Some of you will think I do nothing but travel. It is not true, but I know it seems that way. (Some of my friends think I travel ALL the time.) The past two years have had a little more than usual, I will admit.

Anyway, we are heading out for Thanksgiving. And at our destination, internet access is quite limited. I can see my e-mail periodically, but no blog visiting unless I go someplace that has wireless, which I usually do not have time for. We will be visiting Grandpa M and Grandma D. A year ago Grandma D was very sick, and she has not fully recovered. I will be cooking and such while we are there.

Chic and Chicklet are excited beyond belief. They LOVE visiting there. Grandpa M’s yard is 3 acres. That’s just the part he mows. They are not used to so much space and revel in it. (So do I.) They also get to see friends they love more than anyone. It will be a nice time.

I am slowly working through all the very heartfelt and nice comments from my two “tolerance” posts. But if I do not reply to your comment right away, know that I appreciate it. I was hoping to have more on this series by now, but life is busy, and the story has many facets. I do want to say that those posts were more of a background. The tolerance issue has bothered me for a long time, but how it applies to our family is the background for the much bigger story. I promise to get to it; it consumes my mind a lot these days.

So I will not be here for My World Tuesday or SkyWatch Friday, so I’ll leave you a couple of pictures and a recipe.

What I saw when feeding the birds a couple of chilly mornings ago.

A new bread I tried last week. I think it was called Armenian Peda bread. I have no idea if it is authentic, but it was really good, and actually quicker than most yeast breads I make.

I apologize I do not have a picture of the following recipe. I only make it on Thanksgiving, and last year I got sick that day so did not care much about taking pictures. It is my very favorite Thanksgiving food. (I turned it into Thanksgiving food.) Prince Charming does not like it (he has a few vegetable hang-ups), so I triple the recipe and eat the leftovers for a few days.

Company Brussels Sprouts

4 bacon strips, diced (I use soy “bacon”)
1 dozen Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons snipped, fresh chives,
1 carrot, thinly sliced
10 stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch of salt

In a skillet fry bacon until just cooked. Drain, reserving 2 tablesppons of drippings. Add remaining ingredients; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are crisp-tender. Yield: 4 servings.

That’s the official version. Since I do not use “real” bacon, and I try to be healthy when it does not impair flavor, I do the soy bacon in the microwave, then saute everything in the wine for a while (leaving out the olive oil), then add the bacon at the end.  I LOVE this stuff!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving if you live where it is celebrated. If not, just have a wonderful two weekends and a terrific week in between!


click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

This picture was not taken today, or even in this state, but the sky looks almost the same as it does today here.

The picture was taken in June in Missouri from my dad’s house. They had 11 Canadian geese that flew over every morning and evening while I was visiting last spring. I found them at a nearby pond one day during the day, but I do not know where they were most of the time.

I did not have any turkey pictures with sky in them, so I thought that geese would have to due to Thanksgiving.

If you are in the United States, I hope you are having a relaxed and festive day, and that you eat exactly the right amount to make you happy!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.


You have not seen posting of this frequency from me since summer, and even then, maybe only once. Well, it is not over! Today is Installment Number 2 in a string of family events about which I am planning to post.  The first was here. And Chic was born three days after my mom’s 60th birthday.

This year Chic’s birthday is on Thanksgiving, but as mentioned before, I am in the habit of posting a day early. She had her school “party” yesterday. There was only a half-day of school, so it was perfect for a birthday celebration; it was already festive. Here are the treats Prince Charming and I made. I was supposed to make all of them, but I have been busy, and I was gone Monday night, so he did most of the cupcake decorating. (The cupcakes are “teepees” and the bags have caramel-apple snack mix in them.)









So Chic will be seven tomorrow, and I cannot let this pass without making a post just about her…

Chic arrived in the world about six months before the family (Prince Charming and Louise) plan. Prince Charming did not know that I had changed the plan, but I knew we would probably be moving very soon after Chic’s arrival if Plan A were kept in place. Most of my life had been spent in southwest  Missouri. Even in the times I did not live there (mostly due to going to school), that was still my home.  People knew me. People loved me. People were DYING for me to have children.  Let us just say that naive Prince Charming thought life was really, really wonderul approximately nine months before Chic was born. But when he found out about her early arrival, he thought life was even more wonderful. (And also that he was pretty stupid.) PC really, REALLY wanted children. I was a bit ambivalent about it. I knew I would love them if I had them, but I also knew I would be fine if I never did. The surprise for him was a good one.

Prince Charming and I tried to keep much about Chic secret–the fact that she was even coming, the fact that she was a “her,” etc. But some of my family did not make that easy. The one thing we kept a secret was her name–which is going to remain a secret to most of you! But I WILL tell you that we had her name picked before she ever came into being, and it is Irish. It is definitely not the strangest Irish name out there to English ears, but almost no one in our world can say it when they see the spelling, or spell it when they hear it pronounced. But the reason to tell you about this name is that Chic was so accommodating about it when she arrived with red hair. Not sort-of red hair, but flame red hair. This was not an enormous surprise because there is red hair in both families, but Prince Charming and I both have dark hair, so it was a nice, little surprise.

Since Chic’s arrival, my life has changed, of course. But it is all good. She is a sparkling jewel in my life, just as her red hair sparkles in the sun. She is sensitive to others, smart (REALLY smart), kind, thoughtful, and all-around good. She has a beautiful smile and is not shy about letting everyone see it. She is full of life and happy. (Most of the time. I see moodiness in her at times, and it makes me fear for the teenage years.) She is responsible. She is fast and strong. She is a little shy, but not self-conscious.

I never expected to have a girl (and I have two). But I really wanted a girl, so when I learned Chic would be coming, I was so excited. I was a little worried about Prince Charming who was the oldest son of the oldest son, etc. But he loves having girls.

People say Chic looks like me in the face. That is harder for me to see because I see us both so much. But she has her dad’s body. I am hoping it will remain feminine as she ages (she is already wondering why her legs are not “skinny” like other girls who have what seem like “bird legs” to an athletically-built family), but her genes have given her the ability to run like lightning without tiring and jump high and far. She is not always the most graceful, but that is improving as she grows.


Almost everything she does, she does well. But this is also a problem for her. If she tries something once, and does not excel at it, she does not want to continue trying. Unfortunately, this is genetic, too, but Prince Charming and I work very hard with her to make her understand that not every single thing in life is easy the first time we try. So far in her life, this is the biggest challenge we face with her. (Check back with me in 6 or 7 years, and I am sure that will seem like nothing!)

Some of the reasons she is extra special to me are:

-She is happy almost all of the time.

-She has red hair!

-She is diligent and responsible.

-She is thoughtful and kind. (Most of the time! She’s only seven tomorrow!)

-She learns easily.

-She is helpful, both to her family and others she sees anywhere.

-She has an open and generous heart.

-She is full of life.

Happy Birthday, Chic! You are getting a big party this year! (Thanksgiving.)