Thursday, April 30, 2009

Apple Crumb Pie


This recipe is from my sister Janet. Everyone in the family has her elevated to a Goddess level because of this very recipes. OOOOOOhhs and Awwwwwwes occur when she walks into a room with the smell wafting in your nose and you turn robotic and chant in a monotone whisper "MUST EAT PIE...MUST EAT PIE" because that's all you can think about once you smell it. It is sensory overload. Then, visually, when you see some Vanilla bean ice cream scooped on top, and in starts melting slightly like molten heaven on the crumb topping...well all conversation occurring comes to a screeching halt because you are transformed into another dimension, temporarily, until your plate is cleared.

I'm not going to spoil you all and re-type it out, although you deserve that...because as usual, I'm blogging instead of taking care of my daily hygiene and I KNOW my co-workers will appreciate me brushing my teeth and putting on some pit juice, so I must bid you goodbye while I head off to the trenches. I'd much rather be here with you, trust me, but somehow, despite all my mathematical calculating, I haven't managed to pick the right powerball numbers and still need to work for a living! Rat farts!

Just click on the picture, it will get bigger, I promise and you can scribble it down...then you can make it and leave people speechless and be elevated to levels you never thought humanly possible!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Awesome Picture

This is random...one of many pictures I have in my collection. My sister took it while she was on a trip in Alaska, and I just can't get over the color of the water. I stare at it, and just think "WOW". There are so many beautiful things on God's green earth for us to admire....and this is one humdinger! Click on the image so you can even see it larger. I think she might have missed her calling to be a professional photographer. Thank goodness someone in the family is retired and can visit all these places.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's Your Garden Style?

This is the time of year where I love going through magazines, looking for ideas for the outdoors and wishing I had planted 10,000 more bulbs in my yard to enjoy. We have been having the perfect combination of weather...sunny during the day, thunderstorms at night = emerald green here in Kansas.
I keep getting more and more ideas in my head on what I would like our backyard to look like, and like the idea of having a little path to meander around with little alcoves of interest here and there.
I've always loved old pots with moss growing up one side, or rusted architectural elements that
give things a vintage look.
I cut some lilacs this weekend and put them on the dining room table and the scent is heavenly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Someone's 19 today!!!!!

It's my baby girl Nadia's Birthday today! Here she is in 1994 as Snow White for Halloween! So precious!
This is one of my all time favorite pictures of her! She was Sweet 16 here!

All grown up into a young woman. Getting her groove on, going to college, figure out life. Making new friends, working hard, such a bright future. She has a heart of gold. We are extra excited because she is coming home from college and we get to spend THE WHOLE WEEKEND together! Tonight we are going out for THAI for her birthday celebration, then back to the house to celebrate with cake and presents! Can't wait to see her! Love her so much it hurts! We have so much fun together and giggle until we have tears streaming down our faces. We love to shop, cook, eat, watch movies and hug! Can't wait to give her a big squeeze! Is it 5:00pm yet????



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fields of Heaven

These photographs were actually taken by my friend Cindy who has a second home in the beautiful state of Washington on Whidbey Island.
These pictures are on the main land and the colors are just spectacular. Does anything top looking at these beauties?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Springtime Flowers

This is that trouble time of year where fresh flowers are available everywhere you go.
I have my favorites that I'm partial too, but am always willing to try new things. I always ponder over what colors to mix together, and love it when the colors are mixed up, although I always lean towards the pinks, blues, lavender and whites. I have yellow forsythia and daffodils in bloom now, and also lilacs which I love.

I just received my Burpee's Seed Catalog in the mail and am trying to decided what I want to order. Our towns Farmer's Market starts the Saturday after next, and I can't wait. Always nice to exchange information and get gardening tips and love all the fresh produce.

I braved the waters and started canning for the first time, and it wasn't hard, just like my Mom promised me. Nothing better than being able to open something up in the dead of winter that you canned during its peak, and for a moment you are transported to those warm, sunny days.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend at Hermann, Missou-RAH

This is Dan-the-Man and yours truly at Stone Hill Winery. We bought some lovely wines, stashed them in the car before going on a tour of the winery which we hadn't done before. The tour ended with wine tasting, and then we ended up getting a whole other box of wine, because we found some other varieties that we couldn't live with out.
The buildings in Hermann are just beautiful. I just marvel at the craftsmanship of everything in that town. So unique....a visual treat for the eyes!

This is another real nice B & B on the outskirts of town. The town was BOOKED because there was a big bike race going on this past weekend. We ended up staying at a hotel outside of town. The upside was we took some different country roads to and fro with some breathtaking views.


This was a cute cottage yard at a B & B in the neighboring town of New Haven. I get weak in the knees for picket fences with rambling greenery on them!



A picture of someones lovely home on the out skirts of town....just beautiful. If I win the lotto, I might have to make them an offer they can't refuse! So picturesque up on a hill with a breath taking view.
It really was a trip for the senses. Rolling green hills, lilacs in bloom, frogs croaking, birds chirping....and all of the fields were painted lavender with clover blooms. Wine tasting, good eats, and beautiful scenery everywhere. Heaven!




Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekend Get Away!!!!

Dan-the-Man and I decided to get away this weekend and celebrate in one of our favorite towns called Hermann, Missou-RAH! It has neat old homes like the one pictured above.
And cool antique shops that you can poke around in for hours like this......

And good wineries that you can go on tours of and enjoy the fruits of nectar in divine wines. (Yes, that's Dan-the-Man) I'm sure he'll be thrilled to know I posted his picture on the Internet...not!


And charming little B & B's like this.....called the Cat Nap Inn.



And beautiful gifts from nature like this to gaze at with the heavens above! You see, we need to celebrate...YES CELEBRATE...because God has been good to us, very, very good to us. He has listened to our prayers, our family and friends prayers. Our prayers were answered, because we believed. Dan-the-Man had worked at a major corporation and was laid off at the end of December, along with THOUSANDS of other people, signs of the economy. But we kept our chins up, and BELIEVED that God would provide for us. Yesterday, Dan-the-Man got a call, and was offered a position at a great company that is worldwide with a salary that we are still pinching ourselves over. My husband is such a good man, with great character, perseverance and I am so VERY, VERY proud of him, for he deserved this BIG TIME. So I won't be posting for a few days, I hope you forgive me, but I WILL come back with photos to share, I promise.
If you are having any situation that you are struggling with, I ask that you turn it over to God. Have faith, know that doors will open, things will change, and everything is working out for the best, just the way it's meant to be!




Monday, April 13, 2009

Cherry Tree

I have a wonderful memory of picking cherries with Dan-the-Man. There was a cherry orchard about an hour from where we used to live, and it was a you pick 'em farm. Your options for containers were an old big tin coffee can, or a giant plastic bucket. We opted for two coffee cans and went to town picking until our buckets were over flowing with cherries. When we came home, my Mom came over and we sat at my dining room table and pitted cherries for hours, and I made a cherry crumb pie. I've never cared for store made pies, and the ones that have that sticky gelatinous bright red stuff with a few cherries thrown in have never floated my boat....but....homemade from scratch cherry crumb pie made with love? Now that is something to talk about. If you have the patience, try it sometime...there's no going back!




Saturday, April 11, 2009

Joyous Easter

Wishing you all a joyous Easter and may God bless each and everyone of you and your families!

Hugs and Smiles, Nancy

Friday, April 10, 2009

Visitors!!!!!

Just found out that my oldest (she'll love that term) sister is coming to town for Easter weekend! My sister loves her family and lavishes us all with lots of hugs! Her and her hubby are retired and have a truck and trailer and travel all over the USA. I get random postcards from wherever they are at so I know what the scoop is. She is the card Queen, master of backgammon and I defy ANYONE to beat her at Scrabble. She is the one who is responsible for giving me "perms" in the 80's! She has more stamina to shop than three teenagers on a slurpee high and is a mean cook out in the kitchen. Fellow coffee-aholic we both love a good french roast, although she has moved over to the other side and drinks hers black. We are DANISH and I will not drink coffee without cream...it just isn't right! When I get home from work, she will already be here, and I can't wait to see her and give her a big giant hug!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Scoop!!!

Let me first start my story by backing up to yesterday afternoon.....I came home from work for lunch, pondering what we were going to serve for dinner. This would be my first time meeting my tattooed mechanics son new girlfriend. I already picked up on the vibe...this wasn't just anyone, so when I mentioned on a telephone conversation with him that Dan-the-Man wanted to grill out hamburgers, I immediately picked up on that this was not okay from the son.

Being the mischievous Mum that I am, I couldn't resist torturing him, and sent son a text message in the afternoon something like this...."Dan said we'll do tacos instead of hamburgers".

Fast forward to 5:35pm. I'm out in the kitchen feverishly working peeling and coring apples for apple crumb pie. I nervously keep glancing around the corner out the window to see if anyone has arrived. My son shows up first, as they agreed to meet at the house since she was just getting out of school. (BTW she's graduating in May with a MASTERS DEGREE in teaching).
He's watching Mum work at the speed of a hummingbird who just discovered a new pitcher of red sugar water has been hung. The son starts picking up on my vibe "Mum....your making me nervous...quit it!" I'm chopping Roma tomatoes and basil for the crostini appetizer I'm making, trying to beat all odds that I can get the last of the goat cheese out of the impossible packaging it's in. Dan-the-man announces "SHE'S HERE!!!!", and the son is at the front door in 1/32th of a nano second to greet her. Possibly less time than that....

Introductions occur, and I instantly like her. You know when you mentally start visualizing what someone is going to be like, even start imaging what they are going to look like...well EVERYTHING was so much more wonderful than that. Beautiful face, gorgeous smile, cute voice, and gushing with warmth. I felt warm and fuzzy all the way down to my toes. We easily fell into conversation like this was our 300th time seeing each other. A half hour must have passed with talking when I realize maybe I should include my son in part of the conversation.
That being said, you have to understand my son. He is Jim Carey reincarnated in a second body on earth, with a slightly different twist. He has a personality that's large enough to entertain a room of 40 people, and loves it best when everyone is laughing until tears are streaming down your face. I wanted my mascara to stay right wear it was, on my eyelashes...at least for the first part of the evening.

She was like a character out of a Walt Disney movie...one of the princesses. Lavish with compliments for our humble home, about how we brought up our son. I picked up on how much she loves her family, and that she has lots of pets (always a good sign to me), and what a positive outlook and sunny disposition she had. Okay I thought to myself, I will allow you the honor of birthing my grandchildren. My daughter (away at college calls) I politely excuse myself as I go into the other room and try whispering "You're going to LOVE her". We have a 2 second conversation filling her in as quickly as possible on the skinny, the low down....I was curtly but affectionately told "I'll be the judge if she's "In" or not."..we giggled and hung up.

Dan-the-man made a wonderful beef brisket with a mushroom gravy, red skinned potato mashers, broccoli, and even though she is probably a size 2 enjoyed the dinner and had seconds.

After dinner we relaxed and conversed more. A little while later I served my apple crumb pie ala mode. It was a relaxing enjoyable evening, and we wrapped things up agreeing that I would take her in the bug-de-doo to a winery out in the country that she hadn't been to, and me loaning her a copy of Emma with Gweneth Paltrow to watch.

Before they could walk out the door, I asked if I could take a picture. Little do they know what I'm up to right now, blabbing to my blog friends. You are all sworn to secrecy...do you hear that??!! Don't make me come over and give you a nuggy!

I went to bed and slept peacefully knowing that life is pretty darn good right now!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I have a secret....

Me and my favorite son! My mechanic tattooed son is coming over for dinner tonight with a new lady friend....Sybil. This is our first night meeting her, but I have a motherly intuition that she has already captured someones attention. Mr. Cool, Calm & Collected can't stop talking about her every time I see him. Now would I get pinched, and put into a headlock and get a giant nuggy on my head if he knew I was posting about this? Heck yeah! But what are the chances of the mechanic tattooed son reading ol' Mums blog? Tee he he he....We had to go over the "menu" and when I mentioned Dan-the-Man wanted to grill out some burgers (a normally warm welcomed dinner) someone was wincing and hinting that something more sophisticated needed to be served. Followed by flattery of what great cooks we are, and couldn't we do something else for tonight's dinner.....and oh by the way could you make your apple crumb pie Mum?

I guess you have to know a little history. Ms. Sybil is going to graduate from college in May and become a school teacher. She works two jobs, runs in marathons and likes to read! Did you hear that LIKES TO READ. Loves her family, and has her act together! I've seen one picture and she has curly blonde hair and blue eyes and looks like an angel.

It's so cute seeing him so twitterpatted, trying to act like he's NOT twitterpatted, when he is so VERY twitterpatted.

Oh yes, there will be reports tomorrow...have no fear. I may even torture her with pictures on the first visit if I can, because that's how I roll!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Acorn Cottage

After
Before
This is my home Acorn Cottage. It was love at first site. I saw it sitting there, all alone, like it just needed a hug. It was vacant, but there wasn't a for sale sign up. We were out visiting my in-laws and were driving around looking for houses just for fun. I made my mother-in-law stop, jumped out of the car, and ran to the living room window. I peered in and saw the hardwood floors, the cute nook in the dining room and the french door over looking the backyard and I was done for....I didn't care if it had running water, or how many bedrooms it had, I knew I needed to live there for all eternity. I walked around to peek at the back yard and it was HUGE!!!! Things like this in California would have a 20 unit condominium complex built on it with a cement drive down the center. Instead, I found old trees, lilac bushes and just deeply sighed knowing it had to be mine. Now Dan-the-Man didn't get out of the car. He thought, "Oh that Nancy".....but I knew in my heart of hearts this was it! Long story short...or what's that? You want me to carry on? Okay, you talked me into it. Fast forward to us returning to Ca. Me with my nosed pressed against the airplane window looking over all the little patchwork of farms and my heartstrings tugging at me. I randomly traumatized Mr. B (who is now the bestest next door neighbor) and called him from Ca. after doing a reverse address search on the computer for his phone number, and after introducing myself, and trying to convince him I wasn't a complete kook...found out the house had not been lived in for a couple of years, and that is was going to be coming up for sale. Dan-the-man had no idea at the time that he was going to be deployed to Ft. Sam Houston for national Security for a year. While I was in Ca., and Dan-the-Man was stationed in Texas, loan papers were flying across faxes, pictures were downloaded and site unseen, he let me buy our new (old)home. (Now that's great husband isn't it?) We've been in heaven ever since!
Warning: It's 6:55am as I type....I haven't showered, and need to be leaving out the door for work in 35 minutes. Eeeeeegads! More later! Have a great day!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Strawberry Salad

This is a delicious easy salad to make. When my neighbor shared it with me, I thought it was an unusual combination of ingredients, but once you taste it, you'll be addicted.

Salad

Romaine or Spinach Leaves
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Toasted Pecans or Walnuts
Sliced Strawberries
Dressing
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. white pepper
3-6 cloves minced garlic
paprika for color
Make salad dressing ahead of time and let flavors blend for 1-2 hours. Shake well and toss on salad and enjoy!
P.S. Did you know you can click on the image of any picture and see it larger?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mushrooms

Aren't these just the cutest things? They are ceramic mushrooms. My niece had them all over her garden. Nice resting spot for the fairies don't you think? When I was a little girl I have a crystal clear memory of playing outside and making a house for the fairies. I cleared the area with a pine needle broom and made a house for them out of twigs. I also made furniture from leaves and whatever else mother nature could provide. I sat and waited for what seemed like hours for the fairies to arrive. I was sure if I laid absolutely still they would feel safe to approach their new home I built for them. My Mom called me inside after a while. There was no doubt in my mind the fairies came shortly after I went inside and slept in the new home with the stars shining brightly upon them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Counted Cross Stitch

I have a funny story to tell you. I was on the Internet and saw some counted cross stitch and AMAZING prices...like $6.95. I said holy smokes...all that time and effort and it's being sold so cheap! Now most of you know I love acorns and I was searching for some designs with acorns in them, and low and behold...found some! I ordered what I thought were TWO finished products.

The mailman came, I opened the package like a four year old on a sugar high, and then the light bulb (remember I'm blonde, so go easy on me) went on. I had purchased a cross stitch KIT, not a completed project.


So, along with scrapbooking, stamping, painting, felting, sewing, embroidery, crocheting, gardening, I am going to throw in learning to cross stitch! Right on! Love a new challenge!

Anyhow....long story short, while on my visit to California, my Mom showed me a cross stitch that my Aunt made, and my Mom always loved. So I'm on a mission to see if I can find a pattern somewhere, or I might have to count it out and chart it myself.



My Mom says the picture looks like my house, which I agree since we have a cute little cape cod. My Mom wants to change the poem since my shutters are black and we were laughing trying to think of words that rhymed.

Now that I think about it my house is also painted khaki, so I'd really be in trouble if I started re-arranging the words! Besides, I think it's cute just the way it is!
I am working at a snails pace on one of patterns I purchased but will have show-n-tell when I'm done. Mind you that might be in 3 years........


I'm Home!

Hello everyone! I'm back from my trip to sunny California and had a wonderful time!
Had a wonderful visit with family and friends and wanted to share a few pictures that I thought you might enjoy. We took my Mom out to dinner at the Crab Cooker on the Newport Beach peninsula. It's become a family tradition because we all love seafood and it's a family friendly place....and our family is growing by leaps and bounds!
After dinner we all took a walk out on the pier...It was so nice to smell the fresh salty air and watch the seagulls fly around.

This is a lovely french bakery my sister took us to have lunch at in Dana Point. As you can see it took about a half hour trying to decide what to order. I got to meet the owner Jacque Savoire, and when he heard I was visiting all the way from Kansas, he graciously threw in an extra pastry since I was having trouble making up my mind!
It's a don't miss point of interest called Savoire Fair if you are ever out west!


This is my Moms tangelo tree in her yard. I had strict instructions from Dan-the-man not to come unless I brought him some fresh picked tangelos! They are so delicious and make the best juice you've ever had....but then again again fresh picked is usually fantastic.
Of course I took hundreds more pictures...mostly of my family that I won't torture you all with (except I'm sure my niece Julie would like to see them :)...especially of my nephews engagement ring to his fiancee'). I'm happy to be back home. I missed a snow storm while I was gone, which made sitting out in my sister's patio all the more delicious in 72 degree weather! Here I was worried the lilacs would bloom while I was away!