Sunday, March 27, 2011

One Project Done

I've been trying to catch up on all those "inside" projects that need to be done while the rain delays my working in the garden.  I got the aprons for Mary's family done two weeks ago.  I promised Fred a new pair of summer PJs so I thought I'd get to them.  They were fairly quick as he wanted me to use the same pattern as I did for the winter ones only making shorts and short sleeves.  As I was cutting out the pattern Fred made a comment that it was too bad I didn't have enough fabric to make me a pair too.  Well little does he know that I do but I'll be making a nightgown, not shorts and top.  That's the next project.  Then I have a few embroidery projects and then I can finally get back to my quilting.  By that time hopefully the weather will be cooperating and I can be working early mornings in the garden and afternoons in the sewing room.  Fred brought the boat home this week with Chuck's help so hopefully he'll be spending his days fishing!

I wanted to also share a recipe with you.  This chowder tastes soooooo good and is sooooo easy to make.  I hope you like it as much as we did.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

2 Tbl butter     1 Cup chopped green onions    1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbl finely chopped serrano chili    1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
3 Tbl flour    1 1/2 cups milk    1 1/2 cups chicken broth   1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups frozen Southern style hash brown potatoes, diced, thawed
1/2 tsp cumin   1 (15 oz) can Mexi-corn, drained    1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
2 tbl chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, bell pepper and serano chili to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender stirring frequently.  Add canned chiles to pan; cook 1 minute.  Add flour to pan, cook 1 minute stirring constantly.  Stir in milk and next 5 ingredients (through corn) bring to boil.  Simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thick.  Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Remove from heat, stir in cilantro.  Makes about 6 cups.

Now, having said that we only drink skim milk and I didn't want to use that and I always have fat free half and half on hand so I used that.  I also only had jalapenos, (I bought serranos just for this recipe, forgot and used them in something else!)  And I didn't have fresh cilantro so I took 1/2 box of frozen spinach, thawed it, squeezed it dry and put it in at the same time as the shrimp.  Those are the changes I made and we just loved it.  And so so easy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Well with the warmer weather and all the flowers, forsythia, red buds and bradford pears in bloom we got the bug to get out and do something.  Fred is finally feeling better.  He finally listened to me telling him that if he got up and started moving he'd start to feel better.  He did and he does.  The only problem now is that he is very weak from having been idle all winter so he is taking it a little at a time.  He's really doing good!  Stronger every day.  We had our neighbor and best friend Bill come over and cut down these awful trees we had in the back yard.  They would have these nut like pods grown on them in bunches like grapes and make a real mess all over the yard.  Plus the berry that popped out of the pod is suppose to be poisonous.  So Bill cut them down and then cut them up into smaller pieces.  I've been moving them some each day.  I've also got the garden all weeded and cut down ready to be tilled.  Fred took the tiller in for a tuneup and today he went to Lowe's and bought 40 bags of cow manure and several bags of sand.  I unloaded the bags throughout the garden but didn't open them yet.  We are suppose to get heavy rain and wind later today and I didn't want all the nutrients leaching out in just one spot where the bag lay.  While Fred was in town picking up the bags I hauled away 11 loads of wood from the trees.  So we are bushed but excited....ready to get that garden in.  Once it dries out from this rain coming we will be in there tilling and planting.  I already have peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts and several herbs planted in pots in my little back deck greenhouse.  And you know what?  I think I've decided that I finally like living in Tennessee!  Never thought I'd say that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a Winter

What a winter this has been.  Fred and I were both sick for 3 weeks and it still hasn't ended for Fred.  He's had to endure 2 procedures for shots in his back, 3 on each side and with that not giving the amount of relief they had hoped for he then had to endure 2 procedures to burn the nerve endings in his back.  This seems to be working and should last 18 months or more.  He's also had to have his stomach procedures for his "watermelon" stomach, which basically was the lining of his stomach was bleeding.  The first procedure they used a flat paddle that went in and cauterized the entire lining of his stomach.  Then 30 days later he went in and they used a pencil laser to zap any small places they missed.  The good thing about all of this?  The doctor said it looked way better than expected and he just wants to see him in 3 months to do a check and that should be that.  And if all that weren't enough I had to take him to the ER last Monday with severe abdominal pain on his right side.  Come to find out after 6 hours in the ER he has a kidney stone.  It's the size where they say he might be able to pass it or he might not.  The soonest we could get him in to see a urologist is the 23rd of March and then he could only get in to see the nurse practitioner, not the doctor himself.  And of course with all of this he's constipated.  He went last night (after a few embarassing procedures I had to do) the first time since Monday morning.  So if you will please say a prayer for my Fred that he might find some relief.  With all this warm weather coming up we want to get the garden in full swing and get the boat ready.  I feel so bad for's a happy picture of him...I hope he's back to his ol' self soon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Kids are Coming!

We are finally feeling somewhat better, thank goodness.  Still very tired, but at least we are not coughing 24/7 anymore.  So I called Mary last night and asked if we could get the kids this weekend.  We miss them so much and after being sick for so long it's been way too long since we've seen them.  So as soon as Dwight is finished signing up for softball on Saturday they are going to drop them off and they'll stay overnight.  We are so looking forward to this!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So Tired....

That's what we tired of this @%!@#$ cold or flu or whatever we have.  It started the day after Faith's birthday party so I thought I caught something from one of the kids.  I had it for over a week and Fred still hadn't gotten it.  Then it hit him.  Then for 2 days I felt a little better.  Then it hit me back with a vengeance.  I don't know if it's just hanging around or if Fred had something else and I caught that too.  All I know is that it's been over two weeks and we are both tired of having our body sore all over from such heavy coughing, so wore out that walking in to the kitchen for a cup of coffee means stopping at the kitchen table and sitting for a few minutes to get your breath back.  We don't feel like eating but with Fred having such problems lately with his sugar I make sure we are eating something, but full blown meals?  No way.  More like bowls of cereal or rice.  Fred had to cancel his appointment with the spine specialist to have the nerve endings burnt out of the left side of his back.  So that saga continues.  And we wanted so badly to have the kids this weekend.  I hate to chance it because I am still running a 101 fever.  Plus we are so wore out we wouldn't be able to do anything with them or for them.  We are praying we will be well enough to have them at least on Sunday.  We miss them grandkids so much!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day and Bragging Rights

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day so I am going to brag a little about my special valentine Fred.  He is my very best friend.  He's a good listener (well, if you talk loud enough), he's compassionate, faithful, loving, kind, giving and just an all around nice guy.  Some people think he is self centered and a little rough.  Well all you have to do to see that he is none of that is watch him with the Grandkids.  Or with me for that matter.  We are celebrating Valentines day late this year because we are both down with pretty bad colds.  But a movie and dinner night is in our certain future.  Speaking of Valentines day, I think of it like my daughter does, as thanksgiving.  On Valentines day I think of ALL the people in my life I love, not just my spouse.  There is Fred, Mary, Chuck, Tom, Faith, Dwight, JJ, Tim and Cathi and a host of others.  I hope each of them finds this Valentines day healthy and happy.
Now for a little more bragging.  I have to say something about our Peanut.  We always knew he was pretty smart but he is amazing us more and more every day.  He would do things like ring the bell for Ruby when she has to go out, sleep tight against Fred's back when it was hurting, things like that.  We were worried he'd be a little jealous of the new puppy, and he was....for about 24 hours.  Now that puppy is his.  He watches over him, worries over him.  When I am in my sewing room the puppy tends to want to chew on the electric cords for the sewing machines and computer.  After telling him "no" 3 or 4 times, Peanut took over.  Every time the puppy went to the cords Peanut would bark at him.  If that didn't work, Peanut would bark at me.  If that didn't work Peanut would go get a toy to distract the puppy.  If the puppy gets something he's not suppose to have we tell Peanut to go get it away from him and he does.  We tested Peanut last night when the puppy was playing with one of his own toys and told Peanut to take it away from him.  Peanut jumped down from Fred's lap, looked at Lincoln, saw it was a good toy, then turned to both of us and looked at us as if to say "are you nuts?" and he did not go get it.  I could go on and on about the things he does.  So if anyone is looking for a truly intelligent dog (Animal Planet says they are the 2nd smartest, behind only the Border Collie) try a poodle on for size!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ruby and Lincoln

I promised Fred I would get a picture of Ruby and Lincoln on the blog as soon as possible.  Poor Ruby.  She is trying to put up with Lincoln, but when Peanut and Lincoln are playing together they tend to do so with all their toys in Ruby's bed.  Then Ruby has nowhere to lay down.  Poor girl tries to fit in Peanut's bed but as you can see she doesn't quite fit.  At least when it's naptime Ruby is happy to share her bed with Lincoln.  I have to go in several times a day and remove the abundance of toys that have been deposited in Ruby's bed.  I do have to say we are truly blessed....our pets are the best!