Monday, June 30, 2008

Mrs Yogi and the kids are WHERE?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!

OK .... typical day .... I came home from work about 5Pm ..... decided to go outside , walk down the driveway to get the mail before I go out for a longer walk for an hour ..... as I'm heading down the driveway my next door neighbor , Tim came calmly walking over to me and said "I'd wait to go get the mail if I were you." ... I, being typically unobservant, asked "Why?" He answered and pointed "because Jim, across the street has a mama bear and her 3 cubs up in the tree right next to his garage ..... you do NOT want to mess with a mama bear with cubs .... she's pretty darn mean and dangerous" ..... so, I decided the mail and the walk could wait, but a PICTURE could not ....

.....(if you click on the picture to make it bigger , you'll be able to see Mrs. Yogi better ..... I wasn't about to become dinner for the bear family, so I used the "zoom" on my camera and kept a neighborly distance!)

...if you click on this picture to make it bigger, you'll see a big dark blob --- that's mama ...and to the left of her and slightly higher are 2 smaller dark blobs .... those are 2 cubs kind of hanging on a branch of the tree .....Anyhow, here's how the bears ended up in the tree in the first place .... Jim came home from work and pulled into his driveway to find Mrs. Yogi treating her cubs to a lovely dinner out of Jim's garbage cans .... which included the remains of Jim's wife's birthday cake ... he said the bears had icing on their faces .... anyhow, when he pulled into the driveway, he beeped the horn hoping to scare them out of his yard so he could get out of the car and call the game commision guy (a couple of years ago, Jim's dog, a yellow lab, surprised a mama bear who attacked the dog .... so Jim was in no mood to mess with this bear ) .... anyhow, the car horn scared the bear family ... but right up the tree where they stayed for 2 hours !!!! (and during that time, the game commision guy never did show up! ..... but lots of neighbors did!

.....look, EVERYBODY is taking a picture of Mrs. Yogi and the kids!!!

.....and, eventually of our local police officers (who happens to live in our neighborhood and wanted to know where the heck these bears might be headed next) stopped by .... but wasn't able to do much except call the game commision guy again.... and keep a safe distance!!! By this time, the bear family was getting a bit restless and tired of holding onto a tree branch .... they started moving down the tree and .....

......nosy neighbors SCATTERED !!! look, that guy hopped into his van and he's about to burn rubber ... and that other guy jumped on the 4-wheeler and is revving the engine to peel out of there if mama heads his direction !!! even the cop made a beeline for his car!!!(hey, what the heck! you at least have a gun ... all I've got is this camera!!) .... and , yes, that's Kid #2, Evan in the yellow shirt who I'm screaming at to GET OVER HERE !!! .... and he, in typical teenager know -it - allness, said that the bear would run AWAY from all of us .... well, he was almost right ... all the noise scared Mrs Yogi and cubs back UP in the tree!!! So, about another 15 minutes passed while the bear family stared longingly at the rotting birthday cake with all that yummy rotting icing from up in the tree (actually, I can sympathize .... many a time I've stared longingly at a good blob of icing ..... I know how that can be .....) Anyhow, as nature would have it, there was another reason Mrs. Yogi wanted down from that tree .... she had to POOP!! well, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go!!! what's a girl to do ? .... well .... POOP from up in a tree , that's what !!!! So, now Jim's really pissed !!! Not only does he have garbage all over his driveway to clean up, he now has BEAR POOP to clean up in his yard!

Finally, one of the cubs just had enough of staring at that lovely rotting cake from afar and just shimmied down the tree and grabbed some yummy bit of garbage and ran back up the tree!!! Then a little while later another cub came down and then mama decided to come down before the kids ate the whole thing and didn't leave anything for her! (again, I can relate!)

....(if you click on the picture to make it bigger, you'll be able to see that Mrs. Yogi is just to the left of the car in the driveway and one of the cubs is behind her .... the other 2 cubs were still up in the tree)

Anyhow, eventually Mrs. Yogi and the kids were tired of being the center of attention and took off behind Jim's house .... into the woods .... and came up behind MY HOUSE !!! so, again I'm yelling at Evan and his buddy to GET UP ON THE PORCH and DON'T PISS OFF THE BEAR !!!! .... well, with all my yelling, I guess Mrs. Yogi decided it wasn't the pleasant mealtime atmosphere she was looking for and herded her kids/cubs back in the woods ..... and the game commision guy never did show up!! .... so , I'm sure we'll be seeing alot more of the bear family!! So much for my hour long walks!!!!

OK ... enough excitement for one day! Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We've been busy bees ...... buzz,buzz, buzzzzzzzz.....

Lots of activity out in the yard .... the bumble bees have been hard at work....

.... and so have the butterflies!!!

....and look at what a great job they're doing !!!
....and it's a good thing they know what they're doing since the rest of the "garden-ing staff" here at Moonbeams in a Jar DON'T !! (seriously, we look for labels that say "thrives on neglect and incompetence")

....oh, and by the way ..... I'm only showing you the good parts of the yard !!!!

Anyhow, while the "worker bees" (and butterflies) were busy outside doing their job, the "sewing dept" here at MBIAJ was buzz, buzz, buzzing busily away inside working on Matt's graduation quilt ..... shall we take a peek?

..... but .... WAIT!! that's not the Very Pink Sewing Room ! .....let's take a closer look and walk down this hallway towards that black ladder ....(don't trip over that laundry basket ...the "housekeeping dept" here at MBIAJ really stinks ....)

....hmmmmmm..... where does that ladder go? ....and is that a sign hanging on the ladder?...let's see what it says ...

.......uh oh .... sounds like the "Queen Bee" means business!!! (she even took off her everyday tiara ... she must really be working up a sweat!) I wonder what she's doing up there .....

.......shhhhhhh..... let's just tippy toe up this ladder and take a peek ....

....(wow! somebody needs a tan! look at those glow in the dark legs !!! maybe somebody should spend more time OUTSIDE with the worker bees in the SUNSHINE!!)! don't look down! it's safe, the ladder is nailed to the wall ... let's keep going ....

.... OK .... we're at the top of the ladder and can just see over the trap door ....looks like somebody is sewing up here! ...let's look around!
... it's an attic room that's fixed up (sort of) .... looks like a kid's playroom (or more like a teenager hangout ....better NOT be the "make out room"!!!!).... there's some beat up furniture and a t.v. .... and the sewing machine is set up on the table at the right ...
.... oh, look .... there's an iron set up on that red wooden toy chest .... and there's the top of the ladder and trap door we came up.... yep .... looks like the "Queen Bee" has taken over this room as an annex to the pink sewing room .... I guess she must not have a t.v. down there in the pink sewing room (she'll have to speak to management about that!) .... AND, she has more floor space up here to spread out bigger stuff that's she's working on ....oh, look! her majesty is back at the sewing machine with her nose to the grindstone ..... she took her tiara off again .... she must really be working up a sweat to have to take that off again!!! (and .... just between you and me .... looks like somebody could use a manicure and some hand lotion!!!)

Well, anyway, the "Queen Bee" buzzed along for the past few days and ...... (drum roll please ......) HERE IT IS ....... HOT OFF THE PRESS .....

.....Matt's FINISHED graduation quilt !!!!! TA DA !!! (well, it's a finished quilt TOP ..... the "Queen Bee" still has to whip up the quilt back in time for the graduation party this Friday , the 4th of July, so that everybody can sign it ...)

...... where's she going ?!?! .... the "Queen Bee" is climbing back down the ladder with her tiara on sideways, muttering something to herself about she thought she was finished and now she finds out she's not and she's gonna need alot of chocolate and a maid and if she could ever get some cooperation around here maybe, just maybe she could get something accomplished besides the thankless, never ending cycle of stinky laundry, and somebody, probably her, is gonna have to get out and do the grocery shoppping, and who left another mess in the kitchen sink , and let's not EVEN discuss the disgusting state the bathrooms are in .... don't want to touch those with a Hazmat suit and a 10 foot pole, .....blah, blah, blah ......

OK .... we'll just let her wander around the neighborhood with her sideways tiara while she mutters to herself (the neighbors have become used to that ...)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Amish Friendship / Enemy Bread

Have you heard of this stuff? Amish Friendship Bread? It's a "starter" batter that is divided into four bags of batter .... these four bags of batter are supposed to be given to 3 different friends (you are supposed to keep 1 bag for yourself so you always have the "starter" batter because only an Amish person knows what the heck goes in there to begin with) .... then you follow the specific directions for each of the next 10 days of your life to either "mush the bag" (no big deal) to adding a cup of milk, sugar , and flour on the 6th day...... then on Day 10 you add more stuff, divide the batter into 4 more bags (keep one for yourself if you want to continue to be a slave to the batter) , then add even more stuff to what was left in the bowl after you took out enough batter to curse your friends with their own "blob in a bag" ....and bake it up ...... Now, the friend who gave me my starter batter / blob in a bag just pawned the whole thing off on me without making it herself (WIMP !! and you know who you are!!! ...... you'll get one of my starter bags ..... it will come FULL CIRCLE !! You just wait and see!!!! HA !!) ..... I have to admit, I wasn't going to bother with this stuff either right now because I'm a LITTLE BUSY trying to finish Matt's graduation quilt AND get the party organized by the 4th of July AND not get fired from my job .... BUT you know who popped in and begged to "PLEASE make it ..... PLLLLLEEEEEASE !!!)

OK .... FINE !! We'll make it just this once! (and actually, I didn't have time to make it on "Day 10" .... had to wait until "Day 11" (UH OH!!) .... I was afraid to come down into the kitchen that morning thinking maybe "the blob" was taking over the house since I made it wait an extra day!!)
...OK, so we divided the batter up into 3 different bags and the fourth amount was left in the bowl...
....then we gathered up the rest of the ingredients that go into the batter in the bowl.....

.....when all of the ingredients are mixed together, you grease up your pans and dust them with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar ..... then pour the batter in the pans and dust with more cinnamon and sugar.....

....and here it is .... fresh from the oven ...... and does it ever smell GOOD !!!! (and it was GONE in one day!!! My kids and persinickity eater husband LOVED it!!) .... so, the Amish Friendship bread was a pleasant surprise, but....... HOW DO YOU GET OFF OF THIS MERRY GO ROUND ? ...... now I have 3 MORE BAGS of this STUFF to pawn off on my unsuspecting friends AND 1 bag for me to go through this entire cycle AGAIN !!!! NOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!!! So, what did I do you ask ? With heart pounding and shallow breaths, I dumped .... yes DUMPED 2 bags down the drain (and I'm checking every few minutes to see if I've grown a tail and donkey ears as punishment for that ....) and I'm sticking 1 of those "blob in a bag" bags in the original perpetrators mailbox !!!(my friend, or shall we say ENEMY!) ..... AND , I'm currently on the 5th day of the "mush the bag" cycle of yet ANOTHER ROUND (AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh!!!!) ....... but, after the next "Day 10" that's IT !!! NO MORE !!! ( no matter how much the kids love this stuff ..... I can't be a slave to the blob anymore !!!!! I must be STRONG !!!)

OK .... I've got a bag to mush, and a bag of mush to stick in a mailbox !!!! Then a quilt to finish after work !!

Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

cute x cute = cute squared

I spotted this yesterday .... CUTE car (look at those daisy hubcaps!) and an even cuter pooch inside !!! (it was only 59 degrees out yesterday morning when I took this picture, so the pooch was not in any danger ... and the owner came back right as I finished taking the picture) Anyhow, this cuteness was sitting in the Hazleton Penn State campus parking lot yesterday morning when Matt and I arrived for the day long orientation session (see, just being in the PARKING LOT of a college campus has made me smarter .... note math reference in my title!!)

OK ... gotta zoom to work .... then more work on the graduation quilt (which probably won't be until late, late , later tonight!!! .... after much caffeine!)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The APRON EXTRAVAGANZA .... FINALLY , the aprons !!!!! (and a little bit of a quilt, too...)

Awhile ago I promised to show you all pictures of some of my mother's aprons .... it was back around Mother's Day, I think .... well that kind of got pushed to the back burner with all the prom and graduation and birthday stuff going on .... all that plus our usual state of disorganization here at MBIAJ and here we are on the FIRST DAY OF SUMMER with my intended Mother's Day apron post !!!! So, today is finally the day for THE APRONS !!! BUT, before you get to see the aprons, here's a progress report on the Graduation Quilt (deadline July 4th for the Graduation Party ... i.e. 2 weeks minus 1 day and counting .... YIKES !!!)

..... with a teeny bit of time here and there, I've managed to get some of the quilt top pieced (when Daisy isn't parked on it)

....wait a second and I'll bribe Daisy with kitty treats to get her off of it so you can see what I've got so far ....

....anyhow, there's a slim chance that I'll actually finish this in time for the grad party BECAUSE #1) it's only a large lap size quilt and #2) I'm only shooting for a finished top and finished back (i.e. not a finished quilt) by party time BECAUSE I'm planning on having the back be mostly a plain off white fabric so everybody at the party can sign it .... that is if Matt the Grad doesn't think that's too uncool .... so I want to be able to lay the back of the quilt out on a table for signing. OK! enough yakking .... I've got a quilt to work on!!! So.... while Daisy and I go sew, you all enjoy the APRON EXTRAVAGANZA !!!!

First I'll start with the "I LOVE LUCY" era (circa 1955-ish) when Nancy (aka Mom) was planning her 1956 July wedding to George .... I think some of these aprons were bridal shower gifts ....

....these three look like the kind of apron you wear while making your first Thanksgiving dinner for the inlaws (very respectable ....)

....then there's this flirty little see through number ....'s a Hostess Apron to wear for all those smart dinner parties you have ....(that the inlaws are NOT invited to!!)

.....OK, on to the '60's ....

.....Swingin' His & Hers aprons!!! Don't these look like something Rob and Laura Petri would have worn for their circa 1963 backyard BBQ?!?

.... I'm not sure if this apron is from the late 1960's or the 1970's .... but I LOVE IT!!! One of my dad's patients made it as a gift for my mother ... all that embroidery is hand done!!! Wait.... here are a couple of close ups of the embroidery....

...isn't that AMAZING !!!

... now these last 3 are from the 1970's (I think)...

...(you can click on any of the pictures to make them bigger....)

.....and .... while all of these aprons look great on us gals .....

......ya just gotta love Ricky Ricardo in a frilly apron!!!!! (oops! ANOTHER blurry picture !! sorry!)

Hope you enjoyed the APRON EXTRAVAGANZA !!!! Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's a (18 year old ) BOY !!!!!

YEP!! 18 very short years ago today we heard those words ..... "It's a BOY" !!! and there he was .... Matthew made his appearance!! (and look at what a good sport he is .... wearing that recycled Birthday Hat he made many years ago!)
We had a little family party tonight ..... and here he is ....

....blowing out the candles .... or is he trying to catch that birthday hat on fire......hmmmmmmm....

Naaaaa ....... he wouldn't do that !!!!


Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day !!!!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad (aka George). This is one of my favorite pictures of him .... this was taken in the early 1950's when he was home for a visit during his medical school years. (just in case you can't tell by looking at it, this picture is one of those photo transfer pictures on fabric.) My Dad is not only a doctor, he also has LOTS of hobbies .... he likes photography and has always been the photographer at all family events and kids' sports stuff, etc (maybe I should hire him and get rid of that lousy photographer we have here at MBIAJ !). He loves classical music and is one of the best "Air Conductors" you have ever seen!!!!(we should get him a real conductor's baton one of these days.....). He is a Penn Stater through and through (do NOT bother him during Penn State football season ..... he's watching the game and "helping" Joe Paterno coach!). He was in the Airforce (as a doctor, not a pilot) .... but later on he did get his small plane pilot's license and spent many happy years flying in the great blue yonder. He LOVES to garden ..... flowers, veggies , herbs..... you name it, he can grow it!! .....and FISHING .... another one of his hobbies that he has tried to "share" with all of us .... so much so, that I had enough pictures of almost everybody in the family with a fishing pole in their hands to make a photo tranfer quilt for my Dad's birthday a few years ago...well, it was mostly fishing pictures .... I also put in pictures of my Dad as a little kid, and then as a young man (like that medical school picture I just showed you.) Anyway, here's the quilt ....

......well, that's pretty darn blurry..... shoulda had George take the picture!
Anyhow, in the center are pictures of George's parents as newlyweds, and with George when he was "little Georgie"; surrounding the center are signature blocks signed by kids, and grandkids, etc..... then above and below are pictures of George and various family members (many of which he is sharing his love of fishing with.....)

OK, so here's the center panel....

....SHEESH !....another blurry picture! (anyhow, you can click on it to make it bigger and see the pictures better .... but don't look at my lousy quilting .....)..make sure you look at the picture on the bottom in the middle .... don't ya love how George's striped socks blend in with the bricks on the house!!!!

OK, now for the fishing pictures .....

.....he didn't waste any time trying to convert us all to be fishermen .... this is my Mom (aka Nancy) when they were newlyweds ... actually, I think this was taken on their HONEYMOON ..... doesn't she look HAPPY ?!?!?!!!! HA !

.....Ok, so things were looking up for George in the fishing dept when kid #1 was A BOY !!!!! My brother John tolerated fishing .... but his interests leaned more toward AIRPLANES (PHEW ... another one of George's loves!!) ... so brother dear was excused from fishing to get his pilot's license and become an aeronautical engineer (I have no idea how to spell that!)

Next we have .....

......Yours Truly (aka me) ..... lookin' real thrilled to be fishing .... the time he got to my sister, Boop......

....he just gave up and bought her an ice cream cone .... (BIG SIGH from George....)

Well, fast forward a few years and things were looking up again for George with the arrival of ........

....GRAND-KIDS !!! (this is my kid, Matt with Pap .... (aka George)....when he caught his first fish .... with cousin Danny helping)
Here's grandson Connor...
....and his brother Danny ...
....and Evan, all proud fishermen!!!

....and... here's an idea for my next "Fisherman's Quilt" ....or maybe a stitchery of some sort ....

...but don't hold your breath to see the finished product anytime soon ..... it took WAY too long to make the first one!!! (just ask anybody in my family!!!)

ANYWAY ...... HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD !! Thanks for taking us fishing !!!!

Be back soon....
Mary Anne (aka Mare)