Monday, November 30, 2009

Farewell, Thanksgiving. . .Greetings, Christmas!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Son and his family were here. Daughter's family came over. AD's mother and two sisters were also here.

AD took the last of the jalapeno peanut brittle and most of the left over cinnamon hard candy to work today. The rest of the desserts are long gone.

Did I tell you that we were having 2 turkeys for Thanksgiving this year? G1 won 6 Turkey Shoots and G2 won 4 this year. They didn't have to get all turkeys. They got a ham and some pork chops and some bacon but they brought 2 turkeys to my house. They were on the small side so I fixed both of them.

I made a batch of turkey salad the day after Thanksgiving. It's the Thanksgiving leftover that Daughter looks forward to the most and it's the main reason we always buy a big turkey. That turkey salad is gone.

Last night I made Chicken Spaghetti and substituted turkey for the chicken. It was yummy good.

This morning I'm boiling eggs to make turkey salad. That will use up the last of the turkey. I'm sure Daughter will come by after work to get some.

I put all the Fall decorations away on Saturday. Today I'm busy decorating for Christmas. Elliott has staked out his viewing spot from the blanket I keep on the couch. Smoke is standing watch above him. Dani is just busy sniffing everything.

I love poinsettias but I'm not the best at keeping them alive through the holidays. I must have gotten a really good one last year because it lasted all the way through spring and into the summer. Although it did look pretty sad at the end.

This year one of AD's sisters brought one to us. I'm going to try my best to keep this one alive for as long as I can.

My main objective today is to set up the Christmas tree and find a good place for it. There's now a love seat sitting in the place we had it last year.

I do apologize to those of you who are real tree enthusiasts. I love the smell of real Christmas trees but a real one just isn't the best choice for our house.

Another thing I really want to start today is gift wrapping. I am notorious for waiting until Christmas Eve to get that done. Don't know why but it just always works out that way for me.

When do you wrap your gifts?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today will be my last post until after Thanksgiving. Our family gathers at our house for Thanksgiving each year and I've got much to do between now and dinner (lunch) on Thursday.

I've been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving for a couple of weeks or so and one of the things that came across my mind was popcorn. I LOVE popcorn! Back in the day when I was in school we learned that the Pilgrims and the Indians enjoyed popcorn at the first Thanksgiving. I wondered if that was really true.

So I decided to check out the history of popcorn in America on the internet. It looks to me like it's just who you want to believe. Some articles say the Indians introduced the Pilgrims to popcorn, some say that's just a myth.

It doesn't really matter to me. I'm just glad we have it now.

I really prefer "real" popcorn - you know - the kind you actually make yourself. Not the microwave kind. Although I will eat microwave popcorn too. It's just that fresh made popcorn tastes so much better to me.

And I really LOVE movie popcorn! I always dreamed of having an old movie popcorn popper.

Then one day several years ago I saw our (then) neighbor unloading a movie popcorn popper from his truck and taking it into his house. I tell you I was over there in a flash! Where did he get it - was it really his - was he going to keep it - and if not, could I have first dibs on buying it from him.

No such luck. He was keeping it. Occasionally I could smell popcorn being made as the scent wafted over towards our house. One of the 10 Commandments is "Thou shalt not covet." Man, was it ever hard not to covet that popper!

Over the next few years I would ask, and ask, and ask our neighbor or his wife if I could buy the popper if they ever decided to sell it. Finally they got tired of me asking and they promised I could have first chance IF they ever decided to sell it. They probably thought that would stop me from asking.

I didn't quit asking. I just didn't ask quite as often and the question turned from "Can I have 1st dibs" to "When are you going to sell . . ." I'm glad we're still friends. Looking back I was really a pain in the neck.

Then low and behold, I caught our neighbors wife on just the right day. She was so excited to share the news that they were expecting their first grandchild. I was excited for her too! But as she was about to leave I asked that age old question again. And she bit! She said she was going to be needing a camcorder for the baby's arrival and if she could talk her husband into selling me the popper it would be a good down payment on one. And off she went.

A few minutes later she called and said - and I will never forget these words, "If you want it, come and get it NOW!" I don't think I've ever moved so fast in my life.

AD got his 2-wheeler and we wheeled that popper right over to our house.

One slight problem - we didn't have a 220 outlet to plug it into. So I went looking for an electrician to wire the house. A couple of weeks later (which gave us time to put a fresh coat of paint on the popper) we were in business.

Wasn't that a fine looking popper? And it made great popcorn! On Sunday nights after church we had popcorn for supper - literally. Of course we had popcorn other nights through the week, but we always had popcorn on Sunday nights.

When G1 and G2 came along they loved watching the popper overflow with popcorn.

One day our neighbor's wife asked me if I ever decided to part with the popper, if they could buy it back. I laughed and said "Sure" thinking that was NEVER going to happen in my lifetime.

Don't ever say or even think the work NEVER.

A few years passed and G1 and G2 were getting older. AD and I wanted to take them to Disney World. How to raise some money for the trip? We had a couple of garage sales. I still felt we needed a little more cash.

I looked at my popper - and I thought about it - and I thought NO - but the question was still there - NO, I'd think again. Then finally I decided to part with that wonderful popper.

I called the neighbor's wife, and just like she'd said to me a few years earlier, I said, "Come get it NOW if you want it." We did have a wonderful trip to Disney and I don't regret selling the popper back to the person who had "shared" it with me.

But I continued to think about owning another popper. We didn't really have room for a big one.

A few weeks ago we were in Kohl's and I saw this on display. A little miniature reproduction of a movie popcorn popper. It wasn't all that expensive and I had some Kohl's cash so I brought one home. While it's not the same as a "real" movie popper, it does quite a nice job. And I'm happy with it.

Now if you've stuck with me through this long story I thank you. And I have a recipe to share with you.

Do you like Kettle Corn? For a long time I thought the only way to have Kettle Corn was to go to a fair or Silver Dollar City or somewhere like that. Then I came across a recipe for Kettle Corn that you can make right in your own home.

Kettle Corn can be made in a large pot or, even easier in my opinion, in one of these - a Stir Crazy. They were popular years ago and they seem to be making a comeback, although a slow comeback. But either way - pot or Stir Crazy - here's the recipe and it's SO easy!

Kettle Corn

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
salt (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil in a Stir Crazy popcorn popper (or in a large pot over medium heat.) Once the oil is hot, add in the sugar and let the little stirrer do its job. When the sugar has started to kind of melt a little, add the popcorn. Cover, and let pop until the popping slows. Immediately unplug the Stir Crazy and invert it so the popcorn doesn’t burn. Shake on salt if desired.

If using a large pot, when the oil is hot, add the sugar and the popcorn and shake the pot constantly to keep the sugar from burning. Once the popping has slowed to once every 2 to 3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat and continue to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour into a large bowl, and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to break up large clumps. Shake on salt if desired.

That's it for this post. Talk to you soon.

From this Oklahoma Granny - I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

New House for Mikey

Mikey doesn't look happy in this picture does he? We bought him a new "Dogloo" on Saturday.

I worried a lot about him last winter being too cold in our garage. He had a bed with lots of blankets to keep him warm and we tried covering him up at night. Sometimes he'd keep his blanket on and sometimes not. So I worried.

When it started to turn cold this year I started to worry again. I wondered if they made blankets for big dogs like they do for horses. When I asked AD about that he just kind of gave me one of those looks.

Knowing how I worry about animals though - any animals - not just ours, AD took one of our little guys' heated pads out and hooked it up for Mikey at night. He put Mikey's other blankets on top of the heated pad and Mikey REALLY liked laying on his bed. Sometimes in the morning he didn't even want to go out - he just wanted to lay on his warm bed.

I still worried because the big guy might be warm on his underside but surely he was cold on top.

Then one of the local farm and ranch supply stores had the Dogloos on sale last week. I asked AD about getting one for the big guy. He agreed that Mikey would probably stay warmer in the Dogloo rather than just a heated bed because the house would keep Mikey's body heat inside.

Saturday we went to the store and bought the house. And we came home and set it up in the garage, of course. Put his bedding in - but without the heated pad - along with some of his favorite treats. And tried to get the big guy to go in. Try as we might, no amount of coaxing could get Mikey to go in! He laid down and wasn't budging. And he's one big dog. Talk about dead weight!

You should have seen AD and me trying to "put" him in the house. We just knew if he'd try it once, he'd like it.

We could have probably won $10,000 on America's Funniest Videos if we had the event on tape.

Then something dawned on AD. Mikey is SCARED of the dark. He has to have his own night light. So AD got a flashlight and put it in the house to see if Mikey would go in and look around. You can see it there on the left.

Mikey did go in all by himself and I ran to get the camera. By the time I got back to the garage though he was coming out. He'd had enough looking around for the time being. That's the reason AD has hold of him so I could snap a picture.

Then the worrying started again. We'd spent all that money on a Dogloo right before Christmas and Mikey wasn't going to like it after all.

But AD had yet another idea. Maybe the flashlight didn't light the house up enough. AD moved Mikey's night light closer to the house, hooked it up (it's really a small lamp) and that did the trick because Mikey went right in, laid down and was happy as a clam.

Now he LOVES his house!

The downside is - Mikey can go clear to the back of the house and if he doesn't want to come out, we can't make him. And he's one stubborn dog.I foresee that being a problem sometime in the future but for now, I'm just glad that he loves his new digs and I won't have to worry about him being cold.

Mikey's snug as a bug in a rug at night - a Big bug - but's he's snug. LOL

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Celebrating Another Birthday

Fifteen years ago today AD and I welcomed our second grandson into the family.

G1 had weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds. The clothes that Daughter had for him before he arrived were either too small or they didn't fit for long.

We just knew this guy would weigh at least 10 pounds, maybe more. So everyone planned accordingly when shopping for the new arrival. However, when G2 arrived he weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces. His clothes fit him for quite awhile! (We did buy some smaller things for him until he could grow into the ones we already had.)

And now overnight - he's 15!

Friday night his folks hosted a birthday party for him. Of course I made the cake.

If you've been reading my blog since August you know that the cake I made for G1 for his birthday looked - at least similar - to his turf car.

Over the past few months I kept asking G2 what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. His answer was always, "Chocolate cake with chocolate icing." He never wavered.

I said, "But I made your brother a cake that looked like his turf car." And G2's reply was, "I want a chocolate cake with chocolate icing."

I took the issue up with Daughter. She told me not to worry about it, just make a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Two days before his birthday I asked one last time. You can tell by the picture what his answer was. I still felt compelled to do something even a little festive - hence the Autumn sprinkles around the edges.

The party was held in their shop - the shop where the boys' race cars are housed. G2's friends seemed to be pretty interested in them. There's G2 showing his Pure Stock to one of his friends while G1 talks to another friend.

See G2 checking out his cake. Can you tell what he's doing?

He was picking the chocolate border off of the cake and taste-testing it!

He taste-tested quite a bit!

Besides the cake there was lots of other good food - ribs, pork tenderloin, brisket, potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, chips, tortilla pinwheels, crackers, cheese, canadian bacon. Everything was delicious.

In addition to housing the boys' race cars, the shop is also home to trophies, trophies and more trophies. Some belong to the boys' dad, some to G1 and the ones in this picture are just a few of G2's many trophies.

It was a fun evening celebrating G2's birthday.

In a couple of weeks we'll be celebrating another special event in G2's life.

This year, at the young age of 14, G2 was chosen Driver of the Year out of all of the drivers from the 3 area race tracks! Quite an accomplishment for someone his age considering he races with/against men twice and even three times older than he is - a few even older than that.

His Papa and I are very proud of G2 for the young man he is and wish him the happiest of birthdays!

Friday, November 20, 2009

No Post Today

Busy today - making a birthday cake for G2 and pre-preparations for Thanksgiving!

Check back on Sunday.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 1970 1:18p.m.

Thirty-nine years ago today - at exactly the time I've set this to post - I was in one of the delivery rooms of the local hospital and Son came on the scene. He weighed in at just a few ounces over 5 pounds and was 18 1/2 inches long. I didn't even notice what a scrawny little guy he was at the time. I just thought he was the most beautiful baby in the whole world!

After a couple of months or so he started to fill out.

This is a picture of Son with his Great Grandmother.

Here he is at 2 and just as adorable as can be. This is one of my most favorite pictures of Son.

And here is a picture of Son a few months before he turned 8.

This is a picture I took this past summer of Son and G3 at age 8.

It seems like only yesterday that Son was born - or was 2 - or was 8. My how time flies!

Happy Birthday, Son! We love you and are proud of the man and father you've become.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quick & Easy, Sweet & Spicy

A week or so ago Daughter told me about a taste treat she'd had at her office but unfortunately the recipe was not to be shared. And she really liked the candy.

Hhmmm. I thought I could remedy that and went looking on the internet. I found several recipes, read through them all and with what I already knew about making candy like this, I came up with my own version of

Jalapeno Peanut Brittle

Some might be thinking - Ugh! Jalapenos in peanut brittle - YUCK!

Now I'm not a huge fan of jalapenos - a few small pieces in a recipe are ok - but I'm just a wimp when it comes to jalapenos. So I had to rely on AD and Daughter to do the final taste test. They approved as did G1 (who I thought would NEVER let a piece pass his lips.)

So here's what I came up with (and sorry for lack of photos but this was just going to be a test so I didn't take any).

Jalapeno Peanut Brittle

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup (I use Griffin's of course)
1 cup coarsely chopped raw peanuts
1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno peppers (about 2 jalapenos and be sure to REMOVE ALL SEEDS and RIBS before dicing)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Spray a cookie sheet and a spatula with pan spray. Or you could use a non-stick baking mat in the pan like I did. I still lightly sprayed the baking mat with pan spray though just in case something went wrong.

Mix the sugars and the syrup together in a large glass bowl (I used my 2 quart Pyrex measuring bowl with a handle.) Microwave the mixture for 4 minutes at 100% power.

Remove from microwave and stir well. Then stir in peanuts, butter and diced jalapenos until blended.

Microwave for 5 1/2 to 6 minutes at 100% power.

Finally, working quickly, stir in the vanilla and baking soda. (If you've never made peanut brittle please know that stirring in the baking soda will cause the candy to bubble up kind of like the volcanos kids make in school.) Quickly spread candy onto prepared pan and spread out with the spatula. The candy starts to set up almost immediately so you have to work fast.

Cool until firm and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Note that from my experience the candy will come to stick together if it's put into a plastic container so you might want to put waxed paper between the layers.

If you like jalapenos and peanut brittle I hope you'll give it a try. If you're a wimp like me when it comes to jalapenos, I totally understand.

Friday, November 13, 2009

One Easy Recipe

that turns out fabulous every time!

My mother used to cook a roast on top of the stove. It was always good but time consuming because you kept having to add water every so often.

When I was a young mother someone told me how to cook a roast in the oven and that worked well for me for many years.

Then I found a recipe for Crockpot Pot Roast - and I'm all about crockpots!

This one is so easy - only 5 ingredients counting the roast - and you're good to go.

Put one beef roast of any kind (and any size as long as it will fit) in your crockpot.

Mix together 1 cup water, 1 package dry Italian Salad Dressing Mix, 1 package dry brown gravy mix and 1 package dry Ranch Dressing Mix.

Pour the mixture over the roast and set the crockpot to low.
Cook all day and

it comes out so juicy and tender. It just falls apart.

You can just thicken the juices with a little flour for a wonderful gravy.

I transfer the juices to a small pan and heat almost to a boil. Then I mix about 3 tablespoons of flour with some cold water and add that to the juices slowly and stirring constantly so everything blends nicely. It makes a fantastic gravy.

Crockpot Roast

1 roast, any cut that will fit in your crockpot
1 cup water
1 package dry Italian Salad Dressing Mix
1 package dry Brown Gravy Mix
1 package dry Ranch Dressing Mix

Place pot roast in the crockpot. Mix the water with the dry mixes and pour over the roast. Set the crockpot on low and cook all day.

Give it a try sometime. I'm sure you'll love it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Such an Honor

Have you ever visited Deb's blog, He gave me a dream? She is one inspiring lady and I am blessed every time I read one of her posts.

On Tuesday she honored me with a Heartfelt Award.

The rules for receiving the Heartfelt Award:“This award is bestowed upon blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I am passing the award on to the following bloggers:

An Apple A Day
Eat, Fart and Bark

Lily at blahwg! Life on the Farm
Twisted Fencepost
Jan at Animal Talk
Stephanie at The Whispering Creek House
Arby at Boarding in Bedlam

I thank each one of them for allowing me into a bit of their lives each day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whatcha' Working On Wednesday

Today is Veteran's Day and first and foremost, today and everyday, I want to thank all the men and women who are currently serving or who have served in any branch of our Armed Services.

These individuals have sacrificed much so that we, as Americans, can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

May each one know that they are appreciated.

Ok - so here's what I'll be working on today. It's nothing fun at all! It's the one household chore - and I do mean CHORE - that just makes me cringe.

It's dusting.

While I'd rather spend my time doing fun things I don't mind (too much) doing laundry or ironing or cleaning the bathroom or vaccuming or doing the dishes. I just hate dusting. Pioneer Woman says laundry never goes away - well, neither does dust!

Most days I try to think of dust as some sort of protective covering (HA!) but then it just gets to be too much and I have to break down and do deep cleaning dusting. Not just the furniture but the woodwork, the cabinets, the ceiling fans, everything. So that's what's on the agenda today.

Here's hoping you will be doing something much more fun today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Photo Tag

I was tagged by Pickles on Pizza's own Angela to play Photo Tag. (Thanks, Angela! I'm always looking for new things to post about.)

Here's how the game works - The person who is tagged goes to the first photo file on his/her computer and then goes to the tenth photo in that file. (I was just thinking yesterday that I needed to download a bunch of my photos onto a dvd to clean up my computer but I didn't do it, giving you a picture from back in July.)

The tagged person posts the picture on his/her blog and tells the story behind it.

The tagged person then tags a few people from the blogs he/she reads.

The 10th photo in my first file (from last July):

The story behind the photo: The baling had just been done on the field next to ours. Because one of my favorite sites is fields with baled hay sitting around, I couldn't resist taking some pictures.

I'm going to tag:

Kathy at Four Dog Day
Okie Book Woman
Lanyard Lady
Cathryn at Chile Cats

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Hometown

I was in my hometown very early one morning last week. The stores I needed to shop in weren't open yet.

My camera was in the car so I drove around town and took pictures of some of my favorite buildings and places.

How about a tour?

This depot building used to be on the road to one of the area lakes. When I was little my family would drive out to that lake and I always loved seeing that little building. Then several (how many is "several" anyway because it was a long time ago) the depot was moved to one of the parks in town and restored. I'm glad someone had the vision to do that.

At the entrance to that same park is an amusement park for the children. It's know as the Kiddie Park and is the highlight of summer to the children in town. As a matter of fact, the Kiddie Park was in existence when I was little but at a different location. I can't remember when it was relocated to this park. My children and now my grandchildren have spent happy times riding all the rides. The very last train ride of the evening is always free.

There is a river that runs along side the park. This is looking north.

Here's a bend in the river looking the other way - kinda southeast.

This used to the be train depot in town. It now houses the Chamber of Commerce.

The Price Tower was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

This is the old courthouse. It's where AD and I went to get our marriage license almost 40 years ago. I'm not sure what offices are in the building now.

This is now the court house but it was originally the town's post office.

The last building on the tour used to be the hospital. AD and I were both born in this hospital. When I was a teenager I volunteered as a candy striper at the hospital. It's also catty-cornered to the old court house so that's where AD and I had our blood tests done in order to get our marriage license. I'm not sure what the building is used for now.

It was fun taking these pictures. I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Special Message for a Special Friend

This is a picture of my friend, Kristin, and me. It was taken when she, her husband and I went to see Wicked back in August.

God so blessed me when our paths crossed a few years ago.

Today is her birthday and I just want to wish her the happiest of days.

Kristin, You're a wonderful friend and I wish you the best of everything in the coming year. Happy, Happy Birthday to you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If You Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate

you'll love this recipe that I found over at Kate's blog Framed. She has the most wonderful recipes and she takes beautiful photos of the food she prepares.

The day before Halloween Kate posted a recipe called Halloween Brownies. One of the ingredients is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. AD, Daughter and G2 are big fans of the peanut buttery chocolate treat so I knew I had to try the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 13" x 9" pan with aluminum foil making sure it extends over the edges of the pan. GREASE/SPRAY the foil. The reason I put those words in caps is because I initially overlooked those directions. Luckily I did remember just prior to pressing the bottom layer into the pan.

Crush a 16-ounce package of Nutter Butter cookies. I put mine in the food processor.

Melt butter and combine with the cookie crumbs. I let the food processor do that for me too.

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the GREASED/SPRAYED pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes. (I went with 8 minutes.)

While crust is baking combine sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla together

stirring until smooth.

Chop peanut butter cups and Butterfinger candy bars.

At some point the crust will have baked the 6-8 minutes and you will have removed it from the oven.

Sprinkle chopped candy bars and chocolate chips over crust.

Pour the condensed milk/peanut butter mixture over the chocolate toppings.

I then spread the mixture evenly over the chocolate candies.

Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once the bars are cooled, lift them out of the pan using the overlapping foil as a handle.

Peel the foil down and cut into bars.

Kate's instructions said the recipe makes 28 small or 18 large bars. I cut these into 48 pieces. My family told me that was a good thing because they are very rich.

Halloween Brownies

Kate adapted her recipe from

I adapted my bars from Kate's recipe. You can see her recipe and her beautiful photographs here.

1 (16 ounce) package Nutter Butter cookies, crushed into crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I didn't have quite 1/2 cup but everything turned out fine)
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 1/2 ounces peanut butter cups (about 25 miniature cups or 10 snack size cups), coarsely chopped
4 ounces Butterfinger candy bars (about 7 small candy bars), coarsely chopped (Note: I used one 5 ounce chocolate bar with Butterfinger chips in it)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13"x9" pan with aluminum foil letting the foil extend over the edges of the pan. GREASE/SPRAY foil. Please don't forget the spraying part!

Combine cookie crumbs with melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and back 6-8 minutes.

Stir sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla together until smooth. Set aside. Sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips over crust. Pour condensed milk/peanut butter mixture over the chocolates and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan.

Lift bars out of pan, peel back foil and cut into bars.

Prepare to indulge.