Thursday, April 29, 2010

Question of the Week #8 - Even Though It's Thursday

I know I usually do this on Monday, but I have a question on Thursday.  So sue me.

Have you planted anything yet?  If so...what?

We've have had a few 80ish days, but we have still dipped into the 30's at night.  So I haven't planted anything yet.  It is supposed to get to 80 again tomorrow and I have a feeling that the freezing nights are truly at an end.  I'm actually thinking of hitting the garden store on Saturday and I'm looking for some inspiration.

What should I plant?  What do you love to have planted around your house? Let me know.

Thanks friends.

Monday, April 26, 2010

All Production Has Come to a Complete Stop

I have not made any cards, done a square on my sampler or cooked anything more extravagant that hamburgers.  Everything came to a complete stop last week because I started reading At Home In Mitford by Jan Karon.

My Mom gave me this book last time I was down visiting.  She raved about it.  Last week, I had finished Water for Elephants (really good btw) and when I got home from work on Monday evening I had no power and BW was out of town for the week.  What a perfect time to start a new book.  I read every evening...until Jeopardy.  Then tucked myself into bed a little early and read til I couldn't keep my eyes opened.  I finished it on Friday night.

What a wonderful story; full of lively and entertaining characters.  It is also very moving in it's homespun simplicity.  The main character is Fr. Tim, the local Presbyterian minister.  As he goes about ministering to his parish, we meet all the many wonderful people who live in and around Mitford.  They are vivid and quirky and just plain delightful.  The book is so good that I just had to call Mom and tell her thank you for giving me such a gift.

The best thing about the little town of Mitford, is that it's a series.  I've still got 4 more books to read!  Mom on the other hand...has read them all and is more then a little sad that they are done.

Please read these books!  You will honestly feel better.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Date Night Movie Review

Date Night

Grade: A-

This is a completely funny and entertaining movie. What makes it work so well is that Tina Fey and Steve Carell make such a believable couple. They have similar look levels (I'll have to explain my look level theory one day) that make them a very real couple. They are also two of our greatest comedic talents currently on TV.

The plot line is about a married couple...whose lives together have become somewhat routine. In an effort to shake things up a bit, they decide to go to the city for dinner. The story accelerates when they take the dinner reservations for "the Tripplehorns". What happens next, think North by Northwest...only in comedic format.

Granted I had to look away at one scene and it's a darn shame what happens to that beautiful Audi R8, but otherwise a perfect way to spend your own date night.  Make sure you stick around for the credits to catch a few more outtakes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekly Question #8

Here's what's been on my mind and why.  I was blog hopping and came across this ESTY site for Jane Mount and I fell in love.  I want one of these original paintings.  I think they are brilliant.  I have started to make a list of what books I would wanted included in my bookshelf painting.

Which brings me to this week's question...What are some of your favorite books?

I do really love books.  I like the look, feel and smell of books.  When I finally retire from the video world...I wouldn't mind working in a bookstore.  Just to be near...books.

I've been thinking about this for a while now, so my list is getting there but, I think I need more for my painting.  Here's my list so far:

  • Pride and Prejudice by the lovely and incredible Jane Austen
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Something by Dick Francis (haven't decided which one yet)
  • The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart 
  • The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Something by Rosemunde Pilcher (again..haven't decided which)
  • Tell No One by Harlen Corbin (one of the most gripping mysteries I've ever read)
  • Got to have an Agatha Christie (yes...I love mysteries)
That's all I've got at this moment.  I'll probably wake up in the morning and remember something else.  (Oh...I need one of Amy Tam's book's too.)  See this just really never ends.

I can't wait to hear about from you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

GMa Gets to Meet Luke

Great Grandma finally got to meet Little Luke Ozzie on Saturday.  She probably spent about an hour just holding him.  He was a little "gassy", so she used all her motherly skills to calm him and finally got him to sleep.  Once they get much older...they get too big for her to hold, so this time when they are little is very special to her.  
(Caity is probably going to yell at me about posting her picture, but I like this picture.)
Here's a cute little picture of Luke.  I love how bright eyed he is in this photo.

Also got to finish another card that I wanted to share.  This one was for my dear sister's birthday.  I struggled with this card.  The first version ended up in the trash can.  I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn't have the right stamp.  So I picked up this one with the flower and the writing in the background and then everything fell into place.  I stamped it with VersaMagic in Eggplant and then I embossed it in clear to give it that extra pop.

I got another square done on my sampler.  Two more and I'll have the first row done.  Still enjoying this project although I'm not able to do a square a day.  More like a couple squares a week, so it will be a while before it's finished.

I didn't do much cooking this week-end, but just got back from  the grocery store where I picked up some of the basics.  I was planning on buy some ground round to make a final pot of chili for the season (it's still a little chilly out today).  I got home and realized that I completely forgot the ground round.

Do you ever do that?  Go to the store for something in particular, get distracted by everything else...and forget the main thing.  Makes me crazy.  I've actually gotten to my car, remembered something, gone back in to get back to my car again and remembered something else and gone back in AGAIN.  I have to admit, I went to different cashiers so they didn't think I was a complete space cadet.

Fortunately, I did buy a few other things, so I guess I'll be making my quick Tortellini in Pomodoro Sauce tonight. Always a good standby to have on hand.

Hope your week-end was as nice as mine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sampler...My Second Square

I finished my second sampler square.  I've even started on the third square, but it's not done yet.  I'm really enjoying this little project.  I guess we will see how I feel when I'm on square 17.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baby Luke - 6 Days Old

OK...I promise not to do an overload of Baby Luke pictures, but since babies change so fast, I thought you might want to see him 6 days old.  (I skipped posting his 4 day old pics, so I am holding back.)

This is how he spends most of his time when I am over.

So, it's real hard to get a picture with his eyes opened, but I managed to get a couple.

Ain't he just the sweetest little thing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon Movie Review

How To Train Your Dragon

Grade: A-

This is a truly enjoyable movie for the whole family.  I found myself carried away by the story and rooting for the big black scary dragon.  Well done Disney!

We saw the movie in an IMAX theatre in 3D, which helped make it even more fun.  I love when the kids sitting near us just say "Wow" out loud at the first image that shoots out at them.  So cute.

This is the story of a Viking village continually attacked by dragons of every possible variation.  The main character is Hiccup.  He's small, uncoordinated and very non-Viking young man, who also happens to be the son of the burly, heroic village leader Stoick.  This naturally leads to a classic gruff father and misunderstood son storyline. (As with so many Disney mother in sight.)

Through his natural inquisitive nature, Hiccup learns the truth about the dragons by befriending one of the scariest of all the dragons.  The scenes of him flying on the dragon's back are really quite spectacular.

I highly recommend this movie even if you don't have any kids to take to it.  Only one drawback...the price.  They jacked up the ticket price to $16 per ticket.  We were shocked when he told us $32.00.  That makes it difficult for a family to afford.  I don't know if this was just our theater or if that is the price across the country.  Just seemed way out of whack.  Although, I still did love this movie.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Sample of My Sampler

I was blog hopping to some of my favorite blogs and I came across the 39 squares Blog where Amy is documenting her creation of a 39 square sampler.  It's kind of a free form embroidery, not the classic style.  She is embroidering a square a day.  She finished recently and I just loved her finished product.

Keeping in mind, I have absolutely no embroidering experience, I decided to give it a try.  (Ha)  After a little visit to my favorite store...I sat down this evening and dove in.  I'm attempting a 24 square sampler and want to do one square a day.  So by the end of the month, hopefully I will have something worth framing.

Here is square number 1:

I figure if I get good enough, I know three little boys who could use framed samplers hung on their walls, although I don't think I can embroider Darth Vader or Jabba the Hut.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

He's Finally Here

Luke Ozzie was born yesterday, April 6. He's is beautiful and his parents and grandparents, aunts and uncle's couldn't be prouder or happier as signified by the waterfalls sprouting everywhere yesterday.

And, Caitlin is now my new symbol of woman as warrior.  Heck with Xena...Caitlin is the Princess Warrior.  She was phenomenal.  She went through 22 hours of labor and spent 2 1/2 of them pushing like a trouper, only to have them all realize that Luke's head just could not get past her pelvic bone. After all this work and effort she ended up having a C-Section at around 2pm yesterday.  He was born 8 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches long.  Caitlin was just brilliant and really gave her all to become a mother.  I am so proud of her.

Welcome Luke...I see a lot of light sabers in your future young Jedi.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ella's Jewish Coffee Cake

The Jewish Coffee Cake was a big hit much so that there is only one piece left, which I am trying to save for BW.

Besides being a really good coffee cake, what I like about having this recipe is that it's in my grandmother's handwriting.  Granted it's just a copy of her original recipe card...but I can still recognize her hand.  Seeing her writing again, brings her back just a little bit.  I have some very vivid memories of my grandmother.  Many of them included her bakes goods. I loved her chocolate chip cookies,  lemon tarts, butter cookies with a little cherry in the middle and her molasses cookies with a dollop of jam.  Very yummy.

I hope you all can find a good reason to try this sometime.

Jewish Coffee Cake from Ella's Kitchen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease sides and bottom of Bundt pan


1 white cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding (small)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used Pecans)
2 tsp cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together all of the cake ingredients on medium speed for 4 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients.

Add the cake batter and filling to prepared pan in the following order:
  • 1/3 batter, 1/3 filling and swirl
  • 1/3 batter, 1/3 filling and swirl
  • 1/3 batter, 1/3 filling and swirl
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Let cake cool before removing from pan.

Optional Notes:  She also made this using a yellow cake mix and pineapple instant pudding mix.  Very Good according to Grandma.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter..A Little Early

Happy Easter Everyone.  I hope your day is blessed surrounded by friends and family.

I've spent the today cooking and prepping for Easter dinner tomorrow.  I am bringing all the food over to Krissy's house.  It's just easier to be there when Austin needs to nap.  You do a lot to mitigate the "Terrible Twos".

Not too long ago, I found some of my grandma's recipes at my mom's house.  One of them was for a Jewish Coffee Cake. Which just cracks me up.   I have no idea what makes it Jewish, but it sounded good and I made it today.  We are starting out with a breakfast of Eggs Benedict and Jewish Coffee Cake.  If the coffee cake turns out good (and likely it will as my grandma was a really gifted baker) I will share it with you.

Dinner will be Ham, Twice Baked New Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, Squash Puree, Salad and Deviled Eggs.  (I forgot what a pain it is to peel eggs.  I'm glad I made a couple extra cause two of them broke in the peeling process.)  I also made a Lemon Curd and Fresh Berry Trifle.  First time I made this so I'll let you know how that works out as well.

Between the Hollandaise and the Lemon right arm is about to fall off.  All that constant whisking is exhausting.  When I put the menu together, I guess I didn't really think about the implications of making multiple cooked egg dishes.

Also want to share one of my favorite Easter things.  My mother had this for years to hold the deviled eggs.  She recently passed it on to Caity who normally makes our deviled eggs.  I gave her this year off as she has enough on her lap at the moment (literally).

Just seeing this dish makes me happy. You got to love it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Template Update

Opted to go back to my original template.  I didn't like how the new one looked different on a PC versus on a Mac.  So..the future of my template is still up in the air.  I might try to play around with Blogger's new draft template and see if I can come up with something on my own.  We shall see.

BABY UPDATE:  Caity is sitting on my living room floor putting together a extra bouncy chair that can stay at my house.  The baby seems happy staying inside Mama for the time being.  I'll keep you posted along the way.

Other Stuff

Have any of you ate at Five Guys?  Way delicious burgers.  Love the grilled onions you can get on it.  I've eaten there twice this week.  It could become a habit.  Not thinking my waistline is going to appreciate it very much.