New Addiction! Treats by Eileen

You might remember last year I blogged about a local coffee roaster… ROOK COFFEE. It is still my #1 supplier of caffeine. I have graduated to a more intense flavor, substituting my safe choice of the Honduras bean to a more robust one from Guatemala. But now I have an AWESOME snack to go with my cup of joe! Granola… Vanilla Almond Gourmet Granola to be exact… made right here in Ocean, NJ by TREATS by EILEEN.

Treats by Eileen

 

I never would have discovered this delicious treat had I not made the decision to get out of the house for a change of scenery. I hit up Barnes and Noble… to read their magazines :-0… when a woman came in frantically looking for this month’s copy of Food and Wine. Apparently a friend of hers received her copy in the mail and reported there was a BLURB  printed about Treats by Eileen. She wanted to read it for herself… and buy a bunch of copies… because SHE was Eileen… as is in ‘Treats by’.

Sadly the store still had last month’s issue on the shelf, but that didn’t stop us from thumbing through the issue any way ‘just in case’. Yes, I said ‘us’. Spurred on by her excitement I grabbed a copy and helped her look. It’s alway more gratifying to have someone to share your good news with… even a stranger.

I remember when the sign went up on the building of my very first bookstore… Chicklet Books. I was bursting with excitement… and there was no one to share the experience with. It was a let down of sorts… but just for a brief moment. So now… whenever I see an excited someone I step up and help celebrate the moment. THIS was one of those moments.

We sat on a bench in the magazine section and talked for a bit. Eileen shared her story about her Gourmet Granola. Her passion for her product and business just bubbled out of her. She’s been producing granola for over 30 years and is STILL excited about it. As she talked about the wholesome all natural ingredients, the soft feel against the palate when you bite down, the fact that she uses no sugar or honey… it made me hungry. When she mentioned her granola clumps and is more of a ‘cookie’ shape I perked up. Did she say COOKIE??? Now you’re talkin’… I could use a cookie right about now.

As we parted ways, I decided I just HAD to try this fantasy granola. I was planning on treating myself to a cup of ROOK coffee any way… and thought some granola would be a nice side treat.

Treats by Eileen is sold locally in Delicious Orchards, Sickles Market, and all of the Dean’s Markets… as well as other locations. Dean’s was close to my home… so off I headed first to Rook’s then onto Dean’s. I couldn’t WAIT to get home and taste what all the fuss was about.

OK… Eileen was right. Not only does the granola taste great… but the soft crunch is what makes this granola superior! I purchased the Vanilla Almond flavor and was happy with my choice. Roasted almonds mixed with stone ground whole wheat flour, oats, and a touch of maple syrup and vanilla… ahhhh… PERFECT!

Not only am I ‘keeping it local’, but healthy and natural too!!! Go me!!!

AND… for those of you not living locally… don’t worry… you can order online too. Go to their site… Treats by Eileen.

OH… and I just found out… if you are in a rush for your caffeine fix and don’t have the time to stand in line for the ’45 second pour’ of delicious coffee… you can TEXT your order and it will be ready when you arrive!!! To order their coffee online and get the text info check out their website… Rook Coffee.

While you’re at it… grab a book to read from The Paperback Exchange… and you are all set!

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

Donation Quilting. I Need HELP!

A few years ago a friend insisted my quilting ability was a marketable skill. I have since realized very few people are willing to pay the going price for a quality quilt. Each lap sized quilt takes on average 50 hours to complete and costs about $85.00 in materials and supplies. If I charged a fair hourly rate of $20 an hour… I would have to charge just over $1,000!! It makes my stomach ache just thinking about it. Yes, my quilts are worth it… after all they are true family heirlooms, but I found I gain more pleasure in quilting for charity.

My Grandson's Forever Quilt!

My Grandson’s Forever Quilt!

 

Over the past two years I have mailed out over a dozen quilts anonymously to families hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Using fabric from my personal ‘stash’ kept the costs down. However, at my own expense I purchased the batting and backing fabric. Just because I was donating these quilts, I didn’t skimp on quality. I still insisted on using the best of everything.

My goal this year is to complete 4 quilts for the QUILTS OF VALOR program. All donated quilts are given to a wounded warrior to be wrapped in love and warmth. In addition, I would also like to contribute 4 quilted wall art pieces to THE HOUSE QUILT PROJECT presented to returning wounded warriors. Both causes are calling my name!

I anticipate the QUILTS OF VALOR donations to cost approximately $100 each in materials and shipping and the HOUSE QUILT PROJECT donations to cost about $30 each. Is there any chance you (or someone you know) might be willing to help defray these costs?? I would be forever grateful!!! Please contact me for further details. Anyone donating $100 or more will get their name added to the quilt label and journal that goes along with the quilt.

Donations can be made through PayPal (use the email address of deb(at)uniqueandnovel(dot)com), or by sending a check or money order to my home. Please contact me for information. Oh, and YES… you can donate ANONYMOUSLY in cash (believe it or not I’ve had this happen once).

If for some extraordinary reason I receive donations above what is needed to complete these 4 quilts and 4 wall hangings… I promise to use the funds to continue on and make more quilts for donation.

All donations and progress will be notated on my blog in a monthly post. I intend to make these items no matter what! With help, without help… no matter.

If you would like to help design, cut, sew or do any ‘hands on’ work, please contact me via email: deb(at)debhathaway(dot)com. I will send you my timetable for you to tell me when you are available. *This is a perfect opportunity for those of you wanting private quilting lessons… For FREE!! If you don’t live near me, it is still possible to help by sending items via snail mail, however YOU will be responsible for all postage to and from me.

If you would like to donate batting or backing… please contact me FIRST. I am very particular about the brands and quality I use. FYI… I am frugal in my purchases and LOVE using coupons, however I have PLENTY!

I can not accept donations of fabric at this time. I only use top quality quilter’s cotton from reputable independently owned quilt shops. Besides, until I design a pattern, I have no idea how much of which fabrics I will need. But thanks for thinking of me!

If you really want to help, but don’t have the time… feel free to buy me a cup of coffee to keep me going!!! My favorite ROOK coffee costs $2.35… I drink a regular size Honduras with cream and sugar… oh and a chocolate croissant or a bagel is a nice touch :-)

Please check out the sites for QUILTS OF VALOR and THE HOUSE QUILT PROJECT and see why I’m obsessed!!

If you have any questions, please comment below or send me an email!

Thanks in advance for your support!

Deb

 

 

I Declare a ‘Do Over’!

I declare a DO-OVER today!!!

In an effort to begin eating a healthier diet… I made the decision to begin my day with a hearty bowl of Steel Cut Oats. I read many recipes last night, some lamented about the long cooking time and others suggested par-cooking the night before so your morning wouldn’t be spent stirring oats for half an hour over a hot stove. Well… time was on my side this morning, so I decided to go the old fashioned route.

It really wasn’t so bad. There wasn’t much stirring… just simmering for 30 minutes and occasionally giving the contents a twirl. Once finished I topped the oats with a touch of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I considered adding blueberries… but changed my mind.

Digging my spoon in, the smell was AWESOME! The oats were cooked to perfection… not mushy and yet not hard either. The Italians would call the texture Al Dente… ‘to the tooth’. However… I soon learned I wasn’t crazy about the taste of steel cut oats. I like oatmeal… but trust me when I tell you they are not the same. Fail #1.

Steel Oats

Next up… I cranked the music up LOUD (hearing loss is an annoying health issue) and began to clean and organize the kitchen while dancing to the beat of some oldies (but goodies). Clipping my hip on the corner of the table made me see stars. OK… I’ll admit it… I’m getting a little too old to be dancing around without my glasses on! Fail #2

I needed to bake something healthy, but sweet to have on hand when the craving after dinner hit. I’ve been choosing fruit lately… but I realized my mouth wanted something to ‘crunch’. Finding a recipe using things I had in the pantry was a bonus! Score! Being a new recipe from PINTEREST I followed the directions precisely.

My baking skills are a bit above average. I’ve been sticking my head in a gas oven to light it since I was about 8 years olds (and my husband wouldn’t let our kids use the microwave at age 13!). I can tell when something is finished baking by the aroma in the air. Really! I’m not kidding! But I set the timer any way… and without paying attention… my mouth watering snack BURNED… to a crisp!! Ick! Fail #3

Burned snack

And the burning of food continues! Trying my hand at coconut rice… I poured the coconut water into the rice cooker, added water to reach the appropriate level, dumped in the rinsed rice, gave it a stir and clicked the lid down… hitting the power button at the same time. The steam shooting out the top 15 minutes later was heavenly!! The cooker beeped when it was finished, like it has done for the past 4 years. I popped the lid and fluffed the rice with a fork… but wait… what was all this brown ick I was stirring up from the bottom? Oh… the rice burnt. *sigh*… Fail #4

Burned Coconut Rice

I’m guessing it’s time to turn the volume down on the music, and to step away from the kitchen appliances! It’s only NOON!!!

I awoke this morning with the memory of a disturbing dream… so crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over my head doesn’t seem like an enticing way to ignore today. Since it’s impossible to have a ‘do over’, I’ll just put a smile on my face, Keep Calm and Carry On!

Here’s hoping you are all having a wonderful Tuesday!!!

 

 

 

 

Under Construction!

Under

*****  Both myself AND my blog are under construction.

It all began innocently enough at the hair salon last week. Every 3 months or so I drive an hour to my favorite hair dresser for a little touch up in the highlighting department and a fresh cut. As soon as I wiggle comfortably in the chair with my wet head… she raises the scissors and asks, “Sooooo… what are we doing today?”

I don’t know why she asks. She likes my hair long and although she might snip a little different angle around my face at times, she still leaves it long… at least an inch past my shoulders. TODAY however, was different. “How about shorter this time?” I squeaked. I don’t know what came over me. When I woke this morning the thought of cutting my hair any differently never entered my mind.

Catching a glimpse of her in the mirror, standing behind me with an uncertain look on her face I meekly continued, “I have a picture with me.” Pulling my iPhone out of my purse I quickly opened one of my Pinterest boards and thrust a picture of a woman with a chin length shaggy cut out for her to see. I pinned that photo over a year ago… I surprised myself that I could bring it up so quickly.

My hair dresser looked at the photo, looked at me, looked back at the photo, then back at me again. “Yes! Yes! (screamed like she was having an orgasm) Yes, this will look great on you. Let’s do it!” And with that… the butterflies in my stomach who so far had only been quietly flitting around inside began furiously flying around as the first cut of 8 inches of hair hit the floor.

EEEEK! What have I done??? I closed my eyes preferring not to watch. “It’s only hair,” I reminded myself. “It can always grow back”.

At that moment I realized how much trust and faith I put in my hairdresser. She has been cutting and styling my hair for over 20 years. She has never let me walk out of her salon looking bad. Not once. Never. And I was sure today wouldn’t be any different. But I still couldn’t watch.

Smelling the spritz of hairspray I knew she was finished. Twirling my chair around she thrust a mirror into my hands and ordered me to look. I loved it!!! So did she!!! Phew!

Boosted by the confidence of a new hair style… I decided it’s time to break out of my rut altogether. For the past few months I have been thinking my website and blog need a little re-vamping. Well… there’s no time like the present. So without further slacking… I’m off to make that happen!!! I’ll be back cuter and more fun loving in a week or so. Hang in there… I promise you it will be worth the wait.

 

Ridiculously Easy Amazingly Yummy Rice Pudding

My warehouse shopping trip last week included buying a gallon of milk. What was I thinking??? I’m only one person, and I don’t drink milk by itself… not even with cookies. I decided I had better think of something to make with it before it soured.

Still on my kitchen table waiting to find a ‘home’ somewhere in my tiny bungalow was an oversized bag of rice. Hmmmm… milk, rice… RICE PUDDING!!! Perfect!

Two years ago I tried to make rice pudding the traditional way. It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R with hours of standing and stirring at the stove. The end result was undercooked rice in a thin milky sauce flavored with cinnamon. NOT what I was hoping for. So I was a little hesitant to try again. Not one to shy away from a challenge… I hit the Internet and searched the world wide web and found the BEST recipe… using… a crock pot!!

No more standing tirelessly at the stove. No undercooked rice. Just set it and forget it!

Ridiculously Easy Rice Pudding

Ridiculously Easy Rice Pudding

Are you ready for the recipe???

3/4 cups long grain rice (I used Jasmine)… rinsed

3 cups milk (I used 2%)

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cardamom

Pinch of Salt

*I threw in a Cinnamon stick for good luck

Toss it all in the crock pot, cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. Open lid and stir, remove Cinnamon stick, unplug, close lid and let sit to thicken… about 15 minutes.

Serve warm for instant gratification… or chill in the refrigerator to eat for breakfast the next day. Sprinkle with more cinnamon or top with whipped cream. YUM!!!

How ridiculously easy is that???

You can thank me later.

*Tip: Drop sugar down to 1/2 cup without much difference to taste

Linking up to Bloglovin…

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Adventure with Creativebug

“I won!!! I won!!” read my Facebook post last August. As a devoted reader and follower of Meg Cox and her Quilt Journalist Tells All newsletter and blog, I entered her contest with the fabulous prize of a 6 month FREE subscription to an instructional craft site… Creativebug, and…. I WON!!! Without further rambling… here’s my review and thoughts on my Adventure with Creativebug.

I never win any thing, so imagine my surprise when I got the email from Meg Cox with the good news! For you folks who are as crazy about quilting as I am, go check her out. She reports all the happenings in the quilt world, not to mention in addition she’s the author of two great books, The Quilter’s Catalog AND Family Traditions. You need to have both of them on your bookshelves.

Any way… I won the honor of running around the Creativebug website for 6 whole months… for FREE!!! Be still my beating heart. This site is a crafter’s dream come true. Taking classes at your own convenience, in your jammies, with all of your own supplies at your finger tips. I also like that you can sit and view the class, then think about your project, gather your supplies, then watch the class again and actually make the item this time.

We had a harsh winter here in the Northeast, and I was delighted to be snowed in to spend as much time as I wanted to try my hand at a new craft, brush up on one I was rusty in, or just view one I wanted to learn ‘how they do that’.

I was bowled over with the quality of their videos and the knowledge of the instructors. Some I had never heard of, but trust me when I tell you Creativebug sought out instructors that are tops in their field. Come on! Kaffe Fassett teaching me quilting in my own home???? SWOON!!! Beyond my wildest dreams!!!

While stalking the site I was amazed at the wide selection of techniques offered. No craft is off-limits, and there is something for every one at every level. As a beginner jewelry maker, I viewed the class on making wire links. I dabble in journaling, so my pens and markers got a good work out following one of Creativebug’s journaling Work-A-Longs. My mother was a sewing instructor so I learned that skill as soon as I could reach the throat plate and the foot pedal at the same time, yet I watched the classes any way… and still learned a new tip or two.

My favorite classes on the site were the ‘Work-A-Long’ classes. They are more intensive classes taught over a four-week or so period. Not only did I learn more from this style of teaching, but it creates a ‘habit’ and makes me continue with this craft once the class is finished… oh, and it gave me something exciting to look forward to, AND (I am sure this is what the marketing gurus at Creativebug were hoping for) this style of class had me click on their site more regularly.

I found the classes to always be fresh, well produced and top-notch. New classes are added on a regular basis, so I was never bored. There was always something that interested me.

Now that I’ve told you how much I LOVED the site, let me take a moment to tell you what I didn’t love. There were a few hiccups when viewing a course, like not buffering, or freezing right in the middle of something, or the PDF of materials not downloading. Although those issues were annoying, I found them to be few and far between… plus easily rectified.

My major complaint was when my FREE 6 months was finished, but my Top Down Raglan Sweater was not. That’s when it dawned on me I didn’t actually OWN the class and therefore could no longer access it… without becoming a paying member.

I contacted Customer Service via email to ask if that is how the process works… and instead of getting a direct answer to my question, I was instructed (in a very upbeat and friendly tone) to upgrade to the premium subscription where I would have access to ALL classes. I hadn’t decided to continue the subscription as yet, so to me it kind of felt like it was a hostage situation… “Pay up, or you will never be able to finish that sweater”.

I replied, “So I’m guessing the answer is no? You can’t re-visit a class you have already taken once your subscription is up?” It took Customer Service 11 days (almost two weeks!!!) to reply… and I quote…

“Unfortunately, in order to watch the premium classes you will need to pay for the premium subscription. So you are correct. You cannot revisit classes once your subscription has expired. I do apologize for the inconvenience.

However, you do not need an account to access the free content we have available. If you wish to become a Premium subscriber, you will be granted unlimited access to our over 200+ workshops, for a small monthly fee.”

Now all of this might not seem so bothersome. After all, I have plenty of projects that aren’t finished, and I can find another way to use the left over yarn… HOWEVER… I was a bit taken aback when I went on to the Creativebug site this morning to gather information for this blog post to find THIS…

“We are very excited to announce that Keep Classes Forever has gone live on Creativebug.com!” 

Arrrggghhh! And guess when this was posted??? One day BEFORE Customer Service replied to me. Not that this new feature would be able to help me with my situation, but if they really wanted me to continue my subscription, that information would have most likely turned my indecision into a resounding YES.

Oh… and one more little bit of info that would have been the icing on the cake would have been to inform me about the lower monthly fee!!! Originally they were charging $9.95 a month… which has now dropped to $4.95. Don’t ya think THAT should have been mentioned in my email??? Instead I found out about it on my own. If I weren’t posting this blog today, I never would have visited their site again… never would have known… and most likely would never subscribe. Now I have food for thought.

Here’s the BOTTOM LINE…

Did I learn a lot?    Yes. Great videos with talented instructors.

Would I recommend Creativebug to others?    Yes. I am so thrilled with their classes that I am joining their Affiliate Program. Please check back in a few days to use my link to join them.

Do I think it’s a good deal?    Yes, now that the price has dropped. Plus there are a lot of FREE classes you can take without subscribing.

Am I going to subscribe?    Hmmmmmm…. Still undecided… but most likely yes. They just added a calligraphy Work-A-Long that looks enticing… PLUS I’ll be able to finish that damn sweater.

TIP: I would suggest you schedule a specific day and time for viewing and mark it on your calendar. You would be amazed at how quickly a week (or two) can zoom by without allowing time for crafting. At the new low price of $4.95 a month, if you schedule a class once a week, the cost per class works out to $1.24 each. You get a WHOLE LOT of quality instruction for less than a cup of coffee!!!

To start your Adventure with Creativebug please click on their logo on the right sidebar. They also offer a 2 week FREE Trial!!!! Click on the words 2 Weeks FREE in the side bar.

Have fun!!! And remember to ALWAYS create something special!

Single Girl Finds the Answer to Warehouse Shopping!

Loving Costco as much as I do, ( click HERE to read an older post about one of my shopping trips) I found I needed to figure out how to store produce without it going rotten before I could use it all… and I DID. Continue reading to find out how a Single Girl Finds the Answer to Warehouse Shopping!

Take a close look at the photos below. Both the raspberries and celery were purchased at Costco and have been stored in my refrigerator. They weren’t wrapped in anything special… just tossed in the refrigerator straight from the car.

Look how FRESH!!!

                            Look how FRESH!!!

Celery is still CRISP!

                            Celery is still CRISP!

How long do you think they have survived in my refrigerator? They weren’t purchased at the same time. The celery has been in there 3 times longer than the raspberries. I just finished eating the raspberries this afternoon and the last raspberry was as tasty and fresh as the first one.

The celery still was firm and crispy. I’ll be honest… I lost a few of the outer stalks due to age, but once I tell you how long they have been in the refrigerator I bet you will be AMAZED!!!

Are you ready? Are you sitting down? The raspberries were 3 weeks old!!! Yes, you read that right… 3 WEEKS!!! Not ONE had gone mushy or moldy. The actual photo was taken yesterday, right before I ate some.

The celery? Believe it or not, I purchased a cello bag containing 4 bunches of stalks on December 22, 2014. That’s 2 MONTHS ago!!! I’m not kidding!! The leaves are still fresh and ready to be tossed in to a pot of simmering soup and the stalks were tasty when spread with peanut butter as a snack the other day. Moist, crunchy, juicy celery goodness.

So how did a Single Girl Find the Answer to Warehouse Shopping???? I’ll tell you a secret… the answer has been on the sidebar for over a year on this very site. Go ahead, take a look, I’ll wait. Did you find it???Berry Breeze

For about 18 months I have been an affiliate of an item named BerryBreeze. No larger than a box of baking soda, you insert a battery and place it on a shelf in your refrigerator… then forget about it. Basically this little beauty sanitizes the air, but if you need more information than that please take the time to check out their FAQ page.

It really works!!! I have used it myself and am very happy. I feel comfortable purchasing mega-sized packages of fresh fruits and vegetables knowing I have prolonged their shelf life… without repackaging and freezing or canning them.

Where can YOU purchase one??? I’m glad you asked. Just click on the ad on my sidebar and it will take you directly to the BerryBreeze site… PLUS my affiliate code is built-in so I get credit for the sale! I have to warn you… it’s a tiny bit more expensive than I thought it would be, but considering how many hundreds of dollars of spoiled food I don’t have to throw out made me quickly realize it was a smart choice.

If you will notice, BerryBreeze is the ONLY item I promote. I’m obviously not doing this for the pennies I earn as an affiliate. No… I promote it because I know it works and want to spread the news. Hopefully it will be something you need too.

Bring on the Farmer’s Markets! I’m ready! Are you???

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti and Peas

I have declared February 12th the Official day of Spaghetti and Peas.

My husband, Walter Stanton Hunter, Jr. lost his fight with ALS eight years ago… the same amount of years he lived with this illness… eight, very long years.

As long as I knew him, he requested the same dinner feast year after year on his birthday. When most people craved an expensive steak, or a super dinner out on the town… my husband, without fail, asked me to cook a humble dinner of Spaghetti and Peas.

Spaghetti and Peas for dinner!

Spaghetti and Peas for dinner!

Why? I don’t know. It’s not like I didn’t serve this as an easy weeknight night meal. I did… many, many nights. That didn’t stop him from asking for it every year on February 12th… his birthday.

Oh the battles that would ensue at my dinner table over the side dish of peas!!! The kids despised them. One year I hit upon the solution… serve them to the kids FROZEN! Bingo… never a pea problem in our house ever again.

No meatballs, no sausage, just a good hearty homemade meat sauce… topped off with plenty of parmesan cheese. The garlic bread oozed buttery goodness down our arms and a salad to make the ‘mom’ in me feel the meal was somewhat healthy. This birthday dinner was repeated time and time again… without fail. Even when he was on a ventilator… I blended everything into a mushy paste… and down it went.

In the past few years my kids and I , along with a few family members and friends would remind each other to eat Spaghetti and Peas on the 12th in his honor. Last year we even posted photos on Facebook. This year… I stepped it up a notch and have decided to invite EVERYONE to join in the fun!!!

Here’s the deal… If you are reading this post I ask you to make a commitment to eat some kind of Spaghetti and Pea dinner on February 12th. I know, I know, I can hear you all now… you don’t like peas!! OK… serve something else instead. Heck, I don’t really care if it’s even spaghetti… the rules are really loose. Last year my son and I made lemon fettucine. Use your imagination! Be creative!

Make your commitment public!!! State your intentions by commenting below on my blog… … or on the newly created Facebook page.

Next… LIKE my new page on Facebook named… you guessed it… Spaghetti and Peas! Take a photo of your dinner and post it there. I promise we won’t judge.

THEN… and this is IMPORTANT… If you feel so inclined I ask you to make a donation to the ALS Association. The link takes you to the Greater Philadelphia Chapter… who were so helpful during our family’s stressful time. Please, and Thank You!

I can’t BEGIN to explain to you how much the ALS Association helped our family, and so many others in need. The money you donate not only goes to research… but also for supporting current ALS patients and families on a day to day basis. Honest!

LAST… Send this message out to everyone you know. Invite them to join you on February 12th for a Spaghetti and Peas dinner!!! Send it via Facebook, email, snail mail, hot air balloon!!! Let’s make this a BIG event… A YEARLY event!

Stan always wanted to bring awareness to ALS and how it affects families. If he were alive today he would have been one of the very first to have a bucket of ice water dumped over his head. Well… sadly, he’s not here. So let’s all bring awareness in his honor!!! Eat Spaghetti and Peas!

To that end… if you know me personally, you know I have been struggling writing a book about this time in our family’s life. It’s a hard book to get out of my head and down on paper… and I’ll be honest, there are times I just don’t have the strength to ‘get it done’. This morning I awoke with a new direction… I have decided to change the working title to Spaghetti and Peas Please. This simple change is making me see this book in a whole new light. It’s a story that needs to be told… and I WILL tell it!

Sooo…. What are you going to eat on February 12th????

SPAGHETTI AND PEAS PLEASE!

I Guess I’m Getting Old

Last week I called a friend of mine and complained I couldn’t get warm. My personal internal thermostat was set on ‘freeze’. Shivers were running through my body, even though I was wrapped in an afghan.

“What’s your home thermostat set on?” he asked.

“66 degrees.”

“What does the thermostat read?’

“66 degrees.”

“Well, Deb… then your house is 66 degrees. Turn the heat up. Most people our age have it bumped up to 70. My wife has our house locked in at 71.”

Ack!!! OUR age??? How insulting!!! After I thought about that comment for a minute, I realized he was right. Each morning when I look in the mirror, more and more I see my mother staring back at me! My face is aging. I guess I’m getting old.

The television volume is cranked up a few more decibels than last year, and I drive a few miles per hour slower than normal. My doctor suggested I lose the extra inches around my middle and my daughter asked if I was letting my gray hair grow in. I guess I’m getting old.

Burning the midnight oil to finish a project is no longer an option, and taking a nap on a rainy Sunday afternoon is heavenly. Loud noises and chaos make me cranky. I guess I’m getting old.

Store clerks call me M’am. Police officers don’t look old enough to shave. No one has offered me their seat on public transportation yet, but I bet that day isn’t too far behind. I guess I’m getting old.

The younger generation is shifting from Facebook to Instagram. I’m staying put. Of all the thousands of things my cell phone can do, I only use the camera, Google maps, and check email. I guess I’m getting old.

My flat screen TV monitor suits me just fine… I see no need to upgrade to the new curved, 3D, or supersize version. My eyes flutter shut before Saturday Night Live comes on, yet I’m wide awake for CBS Sunday Morning. I guess I’m getting old.

The next generation is in the wings, poised, ready to take over. I’m ready to step aside and let them. I guess I’m getting old.

I watch young families and reminisce about the good old days… how I was a mom with three young kids a long time ago. What fun we had when they were little. Oh how I cringe at the thought of all the money needed for their care… the doctors, optometrists, orthodontists, sports equipment, college education, weddings, and more. Thankfully no longer a problem in my life. I guess I’m getting old.

I have no responsibilities other than my own happiness. My fabulous kids are beginning their own families. I am the matriarch… the oldest living member of this little group. I guess I’m getting old.

It’s time for me to do what I want, to be selfish… to play… to travel… to paint… to quilt… to catch up with old friends. I want to skate on the lake when it freezes over, and paddle my kayak when it’s not. I can decide to ride my bike, or lace up my athletic shoes and take a walk… or simply grab my camera for a little one-on-one with the local scenery and breathe in the salty beach air. I guess I’m getting old… and thankfully still active.

There is still so much to see and do in this life. I may be a little slower, a little heavier, a bit more wrinkled with snow on the roof… but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Getting old is a privilege not given to every one. I guess I’m happy to be getting old.

On Being a Grandma

Wow!!! Being a Grandma is EXAUSTING… and the baby isn’t even born yet!

I have been sewing like crazy for the nursery… as the deadline imposed by my daughter is fast approaching. Not to mention my fingers have been a flurry of activity turning skeins of yarn into cute and adorable hats to keep his little baby head warm.

Adorable Baby Hat

 Adorable Baby Hat

Nursery under construction

Nursery under construction

Today I spent the ENTIRE day running errands and stocking my house for the upcoming month. I’m not kidding! Armed with a ‘To-Do’ list longer than my arm… I left at 10am and didn’t return until 6pm! Trips to the postoffice, produce store, grocery store, gas station, Costco, fabric store, Target, Staples, and an unscheduled visit to a brand new Hobby Lobby kept me up and running the whole day.

Normally…. I would not have tried to squeeze all of that into ONE day, but time is getting short. It’s T minus 3 weeks… the ball is on the 20, and it’s the 4th down. You know as well as I, babies come at the most inopportune time. I’m ready!

I’m delighted to be on the First Call list. Not that I’m needed at the hospital, oh no… I’m needed to ‘Emma sit’. For those of you not familiar with Emma… she’s one of my adorable grand dogs. I can’t WAIT to see her reaction to all this. Emma has been the spoiled princess for 11 years… and now a little prince is going to take up space in her domain. Should be interesting.

Princess Emma Mae

Princess Emma Mae

I guess all that’s left for me to do now is to pack an overnight bag, including a book and some sort of craft project… and wait.