Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Quotable Quotes, Cinnamon Toast (Pioneer Woman), Way Back When... (High School Tailgate Party, Campless Cookout, 40 is the New 30... and Other Myths)

Good Friday afternoon.

RANDOMNESS #1 - I am thoroughly enjoying the new show on HGTV which features Jen Hatmaker and her family renovating a 105 year-old farmhouse. It's good clean fun, and interesting to boot!

It comes on at 10:00 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday evenings, and I bet some of you might enjoy watching it, too.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I have a thousand more, but I'll finish up with the Lake Vacation pics today.

I feel the need to move on!

These pics are from Roxie and Hunter's second run...

And that's that!

Quotable Quotes

"Sometimes we're all too quick to count down the days that we forget to make the days count." Anonymous

Guilty as charged!

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Toast

The Pioneer Woman made this on her show last week...

And I made it the next morning!

You will need the following:

2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 slices bread

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Smush the softened butter with a fork. Dump in the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir to completely combine. Spread the mixture on the bread slices, completely covering the surfaces all the way to the edges.

3. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until golden brown and bubbling. Watch so it doesn't burn!

4. Cut the slices into halves diagonally and serve.


This was good stuff.

Way Back When...

The following three items were first posted in August of 2009.

High School Tailgate Party

Tis the season! Football season, that is.

If you have elementary age boys, this is the time to throw a great high school tailgate party!

You'll need a pick-up truck, of course (owned or borrowed), blankets, lawn chairs, food and a cooler of soft drinks. This tailgate party is going to be held at your home. After dinner, you will transport the boys (along with a few helper parents) to the ball game.

The menu is simple: hot dogs, nachos, chips, dip, cookies, etc. Plan on having dinner about one hour before your local high school football game begins. Let the boys eat and toss the football. Depending on their ages, set the boundaries for them at the stadium. If they are really into football, they may sit and watch the entire game. However, most kids do like to wander. If that is the case, I suggest you have a set of parents at three or four different points in the stadium. The boys can walk from one set of parents to the next, but still be "safe."

This does not have to be a spend the night party. If the boys have shared a meal and a football game, they will be happy, and you can go home to a clean house knowing you gave a group of little boys a fun, entertaining party.

VARIATION - If you don't have a high school game nearby to attend, but you still want a football themed party, go ahead and tailgate as planned. After the boys toss the ball or play flag football for a little while, have the TV set up on the deck and let everyone settle down in lawn chairs to watch Remember the Titans, Radio, We Are Marshall or another age-appropriate football movie.

Campless Cookout

That's right. A campless cookout. For all of you out there who have never been camping, or are just too busy to go in the fall, plan a campless cookout for your family.

Luckily, I received a firepit for my Christmas gift this past year, so we can have a cookout on the little patio beside our deck. But in the past, we have hiked into the woods near our home, built a small fire (in a pre-prepared fire pit) and sat on blankets and roasted hot dogs and made s'mores. Just the five of us. For no reason at all except it was fun, simple and a nice way to spend a cool summer or fall evening.

As I stated before, have the fire pit prepared before you hike into the woods to cook. I use rocks to form the circle around the fire, charcoal and pine cones as my base, small sticks and then larger sticks for the fire itself. You can have the kids gather and stack the sticks the day before the cookout.

In a cooler (with wheels, if possible), pack up hot dogs, buns, mustard, ketchup, individual bags of chips and individual canned drinks. You'll need graham crackers, Hershey bars and marshmallows for the s'mores.

If you already have the metal roasting sticks from Walmart, that's fine. But you can have the kids look for and find sticks to cook the old-fashioned way.

So let's get this straight. You take a few minutes a couple of days before the cookout and set up your fire pit. You have the kids gather sticks. You pack a cooler with the things mentioned above. You walk a few feet into a nearby wooded area. You have a great fireside cookout... for no other reason than it's fun and memorable and EASY. Oh, and the kids will want to do this one every year (or more) for sure!

Topic of the Week - 40 IS THE NEW 30... AND OTHER STUPID MYTHS!

I've been thinking about what to write about during this week... the week of my 48th birthday. And without too much effort, it came to me. Why not write about being in my 40s? About to turn 48, I am about as much of an expert as I'm going to be, and there is a lot of stuff going on in this decade that has come as a complete and utter surprise to me. I want others to be more prepared than I was. I'm a giver... I always have been. So this week, this is my gift to all of you out there who might not have entered your 40s yet.

On the day I turned 40, I ran out of my house carrying my shoes in one hand and my purse in the other. Mikie and the kids were taking me out to eat and to a movie... my favorite thing in the whole world. On the way to the car, I stepped on a bee... and it stung me... in between my big toe and the toe beside my big toe... and I couldn't wear my shoe because my two toes swelled... so I had to wear one shoe the rest of the day... and I don't know about you, but wearing only one shoe in a movie theater is gross... and probably a great way to get some kind of disease. It was a sign of things to come.

My 40th year was pretty uneventful in many ways. I was diagnosed with early on-set osteoarthritis in my wrist and one ankle... AND I was perimenopausal. I declared my 40th year to be "YEAR OF THE NEW 30... NOT!"

My 41st year was also a pretty simple, uneventful year. I did notice more and more magazine covers declaring 40 to be the new 30, and I did notice it didn't really apply to me. I was just desperately trying to look my age. I would never have tried to tell someone I was 31 because they would think I hadn't aged well. Pride kept me from telling people I was 51. In theory, if I was 41 but they thought I was 51, they would think I looked young for my age. But what if they DIDN'T think that? What if they thought I really was 51? Too risky.

I decided if I had a personal trainer, personal chef, housekeeper, errand runner and tutor living in the house, I might have a chance. Mikie nixed all of the above.

Health-wise, my arthritis had spread to a few other joints and I started going to a rheumatologist every six months for x-rays, blood work and for some reason, to be weighed. I like my rheumatologist very much... and not just because he did some TV commercials and appeared on Good Morning, Alabama a few times. (His picture is on My Famous People I've Met scrapbook page as you might have guessed.)

I also enjoy going for those visits because when I sign the sheet telling the receptionist I HAVE ARRIVED, I have to write my date of birth. I always write August 26, 1961 and then I scan the sheet. Most of the other patients were born in the 1930s and the 1940s. I am forever young in that office... or at least for another decade or so.

In my 41st year I was still considered perimenopausal (Code for IRRITABLE, BUT NOT HAVING HOT FLASHES... YET.)

I declared my 41st year to be "YEAR OF THE NEW 31... NOT!" (Just so you know, the names of the years get a little more creative as the decade progresses.)

Here I am at 51.

Can I just say, 50 is NOT the new 40.

At least, not at my house!

Weekend Happenings

1. The Brothers have plans this Friday evening, so Mikie and I are taking Roxie and a friend to Cheesecake Factory for a nice dinner.

And for this, I am thankful.

2. Tomorrow is a designated "wedding event" day. Roxie and I are getting her bridesmaid dress for Austin and Melia's wedding altered a little bit here and a little bit there.

After that very important appointment is completed, we'll have a little while before heading to Stephanie and Brad's Bridal Tea for the afternoon.

Cannot wait!

3. After church on Sunday, Austin and his Sunday School Guys are going to the movies, and HOPEFULLY, coming back to the house when it is over for an Ice Cream Sundae Bar.

In other words, I should have pictures from the dress fitting, the Bridal Tea and ICE CREAM!

Having pictures from three separate events makes me very content.

Have a stupendous weekend. I'll be back Tuesday with Bridal Tea pics, Roxie's Senior Portraits (a few) and more, more, more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

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