Some Simple Secrets behind Successful Work Wear

Hey ya’ll! Hope ya’ll have had a wonderful and relaxing weekend!   I know I have shared this in the “About Me” page on my blog, but I am a teacher.   I teach the music program for my elementary school.  This year I was also added to the social studies program for 5th grade.   I specialize in producing Disney musicals with my students.  Our productions have been described as “Little People’s Broadway.”  We sing, act, wear costumes, and even dance.  I plan to do some posts on these programs if anyone is interested.

Another thing I have talked about on the”About Me” page is how being a teacher means that I need to dress rather conservatively, but…I also love fashion as well.  Sometimes it is hard to make the two mix successfully.  If any of you currently have a career, you will probably understand what I mean.  Jean days just don’t happen very much.  I have begun to document my journey to achieve that, and picture by picture, I hope you’ll join me.   Please share your journey with me as well.  I would love to learn some ideas from you readers.

Some things I have learned along the way.  Don’t judge–some of these points sound like common sense, I know, but it’s taken me 2-3 years to actually learn them!

  1. Simple is better.  I used to “clutter” my outfits with all the jewelry there could be and every hair clip accessible.  Every outfit had to have a belt or a pattern mix.  Hmmm…this “conglomeration” could be confusing, to say the least.  Most of the time, simple is better.  If it looks like too much, take something away.
  2. Your shoes do complete your outfit.  I used to not be selective about what shoes I put on.  After all, I thought, who is going to be looking at my feet??  Turns out, I was wrong.  The right shoes can pack a statement.  Choose shoes that are a different texture than the other parts of your outfit.
  3. Take at least 5 minutes to fix your hair.  Treat your hair like it is a “piece” of your outfit.  I used to throw together an outfit and then voila!  I was done.  Who cared what the “mane on top” looked like?  Then I would be frustrated when my confidence level would go down a notch because my hair was everywhere.  Take the time to throw your hair into a quick and easy hairdo.
  4. You don’t have to shop at White House Black Market to look fashionable.  You don’t have to spend $40 a shirt (and $600) later to look like a fashion pro.  Shhhh, I never said it, but sometimes often I do browse through the Walmart clothing section.  Sometimes I rummage through the thrift store to find the perfect American Eagle Outfitter top, or a beautiful Cato’s work dress that someone donated.  I am a teacher, and as much as I wish I did, I don’t make a 6 figure income.
  5. Every day will not be perfectly put together.  Sometimes I throw something together, look in the mirror, and my heart sinks a notch.  I have had to learn that it is okay.  Every day is not a fashion magazine stylist shoot, sometimes I can throw on my pj’s and say–you’ve earned it.  Every day does not have to be a “perfectly put together” day.

TOP:    Blue and White Striped Blouse– Walmart,  PANTS:  Black Skinny Jeans–Gap, JEWELRY: Blingy Bracelet–Walmart, SHOES: Ankle Boots–Bealls

TOP:   Navy Blue Blouse– Burke’s Outlet  CARDIGAN:  Black Cardigan–Cato’s, PANTS:  White Flare Jeans–JCPenney, JEWELRY: Silver and Black Necklace–Attached to the Blouse, SHOES: Navy Blue Glitter Shoes–JCPenney.   (This picture is a little dark, so the blouse almost looks black.  It is actually a navy blue.)

TOP:   College Jersey Shirt– Hibbett Sports,  PANTS:  Denim Jeans–Cato’s, SHOES: Comfy Gray “Tennis” Shoes–JCPenney

P1080921

TOP:   Gray Shirt– Bealls,  PANTS:  Denim Jeans–Cato’s, SHOES: Black Dress Shoes–DSW, JEWELRY:  Pink Earrings–Walmart

Most of you know I grew up on a tiny ranch.  Last weekend I visited my parents’ ranch and this is their dining room.  They have a wall of mirrors that actually hides a closetful of dining ware, and this is that mirror.

Now I will be closing up this post to head “to town” (when small town folks say this they usually mean they are going to a town that actually has a major supermarket in it) to pick up some medication.  The flu has hit hard, and I have been taking everything natural I can possibly take to try to ward it off, if that is even possible?  I think I have escaped with a simple sinus infection–thank goodness.  I have tried to stay holed up in my little house just to escape all of the germs, but there isn’t a whole lot a teacher can do sometimes.  I should have ordered a 10 gallon jug of hand sanitizer just to carry around with me, I have been using so much of it. Germs feel like zombies to a teacher sometimes. Meanwhile, I hope you lovely readers are feeling well and wonderful.  Do you have any tips for healthy ways to boost this teacher’s poor immune system??  I sure could use some ideas!

Have a wonderful day!

Love,

Hub City Girl

 

 

Aunt Cathy’s Hot Chicken Mess Casserole

Hey ya’ll.  This tempting and hot mess of a recipe comes from my lovely Aunt Cathy.   She is actually not my real aunt, but my mom knew her back in high school.  When they reconnected years later, she asked us to call her “Aunt Cathy.”  My mom and her remember when mini skirts, color tv, and the moon landing were the breaking news.  When they get together, they discuss things like when wax lips  (apparently a candy?) were the “thing” all the girls wanted to try.

My Aunt Cathy is also a beautiful hostess and so, anything she cooks will be–ya guessed it, delicious and out of this world!   My Uncle S. is one of the funniest people I know and is the life of the party.  He has been fighting cancer for a long time now, which is a big battle, and yet his positivity amazes me.

Back to this hot mess of a dish.  This casserole is quick and easy to make.  I used fresh chicken, cooked it, and shredded it, because there was a sale on fresh chicken and it happened to be cheaper than buying 3 cans of organic chicken.  My aunt Cathy however, takes the efficient route and she just opens up 3 cans of chicken.   So, here goes a recipe that is tempting and at the same time quick as a fly to put together.

Aunt Cathy’s Hot Chicken Mess Casserole

5 Ingredients: 3 cans of chicken OR 9 small Chicken Tenders,  1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup,  1 cup Sour Cream,  Butter,  and Ritz Crackers OR Back to Nature Classic Round Crackers

P1080778

First cook the chicken in a pan on top of the stove.  I sprinkled in some oil and then let the chicken cook in its own juices.

P1080793

Your chicken will start to look like this.  Every minute or so turn the chicken to the other side so that both sides will be cooked evenly.

P1080805

My parents gave me a cast iron press for Christmas and so I had to try it.  If you don’t have these heavy things that is okay.  Your chicken will be just as delicious without it.

P1080800

While your meat is cooking, mix together your can of cream chicken and your sour cream in a bowl.  Whisk it until the lumps of sour cream are out.

P1080815

Your mixture should look like this:

P1080826

Now back to the stovetop.  By now your chicken will have a light brown and should start to fall apart as you pick it up.   Take it off the stove and let it cool down.  I tried it too quickly once and burned the tips of my fingers.

P1080812

Shred the chicken with your fingers.   You should have a mound of bright chicken that looks like this.  I sprinkled a tiny pinch of salt and pepper on top, just for taste.

P1080825

Who can pass over crunchy yummy crackers cooked in beautiful golden butter?  I can’t.    To do this, put 3 tablespoons of butter in your pan.  Turn your stove on and let that butter melt.

P1080828

Crumble your crackers into the pan.  Stir OFTEN!!  You don’t want the crackers to burn.  Maybe I am saying this because I have the tendency to burn things when I cook them.  Yes, I have had to practice a lot to make sure I DON’T burn something when I put a pan on the stove.

P1080838

Here comes the fun part.  Yeehaw!  We are done with the cooking, now we have to assemble our layers to make our layered casserole.

1st: 1/3 of your BUTTERED CRACKERS

P1080844

2nd: ALL of your CHICKEN

P1080848

3rd: Another 1/3 of your crackers.

P1080866

4th: ALL of your sour cream/cream of chicken mixture.  I sprinkled some black pepper over that for extra flavor.

P1080872

5th: Finish off with the last 1/3 of your crackers!

P1080875

Put your layered dish in the oven.  Cook on 350 degrees for only 25 minutes.  Serve warm.

How easy peasy is that?  Remember also, you can speed up the process and make this casserole dish twice as fast by using canned chicken.

When you take it out of the oven, you will want to dig right in, because this dish will bubble around the edges and the crackers will be such a beautiful golden crispy brown.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is the perfect casserole to make for a pot luck dinner, when your friends are coming over, or just to treat yourself at the end of a long hard day of work when you want something easy, homemade, and delicious!

Thank ya’ll to all of my lovely readers who visit and  make comments! Ya’ll are the best! ♥ ♥.  Don’t forget to follow my blog for more updates on what is happening in food, fashion, and work here around the Hub City.  I am preparing the way for my first blog giveaway,  and email readers will qualify!

XOXO,

Hub City Girl

Bathroom Luxury on a Small Budget

P1080685
My mascara 100% Pure Ultra Lengthening 100% Natural 100% Vegetarian Mascara.  It smells SO good–it has this lovely blackberry smell– you almost want to eat it.   Best thing it is made out of fruit and is 100% natural, so it is healthy for your eyes and skin. Most mascaras also irritate my eyes and cause them to stick together (I have sensitive eyes), but this mascara does not. No parabens.
P1080660
Would you be surprised to learn that this tray was found on the 75% clearance rack at Hobby Lobby?   My glass bowl is from the local thrift store for $2.  It keeps all of my bobby bins, misc. jewelry, and hair bands in one place.

P1080678

 

P1080689
I fell in love with this gold carriage Christmas ornament. Click here to order one. It reminds me of Cinderella’s magical pumpkin carriage.   I took off the string to hang it with and it works perfectly for a piece of decor.  This mini rose in a glass vase was too much like the enchanted rose in Beauty and the Beast to pass over.
P1080675
My top 3 favorite beauty products!
P1080676
Rub this Wild Rose Body Oil on your skin to make your skin feel oh so amazing!  Spritz on this Serozinc to refresh your skin and give it a glow, and finish up with the lovely smell of Rose floral water.
P1080673
When I really want to feel spoiled, I pour a cup or two of this 100% Pure Active Dead Sea Mineral Salts  into the bath water and have a good soak.  The Dead Sea is known for its therapeutic powers and healthy minerals.  The minerals will absorb into your skin and also help draw toxins from your body.  100% Gluten Free.  No parabens.
P1080668
How gorgeous is this carriage!  I just can’t get over it!  It makes me feel like getting ready for “Cinderella’s ball” every morning.

P1080691

Good afternoon everyone!  Have you ever come home after a long, challenging day at work and want to spoil yourself with a luxurious bubble bath (like me)?  Then, when you walk in, you feel a little frustrated because, well, it doesn’t feel quite so luxurious, and well, everything is not in its place (also like me)?  And you don’t have the time nor the energy to worry about it at that moment (very much like me).

As much as I want to walk in and feel the lap of luxury, it has been a challenging journey.  I finally discovered that if I kept everything contained on a tray, it was much easier to find and my counter seems less cluttered.  It also gives the appearance of elegance and beauty that I craved for my bathroom counter.

The most exciting thing about this tray is that everything on it is not super expensive–and that makes me feel happy.  In fact, borrow from my ideas and create your own bathroom “spa” tray that makes you feel just as good!  It doesn’t have to even look like mine–make it all you.  Guys, if you have made it through all of these pictures to read this far, these are also great gift ideas for your girlfriend.

If you have any question please feel free to email me at hubcitygirlblog@gmail.com.  I am happy to help you with anything you need  Don’t forget to follow my blog and receive weekly emails.  If you are an email follower you will be eligible for the upcoming blog giveaways.

XOXO,

Hub City Girl Yet again

How I Like to “Decorate” My Gift Wrapping

P1080317Decorate Clothespins and use them for gift tags.  (You can find a whole pack for $1 at the Dollar Tree!).

Mix tissue paper patterns with different colored bags.  Combine cute patterned whimsical polka dotted red tissue paper with bright gold snowflake bags and watch the magic happen!!  Tie it up with some extra ribbon and watch your gift receiver’s eyes light up with excitement as they reach for their “EXTRA SPECIAL” gift!!

P1080312

P1080309

Wrap a festive Christmas towel around small little miscellaneous gifts and tie it up with ribbon. Add a Christmas ornament.  Then your gift receiver can use not only the gift but the wrapping as well!!

P1080325

If you are giving a comfy Christmas rug, add some extra Christmas greenery or a glittery ornament to make it extra special!!

P1080327

TAKE A GIFT THAT IS ALREADY BEAUTIFUL….AND MAKE IT STUNNING!!
P1080339

with this:

P1080370

You can buy the tulle at the Dollar Tree for $1, and the deco mesh at Hobby Lobby or Walmart.

P1080357

Use ribbon with writing on it.  (Again, you can find it at the Dollar Tree, or AFTER Christmas, get it for 75%-90% off at Hobby Lobby.)

P1080368

Add some red tulle to a giant gift bag to make it extra special.  Spray on some glittery sparkles! A girl can never have too much SPARKLE!!   Sparkling Heart on Apple

At the small town school where I teach the music program, Secret Santa is a big deal.  We spoil each other for three days, and then the 3rd day is the big reveal!  My Secret Santa this year was amazing!!!  She had the cutest ideas!!!

That’s not it though. We don’t just have Secret Santa, we also have a Chinese Christmas along with a breakfast party.  Everyone brings one gift from $20-$30, with the max at $30, and the excitement, and plotting, and planning, and stealing begins!!

For years  I have always wanted to give that “PERFECT” gift at Chinese Christmas that makes everyone go “Ahhhhhh!!”  This seems selfish, but I love gift giving (it’s my love language).   One day it hit me that it was the presentation that set it up.  When I pulled the gift my Secret Santa gave me this year off of the shelf and saw the candy in the cutest little elf feet bag I have ever seen,  I was SOOO ready to see what was on the inside!!!!!

Chances are you may be a working woman like me and you will be celebrating some sort of Christmas giving at your work!!   You may be a teacher (like me) who is just waiting for the last day of school to catch your breath!!  You may be a parent who is a stay at home mom and you will be doing a Christmas ornament exchange with some of your friends.   Each one of us has some sort of Christmas celebration we are a part of.  Time is limited in December.  It is a busy month.  In all of the craziness, I hope these small ideas will be of some sort of help!

What is a special Christmas tradition you are a part of???  What do you do to make it extra special?

Merry merry Krismas!!!  

Feliz Navidad! 

To my French Readers:  Joyeux Noël!  

My Belgium Readers: Vrolijk Kerstfeest!!  

My Hungarian Readers: Kellemes Karácsonyt! 

My Greek Readers: Καλά Χριστούγεννα!!

If you are visiting my site from another country, please write a comment on how to write and say Merry Christmas in your language!! I would LOVE to learn!!!  I will be sharing it in my next Christmas post!!

XOXO,

Hub City Girl!

 

 

 

How I Decorated My Tree

P1080291Welcome to my little house in my small town world!  I’m pretty sure my favorite time of the year is Christmas.  I am in love with every part of it!  I love the sparkling lights, the happy music, the gorgeous decorations, buying that special gift for your “special someone”, and having someone greet you with “Merry Christmas!!!!!!” and a happy holiday smile.  What is better than the Christmas spirit??

My tree from last year sat in a cardboard box in 2 inches of water, so I had to leave it behind.  I have been searching everywhere for the perfect tree but it was a long time in coming.  All of the ones that looked “real” had sold out.  I finally found this tree at Walmart.  Yeehaw!!!  It is so beautiful that it almost doesn’t have to be decorated.P1080222Look at the stunning detail of this tree!  It almost looks real!!

I wanted to add a little bit more to the tree just to add some extra sparkle!  So I found some Christmas branches at Hobby Lobby and poked them in to the top of the tree.  I put the taller ones in the back, the bright colored ones in front of it, and the glittery ones on the sides.  That will create an artistic look.  Supah dupah easy!!P1080211I have been in love with the trees decorated with faux fur trim on Pinterest.  I found a couple of yards at Joanns, cut them into long sections, and draped them around the tree.  P1080241Time to add some snowflakes to this snowy tree!!  I layered the small snowflakes at the top of the tree and bigger snowflakes towards the base of the tree.  That will help with balancing out proportions. P1080275I also added some glittery shiny sparkly snowballs!!

Maybe it’s my thing that Christmas isn’t Christmas without snow, but everything I added reinforces the lovely piles of “snow” that were already on the tree. P1080247

Time to add these shiny globes of gorgeousness to the tree!!

Time to throw a pom pom blanket that I keep on my bed around the tree and add a Christmas pillow.

P1080273

I think I may buy a throw rug from Walmart in a vanilla or white color to use under the base of the tree instead.  I kinda love my pom pom blanket to much to let the Christmas tree have it all December long.  Lol.   If I get a throw rug instead of a tree skirt, I have the option of using it all year long, instead of only using it once a year.  I can also use it for other purposes as well.  I can cuddle up with it and watch a movie or drape it over the couch.  A girl can never have too many blankets!!!! 🙂

What are your thoughts…keep the pom pom blanket, or invest in a throw rug???  If so, what color should I go with???  Let me know what you lovely readers think!!!

What is your favorite part about the holidays??  How did you decorate your tree??  What is your favorite thing to put on the tree??

Happy trails to you!!  XOXO

Hub City Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Pack a Shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child on a Budget

IMG_1603I was at first intimidated by this project. I thought, I don’t know what to purchase, and I CAN’T spend $60 on filling up one shoebox for someone else when I haven’t even purchased gifts for my own family.  Is anyone else out there like me?  You want to help, but you also have to work within your budget? And boy howdy, Christmas time is SO expensive anyways!!

I have had some reservations about this post.  I don’t want it to seem like I am saying, “Look at me, see what I did to be generous.”  I just know how encouraged I was as a newbie to this project to go on Pinterest and get ideas from other gals packing shoeboxes just like me. I hope this will encourage or be of some help to someone else out there!

My cowgirl Sis told me about the following beautiful story that was covered by People Magazine. Tyrel Wolfe and Joana Marchan Meet Years After Shoebox Gift.

I have heard several opinions avidly against Operation Christmas Child, for multiple reasons.  When you read stories from the kids themselves and you watch video after video on youtube of children opening donated shoeboxes and watching their smiles when they open a box full of goodies, somehow the arguments against shoeboxes seem trivial.

Or if you are like me and have two cousins adopted from Liberia, who lived with 90 other kids cared for by one heroic woman who was forced at gunpoint by soldiers to take the kids or they would kill them all, who would forage for rats or whatever else they could find to eat for dinner, and seeing rape by soldiers was a common occurrence, somehow the arguments seem superficial.  Why?  Because what my cousins would have given for a shoebox full of goodies like this!

What are your thoughts??

When I went to the website Samaritan’s Purse Shoeboxes, some of the stories made me cry.  I mean, when you read stories like, “The toothbrush meant a lot because before I had to share my toothbrush with 25 other girls.”–Yuri, Honduras, doesn’t it touch your heart? One little girl got her very own toothbrush for the first time in her life!

I am so happy! I cannot believe that someone from a different country would send me a gift of exactly what I like: rings and hairbows.”–Vanessa, Colombia.  “One of my favorites in my shoebox was white socks because in the orphanage you get bad quality socks that always stink and have holes in them.”–Timur, Central Asia.

Can you imagine the smile on a kids face when they realize that YES, they DO get Christmas after all?!!    Well, I was looking for some stocking stuffers at Walmart and was finding items for 25, 50, and 99 cents and it suddenly hit me, “You CAN do this!”  So here are some ways to stay within a budget and still spoil a child in need.

  • Plan on the amount of money you want to spend on your shoebox.  I decided on a certain amount per shoebox, but nobody has to do the same amount.  I could have decided $10, $15, or $50, whatever worked with my budget.  You can still pick up some wonderful items on a small budget!  With Black Friday sales and after Christmas sales coming up, now is a perfect time to start looking for items for your shoebox for next year!!
  • Pick whether you want to purchase for a boy or a girl.  I filled 2 shoeboxes, one for a boy, one for a girl, because that’s what fits in my small teacher budget.
  • Choose what age you want to purchase for.  You have the option of ages 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14.  I chose ages 5-9, because that’s around the ages of the students that I teach at my school.
  • Make a list of items you need to fill up the box.                                                                                1. Where do I begin? I went for some practical items, like a blanket, soap and a toothbrush, and some fun items, such as art supplies and bright blingy hair bows.  Samaritan’s Purse has a great list of suggested items:  What Goes In a Shoebox?  You don’t have to get everything on their list, but it does help out with deciding what are the perfect filler items for your shoebox!                                                                                              2. Fun items.  Since I am also responsible for the art program at my very small town school as well as the music program, I understand when a child says they don’t have any crayons or markers at home to color with.  I hear it all the time from my students who wish they did have something to color with.  Crayons are 54 cents, notebooks can be 69 cents on clearance, foam glitter paper is only 33 cents. In the clearance section you can find items like stickers for 10 cents and little girl’s earrings for 25 cents. IMG_1608                                                                                                                3. Practical Items. Think also about some kids who have nothing to keep them warm in the winter!  I have taught high school kids who literally had nothing but a pair of shorts to wear in the winter and they would walk to school in them.  There was a warm blanket at Walmart for $2.58.  There were a pack of mittens, 3 for $1.44.  I split the mittens between the 2 shoeboxes.  My kids at school are always complaining about their chapped lips, and so lip balm might be another great thing to add!  A pair of warm socks might be just the thing to keep a child’s feet warm.                                                                                                                             4. A “Wow” Item. Samaritan’s Purse also suggests you include a medium size “WOW” item.  Something like a stuffed animal, soccer ball with a pump, or clothing outfit, etc. etc. Look through the toy section and find a very special wow item. Make sure your WOW item is SMALL enough to fit in a shoebox.IMG_1606
  • Check around your house first.  I make and sell little girls’ hair bows, with sparkle and glitter and shine all over them.  So I knew I had to include one of those!!  Maybe you have an extra bar of new soap lying around, or an extra new washcloth you could spare. I also included a bright shiny new penny just for something extra.  It might not be worth anything in another country, but I know if I were a child I would carry around that penny all day!!
  • Make a shopping spree.  Walmart, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar General are great places to go!  Go to the clearance item sections (both regular clearance and clothing clearance) in Walmart.  Hobby Lobby also has some great clearance items in their clearance section, sometimes for as low as 23 cents!!  The Dollar Tree and Dollar General is a great place to find toys!  Use your calculator.  I added up my supplies as I went to make sure I was staying within budget.
  • Pack Your Items In a Shoebox.  I keep some of my shoes in shoeboxes.  Maybe you might have a friend or coworker who has an extra shoebox lying around and would like to donate.  Pack all the items securely in the box and tape it shop.  You can wrap your shoebox with Christmas paper, but if you choose to wrap it the lid and the box have to be wrapped separately.  I also hand wrote a note for the inside!IMG_1602
  • Pay shipping.  You can purchase shipping and follow your box for $9 through Samaritan’s Purse website. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/follow-your-box/ Having sold items on Ebay in the past, for me $9 was a reasonable price and is probably not enough to completely cover shipping costs.  I did this because I would love to know what country my boxes were delivered to!  Tape your shipping label securely on your box.IMG_1611
  • Leave Your Box at a Local Delivery Center!  Again Samaritan’s Purse is great about stating exactly where local delivery drop-offs are.  Delivery Drop-Offs

I can just imagine the excitement of a kid out there who has never had a Christmas, and finally has it delivered it to them in a shoebox!!

Had you had an experience with Operation Christmas Child??  What goodies did you pack?? Did I leave any other great items out??  What other suggestions do you have?  I am looking forward to reading them!!  

For more discussions about a country gal’s adventures in a small town, enter your email and follow the blog!!

Thank ya’ll to our readers who visit & make comments! Ya’ll are the best! ♥ ♥ If you read and like, please follow or join for EMAIL updates.  Just fill in your email on the right side of the page and click enter, and Yeehaw! You can read our stories the minute we send them out.  I’ll be doing some giveaways SOON for email subscribers and readers who comment!! I will keep you posted!!!  Lots of NEW EXCITING things so will keep you updated!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

Happy trails to ya’ll!

Hub City Girl

 

 

When You Live in the Country…

When you live in the country….

  1. Sometimes you are late to church because you have to get out and move tumbleweeds out of the road.   Like Cowgirl Sis did, a couple of weeks ago.  I snapped this picture with my Ipad and it’s a little grainy, but it shows the picture pretty well.
  2. You can follow the road by the telephone poles…
  3. You can snack on living tumbleweed.  Now don’t get out and chew all over the brown ones rolling around, but if you see one that is rooted to the ground and green all over, feel free to take a bight!
  4. The caliche roads kick up a cloud of dust behind you.
IMG_9600
The day the tumbleweeds took over the road…

This picture tells it all…

Can anyone else identify with this??  Am I the only one?

Feel free to comment!!

Ma F’s Whiz-Bang 5-Minute Ting-A-Ling Recipe

By dubya, Ma F can COOK.  She has all of the old family recipes from my Nana W, and you have never tasted such heavenly food in your life.  I remember not being able to wait for Thanksgiving to come just to get to Nana W’s house, because of her cooking.  Then she has all of G-Mom’s (my dad’s mom)  recipes, and let me tell you, this lovely lil ole lady can cook like nobody’s bidness (translation=business; in TX you say bidness).   I don’t mean a snack here and there, I mean full meals of utter deliciousness!  Oh I couldn’t wait to get to G-Mom and G-Dad’s house for Christmas!   If only I had inherited the cooking chromosome from both of them.  Somehow it didn’t make it to me.  In fact when I was a kid and headed for the kitchen, my tall brother Josh (who also loves to eat) would say,

Whatever you do, DON’T burn it!”

To which I say, “What in the sky?”

Boy howdy, I wish I could say that I don’t burn my cooking creations, but I do.  (Hanging my head low)

My problem is a problem in mainstream America today.

I want it NOW.

I can google anything and it pops up in less than a second.

I can text anyone and get a return text in the blink of a coyote’s eye.

But when I set a pan on the stovetop, suddenly things get SLOOOOOOWWW.   As in slow.

Good ole-fashioned heat.  It takes a lil while to heat anything up!

And I want it done NOW.

For me, there’s a simple solution to that.  Turn up the heat!!!

The only problem is, by dubya, we’re dealing with heat here.

Meaning the hotter it gets, the more it turns a deep dark coal black.

Which is what you have to keep an eye out for when you make these oh-so-scrumptious ting-a-lings.

You have to keep stirring and stirring the butterscotch.  Happily ever stirring.

And keep the heat down low.

Uuuugggghhh.

That’s the magic trick to this recipe.  STIR.

These magical little works-of-culinary-art were made by both my Ma F and G-Mom.  Every Christmas,  we would cram these delightful lil treats into our mouths until our bellies were full.  They are perfect for a cold wintery night by the flickering fireplace with burning hot coffee or cocoa when you sit and listen to the coyotes sing.  (At Boy Howdy ranch they do.)

Ooohhhh are these scrumptious-mumptious treats so easy-greasy to make!

And boy are they NOT loaded with sugar.

I like the sound of that.

I am going to write this recipe the way I wish all recipes were written.

With extra instructions that help you, no matter if you are a cooking dummy like me, create a culinary work of art.  The lil things I wish they had told me to do, to avoid cooking accidents like burnt butterscotch and hard chicken and pasty noodles.  The important words are in BOLD.

Ma F’s Ting-A-Lings 

3 ingredients: Butterscotch morsels, Chow mein noodles, and Spanish peanuts

(You have to get SPANISH peanuts, their distinctive flavor sets this recipe apart from every other ting-a-ling out there.)

img_2624

BEFORE you make anything, prepare the pan.  Cut a piece of wax paper to FIT inside a cookie sheet with scissors.img_2630

Turn your stovetop to LOW.  Melt the butterscotch morsels in a pan.  STIR until melted. Do not leave the butterscotch morsels’ side!

IMMEDIATELY afterwards, REMOVE pan from stovetop.

Stir in chow mein noodles.  Then stir in Spanish peanuts.   Do this QUICKLY before mixture hardens.   The mixture will harden faster than a fly can buzz across the room.  (Well, not literally, but you get the picture.)

img_2640

img_2641

Look at all that butterscotchey gooey deliciousness!!!!!

With a dinnerware spoon, drop a pile a lil bigger than a cow patty on your wax-papered pan.img_2655

“Ewwww,” you say!  “Stop with the sayings!  I’m never going to this crazy Texan’s blog again.”

Okay, well they need to be a little bigger than the size of a golf ball.

The good thing about this recipe is you can make both big and small ones.

Make piles on the wax paper, LEAVING SPACES about the size of half your thumb between.

They won’t spread. Work QUICKLY before mixture hardens.

Okay, now you can put your cookie sheet into the freezer so that chemistry can work its magic.

15 minutes later, your treats are ready and waiting!  Waiting to be devoured.

img_2660

Pretty delish treat from a country bumpkin, right?

Add an American staple, a good ole frappucino, and you are ready to spoil yourself!!

img_2708

Whip up a batch of these whiz-bang treats for your friends when they stop by the ranch for a tamale.

Oh the oooohhhsss and ahhhhss as the butterscotch in these delicious crunchy morsels melt in their mouths.

img_2673

YOU, oops I mean, Ma F’s Ting-a-lings will be the talk of the evening.

Lemme know what you think.  If you have any questions please give me a holler.

Thank ya’ll of our readers who visit & make comments! Ya’ll are the best! ♥ ♥ If you read and like, please follow or join for EMAIL (important word) updates. Absolute free subscription to Hub City Girl’s daily tall tales of life on the Boy Howdy Ranch and beyond. Just fill in your email on the EAST side of the page and click enter, and Yeehaw! You can read our stories the minute we send them out.  Maybe I’ll do some giveaways.  Hint. Hint.

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

Happy trails to ya’ll!

Hub City Girl 🙂

Out By the Ole Mesquite Tree

This is where I go when I just need a place to think.

Or to scream “YEEHAW!” because something amazing has just happened.

Or to just sit there and ponder whenever I’m feelin’ blue.  And turn things over and over in my mind.  Often the same things.

Or to cry my eyes out.

Or to pray.  To pour out my lil ole distressed heart to the One up above who always listens.

Come on, ya’ll all have your own special places where you go.

Your safe place.

P1050103

Mine is out under the shadow of the ole mesquite tree.   For whatever reason.

It’s so lonely.  So personal.  So intimate with nature.   Boy howdy, there’s nothin’ like it.  It’s like feelin’ absolutely safe.

Safe, wrapped in the untroubled, predictable, calming arms of nature.

I wrote a song about it once.

Wanta ride up that long-ago trail,
It’s there I long to be,
By the ole run-down corral.
Sittin’ ‘neath the ole mesquite tree,
I’ve seen the rabbit scamper through the prairie brush,
and watched the little ant crawl,
a coyote heaves a lonesome sigh,
wails a long coyote call,
Ooooh, ooh, oooh. Ooooh, ooh, ooh,
That’s where I wanta be,
When I’m feelin’ blue,
wanta be out there,
‘neath the ole mesquite tree.

Wanta ride on up the ole pony trail,
It’s there I long to be,
Watch ’em critters play, dream the day away,
And when I’m feelin’ blue,
Wanta head back to the ole mesquite,
So I can dream of you.

I got the words, I just never made it to write the music.

Some day.

Love to all of ya’ll readers!!  YEW folks are the absolute BEST!!!!   As always, if you are NEW to Boy Howdy–and YEEHAW to you for that!– you can go right ahead and get absolute free subscription to Hub City Girl’s daily tall tales of life on the Boy Howdy Ranch.  Subscribe, or fill in your email on the right, and click enter.  Yeehaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww!  You will now get those daily tall tales.

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear???   😉

Happy trails to youAnd wishing you all the happiest of them!!!

Hub City Girl Yet again

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biscuits ‘N Gravy, It’s One Fine Mornin!!

Boy howdy, it’s a gorgeous day out there.

Howdy ya’ll here from Boy Howdy!!

I have the windows open, the fresh breeze is blowing gently. Drifting through the kitchen. From the back hallway windows. There’s nothin’ like the fresh still wind blowing out on a vast expanse of nowhere.  Silently, but ever there.

Image

Or the blue dome of a beautiful West TX Sky!

And the crackling plains grass, scorched by the sun, blown by the persistent wind.

It’s spring! It’s spring! sings lil Miss Mockingbird from her perch on the West barbed wire fence.  Or perhaps that’s the song in my lil ole Southern happy heart.  And one all ya’ll are welcome to sing with me.

Biscuits ‘n gravy for breakfast.  That’s called good ole TX grub for you.

And don’t squint and say “huh?” like the dear sweet lil ole nurse at the hospital did when I asked for grub.

Maybe there’s a better word for it.

Like dinner? Or supper?

“HUH?”

Never mind.

Hold on a minute, you say.  This is Hub City Girl??

Yew bet it is!!! AT LAST!!!!!!

Cowboy Joe and all the folks took the trail to the Okie heartland for the weekend to see an older bro to celebrate his birthday.  What?? Another one.  Yup, there’s another brother who you haven’t heard about yet, someone who deserted to the great state of OK.

What a traitor.  Haha!

If you lived in OK you would figure out quickly why OK and TX are such rivals.

Cuz, you simply can’t beat TX.

(How do I know? Cuz I live here.)

Shhh, don’t tell my Okie brother.

I see Cowboy Joe has been keeping you updated with his ramblings.

You see, Hub City Girl and Cowgirl Sis had made a trip into town.  Town meanin, good ole Hub City, when the car wreck happened.

Which is why nobody should live in town.

I’m not sure when Hub City Girl will be back to ridin’, but it may be a good long time.

There were several major bones broken. Not once, not twice, but three times.  It’s taken this long for Hub City Girl to finally walk without a cane.

But let me tell you, whether I ride or not, I’m greater than grateful to be sittin here alive.

And boy howdy do Little Joe and Cowgirl Sis have some stories to tell about my long stay in the hospital.

(Oops!–Cowboy Joe.  I’ve been watching too much Bonanza. Haha!)

Let’s save these for later, haha. 😉   You bet they will come back up again.

You learn to be grateful for so many things after something big like that brings your life from a gallop to a skiddin halt.

And grateful for every mornin you wake up alive!

And boy howdy, we have an awesome God!

God has been so good.

Today I hit the trails for the property closest to the house to find out what had changed since I had been absent.

Not much.

Image

Looks like some things still need fixin.

But if you’re out in the country, there’s no law ‘gainst leavin your spare pipe out in your backyard.

Backyard, meanin miles and miles of nothin but grass and goatheads and cattle and sky.

Hold your horses.  GOATHEADS?

I had forgotten about these.  Yup, and there are many things I do not remember from before the wreck.

It’s called a concussion.

Please bear with me.  It’ll come back.  But some things I just can’t remember.

But as quickly as I stepped on one, I remembered.

Ouch!  The pointy splinters of a sticker burr.

Thanks to Pa and Ma J’s new watering system, part of the dirt directly in front of the house, is a luscious vibrant green.

A color unheard of in West TX sky and dirt.

And this was the place where big tough Mr. Grackle chose to court his Lady fair.

Image

Yup, he ruffled his Birdie 6-pack and made calls even I would have the sense to ignore.

As did lil Miss Grackle, who pecked along as if there weren’t a lovesick Bull in sight.

It’s that time of the year.

The time to start new things. To fly to new horizons. To make new things happen. To claim your horizon of that bright blue sky.

Thank ya’ll to our readers who visit & make comments! Ya’ll are the best!  ♥  ♥   If you read and like, please follow or join for email updates.  And to all of you NEW folks who have followed us, THANK YOU!!!  and WELCOME!!  A big YEE-HAW to YOU!!!  Absolute free subscription to Hub City Girl’s daily tall tales of life on the Boy Howdy Ranch.  Just fill in your email on the right and click enter, and Yeehaw! You can read our stories at any time.

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear??

A mucho wonderful day to you.  That’s from Jon.

Happy trails to you! Until we meet again.

Hub City Girl  ♥  ♥

 

 

 

MMMMMMMMM

So, want something delicious to eat Saturday morning? This is your post for the weekend, but I did it tonight, since it is technically for Saturday or Sunday breakfast. You’ll need: a piece of bread, butter, an egg, bacon, and cheese.

IMG_0834

IMG_0835

Tear a round circle hole in the middle of the bread, and put butter around the whole.

IMG_0836

Turn your “bread griller” on to 350 degrees.

IMG_0839

Let it heat up, then lay the piece of bread with butter on top. Crack an egg in the middle of the hole.

IMG_0842

Then, grate a layer of cheese on top of that. Next, layer the cheese with bacon, until the cheese is no longer visible.

IMG_0843

Put the top part of the griller down and wait.

IMG_0846

After you feel like that top side is cooked, and the egg can hold itself together, flip the piece of bread, and put some butter on the bottom, with more cheese.

IMG_0847

Let this cook until you feel that the egg is cooked through, and that the bacon is done. Then, take a fork, and bite into deliciousness.

IMG_0851

IMG_0850

Why rush?

Why do we rush through life? Trying to get everything done in a hurry? Most of the time, it’s because we try to do too much, in too small of a time frame. Our busy-ness often times can get in the way of our personal/friend life, hurting our family or friends.

Number 1, it is important to have enough time to spend with God every day. If we don’t develop a relationship with God, we will try to do life by ourselves. Without the help of God, our lives are stressful, and quite frankly, not fun. We should read the Bible, pray, and have personal and deep conversations with God everyday. If we do not have time for God, then we don’t have time for the most important part of life.

Number 2, it is important to spend time with your family. We should spend more time talking, and doing things with our parents and siblings. We should always encourage them, but never cut them down. We should tell them the hard things that they need to hear, but show love when we do it. We should embrace them when they are down, laugh when they laugh, and cry when they cry. If we do not have time to strengthen our relationships with our families, we are TOO busy!

Number 3, this comes after #1, and #2, as it is important, but nearly as important as the first two. We should always spend some time with our friends. Be there for them to talk, vent, cry, and laugh with. They should always know that you are there for them. It is important to build stronger relationships with friends. Close friends are very important.

Friends, please do not let other things get into the way of God, family, and friends. Those are three of the most important aspects of life.

Have a great day,
Cowboy J.

The Right Thing, Taking a Stand

He quickly hides the pack of gum that, just seconds before, he had taken, without permission, from his mom’s desk. She walks by, and then slowly backtracks. “John, have you seen my pack of gum?” “No Mom, where did you leave it last?”-John lies. His mom tries and tries to think of where she left it. Finally, she just shrugs her shoulders, and walks on living her life, without ever knowing that John just got on the wrong track

It was such a simple wrong doing. A pack of gum? I mean, it is really not that BIG of a deal. Is it? The problem is, number 1, it was wrong. John stole a pack of gum, and then lied to his mother. Such a simple wrong doing will always lead to bigger things. Now, if John would have just confessed to his mother that he stole that pack of gum, he would be punished, and then forgiven. But he didn’t. He let a small pack of gum get into the way of telling the truth. He did a wrong thing. And this simple mistake, will trap him into making larger, and more costly mistakes in the future. This is an example to learn from.

Humans will make mistakes. They will do wrong. It is part of our nature. However, when we do something wrong, we need to confess it. When we do this, our conscience is clear. We will have a feeling of not wanting to do it again. It feels wonderful to be forgiven. Like a heavy weight is lifted off of your body. You aren’t being compressed anymore.

People, don’t let this trap you. Don’t let pride or fear get into your way of confessing. There is no reason to live your life under the bondage of wrong doings on your mind. Just let it out. Stand firm. Keep your feet planted. Don’t move from the right thing to do.

As someone says, “Do the right thing – even when no one is looking.” This is so true.

Take a stand. Fight for the right thing. Don’t get discouraged. But always, ALWAYS, do the right thing. You will be rewarded. Don’t let your faith in God falter, hold strong to it. Pray, look to Him. He will give you the strength you need. Stand firm.

God Bless,
Cowboy Joe

To-Die-For Grilled Onions

BarbQ Chicken & Onions

Howdy ya’ll! What you up to?

Lazy time out here at ‘Boy Howdy’. Cowboy Joe started filming Lassoing Extreme, his short film on trick roping & stunts. I’m not sure how much he & Cowgirl Sis got accomplished. I haven’t read his update, as of yet, so I don’t want to contradict him (haha!) but I heard stories that rival tall tales about how well it went. NOT. Oh well, maybe better luck tomorrow. Keep looking for it though! It’s up and coming! Cowboy Joe gets better every time.

Splash in the Boy Howdy backyard lake (aka our 56-tons of water called the pool).

And Hub City Girl put together an over-the-top dinner that will satisfy 4 hunky, TX size fellows who have been bodybuilding out on the property all day.

Farm boys and cowboys work out at the gym daily. The gym’s right outside haha. Plenty of work, lots to load & lift. They’re liftin all day. So, all you gals out there, keep a good lookout, because next time you spy that cute country boy who swaggers around in his boots and has an acceeeunt thick as gravy, he’s pretty much the proud owner of a stunnin 6-pack. Bet your boots he is!

Oh bet somethin of your own! (That’s Cowgirl Sis, lookin over my shoulder.  Go away, Cowgirl Sis.)

And as Josh announced yesterday. I was talkin ’bout somethin that bothered me very much, that’s like a burr that sticks to a saddle, and this was his advice.

‘Ya’ll just have to realize, life is about food.’

Exactly!

Josh doesn’t say much, but when he does, he says somethin.

Josh is lookin for a Rachael Ray.   Boy howdy, the gal just has to be able to cook!

So…Josh can grill, and then he can grill. The chicken was juicy and falling off the bone.

I perched on a lawn chair and let the cool breeze drift over my wet body. Kinda like your grandma drying her clothes on the line. Okay, whatever.

The smell of juicy onions and barbQ chicken drifted all the way to the barn & corrals closest to the house. Ahhhhh! Temptation. Itself!

If a crew was working in the barn at that moment, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t need a dinner bell to call them in.

The enticing smell of BarbQ would bring them.

Little Miss Mockingbird made her daily visit to the West barbed wire fence.

There was absolute wonderful silence.

That’s what happens when you live out on our property.

There are moments that are wild with wind and wild with dust (like last Friday).

P1050180

(1935, anyone?)

And moments of absolute beautiful loneliness.

P1050135

Oh take me back to the lone prairie…where the wind blows free.

BTW:

Super, deleeeescous way of cooking your grilled onions. Boy howdy, everyone will rave! And what matters most. It’s EASY-GREASY! (that’s why I like them anyway)
They’re to-die-for.

Well, not really, but you get the idea. 🙂

You see, Hub City Girl is not a fan of onions, period. I know, it’s a cryin shame. But I’m a cryin’ baby by the time I’m finished with them, haha. Anyone out there like me?  Or am I the only one?

So here’s how you make em.

Just half your onions (however many works for you, when I’m cooking for the crew we can do up to 10) and cut into slices. Spread out some foil and lay your onions on top. Sprinkle olive oil over onions. Use the foil sides (this is called the Foil Trick) to help toss the oil in with the onions, so that you coat the onions. Then sprinkle some paprika and garlic powder over the top. Toss to coat using Foil Trick again. Then add some more paprika and garlic powder. Toss again. (Fold up onions in the foil & refrigerate until ready.)  Grill with BarbQ chicken. (Josh’s trick: Cover chicken with onions to add even more flavor.)

And Yeehaw!  You have got a buckle-winnin dinner all the folks will talk about all the way down the trail!!

Will be postin pics of our early mornin Memorial Day breakfast, cooked special on the land.  There’s nothin that beats cookin over open fire.  NOTHIN.  Our cookie was Jon….and Josh.

The cookie??

Ya, the cook.

Okay I should have just said that in the first place.   Cookie can get mighty confusin.  😉

Wahl, ya’ll know….the dude who stays back at the chuck wagon on the cattle drive and cooks the food. 

Thank ya’ll of our readers who visit & make comments! Ya’ll are the best!  ♥  ♥   If you read and like, please follow or join for email updates.  Absolute free subscription to Hub City Girl’s daily tall tales of life on the Boy Howdy Ranch.  Just fill in your email on the right and click enter, and Yeehaw! You can read our stories at any time.

As Jon would say, Hope you’re having a mucho wonderful day!

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

Happy trails to ya’ll!

Hub City Girl 🙂

Little Miss Mockingbird

Little Miss Mockingbird.

Our little daily visitor out to the West barbed wire fence on the property.

Mockingbird

She’s a pretty lil thing, flying from fence to fence. Every time she flies an irregular pattern. Skipping a fence here, choosing a fence to land on there. Just enjoying the world.

Singin’ her little heart out. I wonder what she’s singing about? The beautiful day, her little nest hidden somewhere… wherever she goes, the little gal just can’t find something to not sing about! Like we say round here, sing and the world will sing with ya!!

Calling for all ya’ll readers to caption my photo here. 🙂

CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION!!!

What do you think this photo should be captioned?

Any suggestions???????

And boy howdy, don’t forget to sign up for email updates. To all of ya’ll who have already joined, thank you! Ya’ll are awesome!!

Until we meet again,

Happy trails to ya’ll! Ya’ll come back now, ya hear? 😉

Hub City Girl 🙂

Blazin Sunset

Sunset north of Hub City out on the property.

P1050064

P1050071

The ole mesquite tree out by the barns.

P1050061

Starring the Sun. On our big sky movie screen. 🙂

P1050066

P1050069

Actually this is the gate.

Have a wonderful night.

And don’t forget to sign up for email updates!!

Until we meet again,

Hub City Girl 🙂