Sunday, August 31, 2008

~My Charmed Life~

"I have memories from near and far.
For each of these I have a star.
To remember my life's times
I began a band of jingling chimes.
Each shining charm of gold
holds a story to be told."ⓒ

Charm bracelets ~ how I love them! I love the soft jingle-jangle sounds they make, the significance of each tiny work of art, the memories each one brings to mind. Charms are added to my bracelets for each state we visit, for each place we visit on our travels afar and each grandchild that comes along. Special charms are added for family members that were so dear to me.
(from CHARMED BRACELETS by Tracey Zabar)

My first charm bracelet with three silver charms was given to me by a high school beau when I was a senior. That would make it 45 years old. The friendship didn't last, but have I gotten mileage out of that bracelet!

This is my gold charm bracelet...a mix of 14K and 18K golds. I began it when I became a grandmother. At the same time I started one for my granddaughter when she was born. I don't know how many more charms this one will hold.

"I have traveled lands to see the sights
and brought back little sparking lights.
I plucked a star from here and there.
I hope to have one from everywhere.

I traveled lands near and far
from each of those I took a star,
twinkling and shining bright.
Welcome to my charmed life."ⓒ

"With these trinkets I fondly hold
my family there amongst the gold.
There is Daddy's beloved mandolin
and his guitar that so pleased him.

Here are baby shoes for my girls,
a little locket for their curls,
a towering lighthouse for my brother,
an artist's palette for the other.

For my mother, a beautiful "A",
an "I Love You" for my soul mate.
A hive here, a honeybee there -
symbols of my given name fair.

A little miss with a great big bow,
my sweet granddaughter, don't you know.
Little boys with baseball caps -
they are my grandsons - happy chaps.

Here is one that I treasure dear.
It holds the name I love to hear.
The heart inscribed "Grandma"
for that is what I am called."ⓒ

"See this little basket of my favorite roses,
a Faberge' egg that opens and closes,
a lock to hold this strand together,
a sapphire key to lock it forever."ⓒ

Not long ago, I began another silver bracelet. I have charms that have not been added yet.

(from CHARMED BRACELETS by Tracey Zabar)

Copyright - Verses are from a poem I wrote three years ago.

Show off your charms, then let Liz know.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


"I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give."
Thomas Jefferson

This little pink cottage, a gift from my dear mother, has always held a special place in my heart. Simply quaint and romantically cozy - this is the dwelling I would be content to reside in.

Standing behind my cottage is a "Dayton" oval plate made in Grafton, West Virginia, a gift from an aunt.
Also given to me by Mother, this ironstone hanging plate from Staffordshire, England. The verse you may be familiar with:

"As I was wandering oer the green
Not knowing where I went
By chance I saw a pleasant scene
The cottage of content."

I just had to share my most gorgeous Hibiscus flower - one of many blooming on a small tree on our back deck.

A recipe for my "Cottage" theme today:
Cottage Potatoes Recipe
courtesy Paula Deen

3 large Idaho potatoes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 onion, diced
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes, slice them, and put in a pot with water to cover. Boil the potatoes until tender, then drain and mash them with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the cottage cheese, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture gently, and then put in a greased casserole. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

See what the OTHER Pink Saturday bloggers are sharing with us today.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I am still here ~

Hello, my dear friends. I am here...not on vacation, not visiting family, not out playing, nor have I forgotten you all.

I am so sorry to have missed Friday's Favorite Family Foto. I've been having a problem with my desktop and I lost the internet Wednesday afternoon. As my laptop is wireless and connected by router to my desktop, I had no internet connection on either one. Now I am back online on the desktop, but not on the laptop. Confused?

Hopefully, I can stay online now and see you all tomorrow for Pink Saturday and I'll be back next Friday for another favorite family photo.

A very special WELCOME HOME from the hospital to my friend JEANNE.
I know she would love a visit from you all. Stop by and leave a sweet message for her.

Saturday, August 23, 2008



It's delightfully pink- that I know.

It's cute.

It's very girlie.

It's a purse?

It's a box of candy?

It's a jewelry box?


It's a Tulip Ego Love Edition Carry Case Laptop!
It's extravagant and expensive!
It's $5.000.00...yes, as in THOUSANDS!
It's at Barney's.


I have a cute, girlie, pink laptop and I 'heart' it a lot!

It's wireless. I can use it in my favorite comfy livingroom chair.

I can use it at my kitchen counter while I enjoy a cup of tea.

It's pink through and through...and I 'HEART' IT!



4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pink food coloring
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil or pure vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 200 degrees with two racks centered. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a medium saucepan 1/4 full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer.

In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar, and place over the saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers.

Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; whip, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high, until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and just a few drops of food coloring; beat to combine, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip with the meringue. Pipe 3/4- to 1-inch drops onto prepared baking sheet; after each drop is piped by squeezing the bag, release from squeezing, and pull straight up with the bag to create the very fine curled tip on each drop. Bake until drops are hard to the touch but not browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Repeat to use all meringue. Meringue drops may be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil or shortening until well combined. Dip the bottom of each cooled meringue drop into the melted chocolate; stick two together if desired. Turn upside down on a cooling rack, and let chocolate harden -- this can take up to 50 minutes at room temperature -- or just freeze on parchment paper for 5 minutes. Serve. Makes 16 dozen drops.


Friday, August 22, 2008

~A Moment To Remember~

This is Friday and time for another favorite photo that relates to my family.
You will find some others who are posting their favorite family photos today - among them are:

BECKY at Lace and Lures - WELCOME BECKY!

DIANE at A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

JEANNE at Backyard Neighbor

DAWN at Dawn's Daybreak

MARY at Across The Pond

CAROLYN at Wings of Eagles



My first time really "out" after being sick for two weeks in December of 2006 was New Year's Eve. Our family went to see our Carolina Hurricanes play. I love my Canes! Hubby, myself, two daughters and their hubbies and my brother and his wife all went together. Sadly our Canes lost, but what fun we had. Our kids treated us to club seats as our anniversary gift which had been December 29th.

Our daughters kept telling us to hold onto our tickets as this New Year's Eve they would be posting ticket numbers to win big money on the Jumbotron. Right after the first period there was a wedding on the ice! ...a real wedding! What Cane's fans will do! Meanwhile I kept my ticket in sight and kept telling everyone I talked to to watch the board - they were giving up to $10,000 tonight!

After the second period I let my mind wander and daughter came to stand behind us. She said, "Mother are you looking at the board?!"

I looked up and gasped, nearly losing my breath! Then I jumped up from my seat and started screaming and yelling - "That's me! That's me! Larry...that's us! Look! Look!" I was a crazy woman!

No we didn't win money. The Jumbotron was all lit up. On all four sides it read,

"Happy 42nd Anniversary Larry and Deborah!"

What a surprise! After I settled down I heard someone behind us say "That must be Larry and Deborah". Duh!

This is a picture that I will always have to remember that wedding anniversay by. This year in December, we will have been married forty-four years! How could that be? I'm only 35! Teehee!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


This beautiful pink Bavarian cup and saucer set is one of my favorites. The china feels like silk. The egg is part of my Faberge' egg collection - all reproductions.


Two cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
One 21 oz can cherry pie filling
1 tsp rum extract
1/2 cup mini choc chips
1/2 cup fine chopped toasted nuts of choice

Chill milk and cream in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
Then whip both together with an electric mixture until soft peaks form.
Blend in the cherry pie filling, extract and chips and nuts.
Place in an 8 or 9 inch square pan and cover.

Freeze solid for an ice cream texture or partially frozen for a mousse-like texture.


Friday, August 15, 2008


This picture of my granddaughter Kathryn reminds me of the song "I Hope You Dance". I love the inspiring words and they are what I wish for all my grandchildren as they go through life...don't let fear keep you from taking chances and trying something new.

These aren't words wasted on the young, however. No matter what age or what our physical limitations are, we should dance - be it on the dance floor or only in our mind.

My parents were both dancers. I can remember Daddy holding me gently, yet firmly, as he whirled me around the dance floor to the beat of a Polka. I danced with my daddy all my life - even when he was being cared for away from home.

Mother told me often about the time before they were married (in the Swing era) when she and Daddy crashed a party just to dance. Daddy picked Mother up to swing her and she hit a chandelier, breaking it.

Mother was in Supportive Living during her last two years. It was hard for her to walk without the use of a cane and eventually, a walker. Yet, she entertained the staff as she stopped by their offices and danced and sang for them.

To each of you - Dance!


I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

(Song by Leanne Womack)

SCHOTZY, DAWN, JEANNE, MARY and VANESSA are sharing their favorite family photos today. Visit them and see what kind of memories their photos bring to mind.

Monday, August 11, 2008

~Summer Fun~

It was a very special Saturday. Four blogging friends came together for some bonding over lunch and some treasure hunting at SuzAnna's.

They were MARY, VANESSA, JEANNE and me.
Jeanne came from across the great state of North Carolina to meet us. We all talked over a delicious lunch at Capistrano's, then went just across the road to SUZANNA'S.

Jeanne was like a long-time friend whom we had not seen in awhile. One would not have thought this to be the first time she had met the three of us. She was pleasant and fun and cute as a button in this pink rhinestone-studded cowgirl hat we found at SuzAnna's. Jeanne said she doesn't look good in hats. I say she does!

Here's our Vanessa trying on a tiara fit for a princess as lovely as she, complete with price tag. I would say that sparkling tiara did not outshine that beautiful smile.

Our sweet Mary and Vanessa have spotted something quite interesting. Hey Girls! What was it? Did one of you buy it?

Mary had her trusty camera and has posted some pictures of us on her blog. My camera's battery gave out. I captured only these pictures of our summer fun together.

This is a picture that Mary and I spotted as soon as we stepped inside SuzAnna's.
Mary has a French guest room and I have a Paris bedroom, so it caught our attention.
It would go so well in my bedroom and I am tempted to sneak back to SuzAnna's and bring it home with me.

I didn't buy anything Saturday, but I did take home treasures and gifts for myself...the friendship of Jeanne, Mary and Vanessa and memories of our summer fun together.

"Friendship is the golden ribbon
that ties the world together."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Deborah and the Duck

At one time we lived across from a pond. We were accustomed to the ducks and geese in our area. Many times we would have a yard full of geese.

One day a strange looking little duck came into our yard. He soon made his way up onto our porch. Even when we were relaxing on the porch he would come sit on the rail.

We, of course, were loving this and to entice him to return we would give him bread and crackers. He would even take bread that I would hold in my mouth. (We even put up with the mess he made on the porch. Larry would hose the porch off every evening after our fowl friend left.) He would come into our screened-in back porch and sit on our outdoor table. We named him Forrest because he was so daffy sometimes, but so loving, friendly and open.

Sometimes I would pick him up and hold him and he didn’t seem to mind at all. Often we would walk over to visit him at the pond where he spent a lot of time.

For two years this strange duck came to our home to be fed and talked to and just to hang out. He became part of our family and I truly believe he felt like he was ours. He was very personable and not afraid at all. You can see in the picture a piece of bread in my mouth and the little fellow taking it.

With a pond across the road, there were several geese and ducks - but none like this one. (We later found out that he was a Muscovy Duck). We were used to seeing geese fly over in formation. That’s a beautiful site. But what we watched for was our friend. We could see him flying in the distance, then he would circle over our home and we knew it was "our" duck. We would call out to him. He circled a couple more times, then he would come down for a visit. He would fly in, making a most graceful landing. He would visit for awhile, then off he would go to the pond across the road. It was a most glorious thing to see him landing and taking off. He would stand just at our feet before leaving. We could feel the breeze from his wings as he left. Building began at the pond and he disappeared. We searched for him, but to no avail. We would sit on the porch and watch the skies. I was so afraid he had been injured or worse. He didn't return.

One spring day two years later, we heard a knocking on our front door - I opened the door. Not seeing anyone, I looked down only to see our friend prancing past me into the house! It was like he had never been away! He walked right into the house! He spent that spring and summer with us - then left again as before. We searched and searched for him but we never saw our feathered friend again. Forrest was part of our family and we miss him.

Joining me today in posting a favorite family photo is:

DAWN at Dawn's Daybreak

DIANE at A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

JEANNE at Backyard Neighbor

CAROLYN at Wings of Eagles

VANESSA at Vanilla Lavender

Please visit their Favorite Family Foto post and leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sent from The Cottage

FRANCIE at The Scented Cottage sent to me, the sweetest little gifts just because I left a comment on her blog! You see, every Monday, Francie picks a lucky person to send a delightful box out to.

This precious little girl bear was the first thing I pulled out of my box of tiny treasures. Isn't she cute in her little rose-embellished dress?

Next out, a little journal - just the right size to carry with me each day when I go to Australia next month.

And look at this! The most precious little crocheted birdnest pin cushion with heart-tipped pins. See the tiny little eggs in the nest?

I thought this to be a never-ending gift box, but alas, all good things...well, you know. But wait! A beautiful porcelain Forget-Me-Not heart showed itself and to get me through the night and dreaming sweetly, I found this scrumptious scented linen mist to spray upon my pillow tonight...Sweet Dreams!

Thank you, dear FRANCIE.

If anyone is interested in posting your favorite family photo this Friday, please email me. You will find my email on my sidebar.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

West Virginia Beauties

Just sharing some photos taken on my recent trip to West Virginia.

Photos may repeat a few times until fully loaded...please watch until 'The End'.