Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tis The Season For Christmas Movies Fla La La La La

  Well, we have raced through the first eleven months. Now we turn the corner toward The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is fast approaching. Are you ready? Have you started shopping? Decorating? Are you tired of it all already? Well, maybe a movie will help. Sit back, relax, and take in the sights and sounds of the many movies of the season.

  As a child it was the cartoons that I loved the most. I believe my favorite was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Of course A Charlie Brown Christmas was always on as well. Who couldn’t appreciate the wonder of that teeny tree? Now-a-days you can find similar trees in catalogs for a small sum. Who woulda thought? It wasn’t all about the reindeer or the Charlie Brown gang, no. There was a big green nasty machine called the Grinch too.

  Somewhere along the way they made the Grinch cartoon into a movie. I will admit I have seen it a few times. I am not a movie connoisseur by any means, but when it comes to Christmas movies I do like to watch a lot of them. With so many to choose from where do I start? I guess for classics I like Miracle on 34th Street, but a couple others are in the running as well. Coming into the not quite so old movies I loved Home Alone. I swear I would have to watch that one about three or four times during the season. Now my all time favorite has to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Every year on Christmas Eve I would watch it at least once. Then I would watch it periodically throughout the year as well. It is just one of those movies that make me happy. There are so many Christmas movies out there I could go on and on, but for your sake I won’t.

  If movies aren't your thing, are books? There are many great Christmas books that come out every year. I just finished a Christmas book by one of my favorite authors, Robyn Carr. I owe my writing infatuation to her. Every year I will immerse myself in a few festive books.

  If you can’t tell I am one of those people that really enjoys the Christmas season. I love the music, the cartoons, the movies, and the books.

  Do you love the spirit of the season? What is your movie of choice? Do you have a favorite Christmas book? Have you decorated yet?

W.P.I. - Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and other such berries perform best in rich, loose, well-drained soil. Depending on the type of soil you have and whether you need to adjust the pH (blueberries need an acidic soil of pH 4.5 to 5.0), you may want to spend fall preparing the soil and wait until spring to plant.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bacon Nation

  Sadly the Thanksgiving holiday has now come and gone. All that preparation and anticipation builds and builds then poof… it’s all over. As soon as it is over though a new anticipation starts. One for Christmas. Now-a-days the pre holiday sales start before Thanksgiving is over, even giving the words Black Friday a new meaning. Needless to say I did not attempt to do any shopping on Friday, but I did find myself in a couple of specialty shops on Saturday. One shop had different flavored peanuts, dips, candy, and spices. It was when I spotted this one special thing that I knew what I would blog about next.

  I have seen and heard so much about different bacon ideas lately. I scratch my head at some things I have seen, and wonder HOW, in a society so set on eating healthy, this became acceptable! 

  Who says, “Let’s put some bacon, and bacon flavoring in a martini? We’ll call it a Bacontini.”

  Or, “Let’s put some bacon flavoring in mayonnaise.” I squint because I am trying to taste it in my head. I think I like it.
"Lite," really?

  Now, bacon flavored popcorn? I don’t know.

  Bacon gumballs? Heck no. But someone came up with the idea. And I’m sure there are people who like them.

  What about bacon salt, or bacon seasonings? I am in awe of all things that bacon has become an influence on.

  Who makes a bacon pie crust? Someone did. I will say this one does not appeal to me that much. What kind of pie do you think that is?

  Then I found this, which I laughed at. If you are new to my ramblings then you don’t know I am a plant person. Now you do, so you should see my humor in this…

  All in all I can’t believe how bacon has taken off. Don’t get me wrong, I like bacon. I just don’t need it on everything I eat. Or drink. Or cover up a cut with. J

  Do you like bacon? Can you believe how everything bacon has taken off over the past few months? What is the strangest bacon item you have seen? Do you think there is anything they will not pair bacon with?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

  It is hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us. It seems like just a couple of days ago it was Halloween. Now Thanksgiving has snuck up on us and is staring us straight in the eye. I will admit I’m excited. This time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.

  Ever since I was a kid I couldn’t wait to get up and watch the parades on Thanksgiving Day. If we were lucky we got to eat a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast. Family would drift in and out throughout the day as the wonderful aroma of turkey and stuffing would fill the house. I remember everyone acting (well, me anyways!) like they were wilting away to nothing by the time dinner was finally put on the table. Everyone stuffed themselves full until they were sure they couldn’t move anywhere. Naps ensued shortly after while a football game played on the television for the oddball that may have stayed awake.  Oddly enough when those weary eyes opened fun conversations filled the air while others gathered around for a board or card game. I loved those days, and am thankful for the memories I have stored of them.

  I’m sure we all have big things to be thankful for. I do, but you probably don’t care to hear them. So I will save you from my BIG things that I am thankful for. BUT I am going to share some smaller ones. Ones that maybe quirky or odd yet I still appreciate them none the less. I did kind of steal this idea from Lori Handeland and The Goddess Blogs, so I’m thankful for them too!

  One small thing I am thankful for is my precious peas, also known as my dogs. There is not a day that passes that they don’t make me laugh.

I could see myself sitting in this lavender field.
  I’m thankful for lavender. I love the plant and everything that it is used for. I have times that little fits of anxiety hit me. It seems like as soon as I put some lavender lotion on, or have tea with lavender in it, all the stresses seem to fall away.

  I am thankful for great books that allow me to escape reality!

  I also give thanks for being able to take little trips every now and then. My mini vacations allow me to keep my sanity!

  So you see I have many things I give thanks for. Not just the big ones, but many small ones too. They make my life whole. They make my life happy. For all of that I give thanks.

  Oh, I almost forgot. I have one more. I give thanks to you guys who come and read my ramblings. To take the time out of a busy schedule to check out this blog means so much to me. So yes, I am thankful to you all as well. All two of you! J Kidding.

  Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy whatever it is you do to celebrate the holiday.

  What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving memories? What small things are you thankful for? Do you have elaborate plans for the holiday weekend?

W.P.I.-  One food we always had at Thanksgiving is the rutabaga. The rutabaga is a root vegetable that looks very much like a turnip with yellow-orange flesh and ridges at its neck. Although this beta carotene-rich vegetable has been grown and marketed in our country for nearly 200 years, it remains an uncommon food in American dining. It's actually a great tasting vegetable with a delicate sweetness and flavor that hints of the light freshness of cabbage and turnip. The rutabaga is a very good for you type of food!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poor Hostess

  Slow cooked stuffed apples. That’s what we had for dessert the last night my parents were here. I found the recipe on Pinterest so I gave it a try. It was right up my alley.  The dessert had very few ingredients, was very easy to make, and was low in sugar. We are usually the type to eat way too much for dinner to make it to dessert, but that night we ate early and had dessert for dinner. It got me to thinking about the time of year, and how many snacks will be inhaled between now and Christmas.

  Years ago when I existed on what seemed to be sugar alone I would make different kinds of snacks. A lot. The space of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas provided for a hotbed of activity in the kitchen. I loved baking many different types of cookies, fudge, and pumpkin rolls. Unfortunately I would end up eating as much as I would give away!

  Why all the talk about desserts? I’m in mourning. I cannot believe that the store bought snacks I grew up enjoying will no longer be. This past week Hostess closed the doors to their business. The company that has provided us with snacks such as Twinkies, HoHo’s, and Cup Cakes will no longer be. It is a sad, sad state of affairs. I cannot fathom the fact that my niece will never get the chance to eat a Hostess made creamy filled sensation. Sure there are others out there, but they don’t match up.

  The announcement brought back many memories. I remember there were many times I would visit my grandmother and we would sit and eat a HoHo together. I recall the times when I would have some extra change and run to the local grocery store after school and grab a package of Twinkies. I can almost taste the golden creamy goodness. Those memories bring smiles.

  A few years ago I gave up most of the sugars I would eat on a daily basis. This included almost all snacks, both store bought and baked. Sadly I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a Hostess snack. Oddly though I felt a sense of relief just knowing they were nestled in on a store shelf near me.

  Hostess ole friend, you will be missed.

  Were you shocked by the announcement of Hostess? What was your favorite snack they made? What is your favorite holiday treat? Do you have any good low sugar dessert recipes? 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Parents Are Here, The Parents Are Here!

  For those of you who don’t know me I live in North Carolina. The rest of my family lives just south of Buffalo, NY, so we are around 650 miles apart from each other. Since September my parents have threatened a visit, but it seems every week brought another excuse as to why they couldn't come. The Charmed One and I laugh because they are retired and just can’t seem to find the time for a get-away. In their defense though it was leaf season, and they had doctor appointments, and the moon wasn’t in the right phase, and…and. Okay so I may have made up the moon part, but you get the point. Right?

  So we have gone on with our business knowing that they would get here sooner or later. Late October rolled around and still no word on when they could come so we made plans for Thanksgiving. To make a very long story short they figured out a way to be here around Thanksgiving. I had to break the news we wouldn’t be here. Then just a couple of days later I got a text saying they would be here Sunday.

  I thought for one fleeting second I wouldn’t have to make a Thanksgiving Day dinner, but now… Well, we’ll see! I may have to make it a little early. I think I was duped. Do you?

  Here’s a sign that my parents are here… I feel a need to get my hearing checked because I’m sure something has happened. The televisions volume seems to always be on about 80.

  I know that they spend way too much time watching television because they know when the show Cops is on. AND my mother knows all the words to the theme song. They can also tell me what the person is being arrested for before the announcer can. Repeat much?

  My sides and stomach hurts. That is a sure sign that my parents are here because they make me laugh. Hard. Their bantering back and forth cracks me up, and makes me wonder whether I should laugh or get a stiff drink.

  Their relationship is one of those that make you wonder. Sometimes you question how they are compatible. Then sometimes you see why they have been married 51 years. I am so proud of them, even though I do pick on them horribly.

  They are my parents, and I love them!

  How long have you been married, or in your current relationship? Were your parents married for a long time? Do your parents make you want to scratch your head? Or scream? J

W.P.I. - Did you know if you store onions in old panty hose they will last longer? Or if you wrap the stems of bananas with plastic wrap they will last a few days longer? I also just read that if you store potatoes and apples close to each other it will prevent the potatoes from sprouting! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Strange, Weird, and Wacky

  It has been a while since I shared some crazy images I have come across. Sometimes I see these in my searches so I save them. One of these a good friend sent me. I am just in the right mood today to share them with you. So... Without further ado... Welcome to a world that is obviously more wacky than I am!

  What do you suppose is going on here? I have never come upon an occasion where I wanted to walk in only my panties, wearing a raincoat, with an umbrella. Down a street, no less. Am I missing something here?

  I really don't know what I want to say about this one. So I won't say anything.

  I have been searching for a possible new tattoo lately. Let me just say I best not end up with one like this. You know I have a problem with comma's, not spelling. I would hope that the person who gave this tattoo is no longer in business, or has at least hired a proofreader!

  This one my friend sent to me months ago. I think it has taken me that long to figure out what I want to say about it. Sadly, I got nothing. Still. After all this time. 

  What say you? Do you have any clever thoughts about these pictures? Have you seen any strange happenings lately in real life or pictures? 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Blame Game

  There are many times when something goes waaay wrong around me. Obviously I don’t just mean a little wrong, I mean a lot wrong. Hence all the a’s in waaay. But there is one thing you can be certain of… It is never, never, my fault! That’s right; lately I realized even with little things, it is never my fault. How I got to be like this I have no clue. When I try and correct myself of it it’s too late, the blame has already flown out of my mouth onto someone else.

  Now there are quite a few examples that I could tell you about, but the most recent is probably one of the bigger ones. I’ll tell you about that one and I’ll ask you to not judge. How’s that sound? J    

  Last week I had to take my dogs to the groomers. I always took them to the same place when I lived close to Charlotte. Now that I moved out to Podunk I tried a local groomer. Needless to say I didn't like the job they did as well as the old one. And they were more expensive. And my dogs didn’t get all giddy and do a happy dance when I said the groomers name like they do when I ask if they want to go to the Bow Wow Boutique. So I decided to take them back to the Bow Wow Boutique even though it is a forty five minute drive one way. Last week we all piled into our SUV that I like to call Big Bessy. *I asked you NOT to judge!* It was early, just after seven a.m., and dark out. I made my way off the back roads and onto a main highway. Just a short time after I noticed a police car with its lights on off the side of the road. I pulled into the fast lane to give extra space. As I drove by said police officer was pulling out. I've been known to have a led foot at times so I made sure to keep my speed at or just a couple of ticks above the speed limit. Remember please that I also have two dogs in the vehicle, and now was the time one wanted to do exercises and jump back and forth from the front seat to the back. So now… police car behind me, dancing dogs next to me, and my wild, wild imagination working many stories in my head as to why this police car would pull in behind me, and then pull out to pass, then pull back in.

  Please believe me when I tell you that I am a law abiding individual. I even thought about law enforcement for a living before I messed a knee up.

  So, my mind was working wonders when all of a sudden pretty blue, red, and white lights came on behind me. I knew I wasn’t speeding and wondered why I was being pulled over. Within just a couple of seconds Mr. State Trooper was standing next to my window. He tried telling me my tags had expired, but it was very hard to hear over the barking dogs in my other ear. Again, it was before 7:30, so my brain wasn’t fully functioning. The next words to spill out of my mouth could’ve been taken out of context, and this is where the blame game starts. I give Mr. State Trooper my wildest expression and opened my large mouth to say… “I am going to kill my other half.” It was just a few short moments before I realized the severity of what I had said. Thankfully Mr. Policeman was very nice, and laughed at my misstep of words.

  So yes, the vehicle is registered under the Charmed One. We usually handle our own vehicle needs, but somehow Big Bessie’s registration AND inspection got overlooked. FOR SEVEN MONTHS! We cannot figure out how that happened, but rest assured it has been fixed.

  Do you place blame unnecessarily? Have you ever had an unfortunate incident you blamed on someone else? Have you ever threatened someone’s life in front of a police officer?

W.P.I. - Aster's brilliant flowers brighten the fall garden when little else is blooming. Aster thrives in areas with cool, moist summers. It produces blue, white, or pink flowers in the late summer or fall. This is one that has been blooming in my garden for at least a month!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Podunk Way


 Often times I jokingly say I live in Podunk. Often times I’m only joking. I truly do believe I live in Podunk. I mean really. Can you go to a park and find all trucks in the parking lot, like this? I am not joking however, when I tell you there was at least twelve trucks in the lot. Honestly there were no cars to be found anywhere. Including mine! :/

 I saw this today (Sunday) and some major questions came into my head. First of all… Who puts a dryer on top of a small SUV? Secondly… How many people did it take to put that up there? 
Third… One tie down? Seriously? And… And… Someone drove like that on public roads? Are you kidding me? In what universe is that considered safe? Obviously in Podunk universe, that’s where! ***On a side note, I tried to get a closer, better picture, but I did not want the owners of this contraption to get suspicious. Trust me when I tell you it was all I could do to keep a straight face when I saw this!***

  Last week it was my niece’s birthday. I happened to be in the store when I texted her birthday wishes. Since I happened to be in the meat department I found this special treat. Well, I took a picture of it and sent it to her saying that is what I got her for her birthday. A question about this is since when did chickens develop paws? Have I been taught wrong my whole life? I thought chicken had feet. Dogs and cats have paws. Donkeys, horses, and cows have hooves. Right? Did something change along the way? Did chicken develop paws somehow? I will admit all of the chickens I have seen still seem to have the same footing they always had. What would constitute a change in such a major feature?

 These are just a couple of examples that I have run across lately here in Podunk that have either made me laugh, shake my head, or just wish our house would sell all that much faster! I hope you enjoyed my little rant.

  Do you live in a town that could be considered Podunk? What is the weirdest thing you have seen attached to the top of a vehicle? What is the strangest thing you have found in your local grocery store?

On another side note… I have started to text my niece other strange grocery pics. I think it makes her love me even more! J

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Color Me P!nk!

  So far you all know about my love of everything Reba McEntire. As a matter of fact I had another dream about her last night, and I swear she may have saved my life again. Now that I am remembering it though I think she came to see me in the hospital. It is just strange. I dreamt that she visited me in the hospital and then the dream went in reverse so to speak. All of the events that happened post Reba visit led up to how I got in the hospital in the first place. Weird. It is also weird that I didn't remember that until I sat down to write this. Double strange. So it is also strange that this rambling is not really intended to be about Reba. It is about my other favorite singer…


  Now obviously Reba is my country fav, and P!nk? Well P!nk is my everything else favorite. I absolutely love her, and everything about her. I love that she appears to be such a hard ass, yet it is so easy to see she is a kind, caring individual. I love her voice. I love that she writes and publishes her music. I love that she flies, and does acrobatics all over the stage. (See link below!) I love that she named her child after a tree! Okay, I guess you get that I really like the artist P!nk. 

  At one time in my life Reba would've been the only singer I rushed out and purchased their CD the same day it came out. Nope, not anymore. P!nk’s latest CD, THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE came out last month and I HAD to go and get it that first day. I even went to Target to get it because they were selling an extended version with four extra songs on it. Let me just say it was well worth it! So yes, I have been listening to it very faithfully ever since.

  I got a text this morning from one of my best friends asking me to take a road trip back home in mid April. Apparently P!nk is in concert and she wanted us to come and go to the concert together. It broke my heart to have to tell her that I was already going to see the one and only in Charlotte in mid March! Ta-Da! It was a birthday present! Ironically, there is a good chance I will not be living in the area anymore, and will have to take a road trip to get back here for the concert! Oh the sacrifices we make in the name of P!nk! J

  Since I did bring Reba up earlier, her new sitcom, Malibu Country, starts this Friday at 8:30 Eastern, on ABC!

  Do you like P!nk? What genre of music do you listen to? Who is your favorite artist? What is the last concert you went to?

W.P.I. - This pink flowering shrub is Camellia sasanqua Kanjiro. Camellia sasanqua is a fall blooming shrub in zones 7-9. There are many varieties of Camellia sasanqua. They range in color from white, to pink, to red blooms. I have heard that people who live in colder climates treat Camellia’s more like houseplants. They take them outside in the summer and bring them inside for the rest of the year.