Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I am wondering if you gals know what the above pictures actually are.  In order, from left to right, they are a weed eater, a power blower and an edger.  That is all you want to know about these three items.  Period.

There is a thing that will happen with all men, if you aren't careful.  Whatever you learn to use, to operate or to handle, they will let you.  Unless you totally love yard work, I suggest you NEVER, EVER, EVER learn to even hold one of these things, let alone learn how to use one proficiently!  Men will have you out in the yard doing a man's job.  Tell your husband you are scared you will cut your foot off or any excuse not to use one of these guy things! 

When you are newly married, you want to try and impress your husband by learning to do everything to keep your house looking great.  DO NOT go there!  After the new wears off  and the honeymoon is over, you will be stuck with the yard work for the rest of your life.  I learned this 30 years ago (our 30th wedding anniversary is January 3rd).  I suggested that I could mow the yard.  Back then, it was a small yard with a push mower.  It was exercise and I really didn't mind helping out on occasion.  Well, 30 years later I am riding a Kubota tractor with a 6' mower and it takes me about 5 hours a week to get the "yard" mowed.  Fortunately, I realized after volunteering to mow, that I should NEVER, EVER, EVER learn to use anything else that was related to yard work!  If I did, he would have me using it from then on!

So, act like a lady, a sissy or whatever you must - but don't learn to use guy toys.  Leave that to the guys and you handle the inside of the house, the laundry, the kids, the cooking and all those other things a good wife would do! ha  Leave the outside to the hubby. 

Have a Blessed day (in the cool house)!

Monday, December 28, 2009

One Simple Act

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  Simple reading but profound advice.  It is a book that one chapter a day would be wonderful reading, but once you start reading it, you may not can put it down.  It only has 207 pages and would be a wonderful way to start your New Year.  If only everyone in our world could follow these concepts, life would be so much better.  To give you a feel for what is in store when you read, I am including the Ten Rules for Happier Living.  The author states that she wished she knew who penned these rules, but I will give her all the credit for them.  If you have never read her books, she writes about knitting groups and the things that go on in the groups lives.  Cute books and so enjoyable.  This book is different though and it helps you understand why her other books are so wholesome to read.  Here they are -

Ten Rules for Happier Living
1.    Give something away - no strings attached.
2.    Do a kindness - and forget it.
3.    Spend a few minutes with the aged - their experience is priceless guidance.
4.    Look intently into the face of a baby - and marvel.
5.    Laugh often - it's life's lubricant.
6.    Give thanks - a thousand times a day is not enough.
7.    Pray - or you will lose the way.
8.    Work - with vim and vigor.
9.    Plan as though you'll live forever - because you will.
10.  Live as though you'll die tomorrow - because you will, on some tomorrow.

You might want to post these on your refrigerator to remind you to do "One Simple Act" each day.
Love you, hope you have a wonderful New Year and a Blessed day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

FYI - Fudge Recipe

I know that you all are aware that my favorite cookbook is "Keep Your Fork Cookbook" (could someone tell me how to underline something on here?) and that Whitney sells them in her store.  Well I have to warn you before you try this......the first candy recipe in the book is for fudge.  It doesn't call for any milk like the recipe on the marshmallow creme jar does.  Basically it is the same recipe with a few changes in amounts all except for the lack of milk.  So I have made many fudge recipes in my life, but that one turned out to be more like concrete and mortar!  It called to cook it twice as long as the one on the jar.  I think the combination of over cooking and I hope an ingredient missing from the recipe made for something that had to be thrown away!  ha  I am giving you fair warning......don't try it.  You won't be happy.  Fortunately for me, I was a little leary of this recipe to begin with so I didn't waste my pecans.  I think I will go back to my microwave recipe.  Very simple and yummy!

So the lesson learned matter if you have been cooking for 2 years or 40 years, they all don't turn out right.  I crossed that recipe off with a big X in the book so I would never make that mistake again.  Laugh about it and try another recipe for whatever it is that you thought might be good and wasn't.  One day you will land on a good one and you won't have to look any further. 

Got to go back and make the microwave kind - only takes 5 minutes!  Got the Sunday School Class party tomorrow night at my house!

Here is the tried and true recipe for fudge:

3 cups milk chocolate morsels
1 - 14 oz can Eagle Brand milk
1/4 cup margarine, cut into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart glass bowl.  Microwave chocolate mixture at Medium power (50%) for 5 minutes stirring at 1 1/2 minute intervals.  Pour into greased 8 inch square dish.  Cover and chill 8 hours.  Cut into squares.  Store in refrigerator.

Merry Christmas and have a Blessed day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Surprise Ending

Ok, I know my blog is suppose to be advice that you gal's might use in the future, but just a quick question. Am I doing something wrong? My favorite's list is not updating lately. That is SOOOOO aggravating! Any suggestions on what I might do to change that? I will come up with motherly advice later.

Christmas is really keeping me hopping. As usual, everyone wants a house drawn at Christmas time. I guess they think they need the house plan now in order to start the house in spring. Well, with that kind of logic, it makes me busy when I had rather be doing Christmas cooking, decorating, shopping, etc. Guess I shouldn't complain since it allows me to pay for all of the above things, but I am complaining anyway. And, to add to the stress a little, my "daughter-in-law" (by Whitney's marriage....ha) is about to have a baby! That means every Kelly in Carlisle will be going to Dallas when that happens so I volunteered to run Park Street Market while they are away. I have to keep my life in total organized order right now. Prioritze is the key word here. So, if you need something from Park Street Market, I will be coming back to t-town on the 23rd (night) and will be more than happy to have it wrapped and ready for Christmas Eve for you. Just let me or Whitney know.

And one other thing, Whitney is taking custom orders at this late date for frames and crosses. "Of course, mother can get that for you." I have nothing else to do! ha  This reminds me of middle school and high school phone calls. So and so forgot to bring cups for his project so I thought you could bring some to the school for him. Or, Katie left her homework at home, could you go get it for her. They always leave their front door open. Or, Megan is sick and needs a ride home. Could you come take her? Girls, do you remember those days? haha I wouldn't change one thing about them. I loved having a multitude of children. Mrs. Cook knew if anyone needed to go home during the day, just to call me. ha Love you girls!  That reminded me of this picture.  Have fun looking at how you have grown.  The big round eyes belong to my darling! hahahaha

I can't wait to see Mr. Baby Spingola! 
Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keeping Up With You Girls!

Can't let you girls out do me on posting your Christmas decorating pictures!   Why do the pictures NEVER look as good as the real thing when it comes to Christmas decorations?  My fireplace looks the best it has ever looked but you can't tell it from the pictures.  I bought some new cedar garland last year on sale and it is absolutely gorgeous on the mantle.  The two outside houses were from Pottery Barn last year and the church in the middle is from Target.  You can't tell they weren't all meant to be together and there was certainly a cost difference. In case you can't tell, they have glittery rooftops, and then there are glittery swags draped in the garland and glitter reindeer and sleigh from Frontgate catalogue last year after they did their markdowns.  Sorry you can't get the real effect from this picture.  The picture below is a close up of my coffee table keeping the woodsy theme going.  Looks like I went out and collected berries for the season.  Wrong! ha

And the picture on the left is a larger view of the same coffee table with the tree in the background.  For those of you who have never been to my house, the tree is on a rolling base and we wheel it into a Christmas tree closet every year after the season is over - fully decorated.  Saves a lot of time each year, but I dread when the lights quite working.  All those ornaments are wired on tight for the 25' trip they take twice a year - once in and once out.  Below is another view of the living area.  This year I had the decorators put a few santas in the transoms. 

On the right is a picture of my staircase.  Each year we do something different with it.  This year it had to have the stockings hang there since I went woodsy on the fireplace - all those red and green stockings did NOT fit in.  We did add the fruit to the garlands at the bottom of the stairs.  Another neat trick is all of the lights come on with remote controls on the stairs and on the mantle.  Below is the arrangement on the dining table - all kinds of things going on there - even Pottery Barn ornaments hanging from the branches.

And last but not least, our island with a collection of large to small nutcrackers.  Note the Christmas trees on top of the candle holders.  Now that was different! 

The fun thing about doing all of this is to put away your everyday things into a closet or maybe the storage containers that the Christmas things came out of.  When Christmas is over, they seem new again.  Hope you enjoy decorating your house as much as I do.
Merry Christmas and have a Blessed day!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Making Something Special Out of Something Not So Special

Well that picture turned out really small! ha  Oh well, consider the source and read on.  I hate gift cards.  They are so impersonal and seem to say you didn't want to take the time or effort it takes to buy a gift for that person.  Ok, I know that it is better to let the person get something they really want or need rather than have to return all those unwanted gifts and have them feeling guilty about returning the gift you selected for them, but still.....I hate them.  My sister always wants a gift card.  She doesn't have lots of disposable income and the gift card allows her to shop after Christmas and that is fun for her.  So......I tried to think of a way to make this interesting and special and I came up with what I think is a neat idea that you might want to use with your friends and family.

I found these gift card ornaments at Wal-Mart.  You insert the gift card in the ornament to make it a little more special.  But, I am taking it one step further.  There will be 8 people at the Christmas where I am using these.  I will be purchasing at one of the local banks 7 Visa gift cards valued at $25 and one at $50.  I chose to have all the ornaments alike so no one can accuse me of cheating.  I will insert the gift cards, hang them on the tree and on the night we open our gifts, each person there (including myself) will go to the tree and select the gift card ornament they want.  Of course, I will take the last remaining one so once again they can't say it was rigged in case I win!  We will take turns opening the ornament and the surprise will be which one of us will get the $50 gift card instead of the $25 one.  It will be like my own lottery! ha  Oops!  I guess Whitney is in on my secret now - so please don't let the cat out of the bag Whit!  I think this will liven the night up a little and make the gift cards just a little more special.
Moral of the story:  You can always take a bad thing to you and figure out a way to work with it and make it not so bad - maybe even make it something that you like and will become a family tradition! 
Merry Christmas and happy shopping!
Have a Blessed day.