Ready for a change?

Reminding myself this morning of this basic truth …




A Wednesday bouquet …

My mind seems to be preoccupied with the weekend … no composition brainstorms today … but flowers are always nice.  This beautiful bouquet is courtesy of my friend Angela Petraline at   She has amazing things in her shop!  The photograph is Angela’s property — please do not copy or share without requesting permission — thanks!

beautiful bouquet


Good morning!

living life


Speaking of happily ever after …



Let’s talk about happiness …

Daily Prompt

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

Am I living happily ever after?  The short answer is yes.  The long-form answer can be found in my January 30 post entitled “Behind Every Good Woman is a Good Man!”   The TMI answer is tucked safely away in my heart.

A happy life seems, in the end, to be part luck, part result of cumulative choices, part magic … and to stem in large measure from a willingness to work hard and to know when you have it good.

Living happily ever after doesn’t necessarily hinge on having a fairytale “other” to share your life with … but in my world it has certainly helped!


Snow day pursuits …

took a nap


Eyes to the front!

not going back


Slow food for a snowy day …

chick n noodles



4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 stick of butter
2 15 oz cans chicken broth
24 oz. frozen egg noodles


Cook chicken, soup, butter, and broth in crock-pot on low for 6-7 hours.

Take chicken out and shred.

Put chicken back in; add noodles and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir a few times while cooking.

Suggestion: Serve over mashed potatoes, with a side of green beans.


A little perspective …

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel        February 24, 2013
Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find.  What were you doing that year?


Since I’ve never been so lucky as to find money in a couch or on the floor of my car, I pulled a penny out of my billfold and checked the date — 1979.  Total recall would be handy … but what I know for sure is that my son was nine years old, we were living on our farm, and I was ten years into what was intended to be my first and only marriage.

The farm was miles from any town and there were no neighbors my age, so I remember perpetually wishing for girlfriends to spend time with.  I was lonely out there most of the time, but I stayed busy cooking, cleaning, doing laundry … school activities with John … feeding cattle … bottle-feeding baby calves … some part-time employment … and later on, driving tractors and combines.  And reading.  Always, always reading.

The years that preceded and followed 1979 helped to cement independence, self-sufficiency, patience, and a whole lot of other things into my nature, all of which I was able to tap into when my husband was killed in a harvest accident in 2003.  Looking back from that vantage point, 1979 seems like a very simple time with no problems whatsoever.  And little true loneliness.

blank penny

What I really want …

… is to write funny.  Funny ha-ha, not hieroglyphics.  Ever since I was a precocious child entertaining my aunts and uncles with my fancy vocabulary (and how many jaded adults did I completely annoy the bejeebers out of?), I’ve thrived on making people laugh.  I apparently told someone that my name was Agnes Opal from Constantinople (never underestimate the power of a mom who reads to you), and it stuck.  To at least one uncle I’ll always be Agnes Opal.

That episode is vaguely embarrassing to me now, but the joy of spitting out genuinely funny stuff embedded itself in my psyche early on.  I sit here every day and read the giggle and belly-laugh producing stuff my blogger friends post, and wish I’d thought of it.  That’s  me being honest, folks.

But life is life and truth is truth.  And what I’m apparently programmed to write about is memories.  I have a lot of them, and I now have the dubious distinction of being the eldest in my immediate family.  Both sets of grandparents are gone.  My parents are gone.  All of my in-laws are gone.  My brother is gone, and even though he was the youngest, he had the closest ties to the farm and would probably remember things I never knew.  My sisters moved away fairly early on, and are both younger than I, so by default I’ve become The Keeper of the Secrets.  For the most part, they’re secrets that need to be told for preservation’s sake … and the mission seems to have fallen to me.

The truth to which we’re all called to be faithful is this …

From your Soul


Oh darn …

Forgot the Gym


Just so you know …

Will Work


Cookie time!

It’s a snow day, lots of people are home.  Let’s bake cookies!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
adapted from here
yield: 30 cookies

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and diced (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sucanat or organic, whole sugar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

• preheat oven to 375*.  line two rimmed baking sheets with a silpat pad or parchment paper (dough is very wet).
• combine strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of sucanat. set aside.
• in a large bowl, whisk the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, salt, and 7 tablespoons of sucanat.
• cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.
• stir in the cream, using your hands, mix until the dough comes together.
• stir in the strawberry mixture.
• using a 1 1/2″ ice cream scooper, drop dough onto lined baking sheets.
• sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
• bake until golden brown, about 22-25 minutes.
• let cool completely on baking sheet before removing.
• these are best eaten the same day they are made.
note: you can shape dough and freeze, then bake as needed.


Tell me a story …

Our big snowstorm seems to have arrived.  Sitting here watching it come down, blow around, stick to everything, run down the windows, I’m remembering the huge blizzard we had when I was about ten years old.  If I have this right, it snowed for at least three days without let-up and the wind howled the entire time.  The power went out, of course, so my dad got kerosene lanterns from my grandparents’ house … I still remember what they smelled like when they were all lit.  Living on a farm, we were usually pretty well prepared for whatever might come up, so I’m guessing there was plenty of food in the house.  Anyway, I don’t remember going hungry.  And we had propane heat, so the house stayed cozy.

I do recall playing lots of board games and card games … and we probably drove our parents crazy … four kids under ten years old cooped up in the house for days and nights on end.  When the snow finally stopped and the wind died down, we emerged to find our world transformed … drifts up to twenty feet high with deep valleys between.  I have no idea what my dad did about the livestock while the storm was raging, but they must have survived somehow.

It was several days before the county could get through with blades to clear some of the roads, and a few more before we could make it to school.  The storm happened in March, so we ended up with a fabulous vacation out of it.  We spent our time exploring the new snowscape, in awe over the fact that our neighbors could walk out their upstairs windows onto the drifts.  Our grandparents’ orchard was one enormous playground, with drifts up to the tops of the tall cedar trees and plenty of big hills to slide down.  Our parents definitely got a break from the craziness … except, of course, for all the snow boots and wet jackets and gloves and mittens and stocking caps and …

Sadly, the heavy snow broke most of the cedars and fruit trees, and the orchard was never the same.  As kids, of course, the cost extracted by a storm like that didn’t register with us until much later.  We just knew it was the most amazing thing that had ever happened in our lives to that point.

Blizzard PicMe with my two younger sisters atop the drifts in the orchard, with cedar tops peeking through.  Our little brother was in the house.


Stand back …

Going Pleasant


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