Thursday, January 29, 2015

Visiting Not Quite Donna Reed

Not Quite Donna Reed
Doing a bit of housekeeping and blogging at
Not Quite Donna Reed's. 

If you don't follow me over there, there is an easy sign
up box over on the right sidebar. You can follow by
email or Google reader. 

Love to see you lovely Blueberry Cottage
friends join me there.

~SuzanneXO

Friday, January 16, 2015

CATCH UP, OR WHERE I HAVE BEEN



I'm pretty certain most people thought I may have abandoned this space here, but the truth is, life has a way of throwing you some curves. Said curves that require you to stretch yourself, examine your soul and life and determine what is truly important.

My Dad passed away not too long ago. It was pretty devastating, as he was still relatively young. A very rare form of an aggressive cancer took him from us in about three weeks time. You go into survival mode with these things ~ you don't have time to think of anyone or anything but the loved one you need to care for.  God was indeed to be praised, because my sisters and I were able to take care of him 24/7, along with my mother. He died in our arms surrounded by grandchildren and close friends. 

It takes a long time to heal, to move on even. Each day I think of him. However, I cry a less. The memories are what anchors you to that person. My parents gave us great a childhood, not filled with fancy, but one filled with love, faith and a caring and nurturing environment. Oh, nothing is perfect, but when the loved one is gone you tend to hunker down with all the good they did for you. Our summer house at Cape Cod and all the great things that came with it is still my sisters and I favorite part of our childhoods.

The void is deep. But time does have a way of healing. My mother, as you can imagine, is lonely. Hey, after over 50 years of a pretty great marriage who wouldn't feel that deep longing to just touch that person one more time, talk to them, embrace them.

We continue to heal.


My Dad on the right with his brother, who is only one year older than he, served in the Air Force together during the Vietnam War. My Dad was one of nine kids. His parents immigrated from Canada. All five boys served in the armed forces and my grandfather was a vet of WWI and WWII. Two of the four sisters served also--pretty impressive!


This is my Dad and my two sisters. I look most like sister on the right. We often get mistaken
for each other at times, especially if sunglasses are on-HA!

At this visit they gave my Dad three more weeks, we only had three more precious days with him.


My very dear corgi/Tasha Tudor pal Cathy Santarsiero sent this painting to 
me to cheer me up. Just the thing!

It took me so long to write this post-I kept putting it off for some reason. Maybe 
putting my thoughts about this would make it seen too permanent, I don't know.



Chick-fil-A opened not far from us! My first taste was down in SC when I visited a friend
a few years back. Oh how I waited! Turns out a Christian home shooling family opened this one, and is it ever busy! Good for them and good for us!


I have so many besties, who when I need it, will take me out for Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae's at Friendly's or shop with me at Whole Foods-because I am strange like that.


Our only niece on my husband's side got married recently in Wine Country in CA. Another 
lovely distraction for us all.


This is our daughter Jillian with my husband. She was in the wedding. Isn't she
stunning. I do love a red gown and bouquets of red and white roses for a wedding!


This handsome devil does not like his pic taken, but it got taken anyway!


AND we have a new little grandaughter, Jemima. She has brought so much joy to our days.
Yes, I settled her in with a bible right away. I keep an eye on her a day or two a week, or I should 
say my girls do, but we all pitch in. The days are certainly busier and a bit more lively with a two year old around the house!


There are many games to play or teach her to play. I completely blanked out that two year
olds don't tend to like to take turns~how did I forget this! Lydia is a trooper teaching her to share and take turns though, I must say.


The dogs are used to her now too. The corgi's Bailey and Tasha have stopped nipping at 
her heals trying to herd her when she runs. Rupert, well, he just lies there and takes it. A gentle giant.



Lydia and I have taken up polymer clay work. We are perfecting one inch scale treats
 and food. Big things in the works there, so much fun!


Well, if your still with me know I have wondered about my readers and prayed over you.
I have tried to visit blogs and keep up , but sometimes during this season of my life, I have just been quiet.  Here in New England it is bitterly cold, bit of snow here and there, no major storms. I sit and knit by the woodstove eves. Cocoa is going fast!

I still deal daily with my neuropathy/chronic pain and some days are worse than others. 
There are a few new therapies to try, so I am hopeful in that regard. But, for all you who suffer,
 I pray for a cure for your particular illness daily. We must keep petitioning the Lord~pray 
without ceasing.

I am taking HIBERNATE with Heather and it has been a balm to my soul. It is soul work.
Feels good. Feels refreshing. Feels hopeful.

ps. I have put my Instagram link on the right so you can follow along with me there, still the same addy Blueberry Cottage. Hope to see you there! Instagram is fun!




Monday, October 27, 2014

A Beautiful Day For ~ Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Today is the most gorgeous Autumn day! The leaves outside my window are the most vibrant shades of yellow, golds, reds an oranges. We are supposed to have temps near 80 today, whew! That means fluffing the outside of the nest again--gardens in particular. But, this afternoon a batch of these lovelies will be baked up for the families dessert. They love these whoopie pies so much and I must say they are delicious, nothing like 'em! You must try them. I only make these from October thru November, Thanksgiving being the last day these are enjoyed, until the receipt is tucked away 'til the following year. So , check your pantry, don your apron and get baking on this most lovely Saturday! And do let me know how yours came out.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Yield : 3 dozen
Ingredients:
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp ginger
1/2 Tbsp ground cloves
Filling:
1 stick butter softened
1 cup crisco
2 cups confectionary sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Beat sugar and oil until well blended. Add pumpkin and eggs. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients then add to wet mixture. Mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons ( I use a small ice cream scoop) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes. Cool completely then make a sandwich from 2 cookies filled with the following.
Filling:
Whip the butter and crisco in mixer then add sugar, vanilla and fluff. Mix it all up good. Spread generously and enjoy! These should be refrigerated.
Buttered & Floured by ~Suzanne


*This is a repost from 2008. It was the same type of day out today and this welcome dessert is just the thing to make you fell all Autumny (is that a word?) inside!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bailey~Under the Prim Tree



I was working on my computer this eve in the dining room when I heard a light yet 
consistent snoring. Blame it on this usually rambuncsious corgi. He could fall asleep anywhere. 
Tonight, under my prim tree, next to an empty bottle of 80 year whiskey that collects
change from unchecked pockets snoozes Bailey. Content as ever.
Tasha Tudor would have liked this.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Harvest Storage~The Old Way



An array of "pumpkins" greet you at the Freeman Farm ( front bedroom) 
at Old Sturbridge Village. Need a pumpkin? Just check the 
bedroom floor. How convenient.