Thankful Cards

Photo: By Robin. Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh. August 2018

It is beautiful this morning.

I skipped walking


I am dressed for the day whatever it may bring.

Today, I am  addressing Thankful Cards.

Many of you already know…

that we do not send Holiday Cards in December…

 we send Thankful Cards in November.

This year, Larry created the card…it was his year.

You may not hear from us often,

but please know how much you mean to Larry and me.

What do you do to thank the wonderful people in your life?

I am not quite sure I do enough in the thankful department….


Quote: Did you know that Pissaro is Larry’s favorite ARTist? {besides me}

Please, have a happy Thankful day.

It is such a tearful day today…..

perhaps it is addressing these awesome cards? 

Life is such a gift.

Love you.


Thanksgiving In September

It is September.

The days are getting shorter,

the weather is changing


the hot oppressive summer is almost over.

Yesterday, Larry and I celebrated


Photo: Small table set for Thanksgiving In September

I roasted a 13 pound turkey,

and served all of the trimmings.

Larry made the mashed potatoes.

{they were perfection}

With dinner, Larry put the movie,


He loves the soundtrack, for dinner especially.

{Phillip Glass is a favorite}

We are thankful for so much this year.

My favorite quote from the movie, No Reservations is:

“I wish there was a recipe for life”


I certainly could use a Life Recipe these days.


Yesterday while roasting the turkey,

I finished a knitted bolero for Matilda.

It is a funny, bumpy knitted shrug…

Photo: Knitted bolero for Matilda

and it will go with a dress that I am making her.

I have promised to post photos  of the dress when it is finished.


I wish you warm bolero’s for cool days,

special moments,

crushing hugs


a recipe for your day.

Love you.


Limoncello Gateau~Chef Valentine

Photo: Limoncello Gateau by Chef Valentine

Limoncello Gateau


1 lemon cake mix

1 {3 oz} box of instant lemon pudding

4 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup lemon juice {I use fresh}

1/2 cup Limoncello

1 lemon zested, using the entire lemon.

1 cup of pecan halves or toasted almonds


1 stick butter {melted}

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup limoncello

Cake Directions

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

*Grease and flour traditional bundt pan.

sprinkling pecans or almonds evenly into bottom.

*In mixing bowl, add, lemon cake mix, lemon pudding.

 4 eggs,, oil, lemon juice.

Limoncello and zest of lemon.

*Mix well, for 3-5 min.

*Pour into prepared bundt pan.

*Bake for 45-55 min or till toothpick comes  out clean.

*Remove from oven and leave in pan while you make the glaze.

*Make glaze: Melt Butter in large sauce pan.

Add sugar, 1/4 cup of water.

*Boil  on high for 3-5 min till spoon is coated.

*Remove from burner and add 1/2 cup Limoncello.

*Sitr  well.

*Using a wooden skewer or chop stick, poke many holes in cake.

*take glaze and slowly spoon over cake, letting it absorb into cake.

*Use all of the glaze.

*Allow the the cake to sit in pan for about 20 min, then turn out onto a plate.

*Cool completely.

Awhile ago, I had a piece of  Limoncello layer cake

at a local restaurant. {it had amazing frosting}

It was very good but I wanted a version

that was not so fussy.

Using an old fashioned rum cake recipe to base it on,

here is my version of  a Limoncello  bundt cake.

Please enjoy, let me know how you liked it,


till next time.


High Over The Trees

We arrived at the lake before 6:30 am

and walked 5 miles.

Photo: 6:30 am at the lake….

This is how it looked this morning, with the moon

still high over over the trees.

We go early in the mornings now,

so Larry can come with me.

How wonderful is that?

He WANTS to part of this process.

{ I am in TRAINING!}


Yesterday, I saw that a young {20-ish} couple,

part of a reality show, have left the show

to write a book and give podcasts on life and love.

Please correct me if I am wrong,

but what advice  can  a 20 something give?

What life experience has touched them

and have they had time to process the

life they have lived so far?

I have to smile.

Why don’t they just live their lives….

accepting God’s grace and know that when they hit 40,

life is going to change….

and then again at 60.

 Millennial’s are so busy trying to analyze everything,

that they are forgetting to live.


This morning, I am sewing, making meatballs

for  my home made spaghetti sauce


I have promised myself reading time.

{I have been neglecting my book list}

Be happy.

Live your life….

Love you.


Sunday Dinner and Movie

A couple of months ago,

Larry bought tickets for a Fathom event

at our cinema.

It was to see South Pacific

and so very generous of him,

because I do not think he has ever seen

the movie from beginning to end before.

{Do you think he knew it was a  musical?}

Photo: Movie tickets

This came on a day that we were homesick for Kaua’i

so it was perfect.


When we came home, we were not hungry….

so we indulged,

nibbling on a Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

that I made the day before.

{Has Chef Valentine ever blogged about this amazing recipe?

Do readers want the recipe?}

Photo: Sunday dinner. Cheese ball and wheat crackers.

It was really good….


Just a note: I am in training.

My Dr’s inspiration {she is running the Chicago Marathon in Oct}

and Larry’s coaching,

are getting me ready for a quarter marathon.

Did I really just type that?

We are registered and training.

Six miles is A LOT for me….Ok, I am smiling.

This is going to be very interesting.

I am up to five miles, five times a week.

Look for updates and b-i-itching in the next three weeks.


I must post this and go buy a “runners belt” on Amazon.

whatever that is…..

Have a happy, wonderful day.

Love you.




Photo: Garden sculpture at the Phipps Conservatory. Pittsburgh, PA

In Life,

you can learn a lot


simply watching.


It is early here. 5:03 am to be exact.

Larry just finished his shower and I know that because

He yelled: Good Morning, I love you!

Sometimes, a person just saying: I love you

can change  someones mood.

Have a great day.

I love you.


Shopping With Matilda

Last summer while shopping with Matilda

she fell in love with this fabric at Hobby Lobby.

A  dress pattern was shown with it,

but the funny thing is, the pattern was discontinued.

Matilda wanted the fabric anyway.

Photo: Paris fabric for a little girls dress

For one year, with no luck, I searched for a pattern

much like the discontinued one


still appropriate for the fabric and a 7 year old girl.

Till last week! At Half Price Books,

in the sewing section I found this brand new pattern

in Matilda’s size  and it was $1.99.

Photo: Pattern for Paris fabric. I will make the dress on the left, the one with two ruffles.

I was talking to Lauren {Matilda’s Mom} and we laughed….

Maybe Matilda will not like the fabric anymore!

It has been one year since she picked it out!

Fingers crossed that she will still like it.

Photo: Pattern and Fabric

I will buy {or make} a knitted pink shrug for her to wear with it.


It is Thursday.

I walked my laps

and saw a hot air balloon while I was at the lake.

My dresses are at the dry cleaners,

dinner is planned.

Let the day begin.

Love you.


Another Tuesday At The Tolberts


I heard that the sweet dog next door

had passed away.

His owner, his Mom, is dealing with health issues


 I know she is missing him like crazy right now.

If you would, please remember Debbie in your prayers?


I walked my laps yesterday.

{all 4 miles}

The first time in 2 weeks.


It felt wonderful, but I tired out  fast.

{I hate being tired}

Last evening Larry and I had our anniversary dinner.

Photo: 41st anniversary feast

The purpose of this dinner is to enjoy dinner, just the two of us

toast the past year with Champagne,


Exchange THE card.

Photo: Cake and card

We use the same card every year…

when we run out of space,

I tie a new card to the inside of the first cards.

Larry hands the card to me and I read his message to me out loud.

And cry.

Then he reads my message to him.

Next  year it will be year 42.

Love you.