Saturday, May 31, 2014

A day trip....

Happy Saturday to you!  Are you glad to have a week-end?

Recently, The Husband and I took a day trip to a small town not too far away.  I am sharing a few pictures today of that trip.

I like the view of the storefronts.

This is in the middle of town.

Another view showing another monument honoring area veterans.

The gazebo is located along Main Street.

There was another urn just like this one on the side to the right.

This sign hangs on the gazebo.

It was a nice day with no showers, so that made the trip more pleasant.  We enjoyed browsing in antique stores, although nothing came home from one of them. 

For those of you who live in larger cities, do you enjoy trips to smaller towns nearby?  This is something we have always enjoyed doing. 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Native American Thought of It....

Happy Friday!  Has it been a good week for you?  Do you have some exciting week-end plans?

Here, the reading continues.:-)  Today's book is from the Leadership Development area of the United Methodist Women book list for 2014.

Authored by Rocky Landon with David MacDonald

Table of Contents

Map of North America


This book tells of more than 70 items and ideas that were vital to native survival. and is recommended in the Youth category.  Credit on our reading list can be given for reading Youth books.  I am on my way to having Plan III of the Reading Program fulfilled during this year, with three books from each of the five areas - Education for Mission, Nurturing for Community, Spiritual Growth, Social Action, and Leadership Development - read during the year.

Is there a book you are currently reading?  Let  us hear about it!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Buying locally....

What does it mean to you to "buy local?"  What distance qualifies as "local" to you?  Why would you even consider "buying local?"

One of the best ways to be sure one is purchasing products from local sources is to patronize Farmers Markets in your area.  Recently, The Husband and I made a trip to one that is held in our area.

It was exciting to see all the fresh vegetables that were offered.  This is what came home with us.

Two varieties of lettuce, Swiss chard and baby zucchini!

 We added these goodies from our own garden ~

~ and had a very good salad for lunch!

Buying as much from local sources as possible helps our area farmers and businesses.  However, these do not come from our area ~

That daily banana!

~ and I must have one of these each day!

We ended the day with a treat from here ~

Two miles away!

It was the first time we had eaten pizza out in a restaurant in a number of years!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

None today....

No blog post today;  will return tomorrow - hopefully!  Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I'm sure you've seen something similar....

Did you enjoy a three-day week-end?  Of course, if you are retired as The Husband and I are, every week-end is a three-day event.:-) 

The month of April provided us with several opportunities to give and receive gifts.  I've mentioned one or two on the blog already.  Today, I want to share this one with you.

Folded all nicely and compactly.  Will it ever look like this again?

With much courage, I have begun to unfold this.

Completely unfolded and hanging so you are able to see how it looks when opened.

For many years, I have carried reusable tote bags with me to the grocery store.  I use as few plastic grocery bags as possible in an attempt to make a more environmentally safe choice.  How about you?  Do you carry along reusable bags when you do your grocery shopping?

This particular one was a gift from the Country Couple.  And - yes!  I was able to refold it when the time came.:-)  I really like how this one fits very easily right into my purse!  No excuse for not having it with me when it is needed!  

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Taking time....

I hope you have plans for an enjoyable Memorial Day holiday.  I will be pausing at 3:00 for a time of silence while remembering those who have served our country in the military, thereby enabling those of us who live in the United States to enjoy the freedoms we have. 

We watched an amazing tribute to our Veterans on the PBS channel on Sunday night.  Were any of you able to watch it, too?

Wishes for a good day to all of you!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

For Sunday, May 25, 2014....

From Matthew 6:33 we have these words ~

                                   "But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,

                                          and all these things will be given to you as well."

                                                                                                             ~ NRSV

The Mission Focus for today from the 2014 United Methodist Women Prayer calendar is InterServ in St. Joseph, MO. 

May this be a Sunday of blessings for you.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Short - but not too sweet....

The lights gave a couple of flickers, then went out entirely!  About the same time, the noise of the wind increased, and the sound of hail hitting the side of the house was heard!  Oh, my! The dwarf fruit trees are being blown almost horizontally with the ground!  Yikes! 

Through the light of dusk, this was visible.

Cedar trees downed by the wind!

The wind and hail were only present a short time, thankfully, but the wind left a reminder of its force.  The Husband worked much of the day on Friday clearing the evidence of Thursday evening's storm away. 

Are you able to see where the top of the tree broke?

Another limb was blown here -

We found a shingle on the ground, too, but haven't replaced it as yet.

We think we've seen where it belongs.

Though part of the cedar tree fell over a corner of the garden, there was actually no damage done.

Growing nicely!

Everything is looking good and green!  The hail wasn't enough of an issue to cause any damage to the plants.

That power outage?  It was three hours long!  Just as our bedtime approached, on came the lights!  Then came the trek through the house to take care of those blinking clocks!:-) 

I send you happy Saturday wishes!  Enjoy this holiday week-end!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, May 23, 2014

More on bees...

It is Friday!  Has it been a busy week for you?  Do you have some good week-end plans?

Last Friday, I featured a book about bees.  Here is another one.

Published in 1995.

Table of Contents

Eek!  Why is this sideways?!?

Love this illustration.
If  you are able to read some of the questions that are asked in the Table of Contents, you will know what this book covers.  In my opinion, it is an excellent resource for educating children about bees.  Well, not just children, but all of us.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Is it summer yet?

- The Women's Chorus, of which I am a member, gave the last performance of our current program yesterday.  We will return to rehearsals on August 7.  Is it summer yet?

- Our local schools were dismissed for the 2013-14 school year yesterday at mid-day.  Their next day of classes - the beginning of the 2014-15 school year - will be August 11, 2014.  Is it summer yet?

- Admittedly, I wondered in a recent post if winter was returning (last Saturday when the thermometer's reading was 36 degrees), but our high temperature yesterday wasn't far from 90 degrees.  Is it summer yet?

- The Youth Choir from our church is beginning their tour this week-end.  Is it summer yet? 

- The Husband reports the appearance of potato bugs in the garden!  Is it summer yet?

- The coming week-end will be observed as Memorial Day week-end.  Is it summer yet?

While the above are all signs of summer, the calendar indicates we are almost a month away from the official beginning of summer.  

Do you have special plans for summer - whether it has "arrived" where you are, or whether you are waiting for that official date in June?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One more....

Another Wednesday has arrived!  When I was teaching, for many years Wednesday mornings were my bus duty days.  When that responsibility was finished for the day, I knew that I was heading toward the home stretch - the week-end! 

This Wednesday is especially special.  It is the birthday of Machoman!  Now, it isn't just any birthday.  No sir!  It is one of those birthdays that end in zero.  On this occasion, there is a "4" preceding the zero! 

So - happy birthday to Machoman!  We won't be seeing him, but he is assured he has our wishes for a very happy birthday!

Munchomom baked this cake, with help from the Munchkins, of course.:-)

Doesn't that German chocolate cake look scrumptious?  When The Husband saw the picture, he declared that German chocolate was his favorite!:-)  That is news to me!:-)  Guess I'll be trying to bake something soon.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Season moves along....

Happy Tuesday to you!  Have you had a good beginning to the week?

The season is moving along, surprising us with its beauty.  I was excited to see these:

Petunias bloomed while I was away!

We love this lily!

Another lily!

And - another one!

The Husband was excited to tell me about something in the garden.

Do you see that green tomato?

There is a green tomato on another plant!

This was also a surprise!

A solitary eggplant!  

We customarily do not have good luck with eggplant, so I am hoping this year will be different.

Things are as green around here as if it were the middle of summer.  After the cool temperatures of last week and the week-end, we are expecting the next few days to be more summer-like. 

What is growing where you are?  Do you have a vegetable garden?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, May 19, 2014

An amazing week-end....

....and how did the week-end pass so quickly?  That just seems to be the way of week-ends, especially when they are full of activity.

I spent the week-end at Lake Junaluska for the Conference United Methodist Women Spiritual Enrichment Experience.  It was truly an amazing time, with wonderful music and an outstanding speaker.

Program with our current Conference logo on front.

My room was in the Terrace Hotel, just across the street from the Harrell Center where I set up the book display.  The rooms at Terrace are being redecorated, complete with new beds/bedding!  It was quite comfortable!  It was great to be on the side of the building that gave me a view of the lake.

Lake Junaluska, through the screen at the window!

The cloudy sky!

Unfortunately, the weather was a bit cloudy and drizzly - even rainy, at times.  Also, the colder-than-usual winter was really hard on the rose bushes that make up the Rose Walk, and many bushes had to be replaced.  Consequently, there were none of the blooms that are usual for this time of year.  I believe I have posted pictures of the Rose Walk in a much-earlier post.

Also, how about that horse race?!?  Did you watch the Preakness on television?  California Chrome is 2/3 of the way toward being a Triple Crown winner! There hasn't been one of those since 1978 when Affirmed won.  We'll be eagerly watching the Belmont in June!

I've been missing from some of your blogs for a few days.  Hopefully I'll have a bit of time to do a little catching up in the next day or two.

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

From Philippians, we have these words -

                                            "Let each of you look not to your own interests,

                                                       but to the interests of others.

                                              Let the same mind be in you

                                                      that was in Christ Jesus."

                                                                                     Philippians 2:4-5

The Mission Focus from the United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar for 2014 for today is the Della Lamb Community Services, Kansas City, MO.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Shiver me timbers!"

Brr!  What happened to spring?  The Husband says this is "Blackberry Winter," but I thought we had that with the last cold snap.

It all began with the rain that came mid-week.  Before the rain arrived, I went outside to cut just a few pretty blooms.

Small, but cheerful. 

Do you have some special Saturday plans?  If you enjoy watching horses, remember the Preakness is this afternoon!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The season's helpers....

Welcome to Friday!  Has it been a good week for you?  Do you have some special week-end plans?

There are helpers that those of us with flowers and vegetable gardens like to see at work.  I want to focus on a book that tells about one of them.

Two books illustrated, but I'll only cover the top one in this post.

As the Table of Contents indicates, the book also discusses some other insects as well.

Oh, dear! I don't know how this was printed sideways!
The book How Do Bees Make Honey? is part of the Usborne series of books.  It was originally published in 1994.  Our Munchkins have enjoyed reading books from this series, and I will be showing several of them in the weeks ahead.

Honey bees are vital in the success of our flowering plants for the pollination they provide.  We have seen decreasing numbers of them here.  Although there are other flying insects around, it seems that nothing works quite as well as the honey bee. 

Not only do we need them for pollination, we also enjoy the honey they produce!  Honey that is produced locally is said to be good at discouraging seasonal allergies (hay fever, etc.). 

There can be varied factors affecting the survival of the honey bee.  It is a thought of mine that the use of pesticides on lawns may be one of them.  We use no pesticide or weed killers on our lawn and are happy to see the clover that bees like so well.  We keep hoping its presence might encourage bees to return.

An extra word about yesterday's post - the potatoes I had in the potato bag required eight minutes of cooking in the microwave.  Smaller potatoes, of course, would require less time.
Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Have you heard of this?

Happy Thursday to you!  Do you expect a busy day ahead?

There were recent occasions for receiving gifts here.  Have you ever seen one of these?

For the microwave!

This was a surprise from a friend who has a sewing machine that works these lovely designs.  She included specific instructions about using it for baking potatoes in the microwave.

Ready to bake!

After washing and drying the potatoes, they are to be wrapped in a paper towel before placing in the bag.  The potatoes do not have to be pricked or oiled in any way.  I used the regular baked potato setting on the microwave and checked the potatoes for doneness with the cake tester.  I found I needed to reset for the same amount of time before these potatoes were done. 

When finished, all you need to do is just hang up the bag to dry, as there is just a bit of moisture created in the bag. 

I have used this method of cooking potatoes three times, and we are really pleased with the results!

We had an inch of rain overnight in the rain gauge.  The garden is happy!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A little taste....

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope this has been a good week thus far.

Recently, I made something to add to the dessert table when my Circle was hostess for the UMW General Meeting at church.

Preparing the pans.

Ready for the oven.

On cooling racks.

Oops!  Forgot to take a picture before wrapping!  

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
Melted butter
Graham cracker crumbs
- Beat cream cheese till smooth and creamy.  Gradually add sugar; beat well.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Scrape bowl often.
- Butter miniature muffin tins' dust with crumbs.  Fill cups almost to top. (I used 1/2 Tbsp. measuring spoon.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
3/4 cup sour cream
2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix together.  Drop in middle of 48 cheesecakes.
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Bake cheesecakes five minutes. 
If you do not add the topping, you will need to bake the cheesecakes for the 20 minutes mentioned in the above directions.  Often I do not add the topping, choosing instead to drop some fruit/sauce into the small indention that comes with removal from the oven.  I have used blueberry and cherry pie filling for toppings before, but these have a strawberry topping.
- Refrigerate.
This recipe was given to me by a neighbor 35 years ago!

The platter is A Proper Tea by Lenox, designed by Susan Branch.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Flowers - and some fruit!

It does seem as though summer is here with our high temperatures reaching the mid-eighties each day.  However, there are a few springtime flowers that I will share with you today.

We returned home from our week-end away to find the peonies had burst into bloom!

Also, there is a good showing of new growth on the Knockout Roses.

Even some lovely blooms here....

...and here!
There are buttercups in the yard...

Pretty dainty flowers.

...and the blueberries are looking promising.

They are growing!

This is strawberry season, though.

This was a surprise!

Our first harvest!  Yum!

Those strawberries were certainly good on a spinach salad!:-)

I hope your week is going well.  Have a terrific Tuesday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.