Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yum!


Crazy Dee's inability to eat anything has, like many crisis/opportunities, afforded me some interesting options.
For one thing, looking for alternatives to standard fare, looking at recipes with an eye to adjustment to her heart healthy/diabetic lifestyle, I've had to make some serious review of my own choices.
Shopping for food has now become a lesson in the quality of fuel that I choose to place in my temporary shell of a container/body.
And if I promote the superior food for my ailing/healing friend, shouldn't I be making those choices for my family and myself? For optimum performance and longevity, I believe I already knew the answer.
Not that my diet has been abysmal to begin with, but it certainly could be kicked up a notch.
Some simple things that I have done in the past year to optimize my lifestyle/diet:
1. Walking more. Taking stairs. Parking Far Away in parking lots. Going up and down my stairs frequently.
2. Adding walnuts, pecans and almonds to my generic raisin bran in the morning. And blueberries, dried or fresh.
3. Eating an apple before lunch or supper.
4. Baking frozen fries instead of buying fries at fast food.
5. Splitting entrees with Hubby.
6. Developing a taste for 70% cacao chocolate, 1 oz is all that is needed. Sometimes....
Simple, obvious things that have helped. And finding out that the better I eat, the less I want the addictive high salt items that I've always craved, i.e. fries, chips, crackers...
In perusing Crazy Dee's new gifted get well cookbooks, I found this dandy Pork Chop recipe. Made it for supper and Hubby proclaimed it his favorite pork chop recipe...!
The book is Diabetes Fit Food by Ellen Haas
Asian Grilled Pork Chops
2 1/2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger,minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 center cut pork loin chops, about 1/2 in. thick
1. Mix the oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper together and brush on the pork chops. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2. Preheat the grill to med high.
3. Grill the chops for 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. Let the chops rest on a plate for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Would be good with brown rice, steamed veggies and a salad, right?
Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daffodilly Spring Bag!

I was getting restless.
I had been carrying my winter bag too long and it was time.
After all, I had purchased some dandy butter yellow suede months ago for such a time as this.
And last night,
 It Was Time.
Soft, soft butter yellow suede.
Amy Butler Martini lining.
Abundant pockets.
Jazzy hook and eye closure.
Fabric linked handle (for my skinny shoulders)
Weighted rounded front flap.
Fleece interfaced lining to make it soft.
Next step, to Scotchgard the lovely fabric.
I know, I know; silly to make such a light color purse...Stains are sure to be an issue....My thoughts as well, then I realized, that I tire easily of my purses and rotate them regularly.  By the time this one is murky, I'll be ready for My Summer Bag!
For now, I'll enjoy this one!
Watch for it!!
What are you carrying this spring?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Expo Experience!

What fun I had Saturday!
I saw an abundance of pregnant bellies that belonged to mamas that are passionate about being mamas.
I saw many little ones toddling around, exploring their world...
I had the pleasant companionship of my boss, Eldest/Admin, Wonderful Man and The Wonder of Miss Vivien.
Two of my Pretend Daughters were there; one to present her Birth Story to the gathering and one to come and see what Pretend Mama was up to. And to bring me a glorious bouquet of daffodils. She presented them to me, sheepish that she had no vase. As our Vulcan Mind Meld would have it, I had brought a vase for the flowers that I forgot in my yard. Simpatico, yes?

Most of my children photos were blurry.
Now why would that be?
Most of my 2G's photos are taken on the run....
I got a quick shot of Mr. Grant with his mama prior to her speaking...

I got a quick shot of Cincinnati Pretend Daughter, my Flower Benefactor, with another Pretend Grandson, Will. They even brought Pretend Son in Law, Jason, with them....
Wonderful, huh?

A section of my display table...

And my Miss Grace, sporting her new hairstyle and daddy purchased dress and sandals.
She is a character and melts my heart when she calls my name; and she reserves names for just special people....A dolly...

And need I tell you how full my heart was when Miss Viv made her appearance? She was the best PR I could have, promoting her Grammy's, Viv inspired products....My muse....
We walked all over, smiling at all the attendees, greeting, spreading her gregarious cheer....

Good experience, lovely day....

Shalom!


No, I am not Jewish.
But since 1989 my family and I have celebrated Passover.
It has been our untraditional tradition and we love it.

I think if you ask my children, I think they might tell you, that the celebration of Passover was preferred over Easter. Actually, around our house it was more emphasized and certainly participated in more enthusiastically. There is no commercialization of Passover other than the occasional card, which is a plus for our Christianly Non Conformist ways. The children loved that they were an integral part of the Seder(the order of the dinner) and that, historically, it was the children that carried on the message of hope that is central to the Passover.

Passover changed locations each year. We have celebrated in our homes, in churches and in friend's homes. We have packed up the collection of Seder accoutrement's, the Seder plate, the matzoh tosh, the afikomen, the Elijah Cup and all the other packed carefully away 'equipment' that goes with a proper Seder meal. Hubby and I love to share the joy that is intrinsic with the fulfillment of the prophecy and the symbolism that is abundant in God's revelation. I have lost count on the number of 'spin off' Seder's that have become traditional in other's lives since our first dinner twenty one years ago.

We would start out the Passover week preparation by cleaning for our guests. (We got to bypass this one if we were hosting elsewhere!) This step is very important to our Jewish counterpart; cleansing their homes of leaven was important for the anticipation of their Messiah's arrival. At a Fulfilled Seder, we know that Messiah has come and has died for our transgressions and our sin is covered for eternity.
Next, we would unpack all our equipment and decor. The brass candelabra would get a good polishing and all the linens would be laundered and pressed. The table would expand as we placed all the leaves in the table. The biggest pots and pans would be utilized for the feeding of the masses. In Church hosting years, friends would be recruited for the day for meal prep. My children looked forward to spending the day at the church and playing around with their friends, as mama and her wonderful friends happily cooked turkey, tzimmes, charoseth, roasted eggs and passover cheesecake. They loved seeing the transformation of a simple gym, Sunday school class or sanctuary into a festive, candle lit, flower be-decked table, gleaming with silver, shining brass and china and crystal. And they had a big part in it.

Every year, Hubby and I were blessed in the hosting of the Seder. A new revelation through the doing of it would be awe inspiring. People that never before contemplated the prophetic fulfillment of the message of the deliverance of the Jews from captivity and how it applies to those who follow Christ, would be thrilling for us. Hosting Jewish friends, who for first time, could see the message of Messiah Christ in all the symbolic foods, to the children who participated and could see clearly that Jesus was who was spoken of in the matzoh tosh, the afikomen and the Elijah cup, warmed our hearts.
This year, our blessing in the Passover is that Baby Girl and Her "Birthday Boy' Hubby, will be hosting their very own, very first Seder on their own! Mama has shipped the Haggadah and all her recipes to her an they have purchased purple linen to decorate their large banquet table at their friends apartment. My heart thrills for them as they celebrate this wonderful tradition in 'their' home and amongst their friends.
Ahh.
The tradition continues....

Shalom, my friends and may you be blessed this Holy Week....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Old Fogeyism

Dang.
I knew it would happen.
I clearly heard my mother speaking in my brain as I made a generational judgement call to myself the other day.
I remember it clearly. We would be out shopping. It was the 70's. She would glance at a very long haired male in sandals and holey jeans and many days growth on his face and she would tsk tsk.
Sometimes loud enough to get the offenders attention. This is where I would be mortified and slowly slink to another part of the store.
I dare not ask her what the tsk tsking was about because she expected me to. That way, she could answer loudly:
"What is the matter with these kids? They look like bums and smell bad! Where are their parents? Do they know what they look like, for goodness sakes?"
Then I would go into my response. 'Yes mom. They know what they look like and they like it that way. The more you stare and frown, the more they like it. They are rebelling and your distaste is just what they're waiting for... Don't give in to it...' (hoping above hope that she would stop before someone hit her.)
She would just shake her head and mutter, 'I just don't get it...'

That would be the line that I spoke in my head to myself, only she wasn't there and I was speaking to another misunderstood generation.

A real pet peeve of mine is pajama pants in the marketplace. In stores. Everywhere. Young girls, women, my age 'for goodness sake'...everyone, feeling led to be oh so comfy, cozy by navigating their world in cotton flannel.
The picture is not pretty. These said pants are usually unusually long so the bottoms are mostly dirty and dragging. Remember these pants are designed to be at home, dragging on carpet or wood or tile and gathering your own household dust bunnies. But worn outside, the bottoms pick up all the dirty snow, the rainy puddles and the dusty parking lots of our lives.
Did I mention that no one wears actual shoes (even in winter) with these Easy Pants. No, that would be flip flops or some kind of house slippers. Equally unprepared for the grime of our life. Would you wear a dress shirt with this ensemble? Of course not! You wear t shirts. The more comfy (big, dirty, with outrageous slogans on the front) the better. One day, I chanced into a local eatery to have the server attired in exactly what I'm talking about, without benefit of an appropriate 'binder' underneath. I was in awe.
As you can now see, I am fast approaching, if not completely arrived at Old Fogeydom.
I feel it as I put on lipstick to go mail a letter.
When I care if my coat looks wrinkled.
I hearken back to my little girl days when Mom made us girls wear our white gloves and patent leathers as we rode the bus downtown for a day of shopping.
My.
How crazy is that?
I remember moving away from my hometown and feeling free to wear a sweatshirt and sneakers to the grocery, grateful that I wouldn't run into anyone I would know and be shamed of my lazy appearance. Before that, I would always clean up and redress to go to the store. Would not dream of wearing my daily clothes out in public.
See?
Light years in perspective. That's what makes an Old Fogey and I now pronounce myself There.
If I had any doubt, this week my 'Dress Sandals' arrived in the mail this week.
These will be worn with a summer skirt. Could not wear my Keens or my Tevas with a skirt. Needed a neutral tone to go with all. Can't do ankle straps anymore; don't want to add thickness to the old ankles. Need stretch leather to accommodate my arthritic tootsies. Need coverage to hide ugly toes. Tall order, right? 157 shoes viewed on Shoebuy.com and here is my selection. Utilitarian in a needy way. Huaraches hearken me back in the day when my Mexican leather walked in 3 inch platforms.
But now I am an Old Fogey who hates Public Pajama Pants and is saddened for young women who do not respect themselves enough to present themselves nicely to the world.

So Mom, if you're reading this, I'm with you.
I just don't get it.....

C

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And Now a Word From Our Creator....

Look what I found lurking amidst dead leaves and wild vinca vines!
A teeny little snowdrop that almost forgot to appear!
I love it when you find these things in the midst of the winter's vestige.
Hope reigns.

The warm day and the little snowdrop interlude made me ready for more...
And what did I find?
Buds on my beloved hydrangea bush!!
Just the thought of the gorgeous multi colored globes got my little gardening heart a racin'...

Mosied on out to Hubby's Crab apple Tree (purchased one Father's Day when he was a bit crabby from overwork!)
After last year's lack of blooms, I fretted that perhaps it was on his last legs..
Alas and Alack!
BUDS!
The blooms on this little tree are wonderful...
Dare I hope for some this year?

And of course, last but certainly not least, my happy little jonquils, heralds of spring, Easter, Hope, Passover, Resurrection..
I love this variety because they look they are riding the wind, with their little yellow tresses, blowing backwards....If you look carefully, you'll see the little grape hyacinths shyly hiding in the background...Just 5 hours later and much sun, these little guys were standing much higher...The encouragement of the Sun/Son, right?

Ah, spring; my favorite....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

40 Years of Birthday Sharing...

Hubby does not particularly care for cake.
He'll eat it but if he had his druthers, he is a Pie Man.
Makes 'em and loves 'em.
There in lies the dilemma.
I make terrible pies.
Been at it for many years, but I just lack 'The Touch'. You pie makers know what I'm talking about.
Every year I set out to make a springy, Lemon Meringue Pie for The Hubby's Big Day, and each year I'm disappointed in the result. My grandmother made amazing meringue so each year I have these great expectations that somehow, through osmosis or some kind genetic Pie Gene, that somehow it shall be grand.
Hasn't yet.
So this year, after much deliberation and some really great recipes offered in the Woman's Day April 17th issue, I convinced Birthday Hubby to switch to a new birthday dessert. And even though he has always been kind about my meringue failures and my massive crust disappointments, even he was ready for a break.
Lemon Blueberry Cheese Tart.
Yes. That is it. We both agreed to break with tradition (for some traditions just need to be dealt with, can I get an AMEN?)

It involved a food processor. Okay. That's good. Something to blame if it goes south.
Good ingredients; lemons, blueberries, almonds, cream cheese...

Simple ingredients, non complicated arrangement, a little oven participation and...

Ah Yes!
And it's beautiful as well!!!! Aesthetics seem to be an important element to my Dessert Standards...

Happy 57th, my Dear Hubby!
And may your New Year be as sweet and beautiful as your new Favorite Birthday Dessert!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Cleaning, mama's Style

Now that you're all settled in and comfy, I shall regale you with tales of cleaning that will take your breath away.
Tales of heroic furniture moving and concoctions guaranteed to knock out any bacteria cozying in after the long winter.
Stories of white glove approval throughout the entire house to make a mother in law swoon.

April Fool.

If your looking for tips, hints and encouragement to cleanify your winter weary home, you really have come to the wrong blog....
There was perhaps a time, long ago, when I thought that perhaps to be approved, accepted, nay I say, 'saved' that a clean, sanitary, sterilized home was imperative.
While I am no piggy, I certainly have upped my priorities to the point that 'Spring Cleaning is pert near the bottom of the list.
I can be calmly cluttered and comfortably clean, my days of obsessiveness are over.
Spring now means to me to hit the garden.
To plan a comfy outer living space to encourage dawdling and conversation.
The inside during the spring/summer is just a place to prepare food and use the facilities.
So imagine my surprise that a glimmer of that Former Spring Cleaning Personage showed up at my home today!
He must have snucked in with my new Favorite Window Installer, Dustin.
I do believe he released some sort of Perky Cleany Up amoeba into my water.
Soon after his arrival to install four new windows, I found myself laundering my ebay found Pottery Barn linen draperies. And Ironed Them.
Then I got an actual bucket of scrub water and cleaned all the areas that he had to turn topsy turvy for the install.
The Old Obsessive just could not stand the thought of putting yucky things around my new acquisitions.
After scrubbing was done, it was clear that some trim painting would be needed as well.
Did that too.
Only thing I didn't do was wash the windows.
Know why?
Because WI Dustin cleans the windows shiny clean after the install!

And I think he does a pretty tidy job, right?

Now for all you poor unfortunates that do not have a Dustin in the Window Wings to clean your filthy windows, here is a really good homemade window cleaning recipe I used 'back in the day'.....

1/2 cup sudsy ammonia
1 pint of common 70 percent rubbing alcohol
1 tsp dish washing detergent
Enough water to make a gallon in all.

In an empty plastic gallon bottle, combine all the ingredients. Then pour some into an empty spray bottle and you're all set. This also will clean fingerprints off walls, windowsills and the like. Also good for mirrors and the glass on pictures, glass doors on fireplaces and telephone receivers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring/Equinox!!

How do you celebrate the onset of Spring?
Apparently, around these parts, neighbors ring your doorbell with over five yards of yummy, sunny yellow and white seersucker, hand it to your butler/Hubby and tell you Happy Spring!
That is exactly how Neighbor Nancy gifted me yesterday! And I don't think it was even out of someone's garbage or her garage! How excited was I? Pretty dang, I can tell you. Spent a good part of the evening touching it, wondering of all wonders, what kind a summery fun I can make out of it!

Lest you think that I'm a Complete Social washout, without a thing to do except fondle seersucker, I'll have you know that I have quite a busy agenda on a Saturday night....
Like completely and totally fall in love with this living room in my latest Better Homes and Gardens.
It's been a long seven years since a paint brush has touched my living room walls but I kept holding out for something that I REALLY loved.
Found it.
I want that couch, those curtains and I'm thinking that bookcase looks pretty amazing as well...
Searching for that drapery material right after I'm finished with you....

Then, next on my busy schedule, I finished up my Tea Cozy for the conference this coming weekend. Crocheted a fancy shmancy ring to top it. It's good to have a dramatic pull so that when you remove the cozy, you say Voila! and present your hidden, hot tea (or casserole or Hubby's oatmeal in the morning)
Hubby has said that he feels like a magician when he removes the cozy off his Heart Friendly Morning Oatmeal.
So.
This week, I placed a fake little toad (yes, I have those kind of things around my house) under the cozy and waited in the living room to hear girly like screams from an unsuspecting nearly 57 year old man (also , hoping that I wouldn't instigate a heart attack.)
However, Hard Nosed Hubby barely flinched. Just gave a friendly, 'Ribbid' and dug into his oatmeal. Guess living with me all these years, has taught him to be on his guard. Always.

The library has warned me, via email, that My Wonderful Book is due on Monday, so early to bed for me so that I can curl up properly to finish this interesting book. I'm a great Kaye Gibbons fan. This one is different but oh so good. It helps that Hubby and I have been watching Ken Burn's Civil War Series. The book's background thread is the Civil War and it's horror; good reference points.....

Then, because Hubby has a similiar busy Saturday schedule, he helped me figure out another one of Amy Butler's wonderful, insanely difficult pattern...

The sleeve was courtesy of his engineering skill and patience with the detail....

So.
That wraps up my First Spring Weekend Saturday Night.
Sedation necessary?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Prayerful Productivity

My dear Crazy Dee had a triple (turns out quadruple) bypass today in the big city, far away from me.
I'm a pacer, a fiddler, a nervous nellie kinda gal when it comes to things out of my league.
If I could have walked to the big city to be with her, my adrenaline could have done it. But I was grounded here, in prayer warrior mode with more than a bit of wigglies going on.
So here was my day today while I prayed for CD and her crazy heart....

An Amy Butler little kimono top got cut out....

My third pair of AB booties for the childbirth conference next week...

Several Spitty Cloths....

A really fun appliqued Summer Bankie....

Some more work on the 2G's mama's apron repurposing...An old skirt and an even older pattern..(I believe it was one of my first solo patterns in the 70's..)

Actually, the Jitteries started last night when I decided that a discarded pair of shorts from Youngest Son might just make the perfect summer nap sack for yours truly...

And in between all this busy work, my heart hurt for my friend with a long road of recovery ahead of her...
I stared out my OPEN window this early spring day and felt renewed by the hope of the season and for the determination that I have to get her better and what that means...
Is she up to it?
Probably not today, but for all the tomorrows that Our Father has for her, she will be empowered by HIS help, for HIS work....

Be blessed, My Friend Dee.....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Birthday Craftiness

Kinda see why I believed our little Miss Vivien needed a Birthday Crown, right?
She just is a crown kinda gal.
So Grammy prepared long ago for her Birthday princessy chapeau. Pulled out all my best stitches and glittery vintage sequins for my sweetie pie.
And thus set the precedent for her Crafty Birthday.....

First of all, she needed a cake.
And not just any cake.
No.
An owlie cake for our little hootie owl. The little girl that has hoohooed since she was itty bitty, thus compelling her mama to call her her little owlie.
Flickr provided the most amiable owl cake ever. Simple, even a traveling grammy could handle it.
So I did.

Of course, Vivie needed a summer play outfit with owlies on it, right?

Then Pretend Daughter Kris in all her 'spare time' thought that she should dust off her ol sewing machine and make Miss Viv a snazzy Mod Dress courtesy of the Sewing for Baby book.

Miss Viv appears to think that the Owlie Cake taste just okay.
(it was her first foray into sugared desserts; maybe it might steer her clear of all other attempts huh?)

And finally, here she is with her little Cake Eatin' Onesie on that her mama embellished with a dandy little mama knitted cupcake...
Aren't they two pretty girls?

Crafty Birthdays. Love em.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Erin Go Bragh!!

Gather 'round, all you wee dear hearts, whilst I share with you an Irish Tale involving good little leprechauns that enjoy the cooking O'The Corned Beef!
Say you not be belonging to the Green Isle? Tsk, tsk on your wee noggin!
Everyone's Irish on St. Paddy's Day!

(I promise I'll stop my pitiful attempt at the Celticese)
Atmosphere is everything.
Get out the crystal, the shamrocks, the Irish Lace tablecloth and find a good Pandora station playing Irish Tunes..
(This lass used Celtic Women as a main tune...)
This grand recipe has served me well nigh onto thirty year now.
Never fails.
Scrumptious. The aroma wafts all over the neighborhood. Seriously.
(If you really can't read it, email mamascollection127@gmail.com for a clearer version)
You MUST make the Irish Mustard Sauce as well.
Family 'disagreements' have erupted over a hoggish attitude with the mustard.
NOTE: This once a year extravaganza does take over 5 hours from start to finish. Be patient; I have shortcut it and regretted it. Forewarned)
Not enough time for the Corned Beef?
Then you must at least make:

Irish Soda Bread (from Dublin)
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsps baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cardamom or coriander(optional)
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Combine in a large bowl the flour, salt, baking powder, soda, sugar and spice, if used. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives until crumbly. Beat egg slightly and mix with buttermilk: add to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth, 2-3 minutes (add more flour if sticky)
Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf; place each loaf in an 8 inch cake or pie pan. Press down until dough fills pans. With a sharp knife, cut crosses on tops of loaves, about 1/2 deep in the middle. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees) for 35-40 minutes. Makes two yummy loaves, hot or cold
.

This year, I made four with help with Wee Baby Girl.

This recipe could have a direct link to the Potato Famine.
Quite a few potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, onions are involved in this 'rooted' recipe. Love em.

By the time this well cooked dish gets to this point, you pretty much have an audience chomping at the bit, eagerly waiting, forks poised, slightly drooling while the candles are lit, the hot spot of tea is poured and the music is turned to low....
A tradition to adopt this year....

Rare Footage


Seldom do we get PJCory Family Group Photos.

We may have two major photographers and several minor ones, doesn't seem to matter. We always forget about it until we're headed out the door to our far away homes.
Crazy.
So this time, we remembered. Not at Eldest/Admin's wedding. Not at Eldest Son's either, but this time we got it.

I do believe our new standard shall be:

'If there is more than one Birthday Crown in the group, a Family Photo shall henceforth be mandatory, so saith the Grand PooBah.'

There. That should do it......

Monday, March 15, 2010

' Quarter of a Century, Makes a Guy Think..."



Pretty adorable, huh?
Youngest Son and his introduction to his first peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Apparently, it was toe curling good...

Today marks his Silver Anniversary on this earth.
And am I ever glad of his arrival in my life.

YS is of a different breed, hears a different drummer, a one of a kind creation that I have had the pleasure to nurture in his childhood and to walk along side him in his adulthood. He is my neighbor, logistically, my kindred spirit, artistically, my brother, spiritually and my entertainer, humorically. He explains movies (and LOST) to me, gives me reading lists to accomplish in my life, music that I would never consider (Tom Waits,Leonard Cohen) becomes understandable with his help...
He is the first in our middle class family to have graduated from college.
YS is the toddler that tested us for all we were worth but turned out to be a compliant young man, understanding that knowing the lay of the land was important for survival.
In the midst of his incredible humor, he is melancholic. In the midst of his firm convictions, he is tender to issues of the heart. A quiet spirit with a well timed comment. An even temper with an internal volcano that is best not to be disturbed.
The man is jam packed with ironies. When he is absent from family events, he is missed terribly; we tend to wait for his commentary and insights and when it's not there, we are lost.
We all await his strong shoulder rubs and marvel how he knows exactly where our 'knots' are.
His sensitivity literally runs out his fingertips...


So, today we Thank God for the person that he is.
And we embrace his ironic, quirky, unique, creative, loving, funny spirit...
Happy Birthday, Jordan..
Thank you Lord....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

4X's the Joy

Not ever wanting to get too predictable, I bet you don't know what Four Times the Joy is referring to...
You may think, She just got back from being with her Four Amazing Children and Their Spouses and Grand baby so, sure, she's referring, once again, to the wonder that is her progeny.
You may think, Wow. Vivie must have gone overboard this weekend if she was Four Times the Joy! While true, she was 100 times adorable but I cannot even yet process the emotion I feel when just thinking of My Vivien, never mind reporting on it.

So you don't know me as well as you thought, eh?

Well never no mind.
Even this one surprised even me. And it's my life.
Yeah.
Didn't see this coming but am still in awe of the whole thing.

As you know, Vivien Claire's High Holy First Birthday Party was this past weekend.
All of the important personages in The Viv's life were there.
And Poppy and I volunteered to do the food and serving and clean up, cause that's just what we do.
One of my spiritual gifts is hospitality and Hubby's is service so you can see that as a package, we can be pretty handy to have around.
So when Vivien wanted a celebration, it was no difficult task to understand that we would do what we love to do: cook and do for the masses. Natural as falling off a log.
What was not usual was the response that we got from doing something very second nature to us.
And I will never forget it.

At four different times during the day, I felt an arm around my shoulder, thanking me/us kindly, heartfeltly and endearingly.
Not from my usual sources,the girlys; no, Baby Girl, Eldest/Admin, Lovely Wife, all made their customary, very effusive thankfulness at their parental units gifts.

No, this time it was my boys.
First up, Eldest Son, the king of appreciativeness and quiet in nature, he sidles up to me mid party, and expresses how much he/they appreciate what we do/were doing.
Stated in lovely terms, his thankfulness.

Second, Baby Girl's Hubby. Always a Man of Words and Emotion, He frequented the kitchen offering his service and appreciation as well. BGH's unbridled adrenalin has been known to run through creeks in a pouring rain, has also been known to be harnessed for The Greater Good and I love him more than my luggage.

Thirdly, Youngest Son, my kindred spirit son, my humor twin and my man of words, drops in on mom at the stove to let me know that he appreciates my/our works of service.

Fourthly. The party has died down to a murmur and the plates have been cleared away and the Party Girl is ready for beddy bye, when Eldest/admin's Wonderful Man, a man that I love to please and make laugh, comes to me at the sink, hugging me close just to tell me that he is so grateful for all we have done. WM is a man of proving but not exactly a man of words to his mother in law. His words were like jewels to me. He doesn't ever have to say a word to me, just proving himself by caring for ED and The Beloved Vivers. And believe me, he has proven over and over that he was the man for my Precious Firstborn.

How in the world do I have Four of the Most Valuable Men in the World within my tangible, practical life? (Not to mention Hubby...)

Thank you Lord for these Godly Men.
Thank you for them mirroring Your Incredible Love.
Thank you for the Warriors/Lovers they are.
And may the world be blessed by their existence.
Amen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Methodist Moments

On the second Thursday of each month, from September to May except for January (and maybe February), The Mighty Women of The Methodist Church feed the town.
This is their ongoing fund raiser for a myriad of projects and I think it's dandy.
Where else can you absorb enough local atmosphere (outside of the City Council Meeting, but that's another blog) AND good, good food?
You can bet my calendar is always marked for The Methodist Thursday Dinner.
Today, I was bereft from any companionship, but never no mind, I could go solo just cause I love it so much.
Today I got the ham and beans and cornbread, something I rarely cook and would never order in a restaurant, but there, it just seems right.
I also got a to go order for Crazy Dee- baked hamburger and the trimmings -5.25. Good huh?

Did I mention The Desserts that these ladies create? Pies to die for but today, this particular mint chocolate chip cake was calling me. The Kind Methodist Lady behind the dessert counter asked me what my dessert pleasure was and I told her about the conversation the cake and I were having, she nodded, and said, proudly, 'you know, Phoebe made this one', like it would make a difference or more valuable, or that I would even have a clue who Phoebe was, not being affiliated with The Methodist.
But this is Mitchell and of course I knew that Phoebe, one of the leading benevolent citizens,is indeed noted for her desserts. So I nodded affirmatively, and handled my dessert just a bit more carefully than I would if I had no history of it's pedigree.

Here is some of my Lone Luncher Observations at The Methodist Luncheon Today:
* The festively decorated (St Patrick's Day,of course) lunch room was a sea of silver, gray and dappled hair, this luncheon being a outing of such for all the older citizens of our little town. They so look forward to a lunch out with home cooked food. And desserts, don't forget.
* Conversations drifted across my listening ears, mostly discussing gall bladder surgeries, flu recouping, cancer threats and the thankfulness for a pleasant day for an outing.
* Several of my Garden Exchange ladies stopped by to see if I had planted anything yet. We discussed the rate of growth of our Spring Bulbs and I assured the Head of the Exchange, that I intend to host this year. (a thing I sadly neglected last year)
* My 90 Year Old Poet Friend was there, obviously recovered from a rough patch of viral issues post Christmas. Reported that I wouldn't be at Fleur de lis this coming Monday and stated that I hoped that she would be up to it...
* I had mentioned when I ordered my food, that I would eat mine there (I had to keep that cake from Crazy Dee) and that I would pick up CD's order on my way out. Before I finished up, here comes my hot to go order, delivered to my table. That's just the way they do things.
* I stopped at the Pastor's Table to tell him of an upcoming Youth For Christ Banquet and invited him for our table. He thanked me for the information. Pastor's must get these kind of things all the time. Especially during meals.

So once Crazy Dee was given her lunch and checked in on, I found my way homeward to take Miss Dixie on a pre rain walk.
Sated, prayerful and content, we took an extra long journey in anticipation of being stopped by rain later.
And what did we see?
This lovely scene of randomly scattered crocuses in full bloom, parked next to this hollow tree that crazily blooms each year...
And who does this lovely scene belong to?

Phoebe, of course!!
And I knew it because I live in Mitchell......

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blissful Busy


Headbands for a lovely bevy of new young girlfriends with an abundance of hair....

Teeny little cotton knit booties for the childbirth conference...

Summer blankies in abundance for the same conference...

Shouldn't Vivie have an Owlie table runner for her Birthday Celebration?

And what's this?
Hmmmmmm.....Don't think I forgot about the Spring Giveaway Bag.......!:D

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Vivie is One Today!


Can you stand it?
I know that I cannot look at this picture of my 'girls' without getting a little misty eyed.
This amazing duo that is my legacy to this old world.
Especially on this day, Vivien Claire's First Birthday...

I clearly remember Eldest/Admin's First. I remember being overwhelmingly amazed that I survived the roller coaster of her health travails and that she survived my newby motherly skills.
I remember gathering all the people for her first birthday to thank them for being there to help me throughout that long, amazing, traumatic, wonderful, exciting year.

And now I get to be a part of my girl's girl's first birthday celebration!
What a blessing! What joy! A true God thing...
Eldest/Admin was not supposed to have children you know..
The odds were against her from the time she was tiny..
In her crazy odyssey of hip problems that came with a six inch high stack of medical reports that included an inordinate amount of xrays, the docs then were concerned about how the abundance of xrays on her teeny tiny ovaries could effect her procreation. They warned us to not be over fearful of it; just aware.
And in due time, we informed her that there was a real possibility that she could have trouble conceiving/retaining a progeny.

And I have a dusty pregnancy test on my dresser that was one of the twenty or so that Eldest/admin took that now long ago summer week when conception was suspected, that laughs at the anxiety that quietly plagued me when EA started her journey to motherhood.

So.
This weekend when all the grammies and poppies on both sides, all the aunties and uncles and young and old friends gather to celebrate the wonderful little person that Vivie is, I will silently thank and praise My Father in Heaven that brought us to this celebratory time....

Happy Birthday, my sweet Vivien! Grammy loves you sooooooo much......

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