Monday, June 17, 2019

The Girls Next Door

Let me introduce you to the girls next door.
Actually they live directly behind me...
I guess you can consider that next door, depending on your perspective, right?

They are all such beautiful ladies too...
...quite voluptuous, I might even say.
I mean, look at the size of those.......well, I think you know where I'm going with this.

But, hey...curvy women are good, right??

There are three blondes...

...two gorgeous red-heads...

...two with lovely, silky black feathers locks...(get away from the camera, Blondie)....

...and one that is sporting a gorgeous salt and pepper do.

I can't keep their names straight but they are, in random order,
Marilyn, Jane, Dorothy, Audrey, Liz, Sofia, Natalie and Bridgette.
I tried getting them all together in one photo but it was like rounding up a bunch of chickens.

For the most part, they are pretty good neighbors and they behave themselves.
Every now and then though, they can get a little carried away...
...probably just one of the many hen parties they host on a regular basis.
 And just the other day when I was sitting on the front porch,
I heard someone let out several annoyingly loud shrieks.
I swear it sounded like one of them had just laid and egg or something! was an egg!
Happy Monday, y'all!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Medley of Cheese and other Stuff

Hello, my friends and welcome June!

It was feeling like the middle of August this time last week...the mid 90s!
I have never felt it so hot and muggy in the month of May before and now that we are in June,
it has finally cooled off a bit to feel more seasonable.
It is still comfortable enough to enjoy the porch and I try to get out there as often as I can
while the weather still allows because once the heat and humidity kicks in,
 it's pretty much unbearable until the fall.

I found this set of pillows (with the birds on them) a few weeks ago at Goodwill.
I loved the pillow ticking combined with that lovely print, don't you?

So I've been having some trouble blogging lately.
I can't seem to gather my thoughts long enough to even get a decent post together.
I can't tell you how many posts I have started and then I wind up deleting them.
I just don't know what it is..........well wait a minute, yes I do.

These wicked steroids have really been messing with my thought processes.
But I am on the down-slope...I started my taper a couple of weeks ago and in another month,
I will be off of them completely...YAY FOR ME!

I guess it's been a while since I gave y'all an update on my health issues.
Did I happen to tell you that my doctor said that as of where we stand now,
there was no reason why we shouldn't be able to move forward with our "plan"?
This benign so-called tumor may be staying with me for the long haul...
...something that can be watched and managed, he said.
He also said he would help me get connected with some great doctors in Tennessee at Vanderbilt!
I am still trying to wrap my brain around this roller coaster my life has been on this year...
...but I am only sure of one thing ... and that one thing is that God is SO very good!
So, let's see...... oh yeah...
...the whole family had a great time over the Memorial Day weekend.
We were able to surprise the birthday boy with a certain delivery man who was actually his brother.
How that all came about is w-a-a-y too long of a story to share right now but just let me say,
it took a while for Aaron to recognize his brother with "Billy Bob" teeth in his mouth,
wearing a "wife-beater" t-shirt and his cap pulled down over his ears. 😁
 Am I the only one with big plans of taking lots of pictures of certain events and then getting none??
Not. One. Photo. Was. Taken.
This is the only one I have to share that Michelle took of Aaron and Dylan before their pull.

Aaron got third place in his division and Dylan got a full pull in his exhibition run!
It was a great weekend and we all had a blast.
And speaking of Dylan, this young man will be graduating high school next Saturday.
It seems like just a few short years ago, this Mawmaw was changing his diapers!
And later this summer he has plans to join the Army.
We couldn't be more proud of him for wanting to serve his country!

But it is Wednesday...and that also means it's time for Terri's Wednesday Medley.

Today, it's all about cheese, which I love...
...the only problem is I can't eat much of it anymore.
So head on over to the Medley and you just might find out some interesting facts about cheese!

1. National Cheese Day is Tuesday, rather than Wednesday, but I think we should celebrate cheese this week!!  Let's start by sharing your favorite cheese with us.  Which one is always in your fridge?
My hubby's most favorite of all cheeses is extra sharp cheddar in block form and you'll most likely always find some there in the cheese drawer. Sliced swiss is also among our favorites and you will also find a bag or two of shredded cheese of some sort and Kraft single slices for grilled burgers when we have them... although I really don't think it qualifies as "real" cheese. 😏 
2.  What is your preference? Mild, Sharp, or Extra Sharp?  How do you use cheese most often?
Well, I think I answered that question somewhat above...I like the flavor of different varieties, even the mildness of a great havarti, muenster or string cheese (mozzarella). Even though I can't be eating a lot of cheese these days... I do sneak in a piece on a turkey or ham sandwich or have a tiny bit of the shredded kind on my eggs. I do buy the Polly-O string cheese sticks...they make a great snack.
3.  Cheesecake?  New York style or what other flavors would you rather have?
This is torture, your making me talk about cheese CAKE! I love cheesecake pretty much in all forms or flavors but my favorite would have to be with strawberry or cherry topping. Or chocolate with cracked pecans drizzled with caramel or......whatever!
4.  When you do grilled cheese sandwiches, which cheese do you prefer to use and what condiments do you use, if any?
When I was eating grilled cheese sandwiches, I would butter up some great grainy, seedy bread and usually tuck in a couple of types of cheese...a slice of cheddar and maybe some pepper jack...but no condiments for me. Now Jim, he likes his a bit different...same grainy, seedy bread but with the Kraft singles with mayo and dill pickle chips.
5.  Number 5 on June 5th... Say happy birthday to my sister, Tammy!!

Happy Birthday, Tammy! May you have a most enjoyable birthday on the 5th!
6.  Share something with us about your week. If it includes using cheese in a recipe, please also share that with us too!!
No cheesy recipes to share today but I will share with you a recipe I tried WITHOUT cheese. Have you ever made cornbread waffles? I am always on the lookout for interesting or unusual waffle's amazing how many things you can make into waffles! And if you wanted to add some cheddar to these, they would be awesome I'm sure.

So it came to me how easy it would be to make cornbread waffles and sure 'nuf, Pinterest had bunches of them. You can use any recipe you like but if you ever use those little boxes of Jiffy Mix, that's what I used for mine....easy peasy! Prepare as you would normally then pour the batter into the waffle iron. They were delicious and I have been eating them off and on all week since I made them over the weekend. I have kept them in the fridge and heat them up in the toaster oven as I go. I ate one for breakfast with maple syrup and then had another last night with a tiny pat of butter and honey along with my air-fried asparagus and mushrooms. YUM!

Here's another random thing from last week...and it has nothing whatsoever to do with cheese. For quite a while now I have been keeping my eye out for a vintage kitchen scale. To me, they are kinda like clocks...and y'all know how much I like my clocks. And if I had a dollar (well okay maybe ten dollars) for every photo I have taken of that cherished family heirloom pocket watch I could go on a very nice vacation (hmmm...maybe to Ireland!)

There's just something about the dial, the numbers, the history...I don't really know what it is that intrigues me...BUT...anyway...I FOUND ME A SCALE! 

And a great old scale she is! I fell in love with the color and the wonderful patina.

I found her right here in my town on our local Facebook Marketplace. She had belonged to this young lady's grandmother (how could she be selling this??) I promised her I that would take very good care of it.

And as you can see, we had us a little photo surprise there. 😊

So that's it for me this week!
Until next time...

Much love,

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Memorial Road Trip Medley

So has the month of May really nearly passed us by already??
That is CRAZY!
So here we are, looking at Memorial Day Weekend...
...just in time for a.....ROAD TRIP!!

It just so happens that this week's Wednesday Medley is all about road trips.
After all, it seems this coming Friday is 


National Road Trip Day - Friday Before Memorial Day

If you head on over to Terri's she'll tell you all about it!
And then just copy and paste her questions to your blog and answer them.

1.  Have you ever done a spur-of-the-moment road trip?  Where did it take you?

Since you didn't specify, I am assuming it doesn't matter the length of the road trip to actually qualify as one. When I was a little girl, we often piled into Dad's old Buick (or later on, the station wagon with the third seat facing the back) and made our way into the country settings of the places where my parents were raised and began their homestead. These places were probably no more than 30 minutes to an hour drive from our home but they seemed as though we had driven miles and miles to get to them...probably had something to do with those hilly and bumpy back roads we had taken. Actually, I think they were ALL back roads, come to think of it! We heard story after story about who was born where...or how the cows got away the day they broke through that fence...etc., etc. Fun times! When I had a family of my own, we usually had a plan as where we were going but there was one time in particular when we packed up, got in the car with the boys and headed to the reservations, no certain destination. As it turn out, we found an adorable vintage motel right on the beach and had one of the best unplanned vacations!

2.  If time and money wasn't an issue, what roads would you choose to travel and how long would you be gone?

I actually think I could spend a long time on the road and I would take mostly back roads. Our dogs are great little travelers and I would make sure the places that we stopped were pet-friendly, without a doubt. I always had a desire to travel out west to places I've never seen and if money were no object we'd rent an RV and just go for it! Just don't put me behind the steering wheel. 😉

3.  When you go on a long road trip, what snacks and beverages do you take?  Do you pack a picnic? Does the back seat turn into a nest?

If we are starting out in the wee hours (as we do often) Jim will need his coffee...but bottled water is usually our drink of choice for the most part. And we don't ever have to worry about driving too far without rest stops...between Jim's coffee and his diuretic medication, he pretty much stops at every rest area we come to. Me? I stay in the car mostly. I've been told I have a bladder of steel. 😄 As far as snacks go, I prefer mine to be healthy ones such as fruit, nuts or protein bars while Jim goes in for the candy bars and little packages of mini donuts. He occasionally sabotages my good snacking habits by bringing me a pack of Peanut M&Ms when we stop to get gas. Well, they are kinda healthy aren't they?? Some of my favorite road trip memories do include picnics along the way at picnic areas or rest stops. A cold meat sandwich and a bag of chips never tastes better! These days, the back seat is just filled with whatever won't fit in the back of my CR-V but back in the day when we were traveling with two boys (sometimes our two and other times our two grands), you couldn't even see that there was a back seat! 
4.  Please tell us about something interesting or strange you have seen on the side of the road.

I am sure through the years there have been many strange things that we have come upon but the first thing that came to mind was something we saw just about a year ago when we went to the Cass Railroad in West Virginia. As we rounded a corner of a road filled with many twists and turns, out of the ditch came a bunch of what looked like fuzzy little puppies...and they were standing right in the middle of the road...OH MY GOSH!!! Mommy was not with them...or so we thought. Jim stopped the car and just as I was about to get out, I caught a glimpse of Mommy, still in the ditch but she didn't look like any mama dog I'd ever seen. They were actually not puppies at all (well, they were...kinda) but a litter of adorable baby foxes...and Mommy looked as if she didn't much like me! Needless to say, I got back in the car and as soon as we saw they were safely off the road, we drove off. My only regret is not getting a picture. (And sneaking one of them home with me.)
5.  Who does the driving when you head out in the car?  Do you stop in the rest areas along our Interstate highways when you have to use the facilities, or do you choose a fast-food restaurant or gas station instead?  Not TMI... inquiring minds want to know!

Oh...this one's easy, especially since I already answered part of it a couple of questions back. First of all, there is never any argument about who will be driving...whether we are just heading out, somewhere in the middle or pulling back into our driveway, Jim would be the one behind the wheel. One time, years ago, I offered to drive part of a trip to Ohio so he could sleep....well....I vowed right then and there I would never offer to drive again. Between him not being able to get comfortable to sleep and worrying about every move I made, that was the first and the last time that happened. But that's okay...we have traveled many a mile together since then and it's all good. Rest areas are my husband's our facilities of choice...that is until we get to the next restaurant...or gas station...or whatever. I don't think there is an establishment that Jim has ever entered where he hasn't checked out the "decor" of the facilities.....get my drift???
6.  Please share something with us about your week so far.

Excitement is in the air as we get ready for our Tennessee bunch this weekend. We have a very special birthday to celebrate over the Memorial Day weekend....Aaron will be the big 4-OH! on Saturday! How can this be?? Many of you who have been following me for a while know some of the struggles he has had for many years with his alcoholism and there were many times throughout the past 20 years when we wondered if he would even make it to his 40th birthday. God, in all of His amazing grace and mercy has given him a brand new life for the past few years and we are just so very grateful! Some of you may have seen him on his souped up lawn tractors.

Here he is on his baby, "Plum Crazy", which he will be taking to a truck and tractor pull event in western NC, on Saturday, also his birthday. Last weekend, his youngest son, Dylan drove Plum Crazy in another competition...his first time EVER driving it...and he actually won FIRST PLACE out of 7 or 8 others! Way to go, Dylan!

So as we are speaking of road trips...we are about to embark on a fairly short one...only a couple of hours long. Aaron doesn't know that his whole family will be there to watch him do his "thing"...and to help him celebrate his BIG DAY! It's going to be a hot one too....mid 90s temperatures and lovely humidity combined with red dust flying everywhere...what's not to love?? The things we do for our loved ones....

Have a safe and wonderful weekend 
as we remember those who fought and died 
for our freedom!

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!

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