Dad’s Bar-B-Q Chickens

Good morning everyone!

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  But last night as I was sitting in bed watching a cake decorating show the boob tube, I was thinking about what I was gonna cook for myself this weekend.  Just then, I saw one of the bakers make a barbecued pig from cake and thought, “I’ll make some of Dad’s barbecued chickens!”  So I decided I wanted to share the recipe and memories with you.

I don’t know where my dad got the recipe for his barbecue sauce but I tell ya, it’s the best sauce for anything you want to barbecue.  Dad started barbecuing chickens when my sister and I were kids but we didn’t learn to appreciate the flavor until we were older.

He built himself a grill from a 50-gallon drum but he also had a charcoal grill that he used. The secret to barbecuing chickens is to keep the heat at a lower heat.  ThDSC02223at way, the chickens won’t burn up on the outside and still be raw on the inside. But the best part of my dad’s chickens was the sauce.

Dad would set up outside underneath the shade trees with his grills and basting brush.   While the chickens cooked, he would sing songs from the little brown hymnal we used at church.  Meanwhile, Mom would fix baked beans, deviled eggs, slice tomatoes (fresh from the garden), maybe some corn on the cob and garlic rye bread. We didn’t have barbecued chicken very often because it was an all-day job, but oh so worth it at the end of the day.  It was some mighty fine eatin’.

Let me add the recipe here so you can try it:  For three chickens, you need 2 cups of lemon juice, 2 sticks of butter, 1 Tsp. cayenne pepper and 2 Tbsp. salt.  Mix together and bring to a boil.  Pour over chicken and let set for 30 minutes.  Repeat that process three times.  After the last soaking, add a bottle of BBQ sauce and bring to a boil. Place chicken on grill and baste with the sauce.  I freeze the leftover sauce and use it on hamburgers, steaks and pork chops.

I make and use this barbecue sauce every chance I get and think of my dad every time I do.  I just wish he was here so he could see that I’ve carried on his great recipe.  I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.

Have a great day everyone!

Pretzels

Good morning.

I gotta tell ya that I love pretzels in every shape and form.  But, pretzels weren’t something that my little sister and I got very often.  And, when we did, it was like receiving a treasure.

Well, today’s tale is about a little girl who had a box of stick pretzels and was only willing to share if another little girl gave away her blue fur coat.

My mom and dad had some friends who took in foster children.  They were the perfect couple for that too.  They had five children of their own but they always had room for more, especially needy children.  He was a farmer and preacher and I think his wife worked at the school cafeteria.

Anyway, one Saturday we had been to Benton to get some things and Dad decided to stop by and see his friends.  Dad was thinking about becoming a preacher and he welcomed any and all help he could get.

He and Mom were only gonna be inside a minute so Cheryl and I stayed in the car. They had bought us some little boxes of stick pretzels so I decided to open mine while they were in the house.  I had just gotten the box open and started eating my precious stick pretzels, when a cute little girl came out of the house and walked up to the car. She had on the most beautiful light blue fur coat that I had ever seen and I’m here to tell you that I knew that I would never have anything like that.

Anyway, she walked up to the car and I rolled the window down.  We said hi to each other and she kept looking at my pretzels.  Well, a marvelous plan started forming in my mind.  I could give her all my pretzels if she would give me her beautiful coat.  Was that a perfect plan or what?  But, somehow I just couldn’t make that proposal to her. As a matter of fact, I handed her my whole box of pretzels and she smiled so sweetly at me.  I knew then that I had done the right thing.

Today, I still love my pretzels and I think of that sweet little girl every time I eat pretzel sticks.

See ya.

 

My Eighth Birthday

Good morning.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you had a birthday?  I mean, birthdays were the grandest things and you wanted the whole world to know about it. Nowadays, I try to forget those puppies.

Anyway, when I was in third grade at Sharpe Elementary School, it was almost time for my birthday and naturally I was very excited.  Our third grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Smith and she a very nice lady with a sweet smile.

sc05c387eeBefore I tell you about my birthday, I have to tell you this first.  When I was a kid, I did not like hamburgers.  We didn’t have them at home and they just didn’t sound good to me.  Every Friday at school was hamburger day only I wouldn’t eat my hamburger.  I ate the french fries and whatever dessert we had.  Mrs. Smith somehow noticed that I would always throw away my hamburger so she decided she would try to get me to eat one.

So, one Friday she came over and sat down beside me at lunch and asked that if she cut my hamburger in half, would I just try to eat it.  She put pickles and mustard on it for me so I thought I should at least try it just because she was so nice.  Well, believe it or not, I kind of liked it but I still didn’t want a whole burger.  For the next few weeks, she sat with me and cut my burger in half for me.  Eventually, she stopped cutting it and I began to eat the whole thing.  Mrs. Smith went out of her way just to help me and I never forgot her for that.

Now, back to the birthday.  I went into class the morning of my eighth birthday and told Mrs. Smith about it.  She always announced the birthdays to the class and I was so excited that today she would announce that I was eight years old.

I waited and waited for Mrs. Smith to announce my birthday but she just wouldn’t do it.  So, I walked to her desk about every hour and reminded her that it was my birthday.  She would just smile and say that she knew that it was my birthday. Toward the end of the day, I was getting worried that she was never gonna announce my birthday to the class so I made my way up to her desk just one more time to remind her.  Again, she just smiled at me.

I turned to go back to my desk and tried not to show how disappointed I was and that is when she totally surprised me.  When I had my back to her, she brought out her paddle and gave me a whack and yelled “Happy Birthday Karen!”  Everybody in class laughed and I was shocked beyond words.  I turned around and looked at her, and she was smiling that sweet smile of hers and I just melted.  She hadn’t forgotten me after all.

I don’t remember too many birthdays being as eventful as that one, but Mrs. Smith didn’t let me down on my eighth birthday.

See ya.

Cheerleading

Good morning.

Did you ladies ever want to be or were you ever cheerleaders?  I guess that is every little girl’s dream at one time or another.  I know I wanted to be a cheerleader when I was in grade school.

When you got to the 7th grade at Sharpe, you could try out for cheerleader for the basketball season.  About a week before the tryouts, all of us girls would take turns leading yells in the gym every morning before the bell rang.  The gym was usually full too – most of the kids got on the bleachers and helped us cheer. The higher you could jump, the louder they yelled for you.  And, believe it or not, I could jump pretty high.

So, the big day finally came and we were all prepared to try to win.  What made it even more exciting was that out of the six cheerleaders chosen, only two would come from the 7th grade. That made it a really big contest for all of us in the 7th grade.

About an hour before the tryouts, another friend and I were called to the principal’s office.  Now, that could have meant any number of things, none of which would be good.  So, as we made our way to Mr. McNutt’s office, we were both pretty scared of what was coming.  We couldn’t think of anything that we had done wrong, but you just never knew.

Mr. McNutt’s office was at the top of a gazillion stairs and we got more scared as we climbed those stairs.  We got to the office and there were two teachers and Mr. McNutt waiting for us.

We were both told that we had potential “C’s” on our report card and if we got cheerleader and made a “C” on our report card, we would have to sit out the basketball games for six weeks.  Well, you might as well have punched me in the stomach; I was totally devastated and so was my friend. They didn’t tell us we couldn’t try out, but we weren’t encouraged to try out either.  We left Mr. McNutt’s office with our tails tucked between our legs and went back to our classroom.  The cheerleader tryouts went on as scheduled with two less in the running.  I didn’t even want to go to the tryouts but that wouldn’t have been nice.

One of the 3rd grade teachers was a neighbor of ours and later in the day when she saw me, she asked why I didn’t participate in the cheerleader tryouts and I told her what Mr. McNutt and the other teachers had said.  She was a little put out and told me I should have stopped by her classroom after getting my bad news.  She also said that I didn’t have a “C” just the potential for one.  She was really sweet and I do wish now that I had stopped and talked to her.

But you know, I lived through that disappointment and I still had a great time cheering for the basketball team.

See ya.

Squeak

Good morning.

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love my kitties; actually, I love most every kitty I see.  Today I want to tell you about my 19-year old kitty whose name is Squeak.  Squeak is a pastel calico with light green eyes although sometimes her eyes are blue.  I’ve always thought she had some Siamese in her.

sc0027f188When I worked at Paducah Community College, now West Kentucky Technical and Community College, I had a student worker who came to me and said she had found three kittens and could I help her find homes for them.  She brought them to me and they were the sweetest things; I wanted to keep them all.  But, one of my friends who worked at the college, said she would help find them homes.  I decided to keep one and the others were taken to a farmer who needed barn kitties.

I named this kitty Squeak because she didn’t meow, she squeaked and still does. She has never had much of a personality and absolutely no sense of humor at all. She has never tried to get along with my other kitties and they just stalk her and torment her to death.  I have to say, though, she asks for everything that happens to her.

Now, I said all of that to tell you about this other little kitty named Princess who came to my house one day.  She was a petite little thing; she was tortoise shell with long hair.  Squeak and Princess never liked each other.  Some days she would be sitting at the door waiting for me to let her inside and Squeak would just sit there and give her the evil eye.  Princess would literally climb the screen door trying to get at Squeak. But sometimes Squeak would screech and jump at the door and try to scare Princess. Most of the time, that would catch me off guard and I would jump.  I kept telling Squeak, “If you don’t stop that, I’m gonna let her in and you’ll be sorry.”

So, one day, Squeak was sitting at the door and here comes Princess.  Squeak waited for her to get up close and of course she screeched and jumped at the door. Scared me half to death, so I just opened the door and let Princess inside.  She chased Squeak to the bathroom and beat the crap out of her.  When she finished, she walked back into the kitchen, looked at me with satisfaction, and went back outside.  Squeak never jumped at her again.

Princess finally got to where she would leave and be gone for long periods of time and would come back for a day or so.  I always felt like she had found a good home and just wanted to visit.  Then, she was gone for two years and I knew she either was happy or something had happened to her.

I still have Squeak and she still has no sense of humor.  My other kitties still torment her but she gives it right back.  I know her time with me is limited so I try to keep the fussing to a minimum.

See ya next Wednesday.

 

 

Taking the Beds Apart for Spring Cleaning

Good morning.

I think I’ve mentioned spring cleaning in one of my earlier posts but today I’m gonna go into more detail of just what we did when we helped do spring cleaning.

When my mom and dad built the new house, it was a treasure for them.  They both worked so hard to be able to build the house of their dreams and neither of them wanted anything to happen to that house.

So, spring cleaning would last a couple of days with Mom, Mawdie, Cheryl and me doing everything, and I mean everything.  First, we were gotten up bright and early and rushed through our cereal; we couldn’t waste a minute.  The next thing we did was strip the sheets from all the beds and then take the beds apart.  Each piece was taken outside to air out.  Next came the mattresses.  Taking the mattresses out wasn’t too bad although they were quite heavy for Cheryl and me.  We could actually drag them across the floor.

Once we got the mattresses outside, we had to go back and get the box springs.  Did you ever have to lift box springs?  Well, I’m here to tell you they weight a gazillion pounds.  It would take all four of us to get them outside and they had to be lifted and carried.  We also knew that if we even thought about dropping those springs on Mom’s hardwood floors, we were dead.  And we didn’t just get them outside the door and let go – no, we had find a tree and prop the springs against it.

Imagine having to take out three sets of box springs – not fun.  Cheryl and I were worn out by the time we got that done, but we were far from finished.  So after we got them against a tree, Cheryl and I had to take a broom apiece and start sweeping all the lint and dust from the springs.  And I might add here that my mom was a clean freak so there was very little dust or lint.

After we finished sweeping the springs, we went back inside to help move the furniture out of each room.  Then came a fun part – we had to get on our hands and knees and spread wax on the hardwood floors.  After the wax dried, we got to use the buffer and that was actually fun to do.  But, we had to be careful not to hit the walls or scuff the baseboards.  When we finished buffing the floors, they looked so pretty.

By late afternoon, we could start bringing the beds back inside.  I tell ya, we were dog tired after working all day and then had to drag those puppies back inside.  We really had to be careful bringing the springs in after the floors were done.  And you have to remember, freshly waxed floors are slicker than snot.  And, that was just the first day.

The second day, we had to dust every single knick-knack (and Mom had a bunch of those too) and put them back on the tables in just the right order.  We didn’t have to work as hard the second day and usually we were done by noon and we could go outside and play the rest of the day.

Yeah, we worked really hard but you know, when it was all said and done, we were very proud of our new house too.

See ya next Wednesday.

Isabella

Good morning.

Today I’m gonna do something a little different.  With the help and encouragement of my little sister, my son and my daughter-in-law, I have written my first book for children named “Isabella Learns That Bullies Aren’t Always Bad.”

Test Cover - Take 3This book is written on a second grade level and addresses the issue of bullies.  If you have read my blog, you will remember that I had a bully on the bus that I rode to school. I took care of my bully; however, that solution is not acceptable today.

Bullying is a major issue now and our children have no clue as to how to defend themselves.  But Isabella tries to understand why the bully in the book is being so mean to her little sister Chub.

We have published the book on the Kindle platform on Amazon, which you can view by clicking here.  I had a lot of fun writing this book and am working on the second book now.

I hope that you will check it out and tell your friends about it too.  We are also putting together a hard copy of the book and I will let you know when it is available.

See ya next Wednesday.

 

Thunderstorms

Good morning.

Were you, or are you afraid of thunderstorms?  I have been told that my mom’s dad, Pawdie, was terrified of thunderstorms.  His fear of storms was carried on down into at least two of his daughters, my mom and her sister Rose.  Naturally, this fear should have been embedded in some of us kids, but somehow, we never seemed to be afraid like they were.

When we finally moved to the new house, any time a thunderstorm came up, Mom made us go to the basement.  You probably remember that I told you about the time it was storming and she told Cheryl to listen and tell her if she heard anything that didn’t sound like the wind.  Cheryl called her away from her cleaning to say she heard something other than wind — it was rain.  She nearly got a whipping over that one, but it was totally funny.

Now, when I was about five years old, I didn’t think I was afraid of storms either.  But, one day my little sister and I were playing in the living room and it was storming like crazy outside.  We were very fascinated with the lightning so Mom said we could sit in the door and watch.  What fun that was …. until, there came the biggest flash of lightning that you ever saw and the thunder actually shook the door.  I mean, that lightning lit up the entire sky and the streaks were huge.  Well, I let out a scream that you could have heard in Texas; and in turn, that scared my little sister and she began to cry.

My mom came running into the living room to see what we were crying about and I’m here to tell you she wasn’t happy with the reason.  She finally got Cheryl settled back down and then turned her anger on to me.  She didn’t whip me, but she threatened to if I ever did that again.  As a matter of fact, she told me that I couldn’t watch the lightning anymore, at least not if my little sister was gonna be there.

Then another time was when I was about 6 or 7 years old and a little friend came to stay the night.  We had a great time playing after school and Mom cooked a really good supper.  It came up a little thunderstorm that night and the lightning got just about as bad as it did when I scared my sister.  My friend and I were playing in the bedroom and for some reason, the thunder was extra loud and of course everything shook.  I got scared and started crying.  Well, that upset my little friend and she started crying too.  My mom ended up calling her parents to come get her because she refused to stay at my house.

Those were the only two times that I can remember being afraid of storms; but I wasn’t afraid of what the storms could do; just the lightning and thunder.

Call me crazy, but just once in my life, I would love to join some storm chasers and chase a tornado.

See ya next Wednesday.

 

Stewed Okra

Good morning.

Have you ever eaten stewed okra?  And if you have, how did you like it?  Well, I can tell you I tried, and I emphasize tried, to eat some just once and it did not go well.

When we lived next to Mawdie, my grandmother, sometimes my dad would take preaching jobs on Sunday.  Most of the times, those preaching jobs were a pretty good ways from home; and since some of my friends attended Maple Hill Church of Christ, I asked if I could stay with Mawdie and go to Maple Hill on the Sundays that Dad preached.  We had some really sweet neighbors, Roy and Bertie, who lived down the road from us who also attended Maple Hill and they said I could ride to church with them.

sc01225b76_2So, one Sunday, I got all dressed for church and waited for Roy and Bertie to stop by and pick me up.  Mawdie chose not to go with us that particular Sunday and said she would have dinner ready when I got home from church.  Let me add here that dinner was lunch at our house. Anyway, they stopped by and we went on our merry way to church; and as always, it was a great service.

I got back to Mawdie’s and sure enough, she had a good hot meal all ready for us to eat.  She had made chicken and dumplin’s, cornbread, sliced  tomatoes and stewed okra.  I had never eaten that slimy stuff and swore I never would. But, Mawdie asked me to just try it and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to eat any more.  Since Mawdie was such a sweetie and she asked so nicely, I decided that I would try it just for her.  I mean, how bad could it be?

I got some okra on my fork and put it in my mouth.  OMG, that was the most awful stuff I had ever put in my mouth but I tried to chew it up and swallow it.  I tried and tried to swallow it, but my throat completely closed and I had to choice but to spit it back out.  The whole time I was trying to eat it, Mawdie was sitting there watching my face to see how I would react.  I bet she was secretly laughing at my reaction, but she just smiled and said that I didn’t have to eat it.

I do love fried okra, pickled okra and okra in my soup, but I just cannot take the stewed okra.  And you know, there was a very slim chance that I might have liked it, but I would have never known if I hadn’t tried it.

Mawdie was a wonderful grandmother and I would have done anything for her, even try to eat slimy okra.

See ya next Wednesday.

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Party

Good morning.

Do you remember Valentine’s Day parties when you were in grade school?  Those parties were something I always got excited about.

Around the first of February, our teacher would tell us when the party would be held and that we would need to decorate a shoebox and bring it to school on Valentine’s Day.  I believe she even gave us red and pink construction paper and some doilies to take home with us so we could decorate our boxes.  She also handed out a mimeographed sheet of paper with everybody’s name on it so no one would get left out.  Oh, and we had to put our name somewhere on our box so the other kids would know whose box it was.

The next big thing was to buy valentine cards.  Now, I didn’t have the luxury of picking out my cards; my mom would get them on one of her weekly trips to Paducah.  But, I have to say she usually picked out some really good valentine cards for me to give away.

Once my mom brought home the cards, I would sit down and sign every single one of them and then address each envelope.  There were cards for best friends, teacher and especially ones for the one you loved.  Again, I didn’t have boyfriends in grade school, except for the one, so I generally kept those cards out.  Some of the kids would bring boxes of those little hearts that have words on them, but we just didn’t have that kind of money and that was okay by me – it was all about the cards.

So, then I would get to work decorating my shoebox.  First, I had to cut a hole in the shoebox lid so the valentines could be dropped inside the box.  Then I would cover my shoebox with construction paper or sometimes my grandmother would give me some fabric to cover my box.  I would make big sc039d8d70and small heart patterns so I could cut out bunches of hearts.  The doilies made perfect backs for the red hearts and then sometimes I would cut a big red heart and paste a smaller pink heart inside.  By the time I finished, my shoebox was a masterpiece – well in my eyes anyway it was a masterpiece.

The big day arrived and everyone brought in their decorated boxes and placed them on a couple of tables that the teacher had set up for us.  After everyone put their boxes on the table, it was time to put the cards in each kid’s box.  It was so hard to concentrate on lessons when we knew that after lunch, we would party the rest of the day.

But, finally it was time to party.  Some of my classmates’ moms would bring cookies and punch for the party and the teacher would decorate the room with strings of hearts and crepe paper streamers.

Each one of us would get our box and bring it back to our desk.  Once everybody had sat down, we started opening our boxes and they were filled with beautiful cards. We opened each one carefully so we wouldn’t tear the card and first see who it was from and then read the message.  And what was so sweet was that our teacher gave us a Valentine’s Day card too.  By the end of the day, we were exhausted but happy kids.

See ya next Wednesday.

heart