Sunday, February 12, 2012

New book, new blog, new way of life

I'm going to let Vaisselle go now. It has served its purpose. It was meant to chronicle our move from Texas to Pennsylvania. And I think it has done a good job. I've loved running this blog.

But from now on, I'll be posting on my new author blog. It's called  Snarky and Sweet. So be sure and check it out. There's a link to it on this page. I will still be posting on my pattern blog which is also listed on your right.

Many thanks to all who have read this blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas and New Year's Texas Style

We spent Christmas and New Year's in Texas and loved being there for M's baptism. Uncle Zach spoke, Grandpa Bond (Michael) spoke, I played the piano, Morgan conducted and Nathan baptized his boy. A family gig if there ever was one. And such a sweet event. Lots of Denneys there. And Martin had his other grandmother there and two very cute grown-up cousins there from his dad's side of the family. Afterwards we had carrot cake from an old recipe Morgan had with Aunt Naomi in full flower as aunt extraordinaire. Veritably scrumptious!

We swam on Boxing Day! Morgan and Nathan heated up the pool. We had so much fun.  That day was cool but it was never really cold there. And one day it got up to 70 degrees. Such nice, nostalgic Christmas memory for me. I remember Christmases in shorts in  Louisiana. My kind of deal.

It was a great trip as a visit with Momma and Dad and Michael's sister Katie and husband John were part of the trip. But mostly, it was playing with grandbabies and much needed rest for Michael.

Morgan and Nathan treated us to the Dallas Symphony New Year's Eve concert and we even got to drive his slick car. So posh. We walked next door and toured as much of the new opera hall as we could see. It was such a disappointment to have had tickets for so long to the opera and then have to give up our priority seating in the new hall. The symphony was lovely and the young conductor was just charming.

My eternally young parents. Mom is a fashion trendsetter at their retirement village.

Michael's fabulous sister Katie. She's added so much happiness to our lives.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip and it was hard to come back to our home in Pennsylvania. Moving back to Texas has become such a high priority.

We have tons of adorable pix of the grandkids and I've posted a lot of them on my Facebook page.

And take note: The picture at left is both of us at our chubbiest. We are on a diet and are doing great!  New, slimmer pictures to come.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Treats

Here we come a-waddling! Why is Christmas so tied up with food? Michael and I both could stand to shed a few pounds, but it is the holidays after all.

Firstly, the Christmas party. It was really fun. That's our bishop in the red shirt. Man, has he had a rough few months with all the extra work and strain the flood brought to our area. Nice to see him a little relaxed.

I love living here and I love our ward, but honestly, the folks up here cannot make food like Texans do. It's probably a case of not better, but different. But I do miss Southern cooking. I always looked for the other Texan's food when we had a ward potluck. But she's moved on.

Speaking of food, I always make a little something for Michael's employees. This year, I made cranberry bread again due to popular demand. They came out quite nicely. Recipe on request.
And the inevitable and important sugar cookies. Even though there are just two of us, I needed to make these. So I mustered up a five-year-old to help me. A new addition to our ward family, her family came back home from the Midwest. I think she said about five times "This is fun!". She had a grand time, loved the dinosaur cookie cutters pulled out of Kroger peanut butter jars many, many years ago, and made a set of cookies for her family. She especially thought about the boys which is surprising because she very frankly told me that they give her a hard time some days.
We're off on Christmas Day to see our family in Texas. And there will be more food there, I am sure. And I certainly hope there's some Mexican food in my immediate future.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Grandparent Tree

It has been very hard to be away from the grandchildren so much of the time. When Catherine was tiny and so far away, I saw a precious little ornament with her name on it in the Denton mall. Buying it and putting it on a tiny little tree I bought made me feel closer to her. Now there are ten tiny ornaments on our grandparents tree. And it's just ten times as hard now to be living far away from them.

It's funny how the personalities match so many of these kiddos even though I picked their ornaments out when they were all infants.

I realized that the grandchildren have never seen our very cool little grandparent tree so what follows are the photos for them. There are a few extra ornaments just for fun but I've included a close-up for each of the grandchildren (not in any particular order) so they can see their ornament:

The grandparents tree

Closer look

For Seth who brings joy to so many folks.
The first one for Catherine that made me think up the tree in the first place. 
Martin, our only Texas grandchild until Miles came along!

For Joseph who is all boy, a couple of train cars

Mischievous Vivi

Juliet who got oodles of the Denney's Irish charm

For cute and sweet Miles

The Littlest Angel who just happens to be Penny

Eli with a pinata in honor of his Mexican heritage

Eliza, our redheaded fairy princess.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Opening of the Boxes

 There are just no words! It was hard waiting until Michael came home, but I wanted him to share the moment with me. Of course, Michael had to remind me just how many computers we've bought over the years so that I could write a novel. I did remind him that the current one has been paid off with other things like my shop and my other writing gigs.
And the first one was a great investment because of that silly program called "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" It created a lifelong interest in geography in my daughter GL who eventually majored in geography in college.

So I'm pretty pumped. Now all I have to do is sell the things after giving away a few early Christmas presents to my immediate family.

This has been a fun but daunting adventure and the next time I publish a book it will be much, much easier!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back home again

I had a fabulous trip to Texas and Utah. I saw all four children and their families. I missed some grandcats and a granddog but otherwise saw the whole clan. MF had just had her fourth and I went to Texas to help out there. Then I went to Utah for the baptism of GL's second-born. The photo is of one of the dance moves of GL's fourth. What a doll! All ten grandchildren were unbelievably cute and charming.

I loved the weather in both places, ate Mexican food in Texas and hit up the Provo Bakery in Utah, played games, helped with art projects, and got to rent a very cool Fiat 500.

The only glitch to the trip was that there was rain in Philly when I arrived there from Denver on my way home. This may not mean anything to you, but the Philly airport is notorious for shutting down for weather. We got stuck there two days in December and I would have been stuck there for almost twenty-four hours if Michael hadn't decided to come pick me up. I guess he missed me! It's a two and a quarter hour drive one way. Instead of getting home at 6 we rolled in right before midnight.

I realized how much I love Texas on this trip. Yes, I love northeast PA. It is beautiful, lush, green and the possibility of seeing a gorgeous waterfall is never more than a few miles away. But I do love that open Texas sky, the cloudless days and the general look of the place. It drove right, smelled right and sounded right. Which means, of course, that that is our final destination once Michael finishes his career up here.

The other big news is that my book (Snarky and Sweet)  is coming out in print very soon. It's already available as a Kindle book. It will be on Nook soon and then the print versions will be available. I'm waiting for my box of books from the printer. It's been a fun thing to go through this process.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Water, water everywhere

As a new Relief Society president for only a few weeks (RS is an organization for the women of our church--I'm the president for the women in our congregation) I've been mostly dealing with flood. There have been evacuations, teams sent out to find members who haven't been to church in a while, work teams, donations and a big potluck for workers. The task that proved to be the most difficult was finding assignments for our work crews to do. Since they came only on weekends, we had to be sure that there would be work for them at an address, that there would be an owner willing to sign a release and to stay on the premises. Obviously, I didn't do all this myself. But it was a huge group effort and I had my part to do.

That's why I've been silent for a while.

And this blog hasn't featured photos for a long time because a) it rains every time I think of it and b) we were asked by our church leaders not to take photos of the work sites in deference to the tender feelings of others.

We had even more flooding this week. It's been enormous. The damage has been tremendous and the heartbreak incalculable.

I'm going away, far, far, away tomorrow. It will be a welcome break. Sadly, Michael can't go with me but I get to meet not one but two new grandchildren in Texas and Utah respectively and attend the baptism of my oldest grandson.

It's good knowing that the last of the work crews finished last weekend and that my counselors are more than able to handle things in my absence. And this Sunday is our church's World Conference which means no local meetings but satellite and internet broadcasts.

Life can be very unexpected. I didn't expect to ever be a Relief Society president and to take over the job in such adverse circumstances has been a real surprise. The bigger surprise is that if you asked me, I would tell you I like the job and find great satisfaction in it.