Thursday, November 29, 2007

All Set to Go

I went to the Grandy Farm yesterday and set up my area. I thought maybe I had taken too much inventory - but I didn't make too much - everything fit in the Kitchen and Deb Grandy gave me space in the living room - there was a nic nac shelf with a dish groove so I put most of my "Just add a cheeseball" hostess gifts in there.

I also put a couple of my gift baskets in the pantry behind the kitchen - so - I'm all set to go! I think I will run out there tomorrow after work just to see how things are going. Wouldn't it be great if I had to run to the Antique Warehouse and grab more inventory from there???? So I've got my fingers crossed! Don't forget that I work all day Saturday - hope to see you there.

Today is my "Amy Day" - my friend Amy cleans my house - I love to go home after work and just sit there and soak in how much I love our duplex. I used to make fun of my Mom because she made us clean for the cleaning lady - well - I understand it now - I don't want to pay someone to move clutter - I want her to spend her time doing the deep cleaning - and Amy is WONDERFUL! Everything is in it's place - I can smell the furniture polish and floor cleaner - I love my Amy Day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's Almost Here - AAAAHHHHHH!!!

The van is packed - I think I may have overdone it! I have no idea - since I've never even been to the Grandy Farm Open House before I just didn't know how much inventory to take with me. I am going over after work today to set up my space. Sheala and Robbie and I stopped over at Caroline's to pick up my Mom's little bookcase - I think it will fit next to my spot in the kitchen at the open house so I can put little items on the little shelves. I really had fun making the different hostess sets and even though I HATE pricing and inventory - I got it done.

Sheala and Robbie forgot their keys to get in at home after school - so I took them home with me and we made sugar cookies for the open house. They were a huge help - rolling out the dough - cutting out the shapes and sprinkling green and red sugar on top. We used Aunt Betty's Easy Sugar Cookies recipe - the BEST cookies ever - you can roll and reroll your dough over and over again and the cookies never are tough.

Here is the recipe:

Preheat oven to 400

1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla (I double this to 2 tsp - Clear vanilla makes all the difference if you can get some)
½ cup sour milk (add TBS lemon juice OR vinegar to milk)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 cups flour

Put baking soda into sour milk (do this first - it expands)

Cream sugar and shortening, add one egg at a time, add salt and vanilla.

Add baking powder to flour and then alternate that mixture with milk mixture.

Make sure you watch them in the oven though because they brown very quickly.

Robbie had fun making an experiment after most of the cookie dough was gone - I told him he could add stuff - Leftover egg wash, more flour, Paprika, Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Nutmeg and I don't know what else - we didn't bake it but it sure looked fantastic with all those colors in it! Then they played "Guess Who" it was so much fun to watch them having fun that I was sorry to see their Dad pick them up.

OK - see you on Saturday - if you can't come then make it on Friday or Sunday - you don't want to miss the open house! ME

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Great Christmas Gift Idea

Fran Novak and I went in on a Christmas gift for each other - we purchased a brick to be placed by the flagpole at the Mid-Michigan Children's Museum. This museum is across from the old Saginaw Paint Manufacturing where my Dad worked. And actually Jim and Larry worked there during their high school years.

The brick says: Patsy Novak and Elinor Shea Friends Forever

If you want to purchase a brick there is a link on the right hand side column of this blog.

I also sent out a mailing about the open house at the Grandy Farm. If you do not receive a mailing and you want to please leave a message here. If you did receive one and you don't want to be on the mailing list - ditto - leave a message for me.

All the wrapping is done - lots of spoons, forks and butter knives. Gift baskets, cake plates and servers, and lots more. I've almost got everything priced and packed - today will be the finishing touches. Then I have to bake cookies because anyone going to the open house can have cookies. I bought 24 bars of World's Finest Chocolate from Sheala (she is raising money to go to Washington D.C. with her class.) and I'll make the chocolate chip cookies with that chocolate...mmm...mmmm... So - back to work - ME

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

There are so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving - I thought I would start a list and add to it by editing the post all week long. Add comments to increase the reasons we are all so thankful.

The Day After Thanksgiving
I am thankful that I had such a wonderful time seeing so many nieces and nephews at Jim and Cindy's. Karina, Karalee, Ethan, Robbie and Sheala played all day together while all the aunts played with Tsipporah. I love watching the grand nieces and nephews play just like their Mom's and Dad did all those Thanksgivings ago! Everything was so typical - Fred bothering Caroline, Kim bossing us all around to make sure everything made it to the table hot and delicious, The guys watching football and cooking both the turkey's on the grill, The women closing the french doors and talking until some child finds us and the quiet time ends! Thank you... Thank you... Thank you...

Late Thanksgiving Morning - Almost Noon
Pat and I went to SS Peter and Paul for Thanksgiving Mass. The Nouvel football team was there with all of their families. The place was filled with laughter and love and lots of talking. It was a beautiful service and Fr. Jack used the Waterford Chalice that Mom, Patsy, Fran and I got him from Ireland. He made sure I noticed it after Mass. We are so filled with blessings.

Thanksgiving Morning
Well - here we are Thanksgiving Morning - I'm so thankful that the pumpkin roll came out of the pan - the pie crust for the onion tarts turned out flaky AND that Cindy and Jim are so willing to share their family with ours. I cannot wait to go over and see all my nephews and nieces - everyone is home for the holidays. Also, we got just a little bit of snow and when we got up this morning every tree limb was lightly covered with beautiful white snow. It looks like a holiday card looking out my window. It looks like it might all melt by the time everyone is on the road.

I am thankful to have spent time with Sheala and Robbie after school yesterday. We went to Saginaw Township government building to pick up Mary Lynn's quilt that was in an art show there. Then we stopped at Goodwill - I found a tiered cookie dish and she found a Newberry Award book. Then we went to the bowling alley and watched Robbie bowl an awesome game at his practice. We had fun. Grandchildren are the greatest!

Dinner Out
We had a great time watching Sheala play volleyball - then we went over to Joanna and Robin's for a great dinner. Ham and Gnocchi - mmmm mmmmm mmmmm Robin is a great cook - we had a very nice evening.

10 Days Left Before Open House
I got up at 3:00 am and decided the bead room HAS to be cleaned out before I do another thing. Everything is in disarray. So I did the quiet stuff first while Pat was sleeping. I was out of control trying to get something done for my friend this past weekend and I kept dumping out piles of beads until I finally found what I needed. So I ended up with tons of beads mixed together - UGH - it is not easy getting them back in separate containers. So I got that part done and tonight I will work on packing up the storage boxes for the open house at the Grady's Farm on Nov 30-Dec 2 - then I will figure out what else has to be wrapped before then. So I am very thankful that I still have 10 days to get ready for the show!!!!! I will need it!!!

Through an incredibly difficult year - we are still filled with faith. We are searching for a church and in the process have been blessed with wonderful homilies and faith-filled communities.

He is not in a cast this Thanksgiving. After a bad fall off a ladder last year he broke his back and his wrist. Months of rest and relaxation and recovering from these injuries had us worried about a full recovery. One year later - he is back to work and back to 100%.

Our Family
We are so blessed to have a wonderful family. Everyone is healthy and happy. Could we ask for anything more? Working at the Police Department, I see so much dysfunction in families in the victims and suspects that come through this building that I realize how easily families fall into disrepair. It takes hard work and commitment to have a family stay together. Even when people work very hard sometimes it doesn't happen. The fact that ours is so together means so much to me.

We have the most amazing friends. They stick by us through everything. I cannot believe this extended family of ours - they love us, nurture us, help us, and they are ALWAYS there for us.

I love the artistic part of the hand bead work. I will never make as much as I spend - and that is fine. The money that comes in pays for more beads. The joy is in the searching for the pieces to buy and then making the piece my own style. What fun this has been this year. Thankfully Patrick is very supportive and loves going on treasure hunts with me.

That's all for today - I'll add some more tomorrow. ME

Friday, November 16, 2007

Joanna's Having a Party

You know how much I hate home parties, don't you???? I HATE home parties. HOWEVER, Joanna is having one on Sunday and it is the coolest new thing. It's called Uppercase Living. You can personalize your home with decorative expressions. Link on the side of my blog, when you click on the link sign in on the Customer Login with the demonstrator ID 561661 and the registration token is - faith. I can't wait to order a saying for above my friend wall in the Living Room. I found a couple of sayings but one may be too long for my wall space. I'll see if I can use it - if not - I'll have a shorter verse. Anyone have a good verse about friends that is short?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Songs from the Heart

One of my friends, Amy, from St. Mary Cathedral stopped by today with a CD Songs from the Heart by Daughters of God. She wanted me to hear the song "From One Mother to Another" It is so beautiful - it reminded her of my daughter Caroline. Caroline found a couple to adopt her daughter several years ago. It is an open adoption which means we get to see her a couple of times a year. Saturday we get to go see Caroline's daughter and her daughter's sister. I can't wait to see these two grandchildren tomorrow - and - to take this CD to them. The song is very very beautiful and captures the loving heart that the birth mothers of these two girls have.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Working My Fingers to the Bone

Oh my goodness.... My fingertips are so sore. I have been cleaning silver, wrapping beads getting ready for the Grandy Open House. It wouldn't be so bad except after I'm done wrapping something I end up buying another dish at a consignment shop or estate sale that HAS to go with the already wrapped spoon or cake server and I have to undo it and rewrap it with different colored beads.

However, the new collections of sets are sooo great. I especially love one small pedestal cake plate that is an Avon Christmas plate red, white and green and the cake server I wrapped to go with it is beautiful. It is very difficult to find white beads - but the red, green and white beads on the server really are beautiful.

Yesterday I found a consignment shop going out of business - I had so much fun shopping. I found so many little bowls and dishes that I am sure I have enough to sell the whole weekend at the Grandy Farm and the Antique Warehouse for the rest of the Christmas season.

Now - if I could just wrap, wrap, wrap for days on end I would be ready!!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Entertaining a Lesson for Life

Good friends coming for dinner tonight makes me think of my Mom. She was such a great hostess. We would go grocery shopping to no less than three stores to make sure she had the best of everything. Provenzanos would be on her list and we would walk in there and smell the meatballs and cheese at the back of the store from the minute we walked in the front door. When checking out we usually would buy a couple lottery tickets to take out to the car and rub off - sometimes I even got to run back in and buy a few more with the money we won. One time she sent me back in four times because she kept winning! What fun!

We would get back home and her table would already be set with her beautiful cream and gold china her goldware and Waterford all glistening in the light. Everything set the night before. Each dish was on the counter with a little piece of paper that had the name of the food that was going in that dish. A list of the whole menu would be on the table to be sure that nothing was missed.

And then the dinner preparation would begin. There was always a glass of wine or if we were lucky she would make a blender full of whiskey sours. Food always comes out better if the cook is happy! The house would begin to smell like home. There was always too much food and always an extra place at the table if anyone happened to bring someone home with them. Remember how many dinners Nancy showed up with Kathy for - she was like an extra Shea kid at the table.

Once people began to show up for dinner and everything was ready then the fun would begin. I loved sitting at the table listening to all the laughter and talking. The best thing growing up was that when the good china was used then the Aunts and Mom did all the dishes so they wouldn't get broken. (However I don't ever remember ever breaking an every day dish!)

When we were little and we lived on Hoyt Street, and it was time to go to bed we would sneak up to the little room at the top of the back stairway that many years before someone much more affluent than us had used as a maid's room. We would very carefully open the heat register (move too fast and dust would fall on the kitchen table giving us away!) We would sit there trying to hear what everyone was talking about until we were so tired we would have to give up and go to bed.

Tonight Pat and I have eight friends joining us for dinner. The table isn't set, the porch has to be cleaned, the food has to be cooked (although some of it is already made). My grocery shopping is done - the house is almost done - my menu is put together. When I get home from work I will work very fast getting the cooking going and the cleaning done. Then when everyone comes over - we will all catch up - eat lots of food - drink lots of wine - laugh lots and have a wonderful time.

I'm so glad my Mom entertained so much and loved to have everyone over - she never stressed out about it - just worked very hard before everyone showed up and then stopped to enjoy all the fun with her guests. A good lesson in life.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mini Vacation

Well, we had our four-day weekend and it was wonderful. We went up north to Houghton Lake and then over to Tawas. We stayed the night at the Tawas Beach Resort and found out that our friend John’s band, Small Change, was playing in the lounge that evening. It was fun being there when the band came in to set up and we surprised him sitting there waiting for them. We had a blast – one of the patrons was dressed up as Frankenstein (or as Jim at work corrected me: Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster) – an unbelievable costume that kept us all laughing all night long.

On Saturday, we went to our friends, Jim and JoAnn, who have a cabin in AuGres and met Bill and Amy there and we (the guys) raked and (I) burned leaves – an annual tradition. We love the smell of burning leaves and JoAnn feeds us until we are ready to burst. We had an enjoyable day catching up with them.

Then back home and on Sunday after church we went to Bringers for breakfast with Jan and Jim and Bill and Amy and Vince and Olympia. Then Pat and I drove to Mt. Pleasant, Clare and Blanchard going to antique stores. That was a lot of fun and I found silver-plated flatware to use in my Second Serving business.

On Monday we chilled out – took the van in to have some minor work done. When we got the van back we drove to Bay City and our vacation was done. I slept too much on Sunday so I got up at 2:00 am and wrapped spoons for a couple of hours. Then – back to work. I picked up Robbie from school after work and everything is back to same old same old.

I stopped at Goodwill on the way home – I found the greatest quilted Fall jacket for $3.00 – yeah – I love it when I find such a good deal.

Jane called me yesterday morning on my way in to work to say that she is on her way to New York for a conference and Sarah is going to meet her there. What fun! I would love to be there with them!

Okay – that’s all for now - ME

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Yeah! A Four Day Weekend

Patrick called me at work - he's taking off Monday - so - we'll be off Friday - Monday. I used to think I had to save all of my vacation time because it will roll into my pension - HAH - not anymore. Vacation time is my saving grace. I need to spend every single solitary minute I can with that man! What a good day it is indeed.