Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Week of Thanks--giving

It’s Thanksgiving Day. . .giving thanks every day.

Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything. Amen.


We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. -ritual chant

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Week of Thanks--giving

Two days to Thanksgiving Day. . .giving thanks everyday.

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” Lois Wyse

Today I am thankful for generations of dots that connect the lines of my life:  my three children, my four grandchildren, and, as of 2:22 a.m. yesterday, my first great-grandchild.  I am also thankful for the dots that came before me to create a continuous line, my great-grandparents who were gone before I existed, my grandparents, three of whom were still alive and I grew up knowing and caring about, and my parents, particularly my mother.

The birth yesterday of Aubree also made me reminisce about this new great-granddaughter’s connections to the extraordinary women who came before her in our family: my strong grandmothers, Mabel and Lempi; my talented Mom, Martha; smart daughter Kelle; and sweet pea grand-daughter Mary. And to think that Aubree has the same sort of line of connection through her mother Allison! When I found the quote I thought “Wow, Ms. Wyse has already put into perfect words what I have been thinking.”

Aubree yesterday – just a few hours old! Before she was born I called her “Miss Baby Girl.”  Maybe this name will stick?


The dots are not all girls.  Grandson Jorden and his new daughter.


This is Papa with our three youngest grandchildren, Stanley, Mary and Will.  Our nickname for these three talented youn’uns is “The Little Ones.”

Gary and I are very sure that God blessed us with the best grandchildren in the world!


Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6 ESV.  Ok, I admit I have a teeny little issue with this bible verse. . . I just don’t feel like an aged grandparent.

One thankful Grammie!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Week of Thanks--giving

Three days to Thanksgiving Day. . .giving thanks everyday.

"If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
James Michener

Today I am thankful for my full time RVing lifestyle.  Yes, I dearly love the traveling and my fifth wheel home (and my traveling companion-Gary, you know who you are) but today am thinking that I am SO thankful that I travel because I have the opportunity to try so many kinds of food!

“Go thy way, eat thy bread with job, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.”  Ecclesiastes 9:7

At one point we decided that we would buy a bottle each of white and red wine made in each of the states we traveled through.  This worked for awhile until someone in one of the (not to be named) southern states advised us NOT to buy their wine – said it was terrible.  So, we abandoned this plan. 

Later at Biltmore Estates winery we had to make sure the wine we bought  was made from local North Carolina grapes and not California grapes which is the case for the majority of their wines.  This New Mexico Blue Teal Pinot Grigio and Gruet sparkling wine were both good.


Grandson Jorden getting up close and personal to his Texas BBQ and pinto beans at Rudy’s BBQ.  Rudy’s is located  adjacent to a gas station!DSCN1453

More BBQ-this time Memphis style at Central BBQ.


And more BBQ at the Charles Vergos’ Rendezvoux in Memphis. The entrance to the Rendezvous is in an alley!  Sweet tea is a must in the South.DSCN1771

DSCN1910Meat pies are THE thing in Natchitoches (Nak a tish), Louisiana and Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen is THE place for them.  The red beans and rice, with sausage for Gary, and corn muffins were also tasty too; the “doggy bag”even tasted good the next day.DSCN1907

Hush puppies, a southern (and my) favorite!IMG_0237









Another favorite is MiTierra Restaurant & Bakery in San Antonio, Texas, Tex-Mex at its best.   I was enjoying the company of my long-time friend Sandy so much I forgot to take a photo of the colorful restaurant and/or food!


Hurricane Ike did a real number on Galveston but thankfully El Gusto survived! My favorite there is their $3.99 breakfast burrito.


In New Orleans Beignets at CafĂ© du Monde  are a must.  I bought a mug to help preserve the memory of those hot puffs of dough and hot chocolate.  Gary had  traditional chicory coffee with his beignets.


We love finding out-of-the-way dives but even we may not have tried Susie’s Seafood in Morgan City, Louisiana if we’d seen it in the daylight! Inside it was packed with families eating at long red-checkered tablecloth tables laden with overflowing trays of crawfish.  My first experience of eating crawfish – I was hooked!


My high school classmate, LDee told us that G & M Restaurant in Baltimore serves the best crabcakes.  And was he ever right!  Yes, we had a “doggy bag” that day too.


I don’t know how often I had lobster during our eleven weeks in Maine but know it was a lot!  Gary concentrated on the delicious haddock which is available in the northeast.

Our final day of volunteering at Lamoine State Park was a lobster cookout.  Here are lobster all ready for steaming.


Steamed and ready to eat.  By the end of the summer I was cracking and eating them almost as efficiently as a Mainer!


And then there were also sopapillias in New Mexico, etouffee in Louisiana, catfish especially in Arkansas, New York and Chicago style pizza, the diners on the east coast, tamales in Natchez,  fried chicken at Gus’BBQ in Arkansas, Five Guys burgers (Gary said I had to add this fast food burger place-he loves it!), and, of course, we were more than ready for calamari once we were back in Monterey

So, this full-time RVer is REALLY thankful that the traveling lifestyle affords me the opportunity to try delicious food all over our wonderful country. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Week for Thanks---giving

Four days to Thanksgiving Day. . .giving thanks everyday.

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”—Langston Hughes

Today I am thankful for rain. . .and it is, as my Mom used to say, raining cats and dogs!  I also happen to love rain, love the sound of raindrops on the roof of our RV home, love to watch the drops splashing and love walking in the rain – hey, I am waterproof! 

Maybe this love stems from the fact that my home has always been in low rainfall states.  I am a North Dakota native where the average rainfall is 17.8”, 43rd in ranking in the U.S., and my current home state of California ranks 40th with 22.2” per year.


It’s hard to capture rain in a photo.


The rain barrel is almost full!



“Into each life some rain must fall.”--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”--Jerry Chin

rainbow thumbnailCAN336FB

“Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.”— Satchel Paige had a way with words, love him.

“After the rain cometh the fair weather.”—Aesop. That’s what is wonderful about living in California, LOTS of fair weather!

“That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”-- Deuteronomy 11:14

The rain may have not been the primary reason I chose this verse. . . perhaps it was the reference to wine?


And then there is this nursery rhyme which I love except that I don’t want the rain to go away.rain rain go away thumbnailCAF9HUV2 Yes, it is still raining cats and dogs. . . and I am thankful!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A week for Thanks--giving

Five days to Thanksgiving Day. . .giving thanks everyday.

Today I am thankful for this beautiful butterfly I am watching (and photographing) from my sister’s dining room.


DSCN6478“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God."

Thessalonians 5:18


Our Mom gave each of us, brother Don included, this same Bible for our Lutheran confirmation.

(Special thanks to my sister Micki for use of her home for my photos.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Who knew??

“Isn't it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!”  Orville Wright

I have been staying with my sister Micki as she goes through Chemo.  Yesterday she received a package from our sister-in-law Lee.  In it was this beautiful multi-colored colored shawl.


This beautiful sentiment attributed to “Kentucky Mom” was enclosed with the shawl.


We admired the shawl and wondered who had knit such a beauty.  We were thinking that she must know someone who knits so beautifully.  THEN, in the personal message on the inside of the card we read:  “As I knitted I thought of you. . .” Wait a minute! Did she say “I knitted?”  Lee can knit?  Did she just learn this art?

Micki gets on the phone and calls Lee to thank her (and to find out about this knitting thing.)  Lee says yes indeed, she not only knits but learned many years ago!  We have not only known Lee since she married our brother Don over 40 years ago, but Gary and I full-time RVed with them for more than ten years.  Yes, we even hit dozens of craft and fabric stores as we traveled together all over the country for ten years and I didn’t know this little tidbit about her. 

How well do we really know the people we care about?  And, no matter how well we think we know our friends and acquaintances, how much do we really know about them?  Sal performs in a band? I didn’t know that!  Harold is Finnish!  Gary and his parents were extras in a movie!  We watch celebrities in the media and like to think we know them. Of course we don’t.

Who knew?