Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keeping It In The Family

I've mentioned my Mom's Mom, my Grammy Connie several times in my Blog. She was a pretty amazing woman. I remember visiting her townhouse near Boston when I was a little girl and being told this crazy story about this giant Jade Tree that she kept on her second floor landing. I can't remember all of the details, but the gist of the story was that the plant had belonged to my great grandmother, Carrie Josephine Kingman and that it was one really OLD plant. Carrie Josephine was my Grammy's mother, so I guess she felt a responsibility to keep the thing alive. Either that or it just wouldn't die.

Any way, When Grammy got Alzheimer's and was moved into a nursing home, my mom ended up with some of the Jade tree. I guess it was probably divided up between family members. My mom was very proud of her little Jade plant. I didn't quite understand the attachment at the time. I was in high school and had more important things to think about. The plant thrived which was a good thing, because keeping house plants alive was not really my mom's thing. Needless to say it got watered sporadically.

So, move ahead 30 years and now my mom has developed Alzheimer's. she's been living in a nursing home for about 3 years. My dad has been doing a bang up job taking care of everything, including the Jade plant. When he came to visit for Christmas one of the gifts he brought me was a piece of "the plant".

I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Following in my mom's footsteps, keeping house plants alive is not really my thing either. I have to admit that I have been extremely worried about this huge responsibility. After all, we are talking about a piece of a plant snipped from a plant that is over 100 years old. It's a family heirloom and now it's living at my house. Do you understand where I'm coming from? Part of me was sure that the thing would be dead before Valentine's Day. Guess what? It's not. It actually seems to be doing quite well. It's making new leaves and I think it's growing. I'm still not so sure how I feel about it. Some days I walk past it and smile thinking about all of the wonderful woman in my family that have tended to it and other days it makes me sad. Just too many memories. I think that my mom would be glad that I've stepped up to the plate. It's my turn now as well it should be.

I'm hoping that my dad will give Grace a piece of mom's plant too. My shoulders are only so big.


Monday, March 26, 2012

My Shoe Shopping Adventure

Last Friday my friend Margaret and I drove to Shepherdsville KY for a little girls day out shoe shopping adventure. Shepherdsville is only about a 20 minute trip and well worth it.

Who knew that Zappos had an outlet store so close to Louisville? Well, to be honest, I knew it was here I just had no idea how to get to it. Thanks to enabling friends, I now know where it is and am the proud owner of two new pairs of shoes. I just couldn't resist.

I actually found 2 pair for me and 1 pair for Alan.

All of the shoes are returns, so you have to spend some time looking and trying on. What a shame....

The deals can't be beat. All of the shoes that I bought were 60% off the tagged price, plus because it just happened to be Friends and Family Day I got an extra 20% off my total.

These purple felted clogs are my favorite find. The will be perfect for next fall and winter.

I couldn't pass up these Merrell's. so comfortable and my favorite colors.

Alan just happened to be in need of some new work shoes. A little on the boring side compared to mine, but just the way he likes his shoes.

It was a Good Day!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Coming To Life

Boy did it rain yesterday. I mean to tell you we had us some serious rain here in Louisville. We even had another tornado hit close by. It did some damage in the southern part of Jefferson county. We live in Jefferson county. That's just a little bit too close for comfort if you ask me. Just the rain from yesterday filled this glass candle holder hanging on our deck. I'm just saying, that's like a lot of inches. At one point the rain stopped for about 2 minutes. The sun came out and the sky turned blue. I ran around the yard like a crazy woman with my camera taking some pictures just for you.

All of the stuff that was totally dead is coming back to life. It always seems to happen over night. The grass is green (and needs to be cut), and the colors are just popping out every place you look.

I really thought these pansies were finished. Now just look at them. Not exactly what I want in the planters for spring, but how do you just get rid of such loveliness?

I'm not sure if you can see the Clematis starting to twist it's way around the fence. Jorge, it made it through the winter. Maybe this year it will bloom!

That's all I have for you. The rain started again and it's supposed to continue through the weekend. April showers, right? Oh wait, it's still March.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Dinner On My Own

Boy this house is quiet. Alan is attending a meeting in Indianapolis, so it's just me and the pets. I really don't enjoy eating by myself, unless it means that I get to have something that I know Alan would absolutely refuse to eat. When I got home from work last night the first thing I did was pour myself a glass of wine and pop my Trader Joe's Mojito Salmon into the microwave.

I have been saving this yummy salmon in the freezer for quite a while now, just waiting for the right moment. It was so delicious and the best part it that the "fishy smell" should be gone by the time Alan gets home.

I have a tendency to buy my wine based on how much I like the label on the bottle. I thought this one was pretty cute. Who can resist a Pancake? I've started drinking more white wine. I know that it's not as healthy for me as the red stuff, but it seems to agree with me better. Trader Joe's has quite the assortment, so I figure I'll buy a different kind every time I shop there until we've tried them all. Is that possible? Probably not, but who knows.... I'm not sure what I'm having for dinner tonight, probably just the left over fish, but that's perfectly alright with me.

Hope your weekend gets off to a great start!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day Of Spring!

Or should I say Summer? You choose depending upon where you live. I know that it all has to do with the Jet Stream, but we have had some seriously bizzaro weather here in Kentucky.
Today we should break a record that was set back in 1894. I didn't even know that they kept track way back then. Right now it is 83 degrees and it should make it up to 86 later this afternoon. Needless to say, I turned the AC on.
We had such a beautiful weekend. Saturday, Alan set out all of our deck furniture. I swept and fluffed cushions and then about 7:00 PM the strangest thing happened.

A freaky thunderstorm showed up with about an inch or so of hail. It was crazy. I wish we could have gotten better pictures, but it caught us by surprise and it melted within minutes. Crazy...

Anyway, back to the beautiful weekend. Sunday we decided to grill. I told you, it's summer. We had flank steak, fries and salad. Oh yeah, and iced tea. Summer!

This is my new favorite salad dressing. Really, I could put it on just about anything. YUM!

I can't wait to see what the rest of "spring" is going to be like.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Almost St. Patrick's Day Greetings

I know, more tree pictures, but this one happens to be in my front yard. I think it's a pear tree. During the winter it is just about the ugliest tree you have ever seen. It got hit hard by an ice storm a few years ago and it is missing branches and limbs in places that just make it look sad when it does not have leaves or these beautiful white blossoms covering it.

I ran outside this morning to take these pictures, because it is supposed to rain today and I'm afraid that all of the pretty little flowers will be carpeting the ground by this afternoon. I hope that's not the case, you never know about these things.

Anyway, I also ran a few errands this morning, including a stop at Trader Joe's. I got to taste some of their Corned Beef with spicy brown mustard. I sure do wish that Alan liked corned beef because that's what we would be eating tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day. Oh well, the taste I had was very yummy. It will just have to tide me over.

I've been busy spinning. I just can't stop. here are some of my latest efforts. I love how this yarn turned out. It almost looks like yarn you could buy in a shop. Especially when it's twisted up with it's little label wrapped around it. I can't wait to knit something cute out of it.

As soon as the blue was finished I started on the next bit of fluff. I'm half way through spinning this fiber, also from Greenwood Fiber Works and it's called "Cyndi's Suitcase". I wish you could feel how soft it is.

Tomorrow I am going to the 2012 Quilter's Day Out Quilt Show here in Louisville. A friend is picking me up bright and early so that we don't miss anything. My understanding is that many of the local quilt guilds will be represented and have information booths so that we can check them out. I have not joined any guilds since moving to Kentucky. Maybe it's time.

Hope you have a great weekend and a Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring For Real

We took the dog for a walk the other day and came upon this absolutely beautiful Tulip tree in full bloom. Of course I didn't have my camera with me, but Alan had his phone. Not a bad picture at all. The weather here in Louisville this week is giving everyone spring fever. Changing the clocks has probably contributed to all of the flurry. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and sunny. Today it will make it up to 79 degrees and the powers that be say that it will be 80 degrees tomorrow. Yikes! 80 degrees in March. Does that mean that we are in for one super hot summer? I hope not. I'd be happy if it just stayed like this for a long, long time. Say, maybe until September. Perfect!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Making the Most of Daylight Savings Time

Hope you had a great weekend. I don't know what it is about changing the clocks and "springing" forward, but I always feel like a little more daylight jump starts my engines to get more done.

This past weekend was relaxing yet productive. Is that possible? We really got a lot done, but there was still plenty of time for watching basketball, and movies and reading. Of course there was also time for cooking, baking, and spinning.

Friday I tried out some new recipes found on Pinterest. This amazing Honey Butter was a big hit with Alan. So easy to make and yummy. There was not a link to the recipe, it was just written on the Pin. I think that means that it's OK for me to share with you.

All it is is.....

1 cup honey

1 cup sugar

Boil these in a sauce pan for 1 minute

Pour over 3 sticks of butter in your blender

Blend until smooth and then give it a while to set up. I'm storing mine in the fridge, but be sure to let it come to room temperature before you want to use it.

So far I've tried it on toast and warm biscuits. If you enjoy honey, I know you will love this stuff.

Have a great start to your week.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let the Spring Time In

Now that the snow has melted and it's 70 degrees, it's time to think SPRING!

Alan thinks that I have a few too many rabbits that seem to take over our house this time of year, so when I saw these adorable little sheep (not rabbits) I couldn't pass them up. Their bodies are actually made out of paper. I can't decide where to put them. For now they are sitting on the mantle so that I can just admire them.

One thing Alan doesn't seem to mind is our new Easter candy display.

I told him that it's just for decoration, but I know his love of malted milk ball eggs, that's why there are two jars filled with them.

I put the spring wreath on the front door.
We are ready. Are you?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More Spinning

Are you getting tired of listening to me go on and on about spinning? I'm so sorry, I just can't help it.

A new shipment of fluff arrived in the mail Monday. Thank goodness because I just finished plying my yarn from last week.
This fluff comes from Greenwood Fiber Works

It's hand painted roving and It's gorgeous.

I started with the blue and green braid called "Vancouver" and it is spinning up so thin and lovely.
I think that learning to spin is sort of like learning to play the piano.

The more you practice the better you get, or maybe I should say the easier it is.

When I was taking piano lessons as a child I had to practice for 30 minutes a day, so that's my spinning goal. To "practice" at least 30 minutes a day.

I wish that I had enjoyed "practicing" the piano as much as I enjoy "practicing" spinning. I would probably be a really good pianist if that were the case.

Can you tell that I really am getting the hang of it?

No more thick and thin issues. I think I've even figured out how to keep from over spinning.

This is 4 0z of fluff that I will hopefully 2 ply. One of my co-workers is expecting a baby boy in August and I'm thinking that this might make a perfect baby boy something. Maybe a hat and booties, or a little sweater....

The possibilities are endless.


Because I'm Crazy

I had to stop by Jo-Ann Fabrics yesterday for a couple of things and what do you know, the yarn was on sale.

I know you are probably wondering why in the world I would be needing yarn of all things.

Well, I'll tell you. For the past few months I been watching some other bloggers making these beautiful stripey ripple afghans. The first Afghan that I ever made, thanks to my mother in laws help was a ripple.

I can't really explain it, but I just wanted to make another one.

Here's a peek inside the bag. I had a difficult time choosing colors. I was a little restricted by what was available and which colors seemed to "go together". I asked a couple of other shoppers what they thought and then just did it.

Once home I couldn't wait to get started. Here's what I've got so far.

I have no idea who this blanket will go to. I have to wait until it's finished to decide. It's going to be colorful and a bit on the "springy" side. All I know is that I'm having fun and did I mention the yarn was on sale?


Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Morning

It was raining when we went to bed last night. I knew something was up when I heard the snow plow drive by at 4:00 AM. We woke up to our biggest snow of the season (so far...),

Surprisingly, school has not be cancelled. The roads are pretty clear, just wet.

We have to enjoy it while it lasts. Tomorrow it is going to be 60 degrees.

You just never know what to expect here in Louisville. One day it's beautiful and 75 degrees, the next day severe storms with tornadoes and 2 days later snow. Keeps us on our toes.

I have a few more minutes before I have to start getting ready for work. I think I'll just sit here in my purple slippers and look out the windows at our beautiful winter wonderland.

Have a great Monday!