Monday, October 22, 2012

Cooking Breakfast ~

I was standing at the stove this morning cooking a nice hot breakfast so my family could start the day off in the right way when I found myself thinking about my grandmother. As I was thinking about her and all the many breakfasts she prepared in her life I realized something: I think about my grandmother alot while I'm cooking breakfast. Maybe it's because she cooked a hot breakfast every day without fail for her growing family of 9 for most of her adult life and then for just herself and my granddad in their later years. Never a day went by that she didn't put a large breakfast on the table. When we were visiting, I would always be woken by the sound of her in the kitchen. There was comfort in those sounds...we always sat down at the table in the dining room and ate a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, jelly and juice. I can remember it like it was yesterday. She rarely sat down to feed herself; she was too busy waiting on everyone else (mainly my granddad.) :) My grandmother was the best cook; she could make a simple country breakfast seem like a gourmet meal. Not sure how she did it. My breakfasts are made up of the same items, but somehow aren't exactly like hers. Read this post to find out what I think made her cooking so special.

My grandmother posing in front of what we call "The Rock House."
I'm guessing this picture was taken in the mid to late 30's. My mom is the youngest of 7 kids and she was born in 1947; she lived in this house until they moved to town when she was 4. I love this picture. They must have been going some place special because I'm almost positive with that many kids running around she didn't dress like that everyday.

Looking back, life seems like it was alot simpler than it is now. I often long for those "simpler" days. I know they weren't simpler; they were alot harder. I guess what I long for is the innocence people had back then. It seems there was not near as much tragedy and sadness on a grand scale as there is today.

I wish I had interviewed my grandmother and written things down. I did write down alot of her recipes although it was a little difficult because she never used measurements. :) I love to look through my recipe box and find the ones she shared with me. I'm pretty sure no matter how many times I try, my chocolate meringue pie will never taste exactly like hers.

My grandmother was also a farmer's wife. She knew what it meant to have to feed a hungry crew in the field. Her meals were totally different than the meals I prepare. She would make a sit down meal complete with plates, utensils (not plastic btw,) sweet tea, homemade banana pudding and a card table to spread all the food on. My granddad and whoever he had helping him would stop what they were doing and take a few minutes to eat. Our guys eat on the go, so I have to prepare food that can be wrapped in foil and eaten one handed. :)

This picture was taken on my grandmother's front porch the day we had to say goodbye in February 2006. I remember playing on this porch as a child. The pillar we're sitting on was alot taller back then. my cousins, my sister and I would make the best mud pies with little red berries added for decoration and after a rain we would collect tadpoles from the miniature pond at the corner of the intersection. So many good memories of time spent with family in that old house on 6th Street.

I miss my grandmother. I miss that house. I miss how she used to greet us when we pulled into the drive after the four hours it took to get there. I miss how she would wave goodbye when we left...she would keep waving until we were out of her sight.

I know I will see her sweet face again; until that day I will keep cooking those hot breakfasts with all the love I can and maybe someday they'll taste like hers.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Harvest Time ~

One day last week the kids got out of school at noon; just in time to take their daddy lunch in the field. This is a very exciting time of year for the kids. They love going to the field; I mean who wouldn't love being around all that large and loud equipment with dirt and debris flying around everywhere? 

We have been blessed to have a couple of guys who have worked for us for the past several years. They work hard, love on our animals and watch out for our kids ~ they're awesome. Here is one of them bringing a load of cotton in the boll buggy to dump into the module builder. R's favorite thing to do is help build modules. It really bugs him when his daddy is not running the module builder and he's not able to help. 

Here's K helping to pick up cotton and throw it back in the module builder. She certainly doesn't mind a little dirt; in fact, the dirtier the better. :)

Pulling of the module and making sure the tarp lines up...

My farmer tying down the tarp. Let's talk about cotton modules for a second. When I was growing up, I used to see these giant rectangles of cotton in the fields and wonder how the heck they didn't just fall apart. I had no idea how they were made so I didn't know how rock solid they were. I remember my dad telling me if a car were to crash into one of these monsters it would total the car. I've never tested this theory, but I'm pretty sure he's right. Hey, I think I just had an idea for a segment on Myth Busters.

Here's R running to stop the tractor after pulling off the module. The tractor is set to a slow roll (and unmanned) while the module builder pulls off the module. 

Out here in the country, we call this "strippin'."

The cotton stripper dumps all that fluffy white stuff into the boll buggy. It takes about 7 of these big ol' baskets to make a module.

So there you go; a quick little lesson in cotton harvesting in case you aren't blessed to live in cotton country. I'm on my way out the door right now to pick up lunch for all those hungry men in the field. 

Happy Harvest ~

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Few Fun (and easy) Fall Crafts ~

I'm not sure any of you have noticed, but I did something I haven't done since I started my blog; I deleted a post. I've noticed over the last month or so my blog has taken on somewhat of a negative voice. This is unacceptable. Sure, I've always said I don't want everyone to think my life is perfect. If you know me, you know that is just not the case. However, I also do not want my corner of the world wide web to morph into a place where I just go to gripe. We all lead super busy lives and if you happen to take a few minutes out of your day to read my words, the last thing I want to be responsible for is leaving a sour taste in your mouth. You can just watch the news for that. Lol! Anyway, let's move on to something a little more fun...

A few weekends ago the boys went one way (to a pig sale) and us girls went in the opposite direction (a craft show.) It took a little convincing but once we got there K had a blast. Of course she wanted everything she saw and I got a few ideas for Christmas. The hit of the show was the lady selling her instant coffee mixes and fudge. We had so much fun tasting all the wonderful flavors. If there is one thing I've taught my kids it's to love the comfort of a hot beverage. :) I'm pretty sure K tasted the equivalent of a Starbuck's Venti and I ended up making a dent in my Christmas list. Yes, some of you may be getting flavored coffees for Christmas. :)

On our way home we decided we would get our fall decorations out...K thought we needed to purchase more (because more is always better right.) I decided what we have is perfect. Once we had the walls and tables adorned with pumpkins and the fall garland in it's place, we raided my scrapbook supplies and got crafty. K wanted to make some spiders and I decided we would make a candy corn garland.

Her spiders turned out super cute and are currently placed all over the house. The candy corn garland is hanging on the windows that separate the sun room and dining room. I decided to make them two sided since you would be able to see them from both rooms. I pin stitched around the edges with a Sharpie pen and then added the year to the first candy corn. K suggested this and I thought it was great idea; every year we hang the garland we can add the year to the next piece. The wood pieces were handcrafted by me, my dad, mom and sister the year before I was married. We had so much fun crafting that fall. Every year when I get these decorations out, I'm reminded of those special times. That's why I know my kids will remember the time spent together coloring, gluing, cutting and making messes.

So, if you haven't done so already, get your fall decorations out! If you don't have any, go buy a pumpkin or get out your scissors and make a candy corn garland. It really is alot of fun!

Happy Fall Y'all ~

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

30 Bags in 30 Days ~

A few weeks ago my sister asked if I wanted to join a group on Facebook; the goal of the group: decluttering. I said sure! I love to get rid of stuff! I get rid of clutter constantly around here. Clutter makes me crazy and drains me of my creative flow. So when I joined the group I didn't really think I had that much to get rid of because like I said, I'm always in the process of getting rid of stuff.

A crazy thing happened a few days before the challenge began (on Oct 1st) I started noticing drawers that wouldn't close. I started thinking that maybe I could benefit more from this challenge that I thought. And then I started thinking that if I went through a major purge around here our home would be ready for the holidays. Score!!

I've already made a trip to Goodwill and have two more bags ready to go...then yesterday I hit a road block.

I decided I would go through "the drawer." You know the one. The one that gets something added to it every time you walk by it. Before the day was over our king size bed was covered with piles of papers, pictures, receipts, little toys, birthday cards, thank you cards, report cards, broken pieces of who knows name it, it was in the drawer. Not only was the bed covered, but the dresser was piled up as well. I told my sister that out of the entire house and all that needs to be decluttered this drawer was going to be the hardest thing to tackle.

I thought you would benefit from a visual (a grainy picture taken with my substandard phone camera because I didn't want to have to download from my real one.) Please take note of the pacifier on the bottom left of the photo. Yes, that was in the drawer along with a Christmas ornament, a ball of yarn and several pieces of canvas artwork. I really have no idea how all that got in there. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who has been using that drawer as a catch all.

Let's move away from the problem and look towards the solution...I took a scrapbooking class at Big Picture Classes several years ago. The one thing I took away from the class is how to organize your kids' school papers. R and K both have plastic file boxes with files for each grade, so as I sort papers (from the last 3 years thank you very much) I'm filing them away. That's the easy part. I'm stuck with what to do with all the other little odd bits; that's why I'm blogging right now. :)

Here's the file boxes. Nothing fancy, but they do the trick (when used correctly.)

Now back to all the other stuff. I have no idea. I wish I could wiggle my nose and it all be gone. The inner hoarder (I think there's one in all of us) wants to get a plastic tote and with one swipe of the hand it all be neatly stored away in our storage building, but I know someday I will have to deal with it so that's not an option for me. I'm just going to have to suck it up and muddle through. I will be checking in with my FB group from time to time to get cyber support and inspiration.

Why, you might be asking yourself, would I share such an embarrassing picture of clutter on my dresser? Well, you know I'm all about keepin' it real and 99.99% of the time the top of that dresser is clean. I guess you could say that picture is the storm before the calm...or whatever. :)

Ok, I'm about to hit the publish button and get back to work...have a happy day. :)


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