Sunday, December 28, 2008
On Christmas morning, Nanny and MawMaw joined us to open stockings and presents (Santa had stockings for everyone!) We all got more than we needed, and it's always fun. Stacy makes everyone open one at a time, going around the room, so it took us almost two hours to finish -- then it was trash clean-up time! I got a great new bird feeder for the patio, several books by my new favorite author Jennifer Cruise, pillows for my sofa, a new sewing box, and lots of other neat things! John was most thrilled with his "grab-it" tool kit -- and I gave Stacy some Native American DVDs and a money sorter (that was broken in the box and I have to exchange now). Casey wanted mostly gift certificates to a photography store -- and Anna had picked out her major gifts and brought them home for me to wrap (after she had already worn them several times!) It was just good being with the family and enjoying our time together.
That afternoon, niece Jessi came over for our annual "Christmas Cookie Bake"! We've been doing this for years, and I'm sure Casey will continue with Kate when she is old enough to enjoy the dough-rolling and cutting-out and icing them. My kitchen was a mess -- but it was fun as always! That's our "girl time together"!
Christmas evening we all got together at MawMaw's with Stacy's brother Greg and Jessi for a traditional Christmas dinner of ham, dressing, fried okra, chicken & dumplings and MawMaw's rolls.
On Friday, Casey and John left to go to John's family in Wadley. That afternoon, Stacy's other brother Gary and his wife Carolyn arrived from Trussville with the newly-weds Brian and Amanda. Because we weren't sure what time Brian and Amanda would arrive, we decided to get "Oak Grove Fried Shrimp" for dinner -- which was excellent as always. Anna had been looking forward to the shrimp for several months!
The girls decided to take in a movie matinee Saturday afternoon -- "Four Christmasses" starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughan which was hilarious! It was good to laugh and enjoy the fun! Then that afternoon, my brother Walker and my two nephews Charles and Graham arrived and we all went to MawMaw's again for a big family "Low Country Shrimp Boil" -- because we just can't get enough shrimp and it's easy -- just throw it all in a big pot and boil. Yum!
So as I wind up today, Stacy, Anna and I went over to my mom's (sorry, but we skipped church because Anna had to leave at 1:00) and ate BBQ. Then after Anna headed back to Atlanta to pick up boyfriend Zach at the airport, Walker and I installed my mom's Christmas present -- new blinds for her windows. We got the 2" plantation blinds for her front bedroom, the den and kitchen. Wow, I was pooped when we got through -- but we weren't through! We went to Lowe's and got her a new mailbox and post (hers had been bashed by some pranksters and the post was rotting) -- then had a great meal at the new Mexican restaurant in Dothan. Enjoyed the Mexican band playing a Hispanic version of "Sweet Home Alabama" and Jimmy Buffet!!!
Walker and the boys return home to South Carolina tomorrow and I'll get back to work on Tuesday, but it has been wonderful having all of our family here during Christmas! God bless us, every one!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Sunday School breakfast was at Tony and SueEllen Messick's new home wayyyyyy back off the highway through the woods behind daughter Amy and Brian's home on Hwy. 123. It's beautiful back in there and they have a beautiful home. We had fun fellowshipping and stuffing our faces with homemade biscuits, grits, sweet rolls and sausage balls! I made Casey's "French Toast Casserole" that everyone loved -- they called it a "souffle" -- and I've never made a souffle! I couldn't find Casey's recipe, so I used one that sounded similar from the Internet -- and I've put it below.
Last night -- which was my anniversary that we celebrated by me going to a play and Stacy going to eat oysters! Guess that's how it works after 35 years! He got me a Circle E candle -- Bird of Paradise -- and a diffuser from Hartford's Florist and Gifts. Paul (the owner) certainly knows what I like and takes care of me! I got Stacy a bag of different candies he likes.
Anyway, I got sidetracked again -- must have inherited it from my mother! Last night, Mom, friends Rebecca, Lynn and Sharon, and our IT guru Adam and his wife Sarah, went to the Understudy Dinner Theatre to see "Tuna Christmas" written by Jaston Williams, Ed Howard and Joe Sears! I had seen it before, but it was so funny, even again! It's set in Tuna, Texas, and starred Ron DeVane (owner of the Understudy and the Dothan Dance Club) and a young but very talented Garrett Brolund. The play only has two actors who play all the characters -- which requires quite a few costume changes and wigs. They played a total of 22 different characters including Bertha Bumiller, Aunt Pearl, Inita Goodwin, and Vera Carp. There were so many one-liners that I wish I could remember, and we had fun. It's good to laugh like that!
The food was great -- especially the dessert -- scrumpshious chocolate brownie with fudge and ice cream!
Night Before French Toast Casserole
1 (10-oz.) loaf long thin French bread (18-in. long)
3 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter, cut into pats
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Syrups of choice
Grease well a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cut bread into 1-inch slices. Arrange slices in one layer in bottom of pan. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. When thoroughly mixed, pour over bread in pan. Bread will float on top of liquid.
Place a small pat of butter on each piece of bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 36 hours.
Place dish, uncovered, in cold oven. Turn oven to 350 degrees (325 if glass) and bake 45-50 minutes or until bread is puffy and light brown. Remove from oven; allow to set 5 minutes. Bread will rise to top with custard on bottom of dish. Serve with maple or flavored syrups. Yields 9 servings.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Someone sent me an email today about sending a card to a soldier serving in Iraq through Xerox, and I got to thinking about low cost/no cost things you can do to make someone's Christmas a little better. You can even do it anonymously, which makes it even more fun!
- Send a card to a soldier. Go to http://www.letssaythanks.com/ -- pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and send it to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. How amazing it would be if everyone serving overseas got one!! And it's free!
- Send a donation to your local food bank -- or take non-perishable food items. The Salvation Army is another place that gives out food to people in need. With the economy like it is, there are more and more people in trouble.
- Get together a group and go caroling -- Nobody goes caroling any more. You can do neighborhoods -- or concentrate on shut-ins or go to a nursing home or assisted care facility.
- Send a Christmas card to a shut-in or someone who doesn't have family nearby. Better yet, invite them to your Christmas dinner!
- Can't think of what to get that person on your list who has everything? Donate to a charity in their honor. It will make them feel special -- plus someone will get help who deserves it.
- Give the gift of affection -- be generous with hugs, kisses and pats on the back.
- Give the gift of laughter -- clip cartoons, share funny stories.
- Give the gift of a written note -- send a 'thank you' note, write a letter to an old friend.
- Give the gift of a compliment --a simple 'you look great today', a sincere 'thank you for a wonderful meal'.
- Give the gift of listening -- no interrupting, no daydreaming, no responding, just listening.
- Give the gift of solitude -- spend some time in silence and prayer, help others spend some time in silence. Know a harried mother? Keep her kids for a couple of hours and let her take a break!
- Give globs of gratitude. Send appreciation to someone who has done something kind for you. Send a 'Thank You' card to someone who's helped you when you really needed it. Write a letter to an old teacher who influenced your life. Call your grandparents or parents and let them know how they've impacted your life. Email a friend to thank them for being there for you through hardships. Send an e-card to your husband or wife to tell them how much you appreciate having them in your life.
- Meet others with a smile -- especially while shopping or standing in lines.
- Be a courteous driver -- Let someone walk in front of your car in the shopping center parking lot -- or give up that parking space you've been waiting for, smile and wave! Is there a long line of cars waiting to pull out in traffic? Let someone out!
- Leave an extra tip for a friendly or helpful waitress or waiter.
- Leave some cookies or snacks in the break room at work with a smiley-face note to help themselves!
- Clean up litter -- while walking down the sidewalk or up to a store, stoop down and pick up that piece of trash someone randomly threw out.
- Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine or a payphone.
- Pay the toll for the person behind you.
- Leave flowers in front of someone's house.
- Bake cookies for your neighbors.
- Put quarters in the laundry machine for the next person.
- Send cards with beautiful messages to anonymous people.
- Leave chocolate on the desk of your co-workers.
- Treat someone to a cup of their favorite cup of coffee.
- Clean out your closet and take the extra clothes to a local nonprofit thrift store.
- Write a card with a beautiful quote or a blessing and leave it in a doctor's waiting room or other random place for someone to find.
- Pay for the person behind you at a drive-thru.
- Rake someone's yard.
Great charity ideas:
Monday, December 15, 2008
Our niece Jessi was a bridesmaid, and Casey and John (you can barely tell she's 6 months pregnant in that dress) and Anna and Zach all came. It was great to see Aunt Jeffie and her son Tommy -- and her grandson Rob and Trisha and their new baby Graham. He's adorable and looks just like Rob!
If you're surprised by the opening photos -- those are from the Rehearsal Dinner held at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in downtown Birmingham. I just had to take photos of Ralph "Shug" Jordan, Auburn's famous coach my first year at Auburn (1972's 17-16 game, punt Bama punt) and the large "Bo over the top"! Again, the food was wonderful and it was so fun to be able to share in this time with Gary and Carolyn and the families! I thank them for including my mom in the activities as well. She and MawMaw really enjoyed themselves! And I apologize to Carolyn for not catching her for a photo! I'll have to wait for the official photos to get one of the complete family!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyway, I'm getting off track. Today my brother Walker, who lives in Spartanburg, SC, and works for a company that produces that clear wrap for meat products, sent me an email that the tax proposal has been whipped! Yea, for once common sense has prevailed. I'm sure it wasn't my comment that changed their minds -- probably it was the national Farm Bureau getting their goat (or cow)!
He said, "I subscribe to online news from Meatingplace.com. Excellent information on meat industry news. This is the article posted today. Took a little media attention to break their intentions, but guess it worked. Sounds like EPA is also trying to cover their tracks to the crime scene as well on this one."
Article: "EPA report doesn't mean livestock will be taxed to curb methane emissions," By Janie Gabbett on 12/10/2008
"The fact that a 570-page Environmental Protection Agency rule-making report on ways to implement the Clean Air Act included a discussion of ways to curb livestock methane emissions does not mean the agency will actually tax farmers for their livestock, according to two EPA spokesmen. The report has generated outrage in the agricultural community. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimated the report's exploration of farmers who own 25 dairy cows or 50 beef cattle being asked to buy permits for each ton of methane their animals released could cost farmers $175 per dairy cow and $87.50 per beef cow.
"On a conference call yesterday with local journalists, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) cried foul over the idea and said he has written to the EPA calling on the agency to scrap any consideration of imposing such fees.
"EPA spokesman Dale Kemery, however, denied that the agency is proposing a cow tax, calling the rules notice simply an "in-depth exploration of the opportunities and challenges that the application of the (Clean Air Act) authorities would present," according to the Rochester, N.Y. newspaper The Democrat and Chronicle. Similarly, the Albany, N.Y. Times Union newspaper quoted EPA spokeswoman Catherine Milbourn as saying the EPA has not proposed a tax and hasn't said it will target farmers as it decides how to enforce the Clean Air Act."
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I helped hostess a baby shower for Brooke (Justice) Smith this afternoon (expecting baby Brody in Jan.) with Kay and Shera Parker and Barbara Hughes. It was so much fun, and I got to enjoy Sophie, Jill's daughter, and Lilly Claire, Mindy's 6-month old! First it's Brody in Jan. -- then our baby Kate in March. Brooke received so many cute little outfits and baby accessories. It's amazing to me what is out there for babies now that we never even thought of when I was pregnant many moons ago! Photos below . . .
This morning I drove the Co-op "green" car in the Hartford Christmas parade, and Jerry and Cindy Sorrells followed in a bucket truck. That's what I love about our small town -- I drive the car in the parade and know half the people on the sidelines who wave and say "hi!" Then on the Square you get to see so many more -- alot that I haven't seen in a long time since I'm not out in the front at the office any more. Scattering seeds had a table set up to sell the cookbooks, and it was fun to sit and talk to Lynn, Patricia, Susan and Debbie. I also got to see Holly, one of Darin Moseley's "daughters" that I met this summer at Youth Conference, and it was fun to talk to her and see how she's doing. And of course, Abigail, Darin and Lisa's daughter -- she has grown so much!
Tues. nite we had the Wiregrass Electric employee Christmas party in our community room with grilled steaks (melt-in-your-mouth cooked by Joe Howell and family) and shrimp! Our entertainment was a "Barney Fife" impressionist. He was hilarious and sounded just like Barney! It was fun getting everyone together in a casual setting to just have fun!
Thurs. nite we had the "girls at work" Christmas party at Robbie's with what has become our tradition - homemade chilli and all the fixings! It was fun playing dirty Santa for the ornaments we swapped! I was #2, so I had mine stolen several times -- got to open alot of presents that way! I tried out a new dessert recipe Anna found for Tiramasu. It was really good -- and easy!
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
48 Vanilla Wafers
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled, divided
2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, grated
1 cup fresh raspberries (optional)
Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk and pudding mixes. Stir in 2 cups Cool Whip. Line 2-1/2 qt. bowl with 24 wafers; drizzle with 1/4 cup coffee. Top with half the pudding mixture and half of the chocolate. Repeat layers, starting with wafers. top with remaining Cool Whip and raspberries. Refrigerate 2 hours. Makes 16 servings.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
We all ate at Stacy's mom's on Friday -- and had too much to eat as always! I still feel full -- and I have one piece of pumpkin pie left!
Now it's on to Christmas gift-getting. Hartford's Hometown Christmas is Sat. with the parade -- guess I'll be driving the "green" car from work in the parade! Our work Christmas party is Tues. night -- free steak and entertainment! Our Ad Club Christmas party is Wed. and my car is full of decorations and favors for it! And our "girls" Christmas party for work is at Robbie's on Thurs. with ornament swap! Busy -- but fun and I'm not going to get stressed out -- just enjoy it all!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
WTVY Channel 4 has this story on its website about a proposed EPA tax on cattle because the methane gas they produce is causing greenhouse gas! This is not a joke. There are only 2 days left to leave a comment for the EPA about this ridiculous tax that will put cattle and hog producers out of business. You can view the story at WTVY here: http://www.wtvynews4.com/home/headlines/35157424.html
And you can go here to leave a comment: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=09000064806a0cfd
I’m tired of the EPA and our government running all business and farming out of our country. Before long, we will be dependent on foreign countries for all of our food because of ridiculous restrictions and taxes. And where are they going to stop? Chickens produce gas emissions -- going after the chicken farmers? How about a tax on people -- I know plenty of people who produce methane -- my husband for one! Where is the common sense any more?
The deadline for comments is Nov. 28.
SAVE OUR FARMERS – LEAVE A COMMENT!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Someone sent me this website for Mrs. Claus' recipes (that's Santa's wife, you know). Tons of candy, cakes and cookies!
Then, once you've baked yourself to death and need to diet, check out this Women's Stress Diet. Now, that's my kind of diet -- although the music is kind of annoying. Don't know why people insist on including annoying music with their websites.
And special for Thanksgiving, this Turkey Shoot website is fun, especially if you've had a bad day at the office and you want to shoot something. You'll be ready to kill that turkey and eat it when you play this game!
Then there is this video about the digital TV conversion coming up in Feb. '09. This reminds me so much of my mother or mother-in-law. It's too funny!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And I have so many things to be thankful for -- my two beautiful talented daughters who amaze me with their creativity -- a great son-in-law and a great boyfriend for daughter #2 -- my precious grandbaby Kate who will arrive in March -- my job (even though I like to complain about it alot) -- my friends at work that I can vent to -- and my friend Ann who has been battling cancer for a long time and who is still hanging in there -- my home and family nearby, and some a little further away -- my mom and her Minneola stories -- my gas logs so I can cuddle up with my comfy blanket by the fire and read -- our Subway (pizzas are perfect) and Mom's Kitchen (those Lalo burgers) and Oak Grove Mall (great fried shrimp) that I'm learning to depend on more -- I don't have to live in the city and battle traffic to get to work (just slow tractors)! We have been truly blessed!
Talking about time flying -- I've been trying not to get all stressed about being so overloaded with what I need to do -- mostly at work. My Purpose Driven Daily Devotional today helped me put it in perspective:
". . .we couldn’t get it all done, and God never intended for us to make completing a to-do list the purpose of our lives. The fact is, there are many things we think we must do that really are not worth doing. You won’t simplify your life by getting an electronic organizer. Simplifying is really about choices – prioritizing what is important – and then sticking to those choices no matter how tempting it is to add more to your to-do list. In fact, take those tempting activities and put them on a list of things not to do. You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you. "
So I'm going to try to do more of "let go, let God"!
I've really enjoyed having Netflix. Daughter #2 talked me into it! I can take my time browsing movies -- and I've found some really funny English movies (they have the same kind of wacky, wierd sense of humor I do) and some good mini-series. One I'm almost through with (the last disc should come tomorrow so I can complete the series) is titled "The House of Elliott" -- a good mini-series about two English ladies during the 1920s and 30s who start a house of fashion. In addition to being entertaining, it's a good look into the difficulties of life at that time for women who weren't married.
Something else I came across this week from Tammie B. at work is this Amazing Grace video by some Italian dudes. Their singing is so good -- and they're not bad to look at either!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
And we got to see our girls and their guys! It was fun tailgating and the weather was just a little cool -- a great fall day for a ball game! Even though Stacy had to discuss our tailgate spot with some people who took it over! They eventually "let us" have it back -- watch out next year!!!
Two Sunday's ago I took MawMaw to Birmingham for a tea for my nephew's fiance -- they are getting hitched Dec. 13. We're all excited about another wedding!
I'm adding some of the photos from the tea. The photo on the right is MawMaw (Mary Hatcher), Amanda (the bride to be) and Carolyn (my sister-in-law and mother of the groom).
The next photo is the bride and groom (Amanda and Brian) and Casey (with baby Kate protruding a little!)
They received many beautiful gifts -- mine, in addition to some money I know they can use, was a picnic basket with "red" items (since they're for that other team in the state that is having a good year and ranked #1), a rolling pin and a Scattering Seeds cookbook.
The last photo is me, Casey, MawMaw, Carolyn and Amanda.
Don't know what made me do it -- maybe it's all the "change in the air" -- but I decided to get my hair colored again. I like the color of gray it was, but I was just ready for a change -- so now I'm dark brown again and have some funky new glasses! We'll see how many notice at work tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
All my favorite TV shows are either over or will soon be through for the season, and that's not fun. Project Runway ended about a month ago, and Top Design and Army Wives ended last week -- now Dancing with the Stars is going into semi-finals next week. I really like the ones left and will hate to see anyone go. I was starting to like Boston Legal, but last week it was political and this week dealt with a minor wanting an abortion without her parent's consent -- and they were helping her. That's so bad on so many levels, don't know if I'll watch it again or not. Guess I'll have to check on The Tudors and see when it starts back and subscribe to Showtime again.
Today was Veteran's Day - so our offices at work closed and all of us employees piled on a big bus (coach they like to call it) and took a 4 hour trip to the Lowman Power Plant in Leroy, AL. Not too excited about spending 8 hours on a bus -- but it still fascinates me how power is produced and transmitted over those lines all over the countryside! And who ever thought the whole process up -- that you could take coal and burn it to produce heat that heats water to form steam that turns turbines that energizes a generator that produces electrical current that goes out over lines?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
A new Geneva County High School Alumni Association has been formed to provide support for the school. A similar program in Slocomb has provided many things for their school, and this is a wonderful thing for our town. You can download the form to provide your information -- and make a donation if so desired.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
So, as always the optimist, I'm thinking what's good about this election . . .
- It's kind of a relief. Now I won't have to listen to all those celebrities and news people blame everything on Republicans. TV might be kind of boring now -- they can't make fun of the person they idolize.
- I'll get my tax cut since I don't make $250,000 a year -- or even $200,000 -- or even $150,000. What was that number again?
- We won't have to watch McCain talk for four years.
- Sara Palin can go back to Alaska and live her life in peace -- she's been put through the wringer throughout this election. She's been a breath of fresh air and frankness -- I hope we haven't seen the last of her on a national level. (Although she's going to have to give all those clothes back now.)
- Ever since my Girl Scout days around the campfire, I've loved the song "Kumbaya." I'll get to sing it often now since it's going to be our country's new way of dealing with terrorists and all those countries that hate us but love our money. Maybe I should get the old guitar down out of the attic!
- Global warming will be stopped and we can save the polar bears! Look out God, Al Gore's after your job next.
- This was a record year for voting numbers -- and that's a good thing. Everyone should exercise their privilege to vote and not become apathetic. Whether they agree with my political view or not -- that's what democracy is about.
I also need to get to work on my New Year resolutions for 2009 with all the political changes coming up . . .
- Assess what medical procedures I'm going to need for the next ten years and go ahead and get on the waiting list in anticipation of socialized medicine.
- Tweak the resume for when Obama bankrupts the coal industry and I won't have a job.
- Sign up for the "spread the wealth" program for when I lose my job.
- Get a windmill for the farm for when the country runs out of electricity from "going green."
- Plow up the plot for a garden for when all agriculture is forced out of our country for the environmentalists.
Friday, October 31, 2008
During the first debate between McCain and Obama (this was my first year of watching all the debates), McCain mentioned the website Citizens Against Government Waste. Well, that is one of my pet peeves -- politicians wasting my hard-earned tax money. I'm like Jeff Foxworthy -- if 10% is good enough for God -- it should be good enough for the government. But no, they have to take 30% or more -- and along with state tax, property tax, auto tax, Social Security, sales tax, and it goes on -- I barely get to keep half of what I make. So check out the website and sign up for emails to alert you about the Porkers of the Month. This month it's the head of the FCC who used our tax money to sponsor a race car -- that crashed in its first race. Check it out.
There is more than you can ever think of to look at on YouTube about the election. Some of the best:
- An Atlanta video "Why I'm Voting for Obama" -- Although the title can be misleading to some, this is a video made by some of the girls in Anna's small group at her church in Buckhead -- a must-see!
- Howard Stern show asks people in Harlem why they're voting for Obama
- Cute little 4-year-old says "vote"
- 2008 Candidate Girl Olympics -- this is pretty funny and bi-partisan -- Obama Girl vs McCain Girl -- this is the first in a series.
- Iraq War Vet message -- This is really good and gets you at the end.
In the Alabama State election, I didn't understand the amendment about the Rainy Day fund. This is an explanation from Voices for Alabama's Children, a PACT for the Dept. of Education, so I'm sure it's biased for the schools -- but since my husband is a teacher and our income depends on the county board of education being able to pay him -- I'm for it! Read about Amendment 1.
I still don't understand the Home Rule Amendment for Geneva County. I'm getting too many conflicting opinions. It may be a good thing -- but could lead to too much government telling property owners what to do.
Information about Alabama's election amendments at BallotPedia.org
And about the latest email going around about voting a straight ticket -- it's true for some states. Check it out on Snopes.
Here's another interesting website -- DonorSecrets.org. You can look up by zip code the names of people who have donated to presidential candidates this season.
Most importantly -- pray for this important election -- and VOTE on Tues., Nov. 4. Anna stood in line in Atlanta for 2 hours to vote early the other day -- and was told that was a good wait -- most have been 4 to 8 hours. It's a priviledge and honor most people around the world do not have. Plus, if your guy loses -- you can feel better by complaining for the next four years!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Peanut Butter Pie
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (or 1/2 a bar)
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
9 oz. Cool Whip
Graham cracker pie crust
Soften cream cheese; mix with peanut butter and sugar with a fork until well blended. Fold in Cool Whip and pour into graham cracker crust. Refrigerate. (May be frozen)
After the havoc and frenzy of Annual Meeting last Saturday, I've decided to take off two days this week. Annual Meeting is a lot of fun and I get to see and talk to so many people that I don't get to see anymore since I have a "secluded office" now instead of being front and center in the middle of the lobby -- but it is also very hectic. Now I'm the "bingo queen" I guess since I was the one who called out the numbers . . . you know, B5, 074. Ha! The people LOVED bingo and you could hear a pin drop when I started to call out numbers. It was so funny -- they would be looking up until I said the letter, then all their heads would drop searching to see if they could move that little window over! I also found out who the "professional" bingo players were -- who ever heard of "four corners"? I told them were were playing plain old across, up and down or diagonal bingo -- "and just one card per person please!"
So now I'm on my "holiday!" Stacy's off to Indianapolis to National Convention with his FFA group, so I have the house to myself and can catch up on some of those things I've put off -- like changing out the clothes in my closet, weeding the garden, and getting rid of some of the clutter on the bar in the kitchen -- and shopping! Maybe I'll get up in the attic and rummage in my grandmother's old leather trunk for the cute little baby clothes I saved for baby Kate! This cooler weather has given me new energy -- so glad the hot summer is over!!
Last night, my BFFs Ann and Judy and I took a "girls night out" and ate at David's Seafood in Enterprise. I had the fried catfish filets -- cooked perfectly -- with great cheese grits and onion rings. It was so much fun to be together eating out again -- we haven't done that in a long, long time. Ann is has been battling cancer for a long time now and is on chemo, so it was great that she felt like going out. We laughed and talked and promised to make this a regular thing. Life's too short not to spend time with your BFFs!
Has anyone but me noticed that the new buzz word is "global"? Every freaking thing is global now -- global warming, global economy, global hunger. Bugs me alot! So does this election whining. I want it over -- but it may be worse when it's over!
I've been in a slump lately -- so now I'm ready for a change! I've decided to color my hair again and have an appointment on Nov. 6! Maybe I'm crazy because everyone keeps telling me they love the color of my hair, but I just can't get used to seeing it in the mirror. Or maybe it's because I'm going to be a grandmother and don't want anyone to think I look old enough to be a grandmother! Anyway, if I don't like it I can always let it grow out again! And it's cheaper than redecorating! Maybe I'll redecorate something too! So glad I'm out of my slump!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
So I got to shop a little at night (at the outlet mall, my chance to shop at the Dress Barn). One night we ate at the Seagrove Village Market Cafe at Seagrove Beach. We discovered this little place a couple of years ago when vacationing at the beach and have eaten there every chance we get now. They have wonderful shrimp po-boy sandwiches and some of the best hushpuppies we've ever thad! Try it sometime -- it's on 30A where Seagrove and Seaside meet east of Destin, Florida.
Daughter #2 left early Fri. morning to get back for another beach trip with her roommate Savannah in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Casey and I shopped a little that afternoon and headed back to Hartford so I could help husband in the GCHS concession stand for the FFA (it was Homecoming). So busy -- I don't think the line ever let up -- and those kids loved the fries, cheese fries and chili cheese fries!!!
So yesterday, we took Daughter #1 back to her husband and went to the Auburn-Arkansas football game. It was definitely NOT a great day on the Plain! Auburn's offense -- if you can call it that -- is practically non-existent and the defense struggled. The special team did run a kickoff back for a touchdown!! But losing to Arkansas -- what a bummer!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Anna, Zach and I ate at The Watershed in Decatur on Tues. night. The chef there, Scott Peacock, is originally from our hometown of Hartford and the food is wonderful. This was just my second time to eat there -- I had the barbecue chicken, corn and veggies -- and a fantastic Chocolate Praline Parfait for dessert that was to die for!!! The Watershed is a casual, trendy restaurant located in a refurbished service station and has an array of gourmet-caliber dishes that pay homage to the traditional Southern kitchen -- where Scott is from. Watershed is co-owned by Indigo Girl Emily Saliers.
The last night (Thurs.) the three of us ate at Maggiano's Little Italy in Buckhead. I had a Pesto Chicken Pasta that I never could have eaten all of but it was wonderful -- and the Tiramisu was fantastic. Now I need to start that exercise program again!
Anna and I got to get in a little shopping and pedicure before dinner. It was so fun to spend some time with her just having fun! It's pretty hectic when she comes home to visit - so this was great "girl time"!!!
I get to have that "girl time" with daughter #1 this next week when I have a conference at San Destin. Casey has decided this is "her conference" and has gone with me the past two years. While I have meetings, she gets to lounge on the beach and shop! Oh well, more good beach eating and I'll get in a little shopping too!
What I learned at the conference -- clean up our website (keep content above the fold) - how to get our videos to load faster (use YouTube) -- and that the new wave for web design is be cleaner and more simple to work with the mobile web. With so many now having I-Phones and Blackberries -- a website with too much content to load will take too long and will not be easily readable. Just check out google and netflix for "keeping it simple." Browsers don't care how "pretty" it is if the website isn't easily navigated. Can't believe how much has changed in such a short period of time as far as the Web is concerned. It blows my mind sometimes!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
We did a Low Country Shrimp Boil in the afternoon before the game -- and it was so good. Actually, it was easier than grilling -- thanks to Tyler's big pot and cooker! Yum! (I've added the recipe here.) John's sister Dana and his mom Kay stopped by with Dana's kids Lang and Landon. They have grown so much -- and it was our first time to see Landon. They are both so cute!
Although we had to suffer the agony of defeat, it was a close game and Auburn played better than I had expected. We were on our feet almost the whole game - and I'm hoarse today from yelling too much! But games are fun because we've gotten to know the people who sit around us over the years and it's like family up there -- did I mention that we sit on the TOP row of the upper deck? Oh well, War Eagle anyway -- as we used to say in the 70's!
Since it was 2:30 a.m. when we got home (I hate those night games) -- we took it easy today to recouperate! And it's back to work tomorrow.
LOW COUNTRY BOIL
18 little red potatoes, cleaned
2 lbs. Polish sausage, cut up into sm. chunks
1 doz. 3 inch ears frozen corn
4-5 lbs. raw shrimp in shell
Prepare a large pot of salted water and add 1 pkg. Zataran's Crab Boil. Bring to boil. Add little red potatoes, boil 6 minutes. Add corn and sausage. Boil 12 minutes. Add shrimp, boil 2 minutes, remove and drain. (This works good if you have a strainer pot to go inside the big pot; then you can just lift out to drain.) Pour pot contents into big tub or container.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Lynn Isler's Chicken Kabobs
1 cup water
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ¼ teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 ½ teaspoon oregano
1 ½ teaspoons thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 boneless chicken breast halves
2 medium red onions
2 red bell peppers
Soak 20 wooden skewers in water for one hour. Combine water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, coffee, pepper sauce, garlic, black pepper, paprika, rosemary, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, bay leaves, ketchup and oil. Bring to boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Line a broiler pan with foil. Cut chicken, onion and red bell pepper into one inch pieces. Alternating, thread on a skewer. Place on broiler pan. Baste the kebobs with the sauce, covering both sides. Broil four inches from heart for 8 minutes. Turn over and broil until chicken is done, about 5 minutes. Baste all over with sauce again. Cover with foil and reheat by baking on 350° for 30 minutes before serving. Makes 20 kebobs or about 8 – 10 servings.
Chocolate Eclair Dessert
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 stick margarine
1/8 teaspoon salt
Mix icing ingredients together and bring to a rollin boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat. Let cool while mixing filling.
2 small boxes or 1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
8 ounces Cool Whip
1 box Graham Crackers
Mix pudding and milk with electric mixer. Fold in Cool Whip.
In 9" x 13" pan, layer cracker squares and half of the filling. Repeat with a second layer of cracker squares and filling. Top with a final layer of cracker squares. Pour icing over crackers. Refrigerate covered.
Peggy Miller's Salad Dressing
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or Canola oil)
Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, dry mustard and paprika. Using a small hand mixer, slowly add the oil to the mixture, beating until it is well blended. (It will thicken but will separate a little if refrigerated.) Shake before using. If refrigerated, take out before time of using - as it will shake better.
I use this with salads using fruit- strawberries, oranges, grapefruit. Enjoy!!!(You may like white vinegar or even balsamic, but I prefer the cider.)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Well, Auburn's offense tried to lose the ball game against Mississippi State last night, but thanks to the defense, we ended up winning 3-2! This photo of our friend Rob Byrd looks like he's finally converted from being an Alabama fan -- but apparently someone played a trick on him! Good thing for him you can't see his face very well!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
It's been a good football weekend! Hartford beat Kinston last night at home -- our first win! The Bulldogs are struggling this year -- but it's always great to see our niece Jessi cheer! I look around at the games and feel so OLD! I just don't know any of the kids any more!!!
The other night I watched the old movie "Father's Little Dividend" with Spencer Tracey and Elizabeth Taylor. That is the original of "Father of the Bride II," and if you haven't seen the original version, you need to. Since our daughter Casey informed us of her pregnancy a few weeks ago, it gave me new insight into our feelings of impending "grandparenthood" and the funny feeling you get when you know your child is going to have a baby! Of course, we're extremely excited about getting to be grandparents -- our first time -- but you feel so old thinking about your children having children!!! And then I watch commercials with babies in them and think about getting to love on our grand-baby soon!
This is one of life's exciting changes! I admit to being a bit down lately about being overloaded at work. But getting to make some changes in the decor at home and this exciting anticipation has helped to put things into perspective.
Tonight we'll have our weekend staple for dinner -- Oak Grove shrimp! I've missed it the past couple of weeks, and no one fries shrimp quite like Mrs. Jean at Oak Grove. We like to call it the Oak Grove Mall -- but it's just a little country store converted to restaurant about a mile from our home. The decor isn't chic -- but the food is great!!! And the fried shrimp is our favorite -- and only $9.95 for a whole fry dinner including home-made french fries, the best tartar sauce around and cole slaw.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Our first Auburn football game was yesterday and so much fun - though hot - with Casey and John and some of John's friends and then Anna and Zach and her friends Jenna and KK getting to come. Of course we had to get there early enough to get our favorite tailgating spot at "Ag Hill". The big magnolia tree that Casey and Anna used to climb when they were younger provided some much-needed shade during the day. I'm posting some photos from the day.
The best part of the game for me is to see the eagle fly, and I had two of my favorite lemonaids at the game. And, to top it off, Auburn beat Louisiana-Monroe! Late getting home so we slept in this morning.
I've spent the afternoon watching Hurricane Gustav info in the weather channel -- it's a hazard of my job! Hurricanes always mean power outages for someone -- and I'm hoping I won't have to work tomorrow. When everyone else gets "storm" or "ice" days off -- I have to work because there's always something to communicate or someone to feed when the power goes out. Hopefully, all we'll get is rain.
And, I've been putting up my new curtain rods and curtains today. Once I got my new "floors," I decided it needed new curtains!!! It's always something else! Posting some photos of my "feels like new home!"
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Then tomorrow night I have to move everything that's packed in my dining room and kitchen back into the bedrooms and clear out the dining room for the wood-look floor that will go in the kitchen, laundry room, dining room and foyer. At least it gave me a good excuse to clean out and organize. I've already taken a load to the Community Store and have more to go. Not to mention what's gone in the garbage.
Back when we didn't have so much "stuff," I enjoyed moving just for that reason. It was a good way to clear out what we didn't use and get organized. I've found things I forgot I had -- and it's a good excuse to re-arrange! Plus, I'll have nice new floors -- and it's about time after 26 years! We built and moved in 1982, the year before Anna was born.
We had new windows installed several months ago -- and now new carpet. Let's see, what can I do next? I'll post some photos after I get it all back in order!