Monday, December 26, 2011


....It hit me about 1:30 today.  I think it was the 2 days of driving, pre-Christmas, then the actual Christmas Day that caught up to me.  Most of my loved ones gathered all day into my mother's smallish house, then food preparation, fussy baby, food clean up....any of this sound familiar? The stress of just so many personalities in one room?  I think I lost 3 pounds just stressing.  We had 4 generations in one house.  So blessed.  Ever notice "blessed" rhymes with "stressed"?  Just askin'...

Well, our Grand Baby is 2 months and 3 weeks old now.  She is the most beautiful baby ever.....according to her doting Grammy and Grampa. She is laughing and doing some mimmick work now and then.  She is a loyal daughter, too.  So many loving relatives trying to soothe her unhappiness, but at the voice of either Momma or Daddy and she came to silent attention.  This was momentary, but loyal all the same.  It's only fair.  Only he and she who have suffered from sleep depravation deserve that attention....  

I wrote all of the above the day after Christmas.  I am now 4 days out from that, after an 11 hour drive home, I am reminiscing over the past week.  We left our home in Colorado 2 days earlier than planned due to an incoming snow storm, so all of the last minute buying, wrapping, planning was condensed into a 3 hour time span.  Believe me, that was a total record for me.  I am a two-day packer and at that, I leave my toothbrush behind....

I have so many loved ones, friends and memories in my home town.  My wonderful mother and step-dad, my son and his wife and Baby Grand, a sister, life long friends and old neighbors.  Every corner of this town holds a memory of my younger life.  I was born and grew up in the same place and only moved ONCE!  I guess I've made my point about what holidays and visits do to my heart while I'm there. I want everything to be perfect when it comes to our get togethers.  That's unrealistic!  We had a few typical glitches in ours, but it was memorable and nice.  The grandsons had their traditional football toss and we wives and moms laughed and remembered when these were tiny little boys playing this game together.  I always have one missing man in mind while watching these games who never saw even one grandchild.  My father is still very dear to my heart and I see him as I walk through my mother's house.  I see him proudly watching his three big, strapping grandboys play their game for him.  They are good young men....and he is proud.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five More Days Til Christmas!

Good Morning!

Are you finished shopping, wrapping and planning?  I didn't think so and neither am I!  Short blog today!

I am up at 6, having a little quiet time, and when I checked in on my blog, I noticed that the advertisements in the margins had finally arrived!  I did subscribe to general advertising.  I have no idea what will be listed, but I hope they are interesting and of good taste!  Let me know if not.  So far, there have been ads for some local Colorado businesses and WalMart. They should be similar to the advertising you see next to emails and on other blogging sites.  At least they will add more color! :)

That's all for now! Can't wait to get out and about early today for some stocking stuffers and crossing off the LAST items on my list!

Have a Wonderful Christmasy Day!~  

Sunday, December 18, 2011


And that means FOOD!

Although the Bronco game ended badly, we still had a marvelous time at a friend's house this afternoon.  I wanted to share some of the recipes I used that turned out very tasty.  I found 2 of them on Allrecipes and 1 on Pinterest.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

I microwaved the little Smokies for about 2 minutes on paper towels to get the bacon almost done, then broiled them in the oven at the end to get a little "crispy" going on them.  Only one left at party departure time!  

The Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels were really addicting!  Somehow, I am really loving the sweet~salty thing this year.  I would like to find time to make the New York Times Chocolate Chip cookies.  They have a sprinkle of sea salt on top!  In fact, I'll just see if I can find a link up on that one too.  Hang on....

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

I guess you could use the Toll House recipe and just add the sea salt. Hey!... slice and bake.....OR, even better, the ones in little squares already on cookie sheet....Bam! the sea salt on top and done!!  

til Tomorrow!~

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Swedish Shopping Day!

Absolutely fabulous day!  Today was our IKEA trek!  And that's exactly what you had better be prepared for...a trek.  Lace up some Nikes before you embark on it and you'll be fine, though.  My friend and I only had to travel a few miles from my house...IKEA, the new mega store from Sweden, is dangerously close to me...and as we crested the hill, the big blue shopping day awaited us.

Because I had been lost in this place on my last visit, we decided to grab a map...

Oh that looks easy enough, but they don't give you a legend.  Each dot stands for a city block!  Not really, but believe me, it's miles of shopping heaven.  As you enter you can get a cart that looks similar to a Home Depot pallet mover on a slightly smaller scale.  They also have big yellow shopping bags, but the idea is to write down the item number of the big stuff for the warehouse area at the end, and load it right before check out.  There are also many smaller items that you can collect as you go, though.  

As you first walk in, there are little showrooms featuring living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms.  For $6000, you can have this kitchen:

Like I said, you just take the number to the warehouse and pick up everything in BIG, FLAT boxes.  Serious assembly required.

You follow the gray, cement road...following arrows painted on the floors.  Heaven forbid you backtrack!  Actually, the arrows and the signage are very good.  If you can read, you can do IKEA.

The two sections that impressed me the most were the kitchen and the lighting areas.  I fell in LOVE with a butcher block kitchen cart that would fit purrrfect in a nook of my ever-evolving kitchen. 

This is a beautiful, heavy, solid wood island that I cherished, also.  If I had the room, this would be my favorite!

Try making that for $199!  I'd spend that in ibuprofen and Aspercreme alone!

I think we spent the most time in the Lights.  Here are just some of the creative lamps, pendant lights and chandeliers we saw:

The lights pictured above baffled us.  There is a dial on them to gradually change their colors from green, to blue, to red then white.  HOW would you use these?  Are these the 21st century "stobe" lights?  Then to the right of these are some flat screen TVs, and positioned behind them are more of these lights!  Ohhhhhh, THAT explains them!  You light up the back of your flat screen!!!!  What? 

OK....on to things I understand.  Nine dollar lamps that sit by your bed to light up a book!

Before you get to the end of your trek, the cafeteria aromas begin to attract you.  The food is a superior value!  If you get to IKEA before 11, breakfast of eggs, bacon and coffee is free!  Wish we had know THAT!  By this time it was way after our lunchtime!  Each day presents a "special" ranging from 99 cents to $2.99.  In Denver, this usually buys you bottled water :}  We opted for a veggie wrap, chips and a drink, however, and it was $5.  We tried Lingonberry for our beverage.  I guess there are alot of Lingons in Sweden because it was right up there alongside the Pepsi and Tea!  It was very good!

So, because my crockpot chili was probably properly cooked and my friend needed to get to her side of town before the rush hour - oh and did I mention we were dog tired?...we opted to call it a day. Do you believe we got out of there for a $5 meal and that's IT?  Oh, but the ideas I have!  Like that kitchen cart....I can hear it softly calling "lynda....lynda...."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Merry CHRISTMAS to All!!

Greetings and Salutations!!

I haven't written for awhile, and I've missed my little blog!  I'm so sorry I have neglected you!  Christmas Season has had the best of me. However, I have been out and about on the internet and have found some fun websites that I want to share with you!  I'm so excited!!  Read on...

The first one is Pinterest.  It is a bulletin board of ideas that you "pin" to this site under your name.  Sort of an "inspiration" site.  I find crafts, recipes, pictures and other things that interest me and instead of bookmarking the whole site, I "pin" it!  Take a look at the board I have started, and then create one for yourself!  Just click: : Caution! You'll spend hours if you are not careful looking at other boards and all the great inspirational ideas out there! When you find that recipe or craft idea that inspires you, just "repin" to your board!  Oh the joy!!

Another fun place to explore is  It's a marketplace of handmade and vintage items. You can even sell your own handmade things if you want!  Etsy is actually an online craft show without the rain, or in my case, the snow!  I found some really cute purses for a very reasonable price there.  The first one was a beautiful shade of blue with a big bow on the front.  However, I saw that it was being shipped from Thailand.  Now... nothing against the Thai, but I'm shopping American Made if at all possible! A few pages more and I found close to the same style made by a girl in St. that's American Made, hunny!  Just write me up some Missouri handmade purses!  Again, before you embark on an Etsy journey, you must just march yourself into the kitchen first thing and set your timer or you will be on that site for hours.  Just warnin'.....  

Well, that's all I have for today, just inspiration and art.  What could be better???  Only a snuggle from my most wonderful baby granddaughter, who now has a curly crop of hair right on the top of her little head.  Oh I miss her warm little self all cuddly under my chin.  She smells so sweet and she "squeaks" when she a little kitten.  I haven't found the end yet! ~~or ever, I hope!

Oh, next week, I do have an IKEA excursion planned.  This will be my 2nd time. The first one didn't count because I went by myself "just to do a quick pass through" and got LOST!  Truth!  I had a map, too!  Well, if  you've been to an IKEA you are nodding your head in an understanding way.  It's the Dane's way of messing with us Americans! "Get them lost so as to BUY their way out!!!" In my quest for purchasing only USA goods, I may relent on a few things once I get there.  Well you should SEE the prices!  And for trendy, well made stuff! I promise I won't hurt America too bad.  I have a budget, ya know!

I will post pictures of our trek down the IKEA Lane and let you in on some prices and items that you'll love....but that's for Tomorrow~~~

Good night my sweet friends.  Thanks for reading my blogs and giving me feedback.  I love writing it and I love you!~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hearty Italian Soup with Parmesan-Pepper Cornbread Biscotti

Happy Fall Days To Ya!

I know we are enjoying every single minute before the Winter Blast. It kind of gets me into the cooking mood and even soup sounds good!

I made this for dinner a couple of nights ago and it was easy and most delicious!  The recipe is from the October issue of Southern Living. I know this may jinx me, but I have never had a recipe fail from this magazine.  I've had a few near misses, though, including this one, but it turned out really fine.  I won't print the recipe here because you can just google the recipe title and it comes right up.  I will, however, post a few pictures just to whet your appetite!

I used regular Eckrich Smoked Sausage and began browning them in long links as the recipe suggested. Then thought, Hey! I'll blog this!...and started fooling around, trying to take some "stunning" pictures from all angles to give you an idea of my cooking expertise....

...and burned 'em!  

Dang!  Did I say "cooking expertise?" Anyway, so I cut off the burniness and tried the browning process once again...

I diced the onion, added garlic, broth, spinach leaves, diced tomatoes and Cannellini beans...

...then let it simmer while I made the cornbread.

About 40 minutes later: Voila!  It was very good!  I was lucky :)

Our weekend with MMBG (My Magnificent Baby Granddaughter) was excellent.  My husband is an irritatingly natural "Baby Whisperer".  Everytime my little sweetheart cried with horrible gas pains, he picked her up and she cooed with relief.  It was disgusting!  Not that she was relieved, but that Grampa was so efficient!  Naw...I'm not jealous...well....really not alot. :}  He was so good with her. There IS a spiritual connection.  It's evident.  He will play a big part in her life of love.  So will I!  I am sure!  I'm laughing at myself.  My husband is a wonder, he really is.  I'm glad MMBG has realized it so early.  She's s.m.a.r.t.  Here I am being all grandparenty again.

Incidentally, I'm actually not the only one cooking some of Southern Living's recipes.  Here is the delicious looking Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake from the November cover that a good friend of mine made.  If she wasn't 658 miles away, I would have lobbied for a slice!  I'll give you a moment to salivate over this one....

Well, that's about all I have for ya' today, kiddies.  Lots of food. Think I'll go downstairs and see if Mammy is cooking up something right now!  Dreaming again....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Six Hundred and Fifty-eight Miles...I need a 'copter!

Hello My Wonderful Friends and Random Readers!

I hope you are having an enchanting Fall with lots of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (lowfat milk, no whip, please), sweater days, beautiful trees and completed projects!  I've had all of the above but the last one!  Oh how I wish I was finished with those blasted stairs!  I love reading lots of decorating websites with all of their inspiring ideas, but toward the end of a project, it becomes just that~a project!  

But I have a good excuse!  I know, I'm using the grandbaby as my excuse, but it's true!  I got to hold her and rock her every day for 10 days!  My projects at home were taking a serious back seat to staring at MMGB's (My Magnificent Grand Baby's) sweet little face!  Now I'm home and puullleeezze!  Somebody push my "reset" button!  Back to reality!  Get that sandpaper and paintbrush and finish this thing!  I've been home two weeks now!!

I really did have all good intentions.  I cleaned the house and went through all the mail.  I got all of the laundry caught up and filled the fridge again.  My sweet daughter-in-law was sending me the cutest little pictures almost every other day. Yes, every~other~day.  Ask my friends who get no text messages from me anymore, just a baby picture.  I decided to just count the days leading up to Christmas and stay busy with my many projects. She won't change that much... 

Then, my husband called. 

I didn't hear anything he said after the part about his upcoming 4 day weekend and good driving weather between here and Oklahoma.

This "Tara" is definitely waiting until "Tomorrow"!  I'm packin'! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Snow Day!

So far we have around 7 inches, give or take 5 depending on where you are in Denver. The higher mountains are measuring in feet! It is cold, but not a "January" cold.  I can take this!  My pansies were covered and my aspens droopy, but I knocked off as much of the heavy, wet stuff as I could and they all still looked happy underneath!  They were saying, "Naw...this ain't cold, this is just Colorado's white rain."

 After the flowers all go away and the leaves fall off, God sends winter sunsets over the snow-covered peaks that you pull off the side of the road for.  I've about burnt out my hazard lights with these pull-offs!  My camera has it's own slot in my purse for quick draws! All part of soaking in the daily beauty of this majestic place.

Baby Girl~BG~is 2 weeks old today.  She resides 658 miles away from Denver and I need not tell you how F.A.R. that is in Granddaughter Miles. The heart can't calculate it!  But pictures are getting us by for awhile and the way she smelled and the felt when I held her is still fresh. I'm wondering just how long I can go before desperately needing my next fix!

OK, my stairs are painted and the next step is to choose the stair runner and have it installed.  After spending several days looking at decorating sites featuring stairwells, I have decided on a general color and border similar to these:

Tan Runner with Border   or
Dark Runner with Design  or
Solid Tan Plush

Below are my bare nekked stairs right now:

I also have seen a few options re: the banisters.  I do not love these handrails as they are! No, never have, never will!  After I get the runner installed I will decide on either painting them black, leaving the spindles white - or - painting them white, with the spindles black. Some of the links above have some of these options.  What do you think? I think I will like them better either way!

Although my home is far from a "Tara", the more I plan, scheme, paint and stain, it becomes more and more MY HAVEN...and a place for my husband to come home to at night and exhale...

til Tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Six Hundred and Fifty-eight Miles to Grammy's House

I'm writing on my notepad while on treadmill.  I'm only going 2.5 mph with 5 incline.  Just wanted to get the thrusters fired this morning!  Oh, and there was that morning hotel bfast...could have had lowfat yogurt and granola, but why? Baby Girl's arrival is scheduled for noon tomorrow. Family is all aflitter, and daddy and mommy are just READY.  How do you capitalize a capital?  RREEAADDYY!

Found the above entry on my phone this evening.  I had no idea how the next few days would dizzily spin by me.  BG changes daily.  Twenty-four hours is a huge amount of time for a newborn.  She's going to be completing algorithms by Thursday.  Well they do change remarkably fast. ....

.....I hope grandparenting from a distance is actually possible.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our granddaughter said hello to the world at 12:29 in the afternoon on Wednesday the 12th! A "grander" day has never been had, I'm sure of it. I have been told I would be in love at first was true!  I have new respect for the word ~doting~.  I am now a doter.  In one day, I have become an intense doter!  I have also seen how God equips new parents.  I have witnessed our wonderful son and daughter-in-law fall in love and become instantly attuned to what makes our little wonderment happy and content.  How did they know? The tucking of the rolled up receiving blanket under her ears, letting her pull her left arm out of her swaddle, the whispers that quiet her to a slumber.  All in one 24 hour day?  Are they Genius?  As their mother and MIL, I would have to say "yes", but as an observer...God is in the Room...His love is complete and consuming, intelligent and tender.  I can "see" Him.  He flows through a brand new family. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Primer Day for my Stair Painting Project!

Hello Boys and Girls,

I was on a mission today.  Writing this blog has spurred me on to  hopes....dreams....PRIMER!  I not only accomplished that but was able to get one coat of actual paint on the stairs too.  However, not without some stumbling blocks.

The prep taping and Kilz2 primer paint went really quick.  I hopped out to the garage with glee to retrieve my gallon of Ben Moore paint I have glanced over at for 2 years....opened it to find a can of weird, oily stuff. Yyyek..

No problem!! I'll just stir :))...

The stick is STUCK. Dang! And things were going so well~~

So one new gallon of paint later....and the first coat of White Dove semi-gloss is applied. Here we are!

A few tips about painting stair risers that I have learned so far:
~make sure the painter's tape is really stuck tight on the stained steps
~start at the top of the stairs and work down
~load the brush lightly and use more coats to cover
~use a low VOC paint - it doesn't smell
~and hammer the heck around the lid of your can to prevent air from ruining your paint!

~oh yes......ibuprofen :}

Tomorrow, the final coat goes on and I'll be ready to attack the banisters.  Hang on, baby granddaughter!  Your due date is not until Wednesday.  Grammy needs to sand and paint her banisters! ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Painting Shall Begin!

Hello Friends~

I have begun the stairwell makeover..inch by inch!  Two Novembers ago, I had my wood floors sanded and stained including the tops of each stair.  About 6 months ago, I borrowed a sander from my handy-girl friend and sanded the risers.  TODAY I have begun the job filling old nail holes and TOMORROW is Primer Day!  Like I wait all summer to do this and I will be opening my windows to a breezy 50 degree day~~Where's my fleece hoodie!?  The finished product I have in mind is to paint the stair risers with Benjamin Moore White Dove, leave the steps stained Walnut, find a carpet runner that blends everything together including the downstairs area rugs, and paint the banisters black to match the front door!  Amazingly ambitious for moi, I assure you.

Here is my before picture...I hope you don't have to wait two more Octobers for the finished product!

You'll notice the advance preparation I have done papering ONE step!  But remember today was spackle the nail holes day? I will be fresh as a daisy tomorrow morning after 3 cups of Mega-Bold! (My decade in Louisiana had a lasting effect on my coffee drinking...) I promise to prep my beautifully stained steps with care and get at least one coat of primer on!!  Oh dear, I promised...better get some sleep!!
Till Tomorrow

Sunday, October 2, 2011

She Will Be An October Baby!

OK, are you tired of the baby-talk yet?  I didn't think so :))  No, I'm done.  I'll bore you with ALL the details soon enough.  

To my friends and family...I'm never mentioning names in my blog.  Of course, you may recognize some distinguishing details that only YOU will know, but I promise to just divulge the musings, projects and thoughts of AspenLeaf - my Words With Friends name that seemed to work well here. I LOOOOVE Aspens!  

Why a blog?  Well, I'm just learning HOW to blog.  I am exploring how to insert pictures, links and other fun stuff.  I'm just taking you along with me!  I plan to write about redecorating my 50 year old house - oh the pain! - our new G-Baby, of course - and some handy tips I've learned from other redecorating bloggers. IBUPROFEN is my first tip!  I hope you'll come along with me on this adventure.  Comment if you care to...See you Tomorrow At Tara!! Oh how I wish....

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello Blog World...Awaiting Our First Grandchild!

She is due any day!  We are so excited and feel differently than we've ever felt.  Like the birth of our first, and only, child.  We are crossing our fingers for an October birthday so she will be born in the same month as her "Grampa".  He is married to "Grammy"~~Me!  I chose my name in honor of my Gram, who I admired and loved.  My beloved dad's mother.  She doesn't have her name...yet...well, actually, she has about 5 possible names.  Since we know she's a little girl, it is exciting to wonder about what she will be named!  Oh the drama!!  I'll keep you posted..for sure :)

TomorrowAtTara is the name of my blog.  For those who were not glued to the movie "Gone With the Wind" until the DVD went to black and shut off...Scarlett ended with these words after Rhett said his famous exit..

“I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” 
 Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

If this tells you a little bit about me, then it should!  Things I can't really do anything about get dealt with..."tomorrow"!  At Tara!  One of my fave, fave, fave places is Oak Alley in Southern Louisiana (my second home state).  Oh I love ALL of the antebellum plantations in LA, but this one most closely resembles Tara....a place of wonder and beauty...a place called HOME where Scarlett knew everything would be alright!  I think we all have those places we go to for respite...more on that later...

Have a great weekend!  I wish you many pumpkins and many fun decorating ideas to accomplish!  Hang on Baby Girl, if you can...till Tara!