Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gingerbread Tradition!!!

The Crew!!! From left to right, Sophie, Mike, Mike's girlfriend Brooke, my daughter Kathy, Hannah Rose

The Village...Sooooo Sweet.........

Hannah Rose made this one...
Gingerbread Row

About ten years ago now, my retired teacher friend Mary, asked me to help her with a gingerbread house project. She would be hosting the event at the Boys Club in Fall River, MA. About ninety children showed up that day and a great and busy time was had by all. Several more volunteers helped as well. Mary had been saving and rinsing empty milk cartons from the school lunch program for several weeks.
Lots of sticky fingers with many a lick to clean them off afterwards. 

Mary suggested that this would be a great project to do with my own grandchildren.
She graciously gave me the leftover candy, crackers and candy. I would just need to buy more frosting. Try the dollar store, she suggested. They are much cheaper there. Later I learned that this gracious lady had paid for the entire project herself. Teachers! Our Unsung Heroes!!!

 Little did I know then that this would become part of our Family Christmas  Tradition.
To my surprise the kids asked if we could make them again this year!
I really thought I would get that eye roller glare from the little darlings, if I had suggested the project once again.
Maybe they are just getting to old, I pondered.
Mike's girlfriend Brooke joined in this year.
This event is usually a Grandma exclusive. No friends allowed, at the children's request!
Daughter Kathy joined us as well. 
A Sweet Christmas Blessing!!! 
Start your own tradition with your little or big ones.
Very easy and loads of fun!

You will need:
 paper plates
small milk or juice cartons (square works best) save or drink contents
canned white frosting (try the dollar store)
box of graham crackers
Christmas candy any variety
candy sprinkles
Christmas Peeps, etc. etc. etc.
plastic butter knives work best,
 keep an eye on the little ones, 
little fingers work too

Spread a dollop of frosting on the bottom of a carton, press firmly to a paper plate. 
Carefully break graham crackers into squares for the main body of the house.
Spread with frosting and press firmly on all 4 carton sides. 

Press two more squares at the peak of the carton forming a roof. 
You may want to staple the opening of the roof closed first.
Let the edges of the roof hang over the main body. 

Fill in the peaks of the roof with pieces of graham cracker or a large dollop of frosting.
Let the fun begin!
Spread extra frosting around the house and let your imagination run amuck. 

There is no right or wrong way!
Each is unique, take lots of photos. 

They are fun to see year after year.
Feeling the joy!!!

Now all I have to do is clean the frosting off of my camera!!! YIKES!


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Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

"Logic will get you from A-B... Imagination takes you everywhere" Albert Einstein 

2013 what a year!!!  

"A future king was born in the flesh
as an
Omnipresent King of Kings rules in spirit."
A year filled with blessings to numerous to record.
I wish for each of you
Peace and Warmth of the Season!!! 


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Mama Turns 90!!!

My mom turned 90 years old on Sunday, December 1, 2013. She was born on that date in 1923. She owes her longevity to her daily glass of wine!!!

Just a bit surprised when she discovers who traveled a long way to attend her party!!! My husband and I flew up from Florida to Massachusetts to enjoy this great event! She did not know we would be there!

Ninety is looking pretty darn good! She is still so beautiful inside and out!!! She still cooks up a storm!!!

Mom arrived in this beautiful car along with her sisters!

Cell phone anyone!!! Queen for a Day, was photographed many times over during the evening!!!
I just love this photo!

Mom clowning around with her three younger sisters. She has been telling me for several months now that she was turning 90. She has lived the longest out of all of her family! She is sibling  number 11, coming from of a family of 14. You go Mama!

Mom pictured with all of her grand-daughters and great-grand-daughters!
Do you think she likes being the center of attention???

Testing the cake with great-grand-daughter Charlotte. Charlotte's mom Kristen made the beautiful cake!

She danced the night away!

Grand-daughter Kristen and her daughter Charlotte. Kristen planned the event with her mom Terry. Together they created an incredible event! The decorations were outstanding! Fond memories for many years to come!

Three of mom's best friends, Sophie, Helen (my mother-in-law) and Dottie. Dottie lower right is 94! WOW!!! 
Also pictured is Aunty Edna in the far background, also 94.

My two beautiful grand-daughters, Sophia and Hannah, dressed for the occasion!
The theme for the party, "The Roaring Twenties".

Cousin Ricky dressed for the event. Looks like he could be the mayor of New Bedford!!!

Cousin Patty also dressed for the event! So beautiful!!!

Our beautiful Mom turned 90 last Sunday! It was a surprise event and over the top beautiful. Mom arrived in style, chauffeur and all. She was overwhelmed with emotion when she saw how many guests had attended in her honor.

After the meal guests were asked to tell a funny story about mom! There were many! She is a character and says whatever is on her mind! For the most part she gets away with it! She was also presented with the book that I wrote, The Promise of a Better Life. The story of her family and the legacy that they have left behind. 
She danced the night away! 
Crying, laughing and screaming that she was, Queen for a Day! 
My beautiful mom! We are so blessed to have her! 
She has taught us the true meaning of love and family. 

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Back To My Roots!

Pastel drawing from: "The Red Boat Chronicle"
Pastel drawing from: "Forever Grateful" 

"Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about."~Steve Pavlina~

Back to what I really love to do! So fortunate to be enjoying an art class in Matlacha, Florida. I had several different art groups to choose from. Thinking long and hard about what place makes me feel really happy when I visit, the choice then became easy!
Fooling around with some inexpensive pastels that I had purchased for my grandchildren, I became intrigued. The control of the medium, for me, was refreshing. I wanted to learn more and what better place to learn, than an art class.
I have been blessed with an incredibly talented teacher. She is working with me on creating more depth in my work. There are about ten very creative and supportive students in the class all total.
Perspective, has always been one of my issues. I'm trying to conquer that issue and also taking away the fear of deliberate strokes. "It's only paper after all", my new mantra!
Both drawings are rendered from photographs I have taken, and featured previously on this blog. You can click on the links under the drawings to view the posts.
Matlacha, Florida is old Florida, converted into an artist community. Galleries, shops and restaurants line the main street.
Every cell in my body heightens with excitement as soon as I cross the bridge to get there. I no longer have inexpensive pastels and I am working my way up the chain. Sometimes passions don't come cheap, however, worth every penny! "It's only money after all." Working on that issue too!
Have a wonderful day!!!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My New Book "The Promise Of A Better Life"

After two years of research, interviews, visiting Ellis Island and along with the help and cooperation of family members, "The Promise Of A better Life" has come to fruition. As many of my blogging friends know I haven't been posting too often lately. It seems as though I get focused on a project and everything else goes by the wayside! This includes housework, etc., etc. Pretty sure I got my priorities straight, though. 
My mom turns 90 in a few short weeks and I will gift her a book consisting of our family's history, folklore and memoirs. Stories I have heard since my early childhood put into writing! 
We have solved some mysteries, discovered new details and most importantly this journey has  brought us closer together as a family. Many blessings have been acknowledged along the way. 
You can preview the first 15 out of the 108 pages in the book. Don't forget to view it full screen by clicking on the square icon located on the bottom right. 
This has been a labor of love, and I must say that it makes me very proud to honor and recognize those who have gone before us!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just Doodling!

Seaside Retreat
Vacation Villas 
A Lazy Afternoon
Just having fun! Doodles of my mind! Wouldn't you love to visit this imaginary place?
One would think that I grew up in the sixties or something!!!!
And so I did and the 50's too!

May the color of life fill your heart! 
"Be Happy Mon, life's to freakin short!"
Have a great and fun day! 

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Nostalgic Recipe! Cape May, New Jersey!

Add a cup of Cape Cod, a tablespoon of Martha's Vineyard and a pinch of New Orleans. Mix together and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Savor for a few days, enjoy the beaches, fine dining and an area steeped deep, in history. Carefully bake at 85 degrees and smother with sun screen. You have created the perfect and relaxing sea side resort of Cape May, New Jersey!
We have wanted to visit Cape May, New Jersey for quite some time now. I am happy to say that I can finally cross it off my bucket list! However, that list continues to grow every time we visit a new area. Cape May, a bit off the beaten path of our usual interstate 95 route to and from Florida. Visiting our children and extended family in Massachusetts we are usually anxious to reach either destination. We bypass this little gem promising to visit next year! Well folks this was the year and we are so glad that we did!
Cape May, is said to be the oldest sea side resort in the United States. Located in the southern most tip of New Jersey, it houses over 600 historical structures. Many constructed during Victorian times.
We stayed in a bed and breakfast built in 1879. The stairs creaked all the way up to the third floor and the doors were hard to lock. I must say I loved everything about it. Hubby not so much! He is such a romantic! The inn keepers were gracious and breakfast delicious at, Beauclaires B & B. Located in the heart of the historic district, one block from the ocean. Such a treat! 
We enjoyed a historical tour of the district by trolley. Later we strolled along the tree lined streets and marveled at the beautiful and stately architectural structures that proudly reside here. My instrument of capture was happily engaged.
We viewed gorgeous porches, bay windows, roof ornaments, gingerbread trim, brackets, cornices, cupolas, finials, turrets, concave and convex roofs and other features to numerous to mention. All very inviting and a feast for the eyes. Sensory overload, all the while trying to envision myself living in these glorious times!
Very much a family destination, bicycles and people carrying beach chairs a very common sight! Horse and buggy rides carrying adventuresome tourists through the gas lantern lit streets, completing the evening ambiance.
We later enjoyed some fine dining, tablecloths and all. This experience put a great big smile on hubby's cute little face!
The adventure continued with our departure on the Cape May/Lewes Ferry, car and all! This was an awesome experience and very well done. The best part of this 85 minute ride, was that we bypassed the craziness of the 495 outer belt around Washington, DC. We encountered very little traffic all the way down to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Some light traffic in the Norfolk, VA area, then west to Emporia, VA, to catch 95 south. We stayed in Wilson, North Carolina for the evening.
The following day we made it through Jacksonville, Florida to St. Augustine.  We decided to stop here for the night enjoying a great dinner in the heart of the city. We last visited here about 15 to 20 years ago. Also an incredible destination.
Cape May, has left us with fond memories and cravings to return someday soon. Never to bypass this sweet little gem, ever again. At least that's the menu plan!!!
Glorious structures at every turn!
An invitation to enjoy at every glance! Cape May, the icing on the cake and a delicious dessert, never to be forgotten! 
So sad to leave our loved ones, but so glad to be home!!!

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Simple Things In Life!

Afternoon nap.....
Sharing good food...
A cold one...
A roll in the mud...
Good conversation...
Picking yourself up...
Close friends....
Snorting, frolicking, resting, pugnacious and territorial, just a few words and observations to describe these amazing creatures. Watching their antics along with our grand-daughters, amused us for quite some time. Fourteen year old Hannah, also brought along her camera and the shutter buttons were dueling. Our laughter ranging from a mere chuckle to an outburst attracted the attention of others, a curious audience gathered. Our guess was that each weighed about 200 to 250 pounds. Rocky, a tenacious goose, snipped at PaPa's ankle as he walked by. PaPa, had ignored the signs to be careful of Mr. Rocky's rude behavior...

Photos were taken at our favorite vegetable stand, Alderbrook Farm, located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Notes, Quotes and Images of Cape Cod!

"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand." ~  Mother Teresa ~ 
"All glory comes from daring to begin." ~ Eugene F. Ware ~
"Press on. Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today." ~ Robert H. Schuller ~
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." ~ Nelson Mandela ~ 
"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." ~ Nelson Mandela ~
"Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people's bad manners." ~  H. Jackson Brown, Jr. ~
"Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning." ~ Unknown ~
"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius." ~  Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr. ~ 
"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." 
~ George Bernard Shaw ~
"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." ~  William James  ~
"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck." 
~ Emma Goldman ~ 

"Sometimes the beauty and knowledge around us must simply be shared." ~ Rosemary Aubut ~ 
Enjoying family, friends and the beauty of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 
Have a great day!

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