Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We made ourselves a castle
Once after school was out;
We raked the leaves together
To wall it all about.

We made a winding pathway
Down to the school-yard gate.
And there we worked with might and main
Until the day grew late;

Until one bright star twinkled
Above the maple tree
And lights shone down the village street
As far as we could see.

We planned that every recess
We'd come out there to play,
But in the night it blew so hard
Our castle blew away.
~ K. Pyle
("Winnie the Pooh - Autumn Leaves, by Ellenshaw
Courtesy: Allposter.com)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mountain Color

I thought that you might like to see what the mountains look like on their highest Peaks, here in Northern Utah.

I love how the golden aspens are intermingled with the dark pines.

Have a gorgeous day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Blog Award and Meme

Thanks Alexandra from Happy Hearts at Home for honoring this blog!

As a recipient of this award, there are rules to follow. I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others!

The questions are as follows:
1. Where is your cell phone? Nowhere
2. Where is your significant other? Resting
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Deceased
5. Your father? Ill
6. Your favorite thing? Birdies
7. Your dream last night? Hurricane!!!
8. Your dream/goal? Home
9. The room you're in? Bedroom
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Insecurity
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Unkind
15. One of your wish-list items? Bicycle
16. Where you grew up? Everywhere
17. The last thing you did? Blogged
18. What are you wearing? Jeans
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? Sleeping
21. Your computer? OK
22. Your mood? Sleepy
23. Missing someone? Always
24. Your car? Tan
25. Something you're not wearing? Socks
26. Favorite store? Country Furniture
27. Your summer? Bountiful
28. Love someone? Always
29. Your favorite color? Cream
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Recently

I nominate the following bloggers:

1: Rose Vine Cottage
2: 40 Shades of Pink
3: The Barefoot Mama
4: The Red Tin Heart
5: There Is No Place Like Home
6: Ruth's Visions & Revisions
7: The World and Its Roses

Here are the rules:

Now, for you recipients of this award, here's the deal:
* Display your award.
* Link back to the person who gave you the award.
* Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
* Put links to those blogs on yours.
* Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.
* Enjoy your award!

Show and Tell Friday

Hello, Ladies!
Today, I am showing you a sweet little, bone china box that was given to me by my dearest friend, Jane. She bought it for me years ago, on an outing to Ojai, California, a week or so before my wedding. We both knew that my soon-to-be husband and I would be relocating to North Carolina shortly after we married and so there would be very few girlfriend outings anymore. This box reminds me of the wonderful afternoon we spent in Ojai, perusing the shops and chatting up a storm.
Aren't the details beautiful?
Above is a view to show you how small the box is.

Lovely memories...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Invitation

My husband called today from the road to tell me that the colors up Provo Canyon and over the pass from Brighton to Park City are beautiful. Then, he invited me to have a picnic lunch with him tomorrow to see the colors. What a nice husband!

I will be packing a picnic lunch. Any suggestions for what to bring that would be special?
I promise lots of pictures tomorrow!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Widow's Mite

It may be small,
But if it's your all,
It's enough.

Homemade Meatloaf "Pie"

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the ground beef and onion until beef is evenly brown. Drain, and allow to cool slightly.(I like to run hot water over browned beef in a colander to get rid of even more fat)
  3. In a bowl, mix the cooked beef and onion, egg, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Spread the corn in the bottom of greased baking dish. Layer with the beef mixture. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the beef, and top with cheese.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

20 Things I Love About Autumn

20 Things I love About Autumn....

Melissa over at the Inspired Room wrote a list of 20 things she loves about Autumn.

Here are mine:
1) Watching the blaze of colors start up on our mountains and, over time, make their way down to the foothills and then the valley.
2) Brilliant, gold leaves against a clear, blue sky.
3) Wrapped up in a blanket, taking the ski-lift up the mountains at Sundance to see the wild mountain color.
4)Fresh squeezed (squished?) apple cider with cinnamon sticks.
5) Groves of mountain aspens shimmering gold in the sunlight
6) Ghost stories
7) The Harvest moon sitting plump and white with his chin on the hill in the mountain pass, looking out over the valley
8) Leaving out treats for fall faeries
9) Waking up snuggled in the warm blankets in a cold house.
10) The smoky scent of neighborhood fireplaces lighting up for the first time on a cold morning.
11) Autumn trees dripping puddles of golden lace all around their trunks
12) Scented candles that smell so yummy you could eat them
13) Soups, stews, and chilis with homemade bread
14) Bringing in and preserving a good harvest and having it all safe and sound in one's pantry
15) Taking family walks through the neighborhood at night
16) Warm fruit and pumpkin pies
17) Cuddling up in a comforter and reading to the family
18) Hayrides at neigboring farms
19) Fall Cleaning
20) Feeling thankful for God's bounty

Have a lovely day!

Friday, September 19, 2008

"A smile's the thing for making friends --
much better than a pout.
And you can give your smiles away for years
--and not run out!"
Helen Caswell

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Gift for You!

My cousin sent me this beautiful little angel and thought that you might like it. Be sure and left-click on it!

Other People's Interesting Choices

Thought you might like to see what I consider to be the most unattractive lamp top that I have ever seen. It was even more impressive in person.

Have a great day!

A September Walk

Well, I woke up in another funk today and I perceived that what this body needed was a good long walk. So, I got myself together and headed towards my favorite place on earth, the library. It is several miles from my home, so I knew I would get a lot of exercise from going there.
I thought that you would enjoy seeing what our mountains look like. The sun isn't in a good place for these pictures, so the mountains look hazy, but you can get an idea of how beautiful they are. We live on the foothills of these beauties, which are part of the Wasatch Range, a segment of the

Below is my place of refuge, the Sandy City Library. I've been going to it for ten years and count myself lucky to be in a country where my little library card affords me the ability to have any book that I want - at no cost (unless of course, I am late turning it back in!)
Below are some sweeties that I saw along my way back home...
Brown-eyed Susans and below...
...a golden pansie (sp?).

I stopped and lay on the hill where I cloud-gazed several weeks ago. The sky was flawless, though...no clouds in sight. So, instead I lay praying in my heart, asking God to hear my melancholy heart, talking to him as a child would to a beloved parent. I asked Him to be close to me and to be my Father and comfort me. There were not bursts of Divine Light, no thunderous response. But in my heart of hearts I knew that He had heard me.

Then, I got up, brushed myself off and headed once more towards the mountains that I have learned to call home, back to my mess of a house and overflowing vegetable garden which I am now determined to conquer.

I hope you are having a blessed day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bittersweet Momentoes

I was visiting Sharon at Rose of Sharon and saw that among her recent Goodwill finds that she also purchased a little blue shoe, like the one above. That got me thinking about how I came to have mine.

In 1950, my mother gave birth to her first child, my brother, David. As you can imagine, she and my father were ecstatic over their new child. She was gifted with a sweet bouquet that came in this little, blue, ceramic shoe. Unfortunately, there were problems during the birthing (David was born breech), which caused a lot of pressure to be exerted on the baby's soft head. Shortly after birth, David began to struggle. The doctors realized that he had suffered brain damage and that some of his functions were beginning to shut down. My mother was never able to take David home and, for reasons that are difficult for me as mother to completely comprehend, when my mother found out that David would die, she never visited him in the hospital. Feeling devastated, she feared becoming attached to him. He died several weeks later.

Many, many years later, when my mother could finally talk about it, she told me that she believed that the hospital did not feed him through tubes once he lost his ability to swallow, so that he wasted away. All Mama had left to remind herself of her first born was this little blue shoe... and the gift of a little silver, baby brush, below.
When Mama died, I inherited these remembrances. They are both on display in my home.

I hope when Mama died she was finally able to find some peace over David. Though she rarely spoke of him, I know that it haunted her until the end of her life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ever Had One of These?

Today, is turning out to be one of those days...one of "those" days.

I woke up this morning, after a good night's sleep, completely and inexplicably exhausted. I flopped around the house trying to get my caboose going and I couldn't really. Had to call an appointment and re-schedule it for later, because I was still flopping around the house up to the time I was suppose to be somewhere else. Got lost and almost had an accident on the way to my appointment. Came home, and the dear husband, love of my life, had tried to cut a slice of my nice, homemade (and hand-made) bread with a butter knife. Yup~g.r.r.r.r.r! I went to the bedroom to relax at the computer while eating my hastily made lunch. While I was dipping my taco chip in some salsa, I absent-mindedly dipped it instead into a tin of "Bag Balm" and then tried to eat it!

My whole house is falling down around me and all I want to do is crawl back into bed and play hookey or sit at my computer.

So, I am now going to go "gird up (my) loins" and clean my disgusting kitchen (from canning, etc.). If I was rich I would have a maid, but that ain't gonna happen in this life! I won't promise pictures of my newly clean kitchen, when I am through, but I may post my favorite recipe for refrigerator pickles.

H.m.m.m...Unless, of course, something more exciting than cleaning happens...Like, I don't know. I want to play hookey!

Have a good day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Does This Look Better?

Kelli, from Rose Vine Cottage suggested that I add doilies and China to my hutch Fall display. I think that does brighten things up quite a bit and sets off the autumn colors. What do you think?

Anymore ideas? I don't want it to be too cluttered, but I really want it to look good...
Thanks for all ideas!

Even More Fall Nesting

Here is the hutch with many Fall decorations (you can see my memorial shadowbox for my mother to the right side).
A closer look at the garland and top shelf. The couple in the old photograph are Mark's parents on their wedding day.
I stole an idea that I saw on several blogs to upturn a crystal goblet for a candlestand. The little pumpkins are votive lights.
My mother left me this little English tudor cottage. We both would have loved to live in such a house!
My thrift store find atop a glass cake stand, with grapevine.

More to come.
Have a lovely day!

More Fall Nesting

Some more pictures of my attempts at Fall decorating. Above is the family room/parlor with my seasonal trees, etc. There is a fall dish towel in the seat of the big chair, because certain furry pussycats put their furry bottoms all over it.
I'm still looking for the right accent scarf to go on this table.
I love these birdies!
Here is a book that I checked out at the library with wonderful decorating ideas - many using all natural objects. Love this stuff!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fall Finds

Hello Ladies!
I thought that you might like to see the results of yesterday's thrifting...I went to my very favorite store and look what I found..Above, is a candle-holder. I wish you could see how the beautiful glass squares shimmer in the light! - $1.
...two fall leaf votive lights - $1.50.
Can you tell that I love candles? Above is one that has dried fall leaves attached to the sides with melted wax. Candle and stand - $1.
A picture tray (I will put fall scrapbooking paper in it) and 3 more lights - $2.50
Isn't he a cutie? He's holding an acorn. Price: $1.50.

Elizabeth (Later, I will show you how I decorated with these!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Funny Cartoon from Internet

I sometimes struggle with this myself!

A four-year-old boy gazed into the crib at his newborn baby sister
and whispered to her,
"Tell me again what God looks like —I’m starting to forget."
---Elie Wiezcoff

Remembering September 11th

Seven years ago, this morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my two children, having breakfast before taking my youngest, Robert, to pre-school. The phone rang. I almost didn't answer it, because we were in a hurry. It was my friend, Marie Schulzinger, from Boulder, Colorado.

"Are you watching TV?" She asked.

"No." I said. Having a love/hate relationship with TV, my set was stored in a closet.

"Well, pull it out." She said. "Two planes have hit the World Trade Centers in New York and they believe that it's a terrorist attack!"

I ran to my closet, pulled out the TV and set it up in the kitchen. Reception was very poor. The picture was grainy. But there they were, the twin towers, like giant smoke stacks, spewing forth huge, black clouds of ash and soot.

Life would never be the same again.

For some reason that morning, I still felt the need to take my son to his pre-school, so the children and I set forth to a nearby bus stop. With my cell phone in hand, I received constant updates from Marie as events unfolded.

Soon I learned that a plane had hit the Pentagon.

I was sitting at the bus-stop on my return trip home when Marie called to say that one of the World Trade Center towers had collapsed.

"What do you mean 'collapsed'?" I demanded. I was sure she meant that a couple floors had collapsed and that in the emotion of the moment she was exaggerating.

"I mean collapsed!" She returned to me. "Elizabeth,... it- is- gone!"

Not many years before, on a trip to New York, I had stood facing the giant window at the top of the NorthTower, looking down at the ground far below me. I felt awe and fear at the enormous height of this building. Now, I wondered what it would be like to be trapped at such height, looking down at the disaster unfolding floors below and unable to escape it.

I felt sick to my stomach.

When I learned that a flight had gone down in a Pennsylvania farm field, I didn't need anyone to tell me that something had happened on that plane to bring it down before it could cause enormous damage elsewhere.

I spent the rest of the day fielding calls from my sister, Jeanie, who was visiting friends in Greece and who was unable to contact her husband, Bill, in Washington, DC. The phone lines were jammed. We didn't know it at the time, but Bill was in an undisclosed location working with U.S. Intelligence. I left messages for him on his cell phone. Later, he called me back as he was driving home to pick up clothes so that he could live at work for an undetermined period of time. While we were talking, he told me that he was driving passed the Pentagon and it was in flames.

The world seemed to have gone completely crazy.

Because of our closed airspace, it took two weeks to get my sister home from Europe.

In the days following the attacks life altered irrevocably. No longer did I feel the safety and security of being part of a vast nation with a strong defense system. I felt vulnerable and all too aware that anything could happen at anytime.

That feeling has never left me.

Two years ago, on another September 11th, while I was visiting the Healing Fields, an enormous annual flag display in Sandy, Utah, where I live, I had a touching experience. As I walked through the rows of flags, each one representing a person who lost their life on that awful day, I saw a young woman standing, flag in hand, gently caressing a name with one of her fingers. I walked over to her and made a comment about how incredible the field was. She looked up at me and said, pointing to a name, "This was my father."

I looked and saw the name "Kevin Smith". She told me that Kevin was attending a conference in New York on 9/11 and, in fact, was at a breakfast meeting in the Windows on the World Restaurant at the top of the North Tower, not far from where I once stood, at the time of the attack. We now know from telephone records that everyone in that Restaurant either jumped or passed out from smoke inhalation.

I asked this young woman, Kevin's daughter, if I could hug her. We embraced like sisters. I offered my condolences to her, told her that I would never forget her father's name, and then left her standing in the field to be alone with her memories.

Today, for Kevin Smith and all the other people who lost their lives on September 11th, I offer a moment of silence, prayers for their families, and a solemn remembrance of a day that changed the lives of every American forever.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Best Ever Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats
Combine eggs, vanilla and raisins in a small bowl; cover and let stand for 1 hour. (This is the secret to cookie's extra yummy-ness!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda; stir into the creamed mixture. Then stir in the raisin mixture, rolled oats, and nuts.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an unprepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Rainy Wednesday


I've been stuck in the house for the past four days, taking care of sick children. Today, everyone is whole and back at school and I am trying to play catch up with all of my chores. I'm kind of single-minded and have a hard time continuing my housekeeping routine when my children are needing my attention.

Today, it is cool and rainy. While driving to school to drop off lunch money I noticed the first few hints of color up on our nearby mountains. Within a couple of weeks the whole range will be bursting with rusts and golds.

Another Autumn is upon us.

I have a beef roast in the crock-pot...In between chores today, I will bake some cookies so that the children will return home to the warm scent of baking.

Have a wonderful day!
Love, Elizabeth (I'd include a picture but smaller hands ran off with my camera!)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Modesty Story

Inspired by Kelly over at The Barefoot Mama , I would like to describe my journey towards modest dressing.

I was raised by two very goodly parents. They were pretty strict, too, while I was a child. My mother always dressed me with taste and appropriateness. But when I became a teenager, for some reason, my mother did not crack down on me when I began to follow after immodest fashions.

Now, we moved usually every two years because my father served in the Coast Guard. So, I was often the new kid in school and had a hard time breaking into a new social group. In my early teens, we were living in the South again and I remember that I started out dressing well, but then the "bra-less" look came into fashion, with extreme minis and halter tops (boy, this is dating me, huh?). I resisted for a time, but disliked being labeled as a "square" (nerd), so I changed - and how! I remember having my mother hem up a shirt-dress that originally had ended at the top of my knee all the way up to just below my panties! Other examples I could give you are too embarressing for me to describe, but I think you get my drift.

However (!), I began to notice some very bad and, in some cases, sick attention that the "new me" began to get from much older adult men when I still basically looked VERY young. It really disturbed me and was not what I wanted. I desired to by liked for who I was inside and to be respected. I also didn't want to attract men that were only interested in one thing. Besides, I saw myself as a follower of Christ and that just didn't square with my parading around in public half naked. So, almost overnight, I went back to dressing conservatively and covering myself again.

And that shirtdress? I began to wear it as a shirt under one of my skirts, never again as a dress.

Then when I was 16, I experienced a spiritual conversion to my present faith. I had loved Christ before that, but now I was even more determined to let His light so shine through me. I also believed that my exterior should reflect my new commitment, so I became more determined to be modest, appropriate and feminine.

My story doesn't completely end there...I was involved in the entertainment business for a number of my single years and I had to constantly stand up for my standards amidst much pressure to show some skin. I am proud to say that I never faltered, though it got pretty rough at times.

Now, I have a 13 yo daughter and we teach her that "modest is the hottest". So far, she has given us no trouble with that. I hope that she will always make good choices in this area.

So, there you have it. I've been on both sides of the line and I must say, I feel so much better about myself when I treat my body like the sacred "temple" that I believe it is and keep myself more private.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Fall Nesting/Seasonal Tree

I've just begun Fall decorating and I thought I'd start out with a Seasonal Tree. I'm using faux alpines that I bought several years ago at a local craft store.
I've covered it with grapevine, faux black-eye susans and chrysanthemums and autumn leaves, as well as cotton ribbon.
Then, I decided to add two more trees to the display. I will be decorating them the same way, I am pretty sure. I also feel like I need to add something to the trees...Any ideas?

The basket has fall flowers and a gold-colored hankie.

To be continued...


Let's Do This Today!

If I had my child to raise all over again, I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.

I'd do less correcting, and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less, and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging, and less tugging.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I'd teach less about the love of power, and more about the power of love.
~ Diane Loomans


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Peppers Are These?

I was given these peppers today and was wondering if someone out there knows what kind they are? I am planning on roasting them with other vegetables...If they are sweet peppers, I also have some bell peppers in my garden and I will make salsa with those. Any other ideas?


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Super Commenter Award

Alexandra awarded me the Super Commenter Award. Thanks, Alexandra!!

In turn, I would like to award the following for their super comments:

Trish at Shades of Grey

Ruth at Vision and Revisions

Dawn at The Feathered Nest

Fall Nesting Week

Don't forget to check out The Inspired Room. It is "Fall Nesting Week" there, with links to many wonderful ideas for Fall decorating, a fun Give-Away (Gift Certificate to Barnes & Noble) and other great stuff!