Thursday, May 29, 2008

Life and constant change

The paperwork is done, Isaac will soon be off on his new life adventure at Job corps. I hope he can find his way.

My best friend is dying of cancer, it is hard to see, I have known her since our kids were really little. She's been one constant in my life. We started out perfect strangers, and have ended up being very good friends over the years. At least for 28. I asked her once, why did you pick me as a friend when you had all those nurses we worked with, I was a goofy, high strung, set the world on fire new grad. I drove you crazy, she is so laid back and I am so not. She told me I had a good heart, a sweet spirit and she felt good when she was around me, because I laughed and had a good time, no matter how hard the day was, or what life was tossing at me, I rose above it, determined to conquer all.

I hope my blog is a fun place to be, when my life gets complicated, I have a few people that I can turn to.

I wish everybody could have a friend like Sandy. She is closer to me than anybody I know. She's the first one to take my side when I need a defender, she's the one that sees the good in me even when I don't even know if I am good. She loves me like a sister. I am so thankful that I have her in my life. She is somebody I can call and vent to, she never judges me. She understands me on a level that nobody else does. Well, except Steve. They both know my heart, my struggles, my strengths and my weaknesses. They both love me unconditionally, even when I am not so loveable, they are still there for me. If you don't have somebody in your corner like them, you are truly missing out. I thank God every day for them both.

Sandy is also available at any time, when I call, she is right there to listen, even if it is 11pm and we talk for 2 hours, she listens.She's a true peach of a gal. We have had more than one evening where we spent hours on the phone handling the newest tragedy.

Lucky for me, Sandy has 2 sisters that I adore, we all get along really good. They have adopted me as a sister, we have been to KC together for the weekend, we've done a few shows together with our beads and jewelry. Their Mom is great, she used to babysit my daughter when she was younger. When her husband was dying of cancer at the hospital where I work, I sat with them quite often, checking on them when the days got longer for them.

What I am trying to say is, everybody needs a good, strong support system. It is important to your well being, I hope for all of you that you have good people in your lives that will support you and love you. Thanks Steve, Sandy Brenda, Donna and Gay.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Taken by Storm

Today Isaac and Steve worked on the deck, the weather was so hot and humid, I talked them into going to see a movie and finishing the deck tomorrow when it was cooler, in the morning. They both took a shower and went off to see Indiana Jones.

Later after Steve returned home, I convinced him to finish the deck, I'd help him and it would be done, he could then carve or do whatever he wanted to tomorrow. There was a chance of rain, too. He wouldn't have the deck project hanging over his head the rest of the holiday weekend.

We went out to eat, returning home around 6pm. By 7 we had the brick all laid. After our shower, we were sitting and watching a little TV. Suddenly there were weather advisories all over the TV. I looked outside, the winds were making the trees bow over. They were predicting 56 MPH winds. We ran out to the yard to put the glass topped table onto the deck, returned the grill to it's place, and the container that holds our chair cushions to it's spot. The winds were so strong, I could see it blowing them around the yard, causing damage to something. We also had a random yellow lawn chair I had to bring up on the deck.

There was a dog running around the back yard. He acted like he wanted to come inside. Later I looked out onto the deck to find we had a new neighbor that had settled into a deep sleep. He stirred when I stepped out to get his picture with the camera....

It's 11:30 at night, he is still sleeping on the back deck.

Something to do over the holiday weekend

I just finished posting a nice photo of the cake I baked, only to discover blogger didn't save it. I hate when that happens.

I saw this cake on Paula Deen's magazine cover and knew immediately I had to make it for my hubby. He does so much for me, I love to treat him to chocolate treats. He lives for chocolate. Here's the magazine cover:

I was intimidated by the recipe, it had 3 parts. The mousse in between each layer caused me to almost panic, I have never made anything so fancy before. But I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out perfect. I didn't have 2 9" square pans like I thought, so had to bake 3 cakes. All in all, it turned out pretty good. I don't shave or curl chocolate, so I had nothing pretty to decorate it with. The taste is pretty good, I am NOT a chocolate person. Steve says it is fantastic. I will be making it again. When shopping the next time, I will look for a pretty platter to put it on, it is worth it.

I wish it looked as pretty as Paula's, but it tasted good.

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake:

2 C. Flour
2 C. sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 c. strong brewed coffee
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 Large Eggs

Dreamy chocolate Mousse, (recipe follows) Chocolate Fudge Frosting (recipe Follows) Grnish with grated chocolate, and chocolate curls, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and Flour 3 9x9 pan, square or round. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add Milk, coffee, oil, and eggs. Beat at a medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

2. Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for 23-25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

3. Using a serrated knife, cut cake layers in half horizontally to make 6 layers, place 1 cut layer, cut side up on a cake plate, spread with one fifth of the chocolate mousse. Repeat procedure with remaining cake layers and mousse. Freeze cake for 1 hour. Spread chocolate fudge frosting evenly over top of cake and up sides. Garnish with chocolate curls and grated chocolate.

Freezing the layers for 1 hour helps the frosting spread easier on the cake, ask me how I know..............never try to deviate from the recipe the first time you make one.

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 Tablespoons cold water
1/4 c. boiling water
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c. heavy whipping cream

1. In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 3 tablespoons cold water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add boiling water, stirring until gelatin dissolves, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cocoa powder.

3. In a medium bowl, beat cream at medium speed wit an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar mixture, beating until stiff peaks form. Stir in gelatin mixture. Cover and chill 4 hours.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

1 c. sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
5 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
10 Tablespoons butter
1 c. confectioner's sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cream. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in confectioner's sugar. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable ocnsistency.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Our little bird's nest has a couple eggs in it. Each night when I come home, there is another one:

When we moved to the new property, there were no trees, flowers, etc. growing here. The property has been empty as long as I can remember. I can remember walking past it as a young girl on my way to school.

When we moved in, the 2nd or 3rd year we were here, Steve asked for a Weeping Willow tree for the back yard. His grandmother raised him from the ripe old age of 3 until he and I got married. She had a willow tree in the yard, some of his fondest memories from that time were playing in her tree.

Karen got Steve the tree for Father's day, it is only 3 or 4 years old, we can't remember how long we were here when we planted it. We have a natural spring that runs beneath our property, making it impossible for us to put our home on a basement. It is a perfect spot to nurture a willow tree:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No lazy Sunday for us

Today Steve and Isaac tore out the old patio. The ants keep taking the sand to the top of the brick. The wind blows the sand away, then our patio is bumpy.

Here's the work in progress:

Here are some pictures of the back yard, we have the fountain my sisters helped me get for my birthday last year:

Here are the pine trees we planted 5 years ago when the new house was put in, they were only 4" tall:

I love lilacs, we planted this outside our bedroom window, this is the first year it has bloomed.

Here are the snow ball bushes:

Our hostas have gotten huge, I love hostas, these took off last year and went crazy, I do have a slug problem. I can't seem to get rid of them. We're going to put lava rock around the base to see if that will help:

I got 3 hanging baskets for Mother's day, I have been keeping them inside at night, the temp here has dropped to 40 and 45 in the evenings. I hung them outside 2 nights ago and left them, the temps have gotten a little warmer. Last night when I came home, they were looking really dry, the leaves and blooms were drooping. I went out on the enclosed porch to water them, Steve came running out of nowhere yelling, NO, NO, NO. I had watered two of them, and had come back in to refill the jug. He told me there is a bird nest in the other planter. Sure enough, we waited until this morning to water, I put the camera up over the nest to get a picture:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Karen and Miss O on Noah's Field Trip

Yesterday Karen took Miss O and they went on Noah's field trip with him at preschool. I remember I did this with Karen's 2nd grade class, I took about 7 kids, they were all very well behaved. They wanted to take pictures with my camera, that kept them occupied the whole trip, making sure whose turn it was and who was next. I really enjoyed it.

Miss O went along, she was so excited, at the end of the trip, she got to ride the bus with the kids in his class. She felt pretty special.

Here they are, all of them in the class:

Here is Noah and his little girlfriend, he heard blondes are more fun:

Here is Miss O hamming it up with her brother:

Here is Miss O with one of the munchkins, they are the same height!!!:

The last one is her and Dorothy, looks like the Wizard of Oz exhibit was the funnest:

I love getting pictures of them, it is a rare thing anymore to get them sent to me via email. I love it, a nice surprise.

Blogger is so irritating, I have edited this 10 times to get the spacing right, I give up!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Went for a walk with Wendy last night, we do a 3 mile stretch. It felt so good to get out and walk, the flowers are all blooming, the grass is green, it was a fun time. We caught up on all the latest.

Isaac got his glasses, he went with plastic frames because he couldn't afford the titanium frames at $350/pair. The new ones look like army issue black frames, but they look good on him.

We get him up every day when we leave for work so he can job hunt. I hope he finds something soon.

Everytime we head North to see our grandbabies, there is a huge 3 story blue house that is an architectural beauty. When we drive by it I always comment how I would love to win the lottery and remake that house, it is truly a diamond in the rough!

Yesterday when Karen and the babies drove by it, they said, "There's that blue house that Grandma Loves!!!" So cute, they think of me when I am not even there!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Oh, Lord, Please help!

The week is not over yet, Isaac woke up this morning and broke his eyeglasses. They are titanium becase he is allergic to all base metals. The frames he has are outdated and not available to just pop his old lenses into. When looking at his old lenses, they are a mess!

They are so scratched up, I wonder how he can see. Of course, he quit his job on Friday and has no money or insurance to pay for his eyeglasses. It just keeps raining on us, I wonder when it will stop?

I can't let him go without eyeglasses, he is blind as a bat without them. So, off to the local wal-mart for an eye exam and a pair of glasses. Thank goodness there is nothing unusual about his prescription.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cleaning jewelry

I was told by my friend that works in a bead store to clean my jewelry by putting it in a rock tumbler with a little warm water, a couple drops of soap and stainless steel shot.

Last night I did 4 batches, tumbled for about an hour each. The jewelry, was immediately clean and shiny.

It worked so well I did all of my clasps and silver beads that I have in my supplies to make jewelry. The stuff all looked brand new, shiny and ready to be incorporated into whatever I want.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Having a bad week

I am having such a bad week. Started out when a woman in the parking lot at Hobby Lobby took the passenger side mirror off my car, it will now have to get an estimate and be taken into the shop for repairs, which means I will have to rent a car.

Then I have something wrong with my right eye. I have an eye appointment tomorrow at 4pm. I just hate getting new glasses, picking out the frames is the worst part for me, I can't see what I am trying on! HAHA!

I have a show this weekend for my lampwork beads and jewelry. I didn't get to set up tonight because I didn't get the email until 10am today telling me that we were supposed to set up tonight. HRMPH! I live 45min. away, which means I would have had to drive home, get my stuff, then drive back to Omaha, then drive back home. With gas at $3.35/gal. I don't think so! I'll set up tomorrow on my lunch break. WHATEVER! I have not done the spring open house at the Hot Shops Art Center before, usually we are at the Kansas City Bead Blast. This year we had some folks on over time at their real jobs. THey couldn't get time off work, it was too much to drive all the way to KC. We are at home doing a show, which should be fun.

I would love to get a good picture of the bracelet I strung tonight, it is pretty, I love teal and purple together. I'll see what I can do.

I love the purple and the silver rings. I also have a few bracelets, since it is dark, I couldn't get a good photo, but here is an idea.