The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gobble gobble.

I have to upgrade my storage before posting photos, so I will just send you here so you can see what we did last weekend.  (Ours didn't turn out as nice as theirs, but they are still cute.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

From 1863

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. 

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. 

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.

Wishing you and yours a very happy day of thankfulness!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Field trips, part 4, etc.

This was the first picture I took in the Chihuly Garden & Glass exhibit at the Seattle Center.  The darn display haunted me throughout the rest of the tour.  I could not stop thinking about how these shapes were formed- the idea just kept hammering at my brain and I had a hard time focusing on anything else!

How did they do that?  Chihuly stands on a ladder and blows molten white glass onto the concrete floor below while an assistant lets it puddle and helps it branch.  As they work with it, it cools pretty quickly and thus you have pools of glass with "stems" as it were, reaching to the sky even as they direct your eye to the ground.  Like trees with exposed gnarled roots and wonderful branches... feels organic and unplanned and natural and...  weird.

WHO THINKS OF THIS????  Never in my wildest imagination could I come up with this sort of thing.  I get pouring glass into molds.  I get blowing glass into useful shapes.  But this blowing glass with the help of gravity?... wow.  Brilliant.

And then they displayed them on a polished black plexiglass floor with a polished black plexiglass corner background so now all the "trees" have mirror images in three directions and the neon in the tubes lights up and it is just very very cool.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Field Trips, part 4

Here are our scrapbook pages from the day we spent in Seattle.  

The Space Needle turned 50 this year- same as me, so I thought it would be cool to visit. Interestingly enough, my folks, who were living in Winnipeg at the time, were planning to take a trip to the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle but the mom was pregnant with me and the doctor said she couldn't go.

The Chihuly glass exhibit was amazing.  I took so many pictures- it was hard to choose just a few to scrapbook!  

Yeah- that middle shape is like an upside-down Christmas tree.

The outside displays were equally stunning.
I just hope it doesn't hail in Seattle- I can't imagine the glass would hold up under that...

The view from above- downtown Seattle, the roof of the Experience Music Project Museum, the buildings of  the Seattle Center, and kiddo appreciating it all.

Mostly looking west over Puget Sound and parts of the Seattle Center.
That plastic Space Needle came full of Sprite.
Now it's being used as a coin bank at home.

Such good memories!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Field Trips, part 3

It's an old riddle in our family...   Which  is farther- to Seattle, or by bus?

The answer is always a resounding   BY BUS!!!!  because to travel by Greyhound always took longer than driving by yourself, riding your bike, or walking the distance to Seattle or Bellingham or wherever it was you were trying to go.

Seriously.  The thing stopped at every little town on I-5.  And in the days I was going back and forth to college, it was probably cheaper just to put gas in the car and go!

Except I didn't always have a car at WWU.  So, I rode the bus.  Had to make sure I had a Walkman with good headphones, a book, and a blanket so I could stay warm and not have to talk to any of the other passengers.   (Don't judge- you wouldn't want to talk to them either.)

But- it's a new era.  A time of innovation and interesting ideas.  A time where gas prices might keep us from going to Seattle for the day.  A time of...

The BOLT BUS!!!!

The Bolt Bus doesn't stop at every little town along the way.  It goes from Portland to Seattle with NO STOPS at all, it has leather seats that recline, free WiFi, electrical outlets, and... drum roll please...  cost us $36 to get there and back.  That's right ladies and gentlemen, $36.  To go north my ticket was $16 and hers was $1, and to come back home mine was $18 and hers $1.  

To drive would have cost us over $60 in gas and more for parking.  It was the most relaxing trip I have ever taken!  I really hate driving, especially in cities, so this was perfect.  We took our Nooks, and we read and chatted and napped all the way up.   When we got there, we walked a few blocks to the monorail, zipped over to the Space Needle, and had a great day exploring Seattle Center.  

The ride home was equally relaxing.  I highly recommend the Bolt Bus. 

More pics of Seattle Center in the next post.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


It's that time of year again!  Shoebox packing time! If you don't know what Christmas Shoeboxes are,  go to the Samaritan's Purse website and find out!

This is the first year that Abby helped me pack our dozen boxes.  Sometimes it helps to do it a bit like an assembly line- same thing in the same place in each box.  

This year the boxes were for the 10-14 boys group.  Here's what we try to fit into each box:
T-shirt, string backpack, soap, washcloth, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, comb, band-aids, pencils, pencil sharpener,  eraser, pens, pencil pouch, calculator, scissors, ruler, composition book, rubber bands, flashlight, batteries, duct tape (what boy doesn't like duct tape?), rubik's cube, kazoo, candy, play-doh, crayons, super ball, roll of string, and a Beanie Baby.  

Good thing they ask us to use two rubber bands to secure the lids because these were sure full! 

Abs likes to play Santa.  And why not?  It is more blessed to give than to receive!

I can't leave without telling you about a remarkable young lady at our church.  I didn't ask permission to tell her story, so I won't use her name.  She is 13 years old and has packed shoeboxes for several years.
This year, however, she really took on this project and claimed it as her mission.

She saved her allowance and birthday money in a special fund she calls HOPE. The acronym stands for Helping Other People Everywhere. To purchase items for the shoeboxes, all year long she shopped the clearance aisles and going-out-of-business sales, paying for the items out of her HOPE funds. She also asked local businesses for donations. She collected freebie giveaways from the local county fair and home shows. 
In the end, she has been able to pack SIXTY shoeboxes all by herself.

60.  By herself.  WOW!    Someday, she hopes to go with some shoeboxes and deliver them in person.
I bet she will.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Before, and during the party.

The sofa is ready.

The fireplace is ready.

The table is ready.

The dessert is ready.

The fry bread is ready.

The fixins are ready.

The whole spread is ready.

The people are happy.

So happy.

So, I made Navajo Tacos for dinner.  Navajo Tacos are pretty much like regular tacos except you put the fixins on fry bread instead of on chips or in taco shells.  I made the fry bread using a recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  I am not very good at making fry bread.  I should have made them flatter and bigger.  They are supposed to fold into a pseudo-taco shell shape that you can hold in your hand, but these were too small so we used knife and fork. 

And, I didn't use ground beef, I used ground bison.  Bison (American Buffalo) is a bit sweeter than beef, much leaner than beef, and better for you.  Since I was using bison, I thought maybe I should go with a combination I saw on the food channel- bison ribs with huckleberry bbq sauce.   I bought some huckleberry chutney and some huckleberry bbq sauce and mixed them to make my own huckleberry salsa.  It was pretty stinkin' good if I do say so myself.

While I was making all those changes to regular tacos, I decided on shredded cabbage instead of shredded lettuce.  I like the crunchiness of cabbage.  Lettuce just gets all wilty on hot taco meat.  Besides, sometimes people serve pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw on the sandwich instead of on the side. Why not on tacos?  Cabbage rules!

For dessert I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting.  So. Very. Easy.
1 box spice cake mix (don't add anything they say on the box, just use the dry mix).  1 15 oz. can of pumpkin.  1 cup semi-sweet choc chips.  Mix.  Bake according to the directions on the box.
1 can cream cheese frosting (I think it was Pillsbury.)  Put a few choc chips on the top.  Done.  

We were going to sit out by the fire pit and talk over old times, but it started raining and we voted to stay in.  It was a great evening.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

After the party

 I enjoy cleaning up after a party or get-together.  I know, some people groan and moan and hate dealing with the mess, but I like it.  To me, it's relaxing.  Sorting leftovers, rinsing dishes...  I use that time to wind down, collect my thoughts, reminisce about the good time we just had, and thank God for my friends who made the mess(es). 

I had some folks over tonight for dinner.  These are the people (outside my family) that I have known the longest.  We don't see each other on a daily basis, but we have had some fun times the past 25 or so years and tonight was no exception.

We ate, we talked, we laughed, we played games, and we shared some struggles.  We prayed together, we ate some more, we shared pictures, and we told stories.  It was good.

I'll post the food pics tomorrow.  Right now I have to go set all my clocks back an hour.  :->

Happy "Fall Back" Day!