Daisypath - Anniversary

Friday, September 30, 2011

When seasons change...

The Lilac Thicket feels the yearnings of autumnal season.  Some trees are just beginning to sport the beautiful colors of the season.  I love this time of year, the crunching of leaves under foot, the smell of burning leaves and of course the beautiful vibrant autumn colors.  I love breaking out my jeans jacket and socks.  I love the smell of baking and cooking when I walk into the house.  I want to snuggle into my home with good book and jigsaw puzzles and of course snuggle under the blankets in bed with my Caribbean Prince.  With the crispness in the air my girlz want to live outside chasing the nut bearing squirrels.  My world in the Thicket is aflurry with activity and nostalgia, I adore it.

The Professor and I are planning an overnight trip in October down to the Ozarks to do a little sight seeing and experience the beautiful autumn colors at their peak.  I am so excited about it.  I took off a Friday so we can leave in the morning and come home Saturday evening.  I hope my nephew will be able to stay over to take care of our girlz.  I think if I ply him with great snacks he will gladly do it for his sweetest Auntie!

The Professor became an official Missouri resident this week.  We had his driver's license issued this week and I can't wait to teach him how to drive my 5 speed!  I think I maybe able to bribe my brother into teaching him and they may go a long way to extending our marriage.  My dearest has also begun his job search in earnest and that is exciting too!

My food plans for the weekend are gelling!  I bought Golden Delicious apples to try out an apple dumpling recipe, using the prepared pie crust from your grocers refrigerator case.  I have also purchased a spice cake mix to make my pumpkin dump cake (click on the "recipe" label at the bottom of this entry to find that recipe)!  I want to make some Hip Hop Dot Peanut Butter Cookies and then the chocolate covered Ritz cracker peanut butter sandwich cookies.  Oh yes I want to make some banana nut bread also.  I am thinking about quesadillas or maybe a Parmesan chicken recipe I just got.  I also found a copy cat recipe for a Black Kettle Pasta with Garlic Butter which sounds yummy. That might be cooked up with the Parmesan Chicken, sounds tummy-rific!

I am half way thru my book, "Assassins" which is the 6th book in the Left Behind series.  I might read another book "Cold Sassy Tree" before I go on to book 7 for a bit of a break.

The new movie "Courageous" comes out tomorrow, it is from the same people that made "Fireproof", "Flywheel" and "Facing the Giants".  These are such wonderful movies and I can't wait to see "Courageous"!

My sister from a different mother, Divine Miss M, is the Imelda Marcos of Carefart (my employer's name cleverly disguised).  The woman has 326½ pair of shoes.  I look over at her as she is leaving and she has the most terrific heels on.  I really admire her, I would never be able to totter anywhere on those heels.  In fact they would need to call the fire department to extract this fat old woman from the hole I created when I fell thru the plaster board!  I can hear them now roaring with laughter as they fire up the jaws of life!

True story, a friend of mine was in a serious auto accident and before they fired up the jaws of life she heard one of the fireman say "I wonder what kind of shoes she's wearing!"  See, I kid you not, they really would say that as these fat sausage legs are the only things showing through as though the plaster board wall ate me and belched out these ridiculously high heeled shoes..."All together now...heave...hoe!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

The best laid plans...

Seldom do my weekends off go as I plan.  I am certain that I am the only one in the whole world that this happens to, I honestly believe that.  Saturday started out well with a trip to the grocery store and a trip to the Thrift Store.  On our way home from church we stopped at Mom's to look at my grandmother's dresser to see if I wanted it. 

The Professor felt he should help Brothers 1 & 2 clean out Mom's garage and basement.  Mom had rented a big dumpster and there was lots of stuff to go thru.  I took Professor home to change out of his good clothes and dumped him back off at Mom's and went home and waited for him to call me to pick him up.  I wasn't feeling really well so I laid down and read.  I got up at 4:30 and began making spaghetti and garlic toast which Professor said he wanted.  Well I picked up my husband about 6:30 and I really didn't get any thing done.

Sunday I had a roaring headache and got up and took a Benadryl and some Advil and went back to bed. Professor woke me up when Brother 2 came to pick him up about 11am. I went back to bed and got up about 3:30 and got dressed and then went over to Mom's and sat for a couple of hours watching all of the hubbub. We looked at pictures of my dad:

This was my Pop in 1952 at the ripe old age of 18.  He was in the Navy!  So handsome, such a rake, the apple of his Momma's eye!  He was on the USS Des Moines, a terrifically fearsome looking battleship!  Think about 1952 and the powerful military presence our Armed Forces was, just 7 years after the end of the 2nd World War.  It held quite the allure to young men and young women and Pops was one of them.

2 weeks ago I saw these light pink sandals at the Thrift Shop but didn't have the money to purchase them.  I couldn't believe they were still there.  $2.00!  They either have never been worn or worn little as there was NO wear on them.  They now delight my feet! 
These are the second pair of sandals I wanted and they were still at the Thift Shop amazingly enough.  $2.00 and like the pink pair little to no wear! 
A crocheted baby blanket, $1.00!  I am going to wash it up and then will have a nice little throw to cover my feet and legs when I sit on the sofa reading.
I saw these nice autumn colored cloth place mats.  Four of them were $2.00!  I am going to wash them up too. 
One lonely skein of yarn, love the color and I am sure I can find something delightful to make up with this one ball of yarn.  You can see the price. 
These were cute little Christmas salad plates and there were 3 of them, 50¢ each and I thought they would make good little gifts with homemade fudge or Russian teacakes on them. 
These are a few things that came home with the Professor and I from my Mother's house.  A pretty mirror that sat on my Grandma Russell's dresser for years.  It now is on my sofa table under my Lenox vase of flowers and the pretty frame with a wedding picture of the Caribbean Prince and I.  The ceramic candle sticks were also my Grandma Russell's.  The little bible was presented to my Grandmother Roberts from her Elementary School, don't see that happening today do ya?  The heart pin was also Grandmother Roberts too! 
Here is a chicken scratched apron my Grandmother Roberts made.  I want to wash this up and then find a way to present it...any ideas? 
Still packaged like the day she received them in 1970 when we mailed them to Grandmother Roberts when we moved to Hawaii, an apron and a oven mitt, she never used them.  I would love to open them and use them, do you think I should?  The crocheted ears of corn, Grandmother Roberts made them and had them hanging above her stove.  I think they are darling! 
And this is the only thing that I wanted of my Grandmother Roberts.  It is a  cast iron, iron.  When I was a toddler and we went to visit my Grandparents, my Grandmother set me on the floor with newspapers and this iron.  Mom says it was very amusing to watch me try to iron the papers with an iron that weighted almost as much as I did.  I think this may have been my Great Grandmother Stovall-Timmerwilke's.  It would be interesting to see if anyone can give me an idea of when this style of iron was used.

I need to get decent because I need to take the Professor to work.  I am enjoying my treasures that I shared with all of you.  I am awaiting the delivery of my Grandmother Roberts's cedar chest and dresser.  I think I will get those next weekend.  Have a blessed week my beloved readers!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Baking Goddess

The Professor looked so handsome in a suit coat and tie as he went to church this morning.  On the way home we stopped by Mom's.  Princess Jujubead had a belated birthday day for him.  Juju went to New Orleans with her hubby Vice Nutter.  Vice Nutter had company business there.  She bought a present for Professor there and left it with Mom.  Here is the present and SO fitting.  There is also a mini bottle of Heinz ketchup included with the Tee that I am pouring on his head.  Prof was absolutely delighted with his gifts.

So we are back home and he is running around trying to set the house on fire lighting candles.  I had to give him a candle lesson, what a tea candle goes into, what a votive candle goes into, what a Glade oil candle goes into and how to use the Scentsy crocks.  I have never met a man so interested in all that is domestic!
Oh the house smells good from the Amish Sweet Bread that I baked.  It should have been 2 loaves but I was able to stretch it into 3.  The recipe follows!

Amish Sweet Bread

1 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3.5 oz. box vanilla instant pudding
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/4 cup milk

Sugar/Cinnamon Mix
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two loaf pans.

Mix oil and sugar, add eggs and vanilla; beat. In separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, including walnuts. Add dry mix alternately with milk until well blended.

Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon together in small bowl. In two greased loaf pans, sprinkle mix on the sides and bottoms of the pans. Save some to sprinkle on top of loaves.

Pour batter into prepared pans, sprinkle top of loaves with the sugar/cinnamon mix. Optional, sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Bake for one hour or until tested done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. May be served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Freezes well; tightly wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap, then in foil before freezing.

Note: I have read that you can substitute 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce for 1/2 cup of the oil. I have not tried this.

As you can see it looks as wonderful as it tastes and it really is as moist and sweet as the Amish Friendship Bread that begins with starter, but you don't have to deal with all the feedings and mess.  Make this!!!! 
I have stew in the crock pot and it is smelling good!  I bought one of those stew seasoning packets with country beef ribs, cut into bite size pieces.  There are potatoes, onions, peas, celery, carrots and I will add some meaty fresh mushroom slices about an hour before serving.  I thickened it up a bit with flour and water.  I can't wait for a big warm bowl of stew!

This day has gone by so quickly.  It is just about 6pm.  I wish my work weeks flew by as quickly as my weekends.  I think I will go read a bit.  I am on Book 5 of the Left Behind series.  I have read the series 5 or 6 times before but I really enjoy reading them again every couple of years.

I am sending out good thoughts to all of my gentle readers and until I bore you again...stay blessed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dust on the mirror, Royal snoring and other worldly tales

It's quite late for dinner but this Friday, today, was interrupted by a huge nap, a 5 hour nap.  I really don't sleep well every night so on my weekends off I take these lustfully long naps.  I didn't start dinner until 7:30. 

One of my goals before the Professor came into my life was to cook more, bake more and eat out less.  Nothing tastes better then good food out of the oven or hot off the stove.  Professor growing up in a different culture really has been challenging for me.  He doesn't like "white" foods.  All I can say is the best foods are white...mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and on and on.  One of my favorite dishes is hamburger stroganoff and you guessed it, the Caribbean Prince hates it.  He will not eat sea food unless it once was festooned by scales.  Beef upsets his stomach and pork will NOT pass his lips.  What is a wife to do?  I get tired of chicken, I do.  This recipe I wrote down a long time ago in my personal notebook.  Tonight I made it.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

1 1/3 cup water
¾ cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups frozen/fresh vegetables
½ teaspoon onion powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1-10¾ oz cream of chicken soup

Stir soup, water, rice, veggies & onion powder in a 12"x8" shallow baking dish.  Top with chicken. Season chicken as desired.  Cover.  Bake @375° for 45 minutes or until done.  Top with cheese.

Because I am my mother's daughter, I didn't follow the directions exactly.  I used a Mexican Cheese mix that I had in the frig and I mixed it in with the rice.  I used the par-boiled rice we have here at home.  I didn't cover the pan and I think that the chicken breasts were a bit too thick because I baked it an hour.  But it was good, especially the rice and His Royal Self enjoyed the rice too!

The chili I made earlier in the week was pretty good.  I had never used dried kidney beans before, always the canned ones.  Next time I will cook them for about an hour after I have soaked them overnight because the beans were just a little this side of soft, but it gave the chili a nice texture too.  So my fine followers, I am learning the art of cooking.  I am enjoying it even though I don't think my dear husband is the ideal person to appreciate my creations.

This weekend I want to do some baking, sweet breads and cookies and a cake to take to work on Monday to celebrate Bodacious Bev's birthday.

The Professor and I went to Hy-Vee this morning to get a few things for the stew I want to cook in my crock-pot tomorrow.  We ran by Dollar General to get his body wash, NOT SOAP, body wash to use on his very tender, soft and sensitive Royal skin.  We then went to a couple of places to try to find his organic hair dye.  Did you know henna dyes the hair, I didn't.  No we didn't find any.  We just had a discussion about celebrities trying to retain their youthful appearance through modern plastic surgery.  I guess he doesn't draw the parallels between his celebrity (he has 3 fans on this blog) and lets say Michael Jackson!

Okay, I got off track...we stopped at the Thrift Shop and really didn't purchase much, just 2 books.  I did see a couple of different pairs of sandals I would have liked.  Both looked like they had never been worn.  But with $3.00 in my purse I figured I didn't need them like I "needed" the books which are pictured above.
I did get candles some time ago for the black metal candle holder I found for $2.99 at Price Chopper.  I paid more for the candles at Hobby Lobby half price then for the holder but they look nice.   
Yes they look rather pretty without the flash too!  I love farting around with the settings on the Professor's,  my camera!  Oh yes, I have a mirror laying on the top of the entertainment center which really reflects light and shows off my dust nicely!

Nothing on the stitchy front except for enjoying other stitcher's blogs.  My favorite is the Spinster Stitcher blog.  http://spinsterstitcher.blogspot.com/  She has a list of her favorite stitching blogs and I have been working through visiting them.  I encourage you to visit Coni's blog, she is a hoot!

Well fellow blog adventurers, I am going to close for now and go climb into bed with His Royal Highness.  I know you are jealous because I married well, not many get the opportunity to sleep next to a Prince and listen to his Royal snoring each night.  So I will leave all of you with the most sincere hopes that may all your desires come true and may your life be blessed up to your buttons!  God Bless Us Everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saturday Eve at the Choo-choo place

It has been a busy week, more stressful then busy but things are a' changing as the North wind blows in the autumn season. 

There is a big kettle of chili on the burner and a pan full of cornbread that was pulled out of the oven earlier.  The weekend starts on Friday and plans of baking cookies, sweet breads and a crock pot of stew and dumplings are being planned.  Progress has been made on the Happy Room front and the weekend will hopefully bring more progress.  Saturday morning there is a meeting "Moment with the Mayor" and I would like to take that in.

I wanted to share some pictures I took with the camera on Saturday evening as the Professor and I spent time sitting on our favorite bench down by the tracks.  There was a near full Moon and a definite nip in late summer breeze...changes are a' coming!
A brutal fight ensued as the Pro' doesn't like his picture taken. 
I have no idea what this flower is but it reminds me of lavender and it is pretty. 
These flowers were drying up but the color was pretty. 
I love these old fashion styled street lights.  I am fascinated by them and they look beautiful against an evening sky. 
These are cheerfully colored and who can be sad when standing next to them. 
A self portrait of the mean old Professor and his delightfully charming wife. 
I was playing with the setting of the camera and couldn't hold it steady enough to get a nice shot of the moon over the old town business lights. 
I love this picture, the water looks like a bubbly ice sculpture. 
This picture is a little blurry because the cops were trying to pull me off the roof of the train station as I was howling with great gusto at the almost full moon!

Until later stay blessed and content. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday thingies...

Monday I knew that Brother 2 would be over at Mom's with a manly power tool, the chain saw, to remove 2 big branches from my Mother's Red Bud tree.  He needed some extra manly help so the Professor offered to Man Up and assist.  My bread pudding had 5 minutes left in the oven, well planned, don't cha think?

After the 2 branches had been brought down and cut up into smaller pieces, we all sat down to have a piece of this delicious sweet treat!  It got rave reviews.  My girl pal at work, Crazy Cat Lady Carol, had brought this in on one of our weekends to work and it was to die for.  Hers was made with blueberry preserves, I bought cheapie strawberry preserves and it was every bit as good.  Here is the recipe:

2 extra large croissants (I squished 11 little ones into the pan)
½ cup Smuckers Blueberry Preserves (any flavor preserves would be delish)
3 large eggs
1-14oz. can sweetened condensed milk (if you're worried about calories, use non-fat sweetened condensed)
¾ cup water (I used milk)

2 Tablespoonful butter
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
¼ teaspoonful cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350°. Coat a 9" square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 

Cut your croissants lengthwise and spread each half with about 1 Tablespoonful of preserves.  Replace tops and cut into strips.  Place in your prepared baking dish.  Using small spoonfuls, daub remaining preserves on top (I did this last).

Whisk your eggs and then whisking as you add your sweetened condensed milk, water/milk, butter, vanilla and cinnamon until blended,  pour over cut-up croissants.  Press larger pieces down into the liquid and let stand 5 minutes.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until an inserted knife in the center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes.

I made a glaze of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to pour over the pudding while it was still warm.   Oh my, get ready for a party in your mouth!
The Professor has been singing up a storm!  I made a huge pot full of beans and we have been enjoying them for the past couple of days.  Nothing special in them, Great Northern beans, a couple of bouillon cubes, onions, water, salt and then some of these, Morning Star Sausage Crumbles.
These little beauties were discovered when Princess Jujubead made biscuits and gravy a couple of years ago.  She has been on a semi-vegetarian kick for a few years, boycotting beef.  These were wonderful and you couldn't tell they weren't pork.  I find them at Hy-Vee in the Health Food section freezer.  The first ingredient is TVP (textured vegetable protein)...have you heard of that?  I really thought of cardboard when I first heard about "TVP".  This is definitely NOT cardboard.  The Professor will NOT eat pork and beef messes up his system, and he won't eat seafood that didn't once sport scales.  I will have to look into TVP a little more closely because I was astonished at how good it does taste.
Rose was out supervising the Professor yesterday morning as he cut the front yard.  I don't think she did a very good job as she was watching everything BUT the Professor!  Do not, I repeat DO NOT let your dog supervise your husband!  I think it is all a big scam!
April was feeling a little left out, she thinks I take more pictures of Rose then I do of her.  I felt bad because it is true, a Mom tends to take a lot more of her oldest and then fewer with the younger finkles!
I have been working through the black hole, aka "My Happy Room".  It is the room that things went into and never came out of.  One wall when cleared out is where my small kitchen table will go and that is when I can actually sit in there and stitch.  I did find the above piece in there along with the fabric I had bought to finish it into an ornament.  The design is from one of the older Just Cross Stitch Ornament issues. 

I have begun to collect goals for 2012.  You can see the list on the right up near the top.  I am not trying to wish this year away, I AM trying to savor every moment with my beloved Caribbean Prince.  Never in my life have I been so happy and so contented.  The man God sent to me is a wonderful blessing and even though life has it's bumps here and there, I wouldn't want any other life then the one I have.

Until later my darling readers, God Bless Us Everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

No cherries...in the garage...girlish cuties...princely birthday

A landmark occasion!  The car is in the garage after 7 years!  The Professor has the garage cleaned out enough for our car to fit into it.  Just in time too!  Autumn has come a callin' here in the Lilac Thicket.  The air conditioning did not turn on at all yesterday..oh yes, we have a new air conditioner AND furnace!  I was so excited to be able to back in and pop the trunk and unload the food right into the kitchen.  No nosey Ned's got to see me tote in 256 plastic bags with groceries or grunt and groan and sweat as I lug a 40 pound bag of dog food in.  Well the Professor lugs in the dog food now. 
Saturday afternoon the Professor and I relaxed.  I napped and the Professor read.  I fixed fried rice which was pretty darn good.  Professor ate 2 huge plate fulls and played food critic only once in suggesting I should have used white rice rather then the yellow par-boiled. 
Sunday was the first birthday he and me have spent together.  My dear Professor was 48 years old yesterday.  I baked his favorite cake, pineapple upside down, minus the cherries (he ate them all ignorant of the fact they were for his cake, but then he didn't ask first). 
My Mom came over and celebrated with us.  Of course her favorite Caribbean Prince son in law made out like a bandit with all the presents she got for him. 
Here is a lovely shot of the cake, the cherries sure would have made a prettier picture.

Last night I make a pretty good pizza with one of those pre-baked pizza crusts.  His Majesty ate half of it, I swear he is a bottomless pit. 

The following pictures of are some girlishly cute things I found on the 'net!


Since it has been a week since I regaled my gentle readers with I wanted to just throw a missive out here in the blogesphere so you don't think I have forgotten you!  I am off work for several days so I am sure I will have more riveting tales for my pretties.  Until then God Bless Us Everyone!