Thursday, September 1, 2022

Grandma Has a New Hip

I haven't blogged for the past few months as 
I was in a lot of pain and waiting to get a new 
hip.  I had fallen 28 years ago while pregnant 
with one of my children.  It irritated for years, 
and finally I had X-Rays and it had deteriorated 
enough to need a replacement.  

I went up to the Park City Hospital which 
looks more like a mountain lodge inside 
and out.  Miss Madi K is sitting on a ski lift 
outside of the hospital.  

Inside there are several gorgeous fireplaces 
and it was amazingly beautiful.  They specialize 
in operating on Olympic athletes, so I felt like 
I was in good hands.  

The recovery was going well but in ten days 
I ended up in the emergency room with 
severe pain in my stomach.  I stayed undiagnosed 
for ten days in the hospital, throwing up 
constantly.  They finally decided to look 
at my gallbladder.  They found stones and 
removed it.  I was in pretty sad shape by 
that time, not being able to drink or eat 
anything without throwing up.  

The kids and grandkids were really worried 
about me and came by to visit.  

I wasn't great company, but it did my heart 
good to see them. 

Hubby has had a tradition of bringing a cooler 
full of treats to the women in the hospital 
as they were having babies, so they did the 
same for me with many wonderful cards 
made by the little ones.  

Hubby said he knew I was in rough shape as I 
didn't speak or watch TV or even look at my 
phone for those two weeks in the hospital. 

When I finally got home after almost two weeks 
in the hospital I was still throwing up many, many 
times daily.  We were spoiled by friends and neighbors 
and family with foods and gorgeous floral arrangements. 

I wasn't able to eat any of the food people 
brought over, but Hubby enjoyed all of it.  
We realized the importance of supporting 
the caregiver.  

I continued to throw up everything for another
two weeks while home, but got on home nursing 
IV's and using Zofran.  I slowly was able to 
eat things and it took that extra month to be 
able to have energy and be able to eat.  

The little granddaughters ran around saying, 
"Grandma has a new hip!!!"  

That's because I hadn't been able to have 
any sleepovers with them while I was waiting 
for surgery and for a long time after 
surgery.  I was in the hot tub with several 
of them and one that is four said, 
"Let's say a prayer of thanks that 
Grandma is better?"  
How sweet is that?
But thanks to lots of prayers 
and kindnesses!  

Miss Pansy Goes to Branson - Tales of the Traveling Totes and Giveaway

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Totes for 
September of 2022, where MacKenzie-Child 
loving ladies post once a quarter on where 
their bags have been.  If you follow me on IG 
you know that I was recovering from hip surgery 
in June and then hospitalized again for 
gallbladder surgery so I didn't 
post in June, so it has been a while.

In January of 2020 we each received custom made 
MacKenzie-Child's bags based on what the 
incredible seamstresses at MacKenzie Child 
designed for us based on our blogs, and 
then Covid-19 hit!  So this month we are 
focusing on our custom made Serendipity 
bags' travels.  Mine is named Miss Pansy.

One of my girlfriends had gone to Branson 
two years ago and she decided right then and there 
that she wanted all of us to go together.  They 
belong to Holiday Inn Vacation resorts, so 
they booked two rooms in Branson for the 
five couples.  None of the rest of us had been 
to Branson, so we didn't know what to expect, 
but we absolutely had a marvelous time. 

A neighbor heard that we were going and said 
we absolutely had to eat breakfast at Billy Gail's. 
So we started our vacation the first morning there.  
We loved the Big Boy out front whose hamburger 
had turned into a stack of pancakes.

One couple was missing that first morning 
so this picture only shows four of the 
couples.  They had stayed one extra night 
at home as their dog had just had a litter 
of five puppies. 

The food was so good that we decided when the 
other couple joined us, we would have to go again. 
The pancake in the background is 14 inches!  It was 
the most amazing pancake.  We all got to try some 
of it and there was still some left. 

As we were picking up our show tickets, 
we spotted a Paula Deen's restaurant, so 
we had to add that to our list.  She has the 
most charming shop at the front of the 
restaurant, and we'all had to get some of 
her fun gifts.  

Miss Pansy and I looooved the biscuits 
they served at Paula Deen's Restaurant 
and we were introduced to 
Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, 
which we then ordered at almost every 
restaurant we went to. I also brought 
home two boxes of her Ooey Gooey 
Butter Cake Mixes, one in vanilla 
and one in chocolate.  I am making one 
tomorrow for a pool party!  

Each night we attended a show and 
The Haygoods by far was our favorite show.  
They are sold out every night. 

The sister in the show was talented on so many 
instruments, but my favorite was the harp, as 
they had it lit up and her dress was lit up too. 

What we enjoyed most was the outdoor 
activities.  We rode bikes up Dogwood Canyon.  
It is a nice easy ride and I was thrilled that 
my hip had no problems.  

The bike path crisscrossed over the stream 
many times and the stone structures were 
just gorgeous. 

At the top of the ride they had this beautiful 
waterfall with golden trout in the pond.  
We had never seen golden trout before.  

Along the trail you cross from Missouri to 
Arkansas, so we laughed and said we rode 
all the way to Arkansas. 

We ate at the lodge there for lunch.  All of 
the food we had on the trip was amazing. 
We also got to walk through a 
Treehouse Master's house there on 
the property.  

Later in the week we rode gold carts through 
Top of the Rock Heritage Preserve.  It was 
also stunning with waterfalls and bridges.  
You even drive through a cave!  It was so 

The iron work everywhere is unbelievable.  
We just marveled at the creativity and 
money that was put into both of these 
places - everything so beautiful. 

We also roamed through the Ancient Ozarks 
Natural History Museum that had so many 
beautiful Indian artifacts.  My favorite items 
were all of the beaded dresses and the 
dolls, all so well-preserved.  

After that we had lunch in the Big Cedar Lodge.  
The buildings at both places were just 
magnificent, and the food matched the 
grandeur.  Miss Pansy really enjoyed 
herself and even got to go on the 
golf carts. 

This was a sampling of foods we had at 
the Big Cedar Lodge.  Yum!  And we 
learned to order dessert as an appetizer 
and all just share one, otherwise we wouldn't 
have room for dessert. 

Another treat was getting to eat at Guy Fieri's restaurant 
down by the water.  We ordered Trash Can Nachos. 
I had seen him make these on one of his shows 
and I had tried making them.  His were better of course. 

It's a big presentation where they 
bring it out in the "trash can" and then 
pull off the trash can.  The smoked meat 
on it was unbelievable.  

I was just so happy that with all of my 
problems after the gallbladder surgery 
following my hip surgery that I was able 
to eat everything.  After only being able 
to eat a few things for six weeks, the 
food was one of the highlights of the trip. 

We also spent a day at 
Silver Dollar City Amusement Park. 
Everything we did was fun and beautiful and 
delicious.  It was a great trip. 

Now for the giveaway.  

Visit Jenna and leave a comment to be 
entered into the giveaway for this 
cute reusable shopping bag.  

And also visit all of our other official 
Tales of the Traveling Totes ladies to 
see what they were up to.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box  
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women 

Thanks for visiting and leave a comment. 
And a huge thank you to Patti at 
Pandora's Box for including me on 
all of the adventures of
Tales of the Traveling Totes. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Tales of the Traveling Tote Cabo Cooking Class and a Giveaway

Welcome to our latest Tales of the Traveling Tote 
where a group of Mackenzie-Childs lovers take you 
along on our fantastic travels with our marvelous 
bags.  Before you begin reading, I just have 
to thank Patti for starting this amazing group 
of women and for Linda and Sarah for inviting 
me to be a part.  I have enjoyed this blogging 
group so much!!!  You have made my life 
richer by this experience of being part of 
a MacKenzie-Childs travel group. 

Today Miss Madi K and I want to bring you along to 
our second cooking class with our Lunch Bunch 
group.  We brought our aprons all of the way to 
Cabo for this class.  We were only missing one 
couple, who are off living in Puerto Rico for a 
few months. 

Miss Madi K graciously brought ten of our 
COOK2GETHER aprons which Diana and I 
had made.  What is really fun, is that we aren't 
just cooking together as girlfriends, but we are 
cooking together with our husbands too.  

I decided to have a class on making ice cream.  
My sister Jean had purchased a Whynter Ice Cream Maker 
that uses a compressor.  These run right around $300 
so they are on the pricey side compared to other 
ice cream makers, but for months before Christmas 
of 2020 she kept sending me photos of the ice 
cream she was making and raving about how 
amazing it was.  I decided to purchase one 
and try it out and ended up getting one for each 
of my five kids for Christmas that year.  They all 
said that was the best Christmas present they had 
ever gotten (now that may have been an exaggeration, 
because one of our Christmas presents to them was 
the trip to Europe where we went to Paris, London 
and Rome), but I was so thrilled they all loved it. 

I chose to teach them a Peanut Butter Cup recipe 
and a Nutella Recipe, using the basic 
Ben and Jerry's recipe for the base.  
The Whynter compressor ice cream maker 
requires no preparation and you can make 
batch after batch of perfect ice cream.  

The quality of ingredients makes all of the difference.  
I have purchased heavy cream from the grocery 
store that has been more like milk consistency, and 
that will affect your ice cream.  We have found that 
Costco's Heavy Cream makes the most luxurious 
ice cream, so I highly recommend that.  

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Base Recipe

2 large eggs, or equivalent of egg substitute
1 C. white sugar
1 C. milk
2 C. heavy cream

Place the sugar into a medium size bowl and 
crack the two eggs into the bowl.  Using a whisk, 
whisk the two together until light yellow - this 
only takes a little time.  Now whisk in the milk and cream 
and pour into your ice cream freezer bowl.  Place 
the beater into the bowl and place the top on 
and press the power button and then the start 
button.  It is that easy.  It generally takes around 
40 minutes to freeze the batch, and it freezes to 
about a soft serve consistency.  

You can eat it now, but 
I like my homemade ice cream more like a 
commercial ice cream consistency so I place it 
in these fabulous freezer containers  shown in 
the picture of Kirk ad I cleaning off the beater.  
My sister Jean told me about these too.  You will 
want these placed in the freezer about the time 
you begin freezing the batch of ice cream.  I let 
mine ripen about 4-6 hours or overnight, so if I 
make the batch in the morning it is ready to 
serve that evening.  

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Follow the Ben and Jerry's base and whisk 
or blend in the blender 1/2 C. creamy peanut 
butter before you add the milk and cream.  We 
found that Cream Skippy Natural made the best 
flavored peanut butter base.  Don't use crunchy 
peanut butter as the peanuts will catch in the beater 
and prevent it from turning.  

While the ice cream is freezing, chop your peanut 
butter cups - the thin ones are amazing.  I usually 
add about a cup of mix ins for this size of batch.  
When they are chopped, place them in the freezer 
too so that you aren't adding warm mix-ins to 
your ice cream.  

When the ice cream is frozen, place half of the 
chopped peanut butter cups into your pre-cooled 
container (you can use any pan or container you 
want but maker sure it has been in the freezer 
first too.  I just love these because they are insulated 
and really keep the batch nice over time without 
causing crystals on top.  

Working quickly, place half of the ice cream 
in the container, swirl the mix ins into the 
ice cream, then top with the remaining mix-ins 
and then the remaining ice cream and swirl again.
This way the ice cream has the mix-ins evenly 
placed throughout the batch.  

Return to the freezer and let it ripen.  

You can follow the same recipe for the above 
but use smooth Cookie Butter or Nutella.  
When I make the Nutella I add 1/8 C. Cocoa 
Powder and if you have followed me for a 
while you know I only use Extra Brute Cocoa 
Powder, it will change your chocolate recipes 

We plowed through a batch of Peanut Butter Cup and 
a batch of Cookie Butter, so everyone requested ice cream 
again.  I had brought a package of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups - 
the thin variety with me, and we went to three stores in Cabo 
to find more - not a popular candy down there, so I got 
online and made some homemade Peanut Butter cup, 
spreading it thin on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and 
froze it.  When frozen I cut it.  I have to say, it was superior 
in flavor and texture to the commercial peanut butter cups. 
The second day we made a batch of Nutella and I had 
brought some Extra Brute Cocoa down with me. 

Besides insisting we make more the next day, 
the biggest compliment on the class was that 
one of the men in the class ordered the 
and the Extra Brute Cocoa Powder off of 
Amazon that day and had them waiting at 
home.  They made their first batch that next 
Sunday for their family dinner.  

That Miss Madi K is so lucky that Mexico has 
been so welcoming through all of Covid and 
she has been there a lot.  We feel blessed too!

Now for the fun part - the MC Giveaway 
this month is being held by Emily. What a 
perfect gift - this adorable luggage tag 
will just make you want to travel!  Please 
visit her and comment to have a chance to win.  

Follow all of our amazing adventurers to 
see where they have taken their totes this 

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box  
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women 

And stop by again for another giveaway on June 1st.

Thanks for always stopping by.

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