Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas came for me this week!

      In the form of Bogs boots! I have already been wearing them and I really like them! I have photos later on. I really don't want anything for Christmas as I don't think it's all about 'me'! Jesus is the reason for the season so I want my focus to be on Him! I believe that giving is as important, or more so, than receiving and I so enjoy watching the faces of others light up when they receive! Especially the children! There is so much to be thankful for this season, even in a world of uncertainty! I can hardly wait to see the kids open their gifts!

      I have really felt 'cruddy' this week as I have a bad cold. It started out with hoarseness, then an excruciating sore throat. Now the sore throat is gone, but I have continual dripping of the nose, watery eyes, and puffy head. In spite of all this, I went outside and worked a little in the garden and behind the house. I did that yesterday too! The weather is so mild and the sun is so warm! I even removed my sweater and had on a short-sleeved shirt! I am so ready to get those garden beds prepared for Spring! I found some dirt on the hill that I think we can use, if we can access it better. I'm talking to Ran as soon as he gets home to see if he can clear me out a path (there are several downed trees and much brush in the way). Like he doesn't have anything else to do! There are so many projects to finish, and heat to be added, he works all the time! He finally got the heat going upstairs and one unit installed downstairs. Yay! We didn't even need heat today, but I know it will come in handy real soon!

      I hope ya'll are having a wonderful holiday season and enjoy being with your loved one(s)! Time is rapidly approaching to the Day! I hope to talk with ya'll again soon! If not, I may take some time off during the holidays, so don't worry if you don't hear from me til after the first. I don't know that it will be that long, but it could be, with family and travel and such. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Blessings from Bama!

I have become addicted to this concoction for the past two days! A teaspoon of our honey, a teaspoon of the vinegar, and a half teaspoon of garlic. Not pictured is Oregano oil I placed externally on my throat. I am better since it all began!

How do you like the Bogs?

I like those flowers!

I've already gotten them dirty! They are really comfortable and easy to get on and off. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

While I was celebrating my birthday....

      Innocent people were being killed! Even at my son's own school the day before, a child (he is 18) was arrested and charged with terrorists threats. Well, he actually went and turned himself in; they didn't come to the school. He had written a note stating something bad was going to happen and that people would be killed! My son said the boy always said stuff like that and wouldn't actually do anything since he was small and had no weapons, but still! There are so many people with serious mental problems! They need help! The child has ruined his life! I was so concerned for my son and his small rural school, then the next day that happened in Connecticut! What is going on? I'm sure everyone is asking this question! My prayers are, and have been going out for these people today! My prayers are also with the families of victims in my home state, one county over, who've lost their lives to idiots! I guess I could make this whole post about killings and murders, but I've read too much about that, and I'm sure you have too!

      In spite of the awful events around here and elsewhere, we had a very nice family gathering with my husbands family yesterday. Lots of good food, family, and kids opening presents! It comes and goes so quickly! 

      I had a wonderful time Friday, visiting with a friend! We talked and walked through the house and yard for hours! I even forgot to show her upstairs! I just want to tell her that friendship is more valuable than any possession! I'm so thankful for ours! And I'm thankful for my online friends, as well! Thanks for reading! Blessing from Bama! 

Celebrating Aunt FeFe's birthday at her favorite meat-n-three!

Do you think he looks like his Mom?

More family time!

My German Chocolate bundt cake turned out pretty good! I especially like the icing!

I felt a cold coming on Saturday, so I got to cooking some spicy food! Unfortunately, the large jar broke in the freezer. Guess I didn't let it cool enough first. This soup is very spicy and delicious! I also made a spicy Soba noodle salad, not pictured. Oh, and the pumpkins in the background were too stringy to do anything with. If I save the seeds, do you think the pumpkins grown from them will be stringy?

Great-grandchildren, one not there, and one is not related. (holding baby)

Grandchildren, two not there. See Skylar?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Calling all doctors!

      Yasmine and Layla were here this past weekend and we brought them out a doctor's kit to play with. They were ecstatic! They played with that thing all night long! They also played with some 'stainless steel' pots and pans and plastic food. We ate all day long! It was such fun playing with them! They are getting at the age where one doesn't have to babysit them; they can occupy themselves with toys and such! We don't have cable, so they don't watch tv except for a few videos. I mostly let them play instead of keeping the tv on. It was a pleasure to keep them.

      Skylar helped me in the kitchen again tonight. We cooked his beloved chicken stir-fry. It was delicious! It was nice to have his company in the kitchen! We had Panettone for dessert. It is an Italian fruit cake that we can only find this time of year at World Market. In the years past, we could find some at Wal-Mart and Aldi. Have you ever eaten Panettone? It is delicious! We also like the soft gingerbread cookies from Aldi. They are a product of Germany.  They taste so good!

      I will be celebrating my 52 birthday on Friday! I plan on staying home and enjoying the company of a friend. We ate at Bonefish Grill in Birmingham this past weekend for my birthday. I don't like having a birthday this time of year because it cuts into Christmas! I never liked it as a child either! Never many presents! I'm ok with that now, though. I don't need anything! Except a Nigerian Dwarf billy! They are hard to find around here! I'll be so glad when I get two! Yes, two! Not brothers, two separate ones! I'm still searching Craigslist and I'll let you know as soon as I get one! Ya'll have a blessed day! Blessings from Bama!
They were so cute 'doctoring' uncle Randy!
Layla copies everything Yasmine does! Soon Riley will join them!

Loving that passy! Still has that head-full of hair!

Layla is checking his ears.

Now it's Yasmine's turn.

Skylar's chicken stir-fry.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Trying to get a new look on my blog!

      I have been diligently trying to change the look of my blog! Why did I wait until the Christmas season? I don't know! I will work on the header some more but at a later date. The main thing I want to change is the favicon! I have been trying to find the right photo or theme all week! That is why I haven't written a post until tonight! I think I finally found one; just hope it will work! Change is something I have to make myself do because it's so easy to get comfortable with the way things are. One day, I'd like to do tabs and add the ziplist for recipes! Won't that be a change! Do ya'll like to change the look of your blog at times?

      I don't have many photos to share but I do have a few. I am at this very moment shelling some more pecans! When I finish this batch, it will be 25 pounds! I don't know if that will be enough, but that may be all I can get this year. I ordered some seeds and they have already arrived! If I knew winter wasn't coming, I'd put them into the seed starters. But, I will have to wait. Hope ya'll have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Twenty bags of leaves waiting to go in the garden beds.

Skylar is removing the bad dirt so we can replace it with good dirt.

Randy bent over to pet the other goat and this one jumped off the doghouse onto his back!

Open-pollinated seeds from Marie Seeds.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What a mild December we're having!

      It's really amazing that in December, I can go outside and work in the yard in a short sleeved shirt! If the sun was shining, I would probably have on shorts as well! It's overcast with rain in the forecast, so that's one reason for the warm temps. We have only gotten rain once a week for a few hours this past couple of weeks! It is a very dry season, too! Usually this time of year, we have lots of rain, but the weather patterns are different now. Maybe it will turn cold in January! Two years ago, we had snow at Christmas, then again in January! That was a fluke thing, as we never get snow here! I just want it to be Spring again! I've been bagging leaves and working in the garden cleaning out the beds. I even decided to empty four of the beds of all the dirt and put in better dirt! I got a half bed done today! That headache wouldn't let me do anymore! I guess I need to take another headache pill today like I did yesterday. I'll be glad when this season of my life changes, if you know what I mean!

      As time races toward Christmas Day, we have gotten all the kids a little something for Christmas. The things just need to be wrapped and put under the tree! I don't like to fight last minute shopping crowds, so we were better prepared this year, shopping a little in advance. I can't say I have all my Christmas shopping done, but most of it is. Do ya'll shop early, or wait to the last minute? Some people like the adrenaline rush of shopping on Christmas Eve! I would only be in the store if I absolutely couldn't do without the item, on Christmas Eve! 

      Since I've been inside this afternoon, I decided I'd cook some things. Nothing major, just marinara sauce and tuna dip. I used the leftover pack of cream cheese for the dip and two cans of tuna. I poured in some liquid smoke and stirred real good. I hope it tastes good. It reminds me of the chicken ball I make. I've also been shelling more pecans. I want to have my freezer full as I can afford since we love to eat them sugared with cinnamon. They are delicious! I used the recipe in the Calling All Cooks recipe book. It's the telephone cookbook for Alabama. Ya'll have a great week! Blessings from Bama! (What about that TIDE!)

I couldn't resist the blue eyes, cheeks, smile, and one sock!

Such delicious pecans!

The making of a good dip!

The cinnamon-sugared pecans. The one on the left is Skylar's. He' says they taste better, but I made them the same!

Marinara sauce made from home-grown tomatoes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My son can cook!

      Last night, dinner was on Skylar! I needed to hold a flashlight outside for his Dad, so dinner was going to be delayed. Unless Skylar wanted to hold the flashlight! He had a choice; cook dinner or hold the flashlight. He chose to cook without any hesitation! It was a simple meal: chicken Alfredo. First, he seasoned the chicken with some spices and a little hot sauce, then he sauteed it. I put the water on for the fettuccine, since it takes a while to come to a boil. After the chicken was done, he removed it to a cutting board where it was cut in small pieces. Next, he made the alfredo sauce, using garlic, butter, milk, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Everything turned out delicious! He did a great job! I liked the Alfredo sauce OK, but I prefer it without the cream cheese. They both loved it that way! I am so glad that he has been in the kitchen enough that he can follow a recipe! I know if he is ever out on his own and gets hungry enough, he can survive!

      We are transitioning from Thanksgiving to Christmas! All the boxes are out and the tree is getting decorated. It won't seem like that long and we'll be taking it down! Oh well, we'll enjoy it while we can! Our temps have been so mild during the day that I've spent a lot of time outside raking and bagging leaves. These will be such good mulch for the garden! Plus, it gives me exercise and a chance to be in the sun and breath fresh air! I also broke down some boxes and put in the paths between the garden beds. I need a lot more boxes to finish!

      I was hoping to get some KuneKune pigs for Christmas, but we just don't have the right space to keep them. I saw them for sale on Craigslist. I am so disappointed! I really thought they were different from other pigs, but they are basically the same. Maybe one day I'll have acreage enough to have all the animals I want! What do you want for Christmas? I'll have to think about it some more. Hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend! Blessings from Bama! Roll Tide!

Skylar cooking chicken Alfredo!
I was so glad to get the pecans shelled and chopped! The five pounds turned into eight, one cup bags. I used two cups for roasting, and the rest went in the freezer.
The deal I got at Aldi: four bags of cranberries @ .49 a bag. I also got celery for .19. Do you put all of your eggs in one basket?

I decided to dehydrate the cranberries. They smell so good in here!

Skylar's chicken Alftedo!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Did you have dressing or stuffing for Thanksgiving?

      Personally, I prefer dressing. That is what I grew up with, so that is what I make. It is very delicious! I make mine from Gladiola cornbread mix, so it's not exactly from 'scratch'. I like the way the cornbread mix turns out, and it's not sweet, as some might think. I chop onions and celery and add fresh eggs to the mix, as well as cream of chicken soup, poultry seasoning, cooked shredded chicken, and chicken stock. Some people make biscuits and add, or bread but I don't. It turns out really good and tastes good for several days. I haven't found a stuffing that I like because I associate stuffing with the stove-top kind! I'm sure there are good recipes for it, but I'll just stick with my dressing.

      It was nice to have almost all of the family here to eat and fellowship with! That little Riley is already growing up! She's gained a pound in two weeks! That's OK, since she was small to begin with. We had the girls with us for several days, so I didn't get to write like I thought I would. It's nice to have the house quiet and back in order again! But it was fun while it lasted!

      I hope to find some good prices when I go shopping at Aldi tomorrow. They usually have their hams marked down after the holidays along with other produce. Hope I haven't missed anything! I'll let you know next time if I got a good deal. I did get a good deal on pecans: 5lbs. for $12.50! I am going to get some more soon. Hope ya'll have a good week! Blessings from Bama!

Yasmine loves to hold the baby!

The making of my dressing.

I cooked a hen in the crockpot to go in the dressing. I only used half of it, so I shredded and froze the other half. I used the bones and inner parts of the hen to cooked up a nice chicken stock in the slow-cooker. 

What's left of the Thanksgiving dinner. My Mom and I both made dressing. Mine is in the white dish. They were both delicious!

That was the best pecan pie and sweet potato casserole I've ever eaten!

The collie took to Rubi that day.

Family enjoying the warm temps Thanksgiving day.

Can't forget Daisey and Delilah!

The girls love to swing! Amber has lost a lot of weight! I wished she would do it the healthy way!

Nanny and three of her greats!

Here's all four.

She's looking at the camera!

They are so cute!

I got two quarts of chicken stock.

Five pounds of pecans  turned into this. That is honeycomb I'm trying to let drain of all the honey so I can use the wax.

We didn't add honey to the jars, they just seem to fill up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I guess ya'll were wondering where I've been!

       I just now got back on the internet! We got knocked off the other day and had to get a new modem. I don't know if lightening got it or what, I'm just glad to be back! I really got a lot done this week since I couldn't get online, but I still missed reading and posting! Hope everyone is O.K.! 

      Of course I got to spend some time with the new baby! She is so adorable! I still love the puppy, just not the messes she makes! My apple trees came in so I dug six holes and got them planted today. I didn't realize they would have such a good root system and be the size tree they are! The tilled area wasn't deep enough so I got a good, sweaty workout digging! The nights are cool but the temps are getting into the low sixties during the day. It felt like eighty while I was digging! I'm so thankful for cooler weather since I've been working outside so much this week! I have been raking leaves and now have eight bags full! I need that many more for the raised beds. I'm really trying to get the soil amended correctly so our veggies will produce next summer. I dug some of the basil and brought it inside so we'll have fresh basil for awhile. I also want to try growing some other herbs inside, too. 

      I'm not ready for Thanksgiving, by any means! I don't have a thing cooked yet! I don't usually cook anything ahead of time anyway! Just the day before! Everyone will be here that day and my Mom will bring food, so there will be plenty! I hope your Thanksgiving will be a nice one! I truly hope to write some next week! Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Riley's first ride from the hospital!

I finally had the occasion to bring this out!

The two pie pumpkins fit perfectly inside! They steamed nicely too!

Steamed pumpkin and seeds.

Pureeing the pumpkin.
Three bags, two cups each of pumpkin.
I think she's getting hungry, Momma!
Have to stay bundled at Aunt FeFe's cold house!
Look at that stretch!

That is so sweet!