Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wooden Spoon Wednesday: Lemon Meringue Cups

When life gives you lemon,
take it.
Don't waste food.
~Giselle Marquez

Don't fuss with a crust. Prepare a pie filling, dole it out in pretty footed dishes, embellish with a toasted meringue and you've got dessert. A because-it's-the-weekend treat.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Go Change Your Shoes: Mules

It only takes one thing
to change everything.
~ Kelley Dibble



A pair of my favorite mules were in very rough shape.

And tired in an ugly way.

I set about to make some pretty insoles
by creating a pattern.

The pretty fabric was decoupaged in place.


After those dried,
the mules' new dresses was the focus.

I folded strips of the fabric in thirds
and gathered it down the center.

When I liked the look,
the ruffles were hot glued in place.

And to think this mule-loving gal
nearly pitched these beauties!

Every time I wear them,
gals stop me to compliment my mules!

Go change your shoes.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Over Here

The journey


a thousand miles



a single


The faithful individuals who clean up after the airplane passengers always know when I've been onboard.

That lady's goin' somewhere again.
You know,
the one who always leaves
snippets of thread
on the floor under her seat.

I doubt that you or a flight attendant or a flight mate would ever find me without my handwork on a flight, no matter how short, no matter how long.

And long was the journey for us that began Wednesday.

We arose in Connecticut at 2:30 a.m. to leave the Li'l Dutchgirl by 3:30 a.m. I won't see her again until August 27.

Hartford to Chicago.
Chicago to Honolulu.
Honolulu to... uh-oh.

Two mechanical issues stranded us at the gate for more than two hours. Finally, Honolulu to Guam where our connection to Manila had not waited for all 59 of us.

We were put up in a hotel overnight, which is where I'm *peck*peck*pecking this post on my laptop, sitting Indian-style on the chilly floor of the restroom so as not to disturb the Highwayman at 4:50 a.m.

I've been awake since 2:02, but it was not to be that I awaken to the Manila sunrise over our townhouse there.

It was not to be that I sigh with pleasure and compose this post seated at my Inspiration Station's desk where I've not sat since late-January.

Not to be.

So "Hafa adai!" from Guam, and the stitches that began this journey of thousands of miles (bound for Malaysia Monday).

1. For my trips on the road or in the air, I prepare Aida cloth projects by stitching sewing thread in 10-square segments, just like my counted cross stitch pattern. The larger the project, the more line markers I'll stitch.

2. All project and supplies are placed in small zip-top bags which are put inside one large zip-top bag. Airport security and I, the passenger, can see what's inside.

Healthful snacks
Bose noise canceling earbuds
Cross stitch pattern
Needles (Notice that is plural.)
Scissors that always pass right through airport security without a problem
Prepared project cloth or fabric
All the DMC flosses in the required color-numbers

3. Each time you get up from your seat, put everything back into the zip-top bag.
4. Before you eat, put everything into the zip-top bag. Do not just lay it all in your lap.

Why? Once I lost my needle. I was stitching yo-yos. For the life of me, the needle was nowhere to be found. Since I was flying in business class, I pursued the hunch that I had picked up the purple-threaded needle when I picked up my table napkin from my lap after eating lunch. Fortunately the napkin was still on my plate and dinner tray and the flight attendant miraculously found it-- the purple was visible on the white napkin!

I would not have been
a happy passenger
with a project to work on
but no needle!

As long as I have a needle and some thread, I've even been known to stitch in the in-flight magazine! The blue stitching below indicates the flight I took just last night, er, was that early this morning? In all, it was


Since wonderful couples will celebrate their Golden Anniversary this year...

I am making them each a gift that no one else will give them. A gift that would never be found in a store or even online. 

With love, time and only a few pennies these gifts will cost to create, a personal gesture will put a smile on the faces of "the couple who have everything."

This little pattern is a quick stitch. I made one for our Silver 2006 Wedding Anniversary, only I put it on the cover of an album that was never used.

Sadly, I didn't keep it when we relocated to Guam from Manila in 2008. I certainly could have turned it into an ornament, couldn't I have?

The funnest part is adding one strand of high luster gold blending filament to two strands of DMC 676 gold floss for the special leaves.

As we say in the Philippines,
"Happy trip!"
Back on the plane tonight,

iPhotos all

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wooden Spoon Wednesday: Date-Nut "Candy Bars"

God gives the nuts,
but He does not crack them.
~Franz Kafka

1. Slit in each pitted date lengthwise.

2. Stuff each with a nut,
especially an Alabama Surprise Pecan-half.

3. Enjoy!

1. Thanks, Jerry and Carol McKinney, for the Alabama Surprise Pecans!
2. Thanks, Dana, for this recipe!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sleep... Some More

If you read my post about Sleep Hygiene, note this interesting information in Beth Weinhouse's article "Sounding the Alarm on Sleep" (Reader's Digest, March 2015).

"Recent research at the University of Rochester
shows that during sleep,
the brain appears to conduct
physiological maintenance, clearing itself
of the junk that accumulates in cells
during the day as a by-product of thinking.

When someone doesn't get
the optimal amount of sleep,
the system backs up,
and the chemical waste accumulates.

The resulting garbage pileup
may be why insufficient sleep
has also been linked
to an increased risk of Alzheimer's
and other types of dementia."

Friday, July 17, 2015

Surefire Remedy for Burnout


My heart's desire
is to find more opportunities
to give myself away
and teach my children
the joy of service at the same time.
One little problem: when?!

A friend of mine once moaned,
"There's just not enough of me
to go around."
Lots of us feel the same way
and can't bear the thought
of adding one more activity,
one more "to do" item to our list,
however worthy it may be.

For busy women like us,
who don't know how
we could manage
the added role of volunteer,
psychologist Virginia O'Leary
offers a word of encouragement:

"The more roles women have,
the better off they are,
and the less likely they are
to be depressed or discouraged
about their lives.
When we have a lot to do,
we complain that it's driving us crazy--
but, in fact, it's what keeps us sane."

It's ironic that one of the best remedies
for impending burnout
is to give yourself away.
To pick one time and place each week
where you stretch out your hands
for the pure joy of doing it.

Liz Curtis Higgs
Only Angels Can Wing It

"... She works willingly with her hands. . . .
She rises also while it is yet night...
She girds her loins with strength,
and strengthens her arms. . . .
Her candle goes not out by night. . . .
She stretches out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reaches forth her hand to the needy. . . .
Strength and honor are her clothing;
... She looks well to the ways of her household,
and eats not the bread of idleness. . . .
Many daughters have done virtuously,
but she excels them all."

~King Lemuel's mother's teaching
as recorded in the Book of Proverbs

Monday, July 13, 2015

When Baking Chocolate Cake

Let's face it,
a nice creamy chocolate cake
does a lot for a lot of people;
it does for me.
~Audrey Hepburn

When greasing and flouring the pan
for chocolate cake,

instead of dusting the pan with flour,

use baker's cocoa.

No flour globs.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Guest Suite Wall Words

Love begins at home,
and it is not how much we do...
but how much love
we put in that action.
~Mother Teresa

I'm missing home.

Since I haven't shared how we accomplished these wall words in the Guest Suite, why not do so today? Seeing these pictures takes me there in my memories.

The Highwayman was a huge help in projecting my life verse on the Guest Suite wall.

Each word was traced lightly with a pencil.

Then I colored them in with pencil--
first blue, then green,
resulting in a pleasing aqua.

As you can tell,

aqua and I get along very well.

See you soon, home sweet home!