Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Hey hey folks!

I have already given you the Brownie Batter Dip recipe I used for Leah’s house earlier this morning and I promised you in that post that I would give you the recipe for the cheesecakes I made too. Well – here it is!

To be honest – I was never a huge fan of raspberries. I love strawberries (which I used to hate before I got pregnant with Keira) and blueberries, those two are probably my favorites. I need to learn to make a blueberry pie…..but back to raspberries. I like them because of the color – silly I know. I had honestly had them only once before making these cheesecakes for Leah’s the other night.

And without further ado….I give you Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes. BTW – this is Let’s Dish’s picture from her site. I was in such a rush I didn’t take a picture. That link will also take you to her page with this recipe. Also – I didn’t do mine in little mason jars. I made two pies.

This is what I had for my recipe:

Graham Cracker Pie Crust (I used two 9″ ones but one 10″ one would have been better!)
2/3 Cup Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 (8 Oz.) Package Cream Cheese, Softened
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 (8 Oz.) Package Of Whipped Topping, Thawed
1 Cup Raspberries, Slightly Mashed

Directions : In a bowl, mix together sugar and lemon zest.  Then add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Next stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. After that, fold in the whipped topping until blended, then fold in the raspberries.  Spoon the
filling into your pie crust (or crusts). Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. (I had to stick mine in the freezer!) Garnish with additional whipped topping (if you have it – I didn’t) and fresh raspberries.

I took one for Leah’s house and ended up leaving less than half with Leah (about three pieces). It was yummy! Keira loved the raspberries (I didn’t give her any of the actual pie). I might have to make this later next week….I feel like I need another piece. 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Brownie Batter Dip

I thought since I posted yesterday about what I took to Leah’s house that I would share the recipes and where I got them from.

If you’ve checked out my favorite blogs/sites page you guys know I LOVE Foodgawker!!! It’s like the best place EVER for foodies! Right now in my favorites tab there are 1,102 recipes. Lord knows I’ve only made about 20 of them. I need to start putting notes on the ones that I have so I don’t duplicate them….and so if I had problems I’d remember what they were!

For Leah’s dinner it was asked who wanted to bring what. I am KILLER with dessert so I snagged that right away. I decided that I would make two things that way if someone didn’t like one, they would have something else to try. It’s always good to have extra dessert! 🙂

So first on my list was brownie batter dip. Who doesn’t like to lick the bowl after you’ve made some brownies? Sometimes the batter is better than the actual brownies! Seth always asks if he can lick the spoon or the beaters and we usually split it. Jeremy gets a beater, Seth gets one and I get the spoon for the bowl! I don’t know what we will do when Keira is old enough to ask for something!

I found this on Foodgawker one day when I was trolling. It sounded good, easy and yummy so I hearted it to my favorites. When you click on a picture in Foodgawker it takes you to the website its pinned from….in this case it’s Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I have to say pretty much everything on her site makes me hungry….No…I am not pregnant again! 🙂

Anywho – this is the page for the dip and here is her picture that caught my attention.
Looks yummy right? I know…that’s why I saved the recipe!
All you need for this dip is the following:

8 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature (I used light)
1/4 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature
1-1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (she used 2 cups but it was too sweet for us)
5 Tblsp All Purpose Flour
5 Tblsp Cocoa Powder (I used Dutch)
2 Tblsp Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2-4 Tblsp Milk
Chocolate Chips for garnish

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe got this from Pinterest and Something Swanky. She (Mel) adapted it and I adapted it from her. I have two bowls of this sitting in my fridge. I think I might bring one to work this week so the guys will eat some. Only half of it got eaten at Leah’s house. It would be really good for a party or a baby shower, somewhere where there is going to be lots of people. We ate ours with graham crackers, strawberries, apples and chocolate chip cookies. Yes – cookies. It would be good with animal crackers too according to Mel so I might need to find me a box. I haven’t had animal crackers in forever!

Tomorrow I will share with you the recipe for the Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake I made. YUM!

It’s all in the details

Since Keira has been in the world – I’ve been thinking about her first birthday. I know she will be too little to remember but it’s her FIRST birthday – you have to go all out right? Then again on her Sweet Sixteen birthday but that’s FAR into the future.

For Seth’s first birthday I took him to see my dad and his wife on the mountain. I got him a small cake from Wal-Mart and we all had lunch together at dad’s house. At that point in my life I hadn’t even turned twenty yet – that was two months away – and it was just me and Seth. I didn’t have any friends because all I did was work and come home to Seth. I was pretty much alone most the time. Not to get all sad or anything – we will move on.

I wish I could have done more for Seth’s first birthday but I will make it up to him on his sixteenth I guess.

I’ve been talking to Jeremy about Keira’s party for months. I wanted to have it at the first place I was able to take her when she was three months old – a little cute cafe. Jeremy said no but then said if I could get someone to help pay the $100 bucks for the location we could. Yeah – no one would help. I resigned myself to having 30+ people at my house and kids running around and a total mess to clean up afterward – until a few weeks ago.

I started hinting about it again – wanting to have it somewhere else besides our house cause I wanted it to be different and special. Going to this little cafe has been something I’ve done for the past four months – we’ve gone at least once a month and I’ve taken the kids along. Sometimes it’s just me and them because Jeremy has to work. Other times he is with us. The girls that work there always talk about Keira’s hair. The girl has a ton of it! More than her daddy at the moment….
Anyway – he finally is seeing my point of view – that this is a big deal and that it needs to be royally celebrated!! So yesterday I called and booked the venue for Sunday November the 18th at 3pm. That is her actual birthday too so that makes me even more happy. Although – who knows who will come out for a Sunday evening birthday.

Now that the location is set I can get into my event planner mode. The invitations I picked out are chocolate-brown and pink which goes wonderfully with the pink and brown table cloths at the venue! See! Things working out already! I am going to get her invitations from an Etsy store called Paper Impressions. As for the one’s I’m in the process of ordering its these!
Not the wording of course but this is the invitation! I’m debating on getting return addresses printed but I could do that myself. She also has coordinating thank you cards, stickers and hang tags. Depending on what I decide to do with favors I may end up getting the stickers or hang tags.

Next on my list of to do’s? Find a baker for her smash cake and cupcakes since my most favorite baker has closed down to focus more on her family. My second favorite baker is a little on the pricey side and my third most favorite – I’m not quite sure can get exactly what I want. I’ve had a few small (teeny tiny issues) with the cakes I’ve ordered from her.

After the baker is finalized – photography!! I have a few folks in mind! If I do it I will miss a lot and well – I’d want a professional to capture every little moment cause I don’t want to miss a thing from this birthday!

The venue and the invitations are just the first two details I am working on. There is LOTS more…..trust me!

Extra Special Chewy Chocolate Cookies (Day 206)

Type in chewy chocolate cookies in FoodGawker and see how many posts you get – A LOT. I know I got this recipe from there but I have no idea who it came from. I’m bad about not writing that kind of thing down – sorry. If you do know who originally posted these – please let me know.
That picture is not of my cookies but of these cookies. See I didn’t have any actual chocolate on hand. I had cocoa powder so I needed something different. These are definitely on my list of “to make” though. They just look so yummy!!

As usual – I totally didn’t take pictures of the process of making these cookies or of them after they were done. I’m sorry I am such a non picture taker. I will tell you that the batter is very cake like after you mix it all together. I was skeptical about them actually being chewy (cause I love chewy, melt in your mouth cookies) but they were awesome!

Extra Special Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ Cups Butter, Softened
2 Cups White Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Unsweetened Hershey Cocoa Powder (I had Tollhouse – same thing)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt

Preheat Oven To 350 Degrees. In A Large Bowl Cream Together The Butter and Sugar Until Light and Fluffy. Beat In The Eggs Then Add The Vanilla. In A Separate Bowl, Stir Together The Flour, Cocoa, Baking Soda and Salt; Gradually Mix Into The Creamed Mixture.
Drop Dough By Teaspoonfuls (I used my Pampered Chef medium scoop half full) Onto Parchment Lined Cookie Sheet. Bake For 9 Minutes In The Preheated Oven. Cookies Will Be Soft and Still Look Slightly Doughy. Let Set and Cool On Cookie Sheet For 2 Minutes Then Remove From Sheet Onto Wire Rack To Cool Completely.

Even when using about 1 tablespoon for the cookies instead of a teaspoon – 9 minutes worked fine for me. They were very gooey so be careful when removing them from the pan. Once cooled though they were fine. I got about 3 dozen cookies from this batch. My cookies were bigger than what the recipe says so if you do them by teaspoonfuls you’ll get a lot more.

It took all I had not to lick the beaters from the mixer. Since I’m pregnant and there were raw eggs in it I couldn’t. I sadly washed all the yumminess out of the bowl and off the beaters. I made up for it by eating about four cookies when it was all said and done. OMG – they are GREAT!

Let me know if you try making these and how they turn out! Oh – and they were also a big hit with Seth and with Jeremy!

xo – S.J.

35 Weeks (Day 205)

35 weeks….really. FIVE MORE WEEKS.

Five.

I don’t think it’s honestly sunk in yet.

I keep asking Jeremy if he’s ready for a tiny baby and he says “YES!” and I haven’t asked myself that question. I’m kind of nervous to be honest. Not so much worried about food or clothes or anything like that just the whole financial situation of being out of work for 12 weeks. That scares me. BUT – I know everything will alright deep down – I just way over analyze things.

Moving on to the weekly update – The Bump still says the same thing as it did at week 33 so nothing new there. Baby Center says that Keira doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’s 18 inches long and weighs in at around 5 1/4 pounds. Yeah right – she moves ALL the time. She’s even stretched out once or twice and I can see her poke out on each side of my belly. Weird….

Her kidneys are fully developed now and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete and she will spend the next few weeks putting on weight. I hope she doesn’t weigh a lot like Seth did. He was 9 pounds 1 ounce. I am hoping she will be around 7 pounds but I guess we will see on Friday how she’s doing.

Baby Center also describes the Group B strep test. It says that it’s usually harmless in adults but if it’s passed to the baby it could cause pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. If I am a GBS carrier, I will get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce Keira’s risk of infection. Only about 10% to 30% of women have this.

Baby Center also talks about getting your birth plan ready. I hadn’t really thought about it but I guess I should take a look at writing up one. They have a link to their page that helps you – you can find that here instead of searching their site.

Something else it mentions is preparing food for after the baby is born. Like doubling dinners and freezing them for later. I’m sorry but I just don’t see the point. I’ve done ready to go smoothies but no food. I’ve read a lot of other blogs of women who’ve had babies and they say that friends and family have offered to bring them dinner for at least a week or two after the baby comes. No one’s said anything about that to us and I haven’t asked.

I guess that’s it. I of course will have an update about the doctor’s appointment – more than likely on Monday.

xo – S.J.

Baking Fool (Day 152)

So Sunday was a lazy day for us. We overslept our alarm and I woke up at 10:45 – so we missed church. I hate that we missed it but it was a humongous lazy day which I think we both needed. Jeremy worked over Thursday and Friday and Saturday we had people over – we really needed it.

The only thing we did Sunday was go to Cracker Barrel and eat and then get apples from the Food Lion. The Cracker Barrel was in Ringgold. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It was on the news a few months ago.

You can find other video’s on YouTube if you care to go check it out.

It’s been over four months since the tornado rolled through town. I remember spending that night in the bath tub with Seth. Thank the Lord our power never went out and the ones closer to us never did a lot of damage. A few homes in our subdivision had shingles and siding gone but that was it. Not nearly as bad as Ringgold. I would have kind of thought that at least some of the stuff would have been repaired by now – but not really.

There were several gas stations that still only have a trailer as an office. The Wendy’s has been rebuilt, the KFC is almost done and the Pizza Hut and Krystal’s are still bored up. The Taco Bell is new too and the auto dealership is rebuilding. It was kind of sad to see that not more of the city had been rebuilt but I understand it takes a while. The high school is being rebuilt and should be open in time for school to start next month.

The point of this was to tell you what I baked this weekend. Sunday we got home at around six so I THOUGHT I had plenty of time to bake what I wanted to bake. I did – but I ended up going to bed at eleven and that was after eating a piece of the pie I made with ice cream. Yup – I made apple pie from scratch again AND blueberry muffins from scratch last night. It took me longer than what I thought it would but it was okay – everything is yummy so who cares.

Here is the recipe I used for the Deep Dish Apple Pie and the Blueberry Muffins. You can’t pass on the brown sugar on the muffins – without the sugar they just aren’t the same. Believe me I know – I didn’t have any last night when I made mine, I wish I had went to the store to get some. Sorry I can’t remember where I got these recipes. Anyway if you try it let me know what you think!

xo – S.J.

Last Friday Night (Day 113)

No – it’s not about that new Katy Perry song. It’s about what I made for dinner last week.

I’m not usually the kind of person that goes out on limb to try some amazing recipe that I found unless it’s kind of a special occasion or something. I like to stick with what I know. Friday was the beginning of our three-day weekend and so I figured that since we would be having all kinds of cook out food I would try something a little more homey.
You may not be able to tell it from this photo – but man were they yummy! The recipe said that it could feed up to four people – I guess Jeremy was pretty hungry – there wasn’t any left! Alright – I’ll admit – I ate more than my “serving” too. Seth on the other hand didn’t. He is the type of eater who eats what he likes first and saves for what he doesn’t like last. So needless to say the asparagus was the last on his plate to go and I guess he thought if he got more chicken he’d have to get more asparagus. The kid likes it – I promise he does. There was one time he jumped up and was like “Yes! Asparagus!” No kidding. Of course he had a choice between broccoli or asparagus so I guess he just took the lesser of two evils!

The rolls of course are Pillsbury Croissant rolls (Jeremy loves them) and the asparagus was drizzled with olive oil, salt & pepper with two teaspoons of chopped garlic and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. We like it crunchy but not raw.

Here is the recipe I used for the chicken strips (the link is a PDF – if you don’t have a PDF reader you can download one for free). Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

I got this recipe from Budget Bytes. She breaks down the cost of the food and tells you how much it is for the entire meal and per serving (I have this information at the top of my PDF but she goes more in depth). Of course – I didn’t have paprika so the initial cost is a bit more if you don’t have what you need but if you make it again – it isn’t that bad.

You should check out her website (linked above). I usually try to check it out once a week to see what she’s posted. I found her site through Food Gawker (one of my fav’s). That homemade honey mustard sauce is really good. Jeremy’s been using the left over dipping sauce on burgers and just about anything else he eats! I must say it kind of reminds me of Chick-Fil-A’s sauce but not as wangy.

Hope you enjoy it and if you do make it – let me know how your family liked it.

xo – S.J.

Apple Pie (Day 110)

I’ll be skipping around a lot the next few days trying to cover a few different things. This post is about the 4th Of July though.

We got up around 9am and we had eggs and blueberry waffles. I then decided that I needed to start making the pie for Jeremy’s mom’s party at her house that afternoon. I had went to the store Sunday (or Saturday – I can’t remember) and got a bag of red delicious apples. There were about nine in there.

So I asked Jeremy if he wanted to help and he started cutting up the apples while I made the dough. It says it’s a deep dish apple pie but I couldn’t find a deep dish pie plate ANYWHERE so I just used a regular 9.5″ glass pie plate I got a Wal-Mart for about $5. The dough wasn’t all that hard to make and I left out the extra two tablespoons of shortening it called for. That’s just me.

After I did the dough I started helping Jeremy with the apples. Instead of using a knife to peel them I used a potato peeler – it went faster. After I would peel them Jeremy would use our Pampered Chef apple wedge cutter (ours isn’t stainless) and then cut them up into little pieces. We used all nine of our apples (about 8 cups diced) and ended up having some that wouldn’t fit in the pie crust. I saved it cause you can eat it on ice cream! 🙂

Once it was fixed and in the oven we got ready to go and waited until it was done to leave. We had hamburger patties we had been marinating overnight (Dale’s; Worcestershire and some super secret hamburger seasoning) to take with us too. Once there everyone started grilling so we waited to get in the pool. I cried about something someone said that really shouldn’t have bothered me but did – I cried for about 10 minutes.

Anyway – once food was done we fixed our plates and sat down to eat. I had a baked potato, salad with tomatoes, eggs and cheese and a hamburger. Most everyone else had a rib-eye steak. Those aren’t for me! I had some corn on the cob too but that also isn’t on my favorite list of foods. I had too many dill pickles to count and also too many rolls to count.

Once all the dinner food was done it was time for ice cream. Lynda made homemade vanilla ice cream instead of her usual milky way ice cream because I brought the pie. It was yummy! Everyone except for one person (Seth) wanted pie in the bottom of their bowl with ice cream on top. That left about three small pieces left. It wasn’t long before it was gone.

This was my first attempt at a homemade apple pie – everyone seemed to enjoy it. I should make another one just so I can have another piece! I only got one 😦 So without further a due – the recipe I used.

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening (I didn’t use the 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water

For the filling:
8 cups sliced apples (Granny Smith or Jona Gold) I used Red Delicious cause that’s all Wal-Mart had
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or apple pie spice – Wal-Mart didn’t have nutmeg)
Dash of salt (left this out too – less salt the better!)

For dough: Use a fork (or your hands in my case) to mix flour, shortening and salt until it makes beads. Slowly add water while mixing. It won’t form a ball but will start to pull away from the sides. Divide and flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For filling: Mix all ingredients together and allow to sit while you wait for the pastry.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll one half of the dough into a thin circle. Do this on a sheet of plastic wrap as it will be easier to transfer to the pie plate this way. Once done inserting dough into plate fill with apples. (As I said all of our apples wouldn’t fit because it wasn’t a “deep” pie plate). Roll out the second half of the dough and place over apples. If you would like, before placing apples, cut out shapes in the dough. I just cut slits in mine – make sure to pinch together the top and bottom pieces of dough and cover edges with aluminum foil.

Bake pie for 35 minutes then remove aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. TIP: Place a baking sheet underneath your pie plate as to catch any drippings that may occur.

That’s it! Enjoy your pie with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Oh – I have no idea where I got this recipe – sorry. I’m sure it came from FoodGawker but I have no idea which poster it was. If anyone knows – please leave it below. Almost forgot – here it is after it just came from the oven.
xo – S.J.

Psstt: Let me know if you try out the recipe and how it worked for you!

Details (Day 97)

So – I’m a bit behind – I didn’t feel so hot yesterday. I went home and folded clothes and sat and watched Dr. Phil. I never watch Dr. Phil – ever. Yesterday was supposed to be mine and Lynda’s four mile walk day – but like I said – I didn’t feel good and I feel bad for missing the walk BUT it was also 97 out side and I was already sweating with shorts and a t-shirt on.

Anyway – back to the party. If you’ve read the post before this you know how crazy my Friday and Saturday was. You also know that our little pea is a SHE. Now – I personally didn’t take pictures but Hunter (my niece) did. I don’t know what it is but I could take one picture and it not look so great and she could take the camera and not change any settings and it look awesome. What’s up with that? We’ve had our camera for a little over a year and we bought it new at Best Buy. It’s a Canon Powershot SX20IS with 20x zoom and 12.1mp. It looks like this.
Believe me – I really should go take a class or have a friend show me everything this baby can do. We’ve taken shots of the full moon zoomed completely in and they were amazing. I’ve read up on what it means to change the aperture and the shutter speed but I just haven’t figured out yet how to do it on this camera.

Needless to say I think we have an awesome camera and it sucks that I haven’t figured out how to use it to its full potential in the past year. BUT I did sit down last night and clear the SD card. All of the 1,000 plus pictures that were on there since we’ve had it. I organized them too – in folders by date and what they are of. Now if I could just get our photo album box in order and print them out! One day – some day!

Alright – sorry – I got off track. Back to the party – again. Everything was ready to go about 30 minutes before everyone got there. Which in our house, like, never happens. But – it started to get dark and VERY windy at about 4:45 (party started at 5:30). We had already sat out the slip ‘n slide for the kids and the kiddie pool which took almost 30 minutes to air up with an air compressor. When it started to rain we all went and sat in the garage and watched. The power was flickering so it wasn’t like we could watch tv. Once people started to arrive we heard how bad it was. Trees down everywhere and power out to most of the people around us including my BIL who lives not a half a mile from us. Luckily – it stopped raining right before everyone got there and the kids were still able to play. If Hunter wasn’t there – I probably wouldn’t have been as sane as I was. She helped me with everything! On to the details!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cake only cost me $40 – I was pretty amazed. I thought she’d charge me more. It was a friend of a woman from church that did it. The only fondant on it was the red checks (they were very thin) and the bees. (I love fondant, most people don’t.) The inside was almond flavored cake and the bee was made after the bee stamp we had on the invitations.

We blew up green, pink, blue and yellow balloons and tied them to the chairs and hung them from the pull chains on the fans. We also left some in the floor for the kids to play with.

The pink and blue pacifiers were bought from a place called The Balloon Factory. We left out rubber bands so people could pick if they thought the baby was a boy or a girl. People wore them on their wrists, fingers, and on their cups. After a quick poll most everyone there thought the baby was a girl. The bee cups also came from The Balloon Factory. The one with the cat on it was one of our friends. He said he was hoping for a kitten so – we had to find a kitten for his cup. 😀 The cupcakes pictured are the “boy” cupcakes. We also made “girl” cupcakes. Hunter and I stayed up until almost 11:30 Friday night fixing them. We went the short cut way on the frosting and used store-bought vanilla frosting and colored it how we wanted.

There were only a few left by the end of the night Saturday. When Sunday came around my MIL Mary told me she counted about 30 people at our house NOT counting Jeremy, myself and Seth. I don’t think we’ve ever had that many people in our house – except for maybe our annual New Years Eve party that may or may not happen this year depending on how I feel.

Lastly – Jeremy and I with pink cake!
You know – I totally forgot my hair was up all day? To me I look awful but you know – that’s just me. I think I always look awful in pictures. I think mostly everybody does – except for super models. So – that was our party! We had a lot of fun and I think everyone else did too!!

xo – S.J.

Psstt: Picture of Canon camera from here.

Busy Busy (Day 74)

Today I am working – sort of – and I have a three-day weekend ahead of me. Now – usually I would maybe mow the yard and clean the house. This weekend however is different.

Tonight we have a graduation to go to. My step niece is graduating high school – it seems like only yesterday when I first met her and her brother when they were like nine or ten – maybe even sooner than that because I knew Jeremy and his family in high school.

I remember giving Hunter her 16th birthday party – she likes purple and buttons so her cake was three tiers – white icing with purple fondant buttons and we had a “candy bar” with all different kinds of candy. It was great! Now she’s graduating and going to college this August. Before I cry lets move on…

Saturday – warm sunny Saturday – swimming and cook out maybe? If Jeremy’s mom decides to do something on Monday then Saturday will prob be spent in the house hopefully trying to get the back bedroom cleaned out (finally!) and being lazy after that. Oh – there is a graduation Saturday night too. A friend of mine from church is graduating high school – she’s not sure what she wants to do yet but I’m proud of her none the less.

Also on Saturday there is a birthday party which the graduation and the birthday party are at the same time so we will have to pick – I hate that but there will be a graduation party for Ash on Sunday if we can’t attend her graduation. That leads us to Sunday. Church – dinner – graduation party? – church – home. Our usual Sunday but without the graduation party.

Then there is Monday – Memorial Day. Per Wikipedia: Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) and the Coca-Cola 600 (since 1960) auto races.

Reading this reminds me that Decoration for my dad’s cemetery is this weekend – at least I think so. I could be a weekend off. I used to go with him when he was still here for his family buried there. They clean off the markers and mow and put new flowers down or plant trees. I haven’t been since daddy’s been gone. There is some family that goes that I don’t really care to see. I plan on going up one Friday evening though to visit my nieces so I will stop by there too.

So – my weekend sounds pretty busy right? Yeah – here’s hoping I don’t get burnt swimming either Saturday or Monday or maybe even both. Here’s also hoping that everyone is safe this weekend and don’t do anything stupid. 🙂

xo – S.J.