Monday, December 29, 2008

A fun blog post on family nights...

along with a fantastic contest can be found over at Sunshine & Lemonade.... she has many recomendations for a fun filled family night and a giveaway to completely set you up for a few family nights.

This week's weekend winner prize pack includes: Blokus, The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer, dvds of "The Goonies" and "The Princess Bride," and snacks. 
Around here we are learning a new game, which happened to be the family gift I purchased this year..                                                

Spending time with the family over a board game is so very much fun, I urge you to take the time to explore this with your own family, if you do not already.

Tagged my Melly over at Miscellany ....
4th folder, 4th picture....

Diana Love, writer and speaker extraordinnaire... from a writing conference I attended in June... amazing weekend. 


Also teaching a workshop was the charismatic and wonderful Sherrilyn Kenyon,there are not words enough to describe her energy, passion and intelligence. The back of the woman you see there is my pretty darn incredible herself writing partner.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pioneer woman was right...

You NEED to make THIS cake.

I thought the batter was too thin... I poured it in the pan anyways. I thought the temperature was too low... and after a bit realized it was. I baked mine at 325. I thought the 'frosting' was way too thin... I poured it over the cake.

I waited a few minutes. I cute a slice. I marvelled at the beauty. I took my first bite.



Grandma Iny’s Prune Cake

1 cup prunes
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cover prunes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes.
Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs.
Combine wet and dry ingredients, add buttermilk, and stir gently until just combined.
Throw in the mashed pruned and stir gently to combine.

Pour batter into buttered baking dish (9 x 13 or so) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR INY WILL PADDLE YOUR BOTTOM.

While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:

1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable.

Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately.

Allow to rest on the counter. Serve warm.

NOTE: There is absolutely zero “prune effect” associated with this cake. The end.

After the holiday rush....

The calm. Ah blessed relaxation. No gifts needing to be finished, no long list of things to bake. Instead, new jammies to curl up in, new cookbooks to peruse, new scents to slather on ones body. Bliss.

I didn't manage to take any pictures on Christmas Eve, when all the family gathered here. Instead, I simply soaked up the happiness that is all of us together. I love how my family is growing as my kids get older. Becca's SO is family as surely as my own kids. He fits in so perfectly, friends with my older boys, a wonderful mentor and role model to my younger son, polite, funny, treats Becca beautifully. Lots of laughing, visiting, talking, eating ... and playing of Rockband 2.

Yesterday half of us went on a shopping spree to spend gift cards...I was surprised the stores were not as crazy as I expected. Happily so. I bought a PUR water filter, part of my oath to stop drinking soda. I figure that alone and I will lose 10 pounds and cut my caffeine headaches out. Our water is so disgusting. Several times a year we wind up with a boil water ordinance... the rest of the time it tastes like swamp water. I was amazed at how wonderful the water tasted with the filter. We opted for the stage 3 version, given that whole swamp water taste and all. Brilliant. I actually drank 3 glasses of water last night.

A few pictures of holiday baking ...

the nameless cookies... that aren't cookies at all... but ritz crackers sandwiched with pb and dipped in chocolate.

Split seconds... we make ours with raspberry and apricot preserves... family favorite


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not loving...and loving....

When I woke this morning... it was to more snow....

So I grabbed the camera..and ran to the back window to shoot a picture of our sure-to-disappear picnic table....

And a few hours later..I did it again.....

And then it was too dark...but I did snap one out the front window. See how HUGE the bank in the median is?

So what am I loving in the midst of all this snow?

Hot Cocoa... made from this recipe... a favorite for years now after finding it on a Christmas email list...
Warm and Toasty Hot Chocolate Mix

about 20 cups mix (forty 1/2-cup servings)

* 1 25.6-ounce package non-fat dry milk powder
* 1 16-ounce jar powdered non-dairy creamer
* 1 15- or 16-ounce container presweetened cocoa powder
* 1 13-ounce jar instant malted milk powder
* 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1. In extra-large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Store tightly covered.
2. To use, combine equal parts mix and boiling water. Makes about 20 cups mix (forty 1/2-cup servings).

Listology. What can I say... I have a thing for lists. (Thing sounds so much better than saying I have an obsessive compulsion, doesn't it?) And because of that obsession... I love this too...

This paper snowflake. I think that is the project Adrianna and I will do tomorrow... not that we are snow deprived mind you. See above.

This guilty pleasure... kind of like... paper dolls for grown ups. (Or so I like to tell myself!)

And finally... the new blog that I stumbled upon... that had many of these goodies amongst their links. And so, so, many more.

For all you YA reading lovers.....

Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, is celebrating the release of her upcoming YA novel, FAR FROM YOU, and hosting a contest with LOTS of great prizes!

For three days leading up to the book’s release date of December 23rd, you can watch VLOGs and hear some excerpts read from the book. The VLOG schedule is as follows:

Sunday, December 21st – Liv’s Book Reviews -

Monday, December 22nd – What Vanessa Reads -

Tuesday, December 23rd – Lisa Schroeder, author - AND

Help spread the word, and you might win a fabulous prize!

Copy and paste THIS entire blog entry into your blog between now and December 21st, then come back to Lisa’s blog at either Livejournal OR Myspace and leave a comment with the link to your blog and you will get TWO entries to win a number of prizes.

Wondering what you might win? Here is the list (there will be multiple winners):

~ An Advanced Review Copy of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, by Carrie Ryan

~ An Advanced Review Copy of SOMETHING, MAYBE, by Elizabeth Scott

~ Young adult novel GIRL, HERO by Carrie Jones

~ Young adult novel, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas

~ Young adult novel, UGLIES by Scott Westerfield

~ Pair of YA fairy tale retellings by Cameron Dokey (BELLE and BEFORE MIDNIGHT)

~ TWILIGHT movie soundtrack

~ $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card along with some Harry & David’s chocolate moose munch

~ And of course, a signed copy of FAR FROM YOU

For more chances to win, watch one or all of the VLOGs and leave a comment on that vlogger’s page, and you get another entry. That means if you post the schedule on your blog AND comment on all three VLOGs, you can have FIVE entries for the contest!

A live drawing with winners announced will be done by Lisa Thursday morning, December 24th, in a special holiday VLOG.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Miss A doing a bit of welcome home crafting for our neighbor who has been gone for a year. She was very excited to see him tonight.

Some wee felt folk in the making for a friends daughter. Miss A and I are working on them together. An Epiphany gift I am thinking.

The afghan I am crocheting for Chryssie for Christmas.
It won't be done by then.
She loves it anyways.
This yarn is made form recycled plastic bottles, pretty cool stuff
and amazingly soft for synthetic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you, especially this day. May your day be filled with lots of love, happiness and the joy of family.
Know you are thought about with much affection.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From under the overwhelmed...

Now that homeschooling is well underway and with the holidays approaching far quicker than I would like, it seemed a good time to return to blogging. Sometimes you just have to pull away from the wonders that is the online world, and focus on what is around you. And so I did.

Adrianna is quite thoroughly enjoying homeschooling and all the extra Mama time it gives her. Andrew has grown into an amazing young man. He is nearly (okay, maybe he already is) as tall as me. Chrysten has slowly been putting weight on, and has reached a wonderful 105. Do I think the struggles are over? Not by a long shot. But you know? We are making it. And will continue to make it. Even the older kids are doing great. Matt is staying with us for a bit to get his life together. Ryan has gone to Job Corps and likely heading to the Army after. Becca is having a great time with her first semester living on campus. So glad she took the extra step this year, she is absolutely loving it.

With the holidays approaching and money limited it was time to start perusing the net for some homemade gift ideas. I started at some of my favorite 'stomping grounds' such as Sew Mama Sew , Soule Mama, and as is usually the case, one blog leads to another and another and a fine rabbit hole it can be. I found myself at a new to me blog Vanilla Joy just in time for this That happens to include this Zen Mozaic mp3 player in pink. Exactly what Adrianna has asked for as her one store bought gift for Christmas. Fate? -grins- Could be! All fingers crossed, toes too, and there will be one very happy little girl.

Contest aside, this website truly is a treasure trove. Scroll through her anniversary giveaways and find recipes, craft ideas, holiday ideas including games for Halloween, organizational ideas and so much more. Be sure to stop over and bookmark it. I know you will go back again and again.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Take action against eating disorders....

Embrace Your Genes is more than a rallying cry, it is a fashion statement. We support healthy bodies of all shapes and sizes! And that’s the goal of, a public awareness campaign created by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and We have joined together to encourage you to embrace your genes, be comfortable with who you are, and support the programs of NEDA by purchasing jeans that fit the TRUE you.
SAVE 20% ON DESIGNER JEANS THAT FIT THE TRUE YOU, the online jeans store that matches shoppers to jeans that fit each person’s unique body, has partnered with the National Eating Disorders
Association (NEDA) as the exclusive jeans retail sponsor behind NEDA’s Embrace Your Genes campaign. True Jeans is supporting NEDA in this important work and working to promote healthy body images so that people of all shapes and sizes can embrace their genes and find jeans that fit their true body shape.
For every discount redeemed, True Jeans will donate an additional $20 to NEDA to join in efforts to prevent and cure eating disorders and promote a healthy body image. Visit and enter promo code: MYGENES at checkout. Min. order of $100. Offer expires July 31st, 2008

Please help support the fight against eating disorders. I don't have words to express the heartache you feel seeing your daughter on the scale at 16 and having the weight read 96 pounds. Or for the frustration trying to find care that isn't easily available.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

RWA is coming up...

the big event in Romance novel writers. It's National Convention, where the big awards are given out.... and the trash talking has begun

Laughed myself silly over this, enjoy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

pasta with caramelized onions and blue cheese

this was tonights dinner, so quick to make and omg so delicious.

1 pound chunky pasta (we used barilla mezze penne)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cups chopped onions (we sliced into thin rings)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water.
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (we used 7)
bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cool el dente.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the oil and cook the onions until soft and golden. Add in the cooking sherry, salt, pepper and vegetable stock. Stir with a wooden spoon to get all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan. Drain pasta and put into large bowl, pour the onion mixture over the top and toss to mix, then add the crumbled blue cheese and toss until melty and coating the pasta (it will not completley melt) add hot cooking water from the pasta if needed to thin it out.
I'd have had a picture but it was devoured.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


It was an amazing weekend and I am exhausted. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love are both incredible women and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet them. Will update the post tomorrow with all the details of the weekend. =)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Playing in photoshop...


My beautiful daughter Chryssie,she was sitting by the lilacs and took this picture of herself. It's one of my favorites. I did a very simple, but lovely, trick with this.
Open the picture in ps, right click the layer and select duplicate layer, gausian blur (15) the duplicate layer, then in the layers tab, where it usually says "normal" click the drop down menu and pick overlay, thats it. It gives a wonderful softened, brightened, ethereal quality to the picture.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Too hot to do anything but....

read -smiles- I am currently reading

I am on a Highlander kick still for the most part. I am really enjoying Melissa Mayhue and her fresh take on the whole Highlander/Time Travel/Fae thing. The sex scenes are not as explicit as Karen Moning's.

I'm melting....

Man has it been hot here. Last Saturday was the town Bike Rodeo so me and the kids walked over. It was the first day of our current 'heat wave' but the kids had a lot of fun. There were games, a cookout and a 10 bike giveaway. I was really hoping Andrew or Adrianna would win a bike, but it wasn't to be. They had a lot of fun though, and if I can figure out how, I will post pictures.
Bike Rodeo
Adrianna with the 'Alternate' Dairy Princess
Bike Rodeo
Andrew getting his face painted, he kept letting other kids go until this girl was done so he could have her do his face -grins-
Bike Rodeo
Adrianna getting her face painted, a butterfly.
I have been getting ready for the CR-RWA Conference
so very excited it is in just a couple days now! I think the first chapter is nearly ready, with a bit of editing. I am meeting up with my writing partner, so I am doubly excited!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Recently Read...

I have been on quite a reading streak the last month. It all began with not one, but two friends, who were absolutely shocked I had not ever read a book by Karen Marie Moning. After reading a review of a couple, I went to my libraries website and ordered as many as I could lay my hands on.
Beyond the Highland Mist (The Highlander Series, Book 1)Kiss of the Highlander (The Highlander Series, Book 4)The Immortal Highlander (The Highlander Series, Book 6) and every other one of her Highlander's I could lay my fingers on. I love the mix of time travel and fae. The books have me longing for my own Highlander. I also read the first of her new books Darkfever (Fever Series, Book 1) and while I will likely read the rest of them, I was a bit disappointed that there really was no conclusion with the end of book one.
Another recent read, and very happy find, is a young adult book by Melissa Marr... Wicked Lovely Incredible writing. This woman knows how to world build. I was completely pulled in from the first page. These are not your pretty fairies of girl scout days. Fair warning. But if you like things a bit darker, this book will keep you spellbound to the last page, and leave you hungry for more.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Two weeks from today.....

I will be getting off the train in Rensellaer for the regional romance writers conference, and boy am I excited! To think I will be in the very same space as Sherrilyn Kenyon is awe inspiring. Add in the chance to meet one of my very closest friends in the world and it is sure to be an amazing weekend.

So, why do I, a single Mom, the product of not one, but two failed marriages, love the romance genre so much? The answer is quite simple. I want my Happily Ever After, dangit! And I get it, with every single book, no matter the obstacles, in the end, it ALWAYS works out. What could be better than that?

I am painting my own rose coloured future, one word at a time.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hospitals are no fun....

Friday saw my daughter Chryssie admitted, she had caught some kind of stomach bug on top of a UTI... with the bulemia her resources are always on the low side, so... this landed her in the ER, then an admittance until Sunday.... we gt home at 1 in the afternoon yesterday, and less than 12 hours alter, my youngest, Adrianna, catches the tummy bug. Hopefully we can avoid another hospital stay.
Sadly this meant no Memorial Day parade for us. Pictures soon!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Still breathing...

There are times I feel utterly incapable of writing, because it seems the day-to-day of our lives can be pretty monotonous. I know this isn't truly the case, but... it sure was feeling it at the end of winter/early spring.
Miss Adrianna is indeed pumping insulin once again, with her pink pump of choice. We spent a good deal of time between her pediatrician, endocrinologist and the diabetes center at the hospital, coordinating it all. Thankfully, they are a fantastic group of people and it went smoothly. Okay, perhaps a few minor bumps along the way, though nothing that couldn't be sorted out quickly. The Animas pump rep in our area came to the house for the official pump start and everything has been going amazingly well since. I cannot believe how advanced insulin pumps are... just the improvements over the last few years are pretty incredible.
I am going away next month for the first time in several years... okay.. 'away' is for 2 nights..and only about an hour or so from my is to go to THIS so I am terribly excited and counting down the days. I will be meeting up with a very close friend from PA. So not only am I going to this amazing conference, I will also be meeting her in person for the first time. I know I will want to slow the clock down to a snails pace, and yet the time will likely sail by.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is spring ever coming?

Today dawned with an absolute breathtaking blue sky filled with sunshine, so I'm thinking spring IS going to happen. Someday.
So, I had gone out and gotten a domain and was trying to get wordpress set up. I have a vision of the way I want my blog to look. I went around to some of my favorite blogs, to see what themes they used, how they were set up, etc. And discovered one glaring fact. One simple thing that could have saved me a LOT of frustration I think. They all use typepad. Every single one of them. So, I am on a trial period for typepad, and if I can get that sorted out, that will be the new home.
We have an appointment on Tuesday, the Miss A and myself, to see a new endocrinologist, and hopefully get her back on an insulin pump. She has her eye on this lil number

Saturday, February 16, 2008

5 years.

That is how long i have been separated. Only.. last week I became, truly..a single parent. Andrew and Adrianna's father... doesn't want them even calling him anymore. In fact... he called the police , him and his girl friend, because Adrianna called the house to talk to him. Adrianna is 11... and just wanted to talk to her Daddy. Bastard. What kind of person calls the police on his 11 year old little girl? They are better off for it, its something I wish he had done years before. I wish even more so...t hat he would have been the father they deserve. But at least now there will be no more broken promises. No more waiting for a father who has 'better things to do' than keep his promises to his children. I have begun to actively look for good male role models for Andrew. He really needs them. His big brothers are going to have to make more of an effort, for sure... but... there are also some men in the community that canbe examples of what a man should be.
It's... odd thinking of it. I have made many sacrifices over the last 5 years... so my children would have their father in their life, almost daily. Despite our problems. Ok...not problems. Despite the reason I left. And he so easily... walks away.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Talk about a 'duh!' moment... day...week..... start off the new year... well, mid December I think, I decided to rethink a few things, baggage I didn't want to carry in to 2008, did some house cleaning, of many varieties, few of which had to do with my actual domicile. Part of that was a new email account. An email account I also used to link to some other new things I was starting. An email account which included the.. login and password information for several of these 'new' things.
Then... I got a new computer... my old one was so close to death with the things I use it for. A 6 year old eMachine. not even a top of the line eMachine back then... but a cheapest i could find variety. One I happily cleaned off and gave to the kids... one that had ALL my password, login and acct stuff...saved. Yeah.. I didn't WRITE this new information on real paper. And.... part of the newness was not using any of the names for these things I have in the past. So yeah. I.... can't remember it. I have tried.... in vain.
Hey 2008.... you are so squeeky clean and filled with glorious possibilities. Can we forget this one... silly little... lapse in intelligence, and pretend it never happened?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

-clears throat- Mememememememmeeeeeeeeeeeee

Blame it on Melly she tagged me. Seven things about me.

1. I was an only child until I was 18, when I kinda got a step brother. It became official another ten years later. I left him on a garage roof once, and had him convinced he imagined it. Two Christmas's ago, my Mom spilled the beans. Thanks Mom. BTW, I kinda like him now.

2. This 'only' child ended up with 6 kids of her own. I think I'd have had a dozen if I had been in a more stable relationship. I not only love my kids, but I like them too. (3 of each, boys 23, 20 and 12, girls 18, 16 and 11) Being a single mom today sure makes me relate better to my own mother, who raised me alone back in a day it wasn't so common.

3. One of my goals this year is reading a little Shakespeare each day. I am reading A Midsummer Nights Dream right now, Macbeth waits on my nightstand. After Shakespeare I will start on other classics.

4. I create and sell virtual products, in a virtual world, for real cash. It's crazy. Old World flavoured furniture, by the way. Not a lot of cash, yet, but.. cash is cash.

5. When I was little I went to catechism with my neighbor friends. When it would have been time to follow through to First Communion, my Mom didn't allow it. All my life, when I wasn't busy being angry with God... I have been drawn to it. I have been Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, dipped my toes in being Pagan... this year... I will find my way to where I started, where I have been drawn to, and will begin the process to convert to Catholicism.

6. I love to read...anything. Magazines, books, blogs. I always have a couple books going and don't go anywhere without some kind of reading material. My favorite part of a new the research for it, far more than actually 'doing' it.

7. I have lived in the Northeast almost my entire life, and I hate snowy winters. I try, really, to see the beauty in them... I'm not a skier, snowmobiler or anyone else that glories in what snow brings. I suffer from SAD .... but spring, summer and fall keep me here. They are glorious.

Ok, here's the rules if you want to play along. I'm tagging no one just yet. =P
Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
You can play or not. It's all in fun. Come out and play!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cabin Fever

I really, truly, entered this winter season with better intentions than my former I-hate-winter-from-the-last-fall-leaf-to-drop-self . I tried. I really did. It lasted all the way until.. last week. Now cabin fever has set in full forced.
I am awaiting spring. Lilacs. Green leaves. Fresh mowed grass. Rainy days.
So yes, I am a bit quiet.
We are also dealing with Adri's blood sugars being completely out of whack. Her ketones have been climbing bit by bit since Thursday last week. Agressive insulin and water not helping. I have opened all fresh bottles of insulin, changed to different test strips, re-calibrated her meter. All to no avail. Dr's tomorrow. I am beginning to think, we are in the beginnings of the wonderful hormone cycles of adolescence. Dear God. I am SO not ready for that with her.

Friday, January 18, 2008

We have been bitten

By the flu..and the bento bug -grins- Tonight Miss Adri and I scored her first bento box, which should be winging it's way from Japan soon! I detest the school lunches, not the best for her blood sugar, and taking lunch can get so..boring. We have been doing a bit of bento box drooling.. and tonight, finally found a good assortment of goodies.... and here is what she is getting. Along with two egg molds... can't wait to play with those. You put a still hot, peeled hard boiled eg in..close it up, chill it and voila! shaped hard boiled eggs. We are getting a bear and a bunny. Fun stuff, I tell ya! Miss Bunny... Thumper's girl! Is this cute or what? I also scored three Burda magazines, and one Ottobre. The mail will be fun for the next week or so with all these goodies on their way. The I will be digging in to my fabric stash and playing.
As for the flu... hopefully it is on it's way out of our house. Knocked me in bed for 5 days... with rare blocks of time upright. Chryssie is finally starting to feel better too. Adri... is getting it I think. Her and Chryssie both had the flu shot... sucks they didn't escape this round.
Should be back up and happily blogging soon.
I have added quite a few "must reads" to my blog list. Check some of them out when you get a chance, some wonderful finds out in blogland.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chryssie and Adrianna. We had a snowstorm to mark the first of the year and Chryssie went out to get some pictures. Today Chryssie turned 16. Where does the time go?

Chryssie and Andrew... Andrew at 12 is now officially bigger than his 16 yo sister!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Somehow I managed to get gifts finished... I still have a button to put on the bag I made my daughter Becca. She absolutely loved it and I got several requests from those who wanted bags of their own. It was SO (sew?) easy to put together, I will definitely be doing more of them, including some for myself. This is a wonderfully easy pattern that will be great to adapt in any number of ways. If you have never made a bag before, this is the PERFECT place to start.
Pictures... I had planned to take pictures of the small dolls, bags and other projects before they went out the door, that never happened. I promise to get better about picture taking this year.
Today we will take down the Christmas tree.It is the very first year since 1993, that the tree stayed up past Christmas day. Life is so very good right now. Despite the mountains of difficulties we face still, me and the kids are happy.
I have "big plans" for 2008. ;) my very favorite gift this year... it is a picture of my Great Grandmother... G.G. to all of 'us kids' She was my favorite person as a child and I spent many vacations visiting her in Portland Maine. It now sits beside one of her antique paperweights I have... on top of her old writing desk my Mother gave me this summer.