Thursday, July 30, 2015

taking stock

Around the time I add a year to my age, I find myself
taking stock or thinking about life a bit.
You know, the regrets, the wonderful moments.
So much to be grateful about.
I recently read one of those articles posted to fb that talked about women 
"over fifty" and what they should or should not be doing. Most of it I take
with a grain of salt but I did appreciate their encouragement for women to
"dress their age." How beautiful an older woman can look when she is not
squeezed into a mini skirt or trying to look like a teenager. I loved
how Vanessa Redgrave dressed in Letters to Juliet.
While I continue to grow, and learn new ways,
I have figured out life a little by now--haven't we all?
Here's my list of things I hold in value for each day living:
Early rising
Stretching and exercise
Time with God
Drinking lots of water
Eating no or little sugar, low carb, lots of veggies and fruit
Taking time to read a book
Writing notes of encouragement
Working with my hands
Looking outside myself for people who need help
("It is better to give than to receive")
Taking time to cook a nice meal, 
set a pretty table, and sit down for dinner with my Gardener.
Don't go to bed late.
If I do all these, it's bound to be a good day.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

family together

 Tired but refreshed would be the way to describe how we feel after a week
 in the Tennessee mountains with our entire extended family minus three.
Away from technology, surrounded by gorgeous views, and
with the ones you love the most … how can you get it much better?
 When the kids were the age that their kids are now, our families vacationed every
year together. Now it was time to try it again. Including spouses, 26 descendants
from our parents gathered and together we made we made a wonderful memory.
Second cousins got to know each other and played together easily.
We hiked a lot and the youngest of the bunch kept up most of the time.
On one hike she was quite pleased
with her big stick and her "baby stick."
The only time she went on strike was when I said,
"Look, we're in the mountains!"
She stopped in her tracks, dropped her sticks
and with her lower lip out and tears approaching,
 reached out her arms to be carried while
exclaiming, "We are not in the mountains."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

not just a granny square

When we taught our mentor girls how to crochet one thing led to another.
Before we knew it there were some 40 women in our church getting
together once a month to share patterns, ideas, and bring together our completed projects.
When everything is gathered together, the colors are vibrant and amazing.
Our prayer shawls, potholders, dishcloths, soap holders, lap blankets, baby blankets,
booties, baby caps, headbands, dish scrubbers, baskets, scarves, blankets … and more …go all over
our city and the world beyond, and wherever they go, 
recipients smile and are blessed by the gift. 
In June we sent 1200 items with a team to Haiti. 
Soap holders that double as washcloths are used there, 
as well as potholders for women cooking over open fires, 
or to protect their hands when carrying heavy buckets of water.

We put wings to the work of our fingers!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

summer nights

 The city on a warm summer evening is one of my favorite places to be.
There's always a breeze and people to see.
We like to take a picnic supper along and eat near one of the many fountains.
 On a recent night we ate with friends on the second floor of the structure shown in the upper
right, above, until security kicked us out. Apparently it was "closed" after 6 pm.
Thankfully we did not bring the usual china or candles, so quickly scooped up our picnic 
and headed to a lower table, feeling a bit like teenagers caught in the wrong spot.
A good summer to me includes a couple of evenings here.
As darkness descends and the lights come on 
there just isn't a much prettier or relaxing place to be.

Joining Mosaic Mondays.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

rain catcher

 I've always thought our side (back) door looked a little plain.
And a great place to get wet as
one awkwardly manages umbrella and packages
while unlocking the door during a rainstorm.
 We finally did what we have talked of for years.
I think it adds a little charm to our house.
 Thankfully we've had some rainstorms recently.
Good for the grass and garden's sake, but
also a chance to try out our new addition.
And it works great! 

Sunday, July 05, 2015

just right

 We enjoyed a big celebration this weekend for friends
from Europe back for a visit and at the same time,
a 60th birthday. It was fun to work on decorations.
The above rice jar was my P*nterest find.
 The long table on a friend's porch easily fit 14 of us.
The next morning we enjoyed a parade in our cul de sac put on by the 
children who live here, followed by some yummy treats on their porch.
Our kids were away so we enjoyed quiet the rest of the weekend.
First a tiniest of road trips to the other side of town,
then grilling chicken just for two,
and finally, watching the fireworks on TV.
Later falling asleep to the sounds of fireworks in the distance.
A perfect weekend.

Friday, July 03, 2015

whimsy eggplant parmesan

One fresh eggplant, sliced, oiled and broiled (and salted.)
 Ground turkey browned along with onion, sweet pepper, 
zucchini and olives.
 Sauteed mushrooms in garlic and oil.
 Layer sauce, eggplant, cottage cheese, meat
and veggies (including left over roasted vegs)
grated cheese, then do it all over again.
Top with a thin layer of sauce and more cheese.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes,
serve with a salad.
My whimsical take on veggie eggplant parmesan this week.
It was good.
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