Thanksgiving 2018

What a great day!  We had lunch at Joy’s and per our tradition, went over and decorated Pop’s house for Christmas.  Not all our family was in attendance, but those of us who could, gathered together and made a wonderful day of it.  We missed you, Adam, Alex and Will.

So, here’s a few pics from our day…


 

We missed Mother…

 

 

THE TURKEY DECISION

Well, Thanksgiving celebrations are winding down and folks are going home…stuffed.  Our dinner was wonderful, we all contributed and there was an abundance of everyone’s favorites.

I, roused out of bed at 5:oo am to put the turkey in the oven.  To be clear…this is the new Butterball Roast in Bag.  It was easy as could be.  Open the outer bag, place turkey in roasting pan, cut 4 slits in bag, slide into the oven for 4 hours at 375 degrees.  Just the same as my Jennie-O.

I went back to bed and soon the aroma woke me and I went to check on it and all looked well.  It was browning nicely.  Lots of juices in bottom of bag.  I waited the allotted time and removed from oven.  Let it sit in bag for 20 minutes.  Then I was ready to open it up.

Here’s where the trouble started.  The bag was stuck to the turkey.  As I pulled it away, all that glorious browned skin came off with it.  This has NEVER happened with Jennie-O.  My plans were to take the turkey in its all together state and carve it when we got ready to eat.  No.  That was not what happened.  I finally got the bag off and tried to lift the turkey onto the platter.  It fell to pieces.  The bones slide out and the turkey…she had no shape at all!  This has also NEVER happened with the Jennie-O.  I ended up having to use a large knife and tongs to get all the meat out of the pan.  It was not the vision of loveliness I expected to share with the family.  Instead, it was sliced as best as I could do.

Now the taste…it was good.  BUT.  Not as good as the Jennie-O.  There was not the same seasoned flavor that we all loved.  But, it was just fine, as far as turkeys go.  Everyone said it was good and they certainly ate it up and took leftovers home with them.

To sum up…the Butterball Roast in Bag was tasty, but the appearance was disappointing.  The Jennie-O Cook in Bag is both extra tasty and pretty to look at when done.  So, I will continue to search diligently for Jennie-O and hope to be reunited with her before next year…but if not, the Butterball is a fairly good second choice.

Hope your day was as special as ours was.  We laughed and talked and heard wild stories.  We prayed together and feasted together and then went over and decorated Pop’s house for Christmas.  A wonderful day filled with sweet memories.  God is so good!

 

THE TURKEY SAGA CONTINUES…

Oh! Me!  Oh! My!  Here it is, almost Thanksgiving, and I am all in a dither…or a tizzy…or bum fuddled!

If you keep up with me, you know my turkey experiences.  I have raved and raved to you about the fantastic, marvelous Jennie-O turkey that is oven ready and cooks in its own bag.  Easy as can be and that’s how I like it.  And not only easy…but delicious, too!

I have looked everywhere for my tried and true…best ever turkey, and I can not find it anywhere.  I even have a friend who has been keeping an eye out for me, too.  (Thanks, Em!)  But no luck.  I have even gone to their website to see if I could find out where they are available in our area…and they are NOT!  I even checked to see if I could have one shipped to me…they don’t do that.  (You know dry ice and all. ) Actually I was looking for two…Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am on turkey duty!

Well if that didn’t put a damper on my spirits.  Cause doing it the ‘old fashioned’ way is quite a chore for me.  But, that’s just me and my lack of culinary skills.

So, I find myself at Wal Mart last week and I asked about them.  The girl I asked said, “Yes, we have them, but they are in the back.  I’ll go get you one!”  “Make it two,” I said.  And she disappeared.  Friends, I might have done a little happy dance…I’m sure I was grinning!  The turkey fairy had smiled on me and I was going to get raves from the family on Thanksgiving Day…because you. can. not. mess that turkey up!  So, I waited and I waited and was beginning to think she had gotten stuck in the turkey freezer!

Out comes a man and asks me if I was looking for the turkeys in the bag.  I told him I was and he went over to one of the cases and pulled out a turkey.  It was NOT a Jennie-O.  It was a Butterball!    And, it was only a turkey breast.  I told him that I needed the whole turkey…and I was looking for MY brand.  He begins digging down into the bottom of that bin and he pulls out a turkey.  A Butterball!  In a Ready to cook bag.. just like the Jennie-O!  I took it and it looked very similar…so I asked him to dig one more time and get me another one.  And, he did.  The directions for this turkey are almost exactly like the other one.  No thawing…no washing…no slipping out of your hands and landing on the floor.  Just put in pan, and bake!

So, just to update you.  Can not find any of Ready to Cook in bag turkey by Jennie-O…but, found a similar looking Butterball.  I will try it on Thursday and report back to you.  Butterball usually has great turkeys…so we’ll see.  I have had four people contact me this year asking where to get one.   Sorry, folks.  but, for those in a bigger city, you may have better luck.  *****EDITED TO ADD*****A friend contacted me about a recall on some of Jennie-O products.  The list did not include whole turkeys.  So maybe that is why they are scarce.

When I am doing cooking things, I like to stay with the things I KNOW work well with my skill level.  But, I’m a brave girl and I can venture into new territory if I have to.  So wish me luck, and I’ll poll the family on Thanksgiving Day and let you know the verdict.

Hope your turkey (whatever the brand) is tasty and that your day is filled with such happiness that the memories will stay with you far into the future!  Happy Thanksgiving!

CELEBRATE 92!

Sunday afternoon a swarm of folks descended upon the quiet home of Clyde Townsend.  He was about to have a surprise party to celebrate his 92nd year of life!  People kept coming and he got happier and happier!  And, so we celebrated and honored this patriarch of our family.  He has guided us, supported us, corrected us, and loved us for our lifetimes.  We love him dearly.

 

 

 

Alex was unable to attend, but sent his well wishes.

 

 

A sweet day to make memories.  God has blessed us mightily with our Pop…aka Papa, Papa Clyde, Mr. Clyde, Mr. Townsend….but most of all…Daddy.

 

BOOGALOO CAMP 2018

We wait all year for this one week, my family and I.  Well, at least the girls and the little boys!  All year, I plan for new and exciting projects I will share with the boys.  John Thomas and Levi both love art and creating, so that fits right in with my plan.  We usually have a theme and go somewhere exciting and fun…just a little day trip from PCB.  This year, the plans were discussed.  The plans were confirmed.  The dates were set.  But, alas…the best laid plans often sail off into never never land and the best you can do is just wing it.  And, that’s what we did at Boogaloo Camp 2018.

Fortunately the boys got in a little swimming time on Friday, before the clouds decided to turn a permanent shade of gray!

The day was beautiful and Lori, Tara and Suzanne soaked up as much sun as they could on our beautiful Laguna Beach.

 

We decided we needed an excellent meal to start the camp off right, so off we went to Uncle Ernie’s!  Ate out on the covered deck and watched the sun set.  The food was delicious, and we all enjoyed a walk around the marina before the darkness settled in.

Back to the Sandcastle to rest and relax and have some fun together…or alone…

After a good night’s sleep, the girls and the boys headed out for some shopping.  They were planning to go and return before the rain.  Again…that’s what ya get for making plans…

A little bit of wetness didn’t slow them down…it just added to the fun!  The boys thought it great fun to go schlepping around in the rain!

They did manage to do some minor damage to their wallets before they headed back!

This pic below is not very clear, but I add it for posterity’s sake.  Here’s a little of the ‘boogying’ we do at Boogaloo Camp!

Because our big plans were to take a boat out to Shell Island for a picnic…we tried to salvage at least part of the plan…the picnic part.  I put the boys in total charge of the planning, making, gathering and packing of the picnic.  Here is the list…by their minds and hands.

Since they decided on cookies, they had to prepare them.  And, make the sandwiches, with a little supervision.

They gathered all the things on their list…and packed the cooler…and then this happened…

Joy and I were to meet them and go to the park for our picnic.  But the minute we got on the road…the rain started falling so hard we literally could not see the cars in front of us!  So, I turned the car around, and we went back to the house.  We took our picnic blankets and spread them across the floor.   Then, set out pillows…lit candles…spread some shells and sea creatures around…and called it a picnic!  The boys served us and cleaned up.  Not exactly the fun we had hoped for…but a memory made, nonetheless!

Because of this…

…we decided the smartest thing to do was to head to Dothan on Sunday.  As everyone was washing sheets and towels…the boys and I got in a little crafting time.

Our little boys are growing up…going into second and third grade next year…silly boys!

And, so by noon, we were all loaded, floors swept, doors locked, and ready to get to higher ground.  The boys were a little sad, so much of our big plans were cancelled.  But, we prayed together before we left and thanked God for the rain.  We decided that if He wanted us to be back in Dothan, that’s where we should be.  After all, His plans are always perfect.

The storm, Alberto, actually made landfall on our little stretch of beach, Laguna Beach.  Our houses are about 2 blocks away.  We made the right decision to vacate the area.

However, the boys did make us promise that before the summer was out and school started back…we would have Boogaloo Camp 2018…Part 2!  And, Lord willing…we will!

SPRING BREAK 2018

Just a few quick days down at the beach…but enough for us all to have some great time together!  We were just missing Joy.  But, she had obligations at home to take care of .  Not the same without her, though!  Adam was with us for the first day and night, then he had to return to work…sure enjoyed him being here!

Lots of pics ahead…

Got to try out of new little car Don got us for the beach!  Her name is Betty!  She seats 4 (or in our case 5)…has heater, lights, fans, street legal, is electric and a ton of fun!

 

 

Went to Pier Park to try out a new, fabulous Milk Shake Bar!  OH! MY! GOODNESS!  It was divine!  Of course there was a wait of 1 hour and 35 minutes!!! Cause everybody and their brother wanted to try it!  Just look at these…

And these were the small ones!  We shared…a little.  And, we left there feeling too full but very satisfied!  Actually the reason we went was to celebrate Levi’s birthday which is on the 29th.  I just happened to find this cute Dr. Seuss Birthday Book…Happy #7, Little Man!

We had to kill some time while waiting…

Obviously, my hair is enjoying the windy weather!!!

Could you eat that ice cream after doing this?  Levi was the brave one!

Back to the house to get in a little art work with the boys…their choice!

We did a little shopping, a little playing, a little getting wet…and just chilling!  All that great beachy stuff!

Next night we went out to eat at Sisters of the Sea (formerly Runaway Bay).  Excellent food.  It is by a marina and we watched the boats being docked and afterwards took a slow walk down the pier soaking up some glorious sunshine.  The sunshine was warm and wonderful…but made for squinty eyes in pics and big shadows.  Tried to edit a little…

Pirates and mermaids for the kids…and a swimming pool to cool off as you wait for your meal…we skipped the cooling off part.

 

Can you balance a french fry on your nose?

And, all good things have to come to an end…Lori had to return to work…Levi to school…Suzanne enjoying the rest of her spring break…Tara to work…and me back home to prepare for a big project coming up in the next 2 months!

So good to spend time with our family.  So blessed we are all close and enjoy being together.  So fortunate to have two precious little boys of the next generation.  God is so good to us.  We praise Him for blessing us and loving us.

We spent our last night all together in the den watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Suzanne’s suggestion.  I hope you are familiar with this set of books by C.S. Lewis…such a prolific, Christian writer.  The series for children are told in fairy tale fashion with a direct correlation to the Bible.  Such a glorious opportunity to draw a parallel between what happened in the movie and what happens in the Bible.  Please, please read these stories to your child…or get the movies and watch them.  They are so well done!  And, actually, you will enjoy it as much as they.  It is not a cartoon.  Can not recommend it highly enough!  The one we watched was the first one and it centered on the resurrection!

…Art by Levi age 4…