Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"When the Cats are away...the Mice will play!!"

                                       "When the Cats are away....the Mice will Play!!!!"

This weekend was a great weekend for my husband and I.  We had Jill's girls for the whole weekend by ourselves. Whoo hooo!
Jill and Jerry were away overnight for their 18th anniversary. Having time by themselves that they really needed. So we got to spend the time with Hayley and Kathleen by ourselves. Therefore the saying "When the Cats are away.... the Mice will play!!!"

On Saturday we were all together for Neve's 8th birthday celebration. The theme was Hawaiian.
The girls each had their own grass skirt to wear and a beautiful flower for their hair.

And a Lei ( a necklace made of flowers.) We all wore one, even Pop Pop. Neve got his favorite color of yellow. We had such a good time. The girls enjoyed themselves so much with all the fun things Neve had planned for them. Even some water play !! They had gone to a Miniature golf place first and than came back to the house for the party.

On Sunday morning, Jill and Jerry took off for their trip.  I packed up a cooler full of sandwiches, fruit, and vegetables and water bottles.  We also took chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers for Somemores. And loaded Hayley and Kathleen  in the van for our day out together. We headed to a State Park, Caledonia, Pa. 

We asked the girls to find a table that they would like to sit at.  It was early and not many people there yet. But it would fill up as this was the Memorial Day weekend. Thank goodness they found one under some shade, as the day was getting hotter by the minute.

Kathleen found the marshmallow bag and asked ( as she had already had one up to her mouth,) if she could have one. I asked her to wait  until we ate lunch.  Well, knowing our little redhead, I knew she would not wait.

Was I right, or was I right????  lol

They finished up on their lunch and drank plenty of water. With the heat they needed to stay hydrated.  And were ready to explore the area.  I stayed back with the things at the table ,while Blaine took them beyond to see what was there.

Hayley wanted to wear Blaine's hat to keep off the sun. they walked along the stream. Which was running pretty good, because of a rain the night before.  Kathleen stopped to check out the stones.
This area is in the mountains, so the stream was nice and clear from the mountain springs running into it.

People were wading in the stream, having a wonderful time and cooling off. We used to do this when we were younger.  We would just drive around and find a nice stream and wade in it. Miss those days.

The girls stopped at the playground and met some boys there. They played tag and played on the gym sets. Kathleen had two little boys following her around constantly.

Oh, to be young again!  And enjoy life to the fullest. Having fun and not a care in the world.!!

Kathleen was armed with her sunscreen and seemed to find every opportunity she could to put some on.

After playing hard they decided to head back to the tables. As more people were coming in and it was getting somewhat crowded. I think they were wearing down from all the playing.

Kathleen decided she wanted to wear Pop Pop's hat on the way back. So they shared the time with the hat!!  And yes, Pop Pop had another hat to wear. He always carries a supply of hats and caps with him.  Getting a little thin on top and having had pre-cancerous growths on the top of his head, makes the hat wearing a must now days.

After some cool down time we decided to head back.

Love this picture of Kathleen, going across the path back to the van. Armed with a plastic trash bag, Pop Pop's hat and a day of fun!! They no longer have trash cans around the picnic area. So you have to take your trash with you or put it in the large dumpster.  Seems to work better for the park.


We passed this waterfalls as we were leaving the Park; on our way to visit a couple of Nature centers . One of the centers was a Touch and Feel center.Where they had different things from the park that the children could touch. They also talked about "Smokey the Bear" and gave the girls each a nice pin with Smokey's picture on it.

We stopped at a store on the way home. (yes, the day was a long one, we made a lot of stops after the park)  This is a store where the owner had collected elephants of all types through the years. He traveled all over the world to get them. He had a room where they were displayed.  A fire last year destoryed alot of the building and some of his treasures. They have since rebuilt, but cannot replace the ones he lost.  He now sells statues of elephants, and all types of the old fashion candy.  They have bins and bins of the candy. So we let the girls pick out some and than we divided it when we got home.  Sure moms and dads appreciated this! But they were with Nana and Pop Pop and we have the rights as grandparents to spoil. And they know it has to be supervised what they eat and when. They each picked out a stuffed toy and picked up one for Neve, who would be coming later that night to have a sleep over with them.

A garden next to the shop that you could walk through and enjoy some of the objects that were elephant related.

Our last stop was at Pizza Hut for supper.  Than they anxiously waited for Neve to come over to spend the night with them. She was at a ball park that afternoon.  You would think they would all be tired after such a long day.  But hey , these are 6-11 year olds. They never get tired!!
Now Nana and Pop Pop that is another story!!

The next morning they were up bright and early and ready for another fun filled day. We were going to take them to another State Park today, but the temperatures were going to be in the high 90's. I had already packed the cooler again with another lunch.  But we decided to stay at our home, and let them enjoy playing in the yard.  They came into the air-conditioning when it got too hot. And packed lunches taste good anywheres.

Jill and Jerry got back later Monday evening to get ready to head home. But not before we had a birthday cake and ice cream for Hayley. As today is her 11th birthday.  Both Hayley and Neve have had a couple of birthday celebrations. but hey who is counting!

As children grow, and they do it so fast, we try to get the time together as much as we can. Childhood is so special and watching them grow and nurture through the years is our greatest joy as grandparents. Soon they will be teenagers and than adults right before our eyes.  We are ~Taking the the Time~ to hold onto these wonderful years as long as we can.

Have a great day and a new week.!





Friday, May 25, 2012

~ Spring Strawberry Tea~

                                                 A Spring Strawberry Tea with Friends

Spring Time always means fresh strawberries. We always look forward to having this delicious fruit in our salads, Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberries and cream, Ice Cream... you name it. They are good in anything and just as delicious by themselves. Our Granddaughters love eating fresh washed strawberries by themselves.

Yesterday, I shared the afternoon with three dear friends. Marion had invited us last year to a Strawberry Tea at The Hickory Bridge Farm in Orrtanna, Pennsylvania.  So this year we decided to go again. You have to make reservations ahead of time, as the Tea fills up quickly.

The Farm has been owned by three generations and this year marks their 35th  year that families have gathered around their tables or stayed at their Bed and Breakfast.  They also have cottages that  you can stay in, that are located in the woods. They have different dinners for different holidays, plus they have Farm-style dinners that begin with appetizers served from an antique sleigh.

Our trip started going across the bridge into the Farm area. (Now you know me by now, I love being by the water)
After crossing over the bridge we came to the Farm House which is now a Bed and Breakfast.

We went beyond the Farm House to the Barn where they serve the public. Today was the ~Strawberry Tea~

The table was set and everything looked so pretty.

As we entered the Barn, they had an old fashion antique sleigh set up. On it were glasses filled with *Cold Lemon Almond Tea*: and Pineapple Fluff served with pretzels sticks. When we took them to our table, they served us with Chilled Strawberry Soup.

Our Mandarin Orange Salad served with a Sweet Almond dressing was next.

They served a pot of *English Tea* with a quilted cozy on it, to keep the tea hot.

Our next dish was *Lemon Scones and Pineapple Pecan Bread* this was served with Devonshire Cream and Strawberry Jam.

I know you are probably thinking ...how can they eat all this? But believe me, we had no trouble at all. :-)  The portions were small and we washed them down with TEA!!

Our sandwich platter, had *Hot Seafood Fold over, Marinated Cucumber and Chicken Bruschetta Sandwiches*
Each of us had one sandwich of each kind off the platters.

For dessert (yes we barley had room left to eat this, in fact we brought some of the cookies  home)
we had *Apricot Thumbprint Cookie, Lemon Sherbet, Strawberry Ribbon Cookie, and
Chocolate Texas Cake Square.*

With the dessert they gave us a new pot of tea. This time it was Lemon Tea. Which friend Bonnie poured for us. We all agreed that we liked the English Tea better. But the Lemon Tea did leave a nice taste in our mouth.

We finally finished the meal with the last cup of tea.!!!

 A few pictures of the inside of the barn where we were eating.

The Farm is over One Hundred and Fifty years old. A small Country Store housed a gift shop. But unfortunately it was closed .

On the way back out we saw this horse with goats. The goats are almost as big as the horse!!

We drove back home through the countryside.  Tummy's full, and the love of good companionship with friends.

If you have Strawberries where you live, ~Take the Time~ to enjoy them.
Life is good!!!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Tuesday Get Together with Dear Friends.

Today was my second Tuesday of the month to have my ladies group come to our home.
I have a past post on about this group of wonderful senior ladies that come to meet at our home twice a month.  It started out as a sewing group, now a coffee and dessert time.:-) get together.

I always have some type of theme for my table each time they come. The second Tuesday this month , we celebrated Mother's Day. I gave each lady a small pot with a Marigold flower in it to plant . 

This Tuesday I decorated for Memorial Day that is going to be celebrated over this weekend.
One lady when she came in, said "Wow, you are early, decorated for July 4th already?"   I said , "my goodness no.  This is for Memorial Day coming up this weekend.   I told her don't rush the time, it is going fast enough as it is.  lol "

My color scheme of course was, Red,White and Blue Stars and Stripes.

Memorial Day was first  called Decoration Day.  It is a day of remembrance for those who  have died in our nations service. Now it has been changed to honor all military people , the present and those who have  past.  Many years ago, it was a huge holiday. Parades , concerts, all kinds of activities.  Now it has dwindled down. Some towns still have their parades.  I remember when we were younger, the parades were huge.  All branches of the service marched in the parades. Tanks roared down the roads, Cheering and shouting and supporting the troops.

So therefore my theme for today.  I also wanted to serve something with red white and blue to have for our snack.   I saw a recipe in the magazine around Easter time, and put it on the side, thinking I would like to try it one day.  It consisted of blueberries and lemon pie filling.  So pulled it out of my recipes and make it last night for this morning.  This would be my Blue.

Lemon-Blueberry Bars

In case you would like to make them, I am going to give you the recipe. They are very good, a bit on the sweet side though.  But don't think anyone that tries them, would mind this sweetness.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 can (any size) Duncan Hines Comstock or
1 can Duncan Hines Wilderness Lemon Cream Pie Filling
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk ( not evaporated milk)
1 (21-ounce) can Duncan Hines Comstock or
Duncan Hines Wilderness Blueberry Pie Filling
1.  Heat oven to 350degrees F.  Line 13X9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil
2.  In medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt; mix well.
Gradually  stir in flour until smooth.  Press dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan.

3.  Bake crust for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
4.  In a medium bowl combine Lemon Creme filling with sweetened condensed milk; mix well.
Spoon mixture evenly over prepared crust.
5.  Spoon blueberry pie filling evenly and gently over top.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Cut into squares.

I took a small glass custard cup and pressed the dough down until it was smooth. Worked better than trying to do it with your hands.

I also tried 4 grocery stores for the Lemon Creme Pie filling and could not find it. So I just used the regular lemon pie filling and it worked just as well. If it is a new product sometimes it is hard to find.


Than for my Red and White, I used Tapioca Pudding with canned cherry pie filling on top.

Since we had a busy weekend, I just bought the prepared tapioca .

The Ladies enjoyed themselves and we had a great morning. The youngest is 65 and the oldest is 89!
Sadly one of them is now in a assistant care home. She really wanted to come today, but her breathing is getting very labored. We missed her so much.  I still put a place out for her, just in case!
Nothing like "Taking the time" and getting together with a cup of coffee (well, maybe a couple of cups  :-)  )  and very good friends.  And the snacks go well with the coffee. What can I say???

My Dear Husband's contribution to the decorating. The small American Flag, hanging on the slider.

It has been a wonderful day today. After heavy rains, the sun came out, I  started the morning with dear friends and just enjoying whatever else the day brought to us.

Hope you all had just a nice of a day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Celebrating our Anniversary~~~

                                                                      May 21, 2012

          Loving, Trusting, Respecting each other has given us 46 years wonderful years of marriage.

        On May 21, 1966 Blaine and I took our wedding vows. I was 19 and Blaine was 21. We had dated off and on for about 4 years. Our first date was to my ninth grade prom. He went to an all boy's public school in the city and I went to a public school in the country.

Blaine had moved next door to a childhood friend of mine. And they introduced us to each other.
You know the age old expression  "Love at first sight".  Well, being young, I guess when a boy and girl first meet, you fall madly in love with them because they show you attention. But if you truly love them there is that extra spark behind the feelings. We both felt that as we dated more.

Blaine had gone into the Marine Reserves when he was 17. It was during the Vietnam War time. He was deployed during the Cuban Crisis.  Which was very upsetting for me. We made our wedding plans and our love grew stronger. We set the date for May 21, 1966.

                                              "Our Love still grows"  by Karl Fuchs

                                              "  Our anniversary means a lot,
                                               Much more than any other day.
                                               I celebrate my love for you.
                                               And cherish you in every way,
                                               Through passing time, our love still grows.
                                               A caring relationship to explore;
                                               Our life together gets better and better
                                               And I keep on loving you more and more."

                                                  "Each year I Fall in Love Again with YOU" 
                                                                       by:  Joann Fuchs

                                                "When I first met you all those years ago.
                                                 I fell in love so fast, I knew right then,
                                                 You were the one and only one for me;
                                                 I'd never have to look for love again
                                                 Each anniversary finds us happier;
                                                 You are my light--my moon, my star, my sun.
                                                 You show me what real love is all about.
                                                  You fill my life with pleasure, and joy and fun.
                                                 As time goes by, our love grows stronger still.
                                                 You're the most amazing man I ever knew.
                                                  I prize our anniversaries because
                                                  Each year I fall in love again with you."


                       Our Love has grown stronger as each passing year comes.  Our love has
                       been expanded with our two beautiful daughters, their husbands and our
                       lovely granddaughters.

                       Marriage is not always an easy road filled with sugar and honey like the
                       advertisements make it.  But it is what each of you "Take the time" to put into

                       Our 46 years of marriage has proven this. And we feel Blessed every day to have
                       found each other.  Love you my Dear Husband.