Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tat The Dog?

Our dog, Bear, has had the strangest thing happening to his nose.  The whole winter it has looked as though he has rubbed it raw, complete with sores that scab over.  I have felt horrible about it and feel like a bad "puppy mommy" every time someone says, "oh, his nose looks awful!" 

When Bear was a puppy, he used to dig like crazy and root his nose around the yard like he was was on a mission for the military.  While the digging has ceased, the excessive sniffing has continued.  I was assuming that the colder weather, snow, and his compulsive sniffing was the cause of his nose issue.  I have been putting Aquaphor for on it and even Neosporin in an attempt to heal it.  While the Aquaphor helps it, the condition has not gone away.

Bear on Memorial Day--Before the Breakout

It was time for his annual shots, so yesterday Bear went to the vet and I was hoping we would get some super duper meds for his poor little nose.  What the vet had to say was a little shocking to me. 

It turns out he has an autoimmune disease.  For some reason, sunlight makes the condition worse.  So, the vet's advice?  She suggested tattooing the dog's nose black.  What happened to the super cream I was looking for?  I'm not so sure I am willing to tatoo the dog--I mean, what's next a biker jacket and a Harley?

I think for now, we'll keep applying the Aquaphor and making sure he wears some of the baby's sunscreen when he goes outside.  And I hope this crazy disease does not spread to the rest of his skin!  I'm not sure I could handle that one!

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Glue Gun Is Hot Again!

Having this blog has inspired me to get those ole creative juices flowing again! Believe it or not, before I had my kids, I was really into crafting. Now, I am not nearly as talented as some of the wonderful women I have discovered in the blososphere--there are so many wonderful crafting blogs and so many talented women out there! Crafting was something, however, that I really enjoyed and I enjoyed the time I set aside for myself to have a little fun.

When I saw this egg wreath from Keeping It Simple last week, I just had to dust off my craft supplies.  I love that she used plastic eggs!  I would have never thought to do this, even though I have a ton in storage!  I also love that she used cardboard as the base for the wreath, making this project very inexpensive.  I have plenty of diaper boxes around, and it was just the right strength to handle this project!   

Once I discovered that one of my glue guns no longer worked and that I needed to purchase new glue sticks, I was on my way to whipping up this gem.  It has really brightening up my front door and I am proud of myself for actually accomplishing my first craft project in I don't know how long!  When all was said and done, it only cost me $3.44 and gave me the much needed boost back into crafting!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Throwback Thursday: The Gentle Giant

Don Williams is known as the "Gentle Giant." With a smooth baritone voice, Williams draws the listener into his songs and captivates them. The tall, somewhat gangly, crooner sings so tenderly and is truly a country music legend.

I remember sometime in the early 90s I attended one of his shows, but at the time, was more excited to see his opening act, Lorrie Morgan. But, by the end of the concert, I was hooked on Don Williams. Now, don't get me wrong, I was familiar with his music and even liked it, but seeing him perform live was absolutely an event.  It doesn't matter how flashy you are if you can't really sing, so with pipes like these, I an see why he sits back and let's it flow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Crocus Are In Bloom Again!

Jonathan has been keeping an eye on all of the spring flowers that have been poking out of the ground the last couple of weeks and yesterday he discovered that the crocus are in bloom again!  He was so excited to make the discovery that he had to drag me over to them to take a look. 

I really do love crocus.  They are the first things to bloom in the spring at our house and it means that warmer weather is on the way.  I don't have nearly enough, however.  I would love to cover my whole yard in the bright yellow and purple show stoppers, but haven't quite gotten around to it yet. 

When my husband and I moved into the first house we purchased together, we covered the hill in our front yard with crocus.  We even had strangers stop to tell us how pretty it was!  They are so maintenance free and when they are done blooming, it is usually time to mow the lawn for the first time, so I love putting them in the yard! 

Maybe I'll tackle that project in the fall, right now I must start laying out the plans for the vegetable garden, and I need to enjoy the crocus that is here now!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Throwback Thursday!

I had almost forgotten about Rosanne Cash.  Until this song came on the radio and I remembered what a great song it was!  There are a lot of videos on YouTube of Rosanne's "Seven Year Ache," but they just didn't sound as good as this studio version. 

The song came out on Rosanne's second album in 1981 and was produced by her husband--who happened to be Rodney Crowell at the time.  It went to #1 on the Billboard country chart.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I thought I would repost the recipe for Tori's Cabbage Rolls in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  Enjoy!

1 head of cabbage
2 packages of Kielbasa sausage  (I used smoked sausage because I know the clan with eat that).
2 cans of sauerkraut
1 large can of V8 or vegetable juice
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup of rice
1 egg

Fill a pot with water to boil.  Peel the cabbage leaves from the head of cabbage and rinse them well.  Once the pot of water is boiling, add the cabbage leaves 2 at a time and let them boil for 5 minutes each.  Remove them and allow them to dry on paper towels. 

While the cabbage leaves are drying, mix the raw hamburger with the rice and egg.  Next, place one package of the sausage on the bottom of a 9X12 baking dish.  Once the cabbage leaves have dried, place a large spoonful of the meat mixture in the center of a cabbage leaf and tuck in the ends of the leaf, then roll it.  Repeat with the other cabbage leaves.
Once all of the leaves are rolled, start placing them on top of the sausage laid out in the pan.  Cover the cabbage rolls with sauerkraut.  Then, do another layer of sausage, rolls, and sauerkraut.  Next, pour the V8 juice over the whole dish.  Bake, covered, at 325 for about 3-4 hours. 

Wordless Wednesday: Sharing

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The House That Built Amy

I live in the same house in my dreams.  It doesn't matter if I am dreaming about something from my childhood, something that happened that day, or some crazy make believe scenario my brain has conjured up.  It isn't some mansion on the hill that my mind will not let go of, it is a 70s tri-level home in rural northern Indiana that seems to have defined my life. 

Miranda Lambert is on the cover of Redbook magazine this month and she recently won a Grammy award for Best Female Country Performance for her song "The House That Built Me." It became Lambert's first number one single on the Billboard chart.  The song was written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin and I can't help but cry every time I hear it.  That's what I love about country music.  I can make such a connection to a song that it brings me to tears. 

I was brought home from the hospital in that brown and yellow tri-level that my parents had just bought brand new.  It had 4 bedrooms and 1 3/4 baths.  It was an  upgrade from the 2 bedroom house my parents moved from, seeing as how I was their 4th child! 

So many memories were made in that house.  And I have so many memories of it.  I can tour that house in my mind in full detail.  I remember the foyer as you first walked in with a closet to the right and a black railing to the left.  If you stepped up, the staircase leading to the upper and lower levels was on the right and the living room was to the left.  The kitchen was straight ahead.  We had a brown refrigerator and range for the longest time and I can remember the DIY project my mom did on the kitchen back splash.  She mortared fake bricks under the cabinets and onto the bar area leading into the dinning room.  You know, those same fake bricks we all now cringe over?

This is the only picture I could find of the House That Built Amy. 
It was from a newspaper dated
 May 27, 1991--the first day our house was officially for sale. 

The living room had orange and red shag carpet and a matching sofa and love seat that we were never allowed to sit on.  The carpet was eventually replaced with a neutral gray color, but the rust colored furniture stayed put.  The downstairs was painted gold and I remember fake brick laminate flooring in the laundry room/extra bath.  We used to come in from the garden and take showers in that bathroom because we could come in easily from the garage and not track dirt all over.  We used to have massive gardens and my mom would can everything.  And I mean everything!  The downstairs 4th bedroom was turned into a pantry and my parents used to pickle cucumbers, make sauerkraut, and crank out homemade sausage.  That homemade sausage was made from the pigs we used to keep in the backyard next the the massive garden. 

Upstairs is were we all claimed our own space.  I shared a bedroom with one of my sisters for quite awhile.  We had a pink room, including pink carpeting, and matching white twin beds.  I remember that she once put duck tape on the floor and told me that I couldn't cross the line because "this was her side of the room."  It was also the side with the door, so it was her way of trying to keep me out.  She was six years older than me, so I guess I can't blame her for wanting some space. 

When our older sister left for college, I moved into her room.  It was smaller, but a beautiful purple color, including dark purple carpeting.  Everything showed up on that carpet and it seems like we were always vacuuming it.  I would soon plaster the closet doors with posters as well as the entrance to the attic.  That is also the room where I spent hours singing to country songs at the top of my lungs and recording myself talking into a tape recorder for hours.

In the song, Miranda visits the "house" in an attempt to find herself again.  I often wish I had the courage to walk up to my old home and ask the current owners if I could take a look around.  Part of the fear comes out of asking such a thing, but mostly I fear what I would find.  I don't think I want a different image in my mind, I mean after all, it is MY house, I don't think I would take it well to see it changed and modernized. 

I hope that the home I now live in will hold such wonderful memories for my children.  While it isn't my dream home, it is the home where I dream--I only hope my kids will dream of it one day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Intimate Wine Tasting Party

The weekend before my sister got married, I wanted to make sure I set some time aside for me and my sisters to bond a little.  Since hitting adulthood, we rarely have time to spend together.  Sure, we see each other all the time, but our husbands and kids are always around and we don't often get the time to just be giggly, goofy girls.  Since this is my sister's second marriage, it felt weird to have a bachelorette party, so I invited them all over for an intimate wine tasting party.

I sent the husband and children packing--to grandmas for the weekend-- and my sisters enlisted their husbands for a weekend of single parenting.  We were ready to have a good time!

I had just watched a week of Oprah in Australia, so I was feeling a little "down under" when I went shopping for wine.  None of us are big wine drinkers, so I figured it didn't really matter what type and brand I bought, because the likely hood of any of us having tried them already were pretty slim.  And I thought it was a fun idea to feature wines from the same country.  I chose a Chardonnay by Black Swan, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Jacob's Creek, and a Riesling from Yellow Trail. 

I did some research on what cheeses went well with those wines and paired them together for my guests to sample.  I typed up some note cards to instruct them on what cheese and wine went together for the best flavor match. 

I paired the Riesling with Camembert, the Cabernet Sauvignon with sharp cheddar, and the Chardonnay with mozzarella.  I set out some picks for them to stab the cheese with and then set out an orange for them to "discard" them by poking them into the orange.  That way we knew when a pick at been used. 

I also had some different types of chocolate that I had melted fondue style and had some strawberries, pound cake, and bananas ready for dipping. 

We put on dance music and danced around my living room and acted like we were teenagers again as we laughed like crazy.  We ended the evening curled up on my couches with throws and watching movies until the wee hours of the morning.  Since we had no kiddos to worry about the next day, we all slept in too! 

What a great sisters retreat this turned out to be!  We had a great time shopping the next day and most of all, just spending time together and enjoying each other's company.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Throwback Thursday!

Kenny Rogers has certainly been able to morph himself through the years.  This has allowed him to have a successful long-standing career, and he is doing it again.  On Monday, Rogers released a gospel album sold exclusively at Cracker Barrel.  The album contains 12 songs and are some of Rogers' personal favorites. 

In honor of Throwback Thursday, here is one of Kenny's earlier performances...I didn't know he ever wore glasses!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yes, I'm Really Just A Crazed Fan

This weekend, my husband and I saw the current King and Queen of country music.  Reba and George Strait played at Allstate Arena in Chicago and Le Ann Womack opened the show. 

The concert started at 7pm and we got back to our car at 10 til midnight!  It was an awesome show!! 

We were lucky enough to be the guest of Reba--although she has NO idea who we are, I like saying it.  We were more like annoying party crashers, but I will take whatever I can get!  Thanks Valory Music Company!  Anyway, our seats were right by the stage entrance, so we had a great view and I felt like a crazy teen aged girl in the 50s who fainted when Elvis took the stage...although I was in awe of Reba and I manged to stay on two feet. 

Right before her encore, the video to "Fancy" played on the big screen.  Then, a "taxi" rolled into the crowd and Reba stepped out right in front of ME and wearing her "red dress".  That's when I almost lost it.  I believe I turned to my husband and said, "Oh My God, that was so awesome!" 

Lee Ann joined Reba on stage to sing "Does He Love You" and it was so exciting to see them perform together!  It is such a great song and loses it's meaning when done solo, so I am glad I got the chance to see that. 

Watching George Strait take the stage was almost like watching the President walk out to a rally.  Or, a King into his kingdom.  And along the way, he slapped the hand of a wide eyed radio announcer who sometimes can't believe her luck! 

I have to say...George is really good looking.  My husband is getting a little tired of attending concerts with me where I swoon over the act, but come ON!  We are talking about George Strait!  And it seems as if age is making him even more good looking.  One thing is for sure...his voice is a as pure and in tune than ever!  And it was an honor to watch him do his thing!  



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Throwback Thursday--Exile!

As I was looking through my "This Day in History" section on my morning prep site, I discovered that today in 1984, the group Exile gained its first number one country hit with “Woke Up In Love.”

Of course, Exile had pop success too...most notably with "Kiss You All Over."  I love that song!  I guess I love Exile in general.  What a great group!  This song brings back lots of great memories for me.  My sisters and I did a lot of dancing to these songs!  So, pardon me.  I have dancing to do!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday

I'm afraid to say that blogging has gotten away from me a bit lately.  I have been so busy, and since trying to update frequently was adding to my stress, I just decided to put if off for awhile. 

I will go into more details later, but I had quite a busy February!   My baby turned one, we have had every illness known to man, one of my sisters got married, and another sister underwent brain surgery.  I am happy to report that she is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery!  Dealing with all of those emotions, however, really didn't put me in the mood to blog.   

It is a new month, however, and spring is on the horizon!  That means I can start looking forward to new things with a renewed sense of gratefulness.  And I plan on sharing lots of hugs with this little guy while he still lets me!