Porch Party…Valentine’s Day Style and a GF Recipe

Every morning, my husband Rick and I start the day together on the front porch. Sunday morning at our Porch Party, I did a trial run for Valentine’s Day. I fluffed the red blankets in our rocking chairs, lit a red candle, poured our coffee in (almost) red mugs, and put out heart-shaped chocolate. I had a lovey-dovey question all ready for him.

(The blueberry muffins are gluten-free. Recipe at the bottom.)

“Let’s tell why we love each other,” I said.

He didn’t comment. Just petted Clyde, our yellow Lab.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll go first. I love that you aren’t a whiner. You fixed the light in the well-house when it was 22 degrees outside without complaining. You’re honest. You’re funny. You’re a good father. I have lots more to say, but you go ahead. Name a few things you love about me.”

He rocked. Sipped his coffee. “All that stuff you said.”

“That doesn’t count. We’re opposites.”

“Help me out, Clyde. Why do we love her?”

I felt like Sally–doing all the talking.  Guess who was acting like Snoopy.

“Why do you love me?” I said.

“Lots of reasons.”

“Tell me one.”

“Well…you listen to people. You care.”

“Ohhh, that’s sweet. What else?”

He got quiet–finally said something. “Look in that tree. There’s a mourning dove.”


“Hear that? She’s calling her mate.”

“Maybe he’s calling her,” I said.

“Could be.”

“They belong together. Like us. That’s what you meant, wasn’t it?” 🙂

“Something like that.”

I smiled. His feelings are there all right. He just speaks in a different love language.

Readers, how about you? What’s your love language?

Incredible Gluten-free Bluberry Muffins and strawberry ones would be even more Valentine’s Day-ish!

(I found out I have Celiac five years ago.)

2 cups Pamela’s GF Pancake and Baking Mix  (There are other GF flours and flour mixtures.)

2 eggs

1/3 cup melted butter or veg oil

2/3 cup milk or yogurt (I used vanilla yogurt)

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (keep frozen until ready to use)

1. Preheat oven to 375 and get pan ready.

2. Mix eggs, butter or oil, milk or yogurt, and sugar.

3. Add flour.

4. Fold in blueberries.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12-16 muffins.






  1. Gosh Julie…the morning dove, they belong together…he said more in those 6 words than if he wrote you a sonnet . I can just see him there on the porch- strong, quiet, a man of few words but deep feelings.

    My love language …I need to think about that.

  2. Great story and great example of how love can be spoken and shown in many languages. I am sure Clyde even knew daddy came up with a good one there! Thanks for sharing!

  3. hahaha! You hit my love language with that recipe! (I was drooling over your blueberry muffins Sunday when I saw your Instagram…) I just bought some gorgeous strawberries to dip in chocolate for my man; but I think I will use the leftovers in some Valentine morning muffins — Thanks!

    It is sometimes difficult to draw water from a deep well. But when you get to drink it, it is pure, tasty & satisfying.

    • Melody, you say the best things….”It’s sometimes difficult to draw water from a deep well. But when you get to drink it, it’s pure and satisfying.”

      Love it, love it, love it. And it’s just taken me many years to finally figure this out. 🙂

      You’ll adore the blueberry muffins. My sister suggested brown sugar on top. Which sounds delish too. xoxo

  4. Shelley Elaine says:

    Julie, I love this message…my love language is definitely time spent together. Also, wanted to tell you how very much I look forward to and enjoy your blog every week! I subscribe to several but yours is the only one that I begin anticipating the day before :). Thanks so much for sharing your heart! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Shelley…..my friend…..you just made my day. My week. I’m grinning all over myself. Thank you.

      Yep, I love time spent together and WORDS. WORDS. WORDS. 🙂

  5. Oh Julie, I had to laugh as I read your post! You’re so like me and Gary is so like Rick!!! I want so badly for him to verbalize what I need to hear, but I’m slowly (after almost 44 years!) realizing that’s just not who he is!

    Gary’s so much like Rick…strong, doesn’t whine (even when he has full right to!), faithful, does whatever needs to be done. We’re so blessed, aren’t we?

    • Vonda, we should get our men together, but what would they find to talk about???? 🙂

      Yep, we’re blessed. Our men’s love languages probably won’t change much, and that’s okay. I’m like you. It took LOTS of years to figure this man out!!


  6. Lovely post! I love how you did a trial run for Valentine’s day! My gift to my husband is going to see the new Die Hard movie that comes out tomorrow. The things we do….. 🙂 I just bought Pamelas mix for the first time and love it. Will be making these muffins in a few weeks when my gluten-intolerant daughter visits!

    • Oh, that sounds fun, Marie. Be sure and get popcorn!

      I can’t say enough good about Pamela’s. I order it off of Amazon and save money. I’ve loved everything I’ve made with it. You can even fry chicken using it! I’ve made garlic biscuits, sort of like the ones from Red Lobster.

      Y’all have fun at the movies!

      Thanks for writing.

  7. Pat Garczynski says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Julie! Your Sally and Snoopy illustration is so perfect and funny. The mourning dove in the tree is hauntingly melancholic and brought to mind an article your Mom wrote about “The Lone Duck” after her marriage to Gene when she was called to help him yet grieve the loss of a mate. I find it amazing that your husband shows up for a porch party every morning when so very many would not. Even though he is a man of few words, it shouts I LOVE YOU. “Still waters run deep,” and “He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

    • Oh, yes, Pat–the Lone Duck story. Can’t believe you remember the actual title! I’ll have to tell Mother.

      I know~~my man attends our porch parties so faithfully. Sometimes we don’t even say anything. We just rock. But time teaches me that rocking and not talking is SO okay.


  8. Sandra Walker says:

    Sally and Snoopy really describes me and Paul! It took me a long, long time to quit talking so much and just listen! We consider every day with each other a precious gift since the “C” scare in 2006. He
    said something to me just the other day that is the most beautiful, sweet, wonderful thing I’ve heard
    in 43 years. I can’t say what it is – I’m still pondering it in my heart – but he could not possible top it,
    even on Valentine’s Day! Treasure every moment you have together!

    • Sandra, I’m tearing up just knowing Paul said something so beautiful to you.

      Keep pondering. Sweet words can last forever in our hearts.

      Hugs, my friends. And thank you so much for writing. And understanding.

  9. He rocked. Sipped his coffee. “All that stuff you said.”

    I laughed because I’ve WANTED to do the same thing: ask hubby why he loves me. But I knew I’d get what you got. ha ha Thanks for being the first one to try it for us. Instead, I’ll feel settled in my heart and “surrender” his feelings because your hubby and my hubby are two birds of a feather (mourning doves who love their mates). And add that to the list of what I love about mine.

    • Wish you could hear me laughing, B.J. Two birds of a feather! Love it.

      ANd that you’re surrendering. Powerful, my friend. Been thinking about you a lot today–as I’m working on my GP devotionals.

  10. Pat Garczynski says:

    P.S. Julie, I also recall your Mom writing about asking/begging your Dad to say something sweet to her one time, and he humorously responded with something like “Warm chocolate chip cookies!” I remember because that would’ve so been my husband in the living years! XXOO

  11. Oh, Pat, Pat, Pat. You’re RIGHT!!!!!!!

    Can’t wait to call her and remind her. And remind myself. :-0

    A funny husband is a wonderful thing.


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