This is the last Sunday in April. Time just goes too fast and that thought has jolted my mind in a big way this past week. We all put things off all the time, even when we think we are on top of everything. The weather has played with us with warm, then cold, then warm, etc, until we look at the weeds growing like wild and yet afraid to plant what we want to grow for fear of frost. Some of my herbs are growing like wildfire and some have given up the ghost, like dear ole "Miss Rosemary." She doesn't seem to like to grow for me, anyway. I'll get a new plant when I know the weather will be warm enough. Both the Greek and Italian oregano over-wintered outside with no protection, but my gardenia (Southern) didn't, as I expected.
That container was just too big for me to get into the house. Husband Norm says we will have a ton of sunflowers since I swept the hulls (and seed) from the bird feeder to the out side of the patio wall. I hope so...
It is always a thrill to see what plants have reseeded themselves and I never want to dig up the beds until I save those plants. Drives Norm crazy. He would rather have only grass all over the outside of the house while I would be content to turn the entire yard into a flowerbed. By the way, some of the rose bushes are showing some leaves ; he may win out on that battle.
At one time, in Florida, I helped manage an insurance sales team. There is nothing harder to do than sell insurance, especially accident insurance. At every weekly meeting, we went over tons of motivational material, and some of those ideas and mottos do keep coming back into my head. I should listen to them more than I do. One I repeat every time I am faced with a kitchen full of dishes, pots and pans that need washing is, "If it is to be, it's up to me." No one else even sees a sink full of dishes. I do get a sense of accomplishment when the counters are all clean and the utensils and dishes are in the cupboard, but it takes a real push for me to get started.
I have put myself under a strict schedule to get the needed things, both work and enjoyment, listed and worked on. I tell others and need to keep telling myself, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life." I am revising my Bucket List, not only for things I want to accomplish but also for things I want to do and see for myself and with others.
Starting next weekend, there are 17 weekends until Labor Day weekend. The kids will be back in school then, so we have a limited number of weekends before they turn into another school year and get a year closer to when they get older and are doing their own thing - like getting married, going off to college or the military, leaving home and being adults. If you have young ones, try to make some fun plans for those 17 weekends of this summer and make happy memories for all of you. Get your calendar out and start making plans. Even "day trips" are good if time and money are problems, but do spend quality time with your little ones.
This summer, there are historic celebrations in our area and other nearby areas. Use a visit to one or more of them to remember and honor our past and teach our young ones about honor, patriotic duty, gratefulness, and a sense of family. There are several "schools" and camps where one can take up about any subject or craft one can think of. Most are quite reasonable and you and your young ones will enjoy doing things like this together. Don't waste this precious time for family togetherness.
One that caught my eye was a week in July at Berea College in Kentucky.
That school is a very respected college and a favorite of mine. Ninety percent of students come from the Appalachia area, of which we are part of, and the other 10 percent from the rest of the country and world. They pay no tuition and all work in some area of the college to pay their way through. There is also a college like that in Missouri and probably other states, too. Money tight for college? Think about that possibility.
Be kind to your family and friends and even those for which you don't particularly care. Make a sad person smile today and hug your kids. Thank you for the kind words so many of you have sent me. It means so much. God bless you all.
Do you make your own salad dressings? It is the time of year when we have to come out from under all those sweaters and into shorts and bathing suits so enjoy some salads to help getting them to fit. Remember, a dressing recipe is only a guide - change it to suit your family. Enjoy.
BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
Sour cream and Hellman's mayonnaise - equal amounts of each
Garlic powder or minced garlic clove - to taste
Fresh minced parsley or dried flakes
Fresh lemon juice - to taste
Fresh lemon zest - optional
Crumbled Blue cheese - to taste
Combine and refrigerate to blend flavors.
Hint: Use an 8-oz, container of sour cream and use container to measure the Hellman's. This makes a pint of dressing. Add other ingredients to taste, and do taste as you make it. This is great on a baked potato, too.
DRESSING FOR FRUIT SALAD
Whip one-half of heavy cream. Fold into one-cup mayonnaise. Fold one cup crushed strawberries and one to two tablespoons confectioners' sugar into whipped cream mixture. Use for fruit salads.
HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING
Two-thirds cup sugar
One teaspoon dry mustard
One teaspoon paprika
One-fourth teaspoon salt
One-third cup strained honey
Five tablespoons vinegar
One tablespoon lemon juice
One teaspoon grated onion
One-cup salad oil
Mix dry ingredients. Add honey, vinegar, lemon juice, and onion. Pour oil into mixture very slowly, beating constantly with electric mixer or in a blender. Keep in refrigerator. Makes two cups. Great on fruit salads as well as lettuce salads.
TOMATO SOUP FRENCH DRESSING
One can condensed tomato soup
One-half soup can vinegar (1/2 cup plus 2 tbs.)
One-half can salad oil (1/2 cup plus 2 tbs.)
Two tablespoons minced onion
Two tablespoons sugar
Two teaspoons dry mustard
One teaspoon salt
One-fourth teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients in a one-quart jar (with a tight-fitting lid.) and shake well. Shake again before using.
Variation: Add one-fourth cup sweet pickle relish.
TOMATO SOUP AND MAYO DRESSING
One can condensed tomato soup
One cup mayonnaise
One-fourth cup sweet pickle relish
One hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
One-half teaspoon minced onion
One-half teaspoon prepared mustard
One tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Blend soup and mayonnaise, then add remaining ingredients and mix well.
RANCH SALAD DRESSING MIX
One-fourth cup dried parsley
Three tablespoons dried minced onion
Two teaspoons dried chives
One-half teaspoon garlic powder
One-half teaspoon ground celery seed
One-fourth teaspoon freshly ground pepper
One teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in a small jar and mix well. Store in cool, dry place
One tablespoon dressing mix
One-fourth cup mayonnaise
Three-fourths cup buttermilk
Mix thoroughly, using a wire whisk. Slowly add buttermilk, stirring constantly until well mixed. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container.
To make a "light" dressing, use reduced calorie mayonnaise.
Contact Patty Christopher at firstname.lastname@example.org