Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hello Fall! Where are you hiding?

Is it really Fall?

I am so tired of the heat and humidity.

 Last Sunday we tried to stay in the stadium for a while after the Texans game, but they chased us.  They try to clear the stadium, but we knew there would be a line at the train station so we tried to wait.  They don't let you carry drinks out of the stadium.  I guess it's because they don't know for sure what's in the drink and if there's alcohol it's illegal to carry it out.

It's about a three or four block walk from the stadium to the train station.  There is a van and we usually use it when it's hot since Reid doesn't have the stamina he did at one time.  When it cools off we walk.  We park in the Park and Ride for $15 and that includes the train ride.  The station has no cover for the southbound side, so even when we finally get on the platform there's no shade.  It was cloudy on Sunday, but then the sun broke through and it was HOT waiting in line.  What I would have done for a bottle of water!  I wish the Texans would have someone selling water outside the stadium.  Having people walking and standing in that line is a recipe for trouble in the heat.  When we got to our car the thermometer in the car said 103.  We drove to the nearest convenience store for some bottled water.

Tonight the Texans play the Patriots in New England.  (Go Texans!)  I'm hoping by the next home game the weather will be a little better.

I'm so envious of people that write about the cooler mornings and evenings.  I really miss Fall.

I remember those cool Jersey mornings and evenings.  I remember the beautiful Fall leaves and raking them into piles as they fell so we could jump in and play.  Fall meant people would be burning leaves and the smell would be in the air.  (I don't think they're allowed to do that anymore.)  We'd head to Tice Farms for fresh cider.  Fall was a special time.

This picture is kind of dark, but that's my Dad and me on the front porch.  See all the leaves on the sidewalk?  We were even wearing coats!  Yes, there was a chill in the air.  This was probably taken in October or early November.  Most of the leaves would be gone by mid November.  I know the year was 1954.
This is my Dad and sister in the side yard.  My Dad would rake leaves weekly.  There were no blowers back then and we had a big yard.  (In the summer he also mowed with a push lawn mower!)
I have no idea what I was trying to do in this picture.  I guess it was some kind of high kick!  However, look at the pretty fall colors.
Of course, my sister and I were dressed alike in matching coats and hats!

Nowadays I try and stay in my air conditioned house and pretend it's cool outside.  We might get to turn off the A/C for a day or two in mid to late October.

Last week I put up some Fall decorations.  It's all part of pretending.  Hmmmm...maybe I should go to the grocery store and buy some cider.  I'll heat it up in the microwave and add some whipped cream and a little drizzle of caramel.  Pretend, pretend, pretend!  Happy Fall!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

OH NO! Say it isn't so HoJo?

I had no idea the Howard Johnson's restaurant chain was down to two restaurants in the entire United States.  Come September 6th they'll be down to only ONE.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that in this morning's Houston Chronicle.

I guess I should have realized since I haven't seen a Howard Johnson's in years.  When I first moved to the Houston area in 1981 there was one on the Gulf Freeway, but I guess that's been gone for a number of years.  I just assumed they still existed somewhere else.

When I was growing up in the 1950's we went to Florida every year for either Christmas or Easter.  We drove from New Jersey to Florida and back again.  My mother insisted that Howard Johnson's always had clean ladies rooms, so that was a regular stop along the way.  I didn't mind one bit since I loved their hotdogs.  Back then there weren't that many chains.  No McDonald's, Burger King, etc.  It was more of the Mom and Pop type places.

This slide was taken in July of 1954.  I don't know exactly where, but I'm pretty certain it must have been somewhere between New Jersey and Florida.  (You can click on it to enlarge for a better view.)
From left to right:  my sister Carol Sue, my mother Betty Durgin, and me Betty Jean.  (As soon as my sister and I were old enough we got everyone to drop the Sue and Jean from our names.)

Of course, my sister and I were always dressed exactly alike...right down to our underwear I'm sure.  In a lot of the old slides we are often dressed up.  I think we must have gone all the way to Florida in dresses and patent leather shoes.  My mother is often wearing high heels just like June Cleaver.  Times sure have changed!

Although I'm now 70 years old I can still close my eyes and smell and taste a yummy Howard Johnson's hot dog.  It was covered with grease and so so good.  I always enjoyed those Howard Johnson's stops because it was a nice break from my parents arguing.  My mother never liked the way my father drove and found it necessary to correct him.  For the first day or so he didn't mind, but after that the arguments would begin.  I'd watch for that familiar orange roof in anticipation.  Yea!  We could get out of the car!

According to the newspaper after September 6th the only Howard Johnson's restaurant in America will be in Lake George, New York.  If it wasn't that far I'd sure like to go one more time for old time's sake.

I did find a couple of websites with Howard Johnson's memories.:  America's Landmark: Under The Orange Roof and HoJo Land.

If you'd like to own some Howard Johnson's memories of your very own there's always eBay.  I took a look and there are postcards, plates, glasses, matches, etc. up for auction.  Perhaps you could use a Howard Johnson's ash tray?  Click here.

Anyone else with Howard Johnson's memories?  If so, you're probably over 60!

Friday, August 05, 2016

Dolls, Pokemon and Pink for Pink Saturday

Welcome to Pink Saturday sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound

I decided to again feature some of my Vogue dolls this week.  They too have been afflicted with Pokemon fever.  (You can click on the photos to enlarge them.)
You'll notice the Vogue vintage reproduction Ginny is wearing pink!  Her outfit was a surprise made by a doll friend.  I bought a couple of dolls from Susan and when they arrived Ginny's cute little outfit was in the box.  Susan knew that I had a trailer for my doll scenes and Ginny's shirt has a trailer on the front.  I was thrilled.
When I was looking at these pictures I realized that Susan had also made the little train outfit for the vintage reproduction AA boy doll.  There's a train on the front of his overalls which can't been seen in this particular photo.
They're finding Pokemon all over the place!  Even kitty found one.
A modern Vogue Jill doll is keeping her eye on things.
I made their cell phones and bought the pokeballs and pokemon online.

Here are some photos where you can see the dolls and their outfits more clearly.  This is a Vogue reproduction AA Ginny wearing an outfit that I've had since childhood. It's from 1955.  For any Vogue collectors out there it's the Ginny Gym Kids outfit #32. It also came with a chartreuse felt hat, but I decided it was too hot for a hat.
In this photo you can see the train on the vintage reproduction AA boy doll's overalls.  Next to him is the vintage reproduction Ginny in her trailer outfit, the vintage reproduction Ginny in the 1955 Gym Kids outfit, and another vintage reproduction AA Ginny wearing an outfit that I made some years ago.  She's wearing a cute pair of moccasins but I can no longer remember who made them.
In the photo below next to the AA reproduction Ginny is a 1954 painted lash walker Ginny.  Collectors call them the PLW Ginnys.  The walkers were only made for one year with painted eyelashes.  After that they had molded eye lashes.  She's wearing glasses because Vogue used some paint that contained copper and the eye brows and lashes on some dolls turn slightly green to an almost florescent green with time.  It comes from being exposed to light.  Her lashes and brows aren't too bad, but when I took her out for this photo I thought they had gotten worse.  I keep her in a dark cabinet 99% of the time.  She's wearing an outfit from 1955.  For any collectors it's the Ginny Gym Kids #28.  It also came with a hat that she's not wearing.  The doll on the end is a vintage reproduction boy doll that I've turned into my version of JJ Watt as a child.  JJ is a Houston Texans defensive end.  I thought I'd add that information for the non-football fans out there.
 I've said before how sad it is to me that Vogue is no longer making any dolls.  I really liked the reproduction dolls they were making.  I kept hoping they'd come out with some more since the web site is still up, but there haven't been any in a number of years.

Now please head over to Beverly's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thanks for visiting...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

An Untraditional 4th of July for Pink Saturday

Welcome to Pink Saturday sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. 

I thought I'd share our family's 4th of July celebration with  you.  There was no parade or fireworks this year for us.  It was just too hot and humid.  So hot and humid that we chose to have a cook-in rather than a cook-out.

One of our favorite recipes is Roast Sticky Chicken.  I found this recipe online many, many years ago.  I think it was sometime in the 1990's.

I just googled and this appears to be the exact same recipe that I use.

Mimi's Roast Sticky Chicken - as posted by Anieema

I do not care for salt and always omit salt from my recipes.  I also don't bother rubbing on the spices and putting the chicken in a plastic bag overnight.  I do it right before cooking.  This time I doubled the recipe and used two chickens.  It cooks for five hours and the smell is so good.

I like gravy with the chicken so I just use a package of Pioneer Gravy Mix and add in some of the juices from the pan for a little extra flavor.
Then my son Reid made twice baked potatoes.  This was taken right before he put them in the oven for the second time.
YIKES!  I almost forgot to take a picture after they came out of the oven.  Fortunately there was still a few left.  I should have gotten his recipe to share.
Then I cooked some asparagus...nothing fancy.
We had two desserts.  One was the Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cake again.  We had just made it a month before for Keith's birthday and wanted it again.  The recipe is right on the box. 

We also made S'more Cups.  Another big favorite with my family.  The recipe can be found on Coleen's Recipe blog

I enjoy Coleen's recipes and a few weeks ago someone notified her that someone else had taken over 300 recipes from her blog and put them up on a blog as their own.  You can read about it here.  Why would someone do that?    I was afraid Coleen might stop posting recipes, but she hasn't.

Everyone enjoyed our untraditional 4th of July meal.
After we ate it was time for Family Feud!
Yes, we played a few rounds.  It was Troy and Debbie against Reid and me.  Wyatt was the host.  Troy and Debbie won.

I should have gotten these photos up sooner, but I've been busy lately...
Yes, even I play Pokemon now.  I don't completely understand this game, but I do enjoy catching the little Pokemon characters.
I joke that I can bring home Pokemon now instead of cats!
This is Reid playing when we went down to Discovery Green Park in Houston.
Discovery Green is a park in downtown Houston located right in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Houston is counting down the days until the 2017 Super Bowl.

Now head over to Beverly's blog for a list of this week's Pink Saturday participants.  Thanks for visiting...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pink Salad AKA Pink Stuff for PINK SATURDAY

Some years back I put this recipe up for Pink Saturday.  There are probably a bunch of people that weren't here then, so I decided to share it again.  In our family we have always called this recipe PINK SALAD or PINK STUFF.  Actually, it can be a side dish or a dessert.  I got this recipe from a friend in the 1970's while living in Virginia.  Personally, I could eat the whole thing myself.

Congealed Salad (AKA PINK Salad or PINK Stuff)

1 small can crushed pineapple
1 6 oz. Jello (any flavor…I like raspberry)
1 12 oz. Carton Cool Whip
2 c. buttermilk
½ - 1 cup chopped nuts

Combine undrained pineapple and Jello in small saucepan. Heat until Jello dissolves. Mix Cool Whip and buttermilk; add nuts. Stir in gelatin mixture, mixing thoroughly. Put in mold or long rectangular pan. Let set for 4 hours. (I do it overnight.) I find it helpful to spray the mold lightly with Pam…it comes out of the mold a lot easier. Serves: 12. (I use a wire whisk for mixing the ingredients together.)

You can make it look fancy by garnishing it with some fresh fruit.  I used a Tupperware mold that I've had since the year of the flood.

For a list of other Pink Saturday participants visit Beverly's blog.