Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crafts and other things

The baby shower for Laurie was great. She is HUGE. Brian was afraid security in Wal Mart would stop her for attempting to steal a basketball!
From the back, she is tiny. But, OH MY, the baby is quite obvious when she turns around. She got lots of nice things, pretty things and necessary things. They'll be fine.

It was nice to be able to spend the nite at Kelley and Zach's without being in the way. Peanut enjoyed it, too. He had a crate reprieve for a few hours as I left mid morning on Mon. I shopped my way home, enjoying being the only customer in the stores at 10 on Monday morning!

Now for more craft time at home. Got to run to "town" for supplies and help. I'll post pics of my project - a small "thank you" for the friends who have shared baby "hand me downs" for our baby girl!

Update on our "walk and talk" time. Two of us walked Monday afternoon, 4 of us walked in the cloudy, cool morning today. We're up to 2 miles each day and trying for 4-5 days each week.... give us a hand for tenacity!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Busy days

First, the "ugly cookies". Haman's Ears. I made them for the ending class of a 9 wk Bible study on Ester. The study, with Beth Moore, was amazing. The cookies required a consultation with my Jewish friend, Esta (derivative of Ester?) and much consternantion on my part as I struggled with the dough. After googling the image, I realized that most of the homemade ones were as ugly as mine! LOL! The class loved them and ate all but 3! Perfect end to a study about providence and a reversal of destiny!

The rain is back. The basement doors are leaking and the downstairs carpet is wet!!! Ahhggghhh! This house has been a challenge from day one and continues to be. Thank goodness for our wonderful friend and contractor, Mr. Frank who will come to our rescue and replace 2 "French style doors". Happy Anniversary! Oh, well.... what else can we do???

It rained out our "girl talk and walk" today, but I got on the treadmill and did my 2 miles anyway! Good for me!! Praise, praise, praise!

Tomorrow is a shopping trip to the city! Hurrrahhh! Watch out ATL, here we come!! Up at "dark thirty" and back by early evening (maybe before dark?). It's always fun to touch, feel and smell things in the city!
And good to come home to NO traffic!! You guys can have that part!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lighten Up

Spring Vegetable Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

WW POINTS Value: 5

Buttermilk is naturally low in fat and therefore is a great base for this creamy dressing. We drizzled it over salad but you can also use it as a dip.

1 1/2 cup(s) asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
10 medium baby carrots, halved lengthwise if thick
1 cup(s) sugar snap peas, stem ends snipped
1 medium English cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1/3 cup(s) buttermilk
3 tbsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp chives, fresh, sliced (or green onions or NOT)
2 tbsp dill, fresh, chopped ( or 1 tbsp dried)
6 cup(s) mixed baby greens
4 oz semisoft goat cheese, crumbled

Bring a large skillet half full of water to a boil. Add asparagus and carrots; cook 1 minute. Add sugar snap peas; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool and drain again. Put vegetables in a medium bowl and add cucumbers; toss to mix.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth; stir in chives and dill.
To serve, place 1 1/2 cups of salad greens on each of 4 salad plates. Place about 1 cup of vegetable mixture in center of each; drizzle each with about 3 tablespoons of dressing and 1 ounce of goat cheese.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Class Reunion Time

Confession time... my 40th high school class reunion is April 24 in Marion, Alabama. That is enough motivation to get me walking every day! Probably too little, too late, but I do NOT want to look like a "mountain woman" when I see folks I haven't seen in years. Funny thing, the women will be recognizable, not so for the men. Ha! Most of them will be balding and paunchy - maybe.

Here's a "blast from the past"

How Much things cost in 1969:
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 800
Average Cost of new house $15,550.00
Average Income per year $8,550.00
Average Monthly Rent $135.00
Average Cost New Car $3,270.00 Toyota Corona $1,950.00
Gas per Gallon 35 cents
Alarm Clock from Westclox $9.98

News headlines from 1969:
Richard Nixon becomes President of the United States

250,000 march on Washington in protest at the Vietnam War

The first man is landed on the moon on the Apollo 11 mission by the United States and Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. and the famous words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." will become part of our history

Golda Meir of Milwaukee, Wisconsin , USA, becomes Prime Minister of Israel

The US institutes the draft lottery to determine draft into US Forces for Vietnam War

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Established

Chappaquiddick Affair Senator Edward Kennedy driving a car plunges into a pond and a body of a woman passenger is found in the car

Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder five people August 9th

Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast killing 248 people

Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc

Charles de Gaulle Resigns as French President

Rising Inflation is a worldwide problem

Woodstock attracts more than 350,000 rock-n-roll fans

The US Supreme Court rules on Stanley v. Georgia declaring "The State may not prohibit mere possession of obscene materials for personal use".

The U.S. Air Force closed its Project ( Blue Book ) concluding there was no evidence of UFO's

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We're walking

"The Girls" are walking! Two mornings in a row - that's not much, but its a start! 1.5 miles on our local walking track where you can see the mountains, hear the birds sing and dodge the red worms on the track. Ahhh, life in the mountains...

Tip for the day:
Next time you walk, watch your arms and legs. If you take short steps, you are more than likely not having your arms swing much. Or if you are taking good sized (comfortable) steps and your arms don't swing much, don't be alarmed. Most people (and I do mean most) have 'tight' Latissimus Dorsi muscles that have become weak because of over-worked/stressed upper Trapezius muscles. Next time you walk, try to swing your arms a little bit while keeping your shoulders down and locked in place (not letting them move up/down/side to side). The more the swing, the more your Lat's work and the better your posture becomes. Your Lat's are one of the muscles that, if strong, holds you up very tall and relieves most back pain. Do your best to check yourself out when you walk, and swing those arms a bit to enhance that posture!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Playing in the dirt again!!!!

Just think, digging in the dirt now can produce an abundant crop of wonderful fresh tomatoes this summer!!! Yuuummm, I can taste them now! Sprinkled with fresh basil, drizzled with good olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.....surely heaven must have vegetable gardens.
Today was a beautiful day for digging in the dirt! Too early to plant, but just the right time to move a few things around, share plants with a friend, and get ready for spring! I'm happiest when my hands are caked in dirt and my shirt smells like sweat! What a dainty girl I am - NOT!!!
If only we could plant now... but alas, our last frost date is May 15... seems like a long time to wait. I'll have to be content to dig when I can and dream about veggies and flowers......

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day!

May the luck o' the Irish be with you today!
May your day begin with rainbows and end with joy.
May the winds blow evil away and bring happiness to your doorstep.
And may you have more friends and blessings than you can count!

God bless you!

Irish Coffee Brownies

1-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1 cup chopped walnuts
2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Irish Whiskey
1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons brewed coffee
Chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Heat sugar, butter or margarine, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter or margarine melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat lightly just until combined.
2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. Stir together milk and 1/4 cup whiskey; stir in coffee crystals. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the chocolate mixture, beating by hand after each addition. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
4. Meanwhile, for the Irish Coffee Glaze, stir together sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey, and 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons brewed coffee until of drizzling consistency.
5. If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. Makes 36 brownies.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Recipe note ...

I made this recipe for dinner last nite using an eye of round roast. It has less fat and is "more healthy" than a chuck roast. It was very good! The beef will shred after cooking for 8 hours. Great for you working folks or us busy crafters!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Let supper cook itself

Slow Cooker Barbeque Beef

1 (3 pound) boneless chuck roast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce

Place roast into slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder, and season with salt and pepper. Pour barbeque sauce over meat. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker, shred, and return to slow cooker. Cook for 1 more hour. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The end of the beginning...

I just returned late yesterday from my last trip to help the kids with the BIG move! Peanut is now officially the guard dog of the mansion and they are reasonably settled. I was amazed at all they have accomplished! They've really worked hard to get so much done in such a short time. Kel has pics posted on her blog. It feels like "home"! Now, I hope they will slow down a bit and enjoy it!

As for me, I'm slowing down and recuperating! With a few rainy days ahead, I may do nothing!!! LOL! Those of you who know me well, know that is NOT going to happen!

St. Patrick's Day is Tues! We're invited to dinner Mon. and Tues. nites.... now to find appropriate recipes for an Irish girl to take...hmmmm. I'll share what I find!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Easy Recipe for Quick Dinner

This is a great "comfort food" recipe. You can buy packages of cooked, cubed ham at the supermarket. Recipe doubles easily for a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Ham and Potatoes
1 ½ cups cooked, cubed ham
3 cups diced cooked potatoes (Yukon Gold are best)
¼ cup margarine
½ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Salt & pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
8 crushed Ritz crackers
1 tablespoon melted margarine

Place ham and potatoes in shallow 1 ½ quart baking dish. Melt ¼ cup margarine in large saucepan; add onion and cook until transparent. Blend in flour, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring until thickened. Add salt, pepper and dry mustard. Pour mixture over ham and potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine crushed crackers and melted margarine; sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

5 Days Later...

and more than a few sore muscles! The kids are well on their way to being ready to move into their house. I forgot to take my camera, so go to Kelley's blog to see before and after pictures! It really is transforming into "their" house. I was happy to help.

Now I'm back home in NC with their dog, Peanut. He and I returned on Wed. after a short stop in Canton for groceries at Publix. Peanut was a good traveler except when I tried to listen to Andrea Bocelli... he did NOT like the music, so back to radio and we were OK again!

I've come home with a terrible head cold, probably from breathing the polluted ATL air~! Now, I shall go rest and get ready to go back on Monday after they move in, take the dog to them, and help do some unpacking....