Friday, April 30, 2010

It was an ordinary week night...except they were told that they were going to go to an ice cream party at the retirement home.
They had no idea what to expect. What was an ice cream party? But, these little ones were visibly excited.
~photo from Land of Lakes recipe magazine.

The ice cream party was quite a simple event. It was to celebrate two special people, who had come home to visit with PaPaw's extended family. Actually, the fun of being together was the key, the ice cream bar and coffee, was secondary...but not to them. It was too good to be true...a few moments of unsupervised time, and in front of them were all the goodies.

Their dear aunt came to the rescue, helping each of them get a small bowl of the much anticipated ice cream, plus the toppings. What fun!

The newest family member was there, as well as the most mature member of the family members. Everyone was thrilled to see both of them, and obviously the two of them were happy to see each other. Love the little smiles.

It was too good to be true, across the table he reached to share his ice cream with her:)

The little one shared her aunt's ice cream...down to the very last drop.

I am sure that the next time they hear the words "ice cream party", it will be more anticipated than there this one was. For now, their daily sugar intake will be limited.
Thanks great-grandma for the ice cream party you shared with us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thirty Eight Years Ago

Yesterday afternoon I was working in my attic. That in itself is quite a chore. Everytime I step foot in the door of my attic, it reminds me of the huge job ahead of me...sorting, keeping, getting rid all know what I am talking about. Somehow, it seems easier for me just to close the door and walk out, instead of sorting through it all.
In one box I found some old "Better Homes and Gardens" magazines. The second one on the pile was dated April 1972, causing me to suddenly be caught up in nostalgia. April 1972 for me, meant that in a few short weeks I would be graduating from high school. I can remember those last few weeks like it was yesterday. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday, and in other ways, it seems like it was hundreds of years ago.

I picked up the photo album from that Spring in my life. I saw the graduation pictures that my mother had so lovingly captured. I saw the smile on my face and remembered some of the emotions that went with that smile.
I thought to myself, as I looked at the magazine and the old photo albums, about ALL the many changes that have taken place since the last 38 years...

I flipped through the pages of my newly discovered find. I saw that the "Wonder Bread" of that time, is still the "Wonder Bread" today, although now my personal "wonder bread" is the loaves of bread that my daugther bakes in her oven on a weekly basis. Quite a bit healthier I might add, although there is still room in this world for both kinds.

I smiled as I saw this page. Oh, the fun memories that came to mind as I thought about the" S&H green stamp" time period of my life. The hours of time that I spent helping my mother save and paste them in her books. And the anticipation I felt as I entered the S&H Green Stamp store, along the main route of the nearest town.
Gone are the S&H green stamp days...

Funny thing about this advertisement in the magazine, is that the chenille bedspreads of yesteryear, are now making a comeback in the retro look of our day. Just a few days ago, I was looking through a magazine that featured the "chenille look", although I'm sure it is not the "needlepunch" look of the seventies.
I remember my Grandmas telling me that sometimes they can hardly grasp the amount of changes that had taken place in their lifetimes. For me, on that afternoon moment of reflection in the attic, I could almost express the same sentiments. happens, sometimes noticed and sometimes unnoticed. "Change" is what we face on a daily basis, and it feels like just as we get a grasp on the stage of life that we are in, change happens again.
All of it is part and parcel of our lives, and it all makes up what we are today. I am so thankful for the memories, and for the lessons learned(even the extremely difficult ones), for the joys and the heartaches. I am thankful most of all, for the faithfulness of my Heavenly Father through it all.
What were you doing 38 years ago this Spring?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

At this seems that many hours are spent, taking care of our young

...joyfully, I might add.

Monday, April 26, 2010

If you ever saw this uniquely created pedestal bowl at your local T.J.Maxx store, would you think to fill it with bright colored purple and yellow pansies and give it as a birthday gift to your friend?

A few weeks ago, my friend did. What a simple, yet beautiful gift! It looks so good sitting on my wicker table on the porch. An idea to remember. It was wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with a bright pink bow.

I have always liked the products that I've tried from the Casswell-Massey Co. Recently, I found these three bars of Freesia soap for 6.99, at our local T.J. Maxx store. I knew they would make some perfect little gifts.

I bought them, wrapped them in coordinating sheer ribbons, and added a butterfly sticker on each. They will provide some tiny gifts for the times I want to remember someone in my life. I need gifts sometimes when I visit the retirement home, or as a thinking of you reminder for a friend.

They were working in their garden, and they picked some of their flowers to make an arrangement. My Aunt and dear friend bought them at the little roadside stand, just for me. They make my kitchen smell so good! I can almost sense the time and the care these two ladies put into tending their gardens. Another summer of roadside bouquets...lucky for me and those living in nearby.

Three good smelling, waterless, anti-bacterial hand cleaners that I found on the shelves of T.J. Maxx, for 4.99.
Wrapped them each individually in clear cellophane, tied with sheer ribbons, and added a butterfly sticker. Adding to my collection of simple, ready to give gifts.
I have been trained on the importance of keeping one's hands clean by my daughter. I think this would be a worthwhile little gift to give a friend, so they can keep the germs at bay.

It is fun to think out of the box in regards to little gifts, that serve as reminders of care and friendship. Now, I have my shelf replenished. I will tie tags with my written messages on each one.
Cost...less than a card and stamp, but either one will do the job.

Do you need a simple, quick dinner for some evening? I tried this one this evening. The prep time was only a few minutes, because of the crockpot. I used shredded cheese instead of sliced cheese. I used what I have on hand.
I will definitely make them again.

I used hot dog rolls instead of hoagie rolls. I wish that I would have had whole wheat rolls, but this was fine.
Also, I usually butter the rolls lightly, and broil before serving sandwiches like this. Tonight time was limited.
I continue to learn so much from my blog visits, when they are possible.
For all the posts that you so lovingly create, for all the times you sit down to blog and the mind goes blank, and for all the times you open up and share your heart...thank you!
I consider it a privilege to step into your lives and your homes via blogland.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Signs of Spring are everywhere...

Everywhere I look, I see it's mark on my world...

Some scenes take me back to my childhood memories...

I see farmers spending hours of time prepping their fields and gardens...

Then there is the practice, lots of practice for baseball season...even if it is only the batting cage for now.

A Bigger Picture

There is something satisfying, rejuvenating, comforting about the seasons. They remind me

that I play one small part in a much bigger picture---that there is a pulse, a sequence, a journey set

into motion by the very hand of God Himself." ~Karen Scalf Linamen

~pictures #1 and 2 by two good friends

Thursday, April 22, 2010

They met at her home for dinner.

"They" were some of her oldest granddaughters and they had come together on this weekday
evening, at their request, wanting their grandma to teach them how to make her wonderfully delicious "chicken corn soup".

She decided that she would feed them bowls of her hot homemade soup, before the class began.

Her table was beautifully set with the pink, white and touches of red.

Everyone was hungry and ready to eat. The(soup) aroma filled the air of her small apartment.

How many pots of this soup has she made in her lifetime? How many Perdue Oven Stuffers has she cooked and deboned?

How many people has she blessed with gifts of this coveted soup? One will never know.

Tonight she would try to teach them the process...not an easy chore for her, since she never uses a recipe. You know her kind..."oh, it is just a little bit of this and a little bit of that".

Good luck girls!

They wrote down the steps, and all the many ingredients and instructions. They wrote and wrote.

They carefully watched. They tried to take it all in, not an easy task. They learned that one may use a scissors to cut up the chickens...who would have thought to do that but Grandma.

They realized that wearing an apron when making this soup was necessary, and they knew where to go to get one of those lovely creations.

They ate, they laughed, and they there will be more of this soup gracing tables in this county. Oh, how I hope I get to sit at one of those tables.

Thought you might like knowing about a simple event that took place in one Grandma's kitchen on a Wednesday evening.

Just as it should be...the older woman teaching the younger women.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I sat in the corner of the hospital room on the tan

vinyl chair. I sat and I observed for the days that my husband was a patient in the hospital, last

week. One of the most

important aspects of my observations, was my renewed appreciation of the nursing profession.

The comfort they give,

The care they show,

The patience that they exhibit,

and the skillful way they perform the work that needs to be done, just amazed me.

I was made aware of a special week that is set aside to honor these wonderful people.

National Nurse's Day is May 12th, which is the last day of National Nurse's Week, May 6th - May 12th.

During the designated week of honoring those in the Nursing profession, why not send a note

of thanks to one of the outstanding nurses in your world. Certainly it would bless their day in a

special way. I know this to be true from first hand information I received.

This is my very favorite nurse. Love this beautiful daughter.

Another favorite nurse in my beautiful SIL.

Angels of Mercy in the medical world...thanks to everyone of you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't you just adore their little faces? Sometimes when I am watering them, I feel like they are all looking right at me.
Pansies and Violas...two special flowers that bloom in the Springtime in this part of the country.
I cut a few of them(they love to be cut) and arrange them in my old glass ink wells. I scatter them throughout my home.
Sometimes I add a fern or two. These little arrangements serve to brighten every corner where I set them. Planted pots of Pansies also make a perfect centerpiece for my kitchen table.

And...because they are an edible flower, I use them to decorate some of my food. Here are two of my mini loaves of lemon bread from a previous post. I took the loaves from the freezer, sliced them, whipped some softened butter with cinnamon sugar and served it with the bread.
The tiny purple Viola dresses up the platter perfectly, and would make a fun hostess gift.

This is now one of the "light" desserts that I created for my husband this evening. Since his episode in the hospital this past weekend, he was told to make some dietary changes.
Tonight I created this for him;

A tall glass of this refrigerated white grape sparkling water beverage...

...added a scoop of this fat free rainbow sherbet. In addition, a small portion of peanuts.
He said it was delicious!
This summer when the tempetures are high and the outside work makes it's demands...this may just hit the spot...icy cold and refreshing.
The Viola or Pansey adds a touch of vibrant color. I read the Pansey is called the flower of remembrance. I like that because Panseys were my dear grandma's pride and joy of her garden for many years, and I like remembering her.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good afternoon, my friends! Hopefully you are having a beautiful, somewhat relaxing day today.
I am sure that if you think back over this past week, you might have found that it turned out differently than you had anticipated that it would, last Sunday afternoon. That is just how life is.
A week ago today, I certainly would not have anitcipated that I would be sitting in the corner chair of a hospital room while my husband was being treated for a totally unexpected heart condition..."atrial flutter". Funny thing is, it is a heart condition he had, that he not even know existed.I took him into the hospital on Thursday morning and brought him home, last evening. In light of what many people are facing, it is minor. For us it was not.
Believe me, we both learned many things through this experience. He is fine now. They did heart procedures on him, which involved him swallowing a camera(tiny one, of course), and some other needed procedures. He was introduced to a new part of his daily life for a while...blood thinner.
He feels much better now. We both have a new appreciation for the medical world and the solutions they offered to him. We also have a new appreciation for daily life and the real gift that it is.
When I came home, I found the following pictures sent to me in an email from a good freind. She was going through her picture files and found these pictures that her husband had captured with his camera. She sent them to me because she knows how much I enjoy flowers, photography and nature pictures. I was reminded again of this guy's amazing photography skills. I thought that I would share them with you on this beautiful afternoon, so that you could enjoy them with me.

Would you agree with me that he is another talented photographer in my life?
Thank you,
Best Things
"The best things are nearest; breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet,
duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."
~Robert Louis Stevenson
Today I thank God for my sweetest things, and I thank God for you!


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