Monday, December 31, 2007
This is the book club selection for this month. I need to re-read some of it. There were some points that made me think but I continued reading and didn't stop to ponder.
The book is written in first person switching between the two main characters. While it flowed fine, I didn't like this initially. The book is about relationships, primarily friend/friend, however, it also covered husband/wife and parent/child. The two main characters are Anne and Olivia (Libby).
Anne - a young woman in her 20's just moving to Brewster, introduced as being outgoing and bubbly in her greetings. Her husband works in insurance and they are expecting their first baby. Anne tries to get to know Olivia (Libby) and her attempts are futile. At some point, Libby's daughter wants to take piano lessons and Anne is her teacher. Through various happenings, Anne and Libby end up being friends. Anne discovers a lump on her breast, learns it is cancer and ends up with surgery and chemo only to learn a couple of months later that it is in the other breast. She has her baby and very soon after another surgery, chemo & radiation.
Libby - married to a banker, has a pre-teen daughter and a teenage son. She seems reserved and guarded through most of the book. Her marriage is cordial at best, their son is involved with drugs, huffing specifically, has an experience that really affects him and their family. Libby ends up evaluating herself, thoughts, relationships, etc. throughout the book. At one point she feels Anne is controlling her and severs the relationship for a while. They end up friends again and she grows for the experience - both with relationships in her life and in a spiritual way.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Today I looked to see what the sketch challenge was on SCS. I liked the challenge but didn't have any brilliant ideas. Finally after considerable time I decided on a set and colors to get going on those lovely Christmas cards. What I was trying to do would work no matter how I tweaked it. Finally I sat looking at what I had, thought of today's challenge and lo and behold, it worked. It seemed a little plain with what I chose so I ended up adding ribbon and while the entire star can't be seen I thought it looked good with it on there, not to mention it ties in the sentiment.
Stamps: Star-studded Season, Holy Triptych
CS: Watercolor, Artichoke, Pomegranate, Holiday Harmony DP
Ink: VersaMark, Pomegranate, Jet Black Stazon
Misc: WWC, punches, ribbon, Aquapainter
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
This card is a total complete CASE of a card I received last year. I loved the simplicity of the card and, of course, the sparkle.
Stamps: Hung Up on the Holidays, Peaceful Wishes, Many Merry Messages
CS: Sahara Sand
Ink: Vintage Violet, Always Artichoke, Craft White
Misc.: Coluzzle Oval, Violet ribbon, DD glitter, glue pen
One of the lists I'm on recently had a stamping extravaganza. I had some edge distressers sitting around so I sent them in to be used as prizes. I always wonder how people come up with the prizes, especially since I never hear of donations or money being collected for them.
Anyway, Friday was a pretty hectic day spent in the kitchen and doing emergency shopping because I didn't buy enough ham for a funeral dinner I had organized for that night. Before I left to set up for the dinner I checked the mail and saw I had 3 pieces of happy mail. I didn't have time to open any of it and left it on the table. At 2 a.m. that night I remembered that I had mail and went to open it. Imagine my surprise when one package had a $30 stamp set in it. This was a thank you for donating the distressers. How cool is that!?!
This set is 3-step Daisy by Kitchen Sink Stamps. I had looked at the set before but wasn't dazzled by it. I didn't realize it was a 3-step set. Once I looked in their gallery and saw what could be done, I was tickled. This was the first card I made. Very simple, but I wanted to see how it came together.
Stamps: Kitchen Sink Daisy
Ink: Apricot Appeal, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery, Old Olive
CS: WW, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie
Misc: Scallop punch, Olive ribbon
Monday, November 19, 2007
It was interesting to read it and consider my own school days. I don't think the bullying was ever to this extent, at least that I'm aware of. I had a time in 8th grade where I stood up for someone and was picked on for it. It dropped off, perhaps because I was right back at them. The person whom I stood up for, we were friends through high school and I never got any more guff for it.
It is interesting to consider her experiences. There were times it seemed logical that she responded or felt the way she did, other times I couldn't help but to think that she was foolish, naive and immature. Given that she was given a fresh start two times, it doesn't make sense that she would be the target repeatedly. Jodee portrays that it was because she was more mature and took the high road. I believe there is more that was conveniently omitted to enhance the victim role.
I don't see how the book can have an affect on those that bully or those that have been bullied. It is merely someone's experience in life that they wrote about. Not a book I could recommend on how to overcome or deal with it. The book is more of a pity party and not worth the time in my opinion. I think it sold well due to others looking for insight into bullying and how to prevent it.
Stampin' Up! sent out a stamp set to all demonstrators. It will be a hostess set in the new catalog. Who doesn't like free rubber?! I wasn't too excited when I opened the package on Friday, Saturday it seemed a little more appealing. I attempted a card that is totally not my style. For some reason, I have ideas for designs but I just can't seem to get in the groove on colors. Perhaps I've been working on Christmas too long and those color schemes are in my head too much.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wilton has a very cool pan where you cook a cupcake in two parts, spread some frosting to put them together and decorate as you wish. The pan is going for $45 to $66 on ebay, Wilton is sold out. I never understand how the company that has their name on something can be out. Perhaps if it were new and the under-estimate the sales, but 5 months later. This shouldn't be an issue.
For no reason whatsoever, I made a cupcake. I loved how it looked with the sprinkles.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
This is one is super easy to do. Especially seems easy when you CASE it. No clue what blog I was at that I saw it, but I loved how quick it looked. Indeed it is and it is a perfect card to share with the ladies at church. I've had to come up with very simple cards and for the most part there isn't coloring on the five cards I have. Mostly stamping and sponging on two and coloring on two. Not even watercoloring. You can't get any easier.
This card uses artichoke, river rock, pomegranate and vanilla CS.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Very simple card to do. I love the wide grossgrain and the DP is gorgeous and fun for Christmas.
I've been looking for simple cards to do this year. I have 41 cards made so far, which is just over 1/4 of what I will be needing.
So many people are moving right now. It is surprising at this time of year to hear of people moving. The good thing is they are moving to somewhere better for them and their family. It is when you are working side by side with them that you realize how much of a void will be there when they are gone.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Prep: 15 min.; Cook: 1 hr., 15 min. Pick up smoked chicken from your favorite barbecue restaurant to make this dish, or use a barbecue-flavored rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket.
Preparation1. Sauté first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in diced tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Serve with desired toppings.
*1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth may be substituted.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Del Monte Diced Tomatoes Zesty Chili Style and McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix.
Makes 9 cups
This is the book club book of the month. The book is a quick read. I woke up at 3 a.m. Saturday morning and having slept for several hours already, I didn't have any hope of going back to sleep so I read until I needed to get up and make breakfast at 6 a.m. I finished reading it while watching the Red Sox kick the Colorado Rockies out of the park. I must admit I was so engrossed in the book at one point that I missed three runs and the excitement over it. My husband was stunned that I could block it out.
What was the book about? Claire is a single mother. She is a Christian author. Her mother lives 3 doors down and she depends on her mother to help out with her kids and do the extra "mom" type of things while she works on her books. She ends up needing surgery on her wrist which will make it impossible for her to work for 6 weeks. Her mother moves to Texas to live with her brother's family just before Claire's surgery. She is on her own.
Claire makes a list of 6 goals, which I found to be the typical person type of thing. I loved the "exercise - maybe" goal and the way her feelings and thoughts were expressed through the book. Her kids go through some normal challenges and the way she deals with them is typical but it is written in such a way that it is light. She is attracted to her son's teacher, who ends up buying her mother's house and they are neighbors.
Through it all she ends up growing, learning and becoming a better Claire in the end. Probably the biggest thing is to be able to forgive her ex-husband.
I can't say I would recommend the book to others. If you are looking for nice, light reading material then this would be perfect. While I enjoyed the book, lately I've been more interested in historical fiction.
Stampin' Up! recently had a Holiday Blitz promotion. I love the textured cardstock. The designs were fun and while I didn't have all of the stamps that they used, I was able to improvise on the "JOY" card and basically do what they did. Very fun Christmas cards. What I liked most was being able to whip out so many cards in a short amount of time.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
I used her favorite colors on the card and it had lots of bling. It was rather simple looking, just a square card. I had a large flower that took up most of the card, which I pulled apart and made a flower center with a few layers, using the True Friend stamp from Stampin' Up!
She really liked the card, but how I wish I took a minute to snap a picture of it.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
The kids are in Halloween mode. One of the twins would like for Skinny Cows to be handed out for Halloween. I told her it would melt and have to be eaten right then.
"Maybe we could use a small freezer to give them out with."
"That would be heavy to carry around. "
" I mean a small one that would only hold one Skinny Cow."
"That would be nice then you could take them for a treat to school after lunch."
"I wonder why nobody has invented it yet?"
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Frosty has been around in the Stampin' Up! catalog since 2001. There are only so many things you can do with it. Last year someone posted a card to a list I'm on and I loved the new look for Frosty. Last night I finally made the card. I like the card. My husband tells me, "the snowman looks kind of plain with all of the embossing and glitter." While I should listen to his opinion on it, I'm more impressed that he used proper terms regarding stamping with me.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Just yesterday afternoon I made a short wish list with links. This morning I came across a promotion code for 15% off the stamp set I wanted. I went to the site and it was gone. I was so bummed. I sent my husband the link for this set over a month ago, closer to two months, so he could get it for me. He never knows what to buy on those gift-giving occasions. He never bought it. I ended up on ebay this morning and bought it there.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Here is my list:
1. Mario Batali 6 qt. Italian Enamel on Cast Iron Essentials Pot (color: Espresso)
2. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy
3. Ancestry's Red Book
4. Crafty Secrets Kitchen Classics-Retro
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It has been another odd week. My schedule is so busy that I can't fit in any appointments. Sadly, Sunday I sent an e-mail asking to give up the cards I send for Cards of Aloha. I just can't keep up. I can do the minimum, but I'm used to doing more than that. Lately time hasn't permitted anything but the minimum and that doesn't seem fair to the kids. Today I sent them their last note. I'm sad. I've written 3 of the kids for 5 years and the other 3 I've had for 4 years. While writing I felt sad and yet relieved that I wouldn't have it hanging over me that I need to write and feeling guilty for not doing so.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Last night I was working on sympathy cards. I like what I came up with but it seems to winter-like using dark colors. (Cranberry and Choc. Chip). I needed to make a birthday card for my brother-in-law and I didn't have any ideas. I chose Wanted again. I really want the Bronco set but I'm not ordering it until October. I needed some inspiration and used a sketch challenge. I think I'm going to have to alter it a bit before I can send it off. It needs more. It is nice to be stamping again.
Friday, August 24, 2007
"Where are you going to use it?" (The commercial shows a swimming pool.)
"In the tub"
"You don't take baths anymore."
"There won't be much room."
"I really want it."
This baby is made by Zapf. Back in the early days when I had no experience with potty training, it was recommended to buy a baby that had a toilet and would 'pee' to show your child how to do it. I did this. Let me tell you it didn't work. What works well for a boy is tossing some goldfish crackers in the toilet and having a little target practice. Keep an eye on him that he doesn't toss the goldfish crackers on the living room floor and take aim though.
Eventually there came a time when the girls played with the baby dolls they had been given or the lovely one that I bought. If you take the Zapf one in the tub with you, it fills up with water. Once the girls were dressed, I would have to dress the baby. Without fail, some of the water would come out of the baby's bottom and make a nice wet mark on my leg(s). Can't you hear them tittering with laughter now?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Everything is getting back to a schedule and we are adjusting to the home schedule and the demands of various teachers. I'm surprised by the the amount of homework that has been given already. With all of this, we need to revise how and when we do things.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Orange Sticky Rolls
1/2C frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4C brown sugar
3T unsalted butter
1/2C brown sugar
1t grated orange zest
1/8t ground cloves
1T unsalted butter, melted
2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
6T unsalted butter, melted
Grease 9" cake pan. Bring all glaze ingredients to simmer over medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens and clings to back of spoon, about 5 min. Pour into prepared pan. Cool until glaze hardens, at least 20 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350. Combine all filling ingredients except butter. Using fork, stir in butter until mixture resembles wet sand.
For the biscuits, whisk together the first 5 ingredients; set aside. Whisk buttermilk and butter in a small bowl (mixture will clump), then stir in flour mixture until combined. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Roll dough into 12x9 rectangle. Pat filling into dough, leaving 1/2" border around edges. Starting at one long end, roll dough into tight cylinder and pinch seam together. Cut log into 8 pieces and arrange on the cooled glazed.
Bake until rolls are golden and glaze is darkened and bubbling, 18-25 min. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto platter. Let rolls sit 10 minutes before serving.
What went wrong with the recipe? I did a lot of things wrong. I started preparing it and I realized that the twins had a dentist appt. and I was down the wire time-wise. The glaze cools so it can harden and not be a lot of liquid absorbing into the biscuits, preventing it from being dough-y. When I was putting the rolls into the pan one stuck and I ended up breaking the skin so the liquid was flowing again. When I went to put the pan in the oven I discovered that I never turned it on. Now I'm in a pickle. It couldn't wait for my return and my son had never taken anything from the oven. Since I hadn't made these before, I didn't know how much liquid there would be when they were turned and I didn't want him to burn himself. Lucky for me my husband agreed to come home to get them out and wait 5 minutes to flip them. A few minutes before he came home, there was a small fire in the oven. The juice overflowed into the flame. After I left, what was on the foil had caught fire. We were still 5 minutes late for the appointment but I'm so thankful I didn't leave before my husband came home. The kitchen had a lot of smoke from it and the house ended up smelling. Today all is good and we have been enjoying the rolls.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I received a SMAK (small act of kindness) a week ago with this fold. I thought it was too cute when I opened it and wanted to make one myself. I thought of a snowman straight off for some reason. Perhaps it is too hot here.
Sets: Cold Play, Sincere Salutations
CS: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Purely Pomegranate, WW
Ink: Blue Bayou, Soft Sky, Groovy Guava
Misc.: Adhesive rhinestone, snowflake wheel
The Blue Bayou is 4-1/4 x 8-1/2, scored at 5", 2-1/4 square for offset square
Purely Pomegranate is 3 x 8-1/2, folded in half
Soft Blue, 4 x 3-1/4 (the snowflake panel), and 4 x 2-3/4 (pomegranate card)
WW is 3-3/4 x 3 and a 2" square for snowman.
The bayou has the fold on the left and the pomegranate has the fold on the right, adhered onto the bayou. Super easy card and fun to do. Plus there isn't a lot of space for writing when you use the pomegranate for the greeting and that is great when you are a person of few words.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
1/2C butter or margarine, softened
1/2C brown sugar
1/2t baking powder
1/4C creamy peanut butter
1/3C peanut butter chips
1/3C baking cocoa
1/2C semi-sweet choc. chips
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and milk; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide batter in half. To one portion, add peanut butter and peanut butter chips; mix well. To the other portion, add the cocoa and chocolate chips; mix well. In a greased 9" square baking pan, spoon chocolate batter in eight mounds in a checkerboard pattern. Spoon seven mounds of peanut butter batter between the chocolate batter. Cut through batters with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I went with a couple of friends to see this movie last night. I didn't know anything about the movie, just that others had said it was good. I enjoyed the movie. It was really odd to see John Travolta dressed as a woman. A fun part for me was the singing in the audience of the theatre. There was a point in the movie with all of the dancing that you just wanted to get up and dance yourself. Still don't know if I would buy the movie, but it was a lot of fun to watch.
Friday, July 27, 2007
About a month ago, I told some ladies at a church we visit when traveling that I would make a baby quilt for their collection. I intended to do this while the boys were at scout camp. I never bought the fabric and I wanted to take my time at the store looking at patterns, so it wouldn't work with the girls with me.
I finally bought the fabric two weeks ago. I started sewing it Monday. A dancing squares quilt. I boogered up. The sides ended up with green, the top and bottom had yellow. I cut it off so it would all be green. What to do now? I needed to come up with an extra 6". I ended up making mini dancing squares. The whole thing was quite a headache for a couple of days.
I finished it last night. I like the cheerfulness of the quilt. I don't like the pink strip. It seemed off with the purple, which made the pink out of place. All I can say is a lot of care went into it. I was challenged by having to stay within a certain measurement.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I bought a package of these pens when they first came out. I tried it once and didn't find that it worked very well. I gave them to my husband and suggested he take them to work. He took one pen and the other two have been sitting in the laundry room for over a year. I was eating some cherries and some juice dripped on my shirt. I have a dinner group tonight and I want to wear the shirt I have on. I got out the pen and gave it another shot. It worked. I'm so surprised. I can't help but wonder why it didn't the first time around.
I'm taking cashew chicken to the dinner tonight.
1/4C rice vinegar
1/4C cooking sherry or apple juice
1t garlic powder
1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken, cubed
3T cooking oil
3C broccoli florets
1C thinly sliced carrots
1/3C soy sauce
1/3C hoisin sauce
1T ground ginger
1C roasted salted cashews
In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients; add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove chicken from marinade and reserve marinade. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir-fry chicken for 2-3 minutes or until it is no longer pink. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and set aside. In the same skillet, stir-fry broccoli and carrots for 3 minutes or just until crisp-tender. Combine cornstarch, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger and reserved marinade; stir into vegetables. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and heated through. Stir in cashews and chicken; heat through. Serve over rice. Yield: 6 servings.
I got an order from SU on Tuesday. I wish I felt more like playing. I trimmed the Wanted set last night and just stared at it. Nothing really hit me. I read on SCS that the scallop punch fit perfectly around the large circle design. Very cool. I stamped it, punched it and thought, now what. It wasn't until today, when I should have been cooking that it hit me that I also purchased the Sanded background stamp and that would work perfectly to give it a little more rustic look. I really like the way the card turned out. I'm not sure about mellow moss and river rock together, but it worked out okay.
What you can't really see too well is that the main image has the Sanded BG stamped in versamark. I also did the small design with the versamark and then lightly went over it with some chalk to make it a little more visible. The scallop design also has the sanded background.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Fast forward to Sunday. I told my husband to take him for a haircut. No one would cut his care. I was surprised because I know of places here that will. I didn't let either of them in the house Sunday night until I checked there head. Well in Ben's case, I didn't need to check it. I cut his hair by the light of the patio, it was almost 10 p.m. I went through his hair and got about 10 eggs.
This morning I washed his hair, did a vinegar rinse, had him sit with a towel that was soaked in half vinegar, half water. He sat with his head wrapped for an hour. After his hair dried, I combed it and pulled out another 14 eggs. I think I'm going to do the vinegar treatment every day. He washed with the medicated shampoo at camp on Friday. I will have him do that again this coming Friday. Yucky stuff.
In the humor of it all, I just had to inform him that the lice had sex on his head. Not a nice thought for him.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
It is Saturday. I'm working on laundry so I will be ready when they return tomorrow to tackle all of their gear. I will have to tackle some things that I wanted to do and didn't. I will have to finish some things I started. I will cook tomorrow. I will clean today.
I know I will never get to all that was on my list for the week. I will get the important things done. There is always next week, with a new to do list.