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!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Red red

While everyone else is posting all of the beautiful Fall colors God has blessed us with, I am here to share with you my lone, valiantly brave, last rose of the Summer.  She is holding her head high, daring anyone to rob her of her moment in the spotlight.

So here you are red red rose.  You smell divine!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is 9 enough for a gaggle?

We had a pond put in where the sheep used to graze 4 or so years ago.  The fish we stocked it with are getting eatable big.  The pond itself is maturing with all of the vegetation, insects, and various pond life that is needed for a "healthy" pond.  Today as I was heading to work two geese were walking along the road with out a care in the world.  That is when I noticed that our pond is finally complete.  I know, I know, I will live to curse the poop and the weeds this gaggle will introduce to our previously serene setting, but for now I'm going to smile at the sight of these guys.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


This week has been a difficult one.

Three or so months ago a long time friend and co-worker was diagnosed with advance stage melanoma.  Within a week of diagnoses he was told it was everywhere in his body except his brain.  It only took a week longer for that to change.  I often hear people say "it happened so quickly".  I even experience "it happened so quickly" with my own dear dad.  Once again "it happened so quickly".  My friend, Joe, passed away Sunday evening.  His funeral was yesterday.  Joe was one of those guys who everyone loved.  He was everywhere and knew everything about our parish and our parish family.  Fr. Greg gave him a first class send off.  During the eulogy Fr. called Joe "the boss", but more than that - a leader.  When there was something needing to be done, he didn't direct, he led by doing, right alongside everyone else.  As Fr. said it, when someone would ask where something was or how to do something, the inevitable answer was "ask Joe".

The funeral home Jim works for had Joe's funeral.  The visitation was in church.  So as Jim was getting things set up in preparation of the visitation, he was having trouble getting electricity to the lights on each side of the casket.  A co-worker and Joe's son joined in trouble shooting.  Jim finally said, "You know, the problem is the guy who knows the answer is in this casket".  So they asked Joe and he told them to turn on the power strip.

I was wrong when I thought I was prepared for Joe's passing.  I have seen him almost daily for 9 years, often only for a minute when he would bring the mail in or just pass through the church building.  I can still see his slow, steady, walk as he moved from one task to another.  He had slowed down a lot the past few years, and I even found myself getting frustrated at the amount of things that weren't getting done, but Joe always gave as much  as he possibly could.  The finality of his death hit me as we walked to the cemetery... and it was gut wrenching.  My friend, JoAnn, looked at me and said, "I want him back", then we held each other, sobbing.

I want him back.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hi all.  Surprised to see me?  Me too.

Happy New Year!

Is it really 2014?  14!!!  I remember when the world was going to come to an end when we entered into the year 2000.  I happened to be working as an administrative manager at a data center in 1999.  The dire predictions were everything was going to stop working.  Everything from clocks to elevators to every other computer program to mankind.  Period.  Programmers spent years leading up to it rewriting code to go past 1999.  I have to wonder why nobody thought about the fact, when the original code was written, that at some point we would get past the year 19something.  We were all on high alert as we neared midnight that year.  Many of our technical staff spent their New Year's Eve in the computer room, monitoring things in case everything exploded (OK, maybe I exaggerate a bit).  The rest of us were on call... just in case.  Fourteen years later, all of that is just a faded memory.

Another faded memory is that it has been 10 years since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  One mastectomy, a number of operations, and a bit of chemo later - 10 cancer free years!  My most vivid memory was when I talked to the surgeon after the operation, I asked him how bad the cancer was.  He responded, "you don't have cancer... I got it all".  Now that is definitely something to celebrate.

2014 has brought weather challenges to much of the Nation.  Deep freezes where there is usually no freeze.  We had quite a bit of snow and days of below zero temperatures, but nothing like our friends "out East" and the upper Midwest.  All in all we have been the lucky ones.  Tomorrow's weather prediction is around 60 (I know - crazy!)  We will finally get our artificial Christmas tree out of the living room.  The box has to be drug outside to get to where we store it.  Dragging it through snow was not an option.  So tomorrow is the day!

Did you make New Year Resolutions?  I leaned years ago that the best way to set myself up for failure is to make resolutions.  We did start working out again, after shamefully "letting ourselves go" all of last year.  We opted for good old fashioned walking, throwing a ball back and forth while we are walking (which makes me run a lot because I'm so clumsy at catching a ball), hand weights and stuff like that, rather than paying for a gym membership that we won't use because it takes us too long to get there.

I have some posts to be written in the next couple of weeks.  A big, long overdue one, is of our trip last Fall to the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Caroline.  What a wonderful experience.  I planned on coming home and shout into the blogo-sphere how great it was.  Life got in the way.  Over and over I've told Jim that we would be in trouble if we lived closer, because I would be taking classes all of the time.  Stay tuned for that post.

Here's to all - Happy New Year!