Monday, June 30, 2008

Our SS Class Rocks! ...or should I say...Eats!

Ummm.... Pretend the date of this post is Tuesday, July 1, 2008. Since I will be out and about in town tomorrow, I wanted to get this posted for all my SS friends to be able to see themselves in living color! Yes, I know I can "schedule" it to post in the morning...but I wanted it up tonight since I already sent the e-mail telling my class it was posted... so work with me here!

This post is simply to document that our Sunday School class (full of wonderful ladies, I just love!) actually got together away from church, for a change! We had a great time. Lots of good food and great fellowship. Thanks to Jeanne for opening her lovely home for us. I was kind in my picture-taking and no food was harmed in the process!

The "spread." Actually, there was even more than this! Comfort food, savory food, sweet food, cold food, hot food, salad, and non-salad. Yummy...except for the cantaloupe. I don't like cantaloupe...sorry. (Click on the picture and it will blow it up full size to see all the great food...except the cantaloupe, of course.)

Debbie posed all sweet and proper for her portrait.

Glenda slept through hers.

Nancy figured there was no sense fighting it!

Jeanne and Dawn were still trying to figure out where to put MORE stuff while we were already chowing down!

Linda, always ready for a picture and Susan trying to scope out a place to sit.

Jan and Kathy managed to evade my camera...but I got a far off shot here of Kathy and one of Jan's back with the food bar. Oh, well. I'll do better next month when we all meet at Linda's!

Oops! I missed myself, you say? Oh, my goodness....silly me!

Stay tuned.

Not Blue, Yet!

So, did you know the blueberries are ripe? I can hear you now..."Well, Meggy girl, that's all you've talked about for two weeks!" Oh, yeah. That's right. I guess I have written about them a bit. But I still have more to tell you!

My sweet dd actually "picked" blueberries on Saturday when we went to the Blueberry Patch with our friends, the Bellas. I meant to take pictures...but forgot my camera. (Maybe Mama Bella took a picture of her sweet dd with blueberry juice all over her cute outfit!)

Here are a few pictures of the fruits of our little labor:

This is what it looks like before they're washed. Look how BIG some of these are!

Several have asked for my luscious Blueberry Cobbler recipe. Last night I made some more....YUMMMY! I thought about taking pictures and doing it up really cool like PW. However, I was making two at one time and trying to hurry to get them in the oven at the same time as my wonderful home-made Mac and Cheese (I'm such a greeny--saving all that energy, ya' know!) I didn't have time to stop and take pictures. Plus, when I stop to take pictures, I have to make sure not to have all those dirty dishes in the picture...real life should NEVER intrude on such artistry!

Anyway, back to the Cobbler recipe. I found it on the internet. It doesn't quite fit my 5 Ingredient or less test...but it's pretty easy to make. Remember, if "I" can make it -- ANYBODY can!

Here is the recipe for Blueberry Cobbler in steps.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put 1 stick of butter in a 8 x 8 (or 9 x 9, who knows?) baking pan and melt the butter in the oven while it is heating up.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine 1 c. flour; 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/4 c. sugar; 3/4 c. milk.

After butter is melted, take it out of the oven. Pour flour mixture evenly over the butter in the pan. Don't stir it.

In the same--now empty bowl, combine 2 c. blueberries; 1/2 c. sugar; 1/2 water. Spoon this mixture evenly over the flour mixture. Do not stir.

Bake 40-45 minutes until it's bubbly and the top is golden brown. Serve by itself or with ice cream.

The recipe says it makes 4-6 servings. This stuff is so rich you won't be able to eat 1/6 of I think it will serve a lot more.

Here are the actual ingredients in a different format. Don't miss out on making this yummy dish!

1 stick of butter/margarine
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. milk
2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water

Here's a picture of the finished product.

I've eaten so many blueberries in the past few'd think I'd start turning blue! Not yet!But I'll keep you posted. Wish I could send you a package or two...but Wonder Woman wants I'll be heading over there later today. But first thing, about 7:30 am, I'm headed back out for some more blueberries. We just can't seem to get enough of them!

Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't You Just Hate It?

Yesterday morning after picking blueberries with Bella, I was thrilled to walk into my humble, but gloriously air conditioned (sorry, Kell) home. My shirt, shorts and socks (and everything underneath) were drenched with sweat. I took off my hat and my hair was matted and wet. So, I hopped in the shower to get refreshed and come back to some semblance of decency.

You see, I hate to sweat! Looking at my rather portly size, it's clear that I don't exercise enough. Would you believe that having to sweat is why I hate to exercise? It's true. That is the main problem. It's not that I hate huffing and puffing or the pain from stretching muscles. I hate to sweat because it makes me feel something less than human (even though I don't know what that is!). Totally unlike all you athletic types who think perspiring is a good thing and love it when you're soaked to the skin. So now you know one of my not so secret, deep dark secrets. But that actually has nothing to do with the question I'm asking you today.

After stepping out of the shower, I took the time to blow-dry my hair. I wasn't planning on going anywhere, but my hair left to dry on its own is actually quite hideous. my question. Don't you just hate it when you are just going to hang around the house, but you dry your hair anyway...and it turns out PERFECT? I mean, it looks better than it EVER does when you're working on it for Sunday morning and praying for a good hair day! What's the deal? I did it EXACTLY the same as always -- yet, it looked wonderful! I would have taken a picture for you...but then I would have had to do the whole makeup thingy. So you'll just have to imagine me with wonderfully coiffed hair. I guess I can always say I was doing it for Mr. Fix-It. So he can come home to his wonderful wife with the GREAT hair.... or maybe not.

Stay Tuned.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Free, Cute Tote Bag...maybe!

Check out this blog for a chance to win a free totebag...but ya' gotta hurry!

Help! Call the Geek Squad!!!

Last night I lost my mind. Yeah, really. I lost my mind.

As I've mentioned before, I am NOT a techy. I don't have one of those techy sons like the Princess does...or one of those techy husbands like my friend Tammy does. If it isn't a totally brainless operation, I will mess it up when it comes to changing something on my computer. I'm terrified of losing my credo is: Just Leave It Alone...maybe it will magically change itself.

I've actually got that Polish girl and her mom bamboozled into thinking I'm Super-Blog-lady because I added a few cool widgets. But those things kind of just added themselves when I pushed a that doesn't really count as techy. Even 'I' CAN follow specific directions...most of the time.

But I must admit...last night I succumbed to the poking and prodding of my sweet dd who has been at me to spiff up my blog with a 'cooler' layout. Yes, I lost my mind. What was I thinking? I admit, PRIDE got the best of me. Obviously, my brain was not functioning at it's highest power mode.

So, here is how it went down. I had been doing my normal blog surfing (yes, I'm addicted...more about that another day), drooling over the really cute layouts of some of these blogs. Where do they get these things? I kept showing these beauties to my dd and she kept saying that I should look at Pyzam and find one for myself. I thought, "What could it hurt to look?"

Well, they had some pretty spiffy layouts at many, I couldn't decide on one. They have every color, shape and blinky thing. (Those blinky ones would drive my friend Carole bonkers!!! LOL!!)

Finally, I decided on one. I must have followed the directions fairly closely because it actually put the layout on my site...but then, I didn't like it. To further muddy the pot...ALL MY LOVELY WIDGETS DISAPPEARED!!! Oh, NO!!!!

Yes, widgets can be replaced (but I worked so hard building my BlogList...and I deleted my bookmarks to those places and I'll have to surf for days and days and days to find them again...oh, no!). My dd felt terrible. But it wasn't her fault...again, it was MY pride...wanting to be spiffy! Girls, if you ain't just ain't spiffy!

But now, I don't like the layout. So, back we go to Pyzam and try for another. I found another one, I thought I liked better. I loaded it; just like before...I think. Only, it doesn't work. I try another. It doesn't work either. Oh, my. I've really messed this thing up good AND I still don't have my widgets! Even the first layout was gone and I couldn't get it back!

Help!!!! Where is the Geek squad when you need it. We kept looking for a help button or someplace to say "HELP!!!" but none were to be found. My dd kept saying "Doesn't Blogger have a "Tom" like they do for MySpace; we could ask him how to fix this." No, apparently Tom doesn't work for Blogger. Eeeek!

Long story...hopefully, a little shorter... (with me that's rarely the case!). After much more searching, restoring, un-doing, re-doing, updating, un-dating, etc.; I finally have a new, cuter layout--not from Pyzam. I hope you like it, because it ain't gonna change any time soon!

It does have some features I don't like. For example, it doesn't show the Blogger thingy at the top, so it makes editing the page a bit harder; the columns are too know skinny things and people intimidate me; and it won't let me change the I'm stuck with them. I'll probably find some other things I don't particularly care for, but unless I find some techy know-how somewhere, it ain't gonna change any time soon!

A free piece of advice for my loyal readers: Mama's, don't let your babies grow up to be non-techy. Make them learn how to do stuff so they can fix what you mess up!

We're off to pick more blueberries this morning with my friend, Bella. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of the new spiffed-up look!

Stay tuned!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blueberry Yogurt Crunch

Pioneer Woman's blog is my favorite blog. Her pictures are so wonderful...dd drools over their Mustangs. Since PW inspires me soooo much, I decided to pass along my NEW favorite recipe. I actually made this up...I am just soooo creative! (You'll laugh when you see HOW creative!)

So, I'm going to do the PW thing and show you my recipe; complete with pictures!

This no-bake recipe is so yummy. It's become a big favorite of mine.

In keeping with my 5-Ingredient or less rule; here are the things you will need.

Yogurt: I love the Publix Honey Almond. YUM!

Blueberries: As many as you like. Don't sugar them up!

Granola Bar: Whatever flavor you like. They usually come 2 bars to a package...but I only use one in this recipe.

Put 1/2 the container of yogurt in a bowl.

Pour blueberries on top. Use as many as you like.

Stir in the berries. Make sure each berry is covered in yogurt. See how juicy these are? Yummmm...

Put one granola bar in a plastic bag...or just out on the counter if you like lots of crumbs everywhere! Then take a coffee cup, the back of a spoon, or even your hand to crush the bar up. Just make it nice and crumbly. Today I used my favorite antique jelly jar. The dinosaur seems to be stepping on it with his big feet. This is also a good way to clear up any frustration you might know...destroying something.

This is what the crushed bar should look like, unless you get carried away!

Carefully pour the crushed granola across the top of the blueberry and yogurt mixture. I say "carefully" because many times the dinosaur gets a little excited and pokes holes in the sandwich bag while crushing the granola. So, be careful that the crumbs don't miss the bowl!

This is what it should look like...without my shadow, of course.

This is what it will look like VERY quickly. Yummmm.... I could probably eat this every meal for dessert! Since you only used 1/2 the yogurt, and 1/2 the granola bar'll have enough to make two of these!!!

I know you're thinking..."but Meg.. the grocery store sells fruit yogurt with the crunchies attached on top." They must have copied me somehow...

Stay tuned for more yummy blueberry recipes...perhaps, not quite as complicated as this one! LOL!!

This post was included in Works For Me Wednesday posts which feature 5-Ingredient or Less Recipes. To read more recipes, check out the Rocks In My Dryer blog...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blueberry Blurb

Blueberries have never been terribly high on my list of favorites. Nothing against the blueberry...we've just never been very well acquainted. Until lately.

It kind of started when someone on our homeschool e-loop mentioned a U-Pick Blueberry patch near us. The patch just happens to be very near the head waters of the Wacissa River; about 7 miles from our house. Getting hot picking blueberries, enjoying fellowship with friends, then taking a nice cool dip in the frigid, crystal clear spring waters of the river sounded intriguing. THEN, I read in a magazine that I could lose 5 pounds a week eating yogurt and blueberries for breakfast. Even more intriguing. I was ready to go!

Well, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know the blueberry picking didn't happen as planned. However, knowing my recent interest in blueberries, Mr. Fix-It found out that we have neighbors with a big blueberry patch, just up our dirt road, who will let anyone pick as many blueberries as they want for free! The only trade-off is that this patch has not been tended for many years and we have to be very watchful for snakes. [Let me be clear: My opinion of snakes is that the only good snakes are dead snakes. With that in mind, living in the country has taught me that there are beneficial snakes (i.e., oak snakes, rat snakes, corn snakes, King snakes, etc.) that are helpful because they keep the critter population down, thus keeping rattlesnakes away. Because of this, I won't kill these snakes...anymore. But I refuse to consider them good!]

So, early Saturday morning, dd and I set off for the blueberry patch up the road; having endured the extremely zealous lecture from Mr. Fix-It regarding his mandate that we must be ever vigilant in watching for snakes with our every step.

As we approached the patch, we observed five other cars parked alongside the fence-line. None of them familiar. Having never been to this particular patch, thus, not knowing the "lay of the land," I was not overly-excited about dealing with strangers in my blueberry picking attire (hole-y jeans, old shoes, ragged shirt, baseball cap and Publix bag). Yet, we forged ahead.

Long story short, we met some delightful folks from the other side of town who picked here each year. They happened to be retired homeschoolers having finished their academic journey with their children. Many of the other pickers were current homeschoolers from a family of whom I know the Mom, but not the children. The time went very quickly. We picked and picked.

We did have one run-in with a snake. It was a skinny, green Grass snake about 18" long. It was not on the ground. It was actually making it's way through the bushes, down the row of trees. It kind of startled us at first; it didn't really scare us. We even enjoyed watching it's prowess in gliding through the branches. Our new friend, the retired-homeschooler lady, was NOT thrilled. She kind of freaked out when we told her it was headed her way. I confess that I did kind of enjoy teasing her when I walked up, pointed right over her shoulder and said "Oh! It's right there!!!!" and she jumped and screamed--even though the snake wasn't anywhere in sight. (In my defense, I grew up with all brothers who delighted in scaring's their fault!)

Between dd and me, we picked nearly a gallon of berries within an hour. This seemed quite enough for me. But the main reason we left the patch was because dd kept whining about how great it would be for her just to ride her horse up the road and pick the blueberries while sitting on his back. Over and over I listened to this... Finally, (since I thought we had enough picked) I gave in and we headed home. After arriving home (2 minutes later!), she decided it was too hot to ride. Wonderful.

After cleaning the berries, dividing them into bags with 2-cup portions, and into the freezer; I felt very satisfied with my morning's work. I left several bags out so that I could make a couple of cobblers. (A fresh Blueberry Cobbler was the one condition my dd insisted upon in return for her labor in picking them.)

I searched the web for recipes and found one that I thought would work for my purposes, then I made two cobblers. One for our family and one for my Sunday School class. I love to WOW my SS class with my very rare homemade treats. (They say WOW because they know me and know that cooking is just not my forte'.)

Yummmmm! The cobblers were delicious. We saved one cobbler for our family; shared the other with my SS class, then took the left-over portion to our dear friend, Mrs. Becky, since she wasn't well enough to come to church.

After sharing some of the bags of blueberries with friends and eating many blueberries ourselves, I realized we didn't pick nearly enough blueberries. So, another foray into the blueberry patch was quickly planned for Monday morning. Yes, dd rode her horse; I drove.

I had invited many other homeschoolers to share in the fun...but only one family joined us. No parents. Just kids and teens. They scattered throughout the patch, so I was relegated to picking alone...singing out loud to ward off the snakes. [Note: Singing doesn't actually scare off snakes...stomping does...but I didn't really feel like stomping.] Actually, picking alone under the shady trees was quite enjoyable.

Mr. Fix-It stopped by for a few minutes on his way to a job. He picked and picked and picked. None of them went in my bag. They all went into his mouth. (He likes blueberries and pretty much any other fruit or vegetable right off the tree, bush or stalk. His favorite thing is to walk through a garden, pull corn off the stalk, husk it and eat it right then and there. Yeah, sounds gross to me too! But he likes it.)

By the way, the horse thing didn't work very well. She spent more time trying to get close enough to the bush to pick. Her horse was very impatient. She got off and tried to pick while letting him graze. That didn't really work either, because the horse kept nudging her into the bushes! LOL!! He'll be tied up to the fence on our next trip!

In the past week, I've come to love blueberries. After researching the health benefits, I like them even more. I haven't lost the 5 pounds a week...yet -- but I've come to love blueberries!

I've enjoyed sharing blueberries with my friends so much, I only have a few bags left in the freezer! This cannot be!!! So... I'm going blueberry picking again tomorrow with my neighbor and her grandkids. If you're in the area, you're welcome to join me--I promise not to tease about the snakes. I probably won't even sing. Maybe I can pick a couple of gallons...maybe that will be enough. Probably not.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Turtle Soup, Anyone?

So... it all started when I read my friend Kara's blog yesterday. She mentioned that her boys liked turtles; her husband started collecting turtles for them; and Kara was trying to contain them.

A few minutes later, Mr. Fix-It called and asked me to bring some lunch for him to the job he was working on. (Mr. Fix-It doesn't like to leave to eat...unlike his loving wife who will ALWAYS stop to eat!) So, being the wonderful wife I am, I quickly packed up a few pieces of left-over frozen pizza, some chips, some bite-sized Maple & Brown Sugar Mini Wheats for dessert and a big bottle of sweet tea. Lunch of champions! [This really has absolutely NOTHING to do with my story...but I thought it might help you with your menu planning! Just another freebie for my loyal readers!]

Okay, back to Turtles. After delivering Mr. Fix-It's lunch, I was on my way home down the dirt road. About halfway through the woods, I see a young turtle taking a jaunt across the road. I slowed down to check it out --we check out wildlife here in the woods quite often! After contemplating the situation for about 4 seconds, I decided NOT to pick it up and take it to the Bella's. Don't ask me whether this was indeed a turtle or a gopher tortoise -- I don't know or care. If it has a shell--IT IS A TURTLE, in my book!

When I made it home, I laughingly sent an e-mail to my friend telling her that her blog had conjured up a turtle on our road! Thought no more about it.

Fast forward to this afternoon. My sweet dd and I are driving home after a long day in town. As we stopped to pick up the mail, I glanced up the road. Lo, and behold ...ANOTHER turtle!

I'm starting to see a trend here! After whipping out my trusty camera, I encouraged dd to take a picture.

This turtle had dug a small hole --in the middle of the road! For what? To lay eggs? To use the bathroom, like a cat? Hmmmm...I am not a turtle expert. This turtle was attitudinizing; totally ignoring dd! However, after a bit of prodding, dd escorted the turtle off the road... encouraging her/him to dig the hole elsewhere.

If this trend continues, we may have to invite the Bella's over for a "turtle watching" field trip. Maybe they can titivate my knowledge of turtles. We can always go down to the pond and watch them jump off the logs...

Stay tuned.

Friday, June 20, 2008

VBS 2008...It was a Blast!

Wow! What a great week -- with some GREAT kids!
Remember, if you want to blow up a picture for more detail, just click on it. (Note: There are VBS pictures posted over 3 different posts...don't miss the first ones on Tuesday, June 17)

Heads removed to protect the guilty!
(Adult Break Room...YUMMY!)

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!