Sunday, February 9, 2020

Flipping Pages Back to Front

Good Sunday afternoon.

The weather is somewhat odd today.  At this very moment in time, the sun is beaming in my sunroom.  Soon the sun will be blotted out by the clouds and rain drops will be hitting the tin roof....and then the sun will peak through once again.  Such weather is so comforting to me because while the temperature is not what one would call warm, it somehow evokes spring.

I'm setting here flipping through one of my favorite catalogs...........from back to my mom would do her magazines.  She always told me it was because she could look forward to the best pages still to come as they were at the front of the magazine.  If she flipped pages from the front to the back, she'd be left with only the continuing pages of stories or uninteresting ads.  Does anyone out there remember all the military and boarding school ads at the back of magazines?  I always felt sorry for the kids that might be sent there.

Anyway.........I am looking at my Sundance Catalog founded by Robert Redford in 1969.  It's a beautiful catalog filled with page after page of all things southwest.....from sheets to shoes, beautiful oversize embroidered tops, a lot of things that are somewhat hippie in style with a hefty price tag.  Sure enough as I flipped from back to front, I finished on the best...........$2500 jewelry..............and that's not going to happen...........  I wonder who buys such expensive things from catalogs?  If I were to spend  that kind of money on jewelry, I'd certainly like to see and touch and try on in person.

The interesting thing I have come to realize looking at this catalog is I am no longer a hippie...not that I ever was....but I wanted to be one.  And that's too bad because I can now afford such beautiful clothes and I do love these cute tops, but...........they no longer fit my image.  I am no longer the svelte thin creature I once was.  The hippie style just passed me by while I was flipping my life from back to front.  I was all to conservative in my dress.  I missed all the "pretties" of the styles of my youth and now I am left with the ads and the continuing pages.  I say all this tongue in cheek, but there is a bit of irony in it.  We go about our business day by day while thinking we will live our best life "one day".  Life is still very good to me, but I realize that I no longer fit the image of southwest hippie as much as I love the clothing. 

So start living your best life YESTERDAY.  If we could turn back time, I sure would.  Instead, I am going to live my best life TODAY....FOREVER...I might even be tempted to buy something with embroidery with that hippie flare.......somewhat tasteful.

I love you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Spoon

It's a dreary day today with snow earlier this morning and intermittent rain expected all day.  The sunroom is warm and inviting with the intermittent rain hitting the metal roof.  We don't even have the lights on because the six sliding doors and one huge sliding window provides just the right amount of ambient light.  So that's where we are, each on our electronic devices....yes, maybe they are VICES.  Nonetheless, here we are. 

Now that the stage is set for memories (and the fact that I just looked at our "Reminisce" magazine), let me tell you about one I had a couple days ago.

Sausage gravy had been on my mind for a while.  Since neither of us are big breakfast eaters, having this dish at night just sounded like the thing to do.  I was stirring the gravy with my olive wood paddle that Rhonda gave me when I suddenly remembered the spoon that was used exclusively for stirring gravy when I was a child.

The gravy spoon was a much worn old silver plated serving spoon.  I say silver plated in the most generous way possible because I doubt any sort of silver analysis could find much silver.  The spoon bowl itself was bent around so much that one dared not try to taste test from it.  The bottom of the bowl was worn from its daily use.

Daily use you ask?  Yes, daily use.  Since we were a family of seven, mom always found ways to stretch her food budget (we never even thought about the word budget back in those was a way to stretch food).  She had five little mouths to feed and gravy filled the bill. 

Do you have a favorite spoon or kitchen tool that is always used for specific meals?  I have several wooden spoons that are much worn because I used them for making specific candy, stews, and even gravy.  Nowadays, my olive ladle has become my favorite for making gravy.  I love it, but I sure wish I had that old spoon. 

I love you.  Don't have the good stuff.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Grandpa’s Coffee

Have you ever had a memory that seemed to pop out of nowhere? Actually, it didn’t just pop out. My daughter and I were having coffee the other morning and the coffee was too hot to drink. I took the plastic lid off to cool and thought for a moment that I might pour a sip or two into it to cool faster.  That is when it hit me.  I remember Grandpa Dawkins doing that very thing. He would pour a bit into his coffee from his cup into his saucer, swirl it around and sip.

I can still see Grandpa setting at their yellow dinette table with his back to the stove, but I can’t remember if Grandma drink coffee or not.  What I do remember is that aluminum coffee pot that perked on the stove.  As I recall it had a little glass top and you could watch the water bubble up.  Eventually the water would turn brown.....not much longer.....

One of my favorite smells is coffee perking; perhaps it stems from those early breakfasts with Grandpa.  Today breakfast isn’t my favorite meal, but there’s something about that getting that caffeine fix to start ones day.  So most mornings you will find me relaxing in my sunroom having my brew......until the caffeine kicks in and I am off......

I love you.  By the way, do you know what a saucer is?  Do you own one?

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 d├ęcor 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.




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