Posts Tagged ‘bonnie’

I almost forgot that I started this post.  You won’t see one for July because I haven’t done NEARLY as much as I did in June…..does baking count?  LOL


Each summer, I challenge myself to do at least one project around the house per day.  It doesn’t have to be big….just has to accomplish SOMETHING.  I’m also a list person but have discovered that if I make a list of the things that NEED to be done in the summer….I find myself resisting and actually do less.  Weird, I know, but that’s me!  So I have decided to make a list of the things I’ve accomplished AFTER I do them.  It’s much  more rewarding that way!  Here’s a running tally of my lists since I was out of school, May 25 to the last day of June.

1.  Painted Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim (still need to paint doors)

2.  Purchased new bedroom furniture, including mattress (this took a LOT of shopping)

3.  Purchased new linens for new bed

4.  cleaned, painted and purged bedroom closet

5.  cleaned and purged the dresser and chest in the guest room and moved into my new furniture.

6.  cleaned and purged bathroom cabinet in preparation for new counter top

7.  purged tv cabinet, music case and book case in the living room

8.  assembled new tv cabinet

9.  installed new area rug in living room

10.  Helped disassemble the old Mr. Elm and cleaned up the mess after he was carted away.

11.  Balanced check book (had not been done since December…..used cancer as excuse…)

12.  knitted 1 scarf, 3 hats and finished a pair of mittens

13.  started cleaning garage

14.  walked/rode stationary bike 423.5 miles

15.  took a road trip to Iowa

16.  Took Parents to Dr. Appt.

17.  4 dr. appts of my own

18.  laid sod on new sewer line in the back yard.

19.  Did a bit of gardening

20.  Blogged

21.  washed all the winter scarves and hats

22.  Attempted to de-flea the animals (many baths, treatments and brushing….sigh…)

23.  Kept up the Etsy store.

24.  took lots of naps…

25.  Read a book

26.  Helped interview one of my new bosses.

27.  Watched and cheered for Thunder Basketball

28.  played with Kaylore and Karver and J. W.

29.  Ironed a basket of shirts (at least a dozen)

30.  Hemmed a dozen fabric napkins

31.  Stupidly agreed to serve on another choral directors board….sigh…when will I ever learn?!?!?!?!

32.  Spent a little time in the garden.

33. carted many bags of crap to the thrift store (and didn’t even go in to shop!)

34.  made breakfast for the nephews

35.  cleaned and purged linen closet

36.  Shredded 10 years of tax records.

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Ok…..so I’m a little late with this post….but Hey….It’s summertime…and the living is eaaaassssyyyyy…..

So…On Sunday, I attended church with Bonnie.  It’s her home church, the one she grew up attending…..and it was GREAT!

After church, we had lunch at “the farm” where Bonnie was raised.  Bonnie’s Mom is a GREAT cook!!!  Lamb roast, harvard beets (that were grown on the farm) , broccoli salad and Strawberries and cake!!  Delicious!!  It was too good to take pictures!!

Bonnie’s Farm….

After a bit of a nap, we then ventured out to see the tourist attractions of Manning, Iowa!

First was the church…


The short story is that this country Lutheran church is 125 years old and the congregation was old and dying away.  They didn’t want to see the church fall into ruins so it was moved into town and is now a museum but you can rent it for weddings, funerals, etc.  The whole moving experience was on the show “Mega Movers” and there’s a condensed version of it on YouTube called “How to Move a 100 Year Old Church”  It’s worth the time to watch it.  It’s beautiful inside and out!  The move was 11 miles and it took 4 hours to complete.

Here are some shot of the inside.

Everything but the statue of Jesus was left in place for the move and not one pane of stained glass was cracked or broken.  The steeple was left in place also.  They had to take down electric lines and trim some trees.


Next was the Hausbarn.  (Here’s the link for more info and pictures German Hausbarn) It’s an old German Barn that was selected from a sister village in Germany, disassembled and shipped to Manning, then reassembled.  It’s the type of barn that provided living space for humans, animals and the loft was for drying grain.  Bonnie’s Mom, Gladys, is a docent for all these buildings, and she knows a LOT about all these buildings!

Here’s the barn..

Some of the inside…

Some of the sample brickwork…

There was also a beautiful craftsman style house and matching carriage house that was just beautiful!  Sadly, I did not take any pictures of it.  It is air conditioned and is actually still livable.  Some of the craftsman who worked on the hausbarn stayed there.

Then, I found a cornfield…of really tall corn…

and this will get a bit taller still…it hasn’t tasselled out yet!


Then it was back to the farm for Manning’s famous taco pizza and fresh watermelon!  What a truly delightful day!!!

On the way home we found one of the barns that has the painted quilt block on it.


It seems that this is a growing trend in Iowa and I just LOVE it.  Each farm (probably the farmer’s wife) chooses a different quilt block.  It’s very colorful!

The next day, I had the long boring drive home.  It was super hot and super windy and I had already seen all the scenery so it was very boring.

I had a FABULOUS vacation and FABULOUS hostesses!!!  Thanks to Bonnie and Gladys for showing me around Iowa!!!


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Last year, my friend Bonnie, retired from teaching and moved back home to Iowa.  Since I have not seen her for almost a year and since I’ve never been to Iowa….I decided to jump in my car and go!

It’s an 8 hour drive but it wasn’t bad because I was seeing new landscapes, getting out of the house….ON A ROAD TRIP! lolol

Day 1 was busy and FUN!!!

First stop was the Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa….

They feature different artistic displays each year and this year was garden items created with Legos!!!

Here’s a few of my favorites…. (*disclaimer…Bonnie and I shared photos so some of these were taken by her.  I won’t remember which were mine and which were hers)

The Gardener….

The hummingbird

The Lawnmower….actual sized….

And the rose…..It was really tall!!!

There were LOTS more and I have pictures of all of them on my Flickr page (look in the left margin at the top of this post…)  They are worth seeing!

They also had interesting garden art that is permanently installed…

A giant Gnome…

Here’s Bonnie and her Mom, Gladys..

You can visit their website and it will tell you all the details of the lego sculptures and how many legos each piece used…..It was WAY cool!!!

Reiman Gardens

They also had a display of bird houses built by people of Iowa….Here’s a couple of my favorites..

They also have a butterfly house….with BEAUTIFUL butterflies…

It was really hot so we cooled down while having lunch at Hickory Park BBQ….It was YUMMY!!  You have to visit the link….it’s a huge place and has some interesting history!!

Then we did some shopping….and I found a fun little yarn shop…..Rose Tree Fiber Shop .  It was a great yarn shop with great service….and I came home with a couple of gems…. 🙂

A little more shopping then…..wait for it…..DINNER ON A TRAIN…A REAL LIVE TRAIN!!!

It’s called Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad

It was very fancy, elegant and a real treat.  Now I can say I have ridden on a REAL train!  LOL  (I figure subways don’t count)

Here are some highlights…

The High Bridge

It was a wonderful and fabulous day!!!  Thanks Bonnie and Gladys for being such wonderful tour guides!!

The next day, Day 2, Bonnie and I spent close to home….shopping, eating and ended the day with a few hours of Wii…..which was why we were so SORE the next couple of days!!

Final Day of vacations coming up tomorrow!

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Spring Break 2011

Well, folks, this year’s spring break has just FLOWN by but has been totally awesome!  Sadly, nothing I did was particularly photo-worthy but here’s a break down of this past week:


Sunday (last week) – Choir concert of the Harvard Men’s Glee Club (yes from THE Harvard University) and they were AWESOME.  Went with my good friend Bonnie and then had dinner with our good friends Boyd and Barbara whom I haven’t seen in quite a while.  Was fun and refreshing!


Monday – Spent the day in Frederick with my good friend Wendy and her 7 children (Jeff was working and unable to see me that day :)….missed you Jeff!)  The children are awesomely talented and I was given a concert of piano playing and singing!!!  The oldest 3 girls served lunch and dinner and what a treat that was!  I also got to see Wendy’s Mom’s House (Hi Jan!) and it was soooo cute!  I also got the kids hooked on Words With Friends (phone app version of scrabble) and we are continuing to have fun!  It was a full day of fun, visiting, catching up and refreshing a valuable friendship.  Thanks Wendy!


Tuesday – I stayed home but got a new haircut that I love!  Michelle always makes me look good!  Then shopped (for clothes, my semi-annual purchase of clothes for myself) until it was time to have dinner with Pete at Red Lobster.  It was a GREAT day!


Wednesday – I made the trek to Kingfisher to hang out with Mom and Dad.  Mom and I prowled the junk shops in town and had a blast!  Dad had lunch with us then went to the farm to “help” my brother…not sure about the help part! LOL


Thursday – Took Dad (and Mom) to his Eye Dr. appt. here in OKC.  Then had lunch, got Mom some upholstery shop supplies, sent them home then spent the afternoon in the kitchen baking….always a good time!


Friday – Spent the morning doing errands then the afternoon on the couch while the roast cooked in the crock pot.  My good Friend Ron joined me for a real home cooked meal and it was delicious.  We both ate too much!  The blackberry cobbler and ice cream was the best part!


Saturday – Went to Stillwater to spend the day with my good friend Dawn.  We literally shopped til we dropped but not before having lunch at the infamous Eskimo Joe’s.  It was a beautiful day to be out and about.


Sunday (tomorrow) will be the day I spend doing laundry, doing school work (that I avoided the whole week) and getting myself geared up for the last 9 weeks of school!


It was busy and it was fun!  And after putting all this in writing, I am reminded once again that I am rich in friends!  I am truly blessed!



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Yes, once again it is our annual Valentine’s dinner…

The usual were in attendance…..

Pete and Lou

Bonnie and Dawn

Dawn (again…she’s not a twin…and that’s a good thing!) and Mom and Dad



Lou was very sweet and sent a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers..


I TOTALLY forgot to take pictures  of the meal but here is the  menu:

Rack of Lamb (SOOOOOO good)

Roasted Asparagus (my favorite)

Salad of my own creation:  Tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and mozzarella cheese with Olive oil/basil/Italian dressing (was very good)

Cheese Biscuits (just like the ones at red lobster)

Plain old Mashed Potatoes made with red potatoes with the skins on and extra butter (great comfort food!)

I did, however, remember to take pics of the dessert as I was making it…

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Torte

Make a brownie-like cake.. (with 1 whole cup of cocoa!!!)

next ingredient…


yes, those are peanut butter cups and yes, you use all 10 of them!!!!!!



Elroy was supervising (and no…  my house is not on fire…it’s my humidifier)

Out of the oven…


put peanut butter between the layers…with peanut butter frosting and more chocolate on top and you have death by chocolate!  It was wonderful!


Elroy was trying to eat the flowers!


Elroy entertained us after dinner playing fetch….


Again, please?!?!?!


Dawn spent the night so we had breakfast the next morning….

Short Bacon… (ask Dawn!) and blueberry pancakes… (and you can see last’s night’s dessert in the background)



I’m not going to worry about counting the millions of calories I’ve enhaled this weekend….It’s Valentine’s day and they don’t count!


Thanks Pete, for the Valentine Heart filled with Hershey’s Kisses….and Bonnie for the DELICIOUS chocolate chip cookie and Dawn for the beautiful red mug and hot cocoa mix.


It was a wonderful evening with friends and family…..Thank you for coming!


p.s.  I’m not playing favorites with Elroy…Goldie likes to hide when I have company….she’s shy!


Happy Valentine’s Day!










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So Saturday was my annual Valentine’s dinner….

Here was the menu:

Blazy’s Pepperoni Studded Lasagna

( I used Emeril’s Sauce recipe)


turned into this:

OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS!!!!! (just sayin”)

With Green Bean Bundles


and store bought garlic bread  (I know I cheated but hey….can’t beat the best!)

For dessert was the incredible Lemon Cake

Cake Layers:

Layering the cake with:

Lemon Curd and lemon syrup:

Frosting and many more layers:

Finished cake (with ghetto piping done by me!)

and it was yummy too!

and take home gifts for the guests:

The dinner was great, the company was even better.  Another smashing success!

p.s.  realized after everyone left that I never took pictures of my guests…..sigh….oh well….We all had fun!  Thanks for coming, Pete, Mom, Dad, Bonnie and Dawn!

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Girl’s Day Out

Tuesday, my friend Bonnie, and her mother Gladys, invited me and mom to go to the Oklahoma Aquarium, in Jenks, OK

We had a WONDERFUL day.  Here are some highlights:

We were greeted by the crocodile

Saw some beautiful water creatures

Found Nemo

Did a little modeling with our new friend

My  mother won the “Top Model” prize!

Went to the Riverwalk for a WONDERFUL lunch

Mom and me

Bonnie and Gladys

and the elders had a quiet ride home:

Thanks Bonnie and Gladys for a DELIGHTFUL day!

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Continued from Part 1

Tuesday –

Another beautiful 80+ degree day.

1. Had lunch with my Friends, Judy and Bonnie (see photo).  The best 2 hours of the day.  They are great fun!

2. Went tree shopping to replace the tree that was destroyed by the ice storm.  I got a Chinese Pistache.

I LOVE my new car.  I was able to buy a tree and bring it home myself!

From Windshield to backdoor!

Right now it looks like this:

3. Decided I had a vision problem.  Here’s the knitting projects I’m currently working on….

Notice anything?……They are ALL RED.   This was not in anyway planned….just happened.  The baby sweater is now finished.  Photo shoot later.

Wednesday –

Spent the day with my parents.

Mom has some great blooms in her garden….. (here’s a sample)

The photo in the heading is mom’s apple tree in full bloom.

Here’s their new screened in porch.  It is so nice.  Dad spends most of his time there watching the birds.

Evidently the black birds are scaring away the song birds from the feeder so Dad made an example of one…..

I hope the others get the hint….

I came home and planted my tree….

Here’s its new home….

Ended the day watching movies and knitting with my friend Jessica.

to be continued…..

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Once Again the Valentine Day dinner was a Smash!  Here’s proof….

(I have linked recipes for those I got online)

Tomato Bouillon with homemade cheese crackers

Roast Chicken (Sorry……forgot to take pictures but trust me …..it was GREAT)

Corn Salad (again…..no picture)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes/red onion and herbs

Parmesan Rolls

a ‘hearty’ Blueberry Pie a la mode

and Great company

(Pete wants to make sure there was proof of the chocolates he bought for all the ladies and that he was present and participated in Valentine’s day.)

A grand time on a ‘Lovely” day.

p.s.  We chatted, we ate, we chatted some more and ate some more, then grunted at each other,  and everyone went home in a comatose state!

p.p.s.  Thanks Lou, for the wonderful surprise and the newest addition to my garden!  You are such a sweetheart!

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Each year, at Valentine’s week, I make a fancy dinner and invite, Pete, my Parents and other assorted friends. (This year’s dinner was postponed by a week due to inclement weather.) Going to a restaurant is always such a hassle and this is way more fun. We always have a good time and it gives me a chance to try new recipes and use my grandmother’s china.

This year it was attended by my friends, Dawn (the redhead), an actress at heart but a teacher by trade, Bonnie, (in the fancy green shirt), an elementary music teacher and editor extraordinaire, (she is the only reason I passed my national boards); My parents, Larry and Ora Mae, and of course Petey.

The table looked like this:

The center table piece was a Chrismtas gift from my sister who embroidered it. It is really beautiful.

The candles were a gift from my friend Jayma. She machine embroidered the fancy design and attached it to the candle. Needless to say, I didn’t burn them!

Pete did the honors of carving the meat.

My new recipe this year was the 6-layer Red Velvet Cake make completely from scratch (not one bit of cake mix or ready made frosting!)

I took these 6 pans of dough….

Made this lucious stack of cakes and cream cheese frosting

and ended up with this wonderful cake.

I don’t have the Martha Stewart touch so it didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the picture in the magazine but I was told it tasted great.

My mixer took a beating making the icing and I think there is still some sticky spots on my kitchen floor! I’m really glad I didn’t have to mix it by hand!

We had a wonderful evening. I just wish I had a bigger kitchen so I could invite more friends!

I’m already thinking about next year’s menu!

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