snippets of writing

Days Book

I've had no time to blog or journal lately, and I'm missing it. I bought a new Julia Cameron book (about art, writing and creativity), and I just want to sit and consume it. So, I decided I had to put the book in the cupboard (out of sight out of mind), so I wouldn't spend time READING and WRITING stuff. And then I remembered my Susan Branch "Days" book. It's an illustrated week-at-a-glance book with just enough space to write {a little something } each day and love doing it because of Susan's adorable illustrations (and fine quality paper). I've gone in spurts writing in this book, so I have snippets of different years mixed into every page. (I'm careful to always write the date including the year.) And, with spring just around the corner (hopefully sooner than later), the green leafy cover looks cute and 'seasonal' sitting on the kitchen counter or writing desk. Below is the link to the website of Susan Branch where you can buy the book. It can be a gratitude journal or a planner or a place to write down funny things people (especially kids) say or whatever you want to make it. I like this book (almost as much as I like parentheses lol).


my story

It's funny how, when you start to think of something, suddenly that thing you're thinking of appears everywhere. If I learn a new word, for example, I then see the word here, there, and everywhere - though I had never noticed the word nor known the meaning of it before. It just starts popping up once I become aware of it. You know what I mean, I'm sure. This phenomenon is the partly the basis for things like the "The Secret" and other affirmation philosophies. And, to a point, I believe in it.

So, awhile ago, I was asked to write a small program for a church women's event. I mulled it over in my mind for a week and kept coming back to the topic of "story."

My story. Our stories. Women's stories. My Grandma's story. Faith stories.

And, guess what - the subject of story is popping up everywhere for me! I mean, it's uncanny. I can't list all the stuff with the specific topic of story that has presented itself to me in the past two weeks, but I'm relishing every incident. Excitedly this afternoon, I read to Scott an email I had received - out of the blue - that said, "It's a magical thing to be able to, through telling stories, through the magic of their own communication, have the audience almost breathing in rhythm with the speaker."

My interest is piqued. Of course, I'm immersed in Google searches and website browsing. I'm getting too much material, but what a pleasure to read many different takes on one subject.

Here are a few lovely quotes (from brainyquote.com) I gathered this afternoon:

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Maya Angelou

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
C. S. Lewis

If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again.
Groucho Marx

I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.
Flannery O'Connor

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
James M. Barrie

The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.
Abraham Maslow

I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again.
Elie Wiesel

Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it.
Marianne Williamson


having a 'snow' ball

When I looked out the back door at midnight tonight, I was surprised to see that the snow was still falling - has been since about 6:00 pm. I took my camera outside to get photos of the deep snow piling up on the lantern and stair rails.

I looked up just in time to see my son Mike with a snowball in his hands. He started pelting me with snowballs and laughing his head off at my protests. I was holding my camera and trying to duck and yelling at him to quit it! He was having too much and completely ignored my pleas that he stop.

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Happy Valentine's Day

"No heart so true as mine for you." This is a card that I've had for years and love because of colors - the mix of blue and tan with the red and pink. I put it in a pretty gold frame - it's a favorite Valentine decoration.

Yesterday after church I had Mike take a few pictures of Scott and me. I'm making a scrapbook page for my "One Little Word" class and needed a recent photo. It was painful for everyone involved, but we managed to get one good shot. Most of the time, one or the other of us was talking or moving - or goofing off.


~ PiLLow LoVe ~

I'm not sure if I've mentioned how much I love buttons. Well, I do love buttons. And patchwork and ribbons and black and pillows. And that's why I love the pillows my friend Teresa Lewis makes. They are d-a-r-l-i-n-g. I was the lucky one to get Teresa's pillow as a gift at our Christmas Sew & Sew's party. Yes, everyone was searching for the gift bag that might be from Teresa. And I got it. (I also have her fall and Halloween pillows.) My new LOVE is the Valentine pillow Teresa made for me. Just look!

Have you ever seen so many cute buttons and baubles. How DOES Teresa have the patience to sew them all on?

Teresa - luv you - thanks for making me happy every season of the year!

If YOU need a pillow for a special occasion just email Teresa - it's on her blog. She makes wonderful pillows for bridal showers that have the names of the bride and groom in custom colors. And if you need an extra special birthday gift - you know who to call.


inspiration! red and white dinner

Check out my good friend (and co-Cut the Crazy Out of Christmas author) Norma Olsen's red and white table decor. This is actually from Christmas, but it would be equally darling for a Valentine's Day celebration. I love, love the red rick rack and white buttons.

Every year Norma goes all out for her Christmas Eve dinner. She chooses a theme and enjoys making it a surprise for her family. When the kids were little, they went skiing or bowling with Herm (Norma's husband) so she'd have time to get everything ready. She blocks off the kitchen and dining room with a blanket over the door so the beautiful decorations are a surprise. This year, Norma got inspiration from a post on the Cut The Crazy blog. She said that when she looked at our blog post, the ideas started to click. Soon she had a darling table to go with her wonderful meal. Suzie and I ran into Norma at the store, and she invited us to come over and enjoy her surprise.
Norma loves vintage and antique things - mixed with modern "finds."
She used dishes she had and added a few new pieces that worked with her theme.
She stayed with a red and white theme.
Even the chairs were decorated. I love that the wreaths are tied on the back of the chair.
The red berries were in Norma's yard!
The centerpiece was so simple yet elegant.
Norma hunted around and found the red and white old-fashioned bottles at antique stores.
The red rick rack had buttons scattered along it and went all the way down the table.
Even the antique high chair (a family heirloom) is decorated.


can't wait for the e-trade baby

Scott and I laugh out loud when these ads come on. They just hit both of our funny bones for some reason. That talking baby and the looks on his face and his words and how he says them are just plain funny.

"...and that milkalcoholic Lindsay wasn't over?" "Milka...whaaaat?"

I think this is the new ad - the one where the baby spits up while talking, then says, "Whoa." Maybe I find it hilarious because it reminds me of my first baby. Whoa.

You can Google these and watch the You Tube vidoes. I just don't know how to add them to the blog.


:: valentine treat time ::

We sure need another excuse for baking and eating treats don't we?! Hooray for red and white (and pink!) holidays!

I'm inspired by the darling way these cupcakes are decorated. Just look at all the variations using just white frosting and red and white sprinkles. I'm printing the photo above and pasting it in my recipe binder. These cupcakes might even be prettier than they taste. EXCEPT...they're almond flavored - one of my all-time favorites. Wow! A cupcake with almond paste in it? Oh, yummm. (I might have to bake these...in spite of the 'hate-to-cook' post that I wrote last week.)

Almond Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 sticks (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3-1/2 ounces (1/2 package) almond paste
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In another medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, almond paste, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until blended. Stir in the vanilla.

4. Spoon half of the batter into a ziplock bag. Snip a 1/4-inch corner from the bag and fill the liners two-thirds full. Repeat with the remaining batter. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pan, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely.

Recipe and images from Love to Cook/Kitchen Kneads store - Logan, UT and marthastewart.com