Saturday, October 8, 2016

Of Family and Birthdays and Sweet Autumn Treats

Let's start with the Yummy Fall Treat: apple slices smeared with cream cheese, topped with caramel and sprinkled (okay, I used a more coarse sprinkle) with walnuts. Oh heavens! So delicious and easier to eat than a candied apple. I may have tripped when I added the caramel. I do love caramel and learned as a kid how to make a simple caramel sauce. Otherwise, use a jarred variety.

~as seen on Pinterest~

A reader of this blog for any length of time may remember that my father and I have had an "interesting history." We may be too much alike. That gives a gal pause. * thud * Anyway, in recent months, basically since my Beloved went to Glory, my father has reached out to me and, as I have always said, if he reached out to me, I would respond in kind. Prior to that, the time was just not right.

In the seven years that we have not seen one another, we have become old. He says that he is old and my sister, with whom he lives, says that she is old and he is older. So if my younger sister is old, I must be, too. And if there was any doubt, the first thing he said to me was that I looked old. Okay, off to a great start! ☺ Then he said, "I always thought you looked like your mother, but you look more like your Aunt Marge." I have heard that before and take it as a compliment.  You can be the judge in just a bit. ☺

So for the last several weeks, I have been visiting once a week with my father in my sister's home. It has been good and I have enjoyed my time with him. He is a quick wit and so I have laughed a lot. Even when he is singing some swan song about coming to the end of the line that he has made up on the spot, I have had to chuckle because it is just so funny. Only he could make death be amusing. And I admire his courage and pluck as he faces old age. Being 86 can be challenging!

I have always known that Heaven would heal everything, yet I am so grateful to God for allowing us time to reconcile on this side of the veil.

~children of Vic and Lillian~

Dad was one boy in the middle of sisters, two older and two younger. Two remain, his eldest sister Marge and his youngest sister Sharon (sometimes known on this blog as Aunt Ess). At this point, with FB and all, I'm quitting with the cutesy names, except for my own. (I once asked John if he wished to be "J" or "Jay" and he was shocked. "No way! What's wrong with John?" he had asked. Nothing at all...)

Okay, moving right along as I sense that I am rambling here. The very day of John's Memorial Service, most of my family were attending my Aunt Gee's (oops, a slip into cutesy there) memorial service on the other end of the state. 

The following day, my Aunt Marge, her sons, and my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Billy came to visit. We took pictures out on the deck.

left to right: Aunt Marge, Cousin Jim, Cousin Vic, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Billy

They took photos of us, too. 

~my daughter Laurel, myself, grandson Jakob, grandson Sam, daughter-in-law Michelle, and my son Adam~

My Aunt Marge recently celebrated her 90th birthday and anyone who achieves that milestone is to be honored! When my sister told our dad that it was his sister's 90th birthday, he said, "I hope that she's in better shape than I am." Yes, she is.

She keeps up with all things current.

She keeps up with family. That's my cousin Dan and his wonderful family on the left there (Aunt Sharon and Uncle Billy's son) Oh I see another cousin...Gene... in there between Vic and Jim. They were honoring my Aunt Gee by having breakfast together at her favorite breakfast haunt.

Here are some recent photos of Aunt Marge with her family.

~Aunt Marge with her son Vic and his family~

All those great-grandchildren to hold and she holds the grandpuppy! ☺ 

~Aunt Marge with her son Jim and his family~

~Aunt Marge with her great-grands~
What a bunch of cutie pies!

I hope that I look this lovely should I achieve ninety. Happy Birthday, Aunt Marjorie! BTW, you can find one of my very favorite recipes, which just so happens to be my Aunt Marge's  recipe, *here.*

Speaking of birthdays, my hometown family and I will be celebrating another birthday today where the birthday girl has requested a cook-out and a wiffle ball game. Doesn't take much to make her happy. I hope that I remember my camera!

Stay safe out there...

P.S. If anyone likes my leaf line, I made it at PicMonkey and am pleased to offer it for snagging. Feel free!


  1. What a sweet family post. I love all the photos of aunts, uncles, cousins...
    you and I know for sure, it's all about family.I think your dad looks amazing for his age..and so glad you are enjoying ea other.
    Love to you, Vee

  2. WOW! Ninety and she looks 30 years (maybe 40) younger. Please ask her to write a book and do let us know when it's on the market. I could learn a lot from her. Not only does she keep up with technology, she has a current hairstyle and a really cute outfit. I, too, hope that I can be as up-to-date at her age. ~ I enjoyed seeing the family pictures. Your Aunt Marge even has a little great grand with red-hair. I've had my order in for years. I love red hair! ~ You do look a lot like her. ~ So glad that you can share this time with your dad. ~ I'm sure that treat would be a healthy breakfast. . .fruit, protein and dairy! I agree, much easier to eat than a caramel apple. I hope you won't mind, I'm going to Pinterest and sharing this, too. Yum!

  3. There is so much to say ...and to love...about this post! First of all, I am thrilled to hear that your father has reached out to you and that you have responded with grace! What a beautiful thing!

    I enjoyed "meeting" some of your dear ones and seeing the family photos. Your Aunt Margie is amazing! We would all hope to age as gracefully. (I love the photo of Aunt Margie with her phone!) I can definitely see the resemblance.

    Happy birthday to Laurel!! Indeed, she is quite easy to please with her birthday wishes.

    How are your grandsons this old?!

    I think your autumn treat would make a good starter for our birthday party tomorrow. Thanks for the idea! Our birthday boy (my dad) is also easy to please. He asked for vegetable beef soup.

  4. much goodness in this post. It's so encouraging to hear about your reconciliation with your father and that he reached out to you. Aunt Margie and her smart phone at 90, wow? There it is I said wow twice already in my comment. So happy to see the love and hope and goodness that can happen "this side of the veil".

  5. You have a beautiful family. It's good to have healthy relationships with others (when they will cooperate!).

  6. How very nice to see so many pictures of your family. No way does Aunt Marge look 90.
    So nice that you and your dad have been reconciled this side of heaven. : )
    Those apple treats look and sound delicious!!

  7. Vee, this is wonderful news that you are able to visit your dad weekly and oh, what a blessing that he reached out to you.

    Your Aunt Marge is lovely and yes, I think maybe you do look a bit like her. Her attitude is wonderful. I have a dear elderly friend who is 87 and she is much the same -- adorable clothes, stays up with the latest technology (she has an iPhone and knows how to use it), plus she's a volunteer at our local hospital, an accomplished seamstress and member of a quilting group, and has an amazing desire for spiritual growth. I'd like to be just like her!

    And I would also like one of those apple treats ... they look wonderful!

  8. Oh, Vee! What great photos of your very special family! I want to be like your Aunt Marge! She looks like she is so much fun!
    Reconciliation is nearly always a good thing, but it's not without its bumps. I admire you so much! Always trying to do the right thing!
    Remembering you in prayer today - for continued strength and for God's most perfect blessings and plan for you!

  9. Oh my goodness, your Aunt Marge can't be 90, Vee!! She looks simply amazing, and don't we all want to look that great at 90? I loved seeing all the family pics and I'm so thankful that you and your dad reconnected.
    Those apple slices look like a perfect Fall treat and so easy, too! Now I'm off to see Aunt Marge's favorite recipe....xo

    1. I don't know if it is her favorite, but it is my favorite of hers. ☺

  10. I am so happy with the news about your father! Amazing Grace!

    I love these family photos, and you do favor your aunt. She seems like a good one to take after - no wonder you feel complimented! Her family is lovely and so is yours! Those grands are really growing!

    Happy Birthday Laurel! I don't know if she's still burning the candle at both ends, but I hope she has a great birthday!

    That autumn treat sounds really good!

  11. Vee, I just haven't been around during to read posts lately. You know what's going on and it....well.....just keeps going on. Anyway, I'm in Alberta for Thanksgiving and waiting in the car with a sleeping grandchild while her mum shops and I thought I'd look to see what you have been doing. I'm so glad that I did. This post really warmed my heart. Your aunt is amazing. You are blessed to take after her!! What a lovely looking and bright woman! The family pictures are great and it is good to hear any story of reconciliation. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  12. I am so delighted that you and your father are spending time together. I'm not surprised that he has a great sense of humor. He passed that on to you. :-)
    Loved all the photos!

  13. Thanks Vee for the smiles...all is good here...just busy with school. Sending you tons of love and hugs.

  14. Vee, I loved all the family photos. I am glad you and your father are speaking again....I just did a post on time... Thankful that your mending time did not lapse. Hug your father and be thankful for another chance . (big hug for you and him here) My mom could make me so mad at times...I would say I wasn't going to go see her for a whole week...but I would go after a day or so of letting off steam.... I would walk there barefoot to see my mommy in her old place ...if I could girl. I know I'll see her in heaven...but there are times I want a hug from her and to smell(powder) her next to me., with all my heart. Bless you sweet girl. xoxo, Susie

  15. Hi Vee, I'm thankful that you and your dad can share some days together. I enjoyed this post and all the family photos. I was just talking with my sis in Indiana and told her about your apple slices with caramel etc. We both are so hungry for this delicious treat now!!! I hope you have a good evening.

  16. Really nice to see these wonderful family photos, Vee. I would consider it a high compliment to look like you Aunt Marge. I would have never guessed her to be 90. She looks and sounds like a fun and fully engaged in life type of lady.
    I am glad to hear that you and your dad have been reunited. By your description I'm thinking you take after him with the quick wit.
    As for that sweet apple treat, I must pick up some caramel sauce so that we can try it. It looks and sounds delicious.

  17. What a lovely post Vee! Your apple slices look wonderful and sound delicious. What a blessing to reconnect with your Dad - he sounds like quite a character and you have surely inherited his wit - you make me laugh. So, so wonderful to see your sweet face and that of your fam jam. You do resemble your dear Aunt Marg. Her meatloaf sounds divine!

  18. Glad things are working out for you and your Dad. I hope that it stays that way for a long time yet to come! xx

  19. Oh Vee...I loved this post. It's family and smiles. You are surrounded by a lovely family and sweet grandchildren! Thank you ever so much for sharing with us! Also...for the meatloaf recipe...sounds like a treasured recipe!

  20. Beautiful photos! Hugs♥

  21. I am so very happy to read about you and your father. It's a blessing for your both. And I'm going to try that sweet treat and am thinking about the meatloaf recipe. My family is a great blessing to me, and I think yours is to you. This is a lovely post. Thank you!

  22. A lovely family post, I am thrilled that you have managed to reconcile with your Father. Such lovely family times.

  23. Hi Vee!

    I can't wait to try eating apples covered with all those goodies! I love caramel, and have been known to eat it by the spoonful... ;0)

    I love family, and you have a beautiful family! I can see some similarities to your aunt Marge...she is very beautiful. She doesn't look 90, whatever she is doing, she's doing right, your family must have wonderful genes! You look so good, Vee. You are such a strong woman!


  24. So happy about your Dad. Wonder if John up in Heaven helped orchestrate that? I truly believe they do things like that. And, happy birthday to you! Have a great day.

  25. What a wonderful post, in so many ways - reconciliation with your father, and special time with family too! Your Aunt Marge looks very young for 90, wow! A compliment I agree, that you look like her :) Hugs to you today dear friend!

  26. Wonderful post Vee. I'm so glad that things are well between you and your dad. How life changes things, people and relationships! Amazing. Speaking of amazing....your Aunt Marge looks wonderful at 90!! And I do think you resemble her. Good genes! It's good to keep up with the times and technology. I enjoyed seeing all the family photos. Thank you for sharing them. We were at Kings Landing Saturday afternoon and noted 3 cars from Maine, one from NH and one from Texas! Wishing you a blessed week ahead. Hugs.

  27. This is a wonderful post, Vee! It's so great to read of reconciliation in families before it's too late. I know that there are hard things in many relationships - we have some of our own - and there's a achey feeling that things are not as they should be, but one is powerless to know how to proceed.
    I don't know that you look like your Aunt Marge, but you are lovely. Your eyes and smile reach out, even through photography. And you certainly keep up with current events and technology.
    The apple slices with cream cheese, caramel, and nuts really look delicious! (And easy!)

  28. First of all, I have to say that i could go for one (or several) of those apple slices right now! They look yummy.
    I loved seeing all the beautiful family photos and reading about them. Loved reading that you and your dad have gotten back together. I think he sounds a bit like my dad. And your Aunt Marge? 90?? Wow! What is her secret?
    Happy Birthday to the birthday girl! Is it you or Laurel? I'm thinking your daughter. Anyway, I'm probably late. Still missing my old blog list that updated when there were new posts. I'm working to replace it, I think I used the wrong gadget on the one I have now.
    Have a nice week!

  29. Oh wonderful it is that you have been reunited with your father! I don't believe I knew any of the back story but God is just SO good to allow hearts to be changed and to allow healing to take place...what a blessing! I enjoyed these photos of you and your family's celebration. Now, about that apple snack of yours...I have all of these ingredients on hand and I'm thinking...MMMMM, yeah.... :P

  30. Let me start by saying how wonderful it is that your father reached out to you and that you responded and the relationship is again active and growing. Soo wonderful. And I loved all the family pictures...priceless. And seriously ever since I started this post all I can think about is I MUST have that appple treat...looks soooooooo yummy. lol Have a good week Vee!

  31. It is so good to hear of your reconciliation with your father, Vee. Your Aunt Marge looks amazing for 90 years old. God bless your family. I enjoyed seeing all the photos! Enjoy the wiffle ball birthday party :)

  32. Your Aunt Marge does NOT look 90! I would take it as a compliment to be compared to her too. I am glad you have been able to reconcile with your father. I have a difficult history with my father too, and I haven't seen him, or heard from him in 10 years. At this point I have let it go and I am ok with it. As you say, some day Heaven will heal everything.

  33. Vee, this is such a sweet and precious family post. It melted this old gal's heart my friend. God surely does have some tricks up His sleeve for us at times...and especially with family. Difficult history lessons for a lot of us Vee. Thank you for sharing. Life is short...breath is just a vapor. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  34. Yes, you do look like your Aunt Marge! (Who happens to look amazing for 90 years old!) How nice to hear of your reconciliation with your dad. And happy birthday to your sweet girl...who has a birthday just before my sweet girl. :) What is wiffle ball?

  35. Thanks for the inspiration for the fall treat! I, too, am a huge fan of caramel. Sometimes I make a small batch for one and indulge myself. The family pics are wonderful and great news about you dad.

  36. This spoke to my heart as a healing balm. Thanks so much for sharing your testimony and God's healing power.

  37. I just saw this post, Vee. How wonderful that you were able to reconnect with your dad while you are still here on earth. Heaven awaits but it is wonderful to have an earthly relationship, too. There are some wonderful family pictures here, Vee. What fun that you have them.

    Those apple slices look WAY too good! xo Diana

  38. She's 90?! Wow, she look great. And she's texting?
    I just recently saw my dad; similar story I think. We never know when the last time is we'll see them, so it is good if there can be some sort of closure/peace. It's complicated, for sure. xo Deborah

  39. Dearest Vee, I am just catching up, so had NO idea about your John! I have been away WAY too long. I am so very, very sorry to hear that news... you know I was a reader back when you two were getting to know one another and then making plans to marry. I can hardly believe it. I have been going back through posts to catch up. Even though it was May, I know that the wound must still feel like yesterday. You are in my prayers. I am starting to blog again, so hopefully I will be more in the loop. Sounds like your relationship with your dad could be a bit like mine. So glad you have found a reason to spend some time with him, just sorry for the reason. You are much too young looking to be compared to any of the aforementioned older folks. ;)

    Blessings and virtual hugs,

  40. Was Auntie Marge on her cell phone? I love it. I sure enjoyed seeing the photo of your family!


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