Grandmotherly Wisdom

My grandmotherly wisdom grandma

I was thinking the other day about my grandma and how she had a wisdom for any occasion. Have a stye in your eye? Well then you must have peed in the street! Does your nose itch? Then you’re going to kiss a fool! Are you sure? Of course, but you can’t be positive. Why? Because only fools are positive!

I grew up with these “grandmaisms” and never really thought much about them until I got my first stye. Then my mom quoted her mother’s ism back to me, and I was horrified! I certainly did not pee in any street!

Grandma hit me with a different one when I was angry one day. I said I was so mad and do you know what she told me? Only dogs are mad. You’re angry! You bet I am now, grandma!!!

Now, even my children have heard these little nuggets of grandmotherly wisdom. No one in our house is ever positive. Because, after all, only fools are positive! Thanks grandma!

Please share your grandmother’s wisdoms with me! It would be fun to see if anyone else grew up with these twisted little nuggets, or if it was just our strange little family!

Summer Chili

Yummy Summer Chili!!!

It’s getting warm out and you may not have chili on the brain. However, this is a much lighter version of a heavy Fall/Winter chili. It is light, fresh, and very flavorful. My chili is not hot, but flavorful. If you are afraid of the heat, you may add another can of plain petite diced tomatoes, but it’s better with the pico de gallo! Here’s what you need:

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 Tbsp. minced dried onions

3 cups water

Break up the ground beef into a large pot filled with the water and dried onions. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain water out of pot and turn your burner to low. Add:

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 Tbsp. granulated onion

1 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cumin

Sprinkle onto the meat and stir in, letting the spices bloom as you turn the burner up to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Cook for two minutes and turn back to low. Add:

32 ounces of tomato sauce

2, 15 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes

1 cup pico de gallo

2, 14.5 oz. cans of two of the following kinds of beans, drained and rinsed: black beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, or kidney beans.

Simmer chili for a minimum of 30 minutes to meld flavors, stirring frequently.

My bowl of chili!

Serve with fried corn chips, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, fresh avocado, scallions or green onions, sour cream or any other topping your heart desires. (Though I wouldn’t suggest hot fudge or whipped cream!!!)

Prayers Answered

Our dear friend, Anna!

I wanted to thank everyone who prayed for our dear friend, Anna. She informed me today that she does not have brain cancer. The doctors messed up her chart.

They still need to figure out why she gets migraines and why, when super anxious, she has seizures, but the no brain cancer news is awesome!!!

Keep those prayers coming and thank you so very much! She is a very sweet person !

Happy Independence Day and Berry Picking!

Yummmmmm!

To those of you in my home country of the good old USA, Happy Independence Day or Fourth of July!!! For those of you not in the USA, happy berry picking! We were out early this morning, loaded up with bug spray, to pick wild black raspberries. Yum!!! These berries grow wild on our land, and we are very fortunate to have a bountiful harvest this year.

I have yet to be able to find wild black raspberries in stores. They sell blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, but no wild black raspberries. So, therefore, if they are required for your eating or baking pleasure, you will need to brave the mosquitoes and prickly thorns to gain the prize of beautiful, black, flavorful berries. There is no other taste like it. They are the perfect complement of sweet, sour, and a burst of flavor; the ultimate flavor of Summer.

Braving the mosquitoes!

So, as far as recipes go, here are some options:

Eaten plain

Eaten over ice cream

Eaten as jam

Cooked and strained to add to cocktails or mocktails (think juice with Sprite or lemon vodka!)

Pie

Muffins

Our organic wild black raspberry harvest!

I’m not sure we’ll get to eat any of those besides the plain ones! They are very popular here and even better, they’re free!!!!!!! Have a Happy Fourth!!!

Things You Never Knew You Could Freeze

Good day, blog readers!!! Today I wanted to cover freezing things. I like to go to the big town over yonder and pick up bags of produce that are reduced to $0.99. The other day I came home with four big bags of green peppers. Yay!!!

Now I love green peppers raw. They’re delicious. However, there is nothing like being able to pull out a few frozen slices from a bag in one’s freezer to easily add to meatloaf, chili, green pepper casserole, pizza, or whatever dish requires a bit of green pepper snap. I also have a child who very much likes the peppers straight from the freezer as a crispy treat while I try to make dinner! Therefore, I set about slicing, and in some cases dicing, my four bags of green peppers for the upright freezer.

First, I washed said peppers and took off any stickers. Then I sliced the tops off and popped the stem part out. That left me with the tops and the bottoms that were still full of ribs and seeds. From the bottoms I removed the unnecessary parts (ribs and seeds) next and got to work slicing.

I like to slice the tops first and then move on to the bottom cups. Those I slice in half and then thinly slice and put in my gallon-sized food storage bags. You may use any freeze-worthy container you like, but be careful if you store the peppers in glass, pyrex-type dishes, as one must be careful to store evenly lest they slip out and bop you on the head or foot or any other body part of which you are fond. Last night I had a run-in with a medium-sized cooler bar from which my ankle has yet to recover!

When you have filled your container, mark it with the contents and date and pop into your freezer. Then you will have a taste of Summer all Winter long!!!

My two big bags of peppers ready to freeze.

You can also freeze other types of peppers, chopped tomatoes, celery (for soup or stews), green onions (I usually peel and chop these into one of those glass pyrex-type dishes!), and many other things. My freezer is full of things that in years past, my grandmother would have canned, including some home-made jam. Right. I generally don’t can that unless I have extra time and manpower. I’ve also frozen bbq sauce since I usually buy a large jug from a store over yonder. When one must fit that into a small refrigerator, it requires some ingenuity!

Happy freezing!

Pico de Gallo Steak Rolls

Don’t they look delicious?

After a while we get stuck in a rut with our meals. How many times can one eat chicken in a week? I came up with this gluten-free, dairy-free meal a few years back and it is absolutely delicious.

What you will need:

Enough extremely thinly sliced rib-eye steaks to feed your people (I hesitate to say family, since some of you may not be feeding a family, but rather, friends, or business associates.)

Enough pico de gallo to put about a rounded tablespoon in each rib-eye

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil for frying

salt

pepper

granulated onion (some of you may want to use onion powder, which is fine. I just prefer granulated onion because I find that it doesn’t clump up and get hard as fast as onion powder, thus making it more useful to me!)

Lay out your steak pieces and salt, pepper, and onion them. I actually keep a salt/pepper shaker in my kitchen so I can salt and pepper at the same time. It saves time and energy!

Place your rounded tablespoon of pico at one end of the steak and roll the steak around it until you have a small egg-roll shaped meat roll. Do this with all your steak and pico.

It should look like this:

Ready for the pan!

Pre-heat frying pan with oil on low-medium heat. Gently place meat rolls in the pan. Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes on all four sides. They should look like this:

Ready to be served!

Remove from pan and serve. The night I cooked these, I served them with some potato cakes and extra pico de gallo. YUM!!!

Who’s hungry?

A Small but Wondrous Gift

My Two-gallon Pin!

This afternoon I went to a local church to donate blood. It is only a small gift I can give, but it is one I willingly offer every eight weeks. In fact, I’ve given so many times that the last time I donated, I made my two-gallon mark and received my pin. I wear it with pride.

Unfortunately, I was deferred for today’s gift because earlier this month I got my second Hepatitis B vaccine (a preventative I started when I was working in home health care.) My doctor and I decided it would be a good idea to continue the series of three shots just as a preventative. I didn’t realize it would keep me from one of my most helpful and caring ways of giving back for the next three months.

So, here is my challenge to you: Donate Blood for Me!!! Back in 2015, when I was in a serious car accident that left me hospitalized and then in a nursing home for over two months, I saw first hand the need for blood donations. I had several transfusions. In fact, I would not be here writing to you if that blood was not readily available. So I give, whenever I am eligible.

It is not hard to donate blood and it is totally safe. The Red Cross sterilizes everything. They and you are required to wear masks. They also wear gloves. You go to redcross.org and they will guide you through finding a blood drive near you. Then you can read through the materials and get your rapid pass so that you don’t have to sit around reading all the instructions once you are at the drive. You can either print out your rapid pass or save it to your phone and present it. You do have to be 18 (or 16 with parental permission) to give and have a driver’s license or state ID.

After the paperwork is done and the temperature taken, they will prick your finger and get an iron count. They will take your blood pressure, etc. If you are ok’d then they will take you to a cot to lay down while they clean your arm with antiseptic, insert a needle, and fill up a bag and a few vials for testing and donation. It’s pretty straight forward.

When you’re done they will take you to a table where you can get water or juice and something to eat. Your body will need to replenish itself and you might get a little dizzy. That’s it. Simple, right?

This one small gift can save up to three lives. Do it for me. Do it for the many people who never thought they’d need it, but then suddenly do. Do it for a friend or family member who was ill and needed a transfusion. Do it for you.

Happy Father’s Day or As It’s Known Around Here – Happy Second Mother’s Day

Dame’s Rocket near us.

Father’s day used to be a tough one for our family. The kids’ dad and my now ex-husband was extremely abusive and no one wanted to celebrate him. So I came up with Second Mother’s Day. I figured, as a single mom, I deserved two days of celebration for all my hard work. After all, I was doing the work of both mother and father, so why not? Second Mother’s Day was born as a day to honor single mom’s who do all the work of two parents.

Now, I don’t want the single dads out there to feel left out. I have a good friend who is an amazing single dad and every second Sunday in May I wish him a Happy Second Father’s Day (even if it technically comes before the first one every year.) It’s the thought that counts and I treasure our friendship enough to know that not only is he an amazing dad, but a wonderful friend.

So, to all those awesome dad’s out there – Happy Father’s Day! For all those awesome single moms out there – Happy Second Mother’s Day! God bless you all!!!

Rita

Prayers for Anna

Our dear Anna trying to cut her graduation cake while wearing her royal crown & holding her ceptar!

I am asking for prayers for a dear friend of daughter #3. I found out this afternoon that she has brain cancer. She has had a very rough life and is now finding her footing due to the kind help she has gotten from her school and home.

I told her I would pray and now I’m asking for your prayers as well. Please pray for Anna. She is a beautiful soul and a kind and loving person. She is very special to our family and we love her dearly. Thank you.

Rita

The Liebster Award – My First Award!

First, I want to thank PoojaG for nominating me. Even though she’s half my age, I still enjoy her blog and her unique perspective. Just goes to show that you can have friends of all ages and backgrounds. Now my answers to the questions:

  1. What is your favorite book? Oooh – difficult. There are so many to choose from here. I guess my favorite of all time would be “Jayne Eyre”. She came from nothing and made all her dreams come true. My runner up would be “A Day in the Life of Evan Denisovich”. Here we have a man sentenced to what amounts to the rest of his life in a Russian prison, and yet the day he writes of is a good day because he eats and gets to go outside. He knows he will never get out of the prison, so he finds whatever he can to be optimistic. It’s a lesson in finding the good in a bad situation.
  2. What song do you currently have on repeat? I have an eclectic taste in music, from classical (I was raised as a classical violinist) to Louis Armstrong to Alanis Morrisette, Sheryl Crow, Christian rock, and Weird Al Yankovic. I do so also love the soundtrack from “The Greatest Showman” as well as some more modern rock music. If I were to name my favorite right now, it would be “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. You can’t compare to Louis.
  3. Which season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) of the year describes you. I like to think I’m Summer. I have gotten over the nervousness of figuring out who I am and for what I stand. I am comfortable with myself and feel I’m in full bloom.
  4. What is your favorite musical band that you’d love to have a great surprise for one of your special events? Newsboys – They are awesome!!! My runners up? Francesca Batistelli and Lauren Daigle. Great!
  5. The best quality you expect from your loved ones? Mention one…We have a tie: compassion and honesty. I can’t chose just one. They’re both equally important!
  6. What makes a good blog? Honesty, compassion, awesome pics and gf recipes if you got ’em! Lots of things. Cute kids/puppies/kitties, etc. are always fun; just anything that is interesting/makes my laugh!
  7. Your favorite vacation? If you haven’t already figured this out – I’m poor! I don’t generally go on vacation. However, of the trips I’ve taken, I think my favorite was to Canada on tour with my youth orchestra. We visited Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec. By far my favorite was Toronto. I loved the modern, young, hip vibe. It was awesome to be there as a teen!
  8. Your proudest moment? When I finally got my now ex-husband out of the house to stop him from abusing all of us. Also, when my divorce was final and he got no rights to see the kids so he could no longer hurt them or me; and my restraining order.
  9. The greatest movie of all time? Oh, crud! There are so many from which to choose! I guess that would have to be “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. It is a wonderful movie with music, the deaf community, marital issues, friendships, and the people we touch along the way. Runners up would be “Hidden Figures”, “The Help”, and many other kick-butt women movies. Whew! That was hard!!!
  10. Wealth or health? Since I’ve never had wealth, that question is easy – Health all the way!
  11. Your favorite cocktail/mocktail ever? Virgin Pina Colada. How can coconut and pineapple be wrong? Too much yum!!! If you’re looking for alcohol, try a Tom Collins – Lime – yum!!!

Whew! Didn’t think I would be able to do that. What a challenge! Now I’m passing it on to the following bloggers. Please answer the questions and nominate 11 of your favorite bloggers and ask them to answer the 11 questions.

laura@heavenlyhomemakers.com (a blog about homemaking and trying to eat more healthily)

laura@gpshope.org (Grieving Parents Share Hope)

Roberta Franklin at romanceloversite.com (a writer not just of a blog, but also of two adventure books.

http://cookingwithoutlimits.com

smithabakeslove.com

Unfortunately, being new to the blogosphere, I only have five bloggers to nominate. So sorry, but I do look forward to connecting with all of you in the near future. Best of luck to all of my new friends!

Rita