Wednesday, October 31, 2012

greetings from sunny california...

Here we are...

enjoying the sunshine...

...and the view from our deck.

Oh...and the company as well.
Three of my sisters have been vacationing at the same resort.

Bev flew home to Texas today...
the other two leave tomorrow.
We have some friends here as well...

...and enjoyed strawberry shortcake on their patio last night.
I have plenty of reading material...
sunscreen...
and a fridge that is well-stocked.

It's all good in this corner of the USA...
though we are very much aware of the devastation that is happening on the east coast.
Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by Sandy.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

a postcard from Weed, California

And the best view of the day...


...the gas station in Weed, California!

The miles rolled by...
and we were quite engrossed in an audio book as we passed through southern Oregon...
and on into mountains of northern California.

It seems the driver paid no attention to the fuel gauge...
until a warning bell chimed on the dash.

Panic!
The fuel tank was EMPTY...
and GPS Jane told us it was 16.9 kilometers to the nearest petrol station...
in Weed, California.

Could we make it?

We drove on fumes...
and prayers...
and finally rolled ino the service station.

We still can't believe that happened to us!
He is always most attentive to the fuel levels.

Once we were gassed up...
we noticed the lovely Mt. Shasta looming above us.

If you ever decide to visit Weed...
come with a full gas tank...
and check out the beautiful mountains nearby!


Friday, October 26, 2012

heading south...

We waited until the sun had set yesterday... 


...and then raided the grand's 'tickle trunk'.

We had deliveries to make...
and decided to go incognito.

We are leaving town for a bit...
and will be missing three of the grand's birthdays and 'trick or treat' day.

So we thought we should deliver a few treats before we left town.

It seems they recognized our 'get-up'...
though I can't imagine why.
Even little Lucy thought it was quite a hoot!

They were happy for the treats...
but can't quite figure out why we are leaving town at such an inopportune time!


The birds are heading south...
in search of warmer climes.
We are following them!


I'll send a postcard or two while we are away.

Enjoy the weekend...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

not everything is black and white...

Not everything is black and white...
though I often tend to see things that way.


It was hard to see anything but vibrant colour...
on my last visit to the garden shop. 


Red barns...
and snow capped peaks.



More fresh snow is arriving up there daily.



This is what I call the 'circus of autumn'...
beautiful colours to enjoy for a short time.
 

Across the road and just down the way...
the cranberry harvest is almost done for the year.
The 'red sea' of corralled cranberries are waiting to be sucked up into the waiting shipping container.


We've had a lot of colour over here this week...



...between the rain storms.

No...
not everything is black and white.


But black and white is still good!

Monday, October 22, 2012

a good reason to celebrate...

On October 21st we celebrate...
in one way or another...
every year.

We celebrate the day a daughter joined our family...
adding so much joy and laughter...
fun and games through the years.

It seems we barely blew out the candles from last years party...
but much has happened since that time.


This photo was taken one year ago...
a time when Lucy willingly posed for the camera.

Heidi has packed a lot of living into the past year...


...devoting much of her time to being the bestest mommy for her two girls.
 
She finds time for friends and family...


...and her wonderful husband.

Besides that...
she has been very involved in organizing 
the Women's Breakaway program at church
this past year.

Yesterday we celebrated Heidi...
with a birthday brunch.


 I tried to get a family birthday photo....
but Lucy was in perpetual motion and this was our best shot.
 
Heidi...we wish you many blessings in the year that lies ahead!

The Lord is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Friday, October 19, 2012

who has seen the wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
by Christina Rossetti 1830 ~ 1894


I thought of that poem this week...
as the winds blew through the valley.
It is one I remember from those long ago school days.

The rain arrived last weekend...
and within a few days the parched fields and brown lawns...
were green once again.

A few storms rolled through...
bringing winds and rain...
and reminding us to be prepared for power outages.


And between the storms...
we had some lovely sunny breaks.
Long enough to play tennis...
and spend a little time getting the yard ready for winter.
The patio furniture has all been packed away.
The planters are looking rather bare...
but the roses are still putting on a show.

It is autumn...
but winter is coming!

Have a wonderful weekend...



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

fall fare

It's fall...
time for soups and breads...
cakes and cookies...
and comfort foods of all sorts.

I'm sharing a few 'fall fare' pic's today...









I have previously posted all four photos on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.
Feel free to click on any of the links for the recipe.

***

In other news today...
 we at Mennonite Girls Can Cook are hanging up our work aprons...


...and donning some fancy-schmancy ones for our new Celebrations cookbook.
being made public today.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

a few good things...


Taylor Smith Taylor.
Made in the USA.


That's all it says on the back of these lovely dishes.
It's the dinner set I recall from my childhood...
my mom's first china after her marriage in 1948.
 She had other sets later...
and these became mostly a memory.
When she passed on, we split her set six ways...
so that we all had a wee piece of it.
It must not have been a very common china pattern...
as I have never been able to find any additional pieces.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into Creekside...
a country decor and antiques shop in my hometown...
and saw six soup bowls on a display table.
No questions asked...
I bought them.
I'm rather sentimental.
Can you tell?

On another front...
our ensuite bathroom has two sinks.
His and hers.
His always flows freely.
Hers becomes sluggish quite regularly!
It seems a lot of her hair finds its way down the drain...
and soon there is no way for the water to get by.
How to get that drain flowing properly is always an issue.
I finally found a quick and simple (no chemicals involved) solution...
and I thought I'd share my it with you.


Short of pulling the entire drain apart...
there was no way to get inside to remove the 'hair balls'.
Until I found the Moen drain cleaning tool at the local hardware store.
It a long flexible piece of plastic...
with notches along the side.
A few trips up and down the drain...
and I had a small mountain of hair piled up...
and a drain that worked properly.
It's a 'do it myself' tip that I just had to pass along.
Cost? Around $5.

And while we are on the subject of household chores...
let me share my oven cleaning tip with you.

I have double ovens...
which also means double the cleaning.
But I must admit I rarely use the self-cleaning cycle.

Following a tip from a blogging friend some four years ago...
I have a non-stick oven liner in the bottom of the oven which collects all the spills and mess.
Everything just wipes right off the liner without scrubbing.
The liners are available at kitchen shops and Targ*t...
and can be trimmed to fit most sized ovens.
It works for me!

Those are a few of the good things in my life that I thought I'd share today.

The rain came...
and hasn't left yet.
That's a good thing.
We needed it!

Have a wonderful day!
 


Friday, October 12, 2012

here comes the rain...

After the longest dry spell recorded in our area...
the rain is coming.
Today...
if the weatherman is right.
Though we need the rain desperately...
 I must say we have enjoyed the sunshine...
and all things outdoors...
this summer.

On this Friday...
I will leave you a few photographic memories from this past week.

The morning fog...


and an evening walk along the river.

 
Once the fog lifted...
clouds of dust replaced it as the tractors made their way through the fields.
Clouds of dust in October...most unusual!
The winter wheat is seeded...
and waiting for a little moisture to germinate.
Come spring...
it will be ready to harvest.

We sat on the patio and ate outdoors.


And we sat on our friends' patio and enjoyed nachos together one night.
Nachos never look quite that special at my place!


And most every evening...
we enjoyed the beautiful sunset.

I treasure the memories.
The rain is coming!


Have a wonderful weekend...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a thanksgiving weekend to remember...

The menu is pretty much the same from year to year.
The table looked much as it did last year...
down to the crabapple nametags.

But a few things were different this year.
The dinner rolls had 'I'm thankful for...' slips inside.
That was new!
My daughter saw the idea on pinterest and decided we should do that.
She polled everyone in the family...
to see what one thing they were especially thankful for this year...
and sent me the list.
I printed them off...
strips of paper like those found in Chinese fortune cookies.


They got rolled up in the crescent rolls...
baked as usual...
and one dinner roll was placed at each place setting.
We found they were a little hard to unroll.
 I learned after the fact that I should have slathered on an extra layer of butter before laying down the strips.
Next year!
We each read aloud what was on the paper at our plate...
and then guessed whose quote it could have been.
It was a good exercise for all of us!

Also different than usual...
the sizzling temperatures.
Since when is it hot at Thanksgiving?
As soon as the meal was done...
we decided to head to a nearby park for a bit with the whole gang.
 

Micah could have played in those crunchy leaves for hours!


The kids had a hoot!


The big kids too.



Oh...and we managed to wrangle baby Lucy into a photograph.
She wasn't any too happy about it...
and was trying to make her big escape.
But she is in the picture!



This was more what she had in mind!



We actually looked for shade...
and eventually returned home so the wee ones could nap...
and the big ones could have some ice-cream and a cold drink.
Thanksgiving?
A warm one that we will not forget soon.
It was a good day.