Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Anti-NaNo

Go check out the six-word memoir contest. Now this might be do-able! Read the sidebar when you pop over. The one by 'Margaret Atwood' is classic.

If you play, leave your memoir in my comments. I'm going to be mulling mine over today. Hmm. Maybe not as easy as I expected. Contest ends on Christmas Day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Did you know that whipped cream has less than one carb, 0 grams of trans fat and is only 15 measly calories for about two tablespoons?

Some people think they are being so noble, eschewing the whip, taking the non-fat milk. But really, after your barista just pumped in 4 oz. of your flavor of choice, at 70 calories per pump no less, are you really being that noble?

So often, my hand is poised above your steaming cup of joe, trigger finger at the ready. I ask, "whip?" And you let me down.

JUST TAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM! It's really the most fun part of making your coffee!

A cozy day

Yesterday was fabulous.

I got up and did the gym thing, came home and made the kids real hot chocolate on the stove. Whip cream, sprinkles, the works.

Got the kids off to school. I got a ton of chores done in a short amount of time. (Even did the kitchen floor!)

Took my shower, and as I had nowhere to go and a completely blank calendar, I put on fresh pajamas and left the make up off my face. Yummy.

Had lunch with the hubby, watched The Bell's of St. Mary on dvd. I made a homemade pizza for dinner, which wasn't a big hit, but that's okay. Made cut out cookies.

Cleaned up the kitchen. Put away laundry. Brushed my teeth and read in bed until I was ready for sleep.

It was practically perfect and just what I needed.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The voices in my head

I like to read your blogs! It's like a little surprise every morning. (Or afternoon or evening!)

Some of you are like clockwork. A little ray of sunshine with a morning cup of chocolate. (You know who you are. I appreciate your consistency.)

Some of you I have to wait, but mostly it's worth it. I will check in everyday, and take a quick peek at the photo or title, and either groan and say, yay! A new post.

Some of you post several times a day, so if I miss a day or two, I will have eight or nine posts to catch up on and that is fun too.

Each of your blogs sound different in my head. If I have a real life friend who is from your area of the country, then that is what you sound like.

bobbie was easy. She recently posted a talk that she gave in her community, and I think what I made up was pretty close to what I heard. Very full of emotion and care and a desire to really communicate with you.

My Okie blogger sounds like my friend Tammy, who is also an Okie via somewhere else in the South, so she may sound a tad more twangy in my head than she might be in person. Who knows, perhaps we'll see oneday.

All the Northeastern seaboard people pretty much sound the same to me. You are all broads. You are full-throated and a teensy bit nasal-y, dawling. You have a good laugh. All but blackbird who for some reason sounds British-lite to me. Must be because she spells things like crappe and shoppe and colour. She writes with good allocution.

Sarah Louise is a little hip-hop mixed in with the dawling, n'at.

The Aussies all sound like Nicole Kidman. I hope that's a compliment. I like it, anyway. I don't know any Australians in person, so it's the best I got.

Lissa is like a morning DJ. Erin is like a calm and soothing yoga instructor. Kathryn sounds like me, because I'm from where she is, but I know she's not native. Mair sounds like honey, whatever that would sound like.

All you crafty bloggers sound a little home and garden TV-ish. Put together and stylish. The booky blogs are a combination of the northeastern and the quiet, friendly librarian who takes the trouble to pop an altoid to cover her coffee breath. I like her.

Some of you are new to me. You have your voices, but I am just discovering them.

I keep blogging because of you. I'm not as consistent, but I feel like you have invited me into your world so I ought to return the favor. You know, the whole hospitality thing. Of course, you serve me wonderful full course meals and I give you grilled cheese with tomato soup. But that's yummy sometimes, too!

So, thank you for the hour or so that I spend with you everyday. My world has increased because of what you write and show me with your pictures.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

May your day be blessed and filled with love and warmth.

Happy Thanksgiving all you bloggy friends!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006




Monday, November 20, 2006

Half way through

I saw Stephen King on a talk show of some sort, talking about his new 'love story'. It sounded like he really liked what he wrote and was excited for the book to be out. I adore a love story and was happy to hear he had something that I might like. I've read some of his books, the less scary ones and of course, I've read 'On Writing', which is great.

Well, Lisey's Story is not exactly what I expected. There's love, but I wouldn't really call it a love story. And IT'S SCARY! And a tad weird. But I think I like it. I'm pretty sure I like it. He's got a way with words. It made me stay up late last night anyway.

I do think there has been a little misrepresentation about the nature of this story. I think he just wanted to get the chicks to buy it.

Have you read it yet? Are you going to? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A milestone

My son, the sweetest boy ever, has finally learned how to take a vitamin that isn't chewy or in the shape of a gummy animal.

It is a proud day.

There was much gagging and dribbling and general upheaval. Simultaneous tears and laughter. Spewing of water.

He seemed to think it might help to put his whole hand in there along with the vitamin.

Visual aids were necessary.

Eventually, after many tries and a few soggy vitamins, the helpful minerals and nutrients went down the right way and my son is further down the path toward manhood. Woo hoo.

I'm a little embarrassed that I got the camera out. But it really was funny.

Young Bakers

Yesterday there were twelve little girls in my house. We baked. We made a huge mess and had lots of fun. I will, however, be picking dough out of my carpet for some time to come.

Each girl got to cream her own butter, add all her own ingredients and crack her own egg. Some of them cracked their first egg. I was honored!

These girls are in a group that take turns meeting at each other's homes to learn a new craft or skill every month. Last month we dyed our own fabric with fresh flowers and made a fall-ish wall hanging. This month was baking. We are excited to see what the next months bring.

I could tell these girls felt special. It really is amazing to see how much fun a little butter and sugar can be, and how much joy it can produce in a life. Not to mention, real milk chocolate chips. Yum. The most amazing part is that I only ate one cookie! A feat in and of itself.

When everyone had their dough finished, I passed around the secret ingredient. They all vigorously shaked in extra doses of LOVE. You can't bake without it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A delicious book, gobbled whole

Claudia Mair (rhymes with fire) Burney's debut novel is a winner. It is a read in one sitting, neglect the chores, serve sandwhiches for dinner, type of book.

Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man is part mystery, part romance, part chick-lit. Amanda Bell Brown is a heroine to love. She flirts with the man of her dreams, and promptly pukes on him, when they visit a crime scene that is vaguely familiar to her. All this while wearing a knock-out dress, high heels and a whole lot of attitude. I like her!

The story goes on to unravel not only the secrets of what appears to be a religious suicide, but the painful past of Bell's youth. There is a huge 'Don't go in there!' moment, but this is where Bell gets to do some serious business of facing her history and while making sure there is a future for girls who are in a place she has been.

This is a fast-paced, fun read. I like that the main characters have struggles, that they aren't perfect, that they actually have physical attraction to each other. They sin and they have to take care of it with God. So many 'Christian' books have such perfect little characters that they don't resemble anyone I personally know. Bell, Jazz, (the fine man) and Carly (Bell's sassy sister) have conversations like the people I know, although they have them while eating quality chocolate and wearing much better clothes than any of my friends have!

I can't wait to see what Mair has in store for us next. In the mean time, I will keep reading her blog, which is an open, raw, painfully at times honest journal of her real life, her walk and love of Jesus. She can really lay it out there and doesn't pull any punches. Be prepared to be moved and changed by her words when you visit there.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A pocketful of posies

Just look at these cute little pups. So adorable.

I would like to share with you, my internet buddies, a new find. Posie gets cozy is a new favorite crafty site. I just love, love, love it.

Everything over there is unique and feminine. Lots of floral, vintage, antique-y type stuff. She takes things from the Goodwill and turns them into really cool stuff. I don't think she is selling them anymore, but she had some bags made from striped sweaters that were super cute.

The blog always has tons of photos. Alicia's house looks like a place to stop and have a cup of tea with a friend. So homey and warm. When at the blog, click on the posie button to see the website. Alicia will be updating it this Monday with lots of new stuff to buy. If you have any Christmas money to spend, this would be a great place to visit. So much more satisfying than going to the mall.

I am always so impressed with people in the cottage arts industry. They get to make stuff all day, they never seem to run out of ideas, and every idea is more clever than the one before. When I find a site that doesn't look like the same old bazaar stuff that I've seen for the last 20 years, I know I've found a true artist. I'm sure it gets old or boring sometimes, but I still think it's a great business.

Go visit Posie and her rosy little things and see if you aren't charmed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My first recipe post

I'm surprised it took me this long. I'm not the best or the worst cook in the world, but I can hold my own. Fall does something to me though and I become this super baker. Cookies, pie, cake, breads, especially breads. I'm already planning my Christmas cookies.

Here is a wonderful, easy Pumpkin Spice Bread that can be done in loaves, a bundt cake or a lot of little mini-loaves to give away as gifts. I have made it for dessert for company and for a snack to go with coffee, and both times it was all gone, so that's saying something. I put a little cream cheese frosting glaze, but you don't have to. It also has A LOT of sugar in it, so next time I'm going to decrease and see what that does, but for now, I'll give it to you as I know it.

3 Cups sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz.) solid pumpin (or bake your own pumpkin)
1 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning
(or you can use cloves and all spice, but it makes the bread a lot more powerful. Smells great, but kind of potent to taste, I think. I never really learned to like cloves.)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 Cup water

Combine sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture, alternating it with the water. Pour into greased loaf pan, bundt pans, whatever. Bake at 350 for 60 - 65 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.

For a drizzle topping, melt a big spoonful of cream cheese and half a cube or butter or margarine, add a little milk, and a cap full of vanilla, then shake in powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like. I probably used 1/2 - 3/4 of cup.

Give it a try and tell me how you like it. Happy baking and nesting and any other cozy fall thing you are doing.

Monday, November 06, 2006


These young lovers are my mom and dad. I'm so glad I have this photo.

I think every kid deserves to know that their parents loved each other.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Shaken and Stirred

Straight Up is the newest offering by one of my favorite contemporary authors, Lisa Samson. Not only does she write good books, she gets the best covers!

This book is written from the perspective of two incredibly talented women, Georgia and Fairly, who are not close, but are tied together through family and circumstance. They are living lives and making choices from fear and grief and stubborness. Their decisions take them places that are scary, stupid and very harmful.

Frankly, their stories scared the hell out of me. I am taking a good, hard look at some of the things I struggle with and wonder if I am taking myself away from what my best life on earth could be.

Although Georgia and Fairly go to some dark places, they are loved through them by a caring uncle, a husband who finally steps up, a gracious woman who feeds them well (be prepared to crave fried chicken!) and an extended group of interesting characters that serve each other with love and kindness, becoming family to one another.

There is a side story that really tugged at my heart. It's the story of a young girl who is either being neglected or having the kind of attention dumped on her that no one wants. Her family can't love her the way they are supposed to, but people are placed in her life who care for her in very fundamental and hands on ways. Again, making me aware that I need to be available for someone who may need me to be that for them.

Lisa's books always feel like they are filled with people I know. People who struggle with the same things my friends struggle with. The characters have conversations that seem so familiar to me. She touches on things that I have a tendency to avoid until they are problems and I am forced to deal with them. Her books make you aware of the world and how important your place in it is.

So, thank you, once again Lisa, for a beautiful, grace-filled book. I loved it.

Please click on Author Intrusion on my sidebar to visit Lisa's blog and to order your own copy of this tremendous book.


I love this month. Lissa listed her top reasons why she loves it on her blog and when I commented I got inspired to make my own list. I love lists, too. Here goes, in no particular order.

My first daughter was born in November.

Sweater weather.

Housework seems to be easier and I'm a little more joyful about it.

Everything is cool and fresh and clear.

There could be snow!

(Gratuitous picture of Scout, the wonder dog)

Baking, muffins, banana bread, pumpkin spice cake, cream cheese frosting...

Thanksgiving and all that it entails.

Pink cheeks and mittens.

Hot chocolate, hot tea, warm friendship circles. We have more company.

I tend to get out all my hobbies. Knitting, scrapbooking, quilting. You name it and I'll dig it out in November.

I get a little more creative. I dress a little better. I write letters. I move furniture.

No more lawn mowing!

Candles. Lots and lots of candles.

Anyone else?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

You Are a Little Scary
You've got a nice edge to you. Use it.
How Scary Are You?