Thursday, September 24, 2009
Eight years ago today, a tornado ripped through College Park, Maryland, a very unusual feat indeed! Even more unusual and sad was that freak tornado took the lives of two sisters, Erin and Colleen Marlatt, students at the University of Maryland, who were on campus that day and were driving home to their parent's home about 30 minutes away. The tornado lifted their car and tossed it across the campus, killing them instantly.
Colleen and Erin were the only two daughters of my dear friends, Patricia and Patrick. Pat & Pat are remarkable people and have channeled their grief into something wonderful. They created a scholarship fund for children whose parents are teachers in Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The merit scholarship awards $2,500 per year (for up to four years) for a area Catholic High School or the University of Maryland, College Park.
Tonight, we will celebrate the gift of Colleen and Erin with a Mass and reception in their honor and memory. Please say a prayer for the girls and their family today, and if you have children, Hug them tight today! Life is a precious gift!
Visit the website at www.colleenanderin.com to learn more about the girls and the scholarship fund.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
OK, so I am little obsessed with the Royals - not "off the deep end" obsessed, but ever since Princess Diana walked down the aisle in 1981 in that fabulous dress with that fabulous train (My Mother and I were up at 4 AM watching it live that morning), I have been hooked!
If I was a native Brit, I'd be a Sloane Ranger. I just adored the Queen Mum, she reminded me of my Great-Aunt Elizabeth and I just love the tradition. So why is it I never knew about the magazine, Majesty, until this past weekend. Majesty has been published for about thirty years and though it looks like a tabloid, it is actually pretty classy and newsworthy. I happened to stumble across some old issues from 2002 & 2003 while I was visiting the Book Thing (see previous post). If you like reading about the lifestyles of the British Royals, check out www.majestymagazine.com.
Majesty gives its readers a colorful insight into the privileged lives of the royal families of the world. Personalities, lifestyles and fashion are all captured in exciting features and stunning photographs. Majesty records all the important royal engagements and takes an in-depth look at the dramatic history of Britain�s monarchs. Month by month it builds into a beautiful and authoritative collection.
If anyone is interested in the back issues I picked up - I can mail them out media anywhere in the US....Cheers!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Last night, I had the pleasure of having dinner with my good friend MFF at Amicci's in Baltimore's Little Italy. After a delicious meal of house salad with calamari (MFF had a Caesar salad with shrimp), garlic bread and a glass of red wine (full-bodied Chianti), we walked across the street to the parking lot of Da Mimmo's to watch a big screen presentation of "Throw Down with Bobby Flay" featuring one of Baltimore's own Catholic priests, Fr. Leo Patalinghug. Bobby and Fr. Leo were in a contest to create the best fajita and Fr. Leo won. You may be familiar with Fr. Leo - he is a cookbook author, creator and host of "Grace Before Meals." His message is pretty simple -- the act of creating and sharing a meal can strengthen all kinds of relationships -- Check out his website at www.gracebeforemeals.com
Now that our children, K & J, are out of the house, I realize just how important it was to gather together nightly for a meal. At the time, J didn't think so -- Here is a sample scenario circa 2004-05:
Dad: (with a smile) "How was your day"? J: (without a smile) Fine. (then dead silence..) Dad: (still smiling) "What did you do at school today"? J: (still not smiling) Nothing.....(silence continues throughout the rest of the meal)And so it went. Now that D and I eat alone (don't get me wrong, every night is a date night when your children are gone), I do miss a crowded table and the "stimulating conversation" we shared with the angst filled teenaged boy (who has turned in to a fine young man BTW!).
Mom tries to make small talk to break the silence, but to no avail.
If you don't know about GBM, visit the website. Here is a recipe that I have tried that is just delish -
Mushrooms Stuffed with Honey Sausages
Ingredients: Olive oil, Mushrooms, Sausage, Honey, Blue Cheese, Fresh Spinach
How to make it: Add olive oil to Pan. Cut stems off large mushrooms and place cap-up in the pan. Carmelize for a few minutes. Remove casing from sausage. Form meat into mini meatballs and cook in a second pan. Add ½ cup water and allow meat to cook in the steam. Add a few tablespoons of honey and blue cheese to the pan. Fill mushrooms with meatballs and pour honey sauce over top. Add Spinach to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Plate spinach, place mushrooms around it in a circle.
I follow the blog "Monograms and Manicures." You may already be familiar with Hopsy -- she is the super cute style maven who posts daily -- like I should -- and offers her readers chances to sign up for her give-aways and swaps. Last month, she hosted a "swap" and had over 125 blog followers sign up, including moi. She paired me with a Texan named Desiree who, other than being a Duke Blue Devil Fan, was the perfect swap partner. Here is a photo of the "loot" I received from this extremely generous blogger friend. I must say, for someone who has never met me in person, she was pretty spot on with my likes and style. She sent me a gorgeous moc-croc GREEN journal and a beautiful crystal turkey that will hold the Godiva after dinner chocolates on Thanksgiving Day! Thank you Desiree!! If I am ever lucky enough to have a bevy of followers I would love to host a swap. I guess if I posted more than once very few weeks I would get more followers!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
It was a good morning to hit the Waverly Farmer's Market. It wasn't too hot, it was overcast and I think that helped in keeping some people away. It was very easy to maneuver the midway, I remembered to bring my reusable shopping bags (Go Green!) and the fruits and vegetables were ripe for the picking! A few weeks ago, I made it a goal to buy something new every week. Two weeks ago, I bought a green called Purslane and last week I bought cute little Twilight Eggplants and Asian Stir-fry Greens. Husband D was not impressed with the greens selection ("Too Bitter"! he exclaimed), so today I asked him to come along with me and my good friend (and fellow gourmand) E to help me make my selections and, of course, carry the bags! After purchasing the "regular" weekly summer staples: peaches, peppers and coffee beans, we went searching for new goodies. We settled on Green and Red Zebra Tomatoes and fresh red beets. Now, I have always eaten pickled red beets, but it is my hope to grill them tomorrow as a side dish with dinner, so I am classifying them as a new find. If things turn out as delicious as I hope they do, I promise to post the recipe! Yum!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Here is a photo of my husband D and me on our most recent vacation. We went to Alaska in July and, as a East Coast gal who loves to head anywhere "up the Atlantic" but particularly to Jamestown/Newport, Rhode Island, I was a little leery about spending my precious downtime in the damp and chilly Northwest. It turned out to be a terrific trip and I will post more about it later, but in the meantime, here is a photo of us sporting our "Lilly" during cocktail hour on the ship.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Right after the Book Thing, I headed over to the Waverly Farmer's Market to check out all the goodies. I bought purslane, a salad green, that was featured in one of my health magazines last month...full of lots of anti-oxidants, so I'll give it at try. I also got three little twilight eggplants and some homemade ginger chutney. Looks like tonight's dinner is going to be a pretty yummy experiment!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
When I started to post again in April, I was just finishing up helping my dear Mother-in-Law through some pretty serious surgery and rehabilitation. She, at 87 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and underwent a mastectomy in late February. While she was in hospital, she was found to have some other health complications, that were not life-threatening, but did require her to have a 30 day stay in a rehab facility. Attending to her needs, with the help of my husband and our niece, Dee, took a huge chunk out of my winter/early spring, but on April 15 she was given a "cancer-free" diagnosis from her oncologist. We rejoiced and felt pretty confident that our lives and schedules were going to get back "to normal."
But when man plans, God laughs...so the very next day -- April 16 -- at Noon, I received a call from my brother that my 72-year old father, who has Alzheimer's Disease. fell and could not get up. By 2:00 PM that day, less than 24 hours after my M-i-L's "all clear," I found myself once again in a hospital, now taking care of my Dad. After a week at Johns Hopkins, he too went to rehab (the same one as my M-i-L) to regain his strength, but he did not get any better. My dad passed away on Tuesday. May 5.
For the past three and one-half weeks, I have started the task of dismantling my father's life, going through his belongings, washing and then donating old clothes. clearing off shelves and laughing and crying while looking at old pictures and momentos. This has been a crazy, and unexpected, year for me so far. It has not all been bad though, there is a lot if good news to post as well and this time, I promise to sat in top of it!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I have a bunch of gift cards, mainly given to me as Christmas gifts. I recently corralled them all together to see what they totalled and much to my surprise, the total came to $800! That is just sinful and I will admit I am a bit ashamed that I am have not used them, so I am making a plan to spend them down within the next 2 months. After all, it's "free money" and there is no reason why I shouldn't be spending "free money" before real money, right? The first gift card to fall will be at Johnnie Rockets, a retro 50's hamburger shop that has restaurants in most malls around the country...$40 down, $760 to go. And, to pay it forward, if I don't use the entire amount tomorrow, I am going to give the remainder to a random fellow diner and ask them to do a good deed in return.
My goals for this blog are simple: to make some new friends from around the country (and the world), to muse about the things a 40-something with family and career demands faces and to report great deals on food, fashion, make-up and fun as I find them! Though I do not profess to be the utmost authority on these things, I do hope I will find some followers so I feel compelled to continue to blog (who wants to write to themselves anyway?). I do hope you will check in with me periodically, if not regularly. Cheers!