Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day!

Can you believe it’s almost here? Most children have returned to school, and the fall sports have started. There are signs of fall all around, from the leaves that have started to fall to the pots of colorful mums on sidewalks in front of stores to the noticeably shorter daylight hours. It just doesn’t seem right, though, that the temperature and humidity soar while we have glimpses of fall. The air conditioners are getting a workout lately, that’s for sure!

I did a post last year for Labor Day about its history, and that’s probably quite enough. If you’d like to read it, just go the the Archived posts and check out the August 27, 2012 post - it also includes a delicious potato salad recipe. For now I’ll just ramble on a bit about a lot of nothing. It’s been a very busy work week, and I’ve put in several 12-hour days. Today is slower, but that doesn’t help my tired brain work any better. Add tons of work to housework to caregiving, and you have one tired lady here! We work at home, which is good because we don’t spend time commuting, but sometimes it gets a little difficult to keep concentrating on the work at hand.

The dinners haven’t been very creative this week, mostly whatever I could prepare quickly so I could get back to work. Now I’m making plans for a Labor Day cookout and for a family reunion next Saturday. Love those reunions and family gatherings!

For the cookout I’m thinking we’ll have grilled steak and Italian sausages with peppers prepared  in the slow cooker. And, of course, there must be potato salad and baked beans.

To do the sausages, just put them in the slow cooker. Throw in an onion, sliced and separated into rings, a green sweet pepper and a red (or whatever color you like) sweet pepper, cut into strips. Pour in a jar of good marinara sauce and let simmer on low for several hours. If you want mushrooms you can either use sliced fresh mushrooms or sliced ones from a can, drained. Add them toward the end of cooking. Serve on good hoagie buns. I'll probably add some of my frozen pesto and some garlic to the sauce - spice it up however you like!

The reunion is more of a problem. There are so many great cooks and always such a huge amount of food that it’s hard to know just what to take. I do take something different every year, but there are some who have their specialties, and we’d certainly miss them if they didn’t bring them. This year I’m thinking either Mexican or Italian. These folks are good down-home people who love good home cooking, so I’ll have to give it some thought. And there’s always the dessert dilemma….what to take, what to take? There are typically more cakes than pies, so last year I took pies and might do that again this year. Or fancied-up brownies of some sort. Or cupcakes. Or cake balls. Oh my….
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Today is National Marshmallow Day! Did you know that it takes 64 of the large ones or 8 cups of the mini ones to make a pound? There are recipes online for making your own, but when they’re so readily available it seems a lot of work! So pop a few ooey-gooey marshmallows in your mouth today – make it happy!

It’s also Slinky Day. In 1943 Richard James, a naval engineer, was working on a meter for battleships when he dropped one of the tension springs. Watching it bounce across the floor gave him a great idea – a toy! He and his wife worked on the concept for 2 years, and the Slinky came out for the Christmas season in 1945. They are still made today by James Industries in Hollidaysburg, PA using the original equipment. Each Slinky is made of 80 feet of wire. And aren’t they fun? Now, I'm probably giving away my age a bit here, but I do remember this advertising jingle - can you sing it?

"What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, 
And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing,
Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy,
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy"
- Advertising Jingle
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Playing With My Camera 

I’m trying to improve my photography skills, so I went out earlier today and just took random shots in the yard. Some were immediately deleted, but some turned out fairly good.  Here are a couple of pics.
IMAG0108IMAG0110
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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
(Harriet Tubman)

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
(Henry David Thoreau)
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Wishing you a very happy Labor Day!

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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