What Happened to M’am?

Ah, kids these days. . . .

We were peacefully walking in the park when we were ambushed, literally, by three kids hooligans.  Young ones.  At first it was funny because they were so silly acting; it quickly became annoying.  Very annoying.  They were old enough to know better.  They wanted attention.  Finally, not getting the responses they were hoping for, they moved on to other people trying to enjoy the trail.  These people were smarter than us because they completely ignored them.  When we met up with these walkers I was concerned they would think those rude kids were ours since they had been hanging around us.  I cleared up that potential misconception quite quick!

We all agreed that when we were children we never would have approached strangers, let alone approached strangers with the sole purpose of becoming nuisances.  After I left, my friend R said the kids approached some elderly persons visiting the Senior Citizen for square-dancing, poking fun of their clothes.

Where were the parents?  These kids were around seven to ten years of age—way too young, in my humble opinion, to be allowed to hang around a park unsupervised.   Lovely Daughter is 21, lives in an apartment while attending college three hours from home, and I still require her to check in with us every single day.

I feel like an old fogey, wondering what is happening to our youth when it seems, at times, that yesterday I was in my youth!  My parents would have been appalled (not to mention livid) if their children had ever been disrespectful to adults.  We were taught to say m’am, sir, please, thank you. . . .    I feel I can’t blame the children 100% because the parents must not have taught these children respect.  Lazy parenting?

Am I wrong?  Does it seem like kids are getting bolder?  Are parents not teaching their children respect?

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Are You Mom or Mommy?

Mommy loves Lovely Daughter!

I try to be Mommy even though Lovely Daughter is now 21.  Sometimes I’m Mom, but I don’t think I’ve ever been Mother.  My mother:  Mother.  Long story, but as the saying goes, “You can’t always get what you want.”  Lord knows I’ve made mistakes along the way, but there is no doubting my love for my children.

I have three children: one biological and two older stepsons in their early 30s.  I love my kids with all my heart because love doesn’t come from a cord.  When asked how many kids I have, I say, “Three.”  Also, my stepsons’ three children are MY grandbabies (even though I am NOT old enough to have given birth to these two stepsons–repeat, I am NOT old enough!); they know me as Grammy and will always know me as Grammy.  How lucky are they to have three grandmommies?!

This Mother’s Day I was fortunate that Lovely Daughter came home from college to cook me Eggs Benedict with fresh fruit and Mimosas.  Lovely Daughter is finally, I do believe, exhibiting signs of inheriting my love of cooking-—check out that beautiful homemade Hollandaise!  Egads, it was amazing!

On my friend Kim’s blog, she had a wonderful poem which I would love to share with you.  I so, so love this:

Not flesh of my flesh,
nor bone of my bone,
but still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
you didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.

And yes, when I talk to my boys, I refer to myself as Stepmommy!

Upcycled Garden Trellis

Got wood?

Better Half and I love nature and natural looking surroundings.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have the odd man-made sculptural piece or two scattered throughout our gardens, but it does mean we try our darndest to use and reuse what nature has provided.   We’ve picked up and reused more rocks than anyone on the planet, and since we have a plethora of trees, we love to use the different wood for projects.  Who can improve on Mother Nature?

This 6′ garden trellis is last week’s project.  We used cedar trees we were thinning for the three legs and support beams.  Cedar was a natural choice since it’s basically rot resistant.  Instead of burn piles, why not use honor the trees and give them a second life?  We also have tons of grape vines and honeysuckle vines; those we used to wrap around the trellis.  Basically, we cut the three legs from the cedars to a height of about 6.5′.  We “teepee’d” the three legs and made support beams out of the remaining cedar pieces which we secured with wood screws we had on hand.  Then we had fun wrapping the vines all over the trellis.  From start to finish it took less than 2 hours, and we think our free trellis looks great.  (We even made another one that’s slightly different–I’ll show you another time!)

We will be planting cardinal vine on the trellis for the hummingbirds, and we think they too will appreciate the beauty of this natural, upcycled garden trellis!  Walking around the woods and thinking outside the box was a great way to spend the afternoon with Better Half!

Buttery Crescent Rolls

Whadda think of these, Doughboy?

Ah, the crescent roll.  Who among us hasn’t popped open a package of the ubiquitous refrigerated tubed crescent rolls?  Honestly, I have, but rarely, and it’s because I need to make an appetizer and they’re an integral part of the recipe.   I do not make them for “rolls.”  (Bit of roll snobbery there, eh?)

My crescent rolls are good.  No, I mean GREAT.  They are fool-proof, amazingly tasty and flaky, and easy to make.  Lovely daughter begs me to make her these crescent rolls, and usually I oblige.  Two years ago I ignored her request and instead made homemade bread.  I’ve been reminded many times of that little indiscretion.

Lovely daughter and I made these on Thanksgiving Day.  She sprinkled part of her batch with cinnamon-sugar, and we baked those for breakfast the next day.  Oh, Lordy, Lordy, were they good!  Enjoy these scrumptious crescent rolls, and check out other yeast love on YeastSpotting!

Buttery Crescent Rolls (24 rolls)

5 teaspoons active dry yeast
¾ cup warm milk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup softened butter
2 tablespoons shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour (KAF please!)
2 tablespoons softened butter

In bowl of mixer fitted with paddle (I’m using my KitchenAid), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Add sugar, ¼ cup butter, shortening, eggs, salt, and 2 cups flour, beating until smooth.  Add remaining flour and knead (using kneading paddle) for approximately four minutes.  Place in well-greased bowl, turning to cover all sides of dough and allow to rise until doubled (approx. 2 hours).  Punch down dough and divide in half.  Roll each half into a circle approximately 12 inches.  Spread each half with 1 tablespoon softened butter.  Using pizza cutter or knife, cut each circle into 12 pie-shaped wedges.  While stretching wide side and pulling long end (makes more layers), roll up wedges into crescent shape.  Curve slightly and place point end down on greased baking sheet.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled (approx. one hour).  Bake at 375° for 8-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Slather with more butter if you like!

Pumpkins and a Great Read

Start to finish.

A friend recommended a book to me that (honestly) I wasn’t sure I would really “get.”  Oh, I got it, and I really, really liked it.  It fit along with my whole, “I wish I was a prairie girl.”  Seriously, I was born in the wrong era.

The book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was written by Barbara Kingsolver and documents her family’s year of eating locavore (eating only locally produced food).  If you think it sounds like a strange book, it’s not.  I felt the same way until about 15 minutes into the book.   The book actually makes you think, really think, about those bananas in your fruit bowl and how the heck they showed up in your local supermarket when bananas don’t grow anywhere near your region.  It details the family’s struggles, their miracles (e.g., baby turkeys), some yummy recipes, and much more.  If you grow a garden; if you’ve ever dreamed of having chickens; if you wish your food tasted better; if you love visiting farmer’s markets—this book is for you.

With that in mind, here is my weekly contribution to eating locally.  I grew the above pumpkins in my garden.  I baked and froze the puree for the seasons when pumpkin is not available.  I then roasted the pumpkin seeds for snacking.  To finish the cycle, I tossed the pumpkin shells into our compost pile!  Start to finish pumpkins.  Good karma to my friend for the great book recommendation, to Barbara Kingsolver and her family, and every person who craves better food.

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