Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to my MAN!

Happy Birthday to the most wonderful man, husband, best friend and my everything! I'm so crazy sic in love with this man!

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Grandmother

They say a pictures worth a 1,000 words. So the question is what exactly was going on here? Well I thought after my last post i needed to post a picture of my grandmother. In this picture she wanted to show my father that she could fit in this box, not exactly sure why but she sure could make us laugh! I believe she was in her mid 70's when this picture was taken. A great and talented women years ahead of her time.
                                    Dining Train Car and My Home

This is a picture of the side of what used to be my home during my high school years. It has quite a history that goes along with it. My grandmother purchased 4 dining train cars for $400.
She made her home out of them. Built on a bathroom and a small cold wet basement and called it home for quite a few years. Each dining car was a room, master bedroom (lol) kitchen, living room and second bedroom.  When my father retired from the Army he thought it would be a great idea to move all 8 of us from a track neighborhood in California bay area back to the town he grew up in Illinois. My grandmother and grandfather left this property to my dad along with 4 acres of farm land. Imagine our faces as we pulled over the tracks and try to figure out where exactly our home was. It was surrounded by big trees of which 5 were apple trees. My room was actually the tail end of one of the cars that was the second bedroom my 4 brothers shared, and measured about 10x6, nice and cozy with a built in bunk bed, a closet and a very small window.  It had so many windows that when one of those midwest thunder stoms hit, I truly belived it was the end of the world. You know coming from California weather what did I know. My grandmother was quite the women, who would of even thought this could be done, let alone all by herself.. She was an amazing women who could just about do it all. I'm still looking for more pictues as my brother had it tore down over 10 years ago. He saw it as an eye sore and yes I saw it as so much more, now that I didn't actually have to live in it. but hey could of mad a little bed and breakfast out of it. He locked it up years before he tore it down, to scared to go in as the aminals had taken it over. Well it's part of my families history, some good memories of a simple life lived..

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

My father has now been gone 10 years. I miss him so much especially today. I reflect back on the man he was and everything he taught me and continues to teach me. I know alot of who I am is due to him. I also know he lives on in my and I'll tell you how I know this. A few days ago I was cleaning his garage once again and trying to take inventory over what to keep and what to donate. Over the last 5 years I have make numerous donations to the humane society thrift store. I imagine I've kept that little store pretty stocked. Last week I filled the back of our truck with more of his stuff, treasures he would call them, but I figure if  someone can still make use of these items they won't go to waste. Even loading the truck, I felt my father with me.  Going through item by item with care and thinking "will I be able to use this, or will it serve a better purpose in a new home?" Ok I must admit there were still a few items that ended up back on the shelves, don't know why, I'll never use them...ever....but when I touch them and hold them I feel my father. I know it sounds crazy as it's only stuff, but if you knew my father you would understand. When I would ask him why he had a particular item or why so many he would just answer, because I'm gonna need it or someone I know will be able to use it.  I think it was partly from coming from the depression years.  Raising 6 kids also he never had much, but once we were all out of the house the collecting began, and continued for almost 35 years. Definitely some treasures, and definitely some serious junk, but nothing was junk to my dad. I look at everything now like my dad did, what can I make with that, or what can I do with that.  Unfortunately 35 years of collecting and never throwing out is hard to keep organized and even know what you have. I try to keep this in mind before buying anything.  So back getting back to my story, I did end up loading up the truck and headed to the thrift store to make my donation.  There was a quite large trunk I filled, but wanted it back to fill it again,  so I told the lady at the store that i would come back later in the day and pick it up once they were able to empty it out.  I return to pick it up and they have two huge dumpsters behind their store that they throw away al the junk they don't want or don't think will sell i guess, so as Im walking by it, low and behold right on top is a little roasting pan and rack brand new that I had in the truck. Ok don't they know good stuff when they see it, Hey is this me talking or my dad...hmmmm so I get out of the truck reach over and grab it! Crazy but it's going back to the garage. That's can't be me that has to be my dad. In five years I have made at least 20 trips to that little thrift store, and have also filled 3 4x8x12 foot dumpsters that went to the dump. I've made great progress but that little pan still has a home for now. 

He did have his moments of organization, years before organizing was even in style. Do you know what this is? just one of many of my dad's and now my treasures.  I love you DAD!

Monday, June 14, 2010

After the Storm

Got hit with another midwest storm but who can complain when this follows.

Treasure find of the day

While cleaning out the garage for about the 5th time, we do it almost every summer we come illinois. I always seen to find something new to hang on to. now does that tell you something. I manage to fill the truck and make a donation to the humane society thrift store and the womens shelter thrift store, but always try to save a little something for myself. this was my find. my typerwriter my father bought me in high school. It types in a cursive handwriting. Great condition and works perfect. Just need to seach out for some new ribbon for it. I still want one of those old tall black typerwriters in working condition, but still happy with this one.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Not Yo" Mamma's Bananna Pudding by Paul Dean

Came across this bananna pudding desert on one of the blogs i read. It looked so easy and there were over 1,700 comments saying how good it was. Having company tonight for homemade lasagna so i thought i whip it up for desert.  Can't go wrong with one of Paula Dean's creations.

A new twist on an old favorite. This banana pudding is delicious and pretty too!

1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whip

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2 cup milk

1 5-ounce box instant French vanilla pudding

6-8 bananas, sliced

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Servings: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time:

Difficulty: Easy
Show: Paula's Home Cooking/Just Desserts cookbook/Mar/Apr 2006 issue

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back in the Midwest

I took my first road trip in over 30 years. Meaning the longest distance I've traveled by car has been 8 hours or less. Working for the airline we have done all of our traveling by air. We didn't want to have to rent a car for a month so we decided to change it up a bit and drive.  We had a cooler packed full of good food and drinks, lots of magazines to read, and the best traveling partner ever, my main man. Surprisingly it went alot faster than I had anticipated, doing most of the driving kept me occupied, but my traveling companion charlie is what really made the trip perfect! He can make me laugh at almost anything. here now and taking in all the midwest has to offer. The weather has been great, some rain here and there, but nice cool days so far.  First task Charlie took on was get the grass cut. Sure looks good. bad part, gonna have to cut it again in about 5 days.  Fields have been planted already by the farmer, growing beans this year, and they've just broke through.