Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Future Endeavors AND Grieving Cowboy Casserole

Good Friday morning!

FUTURE BUSINESS ENDEAVORS - I am going to share this every now and again as I get NANA-FOR-HIRE up and running. I've had several calls so far, and I am looking forward to meeting (and helping) some young families in the area.

Here are the details...

I have been wanting to do something useful with my time as a recent Empty Nester. Giving Mikie 115% of my attention isn't working out the way either of us thought.

He's pretty self-sufficient for a 54 year-old guy, and doesn't need as much nurturing as I am used to giving growing, living humans in my charge.

In other words...

I may or may not be getting on his nerves just a wee bit with my ever-so-constant, "Do you need anything? Coffee? Foot rub? Me to STOP asking if you need anything every five minutes or so?"

Of course, if you ask Mikie, his account of the last two months of Empty Nesting might be slightly different.

"When do I start getting 115% of the attention around here?"

It is just mentally exhausting, I tell you.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Recently, I came up with a new plan...

And it is called NANA-FOR-HIRE!

The details for NANA-FOR-HIRE are as follows:

I will stay with your kiddos for one to three hours. (Not over three.)

I will come to your home. (No judgment about messy, lived-in homes. Been there, done that, know how it feels.)

My NANA-FOR-HIRE services are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

I am available for Moms in the Fultondale, Morris, Mount Olive and Gardendale areas.

Reasons you may need a NANA-FOR-HIRE:

1. Your regular babysitter cancels at the last minute.

2. You have a doctor’s appointment for you OR one of your kiddos, and you would rather not take the whole crew to the doctor’s office.

3. You have a haircut/manicure/pedicure scheduled, and you need uninterrupted time.

4. You need to run quick errands alone.

5. You need an uninterrupted lunch date with husband or a friend.

The list goes on and on and on.


1 - 3 Kiddos - $10 First Hour; $10 Second Hour; $5 Third Hour - Total $25 for Three Hours
4 - 6 Kiddos - $10 First Hour; $10 Second Hour; $10 Third Hour - Total $30 for Three Hours

Contact information:

You can private message me on Facebook.
You can e-mail me at mfaulkner1306@charter.net.

All about me:

My name is Belinda Faulkner.
I am a Christian.
I am a 54 year-old wife of one and mother of three grown children.
I am a recent Empty Nester striving to fill my time in a useful, productive, Christ-honoring way.
I have a very old Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Development.
I love working with children. Always have, always will.

So there you have it. A new business venture for me at the ripe ol' age of 54.

I shared this with a group of young Moms a week or so ago, and received a very favorable response, so I decided to share here, too.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Josh's actual birthday actually fell on a Sunday this year. A Sunday he was scheduled to work.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Mike and I drove to Hartselle to deliver good wishes and gifts before he went to work.

We had his family party exactly one week later, and it was good, too.

Josh loves The Walking Dead, but I couldn't make myself decorate with Zombie parts.

Thus, I stuck with the colors black and red...

And pound cake.

Everyone knows Zombies love pound cake.

Roxie and Josh.

Josh and his now traditional Birthday Banana Pudding.

Roxie and Katie.

Courtney and Josh.

Zac and Mallie.

Josh and Grandmother.

Grandpa, Grandma and Josh.

Josh and Courtney (again).

Uncle Tommy, Zac, Mallie, Josh, Aunt Bev and Katie.

Melia, Josh and Austin.

Don't ask. I have no idea!

Just Judith...

And a bunch of other people.

Just Roxie and Hunter.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Mike had a short business trip last week in Spanish Fort, Alabama...

And I went along just for the fun of it.

It has been a VERY long time since I visited the Mobile area, and Mike and I have never gone there together for any period of time, so we went down Wednesday night and played ALL DAY Thursday and Friday afternoon (after his meetings).

All I can say...

It will not be a VERY long time before we visit again.

We started our Thursday morning with a trip to Church Street Graveyard.


Not Cemetery.

Can you see the Mardi Gras beads hanging on the entrance sign?

When you have a plaque reader in your family, an old cemetery is like the MOST fun place ever.

Everyone knows headstones at a historic graveyard are like the Original Plaques.

Mike was in his happy place.

Most of the graves in this graveyard were for Confederate soldiers AND yellow fever victims who passed away in the 1800s.

This was the grave of an Irishman who died in 1845.

Can I just say, this man was way ahead of his time.

And can I just say one more thing?

I very much want an exclamation point on my headstone.

The Enchanting Belinda!

Later in the day, we visited Bayou La Batre which is where part of Forrest Gump was filmed.

This is Mikie doing his Forrest Gump impersonation.

He's pretty good, don't you think?

After a little time of gazing upon the shrimp boats, we hopped back in The Big Gold Van and headed to Dauphin Island.

Don't misunderstand. I took a thousand pics of Dauphin Island, but the thing that truly amazed me...

The monarch butterflies.

They were everywhere.

It was monarch butterflies AND ocean.

Truly, truly amazing.

On Friday afternoon, we headed to Fairhope, Alabama.

It is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever visited.


This is the obligatory "The Enchanting Belinda indeed went on the trip" pic.

I have to take one of those every now and again.

After much time spent in Fairhope, Mike and I drove a little ways to The Grand Hotel at Point Clear.

I thought I had seen butterflies at Dauphin Island.

There were twice as many at The Grand.

A man stopped and talked to us about them, and told us they were heading to Mexico where they will vacation during the winter months.

I kinda wish I was a monarch butterfly.

Everyday at 4:00 at The Grand, a man re-enacts the firing of the canon.

It takes about 30 minutes.

It is very complicated.

He is like a walking/talking plaque.

Mike loved him...

And I wasn't totally bored.

Next Friday, I'll share the itinerary because we had a really good time, ate at some very nice, very local restaurants, and I have already planned the next trip.

Grieving Cowboy Casserole

I found this recipe on Pinterest yesterday and tried it last night. It wasn't written like a regular recipe, so I am going to pass it on just as I read it...

My granny called it “Grieving Casserole” because she always brought it to people when a family member passed on.

1. Brown a pound of ground beef with diced onions, cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

2. After you have browned the beef, drain it and put it into a bowl. Mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup and half a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes. You can buy any kind of Ro-Tel you like, but I prefer chunky.

3. Layer a lightly-greased loaf pan with crushed up corn tortilla chips until it covers the bottom of the pan. Then, dump half of the meat mixture on top with some shredded cheddar cheese on top of that.

4. Repeat and now you have two layers of each!

5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is warm and bubbly.

6. Top this dish with anything your little heart desires such as shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, more cheese, green onions, etc.

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - This is a perfect dish for two Empty Nesters with just a little bit leftover for lunch the next day.

Weekend Happenings

1. The Chick is home for a long weekend, but her plans and our plans don't coincide too often Saturday and Sunday. (I'm not complaining. We were able to spend ALL DAY FRIDAY together, and I am pretty content right about now.)

2. While Roxie is playing with friends, Mike and I are going on a breakfast date. At some point during the day on Saturday I want to visit Merry Market at our local Community Center. It is a wonderful way to pass two or three hours and actually get some Christmas shopping checked off the list.

3. Sunday we will attend church, have Sunday dinner and stick around the house until Roxie has to leave headed back to school.

I am hoping a nap will also be taken sometime on Sunday afternoon...

But I will NOT hold my breath.

Have a fun Fall weekend, and I will be back next Friday!

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

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