Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Hot August Sunday

Sunday treat
A place to meet
Dog-panting day
Volleyball and sandy play

bare feet
grass seat
fingers dance, strings sing
frozen flavors, coughably sweet

empty-cup messes
pond refreshes
BB's fly
boys run by

crony conversation
watermelon fixation
homemade salsa, chips
cool clear water pass salty lips

Hot rays fade
Memories made
A place to meet
Sunday treat

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dying Well and Full

Hebrews 10:23-25

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

What Are You Doing With Your Life?

When you get up in the morning and you face a day, what do you say to yourself about your hopes for the day? When you look from the beginning of the day to the end of the day, what do you want to happen because you have lived? What difference do you want your life to make?

If you say, I don't even think like that, I just get up and do what I've got to do, then you are cutting yourself off from a basic means of grace and a source of guidance and strength and fruitfulness and joy. It is crystal clear in the Bible, including this text, that God means for us to aim consciously at something significant in our days. God's revealed will for you is that when you get up in the morning, you don't drift aimlessly through the day letting mere circumstances alone dictate what you do, but that you aim at something - that you focus on a certain kind of purpose. I'm talking about children here, and teenagers, and adults - single, married, widowed, moms, and every trade.

Aimlessness is akin to lifelessness. Dead leaves in the back yard may move around more than anything else - more than the dog, more than the children. The wind blows this way, they go this way. The wind blows that way, they go that way. They tumble, they bounce, they skip, they press against a fence, but they have no aim whatsoever. They are full of motion and empty of life.

God did not create humans in his image to be aimless, like lifeless leaves blown around in the backyard of life. He created us to be purposeful - to have a focus and an aim for all our days. And this is not oppressive. It's not slavery. It's not depleting. To find what we were made for and to do it with all God's might (Colossians 1:29), is freeing (Galatians 5:13) and energizing. Jesus said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me" (John 4:34). Food! Aiming day by day to do what you were meant to do, is like eating: it gives life and energy, rather than taking it away. You will eventually die if you do what you were meant to do.

You may be young or you may be old. That is God's choice, not yours. But when you die doing what you were meant to do, you die well and full.

~John Piper

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gift Value

My dear Holly Hobbie friend....


sharing encouraging conversation.....


over classical music and dainty delights.....



Monday, July 12, 2010

Florida Ramblings

The views from the airplane certainly evoked silent, awe-filled praises to my Creator Savior!

After earth and cloud gazing.

While Wayne was working, we wandered through the Tampa International Plaza, certainly a city's worth of classy shops and eateries. A unique store of soaps and fizzes drew us in with this enticing display of their fragrant, creative concoctions. The colors, shapes, textures, and scents were a feast for the senses!

After the Plaza we were able to visit the Henry B. Plant Museum, which was the exquisite Tampa Bay Hotel that had opened in 1891. Though now a part of Tampa University, its architectural details, domes, and Byzantine minarets, along with the sprawling marble-like porch, proudly announce its declaration, and open invitation, to live eternally in its own time period. Inside it showcases the Victorian lifestyle era and explains how Plant successfully provided a palace experience for his patrons, among whom included Teddy Roosevelt, Sarah Bernhardt, Stephen Crane, Clara Barton, the Prince of Wales, and Queen of the United Kingdom.

This red carpeting is original and is rumored to have been acquired when the notable Christie's auction house was patronized to provide carpet for the Queen of England. It's said to have been rejected because the featured lion design was regarded as a symbol of England which, of course, could not be trampled upon. As a result, the 17 miles of carpet was not welcome anywhere in England, leaving it easily obtained elsewhere.

"Remember that all slang is vulgar and detestable." Scattered throughout the museum were these reminders of a lost sense of propriety. However, I'm glad this one didn't carry on in vogue....

This stately bedroom was one of my favorite rooms. The tall keyhole archways were a signature feature both inside and outside the hotel.

During another of Wayne's working days, we hopped on the trolley with an all-day pass and an adventuresome spirit and headed south to see where we'd end up. St. Pete's Beach! It was certainly the prettiest I've ever been to.

After drinking in as much of its beauty as we could with the heat (and no bathing suits along!), we refreshed ourselves with ice cream and roamed past the nearby shops. This dear and aptly named "Little" Room of Art featured all kinds of artwork from local artists and led you back to what else but a dear little yard of garden art decor.

Frenchy's Rockaway Seafood Grill further north in Clearwater was highly recommended, but we confirmed by experience that an atmosphere which requires shouting mouth-to-ear dinner conversation was not a match for us. Fortunately, upon exiting, a few steps across the sand brought us to the sweet quiet beach sunset. We kicked off our shoes to let that coolness soothe and lap at our legs!

This was the first we've ever witnessed a beach sunset since we've always been on the eastern shoreline. It was different for us to see the beach crowd growing instead of thinning as night came on; like us, they were all just wanting to be in the company of the sunset.
(courtesy of Jake)

Another day had us all at John's Pass, host to a collection of unique village shops and restaurants. The Friendly Fisherman, furnished inside as a ship's wooden cabin with various fish mounts, overlooked the marina on the other side and served up excellent seafood.

One of my favorite stops!
Stepping in, the aromas smacked but invigorated the olfactories!
Every jar could be opened and smell-tested. I was finally put on a time limit.

Our last day was spent mostly at St. Pete's Beach. The water was very salty but so pretty and comfortably refreshing in the sweltering temperatures. Two large groupers, (which is a popular menu item and is tasty grilled), milled around the shallows among the bathers. Also, I had made it my job to be sure we remembered to be in awe that we were actually swimming in the Gulf of Mexico!

Habakkuk 2:14

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Matthew Henry on Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."

"We must have a continual regard to God's providence, must depend upon it in all our affairs, both by faith and prayer. We must therefore trust in the Lord with all our hearts (v. 5); we must believe that he is able to do what he will, wise to do what is best, and good, according to his promise, to do what is best for us, if we love him, and serve him. By prayer (v. 6): In all thy ways acknowledge God. We must ask his leave, and not design anything but what we are sure is lawful. We must ask his advice and beg direction from him. We must ask success of him, as those who know the race is not to the swift. For our encouragement to do this, it is promised, "He shall direct thy paths", so that thy way shall be safe and good and the issue happy at last."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

"This is my Father's world,
O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father's world,
The battle is not done,
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one."

~Maltbie D. Babcock


"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray,.....

...and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
~2 Chronicles 7:14

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fettuccini Primavera

8 oz. fettuccini
1 c cauliflowerets
1 c fresh snow peas
1 c broccoli florets
1/2 c julienned carrot
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 julienned zucchini
1/2 c julienned sweet red pepper
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 c chicken broth
1/2 c grated Romano cheese

Cook fettuccini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet or wok, stir-fry in oil the cauliflower, peas, broccoli, and carrots for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, red pepper, and garlic; stir-fry until veggies are crisp-tender. Stir in broth. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain fettuccini; toss with veggies. Sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cherry Almond Granola

1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 c honey
1/3 c unsweetened apple juice concentrate
2 T canola oil
3 tsp almond extract
6 c old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 c dried cherries or cranberries
1 c slivered almonds
Fat-free vanilla yogurt, optional

In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, milk powder, honey, apple juice concentrate and oil. Cook an dstir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; stir in extract. In a large bowl, combined oats, cherries and almonds. Drizzle with sugar mixture and mix well.

Spread in a thin layer in two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 15- 20 min. or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Serve with yogurt if desired. Store in an airtight container. Yields 3 quarts.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Lesson with Anne

"Anne walked home very slowly in the moonlight. The evening had changed something for her. Life held a different meaning, a deeper purpose. On the surface it would go on just the same; but the deeps had been stirred. It must not be with her as with poor butterfly Ruby. When she came to the end of one life it must not be to face the next with the shrinking terror of something wholly different--something for which accustomed thought and ideal and aspiration had unfitted her. The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth."

~Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery

A Reminder

"One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald." (Rev 4:2-3)

A Couple of Mountain Memories

During a recent jaunt to the cabin, our crew of seven huddled into picnic table benches on the deck to enjoy the evening air while playing "Spoons", one of our favorite, get-physical card games. The competitive mood pinnacled against our peaceful, foliage-filled surroundings when the last available spoon took flight over the deck. Awareness that this plastic precious was still a free-for-all sent the spoonless pounding their feet around the deck, down the steps, and through the gate to finally descend upon the prize below! To the victor (Kylie) went the spoon!

After scooting around the table for a few more rounds, we were taught a new card game called "I Doubt It". Everyone sits in a circle, and a deck of cards, excluding the jokers, is passed out until none are left. The player following the dealer begins the game by choosing one to four of his cards to lay face down in the center and declare that they are "[1/2/3/or ...however many cards laid] aces", either by bluff or in truth. The play continues around the circle clockwise with each player declaring the amount of the next type of card in order of ascending card value. For instance, the second player will lay one to four cards on top of the center pile, declaring (or bluffing) "[that many] twos". The third player will have to lay one to four cards face down on top of the center pile declaring (or bluffing) that many threes. Then the same is done with the following players with fours, fives, sixes and so on up to kings, cycling back to aces, twos, threes, again. The catch is that anytime after the recent player has made a declaration of cards, but before the next player takes his turn, any player can say "I doubt it" if it's thought that player was bluffing. When "I doubt it" is said, the recent card layer must turn over only his center cards declared thereby revealing whether he was bluffing or not. If he was telling the truth, then the ACCUSER must take ALL of the cards in the pile without exposing the rest of them that were underneath. If the accuser was right and the card layer WAS bluffing, then the OWNER of the revealed cards must take ALL of the cards in the pile, again without exposing the cards underneath. The object of the game is to be the first to have no cards left in your hand. FUN!

Finally, while playing yet more card games the next morning, a doe and her two fawns were spied meandering through nearby paths. It's always a treat to feel somewhat amidst flora and fauna!

(There really are two there!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Grill

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons basil leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • (*These can be substituted with equal amounts of Salad Supreme seasoning.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 medium sweet red or yellow pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1medium yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds


  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, herbs and spices. Drizzle oil over vegetables in a large bowl; toss to coat. Add seasoning mixture; toss to coat. Grill the vegetables over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender, turning frequently. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Swap Finds

Poems and Souls

"Look, do you see that poem?" she said suddenly, pointing.

"Where?" Jane and Diana stared, as if expecting to see Runic rhymes on the birch trees.

"There...down in the brook...that old green, mossy log with the water flowing over it in those smooth ripples that look as if they'd been combed, and that single shaft of sunshine falling right athwart it, far down into the pool. Oh, it's the most beautiful poem I ever saw."

"I should rather call it a picture,"said Jane. "A poem is lines and verses."

"Oh dear me, no." Anne shook her head with its fluffy wild cherry coronal positively. "The lines and verses are only the outward garments of the poem and are no more really it than your ruffles and flounces are you, Jane. The real poem is the soul within them...and that beautiful bit is the soul of an unwritten poem. It is not every day one sees a soul... even of a poem."

~Anne of Avonlea, L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Movie Night Suggestion....

After reading The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, I enjoyed how the movie did a better job at putting flesh on the characters, the culture, and especially on the Good News. Intrigue, laughter, and tears for the joy of Redemption proved it a worthy watch.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Healthier Yummies

Using white whole wheat flour and almost half the sugar, these were a less-guilty indulgence.

C is for Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 c. whole spelt flour, or whole wheat, or white whole wheat
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. mini M & M's

Preheat oven to 375. Mix sugars, butter, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. (Dough will be stiff.) Stir in mini M & M's. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 3 inches apart onto an ungreased baking stone or cookie sheet. Bake until light brown, 8-10 minutes (center will be soft). Let cool slightly, then remove from cookie sheet with a spatula. Makes about 48 cookies.

Cranberry-Orange Scones

These are one of Kylie's and my favorites as a breakfast or a snack. The high-fiber cereal, orange yogurt, white whole wheat flour, orange-flavored craisins and small amount of brown sugar yield a palatable hearty sweetness that we enjoy even without the orange glaze.

2 c. any whole wheat flake cereal
1 c. all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. firm butter or margarine
1/2 c dried, orange-flavored cranberries
1 egg, slightly beaten
2/4 c. orange yogurt

Orange Glaze:
1/2 c. powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. grated orange peel, 2 to 3 tsp. orange juice all mixed together until thin enough to drizzle.

1. Heat oven to 400. Place cereal in plastic bag or between sheets of waxed paper; slightly rush with rolling pin; set aside.

2. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, orange peel and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in cereal, cranberries, egg and yogurt until soft dough forms.

3. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Gently roll in flour to coat; shape into ball. Pat dough into 8-inch circle with floured hands. Cut circle into 12 wedges with sharp knife dipped in flour. Place wedges about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes until edges are light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack (place rack on waxed paper to catch glaze drips). Cool 5 minutes; drizzle with Orange Glaze. After glaze is set, store tightly covered.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden Friends

Found a special delivery this morning...soon to be planted mementos of Rose Cottage tea time with dear friends.

"I didn't find my friends; the good God gave them to me."
 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window....spreads a cool, bright overcast sky.

I am hearing.....the catchy Habanero from Kylie's piano.

I am I want to go beyond scratching the surface of the explosive joy of my life and liberty that's in Christ alone.

I am thankful for....precious friends. They are bottomless treasure boxes ornamenting my life with pearls of grace, diamonds of kindnesses, and golden nugget acts of love.

I am airy, crinkled, three-quarter-sleeved, Dijon yellow button-down with an ankle-length denim skirt.

I am reading....Anne of Green Gables and With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray.

From the kitchen....has come asparagus bacon quiche, lemon bread, salads, and vanishing oatmeal cookies.

I am anticipating.....planting flowers from Terry's Rose Cottage garden that will serve as reminders of a sweet friendship.

I giggled with delight....when I read Julie's vintage notecard letting me know of our upcoming You, Me 'n' Tea menu!


"I am learning that when I pray, I desecularize myself, that part of me that's 'prone to wander,...prone to leave the God I love.' When I pause in my time--weekly, daily, hourly--I put one foot into His time and stride this great divide between the human and the divine, and the more I straddle this chasm in my personal universe, the closer the holy comes. I am frequently not only aware of God, but flushed full of Him. Time which used to crack only slightly to make place for Him, now folds outward, and He seeps into, invades wholly, engulfs completely the rest of the moments of my life, taking gentle advantage of the rare keyhole windows in the spaces in my soul.

He is an importunate lover, demanding concentration. I am at the point in my spiritual appointments with Him that when I leave these allotted moments, He uses them and haunts my soul with love thoughts the rest of my day."

~Karen Burton Mains, Making Sunday Special