Archive for September, 2008

Ten on Tuesday – 10 Things That Scare Me

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

The prompt this week for Ten on Tuesday

What are ten things that scare you/freak you out?

This is a really interesting prompt to me, because at one point in my life, I was very much a “scared-y cat.” As a child, I was afraid of:

  • The monster that lived under my bed. I could jump into bed from quite a distance so it wouldn’t have opportunity to grab me by my ankles.
  • The space creatures that could come in through shut windows to pull off my fingernails. A little school mate told me this story, and I believed her. I kept my curtains clothes pinned shut at night, thinking that if the malevolent creatures couldn’t see me, they would be less likely to bother me.
  • Any smoke in the sky. My mom said that as a child I was terribly frightened by a TV show about a house fire. I can’t think of any other reason for this fear.
  • Of course, I was afraid of the dark. I slept with a little light on in my room.
  • Mysterious, unexplainable noises in the nighttime could really get my heart pounding.
  • I sometimes had nightmares in which something unknown “tickled” me; I could feel this, and it really bothered me until I could wake up. Sometimes I feared going to sleep for dread of having this dream, or other bad dreams.
  • I was (and still am) afraid of heights. I become dizzy and feel as if I’m going to fall over the edge.
  • I was afraid of swimming in deep water, though I enjoy that now. I think that was connected with fear of heights. Fear of depths?
  • I was afraid to go upside-down, such as occurs in doing a somersault. I eventually overcame this fear, but still retained the sensation of “falling up” into the sky when I would do somersaults.
  • I was afraid of dying a bloody, violent death at the hands of a murderer. What a kid I was!

I am thankful to the Lord that He kept me safe throughout my fear-filled childhood, brought me to faith in Him when I was a young adult, and that He continues to care for me in this dangerous world. By His grace, my life is no longer ruled by fear. I rest in Him.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matthew 6:33,34.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 29th, 2008


For Today, September 29, 2008:

Outside my Window…Curtains are shut. It’s a dark autumn night – new moon – time for bed soon.

I am thinking…how enjoyable it is to interact with friends on the internet, after the day’s work is done.

From the learning rooms…As a paraeducator, my desire is that students would invest themselves in their own lives and learning, that they would love to learn.

I am thankful for…my godly husband and my dear family, for another day to be alive.

From the kitchen…We enjoyed a hearty vegetable chowder for dinner, with garlic toast.

I am wearing…a comfortable knit top and denim skirt.

I am reading…Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney.

I am hoping…always, to get more done than I have time or energy to do.

I am creating…this blog post. I created a nutritious dinner. Is that enough?

I am hearing…a quiet house. Just my husband and I are still awake.

Around the house…my husband and son-in-law have split and stacked loads of firewood!

One of my favorite things…time to relax at the end of a busy day.

I found this activity over at Tamy’s 3 Sides of Crazy blog. I liked her list so much I decided to join in on the fun! Thanks for the inspiration, Tamy!

Give Me Five Monday – 5 Favorite Things About Fall

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Becca at Becca’s Buzz is the hostess of Give Me Five Monday. Today she gives the following prompt:

Give Me Five Favorite Things About Fall

  1. After the first frost, the apples on the trees become so sweet! Some of our Pacific Northwest favorites are Fuji, Jonagold, McIntosh and Melrose.

  1. The cozy feeling of shorter daylight hours, crisp but not yet rainy weather, and a fire in the woodstove to stave off morning and evening chilliness.
  2. Traditional autumn desserts, such as apple crisp, pumpkin pie, and gingerbread.

  1. The perfect weather to serve hearty soups and stews, which are some of our favorite dinners.

  1. The harvest moon.

If you would like to participate, too, just follow these directions from Becca:


The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
Sign up for weekly reminder emails @

Tortilla Casserole

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Tortilla Casserole

(This is an adaptation of a recipe from the Betty Crocker’s Cook Book.)

1 pound ground beef (or 1 pound cooked chicken)

1 medium onion, chopped

½ green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

1 jar (8 ounces) green Mexican salsa (or any favorite salsa)

½ cup dairy sour cream

1 can (10 ¾ ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup

6 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips (I use tortilla chips instead of tortillas)

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

1 can refried beans

Mix some of the salsa with the refried beans, and spread in the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Top with the tortilla strips or tortilla chips.

Cook and stir ground beef, onion and bell pepper until beef is browned; drain off fat. Mix remaining salsa and cream of chicken soup with the ground beef mixture. (If you are using pre-cooked chicken, just sauté the onion and pepper, add the chicken, and then add the salsa and condensed soup.). Pour this over the tortilla chip layer.

Spread the sour cream gently over the casserole, and top with the shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until casserole is hot and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

We serve additional tortilla chips and plenty of salsa with this dish.

This family favorite is the dish I brought to our church fellowship meal today. Hope you enjoy it, too!

Making a List

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

One of the classes in which I assist students is an eighth grade language arts class. Currently the students are working on personal memoirs. When they free write to come up with ideas, the result is often a running narrative: “this happened, then this happened, then this other thing happened.” Of course, the final result is supposed to focus on a “So what?” moment, something really significant to the writer. The lead or introduction to the memoir should catch readers’ attention, perhaps with action, some great descriptive language, or perhaps dialogue. I recall telling students, “Remember, you’re not writing a grocery list. Don’t just list what happened!”

Oftentimes, though, in writing a post for this blog, I do employ a list! Tonight is one of those times; I am just so pleased with all that was accomplished today. Please bear with me while I list just a few of them; then I’ll reward you with some lovely photos which Rick took as we looked around outside this afternoon:

  • I ordered a shoe size measuring device (whatever they’re called!) a while back, and took it over to my mom’s. I measured her feet, and now know that her feet are two sizes smaller than she has been insisting they are, but she wins on the “extra wide” measurement. I’ll try ordering a better-fitting slipper shoe for her ASAP.
  • After helping my mom with various things, I purchased groceries, picked up a prescription, and dashed home – to be greeted by most of the children leaving to attend a high school football game (Our guys won, by the way!). Debra vacuumed the house while I tackled the dirty kitchen.
  • Outside, Darren and Rick had been splitting firewood, and Seth and Debra had been stacking it in the woodshed, while I had been running errands. Then, to warm my heart even further, Rick started neatening up the carport! That perennially messy-looking area has been something I’ve simply had to “let go of” in order to not fret about its “slummy-ness.” Nevertheless, I allowed myself to be pleased.
  • Once the kitchen was neat, I proceeded to mess it up again by baking Honey Whole Wheat Bread. A Home Economics teacher in junior high once taught me that you’re not a good cook unless you clean up afterwards, so, heedful of her wise advice, I cleaned up once again, so I could mess it up once again by making two Tortilla Casseroles, one for the church potluck tomorrow, and one for the children’s dinner tonight.
  • That was very nice of me, don’t you think, preparing a nice dinner for the youngun’s, before going out to dinner tonight? Rick and I went out to dinner with Darren and Laura to celebrate Darren finding a job so quickly after moving here from Vermont. We went to the Black Forest Restaurant in Everson – such good food! The guys enjoyed their steaks, medium-rare, while Laura and I enjoyed our schnitzel and potatoes, and red cabbage.
  • Bunches of laundry got done, in between. Our sheets were changed.
  • Family worship came next. We’re enjoying having Darren, Laura, little Diederick, and baby Carly. It reminds me of the old days when we had little ones (sniff!). Afterwards, the children worked on their lessons for Sunday School.
  • I proceeded to mess up and clean up the kitchen one more time, preparing Plantation Cake for dessert for the church potluck tomorrow. Whew!
  • To reward myself for being profitably busy today, I marched right on over to the study to do this blog post.

Some of Rick’s grapes, ripening on the vine, looking beautiful.

I love these zinnias. They just keep blooming and blooming. Rick planted them from seeds early in the Spring.

Here’s a photo of Rick and me, lovin’ the afternoon sun and the stroll around the yard. It’s looking so nice!

Love through the generations

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Rick’s mom loved holding her great-granddaughter, Carly (Laura and Darren’s 4-month old daughter) during the time she and Dad Taron were here for the wedding. As you can see from the expression on Carly’s face, she was quite enamored of her great-gramma as well. <3

A Couple Wedding Pics

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This picture was snapped just prior to the wedding, while the professional photographers were busy getting all the poses. I like this photo because it captures a little of Sarah and Justin’s joy. 🙂

Here is another pre-wedding photo of Grampa and Gramma Taron, and me behind them. Grampa, who is 85 years old, drove here from Marin County, California, hauling a 5th-wheel trailer. We just had a call from them this evening that they arrived back home safe, though not completely “sound”; poor Gramma contracted the terrible cough that has been lingering here. 🙁

Hopefully I will soon receive some nicer photos from Sarah and Justin to post on the old blog-ola.

Thursday 13 – The Name Game

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

For this week’s Thursday 13 post I’m using this quiz I found a while back at

1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car)
Turtle Suzuki

2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe)
Vanilla Merrell Slide

3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal)
Forest Green Dog

4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born)
Marie Phoenix

5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name)
Tarjo (married name) – This could be my Target frequent shopper name, too, or

Schjo (maiden name) – The fancy-schmancey way to say “Joe” in Star Wars-ese?

6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
Blue Coffee – Appropriate!

7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers)
Weinand Liston or Liston Weinand

8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Green Tea Chocolate

9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Church Chicago

10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Sunflower

11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now)
Blueberry Crinkle Skirt

12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Granola Vine Maple

13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived)
Turtle One-Seventy-Second

Some Goodies From Storyteller

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

My blogging buddy, the author of Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations, goes by the moniker Storyteller. She is a most faithful giver of encouraging comments. Not only that. She is the giver of fun graphics! Here is one she just gave some of her friends, including me (THANK YOU, Storyteller!) which she created herself:

Here is another which I’ve been waiting to post for some reason, which I love:

Also, today Storyteller took a blogthings quiz which she invited her readers to take as well. Here’s my result. Are you surprised?

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times…
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you’re carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you
What Season Are You?

Some Pictures!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

This summer we enjoyed a visit from our friends Sam and Anna who live in Ireland. To my delight, Anna recently emailed me some lovely photos from this visit. Here you see Anna and Sam. I believe this photo was taken in British Columbia somewhere. I must ask Anna for the specifics:

Here is a portrait of some of our family, snapped by Sam:

To the right you see our daughter Sarah and Justin, her then-fiance, but now-husband. Here’s another shot including the two of them. This was on an outing that we all took with Sam and Anna: