Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Princess of Patience !!!!

Drum roll please .............Ta Da !!!! There she is, "The Princess of Patience" .... a title I have bestowed on my niece , Maura, for waiting a VERY, VERY LONG time for me to finish this quilt for her. (a tiara was also thrown in for good measure ... you know, .... to help her forget how very long it has taken me to finish this quilt for her .... for example, when I started this quilt, Maura was much shorter than me ..... now she's at least and inch, probably more, taller than me ..... good thing I wasn't making her a pair of pants!)

....and here is the "formal" quilt presentation picture of Maura and me (note tiaras and sashes .... we "royalty" like to wear this stuff for such dignified ceremonies) .... our photographers, Erin (Maura's younger sister) and Boop (my younger sister, and Maura and Erin's mother) are just plain jealous of me and Maura (i.e the big sisters) and our tiaras, and I just know they purposely made this picture BLURRY !!!!!

......ahhhhhh, but look!!! See how sweet we BIG SISTERS are ........there's Maura sharing her quilt with little sis, Erin

...OK .... just one more picture of this quilt so that you can actually tell what the heck it looks like, maybe ..... (those big ol' feet sticking out from under the quilt belong to my "baby", Evan ..... I didn't want you to think they belong to me !!!!)

....oh, and Maura picked out the sayings in the borders ..... a few of her favorite things ... chocolate, fuzzy slippers, flowered bathing caps, and sparkly tiaras .....has this kid been taught well by her Aunt Mare, or what !!!

SHEESH !!! Such excitement for one day ..... the quilt and Maura have aged gracefully and well since it was started ..... I , however, am falling apart at the seams ..... I'm pooped !! ...... but, tomorrow I'll be ready to dive into the next project(s) !!!! .......or maybe I should take the Christmas tree and decorations down first .......

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Finishing touches .........

Finishing touches ...... FINALLY !!!! ..... and believe me, it's about time !!!!! I'm planning on finishing this quilt once and for all and giving it to the ever - so - patient recipient this weekend ..... if all goes as planned (I promise a picture of the entire thing after the gift -ee receives the quilt from the gift -or)...... and, as you can see, as always, Daisy is lending her assistance ........hmmmmmm ..... I think I'll have to bribe her with some kitty treats to get her off of the quilt so I can actually work on it!

.....and, speaking of finishing touches....Brenda over at Little Acorns has put the finishing touches on her book "Simple Things Small Joys", and to celebrate she's having a little give-away. (She had to start all over with her blog and the address has changed, so she's asking for some help in redirecting people over to her new Blogland address.), while I try and get Daisy off of this quilt so I can continue with the finishing touches, why don't you run along over to visit Brenda ..... you won't be disappointed !!!! Now Scoot !!!!!(but come back here in a day or 2 to see the grand finale of this quilt!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lady Drury and her missing tiara

It has come to my attention, via an email from my sister, that I am not the only or the first Mary Anne Drury. Seems there was another Mary Ann Drury (no "e" on her Ann) born on July 29, 1740 --- her title was Lady Mary Ann Drury ---- until she married Sir John Hobart 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire on July 14th, 1761, which changed her title to Lady Mary Ann Drury Countess of Buckinghamshire. Well, after reading that, I immediately went to put my tiara on (I was about to put my slippers on and shuffle down the driveway to the mailbox and I felt that Lady Drury Countess of Buckinghamshire would wear her tiara to do that..... and she'd also wear her tiara to clean the toilets here at the palace) ... so, anyhow, I went to put it on, but.. ..... it was MISSING !!!!! (Seems there's been a bit of a crime spree here in Blogland ..... first Sharon reported "Annie" missing ..... and now, my tiara is missing !!!!! Where are Nancy Drew and The Bobsey Twins when you need them?!?)

Now, this is where I usually keep my tiara ...
...right there next to my flowered bathing cap, hanging on one of the dresser knobs...... but it's not there!!!

So, I looked under the dresser.....
......nope, nothing but cat toys and dust (note to self: dust under dresser before taking a picture next time).........

I looked under the nightstand ....

...and I looked in the dresser drawers... tiara., I decided to go downstairs.....

.....walked right by this coat tree (which I probably do 100 times a day)

.....and went into the kitchen and made a cup of tea .....the whole time thinking "where is that tiara? who would have taken it? .... and why? what would be their motive?

.....then, with my cup of tea, I walked past the coat tree ...

...and back upstairs....

 I set foot into my sewing room, I stopped short.... suddenly dawned on me that I just passed the tiara ...... was right there all the time .... hanging on that coat tree with the pink Sugarplum Fairy Tu Tu !!!!! ..... and I was the one who put it there!!!!!!SHEESH !!! Talk about your Senior moments !!! (which, by the way, I'm far too young for!!!) So....I will now make my sister promise that, when I'm in a Nursing Home, she has to always make sure my knees are covered with a pretty quilt, she has to make sure my socks match, ..... AND.... she has to make sure that my tiara is always on straight!!!

Well, her Ladyship is now pooped from trying to solve the Case of the Missing Tiara.....(by the way, I kinda like the tiara that cat is wearing in that first picture better than the one I have ......I wonder if she'll trade.....)

Toodles from Lady Drury Countess of Buckinghamshire,
(aka Mary Anne ; aka Mare)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Decsions, decisions.........

OK, for a change I'm finished my paperwork for the weekend ..... so..... that leaves me with actually having to make a decision on what to do for the rest of today. Now, if it were up to me, I'd spend the afternoon sewing while watching a good movie ..... BUT.... to really get any peace and quiet and uninterrupted sewing time around here, I pretty much have to wait until His Royal Majesty and the two Prince Charmings have gone to bed for the night. (oh, wait ... before I forget.... don't ya just love that little notepad with the Nuns on it trying to decide what to wear tomorrow? My niece Katie gave that to me --- what a crack up!! The artists is Leslie Murray.)

Anyhow, back to my big decisions for the rest of the day ..... let's see...... I could/should wash this mountain of dirty jeans, etc ...

....or..... I could/should clean off my sewing room cutting table (yep, that's my cutting table ..... if you look real carefully you'll see a little bit of my green cutting mat sticking out from under the clutter.....

.....or.....I could/definately should take down all the Christmas decorations and give the tree the heeve - ho out the door ......

......or ..... I could/should bundle up and brave the 18 degree temperatures today and start distributing flyers to some of the local businesses about Matt's senior class fundraiser to raise $ for their All Night Party (given and chaperoned by the parents.) The fundraiser is a Basket Auction on Feb 24th at the Jim Thorpe High School (just in case anybody local is reading this!!!! .... there... how's that for advertising ... I think my work is done ..... I should be exempt from having to actually work at the Basket Auction!! .... just kidding.) Anyhow, we're supposed to either contribute $ or a basket ... now, being the delusional overestimator that I am, I plan on making one or two baskets to donate to the auction AND bake something too !! My idea for baskets are 1) a sewing basket 2) a kid's craft basket and 3) an Italian dinner ingredients basket. (I'm open for ideas of what all to put in the baskets ..... feel free to comment and give me ideas .... PLEASE !!!!) Now, realistically, this will come down to the wire..... I'll be slapping 1 basket together the morning of the auction while whipping up a batch of Pillsbury Slice and Bake cookies.......

......well, let's see ...... since I have a major case of cabin fever, I think I'll bundle up and head out to distribute those flyers and then head to Joann's to look for a sewing basket to start to fill --- or maybe a picnic style basket if I can't find a sewing basket I like.

OK, while I do that, you can look at this ...... (I know , I know ..... excitement beyond your wildest dreams........) (how do you like my model? Evan refused to put on this outfit, so I had to resort to his understudy -- and I'm sure you're wondering what that bear in a bathing cap, Eagles jersey and Miss Guy's Flowers sash has to do with anything ...) Anyhow, Susan from Black Eyed Susan's Kitchen tagged me a couple of weeks ago to list 7 weird things about myself. I actually was tagged with this same tag quite awhile ago .... so being lazy and not being able to think of more weird things about myself (I'm sure my family could, though...) I decided to print a rerun ...... so here it is .... so I'm weird ........ oh, and wait, there's more ..... click here .

....OK .... I've now frittered away part of my Sunday afternoon.....if I don't get off this computer, NOW, and get bundled up and out the door, the whole day will be shot !!!(I swear I'm my own worst enemy!!!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stinky cheese pasta ???

I found another yummy pasta recipe in the back of one of my magazines (I tore it out of the magazine and now I can't remember which magazine it was....) Anyhow, it's actually an ad for Ronzoni Smart Taste thin spaghetti. The recipe is "Roasted Cherry Tomato, Spinach and Asiago Pasta". Now, being the sophisticated cook that I am..... I didn't know what Asiago was ..... until I read the ingredients list and found out it's cheese ..... which I found out is STINKY cheese after I bought it and started to cook with it!!! BUT, stinky as it may be, I think it tastes good !!! (just light a candle while you're cooking and eating and it's not so bad.)


3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 bag baby spinach leaves, about 4 cups
1 pkg Ronzoni Smart Taste thin spaghetti
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
toasted pine nuts (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. toss the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes on a foil- lined baking sheet.

2) Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes or until shriveled and lightly browned. Scrape the tomatoes and juices into a large bowl. Add the spinach.

3) Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to pkg directions. Shred the cheese .

4) Toss the pasta with the spinach, roasted tomatoes, Asiago cheese and basil. Sprinkle with the pine nuts (if using). Serve with additional cheese on the side.

Prep time = 30 minutes. Servings = 6. Weight Watcher points = 9

Even though this is a very healthy recipe, it's kind of high in Wt Watcher points, I think (maybe because of the stinky cheese??) -- so, anyhow, I figured I'd better try and work some of it off ...... a candle and stick a clothespin on your nose and cook up a batch of this healthy , stinky cheese pasta !!!!! ENJOY !!

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Desperately seeking balance..........

UGH!!!Another way too typical weekend for me doing catch up paperwork (for my job) left over from the previous week...... and if you're tired of looking at pictures of it , I'm even more tired of having to be chained to my desk doing it .... for hours and hours (day after day, week after week, year after year !!!).... mind numbing paperwork ..... UGH !!!
But, look who kept me company .... Little Miss Hog - a - Chair, Daisy.

Anyway, since I'm so often stuck doing zillions of hours of BORING paperwork on Saturdays and Sundays and it makes me CRANKY and MAD that I don't have much time for anything fun, I decided to implement a new system where I do paperwork for an hour, then I get to sew/draw/play for an hour, then back to paperwork for an hour. Sounds good , right? (it always sounds good on paper.....) OK, so, armed with my cup of tea (I need LOTS of caffeine and an occasional hit of chocolate to get me through) and encouraged by my new plan that theoretically balances out the crappy paperwork with some fun, I eagerly sit down at my desk to get started on my hour of paperwork, so that I can get to my hour of sewing and not feel guilty about it...... when along comes interruption #1 .... ...yes, Daisy decided to remove herself from my chair and park right on the paperwork I was trying to do. Then, coming to try and take her place on the chair is interruption #2....Sam.

....OK, still determined to have my plan work, I cleared all work and sitting surfaces of kitties, took a swig of my now cold tea, wished I had a morsel of chocolate and got back to the boring paperwork when I was jolted out of my chair by interruption #3........REV......REV.....REVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV........ I FLY out of my chair , down the steps and out to the driveway before the neighbor flies out of his house and yells about the noise, .... again...... "Matthew! Evan! stop making all that noise!!!" REV.....REV....."Are you guys finished with your homework?!?" REV.....REVVVVVV "Guys!!! the exhaust fumes are going in the house!" REV.... REV....REVVVVVVV......... (hand on hip .....tap, tap , tap goes my foot .....) "I am going to count to 3 !!" ...... REV..REV....REVVVVVVV........ZOOMMMMMMMMM down the driveway and down the street. Big sigh ......maybe they'd listen better if I wore that kind of hat with a big ol'flower sticking out of the top ......

...... OK, I go back in the house, make a fresh cup of tea, trudge back upstairs and sit down at my desk, wishing for a chunk of chocolate and notice that my hour has now ballooned into 2 hours ...... and my hour of sewing is gone .... and it 's back to an hour of paperwork ........ CRAP !!!!! So..... after throwing a bit of a tantrum, I do paperwork for an hour and happily think it's finally my time .... sewing time .... and I've earned it!!!!...... but one look at the clock tells me it's time to make dinner ...... then it's time to clean it up....... by this time, I can't even begin to force myself to sit back down at that stinkin' desk to do more paperwork (even though it's due by Monday morning and guilt has completely consumed me) ---- I throw caution to the wind and ........ sew !!!!!
I sewed until I was too tired to sew anymore, then Daisy and I fell asleep ....., that's all I accomplished on Saturday...... then Sunday dawns bright and sunny and what do I get to do?...... more paperwork (because, did I mention, it's always due on Monday morning .... and did I mention that it SUCKS !!!?!?! well, it does ! ....). OK, so the pressure is on .... no more fooling around .... I just have to get the paperwork FINISHED !!!! no time for sewing ..... but, then my attention span for paperwork stinks, so I ended up fiddling around with what colors to start coloring 2 drawings I did a few weeks ago ..... ....and piddling around even more by doodling more "drawings" ........... oh well, I think I'm far from achieving my never ending quest to become one with the universe .... but here's my plan for next weekend to attempt to achieve inner balance ..... I will clean 1 out of 3 toilets, wash 5 out of 7 loads of smelly gym shorts and stinky socks, I will do 1/2 of my paperwork on Saturday and the other 1/2 on Sunday,.... and I will sew the binding on 2 out of 4 sides of a quilt ...... and I will balance my chocolate consumption with my caffeine consumption ....... ohhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......

Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mama Mia !! A delizioso Antipasto !!!!!

Mama Mia this stuff, she's a GOOD !!! I found the recipe in the latest Weight Watchers five ingredient, 15 minute cookbook (actually it's more like a magazine -- I found it in the magazine section at the grocery store last week). Anyhow, I had fun making this stuff and taking pictures as I was making it (my new camera has a setting for taking pictures of food , so I've been subjecting all of you to my food pictures....OK, so I haven't quite got the hang of it .... that first picture is a bit blurry, and the second one has a big ol' glare on it ..... oh well, I'll have to actually read the instruction book one of these days!)

OK... so here's the recipe for Antipasto Salad.

1 9 oz pkg fresh light four-cheese ravioli
1 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fat-free balsamic vinaigrette

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt; drain.
Combine cooked pasta, artichokes, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. 4 points/serving

Now run along and make this stuff .... and resist the urge to grab a fork and the entire bowl and sit in front of the boob tube and scarf it all down in one sitting !(not that I would EVER do that!!)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)