Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dear Gracie, "Aunties" are Such Special People.......

Dearest Gracie: Here are some pictures of your wonderful Aunties, who will be such a part of your life in the future..... They will mean SO MUCH to you, just as my special, wonderful, extraordinary Aunt Nita, meant to me. They are OH, SO SPECIAL, cherish them forever, they have a special place for YOU in their hearts. !!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Celebration for Gracie !

Our sweet Grandbaby (and I do mean GRAND) was Baptised (I just looked that word up, and either baptized or baptised CAN be considered the proper spelling) Anywho, Our little girl had a big day, with all her relatives there, and then a party after the service. She really seemed to have fun, even foregoing her naptime....

The Deacon who performed the baptism was the same one who performed Teddy and Diane's wedding, 5 1/2 years ago. He commented that he was thrilled to do the baptism of their precious little girl.

She was really good during the ceremony, and only covered her eyes to keep the water from getting in them (her favorite reaction to the bathtub !)- Her mom and dad sure got a laugh out of that one !

We did the Photo Op afterwards, and then headed around the corner to Gracie's house for eats. It was so fun getting to talk and share with both families together, and most of Ted's and Diane's friends, too...

The highlight for me, the Grammy, was when I held her after the service, in her beautiful long flowing white lace dress. I began to sing her favorite song, " I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas", and she went wild "Doin' her dance" which is moving her belly back and forth, with her arms straight out to the side !! She's such a hoot !! WE LOVE YOU LITTLE GRACE !!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

When the cat's away.......

While my Hubby was off to Mississippi playing golf this week, I've been keeping myself mighty busy. Two more lunches, with friends, and a bunch of baking, which I love to do when I have plenty of time. (This bread is called "Dilly bread", it has dill seed, and minced onion. I remember the great times making this with my mother-in-law, Alma, in her kitchen in Cape Girardeau, MO.)

I've been shopping for our booth at the Antique Mall, which should be up and running by February, and also, off collecting interesting "finds" to put onto ebay....

I spent the last night at my sister's beautiful home, about 1/2 hour away, and we stayed up til after 1:00 am, just laughing and talking, and remembering stuff from when we were kids.

This is why the pictures are so DIVERSE .......

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just a fun Monday- MLK holiday !

All the schools are off today, so of course, we MUST go for lunch. What started out as a large group got whittled down, here and there, because many people had other stuff they had to get done that day.... Anyway, we had fun just the same.... I introduced a few more folks to my fav place in Maplewood, called Minions Cafe, in the old Red Lead storefront. We visited, and caught up with each other's exciting news, tee hee.....

Later that afternoon, with camera still in purse, I visited my local Goodwill, and snapped a few pics of the girls that help me out there....

Behind the register is Nicco, and the two hamming it up for the camera are Ramona, on the left, and the new little mother, Dominique on the right...... They really are a fun group up there !!!! I really enjoy them ALL
Judy Westrich, fellow retiree,organized this little soiree, and lo and behold, she couldn't even Make it !! It appears her sweet husband, Damian, had an attack from his appendix the day before (actually it was the middle of the night by the time he went "under the knife") Anywho, We want to wish Damian well, he's in our thoughts, and "sorry we missed you, Judy"-- (She is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good at getting everyone organized, and "rounded up" for these lunches) We'll catch you next time, Judy.......

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Last weekend.....

A month or so ago I encouraged my daughter to enter a photo contest at a gallery in St. Charles. (I am part of a yahoo group called CRITICAL MASS, which is very informative about all the arts, and things that are happening in and around St. Louis-that is where I heard about the show)

We had enlarged some of her travel photos from Tibet, and they were mounted on boards ready for hanging. She took them to the jurying and made the show... This is the first time she has gone through that process. Anywho, she took 3rd place at the opening last Sunday, which went along with a ribbon (big deal, you say) and a check , too.. She and her friend,Kristy, were there for the awarding of the prizes, as well as her dad and I.....

We stayed for a sip of wine, and a bite of cheese, and to look at the photos, and artwork, and mingle with the crowd, which was quite respectable.. When we were leaving - of course, I had to snap a picture or two for the blog- we got out the door, and the manager of the show came after us outside..... She said to Tracey, "The comments about your work were very positive, and many people took the time to leave their impressions of your photos." Off the record she said that the judge of the show had wanted to give Tracey the "Best of Show" award, but had not done so because her things were Not Framed..... (Afterall, it IS a frame shop and gallery that sponsored the exhibition) Oh Well, Tracey was pleased, and overall it was a pleasant learning experience..... But, AS MARTHA would say, "It's all about PRESENTATION", and I guess that's true in photography, too...... Ha!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Forgot to give you the RECIPE !

Here is the celebrated recipe that I forgot to include..... The dark spot is no doubt a spill of the bourbon- ha ! actually the cake doesn't taste anything like alcohol, cause if it tasted like bourbon, I'd never like it.. ( This goes back to an unfortunate experience in my college days as a Freshman!) nothing really bad, I just wasn't very knowledgeable in that department, and perhaps was a bit "overserved". I do know I've never been able to smell or drink it for lo these many years !! ha !

It seems as though I can not figure out how to SCAN my recipe and show you (thus, you cannot see the brown stain on the paper, so my former paragraph made absolutely NO sense) soooooooooooooooooooo I'll just type it for you-- Oh, please DO try it....

Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake
Most of the alcohol in this cake cooks off, but a distinct whiskey flavor remains.
Makes 12 to 14 servings.


1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup American whiskey`
2 sticks ( 1cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Special equipment: a 10 inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt capacity)
Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream
Garnish: confectioners sugar for dusting

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixure to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.

This cake improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead and kept, in a cake keeper or wrapped well in plastic wrap, at cool room temperature. It can be made up to 5 days ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

(whew, my corpal tunnel hasn't kicked up yet----thank goodness)

love that chocolate !

The most fabulous chocolate cake, IF you are a chocolate fiend, like me... It's made from scratch, which will drive people WILD, somehow.... They can't sometimes grasp the fact that cakes, etc. made from scratch are NOT THAT HARD !! and they are WAY better to eat, with less preservatives, and much richer taste !!

I serve this with "white ice cream" (don't laugh, that's what my mother called it) it's actually just regular vanilla. Anywho, it resembles the taste of the "wedding cake roll" of long ago, which was always sooooooooooooooooo good !! For those of you who are too young to remember, wedding cake roll was a layer of thin chocolate cake and a layer of vanilla ice cream, rolled up in cinnamon-roll fashion, and then cut into slices which look like black and white swirls... Delicious !!

This recipe is from, and there are thousands of on-line recipes you can try, if you log in, and sign up..... No need for cookbooks anymore--
The Sunbeam mixer is the one I found at Goodwill for 20. !! How lucky can you get ?!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My newest GIG...

Well, I might as well admit it, I have a shopping addiction... Well, not really, I guess, but I never need much coaxing to visit my local Goodwill Store, or the nearest, or even possibly farthest, Estate Sale or Garage Sale.!!

I find wonderful stuff--- Yes, some I can use myself, some I find for family members, (a shirt for my husband, that is especially super, good quality) for one of my children,(maybe a wonderful piece of exceptionally nice vintage well made furniture) or even stuff I can create art with(vintage paper items, or small relics that can go into my "box" creations). My latest finds have been for my sweet little grandbaby, who will "grow into" the toys that I just "can't pass up" and proceed to disinfect and thoroughly clean within an inch of their lives!!!!!

For YEARS I have thought about having my own little "store" in one of the antique malls, or Booths, as they call them... I've always thought that would be fun, and would make my hunting seem a bit more"Productive" I suppose. (At least I'd have a little more excuse to browse and look for treasures) To pick things that I think would sell, and maybe make a bit of profit really sounds like fun....... Anywho, I've always been so busy teaching school, that going to this extent was more than I could handle, but NOW, I'M RETIRED, soooooooooooooo I'm gonna give it a go.

Here are the first things that I have found and am getting ready to stock the booth with... My sister, who has done this before, is going "halfsies" with me, which will make it all the more fun and exciting.... Wish me luckkkkkkkk

Monday, January 07, 2008

Our "youngest" hits the big THREE-O (OH, NO!)

Well, Our last "baby" is now officially out of her 20's, and making us really feel old.

This was a fun weekend, hosting one of our daughter's friends, Magnus, who is an Architectural student from Norway. Tracey has kept in contact with him since they met last year in Llasa, Tibet, where Tracey was touring and Magnus was with a group of students studying the architecture of Tibet.

Magnus, and his friend, Guro, on a road trip traveling the U.S., stopped by for awhile in St. Louis. Guro, who was delightfully charming, works in Norway booking concerts and events, and was looking to find contacts here in the states, to do some work here, as well.

We had so much fun getting to know them, and learning about their culture. Both spoke English very well, taking classes in school in English since the third grade.

Being interested in architecture, Magnus was enthused to see and go up into the Arch. The three took in the Body Works Exhibit at the Science Center, as well as hitting a few of the local wine and jazz bars.

On Sunday, they helped us celebrate Tracey's birthday, with our traditional family dinner. It was great to have them be a part of the fun !

Now, they are "off" again, this time south to Nashville, and then Memphis, (Guro has an appointment to meet with some music promoters in Nashville), and then Texas, and a few more stops, and then off to California, where they will travel up to coast. Tracey traveled with them to Nashville and Memphis, and then she will return home by bus on Wednesday.

They have also included Minnesota and Chicago in their travels here, so they have seen quite a lot of America..

We enjoyed having you stay with us, and it was fun getting to visit with you both. ----

If you would like to follow their travels, they have a laptop with them, and make almost daily entries on their blog, which is:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Years Eve

Bringing in the New Year with friends that we have known for a very long time....

Friends and Family are the best part of the Holiday Season !!