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It is what it is...

Updated: 2018-02-14T15:00:17.945-08:00


Mother's Day 2014...


Mother's Day.A day to spend with your children and family and in-laws and extended family of in-laws and about a million other people who take their moms out to lunch. Yep, that was how I spent this Mother's Day 2014. There were 22 people (crazy, right?!) in our family, meeting at a local restaurant for lunch. There were 6000 others with the same idea. Good thing we had reservations. We only waited almost 2 hours for a table and 3 hours to get served once we were seated at the table. The server notified us 15 minutes before our food was served that we were almost next! Two hours later we all took a vote and decided the server didn't know how to tell time or had quit. There is a 50/50 chance both of our guesses were true. The manager ran by on his way to a table of 10 to apologize for the delay. He must not have noticed our 5 tables shoved together. It looked like we were trying to set a record for most people crammed into a corner section. On a side note, this paragraph reminds me of those math/word problems from grade school. If Johnny had 4 quarters and 3 friends, how much was a gallon of milk at the corner grocer and what is x? Huh? Those math problems always stumped me. As a mom, I felt it was my duty to entertain the kids sitting in our section. We played "Heads Up!" on my phone until my battery went dead. Good thing everyone I knew was at the table and I could just take a long walk to the end if I needed to speak to anyone. I won every game by the way. You are only as good as the person(s) giving the clues. That's what they told me. We had our "breakfast" at 4:00 in the afternoon. Is that still considered brunch time? I need to know! The good news was we canceled our dinner reservations. It seemed wrong to go straight from breakfast to dinner. And...we sort of had all our meals at once in the middle of the day. We went home and had just enough time to get ready for part two of the festivities. We were heading for a concert in the big city. We had to pick up my mother-in-law and meet my son and daughter who had left ahead of us. We made it to the concert and our seats just as the room went dark and the concert was about to begin. There was a couple sitting in the middle section of our reserved seats. They wouldn't move. The usher sat my husband and mother-in-law next to each other and told my son to sit somewhere else. My daughter and I were sent to the empty seats at the end of the aisle. Siberia would have been closer. The pillar blocking our view was the icing on the cake. I laughed. What else was I to do! I have lots of patience and can find humor in most situations. My son somehow convinced the seat poachers that they needed to move over one seat so he could sit next to his dad. They obliged but told my son that if the person who was really supposed to sit in that seat arrived he would have to give up his spot. My son said the people who were really supposed to be sitting in those seats were his mom and sister sitting over by the pillar. Halfway through the first part of the concert the usher came down the aisle with a couple whose seats just happened to be the seats she had placed us in. My daughter showed her our tickets and explained what had happened and she waved her flashlight at some seats a few rows closer and told us to go sit there. She had us covered. Musical chairs at a music concert! Oh boy! We squeezed and apologized our way to the next set of seats in the middle of the row hoping and praying nobody showed up for them. There were a couple seats on the stage and I told my daughter we were going to end up there if this seat switching didn't end soon. Intermission.  Half an hour to wait in line to use the one (yes, that is true) restroom. It is an old theater. I guess nobody went to the bathroom in the 1920's. There was one ladies room and one men's room and lots of people ordering drinks at the bar. I wish our restaurant server was around to do the math on that one.&[...]

Metal mania goes milder....

My son plays metal music, and every once in a while he plays something I just love. This tune was made up on the spot after a party. It's a rough cut and bad shooting light but I think the pretty sound makes up for it. I hope you enjoy it too. 

Random thoughts...


I was born and raised in California, yet I swear I am a Southern girl at heart. Does living in Southern California count as being a girl from the South? I love Mexican food so much, until I actually eat it, then I don't like it so much. Maybe it's the chips and salsa I like so much, or the guacamole; not so much the heavy refried beans and rice and all that cheese. I'm allergic to cheese. I have no business eating Mexican food! I still think I love it...I'm not that crazy about eating green food unless it's a vegetable. I do not like green eggs and ham...or food dyed green for St. Patty's day. Speaking of colored food...I really don't like red velvet cake. It's chocolate cake with red food coloring that makes it look a little like dark blood cake. Eew! I - L.O.V.E.- chocolate. See's please! I don't like hamburgers. I know! It's so un-American! I try! If I have to have one because my family wants to go to In-N-Out I will replace the hamburger patty with French fries. You should try it. It's like being a really unhealthy vegetarian. I don't like ice-cream. I'm a freak! It tastes hot and chalky to me.  It makes my mouth feel dry and I can't drink enough water to quench my thirst if I do have some because I think I may like it if I try it just one more time.'s gross. I'm lactose intolerant too. I have no business eating dairy products. Have I mentioned, I love chocolate! It's a food group in my mind and sits in the most important position on my personal food pyramid. At the top! I don't have a middle name. My mom said it was too hard to think of one. I am named after her. My birthday is the day after hers. What a gift! My dad thought it would be a good idea to name me after my mom. She wanted me to have a very different name. I'm glad I had a dad who didn't think that name was a good idea. It would not have fit with my last name or the names my sisters and parents and brother had. Imagine your sisters names are, Kathy and Susie, and your parents are, Bob and Betty, and your brother is, Chip, and your name is, Francesca. Yep! My mom wanted to name me that. It's a perfectly lovely name. It doesn't go with the flow of names in my family though. It really didn't match my last name at all. My mom didn't want to name me after her so my dad added a second name and combined them. I had a very long name when I was a child. I guess my mom did me a favor by not adding a middle name. I would still be here today filling out Valentine cards for my second grade classmates if that was the case. I didn't really like my name growing up but I do now. It's growing on me. I love romance novels. They make me happy. I love the color blue. Very much. My house has lots of blue and white in the decor. It makes me happy. I also love country French design mixed with traditional. It's so pretty. I love to bake and cook. My kitchen is a happy place in my house. Baking is a stress reliever for me. It provides instant gratification and something delicious at the same time. It also makes more of me to love...I need to learn how to make healthier food. If only it tasted as good as sugar does. "Buddy the Elf" would love an invitation to my house. I have all his favorite food groups in my pantry. I am the third girl in my family. My husband is the third boy in his family. Number four in my family is a boy and in his family it's a girl. My husband and I are born 40 days apart. Both our parents are the same astrological signs. Our dad's are Gemini's, and our mom's are Leo's. We call ourselves the forgotten children because once my brother and his sister were born we were left to our own devices. They were so happy to have something different after three of the same. My husband and I love being the third kid. We got away with a lot because we were easy going and entertainers in our families. I was a human remote when I was a child. My job was to sit next to the television and change channels. It was before remote controls came into exi[...]

Cupid strikes again...


When my husband and I were dating, singing telegrams were all the rage. I received one in my college apartment. A few guys with guitars serenaded me in my bedroom while I played it cool and hid under the covers. I decided to surprise my future husband with a special singing telegram at his place of work. He worked near an airport for a large car rental company which was always busy. I pulled out the big book of yellow pages and started making calls. I wanted Cupid to sing his heart out for my man. 

I found the perfect singing Cupid and set the date and time for Valentine's Day! The only thing I didn't really give much thought to at the time was that Cupid was a male. I expected a female Cupid to show up and sing and dance and make my boyfriend laugh and think I was such a fantastic girlfriend that he should definitely marry me because I was so much fun. I figured I ordered the singing telegram for a guy so they would automatically send a girl. Not the case. Cupid showed up at my boyfriend's place of work in all his diapered, winged, and prancing shirtless glory singing at the top of his lungs and shooting rubber arrows at anyone who crossed his path. My boyfriend, as told to me by my college roommate (who happened to work with him) said he turned redder than a red hot candy heart and tried to hide. Cupid chased him around the store and tried his best to shower him with love and bent arrows. He wouldn't leave until he had done his job and sung his entire song and danced and pranced for everyone and then presented my guy with a certificate of authenticity, verifying he had been hit by Cupid's arrow. It is framed next to our wedding picture. Not really. I don't have a framed wedding picture. I also don't have the certificate or know what happened to it. 

It wasn't really that day that made my husband want to marry me. I think he liked me before Cupid blew in and knew I was the one. Cupid was persistent and prevailed that day. The rest of the time between Valentine's Day every year has been up to us. I will end this with, my husband likes to say being married to him makes every day Valentine's Day. Cupid strikes again! 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Me, my husband, and the serial killer...


When my husband and I were newly married we lived in an apartment a few streets up from famous Hollywood Blvd. We were young and poor and the apartment complex was owned by a friend, so it was just the right price for two very young and naive newlyweds trying to make it on their own. A cast of characters lived there as well. There was the mother and daughter who lived in separate apartments and communicated by yelling at each other out their windows. The mother lived in one corner of the apartment complex and the daughter lived below my husband and I, not particularly close or within reasonable hearing range. The daughter had a voice that sounded like screeching tires and the mother sounded like she smoked in her sleep. I still remember the daughter yelling for her kids to come home. They were most likely blocks away but could hear her with their attuned spidey senses and would come running. The mother would yell out useful information sometimes. She would yell when she wanted to let her daughter know the laundry room was available. I would hear at least five doors open and slam as everyone at home made a mad dash for the laundry room. I went in the laundry room once and never went back. The laundry room was where Hagrid, from Harry Potter lived before he became famous. He was the "plus one" living in our apartment building. There was nothing magical or friendly about this guy. He was scary. The laundry room was a carved out cave of sorts under the building. Hagrid the homeless guy lived there. I went in one time and was about to place my laundry in the washing machine when I heard a strange noise coming from the dark underbelly of the laundry cave. It was Hagrid.He was growling. I may or may not have screamed when I saw him emerge from the depths. I grabbed my clothes and ran. Never to return. I took my laundry home to mama after that encounter. There was a single guy who lived in the building.  Every single time we crossed paths he would look at me and ask me the same question. "Are you a runner?" And then follow with, " If you aren't,  it's not natural to be that skinny." If single guy saw me today he would not ask me that question. I think it was the Dolphin brand shorts I wore with a matching tank top that had him convinced I was an Olympic athlete. Imagine Bruce Jenner, if he was a skinny girl...There were plenty of other characters living on Franklin Ave. A few of Hagrid's friends lived in the alleyway between our apartment complex and the one above us. Our bedroom window happened to face that alleyway. My husband was completely convinced that a certain serial killer on the loose the year we lived there was lurking in the bushes or hanging out in the space between our building and the next, waiting for the right moment to get him. We were both quite the scaredy cats and not the best combo when it came to convincing each other it wasn't going to happen. Did I mention how young and silly we were? One night after watching a particularly spooky news program that proclaimed said Serial Killer was thought to be hiding out in our neighborhood, my husband freaked out. We locked all our rusty windows and bolted our balsa wood front door and shivering like it was the dead of Winter went to bed. It was not Winter. It was "hotter than Hades" Summer! I got up in the middle of the night to get some water. I came back to our room and my husband, who was prone to walking and talking in his sleep, sat bolt upright in bed and pointed behind me. He threw out a few guttural shrieks for emphasis as well. I thought this was it. I thought my husband's worst fear had come to light and the Serial Killer was behind me. I was frozen in fear. I let out a few shrieks of my own. A contest of sorts took place. I screamed and he screamed. Both of us completely out of control, with me screaming&n[...]



My sister gave this to me a while ago to remind me of my years as a Catholic school kid. I don't ever remember a nun giving me the "thumbs up" sign. Typically they gave me the index finger pointing toward the Principal's office sign. I was a great kid. Apparently, I didn't live up to the high standards set by my two older sisters who were 4 and 5 years ahead of me in school. They were practically from another generation! I also didn't live up to the standards imposed by every nun who crossed my path as my teacher. There were many. Sr. Palmyra was my first teacher in elementary school. She was as tall as me in second grade. They made them smaller and mightier way back then. Sr. Palmyra liked my mother. She liked my two older sisters. She prayed for my father. He wasn't really Catholic. She tolerated me. She pinched my cheeks a lot. And I don't think it was because she thought I was cute. When I think of her I think of the times tables. We were required to learn them in her class and recite them every week. I was on a roll until we got to the 12 x ? = ?. To this day I have trouble remembering anything past 12 x 2 = 24. I'm lost after that. Seriously lost! I have managed to get by though with the help of a calculator. They weren't invented yet when I was a student. My time in Sr. Palmyra's class reminds me of numbers.Sr. Pam taught us for a little while. She was the principal of the school and was also a pinch hitter when a teacher was absent and somebodies mother or the janitor couldn't come in and take over. Seriously. We had some doozy "teachers" who I think weren't quite qualified to teach but were available for the right price. In other words they needed to fill their pledge of a million volunteer hours. Some parents volunteered for hot dog day and cupcake day. Others helped in the health office. The brave few volunteered to come in when a teacher was absent and sit at their desk staring at the clock on the wall while the class ran wild. This happened to our class in 6th grade. Our teacher died soon after school began for the year. I think she can be found in the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest teacher ever to have taught. She told us on the first day of school she was older than God and we shouldn't give her any trouble because she was bound to meet her maker soon and would tell Him all about us if we misbehaved. I believed her. I didn't want those pearly gates shutting on me if I happened to follow soon after so I tried my best to be a model student. Just my month into the school year she died. Her successor was none other than the daughter- in-law of my 4th grade teacher. She was a newlywed and needed money to buy a house. We were the answer to her prayers. She was very sweet. I also thought she was very pretty. She didn't last long. Sr. Pam came to the rescue and cracked the proverbial whip and we were back in business after two months of coloring pictures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the Saints every single day and reciting the Lord's Prayer over and over while coloring. Seriously. I think of the waxy scent of a box of 64 Crayola crayons when I think of 6th grade. In high school I had lots of nuns teaching me. It was nun nirvana. At least for them. They all lived together on campus and taught all of the girls who were lucky enough to make it into the prestigious college prep school in our community. I was one of the lucky ones. They didn't ask me what 12 x anything was on the entrance exam so I was golden.  My oldest sister attended the school before me. She was a model student. I may have been or not have been the same. Think the latter if you must. I won't blame you. You may be right! I wasn't necessarily anything like my sister other than sharing the same last name and similar looks. She was quite shy. I was not. She was very studious and conscientious. I was not. I didn't really have to study to do well. It ju[...]

This is Halloween...


 I'm back...I can't believe it's been an entire year since I last posted. I have time now to blog so I will post more often. Fall is my favorite time of year and this little guy is from this amazing in Corona Del Mar, California.They have a spectacular Halloween Boutique every year.This year the theme is Night Gallery. It is the perfect place to get in the mood for Halloween. This is my Fall mantel this year. I was inspired by my visit to Roger's Gardens and found the sinister portrait in the center of the mirror to use as the centerpiece of my decorations. It was waiting for me to find it at a local thrift shop for $4.00. The little white pumpkin was a $1.00 at the same store. The Federal Mirror was at another thrift shop for $12.99 and I had to get it! I have been looking for one for quite some time. My sister found it for me. It was perfect for this space. The candle sconces were from another thrift shopping adventure a few years ago. They were $2.00 a piece. I spray painted them in a taupe shade and hung them to balance the mirror. I made the flower arrangements with faux flowers and added the bows to tie in the Autumn theme. The pumpkin girl sitting in the chair is from Home Goods and the pumpkins were too. Those were purchased two years ago. I added a small garland of colored leaves to the mirror to finish the look.  This is my "Ode to Cinderella"and can be found on my front entry table. I usually have a velvet slipper displayed inside the pumpkin carriage but I switch it out every Fall to this little wonder. I added the creepy mice this year. I usually put them on the steps of my staircase where my daughter's boyfriend likes to take them and hide them in different places in our house. It scares my husband. He thinks they are real. Mice and rats are not his thing. For the record we have never had mice or rats in our house.  My husband grew up in the big city where there were one or two of them from time to time strolling alongside him as he walked home from school in the snow. Not really. It doesn't snow where we live. Ever. I wish it did.My sister gave me this cute Boo thingy. I don't know what to call it but I like it. Happy Fall!I am linking up for the Fall Mantel Party with[...]



Love knots...


Once upon a time my sister had some suitors who came calling in a unique manner. My sister, the Fair Maiden, had long raven hair made of silk and eyes the color of a misty blue sea at dawn. Her suitors did not let her beauty go unnoticed. They courted her on the playground, in class and after school. She was in grade school when they first laid eyes on her. They were her classmates. It was during 6th grade. Her popularity was such that she had her choice of three boyfriends if she so chose. Alas, it was not to be. The Fair Maiden, being only 11 years of age was not allowed to date or have boyfriends.  They were to remain friends as it should be.Until...A few years passed and she grew older. In her fifteenth year she was again approached by the young men who had not forgotten her beauty so many years ago. One in particular was so enamored of her he let his friends convince him of his need to go to her house and profess his love publicly. The three friends made their way to the castle. They did not have to cross a moat or slay a dragon or call to her to let her hair down upon approach of our home. No, they had their own ideas of what a star-crossed - would be lover - should do in the event he needed my fair sister to know of the depths of his love. Most young men who came to the castle to visit the three sisters who lived there rang the doorbell and asked for the sister of their choosing to come to the door. Some called on the telephone and hung up when the Gruff King answered the call instead of the Fair Maiden. The three young boys came with brave hearts and a brazen plan. We don't know how they came to our castle as in those days there was no Google Maps or Facebook or Internet White Pages. The Gruff King liked his privacy and built a fortress around his castle walls to protect his family. He paid extra so our castle address would not be in the phone book or have a telephone operator reveal our number. Our castle was not close to the village where the boys lived. I am convinced that love led the way. The boys set out to find the fairest sister in the kingdom and find her they did. They came on a Saturday. We were all home except for the Gruff King. Twas a good thing, for there might then be a completely different and terrifying story to tell if he had been home. The Gruff King scared boys away. Never to return. I know of what I speak. Once he turned one of my very own suitors away at the door when I was a young lass of sixteen, but that is another story for another time. Suffice it to say, slaying a dragon would have been preferable to facing the Gruff King. Well, to continue with the tale...the Fair Maiden was inside the castle walls playing the theme from Love Story on the piano when a loud cry erupted out front followed by another and another. Shouts for the Fair Maiden to come outside were heard throughout the kingdom. "What is that racket?" shouted the Queen rising from her throne as she tossed the newspaper she had been reading and the peppermint patty she had been about to pop in her mouth up in the air with abandoned glee, for she was bored and in need of something exciting on a dull Saturday. The Gruff King wasn't around to stir the pot and the Queen had her subjects (the other two sisters) working hard cleaning the castle. It would be a welcome relief to have a disturbance. Outside there was a fierce battle being waged with the young men. Two of the boys had pulled a hidden rope from the forest just beyond the castle. The third boy pretended he did not know about the hidden rope. He shrieked with mock horror. He pretended to run. He called for the fair maiden to rescue him. She was not done practicing the piano as the kitchen timer[...]



I'm still here! I have been reading more blogs than posting due to being iPad challenged. I can't seem to figure out how to get my pictures to post. I will begin regular posting again, but will most likely change my format to more house posts than stories. I have a house and it wants some FaceTime on my blog. It shelters me and keeps me warm at night and holds many happy memories. It also holds a few secrets you might be interested in knowing. Until then, I have a little Christmas story for you. A few years ago a relative gave all the men in the family monogrammed snowflake boxers. The next year all the men in the family received silky boxers with a New Year's theme; champagne glasses, party hats, and horns with confetti. They were quite festive to say the least. Last year my husband was the only one to receive a pair of Christmas boxers with jingle bells sewn on the legs. His nickname is Lucky. Anyway, that has nothing to do with the story so back to it. One of the men took quite a liking to the silky boxers. He liked them so much he wore them to the grocery store. He liked them so much he wore them about town. He liked them so much, he wore them to our house for a visit one day. Turns out, he thought they were shorts and not underwear. He had no idea.

Rotator cuff surgery recovery tips


Before I had rotator cuff surgery 5 weeks ago I searched the Internet for recovery tips and advice. I didn't find much other than YouTube videos showing a day to day physical recovery. I was looking for advice on pre and post-op information. I will share what I learned in the process and hope it helps someone else looking for tips on ways to make recovery a much easier experience. This is my experience and may not be the same for anyone else. It is a general list of items and tips I found helpful. Here goes: The best news I will share is the surgery was not painful. I slept through it like a little baby once they slapped the gas mask over my face and asked me to take five deep breaths. I don't remember a thing after that...When I woke up in recovery my arm was in a sling and my shoulder had a bulky wrap covering it. I opted for the nerve block on my shoulder before surgery. My doctor said it numbs the arm and helps ease any pain you might feel after surgery. I felt no pain. I also couldn't feel my arm. That was okay with me. I told my doctor I had zero pain tolerance when asked. I actually am around a 1 out of 10 on the pain scale but I didn't want to brag. I gained a liter while in surgery. The surgeon plumps up your shoulder and arm with a liter of fluid. Nobody told me that was going to happen before surgery or else I would have opted for a contour spray tan to distract from the giant ham hock hanging in a sling that was once my arm. That fluid is the most uncomfortable part of recovery during the first day or two after surgery. My skin was stretched to a "whole notha level" and burned from the pressure. That is the only way I can describe how it felt. It's not a deal breaker or unbearable, just bothersome and irritating. Kinda like some relatives in my family...My surgery was at noon on a Friday and by 7:3o that night I was sitting on the patio in my backyard enjoying the beautiful summer breeze and hanging out with family. The good ones, not the bothersome, irritating relatives. They were told I was in a coma, indefinitely...Pain pills were dispensed by my doctor but I didn't really need them. I take half a pain pill an hour before physical therapy. It really helps and makes it a pleasant experience. I highly recommend it. I didn't take a pill for the first appointment and it was unpleasant to say the least. I have been sleeping in a recliner. It is easier and feels better for my shoulder. If you sleep in a bed surround your shoulder and arm with a pillow underneath. It takes the pressure off your shoulder. I like the recliner because I am confined to a small space and like the cocoon feeling. I may never go back to a real bed again. It also helps prevent bags under your eyes as an added bonus of sleeping in a semi-seated position. Yahoo!I'm a girl, so this next bit of advice may be of no help to the guys out there. I bought (tube/ smocked) strapless maxi dresses for post surgery attire. They have been ideal and I can't recommend them enough if you are having this surgery during the summer or live in a warm climate. You can step right into them and pull them up instead of struggling to get them over your head or get an arm in a sleeve. The maxi length covers your legs so you don't have to worry about unshaved legs. I am right handed and my surgery was on my right shoulder so I am not able to do much about shaving my legs and the dresses cover that little secret. I also bought a long handled buff puff body scrubber for use in the shower. It is a handy thing to have when you only have one arm that works. A velcro closure body towel is another helpful tool for drying off. I also bought a dental floss device with a handle that looks like a toothbrush at Target to floss my teeth. You can floss your teeth using one hand. Tha[...]

Lovebirds...Part III


I made these cupcakes. They are a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I decree these are the best cupcakes in all the land. The rings are from my extensive jewelry collection. I hired a bodyguard to stand near these cupcakes to make sure nobody ate a ring. You never know.
This cupcake flavor was for the bride. She likes white cake with buttercream frosting.
Other people liked them too.
I also made the labels for the the water bottles. I told all the guests if they drank the water they would fall in love. If anyone fell in love after leaving my house on Saturday I feel completely responsible for their good fortune. 

Lovebirds...Part II


My sister made these centerpieces for a bridal shower held at my house. The theme was "Lovebirds."

My sister put these wedding bells on my staircase. She collects them. She says she likes to think of all the happy weddings these bells have decorated.
I dressed these lovebirds in their wedding finery. I'm thinking of opening a wedding haberdashery right next door to Vera Wang. It will take the pressure off her having to think about veils and hats and will allow her to concentrate on those beautiful dresses she makes. Hopefully she has some experience in dressing birds. 

This is not a Vera Wang gown. It wishes it was.



My friend is getting married and I'm the matron of honor. Her bridal shower was held at my house last Saturday.
This is my sister's collection of cake toppers. One of the guests asked how many times she has been married. Once. 
She made the happy couple on the left for one of my wedding anniversaries. It looks just like us.
The four of us are not married to each other.

Mrs. Bobba's Toffee


You must make this! 1 cup butter1 cup sugar  4 cups Kix cerealThat's it - So easy!                           Over medium heat boil sugar and butter stirring constantly until mixture reaches a nice caramel brown color like the second picture.  Turn off the burner.                                   Add the 4 cups of Kix cereal.   Mix until all cereal pieces have been coated.Spread on cookie sheet, parchment paper or wax paper and let cool. It cools quickly, usually in under 5 minutes. Break apart and have a taste. Bet you can't eat just one! These are delicious, buttery, sugary goodness with the crunch of Kix. Store in airtight container or ziplock bag. I haven't met a single person who didn't like this toffee treat. I came by this recipe from my sister-in-law who is a cardiac rehab nurse. It was given to her by a cardiac rehab patient as a gift. Her name is Mrs. Bobba. We call it Mrs. Bobba's Toffee in her honor. [...]

October Birthday Girl...


Life imitates art...  It did not imitate art in this instance because nobody ordered the Jagermeister.  My daughter is the one in the middle. Her dad is trying to convince her and her friends to stay home and play with Barbies instead of going out on the town. It didn't work...Oktoberfest was calling and she had her own stein. That's apple cider...really! My daughter thinks that was Barbie's drink of choice. Happy Birthday, Kiddo![...]

The neighbors...


The neighbor's house at Halloween...

Ghost guards...

Pumpkin people...

Scarecrow family...I call the one in the background, "Creeping Crow."



Simply Fall...Ina Garten Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting..."Gingerbread" Haunted HouseFall decorationsMantel PilgrimsHalloween BannerMrs. PumpkinHalloween Tree[...]

Sew Blue...


 My sister and I made those blue drapes in the dining room. I decided that using a toile tablecloth to make them was a brilliant idea. It is if you can find enough of them. I did not. It made me think of math class in high school. It would have been a good idea to pay attention. I did not. Fortunately for me my sister did. She saved the day. She helped me make these curtains too. I got to hold the tape measure. She got to read it. I guess the difference between one half and five eighths of an inch is significant sometimes. I did not upholster these chairs. I do not have the patience nor the skills. I sold a child to get them. (not really) I made these drapes on my own. A rectangle shape is manageable. Using a glue gun to attach the fringe is even more manageable. I expect a call from my sister immediately after she reads this. I told her I sewed the fringe on with invisible thread.  Nothing to sew here. So I have decided this has to be my favorite spot in the house. My sister helped me here too. This Cinderella slipper and coach is located in the foyer. If Prince Charming shows up we are ready. I have my daughter's bags packed and waiting in the hall closet. She has no idea. (again, not really) [...]

Martha Stewart, my sister and me...


In 1994 I met Martha Stewart. Twice. She has no memory of meeting me. I remember her very well. I have the business card holder in the above picture to remember her by. I also have her autograph in the following picture and a story about my sister, and Martha.Martha autographed her business card for me because I could not afford to buy her Entertaining book at the time. She was very understanding and kind.  I walked away basking in the Martha glow. Above the autograph was a phone number. During Martha's talk she told the audience that we could call her if we ever had a question about gardening or cooking or anything craft related. So one night my sister and her best friend were sharing a bottle of wine.Conversation turned to Martha.The discussion centered around Martha's astrological sign.A debate ensued. Opinions differed and wine flowed. Martha's business card was whipped out of the handy business card holder and the phone number listed on the card was dialed lickety- split. The time difference was not considered. It was late. And three hours later where Martha lives. Martha had told us at the event that she only sleeps about four hours a night and leaves her light on with a note pad and pencil next to her bed in the event she gets a good idea in the middle of the night and needs to write it down. In my sister and her friend's defense I must say the number they were dialing was believed to be an office number. My sister and her pal thought they would leave a message and hope for an answer in return. Turns out it was Martha's home phone number and she answered at two in the morning as chipper and lively as if it were the middle of the day. My sister was bolstered by a little vino and felt quite bold. She also really needed to know Martha's sign. So she asked. Martha playfully answered, "What do you think I am?" My sister responded with " Scorpio?" and Martha said, "Wrong!" in a sing-song voice, and then said, "I'm a Leo!" My sister said, "Of course you are! I should have known!" Martha then asked my sister if she had a cooking or planting or craft question for her. My sister said no and then went on to say she was just a nutty California girl who wanted to win a bet. Martha laughed. My sister thanked her for her time and wished her a good night. Martha wished her the same. A few months went by and Martha came back to our neck of the woods and gave a little talk at a fancy garden center by the beach. I met her for a second time. I sort of followed her around the garden center while the owner gave her a tour of the place. I was early for the event and she was too and I didn't want to sit in the hot sun so I tagged along a few paces behind them and eavesdropped while Martha and the owner talked flowers.  She knew what she was talking about. I didn't have a clue. She spoke of flowers and planting and other garden related issues. I do not have a green thumb. I didn't tell her. I pretended to be a garden gal like all the other people there that day even if all I really cared about was where she bought the fabulous cornflower blue suit she was wearing and who did her hair.  And that's my story about Martha Stewart, my sister and me.[...]

Time's a wastin'...


I've been gone for a while...Come on in and see what's been happening.made some curtains for my kitchen...finished the kitchen...and this room too...had a birthday...ate some of this...chocolate and peanut butter cakeand celebrated again with another cake...had a pinata filled with lotto tickets, whoopie cushions, poppers, and party horns. We had a winner!finished with this little number...hung out with these two beauties...hung out with this guy too...and read a few books...andspent a lot of time reading all of your blogs.I'd say I have been extremely productive.[...]

Lights Out...


(image) Next time I book a room at a fancy hotel I won't ask for extra towels. I'll ask for extra light bulbs. Light bulbs that have more light in them than one little firefly. This is the room my sister and I stayed in last weekend. Can you see her? All the lights are on.
(image) We took the black lampshade off the center light so I could take this picture of my sister getting ready to go to bed. It was too cold to go swimming so she is diving into her bed instead. The beds in this hotel cater to giants. I counted 4 mattresses. There may have been more but I'll never know because I'm a product of "all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten." I did a triple dismount worthy of the Olympic Games every time I launched myself off the bed. By Sunday I was so good at it that I took a flying leap and bounced off my sister's bed right into the bathroom scoring a 9.5 with the judges, otherwise known as the people in the room below us who thought they were experiencing "The Big One!" a California earthquake. Next time I'm bringing my miner's cap, a ladder and a chalk bucket to chalk up my hands for a better grip on the bedpost so I can score a perfect 10.

Breakfast anyone?


(image) (image) It's almost time for open house again at school. The little artists are hard at work drawing pictures for their families to see. I decided to give you a small preview of what's in store for you. Can you guess the title of the first picture? It's very obvious if you ask me. It's . . . "Pancake Machine". At least that's what the 7 year old artist calls it. The second picture is a "Pancake on a Stick" employee forced to wear a ridiculous hat. The artist calls it, "Pancake Robot". I'm not so sure this student has ever eaten a pancake in his life or even seen one. Education isn't what it used to be.

Birds of a feather...


(image) Spring has sprung early at my house... I forgot to put up a "No Vacancy" sign and a bird laid some eggs in the nest on my front door wreath. I left a rent receipt. It left bird poop.
(image) anyone know where I can get a little bird saddle?

(image) I call this "bird on a wire"... they don't call me the clever one for nothin'
(image) I call this whatever I want on any given day...most of the time I just whistle at it...
(image) I call this "Art"...because it didn't come from Target.