Monday, May 30, 2011

What's Up Doc?

Oh me, oh my, lots of things are up here. We have been busy, busy, busy. My work has been crazy, but has now settled down a bit. Honey finished his trucking school, but then had a bit of a health issue, so now should be starting back this next week. Thought I would show you all a bit of what we have been up to! Sorry, sorry, sorry for the quality of the pictures, but a photographer I am not.

Kitchen cabinets have been painted - still green, just a darker shade. We do still need to enclose the dishwasher, just waiting until we can put in the countertops.

Roses have been blooming, blooming, blooming. I made a batch of rose petal jelly! So yummy!

Basement has been carpeted. Honey has been out of work while trying to get his health back on track, so he has been busy with some Honey do's! I thought I had another picture of this, sorry!

Stairs have been completed, carpeted and carved toe boards put in. II Peter 1:5-7. [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
[6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
[7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Honey carved in the boards, stained them and then back lit them with LED multicolored Christmas lights, which he then backed with thin metallic-covered insulation so that it looks like a prism. Then he backed the whole thing with plywood. Looks fantastic! My pictures definitely do not do it justice!

Kitchen floor has been replaced with glazed hickory laminate. What was there before was those stick tiles, the ones that are like linoleum, but they are tiles. Many of the edges were coming up and so we got this laminate and put down. It looks a little redder in these pictures than in real life.

Now we just need to save up and get our new kitchen counters, faucet-sprayer and sink. And put up our new border - just have to get busy and do that.

Bookshelves - built in - downstairs in the "den". Our basement stays nice and cool in the summer. When we bought the house almost 3 years ago, Honey built in a bedroom. I think it measures like 11x13 or so, nice sized. Closet and everything. Back behind it is a storage area, probably 10x6 or so. Where the bookcase area is, we are going to put in a sleeper sofa. There is a twin bed downstairs in the bedroom and we are going to put in a queen or full in the spare bedroom upstairs. We like to have plenty of room for folks to come visit!

Downstairs bathroom. This is really a showpiece, I think. 48" shower, ceramic tile floor. Not very big, but quite functional. Still needs some trim work and touchups here and there.

I am happy to report that Honey's health is back on track, he has even been able to stop one medication.

We did make a flying trip down to Oklahoma when Honey's former pastor passed away. Despite the circumstances, we had a good time visiting with friends and family. Here are the grandkids.

Farmer's market has started again, fresh strawberries, rhubarb, spring onions - oh my! I planted tomatoes the other day, Mr. Stripey!

Our weather here has been rainy and quite cool, interspersed with thunderstorms, more rain and tornados!!! None have hit here, thank the good Lord! We are about 160 miles or so from Joplin, but we have had several on the ground near here and in Sedalia, about 60 miles away, they had one the other day that hit the south end of town and did quite a bit of damage.

They actually call the area right where we live the Golden Valley - because supposedly there is an Indian legend or something of the sort that a tornado will never hit here. We do have a lot of times storms will split and go around north and south of us. However, I know the Maker of the Rain and I know the Master of the Wind and he can who whatever he pleases, so we go to the basement whenever it storms.

I will leave you all with a recipe, quick and easy, a crowd-pleaser!

Pampered Chef Crab and Artichoke Dip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayo
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
8 oz crabmeat
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/3 cup red bell pepper, minced
Extra green onions, chopped for topping.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all in bowl except for red bell pepper and extra green onions. Put in casserole dish - I used a 9x 9 pan and bake 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with red bell pepper and additional green onions. Serve with crackers.

Will be "seeing" you all again soon, as Honey is headed out on the road and I will have more time on my hands. Much love to everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lilla Rose Giftaway

Suzanne over at Blueberry Cottage posted about this giftaway. I love these, they are so elegant and pretty! Hop on over to this site and comment for a chance at the giftaway!

Snowy Wednesday


Outside my window... Snow. Snow. SNOW!!!! Snow everywhere. We survived the blizzard of '11. I think we probably got at least 15 inches. It is hard to tell, as it has drifted so much.

I am thinking... of how grateful I am to be considered "non-essential" personnel! Thankfully, I don't have to work today.

I am thankful for... all of the blessings that my wonderful Jesus gives us daily. A warm house, good jobs, good health, travelling mercies - Those are but a few.

I am wearing... black knit skirt, red t-shirt, cream sweater and pink housieslippers. I am dressed to stay home! I couldn't get out if I tried!

I am remembering... snow days when I was young. Sledding outside - no matter what the temps it seemed - hot cocoa, wet things hung over heat vents to dry, curling up to read, hot chili or soup - those were the days!

I am going... nowhere at all today!

I am currently reading... a bit of this and a bit of that. Most likely will curl up with my latest Pennyfoot Hotel this afternoon!

I am hoping... that Honey will stay warm today - he is at work, scooping out the lot so everyone can get in and out.

On my mind... a precious co-worker - her mother is in the hospital after having had a stroke.

Noticing that... the more I get to be home, the more I want to be at home!

Pondering these words... Love isn't love until it is given away. You can't take it from someone, you can only give.

In the kitchen... Hmmmm. . . I think maybe some lemon curd, a caramel cake, pork chops in the slow cooker with mashed potatoes, homemade bread . . . endless possibilities!

Around the house... nice and tidy - for once!

One of my favorite things . . . a nice, lazy day like today, a blank slate that I can use to write whatever I wish

From my picture journal...

Some friends of ours adopted 9 children from Columbia - after raising 2 of their own. They are going back to adopt 5 more! These children were orphans, I believe they are 2 separate families, brothers and sisters, whose parents died. Aren't they beautiful? Such precious children.

Thanks to Peggy for organizing the daybook.

A quickie recipe to share - so easy crockpot meatloaf!

2 lb ground beef
2 eggs
1 package stovetop stuffing - your choice of flavor, but beef is good
1 can golden mushroom soup - divided

Mix beef, eggs, stuffing and 1/2 can of soup. Grease your crock. Mound the mixture in your crockpot- you don't want it touching the sides if you can help it, so mound it up in the middle. Spoon the rest of the soup on top - can mix with a bit of ketchup if you wish. Cook on high for 4 hours or so. I usually put this in at 8 AM on a Sunday morning, and when we get home about 12:30 it is done to perfection. Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and butter and a nice fresh salad. A lemon pie for dessert goes nice. This is great winter, spring, summer or fall. If you put mashed potatoes in the crockpot as well before you go, all you have to do is heat up the green beans and toss the salad!

I would love to say that I will be back tomorrow, but I do not yet know what tomorrow will bring. I have come to the conclusion that just like our lives, our blogs go through seasons. Some seasons we are prolific, some we are just now and again. So I WILL say that I wish each and every one of you a blessed day today. The sun is shining brightly here today - trying to make up for not even peeking out yesterday at all! I must be up and about, making bread, baking a cake, doing all of the little things that make a house a home. Much love to all who read this!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This -n- That

Sooooo . . . . I have been away forever! Just busy, that is all. Now things are slowing up a bit and I can get back to regular blogging. Just wanted to blog about a few things that I am thankful for.

* A warm house.

* A warm house that is now refinanced, saving us almost $74,000 in interest - more than the price of the house.

* A warm house that will be paid off in 15 years, not 30.

* The beautiful autumn palette of colors . . . creams, yellows, oranges, browns, reds, burgundy, black, green.

* My parents - we went on a road trip today and had such a good time.

* A doctor who listens to me.

* A hardworking husband who is working hard to install our new shower downstairs.

* A really good ham sandwich at one of the Mennonite stores today - freshly cut ham, swiss cheese, fresh homemade oatmeal bread, pickles, mustard and onion. Wowsa - it was great!

* Finding bargains.

* Fresh hot popcorn with butter and a cold Dr. Pepper.

* Kitty kisses.

* Living in a land of freedom.

* The men and women who have sacrificed so we can have that freedom.

* Rain to settle the dust.

* Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

* A real bargain on 820 count Egyptian Cotton sheets - like sleeping on silk!

* Homemade challah.

Until next time, my friends. Love you all much!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Remember

I remember where I was 10 years ago today . . . . about an hour from now . . .

I was at work. It had started out as a normal day and then the secretary said something about the Twin Towers. We went across the hall to the doctor's lounge and watched the footage. I remember the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as the smoke towered up. Then, while we were watching live footage, the second plane crashed. The television reporter and everyone else in the room with me was talking about air traffic controller mistakes, which is what it was originally thought to be.

I turned to the other girls and said - oh, girls, this is not just an air traffic controller mistake. That just doesn't happen - not with a building that big. Mark my words, girls, this is a terrorist act . . . . and the man behind it is Osama Bin Laden. Those words had to come from the Lord. There is no other way. I had heard of Osama Bin Laden - vaguely. But I don't watch the news and I had no real thought of him before I spoke. The words just came out.

I remember the hurt I felt for those people, the outrage I felt that such a thing had happened.

I know that America has not had to deal with the kind of terrorism that many other countries have. We don't have daily bombings everywhere and we can generally walk the streets without having to worry about snipers. We have been fortunate that way.

I remember the outrage I felt as an American, even being so far removed from what happened. But burning the Quran isn't going to bring those people back. It will not reverse any of the damage that was done that day. All it will do is incite other terrorists and hate crimes. No, I do not think that they should be allowed to build a mosque at the proposed site. Both actions will cause further tensions in this world that is already riddled with them. But two wrongs don't make one right.

Let's remember our brave heros and mourn our dead from that fateful day - not commit further terroristic acts.

Sorry if this offends anyone, but this is my blog and this is how I feel.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glorious Fall Day

Hello everyone! It is an absolutely be-yoo-ti-ful day here in Missouri. Fall is finally starting to peek its head around the corner. We have had a bright, sunny day with bright blue sky and warm temperatures. These kind of days could just last forever, as far as I am concerned. I had a great day (even tho my hay fever is in full swing) just out and about. I mailed a package at the post office, stopped in and paid the water bill, did a bit of grocery shopping, got breakfast from Wendy's (bacon panini, seasoned red potatoes and iced coffee - YUM)and have just been lazing around home, doing a bit here and there. Then my parents came over with my niece who is up visiting from South Carolina. We ordered pizza for lunch and had such a good visit. DS and his girlfriend, Liz came thru on their way down to visit Liz's parents. Such a great change from the hectic work week. Only thing is, I do have to work tomorrow and Sunday - blah. Then I am off Monday and Tuesday. Oh, well, it pays the bills I guess.

Thought you all might like to see a few pictures from our sister's tea last weekend. I say sister's tea - it is actually my mom and her sisters. Alas, I have none.

This is a picture of my Mom's oldest living sister, Colleen. It was her house that we were at for the tea party. She polishs rocks and makes jewelry, etc. out of them. My mom is leaning over her shoulder.

This is my aunt Marilyn, the next oldest. She does house cleaning, etc. She is an ordained minister - Methodist, I think.

This is my aunt Naomi. She has a twin sister, Ramona, who lives in Nebraska and so was not at the tea party. Naomi is an LPN at a local hospital.

This is my aunt Charlene. She is a widow and works as a janitor at a local school.

This is my aunt Loqueeta. She and her husband farm-sit year-round for a jet-set couple.

This is a picture of all of them together. They really have a strong resemblance, don't you think?

We have a lot of fun, they gab and gab and gab. Well, me and my cousins do as well.

Thought you might want to know what I whipped up to take!

Ham Salad

I am very bad about measuring anything, but here goes. This turned out very moreish.

1 lb sliced ham
1 hard boiled egg
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 large or two small stalks celery - chopped
1 tablespoon (more to taste) chopped white onion

1 tablespoon honey
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used the country style with the seeds)
1-3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons pickle relish
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Throw everything else in the food processor and process until finely chopped. You can make this as chunky or smooth as you like. Pour dressing over top and mix well. Serve with crackers, like Ritz. I used the buttery garlic club crackers - oh yeah!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late Summer Busyness

Hello everyone! Sorry that it took me so long to get back, but we have been soooo busy! Had company from Oklahoma, Honey's daughter and her children, then Honey turned the big 5-0. We got a new (to us) car and gave our old(er) one to his daughter.

A picture of our *new* car.

Work has been crazy, our newest girl quit (thankfully, she just was not happy) and so with all of that (and just normal, everyday life) I have not been able to post. I do believe, now that things are settling down, that I can post more regularly. I am determined to do so.

The weather is slowly, oh-so-slowly, (definitely turtle-like) turning to fall. We had several weeks of such high temperatures, 100+ every day. I do not tolerate heat very well, I do better in cooler temperatures, so I am so grateful. I would love to have my windows open, only thing is ragweed season is upon us. *Do pray for me in that regard, won't you?* My doctor will just want to give me a steroid shot - no thanks. I am praying for an early frost. But the skies have been getting bluer - have you ever noticed that in summer they have the look of an old, washed out pair of jeans? In fall, they slowly turn more azure overhead, with a blending to lighter blue at the horizon. We are having cooler temperatures and the locusts sing with all their might, a buzzing drone signaling the end of summer.

Personally, I am ready for crisp fall leaves, pumpkins and all the other accouterments of fall.

Poor kitty - he wants outside with me.

Books on the piano.

My newest fleece tie blanket. Red and white stars on one side, navy on the other. These blankets are sooooo warm and they wash so well. They take about 3 hours to make. Easy peasy!

A picture a dear uncle painted for me that hangs in my office.

Art. I found these at a flea market for $1.

Honey's daughter, Kelilah and her sons, Dillon - green shirt and Austin - gray.

Hot and sweaty Grandpa with hot and sweaty grandsons. Our backyard sits right against a soccer field and they were out playing soccer. You can see some of the bleachers in the background. The dividing line is where the grass looks different.

Grandpa and Austin.

Dillon licking chocolate frosting off of the mixer beater.

I do hope that each and every one of you are well and winding up your summer with fun. I am looking forward to going to the local orchard and getting some apples and just taking long walks in the crisp fall air.

I am off today with Mama to her oldest sister's house for a tea party. Better get cracking on making some goodies!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


My friend Rosie did a traditions post, so I thought I would follow suit. Now that I am older and my son is grown, we don't do some of the things that we did when he was little. When (if) I have grandchildren, I am sure that will change!

We have always been a close family. My Dad was in the military, got out when I was about 5, so we moved a lot. I was born in Germany and, until I was 5, we never lived close to any of my grandparents. In fact, I did not meet any of them until I was 3. Living away from extended family, we kind of started our own family traditions to celebrate holidays. From age 5 to 11, we lived near my Dad's parents, so we celebrated holidays with them. From 11 on, we lived near my Mom's parents. Now, my mom was 1 of 14 children, so holidays at their house was usually out, especially in the winter, too many people to fit in the house. We settled for a family reunion once a year. So, back to holidays with just our family. We usually ended up having some friends around as well. Then when I got married and was out on my own, I started some traditions of my own.

Holidays at our house has always meant fun, laughter and lots and lots of great food. My mom is a great cook and cooking is my passion. There are still some things that she makes that are just better tho! Nowadays, with my brothers married and have families/children/grandchildren of their own, about the only holiday that we ALL get together for is Thanksgiving. My mom likes to do it at her house. We still get together for other holidays, just not all of us.

New Years Eve/New Year's Day
New Year's Eve, we have a smorgasbord. Usually all kinds of snacks: fresh veggie tray, chips and dip, maybe pizza, cold boiled shrimp, bbq meatballs, sandwiches, cookies, fudge. I like to stay up to see the New Year in, but my parents don't like to drive that late. We play games - scattergories, catch phrase, taboo, etc. Sometimes we will watch a movie, Dad likes documentaries. On New Year's day, some of us will get together and have a meal. It is traditional to have some kind of greens (cooked with onion and bacon, served with a bit of vinegar) and black-eyed peas. We usually have cornbread, fried potatoes and maybe pork roast with this as well. Sometimes on New Year's Eve, our church will have a watch night service and we take snacks, play games, etc. Some times we have a foot washing as well.

For Valentines, my Honey usually gets me the most beautiful card and roses. Sometimes I cook a special dinner, maybe ribeye steak and sometimes we go out - usually for steak. I usually make cupcakes to take to work. When my son was little, I would make a heart-shaped homemade pizza and we always had special valentine candy and cupcakes for him to take to school.

St. Patrick's Day
Being Irish on my Dad's side, we have a lot of fun with St. Paddy's. We all wear green - you will get pinched around our house if you don't. As for dinner, either traditional Corned Beef or sometimes Reubens. Colcannon is a must, as is Irish Soda bread. I adore Celtic music, so we have plenty to choose from.

For Easter, we used to have egg hunts when my son was little. I don't color eggs any more now. We do, however, have a big ham dinner. We get our ham from Burger's Smokehouse in California, about 100 miles from here. Wowsa, it is good. AuGratin potatoes - which my son thought were old rotten potatoes when he was little. Homemade rolls and butter, usually asparagus and a good salad. Then for dessert, either cheesecake or carrot cake. When I was little, Mom would make a Rabbit cake. We of course go to church.

Independence Day
We usually have a big BBQ with friends and family. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, cold sweet tea and watermelon for dessert. One of my niece's birthday is the 4th, so if she is around, we celebrate that as well! Sometimes it can really be hot here in Missouri at this time of year, so a lot depends on the weather. We have Olde Glory Days uptown on the square. It is kind of like a fair - rides for the kiddies, food booths, crafts, etc. The museum gives free tours, they have an art show, a quilt show, singing, etc. On Saturday they have a parade. I like to go up and get a funnel cake and maybe a fresh limeade. When my son was little, I would buy some firecrackers. Now that he is grown, we just watch the big ones that the City does.

This is our big family get-together. Usually everyone is there. We eat at Mom's house. Honey and I usually go over early to help Mom and get the tables set up. Mom and I share the food prep, so I will make my things the day before usually and just bring them and heat them up if need be. We usually take family pictures at Thanksgiving. A tradition for me and my son was to go home and read in the afternoon, eat a turkey sandwich and pumpkin pie for dessert. Our menu usually consists of: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, homemade rolls with butter, green beans, corn, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, pecan pie. We usually throw in a few extras that vary from year to year. My oldest niece makes some sort of fruit salad. My SIL Jill makes deviled eggs. Last year I made escalloped onions - yummie! Mom sometimes makes creamed corn and oysters, which I think is just gross. My Dad likes it. We have homemade pickles and cranberry sauce as well.

Christmas is where the traditions got a little varied. On Christmas eve, I would let my son open one gift. Then on Christmas morning, we have a big breakfast, usually omelets and cinnamon rolls with juice, after opening the rest of the presents. We still have a big breakfast, Mom usually brings the cinnamon rolls - hers taste much better, I think! When I was growing up, Mom was allergic to real trees, so we always had artificial. We have just a small one and I decorate with ornaments I have kept for years. I would like to have a little fresh greenery, but I am afraid the kittie would not leave it alone. We like to do homemade gifts, Mom makes a fabulous chocolate chip cookie mix. Last year I did the pickles I posted about. We have a traditional dinner, usually roast beef with all the trimmings. When my son was little, I would buy up snack foods - pizza, chips, etc. that we liked and, instead of a big family get together, he and I would have breakfast, open presents and then just snack for the rest of the day. We would stay in our pajamas, maybe watch a movie or listen to a book on tape, read or whatever. I have always enjoyed making cookie and candy trays to send to his teachers and to give to all of our friends and family.

I am the only daughter, so I do Mother's Day and Father's Day and I do birthdays for my Honey, my son and Mom and Dad. I usually ask the person we are celebrating for what they would like and then fix it. Mom likes sub sandwiches or maybe pizza. Dad likes roast beef or meatloaf. Honey likes chicken fried steak. My son likes pizza, but this year he requested Cherry-Glazed Ham.

For Memorial Day and Labor day, we usually just barbecue. The last weekend in September, weather permitting, we have a family reunion on Mom's side. There are a lot of us - well over 100. We either bring pot luck or have a weenie roast. I like to make a big crockpot of nacho dip, that goes over well with the kids.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about our traditions. I would love to hear about some of yours. I promise I will be getting some pictures up soon, I just now got the camera back!