That Man! And His Incredible Gift!

I’ve written about this table before, twice. Here. And here. You just about need to read these, to prime the pump, so the rest will make tons more sense to you.

Otherwise, you’ll think I’m some kind of doddering old nut.

So, go ahead and read. This’ll still all be here when you get back. And I’ve arranged the links to open in new windows, so you won’t lose this page. You’re welcome.

Now, if you’ve read, or if you remember the story,

Let me tell you Chapter Three

Those of you who have hung with me for years may think you are tired of hearing about “the table”, but the story simply has gotten WAY better.

Basically, there is a table in my life that has not much monetary value, but lotsa nostalgia going for it. I’m not immune to nostalgia at all, but this thing rang all my bells and has humbled me to no end.

If it is possible to be in love with a table, then I was.

First, it is important to realize when I thought the table was destroyed, it was because it was old and I could not remember having it for years and years. Then, one day I wrote about it and later I discovered my son had it at his house. Wow. You cannot imagine my happiness.

When we were helping them move, it was so close to totally rotten we debated photographing it and giving it a funeral.

I voted a big “NO” and I won. Eventually the table came back to be mine, but finally in pieces. It lived, along with all its pieces, in our shop, for several years.

Well the other day, my newly-retired husband asked me if I wanted to see what he’d been doing all day, and you guessed it:

The table has been resurrected:

Sweet new old table

You can imagine my pleasure (but only if you’ve read the previous stories!) and the poor, simple table has brought tears to my eyes, one more time, and here it is, the way I saw it when I first learned it had survived surgery.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but it was a sight to behold, for me.

Old table made newNow, here it is, newly repainted and pressed into service, again, making everything around it look in need of a Spring spruce-up.

Isn’t it like that with us? Our Father created us, and loves when our parents dedicate us to Him, and when we love him back and serve Him. But sometimes we get worn out, or worse yet, we get away from Him. Then He finds us and fixes us.

So this love gift has been given to me thrice. What a thing to make such a deal about, but really, it’s the love that has overwhelmed me.

Some days the blessings just come. Ever had a day like that?

Apple Pie Recipe

Polly’s Apple Pie

Not for the novice cook. 😦 Sorry.

Polly was the mother of one of our dearest friends. She lived a life punctuated with fabulous sugary creations. We have found we need to eliminate lots of purely sugary downloads, but I make exceptions for Thanksgiving or very special company.

This pie is one of the exceptions. The secrets to it are: real butter, too much sugar, and the baking time and temp. The bottom crust will be a bit difficult to manage, but you will NOT care.

I promise.

Every “Pie Day” I wish I’d written this apple pie recipe to share. So here we are, at 3/14/16 (pi, rounded) and it’s no use; I never have.

The trouble is, I don’t have a recipe.

But if you are experienced enough at cooking pies, you can make sense of this recipe, I am sure.

Polly’s Apple Pie!

Set oven for 325 degrees.

2 pie crusts made with egg, butter, and vinegar
One deep-dish pie plate made of glass.
1, 3-pound bag of good cooking apples
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional—I don’t)
1 stick real butter
small amount of additional sugar (optional—I do)

  1. Roll bottom crust and place into large, glass, deep-dish pie plate.
  2. Do NOT peel apples. Wash, core, and slice as thinly as possible (about 20-24 slices per apple, at least.)
  3. Mix apples with sugar and pack as many as possible into bottom crust. You may have to rearrange them to make them all fit. It’s worth it.
  4. Cut butter into fat slices and arrange over apple slices.
  5. Roll top crust and vent many times. Apply to pie and seal carefully.
  6. Spritz top with water and sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. (Yes, one and a half hours.) Do not place anything under the pie for catching spills. It will spill over, probably, but it’s worth it. It caramelizes. You will not believe this pie and will gain a new respect for an oven with a spill in it. I promise.

Okay, friends, this is the secret to the most amazing apple pie you ever, ever ate:

  1. Real butter.
  2. Too much sugar
  3. Bake in glass plate at 325 for one and a half hours

Even apple-pie-disdainers love this one.

Come back this fall, and I’ll add a better photo. 🙂

Pink Toilet Paper Is for Boys.

Pink Toilet PaperI managed a house full of boys most of my life. With one girlie sandwiched in between them all.

I know boys and toilets.

There’s a lot about boys and toilets ya’ can’t help. Due to their being boys and mom’s being a girl, they tend to object about being checked on very much. Although I would barge in on them if I thought it necessary, and they knew I would.

And sometimes it was plumb necessary. No pun.

When you find incriminating puddles and sprays all over the bathroom they use—well, let’s just say it wasn’t their sister’s doings. Nope.

They might even all deny it, but they all knew I knew one of them did it. Or two.

If I tried drawing their dad into the debates about who would clean up all that mess, he’d chuckle and tell them to mind their mom. Not too convincing, he.

Usually, I made them clean it up, and then maybe made them go back over it because it wasn’t clean enough, and then when they were not looking, I’d get in there and get it clean. I mean, what’s a mom for, if she cannot tell the difference between boy-clean, and clean?

Most of the time, these guys were pretty good. Really. They hung up their towels and draped their wet bath mat over the tub to air out, and flushed when necessary. Not bad for a small herd of ‘em.

There was one thing, though, that they seemed unable to do: They never let me know when their bathroom was almost out of toilet paper, so I could buy more, so the whole house could have enough.

Mind you, they understood the concept of helping keep the grocery list up to date. They never failed to let me know when the cold cereal was low, for instance, and eventually they learned to let me know when their deodorant was low. They actually wrote these entries on the list, themselves.

But toilet paper? Nah. Not so much. Not at all, in fact. How many times does a kid have to humble himself by hobbling over to the door half-clothed, like a ghetto wardrobe gone berserk, and hollering downstairs for someone to please raid the master bath for a roll just for him?

Seemingly an endless number of times.

It is twelve steps up to that level, and down again on the return trip. I know. But I fixed those guys. Yes I did, because I was growing tired of it, if they were not.

I bought a package of pink toilet paper. When they were not looking, I put one roll on the bottom of the stack in their bathroom closet. And I waited.

At first, they did not notice, since the bottom roll in that stack was obscured by a stack of wash cloths. Eventually, though, the rosy truth came to light and the questions began. Why is there pink toilet paper in our bathroom closet? (Of course, their sister did not mind at all, although she also used that room.) How come we have to have pink? And on it went.

I offered the meager answer: They did not have to use it, if they did not want to. I let them puzzle on that one awhile.

And sure enough, when the pink roll was all there was left, they caught on: Tell Mom we’re out of paper. Of course! Do it!

Didn’t take very many applications of that lesson.

In fact, as soon as more white paper appeared in the house, the pink was returned to its guard post behind the wash cloths, never, to my knowledge, to reappear.

FINALLY Got Electricity After Winter Storm Octavia! Cannot Wait to Show You These!

Birdfeeder Covered in Ice by Winter Storm OctaviaThe birds had better wait to eat here…

Lounge Chairs covered in Ice after Winter Storm Octavia. Too cold to sit here!

Rosemary bush obliterated in ice after Winter Storm Octavia

My poor rosemary bush is totally encrusted!

Ice everywhere outdoors after Winter Storm OctaviaView of the deck through branches of a small maple.

All the beauty of an ice storm comes with a price: We lose electricity.

So after we had a nice* game of Scrabble-by-candlelight, we ate a great chili dinner by the same romantic candlelight, chili which I’d cooked on our wood stove.

Cooking chili on wood stove because of Winter Storm Octavia

Then I did dishes by candlelight.

Dishes done by candlelight after Winter Storm Octavia

Am seriously considering doing dishes by candlelight all the time. So romantic… 😉

*I won…

Forget Frost on the Pumpkins!

Look what I got for frost on the pepper patch!

Bell pepper harvest

Bell pepper harvest

Cayenne pepper harvest

Cayenne pepper harvest

Jalapeno pepper harvest

Jalapeno pepper harvest. Cannot breathe around these, hence the bag. But DO notice: many of these are striped with heat stripes!

Thanks to an abundant planting, careful tending, and a heavy frost, my son’s pepper patch yielded all these beauties, for the last pickin’. So glad to get them, as our pepper plants did poorly this year.

Thanks, J&J! And thanks to the kiddos of theirs who picked them. 🙂