A Real Optimistic Hodgepodge


From this Side of the Pond

It’s time to answer some questions again. Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond!

1. Realist, idealist, optimist, pessimist…which one are you? Elaborate. 

I would say I’m a combination of a realist and optimist. Because I have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation, I know the reality of my sinful condition and the depravity of the world we live in. Being born again I have peace with God, the Sovereign Creator, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ provided the atonement for my sins. I know that God will bring me safely home to heaven with Him and that all things will work together for His good and my sanctification.

2. What’s something currently on your wish list? 

Freedom to move about the country in a carefree way.

3. Three things on this week’s shopping list? 

Tissue, eggs, conditioner.

4. According to Trip Advisor here’s a list of the top ten things to do in the US this summer-

Chicago Architecture River CruiseSkip the Line Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour, New York In A Day  guided sightseeing tour, Charleston’s Old South Historic Horse and Carriage tourGrand Canyon helicopter tourFull day iconic sights of LA, Beverly Hills, Beaches and more, D.C. at Dusk guided night tour, Beneath the Streets Underground History tour (Seattle)New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Boat tour, Gangsters and Ghosts tour in Chicago…read more about each excursion in the link here. 

Of the ten attractions listed which do you find most appealing?

Charleston’s Old South Historic Horse and Carriage Tour.

Have you already experienced anything on this list? 

Yes. I’ve done the Architecture River Cruise, D.C. at Dusk guided night tour. I was born in East Los Angeles and raised in southern California and have been to several beaches and iconic sights of LA and Beverly Hills. We moved just north of Seattle in 1988 and have enjoyed taking many car loads of visitors to see the Seattle sights. We never went on the Underground tour, though. Oops!

5. Besides home and work where do you spend the most time? 

Both Dear and I are retired so we do not leave home for a workplace. I would say time wise we regularly spend most of our time away from home at our kids’ homes or at church.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

If you have Rhubarb you might want to try this recipe posted on my blog yesterday.

Rhubarb Almond Cake

Rhubarb is ready for Spring picking or pulling or plucking. What do you call the harvesting of Rhubarb, anyway? Did you know that Rhubarb leaves are poisonous?

The recipe I picked to bake called for a pound of Rhubarb.

I got the recipe here.

BTW the rhubarb discolored my metal tart pan in an ugly way. I didn’t realize that would happen.

This is a post from a couple years ago but since my rhubarb is prolific again this year I’m reposting. This was a yummy recipe.

Spring at Our Country Bungalow

This very pregnant mama deer was lounging in our yard for a full day last week.

I think she’s going to have twins.

We see this hawk flying above our area regularly. I had to zoom way in to capture it sitting at the top of a tree.

Our resident swallows have returned.

The rhubarb bush has exploded!

The earliest of our peonies that will flower are the red ones.

It has been fun to see these Johnny jump ups appear all over our property. They are such a sweet flower.

Hope May is bringing some sweet blooms in your corner of the world.

Rhubarb Almond Cake

Rhubarb is ready for it’s first Spring picking or pulling or plucking. What do you call the harvesting of Rhubarb, anyway? Did you know that Rhubarb leaves are poisonous? Funny story about that later…

The recipe I picked to bake called for a pound of Rhubarb.

I got the recipe here.

After tasting it I would make it again. Now…who could I drop some slices off to?

Funny story from the mouth of our 3 year old grand, Addy. Her mother talked to her about Rhubarb leaves being poisonous but the stalks were not. In Addy’s mind she couldn’t separate those two thoughts. On Thursday when her dad got home from work he asked Addy, “What did you do today?” Her response was, “we made poisonous muffins for you!”

Traveling With Girls…

What a fun way to travel. We had a very girly time everywhere we went. Once in a while a great guy would pop in either cooking for us, organizing something for us, taking photos for us, or getting his book signed by us. We know there are lots of guys out there that love to cook and do it well!

I’ve never flown in Canada before and I enjoyed the laid back security and fun flight attendants on Westjet.

Winnepeg 21

We are approaching summer fast and furious but there still is a lot of snow capped mountains in the Cascade Mountain Range. I was happy to get a glimpse of the Mighty Columbia River that flows close to where our son lives in Eastern Washington. He might have even been fishing in that river the day I flew by…

Winnepeg 2

I found out real quick that for Canadians Tim Horton’s is the place to stop for a coffee and snack. We girls really made a statement early on in our traveling as 4 out of the 6 of us ended up at the wrong gate in Calgary. When we finally realized it was boarding time and nothing was happening we found out our plane had boarded everyone but the 4 of us at a different gate and we high tailed it hoping they wouldn’t leave us behind! Oye! The gate agents said “you must be the Mennonite Girls Can Cook” didn’t you hear our pages for you? We laughed and said we hadn’t heard anything on the loud speakers in the wing we were sitting in. Onward and upward we went…


After we arrived in Winnipeg Betty, her daughter Alison, and Charlotte met us to take us to our first stop. We arrived at Charlotte’s home for a wonderful meal. Charlotte’s husband Tony made us his special Campers’ Stew from page 145 in our new cookbook. Delicious! We enjoyed all the lilacs that were in bloom in Winnipeg and Steinbach and we also saw lots of rhubarb plants. This one is Charlotte’s. From lunch we would head off to our lodgings for our nights in Manitoba. I’ll share about that soon.

Today Dear is at the airport waiting for the first leg of his flight to Marseille. I hope he’s at the right gate. He just called to say that they have been alerted about an impending strike at all French airports. Double oye! Now he’ll be checking at the airport in Chicago and London to see if he should continue on or book a flight right back home. Shhhh…don’t tell but I’m really hoping he has to turn around and come home…