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Happy 4th Of July

Ripley, MS

Jerry was planning on retiring in March 2016 at 62 he has felt so bad trying to work with the AFIB--so far it has not come back since his month ended the 9th. He is feeling so much better getting that under control. He said he might consider working a few more years when he gets well.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I thought they had to do internships and residencies too. I didn't know there had ever been any other option. But I know some residencies (depending on the specialty) can be longer.

Sandra, I'm glad to know Jerry's AFIB is much better. If you had said something earlier I must have missed that. I think with a severe injury like he has had it is pretty normal to still feel some pain for several months. It took me about 5 months to get over ACL reconstruction this last time. I didn't really have any bad pain (there are not as many nerves in the knee area) but it sure took longer to do some things.

I had never heard of tomato gravy either until some of you started talking about it. It sounds good though, especially with what you serve it with. Funny that everybody seems to be making pot roast lately. I made one a couple of weekends ago too in the crock pot. I always put carrots and onions in mine and usually potatoes but Earl would rather have mashed potatoes (not my favorite though). He'll eat potatoes either way though, especially if I make gravy. He's my meat and potatoes guy, so either way he's happy. As for me, I'll have a small piece of meat (or none) and the veggies and be done.

I've been looking for a crustless quiche recipe. I have some eggs I need to use. I'll probably just throw something together with some bacon, onion, cream, cheese (swiss??), herbs, and maybe a little spinach and be done. What sounds good?

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra glad to hear Jerry is not having any afib problems since the procedure.
Now to just get his arm and hand in better shape!!

Elaine all that sounds good in a quiche!! I bet if you add some self rising flour to the mixture it would form some crust.

I like the flavor carrots, onion and potatoes give the roast. I've been know to cook potatoes in the roast and also make mashed potatoes. If I say so myself, I'm a very good mashed potato maker! I like garlic mashed potatoes and luckily so does Richard. However, if I'm having company I'll sometimes leave out the garlic. I've had lots of experience making mashed potatoes! When Jeff was growing up I made mashed potatoes AND rice every night! My ex husband wanted the mashed potatoes and Jeff was a rice eater! He still likes his rice. I am also very good at cooking rice! Rice was one thing I did teach Jeff to cook. I actually gave him cooking lessons every night for several months when he was a senior in high school. He wasn't too crazy about the idea but I didn't give him a choice! He could do the basics when he left home.

Ripley, MS

Cindy said she cooked rice every day for her boys growing up, we usually had some kind of potatoes before we learned better. I make good mashed potatoes too, but not good for you--butter, and more butter is my secret !

Charlotte, will you tell us how you cook your rice, I usually follow package directions.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I always buy Balsamic rice (no instant rice). I use a heavy pan with a tight lid. I put 1 cup of rice and 1 cup plus a tablespoon or two of water in the pan with some salt. I bring it to a rolling boil and then stir my rice good and turn my burner down as low as it will go and put on the lid and let it simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes. I usually peek after about 15 minutes to see if it's close to done. When it's done I put a few tablespoons of butter in and put the lid back on and let it sit for a few minutes. Then stir good.

For mashed potatoes I cook my potatoes in an stainless steel Wearever boiler (with the copper bottom). I've only had it for 55 years! When my potatoes are done I pour off the water and then add some butter, garlic, salt and pepper. I whip it in the boiler on the same burner I had been cooking it on. I use one of those hand held electric mixers. After I get the butter melted good I start adding milk to get it to the consistency I like. I like mine on the stiff side.

I think I may have told you all this story before but when the boys were toddlers I was out visiting one time and Jeff wanted me to fix them corned beef has like I made when he was growing up. He remembered it as being delicious and thought they would really like it. I thought you've got to be kidding. I worked and didn't get home until 5:30 and cooked every night. If Jeff had a ball game or something I had to throw something together in a big hurry. So one of my quick meals was to open a can of corned beef hash and slice it and flour it and brown in a small amount of oil. I would add some vegetables and it was a meal! I bought some at the grocery store and cooked it for him so the boys could try it. Well his taste buds had changed over the years. He couldn't believe that was what he thought was so wonderful when he was a kid!

Ripley, MS

Lol, that is basically the way I cook my rice, I have read on a cooking site it should be steamed, sounded like making something simple very hard to do.

Mamma told us that when she was expecting me she craved corn beef hash. She fixed it so often Pat would beg her to give her something else, she said "that old hash again"
When I was probably 9 or 10 Gunny and Granddaddy started getting commodities. They had a type of canned meat that she would slice and fry and I remember it being so good. I figure it was some kind of cheap Spam. Jerry decided a while back he wanted some fried Spam, we could not even eat it, it was so salty ! The girls made rotel dip for the 4th, we couldn't eat it either, too much salt. We had cut ours back when I cooked for Mammaw and I guess I did better than I thought as we can't handle too much now.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes I fried my share of Spam!! I haven't eaten any in years. I probably couldn't eat it either. Fried lots of bologna also We didn't have a lot of other choices back then! I haven't had Rotel dip in years either.

Sometimes Jeff will make the rice for Kristi when she is cooking. He still makes it the way I taught him. I think they are just trying to sell more appliances for us to buy!! I like the way my rice turns out! Some rice I've eaten is too sticky. Maybe it's steamed! LOL

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

A few things from my yard. This crape myrtle was in my back yard barely alive. I'm not sure why I had ever planted it back there! I decided to move it to the front several years ago and man did it take off. I've pruned on it to try to get it in the shape I want. The heavy rain we had the other night caused one big limb to break from the weight of the wet flowers. You can't tell if in the photo. One of my tree form hydrangeas. I have one in the front and one in the back. Then the others are caladiums and Elephant Ears. I have a bunch more elephant ears but I like the coloration of these.

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

The rest.

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Ripley, MS

Did you get that hydrangea at Diane's in Memphis? I have little lamb that I bought from her a few years back and didn't realize it is a weeping habit.

I love that caladium ! The crepe myrtle is beautiful too

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

No I got the hydrangea in Little Rock. I saw it growing on the grounds of a nursery here and loved it and found it at another nursery. You can't it but it has one large trunk like a tree and everything grows from the top. I need to do some pruning on the one in the picture. A few branches are hanging in my pathway. I do have a bunch of hydrangea I got at Diane's including little lamb.

Ripley, MS

Has your little lamb started to weep yet ?

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes my Little Lamb weeps.

I have a bumble bee problem!!! They have built a nest in a bird house that hangs at the back of the pond. I had a guy installing a switch on the outlet right under it the other week and he got stung. We had to use insect spray so he could finish. I was just out trying to water the begonias and fern right under the bird house and suddenly a whole bunch of them flew out and started flying aggressively all around me. Before I knew it one stung my ear. I could feel several on my head on my hair. I didn't swat but quickly came back in the house. I was afraid I was going to end up with some in my house!! I know bees are good but they can't stay there! My pond controls are right where they are and I have to be able to get there. I did some googling and it says to wait until dark to do anything. They don't leave the nest at night it said. Said to plug up the hole in the dark and then move the birdhouse to another location. So I guess I'm going to be suiting up and moving that thing! I think Richard has a mosquito suit thing. Can't remember exactly what it covers and then finding it is another thing. I guess I can put a hat on and put tulle over it and tie around my neck and then put long sleeve clothes , pants and gloves on! I don't ever have any problem getting stung when they are just flying around the yard but for reason they don't like anyone close to their nest!! Sure wish they would have picked another location for their nest.

It's dangerous just walking out the back door! Birds swooping all over the place. They have lots of nest right at the back of the house. One nest is right above the back door on the awning support! I kept discouraging that one but they got busy one day while I was gone and finished it! They have lots of natural food out there, cover and a continual supply of water.

I have also noticed that the Preen and mulch have really helped with the horrible weed in the front yard. I have some but it has just come up where I disturbed the soil after I used the Preen and mulch. Where I planted a few things.

Ripley, MS

Be sure and wear socks and pull them up over your pants, we used to do that to pick blackberries when we were kids to keep from getting chiggers !

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I will do that Sandra. I'm also going to put boots on as I have to traipse through the bushes to get to it and don't want to step on a snake! I have seen two small non poisonous this summer so I know they are out there. Here is my bird house that now has a bee hive in it! See how they are crawling all around the entrance. When they get uneasy about something they start pouring out of the hole. No telling how many are in there!! My back wash system and the outlet for the pond (which I have to turn off and on to backwash) are directly below the bird house! I don't want to get stung again!

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Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Oh brother, Charlotte! I hope you're able to get rid of them. I don't think I've been stung by those before. But then I've never found a nest of those either. Usually I find wasps trying to build a nest in a vacant Bluebird box and I have to put Vaseline around the edges of my BB boxes to keep them out. Cheap-o petroleum jelly works great. So if you get rid of these bees, put you a thick coat on the opening of your birdhouse and see if it helps keep them out.

I have also had pretty good luck with Preen this year. Better than previous years for sure.

I meant to write earlier that I also cook rice the same way, in a heavy pot and just boil it. No steamer for me. And mine always turns out light and fluffy, not sticky.

How is Marilyn doing? I don't check on FB often and I guess we haven't hooked up on FB so I haven't heard a thing from her since she dropped off DG.

Jeri, hope y'all are doing ok.

We leave on Wednesday morning for our trip to Oregon. We'll also be in Idaho and Montana after about a week or so in Oregon. You may not hear from me much. I was busy all weekend putting up tomatoes and getting things ready for the trip. So much to do just getting odds and ends ready around the house too. I can't wait for the cooler weather up there.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I wasn't up to the task of moving the birdhouse last night but I went out and checked and what I read on google was right. I didn't see any bees but when I shined my flashlight on the hole I could see that it is filled all the way up to the hole with something. Bees and the nest I guess! The next problem is where to put it when I take it down! I also read they stop nesting by the end of July. Don't know if that is right or not. Also I wonder if they will keep coming back once they have established a nest.

Elaine I envy you going to Oregon, Idaho and Montana!! What a fun places. My good friend Judy just got back from Oregon. She spent 3 weeks there. She was born and grew up there. She was a late life baby and was 16 or 17 when her parents retired and moved back to Arkansas to take care of aging parents. Her older sisters still live out there and she goes to visit every summer. She has always wanted me to go out with her but it has just never worked out.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Believe it or not, Oregon is one of the few states we have not visited! I have been to Washington State and Canada up above Washington, but not Oregon, so we are concentrating on Oregon this trip, starting in Portland. My friend and I are going to a wine festival this weekend in McMinnville, then we're all going to hike in/around Mt Hood & the Columbia River gorge, going to the Lewis & Clark territory near the mouth of the Columbia River, then head down part of the coast, and going as far south as Crater Lake. We will then head back toward Portland where our friends will meet up with some other friends from Seattle and we will head east to Idaho, Montana & Wyoming and then back home. It will be quite a trip. You should go Charlotte.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I'm like you I have never been to Oregon but have been to Washington and the very northern tip of CA almost to Oregon. My friend flies into Metford. Her sister's live in Betford and live on the same creek she grew up playing in. Her nephew owns several houses on the beach somewhere and they always go down and spend several days on the beach. Not sure what town on the beach. Her sister's are much older than she is. They had a party for the oldest one while she was there. She turned 90 and is still going strong!

I know you all will have a great time!!

Ripley, MS

Charlotte, I don't know what to tell you about the bees, do you have a home extension office you could call? They are supposed to know all that stuff

Elaine, have fun

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes Sandra my home extension office is what my MG program is through. The phone is answered by people that have just gone through the MG program. It is mandatory that you do 20 volunteer hours on the phone the first year. I hated it it!! All they are going to do is look up things in books. But you just gave me a great idea. U of A has a bee person (can't think of the proper name). He has bee hives at our garden area. He also lives close to here. I need to call him and see what he says or maybe he'll come by here and get them!!! Thanks for reminding me!

I've really gotten tired of trying to find some place every night to eat. I'm getting burned out on it. So I've decided to start cooking us something here at least 2 or 3 nights a week. Richard really likes to get out every day so on those days I'm just going to take him out riding around for a while.

I made him a waffle with a fresh blueberry topping last night. I had salmon and some fried apples. I was going to make him a hamburger steak with gravy tonight but he wanted a waffle and blueberry topping again tonight! I had roasted vegetables and some roasted chicken (from the grocery store). Now I'm making some butternut squash soup and some chichen salad from the left over chicken. He gets stuck on eating the same thing! He does eat at least one peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day sometimes he eats two. I'm in a cooking mood!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I do get tired of eating out sometimes. I try to cook when I can but sometimes it just isn't worth the effort. Thankfully Earl isn't too picky.

I did make my quiche the other night and it was delish! I used a refrigerated pie crust instead of trying to do a crustless this time. I used a deep dish 9" pie dish. Baked it for about 20 minutes or so first and let it cool and I had fried some bacon I needed to use. I sauteed a little onion and mixed in about a cup or so of spinach. (Can y'all tell I am trying to clean out my refrigerator?) I just layered all that plus about a half cup or more each of swiss and cheddar cheese (fresh grated, not the packaged stuff). Then I beat 5 eggs and a cup of half and half and added a tsp of salt and about a half tsp of white pepper and poured it over the other ingredients. I baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes until a knife was clean. Cover the pie edges with foil to keep it from getting too brown and that's it. I had some fresh sliced tomatoes with it and that was it. You can use ham or most anything in it really. We had the rest of it for dinner last night.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra thanks so much for jogging my memory about the bee guy!!!!! I just got an email from him and he's going to take care of them. The following is what he wrote. I thought it was interesting and thought I would share with you all.

I remember meeting you a couple of years ago. Thanks for asking me about the bees before you had them killed. You are correct that they should all go back into their nest at night. Bumble bees, unlike honey bees, do not survive the winters. In the fall they produce new queens and then the rest die off. Those new queens hibernate in the ground, and emerge in the spring to seek a nesting site and start a new colony. They often seek out a small cavity such as an abandoned mouse hole in which to build. Your bird house must have been just right for her.

If the bird house can be removed without too much trouble or damage to it, how about letting me relocate it over to the park? Bumble bees are great pollinators for tomatoes (which honey bees will not usually bother with), so they will greatly benefit the gardeners over there. After the first good frost this fall, the bees should be gone, and then you can take the bird house back and put it up in your yard again (and clean out the bee nest). It's sometimes possible to relocate a nest into a new box, but this often damages the nest and kills a lot of bees.

If this sounds good, let me know and we can arrange a time to move the bees. First I'll have to find a spot at the park to put them. If there is no good place to hand the birdhouse over there, we can find another location. Perhaps even another location in your back yard where they won't bother anyone?

Elaine that quiche sounds delicious!!

Ripley, MS

Sounds good, Elaine I hate cooking in the summer, sometimes we just have a sandwich. Last night we went swimming, but it was so hot we didn't stay very long, maybe an hour. We came home and Faith put a frozen pizza in the oven and I cooked 2 boxes of Mac and cheese that Charity had asked for. What a supper, but it filled us up. I was tired, mowed earlier in the day and also potted up some daylilies. I had to dig the mini bed up again ! I didn't get it cleaned out early and the zoysia grass ate the whole thing. I am not going to replant it right away and I am thinking of making it a strawberry bed if I can get the grass killed out.
Charlotte, we had a man come and get a swarm of bees that Danny found down at Mammaws a couple of years ago, he just put them in a box and took them home. Not sure if he smoked it or not, probably did.

Edited to say, those were honey bees ! Glad he is going to take care of them for you

This message was edited Jul 21, 2015 8:11 AM

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Hello everyone!!! We're back!!!

The funeral was a beautiful celebration of my uncle's 96 years of life. They were good!!! He was loved by all!!! He was a WWII Navy vet and experienced a lot of life traveling all over the world. Then he went to work at Brookley Air Base in Mobile working on air planes and he dearly loved it!!! Married my aunt after only knowing her for 4 months and then would have been married 71 years on July 24. Had 3 daughters and 1 granddaughter.

We enjoyed our stay at Orange Beach but didn't buy the lot and I'm not sure that we will. We haven't completed the sale of the park yet so don't have the capital gain to deal with just now also after reading the rules of the resort, they only let in Class A and Super C's that are 15 years or newer. Our motorhome is a 2009 already even though we don't have 20,000 miles yet. So there is a lot to consider.

Charlotte I'm glad that you found a solution to the bee problem that is beneficial to everyone!!!

Elaine we're sick of eating in and out!!! Nobody knows what they want and complains about everything!!!

I use to fry just enough bacon for one meal but learned from our camping buddies that it is just as good if you fry it all up, some maybe not all the way and put in the refrigerator and just nuke later as needed. One greasy mess instead of a week. I also do that with the patty sausage. It makes getting breakfast completed in 1/2 the time.

Headed to the park this morning to check on 2 rental units. Hope everyone has a great day and try to stay cool!!!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

We would never eat a package of bacon before it goes bad so I freeze mine. I've done that for years. I take a long piece of wax paper and put one piece down and fold the paper over it and keep doing that. That way when I need a piece of bacon I can easily pull one piece out. Sometimes I fix loaded baked potatoes and crumble a piece of bacon on top.

When Judy was still doing her tea room and catering she would keep bacon that was cooked in her refrigerator to make sandwiches with. She also kept chopped up chicken in the freezer. I've watched her take a little of that chicken out of the freezer and add to the chicken salad she already had made when needed to serve one more plate of chicken salad but didn't have enough for a full serving.

Jeri know you are glad to be back. It sounds like your uncle led a full happy life. I know your aunt will miss him! Have you made any progress in getting a clear title?

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Charlotte, I'm glad you found a beekeeper that can re-locate your bees. Our botanical garden also has beekeepers that are keeping hives (honeybees), so I will know what to do if we ever have that problem. I didn't know that about the bumble bees being tomato pollinators, but I do see them in my garden a lot. Now I know why.

Jeri, I'm glad your uncle led such a full life. 71 years of marriage is a long time!! He had a great military career too.

Ripley, MS

Sounds like a snobby RV park, but if you buy it, can't you change the rules?
I know it was hard losing your uncle, how did you find your Aunt you visited on the way?

I have decided to got to Caylas with the girls to stay with Eli instead of bringing him here. We will have more beds there and Jerry thinks he will be fine for us to go. Cayla has the big MRI on Thurs and talks to the surgeon again. She has been sick the last several days, she went to her local today and they think she has had a virus. He is much easier at home with his bed and his toys, here he doesn't want to go to bed or nap, just play, play all the time.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Sandra that was kinda what we thought too but actually everyone was so nice. I know from my experience operating the park that you have to set rules and stick to them to keep it nice and if I break a rule I have to multiply it times 29. Makes me stop and think!!! LOL

Ripley, MS

I know you would want good people there, but like you said, the motor homes stay nice for several years when they are only used a few times a year was my thinking

I meant to say that when Jerry was working I cooked bacon in a big pan in the oven, drained it and put in a zip lock bag in the fridge, he only has to nuke it a few seconds as it heats very quickly in the microwave. Turn the oven to 400 and let the bacon cook until it has a lot of the grease out, but no where near done, then turn the oven off and let it set until the oven cools. It turns out perfect for me that way, but I can't explain exactly how to know when to turn it off, try it, it keeps the bacon grease off the whole kitchen that way too.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Hello all -
Trying to catch up again! Jess and I took a trip down to Oxford, Ms last week. We left on Thursday evening and drove to Batesville, then went on over to Oxford to look at Ole Miss' pharmacy school on Friday. She loved the university and the pharmacy program there, but there were too many of her classes that they wouldn't accept. For instance her anatomy and physiology is a sophomore level course - they wanted Jr or Sr level course, and she has 4 hrs of Biochemistry, but although their list of prerequisites only said 4 hrs - they actually want you to have the part of bio with metabolism, which is the second semester that she hasn't had. I thought their listing of prerequisites should have included information on all those specifics and we would never have made the trip over. We went because her score was so good on the PCAT that they would waive out of state tuition - but she said there was no way she could complete another semester's worth of work on top of the semester she has coming. Even though they will accept on line courses........... So, we looked around the town and then headed back home. We stopped at a few interesting places along the way and at least had fun on the trip.

Charlotte, glad to hear that you were able to find someone to help you with the bees. Hopefully they were able to find a place to locate them where they won't sting someone else. We have lots of bumble bees but I don't see many honeybees around. One time years ago Leigh ran over a bumblebee nest that was in the ground while he was bush hogging and got stung about 15 times....... I kept a close watch on him - I was afraid he would have a major reaction to that many stings. Thankfully, he was just very uncomfortable and swollen but no allergic reaction.

Sandra, hope you have safe travels to Cayla's. Hope her test goes well too! So glad to hear that at least the AFIB seems to be under control for Jerry!! I am sure he does feel much better with his heart beating normal!

Well, Jeri, I will have to remember to tell Jessica that ya'll aren't buying a spot at that park in Orange Beach. She is the one who had pointed out that RV house park, and I was telling her ya'll were going to have one. She had told me to tell you that ya'll should get a house and then we could just rent it instead of a condo! LOL......

Leigh has a piece of property that has 40 acres in it that he was hoping to sell and then buy the 40 acres that my brother has of my parents place in an exchange to avoid the capital gains taxes as well. He stopped by yesterday to talk to my brother - but of course, he won't sell to us. :( He thinks his son (who is in prison in Colorado) might want it some day. I told Leigh that yeah, he would want it long enough to sell it! It won't mean a thing to him. We had thought if we could buy it in this exchange deal, then maybe in a few years we could sell our house and build a smaller one up there. Guess that won't be happening..............

Elaine, hope ya'll have a fun, safe trip! Sounds like ya'll are going to cover a lot of territory and see a lot of beautiful places. I have been thru Oregon twice. My aunt and uncle lived in Quincy, Wa and we were out there twice to visit them. Both times we did a little site seeing in Oregon. I have a friend who traveled to Oregon for several years in a row on vacation because they have so many beautiful waterfalls and scenic areas and he was trying to see them all! :) He really loved it out there. I am blessed to have at least been thru part of every state in the continental US except for Minnesota and North Dakota...... hope to make sure I catch both of those on my next road trip that way! As a kid I used to dream about going to all the continents....... don't think that is going to happen, but at least maybe I can make it to every state! :)

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Sandra, we cross posted. Kyle was telling me the other day that Natalie always cooks her bacon in the oven. She uses a cookie sheet with a cooling rack sitting on it. That keeps the bacon up out of the grease, but she puts the bacon in the oven and then goes and does her makeup, etc. Said it saves her a lot of time in the mornings - but the downside is her heating up the house with the oven.

Ripley, MS

Genna, you were only an hour away from me !

I hate frying bacon, always pops out on me and burns my hand ! Cayla has a pan the has a cooling rack that fits it and I cook it that way there, but I usually drain mine until it cools on several paper towels

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I don't like to fry bacon in a skillet either. I don't usually cook enough at one time to justify putting it in the oven. I usually just put a few pieces between paper towel and microwave it. I cooked again tonight and made fried corn. I just used a small package of frozen corn. I fried one piece of bacon. I only used one piece as I wanted the bacon flavor but didn't want to have a lot of grease. So I fried the one piece in a small skillet and then browned my corn in it and then added milk and the crumbled up bacon and cooked the mild down.

I made a trip to Old Miss years ago that I've never forgotten. I had a meeting on campus. It was during the summer so the days were long but I didn't leave Oxford until late in the day. I decided to go back road from Helena to I think it was Brinkley. Somewhere along that route I got stopped by a State Trooper for speeding. He ended up not giving me a ticket but gave me a lecture about driving by myself on that road that late in the day!! Told me to slow down but to get myself out of there!! And that was years ago!

I had butternut squash soup tonight and it really turned out good. I used the carcass of the rotisserie chicken to make the broth and then I cooked my butternut squash, a few carrots, a whole onion chopped up and an apple chopped up. I browned the onion in 2 tablespoon butter before I cooked it in the broth mixture. I also used seasoned salt, and coarse ground pepper. When it was all tender I used to stick blender to puree it then added some nutmeg. It was really good. It had a sweet taste but I didn't add any sugar.

I am sure Jake is going to back in Europe next year. He posted on FB that he had spend the weekend in Gyor, Hungary at the AIESEC Central European Congress. He thanked someone that I guess is a group that sponsored him. He is making more and more contacts and figuring out how all it all works. AIESEC is a company that places kids in interships all around the world. That's how he got in Hungary last year. Now he works (volunteers) for them. It's a volunteer organization.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Wow - Sandra, didn't realize we were that close or we would have ran over for a visit!! Jessica would have loved to try to go to the place where they make the Etta B pottery as well, which I understand is in Etta, MS but we didn't know about it until we were already on the road a while and stopped in a shop to look around.

I use an electric griddle all the time to cook bacon, eggs, pancakes, etc. I can do so much better on it than I can in a skillet and can cook more pancakes at a time, etc. Not as much of an issue now, but when there were 5 of us eating breakfast it was important! :)

So is Jake not being paid to be there this summer? I thought he had a job similar to last year.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

He has the same job as last year. He does not get paid a regular salary. They provide him with his apartment so he lives rent free and they also give him a weekly stipend for food. After he graduates this Dec he will get accredited to teach in Europe and when and if he goes back it will be for a regular paying job.

AIESEC is a non-profit organization. I'm sure there are some paid positions. But all the kids that are placed through out the world are interns and are not paid a regular salary. They are provided room and board like Jake. Jake learned about the organization through his college. AIESEC has an affiliation with it. It think it's affiliated with 1200 or so colleges. Jake spends lots of volunteer hours for them throughout the year. He now helps place students. He placed a girl in China this year. The following is a link that explains the organization.


Ripley, MS

I know where Etta is, but didn't know about the pottery. My sister has a Myrtle MS address, but she is close to Etta. The "Tallahatchie Bridge" is at Etta, that is supposed to be the one Billy Jo McCalister jumped from--LOL.

Bryan's sister Kate graduated from seminary this spring and she is going to live and work in Amsterdam, where her fiancée is. Cayla told me today that they were planning 2 weddings, one here and one there. Sounded kind of crazy to me, when you are married, then you are married!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Wow - we obviously missed out on a lot by not going thru Etta! :) Grew up hearing that song of course.

One wedding is complicated enough - I can't imagine trying to plan 2!

We missed our turn on the way home and ended up detouring to a small town called Como - are you familiar with it Sandra? We stopped and went thru a small antique store, but we missed the "main street" turn and ended up going down a block or so and routing thru some very rough streets and poor areas but ended up getting back on main a few blocks from the hwy. There was a lovely little Episcopal church at the end of the street - and I just had to see if it was open. Jessica wouldn't go with me. She assumed the church would be locked - but I ended up going up to the door and going inside. It was such a beautiful little church. I attempted to take photos but they didn't turn out good at all. Here is one of the better ones - but not good. There is a beautiful stained glass window behind the pulpit that the light completely wiped out. There was also a very nice looking steak house in the small town - we were shocked. But the man in the antique store said that the little town is loaded on Friday and Saturday nights because they have 4 different restaurants that people flock to.

I hope everyone has a great day!

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Ripley, MS

Amanda and Ben like that steak house but say it is super expensive.

You would have needed to go from Oxford towards New Albany to get to my area.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra I guess her family wants to see a wedding also!

There is a store in LR that sells the Etta pottery.

If you offer the right product people will come! It's amazing the number of places that are in the middle of no where and have a really good business.

We got a really good rain yesterday afternoon. I picked up the couple that used to live next door to us and we all went on a long ride. Just before we headed home it poured on us. The streets and interstate had lots of standing water.

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