Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!!

Hey everyone, have a safe, sassy & spirited Halloween weekend!
Mine has already gotten off to a great start.
~ The AZ bloggers luncheon was amazing. (pics to come)
~ We made a brief appearance at Shawn & Nicole's Halloween party. It was a smash hit. Emolyn made three costume changes throughout the night! She was quite the hotdog! I'm serious, she was a hotdog. And speaking of going gaga over my granddaughter, word has it that Lady Gaga actually made an appearance after we left. HE was quite the sensation. Now that's creepy. (pics to come)
~ And the Wine & Cheese Party was perfect. Old and new friends connecting over backyard fire pits. Sipping good wine and devouring delicious appetizers. I even had my first piece of pumpkin pie w/ whipping cream! The best! Thanks John & Suzi! (pics to come)
And yes, my heart is filled with love & gratitude this morning.

Friday, October 30, 2009

this 'n that

~ the last couple mornings I woke up to 38 degree temps! I know. It's actually been colder here than in Wisconsin. And I'm lovin it!

~ I spent the last couple days fluffing my little cottage on wheels. I'm determined to decorate with what I already have. But then...

~ I found the perfect 70's welcome mat at Goodwill on Wednesday. Marked at $7.99. No way. But it was 1/2 off all purple tags. Still no way. But at 9 am yesterday it was 99 cents. Ok, now you're talkin. And SO worth the gamble. It was still there. Don't you just love it? And you're thinking, heck ya it was still there! Who else would want it! Ok, I'll admit, I wasn't too worried.

~ I love pork. So I made my yummy pork & scalloped potato skillet meal last night. So yummy!

~ I had planned to go buy some Rhodes frozen dinner rolls and fresh rosemary so I could make THESE to go with the meal. I didn't get around to it but I will someday soon. Cuz how can you go wrong cooking in cast iron. Randy & I both grew up with Mom's that cooked with cast iron and now I do. And my daughter-in-law does too.

~ I'm attending an Arizona Bloggers luncheon today. I can't wait to tell you all about it!

~ And a Wine & Cheese tasting party tonight. Good times.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bo's Cafe & Pioneer Woman Cooks

~ Got my Pioneer Woman Cooks in the mail yesterday. I can hardly believe that a week from tonight REE will be signing this very book, only a mere 2 miles away at Changing Hands Bookstore here in Tempe, AZ! Wasn't she adorable on the Bonnie Hunt show?

~ Speaking of book signing... on Tuesday night we attended the BO'S CAFE book signing/release party! Wow! What an amazing, special night! Trust me dear blogger friends, GO BUY YOURSELF A COPY of BO's CAFE! Right now! OK, first check out their awesome, interactive web site HERE. The book is available at any chain bookstore, Walmart and of course Amazon. When I finish the book I will be writing a book review... so you'll want to read it for yourself so you can let me know what you thought too.
It was written by my dear friend and teaching pastor John Lynch along with Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol whom we have known for many years. These are very important men in my husband's life... John being Randy's very best friend for the past 25 years.
The publishers of THE SHACK have made BO'S the follow-up book to THE SHACK. Isn't that wild! Oh, and the author of THE SHACK, William Young spoke at the BO'S release party Tuesday night and also gave his endorsement of Bo's Cafe.
So, like I said GO BUY BO'S CAFE and you'll know why I am so passionate about everyone reading this very important, thought-provoking book.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

our cozy cottage is home

She's home! The guys brought her home safely. Randy says she pulls like a dream. That's a good thing.

Look at my kiddos and grandkiddo lounging on the bed. Are they not the cutest! We sure missed Nicole being with us for the cottage reveal. Poor Emolyn didn't know what to think of a house on wheels, but in time she will grow to love her little playhouse.

But we sure had a fun day together. Several sweet photo ops. Emolyn loves her baby dolls and takes them everywhere she goes.

She loved the park, especially walking barefoot on the playground sand, the grassy park and the basketball court.

At one point she noticed she had pockets and was determined to work her little hands inside those pockets. Cracked me up.

After bath time, we put her in the cutest pj's for a photo shoot with the Halloween quilt that her Mommy made for Randy. We love getting that lap quilt out each year.

I grew up with a jewelry box similar to the one I found recently at my little thrift store. Emolyn loves to watch the little ballerina girl twirl round and round to the sweetest music.

And occasionally she has to take the ballerina girl off the pedestal to give her a little kiss. Just melts me.

Just before the guys pulled in with the cottage, Miranda read her niece several books. Emolyn loves books.
Btw, had a fantastic women's retreat weekend. Came home refreshed, renewed and refocused. Such good stuff. Still processing it all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Cozy Cottage on wheels!!

Can you believe it! She's ours!
You know how much I've talked about one day having my very own cozy cottage in the woods? Well, my dream has come true! Only this is my cozy cottage on wheels... that will transport me to the enchanted forest of my dreams. Ok, so I got carried away... I meant the woods.

How cute is my little 1976 Travette travel trailer! Like way cute. Like, talk amongst yourselves way cute! Like... ok, you get my drift... my cozy cottage is way cute!
I know, it's not the '56 Shasta of my dreams. They either cost a pretty penny... or they need total restoration. This one was hit the road ready and totally within our budget. And the whole 70's motif? It's growing on me. Throw in some tangerine orange and you've got my kitchen colors when I married in '79. (aka Tupperware colors)

Here's the scoop-

~ found her on Craig's List
~ located near Chino Valley
~ that was the main reason for our 356 mile Sunday drive
~ it was love at first sight
~ totally restored to our satisfaction
~ the bench seat & cushions make into a queen bed
~ a 13 footer which was exactly what we wanted
~ only $1100.00. Such a sweet deal!
~ fits in our side yard perfectly
~ and doubles as Emolyn's playhouse

Randy & I are so excited to take it up to the Mogollon Rim and experience our first rainfall inside our cozy cottage. Can you imagine the sound of the rain pelting on the aluminum roof? Heavenly.

Basically she's a step up from camping in our van. We are now camping in a travel trailer where we can actually sit at our table and play cards, watch dvd's, share meals, scrapbook, write blog posts on my Mac, sip mugs of hot chocolate, read books... whatever suits our fancy! And when we're tired, we make it into a queen bed, turn out the lights and call it a day. Heavenly.

So, my awesome husband and cute sons are bringing her home today. And I get to spend the day with Emolyn while they make the road trip up north... praying they make it home safely.
And in case I don't say it enough... thank you Randy! I love you. You're my favorite husband ever :)

All of the above pics were taken upon meeting her for the very first time. Ain't she a beauty!

Friday, October 23, 2009

wickedly cute

The other night we had a family dinner. A dinner high in iron quite frankly. And why you ask? Well, the next day we were giving blood at our church blood drive and the last couple times I have tried to give I was turned down because of low iron. And this time? Well, as they say three's a charm! In fact my iron was very good. YEH!
Could Emolyn be more wickedly cute! I think not.

This was actually the first time I was able to successfully give since I contracted the West Nile Virus 5 years ago. It was discovered when they were testing the blood I had given at a bloodmobile over Labor Day at our local Mall. By the time they called three days later I was very sick. Long story short, I had gotten bit by the mosquito exactly two weeks before I got sick. We were visiting friends and next door was a green infested swimming pool and we were all getting bit. The reason I remembered it so vividly was cuz we had just gotten back from WI and I had not gotten one bite in the whole two weeks we were there, but I get bit in Phoenix. Go figure.

Anyway, I was sick for two weeks and after calls from various agencies I was asked to take part in a study where I gave blood a couple times a month for a year. And I got paid $30.00 each time. How cool is that! I couldn't give for three years after that. And then when I was finally able to, my hemoglobin was too low.
But not this time!!

So, I am off to our Women's Retreat this weekend at Lost Canyon near Williams, Arizona. Where it is very cold and I will need to wear cute scarves and drink hot beverages. I know! Finally!

*** OH, and I have some exciting news to share with you all on Monday. VERY exciting news! I could give you a hint, but then you would guess and that would spoil the fun. But trust me when I say, it's BIG. Ok, I'll give you this much... something on my bucket list came to fruition. And it will facilitate the fulfillment of other things on my bucket list. See, I've shared too much already.
Feel free to take a stab at it if you want.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday drives

Shortly after I started my blog in 2006 I did a post about Sundays... then & now. Clic the title and read about my Sunday memories growing up on the farm. Well, as I said in that post, Sundays are way different now than the Sundays of my youth. Sundays are a long work day for my husband. He's the worship pastor at our church. So he's out the door by 6 am for rehearsal/sound check and then followed by three services. He's home around 2 pm. Tired and done for the day.

Well, last Sunday he didn't have to lead worship so after 2nd service we took a Sunday drive. A good old-fashioned Sunday drive. A first of many future Sunday drives. A 356 mile Sunday drive to be exact. And it was glorious! We both needed a change of scenery and a change of scenery we got!

Arizona is sooo beautiful... so unique in its varied terrain. The mountains were full of color. The winding canyon roads from Mingus Mountain to Jerome took my breath away! The drive from Camp Verde through Strawberry, Pine and Payson made my heart soar. Seriously, I was on such a high marveling at God's magnificent creation. Truly awe-inspiring.

And then to witness such a stunning sunset... if you ask me, a fitting climax to the perfect Sunday drive.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3-tiered wooden platter

My Dad is doing better. Thank you for your prayers. But I gotta tell you, I am wiped emotionally, mentally and physically. I spent a good part of the time going through hundreds of old pictures and found great comfort in looking through my Dad's life. We are putting together a slideshow of his life. It's something I have wanted to do for some time and the events of this past week forced me to get started. Of course we're praying we won't have to view it any time soon. But it's nice to have it ready when the time comes.

I thought I'd post my latest fall decoration. I've had my eye on this 3-tiered wooden platter at my little thrift store for the past month. It is rather large and marked at $5.98. Well, the other day a gal was packing away all the items that had not sold in the past month and I told her I was waiting for their half-off day to buy that. She then told me she'd mark it down to $1.98! I was like, I would have bought it at half-off. Too funny.

Anyway, I love it and have big plans for its many uses. I have a couple glass tiered platters, but it's fun to have a wooden one for outdoor use. Right away I filled it with dried gourds, leaves, acorns and pine cones. And then Randy & I had a spontaneous date last week and went to dinner at Culver's in Mesa and then drove further east to Hobby Lobby to buy a couple little pumpkins and acorns to complete my 3-tired arrangement. It is finished.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emolyn in overalls

Is there anything cuter than my grandbaby in overalls? I think not. I found these Old Navy overalls at my little thrift store and then found the cutest top at Kohl's to give it some pop. Of course her hot pink Crocs add even more pop to the ensemble, wouldn't you agree?

And what does she do right away? Slips her little hands in the pockets. That girl is killin me with her cuteness!

Love these two. Daddy & daughter.
My own Dad has been in the hospital this week with pneumonia. My heart has been heavy and sad and anxious. He has been in a nursing home for the past 4 months, in the later stages of Alzheimer.
So we pray... and wait on the Lord.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday chit chat

~ you can now read the stories behind my favorite finds... my gingham aprons, my Pyrex collection, my cozy cottage and Mrs. McGillicutty. Just clic the pics on the right and it will take you to a particular post from the past.

~ when I started collecting PYREX 25 years ago, they were in every thrift store. Not so much any more. They're now in the antique stores. Thankfully I got em while the gettin was good. Paid a quarter or no more than a dollar for each piece.

~ my Schwan's man informed me that they no longer carry Black Jack Cherry ice cream. What is this world coming to? My love for Schwan's is waning a bit... compared to THIS from a few years ago.

~ best part of being laid up last weekend? I got to watch the PBS National Parks series. So awesome hearing the stories about what went in to preserving our natural wonders... whether it was to preserve the land, the wildlife or the trees. I am now obsessed with President Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt was one of the first Presidents to make conservation a national issue. In a speech that TR gave in Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he outlined his views on conservation of the lands of the United States. He favored the use of America's natural resources, but not the misuse of them through wasteful consumption.
Thank you President Roosevelt!
And thanks to Ken Burns, we now plan to visit as many National Parks as we can in our lifetime.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Green Bay Packers

I am going to attempt to blog while watching the Packer/Viking game tonight. We'll see how that goes.
But hey, why don't I take a moment and give you a little history. Being a Packer fan was just a part of your DNA if you were born in Wisconsin. It still is. If you live in Wisconsin and you are of sound mind, you're a Packer fan. I was a Bart fan for most of my childhood and a Brett fan for the past 17 years. And for my 50th birthday my friends Don & Carol presented me with my very own Packer jersey. I love it and wear it every time the Packers play.

Anyway, you may not believe this but I remember the Ice Bowl. We could only get two TV stations on the farm back then. NBC and CBS. And poor reception at that. The game was on CBS December 31st, 1967. I had just turned 11. I actually remember that Bart Starr touchdown with 16 seconds left to win the game. Packers 21 Cowboys 17.

But you have got to check out these weather conditions at game time-
The 1967 game, played on December 31 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, remains the coldest NFL game on record in terms of actual air temperature. The official game-time temperature was −13°F / −25°C, with a wind chill around −48°F / −44°C. Using the new wind chill index put into use in 2001, the wind chill was −36°F. The bitter cold overwhelmed Lambeau's new turf heating system, leaving the playing surface hard as a rock and nearly as smooth as ice. The officials were unable to use their whistles after the opening kick-off. As the referee blew his metal whistle to signal the start of play, it froze to his lips. For the rest of the game, the officials used voice commands and calls to end plays and officiate the game.
The University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (then Wisconsin State University–La Crosse) Marching Chiefs band were scheduled to perform the pre-game and half time shows. However, during warm-ups in the brutal cold, the woodwind instruments froze and wouldn't play; the mouthpieces of brass instruments got stuck to the players' lips; and seven members of the band were transported to local hospitals for hypothermia. The band's further performances were canceled for the day.

Wow, I can't imagine playing in such conditions... football OR a musical instrument! But the Packers definitely had the edge... playing on the frozen tundra.
What a game. What a story.
And still considered one of the greatest games in NFL history, due in part to the hostile conditions in which it was played, the importance of the game, the rivalry between the teams, and the dramatic conclusion.

YEEHHH! Packers score. Game tied!

Vikings score before the half. And you know what? Good for Brett. Can't imagine receiving his bullets. But seriously, someone needs to tell him he's turning 40 next week. "Brett, for crying out loud, you're turning 40 next week!"

Well now, I think we can see where this game is going. But hey, I ain't going no where till that fat lady sings. And she ain't singing quite yet.

Uhh-oh, she's singing.
Thanks for joining me everybody. It's been fun.
Vikings 30 Packers 23

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fall in Phoenix

Hey everyone! What a weekend to be laid up. The temps have dropped and I've been stuck indoors after surgery to remove a lipoma from my thigh. I'm doing great, healing nicely. The worse part, other than being stuck in bed, was the 9 hours of no water or food before the 1 PM surgery.

I woke up Friday morning at 3:45 am, drank my last glass of water and proceeded to stay awake till the 1 PM surgery. Truly the longest 9 hours of my life. I was miserable, cranky, hungry, thirsty and caffeine deprived. My poor family.

Anyway, I decided the day before my surgery I would decorate for Fall. I was inspired by my visit to Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. Let me tell you, they do it up big-time. I kept trying to figure out ways to get corn shucks, pumpkins and gourds home.
The above water pump was a gift from my Dad several years ago. It's huge and barely fit in our van. Randy then wired it so that it's a water feature. Love the sound of running water coming from the backyard.

What a treat to unpack after-Halloween thrift store finds. This lighted Disney jack-o-lantern was found at a yard sale last year and was a total surprise while I was unpacking. We're a Disney-lovin family! SO guess what? We booked our tickets for a family Disneyland vacation Nov. 6-8th!! SO excited!

Don't you just love the packaging on this wine bottle? We have yet to enjoy this apple cider wine that we bought at a winery in Door County, WI a few years ago. And it's served warm. Hey, I even bought THIS so that I could continue to use the bottle after we finally consumed its goodness. Hey, this could be the year. Cheers!