Thursday, January 28, 2016


I'm taking a little weekend trip with my daughters, so thought I'd leave you with a story from my past while I'm gone.

There was a fatal accident on Hwy 99 between Salida and Pelandale exits.  Traffic was backed up for miles.  I was on my way to a bridal shower for one of my co-workers in Ripon and was caught right in the middle of it.  Sitting for three hours on the freeway and moving less than 10 miles gives you time to think.  

After sitting at a virtual standstill for more than an hour, my brain went into motivation mode.....How do I get around this??  To the right, I had a lane of traffic bumper to bumper, and no off ramp in sight.  To the left, a lane of traffic and a center divider.  Behind me a white pickup towing a van.  In front of me an 18 wheeler that I stared at for 3 hours.  Truck number 2158, California Lic. #UB6269.  A sign "This truck makes wide turns".  Inspection #27849.  I will never forget the back of that truck.  Again the question?  How can I get around this???  The obvious answer... I can't... I have to go through it!

At that moment, all the scriptures about our Savior "going through" vs. "going around" HIT ME!

Jesus said "I need to go THROUGH Samaria.  Our Lord went THROUGH the leper colonies, THROUGH the valley of Temptation.  THROUGH rejection, betrayal, abandonment, beatings, mockings and finally THROUGH the torture of crucifixion.  He went through it all.

Don't you know the Woman at the well in Samaria was forever changed because Jesus went through instead of around.  Don't you know the lepers rejoiced with his healing touch.  Don't you know I will ever stand in awe that my Jesus went through the pain and agony of Calvary for ME!  Jesus had a plan each time he went through an episode in His life.  It led to a greater victory, ultimately the Cross and our salvation.

Sitting in that traffic jam that Saturday afternoon was a lesson.  Whatever I am called on in this life to go THROUGH...He did it before me..He is with me, and will give me the victory.

Have a great weekend....see you went I get back.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Try as I may, I can't seem to stay out of the kitchen.  I had a package of cream cheese in the refrigerator.   A can of condense sweeten milk, and a lemon.  The only choice was to make a no bake refrigerator cheese cake.

Yes, I had a box of graham cracker crumbs so that sealed the deal.

1 can sweetened condense milk
1 pkg. cream cheese
Juice from one large lemon (1/4  cup)

Combine milk and softened cream cheese and beat on med  for a couple minutes,  add the lemon juice and then beat on high until fluffy and totally mixed.

Turn into graham cracker crust.  Use a premade graham cracker crust or like I did, make one with the crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  
(recipe is on the cracker box)

Nothing could be easier, and it my dearest all time favorite.  I call that a Win-Win.

If you need me, I'll be in the kitchen.  HaHa

Monday, January 25, 2016


Friday afternoon we decided to take a trip to the Community Thrift Store.  My old roaster pan (probably 30 yrs old) had seen it day.  I thought since they are not used as much in our modern day cooking I would find one.   Too my surprise, I found a like new Stainless Steel Roaster.  $5  Happy Camper as I do a lot of oven cooking.

Also I wanted a small (2 cup) bowl with a pouring spout and this little pottery one fit the bill perfectly $2.95.

The other day Linda K. was sharing some of her thrifty finds and showed a picture of a golden glass covered casserole from Mexico.  I found these two medium size casseroles (no lids) for $2 each. They both have Mexico printed on the bottom.  Thanks Linda fo the tip.   Perfect size for a meatloaf and scalloped potatoes my my dearest and me.

There was a long line to check out and how smart, they are to put bins of things along the way.  Sure enough, this picture jumped in the cart. ($1.95)  So sorry its blurry with reflections, but it's a lovely bunch of grapes and the Bible verse at the bottom from John 15:5 "I am the Vine, you are the branches.  If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit."

This has special meaning to me.  When we lived up North and were in ministry, and I worked full time, and had a family, it was hard to carve out time to be with my Lord.  I took a little corner of my living room, and made it my "Vineyard" where I got up early every morning before dawn to have some quiet time in the Word.  

I always take a peek at the books, and I found The Pilgrims Progress in modern English.  I was delighted as I have plowed through the classic in the King James English, and it was hard.  This new version of a wonderful and powerful book is just like reading a novel.  How smart to put such an important book in easy to read modern English.  Yeah!!  ($1.95)

It was a most excellent Thrift Shopping day!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Click to enlarge

Here are a few of my favorite things.

Green plants
Little covered crocks
Fresh strawberries
Cookies in a basket
A nice cup of coffee or tea
Homemade cinnamon bread
bird nests with little blue eggs
Fresh herbs.

Please click on the yellow tree badge on my sidebar to see all the Sunday Sketches with Alexandra.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Do you ever have a hard time finding the words to pray?  I love praying Scripture.  I'm reading through the One Year Bible again this year.  Did it several years ago and it was such a blessing.  In the OYB you read from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs every day.  Takes about 15-20 minutes.  And at the end of the have read through the Bible.

Here is a sample of how I use the Scripture to pray.  

Taken from Psalm 19.

Dear Lord, Your law is perfect, it revives my soul.  Your degrees are trustworthy, making me wise.  You commandments are right, bringing joy to my heart.  

Your commands are clear, giving me insight to life.  How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from hidden faults.  

Oh Lord, keep me from deliberate sins.  Don't let them control me.  Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.  

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  I love you Amen.

Thanks again for all your visits and comments.  I try to respond to all your comments, so I hope you are checking back when you have time.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Well, I'm humbled and proud...can you be both at the same time??

I'm humbled with the opportunity to share my love of cooking and baking here at Villa Ramona with the cooking class once a month.

I'm proud, because Cornia (the manager's daughter and one of the students) is really taking the class seriously and doing her share of baking.  

In our first class we made banana bread.  She is being creative and brought me some of her "Banana Bread Hearts" for Valentines Day.  She's learned my motto "test the recipe".   She brought them in a darling pink box and they were delicious.  Do you see any thing she has learned... a "princess of drizzle"  HaHa.  

Another reason I'm proud is one of the ladies last week who came to class when we made scones made a batch for her family.  Her son Marco came by for a cookie and couldn't wait to tell me his mom was in my class and made scones.  I ask if he liked them and he was all smiles.  He is glad his mom is coming to class.

We enjoyed having our daughter, Michel for dinner last night and I made a beef pot pie, and a batch of scones to send home with her.

Hope you're having a good day.

Monday, January 18, 2016


The theme for Creative Tuesday is close to all our hearts.  Two motto's that speak to these siniments.  

"Home is Where the Heart is" and "Love Will Guide You Home."

As I pondered these two thoughts, this picture and story came to my mind.

She was weary and lonely.  The first time away from home for any length of time.  Now she's in college, in the city.  It too big, too noisy, and her dorm feels like a cubical.

As she laid in her dorm bed, her thoughts were home and her soft bed, the red brick house, the view of the mountains, and her mom's kitchen.

Her body was in the city, but "HOME IS WHERE HER HEART WAS".  The smell of a apple pie cooling on the window ledge and the love that made it WILL GUIDE HER HOME".

She pulled the covers up over her head and counted the days till Spring Break!

Hope you in enjoyed the sketch, and the story.  That's the way my mind works.  

To see all the other participants in CT just click on the badge on my sidebar.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Alexandra has been sharing different cups she uses and also cups of friends when they supply her with a picture.

Sounded like a fun idea, so I sketched a couple of mind.  The one on the left is from my friend Martha from New York.  I love pottery and it's made by Pfaltgraff and hold a nice big cup of coffee.

On the other hand, I enjoy my English tea (PG Tips) in my Royal Albert Bourn China cup and saucer.  It's called "Old English Rose".

Do you have a favorite so special if's it dirty you'll wash it instead of grabbing a different clean cup?

To see all the other Sunday Sketches just click on the yellow tree badge on my sidebar.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


OK!  Today was that day I said "this mop on the top of my head has to go!!"  My hair was way to long in the back and the sides were uneven from my "chop chop" when it didn't go the way I wanted it too.  I went on line for hair salons in Monrovia as I love all the shops in "Old Town".  I found the "Fox and Hair" and it had a many good reviews so I made an appointment.

I took in a picture from a few years back when I had my hair short and like it.  She was very sweet and seemed really interested in pleasing me and doing it the way I wanted.

 This is the interior and I love their name.

This is the result.  I was very pleased.  The way she razor cut it the darker hair underneath show through and I don't look so gray!  Although I earned my gray hair, I like seeing a little of the red in there.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


It looked like carrot cake!  It even smelled like carrot cake. but when it came out of the oven....I knew I had a problem.

Let me back up.....Everyone at the last cooking class at the Villa wanted me to make carrot cake for our next session.  I had never made a carrot cake (from scratch) but agreed.  How hard can it be, for heaven's sake?

I found a recipe a friend had given me years ago, and since everything I had ever tasted of her recipes were delicious.  So going exactly by her recipe and directions I made a carrot cake.  

I always make a "test case" for the recipe a week or so before to I can be sure it will turn out.   Good thing I did this time.

OK, back to the problem.  First of all it didn't rise as it should and it didn't cook evenly.   It was in a 9 x13 pan which was called for.
I can handle a crooked I decided to cut it in half and layer it.  The edges were a little hard but it cut easily into two squares.

The cream cheese frosting was to die for....(one good thing),  So I went ahead and instead of tasting it, frosted it.  (Mistake),  When we tried the first was obvious something was missing.  Carrot cake is suppose to be MOIST!  This was so dry it would choke a horse!  I could have frosted a bail of hay an had the same effect.  If I hadn't already wasted the frosting, I could have used it for a "door stop".  HaHa.

Went back to the recipe and saw that I had done everything perfectly ~ but believe me the cake was a disaster!

So, what am I doing for the cooking class tomorrow?  Quiche and scones....I will go with something tried and proven!!!

Have you ever had a cooking or baking disaster?

Saturday, January 9, 2016


Click to enlarge

I love lamps.  They are all over our home.  For Sunday Sketches I thought I'd share a few.   Some are big, some are small, some are short and some are tall.

It's usually hard to decide on a sketch because I think it has to be some masterpiece.  How silly, from now on I'm just going to think of it as a "sketch" like the title says and enjoy the simplicity of just sketching things I see around me and things I enjoy.

To see all the other Sunday Sketches with Alexandra just click on the yellow tree badge on my sidebar.

Thanks Alexandra for hosting a place where we can all share our love of art. 


 Some of my odds and ends today include an adorable set of bears.  A friend here in the complex was throwing things away, and I just couldn't see these going in the trash.

 I love boiled eggs for a quick snack or in a salad, but need to be sure which is which.  I've started putting faces on the boiled ones.  

 Friday, my dearest and I had the urge to visit the "Paris Baguette" in the Mall again.  We found it at Christmas as knew it wouldn't be our last visit.  He decided on soup and sandwich.

 I decided on pastries, and started sampling before I got my camera out.  Oh so sweet, so light, so delicious.

It's such a delightful place, and looks quite different without all the Christmas decorations in the mall.

 We've had a lot of rain the past few days, and the snowcap on the mountains is so beautiful.  This was taken just outside the mall.
 Zoomed in and bet there are some skiers and snowboarders up there enjoying the beauty and the snow.

The West Covina mall is just a few minutes away from where we live and a nice place to walk around and end up for lunch in "Paris".  (tee-hee)

Going to spend the afternoon with our son's family as Kaleb will head back to Illinois to complete his Junior year.  Can't believe he will graduate in another year.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Monday, January 4, 2016


 Was in the "Kirkland Home" store where I got my little chef's and saw this brew it sign.  I had been wanting something new above my coffee station.  It was on sale so I brought it home.

The little salt and pepper shakers were on sale for $3.99 so they jumped in my cart too.

I write an article each month for our Villa Ramona Complex.  I wanted to share the Thoughts from the Treehouse for the New Year with you too.

Life is not like a "magic slate" or an Etch-a-Sketch, where you can lift the page or shake the box and get a clean page.  Unfortunately, we bring into a new year all the troubles, worries and debts of the year past.  We can't change the past.  We can't change the future, but we can change the present.

This New Year is a GIFT.  How we handle it is a choice.  This is the one thing that is for sure.  we can make choices.  Here are a few of the ways I plan to make good choices for the New Year.  Maybe you'd like to use some of mine and make some of your own.

G ~ Why not choose to show GRATITUDE in difficult situations.  Something as simple as PLEASE or THANK YOU are wonderful gifts.
I ~  Showing genuine INTEREST in your family and friends is a special gift.  We all long to have someone to take an interest in what we think and do.
F ~  Have some FUN every day.  Smile a lot, laugh hard, and say hello to those you meet in the complex.
T ~  TIME is so valuable and a gift you can give that is priceless.  Be sure to take TIME to share with your family and friends and perhaps a lonely person you know.

My husband and I enjoying living at Villa Ramona and are going on our second year.  we have met many of you at the events at the Clubhouse and would like to meet more of you.

We love sitting on our balcony above the playground and hearing the laughter of the children.  I continue to bake cookies and have a "Cookie Day".  Be sure to look for the Red Cookie Banner on the ledge at #35 and enjoy a homemade cookie.

Have a wonderful New Year, and don't forget the GIFT.  

Your friendly neighbor, Wanda.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


 Disneyland Float

Michel and Monique picked me and Grandpa up this morning to go to Pasadena to the "Post Parade" showcase of the floats.  It unreal to see these massive floats up close and personal.  People everywhere taking picture, but a beautiful day and a delightful time.

 The Dole float was one of my favorites.  So hard to believe every surface is covered with plants or something from nature.
 This snake had such detail.   Hissssssss!

Can you imagine how long it took to cover this elephant with a grey moss?

 The animals look so real!

I kept expecting these guys to jump right off the float.

 The dragon was massive and absolutely beautiful in the colors.

 Trader Joe's entry was "The Fearless Flyer"

 The details, unreal!

 The Downtown Abby Float was exceptional.  The car completely covered with petals and seeds. And guess what the cobblestones are??  Next picture!!

Yes, potatoes!!  How smart is that.

 Another favorite was Miracle-Gro because of the details of the tiles.  Oh my goodness they looked so real, and each one perfect.
 When you stand in front of swear those are real bricks and even the stains running down the wall and the fountain.  Amazing!

 A close up of the tile work.  So pains taking, petal by petal.

A closer look at the fountain.

The bear was huge and looked so real.

 Betsy, this cardinal is for you.  He was big, and I liked the clouds in the background.

The eagle on his perch.

Another shot with the sky in the background...looks like he's taking flight!

Are you looking for me?

 This was outstanding!  In person it's just breathtaking.

Grandpa and Monique on Route 66
So that's just a sample of the tour we took this morning.  About 2 1/2 miles of floats.
This has been a great way to start the New Year.  Now on with the routine of living.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Our New Year's Eve plans for the past decades have been stay at home, watch TV, and if we could stay the "ball" come down in New York!!

This year was different.  I saw a brochure for a "New Years Eve" Street celebration in Old Town Monrovia.  Family friendly, live music, stores and restaurants open and the countdown at midnight with the "rising of the ball".

Julie, our second daughter, the mom of Amanda, Monica, Nick and Jon spent the evening with me.  We dressed the part, and laughed, ate at Rudy's Mexican Cafe and enjoyed the festivities. 

She is already making plans for us to go to the Rose Bowl Parade next year.   Oh dear...what have I gotten myself into.  

Happy New Year.....I'll see you next year!!