2/29/12

Leap Year!

It's Leap Year!





"Excuse me- did you say Peep Year?"


No....




I said, "Leap" Year!






"Did you say, Teef Year?"


NO!!




LEEEEEP Year!!


Happy February 29th, everyone!

2/24/12

JoJo and LuLu: A Love Story


When I was a little girl I was crazy about stuffed animals..... oh, I had a couple of baby dolls here and there, but they were never played with very much and always got left behind on the shelf in favor of some stuffed critter.
Many years ago when sock monkeys first became popular, my grandmother (or Mammaw, as I called her) made one for me. Well, not only for me, but she also made one for each of her other grandchildren, who are more like sisters and brothers to me instead of cousins.
(But I was her favorite. I know this because she made a hat for my monkey. *grin*)
My sock monkey was named JoJo... I don't remember exactly how JoJo got his name, or even why he was a "he", but for some reason I want to think my grandfather (Pappaw) had something to do with it.
(Pappaw felt like it was his purpose in life to give everything a silly name.)
But it didn't matter; he was JoJo, and he was my new best friend. He went everywhere I went.
Even if I was playing with another toy, JoJo was not far from my side.
Maybe it was because Mammaw was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved JoJo- or it could have been that she thought JoJo wouldn't survive being played with so much- but whatever the reason she soon made another one for me.
This one was called LuLu. (Once again, I can't take credit for the name....)
LuLu was a "she" because she had longer eyelashes and a nose. And her hat was prettier than JoJo's. Right away we all became instant pals and LuLu tagged along with me n' JoJo where ever we went.

But like all children do, I slowly stopped playing with JoJo and LuLu as "big girl" toys came into my life; and then, I stopped playing with toys altogether.
But I never got over my love for stuffed animals...



A few weeks ago I came across a very cute sock monkey pattern on a website I was visiting, and immediately memories of JoJo and LuLu started flooding back. But my heart was heavy because I had forgotten about my old friends for all these years, and now I didn't have a clue what had happened to them. Surely they hadn't been thrown away.... but after a thorough search of every box in each closet of our house, they were nowhere to be found. Mother and Mammaw are both gone now so there was no one I could ask... I thought about asking Dad about them, but his memory isn't what it used to be and I was afraid if I asked him if he'd seen JoJo and LuLu lately, he would think I needed a little vacation in the nut house.
The next time I was at Dad's house, however, I went straight to my old bedroom and opened up the closet. I started digging in some very old cardboard boxes... and then I saw it.
It was JoJo's head!
I grabbed and pulled and held my breath- and amazingly he was all there in one piece! But LuLu was not there..... not in that closet or the next one I looked in. Disappointed, I thought of only one other place she could be- in the old toy box that was still in the spare bedroom. I opened up the lid and started digging my way to the bottom..... and caught a glimpse of those eyelashes! It was her!








At first I was a little sad at the sight of JoJo- he was "well-loved" and has the scars to prove it. He's very dirty, his tail is gone, and I had forgotten all about his "open heart surgery" scar where Mother had to sew him back up once after the family dog got a hold of him.

And the years haven't been kind to LuLu either-
somewhere along the way she not only lost her tail but also her hat.










JoJo and LuLu now sit on a shelf in my sewing room where I can see them,
and every now and then I can't help but smile and give them a hug.
Because after almost 35 years apart- 
JoJo waiting patiently on a shelf in a dark closet and LuLu at the bottom of a lonely toy box-
they are finally together again.
And more importantly, we are together again.

2/17/12

Friday Farm Fotos: The Great Unwashed

 Do you see it?





 Do you see the beauty in raw wool?



I do...
The fibers are so soft, yet so strong....

 And just needing to be washed and cleaned in order to serve another purpose.


But there is one problem....


The wool is still attached to the sheep.


Unruly sheep.


Fidgety sheep.



But that's okay... since shearing time is drawing near,
the combs and cutters have been sent off to be sharpened
and the clippers will be ready in no time.




"Did you say... clippers?"



"Clippers?"


This might be the year we start using sedatives...
(for us, not the sheep...)

Happy Friday, everyone!

2/14/12

A Favorite Recipe

Lily has found a new favorite place to bird watch...
Unfortunately for the couch, the dent she makes in the top never goes away.


When I was growing up, beans and cornbread were a staple at our house... my mother usually put on a big pot of pintos or white beans at least once a week and most of the time we had enough leftovers for at least another night. Mother loved to try new recipes, especially ones that could be made inexpensively and with ingredients she already had in her pantry. When she found this recipe for Mexican cornbread many years ago, it was a big hit at our house and one she used alot to add some spice to the beans.
This is a simple recipe with many variations- you can make it as hot or mild as you want to; as cheesy or low-calorie as you'd like, and you can use a cast-iron skillet for a crispier crust but I prefer a 13" x 9" baking dish so  that the top and bottom come out with the same texture.


Mexican Cornbread
2 eggs, well beaten
1 can of Mexicorn (preferable, but you can also use a small can of regular corn.)
2-3 small hot peppers, chopped finely. (Or if you use diced peppers from a jar like I do, about 2 spoonfuls.)
1 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk*
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese*
1 medium onion chopped. (optional)

*You can also substitute an 8 oz. carton of sour cream for the milk and cheese.

Mix all ingredients and pour into baking dish; bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. (If you're using something smaller than a 13" x 9" dish, like a cast-iron skillet or an 8" x 8" baking dish, increase the baking time by about 10 minutes.)


I usually make this to serve with a pot of white beans but tonight
we're having it with some dutch oven beef stew. *Yummy*




******************************************

Sorry for the short post today, but I'm in the middle of a pretty big project in my sewing room...
more specifically, organizing my fabric stash with some wonderful little goodies I found on Pinterest.
You'll have to wait until I'm finished to see them, though...
right now it looks like a fabric store exploded and landed in the middle of the room.



Alright, Lily- time to get off that poor couch!


Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

2/3/12

Friday Farm Fotos: Good Morning!

 Good morning, Sun!







 Good morning, Barn Boots!









 Good morning, Edie!









Good morning, Shadow! 
(I wish I were as thin as you...)










Good morning, Silkies!








Good morning, Li...
oh, nevermind...








Good morning, world..... I hope it's a wonderful day wherever you are!


Happy Friday, everyone!