Create your dreams every day...

Create your dreams every day...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fingerless Gloves, what's the point?

OK---initially I had the same thought, too. Why in the world would you want a pair of Fingerless Gloves? Didn't make sense to me, either. You wear gloves to keep your hands warm, and with nothing to put your fingers into, they are going to freeze! While I definitely wouldn't advise wearing them while trying to build a snowman, I do have some uses in mind.

  • Great for typing when you need some extra warmth!

  • How about driving, easier to change the radio dial.

  • In the car, answering your iPhone (not while driving, of course!)

  • Easier to use the camera for outdoor photo shoots! (as demonstrated above)
These were a quick, easy knit! And, they match my red coat. Love 'em! Off to scrapbook, just got some goodies in the mail. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate.....

Now that I have your attention...Peanut Butter and Chocolate make quite the combo, don't you think! These cookies are so easy, I don't really think you could call this a recipe. We always include these in our holiday baking and this year will be no exception. I only had two left to photograph because I forgot to take the pic before I put them in the freezer. In case you need a reminder, here's the directions.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (I use ready-made)
Small Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
Spray Oil
Lightly oil small muffin pan. Slice cookie dough into 1 inch thick pieces, then cut each piece into 4 smaller pieces. Place each chunk in muffin pan. Bake as directed on dough package. When cookies puff up and are lightly browned, remove from oven. Quickly press unwrapped peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Let cool before removing from pan. You can place them in the fridge for a bit to hasten cooling time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bet ya can't eat just one.....

This is my all time favorite cookie, the Spritz. A double-batch is sharing space in the freezer with the Snickerdoodles and the Chocolate, Chocolate Chip. I just hope I can save them long enough to share them with my family at Christmas time. If I eat them now, that would defeat the purpose of "baking ahead", right? This recipe came from "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book." It's an easy one to double!
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/12 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond flavoring
2 1/4 cups flour
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and flavoring thoroughly. Work in flour. Using 1/4 dough at a time, force dough through a cooky press on ungreased baking sheet in desired shapes. Bake 6 to 9 minutes, or until set but not brown. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Away from home....

This layout was put together about a week ago. The pics were taken right after KK and his girlfriend moved into their very first apartment. I remember driving all the way to Pittsburgh that day in the POURING DOWN RAIN! Dear hubby had endured some oral surgery the day before, and wasn't in the "all clear" to drive yet. We took the kids to lunch, bought groceries, purchased a new lamp for the living room and just hung out for a while. I have vague memories of moving into my first apartment, (back in the 70's!), but no photos or scrapbook pages. It would have been fun to look back on them now, to remember more of the details. So.......being the scrappin' maniac I am, I wanted to make a page for KK to have to add to his "stack" of memories.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little, Tiny Baby Caps....

These tiny baby caps are going to travel far, far away, but they are going to a great cause. Right before Thanksgiving I read a post on "One More Moore" about making baby caps for Haiti newborns out of recycled t-shirts. I thought it was a unique way to donate my sewing talents, plus they were made out of something that all of us already own hanging in our own closets. They were so easy to make--the bottom of the cap is the bottom hem of the t-shirt, all you had to do was cut them out and sew up the sides! The first mail-in date was early December, so I didn't have time to make as many as I wanted. I'm watching for another deadline date, hopefully it will be after Christmas! You can read more about it "here".

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

These are so easy.....

I have to give credit to Becky Higgins ( for this recipe. She featured it on her blog a couple of weeks ago. These cookies were so easy to make, and they are so tasty. I tried them once with white chocolate chips, and once with mint chocolate chips. They're very easy and so yummy, they stay really moist for several days--if they last that long!!
1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil (I prefer olive oil)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Little Yarn...

I mentioned in a previous post about finding a cute little knit shop when we went to Eureka Springs for our anniversary. The tiny shop butted up against the drive beside our cottage. I had just enough room between the side of the building and the passenger's side of the car to get into our vehicle.

The owner was so sweet and helpful. She showed me around and gave me time to browse. There was even a large, comfy "hubby" chair with reading material to keep my other half happy and occupied while I was drooling over all of the colors and textures on the shelves. One of my purchases is pictured above. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I really liked the colors and the "thick and thin" texture of the yarn. I ended up knitting a very quick scarf using a ribbing stitch, then I added some fringe at the ends to show off the reason why I purchased it in the first place.
I bought the cool needles there, too. Aren't they fun?! After knitting a couple of evenings in a row, this is what I came up with. I've already worn it to work twice, it keeps me extra toasty!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cookie Time!

One of my favorite cookies, to eat and to bake, is Snickerdoodles. They're easy and quick, use regular ingredients I always have on hand, and they freeze well. Snickerdoodles are always included in my holiday baking and are a big hit when we go on car trips, especially our annual "Girl's Trip". The following recipe was taken from my "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book" I mentioned in my previous post.


1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cram of tartar
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and eggs thoroughly. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt; stir in. Shape dough into 1" balls. Roll in mixture of 2 tbsp. sugar and cinnamon. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. These cookies puff up at first, then flatten out. Makes 6 dozen cookies. Note: You can use self-rising flour, just omit cream of tartar, soda, and salt. If the bottom of the cookies are browning too fast (because of the cinnamon) turn oven down 10-15 degrees after the first batch. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A word (or two) about cookies....

I love cookies! I love to bake them, smell them, eat them, share them. There's just something very comforting to me about cookies. Home-baked ones, of course. Now don't get me wrong, store bought will do in a pinch. (Uh, think Robin + Famous Amos!) But seriously, there's just something really special about a warm, gooey, fresh out-of-the oven cookie! Do you ever bake cookies on a Saturday morning and find them all gone by the end of the day? Yeah, me too. One of my favorite cookie cookbooks is "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book". It's a softbound, 156 page treasure! I'm not sure how long I've owned it, at least 20 years. I remember buying it at a school book fair one year when I was teaching. You can tell by the worn cover how much it has been used! It's my favorite go-to recipe book when I'm looking for something sweet to bake. Some of our family favorites come from this book, like Spritz Cookies and Snickerdoodles. I should have these recipes memorized, I've made them so many times. But you can tell by the stained, worn pages that I still turn to them over and over again. My favorite time of the year to bake is during the holidays, and that time has arrived. Since we're expecting a new grandbaby this holiday season, I'm trying to be more prepared by baking ahead of time and freezing what I can. Guess what I baked today? How 'bout I show you in my next post! Hubby is working on my computer, so I haven't had the chance to load my pics today. Yeah, cookies!!!

My Turkey Report....

I realize this is a little late, but I just haven't had the time or energy to update since hubby got home from Mumbai. Things are finally settling back down now, so here we go........ I promised to report back on how the Thanksgiving turkey turned out. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tried a new turkey brine this year, and it turned out really yummy! Last year was the first time I tried a turkey brine. To tell you the truth--I'd never even heard of brining a turkey! I'd always just popped it into a large cooking bag, and let the oven do the rest. Easy enough! Anyway, last year I saw a recipe that sounded interesting over on Pioneer Woman's blog,, and decided to try it out. It's certainly not as easy as marinating chicken breast, but it was worth the wrestle. I usually cook 1-2 pounds of chicken at once---but my turkey weighed 20 pounds, and hubby wasn't home to help lift it! It wasn't a pretty sight to watch, but it turned out really tasty! Here's the recipe, for next year of course, if you're interested.

1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 gallons water

Combine the orange juice concentrate, orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices, thyme, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and water in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. (Adding ice cubes will hasten this step.)
Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket (I used a large cooking bag and placed it in my roasting pan) in the refrigerator. Allow turkey to marinate 1 to 2 days before cooking. (I left mine in for 24 hours) remove the turkey carefully. Drain and discard the excess brine and pat dry.
Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster. (recipe from

I'm a little behind....

I'm sorry to be so late updating hubby's ordeal. He's home and he's safe! It's been crazy busy since he got home.I'll try my best to review.

  • After being taken safely back to their hotel, they were there to stay until they could get a flight to return home. As I mentioned earlier, his hotel was under tight security, with extra guards in place, so he felt fairly safe. With no where else to go, he spent most of the evening on Wednesday and all day Thursday in his room, only venturing out twice to eat at one of the restaurants on the premises. He didn't even order his "Thanksgiving" dinner on Thursday, he had salmon!
  • He had access to some of the news stations and India newspapers, but as we compared notes, there were several "reports" that differed. So, we really weren't sure how accurate any of the news accounts were.
  • After meeting with security officials they made the decision to get flights as soon as possible to return home. They would be starting home Saturday morning, India time. He would arrive in Tulsa Saturday evening, our time. (When he realized he would be home in time to watch the OU game on TV he was so excited, what a bonus!) The airport was 20 miles from where they were staying, about half-way between the hotel and the city. Thankfully, they sent security with them again on their drive to the airport. The airport was packed with people trying to leave the area. Reporters even tried to interview hubby, but he gracefully declined! His original tickets were booked for first class, but having to change to an earlier flight home, all they could get was coach--but, what are ya gonna do?
  • Flying 24 hours "coach" made for a loooooong flight home, but he was so glad to touch down in Tulsa. He has taken a whole week to recover. I think the ordeal took a lot more of him than he realized at the time. Hopefully, he'll be back to himself by Monday!
  • Because he arrived and left his office in the dark--very few photos! Cameras weren't allowed in the workplace, so he left it in the safe in his hotel room. Because of his cancelled "excursion" into the city--no photo opportunities there. He was in Mumbai for 2 weeks and only got 30 pictures! Can you imagine my response? An avid scrapbooker sends the camera with hubby all the way to India and he comes home with only 30 pics! After giving him a really hard time, I have to say I totally understood why he didn't get more. He did get pictures around the hotel, one of the motorized rickshaw, and 2 of the Mumbai airport! I guess the good thing about it is, it won't take me very long to document his trip!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Excursion cancelled...

Hubby is safe, thank you, thank you! My daughter called me at noon today as I was driving home from the office. She wanted to inform me of the situation in Mumbai. After several phone calls, I finally got to talk to my husband. Since they are staying on the outskirts of town, they are about 40 miles from the city area. The office where he is working is about 15 miles from the hotel. His office sent one of their guards with the car that takes them back and forth to work. Remember the jammed traffic he's been reporting? Well, on the way back to the hotel, he said the roads were empty!

The Taj restaurant that was attacked is where they had dinner Saturday night! They were planning on going back today for a shopping trip. Needless to say, the trip into the city has been cancelled. He'll spend his Thanksgiving Day at the hotel, hopefully enjoying a real turkey dinner from one of the restaurants there. He's even considering a massage. I think he deserves one, don't you? The hotel where he is staying is fenced and heavily guarded. They even use an x-ray machine to check bags and briefcases, just like they do at the airports for security. Extra guards are also at all of the entrances of the hotel. He reassures me that they are taking extra security precautions. For that, I am very thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One more chance...

Crawford Market (above)
Since Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Mumbai, there will be no turkey dinner for hubby. At least that is what he was told. But, slipped under his door this morning was a note from the hotel that they would be serving a holiday dinner. So, maybe he'll get some turkey after all. Just in case, I've been informed to freeze a nice portion of our feast for him to enjoy when he returns home. Since the offices will be closed here in the United States on Thursday, the offices in Mumbai will not be open either, all of the correspondence is routed through the U.S. system. They've promised him (with the rest of his group) a day trip on Thursday, a shopping excursion hopefully, since they will all be off work. He isn't for sure what is planned, but they are scheduling a trip into the city. He's really looking forward to it, so I hope he sees a lot more than he did last weekend. Can't wait to hear about it!!

Off to create my turkey brine. I found a new recipe that includes oranges, limes, and lemons. hope it taste as good as it sounds. Last year was the first time I used a brine, and I purchased a mixture from Williams Sonoma--it's a lot of work, but worth it. Just a little more challenging for me this year since hubby isn't here to help me lift the 22 pound turkey in and out of the fridge, and then in and out of the oven. I'll let you know how it turns out...

Monday, November 24, 2008

News from the hubby...

Roger finally got to go into the city over the weekend, but the trip was somewhat disappointing. By the time they got to the restaurant to eat dinner it was dark outside. So, pictures are very few, but at least he got some. He said the food was very good, they went to an "India Fish Place" (his description I think, not the name of the restaurant.) He ordered fried fish, and a shrimp dish, yummy! Sounds better than the peanut butter sandwich I had for lunch. The big news was that they were in a wreck. Thank goodness no one was hurt. He said the car in front of them stopped abruptly to avoid hitting something in the road, and then 3 or 4 motorized rickshaws (like little golf carts) hit them from behind! Can you imagine? I asked, "Well, what did they do about it?" He said, "They all got out to look at the damage, then they all yelled and griped at each other, then they just got back in their vehicles and drove off." I was like, "What, are you kidding me?" He said, "No, no one has any insurance, most of them don't even own their own cars." So, I was very thankful there weren't any injuries, I don't think emergency vehicles could even get through to them! He said he just laid around and slept most of the day on Sunday, ordered in room service and didn't even leave his room. He sounded pretty tired today on the phone, the traveling must finally be catching up with him. He's thinking of going to get a massage, he said they were really inexpensive. I'm so jealous!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I adore his smile...

I went for a quick visit to see my little buddy. Haven't seen him in 2 months! I think that's the longest I've ever gone without seeing him. Had a great time, we even fit in a visit to see Santa! He is growing so fast, and talking up a storm, we even had several 2-sided conversations. It' s so much fun to just sit and watch him play, he's a very busy boy! He has the sweetest personality. And he is so ready for his new baby brother to arrive. He showed me "baby bruder's" room, and all of the toys, clothes, shoes, socks and everything else that they've been getting ready. He is very proud to show it all off. Won't be long now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

another update...

Since he hasn't sent any pictures to me yet, I'm imagining his description of traffic to look something like the image above (borrowed from a google search). Or maybe it looks something like this,

in any event, I wouldn't want to be going anywhere in a hurry! More insights:

  • He got to tour the building where he is working, it is 6-7 stories high, with several different companies housed there
  • He's sleeping during the daytime, and working at night
  • He mentioned not being able to take his breakfast back to his room to eat because the maid service was cleaning his room, I said, "Oh that's nice, you have someone to clean up and make the bed for you", he said, "Yeah, just like I do at home." Duh--I do make the bed every morning, don't I?
  • He explored a bit more around the hotel and saw several shops there, he mentioned a book store, home decor and a fabric store. Didn't take the time to buy anything yet. It's not like he didn't have a chance, he said they were waiting at the entrances of the shops greeting him, trying to lure him in and begin "haggling" over prices. Wouldn't it be nice to go into Target and "haggle" with the sales clerk until you were happy with the amount you were paying!!!
  • The weather is VERY humid. Lots of mosquitoes.
  • Time correction. I mentioned the difference was 10 1/2 hours, it is actually 11 1/2 hours later than we are.
  • Believe it or not, they brought in Papa John's pizza for lunch at work. It was chicken pizza, with lots of hot, Indian spices!

as promissed...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

one sock down...

One sock down, one to go. That is, if I want a matching pair! I don't like wearing shoes in the house, but I don't like going barefoot, either. I love wearing socks, they keep my feet warm and cozy on the long, dreary days of winter. I adore this self-striping yarn, makes it look like I worked really hard, huh? And what a fun way to brighten up my day!
Look for more scrapbook pages tomorrow!

...the husband checks in

All is well. I received another phone call this morning as I was heading out the door for work. He goes in to the office around the same time I do, even though it is 6:30 at night for him in India.
Notes of interest:
  • He is now sleeping from 3 a.m. until noon
  • The outside area of the hotel looks like a Polynesian setting, tropical plants, fountains and a huge pool (he promised he's taking pics for me!)
  • Even though the traffic is awful and the streets are narrow (most of the vehicles are small) he hasn't seen any accidents
  • The roads look like paving stones
  • The BBQ chips he ordered weren't quite like ours--they were HOT, SPICY, CHIPOLTE tasting!
  • He is staying on the outskirts of town, the downtown area where he would like to look around and do some shopping is about 40 miles away, the driver told him it would take 1-2 hours to drive there, so he'll probably have to wait until the weekend to do much exploring.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Been scrappin'...

Busy hands...

the Phone Call...

Ask me how I slept last night. Oh no, never mind, ask me IF I slept last night. After falling into bed, I just knew I would fall fast asleep. After all, I had stayed up past my normal bedtime by two hours, I was tired and sleepy. I must have been running on adrenaline all day yesterday, waiting for that final phone call--the one that said, "You can relax now, your husband is no longer inside an airplane strapped into a tiny seat that is WAY, WAY up in the air. The same one that is traveling around the world taking him farther and farther away from home". (Can you begin to visualize now why I'm not the one traveling to India?) Anyway, I tossed and turned for two more hours before falling asleep. My alarm seemed to go off extremely early this morning! I finally got my call around 8:45 a.m. (It was 7:30 p.m. India time). He will be going to work at that same time every evening and working 10-12 hours each day. Therefor, he will be going to and from work during the night-time hours there. I was not very happy, as this will totally mess up the photo ops I had planned for him! I asked him what the building looked like where he would be working, and he said, "I'm not sure, it's dark!" Well, we're going to have to do something about that!

His observations, so far:

  • Nice hotel, gated, full of security (the photo above is in the lobby)

  • Traffic is crazy, everyone drives by their own rules, lots of honking, gesturing, stopping and going, bulls walking on the sidewalk right beside traffic

  • Motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic between vehicles, all in a hurry

  • Had a bacon cheeseburger at one of the hotel restaurants, it was made with top sirloin and thick-cut bacon, like canadian bacon

  • He had been warned before traveling, about the water--DON'T DRINK IT! DON'T GET IT IN YOUR EYES! So, they told them not to expect ice. He ordered coke with his hamburger and they brought it to the table and poured it over a glass of ice. He was quick to ask about how safe it was. He was informed that it would be fine, served from the hotel. So---he drank away!

He should be able to email me from work now on a daily basis. We probably won't talk on the phone everyday--quite expensive! So I'll update as soon as I hear from him again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

In Mumbai...

I received a simple text message on my phone at 8:42 p.m. (Monday night) that read, "In hotel". It is now 8:27 a.m. on Tuesday morning in Mumbai. I can only assume that the quick, short and simple message means, "I'm here, I'm fine, and I'm exhausted, I'm going to bed!" He has been traveling for 38 hours since he left Oklahoma early Sunday morning. I think it's safe to say he deserves a real bed and a really long nap! He mentioned in an earlier text that the food and service has been great on the long flight, but his reclining seat was way too short!!

While he's been gone:
  • I worked at the office this morning until 12:30 p.m.
  • I kept looking at the clock today in my scrapbook room, beginning at 5:00 p.m. when he is supposed to get off work. Sometimes it is much later than that, but I'm programmed to start listening for my "phone call" any time after that. You know the call, the one that really means, "Honey, I'm on my way home, what's for dinner?"
  • I scrapbooked. I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished while he is away. I'm not a night owl at all--but it's harder for me to go to sleep when he isn't here.
  • I made blueberry muffins from a mix, and added a very ripe banana that I had on the cabinet. I can't seem to sit still for very long. Oh, by the way, they are yummy!
  • I talked to Caleb on the phone for a bit. He calls to get cooking advice. His question of the night? "Christy's making cookies, but we don't have sticks of butter--how much would that be?" Oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies, wish I was there for one of those, too!
  • Did some laundry. (that's a given, right?)
  • Cooked a hamburger for dinner, only because I have left over meat thawed out and needed to cook it, or throw it out tomorrow. Kelsey's been busy with friends tonight, so I didn't even have to cook for her.
  • Began to go through a mile high stack of magazines I've been saving up. Time to recycle!
  • More scrapbooking...

Just got an updated text, "I'm OK, tired, need shower. Call u when go to work tonite. Luv u 2!" Yeah! That means I'll get to talk to him on the phone sometime tomorrow morning!

Hope all is well with everyone. Will update soon. Off to do some knitting...

Mumbai, India, here he comes...

On his way to India...

Roger had the opportunity to travel to Mumbai (formally known as Bombay), India with his job. His journey began Sunday 16th, at 8:00 a.m. He flew out of OKC, since we were already there for a family event. Thankfully, the hotel where we were staying took him to the airport so I wouldn't have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to drop him off. Thank you, Roger! He first flew to Dallas to meet up with 2 other people that were traveling with him. A quick phone call after 9:00 a.m. let me know he had arrived there safely. With 5 hours to wait until the next flight, he read the paper, got some breakfast, and just hung around. It's fun to "people watch" at the airport, ya know?! The second flight, going to San Francisco left around 2:00 p.m. Almost 4 hours later, he arrived in California. Another wait... It was around 9:00 p.m. when they finally lifted off from there to fly to Shanghai. A quick text message let me know he had landed safely in Shanghai around 10:41 a.m. today (Monday), our time. I think they were only laying over for about 2 hours. Hopefully, he is back on the plane for the last flight, landing in Mumbai later tonight. He should arrive there around 9:00 p.m., our time. India is in their own time zone, which is 10 1/2 hours ahead of us. So, after 4 flights and 2 days of travel, I'm sure my guy will be a tired puppy! I just can't imagine--everyone that knows me, knows I am not a very good traveler, especially flying! I'm really excited that he has the opportunity to go---we certainly wouldn't have ever planned a trip like that together!

Enjoy the Journey

My first day. My very first entry. I thought it would be fun and exciting. Instead, when I sit here and view this blank screen, it's actually quite intimidating. I'm going to try to jump right in and get started. My main reason for beginning this blog journal in the first place is to organize some of my thoughts, hobbies and favorite photos into one place. By nature (or because of my mother!) I tend to be a very organized person. I am very "hands on", so I'm not sure this will be easy for me. I like to hold a pen or pencil in my hands and actually write, draw or scribble on pieces of paper. Better yet, I love writing on a brand new, cutesy notepad or in a fresh, clean journal. Can you tell by now that I'm an obsessed list maker?! But, it seems the older I get, the less scattered I prefer things to be. Hopefully, this will be a place where I can keep in touch with my family and friends. It will become a "home-place" to collect different things that are important to me.

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