Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I always freeze rhubarb for pies through out the year. They are usually a big hit at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners or rhubarb bread anytime. But I have always blanched it and then sealed it in freezer bags. So when I was recipe surfing on the internet, I ran across a site that said blanching is not necessary (much more work and makes rhubarb mushy). So I thought I would try it!
Instructions were clean rhubarb and cut into pieces. Put on cookie sheet (I put a plastic cutting sheet on a jelly roll pan. This made it easier to loosen pieces.) IQF Individually Quick Frozen.
When this was completely frozen, I broke up the pieces and poured them in freezer bags in the amounts for one pie. That way it is already measured. YUM!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Okay, so I kinda have a little passion for these flying critters! (Not the same passion my cat has for them! I do keep the feeders up high and safe, PETA, not to worry.) I counted 14 this morning which is a lot for me.

I had an ant problem to solve. This little green device really does the trick! It has insecticide in it which keeps the ants from coming up the post.

Hummingbird food: mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. No food coloring!

Stir real well.

Microwave almost to a boil.

Cool completely. I use ice if the birds just can't wait! Otherwise, I fill my sink with cold water. Transfer mix to a plastic container and stir or just let sit.

Fill feeder. For 14 of them(I think that's how many. It is kinda hard to count them because those little boogers are soooo fast!) I fill one feeder a day. Be sure to wash out your feeder each time. Sugar does tend to turn fast in the hot sun and ya don't need inebriated birds (they don't hold their liquor very well!) You can store it in the refrig. for up to 5 days. I, myself, would rather make it fresh I guess. Sure wish you could hear these chatty little things.... They are quite verbal, squeaky little things...

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So last month, after getting together at another house, I volunteered to have the next get together. I worked on the yard for a week, stuff I wanted to do anyway, but having company is definately the push I needed to get done. Then it was time to figure out the menu. I was recipe surfing on the internet and came up with this one from Paula Deen. She is my kinda girl, never afraid to use butter, ya know, the real stuff! I didn't even test drive the recipe, I just knew it would be a hit!

I added the fresh strawberries mixed with sugar, Strawberry Syrup and whipped topping
Cook Time 40 min Level: Easy
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (There were 10 of us, and we didn't finish the pan full)
Times: Prep 20 min Inactive Prep: 8 hr 0 min Cook: 40 min

1 loaf French
bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon
vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon
ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt

Praline Topping, recipe follows

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

I actually poured this mix between each piece and then when all mix was poured, I pushed down on the row of bread to squish the mix even more between the bread. I covered it with foil and stuck it in the frig.

I ran out of time so I didn't get pics of the praline topping. I just followed the recipe, it is real easy. The praline topping is a must. This recipe would be kind of dull without it. Also needs syrup of some kind. I served blueberry, maple or strawberry syrup along with Strawberries and whipped topping on it. SEE PIC.

Here's our new group of girls from the neighborhood (neighborhood = 15 mile radius). We all have one thing in common, a dear friend who has battled cancer and mersa. She is now on the up and up (She is the second one on the left). Barb is always just a hoot to be with and nothing, not even cancer, surgey or mersa is going to bring her down. She is truly an inspiration.

Everything was a big hit! I also served an egg and sausage casserole (recipe to follow in another post) and Mona brought fresh fruit, muffins and coffee cake. I made Whiskey Slush and we poured orange juice over it... it was delicious! Oh, you want that recipe too? Yes, indeed, I will stick that on the blog next! Excellent refreshing drink for the summer. I make mine with just enough whiskey for flavor (not a big head buzz), but YOU could add more.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


This piece was the very first piece I did. It is about 24" across.
I didn't cut any of the glass. I just picked it out of a huge box of scraps.
One of my bloggy buddies asked my how I got started in my art. I had to stop and think, art, I never saw myself as an artist! But I guess I am. I get the crafty thing from my mom and after spending some time with my daughter this year on our 2nd annual girl trip, I realize she has it too. Her words to me one day on that trip, "I wanna be like you and grandma, ya know, crafty, artsy. I love putting things together." My sister has it too!! Her scrapbooking talents are amazing. My mom's talent is card making right now, but she has been artsy all her life. I remember her always having some kinda project to work on. So maybe it is because we see each other enjoying the outlet "projects" give us.

My stained glass story, I will try and make it brief.
I was reading in the little brochure that the local college puts out, about a class in making stepping stones with stained glass. So I called the college and signed up my girlfriend who is always game for anything, and myself. That Saturday morning, as I was putting together my design, I was just overtaken with such accomplishment and excitement that I could put something together and have it look like nice( in my mind). I WAS HOOKED and I needed an outlet. My kids would both be out of the house, college bound, and I was going to need something to keep my mind busy. The instructor, Ruth Caven, drove an hour to teach the class. Over the next few years, I drove to her place several times to learn more about this fun and crafty medium. I have grown to love working with glass and cement. I am learning all the time, what works, what doesn't. I have found that it is more than just an art. It is actually a way of life. It has consumed my daily schedule. I have met so many people that share my same passion. I now have a GLASS COLLECTION, every piece of glass cutting equipment that I can afford, my own room filled with my obsession, and a happy husband, because when I am happy, he's happy!!!
So what is your craft? What makes you happy? Some of you are closet crafters, I just know it.... Please share......

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I just was cruising the blogs I follow, trying to get an idea for in the morning and lo and behold Lynn at Its a July Thing has done a blog called Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs. (GO TO THIS BLOG, LYNN HAS A WONDERFUL SENSE OF HUMOR IN HER WRITING AND SHE HAS KEPT ME IN STITCHES MANY TIMES.) This is a post I have wanted to do for a while. I was just waiting for the right time and thought I would find a few more signs, for instance deer crossing (I know where one of those are! I just haven't driven that way for a long time.)
Here are the few I took in Florida this winter and one from Galveston, TX.

The Keys, Florida
Leaving the Keys, Florida

Galveston, TX
I made my sister stop in front of a house in Galveston so that I could jump out and walk into someone's yard in order to get a GOOD picture of this cute little sign. Thanks sis!
If you have any other signs, please share..........

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


(Left click on the pic in order to enlarge it!)

I took several pictures of the storm rolling in the other day. When I went through the pics, this one grabbed me right away. I saw a face. See the nose and the chin and the inset eye... Let me know, what do you see?


Have you received one of these bills. it says, "This bill is registered with WheresGeorge.com". I thought what a clever idea. Kinda like when my kids were in grade school, we put their names and addresses in balloons and the kids sent them flying (a school project), hoping someone would find one and write back. They waited and waited and waited until they finally gave up. I don't remember anyone getting a response back.

Well, I was curious and it seemed harmless, so I bit. When I looked this up I got this message with a big red Norton Antivirus stop sign!
There is a problem with this website's security certificate.
The security certificate presented by this website was not issued by a trusted certificate authority.
Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server.
We recommend that you close this webpage and do not continue to this website. Click here to close this webpage.
Continue to this website (not recommended). More information
If you arrived at this page by clicking a link, check the website address in the address bar to be sure that it is the address you were expecting.
When going to a website with an address such as https://example.com, try adding the 'www' to the address, https://www.example.com.
If you choose to ignore this error and continue, do not enter private information into the website.
For more information, see "Certificate Errors" in Internet Explorer Help.

I just never understood the maliciousness of people. This could have been such a neat thing, very non threatening and maybe a bit educational and at one time, maybe this site was just fine, until someone screwed up the fun for everyone. I do heed warnings though, so I went no further (made that mistake once and had to wait for my son to come over and spend a few hours cleaning up my mistake!) So my suggestion, ignore the urge.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is who we call momma kitty. She has the WILDEST kittens every Spring (she's pretty wild herself). We never can find her litters until SHE wants us to see them. When they seem to be about 6 week stage, she brings them out of hiding, as if to say, "here they are, now you feed them!" I try to coax them out by putting food and water out for them. There are 5 of them this year and I had to sit in my suv close to the food plate, just to get a pic. They sure are cute when they are little!

Momma kitty, I know, quite original

Monday, June 22, 2009


We have had soooooo much rain in May and June. Everything is growing like nothing I have ever seen, but we need some sun, people! This week the news is reporting 90's and steaminess. This is SUMMER IN THE MIDWEST. I just want some sun and I want the grass to take a break from growing.
This is a sun stepping stone that I did for a friend. Here's a few pics to show you my process in making it.

My pattern, color coded and numbered

Pieces ready to be cut
Everything put together, in the form, ready for cement

Saturday, June 20, 2009


My youngest brother is missing from this photo. We are all 3 yrs. apart in the pic. Patrick is 14 yrs younger than me. I'm the one with the beautiful baby blue horn rimmed glasses(and they had sparkles in the frames!).

Sometimes I can't believe how long it has been since I hugged you last. I remember hugs the most, because everytime I hugged you, you would whisper in my ear, sweetheart, I love you.
There was never any doubt in my mind that I was special in your heart. We were all special. You made sure we knew that... Never spoiling one above the other and there were 5 of us, hard to believe, but you made each of us feel as if we were the chosen one in your eyes. But in all honesty, we knew your love was spread evenly. As you were losing the battle with illness, and our visits were just a couple of times a year, I understood how hard it was for you to keep a smile on your face and try to enjoy the time we had together. I choose to remember the good times, not the bad. I am amazed how often my son reminds me of you in his demeanor. Mom says the same thing. But he actually is just like his own dad too. So does that mean I married a man just like my dad? I tend to think so sometimes. It's the quality of the person that I admire in all three of you. Hugs to you dad. I love you and miss you, Happy Father's Day...


Knocked down from the storm. How sad.

Just a few sticks in the yard! Whew!!!!

We went up to Cedar Rapids yesterday afternoon. Our daughter lives up there and we haven't seen her for a bit. We visit her at work often. She works for Dick's Sporting Goods, Cedar Rapids. Now there's a store you can take your husband and you both are happy shopping in. A "something for everyone" store. (Back to the story). All the way up there (1 1/2 hr. drive) the sky was dark as ever, like a huge storm, but seemed to be going around us. While we were in the store, it hit, pouring rain. We waited it out for a bit then decided to hit the road. It wasn't bad driving in. All the way home (Took 380 to Riverside, then hit 22 and came in to Muscatine, ya know, the back way, instead of 80 to Wilton). We noticed the already weakened from the rain corn fields, looked like they were laying flat and everything was flooded. wow! The storm must have gone right through everywhere we were driving. all the way home! Got back to Muscatine, filled up with E85 down Southend, ya know, past the pink house (that's Sharons at Sweet Repose, Honest folks, her house is pink and cute and chippy, and all her!) Got a bite to eat at Good Earth (excellent food). Ran into neighbors while there and found out we had no power and huge storm went through our neck of the woods. So we bolted our food and raced home. Not much damage at all in our yard. My hubby will start checking the fields for downed limbs when he can get his 4 wheeler through the mud. There's someones trampoline 300 ft. in on a bean field. Weird!! So we got to try out the generator that my husband and the Electric Co. set up in case of no power. Quite amazed by that set up. In minutes we have power to everything and it all runs off a generator in the machine shed. Dang, even running HOT water!!! So we were watching the 10 p.m. news which by the way was running off generator power also, they said Nichols, IA had 4.3" of rain and 80 mph winds... Holy Smokes People! We drove right through there. That's why the corn was laying flat!!! Sure glad we weren't on the road then. The best part of all this was, I got to see my baby girl beaming as she showed her dad and I her engagement ring, a beautiful solitare diamond in the most dainty antique white gold setting. She wears a size 4 3/4 ring size, she is just a tiny one. Her husband-to-be picked it out all by himself, not knowing her ring size and it fit perfect!!! You did good my new son-to-be.....

Friday, June 19, 2009


So after all the rain we have had, I went to check to see what was floating in the garden. A while back my bestest friend from Florida, she goes by many names, but I call her mom, said , "show us some pics of your garden". Well, this garden has been quite the project from day 1! We have never been big gardening people (I know we live on a farm, but it was a time issue). A few tomatoes, a few pepper plants, done. Well, this year we decided to try it on a bigger scale (not knowing when we put seed in the ground that it would rain like 40 days and 40 nights, (Hey, where's the ark?) We have barely been able to keep the weeds under control, but we are trying between the rains and wading in the mud. So here are some pics of what we have. I couldn't even get to part of the garden where the tomatoes, brussel sprouts and watermelon are because of the mud.....

gourds 4 different kinds

zucchini, green and yellow

Bush Lake pole beans

loose leaf lettuce

3 different kinds of peppers

sugar snap peas AND WEEDS

more green beans

a few different kinds of sunflowers

and 4 varieties of pumpkins


My husband said oh it is only a garter snake. This is a good kinda snake.
(is there such a thing? ) I have accepted the snake and just keep my distance. Not a big fan!!!
So at the rate we are going with it only being June, I figure by September, the pumpkins will have over taken the garden completely.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We had another 1"+ rain last night! The best thing is I haven't had to drag out the hose yet this year. Everything is huge! I don't think my flowers have ever done this well. And because I took early retirement last year, I have done a better job keeping up with the weeds, kinda. So this week the lilies are taking over the yard. I went a little crazy with my lily passion last year and planted a few new ones. Names? I only kept a few of the tags, otherwise, I would have no clue... details, details, not good with the details..... Aren't flowers supposed to be a feast for the eyes and nose anyway.

"White" dwarf Asiatic lily

might be, Salmon Beauty

Tiny Tom