Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let It Ice, Let It Ice, Let It Ice!

Everyone was prepared for the worst, a not so distant memory of downed power poles and lines, no electricity for 2 weeks and dark despair not ever having lights again. But, so far the ice and sharp as shrapnel sleet has decorated our highways and walkways locally. Danny and I traveled to Springfield yesterday, because I had to re certify my CPR and we figured we could beat the storm home. Well, at 3pm, I excited St. John's and within 30 minutes or less the roads turned to ice with a wet rainy glaze over everything. It took us over 2 hours home, with speeds averaging about 10-15 mph. Semi-trucks, car and vans sliding into ditches and guard cables in front us blocking travel, thankfully no one hurt. It was so good to pull onto our little gravel road and see the lights from home. This afternoon I went out to take a few pictures with my new camera and really enjoyed the crunch under foot and the sharp bit of the wind, we tossed food to the birds and I chopped an apple for a treat for them. Boo kitty followed me around and then returned to the warm garage where Danny had started a fire in the wood stove to thaw out iced vehicles from overnight, (too many cars or too small of a garage). I hope everyone stays safe, thankfully Danny or I haven't been called into work, yet. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee, tea or chocolate on me and keep your feet warm. Love to you all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kitchen Dandy

Above is the ingredient list for my first listing on my new food blog, Kitchen Dandy. I came up with the name by looking at the names given to old wood burning kitchen ranges used in the late 1800's. Several names came along with the article to include, Mealmaster, Kitchen Queen, Farmer Kettle and Kitchen Dandy. I liked the last one best, I thought it had a nice homey ring to it. I am going to try and up date each week, probably on Sunday or Monday, a new recipe, either from my secret cook book or from requests. I also got a new camera, because I really wanted one and I was thrilled to get the opportunity to purchase a nice one, I am still learning how to use it. It is a Kodak Easy Share Z1012 IS, if this means anything to anyone. What a fun new hobby to include three of the best things I love to do, cook, photography and writing. I hope you find this of interest, but if not I am having a heck of a time doing it. Love to you all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blasts From The Past

I am going to randomly scan in old pictures of my liking without any rhyme or reason. The three I picked to scan tonight include: An old copy of a photo of my paternal grandmother, Anna Chastain Long. I'm not sure of her date of birth, but I think she was about 17 when this picture was taken. She was at a local carnival/festival/gathering. This had to have been in the early 1900's I guess, probably over around the Blackfoot community where her family lived . The family was actually pretty prosperous, her father owning many, many acres of land and was well thought of in his community. She is holding hands with Charlie Berry, who was a cousin, I hope farther back than first or second, maybe they were just best buddies, who knows, I guess she didn't marry him or my name would have been Sherry Berry (ouch!) Oh, the torture I would have been put through in school. The next picture is of my favorite brother Steve, when he was 2 years and 11 months by my mother's handwriting. He was the favorite, the oldest, the golden one. The reason I scanned it was that everytime I look at it I see Jayce, I think it is the eyes. I just think he is awfully cute in his little ironed shirt and his little head tilted. The last one is of Krysta and mom, about 3 years before she died, I thought is was a very good picture of the both of them. They both were smiling at the camera and looked so happy. I know Krysta was always very close with her grandma grandma and really enjoyed her birthday spent with her. Well, I guess I will end this blog for now, look forward to many more lovely old photo's at my choosing. Be careful of the ice and snow tomorrow or if you live in Arizona, be careful of heat stroke? Love to you all.

Just About Jayce

Jayce Andrew O'Quinn was born in June, 2005. He was our first grandchild, from our oldest child. It had been like 15-16 years since I had been a part of a newborns life, I felt like maybe I was 3rd in command, you know like a retired General called back into active duty, very exciting and scary, hoping it's like riding a bicycle. I remember his sweet round head, so much like Laura's when she was a newborn, perfectly round with lots of dark hair. He looked very much like Jared though, and It took me a while to get to know this little creature. Jordan on the other hand, felt like I had known him for years. Jayce was always serious and kinda hard to get a smile or laugh from. All of his baby photo's show him with a little old man look on his face like he had to think about things before he had a decision. I never want to treat my grandchildren different, I want to enjoy each one for whom they are, I want a specialness with each one, I want them to know how much I love them and how incredibly special they are to me and papaw. But, having said that, I can't help but have a little special place for my first grandchild, I'm sorry, I can't help it, I won't love the others any less, but Jayce was the first. Now, Jayce decided to come to stay overnight by himself on Saturday night, I picked him up and after shopping for jeans for Pete, we went to their house to pack an overnight bag. Jayce traveled back over the hills and hollers with me and Pete for a night of fun and adventures. We played shark attack, where we move furniture to line up a pathway between the recliner and couch. This is like a gangplank of the ship and you have to be careful not to fall into shark infested waters below. At any given time, the shark could be memaw, Pete or Jayce. We also had a tea or coffee party in the living room. Did you know that they don't make little boy tea-sets? Well, they should, maybe a coffee chat set, or does that sound too gay, maybe a lumberjack mug-o-coffee break time playset, anyway, I had to buy a Tinkerbell set, but the point was that we had fun, he got to serve me fresh coffee (water) into my cup, we got to stir with with the spoons, we had tortilla chips and salsa on the plates and bowls. The we played Hot Wheels with the old garage set from Pete, also fishing from the pirate ship (recliner). All the fun slowly dwindled down to a big foamy bath, with all the tea party set in the water. Afterwards, we watched some good shows on Sprout and then got ready for bed. Jayce got to sleep with memaw in her big comfy bed since papaw was at work, it took alittle bit of flashlight time and ceiling watching before he drifted off. Memaw slept pretty good too, considering she had a monkey in the bed who slept sideways. The morning brought french toast and more playtime, then regretfully time to pack up and head back home. We made a drive-thru stop at McDonald's for a Happy Meal, with not too much of a breakdown over not getting to play in the playground. We met mom at Decaturville, about 1/2 way home and I think Jayce was getting droopy from too much fun at memaw's house. With sweet hugs and kisses until next time, we always make big plans for next time, Jayce went back home to mom, daddy and Jordy, but memaw has an awfully quiet house now. Goodnight Jayce, Love to you all.

Amazing Apple Dumplings

While I give credit for this recipe to PioneerWomanCooks.com, I have found this same recipe from several other folks who have made this amazing and wonderful fruit dessert. I have made this recipe three times in the last week, I must stop or things are going to get uglier than they already are. Here is the following recipe:

2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls

2 granny smith apples

2 sticks real butter, salted

1 1/2 cups sugar

cinnamon to taste

1 12 oz. can Mtn. Dew (not diet)

Peel and core the apples, then slice each into 8 slices for a total of 16 slices. Unroll the crescent rolls, each one forms a triangle, so place the appleslice at the wide end and roll up into a precious little bundle. Place each bundle in a buttered 9x13 size pan, continue until you have all 16 bundles wrapped and neatly tucked into the pan. Then, in a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the 2 sticks of butter and add the sugar and cinnamon to taste, just mix a little, this can be lumpy and bumpy, it's ok. Pour this melty, buttery, sugary sauce over the dumplings in the pan. Then, final step, open and pour the entire can of Mtn Dew around the edges of the pan. That's right use the whole can, it will be soupy and sloshy, but it will make a delicious sauce that our little beauties will soak in. Finally bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm and to cut the sweetness, just add vanilla ice cream. While the cinnamon rolls were from Satan's sister, these little jewels are a bit of Heaven, maybe they are little angel poops, okay this probably grossed most of you out, call them angel kisses if you have a thing against bm's.

These were so easy and so tasty, make them for someone you love today or someone you want to impress, like your boss. Look forward to a new blog from me, hopefully soon. I will be formatting a new blog site with lots of pictures and recipes, exclusive to cooking. Many from my top secret cook book. Love to you all!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Circa, 1991 ?

Okay, this will be fun. All the Long grandkids except Heather who wasn't born yet. All of them were sitting on the front steps at Grandma and Grandpa Long's on Easter Sunday, maybe 1991 or 1992, I'm not sure. It seems just like yesterday when my kids were this age, now they are all grown up and have given me 2 little grandsons so far. Sigh........ Please enjoy your little ones all you can, because it will soon be gone. Love to you all.

When Mom Was Young

I recently went out to my dad's and borrowed some old pictures that I wanted to save and later make reprints. I have had fun looking at the old photos that I hadn't seen in years. My mother was an avid photographer and took many, many photos of her family and surroundings with a little Brownie Box camera. The camera was near and dear to her, as it was her brother James' and he had been killed in the Korean war, second tour of duty. My mother never thought herself beautiful, she wasn't that kind of person, but as you can see she was a very spiffy dresser and her saddle shoes looked spanking clean. The little boy in one of the pixie prints is my first cousin, Robert. He was the first grandchild and my mother thought he was just it and he remained a favorite of hers always.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just About Jordan

Jordan Alan O'Quinn was born in July on 2007, only a few months after my mom had died and things were a little bit crazy. He was born with respiratory problems and had to be taken to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital in Columbia. I got to hold him right after delivery, but then everything happened quickly and of course there was Jayce that I was caring for who needed my main attention. It seemed like I missed a small bit of Jordan being a baby, I guess because I always wanted to make sure Jayce got plenty of attention. Jordan is an amazing little guy, I guess I have always know it, I just haven't really watched him as closely. Well, I did last night, he is so quick on his little feet, I think he has the makings of a track star one day. He is also really good at playing basketball, he even fakes out a pass to make the basket. He easy to get a smile and giggle out of, Jayce well you had to work harder to get one. Jordan is a little scrapper, if he falls or runs into big brother, he just keeps going without a whimper. He is starting to talk alot more, I got him to say Krysta, which kinda turned out like Ta, Ta, but he can say alot of thinsg, especially if you listen. He is definitely different from his big brother, like day and night. I look forward to seeing him grow and learn more things and I am going to try harder to give him his share of memaw time, hopefully without taking away from Jayce. It's hard being a grandma sometimes. I love my little Jordy, he is one of a kind. Love to you all

Babysitting the Grandguys

On Saturday night Danny, me and Pete got to go to Laura and Jared's to watch Jayce and Jordan while mom and dad went to a post-Christmas party. It's always an adventure in babysitting at their house. I also get a got work-out because their house is three levels and for some reason we have to go to all three, numerous times throughout the evening. We started on the main floor by the boys eating supper, we proceeded down stairs to the family room to watch, "The Bee Movie" and for the boys to race around the room on their riding toys. Pete tried to disappear to "PeteLand" ie his laptop and headphones, but Jayce kept saying, I want to go to Peteland, I want to go to Peteland. Papaw watched all this from the comfort of a recliner and his laptop. I was in the floor keeping the cheese curls picked up, being run-over occasionally by the toys and chasing Jordan around the room on my knees. Then, Jayce decided that we needed to go to the upstairs playroom to play, so we loaded up and moved upstairs 2 levels to the playroom. We played Elmo's kitchen, we played basketball, we played hot wheels, we played throw memaw in jail for no good reason. This went on a long time, or until memaw was getting tired, so then bathtime began, with Jayce dumping lego blocks into the tub to play with. After baths and jammies we all traveled back to the main level to watch television and play with the box of toys in the living room. All in all it was a good night, with Jordan hitting the hay around 10:30 and Jayce staying up until midnight with the return of mom and dad. We had a great time and as we waved goodbye, we had already made plans to ride in papaw new big truck, look for fish at the lake and eat shrimp at Captain Ron's. Good night boys! With much love memaw

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dad's Big 8-0hhh!!

On January 3, 2009 my dad celebrated his 80th birthday. We had a big party as you have seen from other blogs. We had balloons, great food, lots of fun friends and family, a lovely cake with 80 candles and even fireworks. I don't think you could do much better than that unless you can Dolly Parton come sing Happy Birthday to you in person. My dad was born to Harvey and Anna Long, near Phillipsburg on a cold January day. He wasn't ever such of the exact date, because a doctor did not help with the delivery and a birth certificate wasn't issued. He was born, the fourth child and the baby of the family. He was received into the family by his older brothers and sister, Harley, Carlton and Sarah Jane. He was given the name William Hoover, the middle name for the current President of the time, Herbert Hoover, who some felt was an outstanding president, even thought the country was in the beginnings of the Great Depression. I'm quite sure my father was born into poverty, in fact in some ways born before his time. He was a child of poverty, with a father who left the family and a mother who struggled to raise four children by herself. While no one had much during the "hard times twenties and dirty thirties", I'm sue his family had even less. His father was an itchy-footed man who rarely showed up and wasn't much influence on his children. Anna, their mother on the other hand, was from what I have heard, a very hardworking, good souled person, who would do anything from hog butchering to laundry to feed her kids. (This was pre-welfare, foodstamps, AFDC, etc.) Ever drop of water was carried in a bucket from her neighbors, and wonderful neighbors she had, who helped this little family survive. Dad only knew work as he grew up, he also served a stint in the Army/Airforce, between WWII and Korea, but got to travel to places he had only dreamed of, like San Fransisco and Okinawa, Japan. He rode an Indian motorcycle, had many good friends, only an eighth grade education and had a little bit of an itch to his foot. Thankfully he scratched it before he settled down to marry and have kids. Dad was never given any favors not did he expect any, he worked for what he had, he had no one to give him anything, no transferring of land from father to son, no cattle, no dynasty. He worked hard and earned every penny he made. He and mom bought 80 acres of land and needed someone to sign a loan for him, thankfully a kind and trusting neighbor signed with him and that was never forgotten. Before dad got married he had started driving a canned milk route for a gentleman and eventually got to buy his own truck and route, but the work was long hours each day and 7 days a week. Later, when the company switched to bulk, he was not given a chance to change over, those favors were given to others, so he began driving a roadgrader for the local road district and also being a very part-time partner to my mother and their small country store. Dad is a good dad, he was very strict with my brother, but easier on me and my sister, especially my younger sister who was also the baby. Dad is hardheaded, stubborn, humorous, enlightening, very updated and educated on world events, believes in aliens, the space kind, not the Mexican kind, likes any kind of fried chicken, especially KFC, cake rather than pie, his many cats than fill the open area by the back porch, his trees and land, traveling, misses my mom, I'm sure by the hour, barely tolerates giggling women/girls and silliness. Dad asked for his party, he also asked for me to throw his 90th party in 10 years, to which I quickly agreed. I love my dad, he made me the independent, hardheaded and stubborn person I am today. Love to you all

Monday, January 12, 2009

Better Than Anyone's, Even Mine Cinnamon Rolls!!!

Okay, I have been making an excellent cinnamon roll recipe for a while that I got out of Southern Living magazine. It was great, fantastic, everyone raved about it and I'll admit, it was good enough I didn't make them often because of it. (Because I would weigh 100 lbs more than I already do) But, I found a recipe this evening that beats out every cinnamon roll I have ever eaten in my life, EVER!!! I mean it, you have to try this recipe, I'm begging you, believe me when I tell you this cinnamon roll was so tender, so melt-in-your-mouth perfect, so beautiful, I had to blog about it. It was also the easiest yeast roll recipe I have ever made. Please, try this, you really need to, if you hate it, then okay, go back to your own pitiful excuse for a cinnamon roll. I have never steered anyone wrong, so please make these the next chance you get.
In a 4 quart or larger pan, bring to scald, (edge of boil):
2 cups milk
1/2 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup sugar
When it comes to edge of boil, remove from heat and allow to cool 30-45 minutes, this important, it needs to be baby-bottle warm not hot when you add yeast.
Add 1 package of dry yeast, mix and allow to set for a couple of minutes to get nice and foamy.
Then stir in 4 cups of flour, cover and sit in a warm place for 1 hour, covered in same pan. I placed mine in front of my Eden-Pur heater, covered.
This should about double in size, don't punch down, just add to the top of the dough:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 T. salt
Mix together as best as you can, dump onto floured surface, I very gently kneaded in the ingredients to mix, just a few times, rolled out thin, covered with melted butter or oleo, covered with cinnamon and sugar and rolled up jelly-roll fashioned.
I sliced into about 1/2-1 inch slices and placed into a buttered cake pan. This should make about 1 and 1/2 dozen. Allow to rise for 20-30 minutes, again I placed in front of the heater covered with a cloth. They won't quite double when they are ready to bake, place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until nicely brown. I covered mine with a buttercream and vanilla icing. Let's just say I really blew my diet this evening, and I had been doing so well.
Please make these luscious rolls on your next day off, unless you are on a diet and want to try and be really good, I think Satan's sister makes these for her family, because they are so sinfully good.
Love to you all!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's A Girls' Night Out

Krysta getting in my car at their apartment in Lebanon, ready to roll!

What size did you need a 00p, come on no one wears that size????

Do these work for me or make we kinda look like the old and fat Elvis???

Krysta sweet talkin' to Brian over the phone. Laura taking Krysta's pix in Applebees while I took her picure, we were stuffed with good food.
To the left, Froggie glow rings at Pier One? They jiggled around and glowed and were rings, I don't really know who they were targeting with these, kinda creepy. Below, Krysta's "catch of the day", ornament wreaths for $8 each

Since Brian was going to be away for the weekend to reserve duty, Krysta and I decided to go see the new Kate Hudson movie, Wedding Wars. We invited Laura along and went to Osage Beach to catch the flick and do a little shopping. I picked Krysta up at their apartment and then continued on to meet Laura at Camdenton. We made the 4:10 matinee and the girls' enjoyed the crazy high-priced popcorn they have at all movie theaters. After the show we went along the adjoining outdoor mall and did some sale shopping. We all found a few bargains and decided to have some dinner at Applebee's. Laura and I had Margareta Chicken and Krysta had steak. It was nice just to sit and visit with each other without kids or husbands. After our wonderful dinner we stopped at Pier One to check out their "All Christmas 75% Sale", Krysta bought 2 really cute ornament wreaths for next year, Laura bought a red painted wooden chair for her kitchen work station and I bought a wreath made of feathers, tambourines for the boys and a holiday photo album. We had such a good time and hope we can maybe do it again in a few months, I think time goes by so quickly and we don't stop to treasure the times we can and believe me what fun and memories we made for our treasure boxes. Thanks girls for a great night. Love mom

Monday, January 5, 2009

Two hours with Memaw

Laura came into Lebanon on Monday evening to get her hair done and I got the joy of watching Jayce and Jordy for a couple of hours. I picked them up and we went straight to Mcdonalds to the playground. Thankfully they have a huge treehouse and secure area with bathroom(although it was pretty nasty). Even Jordan got into climbing up the inside of the tall tree and coming down the curvy slide tummy down and feet first. They were a few other kids there, and thankfully they were all pretty nice and good about taking turns, I'm talking about not only my 2, but the others also. We had a hamburger Happy Meal and a chicken nugget Happy Meal, we got an extra toy and they actually ate most of their food. We had a great time and they weren't ready for the fun to be done when mom got there. Jayce even made a new friend, a pretty curly-haired girl, whom he helped up onto the "log". I love my little boys and it made for a great Monday to get to see them. Love to you all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Time For Winter

While no many look forward to the winter snows, except school kids and teachers, I thought I would drag out a few old pictures of cold and snowy winters past. Kinda starting at the top and left, a huge snowfall, with Danny trying to dig through the drifts from the garage and the girls all bundled up, exited about their 5 minutes in the snow, that's about how long they stayed outside. Next pictures to the right, Laura and Krysta skating on our pond, one winter when Laura was about 14-15 years old, we had a very cold and hard winter and the pond froze solid, we borrowed skates from our dear friends Janice and Diane and both the girls skated, well Laura skated the most, she became obsessed coming in right after school each day to head to the pond. The next picture is a group of Bobby, Krysta, Pete and Laura enjoying a snowfall, Bobby seems to be smiling, he was our Walmart dog we got for free. The bottom picture is one of the cutest little boys, Pete was maybe 2, he was all bundled in his snowsuit ready to ride the sled with the girls. No matter where you live, these photos of winter are sure to warm your heart, they did mine. Thanks for traveling down memory lane with me. Love to you all.