Monday, April 23, 2012

Blues In The Night

Blues In The Night has always been one of my favorite records (and I am talking vinyl and 45's long before CD's and iPods). For some reason the melody has been running through my mind today. Not sure why, but I think perhaps it has to do with getting sad news about three friends last week. One friend's husband has prostate cancer and will have surgery. One friend had to have a mastectomy last week just before moving out of her recently sold home on the 28th. The third friend has lung cancer and a number of other health issues putting him in the hospital and then to a rehab facility. All three individuals are much younger than I am, and I am struck once again by the seeming unfairness of life. About six weeks ago another younger friend suffered a massive stroke and has a long road to recovery ahead of her. I am so sorry that these misfortunes have befallen them because all of them are among the best people I have ever known. People of faith say that God does not give us any more than we can bear, and I am so hopeful that all of them and their families can bear these illnesses. Because we all live miles and miles apart, I am not able to help them in the ways I once could and would have. Instead I have placed them on prayer lists at various churches and asked my local friends and neighbors to pray for them as well. Today I saw my own doctor who said he does not need to see me for another year so I am once again reminded of my many blessings, and I am thankful.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark, Levon Helm, and Stanley Rizor RIP

Learning of the deaths of these three men is a reminder that life is indeed fragile. They were from very different walks in life and yet they all made significant contributions to us and to our country. If you do not know who they are or what they accomplished in their lifetimes, I suggest you Google them and read about them as they were extraordinary men. May their souls be blessed and light perpetual shine upon them and grant them peace this day and evermore.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another Talented Artist To Admire

Today I watched Monica Lee interview Sarah Jane of Sarah Jane Studios. Sarah is a delightful person who exudes talent, confidence, and ambition for the future. She illustrates children's books, re-creates wonderful vintage children's art, designs fabrics (her new collection is coming out soon), and she makes embroidery designs. She is married, has three young children, maintains an ETSY shop and her own online website, takes lovely photographs which appear in her well-written blog, and has lots of other ideas and plans for future work. Sarah Jane Studios is very successful which is understandable. I encourage you to visit the website and see Sarah's charming original artwork. I think great things are in store for this gifted young woman, and I wish her tremendous continued success.

Monday, April 16, 2012

........But I Want A Video Camera

My camera is a very basic model because I have been afraid to invest in something with more bells and whistles since photography has never been something at which I am even adequate. My father bought me my first camera when I was 8 years old. It was a little Brownie Hawkeye, and I snapped pictures of all kinds of things. In those days film processing was not something my allowance would cover so I had to be frugal in purchasing film and persuading my parents to pay for the developing of the pictures. When my own children were small I received a Polaroid Camera which developed the pictures quickly.......alas, my skills were not improved. In my family I was always the last person asked to take pictures because experience taught everyone that I would cut off the heads of the subjects, take a picture of my own fingers in front of the lens, or that my hands would shake producing blurry results. I see so many wonderful pictures in ETSY shops, on websites, and in blogs and Pinterest. I watch wonderful video clips on U-Tube or in blog posts. I have an idea for a project which would require a video camera. I think perhaps with a tripod I might be able to stabilize the camera and have acceptable results. I would have to learn how to edit the videos. I have been watching Heartmade Blog's Mayi Carles Vlogging 101 videos which are most helpful. April of Blacksburg Belle and Mayi Carles have advised me about the types of video cameras they use so now I have a place to begin shopping. Annemarie of Brunch At Saks also answered my inquiry about the equipment she uses to take photos for her lovely blog so I now know more than I previously did (at least about for improving my skills....not so much). Wish me luck, and if you have any suggestions or opinions about digital cameras or video cameras please share them with me. I need all the help I can get!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Like Mother Used To Make

As May approaches with the celebration of Mothers' Day, my own mother has been very much in my thoughts this week. She was an amazing woman who left us a few months before her 91st birthday. Among her many talents were baking and sewing, and she did a lot of both in her lifetime. When my daughter was little she wore sweet little dresses my mother made for her. My mom was a wonderful seamstress who made many of my clothes when I was growing up and then did the same for my children. She could sew with or without patterns, and she could make anything from tiny hand- embroidered "angel tops" to prom dresses with yards and yards of fabric. Sometimes the simplest styles made of pretty fabrics were the sweetest of all her creations. In tribute to many happy memories of my mother, we have included some simple little dresses in both our ETSY shop and our website. White eyelet embroidery, pink tonal prints, blue tone-on-tone, lavender/pink floral print, navy blue gingham, and light blue striped denim are some of the fabrics we used for spring and summer styles.
Visit and to see more, and we will be adding some others soon. Mint green with white polkadots, blossom eylet embroidery in pink, blue or yellow, and little sun dresses that have either matching panty or sun hat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Perfect Recipes

If you enjoy entertaining friends and having them give rave reviews about your cooking, then you must try Ina Garten's recipes. Her Baked Shrimp Scampi is the perfect choice ( Do all of the preparation ahead of time, and then pop it in the oven 12 to 15 minutes before serving dinner. Accompany it with Orzo (al dente takes only 9 minutes), asparagus or haricorts verts, and Ms. Garten's Cape Cod Chopped Salad and dressing (which can be prepared early in the day). Add a scrumptious dessert such as Tiramisu, and your guests will shower you with compliments. Ina Garten's recipe books are beautiful to see, her recipes are delicious and fail-proof, and her videos are so helpful (she makes everything look so easy). In addition to viewing her recipes on the Food Network website, also visit her website at to see her books, more recipes, and learn more about this talented woman. I am a huge fan and think you will become one after you serve Baked Shrimp Scampi and Cape Cod Chopped Salad with her special dressing. I hope you will give me your comments after you try some of her recipes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Life Is What Happens While We Are Making Other Plans

The title of today's post is a saying I have often heard, but I have no idea who first coined the phrase. It really is true though, and today I am feeling it! With an old friend visiting from Chicago, gorgeous weather here in the desert and lots of plans with other friends during her ten-day visit you would think everything would be great........right? Wrong! For about the 6th time in the past 12 years I am having an attack of Vertigo. With the room spinning anytime I move my head it is like being on a never-ending amusement park ride. The spinning makes me nauseous so it is like having motion sickness only I am not going anywhere. I am missing all the fun and feeling a bit cranky about it. Then I remind myself that this too shall pass. There are so many people all over the world who have much bigger, more serious problems than my Vertigo so I need to get over myself and just wait it out. Whether you enjoy Passover or Easter or neither this weekend I send you good wishes and a reminder that we should always count our blessings. I will be the first to take my own advice because I have much for which to be thankful.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Salmon Fishing in Yemen

Today I went to the movies with a friend who is vacationing here. She wanted to see Salmon Fishing In Yemen a film about which I had no knowledge. Actually it turned out to be quite interesting, a little slow in some places, but overall it was enjoyable. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blount are quite good in their roles. The scenery was both beautiful and at times depressing. They filmed in England, Scotland and Morocco. While I am not sure exactly what I should have taken away from the movie, I came away thinking that people from different backgrounds and cultures came together to undertake a massive project and executed it together very successfully. Then I thought what a pity it is that in real life we cannot do more "working together" instead of worrying about terrorists, nuclear weapons, and wars. Food for thought?