Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cocktail Thursday

Today I decided that on Thursday, Larry and Audrey (for as long as she is here) and I should have a cocktail.

Living in stressful times, I think that it might be a good way to face Friday. 

It will be a great way to use my pretty glasses and cocktail napkins and cute little bowls.

And, to quote Shirley Jackson, "We all should live more graciously." 

And, since Larry  and I don't really drink, it will be an education.

That's not to say that every drink will include alcohol - I think that ANY drink - even lemonade - would taste WONDERFUL if it is shaken with ice and strained and poured into a pretty glass!!

So I will report weekly on our progress and include recipes for the drinks and for the nibbles that go with them.

Just not this week as I've only just decided to do this. 

To start with this week we shall have a small margarita (which I have a mix for because frankly, I have no idea how to make one!!)

Isn't this pretty?  Wouldn't this be nice to come home to?

(I think it looks better on the tray)

Larry and I got these pretty depression glasses when we went to NC last year just before Christmas.  Merry Christmas to me!!!

I found this up in New York state when my friend Sue and I went up to Bouchville for the largest Outdoor Antique show on the East Coast.  The guy wanted $20.00 for it and was quite dramatic when I talked him down to $10.00.  "Lady, you're killing me!"  (Hmmm...I need to shine it up a bit...)

We got these nut dishes on a different trip to Bouchville - They were buried in a box and were filthy!! I think that I paid .50 cents each for 5.

And last but not least, this beautiful wooden and glass tray.  I got it at the last day of an estate sale for a quarter!!  We didn't realize how beautiful it was until we spent more than a few minutes scrubbing it clean!! (I went a little bit crazy buying trays after I served my visiting sister in law hot chocolate (in beautiful pink willow cups) using a plastic snowman tray!!)

Oh, and this is one of a pair of Tiffany-style lamps that I got at the JCPenneys Outlet.  I saw them and walked away because they were too pricey...Imagine my joy when 6 months later they were 75% off!!  I danced all the way to the checkout!!

So we'll see how our foray into gracious living turns out.  I  mean, we aren't going to turn into Madmen or anything.... (I mean really - who can squeeze into those clothes??)

And in no way does my current obsession with Downton Abbey have anything to do with this.

So come on by on Thursdays....

It's just like Shirley said.....

"We all should live more graciously." 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cinnamon Crust

Today I made some cinnamon crust.
Or rather, I tried to make cinnamon crust.  I mean, what could be easier?  You sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on leftover strips of pie dough and bake. 
Cinnamon crust.
I burnt the bejesus out of it.
As I was looking at the smokey ruins of what was going to be my sooo cool hipster yuppie deconstructed pumpkin pie -
(pumpkin custard made with heavy cream instead of evaporated milk, scooped into antique green depression glass sherbet cups with a lazy dollop of whipped cream and a couple of cinnamon crust pieces stuck helter-skelter around the side and maybe just a scant sprinkling of nutmeg on the top..... -sigh...)
Anyway, as I was trying to scrub the pan of the burnt sugar I realized that I haven't been able to make cinnamon crust that wasn't burnt since Feb 12th, 1975.

How can I pinpoint the date with such accuracy?

Later that night I unexpectedly went into labor with my firstborn, Shayne.

My baby brother Bryan and I had the house to ourselves and we made some cinnamon crust and settled down to watch The Sonny and Cher Show.  (Or was it just Cher then?)  Anyway, Elton John was on and we wanted to see him.  (Don't judge me - it was a simpler time.)

I wasn't feeling well and kept running to the bathroom.  And my back hurt like crazy.

I finally called my dad and told him that my back was killing me and I couldn't get out of the bathroom before I had to go back in.

"Call your doctor" he said. And "I'm on my way home."

I refused to call my doctor because earlier THAT DAY she said that I was going to deliver early, but not until next week.  
And I was holding onto that pronouncement like it was written in stone.  
On MT Sinai.  
By Moses.
Besides that, my grandmother was coming down the next day and we were going baby shopping.  All I had baby-wise were two sleepers that my brothers had worn and a nightgown that had belonged to my sister..  That was it.

Me.  (And Shayne ) about 3 days before he was born.  God, look at that hair!!!

So my dad got home and munched on some cinnamon crust while watching me for a few minutes as I was laying on the couch.

Then he got up and demanded my doctors' number which I grudgingly gave him.

The conversation went something like this -

My dad:  I bringing my daughter in.  She's in labor.
My doctor: Well she might be but I don't think so.
My dad:  I am the oldest of six and I have five children.  How many do you have?
My doctor:  I'll meet you at the hospital.

So, as a favor to my dad, I put on my chucks and climbed into his truck and he took off like a maniac.

(What he didn't tell me until later was that he'd timed my contractions and that they were five minutes apart.)

BTW my first husband was stationed in GA going to school and blissfully unaware of what was going on as I had assured him earlier that evening that I wouldn't be having the baby until next week.

We walked in and the nurse took one look at me and said "she'll be going home within the hour."

They got me all gowned up and checked my cervix and said "OMG she's 5 centimeters!!  She's staying!!"  They then did a few horrible things to me that I am happy to say they no longer do to laboring women. Then they let my dad back in.  His girlfriend Georgia had gotten there and she stood on one side and my dad on the other as the nurses scurried about.  My doctor finally showed up, popped her head in the door and the nurse just looked at her and said HURRY!!
I was being transferred to the delivery room when my mother-in-law Julia showed up.  The nurses waited while she held my hand and told me that she wished she could take the pain away.  I told her her in a most heartfelt way that I, too sure wished that she could.  Then she looked in the labor room and saw my chucks on the floor and said "She wore THOSE??"  My dad told her to be quiet - he was lucky to have gotten me there in the first place!

Shayne was born sometime after midnight.  I asked so many questions that I remember my doctor asked me to please be quiet for a minute so that she could get deliver my baby.  So then I tried to squirm around so that I could see and nearly slid off the table...

Shayne was in distress so they had to send him by ambulance to the next town that had a neonatal unit.

So around two o'clock in the morning I was in my room, alone and totally dazed at the events of the evening.

But, as I recall, earlier I had made some pretty darn good cinnamon crust.

Shayne at six weeks.

Shayne at two years.  See the scrape on his nose?  I was learning how to drive stick and it was the precarseat era.

Shayne at five with baby Joshua.
And that's the night that my life began.

Happy Birthday Shayne!!!  Momma loves you still!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Electronic Family

Larry and I ran off to the Hillbrook Inn and Spa Friday, then spent Saturday Civil War site seeing at Harpers Ferry and Frederick.

Around 5:30 pm on Saturday we got a text from Audrey, our stalwart Basset Hound watcher.

Audrey: Hey when are you slack-a-lackins coming home?

Me:  Never.

Me:  FYI. The mortgage is due on Monday.

Audrey:  That sounds like the banks problem....

we could have stayed forever.....