Monday, April 30, 2012

Is It Monday Again? Cheery-O!






Good Monday morning to you!!






Swanky swigs are the name, cheeriness is their game!



I have these cheery little juice glasses in my kitchen windowsill to greet me each morning.  They shine their brightest on a sunny day, but even on a dull one like I was greeted with this morning, they still make me smile!


When I was a kid, we didn't have juice glasses, but grandpa did.  They always intrigued me, because I liked small things like I think most kids do.  


These little dears called out to me at a tiny little antique shop in a little cottage in Alabama one day, because they are primary colors and they look right at home in my red gingham kitchen!  


Hope your Monday is bright and that you have something to greet you each day that is cheery-o!





Friday, April 27, 2012

Restless Patriot: Giving & Doing







You all know I have been pretty open about my feelings about our country and the situation we find ourselves in at this moment in our history.  


A lot hangs in the balance; the most precious commodity being our children and their futures.


You all read along on my rants that I post here and there on my farmhouse blog and actually, your responses to those posts are much higher than almost any other single subject that I post about, always surprising me!  


Of course, so many of you agree, and are very articulate in your comments in stating how you feel about the issues that face Americans on a daily basis.


Now, the disease of creeping socialism is not NEW to this country, it's just that in the last few years it has accelerated at an alarming pace.  If our country is to be restored, we must have young people who are well-educated and who KNOW our HISTORY.


I've often asked myself HOW can I HELP?  


I speak up, but what ELSE can I do?


I have always put my beliefs into writing, but also I need to push beyond that and translate belief into action!


I have found tangible way to make a difference in Detroit's inner city for CORNERSTONE SCHOOLS.  Since 1999, Cornerstone Schools have established INDEPENDENT schools in the city.  This was long before charter schools, this was a pioneering effort in urban schooling.  


Independent schools get no state or federal aid but they get RESULTS.  They work hard, and push their students academically, and for that work they earn an astonishing 98% graduation rate, and even more impressive, 91% of their students go on to further their education!   (Go HERE to learn more about Cornerstone.)


Contrast that impressive statistic of Cornerstone's 98% graduation rate with Detroit Public School's rate of 25%.   

Cornerstone offers urban students a chance to kick failure out of their lives.


Cornerstone has about 1400 students.  The Cornerstone Schools are run strictly by donation, with people and companies sponsoring the tuition for these students.  


For this reason, Cornerstone is sponsoring a kids walk to help with that fundraising goal.


I have made it a personal goal of mine to raise $1,000 for this KID'S WALK on June 10th at the Detroit Zoo, and I am going to need YOUR help!  








It will be just under two miles (piece of cake!) and I'll be walking with the kids, rain or shine.  


But I need your help! 


If I could get 100 of my friends to donate $10, I would be so happy and be proud when I walk that I MADE my GOAL!!
  






Here is a secure link to donate HERE.  May I say THANK YOU in advance for sponsoring me!


(Please note:  the Team Page will not say my name, just so you know you're not being linked to the wrong page.  I am just a part of this team whose page I am linking you to.)




Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cool Ice Cube Trick



How to get a sunny-side-up egg or a hard-cooked one 
without trying to turn it.

Just cook the egg to white, and then to set the yolk, 
throw in an ice cube.


Then...






Throw on a lid.






Cook until it's to your liking.

The steam from the ice cube does your work for you!


(**Do not use this method in a cast iron pan, it may crack!  Water will do the same trick.**)







Today my preference was halfway between...







It's ready to go!


Eggs!  Nature's most perfect food!


In the words of Doctor Seuss...


Would you like them
here or there?


Would you like them
anywhere?



How do you like YOUR eggs?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

John Adams DVD Set: Who Won?




This barn is a great one, even with the newer addition attached to the front.  
Check out the barn between them!  
The older barn in back has wonderful gables.



SO...on Sunday, we went for a drive in the country.


And I had to drive!






So you know what that means!






I couldn't do my usual "drive-by shooting"!  






So I begged, cajoled, and coerced Luke into doing it for me.







And he didn't do too bad, considering the shooting conditions were terrible.  The windows couldn't be open, because the wind was so bad that Dorothy blew by and her dress was in tatters, Toto was missing, and the basket was acting as a sail on a stormy sea.  She was in bad shape, and that was only day one of a three-day journey she had.  (Unless she woke up, that is.)






And...the Suburban was in bad need of a wash and all the windows had bird poop on them because for some reason, the birds LOVE the wind.  I think they see it as a PERFECT help for their "splatter art".  


For all the awful conditions, Luke did pretty good didn't he?


Oh.


You wanted to know who won the DVD set, didn't you?  


Yes.


Well.


It was someone named Debbie.


It was someone named Debbie who lives in.


In.


Um.


South Carolina.


Yes, that's it, Debbie in South Carolina!


SO...I will be emailing you, Debbie, to find out where to send this wonderful package!


(Oh...Debbie, I can hear you hollering from here!!  ;0)


And to all who entered, thank you for doing so, and stay tuned, I have another Patriotic video I'm going to have another drawing for!





Monday, April 23, 2012

Wearing Fun...






Sometimes, a new wardrobe isn't in the books. 
(In the checkbook, that is.)

But...it can be updated by adding some fun new bits of this and that to what you already have.





A gorgeous beaded cuff bracelet, works with many colors and my favorite--blue jeans!


Saturday morning, my son had an hour and a half basketball clinic somewhere too far from home to drive back...so I found my nearest Kohl's...do you have a Kohl's, too?  I hope so, because every girl needs Kohl's!


Well, I had to go in, after all, they sent me a 30% off coupon!  


Well, I headed straight to the accessories department, and spent a whole hour browsing.  What fun it was.  A lot of their cute stuff was on sale, plus I used the 30% coupon and wowie kazowie!  Can you say BARGAINS!?




I have a couple versions of this shirt, worn for at least four years, and I still love them, of course, gingham is always tops in my book!  The contrast and trim on the cuffs and collar are lovely to me, as well as the velvet ribbon and red thread buttonholes!





I brought home some versatile pieces to work with some spring clothes I already had.


I'm no fashion plate, but I know fun when I see it!








Added some new sunglasses...








Bangle bracelets?  I don't like 'em, but a cuff bracelet or two....fun!


















A little bit of retail therapy doesn't hurt a country girl every now and then!  


(Neither does perusing "pinterest" to see what other girls put together that I can imitate for outfits ... here's my board called "Fashion I Can Actually Wear!"...)


'Tis MONDAY again...have a great one!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Decadent & Delicious!



I bet you all have had and enjoyed the hash brown casserole from Cracker Barrel, right?

And you love it!  

Well...you can make it at home!  

It's a great side dish for company or Sunday dinner.

And...when you make this, you cannot be worried about calories,  oh no,
just taste!!

These are delicious and beautiful once they come out of the oven all browned up and crispy on top.

Enjoy!


Heavenly Potatoes

1 onion, finely chopped 
(could substitute onion powder for the taste.)
2 T. butter 
24 oz. package shredded hash browns, thawed
2 C. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 c. sour cream
(Or if you're like me and get caught without sour cream, you use ranch flavor chip dip in its place. GOOD!)
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Saute onion in butter until tender, combine with remaining ingredients.  Pour into 2 quart casserole dish sprayed with PAM, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Serves 8-10
(This would also be great made into individual casseroles for each place setting.)

Enjoy~and I'm serious about the chip dip, it tasted great!



We are heading back to Ann Arbor today for a follow-up visit on Lem's surgery.  

He's doing AWESOME.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Restless Patriot: Feeling Generous!



John Adams is one of my most favorite series in a long, long, long time!  I've watched it many times.  It's a seven-part series, where basically you "live through" the birth of America through John Adams' eyes.


I've reviewed it before here and on my Restless Patriot website.  It's just excellent all the way around!


Here is the editorial review from the Amazon.com website:



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Based on David McCullough's bestselling biography, the HBO miniseries John Adams is the furthest thing from a starry-eyed look at America's founding fathers and the brutal path to independence. Adams (Paul Giamatti), second president of the United States, is portrayed as a skilled orator and principled attorney whose preference for justice over anti-English passions earns enemies. But he also gains the esteem of the first national government of the United States, i.e., the Continental Congress, which seeks non-firebrands capable of making a reasoned if powerful case for America's break from England's monarchy. The first thing one notices about John Adams' dramatizations of congress' proceedings, and the fervent pro-independence violence in the streets of Boston and elsewhere, is that America's roots don't look pretty or idealized here. Some horrendous things happen in the name of protest, driving Adams to push the cause of independence in a legitimate effort to get on with a revolutionary war under the command of George Washington. But the process isn't easy: not every one of the 13 colonies-turned-states is ready to incur the wrath of England, and behind-the-scenes negotiations prove as much a part of 18th century congressional sessions as they do today.Besides this peek into a less-romanticized version of the past, John Adams is also a story of the man himself. Adams' frustration at being forgotten or overlooked at critical junctures of America's early development--sent abroad for years instead of helping to draft the U.S. constitution--is detailed. So is his dismay that the truth of what actually transpired leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence has been slowly forgotten and replaced by a rosier myth. But above all, John Adams is the story of two key ties: Adams' 54-year marriage to Abigail Adams (Laura Linney), every bit her husband's intellectual equal and anchor, and his difficult, almost symbiotic relationship with Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane) over decades. Giamatti, of course, has to carry much of the drama, and if he doesn't always seem quite believable in the series' first half, he becomes increasingly excellent at the point where an aging Adams becomes bitter over his place in history. Linney is marvelous, as is Dillane, Sarah Polley as daughter Nabby, Danny Huston as cousin Samuel Adams, and above all Tom Wilkinson as a complex but indispensable Ben Franklin. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

John Adams is a sprawling HBO miniseries event that depicts the extraordinary life and times of one of Americas least understood, and most underestimated, founding fathers: the second President of the United States, John Adams. Starring Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man, HBOs American Spendor) in the title role and Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me, Kinsey) as Adams devoted wife Abigail, John Adams chronicles the extraordinary life journey of one of the primary shapers of our independence and government, whose legacy has often been eclipsed by more flamboyant contemporaries like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. Set against the backdrop of a nations stormy birth, this sweeping miniseries is a moving love story, a gripping narrative, and a fascinating study of human nature. Above all, at a time when the nation is increasingly polarized politically, this story celebrates the shared values of liberty and freedom upon which this country was built.



If you have not seen it, you will enjoy it, especially if you love history and you love your country.  


And I'm feeling generous! 

I want to give this DVD set  away!  


Yes, I love it so much I want you to see it, too!  And all you have to do is enter your name, tell a favorite quote from a founding father, and what state you read me from, making SURE that I have an email address for you to notify you if I draw YOUR NAME! 


All you must do to enter is:

  1. Leave a favorite quote from our founding fathers.
  2. Leave your first name.
  3. Leave your email address if it's not already stored in your comment information.  
  4. Tell what state you read me from.
I apologize, but due to postal prices, I must limit this contest to the continental United States only.  Thank you for understanding.  


Good luck to all entrants! 

I love my readers and I love my country!

DRAWING ENDS:  April 24th!  




God Bless America!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Little Bitty...Bits of Beauty








I don't recall where I found this tiny little bitty blue bottle...one my favorite colors of blue there is.


It may have come from under one of the old barns we've torn down on this place, I don't know--I've had it seems like forever!  


But what I do know is that it's the perfect size for tiny spring blooms:  violets, grape hyacinths, and of course, Lilly of the Valley...


And the nice thing about it is that it fits on my narrow windowsill--just a couple inches tall.



Sometimes when I look at my spring blossoms, I get so giddy, I want to bring bitty bits of beauty inside with me for a little while, to wonder at.  

Do they affect you that way, too?






And this little scene really makes me smile each time I glance up at it, in my kitchen window.


Happy Monday, friends!




Saturday, April 14, 2012

Baby Blues & Some News






I found a cute little blue gingham number in Audrey's closet...and so we had a little session with that dress, too.  I bought this at a thrift store last fall.  I have a belief;  and that is that gingham belongs in a baby's closet, and it's too bad that you have to go to a thrift store to find it...babies should look like babies!  


Buttons, bows, and little girl toes are a treat and so I'm sharing another special one with you...





































And...in other news, my husband had his pituitary tumor removed on Wednesday.  We got home from Alabama visiting the grand babies on Monday night and Tuesday we had to be at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for the pre-op testing.  Wednesday morning we were there early for the surgery which lasted about three hours, and then recovery and a few days in the hospital.  

Now we are home and there will be several weeks here of recuperation and restrictions ... and a few more trips to Ann Arbor for follow-up procedures.  The good news is the tumor was removed successfully and they told him it was a large one.  We are so thankful for that, the good doctors and the Lord's care.  We are very thankful for the good optometrist that found this during a routine check-up when he had trouble with his peripheral vision test.  The doctors were amazed that no symptoms had displayed themselves to Lem and that he wasn't sick with it in other ways.  They kept remarking how healthy he was otherwise.  (I say it's livin' right and good country-livin'!)

Walking the hallways of that huge hospital makes one realize how fortunate we are when we have our health.   




Friday, April 6, 2012

A Pink Easter Nod To Peter Rabbit...



Ninnie spent some time with Audrey and the camera a couple days ago.  Inspired by the rabbit and wheelbarrow embroidered on the collar of her little pink gingham frock, I went with the theme and did some Easter pictures for mommy.  


I use props when little ones need photos, I'm not a pro and I have to have some help. So off her little bookshelf came some of her adorable little Beatrix Potter books, and she was a happy camper.


And so was I.


Her little rolls of fat that look like they were formed by rubber bands, dimples where knuckles will soon be...all of this pink perfection must be preserved for the memory and I thought it only appropriate to share some of the goodness with you.


Enjoy, and Audrey and I want to wish you a 
VERY HAPPY, BLESSED EASTER!