Category Archives: Holidays

And I love you, I love you, I love you

This is the song that we will play for our first dance when we renew our vows. If we do that. Twenty-five years together deserves something like another party, don’t your think? And Russ deserves some celebrating for having put up with me all of these years, right?

Marriage is hard, kids. Being human complicates things, makes them all messy sometimes.

We’ve been through so much together…my-cheeks-hurt-from-smiling happy, floating-on-air ecstatic, aren’t-we-amazing contented, this-may-be-the-end bad, I’m-the-damnedest-idiot-on-the-planet hurt, hold-me-I’m-frightened scared, life-is-short sad…and through it all, the one thing that has kept us together is love.

It’s trite. It makes people roll their eyes. Saying love conquers all sounds crazy. Sounds simplistic. It’s not simple. But love makes it possible. All things. It reminds us of who we are and whose we are.

This song is for my Valentine, the man who loves me in a way that astounds me. I can say this to him, I love you, I love you, I love you like never before.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!



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Filed under Holidays, love, Music

She Gives Me Hot and Cold Fever

Happy Friday, y’all!

Hope you get to experience some of that crazy little thing called love this weekend!


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Pi day recap/Caution overwhelming cuteness ahead

I’m pretty sure that after my last post, I said I would be back “on the morrow with a recipe”. Um, yeah. It’s way past morrow. More like a fortnight. And today I have a recipe for you, but it wasn’t the one I had planned to share. I’ll save that for another post.
It seems like time has flown by! We’ve been busy with strange work schedules and school conferences and hormonal crying jags (oh wait, that was just me. I’m better now) We also had visitors from the Lone Star State last weekend. It was so much fun to see my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and my great niece! The great state of Missouri actually had a fluke snowfall the first night they were here. We know how to welcome visitors here in the midwest!
Since the Texans were here over Pi day (3.14), I thought it would be fun to make a pie with Janae. She’s 2 and a half and full of energy and smiles and is talking up a storm. Such a great age. And cooking with kids is so much fun. Just make sure that you are prepared for spills and mishaps and all will be good.
I decided that we would go with a no-cook pie. Janae is so young and instant gratification is a good way to keep littles from being bored whilst cooking. Pudding pie-perfect!
Here’s the recipe in pictures:

Take a chocolate graham cracker crust...

Add one super cute little girl and a box of chocolate instant pudding...

Let the cutie put the pudding mix in a bowl (with just a little help so that most of the mix ends up in the bowl)

Add the milk and then let the sweet girl whisk (please to hold the bowl so that it doesn't end up on the floor!)

The beautiful smile adds an extra touch of sweetness to the pie! Whisking...

More whisking. More bowl holding.

Pour the pudding into the crust and then you get to EAT THE LEFTOVER PUDDING!

I believe this may have been Janae's favorite part! Smart girl!

Garnish with squirty whipped cream and TA DA! Pudding Pie for Pi day!

Then, if you are super lucky like Janae, you get to sit on Grandma's lap and enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Having family to love is awesome, si?

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If music be the food of love, play on

 Chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast-it must be Valentine’s day!

Enjoy, my sweets!

If it’s the beaches
If it’s the beaches’ sands you want
Then you will have them
If it’s the mountains’ bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it’s the wish to run away
Then I will grant it

 And finally-

For just one chance to find
Love was someone that you loved to find
For just the sense to try
To walk ahead and leave the pain behind
If the days aren’t easy and the nights are rough
When they ask you what you’re thinking of
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love

Your heart says not again
What kind of mess have you got me in
But when the feelings there
It can lift you up and take you anywhere
But the gravel beneath you and the limbs above
If anybody asks you where your coming from
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love

Say yes we live uncertainty
And disappointments have to be
And everyday we might be facing more
And yes we live in desperate times
But fading words and shaking rhymes
There’s only one thing here worth hoping for
With Lucifer beneath you and God above
If either one of them asks you what your living of
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love
Say love, say for me love



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Music Monday

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day, all!

Sorry I’ve been MIA. I thought I’d ease my way back in with a good old-fashioned Music Monday post.

In honor of the man this holiday is named for, I have some music to share. Enjoy, or should I say contemplate, the following:

And Lord, Lord, Lord! Miss Mahalia Jackson may just make a believer out of me yet.

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.~Martin Luther King, Jr.



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Let’s call them “things to work toward”, shall we?

So, it’s that time of year. Resolution time. I’m going to show you mine and I want you to show me yours, mmmkay? <–that is not a resolution, that is a statement telling you that I want you to share your resolutions with me. Although that could be a resolution if *you* are my husband. Ahem. Back to resolutions.

Here they are, in no particular order-

#1: 6 sun salutations every morning to center my thoughts and stretch my body.

#2: Use Flylady principles to be more organized and productive. (Namely, this will entail me using my timer so that I do at least 15 minutes of work and then 15 minutes of not work.) I had no idea how difficult working from home would be when there are a million distractions or other chores that need to be done. Look! The stove burner covers are filthy! I’ll just tidy them up before I get to work on that article. Look! There’s a cool video to watch on youtube, I’ll just check  that out before I do more research. Oh and here’s another version of the same song…Look! A great website on gardening! I really need to investigate how to grow tomatilloes. Last year’s crop was disappointing. Crap in a hat, I’m like a squirrel with ADHD.

#3: Write 3 pages of morning musings in my journal before any computer time. I call them morning musings. Julia Cameron calls them morning pages. Go here and see how wonderful she is!

#4: Practice positive self-talk and have confidence in myself. My worst enemy cannot say as hateful things about me as I do. Sweet lard in a pie crust. It really needs to stop. I can’t possibly be that bad.

#5: Spend more one-on-one time with each of my men. I’m hoping to have one night each month that I spend doing something fun with each of my guys. Originally, I thought 1 night a week, but let’s be realistic here; There aren’t 3 free nights a week. So I scaled back to one fun night a month.

#6: Read more than 24 books.  And yes, I would be happy with 25.

And the last resolution is one that cannot be quantified or  really spelled out: Put more love and peace out into the world. What does that look like? I don’t really know, but I think it has to do with loving folks even when they are being un-lovable, less talking and more listening, more time with my hands in the dirt, more hugs, telling folks I love them and appreciate them more often, less clutter, less stuff, more meditation (dare I say prayer?), more time in the kitchen,more laughing, being quicker to forgive…I’m sure there’s more, but that will do for now.

Now show me yours!



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Sweet Sunday

What a great weekend, seriously. Yesterday was the sugar bunning and today was gingerbread house and train building  and pretzel dipping. This weekend has softened my cold, Scroogy heart and the best part is that no visits from scary specters were required! Me=Christmas spirit filled.

Today was such fun!  Another day filled with loved ones and sweet chocolate and candy and love and laughing and good food and fun and more chocolate and there was a visit to Santa (my Beth and I, not the kids) and a wonderful yoga practice. 


The house before the landscaping


The plain train


I've got to concentrate, concentrate, concentrate!


The beginning of the train decorating


The house gets a wreath


And some shingles


The boys hard at work


More boys working hard


Charley, I totally see you trying to snag some candy off the table!


It's coming along nicely!


The train has a car full of red hot coal!


The finished products!


Aren't they great!!


The artistes and their creations!



Mmmmm, chocolate! If you are one of these children's aunts, please pretend you don't see this. And act surprised when you open your gift, mmkay?


Look at the drizzling arm on that kid! He is a natural!


Some of the finished treats. They look great!


I am one thankful lady right about now.

There is no recipe for the pretzels, friends.  Get you some almond bark, melt it, put it on the pretzels and then decorate them. You all knew that, though, didn’t you?



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People who don’t like butter, don’t like butter

Today we carried on a tradition that goes way, way, way back in our family-Sugar Bun day!  It’s a day that makes my heart do this-

I’m too tired to say much and it’s supposed to be Silent Saturday anyway, so I think I will just say that there was much laughing and cooking and many children and lovely family and love and silliness and butter! and more butter! and some sweet sugar and I now feel like this really is the hap-happiest time of the year!  No more grinching from me. I’m ready to hold hands and sing dah-who-doraze with y’all.

Seriously, what could be better than cooking, children and laughing? Nothing, I tell you.

One more important point to make, people who don’t like butter, don’t like butter. Try and argue your way out of that one, why don’t you? 

Ian and his mama get to sugaring the buns


Everyone is working diligently!


Sam and Ashley-when did my boy get so big?


The non-sugaring bunners


Visions of sugar buns danced in our heads




We are nothing if not strict with the hygiene of our workers! Or this is alternately titled-What happens at sugar buns, stays at sugar buns!


Happy ladies!


You just have to be a kid at heart to enjoy the sugaring of the buns!


Look at the form of this girl! She's a natural!


Alien head dough with cool shadows


Some of the finished product-delicious!


The swollen stollen!


My bunners! This picture makes me happy!


The recipe for the dough is about 80 years old and it is a very good, sweet, tender dough. It’s very forgiving, which makes it perfect for children.  We used this master dough to make sugar buns-dough rolled out into long thin ish strips, buttered, sugared (or cinnamon sugared) folded in on itself from both sides, buttered again and sugared again, and then cut into buns-and stollens. The stollens were filled with brown sugar and chopped pecans. You can be very fancy and do orange zest and mix up lots of different fillings for the coffee cake.

Here’s the recipe-

Mom Pape’s Coffee Cake dough (No one seems to know who Mom Pape was, but I salute her, whoever she was!)

Dissolve 1 yeast cake (or packet) and 1 TBS sugar in 1/2 cup warm water.

Cream 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup shortening and 1 or 2 eggs.

Scald 1 pint of milk, cool.

Add 1 TBS salt (I will admit to you that I didn’t see this ingredient on the handwritten recipe until JUST NOW and so my 2 batches didn’t have it. And we didn’t miss it.)

Add the milk and salt to the creamed mixture.

Add about 6 cups flour and stir to combine.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic (about 6 minutes).  Put in a bowl and let rise until doubled-45 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down.

Shape and let rise about 45 more minutes.

Bake at 350 for however long it takes to get done.  Sugar buns take about 15 minutes.





Filed under food, Holidays, Recipes

Silent Saturday



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History lesson…


Riding side-saddle, the way all proper Pilgrim ladies rode the turkey (which is NOT a euphemism, no matter what you think.)


Little known Thanksgiving fact: The Pilgrim women used to ride the ginormous (<—-actual word. It’s in the dictionary and everything!) turkeys they found here in the new world. They did so while carrying the bountiful harvest they picked from their gardens.  The giant birds were so friendly that they not only put up with being ridden, but even went so far as to wear the stylish buckle hats that were all the rage with the Pilgrim men.  This lovely statue is a darling depiction of that much simpler time…


Hope you all were able to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast with your families and friends!







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