Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jokin' Around

Sarah over at Cottage Garden Studio had a wonderful post this week with some very insightful ideas on accessing 2009 and planning the New Year's goals. Not necessarily resolutions, she uses a different approach. She said if she is honest with herself and called them hopes and goals, she was much more likely to keep them. Every year Hubby and I tie on the feed bag from Thanksgiving to Christmas, packing on about 5-10 pounds. Then AFTER New Year's Day we vow to eat healthy, count calories and be good. If it was just the 10 pounds to lose we could do it. But the bigger picture is below...

These panties were a joke gift we opened on Christmas Eve! We drew names then shopped at the Thrift Store, buying the funniest, silliest, most embarrassing gifts we could for each other. Mine was actually orange houseshoes but the panties given to daughter Stephanie needed to be modeled so I volunteered!

SON~in~law Ken and Dearly Beloved Jerry got great outfits!

This Valentine "Flasher" was a favorite!

My New Year's Resolution is to be ready for pictures like this, my goal is to never be caught with a pedicure that looks like this ever again!!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LoneStar Caviar

Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year.
Rice for riches and peas for peace.
- Southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day.

It's tradition for good luck in the New Year, the first thing that should be eaten on New year's Day is Hoppin' John. Folklore says if it's served with collard greens you might get rich during the coming year! Hoppin' John was served in my house growing up on New Year's Day. Mom would simmer the black-eyed peas with ham hocks and we'd have a pan of cornbread.
I ate one spoonfull of the black-eyed peas and made my meal out on cornbread, butter and honey! Not enough to count for good luck, I eventually found a recipe in Texas that I do like. We eat this as a dip with tortilla chips, but it's wonderful as a condiment alongside ham or pork.

Now I have my bases covered!

LoneStar Caviar   Printable Recipe
From Texas Holiday Cookbook by Dotty Griffith
1 (16 ounce) package frozen black-eyed peas
1 cup green pepper, chopped into small dice
1 cup red pepper, chopped into small dice
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno pepper, seeds removed for less heat
1 cup yellow onion, chopped into small dice
1 cup finely chopped green onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Cook black-eyed peas, according to package instructions or until tender 20-30 minutes. Drain well. Place black-eyed peas in a large mixing bowl. Toss with peppers, onions, garlic and parsley. Whisk together oil, vinegar and salt. Adjust seasoning to taste. Pour over vegetables and refrigerate overnight to meld flavors. Can be stored in refrigerator for 2 weeks. Makes 6 cups.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recharging my Batteries...

Ever have one of those days, or one of those weeks? Christmas is over, New Years is about to pass and life has slowed down. The kids left Sunday and we took the Christmas trees down. It was snowy and cold and we were missing them already, it just seemed like a good idea. But now the house feels empty and too quiet. Just the sound of Ben snoring and I can even hear the clock ticking. Too quiet. We still have a little snow on the ground from Christmas Eve's snowstorm and they are predicting more for tomorrow. It's that time of year when I get caught up, finally. No excuses anymore, all the holiday hub bub is over, diets are started so cooking comes to a stand~still. If we didn't have this little lull in festivities between the holidays and summer, I wouldn't be able to do so much. I am re~charging my batteries....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gift of Gab, Rewarded!

Never thought it would happen in a million years....but I've finally hit 100 readers, whooo hooo! That's amazing to me since I talk about nothing most of the time. I look back on the labels for my posts and I have 51 posts labeled Daily Life and 34 labeled Observations. I inherited the "gift of gab," our family all talk at once when we are together! I can write long posts on nothing, but to me it's something.

Like "The Old Medicine Cabinet" after my dentist told me his Mom and Dad had only one bottle of 81 mg aspirin, Pepto Bismol, Band-aids and Calamine lotion in their little medicine cabinet. I was shocked when I looked in ours and realized it held eight different kinds if medicine for a headache, hmmm. Then cold meds, 11 different kinds. Pepto, Mylanta, Imodium, Tums, Gas-X...I'm prepared if my stomach bothers me! Skin creams of all kinds... hydrocortisone, Neosporin, diaper rash... and we haven't had a baby in 30+ years!... Eye drops for dry eyes, eye drops for red eyes, eye drops for allergy season... There are so many medicines, ointment and drops that there's no room for Band-Aids. They have to go into another cabinet!

I've tried to get "National Stay-at-Home Day" started, had a post about Swarovski encrusted toilets, even one sharing my struggles with the middle age game called "Where's my Glasses?" I like sharing and you encourage me with positive comments, affirmations that the stuff that rattles around in this head of mine is worth something. In fact most of you are going through similar if not exact scenarios.

When I talk to my daughters they are repeating the same things we did, now with their kids. School, errands, homework. They worry about them, pray for their safety, correct them and encourage them. It's a never ending, morning till night job. Across the nation we face the same struggles in our lives. Blogging is New Age Over the Fence Neighbors. Turn the computer on and there's that good friend who's come for a visit, Hello...hope you're having a good day!

With lives going full speed ahead...blogging, Facebook and Twitter all make sense now!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Red Ryder Practice

We wanted to buy something for the older GRANDson's this Christmas that they would both enjoy. Something that they would use and then keep as a reminder of a very special gift from Grandparents. That gift turned out to be made right here in Rogers, Arkansas at the Daisy Airgun Factory.
The Daisy Museum is a landmark here in downtown Rogers, with a complete collection of guns dating back to 1880! Many boys can remember the excitement, the pride, the fun of getting their first airgun. Not a toy, an airgun is ideal for developing shooting and marksmanship skills. Adult supervision is a given and their Dad and Papa spent the week teaching and watching them as they spent many happy hours with target practice!

Please God, don't let them shoot their eye out!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Grandma's Bowl of Goodness

My Grandma Keeling was a wonderful country cook. Years of practice and she could prepare fried chicken that would make Colonel Sanders hang his head in shame and Chicken and Dumplings so good that they would cure a broken heart!

Grandma lost her Mother to Scarlet Fever when she was only 6. After that she and her Dad managed as well as they could with help from her Aunt Zula. Grandma said she had a fruit crate beside the wood stove that she used to reach the pots. I just can't imagine what that must have been like.

Chicken and Dumplings filled many pots during Depression years. If you were lucky enough to live on a farm, chicken and eggs made their way to the table frequently. Grandma said they never went hungry, even if they didn't always have exactly what they wanted. That's one of the secrets to Happiness, being satisfied with what you have rather than always wanting more.

Make this from "scratch" recipe and see how satisfied you feel when you set down to a steaming bowl of goodness!

Grandma's Chicken and Dumplings
3 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 whole chicken fryer (about 4 lbs.)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
6 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups flour
4 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Crisco shortening
3/4 -1 cup milk
In a large pot saute onions, celery in butter til tender. Add whole chicken fryer to pot and cover with 6 cups water, add the bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat til chicken is cooked through.

Once chicken is cooked place in a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, take off all the meat off the bones and shred into bite sided pieces. Add chicken back to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. While the broth is coming to a boil, make the dumplings.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening with a fork. Stir dough while adding milk. Start with 3/4 cup and add more til completely moistened.

Drop by the spoonfull into the boiling broth. Do not stir dumplings. Reduce heat to low and cover pot with a tight fitting lid. Allow dumplings to cook for 15 minutes. Do not peek or the dumplings will be tough!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Letter

Families across this country are facing tough times these days. So, I’ve been thinking of the things that made my childhood Christmases so special. Ok, here goes!

1.Christmas candy. I really liked the ribbon candy that they used to sell, you know it’s like the hard candy only it was flat and swirled back and forth like an S. Grandma would have it when we would come and it was so yummy.
2.The smell of Christmas trees. Trees don’t smell good anymore because practically everyone has an artificial tree. And most people don’t have evergreens outside their doors so they can get a whiff of that cold wintry aroma. It gets you in the mood for Christmas and gift giving and sleigh riding.
3.Christmas music. Sad, but a lot of people say they don’t like it anymore. The radio stations start playing in October and then wonder why we get tired of hearing it. If you are feeling irritable when you listen to the radio, buy/download YOUR favorites, there’s no shame in loving Burl Ives or the Chipmunks album! Whatever flips your switch…
4.Christmas cookies. You simply cannot get through the holidays without having a plate of Christmas cookies. The old fashioned sugar cookies with icing and sparkly decorations on top. That’s what was wrong with the Grinch, no one brought him any cookies!
5.Presents. Think about this one. What were your favorite gifts when you were little? You can’t ask this question to your Grandkids, theirs’ are Wii’s and Playstations and video games that cost $50. But us old people who grew up in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s got things like dolls (they just opened and closed their eyes and came with a blanket), tea sets, pop guns or bats and balls. We wore clothes with no designer name, lived in homes that cost less than $10,000 and walked nearly everywhere we went. None of us had more than one phone, or one TV or one car. Remember the gift exchange at school when you got something that probably cost less than a dollar, hey probably less than 50 cents, and you were THRILLED?

We count our blessings of good health, family and a place to call HOME and we have everything we need and more.

Wishing you and Old~Fashioned Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ben's Blog

Hello everyone. Mom is running around in circles these days, so here I am at the computer doing another blog for her. Things here on GrannyMountain are noisy right now. My cousin River is here from Texas and the humans are talking non-stop! There are presents everywhere and the GRANDkids are running up and down the stairs. I love it when they are here, but I do get behind in my sleep.
They are gone to see the Lights of the Ozarks tonight. I went one Christmas when Grandma R. was visiting and we were both sitting in the backseat. As we made our way around the square I saw something very scary. It was a huge white animal pulling a carriage. I did the only thing a good dog could do, I came unglued and barked my head off! Scared everyone to death...including the White Monster! Yeah!!!
Home is really my favorite place. It's quiet and peaceful...most of the time.
Other than Mr. Owl hoot~hooting or the Silly Squirrels or the Plant Eating Deer, it's a good place to live.

I especially like the Cotton~Candy sunsets!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Precious Memories

Our living room tree is decorated with mostly hand blown ornaments. We add one every year, usually something to mark the events of the year. Daughters have some identical ornaments on their tree, we give an ornament each year to their families. When I look at those, I think of them.
The German Pickle Ornament has a great story behind it, one that I was not aware of until our daughter married into a German family. Read the story HERE

1992~Our first boat...

Ben's ornament...

1995~The year we moved to GrannyMountain...

1996~A new car...

Our little cabin in the woods...

Our oldest and most treasured, an ornament (the one just above the bird) from my Mother and Father in law's first tree in 1946...

Precious memories all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wise Words

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

Isn't this a wonderful quote? It was Diane Sawyer's parting words last week as she left Good Morning America to join World News Tonight and she was quoting Dr. Seuss, American Writer and Cartoonist best known for his collection of children's books.

Wise words and not the only quotes by Dr. Suess that could change the way we look at things for the better...

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

Dr. Seuss credited his Mother with both his ability and desire to create the rhymes for which he became so well known. In his lifetime he illustrated 44 children's books, including such all-time favorites as Green Eggs and Ham, Oh, the Places You'll Go, Fox in Socks, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. His books have been translated into more than 15 languages. Over 200 million copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world.

Some people are just gifted and can see and say things that most cannot. It does seem that those who have this gift are often the ones who love to share...lucky for us!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lookin' Good!

For 39, Santa's lookin' pretty good, don't ya think? He has celebrated each and every year with us, in fact he has a brother that hangs around with him on the tree. When we bought them in 1970, they were a set of 3 for 25 cents. I think I bought them at Collier's Drug Store. One of those purchases that when you get it home, you wonder why did I buy this? I know why I bought it actually, we needed something to put on our first tree other than the little glass balls and tinsel. Little did I know that he'd be around this long or that I would be so enamored of him after all these years!

Our family room tree has the old ornaments that the girls made and the cute ones we have found through the years. I like to buy ornaments that "speak" to me.

Raggedy Ann makes her "Wish List"

A cute little Dansk Santa waits for a hug!

Stephanie and Amy made many of the ornament like the bead wreath above. This one is probably 25 years old and it's still like new.

My favorites on this tree are the ornaments the girls made at school years ago,
toothpick picture frames made with old Christmas cards...

Here's a little sled that Amy made at Miller's Creek Elementary...
I love this cute little elf flying a Wrigley's spearmint plane...

A cow jumping through a "Wreath Moon"

Amy gave this one to me one Christmas...

Bet you don't have a Razorback Hog riding a Hog!

The little acorn was bought one Christmas that Mom and I shopped together...

We have lots of Chicken ornaments since we are a Tyson family...

Stephanie made this at Woodland Heights Elementary...

House of Hatten Old Style German ornaments

Felt ornaments that we made in 1973 from a pattern in Family Circle magazine..
This tree holds the things that matter the most, years of wonderful memories.

Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. ~Augusta E. Rundel
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