Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday Morning with Rosy

First time using a sifter. She did a great job!
Dustings of sugar on Rosy's cute face and arms.
Rosy treated the cookies with care. She didn't break any of them!
Proud of cookies.
Hormel Wranglers. Yum!
Reading while the cookies baked.

I brought Rosy to my home yesterday to spend some time together and to bake cookies. I had shown my home to her more than a year ago - just a quick walk through. This time she would get to see Peppi and we could visit and have some fun.

First we mixed icing for the cut-out cookies (bunnies and chicks). Then I showed her how to decorate them. While the cookies dried, we baked chocolate chip cookies (every one's favorite, right?). She told me she had never helped with this before and thought it was fun. I let her do as much as possible - sift the powdered sugar, stir in the butter, food coloring and flavoring, shake the sprinkles, and form the balls of dough. Math even played a part as she was adding dozen to dozen, totaling 72 cookies. She got some sugar on her face (which I thought was cute). Then she asked if she could come next December to do more decorating of cut-outs. Of course! I'd love to have her come again.

After lunch, we prepared a little carton of cookies for my upstairs neighbor. I had told Rosy that my neighbor's wife had died last September. She told me she would tell him she was sorry. My neighbor was pleased to meet Rosy and to get the cookies.

We packed the rest of the cookies in a large container for Rosy to take to her family. I'm pretty sure they'll be a big hit.

Friday, March 27, 2009


It's been a very long week, seemingly. Last evening was my first night at home! It felt so good to catch up on my mail, balance my check book, do some laundry, and watch a little TV.

Last Saturday I got a new box spring and mattress - my previous set was still under warranty and had begun to have deep sags. The new set I chose is firm - very firm - perhaps too much so. It's not a pillow top (I guess I don't care for them anymore) - and it's about 4 inches or more shorter than the pillow top. Anyway, I have had to adjust to it. Last night I slept like a rock. I didn't get up once - and I'm not sure I even turned over. Now, that's amazing! I have 60 nights to sleep on it to decide whether or not I will keep it.

It's still cold here - we haven't been above freezing for the past 48 hours. We had snow off and on yesterday. I'm not complaining, really. When seeing what the folks in western Minnesota and North Dakota (Fargo; Grand Forks/Moorhead) are dealing with, I must keep my mouth shut. I actually saw the sun on my drive to work this morning. :-)

Tomorrow morning I am bring Rosy to my home to bake and decorate cookies. I'm sure we will have fun together. She is such a sweet girl.

That's it. It's Friday, and I'm happy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What to Do?

Today I woke up thinking I'd like to do something special after church. One thing that came to mind was to drive with a friend over to the Mississippi River to see the eagles. The report last week was there were hundreds of them in the area -- some migrating, some nesting. Unfortunately, none of my friends was able to do this on short notice. So, on to plan B.

Friday I had a conversation with one of the artists at work who is designing a book cover with a Jewish girl as her subject. I told her about a Jewish book and gift store in St. Louis Park that I had gone to some years ago, thinking she might be able to find some inspiration there. Telling her about it pushed me to check it out on the Internet: Brochin's Book and Gift. Since this is not very far from my church building, I headed there. It is quite interesting. They have beautiful things. The first thing that caught my eye was the braided candles. I had bought these before. They're just like the ones used in the film The Fiddler on the Roof, in the wedding scene. Next time you watch this film, look closely at the candles. They have three or four wicks. The proprietor told me they are used primarily at the conclusion of their services. I bought one. It's blue and white with four wicks.

I also bought a beautiful book, Pearl's Passover, by Jane Breskin Zalben and a wonderful CD, Itzhak Perlman in the Fiddler's House - not the concert hall music usually associated with America's greatest violinist, but contemporary klezmer music - the kind we hear at Jewish weddings and parties. It's really fun!

Next I went to Byerly's and wandered around, picking up some delicious looking fruit and a treat at the bakery (shame on me). The next stop was a shoe store where I finally found some Spring shoes in which my orthotics fit. Yay! No more black shoes EVERY SINGLE DAY! I'm sure most of you agree: wearing the same two pairs of shoes day after day, month after month, is boring.

Down the sidewalk from the shoe store is Half Price Books. I've never been in one of these so decided to enter (Peder mentions this store often.). It was a bit overwhelming, so I narrowed my sights to three sections: collectibles; cookbooks (bought one); and DVDs. I looked for The Bucket List, but they didn't have one.

Now, my last frontier for the day: Trader Joe's. Many of my friends talk about "this and that" purchased there, and tell me I should check it out. It's not a big store, but it was full of shoppers. I couldn't help but think, "Heidi would LOVE this store! If they don't have one in Seattle, I'll have to take her to this one next time she comes home." I would say at least half of their things were organic - maybe more. I bought four boxes of soup: Sweet Potato Bisque, Organic Creamy Tomato Soup, and two boxes of Butternut Squash Soup. I also bought two bunches of fresh daffodils and a bar or organic shea butter soap. I've been home 2.5 hours and the daffodils are opening! Ah! They are so pretty.

That was my outing today. I had a great time!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Bucket List

On the long flight to Ukraine last May, the airlines on which we were flying showed several movies. I got interested in one that was already in progress, The Bucket List. The Bucket List is a 2007 comedy-drama film written by Justin Zackham, directed by Rob Reiner, and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The story follows two terminally ill men (Nicholson and Freeman) on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket (this is from Wikipedia).

Last night I watched it again (Netflix) and really enjoyed it. Why? It is thought provoking, entertaining, funny in places, sad in others. It may not be for everyone, but I plan to purchase a copy to have in my library.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Should I Drag Out My Spring Clothes?

This weekend we have had the best weather in a very long time. Why, five days ago my family and I couldn't get together due to a blizzard, and just three days ago, we were 4 degrees below zero! Right now it is 54 degrees and sunny! I have been going in and out of my home without a jacket, mittens, or earmuffs. I feel so free. Wheeeee!

I'm in the process of swapping out my winter wall photos for spring/summer ones. My ruby red glassware is safely tucked away for awhile and my milk glass and cranberry glass is now catching my eye. The dark velvet pillows are put away and in their place are my pastel ones. Light-color table cloths now cover my tables. I love all of it, but it never ceases to amaze me how much I want one over the other.

Our snow banks are nearly a thing of the past. Yes! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! I had my car washed and waxed on my way home from church this morning. It purred like a kitten all the way home ~ and it looks brand new!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thanksgiving Get-together in March

"I had such a nice nap."
Tidying up
Having lots of fun jumping on bubble wrap.
Riding her pony

Yesterday Peder and Sarah hosted a Thanksgiving Day dinner at their home since their four parents were either out of state or out of the country for the traditional Thanksgiving Day last November. It was really a fun time, complete with a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and apple pie dinner. When I arrived, there was a Viking's football game being shown on the TV (actually recorded last Thanksgiving Day). Sarah got so "into it" that when her brother offered to run to the grocery store for something, she said, "Aren't the stores closed today?"
Aurelia was the main event of the day. She was so cute. I'm amazed at the sign language she has learned along with words - words and signs such as: dog (pats the side of her leg), bird (puts her fingers to her nose like a beak), please (rubs her tummy), more (taps her little fingers from both hands together), and others. Why didn't we teach our kids sign language? Why don't I know sign language? These new parents are doing a great job with our grandchildren! I'm so proud of them.

Friday, March 06, 2009


I like my job very much. And I enjoy tutoring Rosy at One-by-One on Mondays and rehearsing with my church choir on Wednesdays, but I'm sure looking forward to sleeping late tomorrow morning. Oh, I'll probably wake up at 7:30 or 7:45. But knowing that I have no commitments or appointments, I'll be able to be a bit lazy.

I love days wherein I have no obligations. I'll probably clean Peppi's cage, and I may sew for a little while. But I'll have the luxury of watching a couple of cooking shows, looking through some magazines, or perhaps doing a little cooking or playing the piano. The weather doesn't sound promising, so I'm not counting on going for a walk. We'll see. It will just be nice to take it a little easy.

Oh, I almost forgot - - I have to move my clocks ahead an hour before I go to bed tomorrow night. That's right. Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday at 2 am.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rosy's New Look

Rosy is now sporting glasses. Isn't she cute?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Recipe to whiten old linens

In cleaning out the linen closet yesterday, we came upon a pair of embroidered pillow cases that Heidi's grandmother had made for her years ago. The design is Holly Hobbie. The pillow cases had yellowed with age. So tonight I threw them in the washing machine, but was disappointed to see they hadn't whitened any. Then I remembered a recipe Aunt Liz gave me years ago. Here it is:

1 cup dishwasher powder
1/4 cup liquid bleach (I used Clorax)
1 gallon of very hot water

Stir together and add linens. Soak for 30 minutes. Rinse in clear water.

I made the recipe, tossed in the pillowcases, and a half hour later, wallah! They are very white, and the embroidery colors look bright and beautiful. You may want to tuck this recipe away.

Call it Gifts, Call it Talents, Call it Whatever . . .

Janet reorganized this Lazy Susan for me.

This food pantry was a disaster waiting to happen. Plus, I couldn't find things.

Former messy linen closet is now the organized food pantry.

This apron used to be my favorite. I made it in 1982. See how threadbare it is? I decided it was time for a new one. It took the persuasion of my relatives for me to toss the old one into the garbage yesterday. (Notice the contents of the linen closet on my sofa and part of my food pantry on the table behind the sofa.)

New "everyday" apron - fresh from my sewing machine.

Former food pantry; my new linen closet.

It seems everyone one in my family has at least one special gift. One remembers everything he reads, another is comfortable on stage and off. One has the gift of focus - she remains so focused, so reliable. One is a marvelous teacher, another has the gift of creativity. One can take a broken machine and turn it into one as good as new. My sister is thoughtful; my brother has servant-like behavior. An aunt has the gift of hospitality, the other aunt - the gift of gentleness and humbleness. My grandkids have the gift of sunshine. Yes, they bring sunshine to my life.

My cousin Pat has the gift, talent and whatever you want to call it, of organization. She can come to my home (she's ALWAYS welcome), take one look at the inside of one of my closets, and without scolding, start to remove everything and organize it into catagories. Last October she completely redid the closet in my cottage. Yesterday she tackled my food panty and linen closet. Both were a mess! I discovered I had many more cans of this and that, and a few other surprises. With her keen eye, all like items are now together, and life in that part of my home should run a lot smoother.
P.S. I found my ear muffs. They were in my car!