Sunday, December 4, 2016

Give Me A Break! (Kit Kat and Toblerone)

Recently, my step-Mom was in the hospital. When I arrived there with my Dad to visit her, I looked around for a wheelchair for him.
(It's a large hospital and I knew it would be quite a walk to her room.)
A young man was walking out the door just as we arrived and when he saw me looking around...he came back into the building and asked if we needed any help.  When he saw my Dad and I told him of our need, he straightaway went around the corner and brought to us the most beautiful brand new wheelchair for my Dad!  Daddy was really moved by this kind gesture.
I knew I didn't have any cash on me...but I very much wanted to give him something! I looked into my bag, and there was a small Kit Kat bar that I had been saving, the very last one that I had brought back from England!  I reached into my purse and said, "Oh, this is just a little thing, but it is a Kit Kat bar that I bought when I was in England. Here, I hope you like it!"
He smiled and took the Kit-Kat!
Hey, it was only a small chocolate bar but it was ENGLISH chocolate and the chocolate from there is very, very good.  Honest!
Here's the rest of the story... when we were in my step-mom's  hospital room later, the same man came into her room ...and he was her nurse!  It is a small world, isn't it?

Oh! And I forgot to say, a few days later, Richard surprised me by telling me that he had found an English Kit Kat bar in our kitchen!
(I must have put it down by the microwave and forgotten about it and it somehow got pushed to the side.) So, it was really the penultimate Kit Kat bar that the male nurse received as a thank you!
P.S.  I always make sure I bring back custard creams and Mars bars from England, they are my favorites! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ten Things I've Learned

It should come as no surprise to you that I like to read the BBC website.   Haven't I told you that I read it all the time? No? Well, I do!  I love the "Quiz of the Week", where they test you on the news from that week.  It used to say, "For those who didn't have anything better to do this week than to swot up with the latest happenings", but that was dropped.  Perhaps someone suggested the BBC was a news broadcaster and that phrase might not be the thing to say?

 There is also a section...Ten Things We Didn't Know Last Week.  I enjoy reading both of these!

You all know how my mind works by now (poor you)- are my ten things:

1)  The big leaf magnolia (pictured here) is native to the southeastern United States and eastern Mexico.  It has the largest simple leaf and single flower of any native plant in North America.

2) The Great Smoky Mountains Park is a Unesco World Heritage Site, as is the Statue of Liberty.  (I think these are the only two I have seen in the USA.) You may see a list of them here. 
The park is closed just now including all the trails due to the wildfires.  By the way, it is the most visited national park in the USA.
Gatlinburg, which you may have just seen in the news, is very close to the Great Smoky Mountains Park.

3) The variegated fritillary butterfly looks like this:

Euptoieta Claudia
"The flight of this butterfly is low and swift and even when resting or nectaring, is extremely difficult to approach, and because of this, its genus name is taken from the Greek work, "euptoietos" meaning "easily scared".

 Richard was very lucky to get this close to take the above photo!

4) The actor who played "Potsie", Anson Williams from the TV show "Happy Days" is a cousin of the man who invented the Heimlich maneuever, Henry Heimlich. 
(Anson Williams, born Anson William Heimlich.)

5) Leon Russell and David Gates (Bread) went to the same high school in Oklahoma and at one time even played in a band together.

6) The massive turnout in Chicago for the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year was the 7th largest gathering of people ever in history.

7)  There is a statue of George Washington in front of The National Gallery in London.   Since George Washington had made the statement that he never wanted to be on English soil again, tons of soil was brought in from Virginia to be placed underneath the monument to him.

8) Close to the George Washington statue, just across the street is St. Martin-In-The-Fields Church and under the portico of the church is a work of art...Christ Child Statue.
The Christ Child, St Martin-in-the-Fields.jpg

I saw this in September from the taxi as we went by and found out what it was just recently!

9)  The sourwood tree is a lovely red in the autumn and I most certainly can identify it now!

10) The Tyburn river flows through an antiques shop in London!

Oh dear, that is only just a few things I've learned recently!  I am constantly learning, aren't you?  Now, if only I can remember them!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Color In November (And Rain!)

Thank you for all the kind wishes for our son's birthday!  Much appreciated, my friends.
Even in the last days of November, we still have lots of color.  And if you notice, I changed my header photo and that means, we had some rain! The wildfires continue in the mountains and because we had high winds that came in before the storm front, it fanned the flames to such an extent that in Gatlinburg, Tennessee many people had to be evacuated and three died. 

We have enjoyed our autumnal walks admiring the leaves, they have really put on a show.
You wouldn't believe how much time I have spent trying to identify all the trees.  It is much harder than you might think!
Hickory, sourwood, sweetgum, white oak, red oak, serviceberry, blackgum scarlet oak, beech...and many more!

I even had to take photos from the car on the way home from our walk...the trees below are in front of the middle school which is just across from our neighborhood.

And the trees above are in our own back yard!  We don't even know the names of these trees...the burgundy red one was a brighter red last year and the peachy/orange tree was also a bright red last year! Honest!
I know I must be driving y'all crazy with these fall leaves but don't worry, it will December soon, and the trees will be bare.  We will enjoy them while we can! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Christopher!

Monday is our son's birthday. Happy birthday to Christopher!  I have photos here of him throughout this year.

I swear even this dog looks like he has had enough of me. HA!

Christopher playing badminton on Thanksgiving day. You know he hit that birdie over the net!

Christopher calls his Grandfather in America, "Papa" and he was very pleased to see a tower of biscuits that Papa had made for our Thanksgiving dinner!

We had a great meal on Thanksgiving but hey, on a nice day you really need to get outside and play some games!
Daddy is very good at a game called "Cornhole".  See the wooden board, slightly elevated behind us?  There is another one just like it  27 feet in front of us and you have to throw a bean bag into a hole at the top of it. It's not easy to do, but you know that my Daddy can!  Richard got this photo and you can see the concentration on Dad's face! (This was also on Thanksgiving day, a very warm day, I did NOT need that long sleeve shirt!)
Besides badminton and cornhole, we also had fun with that air rocket (see it behind Daddy?) have to pump air and then, the rocket goes very high.  It is just a small thing but you still have to make sure you are out of the way when it comes back to Earth!

Christopher was able to speak with his grandparents in England on Thanksgiving day. Of course, it is not Thanksgiving over there but they know we have the day off, so it is a good time to speak with them .  I know he loves his Nana and Grandad!  Christopher was born on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving...just like him to let me enjoy a nice long Thanksgiving weekend! Thanks, son! Hope all of you had a great weekend also and are looking forward to Christmas, it is around the corner now.

Happy Birthday, Christopher! Hope you enjoyed your chocolate birthday cake!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November Leaves...But Not Yet!

This November has been a beautiful month for the leaves in Georgia. It seems to me that the leaves have lasted longer than they ever have before!  We went for a walk this past Saturday at Panola Mountain State Park and the trees were amazing in their colorful display.
There were a few pinecones in the Ladies room for decoration  but somebody had to go and find a few colorful leaves to go with them. (Can you guess who?)

Hope you enjoyed this as much as we did! 

(A leaf fell onto Richard's lap as we were having our coffee. The leaf had a small hole in the middle, perfect for me to look through and see you!

 Out of This World Dressing - Hey Y'all!  If you click on that link, you will be directed to the NASA website and they have a recipe for dressing that the astronauts will enjoy on the Space Station.  Isn't that the neatest thing?  I am making it myself.  Wish me luck!
(P.S. I will add eggs to the recipe and maybe a bit more sage!)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, and love and hugs to my family and friends in England and my blogging buddies all over the world!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy Jalapeno Corn Casserole! (Let Me Know If you Make This!)

Hey!  I honestly thought I had this recipe on my blog, but searching for it, I see that I only had taken a photo of it.  Perhaps someone will let me know if they can find where I shared it with you.  No worries, I will give it to you now!  (Sorry, I didn't mean to LIE to you!)  Enjoy the Inkspots while you read the recipe!

Kay's HAPPY Jalapeno Corn Casserole:

1 cup uncooked white rice
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 jalapenos chopped, finely
2 cans cream style corn (17 oz. can)
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese (could use Pepper Jack)
(Optional- Green pepper rings, red cherry tomato halves, parsley sprigs....For decoration!)  You don't HAVE to put a face on it like I do!

Cook the rice, set aside.
Melt the butter or margarine and saute the onion, green pepper and celery until vegetables are tender. Combine rice, sautéed vegetables and the next 4 ingredients, stirring well.  Place into greased baking dish and bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. 

That's it!  I sometimes make this into two smaller casseroles. So if you are thinking that my photo shows a 2 quart casserole dish, you are correct!  By the way, this recipe is one that I have made for years, it is from the Southern Living 1983 Annual Recipes!  And my casserole dish was a gift from my sister when Richard and I got married in June of 1983!  I still have it, it is a brown glass casserole dish and it fits inside a wicker basket, very useful to transport a hot casserole. (It has a glass lid also, but hey, had to take that off to take the photo, didn't I? HA!) 

If any of you make this, please let me know! The only thing that I sometimes change with this...I will use 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper...just because I like the color! 

I don't like a lot of jalapenos, so sometimes I only use 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper, you just make it to YOUR taste.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hearts A Busting!

I have spoken of seeing the Hearts A Bustin' bush on my blog before.  I first discovered it beside the trail at Panola Mountain State Park. The seeds are bright orange encased in an equally bright pink seed pod.  The bush at Panola Mountain State Park was cut down so I have looked for it on the other trails this Autumn.  On Sunday, I found it!  Walking at the Monastery with my son, I do fear that I let out such a cry of delight, he must have thought that I had discovered gold!
Did I have a camera with me?  NO! Luckily, my son had his phone with him and he was able to get a few photos for me!  Thanks, Christopher! (Notice, the few drops on the leaves...this was the same day that I had 17 raindrops, so the Monastery must have gotten about the same!)

See the sign above?  Let's get a bit closer...

Don't worry! I didn't go past this sign, I promise!

Richard and I went to the late afternoon/evening service called Vespers. At the altar, the cross has a light shining upon it and from a distance, where the dark meets the light, it looks like a shape of a heart, doesn't it?

Hearts! It is true that I see them very often, in places that are unexpected.  What if you were very tired and came home from work and saw a package on your doorstep, and when you opened the package...

You find a lovely package of hearts from your friend in Germany! (Herzen means hearts in German!)  Those are lovely soft cakes with a soft center and they are unlike anything I have ever had before! I have had only two...I am saving them to take to my family for Thanksgiving! My Dad will be so tickled to know they came all the way from Germany! See the soft red pillow at the back of the photo there...
It is not only a heart shaped pillow but it has holes at the it is also a hand warmer!  Perfect for me and my cold hands!  Oh my, I loved the Autumnal note that was sent with this also and the PAPER it was wrapped in!  What did I do to deserve such a gift? Why, my friends, not one single thing... but I can tell you that I am very grateful for such a sweet gift!  Thanks, Meike!
Remember I told you I let out a cry of delight when I saw the hearts a busting bush?  I did the same thing when I opened this package.