Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nineteen Minutes

Well, I just finished another book that has me wanting to share with all of you my own rendition of a book report. With everything that is going on in my life right now, I have found some escape in books. Maybe I have taken some cues from Charlotte, but I am really enjoying myself.

Anyway, Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult was another recommendation by some friends. This is another one that I couldn't put down (once I found the time to sit and read). It is a novel about a small New Hampshire town that is rocked by an act of violence in its high school. The shooter, a "victim" of bullying. The victims, everyone else, from the children who died, to the teachers, the policemen, the parents of the children who died and this shooter. It was a great book that I would recommend to anyone. There is a trailer for this book and you can read an excerpt online at Jodi's website. It's a gripping story about something that is in the forefront of the minds of parents of teenagers and those of us who work in high schools across the country.

"In nineteen minutes you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes you can bake muffins, get a tooth filled by a dentist, you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes you can stop the world..." or change it for everyone around you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Tonight I feel helpless. I have three friends, who I love very much, going through some pretty terrible things in their lives.
I want to help and don't know how. I don't even think there is a way. There is nothing I can do to take away the pain. There is nothing I can do to make it better.

All I can do is be there for them if or when they need me.

Life is so unpredictable.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sew, Stamp, Sew!

This weekend I did SO much with my sewing machine! I just love it. I have been trying to think of new fun things to do on it that would be fun quick projects. It was such fun.
First, I made some cards. As many of you know I love to stamp cards and such, but this weekend I decided to combine my two crafting loves. Stamping and sewing. I made these two cards. I'm happy with them. I think the next time I do it, they will be better, but I am happy with how they turned out. What do you think? This picture makes it tough to see, but the stroller and the balloons are fabric and the legs of the stroller and the strings of the balloon are stitched. It was pretty cool to do.

Then I made some headbands. There is a tutorial on the Old Red Barn Co. Blog. I followed it mostly to the tee, made two headbands that fit me, but were too big for Charlotte. So today I modified the pattern and made alittle bit smaller one and here's how it turned out. Pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
It was such a fun crafting weekend! Now back to the grind.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

So another attempt to escape from the stress of work I have begun to read again. Based on a recommendation from a very good friend, I read the book called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See.
I couldn't put it down. It is a novel based in 19th century China. And the premise of the book is two friends or laotong, "old same", who are paired together at a very young age and live their lives together in all senses of what that means. The two girls had to match birth dates, be in the same birth order in both families, have the same size foot, etc. They became emotional matches for life. In addition, the book introduced me to nu shu, which was the secret writing of women in the Chinese culture. Women would literally paint these words to each other in secret. Men of this time did not read nu shu. It was just for women. A way to share their hopes and dreams in a world that did not value women, except to bear a son.
The book follows these two girls through their lives, from footbinding to marriage, and having a son, which is only what made their status in the household more important. It was an extremely interesting read, with quite the story of friendship and how things can become difficult or strained in a close relationship, just because of a misunderstanding.

If you are looking for a good book, I would recommend this one.

Aunt Gene's Pear Bread

By popular's the recipe and a photo that is a couple years old from Aunt Gene's 85th birthday!

1 cup grated pears (although I just chopped them small, skin and all)
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk (although Aunt Gene told me to just use regular milk with alittle lemon juice, which I did)

Mix it all together. Bake at 350, in a greased loaf pan for 55-60 minutes!!!
Yummy!!! Love you Auntie Gene!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I have a wonderful aunt, who I know will never really read this, because I don't even think she has a computer. She is one of my Dad's six older sisters. She is a very special lady. Anyway, she has a pear tree in her yard that every year yields tons of pears. This year she called us to come and take some if we wanted. We did! Yum!! We took a bunch and I have been making her
pear bread recipe now almost every weekend since then. It has been great fun making them with my daughter and the fact that it was this special lady's recipe makes it even more special.

I love this bread and I think I could eat it everyday.
Thanks Aunt Gene!

If anyone wants this easy recipe, let me know and I'll post it! Yummy!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

What truly matters?

I got one of the best pieces of advice yesterday at work. One of those 25 special education teachers told me to just "stay here" (as she pointed to her heart). I totally needed that. As I sit here at the end of a LONG day...where I feel like giving up...I am reminded of that comment.
Then this song, In My Daughter's Eyes, came on in the car. Love it!
My kids, husband, and family are all that truly matter.

Click here to see and hear Martina McBride sing it live.

In My Daughter's Eyes lyrics:
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

I love you Charlotte!

(photo courtesy of

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So I am sitting here watching the end of the new 90210 on CW20. Now I must admit I was a 90210 junkie when the original came out in the early 90's. Actually, I started watching it in syndication. I became obsessed with Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, Andrea, Dylan, Donna, Steve, David, and Valerie. Plus who could forget Nat and the Peach Pit. (right Phil?) Anyway, I fully admit that I was into the whole thing. Maybe alittle sad, I know, but I was. Episodes like "Donna Martin Graduates", "Brandon's proposal to Kelly", and some others. I know some of you out there are laughing to yourselves (right, Phil?) But anyone who watched this show, or any show that was somehow iconic in someway, has memories behind it. Memories that we don't soon forget or come rushing back at these triggers.

Now this new cast and show, has some of the old characters, but much older. Like Kelly and David's half sister Erin is now in West Beverly Hills High. Weird, but still interesting to watch. Kelly (Jennie Garth) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty) are making special guest appearances. Even Nat (Joe E. Tata), made an appearance. So crazy!

So my stress relief for tonight, has been reliving some old memories, and laughing while writing this post and watching this new show.