26 November 2009


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.


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 <-------.


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.



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


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.


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.


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.