The War Is Almost Over

Do you know anyone who is or was in the military?

A few weeks ago, I saw this story, and honestly, it pulled on my heart strings. 

I have known people that were in the service, but I’ve rarely personally known anyone that has walked out of conflict and had to live a regular life afterwards. 

I decided to share this story with you because, while there is a part of it that is quite graphic, the emotions behind the story itself are quite enlightening.

I also like how he showcases his father and the beauty of Maine.

Thank you, Weird Guy With The Dog, for letting me share this. 

My hope is that it will shed a little light into what it’s like to not only live with someone who is dealing with things most people will never understand, but also to remember that people truly are more than the experiences they’ve had.

I went to visit my father today at the Togus VA Hospital in Augusta Maine. Like all my other visits I first took Vinny for a walk around the grounds. It was an overcast day today, but still a beaut…

Source: The War Is Almost Over

The Importance of Outdoor Play: 80 fun things to do outdoors

Don’t you just love spending time outdoors?

We do, especially doing fun things like sidewalk chalk and playing in the sprinkler during our seventies summers.

Last week I stumbled across a new-to-me blog while looking for craft blogs. Then, I saw this list!  

What’s great about it, is she shares year round activities, so if wherever you are is in the winter season, there are activities for you as well.

Another thing I love is, that the activities are do-able for any age. They’d be wonderful for kids or grandkids. Don’t have either? That’s ok! Adults can do them, too!

When was the last time you camped or flew a kite?

Thank you, Amber, for letting me share your ideas and list! 

With such a technology driven culture today, children are spending less and less time outdoors. I for one think this is a problem. Is it because they are bored? Is it because technology today is mo…

Source: The Importance of Outdoor Play: 80 fun things to do outdoors

Old-fashioned Sunshine Cake with Orange Frosting

Are you looking for a cake recipe to add to your summer celebrations?

If so, you’re going to love this! This evening I saw Sheryl’s post and what ultimately caught my eye, was when she said they play pinochle.

That took me right back to my childhood memories. Mom’s side of the family LOVED playing cards. After meals, the decks of cards came out.

I skipped several games just so I could sit on the couch and read grandma’s True Story magazines and look at old picture albums.

After several hands of cards, the snack plates appeared. My grandma made lots of homemade desserts and I can’t help but think that she really would’ve enjoyed baking this one.

After all, this recipe is from a 1912 cookbook, and it would have already graced the world 4 years before my grandpa was born in 1916. Just that alone, makes it special.

It looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try making it. Thank you so much Sheryl, for letting me share.

A Hundred Years Ago

Sunshine cake slice

Visiting with old friends is always special.  For the last 15 or 20 years, my husband and I get together a couple times a year with my daughter’s former girl scout leader and her husband to play pinochle. There are shared memories, family updates, and just plain good times.

It recently was my turn to host the gathering, and I wanted to make a special dessert –  but something not too heavy.  And, of course, my other criteria was that it had to be made using a hundred-year-old recipe. When browsing through an old cookbook, I came across a recipe for a citrus sponge cake called Sunshine Cake that peaked my interest, so I decided to give it a try.

The cake turned out wonderfully and did not disappoint. It was light, tender, and tasted divine. The recipe calls for both orange juice and lemon juice so it has a…

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Seventies Summer: Swimming

Did you go swimming a lot when you were a kid? 

When I was growing up, we lived in town and during the summer either mom would take us to the pool, or we’d ride our  bikes. Those days are among my best childhood memories. 

Back then, there was a high dive and a low dive and my amazing mom used to go off the boards. She’d swim with us and we’d stay at the pool all day. 

I never forgot how fun it was to go to the pool with mom, so I used to take Little Bit to our local pool a lot. Then, they closed it and now the nearest town pool is 40 miles away. 

But here’s something cool, we can go swimming any time we want, thanks to some good old fashioned swimmin’ holes a mile down the road. 

My husband, Little Bit, and I headed down to the river this morning. I can’t even begin to tell you how refreshing that water was. 

We still make the drive to go to regular swimming pools as well, but swimming in that river is pretty big treat. 

Seventies Summer: Rollerskating

When you were a kid, did you go rollerskating? 

Man, we did! My parents would load us and all of our friends up in our station wagon and off we’d go.

Talk about some good sports! Can you imagine hauling 10 kids 20-40 miles to the nearest town that had a skating rink? 

Yesterday my husband, Little Bit, and I went skating. I felt kind of bad that we didn’t get to go in a station wagon, but we made do! 

We weren’t the only ones who had our eyes set on a Saturday afternoon of trying to stay upright on wheels. The parking lot was packed and there were families everywhere. 

At first, I wasn’t going to skate, but I could hardly stand it! Before I knew it, I was lacing up skates myself.

All 3 of us were pretty wobbly, but we had the best time! The music had a good beat, the disco balls were spinning, and they even turned on the lights for a game of the hokey pokey! 

Now I understand why mom and dad always took us rollerskating. It’s a pretty inexpensive way to get out of the summer heat, spend time as a family, and it is oh, so fun! 

Beauty Shop

Have you ever noticed how one type of flower can have so many looks? 

On my daily walks, I’ve become rather chummy with the wildflowers, Queen Anne’s Lace, in particular. 

You should see all the different “styles”! Blooms are up, blooms open wide, and even upside down. 

Who knew nature had its own beauty shop? 


Gifts in Themselves

Have YOU ever gotten a present for someone else’s birthday? 

That’s such a weird concept, but that has happened to me and Little Bit! 

A few weeks ago I reblogged a story about a gentleman who works as a manager and I told you that my husband does as well. 

For nearly six years, my husband has put in a lot of hours into his job. Most weeks that office saw him 70-80 hours! Which is great for the company. He helped completely turn a business that was in the hole, around. 

But we haven’t seen him much and we missed him! 

Seems like there’s always a pull of this and that in life. Things that require a lot of time in one area, usually mean less time in others. 

But, I have exciting news! After lots of thinking and weighing options, we are in a new phase. He gave up his high stress, long hours job and took a new position at a different company.

Woo hoo!! 

We get to see my husband before dark! We never did before. We get to eat dinner at the table, all at the same time! On the weekends, we get to do fun family things because he’s not so exhausted now. 

Our pets are even in on the excitement, they get to see him more, too. In fact, his birthday is next week and Lulu Jones (our black cat) even tried to help me wrap presents today. Knee deep in wrapping paper, I realized something. 

Having someone you love around more often really is priceless. And, the smiles that are plastered on our faces, truly are gifts in themselves. 

Imprints

Have you ever faced a situation that was “iffy” at best? And, you maybe had to keep putting one foot in front of the other when you absolutely questioned whether you could even take a single step?

My friend Karen has. She wrote this amazing story about when her son was born and I wanted to share it with you. I know lots of mommas that have had babies in NICU and at times the outcomes have been bittersweet.

Thank you, Karen for sharing your experience. By doing so, you have given a voice to others on similar journeys.

finding merle

Update: I wrote the following a year ago after a friend suffered a horrible loss. It sat in Drafts, unpublished, until today. Sweet baby girl would have been a year old. 

The baby passed away Saturday. It is Monday, two days later. It is easier to write the facts because the feelings get tangled somewhere between my heart, my brain, and my mouth. They ooze into place, they swell and won’t budge. It hurts. Pressure builds. My lip begins to quiver. My chin shakes. My throat feels oddly swollen. My eyes fill and I can’t see.

I try to speak but nothing comes out. I remember her picture, her beautiful face. The tears spill over.

The baby died Saturday. I am taken aback….

September 1988–one month pre-birth

“You’re due on about the 19th, but we can schedule it for the 12th. The doctor will be out of town on…

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For Missie

Is your heart ever heavy for someone and you can’t seem to find the right words to say to them? 

A few days ago I wrote a post about how several of my friends and family members are in the sea of sadness. The day I wrote it, I found myself out walking in the wildflowers. 

I just came in from doing the same thing. The wind is chatty today and Queen Anne and the girls are dancing in the breeze. Clouds are peppering up the sky and the sun’s rays have nicely warmed this summer day.

I love how nature has the ability to be comforting and healing all on its own. At times when words get jumbled up and hearts are hurting, nature can wrap her arms around us without saying a word. 

My cousin lost her beloved husband six days ago and he was way too young. She lives several states away and I have had no idea what I can do to ease her heartache. 

Words seem stale. I can’t say I know that kind of pain, because I don’t. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out if there’s anything I can do. And, there is. 

I can share a bit of nature’s calming embrace.

For you, Missie. ~Thinking of you, dear cousin. ​​