Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God Bless Us Everyone - 2010

The folks at The Haney Place adopted a military family this year. the military family adopted us.   Because, of course, they have given in real time their father/husband/loved one in sacrifice for our personal safety and security.  They are the givers, we are the beneficiaries.

At any rate, we wanted to make this post to show all of the loved ones who participated this year the effect of their efforts.  And it's blessing us here tonight.  More of us than you can know.  It's a ripple effect, this well-wishing.  We feel it every Christmas.  Let's feel it every day, all year.

Stiva finished trimming the tree while I finished wrapping some gifts.  He wanted to wrap, but I just KNEW his artistic side would take any of Steve's friends realize how artistic he is???

At any rate, there are still a few gifts trickling in, and yet, this is what we've come up with for this blessed family, whom we could never repay for their love and sacrifice.


Thank you, one and all!!!  Jen, and your dearest of families, and all of the good folks I've grown to love and appreciate through this Christmas love-fest!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Dogmas - And OMG He's Fabulous!!!

Who but the dearest of Grace's of the Rensselaer PetSmart could make such an old dog look and feel so Christmassy Awesome?????

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pizza, Can We Talk?

If you're seriously trying to be frugal and wise, pizza might be your best choice.  The only picture I have left of tonight's glutton-fest is the following: 

Yes, yes, yes.  Gluten free, leftover wonderfulness for two nice lunches tomorrow for me and Big Steve.  So let's talk frugal.  And talking frugal must involve the Hillbilly Housewife at some point.  I LOVE her recipe for regular pizza crust.  It can create a whole cookie sheet full of wonderful, hot, doughy, tasty delicious comfort-food type pizza for about $2.  Seriously.  We kid you not.  You can find her recipe here:  It was a wonderful bubbly goodness when I took it out of the oven.  Eventually it simmered down to a lovely thin crust pepperoni pizza existence.  There were no slices left to photograph.

I also made another pan of pizza with Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten-free flour recipe.  It was, hands down, the BEST gluten free pizza I have ever enjoyed!!!  I've eaten gluten free pizza out, but it couldn't hold a candle to this.  You can find the recipe here:

So - Christmas is coming -- money is tight.  Do you need to go hungry?  NO!!!!  Treat your family to some awesome comfort food tonight!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Good Night, Friends

Isaiah 26:3  says l shall keep him in perfect peace,Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You

Good night friends. 

A Strange and Wonderful Life

It occurred to me just a few seconds ago that life here at the Haney Place is both strange and wonderful.  Equally.  At the same time.

Here is our wonderfully convenient pre-lit tree we scored a few years ago on Black Friday (something I would NEVER consider doing again, but I digress).  The beauty and convenience of the pre-lit does leave a little something to be desired after a few years...

It's not really clear in this photo...but if you look very closely, you will notice that the clear lights work on the top and the bottom of the tree, while the colored lights work only in the middle...If someone would come up for a name/theme for this arrangement...I'd be glad to stick with it.  Good grief.  Oh, please also take note of the ever-present building permit decoratively situated right behind the tree...yes...this is the Haney Place indeed!!!

Then on to Christmas cookies.  I intend to make cookies called "meatballs" this year.  The recipe, I believe, originated with my Aunt Gloria.  They look like meatballs, but they are moist and tender chocolatey, cinnamoney, orangey goodness.  And the recipe calls for lard.  Lard.  Not a typo. 

So when going through my inventory of ingredients, I was sad that I would have to make another trip to another store to purchase said lard.  Then just now, while browsing through the freezer in the kitchen, I found a pound of lard.  SCORE!!!  I was ecstatic.  Impulsively, I held it up in the air, yelled LARD, OH JOY -- clutched said pound of lard to my chest while Big Steve was passing through the kitchen to the back door.  I put the lard in the fridge to defrost for tomorrow's baking, and then it occurred to me...neither I nor Big Steve had noticed anything remarkable in my behavior....

So...let the holiday preparations begin!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A High End Thanksgiving - Holy Cow!!!

I'm pretty sure I know where holy cow came from, and it's quite irreverant.  Maybe "holy cats" would be better.  That was my father's favorite exclamation, at any rate.

Today, we were blessed on this day of thanks to have the means to travel (along with my mother, Big Steve, and daughter Stephanie) to visit Stephanie's twin sister Kim at her brand spanking new apartment in North Adams, Mass, and have dinner at a lovely bistro (a bit higher end than the Haney-ites are accustomed to in recent days).  Understand now, that Kim is a starving student, and her apartment is quite chilly (the heat is turned down, to save $$$).  So, we traverse the entire .6 miles from Kim's apartment to the Bistro and enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving repast.

So.....This appears to me to be the mecca of high art in N. Adams, MA.  We were graced with image, after image, after image.  Your thoughts, please!

OK -- I laughed at this.  Right at our dinner table.  I'm not trying to disrespect the artist, by any means.  But does anyone else think the visceral (Steve's word) nature is conducive to happy dining?????  Seriously, is it really just a flesh wound????

So then, we progess to the soup/salad course.  We all chose the soup, and it was impeccable.  A butternut squash/cider soup, gloriously presented with a swirl of ginger glace and a dollop of creme fraiche.  Yummmy!!!

So then the twins start their "I think I'll start acting like I'm 5 years old" re-enactment, and the results are here:

LOL!!!  It was only a pose for the picture.  Their blood sugar was beginnig to rise from the soup, and they were starting to feel frisky and fun.

So we turned our minds toward the "art".  Apparently, the topsy turvy trees were a hit before the topsy turvy tomatoes. 

This is art.  Yes.  This is art.

Kimber did her own art.  It is entitled:  Three forks, a knife, and a spoon.  Genius!

And finally, the large and impressive (I don't know what) art that could actually house my twins in the cold:

Again, I'm not exactly sure.  I know I was blessed by being in this art mecca.  I'm still trying to figure out how.  In the meantime, I'm going to head to the kitchen and start getting ready for our traditional Thanksgiving feast on Saturday.  Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ain't Nothin' Like a Meal

We arrived home from work a little while ago.  House was dark and chilly (heat was turned back).  I'm pretty sure the dogs were sleeping most of the day, since there is no evidence that they had any intruders to bite.  Poor dogs were crossing their legs big time, since we were a bit later than usual.  It was kind of bleak actually.  Well, then the humans sweep in, turn on the lights, turn up the heat, and let the dogs out to frolic a bit and empty their bladders.

Before you know it, there are onions frying up with some pork in a skillet, filling the whole house with it's warm goodness, the heat is coming up from the radiators, and the cat is demanding to be fed.

Now a short time later, there is black eyed pea jambalaya simmering on the stove, Big Steve is singing and playing the crawdad song on his guitar, Tuffy is looking content and Elsa is throwing her toys around the house like it's her job.

Nope, ain't nothing like the preparation and prospect of a nice meal that turns a house into a home.  Just my musings tonight.

You can find our black-eyed pea jambalaya here:

Tonight, we used leftover ham and pork.  Yummmmm!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu at The Haney Place

This year, we're celebrating on Saturday.  I am so thankful that we will be surrounded by good friends and family.  Big Steve found a 25 (yes, that's 2-5) pound turkey.  So there should be plenty to go around.   Thank you, Lord, for it actually needs its own shelf in the fridge.

I hinted at a Thanksgiving menu a bit back, and I can't tell you how many have asked about that.  Especially those of you who know us best.  Our lives are BUSY, that's for sure.

So here's our menu.  I'll give the secret to how a busy person can produce such a feast in a day or two.  You'll love it, I promise!

  • Hot spiced cider
  • Triple mushroom soup w/brie
  • Perfect Roast Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes/Giblet Gravy
  • Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing
  • Cornbread Stuffing w/Andouille & Crab
  • Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin
  • Creamy Butternut Squash
  • Cranberry Peach Chutney
  • Green Beans w/Carmelized Shallots & Roasted Mushrooms
  • Parmesan Crusted Creamed Corn
  • Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/Orange Ginger Custard Sauce
  • Hot Apple Pie Sundaes
Now, we'll probably also have the usual pumpkin and/or cranberry breads, and assorted pies.  What would Thanksgiving be without pies, I ask you? 

Notice, no appetizers.  We eat early, so we're not big on the appetizers.  The meal itself is so satisfying and there are leftovers galore for snacks later.  And for folks to take  home in containers with foil on top.  Thanksgiving is good!

Happy Holidays, friends!  We'll be busy here from here on in, and we'll keep you posted!!!  Oh, have you signed up at and adopted a soldier yet?  I see that there are almost 1400 soldiers waiting for an angel tonight!  How else can you become an angel tonight, I ask you????

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Pantry

We have been asked about our pantry.  We're not survivalists, per se, but we are prudent, hopefully.  Our family members know they can always come here for a good meal.  We don't do gourmet, but actually, we do, occasionally.  Stay tuned for our do-ahead gourmet Thanksgiving feast!  At any rate, should some sort of disaster occur, we have at least a few weeks of food to see us through, one way or another.

Given the fact that we grow and gather and store so much, we really do need a well organized and thought-out pantry.  For us, it is a tiny little "bedroom" in this old farmhouse.  No closet, barely any sunlight, which suits the pantry just fine and dandy.  So...a tour of a very well stocked pantry.


This is the dry goods -- canned vegetables, pasta, cereal, grains, convenience foods, dried beans (commercial), popcorn, canned meat, etc.

Then we have the baking/dried fruit center:


This also includes dried fruits, various mixes, etc.  As you can see, there is a goodly supply of vitamins/supplements on the windowsill.  Normally, I would not recommend such storage, but there is precious little light coming in through this alley window, so it's all good.

Now on to the food storage: 

Storage implements and such on top, dried and home canned foods next, followed by paper and cleaning products and then some delightful entertaining storage (aka huge foil pannage, huge turkey roasters, those blessed tins my mother gave me -- they hold the Haney Holiday Goodness, and then there is the wonderfulness of leftover Christmas disposable servingware).

Now onto the more miscellaneous:


So we're venturing into the realm of miscellaney.  Oh, and catch that crazy clamp light!  Top shelf (my daughter Kim's -- we're just about to rebless her with this "stuff" on Thanksgiving day); next shelf cards, stationery and stuff for the soldiers angels work; more food storage tools and food processing stuff that won't fit in the kitchen, and more envelopage (for the soldiers angels stuff).

Last but not least:


Looks like disarray in this picture, but in actuality it's a packing/shipping center.  Boxes, labels, customs forms, priority mail miscellaney, and oh, those two wee suitcases are MY BARBIES from my childhood.  I'm sure they're not worth anything except to me, but I swear, in another post, I'll dress and pose them and enjoy it immensely.

So, even though we're smack dab in the middle of the city and have no spare space, as you can see, there is room for a well thought out pantry.  I'm pretty sure you could do this in a corner of your bedroom, if you needed to.  More and more these days, I feel the need to provide for an immediate future.  I'm pretty sure, if left alone, our household could get by for a couple of weeks, at least.

We'll talk about the freezer in another post, really soon.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday -- November 14, 2010 - Recipe alert - Horseradish

So, ok.  We got yelled at for not blogging enough.  Apparently the day-to-day mundane stuff around here is interesting to some?  That is awesome to us, and at the same time, we just figure that everyone else is doing what we're doing...

At any rate, we had a productive, if non-interesting day here.  Big Steve is bemoaning the fact that we only took "after" type pictures today.  But we dug a ton of horseradish at my mom's yesterday.  Again, no "before" pictures, but we did end up with three really full quarts and one gift-size jar of the good stuff.  And we've still got to dig our own:

And I can assure you -- this stuff is for real.  Here's the method:  Dig your roots, and as quickly as possible (like don't let it sit in the fridge for days) peel these roots, and then cut them up and wash them well.  Then put the chunks into the blender, or you can grind it by hand, but only if you have a death wish.

So Horseradish is like a skunk.  If you threaten it, it will give out noxious and harmful, even sickening fumes.  It is a plant with a protective defense.  One of the few.  It is, however, a very healthy root to consume.  So you will need to decide where your need for heat meets your need for self-preservation.  No, seriously.  If you have never ground your own fresh horseradish roots, you have no idea what I am talking about.  But you soon will. 

Now think about liquid.  Water is a good liquid.  Then there is vinegar, plain white vinegar, which stops the enzymatic sinus killing (brain cell killing) action we mentioned before.  Here at the Haney Place, we add a mixture of 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar to the roots in the blender (in our case, the VitaMix).  We have heard that there are folks who will grind their roots and allow the roots several minutes of killer enzymatic activity before they add the vinegar.  We, however, have no such blind ambition.  (Get it?  BLIND ambition???)???

So....we add the roots to the water/vinegar mixture and grind it all together at the same time, and let me assure you, nobody will have a stuffy nose tonight. 

So everybody happy now that they know how to make their own horseradish?  It's really such a simple thing.  And very fulfilling when you have won out over a root. No seriously, it is a race for preservation with this stuff.

So once you have your freshly ground horseradish safely tucked away in the fridge, you can think about breakfasts for the freezer.  Tonight it was wraps, which seem to be a staple here.  Flour tortillas, filled with corned beef, scrambled eggs w/cheddar, and safely wrapped in waxed paper and then sturdy freezer bags.  Hmmm...I wonder how they would be with horseradish???

Breakfast security-- a very good thing aound here!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Babies - Best Picture Ever!

OK -- I'm sure it's probably just me.  But I was ecstatic today to get a flattering picture of the babies -- the pack.  OK -- there was some turkey involved...but I'm sure their hopeful, optimistic faces were only as a result of their love for their mommy/grandmamma....

OK, I know it's a little blurry, but hey, have you ever tried to take a picture of three puppies while holding a piece of turkey in one hand and a digital camera in the other???  LOL!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day -- Not a Memory - A Beginning!

We've all been gung-ho today about supporting our military -- those who serve today and those who served before.  And that is exactly as it should be.

But where will we be tomorrow?  I'm challenging you, my friends.  I know we've reached almost 2,000 independent readers of this blog.  Something I never dreamed could happen.   Wow -- are 2,000 folks seriously interested in the goings and comings of ordinary middle-aged, middle-income Americans?  Apparently, they are, and we are humbled at the thought of it.

At any rate -- It's awesome to set aside a day to love and remember our military.  But I'm proposing that we need to remember them EVERY SINGLE DAY.  After all, they are taking care of us, every single day.  Their spouses and children are sacrificing and living without them every single day for our benefit.  And I heard today that a father in China was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for speaking against the tainted milk that caused his daughter to be ill.  Think it can't happen here?  Think again!!!

All I'm saying is that who here in the USA would even worry about speaking out against something that hurt our child or loved one?  We would be yakking our heads off, and that's for sure.  Taking your freedom of speech for granted????  Stop it!!! Stop and thank a veteran, thank an enlisted person.  Seriously.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  If we don't hold them up, who should?  I ask you????

Now go to soldiers angels (.org) and sign up.  Do something real.  You feel it today, you'll carry it throughout the year.  You'll thank us!!!  And you'll end up thanking the real ones who have made a difference in your lives.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Miss Elsa Magee - Please Help Us Name That Breed!

I'm guessing mostly Brittany Spaniel.  She points now.  Frequently.  And quite well, truth be told.  But she's got that triangular smart-ass kind of face, and freckles on her paws.  Any constructive input?  She was determined "golden/sheltie" when she came into care.  LOL!!!  That was 20 pounds and a lifetime of growth ago.  It really doesn't matter what percentage of which breed she is, she's 100% ours!

As an aside, isn't little Tuffy totally COVETING that bit of pork?????

Fast Food - Haney Style

Pork roast, pierogi's and veggies on a weeknight when everyone worked?  Who does this???  Apparently, we do this at The Haney Place from time to time.  Although I couldn't eat the pierogi's myself, the rest was scrumptious.  And thank you Stiva for seasoning that pork roast to perfection!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mary Walker Made a Peck of Pickled Peppers....

If Mary Walker made a peck of pickled peppers, where's the peck of pickled peppers Mary Walker made?

Well...let's get a few things straight.  My name is Mary Beth!  :-)  And I did make a batch of pickled peppers tonight.  I'm putting some grey matter toward the little that is left in my produce drawer, so as not to waste any of the garden goodness.  So tonight I took the last of Big Steve's jalapeno's and pickled them.  Refrigerator pickled them, as there is only one big-ass jar of them, and we will use them before they could ever go bad.

So we did this:  We had fewer than 5 lbs. jalapenos.  We left them whole, packed them (loosely) into a clean 1/2 gallon jar we got from the Deli has previously held 5-bean salad.  It was awesome, but I am so glad it was gone.  Beans are healthy, but the sugar in this salad was not.  And it was so enticing!!!  But I digress...

We packed the whole peppers into the jar, after we poked each one several times with a sharp knife.

Then we poured the hot liquid over the whole mess.  In a week or two, they will be ready for use to eat alone (if you have a bloody death wish) or in recipes.

God bless you all tonight, and we're thankful that we used, and didn't lose, the last of our jalapenos!  (Thank you so much, dearest of Stiva's, for growing these peppers with such loving care).

Turkey Pot Pie at the Haney Place

We used up the refrigerator tonight, and made a mad turkey pot pie.  Only trouble was, nobody showed up.  So guess what's on the menu for tomorrow, LOL!!!

It really couldn't be easier...if you want a method (not recipe -- we're much more about method here) -- just let me know.  It's RARE that I cook and nobody shows up to eat...

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Recipe -- WOW!!! Ravioli Lasagna

There are a gazillion reasons I love this recipe.  (I NEVER exaggerate, so a gazillion is just about right, lol!).  And thanks to Woman's World magazine for the inspiration for this recipe.  Ravioli Lasagna?  Who wudda thought it?  Instead of cooking lasagna noodles and going through all that rigmarole, why  not use pre-made ravioli?  Why NOT???  So...Haney style fast food/convenience recipe -- not a recipe at all....just a way or a style...Take your big pan (our Haney broiler pan) and pour some premade (or homemade, but remember, this is fast food) sauce in the bottom.  Then take your frozen ravioli and make a layer of them in the pan:

So now, pour your mixture of ricotta, eggs, parsley, oregano, garlic, whatever, all over those lovely ravioli's...followed by another layer of sauce....  Tonight we used 2 lb. of ricotta, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup haney dried parsley, etc. 

So then you cover this goodness, and bake it in a 375 oven for about 40 minutes.  Pull that scrumptious smelling mess out of the oven, sprinkle about 1/2 lb. of shredded mozzerella on the top, shove it back in for 20 minutes.

Then you've got this wonderfulness.  We're talking 10-15 minutes of prep time, 45 minutes baking time.  So, if you're home at 5:30, you have an awesome dinner on the table at 6:30.  Yummmmmmmmmy!!! good is this?  Seriously...I'm asking you....  We had rye bread & butter from last night, along with some Green Giant steemers (broccoli & cheese) for a fast food menu ready in minutes. 

Thank you BJ's, for your offer of "buy four" get a frozen turkey for free.  Ravioli was one of the four.  Awesomeness.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween - 2010

It's a bit of a disappointment this year.  Halloween, I mean.  Last year was much more awesome.  As evidence:

But our dearest of Miss Nancy's is not with us this year -- and maybe that's why we haven't enjoyed the holiday of chocolates so much.  She's with God now, and the chocolate over yonder is so awe-inspiring that it just shuts us up.

At any rate, the horrors of the night are thus:

  1. We've only had two trick-or-treaters the entire evening, and I believe it's ok to shut the light off now;
  2. Vincent Price has only been emtombed ONCE this evening thus far, so there is death and dismemberment a-plenty in the immediate tv future here at the Haney Place; 
  3. IF YOUR HOUSEMATE IS A SENIOR DOG, you might just be relegated to 1/2 blankie...just sayin...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

After a Break - So Much Stuff - And A Recipe!

We haven't blogged for a while.  It's just horrendously busy these days.  In addition to bringing the garden in (not even done yet), we decided to CLEAN OUT a room.  I decided, after watching several episodes of Hoarders, that there was hoarding potential here at the Haney Place.  So we dragged everything out of the Office (really, our closet).  You see, this house is so old, that these old bedrooms don't come with closets.  So we turned one of our bedrooms into a walk-in closet.  Only problem was, we couldn't walk in anymore.  Suffice it to say, it is now an awesome walk-in closet, dressing room, put on your makeup, do what you need to do to get ready for the day kind of room.  And the Salvation Army received from us, earlier in the week, a whopping 140 garments from our house!!  Awesome. was Saturday.  So Stiva picked a babka bowl full of brussels sprouts, peppers (bell & jalapeno) and even a lovely red cabbage.  I cooked a bunch of brussels sprouts, and we really enjoyed them for dinner tonight.  Even James, who ate and even swallowed a whole 1/2 brussels sprout...bless his heart!  Tonight we had a nice simmered ham shank, butternut squash, and brussels sprouts w/hot bacon dressing.

So....Big Steve got the antique roto-tiller working again, after weeks of parts replacement and a lot of loving care.  And then he proceeded to pick said babka bowl full of brussels sprouts/peppers/red cabbage.  How beautiful is this?????  I ask you???

We cooked some with a hot bacon dressing for supper tonight, and this is all that is left:

Seriously -- that picture is so pretty, I can't believe I took it of my own brussels sprouts (that Steve grew)...  I'll share the hot bacon dressing at the very end.

I'm sure there is really a hard killing frost in our future, however, for now, the tomatoes, collard greens, black beans and peppermint are safe for now.  Once they are all in, one way or another, we'll begin blogging about Christmas baking/presents to put away for December.

And now, as we promised, the hot bacon dressing:

1/2 lb. good (really good) bacon, cooked crisp (reserve the bacon fat in the pan)
a bit of brown sugar (a fat spoonful or two)
1/2 c. cider vinegar
a fat tablespoon of fresh horseradish
salt and pepper (nice wet sea salt and freshly ground pepper ) to taste
one fat onion, finely chopped

Cook the bacon in a skillet till it's all crispy.  Take out the bacon and drain it, and leave the fat in the skillet.

Add everything else, and simmer till it's all really nice.  Sorry, this is the best instruction I can give you.

Pour the whole hot mess over the hot, cooked brussels sprouts.


Monday, October 11, 2010

What I'm Thankful For - Via Joradn

I'm telling you right now, close the browser window and walk away if you are tender hearted.

If you are still reading, brace yourself.  My daughter has a dog.  The dog's name is Joradan.  She's my granddaugger.  My first "grandchild".  Actually, I take much of the credit for potty training this little lady.  And I am not a racist, but Jordan has behaved so.  She really does respond violently to black folks!  Can't say why -- especially since she is jet black herself.  But on more than one occasion she has been a real jacka$$ to black folks.  There is simply no explanation.  This means nothing other than stating Jordan's fleshly self.

(Jordan is the one on the left, God love her...)

But back to the story.  Stephanie rescued Jordan (with my entire blessing) several years ago, while Stephanie was still a high school student and living under my roof.  She lived with us all a short time, then Stephanie went off on her own and took dear Jordan (my granddaugher) with her.  They have been inseparable ever since.

Lately, Jordan's behavior has been erratic, to say the least.  Stef took her to the vet, and the answer is that Jordan's mammary growths (cancer) have spread to her lungs and to her brain.  The vet gave Stef a life expectancy today of  2 weeks to 2 months - the end of November at best.

So ok, we love Jordan.  We have been loving Jordan.  She is our dear one, our sweet heart.  We hate to lose her -- we don't know if we can handle being without her.  I am concerned about how Stephanie will handle being without her.  At least for a while, till the hurt is less new and raw.

But today's x-ray told us something else.  Someone (we think we know who) had shot Jordan with bb's.  Seriously.  It's in there, on the x-ray.  Someone shot her for sport.  A cocker spaniel.  Man's best friend.  An angel.  A 20 pound wonder.  Someone shot her.  On purpose.

Words fail me.

Words fail me.

So.....deep breath.....

Jordan is a wonder of joy, energy, curiosity, willfulness, you name it.  She, like most dogs, lives in the moment.  Stephanie has given her love and care and joy for years now.  Jordan and Stephanie are like ying and yang.  They complete each other.  Stephanie will no doubt be at a huge loss when Jordan passes.  But at least she has a bit of time to prepare herself.

And Stephanie is like Jordan -- full of love and zest and life -- she will be fine -- after a while.

But what about the one who had to shoot a dog?  What about that?  What kind of life is a dog-shooter living?  Could they know God?  Do they know God?  Again -- words fail me!

Dear Heavenly Father -- thank you SO MUCH for the love and mercy you shower upon us each and every day.  THANK YOU for your grace and for showing us goodness and plenty and bounty in this earthly life every day that we wake up and our feet touch the floor.  THANK YOU for our families and our friends and for your total acceptance of us just as we are -- not worthy of you and yet, you love us.  Dear Father -- PLEASE touch the heart of the person who did this -- wherever they were in their earthly walk back then, Father -- please show them your grace and mercy and show them the love of your salvation, through Christ Jesus, Amen!

Thank you Lord.

And this is why I praise God tonight.

I told you not to read........

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What I'm Thankful For -- A Good Dog!!!

All my life I've had a good dog (whether or not my mother thought they were good dogs).  A good dog will guard you and your property, and put a serious hurt on a threat to either.  Now, I'm not talking about pit bulls, or trained attack dogs, I'm just talking about a good dog.  Any breed, doesn't matter.  Small, medium, or large.  Pure breed or mixed.  It really doesn't matter.  I believe with all of my heart that any dog could be an awesome guard dog - the only prerequisite is that they love you to pieces.  Which is impossible to avoid if you just love them to pieces first.  But wait a minute - mirror image - God loved us to pieces before we were born -- do we love Him to pieces?  How often?  Seriously???  I'm thinking the dogs have us all beat here on this one...but I digress....

So....I'm talking tonight about being THANKFUL for the knowledge of what a good dog means to me.  A good dog is the image of what every Christian ought to aspire to.  Obedient - cheerful - and a servant till their dying day.  I can't even imagine being more faithful to my Lord than my good dogs have been to me.  They are a life lesson from God, not to mention a blessing in that they are the best friend you could ever know.

All that being said -- I observed Mr. Tuffy in Theo's old space, looking very much like Theo did in the few months preceding his decease.  I looked at Tuffy, and his look said "I am SO TRYING to be your best dog, but Heaven help me, I am just soooooooooooooooooooooooo tired".  God love him, he is.  And he was and is still the best faithful servant anyone ever had the privilege of knowing.  And a life lesson, to boot.  Thank you Lord, for the blessing of a good dog!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010 -- What I'm Thankful For

I think that, aside from what I'm doing and cooking and whatever, I need to focus on what I'm thankful for.  It's REALLY easy to bitch and moan and complain.  There is no end to that.  But every day, henceforth, I'm going to think about what I'm thankful for and dwell upon that.

So today -- the main thing is this -- the day.  Just the day.  It was an exquisite October day.  In the 60s, clear, brightly blue, with the reds, oranges and yellows of the fall mixed into the background.  Gorgeous.  Thank you so much, dear Lord!  After a week of dark and grey and rain -- your Glory!!!

At any rate, it was a real toss-up today.  I could have been thankful for my kind, industrous, insightful, ingenious husband, who expertly trimmed my mother's new kitchen window that he installed last week.  I don't know, but I think the beauty of God's day cleared and influenced his thinking, so I think the day trumps his awesome, wonderful, loving work.

I also could have been thankful for the wonderful, marvelous, gluten-free (and therefore safe!) meal we had at 99 restaurant after the work was done, courtesy of Nonnie, and my tummy is still full now at 9:15 p.m.  Thank you Lord for your many blessings!!!

I could also be thankful for the mother who adopted me as a little homeless waif, so many years ago, and did the job of raising this challenge of a strong willed child into adulthood, and hopefully, today, I am a part of the answer, not a part of the problem, due to the strength, intelligence and love of a woman who found herself responsible for me due to Divine intervention, in answer to her youthful prayers.  Thank you, and HAPPY 86th BIRTHDAY, dearest of Nonnies.  (HUGE smiles here from me).

At any rate, I am taking a vow to abstain from reading the news (and if you know my life, you know what a sacrifice this is) and spend my mental energy of each day on what I have to be thankful for that day.  Maybe I should change the name of this blog to "The Thankfulness Blog".  Just sayin'.....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Turkey Dinner - But First, BREAKFAST!!!

So tonight, we're having a turkey dinner.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, you get the picture. 

But that's not were today went.

Today, we took the last remining Haney tomatoes and mixed them with Nonnie's last remaining tomatoes and made a pot of sauce:

So you take your garden fresh tomatoes, add some italian seasoning and fresh garlic, and simmer all day long while you do other stuff.

And then, you think about breakfast.  So we did 1 1/2 dozen english muffins  (sausage/egg/cheese sandwiches)

And we can cook about a dozen egg sandwich eggs at a time:

We also did some wraps -- we do the bacon in the oven:

And put it in those wraps:

Take that danged blasted tortilla, lay down some cheese and some meat (we used bacon here today, but you use ham, bacon, hash, whatever you have):

And before you know it, you've got a freezer full of breakfast.  Haney style!!

Maybe it doesn't sound like much to you.  But to me, it's breakfast time peace for several weeks  And you can't put a price on that.

Today's count:

18 sausage/egg/cheese/english muffins
20 bacon/egg/cheese wraps
20 french toasts breakfasts (texas toast style)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Official - And We Are So Proud of Her!!!

It's official -- I am now the proud mother of a licensed massage therapist.  It hasn't been an easy row to hoe for Stephanie, that's for sure.  She has struggled, learned and grown hugely over the past few years.  But now she has her reward -- her license to practice massage therapy legally!!!  Hey, Stef -- what are you going to do now that you've earned the prize???  I feel safe in assuming she's NOT going to Disneyworld...  :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Weekend --- .......

I love the weekend.  I live for the weekend.  It means I'm not at my desk doing tasks for my employer.  But at this time of year there is an even harsher taskmaster.  It is the harvest.  It cries "put away food"!!!!!  There is no ignoring this master.  You must only comply.  This past weekend, we got three lovely heads of celery from the deli-madhouse and promptly processed and dried said celery.  We took a trip to the orchard today and picked up a ton of new Ida-Red's to process (a proper amount having been made into a pie tonight -- the rest shall be dried).  Big Steve picked a babka bow full of tomatoes for drying.  If you've never seen our babka bowl, please imagine five loaves of babka rising together in one place -- that's how large our babka bowl is!!!

So tonight, after a trip to Price Rite, I've done a ton of french toast breakfasts for the freezer.  It has been a long weekend indeed.  But a good one.  So in the am, it's back to "work" for us.  At least most of my paid work is seated!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Well I'll Be Dang Burned - This is a New One - Even for Me!

I was awakened at around 2:30 am this morning by a strange sound.  Something I had never heard before.  I asked Big Steve "Did you hear a sound?"  "Yes," he said "I coughed".  "No!  Something different!!!"  We were silent.  I heard it again!  We immediately got up to investigate.  In the dark, Elsa tore out of the dining room, through the kitchen and back to her bed, nearly knocking me over.  What greeted us is below -- that dog had actually been digging up the rug!!!


I'm still scratching my head on this one.  What would possess a dog to get up in the night like a thief and start digging up a rug?  It's just a good thing we haven't started the renovations on the downstairs yet, and our rugs are still of the, um, let's just call them the easily replaceable variety.

Kids these days!  They will somehow always find a new way to get in trouble!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apples and Soldiers and Mail, Oh My!

I'm not sure how many apples we've processed and dried so far this fall, but we've only just begun.  I heard this years apple crop was a doozie, and I quite agree.  We've been buying the "utilities" -- those that don't "quite" meet the retail standard.  Frankly, they are beautiful and delicious just the same.  I'll keep the dryer running, loaded with apples, as long as I can get my hands on these babies.  We've been getting them from Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie, NY.  These are some of the nicest folks and the loveliest products you will find around here.  So friends, if you are in the area, stop by and say "hi" and have some of their wonderful apples, peaches, pears, pies, cider donuts, etc.  It's a real treat!!

At any rate, we'll dry just as many apples as we can for soldier packages.  We've only just begun!  It's times like these I love my Excalibur dryer and understand why some folks have 2 or 3.  Someday!

Anyway, PLEASE ask me how you can be a blessing to a deployed soldier today.  I don't care how you feel about the war, and it doesn't really matter.  We're not talking about politics here, we're talking about the men and women who have given up their freedom so that you can enjoy all of your freedoms.  Just go here --

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Slightly Rescheduled First Annual Get Together at The Haney Place

Turned out to be very low-key and a lot of fun.  We thank those of our friends who showed up.  The weather was glorious, the food was plentiful and good (everyone contributed something), the music was great, but the company was the BEST!  Now, I must be getting old, because it's just 7:30, everyone has had a good time and gone already, the mess has been cleared away, and I'm just so glad to be sitting here listening to Big Steve on his guitar and enjoying a peaceful evening.

A few items of note:
  • Bob had to leave early because his suspenders were getting too tight, and we were all afraid for our personal safety;
  • Only a banjo player would forego the warm, fresh cornbread on the dining room table and head straight for the day old biscuits on the kitchen counter (LOL!);
  • Some banjo players can pick with one hand and pet a dog with the other -- you can't teach that -- that's a gift!
  • I had a chance to chat with Tom today for the first time, and he's just about the nicest guy you want to meet;
  • We had a semi-celebration of my sweet little Lekya's birthday (she turned six yesterday), complete with Easy Bake Oven, EBO expansion kit, and some awesome crafty type little girl gifts;
  • Small children can amuse themselves for hours in Big Steve's garden;
  • My man Ryan pulled himself away from his wolf pack and showed up hung over from his last party (shhh!!!);
  • Downtown Linda Brown has some serious 'splainin' to to!!!
Other than that, it was a low key, easy and happy day.  We will do this again.  And again.  And again!!!

I'll leave you with some of my horrible videograhic skills -- If this looks like fun to you and you weren't here -- so sorry.  I enjoyed your portion!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Apples...and Apples...and Apples...

We went to the orchard yesterday and picked up a ton of the loveliest "utility" apples.  I'm not exactly sure what qualified them as utilities, but I ate a few and they were first rate, as far as I was concerned. 

So today we had apple crisp for starters...

Needless to say, that's just about gone already tonight. 

Then I sliced up about a ton of them (9 sheets, or 15 square feet) and popped them into the awesome Excalibur to dry for the winter.

Tomorrow I'll do anther ton of them with cinnamon, for those who prefer it that way.  And we'll tackle some applesauce to put up in jars, as well.

Big Steve and Elsa would have rather been outdoors today, bless their hearts.