Leaping Into The Hodgepodge…

It’s Wednesday, and as always, it’s time for me to join my friend, Joyce, for her weekly meme, known as the “The Hodgepodge”.  Please, feel free to join us!  Here are Joyce’s questions for this final day of February:

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

You know, it’s funny, but I didn’t even realize it was leap year until I read this question.  Guess that just goes to show how much attention I pay to the calendar these days!  Does anyone else out there call this day, “Sadie Hawkins Day”– or is that a “southern term”?  As for what I’ll be doing, I’ll probably just spend the day quietly at home.  If the weather permits, I’d like to spend part of the day outside.  I’m suffering from “cabin fever”!

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

Nothing recent comes to mind, and that’s a good thing!  It’s been my experience that “Leaps of faith” usually come from some kind of turmoil or change.  Our family had plenty of that sort of thing last year, with our son, Brad, and his new wife, Jennifer.  (Just in case you are new here or have forgotten–, Jennifer was diagnosed with cancer, lost her mom, and had surgery three times within just a few months!  During this time, Brad also came down with a “mega case” of the flu, and spent several days in ICU, but the couple still managed to find time to plan a wedding and get married, too!)

3. We’re one week into the season of Lent…are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How’s it going so far?

Our religion doesn’t observe Lent.  I do enjoy reading about the experiences of others though.

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

The last time I sat beside a “real” fire was around the end of October.  (I sit beside our electric fireplace all the time.)  It was late on a Saturday afternoon, after Ed and Clint had spent the afternoon burning limbs and stuff.  We decided to have a wiener roast, and it was fun!  By the way, there wasn’t a child in sight, just four adults.  Check out Ed’s “wiener roaster”–and don’t knock it until you try it!

5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?

I’d just order the “turf”.  I love steak, and prefer it over seafood every time!  Would you believe, I’ve never tried lobster?

6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?  

I spent a great deal of time pondering this question.  I really loved “The Waltons” and “Little House On The Prairie”, but the one show that kept me glued to the television, without fail, on Friday nights, was Miami Vice!  I loved it!  The scenery, the music, and of course, I loved seeing Don Johnson, too!  It probably just wouldn’t be the same now that he’s older…sigh.

7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

These days my memory is more like a gnat!  If I need to remember anything of great importance, I usually write it down!  It’s one of the reasons that I started blogging!

Random:  Nearly four years ago, I finally did my civic duty and registered to vote.   I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’d always refused to do so in previous years, because I didn’t want to get called for jury duty.  Sad, but true…  Anyway, I registered to vote, then voted in the next election.  Well, I guess you could say, “It’s time to pay the piper”, because guess what came in the mail yesterday?  A jury summons–to Superior Court.  Oh my!  I can hardly wait…

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Published in: on February 29, 2012 at 8:47 am  Comments (15)  
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Times Are Changing…

While Ed, and I were growing into mature adults, an era was beginning to end.  It was the era of being “self-reliant”.  Our parents grew up learning how to grow and can their own food.  They also knew what it was like to raise farm animals for food, and they routinely went hunting or fishing for food for the dinner table.  Our parents passed some of these skills on to us, but times were changing…

We were quickly moving toward the era of “fast foods” and convenience stores.  Hamburger helper and frozen pizzas.  Sound familiar?

Although Ed and I routinely helped our parents gather and preserve vegetables from their gardens, we never helped much with the actual planting or tending.  Ed never cared much for hunting, and neither of us is much of a fisherman, despite repeated efforts over the years!  Ed planted his own garden, on two separate occasions, but failed to have much success, despite his best efforts.

As our parents gradually became too old to garden,  I began slowly phasing out canning our own garden-fresh vegetables.  I went from picking and shelling, all day–to buying a few vegetables already picked and shelled at the market or the grocery store.  I’d simply blanch them in small batches, and be done!   Gone were the long days of toiling away in a garden–temporarily.

Times are changing–again!  This year, Ed and our son-in-law, Clint,  have decided to embark upon a new adventure together– planting a garden!  They’ve decided to learn how to be a little more self-reliant–and to enjoy eating the fruits of their labor, once again.

Last  year, Clint was able to grow small amounts of squash, cucumbers, mustard and collard greens, in a tiny spot of land, tended only with a rake and a hoe.  Clint even grew a watermelon in his flower bed–without even trying (and a pumpkin the year before that!)  I tell you, the man has a green thumb!  Hopefully, some of it will rub off on Ed!

A few days ago, the guys planted potatoes in their new garden.  Clint’s been getting some expert advice from his grandfather, who is well into his seventies, and still plants a garden!  Clint’s grandfather showed him how to cut the “eyes” off the seed potatoes, and explained how to go about planting them.  The man has a wealth of knowledge to share, and we’re all willing to learn!

If all goes well, perhaps we’ll have some potatoes later in the spring!  Hopefully, there will be some green beans and squash to go along with those potatoes, too!  A little later on, perhaps we’ll have some tomatoes, peas, corn, and watermelons.  Sounds like a plan to me!

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Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 9:54 am  Comments (13)  
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Meet Me On Monday, February 27…

Acting Balanced

Living on Less with the Coupon QueenI’m starting off the week by participating in “Meet Me On Monday”, the fun little meme hosted by Heather over at Acting Balanced, and today I’m also joining in a fun new hop called “Make a Friend Monday”, hosted by Michele at “Living On Less”.  Memes and blog hops are great ways to meet new bloggers, and I invite  you to click on the buttons at the top of this post, to find out more.

Here are Heather’s questions for this week:

1. What was the first live concert you ever attended?  The first famous person I ever went to see in concert was Billy Joe Royal, way back in 1969.  Ed took me to the concert, not long after we’d begun dating.
2. What colors look best on you?   I think autumn colors suit me best.  I especially like red.
3. What is one thing about you that most people wouldn’t know?  I’m left-handed, but I use my right hand for cutting with scissors and for crocheting.
4. Who would you call to be bailed out of jail?  I would hope and pray that I would never need to be bailed out of jail!  However,  if I ever need to be bailed,  I’d call my husband, Ed first.  If he’s not available, I’d call my daughter.
5. What do you think is the greatest invention of your lifetime and why?  It’s hard to choose, but I think I’ll have to say “the microwave”.  I remember the days of not having one, and it took FOREVER to defrost anything–or to bake a potato!    The microwave comes in very handy for cooking, heating, or defrosting foods QUICKLY!

Weekend Wrap Up:

I began the weekend by making more bread!  I found some bread flour while shopping with my friend, Diane.  There is a world of difference in the baking results when using bread flour!  At one point, I actually thought the loaf was going to come up out of the top of the break maker!  In fact, the top of the loaf was dented from pressing against the lid!  My bread didn’t turn out perfect, but it was much better than my first attempt with all purpose flour–and at least the bread was edible.  The slices were HUGE!  Next time, I’ll use the smaller recipe!

Over the weekend, our temperatures plunged  from the 80’s to the 50’s, with lots of wind!  The weather wasn’t suitable for doing much, but Ed did manage to prune our pecan trees on Saturday afternoon, while I managed to take a nap!

Ed and I also did our “Dollar General Thing” on Saturday.  This means we each used our “five dollar off” coupons when purchasing twenty-five dollars worth of groceries.  We do this twice per month, and each time we seem to get less for our money…Sigh.  I  just don’t think this economy is going to end well…Gas also went up twice this week, as well.

Sunday’s weather was worse than Saturday, and it was a good day to just stay inside and relax, so we did.  Ed and I caught up with some television watching, and did some more napping  🙂  So what did you do over the weekend?

Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm  Comments (11)  
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Feeling Loved…

I wrote yesterday’s post, then jumped into my car and drove an hour to spend the day with a dear friend.  My friend, Diane, and I,  had been trying to spend a day together for several weeks now, but “things” kept getting in our way.

Diane is a friend from back in high school–a long, long time ago!.  Even though we live in different towns, and may not talk with each other for weeks at a time, we are always able to pick up where we left off–and we can talk to each other about anything.  Diane and I had a nice visit, went out to lunch, and, as always, our day together went by way too fast!

It was late afternoon when I arrived home, and Ethan, our old hound dog, met me down the road from our house!  He was barking, and “smiling”, and very glad to see me!  I parked my car under the shelter, and was met by my husband, Ed, with a kiss.  I proceeded to walk around to the front of the house, followed by a parade of cats following me through the yard.  “Bobs”, the former house cat, greeted me eagerly on the front porch.  Within a few minutes, my daughter, Brandy, and her family walked over for a visit.    I began to get the idea that everybody was happy to see me come home!  I felt loved.

When I finally turned my computer on, I found several nice comments on yesterday’s post about Brandy and baby Alex.  Those comments were like the “whipped topping” on my “ice cream sundae” kind of day–or maybe they are the cherry on top!  Thanks, guys, you made me feel loved, too!

In talking with my husband, later in the evening,  I discovered that while I was out of town,  he’d spent his afternoon making several other  ladies feel “loved” !  Now before you go and get all excited, let me explain!

Ed visits his mother three times a week at the personal care home, where she currently resides.  He’s become well-acquainted with most of the other ladies who live there.  The other day, the subject of “fruitcake” came up, and some of the ladies mentioned they were craving some fruitcake!  After work on Thursday, Ed went by the Claxton Fruitcake Company and bought a fruitcake.  He took his fruitcake to the home, and shared it with all of the ladies there!  He said every one of the ladies ate some, and told him over and over how much they enjoyed it.  Isn’t he something?  Sharing the love–with a fruitcake, of all things!

Why not go out and make it a good day…and if you can, make somebody feel loved.  It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

Published in: on February 24, 2012 at 10:38 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ A Perfect Pair…

A  few weeks back, my daughter began keeping an eleven month old baby, named Alex.   However, Alex wasn’t a typical eleven month old baby, because  he was born three months early, weighing a pound and six ounces.

You may remember me telling you how small he was–still wearing o-3 months sized clothing, and what a hard time my daughter, Brandy, was having getting him to eat and drink.

Getting Alex to eat and drink is still a big issue, but Brandy is patient and persistent!  Alex will only take his bottle while he is asleep, and even then, it’s a long process!  Many days she successfully gets all three four-ounce bottles into Alex, but some days she does not.  Some days he will eat, only to throw everything back up.

Feeding Alex baby food is also an “adventure”.  He’s having trouble with textures, and he has a strong gagging reflex.  Everything makes him cough and gag.  Brandy says, “thank goodness for those large bibs with pockets at the bottom.”  Brandy recently taught little Alex to sit in a high chair while having his meals–a first for him.

Despite all of these feeding issues, Brandy’s diligence is paying off because little Alex is growing!  He recently moved up to a size six months clothing!  We weighed him the other day, and he weighs 13 lbs, 4 oz.  A few days earlier, he’d weighed in at 13 lbs, even!

The past two weeks have been a little “trying” because little Alex is finally cutting his first teeth!  Two bottom ones have recently appeared, and two top ones are on the horizon.  Yay, baby Alex now has some teeth.

The little fellow turned one a couple of weeks ago, and celebrated with a big birthday party.  Brandy said he would have nothing to do with his birthday cupcake.  In fact, it made him gag.

Alex wears tiny hearing aids in his tiny ears, but we don’t really think Alex can hear much, if anything.  Loud noises don’t seem to affect him at all, but lack of hearing hasn’t slowed Alex down from anything other than talking.

He’s now crawling at “break-neck” speed, in fact we’ve nicknamed him “Speedy”! Alex is, also, walking holding onto the furniture.  He’ll be walking one of these days before long!

The other day Alex did something so totally funny.  He was on his hands and knees, and suddenly he stuck one leg straight out behind him–like he was doing an exercise move–something he’d seen Brandy’s daughter doing!  I cracked up!

I now call my daughter “the baby whisperer” because she’s made so much progress with Alex.  She’s truly amazing with her patience and persistence, and Alex is just blossoming under her care and guidance.  It makes me proud for both of them.

Published in: on February 23, 2012 at 9:04 am  Comments (10)  
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Wednesday Hodgepodge…February 22

As always, I’m joining Joyce and friends for a little mid-weekly dose of “The Hodgepodge”.  You can play along too, by clicking the button at the top of this post.  Here are this week’s questions/answers:

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day…what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?

My family makes me proud–and they keep me humble, as well.  By “my family” I mean–my husband, our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren.  About the humble part…nobody can “humble” a person better than their kids–whether they are grown or not–they tend to “tell it like it is”!

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?

The main “catch-all” in our house is Ed’s pool room.  It’s a “hodgepodge” in there!   A treadmill, crafting supplies, toys, there’s even a vacuum cleaner in there at the moment…As for the “little stuff”, it ends up on the kitchen counters, or on the end tables in the living room.

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What’s your favorite?

Years ago, while our children were growing up, we visited State Parks on a regular basis.  We did a lot of camping in those days, but Ed and I haven’t visited a State Park since our trip to Helen, Georgia, two years ago.  My favorite park is a local one, known as The Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park, mainly because our family made a lot of good memories there, over the years. Camping, fishing, family picnics, campfires, ghost stories, fun memories–and we didn’t have to travel far from home!  Sometimes both sets of grandparents would even get in on the fun, as pictured below.

a family picnic at the park--almost 25 years ago

4. How would you define honor?

I’m getting a headache thinking about how to describe it!!!  I know what it is, just not how to put it into words.  Honor  is very similar to integrity–doing the right thing, being a good person, having a good name–that sort of thing.

5. Angel’s food or Devil’s food-which cake do you prefer?

I’m a chocolate lover, so it’s Devil’s food–hands down!

6. What’s the most recent road trip you’ve taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?

The last “real” road trip that Ed and I took was over two years ago, when we traveled to Helen.  It’s about a six-hour trip–and it took us over eight hours to get there.  Does this answer your question about whether we stop leisurely?  We never “zoom” anywhere.  I like to take “shopping breaks” along the way!  One of our snacks of choice is “red hots” candy.

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?

The lunch sounded fine to me–but I don’t think it’s anybody’s business to judge.  I worked in an elementary school for 15 years.  I’ve seen all kinds of things packed in lunch boxes over the years!   During those 15 years of working at school, we were served french fries AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK, and pizza was a choice on the serving line EVERY SINGLE DAY…Does this sound more nutritious to you?

Random:  I bought myself a bread maker a couple of weeks ago.  I decided I was going to learn how to make bread.  I finally tried the bread maker out yesterday, and my bread came out like a huge, hard biscuit, in the shape of a rectangle!  It tasted like what we (in the south) refer to as a “hoe cake”  I think I need some “bread-making” lessons…

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 10:27 am  Comments (8)  
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“Puttin’ in Tobacco”…

I’m feeling nostalgic today, so bear with me as I take another trip down memory lane.  Today I’d like to talk a bit about something called, “Puttin’ in tobacco.”  If you are from the country, you may already know a little about this, but if you are from the city, you just might learn something new!

Since we both grew up in a farming community, my husband, Ed, and I have spent lots of time in and around fields during our lifetime.  As youngsters, we both worked in tobacco, which used to be a “big money” crop around here.  Of course, this was way back in the dark ages, before scientists figured out that using tobacco can and will kill you!

Ed’s daddy was a farmer, and he grew tobacco early in his farming days.  There was once a tobacco barn here on the family farm, but it burned to the ground a long, long time ago.  This seemed to be the common fate of a lot of tobacco barns, back in the day.  Faulty burners, I suppose.

These days, our oldest son’s home is located near the former sight of the old tobacco barn.  Unless someone told you, you’d never know a barn ever existed there.

 (The photo below is not the old family barn, but I wanted to show how tobacco barns used to look.)

Ed has helped in all aspects of working with tobacco, while I, on the other hand, have only watched the process of picking and stringing tobacco because I was too young to do otherwise, at the time.  I used to tag along and watch my grandfather’s field helpers at work–wishing I was old enough to help.

I watched in awe as the workers walked through the field snapping off those leaves from the bottom of the tall tobacco plants.  (the bottom leaves were always harvested first, and they were referred to as “sand lugs”)  The tobacco was then placed into a sled which was being pulled by a tractor (see top photo).  Once the sled was full, it was taken to the barn where workers would take the tobacco leaves, and wrap them with string, onto long skinny tobacco sticks (see photo below).    The entire operation was done by hand.

Once the tobacco was strung, someone would carefully climb high into the barn to hang up those sticks filled with tobacco!  The sticks of tobacco were hung on tiers, beginning up in the top of the barn, then coming downward.  This whole process, from picking in the field,  to hanging the tobacco in the barn, was referred to as “Puttin’ in tobacco”.

Once the barn was filled to capacity, the barn door was shut and the burners were turned on. Thus began the “curing process”.  After many days, the tobacco would be “cured” and ready for removal from the barn.  The leaves were green when they went into the barn, but were a beautiful golden color when they came out.

I was old enough to take the cured tobacco off the stick (about age 10), and I was pretty darn good at it because my arms were very long!   Taking off tobacco was a fairly simple process consisting of putting the end of the stick (filled with strung tobacco) into a home-made “holder”, then removing the dried tobacco from the stick.

I would begin the process by breaking the string on the end of the stick, then “unlacing” the dried tobacco from each side of the stick–left, right, left, right…  The longer your arms were, the less often you had to stop to break the string!  When I stopped to break the string, I’d have to lay my hands full of tobacco down on a tobacco sheet,  which had been spread out for this purpose.  The tobacco was always laid on the sheet in the form of a circle.  It was stacked up higher and higher until the sheet was so full it wouldn’t hold any more.  Then the sheet was tied up around the tobacco, into a neat bundle.  These bundles would later be loaded on trucks, and taken to the tobacco market and sold.

Working in tobacco is not for the “faint hearted”, because it’s hot, smelly, and dirty work.  The smell of cured tobacco tends to burn your nose while you are working with it!   Tobacco leaves are also sandy(especially those bottom leaves known as sand lugs), and I always wondered why anyone would want to put something that dirty in their mouths!

I got paid a penny for every stick of tobacco I took off.  I’d happily count my empty tobacco sticks at the end of the day to total up my earnings.  If we didn’t finish taking off all of the tobacco in one day, we’d keep a tally of our sticks and add the following day’s total to it.  It took a long time to earn a dollar, but I was very proud of each one I earned!  Oh those were the days…

It’s been nearly 50 years since I worked in tobacco.  There are very few fields of tobacco around here anymore, and of course, nobody does anything by hand!  I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to experience harvesting tobacco in my lifetime–but thank the Lord, I’ve never had any desire to smoke any!

Have a great day!

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Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 12:34 am  Comments (10)  
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Meet Me On Monday…And The Weekend Wrap Up

Acting Balanced

I’ve missed being able to join up with “Meet Me On Monday” for the past  few weeks.  Recently, one of my newest blog friends, Heather, from Acting Balanced” has begun to host the meme.  (Thanks, Heather!)  If you’d like to join in, simply click on Heather’s button at the top of this post!

Today’s questions are:

1. What is your favorite kind of soup?
My favorite soup is homemade vegetable-beef soup, served with hot cornbread!
2. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
The last movie I saw in a theater was “Toy Story 3”.  These days, I rarely see a movie trailer that makes me want to make the 30 mile trip (one way) to the movies–or pay those ridiculous ticket prices!  More often than not, when I finally see most movies on dvd, I usually end up commenting, “I’m glad I didn’t go to the movies to see that one”!
3. What is your least favorite TV program?
These days, my least favorite TV program is the news.  It’s all politics–UGH!  I’m so sick of it.
4. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
I would title my book the same as my blog–“Reflections By Kathy”.
5. What 3 places that are on your bucket list to visit?
I’m not choosy–as long as it’s three places with clear, blue water, and white sandy beaches!  Recently, I’ve been doing some research on the Florida Keys.  My husband and I discussed taking a cruise  for our 40th anniversary, but he’s gotten “cold feet” since the recent cruise ship disaster.  Dang it!
Weekend Wrap Up:
The best way to describe the weekend here is–windy and wet.  We had two windy days, and received two inches of rain!  We are thankful for the rain, because we desperately needed it…The wind?  Not so much.  I nearly had a heart attack when a small tree limb fell on top of our tin roof and made a clatter!  However, our granddaughter, Madison, had a good time flying her new kite in the stiff breeze!
Over the weekend, Ed and I were able to spend lots of time with family, and we even had a little belated birthday celebration, when our oldest son showed up with an ice cream cake, for his wife, on Friday evening!  (Her birthday fell on Wednesday, and there had been no time to celebrate due to church commitments)
I watched two old movies over the weekend.  The first was “Look Who’s Talking”, which I’d seen a couple of times, but that was a long, long time ago.   The second movie was “The Big Chill” which I’d never seen, but watched on the advice of blog friend Kathy, from Just Stuff From A Boomer .  Kathy was so right, the soundtrack (lots of Motown music) was fabulous, and the movie was pretty good, too!  Kevin Kline was killing me in his jogging short-shorts!  The stars in both movies have something in common with me–we’ve all aged a lot since the 80’s!  Have a great Monday…

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm  Comments (13)  
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The Money Class…

I wonder if there is anybody else who grew up as ignorant about money as I did!  I knew three things about money when Ed and I got married.  #1-you have to earn it,  #2-you need to always pay your bills on time, and #3-spend whatever is left over after paying the bills.

Ed learned three things while he was in the army.  #1 do whatever Uncle Sam tells you– for meager pay, #2 to live frugally,  and #3- save some money for “a rainy day”.   In case you haven’t caught on by now, Ed is the saver in our family, while I’m the spender.

Neither of us ever received any financial advice from our parents.  We learned the hard way–by trial and error.  Some things we did right, some things we didn’t.  If I could go back and have a re-do, I’d definitely change a few things, especially on my part.

With Ed  rapidly reaching retirement age, we’ve been busy as bees, trying to get our monetary affairs in order.  In other words, we’ve been trying to save money, and also get out of debt!  Of course, Ed’s been saving over the years,  but thanks to the ridiculous low interest rates being paid these days, that’s slowed considerably!  I’m happy to say, however, we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of debt, and it’s a welcome sight!

A few weeks ago I began watching “The Money Class”, Suze Orman’s new mini series on OWN.  It was a six-week series, which taught different lessons about money each week.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching all six of the shows–and I learned about everything from emergency funds to bankruptcy!

At the end of the six-week series (which fell on Valentine’s Day),  Suze  put a quiz on Oprah.com.  For a period of twenty-four hours, you could go on-line and take the quiz.  If you made 80% or above, you then qualified to be entered in a drawing to win the grand prize of $50,000 .  Suze said the test would be multiple choice.   Suze even gave away an answer to one of the questions, when she said to “remember 300”, in the video clip  prior to the quiz.  I decided to go on-line and take the quiz!  Great way to spend Valentine’s Day, huh?

Let me begin by saying, I don’t work well under pressure, and it was a timed quiz, which freaked me out!  There were twelve multiple choice questions, followed by an essay question, which also freaked me out.  I had 15 minutes to finish the entire quiz–and the essay question had to be answered in order to qualify!  Oh my word!  I could hardly keep my eyes off that ticking timer in the corner as I read through each one those questions.

Most of the questions were pretty easy, but there were two questions I wasn’t sure of.  One of them was “what is the lowest possible FICO score”?  The choices were 300, 500, 800.  I knew 800 was good because it’s the score I strive to achieve.  I told myself the answer must be 500, because surely nobody could have a FICO of 300!  Wrong!!!  After I’d finished taking the test,  it then dawned on me that Suzie had given me the answer to this question–and I missed it!  To make matters worse, it was the only question that I missed on the exam!  Does it get any worse than missing the question that you’ve been given the answer to???  Let’s just blame my stupidity on that ticking timer!

I qualified to enter the sweepstakes, and I was thrilled!  Not because I qualified for a chance to win $50,000 (although that would be great), but because it showed that I’d learned some valuable information over the past six weeks.  If only I’d known all of these things forty years ago!

I highly recommend watching these shows on OWN.  They are currently showing reruns.  If you don’ t get the channel, you can also go to Oprah.com/money class and find most of the information there.   There’s a wealth of information to be learned, especially for young couples just starting out.  The Lord knows, they need all the help they can get these days!  Come to think of it–we all need all the help we can get with our money these days!

Published in: on February 17, 2012 at 9:41 am  Comments (7)  
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Tales Worth Telling…

Valentine's Day Dinner-2012

Our family ( our three grown children and their families)  will use any excuse to gather, eat, and have some fun.  Recently, when I found a turkey breast in the freezer that needed baking,  I thought, I’ll have a family gathering on Sunday, and I’ll make it a Valentine’s Day celebration, too!  So, I decorated and planned a few games!

On Sunday, after lunch, we had a wonderful time playing “The Newlywed Game”.  We hooted with laughter at some of the answers given to the question, “What animal does your wife most remind you of?”  Brad said, “Jennifer reminds me of an alligator, the way she rolls over and over wrapping herself in the cover each night”, while Clint said Brandy reminds him of a “Sasquatch”!  We’re still trying to figure that one out!

Then, on the eve of Valentine’s Day our phone rang about 9:30 at night.  Ed answered it and I heard him say, “I’ve got it  covered, Buddy!”  When I heard that comment, I immediately knew who was calling and why!

The caller was Ben, a friend and former co-worker of Ed’s,who still remembers that Valentine’s Day, many years ago, when Ed asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day, and I told him “just don’t get me anything”–and he didn’t!  (Ben also remembers how deep in the doghouse Ed was the day after Valentine’s Day!)  Ben loves to tell the story of how Ed was running all around Reidsville, looking for some “lingerie”,(Ben pronounces it len-jir-ee) on the day after Valentine’s Day!  So, Ed comes home the day after Valentine’s Day bearing a gift…some sexy black “len-jer-ee”, which I rarely wore for these reasons.  (1) I had given birth to three children–my sexy lingerie wearing days were over, and (2)it always reminded me of a Valentine’s Day I preferred to forget!

Here’s what prompted Ben’s call.   He said he was watching television and relaxing, when suddenly a man and woman came on television.  They were having a conversation about what she’d like for Valentine’s Day, when the woman said to the man, “Don’t worry about it…”  Ben said he yelled at the television, “Don’t listen, Buddy, or you’ll be in deep shit!”, then he immediately got up to call Ed!

Ed did, indeed, “have it covered” this year, because here is what I  found on Valentine’s Day morning when I went into the kitchen…

I found candy…I found flowers…and I even found an adorable teddy bear to add to my collection–but I didn’t find any sexy black “lin-jir-ee”, thank goodness!

I had to laugh when Ed later told me the story of how he accidentally knocked over the vase of Valentine’s Day flowers, the night before Valentine’s Day, sending water all over the bedroom carpeting!  Meanwhile I was in the living room, unaware anything was amiss, while Ed was frantically trying to dry the carpeting!  So funny!  I still don’t know where Ed had those gifts hidden…  Now, moving on along…

The day after Valentine’s Day, I went over to visit my daughter to ask how her Valentine’s Day went.  I got such a kick out of her story, I just have to share it, too.

Brandy and her hubby decided to clean and cook shrimp– for the first time–on Valentine’s Day.  Perhaps not the wisest choice…Brandy said the sight and smell of raw shrimp was almost too much for her to overcome!  (She was still burning candles the day after)  Here’s what happened following the cleaning and cooking of the shrimp…

After getting the meal ready, the three of them (they have a 5-year-old daughter) sat down to eat at their decorated table, complete with candles…Meanwhile, in the midst of their romantic meal, the couple’s daughter, Madison, suddenly announces that she feels like throwing up!  (Not what you want to hear, especially during a meal!)  So they all scurry around and decide to put her in the bathtub to soak while the couple tries to finish their meal.  Then, as Brandy and hubby are in the middle of eating their dessert,  Madison suddenly yells, “I’ve gotta’ poop!”–as they are eating chocolate mousse…  The good news is, Madison felt much better after her bath and a “poop”!

I think it’s safe to say that Valentine’s Day 2012 will be etched in our memories for years to come!  I hope yours was memorable, as well.

Published in: on February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am  Comments (7)  
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