Monday, September 29, 2008

Fabulous, dahhling ...... simply fabulous !!

Good morning Blogland Neighborhood! After a VERY rainy weekend, we're having a BEAUTIFUL sunny, breezy, cool Monday and it should be perfect weather for Evan's soccer game tonight.

It was ashame that it was such a rainy weekend since it made for a VERY sloppy dirtbike race (or I should say mudbike race) yesterday for my boys (well, at least I was excused from THAT!!! the race was 3 hours away near New Berlin, NY, .... so , my new rule is that if it's more than an hour and a half away , I'm excused!)

Anyhow, I had a fun Saturday afternoon at The Quiltery where I was part of "The Fall Foliage Open House" showing some of my Fall projects and people were nice enough NOT to ask.....

......."what is it?"

......OK, so it looks like they're THINKING "what is it?", but at least they didn't say it out loud! (yes, that's me, trying to suck in my stomach while explaining that "it" is a pumpkin garland )

.....and here's Judy, with her cleavage tastefully covered up, explaining Kim Diehl's method for making bias strips.

Cheryl (who I apologize to because I was too disorganized to get her picture.... also, because it was the first time I met her and didn't want her to think I was weirder than I am.....) was demonstrating a curved ruler for making scalloped quilt borders. AND, Kelly (who I also didn't get a picture of in her natural habitat) was demonstrating her long arm quilting machine .... which she let me take for a spin!! I REALLY had fun with that!!! There I was zipping along happily writing things like my name and little squiggles when I broke it ....uh oh.... turns out the bobbin was out of thread, but I decided to step away from the expensive machinery.....

Anyhow, besides fun quilting , fabric stuff, there was .......FOOD!

......which, of course was where Kitty spent much of the afternoon (notice she's still wearing her PURCHASED Homecoming Queen crown! Some people just don't know when to give it a rest!)

So, all in all, the Fall Foliage Open House was fabulous, dahhling.... simply fabulous!!! .... and, now I must get to my "to do" list since I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with my pal Beth before I came "on the air" here to chat with all of you .... I think I'm now all blabbed out ... at least for today! Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Homecoming ! .....AND Fall Foliage Open House !

Good Friday morning Blogland Neighbors! Well, it's a rainy one here in eastern Pennsylvania. No downpours (not yet anyhow) just dreary and drizzling. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for tonight's Homecoming Football game here in Jim Thorpe,Pa. AAhhhhh, Homecoming ......that brings back memories ....(although distant!) .....(OK, now imagine the wavy thing they do on t.v. to show somebody is daydreaming ..... and I guess they do some harp music.....)

.....It was my senior year at Tamaqua High School .....I was nominated for Homecoming Queen .....(and when my sister and brother read this you'll be able to hear them yell "WHAT ??!!??!! What is that crown doing on her head?!?!?!?!!! She didn't win !!!!!!!) ......OK! OK! .... so I did NOT I wasn't the Homecoming Queen ..... so I drew that crown on there ..... I'm not bitter .... I don't hold a grudge all these years later ..... I can buy my own crown!! .... and I did!!!! So there !!!! HA!

(Deep breath) ..... OK, I'm over it now .... ANYHOW, I did want to show you a picture of that suit I was wearing (and yes I still have it ..... and NO I do not fit into it anymore....). My mother and I made that suit .... as a matter of fact, all 5 of us nominated for Homecoming that year made our suits (that was back in the Dark Ages when we still had Home Ec in school and we all learned to sew) ..... but, as usual, the week of Homecoming found my suit basically a vest (i.e. the sleeves weren't in yet) and an unhemmed skirt ..... so, as usual, MOM to the rescue ..... cleaning up and finishing up my sewing messes and projects ..... so , the suit was finished on time ONLY because of good ol' Mom!!!

......and ..... here it is !! It's a tweedy orange/red wool suit (beautiful fabric!) .... and , yes, that's my PURCHASED crown sitting on top of it in it's rightful place.......

.....hhhmph!! seems ANYBODY can buy a crown these days ......(and I see Kitty hasn't gotten those glasses fixed yet!)

Next on today's agenda ..... don't forget, if you're in the eastern Pennsylvania area this weekend, stop by The Quiltery for the ......

......Fall Foliage Open House

There will be a free beginner class; free demos; door prizes; Fall, Harvest, & Christmas projects; AND FOOD ! ......speaking of which....

.....Betty Crocker , the Pillsbury Dough Boy and I have some baking to do....(all homemade, of course!)

So, don't forget to stop by "The Quiltery" this weekend (I'll be there tomorrow afternoon with some of my Fall projects ..... maybe Kitty and I will wear our well deserved, although PURCHASED crowns ...... hmmmmmmm.....)

OK .... gotta zoom.... Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Size DOES matter !!!!!

Good morning Blogland Neighbors!! First of all, I'm happy to say I'm back at my computer here in the kitchen thanks to Cath who left a comment on my previous post about my computer being on the fritz ..... she told me how to do a "system restore" and IT WORKED !!! No computer fix - it guy needed !!!! THANKS CATH!!!

Next, on the topic of "Size DOES matter" I have 2 examples. (OK ..... stop thinkin' what you're thinkin' ..... )

Example #1: As I was walking down the driveway about a half hour ago I almost stepped on ......

...this guy..., I'm not sure what kind of snake this is BUT the fact that he's no bigger than that leaf made me happy! (not sure if Momma was anywhere near and I do NOT want to find out!) ANYHOW, this is a good example of size DOES matter!!!

Example #2: Remember a a few posts ago I was discouraged about not being able to hula hoop anymore (I know..... I really need to get a life!) ANYWAY, Dianne from Colorado (sorry, I couldn't locate a blog for her) left a comment on that post that she uses a weighted hoop and that seems to be the secret! (THANKS Dianne for the tip!) So, I went on Hoop Girl's website and ordered a hula hoop made for grown ups to exercise with and what a difference!! Not only is it weighted........'s BIGGER !!!! (look at it compared to the one in the middle .... that's the one I bought at Walmart in the toy dept.) ..... so, again, I rest my case that .....Size DOES matter !!! ....and here's the proof......

TA DAAAAAA!!! The hoop STAYS UP !!! (Really! I know it looks like the hoop is floating in the air in this picture OR you might think this was done with fishing line attached from my hands to the hoop ..... but it's not!! I'm really, really able to hula hoop with this weighted, bigger hoop!) Isn't that earth shattering news!?!?!?!?! We here at MBIAJ pride ourselves in our investigative reporting ..... bringing you THE FACTS !!!

OK, as usual, there are about a zillion other things I'm supposed to be doing instead of hula hooping..... so, be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy first day of Autumn !!

Good morning Blogland Neighborhood and happy first day of Autumn!!! I would love to have a nice autumnish picture on here today BUT my computer is on THE FRITZ again! Seems between Saturday morning and Saturday evening something got VERY screwed up and we now have all sorts of problems with the computer in the kitchen! So, right now I'm using Evan's computer set up on what I think is his desk (hard to tell since I can't see the surface) in his room (that is after I made a path from the door to the desk through the dirty clothes and other debris all over his floor!) Anyhow, I can't seem to retrieve pictures from the picture thing like I do on the other computer so please picture a tree with orange leaves next to a tree with yellow leaves, next to a tree with red leaves with some pumpkins sitting at the bottom. Hhhmmmmm........ WAIT !! let me put in a call to Matt (the college boy ... I know he doesn't have another class for a couple of hours and he would just LOVE to talk to us from campus ..... doesn't every college guy love to get calls from his mother ?!?!) OK .... here's the scoop .... Matt was just thrilled to talk to me and tell me how to do the "copy and paste" thing on Evan's computer so here's a recycled picture from last fall....

... HAPPY AUTUMN !!! and I'll be back soon (I hope ... as soon as the computer fix-it guy comes and undoes whatever it is we did to the other computer .... and it better be soon or I'll be going through Blog Withdrawal!! )

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Martha Stewart's show on BLOGS & my stitching chair

Good morning Blogland neighbors! I'm happy to say it's a GORGEOUS day here in Pennsylvania .... sunny and only a high of 71 degrees this afternoon!! I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready to say "see ya" to hot summer weather and "howdy" to cool, crisp fall weather!

Anyhow, I just happen to have the T.V. on right now as I'm chatting with all of you and the Martha Stewart show is on ..... and guess what! .. the ENTIRE show today is on the subject of ...... BLOGGING !! All of the people in her audience are bloggers and are sitting there with their laptops blogging about her show AND all of her guests are bloggers ..... now, I just have one question ..... WHY WASN'T I ASKED TO BE ON THE SHOW OR AT THE VERY LEAST IN THE AUDIENCE ..... HHMMMMmmmmmmm?!?!?! Well, we'll just see if Martha stays on the Moonbeams Christmas card list!!

Well, on to our next subject ..... "my stitching chair". Last night I was having a cup of tea and doing some visiting in the Blogland Neighborhood . I dropped in on Leanne right next door in Australia. She was showing us what she's got in her embroidery hoop and the chair she likes to sit in while she works on her stitcheries. (you should go visit ....her quilts and projects are REALLY cute!)... Anyhow, she invited everybody in the neighborhood to also show their favorite stitching chairs so here we go.....

.....this is one of my new living room chairs .... we have 2 of these chairs on either side of the fireplace and they are VERY comfy .... they're recliners .... now I'd like to say that I sit and leisurely stitch away the hours in these chairs , however I don't get to do that because A) I would probably be consumed by guilt because my mind would be racing and reminding me of the zillions of other things I should be doing and......

.....B) these chairs are usually occupied.....

Now I also have a lovely porch with pretty porch furniture and ....

....again, I'd like to say I sit out here for hours happily stitching away .... BUT, again that guilt thing .......AND, also the past couple of weeks it's been a bit NOISY and dangerous to sit out here because .....

.....the siding guys finally showed up to replace the siding on 3 sides of our house that were damaged A YEAR AGO in a freak hail storm. Hopefully they'll be finished soon .... they keep showing up where I'm not expecting them , like, for example ....

......hanging out there above the kitchen window ....(that's a guy's foot in the upper right corner of the window ....he was sitting on scaffolding which I didn't realize and when I went to put my coffe cup in the sink I jumped about 5 feet in the air when all I saw was a couple of feet out there!)

OK, so anyway on with the topic of "my stitching chair".....

......just kidding ...... however, it has crossed my mind .... but that comes under the category of way over doing the concept of "multi tasking"!!! .... I think we'll just keep this as the "reading chair".

Well, on the subject of "multi tasking", my actual "stitching chair" usually ends up to be .....

.....the car seat while waiting for Evan at soccer practice ....or

...the bleacher seats at Evan's soccer games.....(I'm gonna have to stitch up a cushion to sit on .... those seats are cold and hard .... causing butt numbness!!)

Well, speaking of my butt, it's time to haul it away from this computer and get moving with the rest of my day. Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yesterday it was SO HOT ...... (how hot was it?)

Happy Monday evening to all you Blogland neighbors! Yesterday it was SO HOT ....(how hot was it?).... was 92 degrees and HUMID during the day and still 80 degrees and HUMID at 11:14 AT NIGHT !!! (that's the local weather guy ... if you look in the bottom right corner of that lousy picture you'll see that it says 80 degrees and 11:14 PM if you don't believe me ...I don't know why it says 7:37 at the top of that dumb map, cause believe me it was STINKIN' HOT at 11:14 PM ... uh, sorry.... heat and humidity make me a little cranky.....) Now, I might have been a teensy bit cranky, BUT there were certain parties around here who were literally .....
....biting each other's heads off!!! got a little rough for awhile, thankfully nobody was hurt .....but ... Kitty is demanding to know who is going to pay for her glasses .....

Anyway, by this morning it had cooled off nicely and was feeling a little more like early fall temperatures which put everybody in a little better mood, not to mention the fact that one doesn't feel so much like a giant sweaty slug. Anyhow, being re-energized by cool air, I decided to pick a room and start cleaning up the clutter (and trust me, there is clutter as far as the eye can see..... I think I was oblivious to it all summer, or just blissfully coexisting with it ..... but this morning the piles of fabric all over my sewing room and the stacks of magazines all over the kitchen were just MORE THAN I COULD TAKE TODAY ......uh....sorry, I guess I've got some crankiness left over from yesterday's heat and humidity.....) OK, so here was my plan .... I'd spend an hour decluttering the table in my sewing room so that I could at least locate it .... the table, that is ..... then I'd go down to the kitchen and go through magazines for an hour .... Part A worked out well ....I can now see and locate the table in my sewing room (just don't look at the shelves against the wall .... that's where I dumped all of the fabric that was sitting on the table ....) OK, so on with Part B .... let's keep on schedule here ..... so, I go down to the kitchen, make a cup of tea and start going through the stacks of magazines on the bench .... when I come across a bunch I just got over the past week and haven't really looked at yet ....., now the plan is to give myself 10 minutes to quickly scan through these new magazines because now I'm in the mood to look at "Fall" stuff since it was much cooler today .....

....oooohhhhh! and this is a fun catalog!! It's Victorian Trading Co......I have no idea why I got it in the mail, but I'm glad I did ......look at this !!...... THIS is what I call a GREAT WITCH'S HAT !!!!......complete with black bird (a raven?), black feathers, and a black veil!!!!! I bet Dorothy would even trade those red sparkly shoes for this great hat!!!

DING ! .....oh, oops... my allotted hour for going through OLD magazines is now up.....I'll just stick these new magazines and that nifty catalog on top of the pile of old magazines and tackle that mess another time.....

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

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mark your calendars & come for a visit!!!

Good Friday morning Blogland Neighbors! Where have I been all week? Besides two away soccer games, "Meet the Teacher Night", and FINALLY getting a chance to get my hair - doo done, I spent this morning hunting .... first I had to hunt for my coffee cup that I had just set down..... when I found that I promptly had to hunt for my camera that I had also just set down .... after finding that I spent the next 10 minutes hunting for my glasses that I had ALSO just set down..... after that I started hunting for MY MIND because I think I'm LOSING IT!! SHEESH !!!

ANYHOW, another thing I did this week was visit with my pals Kelly and Judy at Kelly's quilt shop The Quiltery in Weissport, Pa. Let me show you what we were talking about .... and it must be pretty exciting because .... look!... made the paper!.....

OK, so here's what we were talking about ....
(sigh...)Daisy, get OFF of that piece of paper!!!

....Kitty! ... MOVE!!(sorry.... I'm TRYING to show you that flier that everybody keeps parking on .... actually, now that I see it, I think it's hard to see that orange paper against the orange background not to mention the fact that it's a bit BLURRY .... let me tell ya, this MBIAJ Photography Dept is always thinking ....) OK, let's try this again ....

.....(I know, Kitty and Daisy are still in the picture .... it's in their contract that they get to be in a certain number of pictures on the MBIAJ blog....) anyhow, can you read that flier? (if you click on it and enlarge it that should help). Let me read it to you .... " Fall Foliage Open House .... Join us at The Quiltery .... Saturday Sept 27th 10-5 PM and Sunday Sept 28th 11-4 PM ... Free beginner class... Free demos....FOOD & DRINK ... Door Prizes....Project Ideas .... Christmas Countdown Projects .... Fall & Harvest Projects " (check website for times of beginner class or call 610-377-5590 )........AND , if that isn't exciting enough, guess what else ?!?!?!!! Kelly has asked me to do a little workshop demonstration of some of my fall projects that I've designed !!!!! I was very flattered (and flabergasted by the way ....) so, now you all have to sit through a little preview of the workshop projects I plan to do .....

.....HEY! come back here and SIT DOWN !!!! ......OK, shall we continue?

first, "Honeybee Pumpkin & Sunflower" blocks using fusible interfacing applique....

...second, "Autumn Leaves" garland (just click on that picture to make it bigger)

next, "Witch's Brew" stitchery colored in with colored pencils and .....

....last, a "Pumpkin Garland"...

......(here's a close up of one of the pumpkins in the garland)

So, anyhow, if you're in the area on Sept 27th (that's the day I'll be there, in the afternoon after Evan's soccer game in the morning) or Sept. 28th, drop in for a visit ! Weissport, Pa is only about a half hour from the Allentown area; about an hour from the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area; and about 2 hours from the Philadelphia area (check The Quiltery website for maps and directions) ..... and , once again ....'s Kitty with the details (she STILL insists she hasn't met her photo quota for the month ....sorry....) anyhow, as usual, if you click on the picture to make it bigger you'll be able to read the flier better!! (again, MBIAJ Photography Dept at their best !)

Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Radio Homemakers"

Good (soggy) Saturday afternoon ! Well, Hanna is visiting with us here in Pa today (at least she's only a tropical storm and not a hurricane!)... and, actually, we've only had steady rain from this storm and that's it (and the rain is very welcome since it's been pretty dry lately).... and, so as not to let a good steady rain go to waste ....

....I pulled on my rainboots and my trusty yellow slicker and hauled my plants off the covered front porch and sat them out in the rain .... I thought I'd let Mother Nature take care of the watering today!

Anyway, you're probably wondering what the heck that has to do with the title of this post,"Radio Homemakers"(actually, nothing)..... AND you're probably wondering what the heck are "Radio Homemakers"? Well, unless you're from the Midwest and are at least in your mid 50's or older, you're probably not familiar with the "Radio Homemakers". I never heard of them until I read what is now one of my favorite books......

..."Standing in the Rainbow" by Fannie Flagg. One of the main characters in the book is Dorothy Smith, or as her radio audience knows her "Neighbor Dorothy". The book explains that in the late 1920's and early 1930's as electricity became more available to isolated farmhouses, women began broadcasting radio shows FROM THEIR HOMES! These ladies were known as the "Radio Homemakers" and they "shared recipes, tips for raising children, household hints, gardening advice, crafts, and their day to day lives and the lives of their families." They also would sometimes have some sort of music on their show. Now, I thought this was pretty interesting and sounding somewhat FAMILIAR (I'll give you a hint ... you're reading one right now) ..... anyhow, I like reading about women's history (you know, the everyday Jane's ... not that Betsy Ross and Clara Barton aren't interesting, but what about the day to day of Mrs. Normal back in 1776, or 1853, or 1925, etc?), I went online and looked for more info on "Radio Homemakers" and I found .....

another book on the subject "Neighboring on the Air Cooking with the KMA Radio Homemakers" by Evelyn Birkby . This is a great book on the subject with lots of down home recipes and ..... of the "Radio Homemakers" broadcasting from their kitchen table, or dining room table, etc, while their family life and all the chaos that goes with it went on all around them. ( This is a picture from the book of a lady named Jessie Young.) So, the more I read, the more it dawned on me that these ladies are our BLOGGING FOREMOTHERS !!!! Right this minute I'm "broadcasting" to all of you from....
...the computer in my kitchen... between trying to bake some banana bread from some way past their prime bananas.....
.....amongst the revving of dirtbike engines from the garage just steps away from where I sit .... (Martha Stewart eat your heart out !)

Anyhow, so here I thought we blogging gals were doing something new and innovative .... NOPE! We may be using computers and have readers from all over the planet while the "Radio Homemakers" had a big ol' microphone and only reached a few neighboring counties, but they were the real innovators.....they were sharing recipes, crafts, tips, and their daily lives with their listening "neighbors" long before I set foot on this planet!

OH! ... the banana bread is done..... let me go get it out of the oven....
....mmmmmm smells good! ya go, have a piece..... I tried to make it a little more heart healthy and substituted all natural applesauce for the oil in the recipe.... here, I'll write it out for you ...(actually, this may be a repeat recipe that I may have posted last fall, but I'm too lazy to check back and see .... so, here it is again)

Banana Quick Bread

2 large bananas
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup 100% natural applesauce
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 inch loaf pan with Pam. Mash bananas. Whisk in 1/2 cup water, then brown sugar, then applesauce, then eggs until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining dry ingredients, then fold into the banana mixture until just combined. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 70 minutes. Let bread stand for a few minutes. Turn onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Recipe doubles easily and freezes well.

Enjoy !! Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Good Morning Blogland neighbors!!! Today is a special day .... today at MBIAJ Headquarters we are celebrating my best pal, Beth's __th BIRTHDAY !!!(those first 3 songs playing are for you Bethy, ol pal o mine!)
Kitty is here for the party and .....
...she brought some of her friends.....
.....uummmm, I think they've been into the catnip already..... about some mini cupcakes and a martini instead!.. .....and while we have some cake and booze sit back and enjoy this....another little Birthday Celebration .

...So, Bethy (this is Beth and her sweet as pie daughter, Jenny)

.....really .... I mean this (unfinished) quilt is FOR YOU !!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! (I plan to have this finished for your 75th!!!! )

So, hey everybody out there in Blogland, join me in wishing Beth a VERY HAPPY __th BIRTHDAY !!!
Be back soon!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)