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for me?



Quick, right now stop and describe your spouse. The clothes he is wearing, the shoes. Baseball hat or not, wearing a watch or not? Sure we would like to think that we would notice if they had a new scar across their face or a different hair style. If the police came to my home with a police sketch artist and said describe what your husband was wearing when you picked him up from the airport on Friday night. tick, tock, tick, tock………..Jeopardy music is playing…dum…dee…dum…….tick, tock.

OKAY. I can’t.

You want to know why?

I got the call. You know the one, sitting in the cell phone lot at the airport, waiting for the call. My phone rang, it was him. woohoo, I got the call. I started the engine, pulled out into traffic, drove up to the arrival terminal, looked for the airline sign, eased over four lanes, watched for crazy taxi drivers, people hugging, people waving, yelling…..lots of friendly shouts. Quick stops and starts….looking for Mr. Right.

I glanced over and saw a figure that sure looked like him. However, all I could focus on was the frosted bag with handles that he held in his left hand. Sure there was black luggage and a dress bag and lap top bag (I guess). I only had eyes for that frosted bag with a tin inside. Ah, the gold and blue striped tin. My heart fluttered. Oh my, was it what I thought it was? I hope. I hope. I hope.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the trinkets and hotel soaps and potions and t-shirts from all the places he travels…..just this time…he was coming in from Chicago……..could it be……….please, please, please.

Sure, sure, quick kiss…he hands it over. I hear music, heavenly music.

Okay, first I love that he carried it through the airport(s) and made it on the plane and put it in the overhead bin and had to talk with lots of people about their opinions about it. “Did you know it was on Oprah’s favorite things list?” No he didn’t. Yes, I did. He does now. ha

Second, I really love and appreciate that while on a business trip, the owner of the business drove him downtown Chicago, dropped him off and then circled around and double parked so that Mr. Right could buy a present of pure goodness for his wife. Who said business men were not soft and sweet and thoughtful?

Third, that Mr. Right somehow with everything on his mind remembered that I said I had always wanted to try it. Yep, “the” mix. I am talking about the Chicago mix. It is half cheese popcorn and half caramel corn. The smell is intoxicating and makes your mouth water. The taste, oh the taste. Just divine. Pure goodness in a tin. The tin even has a metal handle. There is a little paper piece that lines the inside lid. Tells you of the goodness.

I sat in the front seat of our car as he pulled away from the curb. I managed to open the taped seal. I opened the lid. I took a deep breath. I took one perfect piece. I slowly put it into my mouth. It was everything I thought it would be and more. It was crisp and bursting with flavor.

Oh, I just love it when Mr. Right comes home. It doesn’t matter if it is just our garage door opening and him driving in from work. Or if he is home from a quick trip to the grocery store. I just melt a little bit more when he arrives at Sea/Tac International Airport after being gone on business. Especially when he comes bearing goodies from far away lands.

Have I mentioned lately that popcorn, in all it’s glory, is my favorite all time food?

Have I mentioned lately that I am one lucky girl?

Love might be blind, however, this girls’ obsession with popcorn, comes with crystal clear vision, at least when it comes to spotting blue and gold striped tins.

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I can’t wait to share

It was a dark and stormy night….

We rented “Captain America” and made sandwiches and soup.

The movie 5 stars. The soup 5 stars. Snuggled inside while
it poured outside 5 stars.

Leek Potato soup, oh yeah, yum……….nope Sunday’s Child can’t wait for Tuesdays Treats to share this heavenly recipe. Stop by if you need buttermilk as I have extra.

1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 quart vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon snipped chives

Directions

Chop the leeks into small pieces.

In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.

I served it warm and with the exception of using black pepper instead of white I followed the directions to a tee.

It was the perfect comfort food for a fall evening. I highly recommend the movie and the soup. Both were out of this world.

yum

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ESP

While having lunch with a girlfriend a few weeks back, we meandered through a few shops in a local small town. Me with my bright idea of “getting into” Halloween. Didn’t buy a thing. We did happen upon these really lovely blocks of wood with painted letters on them. They caught my eye. I thought you could decorate with them sideways as well as up and down.

One of the nice things that comes with having a friend for over 35 years is that you sort of have this esp thing going on. You somehow know when to send a card. You just have a feeling & know when to bake cookies to share. It really kicks into high gear when you flip something over at a gift shop and you don’t even look at each other. Your brain is SCREAMING $64.00 for three pieces of wood with a bit of paint! Oh dear. You both tumble out of the shop, laughing and smirking and then roar with laughter when you both say at the same time, sixty four dollars??? yeah, right.

Here’s the thing about having a girl friend, when you have a poopy week because Mr. Right is gone on business, she just “happens” to want to meet for coffee. She just “happens” to have a handmade gift in the car when you hug to leave.

Yep, you already saw the end of the story coming. She went home and bought the wood and painted the letters we saw in the gift shop. Because we are friends, I KNOW she didn’t pay more than $5.00. Which makes me super happy. She gave of her time and talent and her gift of art that is beyond priceless to me.

I now have Halloween up in my home. It is fun and sparkly and happy.

The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.

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hand made

I am quite sure you are well aware of the poem that I “sort of stole the idea” for my blog title. It is called Saturday’s child poem. I am thinking maybe Sunday’s Child will share Treats on Tuesdays! just a thought….

Saturdays child poem
AKA Mondays child

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

I have embroidered that on many a dish towels. I started doing embroidery the summer when I turned 11. My grandmother took me to the dime store in Ferndale, Washington and I got to choose a stamped blank piece of fabric with a saying. It said, East West Home is Best.

My grandma had a sewing box full of all tangled embroidery floss. I chose lots of colors. Some letters are different, some words are pink, a couple are green. I loved the red. I used the red for a couple flowers.

Not very often do people ask about my stitchery. Out of the blue on Saturday I was asked about some of my samplers. Some have taken over 80 hours to complete. I use mainly linen now. Irish linen is my favorite. I have made many reproductions and then hanging beside those are more contemporary samplers. All make me really happy.

I am currently working on a piece of red work as a Christmas gift. It will be a pillow. As the person I am making it for collects snowmen, it has a big happy snowman front and center. I am backing it with snowman fabric and three black buttons to close it. Sewing here and there it is coming along nicely. Making it brings a smile to my face every single time I pick it up.

I miss browsing through cross stitch shops. I used to love to meander through real fabric stores with bolt after bolt of fabric to feel and think about.

Oh sure, I buy my share of patterns on line and fabric too. Just not the same.

I wish I could convince women my age as well as the younger generation just how much happiness it brings me to create something with my hands. There is so much talk about depression and feeling blue. In the evenings I sit under a full spectrum light and stitch away. I love planning the project. I love beginning and all through watching it come to life. I pretty much love to finish them off. All except paying to have them framed, yikes, that is a pricey date. I love giving them as gifts to people who truly understand & value the time and love that it took to make them. It brings pure joy and happiness sitting there all by myself to look at some of the pieces. Oh, and I love to visit with others who create things as well.

I would love to talk hand stitchery with anyone. I would love to have show and tell. This form of art is at times breathtaking and getting to share and view such pieces is a pleasure.

Selfishly, maybe when I am gone, my pieces will be passed on and I will be remembered.

Heart and Hand shall never part, when this you see, Remember Me.

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Teasing my Taste buds on Tuesday

Still working on a title for Tuesday’s recipe
sharing.

drum roll, and behind door number one………….White Chocolate Raspberry Trifles!

The fondest memories are made gathered around the table. So call a couple friends, set the table and dig in. This could be a great memory in the making.

Saturday night we hosted a lovely fall dinner party. Let’s be honest, I could go on and on about the appetizers or the Vegetable Bisque with Thyme or the roasted garlic smashed potatoes with fresh Parmesan, but no one would really care. What everyone wants to hear about, see and learn to make is the dessert.

Okay, it was so good and easy, I made it again for Sunday night’s family dinner. A certain little sweet Grand girlie loved a bowl of fresh raspberries and a couple of teaspoons of the cream.

Buckle up here we go:

First earlier in the week I baked a yellow cake in a jelly roll pan. Let cool. I cut out the entire cake into circles using my biscuit cutter. Wrapped each in plastic then froze them. I stored them in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

I used a full bag of frozen Raspberries to make the sauce. Mix together 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 3 Tablespoons sugar, 1/3 cup cold water and 12 ounces of thawed raspberries. In a small saucepan, mix & cook over medium heat, until it boils. Continue stirring and boil one minute. Pour sauce into a mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove seeds.

Let an 8 ounce tub-o-cool whip thaw in the refrigerator. YES, I said cool whip, crazy I know.

Melt 3 ounces white Ghiradelli baking bar. cool slightly. Mix the melted white chocolate into the cool whip. It will break up into a million little pieces (not the book, silly).

Okay set up your assembly line. I used stemless wine glasses as my trifle cups. Put a spoonful of sauce in the bottom and a sliced in half cake round, then a dollop of the cool whip, then some sauce, then a piece of cake …….you get the idea. Top with lots of fresh raspberries and a couple pieces of melted and broken white chocolate.

I love what the recipe says at the end:

Serve to fancy people.

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Fall clean up

Have you always wondered who the people were that filled up the shelves at Goodwill or the Salvation Army with mismatched cups and saucers and the odd lid to a cooking
pan but no pan? Have you ever wondered why there is only one wooden candle stick holder for sale and not a pair? Why on earth there was a butter dish and cover, matching sugar bowl and nothing else to the set, sitting right there in perfect condition just begging for you to buy them?

I am that person. Yep, sadly, I am part of the problem. Or as I like to refer to this situation as part of MY solution.

Yesterday, Mr. Right and I were putting away dishes from a very lovely dinner party from the previous night. You know the drill, move this to squeeze in that. If I stack this salt cellar that will free up 1 1/2″ space that I can fit in one crystal candle holder and if I put every dessert dish side by side I can use that to form a “table” to stack something else on top.

enough. Thirty years of collecting. enough.

It was just too much. For some reason, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We took the centerpiece off the dining room table and dug in. I was in one of those “moods”. You know, the good kind. You want to toss out, donate and throw away odds and ends and weird stuff you feel guilty about every single time you look at them. We started with the china hutch cupboards, moved on to kitchen cabinets, and even opened the cupboard in the laundry room where I just stash stuff I don’t want to deal with.

Like removing a band aid, some items are easy, quick & painless. A china pitcher from Germany with no lid that I “could someday use for a vase”. gone. A butter dish with matching lid, perfect condition, not a chip, excellent color. Unfortunately, I donated the entire set about 2 years ago and mistakenly forgot to add the matching butter dish. gone. One ugly, ugly tea cup with a seagull painted on it and the china so poorly made feels rough in your hands. gone. Just gone.

Then you come across exquisite pieces of crystal or china that just takes your breath away. With not a hint of hesitation, the word “keep” just tumbles out of your mouth. I happen to be the care taker of some family pieces that are to be passed down. keep. Then tucked away in the back corner are the pottery trinket holders and uneven stained glass candle holders that our boys made me. KEEP. Easy and painless. Looking at those gifts makes me smile, they make me happy. Those pieces have earned the “right” to take up space.

I have a gorgeous, stunning really, hand carved wooden bowl from an artist (Mr. Pulver) who lived a couple doors away from my grandparents. Some fifteen to twenty years ago, my grandparents would ask my mother what “couple” gift we would want for Christmas. Inevitably, it ended up them giving money (they are just too hard to buy for) to buy something we wanted. One year, I spoke up and said I would really like a bowl. A wooden bowl, from your neighbor, Mr. Pulver, nothing else. The family thought I had lost my mind. Why on earth would you want a wooden bowl? You have plenty of lovely bowls. I dug my heals in.

Mr. Pulver had had a heart attack years before and had to retire from his white collar job. He walked 5 miles a day and needed a new job. He would find wood burls in the woods. He carved & created bowls and spoons and even more bowls. He started buying some “fancy” wood pieces to work on as well. Well by golly, a friend started selling them to folks in the big city. You know, Seattle and Bellevue, city folks. They will pay WHAT for a wooden bowl? Just plain crazy. Okay. I will make more and sell more to those crazy “city folks”.

I just happened to get my wish. My grandfather traded some wood on his land for one silly bowl. No money changed hands. My grandmother wrapped it up and gave us the gift. There you go, it’s what you wanted. No enthusiasm at all, just there you go missy.

I was reminded yesterday, how I had chosen wisely.

It was easy to give away plastic bowls,glass bowls,tiny bowls,chipped bowls and yes even one poorly made wooden salad bowl, machine made. I said DONATE, as fast as my brain and mouth could coordinate. easy.

We filled the dining room table surface and started stacking the next layer. It felt good. However, what felt really good was near the end of this spur of the moment cleaning frenzy, I got a stack of tissue paper and started wrapping. Mr. Right brought in box after empty box and hauled out filled boxes of tissue wrapped treasures (for someone else to treasure). He loaded them right into our car.
We got our hat and coats on and took a Sunday drive. Oh not the relaxing kind of calm, look at the pretty fall colors drive. The kind where after you unload all those boxes and a couple bags of clothing to round it all out, you feel lighter, happier really. You actually don’t say a word, he held up his palm and we high “fived” like a couple of giddy teenagers. Yep, it felt that good to accomplish something so freeing. In exchange for boxes and boxes and bags of donations we got a little piece of paper as a receipt.

We gave away boxes of guilt and ugliness and unwanted items that were never going to be used or loved by us. Stepping into our home on the return trip, it didn’t look one bit different. However, we knew each cupboard was less crowded, more organized and contained only items that we valued.

Later that evening when a certain sweet Grand girlie was opening up every single cupboard before and after dinner, we did not cringe. We did not feel one ounce of embarrassment when the doors were opened. Every item was stacked, even and orderly lined up behind each door.

I happen to have the privilege and honor of having some lovely dishes and glassware with which we are able to entertain and share our table with family and friends. It is a real pleasure to serve those people on items that are cared for and treated with value.

“To invite a person into your house is to take charge of his happiness for as long as he is under your roof”.