Monday, August 25, 2008

My Days of Late

Oh, I hope your weather is as beautiful for you as ours is for us today.  I love August, just love it!  We have had some of the most beautiful summery days in the last month.  Early summer was such a disappointment, weather-wise and our mosquitoes were beyond horrible, so this has been a real treat.  Being mosquito-free comes with a price, it is very dry here, but we have had a few little rains.  You can sure feel fall coming though.  Jack said his truck thermometer read 35 degrees (Fahrenheit) when he left for work at 5:30 this morning.

I just wanted to express my joy ... of late ... there have been some very difficult things in the last year, most on-going, things that hurt my heart.  But God is faithful, even through the times I feel like I can't feel Him.  And then when the sky seems to part and I feel the warmth of Him shining down on me/us again, it is all so worth the pain and heartache of trials and learning.

There have been so many times that I have intended to write up a little blog entry.  But honestly, I have just been enjoying being with my family, and spending a lot of time with Jack.  Several notable things have occurred.  Hope you'll read to the end as this post culminates in really exciting news.

Coffee-cupJacob finally gave notice at his job.  It is a good job, and Jack and I are so proud of his performance there, but it has been an awful source of stress.  I've been real concerned about him over the last months.  He gave his notice some time ago, but his co-workers talked him into staying.  Various things culminated and now, at 17 and entering his last year of school, he felt it was time to narrow his focus for awhile and concentrate on school.  It was hard for him working so many hours during the last school year.  So this will be a good change.  His last day is Wednesday.

Coffee-cup Jack bought the movie Flywheel the other night.  We so love this movie.  We saw Facing the Giants some time ago, and I was so so so impressed with that movie that I couldn't wait to see Flywheel.  When we did, I was just so touched.  Both movies from the Kendrick Brothers are just so good.  So I am happy to have both of these movies in our library.  I love to tell about these movies, how great they are! and I hope if you haven't seen them you'll make an effort to find them somewhere.  I am excited to see the new one, Fireproof.

Coffee-cup I am making a concentrated effort to edit Molly's book, Every Tear.  I have so many things I am doing lately, and now with school starting soon, that I think I will have to make myself a schedule.

Coffee-cup We went to another Needtobreathe concert. smile I love their CD The Heat.  They sang the acoustic version of Washed by the Water.  We were all up close.  It was a moment I won't ever forget.

Coffee-cup I am still completely enamored with digital scrapbooking and can't believe I almost never tried this.  The only bad thing is that I can't just have fun doing it, now I had to find out how to make the things that I am working with.  On the flip side, that has been a lot of fun.  I needed something like this and actually feel it was a blessing.

Coffee-cup Other than this I have been doing a lot of laundry. LOL I know all too soon I won't be able to hang clothes out on the lines anymore.  I enjoy this so much.  So I have been a happy clothes-hanging fool.

Coffee-cup And now, I have saved the best for last, for anyone who has read down this far. wink

Jack received a phone call the other night, a Friday night, from a co-worker who was at the stock car races.  He told him that Jack had been announced the winner of a drawing Jack had entered awhile back.  There was always the chance that someone with the same name was the winner, so he had to wait until Monday morning to find out definitively, but all weekend we heard from different people who had also heard Jack's name announced.  So bright and early Monday morning, Jack got a phone call telling him he had won, a brand new four-wheeler.  I was so tickled for him!  He's never won anything big before, and this was a real blessing for us.

Hopefully I'll be back soon.  Various ones of us have been sick. Sad First Jack, who is never sick, then Molly, now Jacob.  He's feeling sick enough maybe he'll even miss his last two long days at work. I hope not, but sometimes things can't be helped.
Take care...Wave

Friday, August 15, 2008

Simple Pleasures - The Thrift Store

I love loving the things I love to do. not one care Frequenting the thrift store is high on that list.  So it is a nice thing that, as of yesterday, our small town now has its very own thrift store.Dancing

We went to check it out last night, and I found some fun little treasures.  I'm drinking now out of my new favorite mug, a fabby little red mug (below) with vintage-looking detail like vertical indented grooves, but Molly read the print on the bottom (because I couldn't without my glasses LOL) and she said it was JC Penney.  I also found that blue little pitcher creamer thing which will look adorable holding little yellow violas next spring.

And Jack found two boxes of these Martha Stewart bistro mugs.

I can scarcely get past the book's just so hard to stop looking and walk away.  I found two Lori Wick books I did not have: The Rescue and City Girl.  In new condition, no less.

image image

I haven't been reading any of Lori Wick's newer books.  I don't know what happened, but for me it's just like they are not the same.  It's like someone else is writing for her now.  Sad But I love so many of her older books.  Especially The Proposal, which is the first in the English Garden series, before The Rescue.  And I loved Every Little Thing About You which is the first in the Yellow Rose Trilogy with City Girl.  It's just fun because Molly is enjoying reading them too and it's fun to share a favorite author.

Colleen Dewhurst, Her AutobiographyI also found Colleen Dewhurst's autobiography.  I love autobiographies, and I had started reading hers on Amazon...the inside the book look thing.  So I was really happy to find it at the thrift store and actually, it was not there the first time I looked.  Jack was checking out, and I strayed over to the books again. In Love And that was when I found it.  I think Colleen Dewhurst was a fabulous actress, and I'll always love her as Marilla Cuthbert of Anne of Green Gables fame.


Sweet land

Lastly, we stopped first at a little place that sells used DVDs.  I found Sweet land for $2.99.  This is such a sweet little movie, simple and charming.  I just loved it.  It is an immigrant story which takes place in my home state of Minnesota.  The colors in the movie are just wonderful and the whole story is just so different and enjoyable.  Just a true gem, and I was so happy to find it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Visit With Helen

It's always so hard to catch up with things after you've been away.  We had a really lovely time at my great aunt Helen's party.  I saw so many people I have not seen in years.   It was Helen I wanted to see though and it was good to hug, see each other face to face, clasp hands now and then.  I cherish times like these, times with family, and it's always hard when they come to an end.  I got to see a flower garden quilt Helen made before she was even married, sewn all by hand.  And she gave me my great grandfather's shirt and vest, the ones he wore at his wedding, along with one cuff and the neck piece.  And my great grandmother's gloves.  Here is a wedding photo of that day.

my great grandparents

I treasure these items for other reasons as well, but to receive something Helen has kept and treasured, makes it all the more special.  I have received other things from her, like tea cups and my great grandmother's coffee/tea service.  I will post more pictures sometime.

Here are the other two pages I did for Helen.  I was so happy that she seemed especially touched by them.  I had wanted to give her something that she could enjoy over and over.

Helen page 4

Helen page 3
There's something else I saw the day of the birthday party, an old issue of a 1950 McCall's magazine that always tickles me every time I see it.  I'll post about that next time. wink

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cherry-Chicken Salad Croissants

Cherry-Chicken Salad Croissants Do you get the Taste of Home magazine?  I'll make you want to. wink  I'm going to share a recipe that I tried the other night.  I suspect it's a pretty popular recipe with lots of variations, but here is the Taste of Home version in the new August/September 2008 issue.



Cherry - Chicken Salad Croissants

by Martha Goodrich
Wilmington, Delaware

"I love cherries and happened to come across this recipe one day.  It's a real hit with my family, and a friend's husband even took it to work to share with the office staff."

2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped tart apple
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons buttermilk (or a bit of lemon in milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
7 croissants, split

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cherries, celery, apple and pecans.  In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, salt and pepper; add to chicken mixture and mix well.  Spoon 1/2 cup chicken salad onto each croissant.  Yield: 7 servings.

Thumbs-upDo take the time to roast the pecans...just a little bit in a 350° oven, watching carefully. wink (experience talking)  They add so much to the sandwich.

We just loved this!  A new favorite.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reminiscing and Scrapbooking

It is my Aunt Helen's 90th birthday on Saturday.  I have not seen her for over twenty years, but she lives closer now so it will be wonderful to travel to be with her to celebrate her birthday.  I have been so taken (read: enthralled) with digital scrapbooking, I decided to do a few pages for her.  So my mind has really been going back a long way these last few days as I go through photos.

Long ago, before I got married, I would go on cross-country bus trips with my grandmother.  We would wind our way east from Minnesota, then down south, and then over to New Mexico.  That's where these scrapbooking pages are coming from, our visits with Helen, my grandmother's sister.  (I'll back track a bit and tell you about my dear grandmother - read the post below entitled For One More Day.)

Here are two of the pages I have made for Helen.  (she is on the left, my little grandma on the right) I am so loving this scrapbooking! This first page holds photos which have always been my favorites.  I'm just a little old lady at even though I was just a young woman when I took these photos that day, with my whole life ahead of me, sitting like this, chatting on an old-fashioned summer afternoon, that's where my heart lives.  Being like that.  So this page especially will ever be my favorite.

page 1

this page is a morning we cooked breakfast out in the desert

page 2
scrapbooking kits are all from Shabby Miss Jenn Designs

For One More Day

I just finished a sobbing fit...after reading anew what I wrote below.  I wonder if scrapbooking will often be like this, as I dig through old photos?  I miss my grandmother so much.  I wrote this a couple of years ago or more for one of Darylynn's homework assignments.  My grandmother passed away in 2000, just days before her birthday.  Here are some thoughts...

I would love to have one more day with my grandmother. I loved her dearly and miss her terribly. My life has never been the same since her passing. I would like to just sit with her awhile, share a cup of coffee and a good chat at the kitchen table like we used to, feel her papery hands again, lean into the warmth of her soft hug.

Grandma and my daughter, Molly

Grandma and my daughter, Molly

My grandma was widowed early on. My grandfather's plane crashed over the Himalayan Mountains in World War II. They would take Hi-octane fuel to Russia and bring back wounded soldiers. My mother was four and still has a vivid recollection of the early morning when they heard a knock at the door bringing news of his death. His body was never found. For whatever reason my grandma never remarried. She was very independent, and I remember her driving down from the city to our farm, always with presents for us kids, all six of us. She was a rock hound, loved to garden, and go fishing, and she would always want to go for nature walks with her grandchildren.

Gran fishing

Gran fishing

Gran picking raspberries and blueberries

Gran picking raspberries and blueberries

wayWhen I was older, I was staying overnight with her once and loringnoticed a big box of colorful thin paperbacks in her closet.  They were sweet, very old Harlequin Romance books. We shared them back and forth after that, and Emilie Loring books too. It was just a very fun thing to share with her.

My grandma was a bundle of energy as I grew up, a force to be reckoned with, but as she aged she became my "little gran." Before then, and before I got married, we took bus trips cross country which were a little hairy, a little scary, but true adventures. I can still remember rolling into those bus stations, getting off to stretch our legs and eat and then getting back on again, meeting people, seeing new places, making connections. We toured on foot through Washington, D.C., walked the shores of Myrtle Beach, dipped down into Florida, lunched beside the ocean at Biloxi, picnicked in the desert land of New Mexico, and sat in absolute awe at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Traveling with Gran was a trip. LOL But I have to tell you the most fun I had with her was sitting at her dining room table having coffee together.

Those were the days when she could still get around, still see okay. One of the last times I spent with grandma, I knelt in front of her wheel chair and buried myself into her front, soaking in the feeling because I knew it wouldn't happen many more times and told her how much I loved her. The end years of my grandma's life were much harder and more difficult than you'd want for anyone so memories are good to have. When I was five months pregnant with Molly, Grandma drove here from the city and stayed with me. I can still remember seeing her kneeling out behind our garage transplanting some rhubarb she brought me. I don't really care for rhubarb, but it's still there. If we ever move, it'll come with me. After we got done planting we went into my kitchen and sat at the old yellow table we had then and had coffee and something tea-ish to eat.

I ache to do that again.

I believe we will again one day very soon, because Grandma loved the Lord and trusted in Jesus for her salvation as I do. I'll always remember her most like this, with her Bible in her lap.

Gran with her Bible