Thursday, July 31, 2008

Birthday Makings

My little girl turned 2 this week. In honor of her birthday and my new addiction to sewing, I made her some things for her special day. The first was a scrappy quilt to go on a baby doll bed that belonged to my mom when she was a little girl. The bed had been made by my great uncle for her. I remember playing with the same bed when I was a little girl. It was an ugly brown color and in desperate need of a new paint job. I painted it a pretty pale blue and made a quilt to go on the top of it. I also dug out my own baby doll, Suzie to give to my daughter. Here are some pics of the bed, doll, and Peanut with them.
Baby Bed Happy 2nd Birthday!
I also made her very own apron. I found a great tutorial online. It was so easy. The only thing I did was add a pocket and a bow. I really wish I had put ric-rac around the pocket but Peanut was sick when I made it so I couldn't get to the craft store and I needed to get it done. Next time!
And for her cake I made a cute cow cake. I got the directions from the Family Fun website. I love, love, love that magazine. I need a subscription to it! Thankfully I can get free ideas off the site. Peanut is really into farm things so that is why she got a cow cake! She really liked it. The only candy that I used was Whoppers. The directions called for alot more, but I just used colored frosting instead.
Happy 2nd Birthday!

I really enjoy making cakes, but am glad that I only do it like once a year. Heehee. Here is a picture of the cakes I made for Peanut's 1st birthday.
B-day Party
I am so glad that I am able to make things for my little girl. Homemade things have that extra special feeling to them. I am so grateful to my mama-in-law for getting me going on the sewing. I really didn't think I had it in me. She's pretty cool, that mama-in-law! I love her lots.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I was reading a friend's blog just now and stumbled on this youtube video he found on another blog. Very powerful! Cardboard Testimonies

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zucchini: Blessing or Curse

Yesterday Peanut and I spent the day at Grandpa Gigi's house. (That is my dad.) He had been wanting his back room re-wallpapered. My aunt, his sister helped me. On Wednesday we picked out the wallpaper and I stripped 3/4 of the old wallpaper off the walls. She hung most of the wallpaper and I helped. We also painted the ceiling for him and I painted the 2 doorways. It looked so different and so nice. Needless to say, I am exhausted today. BUT there was work to be done. As much as I longed for a nap during Peanut's naptime, I didn't. Before we left last night, we went to the garden to find that it had been overtaken by zucchinis! Now I love zucchini so it is fine with me. My dad kept asking, "What are you going to do with all of this?" Eat it, of course! He can never figure out why I love to plant zucchini....I love it!

I love to chop it up and saute it in a little butter and seasoning. Yumm-o! I also love zucchini bread. Gigi's favorite way is to bread it in flour and milk and fry in olive oil. We had a sampling of this for supper yesterday. This summer I am going to make Zucchini Relish. I had this once and oh my, it was to die for!

My trunk is full of during naptime, I took the 4 largest ones and went to work. By large, I mean HUGE, ENOURMOUS! I took the skins off and seeded them. Then I used my box grater and shredded them. The 4 large zucchinis yielded 14 cups of shredded zucchini. I used 2 cups to make zucchini muffins and froze the other 12 cups in quantities of 2 cups each. (Notice the coffee in the background. It kept me going!)

I am going to give you the recipe that I used for my muffins and I might add that the salt is important. I got in a hurry and was worried that I wouldn't have enough cinnamon so with my mind on the cinnamon, I forgot to add the salt. They are not bad, but I can tell. Shhhh...don't tell.

Zucchini Muffins
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. SALT
3 t. cinnamon
2 1/2 c. flour
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. chopped pecans (I didn't use these.)
Beat eggs, add sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Combine soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; mix well and add to creamed mixture. Fold in flour, zucchini, and pecans. Stir just until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

We also have added blueberries to our freezer of produce. The freezer is getting full and there is still lots to come in the garden! Yeah for summer!

Now off to see the relatives. My hubby's family is visiting this week. All the cousins are here. Peanut will be in Heaven!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hubby just took Peanut and walked to the library in order to find more Bob Dylan music for himself and to let Peanut pick out new books. I my house!!!!! This has not happened in ages! I adore my daughter but I have at least 45 minutes to myself then it's a whirl of bath and bedtime activities. What should I do? I could sew, read, drink coffee (hot coffee mind you), clean (NOT!), just sit and be, blog (yes, I am doing that...that was my first plan of attack for my solitude)...WAIT...I KNOW......I CAN GO TO THE BATHROOM.......BY MYSELF!!!!! Bye...I'm off to peace and quiet in my bathroom.


I do not watch Rachael Ray all that often but when I do I seem to learn something new. She has taught me the importance of using EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), how to make a basic roux, how to get that blasted papery skin off the garlic clove, and speaking of garlic, the utter importance of using fresh garlic and not something out of a can. She has also taught me the fun phrase, "Yumm-o!" I find lots of easy recipes on her website and found this one yesterday. I made if for supper but was had a nice surprise of being taken out for supper by my hubby's parents, so we ate the yummy meal today. Here is the recipe and it was super easy!

Broken Florentine Lasagna Bake
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
3 c. milk
Salt and pepper
Nutmeg, to taste
1 1/2 c. parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated and divided
1 garlic clove, cracked
1 bunch green chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 lb. spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 box no-boil lasagna

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place a medium pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let it thicken a couple of minutes then stir in about a cup of the Parmigiano. Set the sauce aside. (I didn't have nutmeg so I skipped that.)

Place a large, cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Toss in the cracked clove of garlic and cook for a minute or two to release its aroma and flavor. Add in the chard and wilt it down, about 2 minutes, then wilt in the spinach a few handfuls at a time. Season the greens with salt and pepper. (I couldn't find green chard so I used collards and they worked fine. Rachael says you can mix up the greens.)

Break the pasta sheets into large pieces. Toss them into the skillet and give them a good stir to incorporate them with the greens. Pour the sauce into the skillet, stirring again to evenly incorporate everything. Smooth the top down and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano over top of the lasagna. (I don't have a large cast iron skillet, so I wilted the greens in a big frying pan, then mixed everything together in a 9x13 casserole dish.)

Cover the skillet with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the pan and let it finish uncovered for about 15 more minutes to brown the cheese.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Hate is a strong, strong word. We have been taught all of our lives not to hate, but there is something that I hate. I loathe. I despise. I detest. It is something that crept into my family and robbed me of something very, very precious about 12 years ago. Alzheimer's disease stole my mother from me. She is in the very final stage of this war. There have been so many battles along the way and Alzheimer's has won each and every one of them but it is not the champion. My mom has fought with bravery against this beast. I hate Alzheimer's. I hate the way it allows worry to creep into my mind about my own life, about my daughter's life. I hate the way it stole the life from my mother's eyes and from her body. I hate the way it stole her voice from her. I hate the way it stole all of her abilities to do the very things I take for granted everyday.

She continues to wage war against this disease but it will have the victory in the here and now. My one and only peace is found in the FACT that it will not have the victory in what happens after she takes her final breath. She will be whole. She will know who she is. She will know her family stood beside her till the end. She will know the love that her husband of 50 years (this September) showed her in the final years of her life. She will KNOW! She will see her son who went before her so many years ago and she will hold the precious grandchild that escaped from my own womb this past January. She will KNOW them! Most importantly she will see her Jesus and she will KNOW his plan for this. She will KNOW why she waged war with this disease and be at peace with his plan for her life.

It literally breaks my heart into pieces when I really look at her and see her. She doesn't look like my mother. Her body is just a shell now housing her till she is called home. We are all amazed at how long she continues to fight. When I was pregnant with my daughter over 2 years ago, we didn't think she was going to make it to her birth, but she did. Then we felt like she held on for her first grandchild. Now 2 years have passed and she is still hanging on. Part of me hopes that she can hang on to this September when she and my dad will celebrate 50 years of marriage. A marriage that has been filled with much heart ache...being told you could not have a child, adopting a son only to lose him to leukemia at the age of 13, never fully recovering emotionally from this loss, being diagnosed with something as horrifying as Alzheimers. It has also been filled with joy...having a daughter that you were told you could not have, adopting a son and having so much joy and life filled into 13 years, being able to live your vows of in sickness and in health for others to see.

I don't know why the Lord hasn't taken her home yet. I have been at the point where I am ready for him to take her. She is not here anymore. She is not able to participate in life anymore. I have many regrets about my mom. When she was figuring out that something was wrong, I was busy with college, being engaged, getting married, being married. Those years were a flurry of being busy. I didn't realize the enormity of the situation that was going on with my mom. She never shared with me but I knew something wasn't right. I wish so much that I could go back and just be there with her, hold her hand and tell her how much I love her. I hope she knows that even now. I hope she knows that her baby girl loves her so much and misses her even more.

How often I will the phone to ring and for it to be her to ask me how my day is. How often I want to call her and cry to her about the heartache that I am feeling over this or that. How often I long to see her with my daughter playing. How often I just want to go out for lunch with her. How I just want to see her smile. None of these things are meant to be. There is a plan. It is a plan bigger than mine. Sometimes I wonder about this plan though when I see how Alzheimers has victimized my mother. It is faith that takes over and I have to trust and KNOW that He is in control even now, even when I talk to my mother and there is no sign of her knowing me, no life in her eyes, no voice left in her mouth. There is a plan. I trust that. I have to.


I'm back. I told you I would be. No hubby to steal my computer time. Ha! In my blog break, I scrubbed my cabinet fronts with Murphy's Oil and water. I hate the smell of Murphy's Oil. I don't know why because it is synonymous to the smell of clean. Or is it synonymous with the dying of brain cells from the chemicals in those products. Have any of you tried the green cleaning products? What do you think? What do you like? I've been wanting to try out the Clorox line of Greenworks. I just haven't run out of what I am already using and I do NOT waste cleaning products. I use up every bit of it. I turn the bottle upside down and then shake some water in it to get it ALL! That's so fun when the toothpaste is running out. I'm so joking! I don't do that with the toothpaste but I do squeeze the dickens out of it.

Now onto sewing. The reason I bring up Murphy's and does come together, really. My parents had this old shelf that sat in their bathroom for as long as I can remember. It stored towels and different items. My dad took it out to the shed a few years back to make more room in their tiny bathroom. Yesterday, I stole it from them! I asked first! Ha! I needed somewhere to put my sewing things. Sewing has taken over my dining room. This shelf is perfect. It sits just inside my laundry room and can house my sewing things neatly in cute baskets and such. But after having spent a few years in the shed it needed a good scrubbing down with the Murphy's. Now it is clean and in place. Yeah for me! Now I need to make it cute with doilies and such. Here is a picture for now of what it looks like. And yes, that is the litter box there. Sorry!

As for sewing....I have been have a heyday with those fabric baskets from Pink Penguin's blog. They are so fun to make! It is so fun to pick out the different fabrics to put together. I love vintage fabric so many of mine are made out of the vintage stuff. I have made some others too. I can usually whip one out in an hour after I have everything cut out. I try to cut extra when I'm cutting so I have some ready to go when I don't have time to cut. Aren't they so cute?

I have also been working on a new tote style. It isn't finished so I don't have a picture yet. I'll try to finish it and get a picture up soon. My sewing machine was giving me fits on Friday so I haven't been back at it since. I hope it was just the day and I'm not going to start having problems with it. That would make me sad!

My latest project will involve handmade things for my daughter's 2 year old birthday. I'm excited, but it's a secret, so shhhh...don't tell!


I'm still here. This is the life of a woman whose family owns a laptop and whose hubby needs it all the time to record, mix and build new websites. I made him promise that I could have it all to myself one day this weekend while he is away at work. So now Peanut is asleep and I am blogging! Oh, the therapy that I need from blogging. It really is in a way therapy to me. I have always been an avid journaler. There is just something about getting all the stuff inside out. Those of you who know me well, will know that I am not a great verbal communicator. I am much more apt to sit with my journal and write my thoughts than to tell them to someone. It's in my blood on BOTH sides! Eeeks!

Back to therapy...let's just say that if they were passing out Mommy of the Day awards, I would not be getting one today. I hate it when my patience is running thin and I feel cranky. It seems to always happen when Daddy is gone at work or doing music. Go figure. I tried to be patient, I really did but it is HARD to try when it's just not there. I even took her outside!!!! That always works...but she must have felt my vibe because it didn't. I tried to weed the jungle that is growing in our flowerbeds and all she wanted was for me to hold her. So, I gave up and we came in. I don't know why I am so impatient today.

Speaking of my flowerbeds...why is that the weeds can grow enormous with just a few drops of rain but the flowers need torrents of rain to look nice. I hate weeding....I hate it so much that I often wonder why I bother with flowerbeds. That's easy...because I love flowers. It is definitely a love/hate relationship. Here are some of the beauties that are blooming right now out back

I adore DAISIESSSSSS! Did you know that? One of my favorite movies is You've Got Mail and I love the line that Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) says about them, "Don't you think Daisies are the friendliest flower?" They are! They're so happy. How can you look at a daisy and not smile. I wish they were easy to grow. I seem to have problems growing them. They are doing better this year. But the stupid bugs gravitate to them and eat the pretty petals right off! GRRRR.

I also love Lily of the Valley. What a beautiful scent! Let's see...tulips are my FAVORITE spring flower! I have them in a row along the ugly chain link fence by our driveway. In the spring the chainlink fence is even pretty. Ha!

Friday, July 4, 2008

In the Army Now

I was just checking my facebook account and found this new pic of my bff. She is in Texas for Army basic training. She has had quite a lot happen to her while there....cellulitis in both legs, bitten on the face by a red ant, blisters from army boots, and I just found out she broke something in her tail bone! I got to talk to her on Monday night after she returned from 10 days in the field for training. She had just taken her first shower since they had gone out to the field. She said it was cold water but one of the best showers in her life! She survived the gas chamber with a gas mask and without too! I am completely amazed by her. And I am totally stealing this picture from her.

Right now she is spending a 3 day weekend with her hubby and two beautiful children who drove 20 hours to see her! I am praying that their time together will go ever so slow!

Here is my buddy a Second Lieutenant, she is the one one the right...the other girl is someone she has befriended while in training. Hope she doesn't mind her pic on my blog.