Monday, February 28, 2011

In the Moment

Thoughts for Today: My mind is like a blank piece of paper today! LOL! Just had a really great weekend and need to take a nap. I am wanting to start my challenges on my other blog, so I am thinking on that. I am also remembering how much fun I used to have on different forums and completing the challenges that were out there. It really stretched me creatively and helped me grow as an artist. Would love to start to get back into that.
Out My Window: Clear skies and lots of sunshine. The green leaves on my palm tree in the front yard looks stunning against the blue sky!
I Am Wearing: Long sleeve navy blue shirt, jeans, brown heels and silver earrings. I also have a bra and panties that TMI? ;-P
I Am Hearing: My kids playing and the computer upstairs warming up.
I Am Reading: I am still reading the third book in "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe", "The Girl who Kicked a Hornet's Nest", and now "The Pioneer Woman".
Menu: I have no clue! Easy? No prep or little prep? I really need to go shopping! Looking forward to cooking dinners this week (what else is new right?)
To Do: Take a nap! LOL! Catch up on laundry is probably going to be my theme for the week. I had some gal pals over for the weekend and the house is actually clean, so it is just maintenance :-)
Creative Juices: Lots of creating happened this weekend, so my mojo is low. I think it will be a light week. Although, I am going to post a challenge on my other blog tomorrow.
Errands: I must go to the Post Office this week and get off lots and lots of packages. Other than that, nothing! :-)
Picture of the Week: An oldie, but goodie. I was browsing through my picture file and this caught my eye....probably because I am needing to go to the P.O! Anyways, this is of my boys with some boxes that went to our troops in war zone. I think this was taken in September of 2010!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In The Moment

Thoughts for Today: As we finished up putting our house back together (after the paint, roof, and two new AC units) I have learned that having a "showcase" house is not important to me. When Charlie and I first got married it was important that I had the "perfect model" house. I only had one wall (in the back) that had family photos on it and everything was perfectly coordinated. Don't get me wrong, it was cute. My house was adorable and people would come in and tell me how nice it was, however it did not have that "lived in" feeling. I was okay with not having the "lived in" feeling. In fact, on a lot of levels I craved it because that way I would not get attached to the house. Growing up we moved about once every 18 months, so although my Mom made our apartments look nice they never felt like home. I never really knew what a true home felt like until recently.

We have lived in this house for 6 years -- the longest I have ever lived in one place! We have three beautiful children and I learned that trying to keep up on that "perfect model" home was gonna drive me to the loony bin and create some very stressed out OCD children! I have started to let things go and with the turn in the economy it has been easy -- haha! As we were picking out colors for the interior of the house I told my husband that I would go out and pick up a new center piece for our dinning room, throw pillows, and coffee table. I then started to go through our boxes of stuff and my heart broke as I was going to donate or garage sale items out. I then realized that I had memories wrapped up in this stuff and it would actually be more responsible if I used what I had -- I also need to be a good stewardship with our money. So, that is what I did. I did not buy a single new thing to decorate with for our house. We even found a big box full of photo frames, quilts, and a clock that is from Germany in the garage. We hung up 54 photos of our family on our newly painted walls. Oh, and I supported my husband and the children hanging up all the photos they wanted where ever they wanted upstairs. My house is not "perfect", but it is our home and it reflects that. People may walk in and think "this may not look like a model house, but it sure feels like home." At the end of the day that is what I want my house to be -- a home.

Out My Window: The palm tree blowing in the wind on this cloudy, but beautiful day.

I Am Wearing: ASU hoodie sweatshirt, black sweat pants and Adidas tennis shoes

I Am Hearing: my dryer and DH snoring (he is taking a nap on the couch! LOL!)

I Am Reading: Ephesians and the third book in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I am also starting "The Hiding Place" with my daughter, although I have read it before (I am named after Betsie Ten Boom).

Menu: Sunday (Grilled Cheese and Vegetable soup), Monday (Chili and corn bread), Tuesday (Chili Dog Pie), Wednesday (Beef Strognoff), Thursday (Dinner out with my friend Nina), Friday (Sour cream Enchiladas and Tacos)

To Do: Monday (dust plantation shutters, pack kids bags for upcoming weekend at the cabin with Grandparents and Charlie), Tuesday (Shop for retreat at my house that I am hosting for a few of my gal pals from all over the US!), Wednesday (clean bathrooms and get prep work done for meals for retreat), Thursday (change sheets on beds and vacuum), Friday (RETREAT TIME!!!!!!).

Creative Juices: Put together 5 kits to work with during retreat

Errands: Shopping for retreat and lots of runs to Sky Harbor Air port! Yay!

Picture of the week:

My breakfast -- Protein shake made with berries. I have it every morning and it keeps the shakes away :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grandma's Biscuits

I decided to make biscuits from scratch tonight to go with our chicken and rice. My heart raced as I saw how lumpy they turned out. I thought "What did I do wrong?" Then it hit me -- nothing.

I must confess that over the years Grand's (and more recently the generic version of Grand's) biscuits is what I turn to. In fact, I am pretty sure I can count the number of times I have ever made biscuits from scratch. Why, you ask? Well, it is a bit time consuming and it makes a big old flour mess all over my kitchen. Regardless tonight I wanted to make the biscuits that I grew up with eating at my grandparents home -- my Grandmother's recipe. My sister compiled a wonderful cookbook for all the ladies of our family this year and thankfully she had this in it. See, my Grandma is suffering from dementia and her memory is spotty. This blessed treasured recipe was provided by my sister along with a few other family favorite's that we grew up with in California. I am so grateful that she has these and has passed them on to me. I would have never realized that I wanted it until it was too someone got dementia or something.

So, getting back to my biscuits tonight. I pull them out of the oven and they don't look right and I am worried. I then realized that good homemade (Grandma made biscuits) never look like canned biscuits! See these were lumpy and Grand's are smooth -- probably from all of the fake oils and such! My Grandma's biscuits are made with good old fashion REAL butter, flour, sugar, eggs (the kind from a chicken that have not been recreated in the Pillsbury lab) and milk from a cow (not the powdered stuff). Once I realized that these were indeed perfect and just the way I remembered them.

My Grandma always seemed to keep her kitchen so tidy as she made these and I never could figure out how she could accomplish that with all of that flour. It could be that I barely could see up on the counter as a little one watching her make these for My Grandpa' breakfast (biscuits and gravy or pancakes was his Saturday morning feast each and every week). Maybe she did have a big mess, but I did not know. My kitchen, on the other hand, looked like a bread factory blew up in it once I finally got them in the oven. However, it did bring back another sweet memory from childhood and that was eating the left over dough that Grandma would let me have before she made the"dud" biscuit (you know real homemade biscuits there has to be one that is funny shaped because it is made with the left over dough. Sometimes it is a bit drier that the rest of the batch because it has been worked so many times. You won't find that in Grand's biscuits!). Ah, yes I did take a nibble (maybe two...three...four...should I get tested for saminila from the egg? Funny, how we never worried about those things back in the day....I wonder if I have worms from all the raw homemade dough I have eaten over the last 30+ years?) and was flooded with sweet childhood memories.

Dinner was a hit.

I am certain that my Grandma's biscuits are going to replace canned in our house. Not only did we thoroughly enjoy them at dinner, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making them for my family!

Grandma Love's Biscuits:
3 C all purpose flour
2 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 TBSP baking powder
3/4 TSP salt
3/4 TSP cream of tartar
3/4 C butter
3/4 C milk
1 egg lightly beaten

Oven 425F
Sift together into a bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Add the butter. With a fork or pastry blender, cur the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the milk and egg just until combined. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead lightly 4 or 5 strokes. Roll or pat into a 1/2 to 3/4 - inch round. Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter (I used the top of a glass). Place on a baking sheet (I like them touching because it keeps them soft on the edges) and bake 10 - 15 minutes. (For elevation of 500 feet or more, use 4 tsp. baking powder.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In the Moment

Thoughts for Today: Where has the last 13 years gone? As I was going through pictures to hang on the wall I was amazed at how fast time flies.

Out My Window: Darkness. It is 9:00 PM and the sun has set.

I Am Wearing: a Tinkerbell short sleeve shirt, black crop sweat pants, and pink fluffy socks (my feet are cold!LOL!)

I Am Hearing: my dryer and TV show DH is watching

I Am Reading: The book of Galatians and I am still trying to work my way through "The Girl Who Played with Fire". I am also reading the third book in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series.

Menu: Sunday (Tortilla Soup), Monday (Chicken Delight), Tuesday (Chili and Cornbread), Wednesday (vegetable cheese soup and homemade bread), Thursday (Slow Cooked Chicken and rice), Friday (Sloppy Joes and Sweet Potato Fries)

To Do: Monday (home blessing hour -- basically I spend ten minutes per chore doing the following: trash, clutter buster pick up, counters, mirrors, hard floors, and vacuum. It changes from week to week, but basically I pick 6 tasks and give it 10 minutes to each task.), Tuesday (Deep Clean Master Bedroom), Wednesday (Deep Clean Master Bathroom), Thursday (Clean other two bathrooms), Friday (Vacuum Stairs).

Creative Juices: I need to wrap my RAKS I have for the upcoming retreat and finish my Valentine gifts for my family. I also need to go through my pictures and get a few printed up.

Errands: Post Office, grocery shopping, and parent teacher conferences for Parker and Annie.

Picture of the week:

Charlie and I a few years back on Valentine's Day at Rustler's Roost.

I am going to try to do an "In the Moment" Blog entry each week. If for nothing else to organize my week. LOL!

Note: I am still working on weight loss! I am not going to be weighing myself once a week like I was before based on doctor's recommendation. My doctor is very pleased with the progress I have made! One of the things that was most exciting is that my blood pressure is normal! Yay!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Pigeons are Threating Us!

First it starts with this:

Then it leads to this:

and this:

This is what I found on my door mat this morning as I opened the door to take my children to school! My poor innocent children!!!!!!

Do you need a closer look?

We put these all over our house and they are now using our weapons of mass destruction against us! I think they are serious. Please, send in reinforcements if you don't hear from us in the next 48 hours!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Doing the Pigeon

Do you remember Bert from Sesame Street and his song "Doing the Pigeon"? I have had that racing through my mind all day long! Why you ask? Because of this:

Why am I posting a picture of my roof?

Well....because the hail may have damaged my ceiling, but stupid pigeons have ruined my roof! The roofer found a few of the following all over our roof and tucked into tiles:

Not to mention all the bird crap that was everywhere as well. Seriously, we could open our own fertilizer company with the amount we have found. Over the years I have enjoyed the little pigeon nest that was on top of our pillar by the front door. The sweet little cooing of the birds was peaceful. My daughter and I would scold my husband whenever he would grab his gun andgo outside with our dog and shoot them. Then have the dog fetch them. We thought it was cruel. You know what?

I am now getting my own gun and gonna help! Grrrrrrr.....

Here's to a new roof!