A Time to Live
A Time to Live
Grandmother and Granddad
I had a higgledy-piggledy education in cooking. Mother taught me, Grandmother taught me, and Dad had strict ideas about what should be done with meat and with beans. I also read books and taught myself. Even now, though, I cannot use a recipe exactly as it is written. I’ve tried. I’m sure some things would turn out better if I could follow, but I have a hard time with rules in any disciple. What I can do is experiment and when I do, I’m able to at least write down what I threw into the mix. I’ve been told I may be what they call a taster. All I know is I’m persnicity. Sometimes that gives me an edge on pleasing other people, but there are people who don’t like anything I cook, so then I get to eat out. I do enjoy being with people and I like a good pizza now and again. That’s something I’ve never mastered at home.
Today I was thinking about soup. Because too much fiber doesn’t set well with me, I had to give up having a big salad for lunch. As a side thought, Bill and I were each making our own salad and the only ingredient they had in common was lettuce and we each liked a different kind of lettuce. I do enjoy soup for lunch and I used to like the canned alphabet soup I fed the kids. I loved Grandmother’s potato soup and the vegetable soup our Mrs. McGregor made in the restaurant my parents owned, so I decided to make my own soups for lunch. I’ve been practicing and although they are not my Grandmother’s or Mrs. McGregor’s soups, I like them very much because they contain only things I like.
Grandmother taught me to make her potato soup. Peel potatoes, cut them up, boil them in water, while boiling, fry half a pound of bacon, make it crisp, then break it up into bacon bits, and add the potatoes in their water. Fry onions in the bacon grease and dump it all into the soup add milk. It was super-delicious. You can guess why I don’t make it that way anymore.
Nowadays I put in canned celery soup, leeks, carrots, cream, and a few other things. It makes me happy and Bill likes it too.
I also make a vegetable soup with Ramen chicken noodle soup as a base. I add frozen peas, grated carrots, a handful of cut-up spinach, chicken broth and home-grown rosemary, oregano, and thyme. I throw in a can of chicken for protein.
There’s one other kind of soup I like and I would love to figure out how to make it someday, but deep in my heart I don’t think I will. For one thing, it would be nigh onto impossible to get the crabs they use in Port Townsend in Puget Sound and I don’t think any other crabs would make the most delicious Crab Bisque I’ve ever eaten. Even the name sounds exotic.
I’ve been in love with all things Disney for about as long as I can remember. I believe the first Disney movie I ever saw was Cinderella – and I was sold! As I grew older, I kept wishing there was some way I could – personally – have a copy of Cinderella and watch it whenever I wanted to! Fast forward to this hi-tech generation, and I have Cinderella on my bookshelf! Of course, I don’t watch it all the time, but it’s there for the watching if I care to. I usually have to do it when Fred is gone!
When we moved down to Florida, it was more-or-less with the intention of either or both of us working for Walt Disney World, so we could visit the parks just any time we wanted to. God may have wanted us down in Florida, but His plans for us did NOT include working at Disney World! And His plans are so much better than ours!
So we content ourselves with annual passes to Disney World. Fred jokingly says they are our Christmas/anniversary/birthday (and any other special event in our lives) gift to each other. They are rather expensive. But we get free parking with them, and we can come and go just any time we want. Sometimes it’s for nothing more than to have a supper meal there. And we consider if we stay about two hours, we consider it a “visit to the park.”
In 1999, we thought it would be fun to keep track of how many times we went to a Disney park during that year (38 times). And we’ve kept on with that tradition. Our peak year was 2005 when we went 64 times! If it’s raining? We don’t go. We know we can go another time.
And on our anniversary each year, we stay at the Shades of Green resort, and go to each of the parks, one each day. So you can see – we REALLY like Disney!
Because we’ve been enamored with Disney for so long, we have quite a bit of Disney memorabilia around our house. And we thoroughly enjoy it all. Our youngest daughter, Janet, worked at a Disney Store once upon a time, and she supplied us with quite a bit of Disney stuff. One of my favorite things she gave us, were figurines of some of the characters from Disney’s 1939 original Fantasia. I enjoyed them so much, that I had a friend (who is a wood worker by trade), fashion a shadow box for them. That box and those figurines now grace a wall in our house. I think they are adorable! Unfortunately, I have broken one of the pieces, but have substituted another Mickey in its place. And another friend who worked for Disney, presented us with “Mickey’s House” snowglobe that rests upon the top of the shadow box.
~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~
From the Heart
Let your dream be bigger than your fear.
Hold on to your vision and persevere.
The fuel for your journey is a spark.
By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
Love always perseveres;
a force strong and true.
It motivates your best interests
and brings out the best in you.
Don’t despise the day of small things.
It is the small thing that forms
the framework of our day.
Keep an attitude of gratitude
as the Lord leads you to do all things His way.
Father Jean Nicholas Grou wrote:
“Little things come daily, hourly, within our reach,
and they are no less calculated to set forward
our growth in holiness than are the greater occasions
which occur but rarely. Moreover, fidelity in trifles,
and an earnest seeking to please God in little matters
is a test of real devotion and love. Let your aim be
to please our dear Lord perfectly in little things.”
On the Porch
During my growing up years, we lived in Orlando, Florida. My parents loved to fish, so most Fridays as soon as my parent’s made it home from work, we loaded the car with fishing gear and headed to the east coast. We would fish all night and most of Saturday. We usually fished from a pier and late at night when most folks had gone home to sleep, we would often begin to sing hymns in the evening stillness. Just my family, the moon and the stars. Wonderful memories.
What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks,
to sing an anthem to you, the High God!
To announce your love each daybreak,
sing your faithful presence all through the night,
Accompanied by dulcimer and harp,
the full-bodied music of strings.
Psalms 92: 1-3
A Slice of Life
Day 7 (Friday)
Since most of the museums on today’s list were on the west side of St. Louis I started with the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum located at the Creve Coeur Airport. I had been unable to find their hours of operation on their website; I called ahead this morning and was told that they were only open on Saturday and Sunday. They also informed me that any other day of the week the museum was only opened to the public with a 24-hour advance appointment, which left me out in the cold. I was a very disappointed as the museum consisted of three hangers which I’m sure houses many beautifully restored airplanes. Maybe next time.
Not too far down the road was the St. Louis Museum of Transportation located in the small community of Twin Oaks. This was a fairly large museum consisting of restored cars, trains, and aircraft. The most interesting item at the museum, as far as I was concerned, was their 1/3 scale train ride. The train was modeled after an early 1900s steam engine with open train cars for passengers that circled a portion of the museum grounds. Everything associated with the train ride was 1/3 scale, including crossing safety bars, flashing lights, railroad crossing signs, and the load & unload station. I took a ride and the little kid in me really enjoyed it.
Next I headed for the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum located in Cahokia, but Greta had a hard time finding it. I reset the location three times for her but she never could get me there. Finally I stopped at a motel and ask for directions, which they printed out for me from MapQuest. I tried to follow the written directions, read the street signs and drive at the same time, but that didn’t work. So I tried a final time to input the location to Greta, and what a surprise, she took me right to it. However, when I got there the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum I saw at that location was a joke! It was one rundown Hanger with a beat-up C-47 sitting out in front with no engines, and they were closed.
(This is the sign on the gate where Greta took me)
When I got home and looked up the museum’s website. I couldn’t understand what had happened. All the photos on their website showed something very different from what I had seen and photographed. There was some information about two museum site locations (hangers), so maybe Greta took me to the other location. Whatever, that doesn’t explain her taking me to the address I had for the museum. Mysteries seem to never cease with Greta. I may have to turn her in for the GPS system on my IPhone.
(This is not the museum location Greta took me to)
Finally I headed for the St. Louis Gateway Arch. I had left visiting the Arch until last because the Internet had said their hours were 8 AM – 10 PM. I have always wanted to ride the elevator up to the top of the Arch, but today it wasn’t going to happen. I had noticed as I came across the bridge, over the Mississippi River, that it looked like there was a lot of construction going on around the base of the Arch. When I pulled into the parking lot I was told that parking was $15, and that Arch tickets might be sold out for the day.
I was a little surprised at this statement, because it was only 4:30 in the afternoon. The parking attendant was very nice and informed me that today the Arch was closing at 6:00 PM and the last tram ride was at 5:45. I hadn’t known I needed to buy a ticket online before I left home, and would have to drive several blocks to the Courthouse to buy a ticket. Even if I was able to get a ticket, the chances would be slim that I could drive to the Courthouse, find a place to park, buy the ticket, and get back to the Arch parking area and walked to the tram location in time. As I was discussing all this with the parking lot attendant, I noticed a group of at least 75 – 100 school children, all dressed in the same uniform, heading for the Arch tram location. Even if both trams were working, I just knew my chances of getting a ride in one of the small 5-person trams would be likely impossible today. That’s when I called it a day and started looking for someplace to have dinner.
After all the frustration of this day, I treated myself to a wonderful dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. I had enjoyed their Grilled Catfish so much a couple nights before that I decided to try their grilled Lemon Pepper Trout tonight. It was wonderful, and the collard greens and carrots were great. Honey on one of their famous buttermilk biscuits was my dessert. Once my tummy was full, I was ready to head for the motel for some TV and a good night’s rest.
—–To Be Continued—–
A Life to Live
I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Recently, I had a look at some coral, but only in a nice safe aquarium shop where the tanks shone with black-light and displayed tiny bits of coral growing on bases. It was a delightful, cool place to be and a young clerk was kind enough to answer my questions without pressuring me to buy. I never knew that such a thing as a coral farm existed and I realized that if I ever got a yen to see coral again, the coral farm or a public aquarium were the places for me.
I’ve accomplished the two things that were on what is now called a bucket list. I can’t think of anything else I want to do because I’m living the life I want and I’ve been lots of places, already. One thing I wanted to do was to SCUBA dive. There wasn’t much chance of that as you had to take classes, be certified, and buy a lot of expensive equipment, and don’t forget, practice, practice, practice. Frankly, I didn’t want to bother with it or pay for it, even though undersea videos and experiences with snorkeling had always fascinated me.
Then Bill and I went to a Caribbean island on vacation and lo, they offered SCUBA diving! We only had to take one class in the resort’s pool in borrowed equipment. Piece of cake. After our lesson, we were excited about the next day when we’d go to the beach, get in a boat and be outfitted for our dive over a coral reef. Yes, I can swim. Not a great swimmer, but okay. I’ve always been able to float pretty well if I needed to rest.
The water at the beach was almost body temperature so our bathing suits were fine. There were about six other people on the boat who would take their turns. The trainer gave me a mask. I knew about using a mask from snorkeling. Then she put a lead-weight belt around my middle. Next the flippers and air tank went on. By the time they got me outfitted, I could barely hold myself up, let alone walk. Two native crew-men one on each side walked me to the gunwale where they lifted me over onto the ladder.
I’m the one with the pink flippers on.
Underwater I was so amazed by the beautiful colors and patterns of the coral that it took a few seconds to notice that I was sinking and would soon crush coral. My mask was fogging up so I couldn’t see. I swam hard trying to stay off the bottom. There was no one in my range of vision. Finally I decided I needed to make my way back to the ladder and when I got there, the trainer and Bill came right away. I gave the signal to go up, and the trainer mimed for Bill to stay at the ladder. He hovered, but knowing Bill, I figured he would need to explore a bit in the short time the trainer was getting me on board. Doing that, he could get into trouble or get lost and there would be no one to save him, so I motioned that I had changed my mind. For the rest of the short time we were down I clung to the ladder and concentrated on breathing.
When our time was up, Bill and the trainer returned. I climbed the ladder and two crew members lifted me into the boat. They took off the tank, mask and flippers and set me down. They threw a towel over my shoulders because they could see I was shivering. I pulled it close and soaked up the warmth of the sun.
The next day Bill wanted to go for a longer tour. Of course, Bill came back safely, raving about all the wonders he’d seen. I was glad for him, but I mentally crossed SCUBA off my want-to-do list, and eventually found other ways to enjoy the wonders of the deep. Oh, by the way, “Finding Nemo” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I can hardly wait until “Finding Dorry,” comes on Netflix.
There are a few crafty things I enjoy doing – some I’m rather good at, some that try my patience at times, and some that I do because I have to.
One of the things I feel I’m rather good at doing is crocheting. I enjoy doing it – can practically do it in my sleep, or rather do it and watch TV at the same time. I enjoy making things for new brides, such as pot holders and kitchen towels that can attach to the stove handle or a rack on the cabinet door. I crochet the top of the towel with a flip-over “handle” that includes a buttonhole, then I add the button for attachment. Unfortunately, my hands are becoming a bit arthritic, and the really tight hold I use for the pot holders have become uncomfortable.
I was into scrap booking for quite a while, but was rather slow at it. I had set up the card table in our home “office” but that left very little room for anything else in the room, what with the computer desk, my sewing machine table (with machine), and two file cabinets. So all that equipment is now out in the garage in a storage cabinet. Perhaps someday I’ll get back to it, but not right now.
But there are other crafts that just don’t interest me. Quilting is one of them. The people I know who quilt are enthralled with it – and usually turn out some really gorgeous quilts, whether small wall-hangings, or full-sized bed quilts. I attended a quilt “show” once, many years ago, and asked that they show me one that took very little time. It was rather uninspiring and plain. When I asked how long it took, I nearly dropped my teeth when the answer was….wait for it….nine months!! I can crochet a full-sized afghan in three weeks!! So that one is out!
When we arrived in Germany for our second tour of duty, I found some of the women in the wives’ club doing something called wheat weaving. I had never heard of it before, and it fascinated me. Not so much that I wanted to try my hand at it, however. But I thoroughly enjoyed the items that were made. I admired the skill involved in the craftsmanship, so much so, that I purchased two of them. Surprisingly, they have held up for over 30 years now! No moisture or moves have damaged them, and no critters have invaded our house to devour the wheat.
I have hung them on the doors in our house – the “double wedding ring” is on our bedroom door. The heart weaving is on the guest bedroom door. I still enjoy them, even after all this time.
What do you think?