Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Every Thursday I share something I'm thankful for.  It's so easy to get caught up in the every day problems and struggles and we sometimes lose sight of the good things in our life.

Today I'm thankful for this great country and the freedoms I enjoy.  America is not perfect, but we are free and we are strong and we stand united when it matters!

I'm also thankful for
     friends who still write letters
     a Barnes & Noble gift card
     ice cream on a hot summer day
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Best Thing About Being A Grandma

While my daughter Erin was recuperating from hand/wrist surgery, she and my granddaughter Shylee came to stay with me for a couple of weeks.  Her husband is in Iraq so she didn't have help at home during her recovery.    Shylee is a typical three year old who throws temper tantrums, her favorite word is "no" , she gets in to everything and she has an infinite amount of energy.  To say she is a handful is an understatement!

One morning as I was waking up I heard what sounded like something heavy fall.  I laid there waiting to hear something else but there was no other sound.  Michael had already left for work, Annie dog was in the room with me and I didn't hear Erin or Shylee.  I didn't want to, but I got up and headed downstairs to find out what fell.  As I reached the bottom of the stairs, Shylee came around the corner startling both of us!  Instead of greeting me she walked past me and went to her time out spot.  Uh oh!  This was not a good sign!

I walked into the kitchen and everything seemed fine.  Then I walked into the dining room and this is what I found.

An empty salt shaker, footprints on the table and carpet and the chandelier over the table was swaying back and forth.  I'm still not sure what the sound was but you know what the best thing about being a grandma is?  Taking Shylee upstairs to her mama and going back to bed!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday ~ Rainbows and Clouds

Every Thursday I share something I'm thankful for.  It's so easy to focus on the negative and it's sometimes hard to find the positive, but I believe there is always something to be thankful for!

After a stormy afternoon, I noticed that when I looked out the back door, the sky was dark, but out the front door was blue sky with clouds.  When I walked out back I was pleasantly surprised to see a rainbow.  An arc of brilliant color against a dark gray sky.

Don't you just love a rainbow?  I will never ever get too old or too tired of looking at them.  A rainbow just makes me happy!

The view when I walked out the front door was different.  I was greeted with some blue sky and sunshine and some pretty amazing clouds.  I love how the sunlight outlines, shines through and highlights the white and gray fluffiness!

I'm thankful every day for the beauty that surrounds me and that I am able to see it.

Other things I'm thankful for this week
     Time spent with my daughter the last few weeks
     Annie dog didn't make us chase her when she bolted out the door.  
     Hugs from my granddaughter when I didn't ask for one
     The smell and feel of clean sheets
     Blogs that make me laugh
     Blogs that make me cry

What are you thankful for today???

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday ~ Cold Drinks

I have a serious addiction do diet soda.  It got to the point that I didn't drink anything else at all.  Not water, tea, juice or anything...well except for the occasional glass of wine!  Knowing I needed to break this habit, I started drinking water.  I like water, but I get tired of it and go back to the sodas.  Then I discovered Crystal light.  It's amazing!  Each one I've tried is very flavorful and quenches my thirst.  My new favorite is the wild strawberry.  It's even pink!  I still have my soda, but just one a day.  And I don't miss it as much as I thought I would!

What do you drink during the day?  Is there anything else out there I should try?

I'm joining Sarah at Yes Teacher for Tickle Me Tuesday.  I would love to know what's been tickling your fancy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Heart Macro ~ Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Grandpas, Uncles, Brothers and Men who have been a positive influence in a child's life.  Hats off to you!!!

One of Michael's many hats!

I'm joining Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bow Tie Pasta Salad

One of the great things about summer is all the wonderful side dishes and salads that go with cookouts, picnics and get-togethers.  Pasta salad is one of my favorites because you can make it so many different ways and use any combination of fresh vegetables that you like.

I don't remember where I stumbled on this recipe, but the original one is from Paula Deen.  I changed it up to include the veggies we like and you can do the same.  There's no right or wrong way to make this salad...just make it with fresh ingredients your family loves and it will be a hit.  The secret is it's dressing.  This is my version.  You will need the following:

1 box bow tie pasta (or any shape you like)
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette  (I used light)
1/4 cup mayonnaise  (I used light)
1 Tbs sugar
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 sweet red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 Tbs chopped parsley
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the vinaigrette, mayonnaise and sugar in a large bowl and set aside. 

 Chop the veggies into bite sized pieces.  

When the pasta is done, drain and rinse under cold water.  Add the pasta and veggies to the bowl with the dressing.  Add the salt, pepper and parsley.  Stir until well combined and refrigerate until ready to serve.

It was soooo good but was even better the next day!  I would recommend making it a day ahead.

I'm joining these wonderful blogs
Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday
It's A Blog Party for Delicious Dishes

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday ~ Laughter

It's so easy to get caught up in the every day struggles and problems, that we sometimes forget the good and positive things in our life.  So every Thursday I share something I'm thankful for.

That's me on the right with my best friend in 1982.  We were laughing as we were getting into position after setting the timer on the camera!

Today I'm thankful for laughter!  The kind that sends tears down your face, makes it hard to breathe, hurts your stomach and maybe even causes you to tinkle a little!  The kind of laughter that makes you forget all your worries and concerns for a brief moment.  The kind of laughter that starts all over again when you recall the reason for it days, weeks, months even years later.   My daughter and I shared that kind of moment this week when trying to open a bottle of wine!  It feels so good to laugh!

I'm also thankful for
     The warm sunshine
     The beautiful light of a full moon
     Advil and Tylenol
     Coupons and sales

What are you thankful for today???


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Versatile Blogger

I'm sending a big thank you to Sonya at Kanelstrand Organic Living for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!  If you haven't been to her blog, you must check it out.  Sonya lives in Scandinavia and writes about eco friendly living and really helpful posts about blogging.  For instance, yesterday's post was about 15 places to find free photos for your blog.  She also takes some amazing photos!

In Sonya's Etsy shop, Kanelstrand, you will find beautiful handmade organic jewelry and other organic items.
I love the soft blue of this bracelet.

I am supposed to pass this award to five blogs and share seven random facts about myself.  I follow so many great blogs that it is impossible to narrow it down to just five.  So I am passing this on to all of you.  Feel free to grab the button and or share some random facts about yourself in the comments!

1.  Nothing in life compares to the joy of being a Grandma
2.  My favorite vegetable is green beans
3.  My least favorite vegetable is eggplant
4.  I grew up in the army and swore I would never marry a serviceman.  My husband joined the army less than a year after we were married.  My father, the retired army recruiter, talked him into it!
5.  I don't like being alone, but I love my alone time
6.  I regret not going to college but I absolutely loved my career as a stay at home mom
7.  I am afraid of the dark

Now it's your turn to share a couple of random facts about yourself!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday ~ Pride and Prejudice

My daughter, Erin , and I watched Pride and Prejudice recently, and I can't stop thinking about it!  I mean, honestly, Mr. Darcy just makes me swoon!  The book and the movie are both at the top of my favorites list.  Here are some fun finds I found on Etsy that are tickling my fancy this week.

I'm joining Yes Teacher for Tickle Me Tuesday

What's tickling your fancy this week?.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Heart Macro/Silent Sunday

This is a miniature pewter stein from my pewter collection.
It's only four inches tall.

Can you tell I haven't dusted it in a while?!

I'm joining Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro.
Go see the other close-up shots and join in!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stuffed Strawberries...again!

This post is a re-run from last year.  Nothing says summer like fresh juicy strawberries!

Mmmmmm....don't they look yummy?  They are as yummy as they look and so easy to make too!  All you need is :

1 quart fresh strawberries
1 container (8oz) Mascarpone cheese
3 TBS powdered sugar
1 tsp milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
Sliced almonds, toasted

Start by toasting the sliced almonds in a small pan over medium heat.  Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn.


Meanwhile, trim the tops and bottoms of the strawberries so they will sit level.  Be careful not to trim so much off the bottom that you have a hole.  You don't want the filling to go all the way through!


Next you need to scoop out the center of each strawberry.  You can do this with a small melon baller, paring knife or small corer.  Whatever you have and is easiest for you is fine.  I actually used a tool for getting out the center part of a tomato that is left when slicing off the stem end. 

You should have a plate of strawberries that look like this


 Now you're ready to make the filling.  In a medium bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, milk and almond extract.  Just use a spoon and not a mixer.  The mascarpone cheese is soft and creamy and is easy to stir.  It's the Italian version of our cream cheese!

Spoon the cheese into either a pastry bag with a star tip or a zip top plastic bag and cut the corner off. 

Squeeze the bag to pipe the cheese mixture into the strawberries.

Top with the almonds that you remembered to keep checking on!

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 


For a big Ta-Da presentation, serve them on a bed of coconut on a cake stand with whole strawberries surrounding the foot of the cake stand!

Today I'm joining

What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week I'm thankful that my daughter, Erin, came through her hand/wrist surgery just fine and is recovering slowly but surely.  A mama never stops worrying about her children, no matter how old they are!  I was able to stay with her a few days to help out and then I brought Shylee home with me.  I'm also thankful she has friends who are looking after her since Dan is deployed.

Other things I'm thankful for this week
     Answered prayer for friends and family
     Air conditioning
     Quiet time with a cup of tea when Shylee takes a nap
     My thoughtful husband for more reasons than I can count
     Pretty flowers that are everywhere

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tickle Me Tuesday ~ Sweet Pea

I'm keeping my sweet granddaughter, Shylee, while her mommy recovers from surgery.  Nothing tickles my fancy more than spending time with Sweet Pea!

I'm joining Yes, Teacher for Tickle Me Tuesday.  Why don't you join in too!