Friday, September 30, 2011

Proud Aunt Moment...

JEFF REPEATS-Red Devils advance to regional with 3-2-win over Providence

Take a look at the 2011 Jeffersonville Boys' Tennis Sectional Champions!  That would be my nephew, Connor, third from left in the back row.  I am SO proud of you and your teammates, Connor!  Get after it at regionals!

(Photo thanks to Vicki Rodgers-Rigsby)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Now Serving On Maple Street...


Last night, I walked into my house after work into the wonderful smell of Crockpot Vegetable Soup.  This thing is LOADED with vegetables and really hit the spot on a cold, dreary, wet Wednesday night.  I think this recipe is a keeper, too.  I am finding that I LOVE to make soup from scratch!

PS) Please ignore the messy countertop behind the crockpot.  Somedays it doesn't even pay to put on makeup, KWIM?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wool and Other Natural Delights

I picked up two yards of wool suiting fabric last night at a local chain fabric store.  The intent is to make a jumper out of the fabric. As the clerk was folding my fabric for me, she commented that I was going to get an $8.00 jumper out of that fabric.  My eyebrows shot up and a smile spread across my face.  Sure enough, when I looked at the ticket, the 40% off per yard made the fabric total $8.00.  Talk about stoked!

Wool is one of my favorite fabrics of all time and it especially pleases me that I have a yardage of it to work with at this time of year, when the days get shorter and the temperatures get a little cooler.   It's an all-natural fabric, given to us courtesy of the sheep of the world, and is such a nice insulating fabric against the harsh winds that fall can give us and Midwestern winters ensure we get.  Plus, it has such a nice hand to it and is incredibly nice to work with.

I remember, as a young girl, going to Neuwelt's Fabric Center in Lafayette, Indiana (aka fabric heaven) to buy fabric for 4-H projects and for other sewing adventures.  One portion of the south wall of Neuwelt's was an expansive inventory of Pendleton woolen fabric.  How I loved looking at and touching those vibrant plaids and solids!  I think that's partially where I developed my love for colors and textures.  Of course, Pendleton woolens were (and still are) prohibitively expensive for me--but I can always dream myself a wardrobe of wool, can't I...?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hot Fun In the Summertime


Now that I am thoroughly boring you to death since I have learned how to post photos on my blog, I'm including one more favorite photo, stolen (of course!) from my sister Kelly's Facebook page.  She is the photographer of her "boys" diving off a houseboat at Dale Hollow Lake.

From left to right:  David (my brother in-law and Kelly's husband) and my nephews Chris, Colin , and Connor.  Great action shot!

The Wheels On the Buses Go 'Round and 'Round

Today, September 26, 2011, has turned out to be a Chamber of Commerce fall day in Lafayette, IN.  Earlier today, I needed a box to ship some paperback books to a class in one of our elementary schools.  Not having one in our office building, I decided to walk to the book warehouse, where we have a stash of such boxes.

The warehouse is located in the same building as the transportation facility, which services the 160 buses in the corporation's fleet.  Many of the buses were back from their morning routes and were parked in the lot.  Quite a few were in the garage bays having various maladies tended to and inspected by very busy mechanics, while a few others were being treated to a trip through the supersized bus wash.

Looking at those big yellow buses reminded me of the great responsibility they and the people who care for them shoulder each day.  They carry that most precious cargo--our children, our future--to and from school, field trips, and sporting events.  And they must be reliable enough to do this day in and day out, county roads and city streets, good weather or bad, from August to May.

Bless those that choose to accept that responsibility--from the bus driver to the mechanic to the parents that place their trust in the big yellow buses and those that work on them.

Family, First and Foremost


I got nuthin' today.  But I do have these two photos that I stole from my sister Kris' Facebook page that I wanted to share. 

The top photo is (left to right) my sister Kelly, my brother in-law Denny, and my sister Kris.  This was taken at my mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary dinner, which we had in February 2010 at Bruno's, a fantastic pizza place in West Lafayette, Indiana, which also happens to be the place my mom and dad had their first married dinner together.

The bottom photo is (from left to right) my nephews Colin, Chris, Connor, and once again my sister Kris.  This was taken at Disney World quite a while ago, as all three of the boys have grown into fine young men (way too quickly for their Aunt Lolo, though).

One of the things I have been blessed with in my life is a family that all possess a very keen, very wonderful sense of humor.  Hope these photos share some of that sense of humor with you and maybe even make you smile.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trafficageddon In Louisville, Kentucky

@UCantCrossMe


I bridge together two states normally, but now that I have some spare time... I'm gonna make fun of you all on the Twitter machine.

OK, I used to live in Louisville, Kentucky, which normally is a beautiful, vibrant, fun city with equally beautiful, vibrant, fun people living there.  However, this bridge--the Sherman Minton Bridge, which is the I-64 span over the Ohio River, has been closed down by Indiana Govenor Mitch "My Man Mitch" Daniels for an indefinite period of time due to the discovery of cracks in support beams of the bridge.

This has created traffic tie-ups of monumental proportions on all of the major arteries of Louisville and Kentuckiana (Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Clarksville, IN). Media advise residents to leave for destinations at least two hours ahead of the time they need to be there. A ferry service has even been started to try and ease some of the congestion on the major roads.

Lots of S-M Bridge Twitter feeds have popped up in the meantime, and this one is just downright hilarious.  It is supposedly (!) the bridge's Twitter feed.  Even if you are not familiar with the area, the tweets will make you LOL.  Enjoy and let me know what you think--and don't forget to pre-pee!




These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part IV

  • 'Round the Fountain Art Fair, last Saturday in May, Lafayette, IN
  • Mango Fruit and Tea Freezes from Capp 'n Gino's, Lafayette, IN (add a dollop of whipped cream...mmm)
  • Holding hands with someone you love
  • Indian Summer days
  • Seeing the looks in the eyes of children as you read to them
  • Respect
  • The smell of burning leaves in the fall
  • Baby humans
  • A rollicking gospel choir belting out a great old tune
  • Small town Saturday nights
  • Beads
  • Matchy-matchy bras and panties
  • Getting back into good physical shape (I love walking)
  • JHS Coffee Club on Facebook (I love all of you!)
  • Any song by Celtic Woman
  • Putting the last stitches into a counted cross stitch project

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Bead At A Time...

I found these great little jewelry kits at my local Michaels craft supply store.  These cute bracelet and necklaces work up with very little effort, look just like the much more expensive Pandora beads and charms (as a matter of fact, they mix and match very well with Pandora and the like), and best of all, cost a small percentage of the retail price of those beads.

When I say they work up with very little effort, I MEAN VERY LITTLE EFFORT.  Most of the beads just slide right onto the chain or cord; your only job is to select the finished order in which you want to use the beads.  The only tools I have needed to use so far are a pair of small needle nose pliers and a pair of small wire cutters.

A nice aside is that A Bead At A Time is selling breast cancer awareness bracelet kits in at least four colorways.  I did the black colorway and it looks fabulous; I wear it with a Brighton breast cancer awareness bracelet I received as a gift a few years ago and the two look like a matched set.

My recommendation:  Get as many as you can afford, make them as quickly as you can, and enjoy the compliments!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ponder This...

From my good friend and high school buddy, Ellen Goldman Fahr:


"How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America?"


Hmmmm....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part III

  • The Christmas lights display at the Cottrell Farm, Rossville, IN
  • Big R stores
  • Watching combines harvest crops at night in the fall
  • Telling the truth
  • Nephews :-)
  • Monkeys (nephews and monkeys = same thing?)
  • Southern fiction
  • Sweet iced tea
  • 4-H livestock shows
  • Looking pretty for someone you love
  • Putting needle to fabric and creating a work of art with your hands
  • Planting a garden in the spring
  • Snuggling with someone you love
  • Dog 'n Suds, Lafayette and West Lafayette, IN
  • Flannel sheets
  • Changing seasons

Preserving...A Work of Love

Shiny glass jars with bright metal lids, sitting on a countertop or shelf, full of the garden's bounty.  What is it about them that is so attractive and satifsying to me?  Is it the pride taken in an important job well done and done by hand?  Is it the knowledge that the food you worked hard to produce is safely stored for use during the cold winter months and beyond?  Is it the beauty of pickled beets next to zucchini pickles next to dilled asparagus spears next to green beans next to tomato juice--all kinds of lovely shapes, interesting textures, and glorious colors? 

Preserving the garden harvest has always brought me a great deal of personal joy and a sense of accomplishment.  It all is a part of the grasp I have of the of the word "home"--a place full of simple pleasures and grateful hearts, where hard work and creativity are celebrated and appreciated, and family is priority one.  Providing for the ones you love, creating beautiful little works of edible art in glass jars, knowing that the food you nurtured all during the hot summer is now in a form that will sustain you during the long days of winter--all is a part of that joy and accomplishment.

Observing the chemistry of home food preservation is fascinating as well.  How in the world do raspberries, sugar, and a fine white powdery substance called pectin come together over a heat source and form such a beautiful thing as jam?  Why does a small pat of butter dropped into boiling jam bring the air bubbles to a minimum?  And that magic vacuum seal of the lids--the "ping"--what mysterious physical forces join and make that happen?  Food scientists know the answers to these questions; we are lucky enough to just watch and wonder.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part II

  • Honesty
  • House of Stitches, LaPorte, IN (counted cross stitch shop)
  • piglets
  • Hadley Pottery, Louisville, KY
  • cut flowers in a vase
  • a child's voice singing
  • Purdue Boilermakers athletics, both men's and women's
  • looking into the eyes of someone you love
  • smiling at someone you love
  • getting a look and a smile from someone you love
  • county fairs
  • the first snow of the winter
  • Cinnamon rolls from Flour Mill Bakery, Rossville, IN
  • end-of-season clearance sales at Macy's
  • shopping for fabric
  • Christmas carols

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part I

  • My family, both immediate and extended--I LOVE YOU ALL
  • My friends--I am so fortunate to have so many--I LOVE YOU ALL
  • Sweet Dill Pickles from Two Cookin' Sisters, Brookston, IN
  • Puppies
  • Calico Plus, Delphi, IN
  • Kittens
  • Fritters with homemade apple butter, Huber's, Starlight, IN
  • Drives in the country in any season
  • Davis Mercantile, Shipshewana, IN
  • Indiana State Fair
  • Baby belly laughs
  • Love that feels right, good, and true
  • Pretzel Buns from Klein Brot Haus, Brookston, IN
  • Gentle rainfall
  • The smell of newly-cut hay
  • Eagle watching along the Wabash River in winter

Now Serving On Maple Street...

This was my dinner last night--Wintry Day Bean Soup (yes, I know it's September 12), potato rolls with butter, baby carrots, and whole wheat crackers.  The great thing about the soup is, even though it makes a ton and there's only one of me, it DOES freeze well.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lemon Sugar Scrub Recipe

Here's a new kind of recipe for you to try!  Made this Lemon Sugar Scrub over the weekend.  Very simple and fairly inexpensive to make (except for the olive oil--yikes!)  Loved what it did to my hands and can't wait to try it on my very rough heels!

LEMON SUGAR SCRUB

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine ingreadients; stir into a smooth, "pretty" paste.  Spoon into pint (12 oz) canning jars.  Fasten lids and give to your friends and loved ones!

NOTES:
  • You do need to stir before use, because the oil separates from the lemon juice/sugar mixture.
  • About one tablespoon = one application of sugar scrub.  Massage and rinse!
  • I used 6 oz, or half-pint, canning jars.  Love how it looks!

It REALLY Is A Wonderful Life...

I have to laugh at the irony of the title I chose for my blog.  My life REALLY ISN'T full of troubles.  I have a pretty darned good life with lots of positives.  Family and friends who love me, relatively good health, a job I enjoy, God-given creative talent and imagination, and pretty brown eyes (thanks, Mom and Dad!).  "Female Troubles" just was a cutesie-catchy name that struck me as amusing; totally NOT a reflection of my life.  I have much, much, much to be very thankful for.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and visit me often.