Mid November – REALLY- running out of time.

I can never seem to get a handle on the calendar.

This is not a new thing- I’ve always had a problem with timing.

Robin used to keep me up to date-on task- so that I didn’t get lost in the midst of planning and miss out on the actual happening.  Since she’s been gone I’ve gotten a little better and there are plenty of people to remind me- but it is still kind of a disconnect. 

I have plans.

Good plans.

Fun plans.

Doable plans.

But time is ticking away.

I am not ready or even close to ready for Thanksgiving to be within a couple of weeks.  I am not ready for St. Nicholas day, or our anniversary (Ha!  35 years!  I HAD plenty of time to get ready for this one- right!) and I’m certainly not ready for Christmas!

I’ve got to kick it into high gear!

But I do have a helper.

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aiden and lavender 004 

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Elves just keep getting cuter every year!

Are you ready?

Psalm 125

Psalm 125

A song of ascents.

1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
   which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
   so the LORD surrounds his people
   both now and forevermore.

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain
   over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
   their hands to do evil.

4 LORD, do good to those who are good,
   to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways
   the LORD will banish with the evildoers.

   Peace be on Israel.

I grew up in a church that didn’t embrace what they called” the fallacy of eternal security”- or maybe they didn’t quite say it that way, but that is what they meant.  One needed to work out one’s salvation with fear and trembling.

There are many who back slide- the parable of the seed and the different plantings made it clear that there are those who appear to be believers who end up dried out and shriveled.  And then there is that dog that goes back to his vomit.  These were the arguments I heard throughout my youth.

And they made me nervous. 

I heard and read all the arguments and assurances on the other side as well.  To tell you the truth- I’m not much interested in arguing about it.

I know that I am surrounded on all sides by the grace and mercy of out Lord. 

I feel secure in His loving care.  I am trusting in Him to do good in my life because I belong to Him and am cleansed by the blood of Jesus and adopted into His family by His Son’s atonement. 

I grew up not wanting to be part of the uncertainty or the arguments.

And I read the Bible.

Now- I’m following the advice of Psalm 125-

relaxing in the LORD.

Book Review- TILLIE LAYS AN EGG by Terry Golson

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Have you read this one yet?

Why do I love children’s books so much?  They fascinate me.  I love the way they stick to the subject- without any preaching or attitude- and take you for a short excursion into an alternative life and then gently release  you back to your world.

I won this book in a giveaway at Suzanne McMinn’s Chickens in the Road blog.  Suzanne is a fairly new farmer in West Virginia and her blog reflects her lifestyle. 

This book was written by another small farmer and cookbook writer, Terry Golson.  Terry has a blog also and on her website, www.hencam.com. you can see her hens ALL DAY LONG!  So if you like chickens- go take a look!

But back to the book.  It is a simple tale about 7 chickens and 3 nesting boxes.  The hens are supposed to take turns.  But Tilly isn’t a patient chicken and she likes to do a little explore about the farm.  This leads to surprises and a little searching of the photographs.    Speaking of photography- Ben Fink does the illustration in this book and he is fantastic.  If just once I could take a picture that looked half as good as his- I’d call myself a photographer.

Published by Scholastic Press and selling for $16.99 in the US- this would make a fine gift for children with an interest in real life photography and searching for an object within the picture.  And for adults who like a well written and presented read with the little ones in their lives.

OR just look in the library- it is worth the time spent looking for it!

A recipe repeat-Fennel and Celeriac soup with apples and almonds

I put this up about 2 years ago on my Livejournal blog- but it is so good it bears repeating.  (Besides,Joanna @ Zebbakes asked for the recipe .)

This is a great month to look at root veggies- turnips, beets, potatoes and celery root or celeriac. If you make this- please let me know!

This is one of my ALL- TIME favorite soups.  It is a very old recipe from the North Umberland region of England- and- honestly , I have never had a soup more remarked upon or enjoyed.  It is easy to make although a little expensive and rich.  Try it- you really won’t be sorry.
I medium bulb of fennel (also called anise)
I medium celeriac (also called celery root)
I medium onion
I large Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup ground roasted almonds
2 cups broth(chicken or vegetable)
I pint half and half
salt and pepper to taste
Cut vegetables and apple into chunks(medium size)  put into large pot, add broth and simmer until everything is cooked through.  Put into food processor or blender and whip until smooth.  Put back into pot, add almonds and S+P and half and half.  Heat through- you can bring to simmer , but do not boil once the cream has been added.  Sprinkle with almonds and a little allspice if you’d like.  This is just so good with a green salad and crusty bread.



Here’s a picture of the finished soup.  It was perfect as an appetizer for our meal.

Crazy 8 meme-because Kim tagged me.

I don’t really understand a lot of the stuff that goes on in internet land.

The whole business of the meme- or all those strange quizzes on facebook (your autism quotient- really- autism isn’t a fun activity to be tested on, is it?) – but I do occasionally participate if the questions are interesting.

These were.  So the idea is that you answer 8 questions, tag 8 people , and ask 8 questions.  Kim, from Hireath asked the following questions:

Did you have a favorite Aunt or Uncle growing up and if so, what made them so special to you?  My Aunt Anna- she was 11 years older than my mother and more like a grandmother to us.  She taught me how to love children -and to treat them with love and respect.

2.  Carpet or hardwood floors; what is your preference?

     hardwood- although I don’t have any.

3.  Do you remember your dreams upon awaking?

      Always.  And I go back to sleep and fix them if they are disturbing. 

4.  How many different churches have you attended in the past decade?

      One, mainly- however we  tried two others for short intervals.

5.  Do you prefer to do your shopping in stores or online?

      I prefer making gifts and buying from small stores.

6.  Do  you label and date the back of family photos?

      Never.  Although I appreciate it when other family members do.

7.  What is your least favorite household task?

      Dusting.  It makes me sneeze and my sinuses get all clogged up.

8.  Do you stroll the aisles in the library for interesting books to bring ho

me or search the online catalog to reserve the specific book you are looking for?

      I never go to libraries.  They want the books back and I’m a re-reader.  I buy books at used book stores and either keep them or pass them on.


My questions:

1.  Do you follow recipes exactly the first time you make something, or start changing them up from the beginning? 

2. Will you make a recipe without seeing a picture of the finished dish first?

3.  Do you remember the first chapter book you read as a child?

4.  Do you make or buy a majority of Christmas gifts?

5.  When was the last time you made bread and what kind was it?

6.  What is your favorite vacation spot ( beach, Mts., big city,theme park) –  and how often do you get to go?

7.  Do you still send Christmas cards- if so approx. how many?

8.  What was the last good book you read- and would you recommend it?

And now, the 8 friends I’m tagging:

1. Elizabeth








Don’t feel pressured to join in if you don’t want to- I just thought it would be fun to find out a little more about you and give you a venue to ask your own questions if you’d like. 

I promise I won’t do this again. 🙂

Psalm 134

Psalm 134

Come, Bless the Lord
A Song of Ascents.

134:1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the Lord!

3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made heaven and earth!

This is the ESV version of the scriptures.

I love this psalm for a lot of reasons- I am often awake for long periods at night.  And sometimes, it seems, that I am called to pray during these sleepless hours.  “Stand”ing ” by night in the house of the Lord”- Jesus said His Father’s house is a house of prayer- so I believe that I am one of those servants lifting up hands in the holy placem making supplication and blessing the name of the Lord.

I also love to sing this psalm- it is a great lead in to prayer and sets my heart and head into the right place to pray.

And I love that it includes a blessing from the Lord directed from Zion from our Creator.

It is also short and sweet but its message is deep- as a song of ascents it is a pilgrim’s song, ushering us into the presence of the Almighty.

I’m singing this song tonight- notice that it includes an invitation?

“Come”  as in join in!

Come and sing with me.

telling the stories

I forgot my cord for uploading pictures onto the computer.

I keep forgetting to take pictures, anyway.

We gave Kieran his first bath today. 

We went to Whole Foods to do some shopping.

And we went to Aidan’s music class and danced and sang and beat rhythm sticks on the floor and laughed and laughed!

I’m having a wonderful time playing with Willow and the grandchildren.

And I realized tonight as I was telling Aidan my version of “The Elephant’s Child”, that we depend too much on pictures today.

His eyes got so big when I told him about the many spankings the poor Elephant’s child got for asking his questions.  He giggled when I told him about the child pulling bananas from the trees as he walked down to the river- and when I told about him creeping up – closer and closer to the “greasy grey-green Limpopo River” to ask the crocodiles what they like to eat- Aidan clapped his hands in anticipation.  If you have never read this story by Rudyard Kipling, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you- and if you have then you know what the crocodile’s answer was!

I told the story from memory- I missed some parts and embellished others, but it is a masterful story from a masterful writer and it held his attention better than any of the books I have read him lately.

So- no pictures, today- I’ll just tell you the storiess.

How Aidan covered my left arm with stickers until I looked diseased.

How Kieran  has the sweetest little bow of a mouth that he opens and shuts like a little birdie.  When I hold him, I aim him away from my chest- no milk there, little one!

About the marvelous meals Willow makes- Roasted chicken with za`tar and green olives and escalloped potatoes  – Baked eggplant and pasta with garlic and tomato sauce-apple and carrot bread- I could go on and on!

The sweetness of Aidan’s face when he saw my Hawaii’an print shirt and told me I was beautiful with those big blue and white flowers.

The lovely bells ringing in the hours from the towers of Trinity Seminary- just across the street.

The happiness that surrounds Aidan when he sees that I am here, still, in the morning as promised.

If you need a picture- look at the one of me next to the header- smiling.

Because that’s what I’m doing.


Stormy Weather


I love a good storm!

Wind, Rain, Lightening, Thunder~ cue WIND, again!

More rain!  Dark clouds!  Gusts of wind scattering leaves around!


Rain coming down so heavy you can hardly see across the street!

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I sit on my front porch and feel the elements- it feels like I’m directing the storm.

We had a wonderful storm last week- and they are promising one for tomorrow- with snow and sleet attached!!!!

Only tomorrow I’m headed back down to Columbus to spend some time with the grandchildren and Willow-and they don’t get lake effect storms that far south.  Lake effect is either the curse or bonus of NE Ohio- we get a LOT of snow because of Lake Erie. 

The leaves may all be down by the time I come home- the trees naked- November chill set in  -and  headed into Thanksgiving!

I’ve got to get working on my hand made Christmas gifts!

Maybe I’ll just make everyone SOCKS!

Or fruitcake.

I think I need to have a brainstorm to come up with some more ideas.


A story and a recipe- Cabbage and homemade noodles.

When my sister Robin and I were little girls, by mother sponsored a lady from Yugoslavia to come to the United States.  My mother was very busy working in the greenhouse and in the floral business- plus she had seven children – three of us – 6,4,and2 years of age- needing to still be watched over.

Mrs. Benko came – speaking only Slovak-and spent a year (or maybe, less) with us- cooking and cleaning.  She was a very nice lady- I remember she could ride a bike in her skirts and didn’t seem very interested in learning English.  I was little and I was never in on the details- but I don’t think she liked it here much and went home to be with her husband.

I do remember two things very clearly.

Robin and I teased her, by running through the kitchen and untying her apron when she was cooking.  It was probably more me than Robin doing the teasing, but I loved getting her upset, because she would chase after us, shaking her wooden spoon in the air and shouting out words in Slovak.  Once, she chased us into the bathroom where we scrambled into the bathtub and hugged each other while she shook that spoon under our noses.

Then she tied her apron back on and went back to work in the kitchen.

The other thing I remember is her cooking.  My mother was a good cook.  But she was an American and used to short cut cooking.  Mrs. Benko made food from scratch.  Breads, strudel, cookies, soups- all homemade and delicious.

And she made her own noodles.  All the time.

One meal ALL she made were noodle dishes. 

Poppyseed noodles.

Cottage cheese noodles.

Buttered crumb noodles.

Potato noodles.

AND Cabbage noodles.

My family sat down at the table and my brothers started commenting on all the noodle dishes.  That’s when my father spoke sternly- ” Everybody shut up and eat.  And smile- she made us a meal to enjoy.  Eat it!”

I was happy to eat all noodles.  I love carbohydrates!  And I love cabbage noodles.  Here’s a recipe for the home made kind.


1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour (about)

-Beat egg slightly.



Add flour and salt and mix together.


Knead until smooth.

Flour your surface liberally.


Roll out dough until very thin.  Add flour as needed.


Roll out and flour, again, until very, very thin.


Dust with flour and fold into thirds.


Cut with sharp knife into medium thin pieces.


Then cut those pieces in half.


Separate and drop into large pan of salted boiling water.


Boil for only about 5-7 minutes, then take out with a slotted spoon.

I boiled them in batches- about 1/3 at a time- it takes some time to separate the noodles.

Now, just chop up some cabbage fine, salt it and let it sit for a while.

Then squeeze out most of the liquid and sautee the cabbage in either a little evoo or bacon fat.  In my family, we always let the cabbage get a little brown- but you can stop when it becomes soft and translucent and add to the noodles.  Stir well and you have an excellent side dish.

One that would make Mrs. Benko proud.

And the sock saga continues…


I admit it.

I have a fascination with socks.

Funny thing is- I don’t even like to wear socks.

I don’t even like to wear shoes- I’m mostly barefoot or in sandals.

But I like making socks! 🙂

Only, I make them from the bottom up instead of from the top down.

So the sock is made for individual feet.  You need to have an image of the particular foot to make them this way. 

Who would have thought it was so hard to get people to give you a hard copy of their foot?  I asked my brother at least two months ago for a cardboard cut out of his foot.  I still don’t have it.  I asked his daughter to help him draw around his foot and send me a copy on paper.  Still – no foot.

I asked my niece, Meredith, for a cut out of her foot.  She lives in Japan- I can’t just go and do it myself.

snow, snow and snow 002 snow, snow and snow 017 Meredith's Hawaii 437 I have pictures of her feet-

but that doesn’t help when I need a pattern for her foot.

I told her of my dilemma and she put her foot up to the Skype camera.

I will spare you that particular picture.

I finally traced Cynthia’s foot which is the same length and general size- pared it down to make it slimmer-


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here they are!  Knitted with wool Meredith brought me from New Zealand.

Now I’m working on a pair for Luke!

Bamboo and wool in a charcoal grey!