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.
*/code I added/* */ code I added/*