Archive for the 'That’s My Life' Category

Ruth’s Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

It’s time for another recipe.  I love posting recipes because I only post recipes that are really tried and true and delicious!  

This is my mother’s recipe for cucumber/cream cheese sandwiches.  She cuts these into circles or other shapes for special occasions – like a wedding reception, a luncheon, a bridal or baby shower.  Everytime I’ve made them, people have asked for the recipe.  They’re light-tasting and really REALLY good.


2 (3 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese

2 Tablespoons grated onion

2 Tablespoons sour cream

2 medium cucumbers (peeled, grated and drained)

salt and white pepper to taste

bread slices

green food coloring (optional – just a drop or two to make the mixture a very pale green)

Combine all ingredients (except the bread slices) to make the filling.  Stir until smooth.  Cut thin slices of bread into the desired shapes and Spread with the filling and top with another slice of bread.  I usually spread the mixture on the bread first and make a sandwich – and then use a cookie cutter or knife to cut it into shapes.  Most of the time I cut off the crusts and then slice diagonally to make two triangles.  These sandwiches look very pretty, too.

The mix yields about two cups of filling.  How many sandwiches that makes depends on how much filling you put in each sandwich.

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Broken nipples, not farting, and curling tongues: Comments I overheard today at school

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Sometimes teachers overhear some of the strangest comments.  It’s just a little past lunchtime, and I already have three doozies for today:

Scenario #1:

“I think I broke my nipple.”  (1st grade boy)  The child was sitting across the table from me.  So it wasn’t really an “overheard” comment.  He was commenting for the entire reading group.  I figured that I SURELY hadn’t heard correctly, so I HAD to ask, “You broke your what?” 

“My NIPPLE!” he clarified as he took his fingers and pinched his shirt over his left nipple to demonstrate what he was talking about.  The child next to him followed suit with both sides of his shirt to make sure I understood what he was talking about.  I briefly wondered what on earth someone would think if they walked into my classroom and saw children touching their nipples.  However, once the boys saw that I understood, they stopped.  The first boy continued, “When I leaned over the table, I banged it against the chair.”

“Oh, okay.  Well hope it feels all right now,” I said.  We continued with our reading lesson. Maybe 30 seconds from beginning to end of scenario.

Scenario #2

“I didn’t really fart.” (2nd grade boy)  I was walking past a second grade class that was lined up in the hall returning to class from the cafeteria.  Figuring that he probably HAD really farted or he wouldn’t have felt a need to say he hadn’t, I kept on walking.

Scenario #3 – Same 2nd grade boy as the previous scenario – along with a classmate – in the hall about 20 minutes later. “See I can do it!”  The other boy replied, “I can’t.”  The first boy stuck out his tongue and curled it up from the sides.  The other child just stuck out his tongue.  He couldn’t curl his.  I thought about stopping and telling them that the ability to curl one’s tongue like that is a genetic trait, but then when I started thinking about it, I wasn’t sure that was right.  So once again, I kept on walking.  I’ll have to look that up.

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Saturday Morning Thoughts

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Here it is – another Saturday morning.  I love the weekends.  Friday nights are my favorite time every week because the whole weekend lies before me.  Although I love my job, I also love not being at my job.

There are lots of things going on today – not just with the new house and doing things around the old house – but in the blogging world, too.  Lots of excitement and handling various tasks.  Look for an announcement later today or tomorrow – nothing personal – it’s about blogging.

I have several plans for the day – all just terribly exciting!  Not.  I’ll go by the church and do a quick sweeping/vaccuming/general straightening up, then by the grocery store for a few staple items. 

I’m making a pot of chili for dinner – and then working on blogging plans in between all the other things.

If you make your way to THE MEDIAN SIB today, I wish you a wonderful Saturday.

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Ash Wednesday – Giving Up Something For Lent

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

February 21st is Ash Wednesday.   It begins the season of Lent – the 40 days preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.  I found a website that offered some good information about Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.

We don’t know much about how the first-century Christians treated the forty days before Resurrection Sunday. But by the second century, the church was starting to use that season as a time for training new believers about how to rightly think, live, and believe as Christians. . . . This was done, in part, by reliving the Scriptural accounts of Christ’s final time before He was killed. It was done with the whole church community as they, too, relived it. The end of that period was Holy Week, and Easter would be the day that the new believers would be baptized into the Church. As the Roman world became mostly Christian and more people had already been baptized as children, the season  . . . began to take on a different meaning, one that would be of great value for new and long-time Christians alike. It would become a time for looking at the depth of one’s own sin, and turning away from them. A time for learning what it means to follow Christ, and to listen to the Spirit. A time for actually going about changing one’s ways to be more as Christ would have them be. . . .

And for that reason many Christians decide to “give up” something for the 40 days of Lent.  I remember once – probably about 20 years ago – when I was very much addicted to the soap opera “All My Children”, I gave up the show for forty days.  After Easter, when I finally watched the show again, the storyline had moved forward very little.  It wasn’t too much longer before I gave up watching it entirely.  I learned quickly through my 40 days of going without it – just how little substance there was to it.

 When we deny ourselves things we enjoy, we strenghten our own will so we do not become slaves to the things we like. This exercise helps strengthen us spiritually. It makes us sacrifice. By giving up something that isn’t sinful helps us give up things or not do things that are. It also helps us to keep our priorties straight.

Most of what is done and learned in Lent is true for the rest of the year, too, but with a different feel. Most people couldn’t even dream of keeping their intense focus all year on what Jesus did and what we’re to do with that. Forty days is long enough not to be short-term, but too short to be thought of as a substitute for year-round Christian living. A short burst, such as forty days, can go a long way. But only for those who make some hard decisions.

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday (in 2007, that’s 21 February). The tone of worship and church life changes starting with the worship services of that day, all the way to Palm Sunday, and then again to Easter. Gone are exuberant praise (even “Glory!” and “Alleluia”), loud music, and sermons about joy, pride, politics, authority, evangelism, fund-raising, or building programs. The feeling is subdued, with a pensive hush, in awe of God, in sharp awareness of how each of us — and all of us together — are not as God calls us to be, and because of that, will eventually die. We are not masters of our lives but are instead subject to the tides of life and are thus much less than God. It’s good practice to wear simple clothing in subdued colors and grays, without frills or jewelry (though perhaps we should resist going over-the-top, such as going to Sunday services wearing the real clothing of Lent : ash-covered sackcloth). In liturgical churches, and more of other churches each year, Ash Wednesday is marked by the ancient rite of the imposition of ashes (dating back at least 1000 to 1200 years). At the start of the Ash Wednesday service, the believers are asked to come forward to the altar. The minister dips his/her thumb into a small tin of ashes (burnt from last year’s Palm Sunday palms, with a drop of olive oil), and with it marks onto each person’s forehead the sign of the cross, saying the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” (from Ecclesiastes 3:20). . . . It is the season to be focused on turning from wrong-doing and dedicating anew to the kind of life Jesus taught us to live.

RT and I had planned on attending the Ash Wednesday service at our church tomorrow evening.  However, we will be babysitting the grandgirls since their daddy will be having minor surgery early the next morning.  So we will spend the evening being Grandma Carol and PawPaw instead.  And that is good.

What to give up for Lent.  I know what I am planning to do for the next 40 days as my personal “sacrifice.”  In our world today, there are few things that are truly sacrifices that we can make.

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Happy Birthday to my Mother!

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Today is my mother’s birthday.  My mother is a blogger – Ruthlace.  Last year I wrote a rather detailed post for her birthday.   Last year I wrote eighty-three things about my mother.  I won’t give away her age, but this year I could have written eight-four things about her.  Here is a photo of my mother and me – probably around 1952.

This next photo is of my mother as a young woman.

And this next photo was taken a few years ago – my  mother with my siblings and me.


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Yea! It’s Over

Monday, February 19th, 2007

The presentation I had to give this morning is over!  YEA!!!!!!!!  Words cannot express how happy I am that it is over  – it turned out good – but most of all, it’s over.  Whew!  Public speaking is definitely NOT my strong suit.  But I did okay.

Today was Presidents’ Day.  Kids were out of school, but teachers weren’t so lucky.  Teachers had all-day professional development meetings.  All the kindergarten teachers in the school system went to one school, all the first grade teachers went to another, etc.  My presentation was to the third grade teachers.  There were probably around 50-60 teachers in the session that I led.  Two of the third grade teachers at my school helped with the presentation.  There were six sections of the presentation – I had four sections, and they each had one section.   Our topic was on working with high readers in third grade.

A bonus: The third grade teachers just happened to be at the school that Sweet Stuff (my 5-year old granddaughter) attends.  So I got to see her classroom and all her artwork and school work that was displayed in the hallway outside her classroom.

Oh yes – it was the first time I’ve done a PowerPoint presentation.  Everything worked out just fine.  But the most important thing:  It’s OVER!

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Saturday Photographs: Tripper, Ceilings, and Snow

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Just some random photos to share.  This first one is of our cat, Tripper. 

Actually, I’m stretching the truth to say that Tripper is our cat.  I think Tripper rotates living with several families in our general neighborhood.  He’ll stay here for a week or two and then disappear for weeks or months.  Then he’ll show up and stay here another few weeks.  We feed him whenever he shows up.  Not long ago, RT saw him at a house about a 1/4 mile down the road from us. 

Tripper got his name from his habit of walking right in front of us.  I’ve come close to falling as a result of his tripping me up several times.  He does it to everybody.  This photo is of Tripper on the rafters of the porch – his favorite place now because it is safely out of Jake’s reach.

The next two photos are ceiling photos.  I love the ceilings in several rooms in our new house.  Two of the upstairs bedrooms have modified cathedral ceilings.  Then the master bedroom and the master bath both have double octogonal tray ceilings.  Here’s the framing for them:

This is in the master bedroom.

This is the ceiling in the master bath.

And I’m including this next photo because it shows our picnic table which is in the side/back yard of our house and the photo shows the snow on the ground and the house – and on the picnic table.  That picnic table is very special to us.

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An Unexpected Snow Day

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

RT and I were peacefully sleeping shortly before six o’clock this morning.  Suddenly I was aware of RT jumping out of bed.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“The phone’s ringing,” was his reply as he went into the guest room where our only land-line phone is located – the phone we virtually NEVER use.  I figured it was a dumb telemarketer (who would call at THAT hour of the morning?) or a wrong number.  No one we know ever uses that number to contact us.  I turned over and tried to go back to sleep.

In the next room I heard RT answer the phone – and then silence.  After a few seconds, he came back in the room, walked to the door and looked outside.

“Who was it?” I asked.

“You’re out of school today. That was the automated calling system.”

There were still a few minutes before the alarm would ring, but I was wide awake.  No school?  I had stayed up and watched the late news last night.  There was not even a mention of possible snow.  I looked out the window and saw the ground was blanketed with snow.

Later when I turned on the TV, I found that a stray cloud had found its way right above our county and the one next to us. We were the only school systems that had enough snow to cancel school.

HOORAY!  RT immediately gave me a list of what I needed to do to help him with house today, and I had my own list of what I needed to do.  It’ll be a busy day, but it’ll be busy on my terms. 

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My First Valentine’s Day With RT

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

It was back in 1968 – my freshman winter at college in Kentucky.  RT and I had started dating in the fall.  I was crazy about the guy!   I was living on campus in a women’s dorm.  RT lived across campus in a men’s dorm.  My dorm was an old fashioned one with the restrooms and showers at the end of the hall. 

I had to work my way through school doing various jobs – cleaning the bathrooms, working in the cafeteria – whatever work I could get.  That year I worked the breakfast line in the cafeteria, and so I got up early in the  mornings to get to the cafeteria before the serving lines opened.

That Valentine morning, the alarm clock rang, and I trudged down the hallway to take care of morning necessities and get my shower.  Awhile later, I returned to my room – and there on my bed was a HUGE heart-shaped box of candy with a large red valentine card next to it.  

It was from RT, and to say I was surprised would be an understatement.  He wrote lots of sweetly romantic stuff in the card.  He’s very good at that.  I was ecstatic because I never expected such a treat.  RT had gotten a friend of mine to hide the candy and card, wait for me to go to the restroom, and then put them on my pillow.  It was a tender start to a life-long romance.  I still smile when I think of it.

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It’s strep throat – and I have the ice cream to prove it

Friday, February 9th, 2007

I just got back from seeing the doctor.  It’s strep.  The nurse laughed and said that the culture immediately turned positive – didn’t even need the five minutes to get a reading.   Now I feel GUILTY because I went to work yesterday – even though I felt terrible – and I probably spread it.

I really thought it would turn out to be the flu or some viral thing since I didn’t have a fever.  The doctor told me, though, that fever and even a sore throat are not necessarily part of having strep. 

So, I got a shot.  It was a big shot and it was cold since it had been refrigerated.  So the nurse gave the shot to me very slowly.  About midway she asked if it was stinging too badly.  I said, “Yes, it’s stinging but not NEARLY as badly as my throat hurts.  So I’ll take the stinging any day to get rid of the sore throat.”

Since I have a history of passing out after getting a pencillin shot, I had to stay there – lying down – for about 15 minutes after the shot.  If the examining table had been more comfortable, I could have gone to sleep.  Then they let me leave.  The doctor gave me a prescription for a “swish and spit” that would help with the throat pain – with clear instructions to be careful not to swallow it.  Then the nurse told me to be sure not to drink or eat anything at least thirty minutes after swishing and spitting because people have been known to chew their tongues and not realize it.  Sounds lovely, doesn’t it.

I stopped by Kroger on my way home to get the prescription filled, and since it took them about 10 minutes to fill the prescription I decided to pick up a few groceries while I was there.  The pharmacy is really close to the aisle that has ice cream.  The more I looked at the ice cream, the more I thought it would feel so good on my throat – not to mention it would taste so good.

So I bought a half-gallon of Blue Bell Homestyle Vanilla Ice Cream.  And, you know what?  It DID feel wonderful going past my throat, and it DID taste delicious.  AND since I believe it putting first things first, I ate the ice cream first, and then tried the swish & spit.  Not too bad.  I wonder though, if I gargled as long as I should have because I really can’t tell much difference.  

The wonderful thing about antibiotics is that regardless of how absolutely awful I feel right now, I know that the penicillin has already started its job of killing the streptococcus (I hope that’s the right word) germs, and I will feel so much better by tonight. 

Now I’m worn out – and hour and a half at the doctor’s office, 45 minutes to get home via Kroger, and 15 minutes to write this post.  Now it is definitely NAP TIME!

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