Monday, May 30, 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving on Memorial Day

I know its a little unusual, but we cooked turkey, dressing and giblet gravy this Memorial Day Weekend.

The turkey was bought at 39cents a pound and had been sitting in the freezer taking up valuable space. Cooking turkey takes planning and since I was off work for a few days the plan was to put the turkey in the fridge to thaw earlier last week and then to cook said freezer space thief over the weekend. So Saturday I cooked the turkey.



After much discussion, it was decided that we could have dressing with the turkey. If we were going to do Thanksgiving, we might as well do it right! I had cornbread stuffing mix and the other ingredients needed on hand to make Mama's dressing recipe. I cannot express to you in words how delicious the dressing was! I have helped Mama make it at her house at Thanksgiving, but never on my own at my house. It turned out every bit as good as Mama's. I'm sure no one wants to know how to make it in May or June, but maybe I'll post the recipe in November.



Have you ever seen sliced boiled eggs in giblet gravy? My hubby's mother made it that way when he was growing up, so I tried to duplicate her recipe. It was pretty good.



It may be May 30th, but I am still as thankful as I would be in November for all our many blessings. I am thankful for all the men and women who died for our country, not just on Memorial day, but all year long. Being spared during the recent tornado outbreaks is a blessing indeed. My list of blessings is long.

Eating a thanksgiving Meal on Memorial Day isn't such a bad idea after all!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Summer of my 53rd Year.

I've been enjoying a few days away from work and the world to just "be". Summer is almost here.... and its my 53rd summer. I'll never be 53 during the summer again, so I've decided to make it a good one. The best thing about summer is that it comes right before fall, which is really my favorite season. You know how Friday nights are fun because its the night before the weekend? Well I feel the same way about summer. Its the pre-fall season. Time to enjoy and savor each day.

So how can I make this a special summer? By stopping to smell the roses,zinnias and marigolds and picking a few to go in the dollar store pitcher/jug thing I bought; by making my first grown from seed and made from scratch Southern sweet pickles; by spending a satisfying morning in the garden deadheading and weeding; by savoring that first drippy delicious, home grown from seed tomato sandwich; by sewing some neat projects, both for myself and others; finishing up some crinkly, soft quilts; drinking coffee early in the morning while walking amongst the flowers and/or veggies... and I'll let you know what else.

Friday was just such a day to begin my 53rd summer. I sewed to my heart's content. I made myself some girlie things to make everyday life a little more feminine and special. I was alone.... all day.

Here are the results. A new zipper bag made from several black prints. There are zebra prints, polka dots, florals and other kinds of strips. I quilted these in the ditch and magically, the zipper I had on hand was the right size and went in perfectly.

I will use this in my pocketbook to hold money, my debit card, my drivers license, and library card.



I was on a roll, so I decided to make another one in this red and black cherry themed fabric. This one will hold tissues, and other small necessities in my bag.



I made myself a new bag with this black and white rose fabric. Its a very light weight bag. I didn't put any pockets in it because a friend gave me a new purse insert that I can moved from bag to bag in a flash! Imagine having several bags in all kinds of colors that I can change out on a whim! The purses will go together faster because I don't need to worry about adding pockets to the lining. They will be inexpensive because I have fabric scraps on hand or if I choose to purchase fabric, I will only need about 1/2 yard which will not cost much.

This is the first bag I have made for my 53rd summer!



Here's the inside which shows the purse insert. It divides up the bottom of the bag wonderfully with places to store checkbooks, a small photo album, and the new zipper bags above.



I was also in need of a new make up bag. I don't own or use a huge amount of makeup, but it needs to be stored neatly and out of the way. When the opportunity comes up to go away overnight, I can just grab the bag and go.

Some scraps of this cute green floral prequilted fabric were in my stash. I decided to make a basic bag without spending a lot of time on it. No pockets or zipper. It closes securely with two strips of velcro. The inside seams were made using the overcasting stitch on Big Brother. Its very light weight and I love the way it stows away underneath the bathroom sink. Before I had a basket that I had to drag out and put away after putting on my makeup. This little bag is so much more fun and convenient.



And did I mention it was fun to make and cost nothing?



I'm really happy with the beginning of my 53rd summer. How about you? Which summer are you going to be experiencing this year? Whether its your 16th, 30th, "yikes" 53rd or 75th, lets make it a good one.

I gotta go cook my pickles!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Use For Cloth Napkins

Anything that is reusable, instead of disposable, is a money saver. Cloth napkins are a wise investment, especially if like me, you have plenty of fabric scraps to make them from.

My hubby picked our very first squash of the season, washed them and placed them on a napkin to dry.



Country napkins in my country kitchen.



SUPPER!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beauty in Unexpected Places.

Sometimes I get caught off guard by coming across beauty in unexpected places.

This is a picture of the employee entrance at my office taken last week. My coworker received these on her birthday, but poor thing, she has terrible allergies and can't stand to smell flowers. So, she sat them on the back stoop.





I couldn't miss seeing these, but sometimes there are those magical moments that you can miss if you aren't paying attention. Lets be on the look out today for those unexpected ways to appreciate the beauty in an ordinary day. I'll let you know later today if there's anything in my day worth sharing. :o

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One week later

We will be picking a few squash today. I may make a squash casserole for lunch tomorrow.




Cucumbers don't grow as fast as squash, but almost!



I need to dig out Mama's pickle recipe and purchase the ingredients. It won't be long until we can make them

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Versatile Blogger

Thank you very much Freda of THE ADVENTURES OF THE EMPRESS OF THE UNIVERSE for presenting the VERSATILE BLOGGER award to me. I appreciate it!

Freda is a fantastic quilter and does such a great job with her blog!

When accepting the award, the recipient is supposed to list 7 things about themselves that others may not know, so here goes.

1. I once lived in Garner, NC in 1979, which is where American Idol contestant Scottie McCreery is from. Does that make me almost famous? :o)

2. I am the youngest of 5 children, raised on a tobacco farm. We were sharecroppers and lived in a huge farmhouse well off the main road. There were 2 large ponds in which I swam and fished. I grew up on a true homestead, so I guess that's why that lifestyle appeals to me now. My childhood memories include things like killing hogs, working in the tobacco, picking produce and helping freeze and can it.

My sister and me in the late 1950s.



3. I once took scuba diving lessons. I was a strong swimmer at one time and thought I'd be good at it, but failed due to the fact I just didn't like it. Oh well, I guess I learned to quilt instead!



4. My job is being a paralegal which I have done for going on 24 years now. I also do bookkeeping. If I could choose what I do at work, it would be to sit in a back room doing the books, where I never had to talk to the public. But what I really want to do is retire early!

5. I have been blogging for 4 years! (I think its time for a celebration give away)

6. I have self diagnosed myself as having obsessive compulsive disorder. I'm one of those people who check to see if the coffee pot is off 3 times and then one more time before going out the door!!!

7. My favorite food is spaghetti and doritos. My least favorite would be greens, like collards, turnips, etc. I am a carb addict!

I'm not too good at passing awards along, but if anyone would like to reveal 7 things about themselves, I would love to give you the award!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Early Morning After The Rain

I couldn't resist showing you how much the Zinnias have grown! I'm shooting for June 15th as the first date to be able to pick a vase full for the kitchen table.



The kitchen garden looks all refreshed.



Look how these clothesline Morning Glories are rappeling up the trellis, like a mountain climber. There is visible growth every day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blooming Tuesday

On the side yard, underneath the Crepe Myrtles, there are Chives and Rose Campions. The chives have about finished blooming and now the Rose Campions are in full bloom.




Some brightly colored Coleus, a pot of begonias and a fake sunflower.



The Clothesline Morning Glories are making progress toward their destination.



This post is linked to Mrs. Green Thumb Jean's blog for BLOOMING TUESDAY.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It Won't Be Long....

It won't be long until we will be are feasting on the Lord's bounty!

The first squash:



The first cucumber:



The tomato vines have blossoms. Its a miracle that these have grown so big and healthy because they were rather puny looking grown from seed inside seedlings.



Like I said it won't be long....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Regrouping and the To Do List



My "get organized" tools:

I am working on being more organized. Every now and then everything, both at home and work, get extra busy and I start to feel out of control. Probably because I AM out of control! Symptoms of this are:

1. A messy, disorganized pocketbook.

2. Constantly behind on housekeeping chores.

3. Not knowing what we will be eating.

4. Running to the grocery store more than is normal.

5. A general feeling of stress.

6. Not knowing what to wear each day.

7. A messy car.

8. Not knowing what to do next, because there are so many things to do!

9. A biggie: Not reading the Bible consistently.

When I go through this, it always helps to start making a to do list and that's what I have been doing this week. I try to include the things I must do, as well as a couple of things it would be nice to get done.

I cleaned out my pocketbook too! Today I will declutter my car.

There is a wonderful series of posts on the to do list, at the COUNT IT ALL JOY, which is helping me get motivated in this area.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Mother's Day Remembered

My family knows what I like and showered me with these things. Its wonderful to be remembered with love and I wanted to share with you.

I love benches and had been wanting one to go underneath these windows on the front porch. My hubby had a nearby carpenter to make this one for me. You may remember my red bench that's inside. This one is made exactly like it and the wood is as smooth as silk. Both are sure to be family heirlooms.



My daughter loves gardening as much as I do and put together these two beautiful blue and purple plant combinations. One is for me and the other is for my mother. I love them!





My son gave me this red and white hanging basket, which I promptly hung on the shepherd's hook outside the kitchen window. I can look at it often to remember his thoughtfulness.





My sweet little grandson picked out this water wand for his grandma. Isn't he something? He knew exactly what I needed!



My newest co-worker remembered me this Willow Tree Angel. She has recently lost her beloved mother and even though she is too old to be my daughter since she just turned 40, she wanted to remember me and another "older" co-worker. This angel is called "Sunshine". I love the sunflowers in her lap.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday This and That

Time to return these to the library! With this many books out, if they are late just one day the fine could be quite large!



A friend requested three mug rugs to send to her three sisters who live in other states.



The field to the west of our home is planted in corn this year! Its already growing quite big and will soon be a temporary wind break and privacy screen. Do you remember that movie with Mel Gibson and his children and the aliens in the corn called "Signs"? I'll try not to think about it! :o)



The fields on the three other sides of our home are planted in cotton. So next Fall it will look snow all around us.

If you are as ready for the weekend as I am, then you are quite excited! I hope you have a good one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Blooms

I was working out of town yesterday, so I'm a little late for Blooming Tuesday, but here it is anyway! This post is linked to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's Blog.

This is a plate that was in the garden section at a dollar store. I'm not sure I like it here in the shade garden. It may be bordering on looking a little too much like clutter. But I like the words on the plate. It can easily be taken down if I decide to.





These red and white petunias could be the flower for NC State, so they are popular at our house.



The Sweet Autumn Clematis and Morning Glories are ready to climb on this trellis.



The Zinnias are up and growing!



A Geranium, lavender, Rosemary and a trailing vine.



A Rock Geranium growing in.. where else? The rock garden.



Some small Hydrangeas bought on clearance. Can't wait for them to grow and bloom.





The clothesline trellis with small Morning Glories, ready to start climbing, I hope.

Anxious For Nothing - A Bible Study

I thought I would share a new On Line Bible Study that starts Monday.  Its based on the book, "Anxious For Nothing" by Max Lucado....