Friday, December 2, 2011

Apple “Pie” for One (or more)

I LOVE apple pie! Man and BoyWonder??? not so much! So when I get that gotta have some apple pie feeling, I often make Faux Apple Pie. The beauty of this METHOD (not really a recipe) is that you can make enough for one or more quickly!

Ready?  You need the following:

  • med/large apple (one per serving)—peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • butter
  • apple pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • sugar (granulated, brown, raw…you pick)
  • panko

Here we go….

apple dessert 1

Place your apple(s) in an appropriate sized non-stick sauté pan.

apple dessert 2

Add a little butter.

apple dessert 3

Sauté over medium heat until apple just start to soften.

apple dessert 4

Sprinkle on apple pie spice.

apple dessert 5

Stir to distribute spices.

apple dessert 6

Add sugar. Stir and cook for a few minutes. (Until apples are just shy of how well you want them cooked…remember this is a METHOD, not a recipe…like mushy apples? cook longer) Winking smile

apple dessert 7

Add panko and a little more butter. The butter helps the panko to brown nicely!

apple dessert 8

Continue to cook, stirring, until your panko is browned.

finished apple dessert

Top with some ice cream (vanilla or caramel-flavored), if you like!



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks

Give Thanks 2011

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: … (Psalm 107:1)


May you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lost: Sammi

Okay…I’ve been trying to push through, to find my way. But I’m lost. After being a homeschool mom for over 10 years, I have been abandoned for public school. It was not my choice. I didn’t even get a vote. There are MANY reasons why I homeschooled, and those reasons have not changed. However, Boy Wonder decided that he wanted to give public school a try, and he was way too smart to come to me with his request. No, he went straight to Man. I have many problems with the entire scenario; however, that is not why I’m here today.

I have known all summer that Boy Wonder (BW) was going to be going to “real” school. I have tried and tried to prepare myself for the adjustment. I tried to convince myself of all the pluses: more time to sew, no school paperwork, no one here to make messes all day (other than myself!), time to read what I WANTED to read (instead of trying to stay one step ahead of BW in his homeschool reading), and on and on. Well…BW headed to school on September 6th and I was slapped with reality. My reality. The reality that I am lost! The worst part? I do not even understand why I feel that way. I mean I do….but I don’t. With the exception of not having to come up with lesson plans, grade school work and occasionally assist with school work (I still assist with school work…just not during the day), my days are much as they were. I mean, BW is nearly 16….I haven’t exactly had to sit with him and actively teach him in quite a while. He read his assignments and worked on them alone unless he ran into something that he didn’t understand AND could not figure out on his own.

I am still Man’s wife. I am still BW’s mom (and S’s mom…but she hasn’t lived with us for over 3 years and is now married…and lives far, far away…so not a part of this story….just didn’t want her to think that I had forgotten that I’m her mom also…just in case she reads this…love ya SJ). Where was I? Oh yes. Basically, while homeschooling was a part of my life for a long time, it wasn’t ALL of who I am. I am still a wife and mom, friend and neighbor….child of God. I still like to cook, clean (yes, I know…weird….but don’t worry, because I am an unorganized person that likes to clean…so my house still has REALLY BAD moments), bake, write, read, sew, crochet, and on and on and on.

Perhaps it is just the fact that I don’t like change. Maybe it is that I feel like I’m missing something….like I should be doing something and I’m not quite sure what that something is. I am trying to take it one day at a time…one moment at a time. But my soul is restless. Which, I believe, is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world!!!

Yes, I am heading into a new season. Things are changing. I feel utterly and completely lost. But I know….yes, I KNOW, that as long as I allow Him, that God is leading the way. And He is not lost. So I try to quiet my soul, for it is safe in His hands.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Jeremiah 29:11 (Amp)

Of course, sometimes a girl just has to DO something when she feels like everything else is out of her control. So yesterday, I had my half-way down my back hair chopped off…to a chin-length bob. Check out my new profile photo…what do ya think? I think the hairstylist thought I was a bit loony! And maybe she was right….. Winking smile

Until next time….



Sunday, September 11, 2011


On a beautiful morning in North Carolina, I sat on my sofa crocheting dish cloths for Christmas gifts. A national news program was on the television. The raw news of a plane crash into one of the World Trade Towers was the topic. There was confusion about what had happened. Then I watched in complete shock—and horror—as the second plane hit as the news cameras rolled. For a brief moment, my mind searched for ANY reason why two planes could accidentally hit the towers. There was none. News of the Pentagon came in. There could be no doubt. The U.S. was under attack. Sometime during the morning we hear that a plane is missing. Soon we would be learning about the heroes of Flight 93.


World Trade Center 9-11 cross



Yes, the United States of America was forever changed. Today we remember...the ones lost…the ones left behind…and the loss of a generation’s innocence.

**Please click on the photos to go to their sources.



Friday, September 2, 2011

Buyer’s Remorse

Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 021


See that machine beside the books? I started regretting buying a Cricut Expression not very long after it arrived in my home. Why? The expense in using it. I purchased it with the intention of ordering some 3rd party software to bypass the expense of the cartridges. Then I put off buying the software until my budget was a little better prepared to handle it. Then Provo Craft (the maker of the Cricut) sued the 3rd party software developer and it is no longer available. Which would be okay, IF Provo would develop their own software that did not require the use of their cartridges at a cost of $25-$90 EACH.

I should have done more research! If I had, I would have discovered the Silhouette. Which has MANY more capabilities than the Cricut!!!! Lesson learned. So now I’m saving up for the new Silhouette Cameo that is being released in October….and no, I will not be able to purchase it then. I’m afraid that the $299 price tag is more than my husband is going to let me spend at the moment (other things are a little higher on the priority list). The terrible irony is the fact that I paid nearly that much for the Cricut that has basically sat around collecting dust. Truly….I’ve only used it for a few test runs. I didn’t make ANY real projects with it, unless you count a few poster board/glass glitter ornaments that you can see here or here.  It hasn’t been powered up in months. Did I mention that this was an expensive lesson? one I’m posting about in the hopes of preventing others from making. With that said….anyone want a slightly used Cricut Expression at a heavy discount? Maybe someone that already has a lot of cartridges and just wants to upgrade from the smaller cricut? Anyone? And just know…the software CAN be found on e-bay; but at the current bids, I can buy the Silhouette and lots of extras!

Until next time….


Thursday, September 1, 2011


Spring comes late and Autumn comes early here in Upstate New York. Being from North Carolina—where Spring comes early and Autumn comes late—it is very hard for me to get used to leaves starting to turn in late August.

 Signs of Autumn

Yesterday, I turned 41 celebrated acknowledged the 12th anniversary of my 29th birthday. For as long as I can remember, August (birthday month) has been a time of reflection for me--What have I accomplished in the last year? what goals did I fail to reach? what can I do better in the year to come?—but, since moving to NY in 2008, add to that a deep dread of the coming change of the season…a longing to go back home…just a deep sadness. See, I’m a creature of habit. I do NOT like change….well, not drastic change. And believe me…after never living more than 3 miles from where I grew up, moving to NY was devastating.

Wow…this post has taken a depressing tone; which was not my intention. I highlighted the last paragraph to delete it, but decided that it is time to get REAL!

Anyway…all that to say: As September begins, it is time for some changes. Despite three years of hoping that my husband would decide that this “experiment” of living in NY is a failure, being in NY is my new reality. I have to be a grown-up (which sucks, BTW), and face it. Time to give up my one-woman pity party (albeit grudgingly) and move forward.

As I’ve stated before, we rent. Although Man likes (really likes, most of the time) living here, he doesn’t want to retire here. So we decided not to actively look for a home to purchase. Other than a very short period at the beginning of our marriage, we owned our own home in NC. Renting is an irksome state-of-being for someone known for knocking down walls, pulling up carpet, painting (walls and furniture), re-arranging furniture, etc. whenever the mood hit her. I have had/am having a TERRIBLE time trying to reflect ME in this house.

But in the spirit of moving forward, I’ve decided to take a deep breath and try again!

Here are some photos of my recent studio re-do (still not what I want, but getting closer…baby steps):

Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 012Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 015Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 016Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 019Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 021Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 022Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 023


For BEFORE (and before BEFORE) photos go here.

Like I said…still not what I want, but at least I can find most of my stuff, and I have some room to work! I personally would like to go on a shopping spree for shelves and other organizational furniture, but Man has vetoed “big” shopping. While some of that is budget concerns (the economy stinks, ya know), his main concern is having to move it….eventually. He so dreads a future move (the actual getting stuff from point A to point B) that yesterday he told me to order myself an e-reader so that 1) he doesn’t have to build anymore book shelves and 2)he doesn’t have to “move those book shelves and even MORE books.” Moving twice (actually 3 times for him, twice for me and son—he came to NY alone to start his job; 5 MONTHS later he finally found a house for all of us; then a year later, we moved again) in 1 1/2 years, has left him with moving anxiety. Winking smile 

BTW, anyone have an e-reader suggestion????

Until next time….



Monday, August 22, 2011

Creative Baby Step

Lately I haven’t spent much time with my sewing machine. It definitely hasn’t been from lack of desire. The want-to-be artist within me has been very anxious to create. However, one thing after another kept getting in the way.

Today I NEEDED to sew! Instead I started cleaning/reorganizing my studio. Along the way, however, I came upon a small piece of wool felt that I bought several months ago to make some baby shoes. Aha! Just what I needed to get my sewing “fix”…a quick project! (Felt baby shoes are quick and easy since they need no lining.)

Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 008

They came together so quickly that I decided to use the same material to make a flower for a hairclip.

Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 007

I would much rather use the flower for a baby headband, but I don’t have any headband material that I think it would coordinate with very well….not even some plain black elastic.

Studio (August 2011) 2011-08-22 011

At least I was able to create something today! And yes, I did manage to get the studio organized. Now…if I can only keep it that way! If I get a chance, I will share the changes with you tomorrow.

Until then….



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Madison-Bouckville Antique Week


After living here in Upstate NY for 3 years—only 20 minutes from Bouckville—I finally made it to Antique Week! Man and I were on a mission, one that we only maybe, almost accomplished. You know how it is…when you are looking for something specific, you never seem to find it. We were looking for a small cabinet for our bathroom. Since we rent, we need something that can be a temporary storage solution.

At first, I kept getting side-tracked! SO MUCH to look at! When we came to a tent full of buttons and fabric, Man stopped, took out the money clip and handed me LOTS (relatively speaking) of cash. I handed much of it back to him and reminded him of how CHEAP I am! Here is what I bought there:

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 030Some lovely home décor fabric.Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 031Wonderfully soft plaid and vintage buttons.

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 032And this heavy-weight cotton print. I apparently like this color combination, because I have several other similar fabrics already sitting on my shelf. (Note that these photos were taken AFTER I was home….because the first 30-40 minutes I was at the show, I completely forgot that my camera was in my bag. I really am a terrible blogger.)

As I finished paying for my fabric, I spotted Man across the lane….checking out fishing lures. Check them out was all he did. There were lots of bargains to be had at the show; but if there were any bargain fishing lures, we didn’t find them. Poor Man. On our way back out to the road, Man spotted this:

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 014Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 015Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 016Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 017My new sewing table. I am sure that Man thought I would bring it home and refinish it. Wrong! I actually love its rustic charm. The only “refinish” its going to be getting is a good rub-down with some Tung oil, mainly to condition the wood. The Tung oil will also help enhance its charm. As Man was negotiating the price of the table, a lady in the booth asked if he was a “picker”. I knew what was coming…a confused look. I explained it to him later. Winking smile

After purchasing the table, Man reminded me that we were on a mission. No more major buying until we found what we were looking for!

We walked up and down Route 20.

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 006

We walked in and out of the fields where the tents were set up. We saw lots of neat things.

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 001Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 002Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 003Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 004

I LOVE that birdhouse, but I barely got to take a picture…much less hunt down the owner to find out the price. Man was leaving me at a rapid pace. I had to keep up. I saw the locker and though “um…where could I put that?” Man didn’t even slow down. He was on a mission. “Let’s find that cabinet; then we can slow down and just look.”  Need a trophy for your wall? I saw numerous deer heads, a moose…even a bull. That one shocked me so much that I forgot I had a camera hanging around my neck! So, sorry…you’ll just have to imagine that one.

On down 20 we walked and walked some more. No luck on that side of the road. So we crossed over 20. When I saw these, I had to stop and take a picture:

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 007Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 008

If you collect vintage lunch boxes, there were a few in this booth! Plus a few thermoses…

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 009

I know these aren’t the greatest photos…no time to readjust settings. Man was moving on…as a matter of fact, he came back and got me at this booth. Okay, okay….I’m coming.

Back onto Route 20…into another area of tents….still unable to get any photos….Man having no sympathy that I’m trying to be a better blogger. BUT FINALLY, we found this:

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 018

(Yeah, I know….more pictures from the living room.) Man spotted it. I was absolutely shocked that he even paused more than a few seconds, because Man doesn’t like things with “character”. Especially this kind of character…

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 019

He looks at me (obviously desperate to get back to looking at fishing lures), “Can you do something with this?” I’m thinking, “yes, I can; BUT NOT for $95.” I told him I could remove the broken veneer…and I likely would have to paint it….and most likely it would have to have a distressed finish to disguise the damage. All things that Man hates! By this time the owner was there ready to negotiate. I checked it over. This is a solid, well-made piece. The drawers are dove-tailed. They slide in and out relatively smoothly. The veneer is only on the drawers and what-ever those pieces are called that divide the drawers. Do they have a name? Then Man pulled out the tape measurer. Of course….4 inches wider that our space. He did a quick mental re-arranging of the washer/dryer that are also in the bathroom and decided that maybe….just maybe, it might work. The jury is still out on that one…but for $60…still I’m in shock that Man let it come home with us.

I also spotted this wooden case at the same booth.

2011-08-18 001 2011-08-18 004

See that scratch down the front? Well…that wasn’t there when I first saw it. But when I picked it up to get a closer look, the object in front of it had a wire sticking out that I didn’t see…and well…oops. It’s okay…I was bringing it home regardless. $15 was more than my cheap self wanted to pay, but I wasn’t about to try to negotiate that one…Oh well…at least I didn’t damage anything I couldn’t afford! Plus a little wax and that scratch will just be a memory.

It was time for a bite to eat…then off to another field. Time to finally take things in at a slower pace.

Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 010Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 011Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 012Madison Bouckville Antique Week 2011 2011-08-18 013

And then it happened…yes, wouldn’t you know it….a sudden headache. One of those nasty—if I don’t take care of this quickly, it’s going to become a migraine—headaches. Thus ended my day at the Antique Show.

Thankfully, I WAS able to head off the migraine. (Thank you Excedrin!…and nap.) Recently I have had several migraines, which has done very little to help my project list! And yes, I have discussed it with my doctor…she is pretty sure that it is my nasty little, uncooperative thyroid gland. Hopefully, an adjustment in my meds will take care of the problem….but for today, it may have saved my husband $$$! Although, he did tell me if I felt better that he would take me back tomorrow. Oh the relief when I told him to just go to the lake instead! I knew he would rather go fishing…and that project list of mine isn’t getting any smaller!

For the truly curious…total damage done: LESS than $200, including: parking, purchases shown above (plus a chrome-plated zinc and ceramic salt and pepper grinder set that I forgot to photograph..NIB $5!), and over-priced (you know it’s true) food-vender breakfast for Man and lunch for both.

Until next time….