Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of things that made me happy this week
Full Beaver Moon – November 29th This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

I was fortunate to be able to take a class from Debby Schuh, who teaches book making techniques to students around the world.

This is the example of the book that we made Thursday evening.

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1. I have always dreamed of _
having enough money to travel all over the world_
2. My _
patience__ is my _best feature, although sometimes when I appear to be patient I am really stressing on the inside___
3. I love to _
read___ when I _have free time___
4. I will never forget _
the good times I had_ with _my family when I was growing up on a ranch in the mountains of Wyoming.___

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose-In-Laws

This Week's prompt is: In-Laws
When I was married, I had a wonderful mother-in-law.   She was supportive, energetic, and boy did she have a bunch of good recipes.  I had been married for three years before I met her, so I was a little bit apprehensive, but she was warm and accepting, plus I had given her a sweet little granddaughter, and a grandson was on the way.  Even after I was divorced, she wanted to be part of my family, and I was glad to have her as a friend.

I have various brother and sister-in-laws.  Each one of them are my friends.  My brother-in-law is a quiet, intelligent man, who is happiest when he works in his shop.  He is an artist--engraving guns.  One sister-in-law is an outstanding horse trainer, the other is a down to earth gal who loves to cook.  But what makes them all special to me is that they truly love my siblings and make them happy.  The same can be said with my son and daughter-in-law.  And there isn't anything more that I could desire than that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1.  With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don't you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion? 
Currently wrapped--zero, 0, zilch.  I like the suspense of unwrapping a gift.  I always try to save the paper and the bow.

2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
On my to-do list-- get my cards mailed out soon.  On my Santa list--the same as every year;  for my kids to spend a day helping me get chores done around the house that I can't handle.

3.  What makes a home?
A place that is filled with love.

4.  Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck. 
I so many of the Motown songs.  They are the sounds that I grew up with.  A couple of my favorites are:
You Are the Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder
Reach Out I'll Be There - Four Tops

5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?
Definitely red.  I do have some green but is is dark green

6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon? 
I love bacon, fried very crispy, especially with pancakes and eggs.

7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.
We lived in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan the Christmas that my oldest daughter was three.  She was so excited with the tree.  She would say "I wuv da twee"  and then give it a kiss, and was so surprised when the needles tickled her lips.  She would giggle then keep doing it over and over.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
My little granddaughter is preparing for her first dance recital (She is 6).  She is in a hip hop class and what she lacks in rhythm she more than makes up in enthusiasm.  They are so cute when they perform at this age whether it is in a school play, church drama, or dance class.  I especially like it that she is carefree about it, not worrying about what others will think, like so many adults do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shopping Madness or Simple Pleasure

Well, we had greedy Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and finally Cyber Monday.  Does anyone have any money left?  I know that the economy is bad, but all this push to use every last cent on holiday gifts is crazy.  

What ever happened to stringing popcorn and cranberries, and making paper chains for the tree?  What about putting time and effort into make a little something for friends and families?  Can anything be as touching as a handmade card from a child?  

I think that we have lost something valuable in our lives--the simple way of doing things--the peace on earth good will to men.  

What are you doing to carry on old traditions? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Quiz about Me

1. Do you decorate outdoors for the holidays?
My grandson or my daughter put up lights along the roofline and patio.

2. What is the best thing about office Christmas parties
When they are over.

3. Gloves or Mittens?

4. What do you think of Secret Santas?
I like to surprise people with little gifts, and am always glad to get a surprise as well.  On those occasions when the gift isn't what I would choose, I remember that it is the thought that counts.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5.  How many holiday parties do you plan to attend?
Me--This year I have three on the calendar: a chili supper where we wrap gifts for the homeless, a pot luck barn dance, and a get together with my friends from Bible Study.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Meditation--Dirty Dishes

This weekend after Thanksgiving, this was a common sight in many of our homes.  All that was left of those hours of preparation, and the good time sharing our meal were the dirty dishes.  

But I'm not sad.  I thank God for dirty dishes. At least we have food to eat.

1 Thessalonians 5:16  Always be joyful. (NLT)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Miracle Christmas Tree

As I was driving to my daughter's home outside of Prescott, AZ, Thanksgiving morning, I could hardly wait to see this sight on  the high desert interstate.
I-17 Christmas Tree

For about three decades, travelers eagerly await a glittering diversion in the median near Milepost 254, just north of the Sunset Point rest area. Investigative journalists tried -- and failed -- to identify the anonymous decorators. Some folks credit Santa's helpers. Others insisted that Arizona Highway Patrol officers or Department of Transportation workers were responsible, however they deny any involvement.  And no one has ever been caught in the act; nobody steps forward.

That is how the legend was born. And like all good tales (and trees), this one continues to grow.
Some years ago, mystery folks began decking the juniper with red, white and blue for Independence Day. More recently, yellow ribbons appeared in a tribute to overseas soldiers.  But every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday trimmings magically appear.

This August, the little tree's life was imperiled. A wildfire burned along the freeway and right up to the trunk, scorching lower boughs and browning some branches.  Yet the intrepid juniper survived, and motorists began referring to it by a new name: "Miracle Christmas Tree."  Glenn Brown, fire chief in Mayer, says first responders were mistakenly credited with saving the tree's life. "It was a higher power than us," he says. "We did nothing."  Greg Gentsch, ADOT's district engineer for the Prescott area, says those who decorate the tree installed a pair of barrels at its base that can be filled with water. The extra moisture may have saved the juniper's life.

Although ADOT normally frowns on displays in freeway medians, at least one state engineer expresses no interest in being the Gentsch who stole Christmas: "I think we treat this a little bit as a special case," he says.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
I had a good week.  These are some of the highlights--
Goose resting beside Phoenix park lake
Granddaughter loves playing Barbie with me

Cactus forest on way to Prescott

Daughter's pies--Jack-o-lantern became Thanksgiving pie, she picked  cherries and  apples for the others

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!

This week’s statements:
1. I put _
Grey Poupon mustard and relish__ on a hot dog
2. when i_
go shopping__ I _want to just get in and get out as fast as I can___
3. If my house_
sold___then I would be able to_move to Prescott and have an art gallery__
4. If I was getting married tomorrow I would __
choose a husband_ differently so we could __live_differently than I do now.

So glad to have Hilary back!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose

This Week's prompt is: A Disaster...or not
The dictionary defines disaster as natural or man-made (or technological) hazard resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A  tragic event stemming from events such as earthquakesfloods, catastrophic accidentsfires, or explosions. It is a phenomenon that can cause damage to life and property and destroy the economic, social and cultural life of people.  Now, I'm sure that everyone will agree that the recent hurricane, tornadoes and fires are disasters.  But on a personal level I think that is another story.

At heart I am a perfectionist, it was a hard habit to overcome.  It is like a cancer that eats away at your self-esteem.  I had set such high standards, that many times were unrealistic, they doomed me to failure, and feelings of inadequacy.  But then I finally came to realize that the world does not revolve around me--so what if I make a mistake when I speak, or sew something wrong, burn the cake or arrive late because I got lost; tomorrow nobody but me will remember.  I am just not that crucial in the scheme of things.  I learned to forgive myself (and still am learning that lesson).  I learned to laugh at myself.  So my mishaps, although troubling to me, are not at all disasters.  I prefer to see them as valuable learning tools..

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. Turkey-love it or leave it?  White meat or dark?  What's your favorite thing to make using leftover turkey?
I love turkey, definitely the white meat.  My favorite way of preparing it is to deep fry it.  The skin is so crispy and the meat is really moist.  Leftovers end up as sandwiches, or in salad, and maybe even with noodles or dumplings.

2. Gotta burn off all those carbs the day after a holiday feast so which would you rather do-run a 10K or climb a mountain? 
Can't run because of my hip surgery, but I can climb.  I love to hike, mostly moderate trails, because after all I am an old lady.

3.  Do you feel like social networking has made your relationships better or worse?  Explain.
I enjoy social networking, being able to keep in touch with friends via the internet has enabled me to keep up with their lives.

4. How do you find and express gratitude for the hard things in your life? 
I have to find the good in the situation and give thanks for that.  In times where I can see no silver lining, I thank God for all the past blessings, and know that He will accompany me through the trials.

5.  In the US, the day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed 'Black Friday'.  Is most of your holiday shopping done live and in person, or is it done more through the magic of the Internet? How do you feel about stores opening at midnight Thanksgiving night? Will you be out amongst the masses on Friday? 
I don't leave the house on Black Friday (except I will be baby-sitting that day).  I hate the crowds, and the stores never having the specials in stock.  I prefer to shop on the internet, but generally make most items.

6.  Speaking of the color black-which black item in your wardrobe would you say is your favorite?
I have a nice black dress that I wear to dress up, also a flared black skirt that looks nice with a red or a white blouse.

7.  What do you appreciate about your life today? 
I am glad that I have learned from my mistakes, am living a fulfilling life, and have the love of friends and family.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Here is an unusual recipe from my MIL.  It is for a frozen pumpkin pie--very good!  I make it every year for Thanksgiving, and other special days in the year.
Pumpkin Peace Pipe Pie                          From Alice Murphy
Spread 1 quart softened Vanilla Ice Cream on a Graham Cracker Crust and freeze.
1 lb can Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Ginger
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
Fold in 1 cup cream whipped or container of Cool Whip
Instructions:  Spread over frozen pie.  Caramelize 1 cup slivered almonds with 1/4 cup sugar.  Decorate edge of pie with additional whipped cream, freeze 4 hours.  Take out of freezer 1/2 hour before serving.  Sprinkle almonds over top when ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Children's Day

I am so blessed to have four children, three by birth, one by love.  I am also fortunate to live in America where there are countless opportunities for them. 

This is not so in much of the world where children hold little value.  This situation was addressed by the United Nations.  Children's Day was established in 1954 to protect children working long hours in dangerous circumstances and allow all children access to an education. The UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children's Day on November 20, by United Nations recommendation.  Sadly, even here in the USA children can be victims. 

I hope today everyone will remember those children who are so under privileged and think of a way to help in some small way.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Quiz about Me


1. What are you thankful for this year?
I am thankful for my family.
2. What was your special dish that your parents made for you while growing up?
Growing up poor, we were glad for whatever we had to eat.  When trout was on the menu, I really enjoyed that.
3. How long are you willing to wait for someone before you give up? 
For an appointment maybe half an hour; for them to mature--probably forever.  I am the eternal optimist.
4. What is your favorite quote, poem, song lyric or prayer?
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  How far from you do your children (or parents) live?
Me--My oldest daughter lives about 1700 miles away--in Corvallis, Oregon, a daughter lives in Prescott--100 miles, my son and youngest daughter live about 7 miles away (one south and one north of me.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Meditation-Thanks

We don't need more to be thankful for; we need to be more thankful.

Psalm 105:1 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. (NLT)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Thanks--Part 3

Nights are getting chilly, and in the morning the air is crisp.  As I let the dogs out, and put on the coffee pot, I am reminded of all the things that I have to be thankful for.

Now, I am not by any means rich, but I have a nice house--owned by the bank and me, I have a car that is dependable and paid for.  I have all the things that I need to make life comfortable--a good bed, a nice TV, a deep freeze filled with food, a washer and dryer.

I think back to growing up.  We were poor, but we also had the necessities of life--a log home, clothes, food and a car.  Most of all we had love.  It was the glue that stuck things together.  

I am thankful for the things that I have but most of all for the love of my children, friends, and God.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
This has been a week filled with good things and funny moments--
Great Grandkids first snow experience
Supper at son's house with sister and BIL

Littlest grand catching snowflakes

Driving in first Prescott snow storm of the year

Dinner with daughter and family, sister, BIL at Golden Corral

My sister came from Oregon with a surprise for me--a new gently used car--1993 Ford Taurus  It  runs fine so now I have dependable transportation

Bazil's hat the worse for wear--was she ever glad for it to come off.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose--Killing Time

This Week's prompt is: Killing time
Time is a funny concept.  It seems that it either moves too fast or moves too slow, even though we know that the seconds tick by at a steady constant rate.  When I have a list of chores to do the deadline seems to race toward me.  But if I have to wait whether for a doctor's appointment, an important telephone call or a delivery man the hands of the clock barely seem to move.  It's at times like these that I try and keep my hands and mind occupied and distract my brain from the slow progression of the clock's hands.  My favorite device is to read.  I always have a good book around and will loose myself within the pages.  On occasion I have even been known to clean the kitchen really well to make time pass (but don't spread that around).  I find that working on art projects isn't a good idea because I am distracted and lose creativity.  Playing solitaire sometimes will waste a few minutes.  Luckily these time gaps happen just enough for me to be glad that I can relax and take a few deep breaths before the next time crunch arrives.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What rule of life should never be broken?
Love your neighbor as yourself.

2. What's your favorite family recipe? 
I am a collector of family recipes.  I love to research the people and times of the recipes, and I love them all.  The most unusual probably would be "Corncob Jelly".  

3. Is the media manipulative? 
They surely try to be, But an adult can only be manipulated to the extent that they will allow.  I probably err on the side of cynicism.

4. Hubs and I saw Skyfall last weekend...are you a fan of the Bond films? If so, who's your favorite Bond?
I enjoy action films so I did enjoy the Bond films.  The older ones were more memorable no matter who Bond was.

5. What is one thing you hope people never say about you?
That I was uncaring.

6. What's a nearby tourist attraction you'd like to see, but haven't gotten around to visiting? 
Hassayampa River Preserve
Winter resident bird species are out in full force in late fall at the Hassayampa River Preserve. After a short drive from the Phoenix area, visitors can expect to see some of the state’s most rare hawks – such as zone-tailed or black hawks – and might even spot mule deer, javelina or a bobcat while enjoying a hike along one of the self-guided trails. Late November showcases Hassayampa’s golden color change in its deciduous trees as well.

7. Where's your favorite tree?
That would have to be pine trees.  I love all the varieties.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
I just had a too short visit from my Sister, Barbara, and her husband Dennis.  They live in eastern Oregon, and although I knew they were coming they brought a surprise for me--a car that although used is in much better shape than the one that I currently have.  I am so blessed.  Now I can visit my daughter in Prescott without car worries, and I can relax as I go on my errands around town.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gettysburg Address

A Tribute to our brave soldiers through the years and a tribute to our country

Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me


1. What is your favorite kind of soup?
I love New England Clam Chowder.
2. When was the last time you saw snow?
I saw snow on Saturday.  I went to Prescott to visit my daughter and family.  The little kids had so much fun playing in it.  I loved watching from inside the warm house.

3. What is a must have trait if someone is going to live with you?
4. Who was your favorite James Bond? 
Sean Connery
And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

5.  What is your favorite fall sport?  (Either to watch or participate in)
Well folks, I hate football, but I do enjoy watching my little grandson (8) play.  Is snuggling under a blanket and reading a sport?  If so, that would be at the top of my list.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Meditation--Worry Lest we Forget

Perpetual worry will get you to one place ahead of time -- the cemetery.

Matthew 6:27  Can worry make you live longer?  (CEV)

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they?

In Honor of our Veterans--Lest we Forget

This moving poem reminds us of the sacrifice of the men and women who answer the call of their country.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872-1918) may seem out of place in the distinguished company of World War I poets, but he is remembered for what is probably the single best-known and popular poem from the war, "In Flanders Fields." He was a Canadian physician and fought on the Western Front in 1914, but was then transferred to the medical corps and assigned to a hospital in France. He died of pneumonia while on active duty in 1918 at the age of 46.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November Thanks--Part 2

Today I am giving thanks for my four wonderful children.  All are productive citizens--A Safeway deli manager, a U-Haul assistant manager, a Safeway pharmacy tech, and a Yavapai County computer specialist.  All respect God and family.

And I am thankful for all my grandkids.  They bring such joy to my heart.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of the highlights of my week
Basil had her "girl" surgery.  Don't let that collar fool you, it  hasn't slowed her down at all

My car's odometer just turned 150,000 miles.  I am praying for another 150,000

All cotton fields are turning white

Birthday dinner with my son

Texas Roadhouse tradition, you get to ride while they sing to you