Monday, April 30, 2012

Life's Path

If the path had been different, if their heart had not called them back to the Midwest, home would have been Santa Cruz, California. Mom and Dad started their lives here, built a home, had a baby, made memories.

If life's path had been different, I'd have traveled East Cliff Drive to go to work...

I'd have taken West Cliff drive to where it ends at Natural Bridge Beach a million times.

The Big Basin Redwood State Park would have been our weekend destination...

...and my children would have memories of The Mystery Spot instead of Devil's Den.

The Boardwalk would have been their favorite place to go...

...and Breakwater Lighthouse on East Cliff Drive could have been the place where I met my true love.

But life's path took a turn, instead of Monterey Bay my parents chose to be close to family and moved back to the Ozarks. They sold the house that Mom calls the bungalow, the one with the white Priscilla curtains and the cheery little front porch and headed east to Arkansas.

Funny how life's path sometimes leads you back, not to the same spots but often with the same reasons. A job took us back to Northern California when we first married and Mom and Dad returned for a visit. Once more to see that little house at 46 Alameda.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bargain Travel

Have you ever brought home leftovers from that big meal out and then have it for one or more meals/lunches at home. Well, in my head that $16.95 entree divided by 3 now makes it a bargain meal of only $5.65! It's called "wearing rose colored glasses" or "making lemonade out of lemons," it's how I deal with the cost of living nowadays.

I've been stewing about the whole Holiday Inn/Priority Club debacle. If you missed my ranting and raving you can go HERE to catch up. I have sent my last email, posted my last complaint and moved on. I used the same approach as above, we simply ADDED a few days using our free rooms...this time we called and talked to a PERSON to place the reservation. This made the vacation 7 days instead of 4 turning this into a pretty frugal trip! Are you following... did I lose ya with this one???

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fighting the Good Fight

I've been trying to get an early start each day, lots of things to do in the yard with Spring officially here. The biggest job In the Garden this week are weeds...

Purple Deadnettle or Henbit- This stuff covered our yard in Springfield when I was growing up. I'd make bracelets of the long stems and even gather a bouquet and take to Mom! She always smiled and accepted the weedy gift with a big hug.

Dandelions- Yet another childhood memory, I loved blowing the little powderpuffs of seeds on a breezy day... sharing the seeds with all of the lucky neighbors! It's taproot goes to China, making it difficult if not impossible to pull.

Chickweed- This lime green succulent spreads like wildfire and mowing, fuhgetaboutit! It clogs the mower up and kills it... that first mowing each spring is a long one just because of this weed.

Johnson Grass, Crabgrass, Bermuda Grass,they were the bane of my Mother, she spent so much time pulling these weeds from our yard. She refused to give up, even though THEY were winning! Thus starts the beginning of the growing season for all us gardeners, fighting the good fight.You basically have two choices: First you need to identify the weeds and then- A. Apply the appropriate herbicides either BEFORE they germinate or B. When weeds are small and actively growing. If you wait and they can get ahold in your yard, it's next to impossible to kill them unless you use a weedkiller and all of us have had brown patches that were the result of a windy day + Roundup.There are so many choices for weed control and I depend on the folks at the Farmer's Co-op to steer me the right direction. There is pre-mixed for spot applications when you just have a few weeds... I am thinking how lucky can you be if you just have a few weeds to kill! Then there are concentrates that you mix with water for large weedy yards like mine : o ( and then there are granules that you water in. A weed and feed combination is how lots of people like to deal with the problem, but we've had mixed results with those. It's probably because we are rural property with less than perfect conditions for application. You just have to start somewhere though, everyone knows that weeds grow faster than anything else in your yard!

I came across a recipe for a bug deterrent at one of my favorite hangouts, Jay Harshaw's Potluck column in the Fort Smith Times Record. This sounds like it might be stinky enough to keep the deer from nibbling on my hostas this summer. I'm going to make some up... hope I can still use my blender for smoothies after I've whizzed a whole head of garlic!

Homemade Bug Deterrent
  • 4 ounces garlic extract
  • A few drops dish soap or insecticidal soap
  • 1 quart water
Blend together and strain through cheesecloth. Dilute 10 times and spray on plants, including undersides of leaves. No garlic extract? Blend a whole bulb of garlic with 2 cups of water. Allow it to sit for a day, and then strain. Add a few drops of dish soap and dilute with 1 gallon of water.

We had a spell of cold weather this past weekend, Blackberry Winter. Normally it's closer to the first week of May but we've had a warm spring up till now. Every year when the blackberries bloom, you can count on a spell of colder than normal temps for a few days. Friday was in the 50's and when I was in town I saw people in coats and shorts. Once warmer weather arrives here in the Ozarks we hold onto it  for dear life, refusing to go back to wearing our winter duds! I had on jeans and a sweater... and sandals! 

My little container garden is doing well. The yellow squash are beginning to come on so we'll have plenty from that one little plant!

Our resident tree frog spends nights down in the garden soil and then suns himself each morning on the windowsill! He was tiny last year and would attach himself to the patio glass and stare in at us at night... I think he was watching tv!

I saw this great idea on Pinterest the other day, from Random Acts of Kindness a way to thank those neighbors who make the world a more beautiful place with their gardening abilities. As you are walking by, just leave them a note to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work! 

This week In The Kitchen... Jay Carter shares his famous salsa recipe...

Jay's Salsa
What You'll Need:
  • 9-12 Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Onions
  • 2 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Cup Celery
  • 5 -10 Jalapenos ( leave seeds for warmer salsa )
  • 2 Teaspoon minced Garlic
  • 1 Can 8oz Tomato Paste
  • 1.5 Cups Sugar
  • 1.5 Teaspoon Lime Juice ( to taste )
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper ( to taste )
To Prepare:
Use food processor or blender to cut tomatoes, onions, peppers, celery, and jalapenos to desired texture.
Mix together & simmer for 20 minutes.
Cool or can.
Hint: add other kinds of green or yellow peppers

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spam- Not the good kind

No, I'm not talking about this...

What's bothering me is  that keeps showing up in my Feedjit Traffic Report. A little Google-ing this morning turned up some important information about links like this. Are you seeing weird ones on your site too? 

It's spam all right and we need to know some Very Important Information about this sneaky little threat to our computers. Savegco-antivir and many other spam sites actually refer some fake spam visitors to your site or blog. There aren't REAL humans reading, it's bad programmers who hope to upload a virus into your computer and use information about you. Sounds like a bug we need to squash doesn't it?

The best way to do that is to NOT CLICK ON THE LINK WHICH APPEARS IN YOUR STATISTICS DETAILS. That's just what I've been doing when I see these strange visitors...duh.

If you have a good antivirus program installed on your computer, we have Norton Security Suite, you'll be ok. Just be safe and don't click in the first place.
There are others out there... this is a list of the most common ones. Just do a search of the link you have a question about and it will tell you all you need to know.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Priority Club Rewards Fail

Last week I made our reservations for our trip to see our oldest GRANDson graduate. We've been looking forward to this day a long time so planning our trip early was a good idea. I logged onto Priority Club Rewards, Holiday Inn's loyalty program that allows us to use our earned points for stays at any of their many locations world wide. My husband has traveled for years on business and racked up an enormous amount of points for free stays. How did he do that? Well, when you stay at a hotel for many weeks a year and your bill is in the $800 range for a period of several years, the points add up.  

I entered our membership number, then proceeded onto the reservation. Date of stay, date of departure, number of guests, type of room and then you click confirm. In minutes I got a confirmation email, odd it said "charged credit card $717."  I immediately called Priority Club back and they said, "No problem, let us fix it for you!" They said the queen room I had requested wasn't available with points and that's why the system charged me on the credit card on file. OK. He reserved another queen room and reminded me to call and cancel the first reservation. That's when my day got bad. The manager said the reservation was for advanced order (yes, 7 weeks early to be exact) and could not be canceled without penalty. The deposit she said, which was the full $717. "Do you want to keep both rooms," she asked. It just struck me as funny and I said, "Well I guess each of us could stay in separate rooms but I'd rather not!" The whole conversation I kept thinking she would say, "I'm so sorry for this mistake... let me correct it." But she didn't. Neither did Holiday Inn customer service or Priority Club Rewards complaint department. 

It seems a change to their "pricing structure" has implemented new ways that has allowed them to offer deeper discounts," their wording exactly when I received this response from from Myrna, an IHG Care case manager...

Dear Mrs. Tilton,

Thank you for your email. We appreciate you allowing us the opportunity to explain the choices available to you when making a reservation.

We have recently implemented a new pricing structure that allows us the opportunity to offer deeper discounts to our customers. In order to offer these rates we must attach restrictions such as cancellation fees or full prepayment. Some of our lowest discounted rates carry full prepayment requirements while others carry a cancellation fee.

It is certainly not our intent to inconvenience our valued customers, but to instead offer options that make sense. We always appreciate comments from our guests, and we will use this feedback in making decisions about our future pricing strategies.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We value you as a Priority Club Rewards member, and hope you will continue to choose IHG for your future travel needs.

Myrna M
Case Manager
Reference No. XXXXXXXXX

I wrote her back on their Facebook Fan Page Priority Club Rewards... 

Case manager Myra says that this morning's $717 cc charge instead of applying my points is part of a plan..."We have recently implemented a new pricing structure that allows us the opportunity to offer deeper discounts to our customers. In order to offer these rates we must attach restrictions such as cancellation fees or full prepayment. Some of our lowest discounted rates carry full prepayment requirements while others carry a cancellation fee." The more I look, the more I see a pattern of complaints. Beware.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Amy!

Oh, how Amy loved Strawberry Shortcake! When she was two, her favorite cartoon on Saturday morning was Strawberry Shortcake and her cat Custard, friends Blueberry Muffin, Huckleberry Pie and the Berrykins.  She had Strawberry Shortcake clothes and shoes and pj's and bedspread and doll and stickers and dishes and videos... how nice of American Greetings to make a whole line of products just for my little redhead! 

Then later on in 1989 when Amy was 10, Disney was nice enough to make one of their most loved characters come alive in The Little Mermaid. Ariel was beautiful and good and a mermaid, all the things little girls dream of being!

Another famous redhead that anyone can name is Wilma Flintstone. Famous for her swirly, red locks she was Pebbles' Mom and and unfortunately married to Fred Flintstone!

Pippi Longstockings followers love the 8 year old for her unconventional, assertive, superhuman strength, being able to lift her horse one-handed without difficulty. She is able to fool adults, an attitude that most kids LOVE! Like Peter Pan, Pippi does not want to grow up.

Every little girl loves Raggedy Ann, just look at that face!

Mary Englebreit captures the essence of my little redhead in this famous drawing!

The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!
I love ya
You're always
A day
A way!
*Bet you're singing this right can't help it, Annie captured our hearts!

...and Half Pint, how we loved her! On the Banks of Plum Creek and in a Little House on the Prairie we rooted for her to overcome Nellie's nasty ways. We took her side if Pa punished her. We loved her for her sweetness and her red pigtails!

Today my baby is celebrating 33 years of being a redhead. That means 33years of being asked,
"Where did you get your red hair?"
"Do redheads really have a hot temper?"
"How many freckles do you have?"
"Redheads or blondes, who really has the most fun?"

Today I'm hoping it's redheads... Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marshmallow Sweetness

Warning: Do Not Watch if you aren't planning on adding another pet to your household!
Oops too late... see sidebar for kitties to adopt!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

America's Farmers

Fred Neveu's painting The Farmer  looks so much like my own Grandpa, even the old tractor he sets on is familiar. I can reach back in my memory and my Grandpa is there, I can hear his voice and remember his strengths. They formed me as a child and for that I'm grateful.

The farm at Lead Hill is rocky land, dotted with locust and cedar trees. When Mom was little, her Dad grew wheat and farmed the land which had to be a very difficult job. In later years, the ones I can remember... Grandpa ran cattle on the land. The tractor was Grandpa's workhorse, pulling out stumps before they robbed him of pasture. The cattle he raised depended on him for grass year round, it was a 7 day a week job.

Grandpa couldn't leave the house without me tagging along, we'd go from one field to the next bouncing along in his old International pickup.The cows would come running when they heard it, that meant hay or grain. Along the way, there would be fence to fix or gates to mend. I was the gate opener... it felt like an important job when I was 10! 

It was pretty easy to pick a recipe this week... a great new grilling cookbook by Aaron Chronister (who just happens to be an Arkansas boy) and Jason Day. Pages and pages of delicious All American barbeque for our summertime enjoyment! 

You're Welcome...
All-American Stuffed Burger
Yield: 4 burgers

2 pounds ground sirloin
2 packets Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
4 slices American cheese
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
4 hamburger buns
Mixing bowl
STEP 1: Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, thoroughly combine the ranch dressing mix with the meat.
STEP 2: Form the seasoned beef mixture into 8 even-sized patties that are about 4 inches wide. We’ll use two 1/4-pound patties for each burger, so it’s best to make them thin.
STEP 3: Place a slice of cheese on 4 of the patties. If the corners of the cheese are close to the burger’s edge, tear them off and place on the center of the cheese slice. There should be about a 1/2-inch “no-cheese zone” around the edge of the patty so that we can seal it all inside the burger.
STEP 4: Stack another patty on top of the cheese and completely seal the edges where the 2 patties come together. Be sure to seal the burger as tightly as possible, otherwise the cheese will ooze out during the cooking process.
STEP 5: Grill the burgers over direct medium-high heat until they are done to your liking.
STEP 6: Baste the burgers with barbecue sauce for the last 2 minutes of grill time. Serve on toasted buns.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

Onion Rings... if you love them, you can name in a second the best ones you've ever had! For me it was Clear Springs in New Braunfels, Texas. Friday nights we'd head north on Highway 46, halfway between Seguin and New Braunfels set an old dancehouse. They were famous for their catfish, and even if you weren't in the mood for fish... you'd most likely order it because it smelled so-dang-good!

Our GRANDson Jackson would be with us, we'd almost always start with an order of onion rings. We only made the mistake once of ordering the "Texas Size," surely they mean it's big enough for ALL of Texas! They were as close to perfect as you can get and be an onion ring. I have a recipe that's worthy to be called "close." It comes from Cooks Country and it's more than just measurements, it troubleshoots the common mistakes that restaurants and home cooks make when preparing. All you ever need to make the best onion rings you ever put in your mouth....DANGEROUS!

Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Serves 4 to 6
2 sweet onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds (use a sweet Vidalia)
3 cups beer (use a dark beer like Shiner Bock)
2 teaspoons malt vinegar (next to the other vinegars at the grocery)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Soak onions: Place onion rounds, 2 cups beer, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a zip-lock bag; refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
2. Make batter: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
While oil is heating, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup beer until just combined (some lumps will remain). Whisk in remaining beer as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until batter falls from whisk in a steady stream and leaves faint trail across surface of batter.
3. Fry rings: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Remove onions from refrigerator and pour off liquid. Pat onion rounds dry with paper towels and separate into rings. Transfer one-third portion of rings to batter. One at a time, carefully transfer battered rings to oil. Fry until rings are golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. Drain rings on paper towel-lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and transfer to oven. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining onion rings and batter. Serve.

Troubleshooting Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Problem: Crunchy onions.
Solution: Soak in beer. Soaking the rings in a combination of beer, vinegar and salt softens and flavors the raw onion. Just don't soak longer than 2 hours or they get too soft!
Problem: Bad battering.
Solution: Add beer gradually. If the batter is too thick, the rings will be doughy; too thin and it will run off. Add the beer gradually until the batter falls from a whisk to form a ribbon trail.
Problem: Fused onion rings.
Solution: Don’t crowd the pot. Fry the battered onion rings in small batches and transfer them one at a time to the hot oil so they don’t stick together.

*The land where the restaurant now sets was originally surveyed by James Bowie, a hero of the Alamo, in 1825. Clear Springs Hall and Store was built in 1873 for storing cotton. At the height of cotton production it was normal to see cotton wagons backed up long distances to be weighed. It was also common for the drivers to spend their waiting time shopping and visiting at the Clear Springs Store. The store and saloon were the only establishments of their kind for several miles. The dance hall, now the restaurant, provided for community gatherings, such as dances, parties, plays, school functions, and political rallies. The historical Clear Springs Hall and Store now houses Clear Springs Restaurant which has preserved the historical atmosphere of the structure and the memory of the early German community.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dole Salad Recall

Not sure if you saw this on the news yesterday, but Dole has recalled their Seven Lettuces salad mix after it tested contaminated with salmonella. It would have been packages with an April 11, 2012 expiration date, UPC code 71430 01057 and Product Codes 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B. 756 cases in all, distributed in 15 states (Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin)according to a release from the company.

I buy the bagged mixes on a regular basis and rinse the lettuce in a salad spinner several times before we eat. It says clearly on the bag that they are "triple washed" but I've just never felt comfortable opening a bag and serving without a good swish in water. It's not only Dole, any manufacturer of produce risks contamination from fecal matter.

Consumer Reports reminds us to buy packages as far from the use-by date as possible and even if the bag says "pre-washed" or "triple-washed," make sure you wash the greens yourself. I've never bought the produce washes, a quick Google search shows that even they have risks associated with their use. Studies show they only minimally reduce microbes or pesticides, not enough to warrant their use. 

The US Department of Agriculture says the most reliable method of cleaning our produce is simply running it under fresh water and agitating gently with our hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Using a brush on hard skinned potatoes, carrots, melons and squash is a good idea while rinsing well under running water. One reminder, don't cut melons without washing the outside or you risk contaminating the inner flesh. That would apply to bananas too, how many times have we allowed our toddlers to have half a banana, never thinking of the possible germs on the peel? They remind us to NEVER use detergent or bleach, both are poisonous.

Homemade solutions of vinegar and water or lemon juice and water, followed up by a good rinse work well in testing too, more on that HERE. One other thing that the USDA recommends is common sense, but it bears repeating. Keeping our produce in the crisper is a good practice since it slows the growth of bacteria.
*They aren't talking about all produce, potatoes should never be refrigerated or the starch turns to sugar.

I'm not giving up salad, but it pays to read the paper and watch the news. We can't be too careful these days...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cheeseburgers in Paradise


 We had a wonderful rainy Sunday afternoon yesterday, my favorite. It was part of that line of storms that did damage in Oklahoma and Kansas, but we were lucky and only had showers and thunder. Hopefully it was enough rain to wash away all this oak pollen that's making our allergies so bad.

It's all Eye-Candy-Green, the lake is almost hidden now since the trees have their leaves. Weather like this brings the fishermen out, there's hardly a day goes by that I don't see a boat down in the cove. GRANDson Gavin and Papa went down to the boat dock on Saturday and "wet a line" in hopes of catching enough for lunch. Gavin has inherited the fishing gene, it runs pretty strong in our family! They didn't have any luck but there's always next time...

Late in the afternoon the sun finally came out and we met the kids at Smokin' Joe's to celebrate our SON in law's birthday. It's a great little BBQ place in Rogers with red checkered tablecloths, old fashioned booths and big round tables for families. We go mostly on Friday nights and it's always crowded. I was surprised to see a full parking lot on a Sunday night, most of the tables were full with families just like us gathering for a meal. The smell of hickory hits you as you walk in and I have a hard time ordering anything but the chopped pork, smoky and delicious. We all had our favorites; Big Boy Cheeseburgers, BBQ pork, I couldn't decide so I ordered the one thing on the menu that has it all... A GIANT stuffed baked potato loaded with BBQ, beans and cheese! I had them leave the beans off, I'm on a diet you know!

We took it easy on Ken this year, no joke gifts. Last year was the Big One, 4-0... once you get past that milestone, birthdays are painless for a while-- until you reach 5-0!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Yard Cows

Fridays I like to post something that will put a smile on your face... if it's been a hard week, we need it! Yesterday when I was "moving furniture on the blog" I mean changing color schemes, I saw this on Link Within at the bottom of a post. Posted last year, I'd forgotten this and it's a GOOD ONE!!! So read on and enjoy... Have a great weekend and keep your door closed if you have "yard cows!

Sometimes a story escapes me. It could be a busy morning and I just didn't have the time to read the paper. If it doesn't get read with my coffee, out it goes to the recycling bin. I get my news on tv and the Internet so what could I possibly miss? Yesterday when I was Googling for Arkansas roads...don't ask... this story comes out of Texas, The Denton Record Chronicle to be exact. That's where my daughter Amy lives, she must have missed it too... I'm sure she would have mentioned it! After all it's an Arkansas news story. It seems the cows in the picture above decided to raid a home in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. When Latisha Francis came home she found the three in her farmhouse. From the looks of the one sprawled out in the picture, they had a big ol' party! I don't think I've ever seen a cow lay that way, maybe a frog but definitely not a cow!

Francis knew right away something was amiss when she drove up and one of the cows was looking out the front door. That one walked out on it's own, but the other two had a hard time navigating the laminate wood floors and had layed down and given up! Can you imagine coming home from a hard day at work. Maybe the boss had been grouchy or that mean lady in accounting had circled your mistakes with her red pencil... then when you finally get home, you have to get cows out before you can even set down and watch the news. Hey, you ARE the news! Check the link out and read this, there's no way I could ever make something this good up...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bobby Petrino

Most mornings I check email, Facebook and then Twitter. Twitter for trending news, right now me and the rest of Arkansas are waiting for the puff of smoke to come out of  Jeff Long's office with a decision about Coach Petrino's job. Will he have one or will we send him packing? Last night they had a pep rally of sorts for him on campus, I don't get it but evidently some people showed up. The national news teams rolled into town this week to cover the mess so some people may have decided to go just so they could be on tv. If you don't follow the Razorbacks, you may be in the dark about all of this. Coach Petrino's spill off a motorcycle Sunday before last came with the revelation that he had a pretty blonde on the back. Not against the law to have a pretty blonde for a passenger, the problem began when he failed to confide in the University the facts that would come out later that week in the police report. His wife was probably surprised too, maybe not. Private lives are private, unless you are a government official or a celebrity or a coach. And if you have a Conduct Clause in your contract, it can get ugly when it becomes public.

"The Employment Agreement shall include the University's standard termination for cause provision which includes the right to terminate for cause based on significant and/or..." "otherwise engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the University, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of Head Football Coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the university or UAF's Athletics Program in any way."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Bunny Cake

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and was able to be with family. That's really what I miss the most about our girls growing up, we just live too far from each other to all be together on every holiday. We broke tradition yesterday and had roast beef for dinner, no ham for us. That meant the sides had to be different as well, I made rice dressing and of course we had mashed potatoes and gravy to go along with the roast. There were enough carbs in the meal to put us all under!

When we have a big holiday meal planned, I like to go light on the appetizers so that no one gets too full. After all the planning and cooking that goes into the meal, I want everyone "hongry"....(hong-ree), that's "cowboy hungry" when you can eat the whole cow!

We had our meal late in the day, that allowed us to have lunch with Mom at the nursing home. She had roast beef too, maybe this was the year we all decided to break away! Jamestown does an excellent job of preparing lovely meals that are homestyle and pretty on the plate. Mom is assisted now with her meals and the CNA's patiently feed her bites at her speed. I admire the dedication required to be a good nurse, it's definitely a calling.

Last night I was thinking of the many, many times we gathered at our parents houses for holiday meals. Mom and my Mother-in-law took turns until 1976 when I joined the elite group of memory makers! It's an important job being in charge of the holiday memories, the ones our children and grandchilden store.

This was 1977, Stephanie was 5 and the little kitty beside her basket was real... she was thrilled! She looks cute as a button in her pink dress, hat and knee highs!  

Amy was 3 in this one, that would make it 1982. This was taken at Grandma's, I can't remember the menu that year~ it really didn't matter other than the fact that we both had made Easter Bunny desserts! That's what the girls will remember...
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