Sunday, August 23, 2015

As many of you may know, our little buddy Chip -one of the co-founders of Chip and Dale Designs - had to undergo emergency surgery on Friday. Chip's good friend Lexie has established a Gofundme account to help him with his medical bills. Here is the link to the site. Please share this with your friends.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Courtenay's new Luminous Lone Star quilt has been awarded the BEST OF SHOW ribbon at the 2015 Adams County, Colorado, Fair quilt show.
To celebrate, Courtenay and Craftsy are offering the on line Luminous Lone Star class at a Best of Show Special!!





Thursday, July 23, 2015


Before we were married, I was living in Colorado and my soon to be husband was living on a farm in Missouri. One of his responsibilities on the farm was to help with herding around the cattle and hogs. To do this he occasionally used what is called a cattle whip. It is basically a stick with a piece of rope attached to the end.

When we were getting ready for him to move to Colorado, several of his friends volunteered to help him pack. In the process of packing, one of his friends stashed the cattle whip in a large box marked MASTER BEDROOM. Ha Ha. The box was sealed and loaded onto the truck.

Arriving in Colorado, the truck was unloaded and the various boxes were hauled into their designated rooms. I chuckled a little bit when I found the cattle whip stashed in one of the boxes in our bedroom. I tried to guess which one of my husband’s friends would have done this, but they would all be suspects. I guess that was why they were my soon to be husband’s friends in the first place. God love ‘em! Being in a hurry to unpack, I just stashed the cattle whip in the corner of our bedroom behind the door and forgot about it.

Cattle Whip
Fast forward about three months. My son Sean was in second grade. He was selected by his teachers and principal to be one of the lead characters in a school play about a circus. He was to be the ring master in the second grade’s circus scene!! We were very proud of him.

Now the year before, Sean had come home from school and informed me that I had to make him a snake costume for the school play. Snake costume? No problem. I asked Sean when he needed it, already knowing what the answer would probably be. Tomorrow. Just what I figured. So I quickly threw together some fabric and scales and slithers and made him a snake costume. Remember now, it was late and I was tired. And several glasses of wine can adjust your perspective. The next night at the school play, I burst out laughing when Sean the Snake came bouncing on stage. Parents all around me were staring at me and slowly moving away as I sat there roaring with laughter, tears streaming down my face. Instead of a fearsome snake, all I could see was this giant ribbed condom bouncing and weaving on stage. I called Sean Trojan for several months after that. But, anyway.

Trojan the Snake
As the date for this year's school play approached, we helped Sean rehearse his ring master lines and worked with him to get his character just right. Things were going very well, or so we thought. Sean came home from school one day and had the costume list of things that he needed for the school play. Pretty basic ringmaster stuff: a dove tailed coat, a top hat and a crop. There was also a hand written note from his teacher at the bottom of the list that said “Call me ASAP.”

Sean the Ringmaster
When I called the next morning, the teacher proceeded to tell me how she had gone over the costume lists with each of the kids. She asked the kiddos if anyone had any questions. Of course, Sean raised his little hand.

“What’s a crop?” Sean asked.

“It’s like a small whip.” The teacher explained.

“Oh, okay,” Sean answered. “My mom keeps one of those behind her bedroom door.”

The next parent/teacher conference was very interesting.

Friday, July 10, 2015

                                                              VACATION FOOD

  One of the great things about going back home on vacation is that I can load up on all of the foods from my childhood. While some of these items I have recipes for and can make them, they just don’t taste the same! You can ask anyone of my friends and family- my cooking is not great! I was too busy screwing around outside as a kid and was not paying any attention to what my mother was doing in the kitchen. Food just magically appeared every night at 5. What a life!
  Anyway, the items I was looking forward to is as follows- Yuengling beer, teaberry ice cream, whoopie pies (not the crappy ones you get in the grocery store, but home made by the Amish ones), a cheese steak from Philly, city chicken, good Lebanon Bologna, potato filling (most of you know this as stuffing and no it is not even close to Stove Top), NY style pizza, Diffenbach’s chips, Yuengling, etc. (I know I have the Yuengling beer in there twice- it was THAT important). Well I am pleased to announce I have every single one of the items on my list- and some more than once- haha. I had to quit drinking after day 3- I wanted to remember some of the trip! But eating, on the other hand, was a different story.
   First stop after we got off the plane- Jim’s Cheesteaks in Philly.   Last time we were in Philly we had Genos’, this time we went to Jim’s. It was fantastic! Missy also had a cooler in the car full of Yuengling and Diffenbach’s potato chips for our ride home- what a deal!



  That night was my first taste of Teaberry ice cream in 10 years- and it was as fantastic as I remembered. This flavor is very local to this area- and cannot be found anywhere else. Believe me, I have looked. I had a stupid boyfriend once that compared it to Pepto Bismol- dumbass LOL.NOT EVEN CLOSE


     On Friday we went to an Amish farmers’ market. They had all sorts of food stands, plus a bakery (whoopee pies for miles),  a doughnut stand, a few different meat cases, etc. It was incredible. There were Amish women baking the pies in front of us- my son, who works in a grocery store bakery, was most impressed. Evidently all of his bakery items come in frozen and they just throw it in the oven.  He was also amazed that these prices were cheaper than the ones in his store- and the items were obviously more fresh here at the market. There was also a food court there as well- and oh dear. What do I choose for lunch? We all went with home-made barbecue, sides, and home-made root beer. Now, I got sick once as a kid on root beer so it is not my favorite, but I thought I would try it anyway.  Holy mother- this was the best freakin root beer I have ever had! I wish I could have shipped a case home! Even the bottle was cool-

That night I got my first taste of great pizza of the trip- it was fantastic.  There are a bunch of little Italian places all over that all make fantastic pies. HEAVEN!


   The next day was the graduation party- where I got my Lebanon bologna. OMG- I could have eaten the whole damn ring. I did test it as I was cutting it up for the meat/cheese tray. I am all about quality control people!

        On Tuesday my niece had us over to her place for lunch, where I got in my city chicken fix. It is called city chicken as during the war chicken prices were so high that people started using beef and pork instead. City chicken is not really chicken- it is beef, pork and veal on a stick. It can also be any of the mentioned combinations-and the meat can be cubed or ground. I prefer the cubed myself. My niece made it with beef and pork. After marinating the cubes overnight, you place the cubes on a stick, then dip them in an egg wash and bread them. You then fry them for a bit, cover them and toss them in the oven for a while. There are also recipes out there that you can steam them in between- not really necessary.  HOLY CRAP Amy did a great job- I could have eaten a dozen, but figured I should share! Of course now my son loves it and now I bet I will be asked to make them. GREAT- not!

  No trip back home is complete unless it includes a trip to Shady Maple, a Mennonite smorgasbord that is absolutely wonderful. Over 200 feet of home prepared Pennsylvania Dutch food. I could gorge on the dessert selection alone!!

  The food at our B and B was fantastic as well, but I will go into that more when I do the B and B blog.
 I am getting together with some friends for a sew day Sunday- I will have some good quilt pics for you after that.
   Thanks for reading- and I hope this made you all hungry and thirsty!   As I am typing this I am really needing a home-made root beer and a whoopie pie!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


            First, let me say it wasn’t really midnight. I just thought it would be a cool title for a blog. Besides, it is much more alliterative than the 3:32 am massacre. (And I always wanted to use the word alliterative in a story too.)
            Now, my husband and I have a nice queen sized bed. It works just fine for just the two of us, if you know what I mean. However, when you start adding critters, it can get rather crowded, and dangerous.

            Dale, our little girl wiener dog, likes to burrow under quilts and sleep snuggled up next to me. Chip, the boy wiener dog, likes to sleep on top of the quilts, safely snuggled by Bob’s knees. From this vantage point he can safely and loudly bark at everything that goes bump in the night. Our little cat George spends the first part of the night doing cat things all over the place, but usually ends up at the foot of the bed at some point during the night. Newman our 1200 lb. cat, sleeps in a cushion next to the bed, but always comes over when somebody moves – I guess just to see what is going on.
            Early this morning, Newman came over to check on us and promptly fell asleep curled up next to Bob. No big deal. Many times during the night, Dale will get restless and will burrow further and further under the quilts until she comes out at the bottom of the bed. Then she will march up to the head of the bed and start the process all over. This was what she did at 3:32 AM this morning.

            However, during the long march in the dark to the head of the bed, Dale stepped on the sleeping Newman. This scared the hell out of Newman who proceeded to make a frenzied escape from whatever was attacking him over Bob’s head.

            In the process, as he was trying to gain traction for his escape, Newman proceeded to claw Bob in the eye and face. Bob let out a loud word, which woke me up. I heard this loud Meeeeeooooower noise as Newman was sent flying cross the room and crashing into my makeup table. Lipstick, compacts and tubes of war paint (don’t ask) went flying everywhere. I looked over to see Bob standing next to the bed holding his hand to his face. He muttered a few words trying to explain what happened as he dashed to the bathroom.

            You should know that Bob remains calm in almost all situations, so I wasn’t overly concerned. The dogs both decided that they may be blamed for whatever just happened and thought it best if they both went outside. So, I groggily climbed out of bed and let the little bastards darlings out.

            After I watched them pee and listened to them bark, I let them back in and gave them their reward for not peeing in the bed. As I slowly staggered back to the bedroom, I noticed my wounded husband was still in the bathroom. He was standing at the sink with a wad of toilet paper pressed against his face. There were piles of blood soaked wadded up toilet paper scattered around the bathroom. Holy Shit!!! There was blood all over his face, chest and hands. Holy more shit!!

            My immediate reaction was to call 9-1-1, but three things stopped me. Ever since my husband had a massive pulmonary embolism a few years ago, he has been on blood thinners and is susceptible to bleeding – lots of bleeding. Second, he is very averse to using ambulances. And third, we, or I, had a very bad experience the last time I tried to call an ambulance for him. Here is that story-

            Several days after Bob was released from the hospital  he started to have a nosebleed. And it wouldn’t quit. I was working at a quilt shop and he was home alone. He texted me about the nosebleed. I called and asked if he wanted me to come home or, or should I call an ambulance. The hospital folks had warned him about nosebleeds when he was discharged. He told me it would eventually quit and to definitely not call an ambulance. About an hour later he called and asked if I could come home. The nosebleed wouldn’t stop and he thought that perhaps he should go the emergency room. And again, no, do not call an ambulance.

            I told my most understanding boss what was going on and headed home. I don’t recall how fast I was going but I made the normally 20 minute drive in 10 minutes. I get home to find Bob with his shirt soaked with blood and large blood clots all over the damn place. I took one look at him and called for the ambulance. So, we headed outside, blood dripping from Bob’s nose and waited for the ambulance. I ran back in and grabbed some make up remover cloths and attempted to clean him up a bit- he looked like something out of the Walking Dead.

            The ambulance and fire truck arrived and the paramedics jumped out and started treating him. I heard one of the medics ask him what happened. So the smart ass looks over at me, winks, and proceeds to tell the medic that I had hit him in the nose. That SOB!

            Now I am escorted by one of the fireman who arrived with the ambulance off to the side- Did I really hit him?? NO I DID NOT! I did not hit him but I am going to kill him as soon as you guys leave. Bob explained to the medic that he was just joking, but that didn’t seem to make a difference.

            I could hear them asking him questions like “Do you feel safe?” or “Has anyone tried to harm you?” Another fireman and a medic come over and grilled me some more.  Now I never knew those heart monitor thingys in an ambulance can be used as lie detectors. Or as instruments of torture. I expected at any moment that I was going to be water boarded.

            We finally got everything straightened out and the medics said that it would be best if I took Bob in my car to a nearby neighborhood ER. They said he would not bleed to death in the time it would take to get him to the ER- too bad! Damn them!!! I had defied his wishes and called them. Now they were agreeing with him and saying their presence wasn’t required. Maybe I really should have hit him. End of that fun story.

            So anyway, I am standing in the bathroom door last night, thinking about the last time I saw him covered in blood, and was wondering if I should call an ambulance. He started to replace the damped toilet paper and showed me a gash running from just below his eye clear down to his jawbone. My immediate thought was that if I call an ambulance he will tell them that I attacked him with a rotary cutter.

            He continued to press the damp compress against his face. I dug out some Neosporin which he applied. The bleeding eventually stopped and we went back to bed.

            Newman had followed Bob into the bathroom and had been meowing his concern the whole time, having forgotten about his flight across the bedroom. I snuggled up closely next to Bob, much to the chagrin of the wiener dogs. Chip snuggled as close to Bob as he could get, ready to bark at anything that posed a threat. And when Dale couldn’t wiggle her way under the quilts, she came up and laid on my head.

            This morning Bob has a long scar on his face. I am sure he is going to have fun explaining that one. So, please do not believe whatever story he tells you. And he is not really auditioning for a part in that new TV show ZOO, although they may be interested in Newman.

            The real irony of the whole thing is that at 12:01 AM, Bob became eligible for Medicare. They would have paid for the friggin’ ambulance!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Samples in Ladyfingers Sewing Studio

                                                         PA Quilt Shops
  Hello everyone! Bet you thought I got lost! Not lost, just visiting family in Pennsylvania. We went back for my great nephew’s high school graduation. It was wonderful trip- so wonderful, in fact, that I am dividing this vacation story into a few different blogs.
   This first one is to share with you the quilt shops that I was fortunate enough to visit while I was there. My nephew and his lovely wife indulged us at every opportunity and took us anywhere we wanted to go- and the quilt shops were on the top of my list! Shocking, I know! I didn’t even have to ask twice- gotta  love my family!
   The first shop I visited was Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, Pa. It is owned by Gail Kessler, a fellow Craftsy instructor, fabric designer for Andover Fabrics and pattern designer.  (Check out several of Gail's Craftsy classes at the bottom of this blog story.)

  We drove up and were greeted by these chickens- what a welcome! The kids ended up feeding them them their leftover lunch- after they ran out of the leftover biscuits,they fed them – chicken fingers! And the chickens loved them! Damn cannibals!

My niece Missy with a Ladyfinger chicken.


 Ladyfingers Sewing Studio is centrally located in the beautiful, historic Oley Valley between Pottstown and Reading, PA. The store is in the former Griesemersville Hotel. Built in 1860, this stagecoach stop served travelers on their way from Reading to Philadelphia with over 40 rooms, a saloon, post office, and general store.

  I walked in and the angels sang! Lots and lots of bright fabrics, beautiful displays, notions, patterns- everything a gal could want!  I found some Mr. Chillingsworth fabrics and bought some yardage of a few of those.


  I have been eyeing this quilt up in blog land, and they actually had the pattern so I had to buy it-


  The sweet gal checking me out was lovely, and she was training another staff member- who I believed said he was the tech (they sell Bernina Sewing Machines as well). We had a great time chatting while checking out, and to make sure he got trained properly I picked out several other items to purchase so he could practice checking customers out. It was all for him, I swear! They were very gracious when I asked to take pictures for this blog- so I went out to the van and grabbed my phone to get these pics for you.



  Gail, I had a most wonderful visit to your shop- I am sorry we didn’t get to meet you- maybe next time!

  The second shop I got to visit is Wooden Bridge Drygoods, located in beautiful Kutztown, Pa. On the way down the road we ran into a horse and buggy- my first one of the trip! (no, we didn’t actually run into it, it was coming towards us LOL)

  I was expecting reproductions, as I was told this is what they were known for. Well, this gal was pleasantly surprised when I walked in. I was greeted by over 10,000 bolts of fabric! Yes, they had reproductions but they had plenty of other goodies for me as well. I am planning a quilt for my son out of snack food fabrics, and they had approx. 100 bolts of those alone!  He picked out these 2 for his quilt-


  As I walked around the shop and started gathering bolts of fabric, my son held out his arms and so I started piling fabric up! He is trained well HAHA.  I found some of these pretty Christmas fabrics- and I could not resist. I love chickadees!


I also found a few dog fabrics as well- my niece and nephew have pugs, and I found one with pugs and dachshunds on it- how great is that? Now I need to make us all pillows out of these-


    The gals checking me out were very sweet as well-we chatted about where I was from, etc.  It was a lovely shop as well. I did not feel comfortable taking pictures in there, as the women were Mennonites. I should have asked- I am sure pics of the shop would have been fine, but I didn’t ask. I am not sure how they feel about pictures and if they are as strict as the Amish regarding photos, so I wanted to be respectful.
   Well that is the quilt part of my PA adventure- stay tuned to get more details from the big trip!





                                      My love affair with the F Word

  (DISCLAIMER- if you are offended by this word DO NOT read this post)
    Well, we might as well talk about my love of that word. It is terrible, I know, but I have had a fondness for it for a long time. I did rein it in when I had the kids, but now that they are in their 20’s it has come back. With a vengeance.
   It all started in high school. I was making plans with my friends (yes I had friends back then) and we were going to this wonderful event called Little League Night. It was kind of like a carnival- rides, fireworks, nasty food, etc. There were hundreds of phone calls involved in plotting who was going with who, times of arrivals, etc. Then, it started to rain! WTH(F)? So, another 100 phone calls later every plan was cancelled and I was settled in for the night, pissed off, but settled in. And what happens? It quits raining! Really? In Pennsylvania sometimes it rains for days. Oh no- not this time. So, my brother and I are hanging out in the living room. My dad pops his head in and says to me “I thought you were going to Little League Night? So I replied- “Well, I was but it started to rain. And now look at it – there is not a fucking cloud in the sky”. He just looks at me, said ok and leaves. Brooke looks at me and says (yells actually) “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST SAID?” No- what? Then he proceeds to tell me that I said fuck in front of dad. REALLY? OMG- life is over as I know it. It was a good life, short at 16 but it was good one. Nice to know all of you- my dad is going to freaking (fucking) kill me now.
  I decide I better head to my bedroom- when he kills me it will be easier to hide the blood upstairs on my floor than in the middle of the living room floor. A few hours go by and there is a knock at my door. Holy shit- this is it. I say “Come in”.  My dad opens the door….. and asked me if I was ok. WHAT?? “Yeah, I am fine. Just hanging out.” He replies- “Ok- I was just worried because you have been up here a while”. And he closes the door. I just got my second life! No yelling, no punishment, nada. Is he cool, or what? I eventually asked my brother how my dad has never slipped a cuss word in front of us and he told me because he has had many more years of practice. Whew- I made it out alive! To this day this is one of Brookes’ favorite stories. And he still cannot believe I said that in front of my dad.
  A few years later I was at the shore, and found an awesome shirt. It had the F word all over it.  I bought it, but never wore it. EVER. I think I just thought it was so cool I could even buy it. If I ever make a T-shirt quilt for me one day it is going in it- I will just have to hide it when the grandkids come over. (If I ever have any)
  Fast forward 30 years (please don’t do the math) to a few weeks ago. One Saturday, Bob and I went and grabbed a quick lunch. We were sitting near a little girl that was quite chatty. She did not stop talking- and I thought I was bad- and it was all in Spanish. The chattiness of course did not bother us at all- she was very cute and it was a very busy fast food place. It was very noisy. I proceed to dump my lidded (thank God) cup on the table, and what do I blurt out? FUCK. Yes, the F- word. Now, I did not think I said it very loudly, but that shut the little girl right up. Even though she was speaking only Spanish it amused me that she knew that bad word. Of course I must admit the only Spanish words I know are naughty- but I am OLD. (Thank you Sean, for teaching those words to me- I should have known Bruja was a bad word as he called me that often. I thought it meant PRETTY.)  I proceeded to say oh darn, etc. but the little girl kept staring at me. (Or so I am told. I could not look at her or her mother). They finally left, thank goodness, and we did as well with my head hung low.
  Now, after that incident, I am going to try to behave when out in public. I thought I was pretty good with my language when out of the house and in a public area.  (Bars and quilt retreats do not count). But evidently that is not the case.
  It may be a lost cause, however as I just took one of those nutty quizzes on Facebook. This one was “Which cuss word are you”? And guess what I got- yep. The F word.
  So, I am going to take my potty mouth, give it a quick rinse with a bottle of wine, and we shall see how I do.
Thanks for reading, my friends!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

                                             I have not been up to much-
    Hello all! Sorry I have been absent lately. I have been sewing just a little, and getting ready for our big trip to Pennsylvania to see the family. It will be the first time all 4 of us siblings have been together in 30 years- and it won’t be for a funeral- not yet, anyway. LOL.  It will be a hoot! Last time we were all together I was just a baby of 19. Now I can drink booze with them! Hello Yuengling Beer! Come to me my precious---
  I had a class this last weekend to show me how to use more features on my new sewing machine. The one little issue was that the woman who was giving me the class was a Viking user, not a Pfaff user so my class was only about 10 minutes. I am a decent reader so anything I need to know I will read about on my own I guess.  A few of my friends have been asking how I was liking the new machine. I compared it to a new relationship- at first it was all great- loved it all. Then, things started to piss me off. After  a week or so (ok, month) of that,  I got more used to it and I am once again happy with my purchase. I am glad the class was 2 months after purchasing the machine ,though at first that bothered me as well. Also, by selling my other back up machines I had nowhere to turn when the new one was ticking me off. I had to get out the damn manual and figure it out on my own, and I did. I think a  glass of wine was involved in that attitude adjustment, or it may have been a piece of very special chocolate.
  I did get a few things sewn. I made this Bethlehem Star for a class I am teaching in the fall. Not thrilled with the way the pattern was written, but oh well. It is the 3rd quilt I have quilted on my new machine and I think it came out just fine!

    I also made this pillowcase and it is for a shop sample as well. The fabric for this was in my stash- I am trying very hard to use fabric from my stash. I must have really liked this flower print- after making 3 pillowcases I still have 2 yards left!

   I have made a few little wallets- this one is mine-


   I bought some wonderful Kaffe fabric to make a shop sample of an Atkinson Design bag, then ended up going back and buying yardage of the same fabric for a Flowering Snowball quilt. I bought a white solid for the smaller parts of the block (the orange part in the snowball template picture), and am using the Kaffe for the larger part of the block (the white part on the snowball template package). I should have enough fabric for a queen size top. I bought the fabrics (except for the lime green for the centers of my snowballs) at Quilting Hands in Lyons, Colorado which is one of my favorite shops. They carry Aurifil thread, along with a fantastic assortment of fabric and notions. They are a wonderful shop- and are moving to a larger location. I can’t wait for that!  ROAD TRIP!


    This weekend I am hoping to get a bit of sewing done. I have my final 3 blocks to sew for a Block of the Month program that I am participating in. We can pick up the finishing kit in June so I would like to have all of the blocks done and ready to go when I pick that up.
  I also have to give our place a good cleaning to get ready for my house/dog/cat sitter to come over while we are gone.  The weather may be crappy this weekend so what better way to spend it than cleaning! My sweet friend Terry wants to get together this weekend as well, so that will be a nice break from cleaning. And if it ends up like it did last time, lunch may turn into an all-day quilt shop adventure- with pie! Whoo hoo!
  Hope this post finds you all well- enjoy your week!

Friday, May 8, 2015

                              My mother-

  I guess it is time for a Mother’s Day blog.  My mother passed away when I was only 16. She had lung cancer, and by the time they figured out what it was it was too late. It was my junior year in high school- and I really hid my head in the sand and did not want to think about what was going on. I would occasionally hear my dad cry- which was not easy to hear as he was a big guy that did not let on he even knew how to cry. I would escape to my best friends’ house- thank you Pen, Deb and all, or escape with my band friends- thank you Michelle, Carolyn and all of the rest of you, and I made my share of male companionship mistakes – well only one real big one-while looking for comfort. (There is a seedy blog story there but I will tell that another time).
Mom, Dad, my two sisters and older brother.

 So, Mother’s Day to me has pretty much sucked my whole life. Now that my kids are older they have their own lives and who gives a crap about the woman who put up with all of their dirty underwear and smelly socks over the years??  Oh well- I know they love me in their own way. Or until they need something. HAHA
  I do have good memories of my mother- baking me the chocolate cake for my birthday that she called the pain in the ass cake because of how big of a pain it was to make, being my assistant Brownie leader, being our girl scout troop’s Cookie Mom, hosting sleep overs for all of my friends, feeding me, keeping the house clean and making sure my clothes were spic and span. (Although she constantly bitched at me in high school because all I wore was jeans and t shirts- I showed her. My job at the moment has jeans and t shirts as their dress code- HA HA.) The companionship mistakes in high school did not seem to mind the jean and t shirt thing, either. So there- who needs dresses and high heels? Not this chick!
Mom is on the left in the back row. I am front and center!!
  I did not get my quilting gene from my mother. I have no clue where it came from.  Adopted maybe?? She did enjoy hand embroidery and needlework, which I do also love. I guess quilting is just an extension of that. I do have a few of her things that she stitched- and I cherish those.
   I am so very grateful for the years, though not many, I had with my mother. I moved 2,000 miles away the year my dad died, which was 3 years after my mom died. Moving to Denver at 19 with no family and knowing only 1 person was insane, and I am glad I did it then because I would be way too chicken to do it now. I guess my parents gave me the chance to do this crazy thing by not being around.  I got shoved out of the nest before I was ready, but I landed on both feet here in Colorado and never looked back. I am grateful to my parents for making me the stubborn, independent, bull-headed almost 50 year old I have become. My husband may not be so grateful for some of these traits- right honey??
On a lighter note, I did get this card last year on Mother's Day.  I must have done something right during their formative years!
  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend- whether you are a mom or not, have one or not-you are all special and should be treated as such every day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015


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Friday, April 17, 2015


 My wonderful hubby made some very delicious homemade bean soup for dinner last week. It was amazing! However, it did take me back to a warm, hot summer night in June in 1982.

The Beans
  My mother’s bean soup had never been a favorite of mine. My mother’s recipe was a tad on the creamy side- not clam chowder creamy but definitely more to it than just broth. So, I used to add ketchup to it. Now, as an adult that sounds totally gross, but as a kid you did what you had to do to stuff down dinner. If you didn’t like what was on the table, tough shit- there were no options. You ate what was on the table or you didn’t eat at all.
  That hot, muggy summer night was a night of partying- imagine that. One of my dear friends was graduating from high school. She grew up across the street from me, so my dad sent along with me a giant pot of his home made bean soup to the party. Now this one pot could have fed all of Philly. Well, what a party it was. Swimming, drinking, food and boys! After the party was over, somehow I talked a certain jock I had a crush on to let me give him a ride home. I am sure he was a bit tipsy for this to happen. Well, I sat the pot of leftover soup on the back seat and took him home. He lived in the neighboring town- it was about a 2 mile drive on winding, curvy roads. When I got back home, I got in the back seat to grab the pot of soup and guess what- the damn pot spilled all over the back seat of the car! From how much soup I tried to scoop up, the guests at the party must have had the same taste in soup that I did. I have no idea what I used to get the soup up off of the seat- I am sure I was trying to be quiet as it was wayyyy late and I didn’t want to wake my father- or the neighbors. We all slept with our windows open- only the rich people had air conditioners.  I wiped it up best I could and took the mostly empty pot into the house. 
No use crying over spilt beans!
   The next morning, I was up at the crack of dawn- or before- to leave on a trip with my sister to visit my brother in Missouri. I was so hungover I could have cried, but off we went. ( I know- no pity for the under-age drinker with the hangover) My dad dropped me off at my sister’s house and that adventure began. Another blog story – I promise!
   Several days later I got a call from my father- he was not amused. Now remember- I grew up in Pennsylvania which has nice, sticky, humid, hot summer days and nights. Evidently, I did not clean up all of the bean soup. He had been taking some guys back and forth to work with him that week and the car had started to smell. He said it got so bad they had to stick their heads out of the windows and wear gas masks. I can just picture 4 burly construction guys driving down Interstate 81 with their heads stuck out the windows like dogs!
Dad and his co-workers heading to work

 Finally, my dad got in the back seat and lifted the seat up and found- maggots. Tons of maggots! It probably looked the Body Farm in there! The little critters loved the bean soup, evidently. Good for them, I thought- they can have it. He said I was damn lucky I was 1,000 miles away or he would have wrung my neck. And I bet he would have! I was sure glad I was in Missouri- and had another week before I went home and he had time to cool off.

   I never took bean soup to another party- and frankly kind of lost the taste for it at all.  It is a good thing my hubby’s doesn’t even look like my dad’s version!         
    Have a good week everyone!