Signs Of Good Things To Come

I bought these two little guys today.  Two new dogwoods for my home.  A white one and a pink one.  My two dogwoods on my property are dying and I needed to have replacements on hand.  I love them so.  Love that they have a history with Jesus.  The flower has the signs of the cross in stains that look like blood.  (whether or not it is true or not, I love thinking about nature reflecting our beliefs)
Today felt truly magical for me.  I have been sick with Asmhatic Bronchitis and was in the ER on Saturday.  Totally missed Easter.  Never felt that sick before.  Today was my first day feeling like almost myself again.  And I was looking at this view just a few minutes ago with the sun going down.  I love how the white just glow against the grass.  It's ghostly white.  Love it.  
I love Adirondack chairs.  My grandfather used to make them.  I wish I had one of his creations but I think these work fine.  
The garden is finally beginning to wake from it's long slumber.  My roses in the back on my trellis are doing well.  (look KC.)
We have had so much rain.  So much!  But I guess that's why everything looks so fabulously green.  My perennial garden is starting to flourish.  (Fence is getting fixed soon.)

And to my surprise I was greeted by my favorite of all.  My Lilacs.  I found these lil guys today. And they smell heavenly.  
This carpet of grass is incredibly lush and green and I love the contrast with the lime green bushes.  

I had some energy so I washed down my front porch.  I placed this beautiful antique crocheted table cloth on my table.  How sweet is that?  It reminds me of the south.  

So I'm ready.  Ready for longer days, warmer temperatures, and evening alfresco.  Time to sit, dream and swing. 


My son, the guitarist, pianist, singer, now learning harmonica too.

Matt performed a few nights ago in school.  He was great.  He is an excellent piano player and guitarist.  Tim plays the piano and guitar too. I love that music is such a big part of our home.  I am so proud.  Can't believe this school year will be over in a few weeks and he will be a sophomore.
Oh how the years go by.

Spring has sprung!

Two of my trees were in bloom.  The white Magnolia lost all it's flowers due to heavy wind and rain.  I hate it when that happens.  When I bought this tree it fit in my car.  My mom is standing next to it.  Crazy huh?  The pink one is a weeping cherry.  That one is still flowering.


The Best Palm Sunday

About twelve years ago or so my husband was shooting a job in Rome and had to go on Palm Sunday weekend.  I got to go with him.   We went with three other directors and friends from the company and spent time together.   I shall never ever ever forget that trip as long as I live.  We spent only four days there, I didn't shop or buy anything expensive, I didn't take tours and experience the night life, we spent the time, when my husband wasn't working, walking in Rome.  We ate wonderful food SLOWLY, because all Italians eat slowly and savor everything.  I got to use my two years of Italian and ordered for everyone.   The weather was absolutely beautiful, in mid 80's.  The sun shone down upon us every day.  We had gelato and we ran across the streets dodging the motorbikes.  But the highlight, the most memorable, touching and most unforgettable part of my trip was, we got to go to Palm Sunday Mass with Pope John Paul II.  IL Segundo.  
As morning arrived on Palm Sunday we were awoken by chimes, bells ringing from the Vatican, they rang and rang.  We opened our windows and could see crowds walking to church.   We walked with people, we walked along side of children and we walked along side of priests and bishops and cardinals.  I've never seen so many red robes and black robes.  They all wear the "dress" vestments.  They don't wear pants at all.  The black robes with the red sashes.  Beautiful! We kept saying to ourselves "OMG WE ARE IN ROME, THE VATICAN!"
As we entered St. Peter's square we thought there has to be a line somewhere, where do we line up to get a spot for the mass??????????  You don't.  You just walk up and take any seat, front row, second row, first come first serve.  It was amazing.  We were 15 rows from the Pope.  
As the anticipation increased and we the pope was about to arrive the people began to chant, in Italian, In Spanish, In German, In English, you name it they chanted.  For the pope!
As he entered, not in his pope mobile with plexiglass but without any cover he passed right by our aisle. We cried.  The directors cried, we all cried.  It was humbling and beautiful and amazing.  We lifted our palms and shouted and waved.   I shall never forget that day, those days away so far in another world so far from my own.  I felt free and blessed.  So very blessed.  

Rob and I after the mass with my beautiful palm.

There is the pope, this was before digital cameras.  

Here we are on the Spanish Steps in Vecchia Roma.

I love this photo, although Rob has the same face in each picture no matter where we are.  He hates taking pictures.
Rob, Rick, Tony and Steve.  

Here I am with Steve and Rick, two of the directors and friends at The Trevi Fountain.


Wishful Thinking!

So yesterday I finished editing my book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My editor is now working on doing a read through just to make sure we are good to go.  Already started writing my query and synopsis and then hopefully, God willing, it might be soon that you see something like this. . .   If I get published!!!!!!
Maybe I should think positively and say "When I get. . . "  (Don't get too excited, I made this cover on myself with photoshop)  Tim and Matt say it looks awful.  I love it.  This is the idea I am going for.  Although Victoria says publishers don't even consult the writers about the art direction for the cover.


Yummy Yummy Yummy! I Got Love In My Tummy

Had one of those days where nothing helps but a little sweet.  This is one of my favorite recipes.  Magnolia vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  My husband's old office used to reside across the street from Magnolia Bakery, one of the most famous for their cupcakes in NYC.
They have been featured on Martha Stewart many times.  Well I had bought the Magnolia Bakery book a few years back at Anthropologie.  I have been making these around Easter time and for birthdays.  They are delightful.  
And look spectacular too!  Just ate one.  Yummy.
Here is the recipe for you to enjoy too.
Recipe: Magnolia Bakery

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside. Mix every thing together and bake for 12 minutes.  Enjoy.
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