First Lights

‘Twas the week before Christmas,

and time, it would seem,

to seek out a few of my favorite things.

 

The local town square is always so bright

with sparkling magical holiday lights!

 

But first…

A feast!

 

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I know it doesn’t look much like roast beast!

The Whos were having their office affair

Decked out in their jammies, with nary a care.

 

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Time to pay up and get out in the air!

 

The lights were all twinkling

We went straight to the Square!

 

 

 

Reflections I see

in the spheres on the tree-

such curious faces

staring back at me!

 

Wait! Is this a Prince I have found?

 

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Sitting alone

on the cold, hard ground-

but where is your crown? 

I kissed his cold cheek

all damp with the night.

He was not shy,

and did not give fight.

 

Still,  he sat there on

his rock and remained

a frog-content,

and without shame.

 

The lights! The lights I see..

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They light up the night and

my heart with glee.

 

Swans a swimming,

frogs a leaping-

all within my heart

for keeping.

 

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At this time of year

restraint disappears

and like a child

my soul is wild

with hopes and dreams

as love light gleams

across the world.

 

Oh, why can’t every day be like Christmas?

 

 

The night was dark

and nothing scary

though our ‘free’ dessert

was something hairy!

😱

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Shame on you kitchen friends. And it had such promise….

This post brought to you by Linda Hill and her #SoCS post prompt.

For adventure and some historic doors hop over to Dan’s place. That guy does some traveling!

 

 

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Once Upon a Time in Paradise

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It’s sad to think it has been nearly four years now since we made the move back from Costa Rica. Since that time we have planned and been unable to revisit our second home on two separate occasions, both due to natural disasters.

In the past few days I have been going through photo files and reminiscing about our very special experiences there. I loved the photography opportunities almost as much as the people and all the unique places we were able to visit.

As I explore more files I will share more of our time there since many of my new friends here didn’t know me back in 2012 when I first began this blog as a way to share our lives in the beautiful country of Pura Vida!

Once upon a time in Costa Rica, we visited a spice farm named Villa Vanilla Spice Farm. As it happens, this tour was one of the first we took on our original journey to Costa Rica, long before we made the move. Once we lived there I had the opportunity to revisit the farm with my best friend when she came to visit us.

The farm grows orchids, which include the vanilla plant, which is actually an orchid. They also grow various bromiliads, cacao trees, carambola (star fruit), peppercorn plants and ceylon cinnamon trees.  Ceylon Cinnamon    is known as true cinnamon and is the variety you need for real cinnamon  health benefits for blood pressure and blood sugar control. The best part of the tour is learning how the owners and workers grow, harvest and prepare these natural plants for consumption. Tasting was fun too. Near the end of the tour, there is a treehouse with a magnificent view where the tour ends with chocoalate and cinnamon specialty coffees, vanilla cookies and a very special mandarin lime cheesecake. Heaven!

Take a walk with me and I’ll share a few photos with you.

 

And at the end, with the heat finally taking hold, we climb to the patio of the “treehouse” for a cool breeze, tasty treats and a breathtaking view. If you make it to the  Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, this tour is one of the traditional ones but well worth the time and sweating.

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I could sit there all day……and you can when you live there. 😉💕

 

 

‘Unhealthy’ Happy Memories/# vintage food

 

That’s me and my Daddy. I remember that kitchen though we moved quite a few times. I still get nostalgic when I see linoleum. 😉

But such sweet memories. It all started with a conversation about a food addiction I had in high school. One day my parents went off to church, leaving me home not feeling well. I was old enough to open a can and heat something on the stove but didn’t care for many soups. Then along came this sweet old Italian man with a brilliant dream and a master advertising agent.

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Perhaps it was that magical moment in time of being left alone, with a whole can of this cheesy pasta delight with no one to fight me for it. With a handful of Saltine Crackers on the side, I was in heaven-and hooked for an entire school year!

I have lots of these food memories, mostly times inspired by, and shared with, my Daddy. So I figured after I talked about it to hubby the other day that he would run into my old Italian chef at the grocery store and bring him  home for dinner. 😏

I think I’ll wait for a night when I’m really feeling the need for comfort. Then I may just eat the whole can. 🙊

And, speaking of food memories with my Dad, here are a few more. None of them is healthy but all of them are sweet. Thanks Daddy!

 

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Oh my! Beef pot pie. Banquet was best because it had bottom crust too!

 

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Best thing about Saturday mornings at least once a month! I could eat half a can at a time. Oh my..

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Can’t find an image of the original Oscar Mayer garlic bologna roll. My Dad and I sat and he sliced it so we could eat with crackers and mustard. Yum.

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I have no words and couldn’t bring myself to share an actual image of the product. As my hubby would say, “Just another version of lips and ears…”

(We ate it on bread over mayonnaise-open faced style!)

And there were a few things eaten in my house that I can barely talk about and certaintly did not partake of

Can you say “hog head cheese” or “Sardines”? Salted buttermilk?! 😱

Wait! I have to go brush my teeth now. Happy, healthy eating folks!

Thank goodness for Chef Boyardee! And my Daddy. 💕

Scenes From a Wedding/Day 2 #SoCS

“In this Kingdom there shall be shots!” And more shots. We killed Mr. Jameson in quick time. 😉

This post is brought to you sponsored by Linda Hill’s #SoCS prompt .

Today’s prompt was dom. Visit Linda’s place for more great posts from talented bloggers.

Back to the Wedding Weekend. I know I left you dangling last time. You will be relieved to know there were no arrests, a few more incriminating photos (which are locked in the family vault for blackmailing purposes later) and we had a fun night. The best thing about Lincoln for me is the variety and uniqueness of the venues that always seem to surface. Being a small city, one can easily hike from one venue to another which,  I would think, cuts down their DUI incidents significantly. However, their auto accident rate is likely substantial as we witnessed first hand…but that was another day.

The place we went to that took us a step back into the 80’s and 90’s was the Arcade Bar. A simple idea really-install some vintage popular video games, skee ball, foose ball and pinball. Put up a bar and open the doors. Even the ‘old folks’ like us love it.

 

Of course getting there is tedious, since we often fly into Kansas City and drive the rest of the way. Even driving from Omaha can be nerve wracking. But the scenery is pretty and the highway pretty much a straight shot. This time of year the colors are just beginning to change to Autumn.

I always love that I can say I have been to Iowa. (But it wasn’t heaven-Field of Dreams reference. See the movie)

We actually spent all of this day doing food preps. And having shots. It was a simple wedding but there are still lots of things to do. They had all worked so hard before we even got there, with family helping to get the yard ready and everyone preparing food. I always love being in the kitchen so it was a bit of heaven for me to be able to contribute. Oh, and Ellie also loves being in the kitchen. We kept pointing her to get out. Tell me, though, how you could resist sharing a nibble with this face?

 

Of course I did! Several times. She is such a sweetie. As are her brother and sister from other mothers…

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Meet Abu and Junebug
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Abu loves a good closeup.

Junebug loves to hide….

It was during the potato salad prep that I found our food blessing for the event.

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Even the potatoes knew it was meant to be…

Willard made his ‘famous’ deviled eggs. Yeah…it’s a family thing.

All in all, a very good day before the big day! That called for a nice, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood at sunset. I have already shared a post about the beautiful church we saw. Here are a few more shots from our walk.

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Lincoln has beautiful tree lined streets and old homes
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The moon making her way into the sky
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You had to know there would be a butterfly!
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Our ‘hotel’ for the weekend. Love this old home.

With such gracious hosts, how could we not have a marvelous stay? They even left candies on our pillows!

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Very exhausted Wedding Planners. Still, we enjoyed some take out Thai food at the end of the day.

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Thanks, Hayley and Ande for being such wonderful hosts in the midst of your own chaos of preparations. The love is so real with you guys. We enjoyed every. Minute!

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Oh, these guys? My number three son, Matthew and his son Noah. This visit was all about some Maw Maw time for me too!

Our next day would bring the rest of the troops in!

Oh, I need to mention again that in another city, number two son and his wife were delivering their baby on this day! 😱💕

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Miracles all around.

Love was defintely dominating the show!

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She’s So Lovely

Okay, well, I am making up for lost time here, and my Mother’s heart is very full. While I was up North for a wedding for one of my sons, another was in a city elsewhere in the state of Nebraska helping his wife to deliver a baby. Unfortunately I was unable to be there for the event since both occasions were taking place only one day apart. I can only hope they show her my photo and when I get back there I can make up for lost time.

Meanwhile, I have to show her off, beautiful big bundle of joy that she is. 9lbs 1oz of pure heaven. My sons says she is a very good baby; and he should know since  he was the easiest of the four. Never caused me one moment of stress, and now he deserves some of that action. 😉

Her name is Rayne…

 

She has five (yes, I said five-including a set of adorable twins) siblings to love, spoil and ruin her. 😂

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They made it to the wedding! Got some Maw Maw hugs in. I’ll post a Mom photo when she gives me the ok.

They are all a mix of both parents. This one, though…I think looks like Dad.

 

If she has his sense of humor, life will be wonderful for the whole house!