Tag Archives: poetry

What is so good about Good Friday?

Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed

1.      Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
	and did my Sovereign die!
	Would he devote that sacred head
	for sinners such as I? 

2.	Was it for crimes that I have done,
	he groaned upon the tree?
	Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
	And love beyond degree! 

3.	Well might the sun in darkness hide,
	and shut its glories in,
	when God, the mighty maker, died
	for his own creature's sin. 

4.	Thus might I hide my blushing face
	while his dear cross appears;
	dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
	and melt mine eyes to tears. 

5.	But drops of tears can ne'er repay
	the debt of love I owe.
	Here, Lord, I give myself away;
	'tis all that I can do.

O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done

1.	O Love divine, what has thou done!
	The immortal God hath died for me!
	The Father's coeternal Son
	bore all my sins upon the tree.
	Th' immortal God for me hath died:
	My Lord, my Love, is crucified! 

2.	Is crucified for me and you,
	to bring us rebels back to God.
	Believe, believe the record true,
	ye all are bought with Jesus' blood.
	Pardon for all flows from his side:
	My Lord, my Love, is crucified! 

3.	Behold him, all ye that pass by,
	the bleeding Prince of life and peace!
	Come, sinners, see your Savior die,
	and say, "Was ever grief like his?"
	Come, feel with me his blood applied:
	My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

My New Years Resolutions

Is this post a bit late…?

well maybe…

or maybe not!  😀

The meaning of resolution from the dictionary as I am using it is:
res·o·lu·tion     [rez-uh-loo-shuh]     noun

2.  a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.

#1 Increased Time in the Word.

#2 Getting Serious About my Health, Firstly my Weight.

#3  More WORK Minded.

#4 More Attentive to my Husband.

#5 More Diligent in Homeschooling.

#6 Better Steward of our Finances.

Practice these things, immerse yourself in them,

so that all may see your progress.

1 Timothy 4:15 ESV

There are many more things I need work on, but these are the ones that come to mind first and foremost.   😉

I will elaborate more on each of my resolutions in posts through this month.  I will end with a poem for our encouragement!

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions that you made and are still trying to keep?

Ring Out Wild Bells – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

We Have Chicken Pox!!

I have been praying for years that Arrow would get the chicken pox naturally.  I ran across his immunization records and his birth-mom had the chicken pox vaccine given to him at 1-year-old.  Because of the potential problems with vaccines and the fact that this one was created with aborted fetal cells I did NOT want to have his immunization updated…  So I prayed… and waited.

This past two and a half months chicken pox has been making the rounds of various families in our church.  We were the recent family to fall ‘victim’ to this.


Because of the Christmas holiday we didn’t go anywhere Saturday or Sunday when he might have been ‘the most contagious’.  Monday we did go to the park and took a walk, but we were about the only ones there.  Then the hobby shop & used book store.  But the shop keepers are all of an age where they probably had this as children.  There were a few younger folks in the hobby shop…  Then Tuesday, 12/27  was the post office, which was packed.  Blake took in my pre-paid postage packages (a few eBay sales!!  Woo Hoo!!) for me and was able to just drop them off, and then the hobby shop and used book stores again.

On Tuesday, December 27th I noticed a few red spots on Arrow’s face and one on his neck right where his t-shirt collar hits.  I thought that one was an irritated scratch or something.  They were fairly large (about the size of the end of my pinky), but only 4 – 6 or so of them.  I asked if there were any spots on his chest and he said there were not.  He was not running any fever and seemed to feel fine.  I thought they were pimples and he just needed to wash his face better.  So we ran all our errands in town.  When the Patriarch got home he immediately noticed the spots.  But those were the only ones he had – no fever – not grumpy – not tired.  Just a few spots.

Wednesday evening he came to show me the spots on his chest and back after his shower.  I didn’t count them, but maybe 10 – 20 on each side.   No new ones in the morning.  All of these are quite small to about the size of a small pea.  Odd thing… most of the spots seem to be erupting on his right side.  All his original face spots were on the right side.

Thursday morning, 12/29,  he had MANY more spots!  There were some on the soles of his feet and the roof of his mouth!  Later in the day there were some in the back of his throat and possibly on his tonsils, but they have been enlarged for a l-o-n-g time so it is hard for me to tell.

He said the spots only itch ever once in a while, so he’s not doing any scratching.  I did take his temp and it is only 99.1.  He isn’t off his feed any and seems to feel fine.

On Thursday I started giving him an herbal anti-histamine I keep around for my seasonal allergies.  In my homeopathic books there were 5 or 6 remedies listed and at the store they recommended three given alternately in a day for 6 days, antimonium tartaricum, sulphur, and rhus toxicodendron.  I have also been working on a salve to add to my store and I wanted to compare that with honey.  Poor Arrow!!  I applied honey to the spots on the right side of his body, front and back, and the salve to the spots on the other side of his body.  The salve seemed to work better than the straight honey, for which Arrow was thankful… no more sticky shirts!  The Patriarch joked and asked if I kept a few spots for a control group…?!!  Uh… no.

Friday he did have some more outbreak, but they were all very small.  Still no itching.  And some were healing up and greatly diminished.  I have continued withe the homeopathic and salve over the New Year’s weekend.

Today, Tuesday January 3, 2012, most of the spots are all gone.  The ones on the bottom of his feet are still there, as are a very few on his chest and back.  The original ones on his face from a week ago?  They are by far the largest spots, crusted over but still amazingly large!

So… the immunity from the childhood vaccine definitely wears off in 11 1/2 years.

A lifetime immunity has now been had.   🙂  I am SO thankful for this!

And of course… a poem!

The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
Blessings,   ~Mrs. R
All art from art.com for which I am an affiliate.  Nothing in this post should be taken for medical advice.  I am NOT a doctor.  See disclaimer at bottom of this blog for more details.

Meaningful Christmas Vacation Activities

We are taking a short break from school work during this Christmas season.  This holiday and Thanksgiving are the ONLY ones we take that coincide with our local public school’s vacations.  After our harrowing experience at the zoo when a large number of government school prisoners children were also there I went back to my calendar and made sure all our vacations were NOT at the same time as our local school districts.

Here are some suggestions for meaningful Christmas Vacation activities.  😀

1) Go through all your Christmas cards and spend time praying for that individual or family

2) Walk or drive to see light displays (you could discuss the meaning of the Christmas star, the wise men who traveled by it, Christ as Light of the World, spiritual meaning of the various colors (white – cleaned from sin, red – sin, green – growth in Christ, etc).  We like to look for Christian symbols in the decorating.  This year we actually saw THREE different displays with crosses as a prominent parts!

3) Write down things & people you are thankful for from the past year on paper stars to hang in the house, then as you are taking down the stars you can pray as a family for that thing/situation or person.

4) sing or play Christmas music in a nursing home or retirement center or go caroling in your neighborhood.  Some of the Christmas carols have some great doctrine in them… some are doctrinally un-sound (baby Jesus did cry, crying as an infant is NOT a sin!)… off my soap box now.  🙂

5) Listen to this sermon audio link  as a family: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5220621750

6) read all the Christmas story accounts in the bible… don’t forget John 1:1-15!!  Here is a free download from Answers in Genesis – Nativity Booklet available only until Dec 31st!

7) Find a Christmas story read aloud and the younger children can color pages (Little House on the Prairie Christmas section, or others)

8) each person can start writing notes to various people who have had an impact on them over the past year (or more) to be sent out at the first of the year.  Express how much they mean to you, what they did to bless you, how they have impacted your life, etc.  Be specific, use proper grammar, sentence structure and punctuation and your best handwriting!

9) at dinner have each person go around the table telling how each of the other family members have been a blessing to them this past year and try to be specific about something not just generalizations.

10) Make it a day or evening of playing games together

11) do a special jigsaw puzzle together as a family or one set of folks could do the puzzle and another could be playing games and you can rotate depending on your space

12) Take a nature walk to see what animals are about, what plants are out and how the Lord provides for his tiny creatures in the winter.  Gather bits of nature to take home to decorate the trailer and start a Nature Notebook.  Use the Latin names for things in labeling them, draw the bit if nature you brought home, write about the walk and what you saw, etc.  This can then be added to through the year and if you walk in the same general places all year long you can document how it all changes through the seasons.

13) Recite and/or memorize Christmas poems, you could have a poetry reciting evening with Christmas cookies and eggnog!

14) Didn’t get those Christmas cookies baked with your precious children?  Why not do that between the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations??!!  I will be.  I have never made homemade sugar cookies.  I know it is hard to believe, but it is true.  I also want to try decorating them with that icing that gets hard.  I even bought a snowflake ornament to use.  I am so excited about this project!  I also have all the ancient cookie cutters that were my mother’s.  We will use most of them, though Santa will stay in the container as we don’t “do” Santa.  I want the true meaning of Christmas to shine forth.

And of course a poem… you know me and poetry!!

‘Christmas Bells’ poem by Henry Wadsworth

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year!!!! 

                                          ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

All art from Art.com – for which I am an affiliate.

Some Hard News

Just a quick note today…

Daddy-J, my step-dad, was back in the hospital again.  He had his first chemo treatment and it nearly killed him.  It didn’t kill the cancer at all and it continues to spread quickly.  His doctor gave him only a few weeks to live.

My mom & he are leaving for Michigan on Friday so they can spend his last days near the rest of his family and friends.

He has become so precious to me this past year.  He spent more individual time with me over the past year helping me with my soap business than I have had with my own biological father in the last 35 years.

And he doesn’t try to make me someone I am not, but loves me for who I am.  He never tried to push me with my business farther or faster than I could go.  He completely understood I have other obligations!!

A funny story from their last visit.  Daddy-J and I had spent a day and half talking about my soap business, making plans for next year and especially discussing my other time commitments  – homeschooling Arrow, the home front, church commitment, state homeschool organization commitment, and piano lessons.   We also talked about the things that were hindrances to my business progress – a lack of a reliable source of beef fat and my own lack of organization (time and clutter). That last bit isn’t the funny part so stop laughing!  Anyway… later that evening my mom was ‘showering’ me with gifts.  These were things she found in her home that she thought I would like.  Daddy-J said she was so excited about these things and was collecting them for months prior to their visit.  And we had been talking about my soap business and the things Daddy-J and I talked about earlier that day.  And I got to listing some ‘other’ things I said I would like to do… and then mo would give me another gift… and so I piped up with “OH and I can start a such-and-such business” (based on whatever the gift was)!!  Daddy-J & I laughed, with the rest joining in our merriment.  At one point we laughed so hard our sides ached.  So the next day he told me that mom asked him if I was really serious about starting one of those businesses and he laughed and said no!

Eight things I am thankful for:

#1 – that Daddy-J & I had the time we did to spend together on the phone and face-to-face, just the two of us

#2 – his patience with my mom

#3 – his politeness while in the hospital, even when very uncomfortable or in lost of pain

#4 – his encouragement to me in the things he knew were important to me, my family, homeschooling, piano, my soap business, and church and homeschooling commitments

#5 – his deep love for Arrow

#6 – his encouragement of Arrow in his chores and schoolwork

#7 – his encouragement for mom to respect our family policies

#8 – his funny childhood stories

I will cherish the time we still have, short as it will seem!  Please pray with me for his & mom’s salvation.

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

Trout – It’s What’s For Dinner! & how to clean a fish

Floating Water Feature 🙂

Hello!  I certainly had no intention of being so long away from this blog!  Phew!!  Much has been happening around here.  I will just jump right in & start… with a little background…  🙂

Arrow loves fishing.  I usually take a book to read while he fishes.  Maybe taking a turn or two with the rod to practice my casting.  It is a quiet, peaceful time.  The birds are singing, frogs are croaking and the quiet “plop” of the lure and weight hitting the water at fairly regular intervals.  I have a confession to make… I have usually taken Arrow fishing when it was mid afternoon and sometimes sunny.  Not the best time to catch a fish.  He still loves fishing.

A Casting Arrow

Last weekend our HOA had the 3rd Annual Fishing Derby.   The first derby we all went, though only Arrow actually fished.  Yes, I did take pictures!  No, Arrow didn’t catch a fish at the first derby.  It was after that first derby The Patriarch’s Father’s Day gift was a fishing pole for his “almost antique” reel.   A red Pflueger his dad bought him… many moons ago.  The second derby only the guys went.  I stayed home and did who knows what now.  I sure don’t remember!  Again no fish were caught, by us anyway.  This year I decided to tag along to take pictures.

The day started out cloudy and quite cool.  We all donned our raincoats and I grabbed the large black and white golf umbrella thinking it might be a good idea to keep my camera dry.  Even though the lake is within walking distance, we decided to drive.  A short walk to the gazebo and the guys were registered and ready to fish!  They picked out the spot where they wanted to fish, along the north bank and near the foot bridge, just across from the northern most of the two small islands.

The Patriarch & Arrow... Casting About

Within our HOA we have a small, man-made private lake, a private park and a swimming pool.  Oh, before you start thinking we are part of the ‘upper crust’ of society… we do not live on the lake.  THAT is not in our price range!!  LOL  The development was started over 50 years ago as a vacation get-a-way spot and has become a year-round residential area.  Having access to the lake is very nice.  No motors are allowed so that isn’t ‘that’ noise.  It is stocked with trout twice a year, and there are also bass and sunfish.  Along with frogs, geese, herons, muskrats, ducks and osprey.  It is very pretty and I like to sit on the park bench while Arrow fishes.

The Patriarch Casts

Arrow had been a bit upset when he saw the weather until we told him that cold and rainy is good fishing weather!  The guys stood and cast out their lines reeling them in slowly… cast and reel… cast and reel… cast and reel…  Arrow wore his barn boots and was able to fish from in the water for a bit.  I wandered about taking photos and enjoying the rainy weather.  One gust of wind grabbed another derby participant’s umbrella from the beach area of the lake (to the left of where we decided to fish) and it floated merrily along until it reached the opposite shore.  It made for a very unusual water feature!

The Patriarch used a long, gray plastic worm on a hook and no weight or bobber on his line.  Arrow tried a variety of lures, with and without Power Bait.  Arrow did clean the lake a bit by “catching” some of the weeds.

Arrow's Fishing Boots

After the guys had been fishing for about an hour, The Patriarch asked me if I wanted to cast some before we went home.  I said sure and handed him my camera.  He handed me his rod and reel… and I cast out…

Mrs R Fishing

With my first cast I was getting nibbles on my line!  So I cast out as far as I could and more toward the island.  By my fourth of fifth cast I had a fish on my line!  I guess I shouldn’t have shouted in my excitement, but I was SO surprised!!  I don’t even know how to bring in a fish properly… but I managed to get that fish to the edge of the lake.  Of course we have no net and one of the neighboring derby-fishers loaned us their net.  Arrow got into the water and scooped my fish out with the borrowed net.  In the picture below you can see the large, gray, plastic worm hanging out of “my” fishes mouth!

The Trout

We took my fish up to the gazebo to get the official weight and for me to register.  I hadn’t intended to fish and certainly never expected to actually catch one.  My trout weight in at 2 pounds 6 ounces and 17 inches long!  We then gathered up our things and went directly home.  The trout needed to be cleaned… I guess that is when I will lean how to clean a fish…

Gutting My Trout

Even my trusty “Joy of Cooking” cookbook does not give any instruction on cleaning a fish only how to fillet one.  So The Patriarch & Arrow looked on and gave me some verbal help while I did the cutting.  God sure dis make fish slippery!!  The Patriarch had cleaned fish as a youth and Arrow observed one being cleaned a few weekends previous.  But I wanted to know how to clean a fish to add to my preparedness skill list.

Cleaning Out the Inside Along the Spine

Since the trout was so small I choose not to fillet it but would cook it with the skin and skeleton still attached.  After I was done cleaning it all up we bagged it up and put it in the refrigerator until dinner.

Cleaned Trout

While the trout chilled at home we attended the HOA B-B-Que.  I actually won a prize for my fish!  There were a variety of prizes to choose from, sleeping bags, fishing poles, tackle boxes and nets.  Yes I did select the net.  We are ready for the next fish we catch!

And of course… a poem:

UNDER the bridge that spans the stream—
Stream that gurgles and prattles away,
Stream that flashes with many a gleam—
The boy would pass the holiday.
I wonder if ever in all the earth
A happier heart warm’d human breast;
If ever such perfect, such rapturous mirth,
Was known as in that Eden blest!
I wonder if ever a gorgeous king,
In midst of all his jewell’d court,
Royal with sceptre and crown and ring,
Had ever such rich, ecstatic sport.

The bridge was ancient with log and beam,
And over it droop’d the willow-trees,
Dipping their catkins in the stream.
Asylum for fluttering birds and bees;
And here in this dim, secluded cave
The boy would come to muse o’er the wave.

He mus’d, for he lov’d all beauteous sights,
All sounds delicious that charm’d the place;
The insects gay, small water-sprites,
That skimm’d and circled in mazy race;
The water-ouzel flitting there,
The blue kingfisher, perch’d on spray,
Then dropping quick from leafy lair,
Shrill screaming as he seiz’d his prey.

And here the poor barefooted boy,
With tatter’d jerkin and hat of straw,
Enjoy’d the bliss, the speechless joy,
The angler’s rapture, without a flaw.
He watch’d the minnow’s quivering fin,
And silvery perch go swimming by,
The sunfish darting out and in,
The pickerel snap at the gaudy fly;
The little shiner, like diamond spark,
Shoot through the waters deep and dark,
And the trout, like glancing Indian shaft.
Defying even his cunning craft.

It was a pleasure to note the frog
That sat open-mouth’d on weedy log;
To note the turtles, all speckled o’er,
Bask on the slippery rocks of the shore;
The muskrats paddling in sluggish play,
And mink and the otter on their way.

It was pleasant when hot midsummer days
Scorch’d earth and air with fervid blaze,
When the very atmosphere seem’d to swoon
With the drowsy influence of the noon,
To sit in his hermit cell and share
The voices of nature in the air;
The chirp of the cricket in the grass,
The snap of the grasshoppers as they pass,
The anthems of song-birds in the hedge,
The whistle of snipe across the sedge,
And all the entrancing symphonies
Of breeze and of wave, of birds and bees—
All paintings of nature’s matchless art.
All music of nature that thrills the heart.

McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.


~Mrs. R

A Spring Walk in the Park

The Patriarch, Arrow and I went for a lovely walk in the park on Saturday.  We hadn’t really been out for a good long walk all winter.  Too cold and rainy to be enjoyable.  And the rain, well in reality it doesn’t rain hard here.  But it drizzles… a lot.  The skies may be gray, but that doesn’t mean it is raining like you may think of it raining in the Midwest.  Or the south.  Or the northeast.  No, here it drizzles and drizzles and drizzles with periodic interludes of downpours, wind and the odd bit of lightening & thunder.

When we lived in Florida, many long years ago now, it would thunder and lightening EVERY time it rained.  Now that we have been here for over 20 years, thunder and lightening is so rare is surprises us when it does happen.

But Saturday… ah, it was a great day for a walk in the park!  High was 55 degrees and there was a spring chill in the air.  The various trees were in their respective buddings.  Some were already in flower and some the leaf buds were only just starting to peak out of the branches.

Spring Pools by Robert Frost
These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods —
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.

Spring is my all-time favorite season.  I love to watch the buds emerging on the trees. The early spring flowers are such a cheerful, welcome site after the long, wet & dreary winter.

Flower God, God Of The Spring by Robert Louis Stevenson
FLOWER god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,
Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,
Here I wander in April
Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
Spring, flower-planter in meadows,
Child-conductor in willowy
Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:
Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:
O child, happy are children!
She still smiles on their innocence,
She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,
Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:
Thus one cunning in music
Wakes old chords in the memory:
Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.
One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal
Green – one more, and my bosom
Feels new life with an ecstasy.

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time. ~Martin Luther


~Mrs. R

Rice Flour Muffin Variations!!


I have been playing with the Rice Flour Muffin recipe I wrote about previously.  This is all new territory for me!  Give me a sewing pattern or crochet pattern and I can make changes “on the fly”.  But play with my food?  I tried that one time and it was a complete bomb.  Inedible.  Ugly.  Blech!

But I have this plate of over ripe bananas sitting there, looking at me.  I’d post a picture, but they are not pretty to look at!  And I didn’t want to make banana bread yet again.  And I already have w-a-y too many ripe bananas in the freezer.  These MUST be used – soon.

So I got to thinking… yes dangerous for me I know!  lol  Anyhoo… I got to thinking.  The original recipe (access in the link above) stated that with the addition of the marmalade (which I am now out of) would keep these from falling apart.  Could I substitute and still have an edible outcome?  I know bananas keep gluten free muffins moist for days and dispense with the need to freeze or refrigerate to keep them edible.  And I have bananas!

Why not try, what’s the worst thing that could happen… I’d have to throw out one batch of muffins and come up with something else for breakfast.  Let’s go for it!

Hey, who said that!??  Me??

Timidly at first, I took my mixing bowl in hand and tried yesterday using just one banana and some cinnamon.  I think about 1/2 of a teaspoon.  I did use raw sugar in my recipe, the full 2 tablespoons.  I have no photos of those as my family ate them up… eagerly!!  The banana taste was quite mild but they could have used more cinnamon.  They did not fall apart in the least and no gums used!

Hmmm, just how far can I push this recipe??  I truly can not believe that is ME thinking like this.  But I tried again this morning.  And I have a large container of blueberries in the fridge just waiting to be used.  Let’s play some more!

It has been perfect weather for baking.  Cold outside, and always needing more warmth inside.  It snowed here yesterday!  Since we heat our home with a pellet stove (single point source of heat) our home can be pretty cold in the farthest places from the source.  But add in some baking and you have triple duty going on – heating the house, making yummy food to nourish my family and discovering new gluten free recipes.  What’s not to love??!

Once I am done playing with my food I will repost the original recipe with all my variations.  But I couldn’t wait to share these with you!

This is also a post for Blueberry Muffins for the “Our Spunky Holiday – July

And you know how I love poetry…


Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,

Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum

In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!

And all ripe together, not some of them green

And some of them ripe!
You ought to have seen!

Robert Frost


~Mrs. R

Snow and Snowmen

I have always loved the snow.  I grew up in northern “flyover” country where it snowed every year and I could pretty much count on snow being on the ground at Christmas time.  And it would be there for a long time… you know, until spring!  lol

Now I live in the Pacific Northwest region where snow is not even an every year occurrence.  When it does snow here, where the cities don’t have any snow removal equipment, the traffic is a snarly mess.  I have learned that, though I took my driver’s test in the snow… 34 years ago… you don’t drive in the snow here!  The un-removed snow packs down on the roads with all the cars driving on it, making it a sheet of ice.  Then you have all the hills round about.  Put those two things together and driving is treacherous.  And most of those on the roads think they are good drivers, but in actuality they are NOT!  Yikes.

I do still love the snow.  It is so quiet when it has snowed.  The ground is blanketed with a fluffy (or very wet…) intricate quilt of whiteness.  All the sounds are dampened, making everything still and peaceful.  And my yard actually looks great covered in snow.  You can’t see the weeds or the bare patches.  It’s all uniform and smooth.  Ahh.  ‘Twould be SO nice would it were so.

Did you know that a single snowflake is an intricate specimen of exquisite symmetry and stunning beauty?  And that there are no two snowflake duplicates?  So no snowflake twins anywhere.  How amazing that the Lord of Creation would put such beauty in microscopic details!  I like to think of snowflakes as ‘snowmen embryos’.

I love watching the snow fall.  And I used to love how the falling snow looked from inside a moving vehicle.  Even now I get an excited feeling when I watch the snow fall.  Maybe this stems from childhood memories of blizzards, hugely tall piles of snow along the streets, snow forts, ice skating rinks in the backyard and snowmen.

putting on the details…

Arrow’s Snowman

These photos are of Arrow’s Thanksgiving snowman.  Yesterday another snowman was built, but the warmer air caused that poor fellow’s upper two thirds to slide and then fall over sideways!  And he fell over before I could get a photo of the guy.   All the “details” are from a ‘Snowman Kit’ I purchased from Land’s End a number of years ago.

One thing I try to do is decorate our family dinner table in fun ways.  Not every meal, but for a fun change.  I have purchased paper plates with snowmen on them (and other designs) and then use those under clear glass plates.  It makes the table festive, yet frugal since I can re-use the decorative paper plates!  We also have some napkins (I have used only cloth napkins for nearly thirty years) and napkin rings with snowflake designs.  I will try to get photos of these and put them into this post.

We enjoy reading books and poems that pertain to the season, weather event or holiday at hand.  Here is a short list of some we really enjoy reading & looking at when it has snowed:

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin


The Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

‘The Snow That Never Drifts’

by Emily Dickinson

The Snow that never drifts —
The transient, fragrant snow
That comes a single time a Year
Is softly driving now —

So thorough in the Tree
At night beneath the star
That it was February’s Foot
Experience would swear —

Like Winter as a Face
We stern and former knew
Repaired of all but Loneliness
By Nature’s Alibit —

Were every storm so spice
The Value could not be —
We buy with contrast — Pang is good
As near as memory —


‘A Little Snow Was Here and There’ by Emily Dickinson

A little Snow was here and there
Disseminated in her Hair —
Since she and I had met and played
Decade had gathered to Decade —

But Time had added not obtained
Impregnable the Rose
For summer too indelible
Too obdurate for Snows —


‘Snow Flakes’  by Emily Dickinson

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshaled for a jig!


‘Winter Morning Poem’
Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over the lakes.
Smooth and clean and frost white
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.

Snow is snowy when it’s snowing
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

by Ogden Nash

What books and poems do you like about snow and snowmen?

Enjoy the snow!

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

This post also linked here:

A Spectacular Fall Day

Having a sunny fall day may not be all that unusual for many areas of the country.  Here is the Pacific Northwest a sunny day after mid September is very unusual!

Most days you can not see that there is any mountain anywhere nearby, but today… WOW!

Mount Rainier


Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!

We took advantage of the beautiful sunny afternoon to visit a local pumpkin patch.  These visits have become one of our fall traditions that “Arrow” looks forward to all year.  We have visited many of them over the years.

picked over pumpkin patch

This particular one had added some new features since we were there a couple of years ago.  The courtyard area was now covered in beauty bark and they installed two new play structures for the children.  Added to that there was 5 or 6 photo ops set up!  Very nice indeed.  Arrow’s favorite photo ops were the ones with the antique trucks.

one of the photos ops…

We do not participate in Halloween, but go to the pumpkin patch as a celebration of the change in seasons, and the cool weather that allows me to wear… sweaters!  Though today a sweater was not necessary.  Our one rule is that you must be able to lift  whatever pumpkin you choose by yourself.  “Arrow” met his match today!

“Arrow’s” Acquisition

When The Frost Is On The Pumpkin

by James Witcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then the time a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!…
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ‘commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock

A simply lovely day.


~Mrs. R