Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We were there three years ago for Thanksgiving and had our big meal at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House - a restaurant owned by Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba. The food was incredible and the weather was great so we ate at a table out on the deck overlooking the marsh - it was so beautiful! But this year, with money tight and their prices WAAAYYYYY too high for our pocketbook, ($31 p/p) we'll be finding somewhere less expensive.
Anyway, in honor of the holiday, I thought I would share a couple of my favorite holiday recipes with you. First is a recipe I got from a lady I worked with years ago, Aunt Fanny's Cabin Squash Casserole - it is soooooo good!
- In large pot, boil 3 pounds chopped yellow squash with a little salt until tender.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drain squash, and put in a large bowl with 1 egg.
- Mash up squash with the egg.
- Add: 1/2 stick butter or margarine, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1/2 +/- (to taste) chopped onions, dash black pepper, 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Mix all ingredients well.
- Place in 2 quart casserole dish (I use 9 x 13).
- Sprinkle top with another 1/2 cup bread crumbs and drizzzle with another 1/2 stick melted butter or margarine.
- Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes or until bubbly in center.
And here's the recipe:
Mama Cliffie's Congealed Cranberry Salad
- 2 small packages jello - can be cherry, black cherry, strawberry - basically any RED jello - although I prefer black cherry
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 2/3 to 1 cup orange sections, in chunks (you can use mandarins cut up, but I prefer fresh oranges.
- ½ to 2/3 cup diced apple, peeled
- 2/3 cup chopped toasted nuts (pecans or english walnuts work well)
- Mix the jello and boiling water and stir to dissolve.
- Add the can of cranberry sauce while warm and stir to dissolve sauce.
- Add cold water, stir well and put into fridge.
- When the jello is 'set' or beginning to firm up a bit, add the fruit and nuts and stir well.
- Pour into a mold or pretty bowl and return to fridge and continue chilling until firm.
This will keep a couple of days in the fridge, so it's easy to make ahead of time.
I hope you try these, and I hope you enjoy them. If you do try them, please leave me a post and let me know how they turned out for you and your family. Everyone have a very blessed, and THANKFUL holiday! I am grateful for YOU! Blessings, Becky
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Then, I got this neat little fiberboard tray a while back when I ordered some Prima flowers from QVC. It's really cute, about 11"x14"x3" deep, with cutout handles. A few weeks ago when we headed out for a Sunday afternoon road trip, I grabbed my bag so I'd have something to do, and went looking for something to put in my lap to catch buttons or needles if I dropped them. Well, I came upon this raw, unfinished tray and took it along. That was the best thing! I just loved having something to lay my scissors and project on if I needed to get out of the car, and I could use buttons, beads, etc. and not worry about spilling them all over the car.
That got me thinking about how I could make it better, and sometimes I just have to give things time to 'marinate' in my brain before I come up with a solution. I also knew I didn't want to go buy any 'stuff' because money is tight and I've got tons of 'stuff' that might work just as well, so this gave me time to get what I would need gathered together. Here's my solution, I call it my needlework bed!
- sanded the tray
- painted it with white satin spray paint as a primer and let that dry
- painted it a couple of coats inside and out with white indoor/outdoor gloss enamel paint and letting it dry completely in beween
- while the coats were drying, work on the 'liner'
- I used an old piece of 1/2 inch thick foam core board, cut slightly smaller than the inside of the tray
- I didn't have any quilt batting, but I had some old black fleece that I cut to size and wrapped it around the foam core board, pulling tight and stapling as I went
- next I took a piece of black and white gingham fabric (oops, guess I won't get that tote bag made any time soon!) and did the same with that, pulling it tight as I went
- Lastly I used some clear vinyl and wrapped it tightly around the gingham and stapled it with 1/2 inch staples. (Gotta love that electric staple gun!) So, I had the bottom of my tray, but I wasn't finished! I wanted a pin cushion that I could stick needles, safety pins, quilters pins, etc. into as I was working on a project. Sometimes I'll have several colors of embroidery floss on one project, and I hate having to dig every time I want to change.
- I took a piece of the gingham, measured it to fit along one end of the tray, sewed it together on 2 sides (using the fold for the other side), turned it right side out and filled it fairly tightly with poly-fill. Once that was done I turned the end under and stitched it on the sewing machine. I did NOT cover the pin cushion in vinyl, lol!
- Once the tray was completely dry, I took another piece of the black fleece and cut it to size and glued it to the bottom (underside) of the tray so it will sit comfy in my lap if I've got on shorts or want to sit on a table.
- I put the finished liner into the tray, used some self adhesive velcro dots to attach the pin cushion to the vinyl, and I was done. Here are a couple more pictures.
I just love how it turned out, and am looking forward to using it. I can hold it in my lap whether I'm sitting in a car, in my bed, on my sofa, or in the camper, and it'll keep everything I need right at hand.
Thanks for looking folks, and have a great day!!!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
A cute little blue and ivory pin that I've got pinned on my old fleece hat. These would be cute on a hat, a scarf, sweater, jacket, or even on a little girl's coat! They are backed with safety pins so they won't come off and won't stick you!
This little one is only about 1 3/4 inches across, and would be such a cute pin for a little girl!
A white mitten Christmas tree ornament with fake fur around the wrist.
Today I've been deciding which cards to send in for a card-making design team I'm trying for, and got them sent - I'll be sure to let you know if I make it. I have also been re-organizing my felt and embroidery bags - they really needed it, but I knew I had to get them straightened out if they are going to be my main entertainment on our trip next week. I do have one tip to share, and I'm so excited about it, too!
I've always struggled with an easy and efficient way to carry my craft felt with me. I mean for a long trip like our Thanksgiving trip to Savannah when I'll be working on felt ornaments and pins on the trips down and back up, and the evenings in the camper. Anyway, I was stacking all these crumbled pieces of felt and trying to think of a good way to carry it with me when I remembered my hubby had brought home a small surprise the other day. It was one of those new reuseable woven grocery bags with his company's logo on it. It's got pleated sides and a piece of cardboard that lays down in the bottom. Well I stacked that felt in the bag, got my needles and pins box in, and all my embroidery floss AND a Mary Engelbreit book that I like to take for inspiration. Take a look >>>
Now I've got my button box and ribbon and lace box in an old tote bag, but next time I go to the grocery store I'm going to buy an extra of these bags just for that, and I'll have easy at home and away storage for those things. I take this stuff to bed with me at night and work on projects while I'm watching TV. You see, hubby and I have widely different likes when it comes to TV, so he watches in the living room and I get the comfy bed, which gives me more room for all my stuff too, lol!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
First, sleep! Sound, restful, restoring SLEEP! I remember changing the channel at the end of Dancing With The Stars last night, but I don't remember what I changed it to! I remember getting up once to go potty and realizing hubby was in the bed, but I dont' know what time it was! Next thing I knew I was waking up, the bedroom was somewhat light (our bedroom is on the west end of the house, so the sun has to be up and at'em for the room to be very light), and I was instantly awake and up within 2-3 minutes of stretching and thinking over my day. It's so nice to get a nice, long, cozy nights sleep!
Second was knowing I don't have to leave this house today. I'm doing laundry, I've got to pick up the house and get ready for my friend coming for a play date on Friday, and I'll have to make dinner for hubby and I tonight, but I am here for the day, and that makes me happy.
My first official 'action' for EVERY day is to rouse the girls from their slumber and make them go outside. Then I go out, check the temp on my deck and stand and look out on 'our' woods. They aren't actually 'ours', but they reach down as far as you can see, and right now there are so many golds, yellows and oranges down in there that I had to stand there in the chill and give thanks for my home and the view behind it!
Then I grabbed my wake-up glass of OJ and headed for my play room. First off, check e-mails. One of my e-mails was from Deena, with a teaser saying she had a surprise for me on her blog, so I went to her blog and was so surprised (and extremely happy and thankful) to find she had given me my very first Blog Award - the Kreativ Blogger Award!!!!! You can see it on my other BLOG.
Another thing I'm thankful for today is only 4 loads of laundry. Most week there are at least 5 or 6, but today it's just 4 - a special day!
And one last thing that I am grateful for - YOU! Whether you are a faithful follower, dearest friend, or just stumbled here via the web, I am most grateful that you made it here today and chose to read this long, rambling post.
Have a gratitude filled day my friends! Blessings, Becky
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Our first stop along the way was down by the creek. It's one of my favorite places because it's surrounded by tall old trees, mostly conifers (pines, spruces, etc.) and is cool and damp, even in hottest summer. The picture just above this paragraph reminded me of me! The stream was moving fairly swiftly, in fact little whirlpools were going right beside this little spot packed full of dead leaves and pine needles. It was just like me - I sit here in my room and let life pass me by, the 'things' and 'stuff' of this world keeping me bogged down and leaving me unable or unwilling to break away from them.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
And this is Bailey, begging me, beseeching me, pleading with me to take the bone away from Bessie and give it to her!
Have a blessed, peaceful, content, and maybe even a little joyful weekend! Becky
Thursday, November 6, 2008
February, 1984 - I was almost 32 years old, single, working full time and had moved back home to help my parents out while my dad had triple bypass surgery and recuperated. Back in 1984 that surgery was a much bigger deal than it is today, although I know it's still a big deal, but there have been so many technical advances since then.
Anyway, my dad had just had his surgery, and I was lonely as could be! One Saturday I was sitting in my parents living room floor watching TV and reading the Creative Loafing newspaper, wishing I could go to some of those places and have some fun, but there was no one with whom to go. Did I mention I was lonely??? So, a commercial came on TV for Together Dating Service, I laughed, said something like 'yeah, right!' and turned back to the newspaper, turned the page and lo and behold! there was a 1/2 page ad for that very same dating service! Once again, I laughed and turned the page. But . . . . .
By Monday I had talked my self into just calling them and finding out what they were all about. On Tuesday I paid them a visit and wrote a check for what was a huge chunk of money for a single working girl! If I remember right it was somewhere between $300 and $400, thank goodness my income tax refund had just come in! I was broke, but cautiously excited.
Within 2 or 3 weeks I started getting these little slips of paper with mens names and phone numbers on them. Being the girl raised in the 1950's and 60's, I couldn't bring myself to make the first call, but that was okay because some of the guys called, and we went out - always only one date, though. There was the guy who wasn't over the death of his late wife. There was the bus mechanic who 'knew' he was too cute for me. There was the redneck in the 'Starsky and Hutch' car, decorated on the inside with pom-pom fringe around the windows and holographic contact paper on the dashboard. And there was the Japanese American doctor who was so nice, but had absolutely zero sense of humor. Most everyone called, except this one guy who never called. I kept thinking maybe I should call him, but would always just stick his slip of paper in the corner, hoping he would call.
And he finally did! But not because he wanted to! He was recently (about 1 year) divorced and had sold his home, moved in with a friend while looking for a new place, then moved into his new condo. Somehow the postal service had done their job and my info had followed him all the way. But when he saw my address - what seemed like a hundred miles (but in actuality was about 25), he decided he wouldn't call me - I lived too far. But for some reason he couldn't throw away that piece of paper. Like me, he would stick it in the corner and wait a while, then try to throw it away again. But he never could!
Eventually he called me and we talked and talked on the phone. Then we set a date for a Sunday afternoon at one of my favorite restaurants. I was excited - he sounded so nice! But comes the day of our date and my brother decides to bring home his fiance to meet the family. I called my date and explained and we rescheduled our date for the following Thursday night. I was bummed, but at least he was understanding and willing to postpone.
April 11, 1984 - Come Thursday night I, dressed in my best 8o's business suit, drove up to the mall where we were meeting. I sat on a seat in front of the mall and waited. Finally, here he comes. Hey, he's cute! We introduced ourselves and headed into the mall. The plan was to walk around the mall a time or two and then go get some dinner. By the second time around the mall we were holding hands. Before long we decided to sit on a bench and decide where to go for dinner.
Fast forward several hours later . . . we are still on that same bench, still talking, and they are literally sweeping under our feet and strongly suggesting we should leave the mall. We had been sitting there for over three hours!He walked me to my car out in the parking lot, admired my car, and I don't have a clue how long we stood there and talked, but ours were some of the last of the cars in the parking lot. Before we parted, we had at least 3 dates planned, and the possibility of me joining him and some friends on a trip to the beach in August - four months in the future.
I honestly do not know how I made it home that night! Don't have a clue, God must have definitely been my co-pilot that night, because I got there safely.
We started seeing each other regularly, like several times a week, and after only two weeks of knowing each other, he told me he loved me. Being the practical minded gal that I am, I explained how very much I cared about him, but I'd never been here before (relationship wise), and I wasn't ready to say those three little words - yet! Before long he gave me my very own key to his condo, and I would go straight there from work and either watch tv or, as the summer progressed, put on my bathing suit and go up to the pool and wait for him to join me. Life was good, and I wasn't lonely any more.
Finally I decided what I was feeling really WAS love, so I bought him a pretty card, wrote my feelings inside, telling him I loved him, went to his condo after work and changed into my swim suit, locked up, left the card leaning against the door, went to the pool and waited, and waited, and waited. When he finally came up, he was still in his work clothes, and his face was as white as his long sleeved white shirt. I asked him if he was okay and he said yeah and asked if I was okay.
Yeah, sure, did you get my card?
Yeah, are you sure everything's okay? he asked again.
I said yes, and asked what's wrong.
He said, you're not breaking up with me are you?
I was confused, to say the least! I said no, did you get the card I left for you?
He said yes, getting kind of perturbed about the stupid card.
I said, did you read it???
Well, what did it say???
Ummmm, huhhhhh . . .
It said I love you you idiot! Do you actually think I would break up with you in a card, with my car in your parking space and my clothes and purse in your house and me up here playing in your pool??? Huh????
The color slowly started coming back and he grinned sheepishly, reached down and kissed me and said "Wanna go get something to eat?"
That was in June of 1984. On December 30th we got engaged, and July 20th of the following year we got married. And I can honestly say, though we've had troubles and we each have had our 'moments', our love has only grown deeper and stronger and I cannot imagine living my life without him.
God's hand, unseen to us at the time, worked things out so that two people who were lonely and unhappy could meet, fall in love, and make a life together. Now we gratefully acknowledge God's part in our story, because we know that we most surely would never have met without His help. So today, the thing I am grateful for, is my sweet, stubborn, loving husband. I love you Winnie! Everyone have a great day, Becky
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thanks for looking, and have a GREAT DAY!!! Blessings, Becky
Sunday, November 2, 2008
That's how I came upon South Breeze Farm blog, hosted by Leah in Iowa. She's holding a 'Giving Thanks Challenge' for November, and I've posted her challenge in the column to the left to remind me to post something for which I am thankful each day this month. Now, life is crazy, so I may not make it every day, but I'm going to do my very best.
Today hubby and I, as we often do, got out early this morning and headed out to see what we could find. And we took a LONG ride today. We started out to go to DeSoto Falls State Park in northeast Alabama, and that's not a bad ride for us, but then hubby decided he wanted to go to Huntsville, Alabama - because we'd never been there - good reason, right? I was working on some felt snowman pins (I'll post them later) and needed some black beads, so he agreed to stop at a WalMart in Huntsville. I wasn't in there very long at all, but when I got back to the car he had been looking at the map, which is never a good thing! (I love you honey!) So he wanted to go up to Fayetteville, TN and back east to Chattanooga, and south and east back home. That was a LONG day's riding!
But we went through some gorgeous country! My favorite was between Fayetteville and Chattanooga on Hwy 64. There are miles and miles of farmland, much of it white with cotton, and huge farmhouses and barns (you might not know that I'm a barn fanatic, lol!) But the backdrop for all the farmland and barns and cotton were rolling hills bright with the oranges, yellows, reds and golds of autumn. It was such a great day, and very re-energizing and refreshing to get out and see some of the world.
So today, I must say I am grateful for God's gorgeous creation! I believe He knew we needed a re-charge, He led us on that route, and He put on quite a show for our benefit. Everyone else who passed that way also benefitted from the show!
As we have traveled over the years, and we've traveled a good bit, in places of extreme beauty, I've often caught myself humming or singing to myself one of my favorite choruses - the Doxology. According to my google search, this hymn (written by Thomas Ken) will be three hundred (300) years old next year, and yet the words are as timeless and relevant today as they were back then. You can find a website here where you can hear the music. I'll leave you with those words in the hopes you'll sing them along with me with a grateful heart. Blessings to all who visit, Becky
Saturday, November 1, 2008
This morning was cold, though! When I put the 'girls' out about 8 AM the temp was right about 33 degrees (f), and there was definitely frost on the pumpkins this morning! And then I had to go put my car up on the street and get stuff out of the garage so we could pull the camper out today. We're going to Savannah, GA for Thanksgiving week to camp at Skidaway Island State Park, and the camper tires were just too worn to make that trip. So, we had to jack up the camper and take off both tires so hubby could take them to the camper store and get new tires. It was kind of chilly while we were doing that!
But while we were working on the camper, a convoy of about half a dozen pick-up trucks loaded down with furniture came down our street and went to the house down in the cul de sac that just sold. I had already planned on making some apple muffins, so I made a note to myself to make an extra batch and take some to the new neighbors. And I'm so glad I did! They seem like very nice people, and they are campers, too, so we already have something in common.
Anyway, on to the muffins. I have to give credit where due, because this isn't my recipe. I just got it off the blog "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" (you can find a link in the blog list to your left), and I'm glad I decided to make them, because they are delicious!!!
Here's a pic of my first batch, the ones I took to the neighbors. I will tell you though, that the recipe made 12 average muffins and 6 minis, but by the time I took the picture, we'd already eaten 3 of the minis!
Easy Apple Muffins
1 cup milk
1/4 cup salad oil
1 cup coarsely grated apple
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat egg...stir in milk oil and apples.
Mix in remaining ingredients, just until flour is moistened...batter should be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes...or until golden.
Immediately remove from pan.
Now, me being the sweet tooth that I am, I made a light powdered sugar glaze and drizzled it over my muffins, but you don't have to do that - they are great without it.
And above is the way I carried them to the neighbors. I printed the leaves and welcome on my printer, and printed the recipe for the muffins on the reverse side, then folded it and stapled it to the zipper bag. Under the plate inside the bag was one of my homemade cards with our names and phone number and a little note of welcome.
It's amazing how God puts people in our path, and sometimes we're ready and waiting for them. I'm glad I was ready today! Everyone have a great, blessed weekend! Becky