Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, Farewell, 2008

On this New Year's Eve,
We ponder as we look back,
Over the long bumpy road,
The country got off track.

It's been a rough year, but
Times are gonna get better,
Just wait, for next year, is
Going to be a "Red Letter"!

Now let's listen to Guy,
It's Lombardo, that is!
We love Auld Lang Syne,
To us, the song is his.

The song we do remember,
Tonight with such delight,
For each year we all sing it,
At twelve o'clock, midnight.

Ready for a brand new fate!
To a new and exciting time,
The end of the year 2008,
To the New Year of 2009!

So let's ring out the old,
And we'll usher in the new,
For a very "Happy New Year"
To each & every one of you! Bet Corsaut

Monday, December 22, 2008

"On The 12 Days BEFORE Christmas...."

Instead of a Partridge in a Pear Tree. . . .
On the 12 days before Christmas, and thinking in a new green way,
A sign of the times....recycling.., with a "dash-of-humor-holiday"!

* * * * *

"On the twelfth day before Christmas,
Time for stamping, punching, glittered and pasted,
Handmade Christmas cards, no time to be wasted."

"On the eleventh day before Christmas,
The cards were stuffed, labeled and stamped,
Then off to the post office, I merrily tramped!"

"On the tenth day before Christmas,
The menu for dinner, was planned including rolls,
With cranberries, pie, and a green bean casserole."

"On the ninth day before Christmas,
Wow, oh yes the prize, the sale that was a winner,
Was the $4, 16 lb. turkey, for our holiday dinner!"

"On the eight day before Christmas,
So now for the presents, with a budget so meager,
Definitely a stash of treasures, for regifting I was eager."

"On the seventh day before Christmas,
The wrapping and sorting, a gift to each, just right,
For everyone on my list, not one is left out this night!"

"On the sixth day before Christmas,
To the recycle bin for, containers, boxes and a shoe,
Ornaments for the tree, crafted with some glitter & glue."

"On the fifth day before Christmas,
This was my secret day, helping Santa with a surprise,
Of gifts for the big kids, just waiting for him to arrive!"

"On the fourth day before Christmas,
The home store had a lot, of extra, trimmed boughs just right,
So I fashioned a tree, like Charlie Brown, complete with lights."

"On the third day before Christmas,
Lots of remnants of fabrics, were needed to make three,
I pieced them together, to make stockings for our chimney."

"On the second day before Christmas,
We made our Chex Mix, went to buy our apple pie locally,
Then we rushed back home, to decorate our green tree."

"On the first day before Christmas,
We baked, cooked, and roasted our Christmas beast,
Then we all sat down to, enjoy our great holiday feast!"

"On the day of Christmas,
What a special gift we received, we know it was all planned,
Santa's present to us, tickets to, you guessed it, Disneyland!"

* * * * *
This year, Christmas is being spent in Ladera Ranch, CA at my son, Robert's home with his puppy, Kobe. We will be thinking of everyone in our family from coast to coast, and as far away as the Czech Republic, who will be celebrating in different ways and knowing we will all be thinking about each other even though we are distanced by so many miles.

Santa filled our stockings to the brim....
he was very good to us!

Christmas has many different meanings for everyone.
For me, it means; to be kind to your fellow man; to cherish a loving, caring family; to enjoy every day and what it brings, and mostly.......
to be thankful for all the gifts god has given me. I am truly blessed.

"Our toast to you all, for a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!"

Postscript: Robert and I downloaded an app on our iPhone's that created some of the coolest sepia pictures. We had a lot of fun playing with our iphones and creating some really great videos with music on Animoto. Check it out!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

1948 Grandma's Recipes

My latest venture, creating collage pages for an 8x12 book which is being published this week. The recipes, taken from my grandmother, were written down in a school composition book by my mother. I would add to the book, my own copied recipes and clipped recipes from magazines on any of the blank pages, whenever my mom would let me!

The cover is a picture of me at 9 years old and my grandmother's
in Detroit, Michigan. I remember fondly, the house where
I learned to cook a lot of our family recipes.

The following is the forward in the book...I used an old typewriter
font which is indicative of the 40's.

Each page has a recipe and a picture, making it more personable. It's
so nice for people
to be able to put a face with the recipe.

My grandmother Morneau and me, a day at Belle Isle Park in Michigan.

This was the day I had my picture taken for my 1st birthday.

My mother and me, a day in the park.

Four generations of cooks from Indiana to Michigan to California.

Grandma Descoteaux passed on when I was only 8 years old, but I remember her and how hard she worked cooking on that old wood burning stove.

My dad made this box sled for me so I could keep warm and I wouldn't fall out!

(Don't forget to click on any picture for an up close and personal look!)

Mom is wearing the latest faux fur
collar and I have on
my new
snow suit for winter.

Grandma Morneau wore such a stylish winter coat and hat.

Mom and me on the swing at Great Grandma
Bouchie's house in Indiana.

Learning to walk, I loved my Kiddie Kar!

Mom loved those striped socks and I loved being held by her!

I'm only a few weeks old in this snapshot.

This is my rocking chair, made for me by my father in 1938 before I was born!

Peter Pan holds a special place in my heart (click on the picture and read the story behind it.)

My first Holy Communion picture and in the background is part of our huge garden next to the house.

(Don't forget to click on any photo to see it up close and personal.)

Recipes were written on old phone bills and
on tablets used to write a lumber list!
These are a few of the pages from the book. I hope you enjoyed them.

Postcript: Thanks to my son, Robert, for helping with the resolution of the pages so they could be printed 8x12 with a full bleed. He's my hero!
The book is being published by SNAPFISH .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Robert

It's long overdue, My poem to you...And this is a perfect day, your birthday, for this special gift!

As I sit here writing,

All the things I want to say,
It's very late at night,
But it can't wait another day.

The day you were born,

Arrived the best gift to me,
A sweet, little baby boy,
1964, October twenty-three.

As a boy, trying all sports,
And any dangerous activity,
Always the great daredevil,
A movie stuntman wannabe!

But as the young man, with
Talents too numerous to mention,
It's your artwork and graphics,
That bring so much attention.

And through all the years,
You have made me so proud,
With your honesty and feelings,
Always real, and spoken aloud.

Through life's ups and downs,
You always rise to the top,
My son, you are certainly,
The cream of the crop.

Happy Birthday today, now,
It's no longer overdue,
And I hope you enjoy,
My heartfelt poem to you!

Hugs and Kisses,


Monday, October 13, 2008

"Just Married" Sixty Years Ago

I wrote this poem for my Mother and Father on their 60th Wedding Anniversary. And now 10 years later, it was fun to read it again and publish it here, a memento for their 70th Wedding Anniversary!

"Just Married" Sixty Years Ago

Cecelia and Johnny became sweethearts,
They met at St. Benedict's dance,
Knew they were meant for each other,

Right from the very first glance!

They went for long walks and fishing,

Then at Palmer Park they skated,

They danced to the "Big Bands" music,

In the Model A Ford they dated.

Married in October on the Fiirst,
In the year of Nineteen and Thirty-Eight,
Hazel Park had its newlyweds,

On Mapledale, the new house was great!

A new addition to the family,
A darling little girl arrived first,

Then a boy, and another boy,

Their little house might burst!!!

Johnny was drafted by Uncle Sam,
To go and fight in the war;

Then came the rationing of food,
Tires, gas, clothing and more.

Cecelia worked in Hudson's Bakery,
An additional income to earn,

To help support the family,

Waiting for her sailor to return.

Then Johnny built another house,

Two more boys and the family grew!

So Roseville had a new family,

More Decoteau's coming, who knew?

Next, building another house,
The last one to arrive was a boy!

Cass Lake, MI was a paradise,

To raise six children with joy.

And the carpenter had to build,

One last house on Morris lakeshore,
For his sons and adorable daughter,
His wife said, "We'll move no more!"

And as the years fly swiftly by,

All too soon the children are grown,

Grandparents, more love to share,
For grandchildren now fill their home!

Leaving Michigan, a move west,

California was the place to go;
They finally settled for retirement,

To enjoy the SUN, no SNOW!

And now...a look back. Over the years to all,
the fun and the memories,
the times, we had a ball!
.....the handmade rocking chair for baby, Betty Ann, and the box sled so she wouldn't fall out! The "Hammer Joint"--White Castle hamburgers! The horse drawn milk wagon. The Ice wagon (we loved to get the chips off the back) and the fruit man's wagon came down the street. The "Sheeny Man" collecting scrap in the alley. RAG Curls. REM cough medicine, Numotizin plasters, "Lemon & Honey" for a cold.
.....The Shrine Circus--balloons, cotton candy and elephants. Clothes put through a washing machine wringer, the smell of them drying on the clothesline. Black Walnuts on the tree and feeding the squirrels.
.....The Michigan State Fair--the baby pigs, cows and horses, Mackinac Island Fudge and hot dogs on a stick! Easter bonnets and baskets and new shoes. "Ring, Ring, Ring", The Good Humor Man!
Campbell's Tomato Soup and Velveeta grilled cheese sandwiches.
The carnivals and the Bearded Lady with no body, I just had to see!
.....J.L. Hudson's Holiday Parades and Santa Claus on the top floor in a Christmas Wonderland! Put a quarter in the giant machine and out comes a special present!
Penny candy at the corner drug store--candy dots on paper, Mary Jane's, Tootsie Pops, Licorice Whips, Cherry Hats, Wax pop bottles and lips (!), Tutti Fruitti and Beeman's chewing gum.
.....Sam Douglas' farm--cow pies and flies(!), the cabin, the swimming hole and getting "Frog Legs" in the creek. Our garden and "window" pheasant hunting in the corn stalks! Our chrome bell--one long and two short dings brought us home for dinner! Deep fryer "Gram Mere's" with jelly filling. The sled run in Roseville and our own Ice Rink!
.....Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner, dressing and gravy, cranberries, candied sweet potatoes, fruit cocktail salad and pumpkin pies with whipped cream! Christmas cookies--Date Pinwheels, Pecan Balls, Butterhorns. The perfect Fresh Cut Spruce tree, icecles and Santa's sleigh bells! Hammers and saws, kegs of nails and the smell of Saw Dust! Macaroni & Cheese with tomatoes and a cracker crumb top! Fried Yellow Wax Beans and a homegrown tomato sandwich with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.
Water skiing and picnics at Wagoner's cottage.
.....Sander's Caramel Cake and box of chocolates. Radio programs--The Lone Ranger, Baby Snooks, The Green Hornet, Amos and Andy, Lights Out! Halloween--"Help the Poor" begging for candy. The Franklin Cider Mill for cider and hot spiced donuts. Cass Lake--swimming to the raft, tapping the Maple trees, fishing off the dock, Elderberries around the Lagoon picked for jelly, W.B.H.S. and Our Lady of Refuge school.
.....Twin Pines Cottage Cheese in colored aluminum glasses delivered right to the door. Our FIRST T.V. in black and white--Howdy Doody, "Uncle Miltie" Milton Berle, I Love Lucy, Perry Como, Groucho Marx. The Harbor Bar "Friday Night Fish Fry's". The "Moron's" Men's Club putting on skits!
.....Picking Blueberries. Bread Pudding. Rice Pudding. Blanc Mange (French-white food) pudding! Sparklers and fireworks. Mom baking birthday cakes full of coins! Dad playing his Harmonica. Samsonite Luggage and Evening in Paris perfume!
"All the wonderful things a child can remember, thanks to loving parents who shared it all!"

....."A toast to the best parents" 5 sons and a daughter ever had, "A Happy 60th Anniversary to our wonderful Mom and Dad".

Love, Betty Ann

(Trying to see what year car is parked in the driveway?
Click on the photo of me in my box sled to see it up close and personal!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy 70th Anniversary

This is the invitation I made for mom and dad's 60th Anniversary, 10 years ago! It was stamp, cut and paste, with rhinestones glued on the marquee.

Johnny and Cecelia met in 1937 at a dance at St. Benedict's High School in Highland Park, Michigan and the rest as they say is history!

And what a history they have had......70 years of marriage, 6 children, 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

The dating years....1937
(Don't forget to click on any photo to enlarge it.)

I'm sharing a photo of them taken while they were dating in 1938. Good looking couple if I do say so myself and you have to love that car, a 1930 Model A Ford! My father purchased the car for $90, making $10 payments per month. It even had a heater and a radio! They were styling!

October 1, 1938, was the wedding day of my parents, John Laurier Decoteau & Cecelia Marie Morneau at St. James Church in Ferndale, Michigan. In attendance were dad's brother and best man, Charlie Decoteau and mom's best friend and brides maid, Betty VanSteele. A small reception was held for the couple and their immediate family at the home of Mr. & Mrs. William J. Morneau, 1322 Colton Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.

Dad wore a blue suit and mom wore a blue velvet dress.

Dad served in the United States Navy during the war years, and the happy couple posed for this picture taken, circa 1944. The dress mom is wearing is the same dress she wore for her wedding! I remember seeing the broach she wore on her dress in her jewelry box as a child!

I used this photo to create their anniversary card. I enlarged the picture and printed it on photo paper, mounted it under this old paper frame, embellished it with strips of gold border. On the back I added a sticker that read:
It happened in 1938 (see below). The snapshot I took of the card has exactly the same coloring as the smaller photo at the left, but poor lighting made it impossible to get a good picture of the finished product. ( I will retake the photograph soon!)

Today they are celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary! A feat not achieved by very many couples in today's society. This recent photo of them was taken last month. My parents, born in 1919, are both 89 years old.

"Happy 70th Anniversary, Mom and Dad"

**Postscript: Ten years ago, the Decoteau children and grandchildren gave a huge party for the anniversary couple in San Diego, CA. For their 60th Anniversary Party (where 100 of their closest family, friends and acquaintances from as far away as Japan gathered to celebrate) I created the black and white invitation, the theme for the party.

I made it the old fashioned way....cut and paste, as my computer skills then did not include Photoshop layering which I've learned in subsequent years! I wanted to use this copy of the invitation to start off this years Congratulatory Wishes!

(Click on "It happened in...1938" below to see it up close and personal!)


Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Trick-Or-Treat Bag" Cards

Trick or Treat,
Smell my feet,
Give me something
good to eat!

And if you don't,
I don't care,
I'll pull down
your underwear!

This year I made my Halloween cards for my grandchildren out of plain white kraft bags, the ones with handles on them. They're folded in half, and with a little glue stick, adorned with scrapbook papers, die cuts, google eyes, ribbon, spiders and various "spooky" goodies! THEY ARE SOOOOO CUTE!

This project was so much fun. There are so many really cute Halloween papers and embellishments; there is no limit to what you can create. I used lots of knock-knock jokes printed from my computer to add to the pages...children think they're so funny.

"Knock, knock, who's there? Goblin. Goblin who? Goblin your candy too fast will give you a tummy ache!" And there's the ever popular, "Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? He didn't have any guts!" Or, "Why didn't the ghost go to the party? He didn't have any-body to go with!"

When the children are ready to go out Trick-or-Treating, they can open the card into a bag and use it for all of those candy treats!

This is a great project to make with your own children or grandchildren. The kiddies love putting lots of google eyes and spiders on the bags........ENJOY!


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Halloween Tradition continues...

The Fall Season has arrived, you can feel it, Autumn is in the air! Even though it is just September 22nd, my thoughts are already on Halloween! The planning, preparing, decorating,'s my favorite holiday.

Growing up in Michigan, this time of the year was always very picturesque...colors of gold, orange, red, and brown covered trees and grounds. Blustery winds, chilling frosts, crisp apples being harvested, donuts & cider at the Franklin Cider Mill and pumpkin patches everywhere.

Nick Glazier 2006

As a child, my father loved Halloween and told us stories about himself and his friends going out on Devil's Night, pulling pranks.....oh, the stories he did tell! And being very artistic, he always created the best pumpkins for our house. We didn't "Trick or Treat" in those days, we went "begging". We would call out "Help the Poor"! It's so funny how the times have changed. We still beg for candy, but we call it Trick-or-Treating.

The tradition of loving this holiday started with my grandmother, Lillian Gertrude Bouchie-Morneau, who was born on Halloween, October 31, 1898. She
loved black cats. It was in her blood! She would also read tea leaves in your teacup and would tell your fortune. We loved having tea with her and couldn't wait to sit around the table, reviewing our cups with their patterns of tea leaves, imagining what they resembled...then waiting to hear our fortune.

This holiday, fun filled with costumes and treats and spooky, scary ghosts and goblins, was easily passed down to my own children, John, Deborah and Robert (all three still kids at heart!). We reminisce every year about the time we did this or that...the year the school buses would stop in front of our house so all the children could see our fantastic decorations...and how much fun we all had sharing it together.

With a pot of homemade chili brewing on the stove to make our holiday complete, it was and is one of our biggest traditions. It just wouldn't be Halloween without it. To this day, it's what we have for our dinner in MD, SC and CA...who would want to break with tradition? We call each other on
Halloween night to talk about "the chili" !

Skeleton Nick 2006

It all started because it was cold in Michigan, the chili was warming; and as the children dressed for the evenings festivities, there was no time to sit down and eat before running out the door at dusk to beg for candy. So a bowl of chili could be eaten in scattered bites while donning costumes replete with makeup for the night of frolicking on the streets with all the other children.

Grandchildren, Chris, Mimi and Brad (son John & Katie's children), have all grown up and I miss all the fun we had together when they were little but we have great memories! And this year, Nana gets to celebrate with yet another generation of little ones, grandchildren Nick 6 and Girlie 1 1/2 (daughter Deb & Steve's children), in South Carolina. We are already planning by phone how much fun we're going to have and the fun things we're going to make...decorations, yummy cookies and costumes.

You just have to love this holiday...
Family Fun at its best!

(Stay tuned for pictures of Halloween past and present!)

Just to get you warmed up, these pictures are of my son and daughter-in-law last year in MD...I told you we go all out for this holiday!

John & Katie Corsaut 2007

I love the flowers!

Every attention to detail...aren't these homemade costumes the greatest!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, MOM!

This is a very special day for a very special person. My Mother, the sweetest, kindest lady I know, was born on September 1, 1919. (Photo circa 1938)
Cecelia Marie Morneau-Decoteau

Mom, words can't express how blessed I feel to have a mother like you. Your warm heart is a true treasure and you share it with everyone. Most people do not possess that kind of beauty, but you do!

Cecelia Marie, September 1, 2008

Thanks for all you've done for me, all the love you have showered on me, and for being my mom. My wish for you today, and every day, is all the hapiness and joy you can hold! Happy 89th Birthday, Mom!

The card I made to celebrate mom.

I cut four chipboard panels 4x6", and painted them with black acrylic on both sides, joined them with black gaffers tape, then painted the remaining exposed edegs. On an excursion to Temecula, I purchased a large sheet of vintage ladies from TheStampin Post. I had them tucked away to use for this project. Cutting out each image, 3 1/4x5", I used Golden Gel Medium from Dick Blick's Art Store to affix them, a different lady was used on the front and back of two of the panels. On the other two panels I stamped birthday greetings and "I Love You" in gold, embossed them, then sprayed all of the pages with gold webbing. (This close-up shows the webbing and trim.)The panels with the ladies were decorated with gold strips of Magenta Style Stickers (also from The Stampin Post). Thin decor lines around the pictures took a bit of time but the end result was well worth it. I used another package of the stickers, gold floral squares, to further decorate the corners.
Outside panels

Inside panels

This was not a quickie project, it took some time for all the details, but it was so rewarding.....the card turned out great. I loved the antique effect given by the webbing.

And the main loved it!