Tuesday, December 5, 2017

In My Mind's Eye

It looks like Christmas in a skillet

It taste like a bowl full of love especially when you are getting over
the creeping crud.

It is our new favorite soup, so easy usually you have all the ingredients in the pantry
except for fresh spinach.
If you are interested here is the recipe.
Official title
Hearty Italian Sausage Soup
by Eileen Overturf
Before the recipe, she  says her brother in law says it is the best soup he has ever had and we agree

1 lb Italian sausage (I always use 1/2 lb  or 2 1/2 sausage links)
sausage casing removed and sliced
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 cans (14 oz each) low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can (15 oz cannellini beans rinsed and drained
(sometimes I used navy or great northern)
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes undrained
1-1  1/2 cup rotini pasta uncooked
1- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
(we like spinach I use  a little more, it cooks down)
1/2 cup 2% grated mozzarella cheese
(we use grated Asiago and Romano)
saltine crackers
1 Tbsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1. COOK sausage, onions and garlic in olive oil, in large sauce pan (I use my electric skillet) 10 minutes stirring frequently
2. ADD next 4 ingredients and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, stir in pasta, cook 8 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.
3. STIR in spinach, cover.  Let stand for 5 min.  top with cheese, serve with crackers.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ghost of Christmases Past or Not

We are the first and only family to live in our house.
We moved here just a few months shy of our daughter's 12th birthday.
No one else except the 3 of us have ever lived here,  or HAVE THEY?

However, for at least the last 15 or 20 years  we have been receiving
mail for two people
Milton Bedford and Barbara Upchurch 
Upchurch is our last name but we have no relatives named Barbara
(THIS IS 100% true).

The day we moved in it was was hotter than blue blazes.
By the time the movers left we were starving and about to grill some hot dogs when the skies opened it was raining sideways.  Plan B was to cook inside, once I found some cookware. I was ready to fix a quick meal on our new stove but it had no power.  When my husband pulled it away from the wall,
we saw it had not *'piggy tail', back in the 80's this was the long cord that attached the short stove cord then wall outlet.  We never had this issue with our first house.
Thank goodness for peanut butter.
When we turned on the a/c, there was no *cool air...just hot.  We quickly put linens on our beds falling in them near exhaustion.
In the wee hours of the morning, I was awaken by the sharp little fingers of my daughter poking me in the arm and quietly saying, Mommy, mommy wake up, wake up. With one eye opened, I replied what ever is the matter. She replied, my sheets and my blanket  and my pillow are not on my bed.
Now both of my eyes are open.  I told her she probably just kicked them off and could not find them.
So upstairs we go. When I turned on her light she really and truly had no linens or a blanket and her pillow was missing too.
I put my finger to my mouth, saying shhh we need to go get Daddy.  I grabbed her hand we took the steps 2 at a time. By now Toto the mighty mini Dachshund is also awake and happy as
a lark because he is sure he is going to be fed.
Then we both are poking Daddy in the arm (he was fast a sleep).  When we told him he immediately jumped out of the bed.  He said how can that be we made up both beds.
The 3 of us and the mighty Toto all head into the den.  Daddy turns on the light and
lo and behold all of my daughter's bedding is piled in a heap on the couch.
WE all exchanged looks of confusion....WHAT IN THE WORLD was going on,
how did the bedding get downstairs on the couch.  To be quite honest I was sure someone or something was in the house. My practical hubby was pretty that was not the case.
IN all her 11 1/2 years our daughter had never sleep walked. However, sleep walking was the only
answer.  She must have been so very tired, maybe dreaming about making the bed or who knows what and just got up and took all the bedding off.  The puzzling thing though was how in the
world did she make it down the stairs with all that bedding in her arms.  She was quite petite and only 5'2" today.  Did it take more than one trip or did she have help? LOL
From that day forward, she never did anything unusual in her sleep or awake.

In My Mind's Eye I have wondered about Milton and Barbara.  None of the mail we receive for either is bills or personal mail.  Many many times I have written on the envelopes "Addressee not at this address. return to sender".  The envelope  makes its way back to us. Once I asked our mailman what to do?  He said,  if we return it to sender and it comes back to just discard.  Are they real people, how did their names get linked to our address?  What do they look like, are they gainfully employed or are they the unnamed friendly spirits from the 1980's?
This neighborhood was farming land before it was developed.  Even if here were homes here before our neighborhood was developed,  the street name and address of our house was not the original name.  It was a rural road not even in the city.
Today, November 26, 2017,  29 days before Christmas 2017,
I am putting this story to rest.  I declare
Milton and Barbara are friendly elves.
Maybe that night the bedding disappeared they were testing our sense of humor.

INTRODUCING Barbara and Milton our resident Ghostly elves!!

*Ironically the house passed inspection before we moved.
 However, just days before closing the realtor said he would  buy a mirror for the  half bath because w/o a mirror in there it would not pass inspection.  So NO mirror in the 1/2 bath would put the brakes on our move but evidently no power to the stove a malfunctioning a/c would not?
An urgent call to the builder the next day solved both of these issues.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thankful for God's Grace and healing hands

Four years ago today, November 24, 2013, at 10:30 am, my precious 
daughter called us to tell us that her husband, who had just celebrated his 42nd bday on 11/22/13, had a stroke and he was being transported by ambulance from their home to Greenville, NC, the Vidant Medical Center, part of East Carolina University's Medical College.
We got dressed and headed to Greenville. I quickly 
posted the below on Madi and Mom's blog.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Family emergency

MOM HERE : Sunday night

Prayers are greatly appreciated



Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Mom here:
My son in law is making excellent progress. 
Long story short he had a stoke on Sunday.
He does not have any underlying problems to cause a stroke.
Over the last few weeks he has had a horrible cough due to allergies. All the severe 
coughing caused a tear in his carotid artery which caused a clot.
Thanks to excellent medical attention at his local hospital and then being transferred
to another excellent facility with more expertise in strokes. The last few days he has 
gone from not being able to talk and having no feeling on his right side to talking 
yesterday. Today he regained feeling on his right side and actually 
walking with the PT. We are thankful for each and every small blessing w his progress and for you prayers.

Today November 24, 2017 
I am so thankful to say my precious son in law with the help
of God,  excellent doctors, 3 months of Physical Therapy and a devoted and loving wife, my daughter, made a full recovery.  By April 2014 he was back a work and continues to thrive and live and love.

He is Dad to my grand kitties Mia and Frisco

My beautiful daughter and handsome son in law holding Mia

I'm holding Frisco

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If Barns could talk

what do you think these would say?

I love seeing old barns when we take road trips.  I always
have my camera ready.

My mind's eye has given the photos titles all photos taken from the car window

The leaves from this huge tree added interesting texture to the photo

Was this a home?  It has a front door and the lean to on the right side could have been a carport

This one is a bit of a mystery.  It appears to have 2 front doors a large opening that could have been a
stable of sorts.  I say this because there is a door on the 2nd level that was probably for storing hay.
Taking the photos while riding gave an interesting effect to the leaves and grass too

There is a chimney on the large building so it was probably a home at one point
All 3 buildings are attached. Maybe the middle one was a kitchen?
The smaller one reminds me of a structure my Great Uncle had for curing tobacco.
Or maybe it was storing firewood??

This structure was a tobacco barn years ago.  Now it is a potting shed for
the Cedar Creek Gallery.  Majestic heron sculpture sits in front
Sleeping garden gnome 

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, November 6, 2017

"Shell" we talk collectively

I am a collector of special things but not a hoarder of anything. 
 I don't shop at antique malls. I collect things that have special meanings. 
 I know my limits and my storage capacity.  

One of my favorite things to do at the beach is look for sea shells or sea rocks.

The size of these tiny perfectly shaped miniatures are treasures.  With all the recent
hurricanes and beach erosion I expect these are no longer available.
I did a wee bit of research on miniature shells here
They are used in crafting.  I expect those are ones that were made by man
These were found by my hands on the beach and have been cared for with TLC

Here is a photo of the cases closed and sealed.  The top of each case has a magnifying glass.

My most prized finds on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina are by these
four sand dollars and a sea sponge

The proper name for this little duckie is a cut glass salt cellar.

I have always just adored it.  I have no idea how old it is.  I
know my sweet Mother-in-law Margie loved it.  She loved all types of cut glass
I'll be showing you a few of her pieces today.

Click here to see more of these adorable little salt cellars in all colors and
all kinds of critters

Below are a few more pieces of treasures I have that belonged to Margie, my mother-in-law.
She was a wonderful cook and set a beautiful table.

Her deviled eggs and chicken salad were the BEST EVER!!
Franciscan Desert Rose Platter

I also have her Franciscan Desert Rose  heart shaped dish.
I use both of these dishes often.

In My Mind's Eye I can still see her food in each of these special pieces. 

Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect and why?

Sunday, October 22, 2017


We all have them................
As a child I was always told don't tell anyone about your dreams until after breakfast....
or they are more than likely to come true.  I have always been  a very vivid dreamer. 
If I am to be truthful, often things I dream about to come to life in some shape or form.

Today you will learn several things about me:
First and foremost you will understand why this blog is called
My Mind's Eye....my mind does have an eye like no one else.

1.I am NOT artistic AT ALL 
2. I have very life like dreams, my family and friends often say 
if you dream about me keep it to yourself. Which I normally do
but sometimes dreams are just too funny and must be shared.
3. I dream in color 
4. Most of all I love to poke fun at myself, laughter is the best medicine

Last night I had the most hilarious dream I have ever had.
I wish you could have heard my dear sweet hubby LOL at my dream and then my drawing.
He can actually draw but since it was my dream and it was funny I decided to draw.
My dear friend of 56 years was the subject of my dream.
After breakfast this morning,  I sent her to tell her I had a hilarious dream about her
and to check her email for the dream description and a crude drawing.

The Dream as I remember which I did not tell my husband until after breakfast.

I was at her home when she came walking into the kitchen.
She was wearing a shoulder harness which had compartments that held
nearly every cleaning tool or detergent you can imagine.  However,
I saw a few very vividly and in color.  I have no idea why anyone would have 
Q-tips (which I saw in color),  as part of a cleaning harness.  
I saw a mop, a broom, and on one side was a very long
compartment that held furnace filters.  I could see the filter sizes written vertically on
the edge of the filters but could not make them out.
The odd thing about her kitchen was her fridge was missing.  Maybe she stores this shoulder harness where the fridge use to be...who knows.

Below you will find a very very crude drawing of the dream (furnace is misspelled but
I wasn't going to draw this again)! 

I'm sure a mental health professional would have a ball analyzing this dream.
If you are one please take a stab at it but in the meantime this is my analysis.

I thought about this dream for a long time and the meaning.
Here are my thoughts:

1. Cleaning Harness:
We visit them every summer and refer to there home as a Bed and Breakfast
Maybe in my mind's eye this is how I see her as she prepares her spotless home for our 
annual arrival.
2.  Q-tips:  
The stray cat they rescued 2 years ago, Charlie, recently had an ear infection.  
They were having to administer ear drops.

3. Missing Fridge
Recently they replaced their original fridge with a huge new fridge.

4.  Furnace Filters:
Last week I had an email from her saying she hoped the temps didn't drop too quickly.
Their furnace always made more dust in the house than the a/c and she wanted to
have the vents cleaned before they turned on the heat

The question now is why did all these individual events come up in one dream?

Do you dream vividly, do you dream in color,  do you have an superstitions about telling or not telling dreams....

Friday, October 6, 2017

Music: To my daughter and son in law

My daughter has always love music.  She isn't musical per say but just a lover of music.
She has a musical ear and music has always been part of her life.
Her artistic talents are visual.  She could easily be an interior designer or a personal shopper.


When my daughter was a wee girl and learning to use the potty she had her very own itty bitty  potty, it was quite unique.  You see it had a little piece of soft rubber bubble about the diameter of a dime in the middle of the plastic potty bowl.  When the bubble had a small amount of pp it touched a mechanism that started a music box that played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  She delighted in hearing the song and was always excited to make it play.  This made potty training easy.  Instead of saying I have to potty she said I have to Twinkle.  Unfortunately the  rubber eventually sprung a leak and the music box no longer had a Twinkle.  Thankfully the extra encouragement to use the potty was no longer necessary.  

From the time she was born, she went to sleep to soft music. When she was about 3 we found
a series of children's books that came with a cassette tape. As the story played on the tape, we followed on the pages.  There was a ding when it was time to turn the book page.  Each tape had soothing music too.  A few years down the road Fisher-Price came out with an adorable Jukebox with all Disney songs in it.  Her favorite tune was 
*"It is a small World" 
she played it over and over until that song would no longer play.  

As she entered her teenage years, Madonna was very popular.  Each night when she took a shower she started her Madonna cassette tape right at the beginning of "Material Girl". 
Like clock work when the song ended the shower was over.
There was a reason:  She took and still does take the longest showers on record.
We were constantly on her case to cut down her shower time.  Once again
music was her remedy. She said how about if I start my shower with a song I like and stop when the song is over.  Material Girl was the perfect song.  

On August 15, 1998, 
My daughter and son in law had a small private wedding immediate family only (which included her future husband's 2 year old niece) .  The wedding was held at a beautiful little local Inn.  There was  no music or vocals. (The only traditions I insisted on were that she have a wedding dress and have a bridal portrait.) To keep the 2 year old entertained, the parents let her bring a tiny little Fisher Price transistor radio, which they did not think she knew how to turn on. As my husband escorted our daughter into the Inn's sun room for the ceremony, the two year old discovered how to turn the radio on...lo and behold the song that started playing was
*"It is a small World" . 
Needless to say the parents were shocked and tried to stop it but I said no...let it play it is was my daughter's  favorite song she was that age too and the perfect Wedding March.

Music of choice now is Country music which her hubby loves too, especially Jason Aldean.
Hubby is quite handy with all of today's techie audio stuff so they are plugged into
all the things one can enjoy via satellite music, with DJ Stormy Warren.  They have made many trips
to Nashville, concerts around our state. In 2016 they attended  2nd annual Route 91 Harvest Concerts in Las Vegas.  The venue setting was perfect, all events well planned and Las Vegas was a most welcoming city and so friendly.  In January of 2017, they made reservations to attend the 3rd annual
 Route 91 Harvest concerts in Las Vegas, September 29-October 1, 2017.
There music starts about 10 am-about midnight each of the 3 days.
There is no need to say much more about this year's concert except to praise the entire city of Las Vegas  for their hospitality and the organizers of Route 91 for a perfect 2 1/2 days of excellent country music and to send loving and caring prayers and thoughts to all who were at the concert.

To my daughter and son in law, may the memories of October 1 eventually be replaced with music
that once again fills your hearts with happiness.
With love
Your parents

In My Mind's Eye

It looks like Christmas in a skillet It taste like a bowl full of love especially when you are getting over the creeping crud. ...