Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Wacky Cake and Waffles....

 Today is National Chocolate Cake Day!  Is that something you think you could celebrate?

We celebrated Wednesday with waffles for breakfast this morning, and that has made this day feel very special!

Have you heard of Wacky Cake?  I may have featured it on the blog some time ago.  Hoping the steps will stay in the correct order with this one.

This is such a simple recipe that I don’t know why I don’t bake it more often!  Ingredients are sifted directly into the baking dish; little “hollows hold vanilla, vinegar, and oil; then, a cup of cold water is poured over all.  It can be frosted, though we prefer it just like it is, adorned with ice cream!  Sometimes I will sprinkle powdered sugar on top. 

Anyway, Happy National Chocolate Cake Day!  The recipe needs 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp soda, 3 Tbsp cocoa, 1/2 tsp salt sifted all together into the baking dish.  One Tbsp vinegar in one “hollow,” 1/3 cup oil in another, and 1 tsp vanilla in the other. Pour the water over, stir well with a fork, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes!  Enjoy!

Sending special thoughts to all our healthcare workers!  Let’s do our part to help make their work less demanding!  Remember to wear a mask....and I’m hearing that it’s time we might want to wear more than one!  Be safe, and stay well!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Winter light....

 We have had a series of grey days here, with the sun trying valiantly to appear.  

Grocery store tulips add some color and cheer.

The January tree, trimmed with snowmen, snowflakes, and stars gives special light in the evenings.

We lit candles this evening in memory of those who have passed away due to COVID.  Did you see the display in Washington, DC?  Very moving and sobering.  

I send you wishes for good health.  Stay safe!  Be well!  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Winter wonders....

 We were greeted by this lovely light snowfall on Monday morning.  The snow changed over to rain, however, and the snow was quickly washed away.

This morning, we woke to freezing fog.  The landscape was beautiful, and these pictures don’t do it justice. 

Winter wonders!  Such a treat!  Around 2:00, the sun decided to appear, and we have clear, blue skies!

Sending encouraging thoughts to all!  Take care!  Be safe!  Stay well!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

This new year.... off and running!  How is it going for you thus far?  Do you have any special “tools” to keep up with what is happening?

These are sure to be a focus in our house....

What an excellent page to begin the year!  Are you feeling any stress?  Do you have some special techniques for stress relief?  This is the January focus on the Susan Branch wall calendar, my favorite!
The month ahead began with a blank slate....a brand new start!  That is, of course, what we have every morning....a brand new day!  
This is my desk calendar, the one that has everything I might be doing during the year.  Understandably, it’s quite void of any appointments or activities.  I am using it as my daily journal instead.  It’s a good place to record words referring to current moods, frustrations, or developments around us.

Do you record the happenings in your day in some way?  Do you have the habit of writing in a journal?  

How is the vaccine administration going where you are?  It’s progressing rather slowly here, in my opinion.  We’re hoping for a speedier approach very soon!

Take care, be safe, and stay well!

Sunday, January 3, 2021


 As I have mentioned previously, during these pandemic days, we have been “attending” worship and Sunday School online.  While it hasn’t been equal to being able to meet in person, it has been rewarding to be able to join with others online.  

Our Sunday School class just completed reading/studying “HOPE, an Advent Journey” by Olu Brown.    Olu Brown is founding pastor of Impact Church in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the fastest growing churches in America.  

Today’s session was especially meaningful to me.  The conclusion, Chapter Seven, is to be considered an Advent party favor.  As we have moved on from 2020, we are able to feel that we have made it through one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult for many, periods in modern day history.  While we are facing a New Year with the declaration - to ourselves, perhaps to others - that we are going to live our best life in 2021, regardless of the circumstances that surround us, we may be tempted to let the past fears find a way into our lives.  Rev. Brown mentions these four phrases of hope to see us through the times that are ahead.  They are 1) Don’t worry. 2) Don’t fear. 3) Stay positive.  This refers to surrounding yourself with people and information that share good news, even while staying informed to what is going on around you. 4) Stay curious.  Keep your curiosity alive by keeping Advent close to your heart. 

This is where you have a choice.  What is ahead is the future, and it is up to us to choose to live it with joy and peace, or fear and anxiety.  The joy and peace we have had during Advent and Christmas will still be  with us in the future.  We just have to make an effort to choose it and apply it to our relationships.

Rev. Brown writes his concluding paragraph with these words: “The light of Christ remains after the Advent season because the light is within you. Wherever you are, there is light, and wherever you go, there is light.

            - Be the light.

            - Be the joy.

            - Be the hope.”

I found these words to be words of reassurance and encouragement, giving direction for the days ahead.

If you think you would enjoy this book, is a site for you to investigate for purchase.

I want to take this opportunity to mention that the work of the United Methodist Women has continued through this time, and this new year has new challenges.  Today’s Mission Focus is the AK Child & Family, Anchorage, Alaska.  Providing opportunities to examine and experience God’s love in different ways from acceptance to theological discussion.

Choose joy!

Friday, January 1, 2021

A list on Friday....

 Although the Christmas/holiday celebrations have been altered greatly this season, there was a need to take some time for recharging.  Following are some of the recharging techniques here.

1)  Taking time for a special tea break on a busy morning was a good idea!  It was the perfect time to begin reading “Enchanted,” the first chapter of a book by Susan Branch.  The teaspoon was a Christmas gift.

 2)  For the past several years, The Husband and I have celebrated New Year’s Eve by going to Red Lobster for an early dinner.  Those wonderful cheese biscuits are really difficult to resist.  This season, however, there is no going out to eat.  I was happy to find a copycat recipe in my files for these biscuits.  They were a perfect accompaniment to my favorite soup....Chicken Wild Rice!

3)  These soup mugs are ideal for serving soup and keeping it from becoming too cool.  In this picture, the mug contains homemade vegetable beef soup using a beef bone from our Christmas Day roast.

4)  Black-eyed peas have become a tradition on New Year’s Day.  I remembered to set them to soak on New Year’s Eve, and although there is no picture, they were very tasty earlier today!

5)  This was my favored position in the early evening on New Year’s Eve.  As we are all about relaxing these days, it was very soothing to sit in front of the fireplace in something comfy.  The pajamas were designed by Susan Branch several years ago.

6)  We especially enjoyed this presentation on PBS.  It was perfect for New Year’s Eve.

Now we are at the first day of the new year.  None of us know what this year will bring, though there is the promise of a vaccine which is hoped to bring an end to this pandemic that has turned things upside down for all of us.  We will be ready for that when our turn comes!

May the coming year be one of hope and joy for you!