Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Years ago when I was in grade school, we had to memorize the poem September by Helen Hunt Jackson.  I loved memorizing poetry and, all these years later I still remember most of those poems that we memorized.  Fall has always been my favorite season of the year, I was married in the fall.  I've lived all my life in Pennsylvania where fall nights turn chilly and the daytime air is crisp.  Aromas of fall, those of apples and pumpkins are so beloved in our house that we burn candles to keep those smells in the house even when we're not baking.  As I sat on the deck this afternoon, I thought of those words of Helen Hunt Jackson.  Our apple trees are holding fruit, "fish" have formed in the milkweed pods, and the goldenrod is definitely yellow.  I rejoice in the colors, sounds and smells of fall, and I almost look forward to the soups of winter.  I hope you also smile and think lovingly of fall as you read this excerpt from one of my favorite poems.

by Helen Hunt Jackson

The goldenrod is yellow
The corn is turning brown.
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun.
In dusty pods, the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
By dewy lanes at morning
the grapes' sweet odors rise.
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens,
September days are here.
With summer's best of weather
And autumn's best of cheer

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Doing The Happy Dance

Today, I am doing the Happy Dance. There are several reasons why I dance today.  First, my hubby, the love of my life, my partner for nearly 40 years, has been 18 days with No Cigarettes!!! And that's amazing, unbelievable, courageous, and the best gift I've ever received.  And I love him for it!

I'm also dancing because we have 60 days until our trip to Disney, and last night (or early this morning) daughter Pam got online to get our Fast Passes for our trip, and was able to get a Fast Pass for a meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa.  This is Jake and Izzy's first trip ever to Disney, and when you ask Izzy who she most wants to meet on this trip, she replies Anna and Elsa.  Jake wants to meet Darth Vader, and we're going to try to sign him up for the Jedi Training Academy.  I'm so excited for this trip.

And last, I'm dancing because I have been so busy sewing and filling orders for my two Etsy sites, Linda B's Crafts and The Frozen Mouse, that I've decided that I need a day for me.  So, today is officially Linda's Day - a day for me to do whatever I want, whenever I want.  So far, I've had a nap, and worked on my blogs, and who knows what might happen later today.  I may read for a while since I haven't done much reading lately.  I think that having a Linda Day on a day when I Happy Dance is a very good idea.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Can I Hear Big Wahoo??!!!

Yesterday was doctor day.  Rod and I both had an appointment.  We see different doctors in the same practice.  Unlike most visits, I was called back first.  We had a bet as to who would be done first.  So, I was pretty hopeful that  I would win the bet.  Turns out I have an ear infection, which explains why I am having trouble hearing out of that ear.  Since I didn't get a flu shot last year, I figured that I should get one this year.  And I guess that's what caused me to lose the bet.  When Jake and I emerged from the exam room, Rod was already at the check-desk.

Rod was doing a little dance while teasing that he won.  But the good news is that his lungs are clear, and he's released to go back to work on Monday without no further oxygen therapy.  Rod is a pretty active guy, and he's just not accustomed to sitting around. He was driving me buggy being here with little to do.  And he's very glad to be returning to work.  His boss told him yesterday that they had brought in 3 guys to carry his load.  I guess that's job security.

But here's the best news - my hubby has been 10 days without a cigarette!!!  He has smoked since he was 14, usually a pack a day.  But he says that he has no desire to start again.  I am sooo very proud of him, as are all the kids.  When Kristin told Jake that Pappy didn't have to be on oxygen anymore, Jake replied, "Oh Good!  Now he can get that shed painted."  Jake figures that there's no rest for the weary . . .  or the sick!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Problems with a Shed

We decided that we needed to replace our old shed with a new one.  The old one was built in 1976 when I was pregnant with our second daughter, and as you can see, it definitely needed to be replaced.  Rod took a day's vacation, and began to tear the shed down.  And soon it was down.  Rod decided to burn the old lumber, shingles and all.  The dark smoke puffed each time a new piece was added to the fire.  But soon the burning was finished, and the clean up needed to begin.

The twins came down to help,  and soon Kristin was home from work and pitched in to help.  Even Jake and Izzy got involved.  It didn't take too long before the old concrete floor was ready to meet its new top.

 Saturday morning the building began.  The twins helped son-in-law Jimmy to start the walls, and soon they were up.  

We noticed that Rod wasn't looking too good, and was having a hard time breathing.  But, he kept assuring us that he was ok.  Sunday morning he seemed worse, but insisted that he was fine.  By Sunday evening, his breathing was worse.  By Monday afternoon, his temp was 104 degrees and he was ready to go to the emergency room.  They didn't waste any time getting him onto oxygen and determined that he had pneumonia.  He was admitted, and they started tests, blood work, chest x-rays, and an EKG.  By Wednesday, they had determined that he was suffering from legionella pneumonia and tried to figure out how he got it.  The only thing we could figure out was that it was from the dirt and lumber from the shed.  They just kept stressing to us that he was very ill.  He was treated with antibiotics, steroids, inhalers, and breathing treatments.  Friday, the doctors decided that his lungs were clear enough for him to return home.  I don't know which of us was the happier.  He's on oxygen here at home and hasn't had a cigarette in 7 days.  He says that he feels better today than he has in 10 years.  I am so proud of him, and glad to have him home again.  

The shed isn't finished yet, but it's coming along.  Jimmy has half the roof shingled, and the windows are in.  There's still a lot to do, but we have time.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Where Has the Summer Gone?

The kids are back in school already - and of course, we are scheduled to have some of the hottest days of the summer.  It was a fun summer.  I really enjoyed having all the grandkids for the summer.  We watched a lot of movies, ate some good lunches and had quite a few giggles.  The older three have all returned to school - Krissy in 8th grade, James in 5th grade, and Izzy in 1st grade. And next Wednesday, Jake starts preschool three mornings each week.  I know that I will still have all of them after school, but it saddens me that my days of keeping the kids while their moms work are coming to a close.  Rod says to appreciate the years they are all in school because it will just be a few more years until I have him all day.  I look forward to that time.

My new Etsy store, The Frozen Mouse is doing fairly well.  I'm having so much fun working with all the different Disney fabrics.  And coming up with new ideas is always a challenge.

This weekend, Rod is starting to put up a new shed.  The old one has seen better days.  Not surprising since it was built the summer of 1976.  I helped a lot with that one, even did shingles.  This one will be a different story since I don't have the mobility that I did then. Hopefully, some of the kids will be around to help when he needs them. I've been planning some food that I can make ahead so that it's ready to eat when the "carpenters" are.  I've decided to make some pinwheel appetizers with flavored cream cheese and lunch meats.  And also some sliders made like subs.  And I want to have plenty of cold drinks.  Hope you have a fun and safe holiday.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sorry I've Been Neglecting You. . .

But I've been really busy.  Daughter Mary talked me into opening a new Etsy shop (She beat me and pulled my hair -NOT).  It's called The Frozen Mouse and specializes in handmade items with a Disney theme.  We decided on the name because when it's cold and snowy in Pennsylvania, I dream about being in Walt Disney World.  I should note here that I am in no way affiliated with Disney, but rather hand make my items using licensed fabrics.  If you are a Disney fan or have one in the family, stop by and check out the shop.  I've had such a good time making new wristlets and water bottle carriers with Disney fabrics.  Currently I am awaiting some fabrics from Japan and Thailand.  They are beautiful fabrics that aren't available here in the states.  I have become an international shopper and have ordered zipper pulls from China and Lithuania.  I'm surprised at how quickly they have arrived.

Today I am working on some drawstring backpacks with Disney fabrics.  I started these as birthday gifts for my grandkids, and am planning on including a pin lanyard and a gift card for them for our upcoming Disney trip.  I ordered fabric without knowing how much fabric the bag took, and was pleasantly surprised to discover than I could get three drawstring backpacks from one yard to fabric.  So, I have will have two of each to list on Etsy.  Bubby picked out this Mickey Mouse fabric, and I think it will make a really cute wristlet, too.

Jake loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and chose this fabric for his bag.  I love that it has Captain Hook on it, as I've always been a fan of Peter Pan.

And Izzy chose Doc McStuffins for her bag.  I just hope she doesn't decide to be a vet like her Mom.  I wouldn't want her to go away like Kristin did.

And I decided to use some fabric from my stash to make a few Buzz Lightyear bags.

I can't wait to see them finished.  So here I go to sew!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Luncheon is Served

I have the greatest job in the world - being a stay at home grammy.  Every day at my job someone tells me that they love me.  We do some pretty great things while the 4 grandkids are here.  We watch movies, they put on plays for me, they have dance parties, and sometimes they fight.  But I wouldn't trade this life for anything.

Once each week, I like to make them special lunches.  Most days we have lunchmeat or peanut butter sandwiches, but once a week or so, Krissy and I make something special.

The first week, we made "undersea hot dogs with seaweed noodles", and watched Finding Nemo.  We dyed Oodles of Noodles green with food coloring, added a hot dog in which we cut legs, and then added goldfish crackers and Swedish fish.  I thought it was a really cool idea, but I have to tell you that the kids were a little freaked out by the green noodles.

The next special meal was heart shaped pancakes with sausage inside.  I have a little cooker that makes heart shaped cakes, so we put the pancake batter inside and added three sausage slices to it and then baked them.  In the smallest section of their lunch containers, they each got syrup for dipping.  They were a big hit, and are on the list of things to make again.

Today's lunch was corn dog muffins.  We made up two boxes of Jiffy corn bread muffin mix and put it into regular sized muffin tins that had been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  After filling the cups 1/2 full, we pressed 1/3 of a hot dog into each muffin, and them baked them at 400 degrees for 18 minutes  When they were done, we left them sit a few minutes before removing them.  We served them with two cookies and some fruit salad.  Everyone seemed to enjoy them.

I have a few blocks of cream cheese that should be used soon that are in the refrigerator.  Since they all like ranch dressing, I think I'll add a ranch dip packet to the cream cheese and make roll ups with sliced ham, maybe a pickle, and a few soft tortilla shells.  The next day for lunch, we can slice them and voila - our own take on "sushi".  I pinned an idea for "fortune cookies" made with fruit roll ups, and think it would be a great lunch to serve while we watch Mulan.

We'll blink twice and they'll be ready to go back to school, Krissy in 8th grade, Bubba in 5th grade, Izzy in 1st grade, and Jake will be going to preschool three days a week.  I'll miss them terribly, but Izzy and Jake will stay come after school.  And as we all know, time marches on.