Saturday, December 31, 2011

Working hard on second book

I'm done with the first draft of the second chapter book. I love it. I would like to have several done before I do anything with them. My sister suggested ebooks and I have been reading up on it and I think I agree with her.

I have a new blog with the first chapter of each book - click on the right under the construction zone for the link.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pizza with the Family

We had so much fun at the Bavarian Inn arcade. We had pizza and all the kids played the games.

It was a nice time to visit.

Altered Book

I was looking at the pictures of the altered book I made my friend, Amy. I don't think I ever posted any of them. I really would like to do another one. It does take over the computer room - so I would have to really, really want to do another one.

There is so much drying time when making one that you have to leave it open on the page you are working on for a bit.

Amy and I both love hummingbirds - I searched for just the right book to use for months before I found this one. I wanted to make memories about her Mom who had passed away. Her husband, Bill, helped me by providing many pictures that I scanned in and printed out - I didn't want to use her originals. We also found some of Amy's hair her mother had saved.

This was so beautiful when it was done - I still love it.

Here is the outside of the book:

This is the section that I used the locket and hair:

I used old wallpaper books for many of the backgrounds. One picture was her Mom outside with Amy on the grass next to her, another one her Mom sitting in a chair outside, and one with her friends. I put the backgrounds of the beach and a lighthouse and a library in France and a gazebo.

Vintage Birdcage

When visiting friends over the holidays, I couldn't resist taking this picture - I love the birdcage - and this one looks as if it holds a Christmas Tree!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We spent the day going to visit friends. It was a very nice morning. Then stopped at Harvey's for lunch. Tonight we are going to church at 5:00 to be with Bill and Amy and at 9:00 to be with Jim and Jan. Pat also is singing at 9:00.

I hope you enjoy the pictures we took at church the other night. Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


We finished the decorating last night at SS Peter and Paul Church. It was a fun night. The evening started with the traditional hot dog dinner. Then everyone just gets to work.

The colors are gold and white and the tree turned out so pretty. I won't post the pictures until Christmas. But I will tell you that I used the picture I found on Pinterest as inspiration and it really turned out sweet!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

ISO Setting

Since the Pinterest pin about taking pictures in the dark with the lights on the Christmas Tree I decided to just play around with the ISO settings this morning. I had to adjust the color after I took them - so I have a long way to go. But this is fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011


My new fun pastime is so much fun I had to turn off my Galaxy Tablet for the first time because I have three more days left for this billing cycle and I have used 2.95 of 3.00 GB for the month!!!!

It is called Pinterest - a site where people "Pin" and "Repin" things they want to try or pictures they like on to "Boards" So I have Great Photos, Food with multiple categories, 1st Serving, Crafts, Holidays, and whenever I see something I would like to try or a site I want to revisit - I put it into a Pin on a Board.

It is addicting - and works great on the PC - but there are drawbacks when using the Galaxy. It took me a bit to figure out there are some glitches. When saving to a board not all of my boards show up only the top 7 or so and it won't scroll down - so - I made my first board be an I Need to Move Board. I put anything in there that I can't get to the board it needs to be in - so when I go into my own space I can edit each one to the board it needs to be in - for some reason when I am in my own Pinterest Home where my boards are the correct way to choose a board kicks in.

I also cannot pin - only repin - that is a major glitch - but one I am sure they will fix - it is just a minor problem because I can go on my PC - which all of a sudden I am doing a lot more because of Pinterest! There are so many good things to repin I am happy with using my Galaxy 75% of the time with Pinterest.

I love my Pinterest - thank you Heather for getting me addicted to something that is so much fun.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Has Finally Arrived at the Cliffords

My favorite heirloom from my Mom. I probably already blogged this but - here goes again. My Mom had an ongoing tradition that started before she moved out of her Jefferson Street home (which by the way looks awful). She made a list of her most treasured possessions and asked us to put down in numerical order what we wanted to inherit from her. It was often heard, "When you die....." Sounds morbid I know but my kids do it now, too! We have fun with it.

This is the Nativity Set that I put as NUMBER 1 on my list of things I wanted from my Mom's house. I asked her, "Mom, if something is not on the list can I still put it as Number 1?" My brothers and sisters were not happy that I wanted something that was not on the list!!!! What was it??? Did they want it??? Because it was something that only came out of the attic at Christmas time it never made it onto the list - but - I used to stand in front of the Nativity scene on Hoyt Street just looking at the beautiful statues. I think her Uncle Mario made the stable and her Uncle Ray painted it. I just called my cousin, Mary Lynn and she is going to double check the Uncle Mario part!

Anyway - when Mom moved to the condo she gave me the nativity set - I still love it to pieces.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beef and Polenta Crockpot Dinner

I was inspired by a pinterest recipe. Use leftover pulled roast beef and slice a tube of prepared polenta.

In a crockpot layer:

Fire roasted tomatoes (I used Hunts)
Polenta slices
Leftover shredded roast beef
Black beans (rinsed and drained)
Sprinkle with Taco Seasoning
Slices of Colby Jack Cheese

Put a second layer on top. Cook on high 4 hours. Turn off and let sit for 15 minutes.

It was delicious and so easy. The polenta was so creamy. The original recipe was called a tamale casserole. This really did not taste like a tamale but it was so good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Best Day Ever

The Jacklin and Martinez families came for dinner. Then we made Aunt Betty's Sugar Cookies. We frosted them and put sprinkles on them. Javier said, This was the best day ever!" Nana said, "I think so, too!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My First Chapter Book

I've been playing around writing a story. I've been using lots of good lines from my life. It sure has been fun. I'm using several different decades of memories to make Saginaw come alive. So in my world Berties Bakery, the Webber house, cell phones and texting all are in the present. It's fun.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stop by for my last show

Don't forget my last show for 2011 - Today from 10-4 at Andersen Enrichment Center on Ezra Rust in Saginaw. There is a holly sale and a great lunch. See you there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All Set to Go

We just finished setting up at Andersen Enrichment Center for the Hollydays Fair from 10-4 Wednesday (tomorrow). It was fun watching the vendors set up. Many people walked over to say they read the article in the Saginaw News on Sunday. Can't wait for tomorrow.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Great Show

Clarkston was another great show. We sold like there was no tomorrow - then today was quite slow. But there was a rally at the end to make today a good day, too. Joanna was sweet enough to go to Grandy Farm to pick up our inventory after that show closed at 5:00 again this year.

In Clarkston we were next to Linda and Ron Harris who sell sculptures of fish bones. They are great. (The sculptures and Ron and Linda!)

We had so much fun. It seemed that every plate Ron touched sold in the next hour. Every time it happened we laughed. So he came into the booth and touched lots of plates. Then a couple women walked up and bought 12 sets!

Pat was looking at their sculptures and walked over to their booth and saw the Parrothead and he had to have it. He thought it was just too cool.

They talked us into checking out the Glenn Arbor show in July so we look forward to seeing them again. A link to their website is below.

Sue White - Saginaw News

Last week Sue White called to ask about my hostess gifts. She heard from Marsha Braun at the Andersen Enrichment Center that I would be at the Hollyday Art Fair this Wednesday.

After a short phonecall where she talked to me like she was a dear friend she wrote an article for today's Saginaw News that perfectly describes how much I love making and selling my hostess sets. Click below to read the article.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Last Shows for the Year

Sunday - Grandy Farm 9-5
Sunday - Clarkston High School 11-4
Wednesday - Andersen Enrichment Center 10-4

This has been a very good year. Thank you to all my new and repeat customers. It is so much fun watching people choose the hostess gifts. I love working the craft shows. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


We saw five beautiful bluebirds at the entrance of Chippewa Nature Center. It surprised us because it has been years since we saw one.

Grandy Farm

We set up this morning at the Grandy Farm. It is the 25th year for the holiday open house. Everything looks so festive. Deb is pondering this being the last year! I would really miss this show. It is Friday-Sunday and I will be working all day Friday. Stop on by and tell Deb to have another show next year!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Time to Bake

On my way into the kitchen to bake cookies for the 25th Annual Grandy Farm Open House this weekend.

I have lots of leftover snacks from Thanksgiving - chocolate covered peanuts, malted milk balls, chocolate dusted almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts. I found a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and everything is going in - I'll post a pic when I am done.

Ggggggrrrrrr - no I won't. If a cookie recipe ever says to melt the butter - think twice before making them. Flat as pancakes - stuck to the pans - in the trash - then 1/2 hour scraping the pans clean (and no I didn't use pam because the recipe had two sticks of butter and I have never had cookies stick with that much butter!) Need to start over.

Oh yum - made my sister, Jane's pumkin cookie recipe. These are the best.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Paetz Photography

We had our picture taken for the church directory. I am very happy with Paetz Photography. This is the best picture we've had in years. So if you are thinking of a portrait choose Paetz!


We had to go back to raise the wreath so the drapes would be higher. SS Peter and Paul uses a projector instead of printed worship aides and some people in the last row couldn't see the words. And of course this past weekend was the weekend where the words changed during the liturgy.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dark Shadows

I remember coming home after school and watching Dark Shadows with my sister, Jane. The movie due out in May will have Tim Burton directing and Johnny Depp will be Barnabus Collins. I have to say that duo scares me - they are both creepy! Jane we should go to see it together.

Friday, November 25, 2011


We just finished preparing the worship space for Advent. I wish you could smell the Juniper - the fragrance is amazing.

The simple lines of the draping through the wreath is very beautiful. Even though the material in the picture looks blue St. Pete's uses the traditional purple. Nancy couldn't stop thinking about how it should look - I'm glad she felt so strongly about trying it.

One Shopping Trip

Ashamed to say for the second year in a row I went shopping on Thanksgiving. Couldn't resist a quick run to Michaels - $576 worth of beads for $200! Can't resist such a good deal so I can keep selling the hostess plates and knives for the same price.

I did apologize to the store clerk but she said she was happy to be working because she had Thanksgiving dinner at 1:00 and she would just be sitting at home - made me feel a bit better.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Started out the morning making sweet potatoes and apples. Then we went to St. Pete's for a beautiful Thanksgiving liturgy. I am so thankful for our family and friends.

We came home and put the turkey in the oven - first time ever I didn't stuff the turkey. I came across a crockpot stuffing recipe that sounded great so I thought I would try it.

All I have left is the salad and the roasted veggies. Caroline said she was coming early to help so I'll wait for her to do those with me.

Today, Michael's wife arrived in the U.S. It has been almost two years for the visa process. WELCOME HOME KESENIJA SHEA. We are truly thankful you are reunited with Michael.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What an Afternoon!

Robbie came over all day helping his Papa with the ceiling in the basement. Then at 3:00 he stpped and we reviewed his notes for his driving test. I drove him to Center Courts where we reviewed one more time before he went in to take the test. Joanna called to say he passed the test - 100% - yeah. That means he can get his license in nine days when he turns 16!

Then Jane called with David and Sarah on a three way call - they were making cauzone for Thanksgiving! Traditionally an Easter pie in our family but David makes it for Thanksgiving. It was a joy talking to them!

I decided I didn't have room in the refrigerator to cook anymore today so I'll be up early tommorrow.

Thanksgiving Prep

We are having Pat's family here on Thursday and Joanna and Caroline's families here on Friday so I'm getting ready for two dinners.

Yesterday I made pumpkin risotto for Thursday and Friday plus enchiladas for Friday. Today I'm making my sister-in-law Cindy's apples and sweet potatoes and my friend Pam's pumpkin cake for Thursday and Friday.

Robbie is coming over to help his Papa put the ceiling in the basement - hopefully making an area for some people to eat on Thursday. Personally I don't think we will use the area but I'll be happy to have that job done! I've got some decluttering to do in the computer room, a stop at the store for a couple more things, so with those things and the cooking I'll be busy today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I saw a Facebook post from my friend Barb that said because they were not having family home for Thanksgiving they decided to decorate for Christmas.

So today we called and said we were coming for a Christmas drink. We had such an enjoyable visit with Barb and Dave. Remembering when our kids were little and such good friends.Our camping trips as well as the visits to their home over the years.

Good friends - good memories - good visit!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday in the Heart of the City

Sheala, Caroline, Ayva, Pat and I went to Holiday in the Heart of the City. It was perfect weather for walking. We started at the zoo. The white wolf even walked right up to the windows to see Ayva.

I got to see my friend Heather and her family walking into the zoo - her daughter Liv was brave enough to ride the pony. Maybe next year Sophie and Maddie might!

Then we went to the Japanese Tea House and had Sheala and Ayva's names written in Japanese.

Then off to the carriage rides where they got the last ride of the night. The lady said we were too late but we stood there until they filled the carriage and there was room for Caroline, Sheala and Ayva!

After Caroline said Ayva didn't like the 4th of July fireworks and she didn't want to see the fireworks tonight so we got in the car to leave when Ayva said, "Nana, I want to see the fireworks." So we pulled over and she loved watching them from the car.

A very good night!

Ayva Shmayva Come Play with Nana!

Ayva - look what Nana found for you at the thrift store! There is a set of twins and triplets - one even plays music! All for $10 - what a deal! Come play with me!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


OK Remember when I said it was my new favorite wine? Lot 49 is SOOOOOO good I made Pat promise never to open a bottle unless he is going to drink half of it!

We shared a bottle over steak and enchiladas - yum.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Favorite Church Sign

Honk if you love Jesus
Text while you drive if you want to meet him

Monday, November 14, 2011

My New Favorite Wine

We decided to drive up to Traverse City after our night in Grand Rapids. We stopped at all the consignment shops during the early afternoon.

Now we are wine tasting. Our first stop was Peninsula Cellars where we bought a few different kinds of wine. Then on to Chateau Grand Traverse to get some oak barrel fermented Chardonnay that we really like. We love coming to the vineyards at this time because you can take your time with fewer people. The vinter at Chateau Grand Traverse has waited on us several years now - he actually was the person who told me I would love the barrel fermented Chardonnay at room temperature. So I asked him to pick out the last wine for us to taste and it was fabulous. It is only the third year that this wine has been made - it won first place in London for those first two years. It is called Lot 49 Riesling. It also spends some time in oak barrels. It isn't sold in stores but it is worth the trip here - they only have a few cases left. It is yummy.

Power of Prayer

Right after I retired my friend Kim told me she had a mouse in her office. I told her that was because when I worked there EVERY SINGLE MORNING I said a prayer on my way into work to keep the creatures and the critters away.

I just thought maybe I should have been praying for world peace all those years!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dinner with Liz and Joe

Such a nice night with Liz and Joe! We drove to Grand Rapids for an overnight and my sister Jane's daughter Liz and her boyfriend Joe met us for dinner.

It was so great getting to know Joe and seeing Liz so happy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two Shows Today

It's going to be a beautiful day for a drive. Why not drive to Mt. Pleasant or Bay City to attend a craft show? I will be at:

West Intermediate School
440 South Bradley
Mt. Pleasant
9:00 - 3:30

Pat's cousin's daughter, Christie will be selling my dishes and knives along with her jewelry and you can ask her about her unique guitar clocks! She will be at:

In His Presence Ministries
4521 Monitor
Bay City
Doors open at 9:00

Friday, November 11, 2011

Count down to 11/11/11 11:11:11

So do I have anything better to do? Yes - we are having company for dinner so you know I have better things to do - but I thought it would be fun to post something at 11/11/11 11:11:11.

My whole life I have been drawn to look at the clock at 11:11. My Aunt Dorothy's birthday was 11/11 and when she told me she often looked at the clock at 11:11 it spooked me a bit because I did the same thing!

It's funny because I am so predictable that every time I see it I smile, point to the numbers and tell Pat "11:11" - thank God he loves me enough to put up with my craziness!

Okay - I have to watch the clock now so I can go onto FB and post at 11:11 too! (But this will be the official one posted at 11/11/11 11:11:11!)

You gotta love ME!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Friend Jan

We stopped for a hug and to drop off some food. She looks good but exhausted. May God heal her quickly and completely.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Airplanes to go camping?

Caroline and the kids came over for dinner - Jesse had to work :-(

Javier made a checklist of all the food supplies we would need to go camping - checking off each thing he thought of to bring with us. Then he drew airplanes he said they were to go camping. Grandma Caroline and Grandpa are going to have to bring them camping next year so they understand they don't have to take a plane!

Then they built castles with Papa - what fun!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wind Farms

We have been driving around Breckenridge, Hemlock and St. Lois today. I bet we've seen 200 windmills. I don't see any of them working yet but they are huge. We just passed a generator being trucked to a new site and it was very big.

I can't wait to see these all working.

Gggrrrr. . . .

I put chicken in the crockpot overnight and now it awakened me with the aroma and my tummy is growling saying "Feed me already!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shower for Monique

We had such a great time meeting Azal Bryant Thomas for the first time. The baby shower was very nice and it was so good to see everyone. Got a chance to talk with Kristina (you and Brandon can come to dinner anytime - call me!) A good time was had by all.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Hate to Drive

Yesterday I did the driving. We went to an estate sale in Bay City. Detours, BCC getting out of school just as I drove by, sun in my eyes when I was already tired, stop signs on busy roads. . . . I am so blessed that Pat loves to drive as much as I hate to drive!

And the final insult? Walking into the estate sale and seeing the stack of beautiful glass dishes on the checkout table being purchased by an antique dealer from the Antique Warehouse!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our New Tree!

Our new Red Maple is being put into the ground today. I so missed our Sugar Maple since we had it removed. These guys from Bell Landscaping really had to work to remove the old roots from that good old tree!

I love looking out my kitchen window and having a beautiful 15 foot tree that looks at home in our yard even on its first day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm So Proud!

Halloween and Papa's Birthday

We had everyone over to celebrate Pat's birthday. We don't like having anyone driving on Halloween so the kids dressed up tonight and went out the front door to the back to trick or treat. Such fun!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


That is break as in a rest - not as in breaking dishes! We bought some great dishes in New Jersey and I wrapped a couple hundred knives on our trip so I want to get these prepped for upcoming shows.

I have a couple more hours to work on these and need to be done before Patrick comes back from his parents.

I do think I am set for all the shows and a large order from my friend Tom. So after these are done today I'll just be selling!

Don't forget the upcoming shows - listed on the sidebar on the right!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We are home. It was a very long drive yesterday. We had planned on two 7 hour days but the snowstorm blew that plan to pieces.

On Saturday we drove 150 miles in 4 hours so yesterday we had 950 to drive! It took 14 hours with short stops for gas, breakfast and dinner. It amazes me to think we were in Massachusetts yesterday!

It feels good to be home!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beautiful Drive in Sunshine

We woke up to 2 feet of snow - a record for Lee, Massachusetts (the old record was one inch!)

What a nice day today has turned into - sunshine, blue skies, just a scattering of snow surrounding the fall colors still on the trees.

We are in Pennsylvania now - don't miss Massachusetts at all!

Should be home tonight.