Friday, June 13, 2014


Friday the 13th of June, my birthday.  It’s hard to believe I’m 52 years of age today, I only feel like I’m 29 :-).  Every time my birthday falls on a Friday, it brings me good luck.  

Bulldog Man and Tank took me out to eat last night, at a place called BJ’s.  I suggested we go out on Thursday instead of Friday.  Restaurants in town are so busy on Friday nights, and I really didn’t want to have to deal with crowds………besides we had a coupon for buy one meal and get the second free.  What a deal right??  The meal was delicious, and then we topped it off with this awesome berry cobbler with crème and nuts.  

My husband and I have this deal; we don’t get each other gifts for our birthdays or Christmas.  We may go out to eat or just have a wonderful homemade meal.  

I did however make my husband promise to take me back to Lake of the Arbuckles tomorrow morning real early to go fishing; before the weather breaks loose with severe storms.

The funeral home who took care of my Dad’s arrangements when he passed away contacted my Mom; to see if she would be interested in being a part of a memorial they were presenting, for all those who had passed away the first 6 months of the year 2014. 

This memorial took place in a well known park in the city where my Mom resides.  There were over 400 people who attended this event.  The funeral home read the name of everyone who passed away, and then gave a butterfly to each family member to release in the name of the person who passed away in each family. 

We released 5 butterflies for every member left in our family; the first landed on my Mother’s chest.

The remaining 4 flew off high in the sky.  This memorial was beautiful, with flowers all over. A light lunch was also served to the family members.  This was the first time the funeral home sponsored such an event.  They now plan on doing this each year to support all family members who suffer the loss of a loved one.
Speaking of butterflies, this one paid me a visit while working in and around my flowers today…… you think it’s a sign?

Pictures inside my garden area right after it rained.  The water just puddled, we received too much all at once.  It took 2 days to dry out.

The sun finally came out, and the grass finally dried enough to get outside and cut the grass with the Zen machine; tractor mower!!  The property looks nicely groomed, that is until we get more rain and our weeds start growing again.

We harvested another large pot of green beans.  I blanched the beans and placed them in a food saver bag to store in the freezer.  Here’s a picture of more tomatoes harvested from the tomato plants in the garden.  These are on the window sill soaking up the sun.


Bulldog Man gives this recipe a rating of 4 paws.

I wasn't able to get a picture before the casserole was spooned out.

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

1 pound Elbow Macaroni
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use the 2 packages by Kraft it has 4 different types of cheddar cheese already shredded). Set aside 3 tablespoons of cheese for using later on top of casserole.
Pepper (to taste)
¼ cup chopped flat parsley
8 slices of bacon
½ onion, diced
1 can tomato soup
Fresh thyme (4 small branches stripped of leaves, chop leaves).

Cook pasta in pot until al dente (refer to instructions on box of pasta), drain pasta after cooking and set aside.
Preheat oven 400 degrees
In a pan cook onions until translucent
Transfer onions to another pot; place 4 tablespoons of butter in pot, let butter melt.  Once butter has melted place 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour in pot and stir continuously until all the flour is worked into the butter onion mixture.  Make sure there are no lumps left.  Add milk to mixture keep stirring, and then add cheese, thyme, and tomato soup stirring continuously.  Once everything is melted and mixed together, set this pot aside.  In a frying pan cook up 8 bacon slices (don’t cook them crispy).
After cooking the bacon slices, chop up the bacon in small pieces.  Place the bacon in the pot you set aside the one with the cheese and tomato soup mixture.  Now add your cooked pasta and parsley.  Mix well, transfer casserole mixture to a large casserole dish.  Make sure to grease this dish before putting the casserole mixture in.  Place the casserole mixture in the baking dish; level the casserole mixture in the pan, and sprinkle a little bit of leftover cheese on the top of the casserole. 
Baking time 20 – 30 minutes.



  1. First off. Happy birthday!!! Second, holy crap I'm soooo sorry about your dad passing :( I missed this somehow. I truly believe 100% with all my heart and soul that butterflies are spirit. That butterfly on your mom was your dad. This makes me cry with sadness for you guys and joy that spirit is still with us. Know that when a butterfly visits you in the future it's your dad ♥ Hugs to you on your birthday and for the loss of your dad. I'm so sorry, but he is still with you. Enjoy the rest of your day :)

    1. Bad weather is coming our way?????? I never watch the news so it slips up on me. Thanks for the heads up :))))

    2. Kelly,

      Thank you so much for the Birthday Wish. You know Dad beat cancer however the cancer treatment ended up hurting him in the end. I will keep his spirit close to my heart and every time I see a butterfly, I'll know he's with me.
      What is with this weather. It's suppose to be bad again tonight!

  2. Happy Birthday Friend!! 52 years young!!! Wooohooo! Love the memorial with butterfiles...that was really awesome!

    Hugs from this side of Oklahoma!

    1. HL,

      Thank you for the Birthday wish!!! Yes, 52 in number only and 29 in heart, lol......

      It was nice the funeral home started doing this for everyone who passed. The release was beautiful and I look forward in releasing butterflies yearly in my dad's name.

      Hugs back to you from Central OK.

  3. Happy Birthday Sandy!
    Your feeling like you're 29 will continue until you reach 62ish. Then the body will firmly let you know your not! :-)

    1. Hey Mike,
      Thank you so much for your Birthday wish!
      You're so correct..... and your comment made me laugh, :-)

  4. Well HAppy Birfday Sandy!!! We got enough rain here to last use two weeks easy so I hope the severe weather stays down there for a bit. The Green Beans look wonderful too..

    1. PP,

      Thank you PP for your HAppy Birfday wish :-)

      The SEvere WeAther needs to head over the dry farmers fields to give them all kinds of rain.

      My green beans are really nice this year, and I have a lot to harvest every day. Now I'm going to have to start canning them instead of freezing them.

  5. Happy birthday! That recipe sounds amazing..

    1. Longtime Wife,

      Thanks!! It is really good :-)

  6. I'm so sorry I missed your birthday! Happy, happy Birthday!!! Sounds like the perfect night out. Good food and good company.

    And today you are fishing...catch a big one!

    1. Gail,

      Thank you so much for the birthday wishes. We enjoyed ourselves out at dinner. And Gail, I caught the biggest fish!!!! A picture will be on my next post.

  7. Happy Birthday Lady! Have a wonderful day today!

    1. Hey Sweet Robin, thank you for the Birthday wish.
      I had a wonderful night, and a fabulous time fishing.

  8. Those beans look amazing! I will pick a few from my itty bitty garden today & hope to have enough to have as a side dish. Love the idea of the butterfly release. And yes, I believe in signs such as the one that visited you in your garden. Hope your Birthday was a happy one & that you got to fish as planned.

    1. DFW,

      I have all kinds of green beans this year. There will be multiple harvests and I will be canning a bunch soon. I also planted another kind of green bean just yesterday, and can't wait for the seeds to start showing seedlings. Yes, the butterfly that came to visit me on my birthday was a sign. My birthday was wonderful, and we fished early in the morning, thank you for our birthday wishes.

  9. Happy Birthday Sandy love that you have a cool birthday Friday the 13th.
    I am thinking that butterfly had a message for you Mom hugs my friend. B

    1. B,

      Thank you Sweetie. From time to time my birthday falls on a Friday and it's just amazing. I always have good luck on Friday the 13th.
      I'm pretty sure there was a message delivered to my mom that day.

  10. oh shoot! Sweet Sandy - how on earth did i miss this post?!?!??!? HANG ON - i have to go and read it now. i just quickly scanned it and cannot believe i missed wishing you a happy birthday. i feel like a rotten friend. i'll be back in 5.

  11. ok - i'm back. i am so sorry that i missed your birthday!!! Happy Birthday to the sweetest person i know!!! and honey - 52 is going to be YOUR year...i just sense it! the funeral memorial is something i have never heard of a funeral home doing - what an absolutely beautiful idea! the fact that a butterfly (your Dad) landed on your mom's chest and then visited you the next day - well, yes, i guess that is a sure sign! how wonderful for you and your Mom to be able to participate in such a lovely event.

    oh and i can just imagine you out there on your zen like a mad-woman - bahahahahah!

    i am glad that BDMan and Tank took you out for a nice dinner. we don't do gifts either and most of the time we forget our birthdays - bahahahahah! our 12th anniversary was last january and we didn't remember until a friend reminded us ------- 3 DAYS LATER - bahahahahaha!

    oh my sweet friend, this upcoming year is going to be filled with good things for you - i just know it! as always, we send our best wishes and love to you and yours! your friend,

    1. Sweet Kymber,

      Thank you for the lovely birthday wish. I hope it is my year, I need a better year. That was the first time I heard of a funeral home doing a memorial like this. I thought it was a wonderful thing to do.....and they're doing it every year. The butterfly landed on my mom's chest once she released it from the container. An then on my birthday a butterfly appeared on a flower in my garden right next to where I was working. I believe that was a sign from my dad.

      I love using the driving mower but still need to use the push mower in the small back area designated for the dog, and in my garden area because the drive along won't fit through the gate.

      I actually wanted to cook on my birthday but the boy's wouldn't let me and that's okay. We enjoyed ourselves that evening. A birthday along with many holidays are just days. Yes we celebrate certain holidays for obvious reasons but we don't give gifts to each other.

      I truly hope this year is filled with good things like you stated. Sending love and hugs to you and Jam.
      Your friend,

  12. happy belated birthday sandy!!!!!!!

    kymber is right - you will have the best year ever, 29 all over again!

    your beans look pretty good i must say - so does the casserole ;-)

    that IS a sweet ceremony.

    hugs to you my friend!

    1. Jambaloney,

      Thank you so very much for your birthday wish!
      Yes.........29 forever!!!

      The beans are just amazing, we has some the other night. And the casserole went real fast with the guys.

      Sending hugs and love to you and Sweet Kymber.

  13. Sorry I am so late.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 52 is fabulous and so are you. You have become such a wonderful and supportive friend. Hope you have a very blesed year.

    I agree with most everyone, the butterfly landing on your mom was not only cool but a significant sign. What a blessing that was. And how nice of the funeral home do this for families. I wish more would do it.

    No matter how much rain you get, your garden is awesome. Beans look delicious. And so does that Mac and Cheese. I bet my boys would enjoy it.

  14. I'm a bit late to the party, but Happy Birthday! The casserole looks SO yummy!