Archive for January, 2016


Finally in January there are some days at home to cook pumpkins that we harvested this fall.  They’ve been happily waiting their turn in the basement and garage.  One day I cut and deseeded 2.  I roasted them in the oven until soft and then processed in my Victorio strainer.  Love it!!  I had close to 8 cups of pumpkin!  In the evening I made a double batch of muffins with fresh ground wheat.  I was short 2 eggs so read and chose a banana for the substitute.  I put in 1/2 chocolate chips and half pecan pieces.  I don’t need all the amount of chocolate chips to cloud my thinking of how many muffins I consume!

I also announced that night that I needed someone else to cut pumpkins!  So while the muffins were in the oven, my farmer cut 3 more pumpkins for me.  And in the meantime, I had looked at the Victorio book closer and it said to cook in 1″ – 2″ cubes and then process.  Yippee!!  That takes away the scooping hot flesh out of the rines.  The next morning, I cut one more pumpkin.  I was glad to have the oven on most of the morning since the temperatures outside were struggling to find only 0’F that day!


With the pumpkins cubed before cooking, I was able to get 22 cups of pumpkin in the freezer and had only about 7 cups of trash of skin.  The skin came out all dried and cleaned of the nutrients.  I’m glad to have more pumpkin in my puree than back to the trash.


Using 10 pumpkins has barely made a dent in what P grew this summer.  He did admit last night that I don’t have to cook them all.  🙂

Here is my whole wheat muffin….. ummmmm…..


I’m done with processing pumpkins for now.  Three days worth gave me about 40 cups of pumpkin puree in the freezer and 4 batches of pumpkin muffins (most in the freezer).  I think that is plenty really.

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My Mom’s birthday

I wasn’t able to go to see my mom the weekend closest to her birthday so you already saw the post about my visit with her.  The following weekend was closer to her birthday and both my sisters were there to give her a special luncheon with a few special friends and the grandkids that were able to come.


Yes, she turned 90 this year!  Lovely & happy!


Our Miss K decided in the last days to make a quick run to see Grandma and the cousins.  So after work on Saturday night, she drove to Ohio and landed hard in her bed at the hotel nearby, sometime in the middle of the night.  But the Sunday events started at church with Grandma and she was there at 9-0-0 on the dot, she said!  K’s note to me after church was that *I* looked MUCH younger.  During greeting time, the pastor made a special announcement about Grandma’s birthday and so much family was there. This is the church where I grew up, so many could recognize K as being mine but don’t know her well.  She said she oft repeated she was mine as an introduction.



After church, 3 great-grands came to see her at the organ —


My cousin did a lot of special flowers for church and then they were used at the luncheon.  She has her mother’s touch!  So lovely!!

“Mr. E”, Mrs. E (my niece), and Miss K at lunch —

Special ones and my cousin that were there as well as the family —


Family —





Beautiful desserts by Mrs. E!

That evening at my brother’s — my 2 sisters —

and the rest of the gang~ 11
From the reports, my mom had a wonderful day!  She’ll note how many cards she got and I’ll update this…. but not quite one per year!

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Another Move

We have moved JP back for a semester of classes.  (He has made all his moves to his co-op with just 2 car trips as it is closer to home and beds have been provided.  We just help to get to & from the apartments where he goes to school.)

He and P are both very good at packing into the vehicles so it all fits.  They tried to get his mattress in our car twice but we really had to take P’s work truck.


This is on the way…. I have no idea how I put the little photo-stamp in my camera but once it was there I tried to work with it!  Cold but no snow so the truck with just a few tarps to cover everything was fine.04


He found a sub-lease apt he could just have for his few months there.  Studio-size hardly described it!  About half the size of K’s studio apt back in 2009.  But he is just fine with the size, being without a roommate, and for a good price.  We met a few of the others in the building.  I think the lady near by him is especially happy to see a clean-cut student moving in and she works in food service at the U.

The heat works!!  Very, very well and isn’t adjustable.  Quite hot even midst the cold winter.

He just has room for a twin mattress and his corner desk.  What more does a man need?  🙂  There is a galley kitchen and nice frig, microwave, and small size stove.  The bathroom has the usual amenities with just a stand-up shower.  The “linen closet” is big enough for a washcloth and a few bars of soap if you line them up the correct direction.  An extra towel won’t fit!

It was fun and funny and cold  and the rebuilt Culver’s for lunch was good. We are glad he has his own apartment and isn’t only getting the couch in another student’s living room!


The men assembled his 3-section corner desk with  the use of Dad’s power tools but then JP does all the connections to make everything work.  Sadly, for all these moves, this was the first time one of his computer monitors didn’t make the ride well.

He has all upper level classes and they are going well.

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Hello Mom!

All the planets aligned and we took a short trip to visit my mom in Ohio.  (JP could be home, live-in, love on the dog best, know chores w/o training, catch the in-laws if needed, know how to deal with any power outage (did), and snow plowing.  So thankful!!  Adult kids just rock these things!!)

I took this embroidery project for mom & me to share.  Before we left, I traced all the embroidery onto the background and basted it to another layer of fabric to help with show-through.  I took a small tote to keep it all contained and she can take it with her if needed.  Hoops, needles, all the floss, instructions, the paper pattern if needed, and choices of scissors.  She has good eyes and good dexterity to handle all this.  🙂   And she enjoys hand work!  pattern image

She can do the embroidery at her own pace and her own rules. I hope I stressed that enough.  NO deadline, NO police overseeing her work or mine!  Later, I’ll piece the blocks and finish it.  The center embroidery is about 8″ x 30″.  Now, if I was smart, I’d piece those blocks now.  *sigh*

I also made a half-size notebook for her to follow along with the 365/30 lists; yes, really this year it is 366 days and I remembered to add that!  Each day is a prompt for a list.  Top 5 flavors of ice cream.  Friends you went to school with.  Plans for the month.  etc.  I roughly have done this for a bit over 2 yrs.  I’m hit & miss so usually do a few days at a time.  And I took her a selection of pens so she could have a new one and have a feel of the pen that she likes.

We spent over an hour “in the cedar chest”, though contrary to my SIL’s wonderment, we were not literally IN the chest.  It was fun to look and peruse the important things to her she keeps there.  She had things to give me but others she just asked and put that on my list but she wasn’t ready to send it home with me yet.  Later, I took Phil there and he fixed the safety chain so the open lid doesn’t fall on anyone’s head.

I had my new Doxie Go scanner with me for such a case as this.  A first anniversary letter to my parents from her mom.  Super sweet!

first anniv letter page 2 B

I wanted to stop and see the chapel where we were married.  It wasn’t a great day for photos and I promised P no pix so he willingly drove us there.  But then I DID want photos so P took some with mom & me.  But obviously we didn’t dress for photos.



The chapel was locked but I suppose one benefit to the cloudy day was that we (and my camera) could see in and the inside doors were open for a good view.


A lot has changed in 32 years on the seminary campus!  I’d not seen this set of stones for the Wall of Remembrance.  Behind this memory area, I saw our childhood swimming pool has since been removed.  Mom received a family membership with her work at the university.




We are so thankful that my brother & sister-in-law have mom living with them.   The days can be long & quiet for her but the meals are delicious from that kitchen and their activity and meals home with her are good.  They are perfect care-givers.  Two of their sons and their families came for supper one night.  The great-grands are growing like weeds and are taking on the double-digits with ease and lots of food.


Special thanks to my dear brother & SIL for packing and sending MY bag that was accidentally left behind in the garage while P packed the car.  #criedfor4days   It arrived safe and sound a few days later!  (brand-new doxieGo, brand-new tablet, my 2 filofaxes that hold 3 journals, book, new & old pages for journals…. A framed print is still there waiting for TLC traveling conditions)

P was glad that dSIL asked if he could “fix this”.  Oh yes!  He was so glad they asked. P had already mentioned while we were packing that he hoped they had jobs for him.  With that willingness, my dB had a job for the next day as well.  It is hard for us to plan ahead, with leaving in winter weather and the health of his parents, but my brother needs a running list for next time.

left but received

We headed home on Sunday as they headed to church.  Me in my ‘no hairstyle, no make-up, sweatpants’ for travel.  Mom looking lovely and nearly ready for church!



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Winter Views

She just loves, loves, loves the cold and snow.  I don’t want to even be out.  P just does what needs done and comes in.  The dog thinks ….. ‘ahhhh….. my perfect life….. here on top of the ice-encrusted snow…. just basking’.


Sometimes she aims her big nose right into the cold wind.  Just loving the cold air!

She does like to come in with me on the below zero days for a few hours.  Her big dog prints after our bit of the HUGE store to hit the east coast. (1/20) So glad we didn’t take all the snow before it got to the east!  🙂

Jan 20 B

Be shocked…. those mornings when the sun arises so late, I saw a sunrise!  I know people talk about them.  It just isn’t something I aim to see in my life.  😉

And one day I could see a cardinal from the computer all the way to the bushes.  There are berries that grow in there for them.  Another day I saw 2 females in the birch tree closer the house.  I finally found the bird feed and the bird feeder and have it outside.  I hope they find it.


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