Just Cause

Oh look!  A rare, Saturday post.  It’s for a good cause though.  See, I added My edit to my Reader a few weeks ago.  How could I NOT keep up with a blogger whose tag line is “life between peep toes and steel toes”?!   After all, I’m the former firefighter, now president-elect of my local Junior League, so my closet floor has steel toed boots and bejewelled mules, and everything in between.

Anyway, if you click on that link, you’ll see that she’s promoting a friend’s campaign.  Friend’s uncle died of cancer, and friend is selling a sweet little necklace to raise funds for charity bike ride.  

I’m not a bicycle enthusist, but anything that supports cancer research tugs at my heart.  I’m feeling especially called to share this with some of you who might ride or have rider friends who would like a special necklace, because this week, we learned another friend has a family member just diagnosed with cancer and another relative – on the Knight’s side, by marriage this time – has colon cancer. 

I’m also going to shamelessly mention that May isn’t over and Pampered Chef’s Help Whip Cancer campaign is still underway.  Every little bit helps, right?

Show Your Stripes

Happy Dogs on Thursday, little friday and Thankful Thursday!  If you’re looking for doggy cuteness, pop over to the girls’ blog

Photo courtesy of Pampered Chef

I’m a very bad Pampered Chef consultant.  I haven’t even mentioned the Help Whip Cancer campaign this year, and May is passing me by. 

Follow the links to my personal shopping site if you’re interested.   A portion of any pink guest special goes to the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer education and early detection programs. 

You can also host a fundraising show to donate even more to the ACS.   It can all be done online…

August 2010 003

Gratuitous dogs in pink photo

Thankful?  I’m thankful that Pampered Chef is a company that gives back.  I’m thankful for my health.  I’m thankful for all the campaigns that support breast cancer awareness, research, etc.   I’m thankful for all the cancer research and awareness programs out there, because it touches so many lives…

What are you thankful for today?

Stepping In


Worried gal fall 2009

Gretchen here.   Mama will be out of commission for a few days.  Please forgive her if she doesn’t leave a comment on your blog, and overlook the typos if she does…

She “shaved” off her nail and part of her left middle finger last night while making THESE.  They were quite tasty, and if you use a proper cheese knife instead of something too sharp for the job, I’m sure you’ll whip them up in no time, without incident.

Photo courtesy of Pampered Chef

Mama had planned a whole post on the Honey-Apple Brie Bites, but I don’t see that happening.   Have a great weekend, and Mama’ll be back soon enough.  She really is fine…  I promise. 

Oh – and Sissy might have a silly nurse’s hat, but she’s not much on tending to the injured.  I had to press up against Mama’s legs while she tried to stop the bleeding and put away the brie so Sissy wouldn’t eat it while she took care of herself.  I’m a worrier, you know…

Have a great weekend, and a great week next week.  Dadaw and I will take great care of Mama!

Pass the Plates


See our purdy birthday sweaters?

We had a great weekend!  I’ve posted a few funny photos of the fur-girls in party hats on their blog.  Sis had a very nice birthday yesterday, and Gretchen had a lovely 2nd anniversary of her “Gotcha!” day on Saturday.

But you want to know about the contest winners, don’t you?  I had MJ pick two number for me, and I’m delighted to announce that Amy and Bonnie are the winners!   Bonnie, I’ll need your address ASAP so I can get your plates in the mail.   Thanks to everyone who entered!  If anyone else wants to order plates, you have until Sunday to do so, and then’ll they be retired, perhaps permanently.


Sissy & her Dadaw, OBX fall 2008

Today is also our 13th wedding anniversary.  Since I dont seem to have any decent photos of the two of us in Flickr, you’re stuck with one of my favorite candids of him from fall 2008. 

Our wedding invitations announced, “On this day I will marry my best friend.”   I sure did, and I treasure him more today than I did then.   It takes a special man to cater to my whims and to those of the very spoiled fur-girls, and the Knight manages to do all that and serve as chief of our local volunteer fire company, work full-time for his family’s business, and makes time for his host of friends too. 

What did you do over the weekend?

Help Whip Cancer

I’ve had in the back of my mind that I wanted to do a contest this month.  October is full of important dates for our little corner of the woods, and it also happens to be breast cancer awareness month, which means Pampered Chef is offering their Help Whip Cancer pink products online.  Since I’m blessed to have a nice assortment of readers, I struggled briefly over what to offer as a prize. 

Daisy dessert plates, photo borrowed from Pampered Chef

I’m crazy for these daisy dessert plates, and the pink flowers are unobtrusive enough that if you’re not crazy about pink they won’t shout at you.  However, if the winner REALLY doesn’t care for the plates, she can opt for a $20 Pampered Chef credit. 

How do you enter?  Simple.  Leave a comment sharing your favorite Pampered Chef product.  If you’re not already a Pampered Chef customer, you can take a gander at the products here.    (And yes, you can place an individual order from there too if you see something you can’t live without.)

Lilly Pulitzer Limited Edition Breast Cancer Awareness Murfee Scarf

Want a second entry?  Share another product whose proceeds benefit any non-profit.  You must provide a working link to said product, just in case the rest of us care to shop! 

There are no extra entries for sharing the contest here or through social media, but for every 20 additional entries, I’ll give another prize.  (So at 21, the second prize is added, 41, the third, etc.)  

The deadline for entering is midnight US Eastern time October 24th – Sissy’s birthday – and the winners (I have faith in you!) will be announced on October 25th, our 13th wedding anniversary.

The Lovely Month of May

I’m not even going to try to list all the birthdays in May, but there is a very special one the fur-girls have blogged about today.  I want to wish Thor a very happy birthday too, and I hope all the humans in my life with birthdays will forgive any unintended slight…

Nine years is a milestone for a mastiff, but we’re hoping Thor’s good health continues and he’s around for much longer.  Isn’t he dapper in his birthday hat?

While I’m at it, happy birthday to all the other May birthdays out there!!

May is also Pampered Chef’s Help Whip Cancer month.   One dollar from every special edition pink product goes to The American Cancer Society.  Full disclosure – I am a consultant.   I do have a show that I need to get up on the website in honor of my sister’s friend who is a breast cancer survivor, so if you’d like to order, let me know and I can give you the link.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Pink Parade.   I’m still plugging along on the fiber I started in my friend’s memory.  It takes a long time to spin up a pound of fiber!

What’s on your mind today?

Friend for Faith

It was a great weekend, but the high point was definitely handing over the latest Hope & Faith care packages in person.

Poppet, handmade by Gmarie

Gmarie, Hope thought Poppet was “funny” and the mom assured me that young Faith is very much like her father was at that age, so I am quite sure that if Faith doesn’t like Poppet, she’ll say so. 

Gretchen isn’t really smaller than Poppet, but nearly so.

Poppet didn’t travel east alone.  Gmarie also sent a bag and needle roll as a prize for the Blessed Big Bash, and she knew I’d need a set of my own.  The dog stitchery is mine… have you seen anything so dear in stitches?

Then, Gmarie needs to choose a pair of earrings, as Ann donated two lovely pairs.  I’ll send the other pair off to someone else too, as I owe everyone for their patience.  Prizes will ship out this week, finally!  Truly, I do apologize for the delays, but life does happen…  It is because of my wonderful friends that I can continue to roll with the punches, and the worst thing that happens is that you good people are left waiting too long for your prizes!

In honor of Sissy

So, there is the only pair of earrings I can share with you at the moment.   (G, you and anyone else who follows me on Flickr, please go look at the other pair please?) On my ancient monitor, the photo is a little larger than life, but that just gives Gaylen  you a better look.  (Should I have entitled this post “Hey Gmarie!”?)


And here is my new logo for me.  (Post-its from Gmarie.)  I am a lucky girl, with two lucky dogs and a lucky Knight too.

You see, Flickr played well for THAT long this morning.  I’d loaded two other photos last night, and they were here earlier, but won’t load now.  So, we’ll end this post here, and I’ll try again tonight, tomorrow or something.  

As for my weekend, it was nice.  I rested, I knitted, I read, I spun, I walked the girls, and we had three adventures.  Saturday night, we had a rather large family dinner for MJ’s birthday.  There were more than 20 of us there, but MJ is/was one of 13 children, so…  Then, we had breakfast with the Knight’s brother and his family yesterday morning. 

Watching Hope patter through the firehouse, handing out candy from her silver with pink beads basket was definitely the highlight though.  Many, many thanks to those of you who’ve sent gifts, cards, hats, etc. 

If you’re local, tonight is the charity bingo in Hope’s honor.  I also have a Pampered Chef fundraiser going on, but you’ll have to leave a comment if you want more information on that, as I can’t link from here, per company regulations.




Pink, Pizza

Okay.  If you haven’t read the previous post, it will probably make more sense to go back and do that now. 

download_nbcam_pink_ribbonEveryone knows (I hope, I hope!) that October is  National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   I think that if you live long enough, this disease will touch your life, in some way or another.  Breast Cancer is one of the more treatable forms of cancer, so ladies… check the girls regularly.

I had my first smasho’gram this summer, and I have to say that it’s not the big, hairy deal it gets made out to be.  I do think the technician makes a difference, but I don’t know how to work around THAT obstacle.

Most of you know I am a Pampered Chef consultant.   I’m rather restricted on how I can advertise, so if you’re interested in any of the pink specials this month, leave a comment and I’ll tell you how you can see/buy them.  I am proud to be associated with a company that supports two great causes – the American Cancer Society through their Help Whip Cancer campaign and Round Up from the Heart which supports Feeding America.

So, there will be a few little pink “door prizes” from my stock for anyone who entered the contest…

Now, for the pizza part.  Because of Pampered Chef, I met Louise.  She runs the Months of Edible Creations blog.   Because of her blog, I’ve learned that October is National Pizza Month.  Today is National Seafood Bisque Day, and if you want to check out the other foods you can celebrate this week, you’ll have to toddle on over to Louise’s blog yourself.


I’ve donated a pizza party set to the prize pool.   There are two ways to win this particular prize.  If you’ve had a pizza party, you’re automatically entered.  If you have a pizza party this week, that counts too.  You may also submit your favorite homemade pizza recipe to me via a comment to this post.  You’ll get ONE bonus entry for a homemade pizza sauce recipe and/or pizza dough.

Now… don’t expect me to ship prizes on the 26th.   I’ll draw names via the random number generator when I can on the 26th, and prizes will ship as soon after that as I can get my act together.


Whew.  I need the week to recover from my weekend.  It started around 9pm Friday night, when our new Marine strolled into the firehouse!  I wish I had a photo for you, but I don’t.  You can go see Anita’s new Marine, who happened to be in the same platoon with ours.  It was great see him, all tan, lean and back to ma’amming me to pieces again.

He joined us Saturday night for a dinner already planned for our 4th Year dude at UVA.  “Blister” has been around for years, being a local who opted to attend the hometown college.  Luckily, while Blister won’t be running crew regularly for the academic year, he will still be around.   No pictures of him either… sorry.

Finally, a photo!   Saturday morning, I did make it to our guild’s vendor market.  I couldn’t resist these pretties.   Christina and her sister fire their own glass and create all kinds of beautiful pieces.  If you don’t want to wear their art, they also make windchimes and sushi plates.  To see more of their work, click HERE

After dodging tornado warnings and hitting all three Richmond yarn shops, I didn’t have time to make a dessert as I’d promised I would for Saturday night’s fete.  Good thing The Pampered Chef had introduced me to what I call my 10-minute to chocolate cake recipe.  (Again, no photo…   I was too busy knitting and listening to those boys  young men to remember my camera languishing in my purse!)

2779However, I do have a recipe.  You’ll need the Rice Cooker Plus, although I happen to know that the stoneware fluted pan will also work in the microwave too, but the times will vary.  (Disclaimer:  I do happen to be a Pampered Chef consultant.)

It’s easy, quick, moist and yummy.  Supposedly, this will work with ANY type of frosting and cake mix, but I’m too hung up on my almost instant German Chocolate version to try anything else.

YOUR COOKING TIME WILL VARY!   Microwaves are persnickity things.  Your wattage matters.  Whether or not you have a turntable matters.  It’s a little touchy, figuring out when the cake is done.  I will tell you this…  do NOT use a cake tester-thingee.  The spongy nature of microwave cakes wipes the thing clean.  The jiggle test doesn’t work so well either, so good luck, and try using a table knife…


“canned” frosting (I use coconut pecan)

one box cake mix (I use German chocolate)

oil, water and eggs

Directions:  Spread frosting on bottom of rice cooker.  Mix cake mix BY HAND, according to the directions on the box.  You don’t want all the air a mixer will create in the batter… trust me.  Pour batter over the frosting.  DO NOT use the lid for the rice cooker.  Cook for 7-10 minutes, on high, until done.  Let cake stand for a couple of minutes, and then carefully turn the rice cooker upside down on a plate. 

The cake will self-frost.   I recommend serving on at least a dinner plate sized piece, with some sort of lip to it, unless you like running, sticky glaze on your counters, table and hands.

If you don’t have a turntable in your microwave, you’ll want to turn the cake at least once during cooking.   If you use the stoneware, allow at least a couple more minutes of cooking time.

It gets rave reviews, even from professional cooks.

How was your weekend?

Clipping Along

Wait!  Come back!  The Alberta Clipper whooshed through way too quickly.  It was just fast enough for the Knight to convince me not to go shopping this evening, but too fast to leave any real snow behind.  No photos even, since it started just before dusk.  Sissy licked up what she could though, and Gretchen has decided the cold stuff is kinda’ fun.  It makes Sissy snort and lick and run even more than usual, so that makes Gretchen happy too.

I bound off my guild KAL stole, a whopping week before I’ll need to wear it at our holiday party.  You’ll just have to wait for an FO report though, because I’ve finally decided I need blocking wires.  The Knight and I are going to get some tomorrow, either from Lowes or Tractor Supply.  He’s proved his knitter’s knight’s status yet again, by knowing off the top of his head where I can find stainless steel TIG welding wire, of a fine gauge. 

See?  It’s a weekend and I’m blogging.  Sure, sure in part because Chief Pissy needs to be humored right now, but also because I need to dig through my stash and find the right yarn for a project I can’t tell you about.   I love knitting, but sometimes when I need most to knit, I’m just not that into it. 

That’s a perfect little Christmas present.  It’s from my two director friends with Pampered Chef.  One is MY director and recruiter, and the other joined about the same time I did, under said director.  They’re awesome women, and every Christmas, they come up with a simple, inexpensive gift that delights me.  One confessed that the ornament came from a dollar store, so I’m guessing the little tray did too.  The Chick-fil-A coupon was probably free for the asking; our local franchises are great about supporting the community, and the company as a whole seems to have a nice policy of giving back.  The fudge was made by one director, and the cheesecake bars, by the other.  Not a lot of cash or time involved, but a great little gift!  (Never mind that the Knight ate the biggest cheesecake bar and then demanded that I secure the recipe…)

I won a door prize too.  If I haven’t blogged about bamboo before, I should have.  I joke that bamboo utensils saved my marriage.  When we wed, we got lots of wooden spoons as gifts.  The Knight and I both prefer them over plastic. However, when we were newlyweds, I was working 24-hour shifts, which left lots of opportunities for the Knight to drop our new, pretty wood into dank, awful dishwater for VERY long periods of time.  (Wood doesn’t like that.)   The great thing about Pampered Chef’s bamboo utensils is they’re dishwasher-safe, but this photo is of the bamboo bowl.  (And Vanna, or Sissy if you prefer.  I got tired of trying to get a photo in decent indoor light without her.)  No Sis, it’s not your new food bowl, but I suppose it could be, if it wasn’t so big.  I wore it as a hat briefly at our party, but it didn’t stay put too well.  It sure is pretty though, and who doesn’t love a door prize?!

Which reminds me…  Before I go stash diving and resume holiday knitting, I do have a show to close and submit.  Isn’t it great when one procrastination leads to another?  All the while, House re-runs carry on, offering yet another distraction.