The End of Summer Vacation

Actually, we really didn’t have a vacation this summer. We stayed home and did our usual daily routine all summer. We didn’t have the funds to go on any vacations or “daycations” so our fun times happened in our own town and the one on the other side of the freeway. For Labor Day, I had hoped to sleep in, however my internal clock wouldn’t let me. Normally, during the week, I wake up at 5:30 AM. This morning, I was able to sleep in one hour past that. After a morning of relaxing and then tidying up, we thought we’d go to Springfield. A mural of “The Simpsons” had recently been painted and the anniversary of the show had been celebrated at the mural last week.

The Simpsons are officially in Springfield, OR now!

The Simpsons are officially in Springfield, OR now!

Just down the street from the mural, is Sweety’s Yogurt Shop which also celebrates Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa & Maggie.
The Simpsons in the yogurt shop look kind of creepy if you aren't prepared to see them staring out of the window.

The Simpsons in the yogurt shop look kind of creepy if you aren’t prepared to see them staring out of the window.

We had hoped to buy some yogurt, however they were closed. A lot of businesses were closed in Springfield. If we had been in our town, yogurt shops would have been open. I’m not complaining though. Kudos to local businesses that let their employees enjoy the holiday. Our outing ended with driving to the top of Kelly Butte, from where you can see all of Springfield.
The view from Kelly Butte

The view from Kelly Butte

. Our outing ended with a stop for a Slurpee because it was so hot, and our car currently has the 2/55 air conditioning (2 open windows/55 mph). Now we’re tucked back into our cooler home, getting ready to eat dinner (and pack the leftovers for Kevin’s lunches), and thinking about the beginning of the new school year.

Elizabeth 🙂

Happy Labor Day!!

Hello September!
The month that marks the end of summer fun and the beginning of school. Thoughts start turning toward holidays and preparing for them. There’s already a nip in the morning air, but it doesn’t stay long enough to start wearing the warmer clothes. That will start in a month or two. I’m looking forward to trying new recipes for soups, stews and excuses to make hot cocoa! Last night, I was so tired when I went to bed, that I was sure that I would sleep in until 8 this morning. Nope. I woke up at 6:30. When my kids were small, I didn’t mind waking up so early on a holiday because I was going to a local thrift store for their “everything is half off” sale and if I wanted a shopping cart, I needed to be in line well before the store opened. Maybe my early rising is because I normally wake up at 5:30 AM, that my internal clock only gives me an extra hour of rest on my day off. So, since I’m awake, I’m enjoying the quiet, with my coffee, and getting some reading and planning done before anyone else wakes up and starts asking me questions. The plan for today is to stay home and tidy up. We may drive around town later on and check out some of the murals. For those of you who are traveling today, stay safe 🙂 For those of you who are staying close to home, like we are, enjoy your day!

Elizabeth

I’ve Been “Booted”

IMG_6147 I have a new shoe! It’s the latest in a line of one-sided footwear. I’ve had it for almost 2 weeks. I have what is called Plantar Fasciitis, which means that I have an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. That means that it’s very painful to walk on my heel and under the arch. I’ve been dealing with this for over a year now, since I sprained my ankle. I finally went to a doctor two weeks ago (yeah, I know I should have gone in a lot sooner). So now I have this lovely, open toed boot, keeping my foot and ankle in a 90 degree angle.
This thing has several Velcro straps on it, meaning that it’s noisy when I walk. I can’t sneak up on anyone, and my husband likens my walking sound to that of “RoboCop”!
If you see me out and about, and I’m not wearing it, it’s because I’m probably driving and I’ve been told that I can’t drive with the boot on. If I do, and get into a car accident, then insurance won’t cover it because I should not have been wearing it.
I also have a splint to wear at night. I don’t think that I like it though because more often than not, I’ve woken up in the morning to find it has been removed. This morning, I found it in the trash!
I go back to the doctor in 4 weeks. Hopefully, my foot will be better.
I would like to be able to wear sandals before the nice weather is over!

Elizabeth

How Was My Weekend?

The answer to that question is probably a lot like everyone else’s. It was busy.
Even in all of the busyness, I still haven’t had a chance to finish my grocery shopping.
The one piece of excitement over the past 2 days was that I nearly swallowed a fly.
And yes, I know what song comes to mind. Two people have already sung or quoted that song to me. On Saturday morning, I was catching up on my Facebook, and didn’t notice that a fly had landed in my coffee. So, in my ignorance. I took a drink, and immediately felt something weird in my mouth. So I spit it back into my cup. Even then, I still couldn’t tell what it was. So, I poured it through a sieve, and that is when Kevin and I both saw what it was. A poor fly struggling to live. We were both rather grossed out, and Kevin wasted no time in directing me to the Listerine. 🙂

I guess that I’ll either need to put a screen over my coffee cup or just watch my coffee at all times from now on.

Enjoy your week!

Elizabeth

Are We Being Watched?

IMG_6061
This morning, while I was in the kitchen making coffee, I saw this contraption on the counter. Kylin is really into things related to security. Not the personal security of his place in life, but security cameras, security guards, security alarms, and so on. Recently, he found a black & white disposable camera from probably 8 years ago (it had pictures from a coast trip that I hadn’t developed) and he taped it to the wall above the window over our kitchen sink. It stayed there for about 2 weeks, until I came downstairs one morning, and I noticed that it was gone. I looked all over for it and couldn’t find it. So I thought that perhaps, he had finally taken it down. I found it, about a half an hour later, in the sink, in a container full of water. I guess I won’t be developing those pictures.
So this morning, I noticed a replacement camera, with a paperclip hanger, secured with my freezer tape. I guess he felt that the last camera was a fail as it didn’t stay up. So now, we may be seeing this camera staring us down when we walk through the kitchen. If this one doesn’t work, maybe we should hide the video camera and whatever he thinks he needs to hang it up! 🙂

Elizabeth

The Cooler

IMG_6059
For the most part, we use our cooler once per year, for the July 4th festivities. Every year, when those festivities are over, we bring this cooler into the house, into the livingroom, with the intention of taking out the remaining sodas and emptying out the ice and water. However, it tends to stay in the livingroom and serves as sort of a mini fridge. Then I start thinking about how cool(no pun intended) it would be to actually have a mini fridge there. Then I remind myself, that this isn’t a bachelor pad or a man-cave (not picking on men here, but I’ve never seen a mini fridge in a single woman’s livingroom), and we can walk 10 feet to the full sized one in the kitchen. And we could use the little bit of exercise to work off whatever caloric item we’re planning to get from that fridge.
Sometimes though, a mini fridge does sound like a nice idea.

Elizabeth

Another Birthday for My Grandma

My kids and my grandma

My kids and my grandma

On the day after our July 4th festivities, we celebrated my grandma’s 96th birthday! We are so happy to still be able to celebrate with her! I’m just happy that my kids have a great-grandparent they are close to. Especially a grandmother, since they really didn’t get to know their other grandmothers that well (due to death or illness). So Grandma, I hope that you had a wonderful birthday and enjoyed our company as well as we enjoyed yours! We Love you!

Elizabeth

The Oreo Ice Cream Shop Pie

It isn’t that often that my daughter makes desserts from mixes, however, every year since she was probably about 12, she’s made this easy dessert for our July 4th festivities (these days, she’s very much into baking everything from scratch). Oddly enough, she found this recipe in an ad in a Martha Stewart magazine, which surprises me considering that Martha is strictly a “make it from scratch” kind of gal.

Hot fudge dessert topping, 1 Oreo pie crust, 1 8oz, tub of Cool Whip, cold milk, and 2 pkg. (4 serving size each) Jello Oreo flavor instant pudding & pie filling

Hot fudge dessert topping, 1 Oreo pie crust, 1 8oz, tub of Cool Whip, cold milk, and 2 pkg. (4 serving size each) Jello Oreo flavor instant pudding & pie filling


Set aside 2 TBSP of the fudge topping

Set aside 2 TBSP of the fudge topping


Pour and evenly spread 1/2 Cup of the hot fudge dessert, covering the bottom of the crust (we've found that putting the hot fudge in the microwave for about 20 seconds, make it easier to pour and spread!)

Pour and evenly spread 1/2 Cup of the hot fudge dessert, covering the bottom of the crust (we’ve found that putting the hot fudge in the microwave for about 20 seconds, make it easier to pour and spread!)


Top and evenly spread half of the thawed whipped topping; freeze for 10 minutes

Top and evenly spread half of the thawed whipped topping; freeze for 10 minutes


Pour 1-1/4 C cold milk into a bowl, along with the 2 pkg of pudding mix

Pour 1-1/4 C cold milk into a bowl, along with the 2 pkg of pudding mix

Beat with a wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended (Mixture will be thick).

Beat with a wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended (Mixture will be thick).


Gently stir in remaining whipped topping

Gently stir in remaining whipped topping


Spoon mixture over whipped topping layer in crust

Spoon mixture over whipped topping layer in crust.


Freeze 4 hours until firm

Freeze 4 hours until firm


Remove pie from freezer 15 minutes before serving.  Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly.  Drizzle with remaining fudge topping (after you've nuked the topping for a few seconds)

Remove pie from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Drizzle with remaining fudge topping (after you’ve nuked the topping for a few seconds)


Doesn't this look yummy?  A cold glass of milk is usually needed afterwards!

Doesn’t this look yummy? A cold glass of milk is usually needed afterwards!

Oreon Ice Cream Shop Pie
Prep: 15 minutes + freezing
1/2 C Hot fudge dessert topping, divided
1 Oreo pie crust
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed and divided
1-1/4 Cups cold milk
2 pkg (4 serv. size each) Jello-Oreo flavor instant pudding & pie filling
REMOVE 2 Tbsp of the fudge topping; set aside. Spoon remaining fudge topping into crust; spread to evenly cover bottom of crust. Top with half of whipped topping; freeze 10 minutes.

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. eat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Gently stir in remaining whipped topping; spoon over whipped topping layer in crust.

FREEZE 4 hours or until firm. Remove pie from freezer 15 minutes before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Drizzle with remaining fudge topping. Store leftover pie in freezer. Makes 10 servings (or fewer, depending on the size of pie slice that you want).

July 4th!!

How was your 4th?
Ours was full of the usual traditions. The first of which was driving to Harrisburg for their annual parade. Harrisburg is a small, one traffic-light farm town. Their billboard along the freeway advertises that they are the “Grass Seed Capital of the World”. The surrounding farmland shows that they are just that.

We arrive at the parade route nearly 2 hours before the parade begins.............and then wait

We arrive at the parade route nearly 2 hours before the parade begins………….and then wait


Before the parade even started this wood burning steam engine slowly made it's way along the route

Before the parade even started this wood burning steam engine slowly made it’s way along the route


Finally, when the parade started, it was led by the bucket drummers, who did a very good job keeping a beat.

Finally, when the parade started, it was led by the bucket drummers, who did a very good job keeping a beat.

Just one of many firetrucks, representing several communities and towns

Just one of many firetrucks, representing several communities and towns


A symbol of the farm community.  Combines aplenty!

A symbol of the farm community. Combines aplenty!


John Deere was well represented!

John Deere was well represented!


After the parade, we went home to relax (and for some of us, take our contact lenses out for awhile). The afternoon usually involves a lunch of veggie burgers, potato salad, baked beans and chips (for those who don’t eat potato salad). watching “Independence Day”, and maybe take a nap.
In the evening, we ordered a pizza and drove back to Harrisburg for their fireworks along the banks of the Willamette River. We like to arrive early to get a good spot, eat our pizza, maybe walk down to our church’s elephant ear booth, visit with friends, and best of all, people watch (The drunk lady who was cheering on the fireworks with beer-bottle salutes and dancing was interesting. Hopefully she had someone to take her home. She did make the evening memorable though).
Dusk along the Willamette River

Dusk along the Willamette River

Ready for the 4th (almost)

IMG_5960 Are you ready for tomorrow? Are you planning to celebrate with your extended family or relax with your immediate family? Visiting with friends?
The plans for our 4th stay pretty much the same. We go to a nearby small town for their parade. Then we come home, and have burgers, potato salad, baked beans and chips. We watch “Independence Day” (because we all know that on the 4th, we’re really celebrating freedom from evil extra terrestrials!) Then in the evening, we buy a pizza, drive back to the small town for their fireworks show along the waterfront. It’s a full day, but full of traditions that we started when our youngest was born. Once again, however, there is one tradition that we won’t be having, and that is setting off fireworks at home. We have a foliage covered fence along the driveway that is directly across from our front door. I’d really hate for us to be known as the neighbor who set the neighborhood ablaze!
Today, our plans include making a couple of items ahead of time for tomorrow’s lunch. I’m making potato salad and Heather is making an Oreo pie (if I can, I will post this easy recipe).

I need to go prepare for a hungry family.
Have a happy and safe July 4th everyone!

Elizabeth 🙂