Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Try It Tuesday, November 29th

So sorry that I did not post last week, but with preparations for Thanksgiving and such, I did not get around to trying something new with my smoothies or anything else.  So my original plan was to continue with the smoothies, but today I tried something new and decided I would blog about it instead.  We purchased this macaroni and cheese from Costco.  

Side note here, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE macaroni and cheese.  As a small child, I could tell if it wasn't Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Honestly, I know it frustrated some of my family greatly.  After my son came along, we switched from the "blue box" to Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  I've tried some of the generics and they are not all bad.  But I have really been trying to move towards real food.   What first attracted this to me?  I would have to say the price and amount in the box.  I've bought the organic options before and they are expensive.  After looking at the ingredients list on this product, I like that it has wheat macaroni.  The Nutrition Facts are as follows:

While the cooking process is a little more tedious than the single serve packs of Kraft Easy Mac or Velveeta Shells and Cheese, but I have to say I do like it quite well.  Overall the microwave time is less than than the Easy Mac or Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  Typical cooking time for those is 3.5 minutes vs. 2.5 minutes for this one.  You just have to do 1.5, stir and then cook for another minute. It is a little thicker than I expected, but I did enjoy it greatly.  Overall, I would buy this again.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Memories of Mom, Nov. 28th

Today's memory of Mom is more recent.  I am so thankful that God blessed me with my sweet husband so that I could have this time with my Mom before she left us.  To honor traditions, we had lunch the Friday before our wedding and my husband did not see me again until I met him at the alter.  I spent the evening at my Mom's house preparing the centerpieces for our wedding reception with my cousin.  I would not trade that time for anything in the world!  One thing I recall Mom saying as we were nearing my wedding day was that if I really loved her, I'd have someone else do my hair.  Just a side note here, I had only had 5 other people besides my Mom do anything with my hair over my entire life.  I could not imagine anyone else taking charge of my hair on that day.  We went through several different ideas together and finally settled that my hair should be down.  Little did I know at that point that she knew I had a veil coming that I was not anticipating, Mom loved keeping little things like that a secret.  She teased and curled my hair into submission and then sprayed it with the hopes that it would make it until the end of the reception.  I am not certain that anyone else could have done my hair the way that she did as she had all sorts of knowledge about my hair and it's tendencies.  She also decided that it was necessary for me to wear pantyhose in the middle of the summer, but I digress.  

My wedding day was not like many others that I know as our wedding took place at the historic village, Chestnut Square in McKinney, TX.  I got dressed in The Johnson House, which is where we are when this picture was taken.  Then walked over to The Dulaney House where I hid in the house until it was time to meet my future husband at the alter a/k/a the front porch of the house.  My Mom helped me stay out of his sight since it's bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.  My daughter also helped me to keep an eye out.  My wedding march took place from the dining room door to the front of the front porch.  Another side note here, there was a farmers market going on that weekend as well, but they were kind enough to steer clear where we needed to be.  Once the ceremony was over and pictures were taken, which were lots of fun, we moved to the reception location, The Bevel House.  My Mom, being who she is, made sure that I greeted each guest.  Although, to be honest, I had to get rid of my shoes not long after arrival to The Bevel House.  I was wearing what I referred to as my "big girl shoes" and they were making my feet hurt.  I do not think that my Mom would have been able to give me up for anyone who might have loved me less.  I am so thankful for that time with my Mom.  I have such fond memories of that day and many days.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Memories of Mom, Nov. 21st

Happy Monday!  This memory may be a rather mundane one, but it popped in my head this morning and I felt like it was necessary to share.  While my Mom didn't go to church when I was a youngster other than on holidays, she made sure that I made it there if I did not stay the night with my Nanny.  We had a ritual of sorts on those Sunday mornings.  We got up early enough that I could get ready for church and we would go by Jack in the Box and grab a Breakfast Jack and orange juice.  We would sit in the church parking lot and eat breakfast and talk until time for me to go in for church.  It may not seem like much, but those were some great mornings.  Honestly, I cannot seem to eat anything from Jack in the Box these days.  I suspect that as I have been trying to eat more real food, it seems that my tastes have changed so it no longer tastes good to me.  

I was reminded again this weekend how much I enjoy spending time in the kitchen and cooking for my family.  I can still remember those times when my Mom would get in a creative mood and she would make things that I would never have imagined.  She would make beans and then she would add things to it and we could have different things in different ways.  It may turn into chili that we would use for baked potatoes or we would make a variation of Frito pie.  Oh this were good times and I miss those times with my Mom.  This Thursday will be my first Thanksgiving without her and I will miss her terribly, but I will appreciate the traditions that my family and I share, some of which have been carried through our family for years and some are revival of past traditions.  I am so thankful for these times with family and nothing can replace those.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Try It Tuesday, Nov. 15th

I have decided to try something new, pun intended, and right now, I'm trying to find a way to decrease the amount of time that I am spending putting together my green smoothie each morning.  I am open for suggestions.  

I am starting with a suggestion that I read in a blog about someone that freezes their smoothies.  I prepared 4 smoothies on Saturday.  Two were mixed antioxidant fruit green smoothies and two were cherry green smoothies.  The first thing that I figured out is that it generally takes longer for my frozen smoothies to thaw.  I have found that it has been taking about 2 days for them to thaw completely.  Things I noticed about the one I had this morning are that it was not as flavorful as the fresh ones.  It also had clumps in it.  I decided to run it through the blender again and added a couple of chocolate chips and a little more ginger.  It was still not as flavorful, but it was tolerable.  I will try a different way next week.  I've seen different ways to speed the process on various different blogs.  While I may not try them all, I'm definitely going to find something that will speed the process for me in the mornings.  It may be as simple as I need to prepare it the night before.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Memories of Mom Monday, November 14th

This journey learning to live without my Mom is not easy.  Today's memory isn't one of my own, but is a story that I heard my Mom tell numerous times.  

I have always been a morning person.  Mom used to say that I would come to her bedside and pat her to wake her up telling her "I hungy" in the wee hours of the morning.  She would tell me that she and my dad would lower my baby bed to the lowest setting and they could never figure out how I managed to get out of my bed, but I would every night or very many nights anyway.  When I was old enough, Mom taught me to pull the drawers out so that I could climb up and get a bowl.  I would do this in order to make myself a bowl of cereal.  I remember climbing up those drawers to get my bowl.  I was so tiny back then.  In fact, not much bigger than I am in this picture.  I think it used to make Mom crazy because I was always a morning person.  I still am, although now I am not quite as bright-eyed and bushy tailed as I was back then.  I am so thankful for the memories that I have of my Mom and those times.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Memories of Mom Monday, November 7, 2016

On October 29, 2016, my life changed forever.  My Mom, Linda Dobbs Williams passed away at 8:24 p.m.  In an instant, I lost my best friend, my confidante and my biggest support/fan.  My Mom was so many things to me and for me and I will miss her dearly.  For some of you that have known my mom/me for awhile know that while my Mom had many pictures displayed, she had many snapshots that were placed into an old hard sided suitcase.  I found that it helped a little bit to go back through her pictures.  There were many memories that I shared that were captured in those pictures.  There are so many memories in there, but also memories that are not captured in those snapshots.  I thought that I would take Mondays for the next few weeks and share some of those memories.  This serves two purposes for me.  The first is that it gives me a chance to share some wonderful memories of my Mom and allows others to share them as well, but the second is that it gives me an opportunity to relive these memories when I go back and read them.

One thing that I will share today is simply that Mom always told me not to leave or hang up the phone without saying "I love you" because you never know what the next minute or the next day or the next week or the next month may hold until you talk to or see that person again.  That held very true for me last week.  The Friday night before my Mom passed, my husband and I took Mom some Popeye's popcorn shrimp, red beans and rice and biscuit.  She had not been eating much at all, but she let me feed her some.  She ultimately ate a little less than half of the popcorn shrimp, a few bites of the red beans and rice and a few bites of the biscuit.  I knew that things were not right with her because I could not get her to verbalize any answers to my questions.  She did respond to me before I left and told me that she loved me several times and told my husband as well.  It saddens me to think that I may not hear her say those words to me again, but I take comfort knowing that she did not suffer and that I respected her wishes.  When I answered the call on Saturday late morning, I knew the call was coming and knew what the doctor was telling me.  The fact of the matter is that tomorrow is not promised and we need to hug our loved ones and tell them that we love them because you never know when it may be the last time you have that opportunity.