Stan Hywet walkabout

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Allyson, Cynthia, Aiden and I went to Stan Hywet for a garden walk today.

It was so beautiful- the spring flowers all blooming, the grass so green, the sky so blue, the wind playfully tugging at Aiden’s Happy Birthday balloon.


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This was Aiden’s favorite garden- the one with the tractors and big machines working in it!

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The lilacs and wisteria were so fragrant and lush-

Stan Hywet and Alladins 011 and there are wonderful walled and doored gardens to enter and explore!  I loved the balloon tied to Aiden- we Always knew where he was or was going!

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Sometimes he took it in hand and kept it under control.

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Sometimes it just flashed behind as he ran down the Birch Allee.


Stan Hywet and Alladins 038 And sometimes, it was all of Aiden I could see!

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It was so beautiful today- clear and temperate and slightly breezy-

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We found fountains …

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and butterflies…

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greenhouses and tulips……

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and fiddlehead ferns and grape leaves.

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And then – suddenly- tiredness set in-

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Tired and HUNGRY!

So we went to Aladdin’s for lunch – ate  falafel and hummus and baba ganoush and dawali and kibbee and licked our fingers and smacked our lips and finished off our celebration with cake pops!

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Happy Birthday, Aiden!

Cake pops- pictures and a recipe?

cakepops, marbled rye and more yum 025 Have I  already done cake pops on here?

If so, sorry, I’m doing a quick version again.

These are supposed to look like daisies on a green background.

I wasn’t working with a good icing tip so they went a little crazy- but OH! are they good!

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You bake a cake.  Crumble it up. Add a can of icing and stir it up.  Make the wet mixture you have after it has been all worked together into balls.  Freeze them.

Then dip the balls into chocolate.  You can make a base(like I did here)  or you can use sucker sticks and stick the bottom of the stick in styrofoam to let the pops dry rounded on top.  I used a base of milk chocolate and dipped them into tinted white chocolate.  Then decorate  and eat!

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I took some to a knitting class today and the ladies LOVED them.

AND now I’m knitting socks.

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Knitting socks AND eating cake pops and strawberries, with a cuppa!

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Weekend Fun! + a recipe

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Saturday was Meredith and Aidan’s birthday! 

And we celebrated with a train ride and lunch at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula!

Allyson’s Aiden has a birthday in May- so we enjoyed the train experience with both boys for their birthdays! 

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They had such a good time- both on the train and playing on the tracks-

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and climbing on the rocks and checking out the view of the river.train and birthday treats 027 train and birthday treats 028 train and birthday treats 032

Then, after a ride back to Akron, and a car ride home to Copley, we had cake!

train and birthday treats 034 Actually a yummy torte.

Belgian Apricot Torte.

It is kind of crumbly- but so great with tea and low in sugar that we loved it!

Here’s the recipe:

3/4 cup soft butter

1/4 cup superfine sugar

1 1/2 TBSP oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg, beaten

3 cups flour ( all purpose or pastry- I used pastry)

1 1/2tsp baking powder

grated rind of lemon

grated rind of orange

1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup apricot jam

confectioner’s sugar for dredging


Line a 8 inch pan with baking parchment.

Beat the butter, sugar, oil  and vanilla until fluffy, then add egg and beat well.

Sift the flour with the baking powder, and gradually work into the creamed mixture along with the grated rinds.

Knead together as for a shortbread dough.  Divide in half, and coarsely grate one portion into the pan so that it covers the bottom evenly.

Beat the jam and apricots together and spread the mixture evenly over the dough- taking it right to the edges.

Grate the remaining dough evenly over the apricot layer and  bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 1- 1 1/4 hours, or until lightly browned and just firm.  Remove from the oven and set aside until cold

Remove the torte from the pan and strip off the paper. 

Dredge heavily with sifted confectioner’s sugar.

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I was going to take a picture of the whole round- but we ate it before I could get my camera out.  This is so easy to make- easy for kids to eat and just delicious.

Psalm 73

Psalm 73
BOOK III : Psalms 73-89
A psalm of Asaph.

1Surely God is good to Israel,
       to those who are pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
       I had nearly lost my foothold.

3 For I envied the arrogant
       when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 They have no struggles;
       their bodies are healthy and strong.

5 They are free from the burdens common to man;
       they are not plagued by human ills.

6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
       they clothe themselves with violence.

7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity ;
       the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.

8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
       in their arrogance they threaten oppression.

9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
       and their tongues take possession of the earth.

10 Therefore their people turn to them
       and drink up waters in abundance.

11 They say, “How can God know?
       Does the Most High have knowledge?”

12 This is what the wicked are like—
       always carefree, they increase in wealth.

13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure;
       in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.

14 All day long I have been plagued;
       I have been punished every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
       I would have betrayed your children.

16 When I tried to understand all this,
       it was oppressive to me

17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
       then I understood their final destiny.

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
       you cast them down to ruin.

19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
       completely swept away by terrors!

20 As a dream when one awakes,
       so when you arise, O Lord,
       you will despise them as fantasies.

21 When my heart was grieved
       and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;
       I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
       you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
       and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
       And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
       but God is the strength of my heart
       and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
       you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
       I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
       I will tell of all your deeds. 

New International Version (NIV)


Sometimes when life is particularly hard, and I am tired and downcast and don’t understand, this psalm comes to mind.

Especially the following verses, from The Message,


11-14 What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch?
      Nobody’s tending the store.
   The wicked get by with everything;
      they have it made, piling up riches.
   I’ve been stupid to play by the rules;
      what has it gotten me?
   A long run of bad luck, that’s what—
      a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.


And yet, somewhere deep inside, I know that this is NOT true.

It is just one more cleverly told lie by Satan- and so I go on the read the rest of the Psalm.  Because, “as for me, it is good to be near God.  I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge….”


1)  Who wrote it?

Asaph- choir director,Levite.

2) circumstances?

Unsure, most likely at a low point in his life.

3)  questions?

Why do good things happen to bad people?  or Why do evil men prosper and good men fail?

4)  Answered?  by whom?

By the Holy Spirit’s  guidance in Israel’s past and in Asaph’s own heart. (vvs. 1,23-26, 28)

5)   Can I pray this prayer?

Yes, Often.

6)    Names for God?

The Most High, God, O LORD, the Sovereign LORD

7)     Relationship?

Hurt and disillusioned, yet close, hoping for understanding—then repentant, grateful, and loving.

8)    NT References?

There are thematic references :

vs 1  “Pure in heart” references the Sermon on the Mount.

vvs 17-19  ” For  what is a man profited to gain the world et lose his soul?”  (Matt 16:26)

vs 25  “To who shall we go” You have the words of eternal life.”

9)     Voices?

voice of righteous believers, voice of arrogant wicked ones

10)   What does it mean to me?

Psalm 73 is about true perspectives.  What is our viewpoint?  Are we so living in the “here and now” that all we can see is what we lack in this world?  Are we so blind to real value that we want only what we can touch and see?

Or, can we truly be God’s children and see” with eternity’s values in view”?  Can we enter into the Eternal life that we receive from God the moment we put our lives into His hands and start trusting in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ? 

As believers, we do not live by explanations- we live by promises.  And God’s promises only become real to us as we grow in relationship with Him- accepting His salvation- trusting in His judgements- believing in His Word- and spending time in His presence.

On my worst days, the questions plague me.

But even on my worst days, the Holy Spirit whispers hope and eternity to my soul. 

And I trust Him.

Because it IS good to be near God.

“Ode to a Teapot”


Oh, loveliness incarnate, especially

          round the spout,

Divinest that ever poured

          afternoon tea out!

Thy form embodies beauty, yet thy

          base is balanced, too,

Small wonder that my heart is

caught and held by your brew!

You did not cost my savings and

         undoubtedly you’re good;

Your children, too, the cups and

  plates, I welcome as I should!

There’s breed, my dear, about you,

            flush of colour I adore.

And yet, you know, I picked you up

           in a famous store.

Each time we part I pray, sweet, as

your countenance is hid, That never

shall I hear those words, “Please

mum, I’ve smashed the lid!”


March 1930


Psalm 123- a song of ascents

Psalm 123 is one of the pilgrim psalms, sung in unison as the people of Israel made their yearly pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, placed high on a hill was a journey of ascent- a climb to the most holy place- and as the people climbed that hill they sang songs of praise and confession, repentance and deliverance. 

A psalm is not a lecture telling us what to do and why;  it is a song celebrating our God and ” what happens when a person of faith goes about the business of believing and loving and following God”  Eugene Peterson

Psalm 123 is called the Sigh of the Eyes or the Eye of Hope.  We see that aspect of the life of discipleship that takes place under the form of servanthhood.

Psalm 123
A Pilgrim Song

1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God, look up to you for help.
   Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
      like a maiden attending her lady,
   We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
      awaiting your word of mercy.
   Mercy, God, mercy!
      We’ve been kicked around long enough,
   Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
      kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.


Psalm 123
A song of ascents. 

1 I lift up my eyes to you,
       to you whose throne is in heaven.

2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
       as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
       so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
       till he shows us his mercy.

3 Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us,
       for we have endured much contempt.

4 We have endured much ridicule from the proud,
       much contempt from the arrogant.


The  first passage above is The Message, below it is the NIV.

To answer the 10 questions:

1)   Who wrote it?

Nehemiah or a prophet of his time. An arranger of music, Asaph?

2)     What were the circumstances?

In the bonds of servanthood, considering the bonds between servant and master.

3)      Questions asked?

Implied question- How may I serve you, Lord and Master?

4)     Answered? By whom?

Answered by the Master.  By Mercy and our past experience in His service.

5)      Can I pray this psalm?

As His child and bond servant – I need to consider and pray this psalm daily!

6)       Names for God?

Master (covenant name), LORD, God

7)       Relationship?


8)  NT references?

Thematic references, vs1 to the Lord’s prayer, vs 3  to the arrogant abuse endured by God’s people.

9)      Voices?

servant, slaves, echoes of the voices of the proud and arrogant

10)     What does it mean to me?

I need to learn an attitude of life that reflects my relationship as bond servant to the Lord.  Believers serve a Master who has made Himself a servant in Jesus Christ (John 13:12-17)  My stance should always be that of looking up, looking at my Master in humility to see where my service is required.

I call out for Mercy, Mercy – but mercy is not my right.  As a servant my only right is to give my service. 

I may be”holding my breath awaiting His word of mercy”, but that is only because I have a Master who offers mercy, mercy and yet again ,mercy.

This is a psalm that highlights and deals with observing the skills of service, of servanthood.   Michael Easley, at the Founder’s day conference at Moody Bible Institute, during a sermon on the topic of obedience, said, ” My dog listens to me better that I listen to the Lord.”  In keeping my eyes trained upon the Master, I learn to better serve.  I need to continue in my training.

Mercy, God, Mercy!

Bee-sting cake ( bienenstich) RECIPE

bee sting cake 026[3]                                                                                                  They sell these at Tulipan, a Hungarian pastry/bistro shop in Wooster.

ONLY, mine are better.

And that is not bragging- I add lemon and for some reason they don’t, so mine taste sweeter and tangy-er and yummier.

This recipe makes a lot of bars- I cut them into  bars and serve them with tea.

They are light and sweet and sticky and delish!

bee sting cake 001 bee sting cake 002 bee sting cake 003 bee sting cake 004 bee sting cake 006                      Ingredients:

1 TBS yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp sugar

6 TBS butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 yolk

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

3+ cups of flour

1 1/3 cups sliced or slivered almonds( reserve until after you put on glaze)

glaze ingredients

2 tsp. lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup whipping cream

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Proof yeast with warm water and tsp sugar.   Blend sugar with butter until fluffy, add eggs and mix until it looks curdled, then mix in yeast mixture.  Add milk,vanilla, salt and stir well.  Then add 2 1/2 cups flour and stir until you have a very sticky, wet dough.  Add last 1/2 cup of dough, and dump onto well floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes( you may add more flour as needed, but the dough should stay sticky and light).

Grease bowl, shape dough into a ball, drop into bowl, turn once to grease top of ball, and then cover with plastic wrap and let raise about 45 minutes.

Flatten into greased and foiled and greased jelly roll pan- Or you could put down parchment paper under the foil and only grease the top of the foil.

-raise another 45 minutes.

Whilst the dough is raising, put the ingredients for the glaze (EXCEPT
for the lemon juice) into a small pan and bring to a boil.  Add lemon juice and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 F.

Now, when dough has risen slowly in jelly roll pan, pour glaze over top.  It will pool up in some areas- that is normal- and spread almonds evenly over top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375  F.  until top is golden brown.

Remove from oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, then remove from pan and cut into bars.  OR- while still warm scatter white chocolate disks over top and when melted skim them over the top with knife spatula.  Remove foil and allow to cool, then cut into 2 inch bars.

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“Tea for three?” the redhead smirked.

 spring and tulipan 001 Aiden and Allyson and I went to Tulipan and Quail crest last week.

It was grand!

Aiden shared a pot of Rooibus Chai tea.

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He added a LOT of milk to his tea.

( “Hot, Heidi.  Hot tea!”)

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We took lots of pictures and ate lunch and shared desserts(3).

Aiden enjoyed looking at them so much I wanted to see how they looked, as well!


spring and tulipan 006 But it was just a picture of me.

Which reminds me- the smirking redhead?

me That’s me, too. 

Frank has been bugging me to get my hair done.  So I finally went today.

I asked for light brown/ash blonde to cover the gray.

I got red.

And I can’t take a good picture of myself – hence the smirk.

I’m going to make some bee sting bars with almonds and honey and white chocolate – maybe tomorrow-  I’ll share the recipe and pictures.

Spring walk with camera.

Now that is to the point.

It was a beautiful day- but I only slept 2 hours last night so I was not motivated at all.  I read, washed dishes, did some research for a presentation I was going to give tonight, put a pork shoulder in the slow cooker ( after I rubbed in Hawaiian red salt and 3/4 tsp of smoke flavoring), was preparing the food for the presentation when I got a call cancelling until next week and then and only then, did I hear the quiet call to go out for a walk. 

Sometimes, I am deaf and, well, dumb.  Not mute – just DUMB.

So I grabbed my camera and walked around the yard, camera  in one hand, a growing pile of twigs in the other.  I ended up with quite a bundle of twigs and some very nice pictures of the flowers around my yard.

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Ladies mantle and cowslips from beside the brick walk up front.

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Virginia bluebells and crabapple buds from the fairy garden in back.

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Flowering quince from the back fence.

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Celandine and Sweet Woodruff from the bed next to the garage.

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Irish moss and violets from my moss and fern garden on the north side of the house.

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Red tulips and a Chinese cherry bush ready to burst into tiny starlike flowers.

Why did I wait so long to go out? 

My spirit is replete with this beauty.

My senses are reeling with the scent and delicate detail and depth of color.

I am so happy to see these friends of mine that come back so faithfully every year- and I am thrilled that the Irish moss survived the NE Ohio winter!

I should do this more often!

What is growing in your yard?

Sunday Psalms- 115

Psalm 115

1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us
       but to your name be the glory,
       because of your love and faithfulness.

2 Why do the nations say,
       “Where is their God?”

3 Our God is in heaven;
       he does whatever pleases him.

4 But their idols are silver and gold,
       made by the hands of men.

5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
       eyes, but they cannot see;

6 they have ears, but cannot hear,
       noses, but they cannot smell;

7 they have hands, but cannot feel,
       feet, but they cannot walk;
       nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

8 Those who make them will be like them,
       and so will all who trust in them.

9 O house of Israel, trust in the LORD—
       he is their help and shield.

10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD—
       he is their help and shield.

11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD—
       he is their help and shield.

12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
       He will bless the house of Israel,
       he will bless the house of Aaron,

13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—
       small and great alike.

14 May the LORD make you increase,
       both you and your children.

15 May you be blessed by the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.

16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
       but the earth he has given to man.

17 It is not the dead who praise the LORD,
       those who go down to silence;

18 it is we who extol the LORD,
       both now and forevermore.
       Praise the LORD.


It is a huge jump to Psalm 115 from Psalm 3, but it has been some weeks since I posted these studies.  I have actually only had one inquiry about when I would resume them, so perhaps there is not really a need to go on.  However, this one resonates with me today, and I’d like to share for that reason alone.

If you are interested in continuing to read these studies, let me encourage you to let me know in the comments.  I am happy to share, but don’t want to put this out there if there isn’t a lot of interest.

Following the 10 question system I introduced here , I’m going to answer those same questions and follow up with a paraphrase of the Psalm under the heading of  ” What does this mean for/to me.”


1) Who wrote it?——-Unknown

2) Circumstances ?——-After Israel’s return from captivity ( read books of Ezra and Nehemiah for background material.)

3) Questions?——-” Where (WHO) is their God?” Asked by heathen nations ( Babylon, Assyria, etc.)

4) Answered? by whom?—–In primer fashion- spelled out clearly

     ( as also done in I Kings 18;27, Isaiah 44:9-20, Jeremiah 10:1-16) Comparing our All-powerful, Reigning and LIVING God to the idols

The voice answering is of the believers returned to Israel.

5) Can I pray this Psalm?—–Absolutely!!” The dead cannot sing praises… but we can praise the Lord both now and forever!” v.17 and 18

6) Names for God?-Lord, God, Helper and Shield

7) Relationship?—Enlightened ( having learned the hard lesson in captivity)  No more false worship!

8) NT references?— none precisely, but many to the Living God here represented- I Thess. 1:9, Romans 9;26,II Cor. 6:16 and 3:3, I Tim.  3:15 and Heb. 12:12.

9) Voices?—Worshippers, Children of the Living God, the heathen nations –Important to note the voices NOT HEARD!- those of the idols and the voices of the dead (physical and spiritual)!

10)   What does it mean to me?

Under this question I offer my personal paraphrase-

Our God reigns!

He is the Living God, the Father that gives life to His children

and calls all of His people to a life that brings glory

back to


Sing unto the Lord a new song-

for we have been blessed by the lessons

He has taught us.

He is our God,

and in His unfailing love and faithfulness,

He has blessed us with the

opportunity to grow

out of our sinful mindset.

We have seen the idols of the world

-we acknowledge that they are dead-

they are false-

a sham of life-

and those that follow them are also dead.

Without life they belong to the silence of the grave.

But the Living God is our Helper

and Shield

in the roughest battles of this life.

He blesses us richly so that we can praise the Lord throughout


Praise the Lord.

All God’s people say, “Praise the Lord!”

Why? Because it pleases our God to bestow His faithful love upon us,

His children.