Monday, August 31, 2009

Courtney's Coveting the Creamed Corn

Beverley's (You Haven't Had Creamed Corn Like This) Creamed Corn

Growing up my Dad loved canned creamed corn. YUCK! I've never liked it so I've turned up my nose at every variety ever since. Until I tried this. Wow, it is creamy, cheesey and has just enough kick! You HAVE to try this! Beverley is a fantastic cook and she came up with this recipe on her own. It's a keeper for sure.

1 regular size bag of frozen white and yellow corn (if you can find a bag mixed - great or buy two bags and use half each)
1/2 c of evaporated milk (fat-free OK)
1 t sugar
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/8 t chili powder
2 heaping T flour
diced red pepper and onions
10 oz white cheese (mozzarella, monterey jack, parmesan, combination of any. I used reduced-fat cheese and it worked just fine)

Mix all ingredients except cheese and cook in skillet on low heat, stirring often so no sticking. When warm and combined spread into serving dish and top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until just browned.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Goodbye Green Truck

Bill had a sad day a couple of weeks ago. He turned over the keys to his truck. We had decided the month before to buy a larger, newer truck from Brad (my biological father) the end of August. We talked to Sue and Scott who said they'd be interested in the Dodge for my cousin, Anthony, who'd come to live with them this summer. I had asked Bill if he was sad about selling the truck and he said, "No, why?" When the day got closer, he admitted it. He was starting to feel pretty bummed about letting her go. He had bought the Dodge brand new and had been through a lot in the truck. You know how it is. I'm always that way when I get rid of a vehicle.

But, can't be sad for long when you see this face so happy to get it. Anthony was so excited about it! At least she's staying in the family!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Remember your first love? You just couldn't stand to be apart. You'd do whatever you could to be together. Well, we've got that unrequited love goin' on. In our backyard.

I got a phone call from our neighbor last Monday as I was getting ready. Guess who was in their backyard? Seems Libby and their golden retriever Max just couldn't stand to be apart. They had dug on respective sides of the fence and Libby wiggled her way over. When Kim opened the gate the two came barreling around the corner. They'd been running through the sprinklers and were so happy and excited! I took my soaking wet, but happy pup home.

Tonight, I walked in the door and Bill said "Shhhh... Look out the window." The window was open and we could see Libby... Back at it.

PS: This is my 100th post! Wow!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The best package ever.

Guess what?

She's back.

So happy.

And with the new setting - you'll never know
what happened in the first place.

Thanks, Uncle John.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blueberry Bliss

My mother-in-law called last Saturday and asked if I was interested in going to pick blueberries with her. Hmmmm, let me think about that - YES! We had a great time. There was a very entertaining woman in the blueberry bushes who kept commenting on our conversations. She'd start YELLING at her daughter who was in the car, "BRING ME A BUCKET CAITLYN!!!" Caitlyn of course wouldn't hear her and yell, "WHAT?" Again, "BRING MEEEEE.... A BUUUUUUUUCKEEEEEET!!!!! Oh my. She was something. I was definitely wanting to say, "Shut it", but kept that to myself. Then, she ended up caught in a bee hive. What a sight she was running through the blueberry bushes and into the fields trying to swat bees away from her. Once I realized she was OK, I really couldn't stop laughing. Is that mean? Sorry.

OK, enough of that. Check out these beauties.

Speaking of doing not nice things. I pretty much snacked my way through the blueberry bushes. I tried each variety and agreed with LOUD WOMAN that the berries in the back were the sweetest. I realized later, was that bad? Was I stealing berries? Ooops.

After the bee hive incident, I was pretty much ready to go, but Francie. She is a die-hard picker. She wanted to fill her bucket. We worked until we filled our buckets - she still picked a full 2 lbs more than me!

Check out Francie proudly holding her berries. I love this picture of her. She looks so happy and beautiful!

Fun day. I've made blueberry muffins, blueberry crisp, topped some on yogurt and in smoothies and there's still more berries. Yum!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthday Blessings

Birthdays are fun. I woke up the morning of my birthday and the first thought I felt was sadness - I missed my Mom. Our birthdays were always very special to her. Fortunately, the sadness was fleeting. I've had some pretty special birthday celebrations.

At work, I got beautiful PINK roses tucked in a PINK vase from one of the gals in my office. She had my favorite candies and PINK balloons. Beautiful PINK flowers from my friend Lynn. One gal also photgraphed PINK flowers and framed them for me. Then, my wonderful husband sent me flowers for the first time. They're gorgeous and took me right back to Fiji!

At lunch, Evelyn and Lisa took me to my favorite birthday jaunt.
Most drive by this place a hundred times, but I like it. My favorite is the owner. She kills me. She knows it is my birthday when I come in. I come every year just bringing new friends.

My staff thank Evelyn and Lisa for taking me (if you get my drift).

That night, Bill and I had reservations at Indochine. This is, by far, the best Thai I've ever had. My mouth does a happy dance with each bite. Brad and Deana had called to wish me a happy birthday. We invited them last minute and they came along. It was their first time and they LOVED it.

Next day, the gals from work and I had a lovely lunch at Ricardo's. We had a fun time - lots of laughs. Pretend Nikki is in this photo.

That evening, Grandma Jo had taco dinner at her house. The whole gang came. Cousins Zach & Lolita, Grandma Jo and my cousin Velvet (and baby). Zach is my ultimate fighter cousin. He is the one that turned me from - Go to a fight? What? I don't think I'd like that. To "Kick some a---, Zach!" Wow. I've frightened myself.

Velvet is five and a half months along. She's having a girl! Doesn't she look cute?

Velvet was a premature baby herself. She was a beautiful, tiny little girl. Her esophagus was damaged after she was born so she has a very soft, sweet voice. Fitting of her name. She's a special girl. We're so excited she's having a little one.

Cousins Robbie and Sofia. Ask Robbie about the time I was babysitting him and he decided to paint an art project with blue model paint. Yeah, he was pretty much a Smurf for a week. I was mortified.

Cousins Marshelle and Mariah (and little Alex). Mariah is a sweet girl. When she was little, she'd always help me clean up. She'd put away my dishes, but sort them all in color order. Some might be frightened, but I loved that! That's my girl!

She was my special helper when we bought our house. She did the walk-thru with us and was great about pointing out all the little problems - smudge of paint here, missing trim there. This girl has an eye for detail!

Here's a better shot of Alex. I wish you could sniff him through this picture. Lolita always makes sure he smells sooooo good.

Me and my bro. It is cool when we are together at Grandma's house. We used to live in this trailer park just down the street from Grandma. We were at her house ALL the time. We drove our first cars in that trailer park. Played on the slip-n-slide in Grandma's yard and had many, many dinners there around her kitchen table. Sweet memories.
Sister-in-law Keri and nephew, Carson. Did I mention I LOVE this boy? I'm sure I have a time or two.

Sorry gratuitous shots of my nephew. Can't help it. Notice him checking out his cousin's pink boots. Love it!

Aunt and Uncle - Harry and Vickie. Harry and Vickie have hosted our family Christmas for many years. They are so good at coming up with themes and making it special. One year we had a Mexican theme with enchiladas and pinatas. They are always great hosts.

Dad and Mattie. Mattie was my Mom's everything. I mean, she loved us. But, her dog? Oh boy. Dad loves Mattie so much. It is a great connection for him to Mom.

Gramps. Grandpa is doing pretty well with his chemo. He doesn't love not having hair, but I think he looks great!

The boys. Enough said. Can you see why we don't wear Nike around here. It is all Adidas. All the time.

Somehow I didn't get a picture of my Uncle Robert and Jeri. Dang.

Thanks to Grandma for putting together such a great dinner. I LOVED IT! I loved the food and having everyone together. For those that know Grandma Jo - does this picture not just sum her up?

Oh wait. Maybe this one is better.

Molli called and said the kids wanted to see me and they had something for me for my birthday. We stopped by on our way home. Tom was out of town and the three were having a slumber party in the basement.

Tanner excitedly showed off his new haircut "Just like Daddy's!"

Then there's Maggie. She looks so grown up in these pictures!

There you have it. Here's to 35 more and counting! Thanks, family and friends!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Libby, Libben, Libler of the Libbenshire... and Libya

Libby is almost ten months old now. Remember when she was itty bitty?

Isn't it weird to see snow in this heat?

Some days, she still looks just like a pup.

Other days - she looks all grown up. You can really see the bull mastiff in her face. Look at that under bite.

But, the border collie has really dominated... She's still only 44 pounds. So much smaller than anyone predicted.

She's like - OK enough paparazzi! No more photos! No more photos!

By the way, now that I've figured out how to adjust the layout on the blog and increase the size of the photos - I can't stop posting them. I am so excited to finally figure this out!

Oh Wedding Ring, How I Miss You

Did I mention I looked down at my hand one day and my diamond was sideways in my ring? Did I mention when I took it to the jeweler's to be re-set they called back and said the diamond had a CHIPPED CORNER? Did I mention I had a minor heart attack?

This was the end of May. Yep. Ol' sparkly has been on quite the journey. She went with my friend Lisa on a flight down to the Bay Area. Lisa met up with Uncle John. Uncle John took her to Geoffrey's Diamonds
in San Carlos. She's been there ever since. She's getting a new bezel setting which will make her all the more beautiful, keep the diamond much more safe AND hide the chipped corner.

She should be finished soon and then we'll coordinate getting her back on my finger.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ALS Doubleday Weekend - Part Two

Back to the bike event...

I had mentioned we recruited another rider... There she is on the left in green in the picture above. I had no idea when I snapped this pic of folks preparing for the ride we'd end up meeting Jessica and she'd agree to ride in memory of Mom next year! Thanks, Jessica!

So many bikes... and all types! From Huffys with kickstands to carbon fiber and Italian names I can't properly pronounce.

Then, there was this guy. These tandems are heavy bikes already. We were all impressed this guy had a tandem with a trail-a-bike. He was going to ride with his two sons. Wow! He has some hard work ahead of him! (Note: He finished the first day, just without the second son and trail-a-bike. What an accomplishment!)

Here's Bill's official number.

Getting ready...

Clipped in.

Almost ready.

About three and a half hours later.... At least he was laughing about the lack of "rolling hills" and how it was much harder than he expected. Actually, I believe the exact quote was "That was %:$*!# 'in hard!!"

We happily paid $10 for a massage with the money going toward ALS. The gal was very sweet and didn't mind massaging through the sweat saying, "I don't have to use oil!" Wow, nice girl.

Fred and Francie with Bill's bike.

That afternoon, we took naps and met for a later dinner. Bill was starving and dined on prime rib. He was a happy camper.

Before dinner, it was thundering and lightning as we waited on the front porch of the inn for Fred and Francie. We were a little worried it might rain the next day.

No rain. Just hotter! Bill had less energy and was a little worried. I just told him to call me to come get him if he couldn't finish.

He sent me a text in the middle of the ride, "Broken rear derailer, but am continuing." After I asked what a rear derailer was... It is the shifter! What?! Yes, I was a little worried! It was so hot and we were hearing there were more hills than the day before! How was he going to make it up those hills without being able to downshift?

Well, as you can see - he finished! And with great time too!

He was so happy to be done and so HOT! He was relieved to hear they had showers at the high school. Next year, we will remember to bring a towel!

Great job, Bill! I am so proud of you! Mom smiled down on you that weekend from heaven for sure!


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