Monday, October 24, 2011

This new header picture was taken at 6pm tonight.  SHusband and I were going into town, driving west and this was our view. I had to pull over to take a few pictures to share with you.
Around 15 minutes later, after leaving SH at his destination, I was leaving and dark had fallen. So I was where I needed to be when I needed to be there for God to show me this beautiful sunset.
Here are some more views of clouds with the sun setting from tonight.

Last of the field corn in the field.


And because this is such a beautiful sky, we need some music right?  Here you go, click here:
Fur Elise

Thinking of you SReaders, hoping your life is filled with peace.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today in the life

Today in the life, I have been busy and not busy-waiting while car maintenance and repair work done.  I always bring something to read for one of these long appointments, something to drink-a bottle of Starbucks light frappacino (which I had to wait until it unchilled to drink since the waiting room is always cold), and some crackers to soothe my screaming stomach after taking a Motrin for my nasty aching "when is this damp weather gonna end" joints.
I checked my email, sent a few, but then, could not concentrate on anything, my book went unread after I read the same paragraph over and over,  so I sat there, thinking of all the things that I could be doing, and wishing I got more than the 4 hours of sleep that came to find me last night.
I eaves-dropped on the conversations that the other customers had, I love doing that, just to see a slice of their lives. They all came and went. I sat and waited, and then another customer came and sat in the waiting room!  She was a tiny elf, dressed in about 6 layers of jackets-that I could see.  She started the conversation, I answered and we took off from there.  She was obviously very intelligent, but her attire, mostly
well-worn mens clothes and a barely there haircut did not match what was coming out of her mouth.  There I go, my usual sin of judging others, but it was fascinating to watch her.
She had a newspaper with her, so we rehashed all the news, and then we started talking about the history of our nearest  big city, Buffalo New York.  There is a preservationist convention going on there right now, so many photos and articles have been posted in the paper daily.  My wee friend seemed to go back in time, talking about her youth and getting dressed up to go downtown with her Aunts and Parents, her  eyes seemed to drift away as she entered that pleasant time in her life.  She told of all the stores she went to, all the buildings that were there, she had a wonderful accurate  memory and it was so pleasant for me to hear her speak.
She mentioned all the pets that she used to have, and when I asked her about current pets, she answered that she didn't dare have pets, because who would take care of them when she was gone? She seemed very sad about this necessary choice.
I wonder what her day to day life is like?  She sounded like she lives alone, and she looked like she was very thrifty judging from her desire to get every bit of use out of the clothing that she was wearing.
When it was time to leave, we both were checked out at the same time, and as she walked to her vehicle, I assumed it also was a thrifty purchase, but she got into a black, sleek  sports car! See, that is what happens when you assume.
When the appointment was finished, I had some errands to do, which included 4 containers of pumpkin ice cream for my SHusband.  I brought one home last week, he loved it, and asked that we stock up.  I also bought 2 more boxes of Gia Russa Kluski Chicken noodle flavored soup mix.  I already have 2 boxes, but that is my feeling yucky staple. and I would hate for us to be stuck at home during bad weather with someone not feeling well and us being "OUT" of this elixir.
So, an interesting day so far, I hope you are warm, safe and happy day, and here is a little piece for you to listen to:

Beatles "All you need is Love"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life well lived

You might remember in a post a few months prior, that I mentioned how I read death notices/obituaries, how I called them Life Notices.  You can read that full post by clicking here:
Life Notices

Well, today, there is just such a Life Notice.  Not only does this woman have a very interesting set of ancestors, dating back to an association with Geroge Washington, but her Life's work was so fulfilling. Here is her story, I hope you find it interesting.

WINGARD - Janet Mann Passed away on October 12, 2011. She was born on September 25, 1924 in Buffalo, NY to Dr. Baldwin Mann and Adra Ash Mann. Her father, Major Baldwin Mann, served during World War I as a field surgeon. Janet was a direct descendant of Colonel Theunis Dey, a Revolutionary War hero who was friends with and served under General George Washington during the Hudson River Highlands Campaign in 1780. Her great Aunt Annis and Uncle Sam Eastman were Congregationalist ministers for Park Church in Elmira, NY, during the time that Samuel Clemens and his family attended. Janet's mother Adra was a playmate of the Clemens' children. Her first cousins Max and Crystal Eastman served tirelessly for the cause of women's rights and for the exploited immigrant workers in the coal fields of Western Pennsylvania. Her mother Adra volunteered for many causes including supporting the Greenwich Settlement House of New York City. Janet attended Dundee High School near Glenora, NY, the family summer home on Seneca Lake, where she graduated in 1943. She then attended Rochester University where she graduated in 1947. After graduating, she went to work for Mary Kingsbury Simkovitch, founder of the famous Greenwich Settlement house. This settlement house provided room and board for immigrant artists and others who needed affordable housing while attending college or looking for work. It was here that she met George Matthew Wingard from South Carolina, a musician going to New York University and a resident of the settlement house. They began dating and soon were engaged. They married on August 2nd, 1947. They moved to Clover in the fall of 1949. Here, after her four children were born, Janet began a 25 year teaching career in 1961. In her own words in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper in 1991, she describes her first impression of Clover, SC, the small town in which she would spend 62 years of her life: "My mother, infant son and I arrived in Clover on a cold rainy Halloween night in 1949 to join my husband who was already hard at work putting together Clover's first band. As we crossed the muddy Catawba over the old Buster Boyd Bridge and wound our way into Clover, my mother, a true Yankee, was thrown into despair that her youngest daughter was going to bury herself in this tiny town. She was convinced that we would soon see the light and return to the north. To her we were living in a cocoon far away from the advantages of big city life. At that time Clover had only two schools (one for blacks and one for whites). My husband's band room was a Quonset hut which doubled as a cannery. With the years came improvements, both in staff and buildings, which have contributed to making the Clover School system the great institution it is now. With reputation comes growth as more and more people move into the district and want to send their children to our schools. To my late mother, who incidentally grew to love our little town, I would say, "Mom, I never left my cocoon. It just grew to accommodate all its inhabitants". To those who say to me, "Clover is getting too big for its britches," I would say, "Then we must enlarge the britches." She wrote this letter encouraging the people of the Clover School District to approve the bonds needed to build a new auditorium. The bond referendum passed. Janet watched many of her grandchildren perform on a state of the arts stage! She and her husband Matt spent 21 years in retirement together, traveling around America and the world and enjoying their growing family. Janet was the eternal optimist, never wavering from the task at hand, pulling for all those around her to keep going, to strive to do the best that they could do and always with a cheerfulness and eagerness that was amazing. Her spirit lives on in her progeny. She was a devoted wife to her husband Matt Wingard for over sixty years. He predeceased her on November 27, 2007. In her final days, Janet's strength was resolute, her love for her family and this world undying. She is survived by her children....
Published in the Buffalo News on October 15, 2011

The notice goes on, the Buffalo News did not incude the entire notice online.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Easy Chicken and then another meal!

Hi, I am really nagging now, but you need to try this easy and healthy chicken and veggie crock pot recipe, I used chicken breast, cut in half in place of the chicken thighs-those are disgusting!
And then, a few days later, after you enjoyed this the first time, you make a pot pie by adding 1.5 cups of cooked green beans, one can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can  cream of celery soup-no water added to either, and I used the low fat version, cut up all the leftover chicken and veggies into 1 .5 inch pieces, stir well, be sure you add all the liquid from the leftover dish, these are your seasonings for the pot pie, pour into a pie shell, top with  another pie shell, seal crust, pinch to close,  cut slashes into top crust and bake at 350 for about 30-40 miutes or until top crust is brown.  Here is the important step, WAIT-maybe 15 minutes, keeping the pie covered lightly with foil, the juices will need to firm up, other wise you will have a runny but wonderful tasting pot pie meal.  Of course, I use Pillsburys roll off onto the pie pan already made and better than I ever could pie shells!

Here is the recipe if you don't want to click above (but you will love to hear Christy Jordan's beautiful Southern style of speaking):


1 medium onion 4 medium-size new potatoes (about 1 lb.) 2 cups baby carrots 1/2 cup chicken broth (may use 1/4 cup dry white wine  insteadof  1/4 of the broth total should be 1/2 cup liquid) 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided 1 teaspoon paprika 6 skinned, bone-in chicken thighs (or 3 boneless/skinless breasts cut in half)


1. Halve onion lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut potatoes/with skin into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place onion in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker; top with potatoes and carrots (I will use reg carrots cut up the next time). I added a green pepper here that I needed to use up-cut into 1 inch pieces.

2. Combine broth, next 3 ingredients, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour over vegetables.

3. Combine paprika and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; rub over and press into chicken. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

4. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours (or high for 3 hours) or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

Southern Living


Saturday, October 8, 2011

The String Bunny Family


Once there was a bunny family called the String Bunnies.

The oldest bunny was a girl, string bunny #1, and she was a strong, PROTECTIVE helper bunny. She was like a crossing guard bunny, you always knew you were safe when she was around, she was also a cheer leader bunny who told other people how talented and wonderful they were, but really, she was the one who had talents and blessings that she did not brag about, and she used them all.

The oldest boy bunny #1 had a big HEART. He was a rock, and helped people and always worked hard without saying anything about it. He loved to dance and hop around and laugh and he traveled all over the bunny world. He never said no and always was quietly doing things for other people, and sometimes this caused him to be a little late, but everyone loved him so much that they never minded, they knew he would be there soon, along with his big smile.
The next bunny was girl bunny #2, she was a lot of FUN, and was always riding a roller coaster, up and down, and doing her best. She loved growing flowers and sewing beautiful quilts. The String bunnies loved her and her quilts that she was very generous to give to so many other bunnies.

Boy Bunny #2 was a water bunny, he loved to look at the big and little waves, and he worked hard and was very KIND and proud of his bunny family. He was always generous and loved by all. He was a good cook and loved to make bunny vegetables for all to share. He was a snappy dresser, and his bunny outfits were the talk of the land.

The last bunny was a girl bunny#3, she loved pushing a pencil and recorded everything, and took many pictures so all the bunnies could see what was happening in her bunny world. She was always protected and taken care of by her older brother and sister bunnies, and she was very HAPPY.

Now, some people would say, why are they called “The String Bunnies”? And the answer is, they were all connected by a lovely string, and that string is made of LOVE, and her name is MOM.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Glassware, Silverware.............

Did you take Home Ec (Economics) in Grade School?  Back in 1959, when I was in 6th grade, it was mandatory for all girls in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades at the City of Buffalo public schools to take Home Ec.  Boys had to take Shop, and learn how to make bird houses, cutting boards and use tools.  All those manly things. We girls took courses in sewing, cooking, managing the home, etc.
I made an apron, sewn by hand, and when we graduated to the foot treadle sewing machine, I made a wrap-around skirt-brown, ugggly with an emphasis on UG.  The sewing skills did not take, but I enjoyed the cooking, and they even taught us the basics on planning a meal to serve it all at once-not an easy task, setting the table, washing the dishes.
I was actually thrown out of that class and sent to the principal because I mistakenly pronounced Hor D'oeuvres "Whore dee vores".  Honestly, it was just out of stupidity, not trying to be funny.  I had never heard or seen the words before and it was my turn to read in class, but because I did display a sense of humor in the class in the past, no one would believe me, and the students were laughing, and the teacher lost control, and, it was all my fault. I went to the bathroom and cried because if anything, I was trying to not make trouble, and to think, I was sent to the principals office, woe is me.
So anyway, when it came time to wash dishes in class, there was a  specific pattern to get the dishes washed up properly: Glassware, silverware, chinaware, pots and pans.  I loved the rhyme of that, and that it had reason to it.  Rhyme and reason, I am a fond follower of that approach.  Those days, no one, not even your rich friend from the other side of Weston Avenue who lived in family homes, not the projects like I did, no one had a dishwasher then.  Dish washing was a common task that we shared, rich and poor.
Glassware first  because the water is the cleanest, and you want your glasses to sparkle, and pots and pans were last because they were nasty.
Today, we had a lovely family soup party, and I can be quite persuasive some time to not allow my guests to help with the dishes, sometimes, not so lucky.  Tonight, I won. and as always, I used the Home Ec formula, organized my dishes, and had them all done in a about an hour.
Today, the schools offer a Home Ec course, but both boys and girls take it, and it is not mandatory, and shop type of courses are also open to both sexes.  I think I would have liked shop too!
When it came to the dishwashing tonight,  SSon dried and sorted the silverware, he loves to sort things, so this was perfect for him, and he dried the three sizes of plates and sorted them too.  The rest I did, all the time thinking about how the get-together went. This dishwashing time is a look back for me on the day, to relive time spent with special people.
 I so enjoyed myself-I love having soup parties. One cousin did not know it was a soup party, and when I offered to get him another bowl  of a different kind of soup, he stated that no, he would wait for the main course.  We laughed and said, this is the main course, after he had a few more bowls, he thought this was a good idea for a party.
We had: Roasted Vegetable Soup, Chicken Italian Sausage Black Bean Chili, Chicken and Rice Soup and Italian Wedding Soup.  Served on the side were scalloped apples, almost like an apple pie in a bowl.  The usual three kinds of crackers,nice croutons, freshly made and a  good variety of bread: White Sour Dough, German Rye, Whole Wheat rolls, and Rosemary Bread-the smell of this one was so heavenly.
For Dessert, we had:  Peach Cobbler with home-made whipped cream, Zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting and Thanksgiving Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  I bought some very good cider at Wegmans-their brand, made some Crystal Lite Iced Rasberry Tea, Coffee and that was the meal.  It works so well when everyone brings something to share.
There were only eight of us, a nice group, we talked and talked, then watched the last few minutes of the Buffalo Game (boo hoo, we barely lost), and then part of the Yankees play-off game #2 (double boo hoo, we lost that one too).  then we talked some more, we are all very compatible.
SHusband is now resting, SSon is catching up on facebook, and little Boo Boo Marie the SCat is now back in the living area, she was exiled to SS's room because nothing says being a good host like having a cat jump onto the table to lick the butter.
Our next get together is Thanksgiving, and since most of my fall decorations are put out, I just need to add a few Thanksgiving things and I will be ready-wouldn't it be nice if the house stayed clean?
Here is a picture of my outside decorative corn stalks-new variety this year called broomstick corn stalks-loooove it.  And what is wrong with this picture? Is someone really going kicking and screaming into fall? The temp was mid 40's when we were putting up this thing!  Gotta love his enthusiasm for all things summer.

Here is a closeup of the top of the stalk:

And when I was scattering little punkins around the house, I remembered our little Leona the cow:

When I have dinner parties, I try to use serving pieces or other items to represent people not with us any longer.  Matka is very much front and center in my head and heart right now, her birthdate is this week, tears are flowing.
For my Matka today, I used her warm and friendly attitude, she loved having parties too, loved to cook up some lasagna and pizzelles and set the table nicely, and always welcomed everyone to her home.