Sunday, May 29, 2011


If you have never made strawberry rhubarb pie, it is really easy and so good to use fresh, fresh, rhubarb.  In my case today, I used fresh rhubarb plucked generously from my SSisterinlaw's garden.  This is the recipe that I used, straight from "Taste of Home" website.
The only differences: I used 1/2 Splenda, 1/2 sugar and sugar free  Jello-entire package (confession here: I only had sf raspberry, no strawberry, hush up, don't tell the boys).  I think my pie plate was too big, in the picture with the recipe, the contents came almost to the top.  I found a tip for cooking unfilled pie crusts-unroll your crust-because that is how "I roll", place in pan as usual, prick sides and bottom with fork, place a sheet of foil on crust, and pour in your uncooked beans (about 2 cups that you reuse later for more pies)-we all know that step right?  But what I learned recently is to remove the foil and beans (very hot) for the last 4 minutes of baking-that allows the bottom of crust to get cooked properly.  Oh, and one other little difference, I used the strawberries I had, which came in all different sizes, so I put them in where they fit, you will see that for the demo pie-they had a beautiful pattern on theirs-good luck with that.
Here is my finished product. 

I plan to try again tonight  to make a whipped cream topping using skim milk and sweetener-very chilled then whip with immersion/stick blender, the recipe says to use promptly or it goes back to milk state.  I tried it once, but I did not chill, so it did nothing.  I will let you know how it works.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My baby...

At 11:16 pm, my baby girl was born on this date. 
These pictures are of her from her baby book, on the day she was brought home from the hospital. 

I really can't believe how many years that has been-33! 
She was a very welcome member of our family, and I am eternally grateful that she is in my life.  She opened my eyes to so many things, and my ears too, since music is so much a part of who she is.
Thank you SDaughter, looking forward to all that life brings you now that you have made your life the wonderment that it is.
Your travel has not been easy, but then, nothing good comes easily eh? Do you know this "Stones" song-"You can't always get what you want" ?  The kicker line is "You get what you need".  And guess what, I have this song on one of my Stones' albums, you know a 331/3-those big things that look like a cd?  I tried to explain this to my SD this morning when I was wishing her a happy birthday and comparing her to a
33 1/3, and she pretended that she was too young to understand! Pissant.

All those concerts of yours that you performed in, with me crying in the audience, just awed by your voice and participation.  And your drive to always start something new and organize it so that it was done your way-you made me shake my head in awe of your bravery to just "Go for it".  How strong you are my Moomie.

Your gift of life which I was lucky to have in my life, is now repeated in your son, thank you for all he is to all of us, and you made it possible.
Love you my girl (as Matka would call her granddaughters), and I am so happy that you have your SSigother to hold your hand in this wonderful journey. 
Here you are today on this facebook posting this morning-a real woman, successful and happy-isn't that what we want for our kids?  Happy Birthday sweetie.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crabapple, Lily of the Valley and me...

Crabapple, Lily of the Valley and me...
to go with the new picture in my header, I will tell you that I love the beauty of nature.  I have always loved Spring because of the flowering trees that are always so calming to look at.  A few years back (12 or so) SHusband and I spent a lot of time deciding which and how many flowering trees we would get.  We could not decide, there are so many varieties.  So we bought.......... none.... 
Then about two or three, wait, ....excuse me a minute..................there, that is better, I had to wipe off the cat hairs on my computer screen from Boo Boo Marie's last visit to the keyboard-she loves to step on the keys!   
I digress, two or three years ago we bought a beautiful Red Bud tree which I have showed you here, and  three lilac bushes have been added to the flower beds around the house, two years ago SH bought me a Crabapple tree.  We live not far from a town named Cheektowaga, which is supposed to have a Native American meaning of "Flowering Tree" and the Crabapple tree is the symbol of that town, so they have been really everywhere near where I spent most of my life.
So, here and in the header is a picture of MY Crabapple tree. 

I know the Evergreen is not a standard flowering tree, but the Evergreen that we call our grandson's because we planted it in the front yard for him when he was a newborn and it was just a foot high, sure does look like a flowering tree to me-look at the beautiful green tips on the branches.  And the Red Bud tree is peeking at you from behind.

And, remember my little suggestion to look for hidden surprises? If you look left, right and center in the picture, you will see chipmunks-a triplet group. 
They have been running through that tree after each other, and when they see one of us, they freeze-like if they don't move, we won't see them! I am not a fan of these little guys, they are fine when they eat the fallen birdseed, but they just dug up and ate part of some bulbs that I planted and then chopped the flowers off of the Pansys.  When SGS was here this weekend, he took it upon himself to protect my flowers and he would go out and scold them, walk away, and then, they would run back to what they were doing.
I was just outside dividing and transplanting for the last time this year-Daisies.  And in the area where I was working were a bizzilion Lily of the Valley plants that were planted over 60 years ago by my SMother-in-law.  The smell is so thick, and luckily, not one that my lungs hate.  When I was a know-it-all teenager, I used to call them "Muguet des Bois".  A nice gift from my SH's Mom. I wish you could lean out my window and take a big inhale for yourself.   Below is a wonderful French gardening blog, that gives a nice little history about French Holidays, and the importance of this little flower.
When we have had work done on the house over the years, I always point out to the crew where the important plants are that she planted, and to take care around them.  These plantings  mean a lot to us.  When the water lines were put in about 10 years ago, they needed to trim some large branches off our Maple trees, and when they did, areas that did not previously receive much sunshine were suddenly getting some beautiful light. That year, for our anniversary-a rose bush in that area bloomed where I had never seen one before.  Very exciting for us, like a message from her.  When work was done on that side of the house, I carefully dug up that little bush and moved it temporarily.  The following spring I moved it back, and not only is it doing well, there was enough of it to split and leave some in it's temporary home. 
SMIL also had some majestic Irises planted behind the garage, and when SH finally was worn down by my requests, he allowed me to have some scrub trees (Catalpa) removed from that area, and after fixing the soil, her Irises took off, I have since split them, and we can see them grow and bloom from our bedroom windows.  Funny story, about a month after we removed those Catalpa trees, there was a segment on TV that the red, cone shaped blossom on these trees was now being used in upscale restaurants, and you paid a pretty penny for this dish.  Always too little too late eh?
Well, I hope you liked my little flower stories, but really, more than stories grow here, thank you for visiting and sharing some time with me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, it's not like I ask for a lot.........

Well listen, it is not like I ask for a meowlot, but if you are not going to let me go outside, you could at least cut the meowgrass so that I can track the little brown striped things that run amok outside?
How can I do my meowjob if you don't do yours?  And, when you are working outside of my meowwindow pulling pretty green things out of the ground and throwing brown stuff on the green things that you leave in the ground-do not meowtalk to me!  I know you mean well, but it is meowaggravating to listen to you and that baby talk you always meowuse when you speak to me!  Who meowtold you that I like that?  I am a grownup, talk to me like you would any other meowfriend-ooh, rub my ear please,    meeeeeeow that feels good, here let me lick your face as a meowthanks.  Geez, don't jump away so fast, you could make me meowfall.

And I noticed that you put a pretty thing in the ground near Leona-well, at least you planted it at the right end-if you know what I meowmean.
Now, go cut some meowgrass.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Marilla Orioles

Recently, my SDFriend had been telling me about Baltimore Orioles coming to her feeders.  I have never seen one live and in person, ever.  This morning a smidge after 7am I was blissfully reading my paper and sipping my instant coffee-not my usual beverage, but I did not plan well.  Out of the corner of my eye, I am always looking at the bird feeders, and all of a sudden, MR. BALTIMORE ORIOLE was on the suet cake.  I honestly thought it was a fake bird for a millisecond-the orange is so vibrant.  I ran for the camera, first so that I could prove it to  SHusband, and then so I could share it with you.  By the time I got back to the window, and pushed all the buttons needed to make the shot, it flew away.  No amount of whining on my part would bring him back.
We had a busy morning, and afternoon, doing necessary, unexpected medical things, and after SH got up from his little "lay down" on the couch, he looked outside and MRS BALTIMORE ORIOLE was on the suet cake.  Happy was the emotion.  I brought the camera, snapped a few shots, was processing them to crop, and resize just so you could get a peak,

and then  MR is in the house! 

Here he is the same way that I saw him this morning. 

I cut an orange in half and hung it on the suet holder so that the next time, they will have a little variety in their diet.
Aren't we lucky?  Everyday has a little something waiting to make you happy, sometimes we might have to search a little harder..................

See, there, tucked in the branches of life is a little surprise for you.

And here for you, without having to search is where my SDFriend is, who usually has the company of wonderful birds has the company of an angel:
Your gift for today!  I bet you are smiling too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beauty is there, here

The last few days have been busy, but as they say, a busy mind is a ....what do they say, oh well. 
Start over:  Hello SReaders, was your last few days as wonderful as mine?  I really hope so, I certainly don't only come here to brag about this, that or whatever.  I hope you are thinking of your own life as you read my little thoughts about the ying and yang of my life.
I think the fact that our weather here has been so spectacular, and was so long awaited is what is making me gush so.  We had rain, rain, and then because we were good little kittens a touch more rain. Now, we have blue skies, nothing but blue skies, and that really does reflect your inner being when you can be sighingly (new word-feel free to try to pronounce and use) pleased when looking outside.
My bones are not sighingly pleased at this moment, YWNRUSNM (yard work not are us no more, to steal a logo/name from a toy store).  But, I do love to see the results, so, weed, plant, peat moss swirl, PREEN, soil, mulch, done.  I hereby promise to never make a new flower bed, really, I was mentally imprinting that while working last evening-Tim was there for me to lug a bit-third day for me alone would have been very unproductive.
But, there are other beautiful things all around, here are some of mine from the past few days:

SNiece and her family "were in the neighborhood", considering they live about 50 mins away, this was delightful that they stopped over after dropping off a bingo marker and flowers at Matka's marker, gee what can I call that place?  cemetery burial site is not the way to go.  But, let's move on.  She has two very adorable kids, so our day was really colored by their visit, and hey, she showed her old feeble Aunt how to download a music app, which has led to various adventures in filling up my droid-the Beatles singing "Michelle, ma belle", Robert Palmer singing "Might as well face it, you're addicted to love", I by mistake touched "make this my ring tone", and now when my cell rings, it sounds like a stripper answering service-must change that today.  Also, Pavoritti singing "Ave Maria", Dean Martin "Baby it's cold outside", that was a mistake, gotta be careful with the touch screen, I already had purchased Debussey piano pieces-I love "Claire de lune", I also purchased Whitney Houston "I will always love you" which I plan on springing on SHusband when he is reading sometime, but the funny part is, the text under her name is in some Slavic or Russian name alphabet???  How did I do that-just talented I guess.

The ladies after Mother's Day breakfast, I enjoy being with these truly kind women.  How did I get to be shorter than all, including my SDaughter?
Lunch at Muscarella Bakery
with SDFriend celebrating our joint "pretty darn close to our birthday" day.  The pieces in the front of the cake were enjoyed by me, and the rest will be "worked on" by SH over the next  week-no kidding.     

These tulips are from Matka's 80th birthday party.

This is our Red Bud tree-beautiful in Spring.

Magnolia, aaah.

SDaughter and family-how happy to see them. Happy Couple, you can tell.
 Look at my SGrandson-couldn't you pinch those cheeks?

This is how SF wrapped my gift-a gift in itself-inside was a bird window hanging thingy, and an inspirational music box which played "Amazing Grace".  I am truly Blessed to have her as a friend-we spent the day together, just shopping, talking and it was a nice break in the action for both of us.
They should have an AAA group for shoppers at The Christmas Store.  Where do they find these things?  And the prices are very, very, nice.
Niece in Maryland, lovely girl, sweet as you would want.  God Bless her.

                                                         Magnolia from a different angle for you.
Our happy family-don't overlook SH waving in the car!

And, now stop reading my drivel, go look at something beautiful-start with the mirror my SFriends.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Motherly Rambleings

I could not pick a title for this entry.  I did not want it too sound "poor me, my Mom is gone for Mother's Day", I did not want to make it funny or attention getting or prideful.  I just want to "talk".  I want to say how honored I am to be a mother.  Thanks to the generosity of two women who made the sacrifice of carrying children and then giving them up for adoption, my lifelong wish to be a Mom was fulfilled.  I knew just how I was going to do everything to take care of these gifts.  Of course, that is not the way things work out, you have to learn the role of being a Mom.  Heart and desire is not enough.  You have to make mistakes, learn and go on.  You have to accept that children are NOT lumps of clay that you can mold into your wants, they are their own special composition, and lucky the person who knows and works with that at an early stage.  I KNEW that I was not going to do certain things, like say "Because I said so" or "I'm the Mom, just do it". I wish I had a nickle every time I said that during the teen years.  I started out so methodically explaining why things are done a certain way, at a certain time, just to be sure that all the info that I had was clear to the kids.  That is how the famous blank stare and eye-rolling phase begins in kids.  And all the time, I was doing what I thought was best.  One child had special needs, one child had a desire to do it all, and every step I took with one pulled me away from the other.  How do Moms of so many children cope?  Not just physically, but mentally.  I was working during most of my kids upbringing-just as my Mom was.  I made sure that all their appointments were scheduled on Monday, my day off-I worked at one job where I put in all my hours in 4 days to keep a day available.  As we know, children do not all have their needs on a scheduled basis, so changes happened.  Sometimes my bosses understood, sometimes they didn't, sometimes I was the boss and did my best to accommodate the needs of Moms. 
The part I remember most is the stress to have them to daycare on time, no puking in the car, no last minute diaper change, no problems with old cars, no last minute hissy fits, just so that I could be to work on time-I was never early to work as a young Mom, and anyone who knows me will understand how that also stressed me-I always wanted to be the employee who could be counted on.  But, I had children who needed to count on me too, so it was what it was.  I wish I knew that helpful phrase back then "It is what it is".
And, after work was a running battle to be at day care before they closed, all the while working at a job that had emergency situations.  I tell you, I am blessed that never once did I have an accident or get a ticket on one of those "running late days".  It must have been the guardian angel of mothers watching over me.
As the kids got older, and no longer needed outside care before and after school, that was no easier, financially yes, but in all other aspects no.  The phone calls to work were always a cause for concern, "she is bothering me", "he is yelling at me", "so and so is fighting with me outside", and my all time favorite "the leg of the kitchen chair broke off".  WHAT?  a heavy wooden captains chair-the leg broke off, and no one saw it, no one heard it?  Oh Lord. 
But just as many times as  I was stressed, I was blessed, sometimes it was unfortunate that I was only thinking about the worries, and not noticing the great parts, but that is what life is.  I have two kids that I love dearly, and now I can say that I would not change a thing about them, lesson learned late, but lesson learned.
I was always trying to make things right, make things good, make things different than what I had as a child-and that is too bad in a way, because I now count what I had with my family as it was as good memories.  "Everything is RELATIVE". I am sure it all stays the same from generation to generation, little changes, but basically just the furniture changes.
The thread that pulled all together in the end was the commitment to love.  And that is why I am "poor me, my Mom is gone".  The more I reflect on my mothering, the more I miss my Mom.  She did love us and our kids and grandkids, she did her best, which at the time was not always the way other Moms did things, but better than a lot of Moms.  It is so hard to not have her available to share the everyday stuff with.  Tonight I am making pork chops for supper, we are not really fans of pork chops, but I won them recently (we have fun here in smalltown USA), and so I am cooking them, and the house smells like Matka's house, and she would have loved to have tasted them, and, and, and.........
Happy Mother's Day to all my SFriends, if you have your Mom, God Bless you and her, if you don't, God Bless you and her, if you are not a Mom, I am sure you helped Moms everywhere in your life, and gave children comfort, so God Bless you too.
This blog was "cooked' over several days, and in today's Buffalo News(paper), there were three articles about Mothering.  None are the typical Mom and apple pie stories, but they are all honest, and in the end that is all we have-our own truth.
Happy Mother's Day SReaders.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A little at a time

Here are the blossoms, opening a little at a time-each stage is just so important and so delicate, just like life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Wilma showed herself today, here she is putting on the feed bag,
while Mr. Goldfinch is warning her not to take too much.

She solves the problem by yelling "hey Lady, better fill this thing up-you are running low"!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Twofer day!

Hi SFriends, today is "Twofer Day", you get two updates for the price of one. 
#1, drum roll please, Willy is BACK. 
As you might remember from last spring, a family of birds called Rose-breasted Grosbeaks comes here every spring for a few weeks, they have their babies here and stay and visit for a time.  Then the next year, the babies are now full grown
and they return to start the cycle of life again.  And today, Willy is back!  We give the males the name Willy in homage to Willy Nelson-because of the red neck scarf appearance that the male Grosbeaks have, so then to make things easy, we name the ladies Wilma.  This Willy had an extra little white area in his wing when he was born last year-and there it is!  Welcome home big guy.
Wilma is brown, same size, with the same strong yellow beak. 
This photo is from Bird Watchers Digest online.

 She is more shy, so we get more pictures of  Willy.  Happy day when they come around.

And #2 update,

here are how open the Magnolia buds are-they have not had a lot of warm temps these past few days, so not much progress, but as much as I want to see the bush in bloom, I know that the blossoms do not last that long, so I will savor every day that they are giving me their gift of beauty.  Just as I savor every time you my friends check in with me-thanks for stopping in, and if you were here, I would share a cup of lunch soup with you-one of my favorite if you can not have homemade soup:

Gia Russa Kluski Soup!
If you are well or sick-this is the pick!  Hey a little advertising jingle!