Markland News 5-31-12

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Hello friends, hope your week has gone well and that you are happily anticipating some fun over the holiday. I am writing this on Friday morning and it really seems strange to be doing so; Ginny Leap called me to let me know that the deadline would be Friday noon instead of Monday noon . . . the holiday you know.

Ginny knows that if she didn’t call me, I would not know it since I usually read the paper (where the notice was posted) on Sunday after church; thanks Ginny for taking care of one of your less than ‘alert’ friends. Unfortunately, I get most of my news over the weekend and I have to get this in before the weekend; you see my dilemma, be charitable and bear with me.

Happy Memorial Day to each of you (of course by the time you are reading this, it will be over – hope you enjoyed it anyway.) It doesn’t seem possible that we are already at the end of May; before you can ‘shake a stick at it’, we are going to be wishing folks Merry Christmas. Time is flying by on jet engines.

The weather is pretty typical for the holiday, hot and humid; I got up early to water my tomatoes (and a couple of new plants) before the sun got too hot. I just put the hose up, got a cup of coffee and was sitting out on the porch when Ana Slover and her friend Ruth Miller stopped by for a few minutes (they were on their way to do a little shopping.)

Ana and Bob got back from their trip to Pennsylvania, tired and happy to be home (the dogs, Lily and Pepe, were especially glad they were home) but Ana said they really enjoyed the trip. They went to attend Ana’s 60th high school reunion (she said it was amazing, most of them were still alive and kicking – not very high though, most of them are 80 years old, or getting awfully close) and to visit with family.

They got back home on Thursday and left Friday to go down to Kentucky to attend a grandson’s graduation (Matt and Julie Slover’s son) and spent the night there before returning Saturday afternoon. Ana said that even though she enjoyed the trips, she thought she had had enough traveling to last her for a long while.

Thought: “A hug is a great gift . . . one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it’s easy to exchange and most of the time, appreciated.” And I like Lucille Ball’s famous quote, “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”

I want to send out a special birthday wish to my youngest great-grandson Landon Martin (Michael and Jessi’s son) on the third day of June. Happy Birthday Landon (better known as ‘Bean’ – don’t ask me why); I know your day will be special.

The kids are all planning ‘cookouts’ over the weekend (naturally all on the same day) and are expecting crowds of family and friends. I know that folks all over the county will be doing the same or something similar and I hope everyone has a ‘ball’ doing so.

Wilma and I spent the better part of Wednesday in Madison shopping and had delightful lunch at Captain ‘D’s’ (for some reason I have been on a ‘fish kick’ lately.) I bought a red cherry tomato, which I thought I already had but when I planted it, it turned out to be a yellow one. Wilma got a deep red lily (whenever Wilma has a choice, she always picks ‘red’ – it is definitely her favorite color.)

By the time we got home, I was so tired that I just unloaded and put away the perishables, and left the rest in the car until the next day. Walking around on those concrete floors of Lowe’s and Walmart (and a few others) makes me ache all over (feet, knees, and back.)

Wilma was planning to take a little rest and get ready to go down to son Danny’s for a memorial celebration for her granddaughter Amber. Wilma will be 80 years old July 7th but you would never know it to look at her . . . or watching her go.

Stopped in to Sam and Cyndi Thursday afternoon (Sam just got in from the ‘road’) and Rodney and Jessica came in with the girls, Madison and Cyndi Jo; Jessica wasn’t feeling well so she laid down on the sofa (Rodney left for work) and Papaw grabbed up Madison and Cyndi Jo. Those two little girls have Sam wrapped right around their little fingers. Sam is like a cream puff, all crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy/sweet on the inside.

 Later that afternoon I was sitting out on the deck (in my rocking chair) with a glass of iced tea watching Ronnie Ray go back and forth through his hay field on his tractor. It was really hot. The sun was beating down and I ‘felt’ for him. Have you ever noticed that when it gets god-awful hot and humid, that is the time to work hay? Hay fields all around here are in some stage of being ‘put by’ (Mom always got a lot of mileage out of the term, ‘put by’.)

It used to be that you would see a farmer and a bunch of ‘hands’ working, dusty and sweating, stacking hay bales on wagons to haul into the barn – now it is pretty much just the farmer doing all the work with one of those big balers. I actually got to feeling a little ‘guilty’ sitting there with my tea while Ronnie was out working in the hot sun, so I came in and read a book.

There is a really good recipe I want to share with you; it is a ‘Pork Chop Casserole” and it will serve two or three people with enough left over for another meal. (You can make it feed more people by just adding to the ingredients – and use a larger casserole dish of course.) Mom used to love this meal when I fixed it; just add a salad, bread, iced tea, and you have a feast.

4 Pork Chops

1 cup stuffing mix (I like ‘Stove Top Chicken’)

1/2  stick butter, melted

1 small can mushrooms (optional)

1 can apple pie filling

1 cup cooked noodles or mashed potatoes

1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup (both good)

salt, pepper, & garlic powder to individual taste.

Put the noodles or mashed potatoes on the bottom of a buttered, three-quart casserole dish; add the layer of stuffing mix (dry); pour the melted butter over it. Pour (undiluted) soup (if using additional mushrooms, add to the soup) over the buttered stuffing layer, then layer the pork chops on top of the soup. Add condiments to personal taste and pour the pie filling over the top of the chops (I usually top it with crushed potato chips, crushed crackers, or bread crumbs.) Bake at 350* for 40 to 55 minutes until the pork chops are done (depending on the thickness of the chops and your oven – both of which vary.)

It is easy to make, and the left-overs taste good the next day – now I ask you, how much more could you ask for?

Carolyn Green sent me a joke that I laugh at every time I think of it; it is called the ‘Bathtub Test’.

“During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, “How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age or nursing home?”

“Well,” he said, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup or a bucket, to the person to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand. A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the teaspoon or the teacup.”

“No” he said. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window or closer to the bathroom?”

Did you all ‘pass’ the test or do you want a bed next to mine? It really doesn’t take a lot to amuse me, after all I am only a child at heart, second childhood naturally.

Everything is so pretty and green, the sun is shining and the birds are singing and it reminds me of the verse in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (This is one of Louise Rayles favorite verses and she often quoted it.)

Reading a little further along in 118: “The Lord is God, and He has made His light shine upon us.”

“You are my God and I will give you thanks; you are my God and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Until next week, my prayer for each of you is that God will cause His face to shine on you, to bless you and keep you safe from harm; may He lift up His countenance and give you peace. Amen.