Friday, April 30, 2010

Thank You Notes

This is one of the greatest exercises of the mind I have ever seen!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Click here  for a treat. Make sure you go to the blog entry for April 29th!


We are off to San Antonio today!
Enjoy your weekend!
I am going to write a Thank You note for the warmer weather to which we are headed!







Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Regardless

This evening I had supper with two close friends, at a restuarant called 
The Living Room. 
It is an open air type restaurant
 and the drinks and food were delish-
Regardless 
of the delish-
Regardless 
of the setting-
Regardless
 of what should have been a delightful evening-
on my way home-
I felt that wilted feeling. 
Tears
 were slowly dripping from my eyes- 
I tried to fight it-
Regardless-
 they remained-



As I turned into my driveway 
and pulled up alongside my garage--
my headlights suddenly shown upon


This site-
Tears slowly flowed from my eyes,
as before,
but 
this time
out of gratitude,
for the 
knowledge
that
REGARDLESS
 kindness and hope are
 just around any turn-- 



The two beautiful wilted roses, 
from yesterday,
 were joined with  
this gigantic bouquet 
of love, tenderness,
 sweetness,and peacefullness, 
in the midst of my rain. 




It was a reminder to me,
 that always, 
even when there are
 tears and sadness,
 there are angels waiting-

REGARDLESS

And sometimes they are even visible-

Thank You Angel


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beauty In The Beast


Today I met a dear friend for coffee and a day of
 " Friend Togetherness"
We met at this beautiful setting.
When I was 16 years of age ( I am now 62 ) I modeled swimming suits, in a fashion show, at this exact setting----
I remarked to my friend, " I should take a picture of my now very baggy knees ( another blog in and of itself, smile ) and blog about this--- oh how I wish I had a picture from the swimming suit days!
Anyway, as you read on---the point being--
My knees were beautiful when I was 16-
The setting was beautiful when I was 16
The setting is still beautiful at the age of 62
It might not be my kness that are beautiful now
but at age 62
 there are new things about me that are beautiful
 that were not beautiful when I was 16-


These photographs are not particularly even pretty, much less beautiful- I am struggling with photography, as I want to do too much ---  I have not " Focused" on my photography skills-
even as I type this---see the tooth brush in the reflection of the mirror? I tried cropping this picture three times and something happened each time to keep it from disappearing-
and then I realized-
my tooth brush is a part of the very person I am-
It seemed to be saying, as it refused to be eliminated, I am relevant, don't delete me!
Do you see the buttons along the bottom of the mirror?
This morning I planned to post about them and my
 "Design on a Dime" creating---
My pictures were all awful---
flash on---
no time to figure out how to turn it off---
just skipped posting--- 
See the empty bud vase?
I had no flowers to put in the vase---
NONE----

My friend brought me these two beautiful roses from her own special rose garden. I told her they were perfect for my vase. I told her about not having any flowers for my vase and my post and my lack of being able to " do it all" and my frustration with such. 
By the time I arrived home with my flowers---
because we spent almost the entire day together ( my friend and I and my sweet as perfume roses from her garden ) my roses were wilted and looking pretty distressed from their lack of water 
 IF
 one was only looking at the outside of the flowers ---
BUT
 I was smelling the smell of friendship
I was seeing the delight of the love behind the gift-
I was seeing the BEAUTY-
beyond the outward appearance---
I was seeing the LOVE---

Both this friend and I have challenges in our lives-
Both this friend and I feel wilted at times-
Both this friend and I have far from Fairy Tale Lives
BUT
Both this friend and I see beauty, in our lives ,when we come together 
because we both 
CONNECT--
We don't see our own wilt-
We don't see our own challenges-
We see each others-
Because we care
And we love-
EachOther
And 
By
Loving
Each
Other
We
Give
OURSELVES
Love

I was blessed today 
to see the beauty behind the
 perceived imperfection in life---

Wishing you the same---
And wishing myself the ability to see it more often!



Sunday, April 25, 2010

At The Top Of My List Today


Is Blogging !



Thursday, when I left the valley, I first had to clean the snow off of my car! Someone needs to tell Old Man Winter that it is now supposed to be Spring time---
 E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E !
At some point when I got to the valley I had my air conditioning on because I was hot--- such a difference in a 3 and 1/2 hour drive!


Product to be bought-- 
I had to make three trips to get all the product for my May deliveries, in the car.


The packaging was already to go -
I have spent two days just getting the product inside the packaging, tying bows, attaching tags, etc.
 The study is filled with all kinds of treats-


This picture does not do this packaging justice but -
Circus theme-
Tag says, The Best Smiles Under The Bigtop
Treats are cotton candy and Barnam and Bailey animal crackers. The sticky note is just covering the client's name-

I love this packaging. The tag in the left corner says
B-I-N-G-O
Our Smiles Are Always Lucky !
I am into ruffles right now! 
The ruffles are made from crepe paper.

Now for the meat of the matter-
The matter being my life-
Randy and I had another challenging week this past week-

Word on the Street
 News about Amber-
While eating out last week in Pinetop, the waitress that Amber bailed on, concerning an apartment a year ago , came over to say hello. She told us up until last week she had not heard a peep about Amber since December
 B-U-T 
she had just heard the prior week, from a very reliable source, Amber is now in Silvercreek, with a new boyfriend.
Silvercreek is about 35 miles from Pinetop. There is a great golf course Randy likes to go to there. Randy told me it is a very rural area and it makes sense that it would be a place where Meth labs would be and heavy Meth users would be -
Out in the boon docks, away from people -

Getting news of her stirs up all kinds of emotions, as you can well imagine. 

Mr. Chandler got himself into trouble this week by texting a girl a bad name. The girl's parents called the police and a  policeman visited our home. Chandler had been picked up by Maria already so he was not at our house when the policeman arrived. Speaker phone conversations with Chandler, and dealing, dealing, dealing. Randy said the policeman was very nice to him, bla, bla, bla. Randy told the policeman why we had joint custody of Chandler and when Randy saw the policeman he thought it would be in reference to Amber since there is a warrant out for her arrest. The policeman told Randy there were several warrants out for Amber but he was not there in reference to Amber so he had not brought her up. Randy then told him the latest we had heard and that was that--
E-X-C-E-P-T
of course
for dealing
with grandson-

Chandler claims the girl texted him some bad names before he responded in like. Randy told him it did not matter- told him he should have gone directly to Maria and shown her or to us. He should not have responded to the girl. You know the parent talk he was given, I am sure.
Phone suspended for now-
X-box live taken away, for now-

We are all trying to raise this young man and all of us deal with the emotions of what has happened with our daughter.
She was just about Chandler's age when all the trouble started with her.
We know he is not Amber .
We know he is not Amber.
We know he is not Amber
B-U-T
we also are scared to death-

We know we can only do the best we can do
B-U-T
sometimes the results from the best we can do
are so disappointing
 and so hurtful
 that questioning what IS the best we can do
 becomes front and center-

Thankfully, my hairdresser ( Oh yes, love those hairdresser psycology chairs! Smile) and her husband ( who are quite young, conservative, well rounded people, whose parenting skills I respect ) walked through the events and what they thought. 
Interestingly, I had never questioned the parents calling the police. 
Thus ensued a conversation about technology with kids,
the difference in emergencies be it 9-1-1 or what to call police about--

In my day, my parents would have called the parents of the child to discuss the matter-

In my day-
however-
I would not have had the entire police force out after me for following a school bus to find out where a little girl lives that said grandson has a crush on - S-M-I-L-E
( this was a post that I posted about a year ago )

Y-E-S
times have changed
B-U-T
rules are the same
and the most important of those rules

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
I fall short of this rule
 sometimes,
we all do
 sometimes,
but as my hairdresser said,
the important thing is for Chandler to learn from this experience-
so I am hoping,
with the holding him accountable,
learning will take place -

I came down to the valley last Thursday so I could take my dad for his check up with the Orthopedic surgeon.
Break is healing nicely and he can start practicing golf in a couple of weeks-
report was good-
my dad was good-
H-U-G-E 
smiles would go here!


And the last major news involves our
 Aunt Mary Helen.





Mary Helen has always been my hero, in terms of how to take care of one's life stages.
She was a single woman, all of her life.
She joined the armed services and upon retirement she was a psychologist in the CA school system.
She was quite the self sufficient woman, investing in real estate and following the stock market. 
Right about the age of 70, she started looking at retirement communities that provided care from independent living through the nursing home stages of life.
She chose one in San Antonio, Texas.
She moved into independent living there and enjoyed her life up untill a couple of years ago. She called us and told us it was time to make the move to the assisted living portion of the facility. We traveled there, packed up her place, and helped settle her in her next home.
Two to three weeks ago it became apparent she would need to be moved to the third floor nursing home facility.
She was sent to the emergency room about a week ago. 
She was having trouble with her throat-
She was having trouble with swallowing-
The nurse told Randy the Dr. wanted
 to put her on a feeding tube-
Randy asked the nurse to have the Dr. call us-
Mary Helen had a DNR and we knew she would not want this-
Still - emotional to be the one to say NO-
Fortunately, the Dr., by himself changed his mind about the tube. He released Mary Helen into Hospice care. She was sent back to her home and was in Hospice care for about three days. Hospice was in touch with us regularly about her condition. She died yesterday around five o"clock, at the age of 92. We are so very grateful she was kept comfortable and did not linger. 
We will be traveling to San Antonio to take care of her funeral, and other necessary things. She wanted to be buried in the Military cemetary there so the funeral will be arranged for a week from this Tuesday. That will give us time to travel by road so we have the truck.
I am so grateful, when cleaning out her place two years ago, I had the foresight to save her Navy uniform. 



This is what she will be wearing when one more 
American Hero
 is burried.









Saturday, April 17, 2010

Working Around

 Just a quick post to say a life opportunity presented itself so I have been interruted with my blog playing.


Not a very exciting opportunity but exciting in the fact that seldom these days do we get to be in the valley together and we both needed to be here to hang cabinet doors-- not a job for one person.


Maria's dad was in Pinetop and could watch Chandler after school so we quickly jumped in the car and drove straight to our house and started working. Our goal is to get the cabinets finished before we have to head up tomorrow. It will be tight----


I brought my camera and just took a picture to show you, of some progress , but I failed to grab the USB cable to transfer the pictures from the camera to my computer sooooooooooo----


Well, well, my husband just told me he has a cord so I can upload the two pictures ---


Much work to do so must get busy---



Oh My, I'll say there is lots of work still to do!
Doors to be hung-
Hardware to be put on the shabby white cabinets-
Baseboard under green counters to be painted green-
And then there is the clean up-

And this is just the kitchen-
There is still the laundry room to be done and handles put on all the bathroom cabinets too!




Close up of the green cabinets and the new glass handles.




                             Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Playing Around

I have been playing around, reading tutorials, trying to learn how to change my background myself.
I have also been downloading some digital papers and actions to use in Photoshop Elements. Sounds uncomplicated, right?
Not so uncomplicated for me and have discovered because I am on a Mac and not a P.C. it is just as complicated for my computer tech, my husband---
So all of this leads me to a conclusion I should have come to long ago--- I must learn more about my Mac operating system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today I am searching for online tutorials or classes on my computer's operating system so I can move forward from there. 
So much to learn---- 
So much to learn----
So much to learn----
BUT-
Kim, of Sweet Sage Vintage, came to my frustrating rescue last night. She sent me directions for changine my background. I tried what she told me to do about three times, with nothing happening. I was about to give up when I remembered in my ealier efforts, from reading tutorials on line, I was told to put in the direct link code to my background instead of the HTML code. So with one last effort I tried it---
It worked!!!!! 
I still need to work on the layout, as it is not what I think I want-
I still need to work on the header--- for some reason it got distorted-
I still need to do much and learn much 
BUT
Thanks to Kim, I did make some progress!!!
Thank You, Kim, of Sweet Sage Vintage !!!!!!
She has the most beautiful postings and I see she is playing around with her blog again. You can visit her here!
Hope each of you has a fun Playing Around kind of day.




Friday, April 9, 2010

Delima Solved


Right inside the doors of the two bedrooms upstairs, there is a place for a wall fixture. Last October, in Roundtop, Tx , the below two fixtures were found. They have been cleaned up and painted white. 
They will have prisms hanging from the points you see under the light post. 
Delima was this. The width of the base did not cover up the cut out on the wall--just not quite large enough to cover---What to do?

I cut out two circles of chipboard and went to my vintage doily stack.


I painted the chipboard white and then covered each piece with a cream doily.
Ta Da----
These are not hung yet. I do the designing. My husband does the wiring. I will take a picture once they are up , working, and have their prisims .

I am living in fear today. Earlier in the week, I was having symptoms of Altitude sickness. This lasted for two days. It did not make sense to me as I had been up here for over a week.I also was drinking lots of water. Well, the symptoms went away and I felt G-R-E-A-T on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then whamo-yesterday I had the worst headache I have ever had in my life, I was dizzy and naseaus to the point of spending most of my time in bed with my head down. Today I have a little headache but not like yesterday---but yesterday was so awful that I am fearful things will go back to that messy place again.
Not a very fun thing to post but is part of my life and what the heck-- 
Tell you one thing it did for me-
I did not eat very many calories yesterday-
something positive pulled from the negative!

S-M-I-L-E

Hope your day is full of smiles.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day Two Of Using Up The Leftover Easter Eggs




Remove left over Easter eggs from refrigerator and get a size bowl which is appropriate to use with the number of eggs you want to turn into egg salad.
I love using my vintage bowls.
Cooking with "cute" stuff makes the tasks more enjoyable!
Peel the eggs and rinse in cold water to remove any unwanted remaining peel.

Chop the eggs into little pieces
Normally I use a pastry blender to do this.
I discovered I do not have a pastry blender up here yet so 
I used the original pastry blender
two knives
 Notice they are two of my grandmother's silver knives -
True to my word, I am now using the silver for everyday use-
I took all four other sets of silverware out to the car to be returned to the valley.
Yesterday, when I was frying two strips of bacon,  when I went to turn the bacon over in the pan, I realized I only had the silver forks. At first I started to run out to the car to retrieve another fork, BUT then I thoght why? This silver fork will turn this bacon. And you know what - it did and once again-the beauty of the utensil I was using made the task more fun!
There I go again-off the original story.

To use the two knives for cutting- criss cross them as in the above picture. Pull back and forth on the knives so they cross each other over and over again until you have the eggs chopped to the size you desire for your egg salad.


Salt and Pepper the eggs. I do not measure- If I was guessing, I would guess I use about a half of teaspoon of salt per egg. My family loves salt though--
Place a large scoop of mayonnaise on top of the eggs and a small dollop of mustard. ( What I show in the picture is actually a little too much for my taste.) Mix the mayonnaise and mustard together somewhat, on top of the eggs, before mixing all the way through the egg mixture.
The amount you use will depend on the number of eggs you are using. You want the mixture to not be dry but also not too thin. In other words, you want it to be just right!

After mixing it all together, decide if you need more mayonnaise for your consistency and taste to adjust salt and pepper. You are now ready to enjoy a fresh egg salad sandwich.

Now The Spin On The Subject

Let's do something different with the egg salad, shall we?
When making the egg salad, use less mayonnaise than you regularly would use when making the egg salad for sandwiches. You want to be able to have the egg salad hold a shape.
Line a mold ( this could be a small bowl or a small vintage jello mold - come to think of it , it would be cute to make individual ones for a supper of appetizers -- maybe on each person's dinner plate put  the Egg Pate', sliced cheeses, crackers, and grapes ) with a piece of saran wrap. Have the saran wrap hang out over all the sides of the mold so you will be able to easily remove the egg salad from the mold. Place the egg salad in the mold and place in the refrigerator to let it "set up" .  When I make this I make it the day before I am going to use it. Remove from fridge and turn egg mold out onto a serving plate, which had some pretty greens covering the plate.   Cover the egg salad with strained black caviar ( you can buy this in little jars at the grocery store ). Serve with crackers to your liking.

If I remember correctly, my friend Bonnie, is the one that gave me this idea.

Hope you have a Caviar kind of day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baseball Ham and Eggs





Baseball Try Outs for Little League




Experimenting with vinegar and lemon juice added to dye-
Vinegar was found to be the best additive-

Finished Product

Wondering what to do with all the left over hard boiled eggs?
Try 
Egg Na La Goldenrod-

For each person you are going to serve, make one cup of medium white sauce by melting 2 Tablespoons of butter in a heavy sauce pan. Add 2 Tablespoons flour to the butter along with a teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Stir so it makes a paste. All at once, pour in a cup of milk- I use skim milk -You can use whatever your family drinks--- even powdered milk. Did you know that in sauces and cooked recipes powdered milk works great? Because of all the other ingredients, you will not know the difference. I keep powdered milk on hand for emergencies. 
Alright-
back to the recipe
Stir continuously over medium heat until it thickens. 
Before starting sauce, crack and peel eggs. Cut eggs in half and remove the yellow. Chop the white into pieces. Use at least two eggs for each cup of sauce . When sauce thickens, add chopped whites to sauce. 
Toast two pieces of bread per person served. My mother always buttered the toast - I skip the butter - enough richness in the sauce for me- don't need the extra calories!
Put the toasts on a plate, spoon over egg mixture. Crumble yellow on top over the entire mixture. Again, my mother always put the yellows in a small strainer and pushed it through with a spoon. It looked lovely but I am too lazy to do this!
Enjoy!
We usually have this for breakfast ( I made it for myself this morning )  but it would be great at supper, as well.




Now, how about all that left over ham?

I always buy smoked ham. If you don't have smoked ham, you can buy a smoked ham hock to throw in the pot with the beans and ham, for seasoning.
I use half Pinto Beans and half Great Northern White Beans. ( Last night I used a pound of beans total but I think I usually use a pound of both kinds of beans. The leftovers freeze really well . )Soak your beans in water over night. I do this directly in the crock pot. In the morning add two chopped onions ( more, if desired but at least two) left over ham, salt and pepper and turn on high. Cook all day. Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper to taste.
I serve this with corn bread-
My kitchen smells just yummy right this minute, if I do say so myself.
Hope you have a Yummy kind of day!