It’s Good to be Home!

LOG CABIN DAYS

After spending a pretty frantic three days this past weekend, it’s definitely GOOD to be home! Friday was my special needs group’s Gym Night and my ‘partner in crime’ (Lois, who is the leader of our group) and I did our best to prepare for our group’s attendance by cooking 60 hotdogs.  Normally that would be just about the right amount for them – not this time, as we only had 14 students and maybe 5 caregivers attend, leaving Lois & I with mucho amounts of cooked hot dogs to take home. Hot dog, anyone?

Saturday and part of Sunday was spent at the historical society’s “Log Cabin Days” sitting around knitting, crocheting and working on embroidery while chatting with two lovely ladies who were there demonstrating wool spinning and cloth weaving. As one of the members of my knit group said: “We get to do what we love doing all day long AND they pay us in food? What could be better!?” (Just the strawberry shortcake, alone, is worth the trip!) We had a pretty good turn out of my knit group ladies; about 8 in all showed up at various times during both days. Last year I remembered to take quite a few photos to commemorate the event – this year only two were taken, and they were kind of dark (sorry). There were alpacas (again) but this year they brought two young ones who had just been sheared so they looked really scruffy (almost pitiful, actually!) Part of my distraction Sunday was due to the tornado sirens going off about 2 hours after I got there. I knew there were supposed to be some thunderstorms, but wasn’t expecting that. People all around me acted like it was just some nice distraction and kept on doing whatever they were doing.  It started to sprinkle, but not big deluge of rain OR winds; sky was grey but really didn’t look like a Michigan Tornado sky. We kept on knitting, moving a bit towards the inner parts of our pavillion (which was only an open structure with a roof – no walls). Finally, about a half hour after the sirens, one of the persons in charge of the event came around and took down our signs, saying that they had decided to close early.  It was a good 1 1/2  days of crafting; I came home with a child’s swing and a box of paperback books from the White Elephant sale PLUS the spinning lady loaded me down with two bags full of  skeins of wool yarn! (This particular ‘gift’ was graciously received by me, knowing that I will find more people to use it for the Ghana afghans). Side note: My family is beginning to think I’m a ‘yarn magnet’ – it seems like not matter how quickly I give away ‘free donated yarn’, it just keeps coming back! Sunday we loaded up my van with a big box plus 2  bags full of donated yarns (to go to one of my prolific knitters of squares at church) and then that afternoon I come home from the craft event with MORE yarn! Too funny!

Yesterday evening was the birthday party for my grandson who just turned 4. Oldest son outdid himself (as usual) and prepared tons of food for the guests. Homemade red-skinned potato salad (really good!), large tossed salad, burgers, hot dogs, brats, sirloin kebabs and grilled chicken plus a HUGE chocolate sheetcake (filled with strawberries & cream) decorated to look like SpongeBob! Grandson got a ton of toys (as usual) – in fact I was really surprised – we were the only ones who gave him clothes (and some toys). In previous years he got tons of clothes and some toys; guess I didn’t do so bad on picking clothes! He even got two slip-and-slide toys which were immediately put to use – even some adults were having fun sliding on their stomachs in the water! (They added a little dish soap to the water to make a better slide).

I came home last night totally whipped; needless to say I slept the sleep of the dead! Today’s work is cut out for me – straighten up this house (laundry, dishes, etc.) house bills and get the special needs group newsletter ready to mail out before the end of the month. Think I might give the knitting & crochet a few days rest – wrists are a little sore from all the work (ya think? Probably 6 hours of it on Saturday!).

Sorry I don’t have any great photos of the event; just imagine a great outdoors ‘olde tyme’ themed fair and you’ve got the vision.

Hope you have a great day (and, hope it’s not too hot for you!) Here, it’s 74 degrees out at 7:40 a.m. and really humid (AGAIN!).

Hugs;

Pammie

PS (don’t remember if I blogged about this but…) delivered 28 afghans to the Ghana Project Thursday. My friend the missionary to Durban, S. Africa emailed that he couldn’t take afghans this trip home, so I gave the whole batch to the Ghana group.  Now to start on afghan #251!

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My Fingers are RED!

Actually, more a burgundy/wine color – been outside picking wild blackberries (black raspberries) in our back yard! I LOVE this time of year – they grow wild all over our yard and it’s my little ‘fun thing’ to go see how many are that wonderful, shiny black color which means they’re just perfect for picking! Do I actually MAKE anything from them? Well…no, unless you count making my tummy happy! I just stroll along – picking and eating as I go – it works for me! Tomorrow (if it doesn’t rain AGAIN) I’ll take my grandson out to see if he remembers picking them last year; he really thought that was a great thing to do.

For those of you who might have blackberries readily available in your area, I’m posting a recipe found on allrecipes.com which sounds really yummy! (and doesn’t take a ton of blackberries!)

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Berry Rhubarb Pie

(*overnight process-see directions)

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 cup raspberries

2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons ice water

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons half-and-half cream

2 tablespoons white sugar

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To Make Filling: In a medium bowl, combine blackberries, raspberries, and rhubarb. In a separate bowl, mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Sprinkle over fruit mixture and stir gently.* Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.

To Make Crust: In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour with salt. Cut in shortening and 2 tablespoons butter until texture is like coarse cornmeal. Place 1/3 of mixture in a separate bowl. To the smaller portion, add water and mix to form a paste. Add this mixture back to the rest of flour mixture and stir just until dough forms a ball. Allow to rest at least 20 minutes before rolling out. Divide dough in half. Roll out bottom crust and place in 9 inch pie pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Mix 1 tablespoon melted butter and lemon juice into fruit filling, then spoon into pastry-lined pie pan. Roll out top crust and place over filling. Crimp edges and cut steam vents in top. Brush lightly with half and half and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

http://www.allrecipes.com

recipe by: Susan Gills

“This pie won First Place in the Fruit and Berry Category at the American Pie Council’s 2000 National Pie Championship.”

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Doesn’t that pie sound really tasty?! (Too bad I don’t have the patience to ‘save’ enough to actually make it with…maybe someday…nah, never mind –  they’re too tasty straight from the vine!)

Hope you’re having a great day; it’s muggy here (again). A big, but very quick thunderstorm just blew through here. We’ve been having quite a few BIG thunderstorms this past week; if I had a garden I certainly wouldn’t have to worry about watering!

It’s now mid-week; just finished Knit/Crochet night last night, tonight is my special needs group, tomorrow babysitting and maybe delivering half of the 32 completed afghans (this batch will go to Ghana). Still trying to solidify the delivery of the S. Africa batch as I know my friend who’s the missionary there is home this week for the golf outing/fund raiser this coming Monday. Friday night is Gym Night for my special needs group; Saturday is the all-day knit/crochet/embroidery demo then Sunday is church, more demo until 5 p.m. then my grandson’s birthday party.  Looks like I’ll either need a HUGE cup of Tim Horton’s coffee or something for energy! Oh well…come Monday it will all be over (at least THAT part, anyway! I’m sure next week will bring it’s own set of ‘adventures’!)

Hope that all is well with all of you; remember to smile a little, relax a little and take a little time for YOU!

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: Thought it was cute today, while crocheting in the orthodontist’s office while waiting for youngest’s appointment – there was a young girl maybe 7 there with her (what do they call them these days?) babysitter. She asked her ‘caregiver’ what it was that I was doing and I heard the reply: “I don’t know – I think it’s crochet; if it were knitting she’d be using 2 needles”. (I nodded when she said crochet) The little girl then replied: “I want to do that – it looks COOL!” Caregiver responded: “You’ll have to ask your Mommy if she can teach you.” Ah, the crafting desire moves on to the next generation!

Hot Summer Menu

Don’t know about your area of the world, but here in good old Michigan it’s not only hot- it’s MUGGY (for you who don’t speak “Michiganeese”, that means HUMID!!! REALLY HUMID!). I can handle hot, just not hot mixed with humidity – just wears me out and makes me want to go right back to bed – ugh.  Anyway, I digress – my main focus of this post was to offer up a mix of various recipes from some of my recipe lists when mixed together would make a great, light fare for this time of year.

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Cucumbers & Onions

Make this ahead and refrigerate

2 medium cucumbers
1 small onion
1  1/2 tsp/ salt
3/4 C. water
3/4 C.  vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 C. sour cream
Pepper

Peel and slice cucumbers; slice onions thin.  Place in a large bowl, cover with salt and gently mix. Combine water, vinegar, and sugar. Pour over cukes. Let stand 1 hour then drain thoroughly. (The salt leeches the water out of the cukes)/Combine sour cream and pepper. Stir this mixture into the veggies. Chill at least an hour then serve.

Yields 6 servings

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Easy Taco Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups shredded lettuce
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add  salsa, mayonnaise and chili powder.
In an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish, layer half of the meat mixture, chips and cheeses. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, top with tomato and lettuce.

Yield: 6 servings.

Taste Of Home magazine

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Strawberry Coffee Cake Dessert

1 C.  flour
1/2 C.  granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp.  salt
1 egg
1/2 C.  sour cream
2 T.  butter, melted
1 T.  pure vanilla extract
1  1/2  C.  hulled and sliced fresh strawberries

Topping:
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C.  cold butter
1/4 C.  chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish. In a
large bowl combine the 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat  egg, sour cream, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour into prepared baking dish.
Spread strawberries evenly over this batter.
Prepare topping by tossing together 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly; stir in pecans.

Sprinkle topping evenly over strawberries. Bake for 35 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm, topping with vanilla ice cream if desired.

(Adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com)

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Right now it’s fairly early in the day here but sure makes me want to have this menu sitting in front of me! (No, these weren’t my recipes, but they certainly sound yummy – don’t you agree?) My mom used to make batches of the Cucumber & Onions every year in the summer; they would be a ‘staple’ at our table almost every night. I love them because they are not only zesty (from the vinegar) but also a bit sweet and creamy (sugar & sour cream) – just the right side dish for almost any summer meal. Enjoy!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on June 21, 2010 at 10:06 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Quiet Week (so far)

Hello, all! Not much unusual going on this past week; went out to dinner with my family to Applebee’s for my 62 birthday yesterday, so that was nice. The weather has been hot & humid lately with a HUGE thunderstorm last night – winds over 40 MPH gusting to 70 MPH! My youngest son came to ask me if I wanted him to go outside to retrieve our hanging flower basket before it got blown off the iron shepherd’s crook – THAT’S windy!

Today it’s sunny (and MUGGY!) so I’m still sitting around in my jammies! (I figure it’s sort of a ‘left-over birthday’ treat to me). While perusing my usual recipe lists I spotted what sounds like a really yummy one – I’m a HUGE raspberry fan, so this one is right up my alley!

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Chocolate-Raspberry Squares
Taste Of Home – Marilyn Swisher

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking or
old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 pkg. (11 1/2 oz.) semisweet chocolate chunks
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, both of the sugars, and the salt.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside 1 cup for the topping.  Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.  Spread with the jam.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chunks.  Combine the walnuts and the reserved crumb mixture.  Sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 375 F.  for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.  Cool on a wire rack and cut into squares.  Makes 16 servings

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What have YOU got planned for today? Tomorrow is booked for me – church in the a.m., then church at 6 p.m. for the ordination of a good friend, Alex Wheeler,  who’s going into the  ministry. He’s finishing up his beginning ministry (not sure exactly what you call that when they’re getting funding) and then he’s off to INDIA to be a Bible Translations Consultant! He works with Bibles International through Baptist Mid-Missions and helps pastors in India and others in that country translate the Bible into their local dialects. I’m thrilled to see his growth – while we’ve known him he first came to our church to help with a huge phone canvassing project as the director (he’s very young – in his late 20’s!), then joined the church and has become very active in the Music program: playing in the orchestra, directing the choir/singing/ and directing the orchestra – it’s so good to see how the Lord works in people’s lives.

Just finished reading a good ‘thriller’ by Clive Cussler: “The Navigator”; I didn’t know until reading this, that Clive Cussler is part of NUMA – the National Underwater and Marine Agency – he founded it! They are a non-profit, volunteer foundation dedicated to preserving our maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts. Fascinating stuff! (Plus, he’s a great ‘thriller’ writer!)

Well, that’s about it – for not having a subject to blog about, guess I did pretty good, eh? Have a great day!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Almost Mid-Week Musings…

For a change things are rather slow around here; youngest is finishing up the last few half-days of school – he’ll be done after 10:30 a.m. tomorrow then next year he’ll be a Junior (he’s all excited he’ll be an ‘upper classman’). Our weather remains warm and muggy, kinda gloomy with some occasional sun; nights are rather cool (good sleeping weather) although Saturday to Sunday was really REALLY muggy!

Finished afghan #250 yesterday and have been just playing around with knitting and crocheting miscellaneous squares. Caught up the housework yesterday and am contemplating just when to go to the Big & Tall Casual Male store to purchase husband’s Father’s Day ‘walking shorts’. I should preface he LOVES wearing them all year ’round and his current ones look like he was attacked by some ferocious beast as they’re full of holes! He really needs some new ones! Trying to juggle the actual ‘time’ of shopping as youngest might (or might not) be home momentarily and perhaps might want to go to the big mall near the mens store. Of course there’s also my ulterior motive – there are two craft stores nearby! For a person who has more yarn than she could possibly knit/crochet in a lifetime, the ‘call of the yarns’ is still strong! AND, add to that, the great 50% off one item coupons which keep coming to my house weekly and you’ve got yourself a ‘SITUATION‘ ripe for the shopping! There is also the fact that my grandson will be turning 4 next week and a ‘close-by the mall’ Old Navy store which has lots of the clothes that he likes . . . hehehe, can you tell I’m psyching myself up for a Shopping Spree?

When I logged on to this site a bit earlier I observed that I’d inadvertently forgot to ‘publish’ the last post about the I Pad so it looks like I’ll be putting out two new posts today.  If you’re in for a ‘new recipe’, the one below sounded really good to me (haven’t tried it).

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Warm Barbecue Chicken Salad
(
Mary Hunt – Everyday Cheapskate)

4 to 6 grilled chicken breasts, shredded
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
1 package bacon
1 to 2 bags lettuce
1 can corn, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, sliced into rings
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a square baking dish. Combine 1 cup of barbecue sauce with shredded chicken. Spread chicken in prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, fry bacon to desired crispness. Drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside. Heat corn and set aside. Heat remaining barbecue sauce in a pan over medium-low heat.

Assemble the salad on each dinner plate, layering ingredients in the following order: lettuce, corn, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, onion, shredded barbecue chicken and cheese. Serve with remaining sauce, if desired

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Hope you’re having a good week so far!

Hugs;

Pammie

Playing with New Toys!

Totally forgot to mention Wednesday that I got to play with my friend’s ‘new toy’ – an I Pad! What a neat invention! For those of you (like me) who have never had the chance to actually touch AND play with one, they’re the newest version of a laptop – but much smaller and lighter! This one was about 3 feet wide and maybe 2 feet top to bottom, unopened. The really neat thing (I thought) was that the screen adjusts when you turn it either horizontally or vertically (think of moving your camera to take a longer shot). We found that using it horizontally it made the screen view a little closer and bigger. I got the chance to peruse several blog sites (I used The Ghana Project to show a new lady in our group not only the versatility of the I Pad, but also the many photos on my site). When I asked my friend the owner how do you ‘type’ in things, she said “Just tap the area you want to write in” and up popped a visual keyboard on which you tap in whatever you want! KEWL!!! When I noticed there weren’t any number keys she said “Look at the bottom of the keyboard” and there was a specific key with “1 2 3” so I tapped that and up popped the numbers keyboard! What fun!

Here’s some of the “hype” from their official Apple I Pad site:

iPad.

A magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price. Starting at $499.

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(that’s for a 16 GB unit) For a 64 BG it’s $829 with free shipping – way above MY price range, but it sure was fun ‘playing’!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Short Update

First, my dear friend Mary (broken leg) is HOME!!! YAY! Second, the toilet flapper I purchased yesterday worked JUST FINE! Husband said I ‘did good’. Third, he went out to check out my car leak and discovered that three screws were loose that hold on the vent (?) thingie just below the windshield washers which caused the rubber seal below it to (maybe) leak, we think.  It hasn’t rained hard enough in the past 24 hrs. to really check this out (I suppose I ‘could’ pour a bucket of water on that area to check it . . . that’s an idea).

After such a goofy/disorganized day yesterday, today is (so far) a very quiet, calm day.  Finished a few squares, revisited an old knit square pattern (just to see if I remembered how to do it), sewed about 1/2 an afghan worth of squares and basically RELAXED!  Next week youngest son has three half-days left of school then he’ll be home all summer; now you can see why I’m trying to grab as much QUIET time as I can!

Not much going on around here, I have two ‘squares donations’ from 2 different people I need to lay out on the dining room table and count/photograph, then enter on the Ghana Project blog. For some reason I tend to procrastinate when it comes to doing that; it’s not a difficult task, just time consuming – don’t really know why I put it off.

It’s chilly today and gray out (in the 60’s); I’m wearing a sweatshirt and jeans plus warm slippers.

Hope you have a quiet, relaxing and WARM day today!

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: Couldn’t resist posting this one; from my friend Peg in Fla.; she always sends such yummy sounding recipes!

Ramen Wonder Salad

1 pkg. beef-flavored ramen noodles
1 large pkg. Dole coleslaw mix
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 flavor packet from noodles
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Break noodles into pieces & mix with coleslaw, sunflower seeds, onions & almonds in a large salad bowl.

Combine ingredients for dressing in a shaker container. Pour over vegetable mixture shortly before serving.

Swimmin’ Up Stream…

Today is another of “those” days – you know, the days when you try and try and nothing seems to turn out right? For instance, woke up to the sounds of running water so went to search it out. Seems our toilet (very old, came with the house when we moved in 1979)  had a problem with the back tank not filling – water just continuing to run. Stuck my hand in the tank and felt to see if the flapper was seated in the bottom of the tank . . . YUCK! What’s that slimy feeling on my fingers? Pull them out and they’re blue with gucky stuff on them; seems the flapper is disintegrating! (means it isn’t totally filling the hole in bottom of the tank so the water continually flows straight into toilet bowl and back tank never fills!) Lovely! Made a trip to the local hardware store and purchased a new one – am going to wait to have husband install it as it seems the screw holding it in place is really STUCK! Meanwhile, bent a coat hanger to hold the float up so that the water stops running. (Gonna have to ‘make do’ for using the facilities until husband gets home). Oh – while getting ready for hardware store went to get a note off fridge only to have the cute little plastic “people-shaped” magnet break in my hands . .  . another ‘look for it in the hardware store’ thing. Stopped at the vet’s for the ‘special’ cat food, then on to my son’s employer (Gordon Foods) to get more of that great broccoli salad mix (too lazy to chop all that stuff), chips and spotted a frozen commercial apple pie marked down to $2.99, so got that, too(nothing wrong with it, they sometimes mark down the last of a batch just to get rid of them). Upon leaving that store I went maybe a block before seeing a local police car in the turn lane with his lights flashing. Didn’t see any other cars stopped but, as I drove by, there in the turn lane was a female deer that had been hit by a car. That was a bit of a shock, as I’ve told you I live in a urban area. I know there are some deer ‘around’ but to see one that close to home is a surprise.

Got home, put away the groceries (also got a great buy on frozen pierogies- 72 in the pkg. so I divided them into 2 bags and stuck in freezer) and sat down to balance the checkbook (all good there – WHEW!). Stuck the pie in the oven and went to the basement to put the pierogies in basement freezer only to find that during the lovely torrential rains of the past few days it seems we had a bit of a leak in the laundry area. Good thing I had decided to start a load because the darks which were in a pile on the floor were sopping wet – sigh.

Should have mentioned that I decided to check my car oil and coolant when I got home. Topped off the oil & coolant – that’s all good. ‘Nother ‘car problem’ has surfaced within the past week or so since we’ve had all the RAINS – it seems that somehow I have a leak into the drivers and passengers compartments at the floor level – the rain is pooling (somewhere under the hood) and when you turn a corner the driver and/or the passenger suddenly gets a HUGE downpour of water onto their feet. Of course, this soaks the carpeting and floor mats (more fun) so while I was ‘doing the oil/coolant’ thing I also used old towels to sop up some of the accumulated water . . .double sigh.  (Remember my saying it’s one of “THOSE” days?) Also heard while in the grocery store that we’re supposed to get more rain tonight and through the rest of the week…oh JOY!!! CAN’T WAIT!   NOT!

Laundry’s in the washer, pie’s in the oven – next on the agenda is putting together half of the huge container of broccoli salad so we can have some for dinner along with broiled chicken (got a good deal on legs & thighs – they were small so they put 8 in a package for something like $2.80).  Was contemplating making potato salad but with my luck so far today, think I’ll pass.

Tonight is my bigger Knit Night (there’s the off night when we just get together for fun – that usually averages about 8 people; the bigger ‘official’ as in I post it on my website for that group, averages close to 20); we’re supposed to be getting 3 new people coming tonight – that ought to be fun. Oh! Got another blessing Sunday night; a friend of mine is helping her mother move and said she had 4 big bags of yarn – would I like it? (You know my answer!) Turns out there’s 3 big bags, a box and a bag of baby yarn and one bag of the really fine crochet cotton (the kind you make doilies out of ). I chose some of the yarn for my Ghana project, saved some out for two ladies who do knitting for my project and the rest I’m taking to Knit Night. I can just hear the ladies: “Oh! LOOK!” (It’s like Christmas for knitters & crocheters!) Not so sure on the crochet cotton but we’ll see.  (THANKS again, CHAR!!!!)

So there you have it – weird day so far but I’m trying my best to make it better. Sometimes ya just gotta pray and keep on going!

Right now it’s sunny and getting into the 70’s; it was warm out yesterday but I was just freezing! Went outside and sat in the sun (with a sweater on, no less!). I think it’s because we had all that rain that it’s just cooled off; the yards are really soaked with water.

(also finished another afghan; that makes #247) My friend Mary (“Momma” on her blog) was mentioning how close to #250 it is now – guess I never really thought about it. Who would have thought three years ago that we’d be to that high a number! My friend who originally had the idea and now lives in Ghana emailed she’s coming to MI in a few weeks so she’ll be letting me know how many of the current 30 I have here she wants to take back, the rest will go to my other friend who’s the missionary to Durban, South Africa. I know he’s got a fund-raising golf outing coming up soon here, so we’ll get together to deliver his portion of them then it’s ‘back to work’ on the next batch! I love doing it, I’m so grateful the Lord gave me this task and equally grateful that these afghans can bless so many needy people.

Well, that’s it for now – time to go check on the pie! (and the laundry- wink)

Hugs;

Pammie

“Everything will be OK in the end; if it’s not Ok – it’s not the end!”

One from Column A, Two from Column B

Last night was our Chinese dinner and it was really great! This is a new restaurant (opened a week ago) which (I believe) is part of a chain. There used to be one very similar in our area, but it moved to another city leaving us wanting something like it here again. When they opened they sent fliers to the locals advertising the openings (2 of the same thing very close). My whole family was very pleased with the variety and freshness of all the foods and we all ‘did our parts’ to make sure we tasted just about everything offered. There was one dish which I tried and really wasn’t expecting to like much – it was some sort of a spinach casserole (cooked spinach with some sort of cheese melted on top) it was really REALLY tasty! Cheesy and with a rather sweet flavor – didn’t taste at all like spinach! (I had seconds!) Mind you, this is an ‘all you can eat’ buffet and there was plenty to choose from. They even had some new offerings, like baby clams, scallops on the half shell (it was more like a scallop casserole-type thing; I didn’t like it…too sweet and a bit greasy), fried frog legs (that was a surprise! didn’t eat them – have had them before and not excited), plus the ‘childrens foods’ – like pepperoni pizza, fried chicken and even cheese tostadas! Their prices are reasonable:  $10.99 per adult and $5.99 for children (6-10)/kids 3-5 are $4.99 for dinner. Their lunch prices are: $6.99 adults/kids 3-5 $2.99, (ages 6-10) $3.99.  We all agreed that we will return soon.

The boys decided that they wanted to rent the new movie: “Alice in Wonderland” with Johnnie Depp, so that became our late night adventure. I’m not certain, but it sure seemed to be in the style of Tim Burton, the director. (I’m guessing it was, because Helena Bonham Carter was also the Red Queen- she’s Tim Burton’s girlfriend). It was a very DARK movie that I certainly wouldn’t suggest for children (too much violence). Did I enjoy watching it? Not exactly; definitely prefer the old Disney classic; yes, that was much more ‘sugar content’ and for children, but this one required us putting on the subtitles to actually be able to understand much of what was being said (they seemed to think it was ‘cute’ to use made-up words a lot). I really don’t think the made up words were actual original writing from the story, although they did seem to quote almost the whole of the poem “The Jabberwok” which, if you’ve read it, is a WHOLE lot of made-up words combined. To quote Alice: “Curiouser and curiouser”.

Upon arriving home from our dinner there were several messages on my answering machine telling me that my dear friend Mary (Momma on her blog) is now in the hospital and coming out of surgery for a broken femur and possible dislocated hip – she’s 74  (I think) and certainly doesn’t need all that! *Correction: after talking to her on the phone, she had just finished filling the composter and tripped. Broke the femur; they put a rod in the bone and several screws to keep the bone together but NO other injuries. She’s refused the rehab; her granddaughter is coming to stay with her until she recovers. Last I heard she should be home in a few days. She was using a shredder behind her shed, stepped back, turned her ankle then promptly fell on the leg, thus breaking it. It was a very good thing her oldest son and his wife were there trimming branches and found her! From all I’ve learned, she will spend several days in the hospital, followed by about a week (guessing time here) at a rehab facility before going home.  As long as I’ve known her, she’s never been one to relax much, always on the go, so this will not be in her plans for the future but hoping all heals well and she’s eventually able to return to her life of caring for her family (her husband, dog, cat and birds).

Today is Saturday and I actually slept in! Was up late last night watching that goofy movie (wouldn’t recommend it) so guess I needed the extra sleep. It’s now NOON and I’m still in my jammies! It’s looking like a sunny day, clear and in the high 70’s (and muggy – as usual). Haven’t turned on the air conditioning just yet (too expensive) but I know the time is quickly coming where we’ll really have to use it!

Hope you’re keeping cool, remembering to relax a little and enjoy life;

Big hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on June 5, 2010 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Appointments, Treats and Rewards

This has been a week of getting things done;  I completed my required visits as of this afternoon! I’m sitting here writing with slightly dilated eyes after my yearly diabetic eye exam (I’m doing fine – no signs yet of the diabetes affecting my eye sight – THANK YOU, LORD!). My glasses don’t need adjusting – no change in my vision in the last year – still seeing 20/30 with glasses (my husband said that’s a good thing!).  Yesterday was another ‘every 3 months’ doctor visit and I’m doing good there as well (weight is up a little from last time, but that’s due to a large amount of stress lately). My ‘reward’ (and, my family’s) is: tonight we’re going to check out a newly opened Chinese/Japanese buffet restaurant! Oldest son reported that his Sous Chef went there and reported back that it was better and more than he thought it would be – I’m excited.  I love Chinese food (Lo Mein, Crab Rangoon, all kinds of sushi/sashimi, stir fried – almost everything!).  Two out of three sons will be accompanying us, so that will be  a nice experience.  (One loves Chinese/Japanese foods – the other is hoping this new place has ‘some’ American foods as well).

I’m happy to report that I’m almost totally over the sinus-sickness thing. Mentioned it to the doctor who said “There’s a lot of allergies going around lately – try using the saline nasal sprays and perhaps a decongestant.”  This past week it’s mostly sinus pressure and a light headache, nothing I can’t deal with. Babysat the grandson yesterday and was feeling more like the ‘old me’ – he didn’t totally wear me out like the week before!

Just about 1  1/2 weeks left of school; next week is a full week, then exams. I don’t think I wrote about youngest hoping to get his cast off totally, only to find out that the hand specialist put on a slightly smaller cast and told him to return in FOUR weeks! That certainly didn’t make for a happy youngest son! Oh, and the doctor added: “NO SWIMMING!” I just looked at him and thought “Yeah, I bet YOU didn’t have a very head-strong teenage son, either!”  We’ll see just how long this cast holds up, as I’m sure there will be some swimming in that four weeks . . . sigh.

Ran across a yummy-sounding recipe in the coupon section of our paper:

Lean Steak and Mushroom Salad

Dressing:

4 T. olive oil

4 T. white wine vinegar

6 tsp. Dijon mustard

4 tsp. lemon juice

4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

12 oz. boneless sirloin steak (2 ” thick) well trimmed

2 T. Mrs. Dash Steak Grilling or Original seasoning blend

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1/2 C.  green onions, sliced

1/4 C. fresh parsley, minced

1 C. cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 head Bibb lettuce

———

Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce; set aside. Season both sides of steak with Mrs. Dash. Cook steak on preheated grill until medium rare or desired doneness is reached, about 4-5 minutes per side. Slice steak into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place mushrooms, green onions and fresh parsley in large bowl. Add steak to mushroom mixture and toss with dressing;  garnish with Place several leaves of lettuce on individual plates.  Place steak mixture onto lettuce leaves and serve immediately. Serves 4.

(recipe courtesy “Mrs Dash” and The Beef Check-off)

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That’s about all that’s going on around here lately. Been working on Afghan #247 (about 1/2 done) and knitting & crocheting squares. Since I hadn’t knit the Ballband pattern in quite awhile, I’ve taken that up again. It’s funny how taking some time away from doing something usually requires following directions when you pick it back up again! I couldn’t count the number of Ballband patterned squares I’ve knit over the last three years but I know it’s got to be close to (or over) 50 and yet I still needed to read the directions before proceeding! Ah, aging – it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!

Picked up a book at the local library today which is proving to be a really FUN read“Garlic and Sapphires; The Secret Life of  a Critic in Disguise” by Ruth Reichl – she’s the New York Times Food Critic. By reading the write up on her, I guess people recognize her, so she’s taken to going into fancy restaurants in wigs and various disguises, acting ‘parts’ to see what type of service she gets without being recognized, then doing it again without the disguises – and  writing up a double critique on the whole experience. Have only gotten through part of chapter one but it’s proving to be an interesting and FUNNY read!

Today it’s bright & sunny and in the mid-70’s – lovely weather! Can’t wait for my eyes to ‘go back to normal’ and not be dilated – looking at my salmon-colored basket of begonias outside nearly blinded me! With the dilation they looked screaming NEON! Whew!

Hope you have a great day/evening/weekend!

Hugs;

Pammie

ps:  Almost forgot! HAPPY DONUT DAY! Yes, June 4th is the official Doughnut Day! Visit your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts and receive a free doughnut (limit 1 per person), no purchase required. Pretty sweet, eh? See the article on this at:

http://www.examiner.com/x-1146-Seattle-Eastside-Family-Examiners~y2010m6d3-National-Doughnut-Day-is-June-4th-Get-a-free-doughnut-at-Krispy-Kreme-and-Dunkin-Donuts