Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday, another Hodgepodge.  

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

I'm betting there will be all kinds of different answers to this but my answer is going to be Branson, Missouri.  Yes, that's right!  Why?  Well, it's full of beauty, wonderful entertainment of all kinds, and it's only about 6 hours from our house.  We have probably been to Branson 10 times are more over the years and we always look forward to the next trip.  We happen to be going again the end of Oct. and have tickets for some great shows.  And, one of our favorite places to stay, The Keeter Center, is located there.  It's a 10 out of 10 for sure!  And, if you have never been, you should go!

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?
Anything to do with landscape or yard maintenance.  I absolutely LOVE beautiful landscape but I do not like or enjoy any kind of yard work.  Thankfully I'm married to a man that is quite the opposite and while he doesn't do a whole lot of yard work anymore, he sees to it that ours is always perfectly manicured.  I do enjoy working on our porches and patio and taking care of our potted plants that are on them.  I look forward every spring to getting them all decked out, but yard work, NO, NO!


3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

It was several years ago when we lived in our last house.  I had come home from a big grocery shopping spree and pulled to the front door instead of pulling in the carport.  Well, there were 4 steps up to our front door and I had my arms and hands as full as possible with groceries.  I mean, you should carry as many as you can so you will have to make fewer trips, right?  Wrong!  I had my hands and arms so full that I could not see the steps and I went flying up them and mis-stepped and fell and fell and fell, strewing groceries all over the place.  Thankfully the worst injury was my pride but it really reinforced for me how quickly a fall can happen and how careful I needed to be in the future.  Falls at any age are tough, but, at my age, they can cause issues for the remainder of your life.  I don't time for that!

I'm falling for "all things fall" right now.  I LOVE this time of year and the decor is out of this world.  And, I'm constantly finding something that I don't have.  And, I'm constantly reminding myself that I DO NOT need any more fall decor!!!!  ~really~

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-
National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?
I have not been to any of the festivals listed but for sure would love to go to the Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine.  I'm betting it is wonderful!

Our town use to have a fall Arts and Crafts Festival of sorts that was a most lovely affair.  But, things have changed and it is no longer.  We did have a May Madness Festival this year and it was quite a success and it's my understanding that it will be happening again next year.

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

You started with a BANG
when our family went to Disney
but all good things must come to an end
and Fall is arriving day after tomorrow
It was a fun summer but I'm
most excited for Fall!
(I'm not a poet and I know it)

6. Insert your own random thought here.



Meet Miss Lucy!  This is the rag doll kitten of a dear friend of mine.  We stopped by their house the other night and Lucy was perched in the middle of their dining table and for a minute, I thought she was a part of the table scape.  To say this little miss rules the roost would be an understatement. And, I love her most of all because she doesn't belong to me. ~just kiddin'~  But, I do think she's about the cutest little kitten I've ever seen.  ~does that count?~

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday's Musings




Another Monday means another new week.  We have 15 weeks from today until Christmas. Wow, this year has literally flown by and it really is true that the older we get the quicker time goes by, or maybe time just flies regardless.  Meanwhile, I have a few tidbits to share with you today.

We recently went to Atlanta to visit family and while there, my SIL and I went to the Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain.  There is pretty much any and everything there.
It seemed that every other booth was jewelry.  I'm not sure I've ever been to a show with more jewelry vendors.  And, there were some lovely pieces for sure, but enough is enough.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be outside and very cool.  The only negative was the terrain is very uneven and a bit tiresome to walk on for very long and there were so many folks there.  And, there were strollers and wheelchairs and the pathways were very tight.  But, we trudged through and found a few items we couldn't leave without.
Pictured above it an item I bought.  I'm not really sure what it is called but it is made of ceramic and inserted in the open hole is a "florist frog."  It is great to place flowers in for a very neat look.

Here it is with some sunflowers in it.  I cut the stems off very short and it looked so cute.  And, you don't have to have any real flower arranging ability and that is a very good thing.

One evening we went to this neat place to eat.  It was called The Horseradish Grill and I'm not sure why but it was cute and the food was good.  The grounds surrounding it are lovely as well.  There are always so many fun things to see and do and great places to eat when we go see Steve and Susan.
~~~~~~~~

And, we topped off this past weekend by watching the LSU/Miss State game.  Tommy and I were all decked out and cute in our LSU attire but that did not matter, LSU just did not show up for the game.  Mississippi State played awesome and made their fans very happy.  Well, it's just a game and the sun came right on up the next morning and we never missed a beat and there's always next week. ~smile~

Have a wonderful 37th week of 2017!!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lea's Favorites



It's time for a few favorites and today's is all about food items.  I always enjoy hearing from folks about their "kitchen secrets" and today I'm sharing some of mine with you.  You can thank me later!


My son and DIL shared this "secret" with me a few weeks ago.  These are seasoned chicken breasts that are ready for the grill, the stove or the oven and they are so good "they will make you slap your pappy."  ~giggle~  They come in Tuscan, Lemon Pepper and one other that I can't recall. They are vacuumed sealed and last a long time in the refrigerator or they can be frozen. We get these at Wal-Mart but I'm betting other grocery stores have something very similar. Makes for a very good meal.
~~~~~~


Surely everyone reading this knows about Steamables.  But, in case you don't, I feel it's my duty to inform you.  I use these a lot for my lunch and eat the entire bag.  These shown are so very low in calories and I like eating them with some crackers.  I occasionally do use them for a side dish with our meals.  They are so easy and very good.
~~~~~~


On our recent trip to Atlanta my SIL and BIL introduced me to Halo Top.  It is a great low calorie, high protein, low sugar ice cream.  There are several flavors to choose from and I was so glad that our Wal-Mart carried them.  I was afraid I would get home and not be able to find them.  Now, they are pricey at $3.89 a pint.  Ouch!  but for a real treat once in a while it doesn't hurt to splurge! As to the name, I don't have a clue where that came from.
~~~~~~


Fall is teasing us a bit and I've gotten excited about making "pots of" stuff.  A couple of weeks ago I made a pot of gumbo and I always use the above mix to make mine.  Yep, this gal doesn't make her own roux and I can almost promise you that you would not know the difference if you tasted it.  I was told about this great base 4-5 years ago and I have so enjoyed using it.  In fact, I had never made gumbo until I found out about this. I generally make 3-4 packages of this at a time, share it with friends and freeze some for later.  It freezes beautifully!


The recipe on the back of the gumbo base package calls for water, something like 8 cups.  Well, instead of water, I use this low sodium chicken broth and I think it adds soooo much more flavor.  And, I reduce the water by 2 cups.  I like hearty gumbo!  And, I use shrimp, chicken and sausage in my gumbo and of course, okra, and I use a bag(s) of the frozen kind.


And, again, surely all of you reading this know about Seasoning Blend!  I also use it in my gumbo and a whole slew of other dishes.   I have probably never chopped onions, peppers and celery since this came out and again, I do NOT think you can tell the difference.  But, if you still chop your own, that's fine with me but you really should try this! ~just sayin'~  Talk about quick and easy!  So, now you know my favorite way to make gumbo and some of my favorite ingredients I use to make it. And, I'm really not bragging, but my Hubby says it's the BEST!  So, give it a try, it is a Louisiana staple!

Until next time...............




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge


It's the Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce gives us the questions and we come up with the answers.  Sounds simple doesn't it, well, let me assure you that it isn't always that simple.  Joyce can really make us think with many of her questions. 

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
I have a gallery wall of canvas prints of our Grans in one of our hallways.  There are just no words to convey what these pictures say with their smiles.  At least in this CiCi's mind. 😙  But, do I think that pictures, in general, are worth a thousand words, absolutely NOT!  How can a picture replace 1000 words?


2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?
I have been to California 3-4 times but I have never had the privilege of driving or riding any part of the Pacific Coast Highway.  Yes, I would love to do so as I have heard that it is such a beautiful drive.


3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is? 

I love the changing seasons, especially spring and fall and look forward to them.  I'm getting plum excited right now in anticipation of fall's arrival.  It isn't a season but it takes me a little while to adjust to regular Central Time after being on Daylight Savings Time.  Goodness, I'm ready for bed when it gets dark. ~chuckle~

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

I'll take grilled pork tenders, potato casserole, some kind of broccoli dish, mandarin orange congealed salad and homemade rolls.  AND, for dessert, it would be a cheesecake made by my very special friend, Mary K., let me just say, she makes the very BEST!
This is a picture of me enjoying a piece of her cheesecake on my birthday this past July.  Now, that's a true friend for sure!

No, never lied about my age and never will.  I'm too thankful for every year that the Lord has given me and after all, age is just a number. Right?

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

Well, can't say that it's been recently, but I do seem to "relearn" it over and over again.  That is that all the fretting in the world does very little good, but somehow it does help me get through the situation. ~smile~

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I don't know that I have ever shared with all you dears about the deliciousness of the Oats and Honey Granola Pie.  If you have never had this pie then do not let your shirt hit your back before you head out the door to get the ingredients to make it.  No joke, it is awesome!  And, for your eating pleasure, here is the recipe:

Oats and Honey Granola Pie

Crust

1
box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box 

Filling

1/2
cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2
cup packed brown sugar
3/4
cup corn syrup
1/8
teaspoon salt
1
teaspoon vanilla
3
LAND O LAKES® Eggs, lightly beaten
4
Nature Valley™ Oats 'n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches from 8.9-oz. box), crushed (3/4 cup)* 
1/2
cup Fisher® Chef's Naturals® chopped walnuts
1/4
cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/4
cup Hershey's® semi-sweet or milk chocolate baking chips
      Whipped cream or ice cream, if desired

Steps

  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.
  • 2
    In large microwavable bowl, microwave butter on High 50 to 60 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended. Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs. Stir crushed granola bars, walnuts, oats and baking chips into brown sugar mixture. Pour into crust-lined pan.
  • 3
    Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
NOTE: I always use Marie Callender frozen pie crusts as I think they are the best crust on the market.  And, I prefer the pie without the chocolate chips but that's just a personal preference.  AND, I always make 2 at a time and they freeze absolutely beautifully and the filling works well in the little miniature pie crusts as well.

You can thank me later!

Monday, September 11, 2017

10 Things I Love About My House - 10 on the 10th



I'm linking up with Erin for her 10 on the 10th link and I've so enjoyed this particular one.  This month's subject is: Ten Things You Love About Your House.  Well, I had no trouble coming up with 10 things, I had trouble deciding which 10 I would list and talk about.  We have been in our new house 2 years and 1 month and I pretty much love everything about it.  So, I'll try to consolidate my list to 10





#1 - The Master Bedroom - I love the colors, the cool and calm feeling that it has and it's the perfect retreat for Hubby and I.




#2 - Faucet fixtures and door handles - You may chuckle at these two items being on my list, but I do love these.  I love that there is only one lever on all our facets.  It moves easily from side to side to get either hot, cold or warm water.  And, all of our door handles are the lever type.  They are so, so easy to open and especially if you have your hands full of something.  Both of these were chosen because of their ease of use and our age.  We tried to think of any and all things when we built this house that would make things easier as we get older.


3. Pull out shelves - Oh, my goodness, I didn't know what I was missing when I didn't have these.  These make getting things out of the back of shelves a breeze.  Shucks, when we moved from our old house I found things in the back of our kitchen shelves that I literally had not seen in years and years.  It was just way to much trouble to dig them out.  ~not any more~


4. My Pantry - And, I double love my pantry!  I have never had a pantry and again, I just didn't know what I was missing.  Back when our old house was built, pantries were just not "the thing."  I so enjoy this space to keep food, bigger pots and pans, extra supplies of items and plastic storage bags, foil, saran wrap, and garbage bags.



5. - Storage Rooms - this is 3 pictures of our 2 storage rooms.  One of them houses all of my "stuff" that is in plastic containers and the other one houses closed cabinets where I keep my extra , mainly seasonal, decor.  And, it also houses our extra refrigerator and freezer and hubby's gun safe.  It is easily accessible and very handy!


6. Dish cabinets -  I have a wall about 10 feet long of floor to ceiling cabinets right off the kitchen.  This is where pretty much all of my dishes are kept and I so enjoy having them so readily available.  And, of course, all the bottom cabinets are more pull out shelves.



7. - My Diva Den - Better known as my home office.  I spend a lot of time in this room, blogging, working on my husband's office records, etc.  I absolutely love having this space!  I worked very carefully on the design and layout of this room to make it exactly what I wanted.  I have a TV on the wall facing the desk.




8. Guest suite -  This area was an after thought and we are so very glad we added it.  This is the area above our garage and Hubby's shop and it makes the perfect private quarters for over guests.  We have a king size bed and two twin beds, a seating area with recliners and a TV, a microwave, a coffee pot, and refrigerator.  It's the next best place to home  and we've so enjoyed sharing it with family and friends.  It is the ONLY upstairs area we have and we would have preferred that it not be upstairs but it was the perfect space for this type room.




9. - The Open Space - this is the view of the inside of our house when you walk in the front door.  It is a very open concept with lots of windows and we love it.  




10. - Our view -  And, this would be about our most favorite thing about the house, the view looking out our back windows.  We both love a water view and while this is only a small pond, it is water and provides for us such a beautiful landscape to enjoy.  We put big windows are across the back of our house so that we could enjoy the view from all rooms.

It has been such an enjoyable 2 years and we pray that we will be able to enjoy it for many more years.


Monday, September 4, 2017

The Blended Blog Asks..............



It's all about "back to school" for this month's questions from the gals over at The Blended Blog. This was such fun answering these questions and once again, my mind was flooded with memories.

1. Did you love school or hate it? Well, I would have to say I loved school or maybe I should say I really enjoyed school, especially the social aspect.

2. Start school before or after Labor day? I never, ever started school until after Labor Day and I personally think that's the way it should be today.  I mean, whoever and why did they decide it's necessary to start school by the 2nd week of August. ~insane~

3. Wake up:  eager beaver or slow poke? I have always waked up an eager beaver, raring to go!

4.  Favorite breakfast? My Dad usually fixed our breakfast and he could make some really good pancakes and I was a happy gal when I sat down to a plate of them.

5.  Favorite cereal? Well, back when I was a child, the choices on cereal were very limited but I did love a big bowl of hot grits.

6. School uniform or not uniform? No uniform, I don't remember many kids wearing uniforms "back in the day."

7.  New outfit for first day or not? I'm sure I had a new outfit but don't really remember.  A new outfit wasn't that big of a deal at that time.

8. Walk to school or ride the bus? For my first 3 years I walked to school.  We lived a little less than a block from the school and my Mom walked me to the end of the driveway, hugged me and off I went.  My Mom never had one concern that anything would happen to me. ~a different time for sure~  From the 4th thru high school I always rode a bus.

9. Backpack, tote or messenger bag? I think what I carried in elementary was called a satchel and after that I just carried my books in my arms.

10.  Eat school lunch or pack lunch?I always ate the school lunch and I remember, for the most part, thinking they were very good.  The lunch room ladies always made the most delicious rolls and gave us honey to drizzle on them.

11.  Remember the little milk cartons?  White or chocolate? In my early school years I drank milk out of a little glass milk bottle, cartons were not an option.  And, it was always white milk.

12.  Paper bag or lunch box? Neither one, I always ate the school lunch

13.  Favorite thing to do at recess? I loved kick ball, red rover and london bridges. ~those date me for sure~

14.  Favorite back to school supply item? I always loved my new writing tablets or composition books.

15.  Chalkboard or dry erase board? Well, since dry erase boards were not around "back then", it would be chalkboard.

16.  Regular pencil or mechanical? I did not know anything about a mechanical pencil until high school and not even sure there was such before I was in high school.  So, I'm sure it was a regular pencil all the way through.

17.  Homework as soon as you got home or after dinner? Oh, I wanted it done as soon as I got home so I could go play and not worry about it.

18.  Favorite after school snack? I don't know if I even had a favorite, but I'm sure it included a cold glass of milk.

19.  Favorite after school show? We didn't have a TV until I was 9 years old and I have no memory of ever coming in after school and turning on the TV.  We always just headed for outside to play.

20.  Favorite subject in school? I don't really remember having a favorite
21.  Least favorite school subject? That would have been Geography, just did not interest me in the least and I guess that might have something to do with the fact that I cannot read a map to this day.

22.  Name of your best friend in high school? That would be Rachel and Rachel and I are still friends to this day.  We have not seen each other in many years but we stay connected through Facebook.

23.  High school mascot type? We were the Brookville Bees  ~buzz buzz~

24.   SAT or ACT? It was the SAT and I'll just leave it at that

25.  Favorite year in school? I don't remember any year being all that bad  but I loved the first grade and my teacher, Mrs. Morton.  She was such a dear and the perfect teacher for my first year.

26. Class ring or no class ring? I definitely had a class ring but it was NOT from the high school I graduated from.  We ordered our class rings the first semester of our Junior year and the second semester of my Junior year we moved and I went to a new school and graduated there.

 Have yourself a great new week and a wonderful Labor Day today.  It sort of marks the end of summer and hopefully fall is just around the corner.  I'll be away the rest of this week having some fun and will will share the details of our fun next week.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Sweet Memories



After doing the post on my Grandparents last Friday, I began thinking of all kinds of childhood memories.  Since that post was such a "hit", I thought you might enjoy my sharing more of my memories.
Me at 3 months old

I was born in Newport News, Virginia  while my Daddy was serving in the US Navy.  When I was 3 months old and my Dad had been discharged from the Navy, we moved to Ft. Smith,,Ark.  Ft. Smith was home to my Dad and we settled there for the next 8 years of my life.

When I was 8 years old my Dad surrendered to full time ministry and began his ministerial career at a little small country church in Alma, Ark. I always felt special because my Dad was a minister, I was never ashamed or disliked the title of "preacher's kid."

Times were tough financially for our family until I was in high school.  I can remember my Dad praying and asking for God's provisions for our food and God always provided exactly what we needed when we needed it.  My Mom had a way of making a dollar stretch a long way.  I remember many Christmases that would not have been had it not been for kind hearted individuals providing for us.  But, I also never recall feeling less than blessed because of what I might not have had.

Our family did not own a TV until I was 9 years old and I well remember being beside myself with excitement the day we got one.  In the years prior to our having a TV I spent a lot of happy hours listening to story telling on the radio.

Outside play was a huge part of my young life.  We always had a rope swing and a we used our imagination to have fun  in ways that kids today have no idea.
Me, at 2- 3 years old, with my Momma

Ever so often we would get to go to the Dairy Queen and get an ice cream cone and it was a very big deal and I would get so excited anticipating our going.

My precious Momma pretty much made every stitch of clothing I wore until I was married.  I loved every piece she sewed and let me assure you, I wore them until I either outgrew them or they were almost threadbare.  I did not have but a few clothes and they were worn and worn and worn!

Our family when I was 10 years old
I did a lot of babysitting once I was about 13 years old and I remember babysitting for 2 couples many Sat. nights.  Each couple had 2 children and I would keep all 4 of the children at one of the couples houses for a mere 50 cents an hour.  Yep, that's right!  That was 50 cents total per hour, not per couple.  And, I would usually keep them around 5 hours for a total of $2.50.  I was thrilled too death with that amount of money.

My Mom had my youngest brother when I was 13 years old.  At that time I took on a lot of responsibility in our home.  Mom was so busy caring for him that I took over the ironing for our family.  That was a a pretty big job in that my Daddy wore a dress white shirt and tie every day. ~ Ministers really use to dress that way ~ And, every piece of ironing was sprinkled, rolled and put in the refrigerator until it was ironed.  Now, you talk about a crisp look!  As a result of those years, I can still iron a "mean" shirt!


I hated to post this picture but it is the first family photo that we had taken after my youngest brother was born.  We are quite a pitiful looking group for sure.

When I was in high school dancing was "the thing!"  Well, my Dad felt it would be best if I did not participate in dancing since I was the preacher's daughter.  ~I mean, what might some of the church members think and say~  But, I never really gave it a thought and was content to find other ways to spend my time.  I did not ever attend a prom and guess you could say that I am living proof that you can live through it. ~chuckle~

I look back on my childhood and teenage years with much fondness.  I never knew that there were times that my parents did not know where the next meal was coming from.  I felt extremely loved and cared for and was just a happy girl.  I grew up learning that the Lord will always provide, not our wants but our needs and trusting Him as my Savior was the most important decision I would ever make in my life.  I certainly did not grow up wealthy by the world's standards but I had something money could not buy, a loving Christian home.  And, that's really all that matters!


Blessings abundant to you my dear readers!