Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whimsical Wishery

Okay. Isn't this cute? I can't believe how often I've "almost" ordered this, but it is a very bad, underline VERY BAD, buy for me right now. 1. Mom uses liquid laundry detergent. Should that not be enough? 2. She doesn't like little extra lids and stuff because she's on a walker, and understandably, that makes it tough! 3. Her laundry room has ZERO extra space for a little table to hold this, and she has a top loading washer, and has to reach the knobs on the dryer. 4. If she had a color scheme in her laundry room, pink w0uld be the farthest shade OUT of it. and 5. I usually don't adore pink...

So wonder why I like this thing? I have no clue. It just speaks to me. I also saw a white and blue one once that had a sailboat on it... even cuter in its own way..... kind of dutch blue.... ah..... uh, yeah.

Oh, well... have a nice week. I am glad I didn't ever buy this because we have no room for it, except in my dreams.... and they don't include laundry chores!!!! Thank goodness! Hugs for the week!

We were THERE!!!

Friday evening and Saturday Morning found 90,000 women (and a few men) in attendance at a Simulcast for Beth Moore. This Christian electronic bible study was amazing. I attended in Moberly, but the satellite hookup was live, so we watched as Beth and her Lifeway team presented the awesome lesson from GREEN BAY!!! I adore the Green Bay packers, and it was so fun to see Beth wear the jersey they gave her after the seminar was officially over. Her text for the meeting was Psalm 37, specifically 37:4. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

As always, Beth brings so much life and so much love to her teachings. It felt as if she had studied the ways of my heart and the troubles of my soul and simply written me a letter directly. This was a beautiful word from the Lord, and I so enjoyed being with other Christian women.

Afterward, Mom and I took a little adventurous road trip to the east through the countryside. Trust me when I tell you we came upon field after field of yellow flowers (something not impressive to farmers, but quite bloggable...). Unfortunately, I had left my camera in my bookbag, so we just took those pictures in our minds.

Have a beautiful Sunday. Hugs...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mona Lavender and Cloud Cover. . . road trip to the north!

Hovering overhead, the dark clouds welcome first rain, then clearing... Sunshine and shadows combine for incredible contrast and scenery.
Depending where we drove, it was both a beautiful day and a menacing one.... I adore skies like these... They speak change... either spring or fall, but a coming of a different season... I feel free, amazing, and can't keep my eyes off the skies.
unless it's to look at these beauties. They are Mona Lavender. It's a new hybrid from South Africa. Zoned for zone 10 (We are in zone 6), I don't think it will be very hardy. Its card reads about its precarious nature, loving short cool days and abundant water, yet unsoggy roots... Hey, I don't think so. Only a senior girl can be that picky! haha...
Although the Mona Lavenders were tempting... give me my beautiful fall mums, I think. We didn't buy any yet because these rampant blooms will be long gone before the advent of fall or even September!

We took a drive to the North this morning and had a delightful lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. These floral charmers were in front of Home Depot. Can't wait for fall weather to pot a few mums in front of my door.
I had White Bean Chicken Chili... Oh, my!
6 cups chicken stock
1 lb
great northern bean (soaked in water overnight)
2 medium
onions, chopped
6 cups
chicken, diced cooked
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & diced
chili peppers, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons
2 teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon
cayenne pepper
garlic cloves, minced
1 cup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pinch
salt (to taste)

1. Simmer beans, half the onions, and half the garlic for 2 hours in the chicken stock or until the beans soften, stirring frequently. Add chicken and salsa.

2. Saute pepper, spices, and the remaining onions and garlic in the oil and add to the chili.

3. Simmer for one more hour.

4. Garnish with sour cream, Monterrey Jack cheese and fresh chopped cilantro.
Mom had this-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ruby Tuesday's Broccoli-Cheese Soup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
1/2 cup onions,
diced 1/2 cup celery,
diced 1/2 cup carrots,
diced 20 ounces broccoli,
fine cut 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 lemon peel, finely grated
4 1/2 ounces chicken broth
2 pounds pasteurized processed cheese
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
16 ounces whipping cream
1 gallon water
Cook margarine and flour in a suitable pan over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a wire whip for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. Combine water, chicken broth, onion, celery and carrot in a suitable pot and bring to a boil. While heating, cut the processed cheese into 1-inch chunks. Once soup comes to a boil, stir in the cooked flour and margarine and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Reduce heat and stir in cheese until completely melted. (Do not allow it to scorch.) Stir in the Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cream, lemon peel and chopped broccoli. Return to a simmer then remove from heat.
Both were amazing. I think that Mom's was the best, but either one would make a lovely luncheon special!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Year 35... or is it 49!!??!!??

Not quite ready, but by the time tomorrow's assemblies and class meetings are over, I think I'll be organized and set. This is year 35 for teaching, but if you add all the years in education I was a student... it's 49!!!!

or 50.. I don't know. It's a bunch! The past week has been a whirl of book orders, room readying, and meetings. I have the most enormous classes of my life. I took a photo of myself and I looked like a one thousand year old bird woman... from Mary Poppins, you know? I am in dire need of a makeover... but not tonight. I prefer a few minutes of telly, and a quick shower and a little bedtime snoozing... Just call me Brett Favre... without all that signing bonus baggage! I don't blame him one bit. He can no more stand to think of all those guys hitting the football fields without him than I can the classrooms with those wonderful young people and no me..... Maybe soon I'll retire "again." This year I've done the deed... come out of retirement! hahaha... I think I was only retired for one week..... seven years ago... Have a good one! Hugs...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Never the same...

This pickup is very similar to the one my dad and my son were fixing up. My dad started work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company with this truck, and they allowed him to purchase it when they retired it for a newer model. Daddy and I used to haul hay in this truck; we bombarded snowdrifts in it... and he and my son dreamed of refurbishing it and driving it in the Bevier Homecoming parade. Ours is painted about this color, new chrome job on the grille... but just not finished. My son has no heart for it right now, but maybe someday when the years have gentled our hearts to the huge space that is Paw-paw. Two years ago today about noon was the last we had with my dad. Anniversaries of the heart, they call it. I remember my grandmother announcing in sad tones that her dad had died "fill-in-the-number-of" years before on that particular day. As a child, I thought.. "Grrr... keep it to yourself! That is nothing to say out loud, Gramma!" But, oh... sad news like that breaks forth from the heart and through the lips... and it says itself. August, once a month of 4-H fairs, family vacations, fun at the Bevier Homecoming, and hayrides, is now kind of a month filled with spirits of holidays, birthdays, and solitary anniversaries that make me sad... At least for tonight, they do. Take care, all. Hugs.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Journal Jars...

Just a preview of some little fall touches I've been putting out. I know. It isn't even September yet. But... it just makes my soul sing!!!
Copper, brass, and glitzy autumn leaves... And below, I found a little wren's nest in the driveway after the last windstorm. It had to come inside and get a spritz of Nick Chavez Hard-holding hairspray for legndary style... DIVA edition!!! and a lttle spray of golden glitter. Then I had this little metal bird from a serving tray... She felt SHE deserved to be the DIVA bird, so let her stay.

I saw this idea with several jars, and I think they were those glass bottles of Frappucino at the grocery market from Starbucks. I used a cream bottle, and I glittered the lid, added some baubles and ribbon and a couple of cut-outs. Joy from Cupid's Charm might recognize this lovely cherub. It's her calling card!!! I love the spunk on that little angel... Inside is a handwritten journal about optimism... I'm going to have my composition class make these, highlighting any emotion or character trait they choose... Wish I didn't have to drink all those frappucinos *sigh* hahaha... But I'll sacrifice, little by little.... I will photograph theirs when they finish... It's a September project. Got to get those brains in gear before we start playing TOO much... One of my goals for Composition (a 11th/12th grade class) is to promote the love of writing for personal joy... We would do a private blog, but I think our school's filter would block it! If someone mentioned facebook or MTV or.... Dunkin' Doughnuts, it's blocked with huge letters that spell out what an evil site we're trying to get to... haha... All your blogs are blocked! I understand, but it is frustrating when I just want to show them something we've written. Have a fun day!
P.S. Yesterday I worked in Mom's Laundry/Plunder room. We bagged up FIVE huge trashbags of old tupperware, butter tubs... forgotten/forlorn skillets... Ah... space, the final frontier!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Owl and the Pussycat...

Happy Birthday in Memory of my beautiful little grandmother, Minnie Samantha! Today would have been her 110th birthday... Can that be possible?
This illustration is from Edward Lear's book, which my grandmother read to me in giggles every night I stayed at her house. My bedroom was upstairs, wallpapered and cozy... white iron bedstead. The little bedroom smelled deliciously of books, roses, and Chantilly perfume. When Gramma read this poem to me, it made no sense... When she got to the lines, "Oh, Pussy my love!" we would howl and put our heads under the covers.
Years later, her last words were, "I love you more than tongue can tell." And she did... and I will forever love her right back!

The Owl and the Pussycat poem
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are."
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Homecoming's Over...

I made the letters are flowers with my little cricut!!! Our float says, "Children are the Seeds of the Future." I love ALL these young ladies! I'm glad I didn't have to judge...
My town has an annual Homecoming with entertainment, parade, queen contest... the usual fare. Here are a few scenes from the two events I attended (queen contest with my students and parade). The bottom picture is part of the hometown entertainment.. Do-si-so!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My babies. . .

Paddle like crazy and hope that the food holds out!!!!! Here WE COME!!!!
Canadian geese are the only ones I see actually foraging for food...

Quackerack and his mighty duck shadow!

We auditioned for the part in Dr. Doolittle, but that other animal got it... Aren't we pretty?

Pretty is as Pretty Does!!!!! So sayeth the sheep, so sayeth DARTHA!!! She rules!!!!!

I can't believe it's the end of summer! Today was a superb day with temperature in the mid-70's. I call that perfect! Mom got her hair done, so I took a couple of little cheezy tots to the lake for my "girls.' Dartha was there, wheezing and gobbling, waddling wherever there was food. Why do ducks and geese travel in a straight line? They even swim that way... They walk across the road, one behind the other.????? Anybody know?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Gramma's Zucchini Casserole

I think my mom is feeling better! Joy! Joy! Today while I was working downstairs and reorganizing for the twelfth time this summer, I began to smell something delicious baking. It was my gramma's recipe for zucchini casserole, which I hadn't made in years, if ever. It's kind of like a heavy quiche and I think really good. You can add other vegetables in a bit if you would like, such as celery, grated carrot... but ours was just like the recipe tonight, and I thought it was quite the treat. Of course, to me, the real treat was the recipe itself in Gramma's sweet handwriting... It even had little scribbles, due to her hurry to "get it down off the radio," not to mention a few butter stains. How dear!
Minnie Samantha's Zucchini Casserole

3 cups sliced/cubed zucchini

1 1/2 c. saltine cracker crumbs

3 beaten eggs

1/2 c. melted butter

1/2 t. salt

dash pepper

4 oz. jar of pimiento or 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (we used green pepper, but red would have been beautiful!

1 small onion, chopped

1 c. milk

2 c. shredded cheese

Mix all together, pouring in a well-buttered baking dish. Bake uncovered for 1 hr. or golden brown at 300 degrees. To hasten time for baking, boil zucchini until stick tender on top of stove and drain well. You may substitute eggplant or summer squash if desired.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brunch Favors and Zinnia Love

Is there another flower that speaks summer more than a zinnia? I always loved the rows of zinnias and marigolds we planted in our garden when I was a little girl. Somehow, the bed of strawberries was nice, and it was coated with straw... but it spelled "work." The green beans, as I recall, were a boon to our home. I love green beans, and I don't mind snapping them or picking them on the "first pick" round. I dreaded the second pick job, where we got only a few stragglers and had a few hullies, the beans usually dotted with rust... The canning, however, was always exciting. I got to load the jars, salt them, and wipe off the mouths before Mom carefully placed the lids and rings... Then the huge pressure canner with its inherent danger and hisses. Mom's worried checking came next. She dreaded a big explosion as much as I was super-charged by the idea of one. Thank goodness, a catastrophe never happened in our kitchen----- although the pressure meter shot off the top of our cooker once when Mom was cooking her famous pot roast for Daddy. In our garden were tomatoes, which I adored because we could take whole, ruby "maters," (and the salt shaker) out on the picnic bench and eat them whole... Dad's favorite crop, the sweet corn, tickled hot and scary on my face, and sometimes we had those big corn worms leering out of the top of the ears at me. I hated the corn! I loved freezing corn, though. I loved to plunge the hot ears into first and second soak ice water baths. I loved eating the planks of cold corn that Mom cut off the cob. I loved scooping the corn into the bags.... But the worms and the silking still ruined the experience of growing our own sweet corn. I always saved some of the few peas we grew and froze for the first snow. I enjoy "popping peas, and freezing them for later. I still cook peas for the first snow, even though they come from Schwann's. BUT the flower rows were my favorite.... frivolous, for no reason other than decoration. True wealth was taking the scissors out to our garden and cutting a bouquet for our table. I miss that.
Growing up, I loved it that this was our iced tea pitcher. I can remember when blue stoneware was at such a premium by many (I still adore it), our guests ranted and raved about Mom's pitcher. "How can you stand to use this? What if we drop it?" Mom always replied that she loved to use her pretty things. Now the filled pitcher is way too heavy for her to handle, so we use it more for decoration. She and Daddy proudly wrapped this pitcher's twin for my Christmas surprise about ten or so years ago. They had found it at an antique shop... and probably paid for it, too!!!! I was always kind of relieved to have a backup for this pitcher. I love it... I love it with zinnias or with roses... or even with bills tucked inside it!

Bevier Homecoming begins officially tomorrow, and today there was a bunch of people who decided to go to Ugo's. We have met here and there on the day before Homecoming for brunch for many years. I usually try to make favors, and these were my contribution this year. The envelopes are made from the pages of a large print dictionary I rescued from the trash at school.... and of course, I zipped out the trains in honor of our locomotive. Yep, the cricut did them.. each guest found a package of hot cocoa mix inside....
Have a great week.