Monday, June 27, 2016

Vow-Newal ..... back after taking a breather....

Hello everyone!

I've missed chatting with all of you ... and would like to revamp my blog ... gotten bored with how it looks.

Life just got too complicated ... lots of things I wanted and needed to do (purge our home of some of the excess, college classes for a Finance degree, preparing for DH and my silver anniversary and vows renewal, family reunion and the list just kept going on and on .... and on!!)    Bet you have had some of those days....

Got much of what I wanted to do done ... silver anniversary celebration went wonderfully and so did the family reunion.  Great to see so many people we haven't seen in quite a while due to DH's work overseas ... 

DH and I had my rings re-sized ... I hadn't been able to wear either of them for years ... worked with electronic repair.  Wearing jewelry is just bad ju-ju when fixing stuff!!  

When we renewed our vows, DH put my rings on me again .... nice to have them back on again!

We also had a butterfly release that went amazingly well ... DH said he kept flashing on an old episode of "Two and A Half Men" where Charlie's mother gets remarried at the beach house and the butterflies are dead and serve as seagull food.   Even the photographer said the butterfly release was one of the best she had ever seen.

We're back home again ... and brought back two Siamese cats we adopted from a rescue in Southern California (more about them later this week).... trying to get back into the swing of normal life again.
Really enjoyed the celebration and family reunion ... but there were days that dealing and coordinating all the details long distance could be quite demanding. Being back home, taking care of day-to-day life details is such a relief!!  

Of course, now I am starting to work on details of the next family reunion in 2018... still have to pin down which of two places it wll be held ... 

Onward and upward ... 

What wonderful things have happened in your life since last we spoke?  
Please share one or two ...


Friday, December 25, 2015

Could it possible be.....?

This morning,  looking over the fresh, unmarked snow from last night's snowfall  .... 

only to see, going down the street ....

could they be Santa's 
or Pere Noel 
 or  Father Winter's ... 
 Could it possibly be?

It's the time of year for  child-like faith and belief Holly 

Monday, November 30, 2015

looks like the end of my Chinese lantern

I think my Chinese lantern plant is on its last legs ...
oh well ... winter is almost here, have already had some snow flurries ...
really like the blossoms .. so unique
Do you have a special plant in your yard that makes you smile?

Friday, November 27, 2015

... interesting graffiti

Saw this graffiti on the side of a small cafe in my village today ...
definitely wasn't expecting this ...

Love the bystanders ... and the fry referee ...

Is graffiti art where you live ...or is it just an annoyance?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thursday Funny

Read this today ... thought it was pretty good ..

A man scolded his son for being so unruly and the child rebelled against his father. 

He got some of his clothes, his teddy bear and his piggy bank and proudly announced, "I'm running away from home!"
The father calmly decided to be logical. "What if you get hungry?" he asked.
"Then I'll come home and eat!," bravely declared the child.
"And what if you run out of money?"
"I will come home and get some!" readily replied the child.
The man then made a final attempt, "What if your clothes get dirty?"
"Then I'll come home and let mommy wash them," was the reply.
The man shook his head- "This kid is not running away from home; he's off to college."

Please share anything you have seen or heard lately that makes you laugh?  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween and Fall !

Been away a lot time ... computer crashed and still haven't been able to recover the data and once my DH deployed, I've been busy cleaning and purging.   Made a LOT of progress!   

Today I spent 6 hours in the attic, boxing up loose items, labeling all the boxes, setting other things aside to donate or discard and organizing the boxes so you can just look and see what is in each box without having to move boxes around --- everything is in neat rows, easy to access and you can stand in the cleared center and can easily see what is in each and every box.  Should have taken a photo of the cluster before I started... oh well.  

But- all the purging has kept me busy and occupied while the days have gotten cold, gray and cloudy.  Have to admit, Autumn and Spring are my two favorite seasons due to the colors...  check out the leaves I can see most every day!

 Since it's colorful outside ... added some color to the inside of my home.  Found these soup cans in a local store last year - 

Think using them to display dried pods on our table works well.  

Do you do anything special to celebrate the change of seasons?

Hoping to hear from you -

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fantabulous! Check out the T-shirt quilt I had made!!

Quite a few years ago ~ while purging our excess out ~
I got rid of a bunch of T-shirts we had acquired from various
duty stations, explorations
(we love to explore the areas we are assigned)
and Scouting activities.
Of course, not long after the T's went away ~
a friend mentioned making a T-shirt quilt with her son's T's.
Slap the forehead and moan why didn't I know about this??
Would have been a great way to use all those T's I hadn't wanted
to get rid of .... but they had just been taking up space in our home.
Well, Life goes on ~~ 

now when we are out and about, I pick up T's for a quilt .... someday.
Last fall, I decide there are enough T's to have one made ~
(I know me, if I do it~ it will sit incomplete and never get done)
.... so I start searching the Web.
Looked at lots of websites over the next few months ...
and FINALLY found a quilt I adored on Pinterest !!!
Back-tracked the quilt to the company who made it ~
"Too Cool Quilts" in Michigan.
They were a bit more pricey than  other companies I looked at,
but the website was so detailed on the entire process
(something  others skimped on) ~
that I bit the bullet and ordered a quilt for my son.
Sent the T-'s in and waited ....
It came back and was absolutely FANTABULOUS!!
Sent all the rest of the T's in
~~~ yup!  With all my picking up
one here, one there
as we wandered the world ...
I had enough T's to make SIX quilts
~~though one was a "Hard Rock Café" theme
and I had to supplement with T's from Ebay.
DS LOVED it!! 
"Too Cool Quilts" outlines many of the T-shirt designs with the stitching which holds the quilt together ~
so you can enjoy the both sides of the quilt!
Love my Grinch (from the story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas") with all of the toys bagged and piled into his sleigh as he prepares to leave Whoville.
The quilts turned out fantastic! 
Am on the hunt for more T's to have more made ... someday.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Feasting on Friday ... Frog and Toe Jams

DH and I are finally back home again after nearly two months ..
SO good to be back in our own beds and normal routine....
now if we can only get re-adjusted to our home time-zone.
We spent Mother's Day weekend with my mother-in-law ~
found these at a small roadside stand while driving to
my in-law's home. 
Just had to get them both for DMIL and DFIL!
Love the names!!
Gotta love the quirky names! 
And there were several people who walked into the place,
read the jar titles and said "Eww!!"
"Toe jam" in the US is a slang term for
the gunk that accumulates between the toes.
Definitely not the first thing you think of at a produce stand!!
In this case .. "Toe Jam" means "Tangerine, Orange, Elderberry"
~ "Frog Jam" is "Fig, raspberry, orange and ginger".
Do you have a quirky food specialty in your area?
Please share!!
Hope to hear from you soon ~

Friday, May 8, 2015

Yummy Pork in Pear Sauce

DH and I enjoy this frequently .. it's one of our "go to" recipes.
I brought this recipes with us on our trip -
knew that DH and I would be staying in a hotel with a kitchenette ...
really get tired of eating out ~
plus a diet of restaurant food tends to be unhealthy after a while.
Had planned to make this while we were at DS's home ..
just never quite happened.
1 small pear, cored and cut into 6 wedges
1/2 cup pear nectar or apple juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
dash of cinnamon
2 boneless pork chops
1 teaspoon black pepper
dash of salt
1teaspoon olive oil or butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch or Wondra flour
-In small pan, combine pear wedges, nectar, ginger and cinnamon.
-Bring to boil; reduce to simmer and cook for a few minutes 'til tender.
-Once tender, pour juice into measuring cup ~~ if less than 3/4-cup of  
    liquid, add additional juice to make up the shortage.
-Set both pears and juices aside for later.
-Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.
-Heat oil or butter in pan over medium heat until lightly browned and
    cooked through. 
-Remove chops from pan and keep warm... keep the drippings in pan.
-Stir cornstarch or Wondra flour into drippings; add reserved juice.
-Cook until juice/dripping mixture thickens.   Cook another minute or 2.
-Add pears and cook for another minute or two.
-Serve pork with some of the sauce and pears on top.
-Serves two.
Made this without the ginger... kinda bland without the ginger.
Will update with a better photo once we get home --
hotel kitchenette stocked with the basics ... but only the basics.
Took the easy way out this time and used a couple Dole diced pear cups for school lunches.  Had the juice I needed and pears were cut up.
 What is one of your "go to" recipes?
I'm always interested in exploring the wonderful world of food ~


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Mighty Mo" from the Arizona Memorial

DH and DS on the Arizona Memorial with the
"Mighty Mo" (USS Missouri)
behind them ~
DS arranged for us to go on the Arizona Memorial trip
that goes all around Ford Island
to see other memorials (such as the USS Utah grounding)
before stopping at the Arizona Memorial.
It was a really fun day ~
we had a great time !
 What treasured memory have you created recently?
Please share -

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Traveling and bag organizing tip

DH and I have been traveling for the last few weeks ....
and we are t.i.r.e.d ....
Frankfurt to Honolulu to San Diego and now Savannah ...
I'm having problems figuring out what day it is
(sad, isn't it?)
Spent a wonderful week with DS (dear son) at his home on Oahu ..
he ran us all around the island
 (DH hadn't been to Hawaii before, so we wanted him to see it ALL!)
Then off to San Diego for four days ...
 we are selling our home there and needed to deal with some items ..
saw some relatives and friends ...
but it was rush - rush - rush the entire time.
Now we are in Savannah
where DH is attending some work-related classes -
FINALLY!!  A chance to recover and catch-up!!
Will post photos of our last few weeks in a few --
Here is the travel tip I promised ...
Have easily identifiable bags for your electronics, cords and toiletries ~
I found these houndstooth bags on sale recently ~
easy to find in the clutter (not that we tote along a bunch) ~
 so handy to know if I am looking for a cable or Kindle or cell or ....
(amazing the array of electronics now in our life),
just look for easily identifiable bag.
The 3-1-1 bag goes neatly into the toiletry bag and can be pulled out
for airport security and tucked back away once through the line.
No more "where DID I put the ...."
I keep an index card in each bag listing off the things to go inside ~
most of the toiletry kit stays packed for easy grabbing -
just have to tuck aspirin, toothpaste and the like when it's time to go.
Hope you can use this idea in your life --
Would love to hear your travel tips to make things easier -

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Spring!! Special Menu to Celebrate!

One of our family traditions is to have a special meal when the season changes ..
Today is the first day of Spring ...
So we enjoyed
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
 (with spiced apples and bacon)
Rosemary Potatoes
for dessert ... yogurt fruit bombe with apples, strawberries and bananas
... both are really easy to make ...

and I found the potatoes in the freezer section of a local grocery.
Even better ... DH was off
(normally he works evenings),
so no rush to make this for lunch!
Do you celebrate a  change of seasons?
I would love to hear of your traditions ~



Monday, March 16, 2015

Check out my German Easter Tree!

Germans decorate trees, bushes, branches ...
indoors and out with eggs for Easter.
Lots and lots of eggs!
Yesterday, I saw a huge, green pine garland wrapped with egg loops ..
DH and I have been visiting Easter Markets
the last few weekends ~
these markets focus on decorated eggs
 (beaded, drilled, painted, embossed and more)
 and other spring yard and home décor items.
I have two trees ~ here's one with the eggs bought over the last two years ~
Do you do anything special
to welcome Spring
into your home and life?
Would love to hear what you do ~
Please share.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day ~
PI= 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
March 14 is written (American style) as 3/14
On the news, it was brought out that today is also a once every century event ..
3.1415 (the first 5 characters of the Pi calculation).
Time to go eat some pie ...
How are you going to celebrate Pi Day?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Irish Ham and Potato Pie

"Irish" Ham and Potato Pie
6 large eggs
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cooked diced potatoes 
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
or milk
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 9-inch pie pan.
Mix together eggs, onions, salt and pepper in large bowl.
Add potatoes, cheese, ham, bell pepper and half and half to egg mixture.
Stir to blend. Pour into pie pan.
Bake until tested done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Could be 50-minutes or up to 1 hour 30 minutes. 
Cut into wedges to serve.

Makes 4 to 8 servings.
Holly's notes:  This last time, only had medium eggs in the house ~ so I used seven instead of six large eggs.  Also used about 3-1/2 cups of potato (couldn't see tossing the last bits of the potatoes) and only 1-cup of shredded cheese.  Forgot to add the milk entirely ... oops.   But since I had included the extra 1/2-cup of potato, that was probably for the best.   The pan was completely full and if I added anything more - it would have over-flowed.   Still turned out fine.   Pretty forgiving recipe.   Mine only had to cook for about 50-minutes.
Most likely will make the same changes the next time  I make this.  Uses things that I commonly have in the house (other than the ham ... rarely do I buy ham --- though we both love it).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Caricature talents

While wandering through the Frankfurt Easter Market last weekend,
came across this artist sketching a client.
Pretty good likeness ~~
Surprised the shot came out as good as it did .. was taken on the fly.
Wish I could draw more than stick figures ....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Owl placements I made

The local shops have been featuring oilcloth quite a bit recently.
Saw this owl patterned one and it struck my fancy (and sense of humor!).
Bought enough to make a table covering for our lava table
(it's an odd size due to the lava slab size it was created from).
Cut out some placemats from the leftover piece.
Kinda fun and kicky !
Hummm... need to have the neighbors over for dinner soon and use these.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Suspicious Kitty

Watching DH and I closely as we pass by on our morning walk ...

DH said Kitty was hoping for a mouse in our pockets ...


Monday, March 9, 2015

Bunnies ... bunnies ... who has the bunnies ?

Dh and I visited an Easter Market up in Frankfurt over the weekend.
These was a new experience for us ...
DH found one for his tummy  ~ I found one for our Easter Tree ~

Good day for both of us ~

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy International Women's Day !

Happy International's Women's Day ! 
DH and I got flowers for three of our neighbors!
Here is the set he bought for me.
I hope you can celebrate the day with a special female in your life !

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ultra- Easy, Yummy-in-the-Tummy Mac N Cheese Muffins ... really good!!

A friend shared this with me recently --
just got around to trying it this week.
Oh my.. they are wonderful! 
And easy to put together ~
Decided to make over-sized muffin sized ones and not normal size ones this time.
DH took some to work for his dinner.
Mac and Cheese Cups  
2 cups uncooked macaroni (I used shells, Bonnijean used elbows - doesn't matter)
1 Tbl. butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin (or a mini muffin tin, depending on the size you want) with nonstick cooking spray.
Stir together the bread crumbs, oil and salt. Set aside.
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water, for about 8 min. Remove from heat, drain, and return to pan. Add the butter and egg and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Save out 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and stir the remaining cheddar, mozzarella and milk into the pasta.
Spoon the noodles into the muffin tin. Sprinkle the top with the reserved cheese and the bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.
Comments:  I only used about a cup each of the cheeses.    The olive oil I used was from my garlic jar (When I get garlic, I separate the head of garlic into the separate teeth and then store the teeth in just enough olive oil to cover the teeth.  The garlic stays usable for a long time in the fridge and then I have flavored oil to use in cooking.)  Anyway, this gave the crumb topping a bit of a garlic taste ... which was a nice accent to the macaroni and cheese. 
Really good recipe ... will make this often.  Thanks bunches, Bonnijean!

Looking over Weilerbach

It was a nice day ~ so DH and I wandered up to the overlook to take photos.
Our home is off to the left outside the picture ...
These are the Catholic and Protestant churches.
Part of the Catholic Church building is documented back to the 1100's.
Is there a place in your town you enjoy spending time?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Special delivery from Buckingham Palace !

I feel so special!
In the post was a letter from Buckingham Palace!!
I have long admired Queen Elizabeth II for her dignity and pose.
While I may not agree with all of her decisions ...
but in many ways, I believe she has been a great role model for the world.
I sent her a short note a few months ago - just to say I admired her.
not expecting any type of response ~ but ... one came !!
Granted it's a form letter and signed by a lady-in-waiting ...
that's okay.
Over the last few months, I have been sending quite a few letters out to all sorts of people (public and private) thanking them for sharing their talents with the world, or aspects and behaviors that I admire about them ... or just being part of my life.
This is the first response I have gotten back.  Cool Beans!!
What has totally made your day?
Has anyone told you that you made a difference?
Have YOU shared with someone else the positive effect THEY have had on you?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Laundry room re-do

DH and I picked up some shelves today for
our laundry room ~
since we rent, can't paint the room
(would love light rose color walls)
~~ this looks so much better than it was before !
Before the shelves, we'd just toss the kitchen towels into a pile on the floor
(I go through a lot - at least two a day) ~
and the baby blankets I make for charity would be piled on the washer until I had a full load.
Now I have baskets to corral them both ~
that's a roll-up ironing pad on the top. 
Before I could iron on washer ~ need to find
a new place now.
Don't you love the "tin" laundry room box?
Found it in a Sicilian flea market
 a few years  ago... brand new!
What have you done to simplify
or organize your life?
Always on the look-out for more ideas!    Holly 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Did I ever show you ...?

Did I ever share the picture I have in the guest bath?
It is supposed to attach to the commode lid ,,,
but we weren't able to get it to stick.
I decided to frame it and it proudly sits on the shelf above the commode.
Probably should have it over the urinal for male guests to enjoy...
but now it is easily seen and enjoyed when one opens the door.

Do you have a fun decoration somewhere in your home?
Please share!