Thursday, November 30, 2023

Another One Bites the Dust!

 It is Thursday.  It is the end of yet another month.  We are approaching Christmas at record speed!!!! In a month we will be celebrating the end of yet another year.  Good golly Miss Molly - it sure seems impossible.
The sunrise this morning was incredibly beautiful!  The moon was full and bright.  It is warming some today - the sun is shining.  Nice way to end the month.

What plans do you have for the weekend?  Are you ready to start the holiday decorating?  Shopping or baking?  Chill-axing and staying warm?

I am going out today to get my monthly gasoline.  I don't want to lose my points for the month - and they end after today.  I will probably stop at Kroger and look around - need a couple things for baskets.  Hmmm - maybe Big Lots too - it is just a block from Kroger.
I will probably make my first batch of cookies this weekend.  I have some crafting to do as well.
I am not doing a lot of decorating inside this year.  Just not into it!

Whatever you plan to do - have fun with it!!!!!  We all need more fun in life.  We need to laugh more and enjoy every day - no matter what it throws at us.

I wish each of you a splendid December!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

December isn't for Everyone!

 Good day to all.  Here we are mid-week again.  Today I just want to add a few words of encouragement to all - my mind has been going the past couple days.
There is so much going on in people's lives.  Many have spouses that are ill and going through much.  Many have lost loved ones or pets in the past months and year.  Some are battling illness themselves.
December and the holidays are not for everyone!  THAT IS OK!!!!!!!

I know I post a lot of Christmas things and memories.  I had a great childhood and have good memories.  I think sometimes they help others to go back to a better time.  I don't ever intend for them to make someone sad.  Those memories make me smile and bring me a little joy - and I hope they do for you as well.
I understand going through the holidays without those special someone's is awful. Over the years I have lost siblings, both parents, cousins, friends and my very special beloved husband.  The FIRST is always the worst.  They all hurt, but with love of family and friends the pain becomes a bit less.  But there will always be a hole in the season.

I guess my advice is to just do what feels right for you.  Don't let chaos take over - regain and control your life - turn chaos into calm.
Don't worry about the presents.  It isn't about the presents - it is about the presence of love and hope in our lives.  There truly is hope.
Grief and sadness are a given in this life on earth.  It cannot be avoided.  Yet, we can control how we let it affect us.  If you do not want to celebrate - then don't.  Don't be bullied into it either.
I choose to remember!  Those memories take me back in time, if for just a moment, and to those dear loved ones that are gone.  I feel like remembering and sharing keeps their light shining and alive.

I know not everyone is spiritual, and that is your private choice.  I am - so I speak of God and faith often.  I just feel I have something special in my life that no one take away, it is mine.
Christmas is much more to me than celebrations and gifts.
I also believe we should live the goodness and kindness each and every day.  NOT just once a year.

I hope you feel like you can share here.  I hope you each feel a bit of love and cared for here. 
I wish goodness and happiness for all.  If you feel sadness - reach out.
No matter how you spend December - try to make it a good month. 

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and goodwill.... is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Calvin Coolidge

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home.
Edith Sitwell

I hope you all feel at home here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Nostalgia, Simplicity and Memories

 Happy Tuesday all!  It is a COLD and blustery morning here.  Our coldest since March!!!!!  It was 18* this morning, with a high of only 30* today.  ICK!!!!!  Tomorrow, we get back to warmer and more seasonal temps - thank goodness.  I saw on the weather that the next 2 weeks will be above normal here!  Can you see me jumping up and down??!!  LOL

I have been thinking about holidays past a lot lately.  I tend to do that this time of the year.
I saw this little item and thought what a great idea.
What a cute idea!!!!!!!  Get out that button box and make up some cute gift tags!  Tags and cards could be used with this method all year long!  Simple, old fashioned looking, and using what you have around the house.  Neat way to get creative.
I make gift tags from all the card fronts that I keep from year to year.  They are pretty and FREE!  You can cut into designs or use as is!

Who remembers these????  Oh my gosh, I remember seeing them in the stores as a kid, and I always wanted one!  I mean they were just filled with cheap junk and very little candy - but I wanted one!  Mom would always tell me to just wait - because Santa would bring me something much better!!!!!! 
He always did - never failed!
There would be an orange in the toe - then there were nuts in shells, wrapped candies, trinkets like hair accessories, bubble bath, little hand games, crayons, etc.  Such fun to see all the goodies!

LOVE this!  I remember having a candy dish full of these every year.  The filled raspberries were my favorites!    Good old-fashioned candy, some filled some not.  I can still find canisters of these at Big Lots and sometimes at drug stores or places like Ollies.  I don't have mom's neat, covered candy dish - but I keep mine in a wide mouth quart jar. A canister lasts me a long while, so the jar keeps them well (and it is pretty to look at!).  I sure need to get some for this year.  It just doesn't seem like Christmas without the pretty hard candies!

Just a memory or two!  I am so thankful for memories.  I can sit and smile (or laugh) thinking about things.  I will put on some Christmas music today and I plan on getting some crafts done, I need to start putting baskets together (to see what else I need), and then on to jelly making and cookie making later this week!  Oh, I got the cards out and ready to address as well!!!!
This Santa's helper will be busy for the next few weeks.  That is a good thing - because it keeps me busy and keeps my mind occupied!!  We all know this can also be a sad time of the year for many reasons for many people.

What are you up to today?  Are you working on any Christmas items or plans?  Shopping?  Crafting?
We all need some new ideas - come on, give us a shout!!!!!
Can't wait to hear from you all.

PS - FRANCES - hope all is OK.  Hope you can check in and update!  HUGS!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Weekly Wrap Up 11/26

 Happy Sunday to all.  Here we are the last Sunday of the month - and a month from today the 'party' will be over!!!!!  Gosh golly - it is just amazing.
I hope today finds you well and safe.
I hope all that celebrated Thanksgiving had a good day!  Maybe some of you are still celebrating.

It is a cold and dreary morning here.  Expecting some showers and maybe a flurry or two.  The next couple of days will be COLD (highs in 30's), then it gets back to 40's and 50's by the end of the month/week.
Thanksgiving Day was glorious and sunny and in the 50's!  The next day was chilly and breezy.
I had robins at the birdbath again this week.  That is just amazing me to pieces.  I have never had robins this late.

Lil Bit is growing - I swear it has grown so much.  Purring a lot now and loves to play!  Oh goodness. any leaf or stick is prey!!!!  Such a nut and sweety.  Getting much friendlier with me. Hope to update a pic soon.

         Sure are words to live by - huh?  The world would just be so different if all did this.
Sorry this is a bit blurry.  It was through the window at 5:30 AM this morning.  That is how bright the moon was!    Full and bright!

My week:
  • I got the last rain barrel emptied and put away
  • Lots of laundry
  • Root touchup
  • Blackie went to Vet for shots and dewormer (mine wasn't doing the job).  He was such a good boy - more to this story I will relate later!
  • Still working on all the dusting and deep cleaning 
  • Changed the furnace filter and turned furnace to humidifier mode
  • Made a small turkey breast on Friday and baked some biscuits (got to have my leftovers)
  • Got the wreaths out (2) for doors and the Christmas flag.  Will get those out in the next couple days.
It was really a quiet week here.  Just leading to the holiday and I took it kind of easy.  Time to get serious on Christmas now.  My first gathering is on the 10th!!!  It is going to be a busy month in many ways.

My meals this past week:
Made a small pot of soup with leftover rice and beef - added cheese - YUM
Chili dogs and fries
Pork (from freezer), steamed broccoli, and cheesy garlic toast
Chili cheeseburger and salad
Dinner at families' home - THANKSGIVING
Turkey, mashed pots and gravy and biscuits
Turkey, cheese, tomato melt and leftover mashed and gravy
                                                                    Grilled turkey melt
Had biscuits with meal, made a cold turkey sandwich w/biscuit, biscuits with butter and jelly (snack) - ALL GOOD!  Still some left.

How was your holiday?  Did you all eat too much too!!!  Oh my gosh, there was so much food at my nieces - and I think I tried most everything!  It was all so good.  The kiddos were a blast - her littles have always been bashful w/me and they were so sweet and friendly.  I got BIG hugs and kisses!!!!  Loved it.

Did anyone shop this weekend?  I did NOT!  Not anything!
Did anyone get any good deals at the grocery this week?  Are you ready for Christmas?  I am not!!!!!  Not yet!  How did it get here so quickly????  LOL

I hope this finds each and every one safe and healthy.  Please check in and let us know what is going on in your world.  I am missing some of you!!!!!
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  Give thanks to him, bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

Dear Lord, we thank You for the gifts we received this week of fellowship, friendship and family.  Thank You for providing warm food for our bellies, and for those who spent the day feeding and helping others.  May we each and every one go forth and do good this month and spread cheer and joy all around.  Please lay your healing hands upon those in need of Your healing touch.  AMEN

Friday, November 24, 2023

Keeping Small, Simple and Fun!

 Happy Friday to all.  I hope all those in US had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.  Maybe some haven't had family get togethers yet!  It seems to be a weekend of fun and SHOPPING!

No shopping for me.  I used to do the crazy 'Black Friday' madness, but not for years now!  Want nothing to do with all that mess.  This is my weekend to just chill, relax, maybe decorate a little and EAT!

Just wanted to throw out a couple reminders and ideas for fun.  Many of you are completely done with your Christmas gifts.  Many of us are part way done.  Many haven't started!  It's all good.  Just remember that Christmas Eve is a month from today!!!!!!  YIKES

SHOP SMALL business if at all possible!  Mom and pop shops, private owned, thrift shops, ethnic stores, crafty places, small bakeries, etc.  These people are paying for their families with any purchases you make - this is there life and income.  Box stores make millions of dollars and could (in general) not give a patoot about their employees or you!  They act like they are giving you deals - but they are just luring you in to spend more.  Keep it small as much as you can this year.
Keeping things simple and fun is wonderful too.  You know I love homemade gifts and gifts of food.  I have been doing this for years and it has really caught on in my family - we all do it in some way.
I also like experiences for those who have everything (espec. kiddos).  It can be movie passes, a trip to the zoo or museum, a hiking trip, a fishing date with pawpaw, you name it.  Make it fun.

Homemade can be fun and inexpensive.  Kiddos like projects they can do - and they also like something that they can make and give to a grown up!  Maybe a piece of 'artwork' framed and gifted to grandma or auntie.  Little things can be meaningful and fun. 
Yesterday I was asking some of the littles what they wanted (these kids have everything).  They said craft projects they can do together, friendship bracelet supplies, fake jewelry and make-up (4 yr old), dress-up stuff.  I was amazed at the simple things!!!!!!!

Here is a cute idea for school mates, office workers, teachers, etc.  A candy bar wrapped in white paper and an all-size pair of gloves for the hat!  Doesn't cost hardly anything and so cute.

Kiddy stuff - color book, small toys, markers, candy, etc. - you could do the same for adults!
A fun family gift of yummies or fun treats for a movie night at home.
Homemade play dough for the young ones!  Lots of fun and NOT toxic!!!!!!

ROCKS to paint!  This was requested yesterday as well from one of the young ones.  You can find the rocks yourself if you choose.  Big, little, medium size - they are all fun.  You can buy some paints and a few brushes - add rocks and let the kiddos have a ball.  They can paint anything on them - words, animals, bugs, butterflies, flowers, etc.  Fun project for ADULTS as well!!!!!!!
I would LOVE to receive a painted rock as a gift from one of the littles! (even from an adult).  They pretty up gardens and pots.  Super fun and easy.

So just a few things to think about.  Please support as many small businesses as you can - everyday!!!!  We are the life blood of those small shops.  Have fun and keep things simple.  Great gifts do not have to be expensive or complicated.

Have a great day!!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


 Just taking a moment to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you each get to spend time with those you love and just being together.  May your bodies be blessed with great nourishment.
Wishing you a splendid day and remember those who are not with this on this day by speaking of them and including their memory into the festivities!

I am so thankful for so many things in this world, and you are all included.
Thank you so much for being friends and extended family and supporting me in my adventures.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Perks Can be Helpful!

 Happy Tuesday all.  Hoping you are all well and safe.  Wishing all those traveling this week - many safe travels.
I know many of you use Kroger or have affiliates of it in your area.  Yes, they can be more expensive than some other stores, such as Aldi, or dent stores.  BUT, there can be perks as well.
I am one that shops according to the sales, clearance and perks!  I rarely buy anything at regular price - I don't need things that badly.  I have a good stock - and look for deals only now.

Anyone else get this perk from Kroger?  It is so nice!  There are lots of recipes and tips and ideas to help stretch the budget.  There are also personalized coupons!!!  YES!  Coupons for things I tend to buy.
Yes, I know they are tracking my purchases - but other than paying cash and getting no store discounts - there isn't much way to not be tracked these days.
IF you don't get this or their monthly coupon packets - you might visit their site and contact them and tell them you are interested.  The coupons in the magazine are similar to the monthly coupons I get (a few extras) - but they are good through the end of January!!!!!!  My monthly packet is good for just the month.
Maybe try the email of:

My monthly packet! 
If I am going to be spending my money on things, I want the best deals.  Coupons help.  I also am registered to get digital coupons for weekly specials.  On the digital deals there are often coupons I can download for 'good customer' or 'special deals'.
I get points that I can use for money off on gas. 100 points = .10 per gallon discount.  You get a point for each dollar spent on groceries.  Many times (almost weekly) there are special days (w/digital) you can get 2X the points on your purchase.  You can get 2X points on certain GC purchases. This is very helpful.
Last month because of 2X points for purchase and GC purchases (for gifts) - I got a $1 off per gallon of gasoline.  That was my best ever discount.

So yes, I do shop other places now and then - but I do get some nice perks at Kroger stores.  I also love their .99 clearance produce section!
It is worth going sometimes just to get the deals and then leave.

I do have several store cards - for all kinds of stores for discounts.  Again, you are tracked.  I can purchase something at say Big Lots and by the afternoon, there will be an add on my computer about that product.  Seriously!!!!!!!  
It is crazy, but it is the way of the world today.  
I can also just make some inquiries about something I want to learn about on the computer - BOOM - ads!

The truly scary thing for me - call me paranoid - is I can sit here by myself working on the computer and be THINKING of something (never utter or type a word) and within no time there is an ad!  How the heck does that happen???????
I can mention something on here on the blog and in no time there is an ad on my computer!  Yep, they monitor everything we do.
I DO now keep my camera lens covered on the computer.  Black tape works wonders!!!

BUT, I digress!  LOL
Take advantage of the perks when you can.  They can make a visit worthwhile.  Use those super coupons and only those.  Check with your affiliate to see if you can get the magazine and monthly coupons - they are really nice.  I found a jar recipe for cookies - that I am adding to brother and sis's basket this year.

Have a great day to each of you!!!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/19

 Happy Sunday to all.  Happy Thanksgiving week to all in the U.S.!
Doesn't even seem possible that it can Thanksgiving time already.  I am just shaking my head in disbelief!!!!  Christmas is something like 36 days away!
I hope this post finds you all well and safe.

This is a lovely homemade Thanksgiving card that I received yesterday from COOKIE!  Cookie you do such a professional job - it is just super!  Thank you!!!

Friday we got some much needed rain in our area.  The remainder of my leaves fell!  It will be a rainy start as of tomorrow for our area - and cooler - but no snow!  YAY

On kitty - well, I am still not sure whether boy or girl.  It is so little and so fuzzy with such long hair it is hard to tell if there are little 'nubs'!  I am thinking it is a girl as I only see 2 little spots 'there'.  I cannot pick up or pet when I am standing and it is on the ground!  I guess I look huge!  When eating on the table in greenhouse, I get to pet and have picked it up several times and cuddled.  It still is very hesitant!  Names - no real idea yet.  From day one I have called it Lil Bit and cutey pie - so probably one of those will stick.
It sure loves Blackie!  Blackie gets annoyed at times, and just goes elsewhere to lay and get away from it!!!   LOL.  It reminds me of the cartoon from back in the day with the little dog and the big one - the little one always up the big dogs bum!!!!!!

My week:
  • As telling you earlier - I did get the painting done.  The trimming was by far the worst part and took the most time - so much to go around!!!  After all the sanding - EVERYTHING was covered in dust.  That is STILL a work in process!!!!!!!
  • I have repaired a few things and I have relocated some - redecorating a little
  • Ended up delivering a car full of items to donation center - some big items that never got used or seen!
  • Cleaned all perennials back to ground on the front walk/drive area
  • Raked back before the rain and got 6 big black bags stuffed (to mulch later)
  • After rain - swept back walk and deck AGAIN!  Need one more rake!
  • Cut my hair
  • I went to Aldi to Christmas shop!  I got several more items for baskets and some kids gifts.  My only purchase for me was 2 big crowns of broccoli and cukes.  Aldi has so many neat seasonal foods and items!
  • I received a check in the mail I was not expecting
  • I received my Kroger Magazine - full of coupons good until end of January and many recipes!!
  • I also stopped at the Dollar Tree on the way home from Aldi and got the items I need to make kitchen towel angels for some gifts!  I will show a picture once I get one or two done.
  • Doing all the normal stuff we all do and using up the leftovers
  • Still eating garden tomatoes
This is happening still on my front porch!  It has made it through several freezes.  Basically my last flower and pop of color!

My menu this past week:
Cold cut sandwich and chips (I was busy)
Taco salad
Mac n cheese, smoked sausage and tomatoes
Chicken strips, leftover mac/cheese, tomatoes
Fish sandwich and fries
Baked potato topped with stew(freezer), cheese and sour cream
Chopped beef burger/gravy and rice-a-roni (from homemade mix), cukes/tom.

What have you been up to this week?  Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  Gathering at your home or someone else's?  I will be going to my nieces of turkey day and then cooking for me the next day.  Have you gotten any deals of late?  Give us a shout and let us know what is happening in your life!
FRANCES - please check in - we are thinking of you both and praying.

This week may have an amended schedule for posts!  Just keep watch.
I know many will be busy with traveling, having out of town guests, cooking and baking and such - and may not make it back for the week.  IF that is you - please have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderfully safe and healthy week to each and everyone of you!
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
Psalms 95:2-3

Dear Lord, as we approach this week of thanks for our family, friends, nourishments, and all gifts - help us to be aware to thank You for our blessings.
We are thankful for all blessings, big and small.  We pray for safety and health with all those traveling this week and that each one has someone to share this day of thanks with.  AMEN

THANK YOU ALL for your friendship!!!!! 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

SOON - Will be Baking Time!

 Many may have started doing their Christmas baking already, but I believe most wait until after Thanksgiving.  Gosh, I remember mom making cookies and candies and little cakes before Thanksgiving - and storing them all in airtight containers.  That way there was always something good to be put out whenever company dropped by.  They could all be presented as a 'sudden' gift - when mom felt she needed to gift someone something.  It was always appreciated.

A couple of cookie recipes will be presented here today that I promised.  These are both very old recipes and are staples for many homes.  The Springerle recipe came to my mom from my grandparents that came from Europe.  Grandpa was from Bavaria and grandma was Swiss.  This is a family favorite (for most) of the family.  Now I have to say I do NOT like licorice AT ALL - but I love these cookies.  The taste of anise is different than licorice to me.
Hope these help someone enjoy a fun goody this year - maybe something from the past.

4 C flour
2 tsps.  baking powder
4 eggs - well beaten
2 C sugar
2 tsp. boiling water (I always use 3 or 4)
2 tsp. anise seed
Sift your flour and add baking powder.  To the well beaten eggs gradually add the sugar, beating until very thick and creamy looking.  Pour the boiling water over the anise seed (releases flavors) and add to the egg mixture.  Stir in flour.  Mixture will be dense.  Chill
Roll on a lightly floured board to a thickness of about 1/4".  Press with your design board or springerle roller to make designs. (make sure your board or roller is floured).  Cut the cookies at the marked outlines and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Let these dry at room temperature for 6-8 hours.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen.

***I do these over 2 days.  I mix it all up late one afternoon and then refrigerate.  I remove when I get up and it is ready to roll out early.  Let the cookies rest and bake late that afternoon.
These are not overly sweet like many cookies and not overly strong.  IF you want a little stronger taste - also add a teaspoon of anise flavoring.  I DO THIS!
You can roll and cut plain - if you do not have a design board or rolling pin!
These are always part of Christmas baskets I make - everyone looks forward to this bit of mom/grandma each year.

I don't remember a year growing up that these weren't available.  Just such a lovely bite.

2 C flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C butter flavor shortening***
1/2 C sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Sift flour with salt.  Cream shortening, and gradually add sugar, continue to beat until light.  Add egg yolk and almond.  Combine dry ingredients to creamed mixture.  Mix until smooth.
Place dough into a cookie press (I use a manual type - moms).  Works best when dropping onto cool or cold pans - never on a hot one! (cookies don't release on to a hot pan!!!)
You can make any shape you wish.  I like to use the little star on many - as it is just a bite of cookie! (about the size of a quarter).
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet until slightly golden.

To decorate you can add a piece of a cherry or half a nut to the center of each cookie before baking.  You can also add sprinkles or even add food coloring to part of the dough.  Makes about 3 dozen.
*** If you use plain shortening or Crisco - mix with butter (about half of mixture).  I have never used all butter.
            Just small lovely little creamy bursts of flavor!  I just love the almond flavor.

I hope this helps a few of you.  I have such fond memories of all the cookies and fudge and such during the holidays.  There was always a plate of goodies around and when company came by - there was a Christmas platter that was filled with an array of yummy bites.  Mom made so many types of cookies.  I think these two along with the iced sugar cookies were my absolute favorites - although I liked them all.
Baking and the smell of the house is such a warm memory.  I can close my eyes and almost feel like I am back in the kitchen with mom.
I don't remember a lot of toys or things that I got as a child - but I remember the baking and the smells.
Aaahhhhhh  - memories!!!!!

Have a wonderful day to you all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Let's Talk Planned-Overs

 I know there are people who do not like leftovers.  So we won't use that name!  Let us call them 'planned' overs or 'make' overs!!!  With the holidays fast approaching, it is always nice to have a plan for the food that is left.  We all know there is generally lots of goodies left at the end of a holiday meal.  Have a plan for using them - in a way that jazzes them up and makes completely different meals!!!!!!

Here in the U.S. our first holiday coming up is Thanksgiving.  Then a few weeks later there, of course will be Christmas.  
I hope everyone realizes that you do NOT have to follow the food trends that say you are expected to only eat this or that on certain holidays.  A good family meal can be anything!!!!!!!  For Thanksgiving we generally talk turkey.  Shoot it can be chicken, ham, roast, pork, tofu, lamb, venison, lasagna, spaghetti, grilled foods, tamales............whatever you want.  YOU MAKE THE RULES!

Whatever you have - make a plan for later.
Here are a few suggestions of great meals that can be pre-planned from all the yummies left at the end of that big festive meal!
Now this doesn't matter what type of meat you fix.  Most all of these ideas work around anything.  You can also make the meals vegan.

Veggie soups - use up those leftover veggies and meats.  You can make with rice or noodles as well.  You can use a bit of mashed potatoes as a thickener for stew!
Pot pies!!!!!!!!!!  Oh yes - they can use up whatever you have.  Maybe a version of Shepherd pie!!!

Cold sandwiches - Oh my goodness, my favorite after thanksgiving is a cold turkey sandwich - I so look forward to that!!!!!!!!  My mouth waters just thinking of it now!

You can blend all things together and make a casserole.  I often place turkey in a baking pan, then top with dressing, green beans (or any veg) gravy and some cheese and bake until bubbly and yummy.  I know people that also add in cranberry sauce to this!  There is no limit to the ideas - and no rules.

Dressing makes FUN food - place in a waffle iron.  Let it get all nice and browned on the outside - it is still soft inside.  Makes for a great side with a little butter on top, a great side for breakfast or a 'bun' for a breakfast sandwich.
Mashed potatoes - can become potato cakes!  You could do this with mashed sweet potatoes as well!!!
Sweet potatoes can be used in muffins, sweet breads, or any other sweet yummy.

Grilled meat and cheese sandwiches - we all like grilled cheese.  Meat, cheese, maybe even a little cranberry sauce - grilled - oh yum!  Great lunch or breakfast.
You can do sliders as well.  Cut in half those dinner rolls - lay the bottoms in a baking dish - top with meat, cheese - whatever you want - top with the other half of roll - place in oven till heated nicely.  Oh goodness - ooey gooey yummy sandwich sliders!!!  What fun!

Another favorite I look forward to every year is a Manhattan!  Oh, these are so yummy.  If can be done with any type of meat.  They can also be made meatless - buy making the sandwich part with bread and loaded with veggies!!!!
This is ultimate comfort food to me!!!!!!!!!!!  It is like being at moms for a meal.  She made the best Manhattans.

Think about Mexican.  You can make tacos, nachos, enchiladas, burritos - just add some seasoning and cheese and maybe a little sauce - and an imagination.

Throw veggies, gravy, broth, meat, cheese, etc. in a crockpot and make a fun soup or 'pulled' meat fun dish.  You add whatever you want.  Use as a topping over rice or pasta.

How about fried rice or stir fry?  You know those items can use whatever is leftovers.

Just throwing out some ideas to get you in the mood to PLAN those goodies afterward.  No waste whatsoever, and good, tasty meals continue.  What a great money saver, food saver and just wonderful food even for the pickiest eater.

Do you have a regular 'planned' over that you make each year?  
To be honest I am that person that looks forward to all the goodies that can be made AFTER the holiday meal is over.  I can get creative and don't have to be set to the normal standards.
Share your ideas!!!!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Tuesday - Just Stuff

 Happy Tuesday all.  It is a chilly yet sunny morning here.  I have been out and fed all the cats and the critters.
I think today I may take it a little easier!!!  I am pooped.  The last many days (actually week) have been busy.  So much to do.  I just want things done.  It seems like I have been reaching, squatting, lifting, moving and painting and cleaning for days!!!!  LOL!   One thing leads to another.  Aint it the way?
I have been sleeping good at night!

I think today I will limit myself to dusting and vacuuming and cleaning floors.  No heavy lifting.  Tomorrow, I believe I will go out and make a donation delivery.  My Blazer is getting pretty darn full.  I look around and I don't miss anything, nor does it really look like a lot is gone!  Crazy stuff - I guess that is a sure sign that there was too much!

                                   This was the best pic I could get yesterday.  Baby kitty!!!!
It has been very skittish around me.  Yesterday it actually ate about a foot from me.  This morning it seemed skittish, but came in the greenhouse to eat.  I kept trying to pet while it was eating.  NOPE!  Then it climbed up to the bench where Blackie has his breakfast.  I put its dish up there, and it ate some more.  While petting Blackie, it let me pet it about 4 times!!!!!  I even held its bowl while it ate for a couple moments.  We are slowly making progress.  It seems to like the petting, then realizes what is happening and skits off!!!!!  LOL
I think Blackie gets tired of it in his face all the time.  This morning it was trying to love all over him, and he smacked it!  Like "give me my space!"
Still don't know if boy or girl - it is all white 'back' there - and I haven't gotten a close view!

It is getting comfortable wondering the back yard, thinking it is a hunter, watching the birdies, and sunning on the deck.

Look at all those leaves in that picture.  A week ago, they were all cleaned up!  Now the maple is about cleared off and they are on the ground again.  I guess they won't be going anywhere - so that will happen another day - my back says noooooo for now.
I cleaned them out of the drive and off the deck yesterday - along with working on clearing the Live Forever sedum out front.

Another cute pic from yesterday.  I just love watching them sun.  If you look closely, you can see a squirrel at the base of the tree in the rear of pic.

So, I am off to look at the computer a bit, then I will begin dusting. Oh boy - such fun at my house!!
I hope you are well and good.  Have a great day!
Check in and let us know what is going on at your home!

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/12

 Happy Sunday to everyone.  Here we are stating another new week.  Dang they are just flying by!  Just a couple weeks until Thanksgiving and 6 weeks till Christmas.  WOW!
I hope this finds you all well and safe and healthy.

We had a pretty decent week around here.  It was absolutely glorious for a few days - wonderful temps - but it is still quite nice, although a little cooler.  Sunshine helps everything!
Not being the brightest bulb in the box, I quite over did it again this week - but all is good.  My back was improving , and instead of just laying low - I went back at it.  That is me.  Work out those kinks!!!!!  I am fine, just a little sore and some tired!  Thankful I can do it.

Well, Friday morning, I looked out the window before going out to feed, and what did I see?  A little kitten!!!!!  I saw a cat under my potting table - it was still kind of dark - so wasn't sure.  Then when I went out, and it got light, I saw it and heard it.  Oh my - it is cute.  I wasn't going to feed, as I know that means they STAY!  Well, I couldn't ignore those tiny meows!  So, I have been feeding it - it won't come near me, maybe at some point it will let me be friends.  There is plenty of shelter available.  I am not looking for another cat - but maybe my plans don't matter.  By the way, Blackie is very sweet to it!
It is a little black and white kitty - so cute.
My week:
  • Cut down all the sunflowers out front as the leaves were pretty frost bitten.  Saved all the heads and the squirrels have been enjoying
  • I cut up that big limb that fell - yeah, not my brightest move (I was sore) - but it is done!
  • Pulled out all the rest of the garden plants
  • I went to Ollies to do some Christmas shopping and to get a couple things I wanted new for the house (I know - shocker!).  I did get 4 cookbooks and some stuffers for baskets and a couple kids items.  I had a 15% off coupon for entire purchase and saved about $24.
  • Cleaned up more leaves - have a bunch out there again
  • Found 3 quarters while out!
  • I received a lovely gift from my friend LaurieS in OR.  She finds some really sweet things.  It is so pretty and as she said "we all need a birthday cup!" It is so fancy!!!  I believe I will pair it with my grandmas teapot!  Thank you again Laurie!
  • I did run to Kroger this week for a couple of the deals.  They had turkey for .59/lb. w/$25 purchase - but I opted for the turkey breast.  I prefer white meat and it's only me!  I got money off that as well.  Then I got all kinds of canned beans (except green - have plenty) for 2/$1.00.  I got enough frozen hash browns to last till spring for making casseroles (1.99/32 oz. bag).  Found 2 very tiny beef roasts on clearance for 3.19 each!
  • I have been working on the house!!!!!  FINALLY finished that dang wallpaper removal!  Spackled, sanded - and made a boat load of dust!!!!!!!  ON EVERYTHING!  UGH.  I have also been moving things around and changing some things out - quite a job when one is alone.  It seems everything is heavy and cumbersome.  It all takes time and then rest!  Maybe today - I will paint.  I just want this stuff done so I cannot worry about it anymore.
  • Made a small pork loin in the crockpot this week.  I has been a great meal extender and was easy when I was busy.  I made my own version of pozole with some of it - goodness it was good.
Meals this past week:
Homemade pizza
Leftover pizza and salad
Sliced beef sandwich and salad
Enchiladas (using leftover frozen dirty rice)
BLT and scrambled eggs
Pork loin and roasted potatoes and sliced toms
Pozole type soup
SNACKS - fruit, crackers w/sliced cheese

How was your week?  Are you ready for the upcoming holidays?  Have you been enjoying nice weather as well?  I know many of you are having snow - that nasty 4 letter word!!!!!!  Our weather outlook until at least Thanksgiving sounds pretty nice.
Look forward to hearing from you all each week.  Check in and let us know that you are OK.  We all care.  I get worried when I don't hear from you all.

Wishing you all a save and healthy week.  Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Dear Lord, we cannot change the happenings in the world, as only You know the reasonings and the whys of things.  Help us to continue to pray for all, and to know that Your love is all encompassing.  Help us to keep our faith and our hope for a better world and a better future for all.  May we all enjoy the beauty of each new day.  Amen

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Just Some Words For Going Forward

 Happy Thursday everyone.  The weeks are sure flying by.  I just want to end the week with some words that are good for each and every one of us to remember!  Life is fleeting, we all have trials and heartaches, we have all experienced love and loss, and hopefully we all lend a helping hand and a kind word to all.

People need people and friends need friends
And we all need love for a full life depends
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or on worldly fame,
But in knowing that someone cares
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers -
For only the knowledge that we're understood
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life's greatest need
When we "lock up our hearts" and fail to heed
The outstretched hand reaching to find
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind
Are lonely and longing to somehow share
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware
That life's completeness and richness depends
On the things we share with our loved ones and friends.
Helen Steiner Rice

I just thought this was perfect for all of you, my friends.  Yes, I do believe we are all friends and maybe we are a 'kind of family' as well to each other.  I know we worry about one another, and we care about each other.  
There are so many going through much stuff right now.  It makes me sad for each of you, and I sure wish I could fix things.  I can't - but I care, and I pray for you all.
FRANCES, you and your hubby are on my mind daily - life has hit you both with so much.  
I don't mean to leave others out - I care about you all - it just seems this situation is so precarious right now.
Take a moment or two today and every day, to JUST be thankful for a good moment, no matter how short or small that moment is.  It is a gift!  
In all the bad and sad, there are still good moments and smiles.  It is the little things!

Wishing you all a wonderfully beautiful day.  Enjoy every moment and make it the best.
Life is precious and so are you!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Sharing a Couple Baking Favs

 I loved hearing everyone's favorites and memories yesterday.  It is amazing how food can take us back in time and brings us comfort and joy.  It also allows us to share those lovely memories of people gone from this earth.
We have always had some cookies that have been family favorites.  I am listing the recipes for two of these - real basics - but we loved them.  We have specialty cookies as well that are just huge for many family members.  I try to still keep the memories and love of those alive, by making them from mom's recipes.  Some cookies are a once a year thing - that is what makes them super special.

(mom's sugar cookies)
3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C butter - softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 - eggs - well beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour and add baking powder and salt.  Cream butter, add sugar gradually and continue to beat until light.  Add eggs and blend thoroughly, add vanilla.  Combine with dry ingredients - chill.
Roll out as thin as possible on a floured surface and cut with floured cookie cutters.  OR form small balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass.
Bake 400* for 6 - 10 minutes.  Makes about 6 dozen.
Mom always iced with powder sugar icing.  IF making just sugar cookies, dampen the top with a dab of milk, then sprinkle with sugar - creates a hard sugar glaze on cookies.
Mom made these for every occasion, not just Christmas.  We had giant iced cookies in the cookie jar ever single week - even as adults!  We would all walk in mom's and say our hellos and walk straight to the kitchen to get a cookie!  She would ice them white, pink and my favorite chocolate!
I make these - but they still don't taste like mommas.
Some things just can't be replicated - it was the love I am sure!!!!

(used for gingerbread men)
1 C molasses, dark
1 C brown sugar
1 C butter or Crisco
1 Tbsp. baking soda
5-6 C flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg - beaten well
Combine molasses, sugar, Crisco or butter and soda in a heavy sauce [pan.  Bring to a boil slowly for 5 minutes.  Cool thoroughly.  Mix and sift flour, salt and spices.  Add well beaten egg to cooled mixture - THEN add the dry to a good consistency.  Mix thoroughly and chill.
Roll out on a floured board - about 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters.  Bake 8-10 minutes
You can pierce a hole in the head before baking if you want to hang them!!!
Mom would decorate and cover with saran wrap and hang on the tree for everyone!
This recipe and the sugar cookie one are both from the old, old, Women's Home Companion Cookbook that mom always used - and I do too!

Want to hear something crazy.  Mom passed in 2001, so 2000 was the last year she baked.  I have one of those last gingerbread men wrapped in plastic in my hutch!!!!!!!!!

Expected by family are also the Spritz cookies and Springerle cookies - I make 2 batches of the Springerle every Christmas.
This year I am making Date/Nut bars for my brother (and me).  He hasn't had those since before mom passed.
I may make Hermits too - they were always a favorite of mine.  
If you would want the recipe for any of these, let me know.

I remember on cookie making days - the house would be so warm and smell so good.  Mom made dozens and dozens of cookies and candies and small fruit/nut cakes for the holidays.  She had containers hid all over the place.  She would start right before Thanksgiving and go until Christmas.
I remember one year before Easter, I was going through a cabinet to find something for her (it was up high) and found a container of cookies she had forgotten about!!!!  That was a good laugh.

I sure miss her baking and cooking.  I try - but some things just never taste the same.  I know memories have a way of tricking us - and that is cool.  That is a good kind of trick!!!
Memories are wonderful - what a gift from our brain!!!!!

If there is something special - like an old recipe - you may need, let me know.  I may just have it.
Do you have special cookie or candy memories or recipes that you still do every year?

Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Sharing a Couple Family Favorites for Holidays!

 Happy Tuesday to all.  I keep seeing commercial after commercial for Christmas now and I have been invited to a nieces for Thanksgiving - so it is time to think about the holidays and all the yummies we tend to eat.  Several people on the street have put up lights on these warmer days (smart).  
Food is something that makes holidays special.  I have a couple or more, favorites and they tend to be made ONLY at the holidays.  It makes them special in my eyes.  If I ate them regularly, they would lose their special appeal to me.
Today I will give a couple dinner options, and then later in the week some sweet treats!

These are both recipes that I commonly have all the ingredients in my pantry and freezer.  

1 can pineapple (crushed or bits)
3 oz. box Jello
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 C chopped apple
1/2 C chopped nuts (I usually use pecans)
1/2 C Mayo
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Drain the pineapple and KEEP that juice.  Mix the pineapple JUICE w/water to make 1 Cup.  Heat thoroughly.  Remove from stove and stir in the Jello until dissolved.  Cool slightly.
Stir in evap. milk.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  
Makes an 8 x 8 pan.  Refrigerate until set firm.
I have doubled the recipe to fit a 9 x 12 pan using basically the same amount of fruit & nuts - except 6 oz. Jello.  **On the evap. milk - when doubling, instead of opening a new can of milk, I just make up 2 cups with regular milk added to the entire can of evap. milk.  Make sure you increase the lemon juice and mayo as well.  That lemon juice makes a difference! (I use bottled)
At THANKSGIVING - I usually use orange Jello.  CHRISTMAS - lime or cherry or strawberry.  You can use whatever you have - I just like the holiday colors.
This is soooooooo good!!!!!

(many people call them funeral potatoes)
1- 32 oz. pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes (thawed)
1 - regular can of cream of chicken soup - condensed 
1 C sour cream
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion diced

TOPPING 2 C corn flakes (I have used crushed chips or breadcrumbs as well)
1/4 C melted butter

Grease a 9x12 baking pan.  Preheat oven 350*
In large bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT topping.  Spoon into the baking dish.  I small bowl, combine topping ingredients.  Sprinkle over potato mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes.
My absolute favorite way to eat potatoes!!!!!!!!!!!!  
When I make these, I just can't stop eating them.  They are so good.

Both of these recipes were absolute holiday favorites of Glen as well.  When we would start talking menus - these were the first 2 things he mentioned.  He could have done without turkey or ham - he wanted these 2 things for sure!

I think both recipes are super easy and again, I think most of us probably have the ingredients on hand.
Mom started the Jello salad - and it became a tradition.
I had the potatoes decades ago at a friend's - and got the recipe and it has become tradition at my house.

Does anyone have a tradition of something everyone looks forward to?  I love hearing about holiday foods. 
Later this week - sweets and baked goods that are HAVE TO HAVE here!

Have a great day!!!!!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Weekly Wrap-Up 11/5

 Here we are in November!  Hope this finds you all well and safe.  It will be another nice day here.  We started out with a very cold and frosty week for sure.  We even had flurries on Halloween.  Now the tide is turning again, and the weather is warming.  YAY! It started warming a bit by Thursday and should last most of this week.  It is a definite make hay while the sun shines around here.

I have tried, and I did a bit much on Friday and well my back let me know.  It was hurting Friday - but Saturday I was going about my business, and just 'moved' and oh my.  I haven't had such pain in years.  I had a hard time walking, and I about got sick at my stomach.  The pain was horrible.  The spasms were severe!  Tried pain ointment, wraps, laying, anti-inflammatory meds, heat, and finally remembered the massager.  Years ago, Glen bought a professional massager like the chiropractor had.  It has helped much!!!!  I still hurt a little this morning, but nothing at all like it was.  I think another day of rest - then I should be back to about normal.

I hope those that had to, remembered the time change.  The ridiculous time change!!!!!  Can you tell I don't like it???  AT ALL!!!!! All that garbage about an extra hour - is hokey to me!  Obviously, those people do not have pets or animals - their internal clock does not 'fall back'!!!!!!!!  
My trick for me - is leave the wall clock in bedroom the same - so when I wake and look at it, I feel normal.  It is actually an hour earlier on all the other clocks - but this keeps me sane for a couple weeks.
This is an election week as well - for many, many areas.  I hope everyone takes the time to vote.

Gosh, I saw more robins this week!  Amazes me, as they are never here this long.  (good sign???)
I had a HUGE limb come down finally.  It had been hung up in the tree since our big wind storm this summer.  Luckily it hit nothing or no one - it would have been very damaging!  
The winds are just nuts lately!!!!!
I had some pretty serious family issues happen this week with a couple family members - thankfully all is well now.  So very thankful for that!

This week:
  • Worked on deep cleaning some more
  • Plugged in the water bowls outdoors for several days, so they wouldn't freeze.  They got all scrubbed as well
  • I was gifted 6 gourmet cookies from my gr. niece from her new cookie company.  YUM.  They sure aren't cheap - but they are yummy.
  • I did go out and fill my tank before losing my points at the end of the month.  Because of shopping on certain days and getting bonus points - I saved $1 a gallon!
  • I received my new monthly coupons from Kroger
  • My niece brought up her tote of baby clothes that she wants me to use in a throw/blanket for her.  Once Christmas is done, I will start on that.
  • I got 2 smallish boxes of donations ready to go out
  • Some stuff from the garage out to the curb for the taking
  • Froze 3 containers of leftover soup
  • Still eating garden tomatoes
  • I did go out and got some grocery items for gift baskets.  Things were on sale, and I know they are well liked.  NO groceries for me - just gift items.
  • I mowed entire yard, mulched leaves, raked and bagged other leaves (those will be used later).
  • Got one rain barrel emptied and put away (this is what got my back!).  One more to go.
  • Actually got to turn off any heat and aired house for 2 days
  • Just doing all the normal stuff

My meals this past week:
Country gravy over toast and bacon
Chili Mac (chili from freezer)
Mashed pots w/leftover gravy and chicken strips, sliced toms
Loaded potato cakes and salad
Broccoli cheese soup (homemade)
Broccoli/beef/gravy over rice with sliced toms
Broccoli cheese soup
SNACKS: fruit, toast/jelly, cheese slices and crackers, cookies

So that was my week!  Busy, but all turned out well.  How was your week?  Did you get any great deals or Christmas done?  Did you decorate at all?   Not that it is a clear pic, but my neighbor across the street put up her outdoor decorations on Nov.1.  I guess w/kids, you may start early!
I hope you are all well and that your families are well.  Those that have been having troubles - please check in and let us know what is going all.  We all worry about each other.
I wish you all a good week.
Blessings to you and yours from my humble little home.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalms 32:8

Dear Lord, thank You for all our many blessings.  Please help us to listen and follow Your loving and wise counsel.  We pray for peace and love for all humanity.  We pray for the end of hate, lust and war.  May all people follow Your teachings and come together in love.  Amen

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Do It and Know IT Matters!

 Happy Thursday to all.  I hope you are all doing well today.
Just a moment to say as a reminder - that life is fleeting - so just do it!!!!!  Do the thing!  Say the thing!  Be the best YOU that you can be.
Can you do something simple to help someone?  Do it.
Can you send a loving thought and share a kind word?  Do it.
Can you do something to change your community?  Do it.
Do you need help and are afraid to ask?  Do it.
Can you give hope to someone?  Do it.
The list goes on and on.   

As we each get older, we realize just how special life is.  We realize how special all the people in our life are.  We realize it is the smallest things that make life worthwhile.  We realize just how important love and peace and calm are.
Knowledge comes with time.  I hope we can all share that knowledge and maybe lend a bit of hope to someone else.  I hope we can be the positive and the light in someone else's troubled world.

My goal here is to enlighten others and lend just a tiny bit of help and hope that WE GOT THIS!
We have all had bad times and rough moments in our lives - yet here we are!!!!!  We survived it and got through our worst day ever and somehow and some way we are stronger for it.

To all those who are starting this venture into living a sustainable and financially independent life - you can do!!!!!!  Life will kick you and knock you down many days - but you pick yourself up and dust off your britches and start again.  The only failure in life is NEVER trying!
New day  -  new start!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy each moment and keep on going!  We believe in you!!!!!!