Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Rainbow’s Arch

Once it chanced wm.jpeg

Which filled wm. jepg

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It was a lake wm.jpeg

in which for a short while wm.jpeg

Photos taken out in middle of somewhere in Colorado.

Big spoonfuls of Thoreau honey.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This post goes out to the Stay at Home Dad’s

So, our friend, we’ll call him Cliff (because that’s what he answers to), recently became a stay at home Dad. 

Private note to Cliff:

(Everybody else do something else for a sec.)

Do you mind me sharing your life with a few of my closest friends?  

He’s changing a diaper right now and will get back to me when I’m about through with this.

He just survived his first few weeks of Back–to-School, Stay-at-Home-Dad-ness.  Don’t get anything done-ness.  Eat your fish stick dinner and be happy-ness.  But, oh the joy and fulfillment he’ll find buried deep under piles of laundry.  It’s there.  Keep looking and make sure you separate those lights and darks. 

During a recent visit, and because we care, we were offering suggestions of things he could do to entertain himself and the preschooler who will be his constant potty companion from here on out.  The park was suggested.  Pre-schoolers love the park.  The grocery store and Wal-Mart  are also often overlooked entertainment venues.  And play groups.  They’re both going to need support and friends.  Playgroups are generally made up of available, on occasions underappreciated and lonely, attractive, stay-at-home mom types.  But that’s just my experience.  The attractive part, that is.

So we scratched playgroups, Wal-Mart, the grocery store and parks.  Now, he’s been relegated to auto part stores, oil change facilities and the proctologist.   These are all fine substitutions that when approached with the right attitude will be fondly remembered with misty eyed-ness.

Because, see, what we’ve decided is that he is now a “babe magnet”.  Follow me on this.  When a man shows up at the park with a small child or dog, the women gathered there (in their “playgroup”) just assume he is attentive, emotional, family centered and thus, good mating material.  No matter that they already have a perfectly good husband holed up somewhere and his offspring nearby eating the sand meant for castles.  This park guy, this “emoter”, would produce better offspring.  Offspring that wouldn’t eat sand and more importantly not feed it to their younger sibling.

This “Man with child and/or dog will surely make a good mate” business is what the internet refers to as an “Urban Legend”. 

And here I will offer my proof.  We have another friend, who we’ll call… Bernie (not his real name) who often used the “My dog is a babe magnet and I am surely good mating material” method.  He believed that walking his dog at parks, the apartment complex, etc.  would magnetize the babes to him.  The dog was somehow going to negate his “less than stellar, stinky, bachelor ways”.  He was not good mating material.  Once, he left that same dog in his apartment for a long weekend…  during the Texas winter.  He, thoughtfully, left the balcony door ajar so the dog could come and go and do her business.  You would never do this with a child, which he considered his dog to be. 

He asked us (who are not dog people) to “peek in” on the dog while he was gone.  “Peek” we did!  It was Hiroshima bad news.  The dog, of course, did not use the “opportunities” that the “ajar” balcony door presented her.  Apparently, our friend, didn’t foresee dog-proofing to be much of a necessity either.  The dog had returned the favor by tearing apart most everything that wasn’t securely bolted down.  There was a large fish tank which I presumed, on Friday, housed live fish.  She took care of that.  It was a Kevorkian, mercy killing.  The icy,Texas air freely flowing through the apartment would have sent their tropical souls to fishy heaven if she hadn’t.  Luckily, at some point she found some brief entertainment in a ball point pen and left “Daddy” a message all over the carpet.  I can’t say for certain but I’m sure he never had the pleasure of spending his apartment deposit. 

Is he a real “Daddy” today?  Yes.  Is he doing it well?  I don’t know.  It’s Lovey who talks to him most and it’s not a topic they, being of the male persuasion, discuss.  But it comforts me to know he lives in a milder climate with  warmer winters. 

Oh gosh.  I meant this to be some kind of positive, dedication type of happy note to our good friend who’s been blessed to be a stay-at-home Dad.  Can I dedicate a good recipe to you that will warm your soul?  Are you finished with that diaper yet?  It’s time to start dinner.   

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Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

(This recipe is adapted from Reames Classic Chicken Noodle Soup)

1 Cooked Rotisserie Chicken, meat removed and chopped up

10 cups water

4 tsp. dried parsley flakes

2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed

1/2 tsp. pepper

6 –10 tsp. chicken base or bullion granules, to your taste

2 bay leaves

1 pkg. (24 oz.) Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles

4 cups sliced carrots

2 cups sliced celery

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk, divided

salt to taste

In a large pot, add water, parsley, thyme, pepper, chicken base and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

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Add noodles, carrots, celery and onion; return to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until done.

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Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup of the milk and the flour until smooth.  Add to the noodle mixture with remaining 3 cups milk.  Add the chopped chicken and the thawed peas.  Continue cooking over medium heat until thickened and heated through.  Salt to taste.


Cooking Hints:

I use McCormick Chicken Base purchased at Costco instead of bullion granules.

Reames Egg Noodles are in the freezer section of the store.

Change the vegetable amounts to your families taste.  I like 1 cup of celery and 1 cup of peas. 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Morning Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

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The rain sang a doxology of flowers and what a song it was as it greeted each morning! 

Rain has fallen for DAYS.  Everything is happy and growing.




2 morning glory wm.jpeg I tried to pick out just one morning glory picture to show you, but how could I?  It would have been unfair, as I see it, to short change you of these wonders.  

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Heart shaped leaves… sigh.







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Even the spent blooms are beautiful.








And look at the…

little golden hearted daisy wm.jpeg Aren’t the raindrops a chorus?

Little golden-hearted Daisy

Told the sun that she felt lazy:

Said the earth was quite too wet,

She thought she wouldn’t open yet.

-Elizabeth Gordon (Flower Children)

hummingbird on wire wm.jpeg It’s the smallness and minutiae that are a wonder. 

   “Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.  …affected by the faint hum of a mosquito…  as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame.  …There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world.”                         -Henry David Thoreau

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This is simplicity.  One small hummingbird lost one small feather that see-sawed its way down and rested right here.  I fully lived this small moment enjoying Nature herself.

   “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look…  To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”                                    -Henry David Thoreau

I hope you don’t mind, but you’re going to be subjected to big spoonfuls of the honey that Thoreau had a mind to put to pen.  I came across a copy of “Walden” and may have developed an infatuation with a dead person of great eloquence.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well, Look at That!

Remember my first post?  (You can go back and look at it – June 15th.)  I told you about the Wedding Art Journal I made for my sisters wedding.  Now I’ve added a Flickr Badge on the sidebar where you can view all the pages and a short description.  Isn’t that fun?  I’ll keep this badge up for a while and then probably switch it out when I have a different collection to share.  Maybe I’ll do a collection of the things I find estate sale-ing and thrifting!  That would be fun.  Look what I found last Friday…

owl with flowers She’s a little, blue eyed beauty and only about 4”tall.  I tucked in some flowers from the backyard and then snuck it in on the oldest chillies makeup table.  What a fun surprise for her.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops – at all-

-Emily Dickinson

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Howdy to the Morning, Arrgh!

There are many ways to wake up in the morning that are a lot more pleasant than what I’m going to lay out here.  You know how you’ll be dreaming and far, far away you hear this awful screeching, pounding, beep beeping that you reluctantly, hazily admit is your hideous alarm clock?  That screeching into the universe would have been kissed and welcomed with blueberry muffins this morning. 

It really makes you appreciate what only yesterday you despised.

I’ll start with this picture as self therapy.  When I think of what transpired this morning I will, I Will, I WILL, replace it with this picture!

Monster cupcake 2 wm .jpeg See, this is Little  Gnome Be Gone Monster Guy here to bring  a cupcake, a  flower and a “Howdy to the Morning, Arrgh!”

What is in his mouth is delightful and yummy and most importantly, appreciated.  What came out of the youngest chillies mouth at 4:45 this morning was not.  We’ll just leave it at that.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

A Good Day

Yesterday was a play day for the eldest chillie and me. An adventure into Big “D”.

We started with breakfast.  I love a good breakfast.breakfast wm.jpegPoached eggs on homemade wheat bread and jam toast is a favorite.  That’s Amy’s homemade Berry Jam. It was so good.  You can’t see it but coffee was there too.  Happiness! 

Do you know what makes breakfast even better?  Enjoying it out on the patio… entertained by Momma Kitty.  Here she is trying to camouflage herself into the bird bath.   momma cat 1 wm.jpegA good day for us is driving into Dallas to “snatch” some photos.  Spontaneous photo snatching is something we both like to do.  All you do is find an interesting spot, stop the car, walk around and start “snatching”.  I like to re-find places I’ve driven by and not had time to stop.  You miss a lot of details and hidden spots driving through a city.  I make a mental note of these to come back to.  Awhile back, I remembered seeing a small garden with large Fu Dogs guarding the entrance.  We wandered till… 

We found the Fu Dogs…

Dallaswm.jpeg Guarding the roses…

red rose wm.jpegGrowing below the castle

Built high in the sky…

Dallas wm.jpegSafe from

The mouth of the Lion…

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Who drinks only the dew

fallen fresh from the flowers…

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Being charmed by the music

Too heavy for the wind to carry away.  -Julie Palmer

Dallas 109


And then we were told of something else…

A little something hidden across the street… 

“Pee Wee’s Playhouse Meets an Opium Den.”

Oh. My. Gosh!

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Come with me,

Through the Looking Glass…

JP in mirror wmNever imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.

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Begin at the beginning ... and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

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How queer everything is today! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!

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If you drink much from a bottle marked 'poison' it is certain to disagree with you sooner or later.

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It was much pleasanter at home, when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits.

rabbit wm.jpegIf I were looking for a white rabbit, I'd ask the Mad Hatter   

Curiouser and Curiouser.  

Quotes by Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mushrooms and Gnomes

The Mushrooms, at last, are done!!!  I can’t wait to share them with you.

I waited till dusk, last night, to get a good picture of the mushrooms and hoped the gnomes would show up.  Lucky you!  They did!  (The one on the left has posed himself on a ladder hoping to appear a little taller for the she-gnome that is farther off to the left and out of the picture.) 

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I’m happy with how they turned out.   


Look at these outfits!  I need two someone's to wear these and pose beside my mushrooms.  Both the girlz said they’re glad they’re not little enough for this nonsense anymore.







If only…








Want to see how the mushrooms grew?

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First, there was the idea.




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Went digging to find my steel bowls I retired from the kitchen.  Found the Italian (Aren’t we fancy?) pots at the Nursery.



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Lovey made holes in the bowls.  Also, went to my local Feed Store and got steel nuts, bolts and washers.  Do you know they sell fresh eggs there? 



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Primed everything with Kilz to help the paint adhere.




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When the primer was dry, I used 2” painters tape to make spots and to mask where I would later paint cream spots.  Two strips of tape put together make big spots. 



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Painted on about 6 coats of Red Patio paint.  (Getting a wee bit impatient with my “Quick DIY project”.) Also painted the cream Patio Paint on the bases.



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With the tape still on, I added shading (black Patio Paint) under the spots and on the rim.  Also added some striping to the bases with a fan brush.  Later, I would wonder why I added shading under the spots. ???  The spots needed shading on them.  But, I decided to just let it go and quit being so persnickety.  Like water off a ducks back.



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Some red paint snuck under the blue tape.  It was okay though.  The cream paint covered it up.




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Painted the spots cream.  The mushrooms looked static to me...  This is when I realized I would need to shade the spots. I also used an old brush and popsicle stick to spatter on brown paint. 


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Also added turquoise spots to mess it up just a bit more.  Sprayed on 3 coats of outdoor Urethane.  Now, the mush- rooms are ready to be put together with the bolts.  Had to paint the bolts.  Ugh!!!

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Viola!  Little gnome mushrooms that make me happy!





Got cheeky gnomes? 

Here’s your answer:

large_28_gbg-gnome12495557454a7ab5217bb0c Definitely on my Christmas list!

For more gnome fun, go to: and play GNOME-BE-GONE THE GAME. 

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