to meet new people and see and experience new things. Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me with a walking buddy while I was living in Southern California (Willow’s Cottage), tour guides on trips to Canada (Pondside), outings with blogging friends to museums in California (Willows Cottage and Sara), a meet up and shopping trips with a blogging friend from Orange County who is no longer blogging, a meal with another blogging friend in the Sacramento area (Scrabblequeen) Lunch in Kansas with another blogging friend who is no longer blogging. The most amazing impact on my life that came to me through blogging is my association with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. These nine women have enriched my life in more ways then I can count. I’m so thankful to God for them and the lives they lead in service to others and all the dear friends I’ve met in person or enjoyed by visiting their blogs. I’m ready and willing to meet any more of you who travel to my part of the world.

2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

Both. I like small amounts of leftovers but I get tired of some things that linger in the fridge. I really enjoy Stroganoff and tuna noodle as leftovers. Soggy salads aren’t my cup of tea.

3. ‘Me time’…your thoughts?

At this stage of life I have plenty of “Me Time”. When my children were living under our roof “me time” was a rare commodity. I don’t think it’s too healthy to think too much about ME. There are seasons of life where we have more time for self and seasons with less time for self.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Emotional support.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

 Cabbage as in Borsch. Marinated lamb cooking on the barbecue. Lots of rice.  Sour cream as a side dish. Blintzes swimming in butter and half and half. Good fresh bread. In other words heritage food was the smell of my childhood. My mother’s and father’s love language was providing good eats for their family and others. We would probably be considered poor growing up but one thing we never lacked was tasty food.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yippee, Yahoo, our countertops are being installed this morning, one week late! Better late then never! In the meantime I’ve accomplished some organizing and thinning out of stuff at this old house with the anticipation of moving next June! No Christmas decorating at this old house yet till we clean up the mess from the new countertops going in. Next week sounds like a good week to get a tree and start decorating.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions!

Three Days Shy of 7 Months…

These photos were taken Tuesday October 17th. Auntie and Baba were Addy sitting while her mommy was at Bible Study.

We got a kick out of all her expressions and those eyebrows!

Looking at Auntie Katie and reaching for her hand.

We were tiring her out.

Tuesday the guys made a run to the dump and then were in the forest getting a supply of wood with a permit. When they brought the Lodge Pole Pines home they cut it down into sixteen inch rounds to Chop later.  I was watching Addy while all the wood activity went on so I didn’t get a photo of the wood. After they cut and stacked it we got ready for dinner out at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Chewelah, El Ranchito.

Addy looks like a pro in the restaurant highchair. The padded high chair and shopping cart seat covers are such a great invention. I found this one in near new condition at Goodwill for $3.99. This was another full day with everyone dropping into bed early.

Back to the present: Our kitchen is ready for measurements to make templates to cut and prepare the quartz for installation. The new sink arrived today and the new cook top arrived last Friday. We picked the tile company we are going with for the back splash. We won’t purchase the tile till after the counters are installed. I’m parting with some items that have been on my counters forever and a day. I hope to get good photos for the before and after.

Today is Halloween. No tricks but I have a treat for you over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Click here to get the recipe for this treat…

I’m looking forward to seeing all the cute little trick or treaters tonight and shouting out a hello to their parents standing back and watching them approach our door. I’ll try to keep track as to how many come. I’ve got my old tupperware bowl full to the brim with a variety of candy. Do you get many trick or treaters?

My Surprising Life Hodgepodge

1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Looking back the things that have surprised me most in life are the people God has put in my life, the places and adventures I have enjoyed and the protection from God that I benefited from on these adventures.
Here’s a short list of some surprises in my life:
That God brought Dear and I together during our time as part of a Christian Rock Band performing in the U.S. and Great Britain.
That we had three children.
That we moved to Washington State away from all our extended family for Dear to pursue a whole new career.
That our three children married helpmates who love God and we’ve enjoyed so many adventures with all of them.
That through my blogging experience God blessed me with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Who would have guessed I would be part of this group of women who love God, their families, are growing disciples of Jesus and who love to feed orphans and widows with our royalties? The adventures I’ve had with this group alone is mind boggling.
That we are now enjoying our first little grand.
That it looks like we’ll be moving away from the City to the Country. I’ve been a city mouse all my life…
That God is good to me and has surprised me my whole life long.
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
It’s a toss up between butternut squash soup and sweet potato fries.

3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

I went to Goodreads and looked at their list of top 200 books from Washington State and I haven’t read even one. My daughter read all the Twilight series. The top votes went to Snow Falling on Cedars. The only book on the list that looks interesting to me is The Boys in the Boat.
4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

No, I have not shopped at all yet. We have just had our family discussion on what Christmas will look like this year. The only thing that is organized for the holidays is the fact that I have everything in the attic in it’s proper containers. The holidays that I choose to gather decor for have their own bins, etc. I hope our kitchen and master bath renovations will be completed (kitchen) before Thanksgiving and (master bath) before Christmas.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

SeaJack #6 010The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

SeaJack #6 025Back in May of 2014 our daughter and I drove from Seattle to Jacksonville, North Carolina to set her up in an apartment just before her Marine husband returned from a long tour of duty in Afghanistan. We drove through part of Tennessee to get to North Carolina. Our first stop was Hendersonville to spend the night at the home of one of Andrew’s Marine buddies who was in Afghanistan with him. The next day we drove through part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and had a sandwich in Gatlinburg. We drove through Pigeon Forge to get to Gatlinburg. That is one weird town. Click here and you’ll see my post from our drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

I’ll have to pass on traveling to Tennessee again.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Mommy and Addy. We had 7 days enjoying her and watching her every move from October 12-19. She cut her first tooth upon turning 7 months old.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond who asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers. I appreciate your time and comments.

 

Thankful Thursday

I have two new recipes up on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog this week. The Rustic Potato Salad has been enjoyed already on three separate occasions at this old house and the Chicken Tetrazzini Soup is also a new favorite. It has just the right amount of creaminess and the lemon zest adds a wonderful finish.

Last night my son, daughter in love and I enjoyed a beautiful shirt sleeve night at Century Link field in Seattle at the Seattle Sounders Soccer game. It was especially fun for us since our Sounders finally won a game with a 3-0 shutout. We’ve been on a tying streak and then we lost our last game in Salt Lake City. Winning is a treat and spending time with these two brings joy to me.

In 2007 and 2008 I participated in a weekly meme called Thankful Thursday. Here’s one of my posts from October 17, 2007.

I Will Always Love Your Name

Here I am and I have come

To thank You, Lord, for all You’ve done

Thank You, Lord

You paid the price at Calvary

You shed Your blood, You set me free

Thank You, Lord

No greater love was ever shown

No better life ever was laid down

And I will always love Your name

And I will always sing Your praise

You took my sin, You took my shame

You drank my cup, You bore my pain

Thank You, Lord

You broke the curse, You broke the chains

In victory from death You rose again

Thank You Lord

and not by works, but by Your grace

You clothe me now in Your righteousness

You bid me come, You make me whole

You give me peace, You restore my soul

Thank you, Lord

You’re making me to be like You

To do the works of the Father, too.

written by Paul Oakley (copyright 1997 Kingsway Thankyou Music/PRs/EMI Christian Music Publishing

I’m still thankful and always will be thankful for Jesus and what he’s done for me.

I’m thankful for Dear and the family God has given us to love and enjoy and grow alongside.

I’m thankful for good food and the Mennonite Girls Can Cook who have become some of my nearest and dearest friends.

I’m thankful for good bloggy friends. Some of you I have met and some I haven’t met in person but I cherish you nonetheless. You have encouraged me, prayed for me and my family, entertained me, taught me, inspired me and made me laugh out loud. I’ve traveled to places I’ll never be able to go through your posts and I’ve enjoyed your adventures. I’ve grieved with some of you as you’ve said goodbye to your spouses ad other loved ones. I’ve also grieved the loss and miss posts from bloggers who have died. Blogging has been a good thing in my life, thank you Lord!

And on the lighter side of thankfulness. Thank you Lord for my enjoyment of soccer! 🙂

Linking up with Michelle at It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday and tomorrow I’ll link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for Friday’s Fave Five.

Twice in December

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Twice in December we drove north to the town of La Conner to enjoy a meal and a stroll.

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We enjoy the farm scenes that we pass along the way.

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At the end of December we celebrated Katie’s birthday at Anelia’s which features some good Polish fare and other light dishes.

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At the beginning of December we ate at the Oyster and Thistle for our anniversary.

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I’m linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life

I’m also linking up for The Barn Collective with Tom The Backroads Traveler.

We had a cold quiet weekend mostly with small projects accomplished and started. I lasted just a very short while outside starting the Apple Tree Pruning. It didn’t take long for my hands to complain from the cold. I’ll be doing that project in short shifts. The Pear tree needs pruning also. January is full of events for us at this Old House.

Today at the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog I posted a French Onion Soup for two recipe. I was inspired by the soup I had at the Oyster and Thistle in La Conner in the mosaic above. Happy Monday!

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Up and Down Five…

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Up: Wonderful blooming Camillias on my neighbors bushes that border our property. I took this photo on Monday.

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Last Saturday while we were having a very lazy day one of the “girls” talked about how she was making muffins so I scrounged around the kitchen and came up with the ingredients for these bran muffins. I’ll be posting the easy recipe on the MGCC blog on Monday. Fresh out of the oven they are the best. The down side…I ate more than one.

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While we were in Kettle Falls a couple weekends ago I spent a few hours on Sunday with our daughter in law and her granny. Granny treated us to lunch at TJ’s Tavern in Kettle Falls. This sign is on the outside of the tavern and I had to post it for my Canadian friends. TJ’s is about 32 miles from the border between the USA and Canada.

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I love the colors that were so brilliant in this rainbow that showed up outside Dan and Jamie’s place in Chewelah. Rainbows are always a welcome sign in the sky filled with hope that makes me stop and ponder and click a lot of photos trying to capture the glory of it all. The downer: I have been having pain around my left hip that has made me stay home from my exercise classes for the last couple of months. I was thinking the worst but I finally visited my doctor who diagnosed a muscle issue with a course of action that does not involve anything but physical therapy. It was not a joint issue and I am thankful and relieved to hear that news. So while my thoughts were down about that they have been lifted up.

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The other down this week was an early morning phone call that my sister was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Dear and I showered quickly and headed to the hospital to sit with and wait for the all clear from many tests and her release. To see her in pain was a downer but to find out there were no life threatening conditions was good. To find things to laugh about while we were at her bed side was good therapy.

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This is a tree on our son’s property. I’m calling it the cyclops tree and it’s the closest thing I have to a Halloween photo for now. Some choose to avoid Halloween but I really enjoy it for these specific reasons. I can give treats to my neighbor kiddies and it’s a joy to have them knock on my door. I meet people in the neighborhood that I haven’t met before. I buy candy we like so if it doesn’t all get given out we reap the benefits. Everyone who comes to my door gets the same love and candy on Halloween.

Even though the leaves have fallen and covered our lawn, planters, walkways, and gutters we are enjoying the color and weather of the fall season. It’s good to have distinct seasons to enjoy.

Tonight, Thursday, I’m headed to a Sounders playoff game against Kansas City and I really hope it will be an “up” experience instead of a downer! HOT OFF THE PRESSES: We won and here is a shot my DIL took last night at the game.

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Josh, myself and Laura. It was a tense 95 minutes and a player we have been waiting on to score had the goal of the year for himself and all the fans cheered so heartily for this young man. We were so worked up it took a while to get to sleep.

Thankful to our creator for 1. All the reminders each day of His love and care over us through the ups and downs. 2. Good doctors who can diagnose and help us with our aches and pains 3. Signs in nature that point us to a good creator who is still in control even in the ups and downs. 4. The comfort of good food. 5. Creating our bodies in a way that allow us to work hard in everyday chores and on the sports fields.

So what were your ups and downs this past week that made you thankful?

Linking to Five on Friday, Friday’s Fave Five, and Foodie Friday and Everything Else.

 

Sugarcreek, Ohio

I’m sharing a series of signs seen while in and around Sugarcreek, Ohio, with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

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We saw the signs that described Sugarcreek as The Little Switzerland of Ohio.

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We headed to downtown Sugarcreek for our book signing at The Gospel Shop on Main street.

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Sugarcreek is also known for having “the world’s largest cuckoo clock” which earned an Ohio Historical Marker.

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All the shops downtown have facades that try to mirror a Swiss Village.

On our travels around this area we passed these smoke stacks several times and I managed to get a photo on one of our drive-bys.

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Because of its abundant deposits of clay, Sugarcreek has also become one of the country’s leading makers of face brick. Its history goes back to 1910 when the Finzer Brothers Clay Company was started by the Finzer brothers, grandsons of Swiss immigrants who settled in Sugar Creek. Belden Brick, a company that originated in Canton, Ohio, bought the Sugarcreek company in 1946. Several of the buildings and many of the kilns that are used today were built and installed when the original company was founded in 1910.

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I’m linking up to signs, signs hosted by Lesley.

We are a soggy mess here in the Pacific Northwest today. Looks like we’ll have to gather soggy leaves tomorrow. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.