Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wednesday Hodge Podge

Click here to return to our hostess, Joyce!

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
Both sets of grandparents    were  country folk...  My mom's  parents  were dairy farmers and very hardworking no nonsense  types...their love was evident, but  to be honest  for a  child they were not  very much fun..  My most fun memory was  grandpa taking me to a cattle men's association meeting, sitting in a smoke filled room,  and  then  he actually  stopped my the  mart and bought me a fudgsicle.. the next day I was  up  with the   the sun   helping to hoe an acre of corn. 
I never knew my  granddad on dad's side. He died the year before I was born.  But  Granny was not as prosperous as  the other  side of the family,  but she was jolly.... and  fun spirited..When she'd come to visit  while mom and dad were at work,  she'd whisper to me.. come on  "Let's  sneak off to the store buy by something good"... like  a bag of Frito's or  some ice cream.  She made everything an adventure.  When we  stayed at her house  way down in the country,  I had to sleep with her..  She was a mountain sleeping on 2 pillows  and under  several quilts...there was no central heating at night...  the wood furnace she'd fire up in the parlor in the morning  and then the wood stove in the kitchen would  start roaring..so  the bedrooms were frigid in winter...  I remember jumping out of bed and  flying to kitchen  to warm up  in the mornings...  and kitchen smelled so wonderful..  she was an amazing cook...  doing it all on her  trusty wood stove!!! Oh,  and  you either  used the chamber pot under the bed at night, or  venture outside  ... after dark... it was  that  cold porcelain for me!!!!
2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
Our Christmases  when I was  little   were  sparse..  It was  soon after the war and dad was   only working part-time  as he attended school...  One of my first Christmases  there was a large bag of oranges for  everyone  and I got a  push butterfly with movable wings on a stick.  But my aunt made me an octopus doll made out of  green  yarn  and  tied with I think pink bows.  I remember  loving that critter and carrying it around with me  everywhere.. I imagine   its tentacles were  probably  quite slobbery  and I  wouldn't doubt   that I  may had had a fur ball or two.

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
I will speak literally...  thankfully,  I see  mostly trees.. when we bought our house  there were so many trees, in fact you  could just barely see the house from the road....  but  that was mainly because  the previous owners had planted a row of  cedars across the front ... probably to  block the  sight across the road...  We live across from an elementary school and sometimes the  uproar  on the playground can be  diverting... but to be honest those cedars  were  hideous..  over grown and  ugly so we had them cut down  much to our neighbors delight  because he could barely see to back out of his driveway. It wasn't too long  until we  realized  how  nice it had been to  have  that  blind   before us...but we had  many  large trees  in the yard  and  we learned to live with  the sight and the  cacophony.Then  Hurricane Hugo took out  a couple more trees  and  so  we  decided to  replant  maples..  Thankfully,  they have grown and   are a lovely  blockade  about us.... this summer has been especially  peaceful.. our school wasn't the summer school facility!!

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

I  love grapefruit,   and especially ruby red ones, although  they probably don't qualify as  sour...funny, momma used to have to count  while I drank down my grapefruit juice.  I  eat Greek yogurt every morning,   I made lemonade yesterday and only used half the amount of sugar... so refreshing.  I like to  season  with lemon and lime juice..   I  like sauerkraut on my Reuben sandwiches but  wouldn't just eat a plate of it.  I used to love buttermilk,  but  don't care for it now..  so  when a recipe calls for it I make my own by  using vinegar in my milk!  I got sick off of eating too many tart cherries one day  while picking them..  yikes.. no more  for me!!!  I've never eaten a kumquat.

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
I love to make  homemade biscuits and scones.. again using  clabbered  sweet milk instead of vinegar...

Cranberry  Walnut Scones

3 c  Virginia’s best  self rising flour
1 T baking powder
½ c sugar
¾ c butter…slice in  tablespoon  slices  to make  working it in  easier
1 c fresh cranberries… I added golden raisins to make a cup
½ c chopped  English walnuts.. I used pecans
1 1/2 T orange zest
1 c buttermilk  I used  clabbered milk  ( 1 cup milk  with 1 table of  white vinegar)
To top  unbaked scones.
1 T cream or milk
1 T sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Stir together all dry ingredients at top  of list..   Rub the butter  slices into the mixture until  only coarse crumbs form…   Like  cornmeal….  Incorporate the butter evenly.. no large  chunks….Stir in cranberries, nuts, and  zest. Add buttermilk and mix with a fork until evenly moistened.  I  didn’t  mix  it too much  and  as soon as I saw it coming together  I  poured it out on a floured surface and  shaped it into a  ball.   Pat the ball into a  ¾ inch thick circle.    Don’t work the dough too much…   it should be  fairly easy to  work with   you will have a lot on your fingers 
   As it will be moist. So  incorporate just enough flour     so not so sticky
   But  keep it   pliable.
Cut  rounds with a biscuit cutter and place on a greased sheet. Brush tops with the cream or milk and  sprinkle the sugar mixture on top.    Bake at 400 for 14-16 minutes or until  golden…  if you desire  lightly sprinkle with  powder  sugar.
 Cream topping:
8 oz  cream cheese.  I used mascarpone and thought it was much  better.  But  it is  much more expensive
  1 T  zest
  2 T honey  but I didn’t have honey so I sued 1 T of orange Marmalade.  This is a fine  spread for any  specialty bread!
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5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.  
2017 is flying by..  I can barely keep the tangles out of my hair!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
My daughter will be pleased that I filled  a bag of books and  old cd's  and   have culled out a box full of  old dishes and pottery  items  and a  large bag of  clothing and accessories  all to take to the salvation army store.  I reuse to  over stuff my  new  bedrooms  that are  being  refurnished this week following  the  floor  refinishing...  Now if only I could part with  my  Southern Lady, Tea Time ,and  Victoria Bliss magazines...  As well as,  my  Ireland/ Scotland  periodicals...  I just love to peruse them so much!!.  I guess I need to  cull out some more  cookbooks that  I never use  to make room for more magazines  that  are piling up in the den.  Oh, it never ends does it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

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The weather:::
This week is  a carbon copy of the last few weeks... hot, humid,  and  just not  fun ... for me anyway!

Right now I am:::
We just got home  from a very early appointment  with the ENT  to  examine me  for the second time  since my rhinoplasty  surgery  earlier  in May..hopefully no more numbing and  probing around..  not fun either..I did get a  good breakfast out of it though and a quick stop  at the market to  pick up some  goodies....  I  got a pack of ice cream sandwiches...  one of those  every couple of days  might make the  days  more  palatable!

On my reading pile:::
I am reading  a wonderful book a  dear friend gave me for my birthday....  Ann Voskamp's  book,  The Broken Way.    This is a must read for every one.  we all have  situations and  past experiences that have  affected who we are in some way...  and  it  points  back to  who we are in Christ  and  how  that is all that really matters..  to  be delivered from past hurts and  disappointments...  Ann's books always touch the heart in  powerful ways!

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
I really enjoyed Hallmark's tribute to Christmas the last few days.... last night was a real favorite.. Operation Christmas... 
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On my TV:::
My answer for this is always the same
During the day I do enjoy Days of Our Lives..  Watched for  50 years..old habits die hard!
I like  Blue Bloods,  and Monk.. IN the evening  I watch  YouTube  videos of  BBC  TV shows like  Escape to the Country, or Netflix reruns of Foyle's War and  The Great British Baking Competition.

On the menu for this week::
At the market this morning we picked up a plethora of fruits..strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, bing cherries, and grapes...  I envision a  huge  salad of fruit  in Tupperware that we  eat by the bowl full  for the next couple of days....  nothing better.  and it keeps the house  pretty cool ,as well.

On my to do list:::
Monday~Dr. Appt.... marketing....organize  the  dresser drawers  in our room  and  dresser  tops... in preparation for moving the  master room  stuff  out this week  so Hubs cans tart on  carpet removal ... yayaya!
Tuesday~Hubs  has  some  floor refinishing to do in guest room  just in a  couple of areas   and trying to get it all to match...ummm...I will be planning  the new room arrangement in guest room.
Wednesday~ Hubs haircut and prob breakfast out.    continue  previous tasks  and  then choir 
Thursday~    Concerned Women for America  meeting,  
  group  dinner out, then   Prophetic  teaching at a church a cross town....  we love    this  combined event... a highlight every month!
Friday~ Hopefully put the guest room back together.. yayayaya..hair appt in the afternoon. 

Looking around the house:::
I am still  in the process started last week  on the following... I have filled one bag..    and  will amend  the  following text...
I am  planning to fill at least  3 large  leaf bags  with items form the guest room closet and master room drawers  to take to   Salvation Army... also a few  blankets and  coverlets  we just don't need anymore!

From the camera:::
Hubs  has been so good to keep the  outdoor plantings well watered during this  hot  snap...

 and I can not believe    some of my  day lilies  bloomed this year...  they have been absent the past few years...  I was afraid  the deer had gotten them.

What I'm wearing today:::
Right now   I'm wearing navy shorts and and  navy  polka dot tee...! But I'm about to  get much cooler  since I don't plan on going outside anymore today....   time for  the  very  hideous, but cool,   tank top!

One of my simple pleasures:::
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I will  soon  pull out the  electric  lemon  squeeze machine and make  a lovely  pitcher of homemade  lemonade!
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Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share:::
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday's Fave Five

Click here to  return to Susanne's Place.  I believe everyone is experiencing this  terrible heat wave....we  are  almost through our  second week of  90 and above weather and  even though the forecast  says rain showers.. they always  go around us here   near the Blue Ridge...  The mountains often  divert us here in our  valley!!
Nevertheless..  there  is  always something  good to share..
1)Like last weekend when Hubs   took me on my  special birthday  trip to Abingdon  to  see  my  very first  Barter Theater play... 
We saw the comedy,  The Cottage, and it was  uproariously  funny...  The play is due to go to Broadway in 2018  and I  do hope the entire cast makes it, as well...  they were all perfect!!
We  spent the weekend  at the Martha Washington Inn a very historic inn  that in the  19th century  was  a women's college..  my great-grandmother actually attended there..I loved  wandering the halls  and  imagining  what it must ave been like then...  many testaments to  those years are seen throughout the inn. This photo  graced the wall  by our room...
The Inn  is  so full of grace and charm..even hubs got into a genteel mood!

 This  lovely alcove    greeted us as we  got off the elevator on our floor.
 a garden  outside our room.
the lobby 
  steeping off the veranda  on our  way across the street to the theater...

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exquisite dining..
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and  the theater
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3)   In my daughter's world miles away  her oldest  at just shy of 4 years  went to half day Ballet camp this week. and loved it..  I believe she is ready for    preschool...

I don't  think  her wee sis  was  too  excited at first,   but she has gotten some quality  time with momma this week..  So  it is high marks all around!!
 Isn't hubs just adorable in his work clothes....
I am ecstatic...  he has been working  this week in the guest room poor thing on his hands and knees  scraping  up  glued down carpet...  this task  has been on  the priority list for years....  but  it was  just so daunting...  the whole upstairs  had glued down  carpet... a suppose a  trend of  some decade past..  we  took it up in our daughter's room  when she was  little  and saw then just how time consuming and  horrific   of a task it was...  it wasn't until  this past January that  Hubs deiced to  do his office.
That was the most difficult room...finding a place to put everything in some semblance of order..  old wallpaper to be removed,    prime painting, finish coat and trim...  then  carpet removal....

Then in February he   took on the hall..
Imagine my delight when he decided to do the guest room Monday.. It is  such a    horrid job.. once you  remove the carpet the   dry rotted  backing is glued and stuck to the  beautiful hardwood.  it is only removed by heating it with a hot gun  and a  scraper.. carefully, not to damage the  floors...
"Oh, my aching back!"
Today is    cleaning and    putting  a new finish on the  floors.  This weekend  we can put the room back together  with  the  gorgeous new area rugs  we  got  from  Karastan....  I am  so  excited...then   last but not least.. he will tackle our room...  it has to be completely by mid August..  so praying  he  is up to starting it soon!
5)This evening we have a great evening planned...  the cousins get together  regularly to dine out. .. but due to    accidents and hospital stays we haven't gotten together  in  a few months.. Tonight  we are celebrating   our  time together   at  every one's favorite seafood restaurant...  for us it will definitely be fried oysters for hubs and   scallops for moi!  Oh, yeah.. looking forward to seeing the cousins, too!  heheheh
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wednesday Hodge Podge

From this Side of the Pond

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1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)
About 2 weeks ago....  a  new young couple moved in a few doors  up  the hill  and  he happened  to  stop by to ask us about where we  went to church..  We told him about our church and  think he went that next Sunday. Unfortunately, his wife works on Sunday,,,  I haven't had an opportunity  to see how he liked it...  We need to follow-up!

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?
Now that I'm retired  I  am  probably most like  a  slow moving river  that  is  lazy and  meandering...  but  once  riled  can  become a raging torrent...  you ask  what  might  rile me...  lately, it can be too much politics...  I'm trying to wean myself off of it!!!
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3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?
We went through Delaware  when our  daughter   was  6. We were on our way to Lewes to take the ferry  across the bay to   Cape May...
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What a gorgeous  place...  have always wanted to return..  and stay in one of their  magnificent  Victorian b and b's!...
 Living in Virginia, our nickname is Old Dominion....  and I  love that nickname... very ap-propriate.. as we  are the Mother of States, and Mother of Presidents!  Another nickname is  Virginia is for Lovers...
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  this name came into being  when I was a teenager  so  it always  struck me  as  really cool... romantic... and  made  Virginia sound like  a place on everyone's bucket list... to find true love...  and that is  exactly how I feel about our fair state.  If I were   in charge  I might change the nickname to the  Land of True Love!  heheheh!

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?
I usually take baked beans  to pot lucks... Here is the recipe.  I prefer  Bush's Country Style beans.

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?  As a teacher and  parent  of one  wonderful daughter  who now has  two toddlers of her own... I always stress and  she  knows this very well on her own... the parent must  be  Consistent...As  precious as every  baby and  toddler is,,  they were still born into a sinful world and they,  too, have their own sin nature.  They learn early how to manipulate, and  they  really  do    want to know  what the  parameters and limits are..  so they push them...consistency with love  is  my #1 tip!!!.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm still reveling from  our  weekend    trip to celebrate  my 30th anniversary of my 37th birthday... Hubs took me to   Abingdon, Virginia, very close to the TN  border.  Abingdon is a charming Victorian town... home to  the Martha Washington Inn 
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and the Barter Theater... 
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 Many    great  actors of the Golden age got their start here...like  Gregory Peck!!
Atticus Finch
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 We  arrived  Saturday  around 1pm  just in time to check in to the Inn and   walk over to the Barter for the  2:00 matinee.  Our  play was a comedy,  The Cottage.... Image result for the cottage barter theater 

  this play is scheduled for   Broadway in 2018...  and I predict it will be a hit...  Very  uproarious.. yet set in  the  English  Countryside of the 1930's.  I absolutely loved the set!!

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Back at the Inn  which is  right across the street,   it was like stepping back in  time to  a much more  genteel  attitude.  so  serene and  lusciously comfortable!
  The veranda  was pure delight!!
 Cosy nooks  for relaxing  all around the property!

Much of the decor from a by-gone era!

Dining  was    sublime!!!

 Even Hubs  got into the dapper  attitude  in the Inn library!!

All too soon it was  time to say  goodbye!!