Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beef and Noodles

Here's a great recipe for beef and noodles that is quick and easy to fix. I first fry up my hamburger and drain it. Left over roast beef also tastes great in this meal. Then I heat up my water to boiling and when it is the correct temp as stated on the directions the noodles came in, I dump in my noodles . Egg noodles are best but Amish noodles also are great. My directions said to cook for 18 minutes. Drain.

While the noodles are boiling, combine a can of cream of mushroom soup, 3 cans of water, 1 package of dry onion soup mix, one can of brown gravy or whatever you have, and a small container of sour cream. Salt to taste.

Combine noodles, sauce mix and drained hamburger and stir everything together. Pour into a baking pan and bake in the oven on 325 for about 40 minutes. Or place in the frig overnight and let all the flavors marinate together.


Nana teaches the little boys how to dream about gardening

The boys took a break from spending time with Poppy to take a " special treat" as Koda calls it. That is when they get to have some pop with Nana. They like orange pop as you can see by their faces.

And what better thing to do while taking a break than to check out the latest gardening magazines. I am glad to see the younger generation getting excited about buying seeds and planting gardens. Gotta train them up to love gardening or they'll not get excited about it is my thinking. They have picked out the vegetables and fruits and trees and even flowers that they think we should plant this year.
And then they dug out the poultry magazines and we talked about raising some baby chicks this year cause we have a banty that wants to set on some eggs. So maybe we can buy some turkey and peacock eggs to try to hatch. That would be fun don't you think?

The little munchkin ate the wrestling tickets!

Steve and Rachel and Kaden and Koda and myself went to watch two of my granddaughters play basketball this afternoon. Mark was still at school. On our way home we stopped and picked up some pizza at our favorite pizza place and also picked up some wrestling tickets --which seems to be one of Steve's favorite sports. Even though I keep telling him it is so fake. But anyway, he wanted to take his boys to watch wrestling cause it was coming to town near us. He got tickets front row and center for $15.00 each.

After we got home and had eaten our pizza we started playing a card game and the kids were playing in their room and I noticed Kaden wasn't under our feet or under the table anymore. I looked up and noticed he was chewing on something. I went over and fished it out of his mouth and said "Oh my gosh, he's eating the wrestling tickets!" And sure enough he had little wet balls of wrestling tickets on the floor and a good sized wad of another in his mouth!

You should have seen the look on Steve's face when he realized it was his wrestling tickets the little munchkin was devouring. It was priceless! So we spread out what we could salvage of the tickets and placed them on the table to dry. I am sure if he goes back to where he bought them from and tell them his baby chewed them up that they will replace them. How could you not believe that story especially with the evidence or what's left of it , in hand.

Gave me my laugh for the day though! Guess it just goes to show you that one person's treasure is just anothers teething toy! I'm still laughing just thinking about it!

At this stage he'll eat anything. Notice how he's looking at Koda's pop. Better not lay it down within his reach is all I can say, huh Steve?

Can you believe someone this precious would eat his daddy's coveted wrestling tickets? He looks entirely innocent of the crime he is being accused of except we dug it out from between his clenched teeth! What can I say? Buy that boy something to chew on! Yeah, Nana knows it's not his fault cause he's too precious to do anything wrong!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The best tasting vegetable soup ever!

I've got the day off and it's starting to snow so there's no better time than now to make a great tasting pot of vegetable soup! Some day I think I will make up my own cookbook with all my favorite recipes in it. And in this day of digital photos I can add pictures!
First, get out the biggest crock pot you have and look in your frig and drag anything out that would go in a soup. This is a great time to use up any leftovers you might have. I had cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, red peppers, onions both green and red. And of course every good soup starts with a bottle of Spicy V-8 juice!
Fry up some hamburger and let it drain. Another great meat to use is sausage if you like your soup with a little more kick.

Put all these chopped ingredients into your crock pot and turn it on low. Unless you don't have enough time to slow cook it and then you can turn it up on a higher setting. It just needs to heat to combine all the flavors cause all the meat is already cooked.

In today's soup I added some smoked sausage links cause I had them and they add an additional flavor. You can leave them out if you like.

And remember all that ketchup I made during the summer. I really didn't care for the flavor for ketchup but it makes a great soup starter base. So I added a pint of that. Here you can add tomatoes instead. And homemade tomatoes are always the best. But, O.K if you must, you can add ones you bought at the grocery store!

Now it's time to add the drained hamburger. I always salt my hamburger when it is cooking.

And I almost forgot. Add celery if you have it. Unfortunately, I was out of carrots but don't forget them too.
And always have a scrap bowl handy to put the parts in that the chickens love! Always taking care of my "little flock". They will appreciate it especially this time of year when snow is covering the ground and they don't see much green anywhere.

Now isn't that looking very colorful?

Now's the time to add whatever you don't have fresh to put in. I'm adding canned corn and canned green beans. Some people also like the flavor of frozen best so whichever you prefer will be great. Drain them first cause you don't need any excess salt.

Taste first and then add whatever spices you like. I added salt and sometimes I add SeasonAll or Garlic Salt. Put the lid back on and let simmer. Serve with a salad and homemade bread and you have a meal that can't be beat!

And don't forget to take your bowl of scraps to your little feathered friends.

And now you are free to sit back where you can watch the falling snow and read a good book! Life is short so enjoy the little things as much as possible.

Friday, February 12, 2010

We'll miss you Great Aunt Myrtle-- April 25, 1918 to Feb. 10, 2010

My great aunt Myrtle who we called "Grandma Myrtle" passed away this past Wednesday. I spent the last few days before her death sitting beside her bedside holding her hand, reading out of the Bible to her and encouraging her that as she steps over into this new life that her Lord and Savior would be with her every step of the way cause He has told us He will never leave us nor forsake us. She passed from this life into the next at 8:20 P.M. on Wed. Feb. 10th. We loved her and we'll miss her but she has now rejoined her beloved husband Grant and is in a better place. Here is a short history of her life....

Myrtle May was born on April 25th 1918 to William C and Maggie Ann in a small town in the Midwest.
She had one older brother Charlie who later left home as a young man never to be heard from again. She also had a younger sister who passed away at a year old from double pneumonia and whooping cough. Two younger brothers Les and Earl completed her family.
Now we'll fast forward several years to Myrtle's High School years.

Her father worked for the railroad and her mother worked in a chicken factory as well as keeping up with the domestic side of running a family doing the cooking, cleaning and sewing which included making beautiful quilts of which I treasure today.
Myrtle dearly loved her two older brothers and was heartbroken when they later went off to war to serve their country in WWII. She remembered her father also going off to serve in WWI.

Myrtle lived through the Great Depression and that affected how she viewed life until the day she died. She never wasted food and stretched the dollars she had as far as they would go. Her cellar always had canned goods in it and chickens were kept in her backyard for eggs. We all could learn a lot from her and her generation today.
She graduated High School on May 26, 1937.

This is her Senior picture. She always had natural curly hair and I love the hairstyles of that day and time. You will notice she always was dressed as a lady as probably was the custom in 1937. No sloppy jeans and T-shirts was probably ever worn by her in her entire life.

Myrtle likes to tell that when she was in High School she worked as a secretary and walked to work everyday. One day a man pulled up in a car and he offered her a ride. She accepted and after that he always drove her to and from work. He was several years older than she was and his wife had been killed in a tragic car accident and he had two sons that were her age. They married on Aug. 27, 1937 three months after she graduated from High School. He was my Great Uncle and he was the love of her life.
Grant had a motorcycle and Myrtle would ride along beside him in a sidecar. Later they bought matching Indian motorcycles and traveled all over the country. This was in a day when it was not common for women to ride motorcycles much less driving their own. In 1942 they rode to Garden of the Gods in Colorado. She said she was stung by bees and yellow jackets while riding in the sidecar. While going to the Royal Gorge the highway was almost all down hill and rocks were sliding down the sides of the hills and onto the roads. She would tell us she held her breath the whole way down. Her and Grant went out and carved their names on the bridge as it swayed in the wind. They spent the night sleeping in a little cabin at the base of Pike's Peak.
I enjoyed spending time with Grandma Myrtle and listening to her stories but wouldn't it have been great fun being her best friend. Even at a young age she was one of a kind!

And I am sure my Great-Uncle Grant loved having a pretty young wife to pamper!

And Grant loved cars. Especially fast cars. So Myrtle always seemed to have a pretty car to drive. Grant wrote to the Studebaker-Packard Corporation in Detroit and told them that their new car didn't go as fast as they said it would. Apparently, he had taken it out to see just how fast it would go. And it didn't cut the mustard! I still have the onionskin copy of that letter. I am so thankful Grandma Myrtle never threw anything away! Because of that I have a treasure of wonderful things and I have been able to make a beautiful scrapbook of her life.

Is she the princess here or what? She loved to tell us about the pink Cadillac Grant had bought for her to drive. And she had a Cinderella dress to go with it!!
I don't know what kind of car this is but it's my kind of car. Grant and Myrtle never had any kids of their own so they poured all their love out on other people's kids. Including those of Grant's nephews which included me and my brothers and sisters!

Hmm, are we posing here Grandma Myrtle??
Now Grant retired from the Mo. Pacific Railroad and he had a great love for trains. And he had a shop right down from their house where he pursued his hobby of building miniature trains.

Notice she , always the lady, is painting in a dress! Myrtle always said she worked right alongside Grant in his shop. And he would tell her she was the best help there was. She painted, used the drill press and did everything except weld. Together they built a three foot tall steam engine that was powered by a real steam producing boiler which ran on tracks around the yard.

Kids and adults alike would line up to ride the miniature train for free. Isn't she adorable here! And tiny!

Grant was well known all over the country for his miniature trains and he sold them to parks for carnival rides. How I would like to find out whatever happened to the trains he built and if they were still operating today!

Myrtle would tell us there was many times she would have a train being built and parts of it would be in her bedroom. Don't you love it!!
Along with trains, Grant would also build children's rides and set them up in their yard so the children could have rides. In 1953, they opened Kiddie Land which was a children's amusement park with miniature rides. Grant built most of the rides there including a miniature Ferris wheel and train that drove around the park. They ran the park for 8 years until they sold it in 1961. It is still open today during the summers and many of the rides are still the originals that Grant built.

Notice the date on this picture was Sept. 1954. Myrtle would have been 36 here and still would fit into a kiddie car!

Here is Great Uncle Grant standing beside one of the Ferris wheels he built. I was born in 1953 and I can remember as a little girl going to their house and riding the Ferris wheel set up in his yard; Don't know if this is the same one but I do remember the feelings of wonder and awe seeing that someone could have a Ferris wheel in their backyard! I am very scared of heights so not sure how I did on that ride but I do remember that Ferris wheel!

These swings are set up in his backyard. How would you like to have been a kid living next door to the most popular couple in town?

I took my son and daughter to Kiddie Land when they were little so they too could ride the rides their great-great-great Uncle and Aunt made. These two kids are now 26 and 22 and my hopes are that someday they will take their kids to experience the wonder of Kiddie Land.

Here they are with Grandma Myrtle. How I enjoy seeing pictures of my kids when they were little. And how Grandma Myrtle loved them and enjoyed being with them. Where does the time go?

Grant passed away in 1980 and Grandma Myrtle lost the love of her life. She never remarried.She occupied her time with delivering Meals on Wheels, helping with Red Cross blood drives and being guardian to several ladies that needed someone to help look after them.

She lived alone at the same residence she came to as a new bride for 66 years.
But the day came when she could no longer take care of herself and she had to go live in the local Alzheimers unit. She no longer knew who she was or any of us either. But the place she lived at for the next 7 years had my sister as Director of Nurses so she was well cared for by family. Here she and I are at one of their Christmas Teas.
In a few hours she will be carried to her final resting place by that same little boy whose shoulder she had her hand on in the picture above. Except now he is 22 years old and a police officer in the town she called home all her life. And a short history of her life that was written by that same little girl in that picture will be read. And we the family she has left behind will mourn her passing. But we have our memories and will always treasure the good times we had with her.
You were the best Grandma Myrtle and we'll always love you!
The family you left behind.....