Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Madly in Love

Engineer and I playfully tease each other all the time.

We tease about who is smarter, is more liked, and is better looking than the other.
Each of us always says that the other one is superior in every way.

However, it is Engineer who usually stops the banter by making some quip.
The other day was no different.

He was insisting (and I was resisting) his statements of adoration for me.
Our exchange ended with him saying, "I may not be good at much, but the handsome truck didn't pass me by."

No it didn't my dear.  You are the fairest of them all.  ;)

1-4-3 my very handsome and very self-aware EM!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Another church visited...still not the one.  I was stressed about finding one soon but now I am just sitting back and enjoying each church for how they further God's kingdom as a congregation.

It's really interesting to go to different services in different churches with different denominations.  Even the ones within the same denominations have some noticeable differences.

One thing that is the same in every church we've tried so far is that we stand out.  Sitting on the back row makes no difference when you are a young family in the traditional service (which starts early) and two-thirds of you are wearing hats.

Engineer and his workmate brewed another batch of beer.  Apparently he wanted to have an Oktoberfest brew ready when the time comes.  He also attended a local Homebrewers Association meeting.

I did a little dry canning and a little baking - nothing too exciting.

We had some new Bossier friends over to watch "The Goonies" as our summer of 80s movies winds down.

The next morning and one of our new Bossier friends and I went garage sale-ing where I managed to pick up a HUGE vintage rug (for FREE!) and an antique iron bedframe for a song.  It was a very successful shopping trip.

One of Diva's best friends and her family came over to spend the day Saturday.  It's always nice to catch up with that sweet family and I appreciate the role of Diva's friends in her life.

The biggest news is that Diva started at her new school.  She had a couple of setbacks but navigated the week well.

This week we are beginning to add some of the extra-curriculars into our schedule.

We will be eating:

Sunday - Fried Chicken & Salad
Monday - Chocolate Waffles, Bacon, & Strawberry Omelets
Tuesday - Duck Burritos w/Roasted Tomatillo Sauce & Black Beans
Wednesday - Hot Potato Salad & Franks, 5 Bean Salad, & Green Salad
Thursday - Stuffed Mushrooms Parmigiana, Spaghetti, & Salad
Friday - Dinner w/Family
Saturday - Leftovers

This is part of MPM.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pecan Chewies

I continue to go on working through all of the loose recipes that keep falling from within the pages of actual cookbooks.

This time I made Pecan Chewies (recipe written on the back of a spent calendar page.)

I was hoping this would be the recipe for what my Maw-maw called Pralines.  She used to make these incredible delicious chewy bars full of pecans, very similar to this recipe but not quite.

Don't get me wrong, these are also incredibly delicious chewy bars full of pecans and worth making.  They have the texture of great brownies and taste a bit like pecan pie.  Again, definitely worth making.

As a bonus, you just throw everything into one bowl and mix.  Quick, easy, little mess, perfect.
This would be a yummy snack for hungry kiddos coming in from school.
Or...these would be delicious with some homemade vanilla ice cream on top.

Meanwhile, my search for Maw-maw's praline bars is ongoing...

Pecan Chewies

1 Egg
1 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 Flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Wine (I used white but either is fine)
1 c. Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
Mix everything together and pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 20 - 23 minutes or until the middle is no longer jiggly.
Let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting slices.

This is part of FPT.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Perfectly Practical #175c - Old Baby Bed Part 2.5

The old baby bed to which I am referring in the title is the very one that my Dad, my brother, and myself slept upon as babies.
It's a really old baby bed.

Because old baby beds are not deemed safe by today's standards, it was going to get trashed if I didn't save it; I cannot bear to see old furniture go to waste.  It sat on our back porch in our furniture graveyard for awhile before being transformed into something useful.

We dismantled the bed and used parts of it in different ways.

For instance:

I wanted a trellis on the side of our shed that faced our back porch so we used the crib springs as a trellis.

We needed a front porch light at our old house.  We solved that problem by using the side railings of the crib as a light fixture.

The remaining three sides of the frame are on my new back porch patiently waiting to be in a finished project.

Our new house has no shed or really any place where I could hang the trellis.  As for our porches, both front and back are very well lit.

Our dilemma was whether or not to keep our projects.  We couldn't find a place outside to hang either of them.

Our guest room upstairs has funny roof lines and little alcoves.  One of those alcoves was a bit dark (see where I'm going with this?)
My plan all along was to make it a sort of retreat for our guests so they had the feeling of staying in a B&B.

So the already once repurposed baby bed parts got another chance at usefulness.

The light made from the baby bed railing was perfect for the space and gave the alcove a cafe feel.
The springs made a cool wall feature and now will be home for postcards and photos.

Repurposing repurposed items works for me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Madly in Love

When you are pregnant with your first child, people offer lots of advice.
They tell you birthing horror stories.
Folks give you the ins and outs, what has (or hasn't) worked for them, and insights into all aspects of child-rearing.

However, nobody tells you, to quote from Paul Harvey, "the rest of the story."

It is completely against the genetic code of women to tell everything about childbirth.
And my sisters in the trenches of motherhood also never told me how your heart breaks when your child's does.

Just like this summer's earlier heartbreak of unexpectedly losing Greta, yesterday's beginning of the school year found Diva in tears.

She had been looking forward to starting her new school and was excited at all of the new possibilities it would bring.  So imagine my surprise when I pulled up to the carpool lane and she had a stoic look on her face.

I asked how her day went, expecting to have a chatterbox in my car, but instead I was answered with a flat, "Fine."

I carried on quizzing her about her classes, teachers, new friends, etc. and she just sat there, biting her lip so I wouldn't see it quivering.  I looked at her and noticed the tears in her eyes and asked what had happened.

My mind was racing with thoughts of bullies or mean girls or feeling overwhelmed by the new and much different curriculum or stern teachers or embarrassment or a thousand other simultaneous horrible scenarios.

She finally answered with, "I miss my old school."
That was it.
Longing for the familiar and comfortable.
The realization that she would no longer be with those teachers and friends that she held so dear.
Hers and mine.

I tried to get rid of the tears in my own eyes before attempting to convince her to dry hers.
I let her know that it was okay to be sad at first but we had to embrace our new life and move forward.
After a couple of minutes of sitting in silence, I said something off-the-wall and we laughed.

1-4-3 DM and your tender heart that is directly connected to mine.
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