Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fabric Pumpkin Buckets

Here's what I've been up to. Way back when, I made these for my neice and nephew. Now those two are grown with children of their own. Guess who these are for? LOL Continuing the tradition!



I like the embellishment on the one in the middle the best, and that was an afterthought. I used an old McCall's pattern for a christmas ornament, of all things, and turned it into a sunflower with a yoyo as the center. The one with a green button in the middle (far left) is for the only boy in the whole gang. I didn't think he'd want to go around being known as the "girly pumpkin guy" . LOL.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Like my new look?

Hey! I'm really excited to show you my "new look" !!!! I looked all over the net in search for a cool design, and they were way out of my league for this little blog and somehow I stumbled upon Mary's site. I contacted her and she agreed to take me on. Lemme tell ya, what a patient designer she is! I loved every minute of working with her (ha! Yeah, I didn't do any of the work!) If you're thinking about having a professional do your blog look, you gotta check her out! She nailed it for me, don't ya think? For my friends who know me, they know this is totally me!!! You can either click on her link up here, or there's a button in the margin. She tailor makes your blog to your every specification...even helps you along when you don't have a clue...ah-hmm. Moi! LOL. I love her!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall. Are you kidding me???

Sure doesn't feel like fall, of course in Florida, neither does winter!

This is the temperature at 11:23 , and that’s AM. Some of “the girls” decided to go to breakfast and then to SoHo (a.k.a. Southern Hospitality) in Plant City (FL). Since I’m dieting, I opted for just meeting the gang at Southern Hospitality. Not to be outdone, the husbands then decided to go to breakfast together too...at a different location.


This is so sad, I am a Plant City girl, born at the hospital in Plant City, graduated Plant City High School, worked at the same hospital I was born in for years and what do I do when I’m out with the girls? Ask a stranger to take our picture in Plant City!

I guess they know me by now because they didn’t bat an eye when I said, “hey, come over here for a shot by the Christmas trees”! They just followed orders. (My kind of friends) That’s me, Beverly and Sarah. The others were lost in the store somewhere.

Oh, here they are! Power shoppers!
I think Bev should invite us over to see her home decorated with all the nice fall things she got. That's Joyce and Lynn in the background.

This was a fun morning. Thanks to Sarah for putting it all together for us. The husbands said they wanted to do this on a regular basis. I think we ladies could go for that! Next venture - The Barn and then Lavendar and Lace Tea Room??? Hmmmm.... I'm liking that idea!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dryer Sheets - n - scortched pots

I don't know if you are aware how versatile dryer sheets really are. Did you know that they can clean soap scum off shower doors better than those spray (gag, cough, sneeze) bathroom cleaners? AND, did you know that if you burn food on the inside of the crock, and the metal housing of your crock pot (you know the part you're not supposed to get into water? That one!)
If you've put a turkey breast in on high before going to bed and then don't turn the setting to low when you get up, oh not for several hours after you get up?!? (don't ask!) It was a charred mess, alright! But that's a drama for another day, right? The point is, you can put a dryer sheet in, pour water over that (to cover the charred remains) over night, and the next day will clean up so nicely! I used a dryer sheet in the crock itself and then put one in the metal housing with just enough water to cover the gook. What a crockpot (or pan, or whatever) saver!!! If you didn't know that, just file that away for some future use. You'll thank me then! LOL.


This is after soaking overnight (should've taken a pic of it before I started this process!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tonight's Dinner

Tonight’s dinner got me a standing ovation from my husband! No kidding. It really was good! I got down the “Pastor’s Wives Cookbook” (no, I’m not a pastor’s wife) from the shelf and made the green vegetable casserole.





Did you notice I write in my cookbooks? LOL


I really like this recipe and have made it from this book for years. Now, if you’re a true southerner (or from the “old south”), you know that no southern girl worth her salt would cook vegetables without some pork seasoning. This doesn’t have it, and it’s still good! LOL. I’ll share my recipe with you and you tell me what you think, ok?


Green Vegetable Casserole
1 1/2 cups water, salted, boiling
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pkg frozen baby lima beans
1 pkg frozen green peas
1 can French green beans, drained


Add chopped onion to boiling salted water. Cook 5 minutes or longer.
Add lima beans. Cook 12 minutes. Next, add green peas and cook 3-5 minutes.
Drain the green beans, stir in vegetable mixture.


TOPPING
3 hard boiled eggs, mashed fine
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp prepared mustard
Several dashes hot sauce or Tobasco


Mix ingredients together. Spread on top of casserole. Bake 30 minutes in a 350-375 degree oven. Brown lightly on top.



Next, I made the “outback” style chicken. I snagged this recipe from Kara’s Kitchen. I found her blog one evening and this looked too good to let it go. I was right! It is delicious!!! Go check out her blog and snag the recipe for yourself. You won’t be disappointed! She has a recipe for Pear Zuchini Bread that sounds like something I’ll need to try when the zucchini are in again! I do believe I’ll be visiting her site more! (smile).


Well that was the meal that got me a standing ovation (with a little help from Kara!)


Enjoy!






Sunday, September 20, 2009

Letter from God

Ok, this was sent to me in an e-mail. I don't care if it's an urban myth, it's just too cute! It reminds me of that movie a long time ago "Dear God", where the people in the post office started answering and fulfilling requests from kids in the "dead letter file". If you haven't seen it, it's a cute movie...

It is not known who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.


Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies..' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &Meredith and this note:


Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven..
Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by..
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love,
God

Now c'mon, that's cute, right? LOL

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I saved $82.00 on my grocery bill!


WooHoo! I saved $82.00 yesterday on my grocery bill. Gotta love those BOGO's and BOGT's!
But, I like the buy-one-get-two better! LOL


Now before you go and crown me "coupon queen", I have to fess up. The way I saved the money this time and the last few times I went to "this store" I didn't use a single coupon. (oh, the last time... I saved $129.00 !) When I posted my savings to my friends on facebook, everybody wanted to know my secret. It's no secret, really. I just "shop the sales". Albertsons is notorious for buy one get one, and---the best... buy one get two's!!! I shop my meats there. I got the petite sirloin stakes (which, if you ask me weren't petite!) buy one get two packs free. I got the pre frozen packages of Tilapia, same deal - buy one get two free. (I just love blackened Tilapia on my George Forman grill!) Now, don't get me wrong, Publix is my "regular" grocery store, and I guess I'll always be loyal to them... my mother shops there, my grandmother shopped there, all my aunts, cousins... we come from a long line of loyal customers. But that doesn't mean I don't check out the others.

I do use some coupons, but not many. At one point I was the coupon queen of my friends, but I find I bought way more than I should, or needed when I had coupons! LOL Most of the time, the coupons aren't for items I already use...or need... so where's the savings? The ones I use, are for things I DO use, or for a "try me", that I've been thinking about trying. If you're a "coupon queen", great. That works for you. But for me, I tend to go off the deep end in that area! LOL

The old Publix building in Plant City

Now for a helpful hint: When I buy those sirloin steaks in the multiple packages (we like to grill) I pour marinade (Allegro is our favorite!) in a ziplock bag with the steaks and freeze them. When you take them out to thaw, they're marinating! Viola! Two steps taken care of!

(I'm off to put mine in the freezer now)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

So there I was in the craft room under a mountain of fabric trying to get to the strawberry fabric (yes, it was on the very bottom!) and thought, "hmmm. I wonder what time it is". I unburried myself and walked into the bedroom and saw... Aaaaack! It's after 11:00!!! Time to get the old "picker" to work and pick me a winner... are you ready?

Glenna from http://yourfabricplace.blogspot.com/.

Glenna, I can't e-mail you, something about me and Vista and a change we made with...oh something! All I get is a "doink" sound and an error message, so I do hope you'll return and see that you won. E-mail me with your address so I can ship this out to you next week! Congrats.

Ladies don't forget to keep checking back, because remember, I'm going to do a give-away to honor all the "bag ladies". Don't you just love purses, totes, and all sorts of bags? I do!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm hosting a Give-Away!



*** Be Sure to Check Back HERE to see if you won! **



Hey! I am hosting a little give-away. It's for all you sewing enthusiasts who like re-purposing items! This book "Subversive Seamster" shows you how to "transform thrift store threads into street couture". The three ladies who wrote this book, Melissa Alvarado, Hope Meng, and Melissa Rannels, are self-taught seamsters and savvy thrift store shoppers. But wait! That's not all! (lol) I'm also including a pink (I'm all about pink, ya know!) wallet. I don't know the name of it, it's one of those new-fangled do-hickeys. Well, seeing how I'm not very good at explaining it, just take a look-see.



Now here's what you do to be considered...



1. Leave a comment (that'll get you one entry)



2. Take my button link and post on your site, and tell me ya did (that'll get you a double entry!)

2a. FOLLOW ME! (I love making new friends)

3. Talk it up on your site, to your friends, anybody!

*** I will pick a winner Friday. So you have until Friday at 11:00 pm! ***

Keep comin' back, because I'm dreaming up a give-away to honor all the "bag ladies" out there. Of which I am chief! LOL I love purses and tote bags and love to make them...so I'm gonna help like-minded ladies out! Just keep checking back! (giggle)


Ok, now, go forth and spread the news!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The day I knew my husband loved me

We were married almost 30 years ago which has given us thirty years of “life stories” together. I guess, besides myself and Nascar, there was only one true passion he had and that was his cameras. Paul loved photography and used to be quite an avid photographer. He’d pour over photography magazines for hours and loved shooting pictures…of everything! At times he was inseparable from the camera. He loved that Nikon camera. One of the many times he had his camera with him (at one of my family functions), he put it down to shoot some pool and one of my cousins (today she is a teacher, but back then a little bratty LOL) picked it up and, wham! On the floor. I gasped because I knew how much he loved his camera. He ran over to it, not wanting to make a scene - being my family and all – said: “she must’ve just knocked it off” to which April said “ No, I threw it down” Oh my goodness!!! I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Did I mention that he loved that camera? That is close to an understatement! The fact that he didn’t strangle her right then and there was a good indication he either loved me or was in shock. But that’s not when I knew he loved me.

We tell each other daily that we love each other and sometimes when I’ve made an exceptional dinner, (i.e., one he loves), I’ll get a standing ovation. No, seriously, I will! When he’s away on business trips, he’ll call me multiple times a day just to share something he has seen, or to make sure I know he’s safe, or that I am safe. I’m not so good at that. He’s better.

Paul has never given me a reason not to believe he loves me. But one day, in particular was the day I knew he loved me.

We had gone to his brother’s graduation from Florida State. This was his baby brother of whom Paul was so proud of. He got a good many pictures at this event, for sure!

After the ceremony at the huge civic center in Tallahassee, we along with hundreds of other people were trying to make our mass exodus off this equally huge campus. We trudged what seem by me to be miles (ok, it was actually yards) only to find we had chosen the wrong path and the gate was locked. Several were just climbing over it, as did Paul and is brothers and sisters, but he didn’t feel I could do it so directed me to go a different route, completely within eye sight. I would go underneath what looked to be concrete grandstands, thinking back, maybe it was just the concrete building, but at any rate, there was crawl space and if you bent down you could pass easily. Easily, IF you don’t misjudge the height and just as you’re about to come out of this thing you raise up, conk your head and fall down, stalling about one hundred graduates trying to do the same thing!

I remember one of his family members saying “Jeanette fell down”. I could see Paul in the corner of my eye and what he did next is something I will never forget. He dropped his camera bag, jumped over the fence and ran to me. Did you get the part where I said he “DROPPED HIS CAMERA BAG”?!? He didn’t even say “here, would you hold this for me”. No. When he got to me, (there were still people stalled because I fell at an angle I couldn’t pull my legs up under me to get up) he helped me up, asked over and over if I was ok. I think I would’ve been tempted to say “you can’t even crawl?!?” LOL. But I also saw the look of, first concern, then of love as he gently helped me up and held me. That’s when I knew he loved me. When I realized that “I” was his prized possession.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/11 In loving memory

The cookies are done and the card (above) is made to put with the cookies when I take them to the local fire station.

I made two different batches of cookies: Praline cookies and Butterfinger cookies. I'll post the Butterfinger recipe for you to try. These are really good!

BUTTERFINGER COOKIES
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 (2.1 oz) butterfinger candy bars - chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets
Cream butter and sugars
Add egg whites
beat in peanut butter and vanilla
Combine flour, baking soda and salt
Add to creamed mixture - mix well
Stir in chopped candy bars.
Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls
Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes

Remembering 9/11 in my own way

Today I’m preparing the kitchen for my baking extravanza. Gotta clean it so I can mess it up! Ever since the first year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy I’ve made cookies to take to the local fire station. I began this more as a therapy for me. I never wanted, nor do I want, to forget. I wasn’t sure what I could do but wanted to do something…anything. Then I thought, give what you love to do. Ok, I like to bake and I’m mad about cookies (among other things i.e., cupcakes, LOL)

Since the local fire station are our first responders, or “local heroes” as I call them, I decided to take the cookies to them. I wasn’t sure if they’d accept them, so I called a number out of the phone book. I picked one that I imagined was a “main” headquarters. That’s funny now, because I think that they are their own stand-alone headquarters and when I called this “big” fire house, and was told yes they accept all food (LOL), and then was asked what station I was thinking about. When I told the person, I could hear a disappointed, “oh. I’m sure they’ll appreciate them too”. I don’t even remember what station I called now. But I deduced that the station I was planning on taking the cookies to would be the ones who responded to my house in case of fire, etc. I don’t know why, that just seemed to be logical to me. (smile)

It was so cute – when I arrived with my plate piled high of about 3 different kinds of cookies, the captain came to the door, let me in, and I saw all these grown men coming out of the woodwork, like little boys eyeing up the treats. I tried not to laugh, but I’ll never forget the “thank you’s” and the appreciation in their voices. It made my day. When I told my husband about it, he said “I want you to do this every year”. So began my annual cookie event. I will admit, there have been a couple of years when I’ve made a cake or pie, and one year I bought a bunch of different candy bars and made wrappers for them expressing out gratitude. Just my little way of remembering and at the same time thanking them for being our “local heroes”. I’ve never introduced myself, or told them anything about me. Not that I can be anonymous because I’m showing up in person, (LOL), but if I could, I would because it’s not about me, it’s about them. I do, however, print out a card that I’ve made on the computer, with our names and addresses just so they know we’re legit and not trying to poison them or anything! (I know, I know, I think of the weirdest things!). to express our gratitude for their service. I would love to be able to pass out cookies to all the local “first responders” and who knows, maybe one day I will. I thought about mentioning it to my Sunday School Class this past week, but that’s not giving anybody enough time, but next year I think I will. I’d love to see this enlarge and more of the folks who put their lives on the line for us to know that we care and we appreciate them and what they do. I consider this a labor of love and who knows, others might too. What are your thoughts? Can you come up with other ways to show you care? I’d love to hear them!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You're Back! Welcome!

Well, I guess it was just a cyber-hiccup! I see you're all back at home now. Sigh of relief. Guess panicking is one of my traits??? LOL
anyway, all's well with my world now.

Where'd you go?

I don't know where they went.... but I just logged in and blogspot is telling me that everybody I was "following", I am no longer. Which way did they go? Which way did they go???
Sorry if I was following you and now I'm not. I guess I'll have to start from scratch or wait to see if it was a glitch and you'll come back to me. hmmmm...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Take my Button....Please!



Hey! You see that cute little button to the left? Yeah, right there, that's the one! I would be ever-so thrilled if you put it on your blog! Follow me too! I am making an effort to blog regularly so I just know you'll want to be up to date, right? I want you to be my friend! (smile) Or maybe I want to rule the world... in any case, how 'bout it? C'mon, you know it would just look darling on your blog, right? Thanks - oh, and let me know if you do too, that way I can go and admire myself on your blog! LOL

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lesson Learned...Hopefully!

Ok, so I get this pattern that I think would be a really good “market tote”, or everything bag like the name of the pattern, and find this really neat looking quilted upholstery type fabric. I think, ok, I’ll do a prototype and see if it’s a “keeper”. Following good rule-of-thumb advice so far, right? Being the over-achiever that I am, I think “I have enough fabric for three, why not go ahead and cut out three?” Get ‘em all cut out, decide to start assembling them “assembly line” fashion…Ok, it’s getting late, just finish this one now. So on I go, smooth sailing…until I get to putting those handles/straps and finishing them! See, you’re supposed to sew two strips together, then after sewn in, fold those and sew 3 lines…well think about it. That’s a bunch of layers to be sewn and it’s a quilted upholstery fabric! DUH. Needless to say, this one will be the only one of this fabric. I’ll cut the others pieces into some pouches or something. I did like the tote, so it IS a keeper and I’ll just cut out some more of a different fabric (can still use the lining fabric too). So, here’s the finished product…what do y’all think?



(To give an idea of the size of this tote, inside I have stuffed a (folded) fitted queen size sheet and a large bath towel)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carrot Cake Recipe

This recipe came from an old issue of Southern Living. Now, I like carrot cake, but this? This makes me LOVE carrot cake! Honestly, this is the best carrot cake recipe I have E-V-E-R tasted!!! and I mean ever! You just gotta try it!

Best Carrot Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated carrot

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 
Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper.

Set pans aside.
Stir together first 4 ingredients.
Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Buttermilk Glaze

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened


I'm linking up to foodie friday at Designs by Gollum

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