Sunday, April 29, 2012

Five Months

My daughter Mary is getting married in 5 months.  

Our house is filling up with vintage china and linens and silver plate and mikglass vases and lacy hankies....  

Ok, anyone who knows me even a little knows that my house was already reasonably full of that kind of stuff.  Now there are even more lovely things....

And now it is filling up with dresses: Wedding, bridesmaid, flower girl, mother-of-the-bride...
And a beautiful wispy veil, and the current in-favor wedding shoes....

Oh and wedding cake shaped bottles of bubbles and little silver bells and votive candle holders and little tealights and many strings of white lights and and picture frames....

And so many hopes and plans and dreams...

Today Mary and I had a rare mother and daughter day.  We started out by going to see Titanic.  We just had to.  it was my first 3-D movie and I was reasonably impressed.  I have to admit that we forgot how LONG it took that boat to sink!  Was he filming it in real time or what??? We had lunch and hit Michaels for a little bit of wedding shopping.

Then we hit my spare room to inventory my cloth napkins for the reception.

I love vintage linens.  And I have been collecting them for QUITE a while.

I filled a hamper and we took it downstairs and started counting.
We counted out 210 dinner napkins and 114 cocktail napkins.  We figured, ok, we just won't be too picky about the design or fabric.
So then we went back upstairs and moved some stuff from the front of the china closet and pulled all the napkins off the napkin shelf.

We ended the count with 424 dinner napkins and 195 cocktail napkins.

Mary said "Wow!  NOW I can be picky!!"

But I can't help but think...Don't I have another stack of napkins somewhere?? 

Up next - TABLECLOTHS!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Could Be Better Than Oreos?

 A couple of weeks ago Grey had a not-even-realized-dream come true... his Aunt Miss Audrey took him - just him!! to TARGET all by himself  to buy the Lego Hero Factory that he had been talking INCESSANTLY about all day.  Did I say incessantly?  That doesn't even seem to cover the amount of time spent on that particular subject....

So we told Neve that he was going and that they would get her a surprise, but she was marveling that Mimi rented HOP the movie for her and she barely even noticed him leaving.

I should have known that it wouldn't last.

Neve came out of her I love HOP coma and said WHERE Grey?  I want to go Target!  


So I pulled out the emergency vintage Ballerina cake toppers that I bought at the Back in the Day Bakery when I went to Savannah with my friend Sue for Mandy's baby shower.

Neve was charmed.  She wanted to know what they were for and I told her that they were to decorate cakes or cupcakes.  So she decided it was time to make cupcakes.

Damn.  I walked right into that.

As I had neither the cake mix or more importantly, the desire to make cupcakes I thought for a couple of minutes and remembered that we had OREOS!!  and squirt-y PINK FROSTING!!!  And a pretty pretty pink depression glass cake stand.

So here's the technique - squirt pretty pink frosting on top of an Oreo.  Place on pretty pink cake plate, then let your grandbaby shove a Ballerina on top.  Then watch as she takes the ballerina off and eats the Oreo.  And then repeats the procedure...

Neve REALLY likes Oreos!   

Then Grey came back and it turns out that he likes Oreos wth pink frosting and ballerinas too!

Go figure.

And he had a very successful Target foray!!

After that we all went in and - God Help Me - we watched HOP.  

For the second time.

P.S. Turns out that Grey and Neve's mom and dad like pretty pink frosted Oreos with Ballerinas on them.  
However, they chose not to be photographed...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Paula Deen is Dead to Me

My friend Sue and I took off for Savannah a few weeks ago for her daughter-in-law Mandy's baby shower.
("My friend Sue" is the internationally recognised term for my friend Sue Feldmann.  True story!!  I talked about her all the time when I lived in Germany.)

Back when we both got invitations to the shower we had mentioned it in passing to each other.  Then we said hey, maybe we should go.  Then it was I Know!  Let's surprise Mandy!!  Then we remembered what it was like to be 8 months pregnant and decided that Sue would just give her a call.

Matt, Mandy and soon to be Charlie...OH and a statue of the guy who wrote Midnite in the Garden of Good and Evil.

I am a big fan of Mady's blog, MCUBED ( and was excited to see her and Matt and their furry child Mitch.  We got the grand tour and inspected the nursery and petted Mitch profusely.  

I was SOOO excited because that night we were going to eat at The Lady and Sons restaurant. Paula Deens' restaurant!

We hung out for a few minutes in the Paula Deen Store, which is attached to the restaurant.  I couldn't believe it.  I know that you have to strike when the iron is hot, but the level of Paula Deens' self promotion was SO over the top, I started to feel a little uneasy.

We were ushered to the 3rd floor for dinner and we chose the buffet.  What a disappointment.
Just a lot of tired mushy food.  Golden Corral could do it better.  Sue and I could do it better.

What a shame.

Thank goodness we still had the baby shower and more visiting with Matt and Mandy to look forward to!! 

 And a visit to the Back in the Day Bakery!!  We got some great ideas for lights at Mary's wedding.  And the doilies were just too pretty.

Gorgeous Chandeliers!!

Pretty Doilies!!
The  weekend ended way too soon and we can't wait to go back!

But we won't be going to Paula Deen's restaurant....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just a Couple of Soldiers

It was the end of a very exciting Nationals game.  Hardly anyone went home early, so as we were walking out of the stadium we were packed like sardines.

We were walking by a young guy in a wheel chair and Larry suddenly stopped beside him and asked "Are you in the Marines?" And reaching out his hand, he shook the young guys hand and said "Thank you!"

An older gentleman walking with him in front turned around and asked Larry if he had been in the Marines.  "No", Larry replied, "I was in the Army.  My son was in the Marines - I think he joined them just to spite me!"

They all laughed and then we moved on.

But just for a second, I could see them, standing tall and proud.

Just a couple of soldiers.

Larry and Shayne

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Trying to Set a Good Example

One of my co-workers, Amy, breezed through the home office this week to work a couple of days, then to head out to New York City to go to her friends' Art Opening.  She brought Christmas presents, a fabulous dress for us to preview, and a breath of fresh air!

The fabulous dress was for the Art Opening, and wow it was gorgeous!!  She asked us for advice about what kind of shoes she should wear with it - and we cheerfully assured her that the higher the heels, the better!!  (It wasn't like WE were going to be traipsing around NYC in sky high heels!)  (Ok, maybe we were a bit jealous that we don't have legs that go on for miles.)

Wow Amy!!  You go, girl!!!
My Christmas present was a great book featuring TWSS (That's What She Said)  It was Michael Scott's favorite phrase back when he was on The Office.  I used to be quite adept at working TWSS into every conversation....

But now that I am a grandmother, and Grey and Neve are soaking up everything we say like little sponges, I've tried to dial it back a bit.  You know, be a better example. Reading the book was like a little visit to yesterday - BG - Before Grandkids....

So yesterday Larry and I were at the Nationals Stadium for a game and as we were wandering to our seats, Larry was very earnestly and VERY seriously explaining some random baseball fact.  He ended his story with "and that's how he would end up with a ball in his face."  Oh my...


Larry laughed all the way to our seats.

Thank you, Amy!!  

Come back soon!  Laura and I miss you like crazy!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Electronic Family 4

A recent email to Audrey -
(Plus an EXCELLENT pecan pie muffin recipe)

 You need to make these for dad.  Right now.

 He would probably find a way to pay for your car while he is eating these.

 Or he would be in such a coma that you could easily get his check card AND pin number from him.

 Then you could pay for it yourself.

 Do it!!  DO IT NOW!!!!



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

These Things Just Write Themselves!

This morning Audrey and I swiped the cable controller from Larry (we'd had enough Sports Center!) and watched last nights episode of 16 and Pregnant.  It was the one with Alex, the (spoiled brat) dancer and her deadbeat (but strangely pragmatic) stoner boyfriend. 

Ok, are you with me now?

There was one scene that especially needed additional dialogue.  Let's see if you can guess what the scene is:

(not Alex)  "I paid for lunch....I noticed that you supersized....there could be pie..."

Have you figured out that it is the scene where Alex's girlfriend is asking Alex if her mom could adopt the baby?  While they were at lunch?

Auds and I could SO be screenwriters!!

See - Audrey already has the glasses!!!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's the Little Things...

We were watching a movie last Saturday night.  Larry got bored and went to bed early and I stayed up dreamily watching the end of the Sound of Music.

Ok, who are we kidding?  I stayed up watching Capt. Von Trapp.  He's so hot.

After I fell asleep on the couch I went upstairs and crawled into bed where the following conversation took place:

Larry: I'm glad you're here.  This bed is cold.

Me: I'm glad to be here too.  By the way, when you are out and about do you think that you could pick up an Austrian Navy Officers Dress Uniform? World War Two era?

Larry: Yeah, I'll get right on it.  Captains' rank?

Me: Um. Yeah!!

Why yes Captain, I would LOVE to dance with you!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Thoughts

Last Friday, Good Friday, Grey and I were chatting about what he learned in school that week.
He said that they learned about words that end with 'et', like pet, get, and his favorite - jet.  We decided that pirate, while not exactly in the 'et' family sure SOUNDED like it should be!

Then we went back to what we had been doing, occasionally throwing out an 'et' word - forget - let - regret - when all of a sudden Grey says "and we can't forget Pilate - you know, he condemned Jesus to death."

I slowly looked up from the coupons I had been browsing thru.

I expected to see a miniature Joel Olsteen sitting there, putting together Legos at his little table.

Grey, Lucy and Neve
 I guess that there are benefits to a good Catholic education...

Speaking of which, on Easter morning TCM had a showing of Godspell.  I love that musical. (Even tho' it is no Jesus Christ Superstar, but really who hasn't sung the song 'Day by Day'?)

Here is my favorite song from Godspell.  It has made me smile for for about (gasp!) forty years now!  You'll notice that Victor Garber plays Jesus.  He is of Alias fame, he also played the ill-fated architect on Titanic.  And there are  really eerie shots of the Twin Towers, way before we thought we had anything to worry about....

And speaking of Pilate, here's a little something from him...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Necessary Corrections 3

Grey and Neve showed up fairly early on Friday morning.  The first thing that I noticed was that Neve was ready for her appearance on Toddlers and Tiaras. 

Me: Did mommy put make-up on you?
Neve: She did!
Me: She SURE did!!

pop tarts for my little pop tart...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Coeur a la Creme - Well, Sort of....

I love Ina Garten.  you know, the Barefoot Contessa.  I originally started watching her because I missed my friend Lesia and Ina looks like Lesia and it was sort of like a little visit with her.  I still think of Lesia when i watch Ina, but now I am kinda wishing that Ina was related to me. 

Auntie Ina?      Ina Garten

Yes!  That has quite a ring to it!!

Yesterday she made Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce.   Yum!!  It looked soooo good! 

So I thought I'd make it.  But as usual, the grocery fairies had neglected to drop off all the ingredients - I've GOT to get new fairies...

And then Audrey reminded me that I'd promised to make to make banana pudding, but I didn't want to stand over the stove and cook pudding...

So here is my version of Coeur a la Creme... kind of a cheater version... Cheatin' Coeurs if you will...

Take one room temp 8 oz block of cream cheese and beat with a paddle attachment.  Add 1/3 of a cup or so of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of grand Marnier (or whatever you have - mine is the el cheapo version..I think it's called gran torino or something like that..)  Beat until smooth.  Change to to the whisk attachment and add a half pint carton of heavy cream and beat until it is like seriously whipped cream.  Taste to make sure it is sweet enough, and resist the urge to just stand there and eat it with a spoon.
Then I put Nilla wafers in the bottom of a serving bowl, put 1/3 of cream mixture over the wafers.  Then, another layer of nilla wafers and in deference to Audrey, I added a layer of sliced bananas.  After that I put the rest of the cream mixture and put nilla wafers all around the edge.

Here is Ina's recipe for those of you who want a more sophisticated version...

Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce

 Copyright 2004, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce, recipe follows
  • 2 half-pints fresh raspberries


Place the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the beater and bowl with a rubber spatula and change the beater for the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds and beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.
Line a 7-inch sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels so the ends drape over the sides and suspend it over a bowl, making sure that there is space between the bottom of the sieve and the bottom of the bowl for the liquid to drain. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth, fold the ends over the top, and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, discard the liquid, unmold the cream onto a plate, and drizzle Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce around the base. Serve with raspberries and extra sauce.

Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce:
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Place raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and orange liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.
Yield: 2 cups

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary!!!

Larry and I were married 32 years ago tomorrow.  Wow that'a a LONG time!!  It is easy when you are married to your best friend, tho.

Audrey wrote this lovely piece a few years ago and I asked her if I could borrow it,


My mom never takes off her wedding ring. Bathing, washing dishes, polishing the silver, dying her hair, painting the kitchen, gutting a turkey. The ring stays on. I would see her occasionally fidget with it, trying to pry it off. Unwillingly, it twisted up just enough to show a sun pardoned indentation, the result of twenty-eight years of solid location. Then she would slide it back into place, where it was simply another part of her finger, not a gleaming gold band.
She told me that, in her first marriage, she would take off her ring before doing any dirty or wet job. She was afraid of marring its shine or flawless surface, she said, but mostly I think she was just afraid of losing it down a drain… or up a turkey’s ass. She was staying with her in-laws while her husband was at basic training. Her mother-in-law always commented on how she would lose her ring if she kept taking it off. My mom brushed it off as one of many snarky comments. One day, before taking a shower, she took her ring off and left it on the sink. While she was in the shower, her mother-in-law came in to get something, lingered at the sink, and left. When my mom finished toweling off, she saw that the ring was gone. My mom confronted her mother-in-law, but the woman looked at my mom as if she was speaking a different language. All her mother-in-law said: “You’re nineteen years old, a mother, and a wife. You should be able to keep track of your belongings.”
My mom says that’s when she knew her marriage wouldn’t last.
I didn’t lose a lot as a child. I kept toys and books and school work, clothes and shoes and sunglasses. But I always lost rings. They’d end up at the bottom of the pool, or down the shower drain; or I would absently leave them on the sink after I washed my hands, walking away and forgetting I put them on in the first place. Sometimes I would put them on the night stand before bed, and not find them again for years.
Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, even belly rings and brocade pins always found their way back to my jewelry box. But I have lost every single ring I’ve ever owned. My mom wears one ring. And she never takes it off. As a kid, I firmly believed my mom’s ring was the strength that kept her marriage together. I was thoroughly convinced that if she lost that ring, I would lose my father.
And so, I thought that a ring would be the test for whether or not a man was to be “the one” for me. If he were to give me a ring, and I didn’t lose it immediately, he would be the keeper.  And I would never take it off, because I would want to keep him forever. Just like my mom and dad’s marriage, mine would be as strong and stable as the ring on her finger.
Today is their 32nd anniversary. Like their rings, their marriage has become an irreplaceable, permanent part of their lives. Something that they can twist and maneuver, but can never take off; something that gets marred and scratched, but still gleams. Best friends, partners, parents, but most importantly, two people who love, cherish and respect one another more with every year they’re together. They’re inspiring. And I’m beyond lucky to have been raised in their example.
Happy anniversary, guys.
We look like we're twelve!!!