Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Caramel Apple Pound Cake!

This weeks cooler and less humid days have put me in the mood to bake.  So thinking of fall, I surfed around the Internet and landed on a blog called Served Up With Love with some delicious sounding recipes and the first one on the page caught my eye.  Caramel Apple Cake.  Something about fall makes me want to cook with apples and cinnamon and all spices warm and fuzzy.

The best thing was that I had everything I needed in my pantry, other than the apples.  Have you priced apples lately?!?!!!  Good Heavens they have gotten high, but I forged ahead and got me some Gala apples and was ready to go.

As I was pouring the mixture into my cake pan I was thinking, this is too much batter for this pan, but went on and finished pouring.  The smell of this cake is heavenly.

While the cake was baking, I was in my craft room, crafting away.  I had the timer on the oven so I would hear it beep when the cake was done.

After about 45 minutes my husband came in and said "Uh, you might want to go have a look at that cake you have in the oven.  Something doesn't look quite right".   Yeah, something was wrong all right.  It had risen out of the pan into the oven and then sunk in the middle!

I scooped up what batter was in the bottom of the oven an threw that away, stuck the cake on a baking sheet and said "Finish cooking, for better or worse"!

Somehow, I guess the cake gods were smiling down on me, because once the cake finished baking and I carefully slid my knife around the pan and released the cake which came out slick as a whistle, it actually looked fine!  A little bit dense, but you really couldn't tell that it had fell!

I know why it fell.  When I was little my Grandmother used to make the most delicious pound cake ever.  However, my Grandfather loved cakes that had fallen because of the denseness of them and I loved my Grandfather.  So.. when Grandma was baking her cakes he would get me to jump around in the kitchen to try and make the cake fall.  I jumped vigorously!!!   That is until she caught me and made me leave the kitchen!

Anyway, here is a photo and the recipe for this very delicious cake.  Hope you make it and try not to jump around in the kitchen while it's baking!

Caramel Apple Pound Cake

2  cups granulated sugar
1 1/2  cups vegetable oil
2  teaspoons vanilla
3  eggs
3  cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
1  teaspoon salt
1  teaspoon baking soda
2  medium apples, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)
Caramel Glaze
1/2  cup butter or margarine
1/2  cup packed brown sugar
2  teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in flour, salt and baking soda until smooth. Stir in apples. Pour into pan.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat all glaze ingredients to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Spoon glaze over warm cake.

Make sure you use the right sized pan!!!
Original recipe from  Check out her blog!  It's Delicious!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Good Monday Morning!  This weekend was one of those rare weekends that bring me immense joy!  The ones where you have nowhere you have to go and no commitments.  I had done most of my housecleaning during the week so that meant a weekend of crafting at leisure!

I pulled out ALL my Halloween crafting bits and bobs!  There was scrapbook paper, fabric, paint, chipboard, pipe cleaners, ribbons, you name it, if it was orange, black, green or purple, I drug it out of the closet and just piled it up on a table!  What a sight to see!  I wish I had taken a photo of the whole mess.

I got my Witches Hat for Vivian's swap totally finished and  I love the way it turned out and I will share it with you once it's on it's way to my partner.  But it was so much fun that a trip to Michael's is planned this week to pick up another form.

I am loving making peg dolls and decided to do some witches!

Middle witch needs some work on her hair!  I was trying to make it look scraggly but only succeeded in making it look messy.  She will have an appointment with the hair stylist tonight! 

  Those cute little decorations on their dresses came off some wine glass charms I found at the Goodwill for .50 for 6!  They are the perfect touch!

Speaking of witches, this sultry little witch had glitter all over my room and snips of paper flying everywhere, but I love how she turned out!
She sit in an old metal jello mold that I glittered with some beautiful orange, red and gold glitter I found on sale at Michael's that is made by Recollections.  I love how fine it is and it goes on so nicely..
Wonder who she turned into that frog?

I have 3 more of these molds, I think she needs company!

More paper ornaments for my Halloween tree!  i just love making these!

I can't wait to get that tree up!

Trick or Treat!

Then there is a PURPLE glittered skeleton that is still in progress!  Oh my, how much fun he has been!  Hopefully I will get him finished his glittering process and into some Halloween finery this week. 

Long weekend next week may find me pulling out my Fall and Halloween decorations! I am getting antsy!

Happy Monday!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Up a Tree

Good Thursday Morning! 

The weather is finally cooling down here in SW Virginia, we have only been in the 80's this week and the mornings have been just delightfully cool!  I am so thankful!!

Last night while I was sorting through some old photos, I came upon several pictures that had something in common..  Let's see if you can tell what it is!  LOL!!

This one is dated 1967.  I would have been 6 years old.  Check out those high water pants and Pixie hair cut!

This one is dated 1969.  8 years old in this picture.  That's my Grandma's doll I was holding, still got on high waters!

This one's not dated but I think I am about 16 in this picture.  I remember those shoes.  I had to have them for track and they cost $15.00!  Dad was appalled!  He said I better make them last until I finished high school.

This one is dated 1980.  I would have been 19.. Ha!  I still have on those shoes! 

This one says 1985.  That's my sister with me.

Apparently I had a "thing" for that tree!  It lived along the creek bank at my Grandparents farm and I spent a great amount of time not only at their farm, but walking the creek banks with my Grandmother who loved to get outside and walk.  We would fish, swim,  pick up interesting rocks and plants, and maybe grab a pail of sandy dirt for me to take back to the house and make mud pies with.  Sometimes we went looking for teaberry plants.  We loved chewing them and sometimes Grandma would make tea from the leaves to settle my stomach.

I would give anything to walk along that creek bank today and get my picture made in that tree.  Wonder if it's still there??  The farm was sold when my Grandfather passed away and Grandma moved closer to town to be near us. 

Just a trip down memory lane today or rather down Kimberling Creek!!



Monday, August 20, 2012

Smith Mountain Lake-My Hometown

1980- The year I married my very best friend in the world and the year that I moved to Smith Mountain Lake.  Land given to us as a wedding gift from Dear Husbands parents to someday build our dream home on.  For the first 7 years we lived there in a mobile home, saving, scrimping and dreaming..... 
Smith Mountain Lake, which was started in 1960 and finally filled in 1966, is a man made lake consisting of over 500 miles of shoreline and bordering 3 counties.  My own great-grandparents farm was sold to make way for the lake.  My Great Aunt remembers standing and watching the lake fill up over where their house was and watching the watermelons float down the river.  Many, many peoples farms were taken for this development.  The lake was certainly bittersweet for many.
AEP owns the lake and the dam is  used for electricity to all the surrounding counties.

As for me and my beloved, we finally built that dream house in 1987.  It's the white one in the middle of the field.   That used to be a cow pasture!  We have now bought all the land from his mom that goes all the way to the shoreline.  Maybe one day we will build a smaller home closer to the shore.

Lot's of fishing, swimming, boating, and skiing go on around our house in the summer and that is what I tried to capture with my Hometown Tag swap hosted by Tammy

Fun in the Sun!

They have been mailed today!  Can't wait to see everyone else's tags!  I love tag swaps!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I ended up in urgent care with another migraine.  I am now on steroids to see if they can be stopped long enough to get on another preventive plan.  I have a Dr. appointment today.  Please say a little prayer that something will be found to keep these migraines away!  It's hard to stay positive when nothing seems to be working, but I know God has a plan and we will figure it out!



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Dance Day

Happy Hump Day!  Thank you so much for the comments on my medication post.  I am feeling so much better now that I am off that medication.  I have never taken anything like that before and was totally unaware of how mind altering some medications are.  We are still working on a migraine plan, I go back to the neurologist next Monday. 

I am so happy to tell you that my name was chosen for the winner of Kim's super, fantastic giveaway!    Monday afternoon I got the package in the mail and was it ever filled with the sweetest and cutest stuff ever!
First there was this lovely, vintage purse that my niece is going to turn green with envy over.  She loves vintage, straw bags.  Inside the purse was,

Sweet little drop earrings

This tiny little table and chairs and teapot.  One of my peg dolls is already serving tea there and is as pleased as can be with her new table.

Lovely chinese lanterns that I am going to save for my me and my sister's birthday party that we have together every year.

A blurry photo of a pretty, little pink vase of flowers.. 

A crochted pot holder that I am using as a rug for my dolls table!

These beautiful embroidered pieces for the table...

and fun note cards!

Thank you again Kim, for such a fun and generous giveaway!!! 

On the craft front I have been busy!  I can't post what I have been making yet, but it involves lots of scrapbook paper in orange, black, purple and green.  Guess which holiday I am working on????
I can tell you it involves a Witch's Hat Swap from Viv, but the rest is a secret until I get it in the mail!

And also working on my Hometown swap tags that Tammy is hosting..
Hmmmm... what will my tags look like?????


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

My Medication Nightmare

Ladies, let my story be a lesson to all of us to listen to what our bodies are telling us and be very aware when things are not right.

My Primary Care Physician started me on T*pimax as a preventative for my migraines.  He started me at 100 mg. per day then bumped it up to 200 mg.s per day back at the end of June.  Since then I have become increasingly depressed, anxious, there has been a loss of interest in most everything. 

The garden that I planted from seeds that I raised in my greenhouse, sat out in sun and dried up from lack of attention.  The only thing I bothered picking were the beans.  The tomatoes lie rotting on the vines, the potatoes are still under the soil, beets, cucumbers and squash, all gone.

New craft magazines, lying unopened in my craft room.  Usually I can't even wait to get home to look at them and will read them in the car.

Nights spent crying and crying, for reasons I can't tell anyone because I don't know myself...

Going to work every day, double checking every thing I do because I know that I can't focus as well as before.

Trying to live normally..Trying to act happy... Trying to do things I usually do.....but knowing that under the surface something is very wrong....

Still the migraines are happening almost everyday..

The Neurologist, says that's a very high dose of Top*m*x your PCP started you on, he is concerned.. let's stay on it just a little while and see what happens and start some physical therapy on your shoulder that is bothering you that could be adding to your migraine problem.  He didn't like the idea that my PCP started me on such a high dose.  Two more weeks of these horrible feelings, still more migraines.. until this weekend...

I couldn't take it anymore..all I could think about was that I didn't want to live anymore.. I couldn't stand the pain,  the Imitrex for the migraines quit working completely, they wouldn't go away at all.  My husband called the Neurologists office and they gave him an emergency number.  The Neurologist called and said to give me an injection of the high powered migraine medication they had given me and to start pulling me off the Top*max immediately! I was to only take 1/2 the prescribed amount that night.

The Doctor called yesterday and said he wanted me weaned off the T*p*max completely by Wednesday.  Apparently one of the rare side effects of this drug is depression and thoughts of suicide.  I was one of the few people who had almost all of the side effects of this medication.  I lost 11 pounds in a little over a month   My vision changed.  I became anxious and depressed.  There was a constant ringing in my ears.  And still I had migraines almost daily.  I kept thinking, "maybe it takes awhile for the medicine to start working, it will start working any day now".  Or I would say to myself  "This is just crazy, you need to snap out of this, it's all in your head".

Today I am down to only 1/3 of the medication and tomorrow will be the last day.  Thank God!  I feel better already!  The ringing in the ears is gone.  I don't feel like all hope is gone. 

Yes, we are back to square one with the migraines.  I have an appointment with the Neurologist today to start with plan B and  I have an appointment with my OB-Gyn, Friday to start testing hormore levels and having my thyroid tested, I am 51 years old, and this could be part of the problem.   We haven't found the culprit yet, but we will.

My point is...I knew something was wrong...I thought it was just me...I should have called and told the Dr. that something wasn't right.

 It's time to take charge to my health and be more assertive.  I've got to get well soon!  I'm waayyyy behind on Halloween crafts! 

* use of * and misspelling of the drug is because I don't want anyone searching for information on this drug to find my blog.  Sorry if that confuses anyone.



Thursday, August 02, 2012

Paper Crafts by my Grandma Bird

Good Morning All,

I was so surprised when I logged on this morning to find out that I had won the giveaway from Kim !  I am giddy with excitement!  I have been away from my blog because of the ever present migraine and because I am pretty sure the doctors are going to need to change my meds for my anxiety issues.  That is really hard for me to put out in the open.  I have never had to take any type of medication for anxiety before these migraines flared up like they have this summer.  Now it seems they have caused me to worry not only about my migraines, but everything.  This has never been a problem in the past.  Now I seem to "make up" stuff to worry about.  It's just crazy!  I will be talking to my Dr. about this.  Anyway, everytime I thought about doing a blog post, I got nervous about it, so I just didn't log on.  I know, crazy...

My sister is trying to research our father's side of our family and is really having a hard time.  He is an only child and is the only living relative and there isn't a lot of online information and she's hit a brick wall on and with the library.  So she asked me if I would look through our Grandmother's scrapbooks and Bible's (I kept them when she passed away) and see if there was anything written down about our great-great grandfather in any of the Bibles.  There wasn't, however in a bag I found these great table place cards.  I do remember her and some other ladies making things for these luncheons.  I don't remember if it was these cards are not.

Grandma lived in a very rural area in Giles county Virginia in a farming community called White Gate.  Every so often the Extension Homemakers would meet and have a luncheon.

Whooooo????  I am so glad that she kept these......This owl made of felt is so cute.
This one  had little seeds making the flower on the side.

Wow.  Someone took a lot of time to hand draw the building where they met, for each card.  This would have been in the 1970's so I'm not sure that they would have had access to a photo copier.

Some were less elaborate than others, but look at the calligraphy handwriting...

A little window scene with a hand drawn flower pot and fabric curtains and my favorite... rick rack!

Is this not just adorable?  Felt hat with ribbon and flowers...but I saved my favorite for last.....

Can you imagine making at least 20 of these????  Her name is on the back of this...  It is made of yellow construction paper and black felt with gold trim.  There are little gold sequins in the center of the wheels.

While I was unable to come up with any information for my sister, I was glad that I found these.