Saturday, December 27, 2008

After Christmas exhale...

I love Christmas. I really do! But, what a relief today was, a perfect exhalation, a satisfying sigh after a busy, busy week... er month!

Today was perfect! Coffee and sugar cookies for breakfast, reading through 2 new cookbooks, and a quilt pattern book, searching the internet for fabric and free (and easy) quilt patterns, a 3 hour nap, playing Wii with Virgil and Stephen, and a big 'ol root beer from Sonic! Oh and new books, courtesy of a Barnes and Noble gift card from my inlaws!

And now it is 1:00 am and I'm about to cuddle into my cozy bed and sleep hard and get up and relax again tomorrow.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing day after!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It happened today

It happened today. A panicky, stressed feeling. About getting things done. Done in time. But, it's not because Christmas is 9 days away and I have about that many homemade items to finish. It's because my Mom is in the hospital again. With congestive heart failure again. And seeing her struggle to breathe breaks my heart again. I could go into a whole rambling thing here about how her Medicare re-hab benefits are used up, or the worry I feel about her being at home when there is no one to be with her 24 hours a day. I could ramble on, but I won't. Because that is really not the point of this post today. The point of this post is that I had a near panic attack and had to be reminded to, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." Psalm 46:10-11

Thank you Robbie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm an overpunctuater

It’s true. I know this about myself. But, really, which more greatly expresses a depth of feeling?

I found the most adorable quilt pattern today.


I found the MOST AdOrAbLe quilt pattern today!!!!!

In the second one you know I’m FEELING it and truly I type my sentences to look the way they sound in my head.

Have a GREAT weekend!!! 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I forgot to post!

Stephen placed 4th in UIL Listening Skills. Way to Go Stephen! :)

An example of my life...

Yesterday, for some reason, I took my hairbrush and my daytime moisturizer out of my bathroom (where I normally use these items) and ended up brushing my hair and applying my cream in my bedroom. No big deal right? WRONG! After I used the items, I put them somewhere and completely forgot where! So this morning after my shower, I’m looking all over the place for my cream and my hairbrush. I finally give up and go wake Stephen and make coffee with un-brushed hair and non-moisturized face. While waiting for Stephen to drag himself from the bed, I noticed he has left his house key, which is attached to his school id on the kitchen counter. I pick it up to put in his backpack, because I am sure otherwise he will be locked out at some point when he needs the key. As I pick up the id, something flies off and lands in the very FULL trash can. It’s the key. I eye the trash can, remembering Patch had an accident in the entryway yesterday afternoon that Stephen had cleaned up. I sigh and dig in…of course the key has fallen to the bottom of the trash bag. My hand squishes into something and I realize Stephen didn’t “wrap up” the little gift Patch left in the entryway. “STEPHEN GET OUT OF BED!” He ambles in sleepy-eyed, “Geez, Mom, what’s up with your hair?” (Yes, he’s still alive!)

Oh, and I did find my hairbrush…it was behind my laundry hamper in my bedroom. I don’t know why and I don’t want to know why. There is no telling where I’ll find the moisturizer!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday FUNday!

An idle mind is truly the devil's playground! I am supremely unfocused on anything of a work nature today.

I've been dropping gratuitous stocking stuffer hint emails to my hubby. Virgil - here's another in case you're reading: Nuts and fruit and gloves are nice, but Fat Quarters, dear, give my life spice!

I've been thinking about Stephen. Today is his UIL competition in Listening Skills. I'm so proud of you, Stephen! You've come a long way Baby! You didn't give up, and you made a UIL team!! Here's a pic I snapped this morning of him looking all handsome and ready to represent:

I have another brag on Stephen. He was nominated by his school counselor to be a delegate in summer 2009 at the Lone Star Leadership Academy in Dallas. We going to do our best to get him there. It will be an awesome growing experience. Way to go, Stephen!

I've been thinking about Christmas decorating. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of it done this weekend. I love the house all cozy and decorated for Christmas.

I've been thinking about wrapping gifts, and making cards, and making presents!

Oh, I've been thinking...just not much about work!!

Oh, wait! I can't forget about this awesome give-a-way...I'm hoping to win it folks, but if you go to Catherine Holman's blog you might win it yourself!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My first “quilting” lesson

A few months ago, my Mom gave me a big box of scrap material that she no longer wanted. While digging through the box, I found a quilt top that my Granny had cross-stitched and pieced. I’m amazed when I look at it…knowing that my Granny lovingly stitched these stitches and then gave it to my Mom, her daughter-in-law. Granny passed away in Feb of 2000, and her son, my Daddy passed away in January of 2008. So, I think the perfect Christmas gift for my Mom is to have this top quilted. And so tomorrow, on my lunch break, I get my first “quilting” lesson. I say “quilting” because it won’t be traditional hand quilting. I am using a blanket for the batting and a nice sheet for the backing. And Miss Abbie H. has generously offered to help and teach me tie a quilt. I’m looking forward to the experience and will post a pic of the finished product. Now I need to decide if I will wait until Christmas Eve to give the quilt to my Mom or have it waiting on her bed when she returns home from the rehab facility on the 17th! And on a side note, it is awesome to have Mom feeling better! ~@my

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Highlights of my holiday weekend

Highlights of my Thanksgiving weekend:

• Family gathered in my home to celebrate and give thanks
• 6-yr old niece playing hopscotch on my tiled kitchen floor
• Amish friendship bread starter from another niece
• Talking to two nieces about ZSQ’s and fabric sales
• Early arrival of my nephew and his friend (who is like a nephew too!)
• My brother’s family in from Arkansas
• Momma getting to be together with all her living children at once
• Niece and nephew spending the night
• Stephen sleeping over with them the next night
• Early morning fabric shopping with hubby
• 3 hour nap with hubby
• Making ZSQ sandwiches with hubby
• Christmas shopping and out to lunch with hubby on Saturday
• Chili and football game watching with my sister, BIL and yet, another niece
• Spontaneous Sunday morning trip with Sister, BIL, niece, hubby and son to find some Amish settlements in OK (I never realized they were there and I’ve lived here for most of my life!)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Stuff, and a recipe

I feel it! That holiday feeling!! Isn't it delicious? My house will be filled with loved ones tomorrow...and then when they are gone...I get to take a nap or craft or do whatever I wanna do!! JoAnn Fabrics is having a doorbuster deal on Friday $1.49 per yard for snuggle print flannel and cozy solid flannel. I'm loading up! I have lots of Zippy Strippy's to make! Here are some I've already made:


I like the "idea" of shopping on black Friday, but in practice - not so much. I'm hoping that JoAnn's will be full of nice, normal, sedate crafters like me! :)

Thanksgiving cooking - While I'm hosting Thanksgiving, I don't have a whole lot cooking to do. V is making the turkeys, and I will make Green Bean Bundles, deviled eggs, a pumpkin pie and a coconut cream pie. Family members will be bringing side dishes and desserts to share.

And speaking of food - Here's a recipe for this yummy soup we love. In fact, I made it last night:

Delectable Potato and Ham Soup

3 1/2 c. peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 c. diced celery
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. diced cooked ham
3 1/4 c. water
2 TBLS. chicken bouillon granules
salt to taste (I don't add this 'cause the bouillon makes it salty enough for us)
1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
5 TBLS. butter
5 TBLS. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

You could top with a little Mozzarella, but we like it as is!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Missing Dad

This will be our family’s first Thanksgiving without Dad. I miss him so much! He was a sweet and funny and good man. And he knew how to love. Preparing coconut cream pie for Thanksgiving was such a joy because I knew it was one Dad’s favorites. It will still be a joy to prepare. It is one of V’s favorites, and my FIL’s too. So while a few tears may fall this week as I remember Dad, I will be thankful too. Thankful for many, many things. One of which is simply having people I love who enjoy my coconut cream pie. Dad would like that. I love you, Daddy. You are missed!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving week

Preparations are being made for my second favorite time of the year! The house is looking good (Thank you Virgil for dusting the ceiling fans!). The refrigerator and pantry are filled with the makings of some awesome grub. Family and friends are due to arrive around noon to 1 pm on Thanksgiving day. I'm counting down to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The Cowboys will be playing at 3 pm. Ahhh, yes, one of my most favorite days of the year! It doesn't hurt that I have 4 full days off work - and that we are planning to put up a few outside lights this coming weekend. (We are waiting until Dec. 6 to put up the tree - a real one!)And quite possibly we will make some tamales. And I am certain to do some crafting. Yes, this is a lovely, lovely time of year! :)


Thursday, November 20, 2008

About Jane

I first noticed Jane when my Mom was admitted into the Nursing Home/Rehab Facility in the town where I live. I noticed her particularly because her mattress was on the floor, and though I thought it peculiar, I didn’t think about it anymore for weeks. Each time I visited my mom, I passed Jane’s room. The door was always open, and there was Jane, lying on her mattress on the floor. It wasn’t until two weeks ago, while visiting Mom for our regular Wednesday night date to watch Criminal Minds, that I learned something about Jane.

Above the sound of the television show, we heard horrible cries of pain.
My Mom said, “Poor Jane.” I replied, “Who’s Jane?” “The one crying out.” Mom explained, “She has a disease that causes her a lot of pain and she cries out a lot. She has to sleep on the floor because she rolls out of the bed.”
Mom continued, “One day her husband came up and I was going down the hall, he was so drunk he could barely walk.”
A little shocked I asked, “Does he come here often?”
“I’ve seen him a few times. He’s always drunk.”

After a bit of silence between the two of us, punctuated by Jane’s cries, I asked, “How old do you think Jane is Mom?”
“Oh, I’d guess in her early to mid 50s”
“Do you think this is a disease she always had?”
“No, I think it is something that just recently started.”
“How sad, Mom. Maybe her husband started drinking when she fell ill.”
“I think that is what happened.”

I think about this conversation everyday and what always strikes me is how unaffectedly I passed Jane’s room without a thought to her condition or her pain. I imagine her at my age. Married with children. Living her life, dreaming about a future with her husband when the children have grown. What had they planned to do?

Not long ago, I received an email where you answer a bunch of questions and send it on to others. One of the questions was “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” This question took me aback at the time because I realized in that moment, that in 10 short years, Stephen would be 21 years old and Virgil and I would have completely different daily lives. And while I felt a stab of sadness at the thought of my babe all grown up, I also got excited at the thought of roaming the roads with Virgil on a trike! Or Virgil and I in Greece, or heading off to a movie and dinner together anytime we wanted to. I wonder if Jane had dreams like these too?

On the night of that conversation with my Mom, as I drove back home, I asked the Lord, “Why do some people have to suffer so?” I don’t know that I’ve received an answer yet, but He has helped me to realize some things. We are not promised a perfect life here on Earth. But if we live our life for God, put our troubles, fears, misgivings, and pains into his hands, we are promised a perfect eternal life in heaven. We all have different challenges and burdens that we bear, but we never have to bear them alone. Just ask the Lord to carry the bulk of the load. And for those of us, whose burdens aren’t in the form of painful or debilitating illnesses, there is something we can do. Don’t walk past the Jane’s of the world without acknowledgement, without a care. Take time to say a prayer and ask the Lord to carry their load.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meal planning and grocery shopping

Meal planning and grocery shopping are two weekly chores that I absolutely dread. Strange, because I actually enjoy cooking. I just hate coming up with something to eat. Several times I have planned to put together some kind of binder or box filled with meal ideas and ingredients needed for meals, catergorized by main dish, etc. And then I could just pluck out an index card and TADA...meal planned! Of course, being perpetually and hopelessly unorganized (or is it disorganized?) this plan has never come to fruition. SO, here I sit needing to plan some meals and write a grocery list and my mind is completely blank. There's nothing there! Nada! Oh, wait...Dana did give me an awesome recipe for peanut butter least it's a start!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Katrina's slumber party and a ZSQ

The slumber party was fun! Cathy, Colleen and Hannah dolled the girls up with make-up and styled their hair. The all wanted to have a photo shoot, but no one wanted to go first! LOL We finally got them loosened up and the photos turned out cute! Here's one of the three girls together. The birthday girl, Katrina, is in the middle. On the left is Haley, and the right is Jordan.

Here's Cathy and Hannah trying to get the girls to loosen up:

OH, and I made another ZippyStrippy (thank you, Jenny!). Here's the ZSQ I made for Katrina's b-day gift:

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today is a busy Saturday and the weather is absolutely delicious! It is cold and blustery and just awesome fall-ness.

This morning I am putting the finishing touches on a ZippyStrippyQuilt for my neice Katrina. Her birthday was the 11th and she turned 11. Her birthday party is tonight with a slumber party at my house after. I'm looking forward to surprising her with the blanket.

Later, I'm off to get my haircut which desparately needs it! I'm looking quite wooly.

This is definitely the MOST wonderful time of the year!


Friday, November 14, 2008

A Poem by Stephen


colorful, peaceful
laying, floating, crunching
a joy for everyone

Raining Color

Stephen wrote this last year in 4th grade and I think it is lovely. A perfect description of Fall!

photo taken by Amy - Roaring River State Park - MO - October 2006

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soup Weather!

The cooler weather has me thinking of soup! One night this week I will be making Cabbage Patch Soup. This is an easy soup to assemble, and it is definitely a COMFORT FOOD. I remember my Mom making this on cold winter days. We would get a rare snow event and Dad would pull us around behind the tractor on an old car hood. Can you say, "COUNTRY!!" I love it! Red-cheeked, with dripping noses and numb fingers, we'd pile into the house for some Cabbage Patch Soup. Along with this memory is one of sitting in the living room floor with my sister, Jill, eating Cabbage Patch Soup and watching Little Women - the one with June Allyson. (The Best One!) To this day, there is nothing better than being cuddled up in a blanket with warm toastie socks, a good, reliable movie on the TV, and a warm bowl of soup!

Cabbage Patch Soup

1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
water - enough to just cover the cabbage in a stock pot
1 lb lean ground beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 can rotel
salt and pepper to taste to season ground beef

Put chopped cabbage in a soup pot, add just enough water to cover the cabbage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is tender.

In the meantime, brown ground beef with onions, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. When cabbage is tender, add beef to soup pot. Add soups and rotel. Simmer for 5 -10 minutes. Enjoy! I usually make cornbread to serve with this.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Foliage NOV. 1, 2, 2008

This weekend, Virgil, Stephen and I decided to get away. We loaded into the truck with pups in tow and headed north. We ended up driving to Mount Ida, AR and here's what we found along the way! Enjoy!

Click to play Fall Foliage
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We've been very busy the last several days and I haven't had a chance to blog.

I'll start with Halloween. Stephen decided to go as a Mad Scientist. Actually, he planned to go as a headless person but he was too tall to make it work with what we had available to us.

My sister Carla and her daughter, Katrina came over to trick or treat with us. Here's Katrina as a Disco Hippy Chick.

Mom dressed up as a witch and won 2nd place at the Rehab centers Costume contest.

Carla and I decided to join in and dressed up as gypsies.

Carla, the kids and I loaded up in the back of Virgil's truck and he drove us around town. The kiddos would jump off and trick or treat a street and then meet us at the other end. It was a lot of fun. We picked up my other sister Jill and she road around with us. We all ended up at our house for some chili. We got a few trick or treaters before and after we went out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Click to play Stephen's 11th Birthday
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I'm finally posting pics from Stephen's birthday party. Wow! We had a great time. The games were fun, the food was great! My nephew, Reece, BIL, Ronnie, and fof, Tony, did an awesome job creating a haunted trail. Nieces Colleen and Hannah helped out in scaring us along the trail. The witche's autopsy chamber was a hit...I think the adults were way more grossed out than the kids. Thank you all for taking part in this special day for Stephen!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun Fall Evening

On Friday evening, Virgil and I took Stephen and our nephew, Cole, and niece, Megan to a cornfield maze! What a great time to be outside. It was windy and cool. The kids felt a little "spooked" because it was dark and the corn towered above all of our heads. They each had a flashlight and ran through the maze, taking turns at being "the leader." Virgil and I trailed behind enjoying their mirth and "kidness!"

Stephen and Cole shot a huge sling shot, launching water balloons at a huge wooden pumpkin. They each hit the pumpkin a won a free cola. They enjoyed a slide and then we all ended the evening on a hayride. It was a perfect family fun fall adventure!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I've been MIA

I'm rededicating myself to blogging because I really enjoy it.

So what's been up with me lately?

My last post was about Homecoming week at Stephen's school. I made Stephen a garter. It turned out great! We went to the football game and had a great time. The first half was a bit of a downer because our team wasn't playing all that great. BUT, WOW...they must have gotten chewed at half time because they came out ready to play.

My mom is doing well. She is still in the rehab center and may stay until mid-December. She is trying to decide what she wants to do.

My brother, Tony, had a huge kidney stone last week - 13mm. He went in and had in blasted. While there they found a blood clot in his leg. He was released after the procedure. THEN on Sunday he had to be taken back to the hospital via ambulance with shortness of breath and chest pains. Come to find out, he had massive amounts of pulmonary embolisms! WHAT?? He is doing better - on blood thinners, and had a "filter" put into a main vein. Sounds like science-fiction!

We are having a craft and bake goods silent auction at work on Thursday to raise money for our charitable campaign. I have lots of ideas, but have not done a thing yet! I'm going to try to do a couple of crafts and a couple of baked items to contribute. I'll post pics when I get them done.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Out of Whack

I'm all out of whack! My sleeping is off and my routine is off. I even think my body chemistry is off. I have a cold sore and I usually only get those when my immune system has been suppressed or when I've been stressed. My goodness it's amazing how your body will let you know when you need to do some "housecleaning" so to speak.

This week is homecoming week and the students have been able to dress in a certain theme each day. I wish I had remembered to take pictures each day! Monday was, "We're the Rams worst nightmare." The kids wore their pajamas. Stephen's were flannel pj bottoms and a Cowboy t-shirt. Tuesday was, "School the Rams" - they dressed nerdy. Wednesday was "Dress for Success." It was also picture day! Today is "Mix Up the Rams" and the kids wore mismatching clothes. Tomorrow is school spirit so they will wear school colors. I'll be making Stephen a garter tonight. I've put it off to the last minute (a problem I seem to have! LOL), but I'm looking forward to it!

Yesterday was Meet Me At The Pole. Stephen made a poster to advertise the event at his Intermediate School. Here are some of the 5th and 6th graders gathered around:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still here!

My Momma became very ill at the end of August and I kind of got behind on lots of things. Worry tends to shut me down emotionally. Anyway, Momma is doing MUCH better, praise God, and my world is starting to even out again.

Stephen is heavy into football his football season. Virgil is one of the coaches on his team. The team lost the first three games, but won this past Saturday. They seem to be improving each week. I love watching Stephen play and Virgil coach. We are all also very into the Dallas Cowboys! WOO HOO! Last night's game was a nail biter!

We are three and a half weeks into the school year and Stephen is doing great. Maybe 5th grade won't be so bad!!

Today is Virgil's birthday. He is 36 today. This morning Stephen and I got up and surprised him with french toast, turkey bacon, grits, oj and coffee. Before, I left for work, I put an Autumn Chicken recipe into the crockpot. I can't wait to walk in the front door and smell the delicious aroma. I got this recipe off the Gooseberry Patch message board several years ago. I wish I could remember who posted it to give them credit. I've made some changes. Here's how I do it.

4 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)
about 3 big potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 or 5 carrots, peele and cut into chunks
1/2 of a large sweet onion, cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium acorn squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
a dash or two or nutmeg
3 or 4 good sized drizzles of honey
1 can chicken broth

Mix up the carrots, potatoes and onions and place in the bottom of your crockpot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss around. Layer chicken breasts on top of veggies, pour chicken broth over chicken breasts. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper to taste. Put chunks of acorn squash on top of chicken. Drizzle with honey (put how much you like...I do 3 or 4 big squeezed drizzles...hope that makes sense. Then sprinkle with a dash or two of nutmeg. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Because crockpots cook at different rates, be sure to check and make sure nothing is over-cooking. Hope you enjoy it!

The original recipe called for parsnips and I really did try to like them, but I just couldn't muster up an appealing thought!

For dessert, we will have bread pudding at Virgil's request. We will celebrate his birthday with his extended family this coming Saturday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chugging along

Life has a way of just chugging along. I am amazed at how quickly it passes and how perspective changes depending on what is going on in your life at a particular moment in time.

Soon it will be fall...I told you Fall starts for me on Sept. 1! I'm looking forward to it and that's kind of what this post is about today. Looking forward. Are we so busy looking forward that we forget to look at now? I can't count how many times I've thought or said, "I can't wait until" or "When we get through this stage." And, really, there are so many wonderful things to enjoy about the now. Last night, Stephen and I were attempting to cover one of his textbooks with those stretchy bookcovers you can buy now. The cover was too small for the book, but I was determined to make it fit. Stephen told there was no way it would fit. He had already tried, but I was determined. I got the cover on by opening the front and back flap so wide that they almost touched. Stephen looked at me with admiration, "You're awesome Mom!" I closed the book properly, and the front flap immediately flew back open as if on springs. It was so unexpected, it threw both Stephen and I into fits of laughter. Then Stephen said, in his best teacher voice, "Students, turn to page 28." and, letting the front flap fly open, replied, "Yes, Mam." in his student voice! More laughter...more living in the moment! Then we had to go show Dad!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School

Stephen started 5th grade today! FIFTH GRADE!! That's when I started to "blossom" and look at boys as something other vermin to be tolerated!
It is hard to believe that Virgil and I have a child who will turn 11 in a couple of months.
Last night I sat and listened to the soft whistling hum of Stephen in deep sleep. I've done that so many times in his life - sat and watched him sleep. Sometimes it was an anxious watch due to illness, and sometimes I was just awestruck at the reality of him, and always there was a hint of sadness because I knew the time was going fast. Last night I stood outside his door, and just listened to his peaceful, contented sleep. And I thought, "Look what we did! We made a family!" And I prayed for him and my future DIL. I prayed they would love God, and each other, and someday look at their sleeping babes and say, "Look what we did!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

zip zippin' along

I finished up another ZippyStrippyQuilt last night! This time for a baby girl shower I will be attending today. The photo doesn't show it very well, but the material is white background. There are 3 strips with delicate pink flowers, 2 strips with baby blue flowers, and 2 strips with very light lavender flowers. Very pretty and very girly! ZippyStrippyQuilts are SO fun to make! Very high on my recommendation list!
On another note, I love Fall! I've decided to start Fall on September 1st this year! I usually wait until my hubby's b-day on Sept. 16 or the "official" first day of Fall later in the month. But, I'm ready Sept. 1 is the day!! Who cares if it won't feel like Fall until late October or early November? NOT ME! :)
I wish I were in the habit of say "Autumn." But, honestly, when I say Autumn, I think of New England and apple cider and stuff I never experience. So, here in hot Texas, it will continue to be Fall and I will crank down the AC and bake some fall stuff and Virgil and I will drink coffee while we eat it. Stephen will have hot chocolate! I'll hope that apples go on sale and I'll make some apple butter and my house will smell terrific. Yep, Fall is just a little over a week away!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees movie

My friend, Tonya E, just emailed me to let me know they've made The Secret Life of Bees into a movie!! I'm stoked about this. I love the book and recommend to anyone! The movie releases on Oct. 17, so you have time to read the book before the movie comes out. Here's a trailer:

Today is Thursday. The rain has cleared out. I'm skipping Meet the Teacher at school tonight and sewing a baby ZippyStrippyQuilt for a baby shower I will attend tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the sewing. This weekend, I need to try and finish up some of the clothes I started for Meg.

I am so hooked on these Stephanie Plum books! I'm on book 9 now...I read book 8 in one day on breaks and lunch breaks and before bed. These are not great literary finds, but they are SO entertaining. Still bad language though and I don't like that. Yes, I'm having a battle of conscience here...I know I probably shouldn't be reading them! ARRRGGHHH!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Still raining and a recipe

I woke this morning around 4:30 am to an AWESOME thunderstorm. There was lightening,and thunder crashing, and I couldn't help but remember when my cousin told me that thunder happened when God was rearranging his furniture. There are still times during thunderstorms when I have this ethereal vision of the Lord telling an angel, "No, I want that chair in the corner - over by the light!"

Last night I made Easy Mexican Casserole for supper. This is a casserole my momma made when I was a girl. It is so easy and tasty and everyone likes it! It also doesn't put a big dent in the pocketbook. I have halved the recipe from how my Momma made it. Momma had six kids and a hubby...I only have one of each!!

Easy Mexican Casserole

1 lb lean ground beef (I use 93% lean, 7% fat)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups crushed tortilla chips, halved
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use 98% Fat Free)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (you might call it Rotel!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheddar cheese (I use 2%)

Cook ground beef, onion, garlic, salt and pepper together until done. Mix the soup and diced tomatoes and green chilies together. Layer 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips in in a 9"X11" baking dish, followed by the ground beef mixture, the pinto beans, and the soup mixture. Top with the remaining cup of crushed tortilla chips and the cheddar cheese. Cook in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. I usually serve this dish with a couple varieties of steamed veggies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blessed and thankful

It was raining when I left the house for work this morning. I love rain! I'm thankful for rain!

I've spent a lot of my adult life focusing on the negative in my life. Honestly, even as a kid, I had this problem. "God, Why do I have to be chunky AND have dry skin?" I remember laying in my bed, saying this outloud on many occasions. Or, "God, Why do I have to have brothers and sisters who get into trouble? Why can't my family BE NORMAL?" Little did I know, at that time, how normal we were!

As an adult the questions are, "God, Why can't I have.." or "God, Why does my son struggle with...", or (you'll love this one), "But, God, It's just not fair!"

Last Fall, I began living my life for God. And it is a daily struggle, because I'm not perfect. That's right, living my life for God has not made me perfect. It has made me aware of how far from perfect I am, and that God doesn't expect me to be. It also has made me aware of my blessings, and that my life doesn't have to be perfect to be blessed. I'm learning to be thankful for the good things in my life, as well as the bad. I'm learning that perservering through bad things brings me closer to the Lord, and perhaps gives a hint of a Godly reflection to those around me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back in the saddle again

It's Monday and I'm at work...typing in my blog! But in a few minutes I have to get busy and all I can think about is what I'd rather be doing:

I'd rather be at home reading a book watching the rain slide down the window.

I'd rather be sewing the clothes I'm trying to make for Meg.

I'd rather be cleaning out my deep freeze.

I'd rather be working on the baby ZSQ I have in the works.

I'd rather be visiting my Mom and sister.

I'd rather be watching Nim's Island with Stephen.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


It's morning and the house is quiet. Stephen spent the night with his cousin, Cole and Virgil is still in bed. I've been up for awhile, reveling in the still and quiet. A hummingbird keeps coming to the feeder at my window...I swear he's looking at me and wondering, "What the heck is the hold up lady? Come fill this feeder!" Perhaps I will. I haven't because the honey bees keep getting into it.

I've been attempting to sew some clothes for my niece Megan. Considering I haven't cut out a pattern since Sophomore Home Ec class in 1988, this has been a trying experience. I'm using a Sewing for Dummies pattern. I keep telling myself I'm just not dumb enough and that's why I'm having a problem. I stopped in frustration last night after I somehow sewed the inner legs of the shorts to the butt seam!!

So, now I'm going to finish my coffee and go in search of a seam ripper and keep looking out the window in search of some rain!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Manic Craft Lady

I'm in a crafting craze! Every new thing I see I want to make. So not possible! BUT, I'm going to give it a danged hard try!
Here's what I've been up to the last few days:
ZippyStrippyQuilt #2 - for a baby boy

You know you want the book!

My 10 year old niece, Katrina, loves polka dots. I got a bee in my bonnet and made this for her:

What's not cute is the brown outlined K on my driveway! OY! I should have put down some cardboard.
Also, a friend - Mardell, shared this idea - making dessert platters from old glassware and plates. Here's one I've made:

My current favorite photograph is of my 10 year old son, Stephen. It was taken at the beach this summer in Florida. His lip is being pulled up by the suction on the goggles and he has seaweed on his cheek. Isn't 10 such a great age?!

I received an email this morning from our Director. An ice machine is being placed in our breakroom for our use. ICK! Gives me the heebie jeebies! I've been in the bathroom too often and heard people walk out without washing their hands. Scoop or not, I'll be refraining from using the ice machine!
Be blessed ~ @my

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The beginning...

The purpose of this blog is to allow me a place to keep track of my "doings." A place to unload the goings on in my head and talk about the things I enjoy.

Why an oak tree? I lost my Daddy on January 2, 2008. He was an awesome man, a good man. I miss him immensely. I've always thought of my Daddy as an oak tree. Strong and sheltering in a storm, serene and majestic in the calm. What made him "good" was that he knew who he was, what he wanted out of life, what he enjoyed, and what was right. The best way I know to be like him is to learn how to be me, and to find those things in life that make my soul soar.

Current craft craze:


Here's a picture of one I made:

I love this! It is so easy, so fun and you are able to create something that will be cherished! Buy the book! It's awesome and it is written by my good friend Jenny Matlock. :)

Current addiction:
Caramel shakes from Sonic!

What I'm reading:
I'm a little late on the bandwagon, but I'm reading the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. A little raunchy at times, and bad language. But funny and a very fast read!