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Sunday, February 27, 2011


The foxes have holes, and the bird of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.
~Matthew 8: 19-20~

Early in our married life we were desperately poor. It was easy to feel bitter and sad when we saw others spending money foolishly, when we were going to bed hungry.  I hate to admit it, but often I thought, "Why me God?  I'm trying to live my life in the right way, but You reward immoral people, while I suffer.  Don't You love  me as much as them?"  I know it was wrong, but that is how I thought.  An especially rough patch was when we went down to our car one morning to discover someone had stolen all the tires off of it.  The manager of the apartment complex greeted us, telling us we would have to put the tires on that day, or our car would be towed away.  Not only did we lose the money for the tires (which we bought at a salvage yard) but also a day wages as we scrambled to get the tires and install them.

It is times like this that many turn their backs on God.  But please consider this, God did not give His only begotten Son a life of luxury.  Jesus was the poorest or poor.  He was born in a borrowed stable, laid in a borrowed manger, and when He died upon the cross, He was buried  in a borrowed grave.

Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.
~2Corinthians 8:9 ~

The are many verses in the Bible that show us that suffering is a part of being a faithful Christian.  The Holy Spirit says:

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His sake.
~Philippians 1:29

James said:
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried , he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him.
~James 1: 12~

No where in the Bible does it say that God will give you a life of luxury and ease, in spite of what some preachers are preaching.  God does promise that He will be with you, however, in your suffering.  Just think of the New Testament authors; Luke  was hanged, Mark was dragged through the streets by a team of wild horses, James was clubbed to death.

I am so grateful for my trials!  Without them I would not have the knowledge to help those that are hurting now.  It has made me stronger, spiritually as well as mentally.

The trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
~1 Peter 1:7~

Remember that without sacrifice there can be no crown to be laid at Our Savior's feet. That in John 6:19  he instructs us not to lay up treasures here on Earth.  I leave you with the words of  Paul:

I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course.  I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only,but unto all them also that love His appearing.
~2 Timothy 4: 6-8~

Thursday, February 24, 2011


.It's hard to get really fresh greens in the winter.  Let's face it lettuce, spinach and so on, aren't exactly fresh after they've been trucked halfway across the country and placed on the shelves.  Sprouting seeds is an easy and cheap way to get something green into your body.  Besides they are  really nutritious, I once heard a doctor say that in a pinch you could live off of them for years.A large canister on your pantry shelf is good food insurance.  Alas, as in everything the prices are going up on these large canisters also.  When I bought it about six months ago, it cost about $25, now it's $32!  But it's still a good buy, because it only take about three tablespoons to make the same amount you get in those little bags at the grocery store. Those bags cost over $2 in the grocery store and how fresh are they?  I don't know how many servings are in a five pound canister but certainly more than sixteen servings,  at least twice, maybe even quadruple that.

We use ours on sandwiches and in salads.  We also throw some in soup.  And here's something very strange, we just eat them raw, out of hand as a snack.  It's funny, but it seems that when you eat healthier, your body starts to desire healthier foods. I actually start to salivate when I see a mound of these little green buggers!  Never in a thousand years would I ever have thought I would learn to love bean sprouts.  When I was younger, I only ate a vegetable about once a month, and then only under duress.  So you see, even devoted chocoholic, junk food junkies can change their mindset.

It's easy to sprout greens.  You just need a mason jar and something for a lid.  I bought a fancy schmancy  green lid that screws onto a mason jar, but a piece of cheesecloth stretched over the opening of the jar and secured with a rubber band or twine will suffice.

To sprout your beans, place 3 tablespoons of seeds into a quart mason jar along with 6 tablespoons of water.  Put the lid on and place in a dark spot.  I put mine in my kitchen cupboard.  The next day, drain the water through your makeshift cheesecloth lid.  Cover the seeds with water and replace your lid. Shake them.  Shake the water out and put back in a dark place.  Repeat this routine in the evening.  Do this for the next three days or until all of your seeds have sprouted.  How long this takes, will depend upon what you are sprouting.  Larger beans will take longer.  After the seeds have sprouted, take them out of the jar and place them on a plate.  Set them out in the sun for half an hour to green up.  It just occurred to me that this would be a fun experiment to do with your child also.  I love it when you can combine something educational, with something thrifty!

PS:  I finally figured out my facebook  password (or rather my husbands) so now I'm connected to it.  But I really don't know what I am doing, so don't expect too much feedback from me!  I apologize to those in past that have contacted me and I didn't respond to your request to be friends.  I simply don't know what I'm doing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


 ~George Washington~

 I don't know if  it's true that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, but I do know that his birthday is as good a reason as any to enjoy these  cherry cookies.

Cherry Bars
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C.  sugar
1 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. chopped maraschino cherries (reserve liquid)
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 C. coconut

In medium bowl, beat together flour, sugar and butter.  Press mixture 10 X 13 pan.  Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a large bowl blend together eggs, brown sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla.  Stir in cherries, nuts and coconut.  Pour over crust.  Bake for an additional 25 minutes.  Cool.

Frost with this icing:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 C.  confectioners' sugar
enough cherry juice to make a smooth frosting.

Frost. Refrigerate and cut into squares.

It's the little things in life, like including one of these cookies in your children's lunchpails that make memories.  When my grown sons reminisce about their childhood, they never mention expensive vacations or things that were purchased. It's always about the people or the common ordinary days that were made special by the little gestures, such as a cherry cookie on Washington's birthday or sandwiches made with green bread on Saint Patrick's day.  Little gestures, I might add, that only cost a few pennies.  Never miss an opportunity to make a memory.

Friday, February 18, 2011


The finest steel, has to go through the hottest fire.
~John N. Mitchell~

The other day I was reading some blogs and as what usually happens, I came across some blogs from the younger generation.  They were discussing how frightened they were by the rising costs of groceries.  I know, I spend a good part of my blog discussing how to make food from  basic pantry staples, believe me, I know I could get a bigger audience if I was featuring recipes for gooey chocolates and cheesy casseroles, let's face it oatmeal and beans are not sexy.  But the reason I do write about these things is because groceries are one of the few places in the budget when we have some control.  There's not much you can do if the heating cost rises,and you've already set the thermostat to it's lowest notch, or when your salary has been frozen.

For any new readers out there, I'll give you a brief sketch of my life story, so that you know that I know what it is like to go to bed with an empty stomach, that is, empty except for the knot in  my stomach from fear about how I'm going to make it through the next few days, let alone months, financially.   You see, my husband and I came from families that believed once you graduated from high school, you were on your own.  We married young, because we were in love and besides we had to be  grown-ups and support ourselves, why not do it together?  It was in the late 1970s and the country was going through high inflation, jobs were scarce and the pool of eligible workers was large.  I remember applying for a job as a cashier at a gardening center, and they asked if I had a degree in horticulture!  Ridiculous, but that's how it was. The only job I could find was as a cocktail waitress at a bowling alley.  As you can imagine, the pay was not great and bowlers are lousy tippers.  Our rent was $325 a month and our take home pay was $500.  We allotted $70  a month for groceries (which included all toiletries and cleaning products).  The rest of the money went for car upkeep and insurance, gasoline, and school.  My husband was still in college.  We really struggled the final year when the gasoline prices jumped from 65 cents a gallon to 99 cents.  So you see, I got a degree in home economics from the school of hard knocks.

So here's how we tackled grocery shopping.  First we only carried cash.  We calculated everything that went into the cart, and if it was a penny over our set amount, we put something back on the shelf.  We viewed shopping as a challenging game, to see how much nutritious food  we could get without paying much.

First stop was the grocery store's flyer to see what sales items we could incorporate into our budget.  Many so-called experts say you should make up a menu and stick to it, but that doesn't allow for unexpected "finds".  I prefer to shop by knowing I have X amount of money and have to make a week's or two meals from what I have in the cart.  Only shop once every two weeks, except for milk and bread (and you can always buy those in one fell swoop and freeze them for later).  The more often you visit the grocery store, the more you'll spend.

Now on to the actual shopping.  First stop, the produce section.  We always bought a bag of carrots,  the cheap regular carrots, not the cute, little pre-peeled carrots.  These were used for soups, grated into salads, and peeled and sliced by or own little hands for snacking on.  Ditto for celery.  Potatoes are good and cheap.  A baked potato really can stave off the hunger pangs. And don't forget the onions.  They add a lot of bang for the buck in the flavor department.  A head of lettuce will last longer,  and is cheaper than those  easy-to use  bags.  A bag of apples are usually the cheapest fruit, but sometimes oranges can be had for  a good price.  Also buy your fruit in season.  While we were in the produce section, we would check out the reduced-for-quick-sale  produce.  Depending on the store, you can sometimes get wonderful deals there.  I always buy my bananas there, because I like yellow bananas, and besides you can use them for muffins and bread. Check it out, you might be surprised by what you find.  I often find green peppers at my store.  When my son Erik worked at a grocery store, we arrived to pick him up just as the store was closing, we often caught the green grocer as he was taking the fruits and vegetables from the regular bins and putting them in the reduced  bin.  Just a couple of minutes earlier, they were regular price. The wonderful pies,and cobblers, we made from those apples, peaches and pears.  Plus a lot of good fruit that was eaten out of hand  If you live in a more urban area than I, there's probably a fruit market that has better prices than the grocers.

In the meat department, look for soup bones and smoked ham hocks.  They add a lot of flavor to soups. And we all know that a big batch of homemade soup is nutritional and economical.  Chicken legs and thighs are usually the cheapest.  Yesterday I checked out the prices and they were $1.09 a pound.  If you learn how to prepare them, you won't miss the more expensive cuts of meat.  You can also boil them up to make a good soup stock.  The meat can be made into a chicken salad for sandwiches.  Half a sandwich and a bowl of homemade soup is very good!  Again, while your in this section, look for the reduced-for-a-quick-sale items.  They're ok if you take them home and prepare them that day.  For instance, the store I was checking the prices out at,  had hamburger reduced, if I ate meat, I would have taken it home, browned it up and added taco seasoning, and froze it for chili and burritos.  Our little meat market/deli sells the ends of the deli meats cheap (about $1 a pound).  The ham makes great scalloped potatoes, flavoring for soups, and a nice ham sandwich  spread, when chopped and added to some mustard, mayo, and relish. Meat was used as a flavor enhancer, rather than the main focus of a meal.

We never waste too much time in the regular aisles. Most of the foods there are made for convenience.  But we do buy a nice large container of oatmeal.  We find that canned tomatoes are more flavorful and cheaper than out-of-season  "fresh" tomatoes.  To use them in a salad, just drain them in a sieve.  A bag of those mixed dried beans, makes a wonderful soup, with the addition of the aforementioned carrots, onions, potatoes,   and soup bone or ham hock. The spaghetti sauce that is found on the bottom shelf (you know, the one in the can) makes a good meatless meal, especially with the addition of mushrooms, onions and peppers. And as much as I love my own homemade spaghetti  sauce, this is a lot cheaper.

In the dairy section, eggs are a cheap source of protein.  A simple lunch of an egg and toast is often all you need to keep your stomach satisfied.  As much as I prefer butter to margarine in baking, let's face it, margarine is a lot cheaper.  If you eat yogurt, buy the big container of plain yogurt and stir in your own fruit or jam.

In the freezer section, we buy those cans of orange juice and reconstitute it ourselves.  And a bag of frozen spinach can substitute for your green leafy vegetable, once the lettuce has run out.  Once it thaws, put it in a saute pan and saute it a while to get all the water out.  Add it to soups or how about an omelet?

While your in the store why not check out the day-old baked goods.  Often I find nice loaves of French bread, that can be made into garlic bread, or croutons, or French toast. Or how about a bread  pudding with the milk that must be used up before it goes bad?

Now in the past, when I wrote articles about this, people would leave  comments about the couldn't eat so much starch. or that they only eat organic goods.  My reply is this; you are not at your end of the rope and  you do not know what it means to be truly hungry.  This article is not meant for you.  You don't have to worry about gaining weight from too much starch from something like a potato, I've seen some foolish behavior on the part of those "no-carbers", such as shunning a tomato in their salad, but loading it up with bacon bits. Refusing to eat a nice baked potato with no butter or sour cream, but eating a big slab of greasy meat.  Use some common sense! I think those Atkins-type diets work is because you can't have sweets, chips or alcohol on them.  Things that are most people's weaknesses.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Chivalry!---why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection---the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant ---Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword."
~Sir Walter Scott~

Way back in the olden days, when there were still wolves in England, to quote Dylan Thomas, I had the misfortune to be the object of affection of a little "farm boy".  I'm ashamed to say, my fourth grade sophistication manifested itself in an incredible snobbery against farm boys.  And this boy wasn't just any old farm boy, he was an orphan that lived with his grandmother.  Which was apparent by his apparel;  dungarees (am I showing my age by knowing that term?) and brown work boots, which often held the remnants of things found in the barn.  Pity to those that had to sit by him!  His name was Robert, by the way, not Bobby or Rob, but Robert.

Each recess, we would play "boys catch the girls", except when we were playing "girls catch the boys".  How I wanted that cute little boy, Kenny, to catch me, but no, Robert always staked his claim on me and made it clear that any challenges to his claim would be dealt with after school.

To farther add to my misery, Valentine's Day was approaching, and I was selected to bring cookies. Now, many of you have fond memories of the wonderful delicacies that came from your mothers' kitchens, but while my mother had many wonderful talents, cooking and baking were not one of them.  The only cookie recipe she ever used was a recipe called Rocks from the old Searchlight cookbook.  And the certainly lived up to their names!  Were they named that because the wear as heavy as one, or because the had an ugly gray tint to them?   To top it all off, they were chock full of nuts and raisins and had the texture of thick wallpaper paste.  No wonder my sisters and I preferred snacks of ketchup sandwiches and raw potatoes!

Well, Valentine's Day dawned and I went downstairs to breakfast only to discover that my mother had completely forgotten about making cookies for the party.  Hope springs eternal, and for a moment I held to the hope that she would go to Schafer's Bakery and buy some of those lovely little tea cookies.   She assured me that she would have cookies for me by the time the party was to start, and sent me on my way.

Exactly one half hour before school dismissed, our Valentines party commenced.  Still no sign of my mother. I was hopeful that she had forgotten.  The girl that was selected to bring cookies for her side of the room, began to distribute her cookies.  Fancy cut-out cookies, frosted in pink icing with candy hearts in the center.  Then there was a knock at the door.  My mother.  I took the box from her, a box that was as heavy as, well, a box of rocks.  My heart sank, I knew what was inside.

As I placed a cookie on the first desk, I heard a collective "EWW!" from my side of the room.  I felt their pain, who would want a rock, when you could have a lovely pink confection?  Oh the misfortune to have been on my side of the room!  Most the kids just flat out refused the cookies, but the teacher lectured them about manners, so they were stuck with the gray, gluey blobs.

But then miracles of miracles!  Robert spoke up.  He said that they were his favorite cookies and he'd trade his wonderful cookie for one of my cookies. The dear sweet liar!  There was a near riot as the boys and girls tried to be the first to his desk.  Those that didn't make it there first, just dropped their cookies on his desk.  He traded some of his Valentines for those.  That at least, appeased the angry mob.  Such chivalry from my little orphaned farm boy!  The next time we played "boys catch the girls", I let him "catch" me.  By the way, I got over my farm boy snobbery, when I met and fell in love with one at first sight.  We've been married for thirty-two years.

Even if you are domestically challenged, you can make these easy drop sugar cookies.  If you frost them with pink frosting, you might even impress a fourth grader.  Here's the recipe:

Drop Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. shortening
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk

Cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with the milk.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool and frost with your favorite icing.

So what does all of this have to do with thrift?  Even if you are as poor as a church mouse, you can still enjoy the little holidays that make life fun.  It doesn't cost much to make these cookies.  Why not bake  up a batch and  bring them to someone that is alone this holiday?  You can serve a loved one breakfast in bed.  Even if all you can afford is soup and bread for dinner, you can serve it by candlelight.  Enjoy the little things in life.  You never know when you are making a memory. Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”

~Abraham Lincoln~

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Crafts make us feel rooted, give us a sense of belonging and connect us with our history. Our ancestors used to create these crafts out of necessity, and now we do them for fun, to make money and to express ourselves.
~Phyllis George~
 Here's the pictures of the scarf I knitted from twenty-five cents worth of yarn from the thrift store. Mind you, it hasn't been blocked yet. Now that I know that the pattern is "doable", I'll knit another one in expensive yarn from the yarn shop for a present.  The sweater in the picture is pure Shetland wool purchased for fifty cents at the winter clearance at the thrift store.  I'll unravel it and use the yarn for socks or a scarf.  To unravel  yarn, deconstruct the sweater at the seams, then starting at the top, unravel the yarn.  Crew-neck sweaters work the best for this purpose.  And if the seams are over-locked, forget it!  You'll just end up with short pieces of yarn. Did you know that during WWII they unraveled socks and knitted lovely Fair Isle sweaters with the yarn? Necessity is the mother of invention.

While the clearance sale was going on, I also purchased a sweater with over a dozen lovely little mother of pearl buttons, that I'll salvage for a sweater that I've been knitting off and on for the last few months.   Thrift stores are a great source for buttons and sewing materials.  Not only do they often have lots of vintage zippers and trims in their original packages, the actual clothes can also be reused.  I found a 100% pure linen skirt that I intend to make into pillows. If you have little girls, the woman's dresses and skirts can often yield enough fabric for a skirt or pair of trousers.  My sister made her granddaughters Christmas dresses from a thrifted evening gown.  When I was a girl, we didn't have thrift stores.  Once a year, the church held a huge white elephant sale.  My mother taught us to look for the good quality fabric and buttons to refashion into lovely things.  It must have worked because people often commented on how well-dressed we were.We also were the recipients  of an older, wealthier cousin's hand-me-downs, that we spent hours remaking into more youthful, trendier fashions.

Currently, I'm working on a sampler.  The pattern, floss, and fabric were all purchased at Goodwill.  It will give me hours of enjoyment for a few pennies. And when I'm finished, I'll have a lovely sampler for my wall.  Provided I can find a suitable frame on the cheap.

PS:  The scarf is Ulla's scarf from Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Once we sowed wild oats, now we cook them in the microwave.”

Eating oatmeal is one of those healthy habits that's easy to follow through on.    And it's a thrifty person's dream.  I just purchased a 42 oz. container of quick oats (I always use quick oats) for $1.98.   That's less than seven cents a serving!  And when you consider all the health  benefits, it's well worth the effort of making some each morning.  Not that it takes much effort, I just put 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oats in a microwavable bowl and zap it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.  No need to buy the overly sweetened packets of instant oatmeal.  This is just as easy.  I like to add a bit of brown sugar and sprinkle mine liberally with cinnamon.  My son likes his with honey and a spoonful of peanut butter.  You can dress it up or down as you desire.  Other good toppings are dried fruit and nuts, or how about some chopped apples or applesauce. Yum!

You can also add oatmeal to your meatloaves and meatballs to stretch it farther.  It makes it moister also.  If you don't have a recipe for meatloaf, here's wartime recipe (meat was rationed) that I found in old Woman's Day magazine:

1 C. vegetable broth (they used the water that vegetables were cooked in)
1 C. uncooked oatmeal
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 tsp. sage
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 onion, minced
1 Tbsp. minced celery leaves or parsley
half a green pepper, minced
1 egg

Heat the broth and pour over the oatmeal; let stand until cold.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix until well-combined.  Shape into a loaf.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 - 1 1/4 hours basting occasionally with the juices from the pan.

You'll need some bread with that meal, here's a recipe for a very good bread:

1 C. boiling water
1/2 C. oatmeal
1 Tbsp.  margarine or butter
1 1/2 tsp. yeast (half a packet)
2 Tbsp. warm water
1/4 C. dark corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 - 3 C. flour

Pour boiling water over oatmeal and margarine in a large bowl. Stir until margarine is melted.  Cool about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle yeast over warm water, stir to dissolve. (proofing the yeast).  Stir yeast, corn syrup, and salt into oatmeal mixture.  Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.  Place into a greased bowl; turn over to grease top.  Cover; let rise until double in bulk.  Punch down dough.  Shape into a loaf.  Place into a greased pan, cover and let rise until doubled.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Now you have the bread for  your lunchpail, how about some cookies?

1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 C. oatmeal
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. raisins (or dried cranberries, dates, or anything your heart desires)
1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter
1 egg
1 Tbsp. molasses

Melt shortening and butter together.  Cool.  Stir in molasses and sugar.  Stir in egg.  Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into shortening mixture until well-combined.  Stir in oatmeal.  Stir in nuts and raisins.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are brown.

Another good lunchpail snack is Oatmeal cake:

1 1/4 C. hot water
1 C. oatmeal
1/2 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Pour the hot water over the oatmeal.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally. Beat together the butter and sugars.  Beat in the eggs and the oatmeal mixture.  Beat in the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.Pour into a greased 13 X 9 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Take from oven and put on top:
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1 C. coconut
Bring to a boil:
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 C. butter
Mix and spoon over hot cake.  Put under the broiler  just until the coconut starts to brown and the brown sugar mixture starts to bubble.

Or maybe pie is more your style?

2/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. margarine (softened)
2 eggs
2/3 C. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. vinegar
1 C. oatmeal
1 9-inch pie shell (unbaked)
Mix sugar, margarine, eggs, syrup, vanilla, and vinegar together.  Add oatmeal.  Pour into the pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minute to an hour until the filling is set.  Serve hot or cold, preferably with a big dollop of whipped cream!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of my home.  It is beautiful even if it is cold and windy! Melville calls the Great Lakes the inland seas, and as you can see from these pictures, it is not a  placid , bucolic place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I don't think we have to wonder if the groundhog saw his shadow today!  It's going to take him several days just to burrow out of his hole.  The pictures cannot convey the enormity of this blizzard.  Those drifts are shoulder high.  Not quite sure how I'm going to get to the garage where the snowblower is located.  Tried to shovel a bit to take this picture, but didn't get to far as the snow is very heavy.  It's overwhelming!  See.  This is why you need a well-stocked pantry!  I leave you with this:

And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons' straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October's wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire's ruddy glow.

~Whittier's Snow-Bound~

Romantic isn't it?  Bet you Whittier had a hired hand to shovel his snow!