Just in Time

We're back at the roost...apparently just in time for the next round of arctic blast and blowing snows.  May I repeat myself?  I have had enough of this...!

Just Enough Ruffles Scarf
for Missy M, 1/2011
We made the 8-hour trek over the mountains and up the WV turnpike ($6 in tolls, each way...) to Missy M's house in Louisville last weekend.  There was still a good deal of snow on the side of the all the roads along the way...as the old saying goes "waiting for the next snow storm."  I delivered the Just Enough Ruffles scarf (photo, left), and we had a pleasantly uneventful visit with her and the pups, Ella Rae and Dixie

This was our first time to meet Dixie, who is a bea-U-tiful Basset girl.  She is a tad on the smallish side for a Basset, weighing in at "only" 53 pounds when she went in for her snip-snip operation and teeth-cleaning last week.  [While 53 pounds is indeed a large dog, remember our Drool Gang for reference: Gus weighs about 63 pounds, Duchess tilts the scales at 74 pounds (!), and Elmo comes in at 54.]  She has an almost silky coat and gorgeous coloring, that being white and red, a lot like Elmo's.  She and Ella (all of 18 pounds...and looking like a pup in her "new" haircut) are still working out the new living arrangements, but all-in-all it appears they may become best of buddies...except when they are vying for Missy M's undivided love and attention...and food.  Naturally.

When we arrived so late on Friday night that I think it may have actually been Saturday morning, Dixie would have nothing to do with me.  Absolutely nothing.  Barked at me even.  Me!  The Momma.  She let Mr. T (Not-The-Momma) pet her and give her a belly rub...showing off her operation stitches with pride.  But with me?  She drew a line and wouldn't cross it.  Broke my heart, of course...but, what are you going to do?

Well, here's what I did.  Next morning, I got up early to fix the dogs their breakfast.  (The humans in the house could fend for themselves...:)  I opened a can of tuna to mix with their dry kibble, and voila!  I'm the Queen Mother!!  It also helped that Missy M and Mr. T headed out to see a movie in the afternoon, and since I was nursing a sinus problem, I stayed home with the dogs.  While I sat on the sofa, knitting on my Slanting Lace Scarf and enjoying several cups of hot tea with lemon, Dixie (after some help up with the hind-quarters) cuddled up next to me in the center, with Ella balled up like a cat on "her" pillow on the other end.  We bonded.

Missy M's new office at
KFC
Some of the conversation centered on Missy M's new promotion.  She's headed across the parking lot to the "Big White House" to work her Instructional Design magic with KFC.  Her first four and 1/2 years with Yum!Brands has been spent on a training team working with Long John Silver's and with A&W.  Now, she goes to play with the Big Brand, so to speak.  Her favorite part about the change so far?  She got an office with a door and a window out of the deal (photo, right).  Woo hoo!

Just ahead of the next KY snowfall, Mr. T and I hopped in the Endeavor to head out of town.  We took a giant detour around the city, though, in order to meet up with Brother T (minus SIL LaD, who was stuck at home because of the cold weather and the ice concerns) at Cracker Barrel in LaGrange.  Great town, by the way, with an active train track running right down the middle of the main street.  M and I love the yarn shop there, Friends and Fiber, and we once had to wait to cross back over the street to our parked car while the train went through.  Uh, no...we didn't get to the yarn shop this time, darn it.  But, it was lovely having a couple of hours with Bro T, along with a big CB breakfast in front of a roaring fire, all the same.

BTW, Missy M reports the latest snowstorm dumped another couple of inches of snow on her in the city, and SIL LaD reports almost 6 inches of the stuff on their mountaintop in Northern KY.  We joked that she may not get off the mountain until Easter...or, as she says, until Derby Day in early May.  Ha ha?

Back home in NC, we had a nice day on Wednesday (temps reached the 50's, believe it or not). All the snow melted, and the ground is ready to receive some more. Thursday brought a return of the cold, so I decided to heat up the house with blackberry cobbler and some homemade bread (photos, center/below; recipe, end of article). We are in the twenties here today, with snow predicted for Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday; accumulation predictions are mixed. We'll see...



Blackberry Cobbler


White Bread


Mr. Squirrel and the new Critter Feeder
 Mr. T made it home from the highlands, and his first task on Friday was to refill the feeders, which were slap-dab completely empty.  He also put two new dried corn ears (photo, right) on the newest critter feeder (from that last trip to Tractor Supply...:); believe me when I tell you that there's nothing but cobs there this morning. 

So, if we are to believe the creatures, we've got weather on the way.  Big time.  Hoo boy.






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Easy Fruit Cobbler

2 cups fruit (blackberries, pealed peaches, apples, whatever you have)
2 cups sugar, divided
4-8 T. butter (the more, the richer taste - I use 6 T.)
1 cup milk
1 cup self-rising flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, put the butter in a loaf pan and into the oven; allow the butter to melt, then remove the pan. 

Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of the sugar over the washed/prepared fruit; let sit for a bit.  In a large mixing cup/bowl, mix the milk, the other 1 cup of sugar, and the self-rising flour together into a batter.

Time to assemble!  Pour the batter mixture into the melted butter in the loaf pan.  DO NOT MIX.  Then, spoon the fruit (and any syrup that has formed or sugar that remains) on top of the butter-batter in the loaf pan.  Again, DO NOT MIX.  The fruit will sink below the batter, which will form a dough and crust around the fruit while baking.

Bake for one hour, or until brown on top and bubbling all around.  Remove to a rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.  Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.  Enjoy!

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