Friday, February 23, 2024

A Collection of Blog Fodder

good advice 

We interrupt this time out ..... I have observed over the years that whenever a blogger announces she (or he) is going to take a break from posting, often they have to soon eat their words. Such is the case with me.

As I said in my previous blog post, we have "some particularly engrossing things on our calendar," which led into saying I would not be writing as often. Well, the "particularly engrossing things" got re-arranged on our calendar (through no effort by us) and we are now in a holding pattern to see how things get re-scheduled. 

I have no intention of telling you now what those "engrossing things" are because it just works better for me to write about what has already happened instead of what I expect/hope/plan to be. As evidenced by this change in our plans, this is a good rule of thumb.

my breakfast most days

In the meantime, my propensity to snap pictures of random interest to label as "blog fodder" is still alive and well and the collection of those photos is growing. The cereal box pictured above was the subject of a text message sent to Sister during our grocery trip yesterday. She loved it and the caption says it for me.

a recent purchase

Last spring when Gary broke four ribs and could do little more than lay pitifully in his recliner while the bones knit back together, I remembered Lady Bell. She is an antique brass bell in the shape of an Edwardian-era woman, small, and makes a nice tinkle when shaken. My late husband brought her into the family. We used her the most whenever any of our three children were sick-a-bed and needed to get my attention. When I emptied my house to move in with Gary, I gave Lady Bell to one of my children, thinking they could use it with their offspring. 

sick-a-bed Snoopy
(shared from Sister)

Last summer I wished I had Lady Bell for Gary. I got to thinking recently that we should have a bell in this household, so without saying much about it to Gary, I ordered one. Actually, I ordered THREE because I just wasn't sure how loud they would be and the total cost with shipping was under $15. After placing the order, Gary told me his late wife was a collector of bells and I would find them in the dining room china cabinet.

"C'mon, ring those bells..."

He was not kidding. Today I pulled them all out of the china cabinet, added my three, and counted them up to a total of 16! We are set!

Bistro table from Rooms to Go

While I'm spending money, I'll share this cute little table that came off the delivery truck just this morning. 

this morning

From my previous residence, I already had one with two chairs, which is a wonderful set-up for outdoor dining with beverages and/or small lunch plates. 

back yard patio

We have had this table in both the front and the back of the house, but we really needed another one.

the newest table on front porch

These tables can stay outside all the time, but weighing 20-some pounds, if there is a strong storm forecasted, we can either bring them indoors or just turn them upside down on the pavement and place them close to the house. We are not inclined to do entertaining on a large scale any more, so these small tables fit our lifestyle very well.

my wonderful cast iron wedge pan

The topic of entertaining and outdoor dining is my segue into a foodie topic. I've shared before that I LOVE to make cornbread in my cast iron wedge pan. It turns out perfect every.single.time. 

While the above snapshot does not look appetizing, it's all good. I spray the indentations with Baker's Joy, the combo of oil and flour that makes pan prep and the release of the baked food so easy.

the ease of a boxed mix

I don't cook much from scratch anymore, so a box of Betty's Brownie Mix suit my style just fine. Just add 2 eggs, oil, and water. 

Wait! I think I heard that if you have to stir a recipe, that counts as "cooking from scratch"! Yes. Let's go with that.


When they were done baking, I left for Great Clips for my monthly hair cut, advising you-can-guess-who to leave them alone because they were very hot and needed to cool. 

Yeah. You guessed it. One was missing when I got back. Of course by then they were cool enough to handle, so I then served one to myself. Forgive me for patting myself on the back, but they turned out PERFECT. (Gary was profuse with his compliments, too.)


We have a rainy front moving in, so it's been much too windy to ride our bikes today. But after lunch (and the aforementioned brownies) I was able to get out for my 1.3 mile walk in the neighborhood. When the trees are bereft of their leaves (some trees do that, even here in Florida), I am fascinated to see clumps of green clinging to naked branches. New growth?

No, it's Mistletoe, which is a parasite. Did you know that? It can kill a tree, but my research says this takes a long time and other things may kill the tree faster. This is just some FYI, in case you need it for a game of Trivial Pursuit sometime. 

Talk about parasites is not exactly a segue into anything except to bring this to a more serious topic: stress. We all experience it but some handle it more effectively than others. 

Me, I'm the queen of shoulders crowding my ear tips with a tendency to get uptight about [anything] and scrunch up my neck muscles tight.  I read this poster on the wall at the doctor's office recently:

how to relax

These things are helpful and I've tried them all with varying degrees of success, depending on the situation. In the past 3+ years in particular, I am finding my best option is to just breathe the name of Jesus. 

Just breathe His name, which is an admission of my need for help and a cry for it. Then wait. Just be still as much as possible. The answer may come immediately but more often than not (for me, anyway), the answer gradually appears. It's the quiet wait with the sincere belief I've relinquished the problem to Him and that He will take care of it -- that's my best way to relax. 

cards 'n candy

As I close this out, I am remembering I have not shared our Valentine's Day with my readers. It started out well and got better with each passing hour. Gary grilled rib eye steaks to perfection, and I provided a (store-bought) Banana Cream Pie. 

us on February 18th

This last picture was taken with my computer's Photo Booth feature. We were testing to see how we would look on a Zoom meeting we were preparing to join. Yeah, we have crow's feet, bags under our eyes, and white/gray hair, but this is real and we have so much for which to be thankful.

Again, I don't know how regular my posting will be with these "particularly engrossing things on our calendar," but thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments.

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. It's good to see you here again. You make me want to get a cast iron wedge pan! I laughed about one of those wedges disappearing while you were gone. Similar things happen here. :)
    I love the cereal box too. If I came across it I would sent it to my sisters as well.

  2. I enjoyed this post, and particularly the brownies you made. They look delicious. I wish I was good at baking.

    You are right to relax and breathe the name of Jesus. I also ask Him time and again for His Peace. He often greeted people with "Peace be with you".

    God bless always, Barbara.

  3. Well, I have a wedge pan, I've always called it my scone pan, and I'm about to make some cornbread in it. Your reference to particularly engrossing things make me think that I need to be in prayer for you.:0) So good to hear the latest, always enjoy stopping by.

  4. I've missed you but have appreciated seeing your comments on my posts! I have often considered one of those wedge pans. Now I think I need to get more serious than just looking at them!! Thanks for the recommendation! You two look great, my dear friend! Looking forward to hearing more about your engrossing things to come!! Love & hugs!

  5. I do so love reading your blogs, Barbara, and always feel refreshed after immersing myself in your comforting words. Thank you for always visiting my blog, too; it means so much!
    Your brownies look wonderful and make me want to do more baking than I have been doing. Danny and I don't eat a lot of sweets, but I remember making these often for my stepsons while they lived with us.
    Blessings, dear friend!

  6. It does seem like we stay busy regardless of what is on the calendar! Have a beautiful weekend!

  7. Thank you for the many smiles...I thought of you yesterday when we pulled into Twistee Treats on 200...and there was a couple in a Honda SUV- ...anyways. I always love reading your blog post. smiles.

  8. Oh I enjoyed sitting down this afternoon and reading your blog. I love that sign, BREATHE. And girl that brownie pan! I need one of those too. LOL! I do hope those "engrossing" things went well. Hugs and blessings to you sweet lady. Cindy


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