How do we eat healthy at work? It is very difficult when you are surrounded by sweets, treats and quick grab vending machines. Being sent home to work remote was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am able to fix my own meals and I am not tempted by the monthly cake squares we used to get.
Meal prep is the key. . .
When I worked in the office, meal prep was the key. Fixing a few days in advance always helped me stay prepared to go to work. Working twelve hour days you cannot just take your lunch, you need breakfast and a good snack too.
This is a fabulous chicken and rice soup my hubbs made this morning.
One of the chicken pies the hubbs made too.
The Hubbs and his chicken soup and chicken pie. . .
We each have our own specialties and the hubbs is definitely his chicken soup and chicken pie. The boys love these especially the soup.
4-5 Chicken breast
2 large containers low sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4-5 cloves garlic minced
1 T oregano
5 fresh sage leaves
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 T Montreal steak marinade, 2T red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup water and mix that together and pour over the chicken and a little chicken broth and minced garlic cloves. Place Chicken and all of the above in the crock pot and cook on low for about 8 hrs.
After your chicken is cooked pull it out and shred about 3 chicken breast for your soup and save the other breast for your pies. Put your shredded chicken back in the crock pot with the above ingredients and cook on low for about 5 hrs, You can use your left over chicken to make pie or you can use it to pack your lunch with salads, wraps, or just over some rice.
Stay tuned for some more meal prep and healthy eating ideas from my kitchen to yours, until we eat again. . .
I resolve this year to be a better me, I do not want to be better than anyone else just a better me. Have said this time and again and I do try to do and be better each day. When I say be better I mean, be more forgiving of myself and others, be more patient with others, and goodness knows I want to improve my health.
I am on a constant improvement plan. . .
I am on a constant improvement plan for myself; improving my diet, physical health, and my mental health. Work required some interesting reading this past year and I am glad that it did. I read some books I probably would never have even thought about. Emotional Agility, by Susan David and dare to lead by Brene Brown were both good reads.
This is the year of the Wedding. . .
Lots of posts will be Wedding related, so much to do and so little time. You would think we have it all done but little things keep popping up and oh, you need to do that too. This is going to be a huge emotional year for our family as our first born starts his life with his new bride. I have to say I am very excited to be gaining a daughter. Sprat and Sweet G spent Christmas at our house this year, which was great.
Tasting at the Reception Venue
Fun at the Wedding Show
Been awhile since I posted last. . .
It has been awhile since I posted last, life got real busy and I will be honest I was just too tired to do anything but sleep. Getting more rest and self care will be a goal for me this year. We could all use a little more self care, I think we hustle and bustle so much to try and please everyone we lose sight of our own care.
Stay tuned. . . Weddings, Love, Self Care and family will be the focus this year. . .
Do not be afraid of my title, nobody has passed away. I am merely reflecting on life these days. Life is a journey not a destination and I am going to try harder to remember that. Feeling the need to embrace new adventures and get out of my “corner ” of the world more often.
My hubby might be shocked. . .
My hubby might be shocked to know he inspired this post. As we age things change; our bodies, minds, and our abilities to do things like we have in the past. I used to be a very social person but, I have changed over the years. No longer do I want to go out to clubs or parties and somedays I do not even want to leave my home. I need to find that social person again or I may find myself all alone with only a dog to socialize.
Now, I could blame my reclusiveness on COVID but that would be wrong. My introversion started way before COVID. The hubs did share a story with me about when he was in first grade and did not want to go to school. He even begged his mom to let him stay with his uncle. His mom made him go to school, she worked the school cross walk. The uncle, that my husband wanted to stay home with, took my hubby and his cousin to school every day.
As I have aged. . .
As I have aged, I have become less go out and do things and more snuggle at home with a good book or Netflix. I must admit the boys being in school in Massachusetts has helped with my getting out of my corner of the world. It has given me a desire to visit other states and cities. The boys going out of state to school may have been a blessing to me as much as it was a blessing to them.
Traveling. . .
The hubbs and I have often talked about traveling to all of the states and checking out their historic spots. He has retired and has not stopped long enough for us to make any plans to travel. My hope is that he will slow down and we can make some plans together. We are the two, that before we had kids, took off one night and drove four hours to get crab legs.
I hope to rekindle some of that spontaneity from our youth. Here’s hoping!
We took a quick trip to the zoo while Big T was home for the Summer.
Many updates since my last post. Sprat is now a college graduate and is on the job hunt. He will be a history teacher and hopes to coach lacrosse. We all attended graduation against the will of Big T. Not sure why my kids do not want to bask in all of the celebration that goes along with graduation.
Graduation. . .
The hubbs and I drove up for all of the celebrations. We attended Catholic Baccalaureate Mass it was a very moving service. We are not Catholic, so it was all new to us. I loved that we got to see the hooding ceremony during the Mass. The next day was graduation, we stood in line for an hour to get in to the venue. We sat for another hour before the graduation started. Despite Sprat’s reluctance in participating in all of the hoopla he had the biggest grin on his face the whole time. I was thrilled to see him so happy.
Big T and Sprat after Mass
Sprat and Sweet G
After Graduation, see that smile. . .
Senior Night at Lacrosse
Sprat and I after Mass
My boys are home. . .
My boys are home, we moved them home after graduation, only to be home for a short while. They are working on getting jobs for the Summer and playing lacrosse. Big T is taking two classes this Summer to lighten his load in the Fall and Spring. Sprat is moving back to Massachusetts for the Summer to work.
Conclusion. . .
Our Summer is packed with Wedding plans and celebrations, stay tuned to see what is next in my corner.
Sprat is in college in Massachusetts, Sprat is about as southern of a boy as there ever was. We are not rednecks but, our hayseeds do show on occasion. The Southern drawl is strong with my oldest, and funny thing, the farther North he went the harsher his accent became.
Sprat’s first college. . .
Sprat’s first college he attended closed due to financial difficulties, it was a small private college. He will graduate from the college that he transferred to when that first one folded. The professors at the first college took great pride in ridiculing my son for his accent and what they believed his upbringing to be. They believed all Southerner’s were dumb and drove around in pick up trucks with deer strapped to the hood. My very sweet and proud Southern boy did not cower or waiver in his studies or his passion, he persevered like all fine Southern gentlemen.
Not everyone ridiculed the Southern gentleman.
Not everyone ridiculed my Southern gentleman, the girls found him very interesting. The little Southern boy from North Carolina had all the young ladies in Massachusetts a little confused. They did not know what to do with him or how to react to him. He was not what they were accustomed therefore, they were intrigued. As you are already aware, my Southern gentleman has found his forever person in the North. The North has infiltrated our clan and Sweet G will officially join our family in 2024. We could not be happier for these two crazy kids.
Sweet G . . .
Sweet G and Sprat became friends through mutual friends at school. This very sweet young lady has taken care of my Southern gentleman when he was sick and took care of both the boys at Thanksgiving this past year. Her petite stature holds a huge heart.
There is a language barrier. . .
There is a language barrier between the North and South, Southerners have little phrases and words Northerners have never heard. If you told a Northerner to “go up yonder and get yur clothes changed.” They may not know where you wanted them to go. “I’m fixin to get supper on the table.” That means you are about to eat. What about a “lightnin bug,” do you know what that is? That is a firefly. Did your mama ever tell you, you were “gonna get a switchin?” If she did that means you are a Southerner and you got your butt “whopped” from time to time. If your daddy ever came home from work and said, “I feel like I have been rode hard and put up wet,” then your daddy had a pretty hard day. I will never forget my mom telling me about a small bathroom at the hospital, she said, “you couldn’t cuss a cat in here without gettin hair in your mouth.”
Sprat’s Southern observations. . .
I will never forget Sprat calling home one day from college to tell us how things were going, this was before Big T was attending. Sprat was telling about lacrosse practice and then stopped and he said, “mama these people do not know what rain smells like.” Laughing out loud, I asked him what he was talking about. He said after practice he and several guys walked out of the locker-room and he took a deep breath and said he could smell rain coming. After he had voiced this observation to his friends they all looked at him like he had three heads. Apparently that is not something they noticed or had ever heard before but, in the South you know rain is coming because the air smells different right before a rain shower.
Sprat called another day after practice just to talk and let us know how things were going. He said, “Mama, the coach was playing a good song on the radio during practice and I asked him to cut it up.” According to Sprat, coach did not know what he was talking about. Coach said, what do you want cut up and Sprat replied the radio so we can hear the song. This is another one of those old Southern sayings. Cut it up, referring to the volume on the radio.
Yes, it is official, I am old. I am no longer a mother of teenagers but, a mother to two young adults. Wow!! That was hard to even type much less imagine. Very proud of both my young men and I look forward to see where they will go in life.
Celebrating. . .
Celebrating Big T and his birthday this month. He is no longer a teen but a young adult. So proud of him and all that he has accomplished. Big T was the one that scared me the most; pre term labor at 26 weeks, flu at 2 months with a temp of 106, and then the swine flu at age 7. This one really tested this mothers nerves like no other. He gets so aggravated with me about celebrating everything but what he does not realize is how close I was to losing him before he even took his first breath. So yes, I celebrate EVERYTHING! I am the Mother!
This one did test my limits and my strength as a mother but, I would not change a thing. I am old, I have gray hair, and wrinkles much to my dismay. I gave up coloring my hair but, I am still fighting the wrinkles. Stay tuned as the journey continues into good food, real food, and updates on the nuptials.
Sprat’s friend came down to visit after Christmas, he wanted to show her around our little town. She is from Massachusetts and graduated last year, she is a very sweet young lady. I will call her sweet G, sweet G will be joining our family in the near future, no dates are set at this time. We are very excited to welcome her to our clan.
Not sure how to act. . .
Not sure how to act, I have never had a daughter before nor have I been a mother-in-law. This is going to open up a whole new territory for me. Going to be a roller coaster of emotions this year as Sprat graduates and will be planning his new life with his bride to be. We are very excited and cannot wait to see where they land.
The very happy couple. . .
Conclusion. . .
Stay tuned for more on the nuptials, no dates at this time. Lots of celebrating to do this year.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. I have never been one to make resolutions, I do resolve to be better this year than I was last. When you make grandiose resolutions, I feel like you are setting yourself up for failure. Nobody wants that!
Goals of the New Year. . .
I do have goals for the new year, I would not call them resolutions, merely goals for what I would like to accomplish or change this year. My schedule at work has gotten a little hectic again so I would like to get that under control. Trying to find a work/life balance is a big goal this year as well as getting into more of a routine with working out and work. There are several new recipes I hope to try out also. Looking forward to lacrosse season and traveling to see the boys play. The hubbs and I have some work we would like to do around the house this year, a few upgrades here and there. The house could use a good de- cluttering too, not sure if I am up for that or not.
Updates. . .
Sprat will be graduating in the Spring, he will finish out his last season of lacrosse and then off to educate our youth in history. Big T is completing his sophomore year and second season of lacrosse and has changed his major. Both of these kids have changed their majors at least twice and I believe Sprat did three times. That is what college is for though, to find your passion and figure out what your interests really are.
Conclusion. . .
It is my hope that the boys will go back to school and have a wonderful last semester and a great lacrosse season. I am very excited and anxious for Sprat as he completes his senior year of college preparing to go out into the world. He is going to be a great teacher, I know that deep in my soul. It is hard to believe that my baby is graduating college. Very proud of both of these boys for all they have accomplished, they each faced their own difficulties and soared above each of them.
The tree is up and decorated and I have tried to clean up all the needles left by our tree. Having the day off and getting to decorate the house for Christmas was very nice. I decided I would decorate the whole house, I brought out my Christmas china and decorated the bathrooms too. As I was putting ornaments on the tree I thought about each one and where they came from.
Christmas ornament memories. . .
Each of our ornaments has some significance, I pick up ornaments when we travel and the boys get an ornament every year from me and their grandmothers. Last year as I was putting away the Christmas ornaments I fixed a box for Sprat and Big T so I could keep their ornaments separated. When they leave our home to make their way in the world they have a nice neat box of their ornaments.
I remember when the hubbs and I got our first tree, we were just dating but we put a tree up in his apartment. We did not have any ornaments so we went to this little store in town and bought some ornaments and lights so the tree would not be naked. When the boys are ready for their first apartment they will have ornaments for their tree. Their tree will not look as shaby as ours did, it was rather pitiful.
While decorating our tree this year I noticed I had two ornaments that were similar, one was mine and one was the hubbs. Mine was a little girl silhouette in brass playing an instrument at the bottom it had my name engraved, this was given to me by my parents when I was little. The hubbs was a little boy silhouette in brass playing an accordion, it had his name and a year engraved on his. We have been married almost thirty years and I just noticed these two ornaments or maybe I noticed them earlier and never really thought about it.
Our animals have ornaments too. Every year I put their ornaments on our tree and think about each of those that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Sweet Basil gets a new ornament each year too. Yes, we are crazy about our fur babies, they have stockings too for Santa.
Unique Ornaments. . .
Every year we put a pickle ornament on our tree. This is a German tradition, the pickle is the last ornament placed on the tree Christmas Eve after the children have gone to bed. On Christmas morning the first child to find the ornament gets a special extra gift. The purpose of the search for the pickle is so that the children look at the ornaments on the tree and appreciate them before rushing to open presents. The boys have always loved this tradition and oddly enough they never get mad at each other that one gets an extra gift.
We have a birds nest ornament that we put in our tree every year. This was given to me by my mother – in- law and she says that having the birds nest in your Christmas tree brings you luck in the new year.
The hubbs has a cardinal ornament that he insists must be on our tree every year. This is his tradition, his cardinal had seen better days so I found a newer one and replaced it so we could continue. There is also a weird green and gold ball that must be hung on our tree every year. One Christmas my husbands grandmother took him shopping and he wanted these hideous green and gold satin balls and she bought them for him. His mother was not very happy with the selection, it did not go with any of her other ornaments but she put them on the tree. Every year one or two of them went missing until she had only three left and she would hide them in the back of the tree. When my hubby and I were married I was gifted those three hideous green and gold balls, the hubbs is quite insistent that they are on our tree every year. The boys will be gifted two of these balls when they leave our home to make their way in the world, they also each have a pickle ornament in their box too.
Conclusion. . .
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our quirky Christmas traditions. I would love to hear about your Christmas traditions quirky or not. Stay tuned recipes of Christmas to come. . .
Thanksgiving brings all sorts of memories for everyone. I remember going to my Grandmother’s and all of the most wonderful food. When I was younger I did not eat everything like I do now, I was a little picky. Eating mostly vegetables and sweets, I was thankful for a family full of wonderful cooks. There was always a large table full of the most delicious cakes, pies and cookies.
Some of my favorites. . .
Aunt Mildred made the best coconut cake followed by: banana pudding, chocolate chip cookies, and my moms pecan pie/tassies. I always loved the veggie tray with dip and my grandmothers’ dressing. We did not do stuffing this was dressing in little squares like cornbread. Mom still makes it just like grandmother did, stale bread, cornbread,Pepridge Farm seasoning, onion, chicken stock, celery, and all kinds of spices.
A little out of sorts this Thanksgiving. . .
I am a little out of sorts this Thanksgiving, my boys will not be able to come home this year. Sprat is completing his student teaching and it is just not feasible for them to drive two days to spend one with us and drive back. We are very sad they will not be here but it is completely understandable and unavoidable.
I am Thankful this Thanksgiving. . .
I am thankful for a very kind family who is taking both boys in for the holiday. Sprats’ friend text me to ask for recipes for the foods that the boys had suggested??? I have to laugh about my kids they are so funny and have the best friends. I sent an email with recipes of their favorite foods that I make. We are blessed beyond measure by those that surround us.
A few little tidbits. . .
Fresh garlic butter: I use Brumel and Brown butter and press 3-4 cloves of garlic and cream together.
Homemade Mac & Cheese
1 box whole wheat elbow pasta cooked to package directions. 5 Tbsp butter melted with 2-3 Tbsp flour whisked to avoid lumps, pour 2 cups whole milk or heavy cream and whisk to avoid lumps. After mixture is blended add cheese aprox 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar add a handful at a time and whisk till smooth. Once all cheese is added, drain pasta and put in large casserole dish and pour cheese mixture over pasta and serve. You can top with some extra cheese if you like.
Horsey Deviled eggs
1 dozen boiled eggs, I like to use the instapot, peeled and separated. Mix 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tsp creamy horseradish, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp dill and cream together with your yolks. Stuff your whites and sprinkle with some paprika and serve chilled.
Conclusion. . .
There are a few more recipes I sent but I will not tell you everything at once, so stay tuned.