Marge's Evolution - Living Large

Living, Learning, and Sharing my best life by becoming thoughtfully engaged with the world around me. An evolving boomer, Grande Dame blogger, photographer, nurse, euchre player, lover of champagne, chocolates, and caviar, feeder of birds, reader of books, mother of a BC eagle, co-founder of the Goddess Gala and Dieting Diva.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marges Italian Adventure

Please follow Marges Italian Adventure at
I will be adding more info to the current posts and adding new posts.  Enjoy and thanks for checking in!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Removing Wine Labels

Does anyone have a great method of removing wine labels?  We have soaked the bottle in hot water and ice water.   So far steaming the label on the stove seems to work the best.  The labels are so beautiful I am sure I can find a good use for them.  From wallpaper, to a wine diary, to decoupage, the possibilities are endless.  All I have to do is get them off the bottle in one piece!

Too Busy to Blog

I have been so busy playing ball with my girl Grace that I just haven't had time to tend to my blog.   Grace is a hoot.  Everything is a game.  She makes me tired.  She makes me laugh.  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

For Today...

Outside my window... Is an very old oak tree that has adorned our back yard for all the years we have 
been in our home.  Disease has ravaged it and we will have to cut it soon.  It will be a sad day.

I am thinking... I would like to be 10 pounds thinner

From the learning rooms... learning to sew on my new machine and 
how to chip and drive at the golf course

I am thankful for... a few hours of quiet to get some work done

From the kitchen... looks like a cold soup day... gazpacho or cucumber

I am wearing... a hat.  Love hats. 
I am reading... an Italian cookbook

I am hoping...  for more rain so I can play hookie this afternoon
I am creating... a pillow for my new office chair
I am praying...  for my sister that she will find the courage to move on.

Around the house... things are a little quiet right now
One of my favorite things... watching a great movie

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Cocktails for SIDS, Sewing, golf, 
a friends garage sale to attend, blog, shop, phone calls to my mom,
some social networking, and a sprinkle of bejeweled blitz!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...girlfriends!

The Simple Womans Daybook  is hosted by Peggy Hosetler.  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Living Large

Something my friend John said the other day has remained in my subconciousness.  It is a term I have heard before but it never stuck with me like it did this time.  John was reminiscing about a dear friend he had lost and how he will always remember their times together, "livin' large".  I have decided to partially rename my blog to that end.   

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dog on Donkey Smoking Pipe

Cleaning out my photo archives.... I think I took this in Ireland?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Story of Baby Ricky

I would like to introduce you to "Baby Ricky".  He has been a part of my life for 22 years.  I found him in Barbados.  Or shall I say he found me?   While playing euchre with friends, he was seated on on easel just behind me.  I am quite sure he was passing along quantitive and qualitative information about my cards.  He became an intricate part of the daily euchre tournaments we held at our seaside villa.  Prior to leaving I photographed him.  On returning home, I had him blown up poster size and put him in a cheap plastic frame.  Over the years he has been given from friend to friend as a gift for  birthdays or anniversaries and house warmings.  Along the way he was placed on board, given some texture and a gilded frame to bring his likeness closer to that of the oil painting of his origin. 

The dates and signatures on the back  detail his travels.  He has been to Canada, Jamaica, and Russia.  He has traveled the US to Chicago, Gaylord Michigan, Florida, Georgia and made multiple stops throughout Ohio. He has many notable physical characteristics, such as non opposing thumbs, a receding hair line, and multiple chins.  He was aptly named after a friend back in the states who opted out of the Barbados trip. 

We are going to Italy in July....... Maybe "Baby Ricky" would like to see the Pope?


Friday, May 29, 2009

Life is Just a Bowl of these....

My Friend Marsie Hall Newbold posted these on Facebook today.  I loved it.  Thanks Marsie!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do You Want to Live to be 100?

Yes I  want to live to be 100,
If I can still rock and roll, shimmy and shake. I don't care if it jiggles I just want to be able to do it. 
If I can l enjoy the sunshine and wear designer  sunglasses and big hats.
If I can go to the beach in some semblance of a bathing suit and still appreciate what a good tan feels like. 
If I can still enjoy the beauty and fragrance of  flowers.
If I can love and laugh.
If I can still get in and out of my bath tub.  
If  my mind is sharp and I am challenged with new ideas and adventures.
If I don't run out of friends along the way.
If I can enjoy the hummingbirds and the Red Tailed Hawk that visits me and the owl that calls to me at night.
If I can drink wine and eat chocolate.
If I can watch my son, my grandchildren and their children navigate this crazy world.
If I can have a driver.  I won't care if they take my driver's license away.  I don't mind being Miss Daisy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Star Trek Review

 Al and I went to see Star Trek Sunday night.   Rotten Tomatoes gave the new edition of the classic a 95% approval on their tomatometer and we agreed.  It falls under the category of a "Date Night Flick"  not a "Chick Flick". It tells the story starting at the beginning.  How Kirk and Spock became assigned to The Starship Enterprise and became friends.  The characters grow on you quickly.  It had a lot of action and I had to close my eyes a couple of times to keep from getting dizzy.  We both enjoyed the movie and every bite of  the calorie laden popcorn.  To keep it real we split a diet coke.  Surprisingly, I didn't see any real life "Trekkies" at our screening. 

Update on Make Your Own Jeans

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on  Custom Made Jeans,  well I got the second pair of jeans from and they are not perfect either.  I guess there are problems when the person measuring is in Cincinnati Ohio and the person making is in India.   I have decided not to try again.  I really wanted them to look like this photo. Instead, the length is still too short and the crotch hangs a bit low which drives me wild.   If anyone has had any luck with custom made jeans please let me know.

Friday, May 22, 2009

For Today...

Outside my window... hoots and hollers of teenagers across the neighborhood

I am thinking... how much I love that sound

From the learning rooms... I have been taking Italian lessons in preparation for a trip to Italy

I am thankful for... my husband...he is a good man

From the kitchen... I think I will make brownies tomorrow
I am wearing... pajamas

I am reading...  the John Lennon biography.  It has been a slow go...

I am hoping... that I have a bumper crop of tomatoes.  I planted multiple heirloom varieties this year; pink, black, red, and yellow.  Hoping the deer don't beat me to them. 

I am creating... a throw pillow for my office chair, an herb garden in pots outside my kitchen door

I am praying... for my family, that we are healthy and active

Around the house...  there are  fresh cut flowers from my garden

One of my favorite things...  conversation with my son

A few plans for the rest of the week... work in garden, study italian, go to driving range
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

My Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Stella, loves to smile!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where In The World Has Marge Been!

I want to apologize for not being here if you were looking.  I have been longing to write a post but have been too overwhelmed with Life Events.  May is a crazy month.  The college students have returned, the laundry is overflowing, the driveway is full of cars, the lights are on way past the bewitching hour, the garden needs tending, the pool needs service, the vacation needs planning, the New York project is in full swing, the gym is calling my name, the diet needs more attention,  dreams of Italy,  Italian lessons,  golf lessons, benefits and birthday parties, home decorating decisions are waiting, and time with my family is at a premium.   I have missed writing on my blog.  So as the Terminator once said, " I'm back".   Check with me later today and tomorrow for lots of new content.   

Monday, May 4, 2009

More From Maggies Garden

The buds on the  Wysteria I planted last summer are full 
of promise!  Click on them to enlarge.

My Lilac Standard Smells As Good As It Looks!  

Sunday, May 3, 2009


1. Color- It depends on what its for... I can't pick just one.  I love Red, purple, yellow, green, blue, black
2. Dessert  -  creme brulee
3. Smell- lilacs, lavender
4. Flower- Calla Lilly in a vase, Orchids in a pot, Lilacs, Peony, Hydrangea, Rose, Wysteria, tulip, daffodil,  in the garden
5. Animal- dogs 
6. Month- April
7. Beverage- depends on the application - Coffee, Ice Tea, Water,  Sangria, wine, Margarita, Mint Julep
8. Pair of shoes- jimmy choo  flats
9. Snack- buttered popcorn
10. Song -  Some Where Over The Rainbow  
11. Book - Maybe -  Gone with the Wind
12. Fruit- berries of all kinds , mango, 
13. Hairstyle- one that is easy 
14. Piece of clothing - black Jeans 
15. Store to clothes shop- tough question
16. Season-Spring
17. Hobby-  blogging, photography, gardening
18. Thing to collect -  friends
19. Movie -  Love stories always leave me with a good feeling
20. Restaurant- Boca for dinner, Lavomatic for brunch

Visit The Simple Woman 

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Daily Phrase Italian

Buongiorno Good morning  
Arrivederci -  farewell till we meet again
Ciao -  can mean hello or goodbye
grazie - thank you
Prego -  your welcome

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Outside my window... The flowers are blooming, the sun is emerging and Will is fixing the fence.
I am thinking...conditions are ripe for me to stay on target and get tons done.
I am thankful for... everything, especially my health and my husband.  Life is good!
From the learning rooms... I am learning to sew again
From the kitchen... dinner on my own tonight .. lean Cuisine and Homemade red pepper soup topped with greek yogurt and cilantro
I am wearing...sweats, straight from the gym and trying on Derby Day Hat
I am creating... a life I love.  
I am going... to work on plans for trip to Italy
I am reading... John Lennon 
I am hoping... my Blue Atlas Spruce I transplanted this morning lives.
I am hearing... birds singing.
Around the house... Dogs are hanging, chores are looming.
One of my favorite things... quiet time.
A few plans for the rest of the week:  Bootsies,  Derby Party, Sewing, Reading, Blogging
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Maggies Garden

I love the Tree Peony in my garden. It will grow to 5 feet tall.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A new addition to my garden this year are 2 pots by my back door that Sister Mary 
has filled with Hosta Montana 'Aureo-marginata' and Hosta Halcyon.  
They are going to be fabulous!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Green: Composting Update

I wanted to take a minute to give you an update on my composting efforts.  At a party Saturday night I met a new friend.  Like me, she was also getting into worm composting.  Unlike me, she took a class and seemed to know a few things about worm composting that I did not, such as, the worms will drown if there is too much water in composter or that they will fry if composter gets too hot.  Sunday morning I went running out to composter which I had sitting in the sunshine.  Who knew they could not tolerate temperatures above 80 degrees?   I made my husband put rubber gloves on and search for the worms to comfirm that they were still alive.   He found 3 worms.  I knew the problem.  He wasn't looking hard enough!  I immediately put on the gloves and began looking for the red wiggle worms.   I found one!   Had my worms drowned in the rain water we heard sloshing around in the composter last week?  Or did I cook them in the sunshine.   Or are those worms just too small to see?   It appears that compost is being made so I am going to assume the worms are hiding.   I had my husband,  Al push the composter around the back of the house, to the lower deck, where it is now in the shade.  My new friend also seemed to know more about the eating habits of the Red Wiggle worm.  We will no longer be serving up whole egg shells.  Who knew they liked them smashed up?  I guess I still have a lot to learn about worms, composting and going green.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lavomatic and Findlay Market

We went out to brunch at Lavomatic Sunday.   It was fabulous.  Al and I both had the "Eggs Rockefeller", french bread topped with poached eggs, fried oysters, and creamed spinach. There was a small green salad on the side, and while we waited, we were offered scrumptious french pastries.  The ambiance was lovely and the food absolutely delicious.  We sat next to the window.  There was a constant stream of diners coming in to take advantage of the rooftop deck on a sunny day.  

After brunch we headed to Findlay Market.  I bought a piece of pottery from a potter spinning as we walked by.  The fresh produce looked great and the prices were right.  We bought 3 humongous red peppers that I turned into Red Pepper Soup today.  I topped it with a couple of other great finds,  fresh Cilantro and Greek Yogurt.  The Market was bustling with poets, artists and shoppers, a good thing for Cincinnati.

I encourage all you Cincinnatians out there and visitors from near and far to give these venues a try.

New Findlay Market hours!

My Weekly Green

In my quest for green I have had to face a devastating discovery. Cut flowers are not a green alternative.  The book Green, Greener, and Greenest, discusses the negative impact cut flowers have on the environment.  Most cut flowers in the US a grown in underdeveloped countries and shipped here "belching" fossil fuels all the way.  In addition,  they are grown in huge poorly ventilated greenhouses that expose the workers and end users to copious amounts of pesticides and herbicides.   
Here are the cut flower lover's options as cited in Green, Greener and Greenest.   At minimum wear gloves when handling fresh flowers to protect yourself from the residues of pesticides and herbicides used in growing.  Buy organic flowers to cut down on exposure of yourself and others to pesticides and herbicides.  Buying locally grown flowers cuts down on fossil fuel emissions.  Give potted plants or organic bulbs as alternative gift ideas.  Ask local shopkeepers to seek out local and organic sources.  

After reading this, I was delighted when I found bunches of tulips grown in Virginia at the market.  Virginia, that is local enough for me.  I bought two.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jeff Beck a No Go: Then a No Show

My husband, Al, and his friend, Wally, had plans to see Jeff Beck Friday night in Chicago.  Only this is Wally's World and Wally did not realize the tickets were for Thursday night. Once the error was found, the boys called, emailed and begged, but to no avail, they weren't getting in.

We stayed at the Sofitel on Wabash street.  Great location, great rates, hoppin' Bar, Euro crowd, breakfast to die for.  Bar served Absinthe, which Al gave a try. Absinthe was banned in the US since 1912 and just legalized in 2007.  It is licorice flavor but a bit strong for my taste.

We had dinner at a restaurant, with origins in Greenwich Village, food styled from the Abruzzo region of Italy.   This was our second visit to IL Mulino. Totally cool building for all you architectural design freaks.  It was a converted "mansion" of days gone by, woodwork over the top and 18 foot ceilings. 

Three of us entered to a flurry of waiters bringing all kinds of complementary anti pasta to our table, before we could order our first drink.  There was a garlicky bruschetta, spicy zucchini chips, italian salami.  I had the mushroom risotto 1/2 portion.  So good.  Enough to share with Al.  We declined desert.  Double espresso and cappuccinos instead, topped off with a complimentary house infused tropical fruit Grappa.  We drank a great Tuscan wine a Brunello di Montalcino. My husband thought the wine list was a bit limited.  We had a totally enjoyable meal.  We saved a seat at the table for Jeff but he was a no show.

goodreads Is For Book Lovers

I have just signed up on another social Media and networking site, goodreads.  I learned of the site from a blog I follow, Bleeding Espresso.  The site can be used to keep track of books you have read and those you want to read.  You can find reviews here and write a review of your own,  as well as, rating the book on a scale of 1-5 stars.  The site also has a listing of author tours in your area.  There are videos, trivia,  and lots of people sharing lots of ideas on books of all kinds.
I have been reading John Lennon: The Life and I was encouraged to see the reviews and an average rating of 4.67, since I have had a little trouble getting into the book.  My plan is to give goodreads a try.  See you there!   Marge on Goodreads

Friday, April 17, 2009

Beer Wars Live

Tonite, my husband and I went to the theater to watch Beer Wars Live.   It is a documentary on the state of craft brewing in the United States.  The Documentary was interesting and gave a perspective of the Beer Industry with a slant toward the ideas of the craft brewer.   If you are into beer you would probably enjoy it. I am not much of a beer drinker but I do love the great names the craft brewers come up with:  Dogfish Head Golden Shower, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Dead Guy Ale, Pigs Eye Pilsner, Liver Lager, flying dog beer, Buffalo Bills Alimony Ale. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Les Paul at The Iridium Jazz Club New York City

Last night we enjoyed the site and sound of the legendary Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan. The 10pm show in the small basement club was over sold. We were packed in like sardines. I was concerned about my ability to enjoy myself in the cramped quarters. Once the band took stage, all that was forgotten. I had a great time! Les and his band, joined by a couple of guests, played for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Seated on a guitar stool, Les played and told stories, talked to his band and his audience. Physically he is limited by arthritic fingers, wears a hearing aide, and has a new pacemaker and just spent 3 weeks in the hospital.   However, at 93 years young, his spirit is still strong and lively. As is tradition, Les appeared 30 minutes after the show to sign autographs, and take photos with fans. A line of at least 150 formed to get their picture taken with the legend. The young and the old came carrying guitars and other pieces of memorabilia to be autographed.  Some of them waited close to 2 hours.  Les didn't leave the club till after 2. Fans are inspired by his life's work.  Yet it is their faithful following that gives him purpose to continue his lifes work.  I would wholeheartedly recommend this performance should you be in Manhattan on a Monday night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How to live your best life - 12 Ideas

  1. Dream
  2. Give of  yourself
  3. Be willing to forgive
  4. Search for the Humor
  5. Change the things you can...
  6. Remember the more the merrier
  7. Take care of your mind: Read, Play games
  8. Be open to new ideas
  9. Don't postpone joy:  Make life happen
  10. Make meals and experience
  11. Take care of your body
  12. Nourish your soul

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What are you doing to help the environment?

I plant trees, compost, keep my thermostat turned down a couple notches, and am considering the purchase of a hybrid. We recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. We have installed dual pane windows and use energy efficient appliances. Energy efficient dimmers on light fixtures is another green idea we have incorporated into our home.

Compact fluorescent lights do not provide me with enough light and public transit is not an option in my neighborhood. I will invesigate an investment in renewable energy such as, sunlight, wind, tides. Many in my neighborhood have installed geothermal heat and air. However to retrofit an old home is not cost effective.

I think each of us can at a minimum be cognizant of our usage. That in and of itself, has the power to reduce waste. Any other green ideas out there?

Tomorrow is opening day in Cincinnati and snow is predicted with wind chills in the 20's.  Al Gore, we could use a little global warming right about now. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Custom Made Jeans

I wanted to tell everyone about a product I found.  My body type just is not conducive to buying designer jeans off the rack.  I have come up with what may be a solution for some.  At about $64 dollars (including shipping from India) they are relatively inexpensive.  After ordering my first pair I was so pleased with them that I just ordered a 2nd pair to make some adjustments to length and rise, but overall a better fit than I can get off any rack.  Following their directions, you input your measurements, choose your style, fabric, pocket, and other details and less than a month later you receive a new pair of jeans. So when the 2nd pair comes, I will have a little more than $128 invested in a great pair of jeans. I can not guarantee you will love the jeans and I would definitely buy designer jeans off the rack if I could.  However, I am offering up this solution to those who may need another alternative.   I will give you a full report when the second pair arrives.  

Andy Warhol personally guaranteed everyone at least 15 minutes of fame-- what's your claim?

What are you famous for?

The Plinky question of the Day is a great one. I will have to think about this.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Growing Hops

The Trellis is done the Hops are in the ground.   We are growing 4 varieties on the trellis, Fuggle, Cascade, Sterling, and Nugget.   I will give you updates on their progress.  In the mean time we have an abundant crop of Hops growing on an obelisk in our side yard.   These Hops were planted about 3 seasons ago and they are going crazy. Last year we gave the crop to a friend who makes beer.  This year we will be brewing Sky Kings Malt Liquor.   I will give you updates on the home brew process as we voyage on this journey.  If you have any experience with home grown hops please share it with me.  Ladies, this is a great way to get your husband involved with the gardening and the composting.  The hops love a good rich compost.  He is so into it, he is even helping with the blog. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stuck in an elevator with Oprah

The question of the day on Plinky is who would I not mind being stuck in an elevator with? I wouldn't mind being stuck in an Elevator with Oprah, so I could tell her how much I have enjoyed her show over the years and to besiege her not to alienate her audience that does not share her political views.
Note*** If I was down to my bikini size I probably would have said McDreamy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Caprese Ensalata Hoagie with Meatballs and Pasta

Have you ever heard of a leftover spaghetti omelette? This sandwich is yet another use for leftover pasta. Last night we had pasta dinner with meatballs and a Caprese Salad recipe from my friend Betsy5alive.  Tonite we made Caprese Ensalata Hoagies with Meatballs and Spaghetti. To keep it healthy, we made them on whole wheat buns. The sandwich was grilled open faced, under a hot broiler until warm and the cheese was melted. Thanks "B" for the makings of a great sandwich. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


What is Twitter?  Twitter is a form of social media like Facebook or MySpace only different.  It is a free social messaging and microblogging utility. Your tweets are limited to 140 characters.  You can send your own and read others updates, which are called tweets.  As a newbie in the social media world I am trying it out.  I don't tweet much yet, but I have certainly found a couple of tweeters that provide useful information. So I am inclined to stick with it for awhile.  I enjoy Facebook for posting photo's and looking at others photos.  Facebook is better for connecting with people you have not seen for a long time and those you have.  Twitter seems better for listening to new people with like interests and gathering information.  Twitter seems to have a lot of application for business. Please leave your comments and ideas about Twitter and other social networks.  

Follow your Favorite Blogs on Bloglovin'

BlogLovin' is a service that notifies you when there are new posts on blogs you love to read.  It saves you the time of having to go to the blog page to check for updates.  You can choose to have BlogLovin' email you with updates or you can sign in to get up dates.  Either way it makes keeping up to date with your favorite Blogs easy.  

Monday, March 30, 2009

Signed up for trial of website.  Started last night.  My mom is working on her part of the family.  I am focusing on Al's family and my dad's family.  So far very interesting.  I especially like that more than one family member can be working on the project at one time.  
If anyone has had any experiences with this site or any other please let me know by leaving a comment.  

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

I loved this book.  Fast read.  Historical Fiction.  Tells of life on the Channel Island of Guernsey during and after the German occupation of World War II.  The story is told through a series of letters.  Totally adorable and believable characters.  

Composting update

Worms arrived while I was on Gulf Coast. My husband added them without counting them.  There were suppose to be 500. Hope I didn't get cheated and there were only 499!  Do you think they counted them before they sent them?  When I look in composter I don't see any worms.  They must be hiding. I keep turning mixture. I keep adding stuff in an attempt to get the right mix of green and brown.  Lots of coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit peels old lettuce ... etc.