About Me

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Wife, Mother, Mimi, lover of all things creative... sewing, embroidery, painting, collage... God and family are the most important things in my life.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Momma's Summer Goulash

This recipe is not Hungarian nor is it a stew, but rather a wonderful mixture of vegetables lightly dusted with cornmeal and fried. (yeah, I'm from the south) It is the perfect thing to make when your garden just starts producing, and you don't have enough of any on individual thing to cook by itself.

My mom has made this for as far back as I can remember, and it is one of the things my family looks forward to every summer. The vegetables can be changed up according to what you have, for the batch I made I used squash, okra, potatoes, banana pepper, and onion, but I have also used eggplant, zucchini, jalapeno, green tomato, etc. The possibilities are endless.

To make it I just chop my vegetables in large hunks, roughly the same size. I toss them in cornmeal. Heat some oil in an iron skillet. Pour in the veggies, placing a lid on the pan for a little while letting them brown on that side. Gently flip them over, and let them brown on the other side still with the lid so they will cook all the way through. You have to be careful not to stir them too much or they will turn to mush. When they're done salt them well, and serve them hot. Then let me know what you think.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Susie Homemaker

I'm feeling so Susie Homemaker this week, and I love that feeling, okay maybe not on housecleaning days, but today was not that day. I've been sewing and canning this week.

Today I canned salsa. I found the recipe here. I reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup and added a little fresh basil in the last 10 minutes other than that I pretty much followed as described.

Salsa canning is much more labor intensive than making fresh salsa, but there is something so rewarding about seeing those jars all stacked up. Even though it took me all day I have this feeling of accomplishment. You know that apron worthy feeling that just might make your grandma proud.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Country Life

I must say I love the country life. I know the city has a lot to offer, but there is something about the country, the quietness, (well sometimes) the interludes with nature that sometimes surprise you when in fact they were probably going on all along. I saw seven dragonflies line up on an electrical wire yesterday like they were sitting for a portrait, of course I didn’t have my camera with me! I’ve never seen that before. I wonder if it happens all the time, and I just haven’t taken the time to notice.

A truck ride to the pasture is an easy way to entertain little ones when they come to visit. Some like it more than others. Cows running toward the truck and bellowing loudly can be a little unsettling at first, especially if you’re too little to understand what’s going on.

Feeding the horses is a consistent favorite activity. We usually take carrots or apples, but not this day. “Here Horsey, want a ‘mato’?”

Country life can also be busy. With the garden in full swing I put up 6 pints of okra pickles, 9 pints of dill relish, and a bushel of corn today. Salsa’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Family Time

It is really great to watch your kids become parents, seeing them bond with their children. I am so fortunate to live close enough to my kids to watch part of that process, and I love it!

I have really great kids (no I'm not biased) who chose really great spouses. I can't tell you how that enhances my life. I also love the fact that they made me a Mimi while I'm still young enough to enjoy it. I'm feeling very grateful today!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Double Celebration and a Little Sewing

Along with Father's Dayyesterday, we also celebrated Scooter's birthday.

I call her Scooter because of the unorthodox way she moved about before she could walk. She never crawled, instead she reached out with her right arm while sitting on her bottom, and slung her body forward with the help of her left leg. She propelled herself so quickly I guess we should have called her lightening. Her funny movements reminded me of a hermit crab. If I were tech savvy I could probably up load some video that would be pretty entertaining, but I’m not, (sorry.)

She is way past that stage now, of course, and she moves in the normal way. She loves to dress up and have her nails painted. For a while she was in costume every time I visited their house, and sometimes she had on all of her dress-up gear at the same time in layers.

I made her a dress for her birthday and it turned out nicely. I used Amy Butler’s Daisy Chain fabric and some really cool ruffled ribbon. Her mom told me she wore it all day today, that is up until the time she discovered a huge ditch full of water and decided to take a little dip in it. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I am very thankful to have such a wonderful father. He has been a great example, a real man of integrity, full of love and adventure.

My dad must have some gypsy in his blood for there is a little wanderlust that rears it's head from time to time, and you never know where it is going to lead. Some of my fondest memories are of him dreaming up a new adventure. Some of these plans panned out, and others we only went on in our imaginations, but either way we learned a lot about dreaming big from our dad.

One of the adventures that did come to fruition was a week long trip down a creek in inflatable boats with 5 kids ranging in ages from 2 to 12, all of us camping in one tent along the way.

Another time we moved to New Hampshire (which turned into Vermont) for two days, and then moved back home. Needless to say there is a much longer story here.

Daddy loves to pull pranks, and you can never tell when he's pulling your leg, unless you catch the mischievous twinkle in his eye, and even then your not really sure. He knows how to make you laugh, even when you don't want to. I can remember trying so hard to be mad sometimes when I was young, but he always knew just how to crack me up, and who can be angry and laugh at the same time?

My dad loves babies, and all of the babies love him too! He taught Baby Dino to patty-cake, and Baby Dino almost took his first step for him today.

As I said I am truly blessed and thankful to have such a great dad. I love you, Daddy! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Just a little post to say I am still here, just busy. If idle hands are really the devil's workshop I don't have to worry about being there this week. I've been so busy, and haven't even had time to think about posting anything. Hopefully I'll get a little time to finish a dress I've been working on for Scooter, and have pictures to share with you soon.

I'm so excited to have a freezer full of corn. I don't think I've ever gotten the chance to put up as much corn as I wanted, but this year I have. I am praying that we have no major hurricanes this year, it would be a shame to lose it all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My Sundays start at home rushing to get ready for church. It is generally the only time of rushing for the whole day and for this I am glad. I do not hurry well.

Once at church I have a great Sunday School class. I teach the College and Career Class and they are amazingly energetic, encouraging, and just all out fun. I love watching some mature in their faith while others are coming to their own faith for the first time. The birth of faith is a beautiful thing.

After church we have lunch, it varies, sometimes leftovers, sometimes a full meal, sometimes simply sandwiches, and on special occasions and holidays a full sit down meal with family. The latter is my favorite. I am blessed with a wonderful family all the way around, and I actually enjoy their company.

Today my husband cooked lunch for me. He is an excellent cook. Venison salisbury steaks, rice, biscuits, gravy, fresh corn and cantaloupe were on the menu, yummy.

I have great memories of Sundays growing up. My family often went to the beach after church and stayed until the last possible minute that we could and still get home and all shower before the evening service. During the fall and winter my brothers and I would play football in the front yard with various neighbors. Those were happy days with few worries or cares. I sometimes wish I could go back to those times. The closest I ever get to them are peaceful Sunday afternoons.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chocolate Toast

I am a chocoholic and when I try to be good as far as eating right or try to diet I have to get it out of the house. If I know it's there chocolate calls my name and I surrender much too often. When I don't have chocolate candy in the house and I start craving it too strongly I improvise with chocolate toast. My mom used to make this for us sometimes when we were kids, and I love it!!! You just butter your bread, any kind from hot dog buns to sour dough, whatever kind you have on hand works, well maybe not rye, but you know what I mean. After the butter you have two options either mix up cocoa and sugar to your liking, or simply use chocolate milk mix Nestle's Quick or Ovaltine both work fine. Sprinkle a generous helping onto the butter and bake in the oven. It may sound strange, but trust me it's very good!!! Try it sometime and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gross But Funny

My daughter's sister-in-law took this while playing with the kids. Yes the rat is a toy, I can't tell you how many times they have made me scream with this. The first time someone put it by Rusty's food bowl like the varmint was eating dog food. I almost wet my pants!

............................................................................................................Is this not cannibalism??

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Farmer Girls

I stopped by yesterday to help my daughter with a sewing project she was working on, and she and Sweet Cheeks met me at the door. She looked so cute in her apron and braids, it reminded me of when she was a little girl.

Sweet Cheeks asked instantly if I wanted to see the garden. Before I left she took me on a tour and I snapped a few shots. The girls are really enjoying it, and were heartbroken when their chickens ate their pepper plants.

I always wanted to play hide and seek in a giant cornfield when I was a kid. Seeing them peeking out from the corn reminds me of that.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Produce Has Arrived!

I’m so thankful to live in a rural area where homegrown vegetables are plentiful. We had the first squash from the garden this week, and were blessed with gifts of corn, cucumbers, more squash, and some tomatoes from various other gardens. Yesterday my husband and I put up some fresh corn in the freezer, my mom and I put up fresh squash. I made refrigerator squash pickles, they taste like a bread and butter pickle and are so easy to make, and last indefinitely in the refrigerator. If you want to try them here is the recipe:

Squash Pickles

1 gallon thinly sliced mixture of squash, cucumbers, and onions

3 cups white vinegar

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp celery seed

Bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil

add spices

pour over veggies

let cool

place in airtight container and refrigerate

Super simple!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Apron Secret Out of the Bag

After back surgery last October my father had major complications from which we all feared he wouldn’t recover. He was delirious and in pain much of the time with hallucinations, fever, and severe weakness. During this time I was over for a visit. He had overheard Mom and I talking about various sewing projects and he began to smile a little and say in a very weak voice, “I made an apron one time.” Mom and I looked at each other quizzically. He caught our thoughts and said, “No, really, a friend of mine talked me into doing if for a 4-H project in second or third grade.” He went into great detail in his description, and we had no idea whether this was true or something his mind had fabricated due to medication and his illness. He continued his story. “Our mom’s helped us make the aprons and I remember mine was trimmed with ric-rack and had a flower on the pocket. We won at our local school because obviously there were no other boys in the competition. After winning we had to go to the southeastern conference. There were so many people there. We saw school buses from everywhere all filled with students as we arrived. We didn’t find out until we got there that we had to model our aprons for the whole conference. Neither one of us wanted to do it, but we couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. We just walked out on the stage, and you’ve never heard the likes of the whistling and carrying on. I don’t know how my friend felt, but that was the longest day of my life. Everywhere we went people would point and whistle. I was never so happy as when we left and head for home.” Daddy drifted off to sleep and Mom and I speculated again on whether or not the story was true. Mom began to vaguely remember my grandmother giving her an apron in their early days of marriage (they have been married over 50 years) that she said my dad had made when he was a kid.

Daddy was sick for a long time, but Christmas Day he began to pull out of it. He is now fully recovered and back to his old self. We have confirmed that his story was in fact true, and he added that up until that time he had never told anyone that story. He still seems a little embarrassed when we mention it. Mom dug through some old linens and found the apron. It is in pretty rough shape, but you can tell at one time it was really pretty. The pocket was crocheted, so of course I asked Daddy if he had made the pocket as well as the apron. “No,” he answered, “and to be truthful I am sure my mom did a lot of the sewing while showing me how.”

When I told him I wanted to share this story he told me to change the names. So those who know me personally you might not want to mention to my dad that you read this.