February 28, 2012

Brimstone Riding

This past weekend we went to Brimstone Recreation area with some friends. 
Together we had a total of 4 RZR's (and 1 four wheeler on Saturday).  
This place is awesome.  It is a little out of the way to say the least but there
are several cabin rental places and it was worth the drive.  
Here is the link to Brimstone's site.  There is even an interactive trail map.

Here are some pictures of our weekend in the mountains of Brimstone. 
At the look out on Trail 3

The rental house from the overlook directly behind it. 

Standing on the bluff - but not too close to the edge.

All the RZR's at the house during a rest time. 

Timmy, Tonya, & Kenny - Brooke is back there somewhere.

At the waterfalls that we had to slide down on our rears to get to and then had to climb back up by tree branches - so worth it!

Tony at the falls

The whole group (minus John from Saturday's ride)

Me - in my super cool duds - showcasing my wonderful parking job on the waterfalls. 

Do you Give Blood????

Do you weight at least 110 lbs?
Are you 18 years old or older?
If so there is a good chance that you can be a blood donor to The American Red Cross

I gave blood for the first time in college.  Then when I started working at One Nashville Place they held a blood drive several times a year and I always tried to give then.  Now even though our office is not at One Nashville Place we still get the invite to donate blood when they are having a drive.  Mark, Jeryl and I try to make it a point to go there.  

As a child I remember that my grandmother was always a volunteer at the blood drives.  My sister volunteered some too.  My uncle donated every time that they would allow him to.  I can't say that I am dedicated to go every 56 days but I do go when there is a drive close by.  

Each time that you give blood you give a pint.  
Each pint of blood can save up to 3 lives.  
If you give a pint of blood every 56 days, then you could give 6.5 times each year.  
Your blood could help save 19 people a year.  
Just think - if you gave blood every 56 days (time that you have to wait between donations) from the time you turned 18 until you were 40 your blood could have already saved over 400 people.   
How amazing is it that a little time out of your schedule and a little blood that you will regenerate can save that many people?
I think it is amazing because on average every 2 seconds someone in the US is in need of a blood donation to help keep them alive and one day it maybe me or you.Check out the facts on the American Red Cross link above.  If you CAN give blood -then why not? 

   Ok - So for whatever reason I can't get this picture up and down.  But here is my chili bowl that I was given for donating today and my bandaged arm.  

Happy Day Everyone!

February 17, 2012

Hog Killing....now how often do you hear that????

Last weekend we killed 3 hogs for the meat.  Sausage, ribs, roasts, hams, and bacons.
It is a family affair ~ and this year a couple neighbors too.
I am going to put captions under each photo and maybe a little explanation.  These are pictures of a long lost art that most people have never even thought about but at our house - It's a family tradition.
Papa (my dad), Rachel and Ethan inspecting one of the pig heads.  When we get the pigs they have been killed and quartered and then we do the rest. 
 Is that pig sticking his tongue out at you!

 Hams being salted to cure for 21 days.
 Nanny Dan (on the left - my mom), Me and Nanny Bo (my grandmother) cutting up meat for sausage.
 Tracey getting a little scary with the knives...I think she was going after Russel.
 Rachel is learning fast - Helping to sack the sausage.
 Ethan wasn't as helpful this year - he mostly played and watched - he'll love it next year.
 We always have to pause for some fun with feet - pig's feet that is.

 Russel looks like he is going to shove a pigs foot up my nose.....note the quite awesome hair I have going on.
 Mom and I sacking sausage.
 Tracey and I sealing up the bags with the vacuum sealer.
 Russel cutting meat from the shoulders.
 Our friend Dave stopped by to help and visit with us.  He is cutting out our roasts.
 More ham salting.
 Papa John (my granddad) is the ham supervisor.
 And like I said - this is a family affair.  We started on Thursday night and ended on Saturday evening.  Everybody pitches in.  Everybody tests the sausage for how much seasoning it has in it and if needs more or less of something.  Everybody helps clean up and put away.  And everybody knows that on the coldest weekend we can find in the early part of 2013, we'll be doing it again.

February 8, 2012

Shrimp, Avocado, Onion.....YES Please!

Last week HG Hills was having a sale on avocados.  I searched pinterest and the internet trying to find the perfect recipe so that I could buy some avocados.  But I couldn't find one.  I didn't really want guacamole.  I wanted an avocado type salad.  Of course today I found the perfect recipe.  I can't wait to try it out.  
Here is the link to zesty lime shrimp and avocado salad.  I think I will add a little roasted whole kernel corn to the recipe.  I am stealing the pic from the link so that you will see why I can't wait to try it.  

If you make it let me know what you think and if you added any extra ingredients.  


I made this on Saturday.  It was AWESOME!  I actually made it by the recipe but I will do it only slightly different next time.
I will add corn, use dried cilantro, and lime juice from the bottle.  But those changes are because I love corn and I am lazy.

February 2, 2012

What's in your pantry?????

How to take what's in your pantry....
and make it into something YUMMY!

This is a casserole that Russel and I make sometimes. It's always quick and easy with what I normally have in the pantry.  You can substitute so many things that you're bound to have all you need in your pantry and fridge.
1 package chicken ramen noodles - cooked and drained
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup onion, chopped 
1 can cream of ???? soup - I use cream of mushroom or chicken - what ever's in the pantry.
1 cup shredded cheese - what ever you like best
1 can of chunk white chicken  - or a chicken breast boiled and chopped
Mushrooms (optional) - 4 oz fresh chopped or 2 small cans
Chiles or jalapenos(optional), chopped

Preheat your oven to 350
In a saucepan melt the butter and cook the onion until tender.

If you are using fresh mushrooms or peppers then cook these while you are cooking the onion. Otherwise add canned mushrooms or chiles when you add the soup. 

When these are tender, add the soup concentrate & 1/4 of the ramen seasoning.  Stir well.
Once this is all combined add the already cooked noodles, the chicken and the cheese.  Let simmer for around 5 minutes.
So if you are hungry and just can't wait you can actually eat it now.  Everything is already cooked. 
But it is better if you bake it too.  
Pour the mixture into a baking dish.

And bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  
If you have any extra shredded cheese I like to add it to the top and cook it for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese.  
This is quick, easy and uses what you already have. 

Substitutions can be made left and right so use what you have and enjoy. 

February 1, 2012

Can't help but laugh

While perusing pinterest I came across a picture of a metal rooster standing at someone's front door.  I had to click the link because for those of you that don't know.....the in-laws bought me the exact same metal rooster just in a smaller size for Christmas. 

I have been admiring the larger version of this metal rooster at the Stone Cottage in White House for a while now.  Debbie remembered and bought this one for me. He is the perfect size and now Russel has him anchored down (to deter theft) in front of our porch in the landscaping.  He's perfect. I am thinking about getting his larger counterpart.  So when I saw the picture of the larger metal rooster standing at someone's front door like it had just rang the doorbell I had to check out the link.  I laughed.  I laughed some more and read the blog from The Bloggess out loud to a friend at work.  Then I tried to tell Russel the gist of it and ended up bringing it back up to read to him.  The author of the blog is Jenny Lawson.  She has several blogs that you can link to from her webpage.  I've found its a good place to go if I need a laugh but I have also found that she does work for a couple different causes, wrote her own book "Let's pretend this never happened" that I can't wait to get, and also started the "traveling red dress" initiative.  The traveling red dress blog entry 

I love her blog and I wanted nothing more than to share it with you all.
Today's find that had me rolling comes from her blog on The Stir by Cafe Mom.  

Her entries for this blog are entitled "ill -advised: parenting tips from the bloggess"
Lesson 27: Terrible Pets for Children tells the things about small children and pets that most people try to gloss over.  

Enjoy the bloggess!!!!