Saturday, January 31, 2015

On a bitterly cold, blustery evening in an old stone farmhouse, this family rolled out the
red carpet for six of us last evening.  The warmth of the wood burning stove and the
gracious, kind smiles of the hostess greeted us.  The problems of the day dissolved, as
we walked through the front door.

Shakespeare wrote, "Our happiness is greatest when we contribute most to the happiness
of others."  This couple certainly contributed to our happiness.  The lovingly tended table, with
colorful touches and many candles, immediately drew our attention, once inside the

Sitting at a table to eat and join in a time of tasting, textures, and sound is truly one of
life's greatest pleasures.  Frank Lloyd Wright said that "Dining is and always was a
great artistic opportunity."  I agree with him.

The freshness and taste of the salads we were served, was memorable!  The homemade
dressings put the entire salad, over-the-top in my book.

The butter heart added to the festive feel of the dinner.  "Your guests, whether friends or
family, thrive on individualized attention."  Whispering Waters Bed and Breakfast.

The dessert we were served, was so delicious that I did not want to pass the container to
the others.

New friends and old friends, joined together around the table.  Conversation flowed
easily, as our hostess graciously and calmly served the meal, while her three little
guys played in the other room.  I marveled as I watched her efficiently and kindly,
carry on using her gift of cooking and hospitality.

I would like to reintroduce you to the blogging friend pictured here in the middle;
I promise you that you would be so blessed and inspired by visiting her blog.
You can find it here;
The other friend, pictured on the left, has been a lifelong friend.  If she had a blog,
I know you would want to visit it too, because she too, is a gifted, artistic lady.

We celebrated two special birthdays.  The aging process looks good on both of them!

After all, birthdays were meant to be celebrated, right?  The gift of another year of
life, is truly just that.....a gift.

 As I walked down the brick sidewalk to leave, I turned and looked in the front window,
watching those inside saying their goodbyes.  I must admit, I felt a sadness in my heart
that the evening was over.

And then, I looked up and saw the most exquisitely beautiful moon overhead.    I believe with
all my heart, that when friends gather together, whether for a meal, or dessert, or coffee, it
is always a time of refreshment and blessing.

Once again, this dear family reminded me of the importance of taking time for others,
making others feel loved, and for genuinely exhibiting hospitality to each one of us.
We left with small gifts of her homemade peanut butter spread, which was one of the
highlights of our dinner.  We also left the home, with happy hearts and treasured

I was reminded of this verse as we drove down the stone driveway, "I might understand
all mysteries, have all knowledge and all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and
might bestow all my goods to feed the pour, but if I don't have love, I am nothing."
1Corinthians 13:2 - 3

Thank you for stopping by!  Thank you for your friendship and kindness to me, in all
the ways that blogging has to offer. 

Monday, January 26, 2015


A dear couple we know, were downsizing.  They learned, via the grapevine, that I have a
thing for old canning jars.  They asked me if I would like them?  The jars were her mother's
and held special memories for her.  I was thrilled!  I too, have treasured memories of my
early childhood years, spending hours of time at my grandma's home, while my mother
and my grandmother canned food from the garden, in the old farmhouse cold cellar.

My Uncle and I spent time playing in the yard back then, while my grandma and mother
filled the canning jars with fruits and vegetables.  1956 was a long time ago, making
some of these jars, antiques:)

Yesterday, I was excited when I pulled each clean jar out of the box, discovering different
colors, brands, designs and sizes. 

I lined some of them down the center of my kitchen table, added tea light candles, and
now have a soft glowing, winter centerpiece.

It was the time of the year when I clean out my glass cupboard in the kitchen. I decided
to use the remaining jars, along with some I already had, to decorate the shelves.
I had two old coffee jars, milk jars, salt shakers, and glass vases.  I cleaned them all,
and placed them on the lit shelves.

I added a few touches of red and some tiny lights.

The counter top underneath the cabinet, holds a vignette of some special treasures
of mine.

I filled the remaining canning jar with Zachery Cherry JuJu Hearts.  I like their shape and
color, and I especially like how they look in the old jar.  The vintage Valentine card was
from my daughter last year.

After all, with the snow we are getting, and the cancellations that are taking place,
cleaning and organizing is on my agenda.
This little guy is not the least bit concerned with the snow we are receiving.
Hope you all stay warm and dry, although we are not getting the huge
blizzard that those north of us are.
Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


"Leave your cell phone, your watch

and your thoughts

on the kitchen table.

Walk slowly.  Leave the trail

to follow a scent

or to follow a bird's refrain.

Listen for the stirrings

in the underbrush

Notice what grows at your feet,

the puzzle-pieces of the sky

and what the light reveals.

Cast out your gaze like a net

and take everything in.

every intricate detail,

every small astonishment."

~Deborah Gordon Cooper

"Be still and know that I am God." 
 Psalms 46:10a NIV

I want time to take it all in, the simple, intricate, complex, and beautiful details in this world
around me.  It is all gifts to us to make our existence more enjoyable.

I have another Uncle, who lives in Florida, and in his later years of life, he received a camera. 
I asked him to send me pictures that he has taken, because of my love for photography.  I must
admit, I was most impressed.  These pictures came from his second set of pictures to me,
and I think he skipped right over the "amateur status" of a photographer:). 

Happy Sunday to each one of you!  I hope you make some time, to take in the scenes
around you today!  For us, it may include a snowstorm:)

Friday, January 23, 2015

At the time of this photo, our oldest daughter was eight years old. 
She prayed every night for five years for a little sister. 
 I know that to be true, because I was beside her when she prayed.
 Her mother had been praying the same prayer.
So, when her little sister arrived, there was real happiness in our home.
Today, that little sister is 30 years old!  And, there is still great joy in our
hearts, by having her in our lives!

From her first days, she had two mothers.  Me, and her oldest sister.
Her older sister lovingly stepped into the role of babysitter,
teacher, and friend.  Two years later, we had another daughter.
They both owe much of who they are today, to their wonderful older

Thirty years have gone by so quickly.  Today, we celebrate that little girl that we
all prayed for,  and all that she means to everyone who knows her! 

Now, she has her own daughter to love and cherish.

Happy Birthday Dear Daughter!  Thank you for adding so much to our lives for
thirty years!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When I found myself with extra slices of homemade sourdough bread, and did not want to
freeze it, I decided to make heart croutons.  After all, February is right around the corner.

I took my smaller heart cutter and in no time at all, had a large pan filled with the bread
hearts.  I sautéed them in with a coating of extra light olive oil, a touch of butter, and
a bit of Jane's seasoning.  I cooked them on medium heat, turning often, until they were
golden brown.  Upon removing from heat, I let them cool thoroughly.  Now, instead of
slices of extra bread, I had lots of delicious heart croutons.

 I put them on my husband's dinner salad, just for fun.  Actually, it is his birthday this week,
and he is a special guy:), so he got hearts.

My daughter gave me this great idea for salads a few months ago, and I've use it on my
salads since then?  It adds a bit of a sweet taste to the salad ingredients. 

I cut up the dried mangos or apricots, with a kitchen scissors, and sprinkled them on the salad.

I took some of the croutons and tied them into a clear cellophane bag.  I will add it to a salad
gift box that I am putting together as a small gift.

Just a little something from me the "heart lady", who as you know, likes the time of the year
when Valentine's Day comes around.

I want to be the first to wish this very special guy in my life, a Happy 63rd Birthday!

Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

An English publication offered a prize for the best definition of a friend, and among

the thousands of answers received were the following;

~"One who multiplies our joys, and divides grief."

~"One who understands our silence."

~"A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."

~"A watch which beats true for all time and never runs down."

But here is the definition that won the prize;

~"A friend--the one that comes in when the whole world has gone out."

"A friend is a person who goes around saying nice things about you behind your back."

Today, I am truly thankful for the friends in my life!

Thankful for each of you who visit here!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Here is a bit of unimportant news...Today is "National Strawberry Ice Cream Day".
Yes, someone, somewhere set this day aside for this specific reason.  So, guess what?
One of the two little guys who stayed here today, was thrilled!  At 3:00 in the afternoon,
we celebrated:)  One with his very favorite flavor of strawberry, and one with his
favorite of chocolate. 

I served the ice cream in my old ice cream dishes. It is a rare snack at our home.

It was good to the last drop. 
Did you get to celebrate "National Strawberry Ice Cream Day"?
It is not too late.  You have 5 1/2 more hours:)

Last evening, these two granddaughters asked if they could help make dinner?
I love that question!  I directed them in making cheese bread hearts.  They rolled out
the crescent dough onto a sprayed foil pan, cut the hearts with a cookie cutter.
They lightly spread softened butter on the hearts, then added shredded sharp cheese,
and a bit of seasoned salt. 

They took the job seriously, even going as far as watching them bake in the oven.
Everyone thought they were delicious!  In our home, we do hearts of all kinds, from
now until February 14th.

The pink tulips on my kitchen table were a gift that make me smile, every time I see them.

Winter is a fun time to give tulips.  They offer hope of what is to come, in a few months.

This was the best gift I was given today!  I captured the scene in our back yard.
Beauty beyond description!
What was the best gift that you were given today?


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