Friday, July 26, 2013

30:52 sunset

Project 52

I should probably excuse myself from this weeks blog post,
but here I am.
Facebook has been loaded with beautiful Arizona sunsets
filled with the colors and clouds of the monsoon season.
I feel like I'm living in a ditch or a gully
and am yearning for space where I can see around me.
Well, at least something other than the neighbor's roof line.
Just last week I was outside and the sky was beautiful looking east.
I grabbed the camera, the car keys and headed up the local "rise"
to grab a picture of a sky filled with glorious color.
Only several miles of travel ....
and the view was completely gone.
That has been my story of late.
My moments behind the camera seem to be falling 
farther and farther between ... at least for the moment.
I only manage to emerge when the 
sun sets and the moon rises.

You might just find some sunsets over here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I am attempting

to confine the wedding preparations to one room in this house.
One room where I can shut the door and decline invitation.

Invitations are the order of the week.
Last Saturday we had a table full of working hands and hearts ....

I just have to say this.
This couple (whose wedding is quickly approaching I might add) is incredibly blessed.
They have so many friends to share their walk through life.
And my poor daughter has inherited my inability to remember names.
Wylon has friends all over the place and somehow she is going to need to learn who they all are.
Poor gem.

I think. I hope. I dream. 
This might just be the halfway mark!

And aren't these just the cutest little rusting loaf pans ever?!

Goodwill has become my favorite haunt.


This evening I finally got around to paying the phone bill.
It has been that kind of week.
Tia is off in Minnesota for a while and her bedroom is ready to sleep 2 Finnish guests for the night tomorrow.
And .... I managed to move enough stuff out of the way to be able to close that bedroom door down the hall.
It must be time for some sleep.

Friday, July 19, 2013

29:52 water

It is a scientific equation that I don't remember from school.
It goes something like this.

Blistering Desert Heat + Refreshing Cool Water = Blissful Refreshment

Project 52

29:52 water

Keilah is up next this month. 
Enjoy ... and stay cool!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

polishing silver

I was browsing through Pinterest one day and, as often happens,
one pinned picture led me to a website.
All of a sudden, I was like "whoa!"
Shut down the rest of the whatever you're doin',
grab a stool, grab the oh so embarrassing tarnished
silver, start diggin' for the fixins' ....
and start polishing.

I love silver. The shiny and the tarnished.
I especially love the old pieces that have come
from such very special people and places.
I don't like when they're aren't user friendly ....
I just can't serve anything out of something that looks like this.

Not that I'm serving coffee out of these, but good gravy!
They look hideous!

I took the dish washing tub (I really can't recall any fancy name for that thing),
lined it with tin foil (shiny side up) and filled with hot water.

I don't have a scientific brain, but something about this mix must do something,
because they said it would!
Equal parts of sea salt and baking soda went into the hot water
and then got stirred around a bit.

Plunk in the silver and let it sit for 15 minutes.
I then turned over the pieces to get the other side.
Some chemical reaction inside all that makes for a stink,
but it's nothing quite like the stink of cleaning your shower with
vinegar or hitting the self clean button on the oven.

When I took them out of the water, I used a cloth to rub off the grunky black grime,
especially the most blackest of the tarnish.
Okay, so this one needs a second dipping.
Makes me wonder if I had too many pieces in the bath ...
maybe I should have just done 2 pieces a time.
This one will get redone ... later.

Look at the difference though!
More polishing required, but well on our way to looking like silver
rather than mud.

And .... well on my way to serving coffee with  sparkling creamer and sugar.

Are you wondering why I have what looks like tongs in the creamer?
Aaah. I believe they are sugar tongs ....
and I believe I am going to start using them.

Once the silver has had another go 'round,
I'm adding sugar cubes to my kitchen.
I just might start using a saucer for my coffee as well ...
and pour my coffee on it to cool it off a bit before
I sip it down.

Oh. I almost forgot!
I do have a large silver platter that I am going to be needing
in the next several months, and it probably doesn't look so pretty either.
Being as fitting it into the kitchen sink will prove challenging,
I'm going to move my silver process to the laundry tub in the garage
where the sink is much deeper and might work a wee bit better.

Happy polishing!

Friday, July 12, 2013

happy birthday!

I'm not doing so good with my boys' birthdays this year.
Blayde's birthday slipped by ... and kept on slipping by.
Maybe I'll need to have a joint boy birthday party
with something other than pink.

Today is Brock's birthday.
He leaves the teen years behind and moves on to 
celebrate the next decade of life.
He's somewhere on the road between Seattle and honme I think.
Hoping his day is a special one and he at least gets
a special treat at McDonalds or something!

Happy Birthday kiddo!

28:52 made with love

Project 52

This week our project is titled made with love.
I have a special box tucked up in a safe place that is filled with 
a few very special treasures.
Some have made their way to places unknown,
others have stayed behind.
These pieces aren't dated, so I have no idea
at which stage of school life and art class they were made.
I do know that they were loving and gently
carried homeward.
A shy smile probably lit the face of the giver.
Shy because it was something she had made.
A smile as she waited for my reaction to her gift ...
one made with love.

Now, as she sets up her own household, I can share with her.
Treasures to delight her home.
The rug I started a while back is finally finished ....

 I think I shared my gift with her ... just as she shared hers with me.
A smile in anticipation of her receiving it,
and a hint of shy while I hoped she would be pleased.
For I started this project as something to keep my hands busy,
but ended it knowing where it was destined to lay
and whose feet on it would trod.

Those feet that were also 
made with love.

Next around our blog circle ....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

sugar fix found

I have found the perfect fit.
Not for my clothes. Those are becoming a bit problematic.
Ever since that last birthday of mine ... 
something has gone seriously haywire.
I've usually managed to chow down this kind of stuff
and not gain a pound a month.
This new exceeding the growth chart thing is not very welcome in my life.

I made these Cheesecake Brownies recently for a baby shower.
There were extras left over and so I tucked them into a container
and plunked them into the freezer so I wouldn't eat them all in one sitting.
Or even two.
In the past week, someone found them.
I had blessedly forgotten they were in the freezer.
The extra bonus of not cooking for the past week is
not looking in the freezer!
The brownies don't freeze solid to the point where you can't eat them.
Rather, they are absolutely scrumptious ...
a perfect sugar fix if you can limit yourself to only one.
Or even two.

So, because I want to be known as the person who shares .... more than her growing waist line ...

Cheesecake Brownies (Taste of Home)

1 pkg fudge brownie mix (13x9 inch pan size)
2 pkgs (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened 
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting (I made my own from scratch instead.)

Prepare brownie mix batter according to package directions. Spread 2 cups into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish; set aside. 
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread evenly over brownie batter. Top with remaining brownie batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
Bake at 350F for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (brownies may appear moist).
Cool completely on a wire rack. Spread frosting over brownies.

Caloric content omitted for your eating pleasure. If you have any concern over such things, the recipe is available online at tasteofhome[dot]com.

If you aren't feeding a houseful of people, just cut them when cool and pop into the freezer. 
Take out one (or two depends on how big you cut them!) tasty treat at a time to compliment a scrumptious cup of coffee. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This week ....

I have grabbed a few moments of listening here and there. 
My current listening is Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland.

The main character in this book is a Finn named Pekkala who was the Romanov's most trusted investigator. It is fun and annoying at the same time to hear names like Turku mispronounced.

While I have not studied Russian history, and can't remember the stories Aunt Martta had to tell,
I think I am deciding that I'd like to learn more.

Reading with my eyes rather than my ears has been more of the Nursing Management kind of reading. Same with writing.

Tia is taking an online English class in summer school. We are working on some things together and I surprise myself.

Perhaps my reading choices will change after this week. The current listen is usually not on my list of choices, so who knows! Last weekend we spent a great deal of time absorbing To Kill a Mockingbird. This weekend ... it is Romeo and Juliet.

No wonder I can't make it to the grocery store and we're down to using napkins instead of toilet paper in the bathroom. I'm glued to interesting reading material!

Friday, July 5, 2013

27:52 my country

Project 52

My country.
My fellow citizens.
The protectors of my people.
For 19 days our flags will fly at half staff
for the brave firefighters killed 
in a horrific wild fire.
May God bless their families
and their loved ones.
And may He bless the country
under which we fly 
the red, the white and the blue.

my country

Tonight we did the usual. Left late. Went to the wrong place to watch fireworks.
They were at that place last night. So, we headed to fight traffic in another spot.
Our view was a bit ....
shall we say obstructed?

This week's link brings you to  ... Keilah .....

Monday, July 1, 2013

steaming temps = smoothies

Can you say hot? Nasty hot?
This past weekend was a serious cooker.
The stay inside and hibernate kind.
I don't think the SHADE on our patio went any higher than this.
It really didn't need to.

In an effort to counteract chocolate intake I've been trying to down some of these.
Some apple juice, frozen fruit, greek yogurt and to die for Schnepf farm peaches
made into sugary sauce.

Set it to swirling into a smoothie and mmmmmm ... delish!

Stay cool wherever you are.
We aren't going anywhere this summer.
Maybe camping, but I don't know where that will even manage to fit in.
Instead ... we are just going to enjoy the fact that we have
ceiling fans and air conditioning.