Monday, November 30, 2015

The Secret Society Of The Mask Women Kicks Off The Holiday Season

The Secret Society Of The Mask Women began the holiday season by decorating a gingerbread house.  We lined up all the candies, different colors of frosting, then began our assembly, panel by panel.  While it might not have been perfect from a builder and decorators view, we thought it turned out pretty awesome.
 What is the Secret Society Of The Mask Women?  Well, that my dear is a secret!

Gingerbread House
Sometimes the frosting ended upon places other than the gingerbread house.
Malia's nose is glowing like Rudolph's.

Gingerbread House
What the Secret Society Of The Mask Women talk about during their gatherings is nobody's business but the society's.  It is a secret!  Wouldn't you like to know what we were talking about here?

Gingerbread House
Our creation!

Our first gingerbread house, and Jim won it for Malia by winning a round of "Life".

It has been years since we have been to Dollywood, we were regulars when the children were young.      So the day after Thanksgiving we decided to revisit.  Malia, wanting her husband Jim to see the place she spent many days at during her childhood and Michael giving his wife Delia the same experience.  Malia and Michael told stories of those younger years at the park.
Even the dogs went, they stayed at Doggywood.  By the time we arrived the park was already packed.  Speck and Baloo were so excited, they got to ride on the train that takes you to the entrance from the parking lot.   The park was decorated with over four million lights with christmas music playing around.  The scents of Christmas was all around.  If you weren't hungry when you arrived, you soon were.  There was a large pit that you could make your own s'more's, how cool was that.  Cinnamon bread, yes we had some, YUM!!!
This day brought back so many memories with the kids.  I bet one day Stone and I will be taking grandkids to Dollywood, hmmm hopefully not to soon.


Jim and Malia

Delia and Michael

Saturday, November 28, 2015

University Of Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt

The rain held off for the last game of the 2015 football season here at the University Of Tennessee while the Vol's beat Vandy, 58-23.
 It was a perfect day to celebrate Stuart Bresee's birthday with a surprise tailgate party, catered by Calhoun's.

University Of Tennessee
Stone and I attending the final tailgate of the 2015 University Of Tennessee season.  

University Of Tennessee
I moved from Texas to Tennessee in 1991 and have been friends with Karen, Greg and their family ever since.

University Of Tennessee

University Of Tennessee
Speck is ready to get this party started.


University Of Tennessee
Baloo watching the vol walk.

Stuart Bresee
Happy Birthday
Stuart Bressee

"Memorex Lives!" Video Contest - Barton Helium by Robert Johnson

Memorex Lives Video ContestMy brother, Robert Johnson, has starred in numerous movies along the years. He is currently auditioning for a role in a movie with Burton Gilliam and Joey Lawrence.  The role will be given to the actor who gets the most votes. To help him out and cast your vote CLICK HERE! Be sure to hit the Facebook Like button on the view page upper right corner. 

Thanksgiving Traditions

Stone and I with Lucy
Speck, Delia, Malia with Albert, Jim, and Michael with Baloo.

 The frying of the turkey has been a tradition since 2008.
Jim looks on as Michael brings out the bird.

 Hmmm, I might have misjudged the size of bird we needed.

Malia spends time crocheting, while supervising the frying of the turkey.

Thanksgiving Ashlee from My So Called Crafty Life has a tutorial on how to make these adorable word search place cards for your dinner table.  

Jim provided our wine.  A red, produced by La Ferme Du Mont from France, which was the perfect accompaniment to our meal.

 This year I decided to do a dry brine, which gives you a crispier crust.  Although the men in my family were very skeptical, it turned out to be the best way to brine a turkey.

Jim works on his puzzle while waiting for Michael to carve the turkey.

Malia is determined to have all her words found before Michael puts the turkey on her plate.

Delia doing her word search.  This turned out to be not only a cute idea for place cards, but also a fun thing to do.  Everyone was so focused on finding all the words, trying to be the first one to finish.

 Michael always gets the job of carving of the turkey.

Classic Yellow Buttermilk Cake With Fudge Frosting
Cake Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Cake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350'.  Prepare three 7" pans and set aside.   Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high until creamy.  Add in the sugar and mix until light and fluffy.  Turn the mixer down to medium-low and add in the eggs, one at a time.  Add in the vanilla.
Stop mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients.  Mix until flour is just combined and then stream in the buttermilk.  Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 22 minutes or until golden.  Cool cakes on a wire rack.
Frosting Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Frosting Instructions:
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and melted chocolate until creamy.  Carefully add in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and combined.  Add more or less milk until desired consistency is achieved.  Frost cake.  Recipe from:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Lora Beth!

Today is a very special day: it is Lora Beth's birthday 
28 years ago, I first laid my eyes on this beautiful young lady. It seems like it was only yesterday! The little girl who once played with American dolls is now a young professional woman who works for a large corporation.  Out of all of my children, she is the one that looks the most like me. Only she is way cooler than I ever was then or now.  
Stone and I made a road trip to visit Lora Beth for her special day.  Along with Malia and Jim, we enjoyed an evening out at Ecco. The food at Ecco is fabulous and the fried goat cheese balls are a MUST but it is the ice cream that I now crave: olive oil with chocolate and sea salt, cocoa nib with chocolate magic shell, ginger with orange sauce and candied ginger and pistachio with pistachio crumble.  I'm embarrassed to say...I had some of all. 
A wonderful way to spend a very special day. Happy Birthday, Lora Beth!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bob's Colonoscopy Adventure

I want to introduce you to my brother Bob, although he prefers to go by Robert.  He thinks it more mature.  When you think about that would be correct, but then when you read his journal regarding his Colonoscopy adventure you will understand why I, along with the rest of the family call him Bob.  We know he's still the immature boy he was before he went out into the world.  It's actually one of the many things I love about him.  He can always make you laugh.  Whether the story is actually true or not, by the time he finishes telling it, not only do you believe it, it will have you peeing in your pants.
This morning Bob had his first Colonoscopy.  Due to the fact that he has a lot of friends that are scared to get this very important procedure done, he decided to man up, make his appointment and show them that it's not that bad.  He decided to document everything, kind of like journal.  And so it begins, in Bob's own words:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

6 a.m.-Woke up and did 60 minutes of cardio workout on Cross Trainer with an empty stomach, since I'm 24 hour out from procedure.  Looking forward to getting this taken care of tomorrow and getting a clean bill of health!

8 a.m.-Washed the Jeep and Hummer.  I usually wash and detail the inside, whether it needs it or not every Sunday.  I have done this for over 20 years.  Severe OCD.

9 a.m.- I'm starting to get hungry.   Haven't eaten since last night, when we attended a wedding and reception.  Lovely event held at The Cook Center.

9:30 a.m.-Clear protein drink since I can't have anything that has red, blue or green food coloring in it.

10:30 a.m.-Still hungry.

11:15 a.m.-Stomach growling like crazy.  I have to take four Dulcolax pills and start drinking a prep solution that is supposed to "clean me out."

12:30 p.m.-I'm hypoglycemic, so not eating and burning all the calories earlier is not a good thing.  Still drinking the prep solution.  Haven't felt anything "kick in," and I'm still hungry.

1:45 p.m.-Starting to be a little irritable.  Stacy (wife), is getting on my nerves.  Talking to much.  Still nothing from the "Prep Solution."

2:50 p.m.-I have five chihuahuas.  Starting to wonder how they would taste if I roll them in flour and activate the FryDaddy.  I may have diluted the "Prep Solution" a little to much.  Still nothing.

3:35 p.m.- UHG!!!  Really!!! I looked it up in the Penal Code and apparently murder is still illegal and I can't eat the freaking dog.  The "Prep Solution" and Dulcolax was apparently bought from the Discount Dollar Store.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

4:23 p.m.-OK!! SCREW THIS!!!   Family is totally on my nerves.  Told them to leave because Stacy was about to make dinner right in front of me!!!  This "Prep Solution and Dulcolax is a total failure!!!  WTH!!!  This stuff is a joke and false advertising.  I guess I'm the only person in the world that takes this stuff and burns a PTO day tomorrow only to have to reschedule this thing again!!!  The only thing I'm feeling is BLOATED!  UGH!!!

4:47 p.m.-DAM!  Just lost 23 pounds.  Getting light headed.....I think I'm dehydrated.

5:05 p.m.-Stacy and the kids checked into a hotel.  I can't find 4 of the dogs.  The one Chihuahua, "Stormy" appears to be throwing up in the back yard.  She won't come near the house for some reason.

5:54 p.m.-I just realized that a 12 pack of Charmin isn't as big as I thought.   I may type a complaint letter later.

5:58 p.m.-Disregarded the complaint letter.  I had to use the paper in the printer for something else.

6:15 p.m.-Wondering how I would look in skinny jeans.  I think I'll try on my daughters (Pumpkin) to see.

6:17 p.m.-WOW!   I actually ROCK skinny jeans!!!  I never thought that I would be small enough to wear them like the Hipsters do.

6:18 p.m.-DAMMIT!!!  Can anyone recommend a strong stain remover???  I have to take care of something before Pumpkin comes home.

6:27 p.m.-Logging onto Amazon Prime.  Ordered XL tube of Aloe Vera.  Requested drone delivery service.

So what it boils down to, is that I've been right all along, my brother is full of shit.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Premier Surgical Associates Dinner Party and Open House

After a long day of work, Stone came home and asked, "darlin, would you be interested in giving a corporate dinner party for Premier Surgical Associates with ten people attending?"  Before I went to bed, I  had my menu planned and list made.  You mention putting on an event, you don't have to ask me twice.
Although most people would disagree with me, I think the most important decision is the dessert.  I live for sweets.  I usually can't decide on what to make, so I end up making at least two, sometimes three if I feel the notion.  Then of course I have to eat some of each, and then exercise double the next day.  To me it's worth the price to pay.  Why, we had one guest that informed me he doesn't eat sweets at all!  The reason, he just doesn't like them.  I think thats well and good, but for the life of me I don't understand how anyone can pass up butter and sugar.  I can't, and have never had the inclination to try.
For the desserts of the special evening I decided on Key Lime Pie and Pecan Pie.  My first thought was just the Pecan, then as I sat thinking, what if someone was allergic to nuts. Thats where the Key Lime came in.  Basically it was back up, and yes I had some of each, and yes I exercised this morning.  So here's the recipe, you know you want it.  Plop on a big dollop of Maple Whipping Cream and dig right in.

Pecan Pie
1 (9" pie)
1 (9") pie crust
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350'.
In a bowl, whisk together sugar, syrups, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; add eggs and whisk until mixed.
Melt butter in the microwave, until melted.  Slowly pour butter into the sugar mixture, and whisk to combine.  Stir in chopped pecans, then pour filling into the prepared pie crust.  
Bake on bottom rack for 15 minutes, the place on 4th rack and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until center is set. If pecans or crust is beginning to get to brown, cover with foil.  Once the filling is set, remove the pie and let cool completely on cooling rack before serving.   I served it with Maple Whipping Cream.  Whip up your Stabilized Whipping Cream as usual, but add 2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup, YUM!!!

Premier Surgical Associates Open House

It wasn't my fault her mama wouldn't let her have a facial at Elite.

The men at Premier sure are styling.

One just happens to be my husband.