Thursday, May 23, 2019

THIS & THAT...and A NEW RECIPE

*NOTE:  thanks to a sweet reader who was a better proofreader than me, I had made a mistake in the original post, so this is a correction.  Golly, gee!  Where is my brain these days???


As I stated in my short bio when I started back blogging, I will post about whatever suits my fancy at the time😊  So first I want to share a delicious new recipe we have tried recently.  I am a fairly decent cook but lately I have felt like this….






It’s not so much the COOKING I dislike as having to plan what to eat!  I mean, after cooking for 49 years I’m just tired of the same old same old.  Anybody know what I mean???  If someone would just plan my menus….with easy-to-prepare dishes…I’d be a happy camper chef!  

The sweet man I married never complains about what I cook and is always willing to try something new, so lately I’ve tried to do just that.  Here is a recipe I found recently and have made now about 3 times and every time he has gone on and on about how good it is….definitely a MAN PLEASER recipe.  So….even though I don’t have pictures of the finished product I thought I’d share.  If you were a boy or girl scout who went camping, this type of meal might bring back some fun memories.

(Note:  I found this recipe on the internet but don’t remember where!)


FOIL BAKED CHICKEN with VEGGIES

You will need: 
*chicken tenders (2-3 per person) or you can cut up a boneless chicken breast
*veggies of choice – I use zucchini, carrots, bell pepper (onions might be good too)
*pineapple chunks or tidbits
*salt & pepper or seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)



AND….this magic ingredient…LAWRY'S HONEY BOURBON MARINADE!


How you do it:
*Rip off a good-size piece of aluminum foil per person
*Cut up your veggies & layer them on the foil
*Season with whatever you choose
*layer on the pineapple
*layer on the chicken (I also add some seasoning to it)
*pour 1/3 cup of the marinade on top of each packet

*Now seal it all up TIGHTLY!
*Place on a baking sheet because some of the juice still might leak out.
*Bake until chicken is done…I find 30 min. is perfect for the tenders.
*Serve in the foil…makes for easy clean-up plus you don’t want to lose any of that wonderful sauce!!!  (If you don’t mind carbs….dip a yeast roll in the sauce & mind your manners because you will want to smack your lips…it’s that good😊 

And these are the absolute best yeast rolls ever…unless you're into making home-made (which I am definitely not!)


Since you have your meat and veggies, it’s basically a one-dish meal!  My kind of cooking!!!




Now for the THIS & THAT:

This is how my lantana looked a few weeks ago.




This is how it looks now



We decided it was WHITEFLIES or some similar bug so we’ve sprayed it and hoping it will come back into it’s former glory.


Granddaughter M. had a busy week with Sports Banquet & Honors Night.  She did really well this year.    Although no pictures grandson R. had a great year too…exempted all his finals so got out of school 2 days early.  Ready now to start his first summer job!




This little thing has kept me busy this past couple of weeks.  My son’s new baby!  I have been puppy-sitting some mornings.  Isn't she precious?



 Recently went to a rodeo that came to our little town (not a very good one, I might add).
Granddaughter M. even had her birthday party there!!!


Even though it rained for awhile, they had a great time😊



And that’s about it.  Now I’m off to get ready to go to some friends’ house where we are having a get-together.  Being with friends & no cooking for me…sounds like a great evening. 

So what have YOU been up to lately?




Thursday, May 16, 2019

GRANDMOTHER CENTRAL: INSTALLMENT #1


As a teacher who worked mostly with primary students and their parents, I wore many hats….educator, instructor, nurse, referee, counselor, lesson plan builder, mentor, role model, surrogate parent, event planner, therapist, etc., etc., etc.  Although I loved being a teacher with so many different roles to play, my most fun gig in life has been…..a GRANDMOTHER. 



I am blessed with only two grands, R. is 16 and M. is 13, but they both sure are grand.
They are my son’s children, and they live only about two blocks from us.  Although they both were in daycare for awhile when they were very young, most of their after-school afternoons, summers, and school holidays have been spent with me.  (So add to my other long list of hats:  sitter, playmate, chauffeur, entertainer-extraordinaire, cleaner-upper of messes, and expert child spoiler….I’m really good at that last one!)



When I was a small child since my mother worked I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house, but sadly it was not one bit of fun.  My grandmother had very bad arthritis (and perhaps tended to be a little bit of a hypochondriac) and was a shut-in who never left her house except to go to the doctor.  There was absolutely nothing for me to do there once morning cartoons and Captain Kangaroo were off the air, and so I was very lonely and bored.  I remember deciding during that time that if I ever had grandchildren, they would NEVER be bored when they came to visit me….and I think I have pretty much stuck to that!

I believe that when R & M grow up, they will look back and have fond memories of the many things that we did together.  We played games, cooked, went on scavenger hunts, built forts, and much, much more.  Sooooo…I have decided that I am going to share some of the fun things we did together in hopes it might give some other grandmothers (or mothers of young children) some ideas of how they can make their own special memories with their kids.  I have shared many of these ideas with grandmother friends and some have suggested I even write a book about them….hmmm, maybe one day???  I can’t take credit for most of this stuff though because I searched and searched online and in books to keep the fun going.

I am going to post one or two activities from time to time and have decided to call them GRANDMOTHER CENTRAL.  For those of you whose kids or grandkids have gotten passed these days, maybe you can share the ideas with friends or family….or just overlook these posts and find something more interesting to read😊

And away we go….   (from 2013)


I don’t know a kid who doesn’t love blowing bubbles and there are all sorts of recipes to make your own bubbles and ideas for making various types of wands, but this was a new way for us and so much fun.  In fact, my granddaughter had a friend over recently and she decided she wanted to do this again!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
          *a plastic water or soda bottle with bottom cut off (for each child)
          *an old sock (for each child)
          *rubber band
          *bubble solution (homemade or store-bought)
          *small dish or bowl to hold the solution

Simply pull the sock onto the bottom of the bottle; be sure to pull it up until a portion of the sock is flush against the bottle’s bottom…you can see that in this picture.  


Then have your child dip this bottom end into the solution and blow on the opposite/mouth end of the bottle.  If the child is small, BE SURE to explain to them to BLOW OUT, not BREATHE IN!!!!!! 



As you can see, the bubbles come out in a stream of connected bubbles.  My two (always being competitive with each other) would see who could make the longest stream.  And, of course, if you leave the kids to it, they will come up with their own ideas.




This really was a lot of fun, so easy to prep, cost little to no money, and also taught my kiddos that you can reuse/recycle things that would be trash into something useful and/or fun!  That’s always a good lesson to be learned!!!

Yep, this grandmother CHERI (that’s what they call me) was a sure-fire hit that day!  Lots of fun and good memories made…also great for a photo-op!!!



Of all the things that babies love
To help them in their troubles
There’s nothing in the world, they think,
So nice as blowing bubbles.

To dip the pipe among the suds
And then to gravely blow
To watch the lovely colors change,
As fast the bubbles grow.

To throw them softly in the air
And see them sail away,
Is fun enough, for girl or boy,
To fill the longest day.

Sweet children of our tender love,
May all life’s bubbles be
As bright with tints of rosy hope
As these which now we see.

---Author Unknown




Thursday, May 9, 2019

PORCHES ARE PLEASING


When I was a little girl, my family lived in a (rented) house with a large front porch.  Oh, how I loved that porch!  It was a sort of sanctuary for me…a place to daydream, a place to sit and talk with friends, a place to catch a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day.  





And, of course, that porch (like so many other southern porches) had a swing.  I wonder how many times I pushed myself in that swing, sometimes going so high I thought my feet could almost touch the ceiling.  One of my childhood dreams was to one day own my own home with a large front porch and there would definitely be a swing and….that dream came true.

This is my swing….




And here are some others I really like…(pictures found here & there online)

This one is made from an old headboard


Love the blue color

And this one was made from a door…very creative

Surely this is the kind of swing God has in heaven😊



But there’s more to a porch than a swing…wicker furniture, flowers, hanging ferns, pillows, candles, an American flag hanging from a column, or whatever else you might fancy.  I don’t like for a porch to look cluttered but I do like it to have lots of character.

               #1



There is just something about a porch that screams SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY!  Pull up a rocking chair or glide to and fro in the swing drinking a glass of sweet iced tea, add to that a funeral fan to keep away the gnats or to create a cool breeze, and you can solve the world’s problems (well, maybe a few of them). 

                    #2



Porches can be a place for entertaining, a place for quiet reflection, the perfect place for devouring the latest best seller, or another opportunity for creating seasonal dΓ©cor. 

                     #3



A porch is a place for daydreaming, for sharing secrets with a friend, for shelling peas fresh from the garden, or just a place to sit and wave at neighbors as they ride by. 

                      #4

                                #5



In the South a front porch is sometimes referred to as a veranda.  I love that word…has a romantic ring to it.  Through the years many Southern mansions (see Charleston and Savannah) have sported a veranda filled with columns and even gingerbread trim, but historians tell us that actually porches can be traced back to overhanging rocks of prehistoric times.  Doubt cavemen and women sipped on some sweet iced tea though as they relaxed on their rock porch!
                       #6


Generations ago in the deep South (my beloved home), people would often paint the ceilings of their porches/verandas a particular blue/green color referred to as Haint Blue.  Tradition said that it kept the “haints” (demons, evil spirits, etc.) away.  My porch ceiling isn't blue, but we don't have any haints (at least I haven't seen any.)  Today some people believe that a blue ceiling keeps wasps and other insects away…not sure about that.

                    #7

             #8




My children and grandchildren have always loved our porch about as much as I do.  Just the other day my granddaughter was out there in the swing reading her latest HARRY POTTER novel.  Just the sight of her brought back memories of my childhood when I would swing back & forth, back & forth, dreaming of the day I would grow up, have a family, and see my children & grandchildren swinging on my front porch, back & forth, back & forth, dreaming dreams of their own.




Front Porch on our Farmhouse style home



And Side Porch (where everybody comes)


Which of these (#) is your favorite porch?

When out of sorts with life or self,
A porch is hard to beat.
As long as you've a comfy chair
And space to stretch your feet.
---Chuck Toll









Thursday, May 2, 2019

ONE DAY AT A TIME


I am a collector of words.  I love poetry, quotes, and inspirational messages; and when I find words that seem to really “speak to me” I keep them.  I found this many years ago but just came across it this past week as I was looking through my INSPIRATION NOTEBOOK.  I soooo need to read this every single day!  I would love to give credit to the author; but when I found this, it was listed as author unknown.  Whoever he or she was that wrote this is/was a very wise person.

ONE  DAY  AT  A  TIME

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry…two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.  Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.  All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.  We cannot undo a single act we performed.  We cannot erase a single word we said.  Yesterday is gone.



The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW.  Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control.  Tomorrow’s sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds.  But it will rise.  Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow.



This leaves only one day….TODAY.

Anyone can fight the battles of just one day.  It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities…YESTERDAY and TOMORROW…that we break down.

Let us, therefore, live ONE DAY AT A TIME.



There is a lot of wisdom in this, although for some of us “worriers” of the world it can be very difficult to latch onto.  I would like to add to this wise person’s thoughts that I do believe we should not forget about YESTERDAY or TOMORROW.  I’m not one that necessarily thinks we should “just live for today.”  I think the YESTERDAYs can teach us many lessons.  I think the YESTERDAYs can gift us with many beautiful memories.  I think the seeds that we planted YESTERDAY (if they are the right seeds) can grow into wonderful things.  So YESTERDAY should not be forgotten.  I do, however, think we shouldn’t dwell so much on the YESTERDAYs of our lives that we forget to enjoy the present. 

I also think we don’t need to put TOMORROW aside until tomorrow!  I believe we should plan for our futures and the futures of our children and grandchildren as best we can.  I believe we should make plans for the TOMORROWs in our lives so that we can have some things to look forward to.  I believe that we should look ahead to all the TOMORROWs we may be given with the thoughts of making each one better than today.  BUT…I am trying very hard not to worry so much about TOMORROW that I forget to see all the blessings of TODAY.




Our past, our present, and our future are all interwoven in one way or another; each one shapes the other to some degree.  So in my opinion, YESTERDAY, TODAY, and TOMORROW are all very special and important days.  They are each a gift given to us by God and we should make the most of each and every one.  




I think Albert Einstein got it right:

Learn from YESTERDAY, live for TODAY, hope for TOMORROW.  

I hope all your Yesterdays Todays, and Tomorrows are filled with love, happiness, & many blessings.




          

Monday, April 22, 2019

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS





*clean sheets on the bed
*a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning
*a bubble bath after a long, hard week

*getting a letter from a long-lost friend
*driving down a pretty road with the windows down on a sunny day
*waking up remembering a sweet dream
*laughing with a friend
*playing with a puppy on a freshly mown lawn
*holding a newborn baby
*sipping on a glass of sweet iced tea on a hot summer day


*a hot shower
*chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven
*swinging as high as you can go
*attending a class reunion and realizing you haven’t aged any more than anyone else
*a walk on the beach and finding a pretty shell or piece of sea glass

*finding no one ahead of you in line when you are in a hurry
*hearing your favorite “oldie but goldie” on the radio
*curling up in the window seat with a good book on a rainy day
*listening to the thunder during a gentle summer rainfall
*playing in mudpuddles after the rain



*enjoying your favorite milkshake or ice cream sundae
*finding something you lost and never thought you'd see again
*laughing at yourself when no one is watching

*watching your favorite chic flic
*having someone notice you’ve lost weight
*completing a difficult crossword puzzle (without cheating)
*finding just-the-right outfit for that special occasion
*wrapping up in a soft blanket & drinking a cup of hot tea when you’re feeling lousy
*the smell of a new car…or a new baby
*enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset



*thinking about all the things you have to be grateful for
*blowing out the candles on your birthday cake
*seeing the first daffodils of spring
*jumping in a pile of freshly raked autumn leaves
*sharing time with those you love


My grandbabies😊
who are no longer “little” things



It’s  the  little  things😊

What are the "little things" in your life?