Friday, September 30, 2011

This post is NOT about FB!!!

Please stop making improvements. I don't care what it is that you are calling New and Improved. I'm sure I liked it better the old way!

While everybody else seems to be all steamed up over FB changes and changes over on the Etsy site and other online places, I'm even more concerned about how everything seems to be different every time we buy something. Ranging from my regular soft spread margarine, the updated version of my camera that I've loved for 10 years, the computer stationery that I use for customer thank yous, my laundry detergent and even down to my favorite undies!

Last week I purchased the same soft spread margarine we've used for years but they've now changed the formula. Supposedly it is now healthier and has a much richer taste. Who did the tasting? Straight Crisco would have the same flavor, I believe. I compared the nutrition numbers - there's so little health difference, it's negligible. (Unless you eat it by the spoonful - but then, the flavors so pitiful, who would?) The biggest difference is it is now hard and difficult to spread even if you leave it sitting out for a while. Today, I instructed The Big Guy to skip our usual brand and go back to the Shedd's Spread we used to use. It'll cost us more again but we won't be struggling so hard with it and will use less in that sense as it will spread easily.

I use some of that pre-printed computer paper that has a cute juvenile border on it for my customer thank-yous. I customize the note and give specific care instructions there, too. The new package contains the same amount of pages but the paper is now so thin you could use it as tracing paper. I'm now revamping the notes using my own stationery design that I can print on heavier paper. Once I get the stationery just like I like it, I'll print a stack of my own and it won't be any less convenient than before. I think I'll even like it better in the end.

Then, there the laundry detergent. They've made the large bottle "a more attractive style" (That's really important when it's sitting on the shelf in the laundry room !) What they don't mention is that it now doesn't fit in the same shelf space as it's new curvier styling pushes it away from the wall and it overhangs the edge, causing to fall easily. The first one we bought in that shape, fell and split!! Do you know how hard it is to clean liquid laundry soap off a tile floor? (Talk about slimey!!) Luckily, I was able to dig the old jug out of the recycle bin and now must empty new bottles into it each time.

Why not give updates on clothing designs a new style (model) number? I buy my everyday undies from one of the leading undergarment companies that's been around for quite a while. I haven't changed size or shape but their panties have. They have the same style number, the same label and are the same size but, boy, are they different!!! The cut on the hi-cut legs varies tremendously about every six months and the elastic at the top varies anywhere from 3/8" to 1" from season to season. I'm sure a man designs these and doesn't realize the differences these changes make in fit. Stop improving them!! I love the oldest ones I have but they're wearing out!! Bring back the pink-striped waistband style!! Please!!!

I'm now looking for a new camera. I want a small (pocket size) point and shoot but I need to be able to use it for everything as I don't have the budget or mind for a bunch of different cameras for different purposes. I loved my old one (a Casio Exilim) but it's over 10 years old and has now taken almost 12,000 photos. It's tired and it shows. I'd love to just get the newer version of the same camera but they've changed just about everything I liked about it. It doesn't appear to be as practical and I gleaned that fact form the many consumer reviews I've looked at. I found one I did like (a Cannon) but when I searched this 2011 design to see where I could get it, I found it had already been discontinued for a "new and improved" version that now has a pop-up flash that consumers seem to be having trouble with already. I'm back to square one on this. (Thus, no photos tonight, Gang.)

So, please, Mr. Manufacturer, please stop improving our everyday items. I want the old styles back. (I am one of those folks who purposely types in "Classic" Mapquest and "Classic" Weatherunderground. ) CHANGE does not mean BETTER.

Don't miss out! This is the last night to enter the drawing for the Needleworker's Mystery Basket Give-Away!!! Go here for details.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stitch ...Stictch...Stitch,,, Get those entries in.

*** Just one more day!! Don't forget the Mystery Basket for Stitchers Drawing - Details here.

Just a quick note reminding you that I'll be selecting a winner at midnight tomorrow (Sept. 30). No time for a long post tonight as I'm off working on putting that basket together now.

* * * * * * *

Spent the day working on that Barbie Boutique.
I could use something motivating to keep me going. Once I get all the walls and the floor done, I'll be more into it as the furniture pieces are small enough to hold my interest. It's just these large vast areas that get awfully boring to work!

What little tricks do you do to keep you going through the "boring" parts when you stitch?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quack! Quack!

*** Don't forget the Mystery Basket for Stitchers Drawing - Only 2 more days to enter!! Details here.
* * * * *

Once again, it was duck weather around here this morning !
Humans in the Mid-Atlantic region may soon be evolving into web-footed creatures with fins. History indicates species do evolve over time to adapt to their environment. Ours is WET - WET - WET !!!
Our neighborhood is now approaching 30” of rain in the last 8 weeks. Normal rainfall for that period is about 6”. Flash flood warnings are up almost daily. Folks are starting to ignore them, regarding them as “nothing new.”
There are a few good points to all this rain, though - We all now have waterfront property which should give it a higher market value. (Of course, most of the access roads are also under water every few days.) You can go crabbing right in your own front yard. Fresh fish is also cheap. Just open your door. They’ll swim right in and you can simply reach down and grab them. (What? Haven’t you watched “Hillbilly Hand fishing o TV, yet?)
Maryland farms, once known for tobacco, and recently struggling to find something new can now consider growing rice as a cash crop. I’ve even heard the water lilly may replace the Black-Eyed Susan as the State flower.
I miss being outside. There are usually so many wonderful Fall festivals around us this time of year. So, far, we’ve been to none. If they’re not held in a field, you’ve got to park in a field. We no longer have fields. We have swamps and mud bogs. The Big Guy refuses to take his car there.
Unfortunately, we don’t own an all-terrain vehicle. We did, however, try off-roading in my mini-van two years ago. I convinced him it was a nice day and we went to an annual craft fair held on a farm. We both had enjoyed this event for years, first as sellers and then as customers. It hadn’t rained all week before the fair. The field we parked in was fairly solid when we pulled in. After shopping there for several hours, many cars had traveled back and forth forming some muddy ruts on that parking lot (formerly grassy field). It had become one humongous mud pit.I handed The Big Guy the keys and said, “You’re driving.” Well, he floored it and we were off. His theory was “if we don’t hesitate or stop, we can make it.” It was an obstacle course of stuck vehicles, pedestrians plodding their way through the mud on foot and tow trucks working to pull vehicles out. We shot mud at least 20’ in the air but we made it to solid ground all on our own!

Mud dripped from the luggage racks and side-view mirrors. No one could have told you what color that van was. We pulled over long enough to scrape some peepholes in the mud on the windshield and made our way to the nearest automatic car wash. Finally, we could see out the window. There was still enough mud dripping, after that rinse, to garner lots of stares on our 70 mile drive up I-95. We ran it through our local car wash two more times that night and hand-washed it the next day. It stayed dingy for yet another couple washings after that.

The next day, the kids in the family gave us a “Mudder Award” and served chocolate pudding in our honor.

Yesterday, I looked at the calendar and mentioned, “Brandywine is this weekend.” He simply glared and said flatly, “Don’t EVEN think it!!”

I later heard him mutter to our boarder, “That was scarey that day!”

I hope to get there again someday - maybe we’ll have a drought next year.

Random Deals

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Take 2 . . . (And don't forget the Mystery Basket drawing!)

Hey, y'all, remember the plastic needlepoint Barbie room fiasco of last Christmas? Well, I'm at it again!! (If you weren't around for that tale, check it out in this old post.)Only this time, I'm doing the Barbie Boutique which is complete with glass (fake) show cases for jewelry and such, dress forms, one of those funky little stools they use for trying on shoes, shoe boxes, and so much more. (I've made two before. the last one was for a now 22-year-old.)

I know, Christmas is still 80 some days away, so I've got plenty of time this year. (I really intended it for her birthday on the 9th - of October - but I think I'm revising that plan as it means, even with Express Mail service, I'd have less than a week to finish. (The earlier reference to last year's fiasco only takes you to Part 1, here's where you'll find Part 2 of that tale!)

I'm doing pretty well, so far. I have all of the outside walls done and I'm starting on the interior ones. I honestly enjoy making these. (Just ignore that muttering under my breath.) It's like being a mini-architect and a mini interior decorator.

I've even completed the signage on the outside of the building. This particular design does call for a lot of decorative stitched details above and beyond making the tiny furniture and such.

I also like shopping for the store's stock - sets of shoes, pieces of clothing (No, I've never allowed enough time to make the clothing. My patience does have some limits!) and I'm considering making jewelry for the showcases this time.

So, what do you think?

By the way, any brilliant ideas for a quick and easy, spectacular, birthday gift for a 6-year-old ? I need to ship it by mid-week. (Check out this old post for how the Post Office got the last laugh last year!)

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

There's only a few days left to enter the drawing for the Mystery Stitcher Basket. I'll be drawing the winner's name at midnight on 9/30/11.

For more details, see this post.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sorry I didn't post yesterday but I got lost wandering around the blogosphere and took a while to find my way back! seriously, I set off to visit ALL of the blogs listed in the various Blog Hops I took part in this week. Wow!! What a trip!!
First, for those of you not familiar with Blog Hops, let me explain their function. When someone does a Blog Hop, they set up a linky system where a bunch of folks with blogs sign on to share the day's post or even just their blog url in general. The idea is, you then visit each of the blogs on the list (the hop) and may discover many blogs that you probably would not have stumbled upon in your free-style wandering. Those bloggers will also visit your post. Hopefully, you will gain followers in the process.

The organizer posts the list on their post for the day and a hop button that will allow you to join in, too. Often, other participants will also post the list but, usually, they simply post the button that leads you to the list. You then simply click on the name on the list and get transported to that blog. You can then choose to follow that person or leave a comment or do both. You may simply decide that one's not for you and move on to the next blog. You are encouraged to check them all out and, hopefully, all those folks will be returning the favor.

aquariann's Autumn Blog Hop
Just one of the ongoing blog hops.

I'm not a numbers person. I am happy to know there are folks out there who read my musings regularly but I don't get upset when my numbers stay stagnant or even if I lose a reader or two along the way. I don't sell ad space or have sponsors so there is no need to boast about how many folks are reading my words. I prefer folks leave a relevant comment when they stop in and the majority do. I don't panic if I go several posts without a comment. There are those who join hops simply to get those comments. I try to leave comments on those posts that I could identify with. Now, generally, I take time to read not just that day's post but at least 4 or 5 of their most recent posts. That takes a lot of time, so I've been busy. In the process, I have found some great reads and, yes, I added some to my regular reading list.

I'd like to share a few here with you. Maybe you'll like them, too.

One of the first I discovered this week was Cranky Old Man. Now, if you're at home with infants and toddlers and your main concerns are how to get one down for a nap while bathing the other, his probably isn't your kind of blog. BUT, if your kids are grown (or nearly there), the grandkids are around with some frequency and you spend a fair amount of time simply observing life around you and often shaking your head a bit, you may just really get a kick out of this humorous look at everyday life. He had me at the name, "Cranky Old Man." (I sort of expected to see a picture of The Big Guy as an illustration!)

Ivy and Elephants

Then, I fell in love with Ivy and Elephants. Their blog is a work of beauty and information. Here, these two ladies, Patti and Paula share their love of beautiful and fascinating collectibles. I found this read to be very peaceful and relaxing and I had trouble pulling myself away as I dug through their older posts. I'm sure they'll be right up there on my "read daily" list from here on in. Today's post is about toleware and I certainly loved the on on the Chinese puzzle balls!

Over at Aka Gramma I discovered Tina who had a number of helpful ideas. Two I really enjoyed and will be filing away for future use are a unique but pleasant get-well gift and a recovery tip. First she mentions one of the best gifts she received during a recent hospitalization was a pack of those flexible neon (glow-in-dark) bracelets they sell at the dollar store. They brought her pleasure. (I was reminded of my cousin buying my aunt large plastic heart sunglasses last year when she had fallen and had black eyes. She was the hit of the retirement center!) I guess the message there is, think "FUN'. Tina then point out she had discovered the press and seal plastic wrap works when applied to your skin over an incision. It enabled her to shower easily before her incisions had healed completely. (I expect that one to come in handy one day.)

She also made me laugh when she referred to her humongous cucumber plant as a "pickle tree".
A pic of Gramma's "Pickel Tree".

Tina also has a ticker on her page that tells us just how close both Thanksgiving and Christmas are. Do you realize Christmas is only 90 days away?!?

I hope you'll all take some time to go out there and check out some of the blogs on the many blog hops. You just may find a new favorite read!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall is here!! (Or, so they say.)


Today's the first full day of Fall. Does it feel different? -- look different? --- Can you smell the apples and the pumpkin pies cooking?

To be honest, it all seems the same here - rainy, dreary and just sort of gray - but, I hold out hope of seeing those richly colored leaves someday soon and, hopefully, I'll get a chance to get out between the raindrops and buy some bright yellow, orange and brown mums to decorate my doorstep.

I'm starting to feel like a duck!! (Don't they fly South for the winter?) Think I'll just settle in and watch some movies today. What are you up to this weekend?

___ ____ ____ ___ ___

If you're a stitcher, don't forget to check out my Mystery Basket Give-Away. Get details on this post.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unsolicited, Totally Uncompensated Product Review - Fit & Active Smores Drizzled Mini Crisps

"Hello. My name is - Oh, just call me Ramblin Mama - and I am a rice-cake-a-holic."

There. I admitted it. No more hiding in the closet, chewing slowly to hide the crunching sounds.

Maybe I just have an addictive personality.
Yesterday, I used the term obsession with regard to my tendency to overdo my love of stitching. (Don't you think "obsession" sounds so much better than "addiction"?)

The Big Guy and I both love some crunchy with our munchies - and, Oh, we DO love our munchies! I swear, he's an enabler. I purposely keep the snacks on a shelf I can't reach just to limit my access. I'm often too lazy to get the stepstool so I end up passing them by. BUT, now that he's around the house more, I've found if I mention wanting them, he'll get them down! (There's a reason to marry a tall man!)

We prefer flavored rice cakes. (Plain are a bit bland.) Long ago we discovered the ones with caramel flavoring and usually have a bag on hand. They make great car snacks as they're not messy and not subject to temperature conditions. We do a lot of roadtrips! (Incidently, cinnamon sugar flavored rice cakes are a perfectly legitimate breakfast food - and can be eaten on the run!)

We're lucky enough
to have an Aldi's as our closest grocery store so we buy a lot there. I recently discovered and fell in love with their Fit & Active Smore's Drizzled Mini Crisps. I mean, what Gal can pass up something labeled "smores"? (I was a Girl Scout and smores were a standard Girl Scout treat. I think it's part of the GS Alumni code.)

OMG, I LOVE these!
The box describes them as "Marshmallow Bits & Rich Milk chocolatey Coating in a Delicate and Satisfying Snack." They ARE !!!

The little 90-calorie individual packs ARE actually satisfying. There are (approx.) 31, 1-inch diameter mini crisps in each bag. The Big Guy can even swipe a few and I don't mind! (Most of those 100-calorie mini snacks on the market just seem to whet my appetite and leave me wanting another packet.)

Okay, back to the smores. Each pack is considered a full serving at 90 calories, just 3 grams of total fat, 6 grams of sugar and only 90 grams of sodium. Only bad thing about these is there are only 6 packages to a box! At $2.49 a box, I consider them reasonably priced. (Have you bought a single candy bar recently?)

Oh yeah, if you're concerned about the extra packaging (what with all the individual packets), the packing itself is made from 70% recycled materials.

Now, all this talk about these delicious morsels has made me a tad hungry - gotta go get me some crunch!

***I have not been paid or compensated in any manner for any review of this product. this is merely an item from my grocery cart that my family and I are very happy with and I wanted to share the news.

Is Stitching an obsession? (Mystery Give-Away, too!)

"Such a delicate, dainty art - needlework - created with fibers twisted tight, and sharpened , highly polished steel."
Monica Ferris, Unraveled Sleeve, p.76

"Carol", Royal Doulton

Are you a stitcher? Knit? Crochet? Counted Cross Stitch? Crewel? Needlepoint? Latch Hook? Whatever. (Even tatting.) If it involves thread of some sort and a needle of any kind, it's "NEEDLEWORK."

My mother did just about any sort of needlework one can name. Her mother sewed, crocheted and did beautiful embroidery. I wish I still had some of those delicately trimmed pillowcases she made. (I think we used them until they became threadbare.) My other grandmother did needlepoint and knitted. It's in my genes.

I often say I was born with a paintbrush in one hand and a needle in the other. You might say I have a split personality - half painter - half stitcher. (It makes for a busy crafting schedule and a congested workroom!)

"Beat You to It", Royal Doulton

I believe the stitching I love most is counted cross stitch but I tend to run in cycles. For several months, I'll spend every possible moment stitching. I'll turn out 3-4 pieces (none of which I ever want to part with) and then, I'll force myself to put the cloth and DMC threads away for a while. We seem to have a shortage of space these days and nowhere to hang new pieces. I feel like a museum as I occasionally "rotate my exhibits" and change out which items I have hanging.

How about you?
Does your stitching habit outrun your wall space?
On the other hand, how many throw pillows can one house use?

"There seems to be something obsessive about needlework. I don't know it it draws the kind of person inclined to obsess, or if doing the work brings out the obsession. I have customers who seem to suffer withdrawal if they have to stop stitching for a long as a week."
Monica Ferris, Unraveled Sleeve, p. 74
So, what do you think? ARE stitchers just folks with addictive personalities? OR, Can we blame the craft itself for bringing out the all-consuming, compulsive need to stitch?

Is doing needlework a vice?
(Hmmm, maybe we can start a weekly stitch'n'chat called "The Vice Squad!")


Please share your thoughts on this by simply commenting on this post or posting a comment to my FB wall here. There's a surprise needlework gift basket involved! (A basket containing a number of needlework oriented goodies.) I'll do a random drawing of all comments submitted to both sites between today and 9/30/11. **Be sure I can contact you through your comment.

Obviously MARvelous

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They kept us smiling!!

Tom Wilson, champion of the "EVERY MAN," died yesterday at the age of 80. With just a few words and a basic caricature of a short dumpy bald guy with a big nose and large feet, Tom evoked our giggles, tears and empathy for a "hard luck comics page hero." For over 40 years, his creation, Ziggy, has served as "a reflection of enduring wit and optimism in the face of adversity." Ziggy's life experiences have trudged on through Tom Wilson, Jr. since 1989.

Ziggy progressed from a comic strip (still seen daily in thousands of newspapers) to include a vast array of Ziggy cards, posters, magnets, mugs and more. We had a number of Ziggy items around our home in the 70s. (Had I held on to those, I could probably fill a whole section in my vintage shop today.)

***The Ziggy items shown here today are all currently available at an online treasure trove of memorabilia (mostly figural pieces) from the 40s through the 80s. Check them out for a memory tickler - I'm sure you'll find your favorite characters there.

__ __ __ __ __ __

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of Dolores Hope who also left us yesterday at the age of 102 ! You may know her better as MRS. Bob Hope. (Hmmm, maybe there's a big nose correlation here - not Dolores', of course - but Bob and Ziggy are both known to have big noses, bald heads and the ability to make us laugh. Hmmm, think about it.)

Seriously, those of us who watched and loved Bob's many movies and specials over the years owe Dolores (a singer, in her own right) a huge "Thank You." She shared her man with the world by allowing him to wander the world, for weeks at a time - at the holidays, no less - entertaining the many men and women (our loved ones) giving of their time, energies and lives for God and Country. (i.e. American troops, wherever they were at that time.) When the rest of us made plans to gather our family around us, Dolores was packing her man up and sending him off to the front lines and danger zones. Bob's holiday attire included a flak jacket and helmet, not a new red tie.

I've known several Viet Nam era Vets who fondly recall Bob's tour to their camps as one of their best Christmas memories!

Thank You, Dolores, from the bottom of my heart for all the laughter you allowed us to enjoy at your expense and personal sacrifice.

__ __ __ __ __ __

Well, I'm off to see what Ziggy has to say today. Where's that morning paper?


Monday, September 19, 2011

She thinks we're just fishin'

Love Those Lyrics

N. turned 19 yesterday.
Where on Earth did those years go? How did they slip by so fast?

Seems like just yesterday we were heading off to the Pumpkin Patch to see the Story Pumpkin Display - pumpkins painted to resemble and illustrate story book characters, nursery rhymes and fairy tales. I remember her giggles at the Cat in the Hat pumpkin. She loved the little goats in the petting zoo there, too. I think she was 5. In my mind, she still is.

Ah, the memories...

Trace Adkins recently so eloquently put those feelings into words with:

I’m lost in her there holdin’ that pink rod and reel She’s doin’ almost everything but sittin’ still Talkin’ ‘bout her ballet shoes and training wheels And her kittens And she thinks we’re just fishin’

"Future Fish Stories"
1999, Elaine Watrus
Coynes & Co.

I say, “Daddy loves you, baby” one more time She says, “I know. I think I got a bite.” And all this laughin’, cryin, smilin’ dyin’ here inside’s What I call, livin’

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside Throwin’ back what we could fry Drownin’ worms and killin’ time Nothin’ too ambitious She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout What’s really goin’ on right now But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She’s already pretty, like her mama is Gonna drive the boys all crazy Give her daddy fits And I better do this every chance I get ‘Cause time is tickin’ (Yeah it is)

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside Throwin’ back what we could fry Drownin’ worms and killin’ time Nothin’ too ambitious She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout What’s really goin’ on right now But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout What’s really goin’ on right now But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in And she thinks we’re just fishin’ Yeah, aww, she thinks we’re just fishin’ We ain’t only fishin’ (This ain’t about fishin’)

"These are the Days
We Remember Forever"
1998, Enesco for
The Coca Cola Co.

I just Love Those Lyrics !!!

D. and J. have done a great job raising her and I'm so glad to have been along for the ride. (She was definitely a little easier on them than D. was growing up! Much less challenging!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

By Hook or By Needle

It's getting chilly out there, so that can only mean one thing - (okay, it DOES mean a lot of things to a lot of folks, but...) HERE and NOW, it means it's time to get those needles moving and whip up a scarf or two for the 2012 Special Olympics USA SCARF PROJECT.

Pic from the Project's website. These scarves
have already been submitted by Ardis Roseberry.
Kind'a makes me feel like a slacker!

The scarves, all made in the same colors, are a symbol of unity, community and support within the Special Olympics Movement. Handmade scarves will be given to the athletes, coaches, and where possible, the volunteers and families involved in this year's Winter Games all around the country.

Whether you crochet or knit, we'd love to have you share your skills by turning out a couple of scarves for this truly great endeavor. Special Olympics athletes give their all when participating and it is truly gratifying to be a part of the action.

The official yarn colors (all made by Red Heart yarns) this year are Cherry Red (0319 and 9925) and Soft Navy (0387 and 4604) . This year, for the first time, they are offering the colors in both the Super Saver hanks and in the Soft Yarns. The rules are simple: * You can work with whichever style of yarn you're comfortable with, or combine them all. * Scarves can be knitted or crocheted. * Use any pattern you'd like or go to the website and use one of the free patterns offered there. * Scarves should be between 54" and 60" long and approximately 6" wide. (Include any fringe or trim in these measurements, please.)

Last year, I was a bit late in telling you all about this project and so many of you simply ran out of time but asked me to post sooner this year. Deadlines for all States are still well off so everyone should have a chance to help out. You can find out when the deadline for your State's program is by going to the Scarf Project's website here.

The earliest deadline is in mid-December and the latest is in March. Most States are looking for more than 1000 scarves, so, please help out if you can. Directions for labeling and packaging the scarves (ziploc bags) and where to mail in each State are listed there also.

In case you're wondering, I made about 4 1/2 scarves last year from a pair of the Super Saver hanks of yarn (one in each color). AC Moore last year ran several price promotions on the S.O. colors through out the campaign, too. if they do this year, I'll try to let y'all know.

Well, I'm off to buy my yarn! Hope you will, too.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brrrr!! Things have changed around here!!

I had forgotten there were temperatures below 60 degrees!!! Until today. I KNOW Autumn has come because The Big Guy dug out his long pants this morning.

I haven't seen those since mid-April (Except for 2 formal occasions when I was able to convince him shorts just wouldn't cut it.)

As if that wasn't bad enough, I even found him cuddling under an afghan to "take the chill off" his arms! He absolutely refuses to wear long sleeves before November!!

It was cool, gray and (Surprise!) rainy here this morning!! We had planned on attending an all-day outdoor wine festival but when we considered the rather high admission fee ($30/head), the "rain or shine" conditions and the fact that we knew we didn't want to possibly sit in the rain most of the day, we scratched that plan.

Plan B was a free (outdoor) blues festival near D.C. It had several things going in its favor: 1) FREE and 2) It started later in the day so we didn't need to rush. (We would have had to leave home at about 9:30 for the wine festival.) Unfortunately, when we got ready to go at about 11 a.m., it was raining in D.C. Scratch that.

On to Plan C. It never rains inside casinos. Does it?

Inside the Elkton Diner in Elkton, MD

We wrapped the evening up with dinner in a Marilyn Monroe shrine. Well, they call it a "diner" but every inch of wall space is covered with photos, posters and such of Marilyn. There's even a life-size figurine of her in the lobby. Funny, most of the men really enjoy eating there and they don't even mind if service is a little slow. They just sit and stare quietly at the walls!

Hope y'all had a good day, too !!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Flashback Foto

March 2009:

They had individual birthday cakes for the Big No. One !!!!

The Big Guy and I had lunch with them today. They've become great little dining companions and, at 3 1/2, they kept us entertained with news of their everyday life.

We loved it!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kerplooey !!!!

There's a reason they warn you NOT to place most glass bakeware on a stove top burner!! I blew up my beautiful heavy blue glass 15" x 8*' baking dish last night. I loved that dish!!

This is the sister dish to that beautiful
rectangular one. they came in a matched set of 3!

We were fixing a smoked turkey dinner with all the fixings (Thanksgiving in Sept.). We have houseguests this week. The guys did the turkey breasts on the smoker outside. I took the easy way out and made stove top dressing in the microwave (2 boxes full). I spread the finished dressing in the baking dish with the idea of sticking it in the oven to warm up and get a little crispy when the turkey was done and resting. (I got that together a little ahead of time and sat it on the top of the stove.)

Those birds DID look good!

They carried the tray with those beautiful golden brown turkey breasts on them in and set them on the kitchen counter. I then stuck the potatoes in the microwave and turned the burners on for beans and sauerkraut (It's Mid-Atlantic thing with turkey!) on the stove. Now, you would think after several years with this stove, I'd know which knob controlled which burner.

Within a minute or so, I smelled something burning and realized I'd accidentally turned the burner on under that glass casserole! I turned it off, touched and found the dish already warm and grabbed it off with potholders. I carried it in the dining room where the table was empty except for a wooden cutting board. I lifted the casserole and checked for damage before sitting it down on that board. (Thank goodness, I'd dragged my feet on setting the table!) I turned and walked back into the kitchen when it sounded like the entire dining room blew up! (Scarey, considering we have a smoked glass table there!)

...and glass rained down upon EVERYTHING!!!

Little square chunks of glass blew everywhere!! You heard them ping off everything in the room. (I have shelves along one whole wall full of collectibles!) Believe me, we got everyone's attention. It did break into what seems like millions of little 1/4" square pieces - like windshield glass breaks.

Everyone scrambled to get shoes on and jumped in to clean it up. (Dinner was already running fairly late as the turkeys had taken their own good time getting done. Apparently, they were very happy snuggled out there on the smoker.) They laughed at me as I calmly stood there and said "Dinner will be delayed a bit more and the dressing is now scratched from tonight's menu." (I was not calm. I wanted to throw myself across the bed and cry!)

Luckily, there were only a few chunks of glass that had bounced lowly onto the kitchen floor. Had they been high-flying, we'd have had to toss everything for fear of glass contamination. I've always wanted to take the wall out between my kitchen and dining room. Last night might be the first time I was glad we didn't. A fair amount of glass did fly through the archway into the living room, though. What a mess!!

It took SEVERAL bottles of wine to calm us down!

We all swept, vacuumed and wiped with a damp cloth and within an hour we did sit down to eat what turned out to be a great (though late) meal. Several bottles of wine were consumed in an effort to "calm our nerves." I did have one more box of Stove Top so I threw that together and dressing was back on the menu. (Of course, everyone only had a very small serving of it.)

We did sit back and laugh about it later. My friend also laughed about me wandering around still clutching both potholders in my hand while I used the broom. I had never put them down from moving the dish to the dining room! She thinks I was in shock.

Those danged shelves still have a lot of glass on them!

I guess today I need to start the very time consuming job of cleaning those shelves again. They are full of glass pieces. It seemed best to just ignore those nooks and crannies last night. We were all hungry!

Anybody interested in being invited to my next dinner party?