Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Travel Journaling and a Wednesday Medley

What I see, early morning, when I look from the porch

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Tomorrow is National Croissant Day!!




In the United States, National Croissant Day is observed each year on January 30th. Croissants are a buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  
The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.
Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.
Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.
Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant or try making your own using this recipe: Croissants recipe.

1.  Well, I do love croissants when they are fresh, but day-old croissants need to be turned into a donut.  I happen to really like the croissants that have a donut-like glaze on them!  Sugar overload but so good.  So... do you like croissants?  What is your favorite way to eat them?
 I do love croissants, but rarely eat them. My favorite are either when they are filled with my curry chicken salad (YUM) or filled with cream cheese and raspberry jam (Good grief, WAY too good! I've not eaten one for years.) 

 What I see when I look across the road
2.  Speaking of food... How do you handle stress?
LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Very funny, Terri!  Actually, there is nothing like stress to drive me to the bag of chocolate chips or dark chocolate bars, OR cookies, if I have them in the house. Fortunately, I don't have a lot of stress in my life, and I've tried to get over that reaction to it, but it persists. Sigh.
3.  Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy, and hate, which one would you say affects you the most?
I try to duck other people's anger, jealousy, and hate. I don't think I personally have an issue with those, but maybe greed if you're counting the number of books and other things that 'spark joy' for me. :-)  I can't help it that so many things SPARK JOY!!!
4.  Out of the positive emotions of compassion, positivity, enthusiasm, and initiative, which one is your biggest strength?
I'd say that positivity is my biggest strength - and I've taken the initiative to pray enthusiastically for more compassion. Please, Lord. (So I got done writing this, read it to Mr. C., and he said, in all sarcasm, 'and your greatest strength is humility.' OKAY, FINE!!! Who asked him anyway??)
5.  What do you get every time you go grocery shopping, other than the staples such as bread, milk, butter, flour, sugar...
 I guess I simply get another staple item: Dark Chili Chocolate bar from Aldi. We keep a stash - for emergencies - which, oddly enough, tend to occur almost every single day. This would not be a stress emergency, but one of those times when you think: What can I eat that will be delicious and satisfying and NOT set up cravings? Ah yes, very dark chocolate.
You thought I was kidding. We don't go through them very fast, for at most we each have about a 1.5 x 3" section. Any more than that wouldn't even taste good. At least that's what I keep telling myself.
6.  Please tell us something random about your week so far.
Oh boy. The biggest thing is the deep freeze we're heading into, -30 degrees F. air temp for a low. BUT, the next biggest thing is that I finally finished my travel journal for our trip to the UK in November/December of last year. It's about 140 pages long (which means two sides of each of the 70 sheets). I had to order two large plastic coils and divide the whole thing into two fat books, but I'm pleased with how they turned out. Mr. C. asks, 'who's ever going to see it?' Well, what a stupid question is that! I mean, it's not like ANYone has to see it (and if you don't want to see the following pages, you can close your eyes while you scroll to the end) but I need to make it and enjoy it. And I do. So here are just a few pages, trying to avoid pages that have too much of my personal text, recounting huge fights between Mr. C. and me (just kidding), and showing you what it is I do to occupy a few long, cold weeks here in NW Wisconsin! So I started after the first of the year, working on this project occasionally (and then obsessively!) and am SO glad to have it done.
 Visiting Durham Cathedral, where we met friends for lunch at the Undercroft Cafe
 Visiting Fairford

 And London, of course
St. Paul's for First Sunday of Advent

 Gloucester Cathedral, where we met  friends
for lunch in the Monk's Kitchen 
(different friends, different cathedral)

Canterbury Cathedral, most beautiful job site in the world. I've always avoided the scaffolding when taking pictures in the past, but thought this time I'd show the reality of the upkeep of these beautiful cathedrals that are in constant need of repair, restoration.
I'm hoping to get around to posting more photos of this wonderful adventure for Anglophile Friday, but it's a very busy week, so we'll see what happens. 
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone, thanks for stopping in, - and thank you again to Terri for the Wednesday Medley!

 So after scraping the ice from the windshield and shoveling the walk and hauling in a couple loads of firewood, these two decided that a snuggle break in the livingroom, near the fire, was in order.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Frozen Wisconsin on a Wednesday Medley

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Here is a medley of questions you may choose to answer on your Wednesday blog.  There aren't any rules and there is no obligation. Link up if you want to.  I'm doing this to fill my Wednesday and if you are interested, then I invite you to join in!!  It might be fun!!



National Pie Day is celebrated annually on January 23rd. (Not to be confused with March 14 which is PI π Day.) 
National Pie Day was created simply to celebrate the pie.  It is a day for all to bake or cook their favorite pies.  Even more importantly, it is a day set aside for all to enjoy eating pies!
The first pies appeared around 9500 BC in the Egyptian Neolithic period or New Stone Age.

1.  Okay, fess up.  Tell us your top three favorite pies, please.  Will you have some pie today?
 I probably won't have pie today, but I sure do like it! My favorites are lemon meringue, blueberry, and fresh strawberry or mincemeat. Okay, now I'm thinking too much about pie!
This one is a lemon (my favorite!) cake pie. Delicious!
2.  While we are talking about food... are you a picky eater or are you ready to try almost any new food?  What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?
I'm not a picky eater, but I am definitely not ready to try almost any new food. I used to think that if they invented a people dog food, I would be a regular customer just because I do like to eat the same things, rather than always introducing something new. The worst thing I ever ate was monkey brains  soft boiled eggs or warmed up chicken. I ate chicken reheated. I'd rather just eat it cold or not at all. And runny egg yolk? Ewwww! Toast soldiers are for putting peanut butter on, NOT for dipping in nearly raw egg. Shudder! I'm sure there are other things also, but I can't think of them at the moment.
 Rainbows on the walls and a little editing on the photo. Daughter's home. I think it can be considered art.
3.  Baking could be considered an art as could cooking.  How do you define art?
That's an interesting statement. I think that's true, as long as there's personal creativity involved. So I guess making a pie according to the recipe is a technical skill, whereas adjusting here and there and making a crust that is attractive is more an art.
 A grandpa buried in balloons
4.  Tell us a really stupid joke that made you laugh, please.
The funniest joke ever, which I've told before, is that a newly-married couple were sitting down to dinner, the wife's first attempt at cooking a meal. The husband made a valiant attempt, but couldn't finish his dinner. It was really horrid. So he gave it to the dog. A bit later, the wife noticed the dog in the corner and asked, 'Why is she chewing her butt??'  He responded, 'She's trying to get the taste out of her mouth.' 
 Misty, R.I.P.
Her favorite thing was playing in the alfalfa field.
Her second favorite thing was mentioned in the paragraph above.
Well, not really, but often enough. :-(
5.  January 23rd is also National Handwriting Day. Do you have nice handwriting? Did cursive writing come naturally or did you practice in those double-lined practice books until your fingers hurt?
We actually did practice handwriting in grade school. After I learned to type, handwriting was so laborious that I tried to avoid it. Now I'm trying to regain that handwriting skill. It's not good, by any means, but since starting to keep a journal, I'm at least getting daily practice.

6.  Tell us something random about your week.
 Rivers, Rails, and Roads
A new game we played with the grandkids. Games, puzzles, and books are such great ways to interact with the younger generation. They love it!
 Putting the last piece in a Ravensburger puzzle (our favorite). He likes to hide a piece of the puzzle and bring it out at the very end, ensuring that he gets to put in that last piece. :-)

We'll probably be spending most of the time indoors in the next few days, for the temps are going to be well below zero F. I'm so thankful for the wood stove, Mr. C. who supplies the wood and hauls it into the house, and a nearly snowless January to this point. I'm sorry, snow lovers.

Tommy & Smokey, occupying the best chair next to the fire.
"Tommy, could you let me breathe?!"

 Yep, the Christmas tree is still up on the front porch, and will remain there until the needles start falling off. It's not going to happen any time soon, according to the forecast.
In light of the headlines and vitriol spewed all over the internet  the past couple days, I thought this was a particularly good article, and words of wisdom. Please take a few minutes to click on the link and read the article.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Life in the Creek and Wednesday Medley

Mr. C. and a member of his fan club

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Your Friend From Florida

Wednesday, January 16th, is National Do Nothing Day!! National Nothing Day was proposed in 1972 by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin. This day has been observed annually since 1973. Of course, the way to celebrate it is to do nothing! 

1.  To commemorate Do Nothing Day in SOME way, tell us something about your life (or the life of someone close to you) in 1973!! 

 1972, as close as I could find to 1973.
We lived on a farm in Wisconsin, out in the middle of nowhere.
We still live on a farm in Wisconsin, out in the middle of nowhere, but a different farm and different nowhere.

December 2018.
Not a farm, definitely not the middle of nowhere.

On the left, that curly-haired toddler (in the photo above), and what he looks like today.
Along with his youngest son. See the family resemblance?!!
Advent, 2018

2.  Now that we are thinking back, please tell us what your favorite past time was as a child.
It would be a toss-up among the following: baseball, riding horse, climbing trees, playing football, building forts, swimming in the creek (crick in those days).  

 Everyone likes to play in the creek!

3.  What is the best way to cheer you up on a bad day? 
Remind me of Who God is and Who I am, and let me ponder that for a while. That's the absolutely best way, as long as it's done in love.  After that, make me a Full English Breakfast, but never ever at breakfast time, only ever at dinnertime. 

Mine would be nitrate-nitrate?-free bacon and gluten-free bread.
And Mr. C usually cooks the tomatoes a bit longer.
And a few olives would be a nice addition.

4.  How old were you when you first started dating? Do you remember your first date?
I don't think there was a 'dating' thing going on in my life. I was still doing all those things mentioned in the second question's answer when I was 15 or 16. But I do remember going to a movie with a neighbor boy after getting permission (a very reluctant permission) from my dad. Both the movie and the boy were quite underwhelming. I was far more interested in professional baseball and horses.

I think that's Queen Anne's Lace just under the fence.

5.  Today is also National Fig Newton day.  Do you like figs/Fig Newtons?
I actually do like Fig Newtons, not any other kind of fruit in them, but figs, and I never ever buy them. I think it would be too easy to eat the whole package of cookies, and besides, they're not gluten free. I tend to have an issue with cookies. The word 'nemesis' fits here. Even my own delicious double-chocolate gluten-free cookies filled with extra chocolate chips and lots of chopped walnuts. See what I mean?

It's been a year and a half since I had help making cookies!

6.  Tell us something random about your week.
I wasn't going to mention this, but the whole nation knows that a 13 year old girl who lived not 20 miles from us escaped her captor last Friday and was reunited with her extended family after her parents were murdered and she was kidnapped 87 days earlier. The whole story was all over the news and Facebook (which I'm not on), but I just wanted to say one thing about it: Do not ever stop praying for someone. Don't ever give up hope. The fact that this girl is alive and was held captive within an hour from her home is nothing short of incredible. I think everyone was shocked that this was a single perpetrator and that all this time he and the teenager were in the general area. Praise God that she managed to escape. And this girl will need the prayers of all who are willing to pray for her as she moves forward - having heard the murder of her father, witnessed the murder of her mother, and lived with the trauma of captivity for three months. Lord have mercy.

Three boys, one toy
But they were nice and shared.
Most fascinating were all the noises it makes!
Least interesting were the darling fleece footie pajamas 
that probably got thrown out with the wrapping paper. LOL
Late Christmas gift opening last Saturday

Lastly, these two are often in the same room where I'm working (or playing). I have a conference table set up in the library where I'm starting to work on my England journal. What a project! At least I kept daily notes on my phone, so I have text to go with the photos and ephemera.

Tommy & Smokey

 Don't ask me why the rooster napkins are in there.


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Friday, January 11, 2019

Anglophile Friday - Canterbury, UK

A street scene in Canterbury

Hi blogger friends! 

Although I posted photos of our Nov/Dec England trip daily on Instagram, I know that many bloggers aren't on IG, so thought I would share some here too. I'll have to say that it was one of the best ever. We went to old favorites, but added in some places we'd not seen before, had 17 days, did a lot of walking, and enjoyed every minute of the trip, even the days we were slogging through soggy grass/mud in Avebury. I'll get to that in a later post. And because it was Christmastime, (technically Advent, but...) the whole place was decorated for Christmas. It made every place we visited even more special.

 Canterbury Cathedral, one of the sides that currently does not have scaffolding. Repairing, restoring, replacing is a huge and never-ending job in these old cathedrals, so we appreciate all that we are able to see and enjoy.

 The Canterbury War Horse
to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First World War

I've been thinking about doing a series of blog posts on travel, including all the planning, packing list, accommodations, cost breakdown, etc. I'm not sure if anyone is interested in that, but we've learned that travel that many think is impossible is really very doable, probably far more affordable than they think, provided they are willing to prioritize. I mean, really. What's more important: eating or seeing interesting places? ;-) Actually, I'm kinda serious, but we'll discuss that another time.

Christchurch Gate

and some very interesting information HERE, which includes
the fact that the original sculpture of Christ, which had been destroyed by Puritan iconoclasts, was replaced by the current sculpture made in 1990, after a gap of 347 years!

 This is similar to the large framed photo that hangs on the wall above my desk.
The Christmas tree was not on the altar, btw. It just looks that way.

 Altar marking the spot of Thomas Becket's martyrdom
If you're not familiar with that tragic story, you can read it HERE.
He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

Boat of Remembrance


"Under an Equal Sky will bring together major new works reflecting on themes of war and remembrance and focusing in particular on the civilian casualties of war. Baldwin & Guggisberg’s use of glass as their principal medium in the exhibition is intended to reflect the fragile nature of humanity, with the symbolism of boats and empty vessels bringing to mind sadly familiar images of our times: refugees packed precariously into boats, fleeing for their lives, and migrants seeking new horizons. The context of Canterbury Cathedral – itself a place of refuge across the centuries – underpins the exhibition’s intent. Each work has been created in dialogue with the building and with its rich history and community in mind.
The works will be exhibited throughout the Cathedral building, beginning with Boat of Remembrance, an installation in the Cathedral’s Nave of 100 clear glass amphorae hanging in the shape of a ship, each one representing a year of remembrance but also underscoring the continuing consequences of war: the 22.5 million people currently seeking safety abroad as well as those still losing their lives in conflict."

 Artists Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg commented: ‘The focal point of the exhibition, Boat of Remembrance, would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for the Nave roof being covered by a safety deck, giving us the perfect hanging opportunity. In some ways the restoration project has been the making of the show. The building is a World Heritage site and so it’s been a challenge – but also an honour – making pieces that work with the space.’

Isn't that incredible!

We were grateful for the privilege to see these glass installations, for the original plan was that they would be on display through November 11, but I believe it was later decided to keep them up through early January. 

On the west end of Canterbury Cathedral are the newly-installed statues of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. There's something about the way Prince Phillip is holding that cloak that looks rather sinister to me.

 And here they are again.

 Another little street scene from Canterbury

And lest we die of starvation, we shared a piece of delicious orange cheesecake.

So these are just a few of the huge number of photos in my phone, and I've left out many photos of Canterbury because I've shown them before in other posts. There might be a Part 2 to this because, surprisingly, there's more to Canterbury than the Cathedral. :-)

ANYWAY, I hope you'll all have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping in!

Happy Anglophile Friday!


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