Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ok, Bloggy Peeps, This Is A Call To Action

I'm issuing a SOS, warning bell, mayday, get on my knees and beg, distress signal to all of my bloggy peeps.

I have a friend, who is a SAINT, who needs your help. Many of you may know her - many more of you may know of her, many more of you may know of her ministry.

Her name is Amy Beth and she is the founder, director, head chick in charge, of Starlite Ministries, an amazing program that takes the Word of God into public schools (wow, right?) by means of after school programs for girls. They have weekday programs, lock-ins, & spa days (where the Starlite volunteers paint nails, fix hair, etc.) all through the local schools. The whole time they have the girls, they are teaching about the love of Jesus to kids who might not hear it any other place. The cost to the girls? Free. Nada. Zip.

Here's where she needs your help. Aka, the SOS.

Microsoft has offered to help Starlite Ministries earn some major fundage. They have created a downloadable task bar called Microsoft Live Search. They have told AB that the more people who download Microsoft Live Search, the more money Starlite can earn.

In other words, free cash for an amazing cause. All you gotta do is download the task bar (if you don't like it, you can delete it). Here's the link with all the instructions.

I'm gonna be honest. I don't know anything about Microsoft Live Search. The program only runs on Internet Explorer, and I have Safari. But I DO know that this ministry is worth anything and everything we can possibly do to keep it running. Due to the squeeze on the economy, several of her regular donators have had to suspend donations. This is getting pretty critical for her. They have made a promise never to charge the girls money for coming, and (Praise Him) girls are coming out of the woodwork to experience her programs. More girls + less money = problem.

Please consider downloading the task bar. If you do, leave a comment on AB's blog and you will be entered in a contest to win a $25 Starbucks gift card. Holla!

Oh, and I failed to mention that Amy Beth is 24 years old. She started Starlite at the ripe ole age of 18 and didn't draw her first paycheck until 4 years later. She's amazing and God is working wonders through her ministry.

Let's help a sista out, how bout it?


I wish you all knew my dad. He's a cool guy, Baptist Preacher, Alabama fan (I don't hold that against him...), wonderful PawPaw, and a really good cook. He and I share a deep, deep love for The Food Network. And I'll venture out to say that he is the best, THE BEST soup maker in the history of the world. Clearly I'm a little biased, but his soup is GOOD. And it's never, ever, the same recipe twice.

So, in honor of BooMama's Souptacular Crockpotalooza, I'll share the recipe to my dad's famous soup. Actually, I'll share the recipe that he made last weekend. Because if he makes it again next weekend, it won't be the same.

I'll also go ahead and tell you that my dad doesn't know how to cook in small quantities. He cooks for 20 people, even if the meal is just for he and my mom. So this recipe will make enough to feed you, your family, your neighbors, your kids' teachers, have leftovers for days, and freeze some. Don't judge. He grew up in a large family.

Reminds me of the time that he smoked chicken during one of our visits to their house. There were 4 adults, 1 child, and 2 babies. He cooked 36 pieces of chicken. Mercy.

Ok. Here's the recipe.

Empty The Cabinet Soup
1 ham bone (we had smoked a ham earlier in the week and had a ham bone. Not necessary, but really, really good. Our ham bone had lots of ham still on it.)
If you don't have a ham bone, you will need 4 cups of any kind of meat. I've had this soup with ham and chicken. Yum. We added more ham to our soup in addition to the ham bone.
1 jar of pearl onions (with the juice - very important ingredient. Don't pour out the juice)
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
2 small cans tomato paste
Veggies - we used fresh-frozen corn, field peas, lima beans, "soup mix" - which had green beans, carrots, & english peas - these veggies come in bags in the freezer section - we used a little over 1/2 a bag of each of the veggies. You can add okra and potatoes and the soup will be a little thicker.
2 cans Low Sodium chicken stock
2 cans Low Sodium beef stock
4 cups water
Garlic Powder (my dad has a really scientific way of measuring the garlic powder. He starts pouring and "circles the pot" 4 times. I think that would roughly measure out to about 4 tablespoons.)
1 T ham base
Black pepper to taste.
**Notice we didn't add any salt to this recipe. There is a lot of salt in the chicken stock, beef stock (even though they are low sodium), tomato sauces, & the ham base. You can always add salt later, but you can never take it out.

Combine all ingredients - in no particular order.
Simmer on med/low with the lid on.
The longer you cook it, the better it tastes.
It's great with crackers, but even better with cornbread. It's also good with a splash of Tabasco, too.

And, like I said before, invite the neighbors. You'll have plenty.

Head back over to BooMama's post and you can also find lots of other soup recipes, too.

Have a great, fantastically wonderful day!

Apparently, the mention of ham base has raised several questions amongst the bloggy community. Apparently, a lot of you peeps don't know what ham base is. So here's an explanation....
Ham base is a concentrated ham flavor - like bullion, but in a paste form. It intensifies the flavor of soups. You can get ham base, beef base, chicken base, and vegetable base. It comes in a little jar and can be found near the soup/stock/bullion in most grocery stores.
Except I haven't checked "most grocery stores." It just sounded good. I know for sure that it can be found on isle 3 in my Publix right down the street from my house. As for your grocery store? You're on your own with that one. However, I DO know that if you are making soup, a base of some kind will make it yummier.

Peace out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Works For Me Wednesdays - Hotel Curtains

It's been a while since I have participated in WFMW. Not for any particular reason. I just don't feel like I have any ground breaking - linky worthy knowledge to share.

However, I've got one now. And I feel like it would be a travesty to keep this little piece-o-knowledge to myself. And since I'm all about the sharing, and since my dad thinks I'm a genius, pure genius, for figuring this out, I'm going to share my knowledge with you.


Have you ever been in a hotel when the curtains don't close all the way? You can pull and tug and beg and plead with the curtains to close. But they will always have a gap. And you don't realize how annoying the gap is until about 5:30 in the morning when the blinding sun comes through the tiny gap like a drill sergeant holding a flashlight in your face and you can't sleep in on your vacation because of all the sun. And then you wake up cranky and the whole day is ruined.

So, I have the solution for you.

Use this.

They're in your closet in your hotel room. Just grab em and clip those curtains together.


However, by using this idea, I no longer get to see my dad build a tower of suitcases, chairs, and luggage valets to keep the curtains closed.

I guess I'll have to sacrifice that bit o' joy for my dad's sleep sanity.

You're welcome.

If you want to see more "Works For Me Wednesday" ideas, head over to Shannon's blog for some really cool ideas.

And have a fantastic Wednesday.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I'm here.

Hubs has a meeting here tomorrow, so I tagged along.

I plan on doing productive stuff like shopping and sleeping late.

I'm pretty excited about the sleeping late part.

And the shopping without the kids part.

Because they're at home with my mother-in-law. Bless her wonderful heart.

And, you wanna know what the most exciting part of the whole trip is?
I get to hang out with this chick tomorrow. Because she's cool. And she lives here. Which makes me insanely jealous of her. Because people in Nashville are rock stars. Well, at least Annie is.

And Reba. Holla.

I'll be back tomorrow - have a great Tuesday.