Thursday, August 12, 2010

From There to Here

I'm not quite sure how so much time could have gone by! While I have been by to visit my dear friends, my own little blog has been completely neglected. I have also tried to keep in touch via Facebook when possible. So when this morning found me with a few minutes to catch up, I thought it would be a good time to try and update just a bit.
Shortly after my last post, I became a full time Mamaw, as my dear girl was able to go back to work full time. It was only a short time later that our house filled up to capacity when our youngest girl moved home with her two little ones.

My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly in January. While we did not share a close relationship, it was hard to say good-bye.

The first half of 2010 flew away, as my Honey and I made the decision to expand our nest...we began work on our new house in early spring. We have just completed work on our home next to the orchard, and are still knee deep in moving boxes!! Oh my....I had completely forgotten how much I hate moving! But it will be so worthwhile in the end.

I have enjoyed catching up with blog friends this morning--but there are boxes that need to be emptied and I must be going.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rolling Along

It's been a slow and easy Summer here at Bear Creek. I've been lazy, recovering and doing well. I would love to say that I've spent that time in the kitchen, whipping up wonderful concoctions---but I haven't--it's just been too hot to spend much time cooking--Tennessee Summer! We did have the family in last weekend, and enjoyed churning up a batch of homemade ice cream.
This is what I made:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
4 eggs, beaten slightly
4 cups half and half
1 can evaporated milk (13 oz)
2 1/2 cups of sugar
pinch (or 1/4 teaspoon) of salt
2 Tablespoons of Vanilla
whole milk (approx. 5 cups)

Mix the eggs, sugar and salt together. Add in the half and half, evaporated milk and vanilla. Cook over low heat, or better yet, a double boiler, stirring constantly, until the milk steams somewhat. Pour the mixture through a strainer, and cool a little. Pour into freezer container, and add whole milk to the fill line. Freeze, according to freezer instructions.

The blackberries are coming in, and I picked my first batch last week--I have to say, though, it just wasn't nearly as much fun without hearing, "Over here,'s some more!" (Grandboy); or "It's hot- can we go in now?" (Grandgirl).

I haven't picked enough to bake with yet- the berries seem to be a little late; but I have gotten a few. I love how easy they are to put up. Just wash them gently, and then spread them onto a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer. As soon as they are frozen, just put them into freezer bags, label, and voila!! They are there to pull out whenever you want to make something fabulous! Couldn't be easier.

While I haven't been baking, I have spent a lot of my recovery time playing with paper- my Sweet Husband bought me a Cricut and I have been having so much fun with it! I'm still learning, and I will post some of the things I've done with it very soon.

This week promises to be busy, with Vacation Bible School starting- I've been preparing crafts for the children, and it's going to be a great week. I hope that your week will be a great one, too!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Second Verse, Same as the First

Late last week I had surgery on my foot....same surgery that I had last Summer-same foot. *Ouch*
I am recovering well, although I'm still taking medication for pain at night (so you will understand if I tend to ramble somewhat).
I've been spending time
-watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" dvds;
-reading "Christy," by Catherine Marshall (why haven't I read this before?);

I have decided that I do not want to watch one more minute of daytime t.v.

Sugar is waiting for me to come out and play again.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ahh, Summer...

"The perfect Summer day is when the sun is shining,
the breeze is blowing,
the birds are singing and the lawn mower is broken."
--James Dent
Wishing you a perfectly wonderful Summer Day!

Monday, May 25, 2009


...with heartfelt gratitude.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Empty Nest

A few days after my last post, the downturn in the economy hit home when my daughter's company decided to do some summer daughter's position was one of those that has been given a "summer vacation." She is very excited to have the summer off with her children. She has always worked and her little ones have been in my care each summer. And I am happy for her, knowing how much fun she is in for...
I first became a Mamaw 10 years ago. When I began taking care of our Grands, our youngest daughter was still living at home. So that means--the nest is empty.
Really and truly empty.
Please don't get me wrong...I am happy for my daughter. First, because she and her husband are in the position where she can wait out this storm, and not hurry out to find another job right now. Second, I know how much she is going to enjoy being at home to care for her children throughout the summer.
But--selfishly-I do miss them terribly. And yes, (selfish, again) I do get to see them; they don't live that far away. Yet, I hate to pop in too often and upset the rhythm of my girl's home.
I've cross stitched a little, scrapbooked some, and have been shining lights onto dark corners in my home that haven't had a whole lot of attention in awhile-Spring cleaning is in full swing at Bear Creek!

It is different.
It is getting better.
Any other empty-nesters about? Are there any tried and true ways to make this time truly feel better?
I think I'll grab another cup of coffee......

Friday, April 24, 2009

Conversation with a Six Year Old

(Driving home from school last week....)
Grandgirl: Mamaw, why don't you work?
Mamaw: Well, Darlin' , I work in the home.
Grandgirl: But why don't you work?
Mamaw: I do work....I take care of the house- clean, do laundry, see that the bills are paid, buy groceries, cook....
Grandgirl: But you don't get money....
Mamaw: Yes, but that's what Pop does...he goes to work every day and I take care of things at home so that Pop can go out and do his job. And best of all, I get to take care of you every day!
Grandgirl: But you don't work.
(pulling into the drive at home)
Mamaw: Oh look- we're home.....let's go in and fix you a snack......
Grandgirl's Afterschool "It's Chocolate!!" Cake
1 plain devil's food cake mix (18.25 ounces)
1 + 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) jar caramel topping
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 or 4 Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
1 (12 ounce) thawed frozen whipped topping
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, brought to room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare a 13x9 baking pan.
Mix cake mix, oil, water and eggs. Pour into pan and bake for 35-38 minutes, till cake tests done. Remove pan and right away poke holes in the top of the cake with a skewer or drinking straw.
Mix caramel and condensed milk; spoon over warm cake, letting the mixture seep into the holes in the cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the crushed candy.
With a mixer, blend whipped topping and cream cheese till smooth- just about a minute.
Spread over cake and top with remainder of candy.
Chill in refrigerator, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or so before cutting.
(Notes: I use low or no fat condensed milk, whipped topping and cream cheese.
This cake will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for about a week.)