Wednesday, March 15, 2017

IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY AGAIN!

The years have flown by since our son, Mike, was born.  Let's just say he will soon be pushing 50 years old.

Among his many talents and accomplishments (and there have been many), one of my greatest joys has been to listen to him play the piano.  I never get to hear him often enough.
When he was in kindergarten, I had to beg the grade school music teacher to take him on as a private piano student.  I knew he was ready; she thought he was too young.  In a couple of months, she knew I was right.  He's been playing ever since.


You would think that because of all of the recitals, playing for church, piano competitions, jazz band, choir accompaniments, etc; plus everything he has done with the piano as an adult over the years that I would have scads of pictures of him at the piano.  But, I only found these three ---  he was 18 months old in the first one, then in the 8th grade, and then as a senior in high school.




In addition to being a high school math and science teacher, he does a lot of accompanying for his high schools' music 
programs.  How fitting that tomorrow on his birthday, he will be playing ragtime for two performances of the school's Spring drama.
Kudos to all those teachers who work extra to keep the art's programs alive in these small, under-funded rural high schools.


And happy birthday, Dr. Saulmon!!!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

OOEY, GOOEY, CHOCOLATE AND NUTS!

Occasionally, I want something ooey and gooey, with chocolate and nuts.  This dessert fills that bill.  The trouble is that you need an occasion to share it.  For obvious reasons, Bob and I shouldn't eat the whole thing by ourselves.
It was my turn to host my Wednesday morning coffee group this week, so I figured I had my opportunity.
It's not your usual morning coffee accompaniment, so I also served cheese, crackers, and fruit in case this was too rich for morning consumption.
My friends didn't let me down --- they made a good dent in the dish but leaving enough for Bob and I to have a piece after dinner tonight.

I've had this recipe for years.  By the way, this dessert is aptly named "Pig Feast"!

2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup chopped nuts --- Mix well, pack into buttered 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool.

1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup cool-whip, 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened --- Combine and spread over cooled crust.

1 5oz. package instant vanilla pudding, 1 5oz. package instant chocolate pudding, 3 cups milk --- Mix together and let stand until firm.  Spread on top of cream cheese layer.

Spread 1 cup cool-whip on top.  Sprinkle a crushed Hershey bar and more nuts over top.  Refrigerate, enjoy, and forget about the calories!!!

I'm joining the following:
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday

Sunday, February 19, 2017

PLAYING WITH DOLLS

All my life, one of my favorite things to do has been sewing doll clothes. I haven't made any for years since my granddaughter outgrew the doll stage. So, I decided that for my charity donation project this year I would dress an 18" doll.  

With my granddaughter as my trendy fashion consultant, I have made 36 items to be donated with the doll for a silent auction as a fundraiser for charity.
What fun I have had dreaming up outfits, searching for fabrics, and sewing.  And shopping for the doll shoes was also fun!
I tried to make pieces that would mix and match to make a variety of outfits.
Pictured are some of the clothes and accessories I made.


  Hopefully, some little girl will love playing with the doll and clothes; as much as I have enjoyed sewing them.

Now, back to the real world!!!

I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Monday, February 13, 2017

BIRTHDAY BOY AND VALENTINE'S DAY

It's hard for me to believe that our grandson, Wyatt, is 15 years old already.
He's a charmer --- loves the social life.  After all, isn't that why you go to school and play sports?
Fortunately, he can be a decent student and manages the honor roll most of the time without too much effort.  But, he challenges this Grammy's patience.  FOCUS is not his best trait ---- he is more interested in FUN, FRIENDS, and FOOD.

Challenges are ahead, I'm sure.  He's now eligible to get a driver's permit ---- oh, my!   And, I think he has his eye on his Papa's l971 Suburban.  As his mother learned in high school, you can haul a bunch of kids around in that old red 'truck'!  Thank goodness, times and rules have changed.
Happy 15th Birthday, Wyatt!

And, happy Valentine's Day to my two heart-tuggers ----
Here they are on each of their very first Valentine's Days.
Caitlin at four months old 
Wyatt - a few hours old.  Grammy looks a little worse for wear, also!
And now at 20 and 15 years old --- still tugging at my heart.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

AFTER THE GLITTER IS GONE ----- A NEW PROJECT

It has been almost a month since I've posted on this blog.  Christmas and New Year's Day have past.  The household is back to normal with all of the decorations packed away, and the glitter has been swept up ---- well most of it anyway!  I still get a glimpse of a sparkle occasionally.  So, I guess it isn't totally gone.

The house seemed bare and empty at first, but we are slowly settling in for what has turned out to be a cold and snowy winter after a long, glorious autumn.

I rearranged some of the brown transferware.  Nothing spectacular, just enough for me to re-enjoy some of the old pieces that I've had hidden in the background.

January always seems to call for a new project.
I've been itching to make doll clothes, but, alas, my girls are all grown up now.  Guess I needed an excuse, so I decided that this year for a donation project I would buy an 18" doll and dress it with a full wardrobe of clothes.  Then in the Fall, I will donate it all to one of our local charities that has fundraisers with silent auctions.  The doll is a knock-off of the famous 18" dolls.  I purchased it from Target for 1/4 of the price of the famous doll, but I'm quite pleased with the quality.  For now, I just have her hair pulled back in a ponytail, which is convenient for trying on clothes.  I'll style it up when the time comes!
So with an excuse in place, I've been sewing up a storm.  Here is one of the 
outfits ----
 A real leather jacket with black knit trim; a linen crop top with a check skater skirt; black mesh leggings and fringe boots
Half the fun is finding the fabrics.  I purchased a leather skirt at Goodwill to make the jacket; the check fabric came from my quilting stash, and the mesh fabric was a pair of athletic shorts on the $1 table at Wal-mart.
I've made several different outfits, with ideas for more.  I keep checking with my fashionista granddaughter to make sure I'm staying on the trendy track.
More to come.
Enjoying the cold and snow with the opportunity to stay inside and sew.

I'm joining the following:
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Monday, December 19, 2016

A SYNOPSIS OF OUR CHRISTMAS SEASON----

Usually during the month of December I'm prolific with blog posts, but not this year.  I've been neglecting my blog ---- 
not because I haven't been doing our usual Christmas stuff
 ----  it just takes longer to accomplish everything the older I get.  
So here we are with one long post about Christmas 2016 in the Salmagundi household.
It took a whole week to put up the trees and over-decorate every available surface inside and out.



We decided to have an afternoon open house this year; so I made 26 dozen cookies plus assorted savories including dips, flavored pretzels, cheese, chips, crackers, fruit, hot and cold beverages, etc. etc.  More time than I like to spend in the kitchen; but it was worth it to be able to share with our friends.


However, I took the easy way out with the shopping.
The grandkids are getting so grown up, and are so opinionated in their choice of clothes (and rightly so!).  We are slowly trying to develop personal style.  I succumb to gift cards occasionally on other holidays, but for Christmas I like to have presents under the tree.
So, we took each kid individually to the city to shop for clothes.  They are not to tell anyone else what we bought; I bring every thing home and wrap it up.  On Christmas morning everyone gets to ACT surprised.  I've done this before with Caitlin, but this will be Wyatt's first year of no surprises. (Well, maybe one or two little things.)
Both kids look great in anything they wear, so it is fun shopping with them.  Surprisingly, they are very cost-conscious with my money.  They seem to have a great time, too; as I'm not always as practical as their parents can be!  And, of course, the shopping trips always involve lunch and/or dinner.  A great time spent with each grandchild individually.  

 December is the month of Jenni's adoption day and Bob's birthday. We have done our share of socializing also with friends this month, plus enjoying the Advent activities at church.
I've also been sewing on a couple of Christmas gifts.  I'll post those on my quilting blog, http://qbits-salmagundi.blogspot.com/, after Christmas.

About all that is left now is Christmas dinner.  Our family is so set in their ideas about what we should have for Christmas brunch/dinner ---- the usual ham, cheesy potatoes, an egg dish, coffee cake, jello salad, broccoli salad, hot rolls, cheese ball, yogurt pie, cookies, and whatever else they think I should cook.  
Our son, Mike, and I decided at Thanksgiving time that we want something different this year.  So, I will fix all of the usual things for everyone else; plus make a vegetarian lasagna for Mike and I.  The other day my Wed. a.m. coffee group was discussing food; and they said that everyone else will probably want the lasagna, too.  Then, Bob and I will end up eating that huge ham and potatoes for the remainder of the year by ourselves.  Ugh, I'm not the ham or potato type!

We'll see how that plays out later -- family dynamics with food are interesting at our house!

That's about it for the preparations for the Christmas season this year.  Now to my favorite part -----
The week before Christmas is when we can slow down and reflect on just why we celebrate the season.  I love that Christmas is on Sunday this year -- not only do we have Christmas Eve services, but an opportunity to celebrate at church on Sunday morning, too.  Then, we'll have family time on Christmas afternoon.

May all of you have a joyous Christmas with those you love.

I'm joining the following:
Back Yard Neighbor for Blue Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Monday, December 5, 2016

GRANDPA ---- A MEMORY FROM CHRISTMAS PAST

Seventy years ago this Christmas season my beloved grandfather passed away on December 18.  It was unexpected and a shock to our whole family and community.
He was raised with his brother by his widowed father and two uncles on the prairies of Colorado in the late 19th century. 
 He grew to be a well respected farmer, sheep and cattle rancher; as well as an active church and community member.  He served as president of the local school board, as a county commissioner, and on the board of directors of several national wool growers organizations.
During World War II, he was honored nationally for his contributions to the war effort as a farmer and rancher.
His youngest son was serving in the military in WWII when this photo was taken.
 But, most importantly, he was the father of three boys and the grandfather of two grandsons, and me --- the only girl in his line of this male-dominated family.
He always made me feel so special to be his granddaughter.  I remember him taking time out of his busy day to bring me ice cream after my tonsillectomy, then sitting there and hand feeding it to me.

At the time of his death, I was young and had trouble comprehending the situation.  With Christmas only a week away, my mother knew I was struggling and told Santa Claus that I needed something special!

On Christmas morning, I was surprised with not one, but two Effanbee baby dolls with instructions that I was to take care of my doll family like Grandpa had always taken good care of all of us.
I always remember Grandpa when I look at these dolls; so I decided that this Christmas I would include them in my holiday decorations.  I can't believe it has been 70 years!
I hope Grandpa would be proud of me as a parent and grandparent as he was very special to me!

I'm joining the following:
Backyard Neighbor for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Thursday, November 24, 2016

THANKSGIVING BLACKBERRY SLAB PIE

Somebody had to have a piece of blackberry slab pie on Wednesday night ----- couldn't wait until Thanksgiving!


We're thankful for a bountiful blackberry harvest from our garden.

From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 21, 2016

WORKSHOP UPDATE

I haven't done a workshop update for awhile.  With all of the yard work this past summer and our long fall, Bob still found time to turn out a couple of projects.

He made this sofa table from some old tepee poles, salvaged wood and pallet wood; plus some twigs. If we had a mountain cabin to go with it, I would keep it.  But, alas, it is off to the consignment shop.
 He also made this 7-foot table with two benches out of salvaged wood with lathe-turned legs.
People always ask for benches to go with farm tables; so hope this sells at the consignment shop.

Bob is always on the lookout for old wood, and has been known to do a little dumpster diving!  It's always nice to have a 14-year old grandson, to help!

I'm joining the following:
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A YUMMY TREASURE - AMAZING 'COOKIES'

No, I'm not talking about those little confections with which our grandmothers treated us. 
  I'm talking about 'cookies' on brown transferware.  That is what they call the cartouches, little pictures encircled with borders, on transferware from the 19th century.

Recently, while antiquing in the northern part of Colorado, I spied a covered vegetable bowl.  I recognized right away from its 'calico' border that it was the Cairo pattern from Copeland Pottery dating from the early 1880s. 

 I also knew that this pattern usually has amazing 'cookies' in the design -- and I wasn't disappointed. 
And, then I removed the lid and this cartouche was on the inside of the bowl --- I would gladly eat all of the vegetables served in this bowl for a look at this artwork.
The pieces I have seen in this pattern usually have an incised mark on the back.
Several years ago, my friend, Jan, gave me this pedestal bowl in this pattern.
It has this amazing 'cookie'.
 I also have a soup bowl with this camel 'cookie'.  Every piece I have seen in this pattern has a different cartouche.
I'm fortunate to have just these three pieces in my brown transferware collection, as they can be a bit pricey.  I have  passed by some other pieces at high prices, but I'll keep hunting for more yummy 'cookies' to devour at a reasonable price.

I'm joining the following:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Friday, October 14, 2016

A TOUCH OF AUTUMN

I don't do a lot of Fall decorating, but try to change out the front porch to welcome in the season.
 One of my favorite places to shop is a farm surplus yard.  These elevator grain bins came from my favorite yard in Rocky Ford, CO.  Bob mounted them on pallet wood, so I could fill them with the season's bounty!
And indoors, a patchwork pumpkin for a touch of autumn.
HAPPY FALL!!!

I'm joining Jann Olson at Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday.  Be sure to check out her blog (here)  -- she REALLY knows how to decorate for Fall.