Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Was a happy Halloweenie

I guess there are lots of people uploading their Halloween shots tonight as I've tried several times without success. I had a few more photos to share, but two seems to be the limit. That's Sean and his Coz Kenny with the monster head that he and his dad made together. His dad Ken is really clever!
And here is Glamour Witch Tori and her witchy auntie with the teased hair. I had to get in the act. We matched up well! It was fun, but hardly anyone came to their house while I house sat. Bummer. Ken really loves Halloween.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Buy a truck-get a shotgun!

What's that all about you may ask? Well, it's an ad that Brian got for the local paper that made the news (that's his job anyway)! Brian said that NBC 10 news reporter Deana Durante was in his office today to get a copy of the ad which he gave to her. What happened was that a resident thinks it's unappropriate, especially with the Nickel Mine Amish shootings of less than a month ago (only 15 miles away). People who read the paper live in a very rural area and hunt. I am all for gun control! It's kind of a weird promotion. Why not give them a gift card for dinner or something that won't kill anyone?
I got outside late in the afternoon to dig up the roses. Sean said he would help, but he went to the gym instead. The ground was soft, but digging up the 5 roses was hard. My 19 yr old Queen Elizabeth rose had a long tap root and I had to cut into that. I also dug up about 15 gladiolus, but chopped into two of them, so I have 13 now. I need to put them in a better spot next year or at least keep them supported so they don't fall over.
I made caramel apples-so easy, but mine are too sticky! I may have kept them in the microwave too long. We'll eat them anyway. I was thinking about making brittle like Giada DeLorentis made on her show-with dried apricots, toasted almonds and chocolate chips. Does that sound good or what?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ms Fix-it

Honestly, what would these guys do without me? The phone was dead and the internet was down-so something with the computer modem had a problem (I think it was weather or daylight savings related). We tried the standby button on the front of the modem and it didn't do anything. I got the idea to open up the Outlook Express email account and it went right to 'desktop doctor' and said 'no internet connection'-no kidding. It then told us to reset the button on the back of the modem and wait 2 minutes. Bingo! The light on the front of the modem for the phone was lit again, but not the online light. So it said to restart the computer. Still no online connection. I was all set to call Comcast and then I decided to try the standby button again-and it worked. *Bowing*.
I slept like a charm last night and am pretty much my old self today. After some bad take-outs, I promised the guys a spaghetti and meatball dinner tonight (they had the choice of pot roast too). So in a few hours, I'll whip that up for them.
The wind is wicked today. Brian is out cutting the grass. I wanted so much for him to get an attachment for the new mower to pick up the leaves. He stalls all the time. Look how long I longed for my kitchen (19.5 yrs for new readers). I told him I can't handle all the raking in the springtime because he misses so many places just using the mower to clean up with. He does rake, but he could rake more.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the roses moved. I can't wait to see my niece and nephew on Tuesday for Halloween. : )
BTW-my mammogram was fine. I think I need to call about the ultrasound.

Could you keep my friend Warren in your prayers please? He had a mini-stroke last week and just wrote to his pals about it. Said his right side was numb and it was hard to read things. It's hard to know what to say, but I told him I was pulling for him.

A little cross stitch piece

I finished this as part of a neighborhood round robin a few days ago (sorry for the blurry photo). I really think it's cute as can 'bee', especially the little beekeep. I added the swarm of bees in the shape of a 'P' for the name of the owner's son. This is for a nice lady in The Netherlands. My own piece is in New Hampshire right now. It gets to travel more than I do! : ) This is by 'The Prairie Schooler'- ' G' is for Garden.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wet leaves

Wow it poured this morning! Wet leaves everywhere! I walked around to get some fresh air and got wet feet and came back in again.
I am feeling somewhat better. My tummy only spasmed when I sneezed, so I must have really pulled that muscle there. What a great time to have that when I have stuff to put away and roses to move. I may enlist Sean to do that on Monday. There's only about 5 roses as it is. I am hoping the new location will make them bloom again. I love roses but they don't love where we live.
About 5 am I heard a 'beep' 'beep' 'beep' somewhere in the house. I couldn't place it. Finally at 8:15 I could stand it no more (it was beeping every few minutes). I went down the basement and stood there-nope, not down there. Here it was a weather clock in the dining room window set on alarm...and no one said they touched it! Spooky-definitely Halloween is around the corner!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Apple cake recipe

To get my mind off things, I found the apple cake recipe I promised Zoey. It's from The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast cookbook by Kitty and Lucian Maynard. This is an excellent cookbook and an Inn that use to be in this area (I think it's not there anymore) is in the cookbook.

Apple Cake
with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
3-4 peeled diced apples (3 cups)
* * * *
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light cream or half and half
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dark rum (or to taste)

In mixing bowl add the sugar slowly to the softened butter and beat well until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time. Combine the dry ingredients and add gradually to the creamed muxture. Add the nuts and apples. Bake in a greased tube pan in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. After 15 minutes invert onto a rack to cool.
Heat the sugar and cream over low heat until well-dissolved. Add the butter and run. Serve hot over the cake.
Serves 12.

Moving along...

I didn't have the greatest day-tummy distress. If I'm not better on Monday I am going to call the GI doctor. I don't know if I have a muscle pull or stomach contractions from like gastro problems, but have you even had your tummy move by itself? I have a huge scar on my tummy from having my gallbladder out many years ago and it's happening a bit below that near my navel. I had the same darn thing in February when I was cleaning out the kitchen-thinking lifting and stress. I went to my family doctor and she didn't help me at all-said I had diverticulosis and prescribed antibiotics that didn't agree with me. Yesterday I lifted a lot of heavy bags of canned goods for my mom. I don't know if it's a combo of things, but it's scary to me and is still doing it. It probably is a bad stomach muscle pull that I aggravated-but I feel like I am in the movie 'Alien'. If you've had it or know what the heck my distress may be, I'd love to hear from you. I don't feel sick, but I didn't eat a lot today.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

All that driving...

I guess it's not that bad-chipmunk cheeks and all (like 4 yrs ago) : ) Mom took the 30 mile drive with me ( that I talked about on Monday) and it seemed faster as she talked the entire time! In fact I had 2.5 days of non-stop chatter. Poor lil thing is by herself too much, I guess. We went to a Dollar General store and mom went crazy in there. She was buying canned goods left and right. I bought a few things and almost put them back when I saw a dead cockroach on the floor. We then went to the Acme supermarket nearer to home and she bought more (I bought some, but we were sharing a cart and she used more of the space then me). She went home at 4:45 and got herself in work traffic for an hour. I told her she should come back for a little while, but she had to get the food home.
It was nice to have her here for a change of pace for both of us. Did I tell you she bought an inflatable bed for her to sleep on now? We have a guest room, but Bri usually ends up in there with all his snoring. He needs to work on that again... I saw that they have throat spray now for snorers. He says I snore too, but he's been really bad for over 10 yrs.

Time is a wastin.

But maybe, just maybe, if I had this gnome, I'd get out there and clean up the rest of the ornaments for the year:

Dial-a-Hunk Gnome

Add a gnome
to your garden

Imagine finding this little charmer telling jokes while you gathered your goodies, meaning birdhouses, windchimes, frogs, etc. I would be out there in a second. And where has he been all my gardening life anyway? ; )

Pretzel twister

Now which one would you roll and twist? We've been at this place-Sturgis Pretzels, part of a birthday trip to Lancaster when Sean was younger.

So much of this area is known for it's soft pretzels-and what a great treat they are! A place called Auntie Anne's pretzels dips the oversized pretzels in butter after they are baked. She has different seasonings from cinnamon and sugar to nut covered.

And here's a recipe:

Soft Pretzel Recipe
For 3 dozen 6-inch sticks or
For 1 dozen 6-inch Pretzels
1 tbsp Yeast
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp softened butter or softened margarine
1 cup warm (115-+ deg F) water
2 3/4 cups flour
Coarse Salt to sprinkle on Pretzels before baking
5 tsp baking soda mixed in 4 cups water in a non-aluminum saucepan.
1 large slotted spoon to "go fishing"
Greased cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 475 F
Put yeast, sugar, salt, butter/marg, water and ONE CUP of the flour into a medium mixing bowl and pour in the water.
Stir till all smooth, and yeast starts to bubble.
At this point add the rest of the flour, stir till it is mixed in.
When mixture is too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading.
Knead dough till smooth and till it no longer sticks to the bowl and your hands
Allow dough to rise to about double its height.
While dough is rising, grease the cookie sheet. and prepare the baking soda-water mixture and bring to a boil on stove.
When dough is risen enough, punch down, knead for a minute or so, then divide and roll the 6-inch sticks with your hands, to about 1/2 inch in diameter, or 12-15-inch long rolls to make into the pretzel shape.
Allow sticks or pretzels to sit for about 1-2 mins. Place them into boiling water-baking soda mixture one or two at a time.
Let the pretzels boil for 1 minute 10 seconds, then flip them over with the slotted spoon and boil on the other side for 1 minute and 10 seconds.
This boiling step gives them a firm skin and adds some flavour. Not boiling long enough leaves them too soft and allows them to rise too much. Boiling too long makes them tough.
Fish them out of the water, let them drip off and place them on the greased cookie sheet.
When all the pretzels or sticks are done, sprinkle the coarse salt on them.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or till sticks or pretzels are golden brown.
You can double the recipe in proportion.
(I think if you have a bread machine, you can do most of this recipe in one until you of course have to form them!)

Check this link out for 'baked' pretzels and other yummy ideas!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More 10-24 dinner shares

Think mom is giddy over her pasta?
Wake me up-there's a fork in my hand! I had Chicken Roma with spinach and of course roma tomatoes in a cheese sauce. It was good today for lunch too!

Chester Co landscape

Taken while I waited for my mom sitting in the van near the Peebles store. There is a new housing development here. Train tracks and a water refining area right there and rolling hills!
15 miles down the road in the parking lot viewing a farm near rt 1. These were taken by my camera phone. So I am not a big city girl, but a country gal!

For more shots of where I live check out this site

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Celebration photos

We ate at the Olive Garden and both Sean and my mom had Mediterranean Shrimp pasta.

Mom and me toasting the birthday boy with peach ice tea.

The cake I made Sean-devil's food-with chocolate sprinkles and candy corn (which he really loves) on a leaf plate.

Sean and his 'Mom-mom'. He's about to blow out the candles of course. The candle in the middle plays 'Happy Birthday'. I told Mom she has two interwined orbs over her head here and there's a big one in the window. ; )

20 great years!

That photo was taken twenty years ago...wow, where did the years go? He was an alert, big fella!

Here's my Sean as Mickey Mouse-he was three years old. I made or embellished most of his Halloween costumes over the years.

And here is the most recent photo of him taken with his camera phone at Perkins.

He is really a blessing to me because he made me a mom-I always wanted to be someone's mom. He's been a great teenager and I look forward to seeing him mature even more in his 20s, maybe date a bit and get through college with flying colors. I like that he enjoys spending time with me and more recently his dad. They watch sporting events together now all the time. This makes me so happy.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my pumpkin and only good egg. : )

Monday, October 23, 2006

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Dianne
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Mom is Jeanne with two 'n's and my middle name is Carol- my father is Carl.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I'd say watching Terri Irwin talking about her late husband Steve.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It looks good except when it smudges when I move my hand over it-that's a leftie for you.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This blog is as close as I get to journaling as an adult.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I think I would if I didn't think I'd badly hurt my neck or something.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Captain Crunch peanut butter crunch (bad) Cheerios yogurt flavored (good)
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes, but I have to hold the world up for others sometimes too which breaks me down a bit.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Chocolatey anything.. but Breyer's had a fried ice cream limited edition that was decent!
14. SHOE SIZE? 7.5-8, depends on the shoe!
15. RED OR PINK? Red.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandmom Ruth.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm ready for bed, but earlier I had on a apricot color faux cashmere sweater and black bell bottoms with brown boot like shoes.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Oreo-and it was double stuff too. And I worry about my weight?
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Aquamarine, hands down!
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Gardenia
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? I don't really know Annette, but she seems popular in the stitching blog community.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Iced tea, strong brew, ice, lemon, sweet and low
28. FAVORITE SPORT? Figure skating.
29. EYE COLOR? Hazel- brown around my irises, green and speckled around the brown.
30. HAT SIZE? 22" I look good in hats because of my big head!
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No-I think glasses make a fashion statement.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Chocolate!!

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer for my gardens, Winter for my indoor hobbies....but I like autumn the bestest
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate mousse or cheesecake.
38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I hope to see this on a few blogs.
39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Why not steal it from me?
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? I am slow as molasses-I am still reading Ya-yas in Bloom.
41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Crayola crayon postage stamp as it works the best of all the ones we have.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? The Amazing Race, Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Rain on the roof and children laughing.
46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Cross stitching! I can sing soprano too. Surprise!
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? West Chester, PA
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I took it from Annette's Acre

Dumb de dumb

I just got in from a wild goose chase. Let me explain-I had my mammogram at 11:00 and the tech was so fast she got me out of there by 11:25. (I gave her a pink crystal breast cancer awareness pin as a 'kind gesture' and she was really thrilled with it). So I got in the van and decided to go down the pike (rt 1) to about 4 exits to where the driver's license photo center is. It was a nice ride as I got to see the leaves changing and all the animals like cows, horses and sheep out to pasture. My friend Zoey thought I lived in a more urban area, no way! I talk about Philly a lot but I do not want to live there. So I got to the center, it's closed on Mondays! Terrific! But I did get a buy one get one free whooper for Sean and me for lunch with the remainder of the Entertainment.com coupons. Looks like we are having a light din din tonight.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Double drats!

Bri finally checked out the Powerball lottery ticket from last night-get this-we had 3 matching numbers-so we won $7!!! Wow-lucky seven. (We didn't have the powerball). If we had matched 4-$100 and 5-$200,000! Can you believe that? So close, the closest we've been since we've been playing weekly (about a year now). It's fun, it benefits senior citizens and it's definitely not like Atlantic City's slots.

I didn't do too much today. I had to rearrange my sidebar and republish the blog like 10 times. I hope you like my countdown ticket. That was hard to find. I had to shrink it down along with a few other badges. I also made some postcards as a group of pals on tribe and me are exchanging them. I can't wait to see what they come up with and I hope they picked Halloween too. : )

Bri finally got out the Sirius radio his dad got him in a promo from Atlantic City. He's had it since February. We had $150 worth of gift cards and it only cost us $7 out of pocket for a year. I want Bri to put it in his car, but he wants to use it in the house to get use to it. I wouldn't mind hearing some of the talk shows, etc. I hear are on there.

Always read the directions...

On the spur of the moment last night, genius me decided to see how the new oven self-cleaned without opening the manual. I pushed a few buttons and got it to do a light clean. It got somewhat smokey and smelly in here. I finally did get out the manual and it said to take out the racks-ahh-I didn't. So I cancelled the clean. I have to wipe the racks off a bit, but it really didn't clean anything-15 minutes wasn't long enough to do so. And the ovens 'lock', so I had to wait for an hour to see what was going on. I forgot to mention I was only trying to clean the little top oven. I think I'll wait a while until it is really dirty. I don't tend to make too much of a mess in the oven unless I forget to put a pan under something and it boils over.

I believe my 'new' blogger look (to me and Lynn at least) is from the IE7. I will move or delete the bigger items in the sidebar. Thanks for those of you who replied. Do you know what you are using? Lynn said Foxfire. I heard that it was a good.

Blogger boo boo?

Brian decided to download Internet Explorer 7 tonight as we were have problems with viewing videos. It changed the entire look of the web, especially font. I heard Blogger was down most of the evening. I got on and noticed my sidebar is messed up. So I don't know if it's from Blogger or IE7. I went into my template and moved it over and it was fine in the preview,but not so after publishing it.
Can you tell me if you are seeing my sidebar overlapping my posts? Thanks!
Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Freaky Friday

Sean wanted to get the oil changed in his car, so I found a coupon in the Entertainment.com book (you have to get one) for a place about 20 minutes away in Tallyville, DE (the book is for DE since we live so close, and there are some PA coupons in it too). So we went to the Firestone place looking to send $15 and spent close to $600! We opened a credit account with them. The guy said we needed a battery and new tires. I knew about the battery, but he said the tires were really wearing down like an old rubberband (have you heard that one?)And then then the tires had to be aligned, so we got that too-lifetime alignment. I have to know Sean is safe driving back and forth and when he takes the car to school with him next year. He has a used car, so I want things to be in top condition. So, he has the money for the above, which is nice too. Glad he worked this year. Now we have two freebie oil changes and we'll be taking the van back in a week or so.

We were going to go to the movies at 4:00 and missed that show, so we went to the 7:30 viewing of 'Man of the Year' starring Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Christopher Walken and who we just saw in person- Lewis Black. It was an okay movie. Lewis had a decent role in it. But Robin, was just too much like the real Robin (he was playing a comedian afterall). I heard that Jon Stewart would have been good, but it was like a play of his role on 'The Daily Show'. I don't see people going bonkers to vote for Jon Stewart (I like him though).

Before the movie we had gone to the mall for a few hours and ate at Ruby Tuesday (the triple prime burger is really delicious) and Sean picked out a few birthday presents-a Perry Ellis wallet and Penn State pj bottoms.

We got home to learn that Brian's car had broken down on him in Amish country-the starter died! He had been having some problems with it lately, had someone else check it out and he found nothing). He hurt his knee walking across 6 lines of highway to get to a dealership. He got 'soaked' a bit for the towing (like 75 feet) and the repair. When it rains it pours.

I haven't posted any stitching photos lately because I've only been working on one thing, the neighborhood round robin for the last month. I thought we were going to try and get them in the mail in November, but now it's January. I love how it's turning out, so I bet Annemarie will enjoy it too.

I just ordered myself some charts for my The Prairie Schooler collection and some fabrics for Sugar Maple Fabrics. I wanted a pretty green for The PS Christmas trees (stitched in the shape of Christmas trees!) and I picked a pretty pastel piece too. I can't expect my family to know what I like and need, so it's better for me to chose the above as early bd gifts for myself. I did well with eBay this month (the best sales month in a year!), so I treated myself a little.

Still waiting to hear about the ultrasound from last Wednesday. It was all digital, so I am thinking my doctor had to see the results by now. Crossing fingers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New tv show reviews

Anyone out in cyberspace 'getting into' any of the new shows? I just watched 'Six Degrees' with Campbell Scott. It's basically about a group of people who are interconnected like the rest of us are suppose to be. Like we aren't really strangers. I know personally I see people and I look at them and know them from somewhere else. Good show.
And the Tim Daly show 'The Nine' is getting good reviews too. It airs right after 'Lost', so it has a fairly large audience that hopefully won't switch the channel. Lots of drama, the 'nine' people the show is about were all involved in a bank stand-off. This is worth catching.
I have been watching 'Heroes' too. I was drawn into the hype, believe me you! It's a bit puzzling and there are so gross scenes (of the teen girl who can defy death), but it's interesting.
My younger brother Don is coming up for a visit in less than a month from Florida! We haven't seen him for 4.5 yrs. Our little niece and nephew were only 2 and 5 when they last saw him. This should be interesting as Don says what he's thinking without thinking that he is hurting feelings. I hope he is at least kind to our mom. He hasn't seen her at her worst (healthwise). Sometimes when people live alone, they don't understand why other people can't be just like them and only see their point of view. With him approaching 46, I had hoped he would come live with mom to help her get her place in shape. Maybe someday.

JT concert

Please look down to the post on the 17th where I have 'Update'. I appreciate you all asking how it was and that's where I wrote about it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Showing some JT love

This is a screen capture of James and his only daughter and eldest child, Sally about 9 years ago in Milan. She sang with her dad here. We got to see Sally with her own group about 5 yrs ago.
And this is one of the little Taylors-not his grandson, but one of his five yr old twins either Henry or Logan. James had won the Musicare award this year and this was probably after the ceremony. I hope to get the DVD of the event-hint-hint guys!
Why do I like JT so much-because I've listened to him since I've been 13. : )

Autumnal displays II

I finally hung up my leaves and it took a matter of a few minutes. I had seen the idea in a magazine. That's three of them with one cut in half and used to make it look longer. I may add more to the ends as I think I have more garland down the basement. It's huge up with cord clips that you are suppose to use to hold you computer cords neatly. Needless to say, Brian never used them and our computer cords are still a jumble. I got the nice size pumpkins for $2.50 each. I see I need to spray paint my metal boot scraper/door mat thingie. There's always something that needs sprucing up.

Here are my two favorite guys under 20! Well Sean will turn 20 on the 24th and I asked him to pose for me with the kitty.

Anyone else having sinus problems? I have post nasal combined with reflux from dumping too big a breakfast in my very empty tummy. The ultrasounds went well. My whole tummy was done, I mean that entire area. They had a new machine, so it was faster. And I was able to hold 32 oz of water fine. I had problems when I had a coughing attack after I came home. Gee.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm so excited!

Even though this will be the fourth time (third for Brian, God bless him) I've seen James Taylor, I can't wait until 8 pm! I've seen him with my brother Don back in 1979; Bri in '82 before we were married; and then with Bri and Sean in '97. Those concerts were at the Mann Music Center in Philly-partially indoors with lawn seating too. Tonight should be like a private concert (well almost) as it's just JT and his keyboard player. I'll update this post later.
Update-We had a nice evening with James even though the traffic on 69th St near the Tower Theater was stalled for about 15 minutes and I thought for sure we'd be late. He didn't come on stage until 8:20 anyway. I had a clear view of him for about 45 minutes until the couple in front of us showed up. Then it was hard to see as the guy had his arm around his girlfriend and invaded my personal space-so I moved over. I guess we were about 75-80 feet from the stage.
It was a nice chat, show some photos on a big screen and sing about what he just talked about kind of show. He opened with 'Something in the Way She Moves'. He brought this contraption out that was a computer programmed drum set basically (I read in a review that he had built it himself!). He sang a song 'Slap Leather' through a bullhorn-too funny! I liked when he showed a short video of his nephew James as a tyke before he sang the song he wrote for him called 'Sweet Baby James'. People think that's JT's nickname.
James had a video of the chorus that his wife Kim is in and he sang along to 'Shower the People' and 'Traveling Star' with them. When he was on 'Saturday Night Live' many years ago, he sang along to a reel to reel tape recorder (of famous singers at the time) to 'Shower the People'.
We scooted out before he sang his second encore which I think was 'You Close Your Eyes'. The area where the theater is located is a little run down now, so we got ahead of the mass of people and got home by 11:45 even after stopping for milk and bread.

My mom is having cataract surgery at the beginning of December. Yesterday was the day she had all the drops put in her eyes, not the day I went with her. She had to sit a while afterwards, but she found her way to the mall where she purchased Sean some birthday gifts. That guy is so hard to buy for! I have a few things for him-some coming in the mail. I hope the shirt will be the correct size. Not sure if the size pull-down menu even recorded the correct size. Guess I'll find out in a few days.

I had Jehovah's Witness people ring my doorbell twice before 10 this morning. I'm not dressed as I have to shower, but that's a great way to get them moving on their way. They haven't been on my front step in years.

It's a rainy day here too-drats! I hope it clears a bit by the time we have to leave.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sat and Sun

I settled in to watch the TLC shows Saturday night after all that clothes sorting and was in almost total shock over the rude behavior of the homeowner from Wyncote, PA. on Trading Spaces. She really hated her kitchen. And that was after her neighbors ripped down the 100s of Burpee sunflower seed packets off the wall. Doug Wilson was one of the designers and he reminded her that she signed up for the show and to basically expect the unexpected. She said that they did the show for themselves (the designers) not the homeowners! Oy! She got a new microwave and little flatscreen tv in the deal. So it turns out, this is two weeks later, that she pulled her horns in by doing a simple 'paint job' and moving her old table back in place- butta wouldn't melt in her mouth! Some people!!
Today I was a little zombie-like from having insomnia until about 3:30 am. This happens sometimes when I drink cola after 6 at night. I pulled myself away from playing with PSP7 to make a turkey meatloaf. I was trying some 'new' ingredients like mustard/horseradish and worchestershire sauce. The sauce just dumped into my meat mixture instead of sprinkling like it is suppose to do. I managed to pour most of it off, but added brown sugar and more bread crumbs to take away some of the strong flavor. It was actually very good! I threw together some drop biscuits and brownies too. My oven was working overtime!
Things are getting tidied up well on the main floor of the house. I plan to do more later in the week.
I am getting so excited about the James Taylor concert coming up Tuesday night. We have good seats, not excellent ones, but I am thrilled to see JT again after over 9 yrs.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Switching out clothes

I refused to wear shorts anymore this year. That means Brian has to pull the steps down and rummage around the attic for about 5 Spacebags and a plastic box. I use to have all boxes until I got the SpaceBags a few years ago. The big ones won't stay flat. And they really wrinkle my clothes. I have mostly long sleeve cotton tees in solid colors and dark trousers. I have too many, but I will only part with them when they get seedy looking. I do have a rule that I must fill up a kitchen trash bag for the Goodwill with clothing that never looked good on me. I don't want to be like my mom in that respect-having entire bedrooms filled with clothing. So it took 4 CDS(I'm warming up for the James Taylor concert this coming Tuesday night) to get most of it switched. The bags are all in the living room right now as I have to suck out the air in them with the vacuum tomorrow and Sean wants to get his stuff down before mine are loaded up there. Brian has one small box or bag-I forget (that's a guy for you, though Sean has tons of clothes). I can't find my nightgowns, they may be tucked behind the headboard. I have to go all through this twice a year because we have teeny closets in here. We each have an armoire, but not having a big enough closet is a pain too. I have one bedroom closet, plus half of another-and a hope chest. Guess I just have too many clothes. I take good care of them, so I have them a while.
After church we went to a pizza place in nearby Hockessin so we could use a buy one get one free pizza coupon from the Entertainment book that will expire soon. We got a veggie one and a shrimp pesto one and they were good! Last night I had a tuna and white bean dish along with some mac and cheese. The guys liked the tuna this way! It was really easy and beans are an excellent source of fiber.

Friday, October 13, 2006


So Martha Stewart picked the 3 finalists for her home give-away and I'm not one of them! Can you believe I wasn't picked out of 24 million entries? So unfair. I could use an almost $400k house. And the three women chosen were standing there like zombies-maybe they were in shock or something. I would have been jumping up and down (I did at my bridal shower, ask my mom-I was so excited). : )
Good luck to one of them. Pfft!

Brian took me to Applebee's last night. Instead of waiting on a booth, we sat at a small two person table. Unfortunately it was near the round tables that surround the bar. This family with a loud dad sat a few feet from us. Some people think they have to let everyone around them know exactly what they are saying. Right when I was about to take a big bite out of my bacon cheeseburger he says to the waitress- 'what's that drink you mentioned? a squirrel? like roadkill?' The idiot misunderstood a drink that was called 'the swirl'. Bri and I had a good laugh over that the entire time we were there. I said I guess the kitchen help stood by route one with a shovel waiting for a squirrel to get hit! LOL!
Sean wouldn't go, so we brought him back a big tray of nachos. If we didn't have to bring him something, we could have gone to Wally World. I need to move some roses and wanted peat moss and mulch. I dare not do digging before my ultrasound tests on Wednesday.
Tomorrow I am doing the clothes switch over-we have to pull the winter ones out of the attic-one reason why a big 400K house would have been a dream come true.

The Amish schoolhouse was torn down at 4:30 am in the morning yesterday. Within a few hours, grass seed was planted. I didn't know it had been there for 30 odd years. If I had been there, I would have tried to overpower the bastard-I weigh enough to maybe floor him(sorry). I guess the women there were to good natured or something. I guess alot of people are having thoughts like this. People magazine has about the entire tragedy on their cover this past week. I didn't even look at it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Forget about describing food like Rachael Ray does. I'm talking male booty in the form of Grey's Anatomy fairly newbie Eric Dane:

He's a cross between Leonardo DiCaprio and a young Robert Redford. His personality is similar to my sweet Tim Daly. And they call him Dr. McSteamy as opposed to Patrick Dempsey's Dr. McDreamy. I like Patrick's hair better, though Eric has a beard (on Ellen today) and he looks darn sexy. He's 34 and married to Rebecca Gayheart. They will have some gorgeous kiddos if they spawn. : )

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sad about Cory Lidle

Sean told me about former Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle's tragic death in his plane along with his flight instructor. The scene of the crash was a haunting sight, especially since it was exactly 5 yr and one month from 9-11. You never want to see any burning building from a plane accident 40 stories up. Many people, mostly firefighters were injured. The local ABC sports reporter flew with Cory down in Florida this past February before he was traded to the Yankees. She said he did a great job and loved flying. Indeed a tragedy. He left behind his wife and 6 yr old son.

Is anyone else sick and tired of all the freakin' campaign ads? The ones from Rick Santorum here in PA are really annoying. I guess he's scared because Bob Casey is the son of a former PA governor Robert Casey.

My mom has a connection with Ed Rendell, the present governor running for re-election. She use to 'date' Ed's wife's uncle! Mom's been to the Rendell house too. She's met him a few times and said he was just how you see him on the news, very down-to-earth. Said he could get her tickets to anything-darn, she never asked him for any.


Yippee! The back massager came today. It's a little different than the one at Peebles. The one in the store did your 'cheeks' also! ; ) I tried it after I came home from my mom's and it was nicely digging in my back. Mom got one too, so I hope it helps her. It seems that everyone is suffering from varying degrees of tummy problems this week, including mom and me. I only went down to her house today because she was going to the eye doctor and I thought she needed someone to drive her if they dilated her pupils-they did not. I had the 'bulk' of my tummy problems yesterday and today I was cramping up more.
We went to Filene's Basement in a nearby shopping center and it left us cold. We went to Marshall's next to it and I got Sean a few birthday gifts. It's hard to know what to get him, especially as he gets older. I won't say what I got in case he happens upon this post.
We decided to get Chinese food. I just got sweet and sour chicken and ate a lot of rice. We went to the Dollar Tree afterwards as I needed a few things and I went through the place lickety split while mom was in like row 4 when I was finished. I scooted her along as I'm not crazy about driving by myself in the dark. So that was the extent of my day. I was glad to get that massage! I think I will keep it permanently hooked up on the 4th chair in the dining area.
Lewis Black, the comedian who we saw Saturday night was on Conan on Monday night and repeated a lot of the same material without the 'F' bombs-sounded so much better. My favorite-'When you go to the casinos, take a roll of quarters and go back up to your room. Start flushing the quarters one by one down the toilet. This is good because every once in a while it backs up and you feel like you've won!'

Monday, October 09, 2006


Brian saw this pretty 'rainbow' prism on the ceiling of the kitchen yesterday. He said, "do you want to post this to your blog?" Ok Bri, here it is (the light was shining through a clear crystal perfume bottle my mom had given me).

Could you say a little prayer for my friend Lisa who just lost her dad this past Friday morning? He had a heart attack at the age of 54. She wrote on both her MySpace and Tribe page to plead for people to stop smoking if you do or ask your loved ones to stop. Her dad smoked since age 14!
My childhood friend Chris' mom just had heart surgery because she had damaged her heart from smoking. The doctor told Chris if his mom Barbara smokes one more cigarette, that will be the end of her. She was able to have less life-threatening surgery, so I hope that was a wake up call for her.
A man who worked in a store down the road from here was always outside smoking. He 'had' a very ruddy complexion and I knew he wouldn't be around long. We read his obituary in the paper-he was about 55.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Zippy weekend

The hours just flew by! I was a wee bit tired from all the walking I did on Friday and Saturday. We must have walked a good mile or so to the gym last night. The mall we went to on Saturday-King of Prussia, use to be the biggest mall on the east coast. We walked through one half and some of another (there's the court and the plaza). They have almost the same stores in both halves. Does that make sense? I forgot to tell you we ate at 'The Cheesecake Factory'. We both got pasta for dinner that was 'so-so'. We got chocolate coconut cheesecake to bring home-that was delicious. Guess I'd just go there for dessert or a light lunch and dessert! ; )
I took advantage of being a little tired and worked on a cross stitch round robin this morning (Sat) while watching a few episodes of 'Six Feet Under' which is on Bravo now. It's a good show-some 'eww' scenes, but I like the characters especially Nate, played by hunky Peter Krause.
I also tossed a corned beef brisket on the stove and went outside to begin the fall clean-up of all the decorations scattered around the various gardens. I started with the pond-cleaned out some leaves and algae and covered it over. Gathered all the fake froggies and things to put away for the season. I don't care for last minute rushes when I hear that there may be a frost. Not that any is expected soon. The impatiens are giving their final bow of the year-so bushy and colorful. I have vibrate orange ones in the front windowbox. I also broke off some white hydrageas that have a hint of green and pink throughout the white. I hope they dry nicely.
Sean was studying for a big Psychology test and both he and his dad were rooting on the Eagles against Dallas-they won! Sean did take some online quizzes, so I hope that helped him.
The corned beef was a bit fatty, but the carrots and potatoes cooked in the same water were yummy. I also made some 'lowfat' brownies. I could taste the fake sweetness of them.
Guess I'll watch Iron Chef for a bit before hitting the hay.

Back in Black

The three of us traveled down to Widener University where we saw comedian Lewis Black last night. The photo below is the best shot we got. I'd say we were in the 10th row back. They has a smaller section of seats right in front of the stage, and then the general admission-us. On stage first was one of the segment and senior producers from The Daily Show who warmed up the audience. His name was Rory Albanese. He started to drop a lot of 'f' bombs. I was wondering if Lewis would-Lew did! He says he does because he gets mad. Said the people who watched their houses floating away after Katrina didn't say 'Oh pussyfeathers!' We enjoyed his show. We walked out to a firework display for the finale of the college's homecoming events. Bri took the second photo and I took the first. I went to Widener for about 2 months and dropped out back in 1980. I was an education major, but it proved to difficult of a school for me. The campus has a lot of new additions and looked so different to me.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mom drove out yesterday!

Surprise! Mom hasn't driven out since last July! Yesterday Mom said she was thinking about taking a drive and lo and behold I heard a car horn honk at about 1:45 and there she was. I may have enticed her to hit the road when I mentioned the Peebles 90% off sale. And that's where we went-for 2 hours!! She had a cart load of stuff. I also bought a few more things, how could I not? They had one of those massage chair cushions on display that went up and down your entire back-(HoMedicsTherapist Select™ Shiatsu Back Massager
Model SBM-200
)It was awesome and I think it helped mom. I went online where it was $20 cheaper than Peebles and ordered two of them from Home Depot because of their 10% off promo until the 9th. This will be a birthday gift for me and a Christmas gift for mom!

Sean has off today and just got up within the last half hour. He wants to take a drive up to a big mall. I have 6 things to mail for eBay, so maybe we can stop to get them on their way. Brian has my van as his car is getting looked at (starter problem maybe?)
I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Busy, busy

I've been actually busy! Can you tell? I've sold quite a few things on eBay-for a change. Many of them were Halloween related, guess that helps.
Last night I made stuffed cabbage rolls. I think I picked a head of cabbage what was getting old or something, because I just didn't get nice, loose rolls. I was looking for a recipe and found one in an 'old' General Foods cookbook from the year I was born. The only spices it said to add were savory and salt and pepper. Not sure what savory is, but I think it has something to do with turkey stuffing. I decided to pull a Sandra Lee, and threw in a packet of sloppy joe seasonings to the ground turkey, onion, green pepper and rice mix for the filling. It really made a different! I cooked the rest of the cabbage longer and will roll up some more leaves and freeze them.
I did a little shopping yesterday. The local mostly clothing store had summer clothes for 90% off! They are smart and stuck some of the 50% stuff in with them, but I did manage to find a few tops and skirts for next year. I'm getting ready to put away all my summer wardrobe for the year even though it was around 80 yesterday.
We're thinking about seeing comedian Lewis Black down at Widener University in Chester. I called the college and the show is open to the public, but the young woman could not quote me a ticket price. If you don't know who Lewis is, he's a regular on 'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart. He talks about things in the news and world in general that bug him. He is so spazzy-that's what is so funny. Crossing fingers.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The artistry of Nancy Noel

I love Nancy Noel's life like paintings. I've had 'Faith' hanging in my living room for at least 15 yrs. Now she will act as a memorial to the girls in PA. Ms. Noel also has several books and I own some of them too. One is about angels-that reminds me of my grandmom Ruth because I saw the word 'believe' glowing on the cover (in the dark) for the first time shortly after she passed away.
I found this on her site and it reflects on the tragic event that occurred yesterday.

In memory of 5 young girls

Doesn't look like a place for a massacre, does it?
Little girls similar to the ones who lost their lives over the last two days.

Dressing the window

I thought I'd have some fun this Halloween with my new window! My mom bought me the tree with the orange lights. I had the other things that I never really had a fun place to display them. Trying to find them was driving me 'batty'. I need to condense my decorations! Anyway, that is Casper the Ghost holding the candles and a totem pole of pumpkins next to him. The lights are taped up, so I hope they hold. I like how my white curtains look orange from the glow of the lights. Thanks to Bri for taking this photo.

Monday, October 02, 2006

So close

Brian works in Quarryville, about 10 miles away from this morning's tragedy. We live at the end of the pink line. Nickel Mines is near the Strasberg Railroad and an area of Lancaster we visit all the time. We are all sick about this. I can't even imagine what those girls went through.

Holiday Cooking Blogger style

Recipe exchange hosted by Overwhelmed.
Take a gander!
Sean's favorite:

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups graham crackers
1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup butterscotch chips (can be omitted)

Melt butter in a cake pan. Sprinkle crumbs over butter and pour

Eagle brand condensed milk over the crumbs.
Top with remaining ingredients in the order given and press down firmly.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly brown at 350 degrees.



1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1 (18 1/2 oz.) pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (3 3/4 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c. cold water
1/2 c. Wesson oil
1/2 c. Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 10 inch tube pan or 12 cup

Bundt cake pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.
Mix all ingredients together and pour over nuts.
Bake 1 hour. Cool. Invert on serving plate.
Prick top. Drizzle smooth glaze evenly over top and sides.
Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until all glaze is used.


1/4 lb. butter
1/4 c. water
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. Bacardi dark rum

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar.

Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in rum.
Optional: Decorate with whole maraschino cherries and
border of sugar frosting or whipped cream. Serve with seedless grapes dusted with powdered sugar.

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe
Crisco Butter Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Preparation time: 30 to 35 minutes
Baking time: 8 to 13 minutes/baking sheet
About 3 dozen cookies

1-1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup Butter Flavor CRISCO all-vegetable shortening

or 3/4 Butter Flavor Crisco stick
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (6-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecan pieces (optional)*

Heat oven to 375ºF. Combine brown sugar, Butter Flavor

Crisco Shortening, milk and vanilla in large bowl.
Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat egg into creamed mixture.
Combine flour, salt and baking soda.

Mix into creamed mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if used.
Drop rounded measuring tablespoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake one baking sheet at a time at 375ºF for

8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies
(they will look light and moist), or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies.
DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack;
remove cookies to rack to cool completely.

* If nuts are omitted, add an additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Bar Cookies
Prepare dough according to directions in recipe.

Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan with Butter Flavor Crisco. Spread dough evenly in pan.
Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until top is golden brown

and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
and center feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Large Rounds
Prepare dough according to directions in recipe.

Grease small area in center of baking sheet.
Cover with 12 inch square of foil. Place one-fourth of the dough in the center of the foil.
Round into a small circle with spatula or rubber scraper.

Grease 12-inch square of waxed paper.
Place greased side down on top of dough.
Flatten with round cake pan or pie pan to form a 7-inch circle.
Remove wax paper. Bake at 375ºF for

9 to 10 minutes or until light golden color
overall with slightly darker edge.
remove to rack to cool completely
Repeat with remaining cookie dough or use to make standard size cookies.

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE OR DIP - Melt 1 cup semi-sweet or

white chocolate pieces with 1 teaspoon Butter Flavor
Crisco Shortening on VERY LOW heat. Stir well.
If too thick to drizzle, add 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon
more shortening to thin. Drizzle from end of spoon back and
forth over cookie. Sprinkle with nuts before chocolate hardens,
if desired. (To harden chocolate quickly, place in refrigerator for a few minutes)
or spoon melted chocolate into custard cup.
Dip one end of cooled cookie halfway up in chocolate.
Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts before chocolate
hardens, or drizzle with contrasting white or dark chocolate. Place on waxed paper.

Shooting in Amish country!

This just happened about 10:45 am. It happened in a one room school house with only 27 students. This is in southeastern Lancaster County. A man entered the school and they say about 3 children have been killed. I'll update this. It's very close to Chester County where I live.


Close-ups of two of my many African Violets. My mom had purchased these a few years back at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The pink flower isn't part of the plant, but the plant has pink in it's leaves. The one above is called 'Frozen in Time' from The Violet Gallery. I love the lime green around the white flowers.

This is near my dining room window. I rearranged everything last week. The teak tea cart was a gift from my late cousin who owned Dane Decor. That's the wicker chair I spray painted. I made the scarecrow back in 1993! My Uncle Don painted the blue bird painting above the shelf. The floral box under the cart contains cooking magazines! Isn't it pretty?

Flea market trip

Sean wanted to take me to the flea market that was held in the parking lot of his college yesterday, so the two of us went. I wasn't sure if I was up to it, I've had a few hairy days, but you know, the fresh air and sun did a body good! We got there a little late, around 2-ish, and I purchased a rickety little child's wicker rocker, being held together by a thread, for $15. I plan just to use it for display purposes. The wicker is falling apart in many areas, and I may tie some pretty ribbons around the arms to prolong it's already long life. The seat is a floral needlepoint with a black background- to me worth the $15 I spent. I cleaned it up a bit (yeck it was dirty) and I'll photograph it tomorrow.
I bought a book on making Victorian items like a dollhouse, a needlebook doll and other lovelies. Then the Penn State alumni was getting rid of stuff for 25¢ each. I was tempted a bit, but more for my eBay sales. I collect mushrooms, so I found a red alabaster one. I need to find what I did with my mushroom collection! I use to have them all lined up on the three front windows before they became a bay window. Right now I want to get some Halloween things in the front window and I have to take out many of the glass items that are in there now. I need to do a little more outside decorating and clean up too. So much to do, so little time.
We stopped by to see my brother Ken and his family. My nephew Kenny has had a growth spurt and is about 5 feet tall now! He's got gorgeous, thick alburn hair. His sister Tori's hair is way down her back and ends in curls. I told her she could pass for Sean's sister. She said, "I'd love to be his sister!" Of course Sean was grinning ear to ear. : )

Here's my little child's rocker

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