Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wrambling Wednesday

1.  In my continuing series of Roast Chicken Month, I did roast the third chicken.  It didn't turn out very well.  The recipe was wonderful because it was one of Emeril's recipes and he has never let me down!  It may have something to do with having sweet grandchildren with me all day that day.  Come to think of it, I don't think I became a good cook until I didn't have little children around.  Wonder why?  It must take a lot of concentration for me to get the recipe right!

2.  Speaking of Months of Foods, October is National Pizza Month.

3.  Speaking of October, my birthday is on Monday.  My Big 5-0!

4.  Speaking of pizza and birthdays, I think I will go celebrate in....

New York City!!!

Thanks to my great husband, we are leaving tomorrow to spend a week in Manhattan.  Ben, Abbie, David, Sarah, Jackie, and Corey will join us there on Friday for one big, huge, fun birthday party.  We have never done anything like this, and may not ever again, but we are all REALLY looking forward it!  I'll definitely be checking out the New York pizza!

Jackie had a business trip to Hartford, Connecticut this week.  When she goes there she takes the train from Philadelphia and rides right past New York.  As she came through she took this picture on her phone and emailed it to me.

I'll let you know how my pizza pilgrimage goes!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mr. Delaware

This spring we became adoptive parents to three wandering chicks.

Daryl's uncle found them roaming the streets of his neighborhood and thought of us.  We babied them, petted them, and waited until just the right time to move them in with their new family.

That can sometimes be a problem because old chickens just don't like young chickens very much.  These three must have been very easy going because all went well.

Two of the little ones are some type of red chicken, probably Rhode Island Reds.  I had to do a little searching to find the breed of the white one and it turns out that it is a Delaware.  I have never had that breed before, but if we had a beauty contest in the hen pen today, that one would win.

Here he is today.

And I say 'he' because I am trying to decide if Dela is a rooster or a hen.  I'm thinking rooster right now.  He is bigger than most chickens, his comb on top of his head is getting pretty big, and he goes to the top of whatever he is around.  King of the Mountain, you know.  I don't see any long tail feathers, yet, and he hasn't crowed.  But then he hasn't laid an egg, yet, either!

I'll let you know what I decide.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Very Random Facts Friday

The bees are still working on the first day of fall

The fact that you are losing weight in your face does not mean that your jeans will fit any better.
I can get more done in 30 minutes with a timer set than I can in an hour of working without a timer.
Last week when I was changing the sheets on my bed I couldn't find the top sheet.  I just knew I had brought it upstairs, but I retraced all of my steps all over the house and still couldn't find it.  Turns out, I had already put it on the bed.
When a 3-year-old plays a game it isn't about winning and losing.  It is just about playing.
Skittish cats make me nervous.  Twinkle is skittish.
The weeds blooming right now have some of the prettiest flowers I have seen all year. 
My first thought when I think of a gift for someone is, "What can I make for them?"  That must be truly annoying to the recipients.
One of the things I try to do is to celebrate the ordinary -- like a cup of tea on a cloudy day -- and not put as much importance on 'special occasions.'  There are very few special days, but many special moments in every day.
It is very difficult for extroverts to understand introverts.
And the best fact of the day -- today is the first day of Fall!  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It was just one of those day.

One of those days when you think life doesn't get any better than this.

First you have helpers to make the chocolate chip cookies,

watchers to watch the cookies cook,

and eaters to gobble them up.

Yep, I'm thankful!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Three Lives of a Kitchen Table

Before Daryl and I got married all those years ago we went furniture shopping at TG&Y.  Which is the equivalent today of buying furniture at Target.  The first thing we bought was an oak table to go in our kitchen dining area.  We stained it, polyurethaned it, and used it that way for about 13 years.  The table is in so many pictures taken during those years.  Pictures of aunts sewing curtains before Ben was born, David's third birthday when Jackie was 10 days old and all I could do was put a candle in a piece of cake someone had brought to the house, a great pic of David with a face full of chicken pox.  It even held the wedding cake at Jackie's first wedding on her third birthday.  BUT, all of those pictures were taken before the digital age and I don't have a scanner...

When we moved to Florida our kitchen was all white and not as large as the one we had in Montgomery.  The oak table took up so much visual space that the room felt very cramped.  So, Daryl painted the table white.  Several people told us what a bad decision we made, but it wasn't their kitchen  or their table, for that matter!  I wanted it white!

A white kitchen table never worked at our house here, though.  I was over my white phase.  What to do, though?  Daryl had worked so hard on that paint job and I felt a little inconsiderate to think about changing it to something else.  So the table went to the basement.  And that didn't feel considerate to the table!  After two years I decided that it was time to make a decision and get the table back in service.

My first idea was to  paint the whole thing black.  I have a friend with a black table in her kitchen and I love the way it looks.  But, David and Sarah just refinished a side table at their house by stripping the paint off the top and painting the legs.  Even though I have never stripped furniture before I decided to go for it and get to work.

When I first got down to the old oak finish, I actually talked to a table.  "Hello, old friend."  And it talked back.  "Ahhhhhh.  Now I can breath again."

Not really.  The table didn't respond to me.

Here it is today.

I love how it turned out!

If you look to the right of the kitchen table you can see my dining table.  I'm on to the next refinishing project!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Twin Terminology

Daniel and Bella spent some time with us last weekend.  They are sweet, funny kids and we treasure the time we can spend with them.

Daniel has an unusual joy of looking under rocks.  He loves bugs, worms, and frogs and will literally turn over every rock looking for one!  While he and Bella were looking under these rocks, they were saying, "Hello?  Is anyone there?"  I had to get my camera to capture this in my memory.

After I took that picture, I said,

"Hey, could you two put your arms around each other so I can take your picture?"

This is their interpretation of putting their arms around each other:

They were so proud of how they wrapped their arms so tight.  While the picture looks like two defiant or sulking twins, it is actually a shot of them doing their best to please their Minnie.  I love these two!

p.s.  Notice Daniel's pockets.  They are full of rocks.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Monday

I woke up this morning with one of those bubbly feelings in my stomach - kind of like butterflies!  Some days I am so excited to face the day and this is one of those days.  It could have something to do with the fact that I slept ALL night without waking up even one time, which is pretty rare for me.

The things-to-do-list today is no more exciting than any other day, but today I'm super happy to get started.

1.  Exercise - DONE - Daryl walked with me this morning.  That makes me happy.  And I always feel better about myself, and in general, when the exercising is finished before the rest of the day begins.  I was rewarded for being out early today with a beautiful rainbow in the sky!  I've never seen one so early in the day.   And, even better, when I turned the corner at the top of the hill a deer ran out in the road ahead of me!  The deer was silent, but she rustled the soybean plants as she jumped out so I got a glimpse of her.  Oddly, the song stuck in my head yesterday was "As the Deer".  Just one of God's object lessons, I guess.  I don't always walk for exercise because it gets so boring to me.  Sometimes I jump on the trampoline, but only when there is absolutely no one around.  I even tell Shiloh not to look.

2.  Cut grass - When the grass grows and I look out over the yard and see how uneven it is, it feel like clutter to me.  I feel that clutter even when I'm in the house.  That is one reason I like to cut grass.  It gives some order to my day.  But, this time of year, the order in the yard lasts more than 4 hours.  Without it growing so fast, it is more fun to cut!

3.  Finish sewing a couple of dresses for the grandgirls - There is no chore to that.  I just have to finish the other things on my list before I get down to the fun.

And to top it all off, Friday is the first day of Fall!  Actually, when I think about it, that may be the reason I feel so good today.  I am sure that the month of August is necessary for some reason, but let's just say that it isn't my favorite way to spend 1/12 of my life.  September, though, is full of smells, and feelings, and memories of cooler times to come and I love it!

I love days like this!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Bright Egg Idea

You probably can't tell why I took a picture of this egg, can you?  

If you look really hard and squint your eyes can you tell that the top of the egg is flat?

It was hard to capture in a picture, but this is the first egg I have ever gathered that had a flat side on it.

And this is my plan:

You know how someone has invented flat bottom taco shells?  Well, if I can get all of the girls to lay their eggs with one flat side, I think people would like it.

Just think of the possibilities:  No more eggs rolling off the counter.  No need for cumbersome egg cartons.  If the girls would lay eggs with 2 flat sides, we could stack the eggs.  I'm sure the list could go on and on!

Don't you love it when you get a great idea?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Songs

This little boy made me laugh out loud!  

You're gonna love it, too!

If you want to hear the real thing, here it is.  I really like this song - just makes me happy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Roast Chicken Month - Chicken #2

Yesterday I roasted my second chicken in as many weeks.  I think I like this idea!  It is a super simple meal, but the taste is gourmet!

The recipe this week came from "The Marshall Field's Cookbook".  While it includes several steps over a 24 hour period, nothing is difficult, and the result is worth every, little bit of effort involved!

Roasted Garlic Chicken

1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves (about 2 heads)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 (3 to 4-pound) whole roasting chicken

Roasting garlic:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place 1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves in the center of a piece of aluminum foil.  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil over the cloves and fold the foil over to form a loose packet.  Place the packet on a baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the garlic is very soft and light brown.  Allow to cool before using.

Combine the garlic, water, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth.  Squeeze in the juice from the lemon wedges, reserving the rinds, and blend to combine.  Stir in the bay leaves.

Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag or a bowl.  Pour the brine over the chicken and toss to coat. Add the lemon rinds and press the air out of the bag and seal tightly or cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the chicken from the brine.  Season liberally on all sides with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack set in a a roasting pan.  Roast for about 1 hour, until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a fork.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then cut it into portions and serve hot.


I did a couple of things differently from this and it turned out okay.  I rubbed the bird with olive oil before I salted it, and I cooked it at 450 degrees for 30 minutes and at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wii Sense

If your Wii tells you that you are pretty strong,

and that your abs are strong,

and the next day you can barely walk down the stairs,

were you strong or stupid?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tip of the Day

When you forget your egg basket, use your shirt.

Just in case that ever happens to you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'll Never Forget

(photo from

Saturday, September 10, 2011

As I See It

In the whole history of the world there has not been a more perfect week of weather than this one.  Well, maybe not the whole world, but at least in Alabama.  The mornings and evenings are cool, the days warm.  

 Butterfly in the lantana

 Daryl in the soybeans
These soybeans were planted on July 1st and they are probably the best stand of beans this farm has ever seen.  When we look across the field we can't see one weed.  Rain has come at exactly the right time for the bushes to be lush and, most importantly, for the beans to grow.  

 Dewdrops on the soybean plant leaves.  Each drop had all of the colors of the rainbow.

Soybean pod fuzz

 Baled hay

 Lavender flowers

 The magnolia trees have the most beautiful pink seed pods

Curved plane spider web

Have a beautiful weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Treasures on earth, treasures in heaven

While I was putting away the dishes from our tea party yesterday, I was thinking about where my treasure is.  The tiny teacups and saucers belonged to my great-grandmother, the plates we put our food on came from my dad's mother, the dish that the cheese crackers were in was a wedding gift to my mother, and the serving dish was some of my china.  I really enjoy having those things and it gave me a little thrill to set the table with them and share them with the grandgirls.  The dishes themselves are probably almost worthless if I listed them on Ebay.  They are treasures to me, though, because of people I think of when I use them.

They aren't my greatest treasure, though.  Not by a long shot.

I treasure.....

"Bella, let Minnie put on your lipstick and then do your lips this way."

"I'm the baby, Lily is the mama"

Cousin love

These treasures will be in heaven.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today was our first tea party.

So we got dressed up, put on our pearls, and went to Minnie's.

For Sprite 'tea', jam thumbprint cookies, and strawberries.

Trampoline jumping, horse swing swinging, and a good nap.

I'm so thankful!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Roast Chicken Month

September is National Chicken Month.  I know this only because my youngest sister told me.  Not because any of these girls mentioned it.

Now close your ears, girls, because the tagline after National Chicken Month is....Taste the Possibilities.

A couple of weeks ago I read an article that mentioned some top chefs who would choose a roast chicken as their last meal.  Ina Garten has said that her husband's favorite meal is roast chicken.  So, to celebrate Chicken Month, and to find out just how good one can possibly be, I am planning to roast a chicken each week.

Last night I cooked the first one.  I adapted a this recipe I found on and it was delicious!  The secret of this recipe seems to be using enough salt.  You salt the bird when you first bring it home - inside and out - and then add more salt just before cooking.

If you want your house to smell like you are a fabulous cook, then I would recommend roasting a chicken!  When you taste it, you will know you are a great cook!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Misty morning

We drove home yesterday in beautiful weather!  For most of the day we were under perfectly sunny skies and very comfortable temperatures.  Somewhere in Mississippi we got into the first rain bands from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.  The wind was a little gusty, but we were not in hard rain.  Which is good, because I really don't like driving, or riding, in heavy downpours.  It makes me want to pull over and wait it out.  When you have been in the car for 13 hours the idea of sitting on the side of the road so close to home is not so good!

In an amazing show of self-control, I made it the whole way home without drinking a Coke, eating any fries, or eating even one of the cookies that were in the back of the truck!

When we have windy weather here at home, our beautiful moss in the trees becomes ugly moss on the ground.  Keeping it picked up is a big job all winter long.  To Shiloh, it just looks like a comfortable place to rest.

I took these pictures from inside the house today and I am sure Shiloh didn't see me.  Because she would NEVER want me to know that she snuggles with cats!

I knew it!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Saturday in Mom's Garden

Mom found this little chubby frog shading himself on her okra plant.  He seemed to enjoy this little photo shoot and kept still for the whole thing.

When I told Mom that her okra plants we more bushy than mine she said that some deer had come in and eaten the tops off all the plants.  That's why she has an electric fence running around the outside of her garden.  I think that next year I will pretend to be a deer and cut off my plants, though.  It makes a much prettier plant.

The temperature on the deck here has been 99 degrees, but the high tomorrow is 86.  With a low of 55!  What a relief!  We are headed back home on Monday into Tropical Storm Lee.  Yay, rain!  Yay, lower temperatures!  

Yay, September!