Tuesday, March 31, 2009


On Sunday afternoon we got a hellacious thunderstorm! We got so much rain in 15 minutes that our driveway was flooded out. So much rain came down that the King's driveway stone ( at his place of business) was washed away. We also got hail. That does not happen that often here. The storm passed and the sun peeked out for a few moments but was quickly covered up again by more clouds.
Today, thank goodness, it is bright and sunny and WARM! I think we hit 60 today!

Honolulu by Alan Brennert

I read this fantastic book over the weekend.

It is the story of a Korean girl named Regret who realizes that her life in Korea in 1915 holds nothing for her. She manages to get herself married off to a Korean man in Hawaii. She gets there and realizes that life in Hawaii was not going to be the golden life she hopes for. Her husband turns out to be a real creep and she escapes him and goes to Honolulu.

She changes her name and furiously works toward a new life. There are a lot of historical facts woven into this fictional story which I liked. I lived in Honolulu for awhile in 1981 and could imagine the city in the early 1900's.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thinking about the past...

The post yesterday got me thinking, on BBC America they are showing "Ashes to Ashes", a show where a woman got "sent" back to 1981. The TV was showing the wedding of Charles and Diana.

Did you watch it? I remember seeing it but not
really being into it!

She was beautiful but wondered why she was marrying him. I still don't get the "I will be with him because he is somebody" thing.

The wedding I was obsessed with in 1981 was Luke and Laura's wedding. I remember standing in the TV department at K-mart where I worked, watching the wedding in between getting my work done and helping customers. I worked in the sporting goods which was right next to the tvs. It took 2 days for them to be married.

I wonder what happened to them. I no longer watch soaps.
Are they still together? We know Charles and Diana are not.
Are they both alive? We know Diana is no longer with us.
Will we ever find out what really happened with her death?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photo of New York

This undated photo released by Sotheby's shows an 1848 daguerreotype of a stately Manhattan home expected to go for $50,000 to $70,000 when it is auctioned off at Sotheby's in New York, Monday, March 30, 2009. It's believed to be one of the earliest photographic views of New York City and shows the hilltop house with a vast lawn on what is now Manhattan's Upper West Side. (AP Photo/Sotheby's)
New York City daguerreotypes are rare. All of the others from the 1840s and 1850s show Lower Manhattan.
A street shown in front of the house is believed to be the old Bloomingdale Road. Early city directories refer to it as a continuation of Broadway.
Would you pay that much for this photo? Maybe if I was really, really rich. Maybe if that house had been owned by my family.
It's amazing that you could stand where that house was and not see a speck of grass! If I went back to 1848 to where my house is the land would look the same, maybe my mom's house would be over the hill or in the process of being built. I don't know if the tannery would be down the road.

Friday, March 20, 2009

French Yogurt Cake

While I was doing my blog reading, I was mesmerised by the cake on Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy. I found the recipe here. http://cookbookaddiction.blogspot.com/2009/03/french-yogurt-cake-with-marmalade-glaze.html I made mine a little differently than the recipe.

I baked mine in a 9 inch round.

I used vanilla yogurt instead of plain,

lemon olive oil instead flavorless oil,

I juiced the lemon that I took the zest from and mixed in some 10X sugar and glazed the cake with that.

I LOVED this cake! I recommend you bake this cake for dinner tonight! This recipe will go into my favorite recipes.

The King loved it. He prefers pie to cake.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Knitted Blanket

This is the blanket after I knitted the 3 sections and sewed them together.
It looks nice! It keeps me warm while I work on it.

This is the yarn I have leftover. I want the blanket a little longer so I started crocheting with the green yarn on the bottom. When I have used all of it I will crochet the yellow on the top.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day or Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Today is the day to honor my Irish ancestors. My maternal grandmother's grandparents came to America on the 1880's. I also have an Irish great great grandmother on my maternal grandfather's side.

I have my corned beef in the crockpot for later! I made Julie's Caramel Apple Cake. http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2009/03/13/sour-cream-caramel-apple-cake/ I will be making the potatoes and cabbage later.

I don't think we would be eating corned beef in Ireland though.

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would wear green on this day but our mom made us wear a little bit of orange because we are Protestant.

What do you know about Patrick?

From history.com It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Go here to take an Irish quiz! http://www.history.com/content/stpatricksday/all-things-irish-quiz

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is Coming!

I noticed these sprouting up out of the ground over the weekend. Our temps have been in the high 40's/early 50's for a few days in a row, although we are back to no sun again! I believe these are jonquils or narcissus. Last year I separated some bulbs and planted them all over and now I forget where I put them!

This is a pink hyacinth leftover from Easter a few years ago. I can hardly wait to see the beautiful flowers that they will become. My trees are starting to sprout their spring growth. In a month my yard will be a wonderland again! I am tired of looking at the brown dull landscape.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Did you know that today is Pi Day - 3.14

I got an email from Pillsbury.com about this. It was filled with pie recipes!Try this one:
Cherry-Strawberry Pie

1 box (15 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 egg white, slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag (16 oz) frozen red cherries, thawed, drained and juice reserved
1 box (10 oz) frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed, drained and syrup reserved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Maraschino cherries, if desired
Fresh strawberries, if desired

1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 9-inch glass pie plate, unroll 1 pie crust; brush with egg white. Set aside.
2. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, tapioca, cornstarch and salt. Stir in reserved cherry juice and strawberry syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 to 10 minutes or until juice becomes thick and boils. Remove from heat. Stir in cherries, strawberries and lemon juice. Pour into crust-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Place second crust over filling. Flute, and cut slits in top crust to vent.
3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool completely. Decorate pie with cherries and strawberries. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Views of Sicily

This is a new topic that I will try to post on occasionally.

This is a famous church near where we are going to move in Sicily. It is in Tindari. At the top is the Black Madonna. Every May people walk up to the church. our niece took this photo when they were there this year. I cannot wait to see it. It looks very ornate!

You can see the church on top of the mountain. My SIL and her husband had photos taken up there after their marriage ceremony in 1969.

My friend over at Bleeding Espresso had some great photos of other things you can see up there.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Meme

I saw this over at Bleeding Espresso. Here are my answers!

1. Who was your FIRST prom date? Only got to go to the Prom in 11th grade. My date was Barry Bross.
2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? No, I sometimes email his wife.
3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?I can remember taking sips from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer when I was a kid.
4. What was your FIRST job? I worked at a local Christmas attraction.
5. What was your FIRST car?A 1965 Chevy Impala.
6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? I don't have a cell phone.
7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? My husband
8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? I think it was Mrs. Bramlett at Flour Bluff in Texas.
9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Probably when I was 9 months old when we moved to Newfoundland, Canada.
10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? I don't remember.
11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? Don't remember that either!
12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? My husband
13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? My own wedding, it's the only one I was in.
14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Put on my slippers and made coffee.
15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? I saw Styx in 1977 in Corpus Christi, Texas. My dad bought the ticket for me. It was $5.50!
16. FIRST tattoo? none, nor will I ever
17. FIRST piercing? I pierce my own ears with self piercing earrings when I was 10. I was in pain for weeks! All because I was too chicken to get them done at the store.
18. FIRST foreign country you visited? Canada, does that count? Mexico, second
19. FIRST movie you remember seeing? I can remember seeing Tora, Tora, Tora on Christmas Day 1970. My mom made matching red Christmas outfits for my sister and I that year and we wore them to the movie.
20. When was your FIRST detention? Never!!
21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Pennsylvania
22. Who was your FIRST roommate? Glenn and Frank, we lived in Galveston, Texas
23. If you had one wish. What would it be? To move to Sicily
24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? To speak Italian fluently
25. Who do you think will be the next person to post this? Good Question!

Try this questionaire on your blog!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moviestar Boyfriends

Moviestar Boyfriends is a term my sister uses. It means the movie star you fantasize about..Do you have one or two?

Here is a new one - Mark Strong - with an old one - Gerard Butler. This photo is from the movie Rocknrolla. The latest Guy Ritchie film. It's a great film, if you like Ritchie's style.

Review from about.com:
When a Russian mobster orchestrates a crooked land deal, millions of dollars are up for grabs, and all of London's criminal underworld wants in on the action. Everyone from a dangerous crime lord to a sexy accountant, a corrupt politician and down-on-their-luck petty thieves conspire, collude and collide with one another in an effort to get rich quick.

Mark Strong was Hani Salaam in Body of Lies, Mr. Knightly in Emma (one version with Kate Beckinsale), Nick in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and Septimus in Stardust.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March is craft month!!

In the midst of starting to pack up some things from my closet, I found a bag of Lion Brand Homespun yarn. There was not enough of anything to make a garment. So I thought, I don't want to take it with me to Sicily. So I decided to knit the yarn up into a small blanket.

I started with needles size 10 1/2. I cast on 48 stitches and went to work.

This is my first strip.

Then I started my 2 other strips which I will sew together to make the blanket when they are as long as the first.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Making Bread My Way

My bread recipe:

5-5 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

First you add the yeast, sugar and water to the mixing bowl. Let it sit until it looks like this. This what it looks like when the yeast is working!

Meanwhile, put 3 cups of flour and the salt in another bowl. Have your oil handy.

Add the flour salt and oil into the yeast mixture and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. It will look like this.

Gradually add the rest of the flour until the dough is not sticky anymore. Sometimes you will use it all, sometimes you will not depending on the humidity. Kneed the dough for about 8 minutes while adding the flour.

It should resemble this when it is done.

Then put it in a greased bowl so it can rise. May take an hour or so. Cover with a cloth.

When it has risen it doubles in size.

Form the dough into whatever shape you like. Put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Let it rise again. Cover with a cloth.
Preheat the oven at 450 F with a dish of water inside the oven.

When it has risen, slide it in the oven for 13 minutes. Then lower the temp to 375F for another 12 minutes.

When it has finished baking it will look like this!
Put on a wire rack to cool!
Then enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Barbie Ban

From Metro News - Voice of West Virginia

Barbie Dolls send the wrong message to young girls in West Virginia and a member of the House of Delegates believes they should no longer be sold in the Mountain State.

Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln) is the lone sponsor of a bill introduced Tuesday that says "Barbie" and other dolls that influence girls to be beautiful should be banned."I think we send not a very good message to our younger children in school that if you're beautiful you don't have to be smart," Eldridge said.

The one-page bill likely won't get much consideration according to Eldridge, but he wants to send a message. "Let's concentrate on our education for our kids," he said. Eldridge says several people have come to him in recent months talking about the pressure put on young girls. The delegate says it's time to change the message. "Girls are impressionable when they're young," he said. "Let's be smart. I think if we give that message I think our kids would accept that faster than 'I'm beautiful I don't have to be smart.'"

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll.

What utter BS! Like a doll really makes youngs girls want to be really thin with big boobs! It didn't to me. How about you?
What about these supermodels or ultra thin actresses OR these diet commercials telling you that you need to be thin to live a good life. If these girls have pressure maybe it is coming from their parents or their teachers. Do people forget that they need to build children up? Do people forget that children need encouragement, not negativity?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Movie: Miracle at St.Anna

Yesterday I watched this movie. I don't care for WWII movies but this was really good.

It starts with an older man, Hector (Laz Alonzo) that works in the post office. A man comes to his window and he shoots him, dead. What??

A reporter (Joseph Gordon Levitt) comes to a policeman (John Turturro) who is investigating the murder. The policeman sends him with some other policemen that are going to look through Hector's apartment. They find the head of a statue. The head is from an Italian village. It is very valuableand has been missing since WWII. The reporter goes to Hector and asks him about the head. Then we get the story told through a flashback. 4 black soldiers cross a river in Tuscany, surrounded by Germans, find a child, and meet up with some Italians and what happens after. I won't give it away.

Monday, March 2, 2009

All Done and here's the sun!

No more snow, blue skies acomin'!
Little P at work with the snow shovel. You can see bare spots due to the winds whipping the snow around. I think it will be quite windy for the rest of the day. But some of the snow is melting.

About an hour after my first post, the King had to go out to feed the birds. He cleared a path on the deck. It was snowed over in no time. I think we got about 5 inches or so in a few hours.

Snow Snow Snow

Well, here it is. March is in like a lion! When I got up this morning at 6:50 am, there was hardly any snow on the ground.
You cannot see the road in the front of our house. No trucks have been around to clear since they closed the public schools this morning.

Look at the pile on our little table! All this in a little over 2 hours!

You can actually see the snow falling in this photo!
It is like 65 in Sicily! Wish we were there!