Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ruffle Bag

Last weekend I had a FABULOUS birthday party to attend....for THE miss eff....and I certainly couldn't show up looking like a needed a new bag. I was feeling ruffly....we all have those days, right?

And flowery. Okay, so maybe I looked like a ruffly, flowery hobo.
I'll post a quick tute on how to make these super cute flowers soon!
(Don't hold me to that though.....cucumbers are taking over my life. I think I hear one sneaking in the back door right now.)

I'm always jealous of the fab photos all the blogger girls have of them holding a cute bag, etc. There are no grownups in my house during the light of day to take photos (besides me and sometimes I don't feel much like a grown up either).

I have two little boys. Who tried their best. ;-)

Linked up to:

Weekend Wrap Up Party

Sundae Scoop

When the Cat is Away....

.....we paint! With our fingers!

Daddy is not a huge fan of messes....I, on the other hand.....well we all know how I feel about messes. He he he.

The Book

Guess what came in the mail yesterday. Oh yeah. I had squirreled away a Barnes and Noble gift card since Christmas....waiting for the PERFECT item to buy. The card was a gift from our local funeral director for helping him design new funeral programs. Do you think I have a weird life? I think I'll just call myself a renaissance woman instead. ;-)
The perfect moment came when my friend Cath, aka "Miss Effie", recommended the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Did you know we can make mustard AT HOME? AND PRESERVE IT? I was sold.
(I did also buy the rest of the Twilight series to complete my collection....don't judge.)

And this is what I and my new best friend will be doing the rest of the day.

(well not really, but it's a nice thought anyway)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Garage Sales and Egyptians

The past two days we have spent cleaning the boys' room....and sorting....and cleaning....and sorting....and cleaning. Who knew two tiny people could have SO MUCH JUNK?! This was all in preparation for "the big boy bed". Our two year old made the leap. So, we needed to make space, which included taking down the crib (sniffle, sniffle). We're "done" if you know what I the next time the crib will be up is for grandbabies (am I that old?)
In the process of sorting, cleaning, sorting, cleaning I had an epiphany. Well actually I didn't...the idea had been stewing around in my brain since reading my friend Katie's post about "stuff" and frankly, how we have too much of it. SOOOO....I'm having a garage sale. My first ever. Crazy, huh? I can't even count change....and I'm having a garage sale. ;-)
This is my little pile as of yesterday (not including the furniture)'s grown since then.

Then, while we were sorting and cleaning and sorting...well you get the friend Dan delivered some aluminum sheet metal. Guess what that means? A SIGN!! I have my second ever paid commission!! A sign for a local daycare/learning center! I'll get to work on this on Saturday when I get into town to buy paint....I'll give you a sneak peak when it's finished.

SO.....when Dan came the boys went skittering off in every direction....ahh!! someone we don't know!!! you know how it is. When I came back into the house we returned to work upstairs with the boys inquiring as to "the man" outside. We talked about whose dad he was...that cleared it up for Marshall. Clancey wanted to know "what he does?". Well.....Dan has a very interesting job...he's an embalmer....and a race car driver. This sparked some very interesting questions...which led us to a favorite book...."The Ancient Egyptians", in which they describe in "kid friendly terms" what the Egyptians did to prepare people who had passed away.

I basically told the boys this is what Dan does, minus the sarcophagus. To this they wondered why the guy on the table died. I said "well he probably just got old and died." To which Clancey says "old like you?"

Uh, no. Thanks for asking.

I told the guys we just need to live a healthy life and hopefully we'll live a long time. To which Marshall responded......

I think I need to eat more fruit today.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cake, Treasures and Friends

Today was a fun day. I used my JPS (Jen Positioning System) pictured above to meet my good friend Kim at an undisclosed awesome place to find old treasures....perhaps I'll share that location with you someoday...maybe not.

Okay, okay, I'll tell you where it is after the gals at Mill Creek Cafe have a chance to snatch up these soda fountain pieces.....they've always wanted to add a soda fountain to the cafe. :-)
Now they just need to add a jerk. Soda jerk that is. I make myself giggle....(that's one of you, you're thinking. ;-)

How about a malt? Stop in soon at Mill Creek. You just might get one.

And then we went a place where you forget that you need to balance your checkbook that night... and that you need to find three competitive roofing bids in the next several weeks....and that carbs are bad.

We saw the girls.

Who gave me these.

We ate THE BEST homemade french chocolate ice cream ever to exist on the planet.
We ate THE BEST carrot cake and chocolate cake ever to exist on the planet.
Gained a little friend who liked to poke his fingers into Kim's ice cream.
And relaxed.
Thanks Miss Eff.
The end.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Spicy Garlic Pickles many cucumbers in my garden that something occurred to me today as I was picking ANOTHER grocery sack full......
what will I do with them when I'm done making pickles?
Frankly I got a bit panicky. I REALLY don't like to waste I'll keep picking as long as they are producing. I'm going to have to get creative I think. I've never had this problem situation in the cuke department before.....does anyone have ideas out there...besides pickles?
When my mom and dad were here this week we made Spicy Garlic Pickles.
I've never tried this one before but it sounds DELICIOUS!
Now....we'll wait 6 weeks and crack one open for the verdict!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Could Be Worse

Just a little somethin' to make us all feel better about the heat and humidity. :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I can't make this stuff up folks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Train to Chicago

Vacation! We had a wonderful time taking the boys on the train to Chicago a few weeks ago. My husband is a great "live" check out the trip over on his blog if you like.....there is one story in particular that is hysterical (now...not so much at the time).

Clancey enjoyed watching out the window.....but I think he enjoyed the bag of
snacks even more. ;-) He is a growing boy, dontcha know.

My guys....the "dinosaur trio", outside the Field Museum. Aren't they scary looking? ;-) Actually daddy dino looks like he's bustin' a dino move. He he he.

Beautiful beautiful Field Museum interior.

Union Station.....just waiting for the train. By himself....he's a big boy afterall.
Wait a minute! Is that cousin Bill? We pondered it for a bit....but decided it wasn't.
Do you think everyone has a twin? We were believers that day!

This is the way to wait for transportation! Such a beautiful station.
The end.

Let Your Light Shine

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, it is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Who am I to be brilliant, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other...people won't feel
insecure around you. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." ~Marianne Williamson

Is this not wonderful? I found this today.....and it made me smile.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zucchini Bars with Spice Frosting

Zucchini here, zucchini there, zucchini everywhere!! Did you know August 8 is "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day"? That always makes me giggle. Watch might find a sack on your porch. ;-) We haven't been completely overrun yet...although I did find a hidden zucchini today that had managed to grow to just shy of the size of the Hindenburg. There are lots of delicious zucchini recipes out there....and they are SUPER easy to have at it zucchini growers!! Check out my friend Kim's yummy zucchini fritters...DELISH.
I was lucky enough to have an awesome zucchini shredding assistant today.
The child has found his calling. ;-)

We feasted on Zucchini Bars with Spice Frosting today. They were seriously good. Myself, not being a HUGE fan of frosting might leave the frosting off next time ( WAS really good) and just sprinkle with powdered sugar.




2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves1 cup shredded zucchini -- drained

1/2 cup chopped nuts


3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter or margarine -- softened

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves3 teaspoons milk (maybe more)

Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and sides of 8" or 9" square pan. Mix brown sugar, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in zucchini and nuts. Spread in pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost with Spice Frosting. Cut into bars. FROSTING: Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Prayers For Ross

Remember how I mentioned "when it rains it pours"? We thank our stars that our raining includes nails and drywall and shingles and not our health.
That is not so for our dear friends the Butterbrodts.
Ross Butterbrodt, father of three, is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor (childhood kidney cancer) in 1963. His left kidney was removed and subsequent treatment consisted of heavy doses of radiation. The surgery and radiation that followed saved his life, but he has dealt with the after effects of radiation throughout his life. He has had many surgeries and has many chronic conditions, all related to the radiation damage. In the fall of 2009 he was referred to Mayo from UIHC. He had major surgery, which was followed by multiple complications, lingering into the spring of 2010.In June 2010, a new chapter began as he was diagnosed with a rare form of a very aggressive cancer. (I took this info from Ross' CarePage....written by his wife, our associate pastor, Lynn.)
Next Saturday the community will rally behind this incredible family, as we come together at the Butterbrodt Benefit. It gives us purpose. It gives us "something" to do....while I know the family was hesitant to agree to a benefit I am thankful they did. Now all of us back home can feel like we are doing SOMETHING to a situation we feel powerless in.

Benefit for Ross Butterbrodt
Saturday July 24, 2010
Clarence City Park
2:00pm-4:00pm Car Show

2:00pm Bean Bag Tournament- $20.00/team
25% payback– 16 years and older

2:00pm Silent Auction (closes at 8:30pm)

4:00pm Pork Sandwich Supper
(free will donation)

6:30pm Live Auction

Cash or checks (made out to the Clarence Volunteer Fire Department/Ross Butterbrodt Benefit) can be left at the Clarence Community State Bank
For more information please contact
Melody Hunwardsen or Kasey Sander
Bracelets are also being sold for Ross's benefit (orange or yellow) for $2.00 a piece. They can be picked up at Community State Bank in Tipton or Clarence or can contact Vickie Butterbrodt at 563-886-4286 or Amy Butterbrodt at 563-886-6641
Ross is a fireman, assistant chief to be I thought it would be fitting for my "donation" to the auction be a sign for the fire department. If there are any firemen, or family of firemen or past firemen or someone who just thinks the Clarence FD is cool.....please come to the auction and bid on the sign.....and all the other wonderful items that have been donated.
You'll be doing SOMETHING.
And if you can't be there....please just say a prayer.

When it Rains it Pours...Literally & Figuratively

First, I would like to say how much I adore Miss Effie. I just want to make that statement for the world to hear. Did you see this yesterday? It seriously made my day. So in honor of her, I'm posting this photo I took on our little vacation to Chicago (the Museum of Natural History to be exact). I thought of her when I read this.....and took the photo.
We took a little vacation this's just that kind of year. Little. Economical. That's sort of how it is for everyone right now, right? Once upon a time a wonderful ninety eight year old neighbor told me about her experiences during the Great Depression. She told me "we didn't realize we were poor...everyone was." I'm thankful my husband has a good job and we know how to save and be frugal. Because........apparently when it rains it pours, when it comes to home addition to the shower/bathroom that needs serious plumber help, the kitchen that needs put back together, and the mower that had to be is now becoming painfully obvious we are in need of a roof repair.....that requires the removal of the chimney, which requires a new water heater to be power vented, which requires the AC unit to be moved. After which, the roof will need to be repaired and new shingles installed.
On the bright side, I can now have the green shingles I've always coveted.'s darn good that the garden is producing like we can eat all winter. ;-)

The far.

Aren't these pretty? I have one plant that decided to produce purple peppers.....out of eight.

The cherry tomatoes. I'm going to try sundrying them this year.

The blackberries. Yum.

The garden.....from the east. It looks really green doesn't it?
I'm thinking I need more flowers in there.

The green beans, which are fenced like Fort Knox....but apparently we have fenceclimbing rabbits. I went out today to pick and a rabbit sauntered his way out of the beans and looked at me like "hey there, see you tomorrow."

The tomatoes.....I wish they would hurry up and ripen.....I'm in need of a decent BLT.

Apparently it's a "squash year".

Baby squash.

The cucumbers. Best crop I've had in six years. Thank you rain.
Guess what you're all getting for Christmas. Pickles, pickles, pickles.

The garden.....from the south.
So, I'm going to try to stay positive (and not scared to death) about the
fundage that is going to be required to complete these necessary projects.......wish us luck.

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