Monday, May 24, 2010


Okay Klubees: Tomorrow is May 25. We are almost halfway to Christmas again and need to get in gear. Anything you do prior to December will help make your holidays more organized and enjoyable. Movie suggestions for tomorrow while you work are A Christmas Story or The Muppet Christmas Carol. I just love the Christmas Story. While I wasn't even born during the time the story was set, at one time or another I heard just about every warning used in that flick growing up. Starving kids in China, I'll give you something to cry about, don't play with your food, you get the idea. It's a comfort to me to watch and remember a time in America where The Wizard of Oz rocked and you listened to the radio instead of fixating on a TV, or worse, video game. I love the Muppets too. Such a sweet story and ofcourse, I always cry LOL. Or, listen to Christmas music and work on something. One thing that is good to start this time of year is your yearly Christmas newsletter, if you do that. School is almost out, vacations are coming up which usually mean tons of summer photos. Use your computer or a journal to jot down the highpoints of summer. Maybe you had graduations this spring, wedddings this summer, amazing trips to somewhere new. Some of the pics can be incorporated into your letter. Most photo programs have the ability to make a "collage" of selected photos. Consider using that idea as a picture diary of 2010. If you don't do a letter, consider sending a Happy New Years letter out after Christmas in lieu of Christmas cards. These are merely suggestions; do whatever you want to do. I plan to work on my dear daughter in law's stocking. I had to use a "storebought" one last year. Horrors. Looked a bit different with all the ones I had done in the late 70s and early 80s. You know, the beaded sequin ones? I can't see anymore so Lauren's will contain copious amounts of fabric glue and adhesive, LOL. And, I hope I'm more patient now than 30+ years ago. Those teeny beads wore me out. Thank the Lord for glitter glue! Have fun tomorrow. Get with a friend and do something together. Remember to shop during the year at flea markets and thrift shops for collectibles. My absolutely favorite Christmas present from 2 years ago came from a thrift shop. I collect the red Avon Cape Cod dishes from the early 80s and my aunt found a pitcher for me there. THAT was a bargain. Mom paid her for it and I was speechless when I opened it. Imagine that. So have fun, keep CHRISTmas in your heart all year long and prepare to be prepared for the holidays.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Texas Girls

Tough girls come from New York. Sweetgirls - they're from Alabama. But us TEXAS girls, we have fire & ice in our blood! We can ride horses, be a debutante, throw left hooks & hang with the boys; all the while making sweet tea and pecan pie, calling you Darlin'...& if we have an opinion, YOU KNOW YOU'RE GONNA HEAR IT!! ...Nothing like being a TEXAS GIRL!! If you are a TRUE TEXAS GIRL, repost this!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

And the ceiling clean up continues.....LOL

I spent 2 hours in the house this morning and 1 in the back yard. I'm beginning to see the light of day in the den and the kitchen and dining room are getting back to normal. Now, the granite comes in on Tuesday and for a person who was totally against granite (that would be me) I'm excited beyond belief. I still am so grateful we found exactly the right blends I needed to make it work in my colonial style kitchen. When I go shopping for counters, furniture, etc. I tell the sales people to think east coast sea captain's the 1700's. You can see their brains rapidly working on how to get me out of there, LOL. I went in to Lazy Boy and told them that all of their furnishings were lovely, I didn't like any of them and to show me austere wing back recliner selections. They were shoved in a little corner all by themselves begging me to take them home. And so, we did. They are unbelievably comfy and exactly what I was looking for. I put them on either side of the fireplace and this past winter enjoyed reading the Twilight Saga in my chair by a roaring fire. I would post a pic but the den is still a mess of different rooms. I do have a cabinet that Mike built years ago that is my eclectic catch all. From arrowheads to Hummels, from CDs to vinyl albums and salt glazed pottery with a few Longaberger baskets thrown's us. It represents our love of these things. So one wall is not particulary "colonial" but it's us. I have my facsimile Nancy Drew books there as well. An extensive collection of the orginal, along with Dana girls, Cherry Ames, Trixie Beldon, Judy Bolton with a few Annette books thrown in are in my craft room on a shelf that spans one wall. I have Donna Parker as well. When I need light reading I pull out one and immerse myself in childhood once again. It's a GREAT thing.

Outdoors in my lasagna garden I got another tomato plant put in and 2 crookneck squash plants. I also put in curly parsley, Italian parsley and cilantro....3 herbs you shouldn't live without if you love to cook. I put another layer of newspapers down in the blank spots and piled more nicely rotted leaves on top. We're supposed to get rain the next few days so I hope that will make everything settle nicely. Remember, rotted leaves are your friend! Layer, layer, layer. I'll post pics as soon as I get them off the camera. Have a super afternoon everyone. xoxox

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Only 226 Days 'til Christmas

As promised, here are a couple of recipes for Christmas as well as ideas for Christmas preparation this month. I always have thought at this stage of the game we have TONS of time. Not necessarily so. The months fly by as I get older. It's summer and I barely remember last fall. For the Brod Abode, the holidays really kick off after Labor Day. Because our family is so crazy about All Hallow's Eve, I start decorating for fall/Halloween the first of September. I've been known to start in August. We pull out all the stops for Halloween (see my Facebook page) and when that is over, Nov. 1 is takedown day and I begin decorating for Christmas. I have 4 different villlages and each of them can take a day alone because I'm a tweaker. And they are my favorite decoration. So, whatever you get done now, you will appreciate so much as Thanksgiving approaches and you have all your shopping done and wrapped and are ready to decorate. Ofcourse, it is a bit awkward at my house as I don't really decorate for Thanksgiving, Christmas is beginning to show up all over but I do atleast try to keep the tables in theme with Thanksgiving. (see picture above) When your precious little angels are home this summer, give them a Christmas project to work on. Let them design and make their own tags. Keep rolls of brown paper on the ready for those budding wrapping paper designers. Grab a knitting loom and sit down together and learn to knit on this super easy and portable device. Have everyone make scarves for gifts and for people in need. You can do this on the 25th of the month in keeping with the Kris Kringle Klub aka Kx3 or when it's rainy outside. I remember one year I was home sick from school and Mom brought in these beautiful ornaments for me to work on. They were called "Funtasy Balls". I still get all warm and fuzzy thinking of how much fun those were to make and how Mom made even sick days fun. If you are into Halloween and the month has the 31st coming up (like this month) work on projects for that holiday. We love the carvable pumpkins from the craft store and sitting out on the patio working on those or making tombstones is fun and relaxing. Or wrap mannequin heads in tea dyed gauze to make a spooky deco. The list is only limited to your imagination. Have fun and include the family. My boys are both grown and gone now and I so miss working on holiday crafts and decorating with them. Since Josh moved to MN and Jordan got married the graveyard out front just isn't happening for me anymore, LOL.

2 lb. white almond bark
4 oz. bar German chocolate
12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 oz. jar dry roasted peanuts

Put all ingrediants in crock pot; cook 1 hour on high. Do not stir. Turn crockpot to low and stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Drop on waxed paper and cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe from Kelli Manning Taylor
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
graham crackers or gingersnaps

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar, beat until just combined
Stir in chocolate chips.
Form into ball, then refrigerate until firm enough to hold it's shape and roll in pecans. Chill 2 hours and serve with broken up graham crackers or ginger snaps

Find Craft Supplies at Garage Sales

Find Craft Supplies at Garage Sales

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Keep Bugs Out Of Your Drink Outside

Keep Bugs Out Of Your Drink Outside

Happy Tuesday!

I haven't blogged in a few and haven't even posted the recipes yet. My apologies to all. My remodel angels finished up their part (for now) last Wed. late. I kind of let the clean up go Thursday and Friday waiting to find out about the granite. So, I'm behind needless to say. Remember, I'm the one that doesn't/didn't want granite in the first place. Mike said if, God forbid, we had to sell the house one day people would think we were cheap not putting in granite. Now, I don't give a rat's rear about that, I don't plan to move. But he is right and I have major back surgery looming in my future and we never know what can happen. I wish I would just happen on a burning bush like Moses and God would tell me which doctor to use. Basically, they are going to have to rebuild a portion of my spine and I'm sure it's gotten worse since my last tests. Surgery can last up to 6 1/2 hours which for me it will probably take longer, LOL. Sooooo, we'll see. Mike and I did go pick out a beautiful granite this past Saturday. I had found some Wilsonart laminate that had all the colors I needed to blend. I have Carol Endres wallpaper, Wilsonart floors, black appliances and the cabinets that are going to have a facelift. I took all of that into consideration and honestly found the perfect granite. The colors blend so well and will pull things together. Mike was right but I'm still not happy about the ceiling mess. I LOVE the ceilings but the mess is taking forever to clean up. On the other hand, every single thing is being cleaned, vacummed, dusted whatever before it goes back into a room. The countertop installers come next week sometime so I know there will be a bit more mess. My back can only take so much cleaning so I've accomplished my goal for today. I will try to rest and craft before I open a couple of cans of clam chowder for dinner tonight, VBG. I will take tomorrow off as I need to get Avon booklets out and I promised one of the guys down at our wonderful police department I would stop by. He has some admin. work for me to do and that counts towards my volunteer hours. Kris Kringle tomorrow for sure!!! Have a great afternoon everyone.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thank You Troops

Let's give our troops a hand

Tuesday at the Brod Abode: Kitchen and dining ceilings are being sanded and textured today. Paint tomorrow and hopefully some decisions about the countertops. And then, the cleanup. Oh my goodness....I can't even begin to deal with that thought. But our home is being updated and I am grateful we can do this.

We had lovely thunder showers last evening and everything looks happy from the natural watering. The new pond filter is amazing. I wish we had had this in '01 when we begain a larger scale of this venture. My pond days started in 1999 with a 150 gallon Rubbermaid livestock tub. I put dwarf plants and a little fountain in there and it was good for a couple of years. But, the fish grew and grew so Mike and the boys, mostly Mike, dug and picked and axed and swore and carved out by hand a 1,250  gallon hole in Texas clay for our finned babies. The fever became more intense. Ponding is addicting and isn't always cheap. There are do it yourself filters and smaller/cheaper pumps but starting with those really isn't the way to go. Ask me how I know? This new filter is our 4th and it is finally perfect. Ofcourse, things have evolved over the years and gotten much better. But with koi, you have to think big and about pushing the envelope. I have limited myself to 4 and everyone is thriving so it must the right mix. They are so gorgeous that it would be easy to have a pond full. Mine are 18" to over 2 1/2 feet and they would grow larger if their environment were bigger. I'll get fresh pics after I clean up the area around the pond. Then, I will probably live out there with the speakers on, maybe some Grace Slick......and dream I am a fish.

Monday, May 3, 2010

We Have Hope

A precious friend of mine, Janet, lost her husband last month after a long illness.  His funeral was one of the best celebrations of a life I have ever attended.  Our church was so packed that Mom and I had to sit in the fellowship hall and watch it via the tv.  We really didn't get to see the slideshow very well but heard the beautiful piano music composed by his daughter Heather.  Today they posted the slideshow on Janet's Facebook page and I finally got to see it.  It filled me with such a joy and hope to know that we have the promise of eternal life through the death of our Savior.  And it's free.  I will be honored to spend my eternity with Hal Newsom and the lovely family he temporarily leaves behind.  God is good.
I missed Dad quite a bit today...perhaps thinking of the way the world is going and knowing no matter what God is in control.  I'm thankful Daddy isn't suffering any longer and that, along with Hal, he has a perfect body in the presence of our Lord.  No more suffering.  God's promise.  It's a good thing!

New Family Member

Somehow I have deleted the post about Lauren and Jordan's new dog Jasper. It may be floating around somewhere above my addled brain. I'm not going to repeat the whole "doll" thang so here are a couple of pics of the proud parents and their furry acquisition.

I Miss You Daddy

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, Where never the lark, nor even eagle flew - And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod The high, untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee (1922-1941)

A Canadian Spitfire pilot in

the Battle of Britian