Saturday, November 30, 2013

Huzzah! BBQ Grille -Williamsburg, VA

Our daughter sent these photos from a neat place she ate while in Williamsburg, Virginia
 She said this was the best pizza she had eaten in a long long time.
 Pulled Pork Quesada...beautiful presentation and so good!
 Carrot cake on top of lemon cheese cake...wicked stuff!
 Root beer made in Williamsburg, VA

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Foto

One of the grandkids left this little football at our house and our Callie Ann played with it for over an hour. I laughed at her pouncing on top of it and rolling it around all over the floor.
 When she grew tired of playing with it she got under her blanket,
but still kept and eye on the ball.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What are you Thankful for?

My Granddaughter Shelby tells me on a regular basis that I am a hoarder. Well the other day I ran across these I AM THANKFUL FOR "feathers" that she had made in grade school and attached to a construction paper turkey...well hoarder or not...I was THANKFUL for having saved these. It is like photos YOU CANNOT GO BACK and take photos you cannot go back and recreated the beautiful childhood memories of such a precious child. She is grown now, but she is still thankful for these same basic things...FOOD, HOME AND ANIMALS. Shelby is a caring loving person and I am thankful to have her in my life.
She is always sending me notes like this one...
She is so funny and such a blessing.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winter Car Kit

With the start of the holiday season and families traveling getting prepared for winter driving emergencies is a good idea, before you take off to visit. Anyone who has been stuck on the side of road in Oklahoma during one of those "where the hell did that come from" ice storms or snow storms will know this is a good idea!

I have carried a metal coffee can with a large candle, matches and blanket every winter since I can remember. I also have a pair of scissors and nylon cord in the back. I usually have some type of snack cracker in my vehicle all year. When I know there is a possible threat of bad weather I put in a container of cat litter. The following list is really a great idea and would make a nice "gift" for those you love. Just decorate the outside of the can to make it look like a gift.

Don't put it off, have your vehicle serviced for the winter driving season, and be prepared for those emergencies that can occur while traveling. Being prepared and knowing what to do is the key to survival.

Ever hear of a "coffee can survival kit"? Read on, you will be amazed at what you can put in one. You easily can equip your vehicle with essential survival gear for winter. Here's what you'll need:
A 3 pound metal coffee can. You'll be storing the other items inside the can.
(note metal coffee cans are hard to find...I have had mine for years.)
12 feet of nylon cord (parachute cord is great)

Candles (for melting snow in can).
Good quality pocket or camping knife, sharp (or substitute with scissors).
Surveyors tape bright orange (tie to antenna or door handle).
Several packets of dry soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc. (mixed into melted snow to provide warmth and nutrition).
Camping utensils. (knife, fork, spoon that fit into pouch)
Peanuts (provides protein) and fruit-flavored candy (orange slices, jelly beans, etc. - avoid chocolate, it can have a diuretic effect, which could cause you to become dehydrated).
Packets of honey. Energy bars.
Socks, gloves or glove liners, depending on what will fit in the can (cotton is not recommended because it provides no insulation when wet).
Camping matches in waterproof holder.
Mylar blankets.
1 pen light and batteries (keep separate).
Hand and foot warmer packets.
Plastic whistle.
When complete, place stocking cap over kit and carry in passenger compartment of car. Don't forget a good first aid kit, medicines', small radio, etc.

Other items you may want to keep in the vehicle:
Large plastic garbage bags.
Bottled water (caution this will freeze in the winter)
You may want to keep the survival kit in the passenger compartment in case you go into a ditch and can't get to or open the trunk. (This is the nice thing about driving a trunk)

Leave a comment if you have any other tips for winter driving emergencies.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cornbread Dressing(s)

Pansy Pearl's Cornbread Dressing

(Pansy Pearl is my mother and this is the cornbread dressing she makes.)

2 pans Aunt Jemima corn meal mix cornbread (in Oklahoma we use Shawnee brand)
prepared according to package directions
1 whole chicken
stick of oleo (margarine)
chicken broth (at least 2 quarts)
1/2 stalk celery or more, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 loaf old bread
1 cup saltine crackers
salt and pepper
ground sage (lots) at least 2 tablespoons to taste
2 eggs (raw not cooked)

Make cornbread, 2 cups each pan recipe on sack of mix. Cook chicken (boil in large Dutch oven-type pan). Debone chicken. Add oleo (margarine) to broth. You will need as least 2 quarts of broth. Chop celery and onion; cook celery and onion in broth until done (tender). Crumble the bread and crackers. Mix cornbread, old bread and crackers in a large pan. Pour broth over mixture until real (real real) moist. Add salt, pepper, ground sage and eggs to mixture. Add chicken meat. Mix real good with hands. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned on top. It is even better the next day warmed up for leftovers.


I was reading about different cornbread dressings, and found the following tasty sounding ideas to add to the basic cornbread dressing above. Of course, I would have to make my own little pan of dressing with the additions, if I ever planned on having them. My grown daughter whines if she does not get her Thanksgiving cornbread dressing. This is the daughter that learned to cook from my husband, so she should be able to make her own!


1.   cooked chopped apples

2.   cooked chopped apples and dried cranberries

3.   cooked chopped pears and dried cranberries
toasted walnuts or pecans

4.  diced dried apricots

5.   chopped leeks instead of onions
sliced cremini mushrooms

6.  use rosemary instead of sage (this is probably a sin?)

7.  Diced winter squash, carrots, parsnips and red onion roasted.
substitute for half the breas

8.  use sourdough or potato bread instead of plain bread

And there were also ideas for other kinds of dressings, such as: sausage-apple, squash-panchetta, chestnut-semolina, Polish-style, kale-garlic, chorizo, ham-cornbread, creole cornbread, mustard-ham, crab, spicy bacon, spinach-sausage, andouille, cranberry-rice, curried basmati, Cajun-rice and Mexican Rice!

WOW this dressing research has been fun and I have only touched the surface of recipes. Maybe this will give you ideas for a little change in the traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas dressing recipe. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Table Decoration

Need a last minute decoration or place card holder for your Thanksgiving table?
Grab some pinecones, pipe cleaners, feathers and glue to make these turkeys.
To use for place card holders just cut a piece of card stock and stick in the top.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Setting the Thanksgiving table

When I was in high school learning to set the table properly was part of our home economics class. We also learned about setting the table in 4-H, so when I saw this example of how to set the table it made me think of how young people today do not usually get this type of information. The only thing wrong with this photo is that they did not include the place for the cell phone! I guess the cell phone would go on the left side of the napkin???
 If you need a great looking table center piece try to create this turkey that has been circulating around on e-mail and Facebook.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Photos from Williamsburg, Virginia

Our daughter snapped these photos with her phone on her trip to Williamsburg, Virginia.
She knows how much I love old buildings and churches...I wish I could have gone too!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Use Lemons for Cleaning

Use Lemons...
When life gives you something to clean, don’t frown, use lemons! Beside the fact they leave a fresh smell, it’s the best natural replacement for industrial cleaners and disinfectants. Often thought of as nature’s Kleenex, lemons are used on and with a variety of things, from superficial wounds to lunchtime disasters. Because of its high content of citric acid, low pH and antibacterial proprieties, lemons don’t damage fabric or wood like your megastore products do. The always use with warm soapy water and a clean cloth. But be careful with brass plated things, as the juice will harm the material. Here are 14 other items you can use the lemon cleaner with.
1. Clean antique real-brass objects. Test on a small area before using on the whole surface.

 2. Scrub away the dirt off copper pots or dishes.

 3. Shine your car’s chrome decorations. Be sure to use salt with the lemon cleaner.

 4. Spray on stains, as an effective overnight germ-killer. Rinse the next day and leave the cloth to dry to see the full benefits.

 5. In partnership with an old toothbrush, use lemons to scrub out grout.

 6. Replace odd odors from your overly-used microwave oven. A 3 quarters filled cup of water with only a few spoons of lemon juice, heated to boiling point and then left for 10 minutes in the microwave, will make your oven smell fresh. With a clean cloth, it will look great as well.

 7. Clean laminated counter tops.

 8. Scrub with salt on grates and grills.

 9. Plastic food containers can be submersed to remove stains and odors.

 10. Use cream of tarter with the lemon to make a paste and use it for 30 minutes on stains from polyester and cotton materials. Wash normal afterward.

 11. With a gallon of hot water, sanitize you garbage disposal by pouring in the drain.

 12. Use as fabric softener. Test a tiny area first, as lemons should not be used of silks or other delicate fabrics.

 13. Boost degreasing ability of your normal dish soap, by mixing it with some drops of lemon juice.

 14. Freshen-up your refrigerator, once a week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Eat Less Sugar...

Eat Less Sugar...


As with any other food or nutrient, you do not need to completely eliminate sugar from your diet in order to be healthy. It is especially difficult to avoid sugar if you eat packaged foods, so start by preparing more of your own meals, snacks and sweets to control the amount in the foods you eat. Here are some other tips:

Eat dark chocolate to fill a craving for something sweet.

Eat whole fruit for the sweetness of natural sugar, plus the benefit of fiber.
Reduce sugar in recipes for cookies, cakes, and other baked goods by 1/4th to 1/3rd.

Use sugar substitutes such as applesauce in baked goods.

Use extracts such as vanilla or lemon, or spices such as nutmeg or allspice, to increase flavor.

Be sure to read Nutrition Facts Labels on all the foods you eat, not just the sweets. Sugar is found in everything from tartar sauce to orange chicken to yogurt.

Consider eating dessert once per week instead of once per day or once per meal

Monday, November 18, 2013

Leaders for Life: No Limits, No Boundaries - Williamsburg, VA

Our daughter spoke at the International DCDT Conference!
Today is her Dad's 65 birthday and he is so proud of her...
Kennda (Varnell) Miller was one of the featured program speakers at the International Division on Career Development and Transition Conference (DCDT) in Williamsburg, Virginia. The conference Leaders for Life: No Limits, No Boundaries was sponsored by the DCDT in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education.
  Ms. Miller graduated from Weatherford High School and Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma and is currently obtaining her Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma. Miller was one of nine Transition Scholars chosen from thirty-two applicants to take part in the first Transition Degree program at OU. She is a Special Education Teacher at Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

  Miller and her fellow scholar project partner, Bruce Young from Francis Tuttle Vocational Technical School, made the presentation at last year’s Oklahoma Transition Institute and were ask to present the same program at the International DCDT Conference this year. The program “High School Plan of Study beyond 4 Years,” was a focus on the importance of strategic planning, collaborative partnerships and effective transition programs for students attending high school more than the typical four years. This planning process is vastly different than what is happening currently in high school transition programs.

  This program worked in conjunction with the current emphasis in the educational system nationwide to plan for every student’s transition plan from school to adulthood in either a work career or postsecondary education path. Studies have found that it is important to plan and to start planning early to help student’s make a successful transition from school to real world situations. The transition planning should be done for all students with or without disabilities to ensure a successful future.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bake Your "Fried Chicken"

Bake your "Fried Chicken"
Just like KFC secret recipe! It is also baked and not fried so there isn't any skin! So you get to enjoy the taste of the seasoning, instead of pulling it off because of the slimy skin! This is super easy and you are going to love it!

Place thawed chicken breast tenderloin strips in a bowl of milk. Let soak for 20-30 min.
Mix in a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl: 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 T season all
3/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut 1/2 stick of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9x13 pan.
Melt butter in pre-heated oven.
Spread melted butter around the bottom of the pan.
Lightly spray the pan, if needed, to make sure that there are no dry spots.
Shake excess milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix.
You can either shake the chicken in the bag, until coated, or dip each piece in the bowl until coated. Place each piece of chicken in the pan.
Cook for 20 min.
Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 20 more minutes, or until cooked through.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Oklahoma State Seal

Oklahoma has one of the neatest State Seals and I thought I would share the meaning of all the symbols. Do you know what your state seal represents?
Great seal of Oklahoma - click to see all state seals

Oklahoma's great seal. See All State Seals - National Seal.
Oklahoma has for its state seal a symbol that was developed from the history of the state.
The central figures and wreath are from the Great Seal of the Territory of Oklahoma.
In each of the five rays of the main star in the Great Seal of the state is the official seal of one of the Five Civilized Indian Nations that together comprised most of the area of present eastern Oklahoma.
The upward ray depicts the seal of the Chickasaw Nation with an Indian warrior holding a bow and shield.
In the upper left-hand ray is the seven-pointed star bearing a wreath of oak leaves which comprises the seal of the Cherokee Nation.
The emblem of the Choctaw Nation is in the upper right-hand ray and is composed of a tomahawk, a bow, and three crossed arrows.
In the lower left-hand ray is the seal of the Creek Nation, depicted by a sheaf of wheat and a plow.
The lower right-hand ray shows houses, and a factory on the shore of a lake, on which is an Indian hunter paddling a canoe and this comprises the seal of the Seminole Nation.
Forty-five small stars surround the central star and these represent the forty-five states that made up the Union at the time Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Slices

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Slices
Cabbage is one of my favorite veggies and this is a good way to enjoy it as a side dish.
Serves: 4
Ingredients 1 head of green cabbage, cut into 1" thick slices
1 or 2 tablespoons oil
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
ground black pepper
non-stick cooking spray Instructions
Preheat oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Pull outer leaf off cabbage, cut cabbage from top to bottom into 1" thick slices.
Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.
Brush the oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.
Sprinkle each side with a bit of salt and black pepper.
Roast on the middle rack for 30 minutes.
Carefully flip the cabbage slices over and roast for an additional 30 minutes, until edges are brown and crispy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winter Vaporizer

This may well be one of the best ideas ever...
put a couple tablespoons of VICKS Vapo Rub
and a couple tablespoons of water
 in the top of your wax scent heating device
it will help vaporize the room and help with breathing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veggie Trukey-Centerpiece

Make your Thanksgiving table more attractive with this veggie turkey!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

November 11th is observed as VETERAN'S DAY and I want to salute all the brave military men and women who serve our country. You and I sleep safe in our beds every night thanks to these men and women who fight for our freedom.

THANK YOU to all military veterans for serving our country!
This is a photo of my two oldest grandsons and my granddaughter. This was the day my grandson on the right graduated from basic training. My grandson on the left has already served a year in Iraq. That was a VERY long year! Then he went to Afghanistan, but is home again. Now, his brother is in Afghanistan. I love these awesome Grandsons!

The photo below is my Great Grandson in his Daddy's boots...the sacrifices our service men and women make for us is something we should think about every day not just on Veteran's Day. 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole
Cut squash and onion
sauté in butter and spices
lemon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and accent
then add 2 cups shredded cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
Spray 9 x 13 baking pan
put a layer of the squash mixture
layer of crushed Ritz crackers
layer of squash
layer of crushed Ritz crackers
top with shredded cheese
Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes
Thanks to Kennda for the recipe and photos.