Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now that the holidays have kicked in full swing, I am busy as ever. I've been trying to put together a couple of open houses for my jewelry, and am hoping to have a decent turn out for them. I've also been trying to get ready for family to come at Christmas, Youth activities at church, and book club coming to my house in about a week.

One main thing I look forward to during the holidays is family. Each Thanksgiving, we always go to Tennessee to visit with my in laws. This year is going to be a little different. We are still going to TN, but usually we have a whole slew of people over. This year will be much smaller, but we will still be having quite a few over for dinner. My husband came from a very large family, and, for the most part, all of us have had pretty good size families of our own. Even though it will only be our family, and my brother in law and their family (each of us missing some kids who are out to college), we will still have a minimum of 14 over for dinner...so that's still a pretty good sized crew.

We traveled up to TN yesterday, and had a pretty nice trip. My in laws live out in the country, so before we headed out to the boonies, we met with our eldest son (who lives in town), and then followed him out to the Carter Home. As we were following our son, I thought how I can't believe how our children have gotten so big. Seems like just yesterday they were all little bitty. Now here we were following our son, who has been on his own for a couple of years, down the road. How time flies.

Well, I just want to leave you all with a few thoughts of how grateful I am for family, and especially my Father in heaven. Our family has so much to be thankful for, and I hope that we can always show our gratitude to our Heavenly Father, by keeping him #1 in our lives. I hope that each one of you that read this have a happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Healthy Holiday Cooking

A few weeks ago, my walking buddies and I discovered some adult classes offered at our local library. The first class we went to was about Julia Child. I never really knew much about her, but after that class, I think I would have really liked the woman. I look forward to the movie Julie and Julia coming out on DVD.

The next class we went to was container gardening. Another very good class. I've always wanted to do some container gardening, especially with some herbs. Once the cool weather is gone, I think I might have to try some container herb gardening.

Today, we went to another class--Healthy Holiday Cooking. We got to eat at this one. Most of the stuff I already knew, and incorporate into my cooking; but I was glad to get some new recipes. One dish we had that I was surprised about was a hot fruit salad made in a crock pot. I don't usually like warm fruit, but this was DIVINE! It makes a bunch, so I'm planning on making it at Christmas when my family is here. It is not only very simple, but a great food storage recipe. It also makes your house smell really, really good!!!

Hot Fruit Salad Recipe
serves 16

16 ounces chunky applesauce
30 ounces sliced canned peaches, drained
30 ounces sliced canned pears, drained
20 ounces canned mandarin oranges, drained
30 ounces canned pineapple chunks, drained
21 ounces cherry pie filling
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add first five ingredients to slow cooker, gently stir to combine. Pour cherry pie filling over fruit mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over top. Cover and cook on low in slow cooker 3 to 4 hours. Serve warm.

calories 188
fat .01g
carbohydrates 45.8 g
protein 1 g
saturated fat 0
fiber 3.5 g
sodium 12mg

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh! What A Beautiful Day!

For the past several weeks, Northern Louisiana has had more than its share of rain. All the lakes and rivers are way above flood stage, in fact, they are putting up flood walls and filling up some of the gaps in other parts of the flood wall. People have been sandbagging around their homes and preparing for the worse. Even though our neighborhood is surround by a bayou, we live in an area where we do not have to worry. Even if the levees were to fail, we would be fine. But for those who live in town, they need to keep a watchful eye.

One thing that all of us need to have, is our 72 hour emergency kit. For many years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has counseled its members to have this ready, so that at a moments notice we will be able to evacuate. We have lived in many different places of the country where we have possibly needed an emergency kit. We have been very lucky, that we have never had to evacuate. Even through hurricanes, we were able to stay put, but I was very thankful that we were prepared. We have had several times when we were without electricity because of hurricanes or ice storms, and because we were prepared, we were able to have the necessities of life.

The past couple of days have been absolutely gorgeous! The temperatures have been in the mid 70's to low 80's and the skies, sunny! My type of weather! The lakes and rivers continue to rise, and will probably crest sometime Wednesday, but, fortunately, we should not see any more rain til sometime the beginning of next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Redneck City

Can't believe it is already the first of November! Yesterday was Halloween, and you would not have believed the crowd we had down our street. I had to laugh! Even though I grew up in the South, I still could not believe what I saw...It was REDNECK City! There were dozens of four-wheelers and even a couple of Monster Trucks. There were several kiddy Halloween parties, which kind of became one big party. When it started to get dark, the kids piled onto the one of the many trailers that were being pulled by a four-wheeler and headed off for Trick-or-Treat. You see, no one walks anymore, they ride. Of course, it would be much more fun riding on a trailer full of hay and your best buds, pulled by a four-wheeler. Kinda makes me wish I was a kid again, or at least that my children were small again. I sure miss those days. Anyway, if I hadn't of seen it with my own two eyes, I would not have believed the Redneck town that was up and down our street last night.