Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Chicken and Dumplings and Updates

I have been recovering from a bruised rib and sore shoulder and neck. I took a fall about three weeks ago and have really been in a lot of pain but now it is much improved.

We are liking McAlester very much and getting a little more settled in. I even went to church Sunday and that felt really good too, getting out and meeting new people.

We have seen some fairly cold winter temperatures so far and even had a small amount of snow one weekend. I am enjoying it though and prefer to have some actual winter time.

My mother in law is still having some issues resulting from the stroke. I have been setting up and taking her to doctor appointments. She goes to see a neurosurgeon in a couple weeks for a tiny aneurysm they found during an MRI. All things considered though she is doing pretty well.

I picked up an interesting book at the library and have been reading that. It is called "Stories of Old Time Oklahoma" by David Dary and it has been interesting reading about the history of Oklahoma and stories of outlaws and early settlers.

Last night seemed like a good  "chicken and dumplings night" so that's what I made. I have to say I have never had much luck with dumplings. It seems like they are always hit or miss. Sometimes I get lucky and the dumplings rise and sometimes they dissolve and I end up with a thick chicken soup.

Last night I combined two recipes for making dumplings and the dumplings were perfect! It seems one of the tricks is to coat the outside of the dumplings with flour before dropping them in the pot of chicken and broth. I don't know why that would make a difference but it seemed to work so I am going to stick with it. Here is the recipe:


2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 Tbs baking powder
1 egg, well beaten
2 Tbs melted butter
2/3 cup full fat milk

In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, black pepper and baking powder.

In another bowl, mix the egg with melted butter and add to dry ingredients with enough milk to make a semi-stiff batter.  (Do not over mix. You might use a little more or less than 2/3's cup milk)

Make small balls (about pecan sized) and coat with flour. You can just put some flour on a plate and lightly toss flour on them.  Shake off excess flour and drop dumplings in boiling chicken/chicken broth mixture to which you have added chopped celery, chopped onion and a little salt and pepper. Do not stir. Cook covered for 20 minutes. No peeking.

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Move to Oklahoma

We made the move to Oklahoma from Texas on December 14th. 
It has not been an easy move. Packing and unpacking boxes is not as easy as it was when I was younger. 
We also had an emergency situation 3 days after arriving here, when my mother-in-law, who lives with us, suffered a mild stroke. She had to stay in the hospital over night but fortunately since it was so very mild, a "Transient Ischemic Attack" she suffered no permanent damage and is doing very well. 
The house is starting to look like a home. We are not completely unpacked yet but are getting there. 
We have no Christmas decorations or tree up but today and tomorrow we will rest and enjoy the holidays as best we can and look forward to getting together soon with the family to celebrate a belated Christmas.
We have only been out exploring a little. Most of our days have been either in the house unpacking or in the hospital. 
Yesterday we drove up to Lake Eufaula, which is a nice area. The lake is really big and all this area is hilly, which I like. I look forward to seeing it in the Spring when things are green again.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Clearing Out for The Move

As I sort through and pack belongings for our move, I have to decide which things I can do without and which needs to go. Most of the items that end up on the "has to go" list I am donating or giving to family members that can use them. 

The hardest part for me personally is that there are a lot of things that, if up to me only, I would get rid of, but I have to consider other family members too. What is extra baggage to me is important to someone else in the family.

I was in the kitchen this morning making what I call "frying pan toast" and as I looked around, critically eyeing all that was in the kitchen, I thought to myself, "We could toss the toaster. It just takes up counter space."  

I really have no use for toasters, they are just a container for collecting crumbs in the bottom that have to be cleaned. 

As a kid, we did not even have a toaster. We always made our toast either in the frying pan as I did this morning or if making a lot for the family, we put buttered bread on a cookie sheet and toasted it in the oven. Any leftovers were eaten as snacks during the day. I don't think we even got a toaster till I was in high school. 

Still, I guess we will keep the toaster because even though I don't use it much, others do.  There are however extra plastic containers and a few extra pans etc. that are definitely going into the give pile.

I still have some packing left to do but am making good progress.

Our current plan is to move next week but will have to make some trips back and forth for awhile to attend our granddaughter's birthday and to get the house here ready to put on the market. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Retirement And What It Looks Like For Me

Yesterday was my last day at work. I am now officially retired from the county position I held for a little over a decade. My coworkers gave me a wonderful send off! It was a great party and a great time with coworkers from all over the building stopping by to visit.

I was given, among other things, an engraved clock and a quilt with signatures and best wishes from coworkers written all over it.

A question asked of me several times has been "What's next?" Well life as we know holds a lot of surprises but the plans so far are to finish packing the house up for our mid-December move to Oklahoma and then in and among unpacking, have Christmas time with family.

Once we are settled there will be no problem for me to keep busy. I have always had lots of hobbies and lots of books to read. I can honestly say I am never bored. There is always something to do.

The things I hope most to do to begin with are:
  • Getting familiar with our new surroundings - the town, nature walks, photographing plants I see, and checking things out while I am taking the dogs for their walks.
  • working on my genealogy
  • working on my scrapbook
  • getting into a bible study group
  • sewing
  • reading
  • getting familiar with the best plants for our new area and doing some gardening 
  • and taking lots of road trips with hubby to explore Oklahoma and surrounding states
I think just this list alone should keep me busy for quite awhile!

Friday, November 16, 2018

By The Way, Lets Have an Audit Before You Go...

I got an email this week at work notifying me of the new audit we are now required to do and that it had a 10 day deadline. 

I thought I was going to cry! Here I am trying to train my replacement and we now have to drop everything and do a new audit.  

Add that to the fact that I am trying to take belongings and boxes home from work and get things wound down for my last day of work on the 30th. What timing! 

After I had my own little inward temper tantrum, I started going through the audit instructions and checklist and mentally checked things off. "I have that". "I know where to get that". "I need that from county purchasing".  I felt a little better. 

I gathered documents yesterday and made cover sheets and scanned everything (we are talking close to 500 pages) and now I only lack one thing and that is for the county attorney to release one document.  Depending on when I get her official "ok", I should have everything uploaded by Monday or Tuesday. 

I feel better. No more tantrum or panic attack.  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Packing Progress

It's a county holiday today and I am planning to use the time packing for our move.

I wish I could get back in the garage to work and sort there but it is raining yet again so that project will have to be delayed for now.

In the meantime, other than house clean up and some laundry, I think I will tackle closets. I am sorting, and eliminating stuff I don't want to move and boxing things up we can do without till we do move.

We had one other move that took place in December some years ago. It was when we first came to Georgetown and we had "professional movers" moving us.

I was pretty disappointed with how the professionals do things. I had a lot of dings and scratches on furniture and I had stuff boxed together that should have never gone in the same box, such as the bread I discovered in a box marked for dishes. Being that I thought it was the set of china I only use at holidays, I felt no rush to unpack them right away and when I did, yep, moldy bread.

I have moved quite a few times in my adult life. The number of moves is in the dozens, so I guess that qualifies me as a professional. I have learned I prefer to pack and mark the boxes myself and then let whoever we hire to load the moving truck, do the lifting and loading. That is my plan this time.

I can't help but think of some of the moves we have made over the years. Despite my best plans, something always happens.

I remember one move when hubby accidentally broke the oven door and I had to run out and buy an electric skillet and rely on it and the microwave for cooking, till we got the oven repaired.

I also remember the time we moved to the Rio Grande Valley and it had rained so much on the way, that by the time we drove the 6 hours there and started to unload, we were literally unloading in the rain, in water above our ankles!

I hope that whatever adventure happens with this move will be a minor one!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Old Fashioned Education Resources

I am fond of old fashioned things. I have always been a traditionalist at heart and I guess that is part of why the website below appeals to me. The other part of it though is that it is a wealth of resources and online books.

I see this website both as a great help for home-schoolers and also a great source of reading for anyone of any age.

The owner of this site put a lot of work into this and I feel more should know about it and use it.


Chicken and Dumplings and Updates

I have been recovering from a bruised rib and sore shoulder and neck. I took a fall about three weeks ago and have really been in a lot of p...