Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Earth Day.... one day late!

What a beautiful sight as we drove into our yard this afternoon. We'd been to Columbia (about 50 miles South). The Japanese Maples, Redbuds, and White Flowering Tree of some kind (like my botanical name for it?) were blazing through the forests. The late sun was darkening the clouds that skirted to the North... It was breath-taking. We slipped around our corner and Voila! Here stands the Redbud planted by Mom and Dad a few years ago.... Redbuds are simply beautiful trees.
On that note, the hunt for green October continues with the UPS man and his plant dropoff today... Who knows what lurks beneath these boxes???? and will show up on cookie sheets here and there before its trip into our ground as yet unprepared!!! eeek.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The newbie "gardener"

For those of you who know me, this will be a surprising post. For some, it may cause you to think you don't like me. As un-American as it sounds, I don't really like to garden. There. I know. Several of you may have already clicked off this site and on to others more in tune with your deep psyches, and I understand. However... to redeem myself, take a look at my new roomies! My mother has a passionate love affair with QVC's gardening shows. Although they assured her they wouldn't dare ship a stem until our zone said it was past frost... here they are... with our weather as unstable as ever. So..... each little pot has been unpacked, trimmed, watered and welcomed by me. Some were fortunate enough to get a "grow-light" aka a Green BULB from Wal-Mart.... They seem to be doing okay. With our official frost free day about three weeks away???? who knows. But to date, we have phlox, hollyhocks, asters.... and 5 giant boxes of bulbs and tubers for day lilies, begonias, and more hollyhock.....
Each plant comes with a little note of instructions and a hopeful comment or two. I insisted we get the violas and pansies tonight because they are just so special. However, the wind is simply horrid, so I'm waiting until tomorrow night. I think pansies will stand a little cold weather.. such sweet little faces.... I love them!
My ancestral "roots" say I would be the ultimate gardener with both grandmothers and a mom who would always choose a day of planting, puttering, and weeding.... .... Perhaps I negotiated my stubborn streak as a child when my books called to me louder than the muggy weeding? Or on those interminable visits to the greenhouse that fogged such oppressive steam I thought I'd pass out... I think I might enjoy it more if I could do it in cold weather.. alas! Flora isn't a wintry gal.... We'll hope for the best.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

As promised

photo from
Norma's Sunshine Lemon Bars


2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter

Cut butter in to dry ingredients. Press into 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.


4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder

Beat filling ingredients together and pour over hot crust. Bake 20-25 minutes more at 350 degrees. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pink Saturday

I don't very often "do" Pink Saturday, but since this is a delightfully rainy Saturday afternoon, I thought we could use a little "sunshine" pink in our lives. Pink was my gramma's favorite color, so it has to be good! I was too late to be included in the Blogland Pink Saturday party over at Beverly's How Sweet The Sound, but go on over and check her out if you love the color pink! and some beautiful photos on our blogsister's sites.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hopeful Friday

"Hope is a thing with feathers.... that perches in the soul...." In honor of Cielo's Hopeful Friday, let's consider these famed lines. I agree. Birds can soar above it all... frozen lakes, hot and dry deserts, rugged terrain... and that is the very factor of hope: the ability to soar above the circumstances that threaten to deaden our daily walk. We are told in Corinthians that these three abide: faith, hope, and charity. We are told that love or charity is the greatest, and that is true, but if we don't currently feel that love (although we always can if we consider God's love for us), we can always have the hope that it is coming tomorrow... I can't live without all three... I have faith, I hope, and I love.... My gramma always said, "Live in hopes; die in despair." She meant that. Living IS hope, and despair is a kind of death. I am hopeful for many things this morning: spring's approach, the end of another school year and summer's activities, time to spend with Mom and with friends, projects to fill my days and nights, artful living to integrate, and the love of my dearest ones @ and family... I wish you all hope for Friday and forever.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The morning after. . .

photograph from

Snoozy little cat. That's me. Yesterday was Doll Club. I realized as the guests were having their refreshments that THE "BLOGGER" had failed to take any pictures of the day. But we had a lovely party with several kinds of refreshments. Carrot Cake, lemon bars, frozen strawberry-banana salad, cheeze ball dip, and cracker/chip things. Guests brought a variety of celebrity dolls and videos to share stories: Mom's John Wayne, my Dorothy Hamill, and everyone from Lucille and Ethel in the candy factory to Shirley Temple to W.C. Fields... Then we watched a video of one of our members on a local tv spotlight of her doll cottage. We had 14 here...

This morning when I woke up, I was sooo sick with a headache, neck ache, back ache... just generally miserable. I called in for one more day and have done a lot of R and R. I'll write more later and share my mom's recipe for Lemon Bars. They were wonderful.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Awesome Easter

My son was here, and we totally had a blast today. Here's our tablescape.
Lots of favorites: fresh broccoli and asparagus, Chinese coleslaw, baked beans, cheezy herb biscuits, pineapple meat loaf, deviled eggs, and cheesecake made from a new NY recipe.
My son and I surprised Mom with a new KitchenAid Mixer.... Is it ever pretty...
I made their cards... Here are the envelopes, and I used the collage in the back as the front. What does the Easter bunny leave for Computer wizards? Hot mustard, candy apples, a little chicken dance bird, and a World of Warcraft Programmers manual.

Our usual Sunday game of Spinner... My son kicked our tushies!!!
Then we watched Bolt, the cartoon. Really cute... What a lovely day. Thank you, Lord!
P>S> Isn't it absolutely great about the rescue of our captain from the pirates? I was sooo excited for him.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm dreaming of a long ago Easter......

What are your Easter childhood memories? Leave me a post with your favorite Easter joys from the past. My family was always on the road for Easter, traveling the 90 miles to Quincy, Illinois, to visit my Great-Aunt Thelma. Before the trip, though, it was a flurry of early morning sunrise services, a sincerely worth-your-while Easter egg hunt sponsored by my Dad. He and Mother always prioritized the eggs with color values to equal money. Even my grown family and I enjoyed this tradition until the last year my Daddy was with us. We often had a little Easter brunch at breakfast time, packed ourselves into seriously pastel A-line coats, white shoes, and often floral purses.... and we drove to see HER!!! I loved holidays at Aunt Thelma's. She had the best recipes, the most delicious pies, meats, and deviled eggs. I loved her steep, steep staircase to her upstairs bedrooms, and I wore the lace off more than one set of ruffly panties "sliding" down the steps... (I was MUCH younger then! haha...)

One Easter morning I carefully positioned the sheet music to "Easter Parade" on my little child-sized piano. I will swear on a lie detector machine to this day there were pink bunny-sized footprints all around that sheet music when I woke up. Are they there now? Ah... brilliantly I believe so.... but we've misplaced the sheet music.

For a while in my teens I came up with a complicated treasure hunt that required skills in math, deductive reasoning, and other "fine" skills I believed I possessed at the time. My family had to solve clues, find another, and yet another clue... They were usually sweet about it, but since the clues were so drawn out and the prizes (provided by me) probably not all that fabulous, that tradition did not "stick."

My son always awakes to an Easter basket, until recently the SAME Easter basket I had.... The gifts are sometimes big, sometimes little... but the true meaning of Easter is never lost. Our family is grateful for the sacrifice and miracle of the Resurrection.

May you and yours have a lovely Easter..... Blessings to you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

SEVEN days off....

I cannot believe how MUCH I am in need of this Easter vacation. I realize the time will fly by. Today is nearly over, but REALLY.... I am so happy to be off for a few days to re-group. Taxes meeting tomorrow, so tonight will be fun.... and my car decided to die in front of a different mechanic's garage on Tuesday night. This time it's a torque converter. I personally don't think my torques should convert, do you? But the car seems to want that in order to move front or back. That's about a grand... What a fun estimate.
I got up about a quarter til five today and started a big crock of vegetable stew in the crockpot. It smells fantastic. My son will be here about six o'clock for his Thursday visit.
Took Mom to the hairdresser and out to lunch at our favorite Crossroads Restaurant. Then we came home through Amish country, and we were blessed with just about the most beautiful little picture ever... But I didn't want to take a photo because I know they don't want it, so we just had to take it with our heart. The Amish school had just let out, and we came upon a "passel" of beautiful children walking down the blacktop... From the back we could see the suspenders crisscrossing bold green, traditional blue, and vivid purple shirts on the little boys. They wore their round straw hats and simply bubbled around the central core of little girls dressed in their greens and blues and wearing the black hooded capes. Little lunch buckets were swirling, and they all waved to us as if they adored us. One little boy just more than waved. He almost exploded with smiles, and he was just so sweet I wanted to snap his image as a mind picture to keep... The men were out plowing with teams of four Belgians or two... One elderly woman was working her little garden with a push plow... It was a busy, rainy-cold afternoon. I imagine they're getting ready to plant potatoes.... we always planted them on Good Friday....
Have a blessed weekend. May you snap some mind photos of your own special families. Talk to you soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My to-do list...

I think I procrastinate. No, I know I do that. Before April 15th I have several MAJOR do's on my list:

1. Get ready for Doll Club at our house. See the cover to our invites? I can check those off my list before I start!!!!! We will have A Hollywood Dolls theme. So that means a. plan and shop for menu/cooking, cook, get out dolls for display, come up with a little program, favors, etc.
2. Type Doll Club program books
3. Get taxes ready and taken to H and R Block!!! eeek
4. Get sub plans ready by Wednesday for the next Wednesday
5. Go to Board meeting about next year
6. Easter dinner/baskets/gifts
7. Online training seminar for End of Course Administrators on Wednesday
8. Errands for Mom
9. I'm sure I'm forgetting something... And since it's 1:30 a.m., all I really think I'll do is crawl into bed and dream.