Babs Just A Babblin' Blog

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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Five

One. Sure sign of spring. I saw three robins in our backyard this week. Many people have accused me of drinkin' or smokin' but I'm telling you, it was for real.

Two. Met up with my camping girlfriends for lunch. It was good to see them. We have some plans for a few outings that will start in June. It was so good to see them.

Three. Though we won't be home for Valentine's Day, I did create a little vignette to enjoy each day.

Four. My exercise class was cancelled two days this week because of the weather. I can't believe I can say this, but I was disappointed!

Five. It's wonderful to be pulling summer clothes out and packing a suitcase!

Enjoy the weekend. I know we will! Seven more inches of snow predicted for tomorrow! Oh my!



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Issues with Posts

I'm not sure what is going on but myphotos aren't loading properly in Blogsy. I apologize for less than perfect posts!

Let's give this a try again.

Bean Soup with Ham.


Pot of Chili

Comfort foodfor snowed- in days.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Been knitting for baby....don't look Jackie!

Hope our city re-opens tomorrow. Everything has been closed due to weather, wind and snow.

Keep warm.


Monday, January 27, 2014


I had a post up yesterday. Pictures and captions were not in sync. Tried to edit but lost some photos. So in case you didn't see, here is a revision plus a few more pics of our lovely weather.

Winter is getting the best of us. We are trapped indoors. So what does one do to pass the time?

Make a pot of chili.


Don't look at this one Jackie.

Knit for baby.

Drink Bailey's and coffee.

Watch husband shovel.

Hang out with this guy.

And, alter Florida plans...leaving earlier to get the heck out of Dodge!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Five

One. A lady I follow on another blog was writing about a book she discovered, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I remembered I had that very book on my bookshelf from years ago. I brought it out and decided to follow along. It is daily reflections and walks through a year long journey of discovering your authentic self. Graditude, blessings, happiness, contentment, simplicity, etc. are topics of reflection.

Two. I finished the baby sweater I started a few weeks ago. Casted on the hat. Should have it done early next week. I will share pictures soon.

Three. Speaking of baby, our little Bywater Bundle is growing. Jackie had her 28 week appointment. If all goes well and as planned, we're looking at early April to meet our new baby girl.

Four. My mother ordered a new ipad this week. It arrived and I have it all set up for her. How many 93 year olds have an Ipad Air? By the way, its really sweet!

Five. We're hunkered down for a few days. All schools closed in anticipation of the blizzard hitting around noon today. Forty- five mph winds and blowing snow, white out conditions predicted. We went out this a.m. To walk at the mall. My sweetheart dropped me off at the door. When he came in from parking the car, he said he got one of those ice cream headaches just walking a short distance in the cold wind.

Oh, one more thing! My nephew Erik just received confirmation that he was accepted into the Mechanical Engineering program at USF next fall. CONGRATULATIONS Erik!

Have a good weekend!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Work of Art

Mother Nature did it again!


These are our garage windows from the inside. Frost at its finest! It was 4 degrees when I snapped these.

Have a warm day!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Good Reads

I am totally using this information from Kate of Another Clean Slate. I have seen The Orphan Train mentioned many times lately. I am suppose to be reading, Tell The Wolves I'm Home. I better get at it.

Have you read any of these?

First up was The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty. This was chosen for the month’s Literary Junkies read. It tells the story of the very traditional Cora who accompanied the budding silent-film star Louise Brooks to New York City from Wichita, Kansas. Cora had her own agenda on the trip and she makes some discoveries about her past and opens her eyes to the possibilities of her present. I’d recommend this one for sure.

Good-Bye for Now by Laurie Frankel seemed like it was going to be a cheesy read. After all, it was about a couple who developed a program that allowed them to talk to a simulation of a dead loved one. It was surprisingly touching and would be good for a beach or vacation read.

My favorite book this time around was Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This book took me to Lithuania in 1941 where I met Lina, a 15-year-old girl whose life was turned upside down when her family was forced onto trains and brought ultimately to Siberia by the Soviets. I did not know nearly enough about this part of the war but my eyes were opened wide after reading this book.

Another powerful and eye opening read was Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, almost my number one. This is the story of another young girl, this one an orphan, who was taken by train from New York City to the west where children were taken in either as farmhands, house servants and rarely as part of the family.

Taylor from Pink Heels Pink Truck lent me The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. I loved this book too. This is the story of an unhappy wife in 1950s London who receives a surprise inheritance from a stranger in Paris. Another recommendation for you all!

I received Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn as a table favor at the British American Business Council Christmas luncheon. This was a fun story about Queen Elizabeth leaving the castle and heading to Scotland on her own. It made for an easy fiction read and lightened things up after the heavy stories I’d be engrossed in otherwise.

Another almost favorite of the month was The Promise of Stardust by Priscilla Sibley. This was about a woman who suffers a trauma rendering her brain dead while pregnant. Her family battles each other on whether or not to wait to let her pass away until the baby is born. I would definitely recommend this one too. Be prepared for political debate and tears.

I keep a running log of recommended reads. These will be added. They all sound good. Let me know if you read any and recommend them!


Stay warm.....eight degrees here!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Best Birthday Cake


This is my birthday cake made by my brother Phil. I requested it as this is the best cake ever. Note the cake is sitting on the vintage music box that plays Happy Birthday.

This cake is a Dorie Greenspan recipe. It is white cake with almond flavoring, raspberry filling and buttercream frosting with coconut.

It is moist, flavorful and delicious. I took all the leftovers home! I shouldn't have but's my birthday.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Five

One. Forged new territory this week. A. Went to a monthly book club at a local coffee shop. The book that was read was the Book Thief. I started it but did not finish it. I went anyway. Next month's selection is Tell The Wolves I'm Home.

Two. I enrolled in two exercise classes and we had our first classes this week. They went really well and I enjoyed them. I also walked a few miles twice this week at the mall.

Three. Last night I completed the last of the series of tests my cardiologist ordered. This has been a two month process. I am happy to report all of them came out just fine. So hopefully a healthier lifestyle is the answer.

Four. Only four weeks from tomorrow and we will be in warm, sunny Florida. Can't wait.

Bye, bye!


Five. Happy Birthday to me today.!

From my dear sweet husband.

This is what 60 looks like!'s to another 30 good one's!



Thursday, January 16, 2014


Thank you, my dear Lynne, for the birthday lunch and lovely tulips. They brighten my world on this cold, gloomy day.



Monday, January 13, 2014


Not much going on here. Just wanted to share Simon. He's a nut. He loves the snow. We were at my mom's for Saturday morning coffee. It was time to leave and I had let Si out the front door. A few minutes later we started to head out and there's Si all comfy in the snow bank.

Have a good week. I am planning on it!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Five

Here we are enjoying Friday again. It feels good getting back to a normal routine, though it was a slight disrupted from the bad weather monday and Tuesday. Everything was closed. So, for the week, here are my thoughts, observations, stuff, etc.

One. Yesterday I baked. Though I am working on getting healthier, I enjoy being in the kitchen. Everyone else enjoys my baking, so it was kind of a Pay It Forward kind of day. Cardamon Bread....ahhhh.

Made into rolls..something a bit different.

Two. I am really enjoying my knitting. The baby sweater is 95% done. It's precious. I also started a baby blanket. I got the pattern from Ravelery and the idea from Kim at County Line Road. Spoiler alert....Jackie scroll past picture if you don't want to see

Three. I was listening to a podcast yesterday while walking. They were discussing middle age. What do you consider middle aged. Their opinion was 40’s. What are your thoughts on that?

Four. Do you ever peruse Tumblr? I like it alot. For those not familiar, it is a multimedia platform and social networking opportunity to post from anywhere, anytime and scroll through thousands of blog quotes, photos, areas of interest, etc. You can share, save, copy, etc. I have my favorites I follow and when I want to just escape...thats where I go. Here are a few from this week...can't wait for summer...Iced Coffee anyone or do you prefer French pressed?

Four. I am tired of hearing "Polar Vortex" already.

Five. I've been looking for a nice, fun place to spend a celebration weekend in St. Petersburg next month. Any ideas. Criteria...preferably on the beach, two bedroom suite with a balcony facing the water. Anyone have any ideas?

Rain in the forecast for the weekend.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY Help

To all you DIYers out there.....I spotted these Valentine guest towels on the Pottery Barn website. I think they are fabulous for V-Day. Now, how can I make them? Don't know to get the letters on in that script.


Isn't the soap dish adorable?

Still winter here! I think its up to 6 degrees now.

Just looked, started to snow again. See plenty of opportunity to craft! Just need to figure it out.

Mike said it was 36 in Orlando this morning, as he left for work. Might as well be here and be cold. I'd be mighty disappointed being in FL and freezing!

Stay happy!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday, Monday

I'm happy for Monday. I am so hpong that this week everyday doesn't feel like Saturday or a Sunday. My days were so messed up over the holidays.

So, today we start out with a snow day for all of our surrounding area. Even doctor offices are closed. Temperature is 3 and windchill is -18. Visibility is poor. Still snowing! Winter in Michigan!

Made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup yesterday and a loaf of dutch oven bread. Perfect comfort food for a cold, snowy day. I just put in baby back ribs for tonight. Warm the house with the oven on for four hours. Oh, and the smell!

My mother has been with us since Friday. Her new furnace is being installed at the moment. What a time for it to go out. It's been nice having her with us!

Baby sweater almost done. Just been knitting like crazy over the weekend. Started a blanket and it's been frogged already. I'll try again. Little tricky getting the momentum!

Stay warm, stay in! Most of the natio. Is freezing!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Five

One. I went to Joann's the day after Christmas. This is what I saw. Come on!

Two. I have a few things on my knitting needles. A little pink baby something....and a potholder base. I'll show you soon. It's nice being cozy warm and sitting down and just knitting methodically. No counting....just going with the flow.

Three. Made a killer pie for new years day. Our favorite, banana cream.

Four. Thankful all the travelers over Christmas are back home safe...Norm and Linda drove out to Maine; Bob and Mary down to Florida; Leah drove to Denver; Lenny from Oregon and back, Drew to FL and then up to Michigan, jackie and family, Chicago to Michigan and my sister Ginny from Kalamazoo to Muskegon and back.

Five. So thankful that all my tests turned out A-OK. Just have to have the sleep study done in a few weeks and am confident that it will turn out fine as well. Must continue to eat healthy and exercise often from now on. Oh, must remember never to do a stress test again. That about did me in!

Have a great weekend ....stay warm, relax, and enjoy new beginnings!