Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?

One of the trickiest things I have to deal with is successfully transferring Buddy to his crib after rocking him to sleep without having him wake up. It's next to impossible and there are many days when his naps occur on my lap only.

2.  What's your treat of choice?

Chocolate if we're talking food.  Reading an entire book without interruptions is always a treat for me since it happens so very rarely. I'm still in the "Mommy come! Mommy see! A wiggly worm. A red scraped knee. Painted pictures. Blocks piled high"  .......... stage in my life so reading uninterrupted seldom happens.

3. Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?

We don't carve jack-o-lanterns.

I can't think of a single real or fictional Jack I would like to meet. The only Jack that comes to mind is a "jack-in-the-box" I met him often when we visited my grandparents. I had a love / hate relationship with him. I loved cranking the handle, but hated how he always jumped out of the box at me.

4.  In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?

Don't laugh at me, but the word sirloin makes me want to gag.

5. When did your heart last skip a beat?

When I accidently sent an email to the wrong person. It had been intended for LV.  I think my heart skipped more than a single beat as I realized what had just happened.

6. Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?

I don't know any of those, and I really don't listen to scary music.

7.   It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.

I was nineteen, the youth were all at my Uncle Eli's house for our Sunday evening hymn sing when a tornado ripped through the area. Passing behind their house and totally destroying LV's brother's house.

It was dark and stormy for a while after that as we tried to pick our way home safely. Blocked roads, downed power lines, and constant lightning all added to the challenge and made it a night we will never forget.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

There are still a few days left to enter my giveaway.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Language of my Heart

Diaries and journals have always interested me. As much as I journaled while growing up I was always curious what other people wrote in their diaries.  There were several different times when there were some journals among the things Daddy brought home from estate auctions and we always enjoyed reading them. I still remember the day I discovered my Mom's diary's in the attic. And how disappointed I was when she went and destroyed them. I have always wondered what all she had written and wished that there would have been a way to read them and learn to know the teen that grew up to be my mother.

Another box I discovered several months later contained hundreds of letters from her sister that she wrote to her while she had been a teacher in Gorrie, Ontario, far from home. I read those letters and enjoyed them immensely. A whole series of books could be written simply from the contents of those letters. The peek into the life of a young Amish school teacher's life was delightfully entertaining. I laughed and cried my way through the entire box of letters. Later I was really glad I did when my Mom returned the letters to her sister.

One of my favorite books from when I was a teen was called The Language of my Heart it was the real journal an Amish girl wrote during her teen years. I read and reread my copy more times than I can count, it was out of print for quite a while but last year the publishers decided to do a reprint and today I'm offering you the chance to have your own copy by having a giveaway.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment telling me if you ever tried journaling.

For a second entry post a link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and come back and leave another comment telling me you did.

I will be choosing the winner on Friday, November 1st.
Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?

Saying please and thank you. And simply obeying the golden rule.

2. Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core.  Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)?  If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?

Common Core? My parents tried to teach me, if I don't have something good to say, to say nothing at all. I'm choosing to follow that advice here.

3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.

I have so much going on in my life that I pay next to zero attention to fashion. I don't care what anyone chooses to wear. I don't have any celebrities that I can think of that have a fashion sense I admire. I couldn't care less what they wear.

4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?

I love all season changes except when spring turns to summer. I'm loving this season change. More time to enjoy working on indoor projects. It's that time of year when crafts get pulled out and worked on, many new recipes are tried, and we begin making plans for the holidays.

5. Scariest book you've ever read?

The scariest book I have ever read has to be a tie between The Neighbor and The Haunted Mesa. Both of them had me looking over my shoulders days after I finished reading them.

6. What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?

I'm most hungry late afternoons. I don't really have a go to snack. Most of the time it is what ever we have on hand, it might be anything from baby carrots to chocolate chip cookies.

7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?

Probably too independent. I don't care what others think of me and following the crowd and keeping up with the Joneses is something that I never have to worry about trying to do. I'm happiest doing my own thing.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's snowing!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Outside my window instead of a clear blue October skies it appears as if November would have already arrived. Bleak, gray, and drab.

It makes me feel like doing some sewing and trying my hand at some Pinterest-y crafts.


I'm making our favorite fruitcakes. It takes quite a while to make it. A full 45 days. But the end results always make me say it was worth all the aggravation, so I'm doing it again this year.


October is fire safety month and Buddy seems to be playing the part. He loves Sailor's old fireman hat.
I have been enjoying some good books lately and when digging through our big book cupboard I found some books I had bought in hopes to share them with you. Stay tuned for some fun giveaways in the near future.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Speedy Brownies

One of our favorite sweet treats happens to be brownies. They get made quite often because we really like them, an added bonus is that they are one of the easiest things to make.

Speedy Brownies

2 cups sugar
1¾ cup flour
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
5 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl measure all ingredients in order given. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9"x13" pan. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

Rosebud likes sprinkling candy coated chips on top before baking, but that is totally optional.

Simple, easy, and yet so delicious!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What was your biggest worry five years ago?  Is it still a worry?

One of my biggest worries five years ago was that Sailor would have a really hard time with school, especially with math.

Thankfully that is no longer a worry. Somewhere along the line something clicked and he is now a math whiz and counts it among his favorite subjects.

2. Yesterday (October 15th) was National Grouch Day...what makes you grouchy? What cheers you up when you're feeling grouchy?

Heat makes me grouchy. Having a nice air conditioned place to cool off cheers me up, as well as a tall glass of ice cold lemonade.

3.  In one word, how does it feel to be photographed?


4. Besides your parents, who would you say had the greatest influence on you in choosing your life path?  Explain.


All the major decisions and happenings in my life have been directly influenced by my husband.

5. The crisp days of autumn are here ...what's something you like to eat, but only if it's crisp?

Iceberg lettuce.

Sailor loves cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and I usually cheerfully taste any concoction he creates, but being served with wilted lettuce dripping in melted butter was too much.

6. What's the most useless object you own?

A bread dough mixer. I never, ever use it. It's much faster and easier to simply make a loaf or two by hand than drag out that contraption and use it. Maybe if I'd make six loaves of bread at a time like we used to while I was growing up I might give it a try again, but for the past fourteen years it has been resting in the storeroom.

7.  Share a favorite fall memory.

One of my favorite fall memories is the day LV and I attended a wedding in a neighboring church district. The twelve mile ride in the buggy was perfect, the horse seemed to know we weren't in a hurry, having started off early enough to allow him to walk most of the way. Orange and yellow leaves glistened in the morning sun as the frost melted away. We both knew that the entire community would find out we were courting that evening when all the steady couples entered the house together and we would be among that group.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Rosebud and I are already working on choosing our Thanksgiving menu. We don't do the whole turkey thing since we would all much rather have a feast of our favorite foods and try out a few new recipes as well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Fun

The tree in front of our house has lost most of its leaves and Sunbeam and Buddy have been enjoying playing in the pile that has gathered around the trunk.
 After hiding in the pile Sunbeam calls to Buddy to come find her.
 He walks over to investigate and she sits up.
He turns to run away with shrieks of laughter as she bounds out of the leaves after him.

Moments like this make me wish I was a child again.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Algerian Meatballs

We have been trying new recipes ever since Rosebud expressed an interest in trying foods from other countries. Since she had been studying about Algeria we decided to try some Algerian meatballs last evening. They turned out to be delicious and we enjoyed them a lot more than the recipe we had tried that included brown rice, plantains, and peanut butter.

Algerian Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp onions, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Bake at 400º for 15 minutes.

In the meantime sautè in 1 Tbsp butter

½ cup diced onions
7 cherry tomatoes, chopped

Once onions are translucent add:

2 cloves garlic, minced

Sautè for an additional 30 seconds.

Add two tablespoons of drippings from your baked meatballs and simmer for a minute or so. Spoon your onion mixture over meatballs and serve,

We liked these well enough that we'll be making them again!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's one thing you learned in September?

I can't really think of anything new I learned, but I was reminded of a whole lot of things I had thought I already knew. Like it's okay to be flexible with schedules, that every cloud has a silver lining, and that spending time with family is really my favorite thing in the world.

2. Acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, zucchini squash, or blech! hold the squash... what's your favorite squash? What's your favorite way to prepare your favorite squash?

I like all squash. Zucchini stir fried with onion and garlic is something we all enjoy. Butternut squash is also a family favorite. I like them thinly sliced and fried in butter and flour.  We also used them as a substitute for pumpkin in pumpkin pies and desserts. So much easier to work with and no one ever knew the difference.

3. The older I get the_______________________________.

The more I try not to let the little things bother me.

4. What's your favorite television theme song ever?

I haven't watched enough television to have a favorite theme song.

5. What do you wish you'd spent more time doing five years ago?

I wish I would have spent more time journaling.

6. What item do you most need (or want) to add to your wardrobe this fall?

A new pair of shoes, maybe.

7. On October 2, 1950 the Peanuts cartoon was introduced to the world. What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?

Cartoons weren't a part of my childhood. Comics were considered to be part of the forbidden parts of the world and we were discouraged reading even the few that made their way into our house as part of the newspaper packing in boxes from mail order companies.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Rosebud and Sunbeam are in a phase of having real tea parties. The daintiest foods are being created and lots of tea brewed and all served on a pretty china tea set. If they keep this up I might actually learn to enjoy tea more.