Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another Brother - Bet You Thought I Had Run Out of Brothers, Already

This totally handsome guy is my youngest (by 5 minutes) brother, Frank. He is the Father of the Bride. He's a Realtor. The beautiful redhead is Laura, his wife. (She doesn't know it though - that she is beautiful, that is - the wife thing, she has that figured out.) She's a nurse. In the picture with her is her daughter's new husband's Aunt Judy, one of the cutest dressers ever, from Texas. Frank and Laura have two most wonderful daughters, Celia, the Bride, and Leslie, who is studying for the California Bar. Nice people!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who Knew Wednesday?

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Aesthetic Alterations, and she was saying her cat was OK with the car ride to Oklahoma. Which reminded me of driving from Seattle to Southern California with mine. My cat was a two year old rescue almost twenty years ago. We lived three blocks from the vet, so of course we always walked with her there. When we sold our house in Seattle, we were very nervous about driving with her the two days to Southern California, where my son had moved with his dogs. It turns out that she is nicer in the car than she had ever been around the house. Who knew? (Look at that face!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Almond Butter Frosting

Reading about other people cooking always makes me hungry. I was reminded of this recipe that I came up with over 20 years ago and usually use on Spice Cakes.

Almond Butter Frosting
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Almond Butter
1 pound Powdered Sugar (or more)
1/4 Cup Cream (or 2 tbsp skim milk if you'd rather for calorie control)
1 tsp Vanilla

Beat the butters and powdered sugar until smooth. Add cream (or milk) and vanilla and continue beating until fluffy. It needs to be very thick, since it seems to thin after the cake is frosted. You can substitute Peanut Butter for the Almond Butter, but it should be very good, natural style with low or no salt.

Zach is Spending the Day at OptionEase

I talked Zach into leaving an hour early for this job - which meant he left 45 minutes early - worrying ever little detail for the 15 minute cushion that I built into his leaving time. Hope the traffic isn't a problem. The company is OptionEase in Mission Viejo. Might be just a one day thing, but it's Excel, which he will enjoy. Once they see his skills, they'll want to keep him. He has Mad Skills, but he isn't exactly the Southern California Body Type.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Visible Monday

Interesting group of Women of a Certain Age on the net who feel that Monday is a good day to stamp out the invisibility of women over 40 by posting an outfit they feel particular fabulous in. This is mine - a Talbot's paisley pencil skirt with a Chico's Travelers top and lots of Target jewelry. The hoops have never been worn by me before. I just never had the nerve. Since I have a stylish and beautiful 20-something daughter, they have not been wasted, though. The purse is Coach in my favorite color, yellow. The rest of the group are here.

More Brothers From the Wedding Weekend

Here's my brother Mike with his wife Kim, in the Tommy Bahama shirt she picked out for him to wear to celebrate their 25th anniversary. In the middle is my sister Lynne, looking pretty cute in blue. Then there is another brother, Tony, with Bert at my niece's wedding breakfast. Bert is my brother Frank's dog. Frank and Tony are twins, who look nothing alike. Tony is a music teacher and Frank is a realtor.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What I Ate Today And Who I Ate It With

I ate so much yesterday that the planned white jeans and top outfit didn't happen. Instead I wore this Eileen Fisher sweater that I got at the Orange County "by the pound" Goodwill outlet for less than $1. And since there was still a little room in it, we decided to hit another Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives spot. This time it was Gatsby's. Neat place with Benihana style grills in the center of the room, but tables to sit at. The FIRE Burger is a perfect balance of heat and flavor. And the fries are double fried in the French tradition and are absolutely fabulous! My husband is on his Blackberry, making a good living for his family, next to my sister Claire in blue. And the petite blonde (OK, she has gone grey, but she will always be blonde to me) - that's one of the world's best woman, (and foremost Biblical scholar in my family - just call and ask her anything), Marya (can you tell she is originally from the South by the spelling of her name?) who is married to my oldest brother Don, who is preaching this Sunday at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Riverside. We are so lucky to have her as part of our family.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I Ate Today

I have lots of nieces, but only one of them has red hair and she is the one getting married this weekend. I've always liked the groom, but today I found out that his whole family is just as nice as he is, (and that includes a group of friends that are as close as family to them). What a lovely weekend this is turning out to be. Since the weddings is taking place in Sacramento, I am getting a chance to eat at a few of the places featured on the Food Network's quirky show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, with my sister Claire and her husband John. (Yes, he is smiling - for him that is an exceptionally good smile, 30 years of teaching high school band has taken a slight toll.) We all ate at the Squeeze-In and had their famous burgers with the cheese skirt. Here you can see them both ways, with the cheese skirt framing the patty and with the cheese skirt folder up under the bun showing the browned and crunchy underside. Disclaimer: These are not actually my burgers. I had planned on photographing my burger before eating it, but heck, I looked down at one point and realized that I had eaten the whole thing without even thinking of my camera. My sister dared me to ask someone else to let me photograph their burger. No problem. One patron even told me to wait while he staged the burgers just right. Then they said, "Bye Bye Oklahoma" to me as I left. I'll be back someday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How Long Does it Take to Become an Oklahoman? If I Really Became One Would I Call Myself an Okie?

My niece shares a blog with several friends where they post recipes, most of them healthy and fresh sounding. Her recipes seem to concentrate on using up her bananas in delicious ways. There is a complex and tasty sounding recipe for Chili-con-queso-dip which uses real cheeses and stuff, but the first thought I had was, "Heck, Sugar, just open up a can of Rotel and melt it into a block of Velveta!" Where did the Moosewood Cookbook devotee who spent her entire life making everything possible from scratch with the most healthful ingredients go? I've only been in Tulsa for (less than) 6 months.

My Niece, The One Who Told me I Should Start Blogging, and Flowery Compliments

I love both my sisters' families. They are amazing mothers. One has given me two fabulous nephews with great wives and kids, and the other have given me a mixture of nephews and nieces, one of which has two of the most darling girls. She is the one who told me I should start blogging, as a way to keep my family informed of the twists and turns of my fairly boring life as it is lived in far flung environs from the rest of my family. We have the best discussions and I trust her for honest assessments. Today, we talked about how hard it is for our family to convey how wonderful we feel the people in our lives are. We are from half French stock which tends to the critical snide and we have the vocabulary that they gave us. When delivered in person, "Isn't she skinny?" isn't insulting because of the delivery. On a blog, all that's left is the insult that "skinny" brings to the table. We wish we could put to paper (albeit electronically) the feeling we have for our family. We wish it was easier for others to see what a sweet, goofy, marshmellow of a woman her mother is. We wish we were Southern, maybe? Suffice it to say, I am moved to near tears every time I see my sisters and their children and their grandchildren, with the overwhelming beauty of them as God's creations, properly nurtured on this earth.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Teal Cole Haan Ballerinas

Ever been so bored that you take a picture of your shoes? And then keep that picture because it is one of the best ones you took that day? Of course these are my favorite shoes, at least the ones I have in Teal are, but these are pretty good too. Cole Haan ballerinas, with Nike Air technology, that you can walk in all day - over cobblestones and gravel, makes no difference. And they are patent leather too! Remember when we good Catholic Girls were warned not to wear patent leather shoes because of the reflection that showed what was up our skirt? And what was up our skirt was a pair of White Granny Panties that were thicker than the Parachute Pants worn today. Good times!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Born This Way

I spent four days wearing this L'Oreal polish and my husband never even noticed it. I found it in my daughter's stuff from our attic. It is at least 10 years old, but still wore like iron. I finally had to remove it because I was ready for a more normal shade, even though it still hadn't chipped.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

My husband is the most amazing father. When the kids were little, he did a lot of his work between 5 and 8 in the morning so he was always there for them. He took both the boys through to Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts, leading them and any of the other Scouts who needed him. Camping and hiking, he included our daughter making her feel just as important. He cooks, cleans, does laundry (not always successfully), and is a good role model for his kids by having a strong work ethic and staying in shape with exercise and careful eating. Happy Father's Day to My Sweetie!

Amanda's Boyfriend Mike

He's always been cute and smart and takes wonderful care of my daughter. This picture I took yesterday as we waited for the new Sushi place's Grand Opening captures his sunny personality perfectly. PS: The Sushi place ran out of food before we even got in. Quite the line.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Manassero Farms Strawberries

Another one of the joys of having a place in Southern California is getting fresh Manassero Farms Strawberries. They are amazing. That's why my picture is just empty baskets - we ate them all the minute we got them home. Maybe next time I'll take my picture in the car on the way home from the stand.

My Uncle Emile married a Manassero, my Aunt Inez, one of the classiest women I've ever known. She wore wonderful hats to church and smelled terrific. In the summer, she wore Bermuda shorts and white sleeveless Brooks Brothers style shirts. And short little golf socks. Orange County in the '50's would have made pretty boring reality TV.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jacaranda Trees

One of the joys of finally having a place to live (although just part time) in Southern California, is the amazing foliage. And one of my favorites is the Jacaranda Tree. When the Jacarandas are in bloom, they have tons of purple flowers. When they aren't, they still display lacy leaves that can be used to make green bridal gowns for your dolls. I also used huge rose thorns for the high heels for my Jan doll's hand crafted shoes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz

Last night was totally fun. Went to the Auld Dubliner Pub in Irvine for the pub quiz with my son Zach, daughter Amanda, her boyfriend Mike, friends Hope and Justin, and Lewis. We finished in the money with a very respectable second place. Who knew the address of the Griffins from the cartoon Family Guy? Yes, Zach did. (31 Spooner Street.) That was from the Prime Numbers round. Also in the Prime Numbers round was a question about Jacquee Harris's late 1990's series. Since "227" was in the '80's, everyone got credit. Darn! And as usual, Amanda rocked the music round and Lewis knew more movie trivia than would seem humanly possible. Mike is the guy for anything Biology (pre-med) and now we all know that an elephant's tusks are teeth, not horns. Justin takes the Engineering and math and Hope is awesome for all general knowledge. In case of a tie, Zach is the secret weapon in a dance off. (Images courtsey of the Geeks Who Drink Website.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Graduation Card

Made my daughter a Graduation Card with Roman Numerals (for 2011) that I cut out myself so they would fit together on the card.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Card

Just a cute Lockhart Window Stamp colored with Copics and mounted on Amuse Cardstock.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

College Graduate

My lovely daughter graduated from UC Irvine this morning. I surprised myself by not crying as I did at her brothers' ceremonies. She was Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and Dean's Honor Undergraduate, and even though her degree is in French, she already has a job in France for next year. I am so proud of all she has done. She has earned every honor with hard work. I met some of her professors today and also got to hear that she is empathetic to her fellow students and shines in every class while adding importance to ideas other than her own. (Professor speak.) Her brother Zach brought her a yellow bouquet to the ceremony and her other brother Nick brought a lovely woman he is dating. Neat!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another Stampin' Up! Greenhouse Gala Card

I love the Stampin' Up! Embosslits, You can barely tell that I used a Copic Atyou Spica Chocolate glitter pen to color in the center of the Pear Piazzazz Simple Flower, but it adds just enough interest. I then layered it with one cut out flower image from the Greenhouse Gala DSP and circles punced out of blue that matches the card base that was embossed with the Framed Tulips Folder. And that Martha Stewart yellow ribbon with the chocolate borders finished it off.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Moth God Lives In Tulsa

Well, at least to me, he looked like the God of all moths. He is almost 4 inches long and quite beautiful in the most intricate pattern of at least 30 different shades of brown. I left him a penny as tribute to insure my cashmere from his minions. He seemed pleased. I have actually had to replace his penny every day, since they disappear every night. I wonder what he is doing with them?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stampin' Up! Greenhouse Gala Designer Series Paper Card

The Greenhouse Gala Paper makes such easy cards. I just cut around some flowers from the edges of the sheet and glued them down in the middle of a Pear Pizzazz base that was embossed with Stampin' Up! Framed Tulips. Then I added a French "Thank You" in Real Red on an oval backed by another Real Red oval.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mostly Stampin' Up! Card - Sweet Stitches Designer Series Paper

The Sweet Stitches Designer Series Paper really made a fun card. I started with Crushed Curry and used the cute measuring tape embossing border from Cuttlebug. Then I started layering - using Melon Mambo as an accent. I made cardstock button in every color, but just matching the green looked the best. Then I added a row of Melon Mambo Rick Rack , cut with the Papertrey die.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

West Coast Woman Discovers Tulsa

This place is so much fun. I feel like I have landed in the 1950's. Everyone smiles at you and says "Welcome to Tulsa". The housing prices are so low that most people can afford both a house and a truck. And the sky is so blue - unless it's raining - and then it gets really exciting. I never understood people who would move to Seattle and tell us that they loved rain. And move away within 3 years. But the cold grey drizzle that hangs over Seattle 9+ months of the year is nothing like the dramatic lightning and booming thunder that characterizes Tulsa rain storms. Or as the weather reports call it, "severe weather".