Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's “App-ening!” Sooo cheesy!

Welcome to something new! As of today, I just got sick and tired of never being able to post comments and revise, to think very long between sentences, to delete and start again... On Safari through my iPad, that was the case. I had to rush through comments on other blogs very fast with no pausing. It was a hoot! And not in a good way at all... But I loved the freedom of my iPad vs. my laptop... The hours between charging... So I coped.



Then... There was the challenge of posting on the ipad through Blogger platform. Super challenging because I had to upload all photos to Picasa and wait for freaking ever to find them... Constant freezing of the post.. I tried to just ignore how impossible it was to use the photo editor... I managed, but... Today, with yet another snoot full of Mother Nature's pollen, I decided to combat my allergies and sniffles with something new. I wanted to make life easier and iPad posting was the key! ... I thought, "Google!" Voila! I was advised to download free app Mini Opera for blog browsing. I did. And comment I could. Look out, world!




Then download the app Blogsy... To create and blog posts... It took a few minutes to hook it up to my accounts, but from the get-go...easy peasy.  I'm excited.. And drag n drop pictures are da bomb! From my iPad, Picasa, or other sources...  Much more to learn...but it seemed so easy! So unlike normal posts. Well worth the $4.99.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Have a Blessed Easter!

Happy Good Friday!

Decided today, (mid 50's) would still be a good soup day for Mama, so I created a little pot of soup out of thin air and a couple pantry items. Hey, that made me feel like dear Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman.com.  You will love her if you have never met her!

Next on my list today... Bake some Strawberry Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting... And jelly beans on top...  Cute and yummy. Finish cleaning dining room, my bedroom... Ugh...  A nap sounds awesome, however.

It is looking like we will be three for Easter dinner... My son, my mom, and moi.  We will play some spinner, have some springtime menu/Paleo lunch, maybe hang curtains in dining room....  Sounds delightful. Hope you have a nice holiday, as well... Maybe a little Easter basket or two, some fresh flowers like these from my sister/cousin... Perchance a chocolate rabbit? Of course, a time of gratitude for the season itself and the rebirth, second chances, and Glory of God's greatest gift.



















Mr. McGregor's Garden Vegetable Soup
Sautè 1/2 chopped onion and 2/3 c. Chopped celery in olive oil until translucent and tender... Salt and pepper while cooking.
Add 1 large (coca cola size) can V-8
3 c. Water
2 T. Sweet Chili Sauce or Red Pepper Relish. (I use Harry & David)
11/2-2 T. Beef soup base
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 can drained mixed vegetables
Simmer...


Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, April 14, 2014

In the full moonlight...



Oh, my...  Would you take a look at the moon picture sent to me by my son!?! Is it not fabulous? I have told you before in this blog how absolutely crazy I am about the moon... I honestly simply adore it... That's all.. Tonight is a full moon... A total eclipse... A pink moon...  The willow moon... The wind moon... And the tree moon, I think... And someone said a blood moon...? All I know, it's a "drop dead gorgeous" moon!

Can you feel the magic all around us? Blessings, gifts, tumult, and tears. In other longer-ago days, on a full moonglory night such as this, you would find me out on the country roads, parked in my Daddy's field... outside on my cedar deck, or bathed in golden beamed  moonlight as I slept in a beautiful eastern bay window.... Here at Mom's, I promised her not to go do such wild, irresponsible things... So this remarkable photo from my son is a pure gift, proof he remembers the nights his crazy mom packed his sleepy tail in our T-bird, and sashayed all over the county, windows open, both of us hooping and laughing at the moon... Our moon.  His text with this photo read, "Oh, dat moon!"

I dance tonight in these freezing temperatures (yes, hard freeze, 26°, predicted tonight). But I probably will dance alone, in my memories...  Of course, if I'm going to use memory, magic, and moonlight to dance... I might as well conjure up a partner in crime... Would it be my first crush? My first love? Someone dear,  My sweetie from afar? A mysterious Mr. Perfect from the future? My daddy? Oh, my wonderful grandfather driving around the farm on a grey, Ferguson tractor in the moonlight...  Mom? or my grandmothers? It could be some wonderful girlfriends... We have torn up the hills a time or two... Or my wonderful only little boy in that old T-bird? All good choices, don't you think? Luckily, just this once, I'm taking them all.

We are, in sure fact, a part of all that we have been. Woven by experience, charmed by memory's forgiving grace, blessed beyond comprehension... To the Heavenly Father, who did INDEED hang the moon, my thanks.


Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dreamin'

Saturdays... No trips today to scan the beauty...  But a lovely salad and fresh Ravioli? Yes, please...

Our kitchen has been busy with cranberry salads, Molasses Cookies, chicken 'n rice casserole... And my new passion, lemon-water....  In my mind, I pour it from one of those awesome crystal beverage dispensers... The glasses are vintage Fostoria pink... One or two yellow and calico kitties dance happily about the floor before snoozing in kitty cat fashion in front of the electric fireplace... I'm serving little cupcakes with piped cream and blueberries... Cloth napkins, but of course! I have a bouquet of Princess Diana white roses on the table.....  Whoa!!!  What's in this water? Wacky juice?

Our kitchen hippity hops for Easter.... Livin' the dream.....








Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Flirting...

It's the funniest year ever...  Already little jonquils have stuck their pretty yellow faces in our view, and yet the air has a chilly core to it, nights are still in the 30's, and even the sunshine is welcome, but tentative.

Everyone seems completely giddy for warmth, more than I ever remember, as if winter had bullied us and stolen part of our confidence.

I'm one who desperately tries to let the weather be...whatever it is, it is... Since it's a natural force beyond all human control...  But as an observer of behavior, a teacher, it's something I do by habit...observe people.   And I'd say Missourians and several others are kowtowing to the zephyrs and squalls, frosts and first attempts at flirting with Lady Spring... She's playing hard to get.

I'm happy Easter comes later this year, so we have plenty of time to enjoy the presence of bunnies, little fuzzy chicks, and frosted eggs. Here are some of the little creatures who have decided to flitter, hop, and creep into all the nooks and crannies here in the living room at Meadow Lane. They have invaded the entire house, but I'll save the rest of them for another day...


















Mom has been battling some wicked knee pain, and I finally was tagged by the obnoxious flu bug who bit almost all my friends through the winter...  Not floored, but definitely glad for the days free to stay home with Vick, my one true love. Vick... Oh, Vick.... You know him too...  Mr. Victor Vaporrub.......  Bwaaa haaa haaa!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Sweet Chili Morning...

A "Chili" April morning...  Nothing seems more appropriate today than a pot of Sweet Chili Soup, an age-old recipe handed down from my grandmother. I realize all kinds of chili are amazing, and I have a a Goalpost Chili recipe I really love for parties and holidays.  But for a morning such as this, Mom and I enjoy her mother's version, a much thinner, sweeter soup. I suspect the origins fell through the cracks of the Great Depression because this soup takes only two cans of beans, one pound of ground beef, and the rest vegetables,  juice, and even three cups of water...  Oh, and brown sugar...  Holy cow!

I have tweaked it a little, adding ingredients and increasing the hamburger... I add a signature skillet of chopped onion and celery, browned and cooked to a gossamery translucence...

I eat mine with peanut butter between saltines, dropped right in the soup... No doubt a shout-out to the years of school lunch menus with peanut butter sandwiches and chili. And I also invoke my sweet daddy's practice of a couple tablespoons of sweet pickle vinegar stirred right into the soup. I realize this sounds down right odd, if not awful to some of you, but...


Some might say they miss the beans. I agree... I think a person could add more or less of anything!  It's a thinner soup, best enjoyed with a side memory of my gramma's cheerful, pink kitchen...... White sheer cottage curtains starched and charmed, dark red linoleum, pink enamel cabinets... And most important of all, a little, five-foot-nothing personification of fierce gramma love. Mom and Daddy laughing, Paw-paw and my dad just coming in from an afternoon at the barn... Rosy filled faces and happy hearts....

Aw... I bet I could just heat up a "bucket of saltwater" and conjure up that memory... And that "saline and H20" would be the perfect cold morning soup...
______________________

Sweet Chili Soup

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned, crumbled, drained ( if needed)
1 large can tomato juice
2 cans crushed tomatoes.
                (If you have whole, just squeeze and smush in a fist.... My Mom and a Gramma used
                  home cold-packed tomatoes...  Moment of silence, please for that kind of tomato.)
3 c. Water
2 medium cans chili beans
One whole onion and two ribs celery, (chopped small, browned and translucent-simmered in
            either  the pan drippings or a drizzle of olive oil. I prefer the olive oil)
2 T. Chili powder
1/4 c. Ketchup ( one long, good squeeze)
1 heaping T. Beef soup base, or a little beef bouillon.  Watch out for saltiness!
(Look away, avert your eyes... ) 1/2 c. Brown or white sugar.  More than that maybe...
Salt, pepper to taste.... In fact,
Adjust all seasonings to taste...

Simmer... simmer
Dip, dip....
Serve with cheese bread, crackers, peanut butter?
Remember something warm and fuzzy from childhood

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What is Now? ......

I struggle with all kinds of temporal realities. Then, now, yesterday and tomorrow all live together in the deepest sanctuary of my soul. I am not sure when or why I slammed most of my doors closed and locked them snap-shut, tucking the key carefully and enjoying the view to my life through windows and portals constructed to keep a whole lot of things from bothering me. "I'm in my own little world."

That seclusion of the spirit lends itself to the sparkling of the mundane, cleaning, polishing, planning small changes (and large!) to the daily surroundings. I don't think Cinderella had it too bad BEFORE she became the Princess... But, oh my goodness! I'm sooo slow. Little Prissy in Gone with the Wind was probably faster than I am... That's why in one solid week I've done half of two rooms... Maybe in Magical Housekeeping Math that makes a whole room?

I ordered new white curtains and a new braided rug for the living room, I tucked almost all my Easter finery here and there, and here I go for round two.  Mom has 9+ rooms... Whether it be today, yesterday, or tomorrow, it might suit me best to kick it a little. I just find my poor little mind out wandering alone, and the chances are it needs some shelter from the cold.

Have a wonderful week. Watch out Tuesday for April Fools!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

If you bake it...they will come




If you bake it, they will come.    I love drop in company. Now, that's not to say I'm usually very prepared. I have noticed that when my house is rather spiffy...nobody, I mean nobody shows a face.  If I'm all dumped out in the throes of some mess... Such as yesterday and today... Knock! Knock!

I tend to move in quarters of the room, cleaning and rearranging a little. All my incoming little Easter goodies are mingling with the departure bound St. Patrick's Day clutter treasures on the tarmac corner of my dining table terminal...  I really needed to push forward today...not to stop and bake.


But this morning I saw a recipe on Facebook for this beautiful cake. Pantry check. Miracle. We had everything. So I did stop and bake. While the pretty cake was just cooling, we heard a quick knock ..... and a friend popped in.  She was a Doll Club friend who had moved away a couple years ago. How totally groovy...  Surprise friend+warm cobbler/cake....  A little cannel of vanilla bean ice cream....  Yay!




(This beautiful corner once belonged to me... It is one of the few pictures I can find of my home across the meadow....)

All arriving and departing decorations, plus all custodial activities....came to a little halt to resume later. Then I postponed them until the rainy day tomorrow...





In case you haven't made this in a while, here's the yummy recipe!




Dump Cake

Ingredients:
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice, undrained
1 can Comstock® Country Cherry
1 package Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine


Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13"x 9" pan.
2. Dump in the can of pineapple with juice into pan. Then add the pie filling. Spread evenly.
3. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry layer.
4. Sprinkle pecans over cake mix.
5. Dot with butter.
6. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Serve it warm or at room temperature.





P.S.   My wonderful idea to scour out the candle jar and re-use it for Easter eggs went bad after three days. The candle was a "Fresh Linen Keepers of the Light"... Very highly oiled and scented. I had soaked it and scrubbed it, but... I guess the lid being on brought back the residual scent.... The scent (and taste!!!) came back today when I served a piece to my sister/cousin who dropped in tonight. 
So..... Not card worthy...

Ewwwww! 
Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Be Kind to Yourself, they say. . .



Mysterious, halting.. First nothing, then perhaps.. Then oh, yes! Green fields of wheat shout it loudly that one season we have been begging to arrive... She's finally almost here. Shhh! I did hear the forecast for snow on Wednesday!

Busy days here at our house. We have had a nice number of friends come visit us for coffee, for pizza, for any kind of visit.  Mom and I had a day trip to see her doc, which resulted in a good report... And my son took a weekend away at a wilderness event...

My thoughts have turned to Spring cleaning... And not a moment too soon! Is there anything more revealing than sudden sunshine through windows long camouflaged in frost and cloud..?

Time to spiff out the Blue Belle Mrs. Meyers ... The citrus wet jet swiffer, the lovely, signature, almond-scented waxing spray from Method.    Now, I have a long-documented love affair with cleaning products...  I love to clean, to strip to the bare and scrub up and out. But do I regularly do that? Um...no. Not so much. So I ask myself why????! Then I remember a list of selfcare rules which admonished me to be very kind to myself. Be my own dear friend, it said. Well, I would never beat up a friend about her "little lapse" in Homecare....  So....

Hey, the Easter candy is here. Just being super kind and friendly....Offer myself a Cadbury? Oh, and a little Reese's egg....?

Don't mind if I do!

Hmm... So, that's the way it goes.

Ahem! Spring Cleaning starts tomorrow. For yes, Katie Scarlett, Tomorrow IS another day.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Morning Candles...

Up before dawn, listening to the rain, reading a little... Then that unmistakeable bump, jolt... Plunge into total, absolute darkness. We had no power for a little over an hour. One excellent bonus of charging my phone and iPad and kindle fire right by the bed is the available light from a lit screen. I grabbed the little lantern and took it in to Mom, lit umpteen candles throughout the kitchen, living and dining rooms... And listened to a frosty wind hurling itself against the house.

The outage was brief, current soon restored, and back into the calm morning rituals that begin each day...  The time without power was, since it's over, lovely, charming... Good for the spirit...