Friday, December 19, 2008

OH, the weather outside is frightful.

Well, I guess winter is finally on its way. It has been snowing for a couple of hours with no letup in sight.
This was our forecast:
High: 32
Snow...freezing rain and sleet. Snow and sleet accumulation of 4 to 6 inches. Ice accumulation of a tenth to one quarter of an inch. Highs in the lower 30s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Doesn't it sound lovely. Well fortunately I don't have to go anywhere to day. I think I may even do some "playing" up in my studio. I haven't done that in awhile.

I know I will not open my antique shop. I don't imagine anyone would want to come by with conditions as they are. Good thing they all came yesterday anyway.

I just saw the snowplow go by. He will be busy today as the snow shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.

If I accomplish any art or mini making up in my studio today I will post it tomorrow.

Glad my mailing is done and I have plenty of food in the frig.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A snowy morning and some free graphics



This is a picture of our garden shed. We keep our winter tools in there too.

We finally got a bit of snow that is sticking on the ground. It isn't much but it is snowy looking. Unlike what they are probably getting in Syracuse and Bangor. Up to now it has been mostly rain and icy rain this year. I would say winter but it isn't technically here until Sunday.

My presents are bought and wrapped, my cards are mailed and what baking I will do is done.
So I can relax and enjoy the season. Or I could if there wasn't so much going on.

I am hoping to get back to some art, some sewing, some doll house making in the New Year but now I am just collecting up stuff for that time.

One thing I dearly love is vintage images. I have a huge collection both real and in computer graphics.

Here are a couple of places that I find them:

Lisa Vollrath, an artist I have "met" via an online swap or two has a great site of graphics and each season she generously offers free images for the season in a "COUNTDOWN" each day leading up to the particular holiday there will be a new image. She is currently in the middle of the CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN You can download free images each day. Just follow the guidelines given you will have wonderful images to use in your art, day by day!
Her websites are

Go Make Something and Ten Two Studios


Another good source for free graphics is from the GRAPHICS FAIRY. She has a blog and offers a vintage graphic almost every day.

I hope you will visit these two sites if you interested in vintage graphics. It will be worth your while.



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yummy Saturday Night Fare

Saturday night dinner at our house has always been a Barbequed steak dinner with potatoes and onion rings. Here is last nights dinner with a couple of changes in methods of cooking.





I like to cook and often look for new recipes Sometimes I stumble on one that is too good to pass up. I found this one indirectly. I was visiting one of my favorite altered art type blogs,
Aileen's Musings and enjoying some art when I came upon this recipe for making potatoes. They were called Crash Hot Potatoes. She had gotten it from another site so I followed the link over to that site. Pioneer Woman. Not only was this recipe there but lots of others that I must soon try.
These are the Crash Hot Potatoes I made. Be sure to check the Pioneer Woman's website for directions to make them. Click on link in the above paragraph.

I showed the picture to my husband and he said that looked like something he would like. Since Saturday night has always been steak night we are having steak with these potatoes along with my very special recipe for onion rings.

Here is the recipe for the Onion rings or really Onion clusters as we call them.

ONION CLUSTERS
1 Cup flour
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Milk
2 beaten eggs
salt to taste (I often don't cook with salt but add afterwards as wanted)
1 large or two medium onions.

Slice the onions VERY thin, I use a Mandolin slicer. (I tried to find one on line like mine to show you but can't but if you google Mandolin Kitchen Slicer you can find similar)
The onions must be almost sliver thin to work right.

Mix up the batter, add the onions and coat thoroughly.

Heat oil to a high heat in a pan or use a deep fryer. I use canola oil.

Drop in, gently, little clusters of onions. Let brown on one side and turn over. Then take out and drain on a paper towel. At least that is the way I do it.
Here are the onions cooking in oil.


This is how they look individually.



And here is the final "pile" of last nights onion clusters

Go back to top of page to see the final result. The dinner was VERY good.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A New House For Me



Here are a couple of pictures of the doll house I plan to start building in January.
I would love to start now but way too much on my plate at the moment.
I have lots of furnishing ready to put in it and some ideas for other things that I don't have already.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet Blondie



This pretty kitty has sort of joined our household. She has been hanging around the house since
this past summer and has been getting friendlier. She still wanders the neighborhood but spends more and more time here. We have been feeding her and now my husband has figured out a way to let her sneak into his workshop, which is heated so she can have warmth and a bit of protection from the elements. We went out and bought her a little bed and she has now claimed it as her own.



There are two other kitties we also feed outside but they are pretty much wild and run at the sight of us. But Blondie comes right on up and says loudly hello.... meow, meow, meow

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Background

If you have been checking this blog the last couple of days you may be dizzy by now. I have been trying out different backgrounds. At the moment the one I have settled on should be here for awhile. But with me you never know.

I found these backgrounds at a nifty place called The Cutest Blog on the Block You can check it out if you want to change your blog background too. The backgrounds are made using scrapbook papers I think.

So tell me what you think.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Change of title

I have proved my usual fickle self and changed the title of this blog again. I think the new title is a better way of describing what this blog is all about. And that way I don't have to get a new blog.

I may soon change the background too. I have been looking around to see what is available.

To those who follow this because of my mini making activities, a hint at the future. I have a doll house I plan to start building in the new year. I bought it for a whole $3.00 at a flea market. And it is NOT a cheap brand. I have a lot of plans for it and will include lots of pictures here on the blog. More about this later.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Compact..... Buy used, reuse, recycle

I have been reading online about some folks who have formed a group called the Compact. They have decided not to buy anything new for a year. Well, I assume there are a few exceptions, like food. And I personally would not buy used underwear.... yuk... or shoes.... I already have bad feet. But for everyday purchases I think it is a really good idea. There are antique shops, thrift shops, used goods shops of all types out there that are bound to have what you need. If you want good quality stuff I am sure it is available, may just have to look a bit.
We have often bought very good used vehicles so that isn't a problem.

We have had three motor homes over the years and all three were used by someone else first.
(Granted the last one had only been used a couple of weeks before they traded it in, but we got a great deal on their change of heart!)

And then don't forget flea markets and yard sales. And the free cycle list on line. And trading with friends.

I come from a long line of THRIFTY folks who believed in reusing, making do, shopping at goodwill and so on. I can remember that when my dad went to Hawaii he needed "Hawaiian Shirts" so he went to the local thrift stores in San Diego and found quite a few. He said he got a LOT of complements on them too. And didn't pay much at all.

My husband and I have long been shoppers at yard sales and flea markets. We love to find things for the grand kids that way. Toys and books are easy to find. And clothes. I supposed some folks buy something and change their minds after they get it home. So I find thengs with tags still on them.

Books are a necessary part of my life. I don't care who has read them before. The library has loads of books and they are free if you don't keep them too long. Also once or twice a year there is a book sale there. And yard sales and flea markets are loaded with them. If you are looking for something special there is always Alibris or AbeBooks on line..... The books are there, just for less!!

SO MY new goal is to see how long I can go without buying new stuff starting with the new year.
I am waiting to make that official date because I must get by the Christmas thing, and since I haven't told family about this it would be best to wait. I am mostly buying gift certificates this year anyway though. So really I will be doing this starting now.

But with the normal life my husband and I lead it probably won't be too hard to do, or in actuality continue to do. My thought on this whole thing is that if you just start doing it, it will become a habit and get easier and easier and life should get better for you. Just think of the money you can save and things you might be able to get that you couldn't if you had to pay full retail new price.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My helper cat

I have been putting a lot of items on eBay lately and have set up a little site to use for taking pics. Tuffy decided she would like her portrait taken too. I don't think I will be putting her up for bid however.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Is nearly over, we are getting ready for winter.

Fall is nearly over, the leaves are nearly all down. My husband has been raking for days it seems since we have over 40 trees on our little acre plot of land. A neighbor suggested we cut them all down to save work...... NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! They keep our home cool in the summer and let the sunshine through to warm things a bit in the wintertime. They are home to all the birds we feed and they make a lovely setting. So work they may cause but oh the pleasure.
I liked this view across the street from our house.... with just the few golden leaves on the trees ..... it is like they are glowing in one final act of glory before winter arrives.

Now that camping season is over we had to work to get the camper ready to put away for the winter. This year we had made a list of things we would like to change, adding shelves, redoing the table and sitting area and a few other smaller things. It seems a shame to have to have done all the work and then put it away BUT it will be waiting for us in the the spring.

Here is the newly done sitting and eating area, with a table that it easier to use and
more room to take a nap in the daytime if one wishes.



We needed more space for things so added these little shelves to the vanity area.
It is much more useful now.

We can put the cd play on the lower shelf and still have room for things on the upper shelves, you know like hairbrushes, razors, toothbrush etc. I don't know why the builder of these little campers didn't think of these things.

AND NOW: maybe I can find time for some art projects, doll houses or altered books.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The election is over

No matter what you think about the election results I imagine most of you are just glad it is OVER. I supposed as the media gets larger and larger as a part of our lives coverage will get larger and larger. I can say that my vote ended up being the exact same thing it would have been if I had voted 3 months earlier!!! And all that money spent could have gone where it was really needed.

And the phone calls. I have NEVER hung up on so many calls in my life. I do NOT like ROBO-CALLS. I think they are an intrusion for no purpose. I hope they come up with a do not call list for them too!

Boy don't I sound curmudgeonly today.

But I sincerely hope that the new President can bring a GOOD change to our country. We need something that is for sure.

The thing I look forward to is an answer to our energy needs. I know that I wouldn't mind having solar panels on our roof or a windmill in our back yard. The price needs to come down dramatically so folks can afford to do it. I bet the oil companies don't want to hear that.

Sorry about my ramblings here...... just things I wanted to say.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The final campout weekend

The camper took its final outing for the year this past weekend. We headed for Virginia for bluegrass camp. The weather wasn't too great, the first day and half of second with a lot of rain... but that didn't stop the music, nor the food. We enjoyed a pot luck cookout and another shared meal that evening. On Sunday morning it dawned cold but clear and so, not to miss an opportunity, we headed to a couple of big flea markets near by. The nice thing about these places is that we can buy things for our shop and ourselves. (and we get there early so we can get back to camp by lunch.) Even got some produce to take home. Not much available here anymore but nice looking veggies there.

Now, my goal for the winter is to learn to play the fiddle well enough to dare to take it with me in the spring when we go our our next camp out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Acupuncture and violin strings

Today was an interesting day..... It began by going for an acupuncture treatment for my arthritic hands. Can't say how it is so far, after only one treatment. But I have great confidence.

Then in the afternoon I had my violin lesson. Someday I may be ready to play in public. I am doing a lot better now that I figured out how to read music. After piano lessons as a child I learned to read music the way a piano is set up. A violin is very different..... but was happy that I finally figured it out. It was really like the light came on.

Now I just have to figure out how to keep the bow on the proper string and prevent the screechs.

And now I am hopeful that the acupuncture will help me get better on the violin.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Colorful Family Weekend

It was a wonderful holiday weekend for us. The weather was terrific, cool in the evenings, warm in the day time and autumn foliage was at its peak everywhere we went.
This weekend was the family gathering and celebration for daughter's marriage and open house at her new home. We drove up I-81 to Syracuse for the event. What a colorful ride, the fall colors were everywhere so the three plus hour drive gave us a nice fall foliage tour.
It was like a family reunion with my sister and husband, both our children, several grandkids and my husbands sister, husband and her granddaughter. Talking was constant. Food was marvelous and continually consumed and we were able to watch a Red Sox game (even if they did lose). I was so glad to meet so many of our daughters friends including a couple whose blogs I read often.
And to top if off we were able to go to the Syracuse Regional Market on Sunday morning and find some great items. Love, that place.
We were sorry to leave but have wonderful memories. So glad everyone could get there.

And the ride home was another fall foliage tour.... NOT BAD

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh what a beautiful morning




Here is the view across the street from my house.... Fall is coming.... but not all the way. I love this time of year when the trees begin to turn.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Red Sox wins game one of ALDS

So there is happiness at our house and at my daughters house and in Boston in general.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cats Like Salad Too!!




My cats are indoor cats so don't get to try out grass.... but I heard it might help, especially my long haired cat........... I looked up "Cat Greens" on line, followed the instructions and here is the result. My longhaired cat.... Spooky.... loves them so that is good. The shorthaired cat has no interest.

You need to get bulk grain...... Barley, flax seed and wheat berries, plant them and when they get to be about an inch tall you can put them out for the cat.
I found all the grains at the health food store.....

Here is a link to the actual way to do this....
http://www.10news.com/lorensfieldnotes/11013890/detail.html

The first batch I made got moldy.... so I redid.... this time I made sure there was drainage in the bottom of the pots. I put little pebbles in the pot before adding potting soil. This has prevented the mold so far.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A SAD, SAD DAY

I just heard that Paul Newman died yesterday. He was my favorite actor for years and years.
And I always loved the fact that he and Joanne Woodward were still together after all these
years, unlike so many Hollywood stars. Of course he lived in Ct. rather than Hollywood, maybe that was why.

Here is a link to the story I read.....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Big Change of Pace

From reading my past blog you may know we follow NASCAR and have been to some races. But last night we headed to a track where careers for NASCAR could actually start. This is where the very young begin..... several were just 5 years old. Though there were oldies too who just like to race.

We went to the Greenwood Valley Action Track It was a bit of a drive over a lot of back roads but thanks to Map Quest we found it easily.

We got there a bit early and managed to see all the practice runs, all of the heats and several of the feature races. We didn't stay for all the the features but enough. The track is dusty and you can smell all the gas fumes..... But it appeared that all the drivers and families were having a great time.

The food was pretty good too..... Cheeseburgers, Chili dogs, fries and some really terrific ice cream. We left a good bit of money in the concession stand but it was worth it.

Don't know if we will go back to this track but may try some of the others in our area. It is a fun way to spend an evening.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More work on shop

I managed to "take the day off" from the house and my real shop and do some things for dress shoppe.
I drove over to the next town and visited the Mini shop.... Wee Home Shoppe It is such a great shop because the owner is a wonderful lady and a friend. She carries all scales.
It is the place where we hold our monthly meetings of the Susquehanna Mini Makers, a N.A.M.E
mini club. I managed to spend quite a bit of money while I was there and here is what I bought.After shopping I rushed home to do some more work on the dress shoppe. I pulled out the counter I was going to use and filled it with the bolts of fabric and laces. Then On top I put a little hat I had made from a kit that I bought from someone who's name I can't find at the moment .... and a vase (a bead actually) filled with feathers. I imagine there will be a few more things on the top of the counter. Just not sure what yet.
Next I pulled out a couple of kits I had recently put together. One is boots in a shoe box, the other is slippers in a shoe box. They were both from Ann Vanture's Paper Minis She is a great source for paper printie kits for doll houses and dolls as well.






The final thing I added to today's work is a small
display I got in a swap or exchange.... I don't remember which. It is a cute display of hat and dressing table items. I just loved it and decided I would find a place in the shop. I think the shop is changing from a dress shop to a ladies modiste... where she can buy a variety of items for herself.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OUCH!!!

I had some time yesterday so I headed up to my studio to work on my UFO (miniature shop).
I set out to make shelves to hold all the hat boxes I had made..... Somewhere along the way I managed to try to slice the top of my pointer finger..... thankfully it wasn't too bad. I still managed to get them cut out and painted. But it needed a bandage for awhile which was too bad because shortly after this happened I had a violin lesson. It made handling the bow a bit awkward...... but hey, I probably still handle the bow a bit awkwardly anyway... it was only my fourth lesson.

I shall live though.

I plan to finish the shelving today and get it into the shop. That will feel good to have that done.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Time away from doll houses to do an antique show

Since I own an antique shop I occasionally do antique shows. This week we did a three day show in a nearby town as part of their festival. It was VERY hot every day so we were thankful to be inside where it was cool!!! And probably got lots of customers because of that too. Below is a picture of half of our space. The other picture didn't turn out decent enough to post. But you can get the idea from this I hope.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A few things are added


Over the weekend I did find a bit of time to work on few of the little items for the shop. The dress shop may now become a hat shoppe as well. I found some little kits to make hats and I finished off these little hat boxes and some items to make hats are now on little bolts, ready to be used by the shop owners. And I made up these dress forms too. They were from a kit I have had for a long time.

I hope I can get going on the hat kits soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 2 of Back to Miniatures

Last night I went up into my art and crafting studio and pulled out all the things that I have collected for this new shop..... What a mess....

So today my project will be to sort it all out and perhaps even begin to finish up some of the items. I know there are hats to be made, hat boxes to finish, fabric to put on cards and some mannequins to make. That should actually take up the next two days.

Meanwhile though I have to tend to my Real Life antique shop today. Perhaps I can do this between customers....

I have worked on projects like that before. Some of my customers ask me about the minis if I am not working on anything while they are there.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back to Miniatures

I belong to a fun miniature and doll house group called GSOLFOT.... We have just been issued a challenge to FINISH a project that has been sitting around unfinished for awhile. WELL, I have a LOT of those.

The first one I thought of was a Doll House Dress Shop which I started several years ago. Actually most of the stuff to go inside is in bags here and there.... so I have dug it all out and starting tonight I plan to FINISH it. We shall see if I really do but since I am putting it here perhaps it will encourage me to really do it.
This picture shows how far I have gotten, better than nothing I guess.

This evening I will take a picture of all the "stuff" and add it here.... and then attempt to show the progress.

I am definitely a proud Sockee.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Twinkle Twinkle Little star



Today was my second violin (fiddle) lesson and I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star... well sort of.... perhaps a bit more practice will be necessary. I remember when we went to see our kids recitals and concerts when they were very young. I am sure they were better..... but practice will make perfect I hope. At least I made some music with my violin.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Day After...........

We had a great 4th of July this year. It began with an all day Blue Grass Festival and ended with fireworks which we watched from our neighbors house.

Since the weather was advertised as decent we headed out to Benton to the
O.A.T.S Blue Grass Festival. The temps were in the 70s and overcast so it was pleasant to be able to sit there and ENJOY. We got to hear some new groups and now have a couple of new favorites............... David Davis and the Warrior River Band and the Hillbilly Gypsies.

Festivals are fun cause you get to meet like minded people, there is usually good food AND you can get CDs of the artists to take home and remember the day. And we got to meet the artists in person.And while there I managed to attend a fiddle playing workshop that was very helpful.

We only went for one day this year.... next year we plan to attend the entire 4 day event.

Upon arriving home we heard fireworks and so went to our neighbors yard to watch. They have the best view in our area so we didn't have to fight traffic at the park.

From our vantage point we could see three different fireworks shows, two way off in the distance. Great way to end the day.

Oh yeah, the Red Sox beat the Yankees too..... Can't get any better than that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Poison Ivy and a Violin



This "lovely" little plant has been giving me misery for two weeks now..... Poison Ivy. For some reason I seem to locate it my garden at least one a year. At the momemt my garden is in dire need of work that I don't really feel like working on with all the poison ivy all over me. It would appear I am on the mend now. Hope so....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But on a much brighter side, yesterday I started a new phase of my life. I took my very first violin lesson. Don't even begin to think I can play anything yet. But this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Once I do finally get the hang of it I plan to switch to "fiddle" playing Blue Grass..... But I know I need to know the basics first.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Birds, Flowers and storms

Night before last we were visited by some raging winds and heavy rain. A lot of large tree limbs suffered because of that visit. Yesterday my husband brought out the chain saw and helped our next door neighbor clean up the mess. I didn't think to take pictures but it was a mess. Our yard did not suffer so much thankfully. Probably cause we lost a lot of stuff in a visit from Hurricane Isabel a few years ago.

But on to better things. The flowers are loving the nice rains we have had followed by the heat.
Here is a picture I took just before the storm.
The Iris have been beautiful this year and the plants just behind are the Rudbeckia (black eyed Susan) awaiting their turn to shine. The little teacup is on a spike. I think it was designed to hold bird seed and water but I just like it as it is. My daughter gave it to me. She knows I love tea things.

In other news..... We have a LOT of bird activity in the yard. My husband has set up bird feeding stations all over the place. And we get a lot of different birds. One in particular is a favorite, the chickadee, reminding us of our years living in Maine where it is the state bird.
A week or so ago I set this old birdhouse on the bench next to my garden house and a family of Chicadees moved in. We noticed they are now feeding the babies. We have to stay away now but it is worth it.


Monday, May 26, 2008

A Memorial Day Blue Grass weekend

For the third time now since last fall we have gone south to Virginia to camp out at a campground that specializes in Blue Grass weekends. We discovered the place by accident and now can't seem to stay away. The campground is filled, every two weeks with folks who play or love to listen to Blue Grass music.

We were hooked after the first time we went, even though the weather was lousy, the music was terrific. There were little groups of folks jamming in several locations around the campground. It was like sitting up on stage at a concert. Being right in the middle of it all.

This weekend was the annual Memorial Day pig roast as well as lots of music.

There are some extremely talented musicians that come to the campground, that love to play. And they just play and play. Neither of us really play but oh we are getting inspired.... We noticed several young people this time. A young girl on fiddle, her brother on Mandolin and another young man playing guitar. So the next generation is starting.

Here is a short clip of one of the groups that played this time....
Jimmy on Banjo, Kenny on Harmonica, Nevin playing Fiddle and Carol playing Bass. (The guitar player of the group- Wade- is missing for the moment.)




We always hate for the weekend to end but no doubt we will go there again soon!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A New Obsession



Since it won't stop raining I have been saying away from my gardening, and have found a new obsession. I have always loved and collected dolls. But none quite like this one.
She is Ellowyne Wilde, a newly created doll from Wilde Imagination. Her biggest problem in life is that she suffers from "ennui." And each outfit and doll has a story to fit the mood.
Here is Ellowyne in her Pale Memories outfit. I found this plump chair at a local flea market.






Another Ellowynne is currently wearing her "Highland Lows." I found another chair for her at the same flea market. I think she looks perfect in it.









And the final picture today is of Ellowyne's best friend, Prudence Moody.
She seems to like wild colors and if you look closely you will see streaks of
pink in her hair. She knows how to have fun.

If you don't already know these dolls and their stories you should visit the Wilde Imagination website. Or better still join our yahoo groups to celebrate Ellowyne and friends.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Colors of Spring






This has to be the best spring ever. I can't remember ever being so thankful and enjoying it so much. It wasn't an awful winter but seemed long and dreary. Even this persistent little violet was anxious to see the spring.

So I have started making plans for gardening. I had hand surgery a couple
of weeks ago so still have to be careful but am itching to get out there.

I love violets and am enjoying them in my yard. They are such a pretty color
and even look good with the "dreaded" dandelions.


Another thing I love about spring is hearing all the birds. We have a number of bird feeders around the yard so we can enjoy them all summer and even some in the winter. Our most prolific bird is the Gold Finch. In the winter they are still here in their winter drab coats but of they are so pretty when they turn that lovely yellow. And doesn't this one look nice with a backdrop of apple blossoms.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Patriots Day!!!!

Patriots Day


If your have never lived in Massachusetts or Maine you may never have heard of Patriots Day. But that day is a HOLIDAY in those two states. It is a celebration of the ride of Paul Revere that set off the Revolutionary War.
It is celebrated in Modern days by the running of the Boston Marathon and later in the day a Boston Red Sox Game. After living all over the country and never having heard of Patriots Day I was delighted to learn about it after we moved to Maine. An extra holiday.
Of course as with all holidays now it is celebrated on the nearest Monday instead now so it will be Monday the 21st instead of the traditional April 19th.
So.... to help you celebrate this day go to this site and read Longfellow's poem about Paul Revere's ride and remember how lucky we are to live in our wonderful country and are continued to be protected by loyal American's who are there to sacrifice for us.
The poem starts

Paul Revere's Ride 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.
(click here for the whole poem)





Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trigger Finger, Spring and a recipe

It is most assuredly spring. Tulips, Forsythia and daffodils are everywhere and the trees are beginning to come to life. I hope to be able to get out into the yard soon to do some cleaning up, planting and such.

However it may take a couple more weeks. I just had surgery on my right hand (I am right handed of course) for Trigger finger... I had two fingers that were so bad I couldn't do much normal with the hand. So after cortisone shots and other treatments didn't work it was decided to go for the surgery. It was pretty simple apparently and I was back using my hand that evening.... except for the wrap and bandage. Now less than a week later it is about back to normal except for the stitches which will come out next week. Then I can get back to gardening and sewing and other fun things.

Everyone knows that FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions are yummy and great for the quintessential Thanksgiving recipe Green Bean Casserole. But they have added a new classic to their recipe list.......French's Crunchy Onion Chicken. My daughter introduced me to this awhile back and now it is a favorite in our house too. The recipe for this is at their website or conveniently on the can itself.
Last night I cooked it and added a pasta salad favorite to it. And..... we had homemade Banana Cream Pie too cause we had a few overripe bananas.

I didn't take a picture of the pie but here is the dinner as it was served..... Notice I used one of my Polish Pottery dishes for the honey mustard we use as a dip for the chicken.
The recipe for the pasta salad is simple Cook up a favorite pasta, we like bow ties (farfale). Add fresh baby spinach and feta cheese, crumbled. It can be mixed to your taste, more or less spinach, more or less feta. I got the idea for this from the Deli. They sell something similar there don't know if it is exactly the same but we like it the way I make it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring has sprung


What a pleasant surprise to find my daffodils beginning to bloom. That MUST mean spring is HERE. Not many other clues yet but it must be near.

The tulips are up and the hyacinths and poking through the ground. No forsythia yet but hope it will be soon.

This has been a LONG winter. We are ready for a change.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bristol Here We Come

As Nascar fans we love to head South for the Spring Race at Bristol. To us it is the best of all the venues to watch a race. And we stay in a super campground run by a pair of our favorite people, Heather and Paul Davis.
Two years ago at the Spring Race it snowed. Last year it was sunny and in the 70s. This year the story was rain.
On Thursday night we were able to attend the Family fun night put on by the Race sponsors Food City. It wasn't as much fun as last year but we enjoyed seeing all the show cars and eating the BRATS.
On Friday we headed for the track to watch practice and hoped to see qualifying. Well..... not to be as it rained off and on all afternoon and so qualifying for the Cup race was canceled as well as the other practices. But we had loads of fun back at the campground so it wasn't all bad.

On Saturday Nationwide's qualifying was canceled but they did start the race that afternoon and got in 171 laps of the 300 before they called it because of rain. Clint Boyer won the race. Once again we headed back to the campground.
Finally, on Sunday we woke to NO RAIN!! After a leisurely breakfast we headed over to the racetrack. Finally we were able to see the full race.












There were lots of opening festivities. We just happened to sit in the section that was chosen to participate in the card stunts. I had to get these pics elsewhere since we couldn't see from where we were. In the first one we were sitting near the top in the yellow section just above the "s" in thanks. In the second one we were seated near the top in between S and A in a blue section.
During the opening ceremonies Dale Jarrett drove up
in the "big brown truck" you can see that in the
picture at the right. It was his last points race.

The race was a wild one at times. Just as most races at Bristol are. Jeff Burton was the surprise winner after Kevin Harvick spun out Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin ran out of gas.
We were so thankful that we were able to see the race we really came for and enjoy the afternoon.
The walk back to the campground was SLOW at best since all 150 thousand fans left at once. And overhead we saw the helicopters flying the drivers to the airport.
On Monday we headed home to see our lonely cats and to do a LOT of laundry. It was a great weekend.


You can click on the pictures to see them better.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tuffy's Great Adventure


Two weeks ago today one of our cats, Tuffy, snuck out the back door and took off for points unknown. We advertised, called radio stations, the local SPCA etc. etc. etc. We called all our neighbors. We got calls of sightings from all over the place. We had about given up on finding her when we got a call from our next door neighbor. She had spotted Tuffy on her front porch. Tuffy disappeared before we could get over there, but...... it was a great relief to know that she was alive and not that for away. So everyone was on alert. That was Saturday.
Then on Sunday, we call a call to come to our neighbors house because Tuffy had just run under the porch. !!!!!
Yes!!!. She was there. I called out to her and she poked her head out just enough to let me know it was her. Then finally Bill got her out by giving Tuffy her favorite treats. And home she came. At first she was a bit tentative but it didn't take her long to check out her favorite haunts. She drank a lot of water too. Probably a bit dehydrated but basically she was the same but a bit thinner and didn't seem to worse for her adventure. It is just amazing to us that this indoor cat could survive so well outside. We had several snow storms and heavy rains during this time, not to mention cold and ice. But as she is named she is ONE TUFF CAT.

The reason she is named Tuffy has certainly been proved to be a correct one after this current escapade. She was born under another neighbors porch three years ago and was the first of the little kittys to wander away from her mother.... a local stray cat. She was already proving her adventurous nature. She joined our family along with a sister cat named Spooky.


Spooky still lives up to her name cause she is a real nervous cat. With Tuffy returning to the fold Spooky's nose seems a bit out of joint. I think she was enjoying being queen bee. She is also a bit afraid of Tuffy.... Hope she will come around soon.








We are so happy to have Tuffy back home again. Sure hope the two cats can become friends again like they were in this picture taken a month or so ago.