Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snickerdoodles and my dad Danny

Today is my dad's birthday,  the day each year that my siblings and I make snickerdoodles. Almost every Sunday when I was growing up we would make homemade cookies. I was the oldest and the chief cookie maker. I would ask Mom what size batch I should make...she would say a single batch and then daddy would grin and say...make it a triple:) He tweeked the original recipe to include vanilla and decided that precisely 7 minutes was the perfect time for the perfect snickerdoodle. I have honored him this day with the perfect batch of cookies!

We have continued to tweek the recipe-using half shortening & half butter and I doubled the amount of vanilla, but I still cannot eat a snickerdoodle without seeing my dad grin and say ...triple the batch:)

Pre-heat oven to 400
Cream together:
1 cup of shortening OR 1/2 cup shortening & 1/2 cup of butter (my preference)
1 1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs

Blend in:
2 tsp vanilla (daddy's addition!)
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt

2 3/4 cups flour

Roll into balls the size of large walnuts 
Dip into mixture of 2 tsp cinnamon & 2 Tbsp sugar
Bake 7 minutes (Daddy's preference)

 Dad has been gone for many years, leaving this earth when he was but 46 years old. He wasn't a flashy guy but he was steady and hardworking, and I knew he loved me. He was an all state football player that walked home 7 miles after football practice in high school. He loved serving in the church, quotes, football, working on the pool, going on dates with my mom, and watching his first little grandchildren play. He did not believe in giving up and was tenacious in his moral beliefs. I learned honesty by example and have had many doors opened to me just because I was Danny's daughter.

I have some of his things that I treasure and actually use... his old 8 track tape box has become my receipt box. He was an accountant and I am not quite so organized with my records- but I try!

I have his old briefcase that I use for my Nellie's Cottage file box. 
This briefcase spent many, many years in dedicated, behind the scenes church service. 
It reminds me who should come first in my life.

Best of all is a copy of his handwritten book of quotes he collected through the years.
I keep this at my scrapbook desk for inspiration.

I still miss my dad. He left me a good name and an example of moral living for which I will always be grateful. I often wonder what he thinks of me and if I turned out the way he'd hoped. He always told me "Kimberly, I have tried to do things better than my parents and I expect you to do things better than me." I told my children the same so......somewhere down the road I should have perfect posterity:)

Here's to Neil Diamond, Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass, camping trips, bluebell ice cream, & triple batches of snickerdoodles!
Happy Birthday Daddy... I love you

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nellie's Nook-shabby accommodations for 2

The British name their houses. My husband has lived in homes like The Dowry & Edlelston Cottage. Family in England have houses named  Elwell House, Riffa House Farm, & The Stables. We jokingly call our home Crossley Manor:)
  There is something about naming homes that 
helps give them a personality! 
In keeping with our British tradition of naming houses, we named the downstairs apartment "Nellie's Nook." Built in 2009 as an addition to the upstairs apartment, this cozy nook is perfect for a couple's getaway, 2-3 girlfriends, or mother-daughter retreats. We needed this addition to Nellie's Cottage for our guests who may not be able to climb the stairs, and to accommodate larger groups at Nellie's Cottage.

I went shopping for my decor in... my "old window pile" from the cottage construction, my attic & linen closet, goodwill, my mom's attic, walmart, marshalls, etc....all the places for good shabby stuff:)

Shabby yes...chic yes...cozy yes...accommodations for 2...done!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dear Empty Nesters...

Dear Empty Nesters,
I was recently listening to a conversation about "empty nests." The women talked of using scrapbooking as a therapy to work their way through the heartache of their child leaving for college. The question was posed "Is is harder with one child or many?" 

As I am facing a totally empty nest  I have been pondering on my feelings about such a reality. Why have I dreaded this moment so very much? What will I do now? How did I get this old:)
As I think about the reluctance we all feel at such a future I have decided that we should Rejoice in our options, Treasure our memories, Marvel at the distance we have come, and Reach beyond ourselves to the greater world and make a difference! 

We feel "empty" because our whole world revolved around the care and keeping of our little chickens, and when that world ends we panic:)
Take a minute and enjoy a job well done---is that allowed?
Take a minute and think of the possibilities for a different personal growth.
Take a minute and write a list of worthy causes for which you might labor.

We are the hands that once rocked cradles and now we are the very hands that can change the world beyond our home one day at a time. Let us not feel empty, let us not feel alone for we are many! 

For those of you still in the trenches of raising children please know that there is no price that can be placed on the service of a good mother. There will be time to do all things you desire. Those years are a flash, a blink, a moment in time---don't waste a moment wishing it away!

Now this epistle is full of bravado, but I am just as sappy as the rest of you. As I was looking through my pictures I teared up at the memories. I can see then clearly in my mind and feel them deeply in my heart. The good news is that the children really don't leave you...they come home to visit, they marry people for you to love, they give you grandbabies to cherish! 

We must give our children roots so they will know who they are and also wings so that they will be able to fly on their own. Here's to my fabulous four that have flown my nest...

 Thanks for letting me guard the nest for a little high my darlings:)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow, the fake Texas kind

We see snow less than "once in a blue moon" in my part of Texas however,
it is January and I AM having my snowman display!

One silver tray from my wedding,  a vase with shimmery greenery & curly stuff:), one favorite snowman, blue snowflake napkins, one package of fake snow, blue glass beads, re-purposed Christmas decorations for January like silver balls & icicles.....instant winter:)

I love this little guy-he reminds me to smile:)

My body clock runs by holiday decorations. As a little girl my mom would always have a corner of the kitchen decorated for every holiday.
It is not Easter without baskets & plastic grass on the stairs...
It's not St Patricks day without my tiny Irish porcelain basket...
It's not Halloween without my vintage 1960's wall decorations...

When the kids were small it was hand-me-down decorations from my mom and cotton ball snowmen from kindergarten. I have seen enough holidays now that I have my own collection for every holiday carefully stored in clear plastic containers in my attic. My sweet hubby doesn't really get this:)
I like to think my family appreciates these displays of holiday cheer. They mark a chance for celebration, a chance for the family to do something fun for the season. I love holiday displays not just for the shimmer, sparkle, and the fun of decorating...I love holiday displays because they spark memories of family traditions, trips and the laughter of my children.... and because they keep me "ticking on schedule!"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years focus clearly album display

I have had this album display idea for over a year
 ... finally, an idea completed----it feels good!
I truly want to focus on the most important items everyday. The album pages are clear, the embellishments are black & white... symbols of clarity.
This bulletin/magnetic dry erase board is above my work space...I will see this EVERYDAY!
This will remind me to prioritize my time and energy...first things first:) I love the clips holding these pages. You could also glue magnets on the back or use rings and display pages as a album.

 I began this project by printing my pictures size 2x3. This album is 6x6, so you can use one 3x5 or two 2x3 pictures on each page of the Kleer Keepers acrylic album.
For small album projects I print my pictures at home. For large projects I like to use my local Sams club-they know me by name and will do nice things for me like put a border around all the weddings pictures, or loan me $1.79 when I forget my purse:) I learned that their mailed pictures do not have the same quality as the in- store pictures.
The protective film was removed from the acrylic pages and I stamped journaling circles.

I matted the photo's on a reversible black, white and green paper, used glue stick to adhere photos and then embellished the pages with rub-ons from 3 different packages! I love rub-ons!

Ribbon was tied through the album holes and numbers were added to the photos. I chose 6 areas of focus.
Sticker letters from the Salt & Pepper collection and stamps were used to create my title.
The numbers are not really in order of true importance. Sometimes the album just has to go together a certain way:) Really, after God comes my grandbaby! ...okay...maybe after hubby too...depends on the day:)
*Silver magnetic clips are at Bed Bath & Beyond & Target

I am hopeful that with this reminder every day I will not be one of the millions of  Americans who can't remember their resolutions by March! 
The year has begun...let the games begin!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Clearly Focused"

I heard on the radio this morning that by the end of January most of us have broken our New Year's resolutions and by March they are a distant memory. WHY?
I submit that we fail because we never really focus,  never really commit to our plan.
I know this is my case. I am often like the silly double sign I pass on the way to the airport...

A.M. Donuts
Michael's Fitness
personal training

I want both ...  being fit is desirable, but donuts taste good:)
I have to choose. 
I have to sacrifice. 
I have to focus.

This year I decided to make a visible reminder of my commitments. This was my first photo shoot of this kind. My favorite part was laying in the road to get the tennis shoes shot:)

These are the things I need to do EVERYDAY. These are the basic things that will keep me steady, healthy, and pointed in the right direction...clearly focused. 

Read, mark passages, record thoughts, work on faith, virtue, knowledge in personal progress.
at least 5 a day, juice, eat, juice

double the distance, more jogging

water, water, water-1/2 ounce for every pound--good incentive to slim:)

choose at least one a day
happy guests, more advertising, continued property improvements
more photo's, more albums, more scanning, more history!

Many trips to see Annabelle!

Love my family!

This is my 2011 focus...clearly!