Saturday, November 30, 2013

Requests - and a giveaway!

Happy Saturday to you!  I hope this last day of November has something good for you to enjoy.

I have a couple of requests for you.  First, NanaDiana, a follower of this blog, and a blogger herself, has a precious little grandson, CJK, who is very ill.  He has been hospitalized this week as the medical team has attempted to discover the cause of his illness, then determine a course of treatment.  Please keep this little one, as well as all the family, in your prayers.

Second, Country Man's plane left at 6:45 this morning.  He is on his way to Honduras on a mission trip and will be away until next Friday.  Please remember him and the rest of the mission team (8 of them) in your prayers.

Now - to the giveaway!

It was December 1, 2011 when I began this blog.  Tomorrow will mark my second anniversary of blogging!  In honor of this occasion, I am having a giveaway of this:

A Mini-Wall Calendar!

Yes!  It is a Susan Branch mini-wall calendar!  It measures seven inches square.  If you are interested in entering this giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog between now and Thursday, December 5, 2013.  On that evening, I will draw names of those of you who have entered and post the winning name on Friday, December 6, 2013.    

Thank you for reading   I really appreciate your comments. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Always in season....

....are good books! 

Although yesterday was Thanksgiving, and today is the official beginning of the Christmas season, I still want to share these books with you.

Did you know the children fared better than the adults on the Mayflower voyage?

Working on the Mayflower was difficult.

The passengers and crew had very crowded conditions.

Moving further south to Williamsburg.

Daily life in Williamsburg is reenacted for visitors.

Participants wear clothing styles from the period.

A modern-day approach to food from the period.:-)

While I was not much of a history student when in school, visiting historical places has always been meaningful to me.  One such trip was to Plymouth, MA where we toured the replica of the Mayflower.  I could easily have spent an entire week returning to Plimouth Plantation!:-)

Williamsburg, VA, though a number of hours away, has been the destination for several visits.  There always seems to be something different to see there.

The books I have mentioned above are good to illustrate to children what it was like to live in those days.  The book shown in the last picture?  Well, I'd say you know who uses that one.:-)  The Sally Lunn recipe is in there!

I hope you will return for the next post.  It is time to celebrate my 2nd anniversary with blogging!  Giveaway details forthcoming!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


I send wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's for breakfast?

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope you are having a good week that is giving you time for all that you need to accomplish.

Some of you may be welcoming overnight guests to your home for Thanksgiving.  I have always liked the thought of having something done ahead of time for breakfast so I would be able to start working on Thanksgiving dinner as early as possible. 

This Thanksgiving, I am ready with these.

Ready for the oven. 

Out of the oven! Don't they look good?

How about Pumpkin Scones?  I have scribbled the recipe onto a piece of note paper, and there is no notation about the source.  It could have come from the Internet, or it could have come from Munchomom.  I'd like to give proper recognition, but cannot do that this time.

2 cups flour
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
6 Tablespoons butter - cold, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half and half
1 egg
- Combine first 8 ingredients in medium bowl.  Cut in butter. 
- Combine remaining three ingredients in a large bowl.  Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Mix together and shape into a ball. 
- Pat out into a rectangle.  Slice widthwise into thirds, then cut each third in half, making 6 pieces.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake 14 to 16 minutes.
1 cup + 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
- Blend together, and drizzle on cooled scones. 

I actually cut the rectangle into fourths, giving eight. 

These will be warmed on Thanksgiving morning, and the glaze will be added.  I am ready to try one now!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This one will last....

Happy Tuesday to you!  Is your week progressing nicely? 

The Husband has been to spend time with Country Man a couple of times recently.  One time, he brought back a surprise.

Any ideas?

One of Country Man's pasttimes is carving, and this is a piece he has done.  I will admit that I was challenged to recognize the wood that was used in this.  This is from a branch of a Crepe Myrtle!  It has quickly become one of my very favorite items to display.  No water needed!:-)

Our weather has taken a real wintry direction.   Brrr!  Cold, wet, and the chance of snow showers, all before Thanksgiving Day!  I hope you are staying warm and safe as this storm moves across the United States!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Happy Monday to you!  How was your week-end? 

Have you checked the calendar?  Today is November 25th!  In just one month we will be celebrating Christmas Day!  Now, I know some of you have already done lots of decorating.  That is not the case here, though I'd like to share some pictures with you showing our local Senior Center ready for the holidays!

There is not a large staff at the Senior Center - the director and a receptionist most days.  With all the activities that are scheduled, they really do an outstanding job!  Thankfully there are some volunteers who assist in some ways. 

This is the Center where I go to play bridge once a week.  It would actually be possible to play bridge every day here!  It is also where the Women's Chorus rehearses once a week.  There are many other activities that are available.  Something for everyone!

I hope you find that all your plans for the week go well.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.   

Sunday, November 24, 2013

For Sunday, November 24, 2013....

On this Sunday, the Mission Focus from the UMW Prayer Calendar is Willow Church and Community Ministry, a mission located in the United States.

From Only One You, a book written by Linda Kranz in 2006, there is this wisdom:

                                  "Look for beauty wherever you are,

                                     and keep the memory of it with you."

May this day be one of beauty for you, full of blessings.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Still hanging on....

How are things looking for your week-end?  Are you having good weather for outdoor fun?  We had drizzle here off and on all day yesterday, with the prediction of that continuing today, at least this morning.  When the drizzle leaves us, there will be colder temperatures on the way.

This is not the first time we will have cold temperatures.  In fact, I have cut the "last rose of summer" twice.:-)  Well, this is one determined rose bush, because this has appeared this week!

Is this the "last rose of summer?"

This is not the only bud on our bushes, though I have not cut any to bring in the house.  I am hoping there will be some of the "burning bush" lingering for our enjoyment for the coming week.

Some of you may be having family gatherings this week-end.  Enjoy!

The Vols are welcoming Vanderbilt to town for a football game tonight.  Orange and white are the colors of the day!  Vandy won last year, and Vol fans are hoping for victory tonight.  We will watch the game on TV.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A somber anniversary....

Do you remember where you were 50 years ago on this date?  Do you remember hearing the news about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? 

I was living in a small town in my first apartment since graduating from college.  It was easy to walk everywhere, and that was a good thing as I didn't have a car at that point.  I had taken time for lunch and had walked downtown to a department store.  That is where I was when a good friend came into the store and shared the news that the president had been shot while riding in the motorcade in Dallas,Texas.  I quickly joined her in her car, and not long after, we heard the news that he had passed away.  We were stunned, and for a period seemed to be in a state of disbelief!

The next few days were spent just as many of you may have spent those days - watching the coverage on television.  I mentioned that I didn't have a car.  Well, I didn't even have a TV at that time!  So, I joined my landlady as she watched all the news reports.

There have been special programs announced that will be aired honoring this anniversary.  I expect to watch some of them.  It is a time for remembering.  This had been my first opportunity to vote, and this was the candidate who had received my vote.

It was a very sad time for America.

I send wishes for a good Friday to all of you.  I hope you have some good plans for the week-end.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The night before....

I am lagging behind just a little bit with the topic of this post as the full moon was this past Sunday night.  We knew for several days beforehand that we would probably have cloudy skies and rain, thus no visibility for the moon. 

So - the night before I took these pictures.

You can tell it is still daylight.

Tried for a better close-up setting.

Because of the excessive rainfall we have had during this year, we have had cloudy skies more often than not when the moon was to be full.   This time, the night after was nice and clear.  This is the view we saw at about 7:30 on Monday evening.

I thought it was interesting to see it through the tree!

Our skies have been clear since Sunday, with good sunshine.  According to our forecast, however, that is going to change!  Rain is expected on Friday, followed by wintry temperatures into the next week.  It sounds like it will be a cold Thanksgiving around here!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In the mail....

Good Wednesday morning to you!  Are you having a good week? 

It has been fun going to the mailbox lately.  Here are some of the things that are arriving.

Something for everyone!

Even things for the children!

A worthy consideration.

One possibility..

Another consideration.

Yes, the catalogs keep on coming!  They are, of course, filled with all sorts of tempting items encouraging us to purchase them.  From the gardener to the doll lover, there is something that would appeal to each of us.  It is such a handy way to shop, too.  Going to the website for ordering means that it will be delivered to our door, and we will not have to get out to wander through the crowds to shop! 

The most meaningful of these catalogs to me, though, is the one from the Heifer Project.  A donation can be made that will bring help healing and hope to millions of impoverished families worldwide.  I have pictured a pig and a goat, but there are others that are available.  Rabbits, honeybees, chicks - and even fish and geese are possibilities.  The front of the catalog calls it "The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World."  I encourage you to give the Heifer Project consideration when thinking about gifts for the upcoming holiday season online.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More than a turkey or two....

As I look around me, it seems there are a few turkeys around.:-)

No worries here about Thanksgiving morning!

None here, either.:-)

Just a Thanksgiving themed assortment.

This one makes a good stand for the candle.

The platter awaits that turkey!

Might this one be waiting for some turkey mints?

I hope your week is off to a good beginning.  Our week-end gave us some rain - 1 1/2 inches from Sunday afternoon through the night.  Yesterday the sun was bright and the skies were blue! 

I send my thoughts and prayers to those who were affected by those storms that passed across the midwest on Sunday afternoon.  There is much recovering and rebuilding to be done!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Friday was National Bundt Day!

Better late to the party than never!  That seems to be my habitual pattern.:-)

Anyway, in honor of National Bundt Day, I am sharing this recipe with you.  Are you expecting a dessert?  Well, you will be surprised!  This is not a dessert!  It is bread!  The recipe comes from The Williamsburg Cookbook, publishing date of 1975. 

1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast
3 eggs
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 10 minutes before the Sally Lunn is ready to be baked.
- Grease a 10-inch tube cake pan or a bundt pan.
- Heat the milk, shortening, and 1/4 cup water until very warm - about 120 degrees F.  The shortening does not need to melt.
- Blend the warm liquids into the flour mixture  Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Gradually add 2/3 cup of the remaining flour and the eggs and beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining flour and mix well.  The batter will be thick but not stiff.
It will look something like this. 

- Cover and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free lace (about 85 degrees F.) until it doubles in bulk - about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Isn't it pretty?

- Beat the dough down with a spatula or at the lowest spped on an electric mixer and turn into the prepared pan.

Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has increased in bulk 1/3 to 1/2 - about 30 minutes.

And - here it is!  Ready for the oven!

- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.  (This needed barely 40 minutes!)
- Run a knife around the center and outer edges of the bread and turn it onto a plate to cool. (I didn't really need a knife, but used a plastic scraper in places it might have been a bit stuck.)

Just out of the oven!

Just out of the pan!

The Husband couldn't wait!

I really liked this recipe!  No kneading was required!:-)

Thank you for reading!  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

For November 17, 2013....

On this Sunday, the Mission Focus from the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2013 is the Joy-Southfield Community Health Center in the United States. 

Quoting from The World According to Mister Rogers - "All of us, at some time or other, need help.  Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.  That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors - in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver."

May we all look for ways we are able to be a blessing to others, and may this Sunday be a blessing to each of you!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Following that moon....

Happy Saturday to you!  Hopefully there is something enjoyable on your schedule for the week-end.

There was no following the moon here last night due to cloud cover and showers, but I am hoping the clouds will move on out of the area by the time the full moon is due.  By my calendar, that is tomorrow night!

There have been some clear skies for these pictures, though.

This was 6:30 this past Tuesday.

There was even that bright star in the sky!

This is Wednesday at 5:30!
How are the skies where you are? 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Happy Friday to you!  My goodness!  Does it seem like the time is flying by for you?  This is the midpoint of November already!

A well-liked series when I was teaching was the Magic Tree House series written by Mary Pope Osborne.  Some of the books she has written in the series are Dinosaurs Before Dark, Midnight on the Moon, Twister on Tuesday, and Polar Bears Past Bedtime, to name just a few.  Today I am sharing Thanksgiving on Thursday.

This is #27 in the series.

Black and white illustrations.

Illustrating cooking inside the cabin.

These books were very popular with many students in my class, and Boy Munchkin became  interested in them as his reading progressed.

This particular book was published in 2002, and I actually recently purchased it at my local Barnes & Noble, so the series is readily available.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

On Tuesday....

This past Tuesday morning, the United Methodist Women of my church had our regular meeting.  There was a special event as part of the plan for the morning. 

Many - or all - of you may have heard about Project Linus.  This involves making blankets for children who have experienced - or are experiencing - traumatizing events.  Project Linus began in 1998, and since that time 4 1/2 million blankets have been presented to children!

Our local UMW Unit became involved five years ago.  In that time, we have donated 905 blankets to Project Linus.  On Tuesday, there was a blessing of the most recent group of blankets that have been completed.

Part of the blankets.

Still more.

They were very colorful!
There have been some very busy people working on these blankets!  I congratulate those who work on this project for a job well-done!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That box of Rice Krispies....

If you have been following the blog for awhile, you know that I have recently posted a couple of recipes using Rice Krispies. 

Cheese Wafers.

That Halloween treat.

Can you believe there are still Rice Krispies in the box?!?  So - off to my recipe files again to see how to use more of them.  That's when I found this recipe, clipped from the newspaper a few years ago.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups honey
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
- Using electric mixer, beat butter until light.  Gradually add honey; beat until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture; mix until blended.  Stir in rice cereal, oats, and coconut.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten to 2-inch circles.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies ar set.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.  Yield: About 4 dozen cookies. 

On the pan, in the oven.

Cooling on the racks.

I actually got more than 4 dozen cookies from this recipe.  The Husband declared these "good enough to eat," so this recipe will stay in my file.:-)

However - there are still more Rice Krispies remaining!  I guess they will have to appear on the breakfast menu.:-)

Yesterday's prediction for snow didn't happen here, though the wind blew colder and colder as the day progressed.  The temperature has dropped twenty degrees today!

I hope you are having a good week, and if you are where the temperature is really cold - stay warm!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.