To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It was supposed to be mine!

I did the swatch, seriously, I did, and the sizing was correct, but it still ended up being too small for me. So, I gave my lovely hat to Miss M and to tell you the truth, she looks absolutely beautiful in it. It became her favorite hat instantly! That makes me incredibly happy. Thank you for the pattern, Amanda. I've since made one for myself that I took on my trip to Taiwan so we now have matching hats.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


A friend was digging through his archived photos and found a few that I had taken while playing with his camera just at sunset. Silhouettes have always been a favorite subject of mine, but I never knew how these turned out. Wow! Now I wanna go back.

I'm reminded of how quickly the time passes, these were taken in Mackinaw City over 4th of July, and the reason I carry my camera nearly everywhere with me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Isn't this better?

J, Isn't this a better use of the tin than what you were going to do with it? It's me - totally, completely, unequivocally - me! Thank you for sharing. Oh, and the plant that's in the tin is the one I bought at the home show. It's still alive.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fabulous Find!

It's getting close, so very close. I fly out for Taiwan in 8 days. (Alex, I'm so excited to see you after more than a year I can hardly keep myself together.) I'm practically doing a jig every 5 minutes.
I've been making lists for a month now (maybe more) and slowly checking things off as I toss them into three separate piles; one for the carry-on, one for the purse/tote and one for the checked bag. I've been putting off shopping for anything new until I figured out what I really needed. Besides, shopping is not one of my favorite activities. I finally ventured out last night to try to get it all out of the way so I would have time to relax next week before my flight. One of the items on my list was a new lock for the suitcase I'm checking so I dropped in on my favorite luggage store and, lo and behold, this little bag jumped right into my hands:

How cool is this? It's a Neck Stash and I didn't even know they existed. I have a 16 hour flight from Chicago to Tokyo and I wasn't comfortable leaving my passport and other important papers in a purse if I fell asleep, but I can wear this under my clothes and no one can see it. It's a fabulous find and it's mine now, along with the new lock.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Squash Soup with Quinoa

Delicious! This is a fabulous comfort food. Quick, easy, wholesome....what more could you ask for?

Squash Soup with Quinoa

1-2 T olive oil or butter
Medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c quinoa (keenwa)
Medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced
32 oz. Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion in olive oil for a few minutes until it turns translucent. (Do not brown.) Add garlic, quinoa, squash and vegetable broth. Saute a few minutes more until the squash just begins to soften. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until squash is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mix everything smooth.
Hint: I use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Basement Thrifting

So, I wonder how many other people have a basement full of sentimental items that they just can't bring themselves to get rid of. I have boxes of dishes and flatware and pictures and linens and misc. items I can't identify. And I have furniture, lots of furniture. All of it belonged to my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother and even my great-great-grandmother. Hers would be the chair and settee frames, which I had every intention of reupholstering - ahem, 25 years ago. They still aren't reupholstered. Now don't get me wrong, I've reduced the collection by at least half over the years. I've refinished my great-grandparents' pie table and the secretary that was used in their store, and I do have the quilt squares from the ggg-grandmother framed and hanging in the livingroom. But there's still so much down there. Now my goal is that every time I start digging in the basement I'm required to come up with something that either gets reused upstairs or I get rid of it. That's hard! One of the pieces that has been taking up space down there is a Martha Washington sewing cabinet. It was broken, but I was pretty sure it could be salvaged. You don't know how many times it nearly ended up in the trash because I didn't know how to fix it. Lucky for me JV is very knowledgeable when it comes to working with wood and he showed me what to do. It really was a simple fix - scrape all the original glue off and put more glue on. Clamp it together for a few days and voila! A 'new' piece ready to be moved upstairs, well, after a good cleaning.
Hmmm, and I just happen to have items that will store quite nicely inside.
Here are the icky before pictures:

And.....the beautiful after picture. My aunt made the doily for me years ago.

I wonder what other treasures are lurking down there?