Friday, July 31, 2009

Flashback Friday

My husband's father George Reynolds is on the right. Not sure where or when this was taken but I'd say it is either late 20s or early 30s. I am also thinking that this was in Washington DC where he grew up and returned to after having to leave the seminary. His father died in the flu epidemic and he had to come home and be another wage earner.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Peach Cobbler

There has been a lot of peach cobbler tweeting lately, and suprisingly to me, there has been no mention of the kind of cobbler that I make. I got the recipe from a cookbook given to my by my now-GA friend Stephanie. Her Dr. dad is a prof at Emory and the cookbook came from a fundraiser that the Woman's Club had. If you see this in a used bookstore, I'd suggest buying it. Really.

I am posting the recipe as written in the book, but true to the great tradition of 'messing with the recipe' I change it. I'm surprised I didn't write the changes on the page because long long ago a friend in Bangkok gave me this amazing insight. Sally said, "You can write in your own cookbook. It's YOURS!!" as she saw my horrified look as she modified an Indonesian recipe by writing In the Book! I treasure that page even more now, and Sally Hile wherever you may be... Thank you.

So what do I do to the following? (fwiw, I did make the original version to begin with and damn good it is.) I usually don't add much cinnamon..maybe 1/4 tsp, and I rarely feel like grating the nutmeg. Depends on my mood. What I do add to the milk is 1/2tsp of almond extract. I love the flavor of almond and think it goes quite well with peaches. Makes it a bit frangipane tasting I think.

(CLICK photo to enlarge)

There have been summers when I've made this cobbler almost daily in peach season and eaten more than my share and given away less than I could have. Before I was re-married, when I had young male (paying) roommates, I knew that a certain way to win their hearts was to make the whole recipe as an individual cobbler. You know the appetites of ~20yr old males! Bless their young metabolism. But as much as dh and I love it, we sadly know the days of eating this kind of thing daily are over. The scale and our waistlines tell the sad saga. But as soon as peaches come down in price and up in quality this year I'm bakin'!!! There are times when calories be damned. It'll be a salad week for sure and worth it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Clouds and Rain

There are still clouds in my life.

My friend Gloria is in the final days of her life and despite knowing that it is working out as it is meant to, it's still hard. What is almost harder is to watch all her other friends and family go through their own grieving process and the various ways they cope or don't cope. Years ago, I read Kubler-Ross on the stages of grieving and it comes back to me now. While I don't like drama, I accept that it is part of some people's nature and that they - and all of us - do the best we can with whatever tools we have at the time.

I really don't know what my role in all of this is but dh said maybe it's time for you to be Mother to a lot of people who might need one right now.

Many of us have also come to grips with the reminder that the unmanageableness of someone else's life doesn't have to cause unmanagebleness in ours. It's hard not to get sucked in but at the same time it's hard to just back off and let a person swirl in the chaos in their life. But detaching and not getting involved is about the only sane thing to do. Lots of us saw the domino effect of getting sucked in this past week. It was a major lesson.

Clouds still around, both outside and inside, but clouds often bring much needed rain or tears.

I Stand United4Iran

Friday, July 24, 2009

Flashback Friday

1960...Junior on the right ..only 15

And now the whole story.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So Much Stuff

Today my mind is aswirl with so much stuff.

Our friend who has had the heart transplant is not recovering, and the final days as she is moved to a hospice type situation are upon us. If you don't have a living will/Advanced Directive, do so! Gloria is just in her 40s so it really can happen and having your clear instructions as to what YOU want takes so much of the burden and potential disagreement off the family members. It still isn't easy carrying those instructions out when part of everyone wants to hope, but at the same time no one wants to see a slow and painful lingering in a limbo state for anyone.

I've been so glad to see my friend from GA finally be able to get up 'north' and see our mutual friend.Right now everyone seems to have Big Issues in our lives that make the simple plans more complicated than they ordinarily are. It's always so good to have another person make the hospital visit and then compare what we see to what we think and feel. We know, absolutely know, that God has a plan that we don't always see. That allows us to have trust that no matter how it seems, things are working out as they should be. At the same time, we don't have to minimize the pain and sorrow this current situation causes us.

Then we have our granddaughter in AZ. Now the doctors feel there is aplastic anemia AND something else...but they don't know what the something else is, yet. Sigh. I know this is devastating to Bekah's parents because a 90day treatment was supposed to start last night. For the first time, they were saying that Bekah is not in good spirits. What must if feel like to be so little, 5 yrs old, and not know why your bones are sick, and just not feel good at all. A day and a week are so long when you're little. Bekah's parents have a strong faith, but it hurts to hear them talk about being grateful for the time they have had as a family, knowing that they have looked at the possibility that it won't be for that much longer.

Betwixt it all, I am trying to keep my mind occupied with the digital classes I have taken. The two are now over but it's so great that the videos and other stuff are on line till there's no more net! So I leave you with that quote...Life itself is reason for joy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I missed this back in March

For some reason or tother, I haven't had Cathy Zielske's blog on my roll. Silly moi. I have signed up for one of her classes starting in September and so naturally I have finally been reading the blog. I knew I really liked her design style, but only recently have cottened to her humor style. Sometimes ya gotta pay attention. She's sly.

Well, when I saw her Penzeys' post, I was Oh yeah! The woman cooks! Scrolling down, I'm looking and reading and looking and .....bwahahaha. Funny, they don't sell that in the Falls Church store or maybe it's under the counter and you have to ask.

Can you imagine how much fun a live class with her would be? Wet the pants fun I'd think and I hope one will be in my future. One winter come East Cathy. It will be almost balmy for ya! Until then, why not join me in her on line class. I like classmates.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I finally did it!

I made my own template(s) and finally got an inspiration board made. I can't say these are the ideal pics for this inspiration board, but they were the ones I had open late at night. ( I see now that the IB needs a fine black line around it to show the parameters. )

I am sooo psyched!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Still playing

Between things I'm making and classes I'm taking, I'm having fun. I finished The Time Traveler's Wife and thoroughly enjoyed it. Fat enough to be considered a beach read (at home) in my mind. I now have The Spies of Warsaw which is also in a hardback version. I usually try to get paperbacks from the library or store so I'm not holding a honker of a book in bed. My wrists get achey! But I'm taking time this summer to go and sit downstairs in the afternoon and read. It feels quite decadent!

This was a ty postcard I made for friends who had us over for dinner. It sums up where I am now. (btw, it was then matted on a copper painted backing. Looked pretty good I thought.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm in School!

May have mentioned it here, but then again may not have. I have been so happy with my new PSE 6 that I finally decided it was time to take some classes. On line has really worked for me, and I started taking Renee Pearson's Just the Basics first. That's a weekly one and Week 3 started Thursday. Then Jessica Sprague offered her free (!) Frame-Ups & Special Effects class which started July 6. I had one day this week when I fell behind but the great thing is that the classes are on videos which you can go back to - forevah!

from Renee's Week 1

I wanted to take Renee's basic just to be sure I hadn't gotten into bad habits. I have read many of the techniques before but sometimes in following them it seems I'm missing 1 critical piece that leads to Major Frustration. I often cobbled things together but by then I was no longer enjoying the process. Fortunately with digital work, you're only wasting time, but hey...I could do lots of other things with time I've spent Grrrring at my screen.

from Renee's Week 2
Anyhow, doing these classes has had me use templates and designs I would not have naturally picked. Some of them will never be "me" but it was fun to do. Going outside one's comfort zone is always good and with art there are no failures, just experiences.

These below were using techniques from Jessica's classes. Recoloring, blending, playing with brushes. Each little 'truc' is an Aha! that's the step I was missing! So much fun.

This has actually encouraged me to go waaaay outside my comfort zone and take a Tim Holtz class. I waffled for a day or two and then committed to Nostalgic Memoirs at The Queens Ink in Savage MD.

Oh yes, I also finally started using Adobe Bridge. Love it for previewing digital elements. Now back to some reading of blogs and books - finally started The Time Traveller's Wife and am lovin' it.

Flashback Friday

Bangkok 1975

This girl how has an almost 3 year old daughter of her own.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What I've been Up To

Well yesterday was 07-08-09 for those of us who use that date format. In fact there was a time in the earlier part of the day that it was 04:05:06 in time and then later last night it was 10:11:12. Did you do something creative? I had a postcard swap to do and made this.

But then I forgot that I'd done it so I made this! which is the one I actually sent to the swap. Helps if you know what you've done but it was fun doing them both.

If you did something, I'd love to see it.

update: For Cathy and others the o4:05:06 is 4:05 and 6 seconds. Very digital time!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It never rains but...

It seems like it's almost pouring.

1.When I came home from the cruise I learned the details about a 40sumthin' friend who had a heart transplant.Gloria was only on the list for two weeks (!!!) when she had the transplant May 22nd. She has yet to wake up which is not a good thing at all. It's possible her husband may have to make one of those terribly difficult decisions. I visit and talk to her but it's hard to know if she is still 'there'. What must it be like if she is still in that silent immobile body?!!?

2.We found out about a week or so ago, that one of our granddaughters has aplastic anemia. She is getting frequent blood transfusions while waiting to see if her little brother can be a bone marrow donor. Such little ones with such serious, life threatening issues. Bekah and Michael are out in Arizona but their mom has put a journal up on the web for all to follow the daily ups and downs. I shake my head in wonder at the idea of trying to keep a home sterile to avoid infections when Bekah is home.

3.Another friend is very very sick and may be on the liver transplant list. She too has a compromised immune system and is prone to getting sick at the drop of a hat.

4.And what is that you saw at the start of this post? Half a tooth. I broke a tooth when I came home from Charlottesville today. It does feel as tho a lot of things are falling apart right now. I know it all will pass but some of these situations seem mighty heavy right now. The tooth just seemed to be a symbol of not being able to get a handle on so many of the other things.

Payers and healing thoughts are so very welcome.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Prayers Requested for Bekah

Our granddaughter has just been diagnosed with aplastic anemia and is waiting to see if her little brother can be a bone marrow donor. Fortunately, these two children have little or no fear and take it more in stride than their family. Bekah is getting regular blood transfusions now and we hear she is still her happy self.

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