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!

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!

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