Monday, February 21, 2011

come away with us


literally!  On Saturday we had company coming and I had some cleaning things to finish and all the food to make.  I finished blogging about the Spring Fling, played with the little ones, tossed baby up in the air a few times,noticed that my back which had been sore was a little more sore, went to start the cooking, unloaded N loaded the dishwasher, noticed that my back was sore, and I was having a hard time with the cooking--dropping things, spilling things, cut my hand--battling black dog day thoughts, and as I was putting something on the closet floor suddenly found myself crying.  "What is wrong with me?" I thought.  "I'm not a cry-er.  Things are not that bad.  Get yourself together and get busy!"  "I can't!  I can't do it!" I told myself.  "Why?"  "My back hurts!"  "Oh, well, take some of that 800 mg ibuprofen, rest a minute, and get busy!" 

Welp, when I laid down for a few minutes that was the end of it all.  My focus had been on all the things that needed to get done and when my mind let that go for a second, the pain finally screamed through.  And when I laid down, the muscles relaxed a little and that was it!  I was lying on the floor--with no intention of ever moving again!

Ever have one of those times?  I finally managed to drag myself off the floor to call our friends and cancel and crash on the couch.  We were so disappointed to miss visiting with our friends but  there will be another time.

The casserole for the day and cake were partly started so hubby finished them up and we had them at scattered times throughout the day.  The salad he put together yesterday and it was so yummy with the leftovers.

Here is the salad recipe:

Spring Mix salad sprinkled with:
dried cranberries
smashed candied walnuts
(you know, put them in a baggie and smash them to bits with a glass)
Feta cheese
Newman's Own Lite Raspberry Walnut Dressing


Served with Chicken Curry Bake, French bread, and Pig Cake from the Pioneer Woman.

Today I am sporking by blogging while resting with my feet up and a Tiger Balm patch on my back.  You can spork too--check it out here at Home Sanctuary. . .

Saturday, February 19, 2011

. . .a flinger!

this blessed nest

Come join the Spring Fling with This Blessed Nest!!!!!!!  Anything goes. . .fling something, create something, re-make something, a fun Spring thing you find or buy. . .anything!!!!!!!

Spring Fling takes me back to my high school days.  I went to a private Christian school that discouraged dating.  But in the Spring we had a fancy formal banquet where dating was encouraged!!!!  My freshman year I couldn't go to the Fling because I got in trouble for something and I was so sad.  I ended up babysitting for my youth pastor's little girl and had a good night anyway. 

My sophomore year I heard that a certain someone was going to ask me, but I was so hoping that someone else would ask me, so I avoided the first guy like the plague.  He was persistent!  Our church had a long, long hallway with stairs that led from the basement to the second floor.  I remember going rounds and rounds on those stairs because he would not stop searching for me.  Kind of like Mr. Collins searching for Kierra Knightly--Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice.  Finally I found a place of refuge--the girls' bathroom.  I turned off the light, went to the very last stall and sat up on the toilet so my feet weren't showing, and tried to stop breathing.  In a bit I heard the door creak open and the light came on, "S-h-e-r-i, I know you're in there.  Sheri, come out.  S-h-e-r-i, I'll come find you."  Well that was the last thing I wanted--people to find US together in the bathroom so I came out and stood by the sinks.  "Sheri, will you go to the Spring Fling with me?"  Oh man!  Now I was in a pickle.  My mom's rule was that if a guy had the courage to ask you out, you MUST go with him--remember my exposure to boys was at this Christian school and she figured they were o.k. guys on the whole with a few weirdos thrown in.  I missed the previous year and was determined to go this year, but I so wanted to go with a different guy--one who would have the sense to realized a girl was avoiding him and more dignity than to chase her into the BATHROOM!  So I said. . .yes.

My junior year I was again hoping that a certain someone would ask me to the Spring Fling--but someone else asked me again.  He showed up in a matador outfit and couldn't get out of the bullfighter attitude all night.  We ate at a fancy restaurant that night and to get there we walked along the river--in the Spring--very pretty and romantic. . .until my matador saw some dandelions that had gone to seed.  He picked one for me and as I was saying, "Thank you," blew with a very big breath and my mouth and face and hair were suddenly covered in white fluffy dandelion seeds.  Now my matador is trying to pick dandelions out of my hair and brush them off my face--but have you had a matador trying to do such a gentle task--someone who is used to wrestling bulls?  I BEGGED him to stop!  The night never recovered. . .

Ah, my senior year and the guy I'd secretly been in love with all of high school had graduated the year before.  I was so relaxed and planning to go with friends--forget this encouraged dating stuff!  When a decent guy from my class invited me.  We were friends and were going to double date with some other people in our class--not dating just going to the Spring Fling together.  We had such a good night.  Then we girls learned that the boys had wanted to take someone to the Fling that year and didn't know who so they went through all the choices, narrowed the list to us two girls, and then flipped a coin to decide who was taking whom.  Well, this kind of took some of the fun out of the night. . .but I felt much better after socking my date in the arm!

Needless to say, I have much higher hopes for this year's Spring Fling;-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Company Girls Coffee

Can it possibly be Friday again?!?!?!

Where has this week gone?  Monday--recoup from weekend company & church, Tuesday--homeschool, Wednesday--teach at school, Thursday--take daughter to Fairfield, cancel Fairfield trip, rush home so baby can nap, go pick everyone up again, Friday--here we are! 

Well, the house looked so nice for our company this past Saturday that hubby said, "Let's have company every week so the house will stay clean!"  So we're having company tomorrow--lots of yummy food planned!!!! 

picture by the Provident Woman

This past weekend we had The Pioneer Woman's Red Velvet Cake for dessert.  (I used her recipe from her wonderful cookbook but don't find the recipe at her Tasty Kitchen site.  Here's a similar recipe from the site by the Provident Woman.)  My hubby who doesn't like said dessert even had some.  Everyone liked it and one of the husband's has already requested it for himself again.  He said, "Not today, but soon. . ."  He is a very funny man and kept us well entertained.  He and his wife are from India.  He is a well educated man with a job that allows him to travel so he's been everywhere.  He is also very on top of political things.  He told us story after story.  Did you know that in the world abroad they don't have a very high opinion of Americans?  They think we are arrogant bullies who always want something for nothing.  I was shocked!  He also said that America's political thinking is "Our enemy's enemy is our friend."  Thus way back when we were not so friendly with Iran we were friends with a certain bad guy and helped to train him to fight the Iranians but then when we were finished with him we stopped being his friend and that is when he went looking for new friends and found those really BAD guys.  He said, "America doesn't want this man caught and put on trial for the things he would say.  So we keep a very close eye on him.  Really!  Yeah, with all their satellites and tracking devices that can pinpoint you at your dining room table--they know where he is!  It's either that or kill him.  And we can't do that because we're America!"  And he laughed and laughed. 

Guess it's a good thing I'm not a politician because I don't understand that type of thinking at all.  If someone is your friend, he is your friend!  Where is loyalty?  And I am very sad that people don't think so very highly of my country.  I guess I can see it though--all around us.  People are out for themselves and what they can get and it is very rare that we see RANDOM acts of kindness let alone constant, steady kindness.  Those type of people are few and far between and their friendships should be treasured if we are so blessed as to cross their paths. 

It was so nice out last week that many of our trees think it is spring and are blossoming beautifully!  As much as I was out and about this week, I forgot my camera every time but these pictures show what the trees look like.  Yesterday we had such hard rains that I thought all the blooms would be destroyed but they are still hanging on--yea!!!!!!!

With being gone so much, there's lots to do here.  We're going to some friends' house for dinner so I'm making a cherry chip cake--from a box.  Have you tried it?  Delicious!  When I was a girl, they even had pink cherry frosting to go on top.  Now I just make do with vanilla.  All my little maids are working:  washer, dryer, dishwasher, swing for sleeping baby. . .and I am off to take a shower.  I'm so excited. . .going to use a scrub during and lotion after--wonderful points for today.  Thank you, Rachel Anne!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

. . .a hostess.

Friends are coming!!!  What shall we have for lunch?  Chili!

Tidy Mom

I know it doesn't sound very elegant or fabulous BUT
everything can be made ahead of time and simmering in the crockpot, throw in some yummy sweet cornbread, salad all prepared, dessert ready to go and I, as hostess, can visit with my guests rather than run around like a chicken with my head cut off while everyone else sits and visits.  There are times for something fancier but my thinking is KISS~Keep It Simple, Sheri~did you think I was going to say something else;-)

Here is our tried and true chili recipe:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2- 28 oz. stewed tomatoes, undrained
2- 16 oz. cans kidney beans, undrained
2- 16 oz. cans chili beans, undrained
1 t. pepper
2 t. salt
2 T chili powder
1 t. cumin

Simmer in crockpot on low for 6 - 7 hours.
makes 8 - 10 servings

Some of our guests were Hindu and did not eat beef.  At first I panicked because this realization hit me only hours before their arrival.  BUT then a friend said, "Just make two pots of chili--one with beef, one without."  Brilliant!  And since I was behind in the normal recipe time schedule, I put the meat in the crockpot chili for 4 hours on high and the meatless chili in a pot on the stove to simmer about 2 hours--it's the simmering that brings the flavors together.

Everyone loved both types of chili and afterwards we "married" the leftovers and had a big batch of chili still.  We're finishing it off for lunch today!

Come join Soup-a-Palooza with TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers

Happy Soup Day to all of you!  I'm off to see everyone else's soup recipes. . .

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Pioneer Woman

KitchenAid mixer designed by Ree Drummond--picture by Ree Drummond

Look at this mixer designed by The Pioneer Woman!!!!!!!  She's having a giveaway over at her place!!!!!!!  All you have to do is tell her the name of your first sweetheart.  I SO want this mixer that I called my husband to find out his first sweetheart so he could enter the contest too.  He said, "You are my first and only sweetheart--everyone else was just a fling!"  Boy does he know how to say the right thing or what?!?!?!

Go, go enter the contest--if I can't win, it would be wonderful if someone I knew could win!!!!!!!

. . .contented. . .

Happy Valentine's Day!
I "woof" you!
That's what my son's valentine's day candy said. 
My hubby took care of getting the treats this year and he did such a good job.  Even got some candy for me;-)

Last week my mom brought me this magazine to look through called Through the Country Door.  If you have any inclination toward country decorating, you must check them out!  I was so excited and told my husband that if we had the means and room, "there is something on every page that I would buy!"  After making such a FINE comment, I sat down and looked through the magazine again to see if there really was something on every page. . .and sure enough, there is something on every page that tugs at my heart a little.

So on this cloudy, windy, rainy day while baby naps I shall inhale nibble my chocolate and share some pictures with you. . .

Set of 2 Dessert Pedestals with DomesSet Of 3 Prep BowlsPolka Dot Casserole With LidSonoma Drink Dispenser and StandFun Tastic Dinnerware Mixing Bowls And Teapot SetHampton Hutch and BuffetLyric Oversized Reversible Cotton Quilt and ShamYour Choice Oversized Cotton Quilt And ShamClassic Floral SheetsGwendolyn Leaf Cotton ThrowRose PillowMaldives Table ClockSet Of 2 Mesh Baskets With LidsThe Zephyr Table Fan by Deco BreezeBordeaux Hanging ClockHorse FigurinesWash Day Woes Plaque2 Piece Ruffled SlipcoversSet Of 2 Americana TrunksLeaf BedSpace Saving Laundry CabinetHand Painted Blue Floral BureauEaton Coffee and Side TablesDining Chair Solid Color SlipcoversHand Hooked Sunflower RugsBradford Floral RugMountain Apple Wreath And HolderGarden Pitcher, Salt and Pepper Set and Soup TureenSet Of 4 Little BirdsCeramic PitcherSunflower ArrangementCat BookendsSet Of 4 Family Tree PrintsChelsea Nailhead...Cherub Tapestry...Eaton ChaiseFirehouse Toy ShelfHalf-Round Tree...Solar Cascading...Sunflower Bouquet

Thanks for browsing with me.  Of course you know that a catalog picture is much better because it puts all the pieces together so if you would like your own catalog to enjoy with a cup of coffee and chocolates, click HeRe

and just so you know. . .I am content with my house, my life, my surroundings. . .oh, there are things I would change, like the hole in the kitchen floor that is covered by a huge board that covers 3/4 of the floor, but all in all I love our little "spot".