4th of July Photo Journal – Family

I can’t believe we’re already on the downhill slope toward Christmas. Oy! If you watch Hallmark Channel, we’re on Christmas in July… round the clock Christmas movies. Gosh, I love Christmas movies, but that’s another post for another day. Right now, let’s discuss the 4th of July, again… one last time.

This will be in the form of hubby’s family. I only say that to distinguish between our two families although technically when we got married, they all became OUR family. Anyway… Just clarifying right there :).

Now one thing that I should point out just to remember is that Hubby and I were the last ones to the party for the most part. A couple of stragglers came in but, usually, we’re some of the first ones there. When we hosted it, we were first, now that we are just patrons (haha, jokes on them… just kidding) we’re still usually some of the first ones to show up. Then I had to leave to go back to my house to get a trailer to set up the fireworks on. 

When I got to the house, the joke was on me… hubby left his truck empty. I used his truck because at that time they were using the bed of mine to sort fireworks. I hopped in his truck and there were 27 miles to empty. Now, I could have made it to my sister-in-law’s and he could have made it from there to the gas station, but at that late at night, who wants to bother? So I stopped and got fuel for him. I might be nice sometimes, but don’t spread the word! (more…)

4th of July Photo Journal – Dive Club

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day saying something to the effect, 4th of July is over, it’s now time to get your Halloween costumes, your Thanksgiving menu, Christmas Presents, and we’re basically at the New Year, Happy 2020. Truthfully I might have giggled a little too much because… the way this year has been flying by, that almost seems real! Here we are 5 days past the 4th of July. Hello, July 9. We’re quickly approaching the dawg days of summer. It is finally getting hot and humid in Missouri. Yes, we have humidity. Yes, it’s horrible. You walk out of your house and feel like you’ve just walked out of the shower. It’s nuts.

Spring has been crazy around here. Tornadoes on top of tornadoes. Rain and flooding. Cooler temperatures… you name it, we’ve probably seen it. Except for a Hurricane. If we see a hurricane in Missouri, we have real problems. Did you know I’m only just a few hours away from the dead middle point of the U.S.? It’s up on the Kansas border near Nebraska. I’ve never been there although that’s on my list of things to do someday. Why not… 

I actually live in a part of Missouri where within 30 minutes you can be further into Missouri, into Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas. And there is a point over near here where you can be standing on the border of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 3 states in one swoop. Honestly, I’ve never been there either although I’ve always been within a mile or so of it. Why I never stop I have no idea.

This year because the 4th of July fell when it did, we got to celebrate twice. Once with our diver friends and again with my husband’s extended family. I overheard that some people think the 4th of July is only about bbq’s, fireworks, and spending time with family. That’s totally inaccurate. It’s about the birthday of our country. On July 4th, 1776 our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence freeing us from British control. It was only after a horrific battle called the Revolutionary War was fought and won. Just thought I’d throw that very broad, basic explanation out there for anyone who might be confused. Do they not teach that in schools anymore? Although the person who made the previous claim is closer to my age than not. I’m really confused.

4th of July

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Pigu {Italian Gougères}

Here while back, I came across a recipe for Pigu. What the heck is Pigu I wondered? Well, basically it is a little dough like thing filled with romano cheese. You start out by making the dough much like noodles, but I almost think it comes out tasting more like bread than a noodle dough. Basically, it is like an Italian Gougères.

Okay, I’ll bite (for you)… what is a Gougères? It is a choux pastry flavored with cheese (usually Gruyère), then usually filled with a savory filling.

So, we have dough, check.

We have cheese, check.

Well, it’s like an Italian Gougères, correct? We’re going to go with it and run! (more…)

Black Forest Birthday Cake

New Year’s Eve tends to be a night where everyone is ringing in the New Year. And don’t worry, we brought in the new year. In fact, I brought in the new year baking a cake… but not this one. I made this one the day before…

Our friend Doug has a birthday on New Year’s Eve. Yup, his momma got to ring in the new year in the hospital, but it wasn’t a bad accident. Nope, it brought my friend Doug into the world… 50 years ago in fact. And I have to admit, I met him in 2013 and didn’t realize he was in his 40’s at the time.

Wow, I’ve known him 5 years… CRAZY. I just thought about that. Just a thought… but back to the cake.

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Holiday Home Tour… Wait, What??

Everyone is all talking about Christmas and Holiday Home Tours and I’m over here like wait, WHAT?!?! I want to do that. Oh, wait… I can’t. Why? Well, look above. Do you know what you’re looking at? If not, I’ll tell you… It’s my open concept bathroom/Kitchen. Why put a wall between when you can make them one and take a shower while stirring something on the stove, right?

I’m kidding… sort of… I’ll explain. Right here on the left side of the wall (look for the shovel leaning up against the wall on the right side…) you really are looking into the kitchen and bathroom. And there really is no wall separating the two. They always say be prepared if you plan on doing something like this because you don’t know what you’re going to find. Well, what we found was there was a leak for what appeared to be YEARS in the bathroom where the bathtub/shower combo was and the floor was rotted. In fact, the wall behind where the window is was rotted all the way through and you can actually see the back side of the siding through the house. That’s not normal. Nope, not normal at all. (more…)

Pecan Pie Cake

As we all pretty well seem to know, this year has been the year of cakes. I stumbled across this cake a while back and thought, Perfect for Thanksgiving! In fact, I debated making this for Hubby’s birthday cake since I knew he wasn’t going to be home. But then he was going to be home. In the end, he wasn’t home. Then I made a cake he would like just in case. Heck, we were eating it without him and he can’t have nuts so…

So one of the ladies my mom works with asked me to make a cake. It was going to be one she’d had I’d made before… a Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake. Somehow with some convincing, I conned (haha) her into this one instead. She decided that yes, we’d do this one because the other flavor was more for her taste and this would be more for her whole family. My only request was I had to know how it was because I wasn’t going to get to try a bite. I hear it was excellent! I don’t know. I’ll probably have to make it sometime so I can try it! I like Pecan Pie.

Pecan Pie Cake

Unlike most of the cakes here lately 2 things… 1. I didn’t pull from here and there to do exactly what I wanted. I followed the recipe to a T. 2. It was only 2 layers high, not 3 or 4. The cake itself was made with brown sugar instead of regular sugar. It gave it a more molassessy feel/taste. Yup, totally made up that word. But as you know, brown sugar has molasses in it if you have to make it yourself. (more…)

Christmas Tree 2018 (And a Surprise)

Finally, the tree went up at our house over the weekend. I’ve been pretty much chomping at the bit (horse term) to get that tree up. I would like to say it went up without any hitches, but it didn’t… NOT. AT. ALL. In fact, I think the term hitches is a nice way of saying how things went on Saturday when we put the tree up. Sad day! Part of me wants to jot those memories down and part of me wants to forget it ever happened. No use in dwelling on the past, right? Let’s just say, Christmas is my favorite holiday (followed so close by Thanksgiving and all of the rest of the holidays) and I used the phrase, I Hate Christmas. Sadly, I try to teach Abug not to say hate. It’s something I try to instill in Abug, don’t hate. Yet I was so frustrated I kept saying HATE. Hypocrite! (that was directed at me, not you :))

The Tree

A few years ago we bought this tree at Lowe’s on sale after Christmas. Best purchase we’ve ever made when it comes to Christmas trees. It goes together so nicely and yeah, I love this tree. Plus, I’m a white light girl and hubby is a colored light guy… This tree flashes back and forth between white lights and colored lights. Best of both worlds!

My friend Harriett told me I needed to make a tree skirt for my tree, but it was too late to start it when she suggested that… so next year. I’m holding you to that Harriett! So Abug decided she was going to put the tree skirt on the tree… (more…)

Thanksgiving 2018

And just like that, Thanksgiving is over.  I saw a meme the other day that I actually saw a year ago… something about spending 10 hours cooking for it to be gone in 30 minutes and then spending 5 hours cleaning up or something. haha. But that’s kind of the fun in Thanksgiving!

It’s also funny how short weeks feel the longest sometimes. Thanksgiving is always the 3rd Thursday of November. And that week, every year feels so long! Probably because of the anticipation of what is to come that week. That’s what I’m going with anyway!

This year, we had plans to leave Tuesday after Abug got out of school to head to my aunt and uncle’s house in Oklahoma. I love when we get to go see them. I have a pretty small family as is, so when we don’t get to see each other on holidays it makes it feel so weird. Weird is the only word I can see to describe it. My family did get bigger when I married my husband, but still… unfortunately they don’t care for me very much so I’ve heard. I get blamed for things that are out of my control and that sucks. But my husband, he’s my rock. He loves me and that’s what matters!

Anyway, Tbug couldn’t come down with us because she had a dentist appointment on Wednesday. My parents weren’t able to come down until Wednesday night so they brought her with them. It was a big happy family!! (more…)

Family Fourth of July

I’ve talked about our Family Fourth of July quite a bit this week between the Spumoni Cake, the Wacky Cake, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. A lot of food talk huh? I also made a Greek Pasta Salad. Holy Yum! But hello, where are the pictures of the fireworks? I’m so glad you asked!

I spent quite a bit of time coming up with what desserts we were going to take. Then making sure I had all the ingredients. Finally, the execution.

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My Mother’s Day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is an interesting day, truly. Some people even choose not to celebrate it thinking that it is a Hallmark Holiday, however, those same people are willing to celebrate International Women’s Day. Just a thought. haha. I choose to celebrate Mother’s Day. It might be a Hallmark Holiday but you know… I like Hallmark movies. haha. I wonder if Hallmark tv channel and Hallmark Cards are one in the same… Google… I’ll be for you in a minute.

Now… I was a step-mother long before I was a mother. In fact, 6 years. There is a lot of debate if I got included in that celebration. There’s sometimes a debate if any step-mother’s are included. My husband included me although I didn’t feel like I should. But that’s neither here nor there. I am now a mom too. I guess I do get to celebrate Mother’s Day. Although I should clarify, earlier when I said I celebrated, don’t worry, I celebrated my own mother and my grandmothers.

Anyway, this year I invited my grandma, my mother in law, and of course my mother (after all right now we live in her house) for Mother’s Day dinner. The week leading up, I had no idea what I would make. I like to cook after all! But I was still at a loss for what to make. (more…)