We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

since you've asked -

     Some of you have inquired how I am doing. Are my challenges with the vertigo still lessening? Etc. This then is to update you about 'me'.
     I had been progressing right along. I was down to usually only feeling mildly dizzy, only occasionally losing my balance upon standing and needing to do a two step or swagger, etc.. All in all, I had great hope that it really might soon pass. Hey, I was even doing good enough over all, that Brian allowed me to drive him home after his eye exam last Thursday afternoon. (for those of you that don't know, many years ago Brian had a major type of eye surgery, that didn't seem to want to heal right. And then a different type of eye injury, which worsened the original condition and resulted in a different type of eye surgery.... so yes, just a routine eye exam can really be something for him!).
     But then last Saturday things went back words.
     That day I had sorted through several piles of 'papers'. (Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about!) I ended with three stacks - one for the recycle bag, one to put through the shredder, and one that needed recorded and/or filed. (record the amount of the bill in the bill book before filing it, or just plain file future tax info., etc.). Lots of moving my head, focusing my eyes, stuff right up the alley of what my physical therapist would dream up for me 8-/ / ;-p.
     I had also caught up the checkbook (record all of the debit transactions from the receipts, out of the envelope hanging on the fridge to collect them) and balanced the checkbook. That process requires a lot of turning back and forth, looking from the screen to the checkbook, focusing in on small print ...
     And then I paid a bunch of bills, which also involves turning and focusing and ... yeah.
     Every time I do it, I do it knowing full well that it is going to affect me to some degree. But yow-sah, it REALLY affected me that day!!!

     But Sat. was also one of those days were lots of storms were rolling through. And with the storms, come barometric pressure. And barometric pressure puts pressure on your ears. And my ears are already having problems with pressure, and giving off wrong signals to my brain. And ...
     So most likely, it was the combination of the storms and the activities that took quite a toll on me. I went back to feeling considerably dizzy and even like I'm s-l-o-w-e-l-y spinning ... ( :-[ ) And my nausea level is again high (often feeling like I just might need that bucket again ...). And today the migraine is back (on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the horrors end - right now it's about a 4 1/2).

     But I do have great hope that it will again start getting better, it did already, so it will again!!! And hopefully this coming time, it will all finish passing!!!

     The Lord has been very merciful and showed me little blessings.
     The other evening, as I was walking through the living room headed upstairs to just lay down, Brian reached out and grabbed my hand. With great concern both in his eyes and his voice he asked, "Are you okay?" "Yeah, just dizzy as heck". He gave my hand a squeeze. Nice!!!!
     I found that right after dusk, the tree right out side our bedroom window and our neighbors back yard, are full of lightning bugs. :-> They are just so-o cool! I watched until watching them was making me dizzier .... then it took concentrated effort, but I stopped watching them. o;-p
    While sitting at the computer slowly working on postings, I have observed the humorous chipmunk that lives in the crack of our neighbors house. He runs all over the cement steps in front of their no longer used side door. And he likes to chat at me through the window. So cute!
    And the cotton tail bunny (which Boo nearly got when I let him out this morning :-[ - I know, that's nature ....) likes to have himself quite the salad from the plants growing through the cracks around those same cement steps. The way he was eating, he must have been mightily hungry the other afternoon!!! ;-p
     And Boo and I have gone out on the front porch (I attach Boo's leash to the porch railing) and observed that we need to get some Bee spray, a whole lot of activity in and out next to one porch column!!! Trying to teach Boo that everybody whom passes by, does not need to be frightened half to death by his most ferocious bark! Silly dog!
     And once the sun gets down to a certain level, we go in the back yard. I sit in a chair and enjoy the wonderful breezes, while he sniffs out any and everything, and disappears in the 'we need to trim all of that' over growth, along the one side of our back yard. Then I'll see the foliage move in certain ways and know where he's at again. ;-p

     So yeah, right now I am not 'feeling' all that great. I definitely know that I'm battling vertigo!!! But I am looking forward to again getting to the point where I can sew on my next project for a little bit, then rest my eyes, then sew some more .... (Christmas stockings for both Cyndi and Analyse are on the list, and new cushion covers for one of the settees on our front porch, a-n-d ... (hey, Brian bought me a new machine. I best be showing him how much I like it! o;-p)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Show-n-Tell :-)

      The teachers always said that you couldn't bring more than two items to show-n-tell. That is exactly how many things I have today. o;-p

     # 1 - All of you knew (some of you were even nice enough to go ahead and say that you were looking forward to (:->) ) I would be sharing pictures from our grand daughter's first B-day party. We shared a couple in the posting about her B-day cake, as well as a couple in the posting about the quilt I made for her. Here are a couple more ...
     This is a good one for showing you the dress that 'aunt' (;->) Kate and I had picked up. For the record, no, we did not find it at the mission type store. Nor was it even on sale, let alone on clearance. We broke all of our usual requirements and paid full marked price for it. Why?   Did you look at it?!!!!    Isn't it adorable?!?!!    And ever so cute on her (she just glows in soft pink). And with it's one candled cupcake .... It would just have been wrong to not buy it! o;-) That's our story and we're sticking to it!!!
     And the sandals came from my across the street neighbor. Their daughter is about eight months older than Analyse (pronounced Auna-lease). I had complimented her little pink crocs (complete with heart shaped holes). Later they had brought me over a smaller sized pair of them, as well as the pair of sandals Analyse is wearing in the picture. They wouldn't take cash for them, so I took them cupcakes. They declared that they got the better end of our deal. ;-p

{turns out grandpa's bottle of anti acids makes a great rattle!}
{yes, there is pink netting like material over the skirt part of the dress!}

     And here is one of her with her Grandpa B.. Trust me, this grandma is not the only one totally infatuated with our grand daughter!! chuckle, chuckle.

     And via this one, you can see how she has eyes just like her Grandpa B. :-) Sometimes they are blue, other times green. Often mischievous .... (snicker, snicker .. ) [good thing grandma B. isn't huh?!!! o:-p]

    Now, if you'd like to see even more pictures (which we know you do ;-p), visit Byron and Cyndi's blog and follow their link to the pictures.

# 2 - Brandon came in this past Saturday, saying that I needed to go look out back. o-k-a-y... . As I started into the kitchen, he said, "out the back door" ... ? ...
      "OH MY GOSH!!!" I was ever so excited!!!!
     A while back, I had heard that I was being given one. Turned out there was some mis-communication about it. I was disappointed, yet fully understood. Aw well .... but this one was sitting in my back yard. It really was mine to keep, right?
     I called my sister-in-law to verify. She answered "yes" :-) :-D Woohoo!!!
    They had come from my nephews work. No, he hadn't put the first one in their shed to add to their scrap metal pile. He planned on using it in his own garage. She hadn't wanted it to be scrapped - especially since she just knew I would use such a thing.
     But then he was able to get a different one that would work better for him. {and no, sorry, he won't be able to get any more :-(  }

    What am I talking about? Gee-sh.... (smirk)

     A rolling metal kitchen rack. :-} This one is smaller in size than the ones at the caterers and camp, but it will still work ever so good for me!!! Doing multiplied batch baking? Rack them up! Cooking pancakes for one hundred at some event? Tarp it up tightly, add a tray of sternos, and you have a 'make do' warming oven. And the uses go on...
    A big THANK-YOU to my brother "B" and sister-in-law "K" !!! THANK-YOU to my nephew / their son, "J" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are just so thrilled!!!

    about the picture ... I took several different shots trying to get a good one to post. EVERY single time, just as I was sure I had it focused in good, Boo would wander into the picture. chuckle, chuckle. I decided 'oh well'. chuckle, chuckle...

    That wraps up today's show and tell. Thanks for watching ;-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ricky's Open House - a huge case in point!

      Last Saturday evening we attended a college graduation open house for a guy named Ricky. Ricky is Kayla's brother. Kayla is our son Brent's girlfriend. This whole scenario is a huge, multi-facted case in point, for something I have written about numerous times over the last couple of years.
    A couple of times as young teens, our "boys" had made the comment, 'it doesn't really matter, it's not like I'm ever going to see them again or anything'. I had warned them that while it might currently seem that way, you just never know whom your going to run into, or where. Over the last couple of years, I have shared numerous examples of case in point encounters. Ricky's open house was such a multi-facted case in point, that's it's almost surreal.
    Let's see, where to start ...
    I know, o/~ "Let's start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start ... "o/~ chuckle, chuckle. (Hey, I know some of you are now singing that song, at least in your minds. your welcome o;-p)
    - Our Byron and Benson had attended high school with Ricky and his and Kayla's sister Hanna.
    - (Hanna had also attended college with our niece Bethany)
    - Brian and our son Brandon, had worked for awhile with both Ricky and their mom at one of the caterers.
    - Byron had worked with Kayla and their mom at the movie theater.
    That is the connection of how Brent met Kayla. One time when he was home visiting, Byron had invited Kayla over to hang.
    But last Saturday evening, I got to meet everybody, and Brian got to meet the dad. All of those previous connections definitely helped take the edge off of such a situation!

     So be careful - you just never know whom your going to run into, or where!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Party Foods # 1

     While Kate and I were making up the foods that we took to Analys'e B-day party (yes, she came back the day we were leaving for the party and helped me make up the food too. Isn't she GREAT?!!! She said it was so-o worth it since she got to take some of everything home with her .. ;-0), I got to thinking that I should post each of them too... then I thought I should start another series, this one featuring that type of foods. But what should I call it? Started toying with a whole bunch of different names, and ended up with the ever so unoriginal one of "Party Foods".
     Why? Well I had thought about calling it 'foods for parties on the deck', but they work just as well for serving mid-January for Super Bowl Parties. I thought about dubbing them 'Informal Party Foods', but we had served some of them at a very classy finger foods wedding reception. So we are just going with the all inclusive title of "party foods".
    This particular series of 'party foods' will mainly be featuring the finger food type of foods.

    For the record, NO, starting this new series does NOT mean that we are done with the entries in the 'Warm Weather Desserts' series!!! In-fact, I am really looking forward to using blogging as an excuse to make some of the yet to come features. o;-p

    In my recipe box, this recipe states that the recipe came from Rachel Nicks. Rachel was a fellow Rugby mom, and had brought this dip to the end of the year party one season. For awhile, we referred to this recipe as 'the rugby dip'. ;-p
            Today's feature: Party Foods # 1
            Bean 'Salsa'

     (about the picture, I hadn't taken a picture of the dip right after we made it... well... to be honest, because I didn't want the extremely bad mess we had made, showing in the pictures. Since then I have been re-shown how to use the zoom in feature of our camera (yes, I had been shown before ... hadn't remembered ... 8-/), so this picture was taken part way through the party, after lots of it had already been eaten, when it again dawned on me that I had wanted pictures of the food ... yeah. Then again, we had made a double recipe ...)
     1 can black beans - drained and rinsed!
     1 can great northern beans, drained, not rinsed
     1 can sweet CRISP corn, drained only
     2 bunch's green onions
     1 cup chopped red onion
     1/2 cup chopped regular yellow onion
     1/2 cup canola oil
     1/2 cup rice vinegar
     1/3 cup sugar

     In a sauce pan, bring to boil the oil, vinegar and sugar, while whisking. Boil and whisk for two (2) minutes.
    While it cools, open and drain beans and corn (remembering to also rinse the black beans!) and combine in a bowl
    Then cut/chop up the onions, using all of the green onions. Add onions to the bean/corn mixture and mix well.
    When cool, add the oil, vinegar, sugar mixture and mix very well.
     It works great to serve this with the dipping style of nacho chips!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)

~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)

~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'

~ "Make it from Scratch", are held at 'Make it from Scratch ... Where creativity and frugality intersect'. (http://makeitfromscratch.blogspot.com/)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

how come?

     I'm curious. How come some nights mere moments after laying your head onto your pillow, you are totally comfortable, and it feels so amazingly good that your quite sure your going to have problems removing your head from it come morning.
     And yet there are other times that you can not seem to get comfortable on the pillow, no matter what you do. You try fluffing it. Nope. You try gently shaking it. Nope. You try starting at one end of it and 'working' it clear through to the other end. Nope. Then you think maybe a new pillow case will be what it needs. Nope. Or maybe it just needs a good shaking (or is that last step due to your rising aggravation? o:-) ). But no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get comfortable on it, no matter what you do.
     And the thing is, that this differential between it sometimes being almost instantly totally wonderful, and yet other times being anything but, seems to be based completely on the mood of the pillow itself.
     You would think a factor such as how "long" of a day you'd had, might figure in to it. But sometimes the pillow is one way after a day such as that, and other times it's the other way.
     Another condition which you would think might factor in, would be just how sleepy you are or aren't. I mean sometimes you can be really, really tired and yet not be that sleepy. But other times you are so darn sleepy, you couldn't stop yawning long enough to brush your teeth (although you probably wouldn't really admit to that ;-p ). And keeping your eyes open long enough to walk from the door way to your bed, took excruciating effort. And yet even in those widely varying conditions, your pillow can sometimes be oh so comfortable, yet other times make you ready to discard it. And when your oh-so-sleepy and your pillow is what's keeping you awake... yeah. It's not a pleasant situation!
     So I'm curious, what is this differential between it sometimes being almost instantly totally wonderful, and yet other times being anything but? Is it really based completely on the mood of the pillow itself? Do pillows have 'moods'? Hey, come on now, we all know that inadament objects (which is the category your pillow would fall under) are capable of moving of their own accord (other wise how in the world do they get over there, when you know darn well that you left it here! ? And your the only one home...). And we know that they have personalities (how else could they have the ability to give you the 'warm fuzzies' when you needed it the most?). But do they also have moods? That is my question.
     If so, is there something we can do to help put them in to the mood we desire them to be in? I mean, are pillows which for awhile hold chocolate mints or candies while waiting for your arrival, always in good moods? Cause if so, I think that most of us wouldn't mind sneaking into our bedrooms shortly before dinner and placing a chocolate something or other on our pillow. I mean, if it's going to help our pillow be in a good mood, it would be worth it, right? o:-p
     We'd also have to remember to shut the door behind us, making sure the cat and/or dog aren't in there. And that the children don't wander in. And ... But hey, eating chocolate before slipping off to sleep - I mean, placing chocolate on your pillow to guarantee that your pillow is going to be in a good mood, thus making it eager to be ever so comfortable for you, would be worth those elements of 'details', right? ;-p

     Oh, and if it's not having chocolate on it that makes the difference, do you have any idea WHAT it is that does?!!! 'Inquiring minds want to know'!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

more patterns

      Inspired by just how thrilled I was with how the quilt that I had made for Analyse had turned out, one night last week I sat down with the quilting books I had accumulated and page by page went back through them. Each one (pattern) I re-evaluated. If I didn't really like the overall quilt, was there one segment of it I did like and could tweak into a quilt of blocks out of? While there are lots of patterns with cutsie, totally kid type patterns out there, I have decided that I'd rather not do that type. They get out grown oh so quickly. Just personal preference. But hey, I am the one planning on making them. o;-p
     As I went along, if I found something that I got inspired with, I not only book marked the page, but I wrote myself notes as well. Using one of the cute note pads that I had won as the door prize gift, at my families baby shower for Analyse, I wrote down 'details' about how I wanted to tweak that particular pattern, etc.. Then, using the blue tape like you use when painting a room or car trim, I attached my notes to the appropriate page in the book (hoping that the tape would be easy to remove later).
     After going through all of the books, I had a grand total of seven (7) more patterns/quilts I want to try making. Five (5) of those would easily adapt to being either a boy or a girls quilt. So technically, that meant that I had twelve (12) more I'd like to make. And then there is this one other pattern I'm still mulling over ...
     Seeings how I had said that I only planned on making quilts for my own grandchildren, our "boys" questioned just how many grand children I thought they were going to produce for me. Smirk, smirk.
     I told them that I really didn't have a clue. I just wanted to make them while my brain was still capable (;-p). I want to make them and tuck them away. If I end up making more than the number of grand children we are blessed with, then they can be saved for great grand children. It really didn't matter to me.
     I haven't made my mind up yet as to whether I will post about them after I make them, or wait till they are given to post about them. Yes, that easily could be six (6) to eight (8) years from now just for grand children. But hey, I have already been blogging for five years, so .... On the other hand ... it was fun to show it to every one ... I don't know.
     In the mean time, I need to go to mission type stores and gather up more clothing to use for quilts. So-o, Kate, or Robin P., or Elizabeth B., or any other of my local friends whom feel brave and willing to take me on such a venture ..... give me a call to set it up!!!
    True, some days I'm doing better than I am on other days. But part of my 'at home' continued physical therapy, is slowly venturing forth and attempting different things. True, sometimes I wobble walk like I'm "drunk in pub-lick" [like your sure the comedian Ron White (from the 'Blue Collar Comedy Team') must do]. But honest, mine is caused by the vertigo, not due to drinking alcohol or liquor. o;-p Oh, and believe me, I WILL tell you when I've had enough and need to brave the ride home to my bed (rides and me - ewww).
    And now for a tempting reminder ... o;-p ... on the last Tuesday of every month, you get fifty (50) percent (%) off of everything you buy at Valueland .... o:-D

Monday, June 21, 2010

the Princess has a throne :-)

     Our grand daughter Analyse (pronounced Auna-lease) has very much been the inter-active, very aware of her surroundings type, from the get-go. Honest! She was less than two hours old and wailing for all she was worth while hooked up to all of the monitors in the infant nursery at the hospital, when her thrilled to have her daddy walked in and started talking to her and caressing her. Three of us thrilled to now be grand parents standing outside the nursery window, witnessed her turn her head towards and try to focus her eyes in on her daddy. Wow!
     Over the course of the next two days in the hospital, she would try to focus in on whom ever was holding her. And if she was awake and either of her parents spoke, she would turn her head their direction, no matter whom was holding her, or how far from that parent they were! We were all amazed. And impressed.
     When she was three months old and we were there helping them move, we witnessed that she had up-graded her inter-action. Cyndi's dad (thus Analyse's other grand-pa) and I were sitting taking turns resting and holding her. We'd be talking along (often about her o;->) and she'd suddenly interject babbling talking like sounds. If we verbally responded, she'd smile. We knew that this one was going to keep us on our toes!
     And on it has continued.

     I'd like to pause here and comment about 'my always telling people things' about Analyse. No, I do not think that Analyse is the first grand child ever. Nor am I completely positive that Analyse is the brightest, smartest child ever to be born. However, I do think that she is a very bright adorable little thing!!!! And thus, me being me, I tell others about it. Yes, I know that there are other people out there whom also have adorable grand children. There are also those whom have very bright and/or smart grand children. But I like to talk about mine. That's all. o:-)

      I had told Byron that she was the type of child whom just wanted to see and be a part of everything going on around her. Laying on the living room floor by herself was not acceptable in her book! No, no, no. So they learned to negotiate around her high chair and BoUnCiE seat in the kitchen, or her BoUnCiE seat and other things in the living room.
     Before we had gotten her the BoUnCiE seat, she had already been given a seat which has a rounded, molded plastic base. The seat itself is surrounded by a three to four inch tray which has it's own toys attached here and there, and the seat can be swiveled to face any direction. As soon as Analyse's feet were able to touch the base, she learned to spin that seat so she could better see what ever she was hearing!
     One day as Byron was desperately trying to stay focused on something in particular, but that something wasn't Analyse, he got inspired. One time last summer while a couple of his brothers were there visiting, they had all wandered off garage sailing in the area. It was one of those neighbor hood wide garage sale days. One of the 'treasures' they had found that day, was a large square coffee like table. While it wasn't something I would have nabbed, they liked it. And has it ever proven to be a great find!!
     That day that I was referring to, Byron got inspired to sit Analyse's swivable seat up on top of that table. Up there, she could not only still see him fine, but she could also see out their huge front windows. BINGO!!!
     To this day, that particular seat has remained up there. The table was pushed over so that in the seat, she can see clearly, yet isn't quite close enough to pound on the window.
    While I refer to her as my sweetheart, Byron and Cyndi had dubbed her their princess. They then dubbed her elevated seat 'her throne'. ;-p

     From 'her throne' she watches the trains pass behind the houses across the street. If she is in 'her throne', a car does not pass down the seat with out her quickly swirling to take note of it. The live-in nurse for the elderly person across the street, likes to take her smoke brakes out under a front tree and watch Analyse, and gladly waves back - r-e-p-e-a-t-e-d-l-y... ;-p People out walking their dogs often wave up at her. Young school girls en-route home, usually glance up to see if she is there to be waved at. The antics of the squirrel trotting down the sidewalk with a full ear of corn in his mouth, was not missed. She even giggled at him. From 'her throne', Analyse can view the world, and it is a mutual love affair ;-)

  [as you can see from this shot, she has a good view of the world outside her window.]

      Byron and Cyndi like putting the cling on type of seasonal decorations on the window. Analyse loves them!!! While she doesn't clearly say the word 'pretty', you have no doubt that's what she's saying as she's pointing at them.
      If you go to visit them and park near the end of the driveway, and she sees you, you had BEST wave up at her!!! One time Katie H. had, and didn't, and it took me a minute to figure out whom Analyse was scolding in no un-certain terms. She continued her scolding once Katie entered their apartment. Chuckle, chuckle!!!!

     So, my 'hopefully helpful tip' this particular Monday, is to create a 'throne' for your young ones where they too can see all, both inside and outside of your home, and they too will be content in there for an amazingly long amount of time!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Window Views", are hosted by MaryT/TheTeach, at 'Window Views' (http://windowviews2.blogspot.com/).
~ "Wordful Wednesday('s)" (the picture variety), are hosted by Angie, at 'SevEn cLoWn CirCuS' (http://angiescircus.blogspot.com/),

Saturday, June 19, 2010

the "green" quilt

AKA: "My Secret Project"  :-)

     When I learned that we had a grandchild on the way, I KNEW that I wanted to again start quilting, and that I WANTED to make a quilt for our grand baby. Originally in my mind, I was going to give it to them at the child's birth. But then..., and then..., and then my sewing machine died, and ... yeah. But hey, she did receive it at her first birthday - that's pretty good for a 'I really want to get around to it' project. o;-p

    While the fabric stores do carry an all inspiring, wondrous collection/variety of materials, I wanted to do it a different way (surprised? o;-p).  Lot's of quilts of old were made from materials from the scrap bag / the families out grown clothing. I wanted to do it more like that, but I did not have such a supply available. Then I got inspired with a sort of the same thing idea. Now a days, people donate their out grown or no longer wanted clothing to mission stores, right? Okay then!
     So over a year and a half ago, with Robin P. in tow, I headed out Plainfield to the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. I was on a mission to find materials that matched in colors and complimented each other in patterns to cut up and make quilt squares out of. We were ALL over those stores! Only the infant clothing sections remained unsearched, due to there not being enough material in that size clothing. We were over here, and then 'I think I saw something that might work with this over there', and then .... . We left the Salvation Army store with a couple of yet unmatched / yet I really liked pieces. When we got to the Goodwill store, we got permission to bring them in there to find matches for. Most we did. The rest eventually got re-donated.
     For the record, no, I did not yet know which pattern I was going to make. I had done some searching for baby quilts on line. And I had been nabbing up quilting books at mission stores and the used book store. No matter which I decided on, it would take material.
     Here are the clothing pieces the quilt squares were made from.

      This is a young teens striped shirt and a cotton skirt

      From which came this quilt square:

      These are an oxford styled shirt with cuffs and a sun dress

      From which came this quilt square :

      This is two men's shirts, one with cuffs.

      From which came this quilt square -

      [Yes, the white shirt on the bottom with the orange and yellow thread like dots was a man's dress shirt complete with cuffs. Of the men I showed it too, they all understood how it got donated ;-p ]

     This mens shirt and a women's blouce

      is what this quilt square came from

      This women's oxford and a pair of child sized pants

      is what this quilt square came from -

      This combination of a women's super soft Tshirt and sleep pants (which I was ever so tempted to just keep and wear o;-}) -

      is the combination that this quilt square came from

      This really cute and soft ladies nightie and a teen sized jumper -

      made up the combination for this quilt square

     But then I needed three more squares to equal ten total for one side of the front of the quilt. By mixing things around, I came up with these combinations:
      While I was able to come up with three more combinations after that, I wasn't able to come up with ten, so I just repeated the squares I had already come up with so that I had twenty squares total. :-}

      The backing for the quilt was going to be a nice soft cotton crib sized sheet which I had also picked up at the Salvation Army store. (A)
      When I had been gathering things together to donate to our youth groups mission trip garage sale, I had started to include the mattress pads off of the bunk beds which we no longer had. I checked them over, pretty sure they were still in almost new condition. They were. As I started folding them up an idea hit me, these would work wonderful as quilt fillers/liners! (B) It actually made the quilt feel more along the lines of a comforter than a quilt. Nice and warm! (Hey, that thing called winter will come around again!)
       I had my twenty squares, but they weren't quite big enough to fill the backing. Hummmm. Yes, I could just cut down the backing, but in a way I wanted the squares separated so they showed prettier. Hum mmm. I found a solid soft pink colored flat sheet in my linen closet from back when we had thought Jeannie might be moving in with us. It too had come from some mission store. I measured and cut that into strips to run both parallel and vertical between the squares.(C) Nice! Thanks Lord!
     This then is a picture of those three things. Unfortunately, the backing doesn't show that it's really little pinkish and white squares. Aw well ...
                                        (A)            (B)               (C)
       It turned out that the mattress pad was much longer and yet narrower than the sheet for the backing. So I cut the extra length off, sewed the right amounts onto the side, and even had some leftover which I 'plan' on using in another idea I had. o;-p

     The finished quilt :-D  It qualifies as a "Green quilt" seeings how everything except the thread and yarn used on it are recycled materials. o:->  And it was my "secret project" seeings how very few people knew that I was really tackling it.
      I was totally thrilled with how my 'wild idea' actually turned into a beautiful thing!!! Here it is as a finished quilt.

       Seeings how I made the quilt for Analyse, I didn't think it would be right not to include some pictures of her with it  ;-)
       Sitting on it shortly after unwrapping it.

       A couple of days later we decided to see if we could get her to pose for a picture her parents could get printed off for all of the friends and relatives. When I came home I asked Brian how to use the rapid speed on the camera!!! Man does that child move fast!  But this picture shows you why I describe her as adorable!

       And this one is displays her in her Easter dress in front of the quilt. Man, I need one of her hugs again!!!!!

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Special Thanks!!! :
- To Byron, Cyndi and the Lord for our grand daughter :-)
- To Robin P. - for helping me shop for / select all of the clothing for the quilt squares material.  THANKS Robin! [Robin, I had every intention of visiting you at work and showing you the finished 'scheme'. But none of the guys were home the last couple of days before we left town to drive me out to you. And I have not yet been freed to drive ... I'm sorry!!!]
- To my neighbor/friend Amy M. - for the use of her clothes line and camera to take pictures of the clothing before I started cutting pieces out. And for later picking up the yarn and darning needles for me, so we could tie the quilt off. THANKS Amy!!!
- To Elizabeth B. - for technical support and encouragement. "Elizabeth, I've sewn before! I've quilted before! But would you please help my fuzzy brain remember how to find the bias in material. I can remember how to in material off of a bolt, but I'm cutting up already made clothing for this ... cutting cookies out of dough is ever so much easier! And if it doesn't come out right, you just re-roll it!!" And for getting the thread and template to use as a pattern piece for me. And for being so happy when I'd call in my progress reports. THANKS Elizabeth!!!
- To Brent - for watching the set up DVD with me and helping me figure out what I had missed in re-threading the machine. The first time I had got it perfect. But after re-threading the bobbin ... grumble .... fighting tears .... it turned out I had missed one little catch with the bobbin thread that is only the thickness of a thumbnail. Bother!!! Thanks also Brent for tieing the quilt off for me! (He even ended up using the pliers.) THANKS Brent!!!
- To Brent's girlfriend Kayla - for voluntarily taking out the long double seam when I had tried to machine quilt the layers together. All of those teeny little stitches ... my eyes were hurting so bad, and dizzy ... whew. THANKS Kayla!!!
- And to Brian - for granting me the desire of my heart and gifting me with such a wonderful new sewing machine!!! You are wonderful!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "2nd Time Around Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Diane, at 'A Picture is Worth 1,000 words' (http://diane1876.blogspot.com/),
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)

~ "Trash to Treasure Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Kimm, at 'Reinvented' (http://reinventedkb.blogspot.com).
~ "Make it from Scratch", are held at 'Make it from Scratch ... Where creativity and frugality intersect'. (http://makeitfromscratch.blogspot.com/)
~ "DIY Day('s) {Do it yourself day('s)}", are hosted by Kimba, at ASPTL (A Soft Place To Land) (http://asoftplacetoland-kimba.blogspot.com/).
~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'

Friday, June 18, 2010

helping friends -

     Last week Friday, Brian and I had aided some friends in doing the graduation open house for their daughter. Graduation open houses are such a wonderful celebration of achievement tradition! In order for a kid to have one, they had to earn a graduation certificate / diploma. For some kids, that's an achievement. But for others, it's an achievement which contained some type of struggling. Our friends daughter's schooling definitely contained it's challenges! But struggles and challenges have been a part of Ashlee's life from the get go!
     Ashlee's mom Amie had gone in for one of her pre-natal scheduled checkups only to lean that the reason she didn't have much appetite, and the reason behind her continually swelling ankles (and Amie is a very tall size 3 model) was because her blood pressure wasn't just rising, it was sky rocketing!!! Amie was diagnosed as having preclampsia (spelling?). Basically, she was 'allergic' to the pregnancy and the only way to solve the problem was to deliver the baby.
      In-fact, the situation was so grave that the Dr's office did not even want to wait the fifteen to twenty minutes it would take for somebody to come get Amie and take her to the hospital. One of the doctor's offices nurses drove her there herself.
      Ashlee entered this world at 1 lb 7 1/2 ounces, 13 weeks before her due date. For the first few days, the medical staff was not sure if either the mother or the child would make it. Oh the pleading prayers that went up on their behalf!!!! Oh the prayers of Thanksgiving when God granted the desires of our hearts and they both slowly pulled through! What a day of rejoicing it was when Amie got to bring her oh so precious then five pound baby home from the hospital three months later!!!
      And last Friday we were celebrating Ashlee having graduated high school - with honors!! :-D Way to go Ashlee!!!
      Instead of cooking a full pig in the roaster, they had gotten a bunch of pig butts. Technically, they are huge pork shoulder roasts. The name change has something to do with the Jews, and how it was okay to eat pork butts, cause after all, it's just a butt, but it wasn't okay to eat a shoulder roast .... My guys told me more details ... that's how much I'm currently recalling ...
     For those of you whom are local - we highly recommend renting equipment from 'Sun Rentals' on Fuller St.!! We had personally recently rented an auger from there (you'll be learning more about that soon). Our friends had rented the gas pig roaster from there. Over the years of working for caterers, Brian has done 'ump-teen dozen' (another of my dad's terms) pig roasts!!! He HIGHLY recommends and prefers the gas roasters over the charcoal ones!!!! LOTS easier to control the heat, thus the timing, etc.!! And far less likely to have 'flare ups' (too much of the fat dripping on one area of hot coals can create quite the roaring fire, and you can't just easily lift a pig up, like you can hamburgers!)
     A-n-y ways, they had picked the roaster up Friday morning and been told that the tanks contained enough gas for eight hours of roasting. When Brian went to check progress at two and a half hours, the tank was empty and the temp inside the roaster had been seriously dropping! YIKES!!!! The guys pulled the half full much smaller sized gas tank off of our friends gas grill, while Amie called the rental place. While she did have to repeat the telling of the situation to a manager, the company did not give her any grief over it. In-fact, quite the opposite. They apologized, verified that the address on the rental sheet was also the address of the site where the roaster was being used, and immediately sent a worker our way with a new tank! They also said that our friends were to get their own personal tank refilled at such and such a place and then bring the receipt into them and they would reimburse them for it! Now that folks is customer service! Now true, it shouldn't have happened in the first place. But it did/had. Accidents happen. Life happens. But the company took both responsibility and action!!! Woohoo!!!
     Originally the 'plan' had been for me to do up a lot of the other food. But then I was (am) still struggling with my vertigo. So Amie recruited others to do most of the food, and all I had to do was help cut up fruit and tray and bowl stuff that day. Once the celebration started, for awhile I helped keep the buffet filled. Once I started 'feeling it' I sat inside at the kitchen island eating and recouping. Amie came through giving some relatives a tour of their new home and after taking one look at me, informed me I needed to go lay down! I said I would be fine in a couple of minutes... Two minutes later she was back, linking her fingers through mine, and leading me up to a bedroom. As she was shutting the door behind herself she 'informed' me that I was to stay there and rest!!! Goodness.
     I did rest for quite a while, feeling ever so guilty that Brian was still out there working over that hot roaster. Due to the situation with the gas, the roasts hadn't been done on time. So the guys were carving off the done parts and then sticking the rest of the roasts back in to keep cooking.
     I re-entered the kitchen later at the same time Brian was entering through the garage. "What are you doing back up?!!!" I reassured him that I was doing better and started in on the dirty dishes. Once the party was over, I stayed at the sink/counter while others brought everything in to us. 'Team work' got all of it cleaned up nicely!!
     Ashlee will be starting towards her teachers certificate this fall. I warned her that I had started towards mine, but instead ended up getting first my 'MRS.' degree and then my 'MOM' degree. But hey, I did work as a teachers aid for three years in the pre-school that was part of the school our boys attended :-). And yes, I am still glad I got both of the degrees I did.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

from Brian -

copied and pasted here from Brian's Facebook page -

     "Live so the preacher won't have to tell lies at your funeral."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

warm weather dessert # 4

     As I had mentioned in the other warm weather dessert postings, in warm weather we start wanting different kinds of desserts. Today, I am posting recipe # 4 in the series I had started. This series features a few desserts that we are not limited to making only in warm weather months, but that is when we usually enjoy them much more.

       Today's feature: warm weather dessert # 4:
       Graham Crackers With Icing

     Okay, so many of us think of this as a treat for kids. But I happen to know a full grown man, whom to this day still dubs this his all time favorite dessert! Seriously!! (For those of you who might know him, his name is John, and he is the son of a farm family that attended our church ...).
     The graham crackers and icing that I featured in the picture, were made by using leftover frosting's from our grand daughter's birthday cakes. And using leftover frosting's to make them is often the methodology people use. However, I have been know to make up frosting solely for the purpose of making graham crackers and frosting. o;-p There's just something about them ...

     While I have seen numerous postings about making your own graham crackers, I have always just bought them. However, if you would like trying your hand at making your own, I'd suggest you do a google search for "homemade graham crackers" and compare what you find, till you hit on one that strikes your fancy.

     The graham crackers with the chocolate frosting in the middle in the picture, were this recipe of chocolate frosting:
     Chocolate Butter(+)cream Frosting
         made up years ago by Cheryl B. (me)
     6 Tablespoons butter, room temp.
     3 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temp.
     (I will admit here that sometimes I cheat and add as much of the cream cheese as I do the butter .... I did for my grand daughter's birthday o;-) )
     3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
     2 2/3 cups Confectioner's sugar
     1/3 cup canned milk
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

     With a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and cream cheese; add cocoa. Alternately add conf. sugar and milk. Beat, mixing well. Blend in vanilla. Mix again. Do a taste test and lick your fingers o;-p Ummmm ......

     The graham crackers with the pink frosting in the middle in the picture, were this recipe of Butter(+)cream frosting:
       Butter(+)cream Frosting
         made up years ago by Cheryl B. (me)
       6 Tablespoons butter, room temp.
       3 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temp.
       (I will admit here that sometimes I cheat and add as much of the cream cheese as I do the butter .... I did for my grand daughter's birthday o;-) )
       3 cups Confectioner's sugar
       1/3 cup canned milk
       1 teaspoon food coloring*
       1 teaspoon artificial flavoring* (or you can add vanilla extract)

     With a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Alternately add conf. sugar and milk. Beat, mixing well. Blend in food coloring and flavoring - or - vanilla. Mix again. Do a taste test and lick your fingers o;-p Ummmm ......

     * Instead of using food colorings and artificial flavorings, you can use real fruit, which will in turn color the frosting.
       - For pink colored frosting, use fresh strawberries. Finely cut up the strawberries and spread the pieces out on a folded paper towel. Let sit for about five minutes. Then using the tip of a knife or a toothpick**, flip the pieces of the strawberry into the frosting bowl.
      - For redder frosting, use the same method on fresh cherries.
      - For blue frosting, use blue berries.
      - For the 4th of July, make some up with red frosting, some with plain white frosting (don't add the vanilla!), and some with blue frosting. :-}
      - And the color options go on by the type of fruits you select ;-)

** for additional uses for toothpicks, check out this posting.

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You might also enjoy these postings:

~ warm weather dessert # 1: NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

~ warm weather dessert # 2: (No Bake) Banana Split Dessert

~ warm weather dessert # 3: Rice Krispie Treats / "The Thick Soft Type"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Christmas Gift from My Husband :-}

     Okay, right off the bat, let's clear things up. Yes, I am doing a posting about what my husband gave me for Christmas last December. Yes, I fully realize that it is now mid June. No, I am not trying to rush 'the season'. Yes, I am aware that some stores start stocking their Christmas stuff in mid June. Wish they wouldn't!! To tell the whole truth, I actually helped pick my gift out and bring it home quite a bit before last Christmas ... So why am I just now telling all of you about it? 'Lucy' will 'splain o;-)
     But first, this message (;-p) chuckle, chuckle!!! First, I need to tell you what the gift is/was - which word is appropriate here? A new sewing machine!!:-D!!:-)!! "Yes Bob, behind door number one, is a Singer / Confidence model 7467 sewing machine! This fine machine features 70, yes 70, built-in stitches, 6 of which have direct stitch button selection. That means Bob, that for six of the stitches, all you have to do to change from your regular straight stitching to that style stitches, is push one of the six little buttons, which by the way Bob, the buttons display a sample of their style of stitching right on them, and the machine will automatically switch from the straight stitch to whichever style you selected. An added feature on this particular machine Bob, is that for the rest of the seventy available stitch styles, there is a built in, easily accessible guide which pulls out from underneath the front of this fine machine and shows you a sample of the style of stitching and it's coordinating code which you then enter into the machine via the handy little up and down buttons located on the front of the machine, right next to the digital stitch number display screen."
    "But Bob, that's not all! This fine sewing machine also features 2 stay bright LED lights, has a drop and sew bobbin system, an automatic needle threader, and 3 one-step buttonholes."
    "This fine machine is Cheryl's Bob, all because the price was right for what her husband had been saving towards." ;-p
     Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle!

    Yes, my husband had been saving towards it. For several years actually. But every time he thought he might actually be able to get one for me, life happened and there went that money. He explains his saving method as 'skimming off the top'. When he'd get his 'church checks' (from doing janitorial work for the church) he'd take some cash out before depositing the balance and slip it into his secret spot. The church has since switched to automatic deposits and he informed the responsible person that he would have to answer to me next Christmas, as to why he hadn't been able to 'skim' money and get me a gift. ;-p!
    I have had a couple of different used machines before. The last one had gotten to the point where sometimes it would stitch along just fine, and then for no apparent reason it would start majorly messing up along the back of the material. Tried cleaning it. Couldn't figure it out. So finally we took it in. The report came back that it had a cracked head. Yikes! And that due to the age of the machine, finding a new part was both challenging and expensive. Drats!
    When I told Elizabeth B. about it, she recommended that we get a second opinion at this other shop. Same verdict. But he said they wouldn't charge us for the 'check see' if we bought a new machine from them. Yeah right, I thought. But to be polite I let him start showing me some different machines. Oh my goodness do they have some 'fancy dancy' (as my dad would phrase it) machines now-a-days! Impressive! But so were their price tags. Yikes!
    Then my husband spoke up stating that he only had this much saved towards it. My eyes bugged!!! I started saying that I didn't really expect him to buy me a new machine .... and he told me to follow the nice man and pick out a machine in that price range. WOW!!

     Now, as to why I haven't told you about it before this. See, the thing is, part of the basement project included making a small area for me to 'craft' in. The project isn't that far yet. Which also means the dining room isn't emptied yet. Which also means .... so I hadn't actually opened the box yet. I had 'planned to' shortly after Christmas. But then there were the funerals, and the vertigo hit ... life!
    So even though all of that is not yet done, what made me go ahead and open the box and use my wonderful new sewing machine? You'll see the answer to that question in a posting this coming weekend ;-} o/~ "An-tic-i-pation ... I'm keeping you wait-ait-ait-ing .... "o/~ ;-p

[yes, I'm a bit fiesty this morning. Last night I went from just feeling dizzy to actually feeling like I'm spinning again. I started tackling something yesterday ... I am being 'fiesty/silly' in attempt to stay positive!]

Monday, June 14, 2010

WELCOME home!!! ;-)

    Brent had proceeded me through the back door last Wed. morning when we had arrived back from Byron and Cyndi's. A very sleepy eyed Boo had come to greet him. Man was he a sleepy eyed dog! And his tails usual THUMP THUMP THUMP against the fridge sounded muted! ;-p Then again, it was 2:30 a.m..
    He was watching Brent, waiting for Brent to get his shoes off and greet him. He sort of glanced once behind Brent and saw me waiting in the doorway, then turned right back to Brent. But then I saw his eyes snap fully open, a smile broke all over his face, his tail no longer sounded muted, and his head snapped back my direction. "Mommy" was home!!!!! 'Priceless!' !!!
    Thankfully the over sized cooler we had used for the weekend was still sitting in the kitchen. I stumbled over to it and after sitting started greeting Boo. He was comical! He could not seem to decide which he wanted more, mutual hugs and kisses, or me scratching his hind quarters. Goodness. I was already very done in from the road trip home, and now I had a dog whom kept spinning end to end in front of me. Yikes!!!!
    And yet his enthusiasm and love was so precious and yet comical .... silly dog ;-p
    By the time that Brent exited the bathroom and called Boo to head upstairs with him, I had a handful of Boo hair, and there was quite the scattered mess of it on the floor! Yup, he's still shedding. I scooped it all up, put it in the trash, used the bathroom myself and went up to a real bed and a glad to pull me close husband ;-). Nice!
    Since Rascal's passing, Boo has taken to joining me on my bed in the mornings. Sometimes he waits till Brent gets up, but often he does as soon as he hears Brian get up. Usually I feel him jump up on the bed, he comes and sniffs the heck out of my ear (dogs are so weird that way!!!), and then turns a couple of circles and lays down. The next morning I felt him jump up on the bed and sniff my ear, but this time he didn't just lay down. Instead he started tapping my shoulder. ;-p He needed some verbal greeting, hugs and kisses before he laid down and sighed ever so contentedly. I felt so-o loved!!!
     I have 'homes' in two different cities/states where I get the warmest welcomes :-} WONDERFUL!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

CHOCOLATE B-day Cake :-)

    Aka: "Ummmmm this is G-O-O-D!!!" chocolate cake ;-)

    Byron thinks it's great that the exact same day his mom (me) asked if she could make the birthday cakes for his daughter's first birthday party, his wife asked him if he thought his mom would be willing to make the cake. We agree with him!  :-)
    "My" Kate agreed to take me out shopping to pick out 'girlie' cup cake liners. When we got to Michael's we learned that the reason they mainly only had empty cupcake papers displays, was because they were in the middle of inventory. Grumble. Was I up to trampling through another store? yes. But I wanted that store to be Value land! So we picked these out of what they did have available, figuring that while they weren't all 'girlie', they were definitely cute and partyish.

      (The small/'mini' ones had elephants on the bottom, my Brian collects elephants ...)
      What I hadn't figured in, was how the darkness of the chocolate cake inside them would pretty much cancel out what color and patterns they were.  :-(  Live and learn.

     Besides making them for Analyse's first birthday party, I had also said I would make some of the 'mini' sized ones for a couple different graduation open houses. I figure that while I'm baking, I might as well keep multiplying the recipe and keep going. So I baked up and frosted LOTS of the 'minis'

    and LOTS of the regular sized

     see, there is a difference in the two sizes
    and then made white butter-cream frosting and added polka dots to ALL of them (actually, all except the four dozen 'mins' headed to the graduation open houses. Those I just sprinkled with yellow sugar).

     then added food coloring and strawberry flavoring to the white frosting and added pink flowers to ALL of them ....

    Wa-La, all done -

     Or so I thought. I put the birthday girl's cake in the fridge to set up. After all, we would be traveling many miles with it. Twenty minutes later I opened the fridge to fix myself a glass of Pepsi, only to find that the package of ham slices had fallen over onto the cake and split it!!! Grumble, grumble, fight tears .... there was no fixing it. Sigh. Bake another one. But instead of making more white frosting, I went with this design instead.
    About the train on top, Grandpa Brian also loves trains. And Analyse likes to watch the trains that pass behind the houses across the street, and grandma had this candle holder stashed away in a drawer which Kate found when I asked her to get a candle out for me ;-) "I love it when a plan comes together!" ;-p

      Nestle Chocolate Layer Cake
        from Nestle's Toll House Heritage Cookbook
      1 1/2 cups sugar
      1/2 cup butter, softened
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      2 envelopes (2 oz.) Nestle Coco-bake
         (yellow box in your baking aisle by chunked chocolate)
      2 eggs
      2 1/4 cups flour
      1 1/2 teasp. baking soda
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 1/2 cups ice water

     In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract (I use a wooden spoon); beat until creamy. Blend in Nestle Coco-bake and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in flour, soda and salt alternately with ice water. Pour into two greased and floured 8 or 9 inch cake pans. (I have found that lining the bottoms of the sprayed pans with a cut to size piece of parchment paper works wondrously!!!)
    (this recipe can also be made into one 9 x 13 pan).
    Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 min. (test with toothpick)
    Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely on wire racks. Frost.

    Chocolate Butter(+)cream Frosting
        made up years ago by Cheryl B. (me)
    6 Tablespoons butter, room temp.
    3 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temp.
        (I will admit here that sometimes I cheat and add as much of the cream cheese as I do the butter .... I did for my grand daughter's birthday o;-) )
    3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
    2 2/3 cups Confectioner's sugar
    1/3 cup canned milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

     With a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and cream cheese; add cocoa. Alternately add conf. sugar and milk. Beat, mixing well. Blend in vanilla. Mix again. Do a taste test and lick your fingers o;-p  Ummmm ......

    Analyse being fed a 'mini' (bake them for 15 minutes) -

           (look at those eyes, she was so-o-o ready for a nap!)

    I just love how Benson captured 3 year old Benjamin's thrilledness over his mini cupcake :-)   (Benjamin is the son of one of their friends)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

P.S.'s :
- a big THANK-YOU to Kate - she had not only taken me shopping, but she also came over on Memorial Day and helped me bake everything up. All of that twisting and turning getting things in and out of the oven ... she did it for me :-D Thanks Kate!!!

- just in case it will help you too - Four (4) timesing (x's) the recipe equals (=) one hundred (100) regular sized cupcakes.

- we did six times the recipe and got a combined mini and regular sized cupcake total of one hundred and eighty eight (188) PLUS the two nine inch cake layers.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:

~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm back home again -

     Early last Friday evening, five of us pulled out headed towards Byron and Cyndi's for Analyse's first birthday party. Sadly, Brandon was not with us. However the happy news was that it was because he had the chance to work and earn some money :-} Sat. morning C.P. High School was again hosting the yearly state track meet and they had again asked him to work it. He had also been called and asked to cater jobs both Sat. evening and one on Sunday. Seeings how he is still out of work, you take jobs where and when they come along!
     Analyse's birthday party was scheduled for Sat. afternoon. Our plan had been to come home early Sunday evening. The rest of them did, but due to Cyndi's INSISTENCE I stayed. HONEST, she was most insistent!!! !!! Brian approved, Brent and Kayla offered to do a round trip Wed. evening to fetch me (the train is so not an option yet for me!), and Brian said they could use the van, so it was decided.
     I now have a whole lot of postings to write up. And l-o-t-s of pictures to share. :-} Hey, who moaned?! o;-p
     We pulled in between two and two thirty this morning, so for now I am just going to leave you with this one picture of my sweetheart and then go back up to bed for awhile. Sleep is calling.
     This then friends, is our adorable one year old grand daughter :-D

Thursday, June 3, 2010

from Brian -

copied to here from Brian's Facebook page:

        "I've decided to stop beating around the bush.
     I'm going to move on to the ornamental shrubbery."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

popsicles -

     On one of her blogs, pause, interrupt, yes she has more than one, she actually has five, continue, my blogging friend 'Mexico Jen' has declared June to be "Popsicle Month". Her goal is to feature a different type of home made, good tasting, yet nutritional popsicles every day of the month.
    I thought that many of you might want to try making your own popsicles in this heat too. The blog of hers that she is featuring them on, is her 'Whole Food Kids' blog. Make sure and tell her that Cheryl B. sent you ;-}
    Oh, and while your there, make sure you check out the drawings her ten year old made for his 'Iron Man' outfit ;-} Oh the memories of similar drawings that came to mind :-) The pictures are in the posting featuring the 'Iron Man Popsicles'.

"Awwww, you are so sweet to pass this along! I do have one correction, though. Not ALL of the recipes will be healthy! Some will just be completely indulgent!

       Jen" (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com)