Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Gobble, Gobble Giveaway!

Yes, you read that correctly! I've decided to celebrate the holiday with a giveaway. I love Thanksgiving! In our home it's the one holiday where the guest list always changes. We have been blessed to have so many friends sit at our Thanksgiving table through the years. This year we will be hosting our son-in-law's parents, his two sisters and their families, along with our children and grandchildren.

It seems that no matter how many times I plan and re-plan (is that a word?) the menu in my head, I always serve the same things. For me, it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without dressing made from my mother's recipe. My daughter, Melanie, just has to have cherry pie. The first year my son-in-law spent Thanksgiving with us I felt sorry for him because he was away from his family, so I asked him to tell me the one dish he just couldn't live without at Thanksgiving. It was sweet potato casserole and it's been included in our holiday menu ever since.

So.......if you will leave a comment on this site telling me the one Thanksgiving dish you must have on your menu, I will include you in a random drawing to win this cute little apron made just for you. (If you have trouble leaving a comment, just sign in as "anonymous" and then sign your name on your comment.) This giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States. One entry per person, please, and the deadline is midnight, Friday, Nov. 6th CST.
The winner will be announced on Sunday, Nov 8th. If the winner does not contact me by midnight, Weds., Nov. 11th, another winner will randomly be selected. Good luck!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Decorating...Grandmother Style

My decorating style has definitely changed since I became a grandmother. I doubt if HGTV will be knocking on my door anytime soon to showcase my interior design. But that's okay! After all, what can be better than a post-it note picture of my grandson and me on my closet door?

And I'll bet no one else has these Halloween decorations on their breakfast room window...
I can't wait to see what he has in mind for Thanksgiving! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 19, 2009

These Aren't "Just Cookbooks"!

The picture above is a view of my kitchen counter. To the left of my kitchen sink I have a whole row of cookbooks which contain a lot of the recipes I use for my daily cooking and special holiday treats. I would be the world's worst cook if it were not for these recipes!

Recently, I picked up one of the books to find my recipe for biscuits and was shocked to discover the bottom half of it all wet. Closer examination revealed that all of my cookbooks were wet! I was so upset I began crying and blubbering about how everything was ruined and what was I going to do without them. My husband, who was making his morning coffee, just looked at me like I was crazy and commented, "They are only cookbooks." This made me cry even louder and I began to wail as I took each one in hand and told him why they were so special. As I paused to catch my breath and wipe my nose he sheepishly said, "Well, I'm the one who got them wet. I got some water on the cabinet and thought I wiped it all up." This statement caused another round of tears and accusations of "How could you have done that to my books and not told me?", followed by his promise to this crazed woman that he could fix the damage.

As I looked on with alot of doubt and skepticism, he proceeded to dry the pages of each book with my blowdryer and then very carefully iron each page while standing at my ironing board. I don't think I've ever loved that man as much as I did at that moment! When everything was dry, including my eyes, he took a board, painted it to match my cabinets and replaced all my books on the raised shelf to prevent a repeat of this disasterous occurence.

That morning I realized how much of my life was tied up in those well-worn, grease stained cookbooks. Pictured below is my very first cookbook. It was given to me at our wedding shower and fortunately for my husband, it included how-to pictures along with a lot of the recipes! My favorite recipe for chicken and dumplings is in this book.

The first one I purchased for myself was this cookbook of recipes from what was then Oklahoma Christian College. (If you attended there in the seventies, don't worry, I don't mean the recipes from the cafeteria, but instead from those in the campus community!) After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, Mickey and I both worked there for three years. Many of these recipes and the pictures included in this book hold special memories of college days and our life as newlyweds. I've used it so much in the past 38 years that the cover fell off and got misplaced many years ago!

This recipe book is from the church we attended in Arnold, Missouri. It was compiled in conjunction with a ladies retreat and distributed a few months after we moved away to Texas. It is so very precious to me because many of the ladies wrote sweet little notes next to their recipes and I received it in the mail after I moved away.

All of these ladies hold a special place in my heart!

The next one was given to me by my mom in 1989. It contains some of her recipes along with her sister's, my Aunt Pallie. Both Mom and her sister have since passed away so it means so much.

My mom's handwritten recipe for her Thanksgiving dressing is on the back page. Next month I'll pull this one out, gingerly run my fingers over her writing, cry a few tears and make her delicious dressing for my family.

This one was published by my neighborhood subdivision in San Antonio. I loved that beautiful neighborhood with its many live oak trees. Mickey and I enjoyed many evening walks there.

This one I won on the plane as our family flew with all the other Southwestern Bell employees to get our first glimpse of San Antonio. What a day that was! They literally rolled out a red carpet, complete with a mariachi band, as we got off our buses in downtown San Antonio!

This cookbook is a compilation of recipes from the great cooks of the Katy church of Christ congregation. These women can really cook and oh how I miss them all!

This one I picked up in the Old Country Store restaurant in Jackson, Tennessee. It reminds me of the six years we spent making that Texas to Tennessee trip while our girls were in school at Freed-Hardeman University.

The book below is a reminder of the great trip I took to New Orleans with three of my Katy, Texas friends. What a fun trip !

And this book is all about home. It contains many of the great Oklahoma recipes I grew up eating, including wild onions and eggs. Yum!

This one represents our life now. We've lived here in the Dallas area for eight years and have enjoyed many of the wonderful recipes from this book at our church fellowships. What great cooks and better yet, what wonderful friends!

So I guess it took my husband's accidental water spill to make me realize that these aren't "just cookbooks". Our lives, as most, are centered around home, family, good food, great friends and all the wonderful memories created by "breaking bread" together!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who Says You Can't Have Fun on a Rainy Day?

How to have fun on a rainy day:

Step1: Collect worms from a wet patio.

Step 2:

Fill up your wheelbarrow.

Step 3:

Try to get your Googoo to hold them!

Step 4: Transfer them to a bucket.

Step 5:
Hmmm....How am I going to keep them in this bucket?

Step 6:
I know! Use the dog leash to tie them to the porch post. Yep, that oughta hold 'em!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Sewing Frenzy

This week Mendy and family are vacationing in Tennessee so I've had a whole nine days to myself. I've missed them terribly but it's been very relaxing to do things on my own schedule. (I usually help Mendy with Lilly, my granddaughter, three days a week.)

The first thing I did was head to the local library for a good book. I chose Franklin & Lucy, the story of President Franklin Roosevelt and Lucy Rutherford, the woman he had an affair with during much of his presidency. As my girls would say, pretty random, huh? I'm not sure why it "spoke" to me from the library's shelf, but it 's actually pretty interesting!

Next, I decided that I would really enjoy spending some uninterrupted time sewing. I did a little machine embroidery for a friend, made an "eye spy" bag, and then while checking out some sewing blogs, found a really cute fabric flower tutorial here. I loved the flower and headed immediately to Walmart to find some suitable coordinating fabrics so I could give it a try. Once I'd made the flower, I decided it would be so cute on a dress for Lilly, so the dress you see above is the finished product. I love it! I plan to make another matching flower for her hair.

I have two more sewing projects to try and complete this week. If I'm successful, I'll post those later. One is a cute little sleep mat for a preschooler and the other is a hot pink, fleece jacket for my great niece. I think I'm going to try the same fabric flower in fleece.

Anyway, I'm in the midst of a sewing frenzy here! So much fabric, so little time, so I'm heading back to the sewing room now. Can anyone fix Mickey's dinner tonight? Oh well, I'm sure he'll understand. :)


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