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.
When it comes to chicken or tuna which do you prefer? At our house we eat mostly chicken, the hubbs and I like tuna every now and then. We add tuna to shake things up, it is also a good go to for a quick meal. I know I have shared the old tuna BBQ sauce recipe but I have another one that is really good with crackers.
Chicken? What all can you do with chicken?
I like a little saucy chicken, crock pot and enchilada sauce with some extra garlic powder, cumin, and some V8 juice. This cooks for eight or so hours on low and then shred it and it is great for tacos, burritos, or on a salad. That recipe is on the light side if you wanted something a little more decadent, if chicken can be decadent, add a block of cream cheese at the last thirty or so minutes of the cook. You can do this same recipe with BBQ sauce, even the cream cheese. The Greek cook is really good and lite also, chicken broth, lemon juice, whole garlic cloves smashed, rosemary, and oregano. This you can shred and add to chicken and rice soup or just serve it over rice.
Since I have been eating clean these last several months I decided I would try to clean up my tuna recipe. The usual recipe: can tuna drained and flaked, mayo, mustard, boiled egg, garlic powder, dill weed, and vinegar or pickle juice and fork it all together. This is a very good tuna recipe. I shook things up this week with my tuna using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo, used everything else and It was good. This tuna is good with crackers or over a bed of greens and with either the yogurt or the may you do not need extra dressing.
Some other yummy things I have found. . .
The smoothie recipe got kicked up a notch with unsweet coconut milk, which is surprisingly very tasty. Recipe: 1 cup coconut milk, 1 scoop protein and greens, 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks, and some coconut water and blend. This was a really good smoothie add a little rum and you would swear you were some where tropical.
Stay tuned, I am changing things up in the kitchen these next months. . .
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.
What are your go to meals, those meals that you do not have to think about to fix? You may have several that you could make in your sleep and you always have those ingredients on hand. These are your quick, easy and maybe even a favorite recipe.
My favorites to fix. . .
One of my favorites to fix in a pinch is homemade alfredo sauce with angel hair protein pasta. This is a favorite for my family and I have to say it is really good. Eggs are also a go to for me in a bind, I can throw together an egg scramble with my eyes closed. We always have eggs in the fridge and with the Instant Pot you can fix boiled eggs in 7 minutes. Tuna is also a go to option for me, a little tuna and some crackers or celery is always a good option.
Alfredo. . .
4 T butter
3 T flour
3 cloves garlic pressed
splash of white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups parmesan cheese
1 box angel hair pasta cooked to package directions
Melt butter over med low heat, add pressed garlic and saute till it smells yummy. Add flour and whisk to get rid of the lumps. Add your splash of white wine. Whisk and add your heavy cream. Slowly add your parmesan cheese and whisk to combine. Continue stirring, this will bubble up and become thick and delicious. I do not mix my pasta and sauce all together, I like to serve it kinda like spaghetti, this way your pasta will not get mushy.
My Infamous Tuna. . .
There are several ways to fix tuna; there is traditional with mayo as a salad but I found that sauteing with BBQ sauce is good too. My kids do not know this but when they were little I used to fix the BBQ tuna and tell them it was BBQ. I know, bad mommy for telling fibs. When the boys were little we really did not eat out that much and it was real work fixing things they would eat. My goal as a mother was to make sure my kids ate healthy and did not fall into the trap of quick and easy fast food garbage.
Tuna salad. . .
1 can tuna
1 large spoonful mayo
2 T mustard
splash vinegar or pickle juice (your choice)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Drain your tuna and flake it with a fork and add the above and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with crackers, cheese, celery or on toast.
What are your most valuable kitchen gadgets? There are many kitchen gadgets that I love and could not do without but, my most valuable are:
Opal counter top pellet Ice maker (makes the “good” ice)
Good knives/cutting boards
The Instant Pot. . .
The Instant pot is a wonderful time saver and was recommended to me by my manager. She told me about this great little gadget that can make perfect potato salad in seven minutes, eggs and all. I make soups, stews, potatoes, eggs, and beans in my Instant pot. My husband says it is worth it’s weight in gold just because of the way it cooks eggs. Beautiful boiled eggs that peel like a breeze in just seven minutes.
Opal counter top ice maker. . .
The Opal counter top ice maker makes the wonderful soft pellet ice that you can find in some restaurants. I use this ice for my coffee smoothies and my water just tastes better poured over it. This little gem was a life saver during the Pandemic, we were not going anywhere so I could not get my “good” ice for my water or smoothies for work.
The Air Fryer. . .
Sprat turned us on to the Air Fryer, he loves it because he can do tater tots and chicken nuggets in no time. The hubs fell in love with it because it makes the best roasted broccoli and cabbage. I use it to make: sweet potato fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and it fries bacon like a dream. Imagine making bacon without getting grease all over your kitchen. This is a much healthier alternative to traditional oil frying.
Instant Pot Recipe. . .
This is a recipe I made last week and it was really good. The hubbs and I like pintos but I wanted something a little different and without the fatback.
1lb-1/2 lbs of pintos soaked for about 3 hours
1 can coconut milk unsweetened
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp regular chili powder
1 tsp thyme
3 cloves garlic mashed
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
Drain you pintos and combine all ingredients and seal your pot. Set to manual and cook on high for 25 minutes and allow natural release. This is a combination of two other recipes I found on the internet.
Stay tuned for more kitchen fun and recipes for good food and good health.
You are what you eat, so what are you eating? I have heard that statement on more than one occasion relating to what I have been eating. Trying to think more about what I eat these days and keeping this statement in the forefront of my mind. There are folks that are vegan, vegetarian, and Keto each of these restrict the diet in some form or fashion. I do not want to restrict my diet.
Are you taking vitamins?
Are you taking vitamins, my mom and dad have always taken vitamins and supplements and they are 91 and 90 respectively. I am a firm believer in taking vitamins just based on my parents, they have slowed down in the last 10 years but are still pretty healthy. They do not require medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes. Growing up mom always had a garden and some years we had three gardens that she tended. We ate what she grew and we rarely ate out, if we did eat out it was a special occasion and a treat.
Goals this year. . .
One of my goals this year is to eat healthy and to eat real food. Not going on a restrictive diet but I will choose real/ good food. Never really cared for meat much, though I did eat more meat when the boys were at home. I think I may steer myself away from meat and focus on the veggies, I like them best anyway. My focus is going to be; eat food that is good for me and adds value to my body. The other goal I have for myself is to stay away from medications, I hope that eating well will keep me away from the pharmacy. Hippocrates considered nutrition one of the main tools a doctor could use. “Let food by thy medicine. . . ” (author unk, thought to be Hippocrates).
Conclusion. . .
Check out some good reading: 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget by Lisa Leake
Do you have a morning routine other than rolling out of the bed and crashing to the floor? I was reading something the other day about having a morning routine and how it made you more productive throughout the rest of the day. When the boys were little we had a strict morning routine and yes, I was very productive throughout the day.
My morning routine of the past. . .
My morning routine when the boys were little was to get up before anyone else in the house. By getting up before anyone else I had time to myself to do my devotions, read my Bible, and pray. This time was very important to me because it was my only time to myself and it did set the tone for the rest of the day. Not sure if that gave me a boost to be more productive or not. Goodness knows with the boys I did not stop till I lay my head down for sleep.
My current morning routine. . .
Since we are almost empty nesters and I am working a lot right now, I am not getting up as early but still reading my Bible, doing my devotions, and praying. I am trying to walk again first thing in the morning because that does make me more productive and relaxed for the rest of the day. My morning routine would not be complete without my infamous smoothie for breakfast. How you start your day does affect how the rest of your day goes.
Breakfast Smoothie: Blend the following in the blender till smooth.
frozen pineapple cubes
frozen cherries pitted
8oz coconut water
beets chopped (I use my frozen cubes)
1 scoop of protein powder
Conclusion. . .
I encourage you to start a morning routine, just do it for two weeks and see how it goes. Leave a comment and let me know how it goes, even if it is negative I would be glad to read your comments. Life is about trial and error and if you do not try you are not going anywhere. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage to continue that counts” Winston Churchill. Have courage and stay tuned. . .
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.