Friday, June 10, 2016

For the Love of Karen

Today as I sat with my sister in law Karen and talked she repeated more then once how she hoped my niece knew just how loved she was. Yes, I said was, this past week my niece, my Tina became an Angel after having an accident on her motorcycle. Tragic and totally unexpected Tina's family took this hard, we have cried and screamed and asked why ; we take small solace in the fact that Tina left this world doing what she loved 2nd best, (her daughter Bre being Tina's first love) what brought a smile to her face and a sense of true freedom to her soul. Her love of riding came naturally from both her parents and more then a few women in our family that loved bikes and riding them. Her pride in learning to ride dulled even the brightest sunset or sunrise for that matter. I would rather Tina still be here today but I take comfort in knowing she left us happy doing what she loved and something that brought her peace and happiness.

  To Karen I hope you know how much you are Loved.
  When I remember President Kennedy I remember you. Sitting on the couch next to you, not really understanding why you were crying. Just wishing I could stop your tears.
    You formed so much of me, made me much of what I am today. 
  I bet you don't know I think of you everyday. Something I do always triggers a memory of you. You taught me so much.
   Pan handels and the way you face them
   never leave the door to a 2nd floor walk up open, ( well to be honest Sandy taught me that one) 
   Mashed potatoes can be reheated and actually taste good without baking or frying them.
  So many other things as well, daily useful stuff, things that without you I would never of known, things that made my life better, safer, and sometimes easier.
  The other day I taught Madeline what I call the mushroom bun. I am sure you don't remember, but one day you came to my house; I was 13 or so and I was trying to fix my hair, I had a rats nest up top of my head and am sure I looked ridiculous, you just took the comb and calmly combed the tangles out and then showed me how to make a bun on top of my head, that somewhat resembled a mushroom.  It was so much better then the rats nest I had made and I couldn't of loved you more for it. Madeline's hair being longer and thicker then mine ever was didn't work as easily, but she loved it, and all I could do was wish you could know how much I love you.
  Yes Tina brought love into many peoples lives, yes Tina smiled even when she was crying, Tina learned it from you, just like I learned how to be strong from you.
  I once got in trouble, oh so much trouble, first from Timmy and then from Mom for saying you were my favorite sister in law, well it was true then and it is true now. I know this statement could hurt a few feelings, but I hope those feelings understand you have been in my life since I was like 8 years old, and most of life's lessons I learned from you. The spanking I got that day was worth it,I told the truth when I was asked. Karen you are so Loved by everyone that has ever met you and especially by me.
  Today as we talked, laughed, cried, and just plan hung out together ; all I could think was how lucky I was to have a sister in law like you, how much I LOVE you.
 Please know Dear Karen as much as your Sweet Tina was loved so are you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

So long ago!

 It has been a long time since I put word to paper. I have thought about it many times, as I painted walls, swept more floors then I once had, cleaned so many more windows then I have ever had, vacuumed more carpet then I ever had before, and finally I have thought about it as I head on out to my quilting club, my Photography club, or just a walk with my dogs. I think how I would love to write about how wonderful my life is becoming, I just don't seem to be willing give up all the fun I am having to find the time to write. I now have so much more to write about and amazingly enough no real time to write it. If you are over 55  and have the chance to live in an adult community like LeisureTowne  Southampton NJ, do so. I woke up the day we moved here. Don't get me wrong I loved our life on Creek rd, I lost a lot of friends and life with the big move from PA to Creek rd NJ, the love and happiness I found on Creek rd made it all worth while. After years of fun and love we ,Bill and I agreed it was time to move and have a home of our own. I was aiming towards LeisureTowne and Bill was hoping for something different. In the end space, room size, house condition, and price led us deep into LeisureTowne. A place I fell in love with when Bill's dad lived  here. Everyday is now busy for me, running errands for my mom, attending club meetings, and now volunteering for Touch a helpful and supportive organization that makes sure Senior citizens have what they need to age gracefully. I feel like life has once again begun.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Comfort Food Redone.

 Good Morning! How was your weekend? Mine was packed full of fun. Little miss is always a joy, but after not seeing her for a month I really enjoyed this weekend. I put the computer, phone, and camera away and simply enjoyed every minute with her. My house looks it too; there are toys every where and many chores that where left undone still to do. I don't care not a little bit, the laughs,hugs,and kisses were worth the extra mess and effort it will take to get it all back in order. The above photo is from years ago and my first attempt at portraits, something I still struggle with today.
  Today I want to share a recipe with you that is so interchangeable that you can completely make this your own recipe. Thats exactly what I did; the ingredient list is my doing the idea and instruction are my friend Lynn's doing. She is an awesome cook and has more then 100 recipes posted on the recipe web site called Just A Pinch.
Lynn's recipes
   The original recipe or the first time I saw Lynn post a picture of this was a simple 3 or 4 ingredient recipe and it used only one pan and a cutting board. Quick and easy with very little mess.
 The 4 ingredients that never change are Sliced potatoes, Sliced onion red or white,  a pepper of your choosing , and cheese. I don't think the original recipe had cheese, I really can't remember. 
  Lynn layered the ingredients around in a circle in a cast iron pan drizzled it with oil and baked them until the potatoes were tender and slightly browned. 

  I tried the recipe just as Lynn had pictured it and we gobbled it down like we hadn't eaten in a week. The recipe stuck in a corner of my brain and just sat there for a week or two; until we invited friends over to see the new house and I made a ham for sandwiches. Even while everyone had 2 healthy sandwiches there was a lot of leftover ham. 
  Standing in the kitchen one morning shortly after our little gathering; trying to decide what to make for dinner a light bulb went on in my head and the potato circle bake popped right into view, and that is how the potato circle became potato Au gratin circle bake. Is it scalloped or Au gratin when you use cheese? This recipe has no cream or milk in it and is still warm and cheesey like a good comfort food should be. I personally think this way of making potato Au gratin is better tasting.

 You will need 
a cutting board
an oven safe skillet, size depending on how big you want it.
a sharp knife
a 400 degree oven
potatoes sliced ( bigger sized potatoes are best ) Depending on the size and how many people your serving I used 5 medium size and had leftover to use for something else.
 Left over ham cut into pieces a little smaller then your potato slices.
At least 2 Peppers, I used a green bell and a poblano cut into medium sized chunks.
1 large onion sliced into rounds
A handful of mushrooms sliced ( he likes mushrooms in everything)
Cheese I used block sharp cheddar cut into medium thick squares and sliced American divided into 4 squares ( use as much or as little as you like )
 Olive oil for drizzling about 2 tbs give or take.
   To begin layering drizzle a little oil into your pan and spread it around. Start with a potato slice propping it up slightly on the pan edge, next is the ham, the pepper, the onion, mushroom and then the cheese. Continue layering like that all around the pan until the bottom is completely covered. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle oil on top covering all the potatoes lightly. Place the pan in preheated oven and let bake until potatoes are tender and lightly browned, and most importantly the cheese is all melted. About an hour.

 Keeping the 3 original ingredients you can turn this idea into a dozen different delicious easy meals.
  Hope you try this and enjoy it as much as we did.

    Enjoy you Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Back In The Saddle.

It is hard to believe that I have been away from my blog for almost a year. It was for good reason, a happy reason, but a long time to be away none the less. Let me just say if you have a personality like mine; before you go house hunting and eventually buy a house, you should see your doctor and get a sedative or two. I was unable to do anything else except concentrate on house hunting all spring and summer. First you do the research and find homes to look at and then you do the actual looking; the bidding comes next, and after bidding and losing on 2 houses, your new home the one that's been waiting for you appears and then the hard part begins. Oh I thought I was going to go crazy during this stage. Your waiting with bated breath as it is praying nothing falls through, and by day 3 of the 30 day wait you are praying that your phone just won't ring. Because you know if it does it will be the Realestate agent telling you the house isn't going to be ready for closing, or the mortgage guy needing just one more bank statement or signature or maybe just your left arm and a blood sample. Then 10 more calls from both of them and the selling agent just to reassure me that everything will be ready for closing.That is how my days went for what seemed like forever.Until finally one day we all sat down in an office where 10 pounds or more of paper was signed, at last all the searching, waiting, and worrying was done; the house was now our home. Now I could finally breath again and think about something other then finding a house to make our home. I could think about taking pictures again, blogging, as well as walking and all the other fun stuff I like to do. Well I could think about them any way; I still had a few things to get done before I could actually do any of this fun stuff; like I had to move. If you have ever moved before you know without my telling you, moving is a beast, a big burly ugly beast. Moving after living in the same storage unlimited space for over a decade is a big ugly beast that refuses to die. I am not sure we will ever be done moving; I am sure however we are happy.
  And I had decided my first blog WAS NOT going to be about the trials and tribulations of house hunting and buying. Oops. 
  What I had planned for my first writing was actually less writing and more pictures. I have between unpacking boxes managed a walk or two and I have indeed unpacked my camera. I have more then a few pictures for my welcome back post. All the photos are from the area around me, we moved into a gated community with lots and lots of homes; located right in the middle of farm land and preserved woodlands. It is like living in the burbs and the woods all at once.

There are barns everywhere I look. I found all of these less than a mile from my doorway.

This picture is for my friend Christine Peckelis. She passed away suddenly this year, she is not forgotten; just sorely missed. Christine always loved the photos where I got down on the ground and tried to peek between the trees.
Here are some random pretties that Autumn always brings.

Last but not least the front of my house as I get ready for Halloween and a visit (finally) with the little miss. Yes that is Trevor the pig basking in the sunshine on my front lawn. He has always graced the sail boat that I grew herbs in, now he is my guardian pig. He's happy as always.

It feels good to be writing again and it feels even better to have the worry free time to do it.
  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Short Story Continued

   Joe quickly ducked back behind the big ole tree trunk he had been hiding behind, as Lily Mea fainted. Sinking down to the ground Joe smiled to himself to see Lily Mea was alive and looking well. He wished she hadn't said his name but that just couldn't be helped. Joe was also very happy to see Lily Mea was no longer wearing that God awful dress. He had felt so bad for her along the trail between the heat and the dirt Lily Mea had no chance of being comfortable. And then again he did warn her more than once to get some sensible cloths, but she didn't listen. " Oh well thats no worry now, my worry now is how do I get her out of there with out getting us both killed." 
    As Joe sat thinking behind the tree, the ladies were reviving Lily Mea all talking at once making no sense, not that Lily Mea understood them or even really heard them, she was to busy trying to catch another glimpse of Joe. Lily Mea wasn't sure if she really saw him or if her mind was playing tricks on her. Just as she was about to convince herself she was seeing things, Lily Mea caught a quick glance of the back of Joe's head as he hurriedly made his way deeper into the forrest. Unfortunately Lily Mea wasn't the only one to see Joe moving into the trees. Unseen by anyone including Joe, Reo had been standing a short ways away when Lily Mea fainted, he was about to approach the group of women when he noticed Lily Mea franticly looking around as if she were looking for something or someone. At the very moment Lily Mea spotted Joe so did Reo. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cut and Paste A learning Experience

 At this point I haven't been brave enough to purchase a software program for editing and altering photos. For now I use the free ones out there. As you can imagine the free ones aren't as advanced as say Photoshop and don't offer as many options but it is a good place to start. I use 4 different editing programs each offering me something a little different as well as many tools that are exactly the same. piZap for instance offers cut and paste editing, something I would like to get good at.
  Here are my first 3 attempts. Crud and simple I know but you got to start some where.