Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Birthday Perspective at 58 & the Best Birthday Gifts Come From the Heart

When you become a parent, your whole perspective on birthdays changes.
No longer is your own birthday important...
You would much rather celebrate the days that you gave birth to your children...
Your child's birthday is really when you want to celebrate together.

And...I get this now, since our nest is empty.
My birthday is just another day.

And...I also understand how strongly my mom felt about spending my birthday with me.
We would visit her on her birthday, but she didn't care about that...
she wanted to visit me on my birthday!

Some of you might remember this post from my birthday in 2010...
the year we moved Mom from her own place to an assisted living facility.

Most of you know that I celebrated my birthday about two weeks ago.
This year I celebrated with my mom.

I had taken her to her eye doctor's appointment, complete with dilatation,
so felt best that I prepare a dinner for us in her apartment.

In early June, she had given me a small gift of cash...
she reminded me that she can no longer shop,
 and wanted to give us something for our anniversary and my birthday.

I had cashed the check and was carrying the money around in my purse...
not sure if I should apply it to something practical or get something a bit special, that would be just from her.

So after our little birthday dinner, she gave me a card.
Inside was this scrappy piece of paper...

You see, the folks that grew up during the depression saved everything.
My mom even saved junk mail if it was printed on only one side.

But when I turned the paper over, there was typing...
I immediately recognized the font.

She must have typed it years ago, on her first typewriter.
The same typewriter that she used to type the local news column every Monday.
The same typewriter that I used to type research papers in high school.

The beautiful in life...
some talk of it in poetry,
some grow it from the soil,
some build it in a steeple,
some show it through their toil...

Some breathe it into music,
some mold it into art,
some shape it into bread loaves,
some hold it in their heart.

For all you are, for all you do,
May everything beautiful in life come to you.

Happy Birthday


I won't be needing another gift...
this one was perfect.

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday...Leads to Cooking Up Some Summer Fun

I have the exciting opportunity to share 
some of my favorite summertime recipes.

I will be preparing a refreshing cool beverage and a couple of side dishes 
every Thursday in Langs beautiful demonstration kitchen.

Meanwhile, in my own kitchen,
I am organizing the ingredients...
measuring...
chopping...
a little "Mise en Place"

Because the First Day of Summer is this Saturday,
I think my Golden Punch is a perfect choice.

Reminds me of sunshine!

And my absolute favorite go-to summer dessert 
is a no bake Chocolate Cheesecake.
Everyone knows that I don't like to use my oven when it's hot outside!

A fabulous finish to any meal.

I also plan to make an Herbed Pasta Salad,
using fresh basil from our garden patch.

My helper cat knows that she is not welcome in my kitchen,
so she was a lady of leisure on the couch.

Stop back for recipes and more photos...
or better yet, if you are a 'local' friend,
stop out at Langs this afternoon.

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Hubby has a Green Thumb

It's my hubby that enjoys working in the yard and garden.
He selects beautiful plants and flowers...
and they thrive under his care.

I, however, can't keep plants alive.
I either over-water or under-water.
(And, I don't always recognize a weed, when I see one...
I know, surprising for a farm girl, right?)

These sweet flowers are on the deck.

This year, instead of planting directly in the flower bed, 
he sunk pots into the ground to see if plants do better.

He suspects that the very large tree beside our patio
robs the moisture and nutrients from the soil.
(Nellie, Mr. Frog is still doing well, thank you!)

The space under the deck is not necessarily attractive, 
so he hangs large ferns from hooks on the lower edge.
(one year, he planted them in that flower box, 
and bunnies ate them down to the stem.)

Meet Mr. Peacock, my personal favorite.

Last but not least, the Herb Garden

Our cherry tomato is growing like a "weed".
Thank you, honey, for working so hard in our yard and garden.

For Tuesday's Tip of the Day...

Have a Terrific Tuesday,
Take care,
~Natalie

Today, I am linking to Garden Tuesday

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Flag Day...Happy Birthday to my Blog...Repost of my First Blog Post...and a Blog GiveAway

Happy Birthday to my blog.  She is 8 years old.
If she went to school, she would be learning to write in cursive and the mulitiplication tables.

In 2008, I was trying to figure out what to do with this empty nest.

We had been selling our creations locally for years, and I thought,
 maybe it was time to venture into the on-line world.
I "creeped" around in a lot of shops and blogs.
All the sellers said, "You need a blog first, to show that your are 'human',
and then open your on-line shop.

So, blog came first.
This was one of the first photos that Father's Day Weekend.

And this was my first blog post in 2008...
"Good Morning! Today would be my grandmother's birthday. She would have been 115 years old if she was here. Her mind was sharp until the day she died. I would love to spend a day visiting with her about her growing up, teaching in a one room school house and raising a family of 9 children. I wonder how the women of her generation had time to take care of their children, the house, the garden; to prepare all of their meals at home, from scratch; to bake delicious cookies and pies; and still have the energy to crochet bedspreads and create beautiful quilts. These women were amazing!

So, it is fitting that I venture into this world of technology with my own blogspot, on my grandma's birthday. This concept would have been so far beyond her wildest imagination. I have tried to expain what the internet is to my mom,who's 87, and have just touched the surface.

I am contemplating the idea of selling my crafts online. I have looked at hundreds of craft websites, craft directories, craft malls, craft shows, craft communites, etc. over the last week. I am impressed! If anyone has some advice or words of encouragement, I'd be happy to hear from you."

http://vintageholidaycrafts.com/

Happy Flag Day.
Happy Birthday to my Blog.

And like usual,
if you comment on this post,
my blog's birthday...
You will be in a drawing,
to be chosen on my birthday on June 23rd.

Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, June 6, 2014

Happy Anniversary to my Hubby & Looking Back on our Pre-Children Years

 
Today we celebrate our Wedding Anniversary...33 years.
We've been "in a relationship" for 35 years,
(if there had been such a thing as Facebook, back then)

We both wore 80's big glasses
and my hairstyle was the fashionable curly perm...yikes!

This week Katie Couric joins 25 million other parents preparing to be empty nesters.
Guests on her show discussed how to make the transition easier.
It's hard to explain the conflicting emotions of being extremely happy and extremely sad...all at the same time.

One of the obvious tips is to
"Rediscover the love of your life".

My best advice is to maintain that relationship all along, so that when the last child leaves for college, you don't find yourself living with a stranger!

I had forgotten what we did in those early years before our first daughter was born.
So I had to get out the old photo albums.
Of course, you all know that my hubby has always been a 'rock star',
I have always been a groupie, taking pictures of the band.

We took weekend trips to visit my favorite Aunt Vivian and Uncle Jim.
My hubby loved to go fishing with Uncle Jim. He had a big Bass Tracker...and we all know that Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes".

We also visited the farm and my Grandpa Gustav.

We played cards and games with the family.
It looks like Yahtzee this Christmas.

We had family cook-outs at the lake...
enjoying the warm summer evenings outside.

While so much has changed...
there are so many things that stay the same.

Happy Anniversary, Honey,
Here's to 35 more years "in a relationship" with you!

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Teacher's Work is Never Done and Reflecting on my Health Report

It's Week Two of our Summer Break here.
Only a few tasks remain on my list to finish up the year.
The school can be an eerie place at night, don't you agree?!

The weekend brought us much needed rain on Saturday...

...and beautiful sunshine on Sunday!

I am also taking care of the necessary annual doctors' appointments.

How convenient to have an espresso station in the lobby,
right across from the lab. 
It's a much needed fix after fasting blood work!

Test results can now be viewed on-line.
My PA was concerned as some of my numbers were too high,
and others were too low.

I didn't take this news very well.
I was expecting to have a better report.

For 10 months, I have worked hard to lose weight,
exercise more, and eat smaller portions.
Hello, 
I'm the one that orders a side of steamed vegetables for my dinner when we go out to eat.

I often quote my favorite college nutrition teacher, Dr. Susan Crockett,
"You can't choose your ancestors."

So, I have done much thinking in the last few days...
I guess, if I didn't try to live a health lifestyle,
my numbers would probably be off the charts??

So...folks,
keep up with your exercise routine,
think about what, and how much you are eating,
Reduce the risk of those debilitating heath issues that run in your family.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

Take care,
~Natalie

This is How You Party When You Turn 95

Great Grandma celebrated all weekend. Her Assisted Living Facility hosted a lovely party for her. Hubby and his sister are there by her side...