Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Something I Miss

I love those refillable fountain pens and you can't seem to find them anymore. You know the ones with the lovely golden nib and you put the little ink cartridges in the barrel? Back in the 70's (showing my age here) my girlfriends and I loved to use those for school. Several years ago I found one but have lost it and can't find them anywhere anymore. I sure would like to have one-it would make filling out a shopping list so much fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Is Mom there?"

Even though they live 400 miles away, I know for a fact that two of my girls cooked today. All three girls are good cooks. They are not afraid to try new things and like learning new techniques. I know that their families will always be well-fed and someday when their children leave home, it will be Mom's cooking that brings back fond memories. If they are as lucky as I am they will be paid the highest compliment of all-their children trying to replicate Mom's best dishes.

I know they cooked because at this early stage in learning to cook for a family they invaribly choose some of their favorites from their days at home. But when they lived at home they were eating it and not preparing it. Meals appeared magically at the same time everyday. Desserts were a given. As homeschoolers, they did their lessons with the whirl of the Kitchenaide in the background. I hope this is as happy a memory for them as it is for me. In fact, it is one of my favorite memories. So from time to time they find themselves in a quandary. If their dad answers the phone, there is a bit of small talk but soon the all-important question, "Is Mom there?" I take the phone and the puzzled cook cuts to the chase, "Is evaporated milk the same as sweetened condensed milk?" Today's second important question was "Can I make the pastry for your blackberry cobbler in the food processor?" "Yes, you can."

Maybe these questions don't seem so important as "Is global warming real?" or "Is there life on Mars?" but when you look at the big picture it's the details that grab your attention. Just like your own life, when you look back at it all, it's those samll things like Mom's cobbler or chocolate cake that grab your attention when you need to relive just a small detail.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Second Generation of American Girls


It was yesterday, 1987 to be exact, ( as any mother with grown children knows, 20 years ago WAS yesterday) that my daughters and I poured over our first ever catalog of Pleasant Company offerings. We were all enchanted by the dolls and I made it my mission to squeeze out every extra penny I could so that on Christmas that year, they would awaken to their choices from the catalog. And there began a long love affair with everything American Girl. By the time the 3rd daughter left home, there was at least 7 of these dolls in residence. But things had changed. Where as before the dolls and all their accompanying accessories had held places of honor in their respective owner's rooms, the entire lot had been relegated to plastic storage boxes.

A month ago, in a cleaning frenzy, I came across the boxes and opened them. The years just melted away as I took them out, attempted to smooth their now frazzled locks, and made note of very loose arms and legs. The box also contained various costumes and various accessories all now thrown together. I sorted as best I could each daughter's bits and pieces to give them when I saw them. As each now has a daughter, I couldn't wait to pass these heirloom quality playthings down.

The first to receive her mother's childhood relics was my almost 5 year old granddaughter Hilary. I knew that she was not near the reccomended age for the doll, but just couldn't resist. She was immediately enchanted and adopted Felicity as her very own; frazzled hair, loose legs and all. It was only a matter of days before she began asking for a sister for Felicity. Once again ignoring the age reccomendation, I excitedly ordered Kit because with her bobbed hair and freckles she bears a close resemblance to our Hilary.

Today was the 5th birthday and Kit was delivered to her mother. She was so excited and immediately ran to her room to show Felicity her new sister. She requested a photo shoot resulting in lots of blurry pictures of the sisters and their delighted mom. I like this one because it shows the contrast between a much-loved doll and one just embarking on her journey of childhood fantasies. It's a little sad to think that someday she, too, will end up stored away in a box. But only for safe keeping I like to think.
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Book Review


After years of only having the three major networks on our television, my husband finally succumbed to the satelite t.v. ads and signed us up. Now we have hundreds of channels not worth watching. I must admit I do indulge a cooking show or two. My favorite by far is Paula Deen's Home Cooking. And not because of the food she dishes up. I think the woman must have a death wish the way she deep fries and butters everything she makes. I like her because she is just so darn entertaining. As she cooks she throws out a dash of southern humour or relates a story from her life and just generally chats it up with her audience. Sometimes it seems as tho she really forgets that the cameras are rolling.

So when I learned she had written a book about her life I really wanted to read it. I don't know what I expected but let me tell you she has had a life of ups and downs and she doesn't hold anything back. Which is the way to do it I guess. Get out there and tell your story before those who dislike you get the pleasure.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was that she chose to write it in her southern vernacular. If I am reading fiction I don't mind when an author employs this technique as it adds to character development. But in this case it just makes for awkward reading at times.

Unrelated to the book but on the topic of Paula Deen. Recently I was watching my new granddaughter while her mother ran errands. I was watching Paula's show and the baby was fussy. In an attempt to distract her I began mimicking Paula's VERY southern accent. Now I will be the first to tell you that I speak with a southern tongue myself. But I always imagined it to be soft and slightly genteel to the ear. As I was doing my Paula impression, my daughter arrives home and says, "Oh you're watching Paula Deen! All my friends think you sound just like her!" My kids definitly keep me humble.
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Friday, August 17, 2007

Isn't it Beautiful!

Well, well, well, just look at me?! Aren't I pretty now? I am as pleased as punch with my make-over. My sweet friend Amy from Inspireco did this for me! I just love it and her too! If you have never been to her website, you should go. It is chock full of some of the cutest and sweetest stuff to inspire you!

And speaking of sweet stuff: Amy and I are cooking up something really cute and really sweet! But you have to be patient! When it is ready I'll tell you and you can go to her site and see for yourself! Don't you just love surprises?......

Isn't it Beautiful!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Big Old Parrot

I was visiting with my 5 year old granddaughter last night and our conversation turned to her Halloween costume. Soon we will make our trek to the fabric store to choose a pattern and fabric and anything else her heart desires. I asked her what she wanted to be this year and she said, "I want to be a princess and, Lovie, (her name for me) you can be my big old parrot." To which I replied, "And yes! When people ask you who I am you can say I am your grandparrot!" Sorry, but it was too good to pass up.

I have half a mind to make a parrot costume in an XL ladies size. I've been working out the details and think I can do it fairly easily. We'll see.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I swear there must be a sign outside my house that says "Sucker lives here". It's only visable to stray dogs and cats in need of a home. My husband and I were sitting on our front porch last week when we heard a persistant "yip! yip". Across the road prancing about was this black puppy. Of course, I called to him and of course, he came running. The first thing I said as he dashed my direction was, "You little jasper! Where did you come from?" Solid black and all legs, he looks to be a Lab with a good dash of hound thrown in. His feet are huge and webbed and he delights in water from any source. I really don't need a dog I tell myself as I buy puppy food, bones and a collar. I really don't need a puppy I tell myself as I stop at the vet for flea medication. I really don't need a puppy I tell myself as I bathe him and rub him down. I really don't need a puppy as he falls asleep in my lap. I guess I really need a puppy I tell myself as I make an appointment for shots and a check-up.
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Happy by Post

See all these little bits and bobbles? They came in to me by post from my youngest daughter. Isn't that great? In our family we like to give each other little gifts for no reason at all-just to make the recepient happy. So we call these gifts "happies" It was my niece who coined the phrase first. This one came to me this week all the way from Dahlgren, VA and I love everything in it. The only thing that could have made it better is if my daughter and granddaughter had also been in the package. Oh well, I shouldn't be greedy I guess. Grown-up daughters do the nicest things.

On the same day that I received this package, my middle daughter, who lives nearby showed up at the quilt shop where I work with beautifully decorated cupcakes for us all. And for me she had packed one in its own special cute box. Work came to a halt for everyone as we perked a pot of coffee and gathered at the work table to have a pleasant little break and ooh and awe over the drifts of pink buttercream dazzling with edible glitter. I was tickled pink as everyone enjoyed the cupcakes and pilfered through my box of happies that were delivered to me at work. Yes siree, my girls are grand.
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Monday, August 6, 2007

Oops! Or One Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

O.k. So I finally figured out how to post pictures on here and am jumping up and down with glee and then I see my post. Words divided in crazy places that would drive an English teacher to double negatives and half of the ingredients required for the cobbler nowhere to be seen. The crazy word divides you'll just have to overlook. But here's the rest of the cobbler.

1/2 c. butter (yes there are 2 sticks in the recipe)

1/3c. milk, room temp.

2c. blackberries

Blackberry Cobbler

Aren't these beautiful? They were picked for me by my husband from a berry thicket in our backyard. Such a sweetie. He knows I love blackberries and he spent several sweaty, thorny hours picking these for me. Of course, I had to make a cobbler using my favorite recipe. A sure way to get my kids over here is to call them up and tell them I am making a cobbler. Especially my son-in-law. He loves my cobbler.

You can also use frozen berries for this recipe if the cobbler craving hits you in the dead of winter.

1/2 c. butter, melted 1/2 c. butter

1 c. sugar 1/3 c. milk room temp.

1 c. water 2 c. blackberries

1-1/2 c. self-rising flour

Place melted butter in a 9"x9" baking dish. In a saucepan, heat sugar and water until sugar dissolves; set aside. In a separate bowl, cut flour and butter together until coarse crumbs form. Add milk and stir until dough leaves sides of bowl; roll out into a rectangle. Spread dough with berries, and roll up jelly roll-style. Cut into 1-1/2 inch slices. Place in pan on top of melted butter. Pour the sugar water over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

About the flour: I tried substituting plain flour with leavening added and it did not work. Tasted blech. White Lily is the very best self-rising flour but you may not be able to get that outside the South. Just use what you can find.

I also mix my dough in the food processor. Super quick and perfect every time.

Serve with ice cream.
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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Now There are Three

We had been expecting her for a week or so and loved her for months. Finally, on July 22 our third granddaughter made her appearance. When our daughter called and said she was in the hospital, we packed up and spent the next 7 hrs. driving north to meet our newest princess. She did not disappoint. Beautiful, healthy, and very loved. Welcome to the world Sophia Catherine. You share our hearts with Isabella Monroe and Hilary Ellen. There's always room for one more!

I loved being with them but had to head home. I missed my "stuff" as any crafter/creater will understand. Plus, granddaughter Hilary lives nearby and I needed to see her too. As I drove and listened and sang along to Broadway showtunes on my Sirius radio (LOVE my satelite radio!) I was dreaming up some cute p.j. designs to sew up and sell at a friend's online shop. I think they will be very cute and will give more details and where to buy when they are finished.

After arriving home, I sat down in my living room and just enjoyed my surroundings and thought up some little things I could do to give the room a boost. Dusting was number on that list. Then I added a huge ribbon board I had made for my bedroom that just wasn't working there but that I thought would be perfect in the living room. Now to add pix of the grandprincesses and other bits of stuff. I hope that I can figure out how to add pictures to my blog soon. I want to show some of my stuff.