Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Testing, testing...

Comments are not coming to my email.

This is just a test.

Wednesday Medley: Pumpkins and Other Things

Didn't we just turn the calendar page over to October?
How is it possible that it's half way over already??
That's just crazy!
We weathered yet another hurricane last week as Michael ripped his way through the country.
I snapped this shot on my way home from work as he began to make his presence known.

I've never seen such winds as what we had and it's truly a miracle that more damage wasn't done.
We lost power for only two days...and I say only because we were some of the more fortunate ones.
There are still a few areas around that are have not had theirs restored.
After seeing all of the heartbreaking devastation in Florida,
how dare I complain about spending a couple of days in the dark?
So here we are again for some Wednesday Medley...

...where our friend, Terri from Florida asks us the questions on her blog
and yes, you guessed it...we answer them on ours!
Why don't you copy and paste the questions and join in the fun?!

1.  The Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Festival starts today.  All things pumpkin are everywhere. What is your one very favorite pumpkin flavored food or drink?  Do you wish it was available all year or do you only want it in the Fall?

I do love me some pumpkin stuff but only in the fall...I don't want it all year long or it wouldn't seem like a treat. I am always willing to try new things that come out pumpkin spice are just some of the ones that I've tried.

At first I thought I really liked the yogurt and then after a few bites I was pretty much done. The sausage was...let me just say...interesting, the cereal was really good, and the bagels and cream cheese were alright but nothing that I'd write home about. Among my favorites was this granola.

And Lord knows, I could have used some of this stuff...

The mosquitoes are still attacking! Evidently they haven't gotten the message yet that summer is over.

2.  What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren't going to sell it anymore?

I've already done this very thing and now I cannot find anymore, anywhere. This made me very sad and I wish I had every dollar back in my pocket for what I spent trying to find a good replacement. I had used this hairspray for years and I'm pretty sure I have bought up every. single. available. bottle. from ebay and Amazon. Vanity is a killer!

3.  What is the most interesting thing you have seen online this week?

This may not be what you would actually call "interesting" but it sure did bless my heart.

4.  Is it better to be a "big fish in a small pond" or a "small fish in a big pond"?

Seeing how I do not care to have much attention drawn to me, I think I would prefer the small fish, big pond thing. I have no desire to be famous or well known...that goes for everyone except my family and loved ones.

5.  My Joe has become obsessed with playing chess on the computer.  Do you play chess?  Are you good at it?

I never learned to play chess, nor have I ever tried to learn. It seems so intense and stressful. Give me a care-free, laid back game of checkers any day.

6.  Tell us something random about your week.

Saturday morning found me doing something I hadn't done in years and years...

It wasn't what I'd call fun but I did get three loads done in the time it would take me to do one at home. There is an up-side to everything. And speaking of up-sides, it took a hurricane and a loss of electricity to prod me into doing something that I absolutely out the fridge.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 😉

Until next time, my friends... 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday Medley

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Hurricane Michael is upon us it seems...
...something we unfortunately have to deal with living here in the southeast.
Jims' sister, her husband and his 90+ year old mother reside in San Destin, Florida...
...needless to say, they have evacuated and have headed to places north and west.
My prayers for safety are with everyone living anywhere in Michael's path.
And that most definitely includes our dear hostess, our friend from Florida, Terri!
So as we anticipate getting possibly four or more inches of rain,
I am also anticipating the opening up of all my cute little chrysanthemum buds.

Aren't they cute?

I always try to buy them with tightly closed buds so they will last longer.
I also un-potted them all and planted them in soil...I guess we'll see.
So this is my first time participating in the... 

Thank you Terri, for this new meme and the fun questions!
She posts the new questions on Tuesday and we answer them on our blogs on Wednesday.
Why not copy and paste the questions and join in the fun?
1. This week is County Fair Week in my old stomping grounds.  The Fairfield County (Ohio) Fair holds fond memories for me, especially of the marching band show on the race track, in front of the grandstand, and of 4-H sewing projects.  Do you have a memory to share of a county or state fair!!
I am from Ohio too, Terri! I can remember begging some of my older siblings to take me to the Clark Country Fair in Springfield, OH. It was about a 20-30 minute drive and I remember thinking that it was SO far away from home. And when you are just a wee little child, the county fair seems to be a HUGE place to get lost in. Among my fondest memories other than riding the ferris wheel (which now scares the life out of me) are winning those silly little wooden canes where you would toss a hoop and ring one of them.

I don't really know why these little sticks stand out in my memory but it is one of the first ones that popped into my head. I also remember my mom warning us kids to be careful as my sisters and I batted them around..."You girls are going to poke somebody's eye out with those things!" The fun came to an abrupt stop when they were soon confiscated! 😒 Many years later after moving to Mount Sterling, KY, the Montgomery County fair was something that our oldest son (who was a just a little guy then) looked forward to every summer. Our small town was also the county seat and the fairgrounds were just a few miles down the road. Between the tractor pulls and the demolition derbies, that's all that interested him! Fast forward 30+ years and not much has changed. Here he is doing what he loves the best...

These days, he has is own puller. This is a photo from last weekend at the Halifax County Fair in South Boston, VA. By the way, that's a souped-up lawn mower...with a V-8 and 400 HP!

2. If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?

From what I've seen out of alpacas and/or llamas, they seem to be pretty rude animals to me. I mean how rude is that when you're not getting your way, you just spit on anyone you choose?! If they could talk...well...that would be another thing entirely. They would most like say words that are not in my vocabulary. Now, any of you out there that may own any of these animals, I mean no disrespect...just callin' it like I sees it! Now, if you consider sarcastic to fall in the rude category, then I think some cats may make the list. It seems like most of them often have an attitude. Now not all cats, mind you...I am sure that Judy from Cranberry Morning's Tommy and Smokey would NEVER be rude...they are too busy just being cute and cuddling with each other. 😻

3. What mythical creature would improve the world most if it existed?

The kindness fairy. No need to elaborate.

4. What is something that everyone looks stupid doing?

The hula hoop, for one. Another might be posing for a selfie... I know I do!

5. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

Oh this one's easy for me, although there may be those who beg to differ. In my way of thinking, wisdom trumps intelligence any day. Education is a wonderful thing, don't get me wrong, but the way I see it is there are way too many over-educated brats uh....people...out there today that aren't using much wisdom...just look at the recent protests in our nation's capital. OOPS...did I just say that??

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.   James 3:13-18

6. Tell us something random about the rest of your week!

If Hurricane Michael gets his way, we will finally be able to get started on the dreaded job of cleaning out the garage by the end of the week. It has been so nasty and muggy outside...and the mosquitoes...HAVE MERCY! Michael is supposed to barrel through these parts on his way out and by Friday, we should be left with clean, fresh air and really fall-like, cool temperatures for the weekend! Forties at night and sixties during the day never sounded so good!
Well, this has been fun!
Thanks again to Terri, our friend from Florida, for starting this new meme.
May the Lord grant you peace and safety during the storm!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Glimpses of Octobers Past...and How to Make a Baby

Hello friends and Happy October!
I love this month and will love it even more when the temperatures start to behave.
We got a little teasing last week with some cooler temps but they were short-lived... surprise there!

So since there is really no fall-ish stuff going on here (yet),
here are a few fall photos from the archives so we can at least pretend!

Remember that time when the wind blew a perfectly shaped leaf wreath upon my deck?
I don't either...but it sure was fun pretending.

Our lovely local Lake Michael, taken a few years back...

I really need to take a drive out there again soon.

I just love pretty pumpkin stems, don't you?
 Sooo.... now that we have that out of the way,
I will continue to dream of cool fall breezes and falling leaves until it actually happens.
But until then, I have a little tutorial for you.
And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the autumn weather...or the lack thereof.
I want to teach you how to make a baby!


Ohhhh...I'm not talking about that kind of a baby!!
Keep on scrolling and I'll show you what kind of baby I'm talking about.
So on Sunday I attended a baby shower for a young mother-to-be at my church.
She was registered at Target but I rarely go according the registry when it comes to gift giving.
I enjoy giving something a bit unexpected but also quite practical.
The idea came to me to construct a sweet little "baby boy" even though she is expecting her own.
It has been twenty years since I made the first one and then several years later, my second.
This is the third one and each time I think I have done something a little different.
Shall we get on with the tutorial?

(I couldn't think of what else to call!)

Here's what you will need to purchase...the colors and designs of course depend on whether the expectant mother is having a boy or a girl:
  • baby blanket, somewhat plush or bulky (y'all don't want to the baby too skinny)
  • Onesies (I purchased a 3-pack sized 0-3 month size...the larger the size, the more "fillings" you will need)
  • whatever outfit to dress the "baby" in, same size range...I chose a 2-piece long sleeve/long pant set...easier to form the body in.
  • bibs, again I just purchase a 3-pack set but this is totally optional
  • a hat or cap...many little outfits come with one
  • anything else you chose to add such as a toy (rattle, stuffed animal, teething ring, etc.)
 At this point, the choice is up to you as to how much you want to spend. There are many other things you can add inside the clothing (crib sheets, receiving blankets, bath towels, washcloths) or outside (sweater, jacket, shoes & socks, etc.)...this is where you can use your imagination! I believe the first baby I made was stuffed with crib sheets and towels. I actually wrapped it up in the blanket and tied with a bow when it was all put together. Be creative!

I thought the zoo animals were cute so I kept with the theme. 
When I came across that darling little elephant, I knew he had to play a part! 
Buried deep inside his belly is a squeaker, I think there might be a rattle in his behind 
and his ears have crackly plastic inside....he's just a noisy little elephant!

So now let's get started putting this little baby boy together, shall we? 
Begin by folding the blanket in half vertically, with the longest measurement going up and down.

Next, form a ball about the size of an infant's head using batting, 
tissue paper or like I did here, using bubble wrap...

...and then place the ball inside the exact center of the blanket. 
I used a piece of ribbon to tie around the ball to make the baby's neck.

As you can see, the baby is already starting to take shape...
or is that Casper the Friendly Ghost??


Now, using a Onesie, start to create the body by dressing the "baby"...
 this will help you to form and shape the arms and legs and then build on that by adding 
the rest of your purchased baby clothing and other items.

As previously stated, I bought a three-pack set of Onesies so to help me form the bottom half,
I folded and "hid" the other two in his pants, so to! 
They basically became...the...crotch...THERE, I SAID IT! 😲

As you can see, it's lookin' a bit more like a baby!

Now it's time to put some pants on this little guy...again, the outfit helps to shape the body. 
Work the blanket down into the pants sort of sculpting the legs and feet. 
The footed long pants work best and shoes may even be added if you like.

I hid two of the bibs that were in the three-pack underneath his little jacket and then buttoned him up.

He's quite the little chub-muffin, don't you think?
And he's also taking up most of the slack in that little outfit.
No worries though...after a trip through the washer and dryer, it should be back in shape!

And now for the hat...

And here he is...a bouncing baby boy!

But I thought he was looking a bit peaked, 
so I printed out a cute little face and stuck it on with!

There really are no limits to what you can use to construct the baby. When I have made these in the past, I actually stuffed the head with a usable items such as a bath towel or crib sheet. Another cute idea is to also find a stuffed animal about the size of a baby and dress it all over with baby items which can then be wrapped up in a gift blanket. No matter what you decide, just have fun with it and I will promise you that he or she will be the hit of the baby shower! And the look on the little mama-to-be's face will bring joy to your heart!

And the best part is that no wrapping is necessary!
Now, go on out there and enjoy your October!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Little House" Cracklin' Cornbread

You may say crackling...I say cracklin'.
What are cracklin's anyway?
Plain, unadulterated pieces of crispy fried pig skin rendered from the lard making process.

So now that we have that all cleared up....

Recently I shared that I was reading the book Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser. 
Although the book shed a lot of light on many things (and some I would really rather forget),
I was left wanting to know more and more about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'd never read her "Little House" books until recently...
I finished them just last week and now I want to read them all over again!
I only became familiar with the fictional Laura when Little House on the Prairie came to TV.
It has been a favorite show since the 70s and I still record and watch them regularly.
I never grow tired of these wonderful stories, even if I do know exactly what's going to happen next.
And the books are even is it even possible that I hadn't read them all these years?
I especially enjoyed reading about all of the wonderful sounding food that Ma cooked daily.
That led me to finding and purchasing The Little House Cookbook.

Now that fall is really in the air, my thoughts go to making soup, specifically chili.
And what goes better with a steaming bowl of chili than cornbread?
So one recipe that sparked my interest right away was the one for Crackling (Cracklin') Cornbread.
I read about this first in Farmer Boy, book #2 in the series,
the story of Laura's own Almanzo Wilder when he was growing up.
This was a favorite thing that his mother made for him and so I decided to try my hand at it.
I am sure the cracklin's back in those day were somewhat different than what we get in stores today.

The ingredients and the recipe...

The recipe calls for stone ground cornmeal but I accidentally got self-rising stone ground...
I really don't think it made much of a difference but probably would not have needed the baking soda.

You add the melted butter to the batter right before placing it in the baking pan.
As you can see, I should have used my larger was!

I thought it might even out grow the pan...


I couldn't wait to try it and I did...just a few minutes out of the oven.
The cracklin's had softened quite a bit but they gave it a really good flavor
and along with the dense, rough texture of the stone ground meal....m-m-m good!
I do believe the next time around I will use the cracklin's from the meat department...
rendered right off the pig, not processed...more authentic for this recipe.
If you are used to a sweet, cakey-like cornbread, this may not be for you though.
It reminded me very much of the cornbread that Mom used to make when I was a little girl...
and I didn't even like it back our tastes can change, right?

So that little morsel that I sampled wasn't quite enough...
...and then a great idea popped into my head!

A couple of weeks ago, a sweet blogging friend sent me a little gift for my birthday...
...a jar of her yummy homemade raspberry jam.
Oh my goodness, can I just tell you what a wonderful combo this was?!
The salty cornbread...the sweetness of those berries...m-m-MMM!

That was yesterday and it was 86 degrees.
Last night, fall paid us a it hasn't gotten out of the 60s and it's cloudy and damp.
Perfect soup weather, I'd say...wouldn't you?
So here's my chili I just made this afternoon and here's Almanzo's cornbread.
No jam, just butter.

Pardon me while I dig in.

Have a wonderful first week of autumn,
 sweet friends!

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