Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Song Parody

The sleet, ice and snow that's happening in Oklahoma right now isn't a laughing matter but sometimes humor helps.

You know how emails start getting forwarded around during an event - for instance, bad weather? One was delivered to my email box this afternoon. Not sure who came up with this parody of our state song but he/she is talented. If you happen to know the originator is I'd be happy to know so I can give them credit.

Where the cold front's sweepin' down the plain
And the piles of sleet, beneath your feet
Follow right behind the freezing rain.

Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Travel home from work and hope some jerk
Doesn't wreck our car passing by!

We know we belong to the land
But it could use some more salt and sand

That's why we say.....WHOA!
We're sliding the other way.....YIKES!

We're only sayin'
You're slick as snot SNOWklahoma

SNOWklahoma, SNOW-K!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Perfect Timing

I have a routine doctor's appointment this morning. It's a blessing that it was scheduled for today and not tomorrow when we're supposed to have another winter storm move into our area.

A few days ago I was checking the local library website to see if a copy of Joanne Fluke's Plum Pudding Murder was available. They have two copies but both were checked out. However, I was able to place a hold on one when it became available.

If you're not familiar with the Hannah Swenson series they're very light reading even though they are murder mysteries. Hannah owns a cookie shop and seems to get herself involved in all of the town's murder investigations, much to her mother's chagrin. The chapters are interspersed with various recipes, one of the things that drew me to the series in the first place.

Yesterday I checked the website again. The book has been checked in and put back for me to pick up. I'll be able to run by and get it while I'm in town this morning.

Now I'll have a book to read if we do get all the ice and snow that's predicted. What perfect timing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Open For Business

Last weekend AD and I purchased a couple of bird feeders and some food. AD set a shepherd's hook, filled the feeders and hung them up. Then we waited for the birds to come. We watched and we waited. No birds came.

I told AD maybe we should put out a sign saying "Free Food." He just rolled his eyes. Later that night I gave him some stale bread to tear up and throw over the fence thinking that might lure some birds close to the feeders. Still no birds came.

This morning I looked out to see Mikey and his friend, Cosmo, eating the bread that was still on the ground.

It's a nice, sunny day today. Still no birds.

The weather forecast for the rest of the week looks like this.

Maybe the birds will make their way to the feeders when the predicted ice and snow is on the ground.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cooking With G4

You might remember that we gave G4 copies of Paula Deen's children's cookbooks for Christmas.

Last night he called to tell me he had fixed dinner for the family with a little help from his dad. You know, hot pans and stuff like that. I believe G4 told me the name of the recipe was Cheeseburger Casserole.

He seems to be a natural at this cooking thing.

Time to top everything off with cheese.

Looks like the dish is ready to go in the oven. G4 has the oven mitts on but somehow I think Son probably put the dish into the oven. A casserole like that can sometimes be heavy.

Look how tasty the dish looks!

G4 should be very pleased with himself. Granny is pretty proud of the work he did!

A special thanks to Son who photographed this event and shared the photos.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Better to Give Than to Receive

I believe the title statement. I do.

But I have to admit, receiving the following Christmas gifts from Son's family was great.

If you've read my blog for awhile you know about the ongoing fun Son and I have with flamingos. The grandkids gave me this adorable flamingo that has a voice box. It says, "I love you!"

I love each one of them too. And I love the flamingo!

This book is the gift I received from Son and his wife.

I've decorated cakes for friends and family for about 35 years - and I'm not counting the years before I actually took a class. However, I am by no means a professional cake decorator, just one that enjoys baking and decorating fun cakes for those around me.

In 2008 Jen Yates created her blog, Cake Wrecks. I can't remember how I even came across it but I've followed it for well over a year now. Son follows it too.

I really can't believe there is anyone out there in the blogging world that isn't familiar with Cake Wrecks, but if you haven't seen it you should drop on over. It's an absolute HOOT!

Anyway, Jen's blog led to a book and the book, of course, led to a book tour. Kansas City was listed in the tour dates and I asked AD if we could take a drive up there for the book signing. One thing led to another and to make a long story short we weren't able to go.

Dallas was also on the tour. Son planned to attend that one, then called and told me he wasn't going to be able to make his trip after all.

Now I want you to know that I taught my kids that lying is wrong, wrong, wrong but Son actually LIED to his own mother! Well, I guess it's what one would call a white lie. He did make that trip, bought me - and him too, of course - copies of the book and had Jen sign them.

What fun Christmas gifts. So, in this case, it was pretty darn good to receive!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Parsley is Giving Away See's Chocolates

Parsley, over at Seasons Of My Mind, is having a Valentine's Day giveaway - See's Chocolate!

If you've ever had See's candy you'll know how wonderful it is. If you've never had See's candy, you don't know what your missing!

Same with Parsley's blog - if you've never visited her blog, do it because it's wonderful and so inspirational. And Parsley loves making new friends. So pop on over, say hi, check out her blog and tell her I sent you.

One Last Celebration

Last Sunday we celebrated Christmas one last time. We traveled to OKC for a late Christmas with Son's family.

G4 likes to cook with his dad. Among his other gifts were 2 children's cookbooks by Paula Deen, which G4 recognized on sight. I also personalized an apron for him although G4 wasn't quite sure what it was.

G3 likes science so AD and I thought a rock tumbler would make a good Christmas gift. Son told G3 he'd always wanted one when he was a kid but he never got one.

I don't really remember Son having a rock tumbler on his wish list but then, I've slept a few times since then. I'll bet G3 will share with his dad.

Daughter's family was also there. G1 and G2 didn't want their pictures taken. Can you tell?

This is part of the aftermath of the gift opening frenzy.

G3 and G4 had fun during a short wrestling match with G2.

Tomorrow I'll share the gifts I received.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Next Best Thing to Pizza

Probably my all time favorite food is pizza.

I can remember the very first time I ever had a slice of pizza. A Pizza Hut had just opened in our town and my folks took us out to eat. I can still remember the aroma in the restaurant and the wonderful taste of the pizza.

Living where we do there's no pizza delivery. I do make a pretty mean pizza if I do say so but sometimes I want that taste a little quicker than the time it takes for me to make the pizza dough and the actual pizza itself.

When that happens I turn to my recipe for Pizza Casserole. The list of ingredients include ground beef, pepperoni, onion, green pepper, minced garlic (I was out the night I was putting this together so I sub'd garlic powder and it worked just fine), spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese and rotini.

Fill up a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the rotini and cook it for 7 or 8 minutes. Take it off the heat and put a lid on the pot. Now let the rotini set while the sauce is prepared.

The ground beef is browned with

the onion, green pepper and minced garlic (or garlic powder).

Side note: Do you have one of these? I can't recall the name of it but it's in the Pampered Chef line and it's one of my most favorite kitchen tools.

It's used to break up ground beef as the meat is browning. I have one for the house and one for our travel trailer. It's just a great tool and doesn't harm non-stick pans.

Back to the casserole preparation. Somewhere about this time I start preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Once the meat has browned nicely and the onions are kind of translucent any excess fat should be drained off.

Stir in the pepperoni and spaghetti sauce.

Drain the rotini well and incorporate it into the sauce.

Place have the mixture in a large baking dish.

Top with half of the cheese.

Make another layer with the rest of the rotini and sauce mixture. Top that with the rest of the cheese.

Put it in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes - until the cheese has melted and started to brown.

If you're so inclined, make some garlic bread. Then sound the dinner bell because supper is served.

Pizza Casserole

3 cups uncooked rotini noodles
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced pepperoni (I cut the pepperoni up with my kitchen shears 'cuz that's what I do)
1 (26.5 ounce) can or jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles in boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes, the remove from heat and cover the pan with a lid. Set aside and prepare the sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic and green pepper. Drain any excess fat.

Stir in the pepperoni and spaghetti sauce.

Drain the noodles well and add to the sauce, incorporating everything together.

Pour 1/2 of the sauce mixture into a large casserole dish. Top with 1/2 of the cheese. Layer the rest of the sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

My personal notes: I used a little more than 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 jars of spaghetti sauce and more like 2 cups of cheese when I was making this the other night. We were expecting G1 and G2 for supper. 'Nuff said.

Oh, one more thing - I'm sure mushrooms would be a great addition to this recipe but AD isn't a fan so . . .

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They're On Candid Camera!

The other night - well, the other morning actually - I had to get up to go to the bathroom. While I was in there I saw a flash of light. The first thing that came to mind was lightning.

The second thing I thought was, not this time of year. That must be AD's wildlife camera.

Yesterday he went out and retrieved the card out of the camera. Here's some of the pictures that were on it.

I call this one "Deer in the Headlights."

The flash didn't spook them though. They kept right on grazing.

Oops! How did this guy get through the fence? AD is going to have to check that out.

Well, look at this guy. Mikey, what are you doing eating the deer food? You have lots of tasty treats back at the house.

Mikey: Did I just hear something? Drat! I've been caught on camera. I'd better mosey on along.

Even the crows came in for a snack.

I don't know who's having more fun with the camera - AD or ME!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Passing It Along

Christmas lasted a little longer at our house this year. Yesterday AD, his mother and I traveled to OKC and shared one last celebration with Son and his family. Daughter and her family were also there to celebrate.

I'm still busy going through the photos I took and plan to share some later this week.

In the meantime, I was surprised and humbled by Deborah over at The Fairfield House this morning. She recognized my blog and me by sending The Lemonade Stand award. It's awarded for being a blogger who shows great attitude and gratitude.

If you haven't visited Deborah's blog you should pop on over. I think you'll find you enjoy it every bit as much as I do.

The rules for accepting this award are:

- Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
- Nominate 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I am excited to accept the award from Deborah and will pass it along to some of my fellow bloggers.

I do recognize and understand that some bloggers prefer to have an award free blog. In picking my nominees I did check each one to determine if that is what they preferred. So if your blog is listed below and I somehow missed the fact that it is an award free blog, please accept my apologies for overlooking the designation.

The blogs I would like to recognize are (in alphabetical order):

Butts & Ashes - Marla has received this award before but I just had to recognize her again for inspiring blog and the work she does.

Chilie Cats - Cathryn crafts beautiful beaded jewelry. She and her husband have a special love for less fortunate felines.

He gave me a dream - I was truly blessed when I found Deb's blog. Her posts are so incredibly inspirational and I treasure each one.

Mickey and Me - I would love to be Melinda's next door neighbor in real life. I know we would be best of friends. We have a lot in common and share a love of grandchildren and animals. I'm blessed to have her as a blogging buddy.

Pickles on Pizza - Angela is a crafter with incredible talent. I'm always inspired when she shares something new that she has created.

Seasons of My Mind - This is another blog that has previously received the Lemonade Stand Award but deserves to be recognized again. Parsley is a wonderful Christian mother who, just like the rest of us, isn't perfect but is striving to do God's will.

Deborah, Thank you so much for recognizing my blog!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Result

So this is how Smoke looked after his grooming. Not a lot darker but we could see a slight difference.

Here's another picture of him from a different angle. Although it doesn't look like it in this picture, the hair down his spine appears a tad darker than the rest.

No matter his coloring he's our kid and we love him with all our hearts.

We have a busy, fun weekend ahead. Hope you have a wonderful one too!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reverse Graying?

When Smoke became a part of our family in 2006 he looked like this.

After his first trip to the groomer's we thought he was living up to his name because he came home looking like this.

Eventually his coloring became more gray.

A few months ago I caught him sleeping on the back of AD's recliner and snapped this photo. See how gray his coat is?

Then a few weeks ago a small dark patch appeared near his tail. At first I thought he must have a bruise or something. But the patch continues to get larger and is working its way up his back as the days go by. Now we're seeing a lot of dark fur underneath the gray.

Today Smoke and the other 2 indoor fur kids have an appointment with the groomer. It makes me wonder what he'll look like when we pick him up this afternoon.

If Smoke's fur really is returning to its original color I'll bet there are humans out there that would like to know his secret.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sometimes It Doesn't Take Much

Daughter loves these cookies - little shortbread cookies topped with red sugar crystals. She has loved them for years. It's been so many years now that I can't even remember when I first started buying them for her. And they are cheap!

You might be familiar with them but if not, they can be found at Wallyworld for the low, low price of only a buck fifty a bag on the Seasonal Items aisle.

It's become a tradition now. Whenever the Valentine merchandise goes on the shelves I look for these cookies. And I buy Daughter a bag.

When I was in Wallyworld on Monday the cookies were out in their same, familiar place (north end of the aisle on the right, just about eye level.)

I picked up a bag and AD took them to her that evening. G2 immediately grabbed the bag and tore into them. Evidently he inherited his mother's love for them.

It's ok. I'll buy another bag for Daughter so she can have one all to herself.

They don't cost much. And she loves them. And it's a small way to show Daughter that I'm thinking of her.

Do you have a special way to let your kids know you're thinking of them?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who Did It?

C'mon. 'fess up.

Everyday I read several blogs. A few days ago someone wrote about receiving some of these sweet little truffles. Lindt Lindor Truffles - Stracciatella. "White chocolate shell with cocoa pieces with a smooth filling."

Try as I might I can't remember or find - and believe me I have tried - who wrote about these little confections. So who did it?

I am familiar with Lindt truffles in general, but I'd not been introduced to this particular variety.

I left a comment for the blogger saying how good they looked and that I'd have to look for them the next time I was in town.

Well, I was in town yesterday on my way to American Eagle when a 75% off sign in the local Hallmark store caught my eye - those 75% off signs will do it every time - and it just pulled me right into the store like a magnet.

I found a few cute Christmas decorations on sale and I also picked up a couple of other little items, one of which needed to be gift wrapped.

To pass the time while waiting I was casually looking at the display by the cash register - the display of individual sweets that are placed in that particular spot to intice spontaneous purchases by customers.

There on the very bottom shelf a container of these little truffles caught my eye. I remembered the blog comment I'd left and I'm a woman of my word. I had to buy one and give it a taste test.

Let me tell you - it was like in the movies when the heavens open up and angels are singing. The outer shell cracked as I bit into the candy and the smooth filling flowed over my tongue. It was love at first taste.

Not that I'd forsake my #1 chocolate love, Freia's Melkesjokolade chocolate bars. NEVER. But they aren't as easily attainable. And the Stracciatella truffles run a pretty close second.

To my blogging friend who introduced me to the truffles I just have to say Thank You!

PS. I did make it to American Eagle but as luck would have it, the hat I wanted was gone.