Sunday, January 02, 2011

My Favorite Weekend of the Year

I love the New Year. I love reflecting on what I've left behind, and what I've brought along, and then trying to figure out what belongs in my bag for the next 12 months. It's a new start!

Some highlights of 2010:
  • Books, books, and more books read. Current delight: The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley, written in 1819.
  • Deciding to make a project of producing a family recipe book. I'm not sure when it will be finished, but this work in progress will both honor my departed grandmother and friend, Gigi, (who schooled me in her foodie ways) and also will preserve a family legacy for our next generation and beyond.
  • Making new friends, but keeping the old. (One is silver and the other, gold!) I have made some delightful friend discoveries!
  • Facebook.
  • Watching my children venture into adulthood.
I still need to give more thought to how I can make 2011 different and worth the time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Nine Lives All in One Night, Poor Kitty

Last night when I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard a cat meowing in the backyard, which caused me to look for our black cat, Buddy. It took me awhile to find Buddy and I didn’t hear any more meows, so we went to bed.
This morning I was up early. I stepped out on the back porch and I heard meows again! It sounded like Buddy so I thought maybe she slipped out when my daughter came in late. So I started looking around trying to figure out where Buddy was and where the meows were coming from.
I noticed one of the crape myrtle trees in the back yard and something black about 3 feet from the ground. It was a black cat, hanging upside down from the tree!! I looked closer and it looked just like Buddy! I drew nearer and the cat looked at me, scared and hurt, and hissed. It turned out it was not Buddy—it was a neighborhood cat we had seen many times in our yard that looks like Buddy’s twin. She was caught in the crotch of the tree, her hips wedged tightly between the two trunks. She looked exhausted, frightened, and hurt. I called animal control. I couldn’t get near her because she had claws and was hissing and I thought she might bite me.
About 20 minutes later, a police officer showed up. He put on his leather gloves and we gave him a towel. He managed to get the poor kitty out of the tree and put her into our cat carrier to wait for animal control.
The poor kitty was not moving her back legs at all. She just lay there in the carrier, exhausted.
A lady from animal control arrived about 40 minutes later maybe. She was able to pick the cat up out of the carrier, in the towel, and put her in her truck. The poor cat was too tired to even make any noise other than to hiss weakly at her once.
I called this afternoon, and they told me the kitty died on the way to the animal shelter.
I looked at our tree this evening when I got home. It has deep gashes from the cat’s claws where she tried to pull herself free. It was so sad that she suffered so much.
I forgot to mention that the tree is right next to our bird feeder and when the officer approached the cat, he saw a mouse inside the bird feeder behind the plexiglass. That is probably what the cat was after!

Friday, November 23, 2007

I Am Thankful For . . . CRAB DIP!!!

Here is what I took to my cousin Karen's for Thanksgiving dinner, along with my family-famous pecan pie. I have to give credit for this to my old State Farm buddy, Lou, who won first place in our claims office "Dip Cook-off" in the early 90's. This recipe deserved the award. Thanks, Lou!!


1 lb. lump crabmeat, with shells pieces picked out
8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
1 T. minced onion
1 T. dried parsley
Dash of salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients except crab in a saucepan over low heat.
Once blended, add crabmeat. Heat over low until bubbly.
Serve warm with crackers or sliced French baguettes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Vegetarian Lasagna for Patte & Steve

Patte ate this at my house in, oh, say 1985 maybe, and keeps bugging me for the recipe. I mean, c'mon, why the rush? Now she has married wonderful Steve and I guess this is as good a wedding gift as any. Well, it might be a better one if I actually fixed it for them, but hey, it took over 20 years just to cough up the recipe. If Patte hasn't cooked her own by 2027, I promise to have them over for Vegetarian Lasagna.

Vegetarian Lasagna

1/4 c. olive oil
2 med onions
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, trimmed & chopped
1 stalk celery with leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
6 oz. tomato paste
28 oz. can whole tomatoes
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. oregano
1-1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c. chopped parsley
12 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven. Cook onions & garlic in it over medium heat until soft. Add carrot, celery, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are dark. Add parsley, frozen spinach (no need to cook it first), tomato paste, tomatoes, lemon juice, and seasonings. Simmer uncovered 45 minutes. Sauce should be thick. Boil noodles until limp but not completely cooked (about 5 minutes). Drain and set aside.

In 9x13 baking dish, spread 3/4 c. sauce. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/3 c. ricotta, sprinkle 1/4 c. mozzarella, layer another 1/3 c. sauce. Layer until the last sauce tops the last ricotta cheese and sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top. Then sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow it to rest 10 minutes before serving. If possible, refrigerate overnight before baking, but let it sit out 30 minutes before baking.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Why I'll Be There For Him No Matter What

"If we view the marriage relationship as an opportunity to excel in love, it doesn't matter how difficult the person is whom we are called to love; it doesn't matter even whether that love is ever returned. We can still excel at love. We can still say, 'Like it or not, I'm going to love you like nobody ever has.'" - Gary Thomas

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Waitress . . . the movie disappointment

My husband and I went to see The Waitress movie today. We went based on the newspaper ad and unfortunately did not research the story first. I was very disappointed. The story line glorifies or at least justifies adultery and a gynecologist engaging in a sexual relationship with his patient! Worst of all, it spreads the worldview that would teach us that the most important thing in life is to be personally happy. Forget morality, forget sacrifice for the good of others. Follow your own "bliss" and justify whatever you do as long as you are happy.

What a lie. Wish Shrek the Third hadn't been sold out.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Interview with Susie Fairchild

One of my favorite bloggers, Susie, posted a challenge on her site. She said she would send five questions to anyone who asked, but we had to promise to post the answers on our blog. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and I rushed on in!!! Here are my promised answers:

1. If you could send your daughter out into the world, with only three things that she has learned from you, what would they be? And your son?

One - The most important thing I have taught my children is to put God first in their lives, receiving His love and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is all that truly means anything. And when you do that, you automatically are commanded to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love others as yourself . . . .

Two - To be kind and respectful to others regardless of who they are or how they act,

Three - And that reading is a wonderful thing to do. I read to them every night from the time they were born until they wouldn't let me any more. They are lovers of words to this day and are skillful at using them.

2. All about your name: Do you like it? Why or why not? Do you know how it was chosen? If you were going to name yourself today, would you choose a different one?

My name is Sally and it definitely fits me. I like it. Sally is a happy name and not very common. I was named after a great grandmother. When I was a child I didn't like it very much because I felt people didn't take me seriously so I wanted a more sophisticated name than Sally. Names are very significant in the Bible; sometimes God gave someone a new name. If I needed a different name I would take one. As for my surname, I was proud to take my husband's last name when we married. It signified for me that I was totally committed to him.

3. Is there someone from your grade school years that you would apologize to, if you could?

Oh, Debbie Kozak. I am so very sorry for teasing you. You were very different and we could upset you by saying words you considered bad, like "pregnant" and "underwear." I remember tormenting you with those words. Even though I may never have called you names or been direct about ridiculing you, I did it with my actions by tormenting you with those words you thought naughty. I have even tried to find you on the internet to see if I could apologize, but I've never found you.

Once when some children had teased me and I was in tears, my mother pulled me onto her lap and told me she knew it was hard for me to be teased because I was so sweet that I would never do that to anyone. I burned with secret shame, knowing how cruel I had been to you, Debbie, and that my mother's high opinion of me was undeserved. I hope one day on earth or in heaven I will get to look into your eyes and ask your forgiveness.

4. Fantasy: You are being honored at a black-tie event. What is it that you're being recognized for?

I hope I am being recognized for hundreds of little kindnesses and encouragements I have passed out to others over the years. I hope people will say that I pointed them to God because I loved them like He would.

My aspired epitaph is a Nicole Nordeman song: "I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me, did I choose to love, did I point to You enough to make a mark on things, I wanna be an offering, a child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically, I wanna leave a legacy.

5. What is the best (tangible) gift you ever received?

A telescope from Santa when I was in fourth grade. I knew it held the secrets of the universe. Well, it didn't really. In fact, you couldn't really see all that much-- it jiggled a lot. And I had to wait for it because Santa's workshop was backed up and the telescopes were on backorder. So Santa left me a note on Christmas morning telling me it would arrive one day soon, and it did!

Thanks, Susie, for some great questions. Now, to pass it on . . . to anyone who wants to be interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me!"
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.