September 16, 2008

Turning One/ Garage Sale Finds

It's Fun to Be One!!!!

Born Sept 20, 2007

Look who's having a birthday! I can hardly believe it's been an entire year since I became eternally known as grandma. All the changes that take place in the first year of life still amaze me. It seems she has gone from a tiny little babe to grandma's big girl practically over night. Already running, dancing, playing tug-o-war with Baby Bean (my pomeranian), and having jam sessions with grandma. That's right, this grandma rocks! I turn on a video and we both get a rattle in each hand and dance around the room shaking those rattles to the music like theres no tomorrow! Only when no one else is watching of coarse!!! Wait till she sees the old Fisher Price Marching Band set I pulled out of storage from when her mother was little.


My Garage Sale Finds


It's been a long time since I've been out garage saling. As a prim lover, boy did I pick the right day and the sale to go to. I went to the sale because they advertised crocks. But, the crocks were, to be honest, a crock! A big table full of "fake", spongeware, modern crocks. Crock bowls, crock pitchers, crock plates. Ugh! I was there expecting antique crocks. And if I was lucky, they'd be saltglaze with blue designs or beestingers. I blew right past all the other treasures because it was those darn crocks I was looking for. Once I came to the painful conclusion that there really weren't any crocks there I began to notice the other treasures that surrounded me. As if I needed them, I came home with "3" small prim trees, one being a much sought after feather tree! All three tree's for just $10.00! I also got a beautiful braided table runner for $6 and a mini pie safe for $10.00. I had been eyeing that pie safe in the "Country House" catalog but was too cheap to dole out $40.00 plus shipping to get it. Ebay also has it for $28.00 plus shipping. I prefer the $10 I paid!!!!!!!!!!!!

After having done so well with just one sale I decided to get up bright and early the next week and hit the garage sale trail. I found advertisements for armoires, antiques, and an inexpensive, much needed, baby carseat. Well, the armoires weren't worth the gas it took to go look and the antiques were virtually non existant. My "Antique" friend Bonnie (she loves when I call her that) probably beat me to them. I know she is in Yosemite but I told you she is a very good shopper! LOL! Anyway, all I managed to scrape up today was a handfull of country magazines for 25 cents ea. and a couple of nicely hand made baskets for a $1.00. I'm going to paint and age them later. I'll be sure to show a before and after of the baskets on my next post.

I won't bore you with the pictures, but I also got a practically new car seat for $10.00 (which was on my must find list), a pile of Baby Gap clothes for Sienna (only $1.00 ea piece), and some new toys for .50 cents ea. Not very exciting with the prim crowd but I'm going to be the most popular grandma in town when I babysit tomorrow!!!!

September 08, 2008

Finished Pond, Ode Summer, My Friend Bonnie

The Koi Pond is Finished!

It's done! The Koi pond is actually finished! It took us all summer long. It still needs waterlilies and lotus and some more border plantings and annuals but they will have to wait till spring, unless I find a really good clearance sale somewhere that is.

160 gallons of water flows through the fall per minute. We put it in to drown out some traffic noise from a busy nearby road.

This is the stone and cedar shake "pump house" we built. It houses the entire mechanics of the filter/ waterfall. Hubby has a little gnome standing guard "inside" the house because I won't let him stand one out in sight anywhere. We built it to resemble an old spring house like you would find in colonial times or on an old plantation. I can't wait for the roof to weather!!!

Some of our 14 koi and goldfish.

The bay window we put in, as seen from the backside of the waterfall.

It still needs some finishing work but this is the bay window looking out onto the waterfall and pond. It's really beautiful with the waterfall lit up at night!

Ode to Summer
It's a sad, sad week for me. I took my last swim for the year in my pool last Sunday. The temp was all of 72 degree's and the pool water was 76 degree's. Still warm enough (barely) to get a 1 1/2 hour workout in but the rest of this week we are expecting highs in the 60's and low's in the 40's. True I should have been born a fish, but I'm sure no polar bear!!!! It's especially sad because we didn't move into this house until June 11 and we didn't get the pool opened until the July 4th weekend. Then life's little mishaps kept popping up on me all summer. Mishaps that kept me away from home and the pool. I did manage to squeeze in some midnight swims during the 2 weeks my "crazy cookie" mother was hospitalized but it's just not the same as swimming under a bright warm sun. Now I'm not saying I didn't get to spend a few bright summer days basking in the sun. There were a few days that my granddaughter got to come and share in the fun with me. And I even managed to turn the pool into display tool for some nautical ornaments I'll be posting on ebay later this fall. That brought new meaning to "working from home" to bring my camera and a tray full of ornaments into the pool for a photo session. But today there is no escaping the fact that summer has faded away here in Michigan. It is 65 and raining and the leaves of the maple tree outside my window are already beginning to turn red. Yes, fall is a beautiful time of year in Michigan but to me it is a reminder that old man winter is lurking just around the corner. Call me meloncholy......

"Word of the day"
Melancholy - depression of spirit, a pensive mood


My Friend Bonnie

I have a friend who is the bravest person I know. She found out she had a rare terminal cancer 3 1/2 years ago. Well, being the fighter she is, and with no health insurance to help, Bonnie has fought this ugly beast with everything she has and then some. She has been through numerous rounds of chemo, bald heads, tests, scans, x-rays, surgeries, and even spent weeks away from home to get special "high speed" radiation treatments in Seattle. These treatments have really taken a toll on her body. They have left her with scars and half of her face paralized. But this gal, who just celebrated her 50th b-day, just keeps going. With everything she has on her plate, she (and her hubby) even managed to take in some family and a wheelchair bound friend when they were evacuated from their homes during the Yosemite fires in CA this summer, all the while hoping the winds would not pick up and force them from their own home. She has a real zest for life and hasn't let this thing stop her or barely even slow her down. I'm sure she has her moments of depression and anger (who wouldn't) but she sure doesn't let on. She is funny and clever and can really make me laugh. She tells me how people think she is "stupid" because of her drooping face but at least it gets her some extra good deals at the sales. Anyway, I don't know another person who loves to shop garage sales and flea markets anywhere near as much as Bonnie. I'd call it an addiction. And it amazes me, not only the great treasures she finds but her knowledge of these items. You can visit my friend Bonnie's (& her hubby David's) on-line antique store at

Who knows! You might find just what you've been looking for!***************************

September 02, 2008

My September Recipe - Crazy Cookies

Mom's Crazy Cookie Recipe
My mother was always known for her cooking skills amoungst her peers. She headed up all the church banquets and regularly hosted dinner parties for her friends and family. But, her greatest cullinary accomplishment was planning and cooking the meals for three weeks each summer at a girls summer camp - Brook Cherith. A camp where she had to plan a weeks worth of tasty, well rounded meals that young girls of every age (as well as the camp staff) were willing to eat. And to do it all in a camp kitchen in the middle of July with no air-conditioning. No, she isn't super woman, though some might disagree. She did have a kitchen staff to help get the job done afterall. But I do recall some very hot summers at that camp and peering through the dininghall window to seeing her and her staff sitting at a table furiously fanning themselves, drinking lemonaide and munching on freshly baked Crazy Cookies. How many kids get to take their mothers along to summer camp? PS - She did all that camp cooking in that hot kitchen for free as a camp volunteer!

So, anyway, one of mom's friends met the local recipe columnist at some seminar or something and she told her all about mom and gave her mom's number. Mom could hardly believe this columnist actually called her and asked her to place a recipe in the column. The recipe she gave is her famous old "Crazy Cookie" recipe which was (and still is) my favorite cookie. Unforetunately she decided to re-name her cookies and call them "Dutch Treat" cookies for the column. She was afraid "Crazy" sounded, well, CrAzY! Heck, the name was half of the draw when we were kids. So, here is the famous "Crazy Cookie" recipe -
Crazy Cookies -
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1cup oil
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
3 1/2 c flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/2 c chopped pecans
Blend together sugars and oil, add butter and cream well.
Beat in the egg. Stir in the rest of the ingredients in the order given.
Drop by teaspoons full onto ungreased cookie sheet. Press each cookie down slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake in an oven at 375 degree's till light brown (about 10-12 minutes, turning cookie sheet about half way through for even baking). Cool briefly on cookie sheet then remove to racks to cool completely.
This is a very crisp and sometimes crumbly cookie that simply seems to melt in your mouth.
The above photo is Great Grandma holding her 1st great grandchild for the 1st time.

Before Pics of Pond / Proud Grandma

Labor Day Weekend

It was a spectacular Labor Weekend. The warmest and sunniest weather of the entire summer. Of coarse, with all we still have going on in the new house, we spent the weekend at home, slaving over odd jobs. Well actually, hubby slaved. I did "some" work and a lot of swimming! Just when the kids are going back to school and most folks are thinking of closing their pools for the season my pool reaches a summer high temp of 85 degree's. It was fabulous!!! Tomorrow it is suppose to be another 90 degree day and I plan to take advantage as long as possible. You see, at 2:45 I am having a root canal. Ugh! Do you think the dentist would understand if I told him I'll be in as soon as the weather cools and the pool is closed? Here's a few pics of our biggest project of the summer and what we spent most of our weekend "working" on.

These 2 pics are the
"before" shots of our
new backyard &

These are some pictures of the back yard project in progress.

We have working on this pond almost since the day we moved in here June 11. We are very nearly finished now. The stone work around the edge of the pond is done, the water fall is operating, the water is nearly all cured (the green is almost gone) and the koi and goldfish are having the time of their lives. I will share some pics of the finished product later in the month after I get the plants put in around the outer edge and mulched. The best part is the large bay window we put in where the 2 little windows on the back of the family room are. They are floor to ceiling to look directly out over the pond and waterfall. It's definately got WOW factor!

Stay tuned for the finished product!

The Proud Grandma


My one and only grand baby, Sienna Alexis, was born a year ago this month. I can hardly believe it has been an entire year since her arrival. She is, of coarse, the most beautiful baby on the planet. The smartest too. I get to babysit her every Thursday and every other Tuesday while her mother is working. She was cutting her first tooth at 3 1/2 months, sitting up at 4 months, and walking "with no hands" by 10 months. She is advanced, but personnally, I liked the fact that my daughter didn't walk till a week after her 1st b-day. Once they start walking they go right into running and you can't take your eye off 'em for a second. My poor little poms have really met their match now that she is so mobile. They much prefered her on the floor. Sienna loves our pool! I stand her on the side and count to 3 and she leaps into my arms in the water with the biggest laugh. She has her own floaty but she prefers to sit in grandma's big pool chaise with a lap full of tub toys. She is a doll!!!

I guess I could also share some pics of the proud parents, my daughter & son-in-law. My daughter works in merchandising and is into scrap booking and learning to knit. My SIL works for the MI welfare dept, reviewing cases. He LOVES fishing. They met in college where she played basketball and he was on the football team. Now she plays in at least 1 Gus Macker tournament a year and he coach's high school football and plays professional "arena" football.