The “Please don’t lick” series comes to a close, for now.

Just for good measure, last night while waiting for Papa to come home from work, Little Miss Grandgirlie was waiting by the front door, looking out.  It was her last night to spend with us.  So, as I threw the dish towel over my left shoulder and hustled by to pick up a few more books and toys, I uttered the now famous words, “Please don’t lick the screen door, thank you”.  Thus ends the “please don’t lick series” for a while.

I won’t share pictures of the empty swing set or the bags of 37 library books, checked off the list and bagged ready to be returned.  I won’t show you the empty guest room, the clean penguin bowl to put away.   I will show you a little part of the deck.  Do you notice the watered plants, no golden mum flowers or buds laying on the ground?  What’s missing?  Yep, no chalking, no little grandgirlie washing diggers, nobody to lick tennis balls or bubble wands.  Just neat and tidy and BORING AND PRETTY SAD!

Just a gentle offer, if any of you out there would like to hear a rousing rendition of “How much is that Doggie in the Window” or “If you’re Happy and you Know it Clap your Hands”, I am your gal.  Just whistle.

ps.  For the love of grandgirlies and boys across the land, “Please don’t lick your computer screen, thank you”.

pss.  We are NOT having “chicken” nuggets nor vegan Mac and Cheese for dinner tonight.  The end.  Amen.

psss.  Have I mentioned lately, just how darn lucky I am?  Having little grandbabes is really a sweet deal.

Please don’t lick series continues…

Grandgirlie’s parents and baby sis are in Hawaii.  For some reason or another, I have been called upon to utter that crazy phrase………..”please don’t lick…., thank you”.

We went to lunch on Saturday.  After her lunch she was happy and put her head down on my leg.  I looked down, then yep, I said it, “Please don’t lick my jeans, thank you”.

Yesterday, while throwing tennis balls for the dogs……….it popped up again, “Please don’t lick the dog’s tennis balls, thank you.”

Today, while blowing bubbles, I amazed even myself in uttering the now famous phrase, “Please don’t lick the bubble wand, thank you.”  Then later this afternoon, while chalking on the deck…………how did you know?  “Please don’t lick the chalk, thank you.”

I thought we were done for the day…………nope.  While at the playground I had the binkie on my finger behind my back,   I actually said to our usually well-behaved golden retriever, “Please don’t lick the binkie, thank you.”

While the sentence is getting old, having play time, craft time, reading time, beach time, playground time etc… with a grandgrilie is new and fresh and happy and joyful every single day.  Have I mentioned lately just how darn lucky I am ?


farewell faithful servant

19 years ago, I travelled to Poland.  I bought some of the first pieces of my Polish pottery.  I use them every single day.  I bake, wash, heat, serve, wash, dry and do it all over again.

I love this one, she is a beauty.  I loved this pan.  I love this pattern.  Good bye friend, you have been faithful right up to the end. I am more than grateful.   You finished with a flourish…………roasted seafood stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.

Well done, thy good and faithful servant.  Amen.

Say Grace, it’s Tuesday, put your trust in Betty, it’s time to share a recipe

Today’s posting is spilling over from the last one.   The peach juice is dripping off the computer screen.  The heavenly aroma of warm baking peaches and slightly browning biscuit topping is scenting the room with warm, bubbly, swing your feet under the table with anticipation, just plain ol’ pure goodness.

When you write a blog you “meet” other bloggers.  You read about their lives and their twists and turns.  Somehow almost without even trying, you find and become friends.  Even when those bloggers live clear across the land…..”this land is my land, this land is your land, from California to the Gulf Stream waters…..”  quick name that song?    Okay, enter blogger friend from across the land, stop by for a visit, she is kind and weaves and shares a wonderful yarn, she has a spirit of pure goodness that you actually want a little to rub off on you, sort of does just by reading her thoughts…….well maybe a little……take a minute and stop by to tell her hello, she is one of the “good ones” out there!  She “GASP” doesn’t own a Betty Crocker cookbook!!!!!  See pictures.  Can you find the Betty Crocker cookbook on my cookbook shelves?  (hint, look to the left of my Vegetarian Times book)  Hold your horses… is my second copy in over thirty years of marriage and cooking.  Nope, I could not cook when I signed up for this gig.  Mr. Right loves Betty.  I love Betty.  I am grateful and thankful and have used her many, many times.  Poor old Betty, worn out and tired, still useful, always there in the middle of all the glamorous cookbooks anew.  Next time you need a bridal shower gift idea…….there it is smacking us in the face…….forget the fondue pot, never mind to the latest gadget…….buy the book.  Yep, just do it.  Betty Crocker we love you so much we want to pass you on to generations to come.

So here for my blogger friend is the best Cobbler recipe on earth.  Sure you can tweak it and twist it, you can make it vegan or use cherries in place of those peaches….it is a recipe that just works, time and time again.  No need to think it through, just trust Betty. 

Peach Cobbler ….. Heat the oven to 400*.  Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch  and a pinch of cinnamon (optional) in a saucepan.  Stiring 4 cups sliced fresh peaches and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and boils.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Pour into casserole dish.  Topping:  cut 3 Tablespoons into 1 cup flour, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt ….until fine crumbs.  Stir in 1/2 cup milk.  Drop dough onto hot peach mixture.  Sprinkle top with a little sugar.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.   Now, the hardest part………waiting……………wait a bit longer………it’s cooling…………..wait for it…………….go vacuum or something for 10 minutes…………………….okay…

Grab a fork or spoon, a gorgeous linen napkin, get out the ice cream (if that is your pleasure), SAY GRACE and for the love of all that is right in the world, sit down, put your feet up and take that first GLORIOUS bite.  Good Golly Miss Molly………that is pure goodness.

Say Grace, Put out the fire and dig into some Peach Cobbler

How to keep a 30+ year marriage hot and happy.

When the lawn mower dies and the weed eater catches on fire IN THE SAME AFTERNOON!………..go inside the house and make a Peach Cobbler.

Once Mr. Right comes in and showers off he will be in need of some TLC.

Enter Peach Cobbler.  Grab your Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (page 261).  Just make it. 

Magic + Peaches + a very sassy and smart wife = save the day.  Totally saves the marriage.

Husband is laughing and talking with his mouth full of warm, slightly sweet peaches.  The topping is the perfect touch.

Say Grace, sit quietly and listen to the whole story over and over one more time, and eat Peach Cobbler with him.

That my friend is how happily ever after works.  The end .


Please don’t lick the outside of the house, thank you.

Two sweet Grandgirlies (and their mom) visited our home yesterday.  It was a day for a ladies lunch and some sewing.  Lunch went well (note to self, serving Black Bean Soup plus April Cornell placemats and napkins equals not such a good idea).  However, I get to serve the ladies in my life with the nicest of placemats even if it means a little extra soaking after.  Makes me smile.

…and another thing that makes me smile……….Grandgirlie is learning such good manners.  When she sneezed yesterday, she automatically said Bless You, to herself.  Love that and it made me smile.

While sewing, Grandgirlie was coloring while I sewed and her mom had left with her sister for a few moments.  I heard a choking sound.  I stopped and jumped up and rushed over…are you okay?….Are you choking?  Did you eat a crayon?  She just looked up at me and smiled and said, “FAKE”.  Good golly, a two-year old who is learning to fake me out.  nice.  However, it made me smile.

Sweet Girl toddles off to get some magnets off the refrigerator and bring them back.  I went to see what was taking so long.  “Someone” had the ingenuity to put the little step stool next to the counter in the kitchen, then put a box that was wrapped and ready for mailing on top of it, so “someone” could reach the basket of Golden Delicious Apples on the counter.   Yum, apparently the one she was eating at the time, wasn’t enough or she was sampling to see if any others were better?   Seeing the step stool and the apples made me smile.

Sadly, the day had to end.  The sewing finished and Grandgirlie number two was loudly telling us her gums hurt and she was mad about it.  Really, really mad about it.  As I helped load up the car and the toys and the blankets and the completed coloring pictures etc……Grandgirlie number one was outside under our kitchen window licking the siding.  I had my hands full and was busy.  I just automatically said, “Please don’t lick the outside of the house, thank you”.  Just then the daughter in law came out and said, “I can’t believe you told your Grandgirlie, not to do something!”

While smiling, I said, “I can’t believe I just said that sentence!”

The day made me smile all evening long….by the way…..I am still smiling this morning!  Grandchildren are our reward for having to say no all the time to our own kiddos!  I am more than grateful for all the smiles.

no thank you, no thank you

Remember that game, Red Rover, Red Rover…….send……….._________ right over?

While at the grocery store today, I spotted these.

No thank you, no thank you PLEASE do NOT send them right over.

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses?  Who was the taste test panel for those?

(no one is paying me to review these, and I did not buy them and actually eat any, so this is just a guess)


A perfect blue star

During WWI and WWII, Service Flags hung in the windows of parents of Service men and women.  The tradition originated with WWI.  In 1917, the Congressional Record stated:  “The world should know of those who give so much for liberty.  The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother is their children.”  One star for each service family member, the blue stands for hope and pride.  When family members were killed, a gold star was placed on top of the blue star representing sacrifice.  A silver star stood for some invalided home for wounds sustained overseas.

There was a newspaper photograph taken of a girl about 4 or 5 years old.  She is kneeling on a sofa inside a home.  She is sticking her face looking outward to the world.  Her head is sandwiched between two blue star service flags.   She has brown curly hair.  It was published on the front cover of a newspaper during war-time.  The girl was my mother.  The blue stars were for my Great Uncles, who thankfully both came home.

I am sewing a blue star service flag banner.  I am giving it to the wife of a soldier whose husband is providing our freedom.  He is currently serving in Afghanistan.  They have three small children.  I am backing it with cream-colored muslin.  That way, I can ask people to sign the back to show their support and lift her up in prayer and stand in her corner while her husband is away.

Army wife ….toughest job in the Army.   Amen.

Say Grace and Oooh, La, La

One of the things about choosing to eat a better quality of food, while out and about doing errands or on a weekend get a way you have to plan ahead.  That cooler of ours is always packed to the brim.  With great choices, I will admit, at times, over the top and a bit expensive to be honest.  A few years ago, I would feel sad and upset that we couldn’t just “stop and get something”.  I wanted to feel special with special and wonderful treats all the time.  Thank heavens I grew out of that phase.  We are blessed to have money in our restaurant envelope (thanks again, Dave Ramsey), it was the choices that were the hold up.  For example,  one particular place that sells chicken the problems were … the MSG and the well, chicken………….I can enjoy the salt packet and the spork.  LOVE the spork.  However, with nothing to eat, it doesn’t come in that handy.  We wanted to just stop and get some quick food and be on our way.  In a very strange twist of fate the horrid allergic reation to MSG and frustration it has cause is yeah, yeah, you guessed it a blessing.   We make better and wiser choices because we had to at first, now we bathe ourselves in the grace of making wonderful choices because we choose to.  Did that make sense?

Yep, even if I go out to run 6 or 7 errands I pack a little cooler.  This past summer, while making my usual errand stop at the library, I ran into a lady and her little girl three times.    They were having a little mini picnic in the back of their SUV.  Just a little food and drink box so they wouldn’t have to stop for fast food on the way home.  I like that.  I like that the mom thinks ahead.  I usually pack water, homemade granola bar, a banana, a bag of popcorn, homemade peanut butter or some pretzels….sure I may find something along the way that fits the hunger bill or it just isn’t the time for a meal………..nevertheless, I am ready.  I have been told that, I may get, um, a bit grouchy when I get hungry or thirsty.    I can’t seem to think straight or be very nice when I am thirsty or hungry.    The mini cooler fits the bill.

After a day of errand running, home for a great meal already planned out is ideal.  No pressure to figure something out.

Make these ahead of time and have them ready to go, please trust me on this!  Have some gently placed in your freezer ready for you to nab and create.   The Happy Herbivore cookbook  to the rescue again, it is long past time to whip up some of her meatballs.    fyi:  buy a packet of Teacher Gold Star stickers when you get the book, you are going to need them all.  The gems inside the cover of this book will shock your socks off  (oh yeah, that reminds me ….”Socktober is coming!  We get all new socks in our household and we give socks to others…………everyone should celebrate Socktober, just good clean fun)…..back to our original blog of talking about food.

1- 14 once package of  Gimme Lean beef style, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 Tablespoons ketchup, 2 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, some garlic powder and onion flakes….Preheat oven to 350*, combine all the ingredients with clean hands in a large bowl and make walnut-sized pieces and roll them into small balls……………Bake on a silpat lined cookie sheet 10-15 minutes…………Oooh la la……… end up with MOIST, flavor packed delish meatballs ready for spaghetti or sub sandwhiches…………..on the page 165 of my Happy Herbivore cook book…..I have doodled, 5 pen drawn stars, one gold stick on star, the dates, and the words at the bottom in red…………..Holy Moly these babies are Amazing.   Make a couple batches while you are at it.  Freeze some of those beauties.  Make her marinara sauce while you are at it.  SWOOOOON.

Okay, while out and about pick up a bag of sub sandwich buns.  Once home, chop up one onion per person and get those little lovelies a frying.  Yep, use a touch of oil in that big old black iron skillet that you have stashed away.  Get some iron, baby!  Keep those onions cooking while you put away groceries, look at the pretty covers of your library books, put remaining dollars in the correct envelopes, toss the change in the vacation jar, and here is the important part…………….change into your favorite old, tired, soft, loved, stretched out t-shirt.  Trust me on this one.   This is not going to be a shirt and tie, ball gown kind of supper.  This is going to be roll up your sleeves and swing your feet beneath your chair, rub your hands together, grab a big ol’ stack of paper napkins and start building.   What are we building you ask………….big, fat, sloppy, drippy (yes, that is a word), flavor filled, messy, talk with your mouth full,  Meatball Sub Sandwiches with a copious amounts of caramalized onions tumbling off of and crammed into a toasted bun and smothering little orbs of goodness called meatballs.  Did I mention lots and lots of golden delicious caramalized onions?

Say GRACE and for the love of a Oooh, La, La meatball sub sandwich dig in and if you are as lucky as me, your Mr. Right will go back for seconds and THEN ask for one to be packed up for his lunch tomorrow! (note, I pack it all separate and he built the sub just before he ate it)

Corny goodness

This my friend is what a dozen ears of local, valley grown corn looks like grilled and ready to freeze.  Fast forward a couple months………………….ah, while wearing a big cable knit cream-colored sweater, I will say to myself………..self, corn chowder sounds really good right now.  Wonder if I have any grilled corn in the freezer?  Ah yes, yes indeedie I do!   and that my friend is the way we “put up” some goodness in 2012.  Yeah, I love a freezer full of “timber”.

Q: What do you call the best student at Corn school?
A: The “A”corn.


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE back to school elementary jokes.