my sis and her stickie self

My sis has a selfie stick.  She got it last year and tried perfecting her selfie skill while we were in Hilton Head.  So we got all kinds of cool selfies.

IMG_0938

She got really good at it by the time we left as evidenced by the above pic with our bikes.  It was rather hilarious on the first selfie shoot though.  Notice the subtle differences from beginning to end.IMG_0916 IMG_0917

IMG_0918

IMG_0919

IMG_0920

You would think we were a bunch of old grannies trying to figure out some new-fangled gizmo.  And how did Mom get in that picture?

IMG_0921

 

IMG_0922

I think she gave up after this one.  The kind waiter snapped these of her valiant effort to accomplish a miracle.  She could do a mean two-gal selfie, though, by the end of the meal.IMG_0925

And now I think she should go selfie pro!  Look at this shot:IMG_0932

 

Advertisements

A Delightful Day

It’s not often I can get the wild ones to hold still for a photo or two.  Ava usually cringes and puts her hand in front of her face.  Kate shows me her, um, backside.  So when we accidentally wondered into the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique in Disney when we were down there in May, into the Photo Opportunity portion of the Boutique, the girls lit up.  This wasn’t any old picture-taking by their old granny!  This was the real thing!

There was a photographer there (older than ME I might add) and a fainting couch to pose upon with a blue backdrop.  Oh, yeah.  They had hit the big time.  So they posed and smiled and never once acted like they did not want their picture taken.  And being the good granny that she was (I am almost certain) the photographer asked me to join them on some pics.  And they were actually happy to have me in them.

WDWRESORTSANDMORE_DTDMEMR_20160518_386459621579

I guess this was the highlight of my trip!

Girls hugging I mean… they even HUGGED!!!

Posing.  Unbelievable!

The new plan is to get me a vest like the ones they wore in Disney, hang my camera around my neck, and see if I can’t get them to do this for me.

If I had known we were walking into a photo shoot, we might have doodied up a bit.

Scooter Scandal

Kate on scooter

She flies as fast as it will go.  If it had a pedal, it would be on the metal.  I have a real premonition that she is going to take after her Gigi and her momma.  Kate has already received her first ticket from one of our observant and kind and considerate police officers  (which I must thank for doing such a good job) as  she was scooting around on the mall, being her nosy little  self.

Kate and ticket

The defendant looks like she’s been in the pokey all night!

Isn’t there some saying about being nosy getting one into trouble?!!!

On Being A Gigi

This past New Year’s Day, almost all the family was able to get together.  In a previous blog I wrote about that and let you see for yourselves with some pictures.  I had planned and prepared, everyone shared talents or enjoyed watching someone else’s talent, games were played, food was eaten, presents passed out by the little ones, and the day was just great.  All the wee ones were happy as well as the not-so-wee ones.

As the day progressed,  there were nine grands (ten if we count little Will who is just starting to say words — I claim them all) yelling “Gigi” for one reason or another.  “Look at this.”  “I have two talents.” “Thank you for my gift.” “Watch me.”  “Can you get me (insert anything you can think of)?”  “I have to go to the bathroom.”  “Can you help me (insert anything you can think of)?”  “How do you (insert anything you can think of)?”

Way back in 2002 I became a Gigi (pronounced geegee not jeejee) when my sweet Jack was born, my great-nephew.  I didn’t know I was going to be a Gigi; I just knew I loved that boy and he loved me and we were going to have something very, very special.

And we did.  So I began to search for a name for the special relationship, finally settling on Aunt Granny.  I saw it at Dollywood, a restaurant or snack shop.

Food =  Comfort = Aunt Granny.

Then my sweet Sam came along, and I fell in love all over again.  I had two sweethearts instead of one.

It was about that time that little Jack started trying to say things such as “Aunt Granny.”  Only it came out Gigi.  At least that’s how we spell it.  The two grannies in his life, his Aunt Granny and his great-grandma who everyone already called Granny were now Gigis.  His grandma, my sis, was to be called Mawmaw which worked out very well because he could pronounce that.

From then on I was Gigi, and when my sweet girls, Kate and Ava, came along they picked up on Jack and Sam calling me Gigi, and that’s what they called me as well.

Rapunzel

In the big teacup five years ago.

We are a close family and spend as much time as we can with each other (which was quite a lot at that particular time in my life) so it was very common for my grandgirls to hear the name Gigi often; thus using it themselves.

These little ones brought such joy to my life, and we played and played and played and… you get the picture.

Punkin People

My little-to-big Punkins

The Last Tide

my sweet nephews

Along came Charlotte, Owen, Maci, Henry, Nia, and now little Will.  Each one has enriched my life and brought me great joy.The Last Tide

I have had the opportunity to play with them, spend time with them, have lots and lots of fun with them.  We swim in the backyard, dance on holidays (or any time because I love to dance), play board games or make-believe and dress-up, make tents, spend time in the sunflower house, play tag or hide-and-seek, read books, have sleep-overs.  If I can’t think of something, they can.

Oh, the make-believe!  Jack has my fun, make-believe gene, and that boy can lead the pack in superhero play or make a jungle out of a blah backyard or create ninja warriors (girl and boy ninjas) or have an awesome hide-and-seek game.  Anything he starts, the rest of them follow.  Our own pied piper.  He is older now but still takes time to play with them.  And they all love him.  The superhero cousin.

He has all the makings of a Gigi.

At the end of all the New Year’s Day festivities, as we were all settling down, packing up presents and food, Maci turned to her Mawmaw and said,

“How do you get to be a Gigi?”

Maci and nails

 

 

Putting Together Memories

For Christmas, I went to Shutterfly to make a really cool Christmas gift for my brother and two sisters.  Since so many of our memories of Mom are surrounded by her cooking for us, I wanted to make a cookbook of some of our favorites of Mom’s cooking.  It turned out great!

Mom's cookbook

Mom was a really good cook and cooked for whoever would show up for lunch, or she would bribe us with fried chicken and dumplings to come on weekends.

Surrounded by grandkids at Christmas 001 Her utmost joy was derived from feeding and caring the best she could for her children.  And her grandchildren.  And her great-grandchildren.

She might mutter and complain about Jillsurprise party 1972 with Jill 002 not knowing what good food was as she made her the requested grilled cheese while bowls of delicious food (mashed potatoes and dumplings and home-canned green beans and Mom’s  coleslaw to name a few) sat on the table ready to be gobbled up by the rest of us.  Just her way of saying, “I love you.”

Those were hard words to say by a little girl raised in the depression to become the hard-working woman who didn’t have time for frivolity.  Not often anyway.  Every once in a while if we begged she would get up and do what she called “The Shawneetown Stomp” with my older sister.  It was great!!  She would laugh and dance, and so would we.  At least try to dance.  Mom was a great dancer.  So is Tish.  And they looked awesome together!

Mom used to tell stories about growing up in her family, the hardships.  As it does most people, that upbringing weaved its way into who she became.  It caused her to worry about having the money for a home and food.  She was frugal, very frugal.  Yet I still had a beautiful dress for prom and homecoming that she made from royal blue velvet material.  We still managed to get high school class rings, probably wanting us to have one because she didn’t make it through high school.  Each of the girls had piano lessons, something she would have been good at considering her lovely voice when she sang and her rhythm when she danced.

And, of course, the only boy in the family received a really cool car on his 16th birthday.  (No, I’m not mad about it anymore.  Not that I ever was, really.  Well, maybe a little.  But not anymore.  Hardly.)

A few of Mom’s recipes, most in her own handwriting, were included.  This dumpling recipe was from the sessions Mom and I had as she tried to teach me how to make them.  She was too weak by then to roll them out, but she sure enjoyed sitting there teaching me, smiling ear to ear.Mom's Dumplings 001

There was a little bit of history of Mom’s family because they were a close bunch of sisters.  And like my own family, one boy in all those girls.  (Did I mention that my brother wrecked that really cool car by jumping over the levee and breaking it right in half?”  Not that that bothers me or anything anymore.)

So along with pictures of kids and grandkids and recipes, I included a few pics like this one:Logsdon Siblings circa 1930s 001And just so we wouldn’t forget that once upon a time our Mom had a Amy & Churnie 1947 001real life, a life with laughter and flirtation, I included some like this one.

Being the middle child in a family of four children, my characteristics and qualities have been woven in ways such as those that made my Mom into who she was.  And that is why on the back of the book I put a really good picture of me and a not-so-really great picture of the rest of them.

My brother is the one in the silly birthday hat.  And I only used that picture because it was one of the best I had of him.  Not at all because I may still be just a tad incensed by the fact that he got a car on his 16th birthday, and I did not. Mom's cookbook back

If you want a free book, here is the link for you to get one.  https://invite-shutterfly.com/x/SOm1IE

The Clan

checking the photo booth

checking the photo booth

We are Scottish, Irish, English, and some sort of ancestry with high cheekbones in their DNA from somewhere.  Our sense of humor and love for pranks and making up musical ditties attest to at least part of the origin of the clan.  The DNA test that Ancestry.com offers may solve the mystery to the rest.  I’ve been contemplating swabbing my mouth and sending my DNA off to be analyzed just to see where my ancestors trod once upon a time.  Just for the heck of it, the fun of solving the origin mystery and maybe creating a couple more mysteries.

All of us, the siblings and the young’ns, (most of them anyway) got together for a New Year’s Day Reunion/late Christmas Get-Together.  It was great!!

Ava unloading presents

Ava unloading presents

Santa had left a bunch of presents!!  So Ava helped put them under the BIG tree.  It was a madhouse for just a bit as the girls passed out gifts to everyone.

Darla with hubby Dave

Darla with hubby Dave

The talent show was exceptional this year with blues singers accompanied by the guitar as well as acapella; original songs written by the participants; a hover board exhibition; Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae dance routines; a chorus of girls singing Jingle Bells; gymnastics and ballet.  I am expecting more to be on the program for next year.  We are a talented bunch in this clan.

It took a little coaxing to get some of the kiddos out there while  others had two or three things planned to do.  We had no agenda and no idea who would do what.  Most of it was spur of the moment and turned out awesome!

Kate and Nia

Kate and Nia

Hover board hotties

Hover board hotties

IMG_3604

Charlotte, Kate, Nia, Maci, Ava

Blues Player Dave

Blues Player Dave with Henry taking everything in.

IMG_3610

“Sant Won’t You Give Me the Scoop”

IMG_3620

This girl rocks!!

IMG_3584

watch me whip

Stanky Leg

Stanky Leg

IMG_3586

Maci gets down to Watch me Whip.  Her brother, Owen, was awesome as well, but somehow I don’t have his picture.  Charlotte, the ballerina in the clan, was also  whipping and nae-naeing.  Yeah.  That doesn’t look like a word to me either.  Even little Henry, the pre-K kid, was stanky-legging!

Then there is always the game of “Write Down One Thing Nobody Knows About You.”  Little Ava won this year with her “I have been a mile underground.”  We have a few coal miners, so of course everyone guessed all of them first.  Nos abounded.  They were clueless, and would never have guessed if not for the big grin on Ava’s face and her sister seeing it.  Sisters just know when the other one is up to something.  We had gone to Ruby Falls in Tennessee last summer which had taken  us deep into the earth. Darla used the same one she used last year (she has to have some excitement in her life this year!).  And we should have all gotten “I am a word Nazi” right off the bat (Keely) but had to guess a while for some reason.  We all know how she loves to read!  Mike returned the joke “fact” Davy put in the pot about Mike last year with a “fact” of his own about Davy this year.  We were all staring at Davy in disbelief for just a brief minute!

Rutherford clan

Rutherford clan

Donny and Keely

Donny and Keely

Benna and Amanda

Benna and Amanda

Part of the Martin clan, Wes, Darla and Will

Part of the Martin clan, Wes, Darla and Will

Nate and KaLee

Nate and KaLee

Mike, Steve, Julie, Amanda, Benna eating, drinking, and being merry

Mike, Steve, Benny, Julie, Amanda, Benna eating, drinking, and being merry

Turning the garage into a party zone wasn’t too hard with the help of the cheap 25-cent red plastic tablecloths for the “stage” and some white disposable tablecloths for covering up all the garage junk.  Wah-la!!  Pristine white temporary walls!

There was enough food for the 30 people and enough desserts to fill our tummies.  We started the year off right with black-eyed peas and cornbread and cabbage on the menu as well. (Thanks to Donny, the cook, for the latter two.)

It was good to catch up, to see how the kiddos had grown, to reminisce, to laugh at each other and with each other, to tell tales of old and some of new on one another, to meet some of the new people in the clan this year and yell a little louder at some of the older people in the clan.

We are a clan of game players, a clan of laughers.  So after the last game that involved some  fast and furious thinking up sounds, one-word clues, and actions, we were beginning to settle down.  That’s when the grown-ups ventured over to the photo booth.  The kids found it early on and had already created images and movies galore!  I would so love to put the video of Nia on here with Owen:  he pretending to pick his nose and she, well, it was just interesting.

And kind of gross.

Photo on 1-1-16 at 12.41 PM #2

Photo on 1-1-16 at 5.12 PM #2Photo on 1-1-16 at 5.16 PMPhoto on 1-1-16 at 5.11 PMPhoto on 1-1-16 at 5.14 PMPhoto on 1-1-16 at 12.38 PMFullSizeRender-2

Nia putting on her mustache

Nia putting on her mustache

Photo on 1-1-16 at 4.08 PM

Looking back… Taking Kate to School

It’s the end of yet another year, and I am going through WordPress, looking at anything left undone.

Because I am very very good at undone whether it’s leaving a project in such a state or getting myself into such a state.  Here is what I found, and I thought it worthy to post.  Even if it was nailed up and left to linger on the blog tree — oops — I mean post for, um, about four years:

 

Hula Hoedown

Kate in the first grade

This week I have only taken Kate to school one day.  It is a treat to take her… but I suppose it wouldn’t be if it was my job every morning to get her up and fight with her about her clothes and try to get her little sis ready to go as well.

She came bebopping out of the house, all pink and brown, with her little skirt and boots with the tassle balls, .  Her boots were pink with the Disney princesses.  We had gone shopping a few days earlier and she had new clothes and new shoes.  Adorable.  I should have taken a pic, but didn’t have my camera.

On the way to school we sing “Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s off to school we go.”  Then I make up verses, but her favorite part, she says, is the chorus.  We walk in the school together — unless she sees some of her friends.  Then it’s a kiss and hug and off to walk in with the other kids.  Kate is very social this year.  She started last year in Pre-K getting a little more social, wanting to talk to people.  She will be the traveling reporter who finds out all kinds of things about people because she is full of questions and interested in them.  She also has a concern for everyone.

The trees will talk to us as we travel down the road; sometimes in a voice that sounds a lot like Gigi and sometimes in a voice that sounds a lot like Kate.  They say things such as, “oooh, what a pretty little girl; I want her bear.”  Because sometimes she takes her little blue bear with her in the car to school, leaving him to wait on her return trip home.  Then a tree will respond with “No, I don’t want her bear.”  Those trees are real talkers.  And on every curve the wheels on my vehicle go “Errrrk.”

This year, she loves school.  She loves her teacher and her classmates, and she loves learning the letters and numbers, sounding out the letters, making rhyming words.

Kate this year with Santa

Kate this year with Santa

We still hear the trees talk to us every once in awhile.  Not as often as before because Kate is now in the fourth grade and Ava is in the first grade.  Little blue bear stays at home now, replaced with her Ipod or IPhone.  She is still very social.  I am thinking politician.  So is Ava.  I am still thinking politician.

There are now two little girls bebopping out to the car.  Kate has chosen the comfy jogging pants and comfy shirts over her cute little first-grade outfits.  Ava choosing her cute little first-grade outfits.  They both love school:  A tribute to the teachers and staff at our school.  And they both are good students, although Kate is still more interested in what’s going on around her, I think, than the school work, itself.

It is still a treat to get to take them to school, and we still listen to our Sunday School songs on the CD and make up little ditties to go along with songs we know, and  we still look for things of interest along the highway.  Of course, this is mixed in with the bickering.  Ugh!!

Now, instead of one little girl there are two.  Now, instead of walking them both in like I have up until this year, I stop at the door, and they grab their stuff and hop out, catching up with friends, forgetting they have a granny in the vehicle watching them with a heart full of love.

Ewwww, YUCK….

My sweet little pumpkin (it IS Thanksgiving time, pumpkin time), Ava, comes over to play with me.  She is a game player, and this year, since she is now the ripe old age of six, she has caught on rather nicely to the intricacies of the games with all the skill that goes into blocking your opponent and planning the strategy for the big win.Ava & Callie halloween 2015 (2)

We play Animal Sequence, Uno Mooo, Bingo, Mickey Dominoes, War, Spoons, anything we have on hand or thatIMG_0367 looks interesting.

Sometimes we go for playing house, taking turns at who is Mom.  Or we play school where she is always the teacher.  Last year, in kindergarten, she was such a sweet, demure, kind, soft-spoken teacher, but this year in first grade she has an edge to her while she points her finger and says, “I’m not telling you again.”

Then there are the days I am not really quite sure what we are supposed to be playing.  She usually centers her make-believe whatevIMG_0369er-we-are around my working in the yard.  I tell her that, no, I can’t play house today because I am working in the yard.  She in her very matter-of-fact voice says, “I know!  You can be the daughter that works at the plant-selling place, and I will be the mom.”

No excuse will suffice.  She comes back with some other angle in her tenacious we-are-going-to-play attitude.

I, of course, always give in.

IMG_1352

How could I not?!!!  Just look at her!!!

Sunday, after I had beat her once again at Bingo, she jumps up on the couch and does a big raspberry in my face.  Spit everywhere!  So I jump up and pull her hands away from her face (she fought fiercely) and raspberried her right back!

The big coup for this old Granny?

Ava says “Ewwwwww!  YUCK!  Grandma spit!”

I can remember how I hated when my mom took her cloth hankie (it was all in super slow motion) and brought it up to her puckered lips glistening with spit and put a big glob of spit on the hankie.  Then her arm and hand with the spit-globbed hankie would so slowly (oh the dread, the dread) come toward my face to wipe off (I’m almost certain) an invisible spot of dirt or food or snot off of me.

Ewwwwww!  YUCK!

I’m still laughing about doing it to Ava.  Only it’s twice as bad.

GRANDMA SPIT!!!!

Cookin’ It Up

My Blue Apron meals have been entertaining and delicious!  For $59 a week I get three different meals for two people. The first one arrived to much excitement and anticipation.Cookin it up  I couldn’t wait to get into it to see what was cookin’ for the next week.Cookin it up

Once I got it opened, I was greeted with a letter from Blue Apron and all the recipes on these beautiful, big, easy-to-read cards.  Nice people.  Underneath the welcome letter was all the produce and knickknacks (spices, butter, vinegar, cream, etc.) for the meals.  Everything is measured, with just the right amounts being sent:  certain amount in ounces of greens, the required amount of veggies whether it’s one onion or several fingerling potatoes, enough meat for two, fresh herbs all packaged and labeled.Cookin it upcookin it up

cookin it up

The packaging is eco friendly, with an insulated storage bag that could be reused to go to the grocery store (which comes in very handy in rural areas where the grocery store is at least 20 miles away).  In the bottom of the box are two frozen ice bags keeping the meats cold.  The whole kit and caboodle can be recycled.

 

cookin it up

cookin it upIngredients so far have included shrimp, cod, ground lamb and beef, ground turkey, chicken, and flank steak.  Along with the vegetables I normally use such as garlic, onions, potatoes, and carrots, I’ve also been introduced to adding kale and spinach and Swiss chard and fava leaves and epazote and pea tips to the skillet to cook in with the recipe.  Then there’s the red rice and barley that I have found are delicious as well as filling, making a meal satisfy all evening.

Time to start cookin’ it up!!!

the recipe cards

the recipe cards

knickknacks

knickknacks

ingredients

ingredients

Tonight’s meal was turkey meatballs in pita bread.  I lined the pita with a vanilla yogurt, lemon juice, and diced cucumber dressing; added some of the lettuce from the salad, then placed the spiced meatballs in the middle.  Not bad but it wasn’t one of our favorites.  We aren’t big fans of ground turkey — too bland.

 

Cookin it up

Spiced Turkey Meatball Pitas with Sugar Snap Pea & Bibb Lettuce Salad

The Navarin-style lamb meatball stew was one of our favorites.

Navarin-style lamb stew

Navarin-Style Lamb Meatball Stew with Pea Tips & Carrots

The chili blackened cod just needs a little tweaking for our tastes.  Just a little less grapefruit cut up in it and little more finely chopped.

chili blackened cod

Chile-Blackened Cod with Epazote, Avocado & Red Rice Salad

The flank steak with peppercorn sauce, creamed spinach, and fingerling potatoes was super.  Definitely will be making that one again.

cookin it up

Pan-Seared Steaks with Green Peppercorn Sauce & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Since the shrimp and fresh pasta meal, I may have to invest in a pasta machine.  I had no idea the difference fresh pasta makes in a dish!

Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp with Fresh Linguine di Cavolo & Fava Leaves

Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp
with Fresh Linguine di Cavolo & Fava Leaves

The chicken was very good as well.  The barley added flavor as well as kept us satisfied.

Pan-Seared Chicken Verjus with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

Pan-Seared Chicken Verjus
with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

Blue Apron has raised my awareness of how I cook and how I eat.  Only one dish has had much fat in it, and then not excessive.  Learning to cook for two with no leftovers or very little leftover is a plus as well.  The mingling of flavors of the herbs and vegetables and meats combinations has been a learning experience, things I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing together.

The next shipment is Wednesday, and I’m looking forward to it.  None of the meals have taken much time to prepare nor more than two pans.  We have enjoyed critiquing each dish together.  A “foodie” date night.

Sometimes I freeze the meat if I am not going to get to it within a couple of days, but the dishes are much better the quicker the use of the ingredients is.  The meals turn out like the pictures on the cards (my nephew thought I was posting the web site pictures instead of my own when he saw them on Facebook) after you “plate” them.

I just need a chef hat… a really cool chef hat.

 

 

Little Red Hen’s Babies

butternut squash

butternut squash

It’s almost time.  Time for my little babies to find a home.  Time for someone to adopt them and care for them and reap the rewards of good parenting.

They are used to lots of attention and babying.  As they should be.  After all, they are my babies.

Last year, before enjoying a delicious oven-roasted butternut squash, I took out the seeds, washed them, and dried them.  Then I put them in a brown envelope and labeled them.

This spring, after researching a bit, I made up some potting mix.  Lucky for me I have a friend who has horses.  Which means I have plenty of manure to mix in with my peat moss, perlite, and Epsom salt.  I shall forever hereafter feel completely different about a horse’s ass.  They aren’t all bad.

Next I got the seeds out and planted them.  My name should be Little Red Hen.

Since my sweet husband got me the coveted greenhouse for Christmas a year ago, at the first of March I planted my darling seeds from last year’s meals and desserts.  It was still cool at night, so my husband put a heater with a thermostat connected to it.  Everything was ready.

The first babies to pop their little heads up through the dirt, some wearing their seed as a hat or in folded leaves as though praying, were the butternut squash. Little Red Hen's Babies Next came watermelon and cantaloupe. Little Red Hen's Babies

praying cantaloupe

praying cantaloupe

Little Red Hen's Babies

Okra

Lemon cucumber was next.  Along came my cute little okra wearing the hard, round seed on their heads.

But where were the tomatoes?  I had to buy seed for those because I couldn’t find the seed I had saved from last year — or maybe I didn’t save them — but the dirt was just sitting there, empty.  No little baby heads poking up through the dirt.

Finally, on a day that I forgot to open the greenhouse and it got about 120 degrees in there, they popped out.  Tomatoes do love the heat!  So now, I have baby tomatoes growing into beautiful tomato plants almost ready for adoption.

Such a bittersweet time here at My Babies Nursery.