A Castle and a Stone – Part X – MY Scottish Journey

Our final full day in Scotland landed on a Sunday. Perfect. We woke up and my daughter-in-law served up her daily cup of coffee and we prepared for the day.

This day was packed with sites and emotions. I hate saying goodbye to my kids. I was relieved and thankful to have been a part of their daily life in a foreign land. I knew they were safe and extremely happy. But I was holding back tears all day. I miss them. And I fell in love with Scotland, as I knew I would.

This morning we attended a traditional Anglican Church. I admit that it has been a while since I worshipped in this way. A flood of memories of my very young Catholic days came back to me. I confess that I looked around several times for nuns. I had a fear of them as a child. Go ahead and laugh at me, I’m laughing. It was totally irrational. I almost decided not to partake of communion due to my irrational fears from childhood. Silly. I went forward and followed my son and daughter as what to do. Again, I confess that the moment I should have been reflecting on Jesus and what He did for me on the cross, I was focused on the “bread” and how it wasn’t the kind that instantly melted in your mouth but rather the kind from my childhood that sticks ¬†to the roof of your mouth and the tiny bit of wine the priest offered me didn’t help to unstick it. I had thoughts of grabbing his arm and taking a larger chug. Once back in my seat I was able to be thankful and hold back the laughter of how silly I was. I did enjoy the service.

From there we sent our daughter on ahead to purchase pasties for lunch. We met up with her on The Royal Mile and sat on a bench and partook of their deliciousness.

Onward we trudged to the Edinburgh Castle. I was so excited to go there because the real Stone of Destiny was on display there.

This castle is intact and functioning. Soldiers live there and it is like a village within the walls. The view is spectacular and overlooks the city and the Firth of Forth. Enjoy these pics…

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Queen Margaret, of Scotland, later St. Margaret, was a woman of prayer and benevolence. Her son built her a chapel within the castle walls…….

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We finally did see The Stone of Destiny. It was in a room, guarded, enclosed within glass and no pictures could be taken. But I saw it and it was wonderful!

Time for TEA!



And on our way….

a happy bunch
I need a castle ūüėČ
my kids
From there, weary and sad and happy, we trudged back to the flat knowing that early in the morning we would bid a “see ya later” to the kids but also looking forward to seeing our pups and our bed.

My advice to all…. visit Scotland or whatever land you dream about. It is worth the money and the emotion and it is pure joy.


Cate B

Tea Time

It’s a gorgeous day in The Burg. ¬†Not a cloud in the sky after two days of rain. The air is crisp and clear. ¬†Nothing like a little walk around town and then a treat.

I love treats.  I try to space them out so they can truly be a treat.  If done too often then I take them for granted.  Treats are much more enjoyable when they are not regular and maybe a bit spontaneous.

It’s been very serious in the social media realm this past week or two. ¬†Many things to ponder.

So today’s treat was welcomed. ¬†Not to forget the things in the world but to help get perspective. ¬†A perspective of Hope and a broader view. ¬†A God’s – Eye view.

So Penny June and Papa and me took a stroll and saw things through the eyes of a child.  Wonderment.

Penny June in awe
Penny June in awe


Ice tea and cinnamon bun РPJ ate her cookie at a rapid speed.  A great morning at Old Drum Coffee House.


Cate B

and another cuppa………

Hey! ¬†If you were coming over today to visit with me I would offer you a fresh cup of coffee – or tea – in a Pioneer Woman Mug¬†– and cut you a slice of warm Apple Pie….


After we stuffed ourselves we would probably talk about the weather.  It sure was windy yesterday and warm for November.  Much cooler today and more on track for  our location.

The conversation begins to shift and I can share with you how things are getting much better here in The Burg for me. ¬†I really like it here. ¬†I don’t see too many people outside the home but that is changing. ¬†We spent some time with a friend who became a brother the other day. ¬†I saw a whole new side of him that I didn’t see as clearly before.

I love when that happens, don’t you? ¬†I’m a bit of an observer (not the kind in Fringe). ¬†I try really hard to listen to people as they talk. ¬†I tend to hear between the words – their hearts. ¬†Not always. ¬†It can be hard and a bit foggy at times. ¬†I know I can be a bit guarded. ¬†I don’t always want people to see too much. ¬†That’s not always good. ¬†It has to go two ways if you want deeper relationships. ¬†Step out on a limb, take a risk, let some walls down. ¬†Trust………

Ugh, there’s another one of those “get out of your comfort zone things“.

Another slice of pie?  Can I warm your coffee?

I could tell you I am looking forward to Thanksgiving week. ¬†No kids to watch (as much as I love them), sleeping a little later, watching a holiday movie that doesn’t involve princesses, Tinker Bell or Octonauts. ¬†It will be a week of baking for the holiday. ¬†More pies, a cheesecake, some homemade rolls.

Back to relationships. ¬†They are so much harder these days than when I was younger. ¬†More people work outside the home. ¬†Computers and smart phones have become so much of our socializing. ¬†But this getting together in person and enjoying pie and coffee with the company of each other, is really a good thing. ¬†It’s a slow process to get to know each other. ¬†Looking for our similar likes and dislikes. That just means that we need to do it again. ¬†Maybe Cinnamon Rolls next time!

If there is a next time. ¬†What do ya say? ¬†Am I worth it? ¬†Are you worth it? ¬†I say yes, you are worth getting to know. ¬†I hope you think I am………

Till next time…….. Enjoy!

Cate B

Finding Hope

We are fast approaching the end of January, 2014. ¬†Do you know what that means? ¬†Spring is getting closer. ¬†YES! ¬†It has been quite a cold winter for most of the U.S. ¬†Today, where I am, it is a balmy 43* as I type this, and I have no socks on. ¬†Tomorrow’s high should be around 56*! ¬†But Monday, well Monday – you just can’t trust that day. ¬†Our high should be about 16* and a low of 3. ¬†That is winter.

Winters like these tend to keep me indoors way too much for my liking.  In my last post, Winter Hopes, I mentioned winter being a reflective time.  A time to process and regroup, so to speak.  But for me, it is very easy to slip into hopelessness when I have cabin fever and life seems to be on hold.

I was in “The Burg” last week, as I am every week for my four day stay with the grand daughters. ¬†I love that time with them and assisting my kids so they can attend University. ¬†But we were getting punchy, the girls and I. ¬†The two year old loves to go outside. ¬†I was able to take her for a walk one day last week. ¬†Just one! ¬†The other days were so cold that it would have been dangerous to her skin to go out. ¬†So, when my husband came to pick me up on Thursday, he wanted to go to a local town that we were curious about. ¬†We knew it was small……. ¬†Knob Noster, MO. ¬†Here is a pic from downtown Knob Noster:

Downtown Knobnoster
Downtown Knob Noster


I’m not sure this business is even open. ¬†That made me sad. ¬†We did find a Tea Room¬†that was full of collectibles at wonderful prices. ¬†Little girls tea parties can be celebrated there also. ¬†They serve lunch and tea and the woman who owned it is delightful and so friendly. ¬†We will go back. ¬†But we are not sure how tiny towns like this survive. ¬†Whiteman Airforce base is nearby but the “larger” town of Warrensburg has more to offer.

From there we went to a Bakery/Bulk Foods shop that is usually closed when we have been in the area.  It was open and on the way home.  Let me tell you Рjust when I was feeling hopeless about my future and the weather, etc, this little gem of a place brought forth full sunshine and warmth.  Funny how the little things in life can change your whole outlook.  I love that.

We turned off the main highway and traveled the 2.8 miles to the shop.  Here is some of what we saw:


Then the treasure –

The Mixing Bowl
The Mixing Bowl

We walked into this small shop which is on the property with the family home and farm.  A bubble of hopeful joy met us in a tiny lady-like form of the friendliest Mennonite woman I have ever met.  She did all the baking and bundling of bulk food products.  And the cheeses!  You cannot beat the prices of the cheese she sells.

PIE! Amazing Pie!
What can I say?
What can I say? These taste fabulous!!!YES!


Ahhhh! You can’t beat the price – we take this daily and for the gallon it is unbeatable!


Vanilla Beans!
Vanilla Beans!
I did not buy this from our new friend ;)  But got it for VANILLA!!!
I did not buy this from our new friend ūüėČ But got it for VANILLA!!!
Vanilla should be ready in April!
Vanilla should be ready in April!

So, my point of this post is to say, I was going down into a hopeless state and just changing my environment and finding something so unexpected in the midst of stark winter surroundings, turned my whole outlook around.  I headed home upbeat and joyful with a couple of bags of goodies to boot!

THEN, my dogs, who missed me while I was away in The Burg, were so happy to see me that little George Bailey jumped up and accidentally ripped the bag containing the jams. ¬†My Gooseberry Jam fell to the floor and broke. ¬†I actually cried. ¬†The dogs ran outside because they fear my crying and I cleaned it up and welcomed them back into the house with many hugs. ¬†Little George was relieved. ¬†No sense crying over spilt jam because I know where to by more. ūüėÄ

My friends, I hope you all have a hopeful winter and look with anticipation to spring coming.  Because it is a certainty that spring will come!


cate b









I Know How to Wrap Up Summer


Summer is over, even though the temperatures are still summer-like.¬† The colors of the leaves are lighter and some have actually fallen.¬† You can feel it in the breeze – the changes are coming.¬† Soon we will have our fall clothing on and jackets and the leaves will turn gorgeous colors while we sip on spicy hot apple cider while dunking the cinnamon donuts.¬† I love fall but I hate the end of summer.¬† I didn’t go anywhere this summer but it was pleasant here in the mid-west.¬† The temperatures were perfect.¬† I enjoyed my own backyard and drives into the country.

Once you are a mom whose children go to school outside the home you get ingrained further into you the school year schedule.¬† I still like seeing the school buses go down the street and the quietness of the neighborhood during school hours.¬† My youngest son and his wife are doing an amazing thing.¬† They decided to go to college.¬† D has a couple of years finished and K has his basics done.¬† This semester they went big league.¬† They moved into family housing on campus of a university in the mid-west along with their two year old daughter and another daughter to be born this fall.¬† I admire them greatly, especially the pregnant one.¬† Of course they realized early on that they needed me still to stay with their daughter a few days a week.¬† Needed me, Mammy.¬† I made my son say it three time, “We need you”.¬† So I go there and stay with my little buddy and it’s fun.¬† She came to my house last week and I got to dislocate her elbow.¬† Yup.¬† Good Mammy.¬† Not.¬† I was devastated.¬† But life is full of always learning.¬† I learned that this is pretty common and easily fixed.¬† So easily fixed that there is a video on youtube to show you how to fix this. Apparently it can easily happen again until they outgrow this…….thing. ¬† ¬† ¬†

I even have been really bad at my homework Рblogging.  I am behind reading blogs I follow.  Forgive me fellow bloggers.

I am behind writing.  I must forgive myself.  But I have two new ideas for books.  Good grief.

So once again Summer days have gone by and the newness of an autumn, yet to discover, is upon us.¬† I wish you all good health and old and new dreams coming true………

Enjoy a great cup of fall tea.
Enjoy a great cup of fall tea.

And enjoy this classic song as summer sadly comes to an end.

cate b

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