Sunday, May 31, 2009

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

One list...front and back...

One finished decorating project...before and after....

One guest room freshened....

One transformed office for another guest....from this to this...

One change for a worn out chair....old, now new...

One important message with a funny twist...

One favorite shopping stop with two people that I daughter and yes, my wonderful husband that totes it all....and there was more, lots more....

One Saturday afternoon drive that crossed the stateline twice and happened upon the Magnolia Festival in Durant, OK...for more shopping. Not sure what this is but it is red and I love it so I bought it! I'll let you know how I use mind is reeling with possibilities.....

Two full weeks....

Two Sunday Dinner recipes...

One ingredient...

Bone-in Ham

Cooks Brand Bone-In Ham (half, whole, or 2 halves held together with skewers)

Place ham in deep roasting pan or electric roaster (this is my preference...a $30 purchase that I have used over and over). Add water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook 25 minutes per pound. Tender and oh, so tasty!

Two ingredients....

Chicken Shishkabob

Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts
Red, Orange and Yellow Bell Pepper

Cut chicken into 2" strips. Cut bell peppers into 1" pieces. Thread 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of pepper onto skewers, alternating. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Place on a hot grill. Turning once. Easy and delicious.

One, two buckle my shoe! That's what I said!

If the shoe fits, wear it well!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grasshoppers Have Two Eyes

When I was a young child and Keds with rubber toes were on my feet, my mother wore Grasshoppers. Her Grasshoppers were slip-on canvas shoes with a slightly pointed toe, short tongue and two eyes for the laces. It was hard for me to understand why they were called grasshoppers because they didn't look at all like the grasshoppers that were hopping around in the grass. They were lightweight and maybe that is why.

I must have had on an invisible pair the last few days. At least I've been hopping from one thing to the next. It is difficult to get anything finished when you are hopping back and forth.

Everything that I have tried to accomplish has had several steps that required some patience and waiting so I would hop right on over to another task. At the end of the day, I was pretty tired of hopping and didn't feel as though I had gotten anything done.

A few weeks month ago (time really hops flies), I bought this vanity stool at a flea market.

I have been trying to duplicate antiqued bronze on this stool before upholstering the seat. After many attempts and hopping back and forth, I think I have it. It is going in the bathroom that I am redecorating (also one of those hopping projects). What do you think?

I now have a greater appreciation for contractors that come in and do the work for you, especially after I fell in the tub while priming the walls that were almost out of my reach. After the fall, I bounced hopped right back up. It seems that this redo has had many falls associated with it.

The painting is done.

I've bought the fabric for the shower curtain and vanity stool.

This is one project that I am ready to see it all come together! No more hopping! This time next week? Well, not totally! We found some old ceiling tiles at that same flea market yesterday that I want to use on the cabinets, but that will require some more hopping as I duplicate the antique bronze on them, too.

When you have been hopping around like a grasshopper from one thing to the next, something quick and easy is in order. Sunday Dinner recipes are just that....

Quick Chicken-N-Rice

1 box Chicken Rice-a-Roni, prepared
4 chicken breasts, cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup cheddar cheese

Layer Rice-a-roni, chicken, soup. Top with cheese. Bake 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Easy Chicken Cacciatore Bake

1 Can Italian style diced tomatoes
2 cups zucchini slices
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup Shake-n-Bake seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked

Toss tomatoes and zucchini in a 9X13 baking dish. Place coating mix and chicken in a plastic bag. Shake to coat chicken. Place coated chicken over tomato and zucchini mixture. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve over penne pasta.

If the shoe fits, wear it well!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wearing Mommy's Shoes

I think most little girls wear mommy's shoes at some point during their childhood. It is so much fun to pretend to be the one you adore. By trying on those beautiful high heel shoes or soft, fuzzy slippers, a little wannabe mommy feels all grown up.

Mommy's shoes are difficult to say the least...too big, too high, too long, too pointed. Even today, I think "mommy" shoes are much the same....days that I just can't fill them properly, days that expectations are way to high, days that are long and seem never-ending, days that all fingers point my way...after all isn't it always mom's fault?

On my very first Mother's Day, I had only been a mommy to my firstborn for 6 weeks and my pineapple pie making and orange-flavored tea serving grandmother had left this earth for her eternal home....a time to celebrate a new life on earth and a new life in heaven. In the years to come, Mother's Day became a day of hand prints in plaster, Mommy coupon books, marigolds in styrofoam cup planters, handmade cards and cherry cordials.....creativity with lots of thought went into those kinds of gifts.

Sometimes I find it difficult to buy a Mother's Day gift. It never seems to say enough. I struggle every year deciding what to give my own mother. As the years have gone by, her material needs and desires have diminished. What she needs most is knowing that she is still needed, that she still has a purpose, that she is still worthy of her title...Mother. In some ways I (along with my sister) have become her mother....yes, if you are blessed to have a long-living mother, then you, too, may see a role reversal. Finding that balance, without taking away her time-honored, well-earned position, takes creativity with lots of thought. Isn't that what children give their moms on Mother's Day....creativity with lots of thought?

Today I am thankful. I am thankful for a mother that pointed the way to Christ, taught me to encourage others, and loved me through it all.

Today I am creative with lots of thought. I gave of my garden-gloved hands to make her world a prettier place.

Two simple rows of begonias that will not outshine my dad's favorite pink hydrangeas, but will hopefully grow to enhance their big showy blooms.

Today my gift is inadequate to express what I truly want to say. But isn't it always? Did I show her that she is still worthy? Did I give her what she needs... to know that she is still see that she still has a purpose as my mother? I certainly hope so.

There is no greater Mother's Day gift than a card with a handwritten note, a phone call from a dear child, or the acknowledgement that no gift could be found that would say what they truly want to say. I am a truly blessed mother.

I will leave it at that! No Sunday Dinner recipes is my day off...well, no mother really has a day off!

If the shoe fits, wear it well!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Galoshes, Waders, or Rubber Boots

No matter what you call shoes that keep your feet dry when there is lots of water or mud and I mean lots of water and mud...I could have used a pair this past week. Our land is now lake front property. I say "land" like we have a lot of it but it truly is only a "lot", a suburban lot at that. Just the same, when it rains pours, we have a lake out front. Walking in the yard means muddy feet, but in Texas it doesn't take long for the mud to become dry once the rain stops.

My front yard is not the only place with lots of mud. I have been spreading lots of mud in the bathroom that I am redecorating. My 5 gallon bucket of mud joint compound is almost gone.

Waiting on mud to dry is worse than waiting for paint to dry...

so I took a break from muddin' to make my monthly trip to my favorite place to find this stool with a coat of many colors...

...and you thought only Joseph had one.

When the very first flooding rain ended, there was a shipwreck landed ark and around here when there is so much moisture left in the ground, mushrooms pop up everywhere are a couple of Sunday Dinner recipes coming your way....

Shipwreck Dinner

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg of macaroni and cheese dinner
1 can of stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown meat in skillet and drain. Stir in macaroni, cheese sauce mix, tomatoes, peas, and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 12 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Sprinkle with cheese and let stand until cheese is melted.

Mushroom Steak

2-3 lbs round steak
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 pkg. onion soup mix

Cut round steak into 2-3 inch pieces. Place steak, soup, and dry soup mix in a crock pot. Cook on medium for 6-7 hours or in 9X13 baking dish and bake at 225 for
3 hours. Serve over rice.

I don't have a recipe for "mud pies", but my mother's recipe for Chocolate Pie Filling is the best. It fills a 9" pie crust.

Mother's Chocolate Pie Filling

1 up sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 T. cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 lump butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan. Add egg yolks and milk. Cook on low to medium heat stirring constantly until consistency of pudding. Add butter and vanilla continuing to cook until thickened. Pour into baked 9 inch pie crust.

If the shoe fits, wear it well!