Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Friday, 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!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Friday, 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

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 16, 2010

Outside my Window…nighttime, breezy and a brisk 46 degrees.

I am thinking…it’s too late to be blogging, but I’m doing it anyhow, after playing all my ‘Scrabble’ moves on Facebook, and reading everyone else’s news.

From the learning rooms…I owe sweet rolls to some of the students with whom I work for earning perfect scores on their math work. This is quite an accomplishment for kids who have trouble learning.

I am thankful for…my daughters doing the dishes tonight, even though they are busy, too.

From the kitchen…I made homemade whole wheat bread tonight, and Lydia made some delicious no bake cookies for dessert.

I am wearing…jeans and a cozy sweater top.

I am reading…recently finished reading The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer. I learned a lot about William the Conqueror who became King of England in 1066. I had to move out of my ‘comfort zone’ to read a book so full of bloodshed and human suffering. Perhaps the fact that one of my favorite authors wrote the book helped me to stick with it.

I am hoping…to feel better tomorrow, as I’m finally sick with the cold and sore throat that’s making the rounds of our family.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the jingle of a kitty’s bell as she runs around upstairs.

Around the house…a forsythia bush is planted, and two box bushes. My friend who has a small nursery business will have lavender for sale soon, which I want to purchase and plant as well.

One of my favorite things…is relaxing at the end of the day by playing word games such as Scrabble online.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow I’m going to an awards ceremony for two of our high school girls. On Thursday our youngest son has AAU basketball practice, and on Friday his choir travels to be judged on their performance.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This family portrait is about three years old now. Guess it’s time to get another one done!

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

Saturday, March 6th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 6, 2010

Outside my Window…Though it’s a chilly 36 degrees outside, I see a cheery robin hopping about, looking for his breakfast. There’s a gentle breeze trembling the new leaves of the wild plum bushes, and, best of all, BLUE SKIES!

I am thinking…that it’s much easier to compose a blog post in Word, but I will have to wait for one of my computer-savvy sons to set this up for me again. We had to reinstall Word, and now I’m quite inconvenienced. 😛

From the learning rooms…I have been learning more about the life and times of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, who successfully claimed the English throne in 1066.

I am thankful for…Such a beautiful day, and a little extra time off from school for the children (and me, too!). Our high school sent both boys’ and girls’ basketball teams to the State competition, so all students had Thursday and Friday off to accommodate all the families who attend the State competition.

From the kitchen…I won’t be cooking dinner tonight, since we plan to go out to one of our favorite restaurants tonight, the North Fork Brewery. Those who stay home will have leftover Tortilla Casserole. I prepared both ground beef and vegetarian versions of that dish last night.

I am wearing…jammies (lazy morning).

I am reading…The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer. What kind of woman was a perfect match for such an indomitable man? Read this interesting, fast-paced and historically accurate novel to find out.

I am hoping…that grandchildren Diederick, Carly and Koen are getting over their bad colds, and that their mommy Laura is feeling better, too.

I am creating… this blog post.

I am hearing…Seth and Debra watching an old episode of Chuck on the computer. I enjoy watching the show as well, which is a sort of combination of Get Smart and Mission Impossible.

Around the house…Daughter Rebecca and I did some weeding, and Seth pruned the apple trees, so the yard is looking better. It is high time for the first lawn mowing of the year to happen, but the mower hasn’t had its cleaning and tune-up yet.

One of my favorite things…is a quiet morning at home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Since I’m posting this on Saturday, what can I say except I’m looking forward to Sunday School and church on Sunday, and to seeing daughter Lydia, who has been at State with friend Courtney and her family.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This photo of Lydia and Seth is fairly recent. This past Monday, Seth turned 14; Happy Birthday, Seth! 🙂

This photo of Seth was taken 13 years ago. As you can see, his computer literacy began at a young age.

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!

Eight Things

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I saw this meme over at 4everMom’s blog. She also included the category 8 Shows I Watch on TV, but I don’t watch TV. That’s a good thing, since I spend plenty of time relaxing online as it is!


8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

  1. More time to clean the house during the summer.
  2. More time to prepare meals during the summer.
  3. Being warm during the summer. It seemed like a long winter this year!
  4. Attending a Quince anos party for the first time.
  5. Going sailing in my husband’s little 12 foot Pelican sailboat, strictly as a passenger, though. And, please let it be on a lake, not the sound.
  6. The children’s help during the summer to declutter the house a bit more.
  7. I hope we can afford to travel to California to visit Grampa and Gramma Taron this summer.
  8. Someday, somehow, I want to sew or purchase new curtains for the house.


8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Worked at the middle school from 9am until 1pm.
  2. Grabbed a quick lunch at home and visited with my husband.
  3. Drove to Lynden to pick up my mom from her home to take her for a doctor visit.
  4. Did some shopping for my mom, and grocery shopping for us.
  5. Did a Simple Woman’s blog post, after not writing on my blog for a while.
  6. Played Lexulous, a Scrabble-take off, on Facebook.
  7. Prepared yummy hamburgers for dinner, which Rick cooked on the barbeque. Yum!
  8. Did my usual stretching exercises before bed.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. It would be lovely to have the energy level and stamina that I had in my 20s and 30s.
  2. Someday I would like to get back into practicing a musical instrument. I especially enjoy acoustic guitar and soprano recorder. I no longer have the breath for French horn or flute.
  3. I would like to get back into sewing, too. One problem is that I prefer to move around rather than sit. Guess that means I won’t get back into doing embroidery.
  4. I would like to work outside more. I’m focusing on doing inside work first.
  5. It’s difficult to think of things I “wish” I could do, since I am so very privileged to have already received the desires of my heart: a godly husband, and nine children who love the Lord. I have as well God’s assurance in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to those who love Him.
  6. I wish to be a useful, compassionate person for as long as God grants me life.
  7. I wish to be a good gramma who doesn’t butt into her grown kids’ lives too much, but just enough so they know that I care about them.
  8. I wish to see all our kids make wise, godly decisions as to whom they marry.


I realize that my “wish I could do” list changed to a “thankful for” and “looking forward to” list, but that’s what you get.


How about you? Would you like to participate in the Eight Things meme?

Hanging Tomato Plant Project

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Good evening, dear readers!

We are enjoying the most delightful spring weather here. Daughter Rebecca and I took the old doggie out for a walk on the old dump road this evening. Though the unfurled leaves still have that light ‘spring green’ tint, you can just feel that warmer, summery days are on the way. Ah! I feel so privileged to live amidst all this freshness and beauty.

This is just a quick post at day’s end. Life has been busy, but I’ve not been writing much about it. One of my friends, though, requested that I post a picture of one of the hanging baskets with a wee tomato seedling peeking out the BOTTOM of the pot. Hopefully this tiny seedling will grow and prosper. It sounds like a fun way to grow tomatoes, so I hope this works!


Do you see the bitty little seedling?

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, April 27th, 2009


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…April 27, 2009

Outside my Window…is a mild, spring evening. The breeze trembling the leaves is also blowing in some clouds, which may bring us some rain later on this evening. I notice that my favorite dogwood tree is starting to blossom!

I am thinking…how much we are enjoying spring this year. It was longer in coming, is milder than usual, and is staying cool longer. Rick and the children have really kept up with yard and gardening chores thus far.

From the learning rooms…We are almost done with the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) at our middle school. We all will rejoice to get back to business as usual. This is quite a stressful time for everyone, especially the students, who generally seem to have given their best effort.

I am thankful for…solemn thoughts of life’s transience, from Sunday’s sermon and from conversation with a dear 86 year old woman who was visiting at church this past Sunday. She was obviously cheerful, resting her many cares upon the Lord, but she told me she does get lonely. Of her eight brothers, only one is still living, and two of her sisters died this past year. You could tell she had a thankful heart still, in her loss, and her infirmities (She has gone blind as she has aged.) and that was a blessing to me.

From the kitchen…daughter Rebecca made some soft molasses cookies which are too tasty. I am typing this as I wait for a batch of Honey Whole Wheat bread dough to rise.

I am wearing…black skirt, red long-sleeved top, and multi-colored overblouse. It’s still cool enough here for leggings as well.

I am reading…Schooled by Gordon Korman, one of our 13-year old son’s favorite books at the moment. As you might guess, the story is set in a middle school. The main character, however, is not at all typical. Up until the story begins, he has been home schooled by his grandmother on an old hippie commune. How does he do in school? Read the book and see!

I am hoping…to read a bit more of the book this evening.

I am creating…homemade bread and finishing up the laundry.

I am hearing…the hum of my husband’s computer behind me.

Around the house…Next week I’ll try to post a picture of the cute hanging plant boxes which my husband planted. Flowers are on top, and little tomato plants are growing out holes he drilled in the bottom of the planters. These planters are hanging up around the back deck, where they are receiving extra warmth and are sheltered from rain. Maybe we’ll get nice, red, vine-ripened tomatoes this year!

One of my favorite things…is relaxing at home with my family at the end of a busy day.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…This is one of those uber busy weeks when I work half a day each day, and then need to go out every evening to a variety of appointments and activities. That’s why I just had to get bread baked tonight, even though it’s a tad on the late side. Homemade bread, toasted is one of our favorite breakfasts.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…


This photo was taken 38 years ago, when I was about the same age as daughter Rebecca.

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!

Blogging This and That

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

This poor blog! I have not been posting very often, and I’m trying to figure out why. I think there is not just one cause, but a number of them, that have contributed to this sorry state of affairs.

  1. Like almost everyone out there, real life has been keeping me busier than usual.
  2. I have been conscientious about doing work in the here-and-now before doing this lovely creative work of writing a blog post.
  3. We have had so much sickness this winter/spring season. This means extra cleaning and laundry, or just not being able to do as much if I am the sickie.
  4. I think I got burned out doing the blog everyday thing with Blog 365 and just wanted to know that I really am not obligated to blog every day.
  5. For recreation, I have been spending more time on Facebook, keeping track of what friends are up to, and playing word games, and spending less time blogging. (If you are on Facebook, and especially if you enjoy playing Scrabble-type games, please add me as a friend!)
  6. Ever since the camera that I was comfortable using drowned in a lake (sigh!), my supply of pictures has decreased dramatically. We have only an old, persnickety, unreliable camera. My husband does know how to make it behave, so I must ask him to snap some photos for me. Without photos, I can’t participate in Wordful Wednesday or Photostory Friday, two of my favorites.

Well, there are lots of things I want to blog about, so, since I started this post with a list, I’ll continue in that manner. At least I can check back to this post to remind myself what to write about later!

  1. I need a picture of the designer laptop bag that I received today from If you want to know what it looks like, go to their website and look for MS1412 Messenger Bag. Mine is the one with stripes. Founders and designers of the bags, Emily and Helena McHugh, provided this lovely item as a ‘Giveaway’ on my friend Grace’s blog, Sandier Pastures: Desert Living, Dubai Style. I still cannot believe that I won this lovely laptop bag. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Grace!
  2. Some pictures of the seeds sprouting on our living room window ledge need to be taken and posted. I told my friend Susiej, who sent me the seeds so that I could plant a Victory Garden of sorts, that I would do that. My husband is the one with the green thumb, so he is doing this project. If you are interested, you can also join the effort to grow a garden for your family’s use, and give the remainder to your local food bank. Susie is sponsoring this project.
  3. My blogging friend Linda of Remote Treechanger, nominated me for an award that I would like to accept. Linda lives in a remote area of Australia, and has interesting tales to tell of living simply in an area where you cannot just run to the store for everything. She reads and recommends interesting blogs from all over the world, so do check her out if you would like to peek at everyday life in other countries.
  4. I want to do some creative writing again. A poem is percolating somewhere, I just know it. I think it needs a digital photo for inspiration (hint, hint!).

Since I’m too tired to stay awake much longer, I bid you adieu! Thanks for stopping by for a virtual visit!

Wordful Wednesday – a Seedy Prize

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by Angie of SevEn cLoWn CirCuS

This week for Wordful Wednesday I just have to share about a wonderful gift I won from my blogging pal, SusieJ.

Last month, Susie had a drawing for $10 worth of seeds from the W. Atlee Burpee Co. The packet includes:

  1. Bush snap beans
  2. Bibb lettuce
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Big Top carrots, which grow up to 8″ long
  5. Super Snappy garden peas
  6. Steak sandwich tomatoes, which produce 10 ounce fruits

Of course to go with my prize seeds I went out and purchased a seed starting tray and some Seed Starting Jiffy Mix. I know the perfect place in the house for this project. By Friday I should have a picture of our living room bay window, transformed into a seed starting station, for Photostory Friday!

This give-away is part of Susie’s effort to encourage folks to take charge of their grocery bills by growing their own fresh produce, as much as possible. Further, she is encouraging us to donate any surplus produce to our local food banks. If you would like to broadcast this effort, just grab a button from Susie’s blog, then blog about it, and grow your garden!

Thank you, Susie, for the seeds. I’m very excited to get started. Usually, we purchase seedlings to plant in the garden, but I think I can do this!




Simple Woman’s Daybook

Sunday, March 15th, 2009


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 15, 2009

Outside my Window…It will soon be dark on this breezy, chill Sunday. We experienced some slushy rain or wet snow early in the day that didn’t stay, but the foothills did keep their fresh coating of snow. Since I am feeling a bit chilled myself, I’m not venturing out for a walk this late in the day, but will continue to appreciate the warmth emanating from our woodstove.

I am thinking…of the sermon we heard this morning on James 1:2-4,

‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.’

The world thinks that joy comes from avoiding trials, which makes sense if the goal of one’s life is to be comfortable, healthy and wealthy.

For the Christian, trials are part of one’s sanctification. Though trials are not ‘good’, in and of themselves, they are used of God to:

  1. Deepen our trust in God
  2. Build our character
  3. Teach us discipline, and
  4. Make us more like Christ

From the learning rooms…We para educators at the Middle School are going to receive some training on the 16 ‘Habits of Mind’ of successful learners. At this point, I will simply list the ‘Habits of Mind’ for you:

  1. Persisting
  2. Managing Impulsivity
  3. Listening with understanding and empathy
  4. Thinking flexibly
  5. Metacognition (Thinking About Thinking)
  6. Striving for Accuracy
  7. Questioning and Posing Problems
  8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  10. Gathering Data Through All Senses
  11. Creating, Imagining, Innovating
  12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  13. Taking Responsible Risks
  14. Finding Humor
  15. Thinking Interdependently
  16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

(This list is from an article by Arthur L. Costa.)

I am thankful for…time to think and reflect, a quiet evening, our dog lying companionably at my feet, and so many more things. The rest of the family are at church this evening, while the two daughters just recovering from flu and I remain at home. I think I’m still well. Every so often I get really chilled, so am trying not to get to close to others, and am washing everything on ‘hot.’

From the kitchen…Today was a ‘day off’ for me, thanks to daughter Laura who showed hospitality to all the members of the family who are well, plus some out-of-town friends who are here for a visit. (Hi, Shawn and Tammy! I enjoyed seeing you this morning at church, and visiting with you both a bit there.)

I am wearing…typical attire for Sunday and this time of year. My clothing themes are COMFORTABLE and MODEST. OK. Here you have it: I’m wearing a deep red stretchy Tee with a black/red/white low-waisted over-blouse, dressy black long-ish skirt, and black leggings.

I am reading…The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook. Think: Lose the 3 Ps:

  1. Processed foods
  2. Packaged foods
  3. Prepared foods

There’s a lot more to the book, but that’s how far I am into it, and must say I feel like I’m learning some valuable information. I have always thought of us as eating a healthful diet, but there’s room for improvement!

I am hoping…to stay well. Each of the children has been sick with this terrible flu. I don’t want it! This is a trial I do not wish to welcome!

I am creating…lots of vegetarian dishes lately (though The Life Force Diet is not a vegetarian book). I personally am cutting back on all animal products, but especially dairy products, to seek to gain control of my slightly ‘over’ blood cholesterol level.

I am hearing…the quiet hum of my husband’s computer, and a daughter coughing upstairs. Did I mention that this flu ends up with a body-wracking, headache-inducing cough? Poor kids.

Around the house…things are looking neat. We’ve been doing some extra cleaning to try to make this a healthier environment. Outside, my husband has the fruit trees pruned. I’ve asked the children to think about what they want planted in our garden this year. My favorite fresh garden veggies are broccoli, zucchini, and leeks. I think we’re also planning on Romaine lettuce and tomatoes. Tomatoes take a lot of TLC to prosper in our cool, short, damp growing season, but we’re going to give it a try!

One of my favorite things…is playing Lexulous on Facebook. This is a spelling game like Scrabble. If you notice that posts have been scarce lately, well…I’ve been relaxing playing Lexulous at the end of a busy day rather than blogging.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow I’ll try to schedule a doctor visit for our 13-year old son to see how badly he injured his nose while (unsuccessfully) doing a flip on a friend’s trampoline late Friday. I was told there was lots and lots of blood, yet he sounded fairly calm when he called home to tell us about the mishap. It didn’t seem like an emergency room issue at the time, but his nose is swollen, and he assures me that it still hurts. So…We’ll see what the doctor has to say.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…


This is an old family photo taken at Rick’s parents’ place many summers ago. Five of the children are grown now. Only the youngest four are still at home, and the youngest is 13 years old, and taller than me now.

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!