Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Clean Rooms in Clarinda

I've swept up the cable man mud and stopped to enjoy the rooms that are now clean. You can see why the washing of the curtains is such a task. Every room in the house has at least four 96" tall windows, most have 5, love the light, hate the work! Still plugging away at my listings, should be done in a few days.

Surprises on the way

I'm in Clarinda for the month of June, spent the "holiday" weekend climbing up ladders and taking down dusty curtains to wash, scrubbing floors, and other backbreaking tasks. Just got my internet hooked up and had to watch while cable man tracked mud all over freshly scrubbed floors and tried not to cry. Anyway, I had to leave my ebay stuff in Iowa City, so ended everything in the store and am going to list everything I was saving up here for my Christmas shows (may stop doing them and open a real store, one never knows....). Anyway, be on the look out for all the new listings, CUTE CUTE prims and Christmas goods, lots of stoneware bowls and white ironstone pitchers, you are going to love them!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bureacratic Nonsense

I turned 52 this year, and apparently that is just a little too old to put up with bureaucratic nonsense anymore. I just hung up on the animal shelter here in town, before I started saying bad words... Here is the story. We decided to go to the animal shelter to see if there was a bunny to adopt, thought it was a good thing to save a shelter animal. I was mildly annoyed by the long prying questionnaire that had to be filled out, put up with being told we would have to wait 24 hours for the shelter to "check us out" before we were "allowed" to pay $75 to have a 2 year old rabbit spayed and take her home. They did not call me at the end of the 24 hour period as they said, so I called them, and was told that before they could decide, they would need to inspect our home. I said, "you've got to be kidding", they got all huffy, of course they couldn't place animals with just anyone. If only you could see the flames shooting from my eyes at that point! Long story short, I hung up on them and took the girls to the pet store where the very nice owners know us from our hamster purchases, and are lovely to my children, and who obviously love the animals they are caring for without being insane about it. Little Scooter Pie, a lion face bunny has now joined our family, currently hopping around the living room getting used to us. He is the sweetest thing, lets me scoop him up and hold him without getting skittery, seems to be a calm soul and we love him already.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Look What's For Dinner

Ebay business has slowed, giving me more time to cook and take care of other things that have been left to collect dust.     Well, ok, dust still being collected, but I am cooking.

Summertime is my favorite recipe season, vegetables straight from the garden is heaven on earth.  One of my best easy recipes for using the produce is pasta primavera, I have 2 simple and wonderful ways to make it.  First, just use whatever is ready at the time, right now tossing in some new peas and potatoes would be amazing!  I just picked up asparagus and onions and mushrooms for last night's dinner, pretty darn good.

The recipe No. 1:  Sautee veggies of choice in olive oil just a few minutes until tender, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with pasta of choice, sprinkle with fresh parmesan and shredded fresh basil.  If it is tomato season, just chop up tomatoes and add cold and fresh on top.

The recipe No. 2:  Same as number one, but this time we add homemade alfredo sauce.  A very simple but one of the best alfredos I've ever had is to melt 1 stick of butter, add in 1 cup cream or half and half, cook and stir until the cream has warmed.  Start adding in grated parmesan a bit at a time, stirring until thick and cheese is mostly melted (total about 1 to 2 cups cheese, I just keep adding until it is the right thickness.)  Sprinkle generously with nutmeg and add to pasta and vegetables.  This makes a lot of sauce, enough to serve a large bowl of pasta to 8 or more (I think I've served up to 12 with this).  For the 4 of us, I use 1/2 stick of butter and 1/2 cup cream.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Madylene, A Wise Woman

I can't tell you how much better I feel seeing your kind comments, immediately thought of my mom, Madylene, who always told me a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved, she was so right! My mom had a pretty difficult life and still remained always optimistic. I remember her telling me when I asked about how hard it was living through the depression, always struggling to make ends meet, she seemed surprised, "Oh, honey, the good things always outweighed the bad." In grade school, when I swear the school system was determined to have a generation prone to nightmares with the constant showing of educational films on nuclear war, I was freaking out just a bit at the thought, she calmed me right down, told me no one can predict the future, so the best thing to do is enjoy the day you are living right now. Wasn't I lucky to be the daughter of such a woman? One more thing, she could make pancakes look like teddy bears and snowmen and sharks all free-form pancake batter pouring!

I'm adding some pretty pictures to enjoy, love of flowers and old crusty things turned beautiful is another gift from my mom.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Well, the URL for my store certainly has a ridiculously long string of words and numbers, but by golly, it really does link to my ebay store.  I am also taking the time to update my blog list and check out what everyone is doing, finally added Deppen Homestead, meaning to forever, and I must say, always love an update on the kitties, but that new store she has photos of, I think I am swooning!  I'm going to spend the afternoon just staring at those pictures, what a gorgeous shop. 

 I got the nicest surprise this morning, a little package of teas and seashells from England and some royal wedding stamps that I just love.  Karen, the purveyor of surprise package has a blog too, I'll be adding that in to my list today.

In my photo of today's nice things, I include an Ines Rosales sweet olive oil torta, the most delicious thing we've found on the planet.  I've walked by the beautiful display at our Bread Garden Market here in Iowa City and thought they looked lovely, but had never taken a chance to buy them.  I was reading Frances Mayes A Year in the World (she's the Under the Tuscan Sun lady), she's in Spain and stops to buy an Ines Rosales torta, so I say "why not?"  Just saying, if you've got them in your food shops, get them.  We got the sweet ones and are off to buy some savory today.

Now that I am finally getting around to taking care of blog business, I saw Simply Iowa is taking on Facebook, something I tried and never spent any time taking care of, maybe should go back and try try again, we'll see...

Blog Problems

Well, something odd going on in blog land, I'm having posts disappear, and all the comments from last week disappeared.  The "help" page consisted of several people posting questions like "Why did my blog disappear?", but no answers were posted.  When I click on contact us, they send me to the page of questions without answers.  So, I'll try again to thank everyone for the kind comments I saw before they got obliterated by the evil blog genie!  There seems to be some glitch in the spam filters for the site, hoping they get it fixed...

Today, I'm really going to spend some time figuring out how to link my ebay store to the blog, wish me luck!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some Nice Surprises

The girls went out in the back yard to feed Popcorn a few days ago, ran back in screaming, stopping my heart for a second before I saw the smiles that went with the screams. There were 6 wild baby bunnies in the yard, some sitting all still in the grass, some under the bushes, one sitting in the window well. They are only about 3" long, tiny and sweet, and the girls only complained a little about not being allowed to touch them. Later, one went up by Popcorn's cage and they lay next to each other, sure they were telling bunny secrets...

Yesterday was our first farmer's market day, cold and rainy, but the vendors outdid themselves, lots of asparagus and early lettuce, herbs and flowers. Our happy discovery was a jar of jelly made from violets, it is the palest lavender jewel color, and tastes wonderful.

In the afternoon, we drove to Kalona, got to the antique shop in the church just about 30 minutes after the prims dealer had restocked, what serendipity! I think I got almost everything she had just placed out, oh they are wonderful! I love this trumpet shaped masher, what a fun antique.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Goodbye White Ears

My girl's pet bunny died yesterday, I have been completely unprepared for how upset I've been about it. Anna got little White Ears when she wasn't yet 3, he lived about 10 years, a very long life for a bunny. Grace was beside herself with grief, in between sobs she told me White Ears has been here my whole life, which of course, got me crying. Anna has been the stoic one, even though she is usually the one who crumbles, I guess she is growing up. They have another rabbit, Popcorn, and she has been checking on him every 5 minutes to make sure he is ok. I am going to take a hint from her and get busy to take my mind off things, never thought that furry little guy would be missed so much.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Summer Breezes

The chilly spring air has turned absolutely summery today, a day for flip flops and lemonade! I've continued my digging through boxes to clean this basement (full of mayhem and foolishness as Neicy Nash of Clean House would say). I have unearthed a bunch of great odds and ends prims that are on the way to the store today (after I finish my lemonade of course).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day The Best Day of the Year

I never thought I'd get to be a mother, then got doubly blessed with my two babies, just tearing up looking at their chubby cheek days in these old photos, they are growing up so fast! These were taken about 7 or 8 years ago, I'm in the black suit next to them in the red dress wedding photo from my nephew's wedding. My favorite photo ever is their Barbie sunglass picture, love my girls to pieces.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Good Day

There just isn't much to say besides "God bless our Navy Seals". I am always grateful for the men and women or our armed services, never more so than today. The word heroes doesn't even begin to say it-- again, God bless them all.