Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Busy Weekend

It's been a busy, but relaxing weekend. Friday night we had all the family (except DSIL George who was working)and my mom here for dinner. We had a taco night complete with all the trimmings. And Rod got some mini-cream puffs out of the freezer for a sweet dessert afterwards. Saturday, I spent the day cutting, quilting, and cussing at the fabrics for my new laptop purse. Some dummy (wonder who that was) didn't order enough foam, and so I had to piece it. Hope it will be ok. Rod did ribs in the slow cooker for dinner and made pierogis and lima beans to go with them. The twins showed up with a chocolate cake, we made melon wrapped with prosciutto and a hot cheesy bacon dip and then we sat and enjoyed the Steeler game.

Our school district has all day kindergarten, and so the kids have a rest period after lunch. Each child is to bring his own pillow; and as the final official duty of being the grandkids' weekday caregiver, I make their pillow for kindergarten. Today I did Bubby's pillow, so that he can take it with him to orientation tomorrow. I think he will love it. Notice the name on the back!! He wants to be called "James" now and not Bubby. But he will always be my sweet Bubba-looey. Today we have a beef roast in the slow cooker, and plan to make some zucchini pancakes to have with it. Here's a link to the recipe. I plan on adding some garlic salt and some grated onion to the mix.

This week I hope to finish the Disney blocks so that I can take them to camp for the holiday weekend. I'll take my sewing machine and can hide in our trailer and do the buttonhole stitching if I need some quiet time while we're there. Hope you get a lot done this week.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gloomy Friday

It's a very gloomy Friday here, and raining to boot. I'm by myself since Kris is off work and keeps Izzy; and Jimmy's mom took Kris and Bubby for the afternoon. Our school district returns to classes on Monday, and this time Bubby goes, too. He's starting kindergarten, and I'm so nervous. For those who don't know, Bubby has spina bifida. Shortly after birth, when the doctors operated to insert a shunt into his brain, the head of neurology nicked a blood vessel and the nightmare began. Bubs had a bleed into the brain, which resulted in an aneurysm. The doctors had to clamp off the aneurysm, which kind of mimicked a stroke. And this resulted in a marked weakness of his right side. He has very limited use of his right hand, and walks with a walker.Here you can see him running the bases while playing ball with the Miracle League of Southwestern PA. But, I'm so nervous about his going to school all day. When this little guy came home from the hospital after a stay of 69 days, he had a couple of infections and required IV antibiotics. I learned to administer those with a pump. I learned to catheterize him because he needs to be cathed every four hours. I've been through several seizures with him, and recognized the symptoms when they occurred. And now, after six years, I have to give him up. At least that's how it feels. My days will change so drastically. I'll still have Izzy during the day since Kristin is going back to work on Monday, but it won't be the same. My special boy won't be coming here in the morning. And the day will seem so quiet. I learned today that his bus will drop him off here each afternoon, so I'll still get to spend some time with him every day. I should be happy for small gifts. But you can bet that I'll be praying each day for God to keep him safe and protected from cruelty. He has been so accepting of his disabilities, but others may not realize that he has no control of how he is. He has a wonderful teacher, who is accustomed to working with children with disabilities. She has arranged for each of his fellow students to spend a day as his "buddy". They will assist him with whatever he needs, and in the process get to know him. There is a special chair for him in the classroom so that, if he has a seizure, he won't fall out of his chair, and the entire class will enter and exit the cafeteria using the ramp, so that Bubs doesn't feel "different". And she has acquired a special swing for him to use when on the playground. Our school district has a great reputation for accommodating students with special needs. So, Tuesday morning, say a quick prayer that Bubby has a successful first day of school.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Have you seen these???

Aren't they pretty? Sure wish I had an entire driveway paved in this rock, because they are chocolate. Yep, chocolate. I remember as a kid, when we went camping on vacation, the little store had these candies and my parents would buy them for us. I hadn't seen them for years, and then on Friday night when I was shopping at Walmart, there they were. Right there on the shelf. So I picked up two containers -- one for here, and one for my mom. I gave hers to her on Sunday when she was here for dinner, and she remembered buying them for us on vacation, too. I thought the grandkids would get a kick out of them. Bubby didn't like them at all; Krissy thought they were cool, but didn't like the taste, and Izzy - well, Izzy loves anything chocolate. When she was here yesterday, she went on the candy hunt and found the container. We had to hide it to keep her from eating the rest.

When I googled them to see if I could find any pictures to post, I was surprised to see how many places have them for sale -- and some suggested using them for wedding favors. Others have them in small bags for Halloween treats. So, check out Chocolate River Rocks.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Do you ever just sit and listen?? Just sit and listen? It's one of my favorite things to do. On Friday afternoons when the kids are all gone, I usually have about an hour before Rod comes home. Generally I spend this time on the back deck just listening. I tilt my head back, close my eyes and listen. I did this yesterday and heard some really interesting things. Neighbor W. was cutting his grass - for the second time this week (I think he needs something more in his life), I heard some locusts or cicadas, the first of the season, and a definite indication that fall isn't far behind. There was the sound of the pump in the pond, it's an old hand pump that Rod rigged up to return the filtered water to the pond. I love the sound of water, it's just so relaxing. There was a cricket, and some birds. We got a heavy rainstorm on Thursday, and I swear I could hear the longest pumpkin vine growing. It has jumped the fence and crept all the way across the pond area. It's heading toward the deck, and Rod thinks that's not bad --it might be possible to pick the pumpkin on it from the deck. And I could hear the trucks on the turnpike, if you're traveling west on the PA Turnpike between Cranberry and Beaver Valley exits, look for the bridge with the Glendale Road sign on it. That's the road I live on. And in the distance there was a train - not bad for one quiet afternoon. The next time you have a few minutes to spare why not try to just listen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I felt like my blog needed a new look. And I doooo love polka dots. So here's what I picked. Do you like it??? I need to learn more about setting up my blog. I would love to have something on the other side of the writings. . . like maybe photos of some of my quilts or a section for recipes. But as yet, I haven't been able to figure out how to do that. I'm self taught on computers, except for the instruction I got when my kids were in grade school and I went and took night courses to learn how to run . . . get ready. . . I'm dating myself. . . a Radio Shack Tandy computer. OMG, it was archaic compared to what I have now. The word processing program was Scripsit, do you remember that. But the classes were free, offered by our school district, and then I assisted in teaching the kids in school. I'll bet that by now they could teach me volumes on the computers, blogging, texting, and blackberries. I still believe that blackberries should be in ice cream or jam. So bear with me as I try to make my blog better, and bigger.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My own little piece of Eden

That's what I call the back deck and the back yard. I so love sitting on the back deck and listening to the birds and the water falling out of the pump while I watch the fish. It calms me and helps me to remember all the things that I have to be thankful for. Earlier this summer we bought three tadpoles from an aquarium store. They have since grown their legs, and here's one of my little froggies just sitting on a lily pad. Sometimes they sun themselves on the rocks around the pond.

And remember I told you about the garden boxes we built to surround the deck and the pond? Well, here's some pictures of the bounty of our labors. These are the pumpkin vines. They are starting to resemble something in a horror film, as they have climbed the fence and are attempting to surround my garden angel. So far, we have about 9 pumpkins. I was hoping to can some, but Rod wants to share with the grandkids and all our great nieces and nephews. I guess that's not such a bad idea.

Here's photos of the bean bed and the pepper bed. This is only one of the six pepper plants in this bed. There are also some strawberries and some cabbages. Can you say "pigs in a blanket" and stuffed peppers into the freezer for the winter?? My mouth is watering just thinking about them on a cold winter night!!!

The bean bed isn't looking so good. Don't quite know what's wrong. There are some more to pick,and we've already had one meal of ham, beans, and new potatoes. So I can't complain.

And now for the zucchini and tomato bed. We've gotten quite a few zucchini, but only a couple of tomatoes. At least the tomatoes have been yellow ones, which I love. We've had zucchini for dinner a couple of nights. Usually we fry it, but with my attempt at more healthy eating, we've been breading it, spraying both the baking sheet and the zucchini strips with cooking spray, and then baking it. It's not quite as crispy, but so much better for us. I want to grate some of the zucchini for the freezer so that we can make zucchini bread all winter. I love zucchini bread with creamed cheese. And it smells so good when it's baking!

We built the boxes to embellish the look of the deck, but they also made gardening easier because there was little bending, and less to water. And, as we get older, we can just add another layer (You know. . . for even less bending!!) And now you've seen my own little corner of Eden. Are you jealous???

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Busy, Busy

As I've mentioned before, Mom has moved to an assisted living facility. Since her move in April, Rod has been after me to move my sewing room back into the larger room. I've gotten fabric for new curtains, although they aren't made yet. I ordered orange ball fringe to put on the bottom of the new curtains, which will be made from the fabric I posted on here a few weeks ago. So on Sunday we started the move. DGD Krissy was here and helped me to unload the first large shelving unit. Rod was able to move it into the new room without moving the bookcase in the hall, and the mess - I mean move - was begun. The shelves that Rod had made for the other room fit into the new room like a glove. I ordered a super satchel cube to put my super satchels in, and it fits in quite nicely where I had planned. All my fabric was refolded before putting it back on the shelves, and it really made the room look neater. We've got to buy a new baseboard heater for that room, and then the shelves which go under the windows can be put back in. And after that, we can return the boxes of FQ's to those shelves and bring in the sewing table. This room has two windows, whereas the other room only had one, so I should have a lot more natural light. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to start sewing again. Right now I have two rooms that look like cyclones went through, but as soon as the new one is completed, I will post photos.

The first pre-season game is tonight, and so you know where I'll be tonight at 8:00. Go Steelers. Have a good week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Craft Shows

Have you ever done a craft show? I don't mean as a buyer, but as a seller. We did craft shows for more years that I want to think about. It was hard work, with little pay for lots of hours, but I loved the high I felt when someone purchased something I had made. I have to admit that I've never been to one as a buyer.

I started doing craft shows in 1980. My twins were only 9 months old, but Rod was laid off and had pneumonia to boot. A friend offered to let me share her space. We had just started pouring our own ceramic molds, and I took scrubby holders. I had a frog, cow, duck, hen, pig, and turtle. We sold these for $5.00, and, over the course of the two days, I had made over $100. I thought I had hit the mother lode. We also sold some ceramic pins which I had painted. And the bug had bit me. We did all sorts of shows - inside and outside; big and small; one day and multiple days; good and bad. It was life changing. For years that's all I thought about. What to make, what to pack, how to paint it, what to charge -- it was an obsession. I painted from 7:00 am until midnight, and Rod did all the cooking and house work. He also poured all the ceramics and cleaned a lot of the greenware. And once, when the kids needed report cards signed, I did it with a brush.

The greatest show I ever did was sponsored by Equitable Gas at Soldiers and Sailors hall in Pittsburgh one November. Your table was free and you had to show proof of unemployment to apply. The show opened at 10:00 am and by 4:30 that afternoon, I had nothing left on my table. I had sold everything, even the large music box that one local TV channel featured as the opening and closing of their news broadcast. We made over $1000 that day, and I cried the whole way home. I was so in shock of how well we had done. Bills that needed paid were paid, and the kids had a decent Christmas. The worst show I ever did was at a fire hall one summer. We made a total of $17.00, and to make matters worse, had broken the back window in the station wagon when packing the car. I cried that day, too, but for a much different reason.

The most fun, however, were the Santa shops at the elementary schools. All items were priced under $5.00, and I loved doing them. I made and sold more bean bag frogs than I want to think about. Rod was doing woodcrafts by then, and made golf clubs, fishing poles, bug catching boxes, and key chains. We sold lots of pins, and sooo many Christmas ornaments. The kids were so cute, and the other crafters were the nicest we had ever done shows with.

We stopped doing craft shows when I started selling my crafts in stores. And we quit the stores when we learned that Bubby would have spina bifida. But those are other stories. Have a good day.