Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Cuteness Continues...

(to the point of amost being unbearable)

(he had just finished bathing her head)

(she woke up and had to reposition)

(ah, that's much better)

(is it sweet enough for you?)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Inner Hippie Says...

It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Alice's Restaurant(embedding disabled so click to watch and listen).

We are headed to Mark's parents for dinner and a football watching. They'll do the turkey and dressing, some side dishes and desserts and hopefully her homemade 5-hour yeast rolls, I'm bringing sweet potato casserole and broccoli rice casserole and possibly a chocolate pie if I have time.

I am thankful for much this year. There have been many changes in each of our lives. The kids have grown, parents are aging, friendships have deepened, livelihoods have been altered by a fateful hand, and God has moved in very bold ways.

It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast. ~W.J. Cameron

If I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Host of this universe, Who daily spreads a table in my sight, surely I cannot do less than acknowledge my dependence. ~G.A. Johnston Ross

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah! on Thanksgiving day....
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God. ~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some Cuteness Going On....

(Gypsy, Tallulah and Jasper taking a nap on Sarah's bed this weekend)

These are all my friend's dogs, Sally and Honey and the cat, Sister. I'm kicking myself for not photographing the 5-week-old cuteness that belongs to the neighbors. Its one of 5 little Golden Retriever/Black Lab/? mixes. The one we got to hold looked just like a Golden. There are 4 others that are fuzzy and black. Oh my stars it was soooo sweet. If anyone local is interested, I'm sure I could score you one for Christmas!!

(Sarah's new best friend)

(Honey is the big one)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


A few nights ago I had a dream about having to paint elephants for a circus. We(I guess Mark and I and a few others) were treading water in a huge, deep, indoor pool. The elephants would swim by us to be scrubbed, then go up steps to dry off before we got out to paint them. It was very tedious work, lots of details in the patterns. There were at least 40 of them and probably an equal amount of dolphins which also had to be painted. Another part of the dream was us sitting in a parking lot waiting for someone to join us so we could get "underway" going somewhere. We were in a van with all the doors open and kind of milling around inside. I think we were also pulling a horse trailer with lots of stuff in it(not animals). Anyway...

From what I've gathered from searching, elephants represent our whole self and our power, "the elephant is also a symbol of power, strength, and intellect". Dolphins represent "conscious awareness of one's link with all life; contact with the one life within all things". I'm exploring this and others. There is more in the painting too, about my need to express myself. Interesting.

Last night I dreamed of shopping in a series of thrift shops, much like a flea market but in little open air cubicles. I came across several items that were like ones I'd owned as a child and as I examined them I found my name and address on some of them. More digging came up with this, "suggests that there are still things to be learned and gained from past experiences or what is seemingly worthless. The thrift shop may also symbolize ideas or skills that you may have forgotten". Even more interesting.

Wonder what tonight's will be? I'm looking forward to it!

Watch this video!! I'm slightly obsessed with this song now, its soooo rhythmic.

And this one too, whoa these girls are AWESOME!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Major Award!!

Autumn left me an award, isn't it COOL?

Here are the rules that you agree to when you accept this award:

"When you receive the prize, you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in their content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing that they were prized with 'Honest Weblog'. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on!"

1. oi************(Tallulah is helping me this morning) Speaking of morning, I rarely eat a traditional American breakfast. Give me spaghetti, leftover roast, even a sandwich over eggs and toast or cereal. However, I do love a bagel with cream cheese.

2. I'm not a sentimental/romantic person at all. Don't buy me flowers or give me cards. Instead, do something realistic like bring dark chocolate or a bag of cat food or something.

3. My introverted nature makes it hard for me to socialize. I am just exhausted after a day filled with talking to others but I do enjoy a good conversation now and then.

4. I love thrift shops but don't get to shop nearly as much as I'd like. Some of my favorite things have come from Salvation Army or Goodwill. You never know what goodies may be lurking in them! Heck, I even dreamed about thrifting last night. Yes really!!!

5. Yall may have noticed that I love animals too! My heart is soft and I tend to take on more than we really need but they are all well cared for and loved.

6. Dieting is not my favorite thing. Neither is exercising. I try to do at least one of them every day though. Right now its the exercising.

7. For some reason I have a mental block about growing my hair longer than my shoulders. Its only been that long once in my lifetime. I also have a mental block about cleaning my bedroom and bathroom but that's another thing.

8. I want desperately to learn how to machine quilt but I'm terrified I'll mess it up. Using the sewing machine is hard for me, don't know why.

9. My unfinished objects pile is bigger than I want it to be. I don't even want to know how may projects are lurking around waiting for completion.

10. Someday I'd like to raise sheep for fiber. Or at least I think I do, it sounds like a romantic thing to do(see #2). It might end up being more trouble than its worth.

Now for my nominees!

1. Clickmom. I have just started following her weightloss endeavors and have found she's a very interesting person!

2. Kel over at A Slice of the Pie. Because she needs to get past that post about blood in the kitchen. Bleck!!

3. Damn Yankee. Since Betts just tagged me for a random facts thing and listed 7 of her own, she only has to do 3 more.

4. Purple Squirrel because her blog is so peaceful and soothing every time. I want to know her secrets!

5. Spruce Hill. Her (very new to me) blog is full of beauty and honesty and a delish recipe for corn chowder that I'll be trying soon.

6. Cedar Chest Quilts is someone who lives near me and also homeschools but we've never met. She's also on a quilter's email group with me. I enjoy her blog but would love to know more about her.

7. Keetha's Stuff'n Such because I haven't picked on her in a loooong time and she needs something to do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

book tagged!

Jeanne got me!!

The rules are:(just so you'll know, I don't typically follow rules so if you want to play, have at it!)

1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share seven random and/or weird book facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My seven random book facts:

1. I LOVE to read!!!

2. I don't have time to read! I used to but having 3 kids and all the activities that go with them kind of puts a damper on sitting still long enough to read. Crocheting has taken the place of reading when I have a minute to relax, it is much more soothing to me.

3. That being said, I finished the LOTR trilogy(again) this summer, plus The Hobbit.

4. I don't have favorite authors. I have favorite stories. Steven King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is one, the Little House series is another as is The Red Tent by Anita Diamant(I suspect I'd love all of her stuff though).

5. Cooking, how-tos, historical stuff, poems, alternative medical treatments(moxibustion, herbal lore, etc.), Greek myths, and many other topics are things I love to read about.

6. I do 75% of my reading online in the form of blogs and online publications.

7. My children get their reading qualities from their dad. He(they) mostly reads for information. It isn't that they don't read for pleasure but more that the pleasure is finding out about their intended subject. These days I mostly read this way too(see #2) but when I was a child-teen I read mostly stories for pleasure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The goings on...

Amy turned 13 on Saturday so there are two teens in the house now! She had two friends spend the night, two others were unable to make it. They had a pizza pajama party and stayed up well past 1am. We took them all to the mall then next morning to run around. Amy ended up with a pair of teal jeans and two shirts, Ryan and Sarah, who have half-birthdays now, got a shirt apiece. It ended up being a great celebration, everyone had a great time!!

Mark's dad celebrated his 81st birthday on Wednesday so this morning I cooked a big pot of red beans and rice** and baked a chocolate raspberry pie* for his birthday. Mark and I took his parents to see his new office. It happens to be right across the street from their old neighborhood. Now, when I say old, I mean OLD! They moved from there when Mark was a baby. We had a nice visit with them, as nice as you can with someone who has dementia(his mom).

Now I believe I am due a nap!

Next week will be hectic but hopefully I'll be more posty!

* recipe here with modifications of an extra egg yolk and 2 extra tbsps flour, a tiny bit more sugar, dash of cinnamon and a 1/2 tsp raspberry extract. Oh, and I used Special Dark cocoa powder.

** Red Beans and Rice

1.5 pounds dried red beans
3 medium sized ham hocks
3 ribs celery
2 onions
1 green pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground savory
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne(or so)
1 pound smoked kielbasa or sausage of your choice, sliced.
6 cups cooked white rice.

Soak beans overnight. Drain and keep in colander. Cook chopped veggies(except garlic) in oil for 5-6 minutes. Add ham hocks, garlic, bay leaves and seasonings, cook for another 5-6 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add beans and about 10 cups of water, or to cover. Simmer, partially covered, over med-low heat for 2-3 hours. Remove ham hocks and add sliced sausage. Simmer over medium heat for another 1-2 hours, uncovered, stirring often to prevent burning. Fish out bay leaves, let stand 10-15 minutes to thicken and cool a bit. Serve over rice with tabasco and salt at the table.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mark's New Office...

For those who don't know, Mark has opened his own medical equipment company, A-1 Medical Equipment and Supplies. He has over 20 years of retail management experience including Wal-Mart, JCPenney and Office Depot, and 7 years of medical equipment experience plus a BBA in Marketing. He is SOOOO excited about this venture and looking forward to serving the East Texas area again! I'm very excited too, this kind of stuff is what he lives for. It is rare that people love their careers as much as Mark loves his. He was made for this and I am so happy for him to get this opportunity.

Some of you have seen these before but here they are for everyone! This is a former doctor's office. We've spent long hours tearing out carpet for the storage areas, painting walls and floors, building shelves for oxygen tanks, a cleaning table, racks for equipment, and so forth. The office was filled with old furniture, equipment, and medical supplies so that all had to be moved and sorted as well. I don't have pictures of the storage, cleaning, or staging areas yet.

(pass thru to the nurse station from the patient waiting area, before)

(desk area, before)

(front door, partition, and dry erase board-not up yet. the extreme right of this picture continues on the first picture where the door hinges are- same wall)

(new desk and curtains, the front door is just to the right of the texas flag picture next to the curtain)

(pass thru no longer. we printed some pics of the kids off the blog and they're on the shelves now)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Esmeralda and Matilda

Here they are getting ready for the holidays!!! I'll be making Matilda Mouse some holiday finery soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cheesy Gooey Goodness...

(Cheesy Gooey Tex-Mex Casserole, by Molly Sonier)

(Holy cow this was good)

(And it was meatless!)

First I doubled this chili gravy recipe from Homesick Texan(doubled the liquid and seasoning, not the flour and oil). I tweaked it a bit with about 1/2 teaspoon chipolte powder and about a teaspoon red wine vinegar.

Then I layered(in a 9x13 stoneware casserole) the sauce with corn tortillas, about 10 in all, 2 blocks of Cabot's 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated, 1 can fat free refried beans(just glopped by the tablespoon), about 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 cup cilantro leaves(very loosely packed). My layers went like this:

Sauce(I didn't quite use all of it)

Baked it, covered, at 350 for about 40 minutes. Slurped it up with some greek yogurt on top. Died happy(no not really, but I could have). There is just a teeny bit left for tomorrow. I may send it with Mark if he does the dishes tonight.

In other news...

We were looking SO forward to camping this weekend. Based on the events, it seems God may have been telling us "no" but we didn't listen til he stopped us in our tracks.

Mark had a bad feeling about going all week and I couldn't really get into it either. Once we got the stuff together we were excited to be getting away. We decided against taking the canoe because the Suburban was weighted down too much as it was. Due to his busy week Mark didn't get around to making reservations at the state park we wanted to visit. We got about a mile underway and Mark decided he'd better call to see if there were tent site vacancies. There were not. He pulled off the road and called 6 or 7 other state parks. Only one had sites available. We turned around to head to that park and the Suburban just died. Quit working at all. We coasted to an oil top road that lead back home and came to a stop in the woods. Car would NOT start. Mark jogged back home and drove back with jumper cables. It wasn't the battery. Would allllllmost turn over but not quite. So, we loaded all the camping equipment in his work van and drove back home. We decided to call a wrecker service to haul it home for us. Currently it is sitting in the yard near the driveway. We are unsure what we'll do with it. The repairs for this and many other "ailments" will probably run close to $1100 and there are other things wrong with it as well.

Today we went to visit friends and I was handed some leftovers from a garage sale.*G* I got a cast iron skillet, a neat-o purse, and a vintage barbie with a beeeautiful purple crocheted doily dress, and some okra and peppers!! Barbie has a photo shoot sceduled for tomorrow. Then we looked at used trucks and SUVs(we have to have something to pull the boat and haul 3-5 kids, dogs, equipment and so forth). Finally we headed to Trade Days to see what we could find to drag home! I managed to leave with an adorable(and I mean ADORABLE) crocheted mouse with a dark blue dress. She is just too sweet!! Her photo shoot is scheduled around the same time as purple barbie, so I'll have pics sometime tomorrow. The kids and I got sno-cones and we all split a large funnel cake. I don't think I've had one of those in 25 years! I also ran into a very old friend(30 years!) who works for the police department now. We caught each other up on who and what. Then I checked in with my friend who is selling my scarves, she said 3 had sold!! Woot!! I don't know which ones though. She knits the most incredible striped stocking caps to sell. They are about 5 to 6 feet long and are so cute(I need a picture of them). I wish I was a knitter but there ain't no way...

We're expecting rain tomorrow with slightly cooler temps following. It has been a wonderful fall so far with very little rain and short-sleeve weather almost every day.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


47 days til Christmas!!!!!

I have MUCH to do!!!!

Like wrist warmers, leg warmers, walking wallets, cell phone cases, hats...


I won't make any more scarves for a while, we've got plenty!

(Amy modeling scarves, um several years ago)

I LOVE this hat.

(Sarah's Gwen Stefani hat, she's outgrown)

The walking wallets I'm doing are quite a bit smaller than this tween purse, with a strap to wear across the body from one shoulder to the opposite hip. They hold identification and a cell phone, and are PERFECT for walkers.

(Sidney's purse)

I'm currently working on another Patricia shawl like this one but in red(Icelandic Jewels by Yarn Bee). This one is done in Yarn Bee's Highland Thistle and is a bit too stretchy and bouncy for everyday use. It is absolutely cuddly though and I love flopping on the couch in it when its a chilly morning. The red one will be more sturdy but not quite as long.

(bat wing shawl)

I haven't made a hat in a looooong time. Ryan has requested some beanies but he wants the "name brand" kind. I wonder if he'd wear one I made?

(Aaron's hat, unknown ultra bulky yarn)

And I want to make this into a Christmasy wall hanging or table topper. I'm trying to decide if I want to make a zillion more hexagons in red for the background, or just applique it down to a solid piece of fabric. Hexagons would probably look better, darn it.

(vintage fabric paper-pieced hexagons)

I shan't lack for busywork that's for sure.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Making adjustments...

Yesterday I danced with a bully. I let her sway me to do something I didn't think was right. My action didn't really hurt anyone but it was unfair to some other people. I was distracted, getting ready to head out the door with three kids, sorting through some items for a flea market sale this weekend, needing to go by the bank and other errands before landing at the park, planning a camping trip, and dealing with a lot of other people's emotions and feelings that were supposedly hurt so it was kind of a "heat of the moment" moment. I was hoping that by doing what was asked, I'd not be bothered again. In the back of my mind was the thought that a snowball might be in the making but thankfully it wasn't. Her foot did not get caught in my door, there is no entrance gained. And, it won't happen again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I am SO happy with tonight's election results. I'm thrilled and proud and full of renewed patriotism!! That's about as political as I'm going to get, including responding to comments. This video says it all.
****updated to add a link to the Democratic Platform****

The Walk...

It started beautifully....
(please click each picture to enjoy the full-size version)

Got even better...

With many neat discoveries...

Then, luck turned and we had to head home...