Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ten things to make your day better in one minute or less...

I saw a list like this on How Does She the other day, and it was great.  It inspired me to make a list of my own that would work better for me at the moment.  

Minne...our 13-year-old German Shepherd

  1.  Pet your pet, and tell them how wonderful they are...it's good for them and good for you.

  2.  Drink a glass of water.

  3.  Look around whatever room you are in, and throw away any trash that may be hiding in plain sight.

  4.  Stretch.

  5.  Brush your hair 50 strokes, or massage your scalp with your fingertips.

  6.  Close your eyes.  Deep breath in...hold...exhale...repeat.

  7.  Smile at yourself whenever you are facing a mirror.  Or make a funny face.  :)

  8.  Do a super-quick purse purge getting rid of used tissues, old receipts, lists, etc.

  9.  After you tinkle and flush, grab the toilet brush and give the bowl a quick once 'round...with or without cleanser. 

10.   Before you toss that damp dish cloth or towel in the laundry, give your kitchen counters and cabinet knobs/pulls a quick wipe down.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What I'm reading Wednesdays...


I haven't started a new book, so I've been sitting here catching up on reading...obituaries.  Does anyone else do that?

I never did it until I started working for my current employer.  We work a lot with older people, and when one of them passes away it involves some extra administration duties, not to mention concerns for their loved ones.

I kind of like the recent trend of having vintage photos accompany the write up.  Seeing a sepia toned photo of a young soldier looking dashing in his WWII uniform is quite sweet.  

What I don't like is when a bereaved loved one writes a very wordy and poorly written tribute.  Which leads to one of my pet peeves: 'He married the love of his life.'  I'm not sure why this grates on me so, except that it's one thing for someone to say I married the love of my life, and quite another for someone else to say it of their mate.  At least, I assumed that it is the wife writing it...Carey said that it might be the children writing the obit.  Either way, it kind of bothers me.  

Tonight I saw one that was a first.  When listing the survivors, the author listed the deceased's dog before his children.  :)  

That's when I told Carey I was going to write my own and put it with the other important papers necessary upon my death.  I am fully aware that there is no way I can guarantee my family will not alter it or ignore it altogether, but I have to hope that by that point I will have escaped my earthly need for control.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Still having separation anxiety...

photo credit: CBS

I miss Craig Ferguson.  I occasionally have to re-watch the finale show, because I love the Bang Your Drum  intro so much...embodies everything I loved about Craig's time on the show.
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tip of the week...

I love pistachios.  When I was in high school, we used to walk across the street during lunch to a Gibson's store that had a nut counter to buy pistachios.  

In a bag of pistachios, most are easily opened, but then there is always the occasional tough one that you have to pry apart.  By the end of a pistachio snack, my thumb nails are usually a ragged mess.

Recently I picked up these Salt and Pepper Pistachios from Trader Joe's.  Mmmmm...really good.  
 And I caught myself using a tip that I read somewhere recently.  It worked like a charm, so of course I thought I should share it.
Start by eating some easily opened nuts.  Then when you get to one that is hard to open, grab a discarded empty half shell...work it's edge into the crack...and twist.
My thumbnails thanked me...especially that one that was already bruised from an unrelated injury.  :)
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

Today on my lunch hour, I began reading The Promise by Ann Weisgarber which is set in 1900 Galveston, Texas

A young Ohio woman, fleeing a scandal which isolates and impoverishes her, agrees to marry a former acquaintance who was recently widowed and left with a four-year-old son.  She finds herself living on his dairy farm on Galveston Island right before the worst hurricane in Texas history strikes.
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Cross my heart...


I saw a photo similar to this on Pinterest six weeks ago.  And since Kasey collects crosses, I thought if I could get a photo of the children forming a cross with their fingers, it would be a special keepsake.  I had hoped to have it done by her birthday last week.

Easier said than done.  

First off, it is nigh impossible to catch those five children in one place at the same time.

I finally found them all at home at the same time late one afternoon, but it had been raining for days, and the ground was wet, and the sky was gray and cloudy.  I tried lying flat on a deck chair and had them stand around me.  The height necessary made it uncomfortable for the little ones to hold their arms up while I attempted to get the layout just right.  They were troopers and got it done, but the gray clouds didn't look that great.

Finally yesterday we had a beautiful sunny day.  When we went over for Sunday dinner, Chandler wasn't there, but he was able to come back after a quick phone request.  

This time I was able to lie on the grass, which put their arms at a much better height for telling whose hands were whose.  And that clear blue sky is a brilliant contrast!

I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I've already printed it and delivered a framed copy.
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday desserts...

It's Sunday again, and so I went on the search for a dessert recipe that would not require a trip to the store.

I found a recipe for White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction.  The only ingredient that I wasn't sure I had was white chocolate chips.  Luckily I happened to find some in the pantry.

The author suggested a 9 x 9 inch or 11 x 7 inch pan; neither of which I have.  So I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9 x 13 inch pan and added about 5 minutes to the baking time.

They weren't the most glamorous looking thing I've ever baked, but don't judge this book by its cover.  That's cinnamon on top, not burned patches.  :)  

They were moist and yummy and a hit with the family.  I think this recipe will be one that will be made again and again.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Thirty-nine years ago...

April 17, 1976

Wow, we were babies!  I was eighteen; he was twenty-two.  My dress was too long, because I had to go barefoot rather than wear the heels the dress had been hemmed for.  I had broken my foot a few days before the wedding.

So much for the naysayers who said it would never last.  :)
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ta-daa!...

At long last, I present the kitchen!



addendum 1: When talking about the antique cabinet, I said "I'm getting closer to it."  Though I was walking toward the cabinet at the time, I was referring not to my physical location in comparison to the cabinet, I was referring to myself getting closer to antique status.  :)

addendum 2:  I was kind of focused on showing the lower drawers and drawer/cabinets.  The former kitchen only had three or four small drawers, so I am in seventh heaven with all the drawer space that we have now.

addendum 3:  When I said I don't anticipate using both ovens much, I should have said that I foresee that the small oven will suffice for about 95% of my baking needs without using the larger oven except for maybe a large turkey or ham on occasion.
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thankful Thursday...

What?!  How did it get to be Thursday?  What happened to Tuesday and Wednesday!?  And it's the 9th?  Oh, well...I can't really think of anything to blog about, so I think I will follow the lead of Shauna and do a Thankful Thursday and combine it with a Seven on the 7th which I completely forgot to do on Tuesday.

1.  I'm thankful that I have a job that I can accept work on days that I want to work, and can turn down days that conflict with my personal schedule...not to mention that I can choose to work in offices that have super-nice people and turn down offices where the people are merely nice.  (And I'm super thankful for my husband who allows me the luxury of being able to work this way, since it doesn't always bring in a regular salary.)

2.  I'm thankful for friends.

3.  I'm thankful for Thursdays...which I call Chloe-days, because I get to drive her to a theater class in a nearby town, and the conversations in the car are never boring!  She can make me laugh one minute and sigh the next.  Today I asked her about a little boy in her class that she has a crush on, and she said that he smiled at her two times today.  Awwwww...I totally remember counting those special smiles that came my way.

4.  I'm thankful that our taxes are done, and by some miracle we will be getting a refund this year.

5.  I'm thankful for blogs that entertain me and are written by the most awesomely creative and nicest people the world over.

6.  I am thankful for my vehicle that runs quite well most of the time, and for AAA when it doesn't.

7.  I am thankful that we are expecting rain to fall on our parched earth for the next few days.  
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Making it Monday...

Today was our monthly quilting day at the library.  We were working on Double Slice Layer Cake quilts.  I used a Moda pre-cut layer cake, called Mixology, in yellow, gray, turquoise, orange, and white.  The photo above shows the first round of chain piecing, and it gives you an idea of some of the prints.  (I also added in a bit of solid gray fabric as I was finding all the prints a little too chaotic for me.)

We were meant to finish the entire quilt top while there.  However, I had misgivings about completing it as intended, so I stopped when I had all the blocks pieced and brought it home to ruminate over.

This photo shows several pieced blocks placed side by side, and I think it is a little too busy to suit me.  I'm considering putting white sashing, or plain white blocks, between the pieced blocks.

Opinions?  Ideas?
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