Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Irresistible goodness

I didn't mean to do it.

I just got carried away.

There was all this zucchini to use... and I have this great recipe for chocolate zucchini cake... I was halfway through the recipe before I realized that I would be alone with this pan full of yumminess for the next 24 hours!

I convinced myself that it's nutritious. After all, I used carob powder instead of cocoa... and it's full of shredded zucchini... and of course, eggs are good protein... Why, I should just skip cereal tomorrow morning and eat this cake!

So far, there is only one piece missing. Well alright, there are a few edges that are gone too.

Who knew vegetables could be so hard to resist?

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nona reports for duty

Fourteen years ago, when my middle daughter had her first baby, I volunteered to stay at her house for a few days while she regained her strength after delivery. I cooked, answered the phone, vacuumed and did laundry. (In her recurring nightmare from that experience... I show up, bleach bottle in hand, and every item in her colorful home turns white!) At that time, someone dubbed me "Nona" and it stuck. Since then, I have shown up to do "Nona" duty in my family's homes for everything from new babies to sundry surgeries.

Last week was "Nona" time once again. Another daughter had a minor knee surgery, so I packed my bags and spent a few days cooking, answering the phone, doing laundry... with the added delight of enjoying grandkids.

In the midst of moments that were pure delight, I managed to have my camera ready to preserve a couple for posterity... and for you!

The first night a ghost appeared after bath time. Fortunately, before we were too terrorized, he revealed his identity.

The second day, while the ghost took his nap, we had a girls' trip to Daisy's Dip 'n Sip. Yummmmmm.

When I packed my bags to go home, there was a little band of well-wishers waiting at the bend in the road to wave goodbye. Even Mr. Incredible was there.

I'm tired... but it's a good tired.

Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: He is their help and shield. Psalm 115:11

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fair Food

While visiting a county fair last week, I discovered the existence of deep-fried Twinkies. Who knew that you could take something with as many empty calories as a Twinkie and make it even worse?

I talked to a man holding the fresh-from-the-fryer confection just before his first bite.

Within moments, the Twinkie was history...

but he'll be months working it off. Now tell me, would you trade a Twinkie for this look?

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Proverbs 15:17

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The three R's

I have been busy with the "3 R's" for the past week. You know... 'riting, redecorating, and reading... the "3 R's".

It was the 'riting that started the redecorating. I was home alone one morning (trying to avoid a cover letter) and started wondering, How would the room look if I moved the couch over here? By the time my dearly beloved walked in the door, three rooms were in various stages of disarray. cover letter cover letter

Now that the dust has begun to settle, I have stuff that requires a decision - keep? throw? cover letter cover letter The hardest things to pry from my tightly clenched fists are the paper crafting magazines that inspire and teach. (I hate to part with them, but something has to go and I have grown so fond of Rod...) So, cover letter cover letter I'm carefully reading them all, trying to make some decisons. So far, I have about 3 pages that I can throw away.

Meanwhile, cover letter cover letter there's the 'riting... I have an article ready to submit. Well, it's ready except for the cover letter - which gets you in the door or in the trash. Yep! It is almost as important as the piece being submitted. Hence... the nagging whisper cover letter cover letter while giving in to the distractions of redecorating and reading.

I have set a deadline. The packet must be in the mail tomorrow.

So here I am, hard at work... blogging. Aaargh.

This picture has nothing to do with anything. It's just my hydrangea that grows more beautiful every day.

isn't it beautiful?
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Special plants

This is a two part story.

It starts in May, when I planted three clumps of expensive specialty grass in the front yard near the road. To make sure these little clumps didn't get mowed or whacked, I broke twigs from our old mulberry tree and pushed them into the ground beside each of the plants. (This is a current picture so you can see what I did.)

Fast forward to the Fourth of July when my daughters had a "plant exchange". They came with their vans full of cuttings from perennials in their own gardens.

I guess my title, "Superior Non-Gardener", is pretty well established because, hmmmm, no one ever sent that email to me so that I could participate. And, oddly enough, I was the only one who took plants home.

Don't misunderstand! I am so grateful not to have to buy plants that will probably die. Rather than refer to my undistinguished title, they all said in amazement... "You didn't get that email?"

Today, while I was in the yard trying to choose homes for my new plants, I noticed something strange about my specialty grasses. They haven't grown much, but the twigs, broken off the old tree, are sprouting brand new leaves!

I guess it's not that I can't grow things... I'm just very successful at the wrong things.

It's not easy being me.

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought... and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Isaiah 58:11

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Fourth of July

The dust has finally settled. The roaster has been returned. My dishes are (almost) all in their proper places. The leftovers are in the freezer...

Last Friday, we gathered for our annual Fourth of July family reunion at our son's house in Ohio. We toted the pig and the roaster. The cinnamon rolls and cakes came from west Michigan. The highly popular bean salad came from Indiana. But it was the pig that ultimately took center stage.

Finally, after an overload of swimming, games, talking, and eating... we had cake!!!

Never forgetting the great country that is our home... Happy birthday USA!

Heather made this perfect cake
I do love the 4th of July.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I am a title holder!

Nooooo, silly you, it's not Miss America. It's "Superior Non-Gardener". So, many moons ago when we moved into this house, I donned my sash and crown and began the adventure of trying to learn what the plants were that grew around our house - plants that popped out of the ground, blossomed, disappeared and then repeated the process year after year. With the help of a huge flower book, I managed to identify some of the growth.

One of my favorites was a hydrangea bush - a PeeGee Hydrangea. Big heavy blossoms covered the bush, starting out ivory, gaining a pink tinge as they matured. When we tried drying them, they turned the color of ancient parchment. I loved that bush.

But, eventually, you have to make a house work. My beloved bush had been planted in front of an exterior door (that the former owners obviously never used) and a set of steps replaced the beautiful old bush.

I tried relocating the hydrangea, but it died. Survival of the fittest is a law of life - and my title was wa-a-a-y more hardy than that bush.

A few years ago, I found another hydrangea. Clearance priced (wouldn't lose much if it died), nice and green (health on its side), so I bought it.

Two days ago, I found this...

Photo completely untouched
It's not exactly like the original, but it's beautiful. I'm so happy. Can you feel my smile?

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. I Chronicles 16:31