Friday, December 07, 2018

Weather or Not

It's the seventh day of December, but we haven't seen much frost in our corner of North Carolina yet ... until yesterday, that is. The frost-covered twigs and leaves on the ground made me think of the famous poem by James Whitcomb Riley, which I have copied below (from for your reading enjoyment. Reading it out loud is a little difficult, but it's worth the effort.

When The Frost Is On The Punkin

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey cock
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence
O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below the clover over-head!
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin' 's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too!
I don't know how to tell it but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me
I'd want to 'commodate 'em all the whole-indurin' flock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock
 ~ ~ ~
Now, back to the weather ... or not. Five to eight inches of snow are predicted for our area this Sunday/Monday. I have to get a few groceries today, but I dread going to the store because it will probably be bedlam and lots of empty shelves. Fortunately, I don't need any bread, milk, or toilet paper.

I don't know whom to credit for this photo. I saw it on Facebook.

This is my photo of the bread situation in January 2011.
Weather or not, I'd better get my buns in gear (harhar) and head to town. Stay safe and warm. Be blessed.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Dread & Delight

It was a beautiful fall day for a trip to Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro with my older daughter and my older sister-in-law. (I'm feeling quite young after writing that sentence.)

The whole title of the exhibit we went to see is "Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World." Although fairy tales were originally "riddled with sexual innuendo, child abuse and all manner of violent scenarios" (Tom Patterson in The Winston-Salem Journal, November 11, 2018), I much prefer the simple fairy tales of my childhood. I confess I had a sense of anxiety and couldn't even finish reading the descriptions of some of the artistic depictions.

 Without further ado, here are some pics ... none of which are R-rated or too dreadful. Enjoy!

(Rapunzel) Ties of Protection and Safekeeping. MK Guth.

"What is worth protecting?" Participants wrote their responses on red flannel ribbons which tied the synthetic hair braids.

(Little Red Riding Hood) If We Believe in Theory, by Xaviera Simmons.
Individual boys and girls were given the hooded cape and wicker basket and just one prompt: to tell the photographer where the wolf was.

Hansel and Gretel, by Tom Otterness

"Otterness creates a scene that is engagingly playful but reminds us that, for many children, the joy of play is not a given."

(Cinderella) The Ice Queen, by Ana Teresa Fernandez
High heels made from ice, worn while standing over a street grate until they melted away! (This was actually a video of the shoes slowly melting.) "Her Cinderella exhibits the physical and mental strength to withstand and ultimately walk away from the pain of her own accord."

(Cinderella) Motherload, by Timothy Horn
This was created "in response to the life story of a woman named Alma Spreckles.... Alma was a lowly laundress when she met and married the heir to a sugar fortune. Her 'rags to riches' story, however, did not bring her a life filled with joy. This real-life Cinderella found that happiness is really quite fragile." (The carriage is covered in crystallized rock candy!)

That's yours truly on the left with my daughter Anna.
Now onto a few other pieces of art that caught my eye in the museum.
Kill for Peace, by Carol Summers. A protest against the war in Viet Nam.

Mirror/Vortex by Robert Smithson. I took the photo looking down into the mirrors.

Animals, by Andy Warhol. I took this for my husband the farmer. :)
Next, some "people" photos.

And then it was outside for a short stroll to some deliciousness.

A gorgeous blue sky overhead and two dear family members at my side. Life is good!

Friday, October 12, 2018

What a World!

On my own, I'm not much of a traveler. I've lived in this area for 14 years now, but if I go to Winston-Salem by myself (other than to Sam's, Target, or the mall), I usually pull up a map to help me get to my destination. However, if someone makes the plans and invites me to go somewhere, I'm all in!

I didn't have any secret dreams of seeing France, but after my younger daughter moved there I had a compelling reason to go. Even so, it wouldn't have happened if she hadn't taken charge and "forced me" to make some decisions. The end result: 17 wonderful days on the other side of the world, not counting a full day of travel on each end. Throughout the adventure, “It’s a Small World (After All),” was my theme song — except I was singing,"It's a BIG WORLD after all." Without further ado, here are just a few of the hundreds of pics I took.


GRRR. I see the photos from my phone didn't all "translate" to my computer, so below are just three pictures from Arles, my favorite city in France. It has many World Heritage sites and was both interesting and quaint.

I made a choice: Let's go to MOROCCO! We did it and loved it! A day and a half in Tangier and a day-trip to Chefchaouen (the Blue City).

Grrrr. This technological world continues to get the better of me. I'll find my pictures and perhaps make a separate post about Morocco (and Paris!) at a later date.

Even if I don't, the message is still the same: What a world! I'm thrilled with all the places I've called home and all the places I've visited, whether for a day or for a length time. Let's open our eyes to the people and scenes around us. Take it in. Dream. Give thanks. Do a happy jig!

The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings. Robert Louis Stevenson
Read more at:
The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings. Robert Louis Stevenson
Read more at:

Monday, August 27, 2018

Morning Hasn't Broken

Do you ever sing a song, change just a few words, and then get the crazy thing stuck in your head? That's what I did with the song Morning Has Broken. My words: "Morning has broken. I hope it can be fixed. Blackbirds aren't singing. They're down in the dumps." I get mad at myself when I start singing these words and can't get them out of my head. Why? Because I LOVE mornings. I would never want morning to be broken.

The last time I posted here (two months ago!), our temps were in the 90s. Here it is, the end of August, and we're heading that way again! But our mornings for the last two weeks have been wonderfully cool. Feeding the kitties every morning ensures that I get outside, so I've been taking my time, strolling around a bit, and just enjoying!

The Bible encourages us with the morning as a picture of new beginnings. The rising of the sun is also a picture of Jesus.
  • The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. (Lamentations 3:22 & 23)
  • LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning. (Isaiah 33:2)
  • Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us. (Luke 1:78)
  • The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.... (Malachi 4:2)
And this is what's to come: There will be no more night, and they will not need any light from lamps or the sun because the Lord God will shine on them. (Revelation 22:5)

In the morning, whether inside doing my devotions or outside taking in the fresh air, I sometimes throw my hands up in pure jubilation. As the day goes on, my elation often deflates. Sometimes it's discouragement, sometimes it's just the wear and tear of the day. I guess it's almost like the morning does get broken! Hmmm.

Here are the few pics I took the other morning. Everything felt more alive and vibrant than these little photos convey. When the Morning Star appears, everything will be alive and vibrant. What a day that will be!

I was enthralled by the dew and the sunlight touching everything in such a delightful way, but the photos hardly convey it. Oh well. Go take a walk tomorrow morning and see some of God's beauty for yourself. :) Let the Morning Star rise in your heart.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

~ Fresh Air ~

Ninety degrees outside and I felt the need for a breath of fresh air. Go figure. I stepped outside, looked around, took a few deep breaths, and went back inside ... to get my phone and a book! Seriously, it was gorgeous out there.

For a while, all I could do was look around me. I watched the hummingbirds sipping their nectar. I saw butterflies flitting across the yard, minding their own business. It was hard to believe, but not a single cat came to harass me. Now for some reading - in the middle of the day! Unheard of!

Then it was time to stretch my legs. I walked over to the uprooted stump of a tree, left over from last year's tornado. I had asked Weldon if it was going to stay there forever and he said, "No. Sooner or later it will rot away." Ha! Very funny! So, I'm attempting to turn it into a focal point - a piece of yard art, more or less. Kinda sorta.

A gardener I'm not, but everyone wants to help me take a few baby steps in that direction. In early June, my friend Tena brought some (more) flowering plants and bushes for me. I chose this spot and she thought it would be perfect. She dug the holes and planted the plants! I moved my little "bird bath" over there. See, I can do some things.

Tena, I don't suppose you can see it, but there's a white butterfly to the left of the stump, just above the purple flower closest to the stump. The purple flowers that you said would attract butterflies. It's true!

Ahhh. What a glorious, refreshing time I had in the 90-degree great-out-of-doors. Thank you, Lord, for books and birds and butterflies and friends and uprooted tree stumps.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Slaving in the Kitchen

Last month's blog post was about slaving in the kitchen, too. Ooops. I really don't do as much baking as I used to, but I can't resist telling you about my amazing discovery today.

I don't know when I last made Rice Krispies Treats, but it's been a l-o-n-g time. Things have changed! I remember melting the butter and marshmallows in a pan on the stove and stirring the sticky mess with a big spoon till it was all melted ... but not scorched. Then I added the Rice Krispies, trying to stir gently so the crispy bits of rice didn't turn into rice flour.

Then came the fun part: trying to get it all out of the hot pan and into the buttered 9" x 13" pan. There was always enough left in the pan and on the spoon to nibble on for a day or two. (Yes, I'm exaggerating a bit.) Next, I buttered my hands and quickly patted the concoction to the edges and into the corners of the pan. "Ouch! That's hot!" Later I learned that using waxed paper instead of my buttered hands was somewhat less painful.

Fast forward to 2018. Pat brought me a big bag of marshmallows that she found on clearance. Weldon used to eat marshmallows like candy, but he gave that up. So, what was I going to do with these marshmallows? The obvious solution: buy some Rice Krispies and make the sticky treats. And today was the day.

Let me tell you, things have changed. I followed the recipe on the marshmallow bag. Melt the butter and the marshmallows in the microwave! Using the "new" silicone spatulas, stirring in the crispy rice and dumping the whole works into the 9" x 13" pan was easy-peasy. I used the spatula to pat the mixture into the pan. Nothing stuck to the bowl, nothing stuck to the spatula, nothing stuck to my hands.

I didn't realize I had blog post material here, or I would have taken pictures while I was actually doing the work. As it is, the photos were taken after sweating and slaving in the kitchen for five to ten minutes.

I'm not the first woman who, because of her deep love for her family, has slaved all day long in the kitchen. Perhaps you'll remember this commercial of just such an amazing woman.

Today's lesson: An old dog can learn new tricks.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy St. Urho's Day!

Being half Finnish, about a fourth Irish, and 1/4 chicken noodle soup, I celebrate any and all holidays! Since it's St. Urho's Day (read about it here) I wondered if I had ever made a Finnish cake. I did the usual Google search and found a recipe that sounded good and had some favorable reviews. Another plus: I had all the necessary ingredients.

As I headed to the kitchen, I remembered that I have a couple of Finnish cookbooks. I decided to check them out before I got started.

Lo and behold, the older cookbook had the exact recipe I had just found online. And, surprise surprise, I had made Kermakakku before. Mmm :) The wonderful thing about having a really deficient memory is that everything is always new and exciting! Yay!

Fortunately I still had some cardamom seeds. I don't worry about grinding them in my coffee grinder because cardamom is pretty good in coffee, too.

Cake is pretty:

Tastes good, too:

It just needs a big, green plastic grasshopper on top. Maybe next year.