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Archive for August, 2009

These are just too stinkin’ funny.

Talking animals

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Three great books

I am so excited to share these books with you as part of the Random House Blog Tour!

I just don’t know which one I like best, but if I had to choose JUST ONE, it would be Knit for Love, but mainly because it is about women and a girl who gather to knit, read and talk! My three favorite activities! You guys have to check out at least one of these fabulous reads…. Here’s a synopsis of them all! Thanks so much, Random House!

Summary for The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper

The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.

As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado , she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

Summary for The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love

Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.
As the Knit Lit ladies read and discus classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum , Tennessee , love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.

Summary for Rose House

A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope.
Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.
She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.
What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.
A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

Cover art:

Author Bios:

Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University , she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program.

Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us. Originally from Oklahoma , she now lives with her husband and three children in Wyoming , where she serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation’s board of directors.


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I still don’t know what he will call me, but I call him The AshMan. This little fellow is so scrumptious we could just squeeze him!

Those blue eyes… wow. Such a happy baby!

We were bathing him in the kitchen sink when I got this photo. His Daddy Bo’s shirt got soaked!

This was when I dried him off… He laughed and laughed!

Baby laundry… I had to photo it to remember forever how little he was on this day!

All scrubbed and loving being with Daddy Bo! We are truly blessed.

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So Brother Dave said, “You might want to write this down.” It’s not a hard recipe, but everyone knows I am NOT comfy in the kitchen. I wanted a pool instead of a kitchen but the builder said it might actually make the house hard to sell later… whatever….

“Pour off the soaking water, rinse the nuts and the pot, then refill the pot with water. Add 1/3 cup of salt for every pound of nuts,” he instructed, adding, “you DID get green nuts, right?” I assured him I did, then raced over to check the bag. Whew. That was close.

Since I had 2 pounds of nuts, I added 2/3 salt to the water, then the nuts. I got it all boiling, just like Bro Dave said.


“Turn it to simmer and put a lid on it,” was the next step. “You should stir the nuts about every 1/2 hour, and cook for five hours.” Just as I was getting nervous about being tied to a pot of boiling nuts all day, he continued, “and if you have to go off, just turn them off and back on when you return.”

I followed his directions to a tee… except for the whole “stir every 1/2 hour”.. sorry Dave, but I couldn’t pay that much attention, so I stirred them every now and thenThen I poured off the hot water and it was time to try them…

They turned out incredible!! Scrumptious boiled peanuts! Thanks, Dave!


Brother Dave’s Boiled Peanuts
David Deaton

2 or 3 lbs of green peanuts in the shell. (Dave prefers Virgina nuts)
1/3 cup of salt for every pound of nuts

Wash shelled peanuts
put in large pot of water, making sure the water covers them. You will have to have something to hold them down (plate or bowl) as they float!

Soak overnight

Next morning: pour off soaking water, rinse nuts and rinse pot.

Fill pot 3/4 full of fresh water
add salt
add nuts

Bring to a boil

cut back to simmer, cover with lid and set timer for 5 hours.

Stir occasionally, but Brother Dave suggests every half hour.

Enjoy!!

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It’s time for some boiled peanuts so I called my brother David for his recipe. Dave makes the best danged boiled peanuts…. ever.

“First you have to soak ’em overnight,” he instructed by telephone. I poured out the vat of hot boiling water that I’d already prepared and changed it to cold.

“They’ll float to the top,” he added. They did. “Put something like a plate on top of them to hold them down.” My plates were either too large or too small but this bowl that used to belong to my mom was just right. It’s from the 1950’s, by the way, and I love it. Mom served hot veggies or cold potato salad in it. It always reminds me of her in her apron and those wonderful meals she used to make…

but I’m supposed to be blogging about boiled peanuts… oops… got carried away….

Well, mom’s vintage bowl wasn’t quite heavy enough so I added this:

A glass straw dispenser. Perfect. All the little nuts are snuggled in for the night. Tomorrow I’ll post the cooking process! Ninja Man had better get ready for some scrumptious boiled peanuts!

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Coming soon: my new Amy Butler wallet. I just love Amy Butler fabric and this is some I have left over from another project so I decided it was time for a new wallet.
My plan is to finish it by tomorrow… Here’s a preview:

The floral is going on the outside. If you look closely you can see I’ve topstitched it. There is a piece of heavy interfacing sewn to the back for stabilizing. Look closer and you’ll see the piece of plastic (lying over the zipper) that I’ll use for the window over the driver’s license. I’ll post pix of the process as I go.

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I’m thinkin’ fall

Flowers in a shiny black pail arrived on the first day of fall last year, a sweet gift from my friend Martha to welcome the season. The flowers were from her garden!
The view from my porch. The bed sure needs some refreshment!

I made this arrangement to brighten up a table on my porch.
Can’t wait to put my fall garland up!
A brisk fall day. I’m looking forward to one.

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