Ice cream makes me KWAYZEE!

Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.  ~Don Kardong

Tuesday nights is dollar scoop night at Baskin Robbins. We go even during the winter because it gets us all out of the house instead of being cooped up, and it’s festive to get ice cream. Here’s my youngest mugging for the camera.

Table Setting

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. ~ King Solomon in Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV)

My 7 year-old daughter made the leaf with each person’s name on it, including the glitter around the edges. 12 people barely fit around my table. I need a bigger table, or two shifts! See closeup below.

Turnips and carrots

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  ~ E.P. Powell

Every family in the US probably has some unique dish that they add to the Thanksgiving staples of potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. Ours is mashed carrots and turnips. If you want to try it, it’s real easy.


  • 3 lbs peeled carrots, cubed
  • 4 medium turnips, peeled and cubed (medium = 3 inches in diameter)
  • 3 sticks of salted butter
  • 1/2-2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper


  1. Boil the veggies in one pot
  2. Drain, mash, mix in the other ingredients


Piscetti girl

No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention. ~ Christopher Morley

My third and youngest child has a big personality. Here she is creating her usual facial mess with ‘piscetti.’ Kids make life fun.  More photos below, but not cropped or edited.

Country breakfast 1

“A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one’s husband, but how seldom married people in the midst of life achieve it.” ~ Anne Spencer (1882-1975) American Black poet

My wife’s version of the $4 breakfast plate at our local cowboy diner, The Farmer’s Den. Yum. The only downside? It usually smells like cow manure outside, and often inside because the farmers track it in.

Wedding centerpiece

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:  “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,  and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.” ~ Matthew 22:1-3 (New King James Version)

I just attended one of the most awesome weddings ever. This is the centerpiece from out table. Original below.

Harvest leftovers

There are three easy ways of losing money – racing is the quickest, women the most pleasant, and farming the most certain. ~ Lord Amherst

Many people don’t realize that after the harvesters go through the fields, there’s about 20% left over.  Farmers plow this back into the dirt, which gives nutrients to the next crop. It’s just not worth the money to go in after these remains. Pity, huh?

Dueling grills

“Grilling, broiling, barbecuing – whatever you want to call it – is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.” ~ James Bear

Costco had a really nice 4-burner grill on sale for $200 this past weekend, and since my old Kenmore model was rusting out and no longer cooking well, it got replaced. Here’s the new grill facing down the old one.

Tomato harvest


“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” ~ Lewis Grizzard

Tomato harvest is underway – in my area, lots of Italian tomatoes, here loaded into the trucks for transport from the field.

Eatin’ with the cowboys

One of the best places to get breakfast out in the country where I live is the Farmer’s Den. Breakfast special is $4 for a couple eggs, two really good pieces of bacon or sausage, and two pancakes (or biscuits and gravy or hash browns).

My mother in law likes it because it’s usually filled with Cowboys and farmers. It’s where the locals eat. The waitresses are almost typically cute gum-chewing young women with black shirts and attractive, um, assets. And the soft drink glasses are quart-sized.

Pot, trivet, table


Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real. ~ Ralph Fiennes 

An interesting study in textures – the pot, the trivet, the table.


Pepper seedlings in the field


“We were born to die and we die to live. As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.” ~  Russell M. Nelson

I have no idea if these are peppers, or if they are, what kind they are.  We'll find out!  Just another day on my way to work.

Apricot season


Most towns in the Central Valley of California have an annual harvest festival celebrating a main crop in the area.  Gilroy has it’s famous Garlic Festival, nearby Watsonsville has its huge Strawberry Festival in nearby Monterey, and my little hamlet has its Apricot Fiesta (yeah, definitely small town web site that needs help). 

Cherries This picture, similar to my photo of the cherries in the neighboring field (to right), shows the apricots almost ready for picking. My wife loves these things, but I just don’t like them – no matter how sweet an apricot you can find, I still find them too tart.  I just don’t like ’em.  Ick.

Here’s a few more versions of this photo – first, the original, un-enhanced photo, plus many others – the filters are still fun to play with, what can I say.

June21 June21b June21c June21e June21f June21g 

Kids snacking after church


“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” ~  Lenny Bruce

Although Lenny Bruce was known as a comedian, this tidbit has a lot of truth in it.  Many churches are just meaningless social clubs, self-righteous hallelujah clubs, or something worse. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the type of ‘organized’ religion where people of like mind and spirit gather to worship God and serve humanity in love and truth, and I believe there are distinct benefits to spiritual community that can not be found in solo spirituality – such things as the multiplication of effort, encouragement during hard times, the power of corporate worship, and the bonds built in service to one another and community.

One of my favorite things about church is the community feeling of it, and of course, the food that lubricates that community.  In this pic, my kids are eating donuts and juice.  I think it’s cute.