Sunday, November 15, 2020

November Gratitude and Grandma Edie's Apple Harvest Cake


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are safe and well, and finding 

sweet and simple reasons to count your blessings. 


I know it is not easy and we are all struggling to make sense of 

life right now, but we must try to remain stoic. 

As our British friends, (and hopefully, still our best allies)

 across the pond love to say, 

"Keep Calm and Carry On",

"Pull Yourself Together",


"Stiff Upper Lip and all that". 

Can you see the tree aura in the photograph?

This world is a gift, full of magic and mystery 

and we must not squander our divine privilege to live here

with division and hate. 

I recently celebrated my birthday - it was a milestone birthday - 

but a lady never divulges her age 💜


My daughter brought over these lovely fall flowers. 


I have two, dear daughters and they spoiled me with a 

beautiful gift basket full of wonderful goodies, 

including this cake dome and plate. 

It's so perfect in my retro kitchen. 

A sweet tea-towel from my Sis that says it all. 


I have two wonderful sons and the younger came by with his wife 

and a gift card so I could get another beautiful pot and tree

for the front of the house. 

This is one from a few years ago.

It's especially pretty this time of year.


My eldest son gifted us with a leather chair 

for the new library. He and his wife 

are updating, so he asked if we wanted it. 

Heck, yes! 

I'll show you when we are done with the room. 

Here's the view from that room with another potted

Japanese Maple that was a gift from them

some years ago.

I managed to pot up my fall bulbs, too. 

Here I have miniature daffodils and crocus tucked 

safely under the eaves. 

The pots by the tree are upright Fuchsia,

which are hardy and come back every year. 

The Mr. got me a beautiful shawl and treated me to 

Chinese take-out and flowers. 

I was thoroughly spoiled. 

My Sis sent out this darling 'Captured Fairy' that she made. 

The details are so sweet. 

There's a little green frog with a crown, 

mushrooms, tiny flowers, book and picket fence.

And even a little jar full of glitter, 

labeled, 'dreams'. 

It has a battery tea-light that fits under 

the stand.

So enchanting...


I made this sign a few years ago. 

I painted the pre-cut wood panel cream. 

The letters were vinyl press-on letters. 

They were black and I didn't like how it looked, 

so I lightly brushed over the whole thing with watered-down

gray craft paint, rubbing some of it off, 

then spattering it a little bit to give it that old, weathered look.


I try...

The Mr. had this old clip-board and since he is now retired, 
asked if I wanted it. I thought it would be perfect for 
this vintage-style graphic that I found in a Country Living magazine. 
The colors match the sweet sign
from my Sis. 

  A great quote! 

Another gift from my Sis on the front door. 

They know I love our now classic, 2005 Ford Ranger 4x4. 
Ford stopped production of the Ranger in 2011, but recently 
started making them once again.
My Dad always had an old pick-up truck to perform 
hauling duties. He grew up on a farm, and 
the old farm truck was part of the family. 
When I was a teenager, he had bought an old hand-crank 
pick-up truck, which he named, Old Rusty. 
He had to turn the crank on the front
to get the engine started! It wouldn't go faster than 35 mph. 

For two summers, when I was 14 and 15, I babysat 
all day for my 2 little cousins. 
My Dad would drive me over early in the morning 
on his way to work in the old truck. We took the back roads through 
the beautiful New England apple orchards and blueberry farms,
the mist rising over the fields as the sun came up. 
We would see lots of wildlife, including, once, 
a whole family of gray fox cross the road in front of us. 

He would talk about his days growing up on his Grandfather's farm. 
Stories, like the time his Grandfather's huge Belgian work-horses with 
feet as large as dinner plates, would work the fields, and how one of them
at feeding time after a long day of plowing, 
stepped on my 8 year old father's foot in the stall, and wouldn't move. 
His Grandfather, a gentle soul, had to resort to punching 
his beloved horse in the nose to get him to move. 
Luckily, the stall floor was soft with straw, 
and my father suffered no lasting harm. 

My Great-Grandfather operated an 800 acre 'truck farm',
with apple, pear, peach, and nut orchards,
along with every kind of fruit and vegetable, to take 
to the market at Fanueuil Hall in Boston
at the weekend. He had the old Farm Truck, 
with wooden rails and a canvas hood, filled to the brim with 
crates of produce. Beside him always sat his beloved little white dog. 
In those days, (the 1930's) the circus would give away the surplus puppies
of performing dogs to the first contenders.
This breed was the fore-runner of 
my own two American Eskimo dogs.
Life, full circle. 

I miss my Father and his wonderful memories and strong, 
but gentle ways. 

Some little fall vignettes. 

The pear is vintage velvet. 

The 'pumpkin' is carved from
 a solid block of wood. 
A gift from my daughter last year.

I used to love making decoupage trays with pretty napkins as gifts. 

I saved these for myself and use them in the fall. 

Craft styles come and go.

So do cooking styles...

Here's an old-fashioned recipe from my Grandma Edie,

 (my Dad's Mom) that is soooo good. 

Grandma Edie's Apple Harvest Cake

Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


2 cups flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup softened butter

2 tsp vanilla

4 cups peeled and diced apples (4 medium apples)

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add

to dry ingredients. Stir, just until mixed. Fold in apples, raisins and nuts. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes 

or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. 

This recipe can easily be halved. It's rather sweet and the sugar could 

also be reduced, I think. 

Enjoy! I call this 'ugly cake', but it's beautifully delicious. 

It's a nice treat to have after spending time in the brisk, autumn air. 

I've been trying to get outside for a bit each day, weather permitting. 

Raking and sweeping leaves are keeping me busy. 

Here you can see the dogs on the front lawn. You can, also,

see the slope of the land. We are always walking uphill or down. 💚

The native Big-leaf Maple trees turn a beautiful gold. 

The reason why they are called, 'Big-leaf'! 

These are very large trees. You can see the ivy 

is out of control by the tool shed. I have some work 

to do here. 

Some scenes along the driveway. 

Black cottonwood at the top of the driveway. 

The boys. We have to wear our Pendleton

jackets during hunting season.

The Mr. now sports a beard since retirement. 

He is enjoying his life of 'leisure', although 

he says that he doesn't know how he ever found time to work. 


 Upturned mushrooms from squirrels. 

Cottonwood stand in the foothills. 

We have snow in the higher hills now. 

You can see the stand of cottonwoods from the previous photo. 

It won't be long before we see our first dusting of snow

down here, too. 

You can see we live on the edge of the wilderness. 

We've had a bald eagle sighting and a family of Ravens. 

Some scenes from the bi-ways...and some quotes on gratitude. 

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones

which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."

-Henry Clay, statesman-

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget 

that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, 

but to live by them."

-John F. Kennedy-

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;

remember that what you now have was once among the things

you only hoped for."


"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing
that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.
And because all things have contributed to your 
advancement, you should include all things in 
your gratitude."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,

but the parent of all others."



Due to the overwhelming resurgence of Covid 19, our state (Washington) is now 

in another lock-down. Because of this, we, as a family, 

have decided to forgo our usual large holiday gatherings. 

I do hope that the people of this country realize 

that we are our brother's keepers and 

try to think of others by wearing masks, social distancing, 

and not gathering in crowds until we can work together 

to get this virus under control. 

We agree that we must wear seat-belts, not drive drunk, 

not smoke in public places, not drive through red lights, etc. etc. 

We should all agree that these measures should fit into this category. 

All of us deserve the 'constitutional right' of Life. 

Without that, there is no 'Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness'. 

Just sayin'.....


I hope that all of you have a Thanksgiving filled with 

gratitude for all the blessings you can count. 

I hope there are too many. 


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