Green Beans

While cleaning the farmer's market green beans today,
I remembered Holly telling about a green bean cooking blog.
Someone had said,
 "It's ok to cut the ends off the green beans -
just don't tell Granny."

Yep, Granny would never allow anything but
snapping those beans. 

Growing up, we snapped bushels and bushels of green beans
and shelled even more bushels of black-eyed peas,
and shucked trailer loads of corn.
I should also mention the squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, 
peaches, and apricots

Of course it all went in bags then into the freezer.

Granny would frown on the new way of doing green beans.

Isn't that just how we are?
We've always done it that way.
Resisting change.

I've never gone to the Lutheran Church.
I sing different music.
I don't recite the Apostle's Creed.
I don't take communion that way.
I don't do it that way. 

I could sit in this house because there's not a church like mine,
 or friends like mine, or music I sing and I would miss a blessing.

John the Baptist was from a priestly line
but he preached a different message
and wore animal skins instead of white linen.
And the Pharisees, and Saducees, and Dontwannasees
rejected him.
They didn't do it that way.

Jesus came from the royal lineage of David
 in purity and power.
He ate with sinners and healed the sick.
But they didn't do it that way
and His new was of doing things was rejected too.

And did they ever miss The Blessing.

So I'll sing a new song,
go to a different kind of church,
do a different Bible Study,

and cut the green beans with a knife.

Just don't tell Granny!


More Vanity Plates

My notebook runneth over!

Who They Are:

What They Do:

What They Think:

Gotta See These:
(barbque trailer)
(orange VW)
(yellow pick-up)

Since it looks like I'll be getting a new truck
while I'm in North Dakota,
I'm sure I need a personalized license plate.

Any Ideas?
I'm taking suggestions!!


The Perfect Sunday

Today was the perfect day!

Perfect Temperature
Perfect Breeze
Friendliest Church in the World

 This afternoon I went on a
 butterfly hunt
They are everywhere.
White Elusive Butterflies
-they don't land
and they don't slow down for the camera.

So I headed to the City Park

sat in the grass
and waited

They were all around me
and all around the park

White Butterflies

Then I noticed the Robins
they were bob - bob - bobbin all over the place

looking for a worm.
This guy, just downed his.

And the Temperature was Perfect
and the Breeze was Perfect.

It was a great day.


Food Blogs

It's getting close to midnight and the sandman just won't come.  So here I am at the computer, trying to curb my appetite with food blogs.  How much sense does that make?? 

Sites like Our Best Bites and The Pioneer Woman and Gina's Skinny Recipes have my mouth watering! 

Last week when my culinary minded daughter was here - we played food blog.  Which by the way, I think she'll give a try one of these days.  She's a great cook.  We had been talking and wondering about the food bloggers - how much time they must spend cooking, photographing, tasting, testing, and writing.

One of our favorite local foods is Knoephla Soup (pronounced nep-fla)  It's a cross between potato soup and chicken & dumplings.  Papa would like to sneak away from work every Thursday for the special at the Court House Cafe, but it's a 30 mile drive.  So, Doretta gave me her secret recipe:

Peel and cook potatoes in water and chicken broth as much as you like, as you are boiling the pot in the broth and water dice onions and saute in lots of butter.  Set the onions aside when they are clear—

Then you mix your dumplings--Eggs, flour,salt, and a little milk to make a soft sticky dough--you use quite a few eggs in comparison to the milk!  Take two teaspoons and dip small amounts of the dough into the boiling broth on the potatoes--when you are done doing that and the dumplings have cooked add a can of cream of chicken soup---1/2 gal milk and 1 pint cream  then reduce heat and add the onions and presto you have Knoephla Soup!!

Now, Miz Doretta can make this with her eyes closed, 10 gallons at a time, but I needed a little more detail so I googled Knoephla Soup recipes.  I put my own recipe together.  Then when my healthy chef of a daughter got here, we revised it again to take out some of the calories (shhh - don't tell Papa).

Here's our healthier knoephla soup:

3-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium sized onion, chopped
3 32 oz. boxes chicken stock
     1. In a soup pot, boil the potatoes and onion in the chicken stock

(There's something in that pot a boiling - potatoes I think. 
All that steam set off the smoke alarm)

3 cups flour
4 eggs, beaten
6 tbs milk
1 tsp salt
     2. Mix dumpling ingredients to make a soft, sticky dough. Drop teaspoon size dough balls into boiling broth. Cook about 10 minutes, covered

(in a lovely green plastic bowl from the dollar store

on my once-upon-a-time stylish harvest gold stove)

2 cans cream of Chicken Soup (the healthy kind of course)
½ gallon milk (we used 2%)
1 pint cream
½ - 1 cup pureed white beans to thicken and add protein
     3. Add to broth and cooked dumplings

And that's it for our food blog
 The soup was definitely better than the pictures! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Farmer's Market

~Farmer's Markets~
I could hardly wait for them

They were late this year
because the planting season was delayed
by the last blizzard (in May)
and then by rain and more rain
Today was the second Saturday market
for Powers Lake
a town that is so small
they instantly recognize outsiders
(That would be me).
The farmers are harvesting their crops
and probably putting most of them
in jars and freezers for the winter
It's not officially fall here
but the atmosphere has shifted
- the mornings are 50 or below
and the days are getting cooler
If there were literal seasons of our lives,
I think we would also be in the fall.
We've passed the spring planting and growing,
and the summer weeding and watering.

It's the fall years of our lives
and it had has snuck up on us
(is that really a word?)
and it feels really strange to be here
Our conversations have turned to planning for our winter:
How much longer do I have to work?
Where should we live?
What will we do?
Have we put up enough?

Consider the ant... 
she prepares her food in the summer
and gathers her provision in the harvest.
Proverbs  6:7-8

And I've made a trip to the kitchen counter
while every picture uploaded
for a bite of a delicious athena melon.
It's a watermelon sized cantaloupe
and mouth watering good!

Guess I AM the Mama Bear-
packing on the fat for the winter....


Hiking Trails

Sunday's sermon was from Matthew 7:13
and keeps rolling around in my mind.

"Enter through the narrow gate.
For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction,
and many enter through it."
(Matthew 7:13)

Pastor Olson compared the wide road to the path most Christians take.
The ones who complain about prayer being taken out of schools, but don't pray.
The ones vocal about the 10 Commandments Sign being removed from the courthouses, but don't walk in obedience to them.  He said the wide roads are the ones that have billboards about God.  He said most people who call themselves Christians are on the wide road.

This born-again Lutheran minister says, the people who go through the narrow gate are the ones who have one-on-one encounters with God.  Like the fishermen who walked away from their boats and nets to follow Him. 

It reminded me of the Glacier National Park Roads.
The roads are all on the outside of the park
(you can drive them and see the beauty,
but not experience it up close)
except the Going to the Sun Road,
which is the only road that crosses the park.

It is narrow and winding
and a little tense for the driver,
but the view and scenery are breath-taking.

To really see the interior of the park,
you have to hike the trails
or canoe the rivers.
To get to the heart of the park
takes effort, perseverance, and submission
to the elements. 
 (and overweight, out of shape grandmothers probably can't do it!)
There's also danger of encountering bear.

Isn't it the same with us?
To get to the heart of God, experience His beauty and fullness,
we have to go through the narrow gate,
Meet with Him face-to-face,
Submit to Him,
and be aware of the enemy of our souls
We have to take the hiking trails
to see the heart of God.

Just Me Thinkin'....

"Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life-to God!-is vigorous and requires total attention." 
(Matthew 7:13-14 The Message)

Thanks for passin' by....


10 Days of Gifts

I had the grand and glorious idea
to involve the family with my
One Thousand Gifts list while they were here
So I got a note book,
wrote on the front
and taped a pen to it - so it could travel

I envisioned us filling pages and pages with gifts and thanks,
and then the book going home with them
so they could continue listing forever.

It didn't quite catch on like I thought,
But here is a sampling of gifts listed in our book:

1st grade spelling and lotsa good kissis

too much here - not enough there

not brown flat lands

I tried to call them slush burgers like the folks here
but the kids stuck with sloppy joes 

there's not so many in their part of Texas

I was driving a full size (but not so big)
rental car (in the picture above) while mine was in the shop

baby girl snapped away with my camera
in my back yard

'nuff said?

the morning we didn't


My Gift?
This family God has so graciously lent to me


Canada Border Crossing

We are just forty or fifty miles from the Canadian Border
and getting a Canada stamp on my passport
has been high on my bucket list.

When we crossed into Canada while on Glacier's Red Bus Tour,
the border agent said,
"everybody hold up your passport"
and he let us pass through.
No stamp.

But a few days earlier,
we had gone to the nearest border crossing
to get our passports stamped
and visit the closest Canadian town

We were not allowed to cross,
because we didn't have a permission letter
from the kids' daddy.
No stamp.

Now this really struck the 11 year old boy funny bone,
and he sent a text to his best bud back in Texas:
"We got booted out of Canada"

When they got home,
Was the mom ever surprised to learn
that friends and acquaintances
all knew
that they had been
Booted out of Canada!


Medora, ND

Back in North Dakota,
We visited the quiet little village of Medora
at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Medora is history rich
and has stories to tell.
In it's beginning, it was visited by
Theodore Roosevelt
Tom Mix
General Custer

Our main plan was to see the Medora Musical

When we found a playground and let the kids
play off a little energy,
they couldn't keep their eyes off
the muscular guy working out on the play equipment
and doing basketball tricks.

Mom finally says,
don't stare -
some people just like to show off
and he's one of them...

Well, sure enough -
at the musical -
Who do you think came hopping across the stage on one hand?
Then stood on his head on a basketball?

Picture is a little fuzzy - but trust us
That's our guy!
Guess it's OK if he shows off a little at the playground

Speaking of Show-offs ~
 here's a cowgirl showing off her new hat

We had to wait for the rain shower to finish,
before we could ride the escalator down
to the amphitheater in the canyon

When the stage opened,
 we had a beautiful lightening show on the horizon
behind the singers and dancers
The musical was fun and entertaining

The next day we drove through
the National Park

and began to understand
why Teddy Roosevelt

referred to North Dakota
as the romance of his life

He came here to shoot a buffalo
and fell in love

We loved it too

"I never would have been President if it had not been for my
experiences in North Dakota"~
(Theodore Roosevelt)

and the great 10 day adventure came to an end -
it was time to head for the airport.....

Many Thanks
Many Gifts

So glad we got to do all this together

Thank you Lord, for OUR experiences in North Dakota
Thank you for family coming to visit.


The Red Bus Tour

We were almost to the airport
when this little voice in the back seat says,
"Nana, are you not going back to Texas with us?"

And this little house on the North Dakota Prairie
is painfully quiet.....

But we had such a wonderful time
and took those kids around all over
Montana and North Dakota
(probably about 2,000 miles).

The ten day whirlwind is just a memory,
but I still have pictures I want to post.

In Glacier Park, we rode a jammer,
a tour bus built in 1936,
to the International Peace Park
and crossed over into Canada
for probably the most beautiful part of the Glacier trip.

The buses have been rebuilt by Ford
in recent years and are a
"must do" for Glacier visitors.

The view from inside the bus is incredible

The border is maintained by Canada
(the clearing between the trees is the border)

We drove to the Alberta, Canada town of Waterton
and the Prince of Wales Hotel

We were in time for tea, but chose buffalo burger lunch instead.
(The guys weren't too excited about tea.)

Built in 1927,
The hotel was blown down twice by high winds
before it was completed.

All the lodges in the park were built by the Great Northern Railway,
in an effort to lure American Tourists to visit the park by train.

The best part was the view of Waterton Lake from the hotel

This might be a place to stay for a week and just sit
and bask in the beauty of creation.

Also inside the town of Waterton
was a beautiful, sideways waterfall

but the children were more interested in the critter

The T-shirt said:

Glacier National Park
On Earth,
As it is in Heaven


Going to the Sun Road

"Going To The Sun" Road
is the only road that crosses Glacier Park.
Of course, pictures don't even begin to tell its beauty!

The road had only been open a few weeks
because of the snow
We stopped at  a waterfall along the way.

I'm just starting to figure out this video stuff...
but press play to see and hear the water fall
(and maybe it will work)

The road was built in the 30's
and is considered a national monument

It is 50 miles of steep, winding roads
and takes about 2-3 hours to drive

When we got to the top (Logan Pass)
The tourist were lined up with their cameras
snapping away at an oblivious big horn sheep
and of course we joined them....

We climbed higher to get to the snow

and found more wildlife

This guy seemed to be letting us take pictures!

He walked along beside us
posing all the way.

Somebody wore flip flops to play in the snow
and her little toes turned as pink as her sweatshirt!

And just maybe, it should be called
the Going to the SON Road

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
 may the LORD rejoice in his works--
(Psalm 104:31)

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