Friday, September 10, 2010


I've realized I'm not a very good blogger...weeks go by and I don't post anything at all! But lots of stuff happens every day; just nothing earth shattering.

The big thing - back in JULY on the 24th, 7 weeks ago tomorrow, my oldest son Josh got married to Megan Smith. The ceremony was in a Presbyterian church in Spokane Washington. The reception? Coeur D'Alene resort...the famous one with the golf course that has a floating tee. We rented a house for the week, and despite the problems Dan and I are having, the week went well! Tim and Mary, Sam, Dan and I stayed for the entire week - my mom came in for a short week, and we had Josh with us for 3 nights. The festivities went off without any hitch that I was aware of, they had an Alaskan Cruise for a honeymoon, and Dan and I managed to get through the week amicably.

I've been up to Lafayette a few times since we came home - staying over at Tim's once and at Josh's once. This past weekend, Mary's Mom, DAd and brother Elijah were visiting as well - dinner with them Saturday night and then a Flea Market on Sunday. Good times. Didn't see J & M tho - they were up in Chicago visiting friends. So i slept in their apt. Kind of nice having a key to both places...

I really like Lafayette...little neighborhoods here and there, Purdue of course being a big draw, and the real estate is affordable. I"m thinking once this is over? I'm heading up there. I'd be by the kids; mebbe I'd even go back to college, and get a master's.

anyway - the big thing of the week was this apple bundt cake recipe that I found. Took it to Tim's and it was a big hit! Easy to make and very much yum. I'll post it here! It's perfect timing as allll the apples are going to start arriving in the markets. I won't be getting any apples this year - it's been too dry and the apples are falling without sweetening up. NO apricots either. Not many pears - i gave most to a friend of mine. I just couldn't stand the thought of making jelly. i DID make raspberry and blackberry and grape jelly - and am hoarding all that.

the persimmons are starting to drop, heaven help me! doesn't seem to matter whether the summer is dry or wet, those things develop just fine.

Here's the recipe...

Blue Ribbon Apple Bundt Cake credit for this recipe to Crystal Villa
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees , Grease and flour a Bundt Pan,
Baking Time - 65 - 75 minutes

- 3/4 c sugar
- 3 tsp orange flavored instant drink mix (like tang)
- 2 tsp cinnamon

- 3 c all purpose flour
- 2 c sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp orange flavored instant drink mix
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c vegetable oil
- 1/2 c water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 lg eggs
- 4 c apples, peeled and thinly sliced

- 2 c powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp apple pie spice or a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
- 2 - 4 Tbsp milk


1. Combine streusal ingredients and set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients EXCEPT apples.
3. Pour 1/3 batter (about 1 2/3 cup) into Bundt Pan.
4. Layer 2 cups of apples over the batter.
5. Sprinkle with half the streusal
6. Layer another 1/3 of the batter
7. Layer the other 2 cups of apples over the batter
8. Sprinkle with remaining streusal
9. Layer the last bit of batter

Bake for 65-75 minutes. Use the toothpick test for doneness.
Cool in pan for 3 minutes and then invert and remove. Cool Completely.

After it's cool, prepare the glaze.
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar butter and spice.
Add milk one tbsp at a time until smooth and of drizzling consistency.
Drizzle glaze over cooled cake -
I did NOT use the glaze...we used vanilla ice cream instead. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

TAPS and a little Reminiscing

Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lakes
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Fading light.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
Gleaming bright.
From afar.
Drawing nigh.
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise.
For our days.
Neath the sun
Neath the stars.
Neath the sky
As we go.
This we know.
God is nigh.

There's an email that arrives now and again into my Inbox. It tells the story of the origin of the melody of TAPS, the haunting, four-note piece that bugler's play at military funerals. I won't include that story here... that is not what this note is about.

Years ago, we went houseboating with another family down at Dale Hollow Lake. One afternoon we took off from the others and eventually tied up the houseboat in a secluded finger of the lake. Josh got out his trumpet to practice and had a great time, playing duets with the echoing cove.

As the sun started to set, standing on the top of the houseboat, he slowly played TAPS.

Dusk was beautiful - the water was still, reflecting all the surrounding trees and the colors of the sky. The notes flew down the cove and softly echoed back to us.

It was beautiful.

The five of us were together and it was perfect.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

07.11.2010 A book and a Movie

Nearly every book I've read lately has a marriage that is ending, for one reason or another. I don't pick books specifically because the cover says "DIVORCE! TRAUMA! DISTRESS!" but for some reason, I keep taking out books that deal with those things.

Heck, I bought a movie a few months ago "the Jane Austen Book Club" because it was in the discount pile - and i just watched it this past Friday - I ended up watching it twice because the first time, i was making cookies at the same time and missed alot of it...and so had to watch it a 2nd time right after the cookies were done.

I actually laughed after the first 15 minutes because again, it was a group of women who meet monthly to discuss a book, and via the club, they help each other through things...and again it was about a variety of relationships = including a husband who wants out after 20 years.

ANYWAY - in all these books I've been reading...sometimes the problems in the marriage are "fixed" and all are happy, or the marriage ends and a new life, or at least a certain peace, ensues for the character the book is following.

I read a book this morning - Knit in Comfort - by Isabel Sharpe. It's very satisfying and made me feel hopeful for MY future. The center of this book is a group of women that meet to knit and yak. of course, there are other tangents and undercurrents but at the core are the women who meet and interact and help each other with the events of their lives..and it struck home yet again that I don't have this support, I don't have relatives around me OR a steady group of women friends here.

I've lived in this little town for 18 years, and because of my children and their activities, i DID have women I did things with for much of those 18 years - but over the past 6 years, those women have become people i interact with basically with only an occasional email. They all work full time, and I don't know...the occasional suggestion we get together gets thrown out there, but rarely acted on. EVeryone has their own lives to deal with and little time to do that dealing in.

The women I've had life long friendships with, my eternal friends, are scattered all over - Laura in New Mexico, Beth in Michigan, Mary Beth in FLorida, Pam in IL. Hard to get together for a chat over knitting, that's for sure.

Anyway - in this book...what happened to the main character Megan in THIS book is what I wish would happen for me...someone helps Megan find the strength to make her life better, points out how she can support herself and her children with the talents she has and helps her DO it, and I don't her hope for the future.

I wish I had the immediate support of group of friends, of a knitting group. The thought of moving out of my house, moving from this town, starting over YET again would be much easier if I had that kind of support.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

06.30.2010 Where did June go?

yep, last day of June. I'm not sure just how this happened, but I've somehow misplaced June. I can look back at my calendar and see what happened on which days, but huh...

tomorrow is July 1. July 2 is my 53rd birthday. It's going to be a very different birthday than in past years. No party, I won't even see Dan for the next 5 days so there won't be an awkward "oh should i have gotten you a present?" kind of moment, no presents to open? I will however see Sam on my birthday - and that's a gift right there!

I'm looking at it as the first birthday of the rest of my life because it'll be the first birthday in 28 years that I won't be celebrating it with Dan, and I'm starting to get into the "I'm single" mind set after being in the "I'm Married" mindset for so long. it's weird - for so long I've had to think "will Dan want to do this?" and now I can think "yep, i want to do this so i'm doing it!"

Anyway i'm going on a road trip - I've got a 4 day weekend set up = and heading out. I'll see some family and reaquaint myself with an old friend!

This old friend - Pam Lock - she was one of my BEST friends when I was a kid. I have no idea how our parents hooked up - but when we were little, the two families camped together often. She's got an older brother Paul - same age as my brother Jim. Mebbe they met up in kindergarten? i'll have to ask. anyyway -i've got lots of memories of us playing with our Barbies, spending new year's eve with them, and such. I have no idea how or why we stopped being such good friends - but i'm hoping to amend that now.

She's a math/science teacher in a small town outside of Kankakee, IL. and I found her on Facebook. I am really looking forward to seeing her again.

I really wanted meatloaf a few weeks ago - and after finding a basic recipe on the internet, and after talking to a friend about HIS meatloaf and how he makes it, I made a really yum version - I'll put in the recipe here..

YUM Meatloaf

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground beef
1 lb tube maple breakfast sausage

3 eggs
1/2 cup soy milk
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 big squish of ketchup
1 big squish of yellow mustard

1 chopped onion if you have it

Throw everything into a big bowl and smoooosh it all together. Spray a big glass casserole dish with Pam (or the equivalent) and then dump the mixture into it and spread it out.

Cook in a 325 oven for at least an hour - check for doneness after that...i ended up cooking it for about 80 minutes.

it's very yum - of course, with the maple sausage and the brown sugar, it's a sweeter version than your common meat loaf. And that's ok with me. My sister thought perhaps i could do away with the fat/salt content of the maple breakfast sausage if I substituted with another pound of ground turkey and some maple syrup. I might try that next time just to see.

anyway - it makes a lot of meatloaf - so i kept half in the fridge and froze the other half. Very yum!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

06.01.2010 that was a fast 3 day weekend!

The house is almost ready to put on the market - clutter has been removed (to boxes, to Goodwill, to Tim's house! :) ) floors have been cleaned, walls have been painted, furniture has been moved. And the perennials are nearly ready to burst into bloom. The yard will be a sea of orange soon - which hopefully will help, not hinder, the house sale.

I guess the realtor will arrive tomorrow when I am at work, let herself into our house (which really kind of freaks me out) and STAGE the house...bringing in her stuff, arranging it throughout, and then taking pictures of all the rooms. She'll then create a VIDEO TOUR of our house and put it on their website.

Hopefully, someone will search for a 5 bedroom house with a big yard in Clayton Indiana, see the video tour, and fall in love with the HOUSE, want to buy the HOUSE...not fall in love with and want to buy her accessories.

I spent Saturday morning with Sam - he's living in a house in Terre Haute with a few friends for the summer instead of coming home, and having to work incessantly at keeping the house primed for viewing. A very wise choice on his part. I took my bike along, and we rode around Terre Haute, ending up having lunch at the Saratoga (gyros!) and then cruising along the Wabash, winding our way through some sort of festival.

I bought a bottle of Watkins vanilla - Sam bought a bottle of water.

I'm continuing on the path to being prepared for singledom again. So many of the things Dan has said that bothers him about me and our marriage, the stuff that has brought us to this point - well, his view of those things are totally opposite to MY view. Go figure. And as we ahem "discuss" these items, he sometimes understands my point of view - but that doesn't change his mind about divorce. Not that I thought it would - he's a very stubborn man. And once he decides something? It's set in stone for him. The fact that my position on some things changes from day to day drives him crazy. Too bad, says I. It's a woman's perogative to change her mind whenever she damnwell feels like it. It's awful that he is so unmovable. But then, oh well. And too bad for him.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend...another weekend of work, to be sure, but for some reason I'm not dreading it as I've dreaded the past few. Could it be because the sun is out and the sky is blue? Probably.

Last weekend the boys (and one girl!) came home for a work weekend - so much outside work was done and it all was greatly appreciated! Scraping, painting, moving furniture...the house is going to look so beautiful by the time we get that For Sale sign out front, I'm not going to want to sell it!

I've spent weeks going through possessions - where did it all come from!!!??? Goodwill is benefiting greatly from this house sale because I don't want to have a garage sale. Tim's Mary is so funny - she's very good about saying "NO" when i say "hey, do you want this?" As i was going through yet ANOTHER cupboard, i laughed and said "keep that skill of saying NO, sweetie and you won't end up like me!!"

I've got tons of stuff from when i was little, from my Mom, from Dan's Mom, from Dan's GRANDMOTHER! I'm trying to be brutal about what I keep, but I'm noticing that my pile of boxes is much bigger than Dan's. I think he's being more brutal than I. Of course, he hasn't started going through the garage yet, so mebbe that's when his pile will grow.

Photography class was good this past Wednesday - only 1 session left. I'll take the next class in the series (Fundamentals 2) in the fall - the next few months will be busy enough for me...lots of decisions and such. The homework involved taking photos that indicated MOTION in different ways. When the boys were little, finding MOTION was easier - they were ALWAYS in motion. :) I included my metronome movement shot in my picaday on fb - 30 second exposure time with the camera on a tripod.

The last 2 classes have been downtown Indy, near the Indiana War Memorial building. Sitting there Wednesday, a very angry brown man walked by yelling "kill the white folks, kill the white folks!" He looked at the group of us, 10 white women, 1 man of India heritage, and yelled it some more - "Kill the White Folks! Kill the white Folks! It's gonna have to be done someday so KIll THEM ALL NOW!"

Huh. He really didn't look like he wanted to kill US? it was more like he wanted us to AGREE with him! I wanted to say "Hey, do you not see that we are white? and what have i done to you lately? Personally Sir? I'm going through enough without having to worry about you wanting to kill me! so Knock it Off!"

But I said nothing. And he strode off, yelling as he went. Obviously he had a bad day and was taking no responsibility for it.

Anyway - This weekend? We need to finish rearranging furniture, scrub the basement, and finish setting up for viewing by possible buyers. Plus, some Sam Time for me in Terre Haute.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

rhubarb crumble

May 18 - I vowed to post something, anything! , here today a simple recipe. It's springtime after all, and people can find lovely rhubarb here and there.

I first tasted rhubarb pie when i was a kid, and I have to admit, I thought it was hideous. But a few years ago, the fruit/veggie stand in Belleville had a lovely pile of rhubarb, and I thought, huh. let's give it another go!

Here's a recipe for Rhubarb Crumble

Butter an 9 x 12 size glass baking pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes

Mix together and then plop into the buttered baking dish
8 cups of cleaned, diced rhubarb
5 tblsp orange juice (i've made it without and it's just as good)
2 cups white sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tblsp melted butter

Make Topping and plop it on top of the rhubarb mixture

3/4 melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups oats

That's all there is to it...and I have to say, it's very yum!