Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.
   We have two window air conditioners (a/c). We run them when necessary.  I don't do well under hazy, hot and humid conditions.  The a/c won't be on today as the weather will be beautiful and all the windows and screen doors will be open!  I didn't grow up with air conditioning.  We had beautiful maple and pine trees around our house and it helped to keep it cool. My mom still lives there and she doesn't have to run her a/c very often. 
   Several years ago we went to an amusement park. It was SO hot there- over 90*!!  It wasn't pleasant at all.

2. What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?
   Our menu planning!  I have been slacking in that department!
 3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

   Strawberry Shortcake!  

 4. When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?
   My dear husband gave me a really good back massage over the weekend.  My back muscles were so sore but he was able to get some of the knots out of them.  It was so relaxing.  I was either floating or air or melting like butter.

 5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

   Airhead...  I have rewritten this several times but I don't want to publically embarrass anyone so I will leave it at that.

 6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

   I have not been to the Alps and have no desire to go there.  If I did go, I think I would chose either the gentle walk or a boat ride. I would enjoy both.

 7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?

   Cowabunga Dude!  From the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

 8. Insert your own random thought here.

   We have been having a very busy week-busy but fun. We were working around the house cleaning and such so we could have the next several days free to visit with several, different close friends.  I love visits with them because we always have such a good time. Good friends are a true gem and I hope all of you have several friends and families like we do. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blueberry Crisp

We have several blueberry bushes on our property. I freeze the berries from our bushes each year so I have plenty to use all year long. I am not a person who always eats seasonally.  I know that it is the cheapest way to purchase produce but I eat by what I am hungry for and today it was Blueberry Crisp!
I wash my blueberries before using them. I learned a tip years ago from my mom that has helped me get the berries in the freezer faster.  She told me to just clean the berries and then wash them when I am ready to use them.  It will keep the moisture off the berries so we get less freezer burn.
I decided to make a Blueberry Crisp this morning and as I made it I took photos of each step. The top is the washed berries in a colander.  This photo is the berries mixed with the lemon juice in a stoneware bake pan.  This is one of my favorite baking pans. 
I use my hands to mix the dry ingredients with the butter. It may be a bit messy but it mixes better. 
I think the dark blue berries and tan oatmeal mixture look so lovely together. When something looks beautiful it seems to taste better, right?  
The oatmeal mixture is spread evenly over the blueberries and it is ready to go into the oven.
The timer has beeped and it is time to take out the crisp.
I couldn't wait for it to cool a bit! 

Ready to eat!  I didn't have any whipping cream to make whipped topping so I opted for vanilla ice cream.  It was so tasty!



A friend shared this recipe that has been in her family for many years.  It is a simple, easy recipe.  I took this to our family 4th of July picnic and brought home an almost empty pan- a few crumbles remained!  This is probably the only recipe that I follow exactly as written.  I usually make some sort of change to every recipe I use! 
Blueberry Crisp:

3- 12 oz. boxes of frozen blueberries (you can use fresh)
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup butter- softened
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to top.

Preheat oven to 375*.  Arrange blueberries in an ungreased 9X13 baking dish.  Sprinkle berries with lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on top of berries.
Bake 25-30 minutes until the topping is light brown.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  What can you give away? Will you?
   Tupperware!!!!  I have WAY too much Tupperware.  My mom and I are planning on having a yard sale. I have a large tote full of it and several items were never used. I could give it away but at this time, I could really use the yard sale cash!  I have happily given stuff away before.

 2. Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.
   I don't think that I have a mantra....  If I think of one I will come back and edit this post!

 3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?
   I do the shopping with Madilynne and Ryder.  We usually go once a week, less when possible and I make a list.  I am not a fan of lists but I am NOT a fan of shopping.  I want those trips to be as short as possible.

 4. Is there a TV show you're embarrassed to say you watch? You're going to tell us what it is, right?
   Honestly- I can't think of a show I watch which I would be embarrassed to admit too. Why watch something if it would embarrass you to tell someone?

A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-

that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless

 Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?  
   I am going to go with thatI used that word twice in the question above. I edited that answer so I could sound smarter!!  :-)

 6. So apparently
dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It's called 'The Granny Hair' trend. Your thoughts? 
   Weird-just weird...edit just with a word to make me sound smarter. ~wink~

 7. A while back
Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they've read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let's try. What's one of the most beautiful sentences you've ever read in a piece of literature?
   The Bible is full of beautiful statements and I can't narrow one down. 

 8. Insert your own random thought here.
    I had to replace the battery in my car today.  The kids and I were going to head out this morning to meet several other families today. When I went to start the car I was met with a clicking noise. Bummer! After we got the battery charged enough to start the car, we started out to get a new one. We were walking out of the house when the power went out.  Ok, no big deal we aren't going to be home anyway so let's continue on.  We went about 3 miles from the house when we came to a large tree that was laying across the road and on the power lines.  At least now we knew why the power was out.  I turned around and started back up the road a bit and called the electric company to tell them the location of the tree.  Onward to get the new battery. Once we were at the store I was told it would take about an hour for them to get to my car.  No problem, I can be a patient person. We wandered around the store and picked up a few items we needed.  The car was finally done, smooth sailing right? Nope not today. The person who changed the battery for me didn't scan a bar code and they needed to add that information.  This required a management override...guess what? Yep- we needed to wait another 8-10 minutes for a manager to come.  I had a good day to practice patience and honestly all the set backs didn't upset me.  It's funny now that we are home.  Actually it was kind of funny then too!    

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vivid Rainbow

 I had to share some pictures with you. 

 The colors of this rainbow were so vivid and vibrant!

We could look out our front windows to see it.

   It was a double rainbow.

I wasn't looking too carefully when I took this picture because I got the power lines in it!  

The second rainbow's colors are in reverse order of the first, brighter one.

These pictures aren't the best but I hope you can see what I think is one of God's most awesome sights!  I love to see them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When did you last 'swim against the tide'? Explain.
   I was talking to a dear friend about this yesterday but didn't word it as swimming against the tide.  I swim against the tide on A LOT.  For starters, we home school.  That goes against the grain in my family. I think that some of the family feels that I think we are better or something because we home school- I don't. We just chose a different education path for our children.  I am also into organic and natural products.  Again, goes against the traditional thoughts of "they wouldn't sell it if it wasn't safe".  I respectfully disagree. 

2. What's the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?
   Does the Bible count? I think so but it helps with so much more.  I don't read a lot of self-help books because they annoy me.  I will occasionally read something but it isn't frequent and I have never made it through a single book.

3"Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." (Sir James Goldsmith) 

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because I think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.
   This is a deep question.... I think that it depends on what we are tolerating.  I believe if I have to tolerate an annoying person or loud, obnoxious kids or telemarketers calling any time, etc. then it would be a virtue as some things can be overlooked. However, if you are asking me to accept things/actions that I feel are wrong then I won't tolerate it.  I do not wish to cause arguments but I also don't think I should stick my head in the sand and accept it due to political correctness!  I think we should stand on our own two feet.

 4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?
   My mom was always making something in our kitchen.  It was a hub in our home. We didn't have a "formal" dining room just a kitchen. We had so many visitors as a child that our table was always full of people. Back when I was a kid, folks just stopped in to visit.  It was rare that someone called first or made plans to come at a certain date or time.  My mom always wanted to have something to serve guests if they arrived so there was always some kind of goodie on the counter to eat! Yum!

5. How did/do your own children's summers compare with your summers as a child? If you're not a parent, answer as it relates to what you've observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.
   We had a farm as a child.  We spent summers bailing hay, tending to fields and fences and I always had an animal that I needed to take care of as a 4-H project.  We didn't travel much as a child but my kids get too.  They have been to more places at their ages that I didn't experience until I was an adult or we experienced them together.

6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?
   I am going to say the Pacific Ocean.  Location- Hawaii.

7.  Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it's title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.
   Raindrops on Roses!  It seems that all it is doing lately is rain. When I was a little girl I would sing that song all the time to my grandparents.  They enjoyed it so much- even if I was being silly and sang it off tune.  It is such a fun song.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
   My dad has been busy cutting the grass in our fields.  He hasn't cut them in several years because we have been letting the cows eat them down.  However, we have been getting a lot of weeds growing and they are starting to take over. He has been cutting grass in between rain storms. Ryder walked into the house and said, "Mom, it looks like a farm again!"  I have to agree.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


 1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you're not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favorite thing about the day? Your favorite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?
   My in-laws always have a picnic on the 4th.  We will be going to visit family, friends and neighbors and eating, A LOT!  Food is always plentiful.  My favorite, well, I honestly can't say that I have a favorite.  I like so many of them that it would just be sad to pick one. We have flown a flag at our house many years.  My last flag was falling apart so we took it down and I just never replaced it.  I have done flags and porch banners with a flag motif on them.  Definitely flag friendly here.  I do purchase flags to place in our family cemetery each year. My family history shows that we have had a family member serve in every war (except the Korean War) since the Revolutionary War.  YAY! for fireworks.  Our family loves fireworks, the more the better! We try to attend several displays each year.

2. What's something you recently got for free?
   A kitchen fan.  Jeremiah recently received a fan that was in great shape. My kitchen isn't gold so we painted the gold metal a pretty silver and now we have a great fan/light combo in our kitchen!

3.  The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why?
   I have only see the Washington Monument.  Jeremiah has also seen the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.  I don't have a favorite, never really thought about that much.

4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they've perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?
   Well I certainly don't stick my head in the sand but I really don't want to side with a hog.... I follow the news because I feel that I need to know what is going on in the world.  I have followed some of the ISIS stuff but not real close.

5. We're talking plain ice cream...vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.
   Vanilla, if I have to eat ice cream.  It's not a favorite thing for me to eat.  We go get ice cream at a local ice cream stand and I usually do not get any to eat.

6. Share a song you love containing the word 'stars' in the lyrics or title?
   Keeper of the Stars by Tracy Byrd.  This was a song that we had at our wedding.

7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic.
   July has arrived
  Under a canopy for a picnic this weekend
  Never ending work
  Explosion of laundry from being outside
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
   I have just discovered that at this moment I am really not a fan of acrostics!!!  My brain isn't wired to enjoy that!