Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting Off Early Today!!

We have officially been notified that the university will close at 3:00. I'm officially excited. This gives me a little time to pick up some groceries for the weekend.

I think we'll stay in tonight since Jan will have been on the road since 10 this morning and it's a 6 hour drive, and then run around the rest of the weekend and Monday.

I don't have to go back to work until Jan 5th, 2009.

Some of this time is going to be spent doing absolutely nothing. Except probaby babysitting some. My kids will have to work some, and I will most likely keep the grandchildren. And while they are tearing my house apart, I'm going to do nothing.

Hope your Friday is going great. Mine is. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Friend Is Coming For A Visit!

My friend from Crossville, Tn is coming to spend a few days with me. I am so excited, I can hardly sit still.

I haven't seen her in a while, and we have a lot of catching up to do. We have a lot of places to go and a lot of people to see while she's here.

Maybe I can get someone to take a picture of us together, and with her permission, I'll post it.

Let me tell you a little bit about how I came to have this wonderful friend.

For a few years a company called AIA, American International Airways from Yipsalanti, Mi came to the Blytheville airbase and set up camp for about 4 months, and got everything ready to move Christmas mail for about 2 weeks with the program ending with the last of the mail going out Christmas Eve.

In 1994, I had just graduated from the university, and was looking for a job. They held a job fair on campus, and I signed up. In Octover, I went to work for the Blytheville operation and worked as secretary/personal assistant/general flunky to the ramp manager.

During this time, the ramp manager and others took applications, interviewed and processed the people who would eventually fill all the positions to make this event come off with as few hitches as possible. As these people were hired, part of my job was to work with, via phone, the HR people in Michigan. I got to know Jan and Amy quite well as we spoke on the phone several times daily.

They and several others came to work on site the last two or three weeks of the project. It was as if I had known these two gals all my life. We became instant friends and had a lot of fun together.

When the day came to go home, everyone packed up and headed back to Michigan. Jan and her husband(he also worked on the project) took their camper they'd been living in and went back home. They also adopted a cat they took back with them. Amy left a piece of her heart here when she left. She was falling in love with one of the crew managers.

In January, the crew manager called me one day and asked if I wanted to go to Michigan. He didn't have to ask twice. We loaded up and off we went. I stayed with Jan, her husband and all the pets, while the above mentioned crew manager spent time with Amy and her family.

Next thing I know, there's been a wedding date set and it's back to Michigan for the ceremony. I flew this time and Jan and her hubby picked me up at the airport and I spent the weekend with them and we all went to the wedding.

Gee that was a long time ago. A lot has happened. A year or two later, Jan stayed with me while she worked on the Blytheville mail project. They actually called it C-Net. The next year they put her up in base housing, but we spent as much time as we could together, and my grandson and I went home with her for a few days. By this time, she and her family including in-laws had moved to Crossville, Tn.

The years have flown, and we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like, but, she's coming, and if nothing happens, will be at my house when I get home. Sure hope she has supper ready.

This is the time of year to think about people far away. It's time to remember friends and relatives we don't see often. It's time to be thankful.

Who would you like to spend some time with for the Holiday Season?

Have a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hello World!

Please say hello to my new great-neice(I'm a great-aunt, how about that?).
Her name is Claire Elizabeth. She was born December 15th, weighing in at 7'15" and 20 and 1/2 inches long.
She lives about 7 hours away, so I won't get to see her as often as I'd like, but I'm sure her grandparents(my brother and sister-in-law) will keep those pictures coming right along.
Of course, I'd love to kiss those chubby little cheeks til they were almost raw, but I'll have to save that for now.
She has the shape of her daddy's head, but I'm not quite sure who she looks like. I just know that this little girl will rule the roost at her house and at both sets of her grandparent's houses.
Congratulations to all involved, and I know Claire's daddy is happy she came before her due date in order to get that 2008 tax exemption.
Hope everyone has a great Wednesday(we're still thawing out). Pray for our country. Love one another.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last Ice Storm of 2008???

This is what it looks like out my back door. That isn't snow. It's ice. It fell in buckets in the form of sleet and freezing rain. It beat against my north window last night.

Fortunately, it was more sleet than freezing rain. The sleet falls to the ground. The freezing rain lands on the trees and power lines. Then they break. Notice how dark it is. It's well after daybreak, but there is no sun and lots of clouds.

Then there's the front yard. It looks worse than the back. My drive is competely covered with about an inch of sleet. Needless to say, I'm not getting out today. The university where I work closed yesterday at 3:00 pm, and is closed today. If they need me to do anything, it will be from home.

Since the outside is so dreary, I thought I'd throw in a pic of my nativity scene. My friend Carolyn sent it to me for Christmas last year. It's Willow Tree. I'm thinking I should get an estimate from the contractor about building a stable. He doesn't work cheap, so I don't know if I can affort it, but I think it would be really neat for him to build it.

What does it look like out your back door this morning? I know some of you have a lot more precip than I do, but this is Arkansas, and we don't usually have this, at least not until about February.

Hope you have a warm cozy Tuesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Freezing Rain and Mondays

What a combo. It isn't actually freezing rain here yet, but the temp is down to about 28, and there's definitely something coming our direction. Some of the schools to the north and west of where I work have closed for the day. They want to get the little kiddies home before the roads get slick, and that's a good idea.

There's a possibility that we'll get sent home before the day is over. I can live with that. I'd like to be able to stay home all day tomorrow, but that may not happen either.

I still have some cleaning and straightening to do at my house. I cleaned the bedroom my friend will be using when she gets here this weekend. She has clean sheets, and I cleaned the baseboards and over the doors and windows. Then I spied some dust on the ceiling fan, so I cleaned the blades and the lamps on it. It is ready for company, but that doesn't mean the rest of the house is.

When you get old and decrepit, you can't jump in and clean like you did when you were 25, which is all the more reason to keep things clean, but with me, that just isn't going to happen. So I clean a little, and rest, and clean a little and rest. Are you beginning to get the picture?

I went to church yesterday. We have such a wonderful ladies class. I always leave it feeling uplifted and like I'm a better Christian than when I first got there. We have about 30 on average, and we have all become close. There are several of us who have been in this class since our church first started meeting about 3 1/2 years ago.

What did you do this weekend?

Hope you are having a warm Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Superhero the Chef!

I mentioned a few days ago that Superhero and I were making Crockpot Taco Soup. And I also told you I'd post the recipe along with some pics of the main chef for this project.

The first requirement for this soup is, of course, a crockpot. Let me also tell you that I'm not cheap, but I'm easy. If you haven't heard of or used these liners, you don't know what you are missing. I always hated cleaning up the crockpot, but with these babies, clean up is a snap. Just gather that liner up and pitch it into the trash. Your mess is pretty much cleaned up at this point. Believe me it's worth the cost of the liners. And they aren't really that expensive.

Next is the ingredients. Since I started attempting to copy the way a certain blogger shows all the necessaries, I have found that I like doing this whether I'm working on a photo op for my blog or not. By gathering everything you will need(right down to the can opener), you know up front if you have all the ingredients(no surprises).

As you can see, there's lots of cans to this recipe. That's one of the secrets to the speed with which you can make it, that is unless you have Superhero helping. Then it takes a while no matter what. Complete recipe to follow.

The first thing was to open all the cans. I intended to open all of them and then let him empty them into the crock pot. NOT! As quickly as I could get them open, he was dumping(shaking) them into the pot. This added a bit to the cleanup.

He even got the hang of digging any that were stuck out of the can.

Next came the onions. I chopped them into big chuncks and let him use the mini food chopper to dice them up. He really likes working with 'power tools'.

Being the brave memaw that I am, I even allowed him to dump the onions into the skillet so we could saute them. Isn't he doing a great job?

He stirred them a while, but notice how far back and how long the handle is on that spoon. Didn't want the fire department knocking on the back door. You may also notice the Spiderman pj's he has on.

Next came the ground beef. I got it going really well, and then let him stir. He wanted to be involved in every aspect of this project.

But the final thing he did best was to sample. By this time he was pretty hungry even though I'd fed him a snack when we got home. He saved room for a bowl, then as soon as he was finished, off to bed he went.

Next morning, I made a pan of cornbread and took the pot, some fritos, cheese and all the other things they would need to eat in the middle of a move to the new house. The pot was full, and they had enough to eat two meals and feed a stray dog.
I promised you the recipe. Here it is. Hope you make it on a cold day and get all warm and toasty inside. And remember, this is a very versatile soup. Leave out anything you don't like and throw in some things you do. Personalize it.

Taco Soup in the Crockpot

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Princess #2's Christmas Program

We went to see P#2 perform last night. The theme was a Cowboy Christmas, so she looked wonderful in her pink cowgirl boots, denim jeans and red shirt. She was supposed to wear a western hat, but her mom had put her hair up in dog ears and her hat wouldn't fit over it.

Her mother will eventually post some pictures here, but for now you just have to take my word for the fact that she was absolutely adorable. And she was the only child without a hat.

I mentioned that to someone this morning and told them if anyone asked which child was ours, we could say, 'the one without the hat'. We would like to say the most beautiful child on stage, but that would probably offend other people who had children performing.

I took Superhero so he could see his cousin perform also. He told his dad that she was going to be the only one singing. I corrected that and said that all the children in her class would be there. Then when we got to the place where the program would be, he asked why there were so many cars, and I told him they were there for the program. He said,'they all came to hear Maddie sing?' I thought it was so cute that he thought the whole program revolved around his cousin. Which, of course, it did for us, just not everyone else.

Just gotta love those grandchildren.

Hope you are having a great day. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mary's Cheese Ball

I shared this recipe with Robbin at Cedar Chests of Dreams this morning, and thought I'd share it with everyone else.

I still have to post the Taco Soup Recipe, but there are pictures with it and since I'm having problems with my pc at home, I've got to remember to bring the pictures on my flashee thingee and post them from work.

But in the meantime, here's the cheese ball recipe that my friend Mary makes for any and every event involving food, and after you make it you will understand why it's always a welcome addition to the food table. We absolutely can't imagine a get-to-gether without it.

Mary's Cheese Ball

2 pkgs cream cheese softened
1 jar dried beef chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 small can black olives chopped
Dash of season salt
Dash of garlic salt, or 1 small clove garlic finely chopped
1 Tbsp mayonnaise

Mix everything together.

You can make it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill
You can make it into a ball, roll it in pecans, wrap it and chill
You can make it into a ball, wrap it and chill it, then when you get ready to
serve it, roll it in paprika.

Serve with any type of crackers.

Note to everyone. I basically throw everything into my food processer
and let it do all the chopping--I'm lazy that way.

Hope you are having a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Superhero is So Funny!

Superhero and I were taking a crockpot full of soup to his mom and dad for lunch. When I talked to his mother, she said they weren't there yet, but to use the garage code and we could get in.

She told me what it was and I commented to Superhero that the code must be his mother's month and year of birth.

He asked if he was born then and I told him no. He asked if he were in Heaven. I asked was that where you stayed until you were born, and he very matter-of-factly said yes, there or K-Mart.

It was hard for me to not laugh out loud. He never ceases to amaze me with the things he says.

Enjoy your Tuesday. It's wet here. The wind howled yesterday and last night and it has rained all day, but has stopped for right now.

Pray for our country. Love one another.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fridays Are Such Good Days

The thing I love about Fridays is that there are two 'stay home' days just ahead. 'Stay home' days are what my grandchildren call any day they don't have to go to school.

My son and family are moving into their new almost finished house this weekend so I'll be helping out by babysitting. Superhero is going home with me this afternoon and spending the night. This is a little guy who is excited about life. And he wants to tell you everything he's excited about. It takes very little to make him happy, and he's in a good mood 99.9% of the time.

His cousin plays his last intramural basketball game in the morning at 10:30, and we are going. But on the way, we are going to stop at the new house and drop off some food. The dropping off food thing is no big deal in itself, except that Superhero is going to help me make it tonight. He loves to help, and will take great pride in knowing that he helped make it.

We are going to make a crockpot of Taco Soup, and a pecan pie tonight, and a pan of cornbread in the morning. I also got chips and cheese to go in it. It's cold here and won't warm up much tomorrow, so I thought something hot to eat would hit the spot.

Then, if I'm not too pooped, I think we are going to put out my Nativity tonight as well. My friend Carolyn gave it to me for Christmas last year or the year before and I love it.

I'll take both grandchildren to worship on Sunday and we'll take a long nap in the afternoon.

What are you planning for the weekend?

Have a wonderful Friday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Do You Have Patience?

In our Bible class on Wednesday night and Sunday morning, we are using a book titled,'How
Shall I Be Remembered'.
The chapter we are working on at the present time is 'Patience'. The first thing the teacher asked us was are we patient? Then we discussed that the one we should be most patient with is God, since he's the most patient with us.

I think we are all guilty in our prayer life of asking God to do things in our time frame and then saying Your will not mine, as an after thought. Let's face it--when I want something, I really want it now, not when God sees fit to bless me with it.

We talked about God's patience with the children of Israel. And how His patience finally wore out. We know what will happen when it wears out next time! Won't be water or captivity we have to endure. We talked about Noah's patience, and how he was allowed to live because of it.

Needless to say, it got me to thinking about my lack of patience. I had always considered myself a patient person, unless maybe it was when my kids or grandkids took their own sweet time about doing something I had told them to do. But I realized the patience I have with people doesn't aways extend to God. Definitely got to work on that one.

Are you patient?

Have a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Comment by Blogger Got Me Thinking

It takes a lot to get me thinking these days. Daughter#1 says I have Mad Cow like Denny Crane on Boston Legal. And a comment by someone may take 24 hours before I have a response.

But one of the blogs I read had a comment about being banned from a site. She had been commenting on the site and even ordering from them, but suddenly she was blocked.

So I got to trying to remember if I'd ever been banned from anyplace or asked to leave for any reason.

I couldn't remember ever being thrown out of anyplace, but while I was pondering this, I had another one of those memory triggers about an incident that happened when Daughter#1 was about 10, so we're talking many years ago, but I thought I'd share it with you. Maybe it will trigger a similar memory from your past or at least bring a smile to your face.

I was getting Daughter#1 ready to go to camp. I had taken her and one of her friends to a fabric store to buy material to make her some shorty pajamas to take on the trip. The fabric store was a fairly large one, and was quite busy. The girls stayed with me until we picked the pj material, and then left my side to do their own thing.

I have no idea what caused them to get tickled, but they did. They weren't being loud, and were actually trying to supress it, but try as they may, they just couldn't. I soon realized that the giggles I was hearing was indeed coming from my girls, and as I waited to get my fabric cut and paid for, I began shushing them. As you can imagine with two girls, this only made matters worse.

But the funny thing was that slowly but surely, everyone in the store began to laugh and giggle as well. I think since the girls weren't overly loud or obnoxious, they simply infected everyone in the store with their laughter and fun.

The more I thought about it as we left the store, the funnier it got to me as well. We laughed about it all the way home.

When I was in the store the next time, the owner said that was the cutest thing she'd seen in a while. She commented about how everyone was in such a good mood after we left. That touched me that the girls had touched them. Indeed, laughter is infectious.

Have you got any memories that you think about once in a blue moon? If so, share them.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Pray for our Country. Love one another.

PS. My friend Mary is doing much better this morning. I spoke with her a few minutes ago, and she is already wanting to go home. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Now You See Me

I've finally added a picture to my blog. I know everyone has been interested in seeing just how much I actually look like an actress, and I know you will all be envious of my beautiful slim, trim, toned body.

Yeah, right!!! Believe me when I tell you that at no time in my life have I ever been told I look even remotely like any actress. And not since the birth of my 1st child have I ever felt slim, trim or toned.

Now that I'm getting older(ugh!), I'm finding that it is very important to at least attempt to watch what you eat and how much exercise you get.

We are doing a 'maintain, don't gain' thing here at work, so some of us went over and weighed in before the Thanksgiving holiday, and then we weigh again after we come back on the 5th of January. We are supposed to not gain more than TWO pounds. I don't know if we win anything or not, but if we can at least maintain, we will ultimately have won.

One of my best friends in the whole wide world is going to surgery today. She's a breast cancer survivor from about 2002. A recent mammogram showed it had returned. She had planned to have both breasts removed after Christmas because of the genetic predisposition her family has to this horrible disease, but decided to go ahead now. She had the initial procedure done before Thanksgiving and everything seemed to be going along fine. Don't tell her I said this, but she usually has the constitution of a plow horse. However, this time, she has gotten an infection and had to go back to the hospital. About 10:30 or so, they are going in to clean out one of the incisions where the infection has decided to take up residence.

When you read this, please say a little prayer for Mary. She is such a dear sweet friend, who actually likes to boss me around.

Who likes to be your boss--the one who doesn't get paid to be?

Please enjoy this day. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Falling Off The Radar

Talk about falling off of something, I guess I have. I was off all last week, and barely touched the computer. Not only did I not post, I didn't even read any blogs.

I spent last week doing nothing part of the time, playing with grandchildren part of the time, and cooking the rest, oh and eating too, I might add.

I heard from some of my blog friends that the Crockpot dressing turned out really well. My family would probably refuse to eat anything else - at least at my house.

I fed my oldest daughter and her oldest son on Thursday. Made his pumpkin pie that he took home with him. And then fed all three children and almost all of their families on Saturday. Here's what we had to eat: Turkey, cp dressing, PW's cranberry sauce and the regular canned stuff, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans with tomatoes and onions. I didn't cook quite as much as usual. I think I'm trimming down the trimmings. I didn't make a single casserole this year. I did make a yummy pumpkin cheesecake and a pecan pie. My crust on the cheesecake wasn't as good as I would have liked, but I know why, so I won't do that again. I'll do it right next time. I need to learn that my kitchen is not a test laboratory.

The smartest thing I did was to buy some of those throw-a-way food containers and sent leftovers home with everyone. That way, I don't have a fridg full of food to eat myself.

But then it was back to work this morning. Fortunately, we get off two weeks at Christmas. I'm looking forward to that. Maybe during that time, I'll get my sewing room straightened out, and the fridg I bought from my kids moved in and my bathroom repainted and a lot of other things I need to get done.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was truly blessed.

Hope you are having a great Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crockpot Dressing

I have had a couple of folks ask for the crockpot dressing recipe. And just who am I not to share. Here it is with no pictures, no frills, just the recipe. Hope, if you make it, you enjoy it as much as my family does. I even gave it to my daughter's mother-in-law and now she's the official dressing officionado in their family. Wonder, if since it came from Ryan's magazine, I should call it Ryan's Crockpot Dressing--naa, think I'll take credit.

Shirley's Crockpot Dressing.

1 – 8” pan cooked cornbread
8 slices day old bread
4 eggs
1 medium onion chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
1 ½ Tablespoons sage
1 Teaspoon salt
½ Teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons butter.

Crumble breads and add all ingredients except margarine. Pour into crockpot and dot with butter. Cook on high 3 hours or low 3 to 4 hours. Stir half way through.

If I cook a chicken to put in it, I use 32 ounces of my chicken broth. I also heat the broth. It seems to help with the mixing of the breads. If I use hot broth, I wait until I’ve put in the other ingredients so as not to cook them.

I also cook my onion in my cornbread. My bunch doesn’t like to find pieces of onion, and if they cook in the cornbread and then a bit more in the dressing, you can’t find them.

Sometimes, I boil 3 or 4 eggs and cut them up in the dressing.

I also splurge and buy those crockpot cooking bags. Makes cleanup a snap.

I also think if you wanted to, you could put this dressing in the oven and bake it for an hour or so at 350 degrees. It makes a very moist dressing, and everyone that has eaten it likes it.

The other thing I made this weekend is Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread. It was delish. It's on her blog.

Memory Triggers

Isn't it interesting what will trigger a memory? I have had one this morning and thought I'd tell you about it.
But first I thought I'd show you who 'spended the night' last night with his Memaw. Superhero is supposed to get school pictures made today, so I took this one so his mother would know he looked good when I left him this morning. And don't pay attention to the things on the couch. Daughter #1 has already commented about the clutter.
Back to my memory trigger.

I have been making crockpot dressing for several years--seven or eight. I use this one recipe that is in a Rural Arkansas magazine. I was a Rural electric customer for several years and thought this magazine to be one I had gotten over that period of time.

I brought the magazine to work to type it into an email for a friend, and just happened to look at the date(wondering just how long I had it). The date was December 2000.

But that wasn't the strangest thing or did that in itself trigger a memory. It was the name and address of the person on the front.

First, it was the name of a young man I worked with at the time, which is the puzzle. How or why did I get this magazine from him?

I immediately went down the hall to the other gal that I worked with at the time. We had a good laugh. She couldn't imagine why I would have something with his name on it either. Needless to say, we talked about him and wondered where he is or what he's doing.
He was our famous Coon Hunter, and even took some of the guys in the office on a coon hunt. He raised champion coon dogs, and was always going off somewhere to a competition. It wasn't unusual for him to come in the morning with no sleep because his dog had treed and wouldn't leave, or he would lose the dog and spend hours looking for it.

This young man was young enough to be my son. But even though I was the old woman in the group, he was very good to me and treated me as an equal. His name is Ryan, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

Who has come to your mind lately that you haven't thought about in a long time? Someone you haven't see or heard from or may never hear from again. People come and go in our lives. Some burrow deep into your heart, then move on. They don't leave a scar on your heart when they leave, just a soft spot.

Hope you are having a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Out of the Mood!

Yes, I am out of the mood. I'm out of the mood to sew. I'm out of the mood to smock. I'm out of the mood to cook. I'm out of the mood to clean. Do you see a pattern here?

Actually what I'd really like to do is sleep. Yes, that's what I really want to do. Unfortunately, that's not possible. My employer just doesn't think I should sleep on company time.

My friend Mary is having surgery today. I'd really like to be with her, but she didn't want anyone there except immediate family, and I'm respecting her wishes. She said I could come see her when she gets home on Friday. And you can bet I'll do just that.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Attend Bible study tonight. Pray for our country, and by all means, love one another.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home From The Hills

Five of us left Friday at noon for the weekend. Mary, Linda, Mona, Ellen and Shirley. We stopped at a Squat & Gobble on the way. Isn't that a cute way to say we had a potty break and got a bite to eat? We arrived at our destination about 4:30 just as it was beginning to get dark.

We unloaded, decided where we were going to sleep, and started our evening meal. Then it was on to serious business---Shanghi!! Funny thing was, we knew just enough of the rules to be dangerous. Like that had ever stopped us before. I think every hand had at least one rule change. But that was ok. We had fun. We ate Taco soup, PW's olive cheese bread, spinach dip, pimento cheese, dried beef cheese ball and a another dip that was really good, but I don't know the name of it.
But then trouble set in on Saturday morning. When we turned on the coffee pot, something popped near the furnace, and our electricity came and went, dimmed and got bright.
The picture at the left is of Ellen. She is the coldest natured one of the group. She got cold in a hurry. She has on pajamas, a fleece hooded housecoat, her gloves and has a quilt wrapped around her. And as you will notice, no amount of cold could keep her from playing cards.

After a call to an Electric company, we were told that the problem was with the Power company. We called them. When they came they told us it wasn't the power company's side that was causing the problem, it was the meter box. Mary and Linda went to Lowe's or Home Depot, boughtt what we needed, and the man from the power company fixed it.
While the problem was being fixed, we gals went to Colton's to eat, and several stores for some heavy shopping.

As you can see by the pictures, the color was pretty much gone from the landscape, but we didn't really care. We got back between 5 and 6 last night. It did us all a world of good to get away for a couple of days. It would have been nice if it had been longer.

Oh, and a special thanks to Laura from my cuttings. They were between the door and storm door when I got home last night. They were still good and wet from the toweling and the foil keep the tube from getting wet.
I put them down in a fruit jar about half full of water, and left them sitting on the counter this morning, but I'll put a check in the mail this afternoon for postage and handling.
I hope everyone had a great weekend.
Have go wonderful Monday, Pray for our country. Love one another.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Mid November Friday

It's Friday, it's Fall, and I have a great weekend planned. There's nothing more relaxing that being on the lake in the fall. The weather is crisp, the summer campers have put away their gear and are back home playing basketball. The trees are absolutely gorgeous and the wind rustles the drying leaves.

I love this time of year. Partly because of the fall colors, but mostly because I can go outside and not immediately break into a sweat. You thought I was going to say something profound didn't you? Not today. The fall is all about me and my creature comforts.

But what you really want to hear about is the Conasta party last night. First things first--the food was excellent--Jennifer, you outdid yourself. We had taco soup, taco salads, salsa, cheese dip, pecan pie(still warm, I might add-thank you Karen,) pralines, brownies and two types of cake.

Of course we ate until we were past miserable. Then on to playing cards. Now we've been playing cards for 20 some odd years. So you think we'd have learned by now how to read a tally card. Well, I've got news for you. We all had problems figuring out what table we were supposed to play at, and who our partner was supposed to be. And you know, the longer it took us to figure that out, the funnier it got. We decided that once we get to the nursing home, the aids that roll us to the card table will figure it out for us.

The funny thing is the conversations. When we first played it was about having our babies, midnight feedings, and colic. Then we moved on to teething, walking and talking. Soon we were on to pre-school. Next school and all that went with grades, teachers, social events, etc. Now it's what aches and pains we have. What illness we've developed and what medicine we are taking and how it affects us. We've all gotten bigger around the middle so diets or lack therof is also a topic of conversation.

But the most important now is grandchildren. We only have one gal who got a late start having her children, that doesn't have grandchildren. She has two in college, so she's got a while yet. And what a topic that is. One thing I noticed last night, Jennifer has a strong sense of family. And one table in particular has always held pictures of her dad, mom and grandparents. Lots of old pictures. Not any more. Those have all been changed and now hold baby pictures. She has 5, the oldest being in pre-K or 1st grade down to one that is only about a year old. We all love us some grandbabies.

We had a great time as usual. The best part is the fellowship and catching up with each other. I only get to see some of the gals once a month, so it's good to hear about what is going on in everyone's family.

I hope you have a great weekend planned. If you've got something special going on, share it with me.

Have a wonderful Friday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Ramblings

These three beautiful quilts are being given away over at The Old Red Barn Go over and visit and get in the giveaway. I'm entering. The deadline is November 17th. Go get your name in the pot.

We had rain here all day yesterday. Not a downpour, nor a need for a boat, just a slow steady drizzle that looked really cold from your window, but in fact was fairly warm. I wore a light jacket at lunch, and when I got back I was warm enough that I turned on my little fan here in my office.

Then after church some dry air had moved in and it was like walking into the twilight zone. I think you could have cut it with a knife. The funny think I noticed was that even though you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you, when you looked up, you could see the moon. Eerie indeed.

We have a saying here in Arkansas, 'If you don't like the weather, stay around for a few hours and it will change'. It may be freezing one day, and warm enough to run aruond in your shirt sleeves the next. Snow never last more than a few days, and a road can be so covered in ice that you can't get to work, and by noon the roads be clear.

We rarely see a white Christmas, with most of our really cold weather coming in January and February.

I've begun to notice that people are decorating for Christmas already. My neighbor two doors up have their porch posts decked out with multi color lights. The radio station is playing carols. I heard that Santa will make his arrival at the mall on Friday. Guess I need to go get my picture made with him, and tell him what I want. Only problem is, that if I sat on his lap, he would probably be crushed. Oh well, it's a short list anyway, maybe I could just hover.

It's that time of the month again. You know when we play canasta. I am already thinking about what we will have to eat. We're playing at Jennifer's house, and she always has a nice spread for us to eat. If her husband is home, he'll get in on the fixins. He's a good cook too, so we always look forward to what he has made.

Then tomorrow afternoon, a group of us gals are going to the lake for the weekend. A girl's get-a-way. It's supposed to be pretty. There is supposed to be a nip in the air, but that will be fine. I'm taking my camera so I should have some pictures of our trip.

What great plans do you have for the weekend?
Hope you have a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is a day we give special thanks to the men and women who have helped to keep our country free. We all take freedom for granted, just as we take so many things for granted, but then that's a subject for another post.

I have added pictures of my two favorite veterans. My dad, William Lawrence Alumbaugh, joined the army about 1939, and was building a runway in Alaska when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Soon after, he was shipped out to France. He has 4 bronze stars for the 4 major campaigns in which he was involved, and in the picture here he has another medal of some sort that I don't recognize. If anyone does know what it is, I'd love for you to share. In fact, I don't know what the buttons on the lapel are for either. He knew of course, but he didn't talk about his service much as so many didn't. I do know he was in an engineering batalion and much of their job was to go in and rebuild. He did talk about building bridges, hospitals and schools. He talked about the kids they saw everywhere. He was wounded somewhere in Germany, but never recieved a purple heart. I don't think he felt he deserved it.

He came home from the war, married my mother, raised three children and died in his late 70's from the asbestos he was exposed to during all the re-building they did.

The second veteran of whom I'm so proud is my mother's dad. Edward Franklin Zeiger. I don't know a lot about his service. He also saw action in Germany, and was wounded. His wounds were severe enough that he had what he called a 'service connected disability', and raised 9 children with the money he received each month during the Depression(that and the moon shine he made).

Like my dad he didn't talk about the carnage, but when the two of them were together, they talked about the country and the places they saw. I always thought it interesting that they were in several of the same places.

It gives me chills to think about the horrible things they saw, the death and destruction. I think about how it could have made them crazy if they thought about it very much. But they were tough. They didn't leave easy lives when they went to war. Neither of them grew up in the lap of luxury. I know very little of my grandfather's childhood, except that they lived off the land they had been given. Land that was in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Land that had more rocks than dirt, and was difficult to make a living from.

My dad, on the other hand was left at the age of 15 with a mother and 4 siblings to care for when his father died. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corp to earn money as soon as he was old enough, with the next step being joining the army.

These two men went from one hard life experience to another, and made the best of what they had. Both were respected in their communities, and are today sharing those stories in Heaven while they look down on us as we salute them for all they gave to us through their service to our country.

I hope you remember the veterans in your life today, and that you are also proud of the service men and women who are watching out for us in foreign fields today.

Have a great Tuesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Monday and It's Going to Rain

We had a cool, but beautiful weekend. I even vacuumed my vehicle on the inside and washed the inside of the windshield. I also took the two 4 year old grandchildren to watch their 11 year old cousin play basketball. After that it was nap time.

Then of course, it was time to come back to work on this Monday morning. Cloudy and overcast make 40 degrees feel much colder than 40 and sunshine. We've already had a couple of frosts and as you can imagine, the trees have been beautiful. I really had good intentions of taking some pictures of some of them, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

I don't know if it's the weather or if I slept wrong last night, but my head has hurt all day, and when I move my neck just right, it pops. Guess the chiropractor will fix that today when I go in. He has helped my back tremendously, which is the reason I was able to clean up my vehicle Saturday.

What did you accomplish this weekend?

Hope everyone is having a great Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What Do You Watch On TV?

I've had a rude awakening this week. Well, maybe not rude, but interesting. I got a call a couple of weeks ago from the Nielson TV Ratings group asking me if I watched TV and how many TV's I had in my house.

After politely answering their questions, they asked if I would keep a diary for each TV, and I said yes. I got them in the mail, and kept track of what I watched.

If TV is supposed to be entertaining, I'm in the right place. If it is supposed to be informative, I'm really behind. If it is supposed to be educational, I've fallen into a pit I can't get out of.

One thing I noticed is that I watch none of the new programs on TV, with the exception of Huckabee on Fox. I do watch Fox and Friends while I'm getting ready for work, but the rest of the time, I watch things that have no value. Most of what I watch are either TV Land stuff, like Mash, The Beverly Hillbillies, 3rd Rock from Sun.

My other favorite channel is AMC, where I get my John Wayne fix every week. And I get a few movies on USA.

I really thought I was deeper than that, or maybe I just find that I don't have to see so much sex and naked bodies in the old programs. Except for Dancing with the Stars. I can remember when my mother wouldn't let us watch Red Skelton(I'm dating myself here) because his show was 'dirty'. By today's standards, he's clean as a whistle.

How do you lean on programming. Do you watch things that have to have words bleeped to be on. Or do you go with the safer programs on TVLand?

Have a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Era

We as Americans have made history. Regardless of who you voted for-or against, a new chapter is now being written. We will soon install our first African American President.

It is now time to unite and work toward the common good. Our first and foremost thing to do is to begin to pray. Pray for our leaders, pray for our country and it's citizens. Pray for those who are trying to do good, and especially pray for the change of heart of any who would cause harm. Harm in a financial way, harm in a physical way.

In the coming days you will see and hear people who will be the voice of gloom and doom and will probably have lots of ugly things to say about the new administration. To those people, please say that even if you don't respect the people, respect the offices they hold. Please don't spew hatred and discontent or allow others to do so.

More than ever, we have to band together. There were things I didn't like about either candidate. I would have been worried about what will transpire in the next four years if either man had been elected. But we as Christians need to work especially hard to fight the good fight and to keep the faith.

I've been thinking lately about the Children of Israel. Over and over they turned away from God or grumbled at what He did for them. They wandered in the wilderness 40 years, and in such a small area of the world, you'd think someone would have found the way out, or that someone would have thought to bring a map. But then it wouldn't have made a difference since God wanted them to wander as punishment.

Then there was the Babylonian captivity which lasted about 500 years-punishment. And finally the twelve tribes were scattered throughout the world- again punishment.

I may be wrong, but I don't remember anyplace in the Bible that says God won't punish us for turning our backs on him. And isn't that what we've done? We've allowed Him to be removed from our schools. We've allowed him to be removed from our government buildings. If we don't do something, our motto 'In God We Trust' will soon be removed from our currency.

Let's just say, for argument's sake, that He does turn away from us for all the things that are transpiring, can you imagine what the future will be like? What if He were to leave us for 40 years, or 500 as punishment? What a terribly frightening thought is that?

I don't really think God will turn His back on those of us trying to live according to His will. That's the reason Jesus died on the cross. But I worry that we as Christians are not fighting hard enough to keep others from infringing on our Christian values and rights.

Are we doing all we can? Are we doing the best we can in His name?

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Pray for our country. Pray for our soldiers. Pray for peace. Love one another.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Huckabee and Richard Dreyfuss

I watched Mike Huckabee's program last night. He had Richard Dreyfuss on and I'm not sure I agree with everything he had to say last night, however; what he had to say about what people know about our government and how it is set up and runs made a lot of sense.

I know for a fact I don't know enough about who does what. I know that in the event something happens to the president, the vice president takes over. If something happens to the vice president, then the speaker of the house is next in line.

I know there are 100 US senators, 2 from each state, and the house representatives are determined by populations of states.

But we need to know more. It may have been Huckabee that said our people don't know what makes our government run, but other countries do and that's the reason they want to come here. I had one year of government in high school. I've forgotten much of it.

We all take for granted what we have here. Perhaps we should not only study our government, but we should also study the governments of other countries. Then we might have more respect for ours and the advantages and liberties we have.

By the grace of God we born Americans are here. We have no idea the struggles others have endured to make it to our shores.

We should all find, purchase and read a book about the workings of our judicial system.

I'll get off my soapbox now. Hope you are having a good Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Today our nation will make history. It is expected that the largest number of registered voters in our history will turn out to vote. Possibly tomorrow, we will have a new president. The news says it may be a few days before we know, and my brother thinks it may be the end of the year before we know.

I voted almost two weeks ago and thought then I could stop listening to all the politics on TV. Not so. If anything, I've gotten even deeper in. I can't just turn on the TV without watching Fox, CNBC, CNN and anyother piece of news I can find about what is happening.

Will we have our first African American President, or will we have a new Republican President? I fear some of what each of them have to say.

What happens if we have four more years of Republican rule. I realize the President in most cases is just the fellow who signs or rejects legislation. If Obama is elected with a democratically controlled house, most things may be signed into law. If McCain is elected it will continually be a fight to get anything passed.

What do we do? Do we vote for one of these two men, or do we vote against one of them. My ballot is cast, and I have to say I voted against one of the candidates. Whether my vote will count for much, I can't say, but at least I have the opportunity to vote. This is something not everyone has.

If you haven't voted already, I encourage each of you--challenge each of you to get out and vote your conscience. It's one of our privileges.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween Bowling Try this little game if you have time and your boss doesn't catch you.

Hope your day if filled with spooks, goblins and ghosts. Hope you have plenty of candy to give to your little trick-or-treaters. Hope you don't get any tricks played on you.

This is one of my little spooks. She doesn't much like having anything on her head, but her mama said she left it on this morning. I'd love to go by the daycare and see them all. I know they are cute.

I'm still trying to get over a sinus infection, so I think I'm going to go home, have some chicken soup, turn out all the lights and go to bed. I do believe I am some better, it's just that with me they tend to hang on for months instead of days. My last one started last November and stayed with me until June.

Have a good day, remember it's Friday. Pray for our country and the outcome of this election, and love one another.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Losing Time

Not to be confused with wasting time. I do that way too much, but yesterday I lost an hour. It was really strange the way it happened. I have a VCR in my bedroom that has a lighted front with the time showing. I use this lit clock during the night when I wake up. I can just look at it and know what time it is without having to turn on a light and disturb anyone else(oh wait! there isn't anyone else).

When I went to bed Monday night, I noticed that my battery operated alarm clock had the wrong time. Sometimes when it gets dropped, it resets itself, so I set the time and alarm by the clock on the VCR.

Tuesday morning, I got up, got ready for work and left at what I thought was 7:15. When I got to work, I was a bit puzzled because I'm usually one of the first at work, but everyone was here. When I looked at the clock on my computer, I realized I was an hour late. I told everyone that it was 7:15 when I left home but almost 9 when I arrived at work and I only stopped at SuperD for a minute. I must have gone through a time warp.

It is the funniest feeling to know something in your own mind, but something else to be true. I think I know how people with alzhiemers and dementia feel. My friend Carolyn suggested I might need some Aricept(thanks for that vote of confidence CP). But I felt funny all day. The worst part of this whole thing is that there is one clock in every room of my house, and some have two. Did I look at any of them while I was getting ready? Evidently not. In my defense, however, unless I looked closely or at a digital clock, I probably wouldn't have noticed the difference since I was exactly 1 hour off.

I blame this not noticing the position of the hour hand on the fact that I was in about the 7th grade before I could tell time anyway. Being the youngest child in my class didn't necessarily help back then.

However, as I was discussing this with one of my co-workers this morning, it dawned on us about the same time that the VCR has a function that adjusts for Daylight Savings
Time and resets itself. If I'm not mistaken, we were supposed to have made that change last weekend, but it got put off. I suddenly felt better. And now all is right with the world--well, maybe not all, but some.

Has anything almost unexplainable happened to you lately? If so share.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Attend Bible Study tonight. Pray for our country and love one another.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

Does thinking about times, places, events and just about anything else trigger a line from a song? As I though about how cold it is here this morning, the line from a song immediately came to mind.

It is cold here this morning. We had a freeze warning last night. I don't know if it actually got that cold, but I did hear my heat kick on a time or two during the night. The temperature all around us is in the 30's, and the high is supposed to hit 64. A cold front now means put on more clothes where as a month or so ago it meant there might be a cool breeze for a change.

If you are going out today, be sure to at least put on a sweater. As for myself, I have a sinus infection(seems to be the story of my life)so I'm staying home today. I started on anti-biotics Friday, and hopefully, they'll kick in soon. The last one I had lasted almost 5 months, with at least that many rounds of medicine, and finally a trip to an ear nose and throat dr who put me on Leviquin for 3 weeks. I've felt pretty good all summer, but looks like it's going to start up again. I don't know if this is just something I'm prone to do, or if my resistance is low. I've also started on Ester-C and vitamins again. When I feel good, I tend to forget about them.

I think I'm going back to bed for a while.

Hope you are having a great Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nights in Rodanthe

I told you yesterday I was going to the movie last night to see Nights in Rodanthe. And I also told you I'd give my opinion here.

I read this book probably 2 maybe 3 years ago and absolutely loved it. I thought it was a good story plot and very well written. I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks and have most of his books. The other books that have been made into movies(Message In a Bottle, The Notebook, The Wedding and A Walk to Remember) have all been great, and I thought stayed true to the book. I understand you have to have some fill in stuff, like memories of things that happened to bring the character to this point in life, and that's ok.

I also thought that by now, Sparks had made enough money that he wouldn't allow anyone to re-write his characters, along with where and how they fit into the story line. Obviously, I was wrong. Some of the people are missing, others have been added. The story line changed, not for the better.

My friend to my left had just re-read the book, so she was up on all the twists and turns. She immediately began pointing out the differences in the book and the movie. I won't tell you about the plot changes in the event you haven't read the book, and are planning to see the movie.

I'll allow you to read the book so you can spot the changes for yourself. It left me feeling sad for what had been done to such a good book. It was still a chick flick, girl loses boy, boy wants to come back, girl finds new boy, yada, yada, yada.

I found many of the scenes awkard with no flow, rhyme or reason. Oh yeah, and the beach house reminded me of the houses in Popeye. Everytime I saw the house, the song to Popeye came into mind.

There was some really good music in the movie. Diane Lane has had better material(Remember, Under The Tuscan Sun? and Unfaithful, the movie she was in with Richard Gere where she was an unfaithful wife?)

She was also in Lonesome Dove, which I'd totally forgotten about until I googled her.

And with that I will end my diatribe and move on.

Have you read any of Mary Kay Andrews' books? I'm reading my third one--Savannah Blues, I've read Itty Bitty Lies and Savannah Breeze. They take some pretty interesting twists and are funny at the same time.

What have you looked forward to for some time, and then was disappointed about? Happens to me all the time. Like the Pumpkin Patch, and other things that I think will be fun for the kids or me, only to be let down.

I am looking forward to spending the weekend with he gang up at the lake in a few weeks. The tourists will be gone and we'll have the place to ourselves. One of the girls and her family owns it. Thing is, I know I won't be disappointed when we go, we always have a good time when we're together.

Hope you are having the Friday you wished for. Pray for our country, and love one another.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring and I Wish I was Snoring!

Oh, how I wished I could have stayed home in bed this morning. When I got up, I could hear the rain on the vent pipe for the water heater in the laundry room.

I opened the front door and saw it was raining that slow rain that we love to have in the summer, but it looked cold, like it does in the winter. I think the high today will be in the upper 50's. The rain is supposed to move out around lunch.

When I look at the rain, I wonder what kind of winter we will have. I hate wearing coats, and fortunately I only walk a few steps to the building in which I work, so a heavy coat is usually not necessary. And in this part of the country, it may be pretty cold in the morning, but by noon, you have to start shedding some of those warm clothes.

It's unusual for me to even wear turtlenecks with long sleeves. But, I look forward to the cold nights when I can bundle up, turn the heat down and snuggle under the covers with a good book.

We are going to see 'Night's in Rodanthe' tonight in honor of Janet's 60th birthday. I've read the book and will offer a review of how I think the movie compares to the book. I absolutely loved the book. But then I'm a fan of Nicholas Sparks(The Notebook, Bend In the Road, Message in a Bottle)

How is your day going? Did you have to get up and go to work or get to stay home and have coffee?

Have a fab Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Butter

I read several other blogs. Many of them have recipes with step by step instructions. While I'm sitting at my desk at work, I think how much fun it would be to make some of them at home. This is not withstanding the fact that by the time I get home, I'm pretty tired and the most strenuous activity I want to do is to eat and hold down my recliner while channel surfing(which, by the way, should be an olympic event) . At any rate, a week or so ago, Suzanne

from Chickens in the Road had been making Pumpkin Butter. Not to be outdone by her, I decided that I, too could make Pumpkin Butter. As you can see by the first picture, I used 4 pie pumpkins. The second picture after they had baked until fork tender.

They weren't too hard to cut into slices, and remove the seeds(which I saved for roasting--more on that later), then after they were fork tender, I removed the peelings, and pureed the fruit. I put it in my big Vison's Dutch Oven(don't have one of those fancy ones Pioneer Woman gives away) added all the ingredients and cooked it for 30 minutes stirring constantly(someone needs to invent a self-stirring pot). By the time I finished this task, my back was hurting and my arms were very tired.

And I ended up with 9 half pints of the butter(you only see 8 in the picture, by the time I made the picture, I'd already given one jar away, it was still warm). By the time I had filled each jar, all I had left was some on the spoon, so I licked that off. I decided it had a bit too much cloves for my taste, but I may feel different when I put it along with some butter on a hot biscuit. I have given two jars away, and have another one in a birthday gift for my friend Janet who turned 60 on Monday(I'm sure she'll just love knowing I've told the whole world how old she is).

I don't think I'll make any more. Although I did think about makeing some Sweet Potato Butter, using the same recipe except substituting sweet potatoes for the pumpkin, but then I really need those for Thanksgiving, and I might not be given any more.

My pumpkin butter was expensive to make. I paid over $6 for a dozen jars with lids. My pumpkins along with the apple cider ran a bit over $9, and I used sugar along with the spices which I aleady had. So, I probably won't make it again, unless sometime this winter I open a jar and fall head over heels in love with the stuff.

Oh and those seeds I roasted. I coated them in extra virgin olive oil, spread them on a cookie sheet and sprinkled them with just a bit of salt. Roasted them til they were a pretty shade of brown, let them cool, and they were awful. I trashed them.

I did save a few to plant in the event we have a garden next year. I should have access to a freezer, and can make Pumpkin Puree so we can have pumpkin pie next year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My oldest grandson loves pumpkin pie.

Do you try recipes only to find them either too difficult or they take too much time. Even I know the only real 30 minute meal is a sandwich and some chips. Isn't life a lot like trying new recipes. Often new things take longer than we feel we have time to devote, or they are just too much trouble. We tend to fall back to things that are familiar and easy. Just don't want to get out of that comfort zone.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Don't forget Bible Study tonight, and pray for our country. Don't forget to vote. But most of all, love one another.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Riley's Birthday Dress

Princess #2, aka Riley was six on October 11th, but due to circumstances I couldn't controll, didn't get to have her birthday party until this past Saturday. This is the corduroy jumper that I made for her. I would never have made it up trimmed in black, but that's what her mother wanted, so that's what I did, being the wonderful grandmother than I am. It turned out much better than I thought it would. Smocking on corduroy is difficult. I don't like using thimbles, so I have to do it in bits, so it took a while to get it done. I got her a black roundneck longsleeve pullover to wear under it. I hope it fits and she gets to wear it a lot. I put a lot of work into it, making the piping for everything takes a lot of time and then putting it in takes more. But it really adds to the dress. Happy 6th birthday Princess. I know you had a good time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friendship Questionnaire

As you can see on my left sidebar, I have a new award. It was given me by LisaJ at

It also has some friendship questions for me to answer. Here they are:

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood? I have 4 of my childhood friends that I'm very close to, Carolyn, Mary, Janet and Mona. We grew up together, raised children together, and are sharing grandchildren stories together now.

2. What do you value most about your friends? They love me warts and all and I them. They've seen me through some pretty tough times. Divorce, and a near death illness. We travel together, play games together, but most of all we laugh a lot--and I mean a lot.

3. Are your friends your sounding boards? Yes, I vent to them, and I try to be their sounding board as well. You can't live as long as we have and not had some burdens to bear, and we try to help each other carry them.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends? Just being together. We are all comfortable together. We don't judge each other, and we can truly be ourselves together. We also like playing Uno with the crazy machine that spits cards out at you.

I read the questions above to all fall along with the first one, that being childhood friends. However, they are not my only friends. We all have friends who come and go. The love you have for them lasts a lifetime; they leave a footprint on your heart. But I have a lot of friends with whom I'm close to at this time in my life.

There's Pat and Ellen who have become part of the 'gang'. We've all been on some crazy trips together. It was with these two that we played our first game of Uno Attack at a small house we rented on the lake a few years back. That was such fun. I think of the times we spent digging through antique stores in Hardy, and how much fun that was. The cruise we took one year just a couple of weeks before Christmas. The trips we've made to So Texas to see Carolyn. Needless to say, the seven of us have had a great time.

I have friends at church, Jamie is the first to come to mind. We've known each other a long time, but we love to sit together and visit(oops there's that talking problem again). She keeps me up on who is sick(she knows tons more people than I do) and what is going on. The ladies in our class, I don't have a personal relationship with, but I feel that I can tell them anything and along with our work, we have a great time.

Here at work there are friends too. Sara, Tonya, Deanna, Teresa--what can I say, I couldn't get through the day without them. They are smart, funny and caring. We help each other(ok, so they help me more than I help them). We laugh together, vent to each other and make being at work much more pleasant.

I am also blessed with two sisters-in-law that I can also call friends, Katherine and Joni. They are sweet precious people with whom I always have great times. We all share a sense of humor especially about our family that is great.

And don't let me forget all my blog friends. Naming them would be impossible and you all know who you are. I love reading about your families, although, I must confess, I get some of them confused. They are like visiting relatives at a family reunion. You can't remember which kids belong to which cousin. But I love you all.

A special thanks to LisaJ for the award. These qustions help remind me of how blessed I am to have so many people who have touched my life in such good ways.

Who has blessed you by being your friend for a day, a year or a lifetime? Tell me about a special friend you have, just try not to make me cry. It makes the people at work think something is wrong when they see me sitting at my desk crying.

I Proved It Yesterday

Yes, blog friends, I proved yesterday that I can say more about nothing than anyone you've ever seen.

I've always been a talker. I'm the youngest of my graduating class. I started to school when I was 5 and we didn't have kindergarten. You might think I did this because I was so smart, ha! Let me set the record straight on that one right here and now. I wasn't any smarter than the average 5 year old.

I have known for some time why my mother started me to school at the tender young age of 5. It was because she was tired of listening to me talk all the time. I also think that was probably the thing I got into trouble for most at school.

When I was a little girl between the third and fourth grade(probably 8), my family(mom, dad, my older brother and my new baby brother and my dad's sister's family) all went to see one of dad's uncles and aunt. They lived about a hundred miles and we all made the trip and stayed three or four days. It was quite exciting to take this trip. One of the things was that my older brother and I had to ride in the back of the truck all the way as did my cousins in the other truck, but I digress.

When we got there, other family members began to gather in. There were cousins I'd never seen before, and evidently we had a lot of lost time to make up. The first night we all went to bed--all us kids were on pallets on the floor, and I was so excited to find these long lost relatives that I just couldn't stop talking. My dad finally got up, took me outside and spanked me. I guess that was a mood breaker, because we all went to sleep.

Many years later, I had taken my children to the lake not too far from where these relatives lived, so one afternoon, we drove over and visited. I'll never forget one thing my great-uncle said when we visited that day. He said he'd never known one little girl could talk so much. I didn't take offense. I thought it was funny, and in truth, if he hadn't relayed the story, I couldn't have told it here, because I didn't really remember it all. Oh, I remembered the trip, and I remember the spanking--which probably hurt my pride much more than my behind, but I didn't remember that it all was because of my inability to shut my mouth.

Well guess what. I still find it hard to shut my mouth. I talk a lot(probably dominate conversations even though I don't mean to) and I'll absolutely talk to anyone. I even talked to a young man walking down the isle at Target today. Most people will talk to you if you start the conversation. Oh, and my son is just like me, maybe even more so. We can go into a restaurant in a town we've never been before, and before we leave, you really think he knew the people around us and was just catching up. He does this a lot with older people, and they all seem to love it.

Have you struck up a conversation with a stranger lately? You know we entertain angels unaware. I challenge you to do just that. While you are standing in line, or walking beside a stranger on the street, see if you can engage them in conversation. You may be the only person whose been kind enough to speak to them today. And it's fun, believe me. Try it and come back to this post and tell me about it. Betcha you'll feel better afterward.

Have a great Thursday. Pray for our country. But most of all, love one another.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can't Find Anything To Say

If you read my blog, you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a few days. That's because I have absolutely nothing to say of any importance. I'd like to rant and rave about the political scene, but refuse to go there in this place.

Nothing of any consequence on TV to discuss, so that's out. Haven't been to a good movie lately, so nothing new to report there, so I'm just out of anything to talk about.

I seldom have an original thought or idea. So nothing new there--duh!

I will have a picture of the jumper I'm making for Princess #1 when I get it finished. I've worked on it like a mad woman, and I think I've made a big mistake on it, but I'm not going to tell you what it is and see if you can guess when you see it. Actually, I know I made one mistake and have remedied that, but the other, P#1 will just have to live with. Her birthday party is Saturday, and I only have Thursday night to finish it. I'm keeping Princess #3 Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday, so no sewing then. I may have a contest to see who can figure out my mistake.

When I used to point out my sewing mistakes to my first husband's grandmother, she would say one of two things: 1. Who will notice on a galloping horse(she knew my children could never be still)? or 2. Who'll remember a hundred years from now? She was a wise woman.

Oh yes, and I did make Chickens in the Road's Pumpkin butter Saturday morning. It turned out pretty good, but I probably won't make it again unless someone gives me pumpkins. Plus that cooking and stirring takes too long for the amount you end up with. I'm thinking about making Sweet potato butter since I do have a box full of them, just to see what happens with that.

Someone brought two grocery bags of peppers--hot peppers to the breakroom here at work. If there's any left this afternoon, I may try some hot pepper jelly.

What mistake have you made lately that you are having to live with? Did you hold onto that stock just one more day and then the market crashed? Tell me about it. I won't judge.

For someone who has little to say, I've said quite enough.

Have a great Wednesday. Pray for our country. Attend Bible Study tonight, and most importantly, love one another.

PS. Add Robbin with two B's to your prayer list. She's courageously trying to finish up chemo, and needs all our help and support.

Friday, October 10, 2008

And A Good Time Was Had By All

My Conasta group played cards last night. I think we had a better time last night than we have had in quite some time.

All but one of our group are grandmothers. We've got one late bloomer in the bunch. I'm going to tell you about our group. First and foremost we are all Christian women. We have two Methodist, two Church of Christ, and the rest are Baptist. Some of us have been playing for 24 years. We've lost some and we've picked up others along the way.

Mary has two children and four grandchildren. She works part time at several jobs. In the fall of the year she works at the gin, and she also keeps books for her son's farming operation and one of the law firms in town.

Pam has two boys and three grandchildren. She's been a farmer's wife all her married life and also now works at the Dr's office in town.

Carolyn has two girls and four grandchildren. She lost her husband about two years ago, and recently retired from the State Revenue Office.

Karen has two children, but no grandchildren yet. Her son is still in high school and her daughter is in college. She works at the bank in town.

Jennifer has three children and four grandchildren. She works for the University near where we live.

Janet has three children and four grandchildren. She works in a drug store in the next town near where we live.

Diane has one daughter and three grandchildren. She is a bookkeeper for a fellow who has several businesses in the next town near where we live.

Margaret has three children and three grandchildren. She works for the University near where we live.

Ellen has one daughter and two grandchildren. She is retired from the Social Security Administration.

Pat has two children and her daughter is expecting twins any minute. She is retired from a bank in the next town near where we live.

Finally there's me, who most of you have already heard enough about my children know I have three children and six grandchildren. I work for the University near where we live.

Back to card club last night. We played at Ellen's. She had her house beautifully decorated for fall and we enjoyed pork loin, potato casserolle, rolls and layered salad. For desert, we had fried chocolate pies, peanut butter fudge and decadent chocolate brownies. Let me tell you, it was great. In fact, I think we scrapped up every bite. We're old ok, not ladylike and delicate any more. We eat until we're miserable.

Then we played cards. Now to some people(who will not be named in this post and are unimportant since they don't play with us any more anyway)playing cards is a very serious game and they are 'out for blood'. You'd think the $25 prize was what they were going to have to live on for the next month. Honey, that ain't us. We laugh, we play, we talk, we even giggle. One thing for sure...we have fun.

You also have to remember that for some of us, this is the only time we see each other. Now all those Baptist gals see each other three times a week, but we Methodist and Church of Christ may not see some of them from one month to the next, so we have a lot of catching up to do.

What I'm trying to get across here is that playing cards is the pretext for us to get together and have a good time. We've grown up with each other over the years. We've raised our kids together and now we are raising our grandchildren. We compare notes, tell funny stories, and get to know this next generation through the eyes of someone who loves them unconditionally.

I wish all of you could have been there.

What pretext do you use to get a bunch of friends together? It could be a card group, maybe bunko, maybe Tuesday quilting, Thursday lunch for the retirees you worked with, ladies night at the local bingo parlor(do they still have those?) or a ladies Bible class/luncheon at church.

It is important that we do some of these type of things. Even though all the gals I listed above have families, there are people who don't have family near enough or mayby just don't have any family that need to be involved in activities outside the home.

Hope you are having a gorgeous fall Friday. Love one another and remember to pray for our country during these dire times.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sometimes I Feel Like I've Fed the 5,000

We feed the college kids from the church and anyone they want to bring with them on Wednesday nights. Normally we feed 15 to 17. But last night we fed 24. I know that doesn't seem like a it would make much difference, but it acutally does.

We try to make a home cooked type meal. Last night was breakfast. Jennifer does all the work of deciding what to have and getting it together and hauling it to the church kitchen. She's a stay at home mom with two girls who are in school. Since I work, I just show up and help get everything ready for serving. They go through the line buffet style and we get their drinks for them.

The thing we like to do for them is to make it as much like home as possible since so many of them live in dorms or apartments. One of the ways we like to do that is to use real plates, glasses and tableware. So when they are finished, all the plates and glasses go into a commercial dishwasher which takes about 5 minutes to actually wash the dishes. We hand wash the tableware and any pots and pans or bowls we use.

They are usually very hungry, and make it through the line quickly. They get to eat at one or two big tables and have fellowship. Once they finish eating they don't linger too long since the first ones to go to class get to sit on the sofa's in their classroom. And they bring their dishes to the sink(don't know if they do that at home, but we're trying to train them as best we can). My job is to spray the dishes and load them into trays and put them in the dishwasher. This is where the most of the work is. We run each load twice. While I do that, Jennifer is putting away what is left of the food, and I start washing the tableware and the pots and pans.

We try to get this all finished before class starts. She teaches 4 year olds, and I attend a ladies bible class. Last night we were a bit behind schedule. The casseroles didn't want to get finished, and since eggs were involved in one of them, we had to wait. This pushed us cleaning up. Needless to say the perspiration was dripping off the back of my hair.

Normally we get everything finished before the 7:00 bell, but not last night. After class while everyone was in the auditorium for devotional, I finished cleaning up. I know Jennifer was surprised. She had to leave about 10 to 7 since she was teaching, so she didn't know how much I got finished before hand.

By the time I get home on Wednesday night, this old woman is ready to hit the sack. But I enjoy the kids. It's good to hear the laughter and see the friendship they have for each other. Some of them only see each other at church, so they are all eager to catch up on the week.

Tonight is Conasta. I'm anxious to see everyone. I don't see all these gals through the month, and we always have a lot of catching up to do. I'll report what we ate and if I won in my post tomorrow.

Talking about not seeing people regularly. Are there people you only see occasionally who are important to you--people you wish you saw more often? How do you keep in touch with those people? Tell me about those people in your life you'd like to see more often.

Have a great beautiful fall Thursday. Pray for our country, more than ever right now. Love one another.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Cotton Has Been Picked

These are just three random pictures of the cotton being picked across the street from me. I had been having a pretty busy Saturday morning, and had sat down to rest. I drifted off only to be awakened by this loud roaring noise(yes these things are noisey). I knew
immediately what the noise was. I jumped up, grabbed by camera and headed outside. I got these three pictures, and went back inside. He seemed to have a bit of a problem navigating around the tree that belongs to the house on the right which you cannot see. But he made it around quite nicely. The next step in the process is to cut the stalks. This has to be done by sometime in February. Many farmers go ahead and cut them as they pick, and go over the field with the bedding equipment and then it's almost ready next spring. They don't spend as much time turning the dirt over as they used to, what with gas prices what they are.
Speaking of which, I heard on the radio that gas was 2.95 at the stations in Caruthersville, MO this morning. Here in NE Arkansas, it's still about 3.29.
Did anyone see the debate last night. Wasn't that a joke. I don't think one of the specially selected questions got a decent answer from either candidate. Who won? That's always a big question. I don't think anyone was a clear winner, but of course the Dems think Obama did and the Reps think McCain did. Thank goodness we only have about another month of this, and when it's all over the loser will vow his undying commitment to the new administration. Let's be clear here, I hold a grudge longer than that. If I were the loser, I would simply say You win, and go off somewhere and cry.
Too bad we couldn't have been with all those AIG folks who went off to the 400,000. spa after taking a chunk of tax payer money to keep them afloat.
I've rambled enough this morning. Hope you have a great Wednesday. Attend Bible Study tonight, Love one another and please pray God Bless America! I think we need all the help we can get.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Falling Down On My Blog!

I'm behind on my blog once again. For this I am truly sorry. Things have been busy in my neck of the woods. We took Superhero to Pumpkin Hollow Saturday night. The contractor said that if anyone had told him he would ever pay money to walk around in someone's corn field, he'd have said they were crazy.

But he did anyway, and the evening not counting the gas to get us there cost him about 70 dollars. There was the cost to get in, the cost for the hayride and visiting the friendly forest, and two pumpkins. We had burgers before we got there, which is included in the 70.

But Superhero had a great time. He went through the friendly forest, then a small maze and wanted to do it again, but it was time to ride back to the starting place and home.

This next weekend there will be a petting zoo at the campus farm. It's FREE, so we're going to take the kids out to that also.

Hope you are having a great Tuesday. God Bless America! Love one another.
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