Monday, January 30, 2012

Mod Podge Monday

With everything that I need to be doing around here, I chose to spend time crafting an inane little valentine craft instead. It's nothing much to yak about, but that has never stopped me before.

I had hoarded these little cubes which came as packing with some curtain rods last fall, and I wanted to use them.

I decoupaged them with some Valentine-ish tissue paper 

Then added some wooden hugs and kisses

What I'll do with them, I do not know. 
I was thinking maybe a cloche

Maybe some candlesticks

I haven't decided.

In other news,
 apparently, I'm psychic.

Remember my beautiful Japanese magnolias from Friday?

I had no sooner predicted an arctic blast
when The Duchess informed me that one such blast 
was on the way.

Well, of course...

She suggested that I bring in a few blooms if I wanted to save them.

I woke to a temperature of 29 degrees this morning.


Always listen to your mother...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Simply Blooming

It's been a while since I posted a simple pleasure, but today I had a discovery too nice to leave unyakked.

As I looked out the kitchen window this morning,
 I discovered this.

No, they aren't birds.
They're buds. 

Those are the lower branches of our Japanese Magnolia.

  Since the bottom of our tree generally lags a few days behind the top of it,
I had a hunch what was going on up above.
I went outside to look, and yep...

She's blooming, all right...

Isn't  she lovely?
Makes me want to set a pink table.

Yeah, I know it's really too early for the blossoms. There's probably some Arctic blast headed our way to zap her into oblivion before she reaches her full potential. That's the way it usually rolls around here. 

All the more reason to stop cleaning and crafting
and take a stroll outside with a shiny red Kodak.

So that's exactly what I did.

Enjoying the pink while it lasts is this week's simple pleasure.

Sharing at Pink Saturday
and Saturday Showoffs

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ruby Tuesday Copy Cat

I know it isn't what you expect around here, but I'm actually sharing a recipe this morning.  What's more, there won't even be a Lucy ending. I made it without any hiccups, and it tasted really good, too. That's why I'm sharing.

Well that, and I can't think of anything else interesting to share right now.

We stopped for lunch at Ruby Tuesday a few weeks ago, and I ordered their mashed cauliflower as a low carb option to mashed potatoes. Have you ever had one of those moments in a restaurant where you just keep exclaiming over the taste of a dish? Well, this was one of them.

I've had them two times since then, too. Since I'm too cheap to keep going out to eat, I decided to google and see if anyone had copycatted them. They had. 

Now, we actually like our vegetables pretty plain around here. Generally speaking, we either use the grill or the steamer. I don't enjoy cooking enough to go to a lot of trouble. This recipe was no trouble at all.

Ruby Tuesday Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Steam one head cauliflower until tender (The recipe calls for 15-20 minutes. Since I wanted mashed cauliflower and not mushed cauliflower, I did mine for 10 minutes.)
Puree pieces with 1/2 c. water until smooth, leaving a few tiny pieces for texture.
Heat in a medium saucepan with:

1T cornstarch in 1/4 c. water
1 t. sugar (I used Splenda)
1/3 c. whipping cream (I used half and half)
1/2 t. salt (I didn't use this much and really don't think it's necessary with all the other stuff)
1/4 t. white pepper*
1/8 t. onion powder
1/8 t. garlic powder

Cook about 10 more minutes, stirring often.

That's it. The husband doesn't even love cauliflower that much and still thought it was delicious.  According to him, it didn't rise to the level of a mashed potato, but it stood well on its own. I thought they tasted nearly identical to the Ruby Tuesday version. *My only complaint was that they were a tad hotter. The next time I make them, I'll reduce the amount of white pepper.

And that's it. No leftovers. Just a happy camper singing Good-Bye Ruby Tuesday. In my head, I sound just like Mick Jagger.

Sharing with Foodie Friday

Friday, January 20, 2012

Giving Procrastination the Flush

Angel over at Finding the Inspiring has invited folks to follow her on Fridays and share something that inspired us in Blog Land. Now, I'm pretty sure what inspired me wasn't exactly what she had in mind, but I'm sharing it anyway.  

I was inspired by an unclogged toilet.  

OK, technically, I was inspired by a post at Janette's Sage where she rolled up her sleeves and tackled a really dirty project, that of unclogging a toilet in her boys’ bathroom. I think she’s pretty brave. I don’t even like to venture into a boy bathroom, let alone reach into a toilet when I get there.   

Janette is Super Woman, though, and when I say she tackled it, I’m not talking Liquid Plumber. I’m talking tackled like a linebacker.

In her classic Janette style, she wrapped it all up with a life lesson, though, and even ended with a pep talk. 

"Lesson learned....don't make a mountain out of a mole hill...stare it straight in the face and pull that hill down fast."

Janette's post not only inspired me spiritually, it inspired me domestically.  I figured if Janette could stare down Toilet Mountain, I could certainly claim dominion over a mole hill of my own. Mine wasn’t a toilet, but it was an appliance clog of a different sort.  It was the clogged arteries in the Big Black Thunk.

Musta been da debil…

I have no idea how the Big Black Thunk got so disgusting. I’m blaming hormones. A vintage woman gets to blame hormones for everything, and I’m pretty sure it was hormones that made me adopt the schmoosing method of refrigerator management.

So yesterday morning, I pulled everything out to divide and conquer. Then, I pulled out all the shelves. 

I was pretty excited about that part. We only recently purchased this model, you see. Our old one, Lazarus, was born way back in the last century when shelves were less removable.  I removed them all. Then, I removed the glass from each one, and then I lugged them outside to introduce them to Mr. Power Nozzle.

It’s been in the 70s this week…

Without the shelves, it wiped down really easily.

Then,  I emptied chunks of Whatzit into the trash bag and piled the sink with fuzzy containers.  I sorted through the rest of it and made a shopping list, all while dreaming up this post in my head.  

That's when it all went south...

This post was supposed to end with the big Ta Da picture. You know...where I show all my nifty keen ideas for organizing the fridge and facing down the Shmoosh Monster.

However...  when I got ready to replace said shelves, I could not for the life of me get them back in place. It seemed so simple, shelf… notch...notch… shelf, but try as I might, it just wouldn't click. 

I finally threw up my hands and called uncle.
And so... at the time of this posting, I have no Ta Da picture. All I have are a piles of perishables shmoosed into the outside refrigerator and two bags of stinky whatzit waiting by the kitchen door. 

So there that’s where we sit, folks. No big  finish, just a welcome home honey do for the traveling man.

He'll have to fix the shelves before he reassembles
 the mirror  I took apart to paint earlier in the week. 

That's what he gets for marrying a left- handed blonde...

 Regardless, I still think Janette's lesson from the toilet was pretty inspiring. I'm just grateful she didn't inspire me to take apart my toilet as well. 'Cause, well... you know... 

How about you? 
What inspired you this week? 

Sharing this with Angel at Finding the Inspiring

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunshine On My Table

Peeking in carefully lest I wake the blogger gremlin who has been wreaking havoc with my blog for the past few days. UGH. I think I was sent to the corner for putting the words Blogger Schmogger in a recent post.

Well, oops. Won't do that again. blogger schmogger... blogger schmogger...blogger schmogger

I'm just in time to share my first table for the year.  Big surprise... it's a yellow table to go with my theme color for 2012, the Year of  Finding the Sunshine.

I originally set this table a week or so ago for our last family dinner before both our chicks left the nest.

That first table was simpler.

I didn't want to waste the money on fresh flowers that night since no one would be home to enjoy them. I just piled a pedestal with some magnolia leaves and lemons.

The linens are vintage ones I found at a local antique mall last year.  I actually bought them to use on the kitchen table, but I figured I could make them work here too.

I love the pale, butter yellow shade.

Napkin rings are Italian Countryside as are the dishes.

The charger is just a basic Hobby Lobby gold one painted yellow. I sprayed it first with Krylon Fusion then gave it a second coat with some leftover Cowslip 4 from the kitchen walls.

Those yellow sherbet dishes are the only new (to me) thing on the table. I went on a search for yellow and found them at another local antique mall.  I just love vintage dishes and linens. They're kind of my weakness.

I added some lemons and greenery  just because I wanted to. 

And of course,
two small vases of yellow flowers...

and some extra stemware for sparkle.

And that's the way it looks this morning.

I may not have my whole family home to share it with me, but
every time I pass the dining room,

I see a little bit of sunshine.

Sharing this with Tablescape Thursday

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stuck Between a Rock and a Mom Place

That's exactly where I am this morning.

You know the place. It's halfway between wanting your daughter to spread her wings and take off on a great adventure and kind of hoping that what she finds there isn't so wonderful that she wants to stay.

A rock.
And a Mom Place. 

As I said on Monday, we moved The Practical One 532 miles from home this week. By the time this posts, we'll be headed home without her. So...

Just in case I die of a broken heart before I get a chance to post again, here's the reveal of her new location as promised.

Do you recognize it?

Maybe a closer shot

Yep. We're in Washington DC. 
We arrived in the middle of their first snow storm Monday night.
It's cold up here, folks. 
Yes, I realize that's a matter of perspective, but to this Georgia peach, it is.

Tuesday was sunny, though, so we enjoyed our walk around town.

The Capitol by day...

And in the blue hour

She won't be working there, though.
She'll be across the street.


She'll be working as a congressional intern for the next few months,
trying on her Capitol Hill Shoes.

She's pretty excited about it, too, and hoping that they fit.

The Rock hopes so too, and I told her so.
But now the Mom Place? She just reminded her to click those heels three times
and say,

there's no place like home...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blogger Schmogger and Moving Monday

Just a quick post from me this morning since we have a big day around here.

I got a comment from Patti@ Fill My Cup with Beauty on my last post about some blogger issues.  As it turns out, I'm having some of those same problems. I had blamed Della the Demon Possessed Laptop, but apparently, the gal has been falsely accused.

Random blogger quirks for both of us include 

1. Blogs that will not update on the homepage, leaving  you unaware of updates. One of my blogs not only will not update, it shows that it doesn't exist if I click on it. It does exist.  
2. Discovering that you have "unfollowed" a blog with no intention or knowledge of doing so

3. Random, mysterious blogs showing up on your followed list. Cue the Twilight Zone theme...

4. Unintentionally following yourself, like a dog chasing her tail

5. Trying to follow a blog 45 different times only to have it refuse to show up as followed.

And I have another oddball one that Patti didn't mention:

6. I had a trial blog and profile before I started Words on Wheels. Lately, every time I try to follow a blog, it comes up as that other old blog, although  I have deleted that blog. It's like it's stuck on stupid.

Can you relate to any of those problems? 
Any suggestions?
Don't tell me to ask Bloggerman. 
He doesn't exist.

In other news, we're leaving soon for what I'm forcing myself to call an adventure. (Back off, would- be burglars. We have a doberman, and she's packing an UZI. Her name is Duchess...)

The Practical One has decided to play her own game of 
Mother May I.
 It went something like this:

Mother, may I take 532 giant steps away from home?
No, you may not...

It didn't work. Apparently, God said, Yes, you may, and in the lawn game of life, God trumps Mother. We're leaving this morning. I have packed my shiny red kodak, and I'll be searching for some sunshine.

Would you like to know where we're going?
No, you may not...


Saturday, January 7, 2012

So My Theme Color For The Year Is...

You thought I was going to spill it in the first line? 
You haven't been reading here long, have you?

People often ask why I pick a theme color at the beginning of the year. The simple answer is that there isn't a good reason. I do it because I'm an oddball. I do it because it's fun and gives me perpetual inspiration. When I'm in need of creative jumper cables, I just reach for the theme color.

In the year of orange I made pomanders and baked cream cheese orange bread. I discovered  pumpkin soup, pumpkin casserole, copper pennies, and marmalade chicken.

The year of green brought fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. I dried green hydrangeas, made guacamole, and concocted a new dinner salad each month.

Wouldn't you think I would have lost some weight? 

As the Year of Green drew to a close, I starting auditioning colors.  I figured it should have something to do with turning 50 over the Christmas break.

Red for red hats? Too predictable.

Pink is always an option, but since pink is my favorite color, every year is a little bit pink.

I tried to get jazzed about gold since this is the year of my Golden Jubilee, but I couldn't get into it. Gold makes me think of brass, and brass just makes me want to whip out a can of oil rubbed bronze. Gold may be the color of wealth, but it's not the color of happiness. I wanted  needed a happy color.

And that's why my theme color for 2012 is...yellow.

Did you get the hint with this picture? 

Yellow is gold with attitude.   

Yellow is a cheerful color. It's vibrant, and it's  brisk. Yellow is the color of  sunshine.

The winter of 2011 was one of the dreariest ones I can remember.  It started with an ice storm in January  and went downhill from there. 2011 was the year of  ice without snow and clouds without rain.

Oh sure, there was sunshine 2011, but as the year progressed, it became known as the year of the clouds. Some clouds were dark and stormy;  others just hovered overhead. It was supposed to be the year of green, but I usually noticed shades of  gray.

I'm  not going to ask if anyone can relate because I know you can. I can read. I can even read between the lines.  It's been a cloudy year for many of you.

But I've been thinking. I'm always thinking...

If I had known in advance about the great cloud invasion, I wouldn't have squandered the sunshine. I would have stopped what I was doing to smile back at it.

I didn't. I took it for granted until the clouds took it away.

Now, I'll ask: Can anyone relate?

Let's face it: 2012 will likely bring more clouds and more storms. For all I know, the year ahead could make The Year of the Pigeon-Toed Duck Waddle look like a cake walk. Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but when you reach the ripe age of 50, you just know that kind of stuff.

But it's just as certain to bring some pockets of sunshine.

And that's why my theme color for 2012 is yellow, and my mission is simple: I'm simply going to notice the sunshine. In fact, I plan to look for a piece of yellow, even on the gray days. When I find some, I will stop and give it a little wink.

So there you have it.
 I hereby dub 2012
The Year of Finding the Sunshine.

Oh, the possibilities...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mother, May I?

Did anyone else play that lawn game?  It's the one where some big old bossy kid got to stand in an end zone and give the other neighborhood saps permission to inch across the grass one itty bitty baby step at a time.

I never liked it.

In fact, as childhood games went, that one hovered at the bottom of the list just above sandlot baseball.

Debbie, you may take three giant steps forward...
Mother, may I?
No you may not. I'm just messin' with your head to make you crazy.

In our neighborhood, our big sister was the Queen Mother of May I.  Not only did she consistently position herself in the bossy role, she took a fiendish delight in creating  mutant May I moves, the most creative of which were reserved for her baby sister.

That's the way it seemed to me, anyway. While others giant stepped to victory, I inched my way across the finish line one pigeon-toed duck waddle at a time.


I got back at her years later by becoming a blogger and posting this picture on the world wide web. Doesn't that sassy blond look like she's plotting something?
Yeah, I think so too.

If you're wondering what set me off on my ramble this morning, it's this: I have been trying for days now to baby step back into Blog Land with a summary of 2011. Try as I might, the only words that come to mind are Mother, May I. 

Oh, it started out well enough. A year ago today, I revealed my theme color  for the year ahead.  2011 was painted green, and  I dubbed it The Year of Go. Yes indeed. I was ready to move forward in 2011.

And I did.

I  whipped through manic purging adventures like a hot flash.  I'm proud to report that the to do list of 2012 doesn't include a single item for the to go box. I dragged my Big Fat '80s Kitchen into the new millennium and began the process of removing HGTV and Trading Spaces from other rooms in the house.
Go Debbie, Go Debbie... 

But then, somewhere along the line, those giant steps turned into baby steps...which morphed into No-you-may-nots and mutant May I moves.  Have I mentioned that I didn't like that game?   

And so...

Although I had dubbed 2011 as the Year of Go, I'm here to report that I am giving it a retrospective redubbing.  You can do that when you're the dubber.

I hereby dub 2011 the Year of the Pigeon-Toed Duck Waddle. 

Laugh if you will folks, but here's the good news. I may be a pigeon- toed duck, but I'm a tenacious one.  Somehow, I managed to waddle across that finish line and lived to quack about it.

I won't, though. 

I think I'll leave 2011 back in the duck pond where it belongs for now. It's already January 5th. No one wants to hear it anyway. It's time to look ahead to 2012.

And 2012  has a whole new color and theme. 

Would you like to hear about it?
No, you may not...

It will just have to be a post for another day. 

So how would you dub your 2011? 
Do you have a theme for 2012?


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