Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Promise Not To Throw Rocks…

A couple of posts ago, in Life, Death and Broccoli,  I told y’all that my cousin made me some comfort food, Baked Potato Soup, and several of you wanted the recipe.  She got the recipe from one of her church friends and shared so here it is, but don’t be mad at me because you all asked for it and it is soooo good that you will soon add it to your table on a regular basis.

Linda Brown’s Baked Potato Soup

4 large baked potatoes (if you prefer red potatoes, just the equivalent size wise)

2/3 C.   Butter

2/3 C. Flour

7 C.  Milk (we use regular homogenized mil but if you are a skim or 2% or goat milk drinkers you might try it ‘your way’)

1/4 C.  Green onions

1 C. Sour cream

12 slices of bacon,  crumbled

1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Melt butter.  Add flour and stir until smooth.  Add milk slowly and stir until thickened.  Add baked potatoes (diced) and green onions.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until melted.  Serve immediately.

I typed this recipe in exactly as it was written.  You can, of course, add your own twists like Cuz did with the fresh broccoli from the garden.  And I was told to be sure to tell you all that she bakes her potatoes in the microwave in one of those fabric microwave bags.  That makes for a lot cooler kitchen in the summer and quicker when you have a time concern.  As you can tell from the recipe it’s not exactly diet friendly but every now and then you need to splurge and have some stick to your ribs wonderful soup. 

If you are a potato soup fan, a connoisseur of wonderful, rich stick to your ribs soup…  you gotta try this. 

And let me know what time you’ll be planning dinner.  Ummm Good.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ever Think About Pet’s Names?

I was reading articles on AOL this morning and one was on talking to vets about things people name their dogs and cats.  I got me to thinking about how in the world do we come up with our critters names? 

Christmas '04, etc. 105 Chloe Pearl during a storm.

Christmas, 2004, etc. 059 Chloe “frog-doggin’” as I like to call it.

Christmas, 2004, etc. 035 Who could resist that look?  Probably part of the reason we fight her weight now… 

Back to the subject at hand.  I first saw a picture of Chloe when she was a couple of weeks old.  I had the year before lost my beloved black schnauzer, Sophie (Mae), in a freak accident.  She was only a year and a half old and I didn’t even want to think about another dog.  The fellow that we rented the space for our frames shop had a mini-schnauzer that used to play with Soph and he bred her and he and Carol were trying to talk me into a pup.  I did not even want to see the pups in real life so Carol conspired and gave him my e-mail address and Jerry sent me a picture.  Out of the litter of six pups she was the only little girl, a requirement since I took my dogs to work with me and I couldn’t take the chance of a little boy hiking his leg and peeing on the art work. 

Well, I looked at the photo and immediately told Carol that she looked like a Chloe but then dropped the subject.  About six weeks later Carol had gone to the shop to do some bookkeeping on a Saturday and she called and said Jerry was up trimming up the yard in the strip mall and had the pups and I ought to come see them.  I told her I didn’t think so and went back to working in the yard.  She called again and said I really, really think you need to come see these babies so to stop her from interrupting whatever it was I was doing I ran up to the shop.

Needless to say, from the photos, I came home with Chloe Pearl Gardner.

3231 Several years later I decided Chloe Pearl needed a playmate.  She was tending toward being sedentary (like her mom) and some days I didn’t feel like getting out and playing so now enters SueSue Marie Gardner… or Suess as I sometimes call her or my little blond schnauzer because she can be a ding-a-ling.

baby SueSue 2 Suess sleeping in close proximity to her ball was a portent of things to come.  Like her momma, when I was a baby, my favorite toy was a ball.  Look at those cute little pads on that foot up next to her face…

 from the old compac 2579This is probably my favorite bonding picture.  Me in my recliner and Chloe and SueSue curled up with me.

703 Suess also likes to ‘frog-dog’, here on Carol’s wheelchair ramp was one of her favorite places.

SueSues’s name came about because at the time Carol’s mother was living with us.  She had a hard time remembering Chloe’s name so I thought about it and decided to call the baby SueSue. When Carol was growing up they called her by her middle name, Sue, and I have a sister named Sue and I thought doubling the name up to SueSue would make it easier for Mom to remember. SueSue’s middle name is not only my middle name but I thought it was a fun twist on Souix Saint Marie which is in Canada and I have never been there but I heard of it years (and I’m talking many years) ago and the name stuck with me for some reason. 

So that’s how my current furbabies came by their names and while they aren’t as different as some, they aren’t just the plain old run of the mill Cutie or Cuddles or Lucky, which by the way the vet in the article said don’t ever name a dog Lucky because it rarely is.

How about it friends and neighbors… do you have pets and what are their names and is there a special reason for those names?

Share with me… it’s a good diversion from all that is going on in my life right now and inquiring minds want to know.

I promise if my girls fall out laughing I won’t tell a soul.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Death, Life and Broccoli…

I know that some people that don’t know my weird sense of humor would think that the title of my post is not very empathetic or appropriate but it was the only thing that popped into my head when I started to write this post. 

I got the call from baby brother this morning that my brother-in-law died early this morning.  Believe me when I say that it was a blessing.  If you have ever lost anyone to a terminal disease, while you don’t want to lose your loved one, the last thing you want is for them to linger on and have to deal with a lot of suffering.  I talked to my sis and she was very relieved that he was surrounded by love and family and while she knew that there would some rough times for her ahead,  she was so thankful and at peace with his passing because she didn’t want him to suffer.  Sue, my sister, has very strong belief in God and the faith that Bill is in a far better place and not suffering anymore uplifts her and gives her strength.

The life part of this post? Earlier in the week I had made an appointment to get a haircut today.  It has been rainy and unusually cool for this time of year in Oklahoma the last couple of days and will continue on for this week and I didn’t want to stir from my nice warm bed all cuddled up with my furbabies.  After my brother called to tell me about Bill I knew it would be useless to drift back to sleep.  I made some family calls and then it was time to drive to Norman to get my haircut.  Walter drove me and he, too, got his haircut, we ran some errands and came back home.  I was tired, hurting from the shingles, the fibro raising cain with me because of the weather and all I wanted to do to stretch out on the bed, take my meds and veg out for a while until I walked to the back door and looked out…

5.14.2010 Misc 010 Needless to say I had to get my camera and go out to get some photos to share with you all.

5.14.2010 Misc 009 The babies… I love having them where I can watch them.

5.14.2010 Misc 011 The moms may not be right next to their babies but, believe me, they are ever vigilant.  They have their side of the fence and I have mine and all is right with the world.

5.14.2010 Misc 014

Despite the hurting, both physical and emotional, these sights reminded me of the renewal of life.  That is part and parcel of this thing we call life…

The cycles.  We are born, we grow up, some of us marry and birth the babies that start the next cycle.  We continue to grow and to try to help the next generation learn the things they need to know to get them through the tough times, get them standing on their own two feet and if you are lucky, as Sue and Bill were during their 48 years of married life, they raised their four boys and Bill lived long enough see their grandchildren and celebrate their children’s joy at the birth of their children.  Their grandchildren had the chance to meet and get to know their grandfather and even the little ones will have some memories of their grandfather.  Their grandmother, my sister, along with their sons will keep his memory alive through the multitude of stories that Bill and his brothers and his one sister have lived and told over the years and, believe me, there is a boat load of them and there will be lots of laughter filling my sister’s home and heart again…

Oh, yes… the broccoli…

Almost ready broccoliFrom the last post…

broccoli and shingles 001broccoli and shingles 002 I picked it. 

And my cousin made her baked potato soup while we were gone to get our haircuts because she knew it is a comfort food for me, but tonight she added a twist to it… baked potato and broccoli soup.  It warmed not only my tummy but also soothed my heartache  for my sister and her family’s loss and reaffirmed that there is still a lot of good left in this life.  And some of it I helped to grow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Did Not Fly Away Today…

Although there were tornados all around the area where I’m living, we were all fine.  We had some pretty heavy rain for a bit which means I didn’t have to water either of the gardens. 

Speaking of gardens, would you like a tour?

5.10.2010. gardens and cows and calves 001 What first caught my attention after I got back from going to the “doc in the box” was the mommas and babies wandering up by the fence in the back yard.  I had to go get the camera and see if I could get some pictures to share.

5.10.2010. gardens and cows and calves 006 Calf 2911 was the most curious about what that white-legged one eyed tall thing was… I liked her hair do. 5.10.2010. gardens and cows and calves 005 I really like that the mommas and babies are so close to the house.  When the little ones start playing it is very entertaining.

suppertimeIt was getting on toward supper time and several babies were nursing…

good milk, momThose mamas are very patient I think.  If I had one attached to me that butted my poor little girls as hard as these bump their mamas I would probably be biting the little grubber in the bohiney.

looking for mama This little shy girl was looking for mama.  All of the cattle are Limousin.   They are low fat producers, a very lean breed, but are also known for being very protective so unless absolutely necessary we keep a fence or a vehicle between us and them…

Meanwhile, to the gardens we go.

backyard garden This is the backyard garden.  So far there is broccoli, cabbage, spinach, 3 squash plants that were given to me already growing in their pots, some onion and at the far end, red potatoes.

     Almost ready broccoliThis is our first almost ready broccoli… about the size of a soft ball.

cabbage plant and my foot You all know me… I have to have something for size comparison.  That bare foot wears an 8 1/2  shoe…. when I put shoes on.  This is cabbage (in the center).  Crooked neck squash to the right and spinach to the left of the cabbage.

front yard garden The beginnings of the front yard garden.  There is about 4 times the space of the back yard garden.  We have planted 12 tomato plants you see here.

f.y. garden 2 To the left of the tomato cages are the second batch of new potatoes that I planted about a month after the new potatoes in the back garden.  We all love new potatoes and I thought perhaps I could extend the growing season…  Far left along the fence are iris. next are onions, next is more cabbage (these are red) and broccoli then garlic and finally more of the new potatoes. Coming towards us from the cabbage are three rows of onion that were planted about 3 weeks after the row on the left.

red cabbage and my foot You know that besides my foot for size I have to show the red dirt.  This was after the storms blew through and the wind picked up the dust and the rain settled it on these huge leaves.

red dirt on red cabbage Another red dirt on cabbage photo.

5.10.2010. gardens and cows and calves 043 This is the bloom stem of an onion that has been out there for a year or two.  I would have taken more of this but it was starting to sprinkle again.  Gotta think of the camera, you know, because we all know I don’t melt.

yes, Cuz and I do use this. Yes, my cousin Carol and I both used this thing.  Her son, Scott, my wonderful second cousin tilled both gardens up real well for us and we use this between rows to turn up weeds and grass… and,in my case, to try to trim up some. I like cookies too much.

These are part of the things that have kept me away from blogging… well, no not really… I have to keep this part of my life real.  I have been having to deal with bad depression… Several things hitting at once.  Moving out of the relationship and home that I had with Carol for over 22 years this last stretch, the anniversary of the OKC bombing that hit me so close to home that I haven’t yet gone to see the Memorial, the anniversary of my mother’s death 16 years ago that still cuts like a knife, my sister’s husband of 48 years is dying of cancer and just went on hospice last Thursday so we are expecting a call any day now.  Sis is dealing with it a whole lot better than I am for worrying about her and realizing that at age 65 I have no control over any facet  of   my life. Hallie and John losing their oldest son to suicide and Connor, his younger brother losing his sib that he looked up to so much and that brought up my memories from when my oldest sister  died very suddenly of a brain hemorrhage when I was almost 13…

And to add  the kicker, I have managed to stress myself  flat into a case of shingles. Around from my mid-section to my back and that sucks big time. I’ve never had them before but knew folks who did and wondered how grown folks could piss and moan about how painful they were.  There’s even the folk or old wives tale, whichever you prefer that if shingles go all the way around your body they kill you.  Missy, who has had shingles, and I decided today that it wasn’t really the shingles that killed you… you just would hurt so much that you wanted to die…

Got to have good news to wipe out the bad… I received my summer squash crookneck seeds from Tipper over at The Blind Pig and The Acorn and we are going to do the good planting day vs. the bad planting day.  Yep, another experiment about planting with the signs.  Aren’t you excited!  I know I am.  My conscience won’t let me get by without reporting about how the squash is doing so that gets me off games on Face Crack Book as Kim calls it and back to where I belong…  With all of you.  And I am going to make it back.  Depression bores the crap out of me.  About 2 or 3 weeks is about all I can stand of being morose and studying what I can find of my belly button so I’ll grab the bootstraps, get them on and get outside to the garden where the sunshine and growing things bring me back to the reality of how much I have missed by just laying around and studying my navel…

For those of you that have stuck around, you have my deepest appreciation.  I love you all and I apologize for dropping of the blogging world for as long as I have. I promise to try not to ever let it happen again.