Christmas 2016, Birdeye

Monday, December 26, 2016

Another cookie/tea...Chloe wasn't really into going this year but we made it and she said she actually had a good time.
We rented Downtown Charm and had appetizers, cookie exchange and everyone brought items for the 363 program
for the Wynne School District (it's a weekend backpack program to feed the food insecure families in Wynne).  I also
brought pictionary and we played mom vs. daughters, that was fun.

David and Dara Bigger, Jackie and I at the Birdeye Christmas Party last Saturday night


We had Christmas at Harmon and Jeanie's Friday night, this is Whit and Stella playing Indian Leg Wrestling....I challenged
Stella at wrestling and ended up breaking my pinky toe (again)...our feet hit each other and I had to wear socks to the
Christmas party the next night (even though I had the cutest shoes ever and could've won the contest).  Now it's time
to decide if we enter the Little Rock Half Marathon or the 10K in March....

2016 Quote List to come...these are the notes I've been keeping...

2016 Birdeye Christmas Party
Some of the ladies at the party (I got my foot in my shoes to try and
win the annual shoe contest, I quickly got out of them)


Stella, Whit, Chloe and August at Memaw and Grandad's Christmas Party
Jackie and Chloe have been taking chocolate to the courthouse workers every Christmas since she was born....that's
Gumball, Biscuit and Buddy


Chloe and I went to the dermatologist in Memphis to get her some
laser hair removal and Chloe snap chatted me...I told her not to put it
on snap chat but we cracked up for an hour at these "filters"

Me driving down Poplar in Memphis, we were dying laughing
Chloe hit the jackpot this year, tickets to see the Memphis Grizzlies vs the OKC Thunder and Hamilton, Chicago, tickets!

Biscuit loves, loves Christmas morning


Meme and Matt got the dogs a special gift and they LOVED it

Hamilton book I found online (look at Gumball in the background, lol)

We went on the 3rd annual Wynne Christmas Lights tour then a great dinner at the Killough's
Kyle, Ian, Cecelia, Beth, Chloe, Lisa, Jackie and Stan
We also had a great conversation with Ian, who's home from a tour in Afghanistan

Kyle's homemade recumbent bike....lol, look at the length of that chain!


Chloe at our Christmas Eve Service



Hamilton tickets (Chloe hadn't showered yet so she didn't want photos taken!)  We had Memaw and Grandad over for
breakfast and we watched Christmas Vacation cracking up all morning

August got his bible at the Christmas Eve service.  It's a tradition
of our church to give 1st graders a bible.



Monday, Dec. 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!  This year was easy for me, I guess I've learned to pace myself with the parties, shopping and all.  This post is mainly photos.  The weather was foggy and 70 degrees on Christmas.  We had lunch at Kara's and it was delicious!  Christmas Eve we went to church and then to Jimmy and Beth Huff's for dinner.   

Fall 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Jackie pulled this from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and his timing was perfect.  I've been shocked at the election and
wonder what kind of impact this administration is going to have on future generations, like Chloe's.  So I'm trying to do
everything on this list and so far so good....

Chloe worked in my office a few weeks ago on a Saturday for the yearbook...she changed my screen saver....lol

MeMe got Chloe and cousin Audrey an art lesson a couple years ago and we were finally able to go back
during Thanksgiving in Edmond.  Chloe painted Buddy this year.  I think it's pretty good!



Chloe and Audrey Thanksgiving

Chloe took this photo and texted it to me two weeks ago...She knows I cannot stand an
intact male dog, this is Yetti, a terrier mix brought in from the streets that we fostered for a quick
4 weeks.  He's a great pup that arrived this past Saturday in New Hampshire.  Yetti will get to live during
the winter in Florida and summer in New Hampshire.  I'd say he's got it made!  (He was sent up
on the transport neutered, duh!!!:))

Chloe and Jackie at the 5A Arkansas State High School Football Game in Little Rock
a couple weeks ago, Wynne lost to Pluaski Academy but ended with a 12-1 season.
Chloe took photos for the newspaper and yearbook for the school

Yetti and Biscuit

This sweet girl, Martha, was found by a fellow cyclist in Parkin.  She had a fish hook in her ear and was dragging
debris from the St. Francis River.  Chloe and I didn't have a foster so we took her in and she's now living in
Kennebunkport, Maine... talk about living the dream, these dogs from Cross County have got it made!

This is Jazzie, a shepherd female was abandoned in Birdeye in September. And of course, she's up north living the dream
with the others on this particular blog post!!  It could be true that people know where I work and live....hmmm...

Paco showed up in Birdeye in August with another dog.  He was covered in fleas and has scars on his face from who
knows what.  I really got attached to this little fella.  He's living the dream in New Hampshire!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My gosh, it's been since August that I've posted on here.  It was a very busy fall for Chloe with yearbook and football games.  We took Chloe to Fayetteville for the Ole Miss Game, Jackie and I rode bikes with the Bradshaw's and Martin and Kara in October, then it was the 6th Midsouth Kids Marathon in November, then the election, then Thanksgiving, New Orleans and now here this is.  Oh and I had to do a bunch of Saturday switching and ended up working 6 in a row for the first time since I've been there (for 20 years in January). I'm glad that's over with!

I had a blog post started with some of these dogs on here but I couldn't publish it because shortly after my last post August 23, I killed Chloe's and Jackie's dog Wesson in our driveway.  It's taken since that day in late September for me to feel like blogging.  I think mainly because I think I brag too much on growing food, Chloe, fostering, riding bikes and then I killed our dog.  That's the first family pet I've killed.  It's been hard.  I still burst into tears about it. He'd been herding our cars the two weeks before that lunch hour when I ran over him.  Chloe suggested to blame Volvo since my car doesn't have the cameras that Memaw's car does.  Well, anyway, it was a tough day.  Fred heard me screaming and crying, ran over thinking he needed a gun to protect me but he really just needed a box of Kleenex.  I sent him a thank you for the hugs and reassurance that he'd lost pets before.

Whew, now that I've got that out there, it's Advent Season.  I've really enjoyed the Advent Devotional from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  If you have a minute, go here:
https://issuu.com/austinseminary/docs/advent_2016_i?e=2809396/40525080

I think you'll love the daily devotions.  They remind me each morning to be mindful that it is the season of Advent and Christmas isn't about gifts, it's about Jesus' birth.  It reminds me to remember to pray for Donald Trump's administration's decisions, world peace, the environment, etc.  It reminds me to be thankful for Chloe, our health, doctors and medicine that keep me alive, the roof over our head, friends and family.  We have so many things to be thankful for.  I don't want to take anything for granted.

So let's all be thankful for the blessings and gifts in our lives, help those less fortunate and be mindful that God is with us as we wait for Christmas morning in all this craziness with parties and shopping.  I.am.thankful.

Birdeye Update

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Two weeks ago Kyle had a surprise birthday party for Bettie (she and her sister Anne Levesque own the corner
house at Birdeye)...I got this shot of her daughter Heilbron making a toast to her mother...Heilbron was on a walker from
falling off of a ladder in their living room while installing drapes.  Bettie has done a ton of remodeling to the house next
door and it's coming along (paint, flooring, kitchen, roof, landscaping etc)
Maytal was doing the "ninja" with Buddy...it's 
I meant to post this last week but here are Wendy's precious girls when they stopped by on their way to Hot Springs Village
And as you can see, Buddy was living the dream with these two!
Girls night at Laurie's in Oklahhoma City....Leslie, Angelia, Laurie, Barbie,
Stephanie, Lori, Stephanie and me in front 
Chloe at Top Golf...swinging the driver.  She's playing on the golf team Tuesday in West Memphis
Laurie and I have animal rescue in common, here's a pony she rescued walking around the yard.  He was very tame.  They have 5 acres off 1-35 and Wilshire...all dog, goat and pony rescues

Maggie Miller and Chloe at the Junior PGA finals in Jonesboro.  You can see both scores behind them...go Chloe!
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Leslie from OKC wanted to get a girls weekend together so we went and got some errands done, played some golf and Jackie was my personal Uber driver.  It was a quick weekend but had a good time.  Then as I was pulling in the driveway Sunday and Dad called to tell me that my grandmother in Weatherford broke her hip and was in the hospital in OKC.  She had surgery Monday and I talked to her last night and things went well.  Get Well Grandmother!  (I've added some photos from these last few weeks on here too)

Manicotti, Birdeye

Friday, August 19, 2016

I'm glad that Jeanie wrote in the front of the cookbook so I can remember the year and so forth
The recipe makes a generous 9X12 dish of manicotti...Anytime I make this for someone, I double it so I can put some in
the freezer for us and I also divide into small portions for less waste

This morning when I left for Neall's dad's funeral I put the dogs up and look where the 70 lb. Afghan went....
He's in a 20 lb. dog crate...he put himself in there and I'm not sure why but I got a big kick out of it....Wesson, our
new shepherd mix loves our pit mix foster Ellie Mae, they spend a lot of time together in the XL crate (which is Pharaoh's)



My manicotti recipe comes from this cookbook my mother-in-law Jeanie have me nearly
20 years ago.  It's a classic, southern cookbook

Labeling is key when you give food to someone or freeze it for later
Pharaoh was so big, his legs didn't even fit in that crate


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My dentist Neall Jackson lost his father on Tuesday from heart disease.  His sister Tara Burton and I are good buddies so after taking Neall's precious family Shipley's donuts and other food items, I decided to make Tara a meal so she could take it home to Memphis for her, John and Emmy Ruth.   Manicotti is my go to meal because it's easy to make, freezes well and can be stored in big or small portions.  I cannot believe I haven't published the recipe on here, it's fantastic.

Jeanie gave me a cookbook from Memphis back when J.Harmon and I first moved to Wynne in 1996.  That year, they offered me a job at the veterinary clinic and J.Harmon and I lived with them until the next summer.  I did most of the cooking and grocery store buying and like you can see on her cookbook comments, "the year of the bridge" is because the bridge washed out in front of their house and I had to balance groceries over a 2x4 plank over a good 6-8 foot drop off.  It was definitely a memorable time for sure!

So here's the easiest and most delicious Manicotti recipe on the planet:

Manicotti

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1/3 bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper
4-16oz. cans tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 t each garlic powder, salt and oregano


Filling:

12 oz. Whole milk Ricotta cheese (I use skim)
2 whole eggs
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. Shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 box Manicotti noodles

Cook Manicotti noodles as the box recommends.  Drain and cool on a cookie sheet.

Brown the ground beef, onions and bell pepper over med high heat in a dutch oven.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drain fat and return to heat and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 2 hours over low heat and a lively boil.  Put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a 9X12 casserole (or two smaller dishes) sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

While the sauce cooks, make the filling in a large bowl.  When the noodles are cool, fill with the filling and place in the casserole dish over the thin layer of sauce.  Then cover with remaining sauce and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This recipe freezes well.  Be sure it's completely thawed before cooking or allow for a lot of extra time to cook it!



Back to School 2016, Birdeye

Dang blurry camera....we took Chloe to Rogers the first week of August for the 21 Pilots concert in the Walmart AMP (that's the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion) in Rogers right off the bypass.  This is the concert, it was actually really good.  The band has only 2 members, which is crazy to me, they first came out in ski masks and by the end of the show,
the drummer only had shorts on....The crowd was all teeny boppers and a few parents (like us).  It was a good
concert I will say.  I've been to a bunch of concerts and this one is actually in the top 5. I. know.I'm.crazy.
First day of 10th grade for Chloe, left is Whit (6th), August (1st) and Stella (4th)

Our second annual photo in Midtown Birdeye at the Bradshaw's...It's fun to get all the cousins together once a year for a photo...here's Stella, Linton, August, Whit, Katie, Reece and Chloe

Ok so the real reason I haven't published a bunch of blogs this summer is because I've been pickling cucumbers.
I grew cucumbers at about a 2-3 quart pace every 5 days starting in June...then when Kara and I went to talk to our local
county judge about expanding the library and improving downtown in July, I ran into Phyllis Fleming at the farmer's market.  She grew cucumbers for me in the past called me a week later with 20 lbs. of cucumbers three times in late July.  She said "shhh...don't tell anyone because I don't want the pressure to have to grow for you next year," (lol)....but I did put up an amazing amount of dill pickles this year

And thank the Lord for Chloe who helped peel the garlic while I prepped the harvest,
dill, jars and brine.  She helped a great deal

I took this photo at a coffee shop in downtown Rogers...it was all photos of the people
who owned the Iron Horse Coffee Shop in downtown Rogers, very cool



Monday, Aug. 15, 2016

We've had a great summer except it was over too fast for Chloe.  This summer has been filled with golf, Switzerland, gardening and Chloe trying to sleep till noon like her dad liked to back in the day.  Chloe's got a pretty intense schedule with Spanish, Pre AP Biology, Pre AP Geometry, Pre AP English, Pre AP World History, CBA (a computer class) and she's the Business Manager for the yearbook staff.  Piano is still on the radar and she has golf everyday after school through September 15.  I hope everyone has a safe and good school year!