Monday, December 29, 2008

Grandpa Ake

Today is your birthday!! My precious grandpa would have been 96 today. Unbelievable to me… Unbelievable that he has been gone 25 years. Seems like not long ago that he looked at me with those sweet tender eyes as I walked down the aisle. I will never forget the look on his face…never.

I hope that you and Grandma are celebrating your birthday in perfect style - - it would be with that incredibly yummy german chocolate cake that only grandma could make…

Your little queenie bee wishes you a Happy Birthday my precious Grandpa. Many happy returns to the day of thy birth. May sunshine and gladness be given. And may the dear father prepare you on earth for a beautiful birthday in heaven!


Wow, what a Christmas it was! The day started out perfectly mahvelous!! The kids were thrilled with the Scavenger hunt to find each of their main presents – J’Amy and Eric got the Wii, Ashley a Mac Notebook, and Jake an iPod. The day was perfect. Maycie was pretty much done after she walked into the living room and saw all the Santa had left for her…the Princess Tent, Dora the Explorer Vanity… does it get any better? Well, it does when you can put Barbie Mariposa on the DVD and curl up on the bopee with your favorite blanket and chocolate milk!!

Breakfast was fabulous ~ great job J’Amy!!! Then off in blizzard like conditions to the great northern reaches… All was going along fine at 65 mph in 14° ambient temperature, along with 40 mph wind gusts. All was just fine until . . .the VW buggie just stopped…quit…I had just enough time to cross over 4 lanes of traffic as the car came to a complete halt. I checked the ignition – nothing - - Fortunately, the kids were in another car and I called and they came back. And then… my knights in shining armor. . . my son-in-law and his precious dad… they came and rescued me. They sacrificed their Christmas morning to come help me get my little buggie off the side of the road and towed to the dealership.

My previous post signed off by saying “Endeavor to live in gratitude.”

I am so grateful to have such a precious son-in-law who loves me and would sacrifice whatever it took to help me. I am grateful that I have the resources to fix my car. I am grateful I have raised such good kids. I am grateful for Eric and his daddy Kim, who came to my rescue. There really are true knights in shining armor – and mine is a hero to not only this mother-in-law, but to his little baby girlie too!

Love you Eric!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas when I was a Child . . . then . . . Christmas as me now…

I remember the Christmas when I was 7 years old and I went to bed Christmas Eve, after meticulously placing the cookies and milk out for Santa, and Mom coming in to say prayers. I remember after she left I prayed my secret prayer to God in Heaven begging him to tell Santa that I really had been a good girl all year… I sure wanted that Thumbelina dolly. You know the one where you pulled the string and her little head rocked around and she made a cooing sound. Then I remember getting a little older and still was anxious for Christmas to come and I would go in and get in bed with my little brother Mike ~ trying to convince him to wake Randy (our big brother) up. I also remember as we got older that Christmas mornings seemed to get later and later ~ much to my parents' delight.

Then I turned into a parent ~ and the whole thing started over with my children. Not to mention the precious granddaughter!

Now when I go to bed on Christmas Eve, I pray my secret prayer to my God in Heaven begging him to give warmth to those who can’t sleep at all because it is so cold. I ask him to give hope to those who seem to have lost it. And with a most humble and grateful heart, I thank him for his gift of the babe born in the manger.

Endeavor to live in gratitude.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Boutique Time!

So have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Have you even started your Christmas shopping yet? Do you need to shop for Christmas or do you just want to shop for some really cool stuff?
Come and check out this darling boutique with a boatload of handmade items from children’s clothing, handmade candles, home d├ęcor, jewelry and gift baskets. Heck, who needs a holiday to shop?

AND, the website is hosting a give away - - niiiice…. Check it out here!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sale in the Shops!

For those of you who follow this blog and follow my Etsy shops - - - this announcement is just for you!!! This is your heads up on what will be happening this weekend. As everyone knows, this Friday is commonly referred to as Black Friday - and the Monday that follows is Cyber Monday. Black Friday is typically the heaviest buying volume in brick and mortar stores, while Monday is typically the heaviest volume of purchases on the internet. So - - - here you go - - Friday through Monday I will have a Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale in my shops. There will be a 20% discount on everything purchased. This discount will be given through a PayPal refund.

Woop Woop! Who doesn't like a sale?

My shops are right over there -------------------------------------------->
But here is a hyperlink as well:

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Flower

So, by now you are probably thinking, “Does this lady blog about anything but her granddaughter?” You know I never thought that I would be one of those grandmas that would have the bumper sticker that says “My grandkid is cuter than yours”, or “Let me tell you about my grandkids”, or my personal favorite “The writing on the wall means the grandkid found the crayons”. But okay, here I am posting about Maycie Jean again…..and no, I don’t have any of those bumperstickers…

But dang, you have to admit she is about the cutest flower you have ever seen, isn’t see? Halloween was a ball this year. She woke up in the morning and the first thing she wanted to do was get in her costume. This is a much different scene than last year when J’Amy put in her in her ladybug costume. I think she still bawls at the site of that thing… Anyway, my office hosts a trick-or-treating event for employees’ kids, so she and J’Amy came in and we paraded our darling flower around the office for everyone to “Ooooo and awe” over. And so Maycie went around to everyone and smiled sweetly and tried to hand them candy. What a sweet little generous baby!

Anyway, feel free to Oooo and awe over my precious little flower - - -


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sleeping in the Sun

I want you to go through an exercise with me. Reach back in your memory and remember being a young child. Remember nap time? Remember naps in kindergarten? We pulled out the brown tri-fold plastic covered foam mats and laid them out on the floor in our kindergarten classroom. Mrs. Betsworth turned out the lights and we “napped” for 30 minutes. Nap time immediately followed Snack Time. I remember sleeping on my bed and the sun pouring through the windows and feeling the warmth of it. I also remember laying out a blanket and sleeping under the apple tree in the backyard, and the some of the sunshine rays peeking through the thick branches. I remember sleeping in the car on the way home from Grandma Ake’s house.

I am sure that Maycie will one day remember fondly of her naptimes, sleeping in the car with her baby, sun pouring in. Doesn’t she look angelic?

Muah Maycie Jean!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is set aside as an annual international health campaign organized to help increase awareness of the disease, raise funds for research, and for prevention and cure. It also serves as a good opportunity to remind women to be aware for early detection.

It is a month splashed with pink - - from Campbell's Soup

To a pink KitchenAid

My personal favorite ~ KitKat
A microfibre Wash Mitt?
Are you kidding me? A pink SpongeBob?

Well, the point is to bring awareness to the cause in whatever form that may take. There is an international initiative called Global Illumination. Here we see the Tokyo Tower illuminated.

And Niagra Falls

My personal favorite ode to the month is this creative way of bringing attention to the cause:

That's a lovely pair of . . . . . containers -- Hold your comments. This originated in Australia as a fundraising venture to find a cure for breast cancer. Well done!

I don’t think there is a one of us who hasn’t known someone, been related to someone, loved someone or lost someone with Breast Cancer. It is so far reaching. For me, it hits straight home with my beautiful Mom. She has now been cancer free for 14 years. The bottom line is that breast cancer affects us all. Let's all get on board and find a cure!

Loveya Mom!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Garden Life

Well that certainly sounds all green and eco friendly doesn't it? Well I guess it is.

Gardening has always been something that I have loved. Whether it stemmed from planting a gorgeous flower bed or 50 gazillion patio pots ( please note in the attached pictures the LACK THEREOF) or my vegetable garden, I have always loved it! There is something absolutely healing about getting your hands in that dirt and getting your fingernails dirty!

Well this year was no exception to my gardening foray. Again - I really need to point out the lack of flowers on the patio. Okay, don't really look too terribly close at all those weeds in the garden either. And yes, that ten by whatever size board that borders the garden is pulling away, and no that isn't dog poop on the lawn. Okay, so it is. And that little round dead spot on the grass - yep, you guessed it Maggie. So the garden.... ya, that was what I was talking about....
I planted 14 tomato plants (what was I thinking with?) 8 pepper plants (which totally bombed this year) two rows of green beans, 4 mounds of potatoes, crook neck squash (which actually turned out to be a GORD - I even still have that lying plant stick), mesculine/European lettuce mix, carrots, onions, basil, oregano, chives, marjoram, dill, cilantro. .etc., etc.

A few weekends ago I had NOTHING to do (anyone who knows me knows that is NEVER the case) so I canned 32 pints of salsa. This isn't just any salsa - it is fabulous salsa. A little bit hotter this year than what I normally make, but it was wonderful! I even canned some half pints to give away for Christmas gifts.

This weekend past I had nothing to do again. It was at that moment when I was cleaning, coring, and peeling my 1500th bag of tomatoes from the garden that I thought to myself, "What am I doing?" Do I really need 14 tomato plants? What about moderation, what about not spending the entire day cooking, canning and then cleaning up? Holy cow. I need to simplify my life in some way. But that was my fleeting thought for the moment. I then proceeded to cook this:

This marinara is totally the bomb! Everything in it is from my garden. It has tomatoes (duh), green peppers, onions, carrots, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme. There is no added sugar or salt! When it started cooking the pot was overflowing. By the time that I blended everything and put it through the foley mill, this is how much I started my reduction with... By the time I was done and ready to start canning, the marinara had cooked down by half ~ wow.... Sixteen pints later, it was a done deal. Whew...

I may rethink the garden next year ~ maybe pansies, alyssum, verbena, salvia, and petunias are calling my name...


Saturday, September 13, 2008

The New Jewelry Adventure

Well, as my previous post said, I have been soooooo busy!!! It has been hard to stay above water sometimes, and other times it feels like I should just give up and sink! Wow!

But I am really excited about my new direction in jewelry. Because it is so divergent from my mainstay designs, I decided to open up a new shop on Etsy. The new shop is called SteamTrunkStudio. The shop is styled with a Victorian feel, but also employs an edgy sort of style called steampunk. Steampunk is kind of like industrial meets Victorian. Let me explain a bit more. Steampunk is reminiscent of the 19th century, and in terms of jewelry, steampunk translates into styles that are functional, but have an antiquated look. In my designs I use watch movements, pieces and parts of watches, cogs, keys, tags, and other miscellaneous bits and pieces. Don't worry, no working watch was hurt in the creation of my designs!

Here is a quick look at some of the items:

So, there you have it - this is what I have been up to in my new jewelry adventure. The items in this shop use a mix of silver plated, brass, antique gold plated and eventually some copper. It is really exciting and I hope that you will check it out!

If you are interested in purchasing something, you can use this code: LKO8 to receive a 15% discount. Mention this code in the note to seller box on Etsy and I will refund your discount through PayPal. I will also be posting an Etsy mini here on the blog!

Thanks all for your continued love and support!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Work, School, Jewelry, Garden, Kids

What do these all have in common? They make my life BUSY!!!! Wow, between work being amazingly busy, and the economy taking its toll in every sector, it makes me worry/wonder about my job status. Then mix a little bit of a surprise with my degree and having to rush to get 6 credit hours completed before the end of August. Add to that another jewelry adventure (more to come on that in a later post.) The garden has been abounding - - tomatoes out the wazoo and did I mention green beans? Kids - well each one of my kids' birthdays hit in July, August, and September. Issues/Excitement: J'Amy and Eric are pregnant - due in February. . .woohoo!!! Ashley turning 21 - Jake turning 17 and yes, you guessed it, another traffic ticket....

Hmmmm where did the summer go?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August Special in THE SHOP

Well it is August, and I can't think of a better reason than that to run a shipping special in my Etsy shop!

For the entire month each single order will be shipped domestically for $1. That is to say if you order 1 bracelet - shipping is $1. If you order 10 pairs of earrings - shipping is $1. If you order something on Monday (shipping is $1) And if you get wild and crazy and order something on Thursday, shipping will be $1. See a pattern here?

International orders will be shipped for $2, same premise as above. Wow... what a great deal!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July Recipe - Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 Lemon Cake Mix
1 1/4 cup cold water
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp. Poppy Seeds

Beat all ingredients on medium speed for 4 minutes. Grease and flour two 8" or 9" round pans. Pour batter in pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

(2) 8oz. pkgs. softened cream cheese
1 small lemon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip

Blend cream cheese, zest of lemon and juice of lemon until smooth. Add Cool Whip and blend. Add powder sugar. Spread frosting on one of the cooled cakes. Carefully place the second cake on top and frost with remaining frosting.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shells, Rocks, Glass

What do all of these have in common? The Oregon Coast! While visiting there for vacation Mom, Daddy, Mike, Shelly, J'Amy and even Maycie got into the act!!
We found some beautiful agates, shells, and gorgeous sea glass. I will be making some jewelry items of interest from this adventure. Sam, my nephew, even found some great pieces (somethin, somethin coming your way Donna!)

Wait Maycie - - your form is totally off - - your butt MUST be sticking up in the air... What is up with the squat position! I guess I should cut her some slack, after all it is her first time at the beach.... amateur....


Monday, July 21, 2008

Mission: Vacation Outcome: Successful

Wow - - what a great vacation! Here is the pictorial view...

We did everything from a fishing excursion - to beach combing, to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and of course we hit a bead shop while we were there. And... the name of the bead shop is my maiden name!!! What a coincidence!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Almost Vacation. . .

It sure has been hard to work this week! Vacation starts this weekend with a trip to the Oregon coast... I can hardly wait! We are continuing the celebration of my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. I think it was a good excuse to get together as a family for a vacation - - - like we really need an excuse! But off to the coast to do a little fishing, a little sightseeing, a little (okay A LOT) of lounging, and just an all around good time.

It is going to be hard to stay away from my jewelry Etsy shop and my bead Etsy shop ~ but I think I will survive... lordsy mercy it is addicting...

So maybe I can get an aircard for my laptop? hmmmmmm

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wow - Flicker Mosaic

What a cool thing! I was reading Ms. Belle's (a fellow jewelry designer) blog and found this way cool tool. And I made this lovely mosaic! When I look at this, it really does say a lot about me - without really knowing the answers to my questions...

You can make your own too. Here's how:
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into a Flickr search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker and make a cool mosaic to put on your blog or flickr.
The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Okay, so there was another bead show this weekend. The Gem Faire was in Salt Lake City. It was then and there that I said to myself "Cindie you have a problem." But doesn't every gal need several different types of chalcedony, amethyst, and garnet??? That is normal right? Truth be told, I have known for some time that this could be an issue. Okay, okay... Hi, my name is Cindie and I am a beadaholic. Satisfied?

So, it was at that moment when I had several hanks of beads in my hands with that crazed look on my face that I came to the realization that it really isn't a is okay - - I could just open up another Etsy shop to destash. I mean you don't always use the whole strand of those perfect little twisted step cut amethyst gems do you? And why not share the love right?

So there you have it... I still can feed my addiction (it could be waaaay worse) and also share a little somethin somethin with all of you... So my new destash shop is HipChickeeBeads - - Way Cool Beads for Way Cool People... It really is me, dontchaknow....

By the way....there is another Gem Show in a few weeks...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slow Times at Etsy Dot Com

Wow - I was commiserating with my partner in crime, Marika, about how slow things have been on Etsy.... We think it is one or more of the reasons listed below:

1. All the floods, tornadoes, wild fires, earthquakes.
2. All the jewelry lovin folk are on vacation in Tahiti with no Internet access.
3. Gas costs are too darn high and disposable income is limited.

I know that gas costs certainly have limited many folks. In my family, my son-in-law has started using public transportation and the savings have been amazing! My brother commutes well over an hour every day - each way - and they save money by having him do the grocery shopping while he is in town instead of his wife driving the same commute to accomplish the task.

The cost of gas absolutely makes a person think about what we can do to limit our addiction to fossil fuels, which leads to other thoughts about sustainability of the planet in general. May be silly, may be a minute help to the planet, but I found a pattern for reused, re-purposed grocery bags. I am going to try it! I will update you on my environmental efforts at a later point. No, I am not ready to join Green Peace yet, or believe like Al Gore does about global warming ~ but if I can help in my little corner of the world - woo hoo!

In the meantime, I hope the jewelry lovin' folk in Tahiti come home from vacation soon!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pristine Green Cleaning

Some people will read this and think "Oh my gosh, I can't believe she is posting about this!", while others will think "Man, I want that lady to come clean my house!!" Well here is the fact of the matter ~ I am so thrilled with this cleaning service that I decided to blog about - - call it dumb, call it whatever you want, but each and every one of you - - deep down where you live - - wish you could have someone come into your home and clean it top to bottom! Well I did it!

Julie from Pristine Green Cleaning came to my house a couple of days ago and it is sparkling!! Wow - - her attention to detail, and her environmentally green approach is fabulous. Who wants to clean a 16 year old boy's room? Ewwww.... They jumped right in, cleaned and organized. I was shocked when I walked in there - - besides cleaning his bathroom (can I just say another MAJOR ewwwwwww) to a level of clean that it hasn't seen in years...

Isn't a clean house a fine, fine thing? Not just a picked up house - - a clean house...niiiiice.

Thanks Julie =D

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Spinach Salad

2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked till crisp, crumbled
5 cups fresh spinach torn to bite sized pieces
1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup thinly sliced red sweet onion
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1/2 fresh Mandarin orange or 1/2 small can Mandarin oranges
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 dash garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. In a salad bowl, toss together all salad ingredients (except sliced almonds.)
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ketchup, water, olive oil, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and brown mustard. Season with garlic powder , salt, and pepper. Pour over the salad and top with almonds.

Strawberries and spinach are so yummy in the Summer, and tossed with other fresh ingredients, real bacon, and hard cooked eggs, they make a fab salad. A sweet, tangy oil & vinegar dressing puts the perfect "Bam" in this salad!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Matchy Matchy or Not?

There was an interesting thread in the forum of Etsy the other day of whether or not people like matchy matchy jewelry or not. Some of the responses were comical! One lady said she wouldn't be caught dead having anything match, even her two earrings! While others shamefully admitted that they are matchy matchers.... Many of those in my family are matchy matchy... My mom is for sure matchy matchy ~ my sister in law is seriously matchy matchy and plans her clothing around her matchy matchy jewelry! My other sister in law likes matchy matchy too!

In the spirit of matchy matchy I have been putting together some bracelet and earrings sets for sale in my Etsy shop. One I put up yesterday and it sold immediately ~ to an old family friend *waves at Cheryl*.

Are you matchy matchy?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pacific Beach

Wow - I am not sure that life gets better than this. Just a quick much needed vacation to the coast... This is the first sunset of the trip right from the 3rd floor balcony of our hotel ...- wow - just wow...
Then it was on to Old Town where we went to a haunted house, and one of my favorite bead stores... Lost Cities, we strolled through town and ate carnitas at the Mexican Cafe. Amazing crunchy carnitas and great margaritas! I found these gorgeous bougainvillea in bloom, and this flowering cactus:

And there was Kirk, waiting patiently for me - - even holding my purse... what a guy....
What a great little get-away... I sure needed it!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sterling Silver Poll

I have added a poll asking which style of sterling silver jewelry you prefer, either oxidized or antiqued sterling, or more of a shiny bright silver.

I have had a few inquiries in my Etsy shop about listing more bright silver pieces. I think my preference is the oxidized look. But with as many questions as I am getting, I think it may not be a bad option to offer a wider variety of bright silver in my shop. What do you think? Vote now on the poll in the upper right, or leave a comment.

Thanks and Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And The Rain Came a Pouring Down

So the Spring rains have been beautiful! The fence in my backyard goes all shades of green - - so pretty!

Then looking up ~ what gorgeous colors ~ just as the clouds were breaking up!

I love Spring!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day in My Etsy Shop

I ran a Mother's Day special in my Etsy shop. You had to read about the rules here in my blog and then put a note about your mom in the message to seller box. The response was huge! One of the requirements was that the sale had to be over $15 in order to qualify for the discount. I had many people who just wanted to share about their mom and put comments in anyway... It was so nice! Several people were grateful to talk about how they felt about their mom...

Here is a sampling of what some folks wrote...

Mother's Day Thought: I am 48 years old, but I still sorely miss my mom(my). She's been gone now for over 15 years and, on the one hand, it seems like eons since she was here. On the other, I still remember her stroking my hair when I would hug her just like it was yesterday (and my mom stood 3" shorter than me!) Of all things, this is the absolute, strongest memory I think of when thinking of my mom and Mother's Day. I miss her so...

Hi. Here is a little note about Mother's Day. This is only my second Mother's Day and my first where my son is old enough to actually give hugs - the best present ever! As a mom, I finally get why my mom has always told me "You're my whole heart." I know my mom would be content with just a hug too - but garnets are her birthstone and I couldn't resist! Moms take the cake!

Hi! I know my order isn't enough to qualify for your Mother's Day discount, but I wanted to leave my thoughts about my mom anyway, if that's okay. :o) My mother is my best friend. I hear so many of the women around me, some of my friends even, complain about their mothers, and I feel so blessed to have this wonderful woman as my mother. Of course she's imperfect. Of course she has made mistakes. But that only means that she has experience to help me in my life. She knows what life is about and she loves me enough to be there to guide me when I need it. She loves my children just as she loves me and it gives me such joy to see her interact with them and be able to watch them grow. I love her so much.

I have great memories of my Mom :) She always had time for me, and taught me about antiques & plants.

My Mom is what motherhood is all about, she is 93 years old and still worries about all seven of her children, now ranging in age 46-65. She has been an inspiration to all who know her and love her.

Wow - - Thanks everyone for sharing!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Marjorie Jean - - My Mom

My mom, who I am named after, and my granddaughter is named after, is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She is unique on many levels. She is complex on many levels. She is beautiful on every level.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I wanted to give you a little bit of insight into how I feel about my mom and bullet point some of her greatest qualities:

She is organized beyond belief
She can pull some sort of a baked good out of the freezer at any time
She has beautiful skin and she always smells good
She is always color coordinated
She has amazing faith
She is methodical
She has a tender, loving way with elderly people
She has a great memory
She has been a faithful and loving wife for 50 years
She is a chronic list maker
She is a great cook and likes to use a recipe
She loves my jewelry (was that a plug to my website? Shamefully, yes.)
She has the same friends that she has had since she was a young married woman

Growing up, my mom and I had a rough go of it. I can remember some pretty tough times as a teenager. They mostly centered around my quick tongue, my messy room (who cares – it was MY room), and the constant barrage of chores. I gasped at the thought of being like my mom when I “got old.” As I look back, I did have a disrespectful tone, my room was always a mess, and I begrudgingly and with constant reminding completed my tasks. I sure thought I had it all dialed in when I was a teenager, but you know what? I would have made a terrible mom. Thank goodness I had such a great role model! Thank goodness there was Marjorie Jean.

I once sent my mom a Thinking of You card, that pictured a Mother and Daughter on the front of the card. The daughter was dressed in stylish white capris, a turquoise tank top, strappy little sandals, a beautiful chain necklace with a pearl accent (another shameless plug) and a cute little haircut. Standing next to her was her mother dressed in white long pants, a turquoise tank top with a matching long sleeved sweater with pearl buttons, some sensible shoes, a strand of pearls, and an Up-do from the hairdresser. The caption read:
No matter what she (insert your name here) did, she was slowly turning into her mother.

You know what? I can’t wait to turn into my mother.

I love you Mom!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Late - - April Recipe

Chili Verde

2 lb. pork sirloin roast cut in 1" cubes
1 can chicken broth
black pepper to taste

1 medium to large yellow onion diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 orange bell pepper diced
1 jalapeno (or whatever sort of hot pepper you want and if you want more heat use 2)
1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
(1) 12 oz. can LaCostena pickled green jalapeno peppers (I don't use the WHOLE can ~ but I am kind of whimpy that way)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
(3) 4 oz. cans of diced Ortega style chilies (anaheim peppers)

8 Tbsp. flour
8 Tbsp. milk

Cook the pork in the crockpot for 6 hours(ish) until it is tender. Add the next set of items and cook in the crock pot for another 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before serving make a reux with the flour and milk. Add to the chili verde and stir several times to incorporate.

Serve either as chili, topped with shredded cheese or as a chili verde sauce over bean burritos.

Typically I will cook the pork in the crock pot on low through the night, the day before I am going to serve. In the morning I add the vegetables before I go to work and finish up with the reux when I get home.

You can download a printable version by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Rest of the Story

So, I have had several people say "So how did the rest of the weekend go with Maycie?" Well... here is the rest of the story...

After the OUR nap on Friday things were fairly smooth. Happy times were had by all. I have those magnet letters on my refrigerator for Maycie to play with. She figured out they stick to the dishwasher face as well as the refrigerator. It was big hard work to move each and every letter, one at a time, over to the dishwasher and back, not once but several times. Then it is also fun to take the letters and bring them into the bathroom and throw them in the toilet.

Saturday was too windy for us to go to the zoo as planned, so we hung out at home and read books, sang songs, tortured the dogs and all around had a wonderful day! Scooter, who has an uncontrollable tongue constantly wanted to lick Maycie. So after several times of pointing at Scooter and saying "No!", Maycie learned to point and in a little staccato voice she would command "No!" From that point forward she was the boss of the dogs. They would trot by and she would command "No!" Perfect....

We worked hard on learning to blow kisses, sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider (complete with hand motions), and blowing bubbles. It was a fabulous weekend. I was sad when her mommie came home and swooped her up. Out to the car she was whooshed with her sippy cup, Singing Pizza Elmo, and zebra minky blanket... Wait did I just hear "Itty bitty pida"? Yep... that's my girl!

The mashed potatoes, roast, and green beans was just more than any little cupcake should have to endure... And yes, her bib does say "Cupcake"

"Are you talkin to me? Are YOU talkin to ME????"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Revolution Money Exchange

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Revolution Money Exchange is a new payment processing service similar to PayPal. As the service is new, they are busily trying to attract users. Anyone who signs up for an RME account by May 15th will receive a $25 credit that can be used with any vendor who accepts RME payments.

I am now accepting RME in my Etsy shop, and am offering a great deal to anyone who pays for a purchase from my shop by RME by May 31st: you will receive free shipping. This is a great chance to purchase any of my jewelry you’ve had an eye on with no money out of your pocket!

Many other Etsy artists and crafters are accepting Revolution Money Exchange payments as well. Here is a list of some of them. To earn your $25 RME credit that can be redeemed at any of the shops below, follow the link below and sign up by May 15th. After signing up, just click “my account” and click “accept” to receive the $25 credit.

Shops that accept RME by category


Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange








Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange





Blue House Soaps

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange






Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange







Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Friday, April 18, 2008

Being a Grandma Ain't for Sissies

So my darling daughter and her darling husband went away for the weekend on an annual golf get-away....good for them... A well deserved break! What does this mean for me? Me? Grandma? Ahh... the grandma opportunity... I get to have Maycie Jean all to myself for the weekend.

I headed over to J'Amy's house last night to pick up the little darlin - and low and behold - these days children come with instructions... at least children coming from J'Amy Nicole do.... three whole pages of instructions... the last thing on the list was "Tell Maycie every day that her mommie misses her and loves her." Check.

So today, the first day of our weekend adventure has been exciting so far... here's the run down...

We were standing in line in the Post Office - mailing off an international jewelry order and Maycie breaks wind like none other - - - which is followed by the loudest bowel movement I have ever heard a kid conceive.... then she laughs - and laughs - and laughs - - - so did everyone in line. I couldn't wait to get to the front of the line - at which time we get up there and the clerk proclaims - - "My, what a big job you did!" to which Maycie replied "WOW, whew, eeewww." Holy batman. After several folks in the post office encouraged her by saying "whew... whew..." we finally we arrived back in the snot rocket (the name my children have given to the green VW Beetle I drive.) I changed her lime green diaper (wow, it totally matched the snot rocket!) and it was off to the grocery store. We get into Dick's Market and are singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" together when suddenly from nowhere comes a large and loud - "Uh oh" followed by another episode of breaking wind that woulda made her daddy proud... She giggles. About now we are in the dairy section - - she spots the chocolate milk - - "mmmmm" she says. Grandma says "yes... you can have some of that chocolate milk we have at home!" I am thoroughly delighted with the fact that we will have a treat when we arrive back home. I continue to move toward the eggs... oh, no, she will have none of that!!! She points insistently to the chocolate milk.... I keep moving - - Here it comes - Full On Scream.... In an Olympian moment, I put that cart in reverse and picked up that chocolate milk. Okay, whew - - we are good for now... Moving on to the granola bars, sippy cups, baby wipes, and the white cranberry/peach juice. We only have like 5 more minutes and we can get back to the snot rocket and head east!! Another verse of the itsy bitsy spider... we are almost there.... Checkstand....home base... and then she spots them - - the pink bouncy balls... Why do they put those stupid things by the checkstand??? She points... she eyeballs is a test.... who will win. Quick diversion, the store clerk says "My what a darling little girl! Can I have that chocolate milk?" Ummmm noooooo...what was she thinking with??? Then it starts - - the low pitch growl.... and in a split second the clerk flips into her Olympian moment, she scans the chocolate milk and hands it back...whew... We are so out of there - - off to the bug... one more verse of itsy bitsy spider while I strap her into the car seat... while she shakes her chocolate milk. Upon arrival home, Scooter the dachshund pup diligently licks Maycie's face with that tongue that he just can't control... Up in the high chair for lunch.... Turkey sandwich with dill pickles....ummm ummm ummm ummm ummm..... with a soft background of "La la la la, Elmo's World"... We finished up lunch without incident. We wiped off our faces, sang itsy bitsy spider again - - with a fine chorus of John Jacob Jingle-Heimer-Schmidt. Then off to bed with the sippy cup of crystal light and the zebra striped minky blanket. Me? I am sprawled on the couch....