Friday, July 24, 2015

Peach Pie

I am a huge fan of fresh peaches. How lucky am I to live in South Carolina where peaches are actually grown? I bought a bag of them recently and we devoured most of them fresh, but I just had to make a peach pie. It's a summer requirement.

Fresh peach pie is my all time favorite pie. But there is only one recipe I really like. My mom's. Funny thing is, I don't remember my mom ever making this pie herself. I remember her teaching me how to make it. I remember her teaching me how to dip the peaches in boiling water for a few seconds in order to slip the fuzzy skins off, and how to roll out the pie crust.

I am still figuring out the details of running the new-to-me appliances in this house. I thought I had turned the oven down after the initial 10 minutes at 450 degrees, but realized about 40 minutes later when the topping wasn't browning, that I had turned the oven off! Thankfully, it wasn't ruined and after the oven heated back up to 350 degrees, it browned nicely.  (Maybe I need to actually read the directions for the oven...)

 Oh man, now I am hungry!

Open Face Peach Pie
7 ripe peaches
1 1/4 c sugar
2/3 c flour
1/4c. Butter
Crumb sugar flour and butter. Mix with peaches. Put in unbaked shell. Save some crumbs for top.
450* 1st 10 min. 350* for 30 min.
 (Minimalistic directions, but that's how my mom wrote out her recipes. Several of them just have a list of ingredients with no explanation or directions. She was an awesome cook.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I'm joining in on this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Click on the button below and it will take you to Joyce's blog where you can read through all the other people's answers who participate!

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.
Oh heavens, YES, my home is air conditioned!!!! So many people have asked us if we dislike the heat and humidity here in South Carolina. My answer is usually something like, "It's better than the winters in Minnesota and that's why there is air conditioning! Best invention ever!"
We moved when I was 11 years old and I don't remember not having air conditioning before that, so we must have. I do remember the house we moved into only had a couple of window units and since we moved in June, us kids slept on the floor in the dining room (where there was a window unit) until central air was installed in our house.
We lived in Singapore for three years. Singapore is 80-ish miles north of the equator and the weather is quite tropical. The temperature there ranges from lows in the upper 70s to highs in the mid 80s. The humidity is 80% an up. Every Single Day. Three Hundred And Sixty-Five Days A Year. They do have the blessing of Air Conditioning, or as they call it, Air Con. I think I have been the hottest I've ever been when we lived in Singapore. For a while the Sunday school class we were attending met in a local Kindergarten classroom across the street from the church. That classroom did not have Air Con. The chairs we sat in were molded plastic chairs. Ugh. Talk about sweaty! Some Sundays we went from Sunday school to the American Club where the kids would swim and we would sit in the shade pool-side and sweat. I remember going home late in the afternoon on those days and collapsing on the couch trying to cool off. When we came back to the US for visits and people would ask the kids how Singapore was their automatic answer was, "Hot!" So if we survive life in Singapore, we can survive South Carolina!
2. What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?
Isn't most of our lives here on earth up in the air? Since I am a Christian I can say with confidence that this world is not my home. C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?
Lemon Chiffon. My mom used to make this and it is soooo cool and refreshing.

4. When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?
If that expression means being super excited or super happy, I would have to say each time I have been with my granddaughter. I mean, come on, look at this face:
Lydia is wearing a little nightgown that was mine when I was a baby.

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.
Since we live halfway across the country from our kids and if we want to see them, we get to spend a lot of time in airports. Have you ever seen the movie, "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks? I think of it every time I am in an airport.

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?
In the 90s my sister-in-law and brother-in-law lived in Switzerland and we visited them for a week one March. We took a train up to Zermatt right smack in the Alps. My parents have always had a painting in their house of the Matterhorn and I was so excited to see the real thing. Hubby skied for part of day while we were up there. It seemed to me that the Alps were so much more majestic than the Rockies.

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?

Since I am a 60s and 70s kid, I'll have to go with "far out" and "groovy".

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Let's just end this with one more picture of my favorite little girl:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Week at the Beach

Last week was spent at a beach in North Carolina. I was able to stay the whole week and be with my parents and my siblings (and a few other family members like a niece, nephew, a couple of great-nieces some brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law.)

Other than a cruise we all went on two years ago to celebrate my parents' 60th wedding anniversary, none of us could remember the last time the four of us spent that much time together.

One afternoon someone looked out the window and said. "Look at all those dragonflies!" Shortly after we heard my sister and nephew come hollering and yelling their way up the stairs from the pool. For some reason there was a ten minute invasion of thousands of dragonflies. All the black specs in the picture are dragonflies! Then, just as quickly as they swarmed, they were gone!

Another afternoon I was in my room reading and watching soap operas and I heard the little girls (great-nieces ages 2 and 4) squealing with delight and then I heard a familiar roar. I looked out to see my 84 year old dad in the pool! I remembered that roar from when I was a kid and Dad would come swimming under water and then come up out of the water roaring trying to scare us.  I don't think those little girls knew what to think of their great-grandpa in the pool. Grin.

My dad is awesome.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


1. July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  What can you give away? Will you?
I could give some extra hugs to my great-nieces (ages 2 and 4) and my mom. (I'm hanging out at the beach with extended family.)

2. Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.

 Everything runs out.

We heard a sermon a few years ago about Jesus' first miracle of turning the water into wine and our take-away from that was "Everything Runs Out", meaning that nothing lasts forever.

3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?
I do the grocery shopping. Sometimes Hubby goes with me. I go shopping when we need food. That could be a couple of times a week, or every couple of weeks. I keep a running list on the fridge where I write things I've run out of or when I think of something I need for a recipe I'm wanting to make.

4. Is there a TV show you're embarrassed to say you watch? You're going to tell us what it is, right?
I'm not embarrassed to say I watch these, but some might question my taste, but I have watched two soap operas for decades: The Young and the Restless and General Hospital.

5. A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-
that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless
Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?

A friend posted a link to this article on Facebook and someone commented:
"Honestly like always, this is like a really, really good article. Literally amazing. smile emoticon." Best comment ever. 
I probably use the word really too much. But many of those words make it into my writing quite a bit.  

6. So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It's called 'The Granny Hair' trend. Your thoughts? 
My thoughts? Stupid. Don't force it, girls. It will come in due time.

7. A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they've read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let's try. What's one of the most beautiful sentences you've ever read in a piece of literature?
From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another. John 1:16

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am hanging out at my sister and brother-in-law's beach house in North Carolina with my extended family this week. My siblings (and their spouses) are here and so are my parents. My dad pointed out to my mom last night that she gets to spend a whole week with all four of her kids. Mom just grinned her big cheesy grin. Monday night my two sisters, brother, dad and I sat around the living and talked about grandparents, and aunts and uncles and cousins for long time. It was awesome.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Trip to the Kids

The last week of June, Hubby and I took a week's vacation and few to the Midwest to see our kids. Living halfway across the country now involves planes to visit loved ones. Airports and planes are not my favorite, but I do what I gotta do to see those babies of mine.

As we were boarding the plane for Kansas City, we saw online that our son and daughter-in-law had no power at their house due to a storm that had gone through the night before. As we waited for our luggage and Kansas City, I got on my phone to find a hotel room for that night, because, hello, no electricity means no air conditioning and air conditioning is my friend. I was very thankful for having a smart phone!

We had a wonderful time with our son and daughter-in-law despite no electricity for over fifty hours. One evening we went to a jazz club in Kansas City for dinner and a fantastic ensemble of a clarinet, soprano saxophone, piano and drums. Hubby is an accomplished clarinet player, so he especially enjoyed the music.

Sunday we were thrilled to be able to worship at our son and daughter-in-law's church. We always enjoy the music and the Biblical preaching is spot-on. At the end of each service, communion is served. I cannot even express the emotions I have when my own son and his wife serve me communion.

I have experienced this several times and I am a HOT MESS (I'm picking up some Southern lingo!) Every Single Time. The tears flow. I feel so grateful that God pursued my son and that my son lives his life for Christ.

Electricity was restored to their house and we were able to spend the last two nights with our son and daughter-in-law. I very much enjoyed some conversations with my daughter-in-law. We talked about all sorts of things including sharing decorating ideas that we had seen on Pinterest. :)

After four days in Kansas City we took off in our rental car and headed to Iowa to see this beauty who has discovered her toes:

And learned to roll over from her back to her tummy while we were there:

 We took a couple of short day trips to visit our parents. Here's a Four Generation picture of my father-in-law, Daughter, Granddaughter and Hubby. 

On the 4th of July we hung out in the yard and someone went "swimming". She loved it.

I learned about the chickens...

  ...and the ducks.
Swedish Blue Duck

We played with this sweet angel as much as possible.

And we enjoyed our daughter's wonderful cooking and had a yummy pasta dish, balsamic glazed salmon, lots of garden produce, brats on the grill, S'mores and this very tasty, patriotic dessert:

All too soon the time came to fly back to the Southwest. For some unknown reason, I agreed to a 7am flight out of Des Moines. I survived, but barely. ha. We waited couple of hours for the last leg of our trip, just to have that flight canceled. Instead of waiting in that airport for another four or five hours, we opted to cancel that leg of the trip and rented a car and drove the last hour and forty-five minutes back to Greenville. We won't talk about how ridiculous it cost to rent a car for not even three hours, but at least once the airline refunds us for the canceled flight, we'll still come out ahead. Flying. Blech.