Sunday, May 31, 2020


We didn't have any big plans for Memorial Day. Bob thought he had to work, so I was just planning to get some things done at home and he was planning to grill something for supper when he came home.   On Friday, my sister Cheri had sent me a message that they were going to drive to Shipshewana and wondered if we wanted to ride along.  Shortly after that Bob came home and said he had Monday off!  So we were happy to accept that offer.
For those of you who don't know, Shipshewana is in Indiana and is in an area where there are a lot of Amish.  Unlike Michigan, Indiana is not on lockdown, so people are able to go to restaurants and do some shopping.
We thought it would be a beautiful drive and also that it would be so nice to eat in a restaurant again.
We left at 10am, and drove the two hours to Shipshewana.  It was a beautiful day and the drive was very nice.

 Here is the Das Dutchman Essenhaus.  It's a very large business.  What you see here is the restaurant and Amish Bakery.  There is also an inn, many little shops and a theatre.
We went in to sign is and were told there would be an hour wait, so we wandered into some of the shops.
As we walked through the parking lot, we took note of the license plates.  We saw one from Indiana, one from Illinois and all the rest were from Michigan.  It seems a lot of people wanted a bit of freedom.

They were giving carriage rides.  We didn't do this, this time, but have in the past and it's always fun.
The shops were watching how many people were inside and the shoppers were being careful.

Here is the area we were in.  As you can see, the tables are set quite far apart and all the staff were wearing masks.
We felt very safe and we felt this was a good example of how to open things up, but still be safe.

We had a family style meal with chicken, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes and Amish noodles. The meal comes with pie, which we took to go, because we were all very full!

 After our meal, we drove to an Amish store.  We saw several Amish wagons and buggies.  It was fun driving in the area and seeing the farms.  A lot of them had laundry hanging out to dry.

 The Amish store is huge, with groceries and lots of other things.  Aren't these little pedal cars cute?

The front parking lot is filled with cars, but on the side are hitching posts for the horses and buggies.

After this stop we headed home.  We were home by 5, so we had a nice relaxing evening.
It was a refreshing day and so nice to do something that felt a little normal again!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cooking Thursday

Last week I made bread to go with our supper and decided to try something new to go with it.  We like to go to Texas Roadhouse, and love their rolls and cinnamon butter.  I found a recipe for copycat Texas Roadhouse Butter, so I tried it.  It's very quick to mix together and we both thought it was really good.  We thought it had more of a honey flavor than the butter at the restaurant, but it was very good and I'll be making it again.

Cinnamon Butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1/4 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
In a medium bowl, beat butter, honey, sugar and cinnamon until smooth. 
Add salt and beat until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, honey, and cinnamon to your preferences.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020

A little Texas in Michigan

One of my favorite things to do is drive around on country roads, preferably gravel and see what I can find.  Heather also enjoys this, so when we went to Holland to see tulips the other day, we took the slow way home, turning on roads we never drive on usually.
There are a lot of farms in our area, so we see a lot of cows out in pastures.  But, on this day we saw a type of cow that isn't common around here.

Texas Longhorn!  I don't know about the black one, but it's a big one!

We stopped on the side of the road and checked them out. They are pretty amazing animals!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”
General Douglas MacArthur

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cooking Thursday

I had a ham bone in the freezer from a ham I made earlier this year, and I knew I better be using it.  I often make pea soup and wanted to try bean soup.  I picked up a bag of Hursts Beans which had a recipe on the package.  It was really good!  It's starting to warm up, so I probably won't be making soup again for a while, but this recipe is a keeper, and it'll be on the menu next fall.

15 Bean Soup

1 bag Hursts 15 bean soup
8 cups vegetable broth
Ham bone with plenty of meat attached.
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
15 ounces dice tomatoes

Rinse beans checking for any debris.
Pour beans into large crockpot.  Add broth, ham bone, onion, garlic and chili powder. You may add more water or broth is needed.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove ham bone, stir in tomatoes and seasoning packet from bean soup bag.
Add back any ham that is still attached to the bone.
Cook on low for at least 30 more minutes, can cook for longer if desired, and serve.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Tulip Time

Every year Holland Michigan holds a festival called Tulip Time.  More than 500,000 people come from all over for this time to celebrate the Dutch heritage of the area.  There is Dutch dancing in wooden shoes and authentic costumes, parades, carnival rides, lots of food and tulips!  Tulips are planted in mass quantities all over the city.
This year, as is happening with so many things, Tulip Time was cancelled.  However, the tulips are still blooming, so Heather and I drove out to see them on Tuesday.

Something we saw as we drove through Holland was this church.  It was built in 1856, when the area was first settled.  It's a big part of the history of Holland and has been featured in a few books. It was previously 9th street Christian Reformed Church, now it's called Pillar Christian Reformed Church.  Another interesting thing you can't see on the picture is the Rooster weathervane on the steeple.  It's something that a lot of churches in the Netherlands have to symbolize Peter and his denial of Christ, and a reminder that the church is made up of the broken and the blessed.

 Then we stopped here - Windmill Island.  This is the DeZwaan Windmill, built in the Netherlands in 1761.  It was very damaged when it was purchased in 1964 and moved here.  It's the oldest, authentic, working windmill in the United States and the last windmill that was allowed to leave the Netherlands.

A sign of the times!  Windmill Island is set up like an old Dutch town with houses and buildings you can go through.  Everything was closed, but we could still walk around outside and look at everything.

 Beautiful tulips everywhere!

Dutch style buildings with more tulips.

A bridge over a canal.

So many varieties of tulips.

The Windmill.

This windmill is huge!  It's the height of a 12 story building.  Can you see the blue door on the right side?  It's actually a double door that opened to allow farmers to drive their team of horses and wagon full of wheat into it.  Then they would unload the wheat and using a pulley system, hoist it to the fifth flour where it was ground.

 A stone that was used in the windmill to grind wheat into flour.  Wheat is still ground into flour here.

Surrounding the windmill are fields of tulips.

A final view.  Such a pretty spot!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mothers Day - A little late!

I know its been a week ago, but I'm finally getting around to telling you about my Mothers Day.  It was a really nice weekend, and the celebration covered several days.  :)

It started on Friday when Bob brought home these pretty flowers.  He was going to get something for Mothers Day, but picked these up instead because he knew I was having a long and crazy day at work.

We both had Saturday off and spent the day getting things done at home.  In the late afternoon we went to Heather and Andrews house.  We haven't seen them since the whole Covid thing started and they've been working on their house.  There was lots of painting and fixing up that we wanted to see.  It looks so good!  They've made a big change in that house in the year they've lived there.

 They gave me this cute little daisy plant.  It's so cheerful!

They also gave me this necklace - "It is well, with my soul".  I love it!

We had supper with them and enjoyed our time together.

On Sunday, our church met for the first time in several months.  There were lots of things done to prepare for this, including meeting with medical people.  The chairs were set so families could sit together, but more distance between the rows.  There was no nursery, no children's programs...  E-mails went out ahead of time with how things were going to go.  People were also told that no one would be judged if they didn't feel comfortable in coming, we would be there for those who wanted to come, and would be streaming for those who didn't.  It went well and it was so good to see everyone again.  We had quite a few people come from other churches because they just wanted to be in church in person again.

After church we had lunch, and then Aaron, Laura and the girls came over.  We haven't seen them either in such a long time.   Believe it or not, I forgot to get any photos of the girls!

Here's a card the girls made me.  They also made me these little bead art creations.  Ruby's is the heart, which she informed me meant love.  Alaina worked hard to make this pretty sunrise.  Laura and Aaron also gave us a gift certificate to go out for supper when the restaurants open back up.  We spent a few hours together and enjoyed it so!

Before supper we had a Zoom call with all of our kids, including Andy and Nikki in Kentucky.  We've done several of these lately and although it's not as good as being together in person, it sure is fun!

Monday, it was back to work.  It was a long day and I didn't end up getting home until 6:30.  When I got home, Bob was already gone because he had a meeting.  But, he left a note saying to check the fridge in the garage, as he had found something waiting for me when he got home.

It was this fun edible arrangement from Andy and Nikki!  There were grapes, strawberries, pineapple and some yummy chocolate covered strawberries.  Everything was good!

It was a fun Mothers Day weekend, and of course the best part was seeing my kids and grandkids after a long time apart.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe doesn't require cooking but it's a good recipe!  This is the punch we had at our nurses tea last week.  It was very refreshing and everyone liked it so much that we are using it again this week when we do special things for the residents on Nursing Home Week.
This recipe is perfect for a bridal or baby shower.

Pineapple Lemonade Punch

3 cups cold water
1 cup lemonade mix
46 ounces pineapple juice
2 bottle 7-up or Sprite
Stir the water and the lemonade mix together until well blended.  Stir in the pineapple juice, then pour in the Sprite.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

April Showers bring May Flowers!

We had a lot of rain at the end of April, and it seems the saying is true.  Things are starting to bloom here!  Here's a little stroll around our yard.

In our side front yard we have a little sign with our house number and some flowers planted around it.

 The grape hyacinths are blooming.

and so are the regular hyacinths.

This plant is called Jack Frost Brunnera.  It looks pretty all year long with the white and green foliage, but in the Spring it's covered with these airy little blue flowers and is just beautiful!

 Along the side of the garage is a walk with more plants.  This is a Heuchera, and the red color stays like this all summer.

Here's the walk, with the coleus in front of it and a forsythia bush at the end.

A close up on the flowers on the forsythia.

 Not a flower, but still fun to see.  Back behind the house, I found some mushrooms growing on a tree trunk.

 And here, on top of a trellis is a robins nest.  Can you see the baby robin?  It was too high for me to get a good picture, but the baby robins are looking like they'll soon be leaving the nest.

Here's a spot in the back yard with our pretty dogwood tree!  I so enjoy it for the short time it blooms.  Next to it is another forsythia bush.

These are Grecian wind flowers.  They are short and carpet any area they grow on.  We have a few areas with them because they are so pretty in the Spring and then die back allowing other things to grow.  They start as a deep purple blue color and as they grow they lighten.

This is our side yard which Bob worked on last year.  He added the little sitting area and then planted 70 daffodils.  We were so excited to see them come up this year.  It's a cheery spot!

I've said it before, but I sure do love Spring!