Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Harvest Apple Salad

I love autumn, and I love apples!  This salad comes together quickly, and takes advantage of wonderful fall fruit and nuts.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: First Week of Autumn Edition

Autumn is the season of Thanksgiving, and this week I've noticed many things for which to be thankful.  Here are ten:

1. The beautiful sunrises.  Probably due to many years of reading children's books to my kids, when I see a sunrise, I often recite in my mind:  "It is the morning of a new day.  The sun is shining.  Little Bear gets out of bed."  I'm not sure if that I quoted that verbatim, but Richard Scarry's character always greeted the new day with a smile.  I'm a morning person, and feel the excitement of each new day. 

2. Lunch with friends.  Every month or so, a group of about ten of us meet for lunch.  Our paths don't always cross between our get-togethers, but we pick up where we left off.  We've supported each other through illnesses, deaths, weddings, children, and grandchildren.  We usually laugh, we sometimes cry, and I know I can count on these women. 

3. Ability to welcome unexpected house guests.  A friend found herself needing someplace to stay temporarily, and I've been honored to have her, her children, and her mom here this week.  I'm thankful for a house with empty rooms, which makes it easy to help.

4. The church choir that I accompany has started up again.  We practice from September to about March, then take a break.  As I try to learn the songs, I end up getting them stuck in my head.   I love having such uplifting messages in my mind.  This is one of the songs the choir is singing.  Of course, our choir is much smaller, and is accompanied on the piano instead of this wonderful organ, but the message is still lovely:

5. The yearly General Relief Society broadcast, which was held tonight.  The Relief Society is the women's organization in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and once a year, we gather for a worldwide broadcast.  We were reminded again of the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and of the blessings of loving our neighbors.  Here is an excerpt from a talk given at a past broadcast:

6. Guide Dog puppy Drexel's easygoing nature.  Drexel has been gentle and happy with our small visitors this week, which is a good trait for a guide dog.  

7.  Thrift-store finds.  I'm certainly not opposed to buying used items, including most clothing, but I frequently find brand new merchandise at thrift stores.

I can't imagine spending nearly $20 for a baby's shirt.  $1.59 is more to my liking, but I didn't even pay that much.  The "color of the day" was pink, meaning the shirt was half-off.  Seventy-nine cents was my grand total.  Happy dance!

8.  Laughter.  Youngest daughter turned down the radio in the car the other day.  I asked her why she did that, and she responded that she thought the bass might be turned up too high.  I didn't think it was, but I checked the settings.  No, everything was adjusted properly.  What made me laugh though, was the mental picture of other people thinking I was some bad "gangsta", with my elbow hanging out an open window (the window was up), and my car thumping to the "loud bass" of this song (which was what was playing on the oldies station I had on at the time):


9.  Visits from granddaughter.  What more do I need to say? 

 10.  Autumn!  I actually had to turn on the car's heater one morning.  (Of course, I've also used the a/c every other day, but still. . .)

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Thanks for Lizzie of Considerings  who dreamed up this Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop, and who allowed me to be one of the co-hosts.  Please consider joining us by writing your own Thankful blog post and linking up below!

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Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Family History: Working at Grandparent's House

I recently created a book of memories for my parent's 50th wedding celebration.  In reading the remembrances that my children, nieces, and nephews wrote, I realized that one common good memory they have is of spending time working with Grandpa and Grandma outside in their yard. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: The Big Picture

Have you ever seen a close-up photo of an object, but you couldn't identify what the object was until seeing another, more-zoomed-out photo?  
Of course, with the blurriness of this photo, it's no wonder it is unrecognizable.

Do you recognize the yellow middle section of this flower?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Autumn

Time to pick a peck of peppers.

Anyone have a good rose hips recipe?  These are HUGE.

I didn't get a good photo of the bumblebees, but they love this plant.

It's nearly harvest time for pomegranates.

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Thanks for the changing weather, and harvest time.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Time to Tackle: 50th Anniversary Book of Memories

As I've mentioned once or twice, my parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  I wanted to give them a gift that would be meaningful and personal, and I'm happy to say that it is finished.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Bacon-Wrapped Zucchini

I can't claim credit for this idea, and unfortunately, I don't remember where I first read this recipe.  (If I read it on your blog, please let me know, and I'll put in the link to your site!)

Are you swimming in zucchini?  Is your freezer stocked with zucchini bread?  Have you put grated zucchini in all of your favorite casseroles?  Have you thought about just wrapping zucchini in bacon?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: Anniversary Edition

Sunday marks 50 years since my parents' wedding day.  It's only fitting that this week's Ten Things of Thankful highlights gratitude for their marriage.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Quick Word on Wednesday: Just Busy

I had every intention of posting yesterday, and then again today, but life is . . . well, I was going to say, "happening," but isn't that the point?  Anyway, everything is fine, and I'll share one of my projects later.  If I've missed reading or commenting on your blog, don't worry, I haven't forgotten you. 
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Thanks for the many good things we can do with our time.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Fresh Fig Bar Delight

I found fresh figs in last week's produce box.  (I subscribe to a produce delivery service that supports organic farmers in my state.  It's always exciting to see what is in each box.)  The figs prompted this recipe.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: Getting Back in the Swing of Things

I loved August; I had so much fun vacationing at Yellowstone with my family, attending BYU Education Week, and running a 10 K race at Disneyland.  I told myself that as soon as the Labor Day weekend was over, I'd get back into a routine.  Then oldest daughter got a job (hurray!) and I spent the week helping her move to Utah.  This past week, however, I have finally felt like my days have a semblance of order.  This week, I'm thankful for the comfortable ebb and flow of my days.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Family History: Interesting Pinterest Board

I enjoy old photos; I've even been known to purchase photos of strangers.  I've just discovered a pinterest board that could provide hours of amusement--dangerous, I know!  

This just begs a story, doesn't it?  Maybe sometime. . .

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: More on Religious Freedom

Last Thursday, I addressed the idea of why my friends and I can disagree and still remain friends.  Today, I came across this video that explains the importance of maintaining religious freedoms, regardless of our own religious viewpoint.  It's worth a look.


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Thanks for religious freedom.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prayer Request

Though the shock of 9/11 comes readily to mind when thinking about the attacks that happened over a decade ago, today I am shocked by news I received yesterday.

A month ago, our neighbors moved away.  They had been renting, and they moved when they bought a house.   We did not know them well, but we would say hi, and we caroled to them at Christmastime.  She was 6 months pregnant with their first child.  

I learned last night that due to a health problem, she passed away a couple of days ago.  An emergency c-section to save the baby was also unsuccessful.  My poor former neighbor has gone from the happy anticipation of a new phase in life, to the loss of those dreams. 

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, and consider getting to know your own neighbors better.  

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Thanks for the power of prayer, and the strength that can come through community.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Replacing A Broken Vinyl Blinds Slat

I do have some talents, but to keep this blog positive, let's just say that keeping my blinds looking great is a talent I'm still in the process of developing.  

Remember guide dog puppy Reno?  Well, when I was raising him, he occasionally would look out the front window, and one time (probably about a year ago!), he broke one of the slats of the blinds. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning in the Kitchen: Veggie Pie Casserole

I love autumn.  I know it's still technically summer, and it still feels like summer, but I decided to fix an autumn dinner today.  It's simple, inexpensive, and filling.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful

 I've just returned from Utah (again).  My home is getting emptier, and though that brings mixed feelings, it's time for 10 Things of Thankful, so we'll focus on the positive: 

1.  I'm thankful for laying chickens, and the beautiful range of colors of eggs.

The "white" eggs are actually a pale blue/green.

2.  I'm thankful for beautiful sunsets. The view from my backyard can be truly spectacular. 

3.  I'm thankful for John, who not only indulges my desire to move the piano into a different room, but also provides the manpower necessary to move my behemoth of an instrument.  (Did I mention that we needed to move it up and down a step?)
The piano moved from under the girl-and-goose picture on the left. . .

. . . up and over the parquet flooring, and down to its current position.

4.  I'm thankful that I have a strong body, and can assist John with tasks like piano-moving.  There's no way it could have been a one-person job.   

5.  I'm thankful for polite, thoughtful young men and women from  our church.  We opened our home on Wednesday night to 11 wonderful young people for an etiquette dinner.  The young men made paper roses for the young women; the youth all sat around one long table, and the evening was filled with quiet, happy banter. Afterwards, several young men came into the kitchen to ask me if I needed any help with clean-up.  (I told them  no, as there were several other adults there helping me.)

6.  I'm thankful for the adults who pitched in to organize and provide food for the meal.  Really, the only thing I had to do was clean my house and set the tables.  (Oh, and John and I moved a piano, but that was because I wanted to, not because I needed to.) In return, I enjoyed a pleasant evening, a delicious dinner, and I even had help with clean-up!

7.  I'm thankful for oldest daughter.  It's been nice having her around for the past months.

8.  That being said, I'm thankful she has a job and I'm thankful I could help her move into her new place this week. 

9.  I'm thankful that if she has to move 600 miles away, at least she's moving near her brothers and sister-in-law, and I'm thankful I got to visit with them.  (And I'm thankful oldest son and daughter-in-law let us crash in their apartment until oldest daughter's new apartment is available.  And I'm thankful for youngest son for allowing daughter to store some of her things at his place for the time being, and daughter-in-law for sharing space in her storage unit.)

10 (more if you're actually counting!)  I'm thankful that we chose to have dinner Friday night at J-Dawgs, where, unbeknownst to us, the first 100 customers in the door had a free dinner!  We were part of the first 100.  Nevermind that the occasion was to welcome the freshmen to campus, and we were a bunch of upperclassmen or graduates.  We were still served with a friendly smile!

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What were you thankful for this week?
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Thanks for another week of Ten Things of Thankful.  I found myself writing this post throughout the week, which is perhaps the point:  to make thinking about thankful things instinctive.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

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