I don’t know which I like more — chocolate or sparkle!

March 28, 2012

I did a couple of fun things last week that I thought you might like to see.

I baked the always delicious fudge sheet cake for a dinner that was organized by Sue, who also just happened to be having a birthday that day.  Her husband called to say that he had planned on taking a birthday cake to the dinner  but since I was bringing a cake he wasn’t sure whether his cake would be too much.  I suggested a solution — I would write happy birthday on the cake I was taking.  He like that idea.

Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mother’s ability to write on cakes.  Have you ever tried it?  I find it really hard.  But since I last tried it years ago, because of my cake ball obsession a few years ago, I’ve become familiar with candy melts which are melted and then used for dipping and decorating cake balls.  So, I had a brilliant idea!  I’d see if I could make the lettering out of the candy coating on wax paper first and then put them on the cake!

It worked!  Sooooo much easier than trying to use icing to write the words directly on the cake.  As you can see, I make kind of a shaky “y” in Happy, so I just made another one.

It worked so well I also made some dots to fill in around the words.

And, as a last touch, I sprinkled a little sparkly pink edible confetti on the letters just to make them stand out more.

I was happy with how the cake turned out and so was Sue.

And speaking of sparkly, I am responsible for making favors for a spring banquet at church in a few weeks.  I’m going to make the pretzel candies and crock pot chocolate covered peanuts (you can find the recipes over to the right in my Recipes category if you’re interested)

to put in cute little paper cups I found but, I wanted something to add a little sparkle to the cups too.

So I used foam stickers to make these little tooth pick “flags” to put in each cup.

I hadn’t worked with sparkle glue for a long time, so there was definitely a messy learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, it was fun.

And I was happy with how they turned out.

Happy Spring!

Happy Feet!

March 26, 2012

I didn’t even need new slippers, but when I walked past these little cuties in a store yesterday, I distinctly heard them call my name.  Of course I didn’t want to be rude, so I walked over to get acquainted.  Well, it was love at first sight so I bought them and brought them home with me.

When I put them on this morning and walked into the kitchen, I told Hubby, “Every time I look down at my feet and see these slippers, it makes me happy!”

He laughed.

a temporary treat …

March 15, 2012

Is it obvious what this is?  (btw, the spoon is a large serving spoon, for perspective)  I think it looks like the largest pearl tapioca I’ve ever seen or maybe albino caviar on steroids!

But it’s neither … it’s hail that I really took a close look at when it fell last week.  And I was totally charmed by the small perfect pellets.

I’m reminded that it’s always interesting when I take the time to “smell the roses” … or in this case, “study the hail”.

Window Garden for a Black Thumb!

January 28, 2012

I read about doing this somewhere and couldn’t resist giving it a try.

After using the top of a bunch of green onions, put the white bulbs in water and grow your next bunch!

This was taken two days after I put them in the water, and you can already see new growth.

And this is two weeks after I started it!

Hmmm.  I’m not sure what to do now.  I have fresh green onions, but I don’t need green onions very often.  I guess I should have thought of that before I started this project.

But I’m still thrilled with my “window garden”.  I actually grew green onions!

a hot spot and rivers on a far off planet?

January 21, 2012

No, just some color adjustment and cropping of a picture of my eye that was taken when I last got glasses.

By the way, Hubby asked me how in the world I ended up with a copy of the picture the technician took of my eye.  My answer — once again, an interesting photo opportunity captured because of having a camera in my purse.


Take a Line for a Walk

January 17, 2012

My brother and Page (Call Me Nana tells about my memories of her) have a very talented granddaughter named Alex.  She is a wonderful photographer and artist and is a grade school art teacher.  Unfortunately she grew up on the other side of the country from us, so I haven’t seen her since she was a little girl.  And now she is married and has an adorable little boy, but still lives in the same area … so still far away.  But this is one of the nice things about Facebook — because of it, I’ve gotten to know Alex and her art and have become a fan.

Well, now Alex has started putting videos on her blog, Sabot Studio, which are geared to children, but I enjoy them too.  And I look forward to introducing DD’s daughters to her videos.  I’m sure they will enjoy them too.

Here is the first one of her videos I watched.  I was just totally charmed, so I wanted to share it with you.

I gave this a shot today and it’s no accident that I’m not showing you how my “walk with a line” turned out.  But even though mine didn’t turn out quite as well (ahem) as Alex’, I enjoyed it.  So I’ll try it again with the girls.

Hope you and any children in your life have fun with it too!  And if you go to her blog, you can see her others.

“Like trying to put ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag! …

January 15, 2012

… that’s a saying my mother had for a tight squeeze.

And that’s what I think of when I look at this picture of Jay (17 years old and about 6′ tall) in the third row seat of Hubby’s new SUV.  When we were visiting them in Tulsa recently it was the first time anyone has ridden back there and it’s now obvious that it is a seat best suited for small children.  Jay didn’t mind riding back there for the short trip to and from a restaurant, but I’m sure much longer would have been uncomfortable.

If it isn’t obvious, his head is against the ceiling.

We really like the new SUV, but it’s good to recognize this limitation early on!

Sometimes it’s fun to try something new …

January 10, 2012

… especially if you can eat your mistakes.

When we were at DD’s house before Christmas, I asked her what I could do to help get ready for the dinner she was preparing for company that evening.  She looked around and said, well you could finish that gingerbread house the girls lost interest in.  Obviously she had things pretty well under control and was searching for something for me to do.  I got that and I didn’t mind.

I had never had any experience with making a gingerbread house, but not knowing what I’m doing doesn’t necessarily keep me from doing something anyway, so I dug in.

Luckily I had brought a very large container of red and green juju’s that were each topped with a white cap.  We had used some to decorate cookies, but there were lots left.  And it’s a good thing, because much of the candy that had come with the gingerbread house kit was nowhere to be found.  Possibly the reason the previous contractors had lost interest?  They had eaten enough of their building materials that they realized they couldn’t finish, is my guess.

It took me a while, but I finished the house by just using frosting to glue pieces of candy in every available space.  That was a little trickier than it might seem because the pieces that were already in place weren’t always in straight lines and they were stuck fast, so I had to work around them.  But, even then, I was surprised at how much fun it was!

So I’ve decided that next year I’ll try making a gingerbread house from scratch.

You may want to tune in for that.  It may be a disaster, but I’ve certainly learned that sometimes the best stories come from disasters.

Where’s Mr. Wizard When You Need Him?

January 4, 2012

When I was growing up and television was in its early days, there was a show on Saturday mornings called Mr. Wizard.  Frankly, it wasn’t one of my favorite shows because it was all about Mr. Wizard doing experiments with everyday items and then explaining the science of why it worked.  One I remember was putting a burning match in a glass bottle and then putting a hard boiled egg on top of the bottle. As the fire on the match used up the air in the bottle, the egg (without its shell, of course) was sucked into the bottle.  Some of the experiments were interesting, but I was not a very scientifically minded kid, so I was more interested in cartoons.

But when Hubby and I were at a restaurant recently, something that happened made me think of Mr. Wizard.

When Hubby poured his root beer into the frosted mug, we watched in amazement as a thin cylinder of ice began rising up from the mug.

We don’t know why this happened, but assume it had something to do with the temperature of the root beer when it was poured in in contrast to the temperature of the frosted glass.

Even though we didn’t know why it happened, it was fun to see it.  And I was a little sorry when it melted a short time later.

Mr. Wizard, if you’re still out there, have your people call my people and let’s do lunch so we can talk about this, okay?

Christmas Prayers from the past

December 19, 2011

We have just recently re-discovered these three little prayer books in a box of books in the attic.

The one on the left is missing the first few pages so we don’t have a copyright date, but it definitely appears to be the oldest.  It is obviously a book of prayers for children.  But I find it surprising that the language definitely isn’t changed much if at all to make it easier for children to read.  That makes me think that it really wasn’t meant to be read by children, but read to children so that they could memorize the prayers.

Its prayers are all short and include these two pages of Christmas prayers.

The red book was given to an unknown  couple on their 50th wedding anniversary in approximately 1951. (That’s our guess because that is the copyright year.)

It is my favorite.  It has prayers for every instance imaginable.

It includes this Christmas prayer that I think is lovely and we will probably use on Christmas day.

The blue book was a gift to Hubby from the Pastor when he was confirmed in 1959.  I know that Hubby and his family dearly loved Pastor L, but its prayers tend to be long and kind of dry.  I wonder if a simpler version might have had a better chance of actually being used by eighth graders!

We have started using prayers from the middle book during our bible studies.  The wording used is so elegant and conveys the thoughts in such beautiful ways. They are a pleasure to read, pray and think on.

I think “Anna B.” who signed her name and wrote her congratulations in that little red book of prayers to give to a couple celebrating a long marriage, would probably be happy to know that it is being used all these years later.

What a special little treasure of books we’ve found.  And especially in regard to the red book, we are using it regularly right now.  And even though Hubby and I weren’t the ones who received it originally, it has definitely turned into a gift for us.