Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Talking turkey

As most of you know, we live in the middle of the woods.  Wildlife is a way of life.  Just the way we like it.  Last week Jim told me about seeing over 20 wild turkeys strolling down our drive.  That is way cool - but why don't I ever get to see these things?  And where are the photos to back up his claim?

Fast forward a week.   Yesterday Jim was looking out the window and yelled for me to come look.  He was counting as I ran into the kitchen.  Sure enough we had a parade.  Single file those turkeys strutted down our drive.  They walked out of the woods like they were in a beauty pagent walking out on a runway.  It was one of the greatest sights to see.  I have to rely on Jim's expert eye that we had a Tom and Hens and babies.... I just know they were turkeys and we counted at least 30.

And now I know why he didn't have photos to prove it... there was no time to grab a camera.  So you will have to do what I did.... trust me!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A well planned mistake

The funeral home where Jim works wanted him to work a service yesterday.  He told them no because I had told him we had plans.  Tessa and Bill were having a fish fry and we were providing a lot of the fish.  So first thing yesterday morning I doctored up some beans and put them in the crock pot to cook.  Then I tried a new recipe that I found on Pinterest - Apple Pie Cookies.  Then, because I have a cooking compulsion, I also made lemon bars.

The fish fry was at 4:30, but we headed out early so we could stop in at a few antique stores (no, we didn't buy anything) and then get there early so we would have penty of time to visit.  The drive to their house along 179 was very pleasant on this warm sunny day.  As we drove up their drive, James came running out of the house with the biggest grin on his face - like he knew a joke that we didn't know.  We weren't even out of the car when he yelled "You have the wrong day!  The wrong day, Grandma!"   Oh no!  There is nothing like being a day early for a party.

This turned out to one of my best mistakes in a  long time.  We were able to catch the whole family in the bustle of cleaning house - dirt swept into piles on the floor, James taking trash out, Anna dusting... all sorts of cleaning going on.  It warmed my heart to know I am not the only one who goes into a cleaning frenzy when I know guests are coming.  I've been known to invite people over just because I know it will make me clean.  I offered to help, but Tessa declined to let me (just as I knew she would).

So we stood in the way of everybody trying to do their chores and bothered them with chit chat.  We had a great time and scarfed up the apple pie cookies before the afternoon was over.  So now I have officially brought only two dishes of food and fish to this party.  There is nothing like two parties in two day!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A cure for insomnia

A cure for insomnia

I wonder how HGTV would feel if they knew they are a cure for my insomnia.  You see, I have a lot of sleepless nights these days.  I've done about everything I can to find my happy place and go to it - without success.  Until now.  Don't get me wrong.  I love HGTV.  Brothers vs. Brothers, Flip or Flop, Love It or List It, and Fixer-Upper (my personal favorite). I watch them all of the time when I am cooking or sewing.  But late at night when the demons visit, my solution is a dose of HGTV reruns and a glass of wine.  Yep.  A powerful combo.  The voice of HGTV and the repitition of their shows and the tannins in the wine (just one small glass) finally lull me into sleep.

Now a cure for snoring.  Not mine.  His.  Because he doesn't complain about mine.  Who knows why.....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The saga of the oatmeal cookies

In the early 1970's I worked for a small state office located in downtown Jefferson City (no such place exists these days.  State office exist in great abundance - just not small ones).  When mid-day break would come around someone would often volunteer to walk the few blocks to a favorite local restaurant to buy their famous oatmeal cookies - McKinney's Restaurant.  My vague memory is that they cost $.25 each but someone else said they were only $.10.  Either way, they were cheap, even by 1970 standards.

Imagine my surprise when a friend posted the recipe on Facebook.  I knew I had to take a trip down memory lane and make me some of these cookies.

In my defense, I did not notice that in addition to the copious amounts of sugars and eggs, that the recipe also called for three cups of flour and six cups of rolled oats.  I would like to think alarms would have gone off in my head and I would have immediately cut this recipe in half.  At this point we will never know for sure.

When the recipe said to add the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, I didn't realize it meant a commercial size mixing bowl, rather than a large kitchen size.  This is not good.  Not good at all.

    So I divided the ingredients into two separate large mixing bowls

Then I combined the two sets of ingredients back into my large kitchen size mixing bowl and kneaded it so that all of the ingredients were well mixed.  (Why yes, that is a selfie of my hand.  My phone was somewhat goopy by the time these cookies were made)

Once I had the dough shaped into rolls and wrapped in plastic, I refrigerated them for the day. (I'm pretty sure  refrigerating them for the day versus night thingy didn't impact the outcome of the cookie)

And here they are.  Just as I remembered them, only mine aren't nearly as large as the McKinney oatmeal cookies.  Jim did not have the McKinney oatmeal cookie memory, so when he tasted one he said "Wow, you could sell these!"  to which I replied, "They did!"

And that is the saga of the oatmeal cookie.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Late Fall on the Trail

Sunday we took advantage of the beautiful weather for what will probably be our last walk along the Katy Trail in 2014.

The Katy Trail at Portland, Mo - flanked by the Missouri River on one side and bluffs on the other.  We love this section of the trail.

A splash of bright red in a world of mostly golds and browns.

One of only two others we encountered on this mostly isolated section of the trail.


These beauties were waiting for us.  The fence was a nice touch, if you know what I mean...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Funny Little Grin

Last summer we lost a woman who had been a part of my life as long as Jim has.  She welcomed me into her home with open arms and nicknamed me Nanna.  She offered me my first "high ball" - and I accepted it because I didn't even know what it was.  Families often have their "characters" - the one that everyone delights in telling stories about.  My mother-in-law was that person.  She was proud of her nickname "Hawkie" and delighted in telling everyone that it was because she had the eyes of a hawk.  The flip side of the coin is that she had a hawk nose....  either way, she was Hawkie and proud of it.

After many years of enduring the horrendous disease of Alzheimer's, she passed away last summer.  We all miss her so much.  We couldn't resist the temptation to memorialize her on her memorial bulletin in a way that described her best:  "She drank like a Sailor, cussed like a Sailor, married a Sailor.... Sail on!"

Jim wrote and recorded a song that captures Evelyn's last few years perfectly.  I hope you enjoy it.

Rest in peace Hawkie.

Monday, October 27, 2014

All Befuddled

I've been away from blogger long enough to find myself having difficulty with things that used to be second nature to me.

Helpful comments will be greatly appreciated.

I mostly use my iPad to post.  Inserting a photo has become a nightmare.  I click on the photo icon and try inserting from phone.  That doesn't work.  So I uploaded my photos to Google+, which is where I ended up when I tried to upload to Picasa.  But when I try to find my photos in Picasa Web Albums, they aren't there.  I have somehow twice gotten a photo there, but don't know how I did it!

I believe word verification is back on.  It is what I see when I click on comments.  I have gone into settings and turned it off, yet it is still there.  Do you see word verification when commenting on my blog?  If so, can anyone tell me how to turn it off?

I used to be able to stay signed into blogger.  Now I have to resign in each time, and it defaults me to an incorrect email address.  Suggestions?

Ok, enough of my Monday Maladies.

This is going to be a great week.  I know it is, because I say so!