A Flavorful Hodgepodge

For Wednesday Hodgepodge Jo comes up with the questions for us to answer. Click over to From This Side of the Pond to see more answers to the questions.

1. Just your weekly mid-week reminder that it’s fall y’all and it’s my favorite. I love nearly all the flavors of fall but let’s weigh in with an either or today…pumpkin or cranberry? hot apple cider or pumpkin spice latte? cinnamon or maple? apple or pear? ginger or sage? carrot or butternut squash? Yes you have to choose. What’s a favorite dish made with one of the flavors listed here?

Cranberry ~ Cinnamon ~ Apple ~ Ginger ~ Butternut Squash

Here’s a good recipe for a delicious soup for Fall or Winter.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup
  •  2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 large butternut squash
  • 4 sweet apples
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast iron dutch oven or large stockpot over low heat.
  2. Add the onions and curry powder and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions are tender.
  3. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot every couple minutes.
  4. Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Cut the squash into chunks.
  5. Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks.
  6. Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups broth to pot.
  7. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the squash and apples are soft, approximately 40-50 minutes.
  8. Use a food processor or hand blender to puree the squash and apples.
  9. Return to pot if you used the food processor and taste, adding salt and pepper if needed.
  10. If the consistency is too thick add a little more broth or water and heat through.
  11. Serve with toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds, optional.

2. Do you miss traveling? In this season of almost no travel do you think you’ve grown anxious or fearful about traveling again? Or has all this staying home not going anywhere made you restless to get out and see the world? What book have you read or what movie have you watched that has inspired you to travel?

Yes, I do miss traveling or even being able to plan a trip on paper. The only book I’ve listened to on CD this month about traveling was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Now that’s a special kind of traveling to be sure. 🙂 We’ve done mini travels to Coeur d’Alene Idaho the beginning of October and I’ve traveled to the suburbs of Seattle this month, too. The only movies we are watching these days are Hallmark Movies so I’m inspired to see picturesque little towns around the USA.

3. A time you felt like you were ‘flying by the seat of your pants’? Explain.

I think the place where I fly by the seat of my pants most often is in the kitchen when I have to come up with a meal on the fly and I start throwing caution to the wind with the ingredients I throw in the pot hoping the end result will be edible.

4. Do you struggle with road rage or are you more of a ‘Sunday driver’? Do you like to be ‘in the driver’s seat (literally and/or figuratively speaking) ?

Rage is a strong word. I have been known to strongly criticize other drivers on the road. I do like to be in the driver’s seat both literally and figuratively and the Lord has tempered that tendency in me over my years of being His follower. Many miles yet to go in this tempering!!

5. Something you’ve recently ‘put the brakes on’?

Regularly shopping in Thrift stores.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Our Concrete was poured on Monday and we tried to get some good handprints from Addy and Jaymison. Addy’s were easier since she can follow directions. Their little hands set in ‘concrete’. Since our niece and nephew were here on concrete day they each set a handprint.

Theirs are deep and have a 3D look.

I’m very wrapped up in the day to day with our family visitors. I will try to visit y’all soon.

Sweet Hodgepodge

Sweet Southern livin Jo has come up with questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.
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1. Let’s start things off right…Wednesday is National Dessert Day. What are we having? How often do you  make/serve dessert? Store bought or from scratch?
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We can have my signature Creamy Cheesecake, pictured above…
or a family favorite; Peanut Butter/Butterscotch Rice Krispy bars
memorial-010
or in the cake realm; Another family favorite, Applesauce Spice Cake.
We added a new favorite in 2020, Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.
Lately I only make a dessert when we are having company. I made this Ice Cream Cake yesterday for dessert after our Raclette meal that we introduced to my brother’s family.
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I like scratch desserts but am not opposed to store bought. In fact see question #3 for something I always buy instead of bake.
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2. Slow as molasses, icing on the cake, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, have your cake and eat it too, half-baked idea, that takes the cake…which phrase might be applied to something in your life in recent days? Explain.
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I’m going with icing on the cake. Since my brother’s family (originally from Texas) landed in the Pacific Northwest on their RV journeys around the USA some other members of our family gathered here, too, and we were able to have a mini family reunion of sorts.

My sister Kathy sitting to my left is now our matriarch. Four out of 8 siblings plus two spouses and eleven cousins rounded out the group for a few days of food and fun.

3. Something that’s ‘easy as pie’ for you to do?

Sticking with the pie theme here I’m confessing that making pie is not in my wheelhouse. It is not something easy for me and I choose to avoid it by buying good quality pies in the frozen section of the grocery store and popping them in my oven! So ‘easy as pie’ is not a phrase that pertains to me.

4. Are you someone who likes to ‘sugarcoat’ news you think might not be well received, or are you more of a tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may? Do you like to receive your news the same way you give it?

Please don’t sugar coat it. Get it out now and let me know what’s up! I’m a tell it like it is person. Don’t beat around the bush, either.

5. Something you did recently that made you feel like a ‘smart cookie’?

Driving for over 6 hours by myself from Bothell to Colville with stops at the Home Depot and Costco in Spokane. I was smart to bring a book on CD to listen to. That makes the hours go by quicker for me and keeps me awake. For this trip I listened to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe read by Michael York, delightful.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

 

Looking forward to our Western Larches (Tamarack) to turn golden.

October is a busy busy month here at Our Country Bungalow. Still ahead is our annual family hunting weekend and this year we are throwing in our first professional family photo shoot. It’s been fun coming up with a clothing theme so we look a bit coordinated. For the majority of the days in October all of our guestrooms are full to the brim.

A Nostalgic Hodgepodge

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Jo From This Side of the Pond publishes the questions on Tuesdays for us to answer and then we post our answers on Wednesdays to share with other Hodgepodgers.
1. When is the last time you experienced nostalgia?
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I was putting together all the photos of my little Babushka for a post and it got me thinking of her life and all she endured and her perseverance. She died in March of 1980. So many conversations that I couldn’t have with her because of our language barrier. When we were young and she would come over to stay with us I’d hope to be the one who would be able to sleep with her on the fold down couch in the living room. Her left arm was amputated at her elbow in her youth but she learned to do more than a lot of people with two hands can do. She taught me to embroider or I should say she persevered with me as I tried to embroider. One thing she told me as a teenager that I still quote from time to time is something like this, “Nothing good happens in the dark”. She was cautioning us as young adults not to be out at night. She prayed for the salvation of all her grandchildren and their spouses. It would have been fun for our children to know her…
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 2. September 29th is National Coffee Day.
Do we need this? Ha!
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Seems like everyday is a National day of something. Reminds me of handing out trophies to everyone regardless of their talent.
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So are you a coffee drinker?
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I am a coffee drinker. The mug on the left is my current every morning choice of coffee vessel. I bought that mug at TDMaxx (not TJ) in Windsor, England.
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If so how many cups per day, and tell us how you like it.
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One large cup in the morning, strong and black.
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Is there a recipe you enjoy that calls for coffee as one of the ingredients?
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I have had some things that have coffee as an ingredient but nothing that is in my recipe wheelhouse.
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 3. Do you find praise or criticism to be more motivating? Explain.
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My pride gets in the way of accepting criticism. I find it easier to accept when the Holy Spirit convicts me of something that needs correcting.  I’m definitely spurred on by genuine praise but not flattery.
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 4.  What’s a television series you keep coming back to and re-watching?
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Vera, Midsomer Murders, Detective Lewis, Endeavor…there’s a theme going here. British murder mysteries.
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 5. As the month of September draws to a close give us three words to describe your mood.
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Smiling With Anticipation…
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 6. Insert your own random thought here.
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The reason I’m smiling with anticipation is because the month of October will be family filled. We are meeting up with my youngest brother’s family this Thursday in Idaho and then they will be parking their 5th wheel at our place for a bit. My oldest sister’s family is traveling to Washington state next week and we will gather together on the west side of the Cascades for a few days together. Four of our eight siblings will be together along with their families and our “Coast” kids. Then more family time in Colville with all of our kids together for our annual hunting weekend. All the rooms will be full at all the Family Inns for many days in October.
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We are traveling for a few days and I will be late in visiting everyone this week. Cheers!

Hello Fall Hodgepodge

Thank you to Jo for coming up with the questions for the weekly hodgpodge! Click over to From This Side of the Pond to join in.

This photo of JJ and Addy covered with leaves is from last Fall after the leaves fell.

1. It’s fall y’all. What’s something you love about this season and also something you don’t?

Fall clothing is something I enjoy. I really can’t come up with something I don’t like about Fall. Fall might be my favorite season of all.

2. When you think of the colors of fall, which one is your favorite?

Hmmm…I think I like the combination rust, gold, olive green, maroon, and brown. If I had to pick one I’d pick olive green.

Is there somewhere you could easily day trip to see the leaves in all their glory?
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There are lots of great drives in our area where we can enjoy fall colors.
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Will you? Yes, we will.
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3. What’s one thing you’ve let ‘fall’ by the wayside during this season of staying home and staying away?
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We aren’t taking as many roadtrips as we have in the past.
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4. If you’re wearing a sweater is it most likely a cardigan, crew neck, v-neck, or zip up hoodie?
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Most likely a cardigan.
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5. What’s your secret to dealing with change?
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It’s not a secret but sometimes we forget that God is sovereign, that He is in control. Reminding myself that I am not in control takes the pressure off when change happens.
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6.  Insert your own random thought here.
Each Thursday until we have gone through the alphabet I’m hosting Truth from A to Z Bible Verse Challenge. Tomorrow we are on the letter C. If you’d like to join in you can add a verse in the comments on my post tomorrow or let me know that you posted a verse on your own blog. I’ll add a link to your post or add your verse from the comment section onto the Thursday challenge post. The word/words that start with C can be anywhere in the verse. It can be a key word or not. Not a lot of rules just an exercise that encourages you to search the treasure we have in the Bible.

Older than Hodgepodge

 

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge and Jo has come up with new questions for us to ponder and answer.

1. What’s one thing you learned at the ripe old age or whatever age you are now?

Not everyone who calls themselves Christian is a true believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. I read here a list of foods that can help you look younger-

extra virgin olive oil, green tea, fatty fish, dark chocolate, vegetables, flaxseeds, pomegranates, avocados, tomatoes, spices, bone broth

How many of the foods listed have you tried?

I’ve tried all on the list and now I avoid all green tea because it does not have a good effect on my digestive system, weird. Flaxseed only in certain breads by accident. 🙂

How many do you eat regularly?

Most regularly would be avocados, tomatoes, spices, vegetables and dark chocolate.

Your favorite from the list?

Avocado on toast, in an omelette, in a burrito, in a salad, BLTA, guacamole and chips and avocado mango salsa.

3. Something you miss from the ‘good old days’?

Traveling without security lines and other restrictions. The good old days when we could walk right up to the gate and welcome someone home or have someone walk right up to the gate and say their goodbyes.  Freedom to move about freely without thinking about my safety or of being blown up.

When were the good old days anyway?

Right now I’m thinking the good old days were before COVID-19. I’m missing the abundance of choices for restaurants and the shopping with ease (no masks required). The days that we could plan a trip to Great Britain and enjoy moving about the country with no restrictions.

But…I think in every stage of life we experience good days and not such good days.

4. What are two or three of the most rewarding things to be found in growing older?

Being older afforded us the joy of grandchildren and that is a wonderful reward.

Being older and retired gives us more freedom in our days. Hectic schedules are few and far between.

5. What’s your favorite part of your life right now?

Good relationships with our adult children and our grandchildren and that our children all get along without us, too!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We along with much of the West Coast have experienced oppressive smokey skies that have brought activity to a standstill. We are looking forward to some winds from the North instead of the South and some rain later this week in hopes that the skies clear.

Our front yard looking north. The left is from August 31st and the right is on September 12th.

On Tuesday things were looking better…

Praying for our Firefighters and First Responders and for those who have lost their homes. Also praying for the two police detectives ambushed and shot in the face in the L.A. area on Saturday.

My Favorite Laborer

Time for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Jo asks the questions and we answer them.

1. Something you’ve done in recent days or months that might be described as a labor of love?

I think my labor of love these days is watching and running after our dear grandchildren.

2. Last time you ‘worked your fingers to the bone’?

The latest is transplanting some peony plants and weeding. My fingers get numb after a while.

3. According to a recent survey people named the following ten jobs as the hardest-nurse, doctor, paramedic, police officer, firefighter, surgeon, healthcare worker, bomb squad, farmer, and prison warden. Of the jobs listed which would you say is the hardest? The one you’d most like to do? Least like to do? What’s one job you would add to the list?

Honestly…I wouldn’t want to do any of these jobs but I’ll play along. The hardest right now is being a Police Officer. The everyday stuff they have to deal with is unbelievable and now they are being attacked by those they are charged to protect. The one I’d most like to do is none of them. The least I’d like to do is farmer because I think a farmer’s work is never done. The one hard job I’d add to the list is being a Pastor.

4. A recipe you make that is labor intensive, but worth it?

I have a easy stroganoff recipe that I can make in a pinch but my Sirloin Stroganoff with buttered noodles is a cut above and worth the extra effort!

5. Last job you did or task you completed that required teamwork?

This past Sunday we had some ladies over after church for brunch. Dear was in charge of the Swedish pancakes and I managed the sides, setting the table, making coffee, etc. Whenever we have company we work as a team to get-er-done.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is Dear’s birthday. This guy understands hard work and doesn’t shy away from it. God was good to me when He brought us together. 

Happy Birthday Dear!

I appreciate your integrity, work ethic, love for God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your faithfulness to me and our marriage. Your steadfastness in the Truth makes today and the future peaceful and joyful. May God continue to build you up!

Colossians 2:6: Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

This photo is from birthday brunch a few years ago at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. Tonight our kids in Colville invited us over to celebrate.

Tomorrow I’m starting a new challenge on my blog which will be a recurring event each Thursday. We will be sharing verses through the alphabet. Tomorrow is the letter A and we’ll be sharing a verse or verses with a key word starting with the letter A at the beginning of the verse or within the verse. More explanation HERE. Join us if you can.

Signs of Fall Hodgepodge

1. The Hodgepodge lands on the second day of a brand new month. Tell us one thing you’re looking forward to in September.

Looking forward to the beginning of Fall and all the events we will enjoy with family near and far.

2. Do you enjoy browsing second-hand shops? Last thing you bought or ‘inherited’ second hand?

Yes, please. This is our latest purchase from the Red Barn in Colville back in April.

 

3. Something you had second thoughts about after committing to, purchasing, or posting/commenting online?

I’ve gotten pretty good at not committing to things. I might be having second thoughts about purchasing an instant pot since I’m such a creature of habit in the cooking world. What we’ve made in it has turned out real good but I haven’t used it in about 3 weeks now. 

4. What’s a product or service you use that you’d rate as second to none?

Amway scrub buds and their Pre-Wash spray. 

5. Something you do so often or that comes so naturally to you it’s second nature ?

Creating a post for my blog. Coming up with a meal even if I haven’t defrosted something. Not saying the results are always stellar…

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Mornings in our neck of the woods have already felt very fallish. 

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond coming up with the questions. Click over to to join in the fun.

Dog Gone Hodgepodge

Rayna on our back deck last Saturday while we were dog sitting for our kids.

1. The Hodgepodge lands on National Dog Day this year (August 26th). Do you own a dog? Did you have a dog when you were growing up, or maybe some other kind of pet? Would you say you’re more of a dog person or a cat person? Neither is okay too : )

We do not own a dog. We just got done dog sitting for our kids this past Sunday. Neither Dear nor I had a dog growing up. Dear and his brother had parakeets, Poncho and Peppino.  Our daughter had rats for a while, Fats and Pinkie. We were tricked into owning those rats. Our son and his best friend bought two rats, without asking, for a Science experiment at our house and then Katie fell in love with them so we had to keep them. Katie took good care of them and trained them to do a few tricks. Even when rats die it is very sad. Sigh.

Dear and I are neither cat or dog people.

Our son Dan on the right and his best friend Jamie on the left were the junior highers who bought those rats for their science experiment. These three guys have been good friends since elementary school. Jamie with his son David Daniel, Joshua and Daniel with his son Jaymison Joshua.  Names for their sons that honor this friendship.

2. Last time you felt ‘dog tired’?

If I have to do yard work when temps are above 90 I get dog tired.

3. It’s said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. When did you last prove this idiom true or prove it wrong?

This old dog learned a new trick after we moved to the country with a little acreage. I have mastered the riding lawn mower.

4. A favorite book, television show, or movie featuring a dog. Why did you love it?

Growing up I really enjoyed Lassie. Even though there were calamities on the show Lassie always saved the day. The good endings were appreciated.

5. Last time you had reason to (literally or figuratively) exclaim ‘hot diggity dog’?

My sister Lana brought us a couple masks that she ordered from Amazon after she saw one on her hairdresser.  These masks are so much more comfortable than cloth masks. Today when I had to run errands I wore it and was so happy to be able to smile, breath and not fog up my glasses. There is a little tension on the chin but the ease in every other aspect was wonderful! Hot diggity dog, since I have to wear a mask, this one makes me happy!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

See the second part of question 1 about friendships.

Thank you Joyce for coming up with the questions for the Hodgepodge. Click on hodgepodge to see more or join in.

To the Right of Middle Hodgepodge

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions and we try to answer.

This is our middle child, Dan. Dan is Addyson and Jaymison’s daddy.

  1. August 12th is National Middle Child Day…are you a Middle Child? If not where in your family do you fall in terms of birth order? Do you hold true to the typical characteristics of oldest – middle- youngest – only child? Elaborate.

I was the youngest of 4 siblings until I was 7 and then our parents had 4 more children with #’s 7 and 8 being twins. I was very self-centered and manipulative. I worked hard at getting my way. There were lots of things I did that my older siblings didn’t do. My two older sisters were model students who got straight A’s. One of the teachers that they both had commented to me once in class that I wasn’t like my sisters. That comment didn’t sit well with me. I think my reply was something to the effect that I was my own person.

2. Tell us about a time you felt like (or you actually were) in the middle of nowhere.

On our drives to Southern California from the State of Washington there is a stretch of Interstate 5 south of Sacramento and north of Bakersfield that is so desolate and barren that you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.

3. What’s something you’re smack in the middle of currently?

Dear is in the middle of building his shop. I will be happy when the roof is completely done. He’s 3/4 done with it. Once that is done things should move easier.

4. What’s a food you love to eat that has something delicious in the middle?

There are so many things we enjoy with delicious things in the middle. Today I will choose a burrito.

5. Share a memory from your middle school days, or junior high if that’s what your school dubbed kids somewhere between grades 6-8.

We had Elementary, Junior High and High School. Our Junior high was 7th – 9th grade. In fall of 8th grade we were in Science class when our teacher turned the TV on for us to see the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. We were all shocked. There were lots of emotions from students and teachers. It’s a day I’ll never forget. Here’s a photo of our beautiful Montebello Junior High. Sadly it has since been demolished.

6. Insert your random thought here.

Here’s a photo of our new little brother who took my place as the youngest in the family in 1958! I’m the one with two front teeth missing.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leaving a comment.

August Challenge Hodgepodge

 

Before I dive into the Wednesday Hodgepodge today is the 5th of August and the word prompt for our August Bible Verse challenge is Jesus.

I’m sharing a section of scripture from Acts. This is what Peter testified in Jerusalem to the rulers, elders and scribes gathered together along with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander and all who were of the high-priestly family after Peter and John were arrested because they healed a crippled man and they were saying things in the temple that the leaders did not like.

Acts 4: 7-12 (ESV) ~

And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Another great verse for the challenge from Happy One at Life is Good. Click over to read it.

Thank You to Joyce for asking the questions. Click over to see more Hodgepodge posts.

1.  What’s happening where you live in terms of schools opening? How do you feel about it?

It really isn’t clear what is happening in the Fall here. They seem to be saying they are trying both online and in person learning experiences. We live in the 2nd poorest county in the state of Washington. Many of our students don’t have computers or their internet connections are very poor so online learning becomes more difficult. All I can say is OYE and my heart goes out to teachers, staff and parents of school aged children.

2. What’s something you still do ‘old school’?

We still listen to Music CD’s in our house.

3. August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Will you/did you celebrate by baking a batch? Eating a batch? Nuts or no nuts? Homemade or store bought? Soft and chewy or do you prefer your cookie to snap when you bite into it?

I won’t be baking cookies because we had an overload of bread so I made bread pudding. Can’t have too many desserts at one time around here.

I have a loaded chocolate chip cookie that our household loves and they are not the crispy variety. Yes to nuts and oatmeal in this recipe. I also only put 1/2 the bag of chocolate chips in my loaded cookies. I use the Toll House recipe with added nuts and oatmeal. I take them out of the oven when the bottoms are light brown. Homemade is always best!

4. What are you starved for?

I’m starved for a really nice meal out with things on the menu that I don’t regularly have.  The photo above is of the last great meal we had out on March 13th of this year just a couple days before the lock downs started.

I’m also starved for leisurely shopping experiences without a mask on.

5. Anything new and interesting on your August calendar? What is one thing you’re looking forward to this month?

We are supposed to have some weekend visitors that we are looking forward to. Haven’t heard the final date from them yet.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

 

I have an August challenge going on my blog right now. Using the word prompts for the day I post a verse or section of scripture that relates to the word. An easy challenge that gets me to search and find verses I haven’t read for a while. If you want to join in on any given day in August feel free and please let me know so I can read the verses you choose and link them.