Sunday, November 30, 2008

We Made It!

We made it to NJ.  What should have been a 7 hour drive turned into a very ugly 12 and 32 minutes.  Traffic was a nightmare on the NJ Turnpike.  We were in stop and go traffic for 3 hours. Did I mention that "Gabby", our GPS system took us smack through Washington DC right up Pennsylvania Avenue....North of where George and Laura live.  I thought about stopping in for tea but we were really in a rush.
Needless to say, we arrived safely, despite the constant dreary weather and continuous rain.
Goodnight, Peeps!  I am very tired....(yawn)

An Update:  upon leaving Atlanta, we decided to call it quits in Henderson, NC. This portions of the drive took about 7 hours.  On Sunday, we hit the raid at 7:11 and did not arrive at my sister's house until 7:45.  The NJ Turnpike was overloaded with "volume".  

Who Knew?

So, we are Drivin' 55, (well, actually 70) and I finally found something decent to listen to on the the drive up. It was a country station and I knew Mom would approve of country.

Mom is a little hard of hearing. Well, maybe a lot...but I had the volume up to a low medium volume. The only reason I recognized the song playing on the radio was because I recently caught a little of the CMA awards. Kid Rock's new song, All Summer Long begins to play on the radio. Surprisingly, I like this song. Secretly, I am wondering what my Mother will say. I am certain she will ask me to change it or not hear it at all. The conversation goes like this...

Mom: Is that Rid Rock?

Me: Yes, it is.

Mom: He stands for everything I hate. Long hair. Drugs. Alcohol. Sun glasses all the time. He's even been married many times. He's disgusting.

Me: Yeah...(trying to sound like I slightly agree with her)

Mom: But there is something about him...(long pause and then a smile on her face) that intrigues me....and I like him! I think he's sexy!

Me: Mom, (a little shocked that my 75 year old Mother has the hots for Kid Rock) ...he's that dangerous kind of guy. The bad boy...and you like that!

Mom: Yes, I guess I do. I like Kid Rock.

Me: Well, you go girl!

As the song ended, I wondered if I knew my mother at all. My mom has the hots for Kid Rock! What will tomorrow bring??

Until then....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

3 OLIVES

No interesting post for today or tomorrow. We are Drivin' 55 up to NJ to move my Mom.
To all....be happy...be safe...drink lots of wine...and if you like martinis...make sure you have 3
OLIVES for me!
I am sure I will have interesting blogging material!!!
And if I don't visit your blogs for a day or two, just remember I will catch up with all of your very interesting and exciting posts!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

You won't find me standing in line at 4:00 AM.
Nope...
I will be hunkered down at home preparing to make the move next Saturday.

But if you are one of those crazy shoppers standing in line
I hope you stay warm.
OK, Bargin Shoppers!!!
Man your wallets!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Ate Too Much Turkey

I Ate Too Much Turkey
by
Jack Prelutsky

I ate too much turkey,
I ate too much corn,
I ate too much pudding and pie,
I'm stuffed up with muffins and much too much stuffin',
I'm probably going to die.
I piled up my plate and I ate and I ate,
but I wish I had known when to stop,
for I'm so crammed with yams, sauces, gravies, and jams
that my buttons are starting to pop.
I'm full of tomatoes and french fried potatoes,
my stomach is swollen and sore,
but there's still some dessert,
so I guess it won't hurt if I eat just a little bit more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

He Stole My Heart

this is what I am thankful for...
my rosie cheek
little grandson
Jack
can you tell he stole my heart the moment he was born?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3900 Saturdays

I received this email from a friend. I wanted to pass it along to you. Get out your Kleenex...
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about 'a thousand marbles.' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's 'dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.
''You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.
'Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.
It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.' 'I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.
''Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.
There's nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight .' 'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast.
This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.'
'It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!'
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on?' she asked with a smile. 'Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.
A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend. And so, as one smart bear once said...'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.' - Winnie the Pooh.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Meatballs

Every Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, I prepare my famous Holiday Meatballs for my family. Sometimes, and this is very rare, I will make them outside this holiday window, but it better be a very special occasion.

I found this recipe in a cookbook, Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook, that my mother gave me for my wedding shower many moons ago. The book is tattered, torn and well worn. Of course, I have loved this book from the moment I received it. Over the years, I have modified the recipe to perfection as my family will all attest!

1 pound ground sirloin (you can substitute ground turkey)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (if using turkey, increase bread crumbs to 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup minced onions
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
10 ounces grape jelly

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Mix all but the last two ingredients in a bowl. Make 1" meatballs. Place on a cookie sheet. If using turkey, spray the cookie sheet with a shortening. The turkey meat balls will stick if you don't use a shortening.

Place meatballs in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. I usually check on them at about 15 minutes in and shake the cookie sheet so to turn the meatballs. Turkey meatballs may stick, so use your spatula.
When meatballs are done, take them out of the oven and make the sauce. In a large pot, add the chili sauce and jar of jelly. Use medium heat. The jelly will break down nicely to make a very nice sauce. Add the meatballs. Heat for about 20 minutes to coat well.

Serve in a chafing dish or crock pot and watch them disappear. These will be the first to go!

This recipe can be doubled and tripled very nicely. I find this necessary to do so because once the meatballs come out of the oven, they seem to disappear. It is a mystery I share with you, but believe me, these will disappear in your kitchen, too.

Now, I will tell you that I have tried to cheat and purchase frozen meatballs to save time. Your guests will not be fooled. The meatball itself is delicious without the sauce and your guests will know you took a shortcut. Just ask my son!
I will tell you that you can make the chili/jelly sauce and add the little smokie links. This saves time.
Consider yourself special, blogging friends! I am sharing this with all of you.

Jumping the Gun...

If after visiting my blog you wonder why she has the Christmas layout already posted, it is because this coming week is going to begin the hectic rush we all will experience. Monday and Tuesday, I will be babysitting my grandson and preparing any food ahead of time I can. Wednesday, I will help my mom move out of her house and pack up her belongings for the move on Friday. Thursday, well, we all will be stuffing our faces with wonderful tasty food. On Friday, my hubby, my mom and myself will begin our travels to New Jersey to my sister's house.
I will barely have time to check my blog yet alone manage the proper change from Thanksgiving to Christmas in the evening of Thanksgiving.
So please forgive me blogging friends.
And check back later today for my Holiday Meatball recipe...you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Up In Smoke

My aunt travels the country with her Ford 350 and she pulls a big ole 40' 5 Th wheel. Just to get a visual seeing this 60 something young, 5'2" woman driving this rig is enough to make one smile.

My favorite aunt phoned my mother today to tell her some news. Mom expected to hear that her beloved Sammie, the dachshund, was doing well with the transition. (that's another story)

Nobody expected to hear the news my aunt had to share. Nobody expected to hear this.

While my favorite aunt was out walking the dogs on Saturday afternoon, she noticed people in the campground walking over to the smoke rising off in the distance. My aunt joined the crowd. Then...that feeling that sinks to the bottom of your stomach when you know it is going to be bad news. It was her home on fire.
She lost everything. Luckily, she and her two dog children are safe and sound. My favorite aunt has so much courage and determination. After suffering a loss like this, she is already looking forward to continuing on in her travelling fashion as nothing will feign her desire to do want she wants to do.
So I pray for my favorite aunt today and always that she is happy and safe ... for she is really "Drivin 55" like no one else!

Shivering Saturday...

Baby, it's cold outside...
I found a warm place to snuggle.

Shut the door, fool...
I prefer delicate tumble dry.
Trying to stay warm in the cold South....
no cats were injured in the posting of this blog!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a Slow Day When...

Here he is.
Mr Shy.
Don't take my picture, wife!
I said, put down the camera.
What are you doing?
If you blog this, I swear, I will tickle you.
Oh, that's good.
Take a picture of the motor cycle guy.
You really don't have anything to occupy your time with, do you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gobble...Gobble..

Gobble... Gobble...
The native North American bird has spoken.

This time of year always brings out the most vexing questions that must be dealt with.
Fresh or frozen?
Roast?
Deep fry?
To brine or not to brine?
Natural?
Organic?
15 pounds?
20 pounds?
Shall I venture to the next level and go with a 25 pounder?

And then there is the question regarding the stuffing?

Or dressing?

Corn bread stuffing?

Or Grandmother's recipe never fail stuffing?

Oh, the decisions....

The answers are easy, really....

How many days of left overs do we want?

How do you manage your turkey dilemma?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brrr....Baby, It's Cold Outside

Before I begin, let me share with you that I hate cold weather. And this is why I no longer live in Chicago. Let me tell you, there were many a cold day that had me yearning at a very early age for a be a better place to live.

Remembering two weekends of the last winter we spent in the Chicago suburbs, we experienced wind chills of -85 below zero. I fondly remember my dining room drapes frozen from the wind and blowing snow creeping into the nooks and crannies of the new house. One cannot imagine what -85 below feels like, but it is a cold you will never forget.
A cold snap has blanketed the South. Tuesday reached a high of 42 degrees. Now, mind you, I know those of you in the Northern regions of our country are saying, "42 degrees...that is spring up here", but remember that even a transplant from Chicago living in the South for 26 years has acclimated to Southern temperatures!

During the night, temps reached 21 degrees, normally, this would be a topic for conversation at the water cooler as people noting our "winter" experience. However, my story would top them all...during the course of the night, our propane died and well, once again, I experienced what cold is...again!
Can spring be far away? Oh wait...we are not even officially into winter yet. Time to throw another blanket on the bed and layer all the clothes I can.
Stay warm, my friends!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome back...I've Missed You

Black tights.
I am so glad they made a come back.
Who really can go outside in the middle of winter with bare legs anyway?
How else can we cover up our varicose veins, shaving battle scars, bruises or lack of shaving if not for ....

...black tights.
Welcome back.
I've missed you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mystery Ingredients Equals ????

As I was cleaning out my purse the other day, disposing of all the little scraps of papers, throat lozenge wrappers, a backup diaper for my grandson, I discovered this list of ingredients for a recipe. The only problem is, I cannot for the life of me remember what the finished dish was or who's blog I read and thought, "Wow, this looks good. I have to make this!".
As I read the list, I noticed that I took the time to write legibly, a far cry from some of my other lists I prepare. Based on the check marks, I even inventoried the items in my cupboard and placed the list in my purse when I made my next grocery store run.
Here is the list of ingredients ...

2 baking potatoes

6 celery stalks

6 medium carrots

1 TB vegetable oil

coarse salt and pepper

1 large onion

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 pounds ground chuck

1 cup whole milk

1 1/5 cups shredded sharp white cheddar

13 x 9 pan



So that's it. A list of 12 ingredients that when combined in some fashion, will produce some fabulous dish. I get the sense that something critical is missing. Oh, let me not forget to mention that I already reviewed every recipe on Dlyn's blog and I couldn't make a match.
Do you recognize these recipe? Do you have any suggestions as to what is missing?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Sunday!

Rainy
Cold

But still beautiful...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Need A Little Help From My Friends...

While I am at my Mom's Moving sale on this drizzily, rainy and cold Saturday, I want all of my blogging friends to please do me a favor. It may sound a little quirky, odd, bizarre, far out, peculiar, wacky or unconventional but here goes.
I need ya'll to pray that Walter listens to his wife and retires....AND...Fred starts the first of the year.
Nuff said...an explanation will be forthcoming.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photography Meme

Because I read one of my favorite blogs Chronicles of a Country Girl each and every day, I gladly accepted the Photography Meme for my Wednesday post. However, due to a nasty bug that I caught, Wednesday past as did Thursday and well, finally, here it is Friday and I hoped to complete it afterall. Whew....it gave me a subject for today!

The object is to go to your 4th photo file, then to your 4th photo inside that file and then post it. I like the idea that this is somewhat random and ends up being a surprise.

I took this photo of hubby at Venice Beach this past January. We just met up with our lovely niece who goes to college in Venice and walked all over creation doing a little sight seeing.

Ahh...life was so much easier when we were on the road....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Closed

closed due to yucky, stomach viral thing

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteren's Day 2008

Thank you to all who served our great country!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Story of a Rescue Dog Named Dexter

Our newly President Elect has promised to keep one of his campaign promises to his daughters by getting them a new puppy. Our new First Lady elect made the politically correct statement that the family would adopt a rescue puppy from a shelter. I think this is a famously grand idea...and let me tell you why.
My favorite aunt recently adopted a rescue dog, Dexter, who is part beagle and dachshund. Dexter had a very heartbreaking beginning as he and about 140 other dogs were emancipated from a puppy mill in Missouri last July. This particular puppy mill breed beagles and dachshunds. Dexter was considered a "mistake" and put in a cage where he lived over 2 years of his life before his intervention took place. Dexter never had human interaction. He never knew the joy of a belly rub or played tug on an old pair of slippers. Never once did imagine what it would be like to sleep in a bed because he lived his two years in a cage. Outside. Cold. Alone from human kindness.
But Dexter's life changed in ways I am sure he never imagined. For the past 6 weeks, Dexter lives with a human who thinks he has hung the moon. And Dexter appreciates this new found love and attention in ways I am sure we will never fully understand. This four legged canine is calm and gentle and behaved well beyond any dog trained by the Dog Whisperer himself.
When Dexter looks into the eyes of his new mommy, he loves her unconditionally. I have witnessed the bond between canine and human and it is exceptional to watch.
So President Elect Obama and First Family, I applaud you! Make right by your promise and seek a shelter for your hypoallergenic dog because you will find a friend like no other!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Beagles Are Better Than Kids.....

Top 25 reasons why Beagles are better than kids:

25. Kibble and water are cheaper than formula and diapers. 24. They have more hair when they are born.

23. Beagles never forget to "go" before they leave.

22. Beagles can go on long trips without yelling "MOM, HE'S TOUCHING ME!!!"

21. Beagles never grow out of being kissed in front of their friends.

20. Beagles don't wear holes in the knees of their trousers.

19. It doesn't matter how much dog hair a Beagle gets in its mouth.

18. You can cage a Beagle without going to jail.

17. Beagles don't "backwash" crackers when sharing your soda.

16. Beagles will watch classic Star Trek with you and won't laugh at the special effects.

15. Beagles hide their "blankies" in their crates rather than dragging them around in public.

14. It's OK and even encouraged to tattoo your Beagle.

13. The older a Beagle gets, the more they like you.

12. Beagles don't ask why. Beagles don't ask why. Beagles don't ask why.

11. Beagles don't roll their eyes when you insist dogs today have it easier.

10.Beagles stick their tongue inside your ear canal; children use a pencil.

9. Beagles don't jump on the bed; they just quietly shed in them and lay on you, considerately adding to your warmth.

8. Beagle markings are easier to get off the wall than crayon.

7. When Beagles don't listen to you, it is because they cannot understand the complex human language.

6. Beagles have tails, making it easier to grab them as they run away.

5. No one passes you a Beagle with a loaded diaper.

4. Beagles dig for buried treasure in the litter box. Kids won't even dump the litter box.

3. When Beagles interrupt you making love, you don't have to explain that the two of you are "wrestling to see who does the dishes."

2.Beagles don't grow out of their shoes every 2 1/2 months.And the number one reason dogs are better than kids:

1. Beagles, when entering those teen years, are neutered.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Universe Is Calling

I am definitely feeling it. The Universe is talking to me. My intuition is strong and I am trying to allow my mind to open freely to accept what is about to happen.
Have you ever felt a connection with something much larger than yourself? Have you felt that a connection that you just cannot explain? I'll give you an example in my life.

My husband and I have been fortunate enough to have seen much of our great country of ours. In all of my travels, I have experience only one very strong connection with a specific place.
Several years ago, we took a trip to Savannah, Georgia to celebrate our anniversary. For some reason, I didn't have great expectations for our little trip. We lived in the Atlanta area for over 20 years and never have we made the trip to this coastal city.
Yet as soon as we arrived, there was a feeling of awe. We stayed at The Mansion on Forsyth Park which I can only say was stunning. The city has so much history. You cannot deny your surroundings as it consumes you.
It was on our walking tour of the Historic District that I felt it. "IT" was a feeling almost indescribable but I felt as though I belonged. Perhaps, I had lived there in a prior life. I felt at home.
Nonetheless, there is something churning in the universe.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Taste Buds vs Pennies

When do you purchase the store brand item in lieu of the brand name? In my opinion, you don't skimp on certain things as you just have to fork up the extra quarters for the sake of your taste buds.

Store brand tomato sauce is OK, as long as you mix it with the good ole Hunt's stewed tomatoes. I find store brand saltines to be quite acceptable. Stay away from the store brands of mayonnaise. As I've learned, it could compromise your potato salad or ruin your chicken salad.

Recently, I learned that when your under the weather and fighting a small scale war going on in your tummy, you must go with the real Pepto Bismo. Run, do not walk, run fast away from the store brand. Because nothing else will do when you need to settle your stomach.

What store brand items do you deem acceptable? And what brand names must you go the extra mile for?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Beautiful Butterfly To Emerge

When the phone rings, have you ever said who it was before you answered it? Did you ever think about a person and your phone rings and it them? Have you ever dreamed of a circumstance and it happens the next day?

Well, I have. Plenty of times. I like to think it is the spirit world giving me an edge of what is to come.

Over the past several days, I have to admit, I've had some strange feelings. Feelings that I cannot pinpoint. They are intangible and ambiguous feelings, but I sense something good about to happen. This year has been a compilation of challenges for us, yet I believe a metamorphosis and transformation is about to begin.
I sense that I will break from the barriers of my cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly. Strange post for this evening....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, We Did!


It's after 11:00 here in the Atlanta area. Off in the distance, I hear fireworks. Celebration is occurring in homes all over the country.
The United States has made history once again.
President Obama, may God protect you as you lead our Country to better times.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

As Americans turn out in record numbers today to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice, let's hope, no pray that it will be a decisive win. I couldn't stand to hear about "hanging chads" again.
So what are you waiting for? Did you vote today?
Leave a comment and give me your answer.
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Perfect Conditions

Sunday was spectacular.

A picture perfect day.
I waited for these conditions to reveal themselves so I could take the perfect photo that I envisioned in my mind for months now.
The lake was smooth as glass.
The reflection of the autumn trees just stunning.
I love days like this.
What is amazing is that I used my little point n' shoot camera.
Click on the photo to see the enlarged version.

Why Would Anyone Need....

If there is one thing that I love to do, it is to visit Realtor.Com.
I especially love to view people's decorating styles all over the country.
As I professed, I am a closet decorator.
But what amazes me is why would one have an imbalance of bedrooms to bathrooms?
I can understand the half bath concept or even an extra bathroom if one has a pool house.

But why would you need 7 Bedrooms and.... 17 bathrooms?
Take a look. Explain if you can....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Aftermath

What did you find outside your home this morning? Pumpkins smashed by hooligans?


Or Smashing Pumpkins in the air?

Happy Saturday, Y'all!