Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years's Eve 2010

We were so happy to have all the kids home for the Holidays this year. With Ruth home from Japan for a couple of weeks and an overwhelming consciousness to enjoy all the togetherness we could since Jack will still be at "Basic Training" with the Marines come this time next year.
It was such a wonderful sense of all being right while she was home. All longings laid to rest knowing she was sleeping in the next room. Being able to touch her skin, hear her voice sing, laugh speak next to my ear or be silent in a room together is a sweet balm to my heart recall the memory.
There are so many deep feeling to parenting that cannot be expressed no matter the language I presume. Presuming since there may be a language that is able to express that deep ache in the middle of your throat that jerks tears clear out of your eyes with little to no control at the mere thought of that child so many miles away.
I am ready to sell my home and all earthly possessions in order to have plenty of monies to go see my dear ones. To be close to them for another day. To build on the relationship to have memories to share. Memories that come with being together.
How will my heart survive two gone at the same time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Japan Trip From the Beginning

Our trip... not sure where to start. Maybe from the beginning, but then it may be interesting to us and very ho hum to you.

To say the least my first trip abroad will not be my last if I have anything to do with it. Not sure I can say the same for Rod. He is trying to find a kinder word than miserable to define his experience.

After a short flight to Toronto via Canada Air we boarded the biggest plan I had ever been inside of in my life. Our girls told us that they were actually on a double decked plan. Incredible. Ours was not. Rod was disappointed that, although I had chosen a window seat at his request, his "window" seat did not actually have a window. Our seat was in the emergency exit isle. This would prove to be a fantastic seat however at first it was a disappointment. No window, computer screen or tray. After take off and the seat belt sign was turned off the gentleman next to us pulled up a computer screen and a tray from inside his seat. Oh! Now he was happy. For the window nearest us we got up occasionally to look out. Not much out there. We were flying high above the clouds. They actually wanted us to keep the window shades closed since it would be "daylight" the entire 12+ hour flight. Just opening one shade brought a lot of light into the cabin. People needed to sleep. At any rate, Rod was now happy.

The pilot's voice broke over the intercom to share a few stats. The usual, how high we were flying the temperature and so forth... the interesting thing to me was that he shared all the times they would be feeding us. Our first meal would be dinner followed by a snack then a sandwich then a breakfast two hours before we landed. The stewards would come by hourly between meals to offer water. Twelve hours is a long time to sit, no matter what you choose to do while sitting. I think the idea was to keep us full and sleepy in hopes that we would do just that, sleep.

They also have a service aboard called "Duty Free Shopping" should you be a shop shopaholic or simply forgot to get that gift your promised, no worries, just shop away... the items are actually stored aboard and are brought to you. There was a variety to choose from including watches, jewelry, chocolates, knickknacks, coffees and so forth. Fascinating.

I am one of those persons that have ear troubles when flying. Research proved to be a sweet reward for me. Taking the advice of other bloggers I was able to have an almost pain free trip. I used a product called ear-planes, these are small earplug looking devices that a person can screw into the ear. It is rubber. This opens up the ear tubes a little. I used a nasal spray beginning about five minutes before the plane took off and until we were up to a fairly high altitude. I prefer eating something gummy such as liquorish rather than chewing gum. I think the swallowing helps. I also took a decongestant about thirty minutes before the plane took off. Some advise taking a sleeping agent. I did not.

We passed the time ... reading, knitting, watching a movie, listening to music and dozing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Page Five

I can't believe my eyes... the last post was September 2009. What is wrong with me. It looks like I had good intentions when I uploaded that picture of my sons graduation. May 2010. Even so, nothing about it? Maybe I should leave it at "a picture paints a thousand words...". sounds good.

My husband and I are in the middle of finalizing our Japan trip. We leave on Thursday. We have shopped, called the daughter living in Japan, then shopped some more. I really doubt we will get everything into those bags.

Friends and family alike are expecting lots of pictures and some journalism. Obviously I Have a terrible time with both. A friend suggested I start on page 5 so as to avoid an introduction and perfectionism.

Page 5:
We thought we were finished with shopping but alas we need to make another return. One entire suitcase is filled with snacks to share along with a few gifts for some special people in my daughters life.

The trip will be filled with several first time events for us. We have never flown together. Never stayed in a Hostel. Never been to Japan. Never been away from home at the same time for more than a week. Never left a teen home alone. Never been around people that spoke a language we could not understand. So many strange sounds, sights and experiences await us. One thing I know for sure God will be our guide and our strength. It will be a joy to know that he knows where we are and where we want to go and how to get us there.

We are excited about seeing our daughter. Meeting her new friends and those that have been a help to her. She has lived in Japan now for 21 months. She has experienced so much and learned so much more. I am especially thankful to the people that have befriended her and made her feel welcome and safe. It will be a joy to finally meet them.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Over the years I have found great pleasure in the book If Tea Cups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes. It is from the pages of this book I found inspiration to host teas for the simplest reasons. Treasured friends, a comforting tea for a hurting child, a milestone tea, or even a bribe tea. When one of my daughters was considering going off to college I often made her tea and scones. I'd say something to the effect, "if you go to college close to home, I'll make you tea and scones". She did and I often made her tea and her favorite scones for her study time. She chose a University close enough to home to commute for other reasons than my tea and scones but, it was fun to bride her and we do have that special memory. She is far from home now. Japan. We are looking forward to tea and scones together at Christmas. O the joy!

A simple cup of tea can bring comfort or celebration. I have found beauty in fixing up a tray with china cup and saucer, the tiniest spoon that can be found, cute little containers to hold sugar and milk, a tiny sprig of flower a folded cloth napkin and a stemmed glass with fruit. Usually things that I already have on hand. It is amazing what you can add to that little tray when your imagination takes over. Maybe a note card with a verse or poem or even a funny cartoon. It is most always met with big eyes and an exclamation "For me?". (shh ... boys like them too)

Thrift stores, auctions and yard sales are wonderful places to find treasures for your tea tray. Often people get rid of beautiful sets that have missing pieces or there is only one piece of something beautiful and that will be the piece that you treasure. You will be pleased at how it will add to your collection.

I found my silver tea service at an auction for twenty dollars. Full, with two tea pots, or is one a coffee pot?, sugar and creamer and a beautiful large tray with comfy big handles. Those odd little pieces of stemware were so cheap the price has escaped me. I like using that miniature teacup and saucer my Aunt Carol gave me to hold sugar or as you can see here sugar packets. I would even put a treasure in there, like mints, a favorite candy or nuts if it were going on a tea tray. I might use the stemware for jam or butter. I would enjoy hearing how you set up your Tea Tray. Following is the scone recipe that I use. It is from the Emilie Barnes Book. Tell me what you think.

Plain Scones
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
Lightly beaten eggs

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in center and pour in buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk use regular milk. Mix until dough clings together and is a bit sticky--do not over-mix. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and shape into a 6-8 inch round 1 1/2 inches thick. (do this by hand not with a roller) Quickly cut into pie wedges. The secret of tender scones is a minimum of handling. Place on un-greased cookie sheet, being sure sides do not touch each other. Brush with egg for a shiny, beautiful brown scone. Bake at 425 for 10-20 minutes or until light brown. Of course you can add to your plains scones. Chocolate chips, blueberries, nuts, cinnamon, apples, currents, ginger, orange or cranberries. I have even glazed scones for the sweet tooth lover.

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalm 37:5

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Tea at my house.

After helping to form and serving on the leadership team of a local homeschool group for several years I "moved on". These ladies honored my husband and I with a very special gift, I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Knowing how much these ladies like to get together for reasons other than "meetings", and rarely do, I decided to host a Tea in their honor.

They asked that I post the recipes, and pictures. I will post a recipe each day starting with the last on the menu, the dessert. I will even share with you what I put in their gift bags. Can you guess? My hope is that you make some of these dishes and serve them up to your family in your best dishes with a flower sprig or a lighted candle. Truly your family is your best investment.

"Never tire of loyalty and kindness.
Hold these virtues tightly.
Write them deep within your heart."
Proverbs 3:3

Following is the menu.

Poached Peaches with Cottage Cheese

Field of Green Strawberry Bow-tie Salad

Wild Rice Chicken

Lemon Curd and Blackberry Preserves


Chrysanthemum Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Ingredients:2 c. boiling water,1 c unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 3/4 c all-purpose flour, 2 t baking soda, 1/2 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 1 c butter, 2 1/4 c white sugar, 4 eggs 1 1/2 t vanilla.
Directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3- 9 inch round cake pans. In medium bowl, poor boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Spread evenly between the 3 prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes. allow to cool. (
Mousse: Purchase your favorite mousse mix. Prepare according to package directions. Line 2 9 inch round cake pans with wax paper. Spread evenly between the 2 pans. Freeze until ready to assemble the cake.
Frosting: 2 3/4 confection sugar, 6 T cocoa powder, 6 T butter, 5 T evaporated milk, 1 t vanilla. Mix until smooth. Assembly: Place 1 layer of cake on a serving plate then 1 layer of mousse, anther layer of cake then mousse end with a layer of cake. Frost. Decorate. I used chrysanthemums for my cake.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Teaching Myself to Knit

I've been teaching myself to knit. A body can find a lot of help on youtube. These wash clothes are some of my first projects. I have been knitting like my life depended on it. I've made a neck scarf and a pair of fingerless gloves as well. Can you guess what people will be getting from me this Christmas? Right, something knitted! I am looking forward to making a wash clothe for each person on my list. I learned to knit in mid-August and am having so much fun. I love it!
If you "google" knitting patterns you can find many projects. I am looking forward to making a rug for my "new" laundry room. I might try my hand at "felting". It looks so easy. The computer can be put to such good use. Hope you are enjoying yours.
Thanks for looking.