Moving youngest back to college – Today was a Good Day

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

While moving my daughter back to college this weekend, I ask her what was one spot she wanted to share with me.  “Dan’s Rock” she said without hesitation.  We took a break after dinner from moving to take a little adventure.  I ask her about “Dan’s Rock” as we were driving up the road.  I got the “Well Mom, do you want the History version or the college student version of what Dan’s Rock is?”

I chose her version of what Dan’s Rock was.  She told me as a freshman that Dan’s Rock is one of the first places outside of campus you learn about and go to.  That the kids make trips up there all the time.  Some to just take a ride and look at the view, take some pictures.  Other times on nice days to just go sit and talk, of course those trips to party or be with that special someone. She talked about the sunsets and how breath taking they are, and that before she graduates she plans on making a few trips to see the sun rise. She also said some go up to leave there mark via the spray painting.  I did notice some were newer than others , some were just random and other were works of art.   She told me that during her freshman orientation that they told the students about Dan’s Rock and told them it would be one of the places they will go to make memories. She also showed me some pictures around campus where some of the clubs had gone to take their group pictures. She said that even in the winter (and as cold as it is) they will make a quick trip to see the snow from the view.

I have to admit it was nothing that I expected.  But what I found was a beautiful, art covered, scenic view.  That I could imaging thru the years as new groups of freshman arrived and making their mark and memories.

Dan't Rock

Pictures from our Visit to Dan’s Rock

Now for a little history what I looked up after we made our trip.

The 2,898 foot rock structure sprawls along the brow of Dan’s Mountain overlooking the panoramic Potomac Valley that stretches for twenty miles. Located off Route 36, it stands at 2,989 feet above sea level, and is the highest point in all of Allegany County.  Dan’s Mountain is a part of the front section of the Allegany Plateau, which stretches through Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  It takes up 465 acres of land, and the mountain stretches for 16 miles. The mountain’s first name is named after Daniel Cresap. Daniel Cresap who was the son of a pioneer was famous for climbing a tree while going after a bear. According to the story the tree fell on the rock, making the name become Dan’s Rock.

Craig Caupp, chairman of FSU’s department of geography, explains in an article that I found that “Dan’s Rock is “a sandstone structure that is fairly resistant to breaking down.  The ground underneath Frostburg and the surrounding area is made of folded sediment rock which is shaped a bit like a U.  Sediment rock is layered and folded, and over millions of years the folds will slowly shift.  Dan’s Rock is a small piece of the fold that stretches under Frostburg, it just happens to have pushed its way out of the ground naturally, creating a fascinating geographic spectacle.”

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Going Semi Unplugged for the weekend!

Okay all packed, cake made for a friends bridal shower tomorrow and I am unplugging (semi) for the weekend, because it that time of year, when the kids go back to school.

Bridal Shower Cake

Bridal Shower Cake I made for a friends daughters.

Most parents are happy to see this, but for me it is bittersweet as I help pack and move my baby girl back to college! Where did summer go?  So I have promised  her this weekend is going to be all about the two of us.  Not even going to pack my laptop or ipad.  I am just waiting to see who is going to break first!  So no cooking, canning or blogging for me this weekend.  But I am sure I will be back at it as soon when I get home, because the apples are ready to be picked and a friend of mine has wine grapes ready!(I will get the name of the grapes next week when I go to pick them up!)  Oh so many ideas of what to do with them. Jams, jellies, pies, fritters, I have to stop or I will be having wooden spoon withdraws before the road trip starts! Now if I just had a few more hours in the day…But I was able to finish up a cake I made for a bridal shower a friend is having tomorrow!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

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Liebster Award (Discovering New Blogs)

I want to put a BIG Thank you out there for Olive Ole of the blog Travel Much?  I have been following Olive for a bit now and love the different places, stories and random things she has to share… I love to see post in my Reader from Travel Much. I have learned so much and have added a few places to my bucket list!  While reading thru Olive’s blog which I find her style of writing very entertaining.   I never would have know that English is not her native language.  It is Norwegian WOW I would have never know and still even going back an rereading some of the post it is hard to believe.  I can tell you this is a blog you would enjoy following even if you don’t travel or care much about travel the stores and places and foods are just wonderful and her style of writing … I need to take a few lessons from her!  Olive, Thank you again for nominating me and taking the time out to stop by. Please stop by Travel Much? and check her out!

Liebster Award, This is an award given to new and upcoming bloggers, (bloggers who have less than 200 followers) by other bloggers to help gain recognition and share the blogging love…..

liebster-awardHere’s how it works:

  1. Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
    Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
  2. Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  3. Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
  4. Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
  5. Lastly, COPY these rules in your post.

Here are my answers to Olive’s questions:? Then you can see who I nominated….

  1. What is your dream vacation? A Year at the beach (House must be on the beach with a wrap around porch so I would watch the sun rise and sun set everyday I wanted to.  I could go on but that would be asking for to much…. (smiling)
  2. What book are you currently reading? 1st to Die by James Patterson (it is part of the Women’s Murder Club series)  Yes I love a good mystery and cup of coffee!!!!
  3. What New Year’s resolution did you make this year, and how long did it take you to break it? To save money for christmas and be better prepared… so far so good!
  4. If you had a superpower, which one would it be? To be able to change the weather. Sometimes you just want a rainy day….so you can drink coffee and read a good book!
  5. What does a perfect day look like to you? A cup of coffee, a good book, Sunny warm spring day, hammock at the beach (Am I asking to much ?) Oh and my coffee cup refills it self!
  6. If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be? There are so many I don’t know where to start…
  7. How did you get into the blogging world? My girls suggested I start writing down my ideas and a blog was what came to mind….in theirs and mine.
  8. Shark diving, bungee jumping or sky diving? NONE SuziQ does not do heights or Sharks!
  9. What is your favorite cheesy pick up line, and have you ever used it or have it used on you? Don’t Think I have ever used one and it has been do long ago I don’t even remember what my husband used on me.  I know I made a joke about donuts since he was a police officer…
  10. If you can recommend just one place in your country to a tourist, what will it be? Tybee Island, in Savannah Georgia… Love the southern life!
  11. How annoyed are you at my questions right now, on a scale from 1-10? Do you get easily annoyed? I would say a 1, I honestly enjoyed them they made me think and smile!

I hereby nominate the following unsuspecting bloggers:

TheBrunetteInThePinkScarf

Still Thinking

My Granny Live on an Airport

Wanderlust

Hugsnblessings

If you all choose to accept this award then here are your 11 questions:

  1. What is your favorite past time?
  2. Comfort food or Salad?
  3. If you could be any where right now where would you be?
  4. How long have you been blogging?
  5. what is your perfect weekend or day off work?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. Are you more of a Country, Suburban, or City type of person?
  8. Travel by plane, train or automobile?
  9. Go to the theater or a movie?
  10. Stay in or go out for the evening?
  11. If you had one wish, what would it be?
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Stove Top Homemade Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Homemade Mac and Cheese with Bason

Homemade Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Yes I said it… BACON… Wow what is even better than homemade Mac and Cheese?  Homemade Mac and Cheese with BACON!  I was in one of them cooking moods that I tend to get in from time to time and wanted some good comfort food.  I looked in the pantry nothing jumped out at me, look in the cupboards still nothing.  Finally I took a look in the fridge and found a bunch of cheese and bacon I knew I needed to cook (It was 5 lbs of bacon, I cook it in large amounts then freeze it.  It makes for easy week day breakfasts.) So going back to the pantry, I found I had a lot of noodles.  Yep you guessed it Mac and Cheese time. (Note: I try my best to write down my recipes, to make them simple as I can, problem is that I don’t really cook by recipes).

Hope you enjoy… There are never and I mean never any leftovers when I cook this.

First here is what you will need: 9×13 greased casserole dish or pan

  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 2 tbsp of bacon grease
  • 1 small diced onion (I use sweet onions)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper (freshly ground is my favorite)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 box (1 lbs) of penne pasta or really any type you like

Now of course you need cheese but you can mix and match to your taste.. This is what I like to use:

  • 3/4 cup of a shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of a shredded white cheddar (like a vermont white cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan & Romano shredded cheese
  • * Plus a little more of the Parmesan & Romano shredded cheese to sprinkle at the end.

Start your pot of water for your pasta (I add salt to my water)

Cook the 8 slices of bacon in a large frying pan.  When finished lay on paper towel to drain and cool.  Drain all but two table spoons of bacon grease.  Chop one small onion.  Now by this time the bacon should be cool enough to dice up.  Set bacon aside.

On a high heat, in Large frying pan with bacon grease add diced onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  saute onion for about 2 minutes until it has become translucent.  Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.

**This next part gets a little tricky but is very easy just read thru it first ****

Reduce heat to medium and stir in flour.  Keep stirring for about 1 minute.  Now gradually add in milk and heavy whipping cream stirring at all times. Continue to stir over medium heat bring sauce to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and continue to stir.

Now while you are stirring the cream (roux) add your noodles to the prepared pot of water which should be boiling now. I cook my penne pasta for about 7 minutes.  

Once the ten minutes is up you can turn the heat off.  (remove it from burner if you are using an electric stove). Stir in Cheeses and mix well.  your cooked pasta which should be done by now and drained into the cheese mixture along with the diced up bacon.  Mix well.  Pour it into your 9 x 13 greased casserole dish.

Now this is the only oven part:  Sprinkle with more of the of Parmesan & Romano shredded cheese.  Put under the broiler until cheese starts to bubble and turn a light golden brown.  (Make sure you watch it carefully it only take a couple of minutes).

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Reaching Out to More of the World!

I stumbled across Jay Dee’s blog a little while back and in my daily reader I saw this post “Reaching Out to the World” and wanted to share and see if I could help out.. Tell Jay Dee where you are from!

Make sure you comment on Jay’s post  https://ireadencyclopedias.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/reaching-out-to-more-of-the-world/#comment-10985

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Nine days ago, I wrote a post called Reaching Out to the World. I asked anyone who visited my blog to leave a comment stating which country they’re from.  So far, I have five countries, though most people who responded are from the United States. I’ve also had people from the UK, Canada, Germany, and Ireland leave a comment.

CIA_WorldFactBook-Political_world.pdfBut this is just the beginning. If you are reading this, and you haven’t seen that post yet, then go over there and leave a comment. Also, share that post on any social media platform you like. I would love to see comments from many different countries.

Let’s grow that list of countries!

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One-Liner Wednesday ~ The things kids say…

I jokingly told my daughter she was not right, without missing a beat she informed me “Nope I am to your left”. download (1)

One-Liner Wednesday…. Thanks Linda..

If you would like to join the fun…  http://lindaghill.com/2015/08/19/one-liner-wednesday-the-superpower-we-didnt-know-we-have/

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Nagging feeling…

Have you ever had the nagging feeling you have forgotten something?

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You have checked the strings tied around your fingers, the notes on the fridge and computer screen. You even checked the calendar and email. But still nothing.  Just thought I would ask I have been having one of those weeks!  Enjoy your day and remember to smile it just may make someones day or even yours!  SuzieQ

P.S. I remembered what it was…. I left my coffee in the other room!

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Idea

Idea (noun) – a thought, conception or notion

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I get the thought part all the time. Problem is that most of the time I am driving, in a movie theater or some place that I can not write it down.  Then before you know it that brilliant thought (I always think mine are brilliant) or blog post I wanted to write it gone. Yes I have scraps of paper, journals and little notebooks all over the place but never when I need them.  SuzieQ

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Organized? Chaos?

chaos
Okay I have to admit that I have had the bright idea that I would get organized hundreds of times! My life would be like one of those Hallmark or Lifetime movies.  But has it happened?  Well let me put it to you this way… NOPE.  I have found some great tips on how to get organized and how it will save you time, so on and so on.even… bought a book or two on the subject,   I can also admit that I do try and do this several times a year.  I clean out closets, drawers and cabinets.  I do good for a little while then it is back to organized chaos. But this time it feels different like it is something I need in my life right now, like my blogging has kept me focused on Saving Money for Christmas and my Cookbook Christmas present for my girls!

Yes I would love to walk into my closet and it look like a showroom closet and I would love to open a drawer in the kitchen and everything is perfectly arranged. But the reality is that I may get organized here an there with a few things.  But my life is not a Hallmark or Lifetime Movie where I have a two hour work day and the rest to do as I please.  Nope my life is more like a 11 to 12 hour work day Monday thru Friday, dinner, cleaning up here and there, running errands then before you know it bed time and the cycle starts over again and again.  The weekends I try to enjoy my friends, family and sometimes a little me time! It is a semi Organized Chaos Life! (I am smiling)

So with that being said,  I did how ever challenge myself to try and get a little more organized before November 1!  So I have dug out one of the many books that I had and did a little research on the web.  The common thread that I found in most really good sites and in the many books I have collected is that you can not do this over night. (I am sure there are those that can and have).  But that is where I lose it.  So I decides that I was going to tackle one project a week.  Yes I know that does not leave me much time but atleast it will be my start.

So this week I am going to call it Good Will Collecting!  I plan on going thru as many closets as I can and either trashing, recycling or pile(s) to go to Good Will.  (Plus it will give me a receipt for my taxes for the donation.)

Wish me luck, and if you have any ideas to go along with this please share!  I will let you know how this goes and what the plan is for next week!

If it does not work I always have my semi organized chaos life! Which is not so bad!  I will do what I can here and there to keep things in order and maybe find that deep down idea that I know I have that will work for me.  (I have found a few of them…like Saving for Christmas and my gift idea!) But for now cross finger and as I stumble across an idea that I try and like I will be sure to share!

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Homemade Grape Jelly

Homemade Grape Jelly

Homemade Grape Jelly

What a busy weekend!  But I did find time to do a little canning!  While out doing yard work I noticed that my grapes were ripe! (I am pretty sure they are concord grapes.)  This was a major treat for me because I thought we had lost this grape vine the other year due to neglect.  But two springs ago I weeded and trimmed (mind you this was very early spring one of them days mother nature like to tease us with because it snowed two days later!). We even fixed a new fence type thing for the runners.  Well later that spring it started growing and looked so good but not one grape on any of the vines… I trimmed it back later the next winter and crossed fingers.  For one because I do not know a thing about growing grapes!  And the other reason I crossed fingers is because I have a feeling this grape vine is older than I am!  My husband remembers eating them as a same child and remembers his dad talking about them when he was young!  This spring I could see life and as it got warmer I could see small grape clusters forming. Yay I did not kill it!  Well I decided it best to let it do its thing until this weekend I could not help but noticing it.  So I got a pair of snips and a basket and went to town – even gave a few pints of blood the the mosquitoes!  I still have more to pick but I was just so happy to get the chance to try and make jelly!  Not knowing really how to make grape jelly I decided I would use my blackberry recipe that I modified and see how it goes!  Needless to say it taste just like Welch’s Grape Jelly.  (Well very very close to it!)  I made two batches and made notes as I went so I could write it down to share and put in the girls cookbook!  Enjoy!

Here is how I did it… (Note: Don’t worry if the juice is a very dark reddish looking it will change to the purple the more it cooks and when you add the sugar).

 IMG_2876 IMG_2872

What you will need

  • About 4 lbs of grapes (cleaned and stems removed) (My grapes were concord picked from my own vine)
  •  5  cups juice (You will get this after you have cooked, mashed, cooled and  strained the grapes)
  •   cups sugar
  • 1 box dry pectin (I use Sure-Jell)
  • Jars with 2 piece lids – 8 8oz jelly jars or you can substitute the 4oz jars for some of the larger ones.
  • Jar Lifter
  • Canning Pot
  • 6 to 8 quart sauce pot
  • funnel (this makes it easier to ladle juice into jars)
  • Cheesecloth or Jelly strainer

DIRECTIONS

Prepare jars and lids per manufactures instructions.

  1. To make the juice:

    I sniped off clusters of grapes into a basket,  then put them in a pot with cold water.  I then began to take the grapes off the stems and remove any dried up grapes and leaves.  I rinsed them again to make sure I had gotten all the stems out.

    Next I placed them on the stove with just enough water to cover them and turned the heat on high and began to mash them with a potato masher while stirring them so they would not stick or burn.  When they began to boil I turned down the heat to low and let them simmer for about 10 minutes while I continued to mash and stir here and there.

  2. I let them cool for about 30 minutes once I turned the heat off of them.  Now is the fun part.  I got a very large bowl and I used my old fashion wire mesh strainer, I have two of them and strained the grapes thru the wire strainers a couple of times mashing the grape pulp each time.  I then took the juice and ran it thru a strainer with cheese cloth.  If you have a Jelly strainer you can do this.  I have one but had let a friend use it.  So I just made due.
  3. Measure sugar exactly and set aside.
  4. Place 5 cups of juice and 1 box of pectin in a 6 to 8 quart sauce pot.
  5. Bring mixture to a full boil (a boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, making sure you stir constantly.
  6. Stir in sugar slowly. Return to rolling boil, when it gets to that rolling boil time exactly one minute, Stirring constantly. (Do not over cook).
  7. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
  8. Quickly ladle into prepared jars, within 1/8 inch of top. Wipe jar rims and threads with damp cloth. Cover with two piece lids. Screw on tightly.
  9. Process in a hot water bath for 10 mins making sure the water is 2 inches above jars.  If not you will need to add more boiling water to the pot.

Enjoy!

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