Welcome To My World…

Herond Ware Cup & Spoon

Chainsaws & Parachutes has taken numerous twists and turns since I began my journey of documenting recipes to accommodate my daughter, Anna’s, food sensitivities. Yet, throughout my quest there remains a constant: in one form or another, it reflects my somewhat unique take on interacting with “the world”–such as my creative interpretation of being systematic and efficient.

On a recent Costco trip, I purchased a case of canned green beans… brought them home… organized them carefully for storage… retrieved two of the cans for dinner, and as I opened them up… I could only stare with mouth-dropping-bewilderment at what was before me! Green peas, not green beans! They had been green peas all along! This of course, created enormous befuddlement for my family, and once again, I reminded them, “Welcome to my world!” Whenever I say this it’s meant to be a comfort, but to them it seems to only cause more concern.

I continually remind my husband and youngest son, “I am good training for you when you  work with others. After all, not everyone sees things the same way you do.” I am not as clueless as it might seem–I actually got an “A” in my college logic class, with the report card to prove it–and after nearly sixty years on this earth I have come to the conclusion, part of my “purpose in life” is to help provide entertainment for my family.

Posting recipes is an easy method by which to archive some of our family favorites along with those adjusted for Anna’s dietary restrictions, but primarily my blog is a vehicle to record family stories… So grab a cup of coffee (there are coffee vendors around every corner in the northwest) and share in some of our everyday happenings. When we come together there is always a hearty measure of laughter and entertainment while recounting my latest mishaps and my hope is you will get an occasional chuckle as well.

“Welcome to my world!”–Apron Girl




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Veterans Day

For my children and grandchildren:Grandpa John In Uniform 001








My dad, who was part of a selfless generation of men and women who valiantly paid the price for the precious freedom we have.




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Morning Visitor

11074826_980241171987253_6067631636864082530_oA misty veil greeted my gaze as morning’s light arrived… momentarily muting spring’s radiance while transforming the familiar into an ethereal wonder. Camera tucked safely in my scooter basket, I made my way toward the convenient ramp Tom installed and wheeled outside.

“Where oh where did winter go, or was it even here at all?” It never arrived in any real sense, and the haze blanketing the landscape was ill equipped to hide the fervor of spring. As much as I love the sunshine, I’m a little less thrilled about the weeds and lawn bursting forth with equal enthusiasm. Oh well…

By God’s grace in a few weeks I will celebrate the gift of two healthy feet while accomplishing chores that patiently await…



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Le Tour de Costco

Costco Shopping #2Trips to Costco have never been high on my son Michael’s list of favorite activities. With his wife recuperating at home following an unexpected c-section, I volunteered to accompany him on his next Costco outing. The opportunity to create new memories with my delightful son was the draw, and being chauffeured made it all the better.

The “Costco Friday” excursions were going along smoothly until I broke my foot. Not maneuvering easily on crutches and tired much of the time, I declined his invitation when the following Friday arrived. He took a detour to my house hoping I would reconsider or someone else might go with him but sadly he headed out alone… so near the end of my second week on crutches, I was getting stronger and let him know I was ready to give Costco a try. The rendezvous was planned. I showered, dressed, and planted myself on the kitchen stool with the anticipation of an eager school girl awaiting a chum to whisk her away toward a great adventure. Playful banter with Elizabeth eventually convinced her to join us and “The Three Amigos” headed out.

We embarked on our journey not fully knowing what awaited us in the form of a wheel chair so the decision was made for Michael to drop me off by the front door while Elizabeth located my mode of transportation. She delivered my non-motorized chariot and I situated myself securely before she whisked me inside whereupon the excitement began!

When I shop Costco by myself, I enjoy browsing leisurely through the merchandise cognizant of the fact it may be gone before I return. When I go with family members (names withheld to protect the innocent) who prefer quick in-and-out trips I have learned to focus on the essentials and hope I don’t forget anything as I take care of the business at hand.

Costco with Elizabeth was an unexpected thrill! With the threshold behind us, she propelled me over the smooth concrete floors maneuvering tightly around every corner! Whether it was the impish side of her coming out just because… or she delighted in having absolute control over the situation… her countenance radiated glee as we flew through the aisles.

She chuckled, I laughed, and Michael followed us with the cart. No longer at “eye level” the merchandise became a blur and was behind me before I could vocalize my need. Occasionally I would blurt, “Wait… I need one of those!” She stopped, backed up adjacent to the product, and paused for a mere moment as I “threw” my acquisition into the cart and onto the next aisle we proceeded. Our laughter was a bit conspicuous for bystanders as it may have looked like a school girl prank… except this school girl was clearly a grandma.

Friday evening the dark clouds of adjusting emotionally and physically to my limitations parted and radiant joy and laughter burst through! The glee we shared is dear to my heart. Nearing sixty years of age I am now able to embrace the humorous antics of my children in a manner I could not when they were youngsters…

In the most ordinary of situations, laughter lurks around every corner.

A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones~

Proverbs 17:22


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“I Spy With My Little Eye…”






“Don’t tell me what you can’t do. Tell me what you can do!” Words that have been repeated numerous times to my children resonated in my current situation…

Sitting with my foot elevated much of the day, I have begun searching for beauty in everyday locations and taking photos from a new perspective–most often indoors on crutches or a knee scooter. Some images are obvious. Some not so much…




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Just Rest & Relax…

Scooter & CrutchesNearly sixty years of age, grandma to five rambunctious grandsons and one girly two-year-old, I am officially beginning a new exercise program, albeit not of my choosing. Pausing for a moment; sometimes for many moments… I focus intently on which foot needs to go first, take hold of my thoughts as I anticipate the ache that will radiate throughout my armpits and hands, and in one faith-filled moment throw myself at the mercy of the crutches beneath me. Trusting they will bear my weight and they will catch me…

Through a series of unfortunate events I stumbled over our sweet, tank-sized farm dog which led to an unexpected outcome: a broken left foot.

I’m fairly confident this would have been an easier journey forty years ago. I would have been physically stronger as well as mentally more amenable to the adventure before me. But, it is what it is, and by God’s grace I am determined to rise to the challenge of the next 6-8 weeks.


-Day 1: I am stunned as to the reality before me. Going to the bathroom is an event that requires planning. No last minute trips for me…

– Day 2.1: Reminiscent of rolling foothills on the horizon, I observe small hills appearing in random locations around the house… I am a hostage in my reclining chair, and can only remain seated as the piles continue to rise in mountainous fashion…

– Day 2.2: An emotional meltdown swept over me in waves as I contemplated the seasons throughout my life; reminiscing about my mom and the ever-faithful nurturing she provided whenever I encountered a physical challenge. Nearly twelve years after her passing, I grieve anew for her. It matters not the age, moms hold a secure place in every child’s heart…

-Day 3.1: “Liberation Day”! My husband brought home a knee scooter which allows me to get around the house without the discomfort and exhaustion I experience when using crutches. I know crutches are an effective workout but standing on one leg all the time isn’t exactly what I had in mind…

– Day 3.2: With the close of another day the sun slips out of view, but the hope of new victories begins to lay hold in my heart. Journeying through uncharted territory where I am unable to accomplish simple tasks, I put my trust in God’s faithfulness to make the way smooth and clear…

-Day5.1: Praise God for showers! With the clever creativeness my husband is well versed in, I was able to successfully traverse the threshold into the shower via strategically placed upside-down buckets on which to kneel. Hop by hop I am on my way toward reclaiming my routines.

“Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley.” Isaiah 40:4 NAS

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Birthday Love

Anna in Striped ShirtTwenty-five years ago a cherubic bundle of love made her entrance into my life. Waiting for my sweet daughter, Anna, seemed to take an eternity–but in reality it was only eight years, during which time my heart’s desire for another baby was made known repeatedly to the One who hears and answers prayers…

In a secret place of quiet weeping before God, tears fell from an aching heart. Slowly, over the years I was able to hear God whisper, beckoning me by His love to embrace a grateful heart for my three wonderful children rather than being sad about an unfilled desire–and a calm peace soon followed.

Much to my surprise, I discovered I was pregnant and following a long and challenging labor Anna finally arrived! Settling back in at home, I would often gaze upon her sweet face as I reflected, “Where did you come from?” for I was in awe at what God had done. All my children are treasures in my life, but Anna’s birthday evokes particularly sweet memories as I recall the faithfulness of God and how He answered a prayer hidden deep within me.

Happy Birthday my sweet “Anna B”. Life’s journey includes both joy and sorrow and before you were even born, my darling daughter, God poured heavenly sunshine, joy, and laughter into your very being that brightens the world for those around you.

How dear and precious you are to the God who made you! I love you. ♥♥♥



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Fresh Focus…

Winter to Spring HydrangeaFamily health challenges over this past year distracted me from my personal commitment to recount everyday life stories along with favorite family recipes, but with a new year my vision is refreshed… if not renewed.

Moments slip into the close of a day… which in turn quietly ushers in a new dawn regardless of the month or year… but as winter’s grip of short dark days is beginning to lessen I am awakening to stirrings within to once again embrace the familiar habit of faithfully capturing humorous stories of family along with a collection of recipes that will once and for all answer the question “Where is the recipe for that?”

The brown hydrangeas from late summer have long since faded, but beneath the worn and tired exterior new life springs forth and speaks of a bright future full of life and hope for what is to come… and once again I embark on my journey of “putting to paper” stories that delight in everyday life.


Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm–Winston Churchill




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Christmas Spritz

Christmas Spritz

With a hint of light green, these almond flavored spritz stir memories from my youth…   tinted sugar sprinkled on top, my mom lovingly baked them every Christmas and are now a favorite of my children.

My dear friend, Jennifer, who is a superb baker insists spritz require a “special touch” and  has abandoned her efforts to make them which leads me to believe my cold kitchen (along with the rest of the house) contributes to my success… the dough stays firm and does not become soft and uncooperative in the cookie press.

Whatever the reason I’m just happy they turn out.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  1. Cream butter, adding sugar gradually. Mix until it turns light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and beat well.
  3. Add almond extract.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Bake @ 400 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.



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Cheese Crackers

Cheese Crackers #1I stumbled upon this recipe many years ago when my oldest child, Tommy, was a baby. For no particular reason I only make them around the holidays, and part of the tradition is “volunteering” someone to grate the mountain of cheese required to bake enough to satiate my family–which typically goes to the person who has a particular fondness for the crunchy cheesy creation… Tommy. Packaged grated cheese does not work well due to the coating on the cheese that keeps it from mushing together into a giant blob, and Tillamook is the preferred brand!

The few that don’t get eaten immediately go stale rather quickly but are easily freshened in a warm oven.



  • 1 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and dash of pepper
  • 1 1/4 c. flour

Cut in with pastry blender:

  • 1/3 c. butter

Sprinkle with 3TBS of milk, mixing until the dough begins to hold together.

  • 3-6 TBS milk

Depending on flour, weather, and how life is going that particular day, I sometimes need to add additional milk until the dough sticks together when handled–being careful to not make it too wet. Form the dough into a ball, and roll it out 1/8″ thick. Lightly sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt then roll lightly to press seeds into dough. Cut into desired shape with pizza cutter or knife. One recipe will easily fit on 1 large cookie sheet.

Bake @375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack.



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Evan Alexander

Evan Nov. 20, 2014Welcome to the family Little Evan. You are loved by Aunties, Uncles, Grandmas, Grandpas, Mom, Dad… but most of all Jesus. He loves you with an everlasting love and will never leave you nor forsake you. I pray you grow in the knowledge of His love for you with each and every breath.

Love, Grandma H.





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