Back in Ojai!

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Sun setting off the back porch in at Micah and Jodi house

Hello friends–  So happy to say that Jodi and the 3 grand-girls are back from China!!  Been missing them all 4!  So today we trundled up to Ojai for welcome home hugs and a little birthday cake for Jodi.  Loved the sweet time together.

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Out and about in Ojai– trying out the new Sushi restaurant in town–a grand-girl favorite.

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And back home there was some awesome double rainbow watching and a little soggy puddle jumping.  Things are never dull with the grand-girls back– Love those lively, lovable  girls.

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Faith in Things Unseen

Hi all– Been thinking so much about faith in these days–with so many friends facing difficult times, and seeing God’s goodness to them through it. It makes faith all the more precious, even more sustaining.

So I looked in the front fly leaf of my old Bible.  This is what I have written there….

st-augustine1“Faith is living for what you do not see–the reward of faith is seeing what you believe.”  
— St Augustine (340-403 A.D.)  Early Christian theologian, bishop and writer.

“Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things unseen.”  Hebrews 11:11

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen in temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  I Corinthians 4:18

The older I am, the more real and true and dear these thoughts are to me.  My faith is is in that I can not see, but in it, I have a real and true hope.  So thankful.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake

DSC01324Hello all– I’ve been making this cake forever.  It’s from a seminary wives cookbook that we typed out on a type writer (!!) and printed and collated all by hand back in 1978.  It’s favorite old stand-by.  Goes together fast.  The oats and nuts make it hearty and the chocolate makes it just sweet enough.  It’s a good little cake to have in your file to pull up when you need a homey dessert in a hurry!

CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL CAKE
1 3/4 cup boiling water
1  1/2 cup whole oats, divided
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
1  3/4 cup flour
1 rounded tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips, divided*
1 cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped to bits

In a heat proof mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over just 1 cup of the oatmeal.  Cut the butter to 8 or 10 pieces and drop them into the hot water too.  Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes.

After the oatmeal has softened and the butter has melted, stir it all together.  And add in the 2 sugars, and eggs.  Stir quickly so the eggs don’t set in the warm water.

Then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally fold in 3/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips.

Spoon the cake batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan– or a large 10-11″ springform pan –that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup oatmeal over the batter in the cake pan, followed by the walnuts and the remaining 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.

Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch.

Lovely served up warm and, of course, always good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

*I use mini chocolate chips instead of the standard size because they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while it’s cooking.

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San Francisco Weekend

DSC01435Hi there– It was a dark and stormy night– and it was, driving home from San Francisco late on Sunday.  A bit harrowing, but I got home safe and sound despite a lightning crash that nearly sent me reeling off the interstate 5!

But the days in the city with the kids were sunny and bright– so much lovely eating, scenic hiking and cozy sits on the sofa together.  It was a fine time.  Here’s a few pics:

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We set off on a late afternoon hike along the Land’s End trail– hilly forrested pathways overlooking the cliffs below the Gold Gate Bridge.  Fun to hang out with Ian & Alexa!

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And there was some lovely eating– a table full of tapas, our favorite Spanish lunch, at Esperpento.  And dinner at a new Brew Pub just opened in Ani & Brian’s neighborhood–Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company for mussels, pork & spaetzle, hearts of palm salad…

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DSC01523      IMG_7376    We took a stroll and stopped for a sandwich at Fort Mason, spent a pleasant hour picking out books at a super used books store in a barracks building and snooped through plots of a community garden. And of course, no weekend would be complete without a stop for ice cream (or blended yogurt this time!!)

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Thanks Ani, Brian and Laurel for all the fun out and about on our weekend together.  xox

 

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Unchanging

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I love this thought, when life itself is laced with unexpected, sometimes unwanted changes.  God, our eternal God, is the same, as loving, as merciful, as as faithful as ever.

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thank you for the quote–Jesus-is-for-you.tumblr.

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Whole Wheat Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

DSC01383Hi everyone– We seem to be the glad recipients of all manner of citrus these days– Teachers at school have been sharing bowls of lemons and tangerines and grapefruit from their trees.  And Micah came down last weekend with a big bag of beautiful big oranges from the farms up in Ojai. So they’ll be some citrusy baking around here, including these orange muffins.  They’re hearty and bright–a good way to start your morning…

WHOLE WHEAT ORANGE POPPY SEED MUFFINS
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
grated orange peel (about 1/3 cup)*
2 tab. poppy seeds

Stir together the white and wheat flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the egg, orange juice and oil.  Finally fold in the orange peel and poppy seeds.

Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper muffin cups (or just sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake them 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees until they are firm to the touch.  Makes about 10 standard muffins.

Serve hot on a winter morning with a swatch of butter and orange marmalade.  Delish.

*I used one very large orange, it might take 2 to have enough peel & juice.

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So Many Readers

Hi all you Reading Friends–  I had no idea there were ever so many pictures of people reading books until I delved into Pinterest!  It’s always been one of my very favorite art themes.  I have three “readers’ framed on my living room wall right now.

So just for fun, I wanted to send off some of my favorite reading art and illustrations– It will just make you want to pick up a book!

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Woman reading my Michael Steirnagel

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Mathilda by Quentin Blake, one of my very favorite illustrators, graces the cover of Roald Dahl’s engaging book.  I read it to my 4th graders every year…

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This could be the reading rabbi– Alexander Klevin

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Girls with armfuls of books– crochetumblr.com

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The Storybook– by Catrin Weiz Stein

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And of course, Dr. Seuss!

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The Understudy by Chad Gowey

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The Prophet Zechariah– Sistene Chapel –Micahaelangelo

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From the cover of one of my favorite picture books– The Library by Sarah Stewart, illustrator– David Small.

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Moments to Myself– Joseph Lorusso.

There’s more– Just start down those Pinterest rabbit trails and you’ll see hundreds.  I do think it’s grand to peek in on all those people deep into a good book.  Hope you enjoyed it too.

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