Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It Was All so Magical

It was all so magical.

The grandchildren came tonight and I was sucked right back to 1986.  They have gone home now and the feelings I had a few hours ago are beginning to wane.  Before the feeling disappears altogether, I wanted to write about them.  You almost had to have been here with me tonight and experienced 1986 with me first hand to understand, but trust me, it was all so magical. 

The grandkids came about 4:15 p.m. which was the perfect time to catch an hour or so outside.  In the house no more than an minute and the boys were off to finish up their fort that they'd started last Saturday.  Little Audrey was perfectly content to stay inside and work on a craft project at the kitchen table while I fixed dinner.  I looked out and the sky was just forming its pink glow into twilight and I was immediately transported back in was magical; my own kids playing outside on a cool November evening as the sky turns pink, Johnny watching the news, and me in the warm kitchen fixing dinner.

Night falls, and the grandchildren come in asking what's for dinner?  (Pleasant words for a grandmother.)  With dinner over Blaine jumped right on his homework.  Okay, this was NOT a memory I remember regarding my own children.  It was usually a knock down drag out.  Logan began practicing on "Moonlight Sonata".  Okay, maybe the 1986 memory was a little different, too, because somebody would be complaining about having to practice and the other child would be screaming for them to stop.

It was all so magical tonight......for a minute, my own little boy was playing and my little daughter was the one working on a craft project....................

I love you...........It is all so magical. 

Twilight is always a magical time for me.  Sometimes I forget to look up for twilight and my day slips into night without me noticing the magic.  Many, many, many pleasant memories occurred at twilight for me.....bringing in the playing outside until we call them in.....listening to "Prairie Home Companion"..........going to visit mom and dad....the list could go on and on..............It is all so magical.

Don't you wish we could harness these fleeting magical moments to pull out now and again when we began to feel sad or lonely? Oh, I guess I memories are my magic, too.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

I Need Christmas

Good evening.

I was going to type about the wonderful weekend I have had and I will, but when I turned on the computer, Pandora on my iPad was playing "Country Roads" sung by non other than John Denver.  Nobody will ever sing this lovely, poignant song like him.  NoBODY!  The clarity of his voice was made for this song.  So many wonderful singers have left us and their unique voices will never be replaced.......his near the top of my list. 

Back to my day..............  We drove around town looking for Christmas lights for the outside of our home.  Is it just me, or does it seem this year, particularly, there is less selection and the lights are not displayed in a way that is pleasing to the eyes?  We left without any lights..............Maybe ...........Maybe North Pole City, but after today's outing, Target is currently in first place. 

(Okay, I might not ever get back  my day.)  Now "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel is playing.  I just want to close my eyes and be transported back in time.  Nothing like listening to music with earphones listening to the beautiful harmony of these two gents.  Greats of my generation.

As we were looking for lights, I told my husband that this year I'm especially excited about Christmas.  I'd like to decorate tomorrow.  We discussed the sad state of our world/country situation.  I just don't want to hear about it another minute.  I told him that, sometimes, I'd like to live in the middle of New Mexico, miles away from the nearest paved road....and he agreed totally with me.  We understand each other.  I would try to describe that feeling to you, but I can''s just too hard.  So rather than describing something that only we feel, I will just share my Christmas light quest and décor with you.............maybe tomorrow."

 "Danny's Song" Loggins and Messina
"Annie's Song" John Denver of course!

I love you.................................Good night!!!

Right now, I am going to close my eyes, listen to this transporting music.  Nothing better than "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett......until the next song comes on. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Grandma's Bed

Good Sunday evening everyone. 

On Facebook a friend wrote a nice little post about her mother wrapping a hot flat iron with some fabric and putting it in the bed to warm her feet on those cold winter nights back in the day.  My friend is a wonderful writer, and after reading her post it brought back my own similar memory and I wanted to grab my computer and start writing.  Here own memory. 

My grandparents each had their own full size beds in one tiny bedroom.  Grandpa's bed was a fluffy feather bed which was fluffed every day as per my memory.  Even with the bed made, the indent of the feather bed was always inviting.  Inviting me to occasionally climb up and sink right up to my nose.  What a wonderful bed!

But the bed I remember  with the most fondness was Grandma's bed.  No feather bed for her, but a simple mattress.  It wasn't the finest bed by any stretch of my adult imagination, but as a child it was the best!  So warm, so safe.  Every once in a while I was allowed to spend the night with her without the rest of my sisters and brother.  Those nights were what I remember and cherish the most especially on the winter nights.  They were special nights feeling extra special by having one on one time with my favorite grandmother.  I remember her heating a couple of old flat irons on the stove and wrapping them in towels and sliding them in the bed to keep our feet warm on those ice cold nights.  She'd snuggle in with me and tell me a story or two.  I remember her cradling me in her arms................  the sensation still lingers...........

I love you, my friends.  I hope you have a wonderful memory that still envelops you when you need it most.  And I hope you have a nice warm flat iron.

Is it me or do the winters of my childhood seem colder than they are these days?  Of course, back in the day, each room wasn't heated as I have in my home today.  The car was left outside and not garaged; no key fob to start the car to get it warmed.  Yes, our creature comforts are something that I'd hate to give up.  Let's hope we appreciate them.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Mrs. Tucker's Candied Sweet Potatoes

No better time to start thinking of comfort food and the upcoming holidays.  One of the staples at the Tucker Thanksgiving has been Mrs. Tucker's Sweet Potatoes.  She was the master of sweet potatoes and by watching her for years, I have taken up the mantle.  My family will only eat these sweet potatoes.  They sure don't want any of the marshmallow type recipes.

Recently, I have been asked to share Mrs. Tucker's. but she didn't actually have a recipe.  Nothing was measured so I will try to share as best I can.  It has taken me 47 years to get it 'perfect', but I don't think one can actually mess this one up.  It may vary just a tad each time. but here are the basics. 

Mrs. Tucker's Candied Sweet Potatoes

Fresh Sweet Potatoes (peeled and sliced)
Brown Sugar
White Karo Syrup
Ground Cinnamon

You notice there are no amounts given, but I will try to give you some guidelines.  Mrs. Tucker tried to use smaller sweet potatoes.  After peeling
she'd slice them into probably 3/4 inch slices.  If you use larger potatoes, slice them and then halve the slices.  Place potatoes in a casserole dish that has a lid.  I usually use a 1 1/2 quart to 2 quart dish.

Cover the potatoes with lots of brown sugar, LOTS.  I have never measured nor did she.  Just make a pile of sugar over the potatoes.  Guessing, I'd use at least a cup of slightly packed b. sugar for the casserole.  Pour 1/2 cup syrup over sugar.  Dot with 1 tablespoon butter.  Add a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of cinnamon.  Don't overdo the cinnamon.  DO NOT STIR.  DO NOT ADD WATER.  The sugar and syrup will melt over the potatoes and that is what will candy the potatoes.  When done they will be slightly translucent.  They will also be slightly chewy.  Cover with the lid and put in 350 oven and cook a long time.  Look at them in an hour.  It has taken two hours.  Don't rush them.

If you have the oven on for the turkey or ham, you can put potatoes along side.  It might take a little more time if the oven is low.  Again, no need to rush them.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and make it as a tribute to my sweet mother-in-law.

I loved her and I love you. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Perfect Little Dress........

Have you ever found the perfect dress and then wasn't the perfect dress for you?

I found my perfect dress.  The dress, my perfect dress, has a tribal vibe (okay that's the catalog's words) maxi, which is perfect for me.  I love a maxi for summer; something to wear instead of shorts which I quit wearing in public in 1981.   Is this the dress for the summer 2019 vacation of/in my dreams?  The dress I might wear to the little ocean side restaurant in the vacation in my dreams???? The print is not my usual flowery look so the hummingbirds won't  mistake me for a tropical drink of sugar water so I'm all good.  I think it's a GO!  Put it in the cart................

Then............REALITY.  It's a little too low cut.  March on by boys; nothing attractive to see here these days.  It is sleeveless........and need I mention I haven't worn sleeveless since 1981 either?  I could get a shawl though.  I'd definitely would need to have a tan to wear this little maxi............but I could get a tan on my imaginary vacation.......the one in my dreams.  And I'd need the jewelry which the catalog model is wearing with it, but it is over half the cost of the dress.  And the sandals........I'd need those sandals which are twice the cost of the dress.............  Of course, I would spend the cash since I am going on the imaginary vacation of my no object!  And I'd need to loose 20 pounds to look cute in the dress...........but, of course, I'd loose the 20 pounds because I'd be going on the imaginary vacation in my dreams.  I think it's still a GO!  I'm going to hit that send button....................

But still............what is it that prevents me from hitting the send button????......OH!  I remember............I am not 30 years old!!!  Shut the computer up...........not gonna get it!   

I love you.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

What is Your Limit

For the last few days, we have been watching various car auctions from Scottsdale, AZ.  Many hundreds of thousands of dollars (and several million on some) are spent on cars that may or may not ever be driven.

This begs the question............just what is your limit?  Exactly where does one draw the line on how much is something worth?  Do you bid up a car to 1.975 million, but just can't go another $25K to make it $2M?  Do you secretly hold your breath hoping to win the car or do you secretly let out your breath when someone outbids you?

This same question can be asked about most anything we buy.  Exactly what is our limit.  Yesterday, I saw a little key fob, really cute.  Considered the little bobble for myself until I realized that it was $109.  After sucking in my breath a little, I thought to myself "who would buy $109?". 

I often think of my mom back in the day when the price of lettuce spiked.  I can't remember the price, but it was pricey in her opinion.  Mom had reached her limit........the price of the lettuce was higher than her perceived the lettuce stayed at the grocery store.

I'm not on anybody's case.  If you can afford to spend $109 for a little key fob to attach to your purse, by all means go right ahead.  Your limit has not been reached.  If you want that million dollar car and can afford it, then you have told the world that your limit has not been reached.

I think for most of us, our limit is tested daily and not by million dollar cars or $100 key fobs.  Our limit is challenged by the price of that Starbucks coffee, the new pajamas we saw at Target, whether to buy the plain Jane $2 notebook or the one with the daily quotes for $9.  It might even be the head of lettuce from Walmart for $1.48.............which after a bit of hesitation I decided to buy. 

Here's to you, Mom, for instilling me with a sense of cost effectiveness.

I love you.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Times Have Changed

Tonight we went to our middle grandchild's 6th grade production of "The Nutcracker Suite" and it was delightful.  Our little guy was the star of the show (in our minds).  The program plus all the picture-taking brought to mind all the Christmas programs of the past, those of my children, but even further those of MY childhood.  Those days when magic, awe, and wonder was new in my heart and as simple as a new dress.  And I had a new dress every Christmas.........all my sisters did.

In those days women wore dresses........ to every "event", and their daughters were just as well dressed.  My mom made almost all our clothes, but the dresses she made for her four daughters at Christmas were the highlight of the year.  Black velvets, red satin, the tiny flowered satin print dress with the velvet tie belt, the navy satin that changed to plum according the light (I still remember twirling just to see the colors dance), the red corduroy jumpers with the white puffy sleeved blouse trimmed in red corduroy, the lace collars and bows, the lace insert skirts with matching blouses............  I even had a little fur coat with matching hand muffs.  They were all adorable.  Oh how I wish I could twirl in that navy satin dress again or touch the velvet.  Those childhood sensory memories only enhance with time.    

Those were the days.  Everyone dressed, even the men.  Everyone wore their best, but especially to something as important as a school play.  When a teacher took the time to present a program for the parents, then it was important for us to show her respect and part of that respect was showing up in our finest.   To look ones best.  I truly think it gave us a sense of respect for ourselves.

I looked around tonight and I didn't see one dress and not one suit was in sight.  I kind of long for those days when we dressed.  I think I might put on a time. 

Times have changed.  I love you.

Some things haven't changed.  The cute kids in the productions.  The pride the parents have for their children.  The love all around us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Brain Drain Part 5

51.  Can you believe tomorrow is Halloween?  No need to buy candy for the goblins.  They don't come down our street anymore.  Sadly, I miss those days of neighborhood kids arriving at our door with giggles and outstretched bags as they say in unison "Trick or Treat". 

52.  Today, today, today...........was a beautiful day in Oklahoma although the wind came up.

53.  Yes, today was beautiful, but we spent a great deal of time in the medical waiting rooms.  But aren't we blessed to have such medical tests?

54.  Don't eat ham if your tongue is sensitive.  Just saying.......salt!

55.  Fall, no doubt to me, is the prettiest time of the year.  Everything turns is golden.

56.  Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume smells lovely.  I got a bottle from Angie.  My daughter gave me a lovely tie/scarf which I adore, and some cute earrings.  My hubby gave me some Mrs. Sees candy and a beautiful emerald locket. 

57.  My brother and his wife gave me a lovely dinner party with family on my 70th birthday.  I think I had the best time I've ever had.  Birthdays are not a big deal to my family so having someone make over me with extra special. 

58.  Wear good shoes!  If you have feet problems, don't buy shoes that will end up making your feet hurt.  That means heels may not be your best friend despite the celebrities who wear them.

59.  And please don't let celebrities sway your own personal opinion about an issue.  You have a mind, use it.  Read...........investigate............and realize not everyone, especially celebrities, have your best interest at heart.

60.  I want wood or fake wood floors.  I am probably not going to invest in them, but I love the look in magazines of lovely homes with wood floors.  Guess I will stick to tried and true.........and comfortable.............carpets.

61.  It's almost time to start decorating for Christmas..........well......another month.  I would love to turn on the lights Thanksgiving night.....maybe we can light some.

62.  Pink.  Have you noticed the pink tones this year?  Rose gold, rose, soft pink hues.  I just love them and I find that tops in a pink color make me feel pretty.  I look in the mirror and feel feminine, soft, and I am just going to say it, pretty. 

63.  Listening to music in the evening, hubby on one of the couch, me on the other......perfection.  Soon we will be replacing music with black and white Christmas movies.  "It Happened on Fifth Avenue" is our lead off movie.  I just love that sweet movie.  Give it a try.

64.  Linda Ronstadt is singing "I've Got a Crush on You".  Remember how popular and current she was.  1975--time marches on.

65.  If you are feeling the least bit cold, down, sick, or otherwise miserable, take a hot bath.  If you don't have a hot tub, this is the next best thing.  Always makes me feel better. 

66.  My feet are cold.  I feel the need for a hot bath.

67.  Mom and Dad.  This time of the year is the time I miss my parents most.  Those peanut harvests, the smell of the earth, the clean crisp air, the golden leaves, and the thought of upcoming holidays to celebrate the becomes to much for me and my memories fall with teardrops from my eyes.  So much love.

68.  My grandchildren mean the most to me.  Three lovely kids, two boys and a girl.  I am so blessed with the love from them.

69.  I couldn't come to the end the list of 70 things without talking about my son and my daughter.  They are my LIFE.  I think back over their years living under my roof and realize those were the best years of my life.  Having them at our feet as they watch TV with us, the dinner table conversations, the school activities; it all makes for a perfect life.

70.  My hubby will end my list of 70 things.  When I think about how much he has done for me personally, it is overwhelming.  His sense of humor was what drew me to him in the first place and it still does.  He makes me laugh.  My love for him grows stronger with each passing day.

Well, that is all I have.  My mind is drained, but tomorrow, Lord willing, I am going to fill it up again.  I am going to make the rest of my 70th year as good as I can.  I am going to find things to be thankful for rather than counting sorrows.  I am going to fill my life with things that make me happy.  I am going to try to be a blessing to someone every day. 

I love you all.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Brain Drain Part 4

31.  "We should have brought a change of clothes and then we could have gone back through the line," he said.  I almost choked on my sample.  I laughed and laughed.  He loves teasing me because I love to try samples at Sam's Club.  His humor is one of his greatest lovable assets.

32.  Don't tell Blaine, but we are not going to watch the World Series.

33.  I want to see my sisters.  One is across town, one is in Branson at the moment, and one is in Mississippi, and honorary sister is in Coweta.  Probably could count on NOT seeing them any time soon.

34.  Do you make candy at Christmas time?  I used to make a lot of different recipes each year, but for the last five years not so much.  One batch of fudge and some caramel popcorn.

35.  I hate watching Mecum car auction so why do we have it on tonight?  Perhaps it is because dear hubby brought me a dish of ice cream topped with whipped cream and pecans...........yeah, he can watch whatever he wants.

36.  I threw my back out this morning and all I was doing was getting out of the chair to get myself another cup of coffee.  Two Aleve and one muscle relaxer later, and I was ready to shop again.

37.   I found the cutest simple little Christmas décor at Walmart today.  Isn't it cute?  Just a little plastic 7" animated piano that plays three tunes and it was less than $10.  Surprisingly, it really sounds like a recorded piano.  I'm going to have fun just pressing the play button throughout the holidays.  I will have my own little pianist.  The link will open when you click on Christmas décor above.

38.  Brown beans--do you like them?  I love them especially the way I make them.  I do NOT soak.  I sort and wash them, add them to the pot and cover with a couple inches of water.  As the beans cook they will swell and the longer they cook the water will be absorbed and the bean broth will get thicker and thicker.  You will need to add water as they cook.  But remember the longer they cook, the darker the broth will become.  Add any flavorings you like; ham, sausages, onions, jalapenos, etc.

39.  I follow several decorators on Instagram.  One thing I have noticed is how clean their houses are............I don't think I can ever achieve that cleanliness.  I am quite comfortable with the lived in look.

40.  Don't be afraid to open the door for someone including men.  I call that just being nice.

41.  Today at Walmart I had 10 things in my cart which I thought were cute.  I had these things in my cart long enough to realize that I was, indeed, impulse buying.  I took the time to take those things back to their rightful shelf and left feeling like I did the right thing.

42.  My daughter..........she came after me to do a little shopping around noon.........after I was feeling better from my back incident.  I love our time together and she makes me happy.  Bringing along her daughter just fills me with pride.

43.  Clowns--don't like them.  Don't like a happy clown.  Don't like a sad clown.  Don't like a scary clown.  NO CLOWNS FOR ME.  In fact, they might be in the running with snakes and my scariest things.

44.  Do you read books on your tablets?  I have, but I much prefer turning the pages of a real book.

45.  I find that the older I get, the more I love going to bed early.  I think I am turning into my parents.  Hubby, however, still stays up till 12:30 or 1:00 every night so I guess it really isn't an age thing.  I'm getting sleepy.......Oh, I guess it's okay to go to bed now...........10:04 p.m.

46.  My 14 year-old grandson is growing up!  He has muscles of a man!  I am not a fan of that look, but oh my............stop...........  I still haven't given up on my image of him as a baby.

47.  I subscribe to several magazines.  That's not so bad, but what is bad is I don't read them. 

48.  Coming up with 70 brain drains is harder than I thought.

49.  I ordered flameless candles yesterday.  I feel like the glow of a candle warms the house so I look forward to decorating with these. 

50.  One of my pet peeves is when my family members washes their hands in my kitchen sink before coming to the table.  Yep, a pet peeve that I try to divert by sending them to the bathroom.

Night night all.

I love you all.   

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Part Three of Brain Drain

21.  A friend took me to lunch today and it just made my week.  Such a kind person. 

22.  "I just want the d... thing to work," just said my hubby.  Technology may or may not be involved.

23.  My little Stormy has been gone for two years, but there are times when it seems like yesterday when that little storm cloud came running as hard as he could across the yard just to check in with his master.

24.  Just go with your heart.................

25.  Have you ever looked around at the amount of stuff we have in the world.  Stuff that we may or may not need, but it's out there.  Somewhere along the way of civilization, we went way beyond our needs.  Result = stuff.

26.  You don't always have to be right.  You don't always have to express an opinion.  There are times when I am in conversation when I realize that what I am about to say will have little relevance in the long run, but in the short run might cause why try to explain my point.  After all, we are not in a debate class.

27.  I am looking forward to Thanksgiving this year.  I usually dread baking the turkey, but this year I have a new outlook on life.  I want to make my meal extra special and I'm looking forward to exploring recipes.  To tell you the truth, my family would prefer the plainer side of sides..........get it side of sides?

28.  Confession:  I skipped school one time in my life; my senior year--one day.  My girlfriend and I went to the state fair with our boyfriends.  We even talked my friend's sister-in-law into writing an excuse letter to our principal.  That is about the extent of my rebel period.

29.  I just want you to know that my life is better when I do NOT watch the news.  I also want you to know that my life is better when I don't tap into Facebook. 

30.  I got an Alexia, and I think I like it.  She's a pretty smart old gal.  She keeps my TO DO list and keeps me on track.  I think she's my personal assistant.............isn't it amazing how technology has evolved since 1988 when I first use a Deck Mate?

That's all I got today...............

I love you ALL.




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