What Day is This?

Happy Tuesday,

If you live in the U.S. you are probably thinking this is Monday because yesterday was Memorial Day so there was a three day weekend.  Well for some of you I suppose.  I am usually off every weekend but because we are just opening back up after quarantine and the closing of non essential businesses, I have worked the last two weekends.  It usually works out that either me or my husband have to work on most holidays so we don’t always celebrate them when they happen.  We will make it up. That’s not the real reason for Memorial Day anyway.


   This was taken in Madisonville TN at the Flag Memorial Site.

Let us not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day.  Memorial Day, observed the last Monday in May, honors the men and women who died in service to their country.

To say that life has been a little crazy around here would be an understatement.  It seems as though I barely get home and to bed and it is time to do it all over again.  When I do have a day off it is usually filled with grocery shopping, getting supplies for my mother in law, laundry etc etc.  You know the drill.  My house now looks pre quarantine, my shrubs look shaggy, ahhhh the time I spent in quarantine was not bad just the reason for it was bad.

I try to do something fun when I am at home to take my mind off of work and things.   And you know what that is?  I knit.  knitting always makes me relaxed unless it is a really complicated knitting pattern, which I do not do if I am trying to relax.  I usually carry a ball of yarn and knitting needles with me at all times.  I can knit while I am waiting in line at the drive through at the bank, which can take a really long time now since that is the only way to do your banking.  The lobby inside of most banks are still closed.  I knit while waiting on take out.  I knit on my lunch break at work.  Just those few minutes of pushing a knitting needle through the yarn and making stitches is just so soothing.

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I love these colors and the yarn is so squishy soft. I can’t wait to see the finished scarf.

I usually do a really simple scarf pattern or a dish cloth pattern that requires almost no thinking or even looking at the knitting.  I have a lot of these that I have knitted and I am thinking about signing up for a craft fair in the fall where I will set up a small booth and sell my wares.  We shall see.

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  I have made so many of these wash cloths, dish cloths whatever you want to use them for.  They are made with 100% cotton yarn and they are the best for washing your face or your dishes if that’s what you want them for. This one is only half finished I will show you what it looks like when It is finished. 

I finally got my hair done today.  As soon as the Salon that I go to opened up I called for an appointment.  So did several other hundred maybe a thousand people, who knows.  Anyway it took me almost three weeks to get in!!!  I may or may not have used that L’Oreal Root Touch Up to get me through. It’s good stuff, enough said.   I was starting to look a little like Grace Slick from Jefferson Starship.  But you know? when I got to the Salon I decided I kinda liked my long hair and I found myself saying, ” only cut abut an inch”.  I think I will keep it this length.  Ask me how this is going in another month and we will see.   My grandma Rose had long hair that she could sit on.  She kept it wrapped up tightly in a ball on top of her head. I don’t ever remember seeing it down but my older brothers and sisters say that she let them brush it from time to time.

I hope you are doing well and being safe and enjoying you and your loved ones. Mark had a Vanderbilt appointment via Zoom and blood work at our local hospital.  It really beat the long four hour drive to Nashville.  All looked great and the kidney is still going strong.   Molly still has an ear problem that we just can’t seem to clear up.  Poor girl it seems like I am constantly looking at her ears.  She is such a gentle soul.  If you missed my post about my magnificent Molly you can read it  here. 

Some wonderful news I am having lunch with my sisters tomorrow. I haven’t seen them in almost two and a half months.  We are having Sister Lunch.  I did a blog about this and if you missed it check it out here.  I can’t wait to see my sisters and solve all the world’s problems.

Have a wonderful week!!!

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!

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And Then Time Stopped.

Have you been tested for COVID-19?  The tests are free and they are done now quite frequently.  In the beginning you could only be tested if you had symptoms even if you had been directly exposed.  It could take days to get scheduled for a test and then up to a week to get the results.

With more and more tests becoming available all of that has changed, in our area anyway, I am assuming it is everywhere. People are encouraged to get tested before returning to work, if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or had been around someone who has tested positive.

I spent a lot of time in quarantine.  I wear my mask.  I have been very very careful.  I haven’t been anywhere I haven’t had to be.  I haven’t been to a restaurant in over three months.  I just got take out for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  So I have felt fairly safe.  The virus was sort of a bad dream that was in the back of my mind. I knew it was real but I didn’t know anyone who had even tested positive. Sure I watched the news and saw and heard the horror stories but I also knew a lot was being told that might not be true.

And then last week I had to hit the brakes.  I received a text that someone I had been in contact, even though it probably wasn’t even within six feet, had been in contact with someone who had tested positive. I froze, what should I do?  Should I wait until they got tested and see if they were positive?  I called our local health department, I have a friend who works there and she said yes better to get tested and be safe,  and set up a time for a test that afternoon.  Luckily we had not opened back up at work at this time.

I went to the health department and joined the line of cars with people waiting to be tested.  It took about thirty minutes to get to the tent where the nurses were administering the tests.  It was really warm that day and they had on head to toe covering with a mask and a plastic shield over their faces.  I felt so much compassion for them.  They were hot.  It was dusty from all of the cars going through.  But the nurse doing the tests came bouncing out to the car and did my test quickly and with a kind word and such a great attitude.  I then went on my way.  They told me I should find out the next day but because it was a weekend it might take an extra day.  It did.

I went home and started to worry about my husband, who takes immunosuppressants.  I knew that I had been around him all week and if I tested positive then he probably would too. It almost seemed like time had stopped. I could barely think rationally.

I will say that even though I thought the odds were low that I would test positive I still had that worry in the back of my mind.   I tried to stay busy on Sunday to keep my mind off of it.  Early Monday morning the fear that I felt had escalated.  I was doing the what if? what if?  Just a couple of hours later  the health Department called and told me I was negative.  I couldn’t believe the relief that I felt.

I had to think about my friend Lori who works at our local hospital in the ER department.  She is on the front line and she has been tested a couple of times.  I know how she worries each time.  It doesn’t stop her from doing her job day after day.  These people amaze me and I am so very appreciative of them. Their fear is an everyday thing.

I guess there is nothing to say to tie this up in a neat bow. I am trying to say that the fear is real, the threat is still there.  It really hit home with me when I was tested.  And I expect, before this situation gets better, I may have to be tested again.


  The Day Lilies are blooming. New growth always makes me feel hopeful.

Please be safe.

Always remember,

Love your day your way (But be safe)

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Work, Sleep, Repeat

Hello friends how are you?  I have been back at work now for a few weeks.  I feel that all I get done is working and sleeping.  I hate to say that I miss quarantine but man things were so much simpler then.  Don’t get me wrong I am glad to be back to work and doing things day to day that I have done all my life.  However, the quiet time that I spent in quarantine was not bad. I had a chance to recharge, reenergize, rediscover, etc. etc.  It was an easier way of life.

My work opened back up Saturday.  We had a soft opening with very few customers.  All of our employees are required to wear masks.  We have sanitizing stations throughout the property.  We have 4×8 feet panels of Lexan, it is better than Plexiglas,  between the registers and our customers. Only ten people per tour.  I guess this is our new normal for awhile.

I have had so many things to deal with at work,  when I get home I feel mentally unable to do anything but eat dinner and catch up for a minute with my husband, care for the fur babies and collapse on the couch or go straight to bed. Luckily this is all I have to do right now.

During the time I spent in quarantine I noticed that my stress level had gone down considerably. I mentioned that in a previous post. I decided then that when I did get back to work full time I was going to leave work at work. And that once I got home, home would be my sanctuary and a place to rest and relax. I have done pretty well. This helps me to recharge and be ready to start the next day.

Of course I always take time to stop along the road and take pictures. That will never change.

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   This field is full of yellow wild flowers.  It makes the entire field look yellow.  I love it. 


      My daisies.  I love having them for as long as I can.  They last for only a short time. I have an entire field of them behind my house. 


  Fields of hay.  I love the look.  I can stare at these bales for hours. I am quite intrigued by them for some reason. 


     And now the honeysuckle are blooming. A sweet welcoming smell. 

I think that taking pictures is sort of an outlet for me.  No matter what is going on in this crazy world some things like nature and beauty never change.

A friend that I know from another attraction quite suddenly quit her job last week.  She had only been back to work for a week. She had been at this job for about fifteen years.   She said that being quarantined had made her realize how much her stress level had been reduced. She didn’t want to go back.  Man, that is pretty powerful.  I don’t think I have the courage nor the means to do that.  I am not sure about her financial situation but she is not near retirement age. Oh well!!  If it works for her it works.  I am happy for her and maybe a little jealous.  I always thought I wanted to work forever but after being at home for three weeks I am not so sure.  I love being out around people I always have, but there is something to be said about the solitude of being at home and nowhere to go.  Ahhhhh life where will you lead me?  I shall see.  It will be an adventure no matter what.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!

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Southern Apple Stack Cake

This is one of my “Southern Secrets”  It is a secret way I have of making a really yummy treat.

When I was first married,  I remember my mother in law knew a woman in town who made the best Apple Stack Cakes you have ever eaten.  An apple stack cake is just what the name says.  It is a stack of cakes with apple filling in between.  The higher the stack the better, but most recipes call for six layers of the cake.  Now keep in mind the layers are very thin, that is one of the tricks to the Apple Stack Cake.  I am going to tell you the basic four steps for preparing the Apple Stack Cake and then I am going to give you a secret recipe that is unbelievably good.  You may already know about it. It doesn’t even involve baking.  What?? You won’t believe it!!!   Please know I am not trying to downplay the Apple Stack cake and the original way to make it.  It is a true labor of love and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If I could buy one or make one every week I probably would.  But I know I don’t have time for that and you probably don’t either.

But back to my original story.  When I was first married my mother in law knew a woman and her husband who made stack cakes at Christmas.  They had several apple trees and they would harvest the apples in the fall and peel them and dry them for Christmas time to be made into the cakes. They dried bags and bags of them.  This was a big deal for them.  They did it to earn extra money for Christmas.  They were both retired and lived very modestly.  When Christmas came around everyone knew this was the place to get your stack cake.  Many many cakes were made daily.  They even delivered them to you for the outrageously low price of $12.00.  I know!!!   I think the first year I knew about them they were $10.00 and then the price of the ingredients went up or maybe the apple crop didn’t do as well and they had to increase their price.  If you ever happened to stop by their house during the stack cake preparation, you would see a flurry of activity coming from that sweet couple.  You would find it hard to believe that only two people did all of the work that went into all of the cakes.

My mother in law always got one for Christmas dinner.  You had to put your order in early because they only made so many and when the apples were gone they were gone.  After I got married I got on the list so that I could have a cake for my mom and dad’s house when we went there for Christmas.  Two of these awesome cakes at Christmas, well it was just about the best thing you can think of.

The four basic steps for making your Apple Stack Cake:  I am not including an ingredient recipe you can google it or you may even have one from your grandmother or aunt Gene.
Here is one that I found that looks pretty good http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/8012/apple-stack-cake

1. You make the apple filling.  You are making the applesauce from dried apples by simmering them with water and spices and a bit of brown sugar.  Once the dried apples become soft and pliable you will put them into a food processor to be pureed.

2. Make your cake batter.  You can use a basic cake batter but you must chill it so that you can spread the cake batter very thinly for baking.  Some people put the batter directly on parchment paper and bake the layers (you must have at least six layers, I don’t know why but you do)  but my mama always used a cake pan and just spread the batter really thin along the bottom of the cake pan.

3. When the layers of cake are cooled you put one of the layers on a plate.  Spread the filling on top then add another layer continue with this until you get to the last layer.  Some people spread the filling on the top and sides.  I think this makes it really messy.  It also makes it hard to wrap it later.  Once you wrap the cake the delicious apple filling will seep into all of the cake and make it really soft and yummy.

4. Top the cake with waxed paper and wrap in plastic wrap.  Let stand at least 12-24 hours before cutting.

 


Doesn’t that look delicious?

Now I will tell you my little cheater way of doing this.  A friend told me about this years ago and whenever I get a craving for an Apple Stack Cake I just fix one of these:

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You will need a jar of reaaaallllly good apple butter.  This is the apple butter I bought at the Mennonite market a few weeks ago.  It is so good. You will also need a pack of graham crackers.  I use the regular kind. I guess you could use the cinnamon ones.

Spread the apple butter between each of the graham crackers and start layering the crackers.

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This is what it will look like when you finish.  I may have gone a little crazy on the apple butter but it is just so good!!!!

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You then wrap plastic wrap around it and put it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Actually waiting 24 hours makes it even better but it’s so hard to wait!!!  The crackers absorb the apple butter. They will no longer taste like plain graham crackers.

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This is what it will look like when you cut it.  You will get about 3 servings out of this because it is really dense.  It is soft just like a cake and it tastes yummy.

Like I said I am in no way telling you not to make a “real” Apple Stack Cake. But if you don’t have time and you want a treat that brings back a lot of memories, try this.  Let me know how it goes.

Always remember,

Love your day your way!!!

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