For This Child I prayed.

March 25, 2011 at 10:40 am (Memories)

29 years ago, at 9:54 a.m., the little girl of my heart was born.  She weighed 6 pounds.  I had an easy labor.  My water broke at 10:00 p.m.  My Momma came over and told me not to take a bath (I don’t know why I remember that) 🙂   DannyO (who was riding to Mine #78 with buddies) rushed home.  They hit a skunk.   I only had to push for 2 hours or so.  I broke all the capillaries on my neck and face.

Precious Amanda and her Daddy

We named her Amanda Joy.  She truly given us a lifetime of JOY.  She was a fussy baby.  People would come to visit us and then leave because they couldn’t talk over her screaming.  I couldn’t soothe her, but her Daddy could.  He’d hoist her on to his shoulder, her belly on his shoulder blade and walk and walk and walk.

Enjoying Cake at Meme's

Amanda and Brent

We were singing at the time.  Esther, Aunt Lorraine or Jo would watch her.  She joined us on stage when she was 3.  When she was 5, we had an open sing at Pike.  When it was her time to sing, she stood on the bench and announced loudly for all to hear, “I’m not singing until I’m seven!”  I said, “Okay.”  And that was that!

I have posted many pictures on my FB profile so her friends can see them.  However, some of my favorites are of her singing as a young adult.

Amanda's senior recital

Singing at Libby's wedding

I spent hours and hours making this Rainbow bright costume

Me and Amanda

Amanda Joy Olsavsky ~~ for this child I prayed.


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After #2

March 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm (Decorative Painting)

One of the great things about the creative process is just that… it is a process.  Yesterday I posted pictures of my “before and after” little end table.  While I absolutely loved, loved the pretty blue and the distressing, I was not 100% in love with the decorative treatment so… I changed it.  I like the second version much better.  It is lighter and suits the piece’s vibe.

After #1

My very happy end table

After #2 ~~ Now I'm happy 🙂

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Before And After ~~ Weekend Project #1

March 22, 2011 at 10:59 am (Decorative Painting)

Last weekend Darling DannyO went fishing with his buddy, Dave.  I knew I had almost 2 1/2 days to start and (hopefully) finish a project.  I started TWO projects.  Neither was finished on Sunday evening, but I did complete the little side table yesterday.  I have been inspired by what I’ve been reading in Design*Sponge’s blog. This is my “before and after.”

$9.99 at Goodwill

My Happy Blue Endtable

I know it is very blue ~~ but that was an “on purpose.”  I removed the hardware and sanded well.  I then took an old white candle, broke it in half and rubbed on the design ~~ where I wanted the chipped/crackled effect.  I then painted two coats of  Benjamin Moore’s poolside blue.  I allowed it to dry overnight.  Sunday I started to sand and chip.  I wanted the look to be very, very distressed.  I painted the little design on the inside panel.  I wire-brushed the hardware and used a brass cleaner on it.  The hardware is not perfect, but that was my point.  I then put 2 coats of paste wax on the whole piece and re-attached the hardware.

Very, very distressed look

The decorative paint treatment ~~ not sure if I'm 100% happy with it... I may change it

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A Very Excellent Dinner

March 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm (Recipes)

Darling DannyO has been working late for a few weeks now.  This is probably the only evening he will be home at supper time.  Last night I told him we had a few steaks in the freezer and I would make him a fabulous dinner.  I should have looked closer at the meat in the freezer.  It was a sirloin tip roast, not a few steaks.  I always have problems with “toughness” when I make a tip or eye roast.  Being very internet savy (not!), I googled “how to – tender sirloin tip roast.”  I found many tips that required the roast to be slow-cooked.  It was 1:00 p.m.  There was no slow cooking for my roast.  I found a “fast” recipe.  It wasn’t a recipe, really, just some basic instructions.  I will make it a recipe.

Very Excellent, Tender Sirloin Tip Roast

  • Sirloin tip, eye of the round, roast, 2 – 6 lbs.
  • Canola oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • Cast iron skillet (you can substitute a baking dish, but I like my skillet 🙂 )

Take roast out to bring to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Brush canola oil and worcestershire sauce on both sides of the roast.  Season with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.  When oven reaches 500 (I put the skillet in the oven to preheat also), put the roast in the oven.  Bake 10 minutes per pound (8 minutes if you like rare meat).  After the first phase (mine was 2 pounds/20 minutes), turn off the oven.  Keep the door closed and bake an additional 10 minutes per pound with oven off. Take the roast out of the oven and let it  rest, covered with aluminum foil, for a few minutes.  Cut against the grain in thin slices.  Serve with horseradish sauce.  I baked my roast 10 minutes with oven on, but when I do it again, I will bake it 8 minutes per pound.  We like our meat a bit rarer.  The 10 minutes/pound with oven off doesn’t change.

Here’s how I timed it.  I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.  I cleaned, pierced and oiled (with canola oil) 4 baking  potatoes.  I put them in a piece of foil on the oven rack.  I also put the cast iron skillet beside the potatoes.   After 20 minutes, I jacked the temperature up to 500.  When it reached that temperature, I put the roast in the preheated oven.  40 minutes later (20 minutes with oven on, 20 minutes with oven off), both the potatoes and roast were finished.   I served them with corn and sourdough bread.

I made a lemon meringue pie for dessert.  I will share with you my fail-proof meringue recipe.


Very Excellent!

Very Excellent Meringue

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Combine the 2 tblsps. sugar and 1 tblsp. cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Add cold water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and clear (It doesn’t become clear as soon as it boils.  You must continue to stir a bit longer.)  Cool completely (in fridge).

At this point, make the crust (understand that most pudding pies require the crust to be pre-baked) and the filling ~~ whatever pie you want to make (I use the Watkins lemon pudding and pie filling mix).

Continuing the meringue…

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until soft mounds form.  Gradually add 6 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, mixing well after each tablespoon.  Add the completely cooled cornstarch mixture and continue beating until meringue stands in stiff peaks.  Heap meringue onto pie filling; spreading to seal the meringue onto the edge of the crust.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

I love it when a plan comes together!!

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Happiness Is A Great Pair of Shoes

March 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm (Musings..., Product Reviews)

If you have ever seen my closet, you will recognize that I love shoes.  When I get in my de-clutter mood, I tend to give shoes away.  That is a move I always regret.  The first thing I notice about a person is their shoes.  I used to love, love, love to wear high heels and I wore them well 🙂

With my balance issues, I can only wear high heels for short periods of time, usually when I sing.  However, that doesn’t keep me from perusing the Internet for great shoes.  I’ve found two pairs that I thought I would share with you.  They come from my new favorite shopping place, ModCloth.

Mustard Shoes 🙂


Pink is my FAVORITE color


Are you smiling???  I am!!  🙂

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Barely Hanging On

March 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm (Jewelry, Multiple Sclerosis, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

It is raining, snowing, sleeting outside.  I am sitting with a heated rice bag on my back.  I have deep muscle aches and spasms.  It is 2:30 and I finally took a pain pill.  I know I should take the meds earlier in the day, but I don’t want to become dependent on them.  Some days are better than others and I don’t want to take a drug unless I truly need it ~~ today I truly do!

I couldn’t bring myself to step on to my elliptical or pilates machines even though I know that it is something I absolutely need to do ~~ maybe tomorrow.

I DID, however, balance my checkbook and start to work on a bracelet for darling Amanda, using a vintage pin as the focal point.

Bracelet in phase #1

I absolutely know that tomorrow is another day.  I have accomplished as much as I can today… God is good…

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The End of My Stay-cation

March 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm (Stay-cation 2011)

DannyO is coming home tonight.  I ate an ice cream cone for supper… tomorrow I will have to make sure to have a balanced meal.  DannyO doesn’t like ice cream for supper!

I’ve been reading blogs on the Internet and have come to the conclusion that these young women have more energy in their little fingers than I have in my whole body.  The bloggers I’ve read about would have refurbished a bedroom set, painted the house and designed a line of jewelry in these five days.  I’ve read a book, started another, de-cluttered a bit, worked on a coiled wire/beaded flower for a bracelet and, well, taken lots of naps!

My edited kitchen cabinet corner... a bunny my Momma gave me, a happy teapot Danny gave me, a picture of darling Tess

My edited primitive cabinet corner... Everything on this wall makes me smile 🙂

A coiled/wire, beaded flower. It looks better in person ~~ DannyO has my camera

{{Shrug}}  I can only do what I can do.  The important thing is that I always put one foot in front of the other.  It will be nice to see my darling hubby again.  He had fun golfing with his brothers.  I have enjoyed just taking a step back.  I had two whole days that were pain-free.  I am blessed.

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A Not-So-Fun Stay-cation, Day 4

March 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm (Stay-cation 2011)

They say only two things we can depend on are death and taxes.  This day was spent preparing our federal income taxes.  I was prepared to pay lots and lots of money.  The good news is, after four hours, I think, I hope, I pray, I need to double-check, that we only owe a teeny bit ~~ YAY!!

The sun is shining and the snow is gone.  I walked to Tess’s grave and talked to her for a while.  I told her how much I missed her and that it still hurt to think about her.  She was my faithful friend.  I am going to plant some lily of the valleys when Spring comes officially.  Right now, her resting place is marked by two stones.

Tess's resting place

I ended the day rehearsing with the traditional praise team at EBC.  What an encouraging group of friends.  We prayed, sang, talked about some great scripture and, thanks to DB, Jenn and I have been singing “Puff The Magic Dragon” for 24 hours.  Thanks DB!!

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Stay-Cation, Day 3

March 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm (Stay-cation 2011)

The third day of my stay-cation was spent at a voice lesson, meandering through Big Lots and an evening session of “Creative Souls/No Rules.” Daniel Teadt is my voice teacher.  I am so blessed that he is making the trip to Johnstown two times a month.  He is helping me to find my voice again 🙂  I think I am liking what I hear!

Nadine, Nancy and Deanna came over for our bi-weekly painting session around my kitchen table.  Nadine brought a box of fortune cookies.  We ate them until we found the fortune we really liked!  Okay, so I ate four cookies and all of my fortunes were good 🙂 .  My first fortune was, You are gifted in so many ways. I absolutely do not believe in “fortunes” this way, but it was fun!!

I also worked on a teapot that I basecoated a year ago, completely forgot what my plan was for it, and wiped off all that I painted the last time we got together.  I am pleased with my progress.  It isn’t any particular style, but a mishmash of bauernmalerei and rosemaling.

A strokework teapot ~~ in progress

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