Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Door a Dear

photo - one of my lovely old doors, waiting for me to come up with an idea

Several years ago I was at my favorite recyled building materials haunt and I found a pair of doors. It was love at first sight and I plunked down the money for them. It's never a lot of money at the ReStore but considering the fact that I didn't need them, didn't have a place for them, didn't really have the foggiest idea what I would do with's a bit odd that I made the purchase. I said - I saw them - I loved them - I bought them.
Ever since that day I've been moving them from one spot to another out in the barn to make sure they don't end up sitting in a puddle of water (leaky roof) or get bumped , knocked over and broken....perish the thought!
This week the light went on...I found a picture that will now give those doors a home, a function , a chance to be all they can be!
And I will have a really groovy cabinet....
I just have to build it....hmmmm.
I'm sure The Husband would be happy to give me a hand, this thing is gonna be big, and those doors weigh a ton! Really honey, I've got it all figured doesn't have to be's just going in the barn!

Of course the idea photo is painted's all I see these days. ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I won, I won, I WON!

Yipppieeee...I'm a winner!
Lori over at Lipsmacking Goodness (she's on my sidebar over there on your right )had a contest for her blogaversary a while back. Lori is cooking light and she bought this Cooking Light book for herself..and one a a give away to her readers. I love to collect cookbooks so I was particularly interested in the contest.

Here's the deal. I never win. The Husband is the winner around these parts, not me. So imagine my surprise when Lori picked my name out of the hat! I about fell over. The neat thing is that I was one of her first commenters when she started her blog, I was also new to blogging and when I saw her first posts I wanted to encourage her to keep up the good work - and helllooo...the girl posts wonderful recipes.
The book came in the mail today and it's fabulous. Much like Lori I'm trying to
lighten up my cooking a bit. When I diet I tend to stick to the same old recipes, afraid that if I branch out I'll completely fall off the wagon - which of course always happens. I looove good food, good cooks, parties that good cooks host where they serve yummy stuff. If someone tells me they went to a party my first question is usually about the food, not "who was there" or "what did you wear".

So, thanks to Lori...I can still be all about the food, it will just be a bit lighter - and hopefully so will I :)

Pop on over to Lori's ....there's lots of yummy stuff. The last recipe of hers that I tried was the miso salad dressing... it's fabulous!

*Sorry about the sideways photo, Blogger is being a bit snarky lately.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ready. Set. Go buy paint!

But anyone else having problems loading pictures on blogger? I've written a few posts with pictures and they come out all garbled so I just give up and go do something else...mean old blogger.
Okay...I've decided to start playing around out in the crafty part of the barn. It's the old calf nursery, we cleaned it all up..lottts of pressure washing...ewwww - how do tiny little calves splatter pooh that high? Hubby helped me hang some plywood on the walls, they had some barn insulation so that's good. Then I got kooky with paint, one wall is red (it was 5 bucks on the reject cart at Home Depot)and the rest are yellow. It's still a barn but the feeling is a little bit red/yellow/funky/Scandinavian kitchenish. Friends gave me a reject desk that you see in the photo...the orange chairs are from my friend Susie, they're from her childhood breakfast table... that chair with the red throw was my moms, for my entire childhood that was the chair she sat on in the evenings to do her needlepoint.
The place is full of old rejects but fun none-the-less. It's where we have the pumpkin carving party, where we have the wreath making can make a huuuge mess and close the door and walk away.
Since I have a giant itch to paint -and I'm kinda sick of the yellow/red thing...this is where the grey is going to go. I'm going to do one corner at a time and the desk corner is where I'm planning to start. Using a dark gray on the base of the desk, a softer gray on the upper shelf...maybe a faux stone treatment on the half/walls, they're yucky old concrete and need something, not sure about that though cuz I know "faux" is sooooo over. But's a barn. I don't know that I care if I'm totally off trend, faux is fun annnd cheap...this place is all about the cheap.
Oh...and the circus tent treatment on the ceiling would be so cool out here!
What do ya it? Am I nutso?
Too late, as soon as I post this I'm headed to the paint store!
Wanna come over and help paint?
he he he

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Circus Circus!

photo courtesy of House Beautiful
More paint la la!
Now this is just plain fun, the ceiling treatment looks like a circus tent to me. I'm having visions of painting the ceiling of the party barn to look like this...just dreaming though, there is no stinkin' way I'm going to spend that much time on a ladder, this circus clown is too dang old for that....bummer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Sirius Question

Yup...that's my roof, and my TV antenna. No cable service here at this old farm, we joke about getting a satellite dish but we just never do it, the list of reasons is long and boring.
The new vehicle that we bought last fall came with satellite radio, and a free trial period of Sirius Radio. Well...the free ride is over and it's time for us to make a decision. I love having satellite radio, especially when I drive to the cabin - when I go over the mountain pass I don't get radio signals but I DO get Sirius....and I love it. Part of my decision making process for any purchase is research, that's just what I do. The research on Sirius has turned up a whole lot of unhappy customers...oh. my. if the posts are to be believed the folks at Sirius have built quite a bad reputation.
So...any advice? Do it? Don't do it? Anybody out there been double billed and had "sirius" problems trying to deal with the customer service department?
As it stands right now I won't be signing up....ahhh...the power of the internet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm Officially A Fuddy-Duddy

In my oh-so-square little world I've tried to play by "the rules" of fashion...most of them make a lot of sense to me, I grew to like and even embrace those rules...I was comfortable with those rules....but oh my gravy kiddos...all of those rules have been tossed out the window.

I am throwing in my "fashion don't" towel. Our new First Lady wore glitter for her first official daytime appearance....ayyyyeeeee! Oh dear oh dear oh dear, I'm me old fashioned, call me Mrs. CrabbyPants. It is what it is...a really big glamour "don't".
I'm looking forward to "Change"...bear with me while I get used to all of it, this reaching across the aisle. I'm stuck in my ways, but I'll try hard to change with the best of them.
The lovely Mrs. Obama isn't the first person to give me cause to pause...this whole fashion shake-up has been going on for quite some time, but today was the final blow...the proof is in the Presidential pudding.
So....I'll change. What will I wear to embrace change?
For starters:
flip flops and a hoodie to a memorial ( toe frostbite will be a problem in winter)
strappy open toe high heels in the snow....(more frostbite, and of course a pedicure for any toes that survive that initial case of frostbite)
fuzzy wool in the summer....(followed by a nasty rash when I have a hot-flash)
intenionally visible bra straps (guilty...but it wasn't intentional!)
crisp white cotton pants in December (never wear white on my lower half...therapy to follow for all)
corduroy in August (more hot-flash issues on the horizon)
diamonds (blingggg) for daytime (note to self *save up for diamonds)
a white dress to a wedding that isn't my own (all three of my sisters-in-laws wore white to my wedding...who knew they were trend-setters?)
a splashy print frock to a funeral (oh dear, I'm visibly squirming)
white shoes from Labor Day to Memorial weekend (they will be orthopedic, it just makes sense)
lots and lots of cleavage, daytime cleavage, night time cleavage, all the time cleavage...if ya got 'em flaunt 'em! (even if said cleavage is that of a wrinkly fifty year old chubby girl who got too much sun in the 70's)
There will be a period of adjustment so please bear with me. If you happen to spot me wearing dark jeans or slacks, a conservative sweater, a jacket that covers my rather ample rear end and sensible shoes...please bear in mind that it will take some time for me to assemble the appropriate attire for all of these new changes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Paint Ponderings

It's everywhere I look,
when I go blog surfing...when I go road tripping.
I'm drawn to grey paint lately...or greige,
that curious mix of grey and beige.
I want to buy a bucket of grey and go grey crazy.
Last weeks adventures got me all fired up to pretty
things up around the farm.
I saw so many beautiful spaces, the sun was shining,
it was one of those magical spaces in time where
everything was spontaneous and filled with laughter.
I met new people, I was charmed, intrigued and inspired.
Sometimes adventures have that effect,
when I come home they make me want to change things up.

All I see now are stunning shades of grey...
with a sliver of the mountain
peeking through the clouds.

So many shades of gray.
How about the same shade of gray as the wings on those birds.

Oh my goodness...I want to paint,
where oh where are my brushes?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Island Moments

Bergie's first ferry ride.
Beautiful view of the week.

I like to click on this one to make it bigger, because it's
just too pretty not to ;)

It was a great week. The sun came out...
I took a ride on a ferry, puppy went for her first
ferry ride, we had a fabulous time with
dear friends...
lunched and laughed with my family.

*Note to self *
Do that more often.

Have a great weekend!
Another adventure!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Man's Trash

Here at this old farm we like to rescue stuff. Every cat we've ever had was a rescue cat, our first dog came to us because he was looking for a home...and the dog we have now was found wandering a country road.

The furniture and cabinets in the party barn are all recycled, the cabinets at the cabin are all recycled...mostly from the Re-Store in Bellingham.

I love the Re-Store, I hadn't been there in a while so last week when I was in town and just happened to be driving by....well...of course I had to stop in and see if there was anything that needed to come live at the farm. I saw this desk, I walked away from this desk, drove home...and this desk haunted me all evening. I told The Husband about it and he gave me his usual Re-Store chuckle....this has happened more than once...I see it, I walk away from it, and then I can't stop thinking about it.

The next day I went back to look at it again and I decided I just had to have it. When The Husband went with me to pick it up he looked at me - he looked at it - he looked at me again and said "you paid how much for that?".

It's the first time in oh-so-many purchases at the Re-Store that he has questioned my judgement. I told him he's gotta have the vision. I see it stripped all the way down to raw wood and sitting in front of a window at the cabin, or painted a really soft buttery yellow and scuff sanded, or painted a glossy black with glass drawer pulls....oh....imagine the possibilities.

The man needs the vision I tell ya, now that the desk is home and in the project barn, I still really like it...he still thinks it's UGLY!

What do you see? Painted? Stripped? Returned to the Re-Store and re-donated?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prosciutto and Brie Dip

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe, mostly because I haven't tried anything new that I really liked. This weekend my friend Tami had a little spur of the moment, post holiday, clean out the holiday fridge gathering. What a great idea!
I had purchased the ingredients for this dip but didn't have the chance to make it. Other recipes always seemed to push this one over to the side.

The only shot I have of it...before I put it in the oven.

These crackers are yummy...a bit spendy but a nice change from the ordinary. I served the dip with the cranberry and hazelnut crisps, sliced apples and celery sticks. I think an assortment of artisan breads would also be great to serve with this dip.

Proscuitto and Brie Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 ( 5 ounce) containers creme de Brie
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped Prosciutto (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (I used finely minced yellow onions, next time I'll use green)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, creme de brie, and Parmesan cheese. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Add prosciutto, green onion, and red pepper flakes, beating to combine. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly.

makes 10-12 servings

Note* if creme de Brie is not available, 15 ounces of softened Brie with rind removed may be substituted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Make it Pretty

Isn't this the prettiest cup of coffee? I love it when a coffee shop takes the time to present a simple thing like a latte as a work of art. Try as I might, this is something I have yet to master,
hey.... a girl can't do it all.
If you're local check out the Lettered Streets Coffee Shop on Dupont in B'ham.
Very cool.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lesson #1, Your car is not a boat.

Oh my gravy boys and girls....I have seen some folks do some silly stuff that last few days.
Heard a few stories about people who think their car is some sort of batmobile, that they can drive through two feet of flood water without bad stuff happening. Sorry kids, cars are not boats...use your noggin. Barricades at the end of the road are there to keep you from drowning your car, it's not a slalom course set up for your amusement.
There are barricades at both ends of my road, I've seen crazy people drive around the policeman that is stationed there to keep folks safe...ayyyeeee!!! For crying out loud, pay attention people!
I know...cranky lady post...but heck...somebody's gotta say it.

Down the road a bit, here at this old farm... we are now the proud owners of a 20 acre lake, my sweet husband promised me years ago that someday we could live on the waterfront, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Word of the Year

Finally...I have it.
My word of the year. Not one to do resolutions, I prefer to just choose one word that I would like to wrap up my plans for the disappointment, no failures...just a concept or idea.
This has been my New Years process for more than a decade, I hear it's become trendy...not gonna say I'm a step ahead, I'm usually more of a step to the side kind of girl - unintentional of course.

"The word" is almost always and action verb, not crazy action like "run", more in the realm of "stretch" or "focus" (last years word).

So, without further delay...the word is....

.....yup...I'll be fifty in August. I know it's not an action verb. But I'd like FIFTY to be about action.
Fifty actions. New stuff, stuff I haven't done before, places I haven't been.
Life around here seems to go in three or five year increments. Jobs, tasks, projects...seem to run from 3-5 years...and then it's time to change it up. From 45-50 a lot of stuff got done around here, but it seemed a bit repetitive. Not that there weren't opportunities, I think I just stayed on the farm and took care of things around here, happily puttering away, I felt pretty centered...perhaps a bit self-centered. I passed on vacations, adventures, ski trips, parties - the list goes on.

I'm not making a list of fifty things I want to do, I'd like to be open to possibilities, to snap out of that home-centered mentality. Like when I took a road trip about ten years ago, I flew by the seat of my pants and ended up staying at a cottage belonging to a friend of a friend. Just beyond the cottage there was a grove of trees, it was incredible...there were picnic tables, a stream, cozy chairs....and a giant trapeze.
Every Sunday a group of friends gathered to "fly".

I was a chicken, I didn't "fly". But I hope that this year, if I end up at the end of a road, and there is a trapeze...I hope that I at least climb that ladder and stand on the podium and think about taking the leap.

Tonight I'm adding the first thing to my list, it's silly really... I'm just going someplace I said I didn't care to go...but now that I'm looking to add to "the list"'s a whole new mindset.

Only 49 to go.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Conversations about Santa

Conversations at the family Christmas party today.

Clara asks Shelly some questions.

Clara: Where did you go when Santa was here?
Shelly: I was over there by the punch to Brad.
Clara: Huh uh....
Shelly: Sure I was, right over there...see? Here's my punch cup.
Clara gives Shelly a stern gaze.

Then Riley has a few questions for Uncle Ron.

Riley: Were you Santa?
Uncle Ron: No silly, I was right here...remember?
Riley: Oh yeah, so who was Santa?
Uncle Ron: Santa was Santa.
Riley: No really....who was Santa?
Uncle Ron: Why don't you think Santa was Santa?
Riley: Cuz Santa had hands like a lady.

Hmmmm....I guess next year Santa should wear gloves.

Been There, Haven't Done That, And.... No Way!

Since January seems to be all about lists, I thought this would be a good time to post a little something I had forgotten about.
My blogger buddy Jerrie posted this meme a while back. She left an open invitation to anyone who wanted to play along. I ran through the list, plugged in my answers and left this post in my drafts to publish another proper Shelly fashion I sorta forgot about it.
I've been making a few fun lists for the new year....but that's another post. For now I'll leave you with this.
It's a random list of 100 things, you're supposed to alter the print to bold if you've done whatever is listed. I followed Jerrie's lead and added the odd sassy comment to some of the line items....cuz I kinda like being a little sassy once in a while. * (my sassy comments)
If you want to play along just cut and paste and post on your sure to let me know because I'd love to pop on over and read all about it!

1. Started my own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band..(playing bass with friends probably doesn't count huh?)

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than I can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world......(both)

8. Climbed a mountain...(Table Mountain, not that big but still cool)

9. Held a praying mantis....(first time last summer ;)

10. Sung a solo

11. Bungee jumped...(noooo wayyyy)

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched lightening at sea,.....(at the helm of a sailboat...yikes)

14. Taught myself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child...(nope - only stray dogs and cats)

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (it was closed when we were there...grrr)

18. Grown my own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill....(only when I was my own boss)

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise, (sailing for a week counts right?)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors,(does Kansas count?)

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught myself a new language,( just enough Italian to get around)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing, ( red rocks)

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke.....(my sisters made me)

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had my portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud, (all the time...I'm a gardener)

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching....(many times - I love it, especially from shore)

63. Got flowers for no reason

64.Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving.......(no stinkin' way)

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check, (mom was in the hospital - I was 26 & a wreck)

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar....(in Russia- with a champagne chaser, interesting custom... first you drink a shot of vodka. Vodka, caviar, champagne...glad I was in my twenties, these days I don't think I could do that....hanggggoverrrrr.)

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square....(and Red Square! I'm square ;)

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone.....(a few)

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle, (been the driver)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had my picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible.....(a lot of it, but not from cover to cover)

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (uh...NO)

88. Had chickenpox......(twice!)

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous....(John Travolta!)

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake..(been there - didn't swim)

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Rode an elephant

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Ohhh crud!
Today I stood in front of the oven, froze...and just shook my head. I botched two batches of a row.
Make crust, top with caramel sauce...bake...then top with crushed candy topping.
I made crust, topped with caramel annnnd topping.....and baked.
Duhhhh. Make that Duh, repeat ...and duh again!
They're not terrible...they're just terribly ugly, and very buttery.

Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's 80th birthday, Saturday we are having a little party for her. Today I started baking for the soiree - I've been told to plan on about 100 people. At the rate I'm going we'll be eating botched bars around here for months.

Freaky thing is I stayed home last night and didn't have any sort of libations.
If there is someone out there missing their hangover came to my house.

This is why Shelly shouldn't bake.