An invitation from my daughter to “Come over this afternoon and make some chicken soup”; a whole chicken simmering for hours until the stock was rich and well seasoned; plenty of chopped fresh vegetables; and a dollop of patience…That’s what it took to make a large pot of savory soup.
Believe it or not, my first venture into making soup, but probably not my last. As I climbed into the car and headed for home with my share of the soup, Becky said, “Next time we’ll make vegetable beef.”
This post was created entirely with my iPhone 6+ for cellpic Sunday.
Baking cookies (and eating them) is a time-honored tradition in our home during the holiday season. What would the holiday be like without tons of cookies stored in tins, waiting to be consumed by family and friends? That at least was my mother’s conviction when preparing for the holiday. She was fortunate to have a large pantry off the kitchen with enough space for many cookie tins. During the weeks preceding Christmas, in anticipation of family and friends descending on her kitchen, she would marshal her baking supplies, fill the pantry and refrigerator with fresh ingredients, and rally some friends to help her with a big baking blitz.
This year, my daughters Becky and Alison decided to carry on the tradition, and Becky, Alison, granddaughter Emmy, and I gathered at Becky’s home the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and said, “Let the baking commence!” Guaranteed to make a cookie-lover drool, here are a few pictures of the bake-a-thon.
Max, one of the resident dogs, was not too happy to be restricted to his kennel in the corner of the kitchen, where he could only observe the fun. His expression says that he would much rather be “helping.”
An occasional glance out the window convinced us that this was the perfect day to be indoors, enjoying the scent of freshly baked cookies seasoned with conversation, laughter, and fun: essential ingredients for baking cookies to share with the people you love.
That’s it for this memory-making holiday event. It would have been extra fun to have our third daughter and other grandchildren join us, but they all live too far away to pop in for a Saturday afternoon baking session.
Thank you for popping in though.
Sharing the fun makes it extra special.
See you soon.
Two of our grandchildren, Michael and Emmy, siblings as Emmy described them today, are home from college for the holiday weekend. After our family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, I asked if they would be interested in visiting the Arboretum today for a little photoshoot. They agreed, so off we went this afternoon.
My goal was to replicate a photo I had taken of them fourteen plus years ago when their mother and I took them to the Arboretum. That beautiful spring day in 2002 they were about four and five years old and the weather was perfect for playing around Blueberry Pond. Today’s weather was drizzly and only a couple degrees above 40, but we proceeded with our plan anyway, and we had a lot of fun. Here are the pictures:
Michael, Emmy, and me in 2002
Michael and Emmy today
If the ground hadn’t been so soggy today, I was thinking of taking their picture on the little footbridge at the bottom of the hill. When I got home this evening and started digging through my old picture files, I wished I had gone through with the plan, despite the mud and slippery leaves, because…
Here are Michael and Emmy on the footbridge in 2002
And here they are today overlooking the Butterfly Garden
I can’t believe it has been over 14 years since that May day in 2002. Time flies by way too quickly; places change and people change also, especially children. Blink your eyes, turn around once or twice, and they are no longer little children. This is why I enjoy photography so much and treasure the pictures I have collected over the years. On this post-Thanksgiving day, they, the children and the pictures, mean the world to me.
Thanks, Michael and Emmy, for visiting the Arboretum with me today. It was cold and a little wet, but I had a wonderful time! -Grandma
And thanks, blog friends, for coming along!
P.S. I’m thinking I see a future series of blog posts. All I have to do is get the other grandchildren back to Ohio and take them to the Arboretum for a photoshoot. That might take a while, but I’ll file it in the back of my mind and maybe someday it will happen.
The thought of Saturday errands probably has a familiar ring to anyone who works from 9-5 or even longer on Monday through Friday. That’s not the case for me because I retired from the work-a-day world many years ago; however, habits die hard, and it seems like Bob and I often find ourselves out and about running errands on Saturday mornings. This being Saturday, we were occupied with e-r-r-a-n-d-s.
First we went to Wild Birds Unlimited to pick up “no mess seed” for the bird buffet in our back yard.
Next stop was Lowes to get supplies for one of Bob’s projects.
We went to the Willoughby outdoor market to stock up on produce.
Our next stop was Patterson’s Fruit Farm where we picked up pears, apple butter, and apple dumplings. 😋
We visited Sage’s Fruit Farm to get peaches because nobody else had them (This was a good year for apples but a bad year for peaches in northeast Ohio).
…and our last errand was to our daughter’s house to give the dogs a run in the back yard because Mike and Alison were gone all day.
When we finally pulled into our driveway several hours later, it was past time for lunch, so I warmed up an apple dumpling. Can’t tell you how good that tasted!
Here’s Mabel, sitting in the sun.
So that was Saturday,
and it was a beautiful day everywhere we went!
See you soon! Trail Walker
(Although there really wasn’t much trail walking done today.)
A family dinner planned for Monday evening was our incentive for visiting the Westside Market. Located in the Ohio City neighborhood, just a few miles from downtown, it is easy to reach and draws visitors from all over Cleveland, both east and west of the Cuyahoga River. Recognizable from a distance by the tower pictured above, this oldest continuously operated municipally-owned market in Cleveland, opened its doors to shoppers in 1912 as one of three markets that catered to Cleveland’s growing immigrant population. It is the only one of the three remaining in business and is still a great place for shopping.
When our daughter and grandson from Phoenix were visiting last summer, we took them to the market, so when Gretchen visited this year, this time with her husband Rod, the Westside Market was once again on the list of places to see. There are over 100 different vendors in the Market and on our brief walk along the aisles I grabbed pictures of a few of them as we selected the food for our evening meal.
Most vendors don’t mind if I hold up my camera and ask for a photo opp, although one shook his head and turned away. Not to be deterred, I kept on trying, but truthfully I am not happy with the results I got. On my next visit to the market, I plan to take more time and get better pictures.
After we left the market, we headed downtown because we had not been through Cleveland since the visitors to the RNC left town, and we were curious to see what changes had been made. Driving through Playhouse Square I snapped a few pictures of the unique outdoor chandelier hanging over Euclid Avenue.
Notice the “Go Tribe” message on the front of the bus in the second picture. Win or lose, Cleveland is a real sports town known for its rabid never-say-die fans!
Final note: Of all the items we purchased at the market, including stuffed peppers and more, my favorite was the huge piece of chocolate peanut butter cake that I enjoyed in small servings over the next three days. Yum!
That’s it for this quick tour. Thanks for coming along.
…fortunately there’s no law that says I can’t enjoy his flowers. That is what I was doing today while Bob helped Alison adjust the new gate she designed and constructed to keep the Mabel and Cooper from dashing down the driveway, barking at people that walk past the house.
When I was a girl, my mother would try to encourage me to take an interest in the flowers she loved. As winter waned and warmer temperatures hinted at the coming of spring, she would pour over the seed catalogs that came in the mail. When spring finally arrived and the ground was warm enough for planting, she spent hours digging in the dirt, planting, transplanting, and weeding, and we always had vases of cut flowers in the house. Mother loved her flower gardens. Unfortunately the proverbial green thumb passed me by, but thank goodness I can occasionally sneak into Mike’s amazing garden and take a few pictures. Although I may not enjoy the process of growing flowers, I do enjoy the process of taking pictures of them to hang on my walls and post on my blog. When fall gives way to winter and the flowers of summer slowly fade and die, I miss the color. Gray is the predominant color of winter, and it just doesn’t bring me much joy.
While I wandered around Mike’s garden with my camera, the work on the gate continued with the help of Mabel and Cooper…
Before long, the job was finished, and we headed home where I was greeted by a surprise; a colorful butterfly had discovered our new swamp milkweed plants. That’s color that doesn’t require digging , planting, and weeding…my kind of color!
This summer at the end of July, we eschewed high-speed turnpike driving and traveled old Route 6 through the northern corridor of Pennsylvania on our return to Ohio after a family celebration. Why? Mainly because many years ago Bob sold Hotpoint appliances to dealers in that territory. On this Sunday afternoon, traveling with our daughter Gretchen and grandson Alec, we had the time, so we decided to do a little reminiscing and show them an area we both enjoy. One of our favorite towns in that area is Wellsboro. In many ways, it is a quintessential small town that has kept its character without being left behind by the times.
Showers were threatening when we pulled into town, but we parked the car and headed to the Wellsboro Diner for coffee and a piece of pie, followed by a short photowalk through the Sunday-afternoon-quiet-streets.
If you had been there, we would have invited you to join us for pie. The diner was crowded, but if you wouldn’t mind sitting at the counter, there was plenty of pie, and it was good. Then we wandered through the city park so Gretchen and Alec could see the statue of WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD, and along the city sidewalks, where I captured these photos:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod in the park
On the way out of town, we made one more stop to take a few photos of the Allegheny Reservoir, created years ago when the Kinzu dam was built. I know there is a story to be told about the homes that were flooded and residents who had to move, but we will have to go back another time to get all the details (and some more pictures) before I can write that story. Meanwhile, if you are interested, here is what Wikipedia can tell you.
Back on the road, we continued our drive west, stopping for a delicious supper at Findley Lake, New York, but that, too, is a story for another time. Thanks for joining us on the trail today. I’ve been a little slow in posting the pictures, but better late than never I guess!
We were attending a 50th wedding anniversary party for our brother-and-sister-in-law. Few people knew it was also my husband Bob’s 80th birthday, so when the hostess carried in a birthday cake, it was a big surprise to everyone, including Bob. Mouth-dropping shock was the response of all the guests when Bob stood up and clapped his hands together above the cake, instantaneously extinguishing every candle. Spontaneous applause erupted in the room. As you can see from the picture I captured, the hostess was possibly more surprised than anyone else. Thankfully she didn’t drop the cake.
This week I had an opportunity to capture pictures of our springer spaniel, Gulliver, and his two cousins, Cooper and Mabel, so I am departing from my usual photowalking routine to post their pictures.
Having caught a nasty, lingering cold, my excuse for not taking a photowalk, I figured today would be a good opportunity to introduce the pooches and shine a little bloglight on them.
Gulliver originally lived with our daughter and son-in-law, but he has ruled the roost (to mix metaphors) at our house for about 12 years. He’s our second “springer,” and was adopted into our family when he was a very young pup. As a senior dog, he has lost most of his hearing and slowed down quite a bit, but he still enjoys an evening walk in the park and seemingly can tell time because he knows when the daily mail (and dog treat) delivery is due.
Cooper, a Portuguese water dog, joined our daughter and son-in-law’s household when Millie, their first English sheepdog, died. At first, they were in no hurry to get another dog, but pretty quickly realized that they needed a dog around the house. That’s when they “found” Cooper, a delightful, lovable, energetic ball of black fur.
The last of this trio is Mabel, who erroneously thinks she’s a lapdog! Walk into their house and sit down, and Mabel will want to bounce into your lap (and no, she doesn’t ask permission first). She’s a great watchdog though, as the people who come to their door or walk up the sidewalk past their house quickly discover. If she doesn’t know you, she isn’t going to open the door and invite you in.
That’s the canine branch of our family or part of it…at least those that live nearby. All our children and grandchildren have dogs, except for the eldest granddaughter who lives in an apartment with her cats! They all seem to agree with me that a family isn’t complete without a pet (or in some cases two or three) in the house.