"Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow."
Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


this post was blank for about 15 hours because I learned that my Nook doesn't like to write blog posts.

Basically, lessons learned:
Alcohol inks, Sizzix die cuts, unknown stamp
*Weather doesn't care what the calendar says.  It just wants to confuse you.
 January 17, 2012  - 50 degrees
some rain, melting snow, lots of slop.  This is not normal for Buffalo, NY.

Today, after an incredibly windy night - the cold front is here and it is 22 degrees and lightly snowing.  More seasonal but oh the inconsistencies...
In the few minutes it has taken to write this - it is now sunny.

*No matter how well prepared you think you are, you will find that one aspect slipped by, usually at a critical moment.

*Ollie's is overwhelming, especially for a first time visitor.

* Not a new lesson, but buy it when you see it, it won't be there when you return.

*Overheard on the Today Show
       "...so you look younger."
      " I don't want look younger.  I want to look more beautiful."   What a wise woman.

I guess I'm glad and thankful for still learning, or relearning as the case may be...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Out the deck door - that's snow blown onto the glass.  Pretty, but...

Our silly dog who loves he snow and doesn't know when to come in.

The pile left behind after I coaxed the dog in, brushed and dried him off.

Looking through our front window.  Earlier this morning, you couldn't even see across the street.
This windy, snow-blowing, bone chilling morning is not what I meant when I wished it would snow.  Not to mention, that this is a general snow fall, and not even the lake-effect snow expected this afternoon.  Good thing we don't have major plans for the weekend, although I have often said that Buffalo is not bad to get around in AFTER the storm - in the middle of the storm is entirely another story.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Some randomness

My girl with her Not So Shy Violet hair

In an previous post, I mentioned one traditional photo is the kids coming down for Christmas as I was lamenting how tall they've gotten.  I wondered how this year's picture would turn out.  As you can see, it worked out really well, didn't it?

This is my favorite cake in the entire world - Mahogany Chiffon Cake.  When I was at home, my mom and grandma would make this for me (it is a bit of a labor intensive dream) and serve it up with homemade ice cream and hot fudge sauce.  HEAVEN!!!

My kids know it as Tunnel Cake - My McCall's Recipages cookbook from the 1990's using the same cake recipe and then you slice off the top, make a hollow, fill it with chocolate mousse, and frost the whole thing with chocolate whipped cream.  Also amazingly delicious.

Here it is as requested by my boy for his birthday this past weekend.
I love that it is the cake my kids love for their birthdays, as I have loved it for mine for so many years.  I really need my mom, dad and grandma to come later this month to make it for my birthday.  I have this thing about making my own birthday cake.  I pretty much refuse.

What's your favorite cake?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

We interrupt

our regularly scheduled programming with what has become all to common a theme in our household over the last 16 months.  Dad is packing for yet another business trip.  I overheard him say that he has only spent about four hours since September in his office.  Although, he isn't really sure about that because they have all started to run together. I am no longer surprised when people greet us by saying" Hey, you're here.  How does it feel to be home?"  I'm convinced that some folks thought he was a figment of my imagination.  I am delighted that we had a three week stretch, especially since it was Christmas and New Year's.  to be honest, he has never missed those holidays nor our children's birthdays.  Any other day or occasion, however, now that's debatable. 

The Lessons learned from all this -
Family is important
Value the time you have long or short
Absence does make the heart fonder (although it may just be because the little annoyances are easier to take in small doses)
you are stronger than than you think you want to be,
we are so blessed to be employed
if you are going to ask what it is, do it before you eat it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

One Word

2012 - Joy

The one word that I'm focusing on in 2012 is "Joy".  I want to rediscover that bigger than happiness, deeper than contentment feeling that is true joy.  I plan on researching joy, looking into the Happiness Project, and spending some time with my "JOY" notebook - where I'm planning on recording what I've learned.

Bliss … as though you’d suddenly swallowed a bright piece of that late afternoon sun and it burned in your bosom, sending out a little shower of sparks into every particle —Katherine Mansfield

I remember being asked while I was in high school, "Why are you so happy all the time?" during a stint as a counselor at Camp Spalding. I remember that answer being that this joy was a result of my personal relationship with Jesus. Life has gotten in my way and I am determined to push some of that chaos aside, and find that deep joy again. I'm pretty sure my family and I will all benefit from a happier mom.

My inspiration to choose a word comes from Ali Edwards . She explains in her blog entry of January 4, 2007 about choosing a single word to focus on for the year. This really resonated with me and I decided to give it a go.  I started with "one word" in 2008.
joy (joi)
a. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
b. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.

2. A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction: their only child, their pride and joy.

v. joyed, joy·ing, joys

To take great pleasure; rejoice.

v.tr. Archaic
1. To fill with ecstatic happiness, pleasure, or satisfaction.
2. To enjoy.

[Middle English joie, from Old French, from Latin gaudia, pl. of gaudium, joy, from gaudre, to rejoice; see gu- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Happy New Year!!!

First off, welcome back!
I have obviously been taking a blogging break, although I didn't know I was going to be breaking.  I have found that when my husband is home from working overseas, I don't really want to be facing the computer and typing away.  Now I'm finding that I have missed these missives and every time I post a comment somewhere else and it asks for the inevitable website, I'm still putting in the blog (for a couple of years I wasn't owning up) I then realized and felt a bit guilty that I haven't been very faithful to my view. 
Of course, the advent of the holidays (hee hee, did you catch that?  guess it isn't that funny if I have to point it out, but I didn't do it on purpose.), the fun of new electronics, and the annual end-of-December illness all contributed to my absence. Would it have been better if I had known in advance I wouldn't want to be around?

So I will do my best to be faithful.

We had a fun time decking the halls,  I have pictures and even though it is after the holiday, we are still enjoying the decorations, I think I will post them so I can remember what I've done.

We thoroughly enjoyed the company of each other, I do love having my kids around, just as I love it when they return to school!  We enjoyed the company of good friends, and very good food.  We missed the snow - I agree with my girl and boy who declared it just didn't feel like Christmas without snow - You would think it would be a given in Western New York. 

We have had a blast with new electronics.  Our family was blessed to the max!  Can I just say the freedom of having a tablet is crazy!  I love sitting in the family room, watching TV with my honey, and having the ability to cruise the web checking in on Facebook and my favorite blogs, read a book or play with those stupid Angry Birds!

Gingerbread Spice - one of my girls' favorites

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Everyone loves these.

Red Velvet
Peppermint Crinkles
I've been baking and cooking - you find the Red Velvet Peppermint Crinkles here.  She has Grinch Crinkles also and we just ran out of time so we didn't make them, but I'm thinking that these or some variation will become a household standard because they are fast and easy.

While I was checking in here, I learned about French Onion Beef Stew.  You have to make this!  It is delcious and easy.  Both kids really liked it, and needless to say, so did the adults.  We stretched the leftovers by adding some V-8 and Stelline pasta. We were thinking barley, but the store we were at didn't have any.

Our big challenge over the holidays was my daughter's determination to have blue hair.  So Dad and I became hair colorists over the break.  Three salons refused to do it, and one wanted $200.00.  I was willing to pay to have it done, but not $200.00.  So for about $50.00, we aquired all of the necessary tools, and did it ourselves. We will take pictures but the Not So Shy Violet is had to capture. It was a real bonding experince, a really terrifying experince, and a real growing experience.  Our inspiration came from a really cool website.  We would really love to meet Kaylah.  We only live about three hours away, but that might seem really creepy and stalkery.

We are looking forward to six weeks of birthday celebrations, Dad flying off and returning, and hopefully working towards some goals for 2012.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nothing of real consequence...

Cleaning gives me too much time to think.  While doing those relatively mindless chores, I often drown in reflections over life.
Today, as I was loading the dishwasher, it occurred to me again that there really are few things I hate more than doing the dishes. It has always been this way, as my family will testify.  It was so bad that, shortly after I was married,  we were gifted with a portable dishwasher, since, apparently, I was basically incapable of doing dishes by hand.  I think at the time I just had better things do, as I was a junior in college and newly married.
Anyway , I digress, the thought was what if in a past life I was a scullery maid?  Having studied history, I can say with certainty, that even in the richest homes, with really nice "bosses", shall we say, the life of a scullery maid was not an easy one.  Early to rise (Oh my, that explains something else.) and often one of the last to sleep, the work was incessant and consistently, hard labor. 
Early to rise - I am not an early morning person, early morning, heck, I am not a morning person period.  I don't mind waking slowly and gently on my own time.  Let me open my eyes to greet the sweet morning sun to my own clock, which is best set to a good ten or twelve hours of delicious sleep.  Alarm clocks were the invention of someone who gets malicious pleasure over having the control to rudely jolt one from slumber.
Well, I'm going to go clean something else, using modern tools - like my vacuum.  Wonder what will occur to me then...