Wednesday, February 18, 2015


With spring around the corner we are expecting several sets of visitors.

A blog I enjoy summed it up well . . .

What I learned is that when family needs a place to stay they aren't looking for a luxury hotel, just a bed with clean sheets and a smiling face handing them a hot cup of coffee in the morning. When friends come to visit they don't expect a gourmet meal and a pinterest ready atmosphere, they just want a safe place to talk about the ups and downs of life. {Lemon Lane Cottage}

Sunday, February 8, 2015

chicken & slaw stir-fry

Chicken and Slaw Stir-Fry
serves 2 {9 weight watchers points+}

1 Tbps olive oil
8 oz boneless chicken breast cut into small pieces
3 cups packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
4 medium scallions sliced
4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 cup cooked brown rice

Stir-fry chicken in olive oil for 3-4 minutes in a large skillet
Add slaw, scallions and teriyaki sauce; toss and heat through.
Serve over rice.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

the rent collector

My book club is now reading
The Rent Collector 

Though the book is a work of fiction, 
it was inspired by real people living at Stung Meanchey.

I loved this book.
When I finished it I sat frozen for quite awhile processing it all.

It had extra meaning to me as we have spent
several months in Cambodia in the past 4 years.

Here are a few of my photos that the book brought to mind . . .

{view from Amanda's 4th floor balcony - Phnom Penh}

{Amanda and Ezra - Prey Veng}

{recycling - Phnom Penh}

{traveling by moto - Phnom Penh}

{the blessing of having a foreign doctor - Phnom Penh}

{another blessing - dear friend Ming Kohm}

The Rent Collector is the story of a young mother, Sang Ly, struggling to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty

Monday, January 26, 2015


We don't stop playing because we grow old, 
we grow old because we stop playing. 
{G. B. Shaw} 

{photo taken May 2014}

So, taking advantage of the Florida Resident discount pass we bought last year . . . .
we are off to the "happiest place on earth" for a few days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

salad fixins

My sister-in-law, Tracy, gave us a package of Salad Fixins from Sam's Club. 
Our salads have never been the same . . . 

It contained: 
Sesame Sticks, Raw Sunflower Seeds, 
Slivered Almonds, Cranberries, and Pepitas.

We have begun making our own and never serve a salad without it.

Ours contains: 
Whole Wheat Sesame Sticks, Sunflower Seeds, Sliced Almonds, 
Dried Cranberries, Pepitas, and Dried Edamame Beans.

Mixed and ready to go.

You could make your own by combining any of your favorite healthy snacks. 

I guarantee it will make every ordinary salad into a gourmet feast.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

the blessings of friends

At the beginning of this new year I have been reflecting on
what a blessing it is to have such dear friends.

Looking back over the years I marvel at the variety
of places where we have met new friends.

We are so fortunate that our lives have
crossed paths with such amazing people.

childhood, high school, college, camp, work, athletics, clubs, blogging, church,
hometowns, family, bowling, biking, traveling, in-laws, retirement

Monday, December 22, 2014

asleep in the hay

Thanks to our local Goodwill Store
our Christmas decor now feels complete . . . 

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

Monday, December 15, 2014

belleair beach

Last week we visited Belleair Keys where my father-in-law lived for 20+ years.
We had a flood of memories from days gone by. 
Happy times spent with "Grandpa Jim" at the beach. 
While there, we were so fortunate to have a long conversation 
with 92-year-old Sylvia Holstein who remembered Jim Sr.
as a good friend and shared great stories with us.


by the way . . .  Sylvia Holstein
is an amazing woman 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

cookie decorating

This is the first time in 33 years we won't be with any of our children for Christmas. 
So . . . we needed to recruit friends for the traditional cookie decorating. 

Thanks Cindy and Tom.

Last year , , ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Cordials {#10}

photo credit: The Law Student's Wife

Chocolate Cherry Cordials
makes 30

For cookies:
½   cup butter, softened
1   cup sugar
1   egg
1   tsp rum extract
 1 ½   cups flour
¹∕³cup cocoa powder
¼   tsp salt
¼   tsp baking soda
¼   tsp baking powder
30   maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry with paper towels
2   Tbsp sugar, for coating

For glaze:
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. rum extract
¾  cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, and rum extract until light and fluffy. Add flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat well.

Flatten about 1 Tbsp dough. Place a cherry on top; mold dough around it. Roll in sugar. Repeat with remaining dough.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

For frosting:
Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Use a small amount of frosting on each cookie.

I have more cookies recipes that we enjoy but none of them "say Christmas" so . . . 
I would love to know what your favorite Christmas cookie is.  
Perhaps you could leave a a link to your cookie in a comment.