What The Heck!?!

Posted by: cheryl

What is going on around here......I sit here behaving myself and my two supposedly "mature" adult kids are treating and talking to me like I have "ticked" them off.  I don't know what I have done.... If they want to act like that, they can go somewhere else to do it.  No room for that kind of attitude in Ritzywife's home....
Ritzy and I have been more than generous to our kids, and sometimes I don't think they even realize what we have done and gone thru for them.  Guess that is one of those "Wait till you have your own kids" experiences...
I love my kids, but they sure can be "pills" sometimes..
Yeah, I know Ritzy and I are partly to blame because we are still letting them live at home.  But I would never kick them out and anyone who knows me  that is not an arguable point... So, Don't go there!!!
I'll just try to be patient and let everyone "chill".........
Poor Ritzy is dealing with coughing and sneezing and being congested.  He sounds terrible.   Get this, he doesn't understand why I don't want him to kiss me or get close for a hug, DUH......I do not want that nasty little bug going around!!!  I don't have time for it!
I WANT SOME SNOW!!!!!!!!  I don't know if we will ever get any.   Looks like the rest of the U.S. is getting all of it.   Hey, don't forget us here in Oklahoma!!!!!
Well, I gotta go finish getting supper ready......Ritzywife out...................

Merry Christmas!!!

Posted by: cheryl

I would love to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!!!!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day.  We started out the day going to my mom & dad's.  After opening gifts everyone hung around until lunch time.  After eating all  that GOOD food Ritzy and I came home to take a nap and rest a bit.  Went back to Granny's for dinner at 5.  After returning home, the daughter, her boyfriend, the son, Ritzy and I opened our gifts.  It's just easier on everyone if we wait until Christmas night.  I have found that I  kind of like it that way !!  Well earlier in the week I had wrapped 2 gifts that the daughter's boyfriend had gotten her and I assumed that was it.
But.......while at Granny's, she and the boyfriend returned from visiting his family and she came in and went to the bathroom.  After coming out we started talking and I noticed something on her hand.  I asked her to show it to me and my sister even asked what it was and when she told us -  my mom, my sister and I just started crying.  It was an engagement ring!!!!!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!
That boyfriend asked her while driving down the highway on the way back home........he always said he was going to be different about it and sure enough it was different allright!
I am so happy, not only for her and her guy, but just happy as a Mother knowing her daughter has found the love of her life and now they are engaged to be married.........soon I hope ;-)
We didn't have any snow this Christmas season, but I guess I will get over it.  I guess we had enough last year to last a few Christmases...........it is cold, though!!!!
Everyone seemed to be happy with what they received.  As stated before, our main christmas gift was our trip to Branson.  This was a very good year for us.  A lot of memories and good times.......not necessarily "things".  Those memories can't be taken away and will last a lot longer than any gift.
Now it's time to get ready for 2011.  I can't believe a year can go by so fast. 
We have church tomorrow and I had better get to bed to get some rest.  I woke up at 4 this morning and didn't fall back asleep til almost 6 then got up a little after 7.  Even tho I had that nap, I am still getting sleepy.  Gotta be ready to teach my class and play that piano.....
That being said....Ritzywife is out........

Family Trip

Posted by: cheryl

A couple days ago we all returned from Branson.  We had all decided to take a trip to Branson and Silver Dollar City for Christmas instead of buying gifts this year.  Well, it was a great idea.  We had a wonderful time.  The first day  we were there (which was Sunday) was the only day Silver Dollar City was open while we would be in Branson.  We checked into our hotel and then went to the park.  Did I mention it was COLD!!!!!!  An arctic front had come thru for some of the coldest weather of the season.  Sunday nite while watching the parade and looking at all the Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City the temperature was about 17 degrees with a NW wind blowing at 20-25 mph.   THAT'S COLD!!!!!   But, you know what----it felt great sitting there waiting for the light show and parade and drinking some hot cappuccino.  (I will post a picture when this darned Internet speeds up.)
Ritzy and I did our own running around while the kids did what they wanted some of the time, but we were all together most of the time.  It was sad to see the time come to an end, but at the same time we were glad to be headed back home. 
Wednesday, I took my truck to have some maintenance work done and was running late so I picked up a hamburger around 2:30 or so.  By 4 pm I was NOT feeling well at all.  I was nauseated and just not feeling good.  By 5 I was chilling and could not get warm.  So, I took my bath and by 6pm I was in bed with the electric blanket turned on High.  I guess I got some food poisoning by eating that hamburger.  Let's just say it was not fun.  Yesterday I was only able to eat toast and crackers and drink some flavored water.  The daughter's boyfriend asked why I wasn't eating last night and I told him that just the thought of food made me sick.  I am now up at 1:30 on Friday morning eating some more crackers and drinking water.  Maybe later today I will feel like eating again.  
I still have some things to get finished before Christmas.  One thing is that family calendar I make every year.  The only thing holding me back is we have a nephew and niece expecting their second child anytime.  My sister-in-law (the Nana) called yesterday and said that the niece found out during her check-up that she was dilated to 2 cm already.  So, here I am waiting on that baby to get with it  so I can finish the calendar ;-)
I hope to get to feeling better soon, because there are some goodies I like to make for the Christmas season........
Well, I am starting to feel sleepy again, with that Ritzywife is out...................

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by: cheryl

I can hardly believe it is Thanksgiving .  I just finished baking 2 pumpkin pies for Granny's.  I tried a new recipe this year, saw it in the newspaper - Paula Deen's recipe, I figured if it came from her I couldn't go wrong.  I had some leftover filling so I baked it in a small dish.  As I post this, I am trying that filling out on some warmed up sourdough cinnamon rolls....Mmmm.....yummy.  I think they will like the pies ;-)
Well, ususally Thanksgiving weather in Oklahoma is kind of mild, mostly in the 50's - 60's  range......but not this year.  We are under a Winter Weather Advisory.  It is 31 degrees outside with a small chance of precip.
Makes me think back to our first day of Spring........we had one of the biggest snows recorded.    Have heard a lot of speculation about our Winter weather this year, they are calling for normal snowfall, but more ice.  That call for more ice makes me think back to 2007 and the ice storm we experienced while Ritzy was deployed with the Oklahoma National Guard.  No thank you very much!!!   At least this time I would be a little more prepared......Ritzy would be home, and I have that generator. 

Oh yeah, today is Ritzy's birthday.  Happy Birthday Ritzy!!!!!!    He catches up with me in age....at least til March, hehe!!
This cold I have been dealing with is hopefully on the downhill side.  This  coughing has about "ate my lunch", and I am ready for it to be over.  Also, I have kept Kleenex in business....  I sure hope I can taste that turkey and all the trimmings today.......if not, I am not gonna be very happy ;-)
The daughter and boyfriend are eating Thanksgiving lunch with his family in Joplin.   They will be here this evening to eat leftovers at Granny's.  I am gonna miss having them here, but it's ok.  I have told my kids that I understand if they have to be somewhere else on the holidays.  She already sent me a "text message" with her Thanksgiving wishes.   Actually, when I received it, I couldn't believe she was already up, haha!!  She's gonna get me for that one.....
I went  to Tulsa yesterday to help her box up a few things.  It looks like they will be moving their belongings to their house on Sunday.  What they need while staying here for a few weeks will be brought here.  As I said before, they don't want to move in the house till the floors are re-done.
I just want to tell everyone to go spend time with your loved ones if possible and have a great holiday!  Ritzywife out.............. 


What Is Going On?!?

Posted by: cheryl

Yeah, that is what I would like to know.  As I stated in my last post, I had "offended" my daughter and boyfriend, without meaning to of course all the while trying to think of them.  We got that all worked out and everything is cool.........but, here comes something else from a totally unexpected direction.....Sunday we observed the Lord's Supper at our church.  Well. for the last 7-8 years Ritzywife has been responsible for getting everything ready for that, only because no one else would.  No one said any different this time. Our attendence on Sunday night is really low (about 20).  So instead of filling 2 holders of grape juice and 2 plates of bread I only did one of each and thought if we all (small group, remember) sat together it would be easier on the deacons to serve.  Besides, there were only 3 present that night.  As we dismissed Church Training and proceeded to the sanctuary I suggested to a couple of the couples present that it might be easier if we all sat together.  One of the women spouted off--Well, what if we don't want to sit over there with you----which, really shouldn't have surprised me considering the source.  I just said to just sit where you want then......Another couple came in and noticed that everyone was sitting on the same side and said something and Barbara, the one who spouted off said "Cheryl, told us we HAD to sit over here.  I was up at the piano at the time hearing all of this complaining about sitting.....(good grief people, get over it) I could not believe it!!!   Well, here comes the preacher and his family and guess what----everyone started telling them that I was telling everyone where to sit. By this time I had just about had enough and was ready to walk out.  We finished our song and I went to sit by my Mom . Then, the preacher asked what was going on with everyone seated together and I raised my hand and said I would tell him.  I proceeded to tell him that we all knew there would only be a few there so I only filled one tray of juice and one plate of bread.  I was trying to make it easy on the ones serving.   Ritzy and Dad ( I thought, were going to be serving).  NOT!!!!!!  Well,  While telling him this , the ones complaining really started spouting things off about me saying that Cheryl said this or Cheryl made us do this.  All lies.... All I did was suggest that it might be easier if we just all sat as a group.  I turned at one point and said " I am about ready to leave",   they may have thought I was joking but I was dead serious.  I had just about had enough of this.  We were in church, people!!!!!     It seems the preacher forgot to mention that he was going to serve everyone that night.   I was almost in tears at this time and VERY close to getting my things and walking out.  All I tried to do was make things easier on the ones having to do the work.  Well, that was not the end of it, forward to last night at home.  The daughter and boyfriend came back for a great-neice's birthday.  She turned 2.  After the party we were all at the house and the daughter brought up the subject that her gas tank was on E and it was 15 miles to the nearest gas station.  I looked at her and was telling her how dangerous that was .  Not only for her truck, but for her in general.  I told them to put some gas (that Ritzy had in the garage) in her truck before leaving.  Anyways, I was trying to explain to her to always have gas in  her truck.  You never know what could come up.  Well, the son and boyfriend were playing XBOX all this time and the son chimed in and told me to just keep my thoughts to myself because what I had to say didn't matter because they are gonna do  what they want.  Again, all I was trying to do was offer some helpful advice.  I simply closed my laptop, got up and proceeded to my bedroom.   Then the son made another comment about me leaving.  I turned (almost in tears again) and told him that this was the 3rd time in a week I had tried to help someone and dang near got my head bit off-----I was thru!!!!!    I then went to my room and sat for a while.
After a few minutes, the daughter knocked on the door and came in.  I told her that I was not trying to boss her around and that she would have NO IDEA what I was going thru until she had a son or daughter with a vehicle and out on their own. 
When I was younger, I would often wonder why some older people were so cynical and it would seem like they didn't care.  Well,  I am beginning to see why.......It would be so easy to just say "That's it, I've had enough of this"  and never try to help again.  But, I know me and I will probably never quit trying---and probably keep getting hurt......when it comes to my family.  As for church, I have always stepped in to do whatever needed to be  done, but I am now going to wait til I am asked to to a job.  It's time for someone else to do thier job!!!
That being said........Ritzywife is out.......................

Being A Parent

Posted by: cheryl

Sometimes, it's the best feeling in the world.......and sometimes you think "what is going on here?"
First of all I want to get the fact stated  that I dearly love my family .  But I receieved a phone call yesterday that just threw me into a spin.   The daughter and boyfriend, and yes I said boyfriend, are moving out of their apartment and trying to buy a house. (Everyone who knows me knows how I feel about that, and I might add so do the daughter and friend). It is just about a done deal, but the timing is a little off.  There is going to be a 2 to 4 week period inbetween the time they have to be out of the apartment and when they can move into the house.  The house needs carpet replaced and a little work done on a wood floor.  Well they did not want all their stuff in there to work around (and I can't really blame them). So...they are going to store all their belongings in the garage of the house, but.....they were needing somewhere to stay.  Somehow (mother's intuition I guess) I knew this call was coming.  Anyways, she asked if they could move back in after being gone for 6 months.  I never expected the kind of emotions I felt as I got off the phone.  I don't know if I was angry at myself for feeling the way I did or realizing that 5 adults in our home was going to be really cozy.  Well, I was just trying to make things better for all when I made a call to my sister-in-law.  She is the one who lost her mother last month.  We had been talking and she told me that if the daughter needed somewhere to stay she was more than welcome to come stay in her mom's place (1200 sq. ft. of space) until they could move into their house.  I thought this was a great idea because everyone would have their privacy, space and be happy.  NOT!!!!!  The daughter and boyfriend were offended that I would even think of such an idea. I said I was not trying to offend anyone or hurt anyone or make anyone not feel welcome in our home.  I just told her that one of the things I heard most often before they moved out is how much they wanted their privacy.  I was only going by what I had heard them say.  Well, let's just say our home will be cozy for a while.  But......I told them that I was NOT  going to be anyone's maid, that they were to pick up after themselves, do their own laundry and help with the groceries.  I think that is more than fair.  
Like I have said before, I sure can "tick" people off, and not even intend to.  I haven't heard from either of them today, they are usually here by now to spend the weekend.
Now to today.....I haven't had the greatest day, last evening I was "chilling" and could not get warm and today my throat has been sore and scratchy and I have just felt "yucky".  I guess that this is the time of year to expect a cold.    Well, at 7:30 tonight the son came in here and wanted to re-arrange the living room.  We didn't do exactly what he wanted to do, but we did change things around a bit.  I hope everyone is happy with it. 
I still have to study my lesson for Sunday School tomorrow, so with that being said Ritzywife is out.............

When Does It Ever Slow Down?!?

Posted by: cheryl

 I have always thought that as you get older, your life slows down.  NOT!!!!!  I have been so busy , it's crazy.  Can't even remember what I did Monday........Yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday.  This is the sister-in-law who recently lost her mother.  So.........Ritzywife had the bright idea to surprise her at her home with my mom and sisters bringing lunch.  I knew this birthday would be especially hard for her.   We would use the decoy of me calling her to tell her to be ready to go eat at an undisclosed place at 11:00 am, but instead we would all be meeting at her home at 11:00.    That was the plan anyways, but my mom and sister were not going to be able to make it because something unexpected came up..... so we decided to hold her party that evening.  Well....that meant I  had to take her out for real now.........My youngest sister was going to meet us at Chili's and surprise her. We ate at the Pryor Chili's.   The only thing about having the party at night was the fact that her son takes guitar lessons on Tuesdays at Claremore and they don't get home till about 8 in the evening.  Anyways we got all the people contacted for that surprise party.  I asked my brother to "call" me when they were a couple miles away. Yes, he was in on this from the beginning.  Well I got the "call" so we turned out the lights, ( we were inside because her two older sons have a key to the house, haha) and waited.  Everyone parked their cars behind the house and they were not visible.  The door opened, my brother turned on the light and we all yelled.... {{{{{{SURPRISE}}}}}.  It shocked her so much she just stood hiding behind the door for a minute. Yea!!!! We pulled it off.  There were about 25 friends and family present.  We all wanted her to know how much we love her and cared for her.  It turned out to be a great time for everyone........
She gave me a few "I am gonna get you back" looks but it was worth it.....I hope, haha!!!  Also, when she found out our brother was in on it she could not believe it.  I was so afraid someone would let something "slip".  Yesterday while we were on our way to and back from Pryor  I  turned off the bluetooth on my cellphone so it would not come thru my radio while in the truck.  I also turned the ringer off.  I did not want to give even a hint of what we were up to......Well, that was yesterday and now on to today.  Started out getting ready to meet the daughter in Owasso for a movie and lunch.  We had a great time.  Got back home and had to go down to my sister's house to help cut and wrap 3 deer.  The daughter's boyfriend and Dad got these while on a hunting trip to Nebraska last week.  They were going to pay the processors to process the meat and I told the boyfriend that  we would do it for just some of the meat.  No sense in paying for something like that.  So, after returning home as I said before I went to the sisters house and began helping.  We worked till it was time to go to chruch. (7:00 pm)  After chruch, I went back down there and we quit at 11:00 pm.  Got everything done except 4 gallon bags full.  We will do that tomorrow.  That should not take long at all.......and now here I am at 1:45 on Thursday morning and I am feeling the bed call me.  I am also starting to hit the wrong keys on my laptop.  Time to call it a day......Ritzywife out.......................

Thank You Veterans!!!

Posted by: cheryl

Today is a day we set aside to honor all Veterans.  I just want to say---"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE"......

We all need to stop and think about where we would be without their sacrifice...I have:
 2 uncles who served during WWII
 1 uncle who served in Vietnam
2 uncles who served during peacetime
 a nephew who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
 and my husband who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)...
Chili's was offering a free meal for veteran's today so Ritzy and I ate a late lunch there.  At the time  we were  dining, there were about a dozen veterans also enjoying a meal.  It was very good..
My sister and I had a visit with a cousin (by marriage) today.  The conversation turned toward--- how, as Christians, the way we raise our kids and what they choose to do anyway.  The point was brought up that we should not be so hard on them when they choose a lifestyle that is NOT suitable for a person that claims to be a Christian.  I believe that as a Christian a person should stand up for what they believe in and not give in to what is going on around them.  Not to the point of a "better than thou " attitude, mind you, but others should be able to see our lives and see that our living measures up to what we "talk".  If we see someone in our family or even in our church  just throwing their life to the wind and letting it fall where it may.....it is wrong not to hold them accountable for their choices... and not how we are called to live.  People always get hurt, whether it be adults or children when we make choices that are not according to what God expects.   I am NOT saying we will always be perfect, but when we do "mess up" the thing to do is get it straightened out and live the way we profess.
This may sound like a lot of "preaching" but I really believe that  the reason our country is in the shape it is in today is because we (Christians) try to "blend in , not hurt anybody's feelings, not be noticed and put up with peoples ideas and attitudes.  Our country was founded on Christian principles and we have strayed so far away it is hard to see where we will end up.  I do know if we stay on the track we are on now it will NOT be good.  It's ok if you disagree, but the thing for me is-----I know what I beleive and who I believe in and I know what is expcted of me and will try my best to live the kind of life that will match my "talk"......
Ritzywife out.......................

Comfort Food

Posted by: cheryl

Yeah, that's what I call these chicken & noodles.   They sure were good.... Ritzy, the son and I ate almost all of them.....
The wind was blowing pretty hard all day and leaves were going everywhere.  I do believe Fall is here.  We have a freeze warning here in Oklahoma tonight. 
I was talking to the son earlier and asked about his making some deer jerky earlier in the week.  Well, he had taken items out of the cabinet to look for some cayenne pepper.  He found the pepper, but forgot to put the items back in the cabinet.  One of those items, which was laying beside a dehydrator was a bag of chocolate chips.  I was telling him that what I now have thanks to his leaving that bag out is .....a bag of "chocolate chips" and a bag of "chocolate chip"........that's right, about half of one of the bags melted into 1 piece.  Guess I will have to get out the grater (or  hammer, hahaha) when I get ready to make cookies. 
Not too much going on around this household right now and that is fine with me........
I made reservations today for our family to visit Branson sometime next month.  Instead of buying gifts for Christmas, we are all going to take a mini-vacation together and have some fun!!!!!!  You cannot put a price on family or the time you spend together.....PRICELESS
It's time for me to clean my kitchen and start getting ready for bedtime.......Ritzywife out!!

Here It Is November Already...

Posted by: cheryl

I can hardly believe 2010 is almost gone.  The weather sure is changing, which here in Oklahoma is a good thing... I looked out the window today and the leaves were really falling.  The ground is just about covered in leaves right now.  You can certainly "see" & "feel" Fall in the air right now. 
Ritzy and I were supposed to go to town to buy our groceries tonight, but I just didn't feel like it.  Instead I cooked some cabbage rolls for supper.  I have been "craving" these for a long time.  I have never cooked them in our 26 years of being married. (don't know why, but.....  Could be, because I now have the internet to access all those great recipes, haha).... Used to eat them when I was growing up.  I started looking for recipes online and found a couple.  Took those and "tweaked" them, added a few more ingredients and seasonings  and..........wa-la.......Ritzywife's Cabbage Rolls ;-)
   Below is a picture of them as they are finishing cooking on the stove....

They were delicious, not bragging just stating a fact.  I served them on a plate of rice. Also cooked some acorn squash to go with them.   I started Ritzy off with 3......Well, he ate those and went back for 2 more.  After finishing those 5, he went back for 1 more.  He ended up eating 6 of those things....Honestly, I do not know where he puts all that food, haha!!!!  I will be making this dish again!!
I sure hope this week is "slower" than last week.  It has started off that way....thank goodness..... 
I must remember to go and VOTE tomorrow.  I haven't had the tv on (on purpose) so I have been immune to all those campaign ads (that I hate)!!
I am gonna get the newspaper out in a while and go over all those questions that can be so confusing when you are standing at the voting booth.  ----why can't they word those questions in such a way that a person doesn't need a college education to understand what they are reading?!?!
 That being said, Ritzywife is out...............

Fall Is In The Air

Posted by: cheryl

I guess that's the only way to explain it.   I have been cooking & preserving a lot these past few weeks.  Today after loading the crock pot with a chuck roast I had to go to town on business for the church. 
That roast smelled yummy all day!!   I did the laundry, swept out the house and made some cupcakes for the guys.  Well, I bought a cupcake carrier for a good price and had to justifiy buying it, haha!!!!!
Made lemon ones, they were really good. 
I texted the son and asked if he wanted B-B-Q or hot beef sandwiches.  He chose B-B-Q . You might wonder why I didn't ask Ritzy. Well Ritzy will eat ANYTHING I put in front of him.  That son, on the other hand is a bit picky.........(makes for a frustrated cook sometimes).
I ended up making half B-B-Q and half hot beef.  Drained the juices and added sauteed mushrooms to make the gravy. There were already onions and garlic in the juices cooked with the meat.  (Yeah, the onions are what the son will not touch.  I don't understand--he loved them until he turned old enough to learn what they look like.) Ritzy complimented me on the food.  The son's compliment was an empty plate ;-)
After eating I was going to sit outside in my swing by the firepit.  But........Ritzy was trimming some firewood that was too long and he would pick up a piece, lay it down, saw it, throw the small trimmed-off piece in the truck and stack the other piece.  I thought it was going to take him forever to get that done so.....here I go into the house for my gloves------somebody stop me----- and I go out there to help him.  Good-by fire and swing ;-(
After doing all he wanted we proceeded back to the fire when I realized that our temperatures are supposed to be below freezing in this part of Oklahoma tonight.  I told Ritzy to go and pull the 2 pepper plants ( a bell and jalapeno) we have and I would dry them.  We have already harvested a lot of peppers off these 2 plants this year.  Was a good year for peppers!!!
I brought the peppers in and started working on them........I DID NOT forget the gloves this time!!!!!
As I sit here -- I hear the dehydrator doing it's job and I will have dried peppers by morning ;-)
They will come in handy in the coming winter months...  I used the crushed jalapenos in  deer jerky. 
Tomorrow is open so far.  Gonna take a day off and rest......Here it is almost midnight and I am FINALLY getting sleepy........that being said, Ritzywife is out..........................


Posted by: cheryl

Even tho no pictures are posted, try to picture this:  I am eating some iced sourdough cinnamon rolls that are just out of the oven ... they sure are good...yummmm
They are small so I put 3 of them in a bowl and told Ritzy I knew he would want 3 of them and he said--"what if I want 4?"   Well, that lets me know he likes them.
I also have 2 dehydrators full of venison jerky that should be finished around midnight.  I made some the other day and it is just about gone.  The daughter's boyfriend likes it hot so I used some of those dried jalepenos I fixed a couple of weeks ago.  I ground them into a powder ( they were burning my nose as I was working on them) and added them to the meat mixture.  He loved it!!!!  I must say that if you like it HOT, this sure does the trick......
He sent me a text yesterday saying that he sure was trying to make that deer jerky last but he just could not stop eating it.   I told him not to worry cause I was making more today and would give it to the daughter tomorrow when we met for lunch........Let's just say, that made his day!!!!
***Ritzy just said---"Guess what hon......4 wasn't enough"  and there he goes into the kitchen for more.  I don't think that pan of rolls is going to make it thru the night ;-)
If he has a bellyache later it is NOT Ritzywife's fault..........
I can't believe it-----Ritzy just asked if I was going to finish my own roll, and I said "of course" so he went in after his 6th one!!!!!!!!   Dang, I'm gonna have to guard my food!!!!!
Sure am glad there are some Tums in the bathroom, hahaha!!!!!!
Last week was a very busy and stressful week.  my brother's wife's mother was laid to rest yesterday.  I played the piano for her "Celebration of Life" service in Claremore.  Earlier in the week my nephew  and I put together a DVD to play at the service.  He  played the guitar and I put the pictures together.  He did a wonderful job playing for his "Granny"......He has only been playing since June, but he played "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" as the background music...... I also made 2 CD"s of songs -- one song  played at the service and one at the graveside.
We then drove to Ft. Gibson for the graveside service.   On our way home we all stopped in Muskogee for a meal together and everyone in the resturaunt kept remarking about how big our "bunch" was.  There was about 20-25 of us.......they had no idea where we had just come from......All this made for a long day.
I tried to get caught up on housework today.  Tomorrow is the day I meet the daughter for lunch and a visit.  My sister-in-law asked if she could join us and I told her "of course" so we are going to have a good time eating and visiting.
The weather has turned a little cooler here and it feels wonderful.  Ritzy and I sat out by the pit fire for a while tonight enjoying the heat and watching the fire.
A few years ago Ritzy made a remark about all the flowers I was planting.  I always tried to plant them out of his mowing path.........well.........I am about ready to remind him of what he said because he and his "woodcutting" are about to take over every spare  inch of space around here.  Everywhere you look there is-----FIREWOOD!!!!!!   hahahahahahaha!!!!
People are coming to him almost daily wanting to buy firewood for the winter. ........ He has his regular (40 hr/wk) job and cuts firewood for something to do.  He loves doing it..........just as a hunter likes to hunt and a fisherman likes to fish.    Well, Ritzy loves to cut firewood!!!!  and Ritzywife is smart enough to stay away ;-)
I guess that's all I have for tonite......Ritzywife out....................

How We Deal With Grief

Posted by: cheryl

This past week to 10 days has been pretty busy.  My sister-in- law (brother's wife) lost her mother yesterday afternoon.  But you know, she had her family all around her and she just went very peacefully. 
The sad thing is -  just a year ago this woman found out she had lung cancer.  This is someone who never smoked a day of her life.  A short while later she had surgery to remove the cancer, which the doctors thought they did.  But this summer she started not feeling well and only a few weeks ago she was not able to eat and just started going downhill.  Went to the doctor and found that the cancer was everywhere.  Only about a week ago she came home after a short stay in the hospital for some radiation treatments......and by Thursday she was gone.  I could not believe how fast her situation changed.  You see,  I have known my sister-in-law and her family all my life.  We kind of "grew-up' together.
The good thing in all of this is that she had her family all around her as she passed.  Of course it was very hard on them, but they know that she loved them and  she knew that they loved her.  To me, that is the most important thing in our lives --- to tell our loved ones how we feel and not "hold it in"..thinking that it somehow shows "weakness" on our part if we show any type of emotion.........I told my nephews that it was just fine to show those emotions,  because we are emotional beings......it's just part of who we are!
Through all of this, I have gotten a chance to get closer to the youngest nephew ( he is 15)..... When I decided to leave last nite, I gave him a big hug and told him that if he needed to talk, he knew how to reach me.  He grabbed my things and  walked me out to my truck.  We hugged again and he said he had something to tell me....he said "You are my favorite aunt"......  Oh my goodness, that about made my heart melt ;-)
I told him how much that meant to me and said I was glad I could be there for him and his family.
My sister-in-law and her brother now have the difficult task of finalizing the arrangements for her mother's service.  I will have the honor of playing the piano at her "Celebration of Life" service.  I also made a Movie DVD of her life and that nephew (who has just recently started taking guitar lessons) played the background music. A beautiful song -- "Will The Circle Be Unbroken".  He was playing that one night while I was over there and I told him that he ought to play that at her service or as background to the DVD.   It took us a little while  to get all those pictures scanned and the music just right, but we got that DVD all finished.
I made copies for all the family so they could have something to watch and remember their "Granny" by.
After all of this, I was pretty tired last night.  I got home around 10.  After taking my bath I got into bed,   looked at  a few magazines and went to sleep.  I haven't slept that good in a long time.  I am quite sure that everyone in my brother's home slept good too.  They have been "on alert" since this started over a week ago.  The other night we were all talking and my brother was (whining, haha!!) about wanting a peach cobbler and his middle son was talking about the cinnamon rolls he had come and picked up at my house the other night, and that youngest son was talking about pie also.  So, yesterday when I went over there I took some apples, my apple peeler, and the "stuff" needed to make an apple cobbler.  I got it made and set it on the stove and I think everyone's mouth was watering.  Around 3 or so we ate lunch and then everyone  "attacked" that cobbler.  My brother made the comment that the next time I had better make a much larger one cause that one went way too fast, haha!!!!  I am just glad they liked it~!
There is a house that is for sale next to their property and that youngest nephew is trying to talk Ritzy and I into buying it cause he would have Ritzywife's cooking very close by.  hahaha!!!!!  I think the brother would like it too cause he was trying to "bargain" with me the other night.  It got so bad that he said he would change the oil and filter in my truck for a pie.   I'm thinking I just need to show him how to make one, hehe!!
Speaking of baking, I have some sourdough in there that is going to be used to make some sourdough cinnamon rolls after while.  YUMM, I can hardly wait!!!!!  Yeah, my two guys here have been kind of neglected, but they understood what was going on.  I put a chicken in the crockpot yesterday and it was done by the time they got home.   They both said it was good.....
Gee, I had more on my mind than I realized.....That being said.......Ritzywife is out!!


Posted by: cheryl

Hey, that's fun to write,  haha!   Have been busy the past few days.  Cooking, baking, cleaning, doing laundry, ticking people off.......oh, did I say that???
Sometimes you do your best and people still are not satisfied.  I say "not my problem"!!!!!
Yesterday I picked green and red bell peppers & jalapeno peppers from the garden.  This weather has been perfect for peppers.  I thought about having stuffed bell peppers last night but then another thought came to mind.  I have 2 dehydrators and have been using one to dry apples.  I got the other one out and cut up the bell peppers and loaded them onto the dehydrator.  Had about 50 or so jalapenos.  I had already strung some up so I cut some of these in half and proceeded to take the seeds out, barehanded, mind you.....not a good idea!!!!!!  I knew better, but I did it anyways...While loading the dehydrator with jalapenos I thought about making some cheese stuffed jalapenos to eat, so I saved about 15 of the biggest ones.  I proceeded to stuff them with cheese and wrap a piece of bacon around them.  Put them in the oven for 45 minutes.  Well, while they were cooking something came up that I had to leave, so I asked the son to watch them.  After I returned home, I asked if there were any left.  The son showed me there were about 10  halves left.  What was kind of funny tho, is that I was warned about the "heat" contained in these little peppers.  I ate them anyways, they were a little hot, but heck they are supposed to be........I got to the last one and oh my goodness it set my mouth on fire. (must have been some seeds in that one)
I asked the son later if he liked them and he commented that they were so hot that he couldn't tell if he liked them or not, hahaha!!  Well. he ate them, so they must have been ok....
Back to preparing those peppers with no gloves.....my hands seemed to be "ok" UNTIL I was cleaning my kitchen and ran hot water on them.   Oh, my goodness---my hands felt like I was holding them over a fire and I could not make it stop.  I was wishing I had used those gloves.
I searched online for a way to "make it stop".........Found that milk and tumeric would work so I tried it.  Soaked my hands for a few minutes, the heat went away and even when I took my bath it didn't return.  My hands are still a little sensitive today,  but I WILL NOT prepare jalapenos without gloves again.
This was not a fun lesson to learn, but a lesson well learned......
Anyways, I got all those peppers dried and crushed and now when I need bell peppers or jalapeno peppers in a recipe---I have them on hand!!!!  There is nothing worse than realizing you need something like this for cooking -- and it is 8 miles to the nearest grocery store ;-)
My niece's kids came over for a little while this evening.  We built a fire in the pit and had a weiner roast.  It was fun.......The nephew came in the house to play the son's X-Box and his sister and I stayed outside.  She was playing and I was enjoying watching her, then  she sat beside me in the swing and we were just talking about "stuff".........fun to do with a 5 year old ;-)
That about covers my weekend and now a brand new week is starting, I guess we'll see how that goes...
Ritzywife out..................................

Busy Week....

Posted by: cheryl

This week has been pretty busy.  I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post until tonite.  Had a cousin's funeral to attend Saturday afternoon.  Saturday evening we attended my nephew's birthday party.  His birthday wasn't till the 4th but they had the party  during the weekend.  Saturday was also my brother's birthday, the little nephew's Papa.   Brother wanted a peach pie for his gift, so--Ritzywife made him one.  Sunday was church, then starts the workweek.  Monday I took my sister-in-law to Tulsa to get her mom's (who is in the hospital) car.  After Ritzy got home Monday nite, we went back to town to buy groceries.  Tuesday I had to make a trip to Chelsea to get some stuff at the dollar store.  Today my mom and I met the daughter in Owasso for lunch/shopping.   Went to church tonite and here I am.  Oh. I forgot to mention that yesterday I wanted to make an authentic Tex-Mex meal so I made the homemade corn tortillas, homemade chili/enchilada sauce and proceeded to make some cheese enchiladas.  They turned out really good.  I also made some pumpkin-cranberry muffins.  Was gonna used canned pumpkin, but didn't have any.......but.......I did have a "pie pumpkin" that I was using as decoration in my kitchen.  Gee, that little thing sure was hard to cut!!!   I processed that and used fresh pumpkin instead.  The muffins turned out great.   I also started some apples in the crock-pot last night to make apple butter.  Did some research online and found it could be done in the crock-pot.  I decided to give it a try----and I sure am glad I did.  The apple butter turned out wonderful!  It sure beat standing at the stove for hours stirring..... My parents have about 30 apple trees on their property....it's not like I am going to run out of apples anytime soon.  I will probably be making a lot of this butter.  Tonite I started another crock of them and also a dehydrator full of sliced apples.  They should be done by morning.  Will be making a lot of dried apples too.   The family loves to snack on them......
I was telling Ritzy that starting tomorrow at 6pm in Vinita they are having a display of part of the Vietman war memorial.  This will visit only 6 cities this year.  I told him that we should go to see this and pay our  respect to those soldiers whose lives were lost during that horrific war.  Makes a person stop and think about what is really important in life and who we should thank for our freedom. 
As far as I know, Friday is open and I will finally get to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having here in Oklahoma.  We better enjoy it while we can ;-)
Well now that I have cleared my mind, I think I can rest better. haha!!!
Ritzywife out.....................................


Posted by: cheryl

(sourdough cinnamon rolls)
Here it is 10:30 pm and these are just out of the oven.  I made some the other night and this afternoon after returning home from lunch and shopping with my daughter and mom, I decided to make some more.  They are sooooo good!!!!  I have a sourdough starter  that I keep on the cabinet and ready to bake with at anytime....
Ritzy and I are eating some of them now.  They are delicious!!!  He has only ate 4 of them, so far, haha!!!  The poor son just got home from work a little while ago.  I put his supper (BLT's) in the fridge.   He has eaten them but said he did not want any rolls.  That kid must be tired!!!!!!!
I did have a very good day, visiting with mom and the daughter,  we look forward to meeting every Wednesday. 
The weather here in Oklahoma has been perfect----sunny skies, light winds, moderate temps.  I say we deserve it after that scorcher of a summer we had. 
Ritzy has been burning a fire in the firepit in the evening.  It is so soothing to sit there on the patio in the swing  and listen to and watch the fire. 
A friend that I have not seen in a long time is supposed to come by tomorrow while on her visit to Oklahoma.  It is going to be wonderful to catch up........
It's time to get the son's workclothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer......
With that Ritzywife is out.....................
(there better be some cinnamon rolls on that cabinet in the morning!)

Ritzywife's "Soapbox"

Posted by: cheryl

Well, sometimes I just have to "vent" a little.  This time the subject is those who have the mindset of  "all about me".......While we need to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually it is never supposed to be "all about me".......
This is a hard lesson to learn, not fun either, but we must learn it if we ever want to be happy in this life.  We make decisions in this life and then we better be prepared to deal with the consequences of those decisions.  Something goes wrong or things don't turn out as we planned and we want to "bail".
The correct order is God first, others second and me last.......when we do things right everything else seems to fall in to place, not by chance mind you but because we have put things in their respective order.  If we don't realize this little fact and decide anyways to  make it always "all about me" when we get old no one will be around, because we didn't take the time or effort to "invest" in them.  I don't know about anyone else but I cannot think of anything worse than being alone, and no one caring whether I was alive or dead.
That is why we make the effort to love our families and friends.  Yes, sometimes it might be hard but our responsibility ( because of the choices we have made)  is to love them and show them we care about them.  Also, if our kids are still at home-- to make our kids feel that there is NOWHERE safer to be than at home with their parents and that their parents are together on EVERYTHING, and always will be there for them................
You might wonder why in the world I would write something like this, but sometimes a person just sees things going on around them in their family or friends lives and wonders how or why it ever got to this point. 
We would all come out better in the end if we could just remember that it is NOT "all about me" !!!

Now that I am thru "venting" I can go on to other things.  I baked more breads today:

sourdough english muffins
sourdough loaves
They turned out pretty good.  While they were on the last rise the son came in and asked why I never made sweetbreads like cinnamon swirl.....told him I didn't know.  I thought well - I have some cinnamon/sugar mixture in the cabinet, I'll just try something.  The loaves on the right have caraway seeds on them and I had a plain loaf in a loaf pan, which is the bread on the left.  I got the sugar mixture and put it all around the loaf in the pan and on top of the loaf also. 
It came out really good.  As it was cooling, the son asked if he could cut it and I said it really should cool  more but go ahead.  He ate a piece and said -"This won't be around very long ;-)"
I tasted it and it was really good!
Guess I will be making some more of that......

After baking the bread, Ritzy and I had a birthday party to attend.  Today is one of our Great-Niece's birthdays.  She turned 1 year old.  When she was born last year she was 10 weeks early and her mama had brain surgery the same day.  It was a scary time for all. It was decided the day before  to go ahead and deliver the baby and immediately do brain surgery on her mama ( my niece) because of problems the tumor was causing.......Today, a year later,  that little girl is doing just fine, and her mama is doing fine also.  My niece still has a few more months of chemotherapy left,  but things look really good for now.
This hasn't been without it's ups and downs and my niece and her family still need our prayers!!!!!!!
Any time "cancer" is involved it is hard on everyone.........
Even thru all of this we still  praise God for this miracle in our family!!!!
God Bless my niece, her husband, and those 4 precious kids!!

Ritzywife out...........................................

Busy Day......

Posted by: cheryl

Today the daughter, her boyfriend, my mom, sister-in-law, nephew and I all met at Olive Garden for lunch.  Had a good time eating and visiting.  The rain from Tropical Storm Hermine started here in Oklahoma.... sure is wet out there.  Keeping that in mind, Before meeting at Olive Garden, I had to stop at Best Buy to pick up Season 6 of The Office for the son.  Being the good mom that I am I got out of the truck (in the rain) and walked to the store.  In my head thoughts of the cement being slick were going on so I was "watching my step"  I made it inside the store and must not have wiped all the "wet" off my shoes cause when my right foot hit the cement floor, the foot just kept going and Ritzywife's buttcheeks kissed the floor.  It was one of those "Geez, I sure hope no one saw that" kind of fall.  I'm sure they did tho, probably got it on tape to watch and laugh over and over.  The young man greeting everyone came over and asked to help and I told him I was fine.  I proceeded to get up and go get what I came in for, that darn blu-ray........I just stood there laughing at myself.  You know I have figured out that if you can't laugh at yourself, you are in pretty sad shape.  I do have a feeling that I am gonna be sore in the morning tho.  Have already took a couple of ibuprofin before bedtime. 
I told the son what had happened tonight and I could see him snicker.  I told him that I literally went thru "hell and high water" to get that darn blu-ray and he had better enjoy it ;-)
Got home and took a short nap before starting a pot of chili for church supper tonight.  I made it in my new enameled french oven.  I love this new pan.  It makes cooking fun and is so easy to clean up. 
Chili sure tasted good!!!!  Ritzy has some for his lunch tomorrow.  I sure am glad he doesn't mind taking left-overs for his lunches at work. 
Tomorrow is the daughter's 24th birthday.   Hope she has a good one. 
Watching the rain on the radar on tv.  looks like it's gonna get pretty wet around here (callin' for 3-6 inches).  I usually prefer sunny weather but we need this rain so bad that I am grateful it's here.   It looks like the HOT weather is gone for this season!!!!!! Come on Fall!!!!!
With that said, Ritzywife is out................

What A Beautifiul Day!!!!

Posted by: cheryl

 Today was perfect.  It's one of those days that you think are never gonna happen after going thru all this hot weather in the summer.  The temperature was  in the
70's and low wind, and not a cloud in sight.   
The only thing wrong with today was-I had to get up early to go with Ritzy to a Dr.'s appointment.  I made up for it  tho cause later in the afternoon I grabbed a nap. 
Made beans and cornbread for supper.  After eating, Ritzy and I spent the evening outside just enjoying the weather and each other's company.  Earlier in the afternoon he had started a fire in the burn pit.  We just sat there in the swing, watching the fire. 
This afternoon I got all my Fall Decorations out.  Decorated the yard and inside the house.  Springtime is still my favorite time of year, but I do love the colors of Fall.  I can hardly believe Labor Day weekend is about here.  The past year sure has flown by.  
Looking forward to Monday and the cookout and fellowship at Mom & Dad's.   It's so fun to watch the little ones play.    Gotta love that bar-b-que too!!  The daughter told me that she asked for chicken.  Just give me some brisket or baby back ribs and I am happy ;-)  She also requested a salad that I make, so I guess I will be getting the ingredients needed for that tomorrow. 
I think I hear my pillow calling...........and with that Ritzywife is out....................

Look What I Won Today!!!!

Posted by: cheryl

Aren’t they pretty?!? Today I attended a meeting/luncheon for ladies in the Agriculture field at Cowboy Junction near Vinita. Since Ritzy works for the USDA helping farmers and ranchers, his office said I was more than welcome to come. I am so glad I did. I am guessing there were nearly 100 ladies present.   The information, entertainment, food and fellowship was wonderful.  After the entertainer "Willamae" finished her skit , which was about how the women are the backbone of the farm family and how it is to deal with husbands and kids, there was an older lady that asked if she could comment afterward and they said sure.  She said that after hearing all that  "Willamae" had to say about the life of a farm wife, that she was so thankful for her life.  "Willamae"  asked her to elaborate and we were all expecting this serious answer when the lady said ---- After hearing all this I am just so  thankful that I do not have a husband or kids!"  Everyone just busted out laughing...........including "Willamae"..... 
 There were a LOT of door prizes and this was the last one to be given out. I could hardly believe I was hearing my name. Ritzy is also known as “Pondman” at his USDA job. The young woman handing out the prize said – “Oh, Pondman’s wife gets these, haha…”

I cannot believe what just happened as I was typing this. My son, who is in the kitchen getting his lunchbox ready for tomorrow just threw something through the window that separates the living room from the dining room. I felt something hit just below my chin and asked what in the world that was. He just started laughing and proceeded to tell me it was a green bean he saw in the refrigerator. I asked why he did not throw it in the trash and he said “the lid was closed”….I told him that my robe was closed also, but that did not stop him from throwing it my way. I am gonna have to think of a way to get him back. He better sleep with one eye open ;-)

When I first started posting tonight everything was ok, then before I knew it everything I had posted was gone, arghhhh !!!!!!!! As if that wasn't bad enough in itself , we are having a little bit of rain move in and the satellite is down. Let me tell you, satellite is not everything it’s cracked up to be.

Yesterday evening, Ritzy, the son and I went to Tulsa to have a meal with the daughter and her boyfriend. Had a wonderful time. Ate some fish (crappie) that my brother caught Saturday. Mmm mmm good!!!!! Tomorrow his wife,(my sister-in-law), Granny and I are meeting the daughter at Olive Garden for lunch. Boy, Ritzywife sure has had a lot of “meet & eat” this week, huh???

I am writing this on my computer and gonna try to post it to my blog when the internet returns . Hope it works..

Yea,,,,,it worked!!!!!
It's now getting late and I am getting tired so with that Ritzywife is out.................................


Posted by: cheryl

Ouch is exactly how I  felt after being stung tonight.  I was out in the garage looking for my Fall decorations.  I picked something up and must have put my finger right on that darn wasp.  He proceeded to show me just what he thought about it.  I let go really fast and proceeded to tell him just what I thought about what he just did. (Had to repent after that.) 
After getting over the shock of being stung, I went in the house to wash my finger, then put cider vinegar on it, then made a paste of baking soda and water and put that on it.  I was doing anything I could think of  to neutralize that sting and the pain it was causing........Now my finger is just swollen to just about twice normal size and it's just annoying.
The last time I was stung was about 20 years ago by the same kind of wasp. I was picking up a pop bottle.  (I guess I need to stop picking things up, huh?)  The wasps were the large  red and black kind.  Believe me..................they hurt.  I sure am glad I am not allergic to stings.  I was home alone at the time.  Ritzy was up the road cutting wood and the son had gone to town.
I gave up on looking for those decorations.  I will either let Ritzy get them or I will get my leather gloves before I try again.
The weather has been wonderful so far this week here in Oklahoma.  It's about time!!!!
I drove to Claremore today to get me some tacos for lunch and just drove with the windows down cause it felt so good.
I tried sitting outside in the swing tonight, but those darn mosquitos were eating me up.  I think Ritzy and I will start a fire in the pit tomorrow to help keep the pests away.....while we enjoy the cool evenings.
I don't have much to do this weekend.  I will just piddle around I guess.  I really want to get those Fall decorations out.  Maybe I am rushing the season a bit. 
I have a new dishwasher to put in.  I have had a portable one for 8 years and have loved it.  I chose that one because I did not want to give up my cabinet space.  But now I want a built in one.  I am trying to de-clutter my kitchen. I guess I am  tired of walking around it and tired of hooking and unhooking it from the faucet, plus, with my new faucet I can't leave the adapter on the faucet like my old one.  I have to change the aerator and adapter everytime I do dishes. I am afraid it will ruin the faucet.    My brother is coming over sometime to help Ritzy install it.
It will be so nice to have.........
I think I feel an ice cream craving coming on, and with that Ritzywife is out.......................

Finally, Some Relief from the Heat!!!

Posted by: cheryl

We finally got some relief from this heat that has been in Oklahoma for the past 3 weeks.  This evening a front moved thru that produced some rain.  It cooled the air down 30 degrees.  WOW..... It was sooooooo nice!!
It was actually in the mid-70's instead of the mid-100's.
We did not have church tonight so Ritzy and I drove to Nowata to the Sonic to grab a burger and fries.  It was finally pleasant enough to sit and eat and just enjoy the evening. 
I actually heard the AC kick off this evening.  It has been working hard this past few weeks. 
After eating lunch at church, I came home and took a nap in the bedroom. I like it in there because it is dark and quiet...... I don't have any idea what Ritzy was up to. 
I was telling Ritzy on the way home that I actually do not have any plans this week.  NICE!!!!  Although I did talk to the daughter later and we discussed meeting at Olive Garden on her day off.  Sounds like a winner to me.  I look forward to that kind of "running around"...
I guess it is about time to go to bed for the night.  Don't think that nap is going to hurt anything about my getting to sleep tonight ;-)
Ritzywife out..........................

Geez, It's Hot!!!!!!!

Posted by: cheryl

Good Grief, it's been hot here in Oklahoma the past 3 weeks.  We have been under excessive heat warnings most of that time.  It's so hot that we have to wait until the sun almost sets to be able to sit outside and enjoy (if that's what you can call it) the outdoors.  I don't even want to turn on my stove or oven because  I don't want it heating up the kitchen.  The poor AC is working hard enough as it is....
I told Ritzy that we were going to pick up supper tonight.  I called Rib Crib and ordered a pound of sliced brisket and a pound of boneless chicken and some potato salad. Had some Grillin' Beans to heat up at home.. We drove over to pick it up and brought it home to eat.  Sure was good.  I love barbeque!!!!!!
Upon returning home we noticed some commotion on the east side of our property, but we just pulled in and came in the house.  Pretty soon the doorbell rang and it was a young man saying that only 15 minutes earlier they were driving by and saw someone and thier "bike" in the ditch.  They stopped and the guy was in pretty bad shape but he refused to have them call 911 because he had been drinking.  So he had a relative come get him and the boys were watching the "bike"  til someone else could come pick it up.  That is the 3rd time this kind of accident has happened in that spot since we have lived here.  These crazy people need to slow down and quit drinking and driving.  Ritzy went over there and said there was stuff everywhere, but I guess they got it all picked up.  I sure hope that person gets medical attention if it is needed.  No need to mess around with that kind of thing....
Speaking of not cooking, I have to confess I did turn the oven on tonight.  Baked some banana bread with some really ripe bananas.. We have pot luck dinner after church tomorrow and that is what I am taking.  On the subject of Banana Bread.......the family usually gives Ritzywife the ripe (rotten-as they call them) bananas.  I try to tell everyone that they are just ready for bread when it looks like they should be put in the garbage.  That's why my bread always tastes good....(my little secret, til now)...Put the bread in the oven, went to take my bath and just about the time it was done, so was I. 
I have just finished studying my lesson so I am in pretty good shape for the rest of the night.
Ritzy, the son and I laid new tile in both bathrooms over the weekend.  It looks good.  It lookes like wood flooring.  Has a natural finish and not a glossy one, I really like it. 
I think I have finally "cooled off" enough to think about going to bed.  I cannot be hot and get in bed cause I will never get to sleep.  I turn the thermostat down about 2-4 degrees before I go to bed so it will be nice and cool while I am trying to sleep and I have told Ritzy to not say a word about it!!!  Hard to keep a 50-something woman cool enough -- I hear ;-)
With that said Ritzywife is out...............................


Posted by: cheryl

Plum butter cooking on stove
Plum jelly

Yes, I am still at it.  We (Ritzy & I ) picked the rest of the  plums from Dad's tree today.  It is 1:49 am and I am waiting on the butter to cook down.  It's been cooking since 8:30.  I think it's about ready.
The jelly making was interesting tonight.  Everything was going fine until I poured the first 4 jars, I was getting ready to tighten the lids when I must have pushed the board too far and it fell into the sink, sending 1 jar full of HOT jelly in the floor and one in the sink.  I managed to save 2 jars.  I was just standing there looking at the mess and pretty disgusted when I realized that I ought to be thankful that the jar of HOT jelly did not fall on me.  It would have been very painful.  So.................I commenced to cleaning up the mess.  I think I mopped the floor at least a half dozen times to get all the sugar off it. It was nasty...
I cannot believe I am still up at 2 am.  I have studied my Sunday School lesson while waiting on the butter to cook down.
I loaded the dishwasher and washed a load of dishes while I took my bath.  I also had to put my kitchen rug in the washer to wash all the jelly off it.  It is laying in the laundry room drying now. 
I have had a very busy day today.  I made the daughter something for her and the boyfriend's apartment.  I also made him something to put in the bathroom.  He has it decorated in a John Wayne theme.
After finishing those little projects I started in on the jelly making.  I had not been outside all day, so while the plums were cooking on the stove I went out and sat in my swing for a few minutes.  It was about dark and by that time it had cooled down enough to be comfortable outside.
Well I am going to see how close that butter is to being done, because Ritzywife is about done................
Ritzywife out....................

Jelly Making

Posted by: cheryl

Wild Plum Jelly
4 hours of work.. (4 batches)

This is how I spent my morning and early afternoon.  The 4 hours doesn't even count picking and preparing the fruit.  Ritzy and I picked the wild plums last night.   It was a lot of work considering they are about the size of marbles.  We picked about 3-4 gallons of them.  I had Ritzy back the truck up to the trees and I stood in the back to pick the fruit.   At 8:30 I prepared the fruit and let it drip all night.  Got to bed at midnight........whew.........Early this morning I started making the jelly.  On an earlier post I had made some tame plum jelly, but this jelly turned out clear and beautiful.
It turned out that way cause I let the juice drip all night instead of just straining it like I did with the other plums.  I just finished eating  some on some buttered toast and it tastes wonderful!!!!! (I sure wish I had some of those english muffins made.  Guess that is something to do tomorrow.  I don't see them lasting long, because the son eats them about as fast as I can make them. )  I take advantage of the wild fruit because it isn't here every year.  Most years a late freeze will get the trees.  I don't think we had any plums last year.  That's ok cause Ritzywife is making up for it this year.  I still have another picking up at Mom & Dad's.  I am going to make some more plum butter.
I tried something today unsure of how it would turn out, but everything turned out fine.  I made this jelly without Sure-Jell.
I noticed the juice was very thick due to the natural pectin in the fruit, so I thought why waste a $2 box of Sure-Jell.  I just measured out the juice that my pan would boil safely  and put in however much sugar I wanted and cooked it to the "jellying" stage, which turns out to be about 20 minutes after it began to boil.  Each batch took about an hour by the time I cleaned up the pan and utensils and got the jars and lids ready for the next batch. 
After finishing the jelly today I had to make out the church report for tomorrow night's business meeting at church.  I am finally finished with my tasks for today.  I think we will do leftovers tonight for supper.........It's a good thing Ritzy isn't a picky eater, hahaha!!!!!
Ritzywife out..........................

How Ritzywife Spent Her Saturday.........

Posted by: cheryl

Plum Butter
Plum Jelly
By looking at the pictures, you should be able to figure it out.  I got up early, went to mom & dad's to pick some plums.  After returning home I prepared the fruit for some juice to make some jelly.  I ended up with 14 pints, (3 batches)....
After finishing the jelly, I had some pulp left and did not want to throw it away, so I looked up a plum butter recipe.  It was too easy.  I only ended up with what you see here, tho.  I think I will go pick some more this week and make some more butter. 
I remember as a child there is no way you could have gotten  me to even taste a fruit butter, but now it tastes pretty good.  I guess our tastes change??
Ritzy and I celebrated our 27th Anniversary yesterday.  We had dinner at Red Lobster in Tulsa. I told him the other night that I was going to pick the most expensive item on the menu, and I did.  Had the crab trio, sure was YUMMY!!!!  Went by to see the daughter after we ate.  Had a good visit with her and the boyfriend.
We have a birthday party to attend in a little while.  It is "bubba & sissy's" combined.  His birthday was last week and hers is this next week. He is 9 and she will be 5.   Their mama got smart and just combined them.  I don't know what we are having, but after all that work today, I sure am hungry.  Ritzy has worked outside all day.  I have only seen him a couple of times during the day.........Well, He just walked in to get ready for the party. 
I have been hearing the lids on those jars "pop".  That is the most wonderful sound for someone who cans and preserves food at home, hahaha!!!!!

It sure is hot out there, but we are starting August and this is Oklahoma ;-)
We got our electric bill today, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Not as bad as this time last year.  That poor AC is getting a workout. 
I guess it is about time to leave and go PARTY!!!!
Ritzywife out.....................................................................

VBS is Over for Another Year!!

Posted by: cheryl

Friday night was the last night of vacation bible school.  It was a busy week and I am tired.  The kids were great!!!  Our theme this year was a western one and it was a hit!!!!
We had our program on the last night.  The kids did a wonderful job of singing and saying their bible verses.  VBS is so exhausting, but rewarding.  You might ask, if I am so tired - then why in the world am I still up at 1:30 am.  Beats me, I guess I am just trying to wind down from this last week.
Tonight (Saturday), Ritzy and I have a nephew's birthday dinner to attend.  His mom called last week and invited us and told me that he had a request.  He wanted his aunt ( Ritzywife) to make him his very own peach pie for his birthday. (from those Porter peaches)   It was also hinted at that everyone else wanted some too.  So........today i bought 3 pie pans for those pies.  That is what I will be doing later in the day.  My sister-in-law is serving enchiladas and she asked me to make the pico-de-gallo to go along with the meal.  I will be making that as well.
I was talking to another sister and she said that she was about out of peaches and had not put up any.  I told her I had not put up as many as I want.......so that means I will probably be making a 3rd trip to Porter in the coming week.   Porter is about 70 miles one way.  Not too bad of a drive, but it does take some time....
Next Friday is Ritzy and my 27th anniversary.  I cannot believe it has been that many years ago since we said "I DO"
We will decide what we are going to do this week. 
I am finally starting to get sleepy, so I better head off to bed........
Ritzywife is out........................................

{{{{{{HOT !!!!!!}}}}}}

Posted by: cheryl

If you don't like hot weather, then you are out of luck here in Oklahoma.  This past week we were under an "excessive heat warning" and it still continues into this next week.  You can't go outside without the sweat rolling off you in a couple of minutes.  Ritzy is crazy and I told him so.  Yesterday he was cutting some hickory wood over at my brother's place.  He finally called me around 2pm to let me know he was quitting and coming home to mow the lawn.  He kept finding things to do outside and I was a little worried.  He kept drinking that water tho.  Went thru several bottles of water........With all the late rains, the grass is still growing. By now the grass is usually starting to turn brown, but not this year.  Ritzy is not going to get a break in the mowing .
He gives the hickory to our neighbor who owns the store/bait shop.  He smokes meat nearly every day.  We use some when we grill outside.  I told him it was to darn hot to be running that chainsaw. 
We start Vacation Bible School at our church tomorrow.  It goes from 5:00pm -8:30pm every night.  I told Ritzy that if he wanted dinner he was going to have to help at VBS.  Actually we eat from 5 - 6.  I already told the son that he was on his own for dinner this week.
VBS sure makes for a busy week, but it is so funny  to watch those little kids.......
I had better get off here and get some rest, cause I am certainly gonna need it, Ritzywife out.......................


Posted by: cheryl

These things are gross!!!!!!!!  There had to be millions of them.   The son was on his way to Owasso and told me to drive across the lake to see the mayflies.  So I grabbed my camera and took off.  We live on the east side of the lake.  I could not

believe what I was seeing.  It looked like the bushes and trees were brown and wilted, but it was from all the mayflies on them.  The electric poles were covered and the Winganon bridge was covered also.

I stopped the truck and took some pictures.  I didn't dare open a window or door or I would have been swarmed by them.  They are nasty......

You can see them hanging on to my window as I am driving across the lake to turn around.  They will cling to anything.  Our security light and pole are covered tonight.  It's dangerous to even step out the door, hahaha!!!

Some of them were still on my truck when I pulled in the garage, and that is a couple of miles.    I was thinking about the insects and bugs today and was thinking that here in Oklahoma that we have Junebugs in May and Mayflies in June-July.  Are the bugs messed up or what????  Should they be renamed----Maybugs & Juneflies  ;-)
Yesterday evening we had my brother and his wife and son over for dinner.  We grilled steaks and veggies and I made a fresh peach pie.  The nephew said that he had not ever ate that much food before.  I am glad they liked the meal.  You see I had an ulterior motive.  My brother and Ritzy installed my new washer and dryer...........finally.......the washer and dryer have been  sitting in the garage since April, but no one's schedule could jive.  So, Ritzywife tempted brother with a steak dinner and that did the trick.........
Back in February, while Ritzy was cutting wood, he lost his wedding band that I had given him for Christmas 2008. (3rd one, mind you)
We went back to where he was cutting and could not find it, so I just gave up.  I had bought Ritzy a new one a couple of months ago and was going to give it to him on our anniversary that is coming up at the end of the month.  Well.............I heard a commotion in the laundry room and Ritzy came in the kitchen with a silly look on his face and held up something and said "Look what we found under the washer!"......It was that wedding band..............can you believe it!?!?
I guess it had fallen out of his pocket when he laid his woodcutting clothes by the washing machine.
I guess he will just have a "spare".......

I painted the laundry room a couple of days ago.  It has been the most neglected room in the house since we have been here.  I decided that I was going to give it a makeover.  It looks pretty good now.......I even decorated it.  Now, I can say that every room is finished and that ought to last a while........
I better get off here and study my lesson for church tomorrow.  We also eat a pot-luck lunch after services.  We have no church tomorrow night, so the morning will be busy, but the rest of the day and evening will be restful.
With that said, Ritzywife is out!....................

Independence Day

Posted by: cheryl

I hope everyone had a safe holiday.  I thought it was going to be a "washout" with all the rain.  The day before was terrible.  Couldn't go out, it rained off and on all day.  The 4th wasn't too bad, it was cloudy all day and I guess that's ok cause it kept the heat down.  When we started shooting off our fireworks it sprinkled a little bit but thats all we got.  We had good food and good company, can't ask for better.
I have been busy since returning from our Wisconsin trip.  Geez, it takes a while to get things back in order........had to catch up with the garden, mow the lawn, do laundry, clean the house......the son did do a pretty good job of keeping the house, tho.
Ritzy and I have an anniversary coming up at the end of the month on the 30th, (will be 27 years).  I don't know where the time goes.....My sister's anniversary is today, and another sister's is on the 22nd.  We did not plan it, but all three of us girls picked July for our wedding dates,  The first one in 1979, mine in 1983 and the other one in 1984.  The brother had to be different and pick September ;-)
The daughter and her boyfriend spent the weekend in Missouri with his family.  We had the pleasure to "babysit" Senor, her chihuahua.  I'll tell you one thing, I realized that I have not missed him at all.    He and I just tolerate one another, hehe!!!!!  I told Ritzy and the son that he was their responsibility, that I was having nothing to do with him.  They took pretty good care of him.  Didn't hear him complaining, anyways......
I am sitting here thinking about what to cook for dinner tonight.  I think it will be left-over bar-b-que and some veggies from the garden.   Sounds easy.....Ritzy is not a picky eater..........
It's about time I get off here and fix me some lunch, with that ...Ritzywife is out........................