December 31, 2009

mOVie Day!

yesterday, i took tommie to see the new chipmunks flick.
the movie was cute. upbeat, predictable and fun.
although it lacked depth. what was i expecting? afterall, it was the chipmunks!
i really wanted to see sherlock holmes. i adore robert downey jr. and could be enteretained by him if he just read the phone book aloud.
we were pleasantly surprised to run smack-dab into distant relatives/friends, whom we had not seen for quite some time. i love friends like that... the kind where you just pick up where you left off and are very comfortable with. it was nice to share popcorn, again.
last night, i talked my boys into sharing the t.v., and letting me watch "the queen," with helen mirren. it was a short movie. and, very well done. i especially liked the queen in her humble setting at her english countryside estate. if the historical facts were correct... then, i think the movie should have been called, " tony blair saves the monarchy."
i rented it free from the library.
smile, wink, nod.

December 30, 2009

resoultions. do you have any?

new year's resolutions.
do you have any?
i do. i've already begun.
the horse is out of the gate, if you will.
want to see my list:
organize the house and purge. purge a lot.
eat less carbs and lift weights
drink more water
read more. and read a lot.
continue to let my hair grow.
i want to be one of those 50 hear old ladies
with long hair in a ponytail. mother-earthy type.
join a bible study group
join the book club with our homeschool support group
read my entire set of Audubon nature encyclopedias this winter
happy wednesday!

December 29, 2009

tuesday's trash talk:

-christmas tree is down.

-all decorations put away. we were all getting claustrophobia.

-walk-in pantry cleaned out and organized.

-main basement area cleaned and organized.

-re-arranged living room.

-vacuumed in places that have been horribly neglected. found popcorn kernels in the strangest places.

-took the handy-dandy magic sponge to everything imaginable. love that little white sponge! have you tried it?

-hauled: 4 large garbage bags of out to garage....not in spiked-heeled, toe-crunching heels. more like old sweat pants, old tennis shoes and no-make-up. not a pretty sight. but a job well done.

-dinner? a complete smorgasbord hodge-podge of leftovers of several different meals. think: twisted dinner buffet. nice to have the refridge cleaned out.

-made a drop off at goodwill. picked up receipt for tax write-off.

-need to: clean kitchen cupboards out. organize closets and weed out clothes from the 1980's... regardless if they were my favorites! organize craft room in the basement. wonder if i'll ever scrapbook again? it's been forever.

-want to: decoupage bookmarks, read more of the red tent, watch a few of dvd's that my brad and tommie won't want to see... the queen, elizabeth and same time, next year (rented them at the library).

now... time to shut the lid on the laptop and organize some more! or decoupage!

smile, wink, nod.

December 28, 2009

eye opening book!

i was a bit lazy in december, when it came to reading. now that the major celebrations are behind me, i decided to open the pages of anita diamant's biblical historical fiction, "the red tent."
wow. my-oh-my. yowza. and captivating.... are words that do not do this heavy book justice. it's more like..... "eye's wide open," to me!
it would make a fabulous ladies book club book.
with many on-line discussion questions.
what is your nose buried in this week?

December 26, 2009

a quirky christmas eve!

sure hope you had a merry christmas! ours was swell.
it's tradition on christmas eve to invite my in-laws over. this year, we did things differently. instead of a traditional dinner.... i homemade different size pizza's and different flavors: garlic chicken, pepperoni and hamburger. served with a salad.
instead of a matching, traditional table setting with matching linens... i used my collection of thrift store souvenir state plates and mis-matched vintage linen napkins, that i've picked up along the way.

i made a non-traditional centerpiece using shabby chic cups and dishes, with various candles! i just love the mini dessert candles (above)... my mother-in-law liked them too, and suggested i not burn them.... save them... so i did.

each person (there were five of us) had their very own souvenir plate and souvenir salad plate, to eat from... i tried to match the plates to their personalities. above: my father-in-law likes to visit florida every winter. my son: mammoth cave. my husband: washington d.c. since he is a political junky and my mother in law loves the holland, michigan tulip festival so her plate was holland, michigan. mine was just an illinois plate because it worked out that way.

our iced tea drinks were poured in canning jars! and, one of the pizza's was served on my the pizza pan my grandma and i used to make homemade pizza on (chef boy r dee).

after an easy clean-up, we played a couple card games of 7's. and then headed to our church's christmas eve service. i was thrilled, since my in-laws are not religious, nor do they belong to a church.... it made my heart happy when i saw them singing and taking communion. we headed back to the in-laws for pumpkin pie.
smile, wink, nod.

December 23, 2009


just popping in to share, what looks like a really good freebie! your choice of free novels! click here: random house freebies! the sign-up is quick and painless. and should come to you snail-mail.
p.s. today, i received my free red gold market bag. nice.

December 22, 2009


i thought you'd find this as interesting as i did... i found this beautiful, flawless piece of china at our local goodwill store... $2. i flipped it over and learned that it was a replica of queen mary's china (probably one of many) from 1912-ish. i enjoyed it during the month of december... looking at it on a plate holder, then wrapped it up for a christmas gift for my elegant cousin. who very much appreciated it. can you imagine a whole set of these? smile, wink, nod.

December 21, 2009

a backwards post....

whoops. i downloaded my snaps backwards. that means i'll have to tell the story of this blog entry in reverse.
above: this is the finished product! i plan to sew the buttons on tonight, after i shut the lid to this laptop!

above: the bag, when finished was about 26 inches by 20 inches... enough to stuff a lot of canning rags in!

above: i just turned the fabric inside out and sewed a basic straight stitch!

last fall, i scooped up this ugly patchwork unfinished chunk of sewn quilt squares. it was in the free box at a garage sale. after washing it and looking at and looking at it again... wondering what i could do with it... i realized it would make an adorable homemade bag to hold my canning towels and pot holders. i know our end of the summer harvest is months away... but, the stack of shabby towels and stained potholders are sitting on my pantry shelf, disheavled and unorganized... and well, don't you think they'll look much better stuffed in this bag on the shelf? me, too.

December 20, 2009

a look back at my busy weekend:
friday: helped my mom prep for our family christmas. 20 people. made twice baked potatoes, wrapped gifts, rearranged furniture and set up tables with green linens and centerpieces. friday night: rented and watched the christmas comedy four christmas's with vince vaughn and reece weatherspoon. i loved it.
saturday: finished up last minute details for the party. organized a christmas type trivia game for everyone. our menu was cranberry baked chicken and stuffed baked potatoes. thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone! my little cousin aaron didn't come... he's snowed in... in new york university film school! i sure wish michigan would get a blizzard! i'm ready and waiting.
sunday: went to church... today's sermon was a humble christmas. very good and a more traditional service-- except for the version of the rock and roll drummer boy song. first time i ever saw people dancing to drummer boy. spent the afternoon doing the basics... organizing the house, laundry and other house-wifey stuff. was thankful mom sent home left-overs, so i didn't need to cook! waiting for "the nativity" to come on t.v. at 9.

December 18, 2009

mrs. claus's christmas mix!

yesterday, i enjoyed making my own homemade hodge-podge of christmas pot-porri. i plan to give a quart jar, to the ladies in my family... at our family christmas party!

let me tell you... i had the best fun finding treasures in my nature box, backyard, spice rack and pantry! i called it mrs. claus's christmas pot-porri and attached a note that say's keep refrigerated-until ready to use. use a cupful at a time and simmer.

the ingredients?
whole cloves, a cinnamon stick or two, several drops of orange extract, pineapple skins and leaves, pinecones, chestnuts in the shell, osage oranges cut up, a handful of acorns, a piece of clementine and the skins, a splash of ground cinnamon, red glitter, and broken pieces of honeycomb! then i filled it to the rim with water.
as you can see, i didn't top my jars with fabric. for me personally, i think that look is rather outdated.
sometimes, less is more. smile, wink, nod.

December 16, 2009

need a delish, fast (i'm talking easy-peasy) and very fun-to-make festive christmas cookie type candy? i did too! so, i made these: click here! i used hershey hugs instead of kisses and round pretzels. the hershey hugs melt quicker and look really cool... swirly like and much prettier, since they're on white! (i tried to get a snap... but the camera battery was dead.)

i found these junky retro plastic christmas flowers, while at an estate sale. i've had a ball this christmas... wrapping family gifts up and using these tacky things as bows! i'm thinking i may make ugly family corsages up with the remainder of them... for all the women in my family! they're all such good sports and will love being silly with me at our family party! smile, wink, nod!

December 15, 2009

a christmas meme just for the fun of it!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? both. depends on the gift and what i have on hand.

2. Real tree or artificial? sorry to say it's fake. i would love a real tree... but my dear brad is allergic to the real thing. plus, we both hate the mess of needles wedged in the carpet.

3. When do you put up the tree? right after thanksgiving. black friday.

4. When do you take the tree down? right after new years day. i'd do it sooner... but, my bambino loves the decorations so much... and it's memories for him, that count.

5. Do you like eggnog? can you believe i've never tried it?

6. Favorite gift received as a child? a big 3 story barbie doll house, tent and motor home... with lots of barbie's and accessories to go along!!

7. Hardest person to buy for? my mom.

8. Easiest person to buy for? my cousin cathy.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? sure do! it's the one i had in MY childhood. also, the manger... which my dad made!

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? i thoroughly enjoy sending and receiving snail mail christmas cards.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? a dictionary. who exciting is that?

12. Favorite Christmas movie? christmas vacation

13. When do you start shopping? i shop year round. sales and when i see things i know friends or family would like.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? of course!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? spinach balls!

16. Lights on the tree? yes.. this year it's red!

17. Favorite Christmas song? i saw mommy kissing santa claus by john mellancamp.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? this year... we're staying local.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? yep, even standing on my head!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? an angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? christmas morning!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? commercialism and eating too much.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? a hodge-podge of everything... lots of homemade from tommie's childhood. and homemade from family and friends. no theme. no color. just messy fun.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? anything my mom makes!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? tasha tudor books, maryjane's farm magazines back issues, an electric fireplace, a trip on the mississippi river... but, mod podge, marine glue and barley flour will do.

December 14, 2009

well now... just what have i been up to these past few days? for starters... today, i went to the walk-in clinic. i've had a terrible ear ache for the past couple of weeks.. to the point where the last few days, i've had severe jaw pain. my husband said it was effecting my personality and that i HAD to get help.
so, this is the room i sat in while waiting. and waiting. and waiting for the doctor to saunter in. the doctor, who was shorter then me (i'm 5 foot 1), came in, and in his best middle eastern voice asked me what was wrong. i couldn't help but notice he resembled ghandi. i told him about my jaw pain and ear pain and he asked... "you jump in any rivers lately?" trying not to smile and giggle, i asked him what he said? again, he said.... "you jump in any rivers lately?" yeah, okay.. that's what i thought you said. ugh, no. no i haven't. not that i remember anyway. i mean it is 25 degrees in michigan and river jumping is just not as common as one would think around here. ends up i have a sinus infection and have pain meds and antibiotic drops.

i was pleased as punch on saturday! my cousin robin called to have me come and work in lansing for her. at the MSU pavilion beef show. the cow smell was overwhelming... hay and manure and wet cows with long hair. aside from that... it was so much fun working and selling bling to the show girls and their families. and visiting with farmers. such good, good people. wholesome and honest. hardworking and real.

i loved the atmosphere... i loved taking a break and walking through the stalls of 2,000 cows, all moo-ing and moo-ing. i loved seeing the young children so involved in such life lessons that you can't get in textbooks.

this is just one section of my cousin's booth. can't wait to do it again! smile, wink, nod!

December 11, 2009

friday fill-in!
*my answer's are in bold.

1. You get the freedom to choose kindness.

2. no one has the right to cloud your future, hurt your body or rob you of your self-respect.

3. It's winter time and man it's so cold in michigan!

4. obama's nobel peace prize and when he and michele were waving like they were eva peron' in argentina was utterly ridiculous! i'm just saying..... (got that from penny and robyn)

5. I feel that christmas is way to commercial and i loathe giving gifts made in china. what do i really want for chirstmas? marine glue, mod podge, a big bag of barley flour and the dvd: mr. magoriam's wonder emporium.

6. soon i will be saying...goodnight!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight i'm looking forward to another super-hot shower with soft pajama's and falling right to sleep, tomorrow my plans include another cowboy christmas show in lansing... cattle (beef) and Sunday, i intend to honker down and christmas shop and run christmas errands.

Happy Weekend and I'll be back soon!

December 10, 2009

reading and playing.

and trying to get over a sinus headache.
and hoping to get out christmas shopping soon.
and hoping to make some sweet little christmas crafts.
and hoping for a huge snowstorm.
and hoping my amazon order comes soon.
and hoping my snapfish pictures come for christmas cards soon.
now, i'm off for a super hot shower, soft pajama's and a soft pillow to land on. sweet dreams!

December 09, 2009

what's in the bag?

for just pennies, last fall i picked up a stack of vintage linens and fabrics. after washing and pressing them and cutting them up... i pulled out my sewing machine and started creating reusable gift bags. on one of the linen's, i cut and pasted some quirky clip art and ran it through the printer. then, i very shabbily sewed the clip art to the linen. below, you'll see a couple of the bags, which i made out of a cross-stitched pillowcase.

now, i betcha you're wondering what's inside those gift bags? well, i'll tell you.... it's "dilly beer bread mix," inside a ziplock bag. i attached a holiday brad to close the bag and printed off the recipe and how-to instructions. the recipients will also get a can of beer to add to the mix.
(below is a snap of the beer bread after it's baked.. i like putting the bread into different sized bowls and baking.)

the mix is super easy to make... just take 3 cups of self-rising flour and 3 Tablespoons sugar. you can add any herb you'd like or none at all. i added dill seed to my mix, because i have tons of it leftover and dried from my garden. i've also had this with basil and parmesan cheese.

this is the recipe i attached. you are more then welcome to use it... just copy and paste and print it off.

dilly beer bread in just 30 minutes!

Spray a bread pan and it’s sides.
Pour a can of beer in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute or slightly longer.. Just enough to warm up the beer. Then, dump the beer bread mix in a bowl and add the warm beer. Mix real good. Pour into your greased bread pan. Put the good-smelling bread dough into a cold oven. Shut the door and turn the oven on 350*. Bake for 45-50 min.

December 08, 2009

what makes me smile? when i open that christmas decoration box that holds this little stocking. it was given to me when i was about 2 or 3 years old. ummmmm yeah, so that's 42 years ago.... it was given to me by a local gas station attendant .... back in the days when you actually had someone pump your gas and squigeee-wash your car windows. and the time when nobody used seat belts and kids used to just bop around in the back seat!
and... i must confess.... i used to hang upside down in the back seat, my waist-length blond hair dangling... my head where your feet go... and my feet in the backseat window... and i used to put on puppet shows with my feet... to entertain the cars behind us!

December 06, 2009

whew! where's my second cup of coffee?
i'm recuperating from working at the cowboy christmas show at the michigan state university pavillion (lansing).. happened yesterday. there were 150 horses, at least that many equestrian riders (btw, i never tire of their riding attire) 6,000 rabbits and a non-stop flow of people all who seem unaffected by the michigan economy. i worked for my cousin robin at her seriously bling-driven booth: cowgirlz clozet. she generously let me bring some shabby chic cowgirl merchandise and let me capitalize on her watch and in her space. nice, ugh? while, i was far from being as lucrative as she... i still enjoyed the extra income. plus, i adore working in the public and networking!
oh, and the fact that tommie had entered and showed his rabbit in the american breeders shows, kept him busy... (6,000 rabbits can you say smelly?) he didn't place very well.. something about the rabbit's loins being to low. he enjoyed his independence for the day and helping out where needed within the association. plus, the $20. i gave him for the junk food snack bar, was the cream on top! imagine that!
things on my to-do list today: church: today's theme, "the nightmare before christmas," i can't imagine what our pastor has in store for us, but i'm sure it will be thought provoking and i'll end up giving the sermon a nod! then...snowman crafts at my mother-in-law's house afterwards!
now, time to close the lid on this laptop, fix another cup of coffee, pull myself together so i look human and head to church.
see you soon!
smile, wink, nod!

December 04, 2009

time saver!

time saver: my son loves pancakes in the morning. with chocolate chips. i know, i know, the picture looks like i dumped a lot of chocolate in those containers... but each container is for a two day serving. each container is labeled, "just add one cup of water." and viola'... everything is pre-measured and efficient. and, my son can fend for himself. easy-peasy.
i just finished up the book, "plain language," about the dirty 30's and the hardship of life during that era. this book was phenomenal. every single chapter was exciting and fresh and suspenseful and unpredictable. if you like the simple life... the way things used to be. this is the book for you. loved it, loved it, loved it!

December 03, 2009

ready for 2010?

today i picked up my new 2010 calendar. it's by susan branch... i found it at wally-world. ($2.99). it's a mini size... perfect for the front on the refrigerator! i'll be attaching a long magnetic strip on the back for easy hanging! how about you? have you picked up your 2010 calendar yet? smile, wink, nod.

December 02, 2009

couch sweater and apron decorating!

in one little corner of my little house, i have a little christmas tree on a little plant stand.
at a recent estate sale, i found a very vintage christmas apron, complete with turkey grease stain or something equivalent for a dime.... i've already tied it on my waist, while making thanksgiving pies and will use throughout the season...
but gosh, it's way to cute to fold up and stick in the drawer. so, i thought, why not tie it around the little plant stand? so i did. and it's so cozy-cute! and it likes it's new home!

do you have a couch sweater? the kind you pull on when you don't have anywhere to go or when you're snowed in or when you just want to honker down with a good book on a blustery day? i didn't before... but i do now! i found this meaty sweater from the limited, pure wool, at goodwill for $3.29. i'm saving it for the first snowy day.. when i can pull on leggings and legwarmers and just flop.

now... i'm off to my very neglected homeschool blog to update it. see you tomorrow!