“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Friday, June 05, 2009

♥Rachel Elizabeth makes everyday a PINK SATURDAY for her Mimi♥

Rachel's toes, 18 months old
What you see here...this little pink girl. This soft and precious adorable, darling is my one and only grand-daughter, Rachel Elizabeth. I have two sons. Of those sons they've blessed me with seven, beautiful babies to hold and to love and to watch grow and blossom into remarkable little people. Each and every one a sweet♥ but Rachel is the girl. The little baby that I thought I would never get to hold. Now, let me say right now, seven boys would have suited me just fine, too, but this little gal...well, she's something special, that's for sure.

Just a little girl but you can see the future beauty already
Her mom and dad are the kind of parents who do things with their children, not just house and feed them. Their children participate in life...learning, loving, sharing, growing. This spring each of the older three (10, 7, 4)were given a garden plot and were allowed to plant whatever their ♥s desired. The boys, well, they planted food. Yes, the male DOES think with his belly! But Rachel...she decided to plant flower seeds so she could pick flowers and make bouquets all summer long.

Last week I sent her the pink hat and rosebud gardening tools you see for her to wear and use when she is out tending to her flower patch. My son, I imagine, took her outside for a little photo shoot so Mimi could see her little gal modeling her gifts.
Rachel, 2.5 years old
Those of you who read my blog know that I'm fairly good with words but when it comes to Rachel I keep running out. What do you say after pretty and lovely and precious and sweet and kind and a good sister to her baby brother and tender and coy and curious - the list is endless.
Rachel, 4.5 years
So today, I share with you my Rachel. The little girl that never in my wildest dreams did I believe would be born into my family but, oh, boy, am I ever happy she came down from Heaven to touch all of our lives. What a treat!

The future flower peddler
Find more pink goodies over at Beverly's How Sweet the Sound and...how sweet it is!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The death of General Motors - Saying Good-bye to a chapter of my life and history

I was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan at a time when muscle cars we common, drive-in's were the place to go on a Saturday night and a car hop would serve your food through your car window...and you didn't have to drive away! A few six packs of beer in the trunk of a car was absolutely sinful and no "good girl" ever let a guy get to second base on the first date. Kids had a curfew and bad boys were called hoodlums or hoods. They wore jeans, white t-shirts and put gel in their duck tail haircut.

We'd baby sit for extra money, wash cars in the drive-way, sit down with our parents for meals and enjoy, really enjoy, watching Lawrence Welk, Bonanza, Father Knows Best and The Ed Sullivan Show. Girls weren't allowed to wear pants to school and boys had to tuck in their shirts. Mostly, you walked. You walked to school and home from school and you carried your books. You carried your school lunch in a brown paper bag and ate it because there weren't machines in school to provide pop and candy and chips.

When I heard on CNN that General Motors had filed for bankruptcy a tear formed in the corner of my eye...and then two and then three and then four. My son (the one who owns the car in the photo) happened to be at the house and thought it was silly for me to be so sad about the demise of the "old" General Motors as I knew it - as I grew up with it. I explained to Jeff that my sorrow wasn't so much for the company but for what it represented to me and to millions of baby boomers. Drag racing on street corners. The Mustang. The GTO. The Corvette. The Pontiac Bonneville. The 409. The Chevelle.

It was a grand time. People without a college education made a good living and attained the American Dream. Their kids were expected to do even better in life, and they usually did, too. But now, at least in Michigan, that life, that kind of life...it's history. It will be written about in books and shared on old film and mentioned wistfully around picnic tables on the 4th of July.

Just as I listened to my father and his buddies reminisce about World War II, my generation will look off into the distance and talk about cars and easy money and a life-style that our children may never see, at least not as easily and with so little effort. The young people these days don't have a clue what it was like to have a car weigh nearly 5000 pounds, dent instead of crack and chip and gasoline that was 38 cents a gallon. It's all a fairy tale to them. But to me...it was a magical time...the last time America felt footloose and fancy free and me, well, I got to live it. That, dear friends, makes me happy and sad all at the same time. With the bankruptcy of our automotive titan, a part of America's past died.

Good-bye, GM, I'll miss you...not the building but I'll miss what you did for me when I was growing up in Saginaw, Michigan. Your money and jobs provided an exciting time in American manufacturing history...a time when I was a kid...a time when there really were Happy Days and a kid with a high school education could end up on the right side of town with two cars in the garage, 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat and...the marriage lasted until death do you part.

BTW, the little dude behind the steering wheel of the car is my grandson, Benny

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Toss together some Spinach & Strawberry Salad & then express your creativity!

I have to admit that I've played around with this salad for years☺ Once I get the basics into the bowl, if I have some pecans or cashews or slivered almonds - I'll pop in a few. I've even been known to toss in a few sliced mushrooms or dried cherries or a tiny bit of sweet onion. Make it, eat it and then let your imagination run wild! The bones of this delicious salad are there, your creativity will provide the rest!

  • 2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Easy-peasy Crock Pot Faux Chinese Chicken & Rice Soup

This is one of those soups that I'll begin early in the morning when I know I'll be out in the garden, shopping, cleaning...whatever, for most of the day but still want something to put on the table that doesn't feel I've done it "on the fly". A nice summer salad and a slice of crusty bread makes me feel as though I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen (I like to fool myself) when I haven't been in there for most of the day.

  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium canned, or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • a dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • About 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I just buy a rotisserie chicken and use whatever is left for sandwiches or a quick salad topping)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, leaves torn or chopped

Put the water and broth, salt, rice and butter in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until the rice is soft and soupy, about 6 hours.

About half an hour before serving, stir in the ginger and scallions, heat through. Portion the soup into bowls and top with warm shredded chicken and cilantro.

Be sure to check out our Foodie blog for today's recipe for Blueberry Muffins with Coconut Topping. Great with a cup of tea for an afternoon break!