Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019....

The United Methodist Women Mission focus for today is the Neighborhood House in Wilmington, Delaware.

Today is the Day of Pentecost.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this special Sunday!

Blessings to all!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019....

On this Seventh Sunday of Easter, may you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace.

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is The Neighborhood Center, Utica, N.Y.

Special blessings to all on this day!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday, May 26, 2019....

Today is the Sixth Sunday of Easter.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, peace, and love on this day!

The Mission Focus for the United Methodist Women is the Navajo United Methodist Center in Farmington, N.M.

Special blessings to all!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019....

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is Mary Elizabeth Inn, San Francisco, California.

May this day be one in which you are surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace.  Special blessings to all!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Time for a book review....

Very behind on this one, I've realized, as it's time this evening for another book talk for the HRBC on Twitter!  This is the book we read a month ago!


The story that develops in this book concerns three women who happen to "fall upon" the same tea set at the same time!  Thus, a "Teacup Sisterhood" is formed, and they begin their search for others that would be assistance for all of them.  Jenny will use them first, then it will be Maggie's turn before passing them on to Alison for her candle business.

Alison stores the teacups at her studio since she is the one with the needed space.  Chaos happens when Alison's teenage daughter, in a show a temper, slams the door, prompting an avalanche!  Miraculously, everyone begins to work together, and all is in order for Jenny's wedding.

Although there are some serious storylines here, the reader is somehow left with that "happily ever after" fairy tale impression.

I was prompted to search through my "household accumulation" for teacups as a result of reading this book.  That's a subject for another blog, however.

Have a nice day, friends!  Pause for a cup of tea....or simply conversation....with a friend!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunday, May 5, 2019....

The untimely passing of Rachel Held Evans yesterday morning came as a surprise and has left a void for many.  Her writings served as a guide and foundation for many in their faith journey.  In addition to her husband, she leaves a 3-year old son and a 1-year old daughter.  Rachel was 37 years old.

The Mission Focus for the United Methodist Women today is the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Today is the birthday of Harriett Olson, the General Secretary and CEO of the United Methodist Women.

May this be a day in which you are surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace.  Special blessings to all!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019....

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is InterServ in St. Joseph, Missouri.

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this Sunday.  Special blessings to all!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Celebrate....

I've always thought it was a good practice to celebrate everything!  This Easter, I stayed with some "tried and true," and I also branched out into something new!

I am currently posting this from my iPad, on which I have the specific pictures to illustrate these goodies.  I'll be adding the pictures below, but run into complications when I try to comment on the pictures when I post this way.  Therefore, I am attempting to list the pictures in order with the first one being the "tried and true" Hot Cross Buns.  These have been featured on the blog in past years.

Next will be the Black Forest Cherry Cake, first time ever to try this one!

Finally, there are two rounds of Easter Egg Braid!

I hope you had a memorable Easter with time to be with those whom you love!








Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sunday, April 21, 2019....

Today, we observe the Resurrection of the Lord!  I send everyone special wishes on this Easter Day!

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus is the Holding Institute Community Center in Laredo, Texas.

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this special day!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday, April, 14, 2019....

This is Palm Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Lent.  The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is Hawthorn Hill in Des Moines, Iowa.

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this very special day! Blessings to all!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sunday, April 7, 2019

I realize there should have been a bit of explanation about the Tablescapes pictures from last Sunday. Those were from an event that benefits Wesley House, a National Mission Institution of the United Methodist Women.  We have a Wesley House location in our area, and we are involved in activities there throughout the year.

Today's United Methodist Women Mission Focus is the Gum Moon Residence Hall in San Francisco, California.

May this be a day you are surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace!  Special blessings to all!

Friday, April 5, 2019

For your consideration....

Here is another idea for your consideration!  I really do enjoy lamb, and it is a rare occasion that I am able to find freshly ground lamb at a favorite market, as I did recently.  This version of Shepherd's Pie, while not quite like the original, was a taste pleaser here!  I will enter the pictures all at once as I seem to be experiencing difficulty taking them one by one.  The first one shows the browning of the lamb (1 1/2 pounds), onions (2 medium chopped), and carrots (2, finely chopped).  Next is the addition of peas, about 1/2 cup.  I used frozen and just dumped them into the skillet.  I added a bit of beef broth (1 1/2 cups), tomato paste (3 Tablespoons), and Worchestershire sauce (1 Tablespoon), and cooked this about 10 minutes.  Oops! Must remember to add the thyme, about 1/2 teaspoon dried, a bit of salt, and pepper.  Now, the difference is the topping.  I used canned sweet potato puree rather than the traditional regular mashed russet potatoes.  I did, though, add a little melted butter to the sweet potatoes before spooning them over the lamb mixture in the baking dish.  Then, into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to brown slightly, and the filling is bubbly.  Sometimes, it takes a little longer.  This will make about 4 to 6 servings.






All this being said, let me mention that today is actually National Deep Dish Pizza day!  I'd say that it's a good day to enjoy either Shepherd's Pie....or Deep Dish Pizza!  Maybe even some Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament watching!  Enjoy!


Monday, April 1, 2019

Whose birthday?

Happy Birthday to my sister!  She is the one with the short, brown hair!  She was just about a year old in this picture.  Look at all that hair!  This is the first picture we have of us together.

Sending wishes for a special day to you, Sister!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019..

The UMW Mission focus for today is Friendly Center in Toledo, Ohio.  We are fortunate to live in the area of Wesley House, also a National Mission Institution of the United Methodist Women.  Hopefully a few pictures taken at Tablescapes will appear below.












Friday, March 29, 2019

Try this idea....

If it's Friday, it musts mean a recipe!:-) I saw this idea somewhere online, but I don't remember exactly where!  I'm not good for writing down sources for my ideas.:-(

This would be good if you have a little extra time to prepare breakfast, perhaps for the weekend.  I would call it a One-Pan Breakfast.:-) It can be adapted to serve as many as needed, most likely.

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Then, I began with a 1/2 size sheet pan for 4 slices of bacon, halved.  Bake them for 10 minutes; remove, and set aside.

Next, take a small size package of frozen shredded potatoes. (I used Alexia brand).  Spread them evenly into the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese on top of the potatoes, any combination you like.  I used a blend of mozzarella and cheddar.  Smooth the cheese over so that you're able to make 4 little indentions where you will break the eggs.  After adding the eggs, arrange the bacon slices on top.  Then, into the oven again for 10 more minutes, or until the eggs are set to your liking.

I also made time to bake some scones on this particular Saturday morning! It was a great way to begin the weekend!

Maybe the next time I will use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil to line my pan.:-)

May all good things come your way today!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Remembering....

Are you filled with fresh energy for the new week ahead?  Did you have a chance to relax, refocus and recharge?

This picture really doesn’t do this rainbow justice .  It was the most amazing rainbow I have ever seen!  As I was driving from Waynesville, NC to Lake Junaluska, it seemed as though I could reach out and touch it! I felt like my car was the “pot of gold “ at the end of the rainbow 🌈!

That was the beginning of an amazing time with Diana Butler Bass!


She is the author of two books I have recently read - “Grounded” and “Grateful.” It was a wonderful experience to hear her inspiring message on gratitude! 

Off to Monday’s usual tasks today! Grateful for this day!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday, March 24, 2019....

On March 23, 1869, a group of women met in the basement of a Methodist church in Boston and created the Women's Foreign Missionary Society.  Through the years, this organization has had a few name changes, and today is known as the United Methodist Women.  Their focus has continued to be on mission with children, youth, and women worldwide.

Today's Mission Focus is the Epworth Children and Family Services in St. Louis, Missouri.

This is the Third Sunday in Lent.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this day!  Special blessings to all!

Friday, March 22, 2019

If it's Friday....

....you probably suspect a recipe is on the way!  You would be correct on this day!


It started out this way....slices of bacon in the iron skillet; fry until crisp; drain on paper towels; crumble, and set aside for later.


Saute onion in the bacon fat until it is tender.  Meanwhile, simmer 1 pound of fish (we like cod or flounder) in 1 1/2 cups water.


This will take about 15 minutes, probably, but you will want to watch it until it is almost ready to flake.  It may take less time, or it might take a little more.

After you remove the fish from the pan, add 1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes.  I used Russet.  They hold their shape better as they are cooking.  Cook them until they are tender, abut 8 minutes or so.

Add the flaked fish and 1 1/2 cups of milk.  If you want to combine half and half or whole milk with skim, that will work.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  


Oops!  Did I leave out the step of adding the sautéed onion and crumbled bacon?  That goes in with the milk, as the pot is simmering away.  You will also want to add a little salt and some pepper.  We go easy on salt in our house, so you decide how much you need. 

After all that, here it is!  Ready to enjoy!  We call this Fish (or Seafood) Chowder at our house.  I have made it for years from researching different methods of preparing this kind of soup.  It is one of my favorites, and I am always excited when my favorite market has a special pricing on cod! 

Happy Friday! 
The weekend is on the way!






Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Paper work....


Are you a fan of college basketball?  If so, be prepared for exciting times ahead!  March Madness is upon us!



This is the kind of paper work to which I refer!  Do you follow the games and fill in the brackets?



Do you have a favorite college team?  Do you agree with the #1 seed selections?  

We will be watching the games, especially those in which the #2Vols will be playing.  They are scheduled for Friday afternooon at 2:00 with #11Colgate as their opponent.

Not only will we be keeping up with the Vols, we will be watching the Lady Vols as well!


As a #11 seed, they will be playing #6 seed UCLA on Saturday at 1:00.

Living in this area, we will definitely be cheering for both the Vols and the Lady Vols as they play in the NCAA tournament!

Happy first day of spring!  Watch for that full moon tonight!




Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Time for a book review....

There is a group of us over on Twitter who have connected through our following of Susan Branch, and a number of months ago, we began a book club.  We have read a variety of selections through the months, of course including the latest three of Susan's own books.

Our most recent selection was this one....

 I have read other selections by Sue Monk Kidd....The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (autobiographical)....and have enjoyed each one.  The Invention of Wings is a work of fiction, though inspired by actual historical facts.

Sarah Grimke and her sister Abigail are historically known as abolitionists during the years before the Civil War when slavery was widely practiced in the Charleston, SC area where their home was located.  The Grimke family was no different from others in their area, and Sarah was presented with her own personal slave, Handful (or Hetty), as a 12th birthday "gift."

There was something about the whole slavery issue that didn't set well with Sarah, and she attempted to cancel that sort of relationship with Handful.  She quickly learned, however, that her approach was not accepted by the family.  Neither was her desire to embark on an educational path that would lead her in her father's footsteps.  These were the days when women just didn't enter the professional world that was dominated by men.

Sarah was not to be deterred, however, and becoming an influence on her younger sister, Abigail, the two of them eventually set out to mount opposition to slavery and calling for the freeing of slaves.

The novel inserts fictional accounts, though based on what has been learned through the years, of the interaction between slaves and their "masters," as well as their fate as they maneuvered through their difficult existence.  It is my opinion that one of the darkest spots in our history is the practice of slavery.

Are you giving yourself time for reading these days?  What are you currently reading?  Have you read anything you would recommend recently?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019....

Today is the Second Sunday in Lent.  May you be surrounded by hope, joy, peace, and love on this special day.  Blessings to all.

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for today is the Dumas Wesley Community Center, Mobile, Alabama.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Weekend wishes....


I know....St. Patrick's Day isn't until tomorrow, but why not honor and celebrate all weekend?  My ancestors would be happy! 💚🍀🍄👒🌈 Still looking for that pot of gold among my emojis!  It isn't here on my iPad.

"Pi Day" was a couple of days ago, and you've already seen the "pie of the day" from here.  I was, however, motivated to continue the pie baking....

Since I had the Bisquick out already, it just made sense to make this quiche.  I've had the recipe jotted down from an unnamed source for awhile....Country Quiche, it's called there.  Later, I saw the recipe in a book called "At Our Table."  In that book, it is called Kinderhook Quiche.  Whatever you call it, I call it delicious!

After blending 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1/2 cup Bisquick (add some salt and pepper, if you wish), pour that into a dish that has been lightly oiled/greased.  Then, add 1 cup of shredded cheese and 3/4 cup cooked ham (could use bacon, sausage, or even make it veggie and use steamed broccoli), and lightly press them below the surface.  It will look something like this....


Then, place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until set.


Voila!  Delicious for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner!

Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 15, 2019

The cooking continues....


Do you wonder what I've been doing recently?  Are you surprised that the cooking has continued?

I recently volunteered to provide some soup for a gathering at our church.  It was a great opportunity for me to make what has become my favorite homemade soup!  Turkey Wild Rice Soup is a Taste of Home recipe that I found on the Internet in 2014, and I have made it many times since then.

I started with 1/2 cup butter, cubed, melting it over medium-high heat.


Also needed are 2 carrots, finely chopped; 2 celery ribs, finely chopped; and 1 medium onion, chopped.


Four cups of chicken or turkey broth, 2 cups cooked wild rice, 2 cups cubed cooked turkey, 2 cups half-and-half cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper are also needed.


Saute the carrots, celery, and onion until tender.



Stir in flour until blended; cook until bubbly.


Gradually whisk in broth.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.


Stir in the remaining ingredients; return to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Here is the finished pot of soup!  This makes about 3 quarts, with one cup equaling 222 calories!  It is so delicious and comforting to me!  Oh....there were no leftovers to bring home, so I'm going to make another pot for us to enjoy here!  

Wishing all good things for you today! 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pi?....

I hear this is National Pi Day!  I do not pretend to know much about the "pi" that applies to ratio, circumference, and diameter, but I do know about this kind!

Now, you may be thinking about a sweet pie.  We love those here, too.  However, this time I have gone the savory route with two cups of turkey in the pie dish, topped with two cups of peas and carrots, then that cream of chicken soup mixed in.  This is a favorite Bisquick recipe, and I've made it many times through the years.  For the topping on this one, I used 1 1/2 cups of Bisquick, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 egg.  I added some sage to the dry Bisquick before mixing the milk and egg into it, giving me a batter that became something like drop biscuits.  The recipe for drop biscuits is on the side of the box, but I added the sage and egg.

This was baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check it at 15 to be sure it isn't becoming too brown.

Here we are....
For some reason, I'm unable to enlarge this to the same size as the other two pictures!

What is your favorite pie?  Savory or sweet?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Today is....

....National Earmuff Day!

Do you remember wearing earmuffs when you were a child?  I didn't ever have any, that I recall.  However, a few years ago, The Husband brought these in for me.  We seem to need them at this stage of our lives!

I'm remembering this date in 1993.  We were in the midst of a huge snowfall - 18 inches total when all was said and done!  That was a record snowfall total for this area!

No chance of snow here today, however.  We currently show 55 degrees where we are!

Happy Hump Day!  The week is moving right along!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday's meanderings....

A new week begins!  Do you have a full schedule ahead?  We seem to stay rather busy here, so we carved out some time during a slow week to take in the Car Show.





Are those colors bright enough for you?  There were cars galore and more, as you can see!  Do you see one you would like?   Though not pictured, there were several electric models displayed and one that we saw that would give up to 88 miles per gallon using both electricity and gasoline!  Amazing!  It was a great way to spend some time on a drizzly day!