An Open Letter to Joy Behar

That wasn’t a sad moment for nurses. It was a sad moment for women, and I for one, am embarrassed, not angry. As a supposed advocate for women, I just ask that you learn and you choose your words more carefully before attempting to degrade and minimize the work of millions.

Source: An Open Letter to Joy Behar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense 2

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Future Tense 2

“Elephants and grandchildren never forget”
Andy Rooney

I took this at our St. Louis Zoo. Awesome place to visit if you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods!

Can anyone tell me why the WPC has Future tense for the second week in a row? Or why one t=of the WPC topics is “lunchtime”? I’m confused. lol

On using what you’ve got … (Smoky Pasta Carbonara)

Always, on Tuesday’s, it’s busy at our house.  I have piano lessons at 4:25 pm, right in the middle of when I’d usually do dinner.  Last night was no exception.  I’ve been kind of good, lately, about trying to have dinner ready to go before I leave so that the teenage munchkin can just take it out of the oven.  It may sound silly to most of you organized people, like a no brainer, but to me?  Yeah, not so silly.  I’m the LEAST organized person I know.  ADD makes my brain scattered so I have to practice being organized enough to have ANYTHING done on time.

Yesterday was a GOOD day.  I was able to do a whole lot of chores which is kind of a huge deal to me.  I don’t want to sound like a broken record but in the case that anyone reading this hasn’t seen, I’m battling an illness (bleeding ulcers) that has me pretty incapacitated.  It’s hard for me to have enough energy to do chores so a lot of the time a lot of the work falls on my daughter’s shoulders.  The house is clean, because I can’t stand a dirty house but still not up to my usual standards.  Anyway, it’s difficult for me to live with the guilt of dumping so much work on my kids shoulders.  I pay her well, but I feel like childhood shouldn’t be all about work.  Although, she doesn’t complain.  She has an Iphone that we pay for PLUS she’s saving her allowance to buy her first car and go overseas next year for a mission trip with church.  In other words, she needs the money.  lol  I keep telling myself that she’s building character because we’re teaching her responsibility.  That’s what I HAVE to tell myself.  

Yesterday was different.  Julia had SOME chores but most everything was already done when she walked through the door.  Yay me!  I love to see her smile 🙂

We also have some extra mouths to feed this week.  A friend of mine and her son are staying with us,  They’re in between houses.  They just need a place to lay their heads while they’re waiting for the perfect home.  It’s actually been fun!  During the day, I laugh because her 20 year old son keeps me laughing.  He’s here with me for a while before he goes to work.  It’s company and I didn’t realize that I was even lonely before they started staying here.  I must have been though because I’ve noticed that my moods have been better now that they’re here.  Note to self:  Don’t get too used to it!  lol  This is not a permanent situation.  I can enjoy it while it lasts thought, right?

With so many more mouths to feed, the grocery supply is running VERY low.  I usually have enough food in the house to feed 10 families, because I’m a food hoarder.  lol  I’ve come to grips with that fact.  Actually, even now, I have enough food to feed at least 5 families for a week but it’s food that you have to put together and actually THINK and PLAN what you’re going to do with it.  Definitely not convenience food.

There’s a lot of pasta.  So what do I do with pasta and hardly any meat?  I asked the great Paula Deen!  Remember the post where I told you about my awesome new Southern Cooking Bible?  You wouldn’t think, normally, you’d find a good pasta recipe in a Southern cookbook would you?  I’ve got MANY cookbooks and recipes, even some from Italy.  The reason I didn’t use them was because Bryar, the 20 year old who’s staying with us doesn’t like chunky tomatoes or onions.  I’m very limited in what I can get him to eat.  Paula solved my problem.

Here’s what I came up with and it was delicious!  It doesn’t call for it in Paula’s recipe but I sauteed 4 cloves of garlic ( because I doubled the recipe – only use 2 clovs if you’re going to make 1 batch) in the bacon grease so that Bryar wasn’t able to see it. I think ALL pasta should have some garlic.  That’s just me though.

Smoky Southern Spaghetti Carbonara


1/2 lb bacon, chopped

1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup to make it creamier)

2 large eggs


Tobasco or other hot sauce 

black pepper

1 lb spaghetti (I used bucatini – the spaghetti that’s hollow like a straw because that’s what we had)

1 medium onion, finely chopped (I didn’t use onion.  I used 2 cloves of garlic, minced and sauteed)



1.  In a large deep skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Take excess grease off bacon with a paper towel.  Don’t discard the grease in the pan.

2.  In a bowl, whisk together the Parmesan cheese, cream, eggs, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp hot sauce, and black pepper to taste.

3.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to directions on package.  Drain well.

4.  While the pasta cooks, return the skillet to medium high heat.  Add the onion (or garlic) and cook until softened, but not browned.  Remove the skillet from heat.

5.  Immediately add the hot pasta, the bacon and egg mixture to the skillet.  Toss everything together to combine.  The heat from the pasta and skillet will thicken the eggs into a creamy sauce.  Taste and add more salt, hot sauce or pepper if it needs it.  Serve hot.

Serves 4    (of COURSE I always double every recipe)

I served with garlic cheese toast.  Another win!  I love when a recipe calls for ingredients that we all usually have in our pantry.  

Italian Herb Butter

Remember my love for all things butter and how we talked about Paula Deen being my hero?  I thought it would be a good time to share with you a recipe for Italian Herb butter.  I’ll be using it over either asparagus or broccoli tonight.  The flavor won’t conflict with the Rosemary Chicken that we’re having tonight.

THIS is how to dress up boring vegetables.  I’m always trying to come up with something BESIDES the regular cheese sauce or just plain ole butter.

Besides, it gives me an excuse to use my cute little butter crock!

Italian Herb Butter (from my Aunt Betty’s handwritten recipes)


1/2 cup softened, salted butter (1 stick)

1 TBSP chopped fresh basil

1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, minced


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Pack into a butter crock or on waxed paper, shape into 1 x7 inch log.  Chill or freeze.  Roll butter log in chopped parsley, if desired, before slicing into patties.

*  From the notes of Aunt Betty:  This zesty spread is easy to prepare and works magic on the most humble of dishes.  Butter may be frozen up to 6 months.

What I came back to (how MAYBE to clean burnt coffee)…..

I’m back!  Back from my awesome weekend.  I’ll post the pictures and the stories later.  I never much LIKE coming back home to reality, never the less….  I’m back. Back to teenage munchkin, who has the flu,  God love her. Back to unpacking, cleaning and most of all back to the coffee pot that I left plugged in all weekend.  Plugged in WITH coffee and vanilla syrup in it.  Why did it not burn down the house, IDK.  I can’t even scrub the coffee off the bottom of the pot.  It turned into coffee concrete!  A friend of mine told us to use salt and lemon juice to soak off the coffee rock.  Yeah….  THAT’S not working.  Now I’ve got the coffee rock heating back up with water, vinegar and salt.  PRAYING that it works because I can NOT live without coffee!  

(yeah.. I found this on the net but mine actually looks MUCH worse)


Here’s what Wiki says to do, and we’re trying it NOW!

Basically, we put 1 tsp sea salt into the coffee pot, 2 cups ice, juice of 1/4 lemon (I’m using the whole dang lemon).  You swish the water around until the ice melts and if the ice doesn’t melt, add COLD water (cause hot water will make the pot crack).  The abrasiveness of the salt and acid content of the lemon mixed with ice is SUPPOSED to take that burnt coffee right off.  Hmm…  we shall see about that!  So far…  not working:-(

It’s important that I let you all know that I’ll be fine!  Cause I’m sure you’re all worried about how I’ll live without coffee.  I have a VERY old electric percolator from my 80 (plus) year old aunt…  THANK YOU Aunt Betty, for making me take your special coffee pot when you down sized!  lol  It makes a pretty awesome pot of coffee, in case you were wondering.  lol  It looks JUST like THIS



Enjoy your Monday WordPress World!  Oh and don’t leave with the coffee pot on.  You’ll be sorry!!!!!

Espresso in a coffee pot… Confessions of a caffeine addict

Sadly, today, there’s not going to be enough caffeine in the world to keep me awake!  I have issues with sleeping at night the way a NORMAL person would sleep.  When my head hits the pillow, a slow motion picture movie starts playing in my brain… and then it speeds up and speeds up and speeds up… with every little thing that I might need to get accomplished for the next day or the next week or the next year and then finally, the rest of my life

Caramel Frappuccino® Blended Coffee


I spend at least $30 a week on these!  I’d spend more if we actually had a Starbucks close. Alas, it takes me about a half an hour to get there 😦  


I’ve been trying different recipes I found online (pinterest) and I’ve been SO disappointed!  I couldn’t reproduce the rich, frothy deliciousness in my blender!  NOW, I know that I really needed to purchase the blended ice coffee mix, like this one.  Without the mix… NOTHING goes right for iced coffee!

Which brings me to my NEXT problem… I ALWAYS, always order my iced coffee with a double shot of espresso!  I rarely ever GET a double shot of espresso.  As in, they charge me for it but I can really taste that I’m not actually receiving a double shot (I call it my double shot of CRACK).  Do you know that they charge you $1.50 extra for a double shot of crack?  So to NOT get my fix just pisses me right the he## off!  lol


Product Details

Oh, how I want one of these!  I would save SO much money if I had one but I just can’t justify spending $600 PLUS shipping when my daughter is working SO hard to raise enough money to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua this summer?  I just can’t do it 😦  Besides, we actually own an expensive Bunn.  Product Details

Solution?  I went online and ordered 3 bags of Starbucks espresso from Amazon.  I also ordered a bag of ice coffee blend.  I found out that you can buy stove top espresso brewers, called Moka Express. They’re inexpensive AND they have good reviews!


I don’t think I’m going to do that though.  I’ll wait until I can afford the real deal 🙂  Instead, I’m going to do the best I can to produce the closest thing to espreso that our little Bunn can make!  I’ve done some research this morning and here’s what I came up with:

Instructions for coffee maker espresso


    • Choose a dark roasted or espresso roasted coffee bean and then grind your beans as finely as possible. While many coffee grinders have an espresso option, if there is a finer option, don’t necessarily go for the espresso grind. Rather, to make your espresso with a drip coffee maker, you will need to select the finest grind possible.


    • Double your coffee filter so that the water moves slowly through the grounds. If you have a built-in metal cone filter in your coffee machine, add a paper filter for good measure.



    • Measure your coffee grounds, using approximately  1 1/2 TBSP of finely ground coffee for every 1/4 cup of espresso. However, remember that because the water will move more slowly through the grounds, you should not attempt to make more espresso than your your coffee maker’s cone or filter holder can hold at one time to prevent overflow.



    • Place your coffee grounds into the filter and pack down slightly with the back of a spoon (it’s called tamping). Pour the desired amount of water into your machine, and allow it to brew your hot cup of espresso. For best results, use pure, filtered water.

So to recap:  1 1/2 TBSP for each 1/4 cup of espresso.
For your further reading enjoyment….  article very correctly states that “espresso is not just a cup of coffee, it’s a state of mind”.  Espresso is also compared to Ambrosia, THE drink of the gods!  lol  I’ll have to agree with that but only IF it has lots of sugar and cream!  

I wasn’t raised this way….

I miss me....

I wasn’t raised this way.  In fact, I was raised to doubt myself.  I was raised to believe that I wasn’t smart enough, good enough, loving enough, pretty enough, frugal enough, ambitious enough or talented enough.  At the hands of 2 abusive parents, one of them DEADLY when dealing out physical abuse and the other (the worst IMO) DEADLY when dealing out her emotional abuse (with a whole lot of physical abuse thrown in from her too), I managed to survive.  To kill a child’s spirit is the worst sin of all.  She tried, she couldn’t do it.  I grew up with an amazing ability to disassociate from my surroundings and I always had HOPE that one day I would leave that place and do amazing things!  I always just KNEW that God had a reason for me to be born, and to live.  I knew I had a job to do in this world and I had dreams.  I knew that if I could just stay alive, I’d see these dreams come true one day.

Survival became my only job.  I put all my time and energy into learning how to survive and teaching my brothers how to survive.  Sadly, I didn’t do my job well enough.  One of my brothers died at the age of 18, just 2 days before his high school graduation.  I was the oldest and I felt like more of a mother to him than I did his sister.  SOMEONE needed to be his mother!  I called him my “twin”.  He wasn’t though, not really.  I was born on April 10, 1966 at the 3 o’clock hour and my precious brother was born on April 10, 1967 at the 3 o’clock hour.  Weird huh?  It was like he forgot to be born on the same year.  We shared a baby bed.  We shared our life.  We communicated without words.  When he died on Memorial Day, 1985, half of my soul died with him and I’ve never been the same.  It’s not like I didn’t WANT to live.  I did.  I just didn’t know HOW to live without him.  I didn’t know how to BREATHE without him.  He was my other half and we were each other’s protectors.  I’ve become numb to the grief of his passing, for the most part.

Which brings me to present time…I’ve been reading a lot about a particular woman, Lesley, lately.  She’s making her dreams come true and she’s doing it the hard way.  She wasn’t born into money.  In fact, she doesn’t have a lot of money now but she won’t take no for an answer and she ALWAYS finds a way to get what she wants.  I WAS Lesley. What I mean is everything she writes about doing or wanting to do is something I’ve always felt I would do one day.  It’s kind of like God meant for me to find her blog.  I think he wanted me to remember the reason I was born.  All the adventures I’d go on one day and all the lives I knew I would touch.   I lost sight of my dreams in the midst of just trying to survive.

I’m determined, more than ever now to get that little girl back.  It’s time.  There’s a life out there waiting to be lived and it would be just as much of a sin to NOT live the life God had planned for me as it was a sin for my parents to try and destroy me.

If anyone’s reading, if you get nothing else out of this, please take away with you the power you have in your hands.  If any of you are parents, tell your children that they can do great things.  Try not to criticize and belittle.  It can destroy their spirit.  Build them up… don’t break them, sometimes they can’t be put back together.  You have the power to lead by example.  You, go out and pursue YOUR dreams… the rest will follow.

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Introducing my littlest “Mini Me”….


I’m privileged to be able to spend a lot of time with my nieces.  This is my 3 year old niece Esme’.  She’s a handful and a half, most of the time, but aren’t these kinds the most fun?  Besides, she wouldn’t be a “mini me” if she WEREN’T a handful!  lol  Here she is, SO proud of herself for making up a song.  She actually has an ear for music and her “made up songs” sound like they really COULD be songs 🙂  Look how proud she is of her little self!




I could listen to her play all day.  This is how they get started.  Don’t limit them or make them stop… keep their interest playing anything that sounds good to them.  I wish I would have started  piano at 3 years old.  I played from the age of 8 to 16 years old, and I quit for 30 years.  It’s a little hard to get back to the level I was BUT it’s coming back to me and it takes me to a world all on my own.  It’s the cheapest form of psychological help!  lol

I’m actually getting ready to take Esme’ to my lessons with the Russian Piano Nazi (my instructor) now.  We’ll see if she sits still long enough to let me do something.  HA!  I think it will be good to teach the Piano Nazi some patience.  😉

What do YOU do to relax?

Following your dreams…

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Wow!  What a powerful statement!  We all have to admire someone who has the courage to pursue their dreams.  It takes a lot of courage to follow your dreams.  I know this because every time I think I’ll actually do what I think I may have been born to do, I end up talking myself out of it.  I’m not sure why.. maybe the fear of rejection.  Life is made up of so many disappointments and what if my dream is just another one of those disappointments?  But then I realize that living and trying is REALLY what life is all about.  Experience is what life is all about and with some experience comes rejection.

A bit ago, I started following a blog called Bucket List Publicationswritten by a lady named Lesley.  She had entered a contest called The Biggest Baddest Bucket List,
where she COULD win a trip of a lifetime.  Here’s what Lesley says she’ll win, “The prize is unbelievable. It’s an all-expense-paid trip around the world, $10,000 spending money during the trip, and $50,000 cash when you return home.”

Lesley is asking for people to promote her because this is one of her dreams.  Well, I did the minimum, I voted and Facebooked it.  Actually I voted every way I could.  Today, I have a message from her that asks me to do more.  lol  Now, I’ll have to admit that at first, I was like, Ummmm, NO.  That was selfish me talking 😉  I’m pretty friendly and I like to help anyone I can but I have my own dreams to follow and why would I want to give extra time to someone else’s dream?  I don’t really know her and I don’t see her anywhere except on that blog.

HOWEVER…  I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I went out on my back deck this morning and had my cup of coffee and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Here are my thoughts…  I admire her for having the courage to reach out to people she doesn’t know.  Could I do that?  I’m actually having a very hard time asking people to support my daughter in her attempt to raise money for a mission trip to Nicaragua!  My daughter is 14 and is working HARD to raise money.  I’m helping her but I have an aversion to asking others to put themselves out and help!  It’s time that THAT changes.  Rejection “aint nothin but a lil thang!”.

Bottom line is that I admire Lesley for reaching out.  It shows me that she’s really hungry to reach her dream and she’s working SO hard for that dream!  Did I mention that she’s also a young mom and has a baby at home?  If I can do ANYTHING to help this lady reach her goal, I’m going to do it.  It doesn’t take but a little time to ask, right?

Now the question is; Will YOU help Lesley?  All it takes is a little vote.  You don’t have to make a post like I did, if you’re not inclined BUT wouldn’t it be fun to know you had a part in seeing someone achieve the completion of the dream of a lifetime?  I’d personally like to see someone I even REMOTELY know win one of these things 😉

Here’s the link, you can watch her video, or not.  I did and it’s pretty cool!  Beside her video, there’s several ways you can vote and each one counts.  Lesley’s “My destination” page.

Thanks for reading and know that I’d more than likely do the same thing for you!  Depending on how hungry for your dream I feel you are!  lol

President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak …. is what’s for dinner!

It’s just me and the hubby at home today cause the munchkin is visiting her daddy for the weekend.  I look forward to cooking on these “just for 2” kinds of weekends.

So I had beef eye of round steaks.  What to do with them?  They’re a tougher, less expensive cut of meat so I knew I’d have to cook the heck out of them but I’m SO tired of making “Swiss steaks” with this cut.  

This is what I found and it was absolutely delicious and PACKED with flavor!  Give it a try, I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed 😉  Btw…  the note said that former US president Gerald Ford requested this dinner regularly.  It was his favorite.

President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak


2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 large onions, sliced thin 

4 eye of round steaks, about an inch thick

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup flour for coating

1 cup beef consomme, undiluted (I used 1 can of Cambell’s beef consomme)

1 cup burgundy wine

1 tsp chopped parsley, optional (can be fresh or dried for garnish)


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes but don’t brown them (just long enough to soften and let the juices run).  Remove onions from skillet using a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.  Season the steaks with thyme, salt and garlic powder on both sides.  Rub in seasoning.  Dust steaks lightly with flour on both sides.  Fry steaks in skillet over medium high heat until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

Pour beef consomme and burgundy wine over steaks and return onions to skillet as well.  Cook over medium high heat until aroma of wine dissipates, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until steaks are fork tender.

Serve over rice, potatoes or egg noodles.  I made my porcini risotto YUMMMMMMMMM!