Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Tuesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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!

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

Random Dozen

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Thanks to Linda from 2nd cup of coffee for this meme

1. Define a great relationship.

For a relationship to be truly great, there has to be an underlying unity – in spirituality, in morality, in interests, in goals. It’s possible to be kind and loving towards many different kinds of people, but to have mutual give-and-take of love and friendship, there must be a foundation of unity.

2. Why is it called a “drive-through” if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)

I’m partial to the taco salad at Taco Bell, but after watching Food, Inc. recently, I may swear off all fast food (especially the meat).

3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs … what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)

We had a wonderful dog years ago which was a Newfoundland/German Shepherd mix. That’s my favorite “breed” so far.

4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?

Sometimes my husband and I say that “someday” we’ll live in a camper van and just travel the entire U.S. Who knows?

5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

I am from a dysfunctional family, but I like the person I am now. Though life was scary, it helped to make me the person I am today. However, I wish my younger sister and brothers had been safer from harm.

6. Who’s the funniest person you know?

My children can really get me laughing. Hmm. Difficult to narrow it down to one person.

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?

I’m blessed to be able to fall asleep easily, and fall back to sleep easily. I think it’s due to all the practice I had caring for our children when they were babies. I do enjoy staying up too late, so I probably didn’t get an optimal amount of sleep last night, but it was enough.

8. What’s the first thing you thought about this morning?

Making the coffee!!!

9. Grilled or Fried? –HONESTLY

Definitely grilled, especially if my husband is the one doing the grilling.

10. Are you afraid of the dark?

Yes. We live far enough out in the country that on rare occasions mountain lions and/or bears wander around. I don’t want to be out in the dark with a possibly mean critter sneaking up on me.

11. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a mommy, and I’m so thankful that I got my wish! I gave parenting my all, and am happy with the results so far.

12. If you had one word to describe yourself, what would you choose?

LOVE: I am loved, and I love.

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!

Ten Favourite Free Things meme

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Ten Favourite Free Things:

My blogging friend Linda of Simply Living Modestly tagged me for this meme. She has lots of great ideas for getting back to basics in homemaking, so do please check out her blog.

  • I enjoy taking the dog for a walk, especially if one or more of the children accompany me.
  • Going to the library is another favorite free activity.
  • Taking the time to prepare a wholesome, delicious meal isn’t exactly ‘free’, but it’s much cheaper than going out to eat.
  • I enjoy playing card and board games with the children.
  • I enjoy listening to my husband talk.
  • I enjoy going sailing with my husband, if the weather is warm!
  • I enjoy the creative things the children do, such as drawing, painting and singing.
  • Interacting with friends on Facebook and through blogging are favorite free activities.
  • Playing with my grandchildren is fun and free.
  • Reading is great. Lately, I am really into wanting to read all of Jane Austen’s books.

There you have my list. I would like to tag my friend Susan of A Life of Grace to be the next participant in this meme.

Simple Woman’s Day Book

Monday, January 4th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…January 4, 2010

Outside my Window…is typical Pacific Northwest winter weather: rain. It’s not too terribly cold – 38 degrees – and there’s a wonderful freshness to the air, mixed with the aroma of wood smoke.

I am thinking…this is my first post for the New Year and the new decade. I wish you a Happy and blessed New Year! We stayed up late playing games as a family, and then ran outside to shout, “Happy New Year!” at the proper moment.

From the learning rooms…I want to brush up on world geography. The sixth graders with whom I work are my inspiration; some of them are excelling at this.

I am thankful for…another year to be alive, in the company of my loving family and friends. I want to spend the year well, to God’s glory.

From the kitchen…I have a new favorite cookbook, Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook
by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Here is the most recent recipe we enjoyed from it:

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls

1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour (I used white because I didn’t have whole wheat.)

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice


Combine in a large bowl.


1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

1 cup milk

¼ cup butter


Combine in large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is warm. Add to flour mixture. Beat with mixer set on low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is all moistened, 1 to 2 minutes.


1 large egg, beaten


Add and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.


2 to 2 ½ cups bread flour


Stir in enough flour by hand to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 to 9 minutes (or 5 minutes if your mixer has a dough hook). Place in greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and divide it in half. Roll each half of dough on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.


2 Tablespoons butter, melted


Brush each circle with 1 Tablespoon butter. Cut into 12 wedges and tightly roll up each wedge from wide end to point. Place crescent rolls, point-side down, on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.


I am wearing…dark red sweater top with striped collar and cuffs, black long-ish skirt, and black leggings. Cozy attire.

I am reading…Venetia by Georgette Heyer. This may be my favorite historical fiction (Regency period) piece by this author, to-date.

I am hoping…to write blog posts more frequently, while still keeping a focus on good meals and baking on the home-front.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the hum of the computer. The children are quietly going about their business (studying, showering, reading) upstairs.

Around the house…It’s soggy outside, and the river waters have risen. Everything is looky pretty squishy.

One of my favorite things…is quiet time at home at the end of a busy day. I want to read a bit more of that book I mentioned earlier, in just a little bit.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We are waiting for our van to be repaired. The gas pump (which is located inside the gas tank) went out while some of the children were driving on a busy highway. Thankfully, they were able to pull over safely, the tow truck came, and we transported them safely to their destination. What makes gas pumps go out, I wonder? Bad gas, possibly? This is the second time this has happened.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is granddaughter Claire, who is 4 1/2 months old.

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!

A great water-saving idea!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Thanks to my friend Linda of Simply Living Modestly for letting her readers know about this wonderful product!