Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Feel Pukey

Ever see this code on your phone? A PUK is a set of numbers that is used to unblock your SIM card. If you've ever seen this code you know the PANIC that I felt the other night when I was in SETTINGS and somehow felt I needed to reset my pin only to get myself in the PUKEY CODE. The phone was basically locked "tight as Dick's Hatband!" I tried to call ATT, but in my state of panic I called the automated number and it went around the barn about 50 times in MENU MODE. I was sweating and yelling at the poor automated voice before I realized that morning would bring me the answer to this perplexing problem that I caused by fiddling with my fone.

Sure enough, morning dawned and a call to the correct 1-800 number got me a person who w.a.l.k.e.d me through the fix. I did everything they told me, I did the Hokey Pokey and I turned myself around and was able to unlock the PUK Page. Word to the wise, you can only do this 3X and then it fries your SIM card. I won't be thinking I'm smarter than the average phone anymore!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Future

It's getting personal now, this whole blogging thing. I'm in deep, I've made friends and I worry when I see someone out there going through a hard time. On my sidebar are pretty little pictures along with pretty little blog names, but each of these are real people going through real life and some of them have heartache that is unimaginable. Some of them are going through the agony of failed marriages, or the loss of loved ones or the struggles of facing each day after losing their jobs. It's not all picture perfect in this blog world.

It didn't seem real when I started tap, tap, tapping away at this keyboard 2 1/2 years ago. I'd download some pictures, write a few words to go with and hit post. Somewhere along the way I accidentally started sharing my life with you. Now why would perfect strangers care what was going on in my 50 something life? Some days I blogged about Mom and the struggles with her dementia. I felt like I was on a train going full steam ahead, the track broken and dangerous. I blogged about the economy and it brought back memories of the early years when we didn't have two nickles to rub together but somehow we figured it out. Nearly every day for these 2 1/2 years I've thought of  something to share with the strangers who come for a visit but leave as friends. You listen and you comment and as I read your blogs the world is getting smaller and nicer....kinder.

We are sharing a piece of ourselves when we sit down and write. It goes out into Cyberspace for all to read and somehow magically reaches the people who care. Divine intervention? Magic is smoke and mirrors, anything that touches our hearts like another human caring enough to write encouraging words back, even to say a little prayer...is much more. Some of this blogging world is painful, we sort through a lifetime of memories. But truth be told, it's not a lifetime, from this day forward is our future!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Difference

Father's Day is a hard one, I'm usually at a loss what to buy my husband. The Sunday before, we sat reading the paper... me going through the stack of Father's Day ads when I saw the Kindle advertised at Best Buy. Jerry used to read a lot when he travelled. Long flights, hotel rooms and my absence gave him the quiet time he needed to savor a good book. A week later, we are both in LOVE with the Kindle! If you are on the fence about getting one, let me tell you it's all it's cracked up to be and it's plug and play... instant gratification! The ability to have a book in seconds, for less money than a hard copy is mind boggling.

Jean Chatzky's book The Difference has two of my favorite subjects, financial freedom and self help/keys to happiness in your life. She notes that money doesn't breed happiness~ but happiness can breed money.
I am an optimist, I'm one of those who sees the glass half full. I tell my husband I always expect the best and am surprised when things don't turn out that way. Sometimes they don't, it's just a fact. If I set here and write down all of the bad things that have happened to us the list might be a little long. But I'd rather think of all the positive things and in my eyes, life has been good to us.

In her book, Jean Chatzky says a person’s ability to be appreciative and grateful for what they already have is essential to attracting more of what they desire. So my "Rose Colored Glasses" approach may be responsible for the contentment I have in my heart! I am satisfied with what we have and grateful for everything that has happened to us thus far... the good and the bad. I like to think we've grown stronger from the hard times.

So how does one acquire this magnetic chemistry? Here is what she suggests:
"Wear rosier glasses – In other words, choose to see things more optimistically, eliminate the cynicism and elect to see how abundantly rich you truly are – not necessarily always in cash value, but in the relationships, lifestyle and the community you live in. Appreciating what you have instead of what you lack will create a tremendous positive change."
"Stop comparing yourself to others. By choosing to value who you are and the talents and gifts you have to offer, you are again focusing on your self-worth, but if you constantly are belittling yourself for not being like the Jones’ or the beautiful model on the cover of the magazine, you will always feel as though you are lacking. Change what you focus on and that energy will multiply."
"Use visual cues. By posting your mantra, inspiring quotes or visuals that serve as reminders to keep you focused on what is truly important, you help yourself out on those days when it seems nothing can go right and you begin to doubt yourself. Put yourself on the offensive by planning ahead and frame your most inspiring quote above your desk, write it in your planner so you see it when you open it up every day, on your phone’s screensaver – wherever you will notice it and take a moment to check in with yourself on those moments when you’re in doubt."
"Do something for someone else. Choose to pay it forward by helping someone out who isn’t expecting your aid – it may be someone you know, it may not be, but in doing so you are giving of yourself – your good fortune - to someone else who could benefit from your time and energy. It doesn’t have to be a grand expensive gesture. In fact, it doesn’t need to cost any money, a simple 30 minute visit to a senior citizen who enjoys your conversation. Whatever you do, remember do it without wanting anything in return because truly wealthy people realize how fortunate they are and want to give back when they can simply because they can."

We may be old dogs, but we are still learning some new tricks!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thanks Ree!


I'm getting ready for the 4th of July a little early since our daughter Amy and her family are coming Wednesday and will be spending a few days of their precious vacation! I washed the dog already but I have a list a mile long of things I want to get done before they get here. At the top of the list is food: the planning, the gathering and the making! We are a hungry bunch who play hard and eat hearty. I've been watching my Favorite Food Site  for great recipes and so far, this is what I (actually Ree) has come up with...





Click on the recipes if Ree's ideas look good to you and it will take you right to her blog! So far, that's ideas for two main dishes and two desserts... I'll figure out the rest later!
I'll be following this list the next couple of days~

1. Plan menus
2. Shop for groceries
3. Spruce up  bedrooms
4. Shop for more groceries
5. Clean boat and de-spider web all surfaces
6. Blow leaves off patios and fluff cushions
7. Shop for more groceries
8. Buy new lake toys for GRANDsons
9. Shop for more groceries
10. Make cookies... go to store for chocolate chips

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some of you wanted to know what in the heck this building could be. Well, my SISTER-in-law, also known as MacGyver, did a little research and found out that this giant 35 foot fork is only a couple blocks away from her in Springfield and can you believe... she's never went to check it out! It used to be in front of a restaurant out on Glenstone, but now lives happily buried in the cement at Noble & Associates, a Springfield ad agency. Noble does a lot of work for the food service and retail industry, so the fork makes sense! A plaque proclaims it as "The World's Largest Fork," which may or may not be true!
I used my GPS to navigate the trip this week, good thing since I am "map challenged." Before TomTom came into our lives, getting lost on vacation was a given. I always packed a cooler with drinks and some type of nourishment because I knew we WERE going to get lost and it might take some time until we found the right road.
We've been lost in Florida, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C., oh...and Arkansas. It's not pretty either, there is finger pointing!
 There are some things in Springfield that you might just miss if you didn't know about them. I'm sure you're writing down the World's Biggest Fork" on you Bucket List. Don't miss the Seeburg Muffler Car, it sets in front of their business on Campbell and catches your eye!
When I was a kid, this was a landmark out on Glenstone... the old Lily-Tulip Company had a cup complete with straw that was just too cool! The plant was built in 1952 and in 1989 it sold to Sweetheart Company who makes Solo cups. Unfortunately it is now closed, according to MacGyver...

One more...this is the World's Longest Footbridge for Trainspotting, really! Built in 1902 the walking bridge was built for people to watch trains from!  It's 562 ft. long, crosses 13 sets of train tracks!

These two whirling dervishes were so busy talking that they forgot to tell me where to turn when we were sightseeing. That seems to run in our family... the whirling dervish part!


I don't know why my eye is attracted to the weird. The restaurant where we ate the other day, the one that served the giant Sancho...well the bathroom door was the skinniest door I've ever seen! We spent a big part of the meal discussing that skinny door and what if we couldn't fit into there after eating the giant Sancho!
I love animal weirdness. This Razorback hog is something that we actually have here in the Ozarks. Missouri and several other states have open season year round on the overpopulation of feral pigs. I know if I ran into this guy in the woods it would scare me to death! 

These guys were hanging out at Bass Pro Shop. One soft shelled turtle and another cute little box turtle having an up close and personal conversation on the log. I heard what they were saying...
"Why did the turtle cross the road?"
"To get to the SHELL station, silly!"

Friday, June 24, 2011

Loved Life And All Challenges

About the time I think I've told you everything that's stored in my memory bank,

I realize there's more! A trip back "home" to Springfield, Missouri yesterday was like walking down memory lane. 

It was filled with family and food,

really good Mexican food!

We drove by a million place where we've had coffee,

or spent nickles when I was a kid.

Places where I was spelling bee champion,

and places that inspired me to dream about what my life could be.

I walked these halls as a freshman feeling very small and unprepared for what life held for me. Yesterday when I stood in front of Central, somehow I felt 14 again. It was 1966, I had yet to meet the love of life, ahead of me was motherhood and travel, elation and despair, growth and loss.

I miss my brother. I miss talking to him on the phone and email. We never had the chance to text each other, he would have taken to that like a duck to water...he was like that!

He was the kind of person who loved to learn new things. He loved cool cars, pressed jeans and once he ate 8 hot dogs, one after the other!


Marble pyramid made by Hobert Sheldon Risley February 1960, age 13.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Road Trip

I'm off on a little road trip today, some summer fun with two of my favorite people...

Heading north to the Nixa hills...
We'll do a little shopping...
Go to one of my favorite places to eat...
Visit some of the "old haunts!"
...and if there's time, I definately want to go here!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tea for Two

Can you keep a secret? I've got the recipe for the original Crumpet Tea Room's Orange Rolls and I just can't keep it to myself any longer! They foolishly put it in a cookbook called
"Crumpet Tea Room: A Unique Collection of Mealtime Treasures" ...
along with several of their most requested recipes...like their heavenly chicken salad.


The original Tea Room opened in 1972 at the corner of 1st and Elm in a building that was built in 1862. Historic downtown Rogers is Small Town America at it's best! Turn of the century architecture, brick streets, a farmer's market twice weekly in the summer months, coffee shops, cupcake bakeries, old fashioned candy stores and yes... even an English tea room!

The dining rooms are throughout the building, upstairs and down, and all have a different theme. Eclectic and unique, the tables are set with old sugar bowls and mix and match dishes and silverware. The rooms are like Great Aunt Ruth's house, Victorian and pink or Grandma Betty's with cheery calico curtains and an old Emerson radio on the buffet.

The old tearoom closed a few years ago, replaced by a new restaurant... 
The Tea Room at Vinson Square.
Offering the same homemade quiche, stuffed potatoes, fruit salad with poppy seed dressing, chicken salad to die for AND the heavenly Orange Rolls!

Crumpet Tea Room Orange Rolls
2 1/2 c. hot tap water
1/2 c. melted shortening
2 c. flour
2 t. salt
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. sugar
3 heaping T. fast active dry yeast
6 c. flour
In large mixing bowl, add the first 3 ingredients. Mix for two minutes with dough hook beater. Add next 4 ingredients and continue to blend. Slowly add remaining flour until mixture is blended well and not sticky to the touch. Cover and let double in size. Punch down and roll dough out long and narrow to 1/4 inch thick. Spread thin layer of orange frosting over dough. Roll up and cut in 1 1/2 inch rolls. Place in greased pans. Let rise to top of pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 20 large rolls.

Orange Frosting
1 c. soft margarine
2 c. granulated sugar
1 orange
Cream margarine in mixing bowl until soft and smooth. Add sugar, juice from one orange and grated peel of orange. Blend well.

Crumpet Tea Room Chicken Salad
4 c. cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. sweet relish
4 eggs, hard boiled and diced
3/4 c. Miracle Whip (or enough to moisten mixture)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve with tossed salad, fresh fruit or in a sliced croissant.

PRINT RECIPES


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This past weekend, we attended the 52nd Annual Poultry Federation Festival. They did a bang up job of planning entertainment to suit everyone! The event has a Bass Tournament on beautiful Beaver Lake, a Golf Tournament at Bella Vista's courses, even skeet shooting, horseshoes and a motorcycle rally! There's a Ladies Luncheon and with all of the great shopping in NW Arkansas, we had plenty to keep ourselves "occupied!" Friday night Little Big Town put on a great concert at the 
John Q.Hammons Convention Center. 

Now when the bunch of fun-loving Tyson Team Members gather for the event, they have to have a "theme!" This year we celebrated Mardi Gras with food and fun at Saturday's Festival.




Teams from different locations competed to win the People's Choice Award.

Tyson of Monett, Missouri had a complete meal of crawdads, artisan chicken sausage (Tyson Team Member Larry's secret recipe!), chicken sausage sliders, red beans and rice, homemade potato chips and beignets!

Contestants take this challenge seriously, it's high praise to win a cooking contest when you work for a food company!

It's also a time to show off your stuff, lot's of fancy smokers were there.

You can't imagine how good it smelled! Lots of secret marinades and spices...

Chicken sausage

Pulled Honey BBQ Chicken~last year's winner!

Everyone was having a great time, despite the 90 degree temps!





You can't expect this group to get together without a little harmless joke or two...
The cooler said "FREE BEER" on top!!!
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