Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014




Good morning.  Happy Halloween.

I am having a hot cup of coffee this morning and watching the leaves fall on this rather dreary looking, although not rainy, day.  It is a totally beautiful day.  I like these cloudy days.  It makes me think of all things that I loved most about my childhood and my children's childhood.

Of course one of my children’s favorite holidays was Halloween.  Think CANDY.  I never had a lot of candy around the house back then.  One thing I didn’t think having candy at hand was all that good for them……and our candy fund was almost always broke.  Let me explain…………..we lived from payday to payday.  So when Halloween rolled around each year, off they went to glean as much candy as their little plastic pumpkins would hold…………..or at least get it half way full.  We didn’t take them outside out little neighborhood, but most of our neighbors were prepared to pass out handfuls of GOOD candy to each child.  When only ten children haunt one’s neighborhood, you can afford to pass out the good kind.  Back then we could also trust all our neighbors so when someone gave popcorn balls or cookies, we never gave it a thought to checking them. 

Here’s to another great Halloween.  Hope yours is safe and full of fun and CANDY.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Will Persevere

Wow, is it only Tuesday?  This has been a month long week already and it is only Tuesday.  I checked the calendar.

Since Monday, there have been five major developments in my life, all on the negative side.  Oh, things will work out, one way or another, but for now, for people I hold dear to me, they seem insurmountable, or at least costly.

What will tomorrow bring?  Who knows, but a breath of fresh air for regrouping would be nice.  I thought bad news came in threes, not fives. 

I write in jest, but some days just aren't all that funny.  Have you ever been bombed with bad things?

I love you and we will persevere.  Here's to the weekend!  Let's get past this.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I Need to Get More Sugar

It's Sunday night and the weekend is coming to a close.  Kids will go back to school tomorrow, and many will head back to work..............but I won't!  Sometimes I get all giggly on Sunday nights.  I don't have to work tomorrow.  I don't even know what I will do, but I suspect I will do something with apples.

I bought all these apples last week and my daughter and I made 1) My mom's fresh apple cake; 2) 2 loaves of apple bread with caramel glaze; 3) a loaf of Apple Fritter Bread; 4) a delicious apple pie; 5) Apple crunch bars; and 6) a pan of apple cream cheese bars. 

We peeled and peeled apples.  Luckily I have a peeler from Pampered Chef and well worth its price.  It makes the most beautiful apple peeling strips.  What to do with them.........all these peels.  I found a recipe to make syrup using just water and peels and cores.  All you do is cook the peelings and cores until they are softened and the cores mushy.  Strain the juice; discard the peelings.  Heat the juice with sugar.  10 cups of juice will need about 3 or 4 cups of sugar.  Heat until temperature reaches 218 degrees.  Continue cooking until syrupy.

Sounds easy peasy, huh?  Au contraire mon ami!  Au contraire!  Nothing is ever that simple for me.  I simmered and simmered and simmered and it just would not get syrupy.  Finally I turned off the range, let the pan cool and refrigerated it.  The taste was wonderful, a very light apple jelly taste.  I kept thinking about it during the night and I just could bear to throw it out.  What have I got to lose?  So the next day I boiled it again.  It was coming together nicely now.  I took a little out to test the consistency.  Not quite there.  Boiled it a little longer, testing, boiling, testing, boiling and all of a sudden, it was ready.  It was thickening so quickly that I removed it from the heat.  I grabbed my jars and starting pouring this pink wonderful liquid, molten lava actually, into them.............both of them..............two one cup jars.  All that liquid had boiled down to two small jars.

I couldn't wait to taste this glorious syrup so as soon as the lid popped (sealed), I opened it right back up.  I grabbed a spoon to have a taste of my syrup.  I put it in the jar and it would NOT sink into the liquid.  So I began to force it.  Finally I got about half the spoon bowl in and forced up the now caramel.  You see, I boiled that liquid all the way through the syrup stage, all the way through the jelly stage, all the way through the gummy candy stage, all the way to the caramel stage and not far from the brittle stage.

I consider myself a great cook, but there are times when even the best cooks have disasters.  But you know what, I am going to try this again this week with the rest of the apple peels.  First I need to get more sugar. 

I love you. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Your Smile is Your Logo

Your smile is your logo,
your personality is your business card,
how you leave people feeling after
having an experience with you
becomes your trademark.

(Author Unknown)

This was a Facebook shared post by my niece today.  I wanted to share it with you.  This is so true!

Retirement brings about a certain "I've done it.  I've paid my dues so get out of my way.  You owe me!" attitude.  I see it all the time.  I do my shopping during the week and see lots of people my age or older out running errands.  Some of these people are so rude I am embarrassed for them.  Don't they realize that how they leave people feeling after having an experience with them just became their trademark?  I know when they leave I am glad I am not married to that person or I am glad they aren't my neighbor or I am glad they aren't my mother. 

Now I am not going to tell you that I am all smiles and giggles when I am out, but I have learned that being a little nicer sure has helped me acquire what I need from a sales person.  If you can put a little smile on someone's face, it might be the only smile they get that day.  How many smiles does it take to erase that unpleasant experience they had earlier......the one where the guy was screaming because he didn't understand what was needed to get his car tag.   

Smiling doesn't take much effort.  I have heard that it takes more muscles to make a frown than it does to smile.  I don't want to be the crabby old woman that lives in the third house on the left.  I don't want the sales person to roll her eyes to her coworker after I leave.  Just smile!

Your smile is your logo. 

I love you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's the Coffee Talking

I have just had my two cups of coffee and, yes I am drinking the stuff again, and I am chomping at the bit (bet you haven't heard that phrase in years or perhaps you haven't heard it at all) to do some crafting, cooking, traveling, shopping, and cleaning--maybe a closet or two.  I can't even believe I said the "clean" word since it is not a favorite pastime, but I might even break out the old dust rag.

There is something in that coffee I tell you.  Something that makes my fingers just fly over the keys of this computer.  You can't believe how fast I am typing this morning.  Not going to say this is a grammatically correct post or that I used the correct punctuation though.  Speaking of fingers flying over the keyboard--I am eternally grateful that my dad drove me crazy every Sunday night about me taking typing.  Oh yes, he pushed me.  He knew I didn't want to go to college so he was prepping me for some skills to have for the work place.  So here I am many years later, after a career of doing a lot of typing, with my fingers positioned on the keyboard exactly as Mrs. Kelton taught me.

Well, that brings me back to today.  Just what will I do today?  Still have most of it ahead of me.  I cannot convince my daughter that she needs to join me in my coffee zeal so I guess I need to get up and..........let's see.............hmmm...........maybe clean the pantry, yes that is what I will do.  Or maybe I will dust..............I need to dust.  I hate dusting!!!  Or maybe I will cook up a bunch of freezer meals.  I have plenty of near out of date pantry items.  Or maybe I will make a wreath.  I saw some Bittersweet on the back of the property.  Or maybe I will shop.  I need carpet so maybe I should shop for some.  Or maybe I will travel.  Okay, I could travel to the carpet store.  Whew!  I am tired just thinking of all the possibilities for today.  Whew!  I need another cup of coffee!!!!

It's the coffee talking.

I love you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

They Don't Charge Old People, You Know

"They don't charge old people, you know."  Yes, that is what the hubby said and I turned and glared at him.

To be truthful I knew that my license was free because I had hit that magic age, but I forgot about it.  So I bounced my way right on in to get my new drivers license.  After filling out some paperwork about voter registration (who knew they do that), the clerk walked off and I was completely immersed in looking at myself in the mirror at the end of the aisle.  Pretty vain, huh, but I was all caught up admiring myself and thinking "dang, you look pretty good for an old woman of a certain age".  All of sudden the clerk reappears and tells me to follow her down to the camera.  Beginning to think I was loosing my memory, my short term--3 minute memory, I blurted out, "Did I pay?"  She smiled her sweet smile and told me it was free.! 

I was still bouncing when I returned home, showing off my new license to my hubby; and by the way it is the best picture I have taken in years.  He was impressed that I remembered to get a new one since that isn't the reason I went out this afternoon.  I told him that it didn't cost me a thing, and he said, "They don't charge old people, you know."  I glared!!!! 

But here's how I really feel about it.  I can either embrace getting older or I can deny it.  Either way, there isn't a person out there that is going to believe I am younger than the age on my drivers license.  I might as well embrace it; so embracing it, I am.  So here is to a good day - a free license.  Not everything is negative about aging.

They don't charge old people, you know.

I love you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

And It Was Good

I fixed a wonderful meal tonight; a meal of old like Mom used to make.  Cube steak, mashed potatoes, gravy and frozen corn that I had cut off the cob this summer.  It was great!  Hubby was delighted.  We don't eat like that much anymore. 

But...........oh................we used to.  We used to eat like this everyday.  When I was a girl, we raised our own beef and there was always meat in the freezer........lots of beef.  Too much beef, they tell us today.  Mom didn't care much for steak--grilled steak or charcoal steak, that is.  But she was all about frying every cut including the T-bones and ribeyes.  Yes, that was how she cooked it.......almost every meal was fried steak.  Salt and peppered, floured and fried in shortening.  Every time.  And you know what, it was good.

And then I raised my own family, and I, too, had lots of beef in the freezer, thanks to my parents.  I fixed lots of steaks, too, and I am my mother's daughter so I cooked them as I was taught.  As the years went by, I learned that red meat isn't the most healthy thing to eat so we have gradually lessened it in our diets.  Every once in a while though, I have to go back to the old ways and fix some cubed steak with gravy and tonight it was exceptional.

Doesn't it just amaze you how our diets have changed in the last 50 years or so.  We lived out in the country and cows were a major part of our life.  We didn't have pizza delivery.  We didn't have a Dairy Queen on the next mile.  We didn't even have a restaurant 10 miles we had a we had we had fried steak every meal.  It fed 5 kids.  And it was good.

I love you.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Football - Just Let It Go

Televised football games - particularly those involving The University of Oklahoma, are not relaxing for me.  In fact they are more stressful than fun for me to watch.  But if I am at home I am watching, sure that I will have a stroke with each missed touchdown.  I am not a good sport.  I am involved in the game almost as much as the coach.

Today was no different.  The 4th quarter of the OU/Texas game began with surety that the game would go OUs way with little difficulty.  But that last minute left me drained.  A wider spread would have been nice, boys.  We won! 

All this anxiety reminds me of my dad.  He used to get so involved in the game that finally he'd have to go outside to cool down.  One day, he let it all go................  He just let it go.  He watched many games after that, but he just let it go.  I let it go a few years back............the day I went outside after a particularly bad, loosing play, and hit the chimes to the top of the roof.  It let it go.  But today I tried to grab it back and it was not pretty.  I cried just a little after the win.  What would I have done had they lost?  I just need to let it go.

So I am going to just let it go. 

I hope you are having a great day.  It is a cool, cloudy day, 59 degrees in Oklahoma..........a perfect fall day for watching OU football.  Wish daddy was here to "just let it go" with me.  Did I tell you that daddy had an incomplete in his senior year just to go back to play football at Prague.  It's true, I tell you.  B and L, you'd better not do that.
I love you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Here's to Falling Acorns

Good evening everybody.  Lots going on here the past few weeks.  Sorry for not posting, but frankly, I have had so many distractions that posting took a back seat and that is a good thing.  For a change, most of them were great distractions.  Believe it or not, there's a whole world out there.

To bring you, or perhaps myself, up to speed, I am back walking.  At least I walked tonight.  Does that actually mean I am back to walking?  Maybe I should take a wait and see on that one.

But for tonight...........we walked.  I know I have told you about our little 5 acres in our little area of the good old USA, but every time I am outside I am reminded how blessed I am.  I can walk right down the center of the road, and rarely do I see a car.  If I do, more than likely it is a neighbor and the window rolls down for a bit of conversation.  Can't beat that.  We do have good neighbors.

A wonderful place.............this place of ours................with only the sharp tin snap of a bat hitting a ball in the far distance to disturb the peace and quiet.................or an acorn falling..................or a dried leaf drifting through the trees...............this place of ours is....................HOME!

Here's to falling acorns.

I love you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Just a Little Beat

Remember, kids, when daddy would hear a good song and he'd raise his index finger as if directing the music.  It wasn't long before he would raise his hand just a bit and you knew he was totally immersed in the beat. 

Well, last night the gentleman setting beside me at the Tommy Emmanuel concert did exactly the same thing, just like daddy did.  You could tell he was thoroughly enjoying the concert, but at the same time, with just a lifted finger and now and again his hand, you knew he was slightly embarrassed to be demonstrating his love of the music.

I don't know where all my family (not me, of course) gets their musical talent, but I suspect it was Grandpa Dawkins for he played the mandolin.  One thing I remember about Grandma was her love of music, too.  She told me she could tell if someone was enjoying the music because they would tap their feet to the beat, and if not their feet, their hands were moving. 

So last night we were all enjoying the music.  Feet were tapping, fingers were moving, hands were clapping..............all to the beat.  And with Tommy singing "I Still Can't Say Goodbye" and the man moving his finger and then his hand.....................well it brought back lots of memories............of daddy.  Just a little beat...............

Here is a rendition of the song by Chet Atkins.  You might shed a tear.'t+say+goodbye

I love you.
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