And It’s Getting Even Colder

But before we get to that, the good news.  Next week I start therapy on my shoulder!  I’m doing a happy dance in my brain, since my legs still don’t work all that well, and yes, I know it will hurt, but that will be a good kind of hurt.  I’ll be back in the kitchen, cooking again in two months.  My personal resolution.  Maybe a bit premature, but I’ll do it!!!!

family-268 These are my two great grandsons, Eli and Camden.  And they are standing out in the snow, the only photo I have in my library that has snow in it.  We have some snow in the forecast, but I received an email from my Citizens Emergency Relief Team (CERT) trainer today that we are going to have a horrible, humongous cold wave starting next week, with the temps dipping below zero.  So if you are in the Owensboro, KY area, be prepared.  Dress in layers, have emergency equipment on hand, both at home and in your car if you have to get out.  If you don’t have to get out, Please STAY AT HOME, and bundle up.  Have an ample supply of finger foods on hand in case of power outage, don’t turn your heat up too high so you can conserve electricity, dress in layers, and please take care of your pets.  They get cold too.  There is no word about ice or snow, just the extreme cold, and I know a lot of you live in colder areas, but darn it, this is supposed to be the South.  Upper south, but still….

Now for the personal train wrecks.  Believe me, as long as I’m breathing, there will be train wrecks.  I got this really nice cushion for my power chair, since my bum is getting a bit sore from sitting all the time, and today managed to spill my Dr. Pepper on it.  And on my phone, which was on the cushion next to the Dr. Pepper.  A new twist on sticky keys I think.  So, to keep from getting the seat of my jeans wet (I hope) I have a thick towel covering the cushion.  Also, a large wet spot on the leg of my jeans.  If there’s a way to destroy it, I’ll find it.

I’ve managed to drag a second quilt off my bed by getting it caught in my chair.  This takes a special talent.  And yesterday I pulled a panel off the door of the elevator.  Well, I never claimed to be a good driver.  And besides, the door shouldn’t have tried to close on me so fast.  It got me to my floor though, and for the first time in months it didn’t make that horrible sound when the door opened.  Guess I showed it who’s boss, huh?

family-521 Astroid kissing Noah Amy Just decided to show a few of my favorite photos before I sign off.  On the left are Laurie, Anika, Andrew and Ethan, In the middle is Noah with his Grand Champion steer Asteroid, and on the right is my beautiful niece Amy, wearing a necklace I made for her.  We raise beautiful kids in my family.


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Baby, It’s Cold Out There

According to the weather bug on my computer, the temp is 25 degrees.  The sound of the wind whistling around the building makes it feel more like 25 below.  And the place is covered with ice — both the white kind, and the other, black ice that you don’t really see until you slip and fall on it.  This gal is staying inside and taking no chances, even if I could actually walk.  As for trying to drive my power chair, I have a feeling I would be skidding all over town in it without even trying.

Old wagon on country road, 2000 I took this photo several years ago, just because it caught my fancy.  I love things like this, old wagons, old houses, old barns.  I had been at a patient’s house when I worked for Hospice, and this old wagon had caught my eye the first time I drove out there, but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time.  That was before I started carrying the camera with me all the time, just for moments like this.  It was a winding country road, and with my sense of direction, I managed to get lost every time I went out there.  Of course, I can get lost in a closet with the door open, so that came as no surprise to me.  Fortunately, Hospice gave us directions and phone numbers, so I could check the directions, turn around and back track each day when I over shot the driveway, and eventually find the right house.  But this old wagon was on that road, so one day when I remembered to take the camera with me, I snapped the photo on the way back.  That was before I took the wrong turn and ended up on the wrong road, but at least I knew where I was then and finally made it to the next patient.

100_2569 My poor sweet potato leaves passed away a few days ago.  One day they were half way to the ceiling, looking healthy and robust, and the next day they were drooping over the jar and turning brown.  The mint is still thriving and the aloe, but both desperately need re-potting in ginormous buckets.   I guess I’ll have to do more online shopping for the pots and potting soil, which hopefully can be found in January.  I have some plastic buckets if they should become necessary, but don’t think I want to take a pick axe out to try to obtain some dirt anytime soon.

I’ve been cuddling under my half finished afghan 100_2571 while working on another one that isn’t so heavy at the time.  It really bugs me that I can only do a few stitches at a time, but then, I’ve lost the crochet hook I was using, so I’ve had to start a third one using a different size hook.  I’m sure my chair ate the other hook, and when I am able to life the chair up and look under it I’ll find the hook and probably a lot of other things that have been lost over the years.  Losing things and getting lost are two of my things.  If I turn one corner I’m completely lost, and if I put something down for a few minutes it disappears.  I have a game I play called “find the remote”.  My TV has been going for several days and nights because I can’t remember where I put the remote, no doubt in a place where I wouldn’t lose it.  That’s a dangerous thing to do here, because as soon as I put it down, it’s gone.  Don’t know why, don’t know how.  I think things grow feet and they run away from home.  They are probably all parading down Frederica street on their short little legs right now.


Happy (?) New Year

Here’s hoping this year will be so much better than last one.  At least the last month of last one.  I really want to get back in my kitchen and cook something.  I know I can’t smell anything, but still I can remember the smells of the things I usually cook, and really miss that pot of beans and the Mexican cornbread that always go with it.  Mmmm, what more can a person ask for than beans and cornbread on a cold, winter day?

I have a new award, sorta.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here it is. doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-4-300x300 doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-3-300x300I haven’t decided which one to put in my gallery yet, but I think it will be the one with the picture of the presenter, Don Charisma.  Of course, the other one shows up better, but I’ll decide before my next post.  Don is really a great guy, currently living in Thailand, who is now doing great things with stitching photos together to make up really large, breathtaking scenery.  He’s funny, intelligent, and altogether a great guy who created my angel logo for me.  My knight in mostly shining armor.  You really should check out his blog,  At least I think that’s it.  If not, so sorry Don.  Sinus headache, remember?

Since I can’t go shopping at this time, I have started online shopping at Amazon.  I think I went a bit overboard on a few things there, but since you don’t actually see the product, just a description, you don’t know until it arrives. 004 Just a few days ago I got a call from the office telling me I had a large package downstairs.  Large?  It was about the size of a coffin.  It is still taking up half my living room.  As you can see, I ordered paper towels, also 007 well, that’s more like a photo of the box with the towels at the top.  So, here’s another one.005 A dozen packages of paper plates, and a huge bag of paper bowls.  Since I can’t wash dishes at the moment, I use a lot of paper products.  And last, 006 a dozen boxes of Kleenex, although I only pulled one out because I only needed one opened at the time.  Fortunately there was no shipping fee, since the order was more than $50.  The trash bags and Windex are still to come, and naturally they are the items I needed the most.  Except for the Kleenex, since I somehow caught a head cold without ever leaving the building.  How?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I think if there is half of an allergen floating around the hemisphere it makes it to my nose and takes up residence there.

I’ve pretty much slept thru the past few days.  It’s just too comfortable under the covers to move lately, and I have a lot of lost sleep to make up.  Throw a couple of pain pills a day into the mix, and I’m snoring like, well, a lumberjack?  Or maybe more like Max did.  For such a tiny dog he could beat my dad when it came to snoring.

Well, back to the sinus meds.  Doctor appointment on Friday for results of CAT scan.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure I really want to know.


I Found It

Scan-4YES!!!!  This is the scanned picture Anika drew of Max!  I’m so excited and so up in the air about this.  Isn’t that girl an undiscovered talented artist?  And gorgeous to That’s Anika on the left of an Andrew sandwich, with Laurie, Anika’s twin brother, and Ethan in the back.  They are all a couple of years older now, but really a group of good looking kids.  Now I’m wondering which one is going to the UK vs Louisville game with their dad tonight.

Bill HAS to attend the games, because of his job at UK.  Doesn’t that make you want to cry him a river?  My older brother, Tony, used to have to do that job, and after a few years of it I think he got tired of going, but Bill takes one of the kids with him each time he has to go to a game.  We asked him Thursday which one was going with him today and he didn’t really answer.  Just said whoever was the best for the rest of the week.  Don and Mike both started grinning and told him he would have to pretend they were his kids for one of two of the games then, because they were always better than the kids.  I could add a comment or ten on that subject here, but I’ll save that for future blackmail material.  Ummm, I mean for another post.

Bill and Ethan at Final Four, 2012 This is Bill and Ethan last year at the Final Four in New Orleans, where UK won the championship.  I don’t really follow any sport, but I will admit my blood runs UK blue.  I also have several UK shirts.  All for survival of course.  One brother, two kids, a granddaughter, a grandson, all either still in, working for, or in some way screaming GO CATS, so I would be found guilty of high treason if I didn’t at least support the game.  We’re talking basketball here folks, not football.  I don’t think anyone in the extended family would argue that they are not good at football.

I really wish I had remembered to take my camera with me to my party, because Ethan now has a bush growing on his face.  It almost matches his Uncle Mike’s bushy face, except Mike is beginning to (gulp) get a bit gray.  And he’s my baby.  And only 11 1/4 years old, due to his birthday being on Feb. 29.  That wouldn’t be so bad except that he acts like an 11 year old kid.  Janette and I decided on duct tape instead of a plaster cast for him, and we decided to duct tape Noah to him after some of the shenanigans on Thursday.  I think duct tape across Mike’s face would be even better, because when he pulls it off, we might get to see what he looks like for the first time in years.

I’m not sure what this post is supposed to be about tonight.  I was just really so thrilled to find my scanned photos, that now I know where to look for more of them when I scan them in, and WordPress started to crunch the photo but changed it’s mind and let it in.  Must be my lucky day.

I also found someone willing to go to the grocery for me today, so I now have some frozen TV dinners, which are a welcome switch from the soups I’ve been eating.  The first one I ate even had some beautiful, green peas that stayed crunchy when they were warmed up.  What more could I ask for.  The pain level is dropping, so my shoulder is probably healing on it’s own, I ate some crunchy peas, visited with friends downstairs, got a few groceries….I even asked Steve to bring me a couple of the microwavable potatoes so I can have baked potatoes with sour cream and shredded cheese on them.  Didn’t think about getting some broccoli to put on top, but then I don’t think I could hold the knife yet.  But, ya never know.


More Train Wrecks

Or maybe I should say more headaches.  I’ve been trying to add a drawing Anika made for me of Max, my Pekingese dog.  Cowgirl Anika Anika is extremely talented in so many ways, and can draw everything except cats.  She loves cats more than any other animal, but for some reason, can’t seem to draw them yet, so when she was here helping me decorate the pine cones I asked her if she would draw me a picture of Max.  She drew it, sent it to me, and I have been trying to get it on the blog since I received it.

First I scanned it in to my photos, but it didn’t show up when I was downloading some photos to my blog library.  Then I took a photo of the drawing, and have just spent an hour trying to put that in the library, but when it downloads I get a message that says “crunching”, and my only guess is that by crunching it really means munching, because it sure doesn’t show up in the photo library.  So, I’m going to make one more effort here.  Hold on to your hats and garters, because if this doesn’t work out there could be a huge explosion.  BOOOOOOOOMMMMMM.  It still didn’t work.  What does it mean when it crunches your photo?  I’ve downloaded a lot of photos to this site and they have always been okay.  This is the first time they have ever been crunched.  I wonder if they have seen my trash cans and realize how full they are and how much they need to be emptied and the contents crunched?  Yeeks!  I hope not.  That would mean it could also see the items I have dropped and been unable to pick up.

Well, the title warned you this is about more train wrecks.

Like, I’m having to go on scavenger hunts again, since Irene came in last weekend.  All of the things I use were stored within reach on my right side so I could just pick them up easily when needed.  Some of them were moved to the left, meaning heaps of pain if I have to get them.  Some were placed under heavy objects I can’t lift without chance of dropping on my foot.  Just the thought of that makes me wince.  There are a few things I haven’t found yet, but have made it without them so far.  Others are in places I can see but have no way of getting to, because they are just out of reach.

I went online and ordered a lot of stuff I’m running out of, and the deliveries should start on Monday.  And I also signed up for the produce deliveries from Cecil Farms again, starting in May.  This time I signed up for every other week though.  Getting the weekly deliveries last summer was nice, but there was no breathing space in between.  I think this year I’ll need the time to breathe a week between the deliveries.  I also signed up for fresh eggs during the summer, because I’m never sure when the egg lady will show up here, and I sure love those farm fresh eggs.  Plus, I’ll hopefully be getting some fresh pork this year as well.  That will be from a different source, but will be so much better than the pork bought at the grocery.  And at some point before summer I plan on buying a pressure canner, so I can put some of that pork in jars and can it for later.  That was something my mom always did, and it was sooooo good and so tender you just wouldn’t believe it.  I did it on the farm, and it is great to be able to grab a jar of canned pork loin in an emergency situation and just sit back and enjoy it.  Heat if you want, but it really isn’t necessary.  Just open and enjoy.

Now I’m making myself hungry for some fresh collards and bacon or pork loin.  Fresh anything right now would be good.  I wanna get back to the kitchen.  That means I had better get back in there now and heat up a bowl of burgoo.BBQ capitol of the world


A Whole New Night

100_2564 I held my camera today, and took a few pics of my “decorations”.  I don’t remember where I got this little manger scene, but it stays on the entertainment center year round.  I saw a really pretty, larger one in the gift shop at the hospital today when I went for my CAT scan, and came very close to getting it, but in the end my sanity returned, and I remembered my limited storage space.  So this little one will stay put as long as I do.  And it is surrounded by some of the pine cones Anika and I decorated.

100_2563 100_2565 More of my little mini Christmas trees, with photos and other items behind them, because they were supposed to be used to decorate a tree, not an entertainment center.  Therefore, I didn’t remove any of the other things that were on top of the “mantle”.  When Harriet came to do my laundry for me, I let her choose one as a Christmas gift, since it is now plain to me that I won’t be going out, and the things I ordered online were not ordered in time to arrive by Christmas this year.  Next year is taken care of though.  Boy, howdy, how’s that for early shopping?

100_2567 I decided to take a few photos of my crops while I was at it.  This is the mint plant that Laurie pulled up for me and stuck in a pot last September or October.  I moved it over to the stove, under the light, when the chilly winds started blowing last month.  I think it could use a larger pot now, but that can wait another month or so if necessary.

100_2569 The sweet potato I stuck in a jar has started putting out leaves and has what seems like millions of roots down in the jar of water.  I would like to pot that also, but the potato has swollen so much I can’t get it out of the jar, unless, of course, I break the jar.  That won’t happen — I hope, because as usual I’m still barefoot.  Don’t even have a sock on my right foot because of swollen toe.  Don’t know why it’s swollen, but it’s red and it hurts, and my feet are usually dead, so something is going on there that I probably don’t really want to know about.  I just wonder how tall those leaves will grow.  That brown stuff behind there is a loaf of sourdough bread I got out of the freezer to go with my burgoo.  Tastes just as fresh as the day it was baked.

100_2568 Now my aloe plant that definitely needs a larger pot.  It was so tiny when I got it, and most plants commit suicide on the way home when I buy them so they won’t die a slow, painful death at my hands after we get home.  My luck seems to have changed in that area.  I haven’t murdered a single plant all year.  If it holds until summer I’m going to try raising some container tomatoes, peppers and garlic.  Maybe even onions.  And potatoes?  That will require some thought between now and then.  Wonder about a watermelon?  When I got tired of eating them last summer I pureed some and froze them into cubes for flavored water.  That will be a great way to treat my extra cucumbers and other veggies next summer.  Not all of them, of course.  Can’t imagine squash or okra flavored water, but lemon, lime, orange, cuke, the list is endless.

100_2570 100_2571 Took a couple of pics of my afghan in progress while I was at it.  I wish I had decided on the purple as the only contrast color, and left out the sage and blue, but since it is just to keep me warm I can live with it.  And I started this one 100_2572 when the first one became too heavy to work on.  This is called a corner to corner afghan, and will have a peacock solid between the patterned rows.  To make it easier to work with I’m using up one skein of each at a time.  Finished a row of it today, only have about 10,000 rows to go.  Maybe exaggerating a little bit there, but from the tiny baby scarf bit I have finished right now, it sure seems that way.

Starting to get numb now.  No news from the doc, but then, I didn’t realize my phone was unplugged until just about an hour ago, so I guess I’ll find out on Monday.


Trying Again

all you really need Love all the chocolate the boys keep bringing me.  Mike came by today to do some banking for me, and of course the bank called to verify he was for real.   Oh, what a temptation to put in front of me after all the grief that kid gives me at times.  I was nice though, and he not only got the check cashed, but put the money on my card for me.  And a few minutes ago I got a call from him asking if I was missing anything.  Hadn’t thought much about it until he asked, but then realized he kinda forgot to bring me the change.

I’m using both hands for typing tonight, sorta.  Have to stop and rest the left one occasionally, but it sure makes things go faster.  Instead of a snails pace now, I can move at a turtle’s pace.  I think that can be called progress.  sure am getting tired of sitting though.

Elaine making burgoo This seems to be the only burgoo picture I still have in the media library, and that’s my sis Elaine making about 10 gallons of it last summer.  The point though, is that Mike got some of mine out of the freezer for me today, then got some paper bowls out of the cabinet, so now all I have to do is get a neighbor to come in and heat it up for me so it doesn’t end up in my lap or on the floor before it gets to my mouth.  I never thought I could get tired of chocolate, but when it becomes the only thing on the menu for over a week you start wanting something a bit more substantial.  Same goes with bananas and p-nut butter.  Still want some every day, but do need the extra benefits of a good hot bowl of burgoo.  For the unitiated, burgoo is a very thick — well, not soup, but also not stew.  Made with loving attention by grinding two different meats, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and adding corn and tomatoes plus just the right seasonings — can’t be beat. It’s mostly a regional dish, and the “correct” recipe was passed down from my Aunt Betty Ann’s family, then my sisters took it with them when they moved to Colorado.  Only a couple of places here still make the original recipe though, so I got about 8 gallons last summer and froze most of it for the year.  So glad I didn’t hog it all down at once now that I really need it.

100_2560 Also have some potato soup in the freezer, so when I’ve eaten the burgoo that is thawing now I’ll get out some potato soup.  Hints for everyone out there — you never plan on having accidents like this, but sometimes they happen, so always keep easy to reach, easy to handle food and dishes close for “that” dreaded some day.  Thought I was prepared for any kind of natural disaster, and in a way I guess I am, but sure wasn’t prepared for this kind.  When recovered, my microwave will be moved down one shelf so I can reach it from the chair if necessary.  Paper plates, bowls and plastic cutlery will be placed where they can be reached easily from the chair, and finger foods will be kept in abundance where they can be within reach.  And plastic cups will also be accessible, even though ice cubes will be a challenge.  Water is okay when not so cold though if you are thirsty enough.

Okay, back to one tired finger again, so signing off.


Personal Train Wrecks

barbeque grill Okay, so this isn’t really a train wreck — it’s an unusual barbecue pit, but this past week, while posting about my family I’ve experienced some train wrecks along the way.  A few spectacular falls, switching from my ATT cell phone to a pay-by-the minute phone that no one seems to know the number, even though I emailed it to the family, my computer refusing to accept WordPress (that will change tomorrow) and assorted other things I will tell you about.

I really don’t know where to start.  I guess first is that I have lived in this building for 11 years now, and have never turned the heat on.  I usually get the heat from all of the people below me who turn their thermostats up to 5000 degrees, and of course, heat rises, so that means I have to turn on my fan, open the windows (which requires liberally spraying them with WD40) and wearing summer clothing all winter.  This year, however, I don’t think anyone has turned their heat on, because I’m freezing.  I may have to break my 11 year tradition by turning the heat on.  You know, that actually hurts my feelings.  How can all those people do that to me?

And of course, the weather doesn’t help a bit.  Cloudy, windy, rainy.  It’s getting in my bones.  I think it’s in bones I didn’t know existed until this year.  And I’m pretty sure I have more joints than ever before too, because they are all achy breaky heart like.

So, one of the ways I’ve tried to combat the weather is by making soup.  Lots of soup.  First was some pumpkin carrot soup.  Gina was supposed to email a recipe for it, but she didn’t send it in time, so I sorta made up my own.  I wish I had remembered to take some photos of my pumpkin cutting routine, but I had pumpkin guts all over myself, and didn’t want to take time out to clean my hands for the camera.  Anyway, I found the pumpkins kinda hard to cut in to.  So, with my knife stuck in the first one, and me unable to pull it out or get it thru, I pulled out my trusty rubber mallet and hammered away at the knife.  Success!  I got the seeds out, then opened the second pumpkin the same way.  Stuck them both on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and roasted them in the oven.  Let ’em cool enough to work with and scooped out the flesh and stuck it in the crock pot with the carrots, some stock, milk, spices, put the top on and let it cook on low all night.  Pulled some out of the pot in the morning, after mashing the carrots up a bit, and it was really delicious.  Had a couple of meals of it, then froze the rest, so I could make more soup.

100_2559 Guess you can figure out my next soup project.  Potato, sausage and kale.  That was probably the biggest spud I’ve ever seen.  The blue thingy is my ceramic chef’s knife stuck in the potato.  I was afraid of trying the mallet on that, because I didn’t want to break it.  So, I just had to see-saw the knife until it went thru the spud.  It only took a couple of these to fill up the crock pot, along with the sausage, onions, stock and whatever else I put in it.  I waited until morning to add the kale, because I just wanted it wilted.  I’m still eating this.  I did freeze some of it, but I have one serving left for tonight.

Of course none of this happened without some wounding along the way. 100_2562 I sorta chopped my finger while I was chopping the onion.  It didn’t start bleeding right away, and I just sat there staring at it for a couple of minutes, just not believing it happened.  So I had to stop and do some first aid halfway thru the soup making process, then put on a rubber glove.  Recovered completely now.  Can’t even remember which finger it was.


Memories of Blandford Family Train Wrecks

cousins are Today I was looking for a recipe in the Blandford Family Reunion cookbook from 2000.  My daughter did the hard part of collecting the recipes and stories from so many family members, while dealing with her newly adopted twins, her older adopted son, and moving from Richmond, VA to Frankfort, KY.  Pretty amazing, isn’t she? Callie and me15 I could have stuck the photo of her with her hair dyed hot pink, but this one is better.  So, anyway, I decided to go through the cookbook and share some of the comments different members of the family made when sending in their favorite recipes.  Most of them, or maybe I should say, a lot of them, have to do with my mom and her sibs growing up.  So, here we go.

DSC01961 Marie Blandford Ward (left, mom on right) recalls:  The boys were jokesters.  Hubert, usually was the leader, with Damien doing his share and whoever started something was backed by the rest.  Our toast was made with real cream instead of butter, and toasted in the oven.  One time Maude, a city girl who was dating Joe, asked what made our toast so yellow.  Hubert told her they put mustard on it, so that is what she did.  After Joe and Maude were married and were visiting us, Maude wanted to learn how to make biscuits.  Damien, who could make some good ones, was showing her, and he told her Papa liked a few pinto beans in his biscuits.  She put some raw pinto beans in some and gave them to Papa.

Mary Blandford Goetz (above, right, my mom) recalls:  Papa never cooked….I’m sure there just weren’t enough hours in the day for that, after tending the farm.  He did, however take Mondays off to help Mother with the laundry, which they did on washboards.  There was no running water, so water was heated in washtubs over an open fire in the backyard.

Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  As for a typical breakfast when I was growing up, I don’t think there was a typical one: we had whatever was available at the time.  You see, I grew during the great depression, and with 10 to 14 mouths to feed every morning, it had to have been very hard.  I remember Mother saving bacon grease when we had bacon in the winter time after hog-killing, and making gravy with the grease to eat with our biscuits.   We had to sell our eggs to buy sugar and other necessary items that couldn’t be raised on the farm.  So most mornings we had gravy and biscuits, or butter and homemade jelly to go with the hot biscuits.  Occasionally we would have oatmeal, but not often.  Bacon and eggs were a rare commodity, but a most welcome one.  Sometimes we had toast, made with Mother’s homemade bread, spread with thick cream and toasted in the oven.  Although she made 6 large loaves every day, except Saturday and Sunday, there wasn’t always enough for breakfast, so that’s why we had biscuits.  What we considered a real treat was when sometimes they would buy several loaves of bread from the store.  Although bread was only a nickel a loaf, there weren’t many nickels available back then.

Note:  we seldom had biscuits when I was growing up, because mom was so burned out on them.  And the first time I ever had biscuits and gravy was when I had a Sunday breakfast with my then fiancé, Edd.  After we were married he wanted me to learn how to make the milk gravy, so we could have it for Sunday breakfasts.  I think the only gravy we ever had while I was growing up was a brown gravy, made from the stuff on the bottom of the skillet after frying chicken, or the kind I really liked, made with the broth of a beef roast, and poured over mashed potatoes.  That is still my favorite gravy, although I can no longer eat the beef roast.  I do still make biscuits and gravy on occasion, because I really love it.  Since I still don’t know how to cook for one though, when I make the biscuits and gravy, I will be eating it for a week, three times a day.  And I’ll still have enough to share with everyone on my floor of the building.

More tomorrow.  I come from a huge family, and there are a lot of stories in this book.  I’m a lucky lady to have such a large, loving family, on both sides of the family.

Meatloaf and Collard Greens

Can ya believe it?  I didn’t take any photos.  But 100_2501 I did take a “before” one.  My weekly farm delivery.  And my first venture into the tasty world of collards.  With some kale thrown in to add a bit more to the pot.  I remember adding some tomato leather, onion, and a lot of spices, but really couldn’t tell you what they were.  Oh, yeah, a ham shank.  Stuck all of that in the crock pot.

Then I got my three pounds of ground beef out of the fridge and started on what turned out to be eight mini meat loaves.  Didn’t put enough seasoning in that, but I’ll have meatloaf sandwiches that I can doctor up for some time now.  Most of them will go in the freezer, but a couple will stay in the fridge for the sandwiches.  The collards had enough seasoning in them to make up for the lack of seasoning in the meatloaf, so it all turned out okay in the end.

After this first encounter with collards I think I can say with certainty that I’ll be cooking them again.  In case there’s a slight blight (that rhymes) in this post, I just developed a case of hiccups.  I think I’d rather sneeze.

I only have one tomato left.  They are the “real” tomatoes.  Oh, I remember, I put one of the jalepenos in with the collards.  Should have put one in the meatloaf.  I put in the membrane and seeds also, because I’m one hot mama when it comes to taste buds.  The green beans are still in the fridge, and I’ve been eating the sugar snap peas as a snack, just popping ’em in my mouth each time I pass the fridge.  Well, I take them out of the fridge first, of course.  Just grab a handful out of the bag and sit down and eat while I listen to the TV while I read a book.

Grandparents House Rules Had some visitors Thursday.  Gina and the three youngest kids were here for a visit, which included them bringing lunch from my favorite Chinese restaurant.  They were in the small car, so they brought carry out instead of my trying to squeeze in with my walker.  Anika drove all the way, and did a great job of it.  I can’t believe that cute little girl is now a beautiful teenager, and her twin brother, Laurie is now taller than I am.  Andrew is still the cute little clown, but he’s growing up too.  Ethan is a freshman at UK, so he didn’t make the trip, which is why Anika got to drive.  All of Laurie’s pretty blond curls are gone now.  His hair is as dark as Anika’s has always been, and he said Anika cut his hair so the curls don’t show.  He’s a heartbreaker, and has been since the first time I saw him after their trip home from Romania.

fall down Just thought I would insert a bit of Halloween humor here.  I do hate Halloween though.  I really hate this entire season, except for the beautiful colors on the trees.  It’s just that when I go into a store I have no way of knowing what holiday we are getting ready for.  Christmas decorations have been out since the beginning of September, no one thinks much about Thanksgiving beyond the turkey, and the Halloween stuff drives me out of my mind.  When did it start being a grown up holiday instead of just something for the kids?  The only thing I like about it is the corn candy.  And that’s available all year now, so what’s the big deal?  I do want a pumpkin, but only so I can can or freeze some for later, and make pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and about a hundred other pumpkin recipes I have accumulated lately out of it.  It might take more than one pumpkin for all of that, but one would get me started.

I think tonight I’ll make some ketchup.  Still have half a bottle of bought stuff, but it just doesn’t taste as good as my mom’s homemade.  I put it, like most things, in the crock pot so I won’t have to stir it a lot.  Then tomorrow I will can it, and have my own ketchup for the winter.  And when it runs out I will make more.  That’s the beauty of knowing how to DIY.  I’m also going to make some fruit leathers, now that I can.  Just the happy homemaker back at work after a few weeks off to recoup.  Not to mention that the weather is more energizing now.