Thursday, December 31, 2015

Three Things I Learned From Rose

Use both hands and your whole heart to create your own masterpieces.

Cooking can be fun if you use your imagination and wear the right outfit.

Learn a new skill and be proud of your accomplishment.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas Wishes

We'll be leaving soon to visit family for Christmas. I can't promise I'll be able to post while we're traveling, so I want to take time now to wish you all a merry Christmas.

Until next time...may your days be merry and bright!

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Field Gone By

I don't know what this field looked like a few months ago...

when the plants were young and fresh. 

Though what is growing here is now faded and gone to seed, there is beauty...still.

You may have to slow down a little and take a closer look in order to fully appreciate its loveliness.

But if you do, you will be rewarded. I know I was.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December Wildflowers

You know me...I can't pass by a pretty flower without snapping a picture. I photographed these Indian blanket blossoms along the nature path across from the LCRA Nature Center in Matagorda. And yes, they really are blooming in December.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

An Old Fashioned Christmas

The year was 1988. We lived in a farmhouse that was over 100 years old on Burnt Mills Road near North Branch, New Jersey. Our home was situated between two rivers and surrounded by farm fields.

Our landlord gave us permission to cut our Christmas tree from the nearby strip of woods. John and Robyn scouted the woods for the perfect tree. Matt and I joined them later.

Robyn was six years old—the perfect age for a tree cutting adventure.

Matt was only a little over six months old. It was a very cold day, below freezing, and I was concerned it was too cold for him. But, I bundled him up well and he did fine. I still have that wool hat he's wearing.

I remember how proud Robyn was to be bringing home a tree that we cut ourselves.

With a rope tied around the trunk, John dragged the tree through the field to our home. Robyn was his little helper.

When we got to our backyard, I took a picture of my favorite woodsman posing with the tree.

Then Robyn took a picture of the three of us.

And someone took a picture of Robyn.

We decorated our tree with colored lights, popcorn garland and cranberry garland that we strung ourselves, candy canes, and the ornaments we had collected so far.

I will always remember the fun we had the day we cut our Christmas tree—the old fashioned way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Keeping It Simple

Christmas is just around the corner and I'm looking forward to it, though you probably couldn't tell if you walked into my house right now. 

We aren't having guests this year, so I'm keeping it simple—no tree, no lights, no fuss—just a few favorite things put out that make me happy, like this festive deer wearing a knitted scarf. 

I enjoy this occasional freedom from Christmas decorating. Do you put up a tree every year?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Little Knitter That Could

Here's the plan: get busy knitting this yarn into two baby blankets for twins. The shower is in about six weeks. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Smiling Down a Dirt Road

We went for a drive down Old Gulf Road in Matagorda, Texas, last week. 

It starts out paved, but changes to dirt soon after you cross the bridge.

I enjoyed the scenery—open fields and blue sky.

I kept a watch out for flowers and found some tiny yellow ones growing along the fencerow...

and an occasional pop of color from lantana blossoms. It was also on this road where I found the Cherokee rose.

As I took my flower pictures, I attracted the attention of one particular cow in the field. The rest of the herd ignored me completely, but this cow made sure to keep an eye on me the whole time.

It was these simple sights that had me smiling as we drove down a dirt road.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cherokee Rose

I saw a pretty rose growing wild along the side of the road. Of course, I stopped to take some photos, but it wasn't until later that I learned about the Legend of the Cherokee Rose.

Cherokee tradition associates this rose with the Trail of Tears. Each part of the flower has a special meaning. 

The white petals represent the tears cried by the Cherokee mothers for their children on the long, hard journey.

The seven leaves on each stem symbolize the seven Cherokee clans.

And, the gold center stands for the gold taken from the Cherokee people.

In the legend, this beautiful flower became a source of hope, comfort, and strength. I will remember that whenever I see it blooming along the roadside.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fishing Is an Exercise in Patience

Waiting Patiently-Fishing From the Banks of the Colorado River-Pelican Point RV Park-Matagorda, Texas

Wait for the patient.

Fish On-Fishing From the Banks of the Colorado River-Pelican Point RV Park-Matagorda, Texas

Feel the patient some more...then set the hook and reel.

Small Black Drum-Colorado River-Pelican Point RV Park-Matagorda, Texas

Show off your patient (with the photographer this time)...and smile.

Fishing From the Banks of the Colorado River-Pelican Point RV Park-Matagorda, Texas

Release the undersized fish...wait for a bigger patient.

Just in case you're wondering, John caught one keeper-sized trout. We had to buy some freshly caught black drum at the store in town to have enough for a delicious fried fish dinner for two.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Happiness Is...

sunshine on a Saturday morning...

Wispy Clouds in the Sky at Jetty Park-Matagorda, Texas

at Jetty Park in Matagorda...

Covered Picnic Table  at Jetty Park-Jetty Pier and Gulf of Mexico in Background-Matagorda, Texas

taking photos of random things...

Picnic Tables at Jetty Park-Matagorda, Texas

with no real plan in mind...

Fence Post and Flowers-Jetty Park-Matagorda, Texas

just snapping away...

Plants Gone to Seed-Blowing in the Breeze-Jetty Park-Matgorda, Texas

observing nature...

Beach Evening Primrose-Jetty Park-Matagorda, Texas

and soaking in the sunshine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Breaking Through the Clouds in Spectacular Fashion

Last week as I was cooking supper, I glanced out the kitchen window and saw a most amazing sunset! It was amazing because of the colors, for sure, but what excited me even more was the fact that there was actual light in the sky. We've been living with gray, cloudiness for so long that I probably would have been thrilled just as much with a less spectacular sunset. But, God sent this one, and my heart was filled with hope for sunny days to come.

Monday, December 7, 2015


'Tis the season for sweets! I'm giving myself permission to splurge a little during the holidays.

A Selection of Fudge from Oliver Pecan Company-San Saba, Texas

That's probably why I gave in when John wanted to purchase homemade fudge at Oliver Pecan Company when we were on our Texas Hill Country vacation. "We'll share it with the kids at Thanksgiving," he said. 

I resisted a little...and then I sampled some...and then I agreed to buy a pound of fudge—a whole pound. It's that good!

Our selections included (top to bottom):

Oliver Pecan Company Fudge-Pumpkin, Maple Pecan, Churro, Chocolate Pecan

Pumpkin (for Thanksgiving, of course), Maple Pecan (my favorite, because it's sweet, but not too sweet), Churro (a new flavor, unique and delicious), and Chocolate Pecan (because it's classic and oh, so creamy).

This is really some of the best fudge I've ever had. It's soft and creamy and delicious. Between the kids, John, and me, we managed to eat all of it in a week's time. 'Tis the season...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Flowers in 3-5 Weeks

My daughter, Robyn, gave me a paperwhite bulb kit as a gift. She said it's because she's not always here to give me flowers. She knows me well!

This is what was in the Trader Joe's kit:

Trader Joe's Paperwhite Bulb Kit

One narcissus bulb, one compressed pellet of potting mix, a pretty ceramic pot, and planting instructions.

I was doubtful that one pellet would expand enough to plant the bulb in, but it did. When fluffed up, the potting mix filled the pot about a third of the way. 

Paperwhite Bulb Sprouting

I pressed the bulb into the potting mix, leaving the top portion exposed. As you can see this bulb had already begun to sprout before it was planted. Now all there is to do is place the pot in a sunny, warm location (I'm thinking the kitchen windowsill), keep the soil moist, and wait—flowers in 3-5 weeks.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Remembering Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was busy, crazy, and wonderful at our house. We ate too much, stayed up too late (for me, anyway), and squeezed in as much visiting as possible. 

There were plenty of hugs and kisses given to the grandchildren, but the one thing I didn't do enough of was take pictures. Myles and I attempted a photo session on his last day here.

Grandson Myles Playing Ball

We played ball in the hallway. I would roll it to him and he would roll it back. As you can see from his smile, we had a lot of fun. I guarantee you, my smile was just as big.

Grandson Myles Thinking About Climbing the Stairs

Stairs hold a great fascination for children. I promised Myles I'd teach him how to go up and down them the next time he comes for a visit. 

After all, it's best to focus on one big accomplishment at a time, and the big accomplishment this visit was learning to walk!

Grandson Myles Toddling Around the House

Myles took his first steps several weeks ago, but only just figured out while he was here that walking is a better way to get around than crawling. He's toddling all over the place now, always with his hands outstretched for balance. It's so cute! 

I smile every time I remember our time together at Thanksgiving.
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