Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Bad Day at School

In trying to continue on my spring cleaning quest, I have been helping my youngest daughter go through her room. She has responded wonderfully, and hasn't even balked at some of the things I have suggested we either throw away or send to the thrift store. She is a little pack rat, and I think has kept nearly every little slip of paper that anyone has ever given her.

We have also come across quite a few little stories that she has written here and there. I save those because they are so cute. (Maybe it is from me that she has received her idea of saving nearly everything). In reading through her stories, I think she just might possibly be a writer some day. Ever since she was quite young, she would enjoy sitting down and just writing about various topics. The other day we came across this little slip of paper that she had written several years ago. All I can think is that it must have been at the end of a tough day of school. I have always home schooled her, and so I am hoping that instead this was just a little piece of fiction she dreamed up. She doesn't remember why she wrote it, but it certainly gave us a good laugh.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


The one thing I absolutely love about the arrival of spring, are the flowers. I never tire looking at flowers and they never fail to bring me joy. I have a number of "favorites", but way up on the top of my list has to be buttercups. I remember picking them each spring when I was a little girl on my way home from school. Somehow seeing a buttercup gives me assurance that spring has indeed arrived at last. How can anyone not have a smile come to their face when they see something as majestic as a simple little buttercup.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Laundry Day

Laundry is an inevitable part of life. Realizing that many years ago, I decided that the only way to tackle the job was to simply enjoy it. There is nothing positive about agonizing over laundry day. When I am doing laundry, instead of focusing on the unending repetitiveness of the task at hand, I think of how nice it must be for my family to always be able to reach into a drawer or closet and find clean clothes waiting for them. I enjoy seeing them walk around the house with socks that are white and clean. I also enjoy thinking of the simple pleasure that comes with using a fresh clean towel. This is an opportunity that I can give to my family and create a comfortable and pleasing atmosphere for them.

My personal laundry schedule is to gather up all of the laundry on Mondays and Thursdays. That seems to work out just fine for us. I try to get through all of it as quickly as I can before the next Monday or Thursday rolls around. Speaking of which, today is Thursday ..... I guess I had better begin my task of which I truly don't mind a bit doing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Little Sunshine

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. The temperatures got up into the high 70's. Considering that last Tuesday we woke up to snowfall with snow sticking to the ground, it was marvelous to get into the car this afternoon and notice that it was actually hot. This definitely put me into a spring/summer state of mind, and when I went to change my desktop background on my computer, this picture won hands down.

This is one of Debbie Mumm's free desktop backgrounds just in case you are interested.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lemon Pepper Marinade

Today is my father-in-law's 92nd birthday. Yes, you read it correctly, 92 years. Isn't that just an amazing blessing. He is in excellent health, and no one would ever guess that he has 92 years behind him. He has been the best father-in-law anyone could ever hope for, and he has indeed been a blessing to me.

I have been cooking for a large portion of the day today preparing for his birthday dinner this evening. At his request, we are having shish-ke-bobs (or is it shish-ka-bobs?). I will be preparing several skewers loaded with steak, others with chicken, and still others with shrimp. The chicken and steak have been marinating all afternoon in my favorite marinade recipe of all. My sister, Molly, gave me this recipe when I was first married, and it has truly never let me down.

Lemon Pepper Marinade
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup oil

Mix all together, and pour over your choice of meat. Leave in marinade for at least 3 hours, and most of all, enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Even though we woke up to a snowy morning yesterday with snow sticking to the ground, it was a definite sign of spring when the sun came out and all of the snow had melted by late morning. The sun has also been shining through my windows revealing that they are in desperate need of a good washing. Winter is over - spring has arrived at last. It is time once again to muster up the energy needed to tackle the spring cleaning. The reward is great though once this yearly task is completed. But for me, I'm always wondering just exactly where to get started. This year the windows have definitely been bumped to the number one spot.

There are many places on the internet where spring cleaning tips can be found, but here are a few of my favorites. The Farm Chicks have begun their cleaning, and even if you aren't interested in getting any particular tips, you ought to just pop over there if only to see the cute picture that they used for their post. Fly Lady is another popular spot for cleaning tips, as well as Tipnut. In addition to cleaning tips, Tipnut also lists many links where you can find household recipes for a wide variety of household cleaners.

I am of the opinion that when you set your mind to doing particular chores, you might as well do them cheerfully. Here is a photo of a very happy woman tending to all of her duties. I won't be wearing pretty dresses as she is while cleaning; but I will be trying to do them with a smile.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Not long ago I bought some fingerling potatoes from Costco. I couldn't resist the purchase of a bag filled with little potatoes, all different shapes, sizes, and colors. I remembered that my very sweet sister-in-law, Jill, had told me once that she had a great recipe for preparing them. She was right - they are great. I think that this is my new favorite potato recipe, at least for the time being.

Jill's Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

After washing and scrubbing the potatoes, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil (makes for very easy clean up). Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and rosemary (the amounts depend on your own preferences). Bake at 375 deg. until potatoes are tender.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

This morning when I arrived home from my morning workout at the gym, I was greeted by a very cheerful note taped to my window above my kitchen sink. My two oldest daughters had left it for me. They prefaced the note by telling me that they loved me, which always brings a smile to my face. The note went on to say that they had made a batch of peanut butter cookie dough, but hadn't had time to bake the cookies before they needed to leave. They said they intended on baking them when they returned home this afternoon. The dough was in the refrigerator, and if I wanted to have a fresh baked cookie for lunch, to go ahead and enjoy it. Of course I didn't want to disappoint them, so two cookies were popped into the oven to bake - one for my youngest daughter, and one for myself. The recipe can be found here or on the back of any jar of Jif peanut butter. You may be wondering the reasoning behind working out at the gym in the morning, only to arrive home and eat a fresh baked cookie. Well, I did only have one, and after all, isn't life supposed to be enjoyed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lemon Juice and Sunshine

This past week we took a little vacation to a nearby resort that has an enclosed water park. We had a great time, especially since we were all able to be together. After arriving home, and beginning to tackle the post-vacation laundry, I saw what appeared to be rust stains on my son's swimming shorts. He said that while it was hanging to dry one day, it had been touching a big decorative copper plate that was part of the hotel's decor. I tried one of my two favorite spot removers on it, and it didn't even begin to take it away. I then tried my other favorite spot remover; but once again, no luck. So I got online hoping to find a solution. I found one stain removal guide that suggested rubbing the stains with a fresh cut lemon and then allowing it to dry in the sun. My first problem was that we had no sunshine. I went ahead and rubbed the fresh cut lemon on the stains, and once it stopped snowing, placed his suit outside knowing that there must be some sun up above the clouds somewhere. I was totally amazed with the results. I did repeat the process a couple of times (probably because the sun was doing its best to hide its face), but now there are absolutely no traces of the rust stains.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scotty Dogs

My two oldest daughters are very talented when it comes to a needle and thread. They are also very familiar with my mother's fondness for little black scotty dogs. So when her birthday rolled around this past month, they put their fingers to work, and came up with these:

They are actually available as a free pattern over at Allsorts. Needless to say, my mom was very pleased when she received them.