30 December 2009

well, hello there!



Earlier in the autumn of the year, Jerry and I decided to spend Christmas with my folks in Arkansas. So after his eldest daughter's cantata, we headed out. I'd had a slight dental mishap earlier in the evening, and shattered my partial. Ugh. So I felt a bit self~conscious as the missing tooth is an incisor, right in the front of my smile. But as Jerry's eldest daughter's mother~in~law pointed out, "your parents loved you the first time you were toothless" and ya just can't argue with logic like that!

This was my first Christmas as a married woman. wow. I had to sit and let that soak in for a minute. as a married woman. wow.

It was about this time last year that I met Jerry, his family, his friends, and his co~workers. And this year has been extremely eventful. I'm not gonna recap here, the entire year, just this past week or so, since the last time I blogged.

Since I've not seen my folks since the wedding, Jerry and I gave them their "thank~you" gifts upon our arrival. They were tokens of appreciation. Mom makes wine, so we had an assortment of bottle~stoppers and corks. Plus, I'd made a buncha wine~bottle bags. And we took some of the muscadine wine from Mississippi's only winery. And some drink~wear...coasters in the shape of flip~flops that attach to your wine~glass base.

The following day, Jerry, my mother, my brother, and I drove up to Fort Smith {an hour and a half away} to Snoopers, a used book~store that we'd heard about. We thought that instead of buying them lots of titles on our own and taking the chance that those weren't what they were wanting or that they'd already read/owned them; well, it just made more sense to let them choose what they wanted and then get them for them.

And we had lunch at a Chinese buffet while we were there. Then, the next day, Jerry went with Dad up to Fayetteville {about three hours} for my dad's eye~appt. They bought some seafood {lobster~tails, scallops, crab, shrimp, oysters} for Christmas eve and Christmas day dinner.

Plus, there were evenings of yahtzee, and days of audio~books, and meeting a few friends of my folks. And there was a light dusting of snow, phone calls to family and friends, and a few short jaunts to town with my mom. All in all, a wonderful visit.

My folks and I have some traditions and one of them is how we do Christmas morning. Most everyone that spends the morning with us once, then returns over the years to experience it again...it's more meaningful and more relaxing than most. We take our time. There is no rush and no frantic tearing into gifts and then it's all over in ten minutes. We enjoy the process.

This year, I played elf and distributed the gifts. This year, my mom did not get out all her decorations {I didn't either, but that's cuz I abhor coming home from away after Christmas and taking all the decorations down and packing them away}, just a simple few touches in the living room. She'd covered a small table with a red cloth and placed her picket~fence with a snowman atop it and then the gifts were all piled around the table on the floor and table~top.

In my family, gift~giving has always been about practical stuff you'd use. Yes, it's stuff that you'd like {that's the fun} but almost always stuff you'd need or use. Growing up, it was almost always the time I'd get my boots {if this was the year I'd get them}, a pair of jeans, some socks/underwear, perhaps a sweater, and always a few books.

My mom always Always ALWAYS gives me a small pocket calender. It's another tradition that we share. Right up there with cookie~baking.

So after a breakfast of french toast and eggs, I with my MSU stocking cap on handed first one gift then another around. Everyone had their coffee {tea for me} and we all watched while a person unwrapped a gift. They usually guessed what it might be beforehand and sometimes were dead~on and sometimes were dead~wrong. There were some gifts that caused surprise and some that were funny and almost always there is a duplicate or two {this year it was Jerry's christmas light sleep pants~~both mom and i got him a pair}. Some gifts get passed around, like Jerry's eldest son's gift to me {my mother insisted that she should keep the pottery piece out of harm's way, cuz I'm a klutz, and altho I thanked her for her thoughtfulness, I did bring it home with me, where it now sits on the dining room table. it was one of the two pieces that he had displayed and won the state's award for}.

After we were done with the gift exchange, Jerry told me that he liked doing things this way and that it makes it seem more appreciated. I agreed. But then this is the way I've done gift~giving since I was a child and cannot imagine not wanting to enjoy the other's excitement and enjoyment any other way moreso.

Altho we enjoyed our time there, it was time for us to come home. On the way, we stopped to eat a late lunch and saw a CNN clip focused on Starkville {there'd been a fire in an apartment and killed three young woman and six small children}. By the time we'd reached home, there had been a few folks calling from away about it {concerned about the location and the individuals involved}.

In other news, Jerry's sons and their wives are coming in tomorrow to ring in the new year with us. Jerry is roasting his turkey and making the traditional coleslaw, cornbread, and black~eyed peas. He enjoys my traditional pork and sauerkraut but I elected not to do that this time as it may be better to wait til it's just the two of us {I've no idea if anyone other than the two of us enjoy pork and sauerkraut}, and just do this area's traditional meal. Altho we decided to go with his turkey instead of the ham.

I baked cookies for Jerry. I had told him that the next time I baked cookies from scratch, I would bake him some sugar~free ones. No, he is not diabetic, but since he has had gastric bypass surgery, he processes heavily sugared foods and drinks {including alcohols} differently and the effect of sugar~bombs can make him faint &/or vomit...not pretty to witness and not pretty to experience.

So I baked a cream~cheese cookie for him that I adapted to sugar~free. The cookies are extremely light and tasty with pecans and walnuts. Very moist. I've a feeling they won't last for long!

And perhaps tomorrow, I'll bake some bread.

So all y'all have a happy new year! be safe and stay warm and dry...it's always better to start the new year healthy and happy!

19 December 2009

Bab's dog, he poops.

This afternoon, Jerry's eldest daughter and her family came over to exchange presents because none of us are going to be here over Christmas. The kids tore into their mountain of wrapped stuff and of all the toys, the one that preoccupied us all the most was Barbie and her pooping dog, Tanner. Jerry swears he didn't realize the dog pooped, but I tell ya, that was the entire theme of this particular Barbie set up.

So there we were, four adults and two kids, fascinated with the pooping dog. There is so much to say, where to start? The poop is magnetic, so when it's not being played with, it can hang out on the fridge.

It comes with a pooper~scooper. Barbie scoops up the poop, deposits it into the trash~can. The back part of the trash~can is actually a detachable treat~box. So then you can sprinkle a few treats into Tanner's food~bowl. Feed Tanner. Let him/her poop. And then start the whole deliciously delightful process all over again!

Cuz the poop truly comes first.

I'm not exactly sure how you get the dog to eat, but I did see it has hinged jaws and I think you either open its mouth with your finger and force~feed it. Or its ears wriggle and I think when you stroke its ears, the mouth opens. Either way, it seems pretty accurate, cuz dude, when I've tried to give my dog a lil pellet of sorts, it requires my pushing the pill half~way down her throat and then holding her mouth shut til she swallows.

But I do know how to get Barbie's dog to poop. And that's the fun part anyway. You push its tail down and when it pops up, the poop falls out its butt.

Then ya do it all over again!

How fun is that?!?

Santa's Ride


There's been so much going on lately that I'm requiring more rest than usual. And last night I said more than a few choice words, repeatedly, because imma ijit and as I was collecting my nightly meds, the top of one bottle went one way, the bottle fell outta my jittery hand and a goodly portion on my Zoloft went down the drain. See, in my old place, I kept my meds in a cabinet in the kitchen and here I keep them in the hah~UGE medicine cabinet in the master bathroom, which has his/her sinks and so when the bottle goes oohpsee outta my hand, the pills roll down the damp sink surface. Since this does not usually happen to me, I haven't taken precautions like opening the bottles over a towel. So now, I'm a lil low on three months worth of Zoloft. Grrrrrrrreat. sigh. It couldn't be one of my PRN for anxiety drugs, now, could it? Those I have extra, but nnnnnnnoooOOOooooo. sigh. So I gotta go on Base after we get back from Arkansas and explain that imma ijit and show them the remaining de~coated pills {the damp sink took that outta shell right off them there pretty blue pills}. Maybe they will be able to help me, or not. I'm just not so sure at this point, but I do have enough for another lil bit anyway, at least to get thru the holidays.

whew.

So Jerry got up this morning and donned his Santa Suit! {cuz that's how I now think of it, with caps and an exc!a!mat!on po!nt!} and strapped on his half~helmet and mounted his bike and rode into town, while I buried my head under the comfy covers and snuggled down for a bit of an extension on my long~winter's~nap. Jerry stopped at WalMart and gassed up. Rode thru town twice, did the campus, and in general, just tootled about. Most folks loved it! Lots of parents pointing him out to their kids, lots of camera~phones and folks calling out to him.

One truck pulled up in next to him at a light, and three flannel~bound hunters were in the cab, looking kinda rough from the fight with the deer this morning in the field. One indicated the antlered buck in the bed and hollered, "one less for your sleigh, santa!" Jerry assured them that was alright, he'd have the understudy stand in. Jerry didn't bother explaining that his reindeer are female, as they have better racks than the guys do.

There was one lil boy that just grabbed Jerry's heart and yanked it right outta his chest. He was a lil boy who beamed at Santa and just grinned and grinned and grinned and had all sortsa love for Santa. So Jerry talked with him for a few minutes and then he asked, "have you been a good boy?" Oh yes, the boy assured him with hah~UGE nods. "What would you like for Christmas?" and the boy ducked his head, and very softly said, "big daddy."

The lil boy's mother misted up a lil and she said that his grandfather was big daddy. Jerry told her that is what he called his grandfather too. And she said that he died last month. Jerry hugged the lil boy and then he told the lil boy that there are some things that there are some things that even Santa cannot do much about, but that he {Jerry} had a Big Daddy too and he misses him still. And that that's ok.

While Jerry was telling me about this, his own eyes misted and my throat clogged and I thought that that is just one more reason that I love him so. Jerry always knows just what to say in situations like that. He speaks from the heart, and shares just a bit of himself. It makes others feel so much better.

Jerry said that when his extremities were numb, he came on home. By then I was up, but I'd not run out with the camera in enough time to catch Santa on his ride. So you can take a look at an older pic that's been in the journal before.

The Santa Suit! is put up for another year!

17 December 2009

Weeeeeee Read!




Emerson Family Fun Night was tonight and we celebrated the Wee Read program with door~prizes, hola~hoops, singing, reading, story~time, cookies and drinks, face~painting, and pictures with SANTA!!!!

There were so many funny lil stories that I cannot share them all here. First tho, it was funny when we were driving down because I'd toot the horn and the car next to me would be glaring and I'd point to Jerry sporting his Santa look and then the adults would get all excited and smiling and waving and push their hands up against the windows and act like lil kids. So fun!





After we pulled into park, some of the kids were still in class~rooms and they would run to the windows and one asked why Santa was in a car? The teacher thought fast and said that the reindeer need to save their strength for the big night next week.

The pictures were fun! Most kids just loved it, lit up, ran over to him and climbed up on his lap right away, and some chatted away for the longest time. There was one lil girl who replied "YOU" with a pointed finger into Santa's beard when he asked what she wanted for Christmas.




And some kids came back later in the event to present him with a custom card they had just made. The first one was lil Gina, who quietly whispered into Santa's ear that she just loves him and then she grinned up at him and there were cell~phones and all sorta cams pointed their way right then! And then there was the lil boy who shunned sitting in Santa's lap cuz he is way too old and sooOOooo over the whole Santa thing, only to run up and hug him numerous times as we were leaving.

All in all, great fun!

15 December 2009

bbbbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrread

I've been tinkering with bread baking lately. No two batches are the same, because there are so many variables that come into play. The temperature of the room {during the risings}, the humidity, the weather outside, and then there is the actual bread itself. Since I never really measure things, my bread is probably more variable than most. But perhaps not, as most folks who bake bread tend to use similar methods, that is they go more by feel of texture and elasticity of the dough. Sometimes the yeast is very active, due to the room's characteristics {even the air flow makes a difference}. Since I love the adventure of bread baking, these differences thrill me!

I've been hankering peanut butter ribbon bread that I made last year {or the year before, time is taffy}. It was just regular {flour, butter, yeast, water, a bit of salt, and some sugar} bread, with some peanut~butter kneaded into the last rising, just before it goes into the loaf~pans. Really good with bananas! {i LOVE peanut~butter and naner sandwiches *grins*}

SO this time, I decided to substitute the peanut~butter into the batch in place of the initial butter into the sponge. The sponge is a slurry~like mixture that you start with. First, you pour a quart of hot water over a stick of butter. Then you mix in about two tablespoons of salt and a fourth of a cup of sugar. And three cups of flour. This is a thicker liquid. This is the base of the sponge.

In the meantime, you mix a smaller quantity of warm water and two tablespoons of yeast together in a glass dish. After you've prepared the slurry above, you should be able to see whether the yeast has indeed been active. You should see lil bubbles forming on the surface of the yeasted water. Also, there is a smell that is very particular to activated yeast. If this is the case, that is your "proof". If not, then you merely need to proof another small bowl of yeast in water rather than throw out the entire sponge you'd have made.

If indeed you've good proof, you add that to the slurry and that is your sponge! Take your time, don't rush anything. Do this by feel. Good bread does not result when you are feeling pressured and harried. Even if you are not too sure of things, don't worry, bread forgives lil differences by still being BREAD.

Once you've added the yeast into the butter/water/salt/sugar mix {the proof has been added to the sponge}, then you add about five pounds flour. If you do this cup by cup, and mix, you will notice the texture changes from a slurry, to a batter, to a dough. Eventually, the dough will be a bit drier than wetter, and when you see that it will hold its form rather than spread formlessly, dump it out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Let it rest.

You've been working it pretty hard. It's exhausted. You need to let it rest.

While its resting, wash out your bowl. Dry it thoroughly. Then coat it thickly with butter or shortening. After a short time kneading the dough, just so that you can make sure all the flour and yeast are spread evenly throughout the dough; place the dough in the bowl, and set in a warm spot, cover it with a clean towel. And let it do its thing.

It should rise to about half again its orginal mass. Punch it down, flip the ball of dough in the bowl so that the bottom of the dough is now the top, and cover it again. Let it rise, then dump it out on a lightly floured surface.

Knead it to let the gas escape, while reactivating the yeast. Cut it into loaves, and then knead and shape each individual loaf. Place the loaf of dough into a pan that has been greased. Cover and let it rise for a final time.

Then let it bake at 350~ish. It will rise for a certain extent until the heat of the oven kills the yeast. So be sure to leave some amount above the pan so that there is enough room for the dough to expand. After awhile, check it. If it seems done, firm to the touch, nicely browned; take it out and flip if from the pan. Knock the bottom. If the bread remains firm with a nice hollow sound, then let it cool. If not, then place the loaf back in the oven {you can set the bread directly on the rack}.

I know I skipped lots of detail. But that's basically it! Nice, warm yummy bread!

Oh, wait...I forgot that I was actually telling you about today before I segued into details about bread baking in general! Sillee mee.

Ok, so I used the peanut butter instead of the butter in the sponge. Right from the start all that peanut buttery goodness was distributed and incorporated into the dough and was there thru all the risings and just got better and better. sigh.

I just finished bagging up 18 loaves. Yea!! Tomorrow, I will drop some off for my counselor and thru her, the fellow at her church that helped me last year with some financial difficulties when my car repairs were more than my month's income. I call him Mr. Anonymous, and I continue to appreciate his assistance last year cuz it made a difference to me then, and to me now. He helps many folks in that way, and it boggles my mind that folks accept the help but don't extend a thank~you in return. I know that because last year, I took a plate of cookies to my counselor and gave it to her with a thank~you card for Mr Anonymous because I figured that she knew to ask him, so she'd be able to pass on the gift. Mr Anonymous said that I was the only person to ever thank him in all the years he's been doing that! So this year, I remember how much that made me want to thank him again.

So if you too want some peanut butter bread, just let me know! *wink*

{Kathy, thank you for the wedding gift. Jerry was so excited yesterday that when I walked in the door after my bookgroup, he was all "look what Kathy sent, look what Kathy sent" about the box. So I opened the box and took out the gift still wrapped and let him open that. And we both wanted to thank you very much!}

12 December 2009

yearning for yarn

i love yarn. i don't have the luxury or the wherewithal or the budget to be a yarn~snob so there are many types of yarns i've not even actually seen/felt, let alone tried. it's insane how much a small hank of some yarns can cost!

walmart had been a good source of yarns. there was a nice selection available, from bulky to baby~fine, in amazing color combinations, all sorts of brands, and such. not so the case anymore. sigh.

yes, there are alternatives. they are fewer and fewer, it seems. hobby lobby carries quite a variety, but they are very Very VERY proud of their skeins and tend to charge way more than i'd be willing to pay on a regular basis. i've bought from others who are de~stashing, and that's always hit or miss. besides, i like to see and feel the yarn before i go plunking down coinage. ya know?

since yarn can be made from a hugely diverse amount of materials, you'd think it'd be more readily available. i recently was reading that many renewable vegetative sources have been used. i knew animal fur and hair was fairly tapped out, i mean, you can save your cat fur or your dog hair from grooming and have it spun into yarn that you can then work into garments. even silk worms do their part in the yarny demand. oh! but plant fibers!

sure, we know about cotton and hemp. but did you know that corn and banana leaves are fibrous and used in yarns either blended or solo? even the sea does its bit, sea silk is a lovely soft yarn using the cellulose from kelp {sea~weed}. bamboo is renewable and used in yarns. soy, too.

and there are many yarns made from recycled products. i've used caron's simply soft, which contains a small amount of recycled plastic. we certainly have all sorts of recycled fibers to be considered!

so all that got me thinking...kudzu. we have PLENTY of kudzu. kudzu produces a strong fiber, as it ages. however, the young tender shoots of kudzu would yield a soft silky~smooth fiber that i can only imagine letting run thru my fingers.

wow, whatta win~win that would be!

09 December 2009

tids and bits

Last night, my Jerry and I went to his mother's assisted living home for their Christmas party. There are just under thirty residents and a nice staff that truly cares for them. In addition, there were many friends and family that joined in the celebration. All told, there were two rather large sized rooms filled with folks for the dinner, and afterward, there were four gentlemen from First Baptist who performed vocal treats for us all, including a request from a small child for Rudolf. We all joined in on a few tunes, and it was great fun. My ass was sore from the metal chair by the end of the evening and I noticed that quite a few residents retired to their rooms after dinner, but there was still a packed room of about fifty for the vocalists.

When my Jerry and I got home, we were more than ready to get settled in. And we watched "So ya think ya can dance", a show that I had been watching on a regular basis tho I missed last season and this one to last week. Next week is the finale and tonight we get to see who makes this week's cut and is going on to compete next week.

Today it got up to the low sixties but tonight it's supposed to get down to the low twenties. So all ya'll bundle up, get snuggly with your honey, and have a good night!

08 December 2009

you got questions? i got answers. {the two may be unrelated}


dudes! well here's a few answers to a few questions that folks have been asking...in no particular order.

i've not yet gotten my thank~you notes out and yes, the wedding was about six weeks back so i have no excuse other than my big fat lazy ass hasn't sat down long enough to actually write them and assemble them and post them. that's my plan for the rest of the week. maybe. sigh.

cheater~cookies...i made the name up. i just said, "these are what i call cheater~cookies" cuz they're not made from scratch like so many of the other things i do. use the sixteen ounce {small} container of sour cream per box of dry cake mix. the batter will be moist, do smaller {teaspoon drop} cookies, set at a lower than usual temp {maybe 300~ish} for a longer period {15+ minutes}. the reason is cuz you want the cookie to dry out, without burning the bottom. no greased/floured sheets. trust me on this. do one sheet, then tinker with the temp/size of cookie/time til you find what works for you. and then write it down so you can refer to it later when you decide to do them again. by the way, my mom calls these Big Fat Cookies {cuz when i was a lil kid i used to bake something similar, we cannot find the original recipe for those tho, so that's part of the reason i go with "cheater~cookies" as a name. works for me!}.

and yes, i did bake some for the folks on the coast while i was there. we were thru with one ceremony, but had time before we were going to leave for dinner, so i baked an incredibly rich batch of chocolate chip cookies. cuz i'm the devil and we all know there is a special place in hell reserved for my "eat these calorie~ladened cookies, NOW" sillee self. *winks*

and yes, later that night, i baked a batch of bread. even scaling back on the batch, i still ended up with six rolls, five loaves, and two smaller baby loaves meant for one person's consumption. this batch was not a crusty bread but instead more on the soft, tender side of Parker Rolls {traditional yeast rolls that most folks in the south eat with their sunday dinners}.

and 54.

i think that answers most of the questions that have come my way recently.

06 December 2009

ch~ch~ch~ch~chilllllleeeeee



Chilly Willy has made numerous appearances in my journal and yet here he is again...cuz we just got back from the coast to a home of 40 degrees. eeeek!


we went to the coast because my jerry's youngest son's wife was graduating with her bachelor's. she's already a nurse, but having this new degree means that her pay~grade goes up and she is ready to continue with her next level next year.

WAY TO GO, JENN!!

01 December 2009

~hiatus~ {or not}

It's occurred to me that it's been awhile since my last post, and in the meantime, we've had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a few other things have been going on. Like, my Jerry got all his christmas presents wrapped. He was done with the shopping months ago, well all but one or two things. And my surgery on Monday went well.

So I thought I oughta let folks know that I may be scarce these next few weeks. I can't really to an entire entry at this point covering all sortsa stuffs, and that's what brought to mind that I wanna let folks know that if I don't post for awhile, I'm alright.

The surgery took more outta me than I realized {literally}.

We are planning to go away this coming weekend and I'm thinking that when I get back, I may be a lil more tired than usual.

Gee, even this post is taking me much longer than usual.

So the long and short of it is...I'm alright, not to worry; but may not be posting overly much for awhile.

Or I may be posting just fine as per usual.

Either way, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy last month of the year!!! We're wrapping up fall, heading into winter and soon christmas dinners and trips and specials will be upon us and then the new year starting and then the winter blahs will settle in for lots of folks and so on and so forth.

Time's taffy.

26 November 2009

**tah~DAHH**


The bread was more than five loaves. It was also six hot~cross buns and four smaller individual loaves, to be shared with a couple {similar to those you receive at really good restaurants}. And of course, I always do small doggy~bites cuz Bread! is shaddow's Favorite! and I know the other dogs love anything any of the others are enjoying.








And also, here is a fraction of the cookies that have come out of our kitchen in the last few days. This is about fifteen dozen, I think. It's hard telling at this point. I'm gonna head off to bed now, cuz I've not had any sleep for the last forty~five hours or so.





And we all know that I NEED my beauty~sleep.



*wink*

25 November 2009

baking bread MeMommaMia's way, by feel, a dash of this, a pinch of that...and lots of love


Well, a slight change of plans for the day resulted in my delivering the cookies to various folks and wishing them a very happy Thanksgiving. Then, I came back home, changed into comfy jammie~duds, and got busy baking More! Cookies! Yea!! My dear friend came over to visit us while my Jerry got his bird {everyone knows, it's the word!} ready for the roaster and I baked some delicious lemony soft moist cookies with peanut butter morsels and milk chocolate ones too. So good, it'll make your mouth happy! After she left for the evening {she'll be joining us tomorrow for dinner}, I baked a double batch of carrot~spice with butterscotch. Yummmmmm!

Then I took a brief break and eyed my bread bowl, and my bread board, and my proofing bowl, and decided that even tho it's later in the evening than I'd usually get started, mmmmmmmmmm bread! So, right now, the dough has rested the first leg and is now rrrrrrrriiiiiIIIISSSSIIINNGG. Then I'll punch it down and knead it a bit and tuck it back in to its warm bed and let it rise again. And so goes the process of bread, wonderful baking of bread!

Tomorrow, I'll serve fresh loaves with our turkey, gravy, dressing, and cranberry~jelly. We'll have cookies for desserting thru the afternoon. And everyone will take plenty of left~overs home! The bird is 23 pounds. And there will be five loaves of bread. And there are about fifteen dozen cookies.

I'm really looking forward to making merry with family and friends! Hope you have a very sweet Thanksgiving too!

next up...


Early in the morning, I hope to get started with a batch of bread.

While it's rising, I'll go deliver the cookies. That way there aren't so many here that I end up looking like the girl over there <-------.

{whistling}

Hope ya have a great Thanksgiving!

24 November 2009

and yet more cookies



I'm almost done baking this batch of cheater~cookies.


These are the Cran~Orange with Raisins.


Yum!


*winks*

more cookies!


I made some cheater~cookies this evening and already they are gone.

Ok, lemme tell ya what cheater~cookies are. Some folks call them big fat cookies. They are very very simple to make. Ya take a box of dry cake mix, any kind. And then ya mix in a container of sour cream. It'll be super moist. And then, ya mix in an add~on. And POOF~~cheater~cookies!

Now what's an add~on, ya say. Gee, I'm glad ya asked. Well, an add~on is any thing you want. It could be chocolate chips, or nuts, or coconut, or raisins, or ... well, you get the idea.

And you say, how is it possible that all the cheater~cookies you just made within the last few hours are gone? Cuz I've already arranged plates to give to friends and some other folks who I hope have an awesome Thanksgiving!

And an extra special plate goes to my general practitioner. She's been my very favorite doctore, ever!! Every year, I take cookies into her office for the very friendly, efficient staff. Last year, I took her pina~colada cookies that she still raves about. The last time I saw her, two weeks ago, she asked if I would make her some more, just for her, that she wouldn't have to share with her staff.

So, tomorrow, I'm gonna deliver her some Tropical Cookies. I started with Pineapple cake mix, added in some sweetened coconut, and then a couple banana cream pudding mixes. She's gonna love them!

Now, I'm off to do some Cran~Orange with Raisins and a Secret Ingredient {mmm}. toodles

23 November 2009

coooooooooookeeeeeeeeez


Well, we haven't all the pix from the wedding events, but here's one that my brother took.

For Thanksgiving, which is usually the biggest holiday in my family, we have several traditions. We usually do up a bird, and then choose to do something else for Christmas. Another tradition my mom and I have is that we bake. We do all our cookies, pies, cakes, breads, and sticky~buns for the entire season Thanksgiving Weekend.

This Thanksgiving, my Jerry and I are staying here since it's not really a good time to be traveling for us. We're going to spend some time which he has off over the Christmas break out in Arkansas. So we thought we'd stay here this holiday. That way too, I can schedule my out~patient procedure for Monday morning, a week from today. Yea, me!

So last week, I went to WalMart and I bought about a hundred pounds' worth of turkeys. Four turkeys {two at sixty cents per pound and two at forty cents per pound, limit two, doncha know}, each between twenty and twenty~five pounds, and then too, we have one~pound tubes of ground turkey stocked up in the freezer. Saturday, Jerry took one of the turkeys out of the deep freeze and stuck it in the fridge. Wednesday night, he'll put it in the roaster and begin the slow process of cooking it. So then on Thanksgiving, we and a few others will sit down to eat around noon. Jerry's making his cornbread up now, so that come Wednesday, it will be ready to mix up for stuffing the bird!

Since I am not going to be with my mom for this first stage of cookie~baking {altho we will bake some closer to Christmas when in Arkansas}, and since a friend of mine and I have been trying to get together for ever, we decided yesterday to combine the visit and the cookie~baking. So we did. And boy, didn't we bake lots tho?

We did a double batch of each of three types: soft sugar cookies, oatmeal peanut butter cookies, and soft chocolate chip cookies. That's about four hundred and twenty~five cookies. My friend took some home with her, and Jerry's son and his wife took some home with them, and then I packed the rest in bags and tubs. I sent quite a few with Jerry to work today, and POOF! they were gone by noon.

The soft sugar cookies are so buttery smooth, mixed with the lovely crispitty crunchiness of granulated sugar, well, they are the ones that are most likely to disappear first. Plus we had some sugar lay~ons remaining from the 138 autumn orange, reds, yellows, and brown maple leaves that we'd used for our wedding cakes, so my friend affixed those to the center of the sugar cookies and they are so pretty, it almost made me hesitate to eat them.

Almost.

The oatmeal peanut butter cookies are so scrumptious, but very crumbly. My friend pointed out that sprinkled over vanilla ice~cream, they'd be extra yummy. And I'm sure she's right. In fact, I was thinking that I'd have me a big ole bowl for a treat. There goes any intention to lose the fifteen pounds I gained within the last two months prior to the wedding.

Oh! And we also added raisins to a portion of the oatmeal peanut butter cookies and that, omg, there is nothing healthy about these sinfully divine delights. Promise. *wink*

The Soft. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies. sigh. Well, these cookies call for pudding mix. I used three packages of chocolate, and one of cheesecake. They are so good, they make ya wanna moan and groan and make all sorts of faces of pleasure. The dough is chocolatey, the four cups of chocolate chips make each bite a lovely mix of smooth and crisp texture. It's so fine, you'll wanna bake extras.

Well, my next venture with cookies from scratch {as all these were} will involve my trying to make some with sweetner, versus sugar, since my Jerry is not really able to digest sugar without dire consequences like passing out &/or vomiting. He deserves some treats too!

I have the cheater~cookie fixings {dry cake mix and sour cream} and also have the stuff for a batch of bread. A batch usually yields three to five good sized loaves. I haven't made bread since this time last year, and now I have all my bread board, bowl, and other bread~things here. So, I'll be a busy lil bee for the next few days!

Hope your Thanksgiving week/ends are all good! Travel safely, eat lots, sleep lots, and enjoy yourself! *toodles*

20 November 2009

Sana~tizing with Santa


Don't pay attention to the date~stamp on the pic, it's not right. However, this was the pic taken by the folks at Starkville Daily News a few years ago, on my Jerry's annual seasonal Santa ride. His late wife had bought him the bike four years ago, on what would be their last anniversary and that fall, he also won the Oscar Meyer Wiener contest {"what would you do with the wiener~mobile for a day?" my jerry's answer: load it up with toys and gifts for the kids at the neighboring Palmer Home, dress as Santa and distribute the toys, give the kids rides in the Mobile, and basically give them a really nice Christmas}. His late wife's birthday is December 23 and Christmas was her favorite time of year, so to honor her, Jerry rides the last gift she'd given him as Santa either on the 23rd and/or the Saturday just before Christmas.

Yesterday, I was at the Emerson Center for Families {which had been a school at one time not so long ago, and now the building is used for community~based activities, workshops, classes, and seminars; 2/3rds of the building is secure for early~start, head~start, Project TAB, and other early childhood educational oriented programs}, using the elison dyes, the rubber~stamps, and such for making book~marks out of old card catalog index cards and also using them for small thank~you notes for the Wedding/Party. As I used to facilitate support groups there and also have assisted with various classes there, I am somewhat familiar with who is who and what the set~up is. The director knows that I can be fairly quiet, so I remained while they had a luncheon for their planning advisory board.

The key phrase to that would be: can be fairly quiet. Cuz while I was listening with half an ear, my attention scattered to the four winds, I had actually just had the thought that being there was sorta like listening to talk~radio on NPR/MPB. And then, all my attention snapped! into one concentrated place, the director speaking only three feet from me. She'd just asked, "does anyone know a Santa?" I waited, and then said, "can you give me the details on that last thing? cuz I do know a Santa"

So here's the details:

The Emerson Center is co~sponsoring the WEE READ program for pre~schoolers {this would also include kindergarten} along with Starkville Reads, the Public Library and the County Schools. From December first thru the sixteenth, you keep track of all the books your child reads {write down the titles and authors}. Then, on Thursday 17 December, at 5:30pm come to the Emerson School Cafeteria in the upper end of the building and participate in a Family Fun night of celebrating childhood reading. There will be activities, including face~painting {my friends Adria Ware and Kim Green have since signed on as the face~painters}, storytelling, and pictures with Santa.

My Jerry will be their Santa! From 5:30 to 7:30p Thursday 17 December, at the Emerson School Cafeteria. If you have small readers in your family, come down and join in the fun!

So the director and the board were all very happy to have that taken care of, cuz they didn't yet have someone and the other options that they looked into would not have been suitable since the santa's charged between one hundred and one twenty~five, per hour! The director kept saying that god truly does amazing things. She went from not having any one to help to having an entire crew of positions staffed by folks not even serving on the board. Pretty cool, huh?

And as I was driving later that afternoon, I heard on NPR that there is a push among the thousands of Santas this year to promote hand~sanitizing amongst the kids in the photo~lines. This is in efforts to prevent the spread of germs which cause colds, flu {including swine flu}, and other contagious/infectious illnesses. I think this is an excellent idea!

So I popped off eMail asking if the director would be willing to provide sanitizer so that the elves and other assistants could make the sanitizing process part of the Santa photo experience. I'm thinking it'll be cool to sing a song to help kids know how long to spread the gel on their hands. I know that usually the most often sited song is two rounds of Happy Birthday, but I'm sure we can fit on of the classics of the season to the time recommendation.

{humming Frosty the Snowman...my Jerry's mother just sent a sketch of a snowflake earlier with the label that it was Frosty's baby picture!!}

18 November 2009

burrr-day greetings, party in my pants!


Well Monday was my birthday, and since we celebrated on Saturday, I didn't really expect much...but boy was I mistaken!

First off, I visited the gyn, which was a real treat and I think everyone should get to experience the joy of a uterine biopsy even if they have no uterus! I've had biopsies before on various parts of my body over the years, doctor's always seem to be more excited than I am about that lump or bump...I'm just a lumpy~bumpy person and always have been. However, I must say that the uterine biopsy takes the cake when it comes to intense awkward "just a lil pinch now" pain. I'm moderate to heavily tattoo'd {depends on your perspective} and am fairly accostomed to lil pinches, so this lil pinch rated right up there almost into the BIG pinch range. However in the overall scheme of things, it really was a lil thing.

But oh so much fun!!

And of course, getting felt up by a new doctor always ranks right up there on my funometer. But, oh wait, but the vaginal sonogram was the best! If you have never had a chance to experience one of these, rush right to your nearest gyn and ask for one! Even if you have no reason to require one, ask for one anyway! You'll be oh so glad you did!

Then, I met with my Jerry for lunch and then we filled out my life insurance application which is the greatest thing ever to do on your birthday! There is nothing quite like deciding do you want this coverage or that, and when they say this do they mean that deciphering abilities. It's the best ever!

Then I did a myriad of errands, including discontinuing a few utilities at my old place on the farm. The lady at the power company insisted that I didn't have an account. She seemed to never have encountered anyone who has gotten married and so their name in no longer the same. I wish that the usual woman was there, but she wasn't. Perhaps I should have waited...

And then! Then I met with my bookclub on campus at Barnes and Noble. And then, I came home to my Jerry.

Now I've used some heavy sarcasm earlier, but this is in total seriousness...I love, Love, LOVE black licorice. I have since I was a child. And Jerry knows this and bought me not just the Twizzler type...but there is this awesome Aussie Style which is softer and so strong, it is yummy! Made primarily with molasses, it made me moan and groan and sigh and engage in all sorts of facial contortions that Jerry snickered, chortled, and guffawed at my display of enjoyment.

He also gave me THE perfect birthday card with lots of inside jokes and cute lil drawings and big love. It was a perfect birthday, that lasted from last month when my mom took me for an endless shrimp dinner at Red Lobster to this week's black licorice still in the fridge. Thanks, guyses!

14 November 2009

oh yeah, it's my birthday, oh yeah

My Jerry had decided earlier in the week to celebrate my birthday today.

My b~day is Monday, but that evening, I meet with my book~club {Between the Pages} on campus at the Barnes and Noble {*plug*plug*} at 5:30p to discuss "The Secret Life of Bees". If you'd like to join us, you are more than welcome!

And I was born on a Monday, which was a good thing because Tuesday's child is full of grace and we all know...that ain't me.

Not that I'm all that fair of face, either. Wouldn't stop a train, but wouldn't launch a thousand ships either.

Aaaany way, so my Jerry had asked me to pick a place for lunch and pick a movie to see for a matinee.

I was having problems making decisions, which is what happens when I get burnt~out. And he thoughtfully sent me the link for the local movie~house. I picked the Season's Greedings above, a 3~D retelling of "A Christmas Carol". It was OUTSTANDING!! Except ya know, after that long with some of the aerial shots swinging to and fro, I started to feel a bit queasy. And Jerry loved it too, but after that long with the glasses {"do NOT use these as sunglasses, ONLY wear in theater"}, he started getting a headache. What can I say? We're old.

snicker

In an attempt to be helpful with narrowing options to make any decision making process easier, my Jerry told me Friday that he thought Applebee's, Bulldog Deli, or Mi Hacienda would be good choices. I agreed that any of them would be fine and told him Applebee's. But last night, I had this weird~ass dream that involved thick hanging ropes that swing out into swim~holes, kids in sun~suits, and we were all decked out in our fifties outfits and automobiles. That'd be the 1950's. I think it was a combination of the book I just read {set in '64, with flashbacks to the early 50s}, the interview I'd heard the other day on NPR {membrances of the 30s and 70s}, and the end of summer days {temps in the 70s}. It's odd how the mind works. Well, mine anyway.

So this morning, when I woke up, I got dressed and went to seek out my Jerry {he was in the addition, swapping out light switches, outlets, and face~plates}, crowing, "change of plans! finish that and grab yer boots, we goin fer a drah~ive" yeah, i don't know where that heavy drawl comes from either, but it surfaces every now and then and extra syllables start inserting themselves into every other word, while other words drop their endings.

I drove him down to Lake Tiak O'khata, which is a family~owned resort straight outta "Dirty Dancing". I swear we drove past Baby and the crew taking line~dancing lessons. I love this place. I absolutely love it. In fact, I don't think I've ever spoken with anyone who's been there that doesn't adore it beyond belief.

We had chicken, hamburg steaks, cabbage, fried green tomatoes, salad, tea, coffee, caramel pie and sat out on the veranda. For the most part, we had the open porch to ourselves, so we read to each other and talked and just enjoyed being there. It was perfect for a special birthday!

Afterwards, we drove back up to Starkville and picked up a few treats for the movies {black licorice for me, corn nuts for him}. Then we sat in the theater, reading until the movie started. And it was great. I know we just had Halloween. I know we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. But go see the movie. With or without the kids. You'll enjoy it. Check it!

09 November 2009

euw's ooze...krappee kruddZ


Over the weekend, Jerry moved most all my stuff from the farm to his place {"our" place, he insists...it's gonna take me awhile, but i'll get used to thinking and saying that too}. So now there are boxes, bags, tubs, and stacks of books everywhere. Definitely have my work cut out for me!!

Yesterday afternoon, my allergies kicked into high gear. Some of it is probably all the dust and stuff that got stirred up when all my stuff was brought in. Some of it is due to the season, the crumbling decaying falling leaves. Some is most likely due to the fact that I'm feeling some worn down from all the high activity of the last few months.

Jerry was feeling sorta snotty too, and he made pot after pot of piping hot tea for us to drink. He seems to feel all better today, while I feel worse for wear. He went back to work, after having been off for about ten days. It was a day of catch~up, made some hectic by the regular Monday workload, and some more so by the fact that the semester is in the home stretch and many students are working on many things, so they are using the library even more than it usually is; all of which means today was a nasty day at the office.

I'd already had an appt with my GP scheduled for today, so I just took my snottiness to the doc and she assured me that it wasn't an infection yet, but stay on it cuz things mutate quickly in my system and what starts out as a few hay~fever sneezes in the morning progresses to chest~congestion, sore~throat, and other lovely aches and pains by the afternoon and ending the evening with me huddled in my chair with heating pads, mentholated rub, tissues, tea, and afghans. yuck.

So I thought I'd check my eMail before heading off to bed, and my childhood friend who came down from Ohio for my wedding had sent some pix! They were the first ones I've seen from our wedding, so I was really touched! There is even a shot of Jerry's youngest grandchild toddling across the floor, dancing with Jerry.

Because I've only recently started to use this eMail service {copper.net}, I'm not used to all the doo~dads just yet and I haven't figured out how to save pix that are sent to me on my computer. And I'm sure that not thinking very clearly is contributing to my slowness.

So perhaps tomorrow will be a better day for us both! And I might even get around to posting a few pix. Maybe.

06 November 2009

last week

last week, there were all sorts of folks around and about in preparation for the wedding and all the festivities that went with it. in the evenings, the front porch was a bit crowded with folks visiting, laughing and chatting. awhile back, my jerry and i had bought a fire~pit/brazier. we were planning to set it up out under the trees and had set some swings and benches and chairs up in anticipation. and then, several days of hard rains hit, and the front yard became a lake. so we decided to fire up the brazier on the front porch. turned out to be a very good idear.

a few weeks ago, one of jerry's daughters returned a box fan to us and i haven't yet taken it apart and cleaned it so i left it setting on the front porch. due to the nature of a brazier and the fact that the porch's roof is not all that high, we'd set the box fan up in a strategic place and sucked all the smoke that could have accumulated away from the front porch's occupants and made a very cozy atmosphere indeed. that brazier is most likely some of the best money we've spent!!

one of jerry's sons is an artist and he got to carving on one of the pumpkins we'd used to prop open the interior double doors of the building that our reception was in. i meant to take pix of him working on it, but didn't. so tonight, i light the pumpkin spice candles in it, and remembered to get it on film!

i wanted to show some of the detail that goes into something like this! i didn't capture it exactly, but i think you can figure it out. thanks, dude!

05 November 2009

alan stuart

there is way Way WAY too much to include in just one entry, so i'm not even gonna try to squeeze it all here, now. the wedding was lovely, over way too fast, and before ya know it, all our guests were packed up and we saw them off. in a funny turn of events, we decided to head to natchez for the brief honeymoon.

see, my jerry wants to do a cruise. and so i asked if we could do it next year, on our first anniversary. so many folks i know are exhausted after their wedding, and are too tired to really enjoy an action~packed honeymoon with activities and events scheduled. they are bound and determined to get their money's worth, but are so exhausted so they don't get as much fun out of it as they thought. so i thought, let's put it off for a year, and that way, we can save up and do it up right.

so we decided to spend a few days away from the house, somewhere quiet and slow~paced and just mosey on by. sleep, nap, read, eat, rest, veg~out. ya know, be still and recuperate from the planning and then the wedding guests and all that.

great idea, and so we decide to go to grand isle, lousianna. we made reservations, and since it was off~season, we got great rates. then, on friday, we get this call that went sorta like this: man: uhm, yeah, so the army corps of engineers are digging up a trench in the beach and my wife said that i should call you cuz it's not appropriate for newlyweds to not have access to the beach. you could actually picture his wife brow~beating him into making the call. it was so obviously against his will, and yet you could see him just cringing away. it was funny, and he seemed soooOOOooo relieved when we were all like, "yeah well, ok, thanks, see ya some other time" without throwing a shit~fit.

instead, we decided to check out natchez, since neither of us were that familiar with the town and wanted to do something that would be special for us together as a couple and also fun for each of us as individuals. so instead of leaving on sunday, after saturday's wedding; we stayed and saw all of our guests off on sunday, and left out on monday. we ran some errands on monday first, including getting my new driver's license, and my military id, and a few other things along those lines.

then we hopped on the Natchez Trace, and headed down the road. yea!! that first night, since it was dark when we got to natchez, we stayed at a motel. then tuesday, we drove around town and the surrounding area. we decided to stay in a bed and breakfast for the rest of our honeymoon and we had a great time! we definitely want to head that way again, for sure!!


now about the title, Alan Stuart...

among the places we wandered into, there was a store that had a little of everything, and most of it was priced thru the roof. fortunately, i'm not the kinda gal that sees something and goes, oh gee hon, i simply must have it to add to my pile of stuffs. in fact, my jerry can now recite the following along with me when i point something out and say, "oh that's neat...BUT I DON'T WANT IT"

having said all that, while we were poking around in the store, we came across a lil bag, like this one in size, and style...but with the maroon color and the MSU logo {as pictured above on the wallet}. it was on clearance for five bucks. i'm not a purse kinda gal, but it was the perfect size for a small notebook and a lil mass~paperback; and since i'm always reading and writing, this was just the thing.

apparently these alan stuart handbags are all the rage on the internetZ and not only did i get quite the steal, but it's just the right size, and made of durable material {a pvc~like substance that is easy to clean}. i finally get the whole, "omg, i found this great bag" thing.

24 October 2009

look who came to visit!




spooky~fun!

jerry's daughter and her family carved this cool dude free~hand, using no pattern. they had a blast, and so did we just looking at him! very cool, very creative, very fun.

23 October 2009

a quick recap...

so mom came to visit this past monday and help me get some more preparations for the wedding completed. she's finished six corsages, seven boutonnieres, nine centerpieces, one small broom, two large cinnamon brooms, my bouquet, and forty bows. we plan to also do four more centerpieces, three more large brooms, and four more small ones tomorrow. then my brother and father are coming over from arkansas on sunday and will be on hand to help out too.

this past monday, i also went to the first discussion of Between the Pages book club. we had read "guernsey literary and potato peel pie society" for this month. next month, we'll read "the secret lives of bees", which i found last month on bookmooch.com. yea! yea for me! then in december, we will read john grisham's "skipping christmas". i think we've decided on something for january, but i cannot remember off hand which title it is.






tuesday evening, mom and i began to assemble the centerpieces, and jerry spent some time with his grandkids. he read some stories to them, including "it happened on mulberry street"; we could tell by the gleeful recitation of the key line! they had great fun.








wednesday morning, jerry's mom came back home from the hospital. she was really wanting to be back in familiar surroundings and the doc felt that it would be better for her to not be in the hospital any longer. she is doing so much better now, and altho she still requires lots of rest and should not be taxed by things beyond her control, she continues to improve every day. i'm glad of that, esp since she gave us all a scare!

also wednesday morning, one of jerry's best friends from childhood came to visit for a couple days. he is officiating at our wedding, and it was great fun to take him around and show him the lake and the farm and the town and all. he grew up here, but hasn't had any reason to spend much time in the area for awhile. so he was amazed at all the changes! that evening, we fired up the brazier and spent a few hours sitting around it, chatting and laughing and catching up. it was a great night, relaxing.

thursday, he took my mom and i out for lunch at a local mexican restaurant that has a buffet. i tried my first churros and they are just as good as i've heard they would be. he plans to come up again in the next week, for the wedding.

today, mom and i went to tupelo. on our list of things to do was stopping at hobby lobby for more of the fixings for the centerpieces and such. then we went for a wonderful lunch at red lobster {mom surprised me with a birthday lunch, since she won't be here on my birthday next month}. then i had my hair cut. it's now a bit of a chin~length bob, very cute and yet long enough to allow me to be appropriate for the wedding.

so, things are rolling right along, very nicely! this coming tuesday, jerry's other best friend from childhood {who is his best man} will be coming in from wisconsin with his wife. wednesday afternoon, jerry's daughter flies in from portland. i think his son and his wife are coming up from the coast either monday or tuesday. and the preacher will be coming in thursday or friday.

all set for saturday's wedding!!

16 October 2009

cool cloudy day, nappage!

my jerry's mama is doing lots better, and then not so good, and then some better and then not too good. she moved from icu to a private room yesterday and seemed so much better when i'd stopped to see her in the afternoon than in the morning, that i felt much better about her prognosis. she needs lots of rest, at this point. so when we were visiting yesterday afternoon, i kept my voice low and any news positive and we just chit~chatted for awhile. it was nice!

my own sleep patterns were messed up, so today i spent much of the day, snuggled with a good book, reading and napping. the lil doggies were huddled up against my upper thighs, butt, and lower back. pearl was under the covers and shaking and shivering as she does when she is deeply terrified of storms. harley was above the covers with his nose so far up his butt, he resembled a warped view of the snake eating his own tail, ya know, only his butt was eating his head {snicker~~poor dude, i pick on him soOOoo much; gotta love the lil horn~dog}.

i didn't venture out of my jammies, let alone get in the car and drive in to visit jerry's mama, today. he did, and had said that she is hurting some, and needs more sleep. so maybe tomorrow, after our running around and moving things {he's borrowing his boss's truck}, but before we head out for dinner; we'll stop and see her for a bit. i don't want to visit too much, cuz she needs her rest, but i know that she likes company too. so it'll be a fine balance.

k, off to get all cozy in my chair with crochet and the tv remote...winks

15 October 2009

warm wishes for happy healing


my jerry's mom moved to an assisted living home last year. she likes it and i'm glad to know that. since she is just down the road, jerry can stop to see her a couple times a week on his way home from work. sometimes i pop in, sometimes not. usually i do, but when my folks and i were busy cleaning/painting/flooring, i didn't~i'd just send messages with jerry.

sometimes i take her to doctor's appointments and such. she's not been feeling wonderfully well for quite some time. there isn't any one thing majorly wrong with her health, it's a bunch of things that affect her in various ways. so some days she's feeling fine and can enjoy movies, telephoning her friends, visiting with other residents while they do crafts, and even getting her hair/nails done on site {there is a beautician's shop in the home, that's way cool}.

other times, she's not feeling so great. then she usually stays in her room, only venturing down the hall for meals. when she's not feeling good, it's hard for her to get comfortable and so once she is situated just right, she's reluctant to leave her comfy reclining chair.

last winter, she had pnuemonia. it never quite went away. several times this year, she's had to take a course of antibiotics, because the doctors felt that her lungs needed it. sometimes she has a hard time catching her breath, and sometimes will cough lots in an effort to breathe easier. she's been examined and treated several times and things get better but not completely so.

last night, she ran a high fever and went to the hospital. earlier today, she was admitted. her fever had broken, but they felt that the pnuemonia was settled in her left lung and they wanted to see if they can rid her of it. finally. so she's in the ICU now, and feeling sorta rough.

jerry's sister kept him updated thru~out the day and after he was able to leave work and all, he stopped by to see her for a bit. since the ICU has strict visiting times and rules, because the primary point is so that the patient can rest and not be disturbed, he was only able to spend a short amount of time with her. but he said that he felt reassured that she is receiving good care and that she is doing as well as can be expected, with a good prognosis for the next few days.

so we're hoping that before the week is out, she'll be back in her room at the home, and feeling tons better and able to enjoy her activities again. and for when she does get to read this: hugs and kisses, sweet carolyn!!

wedding update, day sixteen


and then my mind flipped and i lost my shit.

actually i haven't. that's just what this lil pic reminds me of. doesn't it say that to you?

a couple weeks ago, after my mom and brother left, jerry and i looked at what we'd done, what we'd to do, and make some decisions about what we would get done before the wedding as far as the house stuff goes. that really eased up some of my own stress cuz i decided not to do everything and to accept that i can do some stuff and certainly not all of it. so that helped with the de~stressing lots and lots.

next week, my folks arrive in the area from arkansas. they will be on hand to do all those last minute things that we want to do. and since they are coming in ten days or so prior to, that means that nothing will be ultra~rushed. at least, that's the theory.

the following week, jerry's best man {bill, and bill's wife deanna} will arrive from wisconsin. they'll stay with us and so this weekend, jerry and i are planning to move over my bed, bookshelves, and vanity {so that we can put the room together for them to use}. a day after that, jerry's daughter is flying in from oregon. she's been a HUGE help to us all year and i can't wait to see her again! she'll also be staying with us. and jerry's youngest son and his wife are coming up from mobile and staying with us. and the minister is staying with us too. that's a pretty full house!

so since jerry and i have basically done all we can do regarding the preparation plans and all for the wedding, we have been lots more calm about things in general. tomorrow i pick up jerry's suit's pants, newly altered and hemmed. my own dress goes in for pressing the week of. next week, we'll order the sugar lay~ons for the cake {his youngest is making our cake, and since we're going with a harvest/autumnal theme, our lay~ons are three different leaves in different colors}. the following week, we'll order the live/real flowers {roses in reds, oranges, and yellow...my jerry'd won a gift certificate from proflowers.com}. then several days before, we'll prepare/grill the chicken and hamburgers. the day before, i'll slice the tomatoes and onions, and prepare the lettuce and such for the hamburgers. hopefully, we can get into the building several days beforehand to decorate and assemble things {like the toast flutes, we plan to use white grape peach juice for the toasts}.

so just in case things get real busy and i don't say it then, let me say it now: i appreciate all you guys helping us out and pulling this all together for us! thanks for sharing in the celebration and being happy for us, that means so much! i've had so much fun planning this, and know that it will be a wonderful day. we're looking forward to seeing everyone and know that we thank you from the depths of our hearts!

13 October 2009

don't hold yer breath

i'm a tad impatient right about now. sigh. and the thing is, i know that being impatient is not helping, in fact, a good case can be made that it's hurting. yup, hurting.

i'm relatively new to the whole eBay thing. my jerry does use it, so in the spring of the year, he showed me some stuff and we bought a few things for the wedding using the service. for many months, i just looked, and sometimes marked things to 'watch' so that i could show him those items. but when it came to actually ordering anything, i hesitated, and would say, 'you do it' cuz i knew that somehow i'd activate some chain reaction that would end up destroying our entire budget.

so the first time i ever bid on anything, i held my breath {very very ineffective, i know, but i did it none the less} and made sure that i put the decimal in the right place so that i didn't commit to a bid of one hundred dollars, instead of one, or even ten. so yeah, i was all excited when dude, i actually got the item!! yea!!! yea for me!!

that was two weeks ago and i'm still waiting for it to get here. every day, i start checking the mailbox at twelve~thirty, and nope, and then again around one~thirty. the mail definitely runs by two. so you'd think i'd be all, well, let's just wait til two~thirty to be on the safe side. but nope! instead, i walk to the end of the drive, dash across the road, hold my breath {cuz somehow that might make it actually happen...i think that comes from taking a deep breath, holding it to make the birthday wish, and then whooshing out the candles} and pry the lid on the mailbox down to peak inside and go oh. not today. sigh.

last week, i even went out and checked on sunday, cuz i was thinking, maybe i didn't check on saturday {yeah, sometimes i even believe my sillee self}. but today, i didn't even give it a shot. cuz today {well, yesterday now} was a postal holiday and tuesday's mail might even be backed up. so quite possibly, the package might not even arrive til...two weeks from now. sigh.

the past couple days, i've bid on a few things. i am proud of myself for exercising restraint and not losing my head to the thinking that "oh, well, what's another fifty cents?" and getting swept up in a bid~battle. there'd been an eight pound cone of cotton yarn/thread and a two pound cone and a one pound cone that someone outbid me on. since i didn't already have a specific use in mind, i'm not vested in gaining possession at this point.

i've never been the sort of person that gets into a skirmish over the last something or other at walmart or what not. it always amazes me when i see harried women doing that during the holidays. i cannot think of anything that is so vitally crucial to my health and well~being that is worth me snatching it up and gloating over.

but, dude, send me the stuff that you've already received payment for! do it, do it now! stomp.stomp.

11 October 2009

where did the weekend go? oh, yeah...!

dude! i suggested to jerry that maybe he might want to invite his eldest daughter and her family over for MSU's homecoming game, since it was televised and both his son~in~law and his grandson like football too. then i slept thru the first half of the game. sigh. i don't usually like to sleep when company's here.

but i made it out of the bedroom at half~time and sat at the smaller kitchen table and watched his granddaughter draw and listened to her explain to me what sounds animals make, and how they look, and what they do. {i now know where chicken comes from: turkeys!!} then she decided to gather together some stuff and make a band; very creative, a bucket was a drum, and so was a swiffer {she'd hold one end of the head down with her foot and lift it up with the handle and the other end of the head would thump~thump on the floor} and a fork on a wire rack completed things. she gave my shaddow some treats {and let her lick the barbeque sauce of her hands, it tickles}.

then after the game, and his daughter's family left, we drove over to winona {about an hour} and met up with his best childhood friend, who is now a truck~driver and had a delivery in the area. since he now lives in wisconsin, i've not met him before, so it was really cool. we had a good visit and i'm glad that we will be seeing him again in a few weeks. even tho he says he brings rain with him.

at least i'll know who to blame if we have to move the ceremony indoors!

house update

my jerry hung two door and the moulding around them today, we decided to leave the third off til after i move over my things, that way we won't be needing that extra inch or two. he also repaired the leg/foot of a large rectangle table that had been his late wife' parents', which they'd brought back from germany when her father had been stationed there back in the early sixties. i'm not sure how long it had been sitting in pieces, but it's been repaired and placed and it's looking good!

i sorted thru most of the linen and made up the beds in two of the guest rooms, so they are ready for the wedding guests {one will be for jerry's daughter, and one is for the minister}. i want to wait til closer to the time to do up the room for his son and his son's wife {that is one of the two rooms we haven't been able to get to just yet~~and at this point, i think we plan to wait til after the wedding, no point stressing about it right this minute, now is there?}. i also was able to store some of the extra linens for each of those two rooms' beds in the armours in each of those two rooms {one is a double/full size {jerry's grandparents left that to him} and one is queen sized}.

then i stored the rest of the comforters and quilts. jerry's late wife made some lovely quilts, so i've made up the beds with them, but i can't use all the quilts at once. so some of them are in sealed plastic bins so that they are nicely preserved and safe for future usage. when i went thru the linens in the spring of this year, i'd gotten rid of some sheets that we couldn't use, and some comforters and blankets that we couldn't use. but i made sure to save the quilts because either jerry's late wife, her mother, or other women in the family {jerry's grandmothers on both sides} made them and they are to be treasured for a long time to come. there are a few that need an inch or two of stitching for repair purposes, and that sounds like a winter project; along with unpacking and placing all the keep~sakes we've been storing in one room since spring.

once that room is empty, it can be cleaned/painted and then we will use it for the toys and books and things that would be good for the grandchildren to have. in the past, they had the wide long hall in the addition to play in, it was just loaded with toys. we went thru all the toys in the spring of the year, and got rid of some with broken parts, missing parts, etc. then we set some aside that i'd bleached for very young ones. we put the other toys up in the other guest room that we've not yet cleaned/painted. basically, cuz we had no room to go with any of them.

so next spring, that toy room will be ready and those toys will go in there. my jerry and i talked about buying some children's books for various age groups, because his oldest grandson is ten years now, and they go all the way down in age to his youngest grandon at age ten months. we both love to read and we want to encourage the kids to do so too!

so that's pretty much where things are!

09 October 2009

whoa, dude...

i just stumbledupon this, which actually was on a site and then quoted from another:

I grew up in a college town, and one Halloween our doorbell rang and we opened the door expecting to see trickortreater—but what was in front of our open door—was another door! Like, a full-on wooden door, that had a sign that said “Please knock.” So we did, and the door swung open to reveal a bunch of college dudes dressed as really old grandmothers, curlers in their hair, etc, who proceeded to coo over our “costumes” and tell us we were “such cute trick or treaters!” One even pinched my cheek. Then THEY gave US candy, closed their door, picked it up and walked to the next house.

np312 on MetaFilter


how utterly cool would that be, eh?

{oh, and it turns out there are hundreds of thousands versions of this same story floating around in the tubes of the internets; but it all comes down to this dudette...np312, check it!}

08 October 2009

sometimes ya feel like a nut...

last night, i draped the hooded cape on my jerry once again, or actually five times. cuz i wasn't sure how best to proceed. jerry is such a great sport, letting me turn him around, poking and pulling as i tried first one idea, then another. it takes a confident, comfortable man who is secure in his own masculinity to be ok with modeling a child's {a lil girl's} garment.

we had a fine discussion, tossing ideas about, in order for me to try to figure out where this child's knee~length would be, if she and my jerry's heads were on the same level. cuz we both had been a bit goofy, we were giggling over the pseudo~serious theorizing that if one's proportions where this and taken into account that, and if this condition were met, then what is the length of that. we were really poking fun at ourselves while trying to also come up with some sort of reasonable guesstimate. cuz dude, it'd be way too easy to ask the mother of said lil girl to just measure from head to knee and let us know. way way too easy and that'd make way too much sense; ya like get all logical on my ass, why doncha?

so we determined that if the lil girl's head was level with my jerry's, then she could quite easily knee him in the groin. after we snickered with each other over the whole infantile process of us arriving at that conclusion, i piped up, "nut~length is it," and then added, "i'm so gonna blog about this" with all the solemnity i could muster at the moment.

on a totally unrelated matter...i had a freshly made fig~preserve muffin {made with home~made fig preserves} today and omg, if i could have rolled around in its sinful moistness, i would have. it was divine. simple fine. i love, Love, LOVE the "lil building cafe" here in starkville, miss'ippi. if you have a chance to stop by, please do so, sigh. you'll love it, too!

06 October 2009

lil red

my jerry's middle daughter moved to portland, oregon about a month ago. prior to that, she and her husband had stayed with us for a week, so we did get a chance to visit some. one of the things we did was make hats.

i'd been crocheting a few hats for them, prior to their visit. some were very funky, some had earflaps, some had bills, some were extremely warm, and some were more conventional. while they were here, they'd asked if i would teach them how to make one in particular called a Jeep Cap {it goes by various names, but it generally is close fitting with a short visor/bill}. neither knew how to crochet, but both are creative and since the cap was comprised of rather basic stitches mixed with mathematical principles applied, well, i was fairly certain this was doable.

and it probably would have been, had we not decided two days before their departure to attempt this. his daughter actually caught on very quickly but her husband encountered a few difficulties right off, which is understandable...what with all the stuff there is that is unfamiliar to a newbie {things like yarn tension, how to hold it, how to hold the hook, how to make the beginning half hitch, the steps to a chain, a slip stitch, and then single crochet, working in the round, increasing, and so on}. so i did some thinking and decided to show them how to use the knifty knitter's round looms.

they're simple to learn the basics on, easy to use. and after you become comfortable with them, you can create all sorts of interesting wraps, stitches, textures, techniques, and from all that, the possibilities are endless. or seemingly so. you can find a set of four round looms at walmart for about twelve bucks, and need no prior knowledge of any special skills. they're portable, and make the ideal craft to do while your traveling for a couple thousand miles.

so, they each made their own funky hats. he chose a style with a brim, more snug than hers. she chose to go with a roll up brim, and made hers longer so it was a bit more floppy. the cool thing is that it is entirely up to you, be as creative as you want, and wear your own thing.

after they got somewhat settled in oregon, i sent a box with three hats in there. each was unique in style, tho all were of the same yarn. one was a simple roll up rim, with some added length but not too much. another was actually three layers of brims, harder to explain, sorta like the taller hats that you might picture as russian. and the other was an oversized news boy cap, that sorta looks like an old fashioned hunting cap. they were meant more for warmth than the other ones i'd made. i'd sent them for the entire household, to pick and choose.

then my jerry's daughter let me know that they were much appreciated by the household, including the roomies. she'd asked if i might be able to make a lil red riding hood type cape for their lil girl, who just turned five. sure i can! i haven't before and there are not easily obtained patterns that fit the bill, but! i decided to give it a whirl and i've made some real progress on it.

now i need to make a few adjustments, so that might mean ripping out a row or two, as i think i can make it a bit better. it's a trick to try making things for kids, esp if you don't have them right with you to try it on as you go. kids have different proportions than adults do, and each child seems to grow at different rates, at different times. this lil girl is big for her age, but i don't want to make it too large, cuz i don't want it to swamp her in folds.

so i'll take pix, when it is finished and maybe i can get my best lil friend to model it. she's five too, tho she isn't quite as tall as the lil girl this is meant for, she is large for her age too. and if not, i'll just drape it on jerry and take a pic {wink}!

tho he'd be better suited to the big bad wolf role. snicker.

don't forget the floors

time is taffy, especially of late. in some ways, i feel that things have moved very very slowly, just dragging on and on. and yet, in other ways, i feel that so much has zipped right along, at a fast pace. and the truth is, time moves at the same rate. or so i assume, not being a student of such units and matters, i can never be absolutely certain of these matters.

so i've been chipping away at the task at hand, which is to set things to rights and find homes for everything that has been stored in various rooms for the past six months or so. my jerry and i were up late last night, moving furniture around. then this afternoon, i continued to move what could be moved and try this here, well maybe it'd be better there, nooooooooooo, back to here. aha! how about over there?

it may take a bit on the front end, but then, once a home is found for pieces and parts, then that's where they stay. i don't feel a great urge to rearrange on a whim, or with the changing seasons, or what not. sometimes, i'll move things temporarily, rearranging them to accommodate a larger crowd {which since jerry has five adult children with spouses and four with children, a larger crowd happens more often than not~~so i'm taking that into account and attempting to find places for things so that we don't need to majorly rearrange every other month or at least several times per year}. just put things where they will best be used, found, fit, etc.

so for the time being, my jerry and i decided to leave the computer desk in the current location which is the breakfast nook, rather than relocating it to the study. so because it is here, what had been going to go here must go elsewhere. and so on and so on and so forth.

things won't be exactly as we'd have them by the time of the wedding, but much further than they had been. and every step forward makes everything *click* into place. which makes us more comfortable and is soothing to the soul. hope your autumn is off to a good start as well!

04 October 2009

my jerry & me

i thought it would be very appropriate to post this pic, which is probably the one we'll run in the paper to announce our wedding, in four weeks. my brother took this pic and a buncha others, when he and mom were here last week to paint and lay floor in three rooms. tomorrow, jerry and i begin to move things into those rooms and i'm very excited, but also sorta nervous. i don't want to do anything that will mess up the tile or the walls. i know i'll feel lots better after some of the stuff that's been sitting in the dining area for the last six months in moved and we can start to unpack one room that has been filled with keepsakes since spring.

the dress is one that i'd gotten at this past may's moondance. it's quite lovely and comfortable. in the past few weeks, i've actually gained quite a bit of weight, and that has been extremely upsetting for me, as i know weigh the most since my jerry has known me.

all the foundation garments in the world won't help if they don't fit, now will they? arghen farghen, blast my weak will and inability to control my insatiable appetite {and no, i'm not pregnant}. i'm sure it'll be fine, The Dress will fit and all that. but at the moment, i'm none too pleased with myself.

sigh.