Sunday, January 30, 2011

She's at it again.

I keep telling her she's going to rot her brain, but she doesn't believe me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Remember these? They remind me of elementary school and my grandma's house. The picture of simplicity these little babies are. Graham crackers and icing. I have no idea why I thought of them today, but I'm glad I did, so is everyone else who lives here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Beagle Post


and now, not much has changed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Colorful Monday

Myah is busy at work designing her own boots. She probably should be doing her science.
The girls received this cool little Fashion Design Sketch Portfolio for Christmas. It has sketches of different girls, two per page, and lots of stencils for clothing, accessories, and shoes.

It is really great. I have to say I'm slightly addicted to it too.

Taryn's girl-complete with a three-tiered Ombre Blouse and Bermudas, I'm so proud. It's almost like she watched the sheet dying segment on Martha Stewart today or something.

And me? I'm really busy too:)

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Gift

Wish you were here.

It just seemed like good day for brownies, and these are no ordinary brownies. I can't give you the recipe though, as they were a gift from a friend. The beautiful cake plate also a gift, same friend. I know, you want my friend to be your friend, sorry.... mine.

The table was Deerslayers grandmothers. Thousands and thousands of cookies were rolled out on this very table, nary a scratch on it's lovely enamel. She was famous for her cut-outs at Christmas time.

Big day tomorrow for us. Deerslayer has organized an archery tournament at one of the local schools. There will be about 50 kids from 5th-8th grade participating. It should be fun. It has been great working with him on the non-profit business. I'm learning the ropes and enjoying it.

If only the target was a donut, I think I'd hit it every time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This Morning

My six-thirty wake up was wonderfully extended to 8, thanks to the snow, making time for Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

The 'babies' got some extra play time with their devoted mommy, then were left rudely when the district decided to go to school after all, sorry Taryn.

I will leave them in exactly the same spot awaiting your return, and I will feed them lunch like I promised.

A project awaits me upstairs in my makeshift upholstery room. Yes, that's right, I'm back in the saddle again.

While most kids went to college and got degrees, I learned a trade. It served me well back in the day, but with moving 8 years ago and loosing space and time, it has fallen by the wayside.

I am coming out of retirement, for how long and to what extent I do not know, but it does feel good. Remember the bedroom project? Well, we decided we like our temporary lower level bedroom, especially because it has a fireplace. The bedroom is painted and awaiting trim, so I thought I'd take advantage of an empty room to set up a temporary shop. I'll use it until March or so, see how the work is going and decide at that time if this is something that will work for us or not. We are still planning to put the house on the market in the spring, at which time we should convert it back to a bedroom and return the lower level back into the family room. Don't want to confuse the buyer now do we. Well enough rambling for now, time to get to work! Enjoy the snow everyone, you might as well because apparently there is no end in sight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Donut Post

It's been a while since I've posted about donuts and I do have a reputation to uphold now don't I, so yesterday a friend and I went on a little outing. The destination was IKEA which is about an hour away in Pittsburgh. In a little town about half way there is a donut shop called DeAngelis Donuts, their tag line? Delightfully Different Since 1947.

The case did look a bit different, the varieties were just a little different also, it took a minute to take them all in and make a decision. I decided on a Boston creme, chocolate frosted pictured above, and of course took some home to the donut lovers I've spawned. I'd have to say that their claim of being delightfully different, seemed true. My friend Betsy and I decided that the creme was wonderful and the dough was actually not as sweet as usual. It did make for a 'delightful combination'. The old fashioned glazed was called Maple Glazed, as were many of the other varieties I noticed. Now, I'm sorry to say that I'm not a big fan of maple, so I was worried that many of the donuts would be ruled out for me, but I bought one anyway. Taryn was my tester, she calls all glazed donuts 'sticky donuts' and this is primarily what she orders. I knew she wouldn't let me down, turns out she loved it, maple and all. The glaze was ever so slightly maple flavored and again, 'delightfully different' held up. This morning, I had just a nibble of the sugar donut and even day old, it was light and fluffy. All in all a good donut shop, complete with quirky, very pleasant workers. There were of course tons that I didn't try, so a return trip will certainly be needed so that I can make an entirely accurate assessment:)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Last year my Christmas presents from Deerslayer were these lovely Rachel Ray pots and pans. I've used them for a whole year and I love them. They are extremely easy to clean and the orange handles make me happy.

This year my sainted Mother-in-Law bought me all the utensils to go with them. I did not see this coming at all. Happy indeed.

Now that our schedule has lightened up a lot, I'm am pleased to get back to my usual lunch routine. Oh, my goodness she said the word schedule and the word routine in one sentence. If I say the word list and plan in the next sentence you will know someone is holding me hostage. No, I'm all by myself today, no one is here, it is beautifully quiet, amazingly quiet. Can you tell I'm happy about that little fact.
Yes I'm back to my 'lunches for one' where I eat whatever I want, no complaining little people, no husband to fill up, just little old me. I clip out recipes that I know won't fly with the general populous of people in this household and make them. Actually I don't even use a recipe half of the time, I just use the time to experiment with different flavors and herbs and such. Many happy accidents have resulted, even some that I do use for the family. I don't spend a lot of extra money on this venture, believe me I can make a bag spinach and some goat cheese last awhile. I have some blogs I visit regularly for new ideas and inspiration, other moms that have undoubtedly discovered the joys of 'lunch for one'. I know a lot of moms who feel guilty spending even one half hour on themselves during the day....I'm not one of them. I figure that I work second shift really, from the time that first child arrives home until around 9:00pm, I'm on family time. Then husband time kicks in after that for a couple of hours. It just works best if I get some of my creative angst out of the way early in the day. I was born with a lot of it, if I don't find little outlets for it my system goes haywire, hence the photography, the sewing, the cooking, the decorating. Living artfully I guess you'd call it. I like it. I have to do it. It's the way I was made. Try it, start little, stay little if you want, but try it. And my male readers, I know you're out there, it applies to you too. Buy donuts for your families this weekend, bring them home and pull out a nice platter and arrange them. Sit down together and have a chat, serve them milk in nice glasses, (notice I've avoided the word pretty) and enjoy each others company. They will love it, and it will make you happy too!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Favorite Things

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all."- Emily Dickinson

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Donut Toast to 2011

Today I am ringing in the new year in style. Jammies and Chinese take-out, in bed, watching TV with my chickies. No church, no plan, no problem. Just Sesame Chicken, something on a skewer and Hannah Montana Forever. Well first we watched HGTV's Dream house and Myah will be registering everyday to win it, who says I can't delegate. My mood as depicted by Taryn's new Buttery fly mood necklace is excellent. I even entertained (or rather scared) the children with a rousing rendition of Oklahoma. I'm not sure where that came from, maybe my late 80's Glee Club days. There is a point here and I'm getting to it, I promise. As everyone weighs in on New Years resolutions, and thoughts about this coming year, I will simply tell you that I am going to live this year. You mean like live it to the fullest? Yes, hopefully. Live like there is no tomorrow? Maybe, if it applies. Live like no one else? Well, I'm not anybody else, so yes. You see I'm in a unique position, we all are. We don't get to choose, or plan, or predict. And if you think we do, I must have missed that memo. The split second things that change your life are going to happen, it's silly to live like they won't. The difference between last year and this year is that last year only lives on in your memory, it controls you only if you let it. The future is wide open, don't try to control it, you'll only be disappointed. I can't be upset about what I can't control, let's be honest, the list is long. I can only do what God has put right in front of me for now. I've made some decisions of late, I will no longer be working for 34west. It is a decision that was beyond difficult to make. I had to laugh a little this morning as I watched Miley Stewart struggle with the decision to give up Hannah Montana. Even though I'm not giving up an alter ego rock star image, I am giving up something I dearly love. I just simply can't do it all and do it all well. I need and want to support Deerslayer in his non-profit venture, I think it's a great thing and I think it's grown to where he needs me, and I'm happy to be needed. His official job as a Children's Pastor will be ending in May, although his life's work will always be about children and youth, a w-2 won't reflect that after May. This year will be a huge transition, we will need to sell the house and find a simpler spot to be. We need to fix a few things that have been neglected and concentrate on the task at hand. To tell you the truth, what I found daunting a few weeks ago, I no longer do, I feel ready, strangely calm. In closing, I would like to thank those of you who know this story and stay around helping us and listening to our crazy rantings. To all of you who haven't met me face to face and still listen to my crazy rantings. There is nothing I wouldn't do to have donuts with all of you and tell you how much I love you. So raise your donuts high and toast to 2011, what you hold only one person knows, so let's make it a two-donut year!