Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Happy Day!

Meghan and Shawn came here after a 5 hour drive from Statesboro. BG put the steaks in a marinate sauce this morning so they would be ready for grilling. I oven baked potatoes, shucked and cooked fresh corn on the cob, a mixed salad, croissants, and fresh peach cobbler with whipping cream for dessert! The visit went well. The food turned out great and the visit did too.

I can't tell you how many times I went up and down stairs and I actually strained my neck bending and lifting something out the recesses of our deep cabinets, but it will get better with rest, hopefully.

Of course the day is 100% rain and thunderstorms. This is the first time I met Shawn and he was a really cool guy! I think he ate a second bowl of my peach cobbler.....but I did too!

She had alot, I mean alot more in boxes than she ever thought so they will have to get the rest on another trip. It's really hard when all the members of the family are pac rats!!!! Oh my lands at the stuff!
Here we are each with her in a picture. She painted the picture over the fireplace several years ago. I just love it so I though that would be the perfect place to stand.

Of course there is one thing about being a needleworker.......I found more needles around the house than you can imagine as I was cleaning up this morning. I even cleaned out my stitching chair! LOL





They are off now to Helen to enjoy visiting friends while up for an overnight trip. I wish it was not pouring rain outside so Shawn could really see the beauty of the little Bavarian village and the mountains.

Well, I"m getting ready to call it a cozy afternoon and work on my stitching.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pandora's Box and Letting Go



Have you ever heard of Pandora's Box? Well, this is Meghan's box.
I'm very sentimental.

This is my chair with Brandon's old velveteen rabbit and blanket. The table and chairs were also mine. They need painting or resanding. I just got them back last year myself. I've got a matching 2cup teaset from my china in the dining room.














I embroidered her name on all her t-shirts at the hospital.

















Letting go is hard. Here are some things I put together in a box when Meghan was born that I'm not ready to let go and they will be tucked back into my chest in my family room where the rest of my very special children's stuff is tucked away. I bring them out for only a day sometimes and it's been a long time since I opened this box. I remember I showed all this to her last year, with a friend over too. They thought it was neat. I never knew she would grow up so fast.


This was her first teddy bear, with wind up music box in it. I wound it every night for her when she went to bed. A couple of her first booties. We had to buy doll clothes because she was a preemie, 27 weeks. 2 lbs 15 oz


This is the room in chaos, alot of boxes filled.


I put their pictures in this room now.



Such a mess now, but will be better by in the morning.





Back to the things I am not ready to give away. Things I'll keep forever. This is what I have in her box. 2 preemie Tshirts, I engraved her name on them and would take them to the NICU for her to wear. The tiny, tiny pink hats were from the hospital when she was 3 lbs. Still have her ultrasound pics, the doll I got at the gift shop after she was born. She has a broke foot now but still looks the same. Her preemie diaper. Preemie bottle. And someone crocheted this rattler.








There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life.
unattributed, author unknown


Easier said ........than done. I will go now and pack them carefully in their box and tuck away for a rainy day or a day when I feel again that I didn't make any difference in her life. That she could have done better than me. But, this reminds me of how intricate I did the best I could and took care of her so that she grew up to be a healthy adult. I know one day when she has her own and starts her own Pandora Box, she will have these same feelings in many many years but it's in the between time that's the worst. Because you just never know if they ever really cared for all the things you did to protect them, nurture them, help them grow up to be self-sufficient adults.
But I will let go, not meaning that I am uncaring, but that have to let her experience her own self.

Cleaning out the Nest


I'm pooped, I'm tired. I'm past fatigued. I never thought my daughter had so much stuff left in her room until we started boxing it.

She is coming tomorrow to get all her stuff she left here. And it's hard too. It's very hard.

My legs are tired from going up and down stairs and sorting and crying a little and oh so much I can't even begin to talk about.

I didn't sit down once at work today and immediately came home into this and I'm exhausted.

Taking a few minutes to check emails and then back on the job again.
I better get back up because if I sit down one minute, I'm going to crash and sleep.
Write later,
Jennifer

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blessings........

Candy Corn~~~~~~~~

And babies the normal size like on the left vs. the 19 lb one on the right born today in Indonesia~~~~~~


Oh, it's that time of year again for candy corn!!!! Sinful, delicious bright candy corn. I'm the type of person who likes to savor every section of one, you know bite the white part, then the yellow, then the orange last. Weird, I know.


I feel like I've traveled around the world today, went to 3 cities, one to work in, one to get that CT in, and then back to another one to run some errands. I won't know the results of the CT probably until Monday. I was speeding along in my little rent a car, one my husband calls "a beer can on wheels" LOL. But the gas mileage was great in it that's for sure.
The dealership called and my car is ready. They had to replace the entire windowshield. There was a factory defect......and it was leaking........and I told them I knew that it was leaking.......that's why I was wet when I got to work......LOL
So they dried it all out, replaced some of the padding the floor. and the front windshield. After we picked it up tonight, we kinda felt high off all the chemical smell in it now from the mold guard in it.....Whew!

Tonight we went to Walmart and Candy Corn was out and oh, I love it!
So, it's like potatoe chips, you can't eat just one. Or one handful.........LOL

I've gotten lazy tonight. Of course, I watch Nancy Grace EVERY night. Alot of people don't like her but I think she is very passionate about being a crime victim advocate and a great lawyer. I love following her cases. Just puts things in perspective.......;)


No, really, she has a personal interest in crime advocacy and she used to be prosecuting attorney here in this state and they say she never lost a trial. I believe it.


Yep, woke up with a swollen icky finger so wrapped it up and after clinic was over, I did a little minor surgery on myself and it's much better........actually much better. Body Guard kissed it and made it feel extra better too.


Speaking of hurting, please read this taken from the headlines tonight. My bottom is hurting just reading this.
"Attention moms! Can we have your attention please? To everyone who likes to brag about giving birth to 8, 9, even 10-lb. babies, we advise you keep quiet around Ani from Indonesia. The woman recently delivered a 19.2-lb. bruiser, the heaviest newborn ever recorded in the country.

For those wondering if this baby boy (as of yet unnamed, but we suggest "Hulk") is the heaviest newborn in history, the answer is no. The record belongs to an American infant born in 1879. He weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces. Sadly, he died a few hours after being born. An ABC station reports that the heaviest baby to survive weighed 22 lbs., 8 ounces. We sure hope the big guy was always extra-nice to his mother. "

Ok, now 19 and 23 lbs are something I cannot even fathom!

So, see what blessings we all can count today???

Tomorrow's challenge

Well, I've been kinda quiet about a health issue but need your prayers. Tomorrow I have a second CT scan of the chest. My last one showed a mass that has grown from last year. They think it's benign but will see tomorrow. I really don't have symptoms, like cough or pain. They incidentally found it when they did the MRI of my thoracic spine last summer, I didn't follow up in January and then the MRI of the thoracic spine again this past summer showed a bigger area.
They think it's just scar tissue from an episode of pneumonia a few years ago, but not sure. Last year, 5 mm and now this year 2 cm. Might be looking at a bronchoscope in the future.
I'm just a little nervous about it now. I've had so much else going on that I have put it back in my mind but we'll see what this shows tomorrow.
Had to put my stitching down tonight. I pulled a splinter out of my right middle finger this afternoon and since then it has swollen up and made a blister. Kinda painful. May need some antibiotics tomorrow.
Of all fingers my middle finger. What embarrassment to show the doc that it's infected and show him that finger.....LOL
Nite nite.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The sun came out today.........

Thank heavens above the sun came out today!

Can't believe it's almost October. I was putting the date on something at work and stopped and realized how the year has flown by.

No cooking tonight. Ate Mexican and it was great! There was a Texas Margarita involved as well....heehehehehe


then on to listen to outdoor music. Not many people there. After all the food ,we got chocolate covered strawberries and ate them listening to this guy playing a guitar with electronic back-up. He was pretty good.

Finally got to go for an evening walk, without rain boots and watched many squirrels in the park. At our house, with the cat now, we never see squirrels.
If there is one, Thomas chases and conquers it for supper......then brings it to the doormat for me to smile and be proud about........EEK!

Listened to this in the car on the way home.......remember this?

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me
For I must be traveling on now
'Cause there's too many places I've got to see
But if I stayed here with you,GIRL
Things just couldn't be the same
'Cause I'm as free as a bird now

And this bird you cannot change, WOE-AWOEA........WOE ah

Yep, Freebird, my friends.......


Lynard Skynard

Body Guard and I laughed and listened to it because it now has meaning in our life.........real meaning. Such a different meaning than the 70's. I think it means more to me now than then.
I think the word "girl" in the song could be replaced with any toxic relationship person's name and the sound of pure freedom from it exhilerates me today!!! WOOHOO!

May you become freebirds from all the toxic, dysfunctional relationships in life!!!!!! LOL
We all have 'em and we all know who they are..........well, some folks know who they are and then some, just don't realize it yet. I'm rambling.....time to get ready for midnight stitching again.

I have stitched the left side of the border but will take a pic when I get more progress.

Have a great evening..........
Jennifer

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Midnight progress.....Heart of America

Well tonight's progress on LHN Heart of America here ............my goal


Also just to let you all know, that for some reason, some strange reason, the followers section on the right will not show today. I'm not sure if it's Google blogger or even what to do about it. So, parden me while I work on that ......tomorrow.....because tomorrow is another day.........LOL



my first progress

to here tonight. 30 ct Creekbed Brown. Love it! Crescent Colors. Love them too! Yep, my hubbie, I love him too.......his chair is right by mine while I"m stitching. ;)

I stitched rather fast through watching news commentaries on Obama's speech tonight and maybe he will decide what our real strategy is in Afghanistan by the time I finish this piece.........hopefully.......our kids are jumping at IED's over there while he is taking his time to think this out...........yes, I know I"m being cynical here.......just bear with me.........
well, this is the Heart of America......
I'm thinking about Brandon when I'm stitching this piece. I'm still praying for you no matter what son.

It's technically Fall, so time for some Chili making.......

Tonight I had Chili in mind for dinner. I use the brown bag for part of my ingredients and then add a few myself. This is the way I like Chili~~~~


And homemade cornbread made from Nora Mills yellow cornmeal, a local grainary.

And this is how I do it........take a medium to large onion.........

and dice up and add to 1 and 1/2 pounds of ground beef. I use my big pot which is really the bottom part of my presure cooker. I brown the beef in it and then add chopped onions and cook till brown. I add a little salt and pepper, but not too much because I'll add more salt later.

My other buddies here are tomatoes, I don't have to use the Chili Ready ones, but just chopped ones will do and 8 oz can of tomato sauce. Hunts is my favorite.


I also add a large can of red kidney beans, any brand will do ya.


and a little course ground pepper to taste. I don't get crazy with it because I add cayenne pepper later......
This is my brown bag goodies. It already has the seasonings you need. You can make larger amount of chili with 2 lbs of meat but I didn't want to get crazy with just the two of us here so 1-1.5 lbs will taste as good.

I brown the meat in my big pot with the onion I chopped and let them simmer together for about 10 minutes after they are brown. Cook it thoroughly.

I then add the tomato sauce, 8 oz can with 2 cans of water behind it. Stir, baby stir.


I add the large spice pack


then the can of chopped tomatoes


I taste it then. Add more salt from the packet. This is where I have to compromise. I love salt and Body Guard does not. Which is strange because I run low blood pressure and he has high blood pressure.........go figure.......LOL


Add the red kidney beans..............stir and cook over medium heat.

Cook a while, then add about half of that cayenne pepper, unless you want to sweat while you eat it.
Stir and smell that chili!!! It's looking good but needs to simmer about 30 minutes to an hour at low-medium.
While that is simmering, I start making my cornbread. The old mill in Helen Ga., Nora Mills has the best yellow cornmeal and grits that you will ever taste. I store mine in this container because it comes in bags and it just stores better that way. I measure out 1 cup of the yellow self-rising corn meal.I get out my other ingredients, 2 eggs, 1 cup of sour cream ( in my instance tonight I had about 2/3 cup) and preferably 1 8 oz can of creamed corn but I had the whole kernel corn instead. For this subsitution I will add 1/3 cup of milk at the end. Also need 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.

Beat well the 2 eggs. Just remember all those frustrations you have............

Stir and then add the 1/4 cup of oil.


stir in the sour cream, ideally 1 cup but I had about 3/4 cup.

Stir until creamy.
Then add your can of corn. Preferably creamed corn, but whole kernel will sub well and then just add a tad bit of milk to cream it better.


at this point, I sometimes add some finely chopped up, cooked bacon. But I omitted that process tonight.

add that little bit, about 1/3 cup of milk to it
and then pour into a hot, well greased iron skillet
tuck in the oven and cook at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Important though is to heat the skillet in the oven while the oven preheats and before you pour the mixture into it.
Shred some cheese or do it the fast way and buy it already shredded.


Add 3 bay leaves to the chili while it's cooking and the cornbread is in the oven. Simmer and stir.
And there you have it..........chili and Southern style cornbread. Some people like sweet cornbread but I do not add sugar, do not like it myself. I just like it with butter.
When the nights get cooler, I love to have chili and cornbread. Store the extra in the frig and it's actually better the next day for leftovers........or freeze in small containers for nights when you don't want to cook but you have a hungry meat and potatoes guy staring at you and the oven ...LOL. I digress.........

If the creek don't rise........

Now, this morning I thought about the real meaning of some of these mountain folk phrases. When we first moved here, one of our neighbors down the road really welcomed us and he is nice as he can be. He has some mannerisms and sayings that would make me and BodyGuard laugh.

He would call alot to say "I seen the bare again" and his first statement when you answer the phone would be "I ain't hinderin' ya am I, am I hinderin' ya?" LOL

Now, after all this rain, I can understand the saying "if the creek don't rise". That means, "I'll be there most likely" LOL

Evidently when horse and buggy were the mode of transportation people would say this.

Another nice neighbor brought us a house warming gift of a large jar of Moonshine. I had never seen that before. Hint: it's very strong, yucky tasting stuff!

And another neighbor brought us an old rusted horseshoe for a wedding present. Supposed to mean good luck. For a long time I didn't even know what we did with it until BG said "Oh yeah, it's under your car seat in the car" He put it there because he knows I'm not a good driver.....thought that was funny.

I love the mountains though. But I have never seen as much rain as we had this week. We are fine here at home because our house is hanging on the side of a mountain. Our backyard goes straight down hill. But, there are some scarey pictures of folks nearer to Gwinnet County and Atlanta. Even yesterday driving home, I almost hydroplaned through a dip in the road. I saw a car in front of me hydroplane. I was a nervous wreck when I got home. Of course, I'm in a rent a car and praying that I didn't wreck this one! My car is at the dealership being taken apart to dry out and find where the leak is. I know where it is. Dripping cold on my leg going to work...LOL

Lake Lanier, the large lake around Gainesville, where I work, had significant drought levels for 2 years but now it's filled up.
I looked at the local news last night and in parts of middle Georgia and more west of us, got significant flooding. There were 15 counties declared a disaster.

Me, I'm fine, enjoying my cinnamon coffee this morning and catching up on blog reading. It's not raining this morning here but still cloudy. The only bright spot in the yard is the white car sitting in front...........and my Mums.

I will post a pic of my progress on Heart of America today. Unfortunately I slept on the couch more than I got stitching done last night. BG said I was first sleeping sitting up straight and he had never seen me do that before. But, it was a long day, what can I say? LOL

Monday, September 21, 2009

Framed Blue House Sampler


The Blue House Sampler
designer--Tanya Anderson
The Sampler Girl
Threads--Crescent Colors and Bell Soie
Linen--32 count Vintage Examplar

Gadget

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