Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Son

Today is my baby's 27th birthday. Never mind he's nearly 6 feet tall and has two little girls of his own, he's still my baby. It was just about this time of morning on March 29, 1982 when he arrived into this world. He had the reddest hair and the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. I took one look at them and knew immediately they'd turn brown...and they did. He got a very independent spirit and stubborn streak that came with that red hair, which for some reason used to stand straight up in the air as if he'd stuck his finger in a light was so cute, he was punk before punk was cool. He's a gem of a son and I feel eternally blessed to be his mom. Happy Birthday Drew, I love you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Delicious Baby Back Ribs

Since this is what we're having for dinner tonight I thought I'd share my recipe. The ribs are so tender you hardly need to chew and they're so easy to make.

1 rack of baby back ribs
1 bottle of "Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce"

Cut your rack of ribs into serving size pieces. I put about 3 ribs into each serving
place in a large pot, covered with water and boil for 45 minutes .

Cover a baking pan with foil and place your par-boiled ribs onto the foil. Smother the ribs with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. You can use any kind but Sweet Baby Ray's with Honey is my favorite. Cover and seal with foil. Place in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight.

Remove pan and place in a 250 degree oven for 3 hours. Remove the top foil and let brown for 15 minutes, if desired.

Serve with your favorite sides...we like chive potatoes and cole slaw.

Make plenty, everyone will want seconds!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's a Paulownia Tree?

On my last post I mentioned that our Paulownia tree is in full bloom. Some friends asked what is a Paulownia Tree? This is a Paulownia tree in bloom. I had to take a picture from the internet as ours has already lost its blooms and is starting to leaf out. It's not this pretty anymore. Generally the blooms last a couple of weeks or so, but we've been very windy here lately and the blooms are delicate.

We discovered Paulownia Trees when some friends visited Plains, Georgia and Jimmy Carter's home on a trip. They mentioned these extremely fast growing trees filled with leaves the size of elephant ears. We live in the middle of a field with very few trees and the idea of lush shade trees that grow to full size in three to five years was very appealing so we went on a hunt for them.

The Paulownia, also known as the Princess Tree, comes originally from China and one is planted when a girl baby is born. It's harvested when she marries and a dresser, or another piece of furniture, is made from the wood for her new home. What a lovely tradition!

These trees can grow as much as 12 feet tall the first year and up to 30 feet tall by the third year. They do need lots of water and fertilizer to grow, but they make wonderful shade trees.

Just for fun, here's a picture I found on the web of the size of one leaf!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring has Arrived

Spring has definitely made an appearance here in Florida. The dogwood trees are in full bloom, the azaleas fill the area with beautiful color, the Redbud is beautiful and my Paulownia tree is filled with lovely purple blooms. My blog has followed suit and is dressed in its spring finery. I love spring, because it reminds me of Christ's resurrection from the grave, that new life follows death, as we watch the earth come to beautiful life after another long, cold, hard winter.

As for me, I get a little stronger each day and feel better each day. I have to be careful not to overdo, however much I'm tempted. My DH reminds me that I'm held together with baling wire and duct tape right now...his attempt at a humorous look at the situation..but I know he's right and I must still be cautious. I'm thankful for our back porch, where I can sit and enjoy the sunshine, the birds singing, the warm breeze, and be thankful for all the blessings God has given me.

I hope Spring has come to your house and you're enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of renewal.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recipe Wednesday

It's that time once again! It's hard to think about sharing a recipe when you have no appetite for food. I'm still recovering from surgery and food is about the last thing on my radar these days.

I thought I'd share my great-grandmother's recipe for apple cake. It's easy to make and really delicious.

4 cups peeled and diced apples (I like to use Granny Smith apples although any will do)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup salad oil
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans is best)
2 eggs, well beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour (all purpose)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix apples and sugar thoroughly. Add oil, nuts, eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together and add to apple mixture. Bake in a greased 13x9 inch pan for 1 hour

Caramel Glaze topping

in sauce pan mix together 1 cup milnot (or other canned milk) 1/2 stick butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Stir until thoroughly mixed, bring to a rolling boil and boil, stirring constantly, for exactly three minutes. Place pan in ice water and stir until thickened. Pour over still warm cake.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Post-Op Report

I am here to tell you that God is alive today and powerful, still on the throne of Heaven and still blessing His children! Psalms 103: 1-2 says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: "

God has provided and blessed me over and over again throughout this entire journey with cancer. He has allowed me to see clearly, without any doubts or hesitations, that I am His child, that I belong to Him, and everything that happens to us is for His honor and glory. There's a song I've listened to a thousand times during these weeks and months from Casting Crowns. The chorus says, "But the voice of truth tells me a different story, the voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"and the voice of truth says "this is for my glory" Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth." That has been what I have tried to do throughout this whole time, to listen to that still, small, quiet, voice of truth speaking to me and remembering that everything is for God's Honor and Glory.

I'm here to tell you that I believe my surgeon is an angel, sent to earth to serve God. She was amazing. I was so blessed by God giving me the CHIEF of Anesthesilogy for my anesthesiologist on Monday morning. That was such a blessing as I have a difficult time with anesthesilogy at times. My gynecologist stopped by to see me...even though he had no surgeries that morning at all. The nursing staff was all anyone could have asked for and were such a blessing. Even my roommate was a wonderful Christian woman who made my hospital stay more enjoyable.

My surgery went smoothly, and VERY successfully. The pathologist's report is back and it was a Grade 1, Stage 1 cancer, it had not spread into the muscles or grown past the initial point so no further treatments are necessary! No chemo, no radiation, no...anything at all! Isn't God GOOD!!!

I still have a six to eight week recovery window to get through...I have to give myself a shot every morning for two weeks...the doctor is giving me a blood thinner to keep me from developing blood clots and I have to regain my strength and heal, but I think the rest should be okay because I know God is on my side.

I thank you all for your prayers and caring. For those who have sent posted, sent cards and e-mails, you will never know how much they have been appreciated and read over and over. To those who have sent flowers and gifts, they have truly brightened my days, and for those who stopped by the hospital to see me, your visits cheered me and encouraged me. Through each of you God sent me love, and blessed me. There aren't enough ways to say thank you. Please know that every prayer, every thought, every caring act is so greatly appreciated and I thank you for it and know that God will bless you for it.