Monday, April 29, 2013

Retirement Party

Yesterday the teachers threw the five of us who are retiring a lovely little retirement Open House....  We welcomed many coworkers, parents, students...  family.  It was really a nice day.  Lots of cards, gifts, and kind words.  I feel so blessed by all the kindness I've been shown during this final month...  Kind of makes me quiet...  not sad, not moody...  just quiet and thoughtful. I have nothing much to say.   My freshmen start the big State Test tomorrow in English, today in Algebra...  It's really, finally, almost the day...  13 and a half....  Have a great week.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Magic Happens

Spending a day at home...  Recuperating from the week, my fall, and too little sleep...  Little dreams, sparkling gazing balls,  and red velvet cake....




Friday, April 26, 2013

The One About the Drama Couch.... Meet Me in St. Louis Memories...

Pictured below are the original 1976 cast members of Bevier's production of  Meet Me in St. Louis.  It was my first year teaching...  Today these young people are my friends, the successful parents and grandparents of my students.......  all grown up.  Sadly, four of these amazing young people have passed away...



Hey, since it's my blog, I guess I can do something totally indulgent.  I'm going to write about some of the most memorable and important events that happened to me as a teacher.  In no particular order...  and I plan to leave out a few for good measure.

The one that immediately comes to mind is the tale of my intrepid Drama Club in the Spring of 1976...  I was a totally new teacher and a complete novice to Drama in any form.   Not only had I never directed a play, studied Drama in college...  I had been in only a few little plays in elementary...  I was GREEN.  Luckily I ran into the most agreeable, talented, cooperative group of young people imaginable.  We produced a two night stand of "Meet Me in St. Louis."  Starting from scratch, we built the "flats" (which is the technical name for the background, and I did not even know this.)...  The kids taught me to paint them in bright colors, something never imagined at home decor...  We faithfully rehearsed the huge cast, juggling practice schedules with a less than cooperative Coach and a few glitches here and there...

But we had no furniture.  Finally a couple of teen actors announced they knew a likely spot to score a couch for the event...  They were privy to info on an abandoned home.  True to my spirit, I was all in.  We headed out to the abandoned house without a thought to the legality of  "tresspassing."  The house still stays in my memory..  I had heard of the RAPTURE in the Bible, when all souls just transport to Heaven, leaving everything on earth as it is...  This house was just that way.  Even though the roof was almost gone, and the floors had been deteriorated to simple beams, the daily living of the place was evident.  Books were open, the cabinets were stocked.  China stayed in the cupboards, and glasses lay on the table by a crumpled yellow newspaper...

I and my flock of Thespian Trespassers made careful trips, stepping widely across the beams and peering into the abyss of the basement below...  Did ideas and threats of lawsuits and even imminent danger appear to me? Naw...  not so much.  We finally saw "IT,"  a beautiful leather couch with carved arms and back...

My brain finally kicked in.  We couldn't take that couch without permission.  (Well, my brain kicked in partially...)  I sent the same two students who had located this home to ask permission from the total strangers who had abandoned it.   I had no idea who these people were or where they now lived.  The rest of us simply sat in the skeletal front room of that home and waited for the verdict.  The two came back beaming.  They said it was fine.  "All systems were GO."  So my troupe and I hauled the couch to the back of my truck, and the students all piled on it in the back.  We sat on that couch all the way through our town and the five-mile ride to the next...  We even took the pickup with the couch and students on a wild ride through the downtown "block" -----whooping and hollering with joy, youth, ....  and stupidity, actually.

Then we "sunk" about $25 or more in refinishing supplies, leather soap, etc., and we proceeded to restore the beautiful leather and clean/refinish the gorgeous carving...  We worked tirelessly, but slowly the old couch breathed again, and we were so proud.  Naturally I posted a huge THANK YOU to that family, calling them by name, in the bulletin for our event.

First Night, a Friday, arrived..  the play was a roaring success.  A well-meaning parent who had attended the play saw the "family" in town on early Saturday and naturally remarked to them what a nice gesture it had been to "lend the Drama Class their couch"..  Um...  well, the truth has never come out.  I don't know if the two I sent, in fact. asked and were told no or didn't bother to ask because they were aware of the private nature of this couple.  Ultimately bear in mind the family had a reputation that anyone in town would have known NOT to bother...  They were NOT the usual, benevolent, social, community retirees-- ready to help.  I have no idea what their story was..  I do understand their total and absolute right to be MAD AS .....you know what.

Early Saturday morning I received a phone call from my superintendent, John R. Amedei, a beloved Italian gentleman who will forever hold my utmost respect and love...  He began the phone call with and excited voice...  then he began shouting and then.... he got louder.  Evidently the family who owned the couch were there at his home threatening to call the police if the couch didn't get put back PRONTO..  As in--- I had exactly thirty minutes to get my pickup, drive to Bevier, load the couch, and return it to the decaying, unfortunate home...

For the life of me, I can't remember doing that, but it got done...  and yhen we used a completely horrible couch propped up on brickbats for the second night's performance.  We found that second couch in the basement of the school, covered in soot and ash...  glaringly an orange and green plaid....  and full of holes, mouse poop, and the smoke and stories of an elderly janitor who had supposedly died near or on that couch...

And nothing happened more.  I didn't yell or discipline the kids.  My superintendent spoke no more of it to me.  The family simply slipped back into their state of preferred oblivion....  And I lived to tell the tale...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ups and Downs of a Day in Spring...

Well, today's temperature and climate are surprising cold, beautiful, and invigorating.  We have so much going on here at school, and I did an overnight cooking spree again!  This time I'm thinking it was for me because I made a lovely little Tortellini Salad, and my mom isn't much of a tortellini person...  My mom loves the sweet or the "crunch" and tortellini is neither!

Great News!  Our Academic Bowl team  is headed for State Competition.  I'm thrilled for them, and I believe it is a FIRST!  Those kids are amazing!

Officially had a little blunder this morning.  I had a nasty fall coming out my door.  My ankle twisted, and I fell into a table and cracked my head on the floor...  I kind of thought I would just sit there for the rest of the today...  Haha..  but after a few minutes I got up and limped to the car...  I begged an ice pack from Coach, and I think I'll survive!  My biggest problem is determining which "boo boo" I want to ice...  I voted for the ankle...  It has a little tennis ball size swelling going on....  I had new shoes, which I blame...  So I'm sending them back.  Fifty bucks will be fun to deposit in my account.  I literally took three steps in them, and because the soles are like air but they have a little wedge, I lost my footing and rolled the ankle..  I guess...



Well, back to the salad...  Here's how I made it:  I boiled the tortellini (purchased from Schwan) and a few grated carrots (bought precut in the bag).  I added them to two ribs of celery, diced small, and half an onion, minced, a tsp. of crushed garlic, salt and pepper..  Then I poured over it my favorite creamy Italian dressing and about a 1/4 c. shake of Parmesan from a jar...  I loved it warm, and I can't wait for lunch because I brought a little container...  cold!

Have a fun day...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Surprise Breakfast


It seems as if these last few days are not moving by very well, so last night in literally the middle of the night (1 a.m)  I decided to get upstairs and bake my mom a pan of cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  By the time I got upstairs (all four of them) and looked at the clock, I decided it was later (earlier) than I imagined, so I went the Bisquick route...

They were all made and tucked into the refrigerator by 1:30.  I popped them into the oven at 6:00 when I get up, and by 6:40 we had a little breakfast treat together at the table.  Usually I haul up to my cozy chair and snore/sleep/grumble until time to leave at 7:00.  Mom gets up first, and she said when she saw those in the fridge on the shelf, her first thought was that someone had passed away in the community and I had made those to take to the family.  Reminds me of the "innocent" question my son always, without fail, asked when I was running the vacuum and dusting...  "Who's coming, Mom?"  We do not ordinarily make ordinary days magical...  or sweet.  Or delicious.... or clean evidently!  haha..

Here at school this morning I had an extra special little treat.  A dear cousin I never get to see popped his head in my clasroom door.  It was so fun to have that little visit before he had to leave.  Don't you love it when years disappear and you speak to someone as if you just finished a conversation a few minutes before...  I think that happens often with good friends, family...  compadres of the heart.  Once a couple of cousins share a grandmother and grandfather such as we did...  time cannot erase the bonds.

Make your day special...  Get in touch with someone dear or bake a little batch of decadent cinnamon Bisquick rolls...    or anything will do...


Bisquick Cinnamon Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Rolls

1/2 c.  Granulated suga
r



 mixed with   2 
                                                                                                                                                    
teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2
cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 - 2/3 
cup Sprite
2-3
tablespoons sour cream
1/4 c.  tablespoons butter or margarine, softened


Glaze --  optional

 1/3
cups powdered sugar
1      tablespoons milk


1  Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottom and sides of 9x9-inch pan. In small bowl, mix sugar and the cinnamon; set aside.
  • In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, Sprite and Cream Cheese until dough forms. If dough is too sticky, gradually mix in enough Bisquick mix (up to 1/4 cup) to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto surface well dusted with Bisquick mix; gently roll dough in Bisquick mix to coat. Shape into ball; knead 10 times.
  • 3Roll dough into rectangle; spread with butter. Sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture. Roll up tightly. Seal well by pinching edge of dough into roll. Cut into 1 1/4-inch slices; place cut sides down in pan.
  • 4Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • 5In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Spread glaze over warm rolls.

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Mist on the Tracks...

    Life is chugging away...  Are we on the through train passing with our lives, faces pressed against the glass?  Or are we somewhere along the tracks, lost in the past.... Perhaps we are in the party car, blissfully ignorant of the speed and direction the train is veering...   Which is better?

    Cold April rains in the forecast, and typical unrest among the "tribes" of students... Spring and April bring such turmoil to a school....  Perhaps they have had enough?  A girl/cat fight in my Composition class today...  Haughty, proud words...  Shattering the peace...   Monday...  only three more...  ever.  And I'm soooo glad.

    Friday, April 19, 2013

    Prom...

    With FREEZE warnings for tonight on my Weather-bug,  my first thoughts turned to the little juniors and seniors here who are preparing for PROM today.  Brr!  Kids are so resilient really, especially when they really want to do something.  This year's theme is the 50's, which is always a big hit with the teachers and parents, too.  Our gym teacher today is blasting dance music as Coach teaches the kids some smooth moves for tomorrow night's bash...

    I consider my own Proms in 1971 and 1972.  My grandmother made both dresses from the same pattern, but with her exquisite skill, nobody could have discovered that.  One dress blue, the other lavendar, and both of that filmy nylon/polyester with a lining and tiny flowers flocked...  It was the glorious days of vintage.... before it was vintage.  We had the Grand March down the front staircase of our school, which followed a banquet served by the sophomores in our own school cafeteria.  During Prom we had a game room and a Tea Room for refreshments, and then we took a caravan of farm trucks filled with hay on a long hayride that ended at the Drive-In for a movie.  Finally, back at the school, breakfast served by the Ag boys, I think, set us free.

    My junior year I helped decorate for our theme Around the World in 80 Days. I was in charge of the Tea Room (China themed, of course).  It was my first brush with a budget, and I recall socking way too much of my total cash into twenty AWESOME torch TIKI candles that looked like elephant legs for each table.  Then I made my own rice paper by dipping regular typing paper into some kind of art oil and smudging it...  I recall nothing else except the horror at finding that some low life had helped herself/himself to the candles before the doors ever opened to the Prom.  I also recall the sponsor, who was a beloved Home Ec teacher to others; she made me carry tubs of ice and punch during Prom in my new dress.  My date and I spent very little time at the dance because that teacher didn't like me very well (probably the elephant leg candles?  or perchance the drippy paper on her classroom windows) and she sent for me every 20 minutes.  I thought she could have carried the punch and let me dance.  I still think she should have...   I didn't like her right back, and many years later when the community mourned her early death from cancer, I had to soften my cold, hard heart in order to feel the least bit sorry...  I remember that when I'm so "darned" mean to my kids some times.  Old teen grudges die hard.

    The Senior Prom, decorated by the class below us, was Gone With the Wind, but I remember it as a rainy, cold mess...  We watched the movie in the theater downtown, and I think it was some John Wayne western with Roman Gabriel, the football player.  The junior movie at the Drive-In had been Anne of 1,000 Days, and I adored that movie...  Considering it was the 70's and a hayride, I'm fairly sure not many dates were actually hanging on every word of Anne Boleyn's speech like I did...  My poor date...  Prom was possibly too much about the theme and the dress and the movie and too little about the date.  I had a very nice boyfriend who bought me beautiful flowers. (and carried punch).

    I work hard at not being cynical about today's teens.  Prom is still exciting to  most of them, but a school normally spends a few thousand dollars on it.  Unbelievable.  Kids sometimes expect a lot and don't appreciate what is GIVEN them...  Prom, however, is always special to those who decorate.

    My son and his friends created a huge, white tiger glowing with tons of white glitter, lighting up one whole side of the gymnasium for his junior Prom...  Gorgeous!  I loved his Proms and his pretty dates and friends all spiffed in tuxedos.  What joy! Sponsoring and decorating through these 37 years, off and on, has been one of the highlights of the year.  Once recently I held a party downtown at my shop, which was opposite the Grand Old Black Diamond building which burned this Christmas..  Once a Lodge Hall with ornately carved ceilings  it was perfect as a backdrop to several Proms.. That party was cool because people brought their own Prom photos and we could watch kids come and go in their tuxes and fancy dresses...   This year Prom is back in the transformed cafeteria.

    I'd love to hear about your recollections of your Proms in High School...  your dresses, the theme...  your dates...  Comment if you can.

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    In my own little corner; in my own little chair...

    Do you ever sit and dream about absolutely everything and nothing at the same time?  I have been so utterly and completely exhausted this spring.  Just saying...  Thought I'd share an awesome poem with you all.  I read it as a teen, and I've loved it ever since.

    Edgar Lee Masters


    I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
    And the silence of the city when it pauses,
    And the silence of a man and a maid,
    And the silence of the sick
    When their eyes roam about the room.
    And I ask: For the depths
    Of what use is language?
    A beast of the field moans a few times
    When death takes its young.
    And we are voiceless in the presence of realities -
    We cannot speak.


    A curious boy asks an old soldier
    Sitting in front of the grocery store,
    "How did you lose your leg?"
    And the old soldier is struck with silence,
    Or his mind flies away
    Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg,
    It comes back jocosely
    And he says, "A bear bit it off."
    And the boy wonders, while the old soldier
    Dumbly, feebly lives over
    The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,
    The shrieks of the slain,
    And himself lying on the ground,
    And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
    And the long days in bed.
    But if he could describe it all
    He would be an artist.
    But if he were an artist there would be deeper wounds
    Which he could not describe.

    There is the silence of a great hatred,
    And the silence of a great love,
    And the silence of an embittered friendship.
    There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
    Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
    Comes with visions not to be uttered Into a realm of higher life.
    There is the silence of defeat.
    There is the silence of those unjustly punished
    And the silence of the dying whose hand
    Suddenly grips yours.
    There is the silence between father and son,
    When the father cannot explain his life,
    Even though he be misunderstood for it.

    There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
    There is the silence of those who have failed;
    And the vast silence that covers
    Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
    There is the silence of Lincoln,
    Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
    And the silence of Napoleon
    After Waterloo.
    And the silence of Jeanne d'Arc
    Saying amid the flames, "Blessed Jesus" -
    Revealing in two words all sorrows, all hope.
    And there is the silence of age,
    Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
    In words intelligible to those who have not lived
    The great range of life.

    And there is the silence of the dead.
    If we who are in life cannot speak
    Of profound experiences,
    Why do you marvel that the dead
    Do not tell you of death?
    Their silence shall be interpreted
    As we approach them.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Sigh. . .

    Study Time in Class today.....
    Me:     Use your time wisely.

    Loud Girl:  Yap.Yap.  Blah.  Blah...  (She is soooo loud)...  keeps talking off subject
    Me:  Anna, WORK.

    Loud Girl:  I AM!
    Me:  It doesn't sound like it.

    Loud Girl:  Trust me.  I'm working.  (She gets nothing out.  No pencil on desk)
    Me: ( Sigh  )

    Loud Girl:  Yap, yap, blah blah...  anything and everything but the paper.
    Me:  Anna, where is your paper?

    Loud Girl:  It's done!
    Me:  Completely finished?
    Loud Girl:  (eye roll and exasperated whine.)  Yes.

    Me:  Turn it in.

    Loud Girl:  It's at home on my dresser.
    Me:  When did you get your paper?

    Loud Girl:  Yesterday
    Me:  I gave it to you today during Home Room.

    Loud Girl:  No.
    Me:  Think so.  (I did)

    Loud Girl: Oh, that's right.  I did it in Home Room
    Me:  Completely finished?

    Loud Girl:  Yep.
    Me: I see

    Loud Girl:  Yap.Yap.  Blah.  Blah...  (She is soooo loud)...  keeps talking off subject
    Me:  Anna, do you want to turn in that paper?

    Loud Girl:  No.  (Huffy sigh)
    Me:  Why?

    Loud Girl:  There is one I need to finish..  I had questions on it.
    Me:  Bring it on up.  I'll help you.

    Loud Girl: Oh, I left my book at home.
    Me:  Sigh.

















    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    We live in hope

    And so it goes.  I have been reading about the Boston Marathon explosions with such sadness.  Any more it seems I learn of these tragedies through Facebook.  I see a post or so with "Prayers for Boston" and my heart clinches.  What now?  Whose life is now filled with sadness due to something unforeseen, needless, forgivable yet brutal?  And why?  I usually Google the phrase from Facebook, read the news with a sad heart, and try to think of something else for a bit.  Later I return when I can nibble at the pain and inhabit some kind of temperance with the grief that this new "Nation's Woe" has thrown at its people.

    Fear remains the strongest unknown Terrorist Weapon.  "We live in hope, die in despair," according to my grandmother's wise words.  True on so many levels.  Fear and despair are killers.  Something called hope motivates us all to live freely during the good weeks--- and some days, to even try at all.  God at times seems to inhabit our Fear because He allows pain into the lives of even his most devout believers.  Grace?  We pray for it even without knowing what grace really means.  For years I thought it was something to do with being coordinated, with not falling down in public.  Later I came to embrace "grace" as a gift for someone with proper cultural skills--- to accept and be gracious in the face of  crudeness.  Ladies with grace did not swear, fuss, or slander...  Now I have learned it is something akin to the gift of being here every day?  With God's goodness being poured out over the feet of an unworthy and ungrateful populace.  But I know in my heart Grace is something much more magnificent than just being spared.  We have to find out what it means to be grateful for something more than escaping with just our skin.

    No mother lives who doesn't breathe a sigh of relief when she hears the voice of her children.  Safe.  For the moment...  We live with the doors hard-barred against the "what if's" and the possibility of personal grief and evil.

     I have no relief or answer to this latest tragedy which joins the Sandy Hook shootings, the Theater Massacre for Batman...  the murder spree that took place this year on Easter in nearby Moberly, stabbing and killing a 92-year-old woman in violence while her bible lay open, her dear glasses folded on top. News of natural disaster brings even more fear as Tornado Season arrives, and threats of storms devastate our dreams.   I surely know that gratitude gives life.  Fear and despair bring death.  If it is not to be for us to live to see another season, we still must dedicate ourselves to the land of the living while we may.  Grace, yes, but only the hesitant  first step into it, for sure.


    So, for a town I do not know, a prayer and a condolence for healing and peace.  And for those of us I do know who are facing pain from many directions, a prayer for comfort, joy, and hope.


    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Down Time

    Back at school today on this gray, semi-rainy Monday.  Weekends blur by so fast, and this one was busy but nothing new.  Mom and I did sneak out to Crossroads to enjoy a lunch on Saturday.  After a little run through Amish country, we came on home.

    Many kids are gone today to a Track Meet, so the ones left in Spanish are just finishing up other assignments.  After protecting time so ferociously all year, it always seems that April is just gobbled by Track, Field Trips, Honor Roll parties, Prom, testing...  Well, gobble away.  Truthfully, if I had any days left I would have used one today.  What I really want is a day to sleep.  Doesn't that sound lazy?  Oh, yeah...  I don't even care!


    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    The Important Questions


    So, on the very first day I ever taught, I slid into my car with my 18-inch miniskirt and parked on the north side of the school facing what should have been the sunshine.  Instead, a huge, black cloud crowded the skies.  During first hour and the annual class meetings the power failed, and my new classroom (upstairs in the middle) went totally dark.  I remember my juniors were reading a letter to the class from the teacher they had the year before.  Thoughts and doubts pervaded my mind:  Did they like her better than they did me?  Was the darkness a sign that I was in the wrong job? Would I be able to do this?

    Answers have come in waves through the year.  Through different attitudes and perceptions from nearly every student, parent, and coworker, the message has remained the same with teaching as it does with life.  Some people like us.  Some people don’t.  It is good to be able to tell the difference, but it is vital to like ourselves.  As for the “dark sign?”---- nah…  Even though some days have been very dark indeed, the sparks of light that enter a teacher’s soul are more than plenty to illuminate her years in active service and I’m hoping, the years of retirement.  I will never forget the little glimpses of glory that have come to me during the 37 years of teaching.  Every time a student has been proud, pleased, or appreciative of his work or of another’s, I say a little hallelujah.  Teaching has been the heart of my life.

    Can I do this?  Do we ever, ever, EVER stop asking that?  I still don’t know the answer.  I guess I can.  Now the query shifts to going without school.  Can I do that?  I suppose I can.  So as school ends, I feel no older inside.  I sure don’t wear 18-inch skirts any more, and my girls would get sent home for those.  I loved those girls with all my heart and stay close to so many of my former students in one way or another.  Much, much can be said for living/working an entire career in one spot.  I have a dear one who told me last night it would be good to get out before I taught grandchildren… well, too late.  I have taught three generations of some families and two generations of so many. 

    . . . .( interruption)

    Two girls just ran in to see if my nails were painted blue or lavendar.  They were arguing at an assembly about it and ASKED permission to come ask me an"important question."  These two cuties proceeded to show me their fingernails and to strip off their foxy socks to show me their glorious toes, as well…  Funny, that incident just made me cry a little bit.  I mean, seriously, after I walk out of here May 16th, who will give a flying flip what color my nails are?  


    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Information Worth Remembering

    When People Show You Who They Are, BELIEVE THEM. ----  Maya Angelou

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Beth Moore and "Don't Forget to Remember!"

    I am really enjoying some of the Beth Moore lessons found online at LightSource.  This one is called, "Don't Forget to Remember" and it's really great.  You can check it out HERE

    On my way to school this morning I noticed the violets had erupted in wild abandon in our neighbor's field.  Although these aren't a beloved flower of the row cropper (they think of them as the weeds they are), I love the look of a field of purple.  When I checked my picture, the light was too low from the dawn to really see the violets, so I played a little with Picasa and found this!

    Soooo  happy to embrace the new flowers of spring.  Have a wonderful day...  Storms may be on the way, so wherever you are, be careful!

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Brewing Unrest

    Oh, I know the weather outside today mocks the arrival of spring.  We keep hearing about strong storms in the works for tomorrow...  I am uneasy, restless, sad. I'm not sleeping as well as I could, and the "natives" at school are so very, very restless. I have my doubts about this year's State Testing..

    My dear friend who retired many moons ago told me she noticed such a difference from her students after they found out she was leaving.  I do, too.  They have "written me off" in their minds a bit, and it is very difficult to get them to give me their attention, respect, or best work.  Of course, it is spring, as well, with Drama Production in five days, Prom in 12, and Graduation in about a month...

    I haven't checked too much off my list

    for April yet.  Maybe that's where I should focus, huh?

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Mom's Favorite

    What a nice Easter.  Even though we didn't have a lot of people around our table (just we three), it was a perfectly lovely Easter Sunday.  I had visited with some friends on Saturday, and that is always a nice feeling.  Reconnecting is one of the things I truly look forward to doing.  On the down side, Mom had a really hard fall in the bathroom while I was gone.  My son raced over to help her, was able to pick her up and wait with her a bit before she dismissed him.  She has a lot of bruises on her arms, and she thinks she hurt all ten toes, her hips... She has a big bump on her forehead...  Just hurt all over.

    So, I didn't get around to making her favorite cookies (my plan for her main Easter gift) until dawn time on Sunday.  With her in the next room cuddling under her favorite, warm coverlet, I made these Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies and tinned them up to go with the felted eggs I made during the blizzards, and  a little Jim Shore carved ducklet.  My son's basket was filled with Paleo Bars, Beef Jerky, one little Reese's egg, and a video game.  Mom gave me an Easter tee shirt (early) and a pretty pink bejeweled wind chime angel.


    (You can put little Hershey's Kisses inside the ball for the cookies shown here.  I didn't because Mom likes the pecan flavor better than chocolate! --  Betty Crocker recipe and photo. )

    Mexican Wedding Cakes


    1/2
    cup powdered sugar
    1
    cups butter or margarine, softened
    2
    teaspoons vanilla
    2
    cups  flour
    1
    cup finely chopped nuts
    1/2
    teaspoon salt
    Additional powdered sugar
    1. Heat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar, the butter and vanilla. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.
    2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
    3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Roll in additional powdered sugar while warm. Cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar again.
    Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies   

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    A File for April!

    The last day of vacation is coming to a gorgeous sunset, and the next month and a half await!  Then a new direction arrives with the last day of school.  Right now a new month gives me a palette of fresh hues to tint my winter world...  Even though we had a "little skiff" of snow this morning, I think it is truly Spring.  

    Gramma would have already boiled the first brew of sassafras bark, sweetened it in her rosy china teapot, and invited her granddaughter to high tea...  She maintained a cup of sassafras each spring day helped thin the blood.  It might have been spot on because the pure food act made real sassafras difficult to purchase a few years ago.  

    Nevertheless, I'm adding that practice to my April list of "musts" and "maybes".  I'm choosing ten from my master list.  One every three days will be ambitious with all the things inherent with the winding down of a year and of a lifetime career...

    In no particular order:

    Find, buy, and prepare that delicate, root beer tinted tea ----  maybe just for me as Mom is NOT a fan!
    Give my "chariot" a true spring cleaning inside and out.  Winter's mud has turned it into a clunker for sure!
    Fresh spring linens and a sad farewell to my dearly beloved feather down comforter.  It is about nine years old, and the feathers escaping it are now reaching ridiculousity.
    For the first time since I moved here, I need to put away winter clothing and fluff up summer's attire...
    Blondes of summer unite!  I kid only myself when I don't color this hair...  L'Oreal is calling.
    Prepare a red and white party for my friend's birthday...  I'm ordering her a canister set in white/red trim enamelware and filling each one with a teensy red or white treasure....  Serving red and white foods....  May 2 is the deadline.
    Develop a bedtime ritual (that doesn't include food) to clear my mind and heart for sleep and encouragement.  I am watching Army Wives on Amazon Prime.    I'm on season four....  And loving it.  I'm learning a lot from this, too.
    Pinterest ideas for Mother's Day and execute BEFORE May 1st.
    Find a home for all the Easter decorations and gently nudge this home toward Summer's simplicity and breeziness.
    Take myself (and my gift certificates) out for a little pre-retirement splurge at my dear favorite boutique, Randolph Mercantile...  

    That's it!  I had knee injections today or I'd get busy right now!