Saturday, November 23, 2019


I always love to start my posts with a pretty photo, usually flowers, but today I have the best ever beginning...welcome Lucy June!  Emily gave birth to this little nugget November 15.  She weighed 5 lbs., 13 oz., just a peanut.  She's absolutely beautiful and she looks so much like her mama.  And Emily was also small, 5 lb., 2 oz.  Holding Lucy for the first time was like deja vu.  So tiny and perfect.

Big sister Madelyn had been anxiously awaiting this day.  She was actually practicing feeding and diapering her baby doll in preparation.  She is so gentle and loving with Lucy, I wish I could show you so many more pictures of her with the baby.  But trust me, I be sharing when I can.  Isn't she beautiful?  Aren't they both?

Switching gears here, I was really wanting to go to some fall festivals but it simply didn't pan out.  I've joined a few Facebook neighborhood groups and it's amazing how you can find out about all the great events going on in your area.  This recent holiday shopping weekend was called Christmas At The Barn.  It's a genuine barn that was repaired and renovated for seasonal events like this.  Abby and I went last Saturday to a nearby suburb (where my son, Jeffrey, also lives, but further west and near some beautiful forest preserves).  I couldn't help but think what a perfect day it was both weather-wise and in this gorgeous wooded setting.  


I loved this old bike with a basket filled with evergreen.  Not something cute and flowery like we usually see, but looking like it's been suspended in time.

The shopping didn't disappoint either.  It was a mix of old and authentic, as well as new and loved.  Some vendors were local artisans so it was a good feeling to see handmade items.  Abby, who is in the midst of decorating her new home, was pretty restrained.  She is loving plaids so she picked up a few cute pillows.  There was a lot I was really wanting to buy but how could I do that when I'm in the middle of tossing and giving away holiday decorations I've collected over thirty five years?  All in all it was a fun afternoon.  I love spending time with my daughters.

Last week I was writing a holiday column for one of the newspapers and I wanted to share a recipe I came across on Pinterest.  I've always use my own recipes and photos in my articles, but try as I might, I simply can't photograph food to make it look appealing.  So I am using Pinterest once in awhile as well as recipes from my cookbooks.  If I tweak them, I share them as my own (hideous pics and all), but some recipes are just perfect as they are.  

I can't break tradition when it comes to holiday meals, The Husband and kids can be really vocal about that if you know what I mean.  To satisfy my love of trying out new recipes, I serve the usual corn but then make another side dish that looks gross to my non-vegetable eating kids/guests, but a hit with others.  

So I stumbled on this recipe for Brussels sprouts done up in a wonderful way.  I'm going to make them as a side dish on Thanksgiving.  Here is the recipe and for your convenience a link to the original.  

Parmesan Prosciutto Brussels sprouts

I think this is such a pretty dish although maybe not for everyone.  It makes me curious to dive into and discover some new tastes.  I've made a few converts with this side dish!  Finally--I hate starting a recipe only to find I didn't take note of the cooking time.  Allow yourself an hour for these and I don't recommend reheating them.

1 lb. Brussels sprouts

2 T butter
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
2 slices of Prosciutto, chopped into small pieces * 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Trim ends of Brussels sprouts, remove loose or brown outer leaves.  Slice each one in half lengthwise and place them in a large bowl.  

Melt the butter and pour over the Brussels sprouts.  Add the Parmesan, garlic, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.

Spread the seasoned Brussels sprouts over a parchment paper lined baking sheet, trying to keep some space between them, they crisp up that way rather than steam.  Place in the oven and let bake for 40 minutes until they are just starting to brown.

Turn the oven temperature up to 350.  Chop the prosciutto and scatter over the veggies and gently push them around with a spatula.  Shake the pan and return to the oven and roast an additional 10-15 minutes.  Serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in oven.

Layla and Poppy are really becoming good friends.  I had my doubts at the beginning as Playful Poppy has a ton of energy and was pretty much pouncing on Layla every chance she could.  I was trying to keep them separated so Layla could have some peace and quiet but then I noticed that she was actually enjoying the play fighting and having Poppy nuzzle her.  All that worry...and then things worked out on their own.  

I wish I could say it's been cool watching Poppy grow, but she's not growing.  I guess this is it, fifteen pounds of long body and legs and big 'ol floppy ears.  A lot of people ask what breed she is, I mean she really has this sort of "look", like a purebred something or other.  I can't figure out what she is but I know for sure she inherited all the traits of a cattle dog that is ever-present in her genes.  She is insanely fast, and as a friend said, she could easily be a horse rustler.  Thoughts of keeping her off-leash at the lake are feeling less and less likely.

On the medical front, whatever cold or flu I had that was making my nose and chest insanely congested seems to have passed.  The asthma isn't so great, my lungs tighten up just going up and down the stairs to do laundry. My doctor has prescribed some new meds and we are awaiting the analysis of the little germies that were scraped out of my lungs and are currently growing under a petri dish somewhere.  I also have to go for more blood workup, at this point I don't even  know what for.  I'm just happy to say that I'm writing this from a better place than the last time.

As if being sick, having a new puppy, the huge celebration of having a new grandchild, planning for Thanksgiving dinner (for which I will host dinner for a small group and then dessert for a crowd), tossing out long ago and unwanted Christmas decor, making a list and checking it twice, finding a caterer for Christmas Eve, which will also be at our home for The Husband's side of the family and easily amounts to about thirty guests including little ones...I'm in the middle of redoing one of the baths that I touched on in my last post, as well as our family room.  I'm having an anxiety attack just writing this.

My son came to my aid in offering a "jack of all trades" that he has for work on the various properties he owns.  While I thought I was going to have the tedious work of painting trim and doors, and then hiring an electrician and plumber, I now have a weight taken off me.  And I will get excellence as this guy works for Jeff and he is a hawk with his employees.  All I have left to be shipped are the light fixtures for the family room and to pick out hardware for this and that.  I found a granite dealer way out in some far flung suburb which I never would have gotten to without my GPS, and I picked out a pretty vanity top in quartz.  I look forward to sharing the finished bathroom soon.  I'm so proud that I designed (if I could actually say that), and sourced out everything and everyone I needed by my own little self.  

I could blabber on forever, as you know, but I'll cut off here.  I have confused even myself with this hodge podge of what is going on.  I actually thought Thanksgiving was the week after next.  Lists.  I need to make lists.

Thanks for visiting.  You are all such great girlfriends.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!



CJ said...

Oh my goodness, you have got a lot on. Congratulations to Emily and to you all on the birth of Lucy June, she is absolutely gorgeous. I'm glad the dog/puppy situation has settled down and I'm glad you're on the mend too. Have a lovely weekend, and make sure you find at least a little bit of time to relax. CJ xx

Karen said...

Glad you are feeling better - OOOh, what a precious baby girl and her big sister. Congratulations to all. Your new pup is just adorable! Two breeds that come to mind seeing her picture is rat terrier mix, border collie mix. Both have the personality you describe and coloring, anyway. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am hosting here, too.

Vee said...

Your post did not confuse me; it is life itself!

Oh beautiful new granddaughter and her big sister is totally smitten with her. They’re going to be great friends in this life. It will be joy to watch that friendship grow.

Your Thanksgiving sounds perfect with dinner for a smaller group and dessert for a crowd. That you are feeling ever so much better is very welcome news.

Yay for pup friendships, too.

Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

Theresa said...

Welcome Lucy June, love the picture of her and BIG SIS! I don't have any new recipes for Thanksgiving, just the "same 'ole good ones":) That recipe sounds yummy, I will have to give it a try! Enjoy your day dear friend and the days leading up to Thanksgiving! So thankful you are feeling better! HUGS!

Lynne said...

I always enjoy a Blondi post. This one too!
But can’t write because of shoulder surgery.
So Happy T and love love that little nugget and sis!

Mary said...

You exhausted me here dear Jane - just can't keep up with you ! New sweetie baby Lucy June is gorgeous, and Madelyn's expression is perfect - a really big sister's special moment. Love that she's been practicing with her dolly!

Glad you're feeling somewhat better and hope it continues and you get through this busy time of year not exhausting yourself!
We have decided to take a quick trip to Asheville before Christmas, just two days. Will visit Penny & K, and former Raleigh friends who live there and are just coming back from a trip to Australia. Will have a little while to look around town and eat some good food! Wish you and A could be there but realize it's going to have to be another time as you are so busy right now.

Will think of you and send our love. Happy Thanksgiving.
M&B xx

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

A new grandchild is always the most exciting news ever. Congratulations, she is beautiful.

Susie said...

Blondie, I love seeing the new baby. I have a new great grandson. Don't you love to nuzzle them. Big sister looks happy with the baby. Blessings to all of you, xoxo, Susie

oldgreymareprimitives said...

Such beautiful grandbabies! Jane you need to stop and just breathe...Decorate with what you want this year and whatever is left over either box up to sell later or donate and make it all disappear. You don't need to add that stress right now. (as your secret purge therapist, I give permission lol)

I need to take my own advice as I am frantically trying to get prescriptions that got screwed up and pack all my medical needs in time to go see the kids. I travel now like I did with a newborn... concentrator, 7 portable tanks, nebulizer, cpap machine, extra filters, tubing etc YIKES

I would be the guest trying all the new recipes- so go for it You may surprise them. My kids would NEVER do sprouts until I started roasting them with bacon etc. Now IT is required. Silly families!

You've just got over a bad spell "Take care of yourself, don't stress or you'll be down for Christmas" : My daughters advice to me this morning.

All that matters is family esp with a wee new member.

Just breathe <3

Happy Thanksgiving dear friend

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world Lucy Jane. Madelyn and Lucy Jane are beautiful. Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jane, what a happy post! Oh my goodness, Lucy June (sweet name!) and Madelyn are just a perfect pair, beautiful cherubs! Congratulations to the entire family! Poppy looks to be an incredibly sweet addition to your home. I can't wait to see your renos, and I'll say a prayer for you for continued improved health and strength for entertaining the large crowds you're anticipating. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bluebird49 said...

Was thinking of you this a.m , and was happy to see your new post. Lucy is beautiful, as Maddie is! What a happy time for y'all.
Hope your reno is finished soon, and many thanks to Jeff!
I love sprouts just roasted in a little olive oil, but your recipe sounds so yummy!
Have a happy, relaxing, (Yes, I said relaxing!), Thanksgiving, dear Jane. :)

cindy hattersley design said...

Congrats on the darling new member of the family. We love brussel sprouts so I am always thrilled to have a new option! Happy Thanksgiving Jane!

Mereknits said...

Jane, congrats on adding a wonderful bundle to your beautiful family. My oldest was 5 pounds 14 oz when he was born full term and grew to be a 6 foot 1 swimmer. And then there is Little Buddy born at 2.2 pounds. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. So glad you are feeling better.

Saimi said...

Oh my golly, Congratulations on your new little dolly!! How exciting for the whole family. We are expecting a new grand baby next March and I can't wait. Just seeing that cute little nugget of yours gives me such a happy feeling!! Thanksgiving for us will be low key, but I'll be hosting come Christmas. We rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our son's in laws and 'm excited to have our Son and his pregnant wife join us for Christmas, I can already predict baby gifts under the tree!! The Brussel Sprout recipe looks yummy! Funny you mentioned about thinking Thanksgiving was the week after next because I thought the same thing. Luckily we will be going to my in laws.
Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Kim said...

Oh wow, Jane, that baby is adorable and the picture of the two of them is just darling. Glad you're feeling better and I wish you a lovely Thanksgiving!!

Lorrie said...

Congratulations, Jane, on the birth of your new grandchild. She's darling, as is her older sister. Another sweetheart to love.
I'm glad you are in a better place healthwise, and I hope that continues.
Lists! Yes, lists! I need to get going. Just one month until Christmas Eve!

Jeanie said...

You DID start out with the most beautiful photo of all. Lucy June is a beauty, so sweet and really pretty. Lucky you!

We started our "official" Christmas season this weekend with a trip to the greens market and a favorite store. You're right -- it's such fun to see pretty things but like you, I used restraint, as I pack up another box of holiday things to either take to charity or give away elsewhere. It's the fun of doing it with someone you enjoy that makes it festive.

I know all too well the angst of waiting for the petri dish results from things scraped from your lungs. Wishing you good results.

baili said...

Oh she is so cute dear Jane :)
congratulations to granny and mom :)
wishing her a healthy happy life ahead ,amen

your new profile pic is absolutely pretty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jane, congratulations on the new little one. Just a beautiful little one. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family..Happy Sunday..Judy

It's me said...

Congratulations with little Lucy June 💕💕💕owwww so sweet ....those two special.....and your sweet from me happy week love love Ria 💕💕💕

Dewena said...

They certainly are both beautiful! That sweet little face! Jane, you have so much going on. I'm glad there's been an improvement in your health but it sounds as if you've some way to go still. And I know you want to spend as much time as possible with Lucy and her big sister. I bet she will be such a help to Emily entertaining her little sister.

So glad to know you are at least having your big Christmas party catered. Take all the help you can get!

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! Oh, Congratulations! What an adorable little angel! Glad you're feeling better and Happy Thanksgiving.

Shelia ;)

Alexmohom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NanaDiana said...

Finally getting around to visiting. The baby is beautiful as is your 'big girl'. What sweetness all ready for Christmas this year.
We fix brussel sprouts almost identically and everyone loves them. Also, if you have never tried it, my grandmother always steamed her brussel sprouts, added butter, salt & pepper and sprinkled them with nutmeg. It gives a whole different flavor and is very good.
Have a blessed Holiday season. xo Diana

jmac said...

Your posts always make me having a bedtime story that makes me happy!
I love your lil Poppy so much. Just precious.
And I’m sharing your lung problems. I’ve got something going on but just haven’t had time to stop and go to dr. Your info is making me feel like I need to make it a priority. Thanks

handmade by amalia said...

Congratulations, Jane, on that precious, beautiful baby.

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

Congratulations on your new addition Jane! So wonderful!
Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

Hi Jane, and thanks so much for your visit to my blog with all you have going on. Congratulations on your new addition Lucy June. I'm sure your pups keeping you smiling and entertained. Happy December!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

You are blessed with a wonderful family and your tiny new granddaughter is adorable. I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and thank you for sharing the Brussels sprouts recipe as it sounds great.

Val said...

Beautiful baby! Congratulations, Jane! That photo of her with proud Madelyn is a treasure, my goodness. May December be at least as sweet! ♥

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, how precious this baby is. Welcome to the world, Lucy June. The photo of her and sister Madelyn is a treasure. It sounds like you had a nice time at "Christmas at the Barn." What a charming shop this is. And I am loving the red plaid in the store. Your doggies looks so comfy sitting there on the chair. I'm sorry to hear you haven't felt well. I know someone who has asthma, and believe it or not, every time he had a cup of coffee, it relieved him. It sounds like you've had a busy month, and I hope you are enjoying this wonderful Christmas season, Jane.


ps.....I noticed in your last post that you've been watching the Hallmark Christmas shows. Aren't they the best? : )

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Hi Jane - oh what great news- she is beautiful and so is big sister holding her!

Best wishes to you and your entire family on this latest addition to the growing family.

Won't the holidays be fun this year - the greatest gift, right?

Big big hugs. ♥

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Christmas Day.

accent pillow case baby burlap decorative said...

我I love seeing newborn babies because they are so cute!

accent pillow case baby burlap sofa said...

Glad you are feeling better - OOOh, what a precious baby girl and her big sister. Congratulations to all. Your new pup is just adorable! Two breeds that come to mind seeing her picture is rat terrier mix, border collie mix. Both have the personality you describe and coloring, anyway. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am hosting here, too.

accent pillow case baby burlap rug said...

Hi Jane - oh what great news- she is beautiful and so is big sister holding her!

Best wishes to you and your entire family on this latest addition to the growing family.

Won't the holidays be fun this year - the greatest gift, right?

customized gifts for her said...

You are blessed with a wonderful family and your tiny new granddaughter is adorable. I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and thank you for sharing the Brussels sprouts recipe as it sounds great.

accent pillow case baby burlap said...

Beautiful baby! Congratulations, Jane! That photo of her with proud Madelyn is a treasure, my goodness. May December be at least as sweet! ♥

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