Simple Woman’s Daybook

January 25th, 2011


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…January 25, 2011

Outside my Window…Nighttime and nippy. No snow, though. Wonder if we’ll receive any more this winter?

I am thinking…It’s amazing that I’m doing a blog post again! I need to stay up late to pick up our youngest son after his “away” basketball game, so I have the perfect opportunity to write a little something.

From the learning rooms…I have been learning about exponential equations in the 8th grade math class in which I assist. We’ve also been reviewing scientific notation. This is so much fun!

I am thankful for…each member of our dear family. We’re at that stage in life where the kids are young adults, each one choosing his or her own way. We may need to think about down-sizing soon!

From the kitchen…I tried quite a delicious quiche recipe lately which called for feta cheese and broccoli.

I am wearing…a favorite long-sleeved purple sweater and a black skirt.

I am reading…(just finished re-reading) a favorite novel by Georgette Heyer entitled Frederica.

I am hoping…to bake two birthday cakes for our twin daughters. Laura wants German Chocolate Cake and Sarah wants Carrot Cake. We plan to celebrate their birthdays early, this coming Saturday.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…Rebecca and Lydia talking in the dining room, with their music in the background.

Around the house…We’ve had so much rain, so things are muddy and mossy. Our lawn is almost more moss than grass, it seems.

One of my favorite things…is straightening up the house at the end of the day. It’s cheering to awaken to an orderly house (for me, at least).

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I need to visit my elderly mom at the Christian Health Care Center, and run errands after that. High school basketball is also on the agenda, since both Lydia and Seth are participating.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Our darling grandsons, photo by their mommy, Laura

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

November 19th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…November 19, 2010

Outside my Window…The thermometer tells me it’s 28 degrees tonight, and I see that the wind is blowing from the northeast. Wintery weather is upon us! When I step outside, I can smell the snow that fell on the foothills recently.

I am thinking…that in just two weeks, daughter Rebecca will be home from Costa Rica! She has been volunteering in a small school, helping to teach English to 3rd grade school students. Daughter Kayla plans to come home for a visit in about one month!

From the learning rooms…I am enjoying helping in the 8th grade math classroom so much. When I was in school many years ago, I think the method was to simply teach formulas, rather than the reasons behind the math. Currently we have been learning about the Pythagorean Theorem. Solving problems using the theorem is very enjoyable, and possibly more fun than playing word games, which is one of my favorite leisure activities.

I am thankful for…safety for daughter Lydia on the icy roads this morning. Her car did some serious skidding on the way to the community college, but she made it there and back safe and sound.

From the kitchen…Our son-in-law brought over some traditional German dumpling soup for us to enjoy. Mmmm, good, especially on a chilly evening.

I am wearing…two layers of cozy clothing.

I am reading…(going to start reading tonight) a book recommended to me by daughter Rebecca, The Man In The Brown Suit by Agatha Christie. She assures me that it won’t be too scary for me, so I’m eager to begin!

I am hoping…the roads won’t get too bad, as snow is definitely being expected.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the washer on spin cycle, the northeaster blowing, and the hum of the computer.

Around the house…it’s looking more and more like late autumn. Only a few leaves still cling to deciduous boughs, and very few annuals remain. The yard is getting a swept-clean look from the gusting winds.

One of my favorite things…is everyone getting home at the end of a busy day. We’re still awaiting Lydia’s return from basketball practice this evening.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow morning I’m on kitchen duty at the high school, to help prepare the dinner which will benefit the choir students’ activities. We plan to serve ham with pineapple sauce, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, salad, rolls and dessert. I’ll bake some dessert at home to take along.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This was my father-in-law’s “home” 66 years ago when he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He recently sent this photo to daughter Lydia, who interviewed him about his experiences during World War II. I thought this photo was appropriate, because I’ve been talking so much about snow. For us, snow is something unusual, something we look forward to, but sometimes it can be a trial and hardship, as it was for Grampa Taron and the other soldiers.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

October 6th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…October 6, 2010

Outside my Window…the leaves are beginning to change color, while the ferns are especially lush and green. I notice lots of wild mushrooms springing up in the lawn, and the late blackberries along the roadside are still edible.

I am thinking…of the blessings of sufficient food and clothing, and adequate shelter. I am also sad to think of those who do not have these blessings.

From the learning rooms…I’m very much looking forward to reading a book by Barbara Coloroso entitled The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. This book is of special interest to me because I work in a middle school setting, and want the best for all the students.

I am thankful for…a happy home.

From the kitchen…I want to make Apple Dumplings again soon.

I am wearing…cozy clothing. It’s sweater weather here.

I am reading…(just finished reading) another excellent book by Georgette Heyer: The Nonesuch.

I am hoping…friends and family who are ill will feel better soon.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…my youngest son and his friend doing their homework at the dining room table.

Around the house…is green, green grass. Our recent rains have really contributed to this lush, fresh look.

One of my favorite things…is connecting with friends and family on Facebook. The result? A neglected blog.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I plan to bake sweet rolls on Saturday for a friend’s belated birthday gift. I’m also trying to stay more on-track with preparing nutritious meals for the family. So, I plan to spend more time in the kitchen.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Our youngest son, Seth

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Very easy, cheesy soup

October 5th, 2010

Cheese and Potato Soup with Corn

(This recipe is taken from The Starving Students Vegetarian Cookbook by Dede Hall.)


2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth

1 medium onion, chopped (or ¼ cup dehydrated onion)

1 14.75-ounce can cream style corn

2 cups instant mashed potatoes (such as Betty Crocker)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 cups milk (I use canned milk.)

Salt and pepper, to taste


In large saucepan, add vegetable broth, chopped onion, and creamed corn. Cook at medium heat just until soup starts to boil.

Turn heat to low, cover pan, and cook 5 minutes. Turn heat off.

Stir in potatoes until well blended. Then add cheese, milk, and salt and pepper.

Cook over lowest heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and soup is rich and creamy.

This recipe makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

August 13th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…August 13, 2010

Outside my Window…nighttime, summer, cooling down to 68 degrees, sweet blackberry dreams.

I am thinking…of our three youngest children who are on a train to California to visit Grampa and Gramma. It’s a 23-hour trip. Hope they’re not too saddle-sore from so much sitting. They told me this morning that the train is a double-decker, and they are sitting on top.

From the learning rooms…I finished reading Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina. One of the rules that has me worried is: The brain doesn’t pay attention to boring things. Does that mean that poor students who are mainly interested in watching TV and playing games are doomed to mediocrity? School work certainly doesn’t interest them. I’ll have to cogitate on this.

I am thankful for…the guidance of God’s Word. I’m thinking especially of attitudes here, and being genuine from the inside-out. Still plenty of learning and growing needed here.

From the kitchen…Eskimo Blueberry Upside-down Cake

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

5 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons flour

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 quart blueberries (or, try other berry varieties!)

1 cup sugar

Whipping cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one egg at a time, then add the salt, flour baking powder, milk and vanilla, mixing with mixer until creamy. Pour into greased (extra large) sheet cake pan.

Distribute berries over batter, and sprinkle remaining one cup sugar over all. Bake for one hour. Cool and serve with whipping cream.

I am wearing…clothing that was too warm for this hot day, but I was too lazy to change into something cooler once the morning warmed up. No problem. It’s pajama time.

I am reading…Barren Corn by Georgette Heyer. I just checked the book out today, so have nothing to report yet. I do enjoy this author very much, though.

I am hoping…for good weather for the Northwest Washington Fair, which begins on Monday.

I am creating…Well, I actually sewed something, a rare occurrence. Daughter Rebecca found a pattern from my teen years and requested that I make it for her. The picture follows. It’s one of those tent dresses from the 1960s!

I am hearing…a quiet house. I miss our traveling children, including daughter Kayla who is due home from her summer in Europe soon.

Around the house…The little veggie garden has been doing well. Latest offerings have been green beans and zucchini. The cauliflower was excellent, but the broccoli looks sparse.

One of my favorite things…is playing word games such as Lexulous on Facebook instead of blogging. Maybe since it’s so terribly quiet here tonight, I’m finally settling down to writing a blog post.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I hope to help on the clean-up crew for the food booth our school Music Booster’s has at the NW WA Fair.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Cell phone pic. Pixels. But cute dress, no?

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

An Easy Appetizer

July 18th, 2010

This traditional Southern pastry is cheesy and spicy. Yum!

Cheese Straws (from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock)


1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper.

Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out ¼ inch thick, and cut into strips ¼ inch wide and 4 to 6 inches in length. Place the strips on ungreased cookie sheets ½ inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Cool completely, and store in airtight containers. “Cheese straws improve as the flavors mellow, so make them a day before serving, if possible,” state the cookbook authors.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

July 6th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…July 6, 2010

Outside my Window…a temperate summer evening, after one of the first warm days of the season. It’s only about 62 degrees outside, but feels balmy compared to the cool, damp weather we’ve been experiencing.

I am thinking…summer school session begins next week already! How quickly these vacation days are flying by.

From the learning rooms…I ordered the book Brain Rules by John Medina, but have not yet started reading it.

I am thankful for…an enjoyable visit recently with our two oldest sons. We belatedly celebrated Mitch’s 24th, since we were in California visiting my husband’s folks on the actual date. Fun times!

From the kitchen…What better way to enjoy warm weather than with a barbeque? My new favorite marinade for steak is this easy recipe from Betty Crocker:

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon chopped ginger root

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon sugar

I am wearing…short sleeved floral print top, jeans and flip-flops.

I am reading…Emma by Jane Austen. Emma is not such a likeable girl for much of the book, and I find myself growing quite tired of her matchmaking schemes. Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma is more likeable than the Emma of the book, I think. I’m trying to be patient, though, and give the original Emma a chance to speak for herself.

I am hoping…the blogging friend Rick, Debra and I visited on our way to see Grampa and Gramma will take us up on our offer of hospitality and come to visit.

I am creating…my first blog post in a long time.

I am hearing…owls hooting outside. Love that lonely sound.

Around the house…the vibrant green of Pacific Northwest foliage was almost electric today as SUN was shining through the leaves. Ah, beautiful summer!

One of my favorite things…is being useful and happy right here and now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I want to go to the farmers’ market in Bellingham tomorrow when Deb and I go into town for an appointment. I’m after rhubarb and strawberries. You can just imagine what I want them for.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Daughter Rebecca before her high school graduation ceremony!

Graduation and Beyond

June 10th, 2010

It’s been two-and-a-half months since I’ve posted on the old blog-ola. I simply must break the ice and start posting again, even if it’s only a list of mama-bragging:

  • Dear daughter Kayla and her best friend Emmy Lou left today for the Mediterranean, to spend three months traveling in Europe. Kayla has taken her watercolors, paper and pens and hopes to keep an artistic diary of the trip. Have a memorable adventure, Dearie, but keep your wits about you at all times.
  • Son Seth graduates from 8th grade this evening and will be singing an original song during the ceremony. Congratulations, Seth!
  • Daughter Rebecca graduates from high school tomorrow evening. Additionally, she has already completed one year of studies at the community college, medical tech prep, and Certified Nursing Assistant studies. Way to go, Sweetie!
  • Daughter Lydia has been accepted as a Running Start student, so as an 11th grader she will begin her full-time college studies in the fall. She tested in at English 101.
  • Daughter Debra has decided to attend the community college on a part-time basis in the fall, having tested in at English 100 level. She plans to continue with her volunteer work at our local library.


Don’t let me get started talking about the grandchildren, or telling you about the adventures of my rascally old mom who recently moved to a full-care nursing facility. This wee post may suffice for now.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

April 23rd, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…April 23, 2010

Outside my Window…I see a typical Pacific Northwest evening. It’s generally overcast, and a slight breeze is trembling the fresh, spring leaves. It’s only 50 degrees this evening, with rain every so often.

I am thinking…it’s unusual to be at home all alone, except for the company of the doggy and the kitties. Rick and Seth are off to a basketball game, and the girls are having a movie night. I’m still recovering from a cough, so am enjoying the quiet evening.

From the learning rooms…I learned in 6th grade science that cancer cells are our own cells that don’t die when they should. They just keep replicating, so they are “immortal” in a way, but good for nothing, since they no longer do the work they used to do. Sort of zombie cells. Yuck!

I am thankful for…a quiet life, removed from the violence of crime. I’ve been helping 8th grade students research social issues such as child abuse and gang violence, so have been learning more (than I want to know) about all the ill effects of sin in this world.

From the kitchen…Since everyone is out tonight, I’ll just snack for dinner. Last night I baked bread, though, and I plan to bake an almond paste dessert tomorrow.

I am wearing…blue jeans and cozy knit top. It’s not warm here yet.

I am reading…(going to read) a book I just selected off my girls’ bookshelf: Switched by Jessica Wollman, a sort of Prince and the Pauper-type story. Sounds like a fun read! I recently finished Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers. She writes so well, and the book gave me a lot to think about, but I don’t enjoy meditating upon human depravity. Switched sounds like the light read I’m looking for.

I am hoping…the girls have a great time together tonight.

I am creating…this blog post in my quiet house.

I am hearing…the dog panting, and the computer humming. That’s about it.

Around the house…Tomorrow I plan to weed flower beds and buy a few more bedding plants. Hope it doesn’t rain!

One of my favorite things…is quiet time to read.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Saturday is our deep-cleaning day, so that’s what’s on the agenda for tomorrow. I hope to prepare a nice meal for tomorrow and bake a dessert.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Yours truly, at the computer

Spiritual Sundays

April 18th, 2010

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” – Micah 6:8

In this verse I find such assurance that our God is a good God. The way that He expects us to treat others says so much about Him.

  • We are not to take advantage of others. Rather we are to do what is just and fair.
  • We are to love mercy. Wow! This is contrary to the human tendency to pay back and retaliate. Rather, the Lord wants us to show kindness to those who don’t deserve it. This is what He does for us.

Also, the Lord says that we are to walk humbly with Him. I take this to mean that He wants me to:

  • Take Him at His Word; believe Him!
  • Believe that He means what He says; obey Him!

May the Lord enable us, with the eyes of faith, to know, love and appreciate Him more.

How about you, dear blogging friends? Would you like to participate in Spiritual Sundays, too? Just read about it and link up at Charlotte and Ginger’s Spiritual Sundays site.