We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Warm Weather Dessert # 3

      As I mentioned in both of the other warm weather dessert postings, in warm weather, we start wanting different kinds of desserts. Today, I am posting recipe # 3 in the series I had started. The series features a few desserts that we are not limited to making only in warm weather months, but that is when we usually enjoy them much more.

         Today's feature: warm weather dessert # 3:
        Rice Krispie Treats / "The Thick Soft Type"

       Very recently I received a message from my niece Rachel, inquiring if I would be up to making my version of Rice Krispie Treats for the upcoming middle school overnighter. I wasn't sure if she was wanting me to make enough for everybody, or if she just wanted me to donate a normal batch of them. I did know however, that no matter which it was, a couple of them would not make it to the actual event. She would be the good group leader and do a quality control sample (or two) first ;-p
     As most of you know, for the most part, I do not like hard or extra crunchy foods. So I have always strove to make or bake moist goods. To do so, I often tweak recipes. But I am not the only one whom appreciates the end result!! Many a time I have been asked, "just what is it you do to yours that make them so-o-o good?!! They're SO moist and yummy!"
    Here's your answer. I should interrupt myself to state that I know some of you will not like my version, due to having chosen to cut all fats, etc. from what you eat. I can respect that. Honest. I just think these are too good to resist ;-p

    1 cup BUTTER
    16 ounces (1 pound) mini marshmallows
    10 cups Rice Krispies cereal
( make sure you use fresh product, not ones which have sat in your pantry for months. It makes an enormous difference!)

~ Melt butter in a sprayed dutch oven over low heat.
~ Once the butter has melted enough to cover the bottom of the pan, add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Cook over low heat three (3) minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
~ Slowly add Rice Krispie cereal, stirring until well coated.
~ Dump the contents into a sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Using a sprayed spatula or waxed paper, press mixture down evenly.
~ When cool cut into squares.

--- OR ---
~ while still warm, sprinkle the top with semi sweet choc. chips and place the pan into your oven which has been set on warm (or 100o). Wait about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from oven, and spread the melted choc. chips. THEN cool and cut into squares.

if after spreading you find that you hadn't put on enough chips, add more, and repeat process.
   I of course did it this way to show you that it can be done (yeah right) o;-p

This recipe makes one 9x13 pan of VERY THICK treats, which produces 24 squares when cut.

    Seeings how I am including this recipe in warm weather desserts, and yet it does require cooking, I would like to include THIS TIP --> In hot summer months, it is best to do any baking right before you go to bed at night. That way the kitchen cools off with the cooler night air. Bake, pull product from oven, set it on wire racks, place a large piece of parchment paper arched loosely on top, and go to bed. . . . The only challenge with this methodology, is that your attempting to fall asleep with the wonderful aromas filling your house .....

You might also like:
~ warm weather dessert # 2: (No Bake) Banana Split Dessert

~ warm weather dessert # 1: NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Tuesday is Food Day", hosted by Byron, at 'A Lord, A Lady, and a cute little Princess' (http://byroncyndi.blogspot.com/) .
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Think About Them!

This weeks quote, which has been copied and pasted from Brian's Facebook page, are words of wisdom.

       "Care more than others think wise.
        Risk more than others think safe.
        Dream more than others think practical.
        Expect more than others think possible."

Think about them. Use the wisdom therein as guidelines to strive for.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a surprise :-)

     Rather late last evening, Brian and Brent had wandered into the kitchen and were in there talking. Benson and Brandon were both gone to their usual Monday evening spots. And Boo and I were still in the living room. Boo was sleeping. I was trying to stay awake by watching a show, waiting till Brian was ready to go up.
    I had the living room lights off due to how my head was dancing and my eyes were twitching. The light in the front entries staircase was on, so there was light besides the TV, but due to having done some paper / check book work, as well as a bunch of writing that afternoon, my stomach was feeling that my head was DONE!
     A tall thin body walked in through the darkened dining room and stopped at the entrance to the living room. Were my eyes deceiving me? Was that really Byron?!!! Wait - - he's clutching a pillow, and there's a bag over his shoulder .... Up I sprung as he started laughing.
    No, neither Cyndi nor Analyse are with him. How did he get here? Via the train. Did anybody know he was coming? A friend whom was picking him up from the train station and bringing him to the house. Oh, and Brent, whom had called him about a half hour before and Byron couldn't mask the sound of the trains horn ;-p
    Most likely he will be starting a new job this weekend, so coming home won't be a possibility for awhile. He knew Brian had switched to days and wanted to actually see him this time. And he knew that while his brothers are waiting to hear back from their own job interviews, they currently aren't working. So he wanted to come home for just a couple of days and "hang with my brothers like old times".
    Do you know what that does for this mom's heart?!!!! After all of those years of striving ever so hard to teach them that they were blessed to have one another, and yet daily (okay, some days it WAS hourly) struggling to keep them from killing one another .... Yeah, I'm misty eyed again (and just fine with being so!). Both Benson and Brandon arrived home shortly after Byron had got here, and to listen to the four of them and Brian talking, laughing, harassing one another .... oh did my heart sing!!! Thank-you Lord!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

non tax IMPORTANT papers to save!

      As I had shared the other day, our son Brent has enlisted in the Navy. This is one of our sons whom has challenges with reading. He is our son whom has the 'let's do this and NOW' type of personality. When you combine the personality with the reading disability, you see why he prefers to only read menus or instructions on how to fix or assemble things. (Yes, he usually reads the instructions first, totally because of his personality and absolutely hating having to go back to re-do something!!!).
     He came home from the recruiters office mumbling and grumbling about all of the paper work 'they expect you to read, fill out, know the information about, provide documentation for! grumble, grumble, grumble! '
     A couple of years ago he had got a tattoo. 'There were like twenty pages just on that! Good thing I only have the one so far, cuz you have to do that much paperwork on each and every one!!' Some of the information they require is: Where you got it. Whom was with you when you got it. Who did it. What does the symbol in the tattoo mean to you. What types of inks, etc. were used in applying your tattoo. AND, they want a sales receipt for it! Yes, seriously.
     He was very glad that the only trouble he'd ever had with the law, was one speeding ticket and one ticket for not wearing a seat belt. If he had had any type of criminal record, then there was a HUGE stack of paperwork you had to fill out. And you had to provide court records, and for some types of cases they even wanted court transcripts. And if you'd done jail time, then prison records. And if you'd been on parole, then parole records. Etc.
     He needed to take along his Social Security card. "It should be in your file ..." "Yeah, no. I had had it in my room because .... but now I can't find it ..." (points for mom, he has learned why I say to keep certain things in one particular spot :-) )
    "Do you know where my high school diploma is?" "Probably in with all of your graduation stuff." "Why isn't that in my file?" "Didn't realize I should keep it there" (Mom learned on this one.)
    But here's the BIG one folks. Here's what made me think that I should post this information as a 'hopefully useful tip' so that others can be in the know too. They want you to provide documentation from each and every time you have been in the E.R. (hospital emergency room); for each and every bone you have ever broken; and for any and every time you have been admitted to a hospital. And again, yes, I am serious!
    I realize that some of you don't see how any of that is a BIG deal. Please stop for a second and go add that to your 'things to be thankful for' list'!
     We, on the other hand, are the type of family that people in the E.R. recognize by face, and sometimes know our names. We are the ones whom make the health insurance companies shudder when they hear our voice on the line. One time when I had called my dear friend Robin P. and stated that I was in the emergency room, she had replied, "well, your either there or at a Goodwill" chuckle, chuckle. Problem was, she had a valid point!

    So all of you dear people out there, whom usually shred such medical records after so many years, when you shred that years tax information - STOP!!!! You may still shred the tax type of records, but it turns out that some of those medical records are to be kept and treasured as though they are indeed Holy documents. SERIOUSLY!!!!!

    IF your children are under the age of eighteen, then:
       - Those of you whom do have one of my 'Life Files', I strongly recommend that you add a 9 x 13 manila envelope to the files for each age of your child, and that you always remember to file away the papers from E.R. visits, bone specialists reports, hospital stays, etc. there in!
      - Those of you whom do not have a 'Life File' for each of your children - behold, now is the time to start one!!!! And when you do, make sure that you too add the manila envelopes, and that you always remember to file away the papers from E.R. visits, bone specialists reports, hospital stays, etc.!

     Trust me, should one of your children decide to join a branch of the military, you WILL thank me for this!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan on' linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Mom2my10, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Monday Mommy Tip('s)", are hosted by Marie, at "Mommy Community' (http://mommycommunity.com/category/Monday-mommy-tip/).
~ "What I Learned this Week", are hosted by Jo-Lynne, at 'Musings of a Housewife' (http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

a "Me" movie -

      ALL of our kids had told me that I "just HAD to see the movie, 'The Blind Side' , it's a 'you' movie mom!" I had seen previews for it and thought it looked good. And then there is the fact that it stared Sandra Bullock, whom is one of my favorite actresses. So I was all for the idea of watching the movie. I kept track of when it was going to be available via U-Verse and 'thought' we had all agreed we were going to watch it together that weekend. Yeah. Found out that what all I 'thought' had been said, wasn't exactly the same as what others 'thought' had been said. A-typical family communication, huh? (insert eyes rolling here).
    But a week ago Saturday night, the five of us currently living in the house, did order pizza and sit down to watch the movie together. :-} I like it when we do things like that!
    After we had chosen the movie and it was about to start, "the boys" again made comments about it being a "you movie mom". I responded with something about how yes, I was sure I would like it. They then made what they meant by a "you movie" clearer. Yes, they were sure it was a movie that I would really like / enjoy. But, they also felt that it was a movie about somebody "just like" me. All of them thought that the lady whom Sandra Bullock was portraying, was a w-h-o-l-e lot like me. Oh.
    I had not only already seen the previews, but one day when Brian had been flipping channels, he had come across Sandra and the movie being highlighted on the show 'The View'. Now for the record, for our own reasons, that is not a show we would usually stop for. But hell-o, there stood Sandra, so Brain at first just hesitated in his channel surfing. Then when he realized what all was being highlighted, he had called out, "Umm Cheryl, I think you'll want to see this."
    He had been right. And the bonus was that not only was Sandra on there, but also members of the real family the movie was about :->. Very neat!!! (I tried to find a link to that episode for you .... maybe I wasn't looking in the right place? Sorry.)
    So I had seen the previews as well as seen a short interview of the real lady, and here "my boys" were saying that was "me". WOW!!! And by the end of the movie, it had changed from "WOW!!!" to "What a compliment!!!" Yup, your right, I'm sitting here misty eyed just thinking about it!
    Speaking of misty eyed, "the boys" had warned me that I would probably cry at spots in the movie. I didn't realize that they had meant it would start shortly after the movie had even started! Found out, they hadn't. "Your crying already?!?!!!" What could I say? But I also laughed uproariously at spots!!! Oh my goodness did I!
    As the story in the movie was progressing, "the boys" inserted that they also thought a lot of the dad's lines were just like Brian's, and that a whole lot of the interaction between Sandra and her husband in the movie, were just like interactions they've seen between Brian and I. As certain scenes were showing, they pointed out what they meant. ;-p
    They were right that I would like the movie. Most definitely!!!!
    And I am honored that they think of me as being like the lady Sandra was portraying. Most definitely!!!!
    I am even okay with them thinking that the couple interacted a lot like Brian and I do.

Friday, April 23, 2010

'Local Area' News -

    Again, to those of you whom read my blog but do not live in this general area, I apologize! You will be unable to attend or visit anything/place listed in this particular posting unless you come to MI for a visit (hint, hint ;-}). And no, these type of postings are not regular occurances, just occasional ones.
    To those of you reading this that do live or visit in this general area, this then is for you.

~ 1 - On Friday evening, June 11th, starting at 6:30, C.P. is hosting a Farewell Celebration for Ms. Gillette. She is retiring after 30 years of being C.P.'s Athletic Director. She is an amazing lady whom I feel honored to have known and 'worked' with (as head soccer and wrestling mom) !!!

~ 2 -The Fulton Street Farmer's Market in Grand Rapids, runs May through Christmas. 'Hours of operation' are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

~ 3 - Try the Italian Restaurant "Papa Vino's" which I told you about in this posting.

~ 4 - There is a "Golden Corral" Restaurant going in on Alpine. It is next door to "The Outback" restaurant by Michael's. The driveway for it, is off of the little street with the stop light that runs back into the apartment complex on that side of the street, or back behind what was Circuit City (it's now going to be Best Buy) going the other direction from the light.

~ 5 - Both the Dairy Queen located at 1138 WALKER AVE NW, (easy way to get there for some of you - take the street which runs behind the McDonald's on west Leonard (the west side of the McDonald's building) and you will come out right in front of that Dairy Queen location)
      and the Dairy Delite ice cream shop, sort of on the corner of Lamoreaux Drive and West River in Comstock Park,
      are both now open :-}

~ 6 - We have spotted three new mission type stores, which we are hoping to actually go into sometime soon.
        The first one is located on 28th street, in that tiny little strip right next to / just west of the Meijer Store, on Kalamazoo and 28th.
       The second one is on west Leonard, in a building that for years had been an upper scale men's clothing store. It's on the east side of the corner from McDonald's, across from a large church, kitty corner from Family Video. We stopped and peered in their windows and made mental note of their hours. But that was over a week ago, I remember the store and it's location. But can't recall the hours enough to want to say for sure on here what they were. Sorry.
      The third is on Monroe, in what was Zeeff Appliance Market (1732 Monroe Ave.). A green cement block type of building, south of Ann Street, north of 'Tillie's Market'. By the name of it, we 'think' it might be the shop that had at one point been on the corner of Ann and Coit. But we aren't positive on that.

~ 7 - We spotted a new 'Antiques Mall' which we can't wait to check out, it had seemed like all of them were closing! It is on 29th Street, east of Burton but west of 'New 2 You' (a wonderful store!!) . If it's not directly across from, it's close to being across from 'J.B. Russo and Sons'.

~ 8 - The Allegan Antiques Market, is held the last Sunday of every month, April through September, no matter the weather. It is held on the grounds of the Allegan Fair Grounds. Gates open at 8 and the show ends at 4. Admission is $4 per person, which covers parking, so don't pay to park at one of the houses on the street.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

B-I-G changes in our lifes!!!

     There are two VERY BIG changes currently about to start in our life. VERY BIG indeed!!!

     Our youngest son, Brent, whom will be 22 this July, just pulled out of the driveway. He is headed to the recruiter's office - - - to officially sign the papers - - - to enlist in the Navy - - - for a six year stint. - - - He hopes to join the seabee's.
    Part of us is darn proud of "the boy". Both Brian and I have always strove to teach our sons to treat veterans with respect. We've taught them that without all of the men and women whom have served in this countries military forces, our country would not / could not be what it is today. He was in the 8th grade on that horrendous September 11th, and it made an enormous impact on him. He wants to do 'his part' in helping to keep America the 'home of the free'. So on the one hand, we're proud of him.
    But the other hand is our parental hand. The one that wants to pull our children close and keep them there! We know we can not protect them from all of the badness in the world, no matter how much we might be tempted to. And we are not interested in 'smothering' our children. Heck, we need breathing space from them to, if you want to know the truth of it all. But to let one go off and join the military - that's BIG!!!
    He's 22, so no, he does not need our permission to join up. Didn't mean it that way. Just clarifying.
    And yes, we know that many people head off to foreign lands and make it home safe again. Changed. But safe. But ...
    And yes, we know that we could 'lose him' even if he stayed close to home. He was hit by that car in the 4th grade while crossing the street. And Brandon was hit by a car while driving our van, and if it had connected a foot differently he wouldn't still be with us. And Brian had got hit by the falling steel at work and thankfully only ended up with stitches in his head. And Brandon had fallen off that scaffolding. And ... there's w-a-y to many examples in our resume of life!!!! But joining the military, well , it just seems so ...... heavy on our parental hearts.

      Brian had posted this on his Facebook page - "2 more nights and I'll no longer be a Vampire. Looking forward to being a day walker. It's been 15 years since I've seen the sun, hope it's still there."
    Tonight will be his last night working nights. My husband, whom HATES change, signed the posting and used his seniority to switch shifts. Instead of getting off at 6:30 a.m., he will be getting up to get ready to head off to work.
    We are going to try it for a year. If he decides he hates it, he can switch back again next April.
    There are some down points to it. Things like he will no longer be available to take me to doctor's appointments. Once I'm over being so dizzy, we will not be able to resume our 'date day Friday's'. Etc..
    But we are rooting for the possible good points from the change. Many reports state that people whom work all night shifts, are far more likely to have harder times losing weight, and controlling their blood pressure, and sugar problems, and sleep apnea, etc..
    He currently often struggles with going to bed, due to feeling like all he does is sleep the day away. Having friends over seems pert near impossible, because he sleeps till _ and then has to leave for work. And on Sunday afternoons he tries to go back to bed by _ so that he can get "his body upside down again" (as he refers to it).
    And the examples for this go on as well.

      So..., there are two VERY BIG changes currently about to start in our life. VERY BIG indeed!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Timing can be humerous!

     In her posting this past Monday, 'Mexico Jen' mentioned how her dad always use to make all of these wonderfully wise comments. She also talked a little about how her dad resembled Santa Clause. I really had to chuckle. For a couple of different reasons.
    First off, due to how my husbands nick name is 'Santa', and he too has often resembled the jolly old guy. In-fact, upon numerous occasions while catering during Christmas seasons, he had many a young child convinced he WAS Santa, and he hadn't even said a thing directly to them. He use to come home chuckling over the stories.
    Secondly had to do with how my Brian also has all of these wonderfully wise (as well as his wonderfully sarcastic yet humorous) comments he's often spouting.
    And thirdly I chuckled over the timing of her comment. She had posted her posting on Monday. I have a Facebook page, but I am only an occasional visitor to it. However I had gone there Sunday. There were a couple of different friends whom I wanted to check their Facebook home pages and see what was going on in their lives. One of them had commented on something my husband had posted on his Facebook page, so just because, I went to check his page. What I discovered is that he has been posting lots of his comments/lines on Facebook as his 'status updates'. It had got me to thinking that I should start posting one of them on our blog every week. 'Mexico Jen' had said she's going to start incorporating a lot of her dad's comments into her postings. Like I said, I found the timing of it all quite comical!!!
    (Yes, I get the difference in the fact that she was talking about her dad and I'm talking about my husband, but they are both important men in Jen and my life's!)
    About half way down the first page of Brian's Facebook home page, he had posted a picture next to a quote.

 "Who says you can't fall in love with a younger woman and live to tell the story."

 Four different friends had clicked that they liked it. I left this comment, "and who am I to have a problem with it, when she is my little sweetheart?!!!"
    When Benson, whom had taken the picture, had posted it in one of his photo albums on Facebook, I had left the comment, "Obviously grandma is not the only one whom is head over heels for this grand daughter ;-} What an absolutely heart warming picture!!! Thanks Benson!"

~ Cheryl B.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dinner Out :-)

      Last Friday night we went out to dinner with Brent and Kayla. While trying to decide where to go, Brent had stated that he was in the mood for Italian. However we know that Kayla is not that fond of Italian. She was insistent that it wasn't that she hates it or anything, it's just not her fave. She is however a big fan of chicken, and most Italian places do have a couple of different chicken dishes on their menu's.
    I don't remember when it was, but awhile back Brian and I had spotted a new Italian place more on the east end of 28th street. It's west of Patterson, east of Sam's Club and Gander Mountain, tucked back in behind a Steak N' Shake and Chili's restaurants. I could not remember the name of it, but I did remember that it was on our "we should try there sometime" list. So I did not tell them where we were going, or even describe what it was, just gave driving directions. Mr. Curiosity Brent tried ever so hard to guess, but to no avail. :-}
    The name of the place is "Papa Vino's (Italian Kitchen)". It is part of a chain, but so far it's still a rather small chain. The one we were at, is the only one on the west side of the state (MI). There are several on the east side of the state, and one in Indiana so far. If you click on the name of the place, it will take you to their web site so you can find the locations for yourself.
    All four of us gave the place definite thumbs up ratings!!! Definitly a "we wanna go back there again!" place.
    They have both booths and tables. We asked for a booth since they had padded seats and the chairs at the tables don't. My tail bone does not get along well with hard wooden chairs. I know, I'm a wuss.
    The cooking area is divided from the eating area by two half walls which have an employees walk way between them. Therefore, depending on where you are seating, you can watch the chefs cook. I sat with my back to them. A lot of movement can still be a bad vertigo trigger for me. The others however, really enjoyed watching everything.
    What we ordered was not all that cheap. On the other hand, it was not outrageous either. They are currently running a special, with 10 lunch choices featured for under $6 each and 10 dinner selections for under $10 each. But of course, we all found things elsewhere on the menu that we wanted to try. o;-p
    I decided to be brave and try something different, rather than choosing something I was far surer of liking. I chose the "Chicken Scallopini" which was priced at $12.79. The menu's description of it read, "Lemon Butter Sauce over Chicken Medallion Sauteed with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Roma Tomatoes; Served with Angel Hair Pasta." {No, I did not memorize nor copy it. We brought a 'Take Out Menu' home with us ;-})
     Once it was set in front of me, I just knew I was going to like it. The aroma was so good that it was almost scandalous. The Angel Hair Pasta was so extremely fine, that it was cute! (Yes, I am fully aware that after reading that, the guys are questioning it with their eyebrows raised, and the girls are all grinning!). And the moment after the flavors hit my taste buds, well, it was a wondrous experience!!! I HIGHLY recommend it, as do all three others. I had shared a bite with all three of them and they all plan on ordering it for themselves sometime!
    Looking over the menu, Brian was sure that we could go back thirty times, and each time he would be able to order something different off of the menu and probably like each and every one of them!

    For those of you whom are reading this and live out of state, I do apologize. All I can say is that I had to share the information with those whom might be able to dine at one of the locations. It would be a shame for this small chain to go under due to lack of exposure!

Monday, April 19, 2010

killing flying insects and spiders

    One warm sunshiny day, y-e-a-r-s ago now, we suddenly had a yellow jacket in our kitchen. I mean a ginormous buzzing yellow jacket! No kidding, that thing was larger than a silver dollar in size! I tried propping the outside kitchen door open and using something to steer it that direction, but it wasn't interested. Nope, it was convinced that it could exit via my large kitchen window. I wish it could have too. The problem with both of our wishes on that, was that the window was a large single piece of unopenable glass. There had been many a time I wish that it was openable for breezes. But it wasn't. But this yellow jacket on steroids stayed close to my unopenable window. Well, pretty much so. If one of us ventured into the kitchen, it decided we needed investigated. That didn't sit well with me. And our sons were all young boys at that point in time. The size of that thing and it's extraordinarily loud buzzing freaked them out!
    I was in quite the predicament! We could not just stay out of the kitchen until Brian got home from work! For one thing, he wasn't coming home till after ten p.m., and this was only early afternoon. It was one of the days where after working all day at his regular job, he was heading out on a catering job. A long day for him. That long with a potential attacker in my house, was going to make it an eternity for me!
    There were also other more important reasons we could not stay out of the kitchen that long. Number one being obvious - the kitchen is where the food is! Number two was very important - the boys bedroom was right next to the kitchen, and it was almost nap time. There was no way they were settling down for their rest time / naps!!! They were convinced that the yellow jacket would get bored in the kitchen and come try their open bedroom window. And no, just closing their bedroom door would not be good enough. The door didn't seal very good at all, and "mom, the bee will just come through the crack by the floor where we like to shove stuff and then be in our room!!!". YOU try convincing them otherwise!
    Reason number three was highly important - the only way to access our bathroom was through the kitchen. I knew from experience, that young sons had no problems using one rather secluded spot in the back yard to pee in. I was convinced that changing my song and telling them that they now had to pee there for the day, would not be a wise move on my part! And there was no way what-so-ever that I was going to do so! We lived in the city! A highly populated, quite close together houses, section of the city! Not me!
    While I had an often effectively used fly swatter, I was very hesitant to attempt using it on that yellow jacket! For one, that critter was so huge and mincing that I was afraid I wouldn't get the fly swatter squared on it right and just sort of damage it. I was terrified of what it's response would be!
    In desperation I called the N.A.P.A. store Brian worked at, to see if by chance he was in the store. Nope, he was out on the road. However the guy whom had answered the phone sensed the desperateness in my tone of voice. He inquired if I needed a ride to the E.R. or something (we only had one car). I reassured him no, and thanked him. He persisted, wanting to know if they needed to track Brian down, or if there was some way they could help. I told him that he was probably going to get a good laugh with the guys out of this later, but what my problem was. Thankfully he got concerned, and asked me to hold while he asked the other guys for suggestions. Instead of actually pushing the hold button, he just laid the phone on the counter. I then heard him very loudly call out that Brian's wife was on the phone and what my problem was, and did anybody know what I should do?
    The answer came back that I should spray it with some WD-40. "Does it have to be WD-40?" I didn't know where Brian's can of it was. "No, that's just a heavy spray we always have in the garage." I chuckled, I was after all talking to a group of auto guys. "You can use any type of heavy aerosol kind of spray. Use your hair spray, or deodorant, or air freshener, or what ever you've got handy. Spray a good solid blast at it. It won't kill the bee, but the aerosol stuff coats it's wings so it can't fly for a couple of minutes, thus giving you ample time to kill it good, or if your light hearted, to scoop it up and toss it out the back door."
    I didn't know how it had got into my kitchen in the first place. I was not tossing it outside so that it could later find it's way back in again!!! Nope, nope, nope!
    Over the years, I have found that this methodology not only works on flying insects, it also stops a spider in it's tracks, so you can scoop it up with a tissue and flush it!
    This tip came to mind the other day due to a fly. Yes, a simple little 'house fly'. Why? Well, there was a fly in the living room, and before I could stop them, my eyes were following it's flight path. And then I was all kinds of dizzy! Vertigo and flying flies do not mix well!!! Eek! But you have to follow a fly with your eyes in order to use a fly swatter on it. Not a wise plan at present! So I tried ignoring it. Yeah. It insisted on flying around close to the TV screen I was watching. I totally understand why they are refereed to as "pesty flies"!!! Thankfully a son was home whom could take care of it for me, but this methodology came to mind for 'next time'. It's now spring. You know there will be a next time.
    After remembering this tip, I wasn't sure if I had ever shared it with all of you, or if so, how long ago that had been. I checked, and I had not listed it on the posting about multiple uses for pan coating spray, so I decided to share the info with you this way :-D I know you'll thank me later!!! o:-)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Make-Do Mondays", are hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).

{True, this is not a recipe or a cooking tip per say, but it is useable in a kitchen!!!}

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Creation vs. Loving Us

    There is a TV show called "Big Bang Theory" which I call "The Geek Squad". At first it was due to my never being able to remember what it's name really was, and since the show is all about a bunch of 'geeks', it both fit and worked. Now I continue to call it that because I do not believe in 'the big bang theory'. You know, the one about how everything came to be.
    Now true, I was brought up being taught all about God, and creationism, etc., so yes, in a way, believing in it does come rather naturally. On the other hand, I have never seriously doubted or questioned it either. There are just so many examples of God's handy work, so many evidences of His power, that I find it very easy to believe that God created the heavens and the earth. If you are unfamiliar with the way in which God created everything, go next door, or to your local library and borrow a Bible. Then, open it up to the very first book in it - Genesis, and start right off reading in chapter one, with verse one.
    Examples of how I see evidences of God's hand in creation and nature: Thunder. They can scientifically explain away what causes lightening to happen - I want to insert a thought here. Did you know that it is the enzymes that lightening releases, which make the grass turn so green after a good storm? It's not the rain itself, although sometimes just being watered does help the grass to grow and thus turn greener. But it is lightening that makes it brilliantly green. And that supposedly 'just happened' due to some big bang? Hum mmm. But think about thunder. Instead of letting it scare you, marvel at being able to feel God's power in it. How He can make the whole sky rumble. How He can make it sound like there is some gigantic steelie rolling around up there. How He can make it BOOM!! like it sometimes does. That is God demonstrating His power to us. Awesome!!!
    Another example is the seasons. Here in Michigan we get to experience the four seasons full scale. How a tree which has laid dormant all winter, can suddenly start sprouting little buds which then open up into pretty flowers and/or leaves, depending on what type of tree it is, is just amazing. Yes, I know that science has been able to figure that all out too. But then after those trees have been full of leaves, etc. all summer long, the leaves start changing colors. Sometimes slowly, other times seemingly overnight. And yes, science has explanations for this to. BUT, how is it that one leaf, which all summer long was only green in color, can change to being four different colors, none of which are green? Colors which according to how you mix food coloring or paint, could not happen since there was green in the mix. And you know what, I'm okay with science being able to explain how certain things happen. It's rather intriguing. What I can't grasp, is how some claim that all of that came out of some big bang. Just doesn't make sense to me.
    Another example is animal and human life. Let's think about human life. How two little teeny weenie tad pole looking thingies can connect is one thing. But then from them doing so, a human body can form - arms with hands and fingers connected to them. Legs that bend in certain ways and have feet and toes connected to them. Toes which despite their small size help balance a full grown human body. And a head with ears and eyes in it which send signals to this brain and also affect a bodies balance. And think about that brain. About how it's signals control how those legs move, and how those fingers work, and how the food we eat is digested, and the list goes on and on. And ALL of that comes out of those two tiny little tadpole like thingies joining together?! Amazing!! And all of that came out of some big bang happening? Sorry, I just can't grasp it.
    I could go on and on and on with the examples. They are everywhere. They are amazing and wonderful and can delight my spirit and bring smiles to my soul and I love how God shows himself in and through all of them!!! o/~ "Our God is an awesome God!!!" o/~
    So, like I said, I do not and never have had troubles believing that God created the heavens and the earth. It only makes sense from my perspective. However, there is something else about God that I have often struggled with. It has to do with God loving us humans.
    I know he does ... but think about it with me. God loves us humans. Us humans. And not just certain ones, everybody! My goodness. That means that He loves that one particular person whom just drives us over the wall of irritability so fast you can't even blink first! God loves them?!! Yup.
    God loves the same people that we do. And He loves the people that we just like. And He loves the people that we think are just okay. And He loves the people that we're not so sure about. And He loves the ones that we tell our children to stay away from because their bad people. And He loves the ones we describe as low down, dirty, good for nothing, scoundrels. And He even loves the ones whom are below that. God loves everybody. Period.
    That I have often had problems accepting. And even though I was brought up being taught all about God and His love for all of mankind, I have seriously doubted and questioned it. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense to me.
    While I would usually rather not admit it, I do know that I am not always the easiest person to love, or even like for that matter. And yet from my perspective at least, I am not t-h-a-t hard to like or love. o:-) But I know some people that I don't see any way they could think such about themselves. I mean really!! You know the ones .... yeah. And yet God loves me even when I am at my absolute worst, and He loves those other people too. How?!!! Like I said, it just doesn't make sense.
    On the other hand, isn't it ever so reassuring?!!! Doesn't it just inspire you to strive to not be unlovable so that He's never tempted to no longer love you - not that He would. He wouldn't. After all, He is God! But come on, we are thinking from human perspectives. Praise God that He always thinks far more rationally!!!
    So-o, I believe that God created the heavens and the earth, and everything there in. And yes, I also believe that He loves each and every single one of us. It's just that I have no challenges believing the first part, but sometimes struggle with the latter part. I do however know both to be true, and I thank Him for both!!! I also thank Him for helping me when I question. He IS an amazing God!!!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

my brain

    Do you too remember hearing the phrase, "The mind is a terrible thing to waste"? Here lately, I have been really wondering about my mind. In several different areas.
    First off, how in the world can words be such slippery things? I'm serious! Remember being admonished to "think things through before you go rushing ahead", or "think things through before you open that mouth of yours"? Well, I'll think through what I want to say, have the words all lined up proper like, and then while I am in the act of saying them, one of the words will just disappear. I mean to the extent that it's like they vaporized. Bother!!! There I am, saying something, and then suddenly floundering like a fool. Thanks a lot word! I wonder, is it possible that words have A.D.D. too? Personally, I think it's highly probable!!!! Just wish I had a clue what it was that flashed something shiny, making them suddenly run off and leave me babbling like an idiot!
    Secondly, is how "fuzzy brained" I get. It's often like fog has some how penetrated my brain and I just can't seem to evaporate it. Sometimes caffeine lessens it a bit, other times not. Sometimes more sleep helps, but not always. Sometimes the fog factor is extremely high, other times it's just kind of there. What is this fog? What is causing it in the first place? How in the world did it get into my brain? And WHAT can I do to permanently remove it?!!! I need answers people!!!!! (aka: HELP!!!)
    It has been suggested that the 'fuzziness' can be due to the ever invading migraines I get/deal with. Migraines infect and impact the nerve centers of your brain, thus causing things to not fire properly up there. I've even had specialist state this could be a large part of the problem for me. Well, I've been voting for years for the migraines to go away. And if they would take the fog with them, all the better!!! "Be Gone With Thee, I say!!!" (if only that was all it took! ;-p)
    Others have stated that they think it could be due to all of the 'details' I had to keep track of, for how many people, for how many years. I can see how that theory holds merit. In this case then, my mind is so bogged down that fog hangs over it. Not something you'd want somebody to write in a reference letter about you! ;-p
    Recently, my blogging friend Shanda, from 'purple amethyst 76' , wrote this in one of her postings,
    "An example of why my brain becomes overloaded: Yesterday, I was making dinner in the kitchen, while talking on the phone with my sister. Seth was with me and kept grabbing my skirt and fussing. Caleb was also by me, saying "Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Can I have a jellybean?" The next thing I know......in came Ethan and Grace with a wriggling SNAKE, so I could admire it. Now that I think back on it, I kinda wish there was a hidden camera in the kitchen, video taping it all. I'm sure it would be really funny to watch."
    This is part of the comment I left her (yes, 'part'. Yes, I often leave long comments. Okay, okay, I know your not surprised. Gee-sh! B-u-t, a lot of my 'blogging friends' have, of their own accord, shared that they not only don't mind "my ramblings" as I put it, but they actually look forward to them! Honest!!! And yes, I can provide proff if you keep pushing this! o:-p). Anyways, back to part of the comment I left her:
    "For years now, I have been saying that they will never be able to design a computer that can match a mother's brain. Especially a mom of more than three children!!
     - - They would not be able to program a computer to be able to keep the necessary amount of windows both open and simultaneously receiving data/in put like a mom's brain does.
    ex. - this child requesting info. on that subject. another child requesting a cookie. your spouse commenting about something your suppose to either remind them of later, or do something about. The fact that your this far along with dinner, but you got reminded (some vague way how) that your suppose to bake something to take to ...
    - - The computer would also have to have pert near (<-- a term my dad uses, which just fits so cutely sometimes ;-p) instant recall of a mass majority of data.
    ex. - a child wanting to know where a container is they can put their caught insect in. while another child is wanting to know if you know where they left such and such. and your spouse is asking you if you remember when it was that something in particular had happened. And your making dinner, which you usually make this recipe from memory, so the memory needs to pull up that recipe card.
    - - The computer must be able to instantaneously cross reference all files, and install immediate reminder alarms on all materials there in.
    ex. - when at the grocery store, it must remind you that your suppose to be supplying such and such for the class party at the end of next week. When your planning menus, it must remind you that while half of the family loves one side dish, the other half absolutely does not care for it, so you should have two side dishes with that meal. When your a bit behind on laundry and only have time for one or two quick loads, it must remind you that the soccer uniforms (which are still on the bedroom floor) will need to be cleaned by the game which is tomarrow after school.
    I could go on - but I have no doubts about whether or not your getting what I'm talking about.
    When I have a 'brain fart' and miss some detail, or misremember some fact a child has in put into my brain - I just tell them they are lucky my brain crashes far less often than computers do!!! Also - adding chocolate to my operating system, is as important as running defragers are on the computer!!!!! o;-p That's my story and I stick to it!!!!! ;-b {your welcome to join me in doing so!}"
    SO - considering that my 'computer' brain is full of the 'details' I had to keep track of, for how many people, for how many years, like I said, I can see how the theory that that could be what's causing my brain fogginess, does hold merit.
    Others have suggested that it could be age related, adding, "after all Cheryl, you are getting up there". I found their suggestion very uncomplimentary, their chuckles which followed quite sinister sounding, and the fact that they even would state such a thing nervy!!! !!! Yes, I am now in my early fifties. HOWEVER - I am ONLY in my early fifties, thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!!! (o;-p)
    So I keep wondering about my mind. While I was never an anywheres near the top of the class student, I have never the less always strove in my own ways to learn, thus not wasting my mind.
    And sometimes the fear that perhaps this fogginess is the onset of something more permanent, more life altering, grips me. We have both known and currently know people whom have been hit with such diseases. Things such as Dementia and Alzheimer's. Nasty stuff those!!!!
    This past week, 'Misadventures Jen' wrote an oh so eloquent posting about minds. Reading it really touched me. I am encouraging you to click here and read it yourself.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

So that's what it's called ...

    I freely admit that I knew I had it. I've known I've had it for many years now (just how many 'many' is, doesn't really matter!). The question has never actually been whether or not I have it. Nor has the question been whether or not I will admit to having it. The question always seems to be related to how much of it I have.
    See, overall, I know I have it and admit to that, it's just that I think I only have a rather small inconsequential smidgen of it. Others however, seem to have differing views on the issue of the amount. These differing views of the whole situation have plagued me my whole life. While I think that I only have a rather small inconsequential smidgen of it, there have been others in my life whom have been convinced that I have a whole boat load of it. Seriously folks, how could our two views of the same issue in my life be that far off one from another?!! Did you catch the words 'in my life'? Seeings how that's where it is, wouldn't you think I'd have a better grip on just how much of it I have, versus others whom aren't actually me?!!! Come on now!!!
    (So, what is this "it" I'm talking about? I'm getting to it! Hold on.)
    Last Monday, ever so innocently, I visited my blogging friend Nan's blog. Use to be I always enjoyed visiting her. Then it got to where sometimes I felt she was drifting just a bit. Then this past Monday, she went and waded in waist deep. 8-/ This is part of what I wrote in her comment box:
    "I am sorry Nan, but I am going to have to call you out on this one. Me thinks that you have been taking lessons from your husband, the pastor.
    What do I mean? Way too often Pastor's switch from 'preaching' to 'meddling'. Here lately, you seem to have been doing the same. I let it ride for awhile, after all, we are friends, and I thought it might just be a temporary thing. But instead of easing out of allowing your preacher husbands style to influence your posting style, you seem to have finished jumping in with both feet.
    But then you didn't even stop with just getting in with both feet. Oh no-o, you had to wade in waist deep, and today's posting is evidence of that fact. " (To see what else I wrote her, go HERE)
    So, what is "it"? "It" is IGAD. I knew I had 'it'. To be honest, I had figured somebody out there had put a title to it or label on it, just had no idea what that title or label was. Now I know. PLEASE go visit that posting of Nan's and read it for yourself! After all, there is a very good chance that you have some degree of 'it' to. Click Here to get There.

    For the record, I had also included this later on in my comment: "I hope that you realize all of the above was intended to be tongue in cheek teasing you!!! HONEST!!! " Via email she had replied back, "I knew your comments were just in jest the other day and I was laughing all the way through." ;-p

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Hopefully Useful Tips" ('08)

   On Monday, March 22nd, I posted a listing of the "hopefully useful tips" from 2009, and explained what had prompted me to do so. The listing itself was a directory listing of sorts. And I titled it, "Pick a tip, any tip ....".
   Even though I hadn't been participating in blog 'theme days' back in 2008, I knew that I had posted on subject matters which would qualify under my "hopefully useful tips" title. So I went looking, and here are the ones I found:

Jan. 26, 2008 - "Developing New Habits" - actually changing the bad habits
Feb. 15, 2008 - "Reducing Junk Mail" -

April 3, 2008 - "Weight Loss" - 10 pounds IS a lot!!!

June 16, 2008 - "Redecoratable Back-splash" -

June 20, 2008 - "Cutting Your Energy Usage" - various ways to do so

I hope that you find at least one thing in the list that really does help you!

PLEASE come back here after you read any and leave your comments about them on this blog. Thanks! [and yes, you are welcome (even encouraged) to read each and every one, and leave a comment about it each and every time]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

but I was so-o sure ...

    Many different times in postings,I have written something along the lines of, "If I were a betting women, which I'm not ...". And usually, I just plain am not. But the other day I veered from my usual practice because I was just so-o-o sure ....
    Yesterday Brent, Brain and I were talking about things we want to do to our house and yard. Actually, to be more accurate, Brian and Brent had already discussed ideas and plans between the two of them upon numerous occasions. I was attempting to tell Brian what I had told Brent the night before, about the ideas I had for everything. Brent, being his typical sassy self, kept interrupting (okay, so sometimes he did raise his hand and wave it frantically till my Vertigo could not handle it anymore and thus I 'granted him' permission to interrupt 8-p), trying to point out any and all errors in my ideas (most of which were just tongue in cheek opportunity's to poke fun at me). I was getting no where fast, but I was determined to get there non the less!
    One of the projects which needs done, is the trimming of our half dead trees. One tree in particular has huge very dead branches hanging out over the alley, thus over all kinds of wires and cables, and extends somewhat into a neighbor's driveway. We've been leery to tackle the project our self due to the wires and all. We've called both the city and some of the power/cable companies whom's wires/cables would go down if the limb does, but they will only take care of things if the limb actually does go down. So much for 'preventive maintenance'. We did get a couple of quotes for hiring it done by some company, but their prices rather sent our wallets into panic mode. So we're back to trying to figure out the safest way to tackle the situation ourselves.
    Brent's girlfriend's dad is the assistant manager for a sn_ _ plowing / lawn care company. Brent has helped them out by doing maintenance and repairs on several of their trucks and equipment, and thus is allowed to 'borrow' equipment, but only for personal use. Seeings how he lives here, it qualifies as 'personal use'.
    Brent had mentioned a couple of different pieces of equipment they had that would probably work good for our task. However, there is no way what-so-ever that any of us would even consider leaning a long ladder up against this very long, very dead branch/limb!!! Nope, nope, nope!!! So I suggested that we borrow my brother Bryan's "lift". I had also stated that while we had it, we should go ahead and use it to do the repairs on the window in the landing.
    Brent was "sure" that it was NOT an automatic/powered "lift", but that he did have scaffolding on wheels.
    But I was SURE it was an actual "lift", because one time when I was talking about the window, he had said we could borrow it to use ...
    "How could he have afforded a lift?!?!!!
    "How do any of us in this family afford half of the stuff we have? The Lord just leads us to the right deal at the right time, or we know somebody who knows somebody and our name comes up and ..."
    And on it went.
    Finally, in part because I was just so-o-o sure. And in part due to just how cocky/sassy Brent was being (his true pesty colors were definitely showing), I stated, "Fine, I'll bet you five dollars that he has a "lift".
    He was all over that like "hormonal girls on chocolate" ( a line the guys in this family like to snort out at times. I tell you, I get no respect!!! ;-p) He stuck his hand out demanding that I had to shake on it so I couldn't change what I had meant latter (like I said, I get no respect o;-p)
    Brian started moaning about how he can feel the money flying out of HIS wallet (so much for everything being "ours"), while snatching up the phone and calling my brothers house. He got the answering machine.
    Later my brother called back. Brent was right :-( But he also wasn't home at the time ...... Brian says that maybe he should make me work for the money to make sure I learn my lesson .... (o/~ "R-e-s-p-e-c-t, won't you please give some to me .... " o/~ o;-p)

    Yes, Brent will be getting paid the five dollars. So-o looking forward to that. NOT!!! o;-p

Friday, April 9, 2010

Warm Weather Dessert # 2

    As I mentioned in the posting, 'Warm Weather Dessert # 1', in warm weather, we start wanting different kinds of desserts. Today, I am posting recipe # 2 in the *series I had started. The series will feature a few desserts that we are not limited to making only in warm weather months, but that is when we usually enjoy them much more.
   As recipe # 1 did, in my recipe box, this particular recipe too states that it came from my mom - Pat. Burg.. And yes, If I were a betting woman, I'd again bet that this recipe came from some magazine ad in the late ' 60's or ' 70's. ;-}

        Today's feature: warm weather dessert # 2:
              (No Bake) Banana Split Dessert

{note here - while I am listing everything in the order which it goes into the pan, I do switch things up a bit in the order of preparing the layers.
- I find it best to first get the 2nd layer draining.
- Then I prep the crust.
- While the crust chills, I prep the 1st layer.
- I then continue to let the 2nd layer drain during the time the first layer chills. Last time I didn't allow it to chill the whole hour. I should have. While it still tasted wonderful, it did not set up the way it should have.}

   Crust: 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (8 doubles)
              1 Tablespoon sugar
              1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
         ~ To make crust.
   - place graham crackers in a used bread bag, fold the end over a couple of times, and use a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers. Then keep rolling over them until they are finely crushed.
   - dump crushed graham crackers into a bowl, add the 1 Tablespoon of sugar, melt the 1/2 cup of butter and pour it on top. Then use a pastry blender to mix everything together well, with out lumps.
   - Spread crust mixture into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, or the deep part of an older style Tupperware rectangular cake taker. Chill in fridge for 1/2 hour.

   1 st layer: 2 cups powdered sugar
                    1/2 cup (1 stick) soft butter
                    1 teasp. vanilla
                    2 eggs
     Mix well and beat fifteen (yes - 15!) minutes. (this is one of the times I am ever so thankful for the stand mixer my MIL gave me one year for Christmas!!!) Place in chilled crust and chill for an additional hour.

   2 nd layer: add and spread out the WELL DRAINED #2 can (15 oz) crushed pineapple.

   3 rd layer: chopped up semi sweet Nestle choc. chips
     {for the record, this particular layer is not listed on my mom's recipe. But several years ago now, my brother Craig suggested it, adding that he couldn't believe I had never thought of it, what with my thinking chocolate goes with practically everything (o;-p) smart alick. I started adding it and got rave reviews over it. Well, all but from one son. There's always somebody ...}

   4 th layer: two or three (2 or 3) thinly sliced very firm bananas
      (the greener the peel, the firmer your banana, which is best for a layered dessert like this. It's the opposite when your doing baking. Then it's the blacker the peel, the moister the final product will be. <-- bonus tip there ;-))

   5 th layer: 9 ounce of whipped topping (aka: Cool Whip - for the non 'make every thing yourselfers' ;-p))

   Optional garnishes: chopped nuts (I used pecans) and marchino cherries (which I spread out on doubled paper toweling and drain for awhile first).


   Cut, plate up, e-n-j-o-y!!!!! :-}

* Series on warm weather desserts. Stay tuned, additional ones will be featured on this blog soon ;->

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Friday Feasts", are hosted by Nicole, at 'Mom Trends" (http://momtrends.blogspot.com).
~ "Chocolate Friday" {"Would you like Chocolate with that?"}, are hosted by Lisa, at 'Stop and Smell the Chocolates' (http://stopnsmellthechocolates.blogspot.com/).
~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

'gigglers' vs. "The thumpers"

   Last night I did something which brought a funny Sandy memory to mind. Sandy was my college room mate during the time I went back for one semester. While we didn't always 'hang' together, we really did enjoy having each other as room mates!!!! Numerous memories have started coming to mind :-} But for now at least, I'll just share the one.
   We were attending a very conservative non-accredited Christian college. All non married students HAD to live on campus. Meals were served family style at designated times. Chapel was a part of every bodies schedule, attendance was mandatory, and the whole student body attended at the same time. Curfews were strictly enforced. Nightly, you had to be signed in on the board outside your RA's room, and there was even a 'light's out' time. RA's very much had parental type of rule enforcement responsibilities, as well as counseling, etc..
   The thing was, Sandy and I both worked jobs which had shifts getting us back on campus after 'sign in' time. And during the pre-Christmas holiday season, I often got back after 'lights out' time. She worked in an older Sr.'s retirement type of home. I worked in a women's clothing store in a mall. Both of us would get 'home' after work needing to unwind, and yet we were getting back during what was suppose to be either quieter or totally quiet hours. Not a good combination. Especially considering that both of us liked to laugh.
   We also both liked to tell the other stories from our day, and share "people" stories. Trust me, both of us worked in enviorments which provided us with plenty of "people" stories!!! Oh yeah!
   The particular incident that came to mind last evening, had to do with a night where both of us had worked late, we were both extremely tired, and per usual, it meant we were giggly and silly. We were okay with that. The girls in the room next to ours seldom were.
   We had tried to hurry in our use of the bathroom down the hall. We had tried to get right to getting ready for bed and keeping our story sharing and overall conversation to a minimum. And as I was climbing up to my top bunk, Sandy had stood at the ready to turn off the light.
   The exact same instant that the light went out, there was a loud thump and the bed shook. Before I could even begin to inquire if she was okay, or what had happened, she broke out in giggles. Full body, shake our bunk bed, I couldn't help but join her in, type of giggles.
   Thump, thump, thump, on the wall came from the adjoining room.
   We rolled our eyes, and giggled.
   And giggled some more. And some more.
   THUMP, thump, thump, from the wall.
    I took a d-e-e-p breath and tried to gain control. We'd had quite enough of them reporting us to the RA! Another deep breath. Okay.
   "Sandy, are you alright?"
   "giggle, y-e-a-h", the slashes indicating additional giggles as she said it.
   Giggle, from me. 'Cheryl, you guys have to stop!' I thought to myself. Deep breath. "What happened?" Yes, I fully realize (and realized then) that I should have just left it alone ... But I H-A-D to know!!! Come on.
   "I wanted to see if I could get into bed before the light went out, so I hit the switch and dove at the bed swimming style" giggle, chuckle, giggle.
   I could not help it. Giggle, giggle, giggle.
   THUMP, THUMP, thump, from the wall.
   "Did you make it?" I asked
   "I don't know. chuckle, chuckle. I hit my head on the bed post and saw stars, giggle, giggle, so I don't know if the light was out first, or the stars came first." full laughter followed.
   That was it, we were goners. There was no way we couldn't laugh. And once we really started, it seemed like there was no way we were going to stop either. Even the very loud and clear THUMP!, THUMP!, THUMP! couldn't stop us.
   Then we heard one of them getting out of bed, they made sure their bed rattled against the wall as a scare tactic. Thing was, we were giggling in silliness too much to be scared.
   "Poor Belinda" one of us said. That was our RA's name. We knew they had gone to fetch her to 'straighten us out' yet again.
   "Tap, tap, tap" sounded on our door.
   "Sandy, did you lock the door?"
   Chuckle, laughter, giggle - "No, I was watching you climb up into bed and wondering if I could get in bed before the light went out and never even thought of locking the door."
   Giggle, chuckle, giggle, laughter - from both of us!! We were goner's!
   Finally one of us managed to choke out "come in" and our sweet RA entered the room. Honest, both of us respected and liked her! And thus we really did try to control ourselves and our laughter. But sometimes just getting off an eight hour shift and having to remain totally silent and go straight to bed, was just undo-able! However, the dorm mates in the next room found that to be a sin!
   Belinda reminded us that it was after lights out and quiet time. We probably would have fared better if she had left out the lights out part.
   She ever so lovingly reiterated how she knew that working late and then having to be extremely quiet was hard (reiterated, because she'd said the same to us on prior occasions). 
   And we really were trying to stop, for her sake. We didn't want "The thumpers" (as we referred to them) getting any more on her case. But often, once you get a really good case of the giggles, well ... see .... um mm .... yeah. giggle, giggle.
   Then poor sweet Belinda inquired just what it was that had set us off so bad. She shouldn't have. Really she shouldn't have. But she had, so we had to tell her. But do you think we could stop giggling then? Oh no. Not a chance. And we learned just how contagious giggling can be, because Belinda joined us in it. o;-p
   We knew that she had asked thinking that it couldn't be anything really that funny, that we were just giggling so bad due to how tired we were. She learned differently!
   "The thumpers" were NOT amused!!! One of them was now standing in our door way. Poor Belinda!! She soon got control of her self, and even inquired if it would help if one of us moved our mattress into her room for the night. And her tone of voice totally showed that she was not irked at us, just trying to keep dorm peace.
   Her compassion helped us to settle down. Well, for the most part.We were at the least able to tone the giggles down to whisper volume. Yes, it is possible. We actually had the technique perfected by the end of that semester. ;-p
   In the morning Sandy had a big ole knot on her head. And every time that one of our dorm mates would ask what had been so funny last night, or somebody on campus would ask how she had gotten the bump on her head, we'd start giggling. They really weren't sure about us, and we were just fine with that! :-D

   So what did I do that brought that memory to mind?  I knew you'd ask. Can we just leave it?   Of course not.

   Um mmm o:-) I tried to flip the light switch in my bedroom on and off so fast that the light would only come on a little bit ..... Hey, the bright light hurts my eyes and my head ...

   No, it didn't work. But it did give me this memory, and the giggles. I finally gave in and got up to type this up so that my giggling didn't penetrate into any of "the boys" rooms. Rascal just keeps wandering in and looking up at me all perplexed. "Why are you up at this hour and giggling of all things?!" his looks seem to be asking. I better not tell him. I might never stop .....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

first it was... and then... and then...

    First I had given Brian a choice. Should I attend the Easter service at church, or the family Easter dinner which this year was to be with my side of the family? He looked over what all was on the schedule for the service and figured that I stood a better chance of surviving the family dinner. Easter service is full of so many aspects that could prove very challenging to me and my vertigo.
    But I guess I turned my head a few too many times, and watched a bit too much movement, or something, at the family gathering, because by Sunday evening the migraine had started it's evil settling in. Bother!!
    I took some Tylenol and went to bed, ever so hopeful. But it wasn't to be. Monday morning not only wasn't the migrane gone, it had intensified. Greatly. Grumble, grumble.

   Our hot water heater broke down this past weekend. On Friday we had tried starting the diswasher, but it wouldn't start. When Brian got up I told him about it, thinking it was some fuse or something. Nope. The pilot light on the hot water heater had gone out. BOTHER!!! He relit it and we were able to run the dishwasher and get one shower in. Well, he got his shower in and thought everything was fine, so I went in for mine. I got my hair, pits and vital parts washed and scampered out, ever so thnkful that it was a considerably warm day outside, not a below freezing one!!! I was chilled!
    He lit it yet again, and sons got their showers in. But then it was out again. This was really doing a number on my nerves. No, not just because of the inconvience of it. See, eight years ago next month (can't really believe it's been that long) was when our house fire was. And it had started, in the middle of the night, in the basement, due to our hot water heater. We hadn't known there were any problems building up back then. This time I knew. And while it was a totally different problem, it was a problem. With our hot water heater. I'm sorry, but that just proved to be very unnerving to me!!!
    So Monday Brian tried getting numbers off of the machine and going to Home Depot, etc.. To no avail. He made several phone calls to our friend Steve W. whom is a plumber. In the end, Steve was hired and the apointment was made for him to come install a new one Tues. morning.

   Yes, we had the money for a new hot water heater. Our tax refunds had just hit the bank. They h-a-d been ear marked for .... Yes, we did thank the Lord that at least we had the money. But .... being truly thankful isin't always easy.

   Tues. I awoke to the migrane being reduced some. Yet it actually seemed like it had all just shifted and settled in one fist size knot in the right part of my forehead. Not exactly what I was hoping for. I was up for a bit, the pain increased, I took more medication and went to bed.
    There were all kinds of loud noises and even a lot of sirens somewhere close by. Hadn't a clue what was going on, just wished it would hush up!!! I learned today that a semi had jack knifed on the highway exit near us.
    I was finally to the point where your almost all the way asleep, and yet you know your not yet, when I heard this extremely loud, high pitch piercing sound. What the heck?!!! No-o-o. Yup. It sounded again, and it WAS the smoke detector. Oh my gosh!!!! I jumped up, trying to stay balanced, while my head was racing thoughts about Brain, Steve and two of our sons working on the hot water heater in the basement. My vision got blurry from both tears and dizzyness. I ran towards Bensons room. He was already up, dressed, and answered yes he would find Rascal while I went to see if I could get the guys out. I tell you, I was full of fear! Boo had met me in the upper hallway. He was coming to get me :-} Very reassuring!!
    Brian met Boo and I in the living room. They had been sodering something, and the smoke from it had set off the smoke detectors. Every body and everything was fine. We called that up to Benson whom had just drug Rascal out from under my bed, while I was shaking in Brian's arms. Boo jumped up on the couch and then stretched to us. Was everything really okay?

    As I was about to step out of Brian's arms, this noise started. This loud house shaking noise. And then we heard the wind also shaking the house. The noise was hail. Pretty serious hail!!! Instantly it was not only covering the yard, but also starting to pile up. It was also covering our friends truck, which he had parked in the neighbor's driveway.
    We grabbed the camera and tried instantly to get some pictures. But the batteries were dead. So Brian and Brent (whom by then had also come upstairs) found some new batteries. By then they could still get pictures, but the wind had already blown some of the accumulation away.

(can anybody tell me how you can get posted pictures to sit next to each other?)

    But it had hit so hard and strong that I was sure we were going to loose power ... and the guys were still working on the hot water heater ....

   All of that had happened before 10:30 Tuesday morning. I tried settling my nerves. I posted what I had 'planned' to post on Monday. But after awhile I surrendered and went back upstairs for awhile.

   Thankfully this morning the migrane was down to a quarter of it's size. But then I went to physical therapy. He had me walking this extremely long hallway tossing a ball up and down and following it with my eyes. Right. Then he had me walking and reading to him from a magazine. Yeah. I hit the bathroom before leaving there, but thankfully only noise came up.

    o/~ "The sun will come out tomarrow ...." o/~    Please, please, please!!!

(Spell check is doing all kinds of weird stuff. Figures. Hope this wasn't too horible to read.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Warm Weather Dessert # 1

    Rather recently, Mrs. Jen B. of the blog, 'The Misadventures of Mrs. B.' (one of the times I was visiting her blog, Brian walked into the room and after reading the title of the blog, questioned why I had started a second blog ;-p He was right on one point - that title would be "a bit" too appropriate for me, wouldn't it?!? o;-p), had written, "As soon as the temps start to warm up even a little bit and it looks like spring will actually show itself, I feel the urge to eat ....".
   Isn't it funny how with every seasonal change, there are certain foods that we start wanting to have and other foods that we are now done with for awhile? Mrs. Jen B. was referring to wanting to eat salads, the ones made of green leafy veggies, etc.. But with warm weather, we also start wanting more of other kinds of salads, such as chicken salad, and egg salad, and even good ole bologna salad.
   We also start wanting different kinds of desserts. That's what this *series I'm starting today is about. A few desserts that we are not limited to making only in warm weather months, but that is when we usually enjoy them much more.

              Today's feature: warm weather dessert # 1:
                        NO BAKE CHEESECAKE
               {can't figure out how to rotate the picture}

     In my recipe box, this particular recipe states that it came from my mom - Pat. Burg.. If I were a betting woman, I'd bet that this recipe came from some magazine ad in the late ' 60's or ' 70's. But all I can say for sure, is that it came, and it stayed!!! It's extremely smooth texture, rich flavored "yummyness" (quote from my niece Bethany :-) ) makes it one that's going to stay around for many more years too.

    1 cup canned milk (such as Pet, etc.) CHILLED
    1 large package (6 oz) Jell-o (choose flavor to go with fruit)
    2 cups boiling water
    16 single (8 double) graham crackers
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
    1 cup sugar
    8 oz. cream cheese
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large package thawed frozen strawberries** - or-
        1 can DRAINED crushed pineapple

~ Chill the canned milk for 45 min. in the freezer
~ Dissolve Jell-o in the boiling water and cool in fridge for 1/2 hour
~ Make crust.
    - place graham crackers in a used bread bag, fold the end over a couple of times, and use a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers. Then keep rolling over them until they are finely crushed.
    - dump crushed graham crackers into a bowl, add the 1 Tablespoon of sugar, melt the 1/2 cup of butter and pour it on top. Then use a pastry blender to mix everything together well, with out lumps.
~ Spread crust mixture into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, or the deep part of an older style Tupperware rectangular cake taker. Chill in fridge for 1/2 hour. (you might want to save a couple of Tablespoons of the mixture to sprinkle on top of the cheesecake as garnish).
~ Cream together 1 cup of sugar, the 8 oz. of cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and fruit of your choice. (I have found that if you first put the sugar in a bowl, then the cream cheese and stick them in the microwave for about a half minute, they cream together ever so much easier, then add in the other stuff).
~ Mix the chilled Jell-o in with the creamed mixture.
~ Whip 1 cup of canned milk (remember, 1 cup - not entire can!) [use the rest of the can in making mashed potatoes ;-)] for fifteen (yes - 15!) minutes with an electric mixer. (this is one of the times I am ever so thankful for the stand mixer my MIL gave me one year for Christmas!!!)
~ Add the combined Jell-o and creamed mixture to the whipped milk and whip for 5 more minutes.
~ Combined whipped mixture is now ready to pour into crust. If you saved some of the graham cracker mixture, sprinkle it on top as garnish.
~ Cut, plate up, e-n-j-o-y!!!!! :-}

* Series on warm weather desserts. Stay tuned, additional ones will be featured on this blog soon ;->

** about the strawberries. Personally, I use the type in liquid, and include some of the liquid in the measurement. Doing so does then require the four hours of chill time at the end, and yet still doesn't stand up quite as firmly (just a bit wobbly). However, doing so does increase the strawberry flavorness. A 'worth it' bonus in my book!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:

~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff'  (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tuesday is Food Day", hosted by Byron, at 'A Lord, A Lady, and a cute little Princess' (http://byroncyndi.blogspot.com/) .
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Sweet Thursday('s)", are hosted by Jerri, at 'Simply Sweet Home' (http://simplysweethome.blogspot.com/)