Babs Just A Babblin' Blog

A bit of Gardening, baking, blogging, knitting, sewing, family, friends and discovering hidden treasures along the way.

Monday, May 30, 2011

We Remember

Those that have gone before us, may their souls rest in peace!
Richard's Mom and Dad

Richard's nephew Larry
And all those who served our country.
God Bless America!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Last Supper was only the beginning!

January 1, 1917 to May 29, 2006
Five years ago today, Dad left us for a better place.  We miss you Bruno!  A new tradition was started in Orlando following your death.
 Mom and Dad went to visit my brother Mike in Florida in March 2006.  Dad was obviously failing but he still liked to do some of finer things. Before they headed back to Michigan, Mike made a dinner reservation for  Mom and Dad and him at Ruth Chris in Orlando.  Bruno, being the connoisseur he was, enjoyed his fine dining and cocktails.  Mike believed this would be perfect for Dad.  And impressed he was!  He told Mike it was the best dining experience he ever had.  Mike and Dad enjoyed a flight of Grand Marnier after dinner and Bruno really thought that was top shelf.  It turned out that that evening was Dad's last supper (in the fine dining world).
They went back home to Michigan and Dad spiraled downwards and passed away 6 weeks later.

Following that experience, a new tradition began.  Mike and his boys now dine at Ruth Chris in Orlando every May 29th.  The first year after Dad's death, Mike made a reservation for dinner. They were seated at the same table they had sat at when Mom and Dad were there.  Not only was it the same table, but as they were seated, the seat Bruno had sat in remained empty.  Coincidence?  Mike explained to the waiter about Dad being there previously, etc. and asked the maitre'd to bring an empty martini glass in Dad's honor.  It was set at Dad's place setting along with a black linen napkin.  They enjoyed a nice dinner and talked all about Dad through out the dinner.  Following their meal, they finished off with a flight of Grand Marnier.  Tradition began.  The next year when they dined at Ruth Chris, the maitre'd recalled the celebration and the table was set for them, same table, same seating, and black napkin and chilled martini glass.

Last night, was the annual celebration dinner of Dad's life.  As in the four years past, the staff  prepared Dad's chilled martini glass, two olives in the glass and they fill it with water....and the black napkin.  There sits Bruno's spirit awaiting their arrival.  Mike and the boys talk about Dad all evening and reminesce.  What a fine tradition.  Bruno would love it.

As Dad always said,  "Why not?"  Cheers Dad, we miss you!
Love, Barbie

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lily of the Valley

These are one of my favorite spring time flavors.  Not only for their beauty and simplicity, but for the fragrance.  I have so many of these scattered in various areas in the yard.  Mother Nature just places them here and there and are they spreading.  I enjoy them and enjoy giving bouquets to friends.  Did you notice that  Princess Kate carried a bouquet of these for her wedding a few weeks ago? Lovely and simple elegance.
Wish you could smell them.  Their scent fills the entire room.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy 18th Birthday Leah!

We had the pleasure of celebrating Leah's 18th birthday Tuesday night.  I am in awe at how  fast the years have gone.

I was there, with my sister Maggie, for Leah's birth.  An unbelieveable moment for me.  There she was, that little tiny human being, all purple and not breathing.  And look at her today.  Gorgeous. I've always been her biggest cheerleader.

This birthday teapot was a gift I gave Leah years ago for her birthday.  It is resting on a wind up music box that belongs to my Mom.  It plays Happy Birthday.  Mom used this for all of us kids when we had birthday cakes.

I posted earlier about the Rainbow Cake.  It was a hit.  And was it a tall one.  I had to place wooden skewers in it so it didn't tumble in transit.  I think in all it was probably ten inches tall.  It was delicious too.  I'd definitely make it again.
Here's Maggie with her daughter.  Noise Maker and all.  Getting ready to blow out her 18 candles!
 And, what would a party be without Uncle Richie's enthusiasm?
All Photographs courtesy of Phil Chmura
Happy Birthday Leah darling!  Graduation in a week!  Yikes!
I love you sweetie!
Aunt Barb

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Challenge for the Week

Our adorable Leah Barbara, my niece, is having a birthday this week.  Generally, I make her birthday cake every year.  She always has a special request, beginning back when she was little, and I had a Barbie cake made for her.  It was so cute....the kind that had a doll in the middle and the skirt was all ruffled with frosting.
That little girl will be 18 this week.  No more Barbie cakes.

This year her request is this rainbow cake.
Pinks and
I must admit it is cute.  I've seen another one similar but it's all done in graduating pink tones.
Wish me luck.  I believe we will be serving it up on Tuesday as she has soccer games, work, etc. and is unable to celebrate on her actual day, which is Thursday.

I'll take pictures and we can compare this one to mine!
Have a good week.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been so on the go. We checked out two vintage campers in the past few days. I found the perfect canned ham but, not for sale. I'll stay with the hunt. I'm starting to put together an inspiration board for the campers interior.

I will be back to posting soon...promise

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before and After

I don't know if you recall my post of last January where I purchased a few things for re-purposing.  I finally had a mirror put in this one and want to show you how it turned out.  I really like it!
Little shabby-er now!

Out to the gardens~ Babs

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Joys of Blogging

I was very nervous at first.  Blogging.  What in the world would I say?  I've never been one that journals.  I've never really get my thoughts and feelings out there for the world to hear.  But I took the step and thought, what would I have to lose, plus I would gain some experience in the world of technology.  A new experience!  I had the time to explore!

Not only has blogging opened up a new world to me, it has provided me with new friendships.  It's amazing.  I had the opportunity to get to know Penny from At Home in English Valley.  She is the kindest, most gentle, giving person one could ever meet.  She's enthusiastic about creating things, she loves family, and has such a tender heart.  We share emails back and forth.  Penny so graciously made these adorable purses for me.  I had seen them on another blog, they are crocheted, which I do not know how to do.  Penny stepped right up and said, "I'll make you one."  Then off she went into her creative mode and did two.  They arrived in the mail yesterday and they are.
I so adore these.  One is already filled with my essentials....wallet, lipstick, and cheater glasses.  Thank you Penny.  You are wonderful.

I recently helped my friend Lynne create her blog, Irish Garden House.  Just a few sessions, and she is off and running and loves it.  She is very creative, loves gardening, and is very inspirational.  You will certainly enjoy her...please stop by and say hi to her.  Let her know I sent you....she would be thrilled.

I can say I really don't look at many magazines anymore.  My world of learning, reading, and creativity is in blogging.  I have so many favorites and am so inspired by others.  It has opened a whole new world and  I just enjoy it so much.  Now my husband.....well he gets tired at looking at the back of my head as I sit at my laptop or have my face into my iPad.  Oh well, he 'll get over it.

If you're not into the blogging world, you don't know what you are missing.  New friends, new ideas, wonderful inspiration - right at your fingertips.  I encourage you to give it a try.

Have a good week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Table Runners

A few months ago, I discovered some great fabric at an estate sale.  A bolt of lined-burlap like fabric and a huge cut of linen.  It was easy for me to decide what to do with this fabric.  Last year, I had made a few table runners for my patio/deck table.  I left them outside all season and they got pretty the point that I trashed them at the end of the season as they wouldn't come clean.  Natures elements were not kind to them.

So, this past week, my project was the table runners.  I am pleased to show them off.
I think they turned out pretty darn nice.  What do you think?  We just need to get the umbrella out and the rest of the chairs.....warmer temperatures and out there is where you will find us!
Have a good week!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Leah's Soccer Game

It was such a nice evening, I was able to take in one of Leah's soccer games before the season ends. Shame on me!  I'm not such a great supporter.  Cold weather sports don't quite cut it with me!

The Sailor's played Muskegon Catholic Central Friday night.  They won the game 4-0 (ouch!).  I was trying desperately to get a good shot of Leah but that was next to impossible.  They are always moving.  Right at halftime, the team runs across the field to where the fans are sitting.  I thought....oh here she comes, perfect time for a photo shoot.  Well, they no more ran our way then turned around and off they went.  I hollered to Leah, "I want your picture?"  She turned around with the smirky smile and I snapped.....never imagined I would get a clear shot....I thought for sure it would be blurred as they were running.  It turned out adorable.  That's my girl Number Four.  Go Sailors!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Was Here!

Oh my, it was so gorgeous here along the lakeshore the past few days.  The sun was out, the temperatures were in the high 70's to low 80's.  The leaves are popping on the trees.  The magnolia's, fruit trees, and azalea bushes are in bloom.  Even my Lily of the Valley are just about ready to pop.

I now have my furnace on!  It is 56 outside and damp.!  What the heck??

I did get my pots by our garage planted.  I like how they turned out and now I will watch them fill out!  I purchased a few different things this year.  One being French Lavendar.  After the season I will transfer it to a special place around the gardens, as it is a perenial.
There is not an empty spot on the right, actually a hosta is coming up.     
 And, last but not lease, this is my sweet Ikea pot that I wanted so desperately.  Isn't it adorable.!
Hope the weather bounces back soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

I made these for the hubby to take up north fishing.  They are a great breakfast muffin.  Enjoy!
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup quick oats

Cream butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.  Add egg and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and add to creamed ingredients.  Fold in remaining ingredients.

Fill muffin liners.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Makes 14.

Another Prom Photog

My nephew Erik in Orlando went to the prom also last Saturday night.  Here's a shot of my good looking guy and his great friend,  Maggie.  How sweet!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day Fun

We had a great day with my Mom.  Brunch, outdoors for some fresh air and sun.  Mom sat down for a few games of cribbage with the guys.  How fun!  I think she did really well.  She and her partner (not sure who that was) won the championship!
 You go Granny!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good Read

I recently finished reading this book by Garth Stein.  I really enjoyed it.  Oh, how I loved Enzo.

On the eve of his death, Enzo (a dog) tells what amounts to his master's life story. Stein's attention to detail was amazing - the book read like it was written by somebody who took the time to stop and think "what would a dog feel/do in this situation?" As a result, Enzo is memorable and lovable.  He's wise, he's naive, and he is devoted. I'm not going to lie to you, this book is very sad. But it is also laugh out loud funny at times, and filled with love, devotion, philosophy and hopefulness.

It's a beautiful book and definitely one of my favorites.   I want a dog!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to our wonderful Mother.
We all love you dearly.  You are they key to our lives and our hearts.

Happy Mother's Day to all those who are a mother sisters and friends, Marlene, and soon to be Momma Jackie!  Thank you for sharing your children with me!  I love you all!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


My darling Leah is all grown up.  Senior Prom tonight!
With Mom and with Dad.
All the couples had dinner at Maggie's.  We served the kids!
The girls didn't even make it to dinner and the shoes were off.  Can you believe the height?  My feet hurt just looking at them.

Have fun tonight and be safe!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Week in Review

Wow, it turned out to be very social and very busy.  Let's see, I hit three estate sales, lunches with dear friends, coffee with another, shopping with my Mom and outside in the gardens.
A great planter for 75 cents!

These were from a garage sale - there were made in North Carolina.
So excited!  Pots and surprise lantern from IKEA courtesy of Mike and Marlene. Thanks you two!
Estate Sale finds from Montague.
Don't gasp.  It will be cute for the backdoor.  Once cleaned and re-wired.
The front garden de-weeded and barked.  We're getting there! No flowers yet.   
I did manage to get dinner made for the hubbie, some laundry done and some sewing accomplished.  I don't play all the time!

Life is good!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Great Day

My friend Lynne and I had a great day together.  We started with an estate sale up in Montague.  (Pics forthcoming in another post.)  We both scored some great finds.

We went to lunch at Lipka's Pharmacy.  What a unique place.  It was at one time,,,,,a Pharmacy but now the daughter of the pharmacist operates it as a ice cream/sandwich shop.
Soups, sandwiches and soda fountain.  Period.  We sampled the carrot, orange, cream cheese with pecan sandwich.  It was grilled on asiago bread - Fabulous!

I took some pics of the memorbilia around the cafe.  Fun stuff.
Lots of Apothecary Jars
Mr.Lipka filed every prescription he ever filled in these file boxes.

The cook turned on this electric sign for me.  It's colors change to red, blue, orange, etc.  Really cute and pristine condition.

We left from lunch and went to a few greenhouses for plantings for our pots.  Got a few things but I'm just not there's so cold.

We finished the day at The Java Shop for a warm latte and a little iPad session.  Here is Lynne chatting it up with a local.
A good day filled with discovery, awe, creativity, imagination, friendship, conversation, honesty and openness.

Time to get on with my day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Recipes

I have been trying out new recipes.  So tired of the same things over and over again.  Three great ones so far.

This is what we had for dinner tonight....superb!
If you like an asian flair, this is it.  This is going to be my new "go-to" salad for company.

Also, made these yummy savory muffins.

Another easy recipe but rich in flavor.  Basic muffin with cheddar cheese, butter, and chives...little garlic powder and parmesan on top.  Yum!

I made an enchilada lasagna which was good but not pretty to photograph.
If anyone would like me to post recipes, just leave a comment.

Nice sunshine coming our way pretty much all week!  Yes!