Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A Medley of Memories of Mom

So Mother's Day is almost here and that means it will be June before too long.
And we all know that June is the sixth month and that means 2019 is almost half over!!
This past April 30th marked the ninth year since my mom went to be with Jesus.
I have shared quite a lot about her since I began this blog and I'm re-sharing some of it today.
No matter how old we get, we never stop missing them after they leave us, do we?
So Terri, our friend from Florida, has all the low-down on the history of Mother's Day.
She shared the following on her blog about this special day.

MOTHER’S DAY – Second Sunday in May

Mother's Day - Second Sunday in May


Everyone has one or has someone who is like a mother to them.  On the second Sunday of May, we honor those women who are our mothers. Whether we shower her with gifts, take her to a fancy dinner or make her a homemade card, what moms want most is to be surrounded by the love of their family.  Knowing the people they love are safe, sound and healthy is a mom’s number one priority.
Remember to put mom first on Mother’s Day and use #MothersDay to share on social media.
Mother’s Day has been celebrated around the world since, well, since motherhood. In the United States, Julia Ward Howe inspired the first movement toward a national Mother’s Day during the Civil War. Appealing to the public for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” after witnessing the devastation left by war, Howe went on an international crusade. While her efforts never gained formal recognition for an official observance, she was acknowledged posthumously in 1988 for her achievements and her efforts for women’s rights.
It was in 1905 when Mother’s Day was finally introduced successfully by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis who had followed Howe’s campaign and had pursued her own volunteer efforts during the Civil War. Her mother died on May 9, 1905, and she missed her greatly. She started a dedicated letter-writing campaign to declare an official Mother’s Day. Through Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the first Mother’s Day was observed on May 10, 1908.
This day, to honor Anna Jarvis’s mother, grew into a National Observance until in 1911 when every state participated. Soon it was spreading internationally, and on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.
So why not head on over to her blog, 
get the scoop and copy and paste her questions to your blog.

It's the

1. Where did your mom grow up?

Rural southwestern Ohio.

2. Tell us about her siblings, if she has/had any. Did you have a favorite aunt or uncle?

Mom (Mary Elma) and her twin, Edna Mae, were #5 and #6 out of 7 children. There was Ella, Raymond, Anna, Clara, Mom and Edna, and the baby, Amos. Here are the twins as infants, Mom is on the left. I think my baby pictures strongly resemble hers. 

And below,  I am guessing the twins might be about ten here and that is older sis, Clara in the middle who was two years older. Can you guess which one is Mom? There's that forehead that I inherited! 

And then finally, here are the twins at their 90th birthday celebration. Aren't they adorable? They probably look more like each other here than they ever did...and the Old German Baptist (Dunkard) church dresses and caps helped them out a bit. The twins were the only siblings who continued in the tradition of the church in which they were raised all their lives. 

Of course I loved all of my aunts and uncles but I'd have to say that Aunt Clara was my favorite sibling of Mom's...probably because our families lived the closest to each other and we cousins were closest in age than any of the others. Aunt Clara was two years older than Mom and her twin, Aunt Edna but she lived the longest...103 years! I wrote a post about her back in 2013 in honor of her 100th birthday.

Click on the link below (if you like) which will take you over to my other blog, Memories of my Childhood (and other blessings) and read all about my beloved Aunt Clara.

 3.  What is ONE of your favorite memories you can share with us of your mom?

Oh...there were so many wonderful memories. I have written quite a bit about my mom over the years and again, you can find them over on my other blog. I have chosen this as my favorite if you choose to click on the link and read it. I know some of you have read them pressure.

 4. Please share a picture or two of your mom with us.

This is one of the last kisses that I gave her. It was Easter Sunday, 2010 and she was in the hospital. It would only be a few weeks later that Jesus would call her home. If you want, click on the link below and read about our last visit together.

5. Let's not leave out the grandmothers. Share what you will.
My dad's mother died when he was only seven and when his dad remarried, well, just let me say that they had another bunch of kids together and unfortunately she favored her own children over the steps. It created hard feelings with my dad (of course) over the years and his and our relationship with her was not close after his father died. During my growing up years, I didn't see her very often and barely even considered her a grandmother figure in my surprise there. My maternal grandmother had already passed by the time I was born so I have no real "grandmotherly" memories to speak of. I have always felt a little sad about that but since my mom was much older when I was born, I actually have those kind of memories of her. Dos that make sense?

6. Do you have any special plans for Mother's Day?

At this moment in time, I have no clue...probably will at least go out to eat after church. But then again, all of the restaurants will be ridiculously crazy...may need to have a plan "B".

Monday, May 6, 2019

"Frying" with Air

So last week I shared a photo of my dinner on Facebook,
and a few of you requested the recipe and how I cooked it in my air fryer.

This "recipe" is actually not really a recipe... was one raw chicken breast and some fresh California mix (carrots, broccoli, snow peas).
I was making just enough for me since Jim was working so it was the perfect time to experiment!
I just sprayed the basket with cooking spray, added the cut up chicken and veggies,
then I added some pepper and a drizzle or two of teriyaki.
As you can see I served it up over some rice.

I hope you are jealous that high class charger plate I served it to myself on. 😉
Seriously though, it was pretty darn good...even if I do say so!
So this is my little Dash Compact Air Fryer that I received from Aaron and Michelle for Christmas.
 Isn't she cute?

Something this adorable really needs a name, don't you think?
Hmmm...I'll have to ponder that a bit....
...and she's a petite little thing too...all we need here for just the two of us.
And I recently saw where she was rated among the top 10 air fryers on Amazon.

And this is the model we got for Adam's family of four, which is nearly twice the size.
They absolutely love it and use it all the time for many, many things.
I noticed that it's now selling for $10 less than the $99 I spent at Christmastime. 😖
What a fabulous little invention this is!
Most people think all you can cook in them is frozen french fries or chicken wings.
Au contraire!
I am certainly no expert yet but here is a list of basic things I have already tried:

*frozen french fries (of course)
*frozen sweet tater tots
*frozen chicken wings and other appetizers
*breakfast sausage patties and links, cooked and uncooked
*frozen waffles and pancakes
*hot dogs
*uncooked chicken breast w/fresh veggies
*warmed up many things

There are tons of websites and YouTube videos all about air frying... and here are just a couple of them to check out if you like.

So the next night I wanted more of this good stuff...

...and this dish is pretty similar but not quite the same.
This time I added onion, yellow squash, broccoli and carrots to the uncooked chicken,
changed up the spices a bit and threw it all in a plastic bag with a drizzle or two of olive oil.
Just let me say that Weber Honey Garlic Rub is amazing!

And into the basket it went...

...for about 10 minutes... 360 degrees.

A word about the settings...
Mine has this as it's default and most of the time I don't change it.
The instruction manual tells all about settings for certain foods but it's just easier to use the default.
Pausing the machine about half way through cooking and shaking and/or turning the food
 is always advised...and adding more time or temperature if needed.
 Too bad you can't subtract the time though...take this broccoli for instance...

...I found out that you need to add it later to the mix...unless, that is, if you want it crispy.😕

So here it is, all cooked up and yummy...

Seriously, delicious and simple!

But maybe you're just in the mood for a simple hotdog...and recently I have been!
They cooked up absolutely perfect...except with no grill marks...oh well...
So tonight's supper was really good too...oh my gosh...
fresh asparagus and dainty baby sweet potatoes...I was "vegging" it tonight.
Do you ever have those times when all you want is veggies and no meat?
Well, tonight was one of those nights for me.
(don't worry, I'll get some protein in later 😉)

A little olive oil spray, salt and pepper is all the asparagus needed
and I gave the sweet potatoes a couple little sprays as well after I tossed it all in together.
It took ten minutes at 360 degrees, stopping it half-way and giving it a good shake.

I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon and sugar over the sweet potatoes for a touch of sweetness. 😋

And clean up couldn't be easier.

So, have I made a believer out of you?
The possibilities are endless and I'm already getting excited just anticipating what I'll try next!

So how about you fry with air??
If so, what are you cooking in up in yours?
I'd love to hear from you!

Have an awesome week, sweet friends!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Day Medley

D A Y !!

 I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I've posted anything.
Do y'all ever just get like that...unmotivated to blog?
I had last week's medley questions answered and started to get my post together
and then had nothing else to offer so I just decided not to finish it and bow out again.
But I'm back and can hardly believe that May is already here...and it seems summer may be too.
It's to be in the mid-80s here all week...I am not quite ready for that yet!

 So here's what Teri, has for us today on the...



May Day is observed annually on May 1.  In many ancient calendars, May 1 was the first day of summer.  This was a cause for celebration.  One of the more popular rituals was harvesting flowers and giving them to neighbors and strangers in cone-shaped baskets. These “May Baskets” become more commonly known as “May Day Baskets”.  The current tradition is observed by hanging a cone-shaped basket full of flowers or other gifts on the outside doorknob, then knocking or ringing the doorbell and run away.

May Day has been a traditional day of celebration for centuries, with some of the earliest appearings in pre-Christian times.  In English tradition, May Day is celebrated by crowning a May Queen and dancing around a maypole.  The Finnish tradition is a carnival-type celebration in the streets that includes a special type of lemonade that is made with lemons, brown sugar and yeast.  In France, it is correct to give people either dogwood or lily of the valley to celebrate May Day.  In Italy, a seasonal feast is held to celebrate the arrival of spring.While different countries have different ways to celebrate May Day, it is truly a celebration of spring.

So hop on over and join in the fun...
...just copy the questions from her blog and paste them onto yours!

1.  Ahhh... May Day!!  Happy May!  Did you celebrate this when you were a child by dancing around a Maypole or leaving flowers on someone's porch? Will you be celebrating a special occasion in May?

I remember this like it was sister (next to me in age) had freckles that she hated and for a few years (at least) I remember her being told by someone in the family that one way to get rid of them was to get up on May Day without saying a word to anyone,  go outside and wash her face in the morning dew...and that would take care of! Has anyone else ever heard of that? I found this image online... I guess it came from a nursery rhyme of long ago.

2. National Mother Goose Day was founded in 1987.  Can you name a nursery rhyme that would fit your life as it was in 1987?  If you are a youngster and not yet born in 1987, you may pass, of course, but do you have a favorite nursery rhyme? HERE is a list of nursery rhymes.

Oh are going w-a-a-a-y back, aren't you? It took me a while to even wrap my head around what I was doing back then! Let's 1987, I was a young mother of two rambunctious little boys ...Aaron was 8, Adam was 5 and we were living in Kentucky. I was a stay-at-home mom and Jim was working 2nd shift at the time. It was not always fun...I was pretty much doing the parenting thing on my own since Jim needed to sleep late in the mornings and by mid-afternoon he was off to work again into the late night hours. Yeah...those were not the best days of my motherhood journey. "I'm a Little Teapot" seems like it might be quite fitting during that time since I've always been short and stout and I could certainly get pretty steamed up. The neighbors may have even heard me shout a time or two.....or three.

3.  National Chocolate Parfait Day is also honored on this day. Parfait means perfect in French. Tell us about a perfect day, in your mind, and would/could it end with a chocolate parfait?

My perfect day would find me out all by myself (well, just me and the Lord) ...driving to the perfect country setting, a picnic for one possibly, walking a country road lined on both side with fields of in tow, of course. There is a cool breeze blowing but the sun is warm on my face. Yes...that would be absolute perfection. Does that sound selfish? Now on the other hand, a gathering of the hubby, my boys, their wives and children...that's also an almost perfect day...almost. But when we all get together, someone's got to get it together and that person is usually ME. "Perfect" and "work" don't really belong in the same sentence, do you think?? I highly doubt if chocolate parfait would be involved in any way though. Now, if you would have said lemon meringue pie....well, that would be a different story entirely.🍋

4.  National School Principal's Day was founded to celebrate these school administrators who support and guide quality teachers and staff to provide productive learning environments for our children.  Did you have a good Principal when you were in school? Do you remember his/her name?

I do remember a certain principal when I was in junior high. I thought he was a nice, fair man and since I behaved myself (most of the time) I never had any fear of having to go see him. He was a soft spoken older gentleman who was tall and balding. The main thing I remember about him was he had hairy ears. The mean kids always made fun of him for having quite a lot of hair growing out of his ears. His name was Wilbur Bolen. I will also remember that my brother Doug who was quite a bit older than me, was sweet on his daughter, Paula. And to make this story complete, I also need to add that this certain Paula married a man (who was not my brother) and they were unable to have children of their own. Well, it just so happened that my sister Ruby and her husband were foster parents for two years to a little guy and Paula and her hubby ended up adopting him. Soooo....Wilbur Bolen became the grandpa to their former foster child! Pretty cool, huh?

5. And perhaps the most important one is Silver Star Service Banner Day which honors the sacrifices of the combat wounded, ill, and dying service members from all branches of the military.  Do you have family members who have served this country in uniform? Tell us about them, if you will.

My oldest brother Bob who passed away in 2017 had already enlisted in the Air Force before I was born and made it his career. He spent most of his years at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumpter, SC  where he met his lovely wife and raised his three daughters. And my brother Doug who I mentioned in the previous comment, also served in the Air Force for four years. He spent a year in Thailand and fell in love with a lovely young woman there who he almost married....almost. I don't know the whole story but I do know he was heartbroken for a while. 😞

6.  It's Hump Day! How is your week going so far?

It's going pretty good, I think. I haven't given an update since I had some tests and saw my doctor last month. The CT scan showed that the "tumor" is still there and although it hasn't really decreased in size, the inflammation surrounding it looked better and it had NOT increased...Praise the Lord for that. We were all hoping to see it getting smaller but the doc said sometimes it takes more than one month of steroids before results. decrease in the dosage just yet. He was very pleased at how well I am doing and that I am feeling good, eating and not losing weight anymore. And I'm not gaining either so Praise the Lord for that as well. I was so afraid the steroids were going to blow me up like a balloon but so far, so good!

So yesterday I was doing a little experimenting with my air fryer and I posted what I had cooked on Facebook. A few of you saw it and was interested in learning more about air fryer cooking and asked me to write a post. This is what I made...a stir-fry sort of dish with chicken breast and fresh veggies all cooked together in the air fryer basket. It was quite tasty, quick and easy!

So I am working on the post it and will have it up later on this week or weekend. 
So that's it for now...enjoy the rest of your week!


Monday, April 15, 2019

Stretch Those Toes, Baby!

Nothing will ever be as dear to me as my sweet mother was and the lingering memories of her.
She has been with Jesus since 2010....I can't believe she's been gone that long.

Although I didn't inherit her meek and mild spirit or her quiet demeanor,
I did, however, get a few things from her...
...her chin, her hairline (and I passed that on to Adam and his Olivia) and I hate to say this...
...but something that I wish I hadn't gotten.

Her bunions.

Let me rephrase that...

Bunions that I don't ever want to become like hers.

Even my earliest memories of her include finding my little girl self gazing with a puzzled face 
as to why her feet (specifically her toes) looked like that.
Of course these are not actually her feet but they are remarkably close to what hers looked like, 
including the numerous bunion and corn pads.
I do declare that someone snapped a shot of her feet and sold it to the internet...seriously!

Mom, if you happen to be looking down on me now, please forgive me...
I only want to help others by sharing this.

I remember it nearly causing me physical pain just to look at them.
She had the hardest time fitting into shoes, to say the least.
But what I don't understand is she always wore sensible shoes...never high heels or pointed toes.
Maybe just ill-fitting ones but no doubt she was on her feet a lot raising those eight kiddos!
I guess I probably noticed the beginning of bunions forming in my late 30s to early 40s.
I have always had a thing for cute shoes and for quite a few years
I was guilty of cramming my feet into those high heeled, needle nose torture chambers.
But only for short amounts of time to church or special occasions...never on the job.
In fact, my favorite "shoes" were the ones I was born wearing.
Then of course, there were my flip-flops....still, my go to favorites.
When I first started noticing the bunions, I became determined to keep them at bay!
Just so you know, I have never done a review post on any certain product,
although I may have simply offered my humble opinion about this or that.
I am not getting paid and no one affiliated with the product has asked me for a review.
So let me tell you how this post all came about...
Probably more than ten years ago, I came across an ad in the back of a magazine.
It was for Yoga Toes and they immediately got my attention.
Yes, they have been around a good while.

Fast forward to...whenever...I cannot even locate my order on my Amazon account.
I thought for sure that's where I got them but I may have ordered from the Yoga Toes site.
Like I said, I have had them for at least 10 years and used them often...that is until...
I lost them somewhere in a messy drawer I misplaced them and couldn't find them anywhere!
That would be until just a couple of weeks ago and I nearly jumped for joy when I found them!
If you think I was going to order another pair for over thirty bucks...uh...probably not...
...but now that I think about it, maybe, just maybe I would have!
I knew they had to be here somewhere...and, of course, they were.
I do realize I'm telling on myself for not keeping things in order like I should. 😏

So yesterday I got those babies out of their cute little mesh bag with the drawstring top
and plopped them on my feet for a couple of hours while I watched my afternoon cooking shows.
Really though, you don't just "plop" them takes a little bit of work to get 'er done...
...and it probably also depends on your specific toes.
If they are long and skinny, I'd say it's much easier than prying apart short, fat ones like mine. 😖
Immediately after I posted this photo on Facebook while I was busy "Yoga Toe-ing",
it evidently sparked an interest in my friend, Lea from Cici's Corner
and her interest in them encouraged me to write a post about here it is!
In all honesty, I had forgotten just how wonderful my feet felt during and after the stretch.
These are not something you can wear to walk around in nor wearing them to bed for the night.
The instructions tell you to start out wearing them for short increments of time...
...maybe 10-15 minutes at first and gradually work up to an hour or longer.
I had mine on for probably at least 2 hours, maybe a bit longer.
It's also important that you get the right size so they aren't uncomfortable but give a good stretch.

Over time, my big toes have become more and more numb, due to bones pressing on the nerves.
I always wear silicone toe spacers with closed-in shoes and socks and also while sleeping.
They do keep the big toes more in line and they have also helped me greatly over the years.
 I purchase these at Walmart and they are soft, comfortable and do a great job.
But the thing about the Yoga Toes is the actual stretch they provide for your feet and toes.
It is highly beneficial to exercise and stretch other joints and muscles in our body, right?
So why not our feet and toes as well since they carry all of our burdens all day long!
You can read about the therapeutic benefits by clicking here.

  And when it's chilly outside and I want to keep my feet warm and toasty while I stretch,
I have these cozy socks as well, which also provides a comfy "posture" for your toesies.
(The socks are manufactured by Hithop, not Yoga Toes.)

So...there you have it...everything you always wanted to know about...
...but was afraid to ask.

Have you ever tried them??
Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Medley of Brothers & Sisters

Hello and Happy Wednesday, my friends!
After missing a couple of weeks, 
I'm glad to be linking back up with Terri's...

Today is... 
 and you can read all about it here.

Just copy and paste the questions from her blog to your blog,
plug in your own answers, and then link back up to the Medley.

1. How many siblings do you have? Are you rivals or do you support each other in all you do?

Most of you already know this if you have followed me for very long...I am the "baby" out of eight siblings. My oldest brother (we were 20 years apart) passed away in 2017, leaving a huge hole in our family. We have never been rivals in any way, shape of form and have always supported each other in every thing and in every way. There have never been any family squabbles that I can recall, just a whole lot of love...and I don't say that to brag or boast. I say that out of a most thankful heart to the Lord for allowing me to be blessed by belonging to this crazy bunch. I look forward with great anticipation to every chance I get to visit with my dear siblings and try to up get to Ohio at least once a year. Here are some pictures of us throughout the past several years...I couldn't find any of the old black and whites from the early times where we were all together. Bob had already left home by the time I came along and gathering the rest of us was no easy task to get snapshots, when the old Brownie camera had film in it, that is! 

From left to right...Bob, #1; Doug, #5; Lois, #2; Janet, #6; Ruby, #3; Barbara, #7; Jerry, #4; Me, #8
One of the last reunions when Mom was still with us.
The year brother Bob was to ill to join the reunion. A little photo editing brought us all together again.
And then there were seven...
 2.  Have you heard of the Birth Order Book?  What are your thoughts on the premise that your birth order affects everything you do in life?

Yes, I have heard of this book but I don't know that I ever really thought much about the subject. I do think there might be something to it in a family where there are just a few children but not so much when there are many. I think it also depends on how the parents relate to the children. I personally have not experienced a birth order thing but can certainly understand that it could be an issue in some family situations. All I know is that we just loved each other and thoroughly enjoyed growing up in a large family. I've shared this photo before but I just love it so much. This is the flip-side of the "birth order"...the oldest and the youngest.

3.  Is there something that you still do that drives your siblings crazy?

Using the word "crazy" and my "siblings" in the same sentence would be a bit redundant... for the simple fact that we ALL crazy. I haven't lived around my family since we relocated to Kentucky in 1981 and moved even farther away to NC in 1992 but when we get the opportunities to get together, there's a whole lot of crazy goin' on! I'm sure there are many on the outside that just may not get our brand of "crazy"! Being the baby of the family had many perks and getting away with murder was one of them. Just let me say that I have mellowed over the years.👼

4.  Are you closer to your siblings now than you were when you were younger?

Although there was never a time when we were not a close bunch, through the years we have all gotten closer in our spirits. We all love Jesus and we live our lives accordingly. The six siblings between the oldest and the youngest have always lived close to each other in Ohio, a few of them even worshipping at the same church. My oldest brother who passed away in 2017 had lived in South Carolina since I was a tiny child when he went into the Air Force...and then we moved our family to KY in '81. As we all grew in age, our relationships to each only grew stronger and with the help of Facebook, our connections were strengthened even more due to the ease of being able to see what see were all up to on any given day.

5.  Would you dare to tell us an embarrassing story about a sibling?

Of course this story is no longer embarrassing to my dear sis, Barb since she was just a young girl when this happened but all of the brother and sisters sure gave her a hard time about it for many years. We had a favorite aunt who lived in the country and we would often go and stay with her for days and play with our cousins. At that time, there was no indoor toilet and the outhouse was your only option...we actually thought this was kinda fun. Anyway, it seems there was this nest of yellow jackets living under the rim...I think you know where I'm going with this. That day she became their target.  They (I don't actually know how many) butt but all I do know is at least one of them stung her on the butt hit that target......and out she ran, crying to Aunt Clara, panties and all still down around her knees! Not too many years later, Aunt Clara was blessed with a nice indoor potty. 😉

6.  Tell us something random about your week.

A couple of things, actually. Jim and I had just finished dinner the other night and all of a sudden we heard that all too familiar, unmistakable sound of a bird hitting the glass patio door. Jim thought the little thing was dead and I rushed out to swoop it up before one of the feral cats had him for dinner. It was a beautiful baby downy woodpecker...and I immediately went into "bird whisperer" mode.

It didn't take long for this little one to get his/her bearings back...only a little dazed and confused and soon flew off my hand and onto a tree branch a few yards away. I consider this a blessing from the Lord to be able to do this on several occasions and there is nothing quite like having that amazing, wild creature sitting in the palm of your hand.

And on another subject altogether, I finally made good on a gift certificate to a local nail salon that was gifted to me for Christmas from Adam and Carrie. I started feeling so bad after the first of the year that I really had no desire to go get that much needed pedicure.

All I can I say is ....AAAHHHHH! 

So that's pretty much it for me this week!
Spring is finally popping out everywhere and I'm feeling good!

Hugs and blessings to ALL!
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