Roasted Dinner

I’ve been itching to get back to a little “Farm to Table” cooking.  Which is a little tricky in the winter here in Michigan since fresh produce isn’t readily available.  So this is a little bit more of a concept, of a meal I hope to make in the up-coming summer or fall.

While deciding on what to make for dinner as I was shopping yesterday morning, I stumbled upon our grocery store having a sale on whole chickens for $0.99 a pound!  I almost walked away thinking a whole chicken was more than I wanted to take on, but then this cute little one for $3.50 caught my eye.  Dinner under $5, I am sold. Also, rationally we are planning to raise chickens for meat this spring, and they, of course,will be whole, not just boneless, skinless breasts.  Game on.

The green beans are in fact the ones I put up this summer and the cream is from our milk cow, so I am still maintaining “Farm to Table” status ever so slightly.

Here is what I came up with for my menu:

Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Dual Roasted Potatoes

Creamy Green Beans


I would like to note here, that I hate cooking one thing at a time because things are supposed to go in the oven at different temperatures.  I usually pick a temperature and just go for it, that’s the case here.  I pre-heated my oven to 375′

For the Rosemary Chicken, I combined:

1 tsp. crushed rosemary

2 TBSP softened butter



1/2 tsp (or one small clove) finely minced garlic

I then rubbed this all over and under the chicken skin.  To really get great flavor if you gently poke a hole into the skin and separate it just a little from the meat you can stuff it with the butter seasoning.  I used a broiling pan (one that has slats in it that sits on a deeper one to catch the drippings), so I got a really crisp skin.

Dual Roasted Potatoes:

1 medium sweet potato, peeled

2 medium russet (or other white) potato, peeled

1 small onion

Olive oil


Salt & Pepper

1 clove minced garlic

Pour about 1 TBSP of olive oil into your baking dish ( I used a 9×13″ ), place this in the oven to heat up while you chop the potatoes.

The sweet potatoes will take slightly longer to cook than the regular potatoes, so cut those first into about 1″ chunks.  Carefully pour into your hot pan.

Cut the remaining potatoes and add about 5-10 minutes after the sweet potatoes.  Allow these to cook undisturbed for about 20 minutes.  Then gently try to stir, if the chunks are still sticking to the pan, wait another 10 minutes.  Once you are able to gently move the potatoes around in the pan, add 1-2 TBSP butter and the onion that has been cut into about 1″ chunks.  Add Salt and Pepper (about 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp respectively).  Roast for another 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Add the garlic and finish roasting about another 20-30 minutes until golden and crisp.  Your potatoes and chicken should finish roughly the same time.

Meanwhile, while everything is roasting in the oven, the green beans come together quickly.  Now, I normally would NOT add parmesan cheese and WOULD add mushrooms, but as fate would have it, I had no mushrooms and I had to punt.  Crispy bacon is always welcome with green beans, feel free to add it!

Creamy Green Beans

2 cups green beans (mine were frozen)

1/4-1 cup whole milk

2-4 TBSP cream

2 TBSP butter

1 TBSP flour

2 TBSP parmesan cheese

1 clove finely minced garlic

salt & pepper

In a large sauce pan add 1 TBSP butter and warm the green beans or if using fresh cook until just barely fork tender.  Add the salt, pepper and garlic.  Cook a couple more minutes.  Add the remaining butter and flour, stir this well into the green beans (this is also where you would add mushrooms).  Allow this to cook for just a minute or two and add 1/4 cup of milk and stir until creamy.  Add the cream.  If your sauce is looking too thick, continue to add small amounts of milk until you reach your desired consistency.  Add the cheese just before serving.

The entire meal process looked a little something like this:

Now, if you wanted to use the expensive boneless, skinless breasts, you sure can.  You will need to start them after your potatoes, by about 30 minutes.  I would also cover them with foil after smearing them with your butter mixture, to help keep them moist.

Also as a side note, to get really crispy potatoes and chicken skin, use your convection setting if you have one 🙂  Enjoy!


Happy Birthday Bree?

Checking my Facebook page today, it reminded me that I haven’t written anything in a while.  Very unfortunatly since Christmas, my family has been battling an epic stomach flu.

We ate McDonalds chicken nuggets and Sprite for our Christmas dinner… It was that bad.

Tuesday Dinner was also canceled due to illness.  Initially we intened to have a Prime Rib Roast and Blueberry Pie (beef and blueberries are some of my daughters favorites).  Instead we ended up eating pizza (which she won’t eat) and she had a bowl full of marshmallows and some left over “Daniel Tiger” pancakes from breakfast.  In case you are wondering Daniel Tiger is a cartoon and his favorite type of pancakes are strawberry pancakes.

She did enjoy her new horse and riding helmet though!


Mrs Clause’s Hot Chocolate

I happpen to be very good friends with Mrs. Clause, in fact we meet at least once a year for lunch to discuss my daughters Christmas list and they have been good this year. A couple years ago she came up with this delightful hot cocoa recipe, looking for something warm and relaxing to drink while Santa was busy delivering gifts.

This cocoa recipe is a perfect quite moment treat in the morning or on those late nights wrapping up Christmas details. It makes a big indulgent mug, so choose your vessel wisely!

Mrs. Clause’s Hot Chocolate

1 1/3 cups milk

1 heaping tablespoon cocoa*(or a little less if you prefer a more milk chocolate flavor)

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

dash salt

1/2 tsp cornstarch (optional)

1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

In a separate vessel warm milk to desired temperature. Meanwhile in your mug combine the cocoa, sugar, salt and cornstarch.  Mix until blended. Add the heavy whipping cream and stir briskly until you have a thick mixture (make sure to stop before you get butter!). Add the hot milk slowly over the cocoa mixture stirring until it is completely dissolved. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream or anything. (I usually am a purist and drink it plain)

*Dutch processed cocoa works best, but I’ve used Hershey’s in a pinch and it’s still great.


Happy Birthday Mom!

Although she might not admit to having a birthday per se, she gracefully acknowledges that we all want to eat cake to celebrate her anniversary of entering the world.

We had a smaller group tonight, my three kiddos and eight adults.  Choosing for her dinner we had, Asparagus Soup, Roasted Pork Loin with gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Sesame Bread, and Chocolate Cake for dessert.

Things went a little bit like this:

I really like your shirt.

Thanks!  It gets better (flips the cowl neck up into a hood), I don’t often buy new clothes, but I bought this one brand new.  I just feel really cool in it.  And it’s one of my non-maternity shirts that still fits.

It is totally a “popular girl” shirt.

Is your husband coming?

He will get his way over here eventually.  I told him I had to go, I have pictures of food to take.

And I appreciate that!

Is your husband coming?

I don’t know, his Dad and Step-brother came over to hunt coyotes in the back.

Ah, well it’s dark so…

I have no idea.  I guess it depends if they get one or not.  But I’ll tell you what, if you want to stress out a barn full of prey animals, just start using a coyote call in their pasture.

If you all sit down we could eat soup.

Ok. (Those of us present find a seat)

This looks amazing.

You need to try some, its asparagus.

I. Don’t. Like. Soup.

Just a taste that’s all you have to take.


You can’t spend the night if you don’t take a bite.

I’m not spending the night anyway.

What? Well, that backfired.

Do you want some Gruyere cheese for your soup?

This is really good.

Hey, are we going to say prayers?

Oh ,yea!

Bless this house Lord we pray keep us safe by night and day Amen.

Can I have the bread, please?

Hello, come find a seat.

It’s Asparagus Soup.

How did you end up so far away from the baby?

This one wanted me to sit by her, I didn’t put her chair in the middle of the table.

( I would just like to make a note here my sister didn’t get to speak much as she was busily trying to feed the baby, which is a full-time, thought consuming, hands on task sometimes, like this time 🙂

So remember how you said you were looking for babysitters? Well, if you Dad takes this new job he got offered we could be traveling a lot.  (Talk about an attention grabber for the table)

What job is this?

A wine conousre.

For who?

A company.

You aren’t going to tell us?

What if she tells us the baby’s name? Then you’d have to tell.

I am not telling the baby’s name.

How did you come across this?

I was standing there looking at the wines, as I often do and an employee said I should apply for this posistion when it opens up.

At Eastman Party Store? (This is a major wine store in our town)


(A couple other guesses)

Are they going to train you to be a sommelier?

You should apply for the postion.

What does it pay? If they are going to pay me and send me to school I might.

I have long believed people my age should not have jobs, to keep them avaible for you younger people.

Thats true, he has always believed that.

So where is it.

It’s a company in Michigan.

Are you really not going to tell them?


Speaking of classes, I was supposed to tell you about a photography class, but its on Tuesdays so I can’t tell you.

They are always on Tuesdays darn it.

This one was for beginners.

Oh, well…

I see you analyzing the bread, did you figure it out?

Did you toast the sesame seeds? It has a lot of sesame flavor, for just seeds.

Sesame oil.

That makes more sense, or tahini paste.

Just sesame oil.  It’s one from the bakery, it makes great toast in the moring. Not french toast.

I could see how this would make bad French toast.

It goes good with a lot of different things…

Chinese food….

Hey you made it.

Did you get a yote?

No, didn’t get one.

Did you even see one out there?


Congratulations on your name change!

Oh! That’s right! That happened this week.

Thank you!  I am so excited, it’s like I am officially married now after all these years.

Was he excited to?

You know, it’s funny.  He has been waiting for this for a long time right? But the day of I wore a pretty dress and everything, because this was like getting married again right? Changing my identity.  I called him like 5 minutes before our appoinment and he was just scraping off the car.  I said you realize it’s like 5 to right? “I thought it was more like 10 t0.” and I said well, I will meet you inside.  Also, I had a special pen with his new name printed on it just for the occasion. So, he rolls in late, which the lady just had started doing the paperwork while I was there waiting, it didn’t look like he had even brushed his hair!  And I asked him, “Did you bring the pen?”,  (sighs) “No,” And being all hormonal my eyes started welling up and he says “Please don’t cry!” and I didn’t.  After a couple minutes he leaned over and said “I love you so much, thank you for not being mad.”  Then she handed up the papers and said “Ok, your done”, we didn’t even have to sign anything, just nothing, on our way.

Did you remember to let Lucy out?  You sure drove them all crazy.

Yeah, I let her out.

Well grab a plate, your just in time for dessert.

Where are the birthday candles?

Birthday candles?

Yes, for her cake? We at least have to sing.

Why do you need to sing?

To celebrated the (somethingth) anniversary of your 29th birthday.

No you don’t.

Did you want to take a picture of the cake?


Umm, are we going to si….

Happy Birthday (everyone joins in) to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear MomDeniseMom, Happy Birthday to YOU!

I think that’s a rather big piece for a two year old.

Did we forget you?

No she is waiting for a big piece.

(The baby is SCREAMING and pounding on the table because she realizes there is cake in front of her)

Here switch pieces with her, this one is more toddler sized.

Ok, what size piece do you want?

I’m not gonna lie, I want a big piece, don’t hold back.

I totally understand… I was there with this one.  Bring on the cake.

I broght the soaps for you.

Oh, great!

There is Lavender and Oatmeal Honey. I had Lavender Rosemary, but that was popular and they are gone, they look just like the Lavender though.

You know what you need in your soaps? Lanolin.

What’s that?

It’s the oils from sheep wool.

It makes your hands really soft.

After shearing sheep, back when we were raising them my boots would be all soft and shiny from it.

I don’t know how you get that, I know you can, I have a tiny tube of it.

I don’t know, I don’t know if its just from the wool or from the skin.

I don’t really want to if I have to butcher them every time….

What are you talking about?

How to get lanolin.

Kinda a wierd question to ask the butcher to save the lanolin if thats the case….

According to Google: You boil the wool with water and salt until its all evaporated and that’s lanolin .

Awesome!  And I know just the person who would want to try this with me this summer!(Sue, wanna try this???)

Here, I this is for her to open.

Well hello, thank you.

Here can you open this (this is the baby opening a present)

Awe! Baby’s first Christmas hat and stocking!  Thank you!

Yeah, that way she can wear it and you can pass it down.

Super cute thanks!

Did you hear the UP got like 40 inches of snow in a 24 hour period?

Oh man, that stinks.

You know, when I was a kid we had a rope from the house to the out house.  The blizzards would get so bad you couldn’t find your way back and forth.

(Everyone laughs)

You’d see cars with poles tied to the front of them and they had flags attached, so when you came to an intersection you’d look up to see if there were any flags coming.

That makes sense.  I tried to see around a few corners last year and that would have  helped a lot.

Are you headed out?

Not yet, just need to find the bathroom.  Where’s the rope?!?




This IS the most delicious chocolate cake in the world.



Eggnog Christmas Cookies

These little addictive bites are perfect for snacking, Santa or a party.  With a hint of spice and sweetness, they are light but still a little luxurious.   The dough is easy to work with and they come together in a snap.  If your kitchen is very warm you may need to refrigerate your dough for up to an hour before working with it.   You can easily make the frosting while the cookies are baking or cooling.   The flavor is best after the frosting has a chance to sit for a couple hours.

With my very exact measuring science (you can see it in the pictures below) I produced exactly 36 cookies in this batch.  I almost never get an even dozen amount with any cookie recipe!

I hope you enjoy!

Eggnog Cookie Recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 350′ F.


3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups flour



1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (If you prefer, use 1 tsp vanilla and omit the rum, this is usually how I make them)

1/2 tsp rum extract

big dash nutmeg


For the cookies, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and mix well.  Add the flour and beat until mixed.  If the dough is soft, allow it to chill until it is easy to work with (about an hour).  Shape into one inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (if your sheets are well used like mine, you might want to very lightly grease them).  Using your thumb, press an indent into each cookie and bake for about 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool.

For the filling, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, extracts, and nutmeg.  Pipe a small amount into the center of each cooled cookie.

Good Morning

IMG_4016.JPGWe got quite a bit of snow last night and more appears to be on its way. Right here in this moment it is beautiful (even with the babies loudly filing their complaints in the sled behind me was we work out way through morning chores).


December 12, 2017

Just a small group of us this Tuesday, nine adults (one was a new face to the table, a dancing friend of my parents), the tween, the toddler and one baby.  Rest assured my children as usual provided plenty of noise to fill in for any lack of conversation (they are both teething at the moment and not taking it gracefully).

Dinner reminded me of a meal that we would have for Christmas.  There were lasagna rolls, meatballs and Italian sausage, peas and carrots lightly sauteed with brown sugar, and sour cream white bread.  Dessert, dessert was decadent (I thought so, do you all agree? I know you are reading).  Mom made chocolate pizzelle cookies and layered them with a sweet mascarpone, cream cheese and whipped cream filling with chocolate chips (very similar to cannoli filling), drizzled with homemade fudge sauce and topped decoratively with a little of the filling and pistachios.

My oldest daughter had made place tags and put them on everyone’s glass.  She also presented us with a game.


Can you say prayers?

WAIT! I have my game!!!

Ok, what’s the game?

Well, its…  (she got distracted somewhere here)

C’mon, today, we are hungry!

Ok, so there are little pieces of paper under your plates, and they either have a Santa, a penguin or nothing on them.  Whoever gets the Santa gets dessert first, then the peguin, then everyone else.

(Everyone starts to look under their plates)

NO PEEKING!!!  You have to wait until AFTER dinner when you clear your plate.

Great, say prayers.

Bless this house, Lord we pray, keep us safe by night and day.  Amen!

Where is your husband? Isn’t lasagna his favorite?

Yeah, it is, but he has to get up at like 3 AM to go to work so, he’s sleeping.

What better than a full belly of lasagna to help you sleep?

Right? Just ask Garfield.

I’m sure he would love to be here. It is his favorite.

He’s just chained to the radiator.

The car radiator or the house radiator?

I guess that depends on how mad he made her.

Ha. Ha.

You’re pretty quiet tonight.

It’s good, its a good thing.

Hungry are you? Waited to eat all day?

Yeah, something like that.

You know, you have a husband who I hear is a pretty good cook.

I just need to convince him to come home and cook lunch for me.

This is the last of the Frankenmuth wine.

No! Is it really?

Guess we are all going to Frankenmuth for a wine trip.

Except they won’t have this one anymore, it is like 9-10 years old from when she used to work there.

You know, you threw down the gauntlet with your Christmas lights, next year we are going to have to go bigger and brighter.

We threw down the gauntlet?  Wait till we do the big tree.

But we are going to need a lot of lights, and something to raise us up there to get them done.

It’s going to be like a thousand dollars of lights to do that tree.  If we ever go to sell the house, it will have to be one of the features.  Here look at this beautiful tree!

And the LED lights still have a three-year warranty.

You could climb the tree to get them up there.

Or we could use the Ewok bridge!

(I have to segway here a bit because I totally did not add what may have been the best part of last Tuesdays’ dinner.  We were talking about the large porch my parents built, but when they moved into the house Dad talked about putting in a tree house in a tree that is near enough to the porch a little bridge or zip line is very possible.  From there the comment was made that we could build several tree houses between the two properties and dress in fur and be Ewoks.  I about fell out of my chair laughing.)

The Ewok-walk.

You know you forgot to mention the Ewoks in your last post.

Oh my gosh, I did.

Here’s a picture of the roof we’ve been working on.


That is a lot of snow.

We had to shovel it all off before we could lay any more metal down.  We got shut down by the safety person before we could lay anything down today.

I bet.

So, if you can’t remember any of what’s going on tonight you can always read the blog?


She puts all this down on a post on her blog.  That’s why she isn’t saying much she is mentally recording everything.

So be careful what you say….


What’s with the squirrel?

Just something funny, you replace a random word with squirrel.  Lightens the mood at work.

Sure, so you change words in a song, or sentence, like changing girl to squirrel.

It’s all about the squirrel.

Have you heard if they were able to save any of the animals from the Gatlinburg Aquarium?

No, I can’t imagine how they would evacuate the animals.

I heard they evacuated it but didn’t hear if they got the animals out.

That would be a challenge, it wouldn’t be like mammals they could tranquilize and throw in a truck, there is a lot more transportation and maintenance issues with water creatures.

Hopefully, they are ok.

I hope so, there were a lot in there, big stingrays and things like that. (Side note here, I just did some looking and all the aquarium creatures are safe)


It’s really amazing, but kind of sad too, to see animals confined like that.

It is sad, I know some zoo’s and things try really hard to re-establish populations, but then what habitat is left to release them into?


I heard it was two teenage boys that started it.

They admitted to it.

I guess they are going to try them as adults.

Well, they should.  I hope they don’t just get a prison sentence, though, that wouldn’t do much in my opinion.

Right? We would just have to pay for them to sit there too.

Twenty years of community service would be a lot better.

Make them more remorseful actually, see what they did and have to clean up their mess.

Don’t forget to look for your papers! And no, I don’t know who got what.

I got a Santa.

I got a Penguin.

What did you get?

I think there is a piece of a candy cane?

Yea, but its a blank one, I just cut off a piece of a Santa by accident.

Mom, what did you get?

I didn’t get a sheet of paper.

Yes you did.

No, I didn’t, unless the one over by the baby is mine.

That one is yours!  What’s on it.


Oh, who go the Santa?

Dad did.

I wanted to take pictures of dessert.

Can you hand her the camera? Where are your sisters?

Here, they are over there.


Did you get your tree done?

Yep, its behind the fence and decorated.

Behind a fence?

We have our fireplace fenced off so the babies don’t get in it, well I just extended it all the way across the room so they can’t touch the tree either.

They don’t touch the tree here.

Well, they have more undistracted supervision here.  And there are more of you than there are of me.

We used to tie our tree down because the cat would climb in it and knock it over.

We had a cat that used to sleep in the tree all the time.  Who was that?


That’s right.  She never knocked anything over, but you could see her little eyes peeking out through the branches.

We had another one that ate the tinsle too didnt we?

That was Dutchess too.

(Meanwhile tiny paper airplanes from the game are now sailing around the table.  The toddler is standing on a chair, squealing with amuzement at the concept.)

We used to have rubber band fights.


Kinda like Nerf guns, but we used rubber bands.

I think we even made them guns at one point.  But I could get three rubber bands on one hand.

We had to be quick as children.

We made amour out of sleeping bags and everything.

See this. (This is a video of my parents dancing a Pasa Doble)

Wow, impressive.

I didn’t know you could jump like that.

Now the Pasa Doble is more about the man.  I was just the flag to the matador in this one.

Most dances are all about the squirrel.

I like your dress.

Thanks, I made his jacket!


Ka-noodle?  What is a Ka-noodle? Because I am picuturing a large canoe shaped pasta.

Its a big dumpling like thing filled with (stuff) and simmered in a broth.

Well that sounds good.

I’ve never really liked dumplings.

It depends on the recipe, mine are pretty light and fluffy.

I’ve never had a fluffy dumpling.

What about spatzel?

(Yuck face)

Really?  I make a good spatzel.

I don’t ususally care to much for German food.  Occassionally a Saurbraten or kraut.

That’s why, by the time you’ve eaten the soured things the rest is just there.

By the way, what are we having for your birthday next week Mom?


Chocolate Mug Cake

During my second pregnancy I became obsessed with chocolate mug cake as a daily solution to my chocolate cravings. I have gradually adjusted different recipes and came up with this one to suit me.

This cake is about the equivalent to a birthday cake sized piece of cake, is chocolaty and moist. Best of all I only dirty one mug, one spoon and 2 measuring spoons.

You can swap the Nutella for any flavor of similar consistency to suit your craving ( peanut butter, fudge sauce etc)

Chocolate Mug Cake

1 standard coffee mug

3 tablespoons flour

3 teaspoons brown sugar (white works too)

3 teaspoons cocoa powder

dash of salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Mix all these together in the mug.  Then add:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter

3 tablespoons milk

Mix well with flour mixture.  On top of the batter add 1 heaping Tablespon Nutella.  Microwave on full heat for about 1 minute 10 seconds.  If additional time is needed microwave at 5 second intervals.  Allow to cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!!


December 5, 2016

In the interest of full disclosure, I must inform you three bottles of wine were harmed in the course of this dinner (possibly more in the making of it).

This was a fun dinner. It was definitely a full house and a couple that we haven’t seen in quite a while at the table!  My Vietnamese ‘sister’ and her husband joined us.  For a grand tally around the table, we had 1 baby, 1 toddler, 2 tweens and 12 adults.

To eat we had Glazed ham with pineapple, scalloped potatoes, cheesy broccoli and leeks, corn, wheat bread and stew (or meat with sauce as the chef put it).  For dessert, we had my mom’s rendition of Baklava, which has all of the traditional flavors put into a fantastic coffee cake style pastry.

There were a lot of conversations of course with so many people.  Many started before we sat down and start and stopped and repeated themselves, talking over one another as only a very large family can.  So here we go,

I need more 0-3 month clothing, I only have like two or three pants and on my little check off-list, I need at least six…

(Snickering) Rookie.

Aren’t new mom’s so cute?

Cute and clueless.  Wait till you’re on your third.


I’m a reindeer.

Ah, I was thinking someone was pretending to be a deer today.

We are having live reindeer coming to work and are offering face painting for the kids, so I thought I would try out the design.


Hey, what happened to you face?

She’s a reindeer.

This is an art degree working for me.  I’m getting paid good money to have my face painted.

Well hello strangers!

You left your sunglasses at the baby shower!

Oh, thank you.  You know I paid good money for these, like $5 at the dollar store.

So what did you bring? A stew?

It’s meat… with sauce.

Like stew?So what is in it?

Is it gone?

You didn’t get any?  Here have mine!

No, it’s ok.

No take some of both of ours and then it will be fine.

No, no it’s fine.

Here take this awful stuff.

So what is in it?

Well, there is wine, at least I think there is wine, I had wine out while I was making it.

I like the addition of the sweet peppers.

The peppers are good.

It’s left over prime rib, with sauce.

It’s really quiet tonight guys.

Take it as a good sign.

We aren’t even close to dessert yet.

This is a lot different than the last time we had dinner here.

Yeah it is, the first dinner we had over there and it was a tiny room.

And, you didn’t have all these windows…

Or counters, or that door or a porch….

The house is much more evacuation friendly now.

I bet it is really nice in the summer with all of the windows.

It is beautiful.  But the best part is the visitors we see through the windows…

The cat?

Yes, Gizzy.

Your lights are really pretty too.

That must be why the cars keep turning around tonight, we are the only ones on the roads with lights (purposeful glance at the neighbors).

I plan on doing the whole tree.

You should come see the lights at our house.

It is very bright at our house for sure.

Well, we were going for more elegant than..

Gaudy?  We’ve got gaudy.  But the kids love it!

Have you seen the decoration with The Grinch stealing the Christmas lights?

(Lots of mumbles of yes and how cute it is)

NO! I haven’t seen that , where did you find that?

On Facebook


Oh fine.

Is Aunt Royleen here?

No that was a turnaround.

Must have seen all the cars and thought there was a party.

You know, a friend of ours from church asked me a while ago what all the cars in our yard were about on Tuesdays.  I told him it’s just our group that gets together for dinner, he says, “Every Tuesday?!?” and I answered him, “Yep, every Tuesday.”

Is that the guy with the tractor?

Yeah, that him.

I think he took some of our wood pile too.  Nice guy.

So how’d your thing go?

It went OK, thanks for the advice.

(cleaning up the dinner dishes)

So you want to do gun engraving?

Yeah, I hope to.

That’s really cool.  It looks super time consuming.

That’s really what it is, it takes a lot of time.  The only real expense is the guns.

Where are the kids?

Playing somewhere, the baby is over there.

What is that?

Oh just chewed graham cracker in my pocket.

Your life is so glamourous.

Isn’t it, though?

You’ll call us when it’s time for dessert right?

(She almost waited long enough for me to say Yes, before darting off again)

Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl yet?


Do you have a name picked out?


You aren’t going to tell us?

No, but if you guess I will tell you.

We’ve been guessing for weeks.

(and the name game starts again!)

Did you just finish a second bottle?

Hey, pass that bottle down here.

What bottle? There isn’t any more wine down here!

(Meanwhile they are filling their glasses and put a napkin over the top of the bottle)

What is that?!?!

That is Baklava, as coffee cake.

Dessert time?

Where’s this piece going?

Everybody have a piece?

He needs one!

No, I don’t really need dessert.

He didn’t get a piece.

You, don’t get to say no to dessert.

It’s true, I tried to say no a few weeks ago because I had a glucose test and some how I ended up eating dessert anyway.

And you passed your test too didn’t you?

I did!

See, these desserts don’t count.

I’m surprised he is eating this, usually he is picky.

Maybe they will be a good eating influence on each other.

Well, I am going to head out.

Adieu, Adieu

So long, farewell, to you (singing)

The Sound of Music brought to you by…..

These are a few of my favorite things…

I’ll leave that song to you.

There she is, that one isn’t a turnaround.

What is that?

Is this the gourd thingy you were telling me about?

It’s a loofah gourd.

It is really odd.

Can I touch it?

I thought loofahs were like sea animals.

Me too.

Apparently, they are squash.

No, they are gourds.



Did Daddy steal your dessert?


Here you go.  Would you rather have some ice cream?


Go ask Grandma.

K. (She goes over and signs please, then proceeds to the drawer where the ice cream scoop is kept)

Anybody else want ice cream?


Do you want a bowl?

Nah, I can eat this all.

What? You can’t eat all that.

Have you never seen me eat ice cream?

Maybe I do need a bowl.

Pass the rest down here, I do not need a bowl.


Somewhere in here things digress to primarily giggles as the third bottle of wine is wrung dry, and conversations about opening a fourth occur and other related wine incidents.

Meanwhile, us parents are attempting to round up our children because it is late, and a school night.

I guess I should have brought him pajamas.

They have to go to school in the morning anyway.

Yeah, I can just stay.

You don’t have clean underwear, you can’t wear hers!

Eh, he can wear his, they’ve got two sides.


I don’t remember you guys playing quite like that.

Well, we were outside more and I was never that girly.

That’s true.

Ok, we are leaving!

Where’s my dad?

He left

WHAT! (Runs outside)

We’ll he didn’t come back in so he must be good.

Good night.

So long, farewell, adieu, adieu…..






Pine Trees and Memories

via Daily Prompt: Vanish

img_3717I woke up pondering about this tree this morning and it’s significance to me. This morning it’s branches were heavily laden with snow and slowly I have watched that snow melt, drop off and vanish.  The snow may be fleeting but my childhood memories of jumping over this tree when it was newly planted are not. Every summer testing my jumping abilities until one year it grew much faster than I did. Now it stands above my children’s swing set as a testament to my childhood on this farm.