Saturday, October 29, 2011

I just had to share this tonight....

My friend Trish just sent me this picture of her granddaughter, Hayden, all dressed for Halloween.  Is this not absolutely precious?  What a sweet little girl this is...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just like the squirrels, storing nuts for the winter…


I’ve talked often about living off the land as a child.  Gleaning popcorn in the fields, after the combines had harvested the fields, dragging burlap sacks over the wet ground, and filling them with ears of corn left behind.  Laying them out to dry, and spending evenings shelling them to store in gallon size pickle jars for the winter months.  It sounds so “Little House on the Prairie” to write about, but that’s what we did.

One of my favorite things to do was to visit a pecan grove, not far from home.  The owner would bump the trees with a blade on a tractor, the nuts would fall to the ground, and we would fill coal buckets, weigh them, pay for them and take them home to crack and pick out the nuts for Christmas baking.  To this day, there is nothing I like more than fresh pecans, well except for those hickory nuts I’ve talked about.  The same hickory nuts that my friend Mary sent me last year, and that I hoarded in the freezer, eating a few at a time instead of sharing them with the family because they don’t have hickory nut memories like I do, and besides, I was an only child and we all know that I tend to be selfish about certain things. *grin*

We would also visit the apple orchard, where the big wooden ladders were sitting by the trees, mother would climb the ladder and fill a bucket with apples, then pass it down to me to put in a bushel basket.  She loved McIntosh apples, and thought they made the best pies, I always loved Golden Delicious, and they were as big as softballs in a little girl’s eyes.

We also cooked pumpkin to can in Ball fruit jars.  Not the jack o’lantern pumpkins you buy at the store, those aren’t good, you have to have pie pumpkins, bursting with flavor.  They’re the ones that make the good pies.

And I can’t forget the sweet potatoes.  We would dig them before the first frost in the garden, dry them on newspapers in the smokehouse, then wash them, and store them under the beds in cardboard boxes.  I’ve always adored sweet potatoes and the way mother would bake one of each, one irish potato, one sweet potato, and we would cut them in half and share them at dinnertime.  We still buy bushels of sweet potatoes, the best deals to be had these days are at Wal-Mart the week of Thanksgiving.  They sell them for about 25 cents a pound, or at least they have for the last few years, and if you ask, they will sell them to you by the box.

We all have our childhood memories, everyone’s are unique, I’m just fortunate enough, through my blog, to share mine with you.  Share some of your memories with your family this weekend, once again, it’s these simple things that they will remember about you and treasure for years to come….

Jan reviews the iPhone 4S


First of all, it’s no surprise to anyone that I’m a bells and whistles girl, if  it has eye candy, I’m all over it!  And yes, I’m a huge fan of Apple products, it’s just the way I roll…

I also should say that I’ve been a big fan of my Droid X, it’s a great phone, but when the new iPhone 4S was released there were two things that had me drooling.

The first is iCloud storage, since I have an iMac and an iPad, the idea of being able to access information between these devices and the iPhone intrigued me.  But what really sold me was Siri.  OMG, if there is anybody who needs a “Personal Assistant” it’s your truly.  So I ordered a cute little white iPhone, and patiently waited for FedEx to deliver it.

When I unboxed it, I must admit, I was skeptical.  Next to my Droid X, it’s small.  The screen isn’t as large, the unit itself is much smaller than the X, but after using it for a few days now, I’m used to it and it isn’t an issue.

What do I like about it?  What’s not to like about it.  The screen resolution is crystal clear, much more so than any phone I’ve ever owned.  It operates the same way my iPad does, so there was no learning curve, and everything works seamlessly and fast.  There is no lag, the applications access instantly, it absolutely purrs. When I  text, the digital keyboard is much more responsive than my Droid.  I used to have so many problems getting my fingers on the right keys, but it isn’t an issue with this phone.  But I seldom have to correct anything, the voice recognition is so advanced, it’s awesome!

Siri is absolutely brilliant.  She understands what I say, even when I mumble, and everything is hands free, I simply tell her to call or text someone and she does it, totally with voice recognition.  I ask her what the temperature is, I tell her to remind me to take something out of the oven, when I ask her questions she doesn’t know, she searches the web for me.  And yes, I think of her as a real person, the woman is amazing!  I told her today that she was my best friend, and she responded, “you are certainly entitled to your opinion, Jan.”  Cracked me up!

I really don’t think I’ll be adding tons of apps, I just tell Siri and she accesses what I need.  I wish I could rename her though, I’ve always wanted an assistant named  “Wanda,” and who knows, maybe in the future I can change her name.

There is one negative to this phone, and for me, it’s a biggie.  It’s the navigation.  The Android Google navigation was absolutely wonderful and free, there is nothing that compares to it on the iPhone, unless you cough up $5 a month for VZ navigation.  I will do that when we travel, it’s worth the money to me, as we use navigation all the time.

So that’s it in a nutshell, the more I use this phone the more I like it.  Today I used the front facing camera, made a silly little video and sent it to Abby.  The camera is excellent, the ease of use, for me,  is so much better than with the Droid.  I’m hooked…

I would never try to get someone to switch to an iPhone, we all have different needs for our phone, it’s a personal thing,  but for me, as Apple says, it just works!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's October, why am I thinking of Christmas???

I was thumbing through Pinterest this morning, and found a link to make your own vintage Christmas tags.  I remember back in the day, I would be all over this like mayo on white, but now I mostly just look at it and dream...

But perhaps some of you might enjoy looking at her freebies, some really pretty stuff here.  It looks like she's tearing edges to give it a aged effect.  Here's the link...

And if you haven't found Pinterest yet, oh my are you missing out.  You can access my Pinterest here or it's always in the right sidebar, I have quite a bit pinned now, some killer recipes, check me out...

~ jan

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's time for soup...

It's that time of year, today I'm going to make Paula Deen's Butter Bean Soup. I have a small collection of soup recipes on Jan CAN Cook, and I'll be adding to them this fall. They're all good, especially the Sausage Stew, and the Chickpea Soup with Sausage.

You can access them here...

Enjoy ~ Jan

Be careful what you wish for….

We just got back from Lexington, where we spent a few days babysitting Abby while Mom and Dad got a long weekend getaway.  Remember how I complained because she refused to say Grammie?  Oh, what a difference just a month makes, now it’s “Grammie?” “Grammie?” “Grammie?”  constantly.  But oh, so cute, music to my ears.

John and Deanna came for the weekend, and we went out for the day on Saturday.  Deanna dressed Abby in a cute little outfit, we put on her little coat, Uncle John transferred her car seat to his car, he and Larry strapped Abby in, we all got in the car and started to take off, and I said, “Did anybody get her diaper bag?”  “No” was the response.  “Did anybody fill her sippee cup with juice?”  “No.”  So we trudged back into the house, got the necessary equipment and we were off.

We left the subdivision headed for town, and I said, “Did anybody get her stroller?” “Noooooooooo.”  So back to the house we went.

We were all laughing so hard, looks like we have a few kinks to work out with travelling with a toddler…

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