Yes It's Hot

Its the middle of July. It suppose to be hot outside, dontcha think? I love summer and the heat. The temperatures the past couple weeks have been soaring in the upper 90,s. Yesterday it hit 100 degrees. With no movement in the air, no rain in sight, and the smoldering hot asphault road, It felt hotter than lucifers fire pit.

My husband and I both are summer loving people. When we go out to eat, we will choose a restaurant that has a patio. It never fails, the waitresses always make a comment. "Are you sure you want to go out there? It's hot". Then usually sometime during our meal they will check on us and say. "Are yall still ok? Can I bring you some extra water? Are you sure your comfortable?" Most dining patios are covered or have umbrellas. "Yes we are doing just fine". We break more sweat from eating the salsa.

No matter how hot it is, we will do an afternoon walk. We do wait a bit for the sun to start setting. Neighbors will peep out of their doors " yall need water?" Nope, we are alright, thanks. Another neighbor "I dont understand how yall do it". Well, we are not wearing many clothes, there is always shade and our home is never far. People are always telling us to get inside because its to hot out here.

As we settled in for the night, I mentioned to Nick how when we were little, heat was never an issue. Mom made us stay outside regardless. We never complained about how hot it was. There was always a spigot, or a kool aid Mom and you got the best tasting water from a hose pipe.

I looked out the window and noticed the nighbor kids were still playing ball and wrestling around. I motioned for Nick to come look. "See those boys playing outside? They have been outside all day long and they are still alive"! We chuckled at the sarcasm.

Note: All kidding aside, it really is hot in some areas, never leave your children or pets unattended in the heat. Make sure there is water and shade nearby. And for heaven sake never leave them in a hot car.

Thrift Store Treasures

I like visiting thrift stores around town. We have a few. I am not ashamed of purchases I make in theses thrifty but dirty little stores. I will wear a used designer piece of clothing without shame. If it can be washed and its not been worn out, I'll take it. It was the perfect place for me to go when I needed a certain style of clothing for a movie shoot I was an extra in once.

I dont always look at the clothes. My main reason for visiting these stores are for the odd pieces of dishes. Im a sucker for Pyrex and Corning ware. I think I have enough now with at least one of every size bowl and casserole dish.

This past weekend I visited a thrift store nearest me. It's run by a local church so I know the money goes for a good cause.

I have been looking for a cookie jar. I found just what I have been looking for.

This is a large glass biscuit jar with a sealing lid. Im not sure if its vintage or not but I got if for a three dollar deal. It's been washed and sanitized. I'll be using it to put my homemade biscotti in once the weather cools and I feel like turning on the oven.

On down the road, We stopped at the Good Will thrift store. During this stop, I found these darling little french dipping saucers.

These work perfect for dipping my sushi in soy sauce.

These tiny four inch fish saucers would also make great tea bag holders or lemon dish. I think they are adorable and great steal at a quarter each.

There a couple more items I'm in search of. I want to find a glass, pedestal, covered cake plate and a vintage metal bread box. Sure I could probably find these items in a department store but that takes all the fun out of looking for treasures.

Are You A NoReply Blogger?

I love getting comments from my readers. Some days I will sit and respond to each one as they come in. I get excited when I get that email notification. Sadly, blogger does not have a way of notifying commenters when I or someone else decides to "reply" to their comment.

If you want to see if I have replied to your comment, you have to go back to the post and look. Well, If you are a reply blogger, I can reply to you directly from my email notification. Replies that way do not show up on the actual post comment so its kept between the commenter and the blogger. The choice is yours.

Some of you may not even know if you are a noreply blogger or not. Its a simple setting you need to adjust in blogger. This is totally up to you. These instructions are only good if your using "blogger".

Just go to blogger and click the top right beside your picture and open your blogger profile. Then click edit profile.

Click on " show my email address". It doesnt really show your email address here. 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom and click save. 
Now you will see email under "contact me".

Thats it. Now when you comment, the blogger can respond directly back to you.

Facebook Break

I decided last week that I would take a break from bragbook dramabook Facebook. It was a place where I would escape to for a lot of my time. Wasted time. It was sucking the life out of me. I have deactivated my account, however, I still have the messenger part of it still open for anyone that cares to send me a hello.

I started facebook some years ago as a way to follow my daughter while she was away in college, but she quickly escaped to another form of social media and her page became boring. Later I felt I needed to get on facebook to keep up with what was going on around me through the rest of my friends, family and church group. (or was I just being nosey?)

It seemed like the only thing I saw on Facebook was politics, dog pictures, ads and invites from all these get rich quick parties such as essential oils, lularoo, and plexus to name a few. I was just so tired of it all. There were only a few people that I enjoyed following on facebook and they all know how to reach me outside of it. 

It feels good being away from seeing everyones opinion about crime, politics, and religion. I have better things to do in life. Happier things. 

Will I go back? Not sure yet. This is kind of nice. I have a twitter account I use for any news information and will ocasionally post something thats on my mind. It's not as drama focused as facebook.

Now I can spend more time focusing on my blog and enjoying the happier places and people around me. Maybe now I will finally get my house cleaned up.

Best Ever Pimento Cheese

(Repeat post by popular demand)

I'm not a big fan of Pimento cheese but I've always wanted to make some. I checked out a few recipes online and put different ideas together and came up with one that I like.

I pulled out the old grater and start grating. I did not use the pre-shredded cheese because I heard it does not work as well, so I didn't take a chance.

I had my husband do the garlic mincing since Ive never in my life tried to do that. So together, we made a wonderful pimento cheese worth eating. Oh man! Is it good! I'll never opt for the store bought kind again unless I'm in a pinch for time or convenience.

Pimento Cheese

2 cups shredded sharp cheese
2 cups Pepper Jack cheese
1 block cream cheese (room temp for easy mixing)
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons pimentos
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper

Just mix it all up and its ready to eat

If you do not really like pimentos, then opt for sweet red peppers instead. Then you can call it, pepper cheese. ...OK that sounds cheesy. But they say it works just as well as pimentos with hardly a change in the taste.

Loss of Hearing

Seriously, I think im loosing my hearing in one ear. Not sure whats going on in there.

Its been nearly three weeks now. I have suffered with a stopped up ear. It started out as both ears but one was fine within a day or two. That give me a little bit of hope for the other one.
The left one however is another story. The sounds around me are buffered. My ear buzzes like the florecent lights at the doctors office. This leaves me feeling dizzy and off sided. Its annoying. I cant seem to concentrate and I just want to scream. The feeling is like that pressure you get when you go up a mountian. A simple yawn or chewing of gum will pop them right back to normal. But none of the tricks are working for me.

I suffer allergies something terrible. If I dont take Allegra daily, then I suffer as if I have a full blown cold. Its normal for my ears to ache and ring at times but this is not going away. I went to the doctor last week. He looked inside my ears and said "Well, I dont see a problem, they are white and clean down there". Of course they are!!!! Ive tried everything. Eardrops, alcohol, peroxide and Q-tips. Of course they are clean. But hey, Im glad there is no infection.

The doctor suggested I change my allergy medicine to Allegra D. He thinks its just my allergies causeing the problem. The "D" formula supose to have a decongestant in it. So five days on that, nothing. I mean really nothing. Now I cant even hear out of that side. I close off the right ear and the left ear is just dead. I cant even hear when I touch it. Its like numb.

I did my own reasearch and all my symptoms lead to my own diagnosis of
"blocked Eustachian Tubes".

Im really hoping that soon, the ear will finally pop and I can hear out of it once again. Until, then, everyone will continue to sound like they are talking to me from outside of a drum and Im just going to have to get used to it. 

Overnight Oats

I like oatmeal. Its good for you and it fills your tank. Keeps you going without the urge to eat until its time for your next meal.

The classic way I used to eat oatmeal was how mom prepared them. I could never make them taste as good as hers even if I did it the excact same way. She would serve them warm, coated with sugar and wading in cream milk. It was so good paired with cinnimon toast.

I try to eat less sugar now, I will usually opt for the instant fruity flavored oatmeal packs for a quick breakfast. I still like those, but latley I have been experimenting with "overnight oats". Basically, its equal  amounts of quick oats or rolled oats and almond milk combined in a mason jar and sat in the fridge over night. 

The next morning your breakfast is ready (if you like it cold). My husband can eat it cold and has approved this with a thumbs up. Me on the other hand have to warm it up a bit.

Im going to share some flavors for overnight oats that I have experimented with. So far they are all good. After the base ingredience of milk and oats I guessed at the add ins. 

1 Cup- Quick Oats
1 Cup- Almond Milk 

Flavors to mix in:
Peanut butter Banana
1 tablespoon peanut butter.
1 small banana

Peanut Butter and Jelly
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon jelly or jam

Strawberry shortcake
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon syrup

Banana Nut Bread
1 small banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Lemon poppy seed (least tasty)
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoon poppyseed
1 tablespoon syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

The possibilities are endless. Just add stuff you like. Peaches, blueberries, or strawberries.
You can replace the almond milk with yogurt, or regular milk.
Ive even seen recipes where they added pudding powder for flavor such as chocolate or cheesecake 

If you come up with another idea for flavor, I'd love to hear about it.

Memories- Fried Chicken

Its Sunday afternoon and im sitting here relaxing. Im also thinking about grandmaw.

I remember growing up, we always went to Grandmaws after church for Sunday dinner. She had two long tables spread with food. All the aunts, uncles and cousins would be there. Everyones favorite was the fried chicken. It would often be in a dish sitting beside a fried squirrel or rabbit. As I can remember, at one time, she did all the preparing herself from ringing their necks to plucking and skinning. Then she would fry them in her own special batter.

The family grew bigger, she grew older and papaw passed away, so there came a time she had to give it up. The smell of Sunday dinner was forever absorbed in the walls of that old house. She later moved into a retirement home where we visited often. I wish I would have visited more. I can still vision her standing in the kitchen with silver wavey hair, wearing a handmade shirt and apron trimmed with ruffles. 

Up until the day she passed away, there would always be chicken on her stove top, in a basket wraped in a tea towel. It did not seem to matter to anyone that it sat out all day or that it was cold. It was grandmaws fried chicken and it was good either way. She always had chicken, cornbread and some sort of cake or fritters waiting for company.

As years passed, my family would still enjoy chicken dinners after church but we would all head down to Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was not near as good as grandmaws, but with a family of six, it was an affordable way to feed us. A bucket of extra crunchy chicken with all the fixins would satisfy.

This past weekend, the family met for my brothers birthday dinner. No, we didnt have chicken even though mom can make it almost like her mom. We had country style steak instead. While visiting, somebody found an old kentucky fried chicken bucket, dated 1969, laying around. 

We all got a good laugh as we always joke how mom keeps a lot of stuff. Then we talked about how we used to fight over the extra crispy flakes left in the bottom of the bucket once the chicken was gone. Dont worry, this was an unused bucket. KFC had let mom have some buckets once so she could turn them into pinatas for a festival at church once or twice. 

Not sure why she still has this bucket, but it triggered memories.

A Walk After The Storm

Finally, we have been getting some some rain. They come as small afternoon storms after a very hot day. I love the smell of rain, the rattle of thunder and feel of stormy winds. I like to stand under the carport and watch the storms roll in. Here is a picture of the sky as a storm was approaching.

After the storm was over, the sun started peeping back through the clouds. It was now safe for us to journey out for our walk.

A quarter mile up the road, I came across a dead clown. Yes I poked at it and made sure it was dead if that even matters. I threw it up in a tree just for kicks. The next day, it was back in the road again so I tossed it back into the tree. It is sill there. Its creepy looking but every time we drive past it, we get laugh.

As we were walking around the neighborhood, I noticed a tree that looked like it had long string beans hanging from it. I texted my mom and asked her what kind of tree was this? The only answer she could give me was that it looked like just a vine. Thanks mom!

I did a quick search online and found out that its a "Catalpa Tree" aka Indian Bean tree. The bean pods grow up to two feet long. These trees are often planted by fishermen because they attract award winning fish bait called the catalpa worm. The worms can actually be frozen for a year then thawed and used when fishing time comes around. Cool huh.

Walking on down the street a little ways, I came across another tree, but this one had what looked like pea pods hanging from it. So I snapped another photo.

One google search later, I found out that its an "Eastern Red bud Tree". In the spring, this tree promotes a beautiful purple pink floral showcase. In the summer, the seeds pod and look like peas.

Funny how some things you never really notice until after a storm. Much like life itself.

The clown? I'm not sure of its story but obviously, no one wants to mess with it.

Think Before You Ink

Once in our hometown paper there was a tattooed lady slap dab on the front page.
Her story? She felt discriminated because she can not find someone to hire her because of her tattoos. Now, let me mind you, this lady not only had tattoos and looked like a walking comic book, but she had half a shaved head, yep just one side, and sporting a leopard print tattoo on the side of her face. I mean, come one...really? I do not think its all about the tattoos. People are to quick to throw the "discriminate" flag.

A tattoo tells a lot about a person. Just like the way you dress, talk or present yourself. businesses are not discriminating and most have no problem with tattoos as long as they can be covered! Its called "being professional." Most business have a dress code, therefore, makeup, piercings, what you wear and your hairstyle can cost you a job.

I have two tattoos myself. One is from my 20's when I just got a wild idea to do something crazy. Its in a place that can be covered. Its simply a piece of art I drew myself. Its small and no one can see it unless I choose to reveal it.

My other tattoo is on my wrist. Its something I really wanted and do not regret it. I still love it even though the ink bleed and run together (I was warned this could happen)or faded through the years. It spells "Faith". Faith is something I think everyone should have and mine has definitely been tested.

My Tattoo is an "Ambigram tattoo" meaning it reads the same upside down or right side up. Perfect for a wrist.

I understand, if I ever need to look for another job, I will need to cover the tattoo with a bracelet or sleeve. There are things I may attend that are formal that I think sporting a tattoo is out of place or disrespectful. I'm not gonna put up a fuss and use my discrimination card. Its actually kind of fun to "hide" the tattoos sometimes...makes me feel like I have a secret.

My point is, I see nothing wrong with anyone having a tattoo or tattoos. But people really need to think about the future before getting one. Face it, people will judge you by your appearance. That's just human nature. People need to respect rules of businesses and other places you choose to show your "rights".

Sorry if your tattoo was a mistake or your life style and fads have changed, but this is pretty much a permanent marking on yourself so "Think before you Ink".

Memories- Ice Cream

I married into a family that came over from Italy and opened an Ice Cream parlor in Gastonia many years ago. As I hear it, they were pretty famous for their Ice Cream. The ole truck sits in a museum now and we still hold a lot of the other memorabilia.

I was reading one of my blog friends post the other day and it brought back some of my own childhood memories of homemade ice cream. Thanks Rick.

It took be back to the day when daddy would pull out the ole wooden ice cream maker. You know, the old churn kind with the crank handle.

yep, that's "real" home made. I mean, there was a lot of labor put into that stuff. Luckily, we usually only made it at special times or when Mom wanted it.

It was no easy thing to do. Mom worked around in the kitchen gathering the stuff she needed for the mix. I can remember doing strawberry and peach. Dad would work on getting the churn ready by adding rock salt and ice. I used to like to sneak a piece of rock salt and eat it. I know its not good for you but I'm still alive. Then me and my siblings would all take turns cranking the handle. Once the ice cream started to thicken, we had to take turns sitting on the churn so it wouldn't scoot around while dad did the heavy cranking. My weight never really held it down and dad would get aggravated.....The last one sitting on it before it was ready would get up, turn around, look down and say "I made ice cream!"

It became a chore to make ice cream and I didn't want to wait and I despised sitting there. I was never really a fan of soupy ice cream. Most of the time after all that work, it never would really thicken up. But now, as I think back, I sure do miss those days and would love to have some of that home made ice cream again. 

Facts about me and ice cream:
  • I prefer hard ice cream over soft serve.
  • I chew ice cream.
  • I like any kind of ice cream with bits in it like rocky road, butter pecan, moose tracks, etc.
  • I hate to hear people talk while they eat ice cream.
  • I prefer to eat ice cream out of a waffle cone. 
  • My favorite flavor is butter pecan or chocolate chip mint.
  • If someone tells me to hurry up and eat my ice cream, Ill just throw it away. 
Now days, we own an electric ice cream maker and it gets the job done quick. My husband also makes some awesome butter pecan ice cream. He actually cooks the nuts in sweeten condensed milk and creates a thick praline flavor to add to the mix. If it makes it out of the pan before we start spooning it into our mouths, it creates a stunning flavorful and thick ice cream.

hmmm now I think I need to go do some sweet talking

Eating Contest

There were several eating contest going on in my town last week at an uptown festival.
Those contest included a watermelon eating contest, a pie eating contest and of course a hot dog eating contest. It was hot as momma's oven at Thanksgiving. There was no shade in site so we didn't stay long. However, I just had to stay and see the hot dog eating contest. Why do we do this?

The count down was on and a group of contestants waited for the go.

They all began gulping down hot dogs to see who could eat the most in three minutes.

One got sick after about four. Two were at a tie for the win and one guy was just there having his dinner, I think. 

Why do they choose the most choke hazard food to use in contest? I will never understand.

As we walked back to the car I was thinking....looked over at my husband and said "Had it been a doughnut eating contest, I would have entered".

And I was serious. 

Sugar Grilled Peaches

I've always wanted to try grilled peaches. I like peaches as long as I don't get the feel of the rough pit area on my tongue. Bleek!

The other night I had some peaches laying around and figured I'd give it a try. The credit goes to my husband though as he is the grill master. It was just my idea.

He was in the process of grilling steaks for dinner when I brought out a small bowl of cut peaches. We are going to grill peaches for the first time. "Well, ok" he said. "Lets give it a try".

Oh my golly gosh! They were delicious! I have found a new way of doing dessert. Of course I know he will not fire up the grill just for peaches, or will he?

It was so easy and they tasted like cobbler without all the bread. You have got to try this.

First, heat the grill to medium and wipe the grate with cooking spray so the peaches wont stick.

1. Wash and dry peaches.
2. Cut peaches in half and remove pit.
3. Place flesh side down for 5 minutes.
4. Turn over to skin side down and sprinkle with brown sugar. 
5. Cook another 5 minutes.

That's it! Simply add a scoop of ice cream or whip cream and you got yourself a delicious warm dessert without all the calories. (Approximately 120 calories per peach. That's two halves!)

Now I wonder what other fruits will be good on the grill.

When It Rains, It Pours

Its been quite a few weeks for us lately.

Just a few weeks ago, our air conditioner went out without warning. We had to wait a day for the air condition man to come. We did fine. The house stayed cool most of the day and after our nightly showers, we were cooled down enough to go to bed and slept comfortably with only ceiling fans.

This past weekend, after our afternoon walk, my husband heard something coming from the storage room where the hot water tank is kept. A hose had ruptured. We caught it before it totally flooded but we still had a water issue and the floor was soaked. Needless to say, we didn't have any hot water and barely had any water pressure. 

Though it sent Nicks stress level to the roof, I stayed calm. I'm pretty good at being resourceful. Besides, worrying make things worst. We had to turn the water off at the road to keep anymore water problems from happening overnight until we could get to the hardware store in the morning. 

I simply filled up some water jugs for drinking and boiled some hot water for baths. We took turns pouring warm water over each other while lathering up and then a quick rinse. I think that's the quickest wash I ever did. I didn't get to spend an extra 20 minutes under the shower planning out my life. Ha. 

The next morning, I skipped church while Nick ran to the hardware store. Fortunately he had it fixed in about thirty minutes. The rest of the day was ours. We enjoyed time together and my daughter came to visit so we could all go out to dinner.

Monday was Independence day so I had the day off. I did some weed pulling, house cleaning and laundry before heading out to some festivities uptown. Low and behold if the dog gone washing machine didn't started yelling. "I'm giving up!" Yep. Next, its a new washer. I'll add that to the list right above the new mattress set we were saving for.

When it rains,it pours....

Oh wait, I think the fridge is making a noise.

Ivy Buds

Ive mentioned before about my huge Dogwood tree that has been taken over by Ivy. In the Winter the tree leaves fall leaving nothing but the tangled vines of evergreen.

I sit on the patio and watch the bees swarm through the branches. I hate bees but I leave these alone each year because they leave me alone. We have this secret agreement. They work so hard pollinating the tree or are they pollenating the ivy? 

I couldn't help but notice all the Ivy buds. They looked like tiny fireworks exploding in the sunset. I had to grab my camera ipad and take some photos. I mean, I get excited of any fancy growth in the yard thats not concidered weeds. On the other hand, Ivy could be a weed since its a neucience. Like Kudzu.

Who knew those bees would eventually create a tiny jungle in my yard. 

"A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may move,
Come live with me, and be my love"

                     ~Christopher Marlowe
(The Passionate Shephard to His Love)

Largest Flag

Happy Fourth of July. There are a lot of things going on to celebrate Americas Birthday. My city is having a thing going on uptown that we may check out in a little while. It last all day long and ending with fireworks at night. For now, I'm enjoy a cup of coffee and curled in a chair chillaxing on my day off.

As I look out of the windows, across through the neighborhood, The porches and yards are decorated in American themes and many fly their american flags.

Years ago there was big news about a big flag in my town. It is known as one of the largest flying American flags in the world. It sits at the foot of Crowders Mountain. I can see the mountain from my neighborhood.

It is visible 30 miles of its location. I'm only about 5 miles from it. I've seen it before on my drives, but knowing its one of the largest, makes it a cool sighting. It is not always flying. In fact they only fly it 2 or 3 times a year on special occasions.

This flag is a result of the efforts of The Gaston Chapter of the United Veterans of America

  • It is visible 30 miles from its location
  • The total flag is 7,410 sq ft
  • 65 ft tall
  • 114 ft wide
  • Weighs 185 lbs
  • Each 13 stripes is 5 ft high
  • Each 50 stars is 4ft tall from top tip to tip
  • The base is in the ground 25 ft
  • The pole is 225 ft tall
  • The pole is in the ground 25 ft.
  • The base of the pole is 5ft in diameter
  • Its only 18 inch in diameter at the top tip
  • The pole weighs 80,000 lbs! WOW.
(web photo)
Now that's a big beautiful flag!

I guess I'll get to moving around here. We may head uptown to see whats going on and later get some hot dogs to put on the grill. While I like to watch fireworks, Im not a fan of being in the type of crowd my town attracts. I'd rather stay safe in my yard and watch the fireworks over the trees.

"Everyone have a safe Independence day, Enjoy the fireworks and cookouts and hope no one burns their wieners".

The Interview

If you keep up with me, then you know I attended a Phlebotomy certification class a few years ago and continue keeping my license valid. I really want to do this kind of work one day.

While I am currently still at my twenty-two years behind this desk job, it hasn't stopped me from dreaming. There is something or somebody every day that pushes my button to ask myself,
"Self, You are better than this, why are you not looking?!"

Well, looking is what I have been doing. I have heard others tell me that I will not find a job making what I make now or that I will not find another job period. 

While they are probably 95% correct, I'm taking that 5% chance. So in the past couple months, I've sent my resume to four different places. 
~Two I have never gotten a response.
~One I got two emails stating they are looking at my resume and application and will be in touch.
~And one called me. After playing phone tag all day (I was working), I got a final message from a blood center letting me know they would be calling again in the morning at 8:30 and ask for about ten minutes of my time. 

So it happened. My first interview in twenty-two years. Even though it was a phone interview, I was still so nervous. What will they ask me? Will My mind go blank and sound like a pure T idiot?

Surprisingly, He was very pleasant to talk to and I didn't feel intimidated. He did most of the talking and made me feel at ease.

He told me about the phlebotomist position I had applied for. He admitted several times how impressed he was with my resume. They were interested in me. Wow. This felt good.

However, I had to decline the offer. It would require me to drive back and forth to the center which is thirty to forty-five minutes away. There I would only clock in and out as I would then be going mobile all over the state and sometimes have twelve hour days including weekends. I could be a mobile phlebotomist. I would love that. But I cant commit to those hours. 

The call ended with, "Well Mrs.D, if you ever change your mind whether it be six months or a year from now, get back in touch with me. 

I was flattered. Its wasn't much but it was something. I felt more important in those five minutes than I have at my current job in years.
I walked a little taller that evening just knowing I was recognized and had a chance. 

Until next time, I will continue doing what I do while I think about the future.