Thursday, September 28, 2017

This, That, and AutumnThoughts

First, let me just say the reunion was really great! I am so glad I decided to go.

Well, I have been busy lately, so thought I would share a few pictures of some recent forays to lakes, neighborhood decorations, and some "hayshocks" in Amish country...

Chrysanthemum farming. So beautiful...

Our temperatures have dipped at night to upper 40's...  but still kind of high during the days...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Looking for a Clue

Whimsy and Hugs!

Good morning, Dear friends. Due to a change of heart, I am going to attend two of the several festivities being held by my graduating class of 1972. I originally opted to stay home, despite the lovely urgings and invitations from class mates, family, and friends. 45 years. However, I flipped through a digital copy of my senior yearbook online. A blur of total recognition, reflection, nostalgia, and gratitude overwhelmed the cloudy apprehensions. I swallowed my hatred of the handicapping factions of my life, rented a wheel chair, invited my willing son, and reserved our places at tonight's picnic and Saturday's dinner/reception. 

Smiling back at me from 1972 were the laughing images of classmates and teachers who have no ill will toward me... or anyone else. Although I did not dwell on it, the realization brushed against my ever-denying mind---- a sizeable number of "us" have passed away, and that shock naturally pains my heart. Life is fragile, and precious, and exciting... and disappointing.... and giddy with fun.... brimming with tears. Anyway. Tonight is just a hotdog in the park with my precious and ever-supportive son, my friends from long ago... and a wheel chair.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Come sit at my table!

I have often seen writing prompts that queried who would be the invited guests at a dinner party for x number of guests if you could have anyone living or dead...  Given one choice, I will always say my son. And blessed am I that he graces my table every week at least once!

From my personal past... one seat is not enough. So I might just pass altogether. Too many and time too short. Who could say goodbye all
over again?

Famous living? That's a good question. I am just a bit disenchanted with the famous. Would I pass again, rather than just experience someone? I think I used to have an idol. But now... I just cannot choose.

Famous dead...  Now give me ten: Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, Princess Diana, Jesus, (no, sorry, not in any particular order!) Hannibal (the Punic War guy, yes), Helen Keller, Jimmy Stewart, King David, Audrey Hepburn, and Patrick Swayze.  ----  Now, what dishes would I choose and what would I fix for a menu....?

What about you? You are welcome to share your guest list in the comments below!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Baking in the Lavendar Fog

I love to bake about 4 a.m. About the time the delicious scents fill the air, I can start to see today's lavendar dawn. Today two friends are coming for lunch, so I have Hawaiian chicken marinating in the refrigerator and pineapple cinnamon bread baking... Both are new recipes, and I really hit the vanilla pretty hard on the bread! I also added quite a bit of cinnamon. Here are the recipes if you decide to also celebrate these final days of summer.

Hawaiian marinade -- Chicken 

3/4 c. pineapple juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4. c. ketchup
1 T. crushed garlic

Put chicken and all ingredients in gallon bag in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Bake chicken until done through, topped with pineapple rings or chunks and maraschino cherries.  May add cheese if desired. Do not over bake.

Pineapple Bread

I added a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and a "hooping tablespoon" of vanilla.  One of the hazards of drowsy baking!

I had a very sleepy helper this morning. She loves to snooze on "her" angel box!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Again This Year

It isn't the first or even second time I have blogged about the classic Autumn movie, Practical Magic. Last night I declared it movie night, and since the theme around this house is Autumn and Halloween, I voted to watch this cutie with Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, and the rest. I really don't watch it for the plot, which starts out cute but gets a little odd at times. I watch it for the house, the little cameo quotes, the aunts, the sisters...  the mood of magic. 

My original blog from 2007 said so much about my first look at this movie. Here is the link, should you be interested.  LINK.

And so, I will just leave you with the images and "famous" quotes to start you on the path to a lovely fall...  

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Little by Little..Hey. hey. hey..... It's Magic!

Autumn brings out collectibles by the acre!....  I am in over my head, but this apparently will not be the year I do not decorate. I cannot believe the stacks of glittering stuff! Days 1 and 2. If I ever get to sleep, I am shooting for the whole house to be done tomorrow. (It's good to have goals!)

Who's a copy cat?

I am queen. Get busy.

Outside my screen door. I think this Raven can be heard crying, "Nevermore."

I love this jungle life!!!!

Yes! Si! Oui!   More boxes!

And finally.... a smidgen of progress.....

Whimsy and Hugs!  More to follow...

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Month...

My hope is that you and yours are all safe from life's storms. 

Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day

So today's big plans here are to grill a few rib-eyes and make a huge salad...  I think I have this! Probably just a little labor (need to figure out wifi for a new printer and more cleaning) ...  but I hope some more serious Game of Thrones catching up...  We are on Season 5... Yes, I know.

My son is actually off work but on-call, so who knows. Have a great week. Labor Day usually signals the end of summer, the last of white shoes, and folding away of any red, white, blue /Patriotic decor...

Have a good Labor Day! Don't work too hard!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mom's chili, My chili, Your chili.... I love them all

This post is full of links and recipes.

First, let's agree that chili is universal... and delicious in all its many forms. My personal go-to is Goal Post Chili, the one I have down to 20 minutes from frozen burger (two 6 minute spells in the microwave...) and cans to simmering, ready for company.

1 1/2 # hamburger browned and drained.
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 large can tomato juice
4 cans chili beans, undrained
2 T. chili powder
1/2 T. cumin
1 T beef bullion
salt to taste
1/2 t. pepper
3 T. ketchup
maybe water, depends
2 T. brown sugar (optional) not really an option if you ask me...
Mix and heat completely. Simmer if you have time. Adjust to your taste

For many years I was very blessed to be the go-to house for the guys my son hung out with...  I still maintain a few here and there and one dedicated friend for, I hope, forever. This chili, tater tot casserole, and brownies made quite a few appearances!

This Christmas I began to make Pioneer Woman's chili, a real meaty hit with the guys.

Today I tried my best to create my mom's chili from my childhood. I think I decided to go out and greet the Autumn. recreating Mom's chili is very hard without quarts of home cold-packed tomatoes...  or the ever beloved End of the garden Relish I so adore. My mother's chili had pieces of  stewed tomato in it, which is a big no-no for some. However, I love it.  I remember one of my students complaining about bits of tomatoes in chili at a school dinner. "What are those? Guts?" the cheerleader cried. Oh, Lordy.

Mom used a couple different kinds of beans, probably because she grabbed what we had in that little tin pantry Daddy brought home from the curb outside some shop in town. (I do love me a good junk haul the night before the garbage trucks run!) And her chili was thin. She always called it "chili soup." I drew the line on the little one-inch pieces of spaghetti she sometimes threw in to fill it out. As many times as I will be reheating this I made today, those would be mush!

Mom's Chili (almost)

In a huge pan...

3 # browned hamburger (drain if it needs it.)
1 can chili beans with juices
1 can black beans (or another kind) with juices
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large can whole tomatoes (squish the tomatoes quite a bit with a fork or your fingers)
1 can tomato sauce
1 T. garlic minced
2 c. water
1/2 cup ketchup (for brightening, according to Mama)
1/4 cup sorghum molasses
1/4 cup real maple syrup (Mom's preference was Indiana maple)
1/4 cup sugar (yes. it is almost like a sweet chili sauce if you add all these sweets
) I probably add more.
3 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder

Simmer one hour or more, stirring often. Adjust flavors. Add more water or tomato juice if you have room in pan.

Whimsy and Hugs!