Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up and Brown Sugar Cookies

Good Tuesday morning!

I'll go ahead and tell you... I'm planning on posting tomorrow, Wednesday, April 30, too.

I'm just in that sort of mood.

I hope today's post finds my Southern friends safe and well.

Being an Alabama girl, tornadoes... and the possibility of tornadoes... and James Spann... and radar maps are not an unusual occurrence in the Spring.

In fact, I've come to expect all of the above... and more.

Last night was "one of those Alabama nights," and we've been told it could happen again tonight.

But we pray it doesn't.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Josh came home yesterday afternoon because he didn't have to work last night. Austin worked the morning shift so he was home by 2:30, Mike came home on time and Roxie's plans were cancelled.

It was a very unusual Monday.

I got busy in the kitchen, and we had a nice dinner before heading downstairs to the basement not once, but twice.

I know The Chick looks uncomfortable, but on our second visit to the basement, she broke out the pillow and the sleeping bags.

Flashlights, five phones, three tablets, an "old-fashioned" radio and two very nervous beagles.

Needless to say, we were not bored while we were taking shelter from the storm.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Our home sits on the end of a little street in Gardendale.

Because of the perfect placement of the new Civic Center several years ago, whenever something special is happening in our town and the Civic Center has fireworks, all we have to do is walk out our front door to enjoy a little show.

The Magnolia Festival took place this past weekend, and although we were not able to attend, at 9:00 p.m. on the dot we stood in our driveway and just soaked up the sounds and sights.

It's a good way to end a busy Saturday.

RANDOMNESS #3 - I'm pulling from the Archives today, and I'm talking about a subject that all good Southern folk know a thing or two about... HUMIDITY!


You don't have to be a lifetime resident of the State of Alabama to know the true meaning of the word "humidity."

I'll give you the "dictionary" meaning first. "Moisture; dampness; a moderate degree of wetness, which is perceptible to the eye or touch; used especially of the atmosphere, or of anything which has absorbed moisture from the atmosphere, as clothing." This definition was written by a person who lives in one of the northern states, because the above does not come close to accurately describing Alabama "humidity."

I'll give you the Alabama version throughout this first of five "essays" on the subject.

A few years ago, my cousin, Amy, invited me and Roxie to attend the Raven concert at Alabama Adventure (our local version of Six Flags Over Georgia... small, but growing) with her and her daughter, Monica, and a few other friends. Raven was very popular at the time, and we were excited to receive the invite.

The concert was to be held in the evening, but Alabama Adventure has a water park, as well as rides, so we decided to make a day of it.

When we arrived, the gates were opening, and, of course, the girls wanted to hit the water rides. I could already tell it was going to be a scorcher because "a moderate degree of wetness" had already started making an appearance on my upper lip, elbow and knee creases and my hands began to swell. It was 10:00 a.m.

The water rides and the Lazy River helped alleviate some of the evidence of the humidity, but if you walked from one water area to the other, steam was starting to appear... rising from the concrete. Steam is not good. Not good, at all!

Around noon, the girls decided they were hungry, so we changed clothes and headed to the vans for a "picnic with the air conditioning running." I knew it was wasteful to sit in a car and run it for 30 minutes while people ate. But I also knew what we were about to encounter during the next five to six hours... and it wasn't "moisture or dampness." It was full-blown, buckets of sweat, not a dry thread on your body, bad hair HUMIDITY!

Because I am a Southern Belle through and through, I did have the foresight to pack TWO extra pair of shorts, bras, underwear and shirts, as well as deodorant and make-up.

There was nothing I could do about my hair. Humidity does one of three things to a Southern Belle's hair. (1) The hair goes completely flat and limp (as if to say "I surrender"); (2) the hair gets huge... bigger and scarier as the day goes on; or (3) the hair tries to go back into the scalp. In reality, it only looks like it is trying to go back into the scalp because it appears to be disappearing. It is just trying to survive the attack of Humidity by banding together which is described in the South as follows... "My hair is drawing up." I have the hair that "draws up."

As we re-entered the park, within seconds it was evident Humidity was going to win. Trickles of sweat ran down my back, my front and my hair "left me."

Waiting in line next to other people suffering from the effects of Humidity is even worse, because sooner or later you're going to smell someone who has a mildew"y" odor about them... and you cannot be sure if it is them or you. So you have to stand in line and wonder. After the ride, you can pretty much determine it was the other person and you move on, only to doubt yourself again two or three rides later when once again you catch a whiff of that mildew"y" odor. It's a vicious cycle, I tell you.

Around 2:00 p.m., I excused myself for 15 to 20 minutes and ran out of the park to the van. I turned the air conditioning on in the Big Gold Van, drew the shades (yes, it has shades) and reapplied deodorant, make-up and changed clothes... ALL of my clothes. I spoke encouragingly to my hair, but to no avail, and then made my way back into the park. Before I ever reached my group, I was once again completely soaked.

Uh-oh. Who knew I had so much to say about Humidity? Not me. You'll have to come back tomorrow for the rest of this amazingly interesting story!

Brown Sugar Cookies

I found this recipe on Pinterest and these cookies turned out very, very well.

And within just an hour of baking, they were very, very gone.

You will need the following:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour

You will need the following for the glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 tablespoons dark Karo syrup
1 tablespoon milk

1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, Karo, sugar and egg until very light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together until well mixed.

2. Roll into golf-ball sized balls. Place 3 cookies on each cookie sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes, or just until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.

3. For the glaze. whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Spoon into a Ziploc bag. Snip off the corner of the bag and pipe onto slightly warm cookies.

After the cookies are finished, you will need to stand back, because the smell will beckon the cookie-eating people in your house...

And you will just be in the way.

Have a good Tuesday. Be careful and watchful. I'll be back Wednesday with more of A Simple Life, Pinterest Stuff and Part 5 of A Little Bit of My Story...

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.


The Enchanting Belinda

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