Thursday, November 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday

This morning, I was scrolling through the pictures on my Surface Pro and I realized that my pictures on my tablet go as far back as December 2011.  I pulled some just for memories today.

Becky (one of my sisters) and Joann (our step-mom) . . .
our step-mom died this year - she was a lovely woman
inside and out.

John Wesley folks (our Sunday School
class) making PB&J sandwiches for a
local shelter

Laura (l) and Kim (r) - I love laughter and this picture makes
me so happy

more friends - dressed up for a wedding
at our age, we get to go to lots
of fun weddings!!

Hubby hanging out with the guys

different wedding!!

more sweet friends at the same wedding

popsicles with friends - now that
is awesome!!

Can you sense a theme here? Memories and friendships?
We MUST get together with these friends soon - we've
promised to do a better job of "meeting in the middle"
but our busy lives have intervened

oh my goodness - I miss this sweet friend
there will always be a hole in my heart
Without Nancy, I wouldn't know

This was our annual Talbots shopping spree - sister-in-law,
sweet mother-in-law and me several years ago

I sure do love these folks!  Our kids and some of our nephews
(we are missing Grace in this picture)

friends having fun at a New Year's Eve
party at our house several years ago

more sweet friends - who have now moved
out of town

love this picture!!

this one is pretty cute, too!!

Sweet Katie -- and Mark's eyes are closed
We are so glad that Katie is cancer free now!!

more friends - helping with a wedding shower
mixing the "punch"

Three sweet friends - one just happens to be my
sister-in-law, too

Lots of sweet Sunday School friends - hosting a couple's

I just needed to be reminded today of all those in our life - those we love (this is by NO MEANS a picture of everyone we love!! -- lots of folks are not present in these pictures).  I just snatched a few from my photo folder and took a trip down memory lane . . .needed to be reminded that I am loved and that I LOVE, too!  Bonus - I smiled a lot and remembered a lot!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond is so gracious to write our questions every week.  Go to her blog, copy (or copy from mine) and paste the questions into your own blog, answer the questions (I don't know why I felt the need to add that instruction!!) and link up.

1.  What's something blogging has taught you about yourself? I've always loved to write and during those years of child-raising, there was never enough time (see question 3 below) and I don't think blogging had been invented yet -- I kept a paper journal back then!! Putting my thoughts and memories down somewhere is important to me.  When I'm old and my memory is shot, I'll be able to read what was happening!!

I've also realized that I can't write everything I would like to write. Some people might be brave and put it all out there and I'm pretty open and authentic but there is something about words being written down and seen by others. Sometimes that thought puts a stop to my fingers.

I've also learned that I truly value time with my family. Yes, of course, I knew that on some level but recording moments from our lives has taken on new meaning to me over the years.

2.  Leftovers...are you in the 'reheat and eat' camp or the 'put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them' camp? What's your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?  We eat a lot of leftovers at our house.  I'm pretty particular about how long I'll keep leftovers.

Some foods get better after a day in the fridge -- spaghetti!!  Another one is dressing from Thanksgiving - it is so much better reheated!  I detest microwaved left over meat.  I EAT it because it is usually necessary (sometimes I just eat it cold).  I probably wouldn't eat left over fish at all (except shellfish like shrimp - then I would eat it cold).  I spent way too much time on this question and no one cares to know all of this about me!  STOP TYPING NOW!

3. 'Me time'...your thoughts? I think it is ridiculously overrated! Now, don't jump on me yet.  I TOTALLY believe in self-care which includes time to exercise, time to read or work on whatever hobby interests you, time to pray alone, time to just be still and reflect, time to blog. Heck - I used to lock myself in the powder room to have time to read my daily devotion. One of the problems is people have always been and will always be so self-centered that they take 'me time' to an extreme. Life intervenes - our families need us.  Sometimes we don't get a block of time just because we want it.  Take care of yourself but don't DEMAND me time.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?  Let's see . . .maybe cooking advice??  Switching directions totally from cooking . . . sometimes people just come to me because they want to talk and they want someone to listen.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.
The very first thought that popped into my head was "it smelled like the library - old books - furniture polish."  I spent so many happy hours in our town's library.  It was an escape from reality - a place where I could be transported to a dig in Egypt or a tropical island - places I only dreamed of ever seeing.  I haven't been to Egypt but have been to an archeological site in Israel and I have been to several tropical islands.  At that time of my life, those places were just words on a page where I could step in and be transported.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
We bought our Christmas tree on Sunday and put it up.  This is the earliest in recorded history and it may be a "Charlie brown tree" by Christmas day.  There are no decorations on it yet. There are no decorations anywhere else in the house yet. I just packed away the Thanksgiving decorations and Mark hasn't dragged the tubs of Christmas decorations out of the attic yet. (just fyi - we bought our tree at Whole Foods and the trees there are beautiful.)  We have really tall ceilings and we tend to underestimate EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  That is a 7-8 foot tall tree and it looks like a miniature.

When do you decorate for Christmas?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Photo Dump

 Stop reading!  Unless you love our family a WHOLE BUNCH and want to see a lot of random photos . . .you might want to check out now.  Now that you've been forewarned . . .if you are still here, this is truly a photo dump from my phone from the last week.

We've had some incredible sunrises lately.  On this particular day, I saw about 100 other photos on facebook of this incredible sunrise.  It was truly spectacular.

I didn't take this photo.  Mark and one of our nephews (Thomas) went to the farm and Mark caught a whopper.

Not only have the sunrises been amazing but so have the sunsets!  I was driving home one afternoon and was able to snap this one (yes, I was driving!)

I dragged Mark to the Junior League Market Noel.  He was at least able to buy a beverage to drink as we walked around.  I bought the little green dress for Emma to wear at Christmas (and beyond). I facetimed (evidently that isn't a word - facetimed?? because it has the squiggly red lines underneath!!) with Lauren from the market to get approval.

We celebrated not one, not two, but THREE birthdays last weekend - Laura, Glenn, and Lauren.  Emma helped blow out all the candles.  Yes, Laura's cake is a unicorn.  Yes, she is a grown up.  Yes, it was a fun cake. It is probably a good thing that I have given up eating desserts because I LOVE icing and there was enough icing on this cake that I would have been in a sugar coma.

Grandmother made cakes for Lauren and Glenn -- German Chocolate Cake for Lauren and poundcake with icing for Glenn.

On Sunday after the birthday celebrations, Mark and I stopped at Restaurant Depot to buy the ingredients for the meal at Firehouse Shelter.  Mark helps cook dinner at this homeless shelter once or twice a month.  He goes with the folks from our Sunday School class on the fourth Wednesday of the odd months and he goes once a month (usually) with Glenn and his friends.  Our Sunday school class menu for the men is always the same - sausages/red beans/rice/salad/bread/homemade brownies.

If you are my friend on facebook, you saw a picture of the Christmas stockings.  We bought one for all of our staff people (work) and we are asking everyone to write encouraging notes to each other and if folks want to do so, they can buy something small for everyone (think candy canes, candy bars, fun packs of Kleenexes, pens or pencils).  I hung the stockings on Monday but I talked to a co-worker on Tuesday and they were falling down so today I bought command hooks and cording and clothes pins and we are going to re-hang the stockings on Monday.

Our cat is a funny cat.  He climbed atop the stack of clean folded laundry and looked at me as if to say, "this is for me, right?" Those are Mark's jeans - not mine - achoo!

Doesn't he look smug and self-satisfied in this photo?  He really is quite regal . . .and S.P.O.I.L.E.D. He was helping me as I wrapped some Christmas gifts.  I tried to teach him to put his paw down while I tied the ribbon.  See the effort below.

I can help!!

I know that no one cares what I eat . . . but I was having a burger on a lettuce bun.  Pretty tasty but messy to eat! I truly have no idea why I snapped a photo of this burger!

On Wednesday, I drove to my daughter (and future son-in-law's) new house.  My job is always to do things like put shelf paper in all the cabinets.  She has lots of kitchen cabinets.

Speaking of future son-in-law . . .he wants pecan pie instead of groom's cake at the wedding.  I think mini pecan pies would be easier to eat than trying to cut whole pecan pies.  I'm practicing to get my technique down.  It was hard not to eat one of these after making them. I used the basic pecan pie recipe on the label of dark Karo syrup.  I added some extra pecans to the bottom of each mini pie.  Mark doesn't even really like pecan pie but he ate all the extra filling and said it was good.  We've invited friends over for dessert tonight and I'm going to serve the mini pies to them.

I was practicing my baking on Thursday morning (Thanksgiving day) while I watched the parade.  Our son called and wanted to know if Pop could watch our sweet baby girl for a little while.  Son/daughter-in-law/dog wanted to hike through the woods.  Well, of course we said "YES"!  Bless her heart - she has a bad cold!!  Look at those little pig tails!!!
 She always wants to dump all the toys out of the basket.  Gran and Pop are happy to oblige.

Since we don't eat our Thanksgiving meal until dinner, we have the whole day free.  Our last home had a huge lot and Mark always wanted to rake leaves on Thanksgiving day.  Now we have a teeny tiny yard. This year, we hung the lights in our trees.  Our neighborhood does this every year and the trees with little white twinkle lights line the streets.  Bonus was seeing the blue sky peeking through the gorgeous fall leaves.

We also put lights in the tree in our back yard.  That is my shadow - my job is to hold the strand and walk around the tree while Mark hooks the cord and places it on the different branches.

My jacket is hanging on our mailbox.  I had been out walking - I rode the bike for an hour and walked for a while trying to exercise enough to offset the dressing and gravy.  In the shade, when the wind blew, it was cold!  In the sun, out of the wind, it was warm.  We are going to have to redo the lights on this backyard tree - when we drove up last night, we realized that all you can see are the lights around the trunk.

We gathered at Grandmother's house on Thursday evening for our meal together.  This year, we invited Glenn and Lauren's friend, Wynn, to eat with us and Thomas was in town so we had a fun group. Lauren's mother joined us, too.  We had all the basics - turkey/dressing/gravy (that is what I ate with salad - my favorite!).  We had cranberry/apple casserole and squash and sweet potato casserole and green beans (I did eat some green beans) and pickles/olives/stuffed celery.  Mark's mom had purchased Wickles Dirty Spears and they are evidently really really HOT.  I didn't eat one but Laura actually had to grab a glass of water!

Remember I told you on Wednesday that Mark's mom likes to light the candles . . .evidence.

Scott and Laura were stuck behind an accident on the interstate that shut down the interstate for 40 minutes - as in "turn off the car - get out and walk around" stuck on the interstate.  We started eating before they arrived but they weren't too terribly late.  Probably because Scott is like Mark - if you aren't early . . .you are late . . .so I'm sure they left in plenty of time to be at Grandmother's by six p.m.

We had a good week!  What about you?