Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The story of Sparkle

Sparkle has been in my life for 26 years. I can hardly believe its been that long. He was a gift from a friend who was trying to comfort me through a difficult period of my life.  Even going back to that time still bring tears when I think about it in my quiet moments. " Here" she said "something to hold onto when you need a hug".  I graciously accepted him and put him away with the baby layettes that I was never going to use. Of all my friends during that time Karen was the most comforting. She didn't tell me things like time heals, you can try again or I know how you feel. She just said here's a hug when you need it. 

It was the first of two miscarriages.  After the second  I gave away the layettes.  There wasn't going to be children for me.   My family and friends  thought I was handling things ok. The truth is not so much.  I was hurt and angry and wondered why me?  Why didn't God bless me with children.  There is no answer.  I had to accept what happened and lean on my faith. This took some time and looking back I can feel God's presence through it all.
                                          Here's Sparkle!
He looks good for a 26 year old bear.  He pictured with afghans I crocheted for the new babies in my life. He photographs well!
 Quite a few times I have placed him in the donation pile for Church garage sales or to give him to a new God child, niece or nephew. Each time I pull him out and put him back. You see
our first born would have been 26 years old this month.  So in July I get to feeling a little sad.  It passes because I'm reminded of all of my blessings that I have and continual to receive. 
Sparkle is a gentle reminder of a dear friend and a life that I once carried inside me.  Yes, every now and then I still need a hug.
This is life as I know it...
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dinner from the pantry!

I love to cook.  I'm not a gourmet chef, just a basic fill your stomach, stick to your ribs kind of home cook.  I had some good examples to follow. Both of my grandma's were excellent cooks. My Dad's Mother influenced me the most. She made the simplest meals taste wonderful. I inherited from my Aunt Shirley a love of cookbooks.  I have quite the collection. My Aunt and I would talk about food and our favorite dishes all night long. She taught me about plating and balancing out color.  If  food looks good then people will eat it. What I learned from the Women in my life was cook simple meals with ingredients you have on hand.  Make it look and taste good! Which brings me to today's recipe. It's is one that I threw together from leftover's and items from my pantry.  I do have a knack putting ingredients together and walla dinner!
 Pantry Tortilla Bake.
Leftover Pork Roast shredded about 3-4 cups
1 can of Black Beans - rinsed and drained
1 can of Chili Beans-un-drained
1 can of diced tomato's un-drained
1 can of creamed corn
1 cup of Salsa
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 onion chopped
1 cup of chopped green pepper
2 tsps. of chili powder
1 tsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
about 9 - 6 inch corn tortillas cut into 1 inch pieces.
I took pictures but not of every step.  It came to mind after I started cooking.  I thought hey this would be great for the blog! So here are the pictures of the ingredients.
As you can see I had already opened the cans and almost tossed them away! Now since this is a pantry supper use what you have on hand. Paraphrasing Julia Childs you don't have to go out and shop for one ingredient its just utter nonsense!
The spices are next. These are basic should be in a well stocked pantry.  Substitute or add spices to suit your families taste. Veggies and cheese are next...
Again if you don't have an ingredient substitute with something you have on hand.  Oh and any cheese will do.  This is what I had so it went into the pot! 
The next ingredient is the meat.  I used a pork roast from the dinner I prepared the night before. We do eat leftovers (waste not want not) but I usually turn it until a new dish.  Its allot better then re-heat and eat. In this step you can substitute ground beef, chicken, or any left over meat. Just use your imagination. Ok here what it looks like combined and simmering in the pot
Cooking Directions:
Sauté onion and green pepper in tbsp. of oil until onions are translucent. Add shredded pork and the rest of the ingredients expect the cheese and corn tortillas .
Simmer for 10 minutes
At this stage you can serve it as Chili.  You can also serve it over rice or pasta.  Top it with crushed corn chips, tomato's etc.  Its a good base with lots of possibilities.
Now how I finished it.

It's just to darn hot to turn on the oven so I used my electric skillet.  I find a casserole dish to fit in side of it.   Cooking a casserole recipe directly in the skillet causes it to scorch.   This is what I do...

  I place some small wads of tin foil to rest the casserole dish on.  This keep it off the bottom and helps prevent scorching.
Spray the casserole dish with cooking spray.

Layer your ingredients
Start with about 1 cup of the Chili on the bottom of Casserole.
Layer next  * 1/3 of corn tortilla, 1/3 of the Chili and   1/3 of the cheese
repeat from * another two times ending with the cheese. Cover with tin foil. Place in skillet and cover. bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. 
Here the finished product!
It serves about 6-8 we had plenty of leftovers.  Its even better the next day.  This got a two thumbs up from my husband. I hope you give it a try.
And this is Life as I know it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogs, Dogs and Automobiles!

So... what does the title of today post have to do with anything.  I'll tell you. Absolutely nothing. I just wanted to post a picture of my dog and write about it.  I also wanted to included this carton from the Off the Leash Facebook page that I follow. Here the picture....
 You can visit there web site at www.cafepress.com/offtheleashdoggycartoonsshop. I enjoy the cartoons. It really reflects on how people and pets relate to each other.  The cartoon that I posted got me thinking about how to do my own blog.  I mean this pooch has it all figured out. Write about what you know and spread it out.  Keep people coming back for more. If this pup can do It then so can I!
In future posts there be a new recipe, Hip to be a crochet square segment, Gardening by the yard and maybe some book reviews. Of course my kids ( the four legged kind)!
As promised here our their pictures.
This is Rascal and she lives up to her name.  She gets in to all kinds of mischief. Her favorite thing to do in life is just being a dog. If you are familiar with the Three Stooges then she is Larry , Curley and Moe rolled up into one dog.
Next is Sadie my pretty lady!
Sadie has a big heart, loves people and as you can see in her pictures likes to smile for the camera! She likes walks and tummy rubs.  She content to stay by your side and silently watch over you.  The difference between my "girls" is like night and day.  I celebrate those differences and enjoy each day I have with them!
If you noticed I didn't blog about automobiles.  I just threw that in the title of the blog to round it out some. Until next time this is Life as I know it!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Friendship, Friendship a special kind of blendship!

Today is Thursday and I'm just getting around to writing about the weekend.  I could say that I'm so busy but the truth is that I've been bitten by the procrastination bug. This was fueled by us not having air conditioning.  Hot in Georgia is an understatement.  The ac unit quit working over the weekend, it was pronounced dead on Monday.  We don't have the funds to replace it.  Just like many folks  our savings are depleted, thanks to this "new" economy.   Thank goodness for Walmart , Lowes and their credit cards.  We bought room air units and now are cool and cozy.

Ok back to the weekend , I did something that I haven't done since 1994,  almost 20 years. If you think about it kind of sad. You may be wondering what could this be. For me its how could this be.  I've been described as a good listener, sweet, nice, funny, caring,and kind. You might also add a pain in the behind :)!  All those kind words mean nothing if people don't want to spend time with you. So what did I do this past weekend?  I went shopping with a girl friend and I liked it! My friend Ginger and I went to a Consignment Shop Crawl in Fernandina Beach.   Six - Eight shops participated, offering special discounts for the day.  WE made it to two shops.  I had a blast. It was nice just shop, look, and listen with my friend.  For a few hours I did not think of my husband, home or pets.  Ok maybe just a little. :)  I did not buy much but that wasn't the point. It was spending the afternoon with Ginger and getting to know her better.  I'm not an expert but I think this is how Women form strong friendships.  Doing things that bind us together. It could be book clubs, Charity work, business or a hobby. For me its shopping and lunch at Chick-fla.  I will definitely do this again and not wait 20 yrs.
And This is Life as I know it...

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Today while with Bob, I saw a small camper being pulled by a pickup truck.  Its was half moon shape enough room for two people to sleep.  Hmm I thought to myself that could work for us.  A pickup truck and a place to sleep who could ask for anything more.