Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Stuff, and a recipe

I feel it! That holiday feeling!! Isn't it delicious? My house will be filled with loved ones tomorrow...and then when they are gone...I get to take a nap or craft or do whatever I wanna do!! JoAnn Fabrics is having a doorbuster deal on Friday $1.49 per yard for snuggle print flannel and cozy solid flannel. I'm loading up! I have lots of Zippy Strippy's to make! Here are some I've already made:


I like the "idea" of shopping on black Friday, but in practice - not so much. I'm hoping that JoAnn's will be full of nice, normal, sedate crafters like me! :)

Thanksgiving cooking - While I'm hosting Thanksgiving, I don't have a whole lot cooking to do. V is making the turkeys, and I will make Green Bean Bundles, deviled eggs, a pumpkin pie and a coconut cream pie. Family members will be bringing side dishes and desserts to share.

And speaking of food - Here's a recipe for this yummy soup we love. In fact, I made it last night:

Delectable Potato and Ham Soup

3 1/2 c. peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 c. diced celery
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. diced cooked ham
3 1/4 c. water
2 TBLS. chicken bouillon granules
salt to taste (I don't add this 'cause the bouillon makes it salty enough for us)
1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
5 TBLS. butter
5 TBLS. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

You could top with a little Mozzarella, but we like it as is!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Missing Dad

This will be our family’s first Thanksgiving without Dad. I miss him so much! He was a sweet and funny and good man. And he knew how to love. Preparing coconut cream pie for Thanksgiving was such a joy because I knew it was one Dad’s favorites. It will still be a joy to prepare. It is one of V’s favorites, and my FIL’s too. So while a few tears may fall this week as I remember Dad, I will be thankful too. Thankful for many, many things. One of which is simply having people I love who enjoy my coconut cream pie. Dad would like that. I love you, Daddy. You are missed!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving week

Preparations are being made for my second favorite time of the year! The house is looking good (Thank you Virgil for dusting the ceiling fans!). The refrigerator and pantry are filled with the makings of some awesome grub. Family and friends are due to arrive around noon to 1 pm on Thanksgiving day. I'm counting down to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The Cowboys will be playing at 3 pm. Ahhh, yes, one of my most favorite days of the year! It doesn't hurt that I have 4 full days off work - and that we are planning to put up a few outside lights this coming weekend. (We are waiting until Dec. 6 to put up the tree - a real one!)And quite possibly we will make some tamales. And I am certain to do some crafting. Yes, this is a lovely, lovely time of year! :)


Thursday, November 20, 2008

About Jane

I first noticed Jane when my Mom was admitted into the Nursing Home/Rehab Facility in the town where I live. I noticed her particularly because her mattress was on the floor, and though I thought it peculiar, I didn’t think about it anymore for weeks. Each time I visited my mom, I passed Jane’s room. The door was always open, and there was Jane, lying on her mattress on the floor. It wasn’t until two weeks ago, while visiting Mom for our regular Wednesday night date to watch Criminal Minds, that I learned something about Jane.

Above the sound of the television show, we heard horrible cries of pain.
My Mom said, “Poor Jane.” I replied, “Who’s Jane?” “The one crying out.” Mom explained, “She has a disease that causes her a lot of pain and she cries out a lot. She has to sleep on the floor because she rolls out of the bed.”
Mom continued, “One day her husband came up and I was going down the hall, he was so drunk he could barely walk.”
A little shocked I asked, “Does he come here often?”
“I’ve seen him a few times. He’s always drunk.”

After a bit of silence between the two of us, punctuated by Jane’s cries, I asked, “How old do you think Jane is Mom?”
“Oh, I’d guess in her early to mid 50s”
“Do you think this is a disease she always had?”
“No, I think it is something that just recently started.”
“How sad, Mom. Maybe her husband started drinking when she fell ill.”
“I think that is what happened.”

I think about this conversation everyday and what always strikes me is how unaffectedly I passed Jane’s room without a thought to her condition or her pain. I imagine her at my age. Married with children. Living her life, dreaming about a future with her husband when the children have grown. What had they planned to do?

Not long ago, I received an email where you answer a bunch of questions and send it on to others. One of the questions was “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” This question took me aback at the time because I realized in that moment, that in 10 short years, Stephen would be 21 years old and Virgil and I would have completely different daily lives. And while I felt a stab of sadness at the thought of my babe all grown up, I also got excited at the thought of roaming the roads with Virgil on a trike! Or Virgil and I in Greece, or heading off to a movie and dinner together anytime we wanted to. I wonder if Jane had dreams like these too?

On the night of that conversation with my Mom, as I drove back home, I asked the Lord, “Why do some people have to suffer so?” I don’t know that I’ve received an answer yet, but He has helped me to realize some things. We are not promised a perfect life here on Earth. But if we live our life for God, put our troubles, fears, misgivings, and pains into his hands, we are promised a perfect eternal life in heaven. We all have different challenges and burdens that we bear, but we never have to bear them alone. Just ask the Lord to carry the bulk of the load. And for those of us, whose burdens aren’t in the form of painful or debilitating illnesses, there is something we can do. Don’t walk past the Jane’s of the world without acknowledgement, without a care. Take time to say a prayer and ask the Lord to carry their load.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meal planning and grocery shopping

Meal planning and grocery shopping are two weekly chores that I absolutely dread. Strange, because I actually enjoy cooking. I just hate coming up with something to eat. Several times I have planned to put together some kind of binder or box filled with meal ideas and ingredients needed for meals, catergorized by main dish, etc. And then I could just pluck out an index card and TADA...meal planned! Of course, being perpetually and hopelessly unorganized (or is it disorganized?) this plan has never come to fruition. SO, here I sit needing to plan some meals and write a grocery list and my mind is completely blank. There's nothing there! Nada! Oh, wait...Dana did give me an awesome recipe for peanut butter least it's a start!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Katrina's slumber party and a ZSQ

The slumber party was fun! Cathy, Colleen and Hannah dolled the girls up with make-up and styled their hair. The all wanted to have a photo shoot, but no one wanted to go first! LOL We finally got them loosened up and the photos turned out cute! Here's one of the three girls together. The birthday girl, Katrina, is in the middle. On the left is Haley, and the right is Jordan.

Here's Cathy and Hannah trying to get the girls to loosen up:

OH, and I made another ZippyStrippy (thank you, Jenny!). Here's the ZSQ I made for Katrina's b-day gift:

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today is a busy Saturday and the weather is absolutely delicious! It is cold and blustery and just awesome fall-ness.

This morning I am putting the finishing touches on a ZippyStrippyQuilt for my neice Katrina. Her birthday was the 11th and she turned 11. Her birthday party is tonight with a slumber party at my house after. I'm looking forward to surprising her with the blanket.

Later, I'm off to get my haircut which desparately needs it! I'm looking quite wooly.

This is definitely the MOST wonderful time of the year!


Friday, November 14, 2008

A Poem by Stephen


colorful, peaceful
laying, floating, crunching
a joy for everyone

Raining Color

Stephen wrote this last year in 4th grade and I think it is lovely. A perfect description of Fall!

photo taken by Amy - Roaring River State Park - MO - October 2006

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soup Weather!

The cooler weather has me thinking of soup! One night this week I will be making Cabbage Patch Soup. This is an easy soup to assemble, and it is definitely a COMFORT FOOD. I remember my Mom making this on cold winter days. We would get a rare snow event and Dad would pull us around behind the tractor on an old car hood. Can you say, "COUNTRY!!" I love it! Red-cheeked, with dripping noses and numb fingers, we'd pile into the house for some Cabbage Patch Soup. Along with this memory is one of sitting in the living room floor with my sister, Jill, eating Cabbage Patch Soup and watching Little Women - the one with June Allyson. (The Best One!) To this day, there is nothing better than being cuddled up in a blanket with warm toastie socks, a good, reliable movie on the TV, and a warm bowl of soup!

Cabbage Patch Soup

1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
water - enough to just cover the cabbage in a stock pot
1 lb lean ground beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 can rotel
salt and pepper to taste to season ground beef

Put chopped cabbage in a soup pot, add just enough water to cover the cabbage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is tender.

In the meantime, brown ground beef with onions, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. When cabbage is tender, add beef to soup pot. Add soups and rotel. Simmer for 5 -10 minutes. Enjoy! I usually make cornbread to serve with this.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Foliage NOV. 1, 2, 2008

This weekend, Virgil, Stephen and I decided to get away. We loaded into the truck with pups in tow and headed north. We ended up driving to Mount Ida, AR and here's what we found along the way! Enjoy!

Click to play Fall Foliage
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We've been very busy the last several days and I haven't had a chance to blog.

I'll start with Halloween. Stephen decided to go as a Mad Scientist. Actually, he planned to go as a headless person but he was too tall to make it work with what we had available to us.

My sister Carla and her daughter, Katrina came over to trick or treat with us. Here's Katrina as a Disco Hippy Chick.

Mom dressed up as a witch and won 2nd place at the Rehab centers Costume contest.

Carla and I decided to join in and dressed up as gypsies.

Carla, the kids and I loaded up in the back of Virgil's truck and he drove us around town. The kiddos would jump off and trick or treat a street and then meet us at the other end. It was a lot of fun. We picked up my other sister Jill and she road around with us. We all ended up at our house for some chili. We got a few trick or treaters before and after we went out.