Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This is the Lost Bluff Hiking trail out at Grenada Lake.
Deer tracks are a common sight, no matter where I walk. These were taken in between the cotton fields down the street from where I live.
OK, now I confess I didn't take those pictures today. I didn't go for a walk today, but I have such a backlog of photos from when I was walking last spring and summer that I won't lack for images to post.
But what did I do today? This:
Yes that is what you think it is--chocolate fudge. I made two batches. One I cut up right away, and the other I will vacuum seal for later on.
And I finished this scarf:
Well, actually, the scarf had been finished long time ago, but I hadn't ever attached the fringe. I don't like doing fringe, so I put it off for a long time. I finally just made myself sit down and do it. Now that it is done, I'm glad it's over with. This was a stash buster scarf made from leftover yarn. I don't have an intended recipient for it just yet. Maybe I'll send it to the Red Scarf Project.
One last thing before you go. If you've a mind to, go help this poor graduate student out with his experiment.
Monday, November 27, 2006
This morning, I discovered that their tank had developed a slow leak. Not wishing to spend the money for a new tank since I wouldn't be keeping fish any more anyway, I gave them to Mike. Actually, I talked to Dennise and asked her if she thought Mike would want them. "Yeah," she replied, "he probably would. He's such a fish-a-holic." So I bagged the little buggers up and took them down there to him. They are now happily swimming in a new tank, and I have more counter space in my kitchen.
I joined a new Knit-A-Long yesterday evening. I love doing dish/washcloths, and so this one seemed just perfect:
This one is a true KAL in that you are sent a few lines of a pattern each day for about a week, and when you are done, you have a beautiful and functional dishcloth. They do two patterns a month, and when they are finished, they post the pattern in its entirety. Since I was way behind for the month, I whipped this one out last night while watching Indianapolis run all over Philadelphia.
It's a poinsettia, if you can't tell from the picture. I had a devil of a time getting a picture that would show the details of this cloth. This one isn't that great, but it is actually the best one I got.
The second pattern for the month is a textured or patterned one. This will be great for using up my cotton stash, which I don't have much of anyway. Well, except for those two cones I bought on clearance...
I finally cashed my birthday checks (my birthday was two weeks ago) and this is what I bought:
It is a vacuum sealer. The first thing I did was to reseal some of the snakes' mice so they would stay fresher longer. This'll be really handy to have around. I'm off to find some more stuff to seal up.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Cody was supposed to be helping him, after all we told him that doing the lights was a man's job. I don't know where that came from because when I was growing up, my mother always did the lights. After J put the first ornament on the tree--a family tradition in their house, the kids dived in.
This is Brittani, Shelbi, and Cody putting on decorations while B unwraps them.
When Brittani discovered that she couldn't quite reach the top of the tree,
she came up with a rather unique solution. "She's a monkey," said her mother.
Meanwhile, Mike helped in his own way,
Finally, it was all done.
Dennise mentioned that they had bought a pre-lit tree last year as well. When they got theirs out to put it up this year, half of their lights weren't working either. They just bought lights to put on theirs. Probably what I should have done, because next year, half the lights on my replacement tree probably won't work.
I found out this morning that my co-worker's wife did pass away over the weekend. Her funeral was this afternoon. Keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Yesterday I didn't post anything but a picture because I was really tired. I had an appointment for an upper GI yesterday morning, and I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight. Now, I don't normally spend the wee hours of the morning eating and drinking, but somehow knowing that I couldn't drink anything made me so thirsty. I kept waking up during the night thirsty, even coughing because my throat was so dry. Consequentially, I didn't sleep well and spent the rest of the day in a brain fog. However, you will be pleased to know that my tests showed no abnormalities in my upper digestive system.
While I was waiting for my appointment, I saw one of my co-workers up there. He told me he'd been there all week. His wife has cancer, and apparently she's not doing well at all. Dennis told me he thought she was dying, and that she'd be better off if she did. That must be so hard, to watch someone you love suffer so much that you come to that conclusion. I've never met the wife, but Dennis is such a nice guy. I can't help but feel for him.
And now for some good news. I washed and dried the scarf I made yesterday out of the Red Heart Strata, and it is much softer now. It is not quite long enough for my taste in scarves, but I think my sister in law will like it. Next time, I'll use about a skein and a half and maybe make a hat out of the remainder.
Today I started the Irish Hiking Scarf from Hello Yarns. I'm using some old Sayelle acrylic yarn in Bluebell. I'm pretty sure this yarn has been discontinued, since it came from the bunches of yarn my mother sent me when she cleaned out her stash. This may have been my grandma's yarn, since my mother had gotten all of her yarn when she passed on.
I absolutely adore this pattern, but then I like anything with cables in it. I was disappointed, though, that I couldn't find a good game on to watch while I knitted it. I wanted to watch the Egg Bowl, which is what they call the annual Ole Miss-Miss State game, but it wasn't on. Well, it wasn't on a channel I get anyway. Ole Miss won that one 20-17. I was kind of surprised, because Ole Miss hasn't really had a football team since Eli Manning graduated. For the last couple of years, State has had the better team. Nevertheless, Ole Miss pulled this one out by the skin of their teeth. I ended up watching Tennessee play Kentucky. That was a pretty good game, but it just isn't as exciting when you don't have a dog in the fight.
Now for today's Saturday Sky:
Moving on to winter...
Remember making paper snowflakes? Since it seldom snowed in Southeast Texas where I grew up, I used to make bunches of paper snowflakes and tape them up all over the house. Now you can to it online here. I could spend way too much time on this site. Plus, until the end of the year, they are having their flake-a-thon. That means for each increment of snowflakes made, the owners of the site will donate to the Salvation Army. There is a scale on there. Just mouse over the Flake-A-Thon banner and it will pop up. Now, I'm off to make more flakes. It's fun. You should try it.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
And so another Thanksgiving day passes into history. This year had a bit of a somber tone to the day. One of B's best friends lost her husband in an automobile accident Tuesday evening. The visitation was today, and the funeral will be tomorrow. Though we had plenty to be thankful for, Karen was never far from our thoughts. Nor were her two step sons, Joey and Benjy who had already lost their mother several years ago and are now faced with losing their father. Both boys are in their 20's.
Our family dinner was small, with just the four of us. M, D, and the girls spent the day with D's parents. They were going to come over later in the day, but what with Tom's visitation, I don't know if they did.
On the menu: smoked turkey, dressing, broccoli salad, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn, strawberry jello salad, and cranberry sauce.
J carved the turkey, while Cody helped set the table.
This scarf was a skein of Red Heart Strata self patterning yarn. I don't remember the name of the colorway, and I've long since discarded the ball band. I bought it because I wanted to see how it knitted up, but I was very disappointed in the texture of the yarn. It is very stiff and coarse. I hope it will soften up a bit when I wash it, but I don't hold much hope of that happening. Still, it's pretty and I have a couple more skeins of that type of yarn in different colorways. Next time I think I'll use bigger needles. That way the knitting will be looser and may feel a bit softer.
A couple of things I've been forgetting to mention. First off, Cody made first chair in first band. First band gets to play slightly harder music than second band. I'm very proud of my little musician.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Funny thing, the guy said he'd have been here long time ago except that they'd been trying and trying to call me and I wouldn't answer the phone. I'm afraid I had to throw the BS flag on that one. I checked my caller ID on both phones, and his number wasn't on either. Then he said they'd been trying to such and such number, which was my cell phone, because they didn't have my home phone number. Again, I had to throw down the BS flag. When I called them way back in October, the girl who answered told me that he'd been trying to call. At that point, I gave them my home phone number, since I can't get cell reception at work. I was thinking they could leave a message if I wasn't home. So they had my home and cell numbers. No excuse there. At least not one I'm buying.
The guy apologized for the confusion, and told me that the one I'd talked to before was his son-in-law Matt. The one who came today owned the business, and Matt had been trying to help him out with it some. From the tone of his voice and the look on his face, I gather he is none too pleased with Matt's help.
No matter, I finally have a working washer again, and put it to use washing Cody's sheets--the only thing left that was dirty, since I'd washed this morning at B and J's house.
After they left, I put together my Sweet Potato Delight, but I won't bake it until in the morning. With the leftover potatoes, I made a sweet potato pie. MMMMM....
Some of you may be wondering why I don't post the recipe of what I made that day. Well, the simple truth is, when I decided to post daily recipes this week, I got my cookbooks out and typed them all in the same day. I just saved each post as a draft, and am publishing it on the appropriate day. So, the posts don't always coincide with what I cooked that day. But no matter. They're there, and that's what counts.
That being said, now for the recipe of the day:
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone, filled with food, football, friends and family. Love to all of you!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
So with minimal supervision and a bit of instruction, my little chef made his first pumpkin pie.
Buck paid me the nicest compliment on his blog today. He said,
I strongly suspect Becky is one of those women near and dear to my heart: a Southern cook...and most likely a great Southern cook, from the look of things.
Aww, thanks, Buck. Not to sound braggadocious, but I do a fairly decent job of following a recipe. I've even been known to make up stuff from time to time. I sometimes season meat with the "sniff and dump" method. That is where I take the spices off my shelf, sniff them, and if I think the smell like what I want, I dump some on the meat. (Long years ago, when B was out of town, J came over to my house and asked what I was fixing for lunch. I was making Manwiches, and he started dumping spices and stuff into the meat. It ended up being the awfullest tasting stuff I ever put into my mouth. It was so bad, the dog wouldn't even eat it. J ate a whole plate and didn't complain, but neither did he ask for seconds. He's never helped me cook since.)
Funny thing is, my mother was not a good cook. She cooked everything...well...well done. Hamburgers like hockey pucks. Cookies that had to be soaked in milk to make them soft enough to eat. Roast beef like boot leather. Moreover, she did not want me to help her cook. Not only could I not help, I was not even allowed in the kitchen while she was cooking. She always said it was more work to try to get me to do anything right than to just do it herself. As a result, I didn't learn to cook until I was grown.
I remember having a conversation with my Mammaw when I was about 12. She was appalled that I didn't know how to cook yet. She informed me that her daughters could cook entire meals by that age. What could I tell her?
So I didn't learn to cook until I was grown. I sort of taught myself out of necessity, but I just seem to have a knack for it.
I'm a good cook, like football, and hate to shop--especially for clothes. Who'da thunk I'd still be single after all that?
As you may remember, yesterday I made my first pecan pies. This is the recipe I used. It was printed in the Dear Abby column of the local newspaper some 10 years ago. I've kept it all these years, and finally got around to making it:
Monday, November 20, 2006
No, not for the trees. For me. At the doctor. It was time for my annual physical.
It was actually past time, since I usually do them in April or May. I'd put it off over and over again this year. Life just seemed too busy. I'm mostly healthy. My blood pressure is good, despite everyone on my father's side of the family having high blood pressure. They'll get the results of my other blood work in a few days.
My dad wanted to protect us when we were younger. He didn't want to be a burden to us, but at times like this, I really wish he'd told us about some of his physical problems, especially the kind that tend to run in families. Like diabetes. I know at one time he was told he was borderline diabetic. The last few years of his life, he ate foods formulated for diabetics. He never took insulin, but some diabetes can be controlled by diet. I just wish I knew. My doctor and I are keeping an eye on my sugar, just to be on the safe side, but I wish I knew.
We discussed my suspected allergy to eggs, and I asked the doctor if it was really necessary to get me tested. He said there wasn't because there isn't any shots or anything to treat that. I explained that my concerns were not so much about eating them, but thinking ahead to the future when I would want to take the flu shot. How would it affect me then, and what my options would be. He asked if I'd ever had flu shots before and how I reacted to them. I replied that yes, I'd had to have them while I was in the Navy and got so sick from them. Of course, the corpsmen would always ask if I was allergic to eggs, and I always replied no because I hadn't made that connection yet. I thought I was just getting the flu from the shot, since my symptoms mimic flu symptoms. I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. I also mentioned that I got kind of sick the last time I took aspirin, and he decided to refer me to an allergist. He said aspirin allergies can be a big deal. I guess that's because so many other medications are chemically similar to aspirin. That could also why the ibuprofen I was taking was making my chest and stomach hurt. Anyway, he said I can discuss my concerns with the allergist and decide then whether I really need to be tested, and also what my options on future immunizations are, etc. etc.
After my physical, I decided to get my oil changed since I was already in town. I spent more time doing that than I did at the doctor. Almost three hours I waited...That sort of threw my schedule for the day waaaay off. I did get two pecan pies made. The first one turned out a little dark, so I made another one. It looked a lot better, so we'll save it for Thanksgiving and eat the other one.
While I was dusting my Fall/Thanksgiving decorations, I noticed that Cody had added his unique touch to this fake pumpkin.
Well, the colors match perfectly, so I left it there.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Truth be told, I expected the Colts to run all over the Cowboys, but Dallas pulled it out 21-14. The thing is, yesterday when we bought the stockings, I didn't know they were playing each other today.
Cody presented quite a picture yesterday in Wal-mart. He had on a Mississippi State t-shirt and an LSU hat, and was carrying around a Colts stocking and a Cowboys stocking. One of the employees told Cody he needed a new outfit. He said that MS State lost to Arkansas, and LSU was going to lose to Ole Miss later that day. (They didn't, by the way). When we showed him the stockings, he said that the Colts stocking was ok, but I could keep the Dallas one. I told him that I would keep it, thank you very much. I wonder what that man is thinking now.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
No, I'll start when the excitement did--when J came home from hunting with this goodly sized buck. Yes it is a spike (and yes they are legal in MS), but it was a big buck none the less.
J and his younger son M cleaned it,
And Cody gave me this look when I suggested he help.
About the time I got finished, Cody requested that we go shopping in the next town up the highway. Since we needed to get him a long sleeve white t shirt for band anyway and I can't find one in Grenada, we went.
The first place we went to is Wal-mart. Since Batesville is a bigger town than Grenada, they often have things we don't get down here, and well, our Christmas stockings were getting a bit bedraggled anyway...
Baltimore...uh Indianapolis Colts for Cody,
and Dallas Cowboys for me. I'm a die hard Dallas Cowboy fan. Not the Cowboys of today, mind you, but the old Cowboys. The Tom Landry Cowboys. The Cowboys of Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson. The Doomsday Defense Cowboys of Harvey Martin, Randy White, and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. The Cowboys of Back in the Day...
Speaking of back in the day, there was a girl at work yesterday who had a t-shirt on. It said "Back in the Day" and had a picture of Pac-man on it. I had to laugh. I could have a Back in the Day t-shirt with Pong on it. Buck could have one with an abacus on it.
Finally, I finished off the evening making a batch of these cookies:
I just love those cookie stamps. I'd always gotten so frustrated with regular cookie cutters because they never acted like I wanted them to. But these stamps are soooo easy, and turn out just right every time.
For your recipe of the day, this is the recipe I use with my stamped cookies:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour, one cup at a time, until well blended. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and stamp. Bake at 350' for 8-10 minutes.
These are not really sweet cookies. They're more like a tea cake, but are one of our holiday favorites.