Saturday, April 30, 2011

Southern Accent ~ Southern Slang

When my boys were 5 and 6 and Lucy Lou was just a baby … I took the boys shopping for school supplies.  We were living in Albany and options for good deals were limited and money was tight so we ended up at K-Mart.  We’re picking up pencils, paper, crayons … ya’ll know how it goes … you get a list a page long even for Kindergartners.  Anyway … the boys were into Mickey (for Anthony) and Donald Duck “Donduck” (for Alexander) sooooo what does Alex spy?  A folder … one that wasn’t on the list, mind you … with Donduck on it.  I said “No” …so we move on ... walking back and forth and around the few isles trying to find everything we need and here we pass the Donduck folder again.  Soooo he begs can he “pweese ha it?” … “ got Donduck onwit”. 

Well ya gotta know my Alex … poor thing had speech problems from the day he uttered his first “word” and Anthony, being 13 months older thought he should be his interpreter … half of what Anthony interpreted was wrong … the other half was what Anthony wanted … “he says he wants a cookie, Mommy” … LOL  Poor baby started speech therapy at the age of 3 and continued til 5th grade.  Combined with his speech problem … we lived in Pennsylvania (in Pennsylvania Dutch country) for most of his first 5 years where they speak and say things so much differently than us Southerners … soooooooo he’s got a Mom who speaks “Southern” and more specifically South Georgian, a grandmother who speaks “the Queens English” and he’s living in Pennsylvania Dutch country.  No wonder he had a speech problem right?  LOL

So back to my story … anyway … the boys are walking close behind me … following me …so Alex is beggin me in his sweet little hard-to-understand voice “pweeeese Mommy” and so I finally give in and say “I reckon” … then I hear Alex’s quiet voice behind me ask Anthony ….

“Anfy, whas I reckon mean?”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Every Day in Tuscany Frances Mayes (Book Review)

Subtitled Seasons of an Italian Life. 

Author of Under the Tuscan Sun writes another memoir.  If you love Italy or anything Italiano, as I do, you will love this book.  The history, the architecture, the food, the beauty of the land … this is what I love about Italia.  And it doesn’t hurt that Scott is of Italian decent either.  LOL  Frances Mayes has a way with words that lets you envision being there firsthand.  Living it right along side her.  Though her chapters on art was a little boring … I’m just not into art like she is … you know interpreting it … I just enjoy a pretty painting when I see it!  She’s an American, born and raised in Fitzgerald, Georgia, who has lived with her husband in Cortona, Italy in the Tuscano regionale for some 20 years now.  I read her book Under the Tuscan Sun long before it was made into one of my favorite all time movies and this book follows with more living her Tuscan life. 
There’s even a few chapters dedicated to the Marche regionale and specifically describes her visits to Ascoli Piceno, from where Scott’s grandparents immigrated and where he still has Carboni family living.  Our oldest son, Anthony and his wife Kay, will be visiting with the Carboni family there for 10 days next month on their month long tour of Europe.  I envy them!!!
Back to the book … as with Under the Tuscan Sun, Ms. Mayes’ has included several delicious sounding recipes … a few of which I can’t wait to try … like homemade ravioli (as a teen, I watched, fascinated, as my best friend’s mom made them), the Pollo al Mattone (Chicken Under a Brick) and the Zuppa di Cavolo Nero, Cannellini, E Salsicce (Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup) to name a few.  I would also love to try the Olive all’ Ascolana, breaded olives stuffed with meat(s) which originated in Ascoli Piceno, however, finding ascolana olives may prove difficult and besides, I don’t do well with frying!  I think I need to get in my library and pull out my copy of Under the Tuscan Sun as I do remember noting a few recipes in there I want to attempt as well but you know how it goes … out of sight, out of mind.  So I forgot!  LOL  Maybe I should categorize Ms. Mayes’ books under cookbooks? 
This is definitely a very enjoyable read if you’re into Italia!  Loved my little ‘trip’ to Italy!!!

Hello Herb Garden ~ I've Missed You!!!

What a difference 2 months make ... check out my before and after pictures of my herb garden.  The dreary pics were taken in late February after I cleaned them up.  Clean them up?  I removed most of the dead from the previous season so as to give the new growth room to grow.  The after sunny pics were taken today!

Herb Garden ~ Late February 2011

Herb Garden (sorry photo was not taken at same angle) ~ Today

Herb Garden ~ Late February 2011

Herb Garden ~ Today

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who Me?

Bella is a wonderful dog … she loves us dearly …wouldn’t eat for 5 days at the kennel recently … separation anxiety … but you know how dogs can be … like a child … they have the brain of what … maybe a 2 year old human?  LOL

She doesn’t chew on things normally because we taught her very early on what was acceptable to chew on and that’s her toys or her bones … nothing else.  Yep some of us (I won’t name who and its not me) leave their shoes laying around … but nope … Bella doesn’t touch them.  She learned from the beginning not to chew on stuff that’s normally on the floor.  But drop something on the floor accidently and she’s like “for me?” … She once chewed up my Blackberry as it had fallen off one of the ottomans (oh she won’t take it if its on an ottoman) and another time she chewed up and ate a whole pack of cigarettes that were laying on the floor beside my suitcase waiting to be packed and another time still she was caught starting to chew on one of the remotes that had accidently fallen off the ottoman … won’t touch them normally as that is where they sit most of the time … doesn’t even sniff them ….

Sooooo we’ve learned if you accidently drop something on the floor and don’t realize it … buddy its gone …

Alayna looooooves gum …I’m tellin you this girl goes through gum like nothing else … she can chew up a pack a day (sounds like an addiction to me lol) …and no she does not like to share either LOL …doesn’t matter to me as I can’t chew gum (TMJ but that’s another story) …her roommate at college knew how much Alayna loved her gum and that she ALWAYS had a pack or two … and you better believe Alayna knows at any given time just how many pieces she has left in a pack and how many packs she may have stored up … sooo …yep you guessed it … roommate argument over gum … again that’s another story.

Sooooo … last night Alayna dropped her only pack of gum … a brand new pack mind you … on the floor.  Neither of us noticed.  But some 30 minutes or so later … I saw that Bella was a little overly enthused about what I believed was one of her toys … well it turns out … she had a whole pack of gum!!!  She somehow managed to tear into the main packaging without having to eat it but once she reached the sweet smelling gum … that was it … she ate every last piece … paper and all!

Today … we are experiencing the results of all that gum in Bella’s belly as she has been passing little squeaky poots all day long LOL  Well … I guess it could have been worse … it could have been bubble gum …

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mama's Old Fashioned Caramel Cake (Icing)

Step One: Make the cake ... this is the e-a-s-y part, trust me!

Step Two: Gather ingredients for icing.

Step Three: Make the icing ... make sure to follow the directions exactly.

Caramel Icing

4 cups Sugar
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Sticks Butter
2 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Baking Soda

Mix 3-1/2 cups sugar, cream and butter.  Bring to a rapid boil.  Set aside.  Caramelize in an iron skillet, 1/2 cup sugar and add to above mixture.  Cook until soft ball is formed when dropped into water.  Remove from heat and add vinegar and soda.  Immediately begin to beat by hand held electric mixer until creamy enough to spread on cake.  This is enough to ice a four layer cake.  Always use butter, not margarine.  Mama always used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix for the layers when in a pinch.  

Step Four: Ice the cake and do it quickly (this is VERY important)!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Easter Beach Trip

Mama (Easter) the Bathing Beauty

Mama was born on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1936.  Her Grandfather nicknamed her Easter and called her that til the day he died.  Two Easter’s ago … 2009 … Mama’s Birthday fell on Easter Sunday again … first time since she was born.  So at our annual McKellar Family Easter Egg Hunt/Dinner at Aunt Dollie’s we all sang Happy Birthday to her.  I can see that smile on her face now!

This year Mama would have been 75 … a milestone.  Jackie and I had secretly planned to take her to the beach for a week during Spring Break to celebrate … since it was a surprise for her … she never knew!

Now as we all leave for the beach tomorrow … our minds and hearts are full of thoughts of Mama.  She would have loved this … our families all at the beach together for a week … a family vacation.  We plan to do this every year … a family beach vacation … same time each year.  Some can’t make it this year … Scott, Alex and Heather and some can only make it for a few days … Anthony and Kay … but it will be fun that’s for sure …full of memory making and thoughts and stories about our Mama and our Nana!

Mama’s Scrabble board is packed and ready for us to play it at the beach … oh how she loved her Scrabble and she was great at it too … whipped all of our butts!  Many times!  LOL  She would have loved Words with Friends!

And Seashells … I hope I find a bunch cause Mama loved shelling just like I do … guess I got it honest!  Every shell I find ... I will think of her!

And then there’s the Mud Pie that Alayna will make in honor of her Nana … Nana made it every year for Easter … for the kids!

We miss our Mama and Nana terribly but I know deep in my heart that she will be with us this week . . . at the BEACH!