Saturday, October 3, 2015

Early this morning, I sat quietly, looking out the family room window.  My heart felt so heavy,
and the tears were near the surface.  My focus was clouded.  My thoughts went out to the
many families whose lives were instantly changed in a small, hometown of Rosedale,
Oregon.  I thought of what their Saturday morning looked like, and hence my sadness
for them.

Then, it was as if God redirected my focus, and suddenly, I saw their color
and their exquisite beauty ......roses..... as they continued to bloom, right outside the
rain covered window.
Not many of them.  No, just a few, but they were there, lifting their heads toward heaven,
and their presence blessed my saddened heart in a special way.

A few of the brilliant red ones...

A few buds, and newly opened ones, as well.

Quietly, without fanfare, through the rain and much cooler weather, they continued to
bloom, even though it is October.

Even the tiny raindrops added to their exquisite beauty.

I walked to another window, on a different side of our house, and there I saw it.  One remaining
pink hydrangea, and it too offered a touch of inspiration for me.  

At the back window, I observed the tiny birds that were happily eating away, despite the
heavy rain of the morning.  These inspiring sights outside my windows, on this dismal
Saturday morning, reminded me that God is still giving us gifts of beauty like these, to
exhibit His continual love for me, and for all of His children.  Then, it came to mind, the amazing sights that greeted those Christians who were brave enough to stand up in that classroom, when they entered Heaven's gates on Thursday morning.
I know that, because my Bible tells me so.
I read this in 1 Corinthians 2: 9
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor has entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
Great peace and heartfelt comfort was what I found on this Saturday.
Thanks to my uncle for sharing this last picture with me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

For at least 40some years, I have been attending the country fair in my home town. 
Each year, the main street of the town, along with many other side streets, have been
closed down to traffic, and set up with food stands, game stands, rides with colorful
lights and loud, fun music.  It takes place on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and
culminates on Saturday night.  The highlight of this fair, is the big, crowd gathering
parade on Wednesday evening. 

Last evening, my husband and I, along with our daughter and her children, headed
out to attend the activities for yet another year. 

 I wish I could share the sounds and the smells of this event, with you.  As we walked along,
I could not help but smile, as I observed once again, small town America, putting on her
finest, and  sharing the festive happening with so many people.

I could not imagine how this all must appear to all the children.  First stop...the "chance" of
winning your very own goldfish.  Their mother purchased one can of ping pong balls, with
the children each taking their turns to throw the balls and have them land in one of the
colorful bowls.  I stood back watching them, as they so carefully, attempted this feat.

As you can see, there was only one winner.  Ever so carefully, he carried this beloved goldfish
throughout the entire evening.

Next on the agenda, was their introduction to the fair staple, of funnel cakes.

Two funnel cakes, divided among six people, after being sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Believe me, they devoured every bite of those deep fried cakes. 

The flower display room was next, with so many entrants presenting their prized flowers,
plants, and arrangements.

This huge, beautiful dahlia caught our attention.  The vibrant color is big this year in the
fashion world, and would certainly capture the attention of everyone, in any garden.

This colorful, creative arrangement, was a favorite of my granddaughter and me.  We were
sure every teacher would be so blessed to receive it as a gift.

As the evening progressed, we took our coveted street side seats, thanks to my cousin
and her family, and waited for the parade to begin.  One could feel the anticipation, when
the first drums were heard in the distance.

The men who had served in the military were honored first, as they proudly marched down the

High School bands shared their talents too, as they marched past us.

The evening also presented time to catch up with family.  Here our daughter and my
cousin shared moments of conversation and laughter.  We were all grateful to her, for
our great seats.  Thanks Karel!

Huge tractor trailers, tractors, combines, were interspersed throughout the parade, along with
so many colorfully decorated floats. 

This hot air balloon demonstration caught everyone's attention, with the fire and the roar of the burner..

Before long, it was all over, and we headed home.  Everyone of us will treasure our
memories on another special hometown fair parade.  I was curious, does your hometown
have a fair or a parade?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It was a birthday gift to two of my grand-daughters and a bit of an adventure.  On a Saturday morning, we visited a
country greenhouse that had as one of it's features, the purchasing, creating, and the
helpful instruction of building one's own fairy garden.  The one pictured above, was
on display inside the front door of the greenhouse, along with the one pictured below.

Of course this grandma and her little "side-kicks" were immediately impressed and
intrigued by the colorful and unique displays.

The young lady behind the desk began the instruction process with the two girls.  Her warm,
gracious smile immediately put them at ease.  First off, chose the two bigger and three smaller
plants that you wanted to use.  They pushed the cart, most likely overwhelmed at all the choices
around them.

With her careful and kind advice, the plants were chosen, by each girl.

I was impressed at the thought they put into choosing their own various colored plants.

Then there was the category of choosing three accessory pieces.  Right away, the one chose
the puppy with the butterfly on it's nose, and the other chose a puppy on a little red wagon,
along with wire gazebos and tiny green turtles.

This dear instructor, led them to the big planting area, and proceeded to show them how to add
the dirt, then how to remove each plant, ever so carefully from the pots, and plant them in
their new containers.  Their enthusiasm began to grow, as instructions were given, and
the fun started.

Tiny stones were provided, as was the colorful moss.

I loved seeing their small hands ever so carefully, proceeding with each set of
new instructions.

Plant, then pat down the soil.  Think where you want to place the wire gazebo, and where to
put the walk compiled of tiny white stones.

Their instructor offered the most helpful and most patient type of instruction.  It was a joy to see
how these two girls responded to that type of teaching.

When that step was completed, they placed each completed garden on a cart, where she
supervised the gentle watering of each one, stressing as she did it, the
importance of giving them water and sun when they take them home.  I smiled
as I listened, wondering to myself, if truly they were taking the instructions
to heart.  How long would these plants look this vibrant and healthy?:)
Last fun step, choosing the color of glitter that they wished to sprinkle on their fairy gardens.
With careful movement, the she lightly sprinkled glitter onto the watered plants. 
What a perfect ending to their creation! 

Two completed tiny gardens.  A learning and fun birthday adventure, for two special
granddaughters, and their maw ma, who now wants to come back and build her own fairy
garden for her kitchen.

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing."   ~Aristotle

"To look at is one thing;
To see is another.
To understand is a third.
To learn from what you understand is still something else.
But to act on what you learn is what really matters."    ~Unknown

"Education is how kids learn stuff."    ~ A seven year old:)

It was so good to have you stop by today!  I hope each of us continues to learn something
new and helpful each day, and then share what we learn with others.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The year was 1975.  The kitchen was smaller.  The cook was smaller.  There are not
any wicker hanging faux plants now,  nor any plastic dish drainers, but I do clearly
remember how thrilled I was with my first tiny apartment kitchen.  Like then, I still
thoroughly enjoy working in the kitchen. It struck me recently, that I have been working
in my kitchens(since I have had several since l975), for 40 some years.

Recently, I wanted to use the many zucchini that were in my refrigerator.  I did find another
new recipe to try.  It was "pineapple zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting.
You too can find it here;  

Apparently, it was first posted by the Pioneer Woman.  She called it " a cake of such
unfathomable deliciousness" that it couldn't be resisted:).  Well, of course I wanted to
try a recipe like that.

I partially shredded the zucchini.  I also added chopped glazed walnuts to the recipe.

I made the sheet cake into small loaves.  They looked so good when they came out of the oven.
Unfortunately, I did not take pictures after I added the frosting.  I did taste it though, and
thought it tasted quite delicious!

When totally cooled, I covered one loaf with plastic and then wrapped it in a new, colorful
tea towel.  It will serve as a small gift that I need now.  The rest of the small loaves will be
wrapped tightly, and go into my freezer for future uses.  I am happy because I don't need to
see the many green zucchini staring at me from my refrigerator shelf now:)

When I am not cooking or baking, I like to dress up my kitchen island for the season.  You all
know that Fall is one of my favorites.  These small touches and the aroma of apple candles
burning, make my kitchen an even happier place for me.  I do kind of miss the tan wicker
plant hanger though:). my sink, there are still roses from my garden to bring in, and take their
place of honor.  I am not sure how much longer that will go on, but for now,
it is about the most interesting thing going on here, at just a little something for you.
I wish I could offer you a slice of this zucchini pineapple cake.
It is chock full of fresh zucchini and pineapple.  It must be good for you...right?
Thanks for stopping by.  I should say, thanks for remembering that I still have
a blog.  It has been a long time since I posted.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

As we drove along recently, we remarked how absolutely gorgeous the day was!  Blue skies
and billowing white clouds made up the scenery before us.

Then, before we knew it, the dark, ominous clouds started rolling in, covering the brilliant blue

Dark clouds starting filling the sky overhead, creating a drastic change in the scenery around us.

Before we knew what happened, the rains began.  Not just a soft, gentle rain.  No, the skies
opened and heavy, pelting rain appeared.

So much so, that we could barely see through the front windshield, despite the fastest speed of
the car's wipers.  As we drove on, at a slower pace, the rain continued it's rapid and furious

And, then just as quickly as it began, it stopped.

The sun appeared through the clouds once again.  Within 45 minutes time, as I peered out
the front window of the car, the weather had gone full cycle.  I thought to myself how
much like life this happening was.  Our days can be going along, the sun can be shining with the
white clouds billowing above, and before we know what happens, a huge storm appears out
of nowhere, with the torrential rains distorting our view.  And as always happens, it is only a
matter of time before clearing begins.  Sometimes, a matter of a short time, and at other times,
a matter of days, weeks, or perhaps years until we see the sun again. 

My thoughts then took me to September 11th, 14 years ago.  It was a clear, gorgeous
September morning.  I drove home from taking our children to school that day, and
as I placed the bags of newly purchased groceries onto the kitchen counter, I vividly remember walking over to the television, and turning on the "Today" show, to see the news. 
You, as well as I, will recall the rest of the story.  How ominous clouds and darkness suddenly
swept in, filling lives with the storm of a lifetime, for our young adult lives.  I am sure you
remember as clearly as I do, where you were, and the circumstance you found yourself in, as the horrendous "storm" details of 911 started to unfold before our eyes.

Yesterday we remembered it all.  Today, whether you are facing sunshine or storms in your
life, may it encourage you to know, that the storms will pass over.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


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