Friday, June 30, 2017

Iced Tea and Shopping

I took my mom to get her hair done a couple of weeks ago, and after dropping her off I had a couple of hours of free time to spend doing whatever.  So, I decided to check out this new store that had opened a few miles up the road.  I had been in these stores before in our travels, so I was excited to see what this one had to offer.

I spent a long time wandering up and down the aisles looking at everything.  There were lots of attractive furniture arrangements, lovely throw pillows and candles, pretty dishes and linens, and everything for so much less than I would find in a department store. I got lots of decorating ideas.

As I was wandering around, I found this attractive little blue patterned pottery tray. It was the perfect size for these two serving dishes I picked up a while back.  I can use them together or apart.  Perfect!

Next, I noticed these fruit decorated boxes.  I was curious to see what was inside, and when I opened one up I discovered this sweet little teapot with matching cup.  So cute!  That came home with me as well.  I am really looking forward to using it in the future.

Of course, it's a little warm for pots of hot tea at the moment.  This time of year I'm more into iced tea in brightly colored summer cups.

This pitcher of tea was a mixture of Tetley British Blend Tea, decaffeinated of course, and Tangerine Orange Herbal Tea, delicious and so refreshing.  As it turned out, I didn't need to add any lemon.  Do you have a favorite tea combination?

That's my Raspberry Shortcake raspberry bush in the background.  I planted it in a pot last year.  This year it's covered in berries which are almost ready for picking.

I was so pleased at how it wintered over that I planted another one just a few days ago. Hopefully between the two bushes I will get lots of tasty raspberries for years to come.

So here I am kicking back and taking some time to bask in this gorgeous summer weather, iced tea in hand, taking in the view and listening to the soft musical sounds of the wind chimes.  Whether you are a city girl or a country girl I hope you are taking the time to enjoy these lazy summer days.  Blessings!


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.