Food Our home

Food for a Rainy Day

Here in California we are experiencing severe drought conditions; farmer’s crops are failing, and deadly fires are raging, especially in the northern part of the state. We woke this morning to dense fog, then throughout the day a steady rain poured from the sky. It’s a great day–dark, but wonderful, and one that called for a change in our plans.


We had thought to eat a light breakfast, then go down to the lodge at Lake Gregory for lunch. We both agreed we didn’t want to go anywhere, rather we wanted to enjoy the glorious, stormy weather, so Jerry carried in wood, set the fireplace to roaring, and I “set in” to cooking.

Breakfast would be hearty and delicious.




Gravy, bacon and eggs. Each person is entitled to his own opinion, but ask mine and I’ll tell you I think these items constitute the world’s finest breakfast.



The Kris Keyes family, our dear friends from Safford, AZ., recently sent us four jars of jelly they had whipped up in their kitchen. Today we chose to indulge in the mixed-berry variety. Slathered the jeweled sweetness on our hot, crunchy biscuits. Sweet butter drifted here and there within the fine morsels.


I’m pretty careful about not wasting food. When I have small bits of left-overs I place them in freezer bags with the thought of eventually using them to make soup. Perfect day to utilize these tasty morsels. In the drippings from the bacon, I sauted chopped onions, peppers, and celery in this pan, dumped in the soup bag things, added lots of water, a tablespoon of chicken broth power, pepper, and set the pot to simmer.

imageAlso in the freezer was a small bag of pecan pie mixture I had left over once when all the filling would not fit into the pie I was making. A frozen round of crust was also there. I whipped out these tiny pans, rolled out the crust, poured in the filling, added a few pecans, and shoved them into a hot oven.


We’ve eaten all the breakfast items. Same with the soup. All delicious. Now waiting on the counter are these two little pies. In an hour or so, I’ll turn on the Keurig, brew a couple of cups of strong coffee, and we will indulge.

What a day. Over 2 1/2 inches of rain. Food fit for royalty.


Tuesday’s Shoes

After dinking around with a Dillard’s gift card that didn’t work out, Jerry wound up giving me $100.00 for Christmas, and I knew right away what I would buy with those sweet dollars; new dress boots. Rebecca and I went shopping the Monday after Christmas, and at Nordstrom’s Rack she found a perfect pair of boots for herself. I? Nothing. Well, nothing in the line of boots, but at Hobby Lobby where all Christmas items were reduced by 80%, I garnered quite a collection of items until finally I was pushing about a heaped up shopping cart.

A couple of days ago, I was feeling the urge to get out and find my boots, thinking of the after Christmas sales that would be slipping away and such as that, so on Tuesday in our trusty white Jeep I headed down the hill with DSW in Redlands in mind. By email they had sent me a $10.00 credit, and I’ve had luck finding what I needed there before.

I had the clearance rack in mind so I headed toward the back of the store where it is situated, choosing on my way to walk down the aisle where the boots are displayed. I stopped to peer at a couple of styles that interested me, keeping them in mind as I pointed my size 7s toward the bargain area.

No doubt I have blogged before about scripture that indicates women are to look well to their households, to be wise in the “doings” of their homes . . .that sort of thing, and since I am a follower of Jesus, when I’m out shopping and great bargains find their way within the reach of my searching hands, I seem to always recall that portion of scripture. Tuesday was no exception.

20150107-untitled (2 of 5)

20150107-untitled (1 of 5)These black boots are exactly what I had in mind. Perfect sized heel. Fine leather.20150107-untitled (4 of 5)These brown boots are soft and buttery, and although I had not planned to buy more than one pair, just take a look at that color. Gorgeous.  20150107-untitled (5 of 5)And then I spied this adorable little number that I will wear in the heat of summer.20150107-untitled (3 of 5)Five pairs! All from the clearance rack where each pair was marked down 30 to 40% off the original clearance price. Would you not think that God was directing me in this situation? Tell me now. 20150107-untitled (1 of 1)As I left the store, two large bags swinging from my hands, I clutched the receipt that proved how much I had saved my sweet hubby. He would be so grateful, I felt sure.

I had to run by Rebecca’s before I started home, and as I drove to her place, I considered taking all my shoes in to show her. “Kind of silly and childlike,” I argued with myself. Childlike won. I wagged in the two bags and we sat in her living room, rubbed our hands over the smooth leather and the fuzzy parts, and laughed together.

You may be wondering about the hundred dollar bill. Actually what happened is that it was not quite enough to purchase the five pairs of shoes, even though they were all from the clearance rack, so I used my debit card. Convenient little thing. The big bill? Still in my wallet. Should I offer it back?

Animals Photography

Sir Winston and His Manhood

I didn’t tell him about it, but I believe he sensed anyway that something was different about today. I had given himImagea bath last night, but he gets dirty so easily, especially since he loves to dig in the black dirt, so I scooped him up, set him on a bar stool, and with his own cloth, I washed his small body, his four spotted paws, his head, ears, and specially around his eyes.  As he often does when I wash his face, he laid into my chest. Today, he lifted his little face, and with his telling brown eyes, he looked hard into mine. I could have wept. A couple of hours ago, we drove Winston to his vet. Today, he will be neutered.

ImageHe looked worried as I snapped his picture after I washed him.

ImageI left him in the care of the sweet people at Rimforest Animal Hospital. I’m awaiting a call to hear that his surgery is finished. I’m sad.

5:45 Monday, May 19 Winston has been home a couple of hours and is doing well. He’s a little groggy and can’t have food until 8:00, although I have given him a little water, and it has caused him no problems.


Animals Christianity/Religion Crestline My Home Photography Weather/Nature

The Sabbath Hummingbird

In twenty minutes it would be time to leave for Sunday morning worship. “I’m going down with my camera and watch the birds,” I told Jerry yesterday. “I’m ready to go when you are.”


I settled myself in a lawn chair about eight feet from the wide bird bath where the timer had turned on the fountain and where the water was now softly bubbling. The morning was calm; perfect, with a temperature in the low 70s and with a breeze that caught in the high trees and that ruffled about the scarlet and pink and orange flower petals on the plants in the stone urns and in the hanging baskets. As I have done numerous time, I admired the lines and shadows of the bird bath with its flat water that was routinely interrupted by the bubbles that escaped from the top and fell below.


Suddenly, it was there–a hummingbird, its beat of wings so rapid that it was beyond the comprehension of my eyesight, and so to me was a fluttering blur. The bird swooped, flew away, then back, then finally into the bowl, splashing about for its Sunday morning ablutions.


I watched, then that jewel of a bird was gone.


Do you recall that Scripture says God is aware of every sparrow that falls? ….really? I suspect then, that He sees me this morning, knows of my day, my challenges, the decisions I must make . . . my successes . . . my failures.


New post on my photography blog:


Christianity/Religion Church Conferences/Seminars Goodness of man Pentecostal Photography

Leadership Seminar at Big Bear

A blessing from God is that even though we are no longer full-time in the ministry, many people invite us to be a part of their churches and of their activities. It delights both Jerry and me for it lets us continue to give from the abundance of blessings that over the course of our lives we have received. For although we are much older now, God and His Work continue to be the center of our lives, and we are most fulfilled when we are engaged in His business.

Recently, Jerry was asked to teach a session during the Garrett’s leadership retreat, so on Saturday morning we drove to Big Bear Lake–actually to the YMCA camp in Fawnskin–where those dear people had included us in their schedule. We ate breakfast and lunch with their group, attended a couple of sessions, and walked about the magnificent grounds.

Brother and Sister Garrett assumed the pastorate of The Lighthouse Pentecostal church about three years ago. Building on what other men of God before them had established, they have, through hard work and spiritual dedication, made significant progress toward building a great church in Yucaipa. They may be embarrassed when they see this, but I want you to look at a couple of images I snapped during Saturday’s seminar. You are seeing examples that speak to godly leadership and to subsequent church growth–both in spiritual and material senses.

They are amazing people, and my heart rests easy when I think of them and others of their caliber in whose hands–under God–resides the future of the Apostolic Church in the earth.

(Many more pictures of this event on my Flickr site:

Food Photography

Tasty Stuffed Peppers

A favorite simple meal of Jerry’s and mine is stuffed bell peppers. Want to know how to do it? For two, here goes.

1. Select two nice bell peppers. Try to get them on sale as I did these: 2 for $1.00 at Goodwin’s market in Crestline.

2. Measure out 1/2 cup of rice and put on to steam. I use short grain; lots of people like long grain. Doesn’t matter.

3. Back to the peppers which you should wash, then core out the stem and those white thingys inside.

4. Place peppers in shallow heat resistant dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until just tender. Took mine 7 to 8 minutes today. Alternately, you may do this in a saucepan atop the stove. I’ve done it both ways–one is as good as the other.

5. In heavy skillet, cook good quality hamburger meat–about 1/2 pound. Season simply with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder. When rice is finished, dump it into the skillet and mix the rice and meat thoroughly. Add approximately half a large can of plain tomato sauce. Think there are 15 or 16 ounces in one of those cans. Mix thoroughly.

6. The cooked bell peppers should be placed upside down in a colander so that the water drains out and they become nice and dry.

7. Return peppers to the cooking dish and stuff them with the mixture from the black skillet. Generously poke the meat mixture in until the peppers are bulging. Fill them high but if there’s too much meat it won’t hurt anything if the mixture falls into the bottom of the dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the luscious peppers. Top with a generous grating of a good cheddar cheese.

8. I did all this while I was cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, then I covered the peppers with plastic wrap and placed the dish in the fridge. Around 4:00, I pulled it out, placed it on the middle shelf of my oven set to 375, but which actually gets only to 350 and cooked until it was heated through, appearing bubbly and just beginning to crust on the top.

I served this with a salad of chopped romaine lettuce and chopped onions mixed  simply with mayonnaise. I had three homemade yeast rolls left from another meal which I heated slightly, and beside which on the table, I added a dish of butter. We drank iced tea.

There you are. Simple super supper . . . or dinner . . . or lunch. Probably not breakfast. 🙂 I’ll post these directions in my recipe section. Take a look there if you’d like; love to have you add something.

Happy eating.

Christianity/Religion Family Holidays

My Favorite Leftovers

Not claiming to remember each one in particular, I yet believe this Thanksgiving has been the best of my life–at least I cannot think of such an occasion that supersedes this one. From time to time, an event argues to be poetry; its being smacks of moonlight slanting at sea water or cottages set in deep meadow. Such celebration becomes the benchmark for future events. These past few days have been of that kind. (Always extremely thoughtful and polite, Melina brought these adorable owls and turkeys. On her site, she tells how to make them.)

The pleasure began early, when last Sunday evening Andrew and his family arrived, wagging in luggage, grinning, hugging, and with the five children quickly scattering about our home since they visit here frequently and know they have the run of the place, including the “secret room,” the game room, and the picture room. Actually, the earliest pleasure had been the moment  I knew all four of our children would be coming for Thanksgiving. Already I knew my brother was flying in from Chile, my step mom was coming from Missouri, and two of my nieces were traveling from Pennsylvania. It would be a rare Thanksgiving. (Pictured here are my children, their spouses, my brother, Farrell, Jr. on one end, my step mom on the other end.)

Although we strayed a bit from the master scheme, I had planned all the meals, beginning with chicken tacos on Sunday evening, roast beef on Monday, ham on Tuesday. . .Yeast rolls ready for the oven were in the freezer, as were three pie crusts, cookie dough of four varieties, frozen cranberry salad, and Miss. Hulling’s squash and apple casserole, a dish so delicious that from the cafeteria where I first ate of the delectable concoction, I bought a cookbook just for that recipe, and without which I cannot image a Thanksgiving dinner in the Gerald Buxton home. On the bread shelf was a bulging bag of crumbled cornbread and a few biscuits ready to be developed into dressing for the turkey and over which would be spooned giblet gravy.

We had The Plan. I had cleaned every nook and cranny of the house (well, almost, for to be honest, I can think of a few hidden spots that could stand a bit more “spit and polish”) made lists, arranged tablecloths, napkins, centerpieces and considered seating arrangements. I had shopped. A lot. More than once. Yet, when Rebecca called on her way up and inquired, I said, “Yes, please stop at the grocers and bring these things,” as I read from the list in the little book that resides on the shelf near the fridge.

On Monday morning, I was disappointed to learn that Andrew had to go to San Diego to finish up some of his jobs (construction work), and would be back by Tuesday evening, but while it was yet daylight on Monday, here he came, some development having given him the option of being here the rest of the week. Yes! On Tuesday, a baking mood enveloped him and Gentry. They took over the kitchen and produced some tasty goodies, including these fine sugar cookies. Then–if you can believe it–there was a distinct possibility we would run short on butter, so off to the store again went Andrew. Butter, more milk. . .

By Wednesday evening everyone had arrived–from San Diego, Lake Havasu, Chile, Missouri and Pennsylvania–we were all here. Festivities swelled into high gear; from the game room the youngsters brought down puzzles to spread about on the dining room table and stuffed animals were retrieved from the secret room to be scattered about the house. (Pictured above are my niece and great niece, Sandy and Moriah, and my beautiful daughter, Rebecca.) We ate. And again, we ate. Spaghetti and meatballs on Wednesday served up with the most delicious bread of Melina’s preparation, hot from the oven, running with cheese and herbs. Sandy, my niece from Pennsylvania, had presented herself at the door with large boxes from The Cheesecake Factory, and because my ample fridge was bulging, we utilized my  “winter refrigerator”–the back deck table. Three ice chests also sat there for two turkeys and a massive prime rib roast were doing their deal with brine solutions and handsome rubs.

Balderdash–the funniest family game we play, and from which uproarious laughter has been known to cause the temporary, but absolute, loss of breath. Some also played Apples to Apples, Scrabble, and upstairs the youngsters played some kind of card game, and maybe Twister, for I recall seeing parts of that game once during these happy days.

Steve bought and cooked the spectacular standing rib roast in the house oven, while in a Chinese turkey roaster, Mike cooked the two turkeys he had bought in Lake Havasu.

Chloe whipped up the mashed potatoes, Shawnna added her famous green beans, Melina’s chutney, the dressing and gravy were finished, the rolls cooked . . .

Black Friday sales snagged some of the bunch, some had to make airport runs, and while they were gone down the hill, others of us–the wise ones– began thinking of food–in particular the large prime ribs which Steve had removed before slicing up the meat the day before. Light the grill, he said to his dad, and in a short while we were sitting around the kitchen bar chowing down on prime rib bones; succulent bones–some naked, some with a BBQ sauce Steve had whipped together. One rib was left in the pan, when my brother and my step mom knocked on the door, and perhaps looking slightly sheepish, probably with BBQ sauce on our faces, we insisted Junior indulge by taking the last rib. With little persuasion, he hiked himself onto a bar stool.

I would speak of the killer French dip sandwiches we had on Saturday with the remaining beef, or of the straight from the oven oatmeal and ginger cookies we ate gathered about the oven, or of the apricot and cherry stollen, but I must stop. This has gone on too long and I want to speak of leftovers . . . except that first I want to show you a picture of my granddaughter Sarah who came to visit on Friday afternoon. . . and the light was streaming through the window perfectly, and she is so beautiful. . . and spontaneously she arranged her arm and smiled.

Some believe leftovers are the best: I agree. My favorite leftovers, however, are not what one might expect. They are neither of roasted meat or dressing or gravy or warmed yeast rolls or chilled pumpkin pie. My favorite leftovers are those in my mind; the memories I retain, the sights and sounds of my children now grown, and of their children still small and middle-sized, but then there are Chloe who is 16 and Gentry who is taller than his Pappy and whose voice has changed since last Thanksgiving. . .who is almost a man, and Sarah with Gage, our only great-grandchild who was able to come for Thanksgiving.

My leftovers include visions of every bedroom full, Mike and Melina sleeping on a blow-up mattress on the floor in the game room, couches full, and youngsters dragging around quilts and pillows as someone made them a bed somewhere. My leftovers call up the crooked wreath on the stair wall glimmering with Christmas lights, but with a few ears of Indian corn tied on as a nod to Thanksgiving. Wood stacked. Wood carried in. Blazing fires all day and into the night.

My favorite leftovers are memories of Jerry speaking to us, and his becoming teary, and his prayer before we ate our beautiful meal; of the moments we  gathered about Shawnna–adults and children alike– to pray, as she had been sick for a couple of days. My favorite leftovers include the short conversations I had with some of you, my children, about God and His work and our place in it. My favorite leftovers are recalling the spontaneous hugs and words of love I saw you give; of hearing that Jessica must be admitted to the hospital and that in a short while we would have our 9th great-grandchild, and that Mike’s face was worried, and that he said we should pray for her. My leftovers include Andrew–the last to leave–as he sat with his wife and children in the living room and asked Jerry and me to pray for his family.

Leftovers. Abundant, delicious leftovers. In my mind. In my spirit.


Picture a Day Project

I posted a picture over there yesterday, starting my 365 Picture a Day Project on my photography site. I hope you’ll go over, take a look, and leave a comment or two. I’ve been doing lots of photography during the past few months and have posted hundreds of pictures on my Flickr site. Almost always the pictures posted on Flickr will be different from those on my photography site. Let me know what you think.

Have a blessed year.


A Friend Story

When I was young, I believe I enjoyed and appreciated them, but I’m quite sure that here in my older years I more intensely cherish my friends, recognize their importance, and have an understanding of how dear they are to me. A double break was a couple of weeks ago when we were with our friends Don and Abigail O’Keefe, returning to their home after visiting with our dying friend Bob Robison and his wife, Shirley, that we chanced on two more friends. It happened this way.

“What shall we do now?” was the question after we had lunch, and after we had lightly discussed the matter and had decided there wasn’t time to go to San Francisco. We were nearing the town of Benicia, situated on the shores of the bay when I saw a sign that indicated some historical significance. “Have you explored here?” I asked.

No, they hadn’t, so Don turned off the highway, maneuvered the quaint streets and parked in the historical district, a tree-lined section of this charming small town. Turns out that at one time in the early days of the settling of California Benicia was the state capitol. We paid the small admission price, and by passionate people were given a delightful tour of the facility and of the Victorian house next door.

As I rounded a corner in the garden area,  I saw that strewn across the ancient brick sidewalk were small red balls that appeared to be some kind of fruit; a variety unfamiliar to me. “That’s the fruit from our Strawberry tree,” one of the guides told me when I inquired, and then I came to the wide area where leaves as large as two of my hands together were spread in a cool way on the cement.

It was as I was walking about in these gardens of the home that I began wishing our friends who live in Benicia could be with us. Had we  known ahead we would be prowling about their town, we would have called them, I’m sure.

Back in the car we were heading down to the water, when Jerry said, “There’s Sister Fertado right now.” We looked, and sure enough she was striding down the street. Don made a u-turn and as we pulled up beside her, Abby rolled down the window. “Hi!” we said to our friend. Startled, she smiled widely, we explained what was going on, and could we get together for coffee or something, and could she recommend a place?

Her husband was walking on another street, she called him, and soon we were deep in conversation, seated together, coffee drinks in hand.

It was a multifaceted day; one of history, of friends, of flowers and leaves and a strawberry tree, of sorrow, of joy, of discovery, and of the happy chance meeting with the Fertados of Benicia.

When I was young, I believe I enjoyed and appreciated them, but I’m quite sure that here in my older years I more intensely cherish my friends, recognize their importance, and have an understanding of how dear they are to me.


Street Sadness

It had been raining–the day last week when we went to San Francisco with our friends, Don and Abigail O’Keefe. When in their garage we had entered the car, we carried umbrellas with us, and I saw as we viewed the people walking the city streets, that some of them also had umbrellas in their grasp.

Others did not. I viewed him in the wet and dreary distance as we walked toward Pier 39, and saw that as person by person passed, he would extend his bare head (though covered amply with thick black hair) from the folds of his vivid bag, and in a voice that rang unexpectedly cultured and strong say, “Have you anything for an Irishman? An Irishman who is a veteran? Have you anything for a veteran?” A small patch of coins lay on the cold pavement before his huddle, except that I see in the picture the coins are not visible, so perhaps he swept them inside his tent when he withdrew his head, I’m not sure.

His immediate image was colorful, but in my mind the image was scribbled with gray smudges, for once this pitiful man had been a mother’s newborn baby, and now he was a sad victim of the street. I’ve heard the arguments–valid ones, I suppose–that here in America it really is never necessary for a person to live in this manner. There are numerous shelters and welfare programs. True enough. Yet the vision is a sad one. Whatever has caused this human being to live in such a way–whether it is his mindset, his laziness, his true disabilities, our wretched economy, his addictions–whatever, it is sad.

It is especially sad during this holiday season…for not far from this spot are spangled Christmas trees and smiling people with gift packages in their arms. They have dressed well for the day, now walk about the bustle of the twinkling shops, and then will  scurry home to their warm places and to their beautiful families.

Carols sound joyfully over the splendid scene: Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…