Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Sloppy Soggy Easter

 Today has been an interesting Easter Eve. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who had tons to do to get ready for family to arrive tomorrow. I thought to myself if I have to go to the store one more time I just might cry. So I asked my daughter in law to pick up the few things I forgot,again. Since Tuesday we have had very few dry days. Tuesday night we had several tornados hit not far from where we live and work. That was certainly a sleepless night for most of us.
So running errand and shopping has been a real challenge for everyone around here. The rain today was absolutely torrential. We flood here often in the spring so no one is shocked that the Ohio River is 27ft above flood stage. We all had hoped it would move quickly and leave us by Easter.
I could actually hear the creek from the deck today. Boy was it was roaring,the current was incredibly strong. It didn't take long before all of our sink holes were over flowing and creating new creeks all over our back property. Our little Hopewell Creek became a mighty river today.
The fun part will be after it all recedes and we can go and search for brand new treasures that will be left behind.
As I stood there thinking about how all of our outdoor plans will be ruined,like our annual confetti egg hunt. As I stood there I began to remember what Easter is all about and the suffering that Jesus went through for us.The incredible sacrifice he made for all of us.Our plans seemed so small and trivial in comparison.
So a rainy day is just fine. Any day that we can come together as families,rain or shine is a good day!
The mighty Hopewell Creek


                                  Have a wonderful Easter. He has risen!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We have a completed commercial for the Triumph Gala that benefits breast cancer. The date for this years event is May 6th (Oaks Night) from 8 pm -1am.
My son's construction company helps sponsor this important event. This year as part of our donation we gave the Gala some of our contracted TV air time to run their first commercial. Our local CBS station WLKY in Louisville Ky did a great job putting this together.
I think this was very brave of this beautiful lady to do this commercial.We know she is one tough cookie with all she has been through.She told me she wanted people to realize that many people go about living with cancer. Thankfully cancer isn't the death sentence it once was years ago. Today more and more people are beating this terrible disease,and living long full lives.
That's why we come together and celebrate LIFE ! I wish you all could join us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Old Fashion Remedies

 I was thumbing through an old Mary Janes Farm magazine this weekend. I know I've said this before that I love this magazine. It is so different from all the other magazines out there.
In it I found an article entitled Fact or Folklore. It told about the 1918 flu pandemic that killed 50-100 million people between 1918-1920. The short article told about a doctor who had visited many farmers who were battling the flu.Then he came upon a household where everyone was very healthy, and he was stumped as to why. The article went on to tell how the doctor asked the family what they were doing different from all of the other families. The wife replied that she had placed a dish of unpeeled onions in each room of the home.Curiously the doctor asked if he could take one of the onions with him to observe under a microscope.Later when the doctor examined the onion he discovered traces of the flu virus in the onion. The onion had absorbed the infection,which kept the family healthy.

There were more stories of families who still to this day use onions as a way to ward off illness in the families.One mother in fact said she has always placed an onion with both ends cut off in a dish at night while the ill person slept. More often that not that same person would awake feeling much better.

The story tells how the onion actually begins to change color as it absorbs the germs.
I love stories like this. I love simple old fashioned grandma remedies.I know that I am definitely going to put this to the test in our house should one of us get sick.
As a matter of fact I think my daughter in law could go through a bag of onions a week when school starts in the fall.
What an incredible idea to test in a class room.To try it and see if perhaps there would be less illness spread. This would also be a clever science project for a school student.

I'm glad we are finally realizing that food plays a vital part of our wellness,even if it's in a dish on our night table. When did we veer off the path. I can remember my grandmother saying eat this you will feel better ( usually soup).Or telling me when I wanted junk food "you are what you eat". Then one day I guess fast food and package food products entered our world and we decided food couldn't effect our health,or so the commercials said.
Dr Andrew Weil  I think has lead the charge.He has been instrumental in guiding medical science toward the realization that food is the most important thing we an do for ourselves,and to ourselves.

I believe we have let convenience lead us right into many harmful illnesses and conditions. I've always believed that God has placed all we need to lead healthy lives, right under our noses. And he has created zillion of foods that can heal as well.But the sad fact is it may never become a popular belief if there is no money to be made,like there is in pharmaceuticals.
But I still believe what Dr Weil said recently, that some day our medicine may well be on our dinner plates.
Oh great now I'm where did I hide those ding dongs.....just kiddin...;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A New Treasury

           I just wanted to take a quick minute and show a treasury I did today. I haven't had time to do very many lately, so when I do .....I am so proud of myself ....Ha Ha Ha !!
I Solemnly Swear To Buy Handcrafted is the name I gave it and I think there are lots of us out there who feel this way.
In this treasury is an artist that I found who is only 15. I think he is very talented and I bought one of his pieces. I plan to write more about him real soon and share some of his work. I hope everyone has a great Thurday!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Clever Idea

What a great idea!
I found this company on facebook not long ago and thought...hummmm one of these days I may order this to put a gift is the name of the company and it is too much fun! A million ideas flew through my head and then it occured to me,The Triumph Gala that we sponsor would be a great reason! With today's economy it is becoming harder and harder to get donations for the silent auction. So when we see or think of a good idea,we jump on it. I think this idea will be so much fun and get some interest,and hopefully some dollars as well.

When I saw the pink hair I knew it would be perfect since the Gala is to raise money in order to provide wigs for every cancer patient at our local cancer care facility.
When the box arrived I couldn't wait to open it. What a great idea they have come up with. They have lots of great choices. First decision is whether you want your can to be a man or a women and than it's what color hair do you want.

They give you loads of ideas and you can then take it even further and add hats,scarves,even crowns or tiara's. You could turn it into a pirate,a golfer,a doctor,or even a baby with a pacifier. So many fun may end up like me with dozens of ideas running through your head.

I thought this cute little pink haired lady would be perfect with beauty supplies inside for the silent auction table. I just know there's a pretty pink nail polish just screaming to be included. The hardest part for me will be deciding on the facial features. They sent two packets of stickers with all sorts of features and accessories. The kit also includes the shredded filling for inside the can for your gift item,and it came in the perfect pink color!

As a special surprise they sent me a set Easter bunny ears and nose. I think I have a couple of good ideas on how to put them to good use.... real soon! Now it's on to the shopping to fill this silly can with lots of goodies. I plan to share the finished product as well as all the details and photos of this great event in May.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Easter Favors

For several years I have wanted to make a basket full of favors for our Easter celebration. But like I talked about in my last post I usually always run short on time. But by golly this year will be different. This year I will have a basket full of treats for everyone to take home with them. I have held this idea in my head for several years, crepe paper favors. I was so surprised when I opened my recent Martha Stewart magazine and realized she had them featured.
The first time I saw this done was in the April/May 2007 issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine. I now must admit to you that I still have this magazine,along with many other issues.Yes I am a magazine hoarder. So many good magazines have been lost in the past few years due to the economy and it seems so sad to me. But the Home Companion magazine I probably miss the most.

The artist that was featured is from Berkley named Anandamayi Arnold. She is incredible, and can duplicate just about anything using this technique. The magazine showed an example of a rabbit and giraffe heads, bee hives,roses as well as various fruits and vegetables.
Last year I made several of these crepe paper favors for our office to use as gifts for several customers. I have not been able to master the shape and perfection that these artists have done. Possibly because the gifts I've chosen to use are larger. I've noticed that most of the ones in the magazines are made with teeny tiny tokens and trinkets. The size of your items will dictate the shape and size of your finished gift.  I like to use small sample sizes, but I also prefer to buy items that will be used and serve a purpose. Like hand sanitizer or lotion,chap stick,nail enamel,gum,mints,etc. I even made a few with small pieces of jewelry,and they were a big success.Just let your imagination run wild with this and pick items that your family will love.
 Think about all of the fun shapes you could do. I also think these would be a fun addition for a Christmas party,and Thanksgiving dinners. The possibilities are really endless.Several ladies said they were so cute they hated to unwrap them, kids on the other hand rarely care. They just have fun ripping into them as fast as they can.Sadly the destruction of all the work that went into them is the down side. But crepe paper is so inexpensive, and the fun everyone has with them is what it's all about.
 Once you decide what gifts you want to include,simply start wrapping. As you wrap add the next surprise treat,then continue to wrap more layers of crepe paper until you have it to your desired shape. I have found that making a bug or a berry shape works best for me. I was thinking just now that a mummy, or Frankenstein head would be so cute for Halloween treats.

 When you have it complete,add some details like a paper or felt berry cap with a stem. I used a permanent marker to add the little black dots to the outer layer,hoping to make it look a little more like an actual strawberry.
I had been considering trying my hand at an Easter egg shape this year, but I'll probably end up making all strawberries.I think the shape will be easier. Sure they look a bit deformed but after all they're just for fun.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Easter Prepping

      All holiday's seem to jump out of nowhere on me. I have calendar's everywhere, at home, at work, on my phone, my computer,and yet it will still surprise me. Somewhere in the cob web corners of my mind I realize the date and understand it's coming. But each year and each holiday, BOING it is suddenly PANIC time......well dang nab it, not this time!
That's why I waited to write this today and not yesterday on April Fools Day, I am starting my preparations for Easter earlier than normal. I adore all celebrations with child like enthusiasm,so often though I wish I had a magic wand to make it happen exactly the way my mind can see it. To make that happen requires a lot of time and work. So I hope I can pull it all together without stressing out too much this year!

Like Christmas I want the kids to understand the reason for the season first ,and second enjoy the family time together.
One of the main activities we do on Easter once everyone has arrived is a huge Easter egg hunt. We try to get the kids to eat first, let them have their Easter baskets before we start our wild family tradition.

Now I imagine that most families partake in an egg hunt of some sort. I mean it is a traditional thing to do in a lot of American families. But in our family it's a tad different.
Here are few from last year(ignore the date,goofy camera)
We hide confetti eggs or cascarones as they are know in Spanish cultures.A few years ago we thought me could make them and started in January. We worked so hard emptying out dozens of eggs,washing them,coloring them,and then filling them with confetti,WHEW! Then the next couple years we decided to be clever, and fill them with either bird seed or grass seed, you know we went more GREEN. Well I'm here to tell you those were bad ideas....the seeds stung like crazy and left whelps on the lucky recipient. But mostly no matter what you fill them with, it is a lot of work and takes a lot of time to gather enough.

I love love all the bright colors,makes them easier to find!
Each egg has a piece of tissue paper covering the opening to hold in the confetti
 So now we buy them, and every year we feel as if we didn't have enough. Last year we had about 42 dozen, and still we wished we'd had more. So I need to add a few more dozen this year.  Wednesday I actually stopped and bought a trunk load. I now feel so in charge of this holiday.....ha ha!

Last year showing where all to search with the newbie family members
 The story we were told about confetti eggs is, should someone crack one on your head it will bring you luck during the year. Well if that's the case then I should actually be the luckiest women on Earth. Since I have really bad knees I don't move too fast more ,like a sloth or a snail as the kids say to be exact. That being the case I am ALWAYS a popular target with the boys. 
The crazy search is on,you have to hurry or you will be without ammo. Is that two eggs I see?
 Sometimes the luck begins to spread so to speak before we have made the announcement to actually begin "The Egg War" as it has been deemed.
Several years ago when Jason was overseas with his unit I decided I would videotape the craziness and I dressed as an embedded correspondent with the troops. It didn't actually go as planned, I even wore a red cross emblem to keep myself safe along with my other military clothes. There was no respect....regardless of my camera in hand,they hit me within seconds of starting. I was picking confetti out of my hair ( I'm being discreet)forever.
The madness we look forward to has begun!We love giving everyone a lot of luck
 That's the worst part of it all.....the cleanup that follows. After all of this insane fun, when we settle down and laugh and tell all of the stories....everyone hits the bathrooms. Guess what hits the floors in my bathrooms? Yep confetti and egg shells! I have the most colorful bathrooms in America during Easter.
Everyone wants to get uncle JJ,but he's a fast runner
 It doesn't matter how hard you try and brush yourself off....there is usually more inside your clothes that out. But it is all part of the crazy fun we have. There have been times we have actually heard confetti and egg shells hit the floors outside of the bathroom doors,followed by "OH MY GOSH,I am so sorry" when they see the mess on the floor. That's why we have vacuums,and I have wood floors!

I believe he is saying I got him! And Uncle JJ is slightly winded, Ahh to be young again!
I believe someone got some luck down the neck of his shirt.....ha ha!
 Remnants of the egg war can be seen for weeks,and I love it!! Last year after the holiday we found eggs that had been missed and that's a real treat.....surprise attacks on innocent visitors!
Last year Papa took Harrison on his first bike ride

The boys rock pile is their favorite place to have one adventure after another
Then it's on to the dirt bikes for some, while others sit and try to recover. A few will decide to hike up the hill to the graveyard, or walk the creek in search of arrowheads and fossils. I usually spend the rest of the day trying to capture great photos of the family so I can remember all the fun we had together.
I love holidays!!