Sunday, February 28, 2010

here's your sign!

To our Northern friends who are bundled up, enduring the frigid temperatures and endless snow: here are your signs of spring. We're feeding them here in the South, fueling them for their long flight home. Soon, they'll be hopping around in your backyard, eating and making merry.

The banquet was well-attended Saturday morning. The Robins gathered and had a reunion of sorts, feasting on the bugs-o-plenty in grasses of the neighborhood. The birds were beautiful and plump, milling about, enjoying the plentiful grub.


It was important that I send along this affirmation of spring to you...growing up in NY, it was joyful spotting the first Robins of the season. It meant that winter would soon be over and new life would soon be evident in the trees. Warm weather would soon be arriving, whereupon we'd shed our coats, sweaters and mittens, replacing them with t-shirts and shorts.

Please know this: if you're cold and tired of the endless winter...spring is winging its way to you.

We hope they arrive to you as happy as they left us...and I hope they make you as happy as they made us.

Friday, February 26, 2010

redundancy...

...I'll say it again. Remember this book? I thought I was so smart! Do you recall my statement, "It seems to be written in Greek".........


Apparently, I wasn't far off the mark. I bought the wrong dummy book! No wonder it made no sense...duh!


This is the book I needed! Can you spot where I went wrong? Duh...could it be in the title, Patti?!!! What a nerd. Anyhow, I spotted it in time and was able to return the original book to Barnes and Noble, order the correct book, all the while maintaining the discounts/coupon I used to purchase the first book. And save $1.50. And pay no shipping fee. And have it dropped at my front door.

I guess I'm not such a dummy after all!

...hey, hey, no name-calling behind my back...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

baby-love, oh baby-love!

This is what I made from this little bundle of fabric. It's a onesie dress, for a special little baby who will be arriving soon...Ava. She's a beautiful baby. We know this, because her mom is beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, every table needs a sweet floral arrangement. Lisa, once again, proved herself to be the ultimate party planner. Seriously, the woman is simply amazing at taking a bland hall and transforming it into a cheerful and happy party environment. She's not in the party business, but she really should be!


Hi, Mommy! Here's Andreana, our beautiful mom-to-be. This isn't her first baby and it might not be her last...what do you think about that, Andreana? Andreana is our go-to Novena gal...she has a Novena for each and every situation. Ava is a gift from the power of a prayerful Novena, said daily by her mother. Yes, prayers do get answered!


A bevy of beauties, but really, the tiniest one is the prettiest of all, don't you agree? She's our beautiful Miss Elizabeth, our youngest and prettiest CRHP sister. We all love her dearly and are devoted to her. But I happen to be her favorite. Elizabeth told me this on Sunday, after spitting up all over my shoulder. She spent the entire afternoon on a wild ride, called "Jostle the Baby with Kelli and Joanne." Sorry, the truth hurts, man!



Finally, this awesome cake baked by Kimberly. It's the best put-together diaper cake I have ever seen (except for the last cake she made for Elizabeth). Perhaps my favorite thing about this cake is the lovely ceramic cross inserted into the top layer...everything on this cake is perfect. Kimberly needs to sell these fabulous cakes!

There were many more photos taken of this fun baby shower, but there's not enough room on my blog to share them all. I'll email the complete set to my lovely CRHP friends...

The rest of my day will be spent in Spring cleaning mode. Or not. After all, it still feels like Winter...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ho-hum kind of day.

This fabric is going to be whipped up into something really cute...at least, it's supposed to be cute. Those polka dots are fabulous! Tune in tomorrow to see what it becomes.

In other news...

There is no other news.

That's it!

Have a lovely day.

Go team USA!

Monday, February 22, 2010

sorting, purging and wisdom.

It's Monday...

I'm going to go see a man today about a tooth. He and I are going to consult about a wisdom tooth. My wisdom tooth. Not to worry, though...I'll have two wisdom teeth left. That will leave me with half my wisdom, which is better than none.

Looking for something? Why, yes I am! Some pretty fabric to make something with. I know it's around here somewhere. In my quest, I decided I needed to eliminate some garbage in my fabric stash.


Here's some more fabric. Only this isn't garbage, no sirree! This is perfectly good fabric. It's just hanging out, like my useless wisdom tooth.

That green gingham will make a pretty little girl's apron. Not that I have a little girl in my life. Well, I do, but she's just an infant. My CRHP sisters share little Miss E. with her mommy. There are two more CRHP babies on the way, a girl and a boy. We'll share them with their mommies, too. Maybe.

Basically, my Monday is pretty much taken up with elimination of fabric scraps and the future extraction of a bothersome wisdom tooth...

What's your Monday shaping up to be?

Friday, February 19, 2010

chili in Florida.


This weekend, I'll be attending a church retreat for the ladies, so I thought I had better make my boys something to eat while I'm away. Chili is always a good option, as they can just heat it up and not have to forage in the vast wasteland called my refrigerator. I shudder at what they might find in there and actually eat!

Here's the recipe, from The America's Test Kitchen cookbook:


ALL AMERICAN BEEF CHILI

2 tablespoons veg or extra virgin olive oil (I use the olive oil)
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 (15.5-ounce) cans kidney or chili beans
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.

2. Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain the fat. Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, tomato puree, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and continue to simmer until the beef is tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

We like a little shredded Monterrey/jack or Colby cheese to garnish our bowls of chili, but you could use anything. Maybe sour cream, cilantro, chopped raw onion, Tabasco...definitely Tabasco!

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on the other side of Sunday...known in all parts of the world as Monday.

I like to sound cool...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

opinion, please!


Not too much is happening over here today. BORING. Perhaps I should dust...no, I did that Sunday and it's against my religion to dust twice in two days. I could clean my bedroom...no, I'm in competition with Jonathan to see whose room can look the worst. Hmmm, sort fabric? Do laundry, iron, wash floors, weed, clean the refrigerator, sort through the linen closet?

I don't know, all that seems a little extreme.

Do you like my little purse? It's really quite handy. At mass this morning, two sweet older ladies told me (at separate times) how well they liked my little purse.

Do you think it's is too "old" for me?

....watch yourself! I don't care for your tone of thought!

Monday, February 15, 2010

cake & sky!

Birthday cake. Baked. Decorated. Not by me...

No, this was a professionally baked and decortated cake. When I picked it up, I was a little horrified at the appearance of it. After all, it's from a wedding cake bakery and I guess I expected a little more finesse.

But what to do, what to say? I couldn't very well tell the lady that it looked like a kindergartner assisted her. So I smiled, told her it was awesome and jumped into the car, telling myself that it probably tasted better than it looked.

At least, that's what I'd hoped.

It was delicious!

On another note, for those of you experiencing grey skies...hang in there, Spring is on its way!




Have a great Monday!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JASON!


Today is my favorite man's birthday. Happy Birthday, Jason!



A grateful "thank you" to Jason's Mom and Dad for giving him life...because he, in turn, helped give this baby life. And this baby is the best thing Jason and I have ever accomplished, through the grace of God.

This is my favorite photograph in the entire world. It was taken almost eighteen years ago, in the hammock hanging at my parent's house...the same hammock that later became a pirate ship. We sailed around the world in that ship, the little captain and his motley crew.

So on this very special day, a loving "thank you" for the loving husband and father that you are. My best friend and Jonathan's rock.

We L.O.V.E. you!


Now go and have some birthday cake!

Friday, February 12, 2010

who are these people?

Today is not just Lincoln's Birthday (now known as President's Day), nor is it two days before Valentine's Day and one day prior to my husband's birthday...

Today is the 56th Anniversary of these two Hollywood-type stars:

Our father...


and our mother.

Weren't they beautiful? Dad has the same blue eyes and all of his hair (just white, now) and Mom still has those high patrician cheekbones and beautiful smile. She too, maintains a full-head of hair.

They gave birth to four crumb-crunchers:

~Tom: lawyer, author of His Truth Is. Family-man, married to sweet and gentle Melany, who is my first and therefore, treasured sister. Three children, Donna (Jonathan), Robert (Sheila) & Colin (bass guitar).

~Steve: funny, creative, smart, athletic. Have I ever mentioned he was a daredevil in his youth? I'll have to share some of those stories! Found his love, Linda, whom we love dearly.

~Mike: fun, a runner, awesome amateur dancer! Married to fun Laurie, a girl with a lot of energy and always ready to help those in need. We love her! Twin boys Connor & Aaron...or is it Aaron & Connor?

~Patti: me. The baby. Spoiled. Rotten. Married to Jason, who took pity on me and married me in spite of my flaws. The rest of the family loves him, 'cause he can fix anything! (And he took me off their hands.). Son Jonathan (guitar).

Thanks Mom and Dad, for giving us all life, a stable and happy childhood, putting up with us through those difficult teenage years. For driving us everywhere, for teaching us how to drive, for washing millions of loads of laundry; for the meals you prepared, ensuring that we ate together as a family each and every night.

For the vacations we took as a family, for the footballs you tossed around with us, the games we played, the tears you wiped from our eyes. You saw to it that we attended mass every Sunday, religious education and the music lessons you paid for. You instilled in us a love for our grandparents, teaching us the importance of respect due our elders and compassion towards our fellow-man.

Even for the chores we were responsible for, teaching us that work helps build character and we were by no means above getting our hands dirty.

These and so many more...

HAPPY 56th ANNIVERSARY
MOM & DAD!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"cold" in Florida.


Writing to you from sunny (not) Florida, where the warm (not) meets the ocean and the skies are not (are) cloudy all day...



Believe me, I'm not complaining about the cold weather down here in Florida. I happen to be one of those rare creatures living here that thrive in the cold. I thought I'd document the cooler temps here in the South for our friends in the Great White North. I know, I know, 52-degrees is nothing compared to the freezing temperatures you Yanks are experiencing, it's just that most of the locals here are freeeeeezzzzzzing!



BUT, I'll bet it's warmer in your house than it is in ours! Look, it's 61-degrees in here. How warm is it in your house? We warn our visitors to wear their jackets...I then cover them in a blanket. I'm hospitable that way. Jonathan complains about being cold, but he's a kid. Who really cares if he's cold?


Oh, my! These guys... my favorite! Aren't they too cute? Penguins, playing in the snow...



Nothing feels cozier than flannel pjs in a cold house. This is my favorite outfit in the whole world! Flannel plaid pjs and flannel penguin pjs, with an interchangeable pj shirt on top of flannel sheets rinsed in Downy. Even in Florida, flannel is where it's at.

Don't even try to adjust the thermostat in this house...you just might experience a hideous attack of the penguins!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

sunny laughs for a Sunday.



This is Roman and Leo...watch this sweet clip and join in on the belly laughs. Visit Anna Maria Horner for a delightful description of the sweet scenario.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday morning observations.

Bare Essentials. I l.o.v.e. it. A Clinique user for many years, I decided to give this a try and it's the best darn stuff I've ever used. Light and sheer, it doesn't accentuate my wrinkles...ya gotta love that!



Yup! I'm a dummy! I've had Photoshop for awhile and it's pretty much a foreign program. I know the basics, but there's so much more that I could do with it. When I saw this book with my name on it, I figured it might be the answer I've been looking for. The cover is deceiving and as luck would have it, the inside seems to be written in Greek!


And this...what can I say about her? She's just so freaky and adorable! How could that position be comfortable? She loves her kennel and she relaxes in this position all the time. I think she belongs in the circus as The Canine Contortionist...

...that's my Saturday, how's yours looking?

Friday, February 5, 2010

thanks to those who give all.

Anything that I could possibly say would be insufficient. All I ask is that when you are finished watching this clip, to please say a prayer for the children who keep America strong not only in might, but also in Spirit...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

two opportunities to help those who need you.


"Sow the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you."---Hosea 10:12

My friend Randi is sponsoring her "Sewing Seeds" project, in which she collects homemade skirts for local missionaries who then distribute the skirts to needy girls in devastated areas. This time, the skirts will be traveling to Haiti.
I know many of my readers are themselves sewers. You don't have to be a professional seamstress to help, all you really need is love. Visit i have to say for more information on this lovely project.

And here's another fun project...Pantipalooza! It's another worthwhile cause, one that can stay in your own community or sent to far-off places. This is Mindy's project and this will be the second year that I will participate in pantie-extravaganza...but for me, I will be donating diapers to the Women's Help Center in Jacksonville.

Visit Bits and Odd Pieces of Mindy's Kingdom for Mindy's vision of Pantipalooza! She's funny, be prepared for some laughs!



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

barefoot "Contestant."

That's what he calls me when I make something superbly out-of-the-ordinary. Which makes me laugh, because he does it on purpose and yet, it's so spontaneous.

Which reminds me of a Christmas Story...no, not the Ralphie story, this is my own sordid story.



Christmas 2008, we bought this cookbook for my Mom, who in case you didn't know, is a Southun Belle. Mom really likes Ina Garten, because Ina seems like a genuine person.

This past Christmas, I decided that Mom should have a "theme" Christmas and the theme I chose for her was "Kitchen Gadgets." A perfect idea for the woman who worked full-time for many years, managed the laundry, cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc., while raising her four children. Sorry, Mom.

A kitchen theme meant another Ina cookbook. I went to the bookstore and purchased the lone BC cookbook remaining on the shelf. I took the book home and wrapped it, thinking I was so lucky to get the last BC cookbook...

Stopping by my parent's house shortly after my big coupe, I looked down on the coffee table and there, staring at me, was Ina...the same Ina I had just bought, that I had given as a gift to Mom the year before. Seems my total recall wasn't working too well! *Duh*

I went to another bookstore and to my relief, there was a wider variety of BC cookbooks. And this Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook looked great. I was sure that Mom would love it. But then, my eyes caught this...

The Cracker Kitchen, a collection of stories and recipes of the pioneer "crackers" who settled the South. I sat on the bench and read excerpts from several chapters, laughing over the folksy stories and recipes.

Perfect for my Southun Belle Mom, I bought it. I returned the duplicate Ina cookbook and went ahead and kept the second BC cookbook for myself, because it was Christmas and I deserved it!

So you see, the mayhem all turned out perfectly. Mom has a Southern cookbook that she's going to have to adjust all recipes to for modern day eating and me, I have a cookbook that needs absolutely no modification.

Yeah, sorry about that, too, Mom.

Monday, February 1, 2010

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