Almost There!


Yesterday and today I’ve had some extra time to devote to working on the last Art Project; the 3D building made out of foam board. I can finally say we’re ALMOST DONE! All the walls are finished/windows made, doors on, roof made (that was a total fluke that worked really well!) – almost all done! We still need to construct the railings around the second & third floors, find/locate the ‘train grass’ somewhere in the basement, assemble the building, somehow get it anchored down to the foam board base, put in the ‘tree’, the sign for the hotel and ‘Japanese Sand Garden’. Dear Son (for whatever reason) thought it would be a really great idea to build a Japanese Sand Garden on the base; if you’re not familiar, I’ll try to explain using a photo:


They can vary greatly, but basically they are areas of ‘sculpted’ sand with some rocks. The decorating of the sand is unique to the builder – any design works. Son thought it would be a very good idea to see if we can do a small one – we’ll see. I’m thinking Elmer’s glue painted onto the surface, quickly ‘combed’ with a plastic fork, then sprinkled with real sand; add some small rocks afterwards – we’ll see how it comes out. I’m planning on a ‘practice’ board, first – just in case it doesn’t work. Sort of like the project today – since the teacher wants it to look Los Vegas style, we decided to cover the second floor in glitter (we had very fine green mixed with gold, but when we tried it, it just didn’t look right – ended up using just gold.) On the ‘Roof Goof” – I had cut out and fully lined (traced scalloped lines on roof to resemble tiles) a piece of cardboard, then painted the underside black. Son wanted the curved Japanese roof, so I thought the underside should be black, since that would show when curled. Little to my knowledge, the cardboard itself began to curl! When I gently painted the top side of the roof (with the tiles) I was able to mold the damp card board into just what we wanted – curved edges! YAY! I’m not exactly sure how ‘fine’ of a job the entire project will be when put together, but for amateurs, I think it will look just fine (she said, ‘fingers crossed’.) It’s not due to hand in for another week (April 22, last day of class). Son did almost all the foam board cutting and some design ideas, but this one is mostly me – not taking any credit, just saying: when you see it you know who to blame for any errors!  It’s been a ‘crazy ride’ working this all out, but I’m happy it’s finally in it’s finishing stages.

Not much else new around here EXCEPT OUR WEATHER! Yesterday was really nice, sunny & clear and in the low 60’s BUT TODAY – we got almost to 70!!! I had some quick grocery shopping to do and was pleasantly pleased to be able to go out without a coat or jacket! I even drove with the windows down! We opened the house windows and aired the house out – that’s always SO nice to do once Spring gets here. (I must admit, I’ve heard rumors of possible SNOW next week: just looked on the weather channel for our area and it shows: Monday night Rain/Snow likely, low 26 degrees F., Tuesday chance Rain/Show High 36F, low 24! UGH! Going up in the week, it doesn’t look like we’ll get much higher than 36 degrees by next Sunday! UGH! NOT GOOD!

Have you been getting ready for Easter & Easter dinner? I’ve decided to make the Watergate Salad I featured a few posts ago – it’s easy and should be liked (maybe if I eliminate the nuts); it’s a light, fluffy Cool Whip based dessert with pineapple, pistachio pudding mix, miniature marshmallows – we’ll see how it goes. Not sure yet about dessert – might ask oldest son (the chef) to bring/make dessert.

Had grandson almost all day Friday – no school/their Spring break. Funny, used to be (in days past) it was EASTER break and took place closer to EASTER! Goofy. We’re not sure, yet, if he has school Good Friday (I get him on Fridays). He & I had fun painting – I was working on ‘the project’ and I gave him paper & paints to ‘create’. He drew then painted a picture of a house, garage, car,  & sun and had fun doing it. I’m thinking about becoming the “Craft Grandma” for him. He has 5 people, altogether who watch over him: His Dad (my son), His Mom & her boyfriend, His other Grandparents, his Great Grandmother (his Mom’s side) and us. Most of the others like to keep him busy with sports or activities, Gr Grandma likes to take him to the Dollar Store – I’m the only one that doesn’t try to ‘keep him busy’ – I’d rather let him just BE A KID! He’s only 7 1/2 so I figure, for him, our house is more like ‘down time’ – Legos, building blocks, coloring/painting/mazes, reading books, etc. Now that I’m sure he likes crafts, I’m thinking of taking him to Michael’s and see what kind of kids projects we can ‘get into.’ Last year I bought him several wooden small birdhouses and we painted them together – might do that again this year, as some of mine got a little weather-worn last year sitting on the outside window sill.


Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (8 oz)Crushed Pineapple in 
100% Pineapple Juice, drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, zucchini,
oil, pineapple and vanilla. Combine dry
ingredients; stir into egg mixture just
until moistened. Fold in nuts and raisins
if desired. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in.
loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted near the center comes
out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 2 loaves.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Dorito Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped
two cans red kidney beans, rinsed &

a handfull of scallions, chopped
about 1-2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. crushed Doritos
one can corn/black bean mix (optional)
Catalina salad dressing

Mix all ingredients together tossed with
Catalina salad dressing.

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 C. diced mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 T. tomato paste
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. white cooking wine
1/2 tsp. salt (or, to taste)
1/8 tsp. black pepper (or, to taste)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
3 T. corn starch
3 T. cold water

Cooked pasta or rice, for serving

Place onion, pepper & garlic in bottom of crockpot; place chicken pieces on top. Combine tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, chicken broth,
wine, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaf – pour over chicken. Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 7-8 hours or until chicken is done.If cooking on Low – turn heat setting to High,remove chicken pieces. Combine corn starch & cold water; whisk into liquids. Heat on High about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve over cooked pasta or rice.


Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham

1 (7 lb) ham
2 C. pineapple juice
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup

Unwrap ham & place in crockpot. Rub
ham with brown sugar on all sides.
Pour pineapple juice & maple syrup
over ham. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours. About an hour before serving,
pour juices over top of ham. Remove
ham to cutting board; let rest 10
minutes before carving.

Bacon-Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs, hard boiled & peeled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 jalapenos, seeded & chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled

Slice hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.
Remove yolks & place yolks in a bowl.
Mash yolks with a fork; add mayonnaise,vinegar, ground mustard & sugar & stir until well combined. Mix in jalapenos & bacon; blend well. Place mixture into a large ziplock bag. Cut a small hole in bottom corner of bag (to use as a pastry bag). Fill each egg white ‘hole’ with mixturethen sprinkle tops with paprika. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 24.


I’m sorry – not exactly sure just what my server is doing, but it keeps making the recipes really HUGE/GIANT – totally illegible. Will have to submit more recipes in another post as this one just isn’t working – sigh.

Have a GREAT day!




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