Thursday, July 30, 2009

So What Do You Do When. . .

. . .you've gone out to eat at a restaurant that your neighbor manages;

. . .you are eating very few sweets these days in an attempt at weight control;

. . .the server comes and says "Your neighbor is sending you a dessert on the house."

. . .and it is a brownie with a cream cheese topping and candied fruits on top of that. . .

What do you do?

I found out what you do.

You accept it, say thank you, eat it, and enjoy it with no guilt--after all, it wasn't like it was requested or purloined.

It was delicious. It hit the spot. And no, I won't fall off the wagon.

My "Garden"

Every year I get fussed at because I don't do a very good job at tending my "garden." It's not much of a garden - just a few tomato plants and whatever I feel like putting out there--this year about four squash plants, an eggplant, a zucchini, and a few beans. There was also lettuce when it was cooler out. It's also true that I get quite excited about putting things out and then am not very good about watering and checking them after the first enthusiasm wears off.

Here is my bounty for today. Not bad for plants that don't get much tending. There are a lot more beans to come - they're from two ten-cent packages of seeds that I bought at the hardware store at the very end of seed season.
How do you cook an eggplant?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cow Appreciation Day

Chick-Fil-A sponsored a promotion day where anyone who came in dressed like a cow got free food. ML and her co-worker dressed up all their little kiddies as cows and took them over to the Chick. Don't they look cute!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Please Get Rid of These Words!!!

If the three words
and amazing
were eliminated from the English
language, it would be just fine by me!
However, I don't think a lot of people would be able
to talk or write if that happened. . .some people seem to
have forgotten that any other adjectives even exist.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I went to the Farmers' Market again this morning. The place was absolutely packed with both sellers and buyers, because we're at the peak season for fresh vegetables and fruits. I almost get carried away when going there.

The peaches this year are delicious. Every night I pack a fruit bowl for Mike to take to work because he really enjoys those peaches at 1:00 in the morning. Cantaloupe this year has been delicious too, though I usually get that at a produce stand run by a family that used to be affiliated with our school. The ones I buy are a little high, but it's worth it to get such good ones.

I got a small "Sugar Baby" watermelon today and also a small honeydew. I always get some tomatoes to supplement the few that are coming off my plants in the back yard.

About all I have been cooking for the past couple of weeks are salads for Mike or BLT sandwiches on rye bread or homemade bread from my mother. Sometimes the tomatoes are so big that you only need one slice.

The corn is about done. It is wonderful at the beginning of the season--so sweet and good--but toward the end the worms are so bad that it "eckles" me to shuck it. So even though there were several people selling it this morning, I didn't get any.

Happy Good Eating!

(the picture is from

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cantaloupe and Tomatoes

I had never heard of eating cantaloupe and tomatoes together until coming to teach at my current job. A wonderful woman named Marlene put together the brunches during inservice week each year, and the staff couldn't wait until the day she served biscuits and gravy, and cantaloupe and tomatoes. Both were at their summer's best during the second week of August, and the teachers loved it.

So I tried it. And yes - the two are delicious together. Especially when both are sprinkled with salt. Maybe it's a southern thing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Letter to the Editor of TASTE OF HOME

I sent this letter to the woman who serves as editor of both COUNTRY WOMAN and TASTE OF HOME magazines:


I've been a Taste of Home subscriber since 1995, and got all the back issues on eBay to have a complete set. For years it was by far my favorite magazine. It got me started on Country Woman, Quick Cooking/Simple & Delicious, and Farm and Ranch. I loved the Reiman publications.

With great sorrow, I am going to let Taste of Home expire. Since being taken over by the Reader's Digest company, it is not the same. It's just another glossy food magazine. It's not the ads - it's the big-city-style editing. The homey feeling that made Taste of Home unique is gone. I will not miss Taste of Home - I've already missed it for a couple of years. The magazine I loved has been gone for quite awhile.

Please pass this opinion on to whomever needs to know. Thank you so much for your time.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Never Steal Again

Last night I was at the "young mothers' Bible study" at church (no, I am not young, but they said we old ones could come too since they're meeting at night this summer). In the course of the evening, one mom told how she caught her (young) daughter at home with a necklace that they hadn't paid for. The girl had hidden it in her room.

The mom made her take it back to the store and apologize. Then she took it one step further - she took the whole family down to the county juvenile division, and the warden gave them a tour. Her husband went along also, which added to the gravity of the situation. The warden told the girl, "If you were a little older and you took something without paying for it, you'd have to come here. The beds are hard, there are no toys, and there are no mommies."

After they got home they hugged her and told her how much they loved her. I'd venture to say that that girl, or her siblings (who were very affected by the whole thing), will never ever steal anything again! There's a mom who drove her point home!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Art Camp

ML went to her final art camp last week. We are so proud of her abilities and her hard work at developing them. She is in a great position to start an art or graphic design major this fall.
Metalworking - a giant squid!

Drawing of an animal skull. I think she's scanned this in

and I may post a close-up of it later.

Her very first oil painting ever.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sad Sight

This morning I went with Mike to a doctor's appointment. Our doctor's office is located fairly near our old neighborhood, so after he was done, we drove past, with some trepidation at what we would see.

It was worse than we imagined. We knew the people who bought it did not keep the yard the way Mike used to when we lived there, but this was awful. It was a jungle. Grass overgrown, plants in need of trimming, landscaping with no apparent attention given to it in years. It was by far the worst house and yard in the neighborhood. Our old neighbors will likely never forgive us.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seeing Someone Learn and Respond

I've been on hiatus from Spanish church for a couple of months (they didn't need me for awhile).  Last Sunday I noticed that one young father, who used to be very reticent and acted uncomfortable even being there, was helping with the offering and seemed much more interested in the goings-on.  This week I asked the pastor's wife about him.  She said "Oh, we took several couples from the church to a conference this spring.  He didn't really want to go but went at the last minute.  They had separate sessions for the men and women, and he learned about male leadership for the first time.  His response was 'I didn't know that men were supposed to lead and if they didn't, the women would just fill the vacuum.'"  

This morning he was helping set up the microphone and other things needed for the service, and took his place to help with the offering as well. It was a joy to observe.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great Doc

My daughter had a physical for college this morning. She had to have a TB test, and her arm has to be read in no fewer than two days. She can't go into the doctor's office Monday because she'll be gone to art camp. So our wonderful doc said, and I heard it over the phone because she had called to ask if I know how to read a TB test: "Tell you what, I'll be at home on Saturday morning. You just run by and bring your form, and I'll check your arm." Can you believe that?!!! He is a wonderful doctor, and this isn't the first time he's gone the extra mile for us. We are very grateful to have him.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quilt Thoughts

I got these two quilt tops at a yard sale last fall, for $2 apiece. I don't really know why I bought them, except that they reminded me much of when I was a child and used to piece quilts with Grandma Hemmer and Aunt Louise. Grandma and I cut pieces out on the screened in back porch on long summer mornings. And then in the evenings, when Aunt Louise was home from work, she would piece quilts on the sewing machine, and I would feed her the squares, making sure to alternate dark and light squares. They were always basic quilts, because they were for the World Relief group to knot and send around the world, so they weren't real great works of art. But they were beautiful in their own way.
I will probably list these on eBay for lack of anything to do with them. But they are really interesting to look at, because they are a throwback to earlier days. The fabric is probably vintage 1950s. Even some of the small pieces are pieced within themselves - it is very obvious that the maker was a Depression-era woman who used everything, letting nothing to go waste.
I also think about them in context of today's young people, who know nothing of piecing or quilting things like this. Blankets to them come from China via the department store. And they would know (or probably care) even less about the intricate patterns or the amount of work involved. They just have no appreciation for much of anything that doesn't come with a screen. And I am afraid that that is a loss for all of us - and will be even more so when today's young people have become the parents and grandparents who have lost this link to history and cultural ties.