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Saturday, December 31, 2022

And So The Year Ends

I was busy doing other things the past two weeks so I did not get around to posting my joys list, even though I did keep up with the daily joys.Though I did not share them on the blog they are written for me to re-read as I will re-read the list of my joys for the year on New Year's Eve. So this is the last list of my daily joys I will be sharing for 2022, the year that disappeared more quickly than any year I have ever experienced. I guess that is what age is all about__bummer!




Saturday: We had nearly everything ready for Christmas morning so, naturally we decided Christmas Eve morning was the perfect time to go to a little coffee shop near us, sit and have a leisurely breakfast and people watch.
Once we got home I did a little advance food prep for Sunday's brunch, got the dining room table set and ready for the next morning, did a little last minute run through tidying the house (TheHub is the vacuum master__thanks) then hopped in the bed to wait for Santa.

Sunday: Obviously the huge joy was gathering with Son2, DIL2, My beloved Sister, BIL and TheHub for gift swapping, laughing, and brunch . . . followed by football and naps (but mostly naps).

Monday: TheHub's sister came to visit us. It is always so nice to have her here. We visited then had Son2 and DIL2 join us for dinner. Laughs and more laughs happened.

Tuesday: SIL was here but had made plans to go visit with other family members, so I had the day mostly to myself. Once she returned we met some other of their cousins for dinner at Season's 52. The restaurant was not crowded at all so we were able to linger over dinner and have a lot of conversations and laughs.

Wednesday: SIL had made plans during the day to meet some of her high school friends, so again, I had the day to myself. I started taking down some of the Christmas stuff, replacing it with New Year's decorations (very few decorations). After dinner we rode around and looked at some seriously cool Christmas lights in one particular neighborhood.

Thursday: SIL went to visit a couple of longtime friends while I ran errands, and a few more errands. My car had been in the body shop since December 5 and I was in an ill humor driving the rental while doing errands. My left knee pops out of joint easily (which makes me say seriously foul things) and the stupid rental car was not knee friendly. It did not make my knee happy to be hopping in and out of that particular car, but I did make sure to park several cars away from anyone else so that when I did get out of the car they would not hear whatever I was saying under my breath. 
Tameron Honda in Hoover, you are on my hit (did I just misspell that word?) list.
TheHub came home early so we could get our yearly contributions decided, done, and in the mail before we met Son2 and DIL 2 at The Electric for dinner.

Friday: SIL left early in the morning and I began tackling all the laundry. I do not ever start a New Year with dirties. Fresh year, fresh clothes, bedding, and. linens. I think I have a load of towels and, of course, our bed linens left for Saturday, before we get ready for our big NYE celebration. 
My biggest joy, is after a few days of calling the Honda body shop, I finally got my car back. All is right with my transportation world and my left knee is ecstatic.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve, continuing on through the rest of 2023 filled with joys!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,
Anne


Monday, December 26, 2022

On to the Next Adventure

This is the last meal plan of the year. I guess it will be interesting to see how closely I follow this last chance at actually sticking to a plan. I am including two dinners out this week. My sister in law is here and we are going to try and meet my brother in law and his wife, and also one of the favorite cousins two different nights for meals.



What was planned:
Monday:Restaurant dinner party. 
Tuesday: Grab leftovers from the fridge.
1. Soup, shaved brussels sprouts salad
2. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
3. Potato soup, shaved fennel and apple salad
Christmas Eve: Take out Chinese food (we have done this for decades)
Christmas Day: Our big meal is brunch. Breakfast casserole, ham, cheese grits, asparagus, green bean casserole, orange spinach salad, assorted candies , cookies 

What really happened:
Monday: Outstanding party meal  at Gianmarcos, an Italian restaurant in Homewood.
Tuesday: Leftover (from dinner party)  snapper over sautĂŠed cabbage and white beans with conecuh sausage bits.  It was as good warmed as it was the night before at the restaurant.
Wednesday: Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
Thursday: Potato soup, shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon tarragon dressing
Friday: Spaghetti sauce from the freezer over bucatini noodles, tossed salad
Saturday: Chinese take out. We split an order of Mongolian beef and each had a spring roll.
Sunday: The main event. Breakfast casserole, bourbon brown sugar meatballs, green bean casserole, broccoli, mushroom roll-ups*, sausage balls, assorted cookies and candies.

What's up (maybe) for this week:
1. Brunch leftovers
2. Soup and salad
3. Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
4. Taco soup, salad
5. Out to eat
6, Out to eat
7. Traditional New Year’s Day meal (Ham, black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread) 

Have a great week staying on plan,  going off plan, or with no plan at all.

*I followed the directions mostly but altered the mushroom filling using parsley, thyme, white wine, garlic and minced onions.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Friday, December 23, 2022

Because I Live In Alabama

This has become a song I share every year at Christmas. I figure since the south (Alabama in particular) has the reputation of being in-bred rednecks I might as well continue to perpetuate that myth.

Enjoy


 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

This Makes Blogging Worthwhile




They were exciting to receive, so I thought I would share the Christmas Cards I received from fellow bloggers or blog readers.

                    From Lorraine at Clamco (beach card) and Linda at More Parsimony (giraffes)

These are from 2 blog readers Darlene  (arched card) and Meg B (plaid with trees) and another from Linda at More Parsimony


From Treaders at Random Thoughts (angel) And Bobi (candy canes).I think she is a reader but if I am wrong please correct me Bobi.
Sam at  Coffee, money and Thyme (VW bus) and last, but never least Sluggy (cursing Santa)



In addition to the cards I got this beautifully painted rock from Lorraine. I had already taken it out of its package and have it in my kitchen window so I can see it each time I am in the kitchen. Thank you so much Lorraine. After the shortest daylight of the year here it is nice to look up while I am cooking and see the promise of what is coming in a few months.
 
In a mere 11 months I hope to continue this card swap with my little corner of the blogging world, and those of us who have marveled at how fast this past year has gone will understand Blogger Card Swap year 5 will be here before we all turn around.

Stay safe, and if you live in North America, stay warm and stay inside!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Food For Christmas Week

I am so late with this, but I have been celebrating the season and lost track of the time. I am not sure there is any point to planning a menu this week since it will most likely be anything but what I plan, but here goes nothing.




What was planned for last week (I had no idea I was going to feel so bad when I planned it)
1. Conecuh sausage, cabbage, potato one dish meal
2. Soup (possibly potato soup ) salad
3. Leftover seafood pot pie (TheHub over ordered Saturday night) salad
4. Chicken and dumplings, shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon tarragon dressing 
5. Christmas party Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (all three are dinner parties)

What really happened:
Monday: Soup and hot tea
Tuesday: Soup and hot tea
Wednesday: Conecuh sausage, cabbage, potato one pan dish
Thursday: Take out Thai
Friday Christmas Dinner with cousin
Saturday: Christmas party with amazing food
Sunday: Christmas dinner party

What's up for the week of Christmas
Monday: Christmas dinner party (Already happened and it was outstanding)
Tuesday: TheHub has to go to an office party. About to grab whatever is leftover in the fridge.
1. Soup, shaved brussels sprouts salad
2. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
3. Potato soup, shaved fennel and apple salad
Christmas Eve: Take out Chinese food (we have done this for decades)
Christmas Day: Our big meal is brunch. Breakfast casserole, ham, cheese grits, asparagus, green bean casserole, orange spinach salad, assorted candies , cookies 

Whatever happens will happen and it will all be fine.
Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.



Sunday, December 18, 2022

As the year comes to a close, the year's joys are almost over. It will be a lot of fun to read them NYE just to see all the good things that happened during the year. So I begin the last three weeks of 2022 joy posts. That year went fast didn't it!
This new week will be one of intense merriment and anticipation. Can you believe Christmas is almost here? My next joy list SHOULD be on Christmas Eve morning. Fingers crossed it will happen!




Saturday: We went out to eat with Son2, DIL2, and TGS, followed by a ride to see Christmas lights, including the biggest most over the top display I have ever seen. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a pac man light display hung over a manger. There is no way I could even begin to describe all the different vignettes in the yard. We will just say there are elves, fairies, reindeer, multiple Santas, sleighs, lights o'plenty, carolers, and anything remotely Christmasy you could imagine all over the yard.

Sunday: We went church for 3rd Sunday of Advent, appropriately the Joy Sunday. Afterward TheHub and I were going to go out to eat, but decided to just run by Publix and pick up some deli meats and cheese for sandwiches. I did not feel great so we did nothing the rest of the day but drink tea, eat soup and watch movies.

Monday: I felt rotten.  I did get masked up and ran to the post office and to The Pig to get their free items, but then I came home and was worn out, so I sat in the rocker and rocked and read. TheHub had a work party and I was supposed to go but I stayed home, ate soup and rested.

Tuesday: I felt like I had been hit by a truck,  and did nothing all day but drink hot tea and take OTC meds. The joy is that is was not covid, flu or strep which are going around here like mad.

Wednesday: After some heavy Tuesday nighttime drugging, I woke feeling like a different human. Good thing too because my cousin K was arriving Thursday to spend a couple of days here. It gave me one day to get things in order. I started it, but did not finish. Instead I watched the finale of Survivor.

Thursday: K arrived in the early evening which did give me time to get the sheets washed and put back on the bed. We had dinner here and I am not saying anyone overindulged, but 2 bottles of red disappeared while we were eating and talking. (And laughing, lots of laughing)

Friday: K and I made a trek across town to deliver an antique rocker she had brought with her from Texas to another cousin's house. That cousin S has been in the hospital for 20 days, mostly in ICU. She was being released to a private room so we went to the hospital and waited, and waited, and waited and finally got to see her at about 6:15. Hospitals evidently move on hospital time, which is different than the time the rest of us keep. 
Anyway we did get to visit with her for a bit then went straight to the restaurant to meet whoever from the family wanted to see K. Turned out only My Beloved Sister, TheHub and I were there with her. The rest of the cousins had strep, mono, or unexpected grandkid things. Didn't matter we still had fun. And the supreme joy was those with strep, mono or flu did NOT come even though they wanted to.

Have a wonderful week, getting all the odds and ends tied up so we can all have a wonderful holiday.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,
Anne


Monday, December 12, 2022

A Food Reformation Movement

Just when you think you have all the leftovers done and gone a few creatures rear their ugly heads. Sunday when Son3 and DILl3 were still here, they and their friend wanted Publix fried chicken for lunch. We bought one of the large family packs, but only the three of them ate it so there was quite a bit left over.
I left it in the fridge until everyone left Monday evening, then pulled all the batter off the chicken pieces, removed the chicken from the bone, and stuck it on the freezer.  I also found one sweet potato that had not been cooked,  along with a raw  crown of broccoli that  in the crisper drawer. 
Add that to the small bag of sliced ham I stuck in the freezer, and I wound up with the beginnings for 3 unplanned meals.

I am not even going to bother posting what was planned since I don't think we had a single planned meal. Nothing to do but let what had to happen happen!
 


Monday night: Ham slices, potato salad, shredded Brussels sprouts with basil lemon dressing (leftover from a few nights ago), almond Kringle (Thanks Trader Joe's*)

Tuesday: Chicken divan (used the leftover fried chicken and leftover broccoli crown) dinner rolls

Wednesday: Sweet potato soup, mixed greens, and cheese toast

Thursday: Out to eat at a local meat and 3. TheHub had chopped steak and veggies, I had a veggie plate.

Friday: Grabbed food  from Culvers,  fish sandwiches

Saturday: TheHub and I met Son2, DIL2 and TGS at a restaurant. No idea what they all had but I had crab chowder and a side salad.

Sunday: Neither of us felt well so it was a chicken noodle soup kind of a night

Ideas for this week
1. Conecuh sausage, cabbage, potato one dish meal
2. Soup (possibly potato soup ) salad
3. Leftover seafood pot pie (TheHub over ordered Saturday night) salad
4. Chicken and dumplings, shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon tarragon dressing 
5. Christmas party Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (all three are dinner parties)

* If you have a Trader Joe's near you go and get one or two of these. They not only are delicious but they freeze very well. They are a little pricy, but so good that I think they are worth it.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Are Leftovers "Used" Food?

With all the Thanksgiving and holiday guest foods left over, the only thing I had to do this week was warm stuff in the microwave. Now we can move on to regular meals. Whoopee!  Surely something will sound good at some point this week, except that I am totally uninspired.



What was planned for the past week;
Hamburger 
Stuffed baked potato
Out to eat
More leftovers
Leftovers
Leftovers

What really happened
Monday: Hamburger, iced tea
Tuesday: Leftover ziti, leftover tossed salad
Wednesday: Leftover bourbon glazed meatballs over rotini, leftover (kind of sad looking) tossed salad
Thursday: Leftover chicken pot pie, arugula salad with lemon basil dressing (finally something that was not leftover)
Friday: Out to eat at The Electric. El Paso salad for me, flatbreads for TheHub
Saturday: Tomato soup and oyster crackers (We were not hungry)
Sunday: Tossed salad, crackers and cheese (Again, we were not hungry)

What might happen
1. Stuffed baked potato
2. Grilled cheese sandwich, soup
3. Grilled tuna steaks, tossed salad
4. Stuffed bell pepper, coleslaw, green beans
5. Out to eat
6. Salad dinner
7. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
8. Some sort of quiche because I just found one of those crappy pie crusts (according to Kim) in the fridge


Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time is marching

 Oh me oh my, week 48 is gone and I barely (by one minute) got this posted on Saturday. Now begins week 49. The past week is like the others for 2022 and seems like it was over before it even began. Even as fast as it flew it still had joys, large and small. Does it seem like the year should be over this quickly? 




Saturday: Everyone but me went to the Alabama/Auburn ball game. I stayed at home doing some serious cleaning and cooking.  They arrived home for a late chili dinner. 8 of us total. There was a lot of laughter and post game talk.

Sunday: We messed around the house. Son3 did all of their laundry so they could take clean clothes back home with them which was smart since their apartment has washing options neither in the actual apartment nor on the premises. There is a laundromat down the block, but I am glad they arrived home with no dirty clothes.
Son2 DIL2 and TGS came over for turkey pot pie, a little music, a lot of laughs, and very little serious conversation.

Monday: I had to get up relatively early to get Son3 and DIL3 to the airport for their flight home. Their friend had a later flight so he and I talked for a while, went out to grab some lunch (It seems Chick-Fil-A is a destination  meal if it is hard to find in your neck of the woods.) TheHub came home in time to ride with me to take him to the airport. We stopped and picked up a burger on our way home, came home, ate and crashed.

Tuesday: I did not have to get up to cook breakfast or speak to anyone, so I slept until I woke without an alarm, read and started on a mountain of laundry. I love guests but hate all the washing that comes afterward. One of the special joys was that Son3 had gathered all the towels and brought them downstairs before they left. Every little bit of help is much appreciated.

Wednesday: I was supposed to go to class, but was a day off and thought is was Tuesday until it was too late to go. Oh well. Instead I did a little cleaning (very little) and a boatload of reading.

Thursday: DIL1 had asked me if I could find a photo of the bridge over the creek in my parents back yard. My sister, dad, and I lugged cross ties for the structure as well as boards to build the actual footbridge down to the creek when we were teens. We had a lot of sweat equity in that thing and it lasted for over thirty years until one too may floods washed it away.
My older sons loved playing on it and they talk about it all the time. DIl1 is planning on using one of the photos as part of her Christmas gift to Son1.
Long story even longer, the best photos we could find were old 35mm slides. Hmmm, they needed to be in digital form, so my beloved sister and I found a place in town that does digital conversions of every type of film. She went with me and 75 bucks later I had 5 (yes, count them, just 5) photos digitized in a high resolution so DIL1 can have them printed however she wants. Maybe I should count that as one of her Christmas presents from me?
After we left the Image Hive we went exploring, then out to lunch. It was a beautiful fall day with one of my favorite people.

Friday: Errands__I had 'em and did 'em. It was not fun but they are done. Yippee!
I talked with Sluggy just to check on her since she has not been feeling well. To be honest she did not sound great, but with meds and rest she should be good to go when it comes time for the cruise.
TheHub called and wanted to go out to eat. I never say no to that!

Have a great 49th week, finding your joys.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne

p.s. I have been reading your blogs at night in bed and can't comment from the Kindle fire.


Monday, November 28, 2022

I AM STUFFED

We had houseguests along with a holiday and it really did require planning along with a lot of cooking. I think this might be the first time I have ever stayed on plan with just a few minor tweaks to the menu. So that, and a buck .52 will buy me a medium coffee and McD's.

This song is horrible but so appropriate

Planned
1. Taco soup
2. BBQ, baked beans, coleslaw, tossed salad
3.Out to eat
4. We are doing the extended family pot luck Thanksgiving so our big meal will be at lunch, with leftovers for dinner. I am cooking a small turkey to pad those leftovers.
5. Ziti, tossed salad, breadsticks
6. Chili, cornbread, coleslaw
7. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw

What we ate
Monday: Taco soup
Tuesday: BBQ, coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw
Wednesday: Out to eat
Thursday: Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings X2
Friday:  Ziti, tossed salad, breadsticks, tossed salad
Saturday: Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
Sunday: Turkey pot pie, tossed salad

What's up? This is the I hate being stuffed menu so let's get rid of all this now!
Lots and lots of leftovers*, either from the fridge or freezer
Hamburger (I am graving one)
Stuffed baked potato
Out to eat
More leftovers
Leftovers
Leftovers

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all.

* potato lentil soup, ham, ziti, pot pie, potato salad, tossed salad,

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Turkey Time

We are now finished with the 47th week of the year and counting down just 5 more weeks. I can't believe how quickly this year (and week) passed. We had some exceptional moments, some sad ones and some that were just downright celebratory. Plus we had turkey, lots and lots of turkey!


Saturday: We went  to TheHub's cousin's funeral. She was a drop dead gorgeous woman who was as beautiful inside as she was outside. The service was a celebration of her life and was perfect for such a lovely soul.
After we left we were caught in ball game traffic and a trip that would have normally been a little under an hour's drive turned into a two hour cruise. We had not eaten and went to one of our favorite restaurants to grab a quick, but delicious meal. It did not hurt that we brought home enough for another entire meal.

Sunday: For the first time post quarantine we actually went to church then out to eat. Prior to the lockdown we grabbed a simple meal out nearly every Sunday afterward. It was a true joy to experience what used to be our normal Sunday again .

Monday: I was getting ready for Dil3 and Son3. I did not want to be tied to the kitchen so I baked__a lot,. I really do like to bake so it was a fun flour, sugar and butter filled day,

Tuesday:: They arrived!!! Son2 and DIL2 also came over to eat with us then after the meal they all gathered in the living room for some pickin' and grinnin'. OK it might have been more playing and singing but it was wonderful to listen to as I cleaned the kitchen.

Wednesday: This was the official getting everything ready for Thanksgiving Day. Cakes were baked, dressing (baked cornbread stuffing for those who have no idea what a proper Thanksgiving meal requires) was started, followed by a dinner and some conversation.

Thursday: The Big Feast came. We went to my cousins house and had Thanksgiving with 38 of my other relatives. It was wonderful to get to see everyone. We got home in the late afternoon and I began working on T'giving meal part 2. Dil3's and Son3's friend arrived in the early evening then Son2, DIL2, and TGS joined us for the second round of turkey and sides.

Friday: We were all almost miserable from eating, but still managed to have turkey and/or hm sandwiches. Son3 and his friend L went to a local bar to watch the soccer match, while DIL3 stayed here and did some work. 
After the game and everyone had gathered again, we had dinner then had a few rousing games of Mexican Train dominos. We are all a tad competitive so it became a game of not only trying to win, but also trying to foil everyone else's game pan.  It was fun!

I hope you all look for and find your joys for the week. They are always out there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne

Thursday, November 24, 2022

                  Happy Thanksgiving, All Y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Last Call!

It's That Time of Year


It is that time of year to sign up for the Blogger card swap. The rules are simple, send cards to three different bloggers and receive cards from three others.

If you would like to participate please send me your name and address to the following email:

haljam27@gmail.com

I need to have your info by American Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) so I can give everyone their list to send. We have international participants and we need to get our cards to them in the mail early.

(Nothing will be shared publicly. I will compile the list and send emails to each individual participant. If you want to share your blog name that is fine and if you choose a little anonymity that is fine also. If you don't blog and are just a reader that is great also.)

Come on and join in the fun. The more the merrier!

Anne

Monday, November 21, 2022

Plans Went Askew

Meals are planned and sometimes the plan happens and sometimes it doesn't .  It does not really bother me either way. This week? Well things changed on a dime.



What was planned:
Monday: Hamburger from Jack's
Tuesday: Parkinson's Fundraiser meal at Ovenbird
The rest of the plan is in no particular order
3. Stuffed baked potatoes, mixed greens salad
4. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
5. Cottage pie, Brussels sprouts, tossed salad
6. Potato lentil soup, coleslaw
7. Sausage and cabbage

What we really ate:
Monday: We arrived back in town early Monday and after the overnight flight nI was just not feeling like cooking,
Hamburger from Jacks

Tuesday: We went to a Parkinson's fundraiser meal at Ovenbird. It was not your typical banquet meal.
Empanadas, paella, arugula salad, roast chicken on a bed of white butterbeans, bread pudding

Wednesday: Finally this got made.
Chicken pot pie, mixed greens salad

Thursday: Neither of us were particularly hungry and I am trying to limit food waste.
Gathering the remnants type of night. I only had enough of each for one person. Broccoli cheese soup from the freezer (TheHub) leftover chicken pot pie (me)

Friday:It was a very cold (at least very cold to us) night and was the perfect night to stay home and watch a movie after dinner.
Potato lentil soup

Saturdays: We had to go to a funeral in Tuscaloosa. Normally it would not have been a big deal, but it ended a few minutes after The Alabama ballgame. We were caught up in the game traffic and it took us what seemed like forever to get home. Neither of us had eaten breakfast or lunch and had planned on stopping somewhere close, after the service was over. The traffic and the fact that every food place was bombed with hungry after game patrons convinced us otherwise. Instead we just drove (I use the term loosely) back to Birmingham. We had one planned errand to do before the store closed. After we did that we went to a small out of the way Mediterranean place near the shop. I guess we had a combo breakfast lunch supper at about 4:45.
Kafta kabob or grilled amberjack, rice, salad, roasted cauliflower with garlic sauce

Sunday: The meal Saturday had so much food we brought home a lot of it.
Saturday's leftovers

What's up next?
Son3, DIL3, and one of their friends are coming for the holiday. I actually have made plans that we will most likely stick to pretty closely. I guess we will see!
1. Taco soup
2. BBQ, baked beans, coleslaw, tossed salad
3.Out to eat
4. We are doing the extended family pot luck Thanksgiving so our big meal will be at lunch, with leftovers for dinner. I am cooking a small turkey to pad those leftovers.
5. Ziti, tossed salad, breadsticks
6. Chili, cornbread, coleslaw
7. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Joys and a Tear or Two

(Oops. we had a busy day and I just now am getting around to posting this)

Son1 and DIL1 asked us a while back if we could come to Portland to keep Pip while they had a weekend getaway. Of course we said yes! When we get a chance to see Pip we are above and beyond excited. Our aim is to let her have as much fun as possible, so when we are not with her she can remember the good times. I would hate for her to grow up and forget about us. We try to do things she like to do, including staying with her at a hotel instead of her house, so she get a vacation too.



Saturday: We were with Pip which is enough joy. Her good friend came to the hotel to swim with her. When they finished swimming, they went to our room to have pizza and play some more before S's mom came back to pick her up. 
After her friend left we did some Christmas crafts, then we watched a Disney zombie show. I had no idea zombies are not only good, but they are also excellent cheerleaders.
Pip was tired so we did nothing the rest of the night, but doing nothing while being with her is bliss.

Sunday: We woke and went to breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Portland had a big anime convention going on and we were able to see all kinds of costumes. I am impressed at the lengths some of the attendees  go to with their costumes. People watching took on a whole new meaning!
We went to Son1's house and Pip and I did more Christmas crafts while we waited for her parents
DIL1 and Son1 came home and we visited with them until about 3 1/2 hours before our flight home. (Insert a little sadness here)
 After gassing up the rental car and turning it back in we arrived at the airport check in just in time to witness a little disturbance. It seems an extremely inebriated guy was refused his flight, an he just was not having it.
I have to give kudos to the airport security who handled it very well, called the guy a cab and got him out of the airport over his loud protests. 
Red eye flights are not fun for those of us who cannot sleep on a plane!

Monday: We got back into town a little after 8 am, showered, started doing laundry (TheHub went to work) and began another routine day. Nothing much happened, I was very tired and after a very brief nap managed to stay awake until fairly late. My aim was to maintain my regular sleep pattern.

Tuesday: I did sleep later in the morning than I usually do, but I was up by 9 and ready to go. The day was pretty uneventful until the evening. We knew we were going to a Parkinson's event and to be honest I was dreading it, but the evening turned out to be a lot of fun. A bonus was that we did get one of the auction items we wanted. 

Wednesday: I went to my regular Wednesday class, then did a little cherry picking. 

Thursday: My Beloved Sister and I finally got to meet our mutual friend C for lunch. She lost both her husband and more recently her mom and has been a bit of a hermit lately. It was wonderful to see her and most of all to see her laugh.

Friday: It was cold and I baked a few different kinds of cookies. Enough said! As a bonus I got our winter bedding out, and replaced the sheets with Christmas ones. It is a little early but I was going to change the sheets anyway so why not go ahead and make it look a little festive?

Look for your joys, however small. They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne




Monday, November 14, 2022

To Eat Or Not To Eat

 We left Portland at 11:30 pm Sunday night and got back to Birmingham at 8:15 Monday morning. I know normal people can sleep on the plane but obviously I am not normal. Red -eye flights and I are not the best of friends. I turn my I-Pad on to night mode and read while everyone around me sleeps. It kind of sets the tone for difficult day when I get back to the house.



 As soon as we got home I unpacked, washed our trip clothes, did a few chores, then sat in the den  recliner and promptly fell asleep for about an hour. I normally do not take a nap, but I was bleary eyed, so I set the alarm for a short one, then kind of wandered through the rest of the day with a foggy brain.
I honestly did not think of planning our meals for the week until late Monday night, when I sat at the table with a cup of hot chocolate to read blogs.

I am not posting what we had for the week. There was a lot of eating out. In fact every meal from Wednesday night through Monday night was either at a restaurant or take out. (I will include our Monday night meal in the plan even though it has already happened. 

What is planned for this week:
Monday: Hamburger from Jack's
Tuesday: Parkinson's Fundraiser meal at Ovenbird
The rest of the plan is in no particular order
3. Stuffed baked potatoes, mixed greens salad
4. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
5. Cottage pie, Brussels sprouts, tossed salad
6. Potato lentil soup, coleslaw
7. Sausage and cabbage

This may or may not happen, but right now it is my intention to have this for our meals. Who knows?

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all!




It is that time of year to sign up for the Blogger card swap. The rules are simple, send cards to three different bloggers and receive cards from three others.

If you would like to participate please send me your name and address to the following email:

haljam27@gmail.com

I need to have your info by American Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) so I can give everyone their list to send. We have international participants and we need to get our cards to them in the mail early.

(Nothing will be shared publicly. I will compile the list and send emails to each individual participant. If you want to share your blog name that is fine and if you choose a little anonymity that is fine also. If you don't blog and are just a reader that is great also.)

Come on and join in the fun. The more the merrier!



Tuesday, November 8, 2022

It's That Time of Year


It is that time of year to sign up for the Blogger card swap. The rules are simple, send cards to three different bloggers and receive cards from three others.

If you would like to participate please send me your name and address to the following email:

haljam27@gmail.com

I need to have your info by American Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) so I can give everyone their list to send. We have international participants and we need to get our cards to them in the mail early.

(Nothing will be shared publicly. I will compile the list and send emails to each individual participant. If you want to share your blog name that is fine and if you choose a little anonymity that is fine also. If you don't blog and are just a reader that is great also.)

Come on and join in the fun. The more the merrier!

Anne

Monday, November 7, 2022

Busted

This was one of those weeks when I wonder why I even bothered to plan anything. I went off the rails nearly the entire week . Oh well, at least I am pretty consistent. 



 What was planned:
1 hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw, chips (Our traditional Halloween dinner)
2 lentil soup, cornbread
3 broccoli cheese stuffed baked potato
4 chicken pot pie, tossed salad
5 out to eat
6 Broccoli stuffed chicken breast, salad or coleslaw
7.Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad

What we really ate:
Monday: Being Halloween and all, we had our very traditional Halloween meal
Hot Dogs, slaw, baked beans

Tuesday: We had some things we needed to discuss, so after going to Costco for a few items (Including one impulse buy on my part) we rode a few blocks to The Pita Cafe. It is rarely crowded so it is a great place to sit, eat, and talk things over. (And no, it was not about TheHub retiring, nor was it about my impulse spending.)
Camel racer sandwiches, tabouli 

Wednesday:  Neither of us were particularly hungry, I had leftover broccoli and queso in the fridge and a boatload of potatoes on the counter. Dinner planned itself.
Baked potatoes with broccoli, mushrooms and cheese, cheese biscuits from Jim and Nicks

Thursday: I forgot TheHub had a dinner meeting and I am not crazy enough to cook just for me.
Tossed salad, toast

Friday: TheHub wanted to go out for dinner again. It was bribery to get me to go clothes shopping with him. I sold my soul for dinner!
Flatbreads from The Electric

Saturday: In the afternoon I was very industrious and made a huge pan of meal sauce for spaghetti, but by the time we were ready to eat neither of us really wanted it. Instead I punted.
Brown buttered spaghetti, mixed greens

Sunday: TheHub and I were talking about going out to eat after church and realized it had been over two years since we had last done it. It was time to change that. Since we had a large meal it became pour main meal for the day. 
Pork chop, coleslaw, okra (me)  or Catfish, mashed potatoes, okra (TheHub) and a shared peanut butter pie. This is the first time in over two years we have eaten inside Fried Green Tomatoes, but we have done a lot of takeout from there.

What's up for this week?
We will only be here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We are leaving Thursday at dark 0:30 in the morning headed for Portland.
Monday: Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
Tuesday: Whatever is in the fridge that need to be eaten
Wednesday: Whatever is in the fridge that needs to be eaten
Thursday-Sunday: Whatever we decide to do. We are keeping Pip while Son1 and DIL1 go out of town. 

We have a red-eye flight out of Portland around midnight and will be back in Birmingham Monday morning. It is a whirlwind trip and I am not happy about it being so short, but . . .

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Finding Joys

Once again I am listing the joys I had this week. No matter how you slice it some weeks are just better than others. This week was filled with sunny warm days, the leaves are turning beautiful colors, I got to do some things I love to do, and it is still warm enough to wear flip flops! 
And now it is officially holiday season. I have started playing Christmas music, watching (actually listening to as I do chores) an occasional Hallmark movie, and even had a couple of cups of hot spiced tea at night. The thermometer might say 80 degrees but my mind says holidays are here.



Saturday: We did our usual running around in the morning then decided to do something a bit different. Alabama had no football game so we decided to have lunch at a wings joint/ sports bar and have fun watching fans of other teams enjoy the games. I think they had 7 games on multiple tv’s. It is fun to clap and cheer along with the crowd when you have no dog in the hunt. And trust me, they were cheering just like they were in the stadium watching the games.
Later in the day Son2, DIL2, and TGS came by our house. They had been in the our area of town watching DIL2’s niece in her school play. I always love seeing them, but wish I had known. I would have loved seeing L.in her role as Morticia.

Sunday:  Woo hoo! The Broadway series began this week We have had tickets for years and have slowly gotten better and better seats. I was not very excited when I saw Anastasia was scheduled for this year and debated not renewing. After a bit of thought we realized it was just one show in the season and by not renewing we would lose our seats.  I went ahead and re-upped our tickets.
We both had low expectations. My Beloved Sister  AKA St (Insert her real first name here) Patron Saint of the Perpetually Underwhelmed and Disgruntled, had changed her theater date and now sees the shows the day they opened.  She had told me it was just so-so, and like an idiot I trusted her judgement.
She was wrong! It was visually stunning with incredible sets and costuming. The talent was also wonderful. Note to self: Don't listen to St. (Insert her real first name here). Leave your doubts behind and just enjoy the experience. 

Monday: Halloween was near perfect here. It was warm enough that all the little fairies and princesses were able to have their shoulders bare without getting cold, but temperate enough that none of the bulky super heroes broke a sweat.
I got the following message from my neighbor: "Glad you are safe tonight." Then she sent the following cartoon.

Who says it doesn't pay to be known throughout the neighborhood as "The Big Candy Bar Lady".

Tuesday: The Halloween decorations came down and a few (very few) Day of the Dead decorations went up.
My Beloved Sister came over so we could do a little business, laugh, drink coffee, and of course eat chocolate.
After TheHub came home from work we went to Costco. 6:00 on a Tuesday evening is just about the perfect time to get there. The store was not too crowded, and we did not have to wait in line for self checking. I did buy one impulse item that I absolutely could (and could not) live without. I guess we will see if what my mind thinks it will look like and reality intersect. Fingers crossed it will.
Once we finished our monkey business at Costco we drove to the Pita Cafe for a Camel Racer, tabouli, and tea. I like going to locally owned small places.

Wednesday: I woke early and was out of the house quickly. I had several errands that needed to be done before my class. Success! After getting everything completed I was  still about 15 minutes early. A "new to the group" woman was there and we spent the time getting to know each other better. 
We had only about half of the participants there this week, but we still had some lively discussions, plus is is great to be back in the routine of going regularly. 
After the class was over I still had a few errands to do before heading home. Don't you love it when you find what you were looking for at the first place you stop. 
My cousin had called while I was at the beach and I had not returned her call, so I called her while I was on my way home.  (To be honest I forgot about her call.) 
I was so engrossed in our conversation* I missed the turn toward my neighborhood and decided it was the Universe's way of telling me I really needed to go to Jim and Nick's and pick up a BBQ sandwich for lunch and buy 4 of their cheese biscuits for dinner. 

Thursday: I was so excited because I was able to volunteer at Independence Place. In addition to painting  an elephant and an elephant skull and bones for the elephant graveyard, I was able to see some of the rehearsal scenes for The Lion King. I am always my happiest when I am there.
When I got home I did a few odd jobs, talked with another cousin, then settled in to watch more episodes of "A Friend of the Family". Disturbing is an understatement.

Friday: Is there joy in doing laundry other than getting it done? Evidently I had let it go for quite a while since I had 3 full loads of nothing but towels, not to mention all the clothes that needed a little TLC. I have no excuse other than I just didn't do it. But I got it done, folded and put away or hung in the closet. I only iron on demand, so things hang wrinkled until I am going to wear them, then I run and press them quickly. Another laundry related joy is that I have a laundry room large enough that my ironing board can stay up 24/7.
TheHub called to see if I wanted to go out for dinner. Sure! But then I got Shanghaied. After dinner he wanted to go shopping for clothes. As I have said before__I hate shopping. When I need something I go to buy, not to look, mull over and leave to think about it. I spent some unpleasant time waiting while he tried on clothes so I could tell him if they looked good or not. He is a guy. He wears pants ( khaki, navy or black). They either fit or they don't. Guy pants look like every other pair of guy pants and do not need outside approval for purchase.
I did strong arm him and told him to go ahead and purchase the things he liked rather than to leave, think about them, then go back tomorrow to buy. (Self preservation on my part. There is no way in Hell I could go to a department store two days in a row)

Look for your joys for the week. They are always out there, even if you have to hunt for them.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,
Anne



*I may have taken a few liberties claiming I missed my turn by being engrossed in the phone conversation. I was craving BBQ, mentally debating between going to Full Moon or Jim and Nick's. I knew if I went to Full Moon I would cave and buy 3 of their absolutely delicious Half Moon cookies (see below)  and would eat them all. Jim and Nicks won by cookie default!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Ridin' This Horse One More Day

Since I posted yesterday about the wrongs of adding sugar to cornbread, I thought I should share an honest  cornbread recipe the way God intended for it to be eaten.


 Cornbread: The real thing

Preheat oven to 400

2 cups self rising cornmeal mix (Strongly suggest Martha White because it contains no flour or sugar)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter, oil, or bacon grease (I use butter for this part)
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* (You can use regular milk but it will take less)
Additional oil or bacon grease to coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet

Mix all the ingredients together, by hand (preferably using a wooden spoon because that is just the way you make cornbread).
Put bacon grease (or oil ,but I have no idea why anyone would use oil when you can have that heavenly bacony flavor) in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop burner. Get that stuff sizzling hot. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and listen to the sound of angels as the batter sizzles on contact with the hot bacon grease. Using a pot holder grab the handle and put the pan in the hot oven. (Saving any of you who are not used to cooking with cast iron form making a rookie mistake. The handle will be seriously hot) 
Bake it for about 20-25 minutes. Serve hot slathered with butter. 
And this, my friends is how cornbread should be eaten!

*If you don't have buttermilk then just put 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar in the bottom of your measuring cup and add enough regular milk to make 1 3/4 cups. Let it sit on the counter for a bit until it is clabbered and nice and thick 10-15 minus maybe.


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Just Clearing Things Up

I do not normally copy and paste someone else's work. But this is important and needs to be read


From Sean Dietrich AKA Sean of the South

I don’t engage in controversy. But sometimes I have to. And this is one of those have-to moments.

Namely, because I feel it’s my duty as a citizen of this country to bring important matters to the forefront of a national discussion. And by “important matters,” I am, of course, talking about putting sugar in cornbread.

The other day I was reading one of my mother’s favorite magazines. This magazine is a respected publication. A standard in homes across the southeast.

I speak of a magazine which my mother reveres. She used to read this magazine aloud at Bible studies, baby christenings and baptisms. A periodical which shall remain nameless, but whose title rhymes with “Louthern Siving.”

The article stated, quote, “…The cornbread we consider our best, includes fine yellow cornmeal, butter, and a touch of sugar.”

I read this recipe aloud to my mother. My mother nearly choked on her dentures.

“Sugar in cornbread?” she gasped. “What’s this world coming to?”

Mama had to be calmed with cream cheese and pepper jelly.

Listen. I don’t like to cause problems, and these are only my opinions, but putting sugar in cornbread is a lot like going to church naked. Sure, it can be done. But don’t expect anyone to ask you over for dinner.

Cornbread is a sacrament to my people, often served with fried chicken, pintos, collards, hocks and greens, or stew. It is a savory dish. It’s not supposed to taste like purple Skittles.

If the good Lord had intended for humankind to eat sweet cornbread, he would have given us all insulin pumps.

And yet this problem persists in America.

Only a few days ago, I visited a restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee. It was one of those fancy joints where waiters and waitresses walk like they’re in need of fiber supplementation. The waitress brought me a hot basket of sweet cornbread.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” I said to the waitress. “There’s something wrong with my cornbread.”

“What’s wrong?” she said.

“Well, I think the chef spilled a box of Duncan Hines into the batter.”

“No, sir. We put sugar in our cornbread.”

“Why would you do such a thing?”

“Because our chef is from Chicago.”

For the love of Earnhardt.

Listen, I try to be a team player. I try to be a good person. I don’t have many overdue library books. I stay at the Holiday Inn Express when possible. But this is an affront.

The church ladies I descend from take their food very seriously.

When I was 6 years old, for example, Miss Henrietta Marcel, at the Baptist church, accused my grandmother of adding too much paprika to her deviled eggs.

After church, someone mysteriously slashed the tires to Miss Henrietta’s Buick. Nobody ever figured out who did it, but a jar of paprika was found wedged in her the exhaust pipe.

And while I’m on the subject of food, there is another item I’d like to bring to public attention.

Yesterday I went to a large chain restaurant which shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with “International House of Pancakes.” I ordered country fried steak. When my food arrived something was off.

My steak came with white gravy.

Too often, restaurants mislabel “chicken fried” steaks as “country fried” steaks. And while I love both kinds of steaks, to confuse “chicken fried” and “country fried” is a lot like confusing Brigitte Bardot with Eleanor Roosevelt.

So I called my aunt Muffin for advice and asked her to weigh in on the “chicken fried” versus “country fried” dispute.

Aunt Muffin is an excellent cook. And not to brag, but my aunt Muffin’s fried fare is so legendary she was recently kicked out of the American Heart Association.

“What’s the difference between chicken fried and country fried?” I asked her.

Aunt Muffin was happy to reply.

“Chicken fried steak is a quality cut of beef, THICK battered, fried, topped with WHITE gravy and prayed over by at least three Church of Christ parishioners.”

Whereas, according to Aunt Muffin, “country fried” steak is made with cheaper cuts, THINLY battered, then topped with BROWN gravy, and in her opinion, unfit for scrubbing oil stains off driveways.

Now, I realize all this chicken-fried business might sound like splitting hairs. But among my folks the art of frying is sacred. Aunt Muffin went on to tell me there are four distinct styles of culinary frying.

There is “deep frying,” which is what KFC does; “pan frying,” or “shallow frying,” which is how you cook pork chops; “smother frying,” the only way to cook squirrel, rabbit, or quail; and “hell frying.”

Which is what happens to all people who put sugar in their cornbread.