Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Summer Song

Oh how I have missed you.
I'm missed hearing what you have to say.
Next week school starts. 
 Can you believe that?
The melody of summer continues.
I haven't forgotten you.
I long to sit and write and write and write.
To you!
Yes, you.
I will, in time, I will.
For now, duty is calling.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Reunion 2013

 Every two years my nine siblings and I and all the family members possible get together for reunion.  Anyone else that we can cajole into coming is welcome too.  This year, family began to come in on Tuesday morning, July 2nd, and the last family members will head home this coming Friday morning, but the actual reunion was scheduled from Thursday evening through Sunday's noon meal, July 4th - 7th.
Attendance was down this year with only 47 of our family eating together at one specific meal.  It was exciting to read what my nieces and nephews posted on facebook about how they had enjoyed reunion. While it was family from the past that brought us together, it is the family in the present who moves us toward the future.  Family ties transcend time and space. 
 That concept amazes me.
 We had lots of visits on the porch.
 We participated in a myriad of activities at my brother's farm.
 We ate many family meals together under the tent.
 There were no mishaps, no angry words, no arguments. 
 I appreciate everything that my family did to make this event happen once again.  There were thousands of miles driven and schedules rearranged. 
 I am blessed.
 I am very very blessed indeed.
The light of love shines brightly on the Easley family.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Birthday With Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Two weeks ago, our second and younger son asked me to make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
 for his birthday.
He even found the recipe for me.
How could I say no to that?
So today, just for his birthday, I made them.  Yes,
 I did.
I made Cinnamon Roll Pancakes for him to eat all by himself, as much as he wanted, as late as he wanted, however many he wanted.
He ate two. 
He ate these two that are shown right here. 
He ate them all by himself. 
 He's all grown up now. 
I'm so proud of him and the young man that he has become.
He deserved his very own plate of pancakes.
Yes, he did!
 I didn't have to entice him to eat them by pretending the fork was an airplane loaded with pancakes.
How does that happen?
  Kids just GROW UP!
Boys become men.
He certainly has.

They outgrow things, stuff and situations.
He has also.
I don't remember the last time I pretended the fork was an airplane.
No, the last time comes for a lot of things and you never realize that it was the last time...till you look back and wonder. 
He said, "Thanks Mom, those were really good! They taste just like Cinnamon Rolls.  And I feel like I just ate a really unhealthy meal." 
 Well, it was his birthday after all. 
So Happy Happy Birthday to my dear son. I have said I would walk through fire for my children, but I'm thinking it's a lot more fun to make their birthday breakfast request!
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
I tablespoon melted butter
Cinnamon Filling
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Glaze
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Filling
Prepare the Cinnamon Filling first. Mix together the ingredients and scoop into a heavy zip lock bag and set it aside.   I put mine in the refrigerator after mixing it so it could become a little more stiff to swirl onto the pancake.  If the filling is too runny it won't look as pretty when the pancake cooks.
You will want to snip a small corner from the bag through which to squeeze the filling onto the pancake.
Cream Cheese Glaze
Melt the butter and whisk in cream cheese until smooth.  Sift the powdered sugar into the pan and stir.  Add vanilla extract. Set aside for later.
Pancake Batter
Mix together the dry ingredients then add in the wet ingredients until the dry is moist.  A few lumps will be OK.
 Heat a non stick skillet to medium.  I melted just a tad of butter on the skillet to make sure the pancake wouldn't stick when I poured it onto the surface of the skillet.
Put about a 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot surface. 
When the pancake has cooked long enough to have large bubbles forming on the top, then swirl a strip of the Cinnamon Filling into a circular pattern.  Remember, you will want the filling  to be stiff so it won't run off as the pancake is flipped.
You will need a thin, wide spatula to flip this quickly.
When both sides have cooked thoroughly, remove from skillet, place on a plate and drizzle with glaze.
Clean surface of the skillet before cooking another pancake.
So now you can make some Cinnamon Roll Pancakes for your younger son, or yourself, or whomever you wish.
Maybe you'd rather walk through fire, but I'm thinking not!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Festivities Begin

My nine siblings are gathering one by one and any of the family that can for our family reunion.  The festivities will ensue between our house and my brother's farm.
I'm sure there will be egg gathering and bubble gum blowing contests and watermelon seed spitting, popcorn eating, some laughter and probably a few tears as we reminisce.  Some of our family never met my parents.  That's how much our family has grown and changed since they have gone.
Every two years we make a point to gather in an effort to keep our ever expanding Easley family connected.  The larger the family becomes, the more difficult this is to pull off.  But family connection is important and so the effort continues. 
It is interesting when second cousins once removed don't know first cousins or something like that.  The other day my niece and I were trying to figure out the relationship of the different grandchildren and it became quite twisted and confusing. 
So if you are in town, and wanna drop by and reconnect with some of us, feel free to do so. Send me a message on face book or text me, email me...or just come on over and say howdy!
Around the Easley clan, if one of us loves you, well then, the rest of us love you too! And there is always room and love for one more.
We learned that from our mother, Ernesteen Frances.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm Finally Revealing the Truth. I've Been Married Twice!

There are way too many memories for one blog post.  The conversation started on the porch late last Thursday evening, when my husband started reminiscing about our rehearsal dinner at the park.  We were married on Friday evening that year at 6 p.m.  With our anniversary falling on Friday, it seemed easy to recall the events as they happened. 
 After the rehearsal on Thursday, everyone from both sides of the family who were available went to Lake Fort Smith State Park for a picnic.  It was so fun, I thought.
 I loved that park and the beautiful spillway. 
 There was a cool playground for my little nieces and nephews.  And of course plenty of food for everyone. 
 Philip remembers coming back to my parent's house and sitting on the floor in my sister's room, looking at scrapbooks.
  I have no recollection of that at all. 
Then we shuddered as we thought about him falling asleep on his way to the hotel where his family was staying.
  He left the home of my youth, about 1 a.m. and heading south on Highway 71, woke up in the North bound lane within a few feet of hitting a semi head on.  I told him, I would have never gotten over that, if it had turned out all wrong. 
 In all seriousness, he said, "Neither would I." 
And we laughed.
Across these years, that one memory has stopped me in my tracks over and over.  My life would be SO different without Philip.
 To this day,  I'm still immensely thankful for Protection over him that night.  How different our  family's lives would be today, with just a few turn of events.
My oldest brother Carlton, and his family, arrived around 2 that morning.  Then about 6:30 on the morning of our wedding, I remember being awakened by banging and one of my nephews yelling at Daddy's pet donkey Becky. This all seems so funny to think back too.  I need to take time to record details and emotions sometime.
 Later in the day my brother Paul went with me to the church to practice getting on the platform in my wedding dress.  We snagged the lace on my dress and made about a 3 inch tear in it.  So either Mother or I made a quick repair.  I don't remember that detail for sure.  I remember Paul being upset about the mishap and I wasn't!  I just wanted to get married!

Philip and I didn't see each other the day of our wedding...well, once he left my parent's house at midnight or so, that is. However, we sang together, without seeing each other, before our wedding started, he in one room and I in another.  Our voices were blended through the sound system.  It seemed so high tech back in the day. 

My brother Keith came in that little tiny side room where I was waiting to sing.  He began to tease me and told me he would give me $75 if I would just back out and walk away from our wedding.
  What in the world? 
 Was he crazy? 
 Did he think I was crazy?
"Ernesteen, (that's what Keith calls me) $75 is a lot of money. Come on, $75!
 I'll give it to you now if you just walk away!
Leave it all behind."
I remember Paul coming in there too for just a second, but if I remember correctly he was telling Keith to stop because it was time for the wedding to start and I needed to focus!

My sister Donnie, and her husband, drove from California for our wedding and thought it started at 7.  They got there just in time for the reception.  So after the reception was over we went back to the church and did the wedding all over again just for her.  It was fun!
I enjoyed it the second time around so much.

So yes, I have been married the same man...
...never one regret...
...never looked back!
 Yes Keith, I'm crazy,
  crazy in love!