Thursday, March 16, 2023


Reading ... this weekend I read Becoming Free Indeed by Jinger Duggar Vuolo, and Spare by Prince Harry. 

I had been looking forward to Jinger's book, even though I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I really liked how she was able to honor her parents, even while "disentangling" her faith from the erroneous teachings of Bill Gothard. Though I didn't grow up knowing about or following Bill Gothard, I could really connect with her as she addressed her faith journey, and chose to follow what the Bible says, even if that meant no longer agreeing with things she had been taught. 

Spare was a book I requested on a whim from the library. My interest in the royal family has been mild at best, but I had heard so much about this book that I thought I'd give it a go. I'm glad I did, even though I found it to be incredibly sad. 

Watching ... some Youtube tutorials on making entremets. I'm still a bit intimidated, but I'm determined to try my hand at it and keep practicing until I get semi good at it.

Listening ... to the sound of several different conversations, the hum of the furnace in the basement, and footsteps coming down the hallway.

Baking ... I had a few overly ripe bananas that needed some tender loving care, so I baked some banana sweet rolls with them.

On the savory side of things I baked several kinds of stromboli, including a new vegetarian one that actually became an instant favorite for most of us.

Cooking ... I have salmon thawing that I want to marinate first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks to Pinterest we found a recipe for salmon that we really love. We like salmon any way, but prepared like this kicks it up quite a few notches.

Feeling ... happy. There are so many little things that make life happy, including the little hand prints on the back window in the kitchen. Somehow I have a hard time washing them away after our sweet little grandson placed them there.

Disliking ... hmm ... I guess I'll go with grocery prices. Thankfully the price of eggs have dropped quite a bit by now, but $2.19 is still more than I enjoy paying for a dozen of eggs,

Loving ... family time. It gets to be more and more precious as the children continue spreading their wings.

Playing ... Steven and I played thirty-four rounds of Hoagie yesterday. He won the majority of them.

Cleaning ... It's time to tackle the storage room again. I have opened the door a few times this week, looked inside, sighed, and closed the door again. But it's on the agenda to get started next Tuesday. No more procrastination.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Mystery of the Cast Iron Skillet

    Almost two years ago one of my favorite cast iron skillets mysteriously disappeared. I searched high and low for it and was unable to locate it anywhere.

    Several months ago it equally as mysteriously reappeared next to the basement stairs, looking absolutely terrible. I'm not sure what it will take to restore it to its former condition. I'm sure it can be done, but so far the courage and will power to tackle that task has evaded me.

    I'm pretty sure there must be a story to the disappearance and reappearance of this skillet. So far though no one has given the slightest hint they know anything about it. 

    I have the feeling it may be one of those cases where years down the road as the siblings sit around reminiscing, the story of a cast iron skillet may surface. They will all laugh as the one responsible for the mystery will end the story with the phrase, "and Mom never knew."

Saturday, December 31, 2022


Reading ... In the Bible I'm reading Revelation, and tucking in some soothing Psalms as well. It seems I need a daily dose of Psalms no matter what book of the Bible I'm reading through.

I recently read Unspeakable by Jessica Willis Fisher. It was one of the hardest things I've read in a long time, but it was really well written. Given the subject matter of the book it doesn't quite feel right to say that I enjoyed it, but I was unable to put it down and read the entire book in one afternoon. 

This afternoon I was reading some of Rosie Mae's old blog posts and wishing she wouldn't have let her blog die.

Watching ... the activity outside the kitchen window where dozens of birds enjoy the feeder, and one of the fattest squirrels I've ever seen digs for buried walnuts.

Listening ... to some of my favorite music. I absolutely love music, it's one of the things that I'm so thankful that I get to enjoy daily. 

Baking ... today Sharon baked up a batch of her peanut butter crunch cereal. I don't have the patience required to make it since the dough gets rolled into tiny balls, but she likes it so much that she doesn't mind the effort it takes to make it.

Cooking ...  lamb burgers, salad, and potato wedges.

Feeling ... ready to start the new year. 2022 held it's share of challenges, but overall it was a good year with so very much to be thankful for.

Disliking ... ice. We got a lot of ice that created quite a bit of havoc. Most of it melted except the parking area in front of our garage. Yesterday while carrying a load of library books into the house my feet went flying out from under me. Not the best of experiences!

Loving ... family time. It seems to get more and more precious as the children keep spreading their wings and having their own things to do and places to be.

Playing ... Steven and I played a variety of Christmas and winter themed games recently, and also round after round of Sleeping Queens. Skipbo, Apples to Apples and a few other games have also been enjoyed.

Cleaning ... other than the daily dozen it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that I have to tackle the storage room again. It accumulated a new pile of things recently and I need to go through everything to reorganize, donate, and pitch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Pudding of Thanksgiving

    Growing up my Mom used to make a layered pudding every year for Thanksgiving. 
    The  bottom layer was an orange jello with some crushed pineapple stirred in it.
    The middle layer was a fluffy one made with whipped cream and cream cheese.
    The top layer was a smooth and absolutely delicious pineapple pudding.
    The colors of it seemed festively appropriate for Thanksgiving. I have no idea what the original creator of the recipe called this dessert, but we dubbed it as Thanksgiving pudding, and the name stuck.
    I used to look forward to it all year.
    When we moved halfway across the country, I knew we would not be celebrating Thanksgiving at my parents house any longer. The thought of missing out on that pudding made me sad, but then I thought - what's keeping me from enjoying it at anytime of the year? I called Mom for the recipe and with LV's brother and his family coming to see us I prepared a batch.
    While my sister-in-law Emma and I were putting the finishing touches on our meal I told her how my Mom always made this pudding for Thanksgiving.
    As we were cleaning up after the meal she asked if she could have the recipe, that she had really liked it.
    Fast forward to the following year when we celebrated Thanksgiving at their house. Among the bountiful spread of food was Thanksgiving pudding! "I wanted you to have your family's special pudding today," she said.
    I could almost have cried at her sweet kindness. I savored every bite of that pudding, and savored the way she had made me feel for much longer.
    Every year as I make Thanksgiving pudding I think of both my Mom and Emma.
    This year as I'm pulling out all the recipes for the things I want to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal I am once more presented with the nostalgia of this pudding.
    I still love the festively appropriate colors, still love the taste, but somehow it's the memories of Mom and Emma that I like the most now when ever I make it.
    I miss them both a great deal, but I'm so happy for them to be experiencing heaven. And I'm so thankful for the happy memories I still get to cherish from both of them

Tuesday, October 4, 2022


Reading ...  In the Bible I'm finishing up the book of John. 

In other books I have a lovely book filled with gorgeous illustrations and inspirational musings. It's called Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons.

Back in 2019, Steven used to absolutely love the pigeon books by Mo Willems. I happened to see that there's a new one out called The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster, and on a whim I got it for him. It's as simple and delightful as all the other pigeon books have been, and it was thoroughly enjoyed before being placed on the return to the library pile of books in the school room.

50 Things to Bake Before You Die looked like a fun book, but only one recipe truly piqued my interest. It's one for macarons. I would most likely have passed over it as well, but after reading the story behind the recipe I have to give them a try to see if they truly are better than normal macarons.

Writing ... is slow at the moment. There are so many other things occupying my time, that I'm having a hard time sitting down and focusing on writing. 

Listening ... to the comforting roar of the waterfall, a noisy bird protesting about something, and the clock above the desk ticking loudly in an otherwise quiet house.

Picture was taken yesterday from the front porch..

Baking ... I want to try my hand at baking those macarons later this week, and something simpler today that I haven't decided yet.
Sharon had made a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies on Saturday, but those disappeared rapidly when my brother and his family stopped in.

Cooking ... there's a pot of soup cooling on the back of the stove. Rosie Mae got up early this morning to cook it up to have some to take to along to work. It's an Asian inspired soup complete with kimchi and homemade pulled noodles. 

I'm excited about the menu I have planned for the week, but I won't bore you with all the details.

Feeling ... happy that LV can start hobbling about some. He's come a long way since the accident, and we are hopeful that he will continue to heal to where we can once again enjoy our weekend hiking excursions, and he can walk without pain.

Disliking ... the new candy thermometer I got. My other one got broken, and I couldn't find one like it to replace it. The new one, well, lets just say I'm still on the lookout for a good candy thermometer.

Loving ... cozy blankets. The house has taken on a definite fall chill. We've been holding off on starting the furnace, so blankets are especially nice right now.

Playing ... Steven and I have been doing a Europe map puzzle every day for the past few weeks. We both love puzzles and I love the fact that this is teaching him the names and locations of all the European countries. 

Cleaning ... it's fall, which means fall cleaning is underway. I'm hoping to tackle the attic tomorrow. It's been a year since the last time I was up there. I'm hoping I won't be in for a less than happy surprise when I see it again.

Later today ... Kenneth will be coming over after work to unload coal for us. We really appreciate his help. LV may be getting much better, but he's still not able to do that task.