Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strwaberry Cream Puffs....For the FOURTH OF JULY!

I am convinced that strawberries are a delight no matter your status in life. Who can't agree on a perfect strawberry? Who can resist their red goodness, plucked straight off the plant? Their beauty adorns (and has for generations!) colorful kitchen linens and curtains, pillows and pictures, canisters and more. And why not? They're perfection.

In addition to the the bliss of eating as much as you want of the plentiful strawberry harvest in any number of ways: just alone, crushed with a bit of sugar, over ice cream, over angel food can really impress with many desserts made with these tart berries, in particular you will please almost everyone with this dessert: CREAM PUFFS IN A PAN topped with your garden-fresh sliced strawberries.

Garnished with strawberries, and drizzled with chocolate, on a base of the light cream puff pastry topped with a layer of vanilla pudding: it's heaven on earth. When you take a big pan of these to any potluck or picnic, you will not be embarrassed to be seen taking any of your dessert home: it will for sure be enjoyed and exclaimed over. Be aware that if you make these all alone at your house, the temptation will be way, way too much for you. You'll need help to resist the lure.

This dessert is best served fresh. KEEP COLD if not served immediately.

1 cup water
1 cup oleo
1 cup flour
4 eggs

3 c. milk
2 small boxes INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
Cool Whip
Chocolate syrup to drizzle

Boil water and oleo. Add flour after removing from heat. Beat in eggs, one at a time, with a fork and spread on a well-greased jelly roll pan or sheet cake pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. Crust WILL BE UNEVEN.

While crust bakes, prepare filling. Beat together pudding, milk, and cream cheese. (Chill until crust is cool.) Spread over crust. Top that pudding layer with a layer of cool whip. Cut dessert into squares. Garnish every square with a strawberry half. Drizzle the whole dessert artfully with Hershey's chocolate syrup.

Grab a full cold glass of milk, or make a pot of coffee or tea and ENJOY!

The crust is bright yellow going into the oven...

It puffs up as it bakes and eventually looks like a freaky lunar surface...

The pudding mixture is DELISH and is a soft creamy and'll have no trouble at all finding someone to lick the beaters!

Here's to our soldiers who afford this freedom to us.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dirt. Always. Wins.

Sometimes the futility of being a housewife and cleaning up a lot occurs to me as I
scoop up dustpansful of dirt or dump the mop bucket and see all the dirt I am taking back outside...again.

I shall soon see that dirt again...only perhaps next time I will be getting rid of it by another method, for instance, the vacuum or the washing machine...

And then the profound and morbid thought occurs to me
(profound is a matter of opinion, morbid is a matter of fact!)
that I shall be buried in dirt once I die.

I've spent most of my life fighting it and it will, in the end, cover me!
And then after a while I will BE dirt!


If I choose not to be buried and and have my family cremate my remains, I will still become "dirt" in the form of dust.


Dirt ALWAYS wins!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Soft & Sweet...

Do you have a minute?

If so, I have
Just a quick question for you...

I want to know...

Is there anything softer, or sweeter, or that smells as good...

As piles of fresh baby laundry...?

All done up in

Dreft, with a rinse of


Is there anything softer?


Oh, YES, I think there IS!

Much softer,

and so much more sweet,

and that smells like HEAVEN,



These sweet, soft, (softer than a rose petal!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Judging a Magazine by its Cover: COUNTRY Living??

I'm breaking one of my own rules and going negative on you today.


I got my Country Living the other day...and I wanted to scream!

I mean,
does this cover do ANYTHING for you

Not for me.

Not in my opinion!

Now, I might be wrong, but since this is one of the last of the mainstream "Country" magazines left on the stand, you'd think they would try a little harder to win their target audience and to keep us, their (to this point) loyal readers and subscribers.

BUT LATELY, I'm wondering WHO is their target audience?

I thought it was me.

Someone who enjoys the COUNTRY and beautiful photography.
Someone who wants to and maybe even does LIVE in the COUNTRY.
Someone who enjoys looking at COUNTRY STYLE decorating magazines,
Who loves antiques, junking and COUNTRY STYLE makeovers using those finds.
Someone who loves COUNTRY STYLE gardening, cooking and canning.
Someone who enjoys seeing how others use antique items in practical ways in their COUNTRY STYLE home.

To be fair...
This photo on the features page does appeal to the country side of me.
This feature was actually done on a farmhouse. That was refreshing, and it had a few unique ideas for furnishings and remodeling. A few of the features did showcase some nice buys and furnishings that weren't from IKEA.

And this photo a few pages in was nice, it says summer, country, and farm living all over it!

But there was no follow through...they recommend a book; however they should have made canning your own jams and jellies actually look doable instead of recommending a book that costs $29.95.

What's wrong with the simple and inexpensive BALL BLUE BOOK that would cost under ten dollars....more practical for those that actually WOULD can and preserve. The economy we are in calls for realistic financial approaches, we COUNTRY leaning folks are practical and usually looking for ways to get things done in a cost-effective way; more so now than ever!

I don't know who edits these magazines, but I sure wish editors and staff would take a cue from the blogs that are out there, and pursue those wonderful resources in blogland for inspirational cover photographs, features, and articles.

Blogs are wonderful, although I have to say that NOT being a child of the technology generation, I still enjoy sitting in my rocker on the porch in the evening with a good magazine and a drink and "escaping". I still have room in my life for printed material.

I would like it if COUNTRY LIVING took into consideration the realistic side of those of us in "flyover country" and that they would understand that not many of us care one bit for $185 charm bracelets or about IKEA and that we have little to no appreciation for bright green, orange and yellow nooks in bungalows in Los Angeles.

I'm sorry....but that's how I feel.
And I won't be paying the subscription's going to expire on me.
It's just an expectation that is a continual disappointment.

How about YOU?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Views from Home...

When my husband and sons got here the other day, he gave me a hug and a kiss and told me that he brought me some pictures. Now wasn't that sweet? He knew I'd want to see how my flowers were doing. And I can see that he took care of them quite well.

In between all the runs to and from school for our son, to and from basketball camp, and to and from his job, cooking meals, doing laundry, taking care of pets, and trying to fit in the lawn-mowing between all the rains, he thought I'd like to see how things were going back at home.

I so much appreciate that about him, all those little things he thinks of that are just plain sweet.

Just the fact that he was willing and encouraging me to leave and go stay with Jamie all that time, when he knew it could be a month before I'd be back home, he said "Go, be with Jamie, you won't want to miss it."

And he was right.

I'm so glad I didn't miss it, although Jamie went so fast I almost did miss getting to the hospital on time!

This gal is
so glad he was willing and selfless enough to let me go, I know it was hard to be a single dad for a while.

When I left the garden wasn't yet planted, this garden now has a brand new fence, and look at those rows of potatoes now!

And it looks like I might have missed the peonies blooming, maybe they'll hang on a little while longer!

And, when I left, the blooms were on the strawberries, and the tiny berries had formed on the raspberry bushes. Now look! The raspberries are ready, the strawberries by now are done and won't be back until next year.

Life is good... both here and at home.
And, soon, I shall be back.

Old Hands & New

Papaw holds his new little grandson.
Papaw's hands are work worn and they contrast
with those brand new and precious tiny hands...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is It Monday Again?

Levi Jack
One week

Happy (official) first day of summer!
I thought you might like an update on this little guy.
He's a content baby.
He nurses well.
He has gained back everything from his post-birth weight loss and then some.
Mommy is doing well, but she has had quite an issue with her shoulder and is still struggling with getting that straightened out.
We are making regular visits to the chiropractor...
We think it all started with nursing and the odd positioning that is required when you try to nurse sitting up in a hospital bed for almost three days.
It happened to me, too, and I can't tell you how much this hurts, it's like a stabbing pain in the shoulder blades that is constant. It's worse than any pain associated with the post-birth period.

In spite of all that, Levi stays awake and cluster feeds in the evenings and has slept three, then four, then five hours in a row his first week home. Mom and dad are pleased but should probably expect a deviation from this sleep pattern every now and then. *Ü*

And, yesterday was Father's Day and my husband and two sons made the trip from Michigan to see the baby; they had a safe trip and for that we're thankful. It was priceless when Pawpaw gave me my first hug in a month and then held his sweet little grandson for the first time. The uncles immediately fell in love with this little guy, too!

We all had a "getting to know you" session with Levi (with lots of cameras!) and then sat down to a Father's Day meal fit for a pig....slow-baked, then bbq'd baby back ribs and baked potatoes, biscuits and corn.

I am planning to enjoy my last week here with this little man...
and of course our time with our daughter and son-in-law.

Mommy looks a little exhausted but is so happy (and beautiful!).

I love how little Levi studies his mom's face with his little frown of concentration as he listens to her when she talks!

It's soooo HOTTTT here in Alabama, today supposed to be nearly one hundred on the thermometer and with the heat (and humidity!) I'm sure it will take us to at least the feel of 110!

I hope this Monday after Father's Day finds you all well?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Scenic Sundays: Barn

Happy Father's Day...

and especially to the father of MY children,
you are much loved and appreciated for your giving nature
and your care for all of us.

There's nothing better that a father can give his children
than to simply love their mother.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vintage Singer

As you know, I'm staying with my daughter, I've been here almost a month!
It's been so nice, and that little grandson is, of course, so much fun!

But there are other things of interest around her house. Yes, she got the bug from me, she likes vintage and has collected a few things. This sits in her dining room, a hard-won auction bid got her this beauty.

Fifty dollars and a little work and this baby will be good as new!

But she is as pretty as can be without any work, too, at least we think so.

At the same sale, Jamie bought this vintage sewing book, as well as cases of vintage cookbooks. I'll show you some of those in another post. She got some sweet ones!

I just love the legs and treadles on these old girls, still beautiful after all of these years.

And, recently, I came across a box of vintage patterns for a dime each, and I chose some of the more appealing ones, and they've been well-used and then were resold to the person that I bought them from!

Little treasures, is what they are...

I'd like to try some of these....they're really cute!
That jacket would look great with jeans!

Most of these patterns were originally sold for under a dollar, were resold years ago for two cents, and now I've bought them for a dime.

Perhaps these patterns will live on, just as the old Singer will do...

And what's best about all of these things?