Monday, May 25, 2009

Big Heart

My cousin Brian sent me a note this weekend reminding me of my dear great uncle who I never met but had heard so much about. PFC Tom,my great uncle, the baby of the family, "was a courageous young Marine killed in action storming the beaches of Guam." He was 18 when he died for our country. Here is part of what my cousin Brian,a major in the USMC, and an Iraq veteran himself, had to say, which I could never say as eloquently...

"... I made a promise to myself that I would never forget him (Great Uncle Tom) after my time in Iraq. I knew more than a few young men that were killed in Iraq. Some had very little family to speak of. Some from the inner city that only knew their mom, and sometimes not even knew her that well. The Marine Corps was a way out for many of them. The memory of these young men is easily lost to the ocean of time and lack of family to remember them. I try to keep the memory of them alive by first and foremost keeping the memory of Great Uncle Tom alive. He is fortunate to have such a large family that makes honoring his memory and sacrifice easier and, thereby, through him, remembering the similar sacrifice others have made that may not have as big a family as ours..."

I have been surrounded by "great" people my whole life. People who I proudly am linked to through blood and through love. I was blessed to have known and loved many great aunts and uncles. My Great Aunt Margaret had a special gift for my cousin Brian after she passed away-Great Uncle Tom's Purple Heart Proclamation

God Bless all of our troops, present and past, on this Memorial Day, and every day. A big THANK YOU to all of them for making America what it is today. They are the HEART of our country.

flag photo courtesy jcoleman,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grand Garden

There is nothing like gardening with a little one.

Just like spring itself, the pure smell of fresh dirt,the seeds and the flowers, it comes again and again and is just as beautiful the third time around as the first.

The first, of course, was when I was a little one and I would follow my dad around as he planted the marigolds,fertilized the peonies and tended to the roses. All was topped off by a fluffy cushion of sweetly scented cocoa shells.

When I was a bit older, I was able to appreciate Grandma M's petunias with their sticky,sticky flowers and pungent smell. I'd play with the snapdragons, and would maneuver their flower mouths to open and close in a flowery chat.

Then I had my own little ones and my very own garden.

The first year was a disaster.

But I learned and was hooked. I smothered my flowers with cocoa shells and was back in time. I dug up a garden in the shape of a turtle and called it The Turtle Garden for the boys(Ninja lovers were they) and a Heart Garden was dug for the girls. I was WAY more interested in the whole thing then they were.

We will see which one of them will take to it, like I did, when they have their own garden to tend.

Now it is Grand Girl's turn.
And she loves it....

Gotta have your gardening outfit on- pink gingham apron, sparkle shoes, tights, and the most important green stick to make the seed rows...

We planted Fairy Tale Pumpkin Seeds for my very own Princess; Zinnias with wonderful names- Polar Bear, Crayon Colors and Granny's Bouquet and the cutest fluffy Honey Bear Sunflower seeds...

Carefully pour the seeds into the hand...

Sprinkle with love...

Sparkle princess shoes add the magic touch all seeds need...

What a pretty Grand Girl Garden to be...

Friday, May 22, 2009


I love the English accessories designer Anya Hindmarch.

She is having sale starting today-up to 50% off. TIP-When you view it, make sure you click $ instead of pounds in the top right corner - it translates it for you. The stuff is reasonable- for her.Have fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


J Crew is having a Private Sale online through Memorial Day...20% off anything over $175.00 Enter the word SUMMER in the promotion code

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Afternoon At The Movies

One of my favorite comedies of all time is the 1972 classic,"WHAT'S UP DOC?" directed by Peter Bogdanivich and starring Ryan O"Neil and Barbara Steisand.

Ryan O'Neil is just so adorable in this gem of a movie.And Ms Streisand is hysterical.

Mr Bogdanivich relied heavily on ultimate classic comedy "BRINGING UP BABY" for inspiration.

This is comedienne extraordinaire,Madelaine Kahn's, first movie. Her star quality is evident and she is just the perfect Eunice.

If you haven't seen this classic screwball comedy- you gotta, if you have- its worth a repeat...

Friday, May 15, 2009

One potato, Two potatoes, Three potatoes more...


From the Literary Society at Woy Woy – Central Coast of NSW, Australia... the following book-inspired recipe. It was topped with sour cream.

2 cups grated, peeled, raw potato skins (well packed). Use mashed potatoes for filling.
1/4 cup grated onion. More onion can be added to mash.
1 large egg, well beaten
2-3 tablespoons self-raising flour.
1/2 teaspoon salt. 2-3 small slices of beetroot, diced. Sour cream, chives for topping.

Preheat oven to 400°F (210c). Oil small pie plate. Mix grated potato peelings In a bowl, add the beaten egg and grated onion. Sprinkle with flour and combine mixture.
Using floured hands or the back of a spoon, put the potato mixture into well oiled pie plate, pushing mixture up the sides of the plate to form the crust. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then brush the crust with a little oil to help brown more. Cook potatoes (add grated onion if desired) drain, mash. Add mash filling to crust, top with beetroot pieces. Add sour cream, chives, thyme, if desired. Turn oven temperature down to 375°F (190c). Bake for additional 10 minutes (total of 30 to 35 minutes) or until browned.

Remove tart from the pan and serve hot or at room temperature.

Credit..Trish - Empire Bay Australia.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hot Potato

While gearing up for my gardening chores this past week, and all the energy, sore legs and inevitable poison ivy that it entails, I decided to get a new audio book to listen to while gardening.

Since this week was all about potatoes, I immediately settled on the adorably named The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows .

Oh what a book it is. It makes me want to stop what I'm doing and sip tea by a fire and read. AND it's in letter form- I LOVE letter books!

I was curious why it has two authors.
Aren't you?

There is more to the story than the story.
It is both sad and inspiring .
Mary Ann Schaffer the author, had always dreamed of writing a book. She was once stuck in Guernsy in the 70's, due to the fog, and it "stuck" with her- especially the occupation of Guernsey by the Germans during WWII. She did indeed write the book she had always wanted to write ,incorporating Guernsey's history into it. Before it was completed, she was stricken with cancer. She then asked her niece,Annie, an author herself, to finish the novel for her. Mary Ann died a few months before it was published.

What a gem of a book she wrote.
What a gift she has left behind for her family and friends and all of us who are lucky enough to have found it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Glutton for Punishment

Why am I trying this again??? It must be my utter obsession with potatoes and my Irish roots..

I've chosen Irish Cottage ,Mountain Rose, Maris Piper and German Butterball varieties.

This year instead of growing them in a tire, I'm growing them in a bag like the one pictured above. I bought them at Gardeners Supply, a favorite of mine from the web. Now I just have to get all the straw out of the 8 tires from last year,load them up in my car and pay money to have them disposed of at Mavis Tire..what a disaster.

If this doesn't work, then next year I will try plain old in- the- ground- with dirt and then if that doesn't work I will give up!

Here is the pathetic picture of my potatoes last year after months of growing and much effort...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Afternoon At The Movies

I thought to myself "what is fitting for a Mother's Day Sunday Afternoon At The Movies"... GYPSY won-a resounding hands down victory in my mind...

I was first introduced to GYPSY when I was a young girl. My mother insisted we watch it. I was HOOKED. I think that Gypsy is the perfect musical and might be the best musical of all times. I adore Rosalind Russel, with her imperfect voice and svelte figure- No Ethel Merman was she. And darling Natalie Wood, another one of my favorite actresses- she is breathtaking in this role. Never mind that it is based on the true story of Gypsy Rose Lee, the most famous stripper of the 20th century. It is still good, clean family fun.

My love for GYPSY has never died and I in turn shared it with my own daughters when I became a mother. They would regale me with their imitations of Gypsy and Louise when they were little girls. My baby girl loved to tease me, and still does, by calling me Mama Rose. Maybe she was right all along..I do have a bit of Mama Rose in me..but what mother doesn't?

Have a great Mothers Day... and if you get a chance.. watch my all time favorite Mother movie...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Afternoon at the Movies

Have you seen McLintock?

I'm not a big western movie sort of gal.
I only have a few Westerns that I love- but then again I haven't seen many because the interest is not there. But I do love love love Dance With Wolves (can't count how many times I've seen it).

I was thoroughly fascinated with The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford- wow- did Ben's little brother Casey Afflect give the performance of a lifetime in this movie and Brad Pitt is just-well Brad Pitt- even with dark hair

3:10 to Yuma(the remake) kept me on the edge of my seat.

But McLintock...

How many funny westerns are there?
Now that I think of it- there are LOADS!

There's Blazing Saddles- too raunchy for me. And City Slickers- a real hoot, and Calamity Jane-don't get me started on my love for Doris.

But's one of those movies I can't stop watching once I find it while channel surfing. That John Wayne -Maureen O"Hara chemistry is just pure magic.