Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rescued again...

This is what happens when you need help at THE VERY LAST MINUTE and your friend Natalie saves the day...(the most creative person I know).

This is what happens when your friend drops the HUGE busy project going on in her own life to help you decorate 13 empty paint cans, and her husband drills holes in the top, and her whole household is interrupted and devoted to helping complete this particular project IN ONE EVENING.

This is what happens when your administrator tells you on TUESDAY to create 13 containers for money votes for the contestants of a beauty pageant on Thursday night of the same week...

Whew! What a friend...thank you, Nat, from the bottom of my heart for always helping me...usually at the last minute! Thank you for the fellowship, the laughter, the gossip, the dinner, the supplies, the ideas, and most of all for rescuing me once again.

Monday, April 21, 2008

BSM: Sunshine

Lucky enough to capture a bit of sunshine in your life lately? Tracey's post for Best Shot Monday this week made me focus on the sunshine in my life right now...

the daughter when her heart sings, and her little bow mouth turns up into an real smile
a nuzzle from a cat after a long hard day
a phone call from the best friend in the whole wide world asking to spend time with me
watching a newborn baby sleep and dream
snuggling the husband on our couch while watching a movie
the smell of freshly made coffee
my favorite songs drifting into my ears from headphones, enveloping me
a walk in a nearby park, wading in the water
soaking up the rays of the sun on a spring afternoon
buying some new clothes for spring
the taste of berry key lime cheesecake-sharing it with someone you love
the sight of people emerging from winter's cocoon, enjoying the spring
laughter, loud and silly, from girls you love
newly painted toe nails and bare feet walking through the fresh grass

Here's hoping you have quite a bit of sunshine in your life right now too! Enjoy your week.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Theme: Spring

It WAS spring here, and oddly enough, we have had a bit of a cold snap...30's in the mornings, and 70ish by the afternnoons. It is actually kind of nice! The afternoons this week have been lovely, but I have been SO busy with testing and school functions that I could not really enjoy them. I am longing for a picnic in a nearby park...

This photo is from a recent afternoon in my parent's yard..."thrift" my mother calls this flower; it is in patches out by the mailbox. It reminds me of my childhood. Seeing it always makes spring offical for me.
Hope you are having a great week...basking in the sunlight, enjoying your spring-like weather, emerging from your winter's cocoon, and soaking in the delight of the newness of the world awakening. For more spring, visit Stacey at The Land of K.A.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Two for Tuesday

Good News all around!

The daughter's pathology report was clear...all abnormal cells were removed with her recent surgery, and all is well!

My mother does NOT have breast cancer again; it was just scar tissue from her first bout with it 14 years ago.

Praises to an awesome God.
Thanks for the prayers, well wishes, and good thoughts.

On another note, we started state standardized testing in our county today. I am exhausted. Much too tired to take photos, think up clever posts, or even think really. I am off to bed to rest for another long day tomorrow...hope your week goes well.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Best the Whole Wide World

She has a blog! PLEASE drop by and wish her well...
This woman is my dearest friend in the ENTIRE world! She would remember better than I do about why we started saying, "my best friend in the whole wide world," but in the scope of my life, she IS my very best friend in the whole wide world...she knows me better than I know myself. She is patient and kind, much more so than I deserve. She drops everything to be by my side when I need her. She not only does this for me; she does it for MANY. She is perhaps THE most selfless person that I know. We share fun times, laughter, secrets, hard times, and JOY. She knows ALL of my secrets, my faults, my vices...and loves me in spite of them! She has had some of the most intense challenges in her life, and has handled them with grace and humility...she continues to have faith that God is by her side through it all, while encouraging others along the way. She is STRONG...stronger than I could ever imagine being...when others would give up, she keeps going on.

Sallee and her husband will be going on a trip to his home land- Northern Ireland- this summer, and she will be blogging all about it! I can not wait to log on every day and discover Ireland along with her! I hope you will come along on the journey!

Sallee, welcome to the blogosphere! I have found that I like it here. The people are quite nice, and the freedom to share is exhilarating! I love you, my most effective.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Theme: Perfection

Life is just rarely photos certainly are not perfect, but once in a blue moon, a perfect moment comes around. This is one of those times...

The daughter had surgery yesterday. It was not major surgery; it was an out-patient procedure, but she was still having surgery. She was nervous. I was nervous. I think everyone was nervous! I am certain that so MANY people prayed...she handled things so well that after the surgery, she wanted to go visit her cousin, MEB, at my parent's house (they keep her every afternoon after school until her parents get off from work). These photos show a perfection that can only be truly understood if you hear the squeals of delight from a five year old when she gets an unexpected visitor, someone she loves with her whole heart- someone who will color with her after just having had surgery...a perfection that can only be understood if you know what it is like to worry that your child might not wake up, only to see her laugh and play again...a perfection that means God is good...all the time...things WILL be alright...I just have to believe they will.

For other moments of perfection, please visit Stacey at The Land of K.A.!

Note: By the way, pathology reports on both the daughter and my mother will not be in until Tuesday. So, waiting and praying still!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday Woes

I hurt someone I best friend in the whole wide world.
My heart aches.

The daughter is having surgery a few hours.

My mother is having a biopsy tomorrow to see if the breast cancer she had 14 years ago has returned.

Someone I love's daughter is battling against an ugly lie with her life.

My head is life feels out of control right now.

Right now, all I can worry about is the daughter...after her surgery and whatever the doctor says, then I can worry about the rest...

I know God is in control. I believe His hand is on my life, and I know that many others have been praying and will be praying today. For her. She will be fine. I have to believe that everything will be fine. I am trying to learn to take my own advice and hand it ALL over to my Father, my God, who is by my side through every tough situation. I have always believed in the power of prayer. I have felt it myself. I know God is real, and He is in control. I am His. I am His prodigal daughter, making my way back, sorry and ashamed.

Monday, April 7, 2008

BSM: "Live in the Sunshine..."

"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, and drink the wild air..."- Emerson

Today, I would like to share one of my favorite places on EARTH! I recently spent the day there with my best friend in the whole wide world while we were on spring break. If you have never been, and you get the chance to go, DO NOT MISS IT! If I had millions of dollars to spend on anything I wanted, I would quit my job, purchase a house here, and open a shop in the square....this is my most wonderful fantasy! (Some days are tough enough that this fantasy is ALL that gets me through to the next day...)

Just take a glimpse of ONE part of this fabulous place:

This is Seaside, Florida. I can not even begin to tell you how amazing this place lovely, how quaint and perfect. I am sure it is just like the rest of the world (less than perfect, complete with disappointments) but in my head, it is PERFECTION! Check out this site if you are curious about the beginning of this town; it was built with purpose and with luxurious simplicity in mind. Everything about this town relates to the "Seaside style." My most favorite stops besides the actual beach are Pickles Beachside Grill for lunch (the BEST fried pickles!), Perspicasity (a Mediterranean open-air market), Sundog Books and Central Square Records (GREAT books, neatly arranged downstairs, while the ecclectic musical finds are upstairs), and last but not least, Modica Market (a charming little grocery store with the most unusual gourmet finds). There are loads more, but these are just my favorites.

(Note: By the way, the film The Truman Show was filmed here. If you see the film before or after visiting, you will notice so many lovely aspects of the is so neat to see this lovely place in that strange film!)

For BSM, I chose to share a few photos that I took recently from Perspicasity, Modica Market, and surrounding areas...I know, there is more than ONE, but I so adore this place.

FABULOUS Emerson quote and
my very favorite concept:
"shop barefoot by the sea."

They sell clothes, shoes, jewelry, odd
and eccentric things...

Lovely open displays, baskets,
such great finds!

Modica Market

Bike rentals

Thanks for going on that mini-vacation in my mind with me...I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Please stop over at Tracey's to see what other friendly faces and new places people are sharing today!

(Note: I hope you will also take time to read about what a GREAT weekend we's theme worked for that too, but I had already told you all about it!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Welcome to My Weekend!

First of all, last night was girls night in at our house (with the exception of the husband, and all of the girls said he was allowed to stay-LOL!) The daughter and four of her closest girlfriends all decended upon our house with movies, margarita mix, snacks, and a multitude of gripes and complaints towards several young men that just had to be vented! Everyone, glass in hand, perched in some comfortable spot around our living room, while we watched one of the most beautiful films (so I thought at the beginning) called Into the Wild. Rated R, (not for children)lovely cinemetography, interesting angles, a unique concept based on a true story, and a handsome leading man...what could be better? Well, by the end of the film, I was shedding tears and was so disturbed that I honestly had difficulty sleeping later. I will not spoil it for those that might want to watch it, but I will say that despite whatever unspeakable things this young man felt his parents did to him, no parent deserves what his ultimately got. Perhaps because I am a mother, maybe this is why it disturbed me so much. I am not sure...I am still mulling it over in my mind. I will cherish the lovely sights I was able to see of the Alaskan wilderness that I will never personally witness in my lifetime, but the human nature side of the film left me perplexed and feeling sad. Despite the feelings the film left in me, it was so nice for ours to once again be the house where all of the girls gathered!

Next, today is Saturday...a rainy one at that. We are all feeling lazy and without much purpose today. Three of the fours girls are still here, and I made homemade calzones for an early dinner. They are throwing down with the Wii- boxing like I have never seen girls box before...Hilarious!

Not the best photo, but there were some serious knock outs going on mind you! I can hear the crowd cheering from here, so someone just won! And the re-match is on...

Even though I have not gotten much done at all so far this weekend, it has been a nice comfortable time with my family and the daughter's friends. I have a baby shower tomorrow and a massive amout of school preparations before Monday, so I will spend the rest of today pretending that I am free without a care in the world!

By the way, if you've never made homemade calzones, and you'd like to, check out the following recipe. This is only the second time that I have made them, but everyone seemed to like them, and right now there are no leftovers!

1 loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed (I used two loaves for two huge calzones)
1 pound of mild Italian sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
(I also used diced grilled chicken and pepperoni in addition to sausage)
1 cup of shredded Provolone cheese
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of Ricotta cheese (I left this out, since we do not like it.)
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1 egg white
Roll out the bread dough on a floured counter to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. In a medium skillet, cook sausage and drain. Spread meat, cheeses, and spices over dough. Roll up carefully so loaf looks like a long loaf of French bread. Seal long edge and tuck under the ends. Place the rolled up loaf seam side down on greased cookie sheet (I used cooking spray to lightly coat the cookie sheet.) Glaze the loaf with egg whites. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and enjoy!

Note: This time, I made 1 sausage, pepperoni and cheese calzone and 1 chicken and cheese calzone. Next time, when I have green peppers, black olives or other vegetables, I will try those too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday Theme: Stylin'

It's Cherry Blossom Time!

We are in the midst of a two week Cherry Blossom Festival that causes our city to become awash in pink...bows, wreaths, flowers, balloons, flags, clothes, name it; it most likely turns pink here for these two weeks! (Many of the men involved with the festival functions even wear pink sports jackets! And visitors who visit the city and do not know about the festival usually think there are ridiculous amounts of baby girls born because of all of the pink ribbons!)

About today's theme, I have to say, I have no photographic style. I have never given it much thought really. I ADORE photography exhibits, arty creative expressions with photography, black and whites, photos with no people in them (my sweet mother can just not understand why someone would take a photo without a person in it! LOL), photos that tell a story with no words, and images that move me in some way. I am not really able to do all of those things myself; I am basically a "point and shoot" kind of girl. I aim to be more than that one day, to take instantly amazing shots, to move people with my photos, and to feel inclinded to hang something I have taken on my walls. I desire to have a FANTASTIC camera, to take a photography class with the daughter (who does have a naturally good photographic eye), and to become something more like a photographer than a point and shooter. (ha,ha)

My photos for today's theme: stylin' are more about the person in the photos- my niece, MEB, is making a return with her precious stylin' self! (Just let me say, her mother, my sister-in-law dresses this child to the max! She shops mostly at Gymboree, and MEB is matching from head to toe - even panties and socks oftentimes!) This pretty in pink girl and my pink city are the things that I chose to share with you today.
For more stylin' stories and photos, visit Stacey over at The Land of KA...Enjoy!