Thursday, May 31, 2007


Recently, I have really enjoyed trying new recipes and reading all of my cookbooks. Some of my favorites are Barefoot Contessa, Paula Deen, and Southern Living. One year Jeffrey made painted a tin box for my recipes(see photo above). I really like it and it reminds me of the one my Grandmom had where she had a few stashed...only a few because I think she remembered most of them by did she do that? I have noticed that my mom and mother-in-law can just rattle off recipes heads...I guess it comes from years of practice. At night, when I read through my books or check online I have been writing down my favorites and ones to try on the index cards for that box. I am sure it will be full one day.
One recipe that definitely made it in the box is one for Banana Pudding, I found at Southern Mamas. It is a recipe from Paula Deen. It is definitely not Mama Gentry's. I served it the other night and my father-in-law liked certain aspects of it, such as the consistency and the Chessman Cookies. Try is definitely not YOUR Mama's.

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
Paula Deen

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


"The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have."

Irises in and around our yard.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Today our friend, Mike came over for a few beers and a cook-out. We had a great time, then our friend, Ruth dropped by to add some laughter to the evening. Just as Ruth arrived a storm blew in and stuff went flying. We finished up our delicious hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad and lettuce/pea salad. Then...we decided to have dessert. Mike brought a pie. The pie was called Old Fashioned Extreme Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie. None of us had ever had shoofly pie before...nonetheless...WET BOTTOM. We decided to see what this "wet bottom" was. It was a thick, gooey, dark molasses layer at the bottom...hence..WET BOTTOM. Apparently, the Wet Bottom Shoofly pie is the more common version of the pie. We weren't quite sure why it was EXTREME, but it was good...more cake-like, but the "wet" makes it really delicious. Try some next time you see it in the store or visit Lancaster, PA.
Happy Memorial Day...Let the summer begin!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wedding Madness

This weekend we are wedding-free at the restuarnt...but we will be busy with graduation parties and the offical start of the summer. Which reminded me of what happened to two of the friends in my life. A few weeks ago, we had a very hectic night at the restaurant. The night was PURE HELL...until my friend, Mike proposed to his gal, Marci...then it turned into PURE HAPPINESS. I am so happy for both of them. Cheers to M&M!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Where's My Ice Cream Man?

On Wednesday, I worked outside in the was HOT. I sure could have used an Ice Cream truck to pull up outside. It might have been hot, but it sure felt good to be outside working in the sun...remember those winter months?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beauties in the Garden

On Sunday and Monday, we worked in the yard and I actually just planted a few annuals and just enjoyed looking at all of the changes in the yard. Our other Clematis started blooming...I think it is just bright it glows.
During the week, I planted my iron bicycle planter. I did it a little different this year with Impatients, Coleus and Caladium. It is in a shady area, and they work nicely there.

Here are some shots of my favorite part of the is really changing. Notice the earlier sexy yard boy is sitting back and drinking a cold one during his break.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Wedding Day

On Saturday, we catered a wedding at a residence.
It was beautiful...these are the photos before it got too hectic.
Best Wishes Peter and Mandy!


Last weekend, while visiting with our family, I gave my camera to my nephew, Trevor. He has used it before on family trips and really enjoys it. I thought he would be taking photos of us talking around the room, or his dog...but he went away with the camera and this is what I found later...

I thought is was really sweet...he has really taken a liking to WWF or whatever that wrestling thing is...He was showing all of their moves and taking their photo...I thought these were the funniest...

He posed many of them wrestling...I'll spare you all 20.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday's Treat

It was another beautiful Tuesday. I worked in the yard in the afternoon and ran an errand. THEN, I went to the Dairy Cream. It is actually called the Real McCoy. The Real McCoy is a walk-up window kind of place, similar to the Dairy Palace, where I went last week. Since, I can remember it was the Dairy Cream. All of the locals call it the Dairy Cream. My mom worked at the Dairy Cream when she was in High School. It was originally owned by my neice and nephew's great-grandparents...small town. opened last week and I decided to start the summer a little early and treat myself to a sundae. When I order a sundae, I always get this weird pseudo-banana split sundae. I ask for a pineapple sundae, with sliced bananas, and chocolate sauce. It is always extra good, because they slice up an entire banana. YUM! Here are some photos of my trip.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


We had lots to celebrate this weekend. It was Mother's Day...I didn't have to work and it was Jeffrey's Birthday. I made his favorite, Carrot Cake...and decorated the top with Martha Stewart Pennants from Michaels. On the two blank ones I stamped "Happy Birthday Jeffrey." It was all fun to make. The recipe is from Southern Living and it is delicious. The only thing I would suggest, would be to make 2 - 9" layers..instead of the three layers...or increase the recipe half.

Birthday Boy

Carrot Cake

Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake

3 c. of shredded carrots
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
4 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla extract

* Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with wax paper, grease and flour wax paper (DO makes a HUGE difference)
* Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, add eggs, oil and vanilla, stirring until blended. Pour into pans
* Bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins. or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 mins., remove from pans and cool on racks.
*Ice with cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 16-ounce confectioners sugar
1 t. vanilla extract

*Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in vanilla.

Southern Living, 1997 Annual Recipes, p. 330

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Wishes

Happy Mother's Day to all of my mom's...I hope you all enjoyed your day.

Especially my mom and my sister, Annette...

Mom & Annette, Christmas 1978


She's still "FRESH FACE" to me.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Birthday Wishes

On this day in 1966 you were born.
How lucky for me.

Happy Birthday Jeffrey - my dearest friend, my partner in life forever.
I love you.

30 Photos

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bug Meets Amphibian

My nickname is Bug. All of my college friends call me Bug. The name came from the movie, Uncle Buck. A sorority sister gave me the name after she watched it one night. It came from the line in the movie where Uncle Buck meets his niece's boyfriend and says, "Nat, like in Nat-Bug?" So today I was looking out the window at Toby in the yard, when I saw this ladybug crawling around the window. Since my name is Bug...all of my friends buy me ladybug themed gifts. So..I like ladybugs too, and they are good luck.

Some of you might remember my post last week about the spotted salamander who crawled between my fingers last week and scared me. Here is some footage Jeffrey shot of it. He doesn't have the best part of it on here...when I jumped up screaming and yelling. This will give you a better idea of what it looked like.

For some ladybug facts and lore check here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Martha and Milkshakes

Yesterday was one of those days where I didn't have an agenda. I had an appointment in the early afternoon, and after that...I was free. So I decided to check out the new Martha Stewart line at Michaels. I was overwhelmed. The items were so nice, much nicer than I expected. The glitter was glorious...I can't wait to make a project with that. I also liked the bird stamp and the different cutting tools.

I brought home: the bandanna treat bags, paper, ribbon, tags, and a few other things. I am going to make homemade dog biscuits and put them in the bags and hand them out to Toby's friends.

After Michaels, I went to The Dairy Palace near Wilmington, Delaware. I got a banana milkshake with chocolate sauce. It was delicious. They have plenty of other dairy delights if you don't like shakes. Then, I went home planted a few plants and went for a bike ride around town. It was the perfect Spring day.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Witch Ball

I received this Witch Ball as a gift. It is from a shop in our town, Dragonfly Gifts. They have really neat things...a lot of stained glass, nature type items, and even dog collars, and handy items for your pet. If you are in Chesapeake City, check them out! The witch ball has green and purplish shades on it. I hung it at the top of our stairs in the hall window. I think it looks really pretty...and ready to protect us.

In case you don't know what a Witch Ball is, this is the description on the tag:
"Glass witches balls have been used for home protection against spirits and witches spells for centuries. The bad spirits are drawn into the beauty of the glass and snared in the strands inside, protecting the home from harm."

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Climbing Beauty

The clematis on our iron fence started blooming a few days ago. I will try to take some photos of it while it is blooming. We have another one on a trellis that is much darker purple and blooms later, so stay tuned for that one too. Jeffrey and I both have to work today, so yard work will have to wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Let the Planting Begin

It's that time of year...when I am hunting for the perfect plants for our yard and the various pots and hanging baskets I make. I started on Monday with this beautiful shell planter. My mom sent it to me for my birthday and I think it is so unusual...just what I like. I wanted to find something that would drape over the sides and something tall for the center. Jeffrey suggested a spike plant and ivy. When I went to Walmart the other day for some potting soil, I found green and burgundy spikes. I got two of each and some green ivy and some Silver Falls. I have never used Silver Falls before, but it has round leaves that will creep down the side of the planter. I used the burgundy spike in the center, which matches the trim on the house. Here is the finished project.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Three Cheers for Dogs

Most of us have heard the heroic stories of the K-9 dogs of 9/11 and the dogs, who saved folks during Hurricane Katrina, or many of us think our dogs are the best dog in the whole wide world, who aren't hero's...but are our children, like me. When I was in my early teens, my family got a Jack Russell Terrier named Queenie. She was a funny girl with a heart condition, buck teeth and was more calm than any other Jack Russell I knew. Queenie became a sister to me. She lived to be 18 years old. During those 18 years, she had about 5 other dogs in her life and outlived them all. I like to say she had "9 Lives." When she was about 8, she was chasing our Chesapeake Bay Retriever around our yard and ran so hard she broke her leg. About 2 years later she was diagnosed with Hepatitis. When she was about 15, we thought we lost her. She ran away for 3 nights and came back with Pancreatitis. Finally after living 18 years, we had to put her to sleep due to heart failure. She will always be a member of our family. Over 2 years ago, we adopted Toby. He is your typical jumping and barking Jack Russell, which despite what we say, love him dearly.
Recently, I have heard of two dogs saving people's lives. In March, a 2-year-old golden retriever, named Toby became a hero in our county. Toby's owner was eating a piece of fruit, when she began choking. She tried to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself, but it wasn't working. Toby jumped up on his hind feet and pushed his owner to the ground and began jumping up and down on her chest and finally the fruit dislodged. This heroic deed landed Toby on the David Letterman Show a few weeks ago.
Yesterday, I read the story of a Jack Russell in New Zealand who saved the lives of 5 children. This dog's name was George. Two pit bulls were going after the children, when they were attacked by George. George suffered many wounds and had to be put down. However, he died a hero by saving the lives of the children.
I don't know what it is about Jack Russell's and the name, Toby...but I think we should all say THREE CHEERS FOR DOGS, man's best friend.

My Heroic Dogs


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Women are Amazing

I love looking at other people's blogs and getting ideas and seeing what is going on in their lives. It is better than TV for me at times. After a few months of just checking out blogs...I have found some of the most incredibly talented women in our country. I think Martha Stewart is talented...but these women are just as good..if not better. The links to blogs I read features some of them, but when you go on one of those blogs, you will see their favorites...and it is amazing. These women are not only crafty, but they are smart business women who are also wives, mothers, daughters, teachers, doctors, etc. It is all very inspiring. In my searches, I found this neat site Another Girl at Play. It gives various stories of different artists and how they got started and what advice they can give. So...check it out. I also stumbled upon an interesting quote, from a very talented woman, Beverly Sills.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
-Beverly Sills

Another one I liked is:

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To all of the women out there who have inspired me throughout the years, and all the women I have yet to meet...thank you.

One of them...

My grandmom...Christmas 1978

Happy Birthday Landen

Today, my nephew Landen turns 4. Happy birthday, Birdie...I love you.
Have fun rocking out in Chattanooga!

Weekend Gardeners

It was another beautiful weekend in our town. This time of year is the best. The weather was beautiful...morning, noon, and night. Jeffrey and I spent Sunday working in the yard. I worked in the flower beds, while he mowed, trimmed and cleaned up. Today, the beautiful weather was calling our name again to come work outside. I went to my childhood home and took many stones and flagstones. We put the stones around a corner of the yard. It is a nice welcome to the property. I also brought some plants back from the house and planted them in our yard. You can see the before and after shots on Jeffrey's Blog.
Here's an update of my favorite view of the garden...

Same bed, different angle.

On Sunday night, we hung out on our front porch. Toby really wanted to join us.

We had a few drinks and took a few photos. Jeffrey took several shots of the moon, you can view a neat one on his blog.

Here's a photo of a beautiful white dogwood across the street.

The newly bordered bed.

Transplanted Christmas Fern

Sunday afternoon was kind of exciting...I was cutting weeds and grass between this old iron fence in our yard..when all of a sudden I felt this moist movement between my fingers...GROSS. I looked down and saw something that resembled a snake. I am scared of snakes. So, I jumped up screaming and Jeffrey came over wondering what was wrong. We went back and found a spotted salamander in our garden. I grew up with little salamanders all around our pool, but I have never seen one like this before. He went and hid in a small Echinacea plant. We were able to snap a few photos of him.
This is the fence near where I found him...

Here's a very bad photo of him hiding in the Echinacea