Friday, November 30


image and recipe found here at Around My Family Table

If you ever want to shut me up, hand me a bowl of Brocolli and Cheese soup - then just step away.

It's gray and drizzly and a lil' bit cool outside this morning and my stomach is growling...

Brocolli and Cheese Soup
4 tbls butter
½ onion, roughly chopped
2 1/2 tbls flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken/vegetable stock
1 large head broccoli, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups grated cheese
additional milk and cheese may be needed

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for a minute or two. Pour in the milk and broth. Add the broccoli. Season with a dash of salt and black pepper.

Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low until the broccoli is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Puree soup using a blender (in two batches), immersion blender, or even a potato masher. Stir in the cheese and allow to melt. Taste the seasonings and adjust if needed. Thin with additional milk to desired consistency.

To make it a little heartier, stir in some diced ham or leftover chicken/turkey. Serve with extra cheese and crackers.

So.... who's cooking?
comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide where I've got my google search up and running because I'm having to look up "puree" and "immersion blender"... my tater mashers are photo holders...

Monday, November 26

road trip!

So... yesterday I worked for the afternoon at The Hillsboro Antique Mall. It was fun! I “fluffed” my space a little bit... it needs A LOT of work (I’m thinking major over-haul again) – but that’s okay! Having to move and shift and pile in new fun junk goodies is ALWAYS a good thing, right?

On my way home – a trip that is normally 52 minutes from point A to point B – I hit traffic and more traffic and more traffic...

And I watched the new(ish) Smurf movie through my windshield and the back window of a big SUV while sitting completely still on the interstate.


At first I thought nothing of it since I’m a die-hard Smurf fan (do you remember the Smurfberry cereal? Turned your tongue blue!).

Then I started laughing and my mind just kind of wandered off on its own little road trip:

When I was little and “the Mama” would load us up for a road trip – we didn’t watch movies!

Heck – when I was little I don’t think the VCR was even invented yet! Or iPods and iPhones and idontknowwhatelse... or the internet...

For entertainment my brothers and I would beat the living daylights out of each other, and...

Wait, that sounds so harsh.

Let me re-phrase: For entertainment my brothers and I would concentrate very very very very hard on spotting slug bugs (actual slug bugs or imaginary slug bugs that go so fast no-one but you can see them... we weren't picky) so that we could slug each other...  there – now you know that “the Mama” didn't condone random brutality – we beat the living daylights out of each other with purpose...

and we would sing!

Music was always front and center in our house – didn’t matter if it was the piano – stereo – clarinet or bass clarinet – trumpet – drums – guitar - very large speakers that my brother built just so he could torture us with The Beach Boys or Chopin (he used to conduct the orchestra inside the speakers while standing on his bed – my little brother and I used to watch and laugh as his arms flapped wildly shushing the timpani and trying to get the woodwind section to build more volume in to their crescendo - more power)  – a flute  - a banjo – I think one or 3 of us had a harmonica and bells - an accordion – an organ... a tuba or two...

But mainly – our voices.

We would pile in to the car and just start singing... “I’ll Fly Away” or “Lil’ Bunny FuFu” or “You Are My Sunshine”... rounds of “Alleluia” and whatever other songs we could make rounds of (proll’y some that weren’t intended to be rounds)... “Rocky Top” and “You Can’t Get to Heaven in a Rocking Chair”, "B.I.N.G.O"...

if we even THOUGHT we knew the words to it – we sang it!

I think we even sang the Smurf song!!!

Yeah... I know... now YOU will be singing the Smurf song the rest of today.


Anyway – the moral of my story is – I can’t decide how I feel about movies in a car! What happened to searching for slug bugs and chit chat and music and fun?

On the flip side of that DVD...

I would have LOVED having a movie to listen to and watch when one time my Dad took us to Denver, CO from Crawford, TX and not toooooooo far out of Crawford, TX my little brother made up a song about an ant.

The Ant Song  - that was completely made up by a 4yr old (he might have even been 3...) - was the continuous theme song - our SOUNDTRACK - for our cross-a-few-states journey. Hours long... miles long... seemed like DAYS long... verse after verse after verse...

stupid ant.

I still step on ants given half a chance and then I start giggling... and then I sing "dead ant, dead ant, dead ant dead ant dead ant dead ant dead annnnnnnt... dadadadummmmm" (read that again and think: "Pink Panther theme song").

Do you have a movie theater in your back seat or do you have a mini-choir that watches for Volkswagens?  If you have a theater – and if I’m behind you – can we watch “Princess Bride” next time?

OH! And can I have some popcorn? With extra butter? are we there yet?

comin’ to you LIVE from a single-wide where while I was watching the Smurfs I had my stereo on full-blast and was jamming to some Bill Withers followed up by Pink... then I popped in some Debussy to confuse the people next to me that were staring at me as I sang really loud (and a few times whipped out my air guitar and percussion section)... and then I parked on an ant pile.

Wednesday, November 21

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today on Thanksgiving Day,
My blessings I recall;

The things I am most thankful for,
I recollect them all.

You are really special,
In all you say and do.

You have made a difference in my life;
Today - and EVERY day - I am thankful for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!!!

comin' to you LIVE from the single-wide where if you c'mon over I will share my cranberry sauce with you!!! (cranberry sauce 'cause it doesn't require a stove and whatever else all that kitchen stuff is... the local FD has the burn ban on my kitchen still in place...)

Have fun - enjoy your day of Family, Friends and Fellowship! 

Tuesday, November 20


Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving with family and friends? Pulling out the extra chairs? Do you have your "kid's table" and your "grown-up's table" all laid out - the settings ready to go?

How about entertainment - do you have that covered? Movies rented so that you can watch them on the big-screen? Background music? The perfect lighting for your Thanksgiving feast?

comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide where this is NOT my yard - but I swear... I would TOTALLY crash this party just 'cause I find the set-up so fun! There are chairs set around tables... keyboard organs and stereos... bbq pits... a television... oh yeah... red.necks CERTAINLY know how to gather and celebrate friends and family... how are your Thanksgiving preparations going?

Thursday, November 15

inspired by...

I pinned this bracelet to one of my Pinterest boards a few weeks ago:

And I've stopped to look at it mannnnnnny times since!

I ADORE the “old school” cross-stitch mixed with metal! I think it’s one of the greatest contrasts that I've seen in a long time – and I’m all about contrast! Since the bracelet was part of an art exhibit (and rightfully so) I quit looking for where to buy it and decided to use it as my PinSpiration.

Cross-stitching abilities are NOwhere on the red.neck Chic resume because I get all confused, tangled and lose count of whatever stitches I was supposed to be stitching and end up with strings everywhere but where they are supposed to be... Instead? Here’s what I did:

Supplies Needed...

Plus some E6000, clothes pins and a small piece of leather.

There are filigree findings in all of the crafty stores right now – so I am SURE that you can find some that tickle your creative bone!!!

I took the flat filigree flowers and broke them in half - then broke the third part off - to make the leaves...

and started running various colors of embroidery floss through all of the holes...

making my flowers and my leaves. I would like to say that I used some magical technique, but... there was absolutely no method to my madness (you know me - I just roll with it...) so just stitch the stitch that makes you happy!

When I was done:

I stitched all of my flowers and leaves in to place using the holes in the silver cuff bracelet I found. If you don’t have holes in your cuff bracelet:

E6000 and some fantastically red.neck clamps (aka: clothes pins) work wonders!

Because I had stitched the flowers to my cuff, I secured a strip of leather to the inside (to hold my ends) then I glued some sparkles in to my happy flower centers... and I dropped some glue in all kinds of other places to hold leaves a little flatter, (got some in my hair), etc. etc.

Super simple – super happy! Are you going to make one? I think I’m going to call mine my “wrist garden” because actual gardening is MIA off the red.neck Chic resume along with cross-stitching... and cooking...

comin’ to you LIVE from a single-wide where I needed to find some inspiration – what has been inspiring you lately?

Tuesday, November 13

Junk Hippy...

Junk Hippy RoadShow...

½ day setting up (that included a tent frame malfunction, an “oops – forgot about jewelry display” (which Kitty Cat Daddy helped me out with!!!), and a verrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy steep ramp that worked leg muscles I didn't know I had)...,  uhmmm... in the red.

A day packed with sales and giggles... in the black.

ONE FULL DAY spent set up next to Mama Debinator and The Kitty Cat Daddy, hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones that one day will be old friends because I plan on keeping them!!!


comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide where I'm almost recovered and ready to do the Junk Hippy RoadShow again... and maybe next time I will be over my Instagram addiction and back to my big girl camera. haHA!

While I've been locked away in my sewing room - what have you been doing?

Sunday, November 11

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thank You for coming to visit today.  I would like to explain the meaning of the items on this special table.

The table is round - to show our everlasting concern for our men and women still missing.

The cloth is white - symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers.

The vase is tied with a red ribbon, a symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.

A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted - to symbolize their inability to share today's toast.

The chair is empty - the soldier is missing.

This is a "Missing Man Table" which is part of the "Honors Ceremony". The ceremony calls attention to the fact that "the missing are with us, here in spirit," and serves as a reminder to all Americans to never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation's call to serve.

Our freedom is a gift from our forefathers. The passing of that gift between generations has been left to the Veterans who have served, and the soldiers currently serving our nation when called to duty. You are responsible for carrying on the history, the stories, and the valor of those that are your neighbors, your teachers, your family and your friends. Today let us honor those who have defended our country and the principles under which we live. We say "Thank You" today to our Veterans.

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide... hee-hee

p.s. Most of everything on the table has a story behind it... and yes, this is a "refreshed" post from a couple of years ago!!!

My Grandfather was in the U.S. Navy - and this is his hat.  "He was based out of San Diego, CA for two tours in the South Pacific on PBY 5A Catalina's (amphibious airplane) - assistant mechanic on first trip, head mechanic on second. He spent some time in Kanoe Bay, HI for training on both trips, followed by assignment to Banana River NAS (Cape Kennedy, FL). He was assigned to be head mechanic on PBM's (large flying boat) but refused to fly on them. I never got a straight answer as to why, but all consideration involved adjectives. The hellcats and PBM recon had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle about then. May have had more to do with it than the #@$*^ PBM. He had enough friends to get an assignment to DC as crew chief on JRB's (Small two engine personnel type plane) and flew with Admiral Hoover on many occasions, along with other suits. Apparently his airplane had a very good record for minimal breakdowns. My Grandfather said all the other crew chiefs spent all their time doing tear downs for inspections... he kinda figured that if it cranked, it would probably stay running! He needed all that extra time to go fishing or something!" ~ as told by my Uncle (the senior red.neck...)

The silver, crystal and "napkin" on the table were my Grandmother's. The silver is "Fairfax" by Gorham (a gift from her Aunt), and the Crystal is "Canterbury" by Duncan Miller that she got as a wedding gift in 1944. The "napkin" is actually a tea towel from my Great-Grandmother with an "A" monogrammed on it... from about 1906.

The white plates belong to the "the Mama" and they are "Heritage" by Johnson Brothers. "the Mama" is solely responsible for pulling all of the table setting together for me... as well as handing a print out over with directions for where everything goes...  she's just cool like that...

I hope you enjoyed your day today and spent it with friends and family - laughing and enjoying each moment! And! Thank a soldierbe it Veteran or one currently serving... they have all paid a price for our freedom...
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