Saturday, November 29, 2008

Get some caffine to keep you awake.......

It's the day after Black Friday, did any of you get out in the crowds and find all kinds of bargains? My sister planned to be at Wally World at 5 a.m. but I planned to still be in bed sleeping off the turkey and pumpkin pie that I consumed!

We had a wonderful day! I love Thanksgiving! To have all the family here milling around, the wonderful aroma from the kitchen, the grand kids playing contentedly, what more could I ask for? lose 20 pounds but that's another whole story.......sigh.......

I cooked a 26 pound turkey and it took seven hours! I don't think I have ever cooked one that big, usually when I have a big crowd I cook two turkeys so this was interesting. I put it in the oven at 5:45 a.m. and we planned to eat at noon which didn't happen as it wasn't ready but that was okay. I always stuff my turkeys and that makes it take longer.

How do you like my new Thanksgiving apron?

We had 19 which is a small group for us but at least we didn't have to set up an extra table out in the sun room.

The kitchen help!

I always like to get a picture of my kids on the stairs.

Of course Grammie and the grands had to have some fun on the stairs too.


Mom and Dad's apartment.


Cousin K with Noodles and Bampie, DIL's Dad.


Decorating the Christmas tree that I put in the sun room. Notice that our snow is all gone, it has rained for days!

D. likes to put his ornaments all in a row.

If you have gotten this far with me you are a trooper! As this is my online journal I had to put lots of pictures in. It was a great day, I am truly blessed!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thaksgiving!

I have made 144 yeast rolls today, white and wheat. Thank goodness for a kneader on my mixer! I have been teaching my little cook T how to make them and she is getting pretty good at it. I always like to make extras as everyone likes to take a few home. I also have been teaching my sister and SIL this week and theirs came out good too. Making yeast rolls has just a feel to it that you develop over time. Like how much flour to add and how much kneading needs to be done, you just know after a while.

Potato Refrigerator Rolls

1 package active dry yeast

1 & 1/2 cups warm water (105-115*)

2/3 cup sugar

1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes ( I use instant and it's just as good)

7 to 7 & 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, shortening, eggs, potato and 4 cups of the flour.

Beat until smooth. Mix in enough of the remaining flour so make dough easy to handle.

Knead for about five minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and grease top of dough.

Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 8 hours minimum.

At this point dough can be kept up to 5 days in the refrigerator, keep covered.

Punch dough down and make into rolls. Let rise until about double in size. Heat oven to 400* and bake rolls for 15-25 minutes. Check one in the center by lifting top to see if it is cooked or still doughy, if doughy bake until it's not.

These are delicious and have a dense texture which is to die for!

Funsize and I went up to the stable last night to check on the boys. We put Nick's heavier blanket on him as we have been having some colder weather. It was -4* yesterday morning! The ponies are so fuzzy they look like teddy bears, no blanket needs for them! We always take cut up apples and carrots for them which they love.

Still don't know what is living in my barn. I think it is the small black kitten that started coming around when we were in Florida but haven't seen him for a couple of weeks since the last time I saw him going in the barn. I take food out each day and try to see who is eating it but no luck yet. I put flour down around the dish to see if I could see some tracks but that didn't work either. My nephew has one of those motion cameras that we are going to set up to make sure I am feeding a kitten and not a big fat rat or something! Yikes!

I have 20 coming for Thanksgiving. That's a real good size, not too big, not too small. Everyone is bringing something so that it isn't too much work for one. I have a huge turkey thawing in the refrigerator, the potatoes all peeled, the rolls made, the celery and onions chopped for the stuffing and the bread pulled apart and drying. My sister is coming by tomorrow and help me set up the tables and anything else that needs doing. Mom is making blueberry pie and peanut butter cup bars. These are DELICIOUS and so easy!

Ginny's Peanut Butter Cup Bars

2 sticks margarine or butter

1 & 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chunky style peanut butter

2 & 1/3 cups confection sugar

About 8-10 Hershey plain chocolate bars

Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter

Mix peanut butter and confection sugar

Mix all together and pat evenly into a 9X13 pan

Put chocolate bars on top and place in a warm oven till they start to melt and then spread evenly over mixture

Cool and cut

You'll be the hit of the party bringing these!!

We're getting snow today in parts of Maine but here in central Maine it's all been rain. We have lost what little snow we had from last week. One of my sisters lives in western Maine and they are getting hammered with snow. School was not canceled but was late starting. I got my snowmobile back from it's yearly check up so I'm ready to roll. Doesn't seem possible that it's almost time to be out riding it!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! We sure have a lot to be thankful for in this country when there are so many hungry in other countries. Please keep our service men and women in your prayers over the holiday as I'm sure it's terribly hard to be away from home at this time.
Midlife Mom

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Friday

This is my 346th post. 346! Where in the world did I come up with enough stuff to talk about for 346 posts?! Talk about a yawner! Thank you to all of you that have stuck with me through the ups and downs of life here on the hobby farm. Mostly ups thankfully, I am truly blessed. I still miss Buddy though. Don't know when I will totally get over that, maybe never, but again I am blessed to have had him for so many years. :o)

Thank you to all of you that validated my feelings about the Vic*toria's Se*cret pictures blasting us in the face at the mall. I'm glad I am not the only one that finds it distasteful to have boobage plastered all over the place for all to see. This VS is right by one of the sitting areas in this mall, how embarrassing to sit there beside some little old man who needs a drool bib from staring at the pictures? Oh I could go on and on. But I won't. You're welcome.

Took Mom to the Doctor yesterday for a follow up appointment for her knee surgery. She is doing well, the incision looks great and is healing properly. She got her flu shot and I thought I was going to get out of it, having just had pneumonia you know, but nope they gave me one too. It itches today but doesn't seem to be very sore. Rubbing your arm at the injection site really makes a difference. Have you all had your flu shot?

For some reason my link to Jo-Lynne's holiday gift guide is not working so if you want to get to it just go to her home page at Musings of a Housewife and you can get to it that way. There are some unique things, I ordered some things yesterday for stocking stuffers. Also she is giving away FOURTEEN things! She has the most give aways of anyone I know! We all do love our give aways don't we?!

Marcy over at Marcy and Scott's tagged me for a meme. I haven't done one for a while so I'll give this one a whirl. I'm supposed to put down seven things about myself that you don't know. After 346 posts there probably isn't much you don't know but I will try!

1. I love Dis*ney World! We have been going there since my son was 18 months old and he is now almost 33. My parents live fairly close to DW so we always had a place to stay and a car to use during the lean years!

2. Tinkerbell is my favorite Dis*ney character. She is so sweet and I love it when she sprinkles pixie dust around. I could use some pixie dust today.

3. Fall is my favorite season. The colors of the leaves, the cool crisp air, no black flies, what's any better then that?

4. This is probably TMI but I have alopecia areata. I have four bald spots on my head, two quite large and the other two about the size of a quarter. I have thick hair so I can cover it up quite well but it isn't fun. I am having injections in those spots to hopefully make the hair grow back and it seems to be helping. This came on when Buddy got sick.

5. I love funky socks. I like them for the different holidays (thank you Pea for the Halloween ones!) plus ones with dogs, cats, horses, you name it. I hit the jackpot yesterday at Dress Barn as they had a whole new supply just in!

6. Hubby and I worked in Awana at our church for over twenty years. It is the youth program. We worked in several different capacities over the years and loved every minute of it.

7. I don't particularly like to drive. I do drive and go anywhere I want to go but if there is someone else that wants to do the driving I am more then happy to have them do it. I get very sleepy driving on the interstate so that kind of scares me a bit.

There, now aren't those just the most exciting facts you've ever read?! lol! Now let's see who can I nab for this about:

Needled Mom
Mrs. Mom

If you've already done this one just disregard or if you just don't like doing meme's totally disregard! :o)
We got our final tally on our Paws On Parade fundraiser and can you believe this, after everything came in we raised $42,000.00! YIPPEE! That will help take care of lots of little homeless animals!!!!

Are you all ready for Thanksgiving? Has your list been made for the grocery store? Do you cook ahead and freeze things or do you fly by the seat of your pants the morning of? We are going to have about 20 this year and everyone brings things and helps with the set up and clean up. DIL's Mom, Dad, Sister and cousin K are going to be with us this year so we are excited about that. T and D always love having K here to play with. Wish the ponies were still here so that they could have a ride but they are at the stable. We'll probably make a bonfire in the fire pit in the afternoon. The kids love that and I will have some marshmallows to burn to a crisp! They burn their marshmallows and then want ME to eat them! :o(
Patti over at Nonna's News is having a wonderful give away! She is giving away three different Christmas cd's so we all have three chances to win! She will be drawing the winners on Dec. 1st so get your hat thrown in the ring soon!!!

Guess that's it for Random Friday. Hope this finds you all well and happy. During this season we are all more aware of things that we are thankful for and one of the things that I am thankful for is all of the wonderful friends that I have met during this time of 346 posts! Even though most of us will never meet in person we have made friendships that will last forever. I am once again reminded of all the kindness you showed me when we lost Buddy. Your kind words were a big help to me during that time of sadness. We also laugh together which is great fun. We compare our shortcomings and hopes for the future. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Talk and Rants

I just looked at the outside thermometer and it is a bit chilly! They are predicting snow for some parts of Maine but it doesn't look like we are going to get any here in our county. A few years ago we got a HUGE snow storm on Thanksgiving Day and it took my sister and her family twice the time to get here as usual. I hope that doesn't happen this year but you never know!
Lots going on out in Bloggsville. My niece Jo-Lynne over at the Musings has put together a wonderful Christmas gift guide to help us all out this year. She has reviewed many different things and some of them are made in home businesses and are rather unique. Just click on the button on my sidebar and it will take you right to all the goodies to check out! She also is having some GREAT give aways that you can sign up for.

Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes is asking if we'd all like to help her out. Here is what she says:"If my photo wins this contest I plan on donating the $500 gift card to the local food bank in my town. I'm sure they have a need for something like this. I think of all the food they could buy and stock up their pantry with; all the families they could serve holiday meals to...and I know donating the card to them is the right thing for our family to do.The only reason I'm sharing this is because I'm going to ask you, my dear readers, to help me help my community.The winner of this contest is determined by voting. So that's where you guys come in! I need all the votes I can get :) You can vote only once per IP address, so if you if have a few minutes I'd sure appreciate if you could go here to vote - just scroll down to the voting buttons - we're #4. And if you feel like it you could post about it on your blog too - that's allowed for voting purposes! :) Voting ends Tues, Dec 2. Thanks to those of you who have already voted!"

Let's help Michelle win this money for her local food bank, it only takes a minute to hop over and vote!

I did some Christmas shopping today. I made a list and stuck right to it with just a few extra things thrown in. It helps to have a list rather then just wander around the mall hoping something will catch my eye.

I brought the bags in and sat them on the kitchen floor which was still a bit damp from being washed so much to my surprise when I moved them a little while ago I found that I have permanent writing on my floor....... Any idea how to get writing off your floor????? Sigh.....

When Mom was in the hospital for her surgery last month I took a few pictures from her room. Talk about a room with a view! If you look real close you will see a white house up on the hill on the right hand side of the river. We live in the woods behind that house, well actually not in the woods, we do have lawns, pastures and open spaces but from this angle it does look like we live right smack dab in the middle of a forest!

I haven't been on a rant for quite some time but I feel one coming on. Why is it that when we walk into the mall we have to be assaulted by ginormous pictures of Vic*toria's Se*cret boobage?!!!! It hits you right smack in the face! What do you say to your children or grandchildren who want to know why there are pictures of ladies in their underwear on the wall????!!!! Is this sleazy or what? Am I the only one offended by these larger then life, air brushed, enhanced bre*asts? Now if you want to shop there that is all fine and good, not that there is one thing in the place that I would put on this grandmotherly body without going into fits of laughter, but if you have the shape for it then go for it but PLEASE don't make me look at two story high bo*obs when I am trying to do my Christmas shopping!!! 'Nuff said. There, I feel better.

To think that Thanksgiving is just a week or so away. It is such a wonderful holiday when we all get together and enjoy each other's company along with wonderful food. I love Christmas but Thanksgiving is just a bit more low key. I'm having a smaller crowd this year as some of the family is going to be out of state, probably about 20 or so. I look forward to it each year as we have it here at my house. We have so much to be thankful for this year as always. When I think of the hardships that so many are going through I just count my blessings that we are warm, have plenty to eat, have good health, have family that we love around us and so much more. I know you all feel the same way too! :o)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Humane Society Training Day

It's been raining cats and dogs here the last couple of days. Our water table must be over the brim by now! I'm not complaining though, if it had been snow we would be under a foot of the white stuff!

Saturday was a busy but fun day. We had our training sessions at the Humane Society all morning. They felt it would be good for the board members to know what goes on over there and I agree. We all learned so much and have an even greater respect for those that work there.

We started out in the O.R. where they do up to as many as 25 procedures per day. This includes spaying, neutering, blockages, amputations etc... Each animal that is brought in is thoroughly evaluated and has whatever needs attended to. Fleas, worms, ear mites and injuries are a few of the most common issues. Our OR is very up to date with all the implements needed to do proper surgery. We do not allow a dog to be adopted until they are 'fixed' and cats are given a voucher to come back when old enough for their spay or neuter operation.

The evaluation system is quite involved for the dogs to insure the proper fit when adopted. We don't like to see pets come back because they weren't what the people were expecting in some way or another so we try very hard for a thorough and correct evaluation.

Cleaning the facility properly is MAJOR to protect our pet population. Everything was described to us in detail. When we were in the cat section we had to wash our hands each time we touched one of them so as to not spread anything around. I just fell in love with a little gray tabby and he would be here in my lap today but he had already been spoken for!

The staff explained to us the process of taking in pets and the process of adopting them out. It is a high stress job seeing so many come in but the happy endings help a lot. We did have to go to the euthanasia room and that whole process was described to us. The pets that are put down are ones that have illnesses that can't be taken care of, ones that come in such bad shape that they can't survive or dogs that bite. It is against the law here in Maine to adopt out a dog that has bitten. Now we do try to place them with a rescue organization that takes them for life if at all possible.

I was very impressed with our staff, their caring and concern about the animals and how hard they work at making a better life for them. As with all nonprofit organizations we are feeling the pinch of the economic times and are trying to come up with innovative ways to raise money. We have a very dedicated board and I know we will come up with something!

Mom continues to improve each day. She is doing more for herself all of the time. I am still hacking and coughing but everyone says that hangs on for a long time. I did well in church this morning and didn't have any big coughing spells thankfully. I had to mouth the words to most of the singing as that can get me coughing.

I was sitting in our pew, box of crayons & coloring book ready for T who is old enough to come to big church. D was in the nursery. I looked and T was coming up from Sunday School with a big group of little girls and walked right past me with a wave and sat with them!!!!! My baby is growing up!!!! SIGH........why do they have to grow up so quickly? sniff sniff WAAAAAAAAA!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is it Wednesday and I am laying on the beach????

Thank you for all of your get well wishes this week! Things are slowly improving each day, not as fast as I would like but improving never the less. I am a very impatient patient. I have things to do and I want to do them NOW but I am learning that I have to sit back and take things slowly. Mom and I joke about our issues as we sit in her recliner chairs watching Regis and Kelly in the morning. Oh to be even a tad that peppy right now as Kelly is!

Last month at my BIL's birthday party my sister put on a yummy buffet for us all. My SIL brought this recipe and it is so tasty I thought you all might like to try it. Even if you don't like broccoli you will like this!

Sweet and Crunchy Broccoli
1 lb. bacon
1 large head of broccoli
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Fry the bacon until crispy and crumble into bits. Chop broccoli into 1/2 inch chunks. Add onion, raisins and sunflower seeds. Toss with dressing below and chill.

Making the dressing

Stir together 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons pickle juice. Mix well with salad.

This has a tangy but sweet taste and would make a wonderful side dish for any occasion. I think I might try throwing in some dried cranberries too! Yum! Thanks Chris!

About every Sunday after church we go down to the Muddy Rudder for lunch. About this time each year we are treated to the antics of the Surfing Santa! It's very crisp and cold and we always worry that he might take a tumble in the mighty Penobscot River but so far he hasn't. I went right out on the restaurant lawn so that I could get some good shots of him. He was kind enough to wave for my camera.

Each fall I hang corn out for decorations. I have had these ears of corn for probably 5 or 6 years and just put them away when I put up my Christmas decorations. I noticed a lot of blue jay activity around the front porch the other day so went out to investigate and guess what they were eating????? That old hard corn right off the cob!!! Now it can't have much flavor after all these years and the kernels must be hard as a stone but they have been working on it all week. It's not like they don't have a bird feeder out back with nice sunflower hearts in it.......

A big CONGRATULATIONS to Pea over at Pea's Corner on the birth of her beautiful granddaughter Lily Abigail who arrived recently to parents Shawn and Wendy. Pea you are going to make one of the BEST Nana's around! I'm still resting up from Pea's Birthday Bash that she had for all of us on her birthday!!

Our hay arrived a week or so ago. We always like the feeling of the loft being full to the brim with nice fresh hay and shavings. This year we got second cut hay which is darker and has more protein. We thought it would be good for Buddy at his advanced age and help keep his weight up plus it is a bit finer so would be easier for him to digest. Now we are going to have to be careful not to fed out as much to the ponies as their weight will jump right up into lala land and they will explode! Not really but they will gain way too much weight for their body size and we don't want that. They will LOVE it and probably put on the hungry act every time I walk by them. They are good at that. They may have just eaten their grain and hay ten minutes ago but if you walk into the barn they whinny and paw the floor as if they haven't seen a bite to eat in two weeks! All you horse people know exactly what I am talking about!

There's nothing that smells any better to me then nice fresh sheets that have been dried on the line outside! Especially on a nice crisp fall day with no humidity and a breeze that snaps them around! My bed just smelled sooooooo good that night! :o)

I guess that's it for today. Mom's nurse and PT people should be here any time soon. She's walking really well and could go without her walker but it just wouldn't be safe at this point. We don't want her taking a tumble!! Have a good week everyone and I am still trying to get around to visit you all!! :o)

P.S. Dana at Old Red Barn is having a quilt give away again this year! This time she is giving away THREE quilts so be sure to hop over and enter!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Leaving On a Jet Plane---NOT!

Well I'm back in the land of the living. I think. I'm supposed to be at a convention in Palm Beach Florida this week but that kind of got cancelled......I have pneumonia! Yep, can you believe it? I went to the doctor on Tuesday as I wasn't feeling great and knowing Mom was coming home and we had this trip to get ready for I thought I should get checked and see what was going on. Well my doctor was full so they put me in with some one else and he said I had a virus, nothing they could do until it developed into bronchitis which I have a tendancy for and then they would put me on an antibiotic. It didn't sound right but what do you do, you can't make them do anything.

Anyhow things did get worse very quickly and I couldn't even go to the Rehab to spring Mom on Thursday or make the wonderful homecoming dinner that I had planned as I was right in bed. Dad brought her home but I didn't dare go near her as I was hacking so badly and didn't want her to catch anything from me.

Anyway Friday rolled around and we made the decision (or should I say it was made for us) that we would not be going on our business trip back to Florida. I tried to get Hubby to go without me but he didn't want to do that and it worked out just as well anyway as he spent Firday night at the hospital with me! When he got home from work that night he thought I should go into the ER but I didn't want to, it was cold, rainy and I felt awful and didn't want to get out. By 8:30 I was having some trouble breathing off and on so off to the hospital we went.

Thankfully it's wasn't horribly busy as it can sometimes be so the wait wasn't too long. Actually they got me right in and put me on a nebulizer even before a doc was ready even though I had to lay on a gurney in a hallway! lol! I didn't care, that felt so good to have those airways opened up again!

When the doc came in and checked me out he found the fluid in my right lung but wanted to take an x-ray just to double check and then put me on IV fluids, IV antibiotics, something for the pain and something for the horrible cough. To make a long story short we got home about 2 the next morning but I'm sure glad I went in as things were going downhill so quickly.

Yesterday I was in bed all day but today I feel quite a bit better so have been up and around some. It's going to take a while and they said I have to R>E>S>T or no amount of antibiotics will clear it up. If it had been any worse they were going to admit me so I was glad I could come home to recoup. This is the first time I have been on the computer in about five days so I am really behind and it will take me all week to get caught up but I will!!!

Mom got home. It was exhausting as we knew it would be but she is glad to be in her own home with Dad and Buffy. The nurses come in three times per week and the physical therapy people come in three times per week. She is getting around quite well and I even washed and set her hair today. She tires easily but that is to be expected, we are just so glad to have her home with us again!

Son just called, he went to a Patriot's-Bull's game today in Massachusetts with some of his customers. They had just landed back in Bangor and he was headed for home. They had a great time, the Pat's won, so it was a good day all the way around.

Guess that's it for tonight but I wanted to let you know what was going on.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Multitasking Monday

It's been a busy Monday today. Yes, multitasking Monday. You know you all have some days when you go right from one thing to the other all day and hardly take a breath. We all have them don't we? Well today was my turn and it's not over yet.

Started out the morning going to my foot doctor. Now doesn't that sound exciting? Actually it is as he always says to me, "now you've lost weight haven't you"? And of course I smile and say "a little"...........which is the case only it's a VERY little! lol! I think he needs to get a new line, but then I guess I would miss it! The only people I ever see in there are at least 110 years old so not only do I feel thinner, I feel younger! :o)

Left there and went to vote early. That is so handy and there isn't a mad crowd to contend with, just walk in and walk out in five minutes flat. Tomorrow will be a horror show with everyone showing up and long lines to wait in. I'm glad more people are planning to vote though, it is one of our rights that we shouldn't take for granted!

Next the pharmacy to pick up a few things and of course they have their Christmas things out so had to look those over. Picked up a few stocking stuffers and a People magazine to read on the plane on Sunday.

Next to Lowe's where I was looking for those candles that look like they are really lit but they are battery operated. I want them for all of my front windows at Christmas time. They didn't have them so I will check Home Depot where we got some for our church decorating last year. They are really nice and look so real you want to go over and blow them out! Also returned calls while driving to the different places. Oh how I love my cell phone!

After that I headed over to the Rehab facility to see Mom. She is coming home on Thursday! Yeah!!! I met with her case manager and we are in the process of putting Mom's continued physical therapy into place plus anything else she may need here at home to be comfortable.

I had lunch with her and her roommate Madame Butterfly, Mom is Daisy Mae, and we had a nice time. Mom has been so fortunate to have such a lovely roommate all these weeks and we will miss her. This is Mom in the red.

This is Mom and her roomie having their lunch.

This is what happens when you run over an extension cord with the lawn mower that is going to the fir tree..........

Halloween was exciting around here as usual. My two little grand kids came over to show me their costumes, Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk!

We got about 20 - 25 little trick or treaters which was low, usually we get 35-40. I took some pictures of some of them before it got too dark.

This is my Halloween decor on the front porch which came down the next morning. I can't stand decorations up after the season is over. A little of my OCD coming out..... I never have anything spooky or scary like spooky music, just fun things.

There are so many leaves down now! This is in the parking lot at the podiatrists office.

Oh how I loved jumping in the leaves when I was a kid! We had big sugar maples along our lawn and in the fall there were tons of leaves to play in. Today I wanted to grab a rake and make a huge pile of leaves and jump in them right there! Do you think anyone would have called the men in the white jackets to come and pick me up??????

Funsize is coming at 5:30 and we are going up to the stable to visit the guys. They all get a good brushing and some apples and carrots cut up. After that we come home and Ana one of my other nieces is coming for dinner and after clean up there is Dancing With The Stars to watch. That Cloris Leachman made it up until last week and did some amazing moves. Her partner swung her around by one leg and one arm like the skaters do! Yikes! The lady is 82, if I tried that my arm and leg would fall off! Good for her!! :o)