As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.




Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Whiplash


This post began last week as a  Five on Friday and then it changed to A Saturday Chat and then that fell apart too! So why don't I just try to catch up a little bit, drop in a few photos . . . and choose a title at the end?





Need I say that this is a busy time at our house?!

Boy-oh-boy, this year is turning out to be even busier than I imagined. Bekah is finishing her senior year of homeschool and Kati is getting married in May, both major life events, both worthy of rejoicing and celebration!

We are in the midst of lots of planning, ordering, executing, school work (two of us), working (two of us), visiting (Kati and Andrew are frequent flyers these days), and trying to squeeze in all of the things that we want to do before Kati gets married and moves away.

It is a joyful season here at Pineapple House! But we don't have time to let any grass grow under our feet.




When Andrew was in Maryland last, our dear friends (the same friends who took our last photos at The Farmhouse) took engagement photos of the happy couple. Kati shared many of the photos on her blog, along with their story thus far. I will sprinkle a few in this post.








Some moments from last week: 

Re-order wedding invitations that came with a typo. Spend time on the phone to get that corrected.

Borrow cash from Bekah. Purchase an antique bed.

Take my measurements to be fitted for my wedding outfit that I ordered online. Bekah helped me measure. Oy! (She could hold that information over my head and basically she would get whatever she wants.)

Ron and Bekah drive five hours per week so that she can log enough hours to get her driver's license. They pick up the bed that I purchased. They also buy two antique coverlets.

Go to the bank to withdraw money to repay Bekah.

Order Bekah's maid of honor gown. Bekah pays me for the dress with the money that I just returned to her. (Ah, the world of high finance.)

Order vases.

Try to keep up with school assignments and Morning Time. Take Bekah to voice lessons and choir.

Host our new home keeping group.

Run a Valentine errand. Have my debit card declined. Postpone the rest of my errands so that I can come home and call the bank about why my debit card was declined. (Answer: Vase order was "flagged" as suspicious activity.) Finish my errands.

Plan several activities that we want to do before Kati gets married three months from now. Forget to send out e-vites.

Clean. Nope.

Keep up with laundry. Nope.

Cook delicious and nutritious meals. Nope.

(Priorities, right?)

A follow up to the exchange-of-money story: Bekah also purchased a copy of Gone With the Wind off of eBay. By the time she paid me for that online order, she only netted fourteen dollars from the money that she loaned me at the beginning of the week! 🤣

New (old) coverlets atop the media cabinet








Pinky is oblivious to the hubbub of activity. "Just give me a sun patch or a lap."

Non-homemade Valentine treats




Some plans for this week . . . 

Write out wedding invitations. Yes, the corrected edition came at the end of last week so we're good to go! Whew! Cue the calligraphy pen and hours at the dining room table . . .

Traditional Christmas luncheon at Gammy's. There was sickness around on the originally scheduled date in December, so rather than miss it entirely, the girls went to Gammy's today. It ended up being more of a post-Valentine luncheon and that was totally fine!

Two game nights! This falls under the category of "things we want to do before Kati moves away."

The first one is a Grand Game Night. One night last summer, we invited the grands to play Phase 10 and we had such a good time that we're going to do it again with a different game.

The second game night is a class reunion of sorts. The mothers and daughters from the homeschool co-op we were a part of when Kati was a high schooler are coming for games and refreshments. We anticipate lots of conversation and laughter.


Christmas Winter Luncheon with Gammy






Winter decor this year included a new plaid wool pillow and lots of candles. I also scattered pine cones here, there, and everywhere. Inside the lantern on the mantle. On the coffee counter. In the dough bowl on the dining room table. A ginormous one on the drop leaf table in the living room.

But suddenly, I am tired of pine cones. I am not totally tired of winter even. Just those pine cones. So off they will go, along with the pine wreath that is still on my front door.






Buh-bye, pine cones!

I think I'll get a pot of tulips to put on the dining room table for game night(s) . . . 






I have not forgotten that I promised (way back ~here~) to share our house project goals for 2019. I am still planning to do that, although a couple of those goals have changed since the beginning of the year. Life changes mean house changes! Stay tuned. 







Do you have whiplash from reading this post . . . as my conversation turned one way and then another and as my photos did the same thing? 

Such is life here at Pineapple House right now!

I'll probably continue to be in and out of Blogland this spring. Blog updates, visits, and comments will likely be sporadic. I wish that I was the kind of person who could zip in and out and write a post in a few minutes and make quick comments. But I am not that kind of person. At all.





I'll leave you with one more engagement photo.



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Orange Scones


I often make a batch of scones when I invite a friend over for coffee. Scones just seem "special" (don't you think?) and they go well with either coffee or tea.

I used to think that scones were difficult to make, an idea supported by my first attempt! I was having a group of homeschool mothers and daughters over for a Valentine tea and I thought that scones and freshly whipped cream would be just the thing. Oops. Dense scones were not "just the thing."

I have since learned that scones require a light hand. The bane of scones is over mixing! After you mix the dry ingredients, cut in the cold butter until it is the size of small peas, then stop. You want the little pieces of butter in the mixture. You may want to use a pastry blender to do this. I actually use my Kitchen Aid mixer, but I am very attentive as I mix, taking care to stop before the butter is incorporated. Then when you add your cream/egg mixture, only mix until moistened. Too much mixing will result in a dense, chewy scone. 

On a recent morning, I made some simple orange scones. 



ORANGE SCONES

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange, divided
12 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice


Directions:
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and half of the orange zest.

Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the butter to the dry ingredients; cut in until mixture is the size of small peas.

Mix together the heavy cream and eggs.
Stir into flour/butter mixture, just until moistened. (Remember, over-mixing is the bane of scones.)

Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface.
Divide into two mounds. Add some flour to the top of the mounds of dough, then pat them into a round disk about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
Cut each disk into 6 wedge-shaped pieces.

Separate the pieces and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees of 12-15 minutes.

Transfer scones to a wire rack. 
(I transfer parchment and all to the cooling rack immediately after removing them from the oven to stop the bottoms from further browning.)

Make a glaze by stirring orange juice and remaining zest into confectioner's sugar.
Drizzle onto warm (but not hot) scones.






P.S. When you and your friend each eat a scone with your coffee, that means there are ten scones remaining. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? 


Friday, February 1, 2019

Five on Friday


Gathering some big and small joys from the past week with another Five on Friday post! (Again, I am slipping in just under the wire. It's my modus operandi.)


{one}

We had a big birthday bash on Sunday! Since we were unable to find a Sunday for our December celebration, we simply honored the December and the January birthday people in a Winter Birthday Celebration.

Except for Macie, none of these people love being the center of attention, so they were happy to share the spotlight.
L to R: my sister Linda, granddaughter Macie (3), son-in-law Brian, grandson Gavin (16 . . . what?!), daughter-in-law Sarah, and granddaughter Nora (10)



{two}

Is winter a "joy"?

I am guessing that many of you don't think so right now, especially those who have felt winter's ravages and its dangerous temperatures this week. But here it is regardless, and we are enjoying long evenings, cozy sweaters and scarves, candlelight, hot soup, and lots of coffee.
Some winter decor inside . . . several inches of fresh snow outside!

Wearing a lovely handmade cowl, a gift from my sweet friend Deanna.



 {three}

Having a new(ish) friend for coffee was another joy this week. Learning another's story, sharing fellowship, deep words, a few laughs, and orange scones . . . time well spent! 

My thoughtful guest brought me a pineapple tucked into a Colonial Williamsburg gift box!



{four}

Wedding planning is in full swing! With less than four months (yikes!) before the wedding, there is lots to do! 



{five}

I shared one version of this song in a Five on Friday post back in October. This week I discovered another that I like every bit as much (or more?). I love choral music and I love a cappella singing and I love this song.




May your weekend be mercy-filled! 

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