Friday, January 30, 2009


Welcome to my blog and my very first PINK SATURDAY. I'm glad you're here and I hope you enjoy your visit.

I decided to share with you my childhood Vogue Ginny Doll that I received for Christmas in 1954. I decked her out in pink so she could celebrate her birthday and Pink Saturday at the same time. Her birthday hat was from Carolyn at Carolyn's Rock and Roll Ginny site. If you enjoy dolls (and vintage Ginny Dolls in particular) you'll enjoy her site.

This was me at Christmas in 1954. My sister and I both received Ginny Dolls that Christmas and for some reason her blonde Ginny was put in the doll stroller for the picture. My Ginny was exactly the same except she had red hair.



When my husband was in the Navy from the late 60's to the early 70's I purchased some cookbooks that the Officers' Wives Club sold. They had some really good recipes. At that time the wives did a lot of cooking and entertaining and no one did it better. I don't think the wives clubs exist anymore. They've been replaced with the spouses clubs. Anyway, my recipe books were falling apart after so many years and I was thrilled to find replacements on eBay. I also found some others that I didn't even know existed.

Here's a good recipe for a cold winter's night.


· 1 lb. stew beef
· 2 medium onions, sliced
· ¼ t. dry mustard
· 1 ¼ t. paprika
· 3 T. brown sugar
· 1 ¼ t. salt (I omit)
· 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
· ¾ t. cider vinegar
· 6 T. catsup
· 1 ½ c. water
· 3 T. flour

Brown meat with onion. Combine mustard, paprika, brown sugar and salt; add Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, catsup and one cup of water. Add to meat and onions. Cover and cook slowly for two hours and 30 minutes. (I find two hours is usually enough and I add additional water while it’s simmering.) Blend flour with ½ cup of water; add to meat mixture. Stir until thickened. Serve over noodles. Yield: 4 servings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

I love football! I've been a Houston Texans fan since their inception in 2002. We're season ticket holders only because I insist. If it was up to my husband we'd watch on TV every week, but I love being there. I'd even love to tailgate, but that's where he draws the line. It's not his idea of a good time. (I still hope to talk him into it sometime.)

I had been a Houston Oilers fan in the past, but I never really understood the game. I just yelled when everyone else yelled. Then the Houston Texans offered Football 101 For Women classes. They had them for a number of years and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I'm sorry they're not offered anymore. They would bring in players, officials, and coaches to speak and it was very interesting and informative. Those classes spurred my interest to learn more and I purchased The Complete Idiots Guide To Football by Joe Theismann. (Joe was born and grew up in NJ just like me, so how could I go wrong?)

I wish you could see my copy of this book. I've got it all marked up with notes in the margins, sentences underlined, diagrams drawn, etc. I take my football very seriously. I reread it prior to the beginning of each football season. I'm one of those people that watch the away games on TV with the volume turned down and listen on the radio. I also bring my radio to every game. Radio is descriptive and a very good learning aid. It still seems as if I miss approximately 50% of what 610 Sports Radio's Marc Vandermeer and Andre Ware see. (Marc handles the play by play and Andre does the commentary.) Everything happens very quickly and they're able to size up the situation almost immediately. I'd like to be half as good as them some day.

Anyway, even though my Houston Texans aren't playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday I'll still be enjoying the game. I'd kind of like Arizona to win since they've never been there before, but I've always admired Pittsburgh since the Steel Curtain days. I'm just hoping it's a good game and there are no serious injuries (that's the mother in me coming out).

So, we'll be getting out our books and having a little review in the next couple of days.

Then after the game we'll mourn the end of football until next season. Go Texans!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January 28, 1976

It was the year of the Bicentennial and on January 28, 1976 in Norfolk, Virginia our third son was born. I no longer remember the name of the hospital. How could I forget? It's only been 33 years. Time flies...doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I know many of you have been experiencing below freezing temperatures this winter. This past weekend it got cool on Saturday, but I didn't consider it cold. I guess it was in the high 40's or low 50's. I snapped this picture of Reid on Saturday morning.

You would think we were living in International Falls, MN.

Here's the thermostat.

I didn't consider 71 cold, but I relented and shoved it up to 72.

They say cold weather is coming tonight and the temperature will drop within the next couple of hours. I think it will go down to freezing north of Houston, but we'll be OK. It's been in the 70's today and I've had the A/C on. I guess before we go to bed I'd better switch it over to heat or my husband and son will be dressing like Eskimos in the morning.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Galveston Island Four Months After Hurricane Ike

Yesterday we drove down to Galveston Island again. It's now four months since Hurricane Ike hit and some progress toward recovery has been made. We originally went down two months after the storm and were shocked by what we saw. I don't think people realize how devastating the storm was to the island. We didn't realize and we're only 26 miles inland.

For us the storm was over when the electricity came back on and the branches and debris were finally picked up a month after the storm. For the people of Galveston the storm won't be over for many, many years. I now understand what they mean when they say the storm surge is what does the most damage and costs the most lives. There's a world of difference between the damage where we live and the damage on Galveston Island.

On this trip we found more places opened, more people driving around, and less piles of debris. Two months ago, there were debris piles on sidewalks, in the streets, etc. This time it was more contained.

We drove down to the Strand which is the historical business section of the island. It seemed to us that approximately 98% of the stores are closed and either undergoing repairs or have plans to make repairs. The storm surge really took a toll on this area. You can see where someone marked the water line on this building. That's my husband and he's 5'8" and the curbs are very high which adds another foot or so.

It's very sad to see all the empty stores. Most of the merchandise was shoveled out onto the sidewalks and hauled off. This store is empty except for the few things that remain hanging in the window.

We stopped for a while and spoke with a lady working on this old fashion soda fountain/candy store. We've stopped in here in the past and were pleased to hear that they're hoping to reopen in April. During the storm the owner's son stayed here and marked the water level every so often on the door frame until the water got too deep and he had to retreat upstairs. Then he started marking the water line on the staircase.

But, they've got the wood now for the sub floor and it should be down in the next week or so.

The lady told us that parts of The Strand still don't have electricity or water. We did notice at least one traffic light that's still not working which surprised us after all this time.

But things are looking up a little. The island looks greener now. The salt water seemed to kill a lot of the vegetation, but they've replanted some palm trees and shrubbery. We passed these bushes on our walk.

But then we took a closer look and saw some green starting to sprout. We were all excited...perhaps they aren't completely dead after all!

We saw this sign too. No one will ever say that the people of Galveston aren't resilient.

And someone has even decorated a little for Mardi Gras which they still plan to have this year. (There were quite a few cars parked along the street, but most of them belonged to people working on the restoration.)

And I was pleased to see one of my favorite antique stores reopened and restocked. The lady told me just about everything was destroyed but they managed to reopen the day after Thanksgiving after a lot of hard work.

Every year the Galveston Historical Association has the Historic Home Tour in May and we enjoy going. I was pleased to see that they're still planning to have it in 2009.

The worst national disaster in the history of this country was the 1900 Galveston Hurricane when the storm surge swept across the island and anywhere from 6,000 to 8,00o people were killed. (By the way, a lot of people think the Great Chicago Fire was the worst national disaster, but it wasn't.) Galveston came back, but it was never the same. I believe history will repeat itself and Galveston will be back, but it will be a different Galveston.

After the 1900 storm a seawall was built along part of the island to protect it from future storms and the elevation of the island was raised behind the seawall. The remaining homes and buildings were jacked up and sand was pumped in underneath. Considering the time period it was a pretty amazing feet of engineering and I've always been fascinated by the story.

Just last week it was reported in the Houston Chronicle that the 100 year old seawall was damaged by Ike and will need expensive repairs. The heavily damaged University Of Texas Medical Center at Galveston has laid off 3,000 people. This week the Shriner's Hospital announced that they will temporarily close due to damage and loss of funds in the current economy. A lot of people fear that the closure won't be temporary. And, I recently heard on the news that 40% of the people that lived on the island are gone.

However, there are many proud and determined people in Galveston who are descendants of the 1900 storm's survivors. I'm sure the island will make a come back, but it will take considerable time. And please, no more hurricanes for a while.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Simple Side Dish

This is another family favorite and super easy to make.

Rice and Vermicelli

1 cup rice
½ c. thin spaghetti, broken in 2 inch pieces
1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
2 c. hot water
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In casserole dish melt butter on stove and then add rice and spaghetti. Sauce for 3-4 minutes. Add water and bouillon cube and stir until cube is completely dissolved. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (45 minutes if using brown rice). Serves 4.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Bare with me...I'll still be talking about this a year from now. I'm determined to get rid of some of my excess stuff, but it's so difficult.

I keep finding all these silly sentimental reasons for keeping things. And I've got so many unfinished projects. Believe it or not, I still have macrame supplies stuffed in one drawer. You never know when macrame might make a come back. Probably shortly before cross stitch is hot again. I've got a drawer of cross stitch too and my eyes aren't that great anymore. I've been told I'll need a cornea transplant in the near future. Of course, I'm afraid to get rid of the cross stitch because I "might" see well enough afterwards to do cross stitch again.

Yes, this is a difficult project for me. I just don't want to become one of those people you hear about on the news. You know, the little old lady with stacks of newspapers dating back to WW II all over her apartment along with uneaten bologna sandwiches. I hate to even say the "H" word...hoarder. I just can't let that happen. So, every so often I clear out some stuff. Lately I find myself walking around antique malls and resale shops and not buying. I've told myself to take it easy until I've made room for more. Before you know it April will arrive and that's when the big Round Top Antique Fair comes to Texas. I want to go this year. I've missed the last several times and I don't want to miss again.

I've been working all week on this one closet. First I took everything out and piled it on the bed and floor. This is only part of really can't see it all.

Then I sorted through most of it. (I'm still not done.) Some had to go and some had to be straightened and organized.

See, my donate boxes are getting nice and full. Anyone need some clown shoes? You never know when you can use them.

And I've started a third box.

This week the resale shop isn't accepting donations. UH-OH, that means more thinking time. More time to change my mind. I'm trying to resist the temptation to take things out of the boxes.

Now here's the far.

It's still crowded! And I've still got a few things on the floor and bed that have to go back into the closet. Now the one box in the back (blue box with the handle) is a TV for hurricane season, but after February 17th it will fail the analog to digital test. I guess I could get rid of it. It's not like we're going to have a hurricane before February 17th, but it does have a radio and flashlight too. See, I'm so practical. And of course, the box of Fisher Price toys has to stay. It's full of sentimental things.

Tomorrow will be my fourth day working on this closet. See why I never get anything done? I was hoping to free up space in this closet so there would be room for the overflow from some of the other closets. What I would do for a basement or usable attic. No basements here and it's too hot and humid in the attic and garage. So, we (better make that me) stuff things in closets and under the beds.

I guess it will be next week before I move on to another closet. Meanwhile I'd like a little help. Should I get rid of this?

Some years back I won him at the Hallmark store. Why couldn't I just win the lottery instead? He's awfully cute, but I have no place to put him so he sits in the dining room year round.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Peaceful Transfer Of Power...

Something pretty amazing took place today. We have a new leader and not a single shot was fired, no one stormed the White House...everything was done peacefully. As a matter of fact, it was almost a love fest. The old and new shook hands, hugs and kisses were shared, and the 44th President of the United States was sworn into office.

I've been glued to the television all day. I'll be honest, I was a skeptic and didn't think a black person or a woman could be elected President of this country in my lifetime. I'm 63. I was very wrong and today I'm so proud.

I grew up in a politically active family. Politics was always a hot topic in our household, but instead of inspiring me it had the opposite affect. I've always considered politics a necessary evil in a Democracy. I was a Young Citizen For Johnson at the 1964 Democratic National Convention only because my parents made me. My father was an alternate delegate that year and since they were going anyway it was decided that I should be a Young Citizen. I was also recruited on election days to help at Democratic Headquarters, but it was always under protest. So, I've always disliked politics.

That's about to change. I'm finding myself insprired today. Yes, I voted for our new President, but I didn't become involved in the campaign. I just watched from the sidelines and now I'm sorry. For the first time in my life I wish I had participated in the political process and could say that I worked to help get him elected. I'm so grateful to all the people that worked so hard to make this day possible.

Our new President ran a very fair campaign. I liked what I saw during the transition too. I hope the people will give him a chance. Change will not come quickly, but at least we're headed in the right direction.

I keep humming the song Only In America by JayAnd The Americans. It was popular when I was a teenager. Anyone else remember some of these lyrics?

Only in America
Can a guy from anywhere
Go to sleep a pauper and wake up a millionaire

Only in America
Can a kid without a cent
Get a break and maybe grow up to be President

Only in America
Can a kid who's washin' cars
Take a giant step and reach right up and touch the stars...

Yes, only in America. It's been a pretty amazing day. I pray that God will watch over our new and protect him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I've been busy taking down the Christmas decorations. (Better late than never.)

Here's one stack of Christmas stuff almost ready to go back into storage. I've got a couple of other piles like this in the dining room. On Saturday we'll drag it all back to the storage room that we rent.
I'm seriously considering not doing all of this next year. Please don't call me a Grinch, but I'm burnt out. Every year I decorate the tree by myself. I'd love for it to be a family affair, but I guess I've got that Normal Rockwell image of what Christmas is supposed to be and I'm living with reality here. So, every year I put it all up and take it all down. I thoroughly enjoy the decorations once they're up, but I'm tired of doing it too. Maybe it's time for a change. I think I could be happy with just the manger, a wreath, and a few vintage Christmas decorations. I'm wondering if my family would want the tree and other decorations if I just waited? I have a favorite quote from the Grinch movie. The Grinch says, "Perhaps Christmas doesn't come from the store, perhaps Christmas is something more."

I have been working on my promise to declutter in 2009. I liked Loretta's idea of always keeping a box ready for items to donate. I stuck a box in the dining room and quickly filled it up, so I added a second box. Next week I'll take it all to the resale shop before I reconsider and decide to keep some of it. I keep telling myself to be strong and I've made a promise not to bring anything else into the house until I get rid of some things. I love to walk around resale shops and antique malls, so I'd better hurry and make a dent in some of this clutter.

Yesterday I heard a racket in the bathroom. Roscoe decided to hide from Zoom in the bathtub.

But Zoom was determined...

Poor Roscoe. No rest for the weary...

Sorry Roscoe.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Feral Cat Surprise

OK...I'm going to try again.

We had beautiful weather last week. I love it when they humidity is down. Most of the time there's quite a bit of moisture in the air which means in the summer it's hot and humid and in the winter when it gets cold it's usually a damp cold. I rarely use moisturizer which I guess is one advantage of living here, but I love a warm day without a lot of humidity and that's what we had last week. Perfect weather!

I decided to bring my camera along when I went out in the backyard with Sophie. She enjoys watching squirrels and would do it by the hour if I let her.

She's eight years old, but we've only had her two years. Her original owners were unable to keep her, but she's got a forever home with us.

We were both taken by surprise when our feral cat suddenly appeared. I guess we disturbed her while she was sunning herself in the ferns. I know it's difficult to spot her, but MaMa is behind the bike right up against the trunk of the tree.

It's not easy getting pictures of MaMa. She immediately becomes suspicious when she sees anything in my hand other than her dish of food. She's even more cautious since Hurricane Ike. The day before Ike hit my husband grabbed her and brought her in the house for the storm. It was a traumatic experience for her, but she was a lot better off inside than out in the storm. She didn't appreciate the kind gesture and my husband has the scars to prove it. I just hope she forgets before hurricane season arrives this year because we'd want to catch her again. (I hope my husband forgets too!)

I did check on her later in the day and she was back in her shed.

We've had MaMa for seven years now and I'm as attached to her as I am the inside cats. MaMa however is only attached to the food we feed her.

And poor little Zoom wanted to join us in the yard, but she's an indoor cat now.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Giving Up For Now...

I've tried on and off for the last two days to upload pictures to Blogger with no luck. This has never happened before and I'm not sure what's going on, but I'll be back when I can successfully get the pictures up. I just don't have time to fool with it any more tonight. Sorry.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I've been scanning more slides in my spare time. It's time consuming because I spend so much time studying them and trying to decide which ones to use. I can't possibly scan all of them and the quality of the slides isn't always very good. I bring them into my photo software and try to improve them a little, but sometimes I have to make them darker than I'd prefer and some I just can't make dark enough because they're so light. However, I'm sure having fun going down Memory Lane and reliving the years we spent in the US Navy. It was a wonderful time in our lives and we have many good memories.

This picture was taken on May 29, 1969 BK (before Keith). I was on my way to Naples, Italy and the US Naval Hospital to wait for Keith to be born. That's Edie Whitehead (one of the Base nurses) climbing the steps.

And we're on our way...

That plane looks like Orville and Wilbur could have been the pilots! It' s actually a Navy C-117 that was passing through our base on the way to Naples that day. We had a weekly Medivac flight on Tuesdays, but it was determined that I probably wouldn't last until then and so I flew up on a Thursday and Keith was born on Saturday, May 31, 1969. It's a good thing I went ahead because I was only in labor a few hours and probably never would have made it to Naples in time.

Oh yes, and here's the young Ensign hard at work!

We look like kids! I guess that's because we were kids. Hard to believe that was almost 40 years ago. Time flies.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


My family is complaining it's cold. We've obviously lived here too long! It's in the 50's, but it's been rainy today and it's actually the dampness that has them complaining. I decided to share this recipe for soup that I found while thumbing through old magazines at the hair salon. We have it year round, but it's especially good in cold weather. It's very simple to make and good for a crowd. This is a family favorite.

Meatball Minestrone

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive oil
3 (15 oz.) cans Cannellini beans, untrained, divided
1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth
1 (1.4 oz) package vegetable soup mix (I use Knorr vegetable soup mix.)
60-64 frozen cooked meatballs
1 (14 ½ oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, oregano
½ t. dried, crushed red pepper
8 oz. Uncooked rotini pasta
1 (10 oz.) bag, fresh spinach, torn
Garnishes: Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley

Saute garlic in hot oil in stock pot over medium high heat one minute; stir in two cans beans and chicken broth. Bring to boil.

Stir in vegetable soup mix until dissolved. Add meatballs, tomatoes, and red pepper. Return to boil. Add rotini and cook, stirring often for 15 minutes.

Stir in remaining can of beans and spinach. Cook five more minutes. Garnish if desired. Yield: 4 quarts; Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 30 minutes

I use the frozen Italian meatballs from Kroger. Some rolls and a salad and you have a hearty meal. Enjoy!

Monday, January 05, 2009


Yes, January 6th is the Epiphany and that's why my Christmas decorations are still up.

Well, that's the excuse I use anyway because I don't want to take them down. I guess it's a Southern tradition, but a lot of people around here put their trees out at the curb on December 26th. Maybe they're concerned about the fire hazard, but I have an artificial tree and I'm in no hurry to get it down. It took a while to get everything what's the hurry?

I have to admit that we're the only people on our street tonight with outside Christmas lights on. I guess some people might think we forgot. No, it's intentional. I'm having fun!

Our Christmas tree might not look pretty to you. It's full of faded construction paper ornaments that the kids made many years ago. Over the years I've had to make emergency repairs with scotch tape. And, I hang all the old pictures of my kids with Santa on the tree too. Can you blame me for wanting to enjoy it just a little while longer?

Our kids are 39, 38, and almost 33. This stuff's been around for a while!

And take a look at this picture. The Santa in the middle was made by ME in pre-school and I just turned 63! I joke with the kids about who made the prettiest ornaments. My mother used to decorate her tree with the things we made and gave me my things some years back.

And when I was packing up my Dad for the move to assisted living here I saved some of the vintage Christmas ornaments and put them in my mother's punch bowls. The only ornament that isn't vintage in this bowl is the little Santa Claus in the middle that says 1918. That was the year my father was born and when I saw it this year I had to have it. It looks vintage anyway.

And here's the other bowl. It's our centerpiece on the dining room table. Good thing we don't drink punch.

And I'll take this opportunity to show you my Norman Rockwell Christmas Village. This is supposed to be Main Street in Stockbridge, MA. I love Norman Rockwell and the one place I want to go before I die is the Normal Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. ( Hey...the trip will be a lot cheaper than Hawaii or some other exotic location.) Please ignore anything that might be knocked over. For some reason the cats love to stroll down Main Street.

And here's the church.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

MEET ZOOM...Our Newest Feline

In October I was walking out of Interfaith Caring Ministries Resale Shop on Bay Area Boulevard in Webster when a man came running after me. "Ma'am, could you do me a favor and drop this kitten off someplace?" I turned around and saw this tiny bundle of fur in his hand and "he/she" was obviously sick. Both eyes looked bad, but the right eye looked horrible. They were runny and red and the right eye had a white coating. He claimed to have found it behind the shopping center. I couldn't walk away. Instead I took the kitten and drove straight to my Veterinarian's office. I must have been wearing my Crazy Cat Lady sign that day or certainly the man would have chased down someone else.

She weighed only 13 ounces and was dehydrated. (Oh yes, it was determined "he/she" was a she.) She had an upper respiratory infection and a scratched cornea on her right eye which allowed the infection to get in. I was told there was a good possibility she'd lose her eye in which case they'd operate and sew the lid closed. So, I left with oral antibiotics, ointment for her eyes, and a package from Science Diet with kitten food.

We already had five indoor cats and a feral cat that's lived in our shed for seven years. I knew we didn't really need another cat. When I brought her in the house even my son said, "Mom, I'm not going to say anything about this one...she obviously needs a home." So, he helped me get her settled in the extra bedroom. After she had a drink and plenty to eat she went to sleep in a the cat bed. She hardly got up that first day, but after that she obviously started feeling better.

She ran all over the room and my husband soon named her Zoom. I wasn't sure how he was going to like me bringing home yet another cat, but she quickly won him over. Actually, he's now in the running for Crazy Neighborhood Cat Man. He's almost as bad as me.

She grew stronger every day and then got sick again. One day she stopped eating and felt very warm. Sure enough, the infection was back. They told me that's not unusual with kittens because of their immature immune systems. After another round of medication she was OK. Amazingly her eye cleared up.

Here she is in her cat bed. Poor baby must think it's her mother. She runs to that bed and sucks on the side while purring. This totally confuses our dog, Sophie, who hears the noise and assumes there must be food nearby that she's missing out on.

I hate to sound like Bob Barker, but please spay and neuter your pets. We have had all of our animals fixed (except for Zoom who's still too young) including MaMa (our feral) who we caught with a humane trap, had her spayed, and then released her back into the yard. That's called TNR...Trap, Neuter and Release in cat circles. For those who don't know, a feral cat is a cat that has had no human contact while a kitten and is untamed. Usually they're the kitten of a domestic cat that was dumped or abandoned. (I'll write more about MaMa at a later date.) Below is a picture of MaMa in the shed. If you'd like to learn more about ferals I would recommend reading An Unlikely Cat Lady by Nina Malkin.

Personally, I'd like to see all the humans that dump animals spayed or neutered too. They certainly don't need to be reproducing any more like themselves.

OK...I'm off my soapbox for today. Thanks for listening to something near and dear to my heart.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I thought I'd better quickly post this recipe while you can still find cranberries at the grocery store. Grab a few bags and throw them in your freezer for the rest of the year. That's what I do because I love this chicken.

Holiday Cranberry Chicken
(I make it year round.

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup flour
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
3 T butter
1 ½ cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup water
1 T flour
½ t. cinnamon
¼ t. salt
¼ t. allspice
¼ t. cloves
2 T. cider vinegar

Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. In dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour.

In large nonstick fry pan, melt butter over medium heat. (I use Pam instead.) Add chicken. Cook, turning once, to brown on both sides (about ten minutes). Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add cranberries, brown sugar and water to pan drippings. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Slowly stir into cranberry mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and comes to a full boil. Boil one minute; then reduce heat to low. Return chicken to skillet. Cook, turning once, until chicken is done and fork tender (10 to 15 minutes). Serves: 8; Cooking Time: 30 minutes.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Organizational Skills Needed

My friend Karen really wants me to start quilting. How can I possibly quilt (or do anything else for that matter) on this table? My organizational skills are really lacking. I've just got too much stuff!

I was standing in line today at the grocery store and looking at all the magazine covers with stories on organizing. Then the Container Store sent me their catalog last week. It's starting to look like a big conspiracy. Are they trying to make me feel guilty about all the mess and clutter around here? If so, it's working.

I've tried Fly Lady. link

I like the concept, but all the E-mails drove me crazy. Sure, I guess I could read from the site, but I know wouldn't. :)

I've got to declutter. It's just that every time I get fired up and get rid of stuff I usually end up having regrets. Last year I rented a small storage room and it's already full. I decided the Christmas boxes were taking up too much room in closets. With the heat and humidity here I can't really store too much in the attic or garage. How I'd love a basement. I'm so envious of people with basements, but they just don't have them here.

And the dolls! I was really a whole lot more organized before I got into doll collecting. Yes, the dolls take up space, but all the doll accessories are what's really killing me. I enjoy changing their clothes and setting them up in scenes, but all their stuff takes up a lot of valuable storage space. There are plastic containers stacked in closets, under the beds, in every nook and cranny. HELP! I want to go back to being the neat freak that I was at one time.

Oh yes, I went to the mall first thing this morning and walked a few miles. I was so proud of myself. Then I went out to the car and found a note. Someone wrote that they had hit my right front fender and left their license plate number, the time, and date. The car was still there right up against my right front fender. So, I went back into the mall to get security to file a report. When we got back to my car the other vehicle was gone. I've since learned that the license plate number was no good. I joked with my insurance company about keeping the note for the DNA.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


My friend Karen suggested I do a blog about quilting. That would work great except I know absolutely nothing about quilting and wouldn't have the patience to cut and piece together small pieces of fabric. I'd go crazy! I enjoy looking at quilts, attend the Houston Quilt Show, and often walk through the quilt store, but that's as far as it goes. I'm the Queen of unfinished projects already. I still have a drawer full of unfinished cross stitch projects from the 1970's.

Instead, I thought I'd share a favorite recipe once in a while. If you're reading this then today is your lucky day...I hope. This is a recipe my entire family enjoys. It's a do ahead breakfast dish and wonderful for brunch or a special weekend breakfast. We've often had it on Christmas morning since it's basically done ahead of time and just needs to sit out for a short while and then popped in the oven.

Egg and Sausage Casserole

1 1/2 pounds pork sausage (Jimmy Dean)
2 1/4 cups seasoned croutons
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups milk
1 can mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms (I omit because my kids think I'm trying to poison them if they see pieces of mushroom.)
3/4 t. dry mustard
2 cups shredded cheese

Grease a 13" x 9" x 2" pan.
Cook sausage - brown and crumble.
Spread croutons in bottom of pan.
Spread sausage over croutons.
Combine eggs, milk, soup, mushrooms and dry mustard. Mix well and pour over sausage.
Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Spread cheese evenly over top and bake five minutes longer or until cheese melts.
Optional: garnish with cherry tomatoes, green onions, and parsley.