Monday, November 29, 2010

Vacation is over...

Being a "StayCation" instead of a vacation, it seemed to last much longer than when we go someplace. The boys tried to keep up with their lessons, but it is hard to do with Mr C here. Both Dan and Sam seem to study better while listening to music, so I let them. (They wear headphones.) Mr C doesn't feel that they are devoting enough brain to learning, if part of the brain is listening to music. (When Mr C listens to music, it is an exclusive activity. He devotes 100% of his brain to listening to the music. For me, music is a background activity.)

We now have all the bedding rewashed from our company.  Why yes, it WAS all washed just prior to their visit. However, between dogs making themselves at home, and the boys just tossing EVERYTHING into the laundry, instead of just sheets... ALL the bedding got rewashed. (Just in time for Mom and Becky to come NEXT week. At least they will know everything is really, really clean, as it went into bags as soon as it came from the dryer!)

Tomorrow is back to work for both Tom and I. He will dread it most, since he has been off since the11th. I should have a "regular" work day, though if I am offered to stay and help get the store prepped for our inventory on the 13th, I will do it. (My regular work days usually have me home by 9:30 at the latest).

I dragged out all my sewing stuff today; the fabrics, patterns, accoutrements. Then I decided I was just NOT up to starting a new sewing project at the moment. I want to start with a little vest for Ty, since Glynna didn't really like any of the patterns I had to choose from for little girl dresses. I don't want to waste my time on something that isn't going to get worn because it is "dowdy". I have some cow patterned material, it will make a perfect "Woody" vest. I just need to make a pattern for it... and vests are fairly easy to pattern. I wish I could find the black and white striped binding (bias tape would work if I could only find it in striped!) like Woody has on his vest. I can even sew a little gold fabric star to it for a sheriff's badge. (And wouldn't a pair of chaps to go with it be CUTE!... but I have no clue how to make chaps!)

So I just wandered off and left my sewing stuff on the table. I know if I don't start a project EARLY in the day, I just don't get it going at all. All my giddy-up is gone before 2 pm. (I DO get up early, though.) Perhaps I will get with the program tomorrow!

I dragged out photo albums while Connor and Alana were here. Alana especially seemed to enjoy looking at the pictures of her Uncles and Daddy when they were little. Gosh, it doesn't seem like all that long ago when my "grown" kids were babies! I had several stories to tell Glynna... she had never heard about the time Bill tried to walk on water with "floaties" on his feet... or the time he leaped from a barn roof with a tarp duct taped to his wrists and ankles, hoping to glide to the ground like a flying squirrel. (Neither attempt was met with success!) Alana was so gullible, it was a shame to tease her. A picture of her Daddy, with a cake that had "12" on it in front of him. She asked, "Is daddy 12 in this picture?" I said no, it is his one-half birthday. he was between one and two years old. "Oh." she says. Seeing as how she was believing that this picture of a semi-grown kid is really between one and two years old, I had to tell her YES, he was 12. I told Tom I couldn't believe she was this gullible. (He said "Goat's milk and eggs!")

Of course, I remember gullible. I was the kid whose Mommy and Daddy said they didn't know whether I was a boy or a girl, at first, since they had to get the hairy little monkey from the chandelier to check. Man... I had had two kids of my own before I realized there are no chandeliers in delivery rooms. I also believed Mom when I asked her how do you tell a boy baby from a girl baby?... and she said, You check their booties. Boy babies have blue booties, girl babies have pink booties. (Sex Ed, 1968)

Well, I hope you have a blessed evening. Mr C has come to claim his turn on the computer!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quieting down...

Bill and Glynna, Ben, and Nickole are on their way back to Duncan. We had a great Thanksgiving. Today is the National Holiday of Ohio State Vs. Michigan. (Ohio won handily.)

Still having Connor and Alana, and all of us kind of tired of poultry... we grabbed some Papa Murphy's Pizza fo supper tonight. Dan thinks the one stuffed crust 5-meat  pizza will be enough. But I also got a "Bacon, Bacon, and Bacon" pizza. (I know Chris would love this one, if he were here to share with us!) The kids are all playing "Risk"
Mr C continues the watching of football. he told Alana and Connor, when they dared ask if they could play video games on Ben's Wii during the Ohio State game... that they can never be real men until they accept that one must watch College Football every Saturday in the Fall. (Of course, Alana will never aspire to be a "real man", but she is getting used to the idea that this is what guys tend to DO, so she may as well get used to it.)

Of all my kids, only Chris and Bill have been die hard College Football fans. The rest of the kids take after Mom, and find "other persuits".

It doesn't look like Becky will be coming up for her visit until after the 4th, as Stephen has a Concealed Carry class that day. I am hoping to go down to Texas on the 10th or 11th, but have to be back for my O'Reilly's inventory on the 13th. I don't yet know if I will get to go or not.

With " Non-denominational Capitalist, Wintertime Gift-giving Season" hard upon us, let me ask you to think of me if you shop Amazon! Please, please, please! link to them through my blog! I have half a dozen or more birthdays coming up in December, so if I can get some $$ together, I will shop there.

I will have more pictures of kids and Grandkids up at Moocrew2 in just awhile, please check them out!
Have a blessed afternoon!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


http://www/.I am Thankful that my boys made it safely from Duncan, OK in the wee hours this morning.  I woke up hearing Glynna yelling for Bill to bring her shampoo, soap, and towels. Seems Nickole may of gotten a wee bit carsick on their drive over. Or maybe a lot of bit.

Freezing rain, sleet and a sprinkling of snow has been coming down most of the day, with temperatures hovering in the upper 20*'s. However, the house was warm VERY warm. In fact, I had to open a window to let in the breeze, as it hit over 90* in the kitchen.

I put the 23 1/2 lb. turkey into the oven at 7:30, expecting it to cook in about 6 hours at 225*. It was done by 10:30. So it came out, and we got other goodies ready to go into the oven. I waited until closer to noon to start the remaining items.

Alana wore her fauncy fluff trimmed Non-denominational Capitalist, Wintertime Gift-giving Season dress.
The rest of us just wore our regular clothes. I have some pictures up at Moocrew. I don't have ANY of Nickole in this batch. she slept all morning, got up and ate, and went back to bed. maybe when she gets up next time, I will have some pictures to add.

Dan and I are worn out rfom the massive cooking and clan-up. It is Sam's turn on the kitchen, but I'm not so mean as to leave the entire clean up to him. Not that he has hit a lick at a snake yet... I did most of the clean up. Sam disappeared. Tom is in now, finishing up. The boys can't even seem to put the lid on the cool whip and return it to the fridge when finished.

Well, I hope you have had a blessed and happy holiday, surrounded by those you love!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Which I Channel Pioneer Woman...

Oven "Fried" Jalepeno Chicken Tenders

I made this one other time before tonight, and it went over pretty well, considering my guys don't like "sweet" meat. You need thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Jalepeno Jelly, "Panko" bread crumbs, and cooking oil spray.

Start with slicing your thawed chicken breasts into "planks". Here is a picture of the "Panko" Japanese style bread crumbs. Last time we used Kikkoman brand, and liked them better.

 Melt some Jalapeno jelly in the microwave. This takes about 30 seconds. I melt mine in a bowl to avoid contaminating the jar of jelly with raw chicken.
Next, brush the planks of raw chicken with the melted jelly. It is easiest to brush one side on the cutting board, then place the plank jelly side down into the bowl of bread crumbs. THEN brush the jelly onto the other side of the chicken, and coat it in crumbs.

Place the coated chicken into a greased  (lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray ) pan. (I prefer the stoneware bakeware because it gives a cripser crust.)

Once in the pan, give them all a quick, light spray of cooking oil spray.

 Bake at 325* for 30-40 minutes, turning once and giving another light spray after turning.
Test for doneness but cutting into the thickest point of the largest piece. Juices should run clear.

I forgot to take a picture fresh from the oven, before the ravenous hordes descended on it.

Finally finished!

Here is the little dress I made for Kimber, finished at last.

I don't know if you can see the zipper or not.

This is the first baby dress I have made since BECKY was a baby. Since my machine broke down back in May, it is some six months behind schedule in being finished. I just hope it still fits her! After trimming the arm holes with the bias tape, I decided it would be pretty hemmed in the blue bias tape.
Looking forward to Becky and the kids coming next week so I can try it on the Kimber.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Squeaky, squeaky


Yesterday, I got some "Orange Glo" wood floor cleaner. The Murphy's Oil Soap left a dull residue on the floors. So, again this week, we diassembled the front room and laundry rooms, and cleaned. The floors were re-mopped with the Orange Glo. It left a nice shine. The treadmill was moved to the laundry room. (Yeah, like we needed another major piece of furniture in there!) The extensions were added to the dining room table. The living room was completely re-arranged, for the first time since Tommy moved away- which was more than 2 years ago.

We noticed a really BAD, sulphery smell coming from my big tree behind the TV. So Tom took me to Lowes, where we got it a new, larger pot, and fresh soil. The tree was uprooted outside, and the old soil washed from its roots. We put several chunks of charcoal into the new pot, before adding the tree and fresh soil.  We had a crowd for the grand re-potting... all four of the little neighbor kids came over. (Yep, they are back. Great Grandpa rescued the ne'er do well Grandson again.) Tom yanked off some of the tree sprouts, which I insisted on saving. The tree's older offspring was also repotted to a bigger pot. The rest of the plants went into the shower for a good rinsing and drink. The porch got a short neatening up.

Tomorrow, I will work on my room and the bathrooms. Those are the only rooms left in the house we haven't had undone in the last couple of weeks. Maybe we will do those rooms... maybe we will go get the library out of the way.

I did remember to put the turkey into the fridge this morning, to begin to thaw.  I can't think of anything else to do to start getting ready for Thursday, that we can do this early.

Well Hope you have a blessed afternoon!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Today, we had the Thanksgiving grocery list to finish buying for, as well as our regular food for the next week. (OK, so it won't last a week: I still have two teen boys at home... and the grandkids will be here.)
Tom and I went out as soon as I got home from work, to the Dollar General Store. We had a coupon for $5 off a minimum $25 purchase. Simple enough! We were able to get quite a bit of the items on the Thanksgiving list. I discovered I could get Lipton Onion Soup Mix there, for less than the Wal Mart Brand is at WM! Dollar General may become a regular GROCERY stop for us! Tom "needed to" get back home right away for the Football Pre-Game stuff... so we came back and put away our purchases. Daniel and Sam and I then headed out to Siloam Springs.

Our first stop was the new Aldi's store. It was my first time in this Aldi's. One of the boys expressed it pretty well... it was a discount grocery store trying to look like an upscale market. We were first stymied by the grocery carts. They were locked up outside. There were NO carts inside. We watched, and saw someone wrangle a cart loose from those chained together outside. Dan went back out to investiagte. You had to "rent" these carts! Of course, I had no quarter in my purse, and Dan had to come back in and get the car keys to get a quarter from the car's console.

We had a cart.... and trudged through the store. The first whole aisle netted us a box of off-brand wheat-thins type crackers. The second aisle, we found some list items: fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges for the fruit salad. We also got a few cans of peas, and a can of cranberry sauce. In the dairy section, we tried a gourmet cheese: Gouda with Pesto. (It tastes like my breadsticks, was Sam's decision after we tried it... I have to agree.)  We found a couple of interesting sounding salad dressings to use as marinades, on the discount aisle. Chicken was less than WM... so we got some. They were OUT of turkeys, so whether those would of been a bargain or not is unknown. There were NO bags, except those re-usable cloth bags... very pricey! Our purchases were piled as best we could into the trunk. My opinion of Aldi was , for what we needed, the Save A Lot down the street would of been a better choice.

From Aldi's, we crossed the road to WalMart. It was beginning to be prime time there... yikes. We finished getting everything on our list. As expected, we even found 3/4 a basketful of stuff NOT on the list that we wanted to need. (I found (L.A.) AWESOME refills in a half gallon size for $2! We have only ever found (LA) AWESOME at Dollar Tree.) I am sincerely thinking, we are now done with WalMart until after Christmas. Any groceries we have to have are going to be the local grocery store, or the Dollar General. (We just do NOT do WalMart between Thanksgiving and New Years). (We also bought a new laundry basket to help corral the Aldi purchases.)

I got two "crafty" type canvas aprons. One each for Connor and Alana. They will be here either Tuesday evening, or Wednesday morning, until Friday night or Saturday. (Let me know your preferences, Jenna!) I figure, to help keep them involved, and less bored, they will each make a "cookbook", and decorate an apron. I will endeavor to remember to take pictures of them cooking, and they can later add these to their recipe books. (I will either use folders or  looseleaf binders as the "book".) Each can have their own, and we will choose recipes to go in them. I really want them to have GOOD memories of times spent with their grandparents!

I am planning to put Bill and Glynna, with Nickole, into Sam's room. We have a  queen air mattress they can sleep on, and a portable baby pen Nickole can bed down in. They will have some privacy, and be able to relax a bit more in there. Ben will get his old room, with Dan and Sam tripling up with him. Connor and Alana will either sleep on the second queen air bed in the laundry room, or else Connor on a twin mattress in the laundry room and Alana on the couch. I separated them last time, and both seemed to have really fretted. I am figuring Dan and Sam will decide they have had too much "family togetherness" and decide they are camping out in the van, LOL. Last time, Connor joined them. They didn't prepare well enough that time, and Connor got cold. (He did NOT, however, come inside!)

I guess, except for the cleaning and mopping remaining, we are all set for next week. I only have TUESDAY to work, and then I am off until next Saturday. Saturday's are usually not worth my time going in. By not "rushing", I dragged out 2 hours today... clocking out at 7:30 am. So this next week will be like a family "vacation" get together.... except more work than "Work". (Besides Thanksgiving Dinner, I have had to think of meals the grandkids will actually eat, breakfasts for Thanksgiving Day and the days following, and how to feed leftovers to company! "Necessary" paper has been laid in... extra supplies of coffee and teas... having "company"... even family, does take some effort.

That said, this is pretty much the fewest people we have EVER had for Thanksgiving.... in 26 years of marriage and 27 Thanksgivings together. Only a count of 10 to be here.

Well, I am looking forward to it. I hope everyone has a wonderful blessed week. Tell someone how much you love them!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Menu

We had a short discussion on the meal next week. It will be fairly simple:
Turkey & Stuffing
 Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Sweet Potatoes
 Green Bean Casserole
Fruit Salad (Regular and frozen)
Grandma Ruby's Hot Rolls
Veggie Tray
 We decided to try an Apple and Pear pie. We will also have Pumpkin Pie, and Pecan Pie. So far no one has told me of any special pie they would like. And for 10 people, 3 pies may be adequate. I really want another of the Sweet Potato Pie I made last year from Chris Jordan's recipe. So we may have four pies... more if I get word from my visiting family.

Tonite, we had stroganoff. Sam gave me permission to add the "secret ingredient" (sour cream) to the entire pan, instead of  just my own helping. He wanted to see if it really did make it better. Mr C observed Sam licking his plate... so I guess it met his approval.

We had Library today. Then the boys went ice skating at the Jones Center. (Which I have called The Simmons Center half a dozen times recently. The Simmons Center is in Duncan, and is not on such a grand scale as the Jones Center.) I walked while the boys skated. I gave my walking score credit for 2 miles, though I probably went farther. I walked at a good clip for 40 minutes.

Oh, I was almost  in a wreck yesterday! I was being followed at a good distance by a pick-up truck, from just outside of Gentry. (Well, not really followed, he just happened to be going the same direction!) Over the miles, he continued to gain on me. At the last stop sign at the intersection about a mile from the house, I put on my signal and come to my full and complete stop. The guys brakes locked up and he SKREEEEEEEEEEeed around the end of my vehicle. I guess he is unaccustomed to people actually STOPPING at stop signs, rather than just slowing down enough to make the corner. As I continued my turn, he peeled out straight ahead and went barrelling down the road, which turned to gravel once one goes past the stop sign. I can only suppose he was cursing ME for legally stopping.

Thank You, Lord, for your protection!
May each of you have a blessed and wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Home Alone...

Because Tom and The Twins are out fishing. It is cloudy/overcast, and has reached the projected high of 54* for the day. The antibiotic I am on (for the inflamed cyst) warns me to be careful out of doors, as a side effect is extreme sensitivity to the sun.

I went to the "second largest inventory" of all the stores in our district Monday. The store was amazingly well organized, and we were done shortly after 6:00pm. It was a 40 mile drive... but I get mileage. The next inventory is not until Dec. 13th, and that is MY store. (Boss already said NO, we do NOT get mileage to our own store.) I worked a solid 8 hours on our store yesterday, trying to get it at least half as good as the one on Monday. It has far to go, but what we (me and my minions) did yesterday looks GREAT.

On the way to Fayetteville, I stopped in at Hobby Lobby and got the bias tape I needed to work on Kimber's dress. I handed the cashier my money. It was a $10 bill. She handed me back the change, all as a lump. So many cashiers do this! (Pet peeve... not counting back change!) I was stuffing it into my jeans pocket, when I realized, just as I was out the door... she had given me TWO fives and the three ones. Initial reaction : "SCORE! I got free bias tape AND more money than I had when I came in here!"
And then, the voice I listen to says: "You know if you keep that money, it is going to bug you forever. You know how upset YOU get when your cash drawer comes up short."

So I did an about face, and went back to the cashier. I said she had inadvertently handed me an extra five. I could tell by the look on her face that she was relieved that I had returned it. And I don't have to feel guilty forever!

I never did get the bathroom cleaned up Monday. We got a call from Becky that she has had to postpone her trip up here for a couple more weeks. So the "urgency" of cleaning the bathroom was gone. (The main thing is the bathtub has shower residue that has to go before a baby toddler can have a bath.)

I used part of the half and half I bought (for making the Alfredo), last night to make a delicious recipe:
Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Peppers . (Read the comments of the recipe for my modifications.) I took out Tom's serving before adding the sauce, and he said it was delicious even without the heavy Alfredo.

"Truth" has some awesome recipes on her food blog, and a great many of hers are gluten free.

So I am a week out from Thanksgiving. The house is clean, and I have a turkey in the freezer. I have a couple of packages of boxed stuffing, and a couple of sweet potatoes. (The sweet taters may get used this week.) I have four pie crusts (Dan is wanting to make English pasties with them, so I am having to guard them!) (He uses the Redwall Cookbook, not Rachael Ray's recipe, except for the pie crust.)

I have the makings for green bean casserole. I have potatoes. Still need stuff for fruit salad... and I will have to get more whipped topping, as that is as popular as the pies.

Speaking of pies... What kinds of pies shall I make? Glynna, Bill, Ben ... what are your favorites?)  I figure: Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Apple, and Pecan. If you like Lemon or Cherry, better let me know ASAP!

I have chicken (yet again) set out to thaw for supper. Not sure how I will torment it this time. (Tom calls anything other than straight grilled or fried chicken, "tormenting" it)

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Already mid-November. Today will be my second inventory trip with my boss. This time in Fayetteville, some 40 miles south of here. The boys and I are slogging away on getting the house ready for the grandkids to be here.We have all been putting out little "hot spots" where junk piles up. I keep thinking of the floors being clean enough to crawl on... but I forget that Kimber is now toddling.

I have really fallen off on my walking every day. I forced myself to walk today, because if I didn't I'm sure I would of just quit, as I had already skipped the three days prior.

We planned a few dinners for our "company": Fajita Chicken  Alfredo, No-Longer Leesa's Enchiladas, and Beef Stroganoff.

I almost have the laundry caught up! But I got up pitching a queen sized fit this morning. When I came into the living room, I discovered that the freshly washed (last night) comforters did NOT get folded and put away.  So Jaffa had helped himself. He dragged it off the couch and wormed himself into a nest, sealing the sides around him... directly in front of the heater. This is one cold natured dog!

I shook him out of the comforter, with suitable sounds of ire. I tossed him "his" blanket... a little fleece blanket we got "free" in the mail, for a donation. He looked sadly at the comforter I had put back on the couch. I said, "Don't even THINK about it!"
I swear, like a kid... Jaffa gives a heavy sigh, a reproachful look at me, and took "his" blanket. In his covering himself, "his" blanket doesn't cover his tail end. Poor puppy. He settled back down, again in front of the heater.

Anyway, I am down to one load waiting to be washed, despite the dog adding the comforter back to the laundry.  It should all be done before I head off to Fayetteville. Pretty much all there is left to do is the back bathroom and the floors. I can't get to the back bath right now, as Mr C is having some quiet time in his room. The entire house cleaned, and two full weeks of Mr C's vacation still to get through.

It was funny yesterday, as I mentioned, that it crossed my mind and Tom's as well, that we were preparing to move. Moving generates this kind of deep cleaning. I have set aside another box of grade school readers for Becky, and the twins got outgrown clothes sacked and ready to donate.

Well, Quiet time is over. I better get on that bathroom!

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Must be getting ready to move...

I had that thought yesterday, and again today. We "Deep Cleaned" the laundry room yesterday... moving the fridge, freezer, washer, dryer, dresser, desk, and toolbox. Baseboards were scrubbed, floors swept and mopped. Mr C finished up in there today, folding and putting away his clothes, and designating a whole bag full of T-Shirts as "rags". The laundry room is refilled with laundry today, as we tackled Sam's room. Pretty much same scenario, different furniture. I found NO LESS than eight spoons, and two forks in there. It got so ridiculous, the boys took to not telling me when they ran across another spoon. (I think the great spoon famine is over!)

 Sam's room is VERY, VERY clean. The curtains are in the washing machine, along with his fitted sheet. Many blankets and loads of clothes remain. The scent of testosterone and dog is gone from his room, though the laundry piles still reeks. I suppose we will tackle Dan's room next weekend... tomorrow will be putting the rest of the house back in to some semblance of order, as my Mom, and my Daughter, and two of the grandkids will be here tomorrow night. (Hey Becky, you will get to sleep in Sam's room!)

My daughter cleans like I do. We gut a room... everything out and piled into one or more heaps... then clean the vacated area, sort through the heaps, putting things back into place as we diminish the piles. Not sure if I learned this technique from my Mom or not. I do remember when she said "Clean your room", most of the time we could get away with stuffing everything under the bed, or into the closet. But not always. That is why Sam's room was such a mess... too long since I "helped" clean it.

We had actually started on Dan's room  (Ben's old room, which he shared briefly with my eldest for about a month, over a year ago) earlier this last week. We didn't finish it, but decided Sam's room was where Becky would stay, so it was more important to finish today. In Dan's room... I found (leftover from my eldest's stay 14 months ago...) 3 empty cigarette packages, an empty asthma inhaler, a handful of loose change, four  half empty water bottles... and a small stack of junk mail.

For FOURTEEN MONTHS these things have lurked in the bedroom, through Ben moving out in June, Dan taking over the room. They left it because "It is my brothers and I didn't know what to do with it." Come on... you can't figure out an empty cigarette package is TRASH?

Well, I had some more to rant on about, but I have been informed that I have to share the computer. Have a blessed evening!

Friday, November 12, 2010

On Order...

My #4 son, Tommy, who has requested I update my blog.
Here you go, Tommy.

Yesterday, I was feeling a bit "punky". One of my ... ahem... "girls" had developed some inflammation. I called and made an appointment right away. Doc took a look today, and decided to agree with me: an infected cyst. I had figured cyst instead of duct, as well, I know the symptoms of mastitis and this isn't it.

So I am on a high dosage of antibiotics, and should see improvement by Monday. Followup the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving for us will be here this year. Mr C says we are not going anywhere. Today is the second day of his vacation... which stretches interminably ahead, and he is already bored to bits. So far, we have Ben, and Bill Joe (with Glynna and Nickole), Connor and Alana... for our big day.

Happy Birthday (Saturday) to my DIL Glynna.

Dan and Sam got their "cloaks" finished. To me... these cloaks look like hemmed rectangles of black fabric. I expected them to want something more... garment-like. I got busy on the neglected baby dress for Kimber Ann. I got the yoke stitched down, and installed the zipper! (My very first zipper, EVER!!!) The next step calls for bias taping the armholes. WHAT? Bias tape... how did I miss seeing I needed bias tape?  So Bias tape is on my list... and though I checked at WalMart today... they no longer carry it. It went out when they disposed of their fabric department. So, the little dress is further delayed. (I really didn't feel much like doing anything today.)

For supper tonight, we cooked up a knock-off of P F Changs lettuce wraps. I used ground turkey, fresh cabbage, green peppers, leeks, and water chestnuts. We fried up the "Maifun Rice Sticks", which go "whoosh!" as soon as they hit the hot oil, and pretty much fill the pan instantly. I had Dan make some jasmine rice. Then we made wraps of the lettuce leaves... a scoop of the turkey/ veggie mixture, a dollop of rice, and a sprinkle of the fried noodles. Tasty!

I just learned that my DD Becky is planning to come for a few days this next week! YAY!!! (I hope I can finish the dress before she arrives, but it doesn't look promising. Monday, I go to an O'Reilly's in Fayetteville to work inventory there.

Tom and I discussed the fact that, although Dan and Sam took over Ben's room when he moved out, so they could each have their "own" bedroom... they continue to sleep in the same room, whichever of the rooms they choose to sleep in. I said I would like to dismantle one of the captains bunks and use that room for the treadmill, set up my sewing machine, and have it for guests when necessary. Tom thought it should be set up as a "proper classroom". The boys were none too keen on ANY of our ideas.

Nevertheless, we set to work trying to get their sleeping arrangements in one room, and a classroom/ media room/ sewing room in the other. We made a colossal mess... and decided to just leave things mostly as they were... moving only a computer from one bedroom to the other. We jam crammed two twin mattresses into a small closet... whatever you do... do NOT open that door! Then this inflammation really started to kick me up. I gave up for the day. And didn't start back today... so now we have a deadline... be done before Becky arrives! (They will move in together during guest visits, but are each keeping their own room/ top bunk.)

In assisting supervising demanding the boys CLEAN their rooms, I discovered they still had TRASH from at least 13 months ago... when one of my older boys stayed with us for awhile. Sheesh. I will have to be invading their spaces more closely from now on.

Well, that is all for now. Hope you have had a blessed day today, and even more blessed tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where has the week gone?

I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted a fresh blog! Monday, I went to my first inventory at another store. It really made me appreciate MY store! My dyslexia threw me for a couple of loops... 893001 looks exactly like 890031 to my brain. I discovered that clutching a clipboard in one hand and a pencil in the other for six and a half hours really makes my hands hurt!
 But we muddled through. This coming Monday, I go to South Fayetteville to count parts.

Tuesday was a long day on the job. Today was shorter... but then we went to the Library for the boys volunteer day. After the library, we headed to Hobby Lobby, where Daniel and Sam chose and purchased fabric for new cloaks. They picked out a lightweight black denim.

Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing MachineMy new sewing machine arrived here at the house shortly after we got back from town. the boys were as anxious as I was to set it up and give it a test run. Their fabric is in the washing machine, getting "shrunk". After their cloaks are done, I will try to finish the baby dress I started back in the Spring... or was it Summer? I hope it will still fit Kimber. Babies grow so fast! Once I finish it, I am going to try matching dresses for Kimber and Nickole. I have a cute cow print. Maybe I can add cow print vests for Tyrel and Gavin? (I doubt I could stuff Connor and Alana into cutesy little matching clothes if I tried all day!)

Right now, I have some lentils on to cook for supper. I started out sauteeing chopped bacon, onions, and garlic until the bacon was done. Then added chicken broth, water, and the rinsed dry lentils. It smells wonderful in here.

Laundry is now drying. I fully intended to get my uniform shirts washed Tuesday.
It .did .NOT. happen.

You would think that with the time change, extra hour of sleep and all that... I would be all rested up and perky. Nope. My brain is still set on getting me up at the "old" time... so I am awake by 3:30 in the morning. Combine that with very strange, vivd dreams... and I was in bed before 7:00 last night. Can't even remember eating supper, although I am sure I must have. (Actually, I think I headed to be a few minutes after 6:00pm).

The laundry didn't get done, which, in turn, left me scrambling for a clean work shirt this morning. I had to settle for a T Shirt with O'Reilly's logo on it. And had to get THAT from Mr C. I wore a pair of work pants left from my Eagle days... which had been set aside because I was too fat for them. (Shameless brag: They were BAGGY on me today!!!)

Sigh. Guess I have things to do here that I can't do sitting here typing. have a blessed afternoon!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Fall Back

Last night was the semi-annual changing of the time... we "Fall Back" the clocks one hour. So sleeping in this morning was especially decadent... getting to sleep late, and still getting up before 7:30 am! (When your internal alarm is set to go off at 4:30am, 7:30 is sleeping LATE).

So here it is not even 10 in the morning, and I am so ready for lunch! Come to think of it, maybe I am ready for breakfast... I don't think I had anything except tea. (This could explain my hunger, LOL!) Lunch today gets to be leftovers. We have quite a pile building up: Chili, spaghetti, pizza, salad... let everyone take their pick! I am thinking I will freeze whatever chili is not eaten at lunch. There isn't enough spaghetti sauce to worry about- it will be eaten or tossed after lunch.

Connor and Alana, my dear sweet grandkids, decided to spend a second night with us. Connor "camped" out in the van with Sam and Daniel last night. They all got cold, except Sam, who had a nice warm dog sleeping with him.

Supper tonight: roasted chicken breast and roots: Potatoes, onions, turnips, carrots, parsnips, and garlic. I will toss in a few portabello mushrooms and peppers as well. Maybe even add a cubed up sweet potato to the mix. Sprinkle with some coarse sea salt...  Delicious! (And fairly low calorie, if one doesn't go overboard on serving size.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gotta love Technology...

I got online after I got home from work this morning. I see sons Ben and Tommy are already logged in to Facebook. Since Ben's icon shows him as "inactive" I assumed he was at work and had just left his computer on. So I said hello to Tommy.

About the time I said hello, Sam finally got a skillet washed (hidden from last night!) so that I could start browning meat and onions for the big pot of chili I was cooking. So between typing messages back and forth, I was getting supper on to cook. (In the slowcooker, which is why it was going before noon!)

While I am at the stove, Ben pops up on the computer... he decided in a matter of minutes it was easier to CALL me than type out his side of what would be a long discussion.  Meanwhile, Tommy asked me if he had told me yet about something going on in his life. I responded he had not, so he called me... Ben hangs up so I can talk to Tommy. After a short while, Ben texts Tommy on his phone and tells him that he (Ben) has to leave for work soon and he really needs to talk to me. So Tommy hung up, and Ben and I got to talk.

Once we are all off the phone, I get back online. There are Ben and Tommy.... AND Becky, AND my Mom. Ben and Tommy are texting one another, while instant messaging me, Mom, and Becky, who are likewise IMing one another. Hard to follow, isn't it? It was a mini family reunion through technology.

Growing up, I can remember NOT having a telephone. And later, telephones with "party lines", shared by several families. There was not even "call waiting ".  Long distance calls were few, and brief. Today, our communications were between five people, through three mediums, over hundreds of miles.  Almost all of it covered by single rate communication plans.


I go to get Connor and Alana this afternoon. If they don't like chili, I still have spaghetti with home made sauce from yesterday. Snacks have been laid in, though they will have to do without soda pop. Dan is planning to bake muffins for breakfast in the morning. The chili is smelling GREAT!

I have to stop by the bank and the post office when I go out. Sam wants to come with me and get some vanilla wafers for the caramel sauce he has on cooking. (He uses his brother Chris' easy recipe. Boil a can of unopened sweetened condensed milk for three hours in a pot of water. That's the recipe.) We also have plenty of apples to serve with the sauce.

Speaking of caramels... I tried the Milky Way Simply Caramel candy bar yesterday. I ate one bite in the car. I had a second bite last night after supper, and then put it in the freezer. I chopped a third bite off after work this morning. These are THAT rich. At this rate, a single candy bar will last me for days! (Which is a GOOD thing! These have 250 calories per bar.)

Oh yeah, with the Non-denominational Capitalist, Wintertime Gift-giving Season rapidly approaching, I am once again asking, ever so nicely, that if you shop Amazon, could you please "get there" through my blog? There is a link on the side bar of the blog, and I get a small commission for advertising them here. Thank you!

Have a blessed afternoon!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Viva November!

Another fairly long day at work... five and a half hours. Once I got home, walked, and showered, the boys and I were off for their library service. I went ahead and told the boss to schedule me off on Wednesday thru Friday at thanksgiving. No problem, he says... we are closed Thanksgiving anyway. Only the really big town stores will be open that day. So, I am cleared on the schedule to go to Dad and Kathie's... if Tom goes to Ohio. Boss has asked me to stay as late as I can every day that I can... up to 40 hours a week from now until December 12th, getting the store ready for inventory.

I have procured both permission to take Connor and Alana to Grumpaw Bill and Grammy Kathie's, if we do go there, AND a visit with CowGranny and Umpaw this coming Friday! Yay! (Thanks, Jenn!)

I feel like I haven't been a really terrific Granny to any of my Grandkids. Between time, money, and school for the kids, Mr C and I haven't done too many "grandparenty" things. (Can I blame still having kids at home? I forget I am GRANNY!) I hope someday... preferably SOON! That we can have a home that the grandkids will like to come and spend time. Things for them to do... animals to play with, chickens to feed... real farm stuff. Meanwhile, we carry on, and the grandkids are growing up... just as the kids did. Before we are ready, before we know it.


Back here in the real world... I got a whole pile of catalogs this week. Catalogs are so much fun! I have been browsing "Catalog Favorites" ( . Another I got is "Bits and Pieces"  ( ) If I was rich, I would have presents all picked out for everyone!

Online, the twins and I are still having a blast at .

Well, I better get bust trying to fix some supper. Have a blessed night.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Liver and Onions

Liver and onions were on the menu tonight. It has been so long since I made it, the twins didn't recall ever having had it before.

I thawed the liver early in the day. Once it was (mostly) thawed, I rinsed it, and put it into a bowl, then covered it with milk. I like to soak it in milk for several hours, as it seems to take the 'edge' off the taste.

When I was pretty much ready to cook, I drained the milk off the liver. While it sat in a colander  in the sink, I mixed plain flour with salt and pepper. I went a bit heavy on the salt, as this was the main seasoning I was adding. After dredging the liver through the seasoned flour, I set it aside.

I had the boys slice 3 onions into half moon slices. I cut 3 strips of bacon into 1" slices.

Fry the bacon, remove from pan to snack on or add to another dish. (Ours went into au gratin potatoes). Add the onion slices to the hot bacon grease and saute them until soft and browning. Remove to a bowl. Add a small amount of cooking oil to the skillet, and add the liver. Fry until the juices run clear, turning often. Pour most of the pan greases out of the skillet. Add enough of the flour/salt/pepper dredging mixture to the remaining grease in the skillet to make a roux. Brown the roux. Add (1) 11.5 oz. can of V-8 and another can (more or less) of water, whisking together as it comes to a boil. Return the onions and liver to the gravy, simmer until gravy is desired consistency.

I thought it was the best liver and onions I have ever done. Dan said he was not impressed. Tom had told me all along I was cooking it wrong. His opinion is to cook the liver along with the onions, have no tomato gravy, and serve it with mustard. Sam has yet to express his opinion.

Re-Start routine, Take 1

Mr C goes back to work tomorrow. He has spent the past week bored from his gourd, hanging around the house. The boys tried to do their school work, closed in their bedrooms. Being such PERFECT fall weather, they spent a lot of time outside.

Tomorrow, things go back to 'normal' for a week and a half. Then Vacation, Part #2 commences. It doesn't look like Ohio is in the plans for Part 2. Not that he wouldn't like to go, just a matter of affording to go.

So I am planning on Thanksgiving here. Or WAS planning it here. IF Mr C does go to Ohio, the new plan is to shift the meal location to my dad's house. More room, for one thing. About the same, or LESS driving for the incoming family. If Mr C stays home, then we will all cozy up and have turkey here. (Guess I better clear with Jennifer, taking Connor and Alana to Texas IF we do shift locations! Going down Wednesday and returning Friday.)

I still have to clear time off with my boss. He has already said yes, I can take time that week... but I don't know for sure if I need it or not. If Tom stays in Arkansas, then I will be working Thursday morning. (Not a big deal, even though it is oil day. I will either plan for a later afternoon meal due to kids that can't get here Wednesday, or start the turkey before I head off to work at 5:30am. Despite checking in the oil, Thursdays tend to be "short" days for me... relatively little freight that I have to deal with. I have Friday off already, since the warehouse is off on Thursday.

While cleaning the house and watering plants yesterday, I discovered my Cyclamen is about to bloom. This was a poor, dying little plant I snagged on clearance at WalMart about a year, year and a half ago. Cyclamen are not known for re-blooming, even if you manage to save the plant. They have very pretty heart shaped leaves, and the flowers are like small birds soaring above the foliage. (The above picture is NOT my plant...  the pictures I tried to take revealed the cracked pot, the dirty water catcher bowl beneath, scraggly leaves, and torn window screen behind    came out a bit too... natural.)  My little plant is loading up on new leaves as well as flowers. Oh, and my rose bushes... the deeply discounted ones I bought late this past spring... they are GORGEOUS!  Up until the hard freeze we had a few nights ago, they were covered in plush roses and long stemmed rosebuds. I love discount plants!

Well, that is about all for now. Mr C has gone out to the storage unit to have a look at our stored junk   "treasures".   May you have a wonderful day.
PS, I took the blog header photo while in Ohio. This little lake is what my brother-in-law Bob has for a front yard.