Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Revisited and Other Stuff

The roast leg of lamb for Easter dinner was a huge success!! It turned out perfectly, if I do say so myself. I will definitely do it again. I used the leftovers to make lamb stew, which reminded me of my grandmother. She made the best vegetable soup, but it became a family joke that if she made soup with beef it in, it was vegetable beef soup, and if she made soup with lamb in it, it was lamb stew ... but it was the same soup!! Mine was a real lamb stew and we thoroughly enjoyed it for dinner the next day.

The piece de resistance was this cake. It's a lemon Jello poke cake and it's really easy to make, looks terrific, and is a light refreshing dessert after a big meal.

In other news, I have a new great niece, (number 20 for us - we both come from large families), born on Monday. Her name is Cleo Savannah. I don't have any pictures of her yet, but her mom is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure she is too! I did finish the rag quilt I was making for her, so I'll have to get that in the mail soon.

I have something very exciting going on in my life that I can't talk about just yet. Don't want to jinx myself, but if it works out, it's an answer to my prayers!!

And speaking of prayers, I'll be taking off Friday morning for a Christian women's retreat in Sault St. Marie in the upper peninsula. My sister has been going for years. She talked me into going with her one year, and I've been back every year since. This will be my 5th one, I think. Sis is now on the board for the group so she's also roped me in to being a group leader. I feel woefully inadequate to lead a group, but somehow, it always works out!! My husband calls it my weekend "galavanting with God". It's about a 4 1/2 hour drive, and across the Mackinaw Bridge. Every year, the last couple days before I just really don't feel like I want to go ... but I'm always glad I did. I've met some amazing women there, and I come home all recharged and full of faith and hope for the future. It does my soul good ... so I'm going!! I hope to get some good pictures to share next week!!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Visitors

Our backyard used to flood every time we had a lot of rain. Sometimes if it happened in the fall, we'd get a cold snap and it would freeze and the kids would have an impromptu skating rink. We put some drain tiles in to help deal with the water, but still, in the spring when the snow melts, and it rains a lot before the ground is thawed, the back of our yard gets flooded. It doesn't usually stick around long these days. This year, for the first time, it provided a resting place for a couple of days for a mated pair of migrating ducks. .

The dogs and cats were in a frenzy, but these were savvy ducks, and they soon realized that the animals were not in love with the idea of getting wet, so as long as they stayed in the middle of the pond, they were safe!
They're gone now ... but we sure had a good time watching them for a couple of days!!

Singing the Blues

In case you were wondering, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I've just been in kind of a blue funk the last couple of weeks, and not in much of a mood to do anything creative. The early spring is full of bittersweet memories for me. We lost my dad on April 1, 2003, rather unexpectedly, and that was the start of a few very difficult years for me, when it seemed like life just ran me over like a steamroller and I was lost for quite a while. It was a long road back.

Many thanks to all of you who offered your messages of sympathy and prayers for my uncle. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 26, less than 12 hours after being admitted to the Hospice Center. My aunt was discharged from the hospital the same day, and although her activities were very limited, she was able to direct the funeral preparations. The days since then have been a blur of funeral arrangements, family arriving and departing, making sure Aunt is managing okay after her surgery, and trying to keep up with work.

Now Easter is upon us, which is a reminder of hope and salvation, and time to be renewed and refreshed. That is my plan.

I'm hosting Easter dinner this year at our house and cooking my first leg of lamb ever!! Honey doesn't much care for lamb, so he's having steak, but my Aunt loves it, I love it, and the Big Guy and KT said they would try it. So lamb it is, complete with mint jelly, mashed potatoes and English peas!! Wish me luck. It seems like it would be hard to ruin a roast leg of lamb. I guess we'll see, won't we!!