Friday, June 30, 2006

From My Mother's Heart: Words Matter

Have you ever said something you regretted? Well, join the club! How many times I have said something and wondered, “Why did I even say that?”

The saddest story I recall was that of a childhood friend. She and her family were riding in the car when a discussion between father and daughter turned into an argument. My friend, agitated by her dad, said to him, “I hate you!” Just then, a drunk driver crashed into their car. My friend’s dad got out of his car to see if the man was alright, and when he did, he dropped dead on the road, right in front of his family. Her last words to her dad were, “I hate you!” She didn’t hate her dad.

Words matter.

I want the last thing I say to those I love to be, “I love you!” It is very important to me. My family has gotten into the practice of expressing love to one another many times a day. I like it. It’s not corny. It is a blessing. The phone rings. It is one of the kids saying they will be an hour late coming home. “Thanks for calling,” I say. “I love you”. “I love you, too. Bye.” Our family members always end our phone conversations with “I love you”. Even siblings!

When one of my family members drives out of the yard, they tap their horn, toot, toot, toot. You know what that means? It means, “I love you!” And though they don’t hear me, I say from the house, “I love you, too!” They all know I say it though, because they have all heard me say it when someone else is driving away.

If you are not in the practice of telling your family you love them, I encourage you to start now. No one gets tired of hearing they are loved!

There are plenty of other things we could go without saying. Because words matter, the prayer of my heart is this: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

~By Mrs. H~

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Step away from your computer!

Whew! You bloggin' gals have really been busy on your postings! I've been busy elsewhere, and haven't even had much time to reply to my own comments, much less comment on other blogs! But I can now say, I'm all caught up on with my bloggin' buddies, and STOP POSTING for awhile now, ok? *Grin*

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A few of my favorite blogs

Tami is an "online" friend of mine, whom I've gotten to meet in person! Her blog is a delightful mix of family doings and wonderful devotionals. Stop by and get to know her!
Susan is another one of my online friends, a missionary's wife in Canada. I'm hoping to get to meet Susan sometime when we visit Washington! Susan's blog introduced me to the blogosphere, and she encouraged me to start one of my own!

Tori is a new face to me, and her blog is just delightful! I've enjoyed getting to know Tori through her blog! She is also a missionary's wife--in Croatia.

Last year, Sallie had her Blogs of Beauty Awards, and I saw that floating around different blogs. I wasn't blogging yet, so I wasn't quite sure what it was all about! A few weeks ago, Sallie e-mailed me with a few questions, and since then, I have been enjoying her blog very much! Oh, and Sallie is hosting her second Blogs of Beauty Awards. Check out the categories here, and follow the instructions to nominate your favorite blogs! I plan to particpate this year! As I was reading through the categories, I was thinking of who I would nominate!

Mrs. B and Mrs. R have teamed up to create a wonderfully encouraging blog. Stop by and receive a blessing!

There you have it...a "few" of my favorite blogs! If I went through my whole list, well, I think you'd all stop following the links, because I have a very long list! *Grin*

Just for Fun

I added a hit map on my sidebar. It shows where my visitors come from! It has been fun to see the dots appear on the map! I want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all my readers and visitors!

HT to Rebecca

Recipe Swap: Cookies

I love to try out new recipes, and I love to get recipes from friends! Therefore, I'm introducing a Recipe Swap that I'll host from time to time. This swap will be for cookies!

To participate, just post one of your fabulous cookie recipes on your blog, and then let me know about it--either by commenting to this post, or by sending me an e-mail. Next Wednesday at 12 p.m. EST I will post the links, so make sure to get your recipe posted and your link to me by then!

Ready, Set, BAKE! (And pass the word around so our cookie jars can be overflowing!) *Grin*

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

From My Mother's Heart: Think about who God is today

I have asked my mom, "Mrs. H" to write guest posts from time to time. I feel as a young woman, I am not equipped to "teach". Now, my mom is not "old", but she has way more wisdom and experience than I do! I hope her posts are a blessing and encouragement to you!

Isaiah 40:25 is a favorite verse of mine. “To whom then will ye liken
me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” Certainly, as mere
humans, we can not understand our wonderful God completely, for there
is nothing or no one with which we can compare Him.

Here are a few things God is:
God is true. John 3:33
God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:9
God is holy. Psalm 99:9
God is my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
God is my strength. 2 Samuel 22:33
God is gracious and merciful. 2 Chronicles 30:9
God is mighty. Job 36:5
God is great. Job 36:26
God is for me. Psalm 56:9
God is mine helper. Psalm 54:4
God is my defence. Psalm 59:17

This God deserves our worship, praise, and admiration today. He won't
chase us down for it. He won't make us worship, love and adore Him, but
if we will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him, we will find
that we are greatly blessed for doing so.

By Mrs. H

~The Beauty of Tea~

I've written before about tea with friends, but there is also beauty in a solitary cup of tea. I love to sip tea while I knit or read. Hot tea on Michigan's cold, blustery days is a must! I've discovered that those days are more often than I care for, but tea makes everything seem cozy and peaceful.

Hot tea is very relaxing, especially herbal teas, which are my favorites. I used to keep one or two boxes of tea on hand, but within the last two years (since we've lived in Michigan), I have taken to trying out many different varieties of teas. I now have a whole drawer full of tea!

Something that I have started since I got my full-time job is to have a cup of tea about an hour before I leave work. (Mrs. Cat at Making it Home recommends a cup of tea at 4 p.m., and I picked up the idea from her.) It's a little signal to myself that my work day is almost over, and it gives me a little recharge to get me through the rest of my work day. Usually, things are quiet around the office at that hour, but sometimes I am finishing up a project that requires me to be away from my desk. I still fix my cup of tea, and carry it around with me!

For sweetener, I use a natural sweetener called Stevia. That means my treat of tea throughout the day has zero calories in it! There is nothing better than something that tastes delicious but has no calories to worry about!

Mmm...I just finished my Green Berry tea that accompanied my lunch--a perfect compliment to a sandwich and an apple. *Smiles*

This post was my entry for Sallie's Carnival of Beauty. Click here to read the other articles posted.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Kitchen Time

I was flipping through a library cookbook last night, and I noticed a statistic. Since the author didn't list a source, I don't know how accurate the statistic was. But anyhow, it sounded about right to me!

It said:
65% of Americans spend more time cleaning the kitchen than any other room of the house.

I know that is true for me! I feel the time I spend cleaning in the kitchen would be equal to the time I spend cleaning the rest of the house!

One thing I have been doing recently is tackling small spaces one at a time (I posted about my freezer, and under the kitchen sink--I have also cleaned out several drawers in the kitchen since then). I have discovered that cleaning this way takes only a little time, and it feels great to have an area sparkling clean in just a few minutes!

What are some "tips and tricks" you utilize to keep your cleaning time down in the kitchen?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Weeds, weeds, weeds!

This afternoon I spent a great amount of time weeding my flower beds and garden. I'm glad to be done! I fertilized the flowers and vegetables as well. I just hope that doesn't make the weeds grow more! LOL

Here's a picture of my wee little garden when I first planted it:

And here is a picture from today:

It's growing so nicely! It seems to get enough sun, and pretty soon I need to get cages for the tomatoes, they are growing so fast! My green beans are being eaten by some sort of insect, so I bought a insect killer and sprayed it on today. Hopefully that will do the trick.

Next year I would love to plant even more vegetables! I need to get the book Square Foot Gardening and study that so I can optimize the space better.

My Baby Tomato

I'm quite enchanted with my babies! *Grin*

Farmer's Market

This morning I went to the farmer's market for the first time. I will definitely be going back! There are so many stands! It's lovely to see all the fruit and vegetables piled on the tables! Mmmm...makes me want to eat lots of good-for-you-fresh produce! There was one stand that had nice produce, but the man taking care of the table was smoking right over the fruit and vegetables. *Cough, sputter, gasp!* I didn't buy anything from his table!

These are the vegetables that I purchased:

Now I'm off to do my laundry and housework, gardening and weeding, and hopefully a trip to the dump! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 23, 2006


Lord, help me to live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way,
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true;
And know that all I do for Thee
Must needs be done for others.

And when my work on Earth is done,
And my new work in Heaven begun,
May I forget the crown I won,
While thinking still of others.

Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be.
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.
-- C.D. Meigs

My sister memorized this poem when we were younger, and I remember the first and last stanza quite well. This is an excellent poem to remind us of our duty towards others.

A Film for Friday: Kind Hearts and Coronets

Netflix says:
Kind Hearts and Coronets is perhaps the best (and best-loved) of Alec Guinness's English Ealing comedies. Guinness is in superb, droll form as he plays eight different members of the D'Ascoyne clan. Louis (Dennis Price), the black sheep of the wealthy family, must murder all the heirs in order to inherit the D'Ascoyne fortune. You'll be mesmerized as the brilliant Guinness disappears into his various eccentric roles.

This movie is quite hilarious, and yet, because it deals with murder, children would perhaps be frightened. (I know I would have been! But then, when I was little I was scared of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz! LOL) If I remember correctly, there are no gruesome scenes.

It is amazing to see Alec Guinness play eight different people. I won't ruin the film for you by giving any more details!

As always, use your own discretion. Image from

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Baby Bell Pepper

It's teeny-tiny, but it keeps on growing!

More pictures

The previously posted picture is the one that we purchased for our anniversary picture. However, there were several other pictures that turned out nicely too:

Something that has been bugging me...

I left a question on someone's blog, and I forgot which blog it was. So I don't know where to look for my answer. It is bugging me so much! LOL I must be getting old or something! =)

Anniversary Picture

When we celebrated our first anniversary, Kevin wanted to start the tradition of getting a professional portrait taken each year. We have kept up with the tradition, this year being no exception.

We keep our current picture framed, and we have an album for the rest of the pictures.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One of my favorite verses...

~My Day~

Today the weather was lovely. Not too hot or muggy. Just nice and warm. My plants are growing well! I have tiny little tomatoes and itsy bitsy peppers. It's fun to watch the plants grow!

Tonight I made scalloped potatoes with turkey ham, corn on the cob, and Caesar salad for dinner. Everything was delicious, even if the scalloped potatoes turned out runny. I have no idea why!

After dinner I ran to the store for my pectin, sugar, and jars. Of course, I added things to that list, and by the time I got home it was late. However, that didn't stop me from making my jam! I have eight more jars of jam sitting on my countertop (I'm still waiting for them to seal!). It only took me about an hour to make my jam tonight. I have a feeling that taking pictures added time to the process last night. LOL

Have a blessed day!

Q & A

Thank you so much for your "sweet" comments regarding my strawberry jam. =)

There were a few questions asked in the comments, so I thought I'd answer them in a separate post.

*Not really a question, but Happymama said she'd love to do this with her daughter, and a girls' group at church. I have one word of caution for anyone making the jam: the fruit and sugar are boiled for one minute and then poured immediately into the glass jars. I've been burned by little drops of jam, and it's not pleasant! This would be potentially dangerous for very young girls to take part in. However, I'm sure they could help prepare the fruit, and measure out the ingredients, and then have fun watching the rest of the procedure!

*would splenda work as well?
I've never used Splenda, but there are recipes for jam made with Splenda. Annecourager left this recipe:
Strawberry Jam with Splenda:
6 c. sliced/mashed ripe strawberries
3 c. Splenda
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. boiling water
1 pkg. (.75 oz) low-sugar pectin

Method (different from "the box"):
Mash strawberries with a potato masher. Add Splenda and lemon juice; combine. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower heat and simmer for 15 min.

Combine boiling water and pectin, blending with wire whisk. Stir into strawberry mixture. Bring mix to boil again, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Carefully ladle into sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Seal (by inverting, or by boiling water bath).

Recipe from Cooking Healthy With Splenda by JoAnna M. Lund

*Do you use fresh lemon juice or do you get your juice from the bottle?
I usually buy bottled lemon juice, but fresh works too.

*When you say the lids are in hot water, do you mean water that has been brought to a boil?
I just used hot tap water. Some people simmer their lids on the stove to prepare the rubber. I've not found that necessary though.

*Have you done frozen preserves?
No, I never have. My main reason for making jam is for gifts. Frozen preserves just wouldn't travel well. =)

*Great minds think alike, I just blogged about making strawberry jam.
This was too funny--we both made and blogged about making strawberry jam! Check out Be Not Conformed for pictures and instructions from Mrs. R on making freezer jam!

*I like that drainer! It clips over the divider?
I really enjoy using my over the sink strainer! Rubbermaid makes them, and they retail for approximately $6-7 in stores like Meijer or Wal-Mart. It fits right over the middle sink divider, and is so handy for draining noodles, and preparing fruits/veggies. They come red, white, and green.

Something I was going to mention last night~it's terribly tempting to touch the lids to see if they have sealed. Don't touch the jars for several hours! (Yes, I have succumbed to the temptation before!)

Wow, my first question and answer post, that was fun! *Grin*

Monday, June 19, 2006

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry jam is truly easy to make! It doesn't take that long, and there are no "secrets" to it. Just follow the recipe exactly, and you'll have great results.

Tonight's batch took me about an hour and a half to make it, start to finish (that included everything from the prep time to final clean up).

I use fruit pectin, which is available in the grocery store. I don't have a favorite, although I do like the type that uses less sugar. (Tonight I used what I had on hand, and it is the type that uses more sugar.) I always follow the recipe that comes with the fruit pectin.

Wash strawberries:

Take stems out, and mash. I use a potato masher. I love the uneven chunks it leaves in the jam.

My 5 cups of mashed strawberries, mixed with 1/4 cup lemon juice and one packet of fruit pectin:

At this point, I get everything ready to use.
Sugar measured out (eeks, seven cups! That's a lot of sugar!):

Jars filled with hot tap water, and the lids in hot water:

Bring fruit to a boil, add sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Then it's ready to go in the jars!

Pour in the jars:

Wipe edge clean:

I use the inverted method of canning. Fill jars, put the lid on and screw tightly. Turn upside down and leave for five minutes:


As I've been typing this, I've heard the "ping" of them sealing. That sound is truly music to my ears! (Five down, two to go!)

Hurrah! I tricked Blogger!

I wanted all my pictures of the jam in one post. How to do that, when Blogger won't load more than five or so pictures? I loaded them one by one, cut and pasted the html in a Word document. Then when I had loaded all the pictures, I pasted the html back into my post. A little more work than usual, but I tricked Blogger!!!

(Oh, and I see from the above pictures that I need to bleach my countertops. LOL)


I pulled out my sweater again and finished the front:

Now lets see...I have the back and two sleeves to do! At this rate it just might take a while.

Pampered Chef Purchases

Thank you all for your suggestions and PC favorites! Saturday night I sat down with my catalog and decided on three items: the Mix 'n Stir spatula, the garlic press, and the utility knife. I'm looking forward to getting my order, and because I purchased everyday items, I know I'll get a lot of use out of each one!


Sallie's post on strawberries reminded me that it is indeed strawberry season here in Michigan! I'm not used to the growing seasons yet--I still think like a Californian! Oh well...

After work, I'm heading off to the strawberry farm to get a flat of strawberries! Strawberries are so delicious! I plan on freezing some, but putting most up as jam. I love to give homemade jam as small gifts (hostess gifts, thank you gifts, little gifts to someone who needs "picking up", etc.) and I've been totally out of jam since last fall!

PS. I also think Strawberry Shortcake is adorable. *Grin*

Images found here.

"Why me?"

When something goes wrong, do you have a "why me?" attitude? I know that I have had that attitude!

A year or so ago a woman visiting our church told me she had just been diagnosed with diabetes. She told me of her diagnosis, and then said something that totally shocked me, "Why me? Why couldn't it be someone else?" I can understand the "Why me?" part, but wishing an illness on someone else? Wow, very selfish, indeed! I would never say that aloud about a circumstance I'm in, and probably never consciously think it, but isn't that the underlying attitude of "Why me?"

The psalmist said, "Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." Psalm 119:67, 71

In many instances, the troubles that we sigh over are for our own good. Instead of saying, "Why me?" let us take the words of the Psalmist!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Under the Sink

Tonight I decided to clean out underneath my sink.


Everything pulled out. What a mess! It looks like water is leaking around the edge of the sink, and going down into the cabinet. The wood above is rotting, and falling down. Hmmm...that needs to be fixed soon!

Necessary items back in, several items found a new home. The basket is for my dirty kitchen towels. I've always kept this basket under my kitchen sink. It's very handy to have here, rather than trotting down to the basement to put a towel in the dirty laundry.

This whole project probably took longer to blog about than actually accomplish! *Smile* Isn't it amazing, I put jobs off till something absolutely has to be done, and it only takes a few minutes!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Bath and Body Works hand soap

For Christmas 2004, my sister Holly gave me three bottles of hand soap from Bath and Body Works. I loved using them, and they lasted so long! Last summer I purchased three more, since they were on sale for 3/$10. These three bottles have lasted nearly a year! And yes, I do wash my hands! *Grin* They have the same sale going right now, and I purchased three bottles of soap today while I was out running errands. It's nice to have a bottle of hand soap in the kitchen. It's easier on my hands than straight dish soap.

Where I'm From Contest

Lori at Joy in the Morning is having a writing contest, and I've entered (see post below). I've seen several "Where I'm From" poems around the blogosphere, and the good news is, that if you've already written one, you can repost it for the contest! The contest ends on June 21st, so you still have plenty of time.

I'm quite un-poetic, so this was a challenge for me. It's funny, because I only did this to enter a contest. But I'm quite pleased with the end result!

Here is the template for making your own "Where I'm From".

Where I'm From

I am from dish towels and aprons, from Crayola Crayons and Etch-a-Sketches and "playing house".

I am from a small house bursting with love, a large, loving family and huge simmering pots of homemade soup.

I am from home-grown tomatoes, dandelions picked with love for my mother, ordinary rock collections, the Giant Sequoia trees, Johnny jump-ups and family nature treks.

I am from the unwavering, always chili, Christmas Eve dinners, and my indented chin inherited from my father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

I am from family laughs with a sigh at the end and family togetherness.

From Jesus loves me and Jesus died for my sins.

I am from a loving Christian home, my Christian heritage reaching far back on my father's side and generations on my mother's side.

I may have been born in South Carolina, but I'm from California of German, Irish, and English descent, from peppernuts and New Years Cookies, from July 4th barbecues and three-bean salads.

From pet ducks and geese, from my mother's "Lulabelle" stories, from a happy childhood.

I am from small towns, and while earthly treasures do not abound in my family, I have priceless family memories worth far more than gold.

I am blessed.

Pampered Chef

Last night I went to a Pampered Chef party, held at a fellow church-member's home. I thouroughly enjoyed myself! I've never been to a PC party before, nor have I looked at their catalog.

I think I would be content to have nearly all their utensils, cookware, gadgets, knives, etc.! I haven't purchased anything yet, but I am considering their spatulas and garlic press. Those two items stood out to me as something that I would use all the time.

The PC gal said that if we wanted, we could write down a "wish list" and our birth date, give her the names of our friends/family, and she would call them and tell them what we wanted. Hmmm, I'll stick to just wishing!

How about you? Do you like PC? Even though everything is expensive, it sounds like their products are long-lasting, with great warranties. I know Mrs. R enjoys the can opener!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Little Girls Knitting

This is one of my favorite paintings:

A few years ago, Kevin almost bought it for me. We saw it in a store that sold framed prints. The price was great, but the mat was messed up. I've been sorry ever since that I turned him down on his offer to buy it for me! I'm planning on getting it from someday soon. It would be lovely in my sewing room.

The rest of these paintings are ones I found online. If you want to know where the image was found, google "girl knitting" and you can see the source.

This painting shows a wealthy girl knitting:

The rest of the paintings I've posted depict lower-class girls.

Knitting socks:

Knitting socks:

The picture is too small to tell, but I wonder if she's making socks as well?

It must not have been uncommon for little girls to know how to knit socks, and they were probably making the family supply of socks, not doing it for pleasure, like I do!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Clean Freezer!

Yesterday as dinner was cooking, I cleaned my freezer out.
Before, everything just stashed in:

Nothing was spilled, it took me just a few seconds to wipe out:

And then almost everything went back in. There were a few things that didn't look too appetizing! I also found a lot of unmarked tomato products (crushed, sauce, and paste) in ziploc baggies. I think they'll go in a pot of vegetable soup sometime, since I'm not sure what each one is.

I need to find another wire shelf for the freezer. It's not very space effecient without a shelf. Any ideas for where I could look?

Recipe Keeper

I recently used a Border's Books gift card that I had received a while back. One of my purchases was this nifty Recipe Keeper, on sale for $7.99.
The cover:

Each section has a pocket for loose cards, then it is followed by pages to write favorite recipes, the cookbook they came from, and the page number:

And in each section there are pages to write recipes:

The front of the book has a "Favorite Cookbook Index" and then it is followed by the following sections:
Appetizers & Beverages/Salads & Dressings
Soups, Sandwiches & Breads/Vegetables
Rice & Pasta/Pork & Seafood
Beef & Chicken/Lamb & Game
Cakes & Pies/Cookies, Candies & Desserts
Jellies, Jams & Preserves/Pickles, Sauces & Marinades

I've been wanting a way to organize my recipes, and I do have a notebook that I've attempted to put together, but I think this will really be a help to me. I almost put it back on the shelf, saying to myself that I could make one on my own, but then I figured that I had the gift card to spend anyhow, and it would probably cost just as much to make one on my own, and it would take up a lot of time.

Enjoying God's Creation

I love to watch green beans emerge from the soil!

Tomato Ice Cream?

In the comments of this post, my dad let the cat out of the bag.

He said:
Tammy is so right about having to follow a recipe. She could probably tell you that we never had the complete list of items for any given recipe that was about to be made. Even if we went shopping for items on the recipe we would not get everything on the recipe exactly as stated because of cost. With this in mind, Tammy decided to make a special treat for the family one day. We have a VitaMix and we had a recipe book to go with it. Tammy found a recipe for which she probably thought she had enough ingredients. I am not sure how it tasted because I never got to taste what she made. Everyone else that was home did get to taste what she made and now they will not let her forget what she made. It almost always comes up when the children get together for a big laugh at Tammy's expense. The funny thing about what she made is that you can still find it in the VitaMix mailers that they send out. I saw in a VitaMix mailer yesterday. It caught my eye and I thought that I should scan the picture and send it to Tammy for a joke. I have not had time to do this yet, but I hope to and then maybe Tammy can post the picture. So by now you are probably wondering what in the world is this that Tammy made. Well here it is . . . . "Tomato Ice Cream!!!" You read correctly. Anyway, Tammy keep on blogging.



For the record, I've not once tried this again. Also for the record, I was 15 years old when I did try it. I didn't have a recipe...I saw the ad in a magazine, and thought I could "wing" it. One afternoon, I went out to the garden, and picked two gigantic tomatoes (no lie, they were both around 4-6 inches wide! The recipe probably calls for one cherry tomato!). I headed back inside, careful to keep my culinary experiment a secret. Soon the whir of the VitaMix told everyone that something was going on in the kitchen. I soon had a small crowd of siblings, anxious to see what I was making. I had milk, ice, tomatoes and honey in the VitaMix, and what resulted was a fabulously pink, terribly slushy concoction. Holly is the only one who ate hers. The rest went down the sink. Come to think of it, if I had heated it on the stove, it would have probably been delicious...tomato soup! LOL

And by the way, I sincerely doubt that if I had asked to make this, either one of my parents would have let me! Hahahaha

One very intersting thing about this is that my mom was expecting sibling #7 when I made this. She teases me about my tomato ice cream, as do siblings #8 and 9. Now tell me, how does this work? How can they tease me about this when they weren't even born to remember it??? I mean, really, the rest of my family could have made up this story, as far as they are concerned!

It used to be that anyone who told my tomato ice cream story faced dire consequences. Now, I just laugh along! :-)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blogging about blogging

How many do you read regularly?
I have 57 blogs listed in my bloglines account. However, if I'm crunched for time, I narrow it down to about 10 of my favorites. Quite a few of those 57 do not regulary post anyhow.

How many are written by women? By men?
All are by women. I feel that my heart should be towards my husband, and I don't need to be reading other men's opinions, day to day life, feelings, etc. (Not to criticize anyone who reads blogs written by men--this is just something that I determined was best for myself.)

Are they all Christian? How about the same denomination?
The majority are Christians. Same denomination? I don't think so, but I think that most who are outside my denomination (Baptist) would line up with my beliefs. I have a few knitting and craft blogs that I like to read. However, I am picky about the blogs I read, and if there is profanity on the blog, it's immediately taken off my list.

What kinds of posts do you like the best?
Upbeat, cheerful posts. Posts that are encouraging in one way or another.

What kinds of posts are you most likely to comment on?
Funny posts, posts that spoke to my heart, posts that have great ideas in them.

What makes you add a blog to your favorites list/bloglines? Or conversely, what drives you away from a blog?
Blog content. I like to read about people's days but I also like to see projects they are working on, great ideas for homemaking, crafts, etc. I understand when someone has a bad day, but when a blog is consistently negative, it turns me away.

What’s your favorite kind of post to write?
Finished projects! YAY! (LOL)

What do you think is your biggest strength blogwise? Biggest weakness?
Biggest strength? I blog consistently. Biggest weakness? I tend to be too wordy!

What do you want to change, if anything, about the way you blog?
I want to make sure I point the way to my Savior. When I first started blogging, it was just for my family and a few Christian ladies I knew. Quite unexpectedly my blog readership has grown lately, and I want to make sure to share the Light of the World.

How many times a day do you say the word blog?
Probably not too many!

How many bloggers have you met in real life – not counting the ones you knew before they started blogging?
One--Tami. We met on another occasion though, not because we were bloggers! But she still counts!

HT to Mrs. Blythe, a blogging meme written by Blest With Sons.

So many comments, so little time!

Comments, comments, comments! On my blog, on my favorite blogs! What to do about comments? When I first started blogging, I spent a lot of time checking my blog, to see if there were any new comments on it. Nope, all five people who checked my blog today decided not to leave a comment...I'll check back in five seconds and see if the status has, not yet...ten seconds later..."Aha! Someone left a comment!" As you might imagine, that took up a great amount of time.

Then I learned that if you put your e-mail address in the settings of Blogger, that it will automatically send an e-mail for every comment. That is really nice! I don't have to go searching for my comments anymore (except when Blogger is being naughty, and doesn't send them to me right away). One very nice thing about having your comments e-mailed to you is that you don't miss any comments. I have had people make comments on posts that were several months old.

And then, there's the situation of comments on other people's blogs. I try to leave comments around the blogosphere, but I try not to ask questions in my comments. Because if I do, then I have to remember to go back to that post, look and see if my question has been answered. And sometimes, *gasp* that person doesn't answer my question right away! (Is that rude, or what? *Wink, wink* I mean, really...aren't they just sitting at their computer waiting for comments anyhow?)

I found this blog post regarding comments to be very true! HT to Mrs. Happy Housewife.

Image from

Monday, June 12, 2006

Chicago: Sears Tower

One of our top priorities on our visit to Chicago was the Sears Tower. Friday turned out to be a great day for visiting. The visibility was great, and if we had gone on Saturday, we would have seen a lot of rain clouds. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Looking way, way up!

Some great views from the top:

Just hanging around: