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.
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