Wednesday, January 27, 2010

buster "cellophane" lidji

I just left Buster at the vets office for a little procedure on his eye. He's lumpy, bumpy, crusty and a little bit gross, but he's our old guy and we love him! He sure was sad this morning as his entire family, one after another, denied (a pre-op requirement) his customary morning snack and healthy gulp of water. I could barely look at him. If given words, he might've said, "What am I, cellophane or something?"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

virtuous dinner

Well, things are heating up over on the Biggest Loser campus with accusations of lying and throwing weigh ins and such. Why do the trouble makers always have to reign from Texas?! I just love Tuesday nights! Here is the virtuous meal I'm making tonight.

BBQ Chicken - serves 4 adapted from a Weight Watchers cookbook

3 T ketchup
1 T hoisin sauce
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 t molasses
2 t reduced sodium soy sauce
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  1. stir together all ingredients except chicken
  2. coat chicken breasts with sauce and bake at 375 degrees until cooked through
I'll serve the chicken with salad and brown rice.

This is a photo of my Weight Watchers journals. I became a lifetime member in 2007. I tracked obsessively to reach my goal. I've put a few back on, so I'm back to writing in my journals and attending meetings once again.

d home best of dallas

Do two mentions in the past few months qualify as a media blitz?!?
In my world, the answer would be yes!
Here is a photo from the current issue of D Home Magazine
and here is a link to the article.
Thank you D Home and thank you Bill and Cindy for loaning
me "our" quilt for the shoot!

photo by Alex Ham for D Home Magazine

Monday, January 25, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

the beautiful is as useful as the useful

My apologies if this week has felt like an endless
evening of someone else's home movies. I hope
it's been some fun for you too. I think it's time
to wrap it up now.

Puzzlers Daddy and Tim get in touch with their feminine side
with the completion of bunnies and butterflies.
Suitable for shellacking.

A rustic Brady moment.

Only the finest linens for our crew.

Nature's sculptures.

So true! So true!
Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

grilllzzzz + aliens

Test for determining if someone is an alien from a far away galaxy
according to my friend Malina:
1. offer grilled cheese sandwich
2. if they refuse the grilled cheese sandwich,
you are looking into the eyes of an alien.
3. Harry is an alien. If you saw
yesterdays video, you might
tend to agree
Otherwise, the whole family loved our custom grilled cheese sandwiches.
Sorry David. No special orders.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup - The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

3lbs. ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 c. plus 2T. olive oil
1 T salt
1 1/2 t. pepper
2 c. chopped yellow onions (around 2)
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T butter
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
28 oz. canned plum tomatoes with their juice
4 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
1 t. fresh thyme leaves
1 qt. chicken stock

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4c. olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
  3. In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2T of olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes until the onions start to brown.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Add the oven roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.
  5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  6. Pass thru a food mill on the coarsest blade or just use your blender like I did. I still like my soup a bit chunky so I didn't puree too fine. Adjust your seasonings.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

was that ever fun! - one

Our 9th annual family camping trip was a blast!
The fun is best told in pictures.
Today.....the kids.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I'm spending this weekend with 22 of my favorite people on the planet. My dad, siblings, nieces, nephews (ranging from 2-17 years old!) and a couple of family friends who might as well be family. It's our 9th annual Bastop State Park camp out. We don't actually sleep in tents, but we do sleep in rustic cabins sometimes sharing quarters with a friendly raccoon.

We divide meals and share in the work. This year, I'm in charge of Saturday brunch.

Here is my menu:

custom made grilled cheese sandwiches
I wanted to call them Grillzzzzz, but the girls strongly
roasted tomato and basil soup
cole slaw
whoopie pies

I'm going to let the little kids take "orders" from the grown ups.
They like to help.
Sadie made this colorful order form to make it simple.

I'll post the fun next week. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

life is an adventure

This week our family went to the book signing of Jeannette Walls.
She is promoting her new book, Half Broke Horses. We all loved her 2005 memoir The Glass Castle. It's a remarkable story of stunning poverty, loving but incredibly neglectful parents and resilient children. A great read. Did any of you read it? We waited a long time to speak with her.

While waiting, we watched a little squirt play with his mom's i phone.

And we peered into Sadie's bag of tricks for something to entertain and amuse.

When we finally reached the table, Jeannette was gracious, genuinely kind and beautiful.
You can't fake genuine. She happily posed with the girls.
She also inscribed the last page of Sadie's moleskine:

She would know.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

sunrise & sadness

Sunrise 7:15
Dallas, Texas
The girls and I all grabbed
our cameras this morning.
Struck by the beautiful

This morning in Haiti.

Beauty and devastation coincide.
To help the people of Haiti:

photo credit:

Monday, January 11, 2010


Not to miss! Sedrick Huckaby: A Love Supreme, at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas. This exhibition features large scale paintings (80 ft. long I'm told!) of quilts sewn by his grandmother. His love of family and admiration of his grandmother's artistry are central to all his paintings. Kevin Vogel of Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden calls the show a celebration of life, guaranteed to lift your spirits. My idea of a perfect outing. Thanks to Randy, Jan and Kalynn for keeping me in the know.

The exhibition runs Jan. 9 - Feb. 13
Art talk with Sedrick Huckaby free and open to the public: Jan. 20 6:30-7:30

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

playing chicken with squirrel

Today I bundled up and went for a nice chilly run. I beat a gutsy squirrel at a game of chicken and had fun listening to my kids' ipod. As I've told you in the past, their music is much more energizing! My fingers were bound in gloves, so no skipping through songs. Here's what I heard.

Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
All is Love - Karen O and The Kids
You've Been Recorded - The Dreadful Yawns
Furr - Blitzen Trappen
Yes - Coldplay
I Want You Back - Jackson 5
Hurry Up Let's Go - Shout Out Louds
Because I'm Awesome - The Dollyrots
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy
Slow Down - Wyclef Jean
In An Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
And She Was - Talking Heads
Caresse sur L'ocean - Les Choristes

Friday, January 8, 2010

baby woody

This shot on quainthandmade made me smile. It also had me hauling out scrap books and photo albums and shoe boxes jammed full of photos just to find this sweet, long ago picture of Baby Woody and baldy, smiley, dimpley Sophie.

I owned a single baby stroller for Woody long before I ever had babies of the human sort.
Woody loved to be outdoors and take nice long walks. But he was a sickly little guy and couldn't make it very far on his own. Doesn't he have a beautiful smile?
Alan always said Woody was like our neighborhood mayor. He had countless admirers.
When Sophie was born, the only logical answer was a double stroller.
He kept his front seat status until the metronome waggle of his tail proved too enticing and tiny hands kept tugging. He was not happy, but he adjusted.

I sure did love that dog.

Happy weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

meet the ladies & a gent

This is Joy. A fitting name for a delightful person.
Joy is my neighbor and garden club friend.

The ladies and gent of garden club have been pals for a very long time.
Our neighborhood club was formed in 1956.
Club flower: daffodil.
Club colors: yellow and green.

Margarete and I have a lot in common. Like me, she married a Jewish man and learned the ways and traditions from scratch. She's funny and outspoken. She's also a little bit famous around here for her decadent pralines.

These gals and gent are open minded, curious, lifelong learners.
They have embraced technology. They email, poke around the web and send attachments.
You won't be surprised there are many former school teachers in the bunch.
The light is always on.
They've raised passels of fine children who grew into fine adults.
I want to be just like them when I grow up.

One of my goals in 2010 is to become an active member once again,
rather than occasional participant.

Because they always remind me to slow down and enjoy life more.
Plus these gals are loads of fun. And so is this gent.

I'll take a group photo in coming months so you can see the whole lovely crew. I wouldn't want to overlook Rose and Marigold, two of our aptly named members!

attitude free monogram

Eric isn't the monogram type. It's a little upper crust for him.
A tad elitist.
He's not a flashy guy. His style is subtle, but sharp.
This was Eric's Hanukkah gift from me.
Hand embroidered monogram meets vintage western.
I started with a super soft pearl snap western
shirt from a vintage clothing store in Austin, Texas
called Bitchin' Threads.
Cost: $24.00

Alan knows type. He always picks the perfect font.
I traced the letters with a water soluble marker. It was tiny.
No more than 1/4" letters.
Eric being flash averse, I decided to match thread to shirt and stitch tone on tone.
It was just right.

I used 3 stands of embroidery floss. Embroidering so small
is a little challenging. I used a basic stem stitch.
Would any of you enjoy a stem stitch tutorial? It's an easy, versatile stitch.

Next, I decided to doll up the arm holes a little bit with
a simple running stitch.

Can you see the placement of the monogram?

Well, he loved the shirt and the special details.
Eric, who you might recall from this post, is in Tel Aviv right now.
He's attending the wedding of a friend from Alaska.
Yesterday's Facebook status from Eric:
Macgyver meets Martha moment.
Just used a tea kettle to steam wrinkles from my sport coat.

I'm so proud.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


52 Projects is a blog full of small, random ideas for the everyday joe.
Some are acts of kindness.
Occasionally, they are more introspective, requiring much of your memory.
Won't you please click away and read #42 from Jeffrey Yamaguchi,
boss of all projects? Wouldn't this small gesture make you happy?

Photo via ladysadie

Monday, January 4, 2010


Welcome back friends! Did you enjoy the holidays? Since we last visited, I:
celebrated my birthday,
delivered 6 quilts to happy clients,
made a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) for a very special bat mitzvah girl and
a Christmas stocking for a fresh new baby,
baked oodles of ginger snaps and shipped dozens of Red Llama aprons,
consumed a steady diet of caffeine and sugar,
and finally crumbled at work only to pick myself back up again.
After all that, I was able to have fun with my family and friends.
See ya, '09.
What can I say?
You weren't my favorite.
But I'm certain there were some great life lessons in there.
Somewhere. And don't get me wrong '09, I'm grateful for you and every other year.
That said, have a stellar and inspired 2010!
Thanks to Sadie for sharing this magical video she happened upon.
Happy Monday everyone.

Friday, January 1, 2010


via nowvoyager

lucky peas

Like many southerners, we always make a point to eat black eyed peas on New Years Day. After all, who couldn't use a little extra luck in the coming year? Here's todays version using what I had on hand.

New Year's Day BEP's

1. soak a bag of dried black eyed peas overnight
2. rinse and put in soup pot
3. cover with water and add two chicken bouillon cubes
4. add 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, a chopped purple onion
and a handful of cilantro
5. bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until tender

Happy New Year!

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