Friday, December 21, 2012

Secret Recipes and The Apron

Today was a day of immense gratitude ~ Today was a day spent with my Ant Betty (and no, I did not omit the u in Aunt, it's how she signs her name!). She lived with me pre-kindergarten, and I cried for days when she "left me" to get married and move to Texas with her new husband. She is the best cook and baker I know, and she had the best color books.

A couple of years ago she bequeathed to me her Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe. This is no ordinary sugar cookie ~ all who have taken a bite have fallen under its' spell (and only she and I know the secret to this marvelous delight!). Today she shared with me her recipe for her Popcorn Crisp (there is wonderful caramel involved with it). And the best part of this is....only she and I know of the secrets to this recipe!

She had given me her precious recipe and in addition had written out her helpful hints. And then the day of delectable heavenliness began....

Oh how I love that Lady!!
And of course after each batch of goodness, the Fav Unk would have to sample each and every one!!
But let me back up to the beginning, as if this day could not get any better.....when I arrived my Ant Betty had a gift for apron that my Aunt Sally had embroidered so many many years ago (in pink gingham, be still may beating heart!)
Thank you Ant Betty for trusting me with your recipes, for that abundance of love when I was growing up, for the time you always have to spend with me. I love you more than you will ever know!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Skinny Malinky, Big Alice and Ida

This summer I had the pleasure of hosting an autograph party for the wonderful Stanley Kiesel, author of many books, my favorite being "The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids". I first met Stanley along with Scott Smith while I was interning at the Neighborhood House Senior Center. Very humbly he shared with me his writings over lunch. After lunch that day with them I went home and went on eBay to find his book. The next time I ran into him I asked him for his autograph. He said he would only autograph it after I had finished reading it and had given him my thoughts. The book soon became one of my favorites, each chapter I would become Skinny Malinky's cheerleader and admirer. After I finished it, I decided to send a couple of copies to friends with the idea of hosting an autograph party so that they could meet Stanley and get their books autographed.

Invites were made and sent. Along with meeting Stanley, I had also asked Laura Lou Pape-McCarthy to lead the group in some Laughter Yoga exercises.

Laughter Yoga was a huge success (which I knew it would be)

After the laughter yoga, we received the gift of Stanley doing a couple of readings from several of his books followed by one on one autographs.

I was a bit apprehensive about having this get-together. As the day proceeded it was reminding me of something all too familiar - Skinny Malinky and his friends Big Alice, Ida and the others. Friends being there exactly when needed. From Kristi preparing the appetizers

to Gina making sure everyone had what they needed.

From Annette aiding Stanley with all of his signings

to Lynda driving to Scappoose from Sauvies Island to pick up Kay.

A day spent with the best of friends ever

And a day spent with a wonderfully gifted author

I received this note from Stanley a couple of days later.
I know it brought him happiness to have people gather in his honor; my apprehensiveness was for naught. How right he is about that sensitive, intelligent and socially aware group of people - they are all my Big Alice's and Ida's!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Color Run

Earlier this year during one of our "Vein of Gold" weekly meetups Dayna brought down her iPad to show us with glee her latest stumbled upon event called The Color Run. It's a 5k run and at each "k" post they throw paint on you - and she wanted to put a team together. Sign me up!! Our team was called Alley Art Outlaws and I invited a couple of my schoolmates to join in the fun. Last week before the run we met to get our teams' name stenciled on our backs.
Back home I excitedly put together our outfits. I had previously went to Sam's vintage clothing store and picked up two perfect white tutu's!
We all met at the Max, took the train to PIR to began our 5k run.
And with a burst of colorful mayhem, the race began!!
We finished the race and headed back to the Max tired and hungry, where we all agreed that the Widmer Brewery was sounding awfully good. It would be perfect for my "cheat" meal.
And once on the max Cat whispers to me, "Cheat meal? How about a Cheat Day?!!!!"
Oh how I love that lady! I love Dayna's adventurous ideas and I love wearing a tutu!!
And I love a run that comes with knee socks!!