Around here

Well, we took the day off yesterday.

Or, rather, the girls and I took the day off.


Sort of.

They had a school holiday – the last “inclement weather” day of the school year.  So, I took the day off of work to spend with them.  But it wasn’t really a day “off” for us – we were busy bees.

We spent the morning planting our garden – cucumbers, peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, radishes, etc.


It’s not grand, but we’re pretty proud of it.  I’m hoping we get some yummy veggies out of it this summer.

While the girls were playing (school, no less!) I rigged up what I’m affectionately calling my “redneck irrigation system.”  I used a soaker hose and some random bits of flotsam to create a little irrigation track for the garden. I’m hoping we’ll actually remember to turn it on every day for a little while to keep things watered and growing.


And then we spent a while spreading pine straw – 15 bales of it to be exact. And if that wasn’t enough, we went out to dinner and to a play that two of Big Girl’s friends were acting in.

And then we came home and collapsed. Literally.

Today is a little less ambitious although I have plans to catch up on the laundry and clean my floors… and maybe bake a cake… but that’s about it.

We got a new birdfeeder, too, today.  And we’ve been invaded by these cute birdies – a whole family of red breasted grosbeaks.


Have you ever heard of them before? I’d never seen them until now but they apparently love this feed I’ve bought and they’re hanging around all the time nowadays.  They are a lively bunch ~ the only negative thing is that the smaller birds seem to be a bit intimidated by them and don’t come around as much. But I’ve got two feeders so hopefully they’ll all have a shot.


Oh, and we’ve been battling the squirrels lately. I went to the feed & seed this morning and got some more of that habanero-coated birdseed. They don’t seem to like that too much.

Note to self: Don’t stir the habanero birdseed with your bare hands. Even if you wash them (twice) you’ll still end up sorry. Just sayin’

The girls saw this picture at the feed & seed and loved it –


I told them I guess there’s always something to put our troubles in perspective, isn’t there?

And so now I’m off to do my baking and cleaning – and then tomorrow will be a day of rest for us.

I hope.

What’s up in your world?

Just a Jammin’

Mom, the girls, and I made strawberry jam this week. They had huge, beautiful strawberries at Sam’s and we just had to get some… next stop was the grocery store for some jelly jars, sugar and pectin.

When we got going the next morning we decided to go ahead and make the jam.


We had such a good time together – it was a great learning experience for the girls (and me!) and they thoroughly enjoyed it, I think.


Our finished product is SOOO GOOD.  We had to have one of the jars right away, before it was even fully set.  Smile  Fortunately, we had baked biscuits for breakfast so we had something to use for a transport vessel for the goodness.  We scarfed those biscuits right down.


After a friend commented on my Facebook post about the jam, asking if she could buy some, the girls decided to sell their jam.  So, they spent this afternoon creating labels, fixing up their jars and telling everyone they knew about the jams.


Aren’t they cute?

So, if you are interested, let me know.

They have strawberry jam now and will soon add grape jelly to the line up.

Two Sisters Jams & Jellies – that’s their name!

My little entrepreneurs! Smile

What we’ve been up to

It’s been a whirlwind couple of days here at Mama’s house.  We have been shopping for Spring/Summer clothes, visited our favorite local restaurants (Spanky’s, anyone?) and I think we’ve just about hit most of the high spots.  With only one more day to go, we’ll probably hang around Mama’s and just rest (finally) on Thursday.

I thought I’d share a few random pictures from the trip so far –


Easter egg hunting on Saturday afternoon.


And mani/pedi’s today.


Big Girl got a sparkly polish on her fingers – see the little silver stripe?  I told her it was way too fancy for me… but she loves it.


And then this happened –


Which virtually guarantees that it will rain tomorrow – it’s a rule of nature: Wash your car; it will rain. Sounds like a good reason to stick around the house.

Hope y’all are having a good week.

And away we go…

The girls and I are at Mom’s this week – enjoying our Spring Break. SuperMan came with us for the weekend and had to go back home last night for work.


On Saturday, Big Girl, SuperMan and I went down to River Street to wander and pretend like we were tourists for a little while.  We had lunch at our favorite Spanky’s – the best chicken fingers ever, Big Girl declared – and then walked along the river for a while.


Then we stopped in to River Street Sweets for the obligatory pralines and ice cream (not together, though) and stopped in a few shops to browse. I was amazed at the fact that the “stuff” in the shops is pretty much the same as it was twenty years ago when we lived here. I guess there are enough tourists that the shopkeepers don’t have to look for new things to market – the same-old-same-old seems to work.IMG_2994

Little Bit didn’t come with us. She has declared that she will not be leaving Ammi’s house unless it is for a trip to the mall or Target. I guess she has her priorities…


One last stop by to say “Hi” to The Waving Girl and then we were headed back to Mamma’s house for the rest of the day.  Sunday was all about family and relaxing.  Today, Big Girl and I are making a list of the shopping (she wants) we want to do while we’re here.  As soon as we’re all organized we’ll be off on our way again.


Hope you have a fantastic week – I’ll post more if we do anything interesting. Otherwise, I’ll resume normal posting next week when we get home.

Easter Bunnies of the large and unusual kind

Our local farmer has a yearly tradition in which he puts out round bales of hay in the fall and paints them to look like Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween.  They magically morph into snowmen for the wintertime and this year he has gone even further by creating Easter Bunnies!


I absolutely LOVE this tradition and can’t wait for the hay bales to appear each fall and watch the transformation through the seasons. How cool that they are now sticking around into the spring!


The cows were in the pasture today – very curious about the big guy taking pictures of them (SuperMan took these for me)


I love the cows – still fluffy from their winter coats and oh, so curious.


And the mamas so careful to step between the weird man and the babies.


Mamas and babies – yes, spring is coming, folks…IMGP4569

I’m wondering what he could make those hay bales into for the summer…


Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday, y’all. It’s a rainy one here today, but I’m not complaining because we had an absolutely beautiful weekend weather-wise and the rain we’re getting may put the tree pollen down a little bit – which would be a good thing since I am suffering seriously from the pollen. Like multiple antihistamines, inhalers, etc. seriously.  It’s the time of year, but I sure hate it… the pollen anyway. LOVE the flowers, not the pollen!!

I’m on the ball this week with the menu plan and I have to say I’m glad to be back into the routine. It is amazing how much stress/anxiety it relieves to know what is going to be dinner for the day and to be able to plan your day (and weekly shopping) around your meal plans.  I highly recommend you try it out if you haven’t yet.

If you’ve never tried menu planning, you might be interested in reading how I approach the process –

Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here. Here’s another post I had with some tips as well.


Here’s what we’ve got on the docket for the week this week:

Monday: Beef Stew (trying something new, will let you know how the troops like it)

Tuesday: SuperMan is going to grill some chicken I got Sunday for 99 cents a pound (!) – BBQ Chicken anyone?

Wednesday: Salisbury Steaks (SuperMan’s request)

Thursday: Breakfast for dinner

Friday: BBQ Chicken pizza (if there’s any chicken left)

I also thought I’d share a little video with you today – this is my sweet Little Bit doing her sign language performance with her club at the Exceptional Child Week last week.  She did such a great job and we are so proud of her!!

(she is on the left – purple tennis shoes)


After the Feast

Well, Happy Monday to you!

I’m still trying to convince myself I’m happy it’s Monday.  I wasn’t too happy at 5AM when the alarm went off, but I’m trying valiantly to embrace the day.  The weekend was so nice and relaxing I hate to get back into the grind of the work week.

We had a really, really nice Thanksgving.  SuperMan was home for four days with us –  no side jobs, no work – and it was heaven. The girls and I really enjoyed having him around.


Thursday, we enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner. We couldn’t decide between a smoked turkey and a deep-fried turkey, so SuperMan decided to make both.  (Now, I’m overrun with turkey!)  Little Bit enjoyed helping in the kitchen.


She helped her daddy with the turkeys and helped me on Wednesday with most of the prep work as well.


Watching the pecan pie bars baking (recipe soon)


And while I did most of my “work” in the kitchen on Wednesday, SuperMan did his on Thursday… it worked out well. We didn’t step on each other’s toes that way.

Here they are checking out the smoked turkey – is it done yet?


And frying the other turkey.  This always makes me so nervous, but the turkey tastes so good!


After what seemed like forever frying, it was done!


And then it was time to feast!


Wonderful day.

And, now we’re faced with MONDAY staring us down, daring us to take on the challenges it brings… and all I want to do is crawl back into my warm flannel sheets!

And menu planning? Well, I’m thinking about it. Not absolutely sure yet what I’ll do. Here’s what I’m thinking of:

I do have lots of fun things planned for the blog this week, though – a few recipes for you and hopefully some more scrapbooking as well as a book review (or two?). So, I hope you will stop back by.

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linking up with OrgJunkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Countdown to Turkey Day

Happy Monday, y’all.

It’s quiet (sort of) around our house this morning. As I sit in my office sipping tea and looking out at the grey morning I can hear Little Bit’s giggles in the sunroom – she’s playing on her computer and Scooby cat is snuggled up next to her, enjoying the heat coming out of the fan of the laptop.


Big Girl is still sleeping – she had a rough night last night. Lots of swelling and pain in her foot. I tried, at 2 AM this morning, to figure out what we might’ve done yesterday to make it so bad last night. The only thing I can figure is that she was more active yesterday – even in her wheelchair – and that maybe having her foot down more than up is the culprit.

Today, I’ll encourage her, strongly, to stay still a bit more. I think it will be difficult, but I am hoping reminding her of last night will be incentive enough.


We are quite the trio – the girls and I. Big Girl with her foot and Little Bit and I with our brochitis-like colds.  Quite a pitiful crew.  And Thanksgiving is coming!  To be honest, right this minute, I could care less. But I want us to have a good day, so that will mean rising above the blahs that this virus has given me and taking on some baking and preparations today.

I think, though, that I will keep dinners simple this week – I’m thinking about making some turkey & rice soup today.  Mom’s dear friend sent us a cooked turkey (among other delicacies) last week to eat after surgery day (she didn’t want us to have to cook) and so we have those remains to eat.  Turkey & Rice soup sounds like good comfort food and something I can toss in the crock pot and forget about.

I have some leftover rice in the fridge, too, so it should be really simple to toss together. I’m just wondering how the girls will like it. It will be an experiment, I guess.


Yesterday, SuperMan piled up all the leaves in the front yard – Little Bit has been asking for a leaf pile to jump in and he decided to oblige.  He uses a blower to do this – I remember raking leaves as a kid. Boy, the blower is so much easier.  For the past two years, I’ve done that job, but this year, I sat with Big Girl and guarded her foot from the over-zealous attentions of the puppies who were “helping” SuperMan in the yard.  They missed her and kept wanting to climb in her lap (not a good idea when they’re 80+ pounds!)


Once the pile was finished, Sydney and Little Bit couldn’t wait to dive in. They had the best time in the leaves. SuperMan tosses the tennis ball into the leaves and Sydney dives down deep, sniffing and searching. It amazes me that she always, always finds it. Truly a needle in a haystack and yet she sniffs it out every time.  Little Bit just loves leaping into the leaves and the puppies leap in right behind her.  They’re pretty cute to watch.


I’m not a big fan of leaf piles. Neither is Big Girl.  We both agree that the leaves and grit in our hair and clothes is not the nicest feeling.  My issues, however, go back much further, I think.


I remember a time as a girl that my grandfather had this huge (huge) leaf PIT. He had a pit dug in the front yard for some reason and everyone in the neighborhood, it seemed, had put their leaves in there. It was like a leaf pool instead of a pile.  All of the cousins were there and everyone was jumping in and having a great time.

I wasn’t too crazy about the idea so I was hanging back and watching. I’m not sure who did it, (daddy maybe?) but someone picked me up and threw me in. I was terrified and came up with a mouthful (and shirtful) of leaves. Not fun.

That was pretty much the end of my leaf pile days.  But, I’m glad that Little Bit loves it and I certainly don’t want to take her joy away. It won’t be long before she decides that she is too old for those type of games.


So, we’ll be spending our week quietly – other than a post-op checkup on Tuesday we have no big plans. Just enjoying the family time together.



On the road to recovery

Well, it has been a challenging few days.  Big Girl’s surgery was Tuesday morning. I was awake at 3 that morning, thinking about what all we had ahead of us.

We were off to the hospital around 7:30 and got her checked in and into pre-op.  And then we waited and waited for things to get started. Some of our sweet friends came by to sit with us and keep us company. It was so nice of them and much appreciated – I think Big Girl loved the distractions as she got pretty nervous the closer the surgery time approached.


The surgeon came in and talked with her and marked her foot for surgery. He thought it was cute that she’d decided to mark it herself the night before.


Then the anesthesiologist brought some “happy medicine” and the whole process began.  While she was wheeled away, I watched her go with a huge lump in my throat. It’s so hard to turn your baby over to someone else to care for her, even if you know they are the exact right people at the moment and will do exactly what she needs.


We wandered down to the waiting room and I tried to crochet to pass the time, but I couldn’t focus.  So, we just visited, Mom and SuperMan and our friends and I.  I was so thankful they were all there. I remember sitting in that same waiting room a few months ago when SuperMan had some minor surgery and I was all alone and so very worried about my sweetheart.  It never gets easier, no matter how minor the procedure, because my love is never smaller.

Once we had the news that she was out of recovery, we met her in her room and waited until we had the ok to take her home. I fully expected her to sleep most of the day, but true to her “I do it myself” way, she was perky and up most of the afternoon.

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Each day has been a little better than the last.  Nights are tougher, but even those are getting better.

She has “command central” in the sunroom on the sofa bed – the perfect sunny place to hold court while she heals.


And now we just focus on each day getting stronger and better and hopefully soon she’ll be walking again.  We have a long haul, but she is a tough little girl. If anyone can do it, she certainly can.


I’m hoping to post periodically, but it probably won’t be every day – I am hoping we get to a new “normal” here soon and blogging will fit right back into my routine. I appreciate your patience until it does. Smile

Halloween Fun

This year, the kids came up with some clever ideas for their Halloween pumpkins.  Little Bit decided to have a “glamour vampire pumpkin” and Big Girl decided to have a “French pumpkin,” complete with a beret.


Our neighbor came over to help us carve and they had a great time together –


in spite of the gross innards they had to remove.


I chose the “polka dot” pumpkin – easy for SuperMan to do with a drill and yet very striking at night.


I think they turned out awesome, don’t you?

And then Halloween night rolled around – Trick-or-Treating as a Vet, a Mermaid and a Mad Scientist.  I think they were so cute!!


and now the Halloween candy is gone and we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving – I need to start working on my menu! What about you!?!