Monday, April 29, 2013


This one is for Amy - in a heartbeat we can break into this song which never fails to make us smile!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Photographer!

I met with Hope Sweigart today. Joanna suggested I might want to use her photos for the covers of the Holiday Series. She was so right!

Hope is a young college student and a delight to be with! After looking at just a few of her photos I could tell she has a discerning eye for art in nature.

One step closer to a summer publishing date for the new series. Keep saying prayers for inspiration!

Still Sick

Goodness, this cold is kicking my butt! Pat went to the pharmacist this morning and came home with two medicines to try. If things aren't better by Monday I actually will call the doctor.

My project I was working on Thursday is finally finished. I needed Pat to help on the last part of it. I can't wait to see it put together. Did you guess Pentecost display at church? It is a Chihuly inspired display.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bottom of the 5th

Well, I'm watching the game by myself - Pat and Jack went to the game. It is the bottom of the 5th and the rain just started up again.

They are still playing - the game is tied.

Can You Guess?

Any idea what ME is up to now? Deadline is May 18th.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Woohoo Say a Prayer

I am meeing with a young woman photographer on Saturday. Joanna says she is great. I need covers for the second series. I need to get the next set of books on Amazon!

Say a prayer we connect!

Monday, April 22, 2013


I just finished reading the new book Crossroads by the author of The Shack. It was good, however, I thought the story needed more experiences for the main character to change so dramatically.

I loved the concept and the characters. I would recommend it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another Cold!

I even know EXACTLY when I got this cold. That sweet baby Ella was too cute - I didn't even care if she had a cold! I still was kissing and snuggling with her.

One time I held her over my head and was playing with her and she coughed right into my mouth. I remember thinking, "That wasn't good!"

Sure enough the day she went home I started coughing. Yesterday I stayed on the couch all day. Today my ribs hurt from coughing so much.

It still was worth getting sick because I had all that loving from that sweet Ella!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


When we married in 1972 I needed to buy a cheap car to get to work. I was working at KinderKare so when I say cheap I mean cheap! We bought a little 1963 NSU for $300.

The floor was rotting, the heat didn’t work and when it snowed I used a spatula on the inside to clear the frost from the windshield!

But I loved my little car.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We went to see Lillie as the goalie for her high school Water Polo Team - we had a great time - she has a wicked serve the other teams should watch out for when they play them!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Baby Ella

We are having so much fun with Ella this morning! She is playing with Aunt Cindy's Ipad and she loves Talking Ginger and Bubbles.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Birthdays for Jim and Kathy

Birthdays are always better in twos!

The Real Sarah! My Bertie's Bakery Sarah is based on my niece Sarah. I watched her bake a birthday cake for my sister and brother today. She is such an artist! The cake was fabulous - chocolate with chocolate ganache filling and chocolate frosting with caramel drizzled on top!

My Sweet Niece Liz helps too

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ice Skating with Ayva

Papa and Uncle Jim are ice skating with Ayva all around the living room! This is the most precious thing I have ever seen..
Wait... I was wrong... Now she is teaching them their letters!


So this is a very loose interpretation of Clarence's beautiful painting "The Colors of Apple" - a birthday cake for his birthday!

We had a very nice celebration for his birthday - he liked his cake!

If you want to see Clarence Lum's beautiful paintings go to:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Garlic Knots

I'm cooking Italian tonight. I have never attempted garlic rolls so I thought I would try them for a dinner party tonight. Pat and I just tasted them - note the hole! They are delicious!

Garlic butter
I cut the top off a head of garlic, set the top back on and wrapped it in foil and baked 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turned off the oven and waited until cool. Squeezed garlic out of skins.

Melt 1/4 cup butter
Add garlic as prepared above
3 Tbs parsley
1 tsp garlic powder

I used this recipe for rolls

My Sister Kathy's Rolls

When the dough was ready, I rolled out half of it and spread the butter mixture on top. Sprinkled with Parmesan Shredded Cheese.

Cut the dough into 1/2 inch strips. Fold each strip in half and tie into a knot.

Place them in a cake pan. Let rise. Bake 350 for 20 minutes.

I made regular white dinner rolls out of the rest of the dough.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stuffed Shells

If you are making a mess - make enough for a couple meals.

This made 75 shells. Figure 4 or 5 per person.

1 32 oz Riccota
1 24 oz Cottage Cheese
1 jumbo egg
1 cup Mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs Mrs. Dash
2 Tbs Parsley
1 tsp Cinnamon

Mix well in ziploc bag

Cook and drain large shells according to the package directions.

Put a couple ladles of sauce in bottom of casserole dish. 

Fill shells by cutting small corner of ziploc bag. Set slit side up in casserole dish. Cover with sauce and Mozzarella.

If freezing, this is when I cover with plastic wrap and foil.

Bake uncovered at 350 for about 35 minutes. Need 45-60 if frozen.

Mary Ellen's Meatballs

I am a firm believer if you are going to make meatballs make a lot to freeze some. This makes 90 golfball sized meatballs.

1 package Cole's garlic toast partially thawed
4 TBS Parsley or Parsley Paste
1 cup shaved parmesan
2 Tbs Mrs. Dash
1 tsp each salt, pepper, oregano

Breadcrumb mixture
2 jumbo eggs
7# Ground Beef

I make the breadcrumbs in the food processor in two batches. Then combine the meat and eggs. Do not over mix. I use a small ice cream scoop to make the meatballs uniform in size about golfball size.

Bake 350 for 30 minutes

Most of the butter from the garlic toast comes out of the meatballs. So I use cookie sheets with sides. Cover in foil for easy cleanup.

Add the baked meatballs to a pot of sauce. Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.

Freeze any leftovers in serving size batches.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wickes Park

We drove through Wickes Park and saw 2 Loons and 3 Mersenger. The Loons were trying to get the Mersenger to go away.

I hope that means the Loons are nesting. I've never seen them on the Saginaw River.

April Snowstorm

Why yes, we are in Mancelona driving through a snowstorm! It was a beautiful day in Traverse City yesterday. We stopped at a couple wineries to replenish the stock at home. Surprised myself when we bought some red wines.

Found a beautiful glass bowl at Chateau Grand Traverse for a wedding gift. It looks very Chihuly! I know I have beads from Italy to match at home!

Sad to say our favorite restaurant, TraVinos has closed. So we made a second trip out to the Mission Peninsula to go to Peninsula Grill. Had a delicious whitefish dinner and Pat really liked the salmon.

I'm so glad Pat suggested the unexpected night away! On our way home.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Day with Ayva

First to Chippewa Nature Center for story time. She made binoculars out of toilet tissue rolls. She really liked that.

Then off to the first visit to the Saginaw Children's Zoo. I have to say after taking three generations of kiddos to one of our favorite spots - they all loved the fossil find the most. I told someone who worked at the zoo that Sheala and Robbie loved digging and jumping and she was disappointed! She thought their favorite part of the zoo should be an animal. Nope - they love to play!

Then McDonald's for lunch. She made friends and played some more.

She talked all day long and we loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Oh Yum

I tried a new recipe to take to a party. Bacon wrapped dates filled with goat cheese. They were delicious!

Preheat oven at 400
Cover cookie sheet with foil

1 package pitted dates (mine had 30)
2/3# Applewood smoked bacon
Goat cheese
Smoked Paprika
Balsamic Vinegar reduction

Make a slit in the dates - by far the most difficult part of the directions

Finely chop almonds
Mix goat cheese and almonds

Stuff dates with cheese mixture

Cut bacon into thirds - lay out same number of bacon pieces as dates on the foil lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with paprika.

Wrap each date with bacon (I didn't use toothpicks) with the paprika facing in

Roast for 15-20 minutes - watch carefully they could burn

Put on paper towels to get rid of excess grease. Arrange on plate and drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction. I actually bought a small squeeze bottle of balsamic vinegar glaze - it was perfect.

Everyone loved the appetizer!

Finally All Set Up

Spent yesterday getting to know my new computer! It is BIG (gosh I just said that about the new furniture, too!)

Anyway I have a lot to learn, but I think I have the basics!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mary Lynn's Spinach Salad

2 bags washed spinach
3 cans mandarin oranges
1 package peanuts
1 cup cooked bacon,  chopped

Toss with dressing at the last minute

Boil 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup sugar for 2 minutes.
Add: 1 tsp celery seed, dry mustard, salt. 1 Tbs paprika, onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 can tomato soup, 1 cup salad oil. Shake in jar. This is way more than you need. Refrigerate leftovers or send some home with your dinner guests!