Another day in my world.

My Fisherman says we need rain badly. He has watermelons, cantaloupes, beans, taters, corn, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers planted and up and they need a drink. He and Kate have been hand watering the new strawberries that we planted a couple of weeks ago. These are 25 ever bearing berries so maybe we can have a crop or two throughout the summer. The berries are always here and gone before you can snap your fingers. The ones in the grocery are so pretty and big but if you don’t do something immediately with them, those babies will mold.

So today is my day off from work and Kate and I “hang loose” on our day off. She’ll say “what does that mean?” So I explain this quite often. We had a planned swimming lesson but the clouds, thunder and rain changed that plan. That’s ok, we have been lazy all day, well, kinda. I keep reading and seeing pictures of decluttering and I feel I’m not the only one with these problems. So I took the advice of someone and cleaned out 3 drawers today. It was amazing. How many pencils does a feller need? Ink pens? Paper clips? Key Chains? Smarties? Post-it Notes? So I’m breathing just a tad lighter as we speak. I put all these little babies in a box and took them to a young lady starting high school.

I’m trying to find some brightness in this day as there is a lot of sadness that has stormed down on me in the last couple of days.

My Dad has had 2 sisters and 1 brother – one sister, age 84 died about a year ago. She lived in Oklahoma. Only one sister and my Dad survives. He is 88 and she is about 84. My aunt in Oklahoma and her family always lived away from our small town. They were in Michigan, Florida, and then now Oklahoma. Her and her husband had 2 sons, one 63 and the other about 55. We got a call from the younger one two days ago to tell us that the 63 year old had shot himself. Although I hadn’t seen him in years, our childhood flashed before my eyes and I could only remember fun times we had shared. From 9 grandchildren, I was the only girl. From the 9 of us, this guy had such a great opportunity in life. He was gorgeous, had a wonderful personality, played professional football….we thought he had the greatest life. As the saying goes, we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors – he had 2 broken marriages and ended up on pain pills to consol the pain from playing football. From all that he could never hold a job and lived with his parents until about 5 years ago. Seems that in the end, us little country bumpkins were more successful and happier with our lives. Although we all live in different cities and states, it’s amazing at the bond that kindles when the need arises. We love each other even if our lives are distant. Remember his Dad and surviving brother.

Secondly, we heard from My Fisherman’s MRI results….. Possibly 2 masses in his stomach. Since I heard those words, I’ve had a massive thump in my stomach and my heart is very heavy. This guy is the love of my life, celebrating 40 years just a few weeks ago. I cannot imagine my life without him. I know that we have some dangerous roads ahead but don’t feel sorry for me. God has given me strength that I never thought I’d have. I depend on Him and that’s why I’m here today. I’ll keep you informed as we learn more. Right now we are waiting to hear when his appointment is for another scan and possible biopsy.

Not wanting to end on a sad note because we should enjoy every day we have here on earth and try to make the best of it. So as I was scanning a few blogs this morning, I started reading Confessions of a Chocoholic and lo and behold appeared The Chocolate Cola Cake. I do remember seeing this recipe before and could have possibly made it but it’s been quite some time. So what do I do? I can’t just read the recipe and move on? No, Suzy Homemaker overcame me, with my iPad in hand with the recipe I grabbed the ingredients and slung that yummy cake in the oven. When it comes out of the oven, you pour this HOT cocoa- butter-cola-powdered sugar mixture over it. Hey, just get a glass and drink this. Oh my, wonder how many bites I’ve had today – the only consolation is I used Diet Coke. Ha That should really make a difference, right????? Do you want the recipe? Well, ok I guess I’ll share it.

The Chocolate Cola Cake

Set oven for 350.

2 c flour (I used all purpose)
2 c sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon

Mix all the above together.

In saucepan, bring to a boil:

1 c butter
¼ c cocoa powder
1 c cola
½ c buttermilk

Then mix with flour mixture.
Add: 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla

Bake about 30 minutes.

Glaze:

½ c butter
1/3 c cocoa
½ c cola

Bring to boil; then mix in 4 cups confectioner’s sugar. Pour over hot cake.

(DID I SAY 3 STICKS OF BUTTER?????? AND I USED THE REAL THING.)

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The aroma is staggering.....

My Fisherman walks in one late afternoon and I say, “Take a bite.” I had made these delicious rolls – they were almost perfect, not exactly but almost. Then I said, “Keep this quiet or Emeril or Paula Deen will be calling and I don’t have time for them.” He looks at me like “Are you kidding or are you crazy?” But after that almost-perfect roll hit his tongue he had to agree. Can’t you taste it just looking at the picture? So now I’ve kinda got the big head and I whip up another batch yesterday, floppity,, mopsity and cotton tail. Something went wrong. I knew as soon as the ole – Kitchenaid gave me the dough that it was too heavy. Oh by the way, yes I did buy myself a brand new Kitchenaid and I love it. And the color makes the beater work better, I think. So today after church, I do not aim to be beat over this recipe so I think ok, the only difference is I used butter yesterday in the recipe so I would use margarine today. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but again the dough was nice and soft as it should be. Now I’m confused. The rolls are now rising, as we speak, for the last time in the oven. What could it be? Anyone have any ideas?

The recipe is called Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns and I got the recipe off a website but not sure where so I’m not taking credit but I think it’s a great one with not much kneading by hand, I just can’t do that so that’s where Ms. Cinnamon Kitchenaid comes into the picture.

You're so cute!!

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

3 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsps instant yeast
2 Tbsp potato flour or ¼ cup instant potato flakes
3 Tbsp nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
4 Tbsp soft butter
2/3 c lukewarm water
½ cup lukewarm milk

I threw all of this in Ms. Cinnamon and mix to a soft, smooth dough. I left in the same stainless bowl that it was mixed in and covered with a light cloth. Let rise 60 to 90 minutes until about doubled in bulk. Deflate and divide dough in half; I pinched off pieces to make 7 per 9” cake pan. Makes 2 pans. Then put in cold oven and cover again and let rise, about an hour or so. Then preheat oven to 350 and bake for about 22 to 24 minutes. Remove from oven and you can slap some butter on them if you want. These were soooo delicious the first time. I will make them again and again.

Now let’s talk banana bread. I have this thing about having bananas in the house. I will usually buy 3 to 4 greenish bananas which is the way I like to eat them. It’s just kinda hard to fit them in to my eating schedule since I’m a sweetaholic and fruit often doesn’t fit in. So in a few days I have some well ripened bananas. I’ve tried a zillion banana bread recipes and finally I’ve found it. This recipe is the “bestest.”

Again, I don’t take the credit but it came from the internet. Try it and you’ll never use another one. I use 3 small Longaberger loaf pans – they make perfect little loaves.

Here’s the recipe:

Moist Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbps applesauce (This is the secret to the moistness)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. Again the ole Kitchenaid came to the rescue, in past days I’d have just beat this by hand but my goodness when you’ve got a beautiful mixer sitting on the kitchen counter with all your other junk, you should use it, right?
First, mash the bananas, then melted butter; then sugar, egg, applesauce & vanilla. Then mix baking soda and salt. Lastly, mix in the flour. Then pour in 3 small pans or adjust to whatever size you use. This morning I made 3 loaves and added fresh blueberries; needless to say it’s even more delicious if that is possible. I cook about 35 minutes; check with a toothpick for doneness.

I promise if you try this, you’ll never use another recipe.

One last tidbit. This Sunday afternoon the weather was hot and quite humid but a little breeze was blowing. My Fisherman and I took Kate to a park and she climbed and slid for about 2 hours. She easily makes friends so she had a variety of kids to entertain herself with. Then we stopped at the lake to take a picture – yes, it’s hard to look at but somebody has to live within 5 minutes of the place and that just happens to be us!! If you’re looking for a good place to visit or move, look at Lake Cumberland. It’s beautiful, peaceful and lots of great folks!

God's precious wonders.

Talk to you soon. Thanks to each of you that have sent me a comment – I love getting them.

Is your closet full of clothes you never wear? Mine was/is but within the last year I decided that I needed to get rid of a few things. I washed and folded several blouses and skirts/pants and took them to a young 30ish lady to give to her mom. I don’t know her but seems as if she was thrilled, they fit and she was especially happy the tops were from Christopher and Banks since she loves shopping there. She was happy and I sho was happy. About once a week, I try to drag a few more things out – I’m collecting more empty hangers everytime I do this. Now I’m definitely not replacing all that I’m taking out because I had too many clothes to begin with and wore just a select few. Why do we do this?

And my poor house………..junk, clutter, stacks – why oh why do we do this? Is it the old “I might need this someday” syndrome? The other day hubby and I were looking for something in a junk drawer and I had this plastic bag of screws and some kind of brackets that fit who knows what. I say to him, “I’m going to throw these away.” “Oh no,” says he, “I might need them and will take them to the garage.” Want to guess where they are, as we speak? They were moved from the drawer to the top of the counter. I plan to throw those babies away asap!!

Kate’s clothes – this kid – what’s a feller to do? I buy these nice (expensive, gasp) clothes and shoes and she just wants to wear 2 or 3 things over and over. She has a pair of purple Nike shorts and a blue/white Kentucky Wildcat tshirt that I know the child would wear everyday if I allowed it. Having a little girl to dress after all these years is so much fun for me but she’s not very receptive of my endeavors. I try to put a guilt trip on this 3 year old in saying “I buy you all these expensive things and you won’t wear them.” She looks so sweet and says, “Don’t buy me anything else.”

I think I’ve made a little progress but plan to keep de-cluttering. I had two nice comforters for the bed in the closet….but I didn’t need them. So off they went to another home and made a teenager and pre-teen very happy. So come on, friends, let’s share the wealth. Dig in those bogged down closets and set your stuff free. Give it to somebody….you are not going to wear it or use it if you haven’t in the last year. This is so true.

I felt so much lighter after I shared my stuff with other people. Not lighter, in the way that I had lost pounds – if that was true I would do a major overhaul. I mean lighter in – it’s gone, someone is enjoying it, breathing is better. Give it a try – you’ll like it.

Witchy outfit, kitty houseshoes, Trixie the stuffed dog, purse and tote.

Yes, it’s our 40th anniversary. I was only a babe when I stepped into the dangerous waters of marriage. Although my Fisherman and I are as opposite as anyone could be but we’ve made it this far and I see us making it to the end. Ups and downs have visited us but we’ve had a pretty peaceful life together.

Someone asked me yesterday what we were going to do to celebrate and I said, “Guess he’ll go fishing and I’ll go to church.” And we did. I would dare to bet that our home has had less screaming and fussing than many others. We basically have a good life even though we are so different.

The other afternoon I was setting out on the patio enjoying the coolness of the afternoon when a little witch appeared on the steps. She sure was a cute one and I think I’ll just keep her. Soon after I got to pick up this outfit and put it away…..again.

Then late yesterday afternoon, my Fisherman, Kate and I set out 25 everbearing strawberries in the garden. You would have thought just an itty bitty bit of wind would have been blowing but nooooooooo, it was HOT. The afternoon before us three went to the garden to pick my sugar snap peas that I wanted so badly. Of course the boys, Boopie and Sam, joined us. I think we finally picked about 2 cups and that’s probably the end of that crop. Mr. Gardener has hoed all the weeds from his garden so I was allowed to snap a picture to show you. He has made some threats before when I posted a picture on Facebook of a delicious dish he cooked for us one night. Men, they don’t like to brag about their accomplishments but I’ll tell you one thing, I’d put him up to about any man in the cooking department when you can get him to cook.

Peaches N Cream Corn with a Sweet Pea walking thru.

A no-weed garden.

So thankful for this peaceful day and 40 years of marriage to date. That’s a major accomplishment these days.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder.

Weather is beautiful here today in south central Kentucky. A little warm but we won’t complain about it cause we’ve had so much rain, we welcome the sunshine.

My Fisherman’s day lilies are blooming fully and you can walk out the back patio and you have to smile – they make me happy. He’s just a born farmer; keeps the weeds out of the flower bed and his garden and then has another big patch over in the back field with potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe. He caged his tomatoes yesterday afternoon. Makes me hungry for a fresh tomato off the vine. I’ll show pics when they start getting ripe.

I’ve ordered a strawberry topsy turvy planter with 25 strawberries included. I didn’t tell my Fisherman until after I ordered it and then when I did tell him, he said “no, don’t order it,” which I replied, “too late.” These are everybearing berries so hopefully will have berries a couple or three time during the summer.

The boys, Boopie and Sam, got a nice fresh bath last week on the patio. They weren’t too thrilled but sure smelled and looked better afterwards. Kate loves being in the water so she was a willing helper.

Scrubba, dub, dub

We sprayed some water in her little wading pool on Tuesday and she was so excited. I think she might have played in it for 5 minutes. Then out and wanting to do something else. So then we hook up the slip and slide, that didn’t last long either. I have to remind myself that a child’s attention span is their age so 3 minutes is about her limit unless she has my iPad and then it’s longer. I don’t when the cut off age is but believe me, my attention span is NOT 59 minutes.

Took Kate to the swimming pool and she loved it. She can swim pretty good but when she’s in the big pool, she still keeps her swimmies on. She will go from the baby pool to the big pool, back and forth, back and forth. She keeps that beautiful smile on her face all the time, probably gulping in lots of that chlorine water.

Tonight is the last t-ball game of the season. Don’t think any of us will cry over that. We have surely enjoyed watching Kate play. She really hustles in the field to get the ball and still continues to slyly take it away from anyone else that gets it before she does.

Let’s enjoy every day we have upon this earth, especially if we are blessed with good health, can walk on our own two feet, eat, breathe the fresh air and have ones that we love and love us.

Sweets for the sweet.

Banana Bread

The Suzy Homemaker mood has hit me again so I’ve been baking. I think that this is the best banana bread recipe I’ve used. Why, you ask………it is so moist you can’t stop eating it. I promise. Even my Fisherman has eaten it and he doesn’t do sweets except Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Peach Cobbler, Payday candy bars….very few sweets.

So here’s the link to that banana bread if you wish to whip up a batch:
http://www.eaternalbliss.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=9
I made 3 little loaves in my little Longaberger loaf pans – they are so cute, you almost hate to cut them but I do anyway.

Then I’ve made some yeast rolls – made them two days in a row but still haven’t got the texture I want. I did break the ole Hamilton Beach mixer that my dear mother bought me at Service Merchandise back in the early 70’s. Does anyone remember that store? Louisville had the nearest Service Merchandise back then and we bought a lot of stuff there – such as watches, appliances, etc. I was trying to use my dough hook and mix up the dough for these rolls and wham….snapped the top of the mixer from the bottom. Dough was too tough. So then I had to drag out the ole bread maker which I don’t think has ever made an eatable loaf of bread but I used it just to mix the dough. It worked but still the texture wasn’t soft enough. We did end up eating all the rolls from the last batch I made. So I’ll try again and then post pics and the recipe link of those later. They are beautiful rolls and I’m sure delicious IF you can get the texture right.

Last but certainly not least, I’ve made 4 batches of frozen strawberry jam last week. If you’ve not eaten it, I beg of you – give it a try….very easy and the best, especially when you pull out a container out of the freezer in the winter which I doubt will last that long. My brother in law has one row of strawberries. They haven’t done as well because we’ve had so much rain but I made 3 batches out of that picking. I drool as I think of that fresh strawberry taste anytime of the year. Baby food jars are perfect to freeze this jam in but plastic or glass works.

Strawberries, sugar, mix mix mix

I’ve had a sourdough starter for almost a year ; every two weeks I would end up making 3 big loaves and giving 3 big loaves away cause no one at my house would eat it except me. Delicious but will add the lbs to your body. So I’ve decided to give the sourdough up for a while and when that urge hits me again, I can ask for another start from my friend. I don’t like the pressure of having to make bread or throw away some of the starter at a certain time.

Kate and I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday after church. I let her mix up part of the batter but she enjoyed eating the chocolate chips more. Then we baked and cooled and stored in ziploc bags. My fisherman did eat several of these, but who can resist a good chocolate chip cookie?

Ohhh sweets, I could live on them.

Remember when the Casey Anthony case first came to our attention? I was so engrossed in the happenings I could hardly wait from one day to the next to watch Nancy Grace give ole Casey down the road. How could a mother, no matter what her age might be, know that her little girl, Caylee, is missing for 30 days and not tell someone? Casey acted as if nothing was wrong, if anyone asked “where’s Caylee”, she’d say “with the nanny.” Ha – how many young, unmarried girls, unemployed have a nanny? I got so caught up in this story that my heart ached, thinking what horrors this poor little girl went thru, at first hoping she would be found alive and happy but no, when finally found she had duct tape over her mouth and was close to her grandparents home where she lived with her mom.

Then Casey was in and out of jail – she was protected in jail, keeping her to herself so no one could hurt her – people all over the U.S. were furious and ready to throw her to the wolves. Me included.

Now the case is just going to trial. Again, I am slowly getting caught up – Casey has now changed her story from “she’s with the nanny” to “she drown in the grandparents swimming pool and Casey didn’t tell anyone cause her Dad sexually abused her (Casey) when she was 8.” And yes, you read that right and no, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. This girl cannot tell the truth and now she wants the world to believe this story? I think not.

People, wake up – what is wrong in this picture? Now Casey sits at the table with her lawyer, Jose Baez – who is paying for her defense – the good people of Florida. I’m sure they are thrilled with that. The case will last 6 to 8 weeks. I know we are not to judge but when it comes to child killers and abusers and molesters, I’m glad I’m not the one in that Judge’s seat.

You can keep up with the latest at http://www.local6.com in Florida or the morning shows are reporting the events of each day.

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