Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A New Friend On Devil's Hollow

You have to admire it- that faith all children possess. I learn just as much from Baby Girl as she learns from me, and this week she has definitely taught me a lesson I won't (hopefully) ever forget.
Last November, our sweet Cocker Spaniel, Justice, passed away leaving us heartbroken. He was 13 years old. He was very special to Baby Girl. She loves all our dogs, but her bond with Justice was unique. He loved children and I think he saw her as his baby, too. He never grew inpatient with her, even when she tried to play house and make him the baby. They were best buds.  She took his death hard, only being five and not fully comprehending death.
Since then, in her prayers she would add, right before her amen, "And could I please have another little dog like Justice? Not a big one. A little one." If you are new to this blog you might not know that, though our other dogs are sweet as can be, they are on eye level with Baby Girl. They love her with all their doggy hearts, but they don't really care for playing house.
Being old fashioned mountain girls, we always make our wishes on the full moon. We take a handful of rosemary, cast it at that full moon, and wish with all our might. Baby girl loves for me to tell her how I always wished for a baby girl for my own. Faith and magic flow freely intertwined up here like the stream that rolls down Waterfall Hollow. It may seem strange to outsiders, but here it makes perfect sense. I always prayed for a sweet child to love...and God sent me the very best one.
 Children listen to us.  They take our words to heart. We found out a couple days ago just how strongly she believed.
My husband had been to Alabama to try out my grandfather's old boat. (He hopes to get it in fishing condition soon.) Baby Girl and I stayed home near the wood stove. The lake in February? No thanks. When her Daddy came back home that evening he had a strange lump in his jacket and an odd look on his face. He said. "You won't believe this! When I rounded the curve in the driveway, the dogs were all barking at something in the pasture. I checked it out and you won't believe what I found in the pasture with the pony!" He then unzipped his jacket and took out the cutest, fattest little puppy you've ever seen! Thinking a litter of puppies must have (somehow) wandered to our neck of the woods, he left the puppy with me and went back to search for more. There were none. Just this sweet, sassy little pup.
We checked with our neighbors. None have claimed her. We thought surely she must belong to someone. She seemed well cared for.  We live far back from the main road. This puppy would have to travel far to get to our place. And the pasture? It is surrounded by page wire. She had to have wriggled under a gate.
Meanwhile, Baby Girl has named the puppy Flower and they have become fast friends. Flower has insinuated herself into our lives (and hearts). This morning, as Baby Girl was getting ready for school, her Daddy told her, "That's my puppy, you know"
"No it isn't!" She was indignant that he could even say such a thing.
"I'm the one who found it." He knows exactly how to push her buttons.
"No! It's mine! I prayed to Jesus for it and he sent it to me!" That's when I realized...she had been praying for a puppy. I guess I had brushed it off as her way of dealing with her grief. But she had never given up hope. She as totally serious about this.
Daddy pressed on, "The why was I the one to find it?"
She never missed a beat. "Because! Jesus didn't have the powers to get it in the house because the doors were locked!"
(You've got to give her credit for quick thinking.)
That's when I stepped in. "Actually, Jesus does have the power to come into our house and bypass locked doors. But He also knows that, if Mama saw a strange animal in her house, she would have a conniption fit!"
I've always tried to teach her that God doesn't give us everything we want- He gives us everything we need. His timing is always perfect.
Who would argue with that? Not me!
All I can say is, if anyone comes along now to claim that puppy, they can tell her themselves.

(Puppy makes a friend.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Husband's Yummy Chicken Fajitas

My husband has been making these fajitas since before we met. It was one of the first things he cooked for me. The problem is- there is no actual recipe, so I could never make them myself. Last night I stalked him with my camera as he made them. Today I will share what I learned. Shhhh...

First. he cut up an onion and a bell pepper and added them to a large skillet. 

Next he added cilantro and 1/2 a finely diced jalapeno. He didn't cook them yet- just got them ready.

Meanwhile, he added three chicken breasts to another skillet. (Yes, that IS real butter.) He seasoned them with  Chef Paul Prudhomme's fajita seasoning, sea salt, and a dash of Tony Cachere's Creole seasoning.

When the chicken was done, he cut it into small strips. 

 He then added the chicken to the skillet with the vegetables.  Remember that 1/2 fresh jalapeno? Well, he took the other piece (whole) and added it to the skillet as well. (He removed it before serving.)

Next came fresh tomato.

He added a little more seasoning...

He mixed these and cooked over a medium heat. He then covered the skillet, lowered the heat, and cooked until the veggies were crisp-tender.

And there ya have it :). Add to warm tortillas along with your favorite toppings- shredded cheese, refried or black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole..whatever you like.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No TV Nights (No, really)

Call me crazy ( you won't be the first) but I've started having No TV Nights. This isn't some law I am imposing- by the time I sit down in the evenings, no one is here and awake except me anyway. The point is- I used to keep the TV playing all the time. For back ground noise, I guess? One night I suddenly realized that  everything on TV that night was (imeo- in my expert opinion) stupid. That night I simply turned off the TV and did what I was doing with the TV on- I read a book. The quiet was ....awesome! It was relaxing, soothing...
So now, several nights a week, I turn off the TV and read.  Right now, of course, I am blogging. Still, the only sounds I hear are the aquarium right behind me...and that supposedly silent dishwasher, (I don't care, truthfully, if that dishwasher is louder than hades- it washes dishes, OK?) Say what you want about country living- I've lived on this mountain all my life and there isn't a thing romantic or fun about washing dishes. Modern conveniences have their merits.
Do you ever just turn off the noise and enjoy the silence? Granted, it isn't as nice as sitting on the porch at night. However, it's colder than a witch's..well, it's cold out there, OK? I'm sitting here by the wood stove enjoying the silence and counting my blessings.
Try a No TV Night sometime. You might surprise yourself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bring on the Spring

Another sleepy winter's night here on the mountain. Baby Girl and I have been fighting off a nasty cold for a few days now. We get up and go on to work and to school (for us, same place) like troopers. Still, by 6 pm we have had it. Not sure of its the cold itself or the meds (likely both) that have us feeling so tired, I hate this time of year,  I know that sounds terrible coming from Miss "Every Season Has It's Beauty" but hey, y'all, I am OVER IT.
I'm lying in bed typing away. She is snuggled next to me dreaming of spring (I hope). I'm ready for yard sales, flea markets, seed starting, and flower beds. I'm ready for painting under the shade tree, reading on the porch swing, and star gazing from the deck. Bring on the lighting bugs, the swimming pool, and guitars beneath the stars.
Go home, Old Man Winter. We're done.