Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Recipe, In Honor of Tim

It was just a little over a week ago when I got the call that a wonderful member of our church passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack.  Tim was a kind and gentle man and a good friend whom I had known for more than 20 years. In fact, his wife was in the process of calling me when he collapsed.  I was so grateful that I was able to be there for my friend as her husband was rushed to the hospital and during the days that followed.

Tim was an amazing chef who loved to cook wonderful meals for his family and friends.  He was always creating something new and delicious to share for a church gathering.  So when, I was asked to bring something to share for the reception after his memorial service, in his honor I chose to make this pasta salad that Tim shared with us many years ago.  It was one of his famiy's favorites and mine too, so simple yet elegant on any buffet table, I have no doubt that if you were to make it, your family would love it too.

Tim's Bow Tie Feta Pasta Salad

Start with one box of Farfalle Pasta, cooked to packaged directions. Cool and pour into a large bowl.

Mix together Mayonnaise, Olive oil,and granulated garlic until well blended and pour over the pasta.  Mix well.

Saute sliced almonds in butter until nicely toasted.  Pour the almonds along with the butter into the pasta and mix well.

Next, pour in the cheeses one at a time, mixing well in between.

Finally, add chopped green onions and mix into the salad..  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

 I poured the salad into a beautiful crystal bowl the next morning to take to the service, but I forgot to take a picture.  I am sure you understand.  I am grateful to be able to say it turned out lovely and helped in the sharing of memories of happy times around the table with Tim.

Bow Tie Feta Pasta Salad

1 Box Farfalle Bow Tie Pasta                                1 c  Mayonnaise
1 (6 oz) box Feta Cheese, crumbled                      1/2 c  Olive Oil
1 (8oz) bag Parmesan Cheese                               1/4-1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic
3 stalks Green Onions, chopped                            2-3 TBSP Butter 
1 (6-oz) bag, sliced almonds, browned                  
As it turned out, the visiting pastor who gave the sermon that first day after Tim's passing shared the story of the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom after falling asleep.  Five were not prepared to greet the bridegroom with enough oil to light their lamps and had to go back to purchase more.  Meanwhile the five who were prepared went into the banquet hall with the bridegroom and the door closed behind them.  There they were able to join in the feasting and celebration while the other five were left behind.

All of us who knew Tim knew his lamp was full to overflowing.  I rarely met a more wise man who loved the Lord more.  He is rejoicing with the bridegroom now.  And even as we grieve we have hope.  May we learn from his legacy to keep our own lamps filled and ready for the great celebration that is coming. 

On a brighter note.  I hope you give this salad recipe a try.  It truly is delicious, but as you can see from all those rich ingredients a little goes a long way.  So invite over a few friends and create some wonderful memories of your own.  All blessings to you, and be sure to let me know if you decide to give it a try.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two Walks

I am beginning to wonder if this unsettled, overextended life I am living is going to be my new normal.  Interesting how once you retire you think life is going to slow down.  I am still waiting for that to happen.  Right now, I am still taking care of my mom post surgery but hopefully she will be going home soon.  Then, we will see how things go for the rest of the summer.  There hasn't been much time for taking pictures but I did manage to get a couple of small walks in.  Interesting how these two walks have become a narrative of how our community is growing and changing.

I took my first walk with a friend through a woodland park a little over a mile from my home.  It was a warm day and we were looking for a shady place to stretch our legs.  This spot was perfect.

The sidewalk along the street connects one neighborhood to another.  Once you turn into the trees it feels a though you are miles from everything.

But there are signs of civilization, like this frisbee golf target,

Or a bridge leading across the creek to the neighborhood beyond.

Through the clearing is the school where my two older kids attended and where I worked my first two years with the school district.  Back in those days there was no fence and as long as they stayed within sight, the kids were allowed to play along the edge of the woods.  Times have certainly changed.

This older part of town is how much of the area looked all the way around the lake when we first moved here almost 40 years ago.  Today, much on the other side of the lake is dotted, (perhaps swathed is a better word!) in miles of developments.  Suburbia has made its way to the country!

This was a pretty walk around my son's neighborhood, but it's such a different place with its rows and rows of cookie cutter houses on tiny lots.


Still, the neighborhood was quiet and it was fun to see all the pretty landscaped front yards. In a few years the trees will grow and give the streets a more settled feel.

But I hope "progress" doesn't get so loud that it drowns out the little sounds of God's creation all around us, like this tiny little creek we walked past right outside the neighborhood.

 Of course, I had the best walking partner!  I am loving being a Grandmother.

My friend and I had planned another walk this morning, but it started raining.  We ended up walking around the inside of the Walmart down the road.  Perhaps I should have taken some pictures of the produce department and pretended we were at the farmer's market. LOL!

If you stop by, please take the the time to say hello.

All blessings to you.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Quilts and Flowers

Life has been a little different as I cared for my mom after surgery the past couple of weeks and while I was kept pretty busy there were still some opportunities to take out my phone camera on occasion while she was resting.

Walking through my mom's little house is a bit like walking back in time.  Her walls are filled with old family photos like this one of my grandparent's wedding day which was around 1920.  Don't you love her wedding dress and veil?

Another photo of my grandfather.

She also loves to hang quilts on the walls, each one sewed completely by hand.  This one was made by a old family friend.

My Aunt, the mother of my two closest cousins, made this one.  I like the way the pattern looks a bit like a flower box in front of a window.  

This little one was made by a friend in her church.

You will also find hand made quilts on the beds.  This one was also a gift from a friend.  Isn't it bright and cheerful?  I love the color yellow.

This quilt was one of several made by my great-great aunt.  I don't know what the pattern is called but it is definitely a family heirloom.

As the days have gotten warmer I was able to enjoy the lovely spring weather. One day I took a walk over to the city park which is just a block from Mom's house.  Everything looks so fresh and green.

And speaking of fresh and green, we have been able to enjoy all the spring flowers growing in the garden.

The snowball bush and lilacs were especially pretty.  I had to cut some and bring them inside so Mom could enjoy them as well.

I have a few spring flowers of my own in bloom as well.  I went home to find the Rhododendron in full glory.  The colors looked so vivid.  It was just filled with the humming of bees as they gathered round the blossoms.  I tried to catch one with my camera but they were darting about pretty quickly.

Now that my mom has been getting stronger, I have been able to move her over to my house where she will be with us for a few more weeks.  As we were leaving her house I noticed the first rose of the year on the Joseph's Coat rose bush she planted in honor of my dad.  

The next day I went back to her house and brought it to her in a vase for her room.  Such a lovely memory.

I love making and recording memories.  I hope you all will be making some lovely memories of your own this week.  If you happen to stop by be sure to say hello!  Adieu!

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Strand

It's been two weeks since we returned home.  We are finally getting caught up with ourselves, our family and the outside world.  I have come to the same conclusion as before, that much as I enjoy traveling about, I am really just a homebody at heart.  It  was so good though, to be able to hang out back in some of the places where I spent my growing up years.

We were able to spend over a month on the California Coast of North San Diego County visiting all the different beaches we used to enjoy years ago. You all know how much I love being near the beach.  It's hard for me to imagine what it would be like to live in a part of the country where one might never see the ocean in person in their entire life!  It's actually a generational thing for me.  My grandparents met on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of  Los Angeles, CA.  They returned there often with my mother. and her siblings.  When my grandfather finally retired they bought a little cottage just two blocks from the beach in Oceanside.  I shared photos of their house on a previous blog here

A couple of miles from their little house was the downtown beach known as The Strand. 


It was here that my mother met my father and where she lived for a while when he was overseas. She always loved this spot. Over the years my parents brought us often to this beach to play in the sand and this is the place where my love and earliest memories of the ocean began.  Needless to say, while The Inspector and I were staying in the area we returned to this beach again and again.



 As always, many things have changed, but the old band shell is still there.  I remember listening to marching bands playing patriotic music here as we would sit and watch  fireworks shooting off into the night from the pier on the 4th of July.


 As a kid the shore was lined with little beach cabins rather than the big condos you see today.  These are some of the few that are still here. 

Much of the old pier I remember was destroyed in a series of storms in the late 70's and eventually a new one was built after we had moved away, but this one was built to reflect the style of past years and so the memories still live on.


One afternoon as I watched this young man leaning over the rail with his fishing pole, it brought back memories of fishing here with my dad.  


 One really neat addition to the scene which wasn't here when I was growing up are the brown pelicans.  I love that they have migrated into the area.  Isn't he beautiful?

 The Inspector was just waiting for this fellow to reach over and take a nip out of my fingers.  It did let me get pretty close.


And so, as this day on The Strand is coming to a close never forget..

is an ocean.

Blessings to you this day.