Dec 14, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook for December

Simple,and a nice way to journal your daily life I think.

For Today

Looking out my window
 It is night and a very cold 22 degrees F outside.
It is snowing hard outside
Houses are glittering with Christmas decorations but it is quiet.

I am thinking
About the radio program I am hearing and the awful state of the world today. But then it was always bad, and there is nothing new under the sun.

I am thankful
 For alternatives to TV and for great old radio programs to listen to.

One of my favorite things
Are quiet nights with a hot cup of tea when I read online or hear my radio programs and draw with Photoshop.

I am creating 
A warm and happy home, I hope. At least I am trying.
I do it by keeping things neat and clean and welcoming.
I love when people are happy and content.

I am wearing
  Blue pajama shorts  and a matching top. I will be going to bed soon. I just can't sleep in heavy pajamas or heavy materials so you will never find me wrapped up in flannel night things! The less, the better!

I am  watching
 Fuller House on Netflix and enjoying it very much.
I am Listening: 
to CBS Mystery Theatre on YouTube as well as my subscriptions on Youtube  channels that I find interesting.

I am hoping
That I find my prince one day. Never have but not giving up hope yet.

I am learning
theology, psychology and more.

In my kitchen
I will be making fish chowder for Friday night
I will be making a Buche de Noel for my daughter (a glorified jelly roll filled with mocha cream and coated with chocolate frosting)

In the school room

Studying theology and psychology.

In my garden
A wild Holly Tree and the Pine Barrens behind.
Shared Quote
I like Bishop Fulton Sheen's wisdom.
A moment from my day
 A rainbow on kitchen drawer from the crystals I have in my window. These rainbows cover my kitchen in the morning through early afternoon. 
I got the idea to put them in windows from the movie Pollyanna!

Closing Notes

Dec 13, 2017

Stronghold of Rock

Maoz Tzur really means stronghold of Rock and of course, the rock and stronghold are not physical really though at the time they were. But God is the true rock and salvation.

It is the start of Chanukah.
Chanukah is the Feast of Dedication or festival of lights celebrating the re-dedication of the temple at Jerusalem by the Maccabees long ago.
I wish everyone who celebrates a Chanukah Sameach!
(Ch like loch in Scottish Chan is sort of like Goldie Hawn;s  name. Sameach is Sa-May-ach with the ach sounding like a Scottish ach, Ch is  in the back of the throat in Hebrew )

Here is the song sung while lighting the oil on the lamp for Chanukah (olive oil gives the most steady and clear light) . The chanukiah is placed in the window to announce that a miracle took place.
During the re-dedication of the temple in those days there was not enough oil for the big menorah to burn but by the grace of the Almighty, the tiny bit of oil there was burned for 8 days until more oil could be gotten.
It was a miracle.
For all my Christian friends, the holiday is found in John 10:22-23.
Maoz tzur yeshuati
l’cha naeh l’shabeach
Tikon beit t’filati
v’sham todah n’zabeach.

L’eit tachin matbeach
mitzar hamnabeach
Az egmor b’shir mizmor chanukat hamizbeach
Az egmor b’shir mizmor
chanukat hamizbeach.

 O mighty stronghold of my salvation,
to praise You is a delight.
Restore my House of Prayer
and there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
for the blaspheming foe,
Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
the dedication of the Altar.

Dec 12, 2017

Toni's Adventure..

Adventures are fun!
The little is off to her bus, loaded down with backpack and clarinet case.. no coat.. she left it in school yesterday..sigh. But she is layered up with sweaters and sweatshirts. Only half a block to the bus so she is fine.
The kitchen is cleaned up, the french toast was well liked and I am settling down to do the latest Toni's creative adventure for this week  and you should too.
My cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee is steaming hot and I am ready to write....

  The Ski Trail

 click to go to Toni
 click pix to visit Toni
1.   While cross country skiing through an old country trail I notice a light through the trees ahead. Getting closer to the clearing I see the light comes from a cottage that looks inviting. I remove my skis and walk up the porch steps and knock on the door when I see the sign that says, "Welcome , come in!"    As usual, I do just that. I am no stranger to this cottage or its occupants.

2.   I step inside to a cozy living room and sitting in a big leather chair in front of the fireplace is Mike all cozy in a warm blue and white Icelandic sweater. Next to him on the chair is JImmy his beautiful black lab with soft and gentle eyes.
"I'm happy you're here",  he said scratching the dogs head.
"Wild horses couldn't keep me away" I replied. "You know I love coming by to see you, Mike."
I lived up the trail from him a ways. When he had sprained his ankle I began coming by daily to make sure his bandage was done right and to get him hot meals. But it was an excuse to spend time with him too. I really enjoyed his company so much.

3.   He smiled at me and offered me a seat and a cup of hot chocolate. We talk for a bit and play with Jimmy, who is, as always, the life of the party.
"You shouldn't be making me hot chocolate, Mike. You need to rest that ankle.
 "How about lunch now" I said.
I headed to the kitchen to prepare him a roast beef sandwich and a steaming hot cup of the soup I had made that morning.
He devoured it. Mike is a big Norwegian guy and it takes some serious food to fill his tummy.
After lunch I rewrapped his sprained ankle and pulled his warm woolen socks over top.
Then I  fluffed the pillow on the ottoman. He raised his leg and lowered his foot onto the cushy pillow.
I placed his crutches closer to him and got him a thermos of hot coffee and put it on the table by his chair.
I placed a little dish of cookies nearby too.
"If you are comfy, I will go get some errands done and be back before dinner time, Mike"
I leaned down and he gave me a big bear hug. 
Jimmy made sure he gave me a doggy style hug too and walked me to the door.
"Now stay put so that ankle can rest and heal" I said shaking my finger at him.
It was hard to keep him down.
4.   Happy and warm in my winter coat, I headed out the door.
I turn to wave goodbye  and I'm surprised to see Mike standing at the door.
"I miss you already," he said.       "Don't leave, the errands can wait."
He was right, they could.

Dec 10, 2017

The Tiny Room

This room has heard a lot of laughter and seen a lot of smiles.
It has known good times and good food and the occasional sad time as well.
When fully expanded, the oak table holds a ton of happy people who gather round and talk for hours.
Though small, the tiny room has held children, elderly, dogs, cats and teen parties and did a good job each time, never complaining. It didn't say a word when one of it's lovely chairs was replaced by a highchair several times or when the piano bench was hauled in for extra guests.
It's hosted formal dinners with  glittering silver and crystal and beautiful tablecloths,
but it didn't mind the cardboard boxes of pizza or the endless games of Clue, Candy Land, chess and Monopoly.

It has seen more than it's share of homework and projects .  It doubles as a counter-top for cookie and pasta making  and even the chairs are patient when they hold long strings of freshly made pasta to dry!

Even small rooms can do great big things and make wonderful memories.

My little dining room

Dec 9, 2017

Care is a Verb

A wee visit to an earlier post.

For years my mother was given Francis Gay's Friendship book by her friend Eliza in Glasgow, Scotland. There is a new book every year and its been printed for decades.

 Women back in the day had waistlines 6" thinner.. can you see why?
To my knowledge, my mother did not read them but I devoured them when they came.  I just loved them and still do.
They were filled with old photos and uplifting words and stories.
This  inspiring little story came from the pages of one of Francis Gay's Friendship books.
I have paraphrased it a bit, but I hope you enjoy the message of the story.

A certain woman was working in the inner city and was visiting an elderly woman who lived in a dingy back room.
"I am praying for God to allow me to have a cleaner and brighter place to live," the elder lady said.
"Right!" said the visiting lady. "Let's get down to it".
The elderly lady thought that the visitor meant that she was going to pray for her.   Instead, the visitor got  down on her knees and began to scrub the floors and clean the house.

We often say we care about this or that but to care is a verb and implies action.
noun: verb; plural noun: verbs

  1. a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen.
noun: care
  1. 1.
    the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

    "the care of the elderly"
    synonyms:safekeeping, supervision, custody, charge, protection, control, responsibility; More
    guardianship, wardship

    "the care of the child"
    help, aid, assistance, succor, support;
    concern, consideration, thought, regard, solicitude;

    "care for the elderly"
    antonyms:neglect, disregard
  2. 2.
    serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk.

    "he planned his departure with great care"
    synonyms:caution, carefulness, heedfulness, heed, attention, attentiveness More

    "handle with care"
    discretion, judiciousness, forethought, thought, regard, heed, mindfulness;
    accuracy, precision, discrimination

    "she chose her words with care"
    • an object of concern or attention.
      plural noun: cares

      "the cares of family life"
    • a feeling of or occasion for anxiety.

      "she was driving along without a care in the world"
      synonyms:worry, anxiety, trouble, concern, stress, pressure, strain; More
      sorrow, woe, hardship

      "the cares of the day"
verb: care; 3rd person present: cares; past tense: cared; past participle: cared; gerund or present participle: caring
  1. feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.

    "they don't care about human life"
    synonyms:be concerned, worry (oneself), trouble oneself, concern oneself, bother, mind, be interested; More
    informalgive a damn, give a hoot

    "the teachers didn't care about our work"
    • feel affection or liking.

      "you care very deeply for him"
      synonyms:love, be fond of, be devoted to, treasure, adore, dote on, think the world of, worship, idolize

      "he cares for his children"
    • like or be willing to do or have something.

      "would you care for some tea?"
      synonyms:like, want, desire, fancy, feel like

      "would you care for a cup of coffee?"
  2. look after and provide for the needs of.

    "he has numerous animals to care for"
    synonyms:look after, take care of, tend (to), attend to, minister to, nurse;

Dec 8, 2017

Assorted Photographs

Six inches of snow is expected here in South Jersey.
It is very cold and damp out so we will see what develops. Since we live so close to the Delmarva area (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia are very close to us) we get their weather more often than not. We all have the somewhat the same accent as well.
Wikipedia says:
The culture on Delmarva is starkly different from the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region and is
much like that of the Southern United States. Many Delmarva counties are much more conservative than the "mainland" counties of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia
Delmarva is driven by agriculture and commercial fishing. Most of the land is rural, and there are only a few large population centers.
Many dialect studies show that Delmarva residents have a variation of Southern American English which is particularly prevalent in rural areas.
Where do you live?

Meanwhile, here are a bunch of photos to share on Friday Foto Friends.

My daughter is barely 5'2". The tiny lady beside her is her Grandma. 'Right now she is in a coma and recovering from a brain anuerysm. I am asking for prayers on her behalf. This  wonderful woman is mother of 10 and grandmother of more than 50 grandchildren ( I lost count) and many more great grands who need her badly.This photo was taken in Salt Lake City on a visit home.  She is the glue that holds this huge family together. We need her so much.

Hurricane Sandy beat us up pretty good, but we are Jersey Strong.Things are still not back to normal though.

I am one of those Photoshop weirdos who like to make cartoons out of photos. Like this one here.

The President retweeted me. Of course he did he knows who really runs this place.

Autumn on the lagoon.

Me and my daughter at Scottish Games at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Photo quality grew by leaps and bounds in a few short years. This was a disposable camera that was aleady old when the photo was taken.Then the photo sat in the camera for a long time. So its not the best quality.

beyond the fence...

taken with my phone at the end of the day a few weeks ago
Moss in the yard

Dec 5, 2017


“A quarter past three," she exclaimed, catching sight of the bedside clock. "What a time to be drinking tea!"
"Anytime," Harold told her, "is time to be drinking tea.”
― Miss Read

Dec 4, 2017

Adventure of the Day..

Toni puts up a new adventure each week for us and I am joining in again this week. It's fun to read the answers people dream up for the stories she creates.

Visit Toni
click to visit and join in

The Seaside Lodge

1.   On a vacation at a private seaside lodge, I decide to jog along the seashore and up
ahead I see what looks like a cave in the rocks ahead. I jog to the cave and see that it is a huge cavern that I never knew existed. Since it is low tide, I think I might take a chance at going inside. As I approach the entrance I am more and more hesitant to go inside.
What if I get trapped in there.  
I decide I will not go far inside.

2.   Once in the cave I wait for my eyes to adjust and along the wall in front of me I see a flashlight, using it I walk slowly and I suddenly come to a huge mural painted on the wall.
Mermaids and dolphins are shown playing in the waves along the shore. It is lovely and because of the mica in the rock the mural sparkles as the light plays along it.

3.   With wonder and awe I continue staring at the painting until I hear some quiet laughter coming from another passage of the cave.
I walk toward it and see steps going up. Climbing them I find another large room and there are mermaids and dolphins in a large pool talking, laughing and playing.
They have not seen me so I walk down the stairs and back to the beach outside. It is better not to disturb what I saw, best not to go there again too.

4.   Upon leaving the cave and replacing the flashlight I gather my thoughts and think
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy (science or learning)." Hamlet Act 1

Did you have to study Shakespeare in high school like we did?  We did several plays each of the four years and had to learn soliliquys from them to recite. It was a major portion of our English classes.

Dec 3, 2017

Fish Chowder

Point Pleasant, New Jersey

Pamela asked if I have a chowder recipe and yes, I do!
So, I am posting the fish chowder recipe and a fish recipe that is very nice too.
 I eat a lot of fish and buy it locally from the fishermen in Point Pleasant beach, fresh from the day's catch, but if I don't get there, I use fish from the local grocer. But the difference in freshly caught and store bought is night and day.

Now that Pam mentioned the chowder I am going to make some tomorrow night. I went to buy the fish tonight.
When I was a little girl I used to help my mother cut up the fish for chowder.


1 Tablespoon of sweet butter (adjust to your liking)
large chopped yellow onion
2 really large potatoes cut in little cubes
2 cloves of garlic chopped
6 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 cups  milk but you can also use evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
{Note: instead of the milk plus the cream I think some have used 2 cups of heavy cream}
8 oz can of stewed tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
2 pounds of Halibut or Cod in 1 inch cubes
2 shredded carrots
1/2 cup of  sharp cheddar cheese (adjust amount to suit yourself)
pinch of red pepper flakes if you like very spicy food.    I leave it out.

By the way you can add a cup of sweet corn if you like as well and if you don't like the idea of stewed tomato you can substitute the corn for the tomato.

 Making the Soup

In a soup pot, melt the butter and saute the onion until clear. (If you like celery in a chowder you can add that as well if you wish
Add potatoes and garlic and cook until the potatoes are slightly tender and this will take about 10 minutes (don't cook the potatoes completely as they will cook more in the soup).

Pour in the chicken stock, tomatoes, carrots and bring this up to a boil then reduce to a low medium and simmer for around 10 minutes more.
After the 10 mins, add the cream and milk combo and you can now season it with salt and pepper to your taste.
Cook this until your fish is flaky and all transparency in the fish is gone.
While hot stir in the cheddar cheese.
Now you can season with a pinch of red pepper if you like it hot and spicy (I don't)

If you think this is not thick enough you can thicken it with cornstarch but I like it as it is.


Fish Vera Cruz

This recipe comes from an old Avon cook book I have. It is a really nice recipe for fish.

  Give it a try and let us know what you think would you please?

You are going to need :

About 2 pounds of fresh or frozen red snapper filets. You can use flounder or cod too, your call, but snapper is traditional with this. You need enough for about 6 people . Try to buy locally and make sure your fish is fresh if you can get it.  Coastal states will have no problem with that.

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
1 pound of tomatoes that you core, seed and chop fine. It should be about 3 cups worth of chopped tomato.
1 1/2 cups of finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon of snipped parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh snipped mint (dry if you have to)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small jar of jalapeno peppers rinsed, seeded and chopped fine . If you dont like hot pepper use green chilies.
1/4 cup of pimento stuffed green olives
1 tablespoon of capers
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon of snipped fresh thyme.

How to make it:

Take your fish, fresh of thawed and sprinkle with a bit of salt and then drizzle on the olive oil and set the filets aside.
In a 12 inch skillet you will cook the tomatoes, onion, garlic, mint, parsley in some olive oil til the onion is tender but not browned.
Now add your jalapeno or chilies, the capers , bay leaf and thyme and your olives (sliced olives are nicer I think)
Cover and heat til it boils.
Now add your fish , lower the heat and simmer covered for about 10 to 15 minutes til the fish is flakey.
When done place the fish on a plate and arrange the vegetables on top of it in a pleasing manner.Throw out your bay leaf.
Take the liquid from the cooking and bring back to boil after removing veggies and fish and reduce it . Takes about 3 minutes. You can use this to pour over the fish .
Garnish with parsley , capers and more olives.
It will serve 6 to 8 people nicely

A good side dish with this is always rice and a cheesy rice goes very nicely. A crispy lettuce and tomato salad are excellant alongside this.

Add some lime or lemon wedges to the plate for extra flavor if you like.

Dec 1, 2017

Walk Around the Neighborhood

Another Friday Foto Friends at Debbie's

While my neighborhood is little, there are 3 marinas in walking distance of my house.
Boats are more common than cars I think.
I live 3 blocks from the water, and about 8 to 9 blocks from the deep open bay, and a few feet from 4 different creeks that empty into the bay.

Come along with me for a little walk around my neighborhood. 

The water has moods and changes color depending on the time of day and the weather

Dogs like to walk on the sand by the bay

Straight ahead as you look at the photo, under the sky there, is the open bay.And it is to the right. It is a peninsula so you are surrounded.  We don't have sidewalks here but don't stray too far off, to the side is salt marsh

Phragmites grows like crazy all over the place. It gets very very tall. It is green in summer, wheat colored in fall and winter.

I think the phragmites adds a pretty furry touch to the woods.   I like these muted autumn colors a lot.

It is way over my head. I like the oatmeal color.
Garnet Sand. Crushed garnets color sand a purplish hue sometimes. I highlighted it in Photoshop so you could see it as it didn't come through clearly in the original photo but its there.

Taken in late summer, but all that has changed is the color of the phragmites

I like to sit on the dock here and watch the boat go by especially as the evening draws  in.
Now we can have lunch together.