A Perfect Day

Sunny at Mom’s place

Today was one of those perfect live-in-the-moment days tinged with nostalgia.

Persimmon tree

I got Mom’s screen door repaired and was pretty pleased with the way it turned out.

Then this afternoon, Ann and Cecil came over.  We visited under the big live oak tree where family members have gravitated for decades.  Then, not wanting to mess with cooking dinner, we grilled hot dogs.

And finally, we spent the evening visiting with Hope.

We are ready to head out tomorrow,  but on another level, I feel a strange reluctance to leave.

For those of you who asked about Ann’s low-carb Mother’s Day dinner recipes, I have copied and pasted them below.  WordPress won’t let me put the recipe below the photos for some reason, so the pictures are all mixed in with the recipes.  🙂

Dad used to say, “I like my house, but I love my shed.”

Sheba wearing spider webs in her hair after crawling underneath the shed

Sheba and Sunny

Tree at sunset

Ann’s Low-Carb Fork-Tender Crock Pot Chuck Roast and Brown Pan Gravy (with onions and mushrooms)

This recipe was adapted from Dottie’s “Basic and Easy Stove Top Beef w/Onion Mushroom Gravy” recipe which I found on the LowCarbFriends website.

For the purposes of this recipe, the size of the roast really isn’t important. I could use this same recipe for one or two roasts.

Makes approximately 4 cups of gravy.


I like to cook a chuck roast overnight in a crock pot. I begin by applying a VERY THIN coat of olive oil spray to a cast iron skillet (use the least amount that you can get by with!) I salt, pepper and sprinkle garlic powder all over the meat and then brown it in the cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Next, I place the meat it in the crockpot with a chopped onion. Then I deglaze the skillet with water (probably about a half cup) and add it to the crockpot. Cover. At this point I turn the pot on low and let it cook overnight, keeping it on until time to make the gravy. (This can be 12 hours or so, but it doesn’t have to cook that long. The meat becomes fork-tender when it cooks a long time.) Remove from the crock pot and keep warm while you make the gravy.


Lightly spray a large skillet with olive oil or apply a very thin film on the surface of the pan. (You don’t want to use much!) Turn the burner on medium high and add ONE COARSELY CHOPPED ONION and ONE CUP OF COARSELY CHOPPED MUSHROOM PIECES. Spray lightly with olive oil if you need a little more oil in the pan. Brown until tender.

Add THREE CUPS OF BEEF DRIPPINGS (from the crock pot). If you don’t have enough, use 2 beef bullion cubes to one cup of water to make up the difference. Bring to a boil.

In a separate bowl, mix ONE CUP OF COLD WATER with TWO TEASPOONS GAR GUM. Whisk into the skillet of beef drippings.


1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Boil and whisk for two more minutes.

Serve hot.

NOTE: Do not despair if you get lumps in the gravy. Simply put it in the blender for a couple of minutes and your gravy will be perfect!

NOTE: You can skim excess grease off of the gravy with a clean paper towel.

This tastes exactly like the homemade recipe that I have used for many years. My brother-in-law has told me that I should patent my gravy.


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  1. Thanks for the receipe – copied and pasted it for future reference — hope you have safe travels ahead! ~ Chuck


  2. Cam

     /  May 15, 2012

    A blue shed? I love it too!


    • At one time the house was painted the same blue. Now it’s gray, but the shed hasn’t been repainted. 🙂


  3. What a wonderful property I can understand wanting to stay, so many wonderful memories.
    Thanks for the recipe.


    • LOTS of memories! We’ll be back for Thanksgiving but it will be even more fun since my sister from Texas and her husband will be there then.


  4. kathynik

     /  May 15, 2012

    That’s really an exceptional piece of property. What wonderful memories! The screen was a great gift! Glad you had a nice time. The recipes look yummy! I like the gravy trick! Sheba looks so innocent, and Sunny is just so cute!


    • The funny thing about the property is that the least attractive view is from the house. Mom commented on how much more beautiful the view was from our campsite!

      Sheba is innocent. I get such a kick out of her when she sees new sights and sounds. She cocks her head, sticks one ear up and looks so puzzled. It’s priceless. Sunny remains my loyal buddy and companion, though. 🙂

      Glad you liked Ann’s recipe. She is the super chef of the family!


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