Monday, August 31, 2009


When my dad talked to his youngest sister on Saturday, she told him she would be back home on Monday, and that she would bring him chili dogs and onion rings from the Varsity. He told her he wanted two chili dogs with lots of mustard, and onion rings, and a diet coke. And no matter who he talked to for the last two days, he told them he was going to have Varsity chili dogs today.

If you aren't familiar with the Varsity, it is an Atlanta legend and landmark. The original location is close to the Georgia Tech campus, and over the years it has been visited by celebrities, politicians, athletes - you name it, they've been there! They are famous for their chili dogs and their onion rings, and if you need a good lube job - well, that's the place to go! Yes, it's a bit greasy, but it sure is good! They also have a location in Alpharetta, which is just a few miles south of where my dad is staying, and only a couple of miles from my aunt's home.

Well, today my aunt came and she brought his chili dogs, and was he happy! He's eaten very little solid food over the last two to three weeks, but he ate almost a whole dog and several onion rings. We put the leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow.

My mom, two aunts, one uncle and myself were all sitting there watching him enjoy his food, and I snapped a few pictures of him. Once he had finished his meal, he grabbed his bag of chewing tobacco and put a big chew in his mouth, and sighed with contentment.

We sat there a good while, just chatting and catching up on things, and after a while he called my aunt who brought him the goodies and crooked his finger for her to come closer. As she stood over him, he grinned and said "I think your hot dogs are done now". An indication it was time for us to go outside and say goodbye to the sisters while the CNA cleaned him up.

Little moments like these - seeing him content for a little while - make up for the times he is confused and angry. We will give him anything he wants to eat or drink - at this point it doesn't matter any more.

And before I go, here's a picture of Sasha, the 'hospice puppy'. I spent a good bit of time 'puppy sitting' today, and we've kind of bonded. I took her outside for potty breaks, and she sat in my lap a lot, and I played with her and her stuffed dog toy. But if her 'mama' comes by - forget about it! She's off following Anna, the housekeeper who cares for her and who she lives with at night and weekends.

She's a tiny little thing, but full of spunk and spirit, and in the months and years to come she will become really special to the patients at the hospice house. Oh, and she's a licker, so if you come to visit - watch out!

Blessings folks, I'm off to bed. Becky

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Answered Prayer . . . and Healing

It's been a very long day, but nice, and borderline miraculous! My dad was still tired today, but he had several friends come to visit this morning. He's getting weaker, but when 'company' comes, he just perks up and seems better (I think by sheer will) than he is in reality.

This afternoon my mom and I were sitting in the 'parlor', which I call the kitchen, eating our lunch. A lady came in the front door and looked around like she was lost. I asked her if I could help (there was no one there) and she said no, she was waiting for someone, and went into the family room and sat down. When I finished lunch I headed back outside to the porch. The long front porch has big 'Cracker Barrel' rocking chairs all along it, and it has a tin roof above, and it was raining, and there's not much that's better than a rocking chair on a porch with a tin roof in the rain, now is there?

Anyway! The lady was going outside at the same time, and we both took a seat a few chairs apart, and gradually started talking. She had been 'stood up' by some of her fellow church members - they were coming to visit the patients of the hospice house. Well, she moved down closer to me and we talked about my dad, and when her dad passed away and I told her a bit about how my dad, brother and nephew needed to have some time to make peace. My other nephew had told me they were all three coming, but his track record wasn't so good, so I wasn't sure, especially if my brother would come. We talked a bit about other things and I asked her questions about her church and liked what I heard. We need to find a new church home, and when all this is over, I'm going to visit them.

She asked me if she could put my dad and our family on her church's prayer list, and of course I said YES! I know that the prayers of many of you is the reason I have such peace throughout this journey. So she asked me if she could say a prayer right there, and I said yes. She took both my hands in hers, and prayed the sweetest prayer, and I thanked her and hugged her and we talked another few minutes. Not ten minutes after she'd asked God's blessing on our family, my younger nephew called and said they were all three coming. Praise the Lord! I told my new friend - Grace - and hugged her again and told her that God answers prayer - every day!

Well, she left and I sat there and waited, and waited, and waited, and finally called my nephew and they were less than 10 miles away. I'm tearing up now, so bear with me, please. When they got there, I hugged my brother and younger nephew, but the older one . . . well, let's say there's history between the two of us, and he really doesn't like that I don't like how he treats my parents . . . didn't hug me. We went inside, showed them around the 'house' and on to my dad's room. My dad cried when they came in, and we all started talking about old times - many older than my nephews. - what is it about young people that they don't think that life existed before they did!?! We laughed, shed a few tears, and my dad had a few minutes alone with each one of them.

We all left together, leaving 'Papa' to rest, because he was getting very tired. Once again we all shared hugs, and this time the older nephew reached over and hugged me, and I told him I loved him, and he said he loved me too. How amazing! And they are coming back tomorrow. AND, my dad's two sisters will both be there tomorrow. One lives here in the area, but has another home in Connecticut and has been there a couple of months, and the other lives part of the year in New Hampshire and part in Florida. The one who lives here left this morning coming home and will be back tomorrow afternoon, and the other is flying into Atlanta tomorrow. All his immediate family will be there together for the first time in years.

Then, a little while ago I was in the bedroom with the door closed and happened to hear my cell phone ringing in the office. It was my brother, and he and my nephews had stopped for dinner and he ran into an old, old, friend, who is the son of one of my dad's oldest friends! My dad, this man, his brother and their cousin had grown up together and the 4 of them were mean as snakes! You should hear the stories I've been told! :o) Or maybe not, lol! Anyway, none of them knew about daddy - we've not been close in years, since all of the kids grew up and lost touch, but some of that family may come tomorrow, too. Two of the original '4 musketeers' are gone now, so maybe the other two can talk for a while.

Blessings are abounding, friends!!! God's timing is just right, and He makes no mistakes. He is softening hearts and touching lives, and in great part I attribute that to the prayers of many people - some who are dear friends, others who I've never met, but hope to meet someday either here or in heaven. I cannot tell you how full my heart is right now! You all know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! It's amazing that in this time, despite knowing I am losing my dad, I am blessed beyond measure. Thank you! Becky

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Well Loved

Yep, that's my dad! He is well loved, and the last 24 hours have proved that! Last night after we left, one of his old truck driving partners, his wife and brother paid a visit. Today before we got there, a family who used to live 2 doors up from my parents (and whose now grown daughters my mom half raised) came to visit him, and at the same time their neighbor across the street visited, too. And sometime last night someone came and said they were 'a relative' and brought three potted plants and asked the nurse to let us have our choice and give the other two to other patients. We have no idea who that one was!!! And then this afternoon another two of his old truck driving buddies came to visit. Not counting my mom and me, he had 10 visitors!!! And he talked to his 2 sisters who are out of state on the phone. Oh, I almost forgot, but my hubby came and spent some time with him, too, so that is 11 not counting Mama and me.

Apparently one time when the 4 former neighbors and 1 current neighbor were there, the nurse came in to check on him because they were laughing so loud! The hospice has only three patients right now, so they weren't really disturbing anyone.

Anyway, this afternoon I ran up to the new shopping center right up the street and visited Barnes and Noble, where I got a new book that I hope to start reading tomorrow, and a pretty journal book that has bible verses on every 2 or 3 pages. I wrote a nice note in the book asking visitors who came to leave a note for us so we would know they had been, and left it on the TV armoire in the room.

We left kind of early because he was exhausted, and we thought he would rest better without disturbances. I really think he was alert and talkative with his visitors by sheer will rather than any physical strength, and that should tell you something about my dad. He is very strong willed, stubborn, determined, and that is what has kept him going this long. I'm much like him in that respect, but not quite as strong as he has been.

Tomorrow could be an eventful day. My two nephews are coming, and my brother may come, but I'll believe it when I see him walk in the door. My brother and older nephew really need to make their peace with Daddy as they've had some hard feelings for a long time. It could be kind of rough, but it's something that needs to be done. I'm going to make Mama let them have it and take her outside or into the parlor. We'll tell the nurse what is going on and she will keep an eye on things, but I think this is something each of them must do on their own.

So, I guess the news for today is that he is holding his own, and we are seeing just how well loved he is by the number of people who are visiting him. His youngest sister will be back home in Georgia on Monday afternoon, and she will be visiting him regularly, and can even run my mom home a few times so she can check on things and give me a break from time to time.

I want to say a special thanks (once again) to Dothan Fay, Tara, Aimee, Mildred, K-Sue, Sue and each and every one of you who have commented or e-mailed me, but more for your prayers. They are precious to me, and so are you! I have such a strong peace these days, and I truly believe it is the prayers of my friends that are helping me have that peace. You truly are the best, and I love you for being here! Many blessings, friends! Becky

PS - If you are interested in paying a 'virtual visit' to the hospice facility where my father is - you can click HERE, then scroll down to where you see the Cumming facility on the far left side. There's a link to a virtual tour.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Finding Joy Where You Can Find It!

It's been an interesting day. We got my dad moved to the hospice facility. Let me just tell you, we LOVE the place! It's homey, it's nice, the staff is so sweet, and they have a hospice puppy. Her name is Sasha and her mother is a Dachschund (appears to be wire-haired) and her daddy was "a sneaky chihuahua"! She's 3 months old and she arrived today in a pink tee shirt that said 'the A list' and a pink collar with a bell on it. She's adorable, and she has free run of the place, although today she needed a hiding place because there were two small girls who wanted her to be their play pretty, and she wasn't happy with that arrangement.

Anyway, back to my dad. Once they got him settled in, we went in to see him and he was mad as fire! He wanted to know why he was there and he wanted the truth! So I told him. We've told him a lot of half truths in recent months, but I will not out and out lie to him if he asks a point blank question. Nope, can't do it. So he knows that he will not be getting better, and he had a few moments today when he cried a bit.

He ate a few bites of soup, and some ice cream, almost 1/2 of a milkshake, drank some diet cokes and water. That's the most he's eaten in DAYS!!!

But he had some fun, too. He got to sit up in a chair and enjoyed that. He loves talking about his younger days, and remembers them better than more recent ones. He got to talk to one of the CNA's about his and Mama's honeymoon, and some of his times in the trucking business, and he got to watch Sasha playing with her little bear, and he laughed at her. I'll be remembering those moments, not the others so much.

As I said before, the facility is very nice -oh, and they have a living room and kitchen for family, and a lovely patio in the center of the building. We can come in and out 24/7 and stay all we want. It was very peaceful, and yet you could hear laughter across the building and Sasha's bell as she ran up and down the halls.

I don't know what tomorrow may bring - he may be back the way he was yesterday - confused and often unresponsive - but it will be okay. He is being kept comfortable and out of pain, and he can have all the chocolate milkshakes he wants. What a deal!!!

Blessings friends, Becky

Thursday, August 27, 2009


It's been a very long, and very eventful day. We got to the hospital today and my dad's confusion was worse. I asked for a conference with Dr. Allen (whom I love to death) and told him I needed to know the bottom line, and he told me.

We knew that both his heart and kidneys were in bad shape, and that if they treated one too much it could damage the other -like walking a tight rope and if you leaned too far to one side, you'd overcompensate and fall off the other side! Anyway, treating him for the heart failure has caused his kidneys to be worse. Both are in failure now. Because of his weakened state, and because his heart is just working so hard to keep pumping, he's losing oxygen to his brain, and he's very confused and doesn't know much of anything any more. And that is such a blessing! My dad, if he were 'cognizant' would be very upset to know he will never go home again.

My parents have lived in the same house the entire 59 years and 2 months of their marriage. That 'home' has been my dad's favorite place forever.

Tomorrow he will be transferred to a hospice facility in the town in which I live. It's fairly new, very (very) nice, and has only 15 private rooms. That is where he will spend the remainder of his days, and it's not likely that there will be many of those left. He is dying, and I am glad, because he's not been living for a long time.

My dad is a living legend. He has far out-lived his life expectancy. He has had several heart attacks, open heart surgery, triple bypass, aorta bypass, multiple stints and angioplasty, prostate cancer, a stroke, and more. He is tired, and it's time for us to let him go.

Oh, I will grieve my loss deeply, and I will miss him like crazy. You know how little girls and their daddies are! But I have such a sense of peace, because I know he would not like living like this, and he made it clear to us that he did not want to be kept alive by artificial means. We are honoring his wishes.

I am a Christian. A born-again, baptized, believer in Jesus Christ. So is my daddy. I believe - no, I know that when he dies, he will be made new, and he will be living like he's never lived before. He will be walking without pain, and his heart will be whole and he will be - probably - tending a garden somewhere in heaven. He loved tending a garden! And I will see him again, and we will walk those streets of heaven, and talk, and never be apart again. And I am joyous at that thought!

We (my mom and I) have done our best. We have taken care of him, even when he didn't appreciate it, and now he is in God's hands. And my God doesn't make mistakes, and He doesn't hurt those He loves (which is all of us) and He will hold me throughout these next days, and I will cling to Him and His promises.

Thank you each and every one for the prayers and good thoughts and comments and e-mails. Special thanks to Fay-Fay, Sue, Nancy, Jane, Tara and K-Sue. You are the best! Blessings, Becky

Update on Dad

Hi Folks! Just wanted to leave a quick update on my dad. He's doing okay. That's all I know to say right now. He's out of CCU and in a regular room, but in isolation because he's contracted an infection that could be dangerous to other patients. It's nothing for us to worry about, they got it early and are treating it, but because the danger to other patients is great, we have to wear gowns when we go into his room.

Right now he is confused and very weak. The doctor who is treating him wants to send him to rehab to try to get his strength back. I think that is a good idea except he's going to hate it, and our fear is that when we tell him about it he will get so upset that he has a heart attack or something. Of course if the confusion is still a factor, he may not realize what is going on.

We are back on our way up there in a while,and I want a private conference with the doctor. I want to know what his outlook is - I know he will never get well, but will he get any better, will he ever go home, etc. My fear is the answers are no, but I am prepared for them - I just need to know so we can be ready for whatever happens.

One thing that is making this harder on me is that my mom is exhausted, and she gets kind of confused about what's going on with him, and she refuses to see things as they really are. I keep trying to make her understand that he may not go home, that this could be it, but she just chooses not to see it. And I totally understand that, but being the realist that I am, I think she needs to be prepared.

Anyway, any prayers are appreciated more than you know. I will keep you posted, but it may not be every day. Blessings friends, Becky

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dad Update - We SAT!

Yep, we sat for a long, long time! We got to ER about 2:30 pm, and finally got him in a room at 12:15 this morning, then we had to sit and wait for them to get him settled. We sat on the cold stone ledge beneath the frosted windows because BOTH waiting rooms were full of people, many of them trying to sleep. Then when they got hm settled, we went in to fill out all the paperwork and tell him goodbye. I drove my mom the 10+ miles to her house, made sure she was in the house and drove the 25+ miles home.

It was after 3 am before I got to sleep, and woke up a few minutes after 8, so I probably got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep.

But first, let me say this. We have been to the ER at least 12 times since this past February. And in years past we've been there several other times. I feel like I am somewhat of a pro at the whole ER thing, but nothing prepared me for last night!
By 8 pm every room in the ER was taken, and every seat in the lobby was filled, and people were overflowing out to the benches outside. One time I went outside to call my aunt and two ambulances, about 3-4 cars full of people and a truck pulling a horse trailer (full of horses) came through. Crazy!!!
And we had everything from clowns to roaring lions to laughing hyenas to a foundered elephant - or maybe it was a beached whale, who knows. But it was just crazy. It took us 11 hours in the ER because they were waiting for a room. There were no empty rooms so my dad is now in CCU - not because he's in critical condition, but because that's where there was an empty bed. This is a fairly small hospital, but not THAT small, it was just full!
So, hopefully they've gotten the tangle of people straightened out by the time we get back today, but thankfully we won't be stopping in ER, just passing through.
I need to get ready to head back up there. Thanks so much for your prayers every one is such a blessing, you have no idea! Becky

Monday, August 24, 2009


Just wanted to let you know that we are once again at the hospital in the ER. (WE is my dad who is the patient and my mom and I.) We were here on Friday, too. Friday it was a bladder infection and yeast (rash) infection. Today they are running panels and tests and CT Scans and chest X-Rays, EKG's, etc. He's really out of it today - a good sign there's something going on that we can't see. They are admitting him to monitor his heart for a while, but it may be a while before we get upstairs. We've been here in ER about 4 hours - and they will tell you that you never get out of the ER in less than 6 hours. It's going to be long night, I'm afraid, before we get him settled, I get Mama settled at home and then drive the 30 minutes or so to my house.

We are taking each day, each situation as it comes. I am impatient, and while I am praying for God's will, I want it now! But I am also praying for patience and wisdom and grace for this journey I'm on these days. I read a couple of posts today HERE and HERE, and if you have a few minutes, please read them. They both spoke to me in different ways. The first is someone in a similar situation to mine, the second in circumstances much different, but no less stressful and difficult. They are both so much farther along in their walk than I feel I am, but I keep praying for patience, wisdom and love for my parents. Those three will see me through.

Any prayers or positive thoughts you choose to lift up for us today and in the days to come would be most appreciated. Blessings, Becky

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Treasures, and Up and Running

I hope everyone is doing well this week! I've been busy as a bee this week, but I'll tell you more about that later. But, I haven't shared anything from my home with you in quite a while, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite treasures with you. All but the first one are from my dining room, and this first painting is at the end of my hallway so you see it as you are walking down toward the bedrooms.

This is a real oil on canvas painting. My mother worked to earn it at an antique shop owned by some friends of hers, and gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. It was painted by a Mrs. Hardy, and is an old farmhouse with quilts for sale hanging on the porch. I love it, and always remember my mother when I look at it. I cried when I opened it, because I couldn't believe she'd worked for those ladies just to get it for me because she knew I loved it.

I just recently rearranged my china cabinet, and added this corn stove set. I remember my paternal grandmother having this on her stove from my early childhood. I believe it's McCoy and if so, valuable, but to me it is priceless!

I have a thing for anything clear glass or crystal, and especially clear glass pitchers and cream and sugar sets. I bought this cream and sugar set at a yard sale for about 50 cents years ago.

The little glass tray in the background was my mothers, and she just gave it to me last year. It was one of the last gifts she received from HER mother. It's clear glass, but the roses and leaves are colored. The glass goblet on the left-hand side is one of a set of six I bought at an auction. They have a cut leaf pattern scattered around the glasses, and the six matching plates. I bought them all (six glasses and 7 plates) for $12 - amazing!

This next treasure was a Christmas gift from my husband about 8-10 years ago. He bought it at an antique market, and thought it was a teapot, but I think it is probably a 'chocolate set'. There is a tray, pot, two cups and saucers and cream and sugar.

I believe it is bisque, and is by Royal Vienna. I've never been able to find another one like it to get a decent idea of the value.

This punch bowl also belonged to my paternal grandmother. It has 12 cups and the glass ladle. I don't remember ever seeing it as a child, but when we cleared out her home, I set claim to it. A few years ago at a local antique market, I saw one just like it but with the addition of the glass tray that goes underneath that was priced at $350. Once again, to me it is priceless! At Christmas I fill it up with Christmas balls.

This is a print by Butch Hodgkins of a church in Cades Cove, Tennessee. We've been to this church numerous times, sat in the silence for a while or walked around the graveyard. It's such a lovely place! I saw the print at a shop in Rugby, TN but didn't like the frame, so later I got online and found a copy of the print and had it framed to match my dining room. I also have a print of a farmhouse by him on the other wall, but couldn't get a decent picture of it.

Another treasure from my mom. She can't really afford to buy me the gifts she would like to, and feels I do so much to help them that she should do something to repay me. I've told her many times I'd rather have some of the treasures, and now she is giving me things from time to time.

This churn, I believe, was a wedding gift to my parents in 1950, and is in great condition. In summertime I have it setting on my fireplace hearth.

That's all the treasures I have to share for today, so now let's talk about my activities the last couple of days. Monday and Tuesday were spent crafting and getting things ready to open my Etsy shop, and today I made pics and stocked the store. It is now up and running!!! You can go to my shop by clicking on the items listed in the right hand column.

I have 29 items for sale, with many lavender sachets, some buttons and eyelets, and one vintage recipe box. And I'll be making more as time goes by, so . . . . . shop on!

Talk to you soon - blessings, Becky

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Y'all Are So Sweet!!!


I had an e-mail from Norma, and she chose B - the sachet from the vintage fleur-de-lis fabric. But instead of me sending it to her (she must really be a special lady!) she wants me to sell it on Etsy and use the proceeds to buy dog food for our local shelter. And I will do that as soon as I start loading things into my shop. Thank you, Norma, for reading my blog, and for being such a sweetheart!!!


Thanks so much for all the sweet encouragements that I got to THIS post from earlier this week. It has been so nice to be creating again, and to have my projects so well received has been wonderful. Thank you all for your comments.

AND, as I said, I'm giving one of the sachets to one of you who commented. Once again I got hubby to help me by drawing from these entries . . .

And the name he drew was . . .


Norma, thank you so much for commenting! Please e-mail me by clicking the link to the right, and I'll mail the sachet of your choice from the ones in the pic below, early next week. Just tell me if you want A, B, C or D.

Thanks again to all of you for your sweet comments and words of encouragement. I hope to have my Etsy shop up and going before too long, and y'all will be the first to know.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Blessings, Becky

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another Good Day - How Long Can This Last???

The last few days have been so nice. I've been creating more sachets for my soon to open Etsy shop, and yesterday I was working on a sachet, and heard an unfamiliar sound. I stopped, listened, and couldn't figure out what it was, until I realized it had been me. Singing. Taylor Swift's 'You Belong With Me'. There was that glimmering joy again. How sweet is that!

So I've made a few more projects which I'm about to share with you, and today I kind of worked on getting them ready to post on Etsy, and I was hungry and decided to make something different for dinner.

Hubby's not a pasta guy, so I don't make it often, but tonight I did! I found a Cooking Light recipe for Chicken Scalloppini and kind of kicked it up a bit and made some pasta, and it was great! The sauce from the scalloppini that I coated the pasta with had chicken broth, lemon juice, fresh homegrown tomato, onions, capers, butter, tarragon . . . {It was sooooo good! I'm going to try to figure out what I did and maybe I'll post it some day.}

But back to my projects! These are so cute, and I'm really enjoying taking bits of fabric and making my own ruffles - fun!
These two are sachets for a drawer or maybe a basket in the bathroom, and are about 4" inches square (about, lol!). They are made from newer fabric from my stash, homemade ruffles, lace, buttons, ribbons, etc. The white 'threads around the middles are from tags I've attached so I can keep everything straight, and not a part of the sachets themselves.

This is my next to mostest favorite! It's vintage 1950's chicken feed sack fabric, homemade ruffles, vintage and new buttons, ribbon, ric-rack and a cowboy boot charm that I got at an estate sale for a whole 25 cents! Gotta love those bargains!

And this is my favorite one so far - I truly love it! Made from more vintage 1950's chicken feed sack fabric, homemade ruffles, buttons, a dragonfly charm, and yellow polka-dotted ribbon. It's gorgeous!

So, it's been a good week so far, and today I'm going to pick up my Dad and take him on an outing to visit some of his friends and then lunch somewhere. He's failing fast, and it will be days like this that I will remember. I'm looking forward to giving him a little time away from home while he can still get out and about.
Have a great weekend, friends!!! Blessings, Becky

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tasty Thursday - Easy and Delicious Key Lime Pie!!!

A couple of weeks ago hubby and I wanted something 'different' for a weekend dessert. As I was walking down the baking aisle of my local Kroger, a little green bottle caught my eye. KEY LIME PIE!!! If you've never tried making this pie using Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice, you really should try it sometime.

First, because it's so easy! A graham cracker crust, three ingredients and some whipped cream or 'topping', and you are good to go! It's creamy, sweet, tart, tangy and really, really delicious! The bottle of juice will make probably 3-4 pies, and costs less than $3, and it will keep in the fridge for about a month, but you could measure it out into 1/2 cup portions and freeze it, and it would keep for much longer. You would just take out one 1/2 cup 'chunk', let it melt, and make a pie!

Here's what you need:

  • One pre-made graham cracker crust
  • One 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Three eggs, separated - you will only use the yolks for this recipe
  • 1/2 Cup Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Chill until cold through. Serve with whipped cream.

Here's how it looks right out of the oven . . .

And here's how it looks topped with some freshly made sweetened whipped cream and a few frozen raspberries. Looks yummy, doesn't it???

If you like easy peasy desserts, and love tangy, tart, creamy, luscious desserts, please try this one soon! It's one of our summertime favorites!
Before I go, I wanted to let you know I've been creating again, and have made 4 more sachets and have started on a few more. Thanks to all of your sweet comments, I think I'll open up my Etsy shop and put them up for sale soon. I'll try to post a few pictures of my latest creations in the next couple of days, and when I get the shop up and going you'll be the first to know!
Blessings friends! Becky

Monday, August 10, 2009

Being Creative . . .

. . . is not just about 'making' something; at least, not for me. Being creative is about starting with nothing, taking bits and pieces of whatever I can find that 'fits' and putting them together into something pretty, interesting, useful, quirky - whatever! It's about letting go of the worries and stresses and day to day problems, and just going with the flow of the old creative juices. It's about freeing any preconceived ideas of how something is supposed to be used, and making it be something else. And for me, it is about preserving my sanity, keeping me focused on something positive instead of all the negatives pouring in around me. And for the last eight months or so, I've been doing a pretty lousy job of all of it!

Lavender Sachet - cotton muslin, stamped with pigment inks, embossing powder, charm, beads, brown twill hanger.

Last year, I was in a truly crazy good creative zone. I made mostly greeting cards, with a little scrapbooking and other crafts thrown in for good measure, and all the 'stuff' didn't seem to bother me so much. But after Christmas, I couldn't seem to get back into the swing of things, and then in February we almost lost my dad and I spent the better part of 2 weeks at the hospital or going back and forth between my home, my parents home and the hospital. And since then, in just 6 months, we've been back to the emergency room at least 10 times, and admitted into the hospital at least 6 times. Then add to that doctor's appointments, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry and caring for my own home, husband, doggies and once in a while myself, who has the time or energy to 'be creative'???

Lavender Sachet - vintage (60's or 70's) fleur-de-lis fabric, cotton fabric with pigment inks, buttons, velvet ribbon, jingle bells.

But somehow, this past weekend, I feel like I turned a corner, or a light switch was turned on, or something like that! Saturday and Sunday I could feel the wheels turning, and every time I went into the office/craft room, I would start fingering fabrics and looking through the ribbons, just wondering how I could use them. And Sunday evening I got out a piece of cotton fabric and just started experimenting with stamps and inks and seeing what might happen if I tried this or that, and that first picture up above is the end product of my experimenting.

Lavender Sachet - vintage (1950's) chicken feed sack fabric, vintage ric-rack, covered button, tea charms, buttons, grosgrain ribbon hanger.

But I didn't stop there, OH no! And I didn't make two, or three, but four lavender sachets - all different, but made similarly. The two distressed/stamped cotton sachets are about 6-7 inches long by about 2 1/2 inches wide. The pink one is about 5 inches tall by 3 1/2 - 4 inches wide, and the red and turquoise sachet is a bit larger than that one. The top of each sachet has some decorative stitching, too. Each one has a bit of long grain rice in the bottom for a bit of weight, and good healthy scoop or two of organic lavender.

Lavender Sachet - cotton muslin, stamped with pigment inks, embossing powders, brown twill hanger.

And I had such a lovely day! Not only did I finish one, and totally make three sachets, I also washed 4 loads of clothes, one load of bath mats, got them all hung up, folded and put away, and made dinner. Crazy! The last few weeks I haven't been able to even do all the laundry in one day, and then I got even more depressed! (That 'd' word is a vicious, vicious circle once it's got you!) And by the end of the day I was beginning to recognize something I hadn't felt in a while - it was a tiny glimmer of JOY! Delightful!

All four of the sachets - a day well spent!

Now here's where I need your help - and I mean honest help! Do you like them??? Are they pretty to you, do they appeal to your sense of style or decor or whatever? Would you want them in your home? Do you think anyone would buy them?
If you'll answer one or more of these questions in a comment on this post, on Saturday I'll draw a name and send the sachet of your choice to you as my gift! How's that for a deal! So please, tell me what you think, give me your honest opinion, and maybe you'll get a goodie for your trouble.
Blessings friends, Becky

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mental Health Days Are Necessary!

And I took one today! Every once in a while you just have to do some things you enjoy, and get away from the day to day stresses and worries. You all know my dad's health situation and frequent visits to the ER and hospital have kept me stressed out lately. So I took today and had some fun.

First up, a visit to my aunt's home about 20-25 minutes from here. Now, my aunt is in Connecticut for a few weeks, and I thought they might want to have some pics of their garden here to see how things are going. They really love their garden, and for good reason - it's beautiful! The front is manicured and full of cottage-y type flowers, and the back is a little more casual, but still beautiful. I took a bunch of pictures, and still need to e-mail them, but I thought I would share some with you. You'll be seeing them throughout this post.

Then I left their home and went to my parents, about 10 minutes or so from them. My mom had some veggies she wanted me to have from her garden, so we visited a few minutes and off I went, meandering through some of the pretty country roads in the area. My destination was a new shopping center about 15 minutes or so from our home. It's called "The Avenue" and has all kinds of neat stores - almost all of them way beyond my budget, but that's where the theater was, but more about that later!

It was lunchtime by now, and I looked around for somewhere to eat. There was an Italian place, and while I LOVE Italian, I just didn't want it today, so I kept on looking. And I found something new, and interesting! It's called Tin Drum Asia Cafe and they have a blend of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Curry foods. It's kind of a 'high end' fast food, and the food is cooked fresh, or at least what I got was. You order at the counter, self-serve your drinks, and they bring the food to your table. I had a veggie spring roll and veggie tempura, and both were delicious! The spring roll was light and freshly cooked and really good, while the tempura was great! The batter was light and crispy, and the veggies (broccoli, onions, carrots and green beans) were perfectly cooked. The sauce was a kind of sweet and sour type, but it had pepper flakes in it and was just a bit spicy. Not hot, just nicely warm. Add a soft drink and my lunch was about $7, so not bad at all!
And then I just walked across the street to the theater, a new one, and very nice! Stadium seating with very comfy red velvet seats. I'm not a huge movie person, and tend to get very upset with a lot of films they are making these days, so I don't go often. In fact, this was the first movie I've seen in a theater in probably 2-3 years, maybe more. The last movie we went to see was so upsetting that we got up and walked out before it was 1/3 over! Grandchildren threatening to kill grandfathers and parents making out on the dinner table during a family dinner just aren't entertaining to me. I've seen my nephew threatening my father, his grandfather, and it wasn't funny!!! Sorry I got off track there, but I really feel strongly about this topic.

So what did I see for my first movie in several years??? Why Julie and Julia, of course! And it was wonderful! Funny, thoughtful, and Meryl Streep was hilarious as Julia Child! I also loved Stanley Tucci as her husband, Paul. The language was mild (only 2-3 'bad' words) and there was no nudity or violence - unless you count a 30 year old having a meltdown, but even that was kind of funny!

After the movie I headed home, stopping only for a snow cone at the Hawaiian Shaved Ice place in town. Black cherry this time, and it was very good. All in all, I had a wonderful 'mental health day'. I need to schedule them more often!
Have a great weekend, friends! Becky

Sunday, August 2, 2009

And the winner is . . .

I got hubby to help me. He wouldn't let me take a picture of him since he had on a raggedy tee shirt and wet hair right out of the shower, but . . .
I put all the entries (all 9 of them, lol!) into this pretty box . . .
shook it up really, really good . . .
and let hubby do the drawing . . .
and the unfolding, and . . .
the . . .
winner . . .
IS . . . .
I'm so excited! I originally got to know Teresa as 'TinMD' from the QVC Recipe Swap forums, and we've known each other for probably close to two years now. She's one of the sweetest ladies in the world, and she loves vintage, so I know all my goodies will be given a good home!

AND, I happen to know that Teresa is enjoying a nice vacation in the mountains of 'almost heaven, West Virginia' right now, and am not sure if she has access to the internet up there, so I will hang onto these goodies until she gets home and emails me with her address. (I know, I know, T! I should have it, but I can't find it anywhere!)

So, congratulations to Teresa, and many heartfelt thanks to all of you who took the time to enter my first ever giveaway! Love to you all, Becky