Monday, October 27, 2008

My new camera....

It's a FUJIFILM, and has so many bells and whistles that it took me almost an hour to read the entire manual.

I had time on my hands, we were taking a 2 hour trip to New Jersey.

I'm sure I'll have to reread it 20 more times to understand the thing.

These few shots were taken before I read the "hows and whys" and many intricacies of my camera. My old cam could never have done this.

Saturday night's dinner. Pasta and shrimp. Yes mom! I like shrimp now and so do 3 of my 4 boys. Amazing!!

I love the super macro shot of the water drop on a gi-normous head of local cauliflower.

The knot of a paper napkin holder.

My husband's newest passion. He's been playing for a whopping 3 months or so and has written 5 or 6 really great songs. Amazing, truly.

Thank you hubby honey, again, for helping my new passion for photography. I love you! Tkkk. Tkkkk. Anybody there? Do you even read my blog honey?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My guys....

Here's my hottie and his buddy

The boyz on my birthday.

L1 L4 Dad L3 L2

Trying out my new camera.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It is......

A totally awesome NEW camera!! Yipeeeee! hubby surprised me with a nice get together of my very good friends, some whom I haven't seen for a few months. What a nice evening. Everyone brought some food and we had some nice wine.

The funny part is, we did have shrimp and pasta! I didn't have to make it. My dear friend brought some great Italian food over.

Thanks hubby honey! I love you...

Tomorrow I'll post some really good pics!!

I'm 35 today....

And what a day it is.

My dear husband's grandfather passed away to be with Jesus this morning.

My father-in-law just got out of the hospital last night, and my hubby is taking a 2 hour drive back and forth to help him out. (Isn't he awesome?)

My sister is (over)due with #8 any minute, seriously. And she lives all the way out in Montana! (I'm in PA)

My children made me breakfast! (No, not the papaya, it's just a pretty picture of fruit...)

We are having ice cream sundaes in the middle of the day.

I just bought myself a Senseo coffee maker and enough coffee pods to last me a year, a hair dryer and hot rollers with my birthday money.

I just love Free shipping and lots of cool rebates, gift packs, and $10 off deals. I got a lot for very little!! Thanks family!
(I'm just drooling for that coffee...)

We are having a shrimp pasta dinner. In the words of Rachel Ray "YUMMO"
and watching a good family flick. That's our favorite family chill out time lately, dinner and a movie.

And I'm so excited to open the "mysterious package" hubby got in the mail for me.

I'll let you know what it is soon!

I'm so thankful to make it to another birthday. It's been a long 8 months since I've been sick. God is GOOD and His mercies are EVERLASTING, great is HIS faithfulness!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The healthier shortening

I want to share with you a healthier alternative to the regular old shortening everyone uses. My hubby can't have butter (lactose intolerant) and so I use shortening for pie crusts and some cookies so he can continue to enjoy these treats.

Shortening is normally made with hydrogenated oils. Spectrum makes one without.

"Partial hydrogenation is an industrial process used to make a perfectly good oil, such as soybean oil, into a perfectly bad oil. The process is used to make an oil more solid; provide longer shelf-life in baked products; provide longer fry-life for cooking oils, and provide a certain kind of texture or "mouthfeel." The big problem is that partially hydrogenated oil is laden with lethal trans fat.

One of the reasons that partially hydrogenated oils are used is to increase the product's shelf life, but they decrease your shelf life.

Trans fats cause significant and serious lowering of HDL (good) cholesterol and a significant and serious increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol; make the arteries more rigid; cause major clogging of arteries; cause insulin resistance; cause or contribute to type 2 diabetes; and cause or contribute to other serious health problems."


It's being put into just about everything...Bread, crackers, cookies, cakes.

Fast food is loaded with it.

Take control of your health by educating yourself and reading what goes into your food.

(info and quotes from

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's a sad sad thing....

My camera broke. Yep. It did.

I am now unable to capture anything! Boo hoo, snik.

Of course the camera that I want to replace my old one is like, uh, 400 bucks...
That's not even a birthday present! So, for now, I will have pictureless posts and will have to rely on my amazing descriptive abilities (or not).

I have a few pics stored on my computer for future posts, so I may bless you with those from time to time.



(click on my ads! maybe I can make enough money that way!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What is THAT?

Ewww... doesn't this look gross?

Well it kind of is....
It's chicken bones, skin and fat floating in water.

Contrary to the "American Diet" chicken fat and all that good stuff IS actually good for you and has very beneficial properties.

Obviously, everything in moderation, but it is a healthy broth and best of all YOU know what's in it. There are no additives, just good ole' broth and a little sea salt.

If you cook it for a couple of hours you get this beautiful stuff.

I strain it into some plastic containers when cooled and pop it into the freezer for future soups or sauces.

I'm all for economizing these days.

No waste and it tastes SO good!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dead Batteries....

Why is it that my camera batteries always die at the most inopportune time?

I managed to snap a few of the topiaries that I made for the featured artist show at Thirstade.

Thirstade Fresh Cafe is found in West Reading, PA on the main street going through town. They have the best coffee ever! and hot cocoa, smoothies, yummy wraps and sandwiches.

Mark, the owner, now features a different artist every month to support the local arts. He kindly has allowed me to feature my topiaries for the month of October.

You can see the yellow rose topiaries in the front window (if you look very carefully, there is also a square dark boxwood topiary in the other window)

These are several of the topiaries on small shelves on the wall. Since my batteries died, I wasn't able to capture my big topiaries in different parts of the store.

Since it is an "artist" show, we decided to name the topiaries.

"Blueberry Tea"

"No Smoothie for Me"

(get it? it's a store that sells smoothies...?)

(Other names are "Very Vine" "Rosey" "Feathers" "Mr. Who" "Fall Fiesta" but they didn't make it into the pictures, batteries, sigh...)

Oh, and the pink trees. Yes, they will soon be replaced by some kind of fun topiary or branch sculpture designed by me! They are in front of the cutest sweet shoppe that bakes cupcakes and cookies.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My first picture-less post...

Hi ya'll. No food or decor or boy post today.

I'm busy getting ready for my topiary show as a "featured artist of the month" at a local cafe. I'll try to capture some pics of the topiaries I'm putting in the show and post them soon!

Happy October!

The Topiary Lady has moved!

The Topiary Lady has MOVED!

I'm not longer updating this blog....Come visit me on my new site at for lots of recipes, ideas, homeschooling stuff, and more!

My boys

My boys