January 28, 2011

             (Photo credit  EPA/NASA)

Twenty-five years ago today, January 28th. I remember where I was. I was working at the Pemi bank in downtown Plymouth as a teller. We had the radio on and we were all listening to the excitement as the Challenger was readying take off! This time, the shuttle was carrying one of New Hampshire's very own...  Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher!

Then, not very long after take off the unthinkable happened....  it exploded. It just exploded in front of family and friends and spectators all around the United States. The bank became silent as we stayed focused on helping our customers. I remember being very relieved that I had to work that weekend, as that day I only had to stay till noon! I spent the day at a friends' house cuddling with her son Bradley and watching the news casters replay and try to figure out what went wrong.

The day is one of those that we remember forever. I may not remember the exact date or time, but I will always remember the emotion of the day and the name of a beloved school teacher from NH.

Dream big, Love bigger and Live each day as if you'll meet God face to face at anytime!

Commander Dick Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith,  Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka, Mission Specialist Judy Resnik, Mission Specialist Ron McNair, Payload Specialist Gregory Jarvis, and Payload Specialist and Teacher Christa McAuliffe.

January 18, 2011

This One is For You AMS! Tutorial "Chap Stick Holder"

A friend of mine wants lessons on how to make these sweet little holders! After taking a look at the one she bought for her daughter, Audrey & I determined that it wouldn't take too long to figure this out and soon started our own production! Start with an H hook and some acrylic yarn! (A perfect way to use up the leftover balls of yarn!)

1) Step one...    begin and chain 4, connect to make a circle using a slip stitch.

2) Step two...    8 double crochet (putting hook through the center of the circle)
                          connect the end stitch to the first one with a slip stitch.

3) Step three...   for the next 10-14 rows, 8 single crochets all the way around.
                          Continue 'round and 'round until it is the right size.

4) Step four...   10 rows should be enough for the standard chap stick... 
                         I made 14 rows for my tube of Carmex.

5) Step five...  After completing the rows, chain approx. 80 stitches
                        and attach to the opposite side from where you began the chain.
                       This makes the chap stick holder into a necklace.

Other options: Instead of chaining 80 for a necklace, chain approx. 20
and then connect. This can be used on a pocketbook strap, add hook and it
can be used on a zipper!  Add buttons or not... the ideas are endless!!
Have fun creating!

January 17, 2011

Pumpkin Bread .... Easy, Moist & Delicious!

Pumpkin Bread 

2/3 C. of butter or margarine  (I use just a little less then 2/3 C. canola oil instead)
2 2/3 C. sugar  (I cut this down a little bit)
4 eggs     (I use 3)
3 1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 C. canned or fresh (cooked & mashed) pumpkin
2/3 C. water
1 C. nuts (optional) I use sliced almonds
1 C. raisins

Cream butter (or oil) and sugar add the eggs & pumpkin and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and water and stir until well mixed. Stir in the nuts & raisins.  Pour into 2 small or 1 large loaf pan. Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes for the small pans and 1 hour for the larger pan. EASY to double this recipe and use two large loaf pans!! (If you double, you can decrease the total eggs to 3.)

The original recipe is a part of the Plymouth Bicentennial Cookbook, copyrighted in 1976. This recipe was donated by Audrey Prouty.

(As a side note, Audrey's husband attended the church we use to go to 25 years ago. She had since passed and John had remarried another wonderful woman named Winnie. They were the most loving couple. They way John spoke of his beloved Audrey made the name sooo beautiful to me. It was because of him and how he spoke her name that caused me to fall in love with the name too! Thus... our daughter was named Audrey!)

Memory Lane Monday

You'll never guess what I found over the weekend?!
Mrs. Turner's Doughnut recipe....  

Mrs. Turner was our beloved kindergarten teacher! For
those of us who were fortunate enough to be in her class,
we were treated with her home baked goodies occassionally!
Does anyone remember the doughnuts? Do you remember the
classroom, any of the activities? Please share....

I've had this cookbook (the Plymouth Bicentennial Cookbook '76)
forever and have only just now discovered this page!
My cookbook has become a 'loose leaf edition' from
all of its use.  This page is now an even more cherished
and protected part of my recipe collection!
I think I'll be making these delicious treats one day soon!

January 16, 2011

Welcome to the World Little Aaron....

 The first baby of the next generation was born early this morning.

Welcome to the world "AJ" (Aaron Stuart Corrow Jr.)
Here's Aaron Sr., the proud daddy, holding his new son.
3 lbs. 12 oz and 16 inches long.
(Tiny but perfect... born 4 weeks early)

January 15, 2011

"Yes, the Lord has done amazing
things for us! What Joy!"
Psalm 126:3

I've never chosen a word to focus my new year on before... 
and I can't say that I went out of my way to look
 for one this year. It's more like...
the word chose me!

 I was talking to a friend and during
the conversation I was sharing how
in this new year, I need to get my joy back,
my inner peace, my deep happiness with life etc.

It was then that the word "JOY" chose me...

Merriam Webster Dictionary definition:

1 a : delight,  gaiety
2: a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3: a source or cause of delight
beatitude, blessedness, bliss, blissfulness,
felicity, gladness, happiness, warm fuzzies
2011 is a year that I plan to be
purposeful in discovering joy!
Not the 'warm fuzzies' happiness,
but the joy that is deep in the heart...
the kind that comes from knowing the
Lord and being content and satisfied in life.
 The reason for living kind of joy!

Do you have a word focus this year?
Care to share?

January 12, 2011

Winter Projects On A Snowy Day!

  Here's a peek outback from the living room window. SNOW... it is very pretty, and we are suppose to get LOTS of it today! The weather men were predicting upwards of 14 inches, but we may have gotten a bit more. So, what to do on a day like this....  make a cup of tea, turn on a good movie and pull out the crocheting projects that I have been trying to start or finish!!
So...  here goes!

 I found a baby afghan pattern late in the fall and thought it would be a fun to try it! I found a soft baby blue yarn to work with and then trimmed it in baby soft white! You can't see it too well, but the blue is really a pale blue & white twill! It is sooo pretty! I was wondering if I'd EVER get this done! The only time I really have worked on it is when I'm waiting in the van for someone! The stitches are sooo delicate and this is definitely one that  I'll do again!! I may even use regular yarn and make some of these for 'big people' ....  Hmmm, this may be a good Christmas project!!

After finishing the baby afghan this morning I decided to try this fast moving pattern!! When I found this yarn I fell in love with the colors!! I wasn't sure what I'd do with it, but I bought two skeins. (It was hard not to buy all three that were in the bin!) I'm not sure if this will be the final project or not, but I'm going to making the scarf that is on the package! Have you ever noticed that the directions aren't always very clear?! I even took the sleeve off the skein of yarn in the store to see if I would understand them once I got home. (SHHH, don't tell!) Well, the more I play with it, do some stitches and take them out again, the more I am understanding just what they are asking me to do! Don't you just LOVE the colors!?

Here's another beautiful yarn I found a couple of weeks ago!! It's called 'denim rag' and the name suits the color of blue! I think one of these may become wrist warmers (another new pattern...) but I'm not sure yet!! I want to go back to the store to get some of the Fisherman's Wool yarn that I opted not to get that day...  (bad choice on my part LOL)!! The soft wool will make up some nice wrist warmers for sure! I'll keep you posted on my progress!! SOOO many projects sooo little time to devote to them!

January 5, 2011

Chicken Gnocchi Soup... YUMMY!

We REALLY enjoy going to the Olive Garden for the soup, salad and bread sticks lunches!! We all have our favorites and mine is definitely the chicken gnocchi (no-kee) soup!! After the first lunch out, I came home and tried to duplicate it. It was pretty good. I have searched the online recipe sites for a good gnocchi recipe and discovered, they are not that difficult to make! I've made this soup a few times and have finally decided to put it down on 'paper'!

Here's my version...  WITH A DISCLAIMER...  I DID USE SOME SHORT CUTS... this doesn't have my own base (although that is easy enough to do) and I didn't make my own gnocchi this time! (again, easy to do... go to All Recipes if you want the full experience.)

After friend of mine discovered that you can buy pre-made, frozen gnocchi, I had to try it! Audrey and I made this last night!! It was awesome...  if I do say so myself! :)

"Chicken Gnocchi Soup"

1 10 oz. bag of julienned carrots (or 1-2 shredded carrots)
1-2 stalks thinly sliced celery
4 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 small onion, diced (optional)
Approx. 6 oz. of fresh baby spinach 
2  16 oz. bags frozen potato gnocchi (I used Mama Rosie's brand)

Saute the carrots, celery, chicken & onion in a large stock pot with a maybe an inch of water.
When the veggies and meat are thoroughly cooked, do not drain and add the following...

2 family size cans of cream of chicken soup
2 regular size cans of cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup
fat free half & half  (one large soup can worth or less) You can also use milk, all water, or cream.
water  (two large soup can worth... add more if you'd like)

Mix well and heat the soup, but don't bring to a boil. At this point, stir in the fresh baby spinach and turn off the heat and set it aside. Now, fill another pan with about 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the frozen gnocchi and cook according to the package instructions (they will float when they are done). Drain and add them to the soup. Re heat the soup and you are ready to serve.... 

Delicious in a bread bowl or in a regular bowl!! A definite hit with my family!! ENJOY!

NOTE: My family members are big soup eaters, therefore this recipe makes A LOT of soup!! You can definitely cut this recipe in half by using only one large can of soup or one large & one small one (then I'd use 1/2 can of water and 1/2 can of milk product). Tweak the recipe to your own liking....  it is alot of fun to play and come up with your own creations!! HAVE FUN! :)

Comment from Audrey, "Our soup has more of a chicken flavor to it then the O.G. soup." We may use two small cans of celery soup instead of all chicken next time. Either way, it tastes great! 

January 1, 2011

Getting Organized!! It Isn't as Hard as I Thought it Would Be!

Let's face it...  I'm a magazine collector.
I enjoy reading the articles, dreaming and planning for
my next craft or meal. I have a stack of magazines (current reads) 
and some in boxes that have awesome ideas in them!!
 I even have a few magazines that
were my mother's before me!
Can you believe that?!

A few friends explained how they are 'kicking the clutter'
habit. I decided to take the plunge too! After all...  in most
of the magazines that I've saved, there are only a few
articles that I really wanted to save anyways!!

I bought myself a 2" three ring binder and LOTS
of plastic sheet protectors!

I went through some of the various magazines that I've
saved and carefully tore out the pages that I want
to save. Now, I'm organizing them in the
page protectors. I'll cut some file folders in half to use
 as section dividers that I can label for
ARTICLES, IDEAS or whatever
else I come up with!

You thought I was kidding?? This Family Circle 
magazine was from
June 9, 1981 and sold for 65 cents!

Check this out! After maybe 3 hours of 'work' and a dozen
plus magazines later, I'm only keeping a few intact and have
a nice pile for the trash! One stack gone... lots more to go!

NOW, as one of my friends puts it,
I have a 'Happy Place Book' to look through with
all of my favorite 'feel good' things and ideas!

I also shared this with