Friday, December 25, 2009


Here's your Partridge for your Pear Tree

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When you don't have the energy to keep up with the Jones!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And, in keeping with the 12 Days of Christmas...............

Here's a very fun favorite of mine......

Totally tight.
CyberMonday....ya gotta love it. Can you spell "free shipping?"

But, according to the Associated Press.............apparently, the 12 Days of Christmas are going to cost us more this year than last year!

Partridge: $10 (last year: $20)
Pear tree: $150 (last year: $200)
Two turtle doves: $56 (last year: $55)
Three French hens: $45 (last year: $30)
Four calling birds: $600 (last year: same)
Five gold rings: $500 (last year: $350)
Six geese a-laying: $150 (last year: $240)
Seven swans a-swimming: $5,250 (last year: $5,600)
Eight maids a-milking: $58 (last year: $52)
Nine ladies dancing (per performance): $5,473 (last year: $4,759)
10 lords a-leaping (per performance): $4,414 (last year: same)
11 pipers piping (per performance): $2,285 (last year: same)
12 drummers drumming (per performance): $2,475 (last year: same)

Gee Whiz....I'm glad my husband only wants a sweater for Christmas! With free shipping...........I think I'm good to go!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Shopping......I don't recognize it anymore!

Actually, it's black & blue Friday now!

But spending the time just walking the stores with the

We've just had our first of the turkey leftovers and we're off again!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Twas the night of Thanksgiving, and I just couldn’t sleep

I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned….the dark meat and white

But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation

The thought of a snack became infatuation.

So I raced to Kath's kitchen, flung open the door

And gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up Turkey and buttered potatoes,

Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.

I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,

‘Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.

I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky

Mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.

But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees…..

Somebody get me to Weight Watchers, Please!

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump,

May your potatoes ‘n gravy have nary a lump,

May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize,

May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs!

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours was! We never want to forget how blessed we are; Lude and I remind each other often how lucky we are.

We drove to Normal to be with the girls. Although we brought the turkey, they had a houseful of fixings and we spent Wednesday making all the fanciful trimmings for our Thanksgiving bird. We were joined at dinner today by a couple of Kath's friends from the college and we ate until we burst!

Now, we are strategizing, scouring the ads for a successful day of shopping tomorrow.

Then, it's home for us on Saturday to begin the count down till Christmas!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone..........

As we travel to Illinois for a Normal Thanksgiving, we hope that yours will be happy and blessed. We bring you the following "Turkey Day Forecast"................

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190 F.

The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates.

Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway.

During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established.

Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops.

By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

About a week ago, Lude's grand niece and nephews were over for Kemock Pizza Night.

While Cam was checking out my calendar on the refrigerator, he noticed I hadn't marked a very special date on the calendar.

So, thanks for reminding me, Cam.

And, Happy Birthday Nick (Poppy to some!)
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..................everywhere you go!

Just in case you need to check in once in awhile to see how much time you have left till the big day.....go right ahead.

I'm here for ya.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Congratulations, Mark and Kara....................
I was just wondering, how do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amish Country

We had a wonderful visit to Amish "Country" yesterday. The weather was incredibly beautiful and the whole day was great. We've had a few aimless drives to Amish Country in the past and this time, we decided to go with a plan in mind this time.
On our way south, we went to Orville, Ohio to the Smucker Factory. They have a cute shop where you can purchase, of course, all things Smucker! I didn't realize that there were so many brands that Smucker's owns: Jiff, Hungry Jack, Crisco, many. They had lots of tasting stations and gave out recipes for a few fun dishes. They were having a Christmas open house and, Santa and his reindeer were there.
We traveled south towards Berlin, Millersburg, Sugarcreek and Charm. Berlin was the most crowded - I guess it's the most popular. More than being crowded in the shops, the one-lane highway in Berlin was pretty crowded. Once we made our way to Sugarcreek, we headed south through Charm to escape the crowds.

We purchased a few ornaments, candles (can you leave Amish Country without candles??) and the scrapbook craze has reached the Amish - got some great scrapbook supplies.

We've been told several times in the past to stop and eat at The Barn, but never managed to get there, so we decided to have dinner there this time. In Smithville near Wooster, it's charming.
While driving along, Lude asked me "would I ever want to live on a farm" to which I had no trouble even thinking about it....NO. "How about a weekend farm?" he asked? "or a gentleman's farm" which I replied, "what the heck is that?" Then he pointed out, "there, Mary Ann, there's a gentleman's farm!!!"
"Not even that!" I said. I don't think I'd like to live in Amish Country (why is it called COUNTRY?....) because anything that involves 1) a manure spreader - I'm thinking, not so much. Or 2) a fork that's bigger than me? - I'm thinking, not so much. Or, how about 3) trying to decide which clothes to wash first on Saturdays because they take the longest to dry on the line outside in January! - Yeah, I'm thinking, not so much! I have never seen so many Amish gotchies hanging on clothes lines as I did yesterday! And then there's 4) "which dress should I wear today? The black one or the black one!?" - Yeah, not so much!
They've been called a group with a simple lifestyle, but it's anything but simple. I watched lots of children work very hard in their yards yesterday as we drove hours and hours down country roads. But, their hands and their minds are busy at work all the time and that's the way they like it.
It took Lude hours, to send a facebook message from Amish country yesterday! Hmmm.....can you say intervention?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I just completed a training session in Office 2007 and I was bitterly reminded of how much I miss WORD at home and how much WORKS really bites!

Word, oh Word, where have you gone!?

Come back!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I did a scrapbook (actually a greeting card) program last week and I had a number of people attend the class from a previous workshop called "Scrapbooking the Eco Way". As a way to example some eco-friendly scrapbook techniques, I used some items that I'd been savoring over the years to use in just a special way. The people from that class have been emailing me to post the finished page, so here it is.

The page celebrates the gift of textile craft throughout my family. My mother's Aunt Alice was the "Shraheen's village seamstress" in Ireland and while on an extended visit to her home (I think my mother sent me there to 1. Babysit my Grandmother 2. Sew for my Aunt and 3. Get out of her hair) I met the many people who would show up for appointments with Aunt Alice. She'd measure here and there, ask what they wanted and produce a garment for them to try on the next week. It was amazing to me.

My own mother received that gift from her Aunt. She sewed lots of garments for us all from underwear to coats because with six kids, let's face it, it was something that came in handy. She became an Irish Dancing costume maker and she went on to be the expert kilt maker in the days when the boys were dancing. She took sewing classes with her neighbor (maybe as a way of just getting out of the house on a Tuesday night) and let's not forget her and Aunt Maureen going to Stretch and Sew!

I'm sure that while I was growing up I drove my mother crazy when I used all her stuff while sewing. She had a "thing" (I think we all know what I'm talking about here) about her scissors! She'd have a fit when she discovered that someone was cutting something other than fabric with her golden shears. It didn't matter what she did or said, those scissors were doomed! And, I was always jamming her sewing machine.

When I began sewing as a teenager, I didn't inherit the extent of the talent that my mother and her aunt had, but I did sew a lot. At first, it was a means of saving some money around the house - curtains and pillows and the like. However, sewing became a craft NOT for the person who was looking to save money. Oh, sure, you could make a garment that might cost you $200 in the store for $75, but when I was raising my family, I didn't have an extra $75 around to spend. So, I mainly sewed for the kids and they haven't quite gotten over the "matching" clothes deal!

The page includes and represents a lot of the craft throughout the years while at the same time, using lots of recycled items and being "eco-friendly" in my scrapbooking!The pattern front is from a vest that I made for Jessica when she played the lead in Brigadoon her senior year in the High School.
The piece of tissue paper that is the background for the page is from one of my favorite dresses that I made for myself.

The yellow tape measure was my mothers from her stash of sewing supplies.

The "White" dressmaker's tracing paper (which NO ONE uses anymore!) is from my sister-in-law, Yvonne's stash of sewing supplies that her daughter, Nicole gave to me. She was a home economics teacher and she gave me lots of advice in those areas and I wanted to honor her as well.

And, of course, the picture is of my baby, kClare working on a project at school for the Renaissance Faire.

I know that all the family seamstresses that have gone before us would be very proud of her.
Now, please come home and thread my serger!!!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday after work, we rode out to one of the wineries that we enjoyed visiting over the summer. They were having their "Fall Celebration" complete with wine tastings, appetizers and the band "The Sewing Circle". It was a very pleasant evening and a wonderful finish to a long day.

Today, Dad joined us for dinner as we finished up the last of the yard work and put up the Christmas lights. It was a perfect day for it. Both of our Christmas cactus plants are in FULL bloom - so we figured it was time!

The Little People Came for Pizza

Last night, the nieces and nephews came for Kemock pizza night. As I walked through to the other room, I came across this unusual sight. Trust me, I did not position these little shoes......and trust me, there was no one that small at my house!

Everyone made their own individual pizzas and we had chocolate fondue for dessert!

What was I thinking???
VICTORY! I love chocolate, Aunt Mary

Morgan and his Dad debate the number of windows on the back wall.
And, then there was PIZZA....served by the cutest wench ever!

We can always count on it being lots of fun.
What was the best thing before sliced bread?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Where Have All the Trick or Treaters gone????

Someone said that trick or treaters are doing it online these days.

It's called "Twitter Treat"...............

Honestly, in all the years we've been married.....the three houses we've lived one has come trick or treating!

In Parma, we lived in a very "old" (funny, they're not looking so old now - I'm certain my Mother is laughing at me about now!!), eastern European neighborhood. Lots of Hungarians, Polish, Ukrainians etc. And, the house was set back so far, and no one bothered to waste time trudging up to the house for a snicker's bar.

Then, we moved to Columbia Road in Olmsted Falls......main street, no sidewalks......never a treater to be seen! That's when it became popular to go over to the "rich" developments for the "nickel" candy bar (which NOW, costs 99 cents!)

And now, we've come full circle.............we're the "old" people who live in the "older" community! There aren't too many houses in our development, so why bother! We were ready with our bowl full of $10 bills, and NO ONE came. (We figure the money we've saved in treats in the past 33 years, we can give back to the lone treaters who graced our doorstep.

And, WHO CAME? God love the relatives!
Thanks Cameron and McKeeley! Love you!

Did Beyonce Ever Think?


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guess who got married?

Kelly & Robert...........................aren't they a handsome couple???It was a fun-filled, jam-packed weekend for us as well. kClare came home on Friday and we went to PJ McIntyre's for dinner and surprised her by having her friend Jackie show up! That was fun!

On Saturday morning, we went to get some pampering!

And then the wedding, which was awesome. Everything we expected from Kelly's years of planning! She was a beautiful bride and Robert was very handsome. I wasn't in a very good seat for getting decent church pictures (short people always miss out!), but there are PLENTY of pictures "out" there if you're a facebook fanatic! I need a new camera, but I guess mine does an okay job considering it's falling apart!!! (SANTA, are you listening???)

So, let's see, to recap......there was jiggin...............

And, singing................
And, flower throwing.............

And, boys looking up girls skirts.............Cousin fun...........Mother/daughter time............Diva time...........

And, after-party jammin................

We got to bed around 2:30 AM Sunday morning, but had to be up at 4:30 AM to get kClare to the airport.

All-in-all, (except for the 2 hours of sleep) I'd say it was a fun weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Never Mind...........

It's back!


Headache free for the first time in 10 days!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

To market to market to buy a fat pig, home again home again, jiggity jig........

Is that how that goes?

Well, either way, I didn't buy a fat pig! I did buy lots of great fresh and exotic food though, while I was down at the West Side Market with my friends.We've been getting together now for a couple of years......our kids went to school in the same school district and we served on the PTA together during that time. It's been fun catching up! There are several of us in the group - but not everyone is available to do all the outings at the same time.

Afterwards, we lunched at the Great Lakes Brewing Company there by the Market. YUM.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Five Years Ago Today......

Remembering always...........

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lunch in La La Land.........

Lude was in Los Angeles..........poor dear!

I missed out on lunch with two of my fav friends! Miss you guys!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Visiting With Family

Lude's brother Nick came into town from Florida and we had dinner with him. It's always a lot of fun but it's never enough time!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

kClare...............This One's For You

Very cool scrapbook paper I found for you today! See you in two weeks........we'll have some fun on Friday night!

The Last Rose of Summer...........

This is it...........

I cleaned out the garden always takes most of the day to do it and I can't imagine how I would manage to do it all if I had a full garden like we did at the other house! I'm getting old!

It was sad to pull out some of the plants and cut them down, but it's one of those "make hay while the sun shines" kind of deal. If I didn't do it today, I know I'd be doing it in the pouring rain on a cold, bitter fall day. (The bitter part would be me!)

But, I was able to salvage a few flowers that were hanging in there.

Oh, and does anyone like fried green tomatoes? If you do, I have the green tomatoes for you.

Happy Fall................

Scrappy Day 6

Was a huge success!
Although, I'm beginning to think that it's more about the food than the paper anymore!
I think the chocolate melting pots put us over the edge!

Hope everyone had a good time.............enjoy the pictures!

Next Scrappy Day.....some Saturday in February..........stay tuned.