TBT: The Cousins

Family

This picture was taken back in 2011.

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This is my family. In green, my cousin, Janet. In yellow, my sister, Melodie, In lavender, my cousin Rikki and in blue, me. We’re New England’s version of Steel Magnolias.

We have all been through so much in our lives, but we are a tough bunch and never give up!

We have a cousin (not pictured) and he is the only man in our little group. He is dearly loved, although he was not with us on this day.

This & That On A Wednesday!

Tuesday was a pretty nice day. I’d gotten some chestnuts at the grocery the other day and I decided to make a little Thanksgiving preview for our dinner tonight.

I roasted the chestnuts and each and every one of them was perfect! The shells all but fell away. I chopped onions and celery and put in some Summer Savory, Sage, and a little salt and pepper, and after the vegetables had cooked I added the bread crumbs, and the chestnuts and a little broth until the stuffing was the right consistency.

I put the stuffing in the bottom of a glass dish, and then put two turkey breast tenderloins on top. Currently, everything is cooking for dinner and WOW does it smell wonderful!

I also worked this morning making a new blanket cushion for the center of Anneliese’s bed. I measured and pinned it and then sewed it up.

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I am actually not a clever person with crafts. I would like to be, but when something that I make comes out this good, I am simply thrilled!

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Not only did the little blanket cushion in the middle come out well, but Anneliese LOVES it! Yahoo! Score!

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My birds were around all day, despite the fact that it was misting and rainy most of the day. I sat during lunch, just watching my Cardinal and a family of Chickadees as well as the Downey and Hairy Woodpecker who all swooped in for a snack!

Watching them all filled me with great happiness!

Weekend Wrap

I have been away at my daughter’s soon to be old house, helping her get ready to move into her new house. It’s amazing how much work there is to be done when you move 4 people and a dog and a cat a few miles down the road!

Fortunately, I pack things pretty well. I worked with Mandy in her kitchen and unfortunately, I packed up all the kid’s small plastic cereal bowls! Eeek! But I saved the day. I got the plastic cups I saved and put their cereal in there! Problem solved! After all, they officially move mid-week and the bowls will be unpacked!

We made several trips over to the new house and ate almost all meals out except the wonderful breakfast Mandy made with the few pots that we’d left out. Eggs, bacon, and pancakes! Yum!

I packed up early on Monday when Mandy went to work, the kids went to school and I hit the road stopping to grocery shop, and get gas. Since I had gotten some of BJ’s Warehouse super coupon items I knocked my gas bill down from $238.9 a gallon to $158.9 a gallon! Seeing that on my sales slip made me smile. Especially since I actually use the soap liquid, paper towels, plastic garbage bags and toilet paper that got me the reduction. Oh yes, and I used their store coupons which totaled about $20.00! Gosh, I love a good sale and a bargain!

Jack and the pooches were happy to see me. The feeling was entirely mutual!

I was home for a short time when an old friend knocked on our door. The son of a Pan Am pilot, who was very much like a father to Jack and me. We sat around telling stories about his Dad and visiting. It was a nice afternoon.

So, it was a very full weekend, spent with my loves and I enjoyed every moment.

The Friday Five

The Friday FiveNow, this week has flown by. I have been so busy as I run around getting things done and doing my stuff. Here are the 5 things that I’ve been thinking about.

  1. It’s still a beautiful time around here. Although the bright colors have gone, It is still an amazingly lovely time of year!PA210019 copy
  2. I’ve been puttering lately. Here or there. Trying to clean, straighten,  and organize.
  3. I moved the bird feeder in the front yard to the back yard for the winter. This way I will only have to shovel a path in the snow out the back door to the two feeders.
  4. I have finally started a little Christmas shopping. For my cousin, Janet and for my sister. I also have seen a few things for the kids.
  5. And just because, I saw an ad for a Vera Bradley Purse and I could not believe that a $100.00 purse was marked down to $21.00!
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    Needless to say, I was forced to buy it for myself!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Anneliese & The Big Bang

Tuesday was kind of an odd day for me. I slept until the sun rose and although I tried to get back to sleep, I was wide awake.

I got the dogs, and after getting my jacket on (I finally found my winter coat in the front closet!) I took them out, hung up the bird feeders and by the time I came back in, the coffee was hot and brewed.

Jack has been sleeping incredible amounts, so I didn’t wait and at 8 o’clock I made my breakfast. Life was going on in a normal pattern.

It was much later in the day when I had finished eating my lunch I put my plate down for Anneliese to lick, and I started to move the tray table that my lunch had been on and Anneliese jumped back in terror and screamed a big doggy scream.

I felt terrible. I must have scared her because she can’t see the table well. Then Jack told me that he’d accidentally kicked his tray table last night in his sleep and knocked it down. It landed close to a deeply sleeping Anneliese.

My poor girl had PTSD!

I got her up in my lap. She was breathing heavily and shaking. I held her closely and talked to her but it took well over an hour to get her calmed down.

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I started to think about Anneliese then. She has new bumps here and there, I know her vision is almost nil as she doesn’t see things when I hold them closely in front of her.

She does come to me when I call her, and part of me feels she is happiest when she is on a leash Then she is attached to me.

I don’t like this at all you know. I see my little baby fading before my eyes and it makes me so sad.

April 26 011Baby Anneliese.

She was the baby I watched being born, who came out screaming. The last pup out when Greta had her first litter, and the one with the biggest mouth.

Anneliese by Janet

Ha! She is very quiet now. She almost never barks or makes a fuss. But way back when, in 2006, she was full of spirit and the life of Greta’s first litter.

March 9 001Me and Anneliese. I think she was about 12 weeks old then.

All her sisters and Arnie were little sleepy heads. But this tiny little pup had so much spunk!

As I held her today I realized that all of these years that I have been her Mom, she always knew I would take care of her. And she has always come to me to be comforted.

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She is fine now (Tuesday Evening) and asleep in her bed. But I’ve realized that I really need to enjoy her as her days are coming to a close.

The Peak Is Past

I looked out today at the lake and everything was still. It was also a simple burnt brown and yellow and the vivid reds and orange and corals are done.

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Still, it was beautiful, and so when I went to get the mail, I took my big camera and took a few pictures. The one below was when the sun was shining. So beautiful!

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Soon the trees will be bare and the blustery winds of November will be upon us. With just the skeletal remains of the trees blowing eerily this way and that.

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It’s strange but my favorite time of year is Autumn when the colors are bright. The month of November, my birthday month, the weather, the colors, tend to be rather grim.

Yet, November holds two things I am looking forward to. My 61st birthday and Thanksgiving. My personal favorite holiday!

People ask me what dish is my favorite during the Thanksgiving meal? Hmm. Let’s see, turkey, stuffing made with roasted chestnuts, mashed potato, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, green beans, gravy, rosemary crusted hot dinner rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, or mince Pie? Umm, yes! All of it! LOL!

The Weekend Wrap

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Our weekend was a pretty quiet one. I was feeling so much better from the cold I had, while Jack was in the early stages of coming down with a cold.

I did laundry and cleaned and cooked a wonderful Sauerbraten. I cleaned my closet, went to the Recycling Center and prepared several bags of shoes, coats, blankets, shirts, and towels to bring to the Charity Shop.

Jack slept. He got out of bed, came out to his chair and slept some more. In between, he coughed and sneezed and then slept some more.

Due to his sleeping, I was the master of the remote control! I actually watched what I wanted to see! Yay, me!

With heart cartoon remote control from TV device

We have now had a couple of hard frosts, and we also had a wind storm that came through and blew away a large portion of our leaves. It seems that the peak of our Autumn is now over. As is the Foliage Train. Today was the last day the trains will run for the year.

The coming week finds me being quiet. I’m sure I will be caring for Jack while he recovers from the cold.

Banana Bread!

Banana Bread: My Favorite!

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I know pumpkin bread is really popular about now, and I love pumpkin bread,  but even more delicious to me is banana bread, which is my favorite.  Fortunately, it’s easy, and a great use for those bananas sitting on the shelf.

Time: 10 mins prep, 40-50 minutes baking.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas
2 c. flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup milk

Mash your bananas, then add your sugar, eggs, and butter.  Mix thoroughly.  Sift your flour, spices, and soda together and add them to your wet ingredients.  Mix it all up until you have a somewhat stiff batter.  It’s much thicker than cake batter. Which is why I like to use a little milk to smooth it out. I also tend to double the batch as this freezes well.

Spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray.  I just LOVE using the little loaf pans.  They gift easily, for one.  Also, while I can’t seem to stop at one slice of bread, I do have to stop at one loaf.  This recipe makes 3 little loaves if you want to go that route too.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until you pass the toothpick test (where you stick it into your bread and it comes out clean).  For my little loaves, usually 40 minutes.  For a traditional loaf, closer to 50.

Jack and I have both been enjoying the bread. It is soooooo good!