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The Trivia Fundraiser Design

Our Fellowship fundraiser this year happened in the middle of February (since when does February get so busy?).  But the Trivia night activity had me stumped and grumped for a visual theme for a trivia fundraiser.

I like to make one big visual statement with each event. The anchor applique for the Anchors Away fundraiser last year. The huge bandana for the Hoe Down fundraiser. But this theme had no visuals for me to work with, other than heads with gears. So I just went with colorful and cheesy. Set up for trivia fundraiser on Shalavee.com

The room for the trivia fundraiser on Shalavee.comTrivia fundraiser on Shalavee.com

I had to have the silver tinsel curtains, known as slit drapes, in the front of the space to give us that game show feeling. I was terribly dubious of the card tables’ stability but they did fine. And the tablecloths, well let’s say that, without paying anything, they were what I was using.

I must pay it forward to my husband and his wonderful lighting toys because those are really what brought this design to life. The LED up-lights are cordless and can be set up pretty painlessly. And those pool balls( yes they’re water tight) change colors slowly if you choose the fade mode.

Trivia fundraiser in full swing on Shalavee.com

Young and old having fun for the trivia fundraiser at Shalavee.com

I hadn’t planned to participate in the trivia event itself but it ended up being a hoot. Our table won second place, no thanks to me truly. And the silent auction items were a nice range of offerings, including a Mexican dinner fixed by me this coming May. And really lovely themed baskets were raffled off.The MC and his Dad at the end of the trivia fundraiser on Shalavee.com

All in all, it was a fun fundraiser and was a complete success!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Christmas 2016 is Decorated

When asked why I hadn’t gone to any effort to wear an ugly sweater to our neighbor’s party, I answered, this is not my realm of effort. I use every drop of my holiday creativity to decorate my tree. My tree is for me and it kicks everyone else’s tree’s butt. Plus at my age, you don’t want to waste an opportunity to look good at a party. Please.xmas tree 2016 on shalavee.com

I usually don’t like to start decorating too early, as in right after Thanksgiving. Because, if I only have a month’s worth of joy for holiday decorations, I want to make sure it extends into the New Year a little. So we collected our tree on December 10th. Got to see our friend Sue too.

The tree took three days to decorate. One session to light with nearly a 1000 lights. One to swag and swath in mesh and ribbons. And one day to put the ornaments on. Because that’s how I Christmas tree decorate. Christmas 2016 is Decorated on shalavee.com

Christmas 2016 is Decorated on shalavee.com

Christmas 2016 is Decorated on shalavee.com

Although the tree got done, the other places in need of styling remained unsatisfactory. And then my inspiration dried up. I lost my mojo, my creative momentum. Until finally, yesterday, I finished up the job. Sheww. Christmas 2016 is Decorated on shalavee.com

Christmas 2016 is Decorated on shalavee.com

I want to have fun every year decorating. And the fine line is between having it be fun and having it be a chore. Between doing it for me or for a greater audience. I watch myself very carefully and I can say that I did well this year. When I was done, I was done.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Food Porn

I realize that you may or may not know how much I love to cook. I do take pictures sometimes of what I make but I even more seldomly am posting them. I don’t know why. Well maybe it’s because there’s a lot that goes into being a food blogger. Except who doesn’t like oggling the pictures. And we all need some inspiration to be in the mood for food to make. So I’ve decided to give you a food porn picture-athon for today only. Enjoy!

gardentomatoes on Food Porn on Shalavee.comHomegrown garden tomatoes went into gazpacho (recipe here) and homemade tomatoes sauce and got roasted by the cookies sheet full. Roasted sungold and grape tomatoes became my ketchup with my breakfast eggs.

gazpacho on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Fresh tomatoes and garlic on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

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cooking-peppers-and-onions-and-freezing-the-pablanos on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Cooking peppers and onions and freezing the garden poblanos that grew like gangbusters.

gluten free pizza on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Gluten free pizza has the best texture but sadly tastes like nothing.

crabs-an-eastern-shore-maryland-delacacy gluten free pizza on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Two years in a row I’ve celebrated my birthday with crabs. This years bushel did not disappoint. Sweet and fat and too many were left over. Accompanied by Maryland Silver Queen sweet corn and more slices of homegrown tomatoes with mozzarella and basil and our meal is complete.

 

eastern-shore-corn-porn Food Porn on Shalavee.com

sausages-and-biscuits on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

I was raised on Midwestern breakfasts. Biscuits, sausage, and gravy. And poached eggs not pictured.

I thought for a moment these were my killer crabcakes sizzling in the cast iron pan, the recipe for which you can find here on this post.

But the biscuit recipe can be found here. And I’ve taken to using frozen salted butter chopped into the flour mixture in a cuisinart.

The resulting biscuits are to die for.

 

biscuits in-the-pan on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

chicken-wild-rice-and-mushroom-soup

And a chicken, Portobello mushroom, and wild rice soup I whipped up recently because it’s become soup season now. Fair-the-well sweet Summer garden food. Hello heavier more caloric winter feasting food. We’ve missed you.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Summer’s Ending

After our teeth cleanings, I moaned to Penny behind the desk at the Dentist’s office, “I’m done with Summer. I am just so done.” I’d begun to chew rigorously on the inside of my lip from the stress of the two bickering in the back seat on the way to the appointment. I was glad that the dental hygienist hadn’t mentioned the damages during my teeth cleaning. Knowing that school is a mere 5 days away, I can almost let my breath out.

The Summer played out like the swim test my son took and passed. Started out confidently, ran out of steam halfway through, sank to the bottom, and then was told to just keep swimming. He passed the swim test and I passed the Summer test but it wasn’t effortless. Summer's Ending on Shalavee.com

I conquered my biggest fear which was to remember and show up for all the camps and dates I’d planned for us. Daftly weaving the naptimes in with drop off and pick up times. And almost getting a few days off for myself here or there. But I envy everyone who has families to share overnights with, grandmothers to ship them off to for a week, or even older girls and boys to watch them somewhere other than right here all day inside in my face. And I have forgotten how much worse my Summer could start out as last Summer’s start was horrendous.

Fiona happily started a new daycare in June twice weekly which she loves. Summer has become a bit relentless here at the end but we do get to cap it off with a festival right in out front yard. Summerfest happens in late August on the courthouse green which we live across from. And this year, I’ve encouraged my son to bum around with his friends. He’s about to enter Middle School and 6th grade and that’s what you do.Summer's Ending on Shalavee.com

My biggest goal was to get Eamon to pass that swim test which took many trips to various pools before he stopped thrashing and fighting the water. He took that test and was so pleased with himself to have passed. Then he and his buddies got to goof off together in the cold pool at Y camp. Mission accomplished.

My own personal goal was to stop stressing out and find a cruise mode. I even enjoyed myself for a few lovely languorous moments on our beach vacation in June. I began my video chats on Facebook and am trying to keep up on all the tomatoes that my husband’s garden is now mass producing. I even made a peach and blueberry cobbler last night. Summer's Ending on Shalavee.com

Eyes are on the prize of the upcoming school year. A schedule to follow is better than an endless non-schedule. And the cooler temperatures of Fall will be very appreciated. When we can throw back open the windows, build a fire in the fire wok, and celebrate my 50th birthday in a month. Stay Freaking Tuned.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Unethical Electrical Supply : A Horror Story

At the beginning of the year, I say to Mark,” We got this notice in the mail about switching to an ethical electrical supplier. What do you think?” He says, “Well it’ll cost a little more. It’s up to you.” I say, “Well it seems a good idea let me just do it and be willing to pay a little more.”

How I wished my husband hadn’t been so easygoing that day. That he’d been a cheapskate and said for me to forget being ethical this time around. But he didn’t proclaim “change is bad” like any other control freaking out husband. No. He had to let me make a decision about our electricity supply coming from renewable resources. Good intentions do not always work out. And I have had a renewing sense of upset ever since.

First thing we noticed after I made the change? Our $800 electric bill. Kinda hard to not notice. See, the power company had us on budget billing. We pay $315/month for our disgusting old uninsulated house. Well we did until I decided to be ethical. The electric company and the new supplier don’t really talk to each other or to you to let you know there’s no budget billing with ethicality.

And when you freak out and start calling the electric company wanting to do anything you can to amend the mistake you just made being a liberal hippie silly-head, they try to accommodate you as well as they can and set you back on the right path. The unethical path back in their system. But there’s a debt you’ve accrued that will need to be paid. You busted your happy budget billing bubble.

Meanwhile, the ethical suppliers begin to write you letters begging you to return to what you now know to be the the dark side of the electrical supply and distribution business. It is only 2 or 3 cents more per kilowatt hour. Please? And at the exact same time I suddenly had people knocking on my door asking me to consider signing up with their ethical supplier right now. I asked, “Budget billing?” and dude started to dance. Said he couldn’t help me with that.UnethicL Electrical on Shalavee.com

My husband has called the power company multiple times about the remaining balance and they assured him that we could truly not pay it until our budget billing got re-calibrated. Yeah, until today I got a yellow envelope in the mail. It’s a turnoff threat envelope from the power company. We still owe that pesky $246 to those ethical supply bozos and, even though I’ve been throwing a little extra at them, it’s not been enough.

Another call and another check later, the woman advised us to go off of budget billing for these couple months that we’re not using lot of electricity. And that done, the next bill had us with a credit on our electric bill. Sigh.

My advice to you : Do not buy this product especially if you have budget billing plan (A set amount you pay every month). Your well meaning ethics mean nothing. If it causes you any concern or query, walk away. If some kid or lady is standing on your porch trying to sell you this alternative, walk away. Hopefully they’ll be figuring this all out and making it easier soon enough. Until then I’ll still drive my gas guzzling car and live in my uber electric consuming uninsulated house and I’ll be happy in my ignorant oblivion.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto!  Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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