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Showing posts from February, 2009

Loving Old Photos

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A few years ago (for Mom-Mom's 92nd birthday), I had the privilege of looking through her old photo albums for a DVD slideshow I was making as her gift. With each photograph I looked at, I saw how much she and my grandfather adored each other. They were married just over sixty years when Pop-Pop suffered a fatal heart attack in their kitchen. She had missed him terribly for almost thirteen years. But I know they are together. Right now. And I imagine they look just like they did way back then. Young and beautiful. And in their prime. So, even in my sadness, I have happy thoughts. Happy that they have been reunited with one another. Happy to be their granddaughter. Happy with the faith that everything is okay. * * * * Thank you for all of your comments and emails. I wish that I was able to reply to each one individually, but time and energy did not allow it. I was working on a new, updated DVD slideshow for Mom-Mom's viewing and funeral and we have a house of sick pe

She's Gone

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I am just returning from hospice. My grandmother passed away tonight. With her four daughters, sons-in-law, and most of her sixteen grandchildren at her bedside. My father offered a prayer in her behalf, and after the prayer she took her final breath and left this world. Peacefully. Comfortably. And much loved. We will think of you often, Mom-Mom . We will love you forever. We will see you again. (Please tell Kristen that I love her.)

Not Much of Anything

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I've had a few sick children this week. Yesterday Taylor stayed home. Today Jackson is staying home. Mostly coughs, sniffles, and fevers. Yesterday it snowed off and on (mostly off). But, at one point, the most giant snowflakes I've ever seen were falling from the sky. They were bigger than Sawyer's hand! They were giant! To pass the time away yesterday (a sick child home from school changes all "plans"), I made some peanut butter granola . Oh, my is it good. I didn't have dry-roasted peanuts, so I used regular salted ones. Excellent. Someone keep me away from it. Please??

Thrifted Coat

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About a month ago, I ran into the thrift store while Joe was in a meeting and the boys were at a birthday party. I had a little girl with me. When we spied a little green, wool coat, she fell in love. Instantly. She "oohed" and "ahhed" over it and I knew, if it fit , we would buy it. Little did I know that it fits just right , right now , and it was 50% off. I think it was $2. Or maybe $1. (I'm not sure because I bought other things.) It took me a couple of weeks to get it to the cleaners, but I'm so happy I finally did. She loves it even more. She wants to wear it. All the time. Warm. Woolen. Vintage. Classic.

A Valentines Recap

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We had a great Valentines Day weekend. We spent our Valentines Day together. All eight of us. We took the children to the Chinese buffet for lunch. And then visited Mom-Mom in the hospital. She is still the sweetest lady in the world. She recognized all of us, by name. Even if she fell asleep in the middle of greeting the children. (She has her days and nights mixed up like a newborn often does.) We gently woke her up and she continued to acknowledge each of the children. Joe sent me flowers for Valentines, which actually arrived on Thursday. They are rainbow roses. They are so very pretty. I'm not usually much of a flower person because I'm more practical. Flowers just die, so why spend the money? Joe's philosophy is different. And he likes to spoil me. So I will continue to oblige him in this. And then Joe surprised me with a new pink iPod. I've been having a few problems with my old one, which includes the computer that had iTunes and my songs is dead and I had no

A Spring Dress

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It must be spring fever that has me thinking about summery dresses for my girl. However, the nice 60-degree weather days are slowly turning into 50-degree weather days with cold, blustery winds. And those few 50-degree weather days are turning back into cold wintry days. And, well, since it's February, I just have to happy that it lasted as long as it did. At a recent thrift store trip, I found the perfect springy-summery vintage sheet. White with white and pink daisies. (Have I told you how much I adore daisies?) I kept thinking I would make dresses and/or skirts for Spenser and I in the spring, but that darn spring fever hit me and I couldn't wait another minute. The dress started out in the fashion of a Simplicity 4206 . And with a few tweaks turned into something drastically different. It's now sleeveless. And has a keyhole with a halter top. The back crosses to an elasticized back. It's a little wonky on the hanger and at the side seams because I had alre

Transformations

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I found this miniature deer at the thrift store the other day. It was an unfinished ceramic piece for 25 cents. I thought how much Spenser would love it. (She has a small collection of little ceramic animals.) So, for a quarter, I bought it and painted it: pink. She loves it. She gently cradled it in her hand and said, "Awwwwwwwww. Whose is it?" When I told her it was hers, she loved it more and said again "Awwwwwwwwww. Whose is it?" I told her it was hers, and she even more lovingly cradled it and coddled it. Just like a little mother. And while I was spraying things in the yard in our 64-degree weather yesterday afternoon, I pulled out two silver bowls that I picked up at the Swap Shop (for free) in December. One is now black. The other is white. I have gotten lots of questions about whether this is toxic. It may be. I don't know. I have used my trays to serve. Not to cut. There is no knife or fork digging into the painted surface.

The Balancing Act

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Life is a balancing act. Sometimes it seems everything "comes due" at the same time. And it's a little nerve wracking. I have a lot of balls in the air and, thankfully, the end is in sight. I think. I like to plan ahead and know what I'm doing each day. I don't usually make written lists. Just mental ones (which is not always a good thing). Tonight we are giving the butterfly bags to the Living Legacy Foundation, so that's almost over. Kim and I have spent a few afternoons together sewing, fixing wonky bags, and stringing the bags. (Kim more than me, bless her.) We are also having a program for the Young Women (ages 12-18) at church tonight and I was asked to make a DVD slideshow of the girls. That's almost finished. I've been asked to give a soap demonstration for the women at church in March, but I don't know the date and I'm getting itchy about it. I have a bad feeling it's going to be on a Tuesday night, and that's a karate

Vintage Treasures

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It occurred to me that I never showed the rest of my thrifted finds. These were bought when I found the little wooden oven . Three Christmas decorations. Just like the ones we had when I was growing up in the 70's. I loved them then and I love them now . There is a Rudolph one, but the one at the store was missing a leg. I decided to tempt fate and not buy it, hoping that I will find a fully-intact Rudolph at another time. Then I found a great little vintage suitcase. But, wait. There's more ... It was filled with vintage Barbie clothes. The little girl in me squealed when I found this. Be still my heart, you little rubber boots.

Smoothies

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I love smoothies. It makes me feel all healthy or something. I don't know. But there's something refreshing about drinking frozen fruit. And lately, I can't get enough. Last week I made blueberry-banana. Today, strawberry-banana. So yum. There's not really a recipe for it (although I swear I saw it on Martha years ago, but I can't find it now). It's all rough estimates. Just change it to suit your taste. To the blender* add: 1 1/2 - 2 frozen bananas 1 1/2 - 2 cups frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. 3 large spoonfuls of cottage cheese 1 1/2 - 2 cups juice (apple, etc.) to get the blender moving, adding more if necessary a few squeezes of your favorite local honey Add all ingredients, making sure the juice makes its way down to the blades. Blend until smooth. (I usually add the honey after it's all blended.) *You don't need a smoothie maker to make them. I have a smoothie maker, but forgot I had one and used my regular old b

Service Project

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On Wednesday night (and also two Wednesday nights ago), the young women of our church assembled together for a service project. It was no ordinary service project. It was one in honor of our good friend, Caitlin . Caitlin died in a car accident in November , and her family bravely donated her organs. Our service project was two-fold. We wanted to finish the last two ten-hour projects for Caitlin's Personal Progress . Knowledge and Good Works. We also wanted to show our love and support to her family and make a donation to the Living Legacy Foundation . Before she died, the foundation made cast handprints from Caitlin's hand and gave them to the family in small drawstring bags sewn from butterfly fabric. The butterfly fabric signifying of the changes in life. Butterfly fabric was donated by members of our church and about fifty of us set out to trace, cut, press, sew, and string the bags. The first night was the busiest with the tracing and cutting (while some of us did sew)

Broken

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It started with a pink ceramic piggy bank that was dropped on the freshly-mopped kitchen floor. It shattered into bits. And then, by bedtime, we realized our upstairs heat pump was not working. Joe checked the units. The breakers. To no avail. (Thankfully our downstairs oil furnace is powerful and compensated for the lack of heat upstairs. And we were most grateful that it was only the motherboard that needed to be replaced. And that it only cost $354 to repair. Seriously . We were happy that it only cost $354 to repair. It pales in comparison to the last repair bill , which was almost ten times that price.) And then, the same night even (as Joe was flipping breakers throughout our house), I smashed my middle finger in a dresser drawer. I fell on my bed and held my breath until the pain subsided. It's not broken, but man is it ever sore. And then I attempted to put leftovers in the microwave for lunch the next day. With only one second left, we heard an explosion. When w

Doing My Part

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I admit, I use paper or plastic. Go ahead. Hate me. Call me a polar-bear killer. Whatever you want. It's probably well deserved. It's not that I didn't want to use cloth, it's more like, I want a bag that will be strong and actually be able to carry stuff for a family of eight. Not a wimpy bag. When I recently bought some canvas bags , my mind started swirling. These bags would be heavy-duty enough for my needs. But, they were ugly. And plain. Then Christmas came and I really didn't have time to think about it anymore, so I pushed it aside. Until a trip to the store left me with a wad of plastic bags. It was time. I bought some canvas bags and personalized them with appliques. Some with L's. Some with fruit. Simple. Pretty. And quick. Since most of my shopping is done at the wholesale club (without bags), these will be for my trips to Walmart (don't criticize me -- I have a large family to take care of), Target, and my once-a-month-or-less trip to t

O'Henry Bars

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My, oh my. These are good. I made them Friday evening and ate so many on Saturday, I lost count (and forced myself to run 5 1/2 miles as payment). My mother makes them every year at Christmas and, this year, I just didn't eat enough. Although I'm sure I ate more this past Christmas than I did the previous Christmas. But let's not talk about that. O'Henry Bars: 1 cup sugar 1 cup white corn syrup 1 1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth) 6 cups Special K cereal 1 - 12 oz. package of chocolate bits/chips Butter 9 x 13" pan. Set aside. Mix sugar and corn syrup in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour mixture over cereal. Mix well and press into pan. Melt chocolate and pour over cereal mixture in pan. Cool until melted chocolate is set. (Can be put in fridge to set.) Cut into squares. Enjoy. You need to try these. Seriously. Like today ... They're healthy, right? I mean they have Special K cereal in them. The cereal nega