Thursday, December 29, 2022

Things Don't Impress - Actions Do

 Good morning all.  Thinking of each of as this year winds down.
Keeping our friends, Kim and Hilogene both in my prayers for comfort and love and healing after they have both lost their spouses this week.  It is all just so sad.

We never know what life will throw at us at any given time.  These are just 2 more examples that life can change in a split second.  My did - others have been through this as well.  No time to prepare or understand.
Sadly, death is part of life - every day someone is going through it.  It is all so heart breaking.

This is why it is so important to be kind and good and understanding to EVERYONE every day.
I have never been impressed with money - I am always impressed with kindness and goodness.

Treat people as you would want to be treated.  Get over the small crap - it truly isn't important.  Stop making a big deal over things that will not matter tomorrow, next week or next month.  Love people for themselves.  There is NO ONE on this earth that is perfect (regardless to what some think)!  We are all imperfect, we all make mistakes, we all need to learn, and we are all broken in some way.
Kindness is so very important.
One tiny, nice word or act - could change a person's life.  It could bring them a smile or a moment of joy, that they may not have had on that day.  It may let them know that someone cares - and maybe that could change life altering decisions for them.

Yes, life is hard for everyone!!!!!  No one is exempt.  Everyone has feelings - and we should never disregard them.  Your feelings are YOURS!  You can feel the way you need to feel and that is fine.  BUT, that does not give anyone the right to be nasty to someone else, whose feelings or ideas are different.
It is NEVER OK to be mean to others.

Be kind and be loving.  Pray for others and put others before yourself.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  Life is so very short - and we should want to make each day the best we can.  Make it the best for others and for yourself.  If you are kind to others - it comes back to you!!!!!  I truly believe that.

Please stay safe and have a cozy NY eve.  If you are out and about - be safe.  Take a moment or two for yourself and just sit back and reflect and enjoy those you are with.
I will be back on NY day with a new post.

Have a blessed day my friends.  
Have a safe and lovely New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

More Reflection

 This week's posts will be about reflection and a better us.  Next week we will get back to our usual programming!!!!
I just think we all need to be reminded how lucky we really are.  We have so much and often take it for granted.  Many, many people in this world would call us wealthy!  You know what?  WE ARE compared to many.  Wealth has little to do with money in my opinion.  It is all the wonderful things that we have in our lives and the beautiful people.

I hope you are still enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights - inside or out.  There is something so magical about the pretty colored lights.  It feels like the magic of childhood to me.

THIS is wealth in my view.  We are so blessed in so many ways.  Over this past weekend I thought so much about the people who live on the streets.  I cannot even imagine this during decent weather - then we had that artic blast.  I sure hope and pray that folks sought out and found shelter.
So yes, having that roof over your head makes you wealthy.
You woke up today and you have been given another chance to grow, live, enjoy, love and to be kind.  USE THAT OPPORTUNITY!  It is a GIFT.

This sums it up pretty well.  Life is what you make it!  Sure we all get blasted with bad, evil, sadness, anger, and troubles.  We can either wallow in it or we can stomp on it - put on our big girl panties and make the best of the situation.
I know that simplifies it a lot - but you get the point.

Life hands you lemons - make lemon-aid!
We got this.  Make this a beautiful day and enjoy all that is around you.

EDIT:  For those that follow her - Kim at Out My Window is on a cruise with family.  Her husband passed very unexpectedly on Christmas morning of a heart attack.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers.  We love you Kim.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Time to Relax, Breathe, and Reflect

 I always look at this last week or so of the year to just take a moment and breathe!  Much of the festivities are over, and all the running and hurrying.  Now we can relax and reflect of the past year - and reflect on what we want in the coming days.
Many have been through a lot in the past year (actually the past couple years) - but here we are!  We are still here and kicking.  We made it!  That says everything in my book.

Take some time this week to just BE!  Snuggle up on the couch and stay warm.  Read a book or crochet or knit.  Watch a movie.  Eat the food and the goodies (start the healthy stuff next week).  Look at the pretty lights and enjoy them.  Take a nap.  Relax - reflect - breathe!!!!!!! 

We all need time to recharge out internal batteries.  We get so busy, that we often neglect ourselves.  If we don't take care of US - no one will.  Be in the moment and take care of you.
Maybe listen to some soft music, give yourself a spa night, go get a massage, just relax and recharge.

Click on picture to enlarge
I saw this and thought - WOW.  This is something we need to ALL do.  We doubt ourselves and others so much in this world today.  We are all unique and special, and we need to realize that.
It says December self-care.  I changed it to January - but you know what?  It should be a daily self-care and we need to work on these things each day.

I really love this.  I know I sure need to do these things and work on them.
You are YOU.  That is beautiful!  There is no other YOU!  Celebrate everything about yourself and your life.
We have to realize, no matter how crappy we think things may be - someone else would love to have our life!  

So let us all take time to be our best.  To shake up those routines, to grow, accept who we are and love it, to let go of regrets and anger, appreciate ALL you have, to be kind to ourselves and others, to love and to smile.
You DESERVE it!!!!!!!
Life is short and we are still here - so there is a good reason to celebrate.  Make each day count for the most it can.

May you all have a blessed day.  Make it so!!!!!
Till tomorrow my friends!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 12/26

 Howdy!!!!!  Well, the party is over for many and hasn't happened yet, for many more.  It seems many, many families had to reschedule gathering events for another time.  Weather and sickness created a mess for many people.  I hope each of you that had celebrations had a lovely time.
Happy Boxing Day to those celebrating today!

It sure has been COLD!  Our weather took the big turn on Thursday late afternoon.  We went from rain to snow.  We also dropped 40* in a matter of hours.  The winds howled like crazy for 2 days!  We broke a record of over a hundred years on Friday - as the temperature never got above ZERO!
The kitties have done great and stayed inside their house.  They have used the litter box - which neither had been used to and they have water and warm bedding. 
This morning they both came out to meet me on the back walk as I went out with breakfast - first time in days that I think Fluffy came out of the greenhouse!  Blackie would walk out and within a minute he was back in.  They know where to be.  LOL

I watched the birds of Friday - they were so fluffed up and huddling.  I felt so sorry for them.  I made sure all had food.  The squirrels were big fluff balls.  They all loved having the heated water bowls - drinking a lot.
           Not my picture - but I think it shows how we all feel after the festivities are over!!!!!!

My week - last week:
  • Finished that baby blanket - oh my aching back!!!! (It was very much worth it - as tears flowed!)
  • I did extra insulating of the greenhouse and finished all the weather preps
  • I dropped off gifts at my brothers last Wed. - just in case I couldn't get there Sunday.  I DID make it!
  • I helped my neighbor wrap a boat load of Christmas gifts for his grandkids!  That was fun
  • Actually started cleaning up the craft room a little - so much to do
  • Froze extra from meals made this week for another day
  • Working on cleaning more
  • Finally got out on Saturday and moved the snow that drifted and cleaned the car and got it opened!
  • NO shopping at all
  • Rolled towels up and placed at the base of the doors - it did help.  It was so cold out, that any crack felt cold
  • Just a quiet week
Meals the past week:
Roast, mac n cheese and salad
Stuffed mushrooms (so good)
Chili with crackers and butter
Baked potato with chili, cheese and sour cream
Smoked sausage, Brussel sprouts and garlic toast
Sausage gravy over homemade biscuits (scones)
Tacos and Mexican rice
LOTS of comfort food was in order for me!  Extra food froze for another day!

Here is one of the stuffed mushrooms.  Used Portabella's, stuffed with chopped roast, dried bread, crushed cheese crackers, beef broth and cheese.  Mmmmmm, Mmmmm good!

How was your week?  Did you get hit with the huge weather event crossing the nation? Maybe I should ask, who didn't!  Did you celebrate or are you doing it another day?  Any deals last week?

I did get to go to my brother's yesterday.  Had a great time with his family - almost all were there.  A lovely meal was had and a great celebration amongst the children!!!!  Oh goodness, to see through a child's eyes again.  They sure can make you smile and laugh.

Prayers you are all well and safe and warm.  May you all have a wonderful week.  Can you believe we are now at the last week of the year?  New beginnings will soon be upon us!

Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

Christmas throwback!
             Me at Santa Claus, IN circa 59/60.  That Santa is still there for picture taking!!!!
                       Me and Santa - he was a good one!  50's at Murphey's department store!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Wishing You ALL a VERY Merry Christmas

 Today I am taking just a moment to wish you all a very wonderful holiday.  May your celebrations (whatever you do) be lovely and your bounties many.  We all celebrate different things and have different religions - but I feel I can send blessings to all - no matter what your belief.

I pray daily for peace on this earth - amongst people and countries and nations.  I pray for each of you all and your families.  I pray we all have many more years together, doing and sharing what we enjoy.

May you and yours have a blessed day and weekend.  Enjoy any family and/or friends that you are with.  Life changes quickly - so each person is so important.  
PLEASE stay safe and warm.
I love each of you, and wish you only the best life has to offer.
Thank you so much for being here and supporting my little venture in blogging.  It brings joy to my heart that we have so many from so many different areas - that care and share and genuinely love one another.  We can overcome any diversity.


I will be back to regular posting (weekly wrap-up) on Monday

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Solstice Day - Official Winter

 Yep, it is NOW winter!  LOL!  It will be coming in with a bang for sure.  BUT the good part is - this is the shortest daylight day, and they will slowly start getting longer!!!!!!  YAY

It looks like the snow will start a little earlier here than they thought tomorrow early evening.  That means it will be departing earlier as well.  My area is kind of on the cusp of the BIG snow area.  Here is hoping it isn't too bad.  Friday our high will be about 14*(F) and Saturday the high is predicted to be 7*!!!!!

We go Thursday from rain to snow and from close to 40* to 4* to wind and yucko all in a few hours.  That is just messed up!!!!!!  LOL

Thought I would show you a couple pics of the nap blanket for Miles, that I made.  The white and blue swirl is the backing and made from a wooly fleece throw.  The rest is all upcycled materials.  It is so soft and warm and cozy feeling.  I tell you what - that fleece backing was a mess to cut!!!!!!  It looked like someone dumped a shedding cottonwood tree in my house!  What a mess.  But it is done and wrapped, and I think Mile's momma will love it!

I told you that my sibling Christmas dinner was on the 11th.  It is always a nice time, and we have a great luncheon, and we exchange our little gifts.  It gives us time, as adults, with no kiddos around, to just sit back and talk and reminisce.  My sister always hosts it.  I think she does pretty darn good for 91!  
Here we are for our traditional yearly Christmas picture together.  I try every year to make sure we get that one picture of all of us - you just never know.  Pictured - my brother - sis - me.

This is the first year that I have not been rushing around at the last minute.  It is really nice.  I will go out today and drop off gifts for Sunday's get together at brothers - just in case I decide to stay home due to weather.

I will be making more storm preps.  I am going to put a litter box in the greenhouse - hopefully they will use it.  They are so used to going outdoors.
Yes, the greenhouse is heated, and they have a heat pad under lots of blankets and there are 4 heated water bowls outside and in the greenhouse. (birds and squirrels use 3 of those as well).
I need to fill an ice cream bucket with ice melt - not that it will work much, with the temps.
Feeders for birds and squirrels all will be filled.
Boots out and ready, as well as under leggings.
I guess I am about as ready as I can be.  I sure hope it is not as bad as first thought.

Prayers everyone stays safe and warm - no matter where you are.  It is OK to reschedule your festivities if the weather is too bad!!!!!!!!!  Any day can be a festive day - and people stay safe.  You can spend the day privately reflecting on the meaning of the day.

I will be back tomorrow for a last post of the week!  Sunday's normal post will be on Monday next week.
Have a good day all - hunker down and stay safe!!!!

Christmas bit:
Remember leaving cookies and milk out for Santa?  Once in a great while, Daddy would say, Santa surely gets tired of milk - so a little Coke (bottled) would be left out!  Guess Dad was in the mood for a Coke!!!!!  We very seldom got them - only the little bottles now and then at the holiday.
Now and then I would leave a carrot or two out as well for the reindeer - I figured they got hungry from all that work!  LOL
I would still love to see life through the same eyes I did back then.  I know I had a good childhood, and many didn't.  May those who didn't, see visions of Santa and reindeer and love this year!!
You are ALL loved!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful!!!!

 Well, it isn't frightful here yet - but I know many areas are getting bombarded with the nasty storm that is traveling across the U.S.  We all moan and groan about it - but it is the norm for many areas!  But that doesn't make it any better if you are in the path of it!!!!!

It is going to be getting to subzero and there will be lots of wind and snow.  Yes Viginia, there will be a white Christmas!!!
Today we will reach close to 40*, as will the next couple days.  Thursday, rain comes in and then temps drop quickly and there will be snow and winds.  Not looking forward to that at all.  BUT it is winter and December - so this crud is to be expected.  I am sure the young-ins are super excited to hear the word "snow" for Christmas.
Hoping that all are safe in the hands of angels and the Lord over the next few days.  You may not believe, that is OK.  Some of us do - and we just feel the need to pray for heavenly protection for all.

Things to do to prepare:
  • Have the shovel or snow blower at the ready
  • Have a broom handy as well - it works great on porches and removing the dustings of snow
  • Scraper for the car! I keep one in the house as well!!!!  If the car doors are frozen shut - you can clear the windows anyway - hopefully let some sun in the car to heat up the doors.
  • IF the doors freeze shut - I often use rubbing alcohol - pour over the edges - alcohol doesn't freeze
  • Cover any locks that may freeze.  I put a plastic baggy over the garage door handle and lock - so as to keep snow and ice out of the lock.  Baggy and a rubber band - works every time.
  • Have ice melt on hand for those slick walks
  • Wear layers when outside but don't get over heated - sweating is not good - it can cause hypothermia
  • Work slowly and methodically - don't overdo it at any one time
  • Make sure outdoor spickets are off and disconnected - if you can - cover with Styrofoam padding
  • FIRST inclination in cold weather is to turn up that thermostat - DON'T!  The power grid is going to be overloaded anyway - so if everyone turns up the stat - it will work even harder.  Keep the house warm, but not overly hot.  Wear MORE clothes!  Just a reminder for those groaning about the temps - the folks in places of Europe are being VERY limited to the temperature they can keep their homes per the govt.!  We have it good.  
  • Have an alternative for electrical, in case of failure.  Generator, wood stove, pellet stove, something.  I realize it is a bit late to plan for this - something to think about for the future.
  • Bring in pets - or provide really good 'heated' shelter and water for them
Be sure if you need groceries for the holiday or just for your daily life - you go early.  I have heard that the groceries have been packed here already.  You mention SNOW and milk and bread is GONE!!!!  It always cracks me up - no one is usually stuck at home for more than a couple days (unless country).  People act like they are going to be stuck at home for weeks!

I believe I may be delivering gifts to my brother's house tomorrow - just in case.  The gifts are for my nieces and nephews and the kiddos.  I will take them up there, JUST IN CASE I decide to not wander out on Christmas Day.  If the roads are bad, I will not risk it.  It isn't far - but I am not a fan of driving on bad roads.   I will evaluate the situation later.  Young people are more apt to go out and have enjoyment with the snow - this older gal - not so much!!!!!!

I pray you all stay safe and warm.  Many are traveling and I pray for travel mercies for all.  
Best advice - STAY HOME and STAY SAFE!  Don't go out if you don't have to.  Keep off the roads, so that snow removal crews can get around easily as well as emergency vehicles.
If you park on the roadside - hopefully you can move your vehicle elsewhere, so it doesn't get plowed in!
IF you have to work on the day of or after the storm - my best advice is to stay the night at work!!!  I have a neighbor who works for an area nursing home - hoping he just stays at work (he cooks for the residents) overnight.  Safer for him, and people will be fed.
Take a sleeping bag, a blanket, a pillow, a change of clothes, etc.  Sleep on a couch if necessary.  Just don't take any chances with your safety.

Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, and warm articles of clothing and a blanket inside - IF you must get out.  (window washer fluid as well)

STAY SAFE MY FRIENDS.  DON'T do anything crazy!
I'll be back tomorrow!

Christmas bit today:

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 12/18

 Happy Sunday to all.  It is getting to be WINTER in my part of the world.  Brrrrr!  This morning is 21* and we had a very light dusting of snow.  By Christmas, the temps are to drop VERY low, and we will have snow.  They are predicting a winter storm, with wind, snow and cold by Thursday and Friday.  YUCK!  Well crud, I guess it is time and we will officially start the winter solstice cold!   It is time, but I am never ready for that type of weather.  I just plain don't like it!!!!!!!
This past week, we had some decent temps, rain, wind and flurries.

                          My pretty winter wreath I was gifted last year!  Handmade for me!!!!
I want to take a moment to say thank you to Mary in NC for the lovely Christmas card!  It is much appreciated!

My week:
  • Dinner and gift exchange with my brother, SIL and sis last Sunday at sis's.  Got a grocery GC and many food items!  We had a lovely time
  • Sis sent me home with leftovers, 3 magazines, and a nice fleece jacket she said was too small for her (she is short but big chested - me not so much!!)
  • Had a taillight out - so bought a new one and changed that out, checked all my fluids and vacuumed out the Blazer
  • Made a run to the P,O. (cards mailed) and the library
  • Dropped off gifts for family I will not be seeing on the holiday (they are going to Disney World!)
  • Doing more deep cleaning
  • Ran to Kroger - got a few deals.  Potatoes were 5 lbs. for .99, 4 lb. navel oranges 1.99 (got 2 bags and they are good!), ugly pears .99/bag on clearance (2 bags - tasty), mushrooms on clearance (will be good stuffed this week)

AND the BEST deal was this small roast for 2.99 on clearance.  Could double that price and still not match the original per pound cost!!!!!  Never find meat on that kind of markdown!!!   YAY
  • The roast went into the crockpot on Saturday.  Mmmmm, mmmm good!  Haven't fixed a roast in a long while.
  • Used a $5 off coupon on groceries at Kroger and got 4X points on my purchase on Friday - will be great for next gas purchase!
  • My neighbor sent me some Indian food over last Sunday - not a huge fan because of the spices, but the chicken was pretty tasty.  Munched on it as an evening snack for a couple evenings
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
Meals this past week:
Dinner at sis's - pork roast, mashed pots & gravy, corn, broc. casserole, pie
Pork (from sis), mashed potatoes, and broc. casserole
Tuna patty sandwich and chopped Brussel sprouts and corn (fried together)
Turkey (from freezer) sandwich, salad and potato bites
Ground steak, baby lima beans and fresh veggies
Smoked sausage on buns w/homemade relish and chips
Baked potato topped with cheese, shredded beef and gravy
SNACKS - Indian chicken, PB sandwich, fruit

Well in 2 more weeks we will be starting another year.  One more week and it will be Christmas.  I hope everyone is ready.  I am as ready as I am going to be!  Not sure how Christmas day will work out, depends totally on the weather.  This old chick isn't taking any unnecessary risks!

Did you find any good grocery deals this week?  Are you baking?  I have not baked - I guess I will when the kids come up after Christmas.  I don't need all that stuff - so need to make it for me! 
Look forward to hearing what everyone is up to!

Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.
Stay safe and warm my friends!!!!  Have a wonderful week!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.
Romans 8:8

Dear Lord, help us each one to realize that nothing we face today is to compare to our eternity.  We easily forget this, as finances are strained, people are ill, and sorrow is with many.  Help us understand that none of this is will last permanently, as You promise a tomorrow of joy and beauty.  Please help us not to let troubles overtake us and our feelings.  We ask in Your name.  Amen

Today's Christmas bit:

Thursday, December 15, 2022

What Belongs in the Pantry?

 That is the question.  What belongs in the pantry?  I think we all know we need to keep pasta, rice, oats, dried beans - all types of "dry goods".  I know not everyone can eat all those things - some have restricted diets.  So in my opinion, when the question comes up "what belongs in the pantry?" - my answer is STOCK WHAT YOU USE!!!!!!

What you eat and what I eat are probably different.  You need to be aware of your daily needs and stock those things.
I do not eat oats (except in baked goods) - but I keep them, because IF I were hungry enough, I would surely eat them.  I could also grind into flour.  I could extend my flour in other recipes.  I could add nutrients to different foods.  Many reasons to keep it on hand.

I keep my freezer full - all kinds of meats and veggies.  I have all the basics in my pantries.  I have lots of INGREDIENTS! With ingredients - all things are possible.

For me - rice, pasta, dried beans of all sorts, tomato products, baking items and canned veggies, fruits and meats are essential.
Sure, convenience foods are handy to have.  I do have a few - like mixes of different sorts and snacks. 
I find when I keep the ingredients on hand - I can make just about anything at any time.

I love fresh goods.  Fresh produce, milk, eggs, cheese, etc.  Those are some of my favorite foods.  BUT, if times got bad, I had shelf stable milk & powdered, I can use canned fruit and canned and frozen veggies.  I can freeze eggs and cheese.  There are always options.

Remember things last a lot longer than the silly date that is put on the product.  If kept cool, dry and out of sun - things last for a long, long time.  That 'date' simply indicates the MINIMUM shelf life of the product for ultimate flavor and taste.  Things last a long time past that.  I very seldom pay any attention to dates.  In most cases they just create waste of product and money!  Be smart - the stuff in that package DOESN'T KNOW THE DATE!!!!!!!!  

Keep items in a safe place.  Use glass and tin when you can to store long term items to prevent bugs or rodents.  Use bay leaf in items or on shelves.  Peppermint is also good to deter ants and bugs.  Orange spray also works.  NEVER use chemical bug sprays around food products.
I freeze a lot of dry goods that I plan on using long term.  Flour and rice mainly.  That freezes any 'bug' eggs that may be in the items.  YES, there is basically nothing pure and free of insect eggs - sad to say.

Just plan ahead and keep what you and your family eats.  Always remember that the pantry is more than food!  Your soaps of all sorts, health related items (medical shelf), pets and any paper products (TP).  These are all important.

Keep watch of sales - and ALWAYS stock what you can when it is cheap.  Lately, in my area - Meijer has had canned veggies for .39 cents a can, and WM has lowered canned veggies to .50 cents a can.  Once one store lowers an item fairly low - others tend to follow suit.  Competition!!!!!!!!  Keep your eyes open!!!!!!!
This time of the year is full of deals - take advantage and play the game!  The stores play the game and try to entice you with a deal - play along and stock up on the deal and then leave!!!!!!

So what belongs in the pantry??  Whatever you use!!!!!!!
Have a great day my friends.  Happy stocking.

Christmas bit today:

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Run Out? Let's Just Make It

 Today a few 'recipes' for making some basics that you may run out of.  Ever been right in the middle of a recipe and boom - you realize you are missing an ingredient?  That can be aggravating.  It may also mean an extra trip to the store - and that means, more than likely spending even more money!!!!

So, let's keep these on file and the next time you need something - think about making it yourself.  I will try over the next month or so to post many "make at home" ingredients!  Hopefully they will help someone out!


1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Bring milk and sugar to a boil - stir constantly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Jar and refrigerate

1 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Heat milk and sugar - to a simmer and stir constantly.  Whisk in butter and vanilla.
Store in jar and refrigerate

1/2 C boiling water
1 C nonfat dry milk
2/3 C sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter
few drops vanilla
Put water in blender - then add remaining ingredients.  Blend until smooth - maybe 30 seconds or so
Jar and refrigerate
3 different options - all very different - but they all work.  It just depends on what you have in your pantry and frig!  Never run out!!

HEAVY CREAM - (not whipping)
3/4 C cold milk
1/3 C unsalted butter (melt)

First stir in 1 Tbsp. of melted butter into the cold milk to temper the milk so it doesn't curdle.  Mix it up well.  Pour that milk into the rest of the melted butter and heat over low heat.  Stir or whisk often.  DON'T let it come to a boil.  Pour into a food processor, blender (or use an electric mixer) and process until thick.

You can also buy shelf stable cream!!!  It is in the same area of the grocery as evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.  

click on recipe to enlarge for easier reading

You can use beef bouillon or whatever flavor you have.  This is a basic cream of soup recipe.  Add any other add ins - to make it a little different.  It sure is handy to have on hand.  Never run out again.  
It tastes good too!

The neat thing about these is that you know exactly what is in them.  Most of the ingredients are things we all have on hand.

Maybe this will help someone in a pinch.
More goodies to come in future posts.  It is always nice to have options - especially in the winters months when the weather outside can be 'frightful'!!!!!!!!!
Have a great day!

Today's Christmas bit:
In order to complete his visits on Christmas Eve, Santa would have stop at 822 houses per second, traveling at a speed of 650 miles per second!  WOW - talk about magic!!!!! 

I, for one, am glad that there is more than "one real" Santa in this world!!!!  Be a Santa to someone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Looking Ahead

 Happy Tuesday all.  Well, in less than 3 weeks we will be in a new month and a new year!  Oh me oh my!  This year has just flown by.
Truthfully, I am kind of looking forward to getting past all the holiday hoopla and just get back to 'normal' (whatever that is)!  Don't get me wrong - I do love the holidays - the family - the lights - the pretties.  I also love the tranquility of a quiet and simple life.

We actually got a little glimpse of that bright light, that is supposed to be in the sky yesterday!!!!  I was amazing to see.  It has been so cloudy and gray this month.  Next few days (after today) won't be much better - rain is a coming!!!!!

The new year is always a great time to make any changes or just upgrade the way you live.  Many make resolutions (not me) - and many just make a few plans and hope for the best (me).
Do you have any big plans for the new year?

You will be looking for ways to save more funds for emergencies
Eating a better diet
Not spending as much
Overhauling the budget
Build that pantry
Taking more vacations
Being with family more
Living a simple and quiet life
Planning your next garden (or 1st one)

I generally take advantage of any deals I can after and around the holiday (so many at groceries) - then I pretty much stop shopping in January.  I like to start the first couple months of the year - hibernating - and using what I have and not spending.
I hope to finally get my bum motivated to do a little updating and remodeling around the house.  I have been planning on doing things forever, and just find a reason to not do it!  I have wallpaper to scrape - walls to sand and paint.  I want a couple pieces of new furniture.  I want to declutter more.  Nothing huge - just updating a little.  Winter seems to be the time to do this.
We will see!!!!!  I may be saying the same thing come next December!  LOL

What are you looking forward to in the new year?  Any big plans?  OR are you just ready to lay low for a couple months and rest?

Just think, for those of us in this hemisphere - in a mere 7 days or so - the daylight of each day will ever so slightly start getting longer again!  YAY!!!!!  Hopefully, once out of December, the days may get sunnier.  December seems to be the cloudiest month.  
I know many of you may be getting hit with snow and cold right now - here's hoping that you are all safe and warm.  We are just mild with rain coming at the moment.  Such a weird month.  I am OK with that - as I could do with NO snow - but it will happen eventually.

Make these next few weeks fun.  Spend time with people you love and enjoy.  Eat the food!!!  I  put forth - holiday goodies have no calories!!!  LOL
Be kind to yourself.  Do you and what makes you happy.  
Be blessed.

Today's Christmas bit:

Christmas became an official U.S. holiday when it was signed into law in 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant.  It wasn't until 1890 that every state followed suit and declared it a holiday.
This amazed me.  Never thought about it before - just assumed it was always a celebrated holiday!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 12/11

 Happy Sunday all!  I hope this finds you all well and safe.
Whew - what a week it has been.  I am surely hoping the remainder of the month is quiet and calm.  I shouldn't complain, as there are so many that have had a much worse week or month or year.  Life gives us a lot of ups and downs - good and bad - yet we continue on!  That is what we do!!!!

We have had fairly mild temps again this week, along with gray skies, foggy days and some rain.  It looks as if the coming week will be much of the same.  The squirrels have been munching away and the birdies are all eating whatever they find.  I have had a Downey woodpecker around all this week.  I just love seeing woodpeckers - they are so majestic to me.

Remember these?  I have some in a jar on my table right now and I bought a container of filled hard candies for my brother's gift bag.  A bit of nostalgia!

My week:
  • Finished up all the jar recipes for gift bags
  • I used Old English on my natural wood chest of drawers.  It was so faded and blah looking (from sun) - it really perked up the look!
  • Made a batch of jelly - to gift.  (2 berry - grape and blueberry combo)
  • Got my Blazer back.  Well, it turned out the place that had it lied - there was damage to my door, both body and paint!  Hmmmm.  (Not a huge area - but damage non the less).  They only fessed up, right before I was to receive it back.  Needless to say this girl blew a gasket!  They lied about it for 2 days!  I don't think the guy was used to a woman standing up for herself, nor was he used to someone calling out his business ethics!  I got the Blazer back and he marked the invoice PAID IN FULL!!  Yep, I paid $0 (it was orig. $395).  He also gave me his insurance company name, so I can turn in the damage to be repaired.  I guess it does pay to speak up!
  • I had to get a new computer as my old one died a complete and total death in an instant!  I am really getting used to the new one and like it.  It was marked on sale with a decent price, and it rang up $80 less than that sale price!  WOOP - WOOP!  
  • I did a gas fill-up and received a .60 per gallon discount.  (Paid 2.79/gal.)  That was thanks to buying GC's last month and buying on a day with dbl. points!
  • I got my new progressive bifocals.  This is taking some getting used to!  I wear them only when reading or computing.
  • I ran to Kroger, Aldi and WM (where I got glasses) and finished up the Christmas shopping!!!!!  I do believe I am DONE!  I just need to wrap (bag most) and bake.
  • I mainly was looking for items for gift bags & kiddos while shopping.  I did get a couple items for me - milk, ice cream and a couple of markdowns on clearance.  I also bought a spiral sliced ham for when the kids come up for Christmas - it was .89/lb.
Bags of Brussel Sprouts were 1 1/2 lbs. each.  I had planned on buying Brussels on the sale for 1.99/lb.  I got a much better deal.  The nuts are each jar just over 2 lbs. each.  
  • Got the cards all addressed and ready to go in the mailbox on Monday
  • Cooking from scratch and at home
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do
Seems, I did a lot better this week than I thought.  With no charge on vehicle, extra discount on sale price for computer and finishing up gifts - kind of a win-win.  The savings paid for those gifts!
I have had better weeks - but I have had much worse!  Que sera - sera!

Meals this week:
Beef & bean tostadas
Breakfast - sausage, eggs, and a waffle
Big cheeseburger on toast (no buns) and chips
Fish sandwich and salad
Cheesy broccoli soup (freezer) and cheesy bread sticks (freezer)
Chef salad and leftover bread sticks
Dirty rice and chopped pan seared Brussel sprouts

I am getting with my siblings today for our holiday luncheon.  Looking forward to sitting and chatting and catching up!
How was your week?  Have you gotten any good deals at the stores?  There seems to be many deals out there - holiday specials. Food deals - for your pantries & freezers?
Are you doing any special baking?  Any thrift store shopping?
I sure hope you are all well and safe and happy.  Have a wonderful week.

Sending blessings from my humble little home to you and yours!

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
Isaiah 32:17

Lord, Help us have faith that You have control, when we cannot see the path that lies ahead of us.  Point us each in the right direction, to live a loving and giving life.  We pray for guidance for us and we pray for peace among all on this earth.  Thank You for Your blessings.  Amen

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Pack Those Pantry Shelves - Cheaply!

 Good morning, all.  I have been posting a lot of Christmas ideas - and I realized not everyone celebrates. Please know that these recipes and ideas I post - can be used at home and by everyone, for any time of the year.  It doesn't have to be for gifts.

I was asked for some of the soup recipes (jar mixes) and I had planned that for today already.  I generally post these around this time of the year.  I am sure some of you have them or have read them - but we have new people who have not.
These are great to keep on your shelf - anytime you want a tasty and easy soup - grab one and pour!  They are all pretty darn cheap to make as well.
You can use up those glass jars you have been acquiring!  They don't have to be pretty ones for your own shelf.

WHITE CHRISTMAS SOUP      (quart jar)
1 small pkg. country gravy mix 2.75 oz. ***
2 Tbs. chicken bouillon granules
2 Tbs. minced onion (dried)
2 Tbsp. celery flakes
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 1/2 - 3 dry noodles
**** just a note - if you buy don't want to buy the little packs (around $1) - it is 2/3 C of bulk mix.  I have the gravy mix from Sam's that comes in a 3 pack of larger bags.

Mix all the ingredients except noodles together.  Pour that into a jar - wide mouth is easiest.  Then add the noodles to jar.
I gift with a small can of chicken.  You can use store canned chicken, home canned chicken or bits and pieces leftover for your own use.
EMPTY contents into a 4 quart pan and add 8 cups water.  Heat to boiling on high - reduce heat and simmer.  Add chicken at this point.  Simmer until noodles are done.  Makes 8 servings.

LOVE SOUP       (quart job)
1 box onion soup mix (2 packets) = 1/2 C bulk or homemade mix
1/2 C split peas
1/2 C alphabet macaroni (use what you have) - I used tiny elbow
1/2 C shell pasta (I used tiny shells)
1/2 C colored pasta (I used veggie pasta and broke in pieces)
1/4 C lentils 
Pour mixture into a pot with 7 C of water.  Cook and simmer slowly.  Add 1/2 lb. ground beef, ground turkey or sausage - whatever you like.

PATCHWORK SOUP      (can use pint jar)
1/2 C barley
1/2 C split peas
1/2 C rice
1/2 C lentils
1 Tbs. parsley
1 tsp. granulated garlic 
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. dried onion

Place beans and rice & barley in stockpot and cover with 8-10 C water (I start w/8).  If you do not have dried onion - chop1 small onion and add.  Add season pack.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 45 min. to an hour.  Check after 30 minutes - to adjust water level if necessary.  Stir occasionally.

                                                     This is Patchwork Soup mix

Left is Love Soup mix.  Right is White Christmas Soup.  This one is always requested by my family.  They absolutely love it!!!!!  It is so good!

You can make jar recipes out about anything.  You can mix up dry ingredients for cookie, brownies, cakes, etc. and place in jars.  Add the list needed for wet ingredients and cooking instructions.  
It sure can make life a little easier - just having these things on the shelf.  Too tired or busy to figure out what's for dinner - pour a jar and add water!!!!!!!  It doesn't get much easier than that!!!

None of these ingredients are very expensive.  Most, you may have stocked already.  Beans, peas, rice and pasta can be purchased at dollar stores or $Tree or at all groceries for little money.  
These are pretty much all things I have in my deep pantry - so throwing together mixes is easy.
These make great items for the ready to go pantry and also great gifts for any occasion.

Hope this helps and that you ENJOY!

Christmas Bit today:

This is the first tree placed at the site of Rockefeller Center in 1931.  Construction workers put up the tree on December 24.  They decorated with paper garlands, strung cranberries and a few decorations.  They were lined up waiting for their pay from the foreman. (Yeah, on Christmas Eve).  The construction started the year before - tens of thousands of workers were out of work and this was a grand opportunity to work.  Even in the worst of times - they put up that little tree and celebrated what they had!!!!  I love that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The official beginning of the 'grand' tree at Rockefeller Center started in 1933.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Using What You Have

 During any crafting or food making for the holidays - we don't have to spend a lot of money nor do we have to give away our precious jars in food gifts!!!!  Sure, if you are giving away your canning - you will be giving jars out.  Make sure to attach a little note if you want your jars back.  Make a cute little saying up about getting the jars back.  Jars are expensive - but sometimes I guess that is just considered part of the gift.

I have been making up jars of dry soup mix for gifts - and I am using other jars.  I keep all instant coffee jars I get, and I keep any glass or heavy plastic jars to re-use in some new way.  I don't need them back and the recipient can also use them if they choose.

The rounds ones are from Kroger instant and the squarish ones are from Aldi.  They work perfectly and hold the same as a quart jar!!!!!!
I also use other things.  I keep plastic packaging I get in produce dept. - especially if it is a container without holes in it.  They can be used for cookie, candies or even soup mixes.  Wrap tightly and nothing falls out!
I tilted the container as I added barley, rice and peas - to layer (and look pretty).  The little packet on top is seasoning in a sandwich bag.
I then slipped into a zip lock bag.  Now it didn't want to JUST slide in, so I snipped each side at zip lock.  Then in it went and I sealed the zip and turned it down on side and taped!  Nothing coming out until ready to use!  Instructions taped to the top.

Keep those Christmas card fronts - or any card for that matter.
The fronts make great gift tags, postcards, note sheets and really pretty ones can even be framed and used for decoration.  You can also make many holiday decorations for the tree with them.  Above is also a couple 'books' scrapbooking 'cards' that I have - and they too can be used in many ways.
Also, many nursing homes and even pre-schools like getting these for craft projects.
I like the idea of keeping the fronts and writing a nice sentiment on the back - and then taking to a nursing home.  They can be passed out to residents - they bring a smile - and it costs nothing.

You all remember the blankies I made last year for the little girls?  All made from scraps, material I had on hand and hankies.  Cost $0 - but loved.
This is some of what I am using to make Mile's blankie this year.  Gr. Gr. Uncle G's fleece jammie pants that I have kept.  I knew there would be something special I could use them for and then along came Miles.  The plaids are the jammies, and the other item is from my discarded clothing.  So he will be wrapped in Auntie and Uncle's love!

Instead of using paper plates for cookie or candy giving (they often are flimsy) - I like getting pretty dishes at thrift stores or yard sales for pennies.  They can be gifted and then the recipient can keep OR they can use to gift someone else.  Great way to upcycle.

There are so many things we can re-use in new ways, and they cost nothing.  Just get a little creative and your gift giving doesn't have to cost a fortune.  It will enjoyed and loved just as much or more than a generic store-bought item.
What are some of your recycle or upcycle ideas.  
Save a little money and give a lot of LOVE!!!!!!!!

Today's Christmas bit - a little memory

My original 45 record!  Children kitchen tools and mug used for hot chocolate as a child.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

When it Rains.......

 Howdy Ho friends!
Yep - when it rains it pours!  I am looking forward to some brighter days for sure.  Needless to say, this was not the planned post for today.  Don't know if anyone saw the comment I left at the end of the comments from Weekly Wrap Up - but my computer DIED!  Full on death!!!!!!!!

I tried to get on to post from my tablet - but no - it was capable of handling blogger it said.  It only let me comment - not do a post.
I was up almost all night last night.  I think I slept about 2 hours.

Not only did the computer die - it happened just when I found out (at closing time) that Blazer wouldn't be ready.  Oh, they had the fuel line fixed all handy dandy - but it "just came to their attention" that someone tried to break into my car.  Yeah!  RIGHT!
No windows broken or damage to body - but they broke the handle on driver side.  It is to be fixed today and they are delivering the vehicle to me - according to them.  Darn tootin' Skippy!!!!
Cheryl is not a happy camper AT ALL.

So my neighbor took me out this AM to buy myself a new computer.  I have most of it set up and working - still a lot of little things to figure out.  Windows 11 - so different.

                                                         "What you talking about?"

I have actually surprised myself at how much I have set up and working!!!!!  I am not computer savvy.

Any way - just talked with them a bit ago and they will have the car 'home' soon.  She asked if she could take my card info for payment.  NO - not till I see how my car is and make sure there is no additional damage.  I told her, I would call her back when I found the time!!!!  Kind of how they work.

I am very sorry to be belly aching again!!!!!  Seems I have griped a lot lately.  I don't like that.
I do know I have spent a lot of extra funds in the past few weeks!  GEESH!  Oh well, it all works out and some people actually have legitimate concerns in this world - mine do not compare.

So have a great day - and hopefully all will be back to normal tomorrow!

Christmas Bit today - Me being amazed at ALL the stuff Santa brought!  That was very unusual to get so much.  My folks must have had a good year!
Notice the TV, the curtains and the decor - all 50's!!!!!!!

Later my friends!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 12/4

 Happy first Sunday of December to all.  Just think in 4 weeks it will be 2023!  Eeeekkkk!
I hope this finds you all well and safe and happy.  The days go by so fast - it is hard just to keep up with all the holiday goodies.

This week, we had some warmer days, some rain, some cold, and lots of wind.  It appears we will be seasonal this coming week with days in the 40's (F).  It will also be rainy and cloudy - I say it beats snow!!  December seems to be one of our cloudiest months of the year - so when sunshine is seen - it is a wonderful gift.

I 'SHOULD' get my Blazer back tomorrow!!  Here's hoping.  The fuel line is specific to the dealer (the connectors) and had to be special ordered.  A little more than I figured in price - but hey, that is OK.  I will have me vehicle back and that is great.  It is amazing, I can stay hope for a couple and not have a problem - but when I "can't" go - I want to!!!!  LOL.  Human nature!
I have had neighbors and family call and ask several times if I needed anything or needed to go somewhere - and I did not.  All is good.

My little holiday decorations!  Not a lot - just enough for me.  They are setting on the library table that my momma always got her tree set on (it came from Santa) when she was a child - over 100 years ago!

My week:
  • Went to eye specialist and regular eye doctor this week.  Glad the exams are all done - should get my new bifocals this week
  • I used my LAST garden tomato on Monday - yes I did!  
  • Ordered the jerky and summer sausage for gifts this Monday.  That is a part of gifts that is highly anticipated!!!!
  • Managed the bank for funds and feed store before being without a vehicle
  • Blazer towed to car shop - $0 charge - thanks to AAA
  • Froze leftover turkey and stock
  • Did a tiny bit of decorating (seen above)
  • Cut my hair
  • Been working on soup jar recipes and spice mixes for gift bags
  • Got my gifts all sorted and bags started with what I have on hand
  • Making my list and checking it twice!!!!!
  • NO grocery shopping at all
  • Made tea
  • Eating from pantry and freezer and cooking all meals here
My menu this past week:
Turkey and veggie roll-up
Homemade pizza - 2X
Tamales over rice
Cheesy/veg rice and chicken and fish bites
Smoked sausage/Kraut and smashed fried potatoes
Pork fritter sandwich, tator tots and carrot sticks
SNACKS - PB/honey on crackers, cheese/crackers, cereal

My turkey and veggie roll-up (before rolled) with my last garden tomato!!!!!!!
Smoked sausage, kraut and smashed fried potatoes!  Those are so yummy!

How has your week been?  Are you working on gifts or crafts?  Baking or making any fun and yummy goodies?  Any big grocery deals?
I hope you are all well and have kept busy this week.  The daylight hours are sure short anymore - it will only be a couple weeks or so, and the daylight hours will start getting longer again!!!!  We just need to get past that shortest day of the year!!!!!!  
How is your weather doing?  So far so good here!  Not going to complain.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you all stay safe and healthy.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:8

Dear Lord, we know that You are with us daily, and not just for a season.  When we lose faith in ourselves and our fellow man, it is You that gives us faith that all will be OK.  Through You all is possible.  Only You can restore our hope, our energy, and our determination to start again and succeed.  Thank You for Your everlasting strength and love.

A Christmas Bit

"I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men,
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, and right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."    
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow