Monday, April 30, 2012

College Subway Art

Hopefully, ya'll are not too tired of my college house talk and stuff but sharing this with you has helped my empty-nest-i-ness.  So I'm glad you're here!  And I think I only have 1 more project to tell you about after this one so bear with me please...thank you.

I enjoy all the typography and letter art that many creative bloggers have done.  This was something I could definitely personalize and do myself for the college house!

I used Microsoft Publisher.  Just choose the terms or graphics that you want to include.  Place them randomly in the document using various fonts.   It takes a little attention to get the words to fit together and minimize the white space. 

Print it out, put it in a frame and it's ready to go.  On move-in day, we hung it on the wall.  And wouldn't you know, I don't have any photos of it to show you.

So let's just go eat lunch!

See ya!


Linking with:
Tuesday To Do Party

Par-tay-ing with these fun ladies at Debbiedoo's Newbie Party:

Random Thoughts

 Fox Hollow Cottage

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blakelie's Dash

A few months ago, I heard a spiritually moving speaker talk about "the dash".  The dash?  What's that you ask?   Family members often include a few words on the tombstone to describe their beloved one's life.   But what about the dash?  The dash between the 2 dates on the tombstone.  Does anyone notice the dash?  What does the dash say?  "What will you do with your dash?" this speaker asked.   He was speaking of what acts we will do to honor God during our lifetime.  His talk stuck with me.  The dash.

But what if there is no dash?  What if life is so short there wasn't opportunity to even breath air much less honor God?   

My husband and I recently lost a grandchild.  She was stillborn at 38 weeks.  We could not believe this was happening.  As far as we knew, Mom and Blakelie were doing fine.  We had enjoyed a baby shower and they were getting the nursery ready.  As we drove to the hospital, I cried and I prayed.  I don't remember what I asked for in my prayer, it's just all I could do at the time. 

While we were at the hospital, a couple of my stepson's friends came by to speak to us.  These young people spoke such hopeful and encouraging words.  I could feel His spirit around us as they spoke!  They didn't know us, they didn't have to do that.

As the situation became much more critical, we had to go to Birmingham.  The windy weather had prevented the special medical team from coming in locally on a helicopter or jet.  The doctor on call made the decision that he would ride in the ambulance to UAB.   He's the doctor on call...this was totally above and beyond his call of duty!  He didn't have to do THAT.  This was another sign to me that God would ride too! 

Hours later as we sat at McDonalds outside UAB, my husband called our pastor to let him know what was going on and to ask for prayers.  The gentleman sitting at the table behind us overheard our conversation.  He spoke as he passed by our table.  He admitted he didn't know us or the situation but offered to pray for us...adding "God doesn't make mistakes".  A total stranger was offering support.  He could have left McD's without saying a word.  He didn't even care that we were not the same race as he was.  God doesn't care what race we are either.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as he went on his way. 

The first of many hospital chaplains came by to check on the emotional well being of Mom who hadn't yet delivered the baby.  This was a critical time and the situation was overwhelming.  I asked if he could pray with us.  He asked Mom and she agreed.  Everyone in the room circled up as he led a prayer of hope and reassurance for our young parents!  The team of experts then helped Mom deliver a beautiful baby girl.  One day we'll get to see her again.

Amazingly, He is still honored by a life that was barely a dash!  If an infant child who barely has a life can cause so many people, some of them strangers, to cross paths and honor Him, can you imagine what the rest of us could do with our life?!

Blakelie's life, her dash, has shown to me that our dash is about Him in our life.  It's about GodGod wants to have a relationship with us!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Remembering April 27, 2011

Most people in my area will never forget this day and will not hesitate to remember where they were and what they were doing.   The Bassman was working outside of Chattanooga about 2 hours away.  My daughters were in Tuscaloosa which is also about 2 hours away.  I was home overseeing our master bathroom renovation.   It's amazing to me that we were that far apart and all 3 of our locations were affected by the tornado outbreak that day.  We didn't suffer the loss or devastation that some did.

I took shelter in our half-bathroom closet ... 5 times that day.  It was awful.  Had I known it was going to be that severe I would have gone to a real tornado shelter.  The construction crew left after 2 tornado warnings to go check on their family and houses. 

This photo was taken with a cell phone from the shopping area nearby.  My house is between here and that humongous twister.  Had I looked out my back window I might have seen it.  I'm glad I didn't!

This is the bathroom before we started the renovation.  We couldn't wait to get rid of that wallpaper!  It was applied directly to the drywall.  No paint underneath, nope, none.   My messy vanity (that I can't believe I'm showing you!) was complete with a contractor grade mirror and that 6-globe light fixture.

This is the tub area, we started removing that little "knee wall". 

Here's the awful shower with access panels that are 2 different colors.  Cheap contractor stuff.  Excuse my dirty laundry, okay? 

Today, one year later, the renovation is finally complete but I have yet to take any photos of the room.  I'll do that soon, without the dirty laundry!  Ha ha!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spicy Dr Pepper Pork Crockpot Style

Pork roast is one of our family favorites and I was excited to try a different version like the Pioneer Woman Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork (can we add more words to that name?) 

Hoping to find a 5 lb roast, I came home with the smallest one I could find, 7lbs.  Hope the leftovers are good 'cause that's a lot of meat!

We had a few projects going on that day that took us away from the house.  This was perfect for the crockpot and it was ready when we returned home.

Roast isn't complete without onions.

I always add more onions...

Salt and pepper this hunk and put it on top of the onions in the crock pot.

Sometimes my grocery list is not specific.  I've never cooked with "chipotle peppers in adobo sauce" (can we also add more words to that?).  I think I was more concerned with getting the correct peppers and didn't pay attention to HOW MUCH to get!   So I came home with 1 can which was not enough.  How can it be spicy pork without enough peppers?  And I am not going back to the store, no time for that.

The Bassman reminded me that we have dried chipotle peppers in the cabinet so I sprinkled on some of that.  He LOVES peppers and hot spicy foods, but has not been a fan of chipotle peppers.  Yet he was keeping an open mind (and mouth :) ) on this dish.

Add in the foamy Dr Pepper.  I've baked ham with coke before, but not Dr Pepper.

After about 6 hours on High, it's falling apart.

Pull out the bone and chunky fat that may be left.

I decided to serve it with a side of steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.  The Bassman propped those peppers on the side for the photo.  Didn't he do good?  And doesn't that roast look good?  Very moist meat with a smooth, smokey, spicy flavor (can we add more words to that?)!

We prepared 2 dinner plates (Bassman had seconds) and 2 leftover plates.  There is still PLENTY of roast to fold up in a few tortillas like the PW did.  Sounds so good with the cool cheese, tomato and cilantro.  Yum, I am looking forward to that!

And one of these containers is going in the freezer for later!  This was a great change up to pork roast and to traditional southern smoked pulled pork.


Linking with Sweet As Pie Cooking Club

Monday, April 16, 2012

Side Table Metamorphosis

Trying to furnish a house or even a room by refinishing or redoing old stuff has kept me busy for a while.  I had no trouble finding projects to fill the time in my empty nest! 

This 1980's side table cost $4 at a thrift store.  It was solid and not in real bad shape, but looked like someone had used it as a work table.   Yep, if you've been reading along, another redo for the college house.

My upholstery instructor said he likes to use Cabot penetrating stain, so that's what I'm using.  Hopefully after a good sanding, the dark walnut color will look something like this when it's all done:

Pottery Barn

It already looks much better after just 1 coat of stain!  

I applied 2 coats according to the directions on the can.

Then applied the sealer, 3 coats. 

Seems no matter how thin I thought each layer was, there is still a drip every now and then!

I liked how the stain didn't quite penetrate everywhere.  It left a lightly distressed look without even trying!  I'm not sure if this is because it still had some old sealer that I missed with the sander or if the oak wood just didn't accept the stain. 

I delivered it to the college house and didn't get photos of it in use!   But I was pleased with the way it turned out.  Pottery Barn-ish.  I think a basket with a throw or books underneath would complete the look!

Do you have a favorite Pottery Barn side table?


you are talking too much

PW Breakfast Burritos

Boy am I way behind with this.  But for a good reason.   Seeing how many this makes, I wanted to wait for the family to be home to enjoy them.  And enjoy them we did!  Pioneer Woman Breakfast Burritos was one of our selections at the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club last month.  I saw her make these on her Food Network show and they looked so easy.      This is definitely a keeper and should work well to make half a recipe.

I used the frozen southern style hash browns.   The pan is already full!   Add to the to-do list:  get bigger pan.

While the taters are cooking, chop the pepper...

...and have some coffee...

...and grate the cheese...and make some noise because everybody is still asleep.  Except the Bassman and well you can probably guess where he is.  Yep, gone fishing.

I just used our favorite seasoning in the egg mixture...

Smells good, looks good

Pile it on the burrito...

I kept them warm in a 200degree oven.  Then when each sleepy head wandered into the kitchen, they could grab one when they got ready to eat. 

This is mine, I'm not waiting on anyone!



I'm sharing this over on our new PW Potluck tab since I missed the post last month!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I am a Blogger Groupie

Is there a Blogger's Anonymous group yet?  If not, maybe I'll start one.  I am the woman at the well and I am a blogger groupie.   There, I said it. 

It began when I started following Christy Jordan (Huntsville, AL) of Southern Plate.  I went to her cooking show and cookbook debut at the University of North Alabama.  I had no idea how these things worked and never really cared about autographs so I didn't take my cookbook or my camera!  But I did meet her and chatted for a long time few seconds.

Her  Chicken Noodle Soup is really good.  Never eat the canned stuff again!  I sent this virtual bowl of soup to her Facebook page when she posted that she was under the weather.  Her comments were gracious and some of her other friends asked questions about the soup.   So we had a little moment that day on Facebook.

Recently I met a few members in "The Mix" of the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club when we took a field trip to The Pioneer Woman book signing.  It was fun to meet them and join the other 300 fans there!  We were early enough to be right there up front and center!  But no, we were busy chatting and visiting and didn't think to MOVE UP while all those other groupies fans piled in front!  We did get great line numbers though, we were number 76.

Other local popular bloggers that I follow were there too!    Kevin and Layla (Prattville, AL) of The Lettered Cottage were there.  They were so nice and are so talented and so patient with all of us groupies fans.   They told me they are having fun just going with whatever opportunities their blog opens up for them.   Their shutter headboard on the HGTV website is what inspired the college headboards that I made.   The talented lady (Troy, AL) behind Perfectly Imperfect was there too.  If only I recognized her, I would have met her too!

Finally, I get to meet Ree!  She was friendly and we talked about her dog Charlie.  I used to have 2 bassett hounds years ago and she said I should get some more, they're so funny!

Ree and me
Jennifer, the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club founder, shared the online club with Ree.   Ree nodded, smiled and seemed flattered!  She left some information with Ree so hopefully she'll have a few minutes between book signings to check us out!  Wouldn't that be sweet as pie? 

It was such fun getting to know Jenny and Amanda too!

Now, I wonder which blogger I'll meet next.    Have you met a favorite blogger?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Feta

Believe it or not, I made this recipe before I joined the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club and now it has shown up as one of our selections!  Yay! 
Make this Pioneer Woman Pasta salad with tomatoes, zucchini and feta but get ready to feed an army!  Or maybe a big family or your next potluck.   Seriously, it makes more than the 12 servings indicated on the recipe. 
Nothing special about the preparation really.  Get the pasta cooking according to the directions.

Chop the veges into bite-sized pieces.  

Chop the parsley.

Slice the lemon and get ready to squeeze!

Stir it all together with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I liked it.  I did add more feta.  Next time I'll have more tomatoes and zucchini and less pasta.  Call in the troops, it's time to chow down!


I'm linking with the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club


Tuesday To Do Party
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