Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
 
1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

In some cases, yes. Pictures can at times capture what is difficult to describe with words. I really love words though and I'm glad I don't have to rely on pictures to communicate.

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

I have not, but would love to someday. It's on my travel bucket list.

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

Changing into fall always invigorates me and gives me a certain wanderlust, a stirring deep inside that I can't quite explain and never really know what to do with it until it passes.

I find myself doing a mix of looking forward and backward.

The season transition that bothers me the most is when spring turns into summer. I don't do well with heat ever since a scary overheating episode I had as a teenager.

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

Having blue crab stuffed ravioli at a local seafood place has become a birthday tradition for me. I'm already looking forward to the next time I get to enjoy it.

I don't lie about my age, I don't make it a point to volunteer that information, but I don't try to hide it either. I didn't enjoy my 30th birthday, but since then I rejoice with every birthday I get to celebrate.

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

I wish I could share something great and grand, but there's nothing that I can think of at the moment. Life has been relatively calm recently, and I've been enjoying that a lot.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I really, really dislike shopping for shoes which is probably why it has been years since the last time I subjected myself to this particular form of torture, but with my shoes coming apart at the seams and giving people glimpses of my sock clad toes with every step I took I knew the time had come that I needed to buy a new pair.

My first attempt was to buy them online, but when they arrived they were too small and became the property of one of my daughters instead.

Last evening LV and I headed out to go shoe shopping, me to find shoes I can live with and him to lend moral support.

The options felt overwhelming, all I wanted to do was curl up in a whimpering ball behind the shelves. Buying shoes had been so easy when we were Amish ... all I had to do then was walk into the Amish shoe store, state my size, and choose between two styles, Sunday or everyday.

I somehow managed to focus on the task at hand, and walked out of the store, the unwilling owner of a new pair of shoes, relieved at the thought that it will be years before I go shoe shopping again.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hiking

     One of the advantages of having older children is that when LV comes up with a spontaneous "date night" idea we can actually act on it, just the two of us.
      That was the case again early Saturday evening when he suggested we go hiking to one of his new favorite spots.
      The path leading back to the giant rocks/cliffs was delightful with all the moss covered rocks, and the soft grass growing between them. It almost felt other worldly, as if I had somehow managed to step right through the pages of a book and into another dimension.
       As we neared the end of the trail the rocks started getting much bigger. We clambered over them, hanging onto branches of mountain laurels to keep from falling. They were worn smooth from all the people who have done the same.

      The view once we got to the top of the rock/cliffs was lovely. I had to stand there for a while simply soaking it in before I tried my hand at taking some pictures. I zoomed in, zoomed out, tilted my camera one way and then the other, but none of the pictures did the view justice.



 
There's something about spending time in nature that stirs something deep inside your soul. Spending that time with the person you love the most makes it even more special.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
 
1. Can you believe we're rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What's a project you'll labor over this fall?

Labor Day seems to come sooner every year. Weird how time does that the older you get.

I don't have a specific project in mind for this fall. Though judging by how our storage room and attic look, I should take care of them.

2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

Of everything that I've ever done, nothing comes close to the perks I enjoy of being a mother.

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina...

Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville's charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys. 

Which is most appealing to you today? If you're a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

We have been to South Carolina several times. We haven't explored everything Charleston has to offer, but we have enjoyed the Straw Market and the girls and I spent a day with a friend who knew all the best thrifting spots.

There are a lot of places I'd like to go, see, and experience. South Carolina wouldn't be my first choice mostly because of the heat.

4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short...your favorite kind of rib? What's a dish you enjoy that really 'sticks to your ribs'?

Pork or baby back ribs would be my choice.

A dish I really enjoy that sticks to the ribs is our favorite Mexican meal. We're planning on having it today.

5. What's one important skill you think every person should have? Why?

I think everyone should know how to cook. At least the basic skills of cooking, so they can eat without having to rely on prepared foods.

Growing up in a culture where men didn't do anything in the kitchen, my Mom went against the grain and taught all my brothers how to cook a few dishes, and bake bread and cookies. I'm sure their wives appreciate that a lot.

I wanted all our children to learn as well. The girls can cook and bake anything. Kenneth has his favorite dishes he cooks, not the biggest variety, but enough that he could comfortably fend for himself if needed, and he can follow recipes so really, I think he's set.

Steven has always LOVED the kitchen and really wants to cook. I've started allowing him to do some things with careful supervision. If he keeps this up he'll be our best chef.



6.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of LV's nephews is spending a few days with us. We're hoping to go hiking this afternoon if the weather remains favorable.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday


The weather..... is lovely. The sun is shining through the clouds and it's a balmy seventy-one degrees.

Right now I am .... sitting here at the computer trying to make a blog post while I wait for the next load of laundry to dry. Steven is on the floor beside me setting up his track to play with his cars.

On my reading pile ... my Bible. With school back in session it doesn't give me a whole lot of time for pleasure reading. I'll probably dig something out of the book cupboard tonight when I take Sharon to her piano practice, but as of now I'm not sure what it will be.

Movies or shows I watched this weekend ... the only thing I really paid any attention to this weekend was Battlebots. I never imagined I would ever want to watch fighting robots, but somehow it's something the entire family enjoys.

On my TV ... not watching anything at the moment. Later tonight there will probably be baseball, but I usually don't pay a whole lot of attention to it.

On the menu for this week ....

Monday ... Pork chops, mashed potatoes, applesauce.
Tuesday ... Comfort meatballs, broccoli salad, fried potatoes.
Wednesday ... Chicken Enchiladas, Mexican Fried Rice, salad.
Thursday ... Pizza and ice cream.
Friday ... Steak, seven layer salad, sweet corn.

On my to do list ... the daily dozen, school, desk work, and hopefully some writing.

What I'm sewing, knitting, or creating ... I'm not working on any sewing or knitting projects at the moment, though it seems there is always something in the mending basket waiting on me. I can't even remember the last time I tried knitting something. Creating .... some fun desserts for later this week.

Looking around the house ... it's tidy, though t appears I should wash the windows again. There are several families of spiders that have laid claim to the outside of three of the windows and the mess they create is a constant battle trying to clean up.

From the camera ... we got to enjoy fresh sweetcorn. I'm not sure which was the best, the actual corn which was delicious, or the fun we had shucking it and feeding the husks to the cows.

 
What I'm wearing today ... a pink top and my favorite charcoal gray skirt.
 
One of my simple pleasures ... a warm chocolate chip cookie. They're once a week treats that we all enjoy.
 
Inspirational Quote, Bible Verse, anything you want to share ...
 
Several different hymns have been on my mind a lot these past few days as we grieve with friends who lost their 18 year old son in an accident.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Beautiful Day ~ Amish Legend

     The weather is often topic for conversation, and I've noticed that the more people don't enjoy what ever weather it is, the more vocal they are about the topic. I admit, I have chimed in a time or twenty when I allowed the heat and humidity to make me cranky, but yesterday an old Amish "legend" came to mind. I hadn't thought about it in years, but it made me pause and think.

     Old Ben was a cheerful man. No one in the community ever heard him speak anything other than uplifting things. His usual greeting whenever he met anyone was shöner Tag (beautiful day). When other farmers were stressing because of all the rain they had that kept them from working in their fields or a drought that was withering their crops, he happily went about his life declaring every day to be beautiful.
      Sometimes others would try to point out the obvious to him. His hay was getting rained on and his grain fields were flattening, but he persisting in declaring it was a beautiful day, never once did anyone hear him complain about the weather.
      Time kept passing and Old Ben continued growing older, and the day came when he died. The morning of his funeral day  dawned and angry clouds came scuttling in, covering the sun. Fierce winds began to blow and rain came pouring. Thunder raged, lightning struck, and even hail pounded around the house as people walked past the coffin to say their final good byes.
     The hardiest among them went to the cemetery for the burial. The grave already had a foot of water standing in it, but they went ahead and lowered him into it anyway and buried him in the middle of the storm, the dirt turning to mud as they dropped shovels full on top of his casket.
    With their job complete, they turned to leave and one of the men remarked, "Even Old Ben would not have had anything good to say about the weather today."
     From the grave a voice declared, "Shöner Tag!"

     Did this actually happen? Eh ... I'm not saying it did, but that's what we were told growing up, and it does give food for thought.
   

Monday, August 7, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook



Looking out my window ... it's a little overcast and the air feels like rain. A few deer munching alfalfa in the hayfield on the hill above the barn makes me think it will rain before long. Having them come out during the day like this always seems to be a better indicator of bad weather than the barometer we have.

I am thinking ... how disappointing it is when you try a new food and it doesn't taste anything close to what you imagined it would. We tried our first whole coconut yesterday. There was nothing about it that tasted like I thought a coconut should taste.

I am thankful ... for windows that tilt in to wash. As often as it's necessary to wash the outside it would be a pain if I had to drag out a ladder and clamber up and down to get them all washed.

One of my favorite things ... my fluffy housecoat. It's been surprisingly chilly in the morning recently, and we're certainly not turning on the heat in August, so housecoat to the rescue.

I am creating ... memories. Nothing monumental, but hopefully the children will someday look back fondly on the days of Mom being elbow deep in some science experiment, reading books, singing, and cooking together.
 
I am wearing ... a shirt that says The American Bible Challenge across the front. I received it from a contest I had entered several years ago. It's not the prettiest shirt, actually quite far from it, but it's super comfortable.

I am reading ... a book by Janette Oke. It's okay. I used to be a huge fan of all her books, but this newest one isn't quite measuring up, or maybe my tastes have been changing.
 
I am watching ... The Great British Baking Show. It's one of my favorite cooking shows, the accents, the location, the things they bake. Really I like pretty much everything about it. The competition is much friendlier than on some other cooking competitions I've seen.
 
I am listening to ...  Sharon practice a new song before heading to her piano lesson later tonight.
 
I am hoping ... that we'll be able to get some loose ends tied up soon.

I am learning ... how to work some new features on Microsoft Word.

In my kitchen ... there is granola toasting in the oven. We made a huge batch and have been working all afternoon to get it toasted.
 
Board room ... as in my Pinterest. I'm so sad how the powers that be decided to change things up again and my carefully organized boards have been tumbled about and are now in order of what I most recently pinned to. It makes me feel itchy just looking at it, so I have determined to pin things board by board until I have it back in the right order, and then not pin anything until they hopefully quit this feature.
 
Shared Quote ... The best portion of your life will be the small nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you. ~ Author Unknown
A moment from my day ... we had some things to take care of in town today. I've seen this mural more times than I can count, and on a whim I took a picture of it this time.
 

Closing Notes ... you can join in the daybook fun over at The Simple Woman.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cows

   Only several steps from our back door there is a field on a steep hillside where every summer someone puts their cows in to graze.
    Somehow even though they attract flies, I enjoy seeing and watching them.
    There's something about seeing a cow grazing peacefully that makes me feel that everything is all right in the world.
    I have come to the conclusion that people every where would be happier if only the could spend their free time on a back porch watching a cow and her calf interact, simply watching them graze, being mesmerized by their swishing tails. Listening to them eat grass. Yes, really. I don't know of much of anything that sounds better or tastier than a cow enjoying grass. (Well ... maybe a horse eating hay, but we don't have any horses.) They make it sound so good!
   
 
    There's something so peaceful and simple about this pair. They're not worried about anything other than family and food.
    Can you imagine the stress free life we could have if we detached ourselves from most everything else, especially social media. Instead of being bombarded by angst filled political views, incessant chattering on modesty, and wearying arguments concerning a vast range of subjects on everything from parenting styles, diets, education, medicine, flat earth (yes really) and basically anything else you can think of.
    Here's something I never imagined I would ever say, but I think I want to be more like a cow, and focus only on what's important. I'll still pop into Facebook occasionally, but I won't be spending a lot of time there.