Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sweet Tea's Sweet Tea

Happy New Year Years Daisy Friends!!! 

Thanks so much for stoppin' by and checkin' us out...and to those who have been faithful followers for the past two years among my inconsistent postings.  I love writing and engaging all of you through my blog, but sometimes life can take over...can't it?

One of the goals that I have in this new year is to make some better choices for our diet.  No...I am not getting all wrapped around my axle over resolutions and stuff...just trying to make some small changes one at a time.

The first thing that I am focusing on is eliminating soda pop (Diet Coke I love you forever) and the packaged drinks for lunch boxes.  We are working on choosing water...and tea...when you just need a little something more to go alongside a meal or snack.

Scout and I are professional snackers.  We are trying to persuade Biker Man over to the dark side...

We are bad.

When we lived in the south for 10 years, we soon found out that sweet tea was king and that there were mobile IV units positioned all over the city we lived, for folks to quickly hook up for needed a fix.

Just kidding...but seriously...sweet tea runs through the city's water system.  There is a special tap you can install on your sink...or have it piped through your fridge dispenser...

...just kidding...again.

What we did realize is how S.W.E.E.T traditional sweet tea is.  Honestly, it is like drinking syrup.  It will make your toes curl, put hair on Grandma's chest...and if you have a seriously problem child...give them one tablespoon of sweet tea and they will be sweet forever...of course as they swing from your chandeliers.

So I set out to learn how to make the coveted nectar, in a way that Biker Man and I could digest it...and legitimately become adopted southerners.  In the year 2000...when I became successful...Biker Man coined a term of endearment for me "His Little Sweet Tea."  He absolutely LOVES my tea and he has a particular palate.

So...for my beloved Daisy's:


~ Boil two quarts of water till it is a rolling boil and pull it off the burner.

~ Add four regular caffiented (or decaff...if that toots your horn more appropriately) and four of a herbal tea variety of your choosing.  I made peach today, but one of Scout's favorite is raspberry, Biker Man likes blueberry...and my FAV is peppermint.

~ Put the tea bags in the boiling water.  *Make sure your tea bag tags are not hanging over the still warm burner...or you'll be calling the fire department.  Not like that has ever happened here...but the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared."

~ Add ONE of these options:  1/2 C of sugar -OR- 1/4 C of the pictured stevia sweetener blend.  The sugar is what I used when I was 29 and was chiseled like a brick house.  Do you have that song in your head now?  Good.  The stevia blend is what I started using post 29...and am what I am still using to this longer being chiseled like a brick house.

~ Stir and allow to cool on your stove.  I wait till it is completely cool before pouring into the storage container.  I have a nice glass Mason jar pitcher that I am in love Southern Sweet Biscuit gave it to me...I can pour slightly warm tea into it.  *You just want to be careful pouring warm anything into plastics....the chemicals from the plastics can heat up even slightly and leak into your drink/food...thus eliminating one of the reasons we are making changes in our choices.*

There you have it.  It is not rocket science...nor will it cause you to go into diabetic shock.  Let me know if you try it...and what combos you come up with....

Hugs to you....

*This is not a paid advertisement...Bigelow and Truvia do not know I exist.
**All postings are protected by copyright laws.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mini Marathoner

Remember this summer when I told you about Biker Man's Sissy running that marathon in Cali?  

And you she was....ummm....21 weeks PREGNANT?

And know...I ate a donut in her honor, the morning of the race? was that precious cargo!

Our Mini Marathoner was born September 5, 2013...

Aunt Daisy is a hot mess...which is nothing unusual.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

BEST Staycation EVER!

The beginning of our summer began with a huge sting.  After three years of having my part time job, my employer let me go due to restructuring.  It was a peaceful transition, but no less least temporarily.  In God's never ending faithfulness to us, He guided our hearts to a place of seeing His plan and providence in the change.  A new door opened for me almost immediately, but it meant that we would have a very lean I wouldn't begin the new endeavor, or draw a paycheck until mid to late September.

As I thought about how we would get through this season, I knew that our Mackinac Island vacation, that we had planned, must go.  Biker Man was insistent that we still go, but I was just as insistent that we not.  He was doing it all for me...having gone so far as booking a room at the inn where we honeymooned.....$209.12.....for ONE night.  I cancelled it.

I was convinced that we should stay near home, and enjoy the local offerings of Southwest Ohio...which includes my most favorite urban area in the country.....Cincinnati.  I had confidence that we could still have fun and get away for about the same amount of time.....AND for about the same amount of money, as that ONE night in the upscale inn on Mackinac.  Once I made the plan, crunched the numbers and presented it to Biker Man.....his eyebrows quickly raised.  He was sold!

This is how we did it.....a 4 day, 3 night vacation in Cincinnati, OH.....for a total of $289.63!

ACCOMMODATIONS -  Biker Man travels a lot for his job and racks up the hotel points with Hilton.  We save them for our family vacations and stretch them by choosing locations that are less popular.  We were able to stay at a Homewood Suites by Hilton, just 15 miles north of downtown for 4 days, 3 nights for a TOTAL of $25, which was actually the cancellation fee for our room on Mackinac.  So really.....we paid $0!

MEALS - Our hotel included a very nice hot breakfast buffet every morning.  For lunches we bought groceries and either ate in our room (we had a full kitchen), or packed a picnic.  We did not include this expense in our budget, as we would have been eating at home anyway.  Our hotel also included dinner as well, which was a first for us, but we took advantage of it.  We did eat out one evening, but used a $50 gift card to Dewey's Pizza that was given to us.....we had to pay a small difference and the tip, which totaled $12.27.

TRANSPORTATION - I budgeted $50 for fuel and we had 15 miles to spare upon returning home.  We drove to the city, to all of our of our activities, and home on one tank of gas in our Honda CRV.

FUN -  Our first day was originally planned to be low key...enjoying the hotel pool...and relaxing.  But last minute I thought that I would surprise Biker Man and Scout by getting us tickets to the Cincinnati Reds game.  I looked online at prices.....and knew it would be a tight expense within our frugal budget.  Many of my Facebook friends post regularly an offering of free tickets to this-that-or-the-other, that they are not able to use.  So I mustered up the courage to ask if anyone had Reds tickets they were giving away.  Sure enough.....a high school acquaintance had 2 tickets...and she very generously gave them to us, under the condition that one of the bobble heads included in the tickets, were given to her son.  OF COURSE!  So while I enjoyed a quiet and relaxing evening at the hotel, enjoying a full Italian dinner, and eating Starburst's and an Almond Joy in peace (a $2 investment), Biker Man and Scout went to the Reds game.  Scout was beyond ecstatic! There were trivial expenses to make the evening extra special...a cooler full of traditional ballpark treats (peanuts, Cracker Jack, drinks, etc.), parking, a ballpark hot dog, and a thank you gift for our ticket giver's son.....we spent $41.98.

The second day we picked up our two eldest nieces who live in the Cincinnati that we could spend time with them, and Scout would have the opportunity to experience vacation with other kids.  BEST DECISION!  They enjoyed the hotel pool A LOT and felt pampered by the numerous amenities, and the cleaning ladies spoiling them with treats...but we started out by going the Newport Aquarium.  We were able to take advantage of a summer special.....with the purchase of an adult ticket you received two child admissions free.  So tickets for five, parking, and a visit to the candy store afterwards (to buy gummy sharks and penguins) it cost.....$61.35.

(Scout quickly gained the successful skills of teasing his girl cousins.....they just giggled and giggled.....priceless memories)

Our third day was rained out, so we had to scramble for an activity.  We found Jump Stop Safari in a northern suburb of Cincinnati...a heavenly clean playground venue.....with bouncy things etc.  The girls parents sent money to cover any needed expenses for them, and we found coupons for our part, we spent $5.68.

(P-Goop.....age 4 and on right.....passed the swim test and was able to go on ALL body slides in the park!  Look at that little thing coming down the second fastest slide in the place!!!)

Our final day was the planned big bang finale...The Beach Waterpark.  Again, the girls expenses were for admission for 3 (we also used $5 off coupons online), parking, locker rental, plus end of the day ice creams we spent $93.35.....

.....again for a GRAND TOTAL of $289.63!

A full vacation on a frugal CAN be done...and you can do it too!  Just think outside of the box, and be creative.  Don't be afraid to ask, to dig for deals, or embarrassed to use coupons.  At Jump Stop Safari the owner was thrilled when we used the coupon.....he wasn't sure if anyone was seeing it online.

On our way home we debriefed all the details....and shared our favorites.....

~Biker Man said it was the best use of our resources...greatest bang for our buck...and would quickly do something similar again.....his favorites were the large and fast slides at the water park.

~Scout said it was the BEST vacation ever (except for when Mac-Daddy and R2D2 took him to Hershey chocolate world).....his favorite was the rapids ride at the water park.....and it went without saying....THE REDS GAME!

~Princess JuJu (age 7) said it was the BEST vacation she has EVER been on.....and her favorite was ALL the slides at the water park.

~Princess Goop (age 4) at every moment of everyday exclaimed....BEST DAY EVER!!!  Her favorite was the queer-ium.  God love her.

~Mama/Aunt Daisy's favorite was the little things.....having the girls....simple giggles and happiness of the children enjoying each others company....various smiles.....P-Goop passing that swim test and seeing her go down that massive slide all alone.....and knowing at the end of the time, no matter how beautiful Mackinac Island is, and how much I miss being there....I wouldn't have traded even one night on the island for the lifetime of memories that were created in a short four days.

The cost of contentment....priceless.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Planes and Peeing My Pants

The time of year has come, when we wonder if we should take out extra homeowners insurance...or something...

...because of this.

This is my house.

That plane you see...that is flying super duper close to my house... a crop duster.

The first year that we lived in our country home...and the crop duster came to spray the fields behind us, I was standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window, which is in the back of the house.

It came straight at us (I SERIOUSLY thought it was going to hit our house)...all I knew to do was duck.  I looked ridiculous.  Scout, and his little 5 year old self, bowled over laughing at "silly mommy."

Instead of hitting our house though, it took an extremely sharp turn upwards...and over our house, readying to make another pass.  Though I dribbled in my was an amazing site.  Our neighbor caught this photo.

I wasn't taking Scout and I went outside and relaxed on the lawn, until it was finished flying over our humble abode.  If it was going to crash into our house, we weren't going to be in it.

It is crop dusting season around here...and although we have seen them a gazillion times around our land, and all of our neighbors is a site that I will never tire of, and something I would miss, should we ever move back to the city.

*Photo courtesy: Paula Linsenbigler

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cleaning Day at Meemaw's

I think I am going to change the name of my blog to:

Worst Blogger Ever....not that you have noticed.

Scout told me just today..."Your a terrible blogger.  You haven't written on your blog for a long time.  People want to know what is going on."

I doubt it...but I took it as constructive criticism...but he wants to be famous.

Just like you...who is probably the Best Blogger is happening ALL.THE.TIME.  Sometimes I can barely come up for air...

Can I get a witness....??? an effort towards Scout's desire for celebrity appeal...I am gonna work on, workin' my blog.

Maybe floral huts or boot barns will want to advertise? I took this picture....(which Scout didn't want me to put on I *ahem* didn't)....

 ...and so many thoughts of cleaning day at R2D2's (a.k.a. Meemaw) came flooding in.

For the last four years, we have spent most every Friday at Meemaw's, helping with odds and ends, running errands...and being together.  Our Friday's have been such a blessing for all of us.

Upon arrival many days she has second breakfast waiting...or in the it is sometimes around eleven-dy when we get there.  Once dishes are done, the work begins.

Today Scout's list included cleaning out Meemaw's car...Windex-ing windows, and vacuuming the inside.  She paid him ice cream, and a few dollars for the trading post at camp...happening next week.

(This kinda sounds like an excerpt out of "Little House in a Rural Neighborhood."   I think Laura Ingalls Wilder would have been proud of me.)

Friday's at Meemaw's will end soon for our little Scout, when he goes to public school in the fall.  Friday's will become a little bittersweet...

...this is only a few reasons why...

 Meemaw is the coolest Meemaw.  She has an iPhone 5, and bought Scout an iPod at Christmas.  They are learning how to use their devices together on Friday's.

 The guys like hanging out at Meemaw's on Friday's too.  She's got good digs...and snacks.

Trees.  Meemaw has trees.  This is of critical importance in the fall.  We have baby evergreens...because our property is on a former Scout is deprived at our house of this basic necessity.  Friday's in the fall fill a NEED in a nine year old boy.

That smile you see...Scout is looking at Meemaw.  For real and for serious.  Every time we leave her house on Friday's...even when it is ten below zero...Scout rolls down the windows in the car...and yells out..."I LOVE YOU MEEMAW!!!"  And....keeps yelling it repeatedly until we get to the corner.  This is the only time I let him yell.  Because I am anal that way.

Quality time together on Friday's is priceless.  There is always drawing, reading (she is reading Tom Sawyer right now...), puzzles, cooking and baking, journaling, surfing the Mac (the computer...not Mac-Daddy) for spy gear, throwing ball...(she's got a good arm)...trips to McDonald's...and a gazillion other things that I can't think of right now.

So just like when I was a little girl...Meemaw is not only instilling a work ethic in Scout...she is building a relationship with him that is forever.

So maybe I shouldn't have titled this "Cleaning Day at Meemaw's."  Maybe it should have been named "Second Breakfasts at Meemaws."  Kinda like the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" vibe....

...or not....but I can guarantee....Meemaw is much more classier and beautiful, than Audrey Hepburn.

Just ask Mac-Daddy...(a.k.a. Peeps).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Braggin' On My Sissy

I have to take a moment and brag on my sister-in-love.....I am so proud of her.

She's the one who has given me all the girl nieces.....I am so thankful.

Well.....she is pregnant again....21 weeks.....I am so excited.

It will be a surprise.....I am believing it's a girl.....because that is what they do.


She is running a marathon this weekend.



If you don't know.....that is 26 miles.

She will be running the Big Sur International Marathon in Caramel, California.  This race is on the bucket list for many ranked as one of the worlds top five races.....and is said to be "one of the greatest running experiences on the planet."

Did I mention she is 21 weeks pregnant.

Think I will eat a donut this weekend in her honor.

(Photo credit: BSIM Facebook Archive)

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Peeps is Cool! (Guest Contributor - Scout)

Hey!  It's me.....Scout!
My mom is having a serious case of writers block the last few she finally asked for my help.  I am an expert about a lot of things.  Just ask me.

One thing that I know a lot my Peeps.  No.  Not my gang of people, friends, or groupies. Peeps.  Ya' grandpa.  My mom's dad.  I call him Peeps.  My mom calls him Mac Daddy here on "the blog."  Blog, blog, blog.....we hear a lot about the blog.  She loves to blog.  Though it doesn't seem like it because she doesn't post very often.  Just sayin'.  (She HATES that saying.)

Anyway.....I am going to tell you all about him.....and how cool he is.
Here I am hanging with him, when I was a seriously little dude.  Two cool dudes.  This is before his 'stache went all grayish.  It's been awhile.  I am gonna be nine soon.

Here I am sitting in his office.....on his desk.  I didn't fart on it.  Though that woulda' been really dad (Biker Man) would have not thought that was cool or funny.

My Peeps has a bridge named after him in my mom's hometown.  I think that is really cool.

He was in the Army.....

.....and served in the State Highway forever ago.  He retired before I was born.  It took my parents A. LONG. TIME. to have me.....Meemaw (a.k.a R2D2 on "the blog") was like....."FINALLY!" when I was born.  Isn't she pretty.  Peeps was smart to marry her.

Peeps plays the git-tar.  This isn't him.  He is more like a hobbit.  He plays the bag pipes too.  He tried to teach me once, and my mom said it sounded like a bunch of terrorized geese needed liberated from the basement.

Peeps is so cool.....he is willing to have his picture taken with me in a facial net, at Hershey's chocolate factory.  I think he thought the chocolate was worth the scrutiny.

You have to admit.  THIS IS SUPER COOL!!!  My Peeps rides a Harley.....

My Peeps finds every excuse possible to take me out for ice cream.  We are like peas and carrots.....Peeps and me.  Here's Meemaw again!

My Peeps is cool!  (Good thing for spell check!  I just typed in Poops.....oops!....That could get funny real fast!)  Anyway.....I love that I have a cool Peeps.  Don't you think he's cool?