Friday, May 29, 2009

Ahh, bologna!

And bologna it is! I hit a great sale on bologna once and wondered how I could stock up and keep it from going bag before we had a chance to eat it. We go through phases around here. We will eat bologna every day for 2 weeks and then hit a dry spell.

Think, Pooh, think. How can you save bologna?

In the freezer, that's how. And it works, really. You can do the same with hotdogs. My upright freezer in the laundry room.. the door is filled with hotdog and bologna. Seriously. I buy at least 6 packs when it goes on sale - according to my pricebook. Sometimes we eat them regularly, sometimes not. This way, we rarely run out.

To defrost, I put a pack of bologna or hotdogs in the fridge and ... that's it. I usually forget I did this and remember a few days later when I see the pack. By this time it's thawed and ready to be eaten. You cannot tell the difference either.

So stock up on that bologna and hotdogs. Dogs on the grill and fresh tomatoes on a bologna sandwich. Bring on Summer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shrimping season is OPEN

I live somewhat near the Gulf Of Mexico. I also leave near some huge lakes. Shrimping season opened Monday. And you know that that means?

My Wonderfully Amazing Husband went shrimpin with his awesome baby brother and they loaded up! Once their icechests were full they headed home. You know how my husband got paid for his help? He brought me home an icechest full of fresh shrimp. Shrimp that were HUGE. We left them on ice and went to bed. It was a long day in the sun and we were both pooped.
Richard and I headed them Tuesay - and got soaked in a rain storm while sitting on the front porch. The wind was howling and whipping the trees around. Not my favorite thing. Naturally, when we were done heading, the rain stopped. I was drenched. I rinsed the shrimp in the kitchen sink and doubled bagged them in freezer bags. Their spikes have a way of puncturing the bags. Not good to have your freezing smelling all shrimpy. I put up 8 bags with 5 dozen shrimp in each of them. I'm set for a little while at least.

Then I peeled some, cause who can be all around shrimp and not have their mouth water? Richard fried the shrimp, onion rings, potatoe wedges and.. dill pickles.
Leftovers today. Cold fried shrimp MMMMM

I love living in the south, especially in Louisiana!

This was after we had all eaten. Click to enjoy the yumminess up close.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tax-free weekend

Saturday and Sunday were tax-free. That means we pay no sales tax - a savings of 4%. While it may not seem like very much, we are taxed so heavily here in Louisiana that ANY savings is appreciated.

After we left the Farmer's Market on Saturday we headed to Stines. Once all the little things for "honey-do's" were found we headed outside for the plants. Richard picked up some more veggie plants - he so misses his huge garden, but we just don't have the time to devote to it. I picked up some stones to make a wall for the flower bed. I have some bulbs I need to dig up and move to the new flower bed. I'll snap some pictures once everything is in place. We had a lot of rain here on Sunday - 2 inches. It may be a few days before we can get it completed.

Coming along nicely!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Farmer's market

The local farmer's market in our town is held every Saturday morning from 7 - 12. Local farmers are out there with their goods that are in season. There are also people selling plants, homemade goodies, and woodwork.

We popped over on Saturday and scored 2 huge tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, a sweet potatoe pie, 2 dwarf gardenia bushes and a cantelope. MMMMM It was all soo yummy. WAS? Yes, was. We love fresh veggies and it was gobbled up over the weekend. Nothing better than fresh tomatoe slices with a sprinkling of black pepper and salt to go with fresh cucumber slices with the same and a sprinkling of vinegar.

We planted the gardenias along the front of the house. They are soo fragrant. I noticed it also has many buds still waiting to bloom.

I am still waiting on my tomatoes and noticed more coming out. I have some bell pepper that will be ready soon too. I love reaping the rewards of gardening.

Click the image to enlarge.













Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh no, we are out!

This morning was Breakfast Sunday - the rare occasion that we are all home (and probably the kids have company). Richard loves to cook. He loves to cook breakfast, and his scrambled eggs are THE best. Cooked with LOVE, as he calls it.

This morning we decided to cook up some grub. Who could resist eggs from your own chickens, breakfast sausage, bacon, milk, and OJ? My kids like syrup on their sausage.

Great. No syrup. Then I remembered:

HILLBILLY SYRUP

I learned long ago that Ms. Maggi will not disappointment me. I usually check the hillbilly site first. I started making syrup years ago. To be honest, I didn't tell the kids at first. They never noticed. Well, really they did. They thought it was BETTER than store-bought syrup. And thus, the love of making it ourselves was born. Sometimes I do pick up a jug of sugar-free syrup for the occasions daughter wants Atkins pancakes. It kinda kills the point of eating low carb if all you have is sugary syrup.

I got the syrup cooking while hubby was busy with the bacon and sausage. I ladled the syrup from the pot only because it was still too warm to pour into the awaiting empty ketchup bottle (see, recycling!) It was still kinda thin, but they gobbled it up.

Once, I had a friend look at me with a twisted face wanting to know why on earth we would make syrup when you can buy it in the store for pennies? Pennies? Really? Guess I am shopping at the wrong places.

I'll share with you why I love making syrup:

1. It's neat to be able to make it. Face it, how many people do you know who make their own syrup? Or make anything from scratch for that matter? It's neat to have that knowledge.

2. No running to the store in the middle of cooking to get the much desired syrup.

3. I can control the sugar!!!

4. I like being frugal.

The best reason? What makes my heart all warm and a smile sweep across my face??

When my son comes to me and says, "Mom? When can we have those GOOD pancakes (meaning from scratch) and use your syrup? That would be an awesome supper. Your syrup is reeeeally good."

I rest my case.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doctor appointments

My mom and grandmother both had followup appointments on Tuesday. They are on the mend. They still need lots of rest and my mom has to have a followup CT scan of her sinuses to make sure she is improving. I do hope my mom has learned that rest and saying NO to people is okay. She often meets herself coming and going (read to say she does waaay too much).

Last night I watched all my DVRd programs from last week. I also watched the season finale of LOST. Hurry up next season!!

I am eagerly awaiting my weekend off... but it's already filling up with to-dos. Ack!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

whirlwind of a week!

Thanks, Heather. I have been praying for you too :)

Let's see. My 88-year-old grandmother has been with us since Wednesday after being released from the hospital. She is weak, as to be expected. A nurse comes two times a week to check her vitals and well being. She will also start checking her incision after the bandage comes off today. This gives me a huge relief. I'm afraid we will overlook something really important.

The nurse showed up for the first visit and I knew her from many, many years ago at my very first job! I'm STILL in the medical field after all those years.

My grandmother was afraid she was going to be a bother to us; disrupt our household. Hardly! The kids have enjoyed having her here. How many kids can say they remember their great grandmother? Yes, her care takes up a huge amount of my time. BUT, the kids are self-sufficient and my husband is not in the least worried he is missing out on my attention. He fully understands my need to be there. My grandmother is 88 years old. She is sharp as a tack. She will not be here forever. I am blessed to have this chance to see about her.

Each day, I see an improvement. She sees it as slow going. Everyone reminds her it will be slow going. She had a major surgery and it's to be expected.

We've formed a pretty good routine with meals, medications, seeing about her drainage tubes, getting dressed, exercising, napping, lunch, medications, chatting, exercising, napping, reading, chatting more, supper, cleanup/change, exercising, watching tv and then bedtime.

My sister calls nightly to see how "the baby" is doing. When my sister brought her to my house she seemed to be hanging around an awful long time. Then she spoke up saying it was like leaving her baby at a new sitter. While she knew I could handle taking care of our grandmother, she was still worried.

I now know what she means. The original plan was for my grandmother to return to my mom's house on Sunday afternoon. Too much going on. Then it was supposed to be Monday afternoon. Nah. Let her stay another day. My mom has an appointment this morning with her doctor for a followup. It's just too much hassle of moving my grandmother there and then turn around and worry about her being alone while my mom races to the doctor and then races home again. My grandmother has an appointment today at 2. My mom will pick her up then and take her to the doctor. Afterwards, they will go back to my moms. This way, my mom can rest this morning and after her appointment and the doctor can give her the okay that is getting better and can be around my grandmother. My mom landed herself in the hospital the same day as my grandmother's surgery. She had pneumonia and severe sinus infection. She has been very slow to recover too. They both have followup appointments today.

The bags are packed, her clothes are all washed, her paperwork is in order. We stayed in our night clothes today until it's time to get her dressed for her appointment. She was too worried of dirtying some extra clothes and making my mom wash them! She knows my mom is still recooping and wants to do everything to help. Last night we all bathed and got in gowns early so I would have time to wash and dry her clothes. She's silly.

Now she is down for her morning nap and I"m trying to catch up on email and blogs.

I'm sure it will break my heart when I see my mom drive off with my grandmother.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Full circle

You are taken care of when you are young. Then you care for yourself. Sometimes, you need others to care for you when you are older. It's a circle.

My mom is a wonderful nurse. Not so much a good patient. She loves doting on people. Rarely does she rest or just relax. Which is what probably landed her in the hospital - too many irons in the fire.

My grandmother is being released today. My sister works at the hospital my mom and grandmother are in, so she will bring my grandmother to my house this afternoon when she gets off work. My grandmother will stay with us until .. well.. until need be. I'm so glad I have my big house now!! She is doing wonderful and you'd never know she had surgery.

My mom? She's finally starting to come around after steroids, Mucinex, breathing treatments, Tylenol, and IV fluids. She may be able to go home on Friday. Maybe. Even then, she will be so weak that there is no way she can tend to my grandmother. I keep telling them she is no bother and she is more than welcome to stay at our house. I am off on Friday, so I can spend the day chatting and maybe catching up on my sleep!

My list has been made for my To-Do's. I'm making progress. I may have to start grocery shopping and menu for every 2 weeks. I cannot seem to get to the grocery store every weekend.

Time to do more laundry. Keep us in your prayers.

Monday, May 04, 2009

grandmother update

My grandmother's surgery went well! She walks to the bathroom pulling her IV pole, gets in and out of bed (assisted), does her breathing exercises, eating, drinking, arm exercises...She looks amazing.

My mom? Landed herself in the Emergency Room. She has pneumonia with a severe sinus infection and is on an IV. She has been admitted to the hospital, two floors up from my grandmother.

Thanks for the prayers, they are working!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Time to pause

Life has been really rough here lately. Lots of stress. Lots of strain. Tension is high.

Today I am pausing. I am picking up my grandmother and taking her to my sisters house so we can visit. My sister's patio is complete and we want to see it. I'm sure we will spend a few hours giggling and sharing memories.

Tomorrow my grandmother is having surgery because her cancer has returned. Mastectomy. She is almost 90. NINETY!

The first round she was optimistic. This time she seems tired and depressed. She has every right to be. Hopefully this visit will cheer her up.

Keep her in your prayers tomorrow please.

Many thanks.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Errands

Today is errand day! We always say we are gonna get a head start. Yeah, right. We'd like ONE day to at least sleep late.

Home Depot
Library
Walmart
Lunch
Mall
Marshalls
Haircuts!