Saturday, October 31, 2009

Have a blessed day, my blog friends......the weather is finally fabulous, and I am planning to enjoy a wonderful Sunday! See you soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday's thoughts

First of all, I am happy to report that this was FABULOUS!!! My daughter and I enjoyed it SO, SO much......the acting was fantastic, the choreography was incredible, and the special effects were well, supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!!! :)
I'd highly recommend it to anyone!!!

I'm in planning mode, executing mode, trying to get ready for my annual Open House and Sample Sale that I have um, every year, as Annual usually signifies. I've been doing this, annually for about five years's a tradition! I make good food, put out samples of my products that I reduce in price (bargains to be had!) and friends come and eat, visit, hopefully take away products!!, and we all have a good time. I have managed to pull out from every nook and cranny every extra item that I can possibly find from my inventory to get ready to put prices on so that many of my friends/neighbors/customers will want to take home with them. It's a lovely time. I am also fortunate enough to have a dear friend who is willing to come and help me--she cooks, she cleans, she is gracious....well, not gracious enough to do windows, but she lovingly comes to help me in whatever way I need help on that day. I am blessed!

Here's what's on the Menu so far:

Betty's Cheeseball (a cheeseball I made up and my other friend lovingly decided to name Betty's Cheeseball; she had some notion that I was a bit like a Betty Crocker in her world! )
Pepper Jelly Spread w/ Wheat thins (love this! Will post recipe next week)
Marinated Cheese!!! w/ Triscuits (this is a hit every time I serve it....will post recipe later)
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Sweet Potato Biscuits w/ Ham
Cheese Wafers

Pumpkin Dip w/Gingersnaps
Muffin asst.
Chubby Hubby cookies
Fudge Filled Dessert Strips
Cookie Asst. from Barb

Coffee, juice and an undetermined cold drink that will go in my Beverage server

(need to decide whether it will be Brunch Punch or spiced tea.

I will also have asst. nuts, chocolate, and such.......
Any suggestions on the menu?
I'd love to have you each come and participate....too bad we are scattered all over the place!!
I'll have pictures hopefully at the end of next week to share with you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

She still says it....

When my daughter was about three, we went on a vacation to parts much more mountainous than our area. OK, anywhere is more mountainous than our area, but let's just say, we went to THE Arkansas. At the time, my boys would have been five and twelve- an age when boys have boundless energy, especially amplified by having been in the car for hours. So we finally reached our destination and the boys were anxious to begin climbing up a rocky place that, while not a mountain, was large enough to feel like they WERE climbing a mountain. So they began to climb and she quickly wanted to follow. The conversation that followed went something like this: "Honey, let the boys go up and you stay here with Mommy. I"m not sure you can climb up there by yourself......and immediately she quipped...."OH, YES I CAN.."!!! And up she went, with Mom following closely behind, like I was going to rescue her if she had hum, Moms have super powers, right??
So that has long been her mantra.....Oh Yes, I Can.......her personality is spirited and independent, undaunted by circumstances that seem difficult.

Yesterday, we went on another college visit, to a university that is only about 2.5 hours away. It also happens to be the leading rival to the university nearly EVERYONE in our family has or is attending, including her brother, who is actually attending there now. The day was really only fit for book reading, soup making and staying inside to keep warm & dry. Nonetheless, we were there to see the university so we trudged across campus with all the college kids, in the rain and cold, trying our best to get a feel for what campus life was like there. I did my best to quell all "mamma urges" and not tell those college kids that it was far too rainy and cold for them to be wearing shorts and flip hum, you can imagine that, right? So we saw, we listened, we observed. I was thankful for the inventor of the umbrella and for hot coffee!

On our ride home, my hubby was asking her if the size of the university was intimidating at all, or caused any feelings of angst, or even any negative feelings.....well, he was asking HER, so I really couldn't comment, even though I wanted to!! :) Of course, she is undaunted whatsoever!

She is considering schools that I've never even thought about, much less want to imagine her going to mainly because some of them are very far away. But she has done the research and come up with some of the best schools with programs for what she wants to do.... sigh. I'd just rather her stay within a radius of less than three hours from home, where I will FEEL like she is within reach.

I am faced with memories of that three year old, who has matured beautifully, is a lovely young woman with a promising future, a good head on her shoulders and an undaunted spirit. And she is STILL saying.....Oh YES, I CAN.......

Friday, October 23, 2009

Let sleeping dogs lie.....

Oh, heavens leave that baby sleeping!!! If you come to my house right now, please do NOT ring the door bell.....she is better off sleeping. In fact, I am thinking about freezing her, or giving her sedatives until she sleeps off about another YEAR of puppiness.......Lucie is at it again. You will likely enjoy the tales of her antics, but living with them---nah...not so much. Remember she is really my son's dog and she is just staying with us until he can move into a house and keep her there. They don't allow dogs in dorm rooms and for GOOD reason. Although, she could really use some education!!!

Yesterday, we found some evidence upstairs that she had been a BAD puppy , so we put her in doggie time out in the backyard. It was a very lovely day anyway; in fact, so much so that I had the kitchen window open.....ok, you know where I am going with this already, don't bloggers are such intelligent folks!

I was sitting in my room with my laptop, enjoying reading my favorite blogs and in runs Lucie. I got up to ask my daughter if she had let Lucie in, and she said no. I then look over at the open window, and CLEARLY Lucie had managed to climb THRU the window. She left muddy paw prints everywhere as evidence!!! I sure wish I had a video of her coming in. Clearly she struggled but was so bound and determined to show me!

So then the other day, I was putting out my fall decor, and I placed on the coffee table a tray of fall treats, like leaves, pumpkins and acorns that a friend had sent me....these acorns look like they came off of a Sequoia tree, (well, if Sequoias had acorns).......they are about four or five inches long--you know lifelike! My husband asked me if those were going to be ok on the coffee table, and I said "should be fine"

......yep, Lucie got one, and come to find out they are really styrfoam acorns, and white inside (and now my collection is four rather than five)....the squirrels around here would be mighty disappointed. Which reminds me that Lucie and Aggie both think they are squirrels as they sure enjoy the pecans off of the pecan trees in the back yard......they must have stomachs of steel.....and good teeth!

To end this saga, just let me tell you one last Lucie antic; hubby goes to mow the grass this morning, and she goes outside and start to wallow in every dirty place she can find, I think Lucie got a spa treatment......a bath, and such, because she was filthy from head to paw!!!! Lucie, lucie, what will we do with you.

I'll end up this book about Lucie with showing you just a few of the fall things I've put out that she cannot reach!!!

You' can't really see the Harvest sign up in front of the mirror....maybe if you click to enlarge you can.

I want to get a croton to put in this red pot but just put the green plant for now....

This platter is from a special friend I had a Fall Swap with a few years ago....Thanks, Cathy! I still love it!

I'll show you the rest later....until then.....

Lucie says Bye y'all.......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The most Delicious Apple Cake EVER!!!

I'm joining in with Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality and her Recipe Party today.....this is seriously the best ever Apple Cake I've ever tasted....and I'm sure you'll find some other best ever recipes over there as well......Go check it out!

Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

3/4 c. butter
2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 c. all purpose flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
4 cups peeled, finely chopped apples (Granny Smith or McIntosh)
1 t. vanilla

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

Bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch cake pan. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time. Sift together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture alternately with apples. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. (find something distracting to do while it bakes or the aroma will drive you mad!! ;)
Cool in pan for 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm......oh yes by all means!

Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Immediately remove from heat and spoon over individual servings of warm cake.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Someone tagged me!!

Robin tagged me a few days didn't make it to my to do list, but here today it is a to-do and a ta-da for me.......remember, I am all over celebrating when my "to-do items turn into TA-DA items"!, I 'm supposed to share ten honest (do they think I would make this stuff UP????) things about myself! So here it is....

TA DA!!!! ;p

1. I am a sentimental girl....cry easily at commercials, songs, sweetness, and otherwise sappy moments.
2. I am very laid back.....have LOTS of great ideas, but don't always find the energy, motivation to get 'em done. I need a wife! :) or a secretary...............
3. I am somewhat of a perfectionist, and this prevents me from getting some things, the mental game it takes to go ahead and do it, and live with the outcome rather than expecting the result to be perfection and not wanting to start for fear it won't be. Anybody know what I mean?
4. I love to be creative.
5. I love puns........especially the corny ones!!
6. I love word puzzles, but my son and daughter in law are stiff competition in Scrabble.
7. I love making a difference in the lives of others.
8. I look forward to being a grandma one day!
9. I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe, and love it!
10. I love chocolate.........sigh.

And here's something to make you smile....If you want to, you can consider yourself tagged and play along, but if you don't that's okay, too...
Here's Lucie. This is what she did this morning while I blogged!!! :) shhh....she's sleeping.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Looking forward to the weekend....

to go see this! We gave my daughter tickets to go see this Broadway musical for her birthday!! Can't wait! She is super excited, too!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My new slogan......

I am still making progress on my TO DO list.......which you know multiplies in the dark! So my new slogan (those of you who are Facebook friends already know it.....) is....

Taking my To Do lists and making them into TaDa!!!! lists!!!

Makes me feel so good about what I get accomplished!
What's on your TaDa list??????? Celebrate it!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Swiss cheese for brains...

Yes, swiss cheese for a read that right. Lately I truly do struggle with being able to remember things, being able to stay on task, being able to multi-task. My husband says I try to do too much, try to pay attention to too much. I don't know if it's a menopausal thing, thyroid related thing, or all of the above. But that's REALLY why I made the list yesterday and tried to use that and y'all as my accountability force. I have to force myself to stay on task; not be distracted by the computer, check off my list as I get it done, keep going back to said list to remember what's next, and what else I need to accomplish before I can relax and enjoy some blogging and reading blogs!! :)

So yesterday, my list, my intentions, my several done and checked off, but was sidelined by a few other things......I'm celebrating the checked off things, my friends! And I have a full day to catch up on things that roll over to today, that didn't get accomplished yesterday. True to form, I was forgetting when I made that list that my daughter had a dr. appt. after school, and I needed to plan the couple of hours it was going to take into my schedule......hmm, ever done that before??? I was just thankful that I didn't forget it! And when I went to change out the a/c filters, I only had one of the two I needed, so I am planning a trip to Lowe's later today.....I'll check out a few mums for the front porch while I'm there. Bright and early this morning (on a day when I actually could have slept in a little), the dogs woke me up! I got up and decided to clean out a few drawers. Junk drawer in kitchen is now cleaned out!! YAY! I've sorted thru a bunch of coupons and decided which ones were worth using and which ones had expired.
I didn't get to check out the new Kroger yesterday because the reason I was going in that direction came to me instead. Someone brought me her check instead of me going to pick it up. That's okay by me! I can check out the Kroger anytime.
I did get my nails done, and I did get to the bank, and I did get an order entered into the computer that wasn't even on my list.......celebrate that little victory, too!

I did get my daughter to the dr. and was assured that she is healthy, just trying to do too much and needs to get more sleep! Trying to do too much......hmm, a recurring pattern. We need to schedule some R&R around here!!! Another thing we are celebrating is that on Tuesday we went to the mall and got both her dress and her shoes that she will wear to Homecoming by only going to ONE store and within about an hour and a half! THAT, my friends is almost unheard of, but I am thanking God that we found a fairly modest dress that she liked, shoes to match and that task is done! Whew!

So back to the list....I did pick up and straighten the foyer and living area and kitchen. That feels better. AND, Frank was right, bless his heart, and it is indeed feeling fallish this morning.....I am excited about that. I NOW feel like dressing up the front porch because I don't have to sweat to do it!! And I have a plan to put the sealant on the countertops......

I have to be home this morning anyway for my cooktop to be delivered. Good news is that the oven is like brand new......the old one is restored! Even though I won't be getting that new double oven I could really use for the holidays.... It will even clean itself now.......yay! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! :) And I am going to bake some cookies, some apple dumplings, and make some Pumpkin Dip to take to a friend's Sip and See tomorrow. She's showing off her grandbaby who comes into town for the first time today! Welcome, Miss Emmeline!!
Well, I've rambled on enough this morning...y'all are so kind to listen to me as I share my daily life. I want you to be encouraged today that the living God of the universe cares for you and can use even cracked pots like me to show HIS love to others. Thanks, friends!
Here's the Pumpkin Dip recipe....

2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 (16 oz) pkg. confectioners sugar
1 (16 oz.) can of pumpkin
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg

Beat cream cheese with a mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve chilled with gingersnaps and apple slices. Yield: 5 cups. Makes a lot, so you can take some with you and leave some at home! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whatcha' gonna DO????

Someone has to hold me accountable here......I've just been on the computer much too much lately, and I need to do some rockin and rollin in the Southern Inspiration castle today! So I thought, what else would motivate me more than having to be accountable to y'all.......soooooo

I make a list, I document a few chores done, and get a few things accomplished and VOILA........I am productive, rather than watching everyone else be productive from my comfy chair and laptop......I say, let's get moving.
I'm going to make a list of simple chores I want to have done by the end of the day, and then I am going to come back and let you know what I got, kind of like a contract. And then I am going to revel in the accolades lavished upon me......well, unless they come from you, they won't be coming.....Lucie and Aggie (the dogs) aren't going to be barking any "best job ever!" or "hey mamma, that's terrific!" comments for me! And daughter is just so darned busy, and really could care less about neatness, order and cleanliness.....hubby is out of the office and truthfully, blogettes, it's just you and me. So what do you say, let's get shaking and moving and get her done.
Feel free to follow along and join in....I'd LOVE to know what you got accomplished, too, and give you a couple of virtual with a mental drum roll, here goes:

1. take 10 minutes and pick up stray items in the foyer, living room and main living area.
2. clean kitchen and read instructions on the sealant I need to put on the granite countertop
3. nail appt. at 10:00 (this is important, really!)
4. Drop by the new Kroger Marketplace to blog concept.....groceries and home goods all under one hubby said, it's the opposite of what Super Walmart and SuperTarget did. Got groceries, add homegoods, rather than the reverse...I'll try to blog about this!
5. Finish dining room centerpiece
6. Check a/c filters because it is Oct. 15 and we are STILL running the a/c!! Check weather report and make sure the temps are REALLY going to improve like Frank says!
7. Dust
8. Finish front porch decor
9. Oh, forgot I need to run by the bank while I'm out.
10. Plan what I am going to bake because it is supposed to get cooler tomorrow....if it doesn't I'm calling Frank!! ;)

That's my plan, and I'll check back with you this afternoon on my progress.....with some pics and documentation!! thanks, blogettes! love y'all..... Oh, and some high fives to get us going.....wish me luck!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do YOU Pom????

Recently, I was contacted by Lindsay Jones from Pom Wonderful, inquiring as to whether I'd like to try some POM Wonderful juice....don't you LOVE being a blogger? Of course, I had tried different kinds of pomegranate juice before on occasion, but a case, free of charge, is worth trying again!! Wouldn't you agree? So on my doorstep came the POM Wonderful juice. Along with the juice came so literature proclaiming the wonders of POM Wonderful! I will list for you only a few of the health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice, but you can do your own extensive research and find all the benefits of including this in your daily diet.
-It is a superior source of antioxidants, even better than red wine, grape juice, cranberry juice, blueberry juice, green tea, vitamins C & E. According to Dr. Michael Davidson, MD, "It's the concentration of the polyphenols that appear to make pomegranate juice the most potent antioxidant in nature."

-It is GREAT for cardiovascular health and prostate health. If you want to read more, go here.

Since I have been dieting, I am adding it to the copious amounts of water I am trying to drink! It is certainly a lot more helpful than all the diet soda I used to drink. It gives the water just enough flavor to help me enjoy ....I don't like to drink a lot of water, especially the amounts recommended! So this helps!
My daughter loves it, too, and I have encouraged her to drink it....every teen can use more nutrition, right???

Other items of the day.....I want to thank Kathy, at Mimi's Garden, so much for mentioning me on her blog and honoring me with this award......she's a sweetheart! go check her out.
This Blog:
"Contains Brilliant Content and/or Design"
"It's Creator Has Been An Encouragement To Me"

And ALSO! My oven is fully restored.....I am trying out the cleaning cycle as I blog, to make sure that is all squared away. Of course, I am not naive enough to think that ONE cleaning cycle will have it sparkly will probably take a couple of cycles. So, I am thinking I may have a celebrate! It's going to get a little cooler in our area at the end of the week, and I am going to bake something! What shall it be? Apple cake, muffins, biscuits?????? Check back to see what I decide! And I'll be glad to share any recipes.......Take care and have a great day.
I am finishing up my Fall decor, and will share a few little vignettes in a day or so....

Monday, October 12, 2009

More model home pics.....

come on in, and we'll look at more Model home pics! Sure makes me want to go back again! This is a tile "rug" inset into the hardwood floor......handsome!

This house had a library at the top of the was lovely!

Some drapery pics.... I always love to look at the window treatments!

This is the house that had black, white and green throughout the bottom floor, various treatments of black and white, and shades of green.
Here is a shot of the bath....

A sunroom, or small living room...

These are cool window treatments in a very pretty dining room!

And another bath......

Hope you've enjoyed the tour!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some lovely bedrooms.....

Today I will show you some of the lovely bedrooms we saw on the model home tour. Some were VERY interesting! Think one would tire of this quickly? (You can click on all the images to see the detail.)

This bed had panels behind it with wall papers squares......interesting application, but I think I wouldn't choose it.
this was interesting; that's mosaic tile above the headboard, and the panels of fabric are mock windows. Just panels of fabric, no windows behind them.......I didn't get the mosaic tile there......I would have preferred a transom window there.

College bound????

This one rather contemporary, but I do love the green, white and black. They had graduated colors of green on the wall...three shades. The whole house, downstairs, was shades of green, and the black and white carried throughout.

Love the toile in this room....

A fun girls room:

Isn't this a lovely master suite?
Loved the blue and the white, and I loved how they had these prints hanging above the wicker bed!!

this was a lovely guest room, too; love the black furniture. It was such an inspiration going through these model homes....of course, people didn't live there, so they were nice and clean and uncluttered!!! :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wow, what a day.....

We celebrated Allison's 18th birthday today with a special meal at home....She had asked for coconut shrimp, and her birthday dessert, rather than a birthday cake, was Tiramisu. It has been her favorite for a while now. So I made it for the first time, and I'm glad to report it wasn't tiramasoup! I was worried it would be runny. At least it was in a Trifle bowl, so it was ok to spoon out, rather than cut squares. It would not have been stiff enough for that. But it was tasty! She had asked for something else but it will have to wait until the control panel of the oven is working again. Well, it did have a problem after all, even though I was able to bake in it. NOW it is stuck in the cleaning cycle, and will be repaired on Wednesday, hopefully.

As for the model homes, we saw some really nice ones. I had two favorite features stand out. One was a shower that was like a walk through, with TWO shower heads. Totally cool! And the other feature that I thought was genius was a small closet right past the water closet, underneath the staircase. It was a cedar lined closet!! A bright idea, I I'll show you a few pics. They didn't even really care; just let us roam through the houses while they stayed at their desks....nice!

We did see a lot of upholstered headboards.....and some drapery ideas that I will share over the next few days....I took 82 pictures, so I have more to share!!!!

Remember this is an area that has a Polo field, so many of the houses had an equestrian flair to them......Here's the double shower, although you can't see that there is another shower head. And a ledge for sitting.......oh, how cool is that????Behind this tub is the double shower.....
this was the floor of the master really nice tile accents in this bath. I'll have more to post for another day. Have a good one, y'all!!