Ending the month with a Bang!

Bang bang shrimp that is. Read on to see just how October started.baked bang bang shrimp (Not to mention my hubby’s big project at work came to the crucial implementation!)
It has been quite a day. Started with waking at 2 a.m. with a terrible toothache. Got the pain to back off some by rubbing my jaw with Bengay but didn’t sleep well at all. Got up to take Keith to work so i could get to dentist (who didn’t open til 8:30 so I sent an email outlining the situation). While en-route to drop the hubs off we blew a tire. We called AAA. It started to spit rain. We hurried to finish emptying the trunk as one of his coworkers pulled up & they decided to change the tire themselves. Called & cancelled assistance. I took the opportunity to call my dentist whom I was informed was on vacation this week and no other dentists were in either. Dropped the hubby off & called another dentist. They were able to work me in at 11. I limped into Sam’s club to get tire fixed. It’s around 9 & there is only one other person ahead of me. I was given an estimate of about an hour to fix so proceeded to do my monthly Sam’s Club shopping. The list isn’t long and after ringing out I go to check on tire progress only to find the tire couldn’t be fixed. While the nice associate, Kevin, attempts to explain my options, I dial my hubby & hand Kevin the phone. Of course tires for our vehicle would be special order so we decide to replace all 4 which will give us a price advantage due to a special Sams club is running. Now it will take another 2 hours to complete this new job. Ugh! I call the dentist and talk to my new best friend of the morning, receptionist Jill. I explain the interesting events of the day & see if there is anyway she can work me in for the afternoon. She procures a 2 o’clock spot for me. While waiting yet again I strike up a conversation with the lady who has kindly sought permission to sit at my table as she too awaits her car to be finished. We people watch and during our sharing I discover her husband is home recovering from cancer surgery the previous day. The doctors are sure they removed all effected cells and she had decided to use her time today while he was still feeling the affects of the “good” meds to get some things done. We talk about our memberships in the YMCA and how she does water aerobics as continuing physical therapy having had both knees replaced this past summer. I tell her of my adventure with my elbow & this days events so far. I offer to check on our cars so she wont have to walk on the concrete floors so much. I find Darrel who checked me in first this morn clocking back in from lunch. He wasn’t sure of our status but said he would call us over the PA system when they were ready. I kind of pulled him aside and explained how being a “mature” woman my ears were not accustomed to filtering out the different sounds emminating from the overhead speakers. He assured me he would call my phone when all was ready. I returned to the “cafe” area to apprise my friend of the update. In about 5 minutes Darrel came walking towards us with two sets of keys in his hands. Both vehicles were ready! As we pushed our carts around to the garage area and hit our remote key locks we found our 2 white cars side by side; hers a 4 door Honda and mine a Hyundai. We laughed and commented on God’s sense of humor and wished each other a better day full of blessings. I had just enough time to get my wilting strawberries home before rushing to the dentists office.
1:30 read the clock when I met Jill face to face. I thanked her again for all she had done for me that morning as she handed me a clip board full of new patient forms to fill out. It was all I could do to stay awake and alert while keeping my dentist anxiety at bay awaiting to be escorted to “the chair”. Brenna cheerfully met me and brought me to get x-rays of the throbbing area of my mouth. Admitting she was no dentist Brenna offered her diagnosis of an abscess with possible tooth decay of the tooth anchoring my bridge. I had to concur and after my consult with the dentist it was confirmed. I needed a root canal. Not to be out done by the mornings shenanigans, fate decided to add a bit more drama to the afternoon. As I sat discussing my financial obligations for this procedure with Michele, their computer software denied any knowledge of my insurance coverage. Now Jill had verified everything that morning as I provided group #s and plans over the phone and at one point there were 3 employees standing around a monitor trying to figure out what was wrong while another employee was on the phone to the insurance company which verified I was indeed covered. Everyone decided it was time for a break and as I was assuring Michele that God knew this too and all would be sorted she opened up to me about having to play catch up on paperwork because she had had yesterday off and how concerned she was for her daughter (in school studying for the mission field) who with 5 of her girlfriends had decided to tent camp in Colorado this fall break week never taking into consideration there may be snow. She related how the group had awakened to 3 inches of snow Monday morning and retreated to a Starbucks for warm coffee and to strategize that nights lodging options (which were few). God showed Himself faithful again as a youth pastor and his wife were at that same Starbucks and having overheard their plight offered them shelter in the church basement and access to the kitchen. Michele pulled up a picture of them in their sleeping bags on her phone to show me. By this time the glitch with insurance and the computer had been fixed and I was supplied with prescriptions for pain meds and antibiotics to prepare me for my 9 a.m. appointment in the morning for my root canal. I was back in the car and setting my gps for the quickest way to my pharmacy. [Side note* don’t always trust Google maps. It showed the dentist office to be on the street behind its actual location ]. It is now 3:30 p.m. and I realize I haven’t eaten. Knowing that I may have a wait while my prescriptions are filled I plan to grab something at the hospital cafeteria (where my pharmacy is located) . A quick text to Keith apprising him of the dentist visit outcome alerts me to the fact that he also has prescriptions there for me to pick up. Traffic is a breeze as I navigate to my destination. I find a parking spot close to the hospital and am almost jubilant as I walk up to the drop off area of CVS. You may have already guessed this isn’t the perfect ending to my days excursions. They can get my antibiotics -no problem but the pain medicine would be a special order taking 2 weeks. I politely ask the tech “you do know this is for pain, right?” Not wanting to be a pain and foreseeing the outcome should I push the issue, I take the pain scrip back assuring them I will deal with it & just process the antibiotics. I forego eating as I was afraid anything I might have to chew would just add to my dilemma. After another 30 minute wait I have all the prescriptions in hand and pick up Keith from work. He is such a sweetie. He drives home commenting on how the new tires feel, thanking me for taking care of an unexpected situation and promising me all the soft foods I want for supper. We finally arrive safe & sound at the apartment and agree this day is one for the books. As I reflect on the days events I see how very blessed we are . I see God’s hand of safety on us while we changed a tire on the side of a very busy road. I see His provision for money to cover the tires and insurance for my tooth. I was given insight into how He is working in other’s lives as well. We are truly blessed.
So there you have it : My most excellent adventure – so far . . .

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A Sprinkling

lovie and booties (2)The weather has been a bit rainy lately with the remnants of hurricane Irma moving through but that is not the reference here. I had never heard of this until I moved to this area. I am referring to a party thrown for a couple who already has a child and are expecting another. They have most of the basics acquired from their first born’s “shower” so the hostess encourages attendees to “sprinkle” the expecting family with incidentals like baby wipes, diapers and gift card.  My husband’s co-worker was the honoree and I made this lovie and a pair of booties for the event.  Of course there was a big brother in the family so I couldn’t exclude him (his brother, who wasn’t even present yet, was receiving all these gifts) so I included a sack of chocolates for him. Always think of everyone involved.bag for big brother

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Chocolate Yummy

I was looking for a dessert that was southern, quick, & easy when I ran across one from choc yummy plate 2Epicurious.com. It looked delicious but I didn’t have time to make the crust, the pudding and topping from scratch so I simplified.

Here is my version : Easy Chocolate Yummy
INGREDIENTS
2 package of pecan shortbread cookies smashed into chunks
2 (8 oz) package of cream cheese (I used the low fat version)
2 (4 serving) boxes of chocolate instant pudding/pie ( I used sugar free)
2 (8 oz) containers of whipped topping (I use the lite)
1 Cup confectioners sugar

Instructions:
Make pie filling according to directions on box. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat the softened cream cheese until fluffy and gradually add the confectioner sugar. Using a plastic spatula, fold in the cookie chunks. Using the spatula pat this mixture (cream cheese/sugar/cookie) into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Next, layer the chocolate pie filling. Top this layer with the whipped topping. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. It is best if can be left overnight but my family has never been able to wait that long.

chocolate yummy

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Life Lines

cowl with edgingNo, I am not talking about phoning a friend or asking the audience.  I am talking about inserting a “line” of yarn through a row on a project in progress so if you drop a stitch or miscount a row, etc., there is a place that you can return to that is perfect. Then you can begin again with a clean slate.  It can be a lifesaver!  This piece I am working on now has a particularly engaging pattern for the edge.  The pink line is my life line.  I have 272 rows of this edging.  I would hate to have to redo all rows should there be an overlooked dropped stitch or mistake.  So if I insert a piece of yarn every 24 rows or so then I won’t have lost all hope in completing this already overdue gift.  Try using this safety tip when working on a big project.  You won’t regret it.

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Fried Green Mater Parmesan

I made this for a work potluck with my end of harvest abundance of green tomatoes.  It was a hit!leftovers with some extra sauce
Fried Green Mater Parmesan
Ingredients:
  • 4 – 6 Cups sliced tomatoes (cut in 1/4 inch rounds or smaller) drained on paper towels
  • 45 ounces Marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce ( I used homemade Marinara)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil to coat baking pan
  • 1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs ( Mix butter crackers & saltines or use panco/bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheesecrock pot
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten (more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread a tablespoon of olive oil each over the bottom of two rimmed baking sheet pans.
Combine 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and place in a shallow bowl or rimmed dish.
Set up your work area to make the baked green tomatoes: flour placed in a shallow bowl, eggs beaten and in another bowl, then cracker crumb mixture.
Coat tomato slices in flour then dip in egg followed by dredging in the crumb mixture. Place the slices on the baking sheets. Spray or drizzle with oil and bake in a 450 degree F oven for 10 minutes.  Flip them over and continue baking for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let rest until cool to touch.
In a baking pan (you can use a 9 X 13 or I made mine in a crock pot)  begin layering with 1/2 Cup of the sauce, followed by a layer of 1/3 of the tomatoes.  Cover tomatoes with slices of mozzarella and sprinkle 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese over that.  Place another third of the eggplant rounds over the cheese. Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the eggplant rounds. Layer the rest of the sliced mozzarella over the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan.

Add the remaining eggplant in a single layer on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining sauce and the remaining Parmesan.  Cover the crock pot and cook on low for about 2 hours; medium about 1 hour; high for 30 minutes.

If using a baking dish, bake uncovered at 350°F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into to serve.

Enjoy!!!

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Rellenos Casserole

roasted peppersWhat do you do when the nip of Fall comes early; Or maybe when your garden decides to take off after Labor Day and produce more than it has all summer? You reap your harvest before it frosts!  Now what to do with all those pablano peppers you have.  Give some to friends. . . give more to friends. . .  Freeze all you have room for – and you still have leftovers.  It is time to make a new recipe.  I love chili rellenos but I was not going to stand and stuff and fry a dozen for just the hubs and me.  The next idea was to create a casserole.

Ingredients:

12 pablano peppers roasted  (with stems, seeds, & skin removed)

4 Cups shredded cooked chicken seasoned with salt, pepper,  & onion and garlic powder

16 oz cheese ( I used a mixture of Mexican cheese and mozzarella)

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp baking powder

Instructions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a 9 X 13 X 2 inch greased pan layer the chicken, then the cheese and top with the peppers which have been opened to lay flat.   Whip the egg whites until stiff.  Add the baking powder and then gently fold in the egg yolks.  Pour this over the peppers.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.  Serve warm with picante, salsa & tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

casserole

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Fall Cleaning

I know a lot of people have Spring Cleaning (and I do that too) but I also need a Fall Cleaning of my house.  After a full summer of fun, vacationing, gardening, & entertaining on the deck (not to mention lawn maintenance ) I have found that a deep, thorough cleaning is essential!

The kitchen is the first room to receive my attention.  So today I am scrubbing the floor of the most used room in my house.  It is still a little warm here in Tennessee which requires a lot more of “sit in front of the fan to cool down” breaks along with re-hydrating drinks.  The dirt is coming off reluctantly so I have 2 types of scrub brushes and my enthusiasm has overdone this project.  I foresee a “sealant” treatment before moving on to the other rooms but when I am done I will be ready for the rush of holidays that come at this time of year.  Well, my floors will be ready 🙂  And tomorrow I work on the bathrooms!!

Happy Fall Cleaning!!!

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Wedding Day!

order of serviceThe day has arrived!  We had our “Save the Date” magnet, our invitations and now the time has come to attend the ceremony.  We met one of the sisters (great aunts) at the hotel and my trusty brother-in-law, David, led the caravan from there.  I just have to break out in song here because that is the silliness that was going on at the time.  Sung to the tune of Over the river & through the woods:

Over the creek beds and through the fields to Poetry Springs we go,
The bro-in-law knows the way and just what to say to keep us sisters in toe -oh!
One truck behind us and bumps in the road we soldier on our way;
The great aunts and grandma will soon arrive for Brandon’s wedding day!

Yes, it was just that crazy but a sweeter ceremony would be hard to find.  And if you think the ride over was filled with frivolity just wait until I tell you about the reception!

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Dress Up

When we were little my sisters and I liked to play dress up and that hasn’t changed over the years.  While packing for the trip I included 3 extra wedding outfits, 2 extra boxes of jewelry, and lots of shoes. (You don’t need to know the number).  I knew that we would all model our outfits (there are 4 of us so this would take time).  Then of course we would set about checking to see what accessories we had in the pooled resources to attain the best look for each of us.  My scarf went with one sister’s outfit, another sister’s pin made my dress shine, etc.  Questions of fashion etiquette were discussed : no, you don’t have to absolutely wear hose – it is an outdoor ceremony; yes, a sweater, jacket or wrap is advisable – it is an outdoor ceremony. Makeup, hair styles, everything you could think of we covered it.fingernail fun  My apologies to my wonderful brother-in-law for all our craziness.  He was so tolerant of all of the sisters being together for this special occasion: the first of the “grands” to be married.

We are so excited. . .  except for the car ride to the event.  But that’s another story.

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Hostess gifts and family

It seems I didn’t do the “publish on a certain date” thing right so a lot of my blogs didn’t get posted.  I will be releasing them in what may seem like a flurry of thoughts.  Please excuse.

One of the things I try to do is take a hostess gift when I visit.  My sister was so gracious in opening her home to us that I just had to make her something special.  The result? – a granny square/quilted hot pad set made for her specific kitchen hues.  I have the pattern on my craftsy site here:  http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/other/granny-square-hot-pad/149023?rceId=1437246386996~51yd1bg3 .

This is so easy to do and you can also use a pre-made hot pad to make it even easier.  My sister loved them and put them to use right away.  So if you are looking for a great hostess gift please check out the link above.

With the wedding just a days away, the sister fun has just begun.  Stay tuned!Diannes hot patd

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