Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Mania...A little bad news...and A Whole Lot of Good News

Good News first...
You all know our youngest daughter and her boyfriend.
This is his first visit to our home in 2008.
They must be just 18 years old here.

google image
This past weekend, Friday, to be exact...
Jake took Emily out for dinner,
but first up to the Observation Deck of the
Custom House, Downtown Boston.
There, he proposed.
And, she said "Yes!"

They just look so happy.
And hubby and I are so happy for them!

Speaking of happy...
Amy and Nick have celebrated their second wedding anniversary this summer.
While stationed in England, they are missing their family and friends,
but, they do have the opportunity to take weekend trips to fabulous vacation spots all around Europe.
Here, they are having lunch in Prague.


Now ...why would I ruin this happy post 
with some bad news?
Well, local followers need to know that our Summer Cooking Series 
at Langs has been discontinued.
There was not enough participation to make it worth our time and money.

I was really enjoying working on these demonstrations,
but truth is...there are only two Thursdays left before I'll be back in school.
However, I did promise links to my last week's recipes...

This is a refreshing Lemon Blueberry Sweet Tea.

This Caesar Salad Dip was one of the favorites.

Now, without my planning and preparing for the Cooking Series,
I have no excuse for not finishing my house cleaning project before school starts!

We love that our family is growing, 
and I look forward to the day when all of you are sitting around our dining room table.

Enjoy what's left of your summer vacation.
Stay tuned for a Pasta Salad Recipe
and a report on my Summer Cleaning Series.

Take care,
~Natalie

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday

So by now, you all know about our 
Cooking Up Some Summer Fun Series at Lang's.
On Wednesday, I coordinate recipes with sales ads,
and prepare a grocery list.

And, I make sure the kitchen is a clean slate 
for the pre-preparations.

Making croutons for my Caesar Dip.

Making marinade for our Chislic.

And making Sun Tea for my 
Lemonade-Blueberry Sweet Tea.

My helpers have been no help today.

Stay tuned for links to my recipes.
Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jazz Fest 2014~This Groupie's Report

One of our sumer highlights...
Hubby's Jazz Group was invited to play at the Sioux Falls Jazz Fest.

Most of you know that we have been attending for years.
And this year, the Aberdeen Jazz was going to entertain!

Thousands and thousands of people attend...
like 125,000.

These were our favorite performers,
They are from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Plus you can go shopping at Jazz Fest!

Saturday morning we met for breakfast.
A twenty-minute wait to be seated,
means it's a popular place to eat...

While Alan was anxious to get on the road to attend a family reunion,
We had time to enjoy Crazy Days...


After explaining ourselves
to several Jazz Fest Officials,
we were allowed to drive our vehicle
onto the grass behind the stage.

Insturments and equipment...unloaded and set up.
(Why did I feel like the nervous Mother Hen?)
Here are our Aberdeen Jazz Group guys being introduced by
SDPB announcer Uncle Jimmo.

And then the guys just took off...doing what they do best.

...making music.

Aberdeen, you would have been proud of our hometown guys.

Great music, great weather, great friends, great food,
it was a great weekend!

Take care,
~Natalie

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Mania & Where the Weekend Went... plus Where is the Summer Going??

One month from today, we teachers will be at inservice.
I'm not complainin'...I'm just sayin'...
The summer is going too fast, 
and I'm not even halfway through my summer projects!

The Jazz Group played this weekend.
(great guitar solo, Paul)
There was a nice crowd downtown,
but the air conditioning was down.

As soon as the band was done, the place cleared out.

Saturday, we went to a lovely dinner party with good friends.
We girls took a little tour of Patty's garden,

while the guys stayed close to the grill...

...and on the grill, fresh vegetables,

BBQ Ribs, smoked by their son, Matt,

delicious ribeyes,

and potato wedges brushed with herb olive oil.

Wendy's dinner assignment was salad.
This delightful combination is fresh peaches,
caprese, fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar.

She makes her pasta salad with homemade pesto. 
Yummo!

I wanted to share some of my favorites from our Langs Summer Cooking Series.
This Watermelon, Orange & Feta Salad is so summer-like!

These Fruit and Cheese Bites have an awesome flavor combination.

Hubby loves this Chipped Beef Dip.

So, back to the topic of summer.
I can clearly see the end
and it has not gone exactly as I had envisioned.

Instead,
I spent much of June with doctor's appointments...and re-checks;
dentist appointments...and had to have a tooth pulled;
optometrist appointments...and needed new glasses.

I've also wrestled with my summer habit of cleaning the house,
top to bottom...edge to edge.
For over 30 years, I have ripped every room, every closet, every nook & cranny apart 
to dust, vacume, wash and scrub...
My first thought was to take this year off.
After all, I'll just have to do it all over again next summer.

But the truth is,
I won't be very happy with myself
if I go back to school and it is not done.
Sooo, the project has begun!

I'll try to keep you posted.
Happy Summer!

Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, July 12, 2014

6th Annual Where Bloggers Create ~ Welcome to my Studio ~

My sweet sewing studio...how I've missed you!
During my recovery from wrist surgery, 
my studio became more like a storage room...
a place to stash unfinished projects, school work, and piles of junk mail.

It has been 8 months and I have just started to return to my old creative self.
My mission early this summer was to clear the clutter...tidy up the shop.
Oh, plenty of 'clutter' remains, however, it's the special family keepsakes that surround me and are my creative inspiration. Like my mother's vintage teapots, and my grandma's vintage hats.

My very first counted cross stitch project actually resembles a cat that we adopted many years later.
She was named Patsy, after one of Amy's favorite books called Patsy the Pussycat.

The two family photos bring back memories of some special family times.
In the small heart frame...a vacation spent at Lake Okoboji
My hubby was struggling with anxiety at that time. 
We took very few trips out of town and this weekend at the resort was good.

The other photo brings back memories of happy times.
Amy, senior year, homecoming queen, leadership awards, class rank in the top 10.
Emily, 8th grade, running varsity cross country as one of the fastest girls in the state.

Here's my trusty postal scale
and a special birthday card from our girls.

Miss Sapphire is still on center stage.
Do you remember when she first moved in?
I'm still learning about all of her bells and whistles.

My old sewing machine is reserved for sewing on paper...
paper tags...paper ornaments...paper favors...
My sister-in-law knows I have an obsession for dress forms.
She found this sweet pinkeep for me for Christmas.

Speaking of dress forms...

This yellow bed jacket was a gift from my Auntie Vivian 
to my mom when she was in the hospital after I was born.  
I guess that makes it 58 years old.

If you are lucky enough to have a room to call your own,
surround yourself with things that make you smile.

 a mother's day gift from the darling daughters...
a loose powder box from my mother's vanity...
trophies from my 4-H days...
grandma's confirmation picture
too many kisses for this bear...
a friendship candle from special friends...
my daddy's lunch pail that we packed every..single..day...
my mother's chicken pinkeep...
and her sock darning basket...
this is a tatted doily that she had made for me for my birthday.

Yes, I'm happy to be back in my studio.
Thanks for stopping by.

Take care,
~Natalie

and see the fabulous studios of 
many other bloggers that have linked in...