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!