Friday, July 24, 2009

USB Port and Fan...gotta get one!

I want this, even if I don't know what it is, how to use it, nor am I a MAC user. It's just CUTE! It looks like something from Sweden....Something Ikea would sell.

Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I am so bad about finishing books. The Ladies 1st Detective Agency is sitting on my end table, looking at me, hinting, "Hey...I'm over here. You're not finished with me yet!" On my search for a good book to take to the cabin...I got very A.D.D. perusing Amazon book reviews. I got thinking about future Christmas and birthday gifts. Since I am a Molly Wizenberg fan, and love her column in Bon Appetit, I decided to buy her book, The Homemade Life. Then Amazon did one of those, "If you like THAT...then you will like THIS!" things on me. They nudged me in the ribs with Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, 'some instructions on Writing and Life.' Let's just say they got me at 'Writing.'
My book arrived yesterday. I decided just to read a sentence or two, to see if my judgment was still good. I got hook- line-and sinkered. I ended up on my deck after dinner, reading 4 chapters, dirty dishes, waiting for me , feeling abandoned.
So, Anne Lamott is now my new friend. She and I think alike. She is a writer, I am a writer [but not as good as Anne Lamott.] I am not really a writer. I am a blogger. I bet Anne Lamott would like blogging. It's fast, and gives you the same kind of thrill of 'getting published.' Well, a blog is NOT EXACTLY getting published. But KINDA. Here's what Anne [I call her Annie...] says about writing: "It provides some sort of primal verification: you are in print; therefore you exist."

Loeckens: 100,000 Good Deeds!

These guys used to go to Evergreen. Jay used to be the worship leader. Then they moved to Atlanta. Beth took up modeling, as a side-line job. God blessed her with great beauty, but an even more beautiful heart and spirit and faith. Read about what they and their family are doing today. are a modern-day example of Romans 12: 9, NLT: "Don't just pretend to love others. REALLY love them!" Keep shining, Loeckens!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Minneapolis Weather

God and I are going to have to have a little talk about this September-feeling summer we're having. I don't know exactly what I think I about how cool it's been. Do I like it? or do I be-grudge that we're not having nice, hot, sunny days? I AM thrilled that there has been nairy a mosquito so far this summer, and it's July 22! How wierd is THAT! Yes, I'm thrilled. I've been sitting out on my deck in the evenings and READING and none of those little critters have bothered me at ALL! Hallelujah! Just had to express this, the weather girl that I am!

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

My friend 'Book Lady', I mean Lynnie Pooh Bear....recommended I read THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY, by Alexander McCall Smith. I am loving it. It's captivating [shouldn't EVERY book be?], and full of reflective, pensive, quotable quotes. Like: "There was a school run by an old Anglican priest and a white woman whose face had been half-destroyed by the sun." [I saw at man at Target the other day whose face was like this!]. Another great quote about homeland: "....every man has a map in his heart of his own country and ... the heart will never allow you to forget this map." Oh...that touched me. And then a spiritual element: "Not a day passes, though, that my mind does not go to God, and to thoughts of what it will be like to die....So I think of God and wonder what he will say to me when i stand before him." And this one killed me: "To lose a child, like that, was something that could end one's world. One could never get back to how it was before. The stars went out. The moon disappeared. The birds became silent." Like I say...that one pained me.
But please, don't let my pain, deter you from reading this book. It ranks up there with Fried Green Tomatoes, and The Shell-Seekers. Contemporary classics. Enjoy

Monday, July 20, 2009

On to other things

The Tour de France. Hmmm....think I need a new bike helmet...maybe a new bike, definitely new bike shorts, and cool sunglasses. Plus a water holder for my water. Think I'm covered. Now just for the legs. And France. And the Alps. I HEART FRANCE. And I really like Lance Armstrong. Show 'em what you got, Lance! Your twitter friend, Mary. P.S. I heart twitter too!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We're having people over today. That means cleaning house, prepping foods, and other such sundry stuff [eloquent, aren't I!] I've discovered several cleaning items i LOVE. First off...I'm a firm believer in using 'generic' store instead of buying Glad Wrap...I buy Target's brand of glad wrap. You always save about a dollar...and Really...can you find ANY difference? I don't think so. This week...I was impressed with SHOUT! fabric stain remover. My son was in charge of grilling burgers at Padilla for the company grill-out. During the time, he got charcoal mess all over his new pants. He complained that he was going to have to buy all new pants. But SHOUT! came to the rescue. Totally removed the two stains. Then I used the Target brand of carpet stain remover....It's a miracle product. Spray it on a carpet stain...rub it around with your fingers...and a few hours, the stain is GONE, GONE, GONE!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bird by Bird...a book on Writing. I like this. I found this on Molly Wisenberg's blog [blog: ORANGETTE, and author of Bon Appetit articles, and her own 'cookbook/ book of prose': A Homemade Life. Molly recommends this book by Annie Lamont....And Molly is such a good writer...I'll read ANYTHING she recommends.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Visions of in my head

Going to bed, after a full day of WeightWatchers, interesting members, some weighing in, some staying for meetings, some not. Then a LOVELY walk at the Edina Centennial Lakes Park. It is my most favorite walking park in the cities. that, a great time and a good haircut at Rocco Altobelli's. I had the most beautiful, most fun, and interesting hair stylist: Laura, from Rochester and Santa Monica. She has a 14 month old daughter named Lila. I think I'll start praying for her, and invite her to church. She was so beautiful. She looked like a mixture of Heidi Klum and Gwyneth Paltrow. Gorgeous. In my head I was thinking, when she asked me what I wanted done, I'd reply, "I want you to make me look like YOU!" HA HA. Well, good night, my pretties.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I am getting my Francophile fix by watching the Tour De France! I love seeing the castles, the small towns, the farm fields, the sunflower fields. Oh, and I like watching the race too![Here: you can follow it too! ] It's so interesting! But not the crashes. Watching the TDF makes me want to go to France more than ever! And the Alps are coming up soon! I want to go to France ! [tantrum!] Vive la France!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pee Gee Hydrangea: MY FAVE

I am looking out on our lovely yard and gardens, thinking about what I want my gardener-hubby to plant next. I often ask for a new plant or flower for our garden, for my birthday or Mother's Day, or Anniversary, get the picture. My next request is going to be for the Pee Gee Hydrangea. Do you ever see a creation of beauty, and it just does a fireworks explosion in your heart emotionally? That's what the Pee Gee Hydrangea does for me. And not only are they beautiful in your yard, but they are lovely to dry and use in dried flower arrangements. So perfect! So easy! Discover it, and fall in love with it yourself!

KITCHEN SCOOP: old Desperation Dinners

My friend Nicki introduced me to DESPERATION DINNERS, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. It's MY kind of cooking. Fast, easy, cheap, delicious, creative, modern. But for whatever reason, they changed the website to Kitchen Scoop. Look for the Amazing Steak recipe on their website. I am SO grilling that this I say BRENT is! Happy Grilling Season!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I got my first apron as a wedding gift. It was a handmade apron by Vicki Botkin. Very old school, retro, hippie. I used it as a kitchen decoration at first. But then I started wearing it. And I've been wearing aprons ever since. Going on 30 years.

Why do I wear aprons? I wear aprons to keep my clothes clean. If I so much as step one toe into the kitchen, food spatters jump at me, and glom on to my pretty clean clothes. I wear aprons to protect myself.

It all came together in my head when I took the boys on a Living History field trip. The female 'actors' for the Living History Farm were all wearing aprons. They explained it so: "We wear aprons, because we only do laundry once a week. This way, our aprons get dirty, and not our clothes. " It made sense to me!

But EVERYONE would wear aprons if they could wear aprons from Anthropologie. Anthropologie sells the CUTEST aprons. Here's a link for their apron page. And here are some pictures of cute aprons. I can't decide which I like the best. I guess I'll just have to buy them all!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I start this post with the phrase 'EEE GADS!!!' Do you ever feel like a day's going to be so challenging that all you can do is scream, "Eee Gads!!!!!!!!" That's today. In a few hours, my seester Katie, from San Diego, who's visiting family in WI, is coming here for a 24 hour visit. We'll hit the pavement running. Mall of America, exquisite dinner on our gazebo-ed deck, watching Michael Jackson memorial coverage...yes...that's what Early's do... won't hear from me for a while, for I am too ...well...running around! But I just HAD to post my quiet time today...even if it means my house isn't spectacularly cleaned for Katie's arrival. She'll understand. It's Michael Jackson's memorial day. Who has time to clean when you've got your eyes glued on the Staples Center. [just kidding...I've tivo-ed it, for later enthrallment.] My quiet time: way better than anything on TV.Psalm 37: Living Bible...first many verses: " Never envy the wicked!.Trust in the Lord instead.Be kind and good to others;then you will safely here in the land and prosper....Be delighted in and with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart's desires.Commit everything you do to the Lord [Yes...even your day with Katie...yes...even your dinner, and therapy, and shopping...and cleaning...]Rest in the Lord! [boy did i need THAT!]Wait patiently for him to act.Don't fret and worry. [boy did i need THAT!]Those who trust the Lord shall be given EVERY BLESSING.All who humble themselves before the Lord shall be given every blessing and shall have wonderful peace. 'oKAY...was that not the BEST! Hope you are as blessed by it as I was. So...gotta run...carpets, toilets, therapy, name it...I got to do it. Peace! [And pray the whole world watching the MJ events, will be brought closer and closer to the Lord, via this man's life and death. "It's better to go to a house of mourning than a house of feasting, for therein lies wisdom. And the wise should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

This is such fun

Son Nate just taught me how to post pictures with my blogs. Get ready for some fun up ahead. Peace, and thank God for Independence!

Sanuk Shoes

Sanuks. My son Nate bought these nifty, cool, new, comfortable shoes. Very casual, beater look. Every rock star should have them. Check them out on Amazon. They have all the styles, colors, vibes. Too cool.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Need a Benefit Auctioneer? an Event Planner? These are the gals for you!
First off, the adorable auctioneer is Sarah Whitson. Secondly, the Event Planner is her adorable mother Trudi Whitson. They come from an extraordinarily talented gene pool. Contact them for all your auction and event needs. You will NOT be disappointed! P.S. Not to toot the Knox horn, but the photos were done by Chris Knox Photography! [who's that? ]

3rd of July

Hubbie and I are getting a taste of the 'empty nest.' Our sons are at the 3rd of July 'Bloomington Fete!' Hubbie is at church; I am at home, doing home-ly things: laundry, dishes, etc. Today I am trying some new domestic products. Product #1 : SMELLY WASHER.COM CLEANER. I read about this in the STARTRIBUNE about a year ago. I just got around to buying it today. Its selling points: removes washer odors, removes towel mildew, up to 24 treatments for under $20, easy to use, all natural. Who can beat that! I'll tell you in upcoming posts what I think of it, and if it works. Google it at above .com address!
The 2nd product I'm trying is DRYEL . In this bad economy, I thought I'd try to save money and skip the drycleaners, and try drycleaning, myself, at home! $6.99. Not a bad price for 4 bags of drycleaning! Again...I'll let you know, soon, how it goes.
And lastly...Kiwi Select Sport Fast-Acting Cleaner. What you use to make white leather sports shoes WHITER! Son #2 gave Husband #1 [one and only!] his old white sport shoes...scuffs and all! So...when Hub #1 gets home, we'll give it a try.
p.s. As always, I welcome comments and advice from the 'peanut gallery.' Peace

4th of July

You all know, tomorrow is the 4th of July. I was planning on grilling these great sausages I got from Sam's club. Unfortunately, they were so good, we ate them all! So...what kind of friend would I be if I didn't tell you about them? I don't know the company: but here's the description: Chicken, spinach, Asiago cheese sausages. They are already cooked, so all you have to do is grill them for a few minutes, to warm them up. They are only 3 WW points! And SO SPICY! The PERFECT 4th of July go-to food! Put it on a 1point Village Hearth Lite Hot Dog bun, and there you have it! Enjoy! I will make a watermelon, feta cheese, basil salad. And a lightened up BLT pasta salad. No dessert planned. But who will miss that!
So...I wish you a very independant 4th of July! Have fun doing whatever you're gonna be doing. I will be cleaning, getting ready for my SanDiego sister to visit.! Love my sister! Rock on!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Arnold Select: Sandwich Thins

And now...for my first tip, just in time for 4th of July, and all its grilling thrills and challenges. Need a bun? A piece of toast? Try Arnold Select Sandwich Thins...100 cal, 1 fat, 5 fiber, and voila! 1 WW point! And they're good and tasty! Us WW members gotta love it! One day this week I ate a tuna salad [ tuna, chopped eggs, onions, FF mayo] sandwich 3 times! Breakfast, lunch, dinner...each time on my new Arnold Selects! Sam's Club, baby!

My purpose....

My purpose with my blog, is to help YOU become the best, most fulfilled, creative, frugal, satisfied, emulatory [one who others want to emulate...did i just make up a word? i don't know...did i? ] home&family maker-builder-developer you can be. I have been a thrilled and satisfied and excited woman/wife/ mother/ friend/ fully-devoted-follower of Jesus Christ, for over 30 years. And my passion is to help YOU become THAT too! So this is the place to check out on a regular basis, to see how and what the God of all creation inspires me to say and do! It'll be a neat exploration together! On with the journey!

Hello new friends

Hello new friends. I am SO EXCITED to be an official blogger on Blogger or Blogspot or whatever we call it. I have been 'xanga-ing' since September of 2005. I decided it was time to go BIG, and join the REAL WORLD of BLOGGING. So here we go....and HERE I am.
A few things about me. i like to write in small caps. is it easier? yes. is it faster? yes. am i lazy? no. i just need fast and easy.
So stay tuned...I have lots to say. Lots on my mind. Lots on my heart. I look forward to you and i becoming fast friends.
Peace out...and I'll see you soon. Same time, same place. Here. Hasta manana!