Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Girl in Town




I am shocked at how long it has been since my last post. So many things running around, and I just want to introduce you to my new little fuzzy friend. She moved in here two weeks ago, and she's quite the little shadow. Her name is Callie, and she was a little free cat on Swapshop. One year old and full of kittykat ways that make the days (and sometimes the nights) go really more darling...


But I have been up to more than just acquiring cats. I have been cleaning and sorting and...  all kinds of things like that. I have begun to sell a few items on a local Swapshop and my store, Shady Peanut Lane on Facebook.  

Right now, I'm thinking to take a break and enjoy the sunshine. It's 58 degrees...  and time for flowers. My sister/cousin brought me a little bouquet of jonquils last night!  Happy Spring!





Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In like a Lion... again!




I think if I look back through the posts I've made, I have written "In like a lion" about as many times as anything else...  March blustered in here in the Midwest last night with storms and rain and wind. So here it roars, March's advent was not silent and sneaky. He is here at last. I finally packed away all the winter and reds and Valentines yesterday.




I actually had a truly busy and productive day yesterday as I managed to finish the literally hundreds of thank you notes to everyone who was oh, so kind after Mom passed away. I cleaned the kitchen, set up more billing, and made my Paleo meat loaf for my son.




I didn't get to attend a meatball-making party. I stayed home because I wanted to be here in case my son needed me. (He's been working from home due to a pretty severe upper respiratory infection.) Actually, my services weren't required! haha...




The wedding planners moved on without me, however. We are getting ready for my dear friend's beautiful daughter to have a big, beautiful Italian wedding. We made tortelacci the other day, and that was truly fun. These little pasta packets, filled with cream cheese and spinach, are then boiled and smothered with a butter Parmesan sauce.  Oh, yes, they are! 








My job was to take a little square and wrap it around the ball of spinach and cream cheese, seal the edges, and then give it a magical twist...  I felt quite proficient by the end of the first 500. There were other days of that activity, too, so the total right now is Tortellaci 1664 vs. Meatball 564..... (They don't go in the same dish, by the way!)



This morning I happened to look out my front window, which I love, and I noticed quite the queue of Wild Turkeys. I counted 24, but several were already behind the trees.  They slowly made the way, single file through the yard, across the gravel road, and through a hayfield,  a field of ryegrass, and out of sight..  Traveling through, I guess. Looked as if they had enjoyed a breakfast in the remains of my neighbor's cornfield. Modern combines don't leave as much as in days gone by, but there is still enough to make my crows and these Wild Turkeys quite happy.




When I was little, Daddy used to "let" us walk the perimeters and then the rows with a wagon ready to sling in corn cobs and pieces of half harvested grains. He had one of those wicked little shredders that fit on a glove, but I had to rip into the ears with my bare hands. Just call me Homestead Kid!

Had a little celebration for my sister/cousin's birthday last weekend. She is a jewel!



Well, though I'm sure you guys are totally spellbound by now, I'll have to get busy if I'm to accomplish anything at all today. I am doing okay, as everyone asks. Nothing prepares a person for the sadness, the finality, and the foreign ground we walk after we lose that last parent.




Life goes on, but it's just a wall of tears held back by the realization they are multiplied by countless friends who have already walked through this same door...  Thank you for your kindest comments, prayers, and thoughtfulness. 




I saw a pair of cardinals in the front Maple tree last week, and that made me think of the practice of seeing cardinals as a visit from Heaven. If so, it was delightful to see the pair there in their very own tree in the front yard with the sunlight absolutely glistening on their scarlet feathers. 

Have a wonderful March. Spring is in the wings!




Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mommy's lost the dining room... again!


That was the little cry my son at five years old told to my parents after a big change of furniture at my house. I switched functions of rooms, and it totally blew his mind. I didn't do that here, but last Saturday I decided to rearrange the furniture in the living room. I'm loving the space and air it gives to the room. In these pictures, the room looks super long! In real life, it isn't that pronounced.

 




My dear son gave me balloons, a great card, and candy for Valentine's Day. We had rib eyes steaks and enjoyed the evening quite a lot!




Today I have ripped out a few corners full of clutter and am in the process of paring down so very much STUFF....  It feels good to do that about 7 A.M....  Along about now, noon.... I would just love it if I had left well enough alone. But duty calls..  I have to get a ton of stuff off my kitchen floor. No way would it all fit on the countertops again! No way should it!  See you tomorrow.



Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Snow Moon Tonight


Well, the complete full moon will have to be downright spectacular to dim last night's glorious light on the new-fallen snow (which has melted and blown away)....  Stay alert and you might see the eclipse and a comet!  I will probably just stick with the moon.

I have never been a fan of eclipses...  I feel as if the moon has darkened and won't be back. Yeah...  that must be my Celtic roots showing...  Didn't they go in search of the moon during the dark of the cycle?  

These were snapped this morning through my window.... again...








Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Laundry Spinning.... world keeps turning...

Good morning! I hear the load of towels in my washer as they rotate through another round of cleaning, and I think about what they must be thinking...  Dizzy, drowning...  then warm and cozy and quite happy to be all bundled and folded next to their comrades until...  another cycle of ...  what we call life.



I made a kind of promise to myself not to fill the blog with all kinds of sad things... years ago when nothing was really sad. So, just know your words of kindness and sympathy are all so very appreciated. I had no idea that blogging could bring such wonderful people into my life, but it did. It was such fun to whip up my chair to Mama's bed and run through the list of where people were logging in...  She was always amazed and kind of proud with that little Mama thing that felt like it was something HER DAUGHTER did that made a blog be visible around the world...  I really didn't explain because it made her happy to think that. And in turn, it made me happy, too...  



I am poised on the threshold of many decisions, but one of them has to be rearranging furniture. Those of you who have that "gene" know just what I mean. I always love to rearrange, even if I am just cleaning the house. It makes me so happy to see all the wonderful treasures against a new wall, a new temporary showcase or home. Well, right now I am rearranging for me...  for a little nod to myself that yes, this is my home now. Mama had kept this furniture in the vary same place once she made room for it at varying times of purchase. My son laughed that he had never seen even a figurine in a different spot his entire lifetime of 35 years. I haven't moved anything.... yet, but it has to be soon. I feel too much of a "where is she?" presence, and although that isn't horrid, it's just sadder than sad....  and quieter than quiet...  and ....  it won't get better for me until I do something.  Ah, Gramma...  Her words are so dear to me, "Do something. Even if it's wrong." Those little phrases from my childhood have served me just fine...  and believe me, I have done some things that very definitely WERE wrong!  But we won't dwell on those here today.



We got a skiff of snow..  I just looked up the definition of the word skiff, and per the Oxford Dictionary, it may have come from the colloquial Scottish verb meaning to lightly move across a surface barely touching it... and it is used in the Northern parts of the country to describe a light breeze, light rainfall, or light snowfall.  Skiff can also be a little light boat that scoots across the water, barely touching its glazed surface...  I love words. Of all the gifts given to us, some value music, some art, some food or nature. There is power in all of those, I admit, but to me, perhaps either because of or the reason for my 36 years teaching Language Arts...  words seem the most powerful. It must have meant a lot to God, as well, for he used the term "Word" to describe his son.



Well, I have chosen the menu for Sunday, and gathered most of the ingredients. I have ordered the notes to send to thank our dear friends and family for the lovely tributes and gifts and hours of their lives they so lovingly dedicated to helping Mama, my son, and me. I have done the laundry and planned the details of the big furniture move. I could go for a big pizza right now if I had a car, but it's on loan STILL to my son as his truck finally gets close to being repaired. 



I am thinking that I certainly didn't have all that much to do when I was "faunching at the bit" during my care-giving days...  thinking I could be doing my own life... and all those desperate things a caregiver might often think...  I guess I still have monumental things to do...  and I still don't really do them...  My Gramma...  besides the other statement, she always laughed about piled up chores...  "They'll be there!" she would laugh....  And they are....  My Gramma didn't "sweat the load" much, and that's one gift she gave me that I appreciate when the load looks pretty huge.  



To be further literal this morning, I looked up "Faunch"...  there seems to be a difference in faunching at the bit and "chomping at the bit"...  "chomping or champing" is to say one is pumped and ready,  while "faunching" is from the Southwest and means to have anger and frustration but have to go anyway...  So yeah...   "Faunch" is correct here...  Whooo...  I do need a day job! 



Thanks for listening and for being there through the years. I love you much!





Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday again...

Cold and clear, Missouri mornings do not fail to brace us for the weeks we spend in work and flurry and energy. February has arrived in its cheery red and pink brevity. 

I am a planner, a dreamer, and an optimist. All three will serve me well as I navigate the quiet emptiness of my new life.



Do you have plans for the weekend or the big Superbowl? I think nothing sounds better than a big, red, iron dutch oven of chili, Pioneer Woman style. Perhaps some peanut butter and honey sandwiches--- (only if your school always had that combo of chili and peanut butter do you think this menu sounds great!) I foresee a line of son-picked movies for tomorrow and very little work. According to my tally, all this menu is a go if we locate some good old saltine crackers....  


I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds us. 






Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mama

Well, dear friends, this is the post I didn't want to have to write. My dear Mama passed away this morning at the hospital. My son and I are so very sad, lost, and heart broken. He told me tonight that he and I had taken a completely different approach to this past year and two months of gifted, borrowed time with her since her stroke. He said he had told himself she couldn't live, and I had told myself constantly I thought just maybe we might get a miracle. Well, it turns out we both were right, and as he said.... neither way prepared us for the hurt we are feeling in our hearts.

I will be talking to you again soon. Thank you for all your lovely thoughts and prayers through these years. 


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ice and Moonlight

Good morning! Thought I might pop in today as we may be getting an ice storm beginning any time this weekend through Sunday. The weather has been nearly balmy, and fogs enshroud the old wolf moon's full splendor. You may think I just re-post these moon shots from time to time. but I assure you I sit enthralled each month and capture a new one through the window above my bed! I'm kind of in love with this one!


I have a good start on packing Christmas away. My epiphany goal, unmet yet to be all settled back to pre-holiday glow. This year I bought a delicious buttercream Christmas tree, and she wants to help Mama celebrate some more. I know. It is rather a new low for to blame mom for not wanting to undecorate! I packed away all the baubles but I am allowing a baby pink hearts and birds theme to frost the corner for that February holiday.



I need to get a bit done as a backup to possible loss of power. I hope that doesn't happen but with Missouri weather we just don't know. Enjoy the weekend.



Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Now I've said my ABC's

I don't usually say this, but this is a long post and you might need a cup of hot tea or cocoa to help you meander through it!


It is almost New Year's Eve, and I am set to offer up the traditional set of goals, resolutions, and word of the year...  I have my cabbage and am on track of a harmless, little can of black-eyed peas for some good luck and prosperity. My son, Mom, and I had a wonderful Christmas. My son surprised me and stayed all night in the recliner here. We watched a ton of movies and generally had a great time!


 All subtitled but very Viking and we liked it...


A classic, but I slept through it after lunch...  Bill Murray was so young!



 Not very appropriate for Sunday Christmas, but...  we laughed anyway...



I loved this one...


I made a version of  Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Chili, which is very thick and has no beans.

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tbsp chili powder
2 lbs ground beef
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt 
I added: 2 T.  molasses

1. Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic.
2. Cook the beef until brown and drain off the excess fat.
3. Pour in the tomato sauce, followed by the spices and salt.
4. Stir together well, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add in 1/2 cup water at a time as needed

A friend came down to spend Christmas Day, and we had several little visits through the weekend from good friends and family.



I fixed a Pioneer Woman Cowboy Quiche for my sister/cousin on Saturday morning... We did our traditional exchange on the Eve of the day... just like always.

My other dear cousins also came by at different times and brought mom some delicious home made treats.

We had a roast and all the trimmings to celebrate our gift exchange with the Thelma, Louise, and Louise gang... (We have run around together so much, but now that I am a stay at home daughter, they come to me!)

Cowboy Quiche

Prep: 30 MinutesLevel: Easy
Cook: 1 HoursServes: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust (enough For A Deep Dish Pan)
  • 2 whole Yellow Onions, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 8 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream Or Half-and-Half
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation

Fry the onions in the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes (maybe longer), stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Fry the bacon until chewy. Chop into large bite-sized pieces and set aside to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pie crust and press it into a large fluted deep tart pan (or a deep dish pie pan). 

Whip the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then mix in the onions, bacon, and cheese. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. (The quiche will still seem slightly loose, but will continue to set once remove from the oven.)

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If using a tart pan, remove the quiche from the pan, cut into slices with a sharp serrated knife, and serve!




Two friends came down for supper, and we watched a particular favorite movie, The Christmas Tree, directed by Sally Field and extremely hard to find. It is available right now on YouTube HERE, but it may be pulled at any time. Julie Harris and Andrew McCarthy are wonderful!


Mom was able to stay home and out of the hospital in spite of some setbacks she has experienced. Most recently she has started sleeping a lot more, but she still does a lot of singing. She does the alphabet song to the somewhat tune of Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star...and at the end she really belts out, "Now I've said my ABC's. Tell me what you think of me!"  and then if I don't tell her, I can listen carefully to her telling herself...  It varies, but she has said, "No. Don't tell me. I don't even care what you think."  and my favorite, "I think you are a wonderful woman, Norma, who has been through a very tough time." Talk about affirmations!

December 27th tiptoed right by us. I felt so very sad as I watched the clock that morning, thinking that one year ago... here. here......... here........... no, not ever again... would we have my dear mother as she was. It marked the anniversary of her massive stroke. I will say the later part of the day began to seep victorious through the timbres of our souls at the amount of living we have done in this wing-clipped year. I can see the negative doctor at Boone Hospital who shook his head that I would be able to bring her home... who set us up to wither and die from the get-go. Perhaps he might call what we have experienced a death of sorts, and it is... but there is more of life in our days by far...  even now as things have slowed to a crawl...

Back to the post-Christmas festivities... I put the Fontanini nativity set out on the 26th. It was so late, but at last I felt decorated for Christmas



I got my red sheets on my bed yesterday...  When is it Santa is coming?  I enjoyed the week so much, spending time cleaning out little fox holes of clutter and gunk. You can see in my banner my daddy's red lamp, which was in the downstairs room. It gave me a lot of pleasure to clean that lamp and add its deep, red glow to the corner of the living room.  I remember how excited he and my mother were to buy it at a favorite auction...

Yesterday we received quite an amazing gift! My dear friend and her husband brought us loads of gravel and used their bulldozer to fix our long and cantankerous lane...  !!!!!

It is time to get some sleep, so I will snuggle down in the scarlet softness of Amadora sheets from Amazon. I cannot speak to their longevity as I bought several colors to mark my way through the calendar... but they feel heavenly and wash wonderfully... You can check them out HERE on Amazon

Have yourselves a Happy New Year!

Whimsy and Hugs!