Monday, March 20, 2017

Maybe I Miss Downton Abbey, Et Cetera

As I write this, I am watching I Miss Downton Abbey. I'm only at PBS because I miss Victoria. In fact, I had no idea how much I missed Downton Abbey until reminded. Hope that Julian Fellowes is going to strike while the iron is lukewarm with a sequel or movie. 

Okay, this is not what I am here to tell you about today. I really wanted to chat a bit about my sister-in-law's and my wee adventure on St. Pat's Day. 

We had talked for several weeks about going out for lunch to a country store where they feature lots of booze, brick oven pizza, and a hip and happening everything visible pierced and tattooed staff. (What are people thinking? Are they really going to want those deformed ear lobes when they're 64? Do they really not like their skin?) We only knew about the brick oven pizza prior to our visit. I think Mary also wanted to see the house across the street (her great-nephew and John's recently bought the home). 

Mary had a general idea of where we were going. So did I except I am no good with road names and route numbers. We turned right when we should have turned left...twice! We resorted to asking Siri; she is not as helpful as she ought to be and yanked us around. Mary and I have lived in this area most of our lives, yet we managed to find a new road. If we hadn't been getting hungry, it might have been even more fun. It was certainly a pretty day for a drive.

Finally, we stopped at a country store and asked for directions. Well I asked because Mary made me. The clerk told me that she made brick oven pizzas, but that the place we were looking for was just on the top of the hill. Off we went and never found the top of the right hill for miles!  Maybe the clerk was piqued that I did not buy anything in her store.  

my leftovers~the tomatoes and onions were chopped finely and caramelized for subsequent meals

It was very crowded so apparently it's a popular place. One orders at the counter and then has a seat. The food is delivered to the table when ready. I ordered pizza and Mary ordered a Reuben sandwich. There were cookies for dessert, but I suggested that we could do some baking at home. So in a first, Mary and I baked together making my mother's recipe featured a post or so ago. Those cookies are truly special and we enjoyed them with tea. Mary wastes nothing if she can help it and just as the pan was going into the oven she shot a piece of dough onto the pan. When it came out, it had turned into a sheep! I kid you not. 

Mary Had a Little Lamb

So that's the story of our day and the most excitement I've had lately.


steps are down there somewhere

The boys came over Sunday afternoon to slide. Sam wonders if there'll be snow by the time April vacation rolls around. His father says "no" and I say "yes." We'll see. To put this into perspective, look out my kitchen window or at the sledding hill and my backyard. You can see why I'm skeptical.

I'll tell you what I really miss at this time of year...the sap buckets on my neighbor's trees. That maple syrup business had a tragic turn of events and are no longer in business. Have you seen any sap buckets lately? 


~in former years~

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Forgot to weave my new bouquet of carnations into this tale... I am certainly craving color these days.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Kiss Me, I'm 1/32 Irish

I might as well say that I like to pretend I'm Irish. 

I know very little about my Irish ancestor, who hailed from Tipperary, beyond his name, whom he married, and who his children and descendants were and are. The one thing I am intrigued by is that the family stories about him have proven true... When family stories can be verified, it really is exciting. 

My children are a lot more Irish than I by virtue of having 1/64 Irish blood on my side and 1/8 Irish on the paternal side. Let's see if I can do the math — 9/64? 14%? Wow. Cool. 

Are you Irish, too? Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, right? 


Before the snowstorm fades into oblivion...

Okay, this thing...Stella was it...will not be fading into oblivion any time soon if the temps below freezing and the amount on my deck are any indication. (And I have been hearing rumors that the white stuff will continue... Shhhhhh... )

Don't worry, I had my comforts.

And then! A new pretty package in the mailbox...

Mrs. T from Across My Kitchen Table sent me this beautiful doily that she thinks her great-grandmother may have crocheted. She tells me that it had my name all over it. ☺ I think it is wonderful. Just look at that intricate work and yellow is my favorite color. The tea containers are so cute. I have already enjoyed the rooibos tea and have the breakfast tea to look forward to, perhaps today. Wonder if the specialty tea bag wrapper is something Mrs. T. printed. Must ask. Thank you so much, Mrs. T!

What are you doing today? I am going out for corned beef hash, though maybe I shall bake some soda bread. Thanks for popping by! I appreciate you.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Same Story Different Day

Looks remarkably like last week's theme, doesn't it?

~hot chocolate and Susan's cookies — delicious~

Another Monday...I don't "feel" like posting; therefore, I will if only to push past this blogging block. Ahhh...better already.

It was a bitterly cold week with temps more like January. Looks like more of the same for this week. I think that is true for many places. I puttered with this and that spending a little more time in the sewing room than usual. 

Midweek, I received news that my dear friend Myrna had passed away in Oklahoma where she and her husband moved last fall to be near their youngest daughter. The time of the call and the fact that her daughter-in-law was calling made my heart sink. I wanted to answer with a "Please, don't tell me." Though I can be very happy for my friend who is no longer in any discomfort and who is safely home with The Lord and those who have gone on before, my heart is grieving for her husband and family and for her many friends and for my sad sorry self.

Myrna had been a teacher for years only retiring a year ago. She has touched so many children's lives, including my own children and my nieces as well. I have been traveling down Memory Lane a good bit of the time since this news came. She was my boss for many of the years that I taught.  I remember happy days at school teaching our classes side by side. One of the fun memories is of my niece and her friend Sam who both loved sardines for lunch. The minute those sardine cans popped, Myrna would fly in to say, "Not again!" =D I don't think that there are any sardines in Heaven.

Thursday was my day with my father and we had a good day. Others had had trouble on their days so I was happy that we pretty much sailed through and, except for the fact that my father was convinced he owned a helicopter, everything seemed okay. (Apologies for the mixed, helicopters...) Perhaps growing up with a father whose fondest wish was to own a monkey, the helicopter seemed logical. I asked him if the helicopter was expensive to run and he said that it was "surprisingly reasonable." All righty then, that's good to know.

By Friday, things were not going so well. He had an "episode" while with his aides. I met my sister at the Emergency Room where he was taken. We spent a long day there. He was sent home late in the evening with a prescription. He had been told that he'd be leaving at suppertime so I bid everyone, now including my son and brother-in-law, a goodbye and left. While I was home cozy and warm, they were there another three hours! The nurse practitioner had had another thought and so more tests were done and more blood drawn. Nothing came of her brainstorms, thankfully.

 As I was backing out of my garage to leave for the hospital, I noticed packages on the stoop. I am too curious to leave things outside until I got home, though it may have accounted for my ducking out early. => This is what had arrived...

One was a cookie kit from Susan of My Mother's Apron Strings. These cookies are featured on This Post. They have a unique ingredient.

Susan is a designer with Elizabeth Craft Designs and creates the most amazing flowers for cards and decor. Just look at ↑the sweet apron card and the yellow roses card she sent back in June.↓ 


The other was a book by Linda Born called The Children Are Tender. It's a novel about a young teacher who has many adventures with her students through the years. A God Breeze... Linda blogs at God, Mom, Alzheimer's, and Me, which is a wonderful blog for caregivers.

Sweet and Pleasant diversions in a challenging week. I am very blessed.

I climbed up there and changed the clock myself. It meant going a little higher than I like to be...the third step...whoaaaa...but I did it! My son is going to be so impressed. He's a busy man and doesn't need to be taking care of his mother...yet.

Thank you for reading! Many blessings to you this week... 

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Monday, March 6, 2017

That Promised Chat

I am feeling about as chatty as can be...a week of being mostly cooped up in the house can do that to a gal. That's why I'm glad that you're here!

This, if you are not used to my posts, is going to yarn you all over the place so brace yourself and please help yourself to the cookies and tea.

Awhile ago, Judy of Cranberry Morning told us about these cookies. She calls them
 White Crackle CookiesWhen I tasted them, I realized that what I really had were my mother's Oatmeal Cookies. ツ Not exactly, but very, very similar. My mom rolled hers in oatmeal so I used Judy's method and added oatmeal to the tops of some cookies.

Added photo:

~oatmeal topped~

Here's my mom's recipe and you can find Judy's recipe

Mom's Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup brown sugar
 1 1/2 cup flour
1 scant cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make balls and roll in oatmeal (rolled oats).

Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes

The "excellent" may be wiped out, but they are a 
delicious, easy-to-make cookie.

Oh, wanted to mention that Gabby called out last Friday so my father didn't get the luxury of a goodbye after all. When my sister called me with the news Friday morning, they were feeling a little low. I decided to gather up some lunch and head for their place as a bit of a diversion for us all. I don't think that I've seen my sister since last fall.

Besides, I wanted to see the new sofa. Looks good, but I didn't get a photo. I visited for a couple of hours and then came home stopping by Hobby Lobby on my way. Those lemon slice placemats under the tea saucer were my score. I am eager for spring.

~fun fabric for a friend~

Made another bowl cozy and while selecting the Rt 66 fabric, I selected a few other fabrics as well. Who knows who may get a bowl cozy next. Ha!


Bowl cozies are something that I would never have thought I would use or like, but I really do. I enjoy being able to stick something in the microwave and being able to remove hot soup, chowder, oatmeal, whatever without burning my hands or getting a pot holder stuck in the food. I also use them when I am eating ice cream so my hands don't freeze...plenty cold enough without that. There are lots of tutorials out there. I use a combination of several.

~not a bowl cozy~

Then my Instagram and blogger friend Linda did an amazing tutorial on a sweet little draw bag called a "petal pouch." I have been wanting something easier for my makeup than a traditional makeup bag and had decided to make some sort of satchel that would open completely and allow me to grab my stuff because I am tired of pawing around. Anyway, this is how it turned out. I made it from vintage sheets because I didn't want to waste any fabric if it did not work out. No worries as Linda did a very thorough explanation of each step with pictures! Linda made hers with complementary fabric. You can find her tutorial HERE at MySewWhat blog. I think it would make a sweet handbag for little girls or as a way to present a gift. What do you think?

 ~second ribbon choice as first was too flimsy~
~my bodkin has seen better days~

 ~for my purposes a lot of ribbon was required~

 ~it works!~

Sheer Wisdom from butter London was one of my birthday gifts. I love this stuff. It is described as a "lush lip oil." 

That's a wrap...

I took a selfie wearing the lush lip oil, but decided against using it. Whiplash I don't mind giving you, but I am opposed to frightening you.

Thank you for the input you gave on my last post. I certainly don't want anything to happen to our happy little corner of Blogdom. If you have any ideas about ways to inject some enthusiasm or energy, please share.

A happy Monday and a good week. Hopefully, I'll find my way back soon.

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Friday, March 3, 2017


Where have all the bloggers gone
Long time passing
Where have all the bloggers gone
Long time ago
Where have all the bloggers gone
Gone to Instagram every one
When will they ever learn
When will they ever learn 

Now I certainly might have guessed this if I had been thinking, especially since I myself have gone to Instagram. 

As a word-loving person, Instagram is definitely not my favorite social media outlet; however, it is convenient. I made my Instagram account private because it began to feel as if things were snowballing. I had some fun, new folks following along, but I had no idea how they'd arrived. I have a temporary hold on inviting more folks along until I can do some vetting. This is sometimes a challenge because the other Instagram person may also have a private account. If I don't figure it out soon, I'll probably let Instagram go by the way.

Thanks to all who helped me figure out what is happening to our little blogging community. There are many culprits from illness to loss to envy to feeling neglected or overlooked. Feedback is important to most bloggers! I am surely guilty of neglecting folks, though I really do try to be in touch. You can always nudge me. I'll wake up! And please never feel that you should not comment because I have "enough" comments. I make a lot of visits and give a lot of comments to "earn" (if that's the right word) them. 


Remember my mentioning Gabby shown with my father in the last post?

She gave her notice and today will be her last day with my dad. He found out when I was there last Monday. He got a little emotional and told me that he really liked her and didn't want her to go. She told him that if it was up to him, she wouldn't leave because he has been her favorite. These poor home healthcare providers get taken for a ride all too often as has been the case for Gabby. I hope that she is moving on up. And I am praying that the next helper will also be a good one because it is not easy for my father either.


The new sofa, a Lovesac, arrived at my sister's Tuesday via UPS or was it Fedex? Anyway, it came in 18 boxes. The poor delivery guy asked, "So what is this anyway?" My sister showed him the literature and he said that he certainly hoped that it did not catch on. Kim said that she didn't have the heart to tell him that it would be blogged about. Disclaimer: Lovesac has no idea that their customer's sister has a blog and I have no opinion...yet...about their product.

~by the window location~

My dad has already lost his station by the window because it is just a little far from the facilities. Watch the birds on the one hand or get to the restroom on the other. The birds lost. 

~New Location and Trying to figure out the Sactional~

↑The only critters I've seen using the new sofa are these Jellycats™ (I don't know, they look like rabbits to me) above and the regular cat Lily.→


Some day, we must have a simple chat over tea~coffee and with crumpets or something... I have a new Keurig, thanks to my son and daughter-in-law. It has been great fun to make my selection every morning. There are lots of choices for us to make! Then I will tell you what I have been up to and ask you some questions because I am nosy like that like learning your thoughts. 

Thank you for visit! Have a blessed weekend...

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P.S. I turn my back for three hours and the entire post goes south. Formatting issues horribly awry here today. My apologies and, thing is, I doubt that you care, but for someone like me, who once worked in publishing, this makes my hair stand on end. Ha!