Saturday, February 28, 2009

My first recipe to share!

Grandma Jo's Birthday Party Grits preheat oven to 350

Spray pans before filling. This makes a lot. I used a short round 12 in diameter casserole
pan, and a foil cake pan.

2 cups quick grits
8 cups water

Place 8 cups of water in a Dutch Oven or large stockpot
Bring it to a boil
Add 1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
1 TBSP garlic powder
2 cups of quick grits
Stir constantly once you add the grits, cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.

Once the grits are cooked,

Add and stir in:
1 TBSP parsley flakes or fresh chopped parsley(chives are good too)
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1 ~ 8 oz package of cream cheese cubed
1 16 oz container sour cream
12 oz of Velveeta cubed ~ I cut off the chunk, then slice through in thirds from 3
different sides to make the cubes. Break the chunks cubed apart before dropping into
the still hot grits.

Once all the add~ins are incorporated/melted into the grits, put them in the pan and
pop them in the oven for 30 ~ 45 minutes until the top is nicely browned. I usually
sprinkle a bit more Montreal Steak Seasoning and Garlic Powder on the top of the dish.

Grits tend to be a bit bland, so adding extra seasoning on top, spices up the servings.

The kids are having a good ole Texas Barbecue to celebrate Olivia's 1st Birthday. We'll be bring Grandpaparazzi's Barracho Beans and my fancy party grits. There would be lots of ways to slim down this recipe, like using no fat cream cheese, or substituing plain yogurt for the sour cream. So if you are watching your calories, Use Molly McButter instead of the real McCoy...

Friday, February 27, 2009

I finished my Retirement rug!

It is finally finished. The edges are turned under, and it is hanging on the wall. This rug is actually a primary source! I started my teaching career in 1968, and taught until 2008. During that period of time, we landed on the moon, the internet became available for use by schools, and our first African American President, Barack Obama, was elected! At the bottom, you can see a white section, that has my first email address acquired somewhere around 1990 or so. To the right you can see portions that include my two favorite internet projects. The Jason Project, which we did at Hidden Hollow Elementary in Kingwood, TX and Journey North(my absolute all time favorite internet project).

But there is so much more hidden in the symbolism of this rug. For example you probably notice that the 3 central parts have different colored backgrounds at the bottom. They are black for slate, green and white. My first school actually had the same style slate boards as when I went to school as a girl. After moving to Texas, and returning to newer school there were green chalkboards, and eventually the magnetic white dry erase boards. On the first you can see A, B, C in white for the white chalk we used. The middle section has j,k,l, in yellow like the anti glare yellow chalk that became popular. Those letters happens to be my initials and the middle of the alphabet and at the end W, x, y, z. You might have already figured out the profile is one of my favorite presidents, George Washington. If you haven't read a biography of his life, you should give yourself that pleasure.

The school house in the middle section has a dragonfly zipping along above it. TX roof, because the larger part of my career was here in TX. Dragonfly because, well, if you know me, you know that :)...

To give some perspective to its size which is roughly 30 inches by 50 here is a pic of a part of the rug and a French Door leading to our dining room. If you peek through the door, you can see light reflecting off the top of my dh's bald head. He hung this finished rug for me today. Not quite a year after the date I retired after 35 years as an elementary teacher.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm a hooker, not a blogger...

While most people might think it strange for someone to call themself a hooker, in this case I mean rug hooker. I've finished one rug this week, and am within a couple of evenings of finishing my BHR.(Big Honking Rug) I won't put any pictures of Bob the Mighty Hunter up until the end of March when that challenge is over. It is one of the rules of the game in our group. The pics cannot be posted online except on the challenge blog, until after the challenge is complete. When I finish the BHR which is a retrospective of my teaching career, up it will go. The deadline for that challenge was December 31st 2008. So missed that deadline by 2 months. Which isn't tragic or mean I'm a bad hooker. The bottom border just wouldn't come into my mental design...When it did I could have slapped my forehead! :) It was actually rather perfect in the way it fit into the symbolism of the rug. Every bit of my rug is about the 40 years or so while I was a teacher. It speaks to me of transformations. Some good, some I did not like at all. But change is inevitable.

When I put up the picture of that rug, there will be details of some parts and an explanation of what that section symbolises to me. You may laugh at how much I think this rug has to say about being an American teacher in the last 40 years. It is a job I recently retired from, June, 2008. It is a job that was my pleasure during the day, while working with students, and my bane while attempting to keep up with papers, deadlines, and the ever increasing convergent thinking of how children should be taught. Since my strength as a teacher was in divergent thinking, the last few years were extremely difficult for me. Ageing no doubt, was a part of that difficulty. Still in all, it is a job I was proud to do, and feel I could look God straight in the eye and say I done my best. Not with pride, just as a summary.

So watch for my rug to appear sometime soon. Bob will follow in April... his story will be told then too, but it is the same. As a kat, he done his best, and is still doing it. He is turning gray, and ageing too, but he is still kicking it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new view of life

Our granddaughter graduated into a new car seat this weekend. No longer facing the rear with only a view of the upholstery, which is fine when you are a baby. She wasn't sure when being buckled in, our daughter said she looked like she wasn't sure she approved of her new place. But then, the car started and she realized she could see the road ahead and perhaps out of the side windows too. She has always twisted her hands and feet with excitement, and looks a bit like someone conducting an orchestra when she gets going.

How often in our lives do we hang back, unsure about leaving the comfort of what we know? How do we change how we think of ourselves, define what makes our life of worth to us or others? I seldom think about these things anymore. Perhaps it's time for me to get a new car seat as well! But not tonight...