Monday, May 2, 2011


While the rest of you were setting your DVR's so you didn't have to get up so crazy early and watch the royal wedding, I was making lists, double checking flower colors and if a wrist corsage was what Willy's date wanted. I have made my fair share of corsages and boutonnieres for our kids, I started when I paid to much for a bad corsage. I figured I could rip ugly petals off just as well as the florist who seemed a bit annoyed with me that I would not want my boy to hand a browning wilted flower over to his date. I start with a trip to Hobby Lobby for supplies and a grocery store or Walmart for some affordable flowers. Then the assembling, which is very fun for me to be a bit creative.
These are the two corsages I did last fall for Avery and Willy's Homecoming dates.
Lexi's corsage.
Willy and Lexi
Taylor's corsage.
Taylor and our handsome Avery.
Avery was on Homecoming court last fall, so yes I do live with royalty!
Spring time brings Prom and the fun starts all over again. I found mini roses, oh so cute. The mistake I made was hot gluing them on, I usually sew or floral tape, but last fall I glued roses on and it worked, I just think that the mini roses are a bit more delicate. They started to brown a bit before the dance(by then pictures and supper out were over and sweet Lexi didn't mind..I know 'cuz I asked and had enough time and mini roses to replace), they were however really pretty when Willy slid them on her wrist.
I also made Willy's boutonniere so that it would match Lexi's corsage.
More royalty! Willy was on Prom Court (Willy is the 4th one in). By now you do realize that with 2 boys on court it makes me...ok so maybe not the Queen Mother, but something royal!
Buckingham Palace has nothing on us, to see Lexi and Willy in the grand march...
royally stunning!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life is a symphony...

...and you just never know what your missing until you have a fun experience!
Last Saturday we actually factually(flash back to Charolett's Web movie...I'm feeling all kinds of musical) went to the LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra. We went to see...
...Margit who is J.J.'s girl friend, she is a concert violinist.
We met Margit's parents for the first time, it was probably to J.J.'s advantage that we were all dressed up and in a formal setting;) We also met her violin teacher, he is in the orchestra also. Who would have thought that a concert violinist who teaches violin to 17 students also has a violin teacher?!? It was so fun that you could hear just one little pluck of a violin string, and that so many different sounds came out of each instrument. It has to be appreciated in real life, TV does not do an orchestra justice.
Avery, Ian(Grace's boyfriend), and Grace went with.
Willy went too and informed us that he may become a symphony orchestra junkie, he loved it! Willy plays trombone, in the high school band so he understands details that I have no clue about.
This was a new experience for both Jon and I. I enjoyed the music and people watching. We may not purchase season tickets but defiantly would love to go again, especially if Margit is playing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Spring is in full gear around here,
and my raspberries are leafing out real nice.
But its the rhuBarb that I am keeping a good eye on. I can't wait for that 1st pan of rhuBarb desert. I think the one with the custard topped with meringue will be my favorite this year, and yes my favorite does change every year.
This is the other reason I'm keeping track of it. I'm leaf looking to make some more of these. Willy and I made a few late last spring. It was a trial and error kind of thing. I had seen one at a friends house, she said she paid $25 for her's, I wanted one but do love the challenge of seeing if I can do a project for little or nothing. Willy made rounded mounds of sawdust(we have so much from the ski making business), we laid rhuBarb leaves bottom side up on the sawdust. The bottom side has more detail and that gives a better impression on the cement. Willy mixed the bags of cement and scooped it onto the leaves. We smoothed them off and on a couple built up a little flat area. The cement did go threw the one leaf that had a couple of holes in it, it kinda looks like it has warts. I broke one before it was dry because I jumped the gun a bit, moved it, and it cracked. Another one cracked on its own.
One I took to my friend Barb, she has it on her deck with bird seed in, and the birds kept her company all winter long. The warty one we put on the ground where the rain water runs off the house. I no longer look at rhuBarb leaves the same, they are for more than being fanned with:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The March 11, 2011 earth quake has moved Japan 13 feet closer to the United States. The earths axis has been moved by 6.5 inches moving our day 1.8 microseconds shorter. The tsunami that followed moved a 23 foot high wall of water. The tsunami moved across the ocean at 500 miles per hour reaching Hawaii in less than 12 hours, then it moved and reached the main land of North America.
This is Ryan a friend of ours and of our extended family, I borrowed the picture from his facebook:) He has been in Japan for the past 6 weeks in Itayangi, 200 miles northwest of Sendai(see news story here at WKTB video on right). Ryan is safe.
When our world is rocked, literally and figuratively,
we are moved in one way or another...
many have been moved to tears,
others will be moved to fears...
...I am moved to pray this day, for some way I can reach out.
How will this move you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nothin' says lovin'...

In the words of that great philosopher The Pillsbury Doughboy "nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven!" In honor of Valentines Day I give you our FAVORITE sugar cookie recipe. Quite a few years ago I was on a mission to find a sugar cookie that we loved. I tried every sugar cookie recipe in every cook book I had, asked family and friends, and scoured magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store(remember how it was before we could go online?). Then our family went to a graduation party, balloons and streamers parted, and garage lights shown down upon Sugar Cookie perfection!!! I hunted down the maker of said perfection, of course it would be the Grma of the graduate. She said "another girl also wants the recipe" that other girl turned out to be one of ours, so I knew we had found "the one". Grma Shirley sent me the recipe and it has remained our favorite ever since.
Grma Shirley's Sugar Cookies
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use 2-3)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350* Mix ingredients in order. Chill dough. Roll into walnut sized balls(I just use a small ice cream scoop). Dip bottom of glass into sugar then gently press cookie. Bake @ 350* for 10-12 min on lightly greased cookie sheet. Makes 3-4 dozen. For my family if the edges start to brown they are to done. For festive occasions I mix decorating sugar with granulated sugar).
We also went on a perfect cookie press search, and found a vase that works great. I spray the bottom of the vase with cooking spray before the first sugar dip. I now want to go on the perfect cookie sheet search, mine are really old. I though I should just use one of the many jelly roll/bar pans I have, I wasn't impressed. The cookies turned out a little flat and not as many fit on the pan. For now I'll go back to my old ones, they have a seasoned quality.
Happy Valentines Day and let the lovin' begin!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fresh Start

Its that time of year when we all seem to want a fresh coat of paint, or make a change of some kind, inside and out. I like to freshen things up but not lose the character in the process. Rust and wrinkles...its all good!
Last summer I found this Decoware bread box in the bargain bin at an antique mall in Wadena MN. I paid just $4 for it. Add two cans of spray paint, antique ivory for the inside and sage green for the outside, and for around 10 bucks I have what I call a "treasure" and my kids call "dead people junk". Jon patiently took me to 4 different stores looking for the perfect paint color...we didn't find it (it exists only in my mind). The doors are so fun, inside and out so we kept them original and painted the rest. Jon was the one who put on the final coats, it kept running for me, with all the furniture and ski's he has sprayed he is pretty much the master when it comes to laying down a smooth finish.
Pretty fun huh?!? When I shut and open the doors it makes the sweetest little "ting" sound. My Grma Brown had a bread box and it reminds me of the one that sat on her counter. Mine will live in my sewing room.
This is my other New Year fresh start. For the 1st time I am trying a sourdough starter. I had bubbles after the 3rd day and after a week I baked my fist loaf of sourdough bread. It didn't have the sour flavor I was expecting, but it was good non the less, so I'm letting it do its thing for another week and see if that improves the tang. Rust and wrinkles, ting and tang, its all a good "fresh start" to my year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Finally, finally I am getting around to my last post about my trip with Barb to WAshington state for a visit with my Sister Tami. Maybe it was my subconscious not WAnting the trip to ever end, so I just kept putting it off...anyWAy here we go!!!
This WAs the first view we had of Mt. Rainier poking above the clouds. In the days that followed it seemed to peek its head around every unexpected corner.
On the WAy up we stopped at an over look, I actually think Tami stopped to just give Barb and I a taste, we were wild with excitement! We had much more than a taste here, we had many deep deep inhales. The smell was something you just could not get enough of, we decide that this is where fragrance makers for anything marketed under the banner of "mountain fresh" come with jars in hand trying to capture the scent...and if you were not already aWAre, there isn't a laundry soap, fabric softener,or sachet that can even hold a scented candle to that fresh mountain air!
You can hardly see the mountain stream that WAs running threw this valley, it looks small compared to the rest of the riverbed that Tami pointed out becomes a ragging torrent when the spring snows melt.
The Happy WAnderers!
The General, Tami, Bubby, The Princess, and Barb...and our new best friend...Mt Rainier

I love to go a-WAndering along the mountain track...
and use the sticks along the way to mount my sneak attack!

The hills are alive...with the sounds, the sights, and even the love! Do you see it on the far hill?
I love to WAnder by the stream that dances in the sun...
So joyously it calls to me...
Jody, come again this place to see!!!
I WAve my hat to all I meet...
...and they WAve back to me...
or we find a bench...
It was so nice just to WAlk abit, sit abit, and just let your all senses WAke up.
Goodness, I felt like I had WAlked into the middle of a painting!
I actually took this picture! Can you believe it!?! I know, it looks like a post card! The beauty just surrounded us, it WAs seriously hard to take a bad picture.
Oh, may I go a-WAndering until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing, beneath God's clear blue sky!!!

My heart still WAnders back there every now and then.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WAter WAy

My WA trip continued.
We went to Seattle across Puget Sound by WAy of WAter.
Crossing a pretty impressive bridge along the WAy.
This was our greeter while WAiting to drive onto the ferry. It is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, they are used by Homeland Security, he WAs very excited to do his job.
All aboard!!
WAter WAtching.
A passing ferry.
There's Seattle! Its good to see the Space Needle from afar because once your up close its hard first of all to crane your neck to see it(said the lady with a titanium plate in her's) and second to really appreciate it compared to its surroundings.

And here we are at Pike Place Market! We had front row parking(I don't know about you but to me thats a little blessing) we just got out of Tami's Taxi and walked right in. Tami does a very impressive job at getting around, she was also determined not to wear us out so she did alot of the drop and go method...she would drop us off and go find a go find a parking spot.
We could hear music as soon as we got out of the vehicle. This guy was warming up as we left. The musicians take turns playing throughout the day. Our arrival serenader was James Coates, Barb and I both bought his cd.
I took this picture for my boys that love to bike, I thought they'd like the "bike stand".
So much to see.
The fish throwers!! How cool is that I got a picture of them throwing fish...yup, I WAs impressed.
Besides the fish throwers this guy is a main attraction, you have to WAit your turn to take pictures with him.
Then we crossed the street to the original Starbucks, where I bought my husband one of his favorite and a mug to put it in...yup, he WAs happy.
Our last stop WAs at the Space Needle. These carvers impressed me as much as the Needle. My next and last post on my trip is, besides getting to spend time with Tami & family and Barb, one of my favorite things about the will be well worth the WAit!!