Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cool Dessert

I know the weather has been trying all over the country lately.  So why not try a refreshing summer treat?  This recipe for a frozen dessert was given to me by my friend Diane some years ago and it has been a favorite ever since.

Berry Frost

Crumb Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour                             1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar                                 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon

4 egg whites                                              1 pint whipping cream
1 cup sugar                                                2 cups berries
2 tbsp. lemon juice

  1. Combine the crumb crust ingredients.  Spread in a 9x13" baking pan and bake ate 350 for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  It should be brown and crisp.  Allow to cool.
  2. Beat egg whites, sugar,  and lemon juice in a large bowl for 10 minutes on high speed--until light and fluffy.
  3. Whip the cream until stiff and then fold into egg white mixture.
  4. Fold in berries.
  5. Reserve 1/3 of the crumbs and spread the remaining over the bottom of the 9x13' pan, pressing lightly.
  6. Gently spoon on berry mixture.
  7. Top with the reserved crumbs and freeze, covered with foil and/or plastic wrap.
  8. Slice to serve.

I usually make this with blueberries, but other berries work well too.  My friend Diane makes this with a combination of blueberries and strawberries to serve at her Fourth of July party--Red, white and blue!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer 2013

Vermont summer has not been here all that long, but I do not think this particular one is going down on anyone's list of all time favorites.  It has been a marathon of storms and heavy rains.  We live near the town garage, so I can tell you that the road crew has been flat out busy dealing with road wash outs.

I also noticed that our chimney is leaking.  There is always something that needs tending to in a house.  I wish I could do some things to update though, rather than always having something pressing has to get done right away.  Last month it was the propane tank for our gas stove in need of replacement, now the chimney.  It is really not a good idea to neglect things like leaky propane tanks so I guess I can put off a new kitchen window for a while.

There was a break in the rain yesterday morning so we got out to mow the lawn (Mike) and weed the gardens (me).  There was not a break in the humidity and resulting high heat index.  It was unpleasant, but it needed to get done.

Fortunate for us that we have not planned any camping trips this summer.

Tomorrow will be our twentieth anniversary.  That has been a good run.    I won't say that we have not hit a bump or two in the road, but our marriage has not suffered the wild kind of swings that would make me compare it to the weather.  And our bodies are much older than our house, so I guess it is only natural that there would be some needed patching up and maintenance work there.  I am definitely willing to go for another twenty years.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


There!  I finally figured out the picture thing all by myself.
I have not been arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a chain gang.  I am looking for my real hair because I am pretty sure that my real hair does not have all that grey in it.  Stupid trick of the light!

 I finished a small quilt this past week.  I am thinking that it is time to sign up for a class at a local quilt shop.  I want to how to do the fancy machine quilting. I don't see one of those huge set up programed to do the quilting from a computer program in my future.  Maybe if Mike agrees to give up the garage and turn it into a craft room.  Like that could happen!

I did sign up for an on-line Craftsy course in pants fitting.  I have altered blouse patterns on my own with some help from books and magazines, but I need more help for pants.  I have not done clothes sewing for a while now.   I so miss the ThreadNeedle shop and its fashion fabric selection.

I was able to get out and pick iris, peonies, and bleeding heart for a bouquet.  I had to dash out in a brief not-raining spell.  The iris and peonies were quite fleeting this year.  I had done a lot of dividing and replanting.  The bleeding heart was the only thing that took kindly to all that abuse.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Birthday Girl

I visited my daughter and two grand kids yesterday.  It was Kristen's birthday--number 12.

Oh, my, how times flies.

I took her to shop for a new outfit for her birthday.  She was born to shop and has been particular about her fashion choices from a very young age.

Her brother was at day camp.  He was not born to shop.  He tries to tolerate it but it was definitely easier to go to the mall without him.  He was happy because he got to go swimming.  My daughter rushed off to get him at the lake when the thunder started to rumble though.

I stopped on the way down at a farm stand and bought some freshly picked strawberries.  I was going to tell them about Kay's tip for keeping strawberries fresh.   Well,  that would have been a waste of breath.  The three of them dove into those berries--no need to worry about them keeping for a few days!

Monday, June 24, 2013

More Medical Intervention

I decided that I would knot a pair of socks before I forget how, so that is my next project.  It should keep my hands and mind busy as I spend my time waiting for Mike on his all of a sudden endless round of doctors' appointments.

I mentioned that he had a rough winter, but then seemed to feel better.  He was treated for a bladder infection this past spring, which was knocked out quickly with antibiotics.  Still, he has had a round of follow-ups for the problems he experienced last winter and his blood thinner medication was changed to the type that requires a lot of blood testing.

So he goes twice a week for blood tests.  He has been to the kidney specialist who ordered blood testing to be done only on his right arm so that his left arms veins would be kept intact for dialysis in the future.  WHAT??  Not to worry about now, but "just in case."  The good news is that his kidney function bounced back after the infection was cleared.

Then he went to the heart doctor for a regular follow-up given his a-fib.  That is back so more tinkering with the meds.  Oh, and by the way, there is this suspicious bulge and I'll need to consult with a specialist.  So now he needs surgery.  SURPRISE!  An aortic aneurysm--wasn't even on our radar, but already needs surgery.  Moral here: don't get comfortable with the good news.

You know what?  We were just not prepared for this old age thing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Catching Up

This past Thursday, I met my friend Ginnie in the morning and we went to a card making party.  It has been a while since I attended one of these get togethers--a fairly standard group of women who get together for crafts, lunch and some general silliness.

On Friday, we were waiting for Mike's sister to arrive from Connecticut.  Her planned visit at the beginning of June was derailed by their brother's passing and the funeral.  I was glad that she could get away for a visit just to relax.

We had planned a project.  She had a coverlet that she really likes but the edges had started to fray quite badly.  We made a trip to a nearby quilt shop and she picked out fabric that she wanted for a border.  I cut the strips and machine sewed the border on.  She will finish the hand sewing and she will have a lovely "new" coverlet.  It poured rain Saturday afternoon so it was nice to have that indoor project to do.

On Saturday morning, I took SIL for an appointment with a Akashic Records consultant.  I had told her about this woman and she was very interested.  She was really glad for the experience.  It sounds most intriguing.

Personally, I really like the idea of past and future lives for our spirit.  I am a firm believer in recycling and I would like to think the God recycles souls.

Mike had four doctor's appointments W-T-F of last week--more on that later.

I realize that I need to take a bit of time to play with putting pictures on my blog now that I have a new computer.  Always something new to learn.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Toy

Well, here I am, posting with my brand new Mac Air.  I set it up myself!

Ha! should have done this a long time ago!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

My Dad has been gone for a long time now.  I am no longer married to the father of my children, but I trust they were in touch and I know that I appreciate the role he played for all those years.

There was no Father's Day celebration for me today, but I do want to wish all those who are fathers, dads, daddies, and father figures a very happy day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I have lived in this house for twenty years now.   In all that time, I never once saw a rabbit in the yard.  Well now there is one who has been hanging out under the deck.  I can't imagine why.  My herb garden is there, but there are no rabbit teeth marks on anything--or at least not yet.  I shall keep my eye on that situation.

This is not my picture, but it is cute.  Is this the Chinese calendar year of the rabbit?  Maybe out little visitor will bring me some good luck.

Hmm...those herbs...
I should actually harvest some thyme, Greek oregano, and mint for drying.  I have more chives than I could possibly use.  I am not going to start putting them in my breakfast cereal.  I refuse!

The Herb Gardener is a great place to look for all things herby, by the way.  I will wander over there now as a matter of fact.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

&%#@! Computer

I wrote about my vacuum cleaner a while ago.  I contacted the Eureka company and the woman who spoke to me said it should be covered by the manufacturer's warranty and she told me of a repair shop nearby.  I took it there ten days ago and have not heard any thing since.  The man who took it did say it would take a few days to get to it and then a couple of weeks for the part(s) to come in so I guess I should remain patient.

Other things were on my mind for a while, but now it is about time to vacuum so I hope that I do hear something good and I hope I hear it soon.

In the meantime, the screen on my Dell laptop started fading, fading, fading.  I dropped that off at the computer repair place last Wednesday.  I have not heard from them.  The thing was two weeks past its warranty so I am kind of dreading the news from them.  I swear that when I had to have a new hard drive installed last February, they said the warranty would be extended by six months.  Apparently, I made that up because no one at the ever helpful Dell Support seemed to be aware of any such promise.

Ordinarily, I would see my brother-in-law (my sister's husband) and he would have the thing fixed in a matter of minutes.  They are going through a life crisis right now so I will not be bothering him.

Anyway, I do hope I hear something about the computer today.  Our desktop is ancient and Mike's laptop is ten years old.  I am being severly inconvienced here.

We are still getting quite a lot of rain.  I look out the window and see the weeds laughing at me.  I am getting plenty of reading done at least.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Once again, thank-you for all the kind thoughts and condolences over the past week.

My heart goes out to Greg and Em, who have lost their mother and father both in the past fourteen months.  They had so many tough decisions to make in the past few weeks, but the strength they showed in doing so is a testament to each other and to their parents and extended family.

My heart goes out to their aunt, who lost a sister, a husband, and a brother-in-law in the same fourteen months. 

My heart goes out to the nieces and nephews who have so many family memories bound to Bill and Liz and their welcoming home.

And, of course, my heart goes out to the three remaining siblings-- Mike, Jeannie, and Tom -- and spouses --Shawn and Jean--who have now mourned the loss of two beloved brothers and a beloved sister-in-law.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
                                                                                                                               Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Death in the Family

My brother-in-law, Mike's brother passed away on Saturday.  We will once again head off to Connecticut for the funeral.  Bill was a year younger than Mike.  The cancerous tumor they thought that they could remove turned out to be system wide cancer and he was to be released from the hospital to go into hospice.  The doctor's gave him six months to a year, but Bill, ever the practical one decided not to go through all that bother.  We are very sad.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Teaching Klutz

Some people are natural born teachers.  Some people have to learn the skills.  Others should just plain not bother.  I suppose that is true for any endeavor in life.

I had to learn and it took me a while to come into my own as a teacher.  Mostly, I was just too na├»ve for the profession, especially early on.

I do remember this incident from early in my career, though, when I thought I really had it down.

I was a high school special education teacher in a small school.  I had a motley band of little Calvins to guide.  I was also one of those peripatetic types, always walking around.  Well, you kind of had to be with this particular group.  A little distance was a lot of leeway for those kids.

So one day, we were (if I recall correctly) doing a review for a history test that they would be taking in a day or two.  I had a study guide and I was really into it.  Also, I noticed that I seemed to have the rapt attention of the students.  Wow, their eyes were following me every step of the way.  I had them enthralled with a history review.  I was in the teaching zone!

Of course, that is when I backed into an empty one of those desk-chair combinations.  Smack...and down I went.

In a sad, sad moment, I realized full well that they had no interest in my history review whatsoever.
They had had a pool going as to when I would trip over something and hit the floor.