Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't forget to read the post below for the Three Small Things! Can you believe tomorrow will be December 1st?!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Three Small Things

I long for a boring life. When I hear folks say, I am so bored, I look at them askance. I have never been bored a moment in my life. True, not all events in my life are earth shattering. Not everything I do is entertaining, life altering or even remarkable. But I am never bored. I find joy in all things, big and little. I play the Pollyanna Glad Game every day - some days out of sheer necessity to save my sanity!

Before I dragged myself out of bed this morning, I laid in the nice, cozy, warm flannel sheets, talking to the Lord and wondering just what this day would unfold. I know for certain that it will not be boring. I have purposed in my heart to find good things and joy in even the most mundane each day. Everyone is thankful at this time of year. We have an air of thankfulness about us that is almost tangible. At the Thanksgiving table we typical thankful thoughts. If we are quite honest, we know we are thankful that at least we get to feast on that fat bird. We are thankful that we have had another year to celebrate our thankfulness with our family and friends. So, here I am a week later, the world is now full of the frenetic Christmas shopping, Christmas traffic and stress of finding the perfect gift for everyone on our lists. If you are active online in any group, you are more than likely stressed about making the perfect little ornament AND getting it out on time.

I am exhorting you to take a few minutes out of your non boring life and find three things that you can do today for someone - even if that is yourself - three small things - that will make you reflect at days end. It doesn't have to be huge. Tiny little things will do. You can take the extra time to make jello with your child, call a friend for a coffee break, plant a few bulbs in a planter for early spring color in your kitchen, send a card out to someone who may need a lift, put the finishing touch on that special gift (even if it is a pretty ribbon or bow) - anything that will help you forget your own little boring problems and perhaps help someone to forget theirs as well. In other words, do something that will help you experience peace. Psalms 122:7-8 says "Peace be within your walls! Peace be within you!"

If you want to take this little image and post it on your blog to encourage others to do the same, let me know. For each one that posts it to their blog, I will put your name in for a drawing for something that I have made. The drawing will be December 6 (just a week away!) I will get the goodie out to you so that you will have it by Christmas.

So think, what 3 teensy, tiny things can you think of? Share some peace.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

May We all have Greatful

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday busy -- ness

Friends, I know y'all must just as busy as I am about right now; I have to work on Wed and Friday so I am trying to get as much done yesterday and today; no time to really update so I will post this here. Be sure you take the quiz. It's quick and fun - and y'all KNOW how much I love fun! Go find out what kind of Holiday Food you are!!!

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Visions of Sugar Plums

I generally do a little bit of entertaining for the Holidays. Mostly with family these days although at the salon I work at we generally offer hot punch and finger foods from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I thought I would share a few of the good recipes with y'all here.

Beggars Purse
(I received this recipe some time ago in one of those wonderful online recipe swaps. I have made it for quick little lunches to carry to work; I will add that if you are going to do any entertaining this year, they make wonderful little appetizers!)
Take 1/2 pound chop meat, two chopped onions and saute' until meat is cooked.
Put this mixture through a food grinder so it comes out like a pasty texture.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and stuff the filo cups. Pinch filo cups closed.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 min. When filo cups are golden brown.

Now for an interesting reaction; bake and then slice this cake to serve. When your guests ask for the recipe, watch their faces when you tell them it is made with tomato soup.

Tomato Soup Cake

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup butter
1 pound light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed tomato soup
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup raisins or chopped dates


Directions for tomato soup cake
Preheat oven to 350 . Into a large bowl sift flour and baking soda,
cinnamon, ground allspice, nutmeg, and ground cloves; set aside. In a large
mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer on high speed, cream butter
until light.
Beat in sugar until light. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Pour
soup into a 2 cup measure; add water to measure 2 cups. Beating on low
speed, add flour mixture to butter and egg mixture (about 1/4 at a time)
alternately with tomato soup mixture, ending with flour mixture. Beat just
until combined. Fold in nuts and raisins or dates; spoon into a greased and
floured 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until cake
tests done. A cake tester or wooden pick should come out clean. Cool cake in
the pan on a rack for about 30 minutes. Turn tomato soup cake out of pan
onto rack to cool completely. Frost tomato soup cake with Cream Cheese
Frosting (my favorite) or your favorite icing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Little Token Treasures from Charleston PLUS attitude adjustment

Hello Folksies

Finally got around to getting some pics of the goodies I found in Charleston. You will soon discover that it takes oh so little to make me happy.

First is a little round table runner that is hand embroidered. A few stains that I think a gentle soak will remedy. On top are a sugar bowl and a sweet little cup and saucer. Remember my favorite 49 cent plate that Larry broke? He ain't messing with these. What I find particularly charming is the sugar bowl has an obvious mismatched top. Suits me to a T !!!

Then I found the most precious embroidered pillow slips! Love the color! These had no stains to be found, no holes, and the cotton is so soft! Yippee for me.

Now for the well needed end of the week attitude adjustment. This morning as I was on the way to work, I had a few minutes to spare and thought I would go through the McD's drive through for my morning cuppa joe - love their coffee; wish we had a drive through starbucks or a starbucks - period - well, on the drive I was listening to NPR radio. I like the news from this station and get my daily dose. For some reason, all the news was hitting me the wrong way; they were talking about the new strain of virus that manifests itself as a cold and is widespread, political news (don't get me started), and etc. . . . Friends, I was ready to go back home and pull the covers back over my head. Alas, I had a full day at the salon and bills to be paid. I pulled into the drive through lane. The car in front of me had a vanity tag that said: HAPI-2-BE. Being a blonde, my first thought was, shouldn't that be HOPI as in Indian? Then I said it out loud and thought, how nice! I looked in the rear view mirror and saw this chick just shaking her SUV. She was getting down back there, grooving to the music in her vehicle or perhaps the voices in her head. Either way, she was thoroughly enjoying herself. Watching her sing and gyrate all by her lonesome made me HAPI-2-BE in that particular spot at this chosen time. I realized that I could turn off the news and start the day all over again. And I did just that. The rest of the day was fantastic. I felt fine as a frog's hair. And that my friends, is pretty durn fine!

A cheerful heart is a good medicine
Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Number 1 Son

You don't have to read this post. I am certain that it will embarrass my son if he were to read this. Thankfully (for me), if there is one thing I am certain of, Paul will not be reading this. So I reckon I can write all sorts of embarrassing things relating to his childhood. I don't think I will though. Let me say that I am proud to be the Mom of this bright young man.

He entered this world in a big hurry - three months preemie - basically sent home when he weighed just a smidgen over 4 pounds. He walked at 10 months and spoke intelligently at 18 months. He still has the curiosity of a kitten.

Gosh Moms, do you remember the absolute awesome love you felt with your first born? There was never a love so grand. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I would actually vacuum while holding him in my arms! Talk about smitten!

So to complete this terribly personal piece, I want to say that I have thanked God each day for presenting me with what I consider the first of many, Many blessings in my life. Happy Birthday, Paul.
I only have one question - how come we don't celebrate Moms on the kids birthday? We're the ones who carried that weight, were exultant in that final push into this world and spent years helping you to become who you are. Oh well. I am a middle child. We middle children generally think this way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Are you ready to Party?

I have been invited to a Prom! Yes, even this old gal who has generous hips that resemble a tutu is gonna go! You can read about it here:
This is a Virtual Vintage Prom. I am inviting YOU to come with me! I never really need a reason to PAR-TAY, just remember I resemble Elaine from Seinfeld when I dance. I personally think the creators of that show had a hidden camera in my house when I clean. I clean best to good music.

Now to go find some good clothes to wear! Hmmmmmmmm Oh and I can't forget my boogie shoes! YEE HAW! Please be sure to visit Natasha at the link above and get all the particulars!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Riding the Whirlwind in from Charleston

Lovely friends,
It is good to be back home. We did such a brief and swift trip to Charleston that my head is still swimming. First off, we decided to go there with DD - she and her BFF were going to an Elton John concert. While Larry and I missed that, DD called from her cell a few times and I got to actually hear him sing Benny and the Jets - or a garbled bit of it anyway. I didn't even get a t-shirt! But she did!!!

The concert was Friday evening, so while the chickadees were having the time of their life, Larry was mapping out our Charleston tour. Now most of you know that my dear man is a history buff; his areas of interest are the Revolutionary War and the Civil War in chief, with a smattering of other historical battles thrown in. Believe me when I tell you that I have been to more one horse towns made famous or infamous because George Washington, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee or any other illustrious general rode through, slept there or . . .

We were both excited to get to see The Hunley. If you are not a CW connoisseur, you may not realize how big this is. I will give you a link here; pictures were not allowed to be taken of it yet. I teared up when I saw it, to think of the men crammed in there, sacrificing their lives for their convictions, well, it is awesome. For those who don't click the link, I will say that The Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. This happened off the Charleston coastline. The Hunley was discovered in the 90's in it's watery grave and was raised a few years later. There has been a movie made about it as well. It was a moving stop for anyone who studies this era. We also visited the historic Magnolia Cemetery where the Hunley crew members are interred.

Everywhere you look in the Charleston area is a treat for your eyes. I could have spent days just walking through the lovely downtown or Rainbow Row area of Charleston. The park there is full of ancient live oaks such as the one pictured above. The houses are famous in themselves, being captured in magazines, movies alike. Charlestonians are used to their homes and streets photographed. The residents are most gracious in the true Southern style.
We also visited Mount Pleasant, driving though Isle of Palms to Fort Moultrie. There was a big re enactment that day - we were unaware of this prior to our visit and couldn't make it - although I sure wish I had a dollar for each time someone asked my man if he was a re enactor. How can you tell folks that he always looks like this. LOL. His picture was taken as often as I took pics of the Rainbow Row. One free lance photographer took a few dozen of my man. What a hoot.

I found a delightful quilt store while there called
People, Places and Quilts

The store was filled with delightful fabrics, patterns and two of the nicest and friendliest not to mention HELPFUL ladies. I would go back and spent an entire day if I could. If you are ever in Charleston or Summerville, SC and love textiles, primitives or just nice folks, go by and see them.
I will get some more pics taken of a few little goodies I did manage to find and also try to get some more pictures of the glorious homes on Rainbow Row up soon; did I mention that I love Charleston???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Off for a jaunt to Charleston SC

Leaving in the wee hours for a trip to Charleston SC! South Carolina is one of my favorite states - I graduated from the University of South Carolina - Go Gamecocks! -
For many years Columbia was Mecca to me. I can't wait to see Charleston again, it has been a long time - looking forward to making some happy memories with Luscious.
See you when I get back!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I am officially ROYAL

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Entirely Miss Reverend Lady Blondie the Decent of Giggleswich Lanken
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Got this new tag after visiting Cathy over at tadpoles and teacups.

Now if you feel as if you are not getting the recognition you deserve, go get yourself a serving of it!

Woke up to freezin temps. It is 20 here and let me tell you, there is definitely frost on the pumpkin this morning! I was just telling some friends at The Humble Arts that I am tempted to get the holiday goodies out of the closet and start playing Christmas music. Hmmm. I wonder if I can dress this little blog house up a bit. Perhaps I can play around after work this evening. The fun of the holidays is the preparations to me.

I share in a cookie swap at Christmas time. My DD and I are already figuring out what new cookies we can test out before we swap. Here is one that I am thinking of trying out:

Payday cookie bars

One of my coworkers makes these as a fundraiser and finally got tired of us asking for them and gave us the recipe...sinfully sweet and delicious!! When I'm done I'm throwing the recipe away so I won't be tempted...

1 yellow cake mix

1 egg

1 cup margarine

2/3 cups light karo syrup

2 t vanilla

1 12 oz package peanutbutter chips

1 10oz package mini marshmallows

2 cups salted peanuts

Combine cake mix, egg and 2/3 cup melted margarine. Pat into greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 325* for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.Melt Karo, vanilla, 1/3 cup margarine and peanutbutter chips. Pour over marshmallow layer. Sprinkle with salted peanuts. Pat lightly. Cool before cutting.

Sounds really good; wonder if I can add m & m's in the christmas colors?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wow, November! Turkey time, falling leaves and Santa?

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Time is flying by so very quickly - it always seems to rush on at this time of year. All of a sudden I feel like I am running behind! I have a full plate as I am certain most of you do as well. I am enjoying the crisp days and brrrr, chilly nights! We haven't started up the woodstove yet, but, I have a feeling if it stays this temp a wee bit longer, the big man may have to start one! I enjoy the scent of the wood lazily curling out of chimneys. Puts me in the mood for more FUN!
Speaking of fun; I sold a few items on HARTS this past week, and just put up a new Santa for y'all to take a peek at. I am right partial to this little guy. Don't forget to look to the right column and click on the place where you see Look for Blondie at . . . ~ Here's a sneak peek:

Off now to get some rum raisin cookies out of the oven. Oh yeah, I wanted to share that recipe with you. Here you go. (See Donna, I told you I would put up a cookie recipe~) This one goes with coffee REAL GOOD!

Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup raisins
2-3 tbsp dark rum
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup plain apple sauce
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats

Combine rum and raisins in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for a few seconds, until just warm. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at least 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cinnamon if using raisins, instead of chocolate chips.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in the egg, followed by the applesauce and the vanilla extract. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the rum-raisin mixture.
Drop tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, flattening each cookie slightly. Bake for about 9-12 min at 375F. Cookies will be light brown at the edges when done.
Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tear Stained Pillow

I promised myself when I started this journey of blogging that I would have no sadness written here. Life is good, it is a gift and I thoroughly enjoy every minute. Well, not every minute perhaps. Because in our good lives, as we enjoy the morsel of minutes, there is an aftertaste of sorrow. This week has had several of those minutes. I have been drowning in tears.

Tuesday night, so late that it was near to ringing in Halloween, a friend of mine lost her youngest child. He was shot by her boyfriend during a domestic dispute. I have told close friends and family that while I was shocked when I received the phone call, I am not surprised. This man whom she called her boyfriend was no friend at all.

My friend had been in this relationship for a few years. I remember when she met this man. I met him within a few days of her meeting him and I knew. Been there, done that. I knew right away that he was trouble. Always go with the gut. But she was ga-ga with his over the top personality and charm. Most of all she was lonely. Abuse predators take advantage of this. For some reason there are women who like the bad boys out there, those who will control your very soul. So I began my journey with her from light hearted friend to a tear stained pillow.

She had worked hard that day ~ standing on one's feet, cutting, coloring, styling, combing hair can be quite tiring. When she came home from work, hungry, exhausted, just wanting to crash, he was there. He was always there. He wouldn't, couldn't keep a job. She was his mule. His meal pass. His puppet.

She wanted to rest, he wanted to talk. About what she doesn't do right. Her youngest son, beautiful ~ full of life's promise, hope and love and only 18 years old ~ was there. He sought to break up the argument and got shot. The bullet was intended for his mother. In that split second he became a martyr. What mother would imagine that. What mother wants that. What mother can live with that.

For any woman who has been or is, a victim of domestic abuse, please ~ please ~ please get help. There are agencies, shelters, pastors, counselors, FRIENDS - real friends that don't smile and say words that tickle your ears - who help with this issue. Listen to them. They care. There are always warning signs. The first berating dialogue, the first raised fist. Leave. They don't need you; they will find another victim. You cannot change them. Just leave. Please, just leave.

Comfort Dolls