Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Making Cookies with Jim, Kenny and Dolly

My family's favorite cookies are "Viennese Crescents". I got the recipe when I was in High School (many years ago) from a lady from Germany. She was the mother of my high school boyfriend who my Dad named "Mr. Touchdown". That's as far as we are going in that direction! I have made them for Christmas every year since. They are similar to a wedding cookie filled with ground pecans and double dusted in powder sugar. My husband calls them cocoons.

I love to listen to Christmas music so I put my two favorite CD's on and made a double batch of these goodies this morning. I love Jim Brickman and his "Christmas Romance" CD is wonderful. I have always wanted to play the piano and believe me I have the hands for it. Since I never learned how to play anything but chop sticks and heart and soul, I have to be content listening to someone else play. His music is a delight.

My other favorite Christmas CD if from a old TV special that Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton did back in the early 80's. The show was called "A Christmas To Remember". They had it on for a few years and then all of a sudden it disappeared. (Kind of like my pickles). They made a CD from the soundtrack so I was thrilled when that came out.

Notice the CD is not the same name as the show. The CD is called "Once Upon a Christmas". Maybe it got caught up in a copyright mess. The special was also a favorite of my mom's. She and I both look every year to see if it's going to be on TV, sadly it seems to be archived somewhere. I did a search this morning on it and came across a clip from You Tube that shows the song my mom and I really like from the show. "Christmas Without You". The film is a little fuzzy but if you like Kenny and Dolly you'll enjoy it. So grab a cookie and click on the link below if you have 5 minutes to spare.

Enjoy it mom!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Decorating

Years ago I used to decorate just about everything in sight. For the past few years I have been downsizing, putting less and less out. This year I put about half of what I have up. I told myself I was not going to buy any new decorations but I fell of the wagon today when the hospital gift shop had a sale. I got this cute little figurine by Jim Shore for 50% off. I love all the colors he uses and you know how I am about my cats.

I tend to stick to the same old themes. My mantle hasn't changed except for the snow I put in around the candle in the hurricane glass. My mother made the kids stockings and I've used them every year.

Before kids I used to do a lot of craft work. All kinds of needlework including embroidery, needlepoint, crochet, etc. Here are a couple of things I made that come out of the closet at Christmas.

I made this afghan many years ago. It's huge and was a lot of work. The pine cones and acorns are cross stitched on to the afghan. I smothered my chair in it so you could get a better idea of what it looks like.

Our tree is a smorgasbord of ornaments gathered over 25 plus years. Ornaments from friends and relatives, Hallmark goodies, Tom is fond of the apples I bought to fill in spaces. Most precious are the ones my kids made. The angel Molly made in kindergarten out of a toilet paper roll is ever present on the tree. Jackson made Rudolph out of Popsicle sticks. Both she and Jackson made ornaments using an ice cream cone. Unfortunately Molly's broke but we still have Jackson's to remind us of hers.

I found this ornament a couple of years back of "Eloise".

When I was a little girl one of my favorite Christmas books was "Eloise at Christmas". I read it over and over again. This is a picture of the actual book. I'm surprised it came out looking this good, it is about to fall apart.

Santa Clause brought this book to me. See he even wrote in it!

As Eloise says "Ooooooooooooooooo! I absolutely love Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I See The Moon

Last night the moon was supposed to be the biggest full moon of the year. It would be the brightests and closest it has been to the earth in 15 years. Only 221,560 miles away it would be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual. It would also appear larger at moonrise than later that night.

This is somewhere in North or South Carolina

I kept running outside with my camera to get a picture of this fabulous sight to see. Finally about 6:30 I was able to get a couple of pictures without the trees and houses getting in the way. It was very bright but not near as big as I had imagined. My little camera is not meant to take magazine quality photos. Sadly this is the best I could do.

On December 1st another celestial event occurred. (I don't know what I would do without Yahoo telling these things are about to happen!) The Waxing Moon aligned with Jupiter and Venus is right below them. This event will not be visible again in North America for another 44 years. This is what it is supposed to look like below.
Coming home from my mom's house I could see it clearly, right at dusk. I grabbed my camera and ran out back to get a photo.

Somewhere in this pitiful picture is the Moon, Jupiter and Venus. I believe they are right above the squiggly lines. I may have captured a picture of some little alien flying in front of me or maybe it's Sagittarius in motion. I think I need some lessons in photography.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Most Beautiful Mom In The World!

Today my mother is 86 years old. I am absolutely NOT going to write anything mushy. My mother is known for crying very easily and that is the last thing I want her to do on her birthday! I have this picture in a frame in my living room. I'm pretty sure it was taken when she was 20 years old and I think it's the best picture I have ever seen of her.

Unfortunately it has some ripples in it. I have some photo software that will fix it but I haven't figured out how to use it.

Lucky as I have been to have such a wonderful mother, I have become even luckier through the years to have her as a best friend. I'm trying not to get mushy mom! We talk on the phone everyday and never cease to run out of topics. From television shows to world politics and we have all the answers to everything. Together we are so smart! She never ceases to amaze me with her wisdom and she has a way of "telling it like it is". I should write some of her comments down and write a book. It would be a best seller I am sure. Enjoy your birthday today and tomorrow. (We're celebrating at the Cheesecake Factory tomorrow!)

Happy Birthday Mama!

Loving You "Always".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two Things I Do

This is where I work!

Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX is a huge complex of hospitals and specialty centers all connected to each other. They are ever growing, about half of these buildings weren't there when I started to work there 30 some years ago. I helped build the tallest building which is called the Roberts Hospital. It is 17 stories of patient floors, ICU's, transplant units, surgery, meeting rooms, etc. I'm quite proud of the fact that I donated a dollar out of my paycheck to help fund this project and had a coffee cup to prove it. The cup had "I'm building Baylor University Medical Center" on it. I used it for years until it broke.

I started to work here back in 1972 in the Transfusion Services Lab making $450.00 a month. Yes, I paid for my apartment and living expenses on that salary. (Mom and Dad paid for my car and insurance thank goodness). Transfusion Service is exactly what the name says. This laboratory prepares and supplies all the blood and blood products patients need in this hospital. I still work in the same department and have seen many tragedies and so many miracles in all those days. Our hospital alone transfuses over 6,000 blood products a month!

That brings me to "One Thing I Do".

I am Blood Drive Chairman for Baylor Health Care Systems 7 hospitals. I also coordinate 4 blood drives a year at my hospital. Getting donors is an extremely difficult task and I applaud the Blood Centers and American Red Cross who deal with this on a daily basis. You are about to be bombarded with lots of facts!

1. I already told you how many blood products my hospital uses a month. Now think about how much the entire Nation uses.

2. Someone needs blood every 12 seconds.

3. 70% of us will need to be transfused in our lifetime.

4. You can give blood every 56 days.

5. You will "NOT" get a disease from giving blood.

6. It's the one charitable thing you can do that does not cost you a penny.

7. I've heard every excuse there is for not giving blood.

I bet most of you know someone close to you who has had to be transfused. I was transfused with 2 units of blood after Molly was born because of post partum bleeding. My mother who is anemic had to be transfused with 2 units last summer. So where does the blood come from? YOU! I don't know who wrote this, but it sums it all up.

What Good Is A Blood Donor?

A blood donor is good for people who go through windshields and red lights. For someone with cancer, hemophilia, or anemia. Or hepatitis. Or ulcers. For people being operated on. For people into feudin and fightin. For people who are almost out of life because they are almost out of blood. For a little girl who doesn't know that leukemia has happened to her. Or why. For a little boy who needs something revved up that wound down. Like energy. For people having open heart surgery. For people who need a blood donor and also an organ donor - a part as well as a pint - a new heart or new liver, a lung or a kidney. For new babies needing new blood. Or new mothers needing a transfusion. For little kids who get into poison or fall onto something sharp. For people who fool around with something that explodes, goes off, bites or shatters. For people burned pretty bad. For daredevils. Tree climbers. For people in the wrong place at the wrong time. A blood donor is good for people who are in a lot worse shape than most people you know. Someone needs a little of your blood a lot!

I am fortunate enough to be able to give blood. When I donate I think about all those patients and miracles I've seen over the years like the young girl (Julie) who survived a torn aorta after a car accident. Her heart stopped for 7 minutes in surgery but survived it with the expertise of a gifted surgeon and lots of blood. The student pilot who was the only survivor of a plane crash. Seeing him that day in the ER I knew I could handle just about anything. A young woman with a liver shattered after a motorcycle crash who married the nurse who took care of her in ICU and paid us a visit later with their new baby. The fireman who was kept alive for 48 hours without a liver being massively transfused with over 300 units of blood waiting for a donor. After his transplant he came in the laboratory to thank us and to autograph his new tennis shoes.
Donating blood is the 2nd thing I do. I feel really good about that!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Through The Years With My Dad

Words have just been too hard for me but I wanted to post something new on my Blog. I just have to get those shoes out of sight! Here are some pictures through the years. My brother who is wonderful with words, has several touching tributes to my Dad on his blog. Go to

New Jersey

Seattle, Washington



Wedding Reception in Plano

Even though we look like an add for a TV sitcom, I love this picture taken of our family at a reunion a few years back.

Dad's 86th Birthday - June 2, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Think About New Shoes"

I love new shoes! Most of the women I know do too. I firmly believe this is embedded deep in our chromosomes and somewhere there is a tiny genetic marker in the shape of a shoe.

The first shoes I remember being drawn to were on my cousin Melanie's feet. She had on the cutest, brightest little red Keds. I talked her into letting me try them on. Unfortunately I had to give them back after Melanie ran into grandma's house crying "My shoes are running across the street." Nabbed!

When I was about 7 I saw the movie "The Creature From The Black Lagoon".

Needless to say, that night I had a horrible nightmare. My mother trying to divert my attention away from the dream said "Think happy thoughts. Think about new shoes." Boy did it ever work and from that point on there was no turning back.

I have been through a lot of shoes in my lifetime. Remember the black patent T-straps or Mary Janes bought for special occasions and holidays? In elementary school it was black and white saddle shoes. Weejuns (Bass Loafers) were a must in Jr. and Sr High. They looked great with knee socks and skirts. (We couldn't wear pants to school back then.) In Hawaii we took our old weejuns and cut pieces out of them with a razor blade to make them into sandals. I've never heard of anyone else doing this. They were too cool.

In college during my hippie days, I had a pair of navy blue suede ankle high desert boots. I painted a white star on the toe of each boot. I absolutely adored them. A boy in my English class noticed them. He later told me he was looking around the room and saw these blue boots with stars and just had to look up to see who was wearing them. He painted a white star on the gas tank of his Harley for me. Everybody now ..... Awwwwwwwwwwww!

I have been through all the fads and I'm proud to say I've even worn platforms and "too high" heels and not fallen off of them. I'm not very graceful so that was quite a "feet" for me. Ha!

I have since graduated to comfort. Nothing makes me more miserable or ornory than having my feet hurt. Thank goodness the shoe makers have realized how important comfort is to us. There are so many brands and styles to choose from and I can still indulge my shoe addiction.

Last year I got these Me Toos. The insoles are like marshmallows and the leather is soft and flexible like a moccasin. They are so comfortable.

I reverted back to my childhood with these pink plaid sneakers. Melanie would be so jealous and don't tell Kelly I bought them at Target!

My most recent buy from "Trinity Expressions" adds a little bling to my wardrobe. I just love these flip flops! See they even sparkle!!

The old saying still goes "What goes around, comes around". Mary Janes, Platforms, even Top Siders are back. Are dessert boots back yet? A pair in blue please.

What was inborn and lovingly instilled by my mother still works for me today. Happy thoughts and new shoes can chase away any old nightmare and we all know for sure.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trinity Expressions

Becky and Christy
My friends Becky and Christy have a business called "Trinity Expressions". They sell fabulous accessories including jewelry, buttery soft purses and rhinestone adorned flip flops and belts.

I visited them at a huge craft fair this weekend held at a high school in Richardson, Texas. This was the largest one I've ever been to with over 150 booths. I had to get myself out of there pretty fast with so many tempting things to buy! Their space was a little small but you can get an idea of some of the cute things they have from my photos below.

I just love the tan and brown purse in the back. In front folded on the table, are jean jackets with a cross on the back that are really cute and comfy. They have just added the jackets and t-shirts and haven't had a chance to put them on the website, but will be very soon.

I bought this cute little lightweight backpack. I am always looking for something lightweight to carry my "necessities" in for outdoor outings like garage sales and you guessed it craft fairs.

I tried on the flip flops you see in the right bottom corner. I have to tell you they are not on the table anymore, they came home with me. They are so comfortable and cute.

Becky and Christy are two of the nicest and fun people I know and are really putting their "hearts and souls" into this. I hope you will take a look at the items on their website. My pictures do not do them justice. Here is the link.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

No More Garage Sales!

This weekend I had my "last garage sale". I have been trying to get to this for over a year and I must say the weather was perfect for it. Thursday I worked my tail off getting everything out of boxes and set up. The preparation is the worst part. I started the sale Friday morning and had a somewhat steady stream of customers until about noon. I closed up for the day about 2 pm. My husband Tom promised not to stand by the ab exerciser below.

In fact the lady who bought it asked me who used it? Ha! I'm sure she didn't think it did me any good either. I told her my son used it, which is true kind of. She asked me why he didn't want it anymore and I told her he didn't need it because he was involved in a lot of sports now. By the way Jackson had his first swim meet yesterday and won first place in the 100 meter free-style against 5 other schools!

If you need exercise equipment it's probably best to buy it at a garage sale. Most of the time it hasn't been used very much. The exercise bike was my Dad's. He did use it but it was too hard for him to get on and off of.

I opened again Saturday morning and had just a trickling of people come by so I ended up closing about noon. It was Texas - OU weekend in Dallas, plus the State Fair is going on. How about that Texas win!

My cat Rosie has always loved garage sales! Despite being 18 years old and disguised as an overgrown rat, she still attended. I had a lot left over and took a load to Goodwill yesterday afternoon, the rest is being picked up by the animal adoption center on Wednesday. I have a few collectibles that I just can't give away so I am going to put them on Ebay. I am now retiring from having sales and instead will go to them. You never know what little treasure you might find.

My friend Carol and I have had many garage sales together, some successful and some not. Carol loves to tell the story of how she went home with everything she had left in one little shoebox. (Now that's a successful garage sale!) This one I did on my own and it was just not the same.

Doing one by yourself is just not as fun. I missed you girlfriend!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I'm pretty much finished for now with my construction. What do you think? Now it's on to organizing my garage sale for next weekend, cleaning house, doing laundry and back to weeding my flower beds. I have put off working in the yard for so long that the grass and fire ants have taken over my yard. I have had to stop frequently because the ants are everywhere!! I hate those critters.

On another note Jackson started his first job at "Yogurt Fever" this weekend. I am not sure how he is going to fit it into his schedule. He is a busy boy this year with school, tennis team and swim team. He will be working weekends and the shop is within walking distance from our house. Of course the walking will probably never happen! They just opened and seem to be doing alot of business. Here is a picture taken of him recently at the homecoming game.

Speaking of games, Cowboys are playing again today. I'd better get back to the yard and get ready for hopefully touchdown time!!

I am not tired of this picture yet.

Go Cowboys!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Working on my blog

I have been trying to get my blog fluffed up a bit. Time and lack of the knowledge to do it is making my progress slow. I will not be blogging until I figure this out, I am very stubborn! Also I am planning on having a garage sale next weekend and need to get ready for that. I'll be posting hopefully soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Molly

Today is Molly's birthday! I can't believe how fast the time has gone. It seems just a short time ago since the day she was born. My labor was loooong and preparing me for an emergency c-section the Dr. decided to try forceps first. I heard him say "I knew that was a stubborn little girl". They placed her in my arms and I remember she wasn't crying just looking at me in a bewildered sort of way. When I looked into her dark brown eyes my world and the purpose of my life changed forever.

The last couple of days the words from the song "Turn Around" has been playing in my head.

Where are you goin', my little one, little one?
Where are you goin', my baby my own?
Turn around and you're two, turn around and you're four
Turn around and you're a young girl, going out of the door.

This picture was taken on her first birthday. When I put this picture in Molly's baby album I wrote underneath "On My Way". I never knew how true that would turn out to be. Time has flown by so fast since the day she was born. She has filled our lives with joy and we are so proud of the young woman she is today.

Turn Around
Turn Around

Happy Birthday Molly!

On September 27, 1985 you got the "Birthday".

We got the "Present"!

Love You Dearly,

Mom and Dad