Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Top Ten reasons Shelby should be Drumline Captain!!!

This entry is written especially for Shelby’s band instructors! So, Mr. E and Mr. C:

The Top Ten reasons Shelby should be Drumline Captain:

….. by Shelby’s Mom!

10. She has rhythm!!!

9. She is calm, cool and efficient.

8. She is a willing teacher.

7. She is always present and on time.

6. She is a natural born leader.

5. She is a genuine “morning person.”

4. She is very organized.

3. She comes from a long line of percussionists.

2. She has a big vehicle that will hold lots of drums!

.... and the Number One Reason Shelby should be Drumline Captain: (drumroll!)

Her mother won’t have to worry so much about who she is with and what she is doing!!!


OK, for the REST of my readers… keep your fingers crossed for Shelby!!! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The news out of Detroit

As former Detroiters, Arthur and I have been actively following the big news from there as it unfolds. It’s not particularly because we are news junkies, but because the arraignment hearing for Mayor Kilpatrick was heard today at the 36th District Court where Arthur worked for 33 years.

Arthur knows most of the behind-the-scenes people in this photo on a first name basis.

I have always loved the city of Detroit. I was born there, grew up there, and in the immortal words of Dorothy:

“There’s no place like home.”

But I feel so bad for my homeland, between the failing auto plants, the housing crisis that is even worse than the rest of the nation, and now this:

Full Coverage: A Mayor in Crisis.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Polish Easter

He is risen! Alleluia! Happy Easter!

Shelby, John, Arthur and I are exhausted, happy, and very, very well fed at the present time.

Our Easter music marathon week is now officially over. We sang every day since Wednesday, and the kids played their instruments each day except on Good Friday. Music always makes me feel a bit closer to understanding the Divine Mystery, and the Easter choir sessions are among my favorite yearly activities.

After the service was Easter Dinner time. Once again we had our Polish feast, but with a twist. Grandma ordered a big shipment of Kowalski goodies from Detroit. We had real honest-to-goodness fresh kielbasa, spiral cut ham, polish candies, and real horseradish. (You know… the kind that clears your sinuses!)

The biggest thrill for me is the box included a butter lamb. You can’t get those in Oklahoma.

Kathy made Kapusta from our old family recipe, and it was delicious! It brought back so many wonderful childhood memories…

…mostly about saying “bleachhh!”

Kapusta is one of those things you really need to be grown up to appreciate! :)

Here is the recipe for anybody that is interested in trying some authentic Polish cuisine:

Groch Z Kapusta

Ingredients :

1 cup Dried Split Peas
1 qt Sauerkraut
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 med Onion Sliced
1/4 lb Salt Pork
2 TBSP Flour

Method :

Wash and soak peas overnight. Cook peas in same water until tender. Drain and rinse sauerkraut, reserving 1 cup liquid. Combine pepper and kraut in enough water to cover and cook about 1 1/4 hours.
Fry onion and pork until lightly browned. Blend in flour. Stir until mixture is smooth. Mix with sauerkraut and peas, add sauerkraut liquid as needed to thin mixture. Put mixture into a buttered (butter, not margarine) baking dish and bake, covered, in 325F oven for 20 minutes.(May also cook on stovetop or in slow cooker.)

I made the pierogi from my favorite recipe. Here it is:

Take 3 boxes of Mrs. T’s pierogies, fry in butter and onion, and serve with sour cream.

What, did you think I would make ‘em from scratch after the music marathon??? Dream on! (Actually, I did last year. Never again!)

Besides the Polish treats we had the standard Easter eggs, rolls and butter, etc. In addition we had Arthur’s super-duper special lumpy buttered mashed potatoes. You would have to taste them! They would NOT be as good without the lumps. Once upon a time he attempted to use a beater on them, and his brother had a fit.

Finally, the piece de resistance: Marilyn’s strawberry cake, and Alex’s cookies

See what I mean about being well fed? I wish you all had been here!!!

Love to all!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Blessings

The light comes gradually,
coloring the horizon in deep pink tones,

Slowly changing the gray clouds of pre-dawn to pale gold.

There is a freshness in the cool, misty morning air of early spring.

The still serenity of the dawning day invites a time of contemplation,

A time of introspection and reflection.

Vivid yellow daffodils dot the garden,

Peeking out amid the profusion of slender green blades surrounding them.

From a perch in the near-by tree top,

A tiny bird heralds the glorious morning with a song of greeting.

The fresh, new day comes in tranquil magnificence–

Its brightness and beauty dissolving the darkness of night.

A peaceful, pastoral scene–

So detached from headlines in the morning paper,

So oblivious of events in the world.

The certainty of the cycle

Of sunrise following sunset offers comfort in the midst of uncertainty.

Yet the day, like life, is transient–
Seasons come and go.

There is a time for birth and a time for death.

Nothing is static–

Everything is changing with the constant marching of time

Toward the inevitable moment when time ceases to be.

The mortality of man and of woman is reality,

Yet the human mind dares to contemplate the concept of immortality.

The stone has been rolled away from the tomb;

The garden grave lies empty.

My soul goes in search of the Risen One–
Daring to grasp Him,

Daring to come to faith as the Risen Lord is encountered
In a moment in time.

Peggy A. Alexander

Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian

Tulsa, Okla.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joining the ladies

I have always wanted to fit into a “ladies clique.” By that, I mean my desire is to be a woman who feels at home in my own skin when I am attending a ladies event such as a church potluck or a baby shower. This gal has been a very shy person since childhood.

Truth be told, the fine art of female small-talk has always escaped me. That’s not to say I don’t have female friends; I do. My friends and I rarely do the small-talk thing, however. Rather, we engage in lively, animated (and sometimes heated!) political discussions, or try for hours to figure out the meaning of life.

Last weekend an opportunity came up for me to try once more to fit into a casual gathering of women. A group from my square dance club had a 4 hour “sewing bee” to make our new club dresses. Each of us was to bring our favorite salad, and I decided to bring a chicken Waldorf salad.

My Waldorf salad always turns out pretty good, so I decided not only was I going to make it for the sewing bee, I was also going to take photos of it as it was being created! I have seen beautiful posts with delicious food being prepared, so why not chronicle my creation in the making and post it here! But, alas, I can’t even do the girl-party thing correctly for my blog.

I start out by cutting up the apples:

Then the celery:

But I really didn't want to cut this:

Yes, I cut my thumb! Doesn’t that figure? So much for my photo shoot!

I had to “heal myself” before I could leave for the gathering, so I was late arriving. Everybody was super nice, but I felt frazzled. Once again, the shy side of me took over..

Sigh. Maybe next time!!! :)

Oh, the salad did turn out pretty good, my mishap aside!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Pat's Everybody! :)

Here’s a bit of St. Patty’s Day cheer in the form of my little leprechauns Shelby and John. These photos were taken in 1995.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Touch of Spring

My daffodils burst into bloom this morning. :)

This little bunch was cross-pollinated by John when he was 8 years old. He was fascinated with how new colors of flowers could be created by cross pollination, and asked if it would work with daffodils. I wasn’t sure; I had only done it with daylilies. I figured it wouldn’t hurt for him to try, and since I was busy with another garden project I told him how he could do it.

John spent about an hour rubbing the heads from a common yellow daffodil into the heads of some white ones. Now, that’s not a very scientific way to create hybrid flowers, but it worked! The seed pods grew into these yellow and white odd shaped flowers. I have seen some with similar color at the nursery, but shaped a bit differently.

Little surprises like these flowers keep me happy! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Wacky Wedding in the family

Sung to the tune of “The Great Pretender”…

Ohhhhh… yes I’m the Great Procrastinator! Oooo Oooo!

(Yeah, I know you have to cram those syllables in, but I can do whatever I want on my blog! Ha Ha!)

I have been meaning to post these photos since Halloween, and I’m just now getting around to it. But these are too cool to ignore.

On Halloween my Step-step daughter Sherri and her fiancĂ© Mathew were united in Holy Matrimony. And what a wedding it was! (If I have to explain “Step-step daughter,” you won’t understand. My mom says she needs a road map to keep track of how all my extended family members are connected, and I think she is right.)

Anyway, here is the wedding of Elvira and the Grim Reaper!!! They are each on their third marriage, and they are hoping the different twist will bring them better luck.

The happy couple with their bridesmaids:

A Ghoulish wedding cake:

The Bride and Groom!

And there you have it!

May they have a frighteningly awesome life together! :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

A short political rant

Following the current state of the primary elections is wearing me out.

Oh how I long for the simple "Good Old Days" of politics!

Yes I really wore this, and yes I threw my vote away. But I didn't like either of the other candidates!

OK, rant over! :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Probate day one

My petition to be granted the position of executor of Andy’s estate was presented to the court today. After all my fret and worry, I didn’t even have to appear. According to my attorney, the process should be fairly uncomplicated. I certainly hope so. It’s been hard enough emotionally as it is.

It’s so strange. Here I am, trying to take a great leap forward, but circumstances are trying to hold me back. Going through all the documents to prepare for probate reminded me of the old country song “Digging up Bones.”

“I’m diggin’ up bones,

Just diggin’ up bones,

Exhuming things that’s better left alone.

I’m resurrecting memories of my love that’s dead and gone.

Well tonight I’m sittin’ alone, diggin’ up bones."

Yup, it seems there’s always more of them thar bones to dig up... even when I don't want to do it any more.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Another grey hair for Mom

It’s always scary when you pick up the phone and your child is sobbing on the other end of the line. It’s even scarier when the child is out with the car.

“Momma!!!” (sob, sob.)

“What is it Shelby???”

“Oh Momma, I need to talk to Arthur!” (sob, sob.)

Now the situation is reaching truly frightening levels. Shelby was out with Arthur’s vehicle. I had visions of a battered child calling from the side of the road with a wrecked van surrounded by police.

“He’s in the shower. What’s the matter, Sweetie?”

“I was (sob, sob) washing the van and the wand slipped out of my hand and (sob, sob) broke the window! And I’m scared Arthur (sob, sob) is going to be mad at me…!”

Deep exhale from Mom!

No, Arthur is not mad. I am not mad. We are just thankful for small every day problems that a little bit of money can fix.

A broken window is incredibly small in the great scheme of things.