Remembering Mom – Part 1

Less than a month ago, my precious mother passed away. She had a long, healthy and independent life, having celebrated her 91st birthday in January. Of course, that doesn’t take away any of the sadness of having her gone. Even though our personalities were quite different, we had many things in common…talents, interests, love of travel, etc. In honor of her on Mother’s Day, I thought I’d take some time to remember some of the things that I cherish most about our 50 plus years together. She was an amazing woman and a true friend and encourager to me, while still being my mom.

Janice Perkins and Grumpy at Disneyland
Even Grumpy couldn’t stay that way for long with Mom around.

Let me start by saying that Mom’s primary love language was gift giving.  Even though she was constantly on a limited budget, her favorite thing to do was find reasons to buy us special treats and take us special places.

  1. She was always quick to offer a cool washcloth on my forehead when I had a fever
  2. Hot tea with lemon to drink when I had a sore throat
  3. Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup with oyster crackers always hit the spot when I had a cold
  4. I always loved staying home from school and watching TV, reading books and coloring in my cozy spot on the coach when I was ill. Partially because it gave me a chance to have 1-on-1 time with Mom when all the other siblings were at school, but also because she always made me feel so loved and cared for.
  5. For many years, Mom made it a point to buy each of us an entirely new outfit for Easter Sunday. For the girls it wasn’t just a new dress, but matching socks, shoes, purse, gloves and even a hat! This special day of getting all decked out to attend church and then attend big family potlucks and Easter egg hunts was so much fun! It was even more special because we only got new clothes a few times a year.
  6. 1965 All Dressed up for Easter Easter morning was also filled with sweets and treats of all kinds. Another chance for Mom to show us how much she loved us and how she wanted to spoil us.  I’m sure her sparse childhood during the Great Depression motivated her to try to make up for it in our young lives.1965.04 Easter Perkins kitchen table
  7. She was also our biggest helper with school projects. Mostly she would brainstorm with me about supplies and ideas, then was my cheerleader rather than hands-on helper, so I could work through it and have success on my own merits. I’m so thankful that she didn’t feel the need to do most of it herself. What’s the point in that?
  8. The aroma of big pots of spaghetti, slumgullion or one of my favorites, Pot roast on Sundays wafting through the house welcomed us home!  I learned to cook from her without using recipes.  Now I’m not intimidated if I don’t have all the exact ingredients for a new dish.  I just see what’s in the cupboards and improvise something similar. Thanks Mom.
  9. Occasionally Mom made Liver and onions, which I hated. She always made me eat a few tiny bites, which I reluctantly gagged down with huge gulps of milk. She said it was good for me, but it always tasted like I was eating a vitamin pill for dinner. Ugh!  Guess what dish she taught me how to make first?  Maybe she thought if I cooked it I’d eat it more. Oh well.
  10. A little thing like Mom’s button tin brings back so many memories too.  Take a look at more about that here.Mom's Button Tin

And this is just the beginning of my list.  If you want to read more, visit Part 2 here.

Stop by again to see the rest in the coming days.

Easy Easter Quiche

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter
by Don & Tonya Christner

If you’re thinking of making Quiche for an Easter Brunch, here’s an easy recipe that I’ve been using for decades.  The secret to keeping your quiche from coming out soupy or runny is to toss the grated cheese in a little bit of flour before baking (see recipe).

I also love the fact that you can use a variety of cheeses and a variety of fillings.  I’ve used Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar – most any semi-soft cheese. For fillings I’ve used ham, bacon, broccoli, crab and more. Just choose your favorites.

This link also takes you to a couple of other tasty brunch recipes.

Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our risen Lord with family and friends.


Easter Branch Decor

Can you believe that Easter is right around the corner?  I know!  I can’t wait to show you my latest update for my seasonal branch.

As you may remember, here’s my hubby, so excited about my fabulous find.  He just didn’t quite understand the vision of the branch, but was so sweet to empty the trunk of suitcases so that we could squeeze it in and transport it home from Sedona.  Click here for a bit more of the story.

This year I found some hanging egg ornaments with letters to spell out Happy Easter!  It was so easy to hang the letter eggs on a thick ribbon that was strung between the branches.  Of course, I added a variety of pastel eggs, as well as several celery green crystals to fill in the spaces.

Happy Easter Egg Ornaments

I love having this branch in my living room.  It’s so much fun to think of all the possibilities for decorations.  What would you use to decorate it?

Happy Easter 2010

This weekend Terry’s Dad and his wife, Ginny rolled into town from North Carolina.  Ginny drove the whole way 2065 miles over about 4 days.  Pretty awesome, huh?  They arrived at our house early afternoon on Saturday.

We were honored that they joined us in going to church on Easter morning.  And since they were staying at our house, where the Easter Bunny might not find them, I decided to make up an Easter basket for them.  It was fun shopping for a few treats that they could enjoy and take along on their trip home (if the candy lasts that long).  We discovered that Terry’s dad has quite a sweet tooth, which is not so great when you’re diabetic.  I bought low carb chocolate especially for him. (Trader Joe’s is a great place to get that if you’re wondering).  Plus a few regular chocolates and some Jelly Bellies for Ginny.  Turns out Dad likes Jelly Bellies too, even though he’s not supposed to have them.

We enjoyed a great turkey dinner on the back patio in the afternoon. The weather was perfect! We had slow roasted turkey, low carb stuffing, green beans and salad.  We tried to keep it manageable since we’re all either watching carbs or calories to some degree or another.

Then after dinner we went for a walk with Grandpa and Ginny for a few miles or so (down to Baskin Robbins for dessert, because Cold Stone was closed).

On the way home when we were just a block or so from our house, we noticed a creature on the roof of one of the houses with a little annoying mocking bird squawking at it.  At first we thought it was a big cat sitting on the roof, then we realized it was a big OWL.  It just sat there on the peak of the roof right at the edge and only a few feet from the little bird.  Every once in a while the owl would turn his head and hoot.  I’m sure that he must have been perched near a nest, otherwise the mockingbird wouldn’t have been so aggressive.

We stood there for several minutes watching it, then all of a sudden the owl took off and flew right toward us.  Wow!  His wingspan was probably close to 4 feet across.  This photo is a little blurry because I had to zoom in on it, but you can clearly see the owl’s features.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an owl in the “wild” that close up.

And I’ll leave you with this sneak peek at one of our Spring flower arrangements. I’ll be doing a post about it because I think the “vase” is unique and actually kind of a fun idea, especially to use for an event.  I’ll tell you more about it later…

Hope you all had a Happy Easter!

Seasons Change
Worked on getting out some Spring and Easter decorations today. I took down the Valentine’s decor off my branch too. I’ll have to post that later if I have a chance.

Here’s the branch with Easter Eggs.

I realize that since the outdoors don’t change much here with the seasons, I’m forced to change things inside just to have some variety of color and view. I get bored when things stay the same too long. It’s the decorator in me. Fortunately, Terry doesn’t seem to mind too much.

I also rearranged the living room after the holidays. Here’s the new view. This one also shows what the branch looked like with our Christmas cards on it.

Shredder likes the new arrangement because she can sit on the back of the sofa and soak up the sun in the morning. Now I have my eye out to get a new slipcover for the sofa. Pottery Barn has some now that are quite a bit cheaper than the standard ones. I’ll probably look for some kind of a neutral so I can change all the accent colors as much as I want. The red is a bit limiting, although I’ve found ways to work with it over the last few years.

A perfect Easter holiday:

We went to Open Door Fellowship to church to worship in song, celebrate the resurrection and see several dear people baptized. The place was packed!!! Standing room only. How cool!

After church Amy & Andrew came over (doesn’t he look handsome in his beard?).

We gave them their Easter “bucket”. I haven’t given up giving the “kids” Easter baskets yet (even though they’re not kids anymore)…cuz it’s just fun to shop for them. I mailed Kevin’s earlier this week. We missed having Kevin there with us but we did call him and visit for a little while. I’ll be glad when he has a little more freedom to be able to come and visit us once in a while. We really miss him!

See Amy’s new Leandro Barbosa Birthday T-shirt? Fun! Terry just told me that he heard the reason the Suns don’t have an LB jersey at the store is because it sold out so fast. They didn’t anticipate the high demand for his jersey. What were they thinking!!! He’s just so sweet!

We watched the Suns beat the Lakers then had a delicious dinner with ham, fresh vegetables and scallops all cooked on the grill. Oh and the scallops were grilled on sprigs of rosemary…mmmm. Terry is becoming quite the grill chef. I love that he’s trying new recipes and our meals are so much healthier and tastier cooked that way. I could eat grilled veggies with a little bit of olive oil and lemon pepper every day! I couldn’t get Terry to look at the camera, but doesn’t he look great in that blue?

The weather was so nice that we sat out on the back patio to eat. It was a gorgeous breezy afternoon!


I hope you’re enjoying a day of thankfulness and worship. Hallelujah, HE IS RISEN!!!

We enjoyed a wonderful Good Friday service and will be seeing lots of folks baptized this morning at Open Door. What better way to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.

It’s a beautiful morning. Current temp 66, today’s high 86 degrees. Amy and Andrew are coming over for dinner and to watch the Suns game. Terry’s going to make a delicious ham on the grill. It’s too bad that Kevin’s not here to enjoy the day with us. We miss him!!!

I’ll post some pics later and for some reason, all the photos from Amy’s birthday post disappeared so I’ll post some more back there as well.

Have a wonderful day!