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The Eclectic Company - Where Every Post is a New Adventure!!
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving "Turkeys"

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We had plenty of turkey for Thanksgiving, and not ALL of it went "gobble gobble!!!"

Check it out:


Jason, our "Little Cheese" S-I-L and Joe, our ornery B-I-L showed up wearing the EXACT same sweater. Who called whom to coordinate the "outfits" guys???

You earn the First gobble!!

GOBBLE


Brother-in-law-in-law (that is NOT a typo) Jeff.

Oh PUH-LEASE do NOT feel sorry for him that I posted THIS photo. He has RICHLY deserved it. Richly.

We first met at MY SISTER's wedding - - - you know- - - the one where she married his BROTHER. He was best man, I matron of honor. He still had hair - - - LOTS of it.

It was a love-hate relationship at first sight. Love-hate.

I do NOT remember what we were discussing in this photo, I only remember that I was RIGHT!!!

Never mind that we are totally eclipsing the bride and groom - - -

Oh, and all you retro lovers, this was circa 1976 - - - December 31, 1976 to take all the circa out of it.













Let's take another look at those two faces, side by side. Quite a picture we make, huh? Can't you just see all the love-hate goin' on???

We still have the love-hate relationship - - - makes life more interesting.

We get the SECOND gobble.

GOBBLE GOBBLE


Who's this??? Peyton Manning or G. Kelly Broyles????

Doesn't he clean up well? He looks so dignified and mature in this picture.

Looks are deceiving - - - this was just before he OPENED that pantry door and began removing the labels from the cans, and that was just before he followed me around the kitchen "crookeding" all the stools and chairs I was straightening.

Oh the stories I could tell about this boy and his antics - - - but I don't really need to because:

His sister and B-I-L created a CLONE of him, whom they named Mackinley, and I'll just tell HIS stories AS THEY HAPPEN!

Just LOOK at these two - - - they get the THIRD gobble.

GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE


Take a look at this precious little turkette! She's got her snuggy blankie and is already clutching a bottle of my fingernail polish.

Check out her boots:


Aren't those the sweetest, cutest, daintiest little feet you've ever seen?

She gets the FOURTH gobble - - - the fashion gobble.

GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE


Indiana Jones Mackinley James Baker. Look at this kid!!! He wore this hat and backpack, which contains his train track, nearly all afternoon!!!

If he doesn't make you smile, your lips are BROKEN!!!


Macky James, I LOVE you and YOU get the FIFTH gobble!!!

GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE
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Peace on Earth? WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT!?!?

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Whatever it is, we "ain't got" it at the BROYLES house when we all get together!!!! What we DO "got" are:

Smiles

Laughter

Eating

Teasing

Story Telling

Noise

More Noise

And Still More Noise.

Some families like to play board games - - - we never seem to get around to that, we're too busy talking. (Imagine that!)

This Thanksgiving was no exception. Just pretend you were here. By the way, WERE you here? In THIS crowd, who would know if a new face showed up!?!



For years we've done Thanksgiving with BOTH sides of my sister's family - - - so we claim her outlaws as family now!!! This is the Holloway clan that was here. Johnna (far left) is Jeff's (center) wife and Jeff is my B-I-L Joe's brother. Far right are my sister Pam and her hubby Joe. Peeking in between Jeff and Johnna are Brooks, Jeff's son, and his wife Courtney.

We ALWAYS intend to get a good group shot of ALL of us, but this happens to be the ONLY group shot I managed to get this year. I'll be telling you MORE about Jeff in my last Thanksgiving post - - - maybe tomorrow or Tuesday.


This is our sweet adorable Cathy and she is holding our newest grandpuppy, Rosie. Cathy is dating our son Kelly and doing her BEST to make him more human - - - where I failed. Rosie actually belongs to Korie, Cathy was just getting acquainted.


Little Piper was entertaining herself with my wagon full of teddy bears. I hesitate to show this picture lest you think all the adults in her life told her to go play with the electric socket - - - which I can assure you we DID NOT, and she was only passing by, but you can't tell that in this picture, can you????


Brooks - - - I believe he was saying something about me taking his picture, but you can see it didn't stop me!


Our "baby" Kyle with our S-I-L, Jason. Jason was multi-tasking, watching the football game AND working on his fantasy football at the same time. I believe Kyle was just hanging out as he HATES football - - - he isn't related to his mother at all.


Mackinley has discovered our "castle" books. Their pages are shaped so that when the book is closed, it forms a castle. He is in love with them and carried them around for a while, weaving in and out of the adult crowd, looking for someone to look at them with him. I'll show the books in more detail later in a TVTT post.



Piper showing off her new pink hair bows.


Chris, Korie's fiance, holding the new grandpuppy, Rosie, on his lap. I think we overwhelm Chris - - - his family is quiet, mature, and sophisticated - - - everything we are NOT!!! But, he keeps coming back, so I guess he likes us just fine.


I close this little unPeace Post with a random group shot.

We had a delightful time together and we were very thankful.

I was especially thankful for football and blogging - - - as I may have already mentioned.

Briefly.

In passing.

In a previous post.

Or two.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday Reruns - You Might Not Want To Look

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Don't you just LOVE bloggy Sunday reruns!?!

What a great chance to repeat a "blast from the past." Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting Sunday Favorites.

Today I'm reposting something a bit rocky - - -


WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING

(First posted 6/9/2007)


If you are squeamish about medical things - - - you may want to skip this post.

If you aren't from a medical family - - - you may want to skip this post.

If talking about medical conditions isn't your thing - - - you may want to skip this post.

If you aren't fixated on your own medical conditions - - - you may want to skip this post.

If blood and guts make you want to faint - - - you may want to skip this post.

If you aren't a doctor, PA, nurse, etc - - - you may want to skip this post.

If you are currently eating - - - you may want to skip this post.

If you think talking openly about medical conditions is in poor taste (you probably have more sense than the rest of us and) - - - you may want to skip this post.


Don't say I didn't warn you!!!





Greg's kidney stones.

A penny for your thoughts!! (Hehehehe)

The large stone next to the penny is Greg's current passee. The small "gravel" pieces to the left of the current jewel are the NORMAL
size he passes, so you can see why this one was SOOOOOO painful.

ALL of these were designed and made by Greg in his own special stone manufacturing quarry!!!! (Most of us call that a kidney) I guess you could say they are "designer gems!

Yes, he has kept all these.

No, I don't know what that says about us!!!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Noodle Me This - - -

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Whenever I mention the Hoosier delight of chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes, I get quite a hue and cry of disbelief from those who live outside of Hoosier land.

We Hoosiers stick staunchly behind our favored dish - - - we know if you ever try it once you also will be hooked.

Now, these aren't just ANY noodles. The BEST chicken and noodles are made with homemade noodles. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I USED to be a bit of a domestic diva when it came to the kitchen - - - making homemade bread WITHOUT a bread maker and homemade noodles.

Homemade noodles are WONDERFUL, but they are also time consuming to make, so now that I'm a classroom diva, I've given up my noodling. But I can STILL tell you about it.

However, since it is after midnight, I did NOT stay up and slave away to MAKE these noodles just to show you photos. No, I used my spiritual gift of google instead. BUT, I will give credit where credit is due.

The BEST Hoosier noodles begin with a very simple recipe. They contain flour, salt, a tiny amount of water, a little olive oil (some recipes call for this, some don't) and eggs. Thus the name, "egg noodles." And the BEST use more yolks than whites - - - that's the way we rolled when I used to make them.

Rolled!!! Ha!!! You will soon see that rolled is a noodling pun.


(photo from jamiegates.wordpress.com)
First you make a lovely mountain with your flour and salt. In the center of the mountain you make a nice volcanic crater. Into the crater go the eggs, water, and oil, if you are using oil.

Next comes the fun part!!! You scrub your hands until they are nice and sterile, then you begin to squeeze the eggs through the flour, working the dough until it will make:


(photo from blogs.kqed.org)
A lovely soft dough ball like this. You don't want it to be too dry and tough, or your noodles will be too.


(photo from pecuniarities.com)
Next you roll your noodle dough flat and thin. The thickness depends on how thick you want your final noodles to be. Remember, they will thicken some as they cook, so I always tried to get them REAL thin.

This process requires a well floured counter top AND a well floured rolling pin. I used to keep sprinkling flour over the dough as I rolled. Flour is IMPORTANT - - - you want loose flour hanging onto your noodles so the broth will thicken when you cook them.

Once your dough is rolled real thin, you begin to cut. When I was a novice noodler, I used to cut long individual noodles as shown in the above picture. Then a more expert noodler gave me a GREAT tip. With the dough well floured, it works GREAT to fold it over into at least fourths before cutting. That way, you make less and shorter cuts.


(photo from suburbangrandma.com)
Once cut, you spread the well floured noodles out on the counter and let them dry a while. If you are going to cook some immediately, you don't have to let them dry very long - - - at this point you can start boiling your chicken and by the time you have removed the chicken to debone it, the noodles will be ready to drop into the rapidly boiling chicken stock to cook.

If you have made extra and want to keep them, you need to let them dry thoroughly. If they are dry enough, you don't need to freeze them - - - they will keep in a plastic bag for months. If you leave moisture in them, you will have to freeze them for later use.


(photo from easteuropeanfood.com)
If you don't want to go to all the fuss and bother of MAKING your own noodles, there are homemade style noodles in most grocery stores to purchase. I just found this photo online and have NO IDEA if this particular brand is good or not. They don't look like they have enough flour sticking to them to me - - - but what do I know, I'm a rather novice noodler.

While your noodles are boiling, you will want to add salt, pepper, chopped onion and the deboned chicken. Some folks like to add chopped carrots - - - which do add beautiful color, but are totally unnecessary and NOT traditionally Hoosier.

When your noodles are tender and the broth has thickened, spoon them over mashed potatoes and VOILA:


(photo from cookingwithcarrie.blogspot.com)
You have created a Hoosier masterpiece of comfort food perfection. Do you see that THIS chicken and noodle dish is NOT SOUP??? That's why the flour on the noodles was so important. Now, if your first attempt turns out too runny it will still TASTE good, but the broth will run down the sides of the potatoes and make everything watery.

Of course, if this were MY dish of chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes, I would have ladeled about TWO MORE dips of noodles onto my potatoes. But then, I'm too old to care about my starches any more. :-)

So - - - here's my challenge to all you nonbelievers - - - GIVE IT A TRY!!! I double noodle dare you! Once you try it, there's no going back!!!!

I only wish you could have Keri's mashed potatoes with your noodles, 'cause hers are THE BESTEST.

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I NEVER Told Them To Do It - - -

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But they always do! Leave their shoes beside the front door.


So this is how many people came to our house to celebrate Thanksgiving yesterday.


Well, actually there were EVEN MORE of us, because some of us DO keep our shoes on. Isn't Piper cute as a button pointing out her mama's very stylin' boots?

In all, 18 brave souls showed up to sample my Thanksgiving Turkey. Oh, but I don't "do" the WHOLE feast - - - we each bring our "usual." It's so great to have a "usual" so there's no confusion and no indecision about what to bring!!!

Sister Pam brought the most excellent and delicious broccoli casserole. She also brought ham and a pumpkin pie.

Daughter Keri brought the best mashed potatoes in the world - - - I just wish you could taste them and you'd KNOW I'm not lyin'. She also brought a southwest corn casserole.

Daughter Korie brought the pumpkin bread, and I was THANKFUL because I didn't have to make it!!!

Dad brought the cheese and relish tray AND homemade cranberry sauce, with REAL Wisconsin cranberries that he got the last time we were up there.

Jeff brought the noodles. WHAT? NOODLES FOR THANKSGIVING???? I know that's what some of you nonHoosier bloggy buddies are thinking!!!! YES - - - here in Indiana we spoon noodles OVER our mashed potatoes - - - oh, and we add gravy too - - - and if you are wrinkling up your nose in disgust, all I can say is - - - HAVE YOU TRIED IT????? It is a Hoosier delicacy and WE think it far surpasses WHALE BLUBBER!!!! (Which is a delicacy in ANOTHER region and which delicacy we shall not discuss any further HERE.)

And so - - - 18 brave and wonderful people came through my front door, kicked off their shoes, and made themselves at home so they each could:


Ain't it just grand that our founding father's GAVE us a holiday in which we don't have to feel one bit guilty about EATING being the main event?

Ya gotta LOVE that.

Oh - - - yes - - - there is thankfulness too. I really didn't forget it, I was just too busy working my way through TWO plates of ham, and turkey, and potatoes with noodles AND gravy, and corn casserole, and broccoli casserole. YES I SAID TWO PLATES!

But we were thankful. Very thankful.

I was thankful for the food.

I was thankful for our family.

I was thankful for this great land in which we live.

I was thankful that Jeff is part of our family. (More about THAT later)

I was thankful for college football.

I was thankful for blogging.

And I was ESPECIALLY thankful that on Thanksgiving day, I got enough pictures to give me blog fodder well into next week!!!!

How did YOUR Thanksgiving Day go?
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am very THANKFUL for all of you, my bloggy friends. You make blogging the BESTEST hobby in the world. Thanks for your friendship over this past year.

One of my bloggy friends, Miss Cry, posted this graphic today as her thank-you to all of her blogworld. She said we should take it, and I would LOVE to pass it on to you. No strings attached - - - just THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being there for me all year long.

May the God of all grace and mercy enrich your lives today and from this day forward.

Amen.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Look What Ornery's Doin'!"

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Surely you remember the generational curse, don't you??? You know - - - that one where your mom said to you: "I hope when you grow up you have a child JUST LIKE YOU!!"

Well, I'm not claiming that THIS child is just like me, but when she was toddling my mother told me she was.

Her birth story is much more traditional than her sister's was - - - probably because by the time she came along, her daddy had EXPERIENCE and BELIEVED me when I told him I was in labor. We did come home from the hospital directly to our Thanksgiving dinner, and she looked like a doll in her little red dress.


She was an ornery little thing and smack full of ginger!!!


Once we had a visitor when she was about this size. We heard her little voice calling to us from the living room: "Hey, look what Ornery's doin'!!!" We looked in and she was walking on top of the couch back.


I also remember that about that same time she "helped" me with a painting project without me allowing it.


One day she found the cake flour, brought it out of the cabinet, and proceeded to pour it all over the kitchen floor. When I found her, she was happily smacking piles of it with her chubby little toddler hands.


In elementary school she was fearlessly aggressive on the basket ball court. When she played soccer in high school, she was yellow carded much to her mother's dismay and her father's great delight.


In elementary school the church children's choir director asked her if she would do a solo in the next production. None of us knew she could sing.

We know now!!!

That one little solo, "Germs, My Invisible Dog" opened a whole new horizon for her. She is blessed with a beautiful voice, natural stage presence and grace.

Here's a little sample:





After high school she became a cosmetologist. She works in a fancy smancy shoppe doing amazing things.


Now Ornery is all grown up into a beautiful lady. She is soon to marry Chris and we hope they live happily ever after.


Today is her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Korie Renee Broyles!!!!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Carol Frosted Me!!!

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Do you remember that line from "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days"? I always loved that line and NOW I can use it for this frost:

Carol, my fellow Wisconsin Northwoods addict and the creator of "Old Glory Cottage" gave me these diamonds today proving that all that glitters is NOT gold - - - or SOMETHING like that.

Thank you Carol!!!!!
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday Reruns - The First Time Ever I Was Tagged

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Don't you just LOVE bloggy Sunday reruns!?!

What a great chance to repeat a "blast from the past." Thanks so much to Chari over at Happy to Design for hosting Sunday Favorites.


"I Was Tagged"
(First posted 6/14/07)


By Deb.

I don't really understand this process, but I believe I'm supposed to say 8 little known facts about myself. So - - - let's do this the Dave Letterman way:

8) There is so much hair on my unshaven legs they have often been mistaken for a forest.

7) My parents were NOT expecting me to be a boy, I was going to be Keetha Denise only if I was a girl, and Joseph McClellan if I was a boy.

6) The "Keetha" part of my name is the feminized version of my father's middle name - Keith.

5) In spite of #7, I'm the only son my parents ever had.

4) I love trains. Someday I'd like to take a vacation on a scenic train, maybe in Europe.

3) I've never been to Boston in the fall.

2) I once got lost on a motor scooter in Rome.

1) I was once charged by a real, live, in the wild, ANGRY, African elephant, and barely escaped to tell you about it. (Totally true - - - and I NEVER lie)

Now - - - I think I'm supposed to tag someone. If you are reading this, and have not yet been tagged by another - - - consider yourself so tagged. :-) (You don't really have to consider yourself tagged since this is a rerun post.)
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Still a Bundle of Joy After All These Years

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It was a very dark and very foggy night when we set out on the road to parenthood thirty-three years ago today. And I literally do mean we set out on the road to parenthood. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself, let me go back to the beginning.

When we were expecting our first child, we were told that our insurance would cover all of the prenatal care and the delivery but that if we went to the emergency room for false labor, we would have to pay that bill out of pocket.

Our pockets were very shallow and very empty at the time. Hubs was determined that we would NOT have any false labor trips. Being not yet a medical care-giver, he had absolutely no idea of what either false or true labor "looked" like.

I remember well the first contraction. I was standing in the kitchen chopping potatoes to throw in the crock pot with our pot roast which I was preparing for the next day's Sunday dinner. I never got even ONE BITE of that pot roast, though I did finish preparing it for "the rest of them."There was no pain. There was no screaming. In fact, I didn't tell hubs about the first contraction - - - just glanced at the clock and began timing.

When the second one hit in about 15 minutes, I calmly informed him I thought we were "off and running" so to speak. He told me it was false labor and to just forget about it. He based this "expert" opinion on the fact that I was not screaming and wailing in pain.

I went about my business - - - but I can assure you quite definitely that I did NOT forget about it.

When my contractions were about five minutes apart, I told him I really thought we should start the 45 minute trip to the hospital. He was still sure I was in false labor because this could not be the "real" thing if I was rational. He told me to wait a little longer.

When the contractions were three minutes apart, I told him that I was going to the hospital, and he could either come with me or I'd drive myself. He didn't want me trying to drive myself through the split pea fog, so he got out of bed and went down to start the car while I waddled in that direction.

When I got to the top of the stairs, I had to sit down and wait out a contraction. He appeared at the bottom of the stairs and said, "Are you coming?" I said, "Yes, but I have to wait for this contraction to finish." He said, "Oh." And went back out to the car.

Contraction over - - - I waddled to the bottom of the stairs and got to the middle of the kitchen floor before I had to sit down, right in the middle of the floor, to wait out another contraction. Hubs appeared in the kitchen doorway and said, "Are you coming or not?" I replied that I was coming, but just had to wait out another contraction. He didn't think they could possibly be coming that fast.

Finally, I made it to the BACK seat of our little 1975 Mustang so I could "lie down." Perhaps you remember those? They had bucket seats in the back - - - sort of a bench seat with little buckets indented into each side. That middle "hump" between the seats is what I had to try to lie across.

I will never forget that ride. What should have been a 45 minute ride stretched out to about an hour and fifteen minutes as hubs struggled to see the road through the soup. I was blowing fiercely the entire way. Fiercely!

We arrived at the hospital and the nurses whisked me away to an examining room while hubs parked the car and settled into the waiting room.

A student nurse checked me.

Her eyes got the size of saucers and she turned to the "real" nurse and said, "I think YOU better check this one."

Real nurse checked and HER eyes got the size of saucers. They hustled me onto a gurney quick as greased lightning. I heard them shouting something about "no time for a prep on this one" and away we flew through the waiting room to the elevator and from thence up to the delivery room.

As we sailed through the waiting room - - - I heard hubs' voice off in the distance say, "Are we going home?" To which the nurse shouted: "WE'RE GOING TO THE DELIVERY ROOM!!!!!"

Still no screaming or wailing from me, I am proud to say.

In the delivery room I had to do a lot more fierce blowing while I waited for hubs and the doctor to suit up and mask up. MEN - - - what do they know about the URGENCY of pushing????

Finally they said, "push" and I did, and with that one push, she burst upon the scene, exactly six hours after I felt the first contraction.



Our first little bundle of joy. Keri Rachelle Broyles. She had a perfect little round face, ten perfect little fingers - - - each with a perfect little nail - - - and ten chubby little toes.

I know all you moms out there have experienced this for yourself, but it's ALWAYS OK to remember the mystery and joy and awe of that moment when they place that first miracle in your arms.

Hubs was so excited he took my suitcase home with him.


And Keri? Well, in spite of all we DID NOT KNOW as first time parents, she grew and thrived. She thrilled us with her smiles and her antics. She has been our family planner and orchestrator ever since. What I lack in "plan ahead" skills, she has in abundance. When "news" needs to be shared with the family - - - she does the texting, a skill I may never acquire.


She taught us how to parent. And when her siblings began to arrive - - - four years later - - - she "helped" parent every one of them, especially the last two.


She was the first grandchild on BOTH sides of the family - - - and I'm here to tell you, she was the apple of ALL our eyes.


When she smiled, hearts melted.


And they still do.


Now she is married to Jason ("The Little Cheese" 'cause hubs is the big one) and is a mama, an extraordinary one, herself.

Happy Birthday Keri Rachelle Baker!

You are STILL bringing us joy!!!




PS - - - your card will be here on Thanksgiving Day as is our usual custom since I still am quite unable to plan ahead.
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