Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving feastDesserts at my Father in Law's house - Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 is on the books. It was a bit of a sad Thanksgiving this year as it was the first Thanksgiving without Grandma W. That first Thanksgiving is always awkward. Awkward and sad. This proved to be no different. And it was strange because my Father-in-laws house is always booming with people. Not this year though. There was still a fair amount of us, but still, it was different. (more…)

Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving table

I saw a friend posted on Facebook yesterday (I think it was) a question asking if everyone had that perfect, Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner. Then she asked what about those who had no one. I am paraphrasing. I guess I never really thought about it truthfully. We have Thanksgiving whether it’s my extended family or just my close family, either way, we celebrate it. In 2011, hubby and I made our first Thanksgiving meal. Prior to that we just attended Thanksgiving at family’s house.

I always had a goal to make a turkey. In 2012 we made our first Bacon Wrapped turkey. Yum! I think having a turkey is the only “traditional thing” we do. We play with sides. We play with turkey recipes. We’re not traditionalists. I remember one year at my aunt’s house she said we were having a “grown-up” Thanksgiving meal. It was good, but the only traditional part was having a turkey. I wish I was into taking pictures that Thanksgiving (as I am now) so I had a memory of what we actually had… I remember steamed green beans, roasted potato chunks, and that’s about my recollection of that menu.

But… do we have that Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner? Good question. Here’s what Thanksgiving looks like at our house, give or take….

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Black Friday

Sitting pondering life drinking a cup of coffee

Guys, I’ve never been a “Black Friday Shopper.” Not in the sense of Black Friday shopping anyway. I’ve never stood in line hours or even the night before to get into a store. I’ve never been in a fighting match over the last hot item, etc. Truthfully, the reason is… I’m lazy. I like my sleep. The older I get, the easier it is to get up early, but I just flat out love my sleep.

Now don’t get me wrong, I usually do venture out on Black Friday, but my morning doesn’t start until closer to at least 7 am. And that time is pushing it. That might be my roll out of bedtime…

But these days I listen to the ads on tv and they talk about getting Black Friday prices NOW. Now happens to be 2 weeks or more before Thanksgiving. So It makes me wonder, are they going to do something special for Black Friday? Or are the days of true Black Friday shopping over?

I know people who are in the stores on Thursday night when they open. Roaming, looking for just that perfect deal… In fact, someday I may be one of them if need be to get my kid just what she wants. Truthfully I hope I’m not that person. Again… I like my sleep.

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Army Quilt – Finished

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that it was my husband’s birthday. Guys, his birthday present was friggin awesome, in my opinion anyway. Although, he was pretty keen on it too!

It seems like a million years ago I did that 101 in 1001 project. In fact, I did this sometime in the first years we were married. One of the goals I had was to make him a quilt out of his old army uniforms. And I slowly worked on it. Read that as I worked on it 1-2 days and then piled it away for another day.

Jump forward 5 years to about the beginning of October…. okay, back up to earlier this year first. When we were working on Abug’s quilt, I took hubby’s army uniforms to my grandma’s and told her we needed to make hubby’s quilt also. We used a couple pieces in Abug’s quilt and then it sat all spring/summer in grandma’s sewing room. So now we’re at the beginning of October and I went to grandma’s to can my fall green beans. I looked at her and said, OH CRAP, we were going to make hubby’s quilt and his birthday is in 4 weeks (or whatever the actual time frame was).

I knew that I was going to be busy the week of October 16th due to the Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili Cookoff and that I would be out of town the week of hubby’s birthday. So I told Grandma, if you can help, we’ll get this done for his birthday. She was ecstatic to help. Grandma’s are cool like that.

Choosing the Quilt Pattern

The first day we went to work, we had to decide what pattern to make. Grandma has a HUGE stack of pattern magazines and books. When I say huge, I’m not exaggerating and imagine HUGE! We debated this one and that one and tossed around ideas. Then I ran across this in the back of one of the magazines. The thing is… it wasn’t a pattern but more of an advertisement.

Celebrating Abe advertisement for quilt

The more I got to looking at it, the more I realized we had done this type of star in Abug’s quilt, so I pulled that pattern out. I sat there and did calculations (yes, everyone trusted my mathematical skills…. scary I know) and away we went to making this quilt.

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Greek Ravioli Skillet

Greek Ravioli Skillet. A perfect combination of salty and pasta. The combination of pasta, beef, Feta cheese, and Kalamata olives come together with zucchini, Basil, and tomato sauce to create a perfect Greek dish.

I mentioned yesterday that 9/11 holds a special, weird, place in my heart. Three different events happened on that day to just kind of leave me in tears. Losing my grandma was extremely difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (both sets, all 4 of them) growing up. Both my parents worked, so for many summers, I stayed with one or the other set of grandparents. Losing my first grandparent was difficult. You have no idea. I was in my early 20’s so I was lucky, some people don’t even get to meet their grandparents. I was extremely lucky.

So, what does that have to do with Greek Ravioli Pasta? Good question.Well… My grandma was half Greek. Her father actually came through Ellis Island. Once upon a time I went to New York City and did all the touristy things, including touring Ellis Island. That was CRAZY the things they went through coming through there. WOW! My great-grandpa died when my grandma was 5 years old. He got pneumonia a couple years before penicillin was invented. Had he gotten it after, he would have probably been saved, maybe anyway. Who really, truly knows.

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9/11 – Never Forget

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”- Former President George W Bush

“We’re going to find out who did this and we’re going after the bastards”- Sen. Orrin Hatch

What more is there to say that they haven’t already said?

Your Earliest Memory | Blogging 30

Oh heck, my earliest memory? I have a lot of memories and to know which one is the earliest is a bit difficult. So let’s go with this one since we’ve been recently helping my parents renovate their deck.

When I was about 5-6 years old, my dad was building a new horse barn. We had a hay barn that we had makeshift stalls in for the horses, but he wanted something a little more permanent. So that’s when we (by we I mean mom and/or dad) got the idea to make a permanent horse barn. It either had 4 or 5 stalls plus a tack room. As a kid, I was always outside. I remember walking out to the barn area looking for my dad who I knew was out there. When I walked around the corner of the new barn I saw him on a ladder, hanging on trying not to fall. The ladder had shifted on him and the only thing keeping him from falling on the ground was he was holding himself and the ladder up. It’s hard to describe…

I just looked at him and said, What are you doing? I don’t think he’d ever been so happy in his life to see someone. He immediately yelled at me to go get my mom. She came out and helped him down. But I just remember looking up and saying, “What are you doing?” very innocently.

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My 34th Birthday

 

Here we are, halfway through the next month and I still haven’t recapped/talked about my birthday.

I should tell you I hate birthdays. Not because I don’t like getting older. No, I’m fine with that. That means I’m still alive. I just hate the day. In more recent years I haven’t had good birthdays. It’s been forgotten by family and friends (not all, please don’t take offense if you remembered!!!). It gets treated like another day. It’s just not a big deal. And I guess I feel like it should be a big deal? I don’t know. Maybe I’m full of myself… ha.

When hubby and I got together, it seems like he gets week long birthday’s and I barely get a day. I guess I was a bit jealous of that. The reason he gets that is that if his birthday falls during the week, we’re supposed to get Tbug to celebrate, but that doesn’t always happen. So we celebrate on his birthday. I’ve thrown him surprise birthdays. Plus we’ve celebrated his real birthday on a weekend we had Tbug. Multiple times all of this has happened.

This year, my hubby decided to give me a week long birthday. This morning I saw a quote on Facebook:

I know good men still exist because I am lucky enough to have one.

A friend from college commented that she couldn’t help but think back to our Memoirs class and how much she learned about him. Maybe this is something I should have written about in class… Although I’m not far enough removed from it to use for a memoir.

Anyway, let’s quit procrastinating and let’s discuss

my birthday.

My birthday started out the weekend before my birthday, if you ask hubby. I had been wanting to eat at the Japanese Steakhouse for a while. He decided we were eating there and that was the start of my birthday.

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How To: Can Tomatoes

The other day I was down at my grandma’s and she made a comment that really kind of stuck with me. As you know I started a garden this year. This is my second attempt but first successful attempt at a garden. That’s cool, right? I planted green beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers (assorted), and carrots. At my house, we really don’t eat many raw tomatoes, so I called my grandma up and asked her to help me can them. She agreed. So what exactly did she say that stuck with me? That she was proud of me for learning how to do this because it is becoming a lost art. Wow! It was one of those things I thought of but never really made note of.

How to: Can Tomatoes

Midwestern at Heart: How To: Can Tomatoes. This is my Grandma's tried and true method of canning tomatoes so you have fresh tomatoes from your summer garden all year long.

The first thing you want to do is decide what you think you’ll use these tomatoes for. I told her I was going to use these for tomato sauce or pasta sauce eventually. Keep that in mind when trying this method!

I have a mixture of Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes in my bucket.

Midwestern at Heart: Bucket of Tomatoes

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10 Reasons to Visit Cozumel, Mexico

I keep mentioning Cozumel and our trip. Are you sick of hearing about it yet without hearing about it? Yeah, me too! haha. So here is 1 of a couple posts on Cozumel… But this one is Why You Should Visit Cozumel!

1. The SCUBA Diving! Oh my gosh, the SCUBA diving in Cozumel is amazing. The water temperature is like 80-84 degrees F year round (26-29˚C). The sealife is out of this world. There are reef and nurse sharks, turtles galore, fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and so much more, including if you’re lucky a potential Hammer Head Shark AND Seahorses. No, the sharks aren’t scary. At first I thought they would be, but they aren’t. When people yell or give the Shark sign, others go running, camera in hand. The visibility seems endless. You could be at the surface, see the ocean floor, take off for it and it’s sitting at 80-100 feet down. I mean the visibility is a dream.

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