Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.
Oregon pinetree farm
Getting ready for a new travels
Learning to make India chapata
 
 

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, Penny and I decided to make some hot cross buns to enjoy with my family when they gather on that special day. I enjoy the flavor of these rolls with the sweet bits of fruit inside. I found my recipe on the Taste of Home website: Traditional Hot Cross Buns. Lets gather the ingredients, Penny.

Let’s take time to write out the recipe to be handy as we work here at the counter.

Penny is the reigning Kitchen Queen with her giant wooden spoon!

She watches over me as I mix the yeast into the warm milk and let it rise. I love the frothy stage of growing yeast.

Penny prepares the eggs, two large homegrown eggs from our hen house, to be exact.

Next, I got a bright idea, for the quarter cup of sugar called for in the recipe, I used pure Merle’s maple sugar from where my brother works tapping trees for springtime syrup making.

We add all these ingredients to the bowl of starter, including the soft butter, and the cinnamon and allspice.

Today we are using the KitchenAid mixer and I tell Penny to step back as it whirls around energetically. Be careful there, little girl!

I add one extra rising in here, to make a nice dough. I let it rise in the mixer bowl before I knead it on the counter.

Once it reaches this high, I dump it on the counter and begin the kneading process.

Keep your hands well floured, Penny, so you don’t get sticky!!

Now we cut them into divisions and roll them smooth, with hints of the dried fruit peeking out. I made two pans of a larger and small size, and let them rise before baking.

I let them rise a bit too much before cutting the “X” on top, so its not quite so distinct. Oh well.

Come celebrate with me as we sample our finished Hot Cross Buns with the frosting added, accompanied by spring flowers picked fresh from my garden.

Let’s celebrate the Easter season together.

Its wonderful to have fresh daffodils, so cheery and bright.

I have been enjoying this very special song, An Easter Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen and lyrics by Kelley Mooney. It is such a hauntingly beautiful song of praise sung here by Cassandra and Callahan Armstrong.

The lyrics begin with:

“A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said, “Did you forget me, Father did you?”
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”

And they follow the story all the way to the empty tomb, and the risen Lord, Hallelujah!

Have a Blessed Easter, my friends. ♥ Christ is risen indeed!!

We sure have had a snowy February here in New York! It has been clean and bright white, but the sunshine has been rather rare. One frigid day, Penny went out for a walk in the snow on our farm. She climbed an elm tree to gaze about. Suddenly, she heard a warm and friendly voice from below inviting her to drop in for a visit.

Mr. Jedidiah was so happy to have some company after so many cold and snowy days when most creatures have been staying indoors. He met Penny in the tree and showed her how to reach his home under the low gnarly log.

WEEEeeeeee!! Down Penny slid in the soft, fluffy snow.

Mr. Jedidiah had a safe little porch where they could chat together and gaze at the lovely scenes around them.

Such a delightful visit it was for both of them as Mr. Jedidiah was full of knowledge about the forest and all the critters that lived there. He also had a rich memory of many past winters and the varieties of weather he had seen and the adventures he had lived through. He was eager to share stories and tales with Penny and she really enjoyed making a new friend that wintry day as the snow fell softly around them.

After Penny trudged home to the dollhouse that night, she fixed herself a cup of hot cocoa and burrowed down in her favorite chair to sip it slowly and recall the stories of the afternoon. The fire in the fireplace crackled and popped contentedly beside her.

Just a little whipped cream on the cocoa added the perfect touch, and Penny even got a bit on her nose before it all melted away into a hot creamy pool.

This jar of cocoa mix came for Christmas and he is sure loving Penny’s warm house. How about a cup for yourself, Mr. Jolly Cocoa Jar?

“Don’t mind if I do,” says he.

May you all have a safe and warm winter season where you are today!

God bless you, real good!

*****

Hello Friends, winter days are here and our view is full of clean, white, lovely snowflakes.

Please join us as Penny hosts a craft day on cutting paper snowflakes. We have decorated our windows by taping up paper snowflakes that match the white world outside. It looks so festive from both inside looking out, and outside looking in!

For this project, I would like to thank Lynnea and Emily Mayne for hosting Penny and organizing the instructions to share with you. They are some pretty talented snowflake cutters!

First, let me share some snowy photos I took outside to capture some of this pure white beauty.

The view on the back lane when I was out for a walk with the dogs.
The bushes full of snow caps.
A cardinal adds a bright red living ornament.

And now, lets begin our craft by selecting a sheet of smooth white paper, and some sharp scissors.

Carefully folding our first triangle….

Penny slides her paper under the paper cutter to trim it to size.

Time to trim it up on the paper cutter. Good thing you have someone to supervise, Penny!

Folded and folded again….

And now friends, we are ready to do some creative cutting!

Chop, chop, chop!!

The exciting part is when you open your folded paper to discover the design you invented!









Hurray!!!  Good job!

Thank you for joining us, this has been a fun craft, and it was special to do it with Lynnea and Emily. ♥

Its time now to bundle up and head outside together for some sledding and laughter. Are you ready? Let’s take a close look and admire how God made each snowflake beautifully designed in miniature, with no two alike.

That’s pretty amazing.

How many snowflakes do you see?

*******

Penny has a cousin that has been living in Mongolia. She wanted to send her own Merry Christmas to you readers. Here she poses with a hand-carved Mongolian nativity scene. She is making friends with the camels.

Camels are native here in Mongolia; they are used for transportation and for milking. In this land the animals have owners but are allowed to run loose and feed themselves in the wild.

The herdsman live in little round houses called “gers”. The fences are used to keep animals away from the houses.

Mongolia is a land between Russia and China. Far in the north, the summers are short and snow can often be seen out on the mountains.

Come visit and take a turn at riding a camel for yourself!

Christmas is not celebrated here as in Christian countries.

Maybe you’d like to see a close up of that nativity scene at my friend’s house. It is beautifully made.

Mary and Joseph in the background and the baby Jesus in the manger.

We three Mongolian kings…bearing gifts.

I see a restless camel itching to go out exploring!

Our little gal also enjoyed checking out the gingerbread house competition for Christmas. Here is a scene with gers and animals and the mountains in the background. So detailed and clever!

Next, a tall skinny house dusted with snow.

And last of all, a little log cabin, complete with interior furnishings.

Before we say goodbye, you are welcome to sample some “aaruul” or dried yogurt that they make here in Mongolia.

Thanks for visiting!! Merry Christmas!!

Happy New Year!! from Mongolia.

“шинэ жилийн баярын мэнд хүргы”

Merry Christmas from Penny and Friends!!

Penny recently went to visit her friend Cathy, and had such a lovely time making new friends and enjoying an old fashioned Christmas home. Come along and share the fun!

Ho, Ho, Ho!! Come on in, many joyful surprises await you here!

Penny is sitting above the door to invite you in. What a cute homemade garland this is with red beads and green fabric ties.

First, come to the stable, where the shepherds and wise men have traveled to see that the wonderful news is true, a Savior is born!!

“God must have said, ‘I know what I’ll do, I’ll send my love right down there where they are. And I’ll send it as a tiny baby so they’ll have to touch it and they’ll have to hold it close.’ “

– Gloria Gaither

Jesus, You are the reason for this season of festive joy.

We come to celebrate your birthday!

On the mantel, Penny wanders among the lights, pine cones and greenery exploring on the back of a friendly stuffed reindeer steed.

The Christmas tree is a splendid display of beauty!

This is Felicity, the darling folk art angel holding the star at the top of the tree. How do you do, dear? What a lovely view!

Nestled among the other ornaments Penny feels right at home. Here she meets jolly little snowmen and a Christmas cat! Why, that must be Stitch’s favorite ornament! Let’s go meet Stitch, the kitty…

Here, kitty, kitty!

Hello Stitch, what a warm and cozy pal you make, with your little “stitched” half mustache, and your long soft fur.

How about a frosty sleigh ride together with you, Mr. Snowman? Wheee!

Now we’ll rest a bit on this old fashioned trunk and decide where to go visit next. Do I see someone cat napping on the couch back there?

I love the old Santas and lots of little Christmas trees.

Red berries and mittens are joyful additions,

And a sparkly lamp shines with cheer!

Another pretty old lantern sits in this corner on a square basket box where hangs a single white snowflake.

Penny found another little Christmas tree, perfect for sitting under as she chats with a few more snowmen buddies. I like this one beside her with the sleepy eyes.

She can’t resist the invitation to come sit by these two snowmen’s campfire while they entertain her with jolly tales.

Come to the kitchen now, Penny! There are lots of special things in here!

These rows and rows of cookies smell, oh, so delicious!

See the shadow of the window snowflake on the cupboard’s side? So pretty.

More Christmas friends spread cheer in their bright corner over here.

Even the shaggy dark fellow under the hat can’t resist all those snowman smiles that surround him.

Penny oversees the operation of more cookies underway.

I’ll volunteer to be a taste tester!!

Yes, you may, as long as you come join the sink crew and take a turn washing some dishes!!

Its evening now, and the Santa moon is out.

Penny is resting and gazing at all the labors below she was happy to be a part of.

What’s that old English Carol? “On a cold winter’s night that was so deep..”

The First Noel, the Angels did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star,
Shining in the East beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

And by the light of that same star 
Three Wise Men came from country far; 
To seek for a king was their intent, 
And to follow the star wherever it went.

This star drew nigh to the northwest, 
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest; 
And there it did both stop and stay, 
Right over the place where Jesus lay.

Then entered in those Wise Men three, 
Full reverently upon the knee, 
And offered there, in his presence, 
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.

Then let us all with one accord,
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with His blood mankind hath bought.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel!

1833 Old English Christmas Carol – Author Unknown

Merry Christmas, friends, near and far, thank you for coming along. May God bless your home with His grace and peace this Christmas.

*******

Hello Friends,

I’ve been missing here for a bit, but we are back! It is the beautiful autumn season here in Western New York, and I have some pictures to share.

Last week my parents made a visit to the splendor of Letchworth State Park and captured some glimpses of its colorful display.

Won’t you come along and see the falls with us?

We will head down this road to see what awaits….

These historic stone walls add such a loveliness to the view. Here is a grand old oak tree that has lived here for ages, overlooking these hillsides blanketed with color. I wonder what stories he could tell? Long ago this area belonged to the Seneca Indians. This park has a fascinating tribute to Mary Jemison who was captured by the Senecas when she was 12, and she chose to stay and adopt the Indian way of life, marry an Indian husband and raise her children here. This was her view back then.

This is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East” with the Genesee River flowing down the 17 miles of its length.

Come this way and we will see the Middle Falls, one of three major waterfalls nearby.

Here at the Middle Falls is a lovely picnic spot and close to the edge is where the water flows over. See below, there on your left is the cliff drop.

The water drops over 100 feet from here into the gorge below.

This Middle Falls is the widest of the falls, at nearly 300 feet wide.

This shot gives you a view of the picnic area we were just looking at. Zoom in on this next picture and you will see my dad still sitting there on his bench. 🙂

Notice the misty air that keeps these stones damp by the falls.

After soaking in the beauty here, let us hike up and see the Upper Falls.

Spanning the Upper Falls is a newly built arched trestle bridge. It replaces the previous bridges for the trains to cross over. This bridge is a total length of 963 feet across, and rests 235 feet above the River.

Let’s take a closer look.

These Upper Falls are so beautiful, its hard to guess that the drop here is only 70 feet.

These stone steps lead higher to the top of the Falls.

And here is where the water goes over. This Falls has such an interesting “S” shape, where you can see the top and the front of the falling water all at the same time.

And now for a close up view of the Trestle Bridge itself. And lest you think that is not very big, look close to see the “tiny” rail along the top.

As a farewell to the Letchworth Falls, here is one of the lovely little side falls, one among many that line this huge gorge.

“Someday when I grow up, I want to be a mighty waterfall too!!” says he.

Maybe this one is Penny’s favorite.

Here at home, Penny has a few autumn pictures of her own to share with you. The yellow leaves of our locust tree add a bit of bright beauty to this pile of dried leaves in our yard.

We have been busy with harvesting grapes and apples, raspberries and potatoes here on our farm.

Below she is riding the breezes in the branches of the tulip poplar tree, clinging to the seed pods left by the summer “tulip” blossoms. It was a windy day, I’m gad this shot is in clear focus. The cold winds are coming! Farewell to the glorious sunny autumn days, we have enjoyed you immensely!

On a rainy day, the dogs enjoyed a hike to the back fields. Just look at those happy smiles.

Ooo, running water to splash in! We love mud!!

Back indoors, we welcome this damp, chilly season with a steaming cup of hot tea. Here Penny is stirring sweet and creamy chocolate peppermint tea, yum, yum! Always surrounded by apples in this season. I love it!

Autumn days are celebrated with this autumn rag quilt I made years ago, so soft and warm, and my brand new pumpkin socks.

The cover photo of this post is of Penny on a big white pumpkin that I grew in our vegetable garden. Isn’t it beautiful?

Autumn is a season of abundance and gratitude. As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, lets get our “thanks – givers” warmed up. This is a great time to start a gratitude list, and keep adding snippets of things in your life that make it beautiful, and speak of God’s love to you in a thousand little ways.