Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

I wish each of my online friends the most joyous of Christmases this year.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Let me introduce you

I want to take this space tonite to introduce you to a very special friend of mine.  Her name is Jill.  I met Jill when I first got online about 12 years ago.  Like all good friends, we get caught up in real life and send each other forwards, giggles, have had a few heart to hearts and I have to say that she has added much joy to my life in the last decade.  She is multi talented and probably about the most giving person I have ever been privileged to know.  If she has it, you need it, you got it. The kind of friend that sends you real honest to goodness snail mail when you least expect it but most need it.  Can you tell I just loves me some Jill?  Like a good secret that you can't wait to tell, I am sharing her with you.
Jill has just started a blog.  And I know it will be a fun one to read.  But her first real post has a special urgency to it.  Please take a moment, go and visit Jill.  And then go back and visit her again in the future.  You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Shocking to Think of - Really!

I received this as a forward.  I am not even going to try to snopes it.  It just makes so much sense and is shocking when I think of it.

Have you ever noticed girls who set their handbags on public toilet floors, then go
directly to their dining tables and set it on the
Happens a lot!
   It's not always the 'restaurant food' that causes stomach distress. Sometimes
'what you don't know will hurt you'!

Read on.............
Mom got so upset when guests
came in the door and plopped their handbags down on the counter where she was cooking or setting up food. She always said that handbags are really dirty, because of where they have been.

It's something just about every woman carries with them. While we may know what's inside our handbags, do you have any idea what's on the outside?
Women carry handbags everywhere; from the office to public toilets to the floor of the car. Most women won't be caught without their handbags, but did you ever stop to think about where your handbag goes during the day.

'I drive a school bus, so my handbag has been on the floor of the bus a lot,' says one woman. 'On the floor of my car, and in toilets.'
'I put my handbag in grocery shopping carts and on the floor of the toilet,' says another woman 'and of course in my home which should be clean.'

We decided to find out if handbags
harbour a lot of bacteria. We learned how to test them at Nelson Laboratories in Salt Lake , and then we set out to test the average woman's handbag.

Most women told us they didn't stop to think about what was on the bottom of their handbag. Most said at home they usually set their handbags on top of kitchen tables and counters where food is prepared. Most of the ladies we talked to told us they wouldn't be surprised if their handbags were at least a little bit dirty. 

It turns out handbags are so surprisingly dirty, even the microbiologist who tested them was shocked.

Microbiologist Amy Karen of Nelson Labs says nearly all of the handbags tested were not only high in bacteria, but high in harmful kinds of bacteria. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections, staphylococcus aurous can cause serious skin infections, and salmonella and e-coli found on the handbags could make people very sick.

In one sampling, four out of five handbags tested positive for salmonella, and that's not the worst of it. 'There is faecal contamination on the handbags' says Amy. Leather or vinyl handbags tended to be cleaner than cloth handbags, and lifestyle seemed to play a role.... People with kids tended to have dirtier handbags than those without, with one exception.

The handbag of one single woman who frequented nightclubs had one of the worst contaminations of all. 'Some type of faeces, or possibly vomit' says Amy.

So the moral of this story is that your handbag won't kill you, but it does have the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. Use hooks to hang your handbag at home and in toilets, and don't put it on your desk, a restaurant table, or on your kitchen countertop. 

Experts say you should think of your handbag the same way you would a pair of shoes. 'If you think about putting a pair of shoes on your countertops, that's the same thing you're doing when you put your handbag on the countertops.'
Your handbag has gone where individuals before you have walked, sat, sneezed, coughed, spat, urinated, emptied bowels,

Do you really want to bring that home with you? The microbiologists at Nelson also said cleaning a handbag will help. Wash cloth handbags and use leather cleaner to clean the
bottom of leather handbags. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November: Kick off time for celebration seasons

Hello Folksies!
It's Veteran's Day!  Hope that everyone who reads this remembers to wave a flag and thank a Veteran for their loving service to our great nation.  God Bless America!

November always heralds the kick off for Christmas. Ever notice that in the past few years you are hearing Christmas songs on the tv before Halloween? Good grief. As if I don't have enough stress already! Look at it from my point of view. For the next few months it is non stop celebrating. It begins with Mr. Luscious and his birthday.
Then a few days later comes my dear sweet Mommy's birthday: Here they are last year:

Last year Mom spent most of it very ill for months on end. This year she is doing much better and we are planning an all out big celebration of good health.

Then comes my oldest one's birthday:

Since he is a newlywed, I am certain his birthday will be extra special in the celebrating department this year.

Then comes my birthday. Oh yeah, we won't mention the candles on my cake:
Following closely on that day is

Then right after that is my wonderful SIL's birthday:

Then shortly after that is Baby Girl's day

How can anyone not want to celebrate my Daddy's birthday! He's my own personal hero.  WWII would have not been won had it not been for my dear daddy!

The flurry of birthday celebrations end with Middle Son's birthday:

Once we get done with all that partying, it is a quiet few months.  But my clan always looks for a reason to party.  After all, everyday is someone's birthday.  Yep, we like having un birthday parties round here!  Pick out a date, bake a cake, make a pot of food and it's a party here. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's in a name?

We all know that Shakespeare said that a rose by any other name would still smell sweet. The Word of God tells us that : A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (proverbs 22:1)
Well sir, I was raised to keep my name good and clean. It was always the parting words of my parents - remember to keep your name clean. I guess back then it meant all sorts of different things. I mean, we all know folks who have a "name". There was that girl in junior high who got in "trouble". Her name became Mud.
And that fellow in high school who accidentally on purpose put sugar in the principal's gas tank. His name became Delinquent and was soon given a number instead of a name by the State D.O.C.
We are given our name by our parents and I don't know very many folks who would have chosen their own name to be what was given them. Take me for example. My birthname is Beverly. Kinda rolls off the tongue okay, I reckon. Never heard a song about a Beverly. It doesn't rhyme with anything.

My dear favorite uncle nicknamed me Blondie when I was a little gal in pig tails. He would holler out HEY BLONDIE! just like Dagwood did on the radio and tv show.

I am more of a Blondie than a Beverly. Why in the world did my folks decide that I would be a Beverly. I was named after my Mother's baby sister, who died at 14 years old, while in her sleep from rheumatic fever. It wasn't too many years later that I came along and the folks decided to show honor to her. When I was a little one and was told that I was named after a little girl that died, well, you know me and my great imagination. I was afraid to sleep for years! Note to readers: if you name your child after a dead relation, make sure they lived a long life.

Since we are talking about kids and names, I will state here that I named all my children after my heros in the Bible. I have a Paul, Joshua and a Sarah. I think their names suit them. I was so caught up when I had Joshua, that I named him Joshua Isaac David. If I could've fit a Solomon in there, I would've. His name goes before him as a testimony of sorts and it's a pretty stiff name to live up to.
Speaking of living up to names - when you hear certain names, you know exactly who and what they are.
Hitler, Bundy, Dahmer, Gacey, anathemas all . Then there are the folks in town - every small town has them. In all honesty, big towns have them as well, you just don't realize they may be your neighbor. I am not speaking of serial killers or criminals here. These are the ones that your parents and grandparents warned you about:
You're gonna wind up like those good for nuthin' Joneses. Why, they never knew how to hit a lick at a snake. In fact, I don't think they know how to find their backside with both hands.
These folks were the scourge. Everyone single one them was a born bad seed. You know how that Muckenfuss clan is. They were born to make a fuss. Some folks just live up to their name.

So what's in a name? The only thing I really care about is that my name is written in the Lambs Book of Life.
(Revelation 21:27) That regardless of what my name is here on this planet, how many ways folks can mispronounce names, change their name, misspell names, my name will never be forgotten.


The above post is for Sarah. She always bugs the snot out of me with the most inane questions, like, why did you name me Sarah? I hope I have explained this thoroughly enough for you. My brain has a tendency to do random things like get caught up on one thought and then chasing another one down.

Thanks also to Sarah for another award.

I'm supposed to post 7 honest things. I think I just did. I mean, my even remembering the last name Muckenfuss should count for at least 3 of those. Everything else comes from the scrap pile of my mind. Yep. I think I could count that pile above as about 7 things you can figure out about me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm impressed

My own honeychile daughter gave me this blogging award. I guess it's because I'm her Mom. Certainly not because I have been especially creative in my blogging recently. Sorry to have been so busy with other things lately.
I'm supposed to tell 7 things that you don't know about me? Good grief, that would take forever to figure out. I will attempt it here:
1. I have a degree in English from the University of South Carolina
2. I learned to speed read years ago.
3. I love to read true crime stories
4. I always put a bit of coffee in my spaghetti sauce to "age" it. (hehehe, for you primmers out there, you will appreciate that one.)
5. I always have more than one crafting project going on at the same time
6. Fall is my favorite season
7. I hate housework

Okay, now I am supposed to pass this one to 7 blogging friends and they are to post this award to their site.
I will get the mail out to you as soon as I figure out who to send this one to!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Welcome Fall

Okay, so it October 2 already. I am having a hard time keeping up with time in general!
Where are all the days flying off to? And why can't I catch up to them?!

The mornings and evenings have taken to being chilly. The leaves will soon begin their
colorful display before they fall to the ground. I love Fall. It has always been my favorite
season. I like the other seasons fine. Well, I don't really enjoy the frigid weather of deep winter,
I enjoy spring and the promise of fresh flowers, the scent of freshly mowed grass, the feel of
the dirt in my hands in planning and planting for summer.

But Fall. Harvest time. The smell of woodstoves burning the chill off is a comfort to me.
I like bonfires, sweater weather and high school football games on Friday nights.
I like hot chocolate, airing out the handmade quilts to snuggle under.
I enjoy watching the squirrels scurrying around gathering their food for the winter.
I notice the birds at my feeder are even more attentive, fattening themselves up.

I like Fall.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Baby Girl

Wow, talk about something good happening. Today has been the anniversary of my baby girl, Sarah and her own quiet man, Jason. I told her I would blog about it and put Dannys Song on. Now, don't go getting excited folksies. She ain't pregnant with a son. She isn't even pregnant at this time. (y'all will be the first to know after me!) But she is devoted to this sweet love song; especially the line that goes "Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey" . I feel that one with you, Sayrah.

I know we all love our kids to pieces, even though they can drive us to distraction. Sarah is my own personal little ray of sunshine. I like to think that she has brightened the last three years for her hubs. I would like to thank him every day for keeping her happy, too.

Love is blind. Yep, it sure is. When they were just starting to date, Sarah got sick as the proverbial dog. I think she had the sixth disease or something like that. Seriously. She was really really sick. She looked as bad as she felt. That didn't stop our boy Jason from wanting to be next to her. Thankfully, he didn't catch what she had but I knew then that any guy that thinks a woman looking at her absolute worst looked good - well, that gave him some points in my book.

So happy anniversary, baby. Got you on my mind.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I received this email today: I don't get political too often but this just makes my blood boil.

After receiving over 5,400 letters from community members, the Department of Labor released their long-awaited report on goods produced by child labor and forced labor today. Thank you all for urging DOL to release this important tool for consumers!

This list was mandated by anti-trafficking legislation back in 2005, but the Bush administration dragged their feet for years. Now, thanks to your voices and the hard work of NGOs like Polaris Project and the International Labor Rights Forum, it's finally here. This list is a huge boon for consumers who want to choose slave-free products. With this list, we as consumers can finally hold companies and countries accountable for the slavery they use in making the goods we buy, and we can decisively take action to prevent slavery in the production of consumer goods. Today, we as consumers are more powerful to end slavery than ever before. And you, through, helped make that happen.

The report tops out at a daunting 194 pages, and can be read in it's entirety here. But let's face it -- no one wants to read 194 page government report, no matter how useful it may be. So here are some of the highlights I've found in my initial read-through:

  • The most common goods which have significant incidence of forced and/or child labor are cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, coffee, rice, and cocoa in agriculture; bricks, garments, carpets, and footwear in manufacturing; and gold and coal in mined or quarried goods.
  • 122 goods in 58 countries are produced with a significant incidence of forced labor, child labor, or both.
  • More goods were found to be made with child labor than forced labor.

There's a long, detailed list that's a little blandly formatted, but it indicates whether goods in a certain country are made with child labor, forced labor, or both. It's important to keep in mind this doesn't mean all goods from that sector in that country were produced with exploitation. Here are some of the worst offenders for forced labor or slavery specifically:

  • Bolivia: nuts, cattle, corn, and sugar
  • Burma: bamboo, beans, bricks, jade, nuts, rice rubber, rubies, sesame, shrimp, sugarcane, sunflowers, and teak
  • China: artificial flowers, bricks, Christmas decorations, coal, cotton, electronics, garments, footwear, fireworks, nails, and toys
  • India: bricks, carpets, cottonseed, textiles, and garments
  • Nepal: bricks, carpets, textiles, and stones
  • North Korea: bricks, cement, coal, gold, iron, and textiles
  • Pakistan: bricks, carpet, coal, cotton, sugar, and wheat

I'm sure in the coming weeks and months there will be additional levels of analysis of the data the DOL has collected. For example, I would be extremely interested in the most natural next step -- finding out what companies source problem products from problem countries and ship them to the U.S. I'd also be interested in seeing the breakdown for services, which is not included in this report. Hopefully, we can look forward to that level of analysis coming soon. And if not, I might just go ahead and do it myself.

In the meantime, this report gives consumers a lot to keep in mind as they try and shop responsibly. I know I'll be checking to see if my Christmas decorations were made in China a little more closely this year.

While it is wonderful to have the proof in writing that this has been going on, what I really want to know is WHY ARE WE STILL DOING BUSINESS WITH THESE COUNTRIES?! Wake up America. Let your elected officials know that this is unacceptable, immoral and totally against our American heritage of liberty. After all, do all these things NEED to be imported? Can't we manufacture these items here and thereby stimulate the economy? I guess I just don't understand importance of having no middle class in America any longer. Perhaps we are destined to be a third world nation ourself. C'mon, get real! Write and call your elected officials and let your voice be heard about slave labor, child labor, American made products, etc.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Biggest Bestest Chocolate Chip Recipe ~ I promise!

Hold the presses! Shout it out LOUD! I have found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe! Huzzah!
I was wanting to make some soft cookies. Googling resulted in this recipe:
Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My former Mother in Law was a great cook. Whenever I would ask her for a recipe, she would write it out for me and leave certain ingredients out - I finally figured out on purpose. When I asked her why mine meal didn't taste like hers, she would giggle and say, "w-e-e-l-l-l-l-l, I probably left out the this or that." Why? Like, was she a top secret chef? You betcha I won't do that to anyone. That is why I HAD to share my newest joy of cooking with you!

These are so absolutely easy to do; and the wonderful thing is this: it doesn't make you jump through hoops and have lots of ingredients. Elizabeth, whoever and wherever you are, I sit at your feet and beg for more. More yummy recipes that you have perfected for those of us who have an insatiable sweet tooth.

Now folksies, this is THE ONE. Go for it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's a done deal

Back home from the Big City

We have recently just returned from a week long journey to Minneapolis, or the North Country as we are calling it. My oldest son, Paul, got married on Friday, August 14th to a lovely, lovely girl, Amber.

We drove for various reasons, Luscious and I, along with my other two adult children, Joshua and Sarah. What a long drive! Just under 1300 miles in two days to get there and then the two day trip back. My back shall never be the same.

We were able to enjoy the countryside of states that we have never been to before. At least what one can enjoy from an interstate! We passed through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and finally into Minnesota.

We were quite impressed with the corn and soybean fields in Indiana and Illinois. Oh and yes, Ohio had quite a few as well. Made us proud of our farmers. That's some serious farming! I would imagine that the combines are larger than my house.

Once we arrived in Minneapolis, I was excited to meet a few online friends in person. I surprised Roseann of Rosebud's Cottage with a visit:

Roseann was in the throes of a state-wide shop hop that was ending last week. Any of y'all that are anywhere in the vicinity of Minneapolis/St Paul, make sure you head on over to her shop. It is a delightful blend of folk artsy heaven. She is such a knowledgeable quilter.

I was in sensory overload, wanting not only to ooh and aah over every nook and cranny there, but to feel the fabric. Heaven couldn't be better, I am convinced. Thank you Roseann, for your graciousness at being sideswiped with surprise.

Then we also got to meet another online bud, Maureen. Luscious was quite smitten with this outgoing, Minnesota Friendly gal. I would drive the two days up there just to spend more time with her.

We stayed at a great hotel, The Residence Inn, in Roseville. A great suite with two bedrooms, two baths, a pull out sofa in the living room area and kitchenette. Not that I was doing any cooking. I was on vakay! The hotel had a tremendous breakfast bar each morning and a social hour in the evening. Now, call me country, call me nuts, but the kids and I had to take pics of the hallway.
Does it not remind you of a more narrow version of the Outlook from The Shining? I swear to goodness we kept waiting to see a little kid on a tricycle muttering "redrum, redrum" or dark haired twins wanting to play. Shudder.

We had some pre-nup events to attend, new family to meet - the festivities were full and hectic. Finally Friday arrived and I was able to get a few pics. Can't wait to see the official wedding pictures.

The rehearsal dinner was at a nice place called Dixie. I am assuming that it was chosen in deference to Paul's roots in the South.
DD Sarah with her big brother, Paul. Sarah read from ICorinthians 13 at the wedding.

The couple got married at Como Park, which for those like myself, have never visited, well, let me say this. Minneapolis/St Paul has much to be proud of. The park itself is filled with a zoo, amusement rides, picnic areas and a gorgeous botanical garden area. I wished that I had enough time to really do the tourist thing. I was wowed.

(the groom showing part of the inside of the conservatory)

the outside of the conservatory

Now for the wedding. Are you sick of my pictures yet?

The lovely bride being escorted to her waiting groom. I fell in love with her parents. They were so very gracious. My son is most fortunate to marry into this family.

The vows

Mr and Mrs at long last. Whew!

Let's eat some of this delicious cake! It was yummy; carrot cake. But look at the design. Amber was meticulous in her choices. Classy girl.

Josh and Juli hamming it up at the reception. Juli flew in from California to serve in the wedding party as one of the "best man" position.

Paul and his little ring bearer, Micah.

Had to submit this adorable pic of Micah
Paul was tickled to see Thom and Margo there. They flew in from Williamsburg, Va for the fete. Margo has been my friend FOREVER and knew Paul before he was born.
Brothers - Paul and Josh. Josh was a little teary eyed after the ceremony. He may be sentimental but he is a lionheart. Don't worry, little brother, you're next!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lucky Me

I know it has been a month! since I posted, folksies. It isn't that I don't think about blogging every day; I truly do. I am just having problems with time management. Sigh. But the thing I just HAD to share with you is this:

A few months ago I signed on for a pincushion swap. It was secret sister style, so no one knew who was creating for who. I received my wonderful surprise pincushion yesterday! Created by Linda Shiffer , it is a great size and great weight. I am already sticking pins in it Linda! She also was creative and frugal enough (my kinda gal) to make a scissor holder from the tongue of the shoe! She has spent an enormous amount of time creatively decoupaging, snipping, embroidering, painting this most treasured work of art.
Swaps with strangers don't always work out well, although most swaps make new friends out of everyone. Thanks to Kim Pebley for hosting this one.

On another front, I am getting ready to head to Minnesota in a week. My oldest son is getting married to a lovely gal. Having never been to the midwest before, I am looking forward to the road trip.

The Humble Arts is already up for the month and we are selling fast! Please come on over and take a peek at what's left! You are sure to find something you like. If you haven't already signed up for our newsletter, you can email me to put you on it or sign up on the website.
Click Here to come in and visit

I have been busy creating Halloween goodies for a local store. It has turned into a mutually fun love affair of sorts. The owners love everything I create and in turn, I love them for that! I have been busy creating headless men, full size witches, lots of ornies for halloween trees and banners, gourd head folks and etc. That is one of the reasons I have not been able to sit at the computer for very long ~

I am hoping to be back here SOOOOOON. Now head on over to The Humble Arts! My sisters have a habit of always leaving the light on!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We've Lost our way

My mother's grandfather was from Denmark. His mother was a Russian Jew who left Russia with her family because of one of the purges. My Great Granddad arrived in the US just before the turn of the century. He was a sculptor. Living in Perth Amboy NJ, he worked for a terra cotta factory, sculpted statues, ornate tiles, and headmarkers. Here is one of his works and info from a book:

In 1895 the Danish and Scandinavian population of Perth Amboy commissioned Nels Nielsen Alling (1861-1955), a Danish sculptor, to create the statue of George Washington. It was to express pride and love for their adopted country. The funds were raised within the Scandinavian community and the statue was dedicated on 2 September 1895. Alling worked on the statue at the the NJ Terra Cotta Co in Perth Amboy

I have always been proud to be an American. My northern granny would continue with the oral tradition of telling each of her grands their family heritage - who was who and etc. We used to think she was nuts when she told us we were related to the Pilgrims and George Washington. Come to find out when one of my Uncles and Cousin did the genelogy, we ARE. Of course, George Washington had no children. But his brother did. Naturally, my relation was a servant, so we were born on the wrong side of the sheets as my granny would say.

I was raised to believe that right was might. That two wrongs didn't make a right. To always help out those with need. Never pick on the little guy. I still believe that way. Somewhere, we have lost our way. Everyone feels entitled. This country didn't start out helping everyone. The idea was that freedom meant being able to be able to help yourself! Not to have a big government do everything for you. And certainly to have freedom from taxation without representation. Of the people for the people, by the people. Somehow we have lost our way.

I wonder what my grandparents and the rest of my family would think if they were alive today and could read the papers, internet, hear the news. Would they even recognize The United States of America?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This and that and Winners!

Hello Folksies

Well, another month has bit the dust. We are officially half way through the year - quick- wash my mouth out! I can't believe I can be saying that and be telling the truth! Wellsir, in just a few days everyone will be shooting off fireworks, grilling out hot dogs, jumping in a pool, and in general having fun in the summertime. You know, enjoying their freedom. Something that we don't know how to live without. We take for granted that we have the freedom in this great country to travel where we want, worship how we desire, and the real fun part - we have freedom of speech. I like speaking my mind. I am a big letter writer. And in the recent decade of internet explosion, I have become a big email writer. I keep in touch with my Congressman, Senators and other Representatives. I let them know exactly how I think and feel about every bill that they are considering.

I read a book some years ago by John Whitehead. It was called The Stealing of America and it was about how many rights we lose each year because we choose to stay ignorant of what is going on around us. How could we EVER improve upon that sacred document - The Constitution?! If you really read the Constitution, you would see that it covers all the bases - as if our forefathers had knowledge of what would be in the future. They may have not have a clue about the radios, tvs, computers - but they sure knew human nature! Folks, we don't need new and more laws. We don't need new amendments. We need to use our heads!

If I had some real clout and some real money behind it, I would start a new political party called The Common Sense Party. I just don't see enough of that being spoken of in our state and national capitols.
I highly recommend that everyone get to know all sides of every bill being passed. In today's electronic age there is NO excuse for ignorance.

Now on to some real fun stuff! The Humble Arts is now available with their July edition. Lots of fun stuff there. My personal offering is:

Now she is as ugly as a witch should be I know, but ain't she cute? Can't help but thow some whimsy into all my clay creations. I sure would be proud if y'all would accept my invitation to visit my friends and I over at The Humble Arts.

Now for the other fun part - Let's discuss some WINNERS!!
Drum roll please ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ for those few brave souls that entered my Blogaversary giveaway, a few names were picked from the proverbial hat. In this instance, I took the names, wrote them down on scraps of paper, balled them up and threw them on the floor. Yes, I did. Then I let Dinah, my ragdoll kitty play with them. She batted them around and the ones that separated from the rest, her favorite pieces of balled up paper came out to be:
Raggedy Angel and Meadowbrook Cabin. Ladies, please email me and we will get ourselves together on the sending and receiving. Thanks for visiting!!!!!!

Now here's some more from The Humble Arts!