Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Somedays You Give It To God

My sister and I were raised Catholic. Long before it was fashionable to be Christian, we attended Catholic parochial school and Catholic high school. She was the lucky one that got to go to a boy/girl school; I was the ground breaker and was promptly enrolled in an all girl school.

The beauty of growing up Catholic is that there was a dogma, a creed or a prayer for each one of life's hurdles. Everything in life had an associated mystery and mysticism. There were prayers for lost items, for rain, for sunshine, for impossible obstacles, for blessings, and thanks. Life was simple with St. Anthony, St. Joseph, and St. Jude.

Unfortunately as one ages we want more of an explanation to all of life's trials. This was not spared on us. We too looked for answers were the only answer is and was because it is so. However, life does have a way of bringing you back to where it wants you to be. Always at the crossroads and making decisions and faith is what sustains you.

No matter what your belief system is faith is at the root of it. Let faith work for you and move your mountains.

Until next time,


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time to Make the Donuts

the Dunkin' Donuts commercial goes through my head everytime Carmen tells me it's time to update the blog. (Don't ask me why, it's just the way my brain cells are wired . . . )

We are going to have an opportunity to market our custom frames to a softball league. A friend of mine has a daughter whose team is going to be playing in the All Star games in Alabama over the 4th of July weekend. Congrats, Alivia! Alivia is going to be receiving her customized frame as our "thank you" and "congratulations" gift. We'll be sure to post Alivia and her frame right here on our blog as soon as we finish it up for her this week!

Don't forget! We can customize any of our frames in your favorite colors, colors that match your school, your room or any other occasion!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I try very hard to stay optimistic. Not Pollyanna hiding her head in the sand but upbeat looking for the silver lining in each cloud, the good that comes out of the bad, etc. I have my dark side don't misunderstand but it is usually kept well under control by the optimist who sets my "cruise control."

I am also a nurse. Again, given my profession the optimist springs eternal. Although it is difficult to witness there is good that comes from human suffering although we don't understand it when it is happening. We as humans aspire to make things better for others. Life is held in the highest esteem and people are an end not a means to an end.

Not that I am giving up on these beliefs or practices, but even for Pollyanna it is hard at the moment to hold on to them given the difficult economic times. It is heart breaking to see what is happening in communities all around the United States. With layoffs and downsizing we are beginning to see more and more Americans who for years have been healthy due to benefits that allowed them to stay healthy become infirmed with no where to turn. No job, same bills, health issues and no coverage--never a good combination.

We as a country need to be cognizant of what is going on all around us. Tonight at 10 p.m. President Obama will be holding a Town Hall Meeting. Even for those of us that consider ourselves as being not politically active or mildly interested this meeting will be important. This meeting will discuss healthcare and may set precedent for upcoming legislation. You don't need a soapbox just good listening skills and a voice that you are willing to exercise.

Until next time,


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Steve we love you--Happy Father's Day

Paul we love you--Happy Father's Day

Pipo te queremos--Feliz Dia de los Padres

Father's Day 2009 as we reminisce today on past Father's Days, we hope that you have a wonderful day, one that will be filed in your vault of great family memories. To our father, our husbands, and their fathers we wish you all the joy this world can hold as seen through the eyes of your children.
To those who have gone before us, Big Guy and Dad Demos, we love you and miss you but we know that your watchful eyes are over us. Say "Hi" and a big "I love you" to Joan and Connie.

Until next time,

Maggi and Carmen

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't Forget Dad

It's easy to shop for my Dad, really. He loves coffee table books on Cuba, Baseball, and History. However, this year my Mom said he might like something homemade. Well, that's right up our alley. It seems that he's gotten very "emotional" in his old age.

I gave my Mom a little cheesy Hallmark poem many, many years ago (I'm almost positive I was in 3rd grade) and she still has it on her wall. Right next to it hangs one I gave my grandmother. My Dad made a comment to my Mom about her and my Grandmother having one, but there wasn't one for him.

So this year, I thought I'd listen and make him something. I found a poem from Mother Teresa that had been translated into Spanish and started there. It's a bit difficult to find masculine embellishments, so I kept the frame monochromatic and used ribbons, flowers and a butterfly. I'm pretty happy with the end result.

Yep - that's Carmen and I in that picture, and here's a closeup of the embellishments.

I'm hoping he likes it. He usually does, but just in case . . . I got him a back up gift . . . Maybe next year, I need to get him a new, bigger coffee table!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

This is a busy Mom fix ahead dinner that can be used all year round, my family loves waking up to this one on Christmas morning. Makes approximate 8 GENEROUS servings, recipe can be doubled allow additional 30 minutes cooking time.

12 slice of bread cubed
6 eggs
3 cups of milk
1 small to medium chopped onion*
1 small green, red (or both use ½ of each of using red and green) pepper
One of these (if desired; for vegetarians forgo this step):
½ cup of crumbled bacon
1 cup of chopped ham
1 cup of sliced hot dogs
1 regular package of Jimmy Dean Sausage (cook and crumble before using in dish)
½ cup of cheese (Sharp Cheddar or Mild depending on your personal taste)
1 tsp of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

If making the same day preheat oven to 350 degrees. If making ahead remember to preheat oven.

In a mixing bowl beat eggs as if to make scrambled eggs, add milk, nutmeg and beat. Spray 13” x 9” inch rectangular pan with non-stick spray or grease with margarine or butter.
Place bread, onion, pepper, meat product of choice, ½ of the cheese into pan and mix to distribute evenly. Pour egg and milk mixture over top and allow same to soak into bread; you can do this by giving the mixture about 5-10 minutes before baking or by allowing it to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out dry. During the last 15 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Technology What a Wonderful Thing

I love the Internet on most days, however, the last two days have not been most days. The last two days have been filled with trials and tribulations.

It all started Saturday. I thought everything was running a little slow. Our Facebook RSS was not feeding (should have considered force feeding it but did not want to infringe on its rights). Ok, I figured, I did something wrong--bad Carmen, good Internet. Next Twitter started hiccuping (not a pretty site when you have to refresh your screen every 20 seconds or get 75 updates dropping in all at once).

By Sunday, it was so slow, I could have written a letter and hand delivered it to the receipient in the same amount of time that it took me to send an email. Then yesterday it happened the dreaded no email and "rocks" in my Outbox syndrome. I was getting nothing in and if I tried to send anything out it just sat there, smiled and ignored my commands.

I consulted the expert, my son Alex. Ok, not really an expert but a third year engineering student. BY GOSH with all the money I've paid to that school he should know something about computers! He tells me to clean my cookies and cache. I say "Ok, should I use Windex or Pledge." For heaven sakes if I knew what my cookies or cache were and where I might find them I could have had a chance!

As I stated previously, I love the Internet on most days, however, the last two days have not been most days.

Until next time,


Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Birthday Party

The photographer takes refuge

Let the games begin
At the staircase waiting for his guests
Derrick's (my nephew) birthday is this week. He will be seven years old. Seven is a magical age for a boy. It's not quite big enough to have full control over one's life BUT old enough to know that one has their own opinion and are allowed to express it. Every now and again your opinion is acknowledged and you get what you really wanted.
Well this year what he really wanted was a pool party and he got his wish. This child had "...the bestest day of..." his life. He swam and played and played and swam until he finally wore himself out. Which is a first for Derrick and a sign of his advanced age (seven--haha).
There is one more surprise for Derrick. One that will again give him the biggest smile on his little face and the greatest joy that he will remember (until the next time because he has a short attention span and has a tendency to forget major life events another sign of his advanced age--seven). Derrick does not know it yet but there is a date with a magical mouse in a magical kingdom. It will be the "...bestest day of..." his life. Happy Birthday Baby, may it be the first of many joyful celebrations, I love you!
Until next time,
Aunt Carmie

Friday, June 12, 2009

Talked, Typed, Text'd, Twittered and Tuckered Out

Tealight Party Favors Baby Shower Themed
See listing for price points
Tic Tac Toe Brooch---$20.00
Seedi Beadi Maze Brooch--$20.00

Rainbow Brooch---$20.00

From the bottom of my...
Set of 10 cards---$15.00
Individual Card---$2.00

It's been a loooooooonnnnnnnggggggg week and rather than ramble on senselessly please enjoy this Feature Friday. All of the items posted here will be available in our Sumpin Else shop by the end of the weekend. To view the shop just click on Sumpin Else (here or above). As always thank you for dropping by.
Until next time,


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

School's Out for the Summer

School’s out for the Summer, words that send waves of fear through any Mother’s heart—right? Not, if you just do a little planning and employ the work and reward method. The what? The work and reward method.

Work and reward was something I used with my children as they were growing up. Now that they are young adults I wish it were that easy. If they wanted to do something special they would place their request on the Reward list. The reciprocal of the Reward list was the Work list on which I would place what I wanted them to accomplish. In order to gain the reward they had to complete an item (listed for them) on the work list. It was a sure way to get them motivated without argument or plea bargaining, the lists spoke for themselves.

Rewards included extra TV watching hours, trips to the pool, day outings of their choice, etc. All were simple things that you would have done normally but were considered a treat. Work would include helping with the grocery shopping, picking up the bathroom after younger members of the family, or picking up after yourself after playing, eating, etc. Again simple things that if repeated enough become life-long habits.

The only caveat to the Work and Reward method is that it needs to be age appropriate. If they can’t read it requires a little more effort on your part BUT it can work. Try Work and Reward and see what results you obtain.

Until next time,


Monday, June 8, 2009

Thoughts from a Weary Traveler

One of a kind handmade brooch
Over the past few months, I have been contemplating a few things. Based on Erickson’s Stages of Development this girl is entering Middle Adulthood and facing Generativity vs. Stagnation--ouch. Oh well, given the alternative not a bad stage to be entering.

From nursing school it would appear I am manifesting all of the symptoms of this stage; including but not limited to am I leading a worthy life. As I was sitting in a hotel room in San Antonio last week this thought kept creeping into my head. I found it difficult to shake since when I wasn’t at work, I was alone in the hotel room.
I thought about growing up, my relationship with my birth family, my husband and the family we have formed. I ran through my mind all of the friends and acquaintances that I have made in my life. After it was all said and done I was pleased and revitalized with the self knowledge I had acquired.
Through the strangest of places; i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, I have reconnected with friends that had been lost to me for years. It has been a blessing to find them again. So to Erickson I say generativity is so much more than how you describe it, a little pig (Ella) gave me wings to fly. Life is good and I’ve been blessed.
Until next time,

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crock Pot Day

Busy Mom’s know the kind of day we are talking about when we say a Crock Pot day. It’s usually one of those that starts out early and is chocked full of events and commitments almost from the time your feet hit the floor until you return to bed and your head hits the pillow. A crock pot meal is truly a welcomed thing on days like that.

Crock pot meals are great home cooked meals that can be prepared for cooking the night before and left to slow cook all day while you go about life. One of our favorite crock pot meals is Crock Pot Stroganoff. To complete your dining experience, prepare a salad and some egg noodles during the last 20-30 minutes.

Crock Pot Stroganoff (Recipe can be doubled or tripled, limited only by the size of your crock pot)
1 lb beef cubed as for stew
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can French onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup sour cream (reserve for last 30 minutes of cooking time)
Place all soups in crock pot and stir until combined. Add beef cubes and stir until covered with soup mixture. Turn crock pot on to low setting and cook 8-10 hours. During last 30 minutes of cooking time, add your sour cream. Serving suggestion: Ladle over egg noodles or rice.

Hope you enjoy!

Until next time,


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Even Good Pigs have Bad Days!

Everyone has one of those days. We've all had them. You know the ones where from the moment you pull the covers back everything goes wrong. Your slippers aren't next to the bed, your toothbrush has toothpaste deposits, your coffee pot doesn't cooperate, your hair gel has been replaced with shellac and you gained 15 pounds over night. That's just your first 5 minutes and then your real day begins.
I have usually resorted to prayer in instances like this. I pray ALOT!!!!! Did I mention I pray ALOT!!!!!!
Well on the heels of a 9 day stint of bad days, it finally got to me. Yes, I had a SNARKY kind of day and I allowed my inner pig to speak! It was not pretty but I have to admit it was liberating and hilarious.
People are not used to seeing my inner pig. I am usually a very composed, compassionate human being. No, not today. For every action there was a reaction. For every comment there was a gutteral response (not foul just pulled from the inner recesses where it had been lurking and waiting for years).
I have come to the end of my 9 day run and have vowed that tomorrow will not follow suit. So, if you are wondering what happened today don't analyze it too much. It won't happen again for at least another 5 years. And when you need to, pray, or look at the poster above from some wonderful Etsian who unfortunately was not credited on the Internet (and I thought I was having a bad day) and carry on!
Until next time,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

“Gee Mom Do I Hafta”

Derrick's 7th Birthday Pool Party Invitation
(each individually hand cut)
Surf's Up at this Lil' Guys House

Amanda's Bon Voyage Party Invitations
Thank You Cards

As I have shared with you before (it seems like a million years ago) I used to make my children’s cards and invitations when they were growing up. On the back of each card, I would painstakingly type (in an arched arrangement mind you) "Another Gee Mom Do I Hafta Card." Yes, you read it correctly “TYPE” because we did not even own a word processor much less a computer back then. My first attempt to do this took about 2 hours and 2 bottles of White Out.
As I was looking through some of Maggi’s most recent works I wondered how many Moms might be out there wanting something a little different for their child’s birthday (or even their own adult party). I wondered if they realize how simple it is to customize invitations and thank you’s for themed parties. At Sumpin Else, that is our specialty and although we don’t have a separate listing for this type of order, your unique requests can be discussed, developed, designed and listed just for you with one simple “convo.”

Summer’s coming have you considered your 4th of July, Labor Day, and Back to School party needs? We'd love to assist with these and any party stationery, favors, or other party and party planning needs.

Until next time,

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