Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's a Walkman?

Do you remember in the late 70's the debut of the Sony Walkman? It was the latest and greatest in audio technology. You could play cassette tapes when you were on the go, not just at home or in your car. Wow, weren't we cool!

Now we have the Apple iPod that is so sleek and thin and can store 1,000 songs. It is so much smaller, lightweight, and truly portable. We download songs from the internet to compile lists of all our favorites, old or new.

Back in the 1970's there was no such thing as the internet, or downloading, or personal computers, or cell phones, etc. Technology changes so fast, what seems state of the art when we buy it is quickly replaced by something new. It boggles the mind as well as drains our wallets. So, as we continue to purchase newer, better, faster technology, let's take a moment to fondly remember LPs, 8-track tapes, and cassette tapes...ah, those were the days (:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Snow, snow, go away--come again another day!

"Snowflakes keep falling on my head, just like the..." oops, wrong words! I thought if March came in like a lion (which it did) it was supposed to go out like a lamb. I guess Mother Nature had other plans. The snow was actually quite beautiful, carefully coating every little branch on our birch trees.

Our burgeoning tulips were covered in snow, I hope that they're not permanently damaged. The snow was melting quickly today so I think the flowers will be fine at least from the snow, from the bunnies is another story. The rotten rabbits are after the tulips, nibbling their tender leaves down to the nubbins. Not this year I cry! I am trying to foil the rabbits efforts this year by protecting them with cages made from old plastic pots. I have been successful so far, but as we all know rabbits are rascally, I will have to be vigilant.

Although pretty, I hope Mother Nature is done with snow, I'm ready for Spring!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nail polish isn't just for ladies.

It's such a girlie thing to paint our finger and toe nails. A bright bit of color that sparkles as we go about our daily routines. I have never routinely painted my nails, but only dabbled it on when the mood strikes me.

When I was a teenager and I was painting my nails, my dad happened to be taking a nap in the recliner. My dad always said he never napped, "he was just resting his eyes". So to test his napping ability I decided to see if I could paint at least one nail without waking him up.

I was quite stealthy and I carefully applied a coat of clear nail polish to his right thumb. Dad didn't wake up. Dad didn't notice the polish on his thumb at all that day. In fact it wasn't until the next morning as my dad was standing in church that he noticed his thumbnail looked shiny, and upon further inspection the shininess wasn't rubbing off!

We were all amused at my dad's shiny thumbnail. I took pity on him later that day and removed the polish and all was right with the world.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Joys of Jell-O

Did you know that Jell-O Gelatin has been around since 1897? It is has been around 112 years, I think that it is amazing! My mom would often make it for dessert. It always tasted good and was economical for our large family. We would have it plain or sometimes mom would add fruit, and one of our holiday favorites had orange juice and ginger ale! (More on that in a future post.)

Some people don't care for Jell-O Gelatin but I like it and enjoy how creative you can be with it. And so I begin my campaign to introduce you to the Joys of Jell-O!

This book belongs to my mom and is from 1962 and is full of great gelatin recipes, it is also full of pencil scribblings from some young artist sibling. Looking beyond the pencil marks, I found a recipe for Pineapple Snow. How intriguing! The recipe was simple and sounded tasty, I just had to try it. It turned out great, a just a bit tangy and so airy and light. I will definitely make it again and try other flavor combinations.

Pineapple Snow

1 pkg (3 oz.) Jell-O Orange-Pineapple Gelatin (I don't know if this is available anymore, I used Orange Sugar-Free)
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup canned pineapple juice*
1 egg white
*for a firmer snow, use only 3/4 cup juice. (I used 3/4 cup.)

Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add pineapple juice. chill until very thick, about an hour an a half. Then add egg white and whip until fluffy using beaters in an electric mixer. Pile lightly in sherbet glasses or pour into an 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm. If chilled in pan, cut in squares or spoon into dessert dishes. Serve with whipped cream. Makes about 5 cups or 6 servings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Little Cutie

This is my mom in 1935 when she was one year old. It is one of my favorite pictures of her, a hand colored black and white photo, very state of the art at the time.

It is amazing to look back and see how much of a person's features are already defined and retained into adulthood. My mom was born with soft, pale blond hair--a towhead and she turned into a lovely brunette. Otherwise most of that cute baby face can be seen in my mom right now, especially that look! It cracks me up, because I have seen that look so many times. In fact I have been on the receiving end often too. It is a very expressive glance, ranging from "What are you doing?", "I don't think so!", "Don't make me tell you again!", or "What did you say?".

Such a little cutie that was already making people take notice!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This paperweight combines several of my favorite things: rainbows, hearts, and glass.

Rainbows are full of color, stretching out across the sky. They always make me smile when I see one, I just have to stop and admire it. Rainbows are wonderfully random and fleeting. I don't need a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, for me the rainbow is the prize.

Hearts are so expressive, usually associated with love themes, but can you can have heartache, heartburn, or a heart attack. I like to think about the positive heart metaphors: giving your heart to someone, your heart's desire, heart and soul, learning something by heart, keeping someone or something near to your heart, to take heart, or perhaps to do something to your heart's content. When was the last time you did something until your heart was content? It sounds so warm and comforting. We make oaths on our hearts too. So, for me, hearts are places of love, joy, solace, friendship, hope, and occasional ache; a place to keep my family and friends close.

Glass exhibits qualities of strength and weakness. It is commonplace but it can also be an art form. It is in art that glass captures my attention, stained glass and blown glass art. Stained glass windows adorn churches of many faiths to aid in contemplation and story telling. Stained glass windows can also be found in businesses and homes to add beauty and design. I love the creativity and range of colors used in the windows. I have been privileged to watch several blown glass artists at work in their studios. I am always amazed at the skill, strength, and stamina that it takes to shape their pieces.

I think about all these things when I admire my glass rainbow heart paperweight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Morning Glory Muffins

If you're looking for a great start to your morning try a Morning Glory muffin. Delicious! They have a wonderful combination of healthy fruits, vegetables, and nuts but the muffins are not dry and cardboard-y like some "good-for-you" food. The muffins are good at room temperature but are best eaten warm with a bit of butter.

This recipe was published in the newspaper courtesy of the Willow Creek Lutheran Church Cookbook, Dell Rapids, SD.

1/2 cup raisins
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 large tart apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
2 cups grated carrots
3 eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla

Soak raisins in hot water for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat ovent to 350 degrees. Combine flour, soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in drained raisins, apple, walnuts, coconut and carrots. Beat together eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture to blend. Fill greased muffin tins or use cup-cake liners.

Bake 18-20 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Best Christmas Gift Ever?

As a child, did your parents ever give you a Christmas gift that they regretted? A drum set? Boxing gloves? A chemistry set? Somewhere in the late 70’s, my parents gave my oldest brother a card game simply called Pit. I’m sure my parents, especially my mom, ruefully looked back on that holiday often. I believe they thought it was a benign, educational game about the Stock Market. How wrong they were and how sorry they became!

Pit was packaged in a bright orange box with coordinating orange cards and of course the bell! Originally the game languished on the toy shelf for a period of time. As a game it just didn’t call out to young children. I suppose in a bog of boredom of playing the same games we finally sat down and read the rules and played for the first time. We haven’t looked back since!

Pit in a nutshell: 3 to 8 players, 8 suits of commodity items (wheat, sugar, coffee…) ranging in value from 50 to 100. Players are dealt cards, the dealer declares the market open by ringing the bell, and bidding commences to trade commodities/cards: One! One! One! – Three! Three! Players must find someone willing to trade the same number of cards, continuing yelling numbers, make eye contact, swap cards, and then check your new cards and hope they match the commodity you are trying to “corner the Market”. Yelling and trading continues until someone gets all 9 matching commodity cards and rings the bell! The winner of the round scores whatever value is assigned to the commodity; Wheat is 100 points, quite the coup when you could score with Wheat! Play continues until someone scores 500 points.

Now imagine 5 to 8 children, all with healthy lungs, playing Pit in the house. The yelling, screaming, and bell ringing were the sounds of great fun to my siblings, but to an adult it was less than pleasant to say the least. We loved the game; it was loud, quick, and fun.

My father worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs so he wasn’t at home often to endure the Pit playing. However, my mother was a stay-at-home mom, how unfortunate for her. My mom soon declared that Pit could only be played OUTSIDE. So Pit became a warm weather, outside game. Once we convinced my mom that we could quietly play Pit in the house. We whispered our bids for a while, ultimately we surrendered to the power of Pit and we started yelling thus forever ending inside playing of Pit.

Somewhere, somehow, our Pit game was “lost”. I wouldn’t want to accuse my mom or dad of intentionally throwing out one of our favorite games, but it did suddenly disappear.

A few years ago I found Pit at the Ben Franklin and of course I bought it. Pit is packaged differently and my Standard Edition didn’t come with a bell. Pit would not be the same without the bell, so I bought one. We still love playing Pit. A childhood game to be enjoyed again as adults, awesome!

Note: We haven’t been banished to the outdoors, so far.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wok with me!

Tonight, for the first time, I got to play with a belated Christmas gift from my friend Barb. It is a wok set complete with tools and a bamboo steamer!

I didn't have a lot of time, so the wok's quick cooking was perfect. I sauteed the chicken in a bit of oil first and then removed it from the wok, added some frozen stir fry veggies (I cheated a little) to cook, next I poured in chicken broth brought everything to a boil and then added fresh bean sprouts and then thickened with a corn starch slurry. Very fast and easy!

I served my Chicken Stir Fry over some nice whole grain white rice. After I took the picture I added some Chow Mein noodles for some crunch. My mom and I both thought it turned out great. It was fun too! I'm going to try out the bamboo steamer on some fish in the near future.
Thanks again Barb!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What would you do?

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Hmmm, interesting question. Maybe that opens the door wide and you suddenly consider many different grand ideas...start a new business, buy a house, major league baseball tryouts, write a book, paint a picture, compete in the Olympics in the Luge, sail single-handed around the world, sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl...

Maybe your answer isn't something earth shattering and wild, but mundane...quit smoking, stop drinking, get physically fit, stop gambling, propose marriage, give a speech in front of business peers, adopt a child...ordinary things, perhaps, but challenging nonetheless.

What is your answer? What is stopping you from attempting it?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quisp Quest

I don't know about your family but my family likes to take trips down memory lane to re-visit some of our childhood favorites. We get nostalgic about games we played, or TV shows we watched, but especially food and candy that we enjoyed.

Floating in our breakfast milk is the memory of Quisp. It was a lightly sweet, crunchy, corn cereal in little saucer shapes. Quisp came in only one flavor. It didn't have any fancy berries or marshmallows or sprinkles. It was simple and my siblings and I loved it, until it disappeared from the market.

Why did we love Quisp? The crunch? The sweet, corn taste? Did the crazy Quisp alien character draw us to the cereal? Whatever the reason, Quisp cereal created fond breakfast memories for my family.

Years ago, I could occasionally find Quisp in select grocery stores, never the big-name stores. The display was always small and temporary. I would purchase several boxes and share with my youngest brothers.

Recently I had another Quest sighting, I bought two boxes. When my brother Scott saw the boxes, his eyes became wide, his face lit up with a huge smile as he exclaimed in a reverant whisper, "Quisp! You found Quisp!" He was so excited, he wanted to know where I had found the treasure. Scott, my brother Paul, and a friend of theirs had all recently been discussing Quisp again. They searched the internet and found that Quisp could be purchased for $4.00/box or $5.39/box plus shipping! Their nostalgia had not yet driven them to purchase Quisp at those high prices. Scott was thrilled to find out that Quisp was available from a local store at $2.50/box!

So the latest round in the Quisp Quest ended with another 10 additional boxes being purchased and distributed to brothers Scott, Paul, Glenn and their friend Ron.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lemons Re-visited

I conducted a taste test as a follow up to Wednesday's Lemon-licious post, where I proclaimed that the Magic Lemon Meringue Pie was better than Lemon Bars. I baked a pan of my mom's French Lemon Bars and the same three people that previously enjoyed the pie sampled the bars. The vote was unanimous--pie wins, pie wins! The pie was deemed tarter and more lemony, for one tester it was a close call but he still said the pie won by a small margin.

I still stand by my previous statement, feel free to conduct your own home taste test. Just to let you know, even though the pie won the taste test, three-quarters of the Lemon Bars are gone already, we wouldn't want them to go to waste now would we?!

Since I've been focused on lemons, I thought I'd share this picture of my nephew Jacob sucking on lemons for a birthday party game. The lemons were not extremely sour to make him scowl so fiercely, Jacob had chapped, cracked lips. Ouch!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Word Power

My brother Scott asked if I wanted to play Scrabble last night. Big deal, you might say. But in my competitive family it is a big deal, and I have a bit of a way with words, and I have won many Scrabble games. So my uber-competitive brothers started to say that I cheat at Scrabble. (gasp!)

My mom, sister-in-law, and several of my brothers are all good Scrabble players. We enjoy bantering about the easy words or interesting words that each other manages to play. But when I am lucky enough to get some good tiles and I am fortunate enough to play a high scoring word on a Triple Word Score...well...my brothers will begin saying, "Sue cheats!" or call out, "Mom! Sue's cheating again!". Suddenly, the taunts of childhood play are renewed. As a mature adult, I eloquently respond, "Am not!"

So it was quite lovely when Scott asked me to play Scrabble, just the two of us. I started out strong with several good words and utilized extra point squares. Unfortunately, Scott floundered, bemoaning his poor tile acquisitions. At one point, I had a 100 point lead. Scott made a comeback, closing the points gap. However, in the end the comeback was not enough and "the cheater" won again! Scrabble anyone?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Lemon lovers take note, pictured is the most delicious Lemon Meringue Pie ever!

All gooey, fluorescent yellow gel, fake meringue pies should leave the building now!

This wonderful pie is courtesy of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk and is the only lemon pie we've ever made in my family. The meringue top is slightly sweet and fluffy, the perfect compliment to the filling which is tart, smooth, and creamy. (Commence drooling now.)

I know some lemon lovers are devoted to the ever popular Lemon Bars. I like them too. But, this pie surpasses all bars. Please try it, you won't be sorry.

(Makes one 8-inch pie)

1 baked 8-inch pastry shell, cooled OR 8-inch crumb crust
(I personally recommend a homemade crust, if you've got the time.)
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks
In medium-size bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and rind; blend in egg yolks. Turn into cooled crust.

2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
In small-size bowl, beat whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form when beater is raised. Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust. Bake in slow (325 degrees F) oven 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

So good you might weep (:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Sean!

Sean Michael is 15 years old today!

While visiting for Sean's 2nd birthday, I had been taking pictures and videos of him, well I guess Sean decided he needed time away from the "papparazzi" so as he walked by me and my camera, he put up his hand and proclaimed loudly, "No more pictures Sue!"

So, to somewhat honor his request, I've only included a few pictures of our birthday guy.

1: Christmas, 1995
2: September, 2002
3: October, 2007

Monday, March 16, 2009

Last Chance!

Tomorrow might be your last chance to find the elusive Shamrock Shake!
Use this link to assist in your search: http://www.shamrockshake.com/

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baking Traditions

My grandmother's measuring cups and my mom's recipe book are treasures.

I never had an opportunity to bake with my grandmother. It is comforting to know that I use them just as she did, scooping flour and sugar into the cups, leveling the contents with a knife. Lovingly preparing goodies for her family. Though she is gone from the earth, she lingers in my memory, and we are connected.

My mom and I frequently use her recipe book though its backbone is torn and has been repaired with duct tape, its well worn pages are stained, creased, and smudged. Mom was industrious so some of the pages have typewritten recipes, but most pages are in my mom's lovely handwriting. The book has long since outgrown the envelopes after each section for inserting recipe cards or clippings from magazines or newspapers and instead the book bulges a bit from all the recipes stuffed under the front cover. I am quite familiar with the family favorite recipes, but there are many recipes that mom collected that have yet to be tested and tasted.

My mom passed her love of baking on to me and many of my siblings, patiently teaching us how to read recipes, measure ingredients, explaining mixing versus folding, preparing the pans, and testing for doneness. Mom was giving us more than life skills, she was giving part of herself. Time in the kitchen with mom was truly a gift of love.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crazy things that get stuck in my head

I find it weird how certain things make an impression on my brain and other things don't...or maybe it's just selective memory...or bad memory.

For instance, I remember the words to a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer commercial that was on TV when I was younger: "It was a rough exam, really had to cram, now it's all behind, I've got Pabst Blue Ribbon on my mind." But I don't remember a thing about high school Algebra (didn't like that class at all).

My father can recall the different wage amount he has earned at almost every job he had, he can remember how much he paid for cars, and houses, etc....not me! But I can remember a lovely pink sweater I had as little girl, my first Ken doll (my sister Lisa got Barbie), and making cakes in my olive green Easy Bake Oven.

During Saturday morning cartoons, I learned all kinds of stuff from Schoolhouse Rock..."Conjunction Junction what's your function?"..."I'm just a Bill, yes I'm only a Bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill". Thanks to Schoolhouse Rock I can still quote/sing the entire Preamble to the U.S. Constitution!

I've watched Jeopardy and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader and I'm sorry to say that my brain doesn't contain many (okay most) of those tidbits of information. Instead my brain is full of silly memories of watching kitschy 1970's shows like Gilligan's Island and Brady Bunch. "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

I do remember important pieces of information like how to tie my shoes, how to ride a bike, I know my address and phone number, and I can even walk and chew gum at the same time. Oh well, I guess the miscellaneous stuff the floats to the surface faster than the other mundane facts I have acquired. "Live Long and Prosper!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Precious Pup

I have always loved animals, especially dogs. We didn't have any pets when I was young, growing up in a large family of nine children there wasn't a lot of room or money for a pet. I used to hope I would find a little puppy in the bushes or that a little lost dog would follow me home. Of course, I would then be allowed to keep this dog as the family pet.

Eventually, our family did get not one but two black Labrador Retrievers, Deja Vu and Casey. They were great dogs and they gave my parents, siblings and me much joy and love.

The current canine love of our lives is Sable, a chocolate Labrador Retriever. She is beautiful (as you can see) and is quite a character. She is constantly making us laugh with her antics, she keeps us all young. Sable may not have been lost and followed me home but she is still a dream come true.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sweet Memories

Let me introduce you to a simply marvelous and scrumptious dessert: Caramel Layer Choco-Bars. This bar has become a must-have family Christmas tradition. You might wonder why I am writing about this dessert in March. Well, last year, I purchased the ingredients to make two batches of the bars, but due to my mother's health problems, I only had time to make one pan. Today I finally got around to making the second batch, it sure tastes like Christmas today!

It's funny how traditions get started. When my siblings and I were young, my mother tried out this recipe at Christmas and it was a hit. We requested the bars every Christmas but we never asked for them at any other time of year. The bars were a special Christmas treat and they became a delicious memory in the process.

In case you've been drooling on your computer while looking at the picture, the recipe is below...Enjoy, I certainly did!

Caramel Layer Choco-Bars

50 caramels (14 oz. pkg)
1/3 C evaporated milk (5.33 fl. oz. can)
1 pkg German Chocolate Cake Mix
¾ C margarine or butter, melted
1/3 C evaporated milk
1 C chopped nuts
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 oz. pkg.)

In a heavy saucepan, combine caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until caramels are melted. Set aside.

Grease and flour 13x9x2 pan. In large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, butter, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and nuts. By hand, stir until dough holds together. Press half of dough into prepared pan; reserve remaining dough for topping. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked crust. Spread caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble reserved dough over caramel mixture (dough will not completely cover, some caramel will peek through).

Return to oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool slightly; refrigerate about 30 minutes to set caramel layer. Cut into bars.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sign of Spring

Amid last year's garden debris of leaves, branches, and wood chips emerges a cluster of bright green and with it, the promise of the warm, sunny days of Spring.

This plucky little plant is a variety of Sedum. It is a hardy plant and is up and thriving long before any Tulips, Crocus, or Hyacinths have poked their way into the weak Winter sunlight.

I can't wait to get to work in the garden! I've already been thinking about the flower beds and which flowers should go in the patio pots. I've been wondering how the two new Japanese Maples have survived the winter, and what about the transplanted Weigelia shrub? It's almost the middle of March and I haven't planted my tomato seeds yet! But there is much work to be done to prepare the garden, cutting down the ornamental grasses, trimming the Viburnum shrubs and the Burning Bushes and the Butterfly bush, cleaning up leaves that have collected along the fence, and the list continues. Ah, so much work but so much fun to help Mother Nature put on a beautiful show.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Things that make me happy!

  • Snowflakes twinkling like diamonds in the evening lamplight
  • Early morning walks with my dog
  • Knowing Spring is on the way
  • Warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven
  • Playing and exercising on my Wii
  • Hugs and kisses
  • Rainbows
  • Back scratches
  • Dinners with friends
  • Working in the garden
  • The smell of freshly mowed grass
  • Rainy days that finally end!

Monday, March 9, 2009

What? Who? Why? When? Where?

Did I hear you right young man?! Just who do you think you're talking to? Do you think you can backtalk me?

It might look like a confrontation, but alas it is only Becca putting on an act in a vain attempt to take her son, Jake, down in a family game of "Questions Only".

Too bad! Becca fell as many before her fell and it was left up to Grandma to dethrone Jake and ultimately win the entire game. Go Grandma!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

America's Military, Thank You!

My family and I just watched a simple and heartfelt tribute to America's servicemen and women who have given their lives in service to our country, "Taking Chance". It is an HBO movie and stars Kevin Bacon. If you have HBO please watch it. Click on the link for movie info and the schedule: http://www.hbo.com/films/takingchance/

If you are ever given the opportunity, please express your thanks to our servicemen and women. I hope I never take our freedom for granted. Here is a link about one way that you can show your gratitude: http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/fullmovie.php Pass it on.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wall Art

I purchased this beautiful wood image of Jesus at a craft show many years ago. Recently my sister, Renee and I applied some vinyl cut-outs to accent the art. I think it looks great and love seeing first thing in the morning.

Lead me, Lord, Lead me, Lord,
By the light of truth to seek and to find the narrow way.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I looked at the today's date and I immediately thought of clapping game and song that my sisters and our neighbors used to do when were young, called 3-6-9. Two people clap their hands together in a simple pattern while singing the song, but they try to go faster during the second verse without breaking the clapping rhythm.

My two sisters and I could pair off and do it so fast our hands seemed like they were a blur. We'd try to stay focused as we went faster, but sometimes we'd just look at each other's silly faces and break up laughing, losing the rhythm. In the end our hands were always red and a bit sore, but we never stopped playing the game.

Three, six, nine, goose drank wine,
Monkey spilled tobacco on the street car line,
Line broke, monkey got choked,
And they all went to heaven in a little row boat.

My mommy told me if I were goody,
That she would buy me a rubber dolly,
So please don't tell her,
I kissed a 'feller,
Down in the cellar,
The other night--Oh what a sight!

My clapping partners and sisters: Renee and Lisa.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bedtime Memories

Laughter, love, hugs, tickling, and warm, cozy feelings all flood my memory when I remember my childhood bedtime. As little children everywhere, no child is eager to go to bed. My siblings and I were no different. But when we were small children, part of our bedtime routine were "doopy" rides from Dad.

Just thinking or saying the word "doopy" makes me smile and I travel back to a simpler time, when the world only consisted of Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters and home. Washing up, getting our jammies on, hugs and kisses good-night, were all part of the nightly routine. But the best part was a piggy-back ride on Dad's strong back. I would stand on the couch and Dad would crouch down so I could climb on his back, and with my arms around his neck, Dad's hands supporting my butt, Dad would do a little gallop down the hall, bouncing me up and down, his hands patting my bottom, we would travel to bed while Dad cooed "doopy, doopy, doopy".

So bedtime routine became to ask not for piggy-back rides but for "doopies". We would call out, "I want a doopy!"

Doopy, a little nonsense word that parents make up as they play, raise, and love their children. Doopy, that means so much more than a piggy-back ride, doopy means Mom, Dad, and a childhood filled with love.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Friends and Family

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~Marcel Proust

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It has been quite a while since I played a game of "Telephone", one of the funniest times was with my family on Christmas day, 1985. I have no idea what the message was when I received it, but as I tried to pass it on to my brother Greg, he broke up into hysterical laughter. The rest of the family started laughing as I repeatedly tried to pass on the message. I think the message died with me, but the memory of that day and this picture still make me smile.

I have always loved Halloween, especially creating costumes! When I was older, my three youngest siblings became my personal Halloween models. Some of my creations were an Ewok, Mark from Ark (a take-off on Mork for Ork), a vampire, a mummy. The most memorable Halloween was in 1982 when I dressed my sister Renee as a bobby-soxer with a poodle skirt, my brother Glenn as a clown, and the best, my 10-year old brother Scott as a girl, including a padded bra and make-up! Now, tell me, how many little brothers would let their sister dress them up in girl's clothes!
Happy Birthday Greg and Scott!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

I made Chicken Pot Pies from scratch (except for the frozen puff pastry) for dinner tonight. Creamy sauce flavored with garlic, onion, and black pepper and loaded with chunks of chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery, peas and pimentos. Everyone thought they were delicious (yummy, if I do say so myself).

The entire time I was making the pies I had the "Slow Donnie" episode from "Just Shoot Me" going through my head--absolutely hysterical episode! Here's a little taste of that episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApmvDU5RmyY Enjoy!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Light as a Leaf

It has been an interesting winter season that included bountiful snowfalls, rain turning into slushy snow that covered everything in sheets of ice, and below zero wind chills. Frigid temperatures granted the ice and snow permission to loiter around for several weeks.

When Mother Nature decided to give us a few consecutive sunny days, it warmed my heart and had me daydreaming about Spring flowers and birdsong.

Those few sunny days also warmed the blanket of snow so that the weight of a delicate, dried Autumn leaf left its impression in the snow. Nature is wonderous indeed!