Archive for September, 2008

Five Favorite Birthday Customs

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I was truly ready to post this Give Me Five Monday
post ON Monday. Just as I was about to post, however, my internet connection failed! Grrr! But it’s working now, so I’ll just say, “Better late than never, Right?”

The topic this time was Five Favorite Birthday Memories. Rather than list memories, I’ll list five of our birthday customs.

  • The honored birthday person chooses how the day will be celebrated. Will he/she invite over friends? Have a sleepover? Go to the movies? If at all possible, we try to honor the birthday boy’s or girl’s wishes.
  • For celebrating with the family, the birthday person selects the dinner menu, which the loving mama attempts to create.
  • Of course, cake flavor, or even the selection of some dessert other than cake, is up to the honored birthday person. Some favorites in our home are German Chocolate Cake, Applesauce Cake, Carrot or Spice Cake, Cowboy Coffee Cake, and Plantation Cake (which is a sort of molasses pudding cake).
  • Especially when the children were younger, we would often follow a theme throughout the birthday. For example, one daughter, much to her delight, received all Winnie the Pooh presents for one of her younger birthdays.
  • My girls like to make paper chains, put up crepe paper streamers, and inflate lots of colorful balloons to decorate the dining room and living room.

Becca, of Becca’s Buzz, is the hostess of this meme. On her blog she says:

The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
Sign up for weekly reminder emails @ beccagirl@charter.net

Poor Old Blog

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

If you’ve been coming to Mom’s Musings looking for pictures of the recent reception and wedding in our family, I am so sorry. I have been experiencing multitudes of technical problems which have kept me from posting.

First, our server computer, the one that enables all of us in the house to be on the same intranet system, died. All of our digital photos are on that computer. I hear tell that the pictures are safe, but just cannot be accessed at this time. This is a sad thing, and an inconvenient thing, but I trust it is a problem that will be rectified eventually.

Second, our Clearw’re internet service has been almost non-existent. On the days that it’s been working, it’s been working just enough for me to read a bit of email, but definitely not enough to do any blogging.

Third, I am now a real (as opposed to virtual) gramma. Our two-year old grandson and four-month old granddaughter are here, in our home, with their daddy and mommy. This alone would make for a busier household, but the poor kidlets have been sick with bronchitis. Grandchildren win over blogging every time.


All of our wedding company has gone home. Things are calming down. I really will try to get back in the swing of things and get some of those fun photos up very soon.

Musical Mishap

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Things are still pretty crazy at our house, due to all the extra company and activities that accompany a wedding. This is my current excuse for my sporadic posts to the old blog-ola. However, having extra people in the house also means I have more potential subjects for blogging, if I could only find the time to sit down in front of the computer!

OK. Here I am. The door is shut, and not too many people know I’m sitting here alone. I’ll just tell you this one story:

Late Friday evening, our two oldest sons arrived home for the wedding. We exchanged our usual hugs and hellos, and then our son Michael came and sat by me on the couch. He looked at me a bit askance and asked, “Mom, have you been singing to anyone who called you recently?” I looked at him like he was crazy, and he continued, “A job recruiter called here this morning, and told me you sang ‘Good Morning To You’ to her, and invited her to have some coffee!” I couldn’t think what to say to him, until I remembered that my younger sister Carol is here visiting for the wedding.

I sent one of the children looking for Carol, to ask her if she had sung to anyone on the phone. Well, earlier in the day there HAD been a call from the company where Michael has been interning, and where Philip works. Carol thought to herself, “It’s one of the boys!” Joyfully, she picked up the receiver and began singing:

Good morning to you,

Good morning to you,

We’re having our coffee;

How about you?

So, the recruiter was telling the truth. Someone at our home DID sing to her, and invite her to join us for coffee. I hope it added a bit of humor to her day.

The good news is that Michael did receive his job offer, anyhow.

Salisbury Meatballs

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

I cannot recommend this recipe highly enough! This is the main dish I served last night, with baked potatoes and tossed salad, for our daughter Sarah and her fiance Justin’s rehearsal dinner. It was so simple (with Gramma Taron’s excellent meatball mixing and rolling assistance) and DELICIOUS! To serve our crowd, I doubled the recipe, and used two 7-quart crock pots. To do this in the crockpot, however, use half as much gravy as called for.

Salisbury Meatballs (from The Warehouse Gourmet by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik, available at www.warehousegourmet.com)

Meatballs:

1 tray (about 6 pounds) lean ground beef

3 cups dry bread crumbs (I use some that are Italian seasoned.)

2/3 cup milk

4 eggs

¼ cup dried minced onion

2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic

1 Tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Sauce:

1 cup (two sticks) butter

1 ½ pounds fresh white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 cup flour

8 cups water

4 cups half-and-half (light cream)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 Tablespoons beef bouillon granules

1 teaspoon black pepper

6 one-gallon freezer bags

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mi ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, eggs, minced onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper until completely combined. Roll meatballs; place close together on broiler pans or rimmed cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 160 degrees F. Cool.

While the meatballs are cooking and cooling, melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook mushrooms in the butter until they are soft. Add flour and stir. Mixture will be lumpy. Cook and stir for two minutes. Gradually add water and half and half; cook and stir until sauce thickens. Whisk to make a smooth sauce. Add Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon granules and pepper; stir. Cool.

Divide cooled meatballs and sauce evenly among the freezer bags. Seal and freeze.

Makes 6 entrees, 20 meatballs each (10 dozen meatballs total)

To Cook One Entrée:

Completely thaw one bag in the refrigerator. You may use the stove top or oven to prepare this dish.

Stove Top: In a skillet over medium heat, simmer meatballs and sauce until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Do not boil.

Oven: Pour meatballs and sauce into an ungreased baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or noodles.

Early morning wanderings

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

I am up way too early this morning. I got up because of coughing (I’m much better, actually), and to get a sip of water. Then . . . I remembered that I had washed Seth’s football jersey, pants, and pads, but hadn’t gotten them out to air dry before going to bed. “OK,” I thought. “I’ll just quickly do that.”

First, though, I needed to fold the load of laundry that was occupying the drier.

Then I thought about what an overwhelmingly busy day this day promises to be, so I thought, “I’ll quickly check my email.”

Of course, that led to checking my Facebook account, and how my (Lil) Green Patch was doing and if anyone had stolen my rainbow. Indeed, my rainbow was missing. First I needed to stock up on virtual gardening supplies before embarking on the quest for my rainbow. Thankfully, it was quickly found.

Since I was online (for just a few moments), I quickly checked Google Reader as well, and read what a few friends had just published on their blogs. One friend’s post reminded me that I want to do a Thursday 13 post today; she already had hers up in the wee hours of the morning! So, I started a post, but it ended up too serious for my liking. I saved it, but decided not to publish.

I need to be up for the day in 30 minutes. First, though, I’m posting this silly account of what I did, and kept doing, when I should have been sleeping the past hour.

Hope you all have a good day, and that you got plenty of rest during the night.

Ten Simple Things that Make me Happy

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The question this week at Ten on Tuesday
is: What are 10 simple things that make you happy?

  • Fresh sheets on the bed, with a little spray of “Sleep” from Bath and Body Works. It is a relaxing vanilla/lavender scent.
  • The first cup of coffee in the morning, strong and hot.
  • Getting a really good dinner on the table that everyone enjoys.
  • Playing board and card games with the children.
  • Taking the old doggie for a daily walk.
  • Our daily times of reading the Bible together as a family, and singing a psalm.
  • Checking my email and Facebook.
  • Doing a blog post.
  • Baking bread.
  • Going shopping with my daughters.

Will you play, too? What are the little blessings you treasure?

Five Favorite Breakfast Foods

Monday, September 15th, 2008

This week for Give Me Five Monday, Becca of Becca’s Buzz asks:

What are five of your favorite breakfast foods?

  • Homemade bread, toasted, with butter and jam. Click on the highlighted link to find the bread recipe. This is what I usually have for breakfast, with a cup of strong, black coffee.
  • Homemade whole wheat waffles. This one I make every so often for the family, when we have time for a relaxed breakfast.
  • Life cereal.
  • Homemade granola.
  • Over-easy eggs with toasted homemade bread.

That’s it, folks! Now, how about you? Would you like to play, too?

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes/Waffles
6 eggs, separated
3 cups buttermilk
3 cups water
½ cup vegetable oil
6 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Pour egg yolks, buttermilk, water and oil in large bowl and blend.
Combine dry ingredients and sift into the liquid mixture and mix briefly.
Beat egg whites until they will stand in peaks and fold in gently.
Bake on heated griddle, or preheat waffle iron, and cook for 5 minutes on high in waffle iron.

Yield: 20 to 24 pancakes.

Update on Wedding Preparations

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Update on Thirteen things
I would like to get done before the upcoming wedding in our family (This Saturday!) and dinner at our home prior to the wedding:

  • Dust the kitchen thoroughly. This is almost done; just have the “up high” places to go.
  • Scrub the tile floors. Rick will probably Swiffer the floors for me, since I still have a bad cough and am feeling wimpy.
  • Neaten the carport (My husband and youngest son will do this.) Rick cleaned the stairwell leading to the basement, off the carport, and got rid of debris in the woodshed. He and Seth just have a bit more to do.
  • Buy a couple of tubs of chrysanthemums to decorate the front porch entryway. I hope to do this Friday morning, when I make a quick Costco run.
  • Preorder three decorated sheet cakes from Costco (for the reception). This no longer needs to be done, since Sarah let me know that there will be cake-a-plenty. Instead, they want fresh fruit platters. OK!
  • Make sure the obvious garden beds are weeded, since hopefully the weather will permit guests to enjoy the out-of-doors. Not done yet. I’ll ask daughter Debra to do this, since she is a good gardener.
  • I’ve been told I need to insert some zippers in some dresses, which I will hopefully see this Saturday! These dresses are for the youngest wedding attendants. Kayla and I have been working on this together. She is finishing up the last little dress! They turned out beautifully.
  • Remind my husband to make a dump run to further clean up the yard. The trailer is loaded, and ready to go.
  • Make sure my elderly mom has some attractive, comfortable clothing to wear to the wedding. I’ve ordered several things from an online store, Buck and Buck, which specializes in adaptive clothing. I surely hope this works out! She thinks she just won’t be able to make it. The slipper/shoes are wide enough in the toes, but anything at all touching one of her toes bothers her. I’m VERY satisfied with the quality of the clothing and shoes, however. I’m going to hem up the slacks I ordered for her, just in case she changes her mind.
  • With my girls’ help, make sure that our basement suite is completely ready for our married daughter and her family, who will be arriving at wedding time, and an upstairs bedroom for my sister, who is the honor attendant, and who also will be staying with us. Rick and Rebecca are almost done with this project. I need to find an anti-allergen cover for the futon crib mattress. I purchased crib sheets and a nice crib blanket, too. Little Carly will be sleeping in the crib which her GrampaPoppa Rick made for her momma and Auntie Sarah when they were born.
  • Request two personal days off from work, the day of the rehearsal dinner, which we are hosting here, and the Monday after the wedding, so I can drive my sister to the airport. Done. The principal approved my request. Thank you, Principal V.!
  • Keep going for daily walks with the dog (Relax!) I have been too sick in my chest to go out walking; maybe tomorrow, before the evening chilliness sets in. Oops! Tomorrow I’ve been invited to attend the final wedding gown fitting, so that’s what I’ll be doing!
  • Get well from the sore throat and chills which I have contracted. This means that I will have to get a decent amount of sleep, something I am loath to do! I’m working on it!

A “Sort Of” Sonnet for This Season

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Early morning fog cloaks the pastures

Until the sun burns through to azure skies.

Playful breezes tremble vine maple leaves

Orange-hued, edged with brown, amidst the green.

 

Scents of decaying leaves and caterpillars

Mingle with the fragrance of blackberries;

First frosts sweeten the apples on the trees.

A late harvest: hazelnuts, pumpkins and corn.

 

Quiet swallows flee, displaced by raucous jays

Shouting their cheery welcome to brisk autumn.

The moon is of changed countenance also,

Benevolent in its big-faced gaze.

 

These cooler days lead to woodstove evenings,

Punctuated by apple crisp and games.

 

Thursday 13 Wedding Preparations

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Thirteen things
I would like to get done before the upcoming wedding in our family (next weekend!), and dinner at our home prior to the wedding:

  • Dust the kitchen thoroughly
  • Scrub the tile floors
  • Neaten the carport (My husband and youngest son will do this.)
  • Buy a couple of tubs of chrysanthemums to decorate the front porch entryway
  • Preorder three decorated sheet cakes from Costco (for the reception)
  • Make sure the obvious garden beds are weeded, since hopefully the weather will permit guests to enjoy the out-of-doors
  • I’ve been told I need to insert some zippers in some dresses, which I will hopefully see this Saturday! These dresses are for the youngest wedding attendants.
  • Remind my husband to make a dump run to further clean up the yard.
  • Make sure my elderly mom has some attractive, comfortable clothing to wear to the wedding. I’ve ordered several things from an online store, Buck and Buck, which specializes in adaptive clothing. I surely hope this works out!
  • With my girls’ help, make sure that our basement suite is completely ready for our married daughter and her family, who will be arriving at wedding time, and an upstairs bedroom for my sister, who is the honor attendant, and who also will be staying with us.
  • Request two personal days off from work, the day of the rehearsal dinner, which we are hosting here, and the Monday after the wedding, so I can drive my sister to the airport.
  • Keep going for daily walks with the dog (Relax!)
  • Get well from the sore throat and chills which I have contracted. This means that I will have to get a decent amount of sleep, something I am loath to do!