July 31

Rose of Sharon. That is what this little plant is called. I have rows of them on either side of my house. This particular one is only 3 years old. It stands about 5 and a half feet tall. I love this one because the flowers are so beautiful…and pink.

I love pink.

These are 4 years old and stand 8-9 feet tall. Don’t they make a lovely “fence”? I can not wait till the ones on the other side of my house are this tall.

These are the ones on the side of the house that I have had to plant and replant and replant. See the string. I have it left up there so that the neighbors will see where their property ends, and keep their dogs out of my yard, and from ruining my plants.

See the little puny ones, those are the 3rd plantings. I planted them this spring….ok, the guys planted them this spring. The tallest one is the 3 year old one in the first picture. See how fast they grow. That is one of the reasons that I like this plant so much.

That, and they are pink .

Which one do you like best, the single blossom, or the double blossom?

July 30

My niece and nephew are up from Missouri for a few weeks.

Last week, the chips and I went over to visit. Dad was in the middle of baking bread. Dad makes very good bread. We were hungry and the smell of baking bread didn’t help matters in the least! We tried to distract ourselves by taking pictures.

~~on a side note, do you see the knife holder hanging on the wall? The knives in that are older than I am.~~

We chatted some

We even tried to ignore the smell by watching a video.

It didn’t work.

As you can see the agony of waiting began to overcome some of us.

Fiiiiiiiiinally it was done.

I got my favorite piece, the heel. I love the heels of home made bread. Don’t give me the heel of a store bought loaf! Warm fresh bread, melting butter, what more could a person ask for?

Maybe to actually be able to eat a slice.

Dad graciously provided the recipe.

Copied from my email….

DADS FAMOUS HOME MADE BREAD

4-5 cups of bread flour

1- cup instant potato flakes

1-1/2 TSP. yeast

2-TSP sugar

1-1/2 tps salt

2-cups water(110 degrees)

1-cup milk

2-TSP butter

1-beaten egg

( I use Kitchen-aid mixer w/ dough hook)

Put sugar & yeast in water, set aside let it work till foamy.

Put remaining dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

Add butter to milk, in separate bowl, heat until butter is melted.

Add water mixture. milk mixture and beaten egg to dry ingredients

Mix, add remaining flour until desired consistency is reached.

Let it raise in warm place until doubled. Punch down, let rest 5 min.

Coat loaf pans with“Deans quick lube”. Divide dough in half. Place in loaf pans.

Coat with a egg wash if desired (1 egg,3TSP milk) any wash left over can be used in scrambled eggs. perforate all over top of each loaf with fork to allow trapped air to escape. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Coat top of each loaf with melted butter.and enjoy

Does the smell of baking bread drive you to distraction? Does it make you want to ride an exercise bike? How do you like to eat your home made bread?

July 29

The boy and I are not the only ones with new wheels in our family.

Dad and mom got a new vehicle. The other day when I was over there, and dad was in the shower

the boy and I went for a ride!

Come on! Let’s go!!!

He is very serious about his driving.

So am I. I love driving. I like to go fast. That is why cruise control is so important to me. I hate to pay tickets. blush.gif

I remember after I got my license we took a trip out of state. Dad let me drive. He climbed into the passenger seat, leaned back, folded his arms, closed his eyes and said “you pay your own tickets.” I will never forget that as long as I live. He trusted me enough to go to sleep.  Then I almost sideswiped a car in Indianapolis.  He went back to sleep.  I wonder what mom and my sister were doing in the back seat all that time.  Were they biting their nails,  planning escape routes, laying on the floor with all the pillows on top of them, or did they fall asleep too.   I am clueless!!!

What do you think they were doing?

July 28

This is the corner of my house.   I am guessing that my house did indeed get jealous from all the other houses in the area getting repaired.

This is the corner of my sons bedroom.   I am concerned.   He said there is nothing to worry about.  It is just the outside of the bricks.

So tell me, does this worry you?  It worries me!!!

July 26

This past weekend, Roscoe Village had its 8th annual Civil War Encampment/Re-enactment. We went early, so there weren’t many people there. I don’t much care for crowds, so this was a good thing for me.

They had a few originals on display. I especially liked the colt .45.

Speaking of colt .45’s

This gentleman had 2. This is an officers every day pistol.

This is a presentation colt .45. It was used when presenting a medal or a promotion of some sort. I liked this one best. It is shiny and has an ivory handle. My dad always told me a wink and a smile would get you anything, but it didn’t work.sigh.gif He wouldn’t give it to me.

President Lincoln was there. He was watching to keep things peaceful.

Alas, the rebs were up to no good.

They began sneaking up on the yanks.

Suddenly, there were cannons to the left of us

and cannons to the right of us.

The fight had begun.

oooOOOooooo look, my favorite building in the entire village of Roscoe. The House of G.A.Fisher~~jewelers.

While we watched from the side.

With all the standing around the yanks did, I am amazed that we even won the war.

We soon tired of all the smoke and noise.

As we were walking to the car, we turned to find that Mark Twain and his family following us up the hill. I just know that he was wanting some editorial advice, I just know that he was looking for help. See his face~~he is bursting to ask me all I know. I am in such demand!

This was one of the better Civil War weekends that Roscoe offered. I really wish that we could have stayed longer.

Who is your favorite author?

July 25

This past week, I have been very busy planning and writing and highlighting, printing,  and concentrating for this upcoming school year. See, I have all I need for this type of endeavor. Paper, highlighters, colored staples, pens, pencils, books, smelly candles, a lighter, the ever wonderful post-it notes, and THE most important thing…..a bar of Dove dark chocolate.

Dove dark chocolate stops your head from swimming when you are trying to figure out Grammar or Economics or even Government.help.gif

I will be doing more planning in the days to come. Looks like I need to go get more chocolate!

What is your favorite chocolate?

July 24

I like granola.

When I was a little girl my dad’s sister, Aunt Marty, tried to extol the virtues of granola, carob, and bean curd to a 9 year old who doesn’t really care about gross stuff like that. Bring on the chocolate, baby!!!

Now that I am much older and wiser, I find that granola isn’t half bad. In fact, it is delicious! It is fairly healthy too. Making my own makes me feel like a hippy. I feel like I need to have long hair, wear mis-matched clothing and stop shaving. I could never be a hippy. I can’t stand carob, tofu, mismatched clothing or prickly armpits.

I get almost giddy at making something myself for less than half the cost of store bought, and tastes better too. I like foiling the system! biggrin.gif I like being a rebel.

Making granola is so easy. It just takes a long time to bake.

This is what you do. ~~Check out the recipe over to the side~~.

Make sure you have everything. You can make substitutions and even add in dry fruit after you bake it, but I am not a fan of dried fruit. I like to add fresh to mine.

In a VERY large bowl, put 6 cups of oats~~not the quick kind~~

Some slivered almonds

cashew bits~~my favorite nut,~~

sunflower seeds

and oat bran.

Mix well.

Doesn’t that look wonderful? I almost feel guilty liking something this good for me.

Almost. I do like broccoli, too.

In another bowl~~dontcha just love this little bowl? It is so cute, so homey, so old fashioned…sigh…sorry~~mix oil, maple syrup,

vanilla~~again, I don’t measure vanilla~~

and salt. Stir a bit to combine everything.

Pour into your oats. You need a very large bowl for this, because you have to

stir and stir and mix and fold till everything is coated.

It should look like this, and you will be able to arm wrestle a NFL defensive back when you are finished and win.

Then you divide it into 2 pans. I generally make this in 2 large jelly roll pans, but since we are using our summer kitchen, they don’t fit.

These do nicely in a pinch. I just have to bake them 15 minutes longer.

Into the oven it goes.

Set your handy-dandy timer for 15 minutes.

Stir when your timer goes off. Do this for at least an hour and 15 minutes.

When it is done, cool it. It will be all crisp and brown.

Store it in an airtight container.

You can eat it on ice cream, ~~I prefer hot fudge on my ice cream~~or sprinkled over yogurt.

Me, I will stick to eating it with flavored coffee creamer. Vanilla Toffee Carmel to be exact. I am still being healthy. It is granola after all! Go make some today. Be healthy, or at least pretend to be and eat some over yogurt.

Do you like tofu?

July 23

As I have mentioned before, I adore antiques. I also love anything that is shiny and sparkles. Moreover, it must be the real thing!!!

Take this little beauty for instance.

Last Wednesday when my parents were here for the daughters surgery, I stole took borrowed this from my mother’s finger. My sister is always borrowing things from her.  I rarely do.  When we were teens, I was able to wear her dresses and shoes. My sister and daughter now borrow her shoes. I just  borrow her real jewelry.

This ring was my great great relatives ring ~~writing.gif note to self, when stealing taking borrowing something from mother, refresh your memory of it’s history first~~.

Anyway, I had the diamond set in it for my mother for her birthday a few years ago. This ring likes me. It really wants to stay here with me. I clean it daily. I think I will continue to borrow it for a little bit longer. yes.gif

OH, and kiddo……..mom wants her polka dot shoes back.

Did you borrow your mother’s clothing/shoes when you were growing up?

July 22

Every Saturday during the summer our town has a Farmer’s Market at our fair grounds. The boy likes to go, so generally I go with him. We like to hang out together.

Anyway, yesterday they were holding a car show. I love old cars. I love just about anything that is antique. I like to see the old cars restored in original condition.

The ones that are supped up are nice, but to me it is destroying history.

This is the only one that really caught my eye. A ’57 Chevy. I went over and found that the owner of this car~~a little old couple~~ are the original owners. Everything in it is original, and in excellent condition. I was tickled pink to see that. I hope they won.

They also held a rough truck competition last night at the fair grounds. The men went. They had a good time. To advertise for it, they had this in front of all the old cars.

I am not necessarily into car crushing. I have crushed to many cars, personally, to really enjoy the sport.

On the way home,

this cut in front of me. I wasn’t upset because I was waaaaaaaaaay to busy drooling over it.

What a gorgeous piece of machinery!!!

Do you like old cars?

July 21

I took this picture~~well, actually the girl took this picture for me, because when I tried to do it, he heard the camera being turned on, and took off his chef’s hat and walked away~~because it totally shows the essence of the boy.   I can not believe that he doesn’t have on his camo apron.   I love this man/boy!!!

I love looking at the little things in the backgrounds of pictures.  What can you learn about me from this picture?….aside from the fact that I desperately need a bigger kitchen…

July 20

I am happy to report that the daughter is recovering nicely.  The boy, however, seems to think that once you come home from the hospital all should return to normal.   I am educating him. biggrin.gif  His wife will thank me!  He is lucky I am not having him do all her chores, although with his attitude yesterday,  brood.gif I was sorely tempted!!!

So, what do you do while you are waiting at the hospital with nothing to do but watch Food Network, HGTV, and Fox News?

You finish the sock that you haven’t touched since snow was on the ground, and amaze nurses and aids alike with your knitting prowess.

I had probably ought to start on the mate.

What TV shows are your favorite?

July 19

I am issuing a challenge to you all.

The boy and I were out the other day and we came upon this tree. This tree is a thorny tree. It has thorns growing right out of the trunk. I did a bit of googling to find out what kind of tree this is, but I couldn’t find it. I have ruled out the Hawthorn tree.

I do know that this tree is about 50-75 years old. It is small in diameter, but it is a good 40 feet tall.

This is the best picture that I could get of the thorns growing straight out of the trunk. These thorns in turn seem to become the branches.

It is a spindly tree.

And the leaves are kind of oak like.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out what kind of tree this is and report back in 12 hours. This message will self destruct in 5 seconds.

Or not.

July 18

My daughter.

Today my daughter will be having her gall bladder removed. Please pray for her today, and me as I sit~~very impatiently by, most likely getting on everyone’s nerves~~ and sit and sit.

Do you still have your gall bladder?

July 17

Fresh pineapple. The first time that I ever had fresh pineapple was about 2 years ago. It was being demonstrated at the newly opened superStuffmart here. After one bite, I was smitten. I can not seem to get enough of the stuff. Sadly, the already-cut-for-you pineapple costs a mint. Looking at the whole pineapple was very intimidating to me, but it was my new favorite fruit, so I had someone show me how to cut it myself. It is easy peasy! Let me show you how. Then pineapple can be your new favorite fruit too! pineapple.gif

First, you want to make sure that the pineapple you choose at the market is the yellowest you can find. The yellower they are, the sweeter they are.

Twist off the top. This is fun to do, especially if you are frustrated at anyone~~say a cat that is chewing something she isn’t supposed to~~for instance. brood.gif

Lop off the top.

Lop off the bottom.

Cut it in half.

Next, start slicing off the rind. You want to go fairly deep to get it all off. Make sure that you follow the curvature of the fruit.

I can’t believe that these are the seeds. They are so tiny, for such a large fruit. Sometimes you don’t get them all either, but that is ok.

A few of the brown spot thingies are ok. If you don’t like them, you can just trim them off.

Cut the piece in half again.

You will be able to see where the core is, and just lop it off. Make sure that you cut it out deep enough. If you don’t, it will be hard chewing for you.

Now you can chunk it up however you like. I slice each forth into 4 even pieces

rotate 90º and chop it up.

I don’t know if you can see the daughter’s arm in many of these pictures. She wasn’t hanging around because she was enjoying my company. She wasn’t standing close because she thought I smelled good. She wasn’t even trying to give me a hug! She was hovering in hopes of snatching a bite or 2.

Something fun that you can do is to cut the top off instead of twisting it. Then pull off the bottom few leaves, and flatten all the rest downward. You can use it as a pretty centerpiece for a fruit plate.

See? Easy as pie- napple.

blush.gif

What is your favorite fruit?

July 16

Grams……a very long time ago.

Grams today.

This past weekend we celebrated Grams’ 80th birthday. How do you go about celebrating 80 years of ones life???

With family. These are my aunts and uncle.~~and ma. These are some of the people who have made me who I am. We all haven’t been together like this in a little over a year. It was so good to see everyone.

This is my Aunt Cindy. The daughter calls her Aunt Lucy. ~~her real name is Lucinda~~ I like Aunt Lucy better. It sounds much cuter. Aunt Lucy introduced me to Jiffy corn muffins. Her son introduced me to dipping my potato chips in Miracle Whip. She also makes THE best peanut butter fudge I have ever eaten. Aunt Cindy is always cracking jokes, and when I was little I wanted to be funny just like her.

This is my mother. When I was little I remember watching her put on make-up. I think it was called Fashion 2/20 or some other numbers. Forgive me, I am old and my brain doesn’t work like it should. I couldn’t wait to grow up and put on make-up just like her.

This is my Aunt Sandy. I call her Aunt Sandy.~~her real name is Sandy~~ Aunt Sandy was only 16 when I was born.  She lived with us for awhile when I was about 4 or 5, and my dad…my loving, wonderful father…would turn off all the hot water on her when she was in the shower. I remember several mornings waking up to the sound of my dear sweet aunt yelling from the bathroom….Dddddeeeeeeeeeeeaan!!!! She makes the best cheeseball. I really need that recipe!

She even had me and my kid sister in her wedding. I knew I was special then. I even got to wear baby’s breath in my hair. Aunt Sandy had THE coolest clothes, and THE darkest tan I had ever seen. When I was little, I wanted to be just like her.

This is my Uncle Jimmy. Uncle Jimmy went into the Navy when I was very young. I don’t remember much about him, but there is one memory that stands out very strong. It was Christmas, and uncle was home on leave. I remember sitting in front of him on an ottoman and falling asleep against his chest.

You also celebrate food, of course.  My dad is blocking the best stuff……..apples with caramel sauce. I could eat that stuff right out of the package. As a matter of fact, I only had 4 apple slices, but I got enough caramel sauce to just eat it plain. And if I were to be totally truthful, I would say that I just wanted to carry the bowl of it over to my table and eat it all. However, I was good and let others have some too.

There was also 4 different kinds of cake. I was a good girl and only had one piece.

My dad, on the other hand had 5 pieces.

Everyone had a great time. As you can see, I am fully recovered from my trauma.

How often do you get together with family?

July 15

Yesterday I suffered a trauma that no person should have to suffer. I will have nightmares for weeks!

We were traveling yesterday, and as I was toodling down the road, something big and black flew into my window and hit me on the head. It was a good thing that I remembered that I was driving, or I would have been doing the very necessary “a bug is on me jig”. You know the arm flailing, leg kicking, running around in circles screaming…”a bug, a bug, getitoffme, getitoffme, getitoffme!

However, I calmly leaned forward and said to the husband very urgently, “is it behind me? did it fall down my back?” He looked. Not as thoroughly as I would have liked, either. He didn’t see anything. I asked the daughter to please look on the floor behind my chair. Nothing. Whew! At least I could sit back and not crush it, and maybe have it sting me.

So, I sat back and did what every other person would do. I began to think “if it isn’t behind me, and it isn’t on the floor, where is it?” So I ran my fingers through my hair…….nope. Getting a bit frantic, I said “husband, do you see it anywhere?”

He began to look and said “Oh, I see it, it is on the front of you”~~this is not the thing to say to a woman driving who has just suffered the trauma of having the nasty thing hit her in the head!~~…freaking, but still driving and not able to do the “bug is on me jig” I said “getitoffme, getitoffme, getitoffme” He did, and all was well. My hero.

Let this be a lesson to you. Don’t drive with your windows down. If you must drive with your windows down, make sure that someone is with you to debug you. yes.gif

July 14

Hard at work

or hardly working.

This was the state of affairs at my house the other day. It seems to be the prevalent attitude of late.  We all are either doing one or the other.

I am ready for for some structure. I am ready for some routine. I am ready for school!!!

Are you??

July 13

The kiddos labs are getting more and more involved. At the end of the course, they will have to do a full dinner party. I think it is going to be wonderful……they are not so thrilled. rolleyes.gif

Anyway this lab that they are doing is a cake reception. I didn’t have them do the reception part as I was supposed to invite all faculty and staff. Seeing as how I am the sum total of all faculty and staff, we decided to forgo the reception. We did not, however, forgo the cake! biggrin.gif

The boy made the cake and the girl made the icing….at the same time… so I was going back and forth and back and forth. It was difficult to photograph all I wanted to, but I got most of it!

For the cake…

Always prepare your pan. Give it a really good greasing, then set it aside.

Get out your trusty bowl, and add some flour,

sugar and cocoa, I think~~I was busy on the other side of the room, photographing the girl….

baking soda….or was it powder…dunno1.gif

and whisk. As you can see from the brown lumps, he should have sifted.

In another bowl

~~don’t you just love this other bowl? It reminds me of my dad’s mom. I have been looking for more like this, but I haven’t been able to find any that doesn’t have rust spots on the inside.~~

pour some oil, vinegar, water

and vanilla. We don’t measure the vanilla. We just dump. Why? ’cause it is good!!!

Whisk wet and dry together for 1 minute. Pour into your prepared pan and

Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes. Don’t you just love our summer kitchen?

On to the icing…

Bring a brick of cream cheese to room temperature, or in our case, soften it in the microwave. Plop it in your handy-dandy KitchenAid 6qt professional mixer. Don’t have one? Then use whatever mixer you do have, and start saving for one.  It is a necessary kitchen item!!!

Then you need to melt 2 oz. of unsweetened chocolate in the microwave.

The husband came home at this point, and the daughter offered him a lick.

He took her up on her generous offer, and as you can see, he had no clue it was unsweetened.

I can not believe he is spitting out perfectly good chocolate….sheesh!

We all had a good laugh…well, everyone but the husband. He wasn’t amused. lmfao.gif but we were!

Back to the icing….Take 4 tbsp butter.

3 tbsp of milk and the melted chocolate

and cream it all together.

Add powdered sugar and mix.

Once your cake is cooled,

you need to ice it, and then take it to your parents when you invite yourself over for supper!

Do you invite yourself over to your parents to eat???

July 12

The other morning, I stepped outside…very early…to see if I still had to drink my air, or if it had cooled off sufficiently for me to turn off the A/C.

brood.gif It hadn’t.

However, I looked up and the sight was magnificent!

I just had to go back in~~take a deep breath of cool refreshing air~~and get my camera.

While I was out there, I thought that I would snap a shot of how well my front flowers are doing. I know that you excited beyond words to see this comparison.

I am sure that you remember this picture I took almost 2 months ago. OH…look, there are all my strawberry plants so alive, so full of promise…..only 5 are alive today! dead.gif

I know, I know….flowers excite you beyond all imagination. They make you want to jump for joy, they make you want to play the banjo, they make you want to learn origami, but please, calm yourselves, take deep breathes, count to ten, write a check to my Photobucket fund, do some yoga and wait patiently for another month or so for the last installment.

And last, but certainly not least…

Our first zucchini. I am afraid it will be our only zucchini. The rest of the little ones rotted on the vine. I love zucchini. I love to sautée it in some butter with onion. It is so good that way.

Did you plant zucchini this year? do you like zucchini? how do you eat your zucchini?