The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Truth #1. I love good food.

I could go on and on, but what more is there to say?

I love it even more when everyone else loves what I consider good food. If it's other peoples' kids (as was the case tonight) who are asking for more? Sigh...I just love it.

Rainbow Fettucini with Zucchini and Basil Alfredo Sauce, Spicy, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Zucchini (because they are plentiful right now) and Heirloom Tomatoes (but I don't know which kids picked them and brought them in)

Total Prep. Time? About 30 minutes from walking into the kitchen to plating it up. Easy/Peasy.

Zucchini and Basil Alfredo Sauce

Enough Olive Oil to Saute an Onion and Garlic
1 Vidalia Onion
3-5 Cloves of Garlic (I used 5)
1/2-3/4 Cups of Chopped, Fresh Basil
5-6 Cups of Shredded Zucchini
3/4 Cup of Milk
1 Block of Cream Cheese
A Couple of Dashes of Tobasco Sauce
Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil and saute onion and pressed garlic until onions are tender. Add the basil and zucchini. Saute until most of the liquid is reduced; 10 minutes or so. Add the milk and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy and bubbly. I added a little more milk to make it a bit more saucy. Add Tobasco Sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to School Sewing

Move over Vera.

It's hard to sew for a teenager. What follows are a bazillion pictures (Click on them to make them big, Gram.) of a bag I made for Alicia who is starting 9th grade in the fall. I had the fabric printed with the school mascot, her name and the year she will graduate. The lighting was not so great...but you get the idea.

Water bottle holder...

She wanted a pen/pencil holder thing. The angle of this makes it look more shallow than it really is.

How do you get a good picture of the inside of a bag, anyway? I wanted to show all the pockets and whatnot.

It's easier to photograph inside/out. 3 open-top pockets and one zippered.

Semi-hidden pocket in the side intended for her cell phone (tag...because I have a million of them and well...why not?):

Open pocket in the other side with an attached lanyard/hook intended for her school ID:

Charcoal micro-suede:

Not the best picture in the world...but, I added buttons to make the bag a little more compact (because she isn't that big of a girl). Unbuttoned, the bag expands and can hold more. Buttoned, it's impossible to open the zipper of the cell phone pocket which is important since 1. She isn't supposed to even be using it at school and 2. I'm not buying her another if this one is lost/stolen.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inside Day-AGAIN

A heat index of 100 at midnight isn't's just not right, at all.

So...a lazy Saturday. Tea, doughnuts and bananagrams. And then, sewing. I sewed for hours and it was nice. Haven't done that for a very long time. Hopefully, there will be a finished product tomorrow.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sort of. Without the villa and what not. I just need some bees and some fruit trees. And somebody to tend to all of that. Because, my farmville is looking very unkept this year. No pics.

Yesterday was hot. Today...blah. It didn't occur to me my lens was going to fog up transitioning from inside to outside the house. So, sorry for the picture quality. I'd skip this whole part except I'm thinking this is a first-time experience for me. I don't think I've ever been anywhere where it was this hot. If so, it didn't have the 90% humidity attached. Blah.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


In the shade, it's 100 degrees outside.

In my kitchen, I've been making cupcakes again...pearly and glittery this time.

In time, will I quit marveling at having beautiful and fresh eggs?

In my living room, I've been spending my best moments...reading, writing,'s been so peaceful. Music is always playing. Lately it's either IHOP live stream or my new favorite album from Will Reagan and United Pursuit. Love it.

In my mind I'm looking to cooler days and while I'm not sure mittens will be warranted for quite some time, I've got a start.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So far, a lazy day. Mostly just thinking about:

1. Cleaning and how I'm tired of my thoughts being consumed with something so uninteresting and unmotivating.

2. Revisiting that idea to just reupholster my crappy furniture; so seriously I almost loaded the kids in the car to go get fabric. But then I remembered I'd have to shower first and well. like I's been a lazy day.

3. What I can make for dinner...something with tofu. Maybe. We could have salad, but that would make 3 nights in a row and a mutiny might happen.

4. The mittens I started knitting. Doesn't everyone knit mittens in the middle of a heat wave?

5. Someone in my world...I hate that I can't just fix everything.

6. This giant owl I saw on vacation and I guessed its weight at 18lbs. Reality: It weighs 4. Most people would just say "Oh." and move on. I'm still thinking about it...two weeks later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mystery Trip Day

We have this summer tradition called "Mystery Trip Day". Basically, I take them somewhere. It's supposed to happen on Tuesdays. Today is Tuesday.

The problem is we've been doing this for years and have been everywhere already. And, they are big and doing stuff and it just never quite works out like it used to. Still, they say "How come we don't take mystery trips anymore?"

Al was at Hershey Park. I would have taken Jac there, but he doesn't like rides. So, I took him and his friend to Cunningham Falls. (Way closer and cheaper than Hershey win/win for everyone.)

I remembered the camera, but forgot to take pictures. We're going there again in two weeks, so you will just have to wait.

In the meantime, I remembered I documented a mystery trip a few years ago.

Here ya go:

Mystery Trip Day Summer 2007

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Soaking Music


Melissa=Honey Bee (in Greek)

It's a given I had to buy these at the vintage jewelry store, right? In hindsight, I should have bought ALL the bees. He had a whole tray of them. Next time...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Remembering: Part 2

The story of my first 12 years:

Playing on the cannon for hours (by myself, a lot) while my dad was in Elaine's. I could have been in Elaine's too, but the only thing to do in there was play shuffleboard and mess around with the jukebox and it irritated people when I chose the same song over and over again; Queen of Hearts.

The first house I fell in love with. If I had the money and desire to live in Iowa, perhaps I'd buy it now.

The bandstand in the many memories...the center of events for the annual Corn Carnival. This is where I saw my first hypmotist and where everyone gathered for the most advertised event "Bobby Burrell and Pammy Patrick"...two child singers the town was in love with. I wonder what happened to them.

My elementary school..which looks remarkably like it did 25 years ago save for the smaller windows and safer playground equipment.

The grain elevator. I was never partial to this piece of town. I thought it was ugly. It made the town smell like popcorn in the fall. In my mind, it represents the longest part of getting from one side of town to the other. We were on foot...always.

The ballfield. I probably have a year's worth of time spent there. No, I didn't even like ball. But, I played. Not because I wanted to, but because that is what people did.

The tracks. There are a few relics that remind me of more dangerous times. Times when parents felt completely safe (I guess) allowing their children to grow up on the tracks. We used to smash pennies and other things. I used to sit under the bridge (a few feet from moving trains) with my cousins and neighbors (I was always the oldest.) while the olders were down the tracks picking berries. We'd climb over or under trains if they were stopped and blocking our way. In my later years, we went through a period of having bonfire building contests next to them. Well...until one of the neighbors (who wasn't very fun) called Grandma Helen to report us. Yeah, that was a fun day.

It's probably a given I was a strange child. I liked the graveyard (In my later years I understood "cemetery" is how most people refer to this.). We played there often. I'd go there alone to look at the stones and to marvel at their age There's one there made from concrete and decorated with marbles. I was trying to find it, but I couldn't. ...on a daily basis. When it snowed, the town's kids would sled down the far hill, but now it's covered with graves. I wonder where they sled now.

The window to my bedroom in a house that is about to fall down. My mom built me a window seat in this window and the curtains that still hang are the curtains my Great-Grandma Boone made for for my 11th birthday. I wonder if the room is still yellow?

If I sat facing west on my window seat, the water tower is what I saw.

Hmmm...there was more that is no longer there. The little store "Benge's" were we'd buy candy. The aforementioned Elaine's. The little park and shelterhouse across from the graveyard. The horseshoe pit where we'd steal clay. Bingo. I wonder if they still have Saturday night bingo for 10 cents?

The bridge...which is still there, but which was rebuilt and is not the same-by far. It used to be wooden and steep. We'd haul our bikes up there and then ride them down seeing how far we could coast. This was probably far more dangerous than playing on the tracks below. It must have been. No old lady ever came out to scream at us to get off the tracks. When we were on that bridge, it was only a matter of time before someone came out to scream at us to go find something else to do. And then they usually called Grandma Helen to report us. (In my adult years, I realize the shape of that bridge was kind of like a mountain and drivers could only see the other side of it when they were at the top.)

I alternate between awe I survived my childhood and sadness my kids have such a boring one.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Remembering: Part I

I've been away for two weeks. The first week I was at FUSE Camp (which I may write about later) and the second week we took a roadtrip out to the midwest.

And then we came home and a storm had taken out our internet signal. (Clearly, it has been restored.)

The next couple of days will be devoted to sharing my trip.

Our first destination was Blakesburg, Ia. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents (as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc...) live in that area. This town, while I don't exactly consider it home at this point in my life, is where I lived my first 12 years. Whenever we visit, I drive around town taking the same pictures (because's a very small town and there isn't a lot to photograph) while I remember my childhood and my family collectively sighs while they remember being on this exact same photo taking journey a year prior (and the year before that and so on).

When I was a child, Blakesburg had a population of around 400 and I knew every single one of them (Because I was a busybody as a young child. Surprised?). Someone told me last week the current population is 92 and most I don't know.

This is the church I attended when I was a child. My grandma went there. Sometimes I went with her. Sometimes I went by myself. (Because it was a tiny town, I had run of it from a very early age.) Back in those days, the bell was still in the steeple. It's interesting how one's memory makes things larger than they actually are. I spent hours and hours playing on those steps. In my mind, they are vast. In reality, not so much.

This is a picture of a little, tiny room; my first Sunday School room. Again, my mind remembers this room as huge. The reality of it's tiny size is intriguing...because there were like 30 kids in there when I was in there. How did we all fit? When I reached 1st grade, I graduated to a new room.

Whenever I think about those days in that church, I think about this sand table. (It was somehow located in that tiny room.) My great, great (maybe one more great?) grandpa built this table. After the lesson, our teacher would take off the top to let us play. With the sand were teeny, tiny toys, little glass bottles to fill, etc...

So much has changed and yet nothing has.

This last picture is of Mrs. Irene Herteen. She was my fifth grade teacher. (She was also the fifth grade teacher for both of my parents.) I snuck up behind her and then popped in front of her just to see what her reaction would be. (Strange? I know.) I wasn't sure if she would know who I am...because I have been gone from there for 25 years. She immediately sort-of knew. She called me by my mother's name at first, but then she realized.

Yeah. So much has changed and yet nothing has.