Thursday, October 30, 2008

cottage chitchat

I'm taking the day off so I can~
~ get my Halloween costume together for the Fall Festival and Shawn & Nicole's party Friday night.
~ clean the back patio for Home Group tonight. We're breaking out the fire pot!
~ do some baking before all the apples from WI go bad.
~ do loads of laundry! (yes, it's been 2 weeks since I last laundered!)
~ schedule my mammogram.
~ get ready for a day of scrapping on Saturday.
~ practice on my new camera. (maybe even read the manual)
~ clean the bathrooms.
~ grocery shop so I can...
~ make pork roast & mashed potatoes & asparagus for dinner. Yum!

Monday, October 27, 2008

gingham apron fabric bliss

So, you know how much I love checked gingham. Umm, vintage checked gingham aprons to be exact. Then check out my gingham apron collection if you don't know what I'm talking about.
Well, my sister Ginny called me a few weeks before our trip to Wisconsin and told me to grab my 40% off Michael's coupon and get my little self on over there for some fat quarter gingham apron fabric bliss! So I did. No such bliss. Went to another Michael's. The same.
Just when I could feel my hope waning, Ginny calls and says she found one at her Michael's in Eau Claire and it's waiting for me when I arrive. Yeh! And well worth the wait!
I may never, ever unbundle this bundle. I mean, come on, look at it. And the other fabrics are just as cute.

Big news! Our 19 year old son Tyler got a job today at Target!! YEH! Sooo happy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

a 15 cent sale

Yes, everything was found at the same yard sale for 15 cents each!
The two daisy bee pins were 15 cents for the both of them. (clic the pic and check out the bees!) And the doilies were 15 cents for the both of them. But my favorite find at the sale... the padded vinyl foldable yard stick! Love it! And quite frankly, a one-of-a-kind. Cuz I have never seen one like it. Have you?

Randy's singing at an LCI Marriage & Family Conference in San Diego this weekend. I was suppose to go with him... but I chose to stay home to sew and scrap and finish decorating for fall. Miranda is coming by in a few minutes. She found the perfect down jacket for England at It's at Kohls stores too. So we'll see if we can find it.

*** Ok, so it's 12 hours later and well, I didn't sew or scrap or decorate for fall. Miranda did sign me up for a Facebook account. (like I need another thing to obsess about) And Miranda also found a better down jacket at Burlington Coat Factory.

So then... what did I do today?
Well... I went to see a movie! In an actual theater! I know, I don't do theaters... this being only the 3rd movie in 8 years. But it was the best experience! Pure magic! Cuz Miranda took me to "Mamma Mia!"!!! Oh my gosh, I cried through every single song and was a blubbering mess by the end of the movie. I loved it. I love musicals. I love happy ending movies. Best of all, I love that I shared it with my daughter. And when I'm missing her like crazy this winter, I will remember today. Our shopping together, creating my Facebook together, 25 cent corn dogs at Sonic together and crying together while watching Donna & Sophia getting ready for the wedding.

Thanks Miranda. I will never forget this day. Love you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

dancing with my man

My Mom grows the most humungous Hydrangeas. So I was thrilled there was one left on the bush when we got to the farm, even though it was quite small. But oh so pretty against the brilliant blue sky.

Do you remember the thrift store that we came upon on our way home from Wisconsin last October? Then read all about us finding the ultimate HAUNTED MANSION! Anyway, I was determined to find that "Nifty Thrifty" store on our way home this year. Well, it wasn't in Kansas like I thought it was. And I had all but given up when Randy & I, at the very same time knew that we should exit off I-35 at Bethany, MO and folks, there it was!! The "Nifty Thrifty"!! We didn't have as good a luck as we did last year but it so fun to revisit the home of our beloved Haunted Mansion.
Had to take a pic of these pumpkins as we walked out of the store.

Yes, I am dreaming of being on the road, crossing the Mississippi River... enjoying the colors and cool weather.

But hey, I AM living out a dream-come-true! Randy & I had dance lessons last night at our church and as always, we had the BEST time! We learned the RUMBA, the CHA-CHA and the JITTER BUG! Oh my gosh, I was so in my element, pretending to be on "Dancing with the Stars", imagining the lifts, the spins, the fancy foot work when we get a little better (ya, in my dreams)... and loving every single moment.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Emolyn @ 8 months

OK, picture time! Isn't our grandbaby such a big girl! Emolyn weighed 11 lbs. 11 oz. today at her 8 month check up. Yes, she's practically perfect in every way. We are so very blessed.

Aunt Miranda will be missing her little niece like crazy! You see, Miranda is going to England in January! She was accepted into the ASU exchange program. She'll be studying European History at Royal Holloway near London for 6 months. This is a dream come true for her and we couldn't be more proud. But her Daddy and I will miss her so much!
But I'm thinking this little girl will help some.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Casa Mozingos & The Pioneer Woman

Randy & I had the pleasure of spending time at Casa Mozingos on Saturday. I dubbed Rand & Michelle's adobe home Casa Mozingos. Has a nice ring.
Rand & Michelle are dear friends (for over 30 years) that live in the country outside of Phoenix in their adobe home they built themselves. I love it out there.

This is the view from their home. Simply breathtaking. They grow everything on their two acres.

They even grow chickens. How cute are these girls and the Mr. and their master Michelle! They are producing eggs now. And let me tell, still one of my fascinations of all time.

Rand & Michelle are the best cooks ever. I am not kidding you. They are. They make everything from scratch. Using fresh herbs. Straight from their garden.
This time the guys made homemade pasta for Ravioli with Sweet Crab and Pesto. Yum! And before they placed the prime rib on the grill, it had been marinating in this decadent to-die-for chocolate & coffee mixture. Oh my gosh, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I wanted to cry.

Don't you just love photos of food? I sure do. Which is why I adore THE PIONEER WOMAN site! She photographs every single step that goes into making her recipes. How can you go wrong!
Ree just posted her Pumpkin Cake with Whiskey Whipped Cream. Sounds divine. In fact I just may forgo the cake and make me a bowl of the whiskey whipped cream and devour it myself. Is that wrong?
Oh and check out her Apple Dumplings recipe. I'm telling ya, it's theater! Her writing is captivating, her photos cinematic... and then the dramatic climax... the thrilling presentation... oh ya, theater at its finest.

Ok, so while I'm on the subject of The Pioneer Woman... she has a love story that transcends all love stories. Go on her site and click on love story and start from the beginning. But you might want to do what I did. I had Randy print out her entire love story so far. (she is not done writing it yet) And I took it on our trip and read the whole story. Randy even had me tell him the story. It is so romantic.
And yes, Randy is my Marlboro Man.

Friday, October 17, 2008

a few of my favorite things

I grew up in a farmhouse that had built in hutches with diamond-shaped leaded glass doors. These were the glasses that I loved looking at through those glass doors. My Mom was given these glasses 58 years ago for a wedding shower gift from her Aunt Olga. They were too fragile to touch, much less use. But I imagine the main reason we didn't use them was because they are narrow on top which made it hard to hand wash them. And with six kids, there would surely be more than just one missing after 58 years. So the question is, will I use them? Mmm, maybe, or maybe I will just continue to look at them. But hey, they sure look cute in my red and splashes of aqua kitchen! Don't they?!

So, as I said, Randy & I spent the night in our van inside Yosemite National Park the first night of our vacation. We were so warm and cozy even though it was 38 degrees when we awoke early that Sunday morning. As we were about to cross the Nevada border we came upon what appeared to be a yard sale in front of a floral shop in this tiny little town. What are the chances... an early morning yard sale on a Sunday. Well, the sweetest lady shared that after 52 years in the floral business she was retiring and everything had to go. After much seaching I found this large Longaberger veggie basket w/ protector for $12.50! I'd say my vacation started on the right track!

My little Lutheran Church Bazaar & Auction was a huge hit. Everything is either homemade or homegrown. You do remember the lefse earrings, don't you? Well I also bid on this colorful, exquisite afghan and won!! Actually, my Mom bought it for me because she wanted to buy me something for cutting, coloring and styling her hair earlier that day. Thanks Mom! I love it! And to think one of the dear, elderly ladies in the church spent hours and hours making this! I will treasure it forever.

This is THE picnic basket that our family has used exclusively for the past 50+ years. Whenever we'd go to the lake, or for a picnic, or a potluck, or a family reunion... we'd fill it up and pack it in the trunk. I can't believe it has survived after all these years!

Quite a few of the Amish have little stores on their farms where they let you come and buy their goods... produce, eggs, baskets, rugs and various home baked goods. The photo in the last post, of the farmer plowing with his six horses is where I bought this lovely runner. It looks to have been made using blue jeans. I absolutely love it! And it cost only $7.50!

We stopped at a yard sale just down the road, after having left the farm to head back to Phoenix. Found this wooden container that I knew would hold my six pastel tin vases that I already had. And they did. Perfectly. The container was a dollar.

So, I think that about covers our Wisconsin trip. Randy & I drove over 5000 miles through 14 states! Wow~ and we loved every single moment. And we're already itching to hit the road again. Mmm, where to next time?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

more Wisconsin pics

I love how everyone decorates for fall in Wisconsin. Inspires me to get all my fall decorations out this week and fill our home with lots of color, scented candles and candy galore!

More and more Amish are settling in the area where I grew up. I was struck by how hard their lives are. I want the simple life, but not at the expense of modern conveniences.

Acres and acres and rows and rows of corn are ready to be harvested. I love this picture.

I am so grateful that the farm continues to prosper, produce and progress with the times. We as a nation are dependent on them for produce, livestock, milk and grain. Sure makes me proud to have grown up on a dairy farm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We're home

We're home!
While we were gone, Fall arrived here in Phoenix. And what a lovely surprise to come back to!
But I just had to post a few more images of the Fall colors that we left behind back in Wisconsin. We were thrilled to see the colors evolve every day right before our very eyes. And then to have them peak just days before we left! We couldn't have been there at a better time. The first two pics were taken on York Road and the last two on the way to Osseo.
Click the pics and take in the beauty.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

on the road again

Two weeks ago today we left Laguna Beach, CA and headed for Wisconsin. We are now heading back to Phoenix after a whirlwind of activities that filled each and every day to the fullest.
Randy & I are back at our favorite wi-fi cafe in LaCrosse, WI and we can't stop talking about all that we have experienced these past two weeks. The colors have reached their peak and if you live near LaCrosse, the bluffs along the Mississippi are simply breathtaking!
And what a way to end our time in small-town rural America. Last night Randy & I took my parents out for Friday Night Fish at Dee Dee's in Northfield and then to my old alma mater for the Friday Night Football game with Ron & Deb. The Whitehall Norseman won! Yeh! It was so fun and refreshing to be outside, cheering on the home team in the cool night air! It sure took me back to that same football field 33 years ago, when I was a cheerleader.
So, we'll be on the road for a few more days. Not sure when I can post again. So take the time to scroll down and catch any past posts that you may have missed. I will catch up with you later!
Thanks for coming along on our vacation. Randy & I are so deeply grateful for your thoughts and prayers and comments.

Friday, October 10, 2008

pin cushions & totes

The sewing sisters are at it again! Ginny & I had so much fun making thread catchers and tote bags and notebook pads! Actually, I made them and Ginny cheered me on. She is the best craft instructor ever!
I made the two thread catchers on either side of Ginny's thread catcher. I'll be taking them back to Phoenix and filling them with fine sand. So Nancy, take your pick!

My friend Nancy chose the fabric, so that I could make one for her 50th birthday. I am so pleased that I was able to work the ruler design salvages into the tabs of the thread catcher.

Ginny is getting ready for a craft fair and this is just a portion of her inventory.

Last October I made my first tote bag while visiting my sister. It is now a tradition. So I made another one this year. I am in love with this darling tote bag! I brought the fabric with me from Phoenix cuz it's leaves and fall and would make the cutest bag. And it did!
Don't you love the vintage button Ginny found in her massive button collection!
Thanks Ginny!

I made the bag all by myself, except for the yellow yo-yos. Ginny made them. She has been making yo-yos since she was a little girl. She can whip em out much faster than I ever could.
Take a look at her latest pin cushion! Love how it matches my new bag.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lefse earrings

Oh ya, I need to reveal what the unusual auction item was. Umm, drum roll please...
Yes, I bid on a pair of Lefse earrings and I won! I know, I just may be one of only a handful of people that own Lefse earrings!
And I have actually worn them too. Oh and they are made from real Countryside lefse out of Blair, WI.
And what is lefse, you may ask? Check HERE and HERE.
Be sure to read the post below too.

Happy Birthday Ron!

Yup, my brother Ron turned 50 yesterday. It was so fun for the family to get together and celebrate his birthday on Sunday... even though the Packer's got beat.

Oh do we love this little puppy!
Boomer is intent on making friends with the kitties that hang out near the barn. But, they don't quite share his sentiments. In fact, they are not amused in the least. Poor Boomer... he just wants to play.