My blog dress and header has changed! As a newlywed, I am excited to present a whole new theme.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Viral infection

I won't be making any blog visits or post for the next couple days. I've been feeling sick since Thanksgiving night and have only been able to check messages a couple times. I even went to Urgent Care today which is something I never do. They said I have a viral infection, but my stomach hurts so bad and I can't keep anything solid down. The gave me something for nausea, but the first thing I did when I came home was vomit. I'm miserable here. Say a prayer or two!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pink Saturday/ Vintage Bedspread

For this week's Pink Saturday, I wanted to share a quilt that my maternal grandmother created for me when I was just a little girl. I estimate that that the quilt is at least 45 years old.

The only problem with the quilt is that it has some old stains on it. I tried to take it to several different cleaners, but because of it's age, no one will touch it! I have always loved this quilt. My grandmother was such an excellent seamstress and skilled in needlepoint. She appliqued these beautiful flowers onto this bedspread.

Here is the center of the bedspread. The flowers are so lovely!

Here you can see it up closely. She embroidered the stitching on those flowers!

See that blue dot? This is not an appligue, it's embroidered also! When I was little, I used to love to rub my finger across the embroidered dots because they were so soft and silky!

I sure wish I had taken better care of this when I was little and when it came to me as a young adult! I didn't realize its value at the time. It is now draped over a wicker plant stand that I have in my bedroom where I can look at it every day!

To find links to more Pink Saturday posts, visit our gracious hostess Bev at How Sweet the Sound.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

As of this morning, the turkey was stuffed, and now so are we. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by your loved ones. I had my usual holiday dinner with my children and my brother in attendance.

Here's a little table vignette. I wish I could say that I had a beautifully set table that would just dazzle you all, but this is about is good as it gets. The candle smelled darn good though, and lent a certain ambiance. The glass pumpkin with pumpkin potpourri smelled lovely also. I should probably have left the lid on for aesthetics, but then we couldn't smell the potpourri! Don't you know that if you don't cook the pumpkin pie you have to have something in the kitchen to smell like pie?

I bought these little pilgrims on sale after Thanksgiving a couple years ago. They came with a votive, but one got broken and the other is lost. I thought they were so cute, but after photographing them and looking at them more closely, they seem a little creepy with no mouths. At least they were quiet at the table. They didn't give us any sass, unlike the dog who shamelessly begged.

I am no Suzie Homemaker. Seriously. I hate to cook and clean. The following has been my solution for the past few holidays...turkey dinner in a box from Chief Supermarket! See it has everything: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie, dinner rolls, and green beans! So this is how we roll.

Of course, it came with a turkey too! All I had to do was heat everything up.

This is how we all looked after we had decimated the dinner table. We look pretty satisfied and satiated! My single brother is the fella on the left. My son Sean is in black, son Jared is in gray, and that is my daughter Tara and her fiance Mike on the right.

Here are my boys eating dinner rolls. I think that is their favorite part of each holiday meal as they had at least 3 rolls each.

Jared decided to change into a different shirt after dinner so we could take the family photo. I think that he is looking all GQ here. What a cutie!

Unfortunately, we had to wait while the camera charged as Tara ran down the battery while taking pics of herself with others. Here she is with Sean.

And here she is with her sweetie Mike. Pretend that there is a nice denim slipcover to cover up that butt ugly couch. It had been washed, and we ran out of time to put it back on.

My brother took pictures of us in the backyard. It is actually just above 40 degrees here and we are pretty cold.

I think I like this pic the best though. This will probably be the one that I use in our Christmas cards. I like that you can see the river in the background of this one.

My daughter and her fiance have moved to a town well over an hour away, so it was sure great to have them spend a little time with us, and it was also wonderful to have my brother come over as he doesn't often get the chance.

Time spent with loved ones...the perfect holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Writing Exercise, Part 2/ Jean-Paul and Maggie

Gollum is challenging us yet again by setting up another scenario! I love that she is showing us how to stimulate our creativity. By the way, this isn't a contest that anyone wins. What we do get is the satisfaction of seeing our creativity spring to life. I haven't exercised my story writing chops in a very long time, and I am finding this so much fun! So without further ado, here is part 2 of my story. Be sure to read part 1 in yesterday's post first!


After a rapturous week in Paris, I was off to my next European destination. While I was thrilled to be on my way to visit the Scottish Highlands, my heart was breaking to be leaving the City of Lights and Jean-Paul. He had accompanied me to the airport, both of us with heavy hearts. He held me close and each time I tried to walk away to get on the airplane, he would pull me back again, kissing my face, my mouth, and my hair. As the last boarding call was announced, I broke away from him. His hand grabbed mine, but I had to go. My hand slipped out of his, and I turned my back to board the plane. As I took my seat, I looked out the window to see him still there, his body pressed against the window in the waiting area. Tears were running down his cheeks. The plane moved forward with a lurch, and as it pulled away from the terminal, I watched as he waved goodbye and he mouthed my name, “Maggie!”

I tried to keep my composure, but inside, my soul was sobbing. I was not looking for romance when I came to Europe, but then it had happened so suddenly, and now it was over just as quickly. I would have to remind myself that this was just one of those vacation things and that it was time to move on.

Later that day, I reached my destination. My heart beat with excitement at my first view of the castle where I would be spending the week. It had always been my dream to visit Scotland and see the Highlands, and I was finally here. As I walked across the drawbridge to the castle, images of knights and ladies and ancient times came to mind. It was an era that I would have liked to visit, if even for a short time.

The room where I would be staying was far and above my expectations. It was too big to be called a bedroom! Antique furniture painted black filled the room. Ancient tapestries hung from the wall, a perfect match to the furniture with its black background. Soft carpet covered the floor and there was a fireplace that would have been perfect if the weather had been cooler. My favorite part of the room was the huge canopied bed with burgundy velvet curtains. It was the perfect place to snuggle in and feel warm, safe, and protected. It was a room made for romance, but as Jean-Paul was far away in Paris, my heart began to hurt yet again.

As the days passed, I sought healing in the highlands. I would venture off each morning to sit alone at the top of the mountains. The fresh air renewed me, and the views of the beautiful hills and majestic mountains brought a sense of peace to my soul. As I returned to the castle one afternoon, I heard the sound of bagpipes. How had I forgotten that there was a wedding to be held at the castle that day? The bride was beautiful, dressed all in white. The groom wore the traditional kilt and they both had the family tartan draped across their shoulders and chest. Though I wanted to feel happy for the newly joined couple, I mourned Jean-Paul’s absence.

All of the castle guests were invited to the wedding feast. The meal was sumptuous. The roast lamb melted in my mouth. There were fresh vegetables cooked in butter and herbs, and roasted red potatoes. The fresh berries with cream tasted especially sweet. The wine flowed freely, but I chose whiskey for the wedding toast. In the midst of all this happiness and gaiety, I wanted something that was biting and bitter to echo my sorrowful mood.

I couldn’t stand it any longer as this just made me pine for my lost love even more, so I wandered into the parlor. This was an exceptionally beautiful room with a beautiful antique rug atop the polished hardwood floor, weathered beams on the ceiling, wood furniture covered in leather and walls painted a warm clay color. I enjoyed the texture of the room, and I caressed the leather with my fingertips. The room was filled with 17th century art including sculptures and paintings. While the art would normally have cheered me, I couldn’t stop thinking of how I had met Jean-Paul while looking at the most famous painting in the world. Even though it was summer, I felt a chill in the air. The room grew dark, and I looked out to see that it was pouring rain. Through the window, I watched the lightning flash over the mountains. It was stunning in its beauty. As the dark sky filled with light, I saw a car pull up to the castle. I thought that it was probably just another wedding guest, but as I looked more closely, the figure that got out of the car looked strangely familiar. I recognized that dark hair, those pale blue eyes, and that rambling gate to his walk. I ran from the parlor and out the castle doors, crying, “Jean-Paul!”

There on the drawbridge, we embraced. Rain was pouring down upon us in sheets as we kissed. It mixed with the tears of joy that were pouring down our cheeks. I felt his hand at the back of my head and he pulled me into a long deep kiss. His lips were moist and tasted of cinnamon and cloves, and I recalled the similar way he had smelled the first time I noticed him. It seemed to me that beautiful art and bad weather had brought us together yet again.

I led him into the castle and into my room. He lit a fire to warm us as we were cold from the rain. Our wet clothes dripped onto the carpet and we removed all of our sodden garments, throwing them into the claw-footed tub. We stood there next to the bed, the light from the fireplace warming our skin and casting shadows upon our naked bodies. My happiness and desire was as alive as the flames that shot up from the logs. I pulled back the velvety covers of the bed and drew the curtains around it. Jean-Paul laid me back on the bed, his body covering the length of mine. Every part of me screamed for oneness and fulfillment.

“Maggie,” he murmured, “I’ll never let you go again!”

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gollum's Decorating/Writing Game

Gollum of Designs by Gollum is hosting a Decorating/Writing Game! If you follow her blog, you also know that she is Michael Lee West, a best selling author! I'm currently in the middle of reading her book "Mad Girls in Love," and she is also the auther of "American Pie" (no, not like the movie), "Crazy Ladies," and "Mermaids in the Basement." I find it very exciting that there is a real author among us!

Edited to add: Gollum has challenged us yet again! Part 2 of this story will post at 6:00 a.m. eastern time on Monday morning. This has been so much fun!

Here are the rules to her game:

1. Make up a decorating story that involves this setting:

2. Then watch the video and/or listen to the song posted on her site.

3. Write a sketch about the photo and the song, and use the following words:

French blue

daylight (or rain)

cinnamon (or cloves)


smooth (or rough, crinkly, glassy)


Circle (or circles)





You don't have to use all of the words--just use at least 5.

Okay, well mine is not so much about decorating as it is about romance. I posted the Mona Lisa picture, because she figures in there too.

I hope you like my little story!

It was a stormy summer day in Paris when I met him. The rain poured down in sheets from the roofs of the centuries old buildings, filling my path with puddles. I was drenched by the time I reached the Louvre. I took shelter under the glassy pyramid shaped entrance and proceeded down the stairs, my sandals leaving wet spots on the smooth marble floors. I had yearned for sunshine for the month that I would be vacationing in Europe. Failing that, I would happily settle for a day among the world’s most famous paintings.

I made my way to the Grande Galerie and the Italian paintings. As I gazed at the famed Mona Lisa, La Joconde, I felt someone’s eyes on me. I glanced to my right and noticed a man with pale blue eyes, the same color as the French blue curtains that hung in my room. He smelled of cloves. His eyes met mine, and I shyly looked away, but not before a hint of a smile escaped my lips. He smiled broadly in return. As I passed from gallery to gallery, I found him twice more, and when I made my way back to the museum entrance, he appeared yet again. This time I turned to boldly face him. He was tall with dark brown tousled hair, a startling contrast to his pale eyes. And those eyes were smiling at me, as welcoming as his grin. I accepted his invitation to a local café.

The rain had nearly stopped by this time. An occasional raindrop created circles in the puddles and steam rose from the pavement. We walked to a lovely restaurant where he requested a private outdoor balcony. Through French doors, we were led to a charming table set with a single pale orchid, vintage linens, and weathered iron chairs in a creamy white, a perfect contrast to the soft blue of the tablecloth. The waiter poured a glass of Beaujolais into lovely pink crystal glasses, and as we drank, he told me about his life as an artist and his appreciation of all things unique and beautiful. The wine was making me feel warm inside and heightened all my senses. Bread had never tasted so buttery, cheese had never been so flavorful, and the apple that I bit into tasted especially sweet. As the juice dripped onto my chin, he reached across and wiped it off with his thumb, then brushed his thumb against the inside of his bottom lip, a gesture that gave me a tingle that reached all the way to my toes. The warm air caressed my skin. As the hour hand on the clock swept across its face and the sun began to fall, the candles in their red pillars cast a rosy glow upon upon our bodies. Day turned to night and we felt darkness enclose us. As he pulled me into his embrace and pressed his lips softly to mine, I knew we would become lovers.

The End
(or is it the beginning?)

For our efforts, Gollum is awarding each participant with the Good Writer award.

This was so much fun! I didn't want to read anyone else's story until I finished my own, so I'm off to check out everyone else's stories!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pink Saturday/ Pink Depression Glass

I finally found my pink depression glass! I knew it was in a box around here somewhere, and I finally found it! All of the pieces are in the Mayfair Open Rose pattern, which is my favorite. Though blue is my favorite color and also my favorite to collect, I do love the pink glass too.

This first piece is a footed cake plate, I think. I found it at an estate auction in the house right behind me in my hometown. I think I paid $11 for it.

I don't even remember for sure where I got this next plate, but it was probably from eBay. I love this candy dish!

And this last is a long platter. I have a blue one also that is just like it. I think I got them at eBay too.

Still not sure where to put these. They will probably live in the kitchen cabinet with my blue glass until my brother brings the display cabinet down his house, which used to be our parents house. It's still full of my mom's glass, some of which will come to me, and some of which my brother will keep. It would be so nice to finally have a place for all my pretty glass.

To see more Pink Saturday post, go to Beverly's blog How Sweet the Sound.

Thanks to all who told me more about the coffeepot that I posted last week. Even without the lid, it has quite a bit of value, far more than the $8 I purchased it for. And I should be able to buy a replacement lid if I decide I need one! You bloggers are just the best!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions and Answers, Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of my my question and answer posts! I had invited blog readers to ask me anything they wanted. You all sure had some great questions!

I had intended to have this all done and ready to post this morning, but my son was on the computer all day yesterday doing a research paper that was due today that he had put off until the very last minute! I also forgot all about Blue Monday. I'll be back with that next week.

Shelia at Note Songs asked me: Where do you keep your farting dog book?

I actually didn’t know where my Walter the Farting Dog book was until recently. I found it while going through some boxes from my move. Right now it’s sitting on the file cabinet next to the computer, because I have been too lazy to find a place for it since I posted about it.

Then Sherry from Tied Up in Ribbons asked: Tell me why the house is the house of your dreams.

One of my first blog posts was about why I chose this house. I didn’t even realize it was the house of my dreams until I toured it at an Open House, and with each room I stepped into, I just fell more in love with the home. There is nothing particularly remarkable about the house, but it just felt so much like home that I knew this was it! It has turned out to be the home I have loved the best, and I truly feel a sense of peace here. Besides, the previous owner planted the most incredible flowers, and I have a riverfront property!

The intrepid and daring Justine from Justine's Froggy Cafe asked: What type of man are you usually attracted to?

The picture above is of someone I actually dated and was head over heels for in the not so distant past. To read more about my adventures in dating, with pics, click here.

Great question! First off, I like them younger. Most of the men I have dated are presently in their 30s. I have really tried to like men my age or older, but most of them really don’t appeal to me. There have been a couple exceptions though. I also like brainy, well educated men, so teachers, scientists, engineers, lawyers and doctors really do it for me. Call me shallow if you want, but I love good looking men, and I like them to be fit. I like a man who is sweet and has a good heart. He can be the sexiest man in the world, but if he is an ass, he loses all appeal with me. If after reading this you think, well no wonder I am single because my expectations are high, that’s not the case. I really do date men that fit these qualifications, though I haven’t actually gone out with any teachers or doctors… yet. It’s just that so many men are busy with work and life and don’t have weekends free to meet up, or the distance is too much to overcome. I also run into a lot of men who refuse to meet me unless I promise them sex for their effort of traveling to meet me! Needless to say, we don’t meet.

Raxx at Fabulously Forty asked me: How did you, as a single mom, manage to grow such lovely sons?

Thank you for the compliment on my sons! They really are truly great kids and I am very proud of them. They have been very easy to raise. My daughter, on the other hand, was a challenge from the get-go. While I love her very much, she put me through some of the most difficult trials in my life because of her mental illness. I will blog about it someday. I was a single parent with her too until she was 6 and I married her step-dad. I have been a single parent with my sons since they were age 7 and 11 years old. I am embarrassed to admit that I am not one of those mothers who sit down and do homework with them (they don’t even need my help), and we rarely eat at the table, but we do a lot of things together, even if it’s just running to the grocery store. I have always made sure that I kept my dating life separate from my children (something their dad never did, and they hated it!), and they have really only had contact with two men I have dated over the last almost 9 years. Even then, there was very little contact. I figure that if I ever get serious about someone, then that will be a time for introduction. I have always been home with them as much as possible, even though that was hard when I was working, going to school, and interning at one point. We laugh a lot together. We hug every day, and I always tell them I love them.

And last, but certainly not least, Christie from Somewhere in Time (link not provided as it is now a private blog), asked: What was your most memorable birthday?

My mother would let all of us have a birthday party every four years, and on the other years, we got to invite one friend over, and she would fix us whatever we requested, plus she would decorate a cake just the way we wanted. I don’t have one specific memory, but I’ll never forget these birthdays!
I remember that when I turned 8, I was allowed to invite all the girls from my class over. When I opened presents, they all crowded around me and I got claustrophobic and started crying. Then Molly Hartman was mean to Martha Munger and pushed her off the porch into the bushes. I got a lot of presents though.
I’m not sure if it was my 12th, 13th, or 14th birthday, but I’ll never forget when I invited Charlie King to my house for my birthday dinner and he put jelly on the macaroni and cheese. He passed away from AIDS in 1991, on the same day that Dr. Seuss died. I can’t help but think that he would have liked that.
On my 16th birthday, I invited all of my friends from a church I attended in Toledo down for my birthday, an hour trip at least. However, it snowed that day and no one could come.

Hope you enjoyed my answers. Maybe these even made you think about more questions! Since I was computer deprived all weekend, I am itching to catch up on blog visits!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Question and Answers, Part 1

Since I was not able to host a giveaway when I made my 100th post, I decided to let my blog readers ask me questions! It was an idea borrowed from a fellow blogger, who was also the first to ask me a question.

I will still do a giveaway, hopefully within the next month.

Anyhow, I got asked so many good questions that it will take two posts to answer them all.

Rue (Heather) from Rue's Peanut Butter and Jelly Life asked: If you had only one meal left to eat on this earth, what would you choose? Appetizer to dessert.

I think I would start out with cheddar cheese sticks, then have a seafood buffet consisting of fresh fish, scallops, bourbon soaked salmon, crabmeat, and lobster. I hate breaded seafood, but would love most of these soaked in butter. For vegetables, I would have the sautéed mushrooms that the chef at my favorite restaurant prepared with diced garlic and olive oil. I would also have asparagus. For fruit, I’d have fresh raspberries. I would finish up with a slice of the real baked cheesecake, probably chocolate cheesecake drizzled in raspberry sauce, or turtle cheesecake. For my drink, I would have a caramel Moo-latte from Dairy Queen, or Sterling’s eggnog, which I can no longer get!

Sally at Smiling Sally asked me: Tell about your job.

For the last 3 ½ and almost 4 years, I have worked as a chemical dependency counselor at a non-profit alcohol/drug and mental health agency. I work with men, women, and teens. Most of my clients are court ordered to treatment, and a few are referred by Job and Family Services. It’s not an easy job, and many of my clients don’t stay well, but that is the nature of the beast. I rejoice when someone stays in recovery. Alcoholism and addiction really are diseases, and believe me, they are fatal. Several of my clients have died from their addictions. Prior to my counseling job and while I was attending college, I worked for the same agency as a monitor at our inpatient facility for women. I learned a lot about people with severe substance dependence problems while there! You would not believe some of the drugs that are coming into communities and how widespread the problem is. I really do love my job though, and pray that I make a difference. The pay is not great though.

G at Doves Today asked: How do you take your tea? (Milk, sugar, lemon....)

I like my tea iced, with lots of sugar. I will have to change that to Splenda. When I have a cold, I like hot lemon tea with honey.

Deb from Deb's Country Kisses asked me: How are you coming along with your walking and have you noticed any changes in your health?

And then BJ from Sweet Nothings asked: Are you being able to control your diabetes now, so that you are feeling good most of the time?

I’m going to answer both of these together as the questions are related. I was walking around the track at the high school stadium until the weather got cold and it started getting dark early. I was averaging 3-4 walks per week, at least one mile each time. My family recently joined the Y and I have been walking on the treadmill, usually 1 ½ to 2 miles per visit. With the exercise along with counting carbs and managing food portion control, I have been averaging about 2 pounds per week weight loss. Since I found out I am diabetic, I have lost at least 17 pounds, probably more. My numbers are great and my diabetes educator is very pleased with me! As far as feeling well, I never actually felt bad, but I am in general feeling better than I ever have before! I have more energy too. The best part is that on Friday, I bought the lowest size pants that I have purchased in the last 15 years!

Erin at Faerie Moon asked:What is your drink order at Starbucks?

There are no Starbucks anywhere in my area. I think the closest are well over an hour away. I stick with the local coffee shop Cabin Fever Coffee where I was getting English Toffee frappes (half coffee, half non-fat milk, no whipped cream) this summer. I only drink coffee about once or twice per month.

And Christie at Somewhere in Time asked: How'd you get such a great sense of humor?

Sometimes you learn to laugh to keep from crying. There have certainly been plenty of those times. For the most part though, I am a pretty happy person, and I love to laugh. I am accomplished in the art of silliness, as was my mother. My father had a very dry sense of humor, and I get some of that from him. It’s a joy for me to make people laugh, and I love catching them at a moment when they aren’t expecting me to say something funny.

These are half of the questions asked. Tune in tomorrow for more answers.

I'll be back!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pink Saturday/ Porcelain Teapot

For this week's Pink Saturday, I decided to share this pretty teapot I got almost 2 years ago at a thrift shop for only $8. I suspect that it used to have a lid a long time ago. Anyhow, at that price, I wasn't letting it go because I thought it was so pretty.

Here is the back side of it. Wish my backside looked so beautiful!

I don't know if this teapot is anything of worth. I haven't heard anything about the company that made the teapot.

I will have to put this to good use someday, what with my new teacup and other pretty gifts!

I'll post answers to your questions starting tomorrow. Have a great Pink Saturday, and check out the other participants at Bev's blog How Sweet the Sound.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Honor of Those Who Serve - A repost

I wanted to pay tribute to those who are serving or have served in the military for Veteran's Day. Therefore, I am reposting a blog post from Memorial Day. These are pictures of flags and primitives that I have in my own home.

Also, if you haven't submitted a question for me yet (see my Election Day Stories post for more info), please feel free to do so as I'll be answering them later this week!

This is in honor of those who served or are serving, and to those who lost their lives. I would also like to include the families of those who serve as well for their sacrifices!

This first picture is in honor of my father. As the oldest child, it was very moving to receive this flag at his funeral. My father was a veteran of World War II and he served as a medic on the Navy ships. Thank you, Dad (William, Jr.)!

My grandfather served in World War I. Thank you, Grandpa (William, Sr.)!
My children's other grandfather was a veteran of the Korean conflict. Thank you, Rudy!
My daughter's father served in the Vietnam war. Thank you, Rick!
My youngest brother served in the Army during peacetime. Thank you, David!
And my former stepson served in the Navy during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thank you, Chris!

I thank you all for your service.

May all of you in blogland have a pleasant time with your families on this holiday, and if your loved ones are away serving this country, I pray they are brought home to you safely!