Traditional Hodgepodge

1. Tradition…how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.?

No set time, no set home, sometimes I cook it all, sometimes I take a dish to someone’s home, but never change the main menu. You have to have the turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the yams with marshmallows on top. Even though I don’t have room for pie please keep the pumpkin and the pecan in the round up!  Feel free to add interesting appetizers and drinks. Those don’t have to stay the same. I always miss the parade and never watch football on Thanksgiving but I’m okay if you have to.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

Our first married Thanksgiving everyone we knew and were related to were out of town so Dear and I found a restaurant in Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley that was serving Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. It was so weird. I think this motivated me to learn to cook a turkey and all the fixins so we would never have to do that again.

We have celebrated Christmas away from home in the past. We do enjoy Christmas mornings at home with all our kids emerging from the guest rooms for our stockings and then Swedish Pancakes and then opening the other presents under the tree.

2. Help…is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I am such a do-it-yourselfer because I don’t like to impose on others or so I like to say. The reality of this is that this is more of a personal flaw of mine having to deal with pride more than anything else. I’m practicing in giving things up and letting others help more in my life.

3. Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Oh my, I have an abundance of pots and pans and serving bowls and plates and cups and goblets, and platters, etc. etc.

4. Name…the smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest is food and drink. The biggest is family and relational harmony.

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

Knowing what a miracle it is that Jesus died for my sins so I can have peace with God. And after this knowledge, praying for others before I pray for myself.

6. State your own random thought here.

On this Thanksgiving week and for this Thanksgiving Hodgepodge I am so thankful for all my blogging friendships. You mean so much to me and I’ve enjoyed growing close through your posts and life experiences that have touched my life and enriched my life. Thank you for keeping on and continuing to post about the everyday and the beautiful things in your life!

Choosing joy despite the fact that I do not have a sink or a stove top in my kitchen for the next several days. Our counter tops were due to be installed by Wednesday but the company we are dealing with is having major issues with their machine that cuts the tops so we might not be kitchen functional until Monday of next week. So we are choosing not to rant but to enjoy this little glitch in our everyday adventures at this old house. So grateful to be invited to our dear friends for Thanksgiving again this year!

Thank you to Joyce from This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family in the U.S.A.

The Sisters At it Again!

It’s been a very long while since my sister Lana G.! and I have ventured out together to a Goodwill sale. Last week when she mentioned it was Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday (which means a day off for some workers and a big sale at Goodwill) and we should go to Goodwill together I agreed.

We put on our serious shopping colors or should I say non-color and headed to the Bellevue Goodwill bright and early. We weren’t the only ones with this idea and shopping carts were at a minimum. I wish I would have taken a photo of the cart we shared. It was overflowing!

Here’s just some of my stash. I also bought several dress shirts for Dear to try on. He kept about 10 of them. Another great find were a nice pair of Naturalizer shoes that didn’t look like they’d ever been worn for $7.00. I’m enjoying wearing them. Those very high heeled Steve Madden shoes are for our daughter Katie to try when she comes to visit. They are fancy dancy and were just $4.00 after the 40% discount that was offered on this day. When I brought home those 6 lavender goblets I found 4 more in my cupboard so I now have 10.

I’m thinking I would be asking for disaster if I tried to wear these…

It is our tradition that the person who spends the most on these shopping sprees has to buy the other person lunch. This was the very first time that I was the winner and I had to buy lunch. The photo at the top of the post is of Lana and me from her I-Pad. We were just about to enjoy our lunch at Essential Baking Company inside the University Bookstore in Bellevue. We had a very good time laughing at ourselves!

Hope your last week of January is starting out well.

If It’s Tuesday…

…it must be La Corona!

Every Tuesday rain or shine you’ll find Dear and I at our favorite local Mexican Restaurant, La Corona.

We really enjoy their salsa. Did you notice the larger than usual salsa container? Our waitress knows we go through the little one too fast so she brings us a big bowl to begin with. During my season of restraint, I count out 6 chips and lay them on a napkin on the table. That is my portion. I double dip, triple dip, quadruple dip to get as much salsa as I can with my 6 chips. Salsa is cheap in calories…

We have a favorite waitress at the restaurant. This is Liliana. She treats us like family and we appreciate her work ethic and the big bowl of salsa

Here’s my restraint meal. I get one soft corn taco with Chile Colorado for the meat. Instead of rice I get a salad. Instead of refried beans I get the ranch beans. I didn’t want to give up our tradition of going out on our dinner date on Tuesdays so this is a good alternative meal to enjoy without the typical Mexican meal calories! Monday marks 4 weeks of restraint for me.

It’s Friday and for me the week seemed to go slow for a change. I mowed the lawn yesterday and found some mystery meat in the garage freezer. It really is a good idea to label stuff you freeze. We are pretty sure it was pork loin and it cooked up real nice because it was pre-seasoned well. Oye!

Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Good Friday 2012


John 17: 1-5

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 19: 16-18

Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

This week in history is so important to our world. It’s no wonder that we still take notice 2000+ years later. The events leading up to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are powerful. His Resurrection will never be trumped by any other event in history. The name of Jesus has more power then any other.  Today my DIL Laura and I will be baking and keeping with our Russian traditions of making Easter Bread (Kulich) and a sweet cheese spread for the bread called Seernaya Paska in anticipation of our Resurrection Sunday celebration. Lana G! usually participates but she had a softball injury and crushed some bone in her left wrist/forearm. She had surgery on Wednesday and is in a temporary cast so she’ll be supervising and giving us tips. Growing up Good Friday was a day of fasting until our church gathering Friday evening. After the service the congregation would break bread together and have a meal to break the fast. Good Friday was a very sorrowful day for the followers of Jesus 2000 years ago because they could not understand yet the miracle of His resurrection that brought them out of their despair. I’m glad we know the end of the story. Our Savior conquered death and He lives and still saves today. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Have a wonderful Easter Everyone!

Thanksgiving Came Early…

…at our house this year. As I think over the last few years this early celebrating has become somewhat of a tradition. When you have adult children that are hither and yon you learn to seize the moment when you come together and celebrate.

There were eight of us at our early gathering.

My turkey was ready earlier than expected. No problem because everyone was ready to eat early.

Thanksgiving food is such a nice shade of golden beige. Hilarious. I do not feel the need to add something green like a salad because there is never any room on the plate anyway. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! To solve that pesky “something green” problem I used a green tablecloth and green goblets!

Our kids, my sister and her husband, Dear and I made up the 8 guests. When Josh prayed for our meal he also prayed for our missing family member who is overseas serving his country and all of us. We missed you Andrew!

One week and Katie and I fly to North Carolina. Time will tell how often I’ll be posting the next month. If you don’t see anything new around here you know I’m busy checking out a part of the country I’ve never been to before, helping Katie find the things to make her new home comfortable, and getting ready for Christmas.

Hope life is treating you well. For those of you in the states a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I’m linking up with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Traditions Continue…


For the last 3 years on the day after Thanksgiving the girls make their annual trek to Goodwill, Tea, and anything else that meets our fancy. This year after tea at 3 Cups of Tea, we made a visit to Country Village in Bothell and shopped at two of our favorite stores there, Cranberry Cottage and The Weed Patch. I’ll see about sharing my purchases later in the week. This year it was just the 4 of us, Lana, Laura, Letty and me.

Please visit Mary at Little Red House to join in the fun of Mosaic Monday.

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.

Goodbye Snow…

…hello rain!


Well all this white stuff has disappeared and we have had some heavy rains. Our temps are well above freezing so it’s all systems go for our annual day after Thanksgiving girls day. We are sticking to tradition and going to Goodwill, then Tea, and then Country Village for some specialty shopping, too. Fun times! Just in case you were concerned about the men folk here, no worries. The girls are shopping and the guys are shooting. It’s a win win situation.

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.

Mosaic Monday ~ Holy Week is Here!


What does Holy Week have to do with bunnies, especially the stuffed variety? Not much but we are sorting out and Spring cleaning around here in a major way. That’s not particularly holy although it could be. So my daughter brought out all her stuffed animals and then put together all her bunnies for an Easter shot. Then she asked, “should I bring out the lambs, too?” My reply to her was “If you are still a Christian you should.” We like to concentrate on the Lamb of God at Easter time. :0) I hope you can appreciate my sense of humor…my daughter chuckled. We are very seriou about Jesus.  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”


This week we’ll be busy preparing for our Easter celebration. My sister Lana G! and I will be making Russian Easter Bread (Kulich) and a soft sweet cheese spread (Seerney Paska) to spread on the bread. My daughter Katie will color Easter Eggs. We love our traditions.

We’ll observe Good Friday. On Easter morning we’ll attend an Easter Service and greet each other with the Easter Greeting “Christ is Risen”…response “He is Risen Indeed”. My little bunnies are holding this greeting to grace our table. Any phone call we get on Easter Sunday will start with this greeting in Russian of course. Our Easter meal after church will have lamb for the main course with side dishes I haven’t decided on yet.

Hope you all have a blessed Holy Week.

Please visit Mary at The Little Red House to see more mosaics…

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.

Let the Celebrations Begin…


I’ve never been one to shy away from celebrations and since I’m not getting any younger I decided that I need more than one day to celebrate. Now Lovella is enjoying her Jubilee year and that deserves a whole year of celebrating but for my 58th year I’m claiming the next 60 days to celebrate. That way I’ll get to celebrate with my kids, too, when we go to Seattle for Easter. My celebrations will culminate with Mother’s Day!

My actual birthday is March 14th and this year it happens to be National Pi Day I found that out from The Scrabblequeen Knits, too. And she also let me know it’s Albert Einstein’s birthday! With all this excitement happening this weekend I decided I needed to get a jump on my celebrations so I don’t get overlooked.


Dear is already treating me royally (what a guy). He ordered me a new SLR camera that is arriving sometime next week. He made reservations for dinner on my birthday at  Tam O’ Shanter in Los Angeles. My niece Michelle and Ryan have been going here for special occasions and we’ve been wanting to try it since it comes highly recommended. Michelle posted about the restaurant here.

Hmmm, Willow’s birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day so maybe I’ll suggest to her we do a little something next Tuesday to celebrate both our birthdays…


Next Wednesday my daughter Katie arrives for a week to visit us and attend a wedding of one of her friends from Wheaton College. On that Wednesday my extended family is getting together for a bring in Chinese Dinner at my sister’s house in Whittier. (Everyone who comes will bring a take-out Chinese dish of their choice for us all to share.) My mom is baking a cake to celebrate my birthday and my SIL Letty’s birthday that night. How sweet it is. Sometimes it’s hard for us all to get together so we don’t have any problem with combining celebrations when we can get together.


And just so all this celebrating doesn’t go to my head I’ll continue my daily chores and I’ll keep exercising and I’ll make it a point to share the love with other people around me and treat them to some fun, too. But most importantly I’ll remember the One who gives me all good things to enjoy. Thank you Lord!

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage unless I pay them a lot of money. I’m slowly cleaning up many posts from this time period and deleting their ugly grey and black boxes with a ransom request. Such a time consuming bother.