Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I'm Dreaming of a White Medley

It's that time again!
Another Wednesday is about to be one for the books.
The past few days have been...um...interesting...to say the least.
Now y'all know how much I love snow, right?
So last week our local weather stations began predicting what most of us here in NC
usually just take with a grain of salt.


Well, this time they NAILED it!
They were predicting up to 12" or more and we came very close to that!
This is what we woke up to Sunday morning...


...and it was only the beginning.



It snowed all day and then turned to freezing rain.


But Monday morning brought another inch or so and by the time it was over,
we had about 11 inches.


It was a winter wonderland, to say the least!


The birds were having a free-for-all at the feeders.


By mid-afternoon, our lights began to flicker and then there was no more...
no heat, no warm food, no hot water, no toilet flushing, no Christmas lights...no nothing...
...except for cold silence and below freezing temps.
We haven't used our fireplace in years and even if we could have, 
all of the wood was soaking wet and covered with snow.
The roads were impassable and there was no way that Aaron could have made it over 
to help us hook up the new generator that was actually snowed in as well, 
inside of our detached garage...the thing weighs a ton!
So...we mounded ourselves and the pups up with heavy blankets, lit candles and lanterns,
and soldiered on through what seemed like the longest. night. ever.
Twenty-six hours later, we were once again toasty and warm.
This was my Facebook post from Monday night.
⚡️I love electricity.⚡️

Seriously, I don't ever want to take it for granted again...easy to say, not so easy to do!
Okay...enough about that.
~
It's time for Wednesday Medley...


...where Terri, our friend from Florida, asks the questions and we answer them.
Hop on over, copy and paste the questions to your blog and join the fun!
~
1.  National Ding-a-Ling Day is observed across the United States each year on December 12.  Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while.  It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbor from years ago.  Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer.  How about that couple who carpooled for soccer. There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me.  So tell us who you want to call today!

I have never heard of this before...I must be living under a rock! But now, since I have been enlightened, I could think of many people who have entered and exited my life over the years and the great thing is, due to Facebook, I've been able to look up and reconnect with a good number of them...it's hard to name just one!

2.  Each year on the 12th day of December, people across the United States recognize National Poinsettia Day.  I am including this "National Day" too because my neighbor's poinsettia from last year is blooming beside their house!!  Have you ever tried to plant a poinsettia outside?

I think you could probably only do that if you live in a warm climate...like Florida. :) I do love poinsettias and always have a few in my home every year at Christmastime. I have never tried to keep one very long after they start to fade, let alone plant it outside. I do think it would be pretty awesome to do that, though!



3.  Do you believe in Bigfoot?  What size shoe do you wear and do you have trouble shoe shopping?

No...the only bigfoot I believe in is me. I wear a size 9, which may or may not seem big, depending on the size YOU wear. I don't seem to have any trouble finding shoes that fit...and cute ones at that. Here are a couple of pairs of boots I have purchased just recently. Cute, huh? Super comfortable too!


4.  What is one thing you refuse to share?

My toothbrush.

5.  Are you finding that this Christmas is stressful? More or less than last year?

No...at least not yet. I really try to keep the stress level down around Christmastime but of course, I'm not always successful. I don't think this is what the Lord wants from us at this time of year, especially...for us to get so caught up in the prep that it takes away from the joy of the season. I have to be ready by next Friday, the 21st, because that's when our Tennessee bunch will be getting here for our family celebration on the 22nd. (They will be leaving for home on Sunday morning in order to get home for Christmas Eve with the kiddos.) So, although there is plenty of preparation that needs to be done, I really hope to not let it stress me out. I remember a few years ago when I got super stressed out and the Holy Spirit convicted me so much that it led me to write this post. Click on the link if you want to read it.



6. Tell us something random about your week so far...

Well, it seems I already told you about all the excitement around here. I did get an extra day at home since the clinic was closed. But I can think of about 58 other things I could have been doing rather than shivering under a blanket. Although the timing was off a bit, I do consider it an early white Christmas! πŸ˜Š


Enjoy the rest of your week!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Mantel and a Medley

How can it be Wednesday again already?
But I guess there's no arguing with the calendar so it must be true.
That also means that after today, there are only two more Wednesdays before Christmas!
How did that happen??
So I was able to get my decorations up over the weekend.
This will probably (hopefully) be our last Christmas spent inside these walls.
Wait, didn't I say those same words last year??
I don't mean that in a bad way of course...it's quite bittersweet, actually.
So just in case this is our last year, I thought I might change my mantel one last time.
I really hadn't intended to change that much but after seeing what my friend Sherry
from Farmhouse and Feathers blog had done on her mantel,
well, let's just say that I copied her idea she inspired me!

Sherry's beautiful rustic mantel.
I mean, I already had all of the key elements...
a deer skull mount (doesn't everybody have one?) that some of you may remember
from this post a few years back, the frame that was already hanging around it, 
an extra wreath, and plenty of greenery.
So down came the collection of clocks and books that had lived there for several years.


After the first of the year I plan to minimize the dΓ©cor anyway to prepare our home for the market.
I also thought this would be the perfect time to practice for life in the country!
So...here is my version.


I was actually kind of surprised that I really liked it!


I do realize that dead animal skulls/antlers are not to everyone's liking...and that's okay!
Maybe one of these Christmases I'll use those two wild boar heads that are still out the garage...
...you just never know!
~
So we're here for the Wednesday Medley...


where our friend, Terri from Florida asks us the questions and we answer them.
Just head to her blog, copy and paste the questions to yours and link up...
...it'll be fun!
~
1. On December 5, 1901, Walt Disney was born.  Have you been to Disneyland or Disney World?  Can you share a favorite Disney memory?

I have only visited Disney World one time when I was about 19 years old with a friend of mine. We were really in Orlando, Florida to visit her aunt but since we were right down the road, we spent a day there as well. It was in the process of refurbishing and Epcot was under construction if I remember correctly so it was not the best time for a visit. I have never really been in to Disney so it was just okay. I do remember though, as a little girl, looking through our View-Master and there was a disk with 3-D photos of Disneyland. I might even recollect a little oohing and ahhing going on.


2. The first roller coaster attraction at Walt Disney World was Space Mountain.  Do you/did you like roller coasters?

The first roller coaster I ever rode was at the Pavilion at Myrtle Beach, SC when I was about 13. I think I rode it about seven times in a row...after I hit my head in the bottom of the swimming pool when I dove in. Not a smart thing to do. If I ever rode another one, it was against my better judgment but soon realized that I do NOT like them much.

3. The very first fairy tale that Walt Disney made a cartoon about was Little Red Riding Hood.  Did you enjoy fairy tales when you were a youngster or did they scare you?  Did you have a favorite?

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed fairy tales as a child and I don't remember them scaring me much. My favorite was "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". I wanted to be able to jump into that cute little house in that storybook with all those cozy, soft chairs and beds. I actually wanted to BE Goldilocks!

4. In Lady & the Tramp, Tramp’s real name was Butch!  Do you have nicknames for your fur-babies and/or for your children?

Since I had sons and grandsons until Olivia came along, I had a tendency to call them all "Buddy" a lot. Then we had a dog named Buddy and it got kind of confusing. Now, Adam has a dog named Buddy! When it comes to my Oscar and Tasha, I sometimes refer to Oscar as Bubby... not to be confused with Buddy...and I call Tasha Little Girl or Baby Girl.

5. I can’t let this day go by without respecting George H.W. Bush, as he lays in state in the Rotunda of our Capital today.  He was our 41st President and only the second father to have a son follow him as President of the United States.  President Bush loved his colorful socks.  I bought Joe a pair of George H.W. Bush socks for Christmas one year.  I know Myra has a pair… any other bloggers checking in today who have a pair of the Presidential socks in a drawer at home?  How do you feel about colorful socks? These are the socks (and tie) President Bush will be buried in.

I did not know this about our dearly departed President Bush but it doesn't surprise me one bit. Those are some pretty awesome socks to wear when you meet your Maker! What a sweet reunion he and his dear Barbara must be having about now! When I wear socks, they are usually black trouser socks. I do however, have several pairs of Christmas socks that are brightly colored...and some are fuzzy that I wear around the house as slippers. When I was in high school I had a pair of these...

6. Please tell us something random about your week!

I did enjoy the movie I mentioned in last week's post, "The Man Who Invented Christmas". It was interesting to know the back story of how Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" came to be written. There was only one problem...I kept getting lost in Matthew Crawley's Dan Stevens' baby blues, losing my grip on what was happening in the movie. I about wore out that rewind button! And then there's my aching back, reminding me that this Christmas decorating business is not for sissies! I do so enjoy it once it's all decked out though. So what am I doing tonight? Helping to decorate at the church....such a glutton for punishment! Now where did I put that bottle of ibuprofen?? 

So that's what's going on here.
Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday Medley (with a side of French Toast)

Hello and Happy Wednesday to you!
 
It has been a whirlwind of a week for sure...
...and losing my completely finished post last night has made it even more so!
I have no idea what happened and I have been trying to recover it with no avail.
I wrote a big long story about our crazy Thanksgiving dinner but now realize
y'all didn't really want to read all that mess!
 
So...let me try this again.
 
 
I missed being able to link up to the Wednesday Medley last week with all that was going on.
So let's get right to the questions from Terri, our friend from Florida...
...just go to her blog, copy the questions and paste them to your blog and answer them!
 
 
1.  On November 28th, 1995, President Bill Clinton ended the 55 MPH nationwide speed limit that began in 1974 as an energy saving measure during the Mid-East oil embargo.  If you are old enough to remember this (I sure am) did it make you happy?  Do you have a heavy foot when driving or does 55 MPH sound good to you?
 
Oh yes, I remember it well and I can also still remember the voice of my high school Driver's Ed. teacher echoing through my brain, "Let's go 70", the moment we pulled onto the highway. It never did make it back up to 70 mph in my area...they brought it up to 65 where it still stands today. And no, going 55 on the highway never made me happy. I tend to travel about 5 miles above the limit, no matter what it is and pretty much follow the flow of traffic. Do I have a heavy foot? Wellll.....that depends on what you call heavy. πŸ˜‰
 
2.  You are home alone on a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon.  What Christmas movie will you watch? 
 

This movie came out last year and I can't say that I gave it much thought until recently. I have had it on my Amazon Prime watch list, just waiting for the right opportunity, which will hopefully be this rainy Saturday evening. And look who plays Charles Dickens... that beautiful actor Dan Stevens, a.k.a. Matthew Crawley from Downton! I understand Dickens had some issues when he was trying to come up with "A Christmas Carol", my favorite Christmas story, and this is what it's all about. I am hoping it's as good as it looks!

3.  What is something you have tried that you will never try again?

Cooking a 25 pound turkey in an electric roaster. My intent was to cook two smaller turkeys but could not find 12 pounders anywhere so I had to get the largest one I could find that would fit. It was not an easy task wrestling with that puppy in the sink beforehand, let alone after it was cooked. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the borrowed roaster was missing the rack to lift it out with. Oh....you should have seen me....never again.

4.  Today is National French Toast Day!!  Will you have some?  Do you like French Toast?
 Do I like French toast? Are you kidding? But, I won't be delighting in any today. Have you ever had the casserole version?? Oh my!

5.  The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center will be lighted today, as will the one at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Do you have your tree up and is it lighted?  Have you ever been in New York City or Washington, D.C. to see the trees all lit up during the holidays?

No Christmas decorations are up yet but hopefully this weekend I will get a good start if not completed. Yesterday, my sweet hubby did bring it all in from the garage though so I am one step closer! I have never been to NYC for anything and the only time I was in DC, the cherry trees were in bloom.

6.  Tell us something random about this week of yours.
 
We topped off the Thanksgiving week by celebrating Dacey's (our oldest grandson) birthday on Sunday. He is not a teenager anymore...the boy turned 20! How can this be?? Of course, I was a VERY YOUNG grandma...haha! Aaron (his dad) smoked a huge pork shoulder in his refrigerator... seriously, he did! Pictures don't lie!
 

 
So this is Dacey when he was just a few weeks old, tucked down inside the Christmas stocking that I made him all those years ago. He is big into working out and when he saw my mini-trampoline, he said he would like to have one...so guess who got him one? He is in the process of losing a few pounds for the USAF fitness test...he already passed the written test with flying colors! We are so proud of this smart kid!
  

 
So this is my abbreviated version of the post that got lost.
I'm still scratching my head as to how that happened...
...but after all, it's Blogger, right?
 
Enjoy the remainder of your week!
 


 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Mom's Thanksgiving Dressing

Thanksgiving Day is almost here!

In less than a week, we'll all be sitting around with full bellies, 
trying to stay awake after the tryptophan kicks in.
Several of you have asked me if I would share my mom's dressing recipe.
As promised, I will do my best.


There never was an actual recipe...nothing written down anyway...
I learned by watching and helping her for many years...and then doing the taste test.
I will try my best to give you an idea since I don't really measure the ingredients.
I make two good sized pans because someone in the family is a real pig has to have their own.

You will need:
  • 2-4 loaves white bread (more or less depending how much you want to make)
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion. chopped
  • butter
  • turkey neck, giblets, broth from cooking them
  • 2 large containers chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs (maybe 3, depending on amount you're making)
  • salt, pepper, poultry or other seasonings to taste
I start out by toasting the bread at least the night before. I wish I had a 16 slice toaster (as if they made such a thing) since this is the time consuming part. I let the toast cool off before ripping to pieces. 


So if you think about it, you get to put a lot of yourself into the dressing since you've touched every. single. piece. of bread. πŸ˜‰ Maybe that's why it became the star of the show...because Mom's hands touched every piece. So then you will need to find a big ol' pan or dish to hold all of this toasted goodness. As you can see in the photos, I used the foil turkey roasting pan before using it for the turkey!


This year I am cooking two smaller turkeys in an electric roasting pan. This will be a first for me...wish me luck! So...back to the dressing...

In a large saucepan, saute celery and onion in butter until soft. Add a couple of quarts of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil, add raw turkey neck and giblets and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is cooked, remove from heat. Now, Jim loves the giblets (gag) so I save them for him for a little pre-dinner snack and I fish out the neck and let it cool. After cooled, I pull off all the meat I can get...and there really is quite a bit, believe it or not. Back into cooled cooked broth it goes for now.

So now comes the fun part...putting it all together. In a large mixing bowl start by adding part of the bread followed by all cooked broth with meat. This is where much of the guesswork comes in. Add more bread followed by store-bought broth, repeat until all of the bread is mixed with broth and it a soupy, sloppy (sorry) consistency. Not enough broth will make the dressing too dry and too much...well, you see where I'm going with this. Taste along the way and add seasonings to your liking. After that, beat the 2-3 eggs in a small bowl and add to dressing mixture, stirring well until all combined. Place mixture in greased baking pan(s) or casserole dish(es). Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until brown and it releases from sides a bit. I always do the "knife test" to make sure it is done in the middle. And that's it!


Sorry the photos are not the best...they are copied from Facebook posts.
But if you decide to try it, I hope you enjoy it!
~
We all have so many things to be thankful for, don't we?
Well, I am also very thankful for YOU GUYS, my blogging buddies!
Thank you so much for your encouragement and just making my life so much richer.

May God richly bless you ALL this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mishmash Medley

Hey y'all and Happy Wednesday!

We had a wonderful trip to Tennessee and made it back safely.
It is such a blessing when all of the grands can get together, which doesn't happen that often.
Aaron's boys, Dacey and Dylan were able to go with us and everyone had a great time...
...even though their ages range from nearly 20 down to nearly 10, it just doesn't matter.
~
The weather was less than perfect but that never stands in the way...
...it was either rainy or bone chilling cold with winds that went right through you.
As usual I brought my camera but it never left the case the whole time.
There are no new pretty pictures this time so I will share from the archives.


Just picture this scene with rain coming down. 😊


And although this is last year's model too, I baked another just like it! 
The rain and cold did not affect our ability to watch Parker play his indoor soccer game
or attend his wrestling match the next day where he got a 2nd place medal in his weight class.


 He has the kindest heart and is always laughing...


...unless he is posing for team pictures.
He is one tough little wrestler and looks like a different kid here, doesn't he?
~
So it's back to the routine around here, including joining Terri for the...


Hop on over to her blog, copy and paste the questions, and link up...it'll be fun!
~
1. With the holidays coming, what is your most essential appliance to help you prepare for the celebrations?

Well, I would definitely be lost without my oven/stove. Without it, we eat raw turkey...and there would be no dressing. That would be a disaster and there just might be a death in my family. 😐

2. What is your favorite (clean) word?

I don't necessarily have a favorite "clean" word (and I don't have a favorite "dirty" word either) .... but my favorite word that means clean would be pristine.


3. Are you a good judge of character?

Most of the time I think I am...although I have been wrong. The world is full of imposters but God is still teaching me that I am not anyone's judge.

4. What is the last thing you took a picture of? Can you share it with us?


I took this photo of my computer screen yesterday since I could not figure out how to print it from Google Maps. This is the street view of the property where we are building the farmhouse which I edited to illustrate the new path the driveway and bridge will take. Initially we thought it best to build the bridge over the creek right off the road (blue line) and the driveway along the fence line...until we met with the bridge guy this past weekend. A bridge over the deep ravine where the creek flows along the road would be quite costly. He suggested the driveway enter through the farm gate on the other end (yellow line) and to build the bridge over the shallow part of the creek as it flows through the tree line and continue up to the building site. This will save us $$$$ believe it or not. I have always wanted to live "down the lane" and we all agree it will make for a much more picturesque setting.

5. Tomorrow, November 15, is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. How do you intend to celebrate?

I celebrated this day back in October when when Hurricane Michael paid us a visit. Warm refrigerators are much easier to clean out! With that said, I will also be deliberately making room for all the Thanksgiving food I will be purchasing over the next week. I am still in denial a bit about it being a week away. 😏

6. Tell us something random about your week!

I always get thrown off course a bit after a trip out of town and I'm still trying to get back on track. Hubby is off the rest of this week until Friday and I am patiently waiting for him to go back so I can get started on the holiday preparations. Is it just me or is it difficult for anyone else to "work" around your better half??

So that's it for this week's medley.
~
I have had a few of you request my mom's recipe for her turkey dressing.
There is nothing fancy about it...just a plain old fashioned dressing.
So I do hope to get that posted within the next couple of days for those who have asked...
...it is not something that I have written down...I just make it the same way every year,
no real measurements...so I will do the best I can!

Until then....

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Mid-week Medley

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the Medley!

It seems like I always begin with talking about the weather, don't I?
Well I certainly don't want to shock anyone so let's talk about the weather, shall we?!


This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous and I have pictures to prove it.



I went for a hike on Friday and it was just a perfect fall day...


 ...it was a bit overcast (which is the best for photo taking)
but still the brilliant foliage popped against the gray-ish skies.



I didn't notice the lady bug until I got the photos off my camera.


And there is nothing to compare to the solace of hiking a quiet trail in the woods in the fall.



My mums are hanging on for dear life even though their blooms are waning a bit.
It seems like everything is fading fast and with yesterday's wind and rain,
the leaves are falling like crazy.
I plan to savor every moment before it's gone...so I better not blink!
~
So were here for Terri's Wednesday Medley...let's get right to it.
Just copy the questions from her blog, paste them on yours and join n the fun!

 
1. What is your claim to fame?
If you would ask my #1 son this question, his answer would probably be my ability to duplicate his Grandma Billheimer's (my mom) Thanksgiving dressing. He gets his very own pan to take home every year. It's the little things....
 
2. What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
I think the older I get, the more I think about this. Even though I am a fan of many modern conveniences, there is a part of me that fantasizes about what it would have been like to grow up in the olden days. I thoroughly enjoy having a dishwasher but there are times when I just want to feel the warm, sudsy dish water on my hands. And that dressing I was talking about in the last question...well, you won't find me buying a bag of pre-cut bread cubes at the store for it. I toast about 3-4 loaves of bread the night before Thanksgiving and in the morning, tear the bread apart with my fingers...just like my mama did.

3. What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?

There are many things I haven't grown out of yet, some that I'm not so proud of, but I guess my first response would be that I have never lost my instinctive desire for mischief (in a good way, of course) and my love to laugh. I probably don't need to tell you that there are some folks out there who think having fun stops when we get old become more mature. Jesus is still teaching me how to behave but I'm pretty sure He wants the laughter to continue.
 
 
4. What is the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
I have done so many dumb things in my life and there is no way to narrow it down to just one. Needless to say, after I publish this post to the Wednesday Medley, all kinds of things will pop into my head. So, since I just can't think of something small like a decorating or cooking mistake that turned out not so bad, I guess I will get serious. In my younger days, when I was running from Jesus, I did so many stupid things...some that could have been really dangerous. But through His grace and mercy, He was always there to love me and catch me when I fell...until I finally fell into His arms. All those dumb things are now just a part of my testimony.
 
5. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? 
Well...I guess I kind of did change my name...at least the spelling of it. I changed the Debbie to Debby when I was in high school, just to be different since there were so many of us.

6. What is something random you can tell us about this week?
We will be heading very early on Thursday morning to Tennessee for the annual father/son/grandsons hunt. We always look forward to this time every year. Next year at this time, God willing, we won't be making this trip because we'll already be living there....as snug as a bug in a rug in our little camper in the meadow. We shall see! πŸ˜‰

Enjoy the rest of your week!
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