Saturday, September 30, 2017

October To-Do's

A touch of color in northern Minnesota.

I am, of course, shocked that October is tomorrow.  Only three months left of this year.  To say it's gone by quickly is an understatement, so fortunately it is our favorite time of the year.  I love the cool temperatures and the clear blue sky.  I love the reds and golds and oranges in the leaves.  I love drinking hot beverages instead of cold.  I love turning the oven on for baking and casseroles.  I even love the nippy mornings in the house because it's cozy to reach for a blanket.

The week has been a busy one with getting errands done for the upcoming wedding (1 week from today!).  And trying to get to the outdoors - pulling more weeds and cutting the iris and peonies back, pulling out the spent summer annuals and putting up little scarecrows and mums and pumpkins.  The house desperately needs to have the windows washed (which I'm hoping will be today).

In my alone time, I'm reading the second book of "Anne of Green Gables", working on my embroidery, and looking through cookbooks for some good recipes to add to my growing list.  I'm working on my Bible study lessons and continuing to go through stuff in closets and drawers to get rid of and planning upcoming projects.

I love the fact that there is always something to do.  If I don't get anything done, it's definitely my fault.  The October to-do list is quite lengthy which only makes sense.  We are gearing up now for the upcoming winter months and there are things that we need to do now so we're not running around at the last minute when the weather changes into something less than mild!  So, here is our list:

*Clean off the lawn mower and garden tools before stowing them away.
*Turn off the outdoor water before the freezing temps begin.
*Bring the snow shovels out and if you have a snowblower, bring it out of the back and more towards the front for easier access.  This may seem a bit early to do this, but we have experienced October snowfalls before!
*Replace your furnace filter.
*Store your summer clothing.
*Keep up with your leaves - either with the lawnmower or by raking.
*Clean out the gutters.
*If you don't already have an emergency kit for your car(s), make one.  You should have a shovel in your car, a jack, a backpack with some food in it that will keep, hats, gloves, boots, water bottles - anything you might need if your car breaks down.
*Apply fall fertilizer to your lawn.
*Empty dirt from the planters.
*Start making gift baskets (or at least start writing some ideas down so you can begin to look for things while out and about shopping).
*Buy (or make) your Christmas cards.  This may sound early, but once the holidays start setting in, you'll be glad you got this done!  A huge time-saver.
*Stock up on cold/flu medication.  Throw the old stuff out!
*Check your winter clothing needs.  Do you need a new pair of gloves?  Boots?  Another sweater?
*Wash the walls inside your house - especially the kitchen and the bath - or, at least, dust your walls and don't forget the corners where spider webs might be.
*Clean your upholstery/shampoo any carpet so that it's fresh for the holidays.

Whew.  That's a lot, isn't it?  But we all need to customize it to our needs.  If you live in an apartment or condo, obviously you can automatically cross the outdoor things off the list.  But there is much to be done and I hope this list is something that will at least get you thinking.

It's going to be another cool but pretty day here so I'm hoping to get to quite a few things.  I hope you enjoy this day.   God bless you in your homemaking efforts.  Try to remember to thank God for His blessing in your life - there truly is much to be grateful for.  Thanks for dropping by for a visit - I love it when you do!!!!  : )  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Variety of Fun Things

Grand Marais, Minnesota

It has been a very busy day with everything domestic.  I think I'm one of the few people who enjoy Mondays.  I like getting back into the swing of things.  The first thing I try to do is get to the laundry. Since I do small loads throughout the week, Mondays are now not so daunting.  I don't have as much as I used to when I saved most of it for Mondays.  My friend and I were talking a while back about laundry.  Yes.  Laundry.  She opened my eyes to a new way of doing it and I must admit that I enjoy it and it works SO much better than the traditional way.  Do I have your attention?  : )

First, since our loads are small I really didn't like to use our large capacity washer.  I know these new washers actually weigh the laundry so it knows how much water to add automatically, but we wondered......are the clothes actually getting as clean as we think they are?  Well, we experimented and were surprised at what we found.

When putting your clothes into the washing machine they don't actually stay in there long enough for them to get clean.  It seems like they would, but not really.  We both agreed that we aren't "dirty" people.  I mean, we don't farm and we're not construction workers.  The clothes we wear every day are exposed to sweat and some dust, etc. while cleaning and running around, but we don't have mud on them or anything like that.  So (and I know I touched on this last week) we found that taking our small loads and soaking them makes such a big difference.  I begin some "loads" the night before and then rinse them the next morning.  Or, like this morning, I had a little load of whites that I started early in the morning and then rinsed this afternoon.  We are both surprised at how dirty the water is when we pour it out and how much cleaner our clothes are doing it this way.  My husband noticed right away.

Here is my crude, but working, system:  (now don't laugh)

The bucket on the left is a big 5 gallon bucket that can actually hold a small load of laundry.  I fill it with hot water, pour just a little bit of soap (this method also saves on soap use!) and use the plunger (a new clean one - keep this separate from your other one!) to mimic the washing machine's agitator if you have that kind of machine.  Then let your load soak (for a few hours) coming back and "agitating" it every so often.  

The smaller blue bucket on the right is filled with cold water and a little vinegar.  When ready to rinse, just squeeze out the soapy articles of clothing and dip them into the water/vinegar and rinse them out squeezing again the excess water (this is all done in our laundry tub - if you are finding the rinse water getting a little soapy, pour out and put new water and vinegar in).  When squeezing the rinse water out, you can then put these items into your washer and turn it to "drain/spin" (which on our washer only takes about 12 minutes).  You can then promptly take them out of the washer and either throw them into the dryer or hang them up (which is our preferred method especially with small loads you don't need a lot of space.  We have a clothesline hung up in our laundry area plus a wood standing clothes dryer.)

Now I can see some eyes rolling, and some shaking of the heads, and the questions - what? why? Well, there are a couple of reasons.  The first is what I mentioned above - I really believe it's getting our laundry cleaner.  The second is that I think we've forgotten what it's like to do laundry without our modern washing machines and driers.  It CAN be done.  What if the electricity went out for a long period of time?  This is an excellent way to counteract that problem.  And, lastly, it saves money. There as SO many ways to save money if we only take the time to do it!  I use way less water this way, and like I said above, the "drain/rinse" cycle only takes 12 minutes and then I hang everything up so I'm not using the energy draining dryer which can be very hard on fabric when used time after time.  The other thing you are probably saying is that I'm home all day and I have the time to do this. But with this soaking method, like I mentioned before, a small load can be started in the morning and then finished in the evening or started in the evening and finished in the morning.  I would agree, however, that if you have a large family it MIGHT not be as easy.  But, then again, breaking the laundry into do-able portions would work.

The things I traditionally wash are the bedding, the towels, and blue jeans simply because they are too bulky (although I still air dry the towels).  I would encourage all of you to at least give this a try so that you can become familiar with how it all looks and feels.  I'm not a doom and gloom person, but I do believe we all need to know how to do things without the use of our machines. Anything can happen to the grid that we so rely on to get some things done. So.....thank you my friend!  I'm enjoying this new way of doing my laundry.  : )  *A little side note:  when I wash our whites, I add our homemade oxiclean (the "recipe" was in a past post) and this includes washing soda which is very hard on the hands so I would suggest that when you squeeze out the water to use rubber gloves for protection).

I spent a good part of the morning in the kitchen as well.  The breakfast granola had to be made for the upcoming week, our leftovers from last night had to go into the small crockpots so that the food would be hot by lunch time, and I made our homemade salsa.  So there were a LOT of dishes and pots and pans to wash and put away (we don't have a dishwasher)!

Speaking of salsa, I can't remember if I've posted the recipe for it, but I think it's one that I want to post again.  If you go to a Mexican restaurant and they bring out those yummy tortilla chips with the salsa, this salsa tastes like that and it's so quick and easy to put together.  Here it goes:


1, 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
2, 10 oz. cans Rotel tomatoes w/green chilies
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 of a whole lime juice

*Recommended that you make this in two batches!  Or, halve the recipe (it does make quite a bit).

Put all the above ingredients into a food processor and process till it is the consistency you like.  Test the seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as necessary.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

So good.  Hope you can give it a try.  : )

After lunch, I try to work on something creative.  Here is what I got done and what I started:

Stenciled a sign to be put into the shop soon.

My new stitchery project.

And, as you know, the parents of the groom don't have much to do in the wedding except the groom's dinner the night before.  Since our son and his future bride is going more for the natural look on the reception tables (succulents, candles, other greenery) I thought I'd kind of do something like that for the tables at the groom's dinner.  I bought all this stuff at the Dollar Store yesterday and put it together today.  Just little plastic cups, filled with real stones, topped off with a tea light candle and set on a bed of moss.  I think it looks kind of nice.  It'll be fun to decorate the tables with it.  Next week! : o

Well, I think that's about all I have to report for today.  Now that I've been sitting here awhile, I'm feeling the tiredness set in.  So I will bid you a good night and I'll go and relax.  : )  God bless.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

It's Okay To Ask God Questions

One thing that I've experienced this past week was that, during my prayer time in the morning, I needed to ask God quite a few questions.  Of course it wasn't just this past week, but off and on since I've been saved and began a prayer time many years ago now.

I remember when I first started asking questions, or maybe I should say.....questioning God, there was kind of an irreverent feeling.  Like, who am I to be questioning God?  But over the years I've learned that it is totally okay to ask.  He's not in heaven surprised at what we ask.  He knows our questions already.  He's just waiting for us to come out with it.  He's not watching our reaction to something we've experienced or something we're watching others go through, shaking His head in surprise wondering why we're upset or angry or sad.  God gave us those emotions.  We're not robots that don't care and don't feel. I've learned that it is in the asking - the talking it through with Him - that we sometimes receive the answer right then and there.  BUT.....notice I said "sometimes".  There are some things we ask that we may not receive an answer to (not this side of heaven anyway).  We need to trust and we need to have faith that God is God.  And we have to remember that He is very patient with us.  When we feel distant from God, He is not distant from us.  He lovingly gives us that space we need.  But we can't stay there forever.  He'll prompt us in that too if we are open to listen.

I don't know how you pray, but I pray out loud.  When I speak out loud and ask the questions, I can feel the Holy Spirit leading me to pray in another way or I can feel that I need to re-word it in order for it to make sense (to me), or I can feel an answer the moment the question is asked.  It's such an awesome feeling to ask a question that I've been struggling with for a long time and He will provide me with what I should do.  And, if I do it (which is obedience) my heart and soul will be at ease.  If I don't do what He tells me (which is stubborn disobedience) then I feel ill-at-ease and have no peace. That, in itself, is an answer to prayer!

So, it's okay to ask God questions!  He is our Father in Heaven and we are His children.  He loves us. He cares about us.  He understands us because He created us.  Ask. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Busy, Busy

Cute.  : )

It's been a week of getting back into the swing of things now that fall is officially here (although our weather feels like it's summer - what heat!).  But I'm beginning to write lists for my scratch cooking again and buying certain ingredients to have on hand in the pantry for making so much of what we eat.  Here is my make instead of buy list:

Salad dressings
French fried onions
Whipped cream
Cake flour
Brown sugar
Maple syrup
Brownies, cakes, cookies, pies
Coffee creamers
Pizza seasoning mix
Taco seasoning mix
Dill dip seasoning mix
Cream-of soups
Pizza dough
Pie crusts

The ingredients for all of these things costs SO much less than actually buying the product.  And some of the ingredients will last for several times, so it really is a savings.  Again, I would encourage you to take another look at your grocery list and look at the items you could make instead of buy. There  ARE ways to save money if we're willing to do a bit more work.  But really, how much work is it to put a few ingredients together to create a product?  : )

My Wednesday morning Bible study began this week.  It's a study about the friends of Jesus.  It makes you really think of what kinds of friends we look for and what kind of friend we are to others. Availability is an important aspect along with compassion and understanding.  Our first lesson was about Simon the leper and how he was, at one time, a very important person in the community and then got leprosy and was ousted from the city gates.  Taken from his family and friends and lived among other lepers.  Until Jesus came to him.  With the touch of Jesus he was healed and restored. His life was never the same after that - it was better.  What kind of friend can we be today?  Can we make someone's life a bit better?

And then, the last two days of this week has been all about getting into our basement and going through more stuff.  Oh my goodness.  Bags and bags of things gone.  Some hard decisions had to be made (and I was in just the right mood to do it!) as to what we're going to keep (for now) and what we're giving up.  Why do our THINGS have such an emotional hold on us?  But they do, don't they? I have to admit that I was pretty ruthless.  If we haven't used it in the past year, gone.  If we have no room for it, gone.  And so on...........I'm just feeling the need for less and less as I get older and older. The truly amazing thing is that I have SO much more to go through!!!!  Good grief.  But it does feel good.  : )

One last thing before I go - this morning I was thinking of all the fun and laughter we had as a family (when ALL of us were younger) during this time of year.  Fall has a way of wanting us to get out. There seems to be a lot to do in the fall - pumpkins to buy and carve, apple orchards to visit, cleaining up the yard and pulling out the old annuals, making a scarecrow with the kids, baking cookies, going for walks, raking up leaves, having a fire, etc.  I want to remind you (if you have kids or grandkids), to go and do some of these things now.  Make memories now and don't wait for the perfect time - that time may not happen.  Time goes so VERY quickly.  Our only son is getting married two weeks from today and I look back at all the trips we took and funny car rides and educational outings and we'll never regret doing that.  The only regrets we have are the times we could have done more and didn't. There has to be that someone in the family who gets things going, you makes the plans - let that be you!  It's SO very hard nowdays to be spontaneous.  So there has to be some planning but with the right frame of mind and the willingness to do it, it can be done.  If money is an issue (as it is most of the time) then planning is even more important.  But do it.  You won't be sorry.  : )

May God bless this day and upcoming weekend.  Thanks so much for your visit - I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by!!!!  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon

Another zoo day picture.  What a face.  : )

Just a couple of things to post about.  I did try another Pumpkin Pie Spice coffee creamer recipe and love this one.  Just a note:  this is not for those who count calories!  Yum.


14 oz. heavy whipping cream (I used half and half instead)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used our homemade version)
3 Tbsp. pumpkin, canned
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1, 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Pour all of these ingredients into a blender to combine.  Fills one quart jar (which is going to last a long time or dividing it up in smaller jars would make a good gift for someone - but make sure to keep one for yourself!).  : )  Of course, this would be kept in the fridge.

I love adding OxyClean to our whites when doing laundry but noticed that I didn't have any on the shelf.  I then reminded myself that I stopped buying it because I had a "recipe" for a homemade version and here it is:


1 cup washing soda
1 cup peroxide

Mix together and add whatever amount you need for your whites and soak.  That's it!  I can buy large bottles of peroxide at the dollar store and washing soda can be bought anywhere - even the laundry aisle of the grocery store and it's very inexpensive.  Hope you can give it a try.  : )

Our menu for the week:

Tonight:  Spicy Penne' Pasta with a green salad
Wednesday:  turning out to be an eat-on-the-run night so nothing planned
Thursday:  Oven-baked French toast (which we were supposed to have Sunday!) bacon, fruit
Friday:  Hamburger Soup, toasted English muffins, fruit
Saturday:  a take-out night
Sunday:  Chow Mein over rice, stir-fried green beans, ice cream pie for dessert
Monday:  Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, quinoa, baked sweet potatoes
Tuesday:  Oven-baked salmon, pasta w/tomato sauce, steamed broccoli

To make:  always the breakfast granola, cinnamon rolls to use up the yeast, and a batch of Cinnamon baked donuts for tomorrow afternoon's treat.

That's it for today.  Thank you so much for dropping by - I always appreciate your visit.  God bless.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Afternoon

There are subtle changes in the leaves with fall approaching.  Today is so nice and cool and the sky has that clear blue look to it.  I could have fall all year-round.  So pretty.

Most of the time, at this point in the week, I'm looking back at the week to see what has happened, what was learned, what was done.  I'm constantly amazed at how much can happen within a 24-hour period of time.  We begin with our plans and then things change and we have to re-group and begin again.  We can go from being happy to being sad, to being content and discontent all within those few hours.  

I keep thinking of the people in Texas and Florida who are cleaning up after the hurricanes.  I keep thinking of a friend from church who fell last week and it was so bad she ended up having to have a hip replacement.  And so many more - one day everything was "normal" and now, not.  

Time spent with the Lord in the morning hours helps in gaining perspective on what's important and what is not.  That's NOT an easy thing to learn.  There are battles to be fought and there are times to call a truce. 

My friend and I often talk about how the world is so gray.  Very few want to believe that there are absolutes anymore.  No black and white issues - it's just gray.  So while we figure out what is right and what is wrong, and what battles are worth the effort, we can also get off-track.  The compromise - which can be okay - you can agree to disagree on the small stuff.  But the small stuff to one person can be a big deal to others.  

There is always this tug-of-war and it gets tiring.  That's why getting into God's word, staying in His word, and studying His word is of utmost importance in days like these.  The God who created the world and everything and everyone in it knows it all.  There are no surprises to Him.  We need to pray for insight and understanding and guidance and direction.  He knows what areas in our life we need to learn from.  It's those hard lessons that bring about change (or should).  Even if it leaves you feeling worn out.  

May God grant us the strength and wisdom this week to take whatever is thrown at us.  He is the Teacher of all our days - let's learn together and grow together as the body of Christ.

Thank you for your time - enjoy your day.  : )

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What to Cook, What to Craft, What to Wear

Fall has a way of getting me in the mood to prepare.  I begin looking through magazines for crafting ideas, I take the recipe books off the shelf to look for new recipes, I start cleaning closets to prepare for a whole new way of dressing with the coming of fall and, dare I say, winter.  : (

Yesterday I sewed my granny square pieces together:

I think I'm going to make just one quilt square out of this so it can be framed, so I'll have to match up a background fabric and attach it and quilt it.  : )

Although there isn't a photo to attach, I also continued to embroider my Christmas tablecloth.  One side finished, one side to go.  I LOVE embroidery - what a relaxing thing to do.  My mom embroidered all the time.  She was always working on something - pillowcases and dishtowels mostly.

Most of the morning was spent in the kitchen:

This is the other item I bought at JoAnn's the other day.  It's a donut pan.  I have wanted one of these for such a long time so I saw it and bought it and made my first batch of donuts yesterday.

a little messy, but they tasted great.  Lemon glazed donuts.  Yum.

I don't fry foods in the kitchen mostly because we don't have an exhaust system, but also because of the mess it causes.  For a mid-week treat we buy donuts during our grocery shopping trip just to have a mid-afternoon treat with a cup of coffee.  Well, now I can make them!!!  : )

Then I got around to this:

The jar on the left is homemade fudge sauce (because we like a chocolate sundae on Sundays), the jar on the right is homemade pancake syrup (because tomorrow we will be having French toast for our Sunday meal), and in the little jar in front is homemade pumpkin pie spice coffee creamer (which didn't turn out exactly the way I'd like so I'll have to tweak it a bit and see what I can come up with).

Then, this:

we ran out of our breakfast granola.


boiled our weekly eggs.  So handy to have on hand for a topping on a salad, or egg sandwiches, or just to have one to snack on.

I didn't do this yesterday, but one thing I thought I'd better do earlier this week is to go through the closet and pull out all the clothes and see what is what:

I don't know about you, but I always feel I have nothing to wear until I pull everything out.  Yeah.  I have plenty to wear.  : )

It was fun to group things together (top with skirt, dresses with sweaters, etc.).  I found some really old, dingy stuff that got pushed back so I got rid of those.  Took some summer things downstairs to be stored.  Wrote down some needs that I'll have to pick up soon.  Then put everything back.  So much easier to get dressed when everything is organized.  (Now we'll see how long it will last!)

Now, it's a new day.  I have some things brewing in my head so we'll see if I actually get to them.  I've kind of neglected the housework this week so I know that will be a priority.  What do you have going on today?

Thanks for dropping by - your visit means a lot.  God bless your day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Busy and Emotional Week

A pretty view from a walk with a friend.  : )

This week has been (and continues to be) a busy week.  We are coming down to the wire with a wedding in 3 weeks.  Errands and appointments and the day-to-day things to get done.  I don't ever mean to be dramatic - I know that other people have far more things going on than we do - but I think each of us handles things differently.  I get tired quickly when there is a lot going on and when I get tired I get emotional and when I get emotional.....well.....I need to do something different if only for a morning.  And that's what I did today.

I took almost 3 hours this morning to be by myself and walked every. single. aisle. at our local JoAnn's fabric and craft store.  I just took in all the fall color in the wreaths and decorations and fabric.  I got a couple of ideas and wrote them down.  I even bought a few things.  The one thing that I tried years ago was cake decorating and it's something I've wanted to practice, so I bought the bags and the tips and a beginner's book.  I'm baking a cake this weekend anyway, so it will be the perfect time to practice.  : )

Some aisles I don't have much interest in (I'm not a woodworker, etc.) but it's fun to look anyway. And I'm WAY behind in knowing what's new out there in the crafting/sewing world so I had fun looking at all the stuff to make crafting/sewing more efficient.  One of those things (which I bought) was this:

they are octagonal stiff paper pieces to help you cut and make octagons!

Seriously, I don't get out much.  LOL  I know all you crafters/sewers/quilters know about this already but it's a first for me.  I LOVE it!  One of my favorite quilts of all time is the old granny quilt that uses these octagons throughout and now I can cut my own.  They're sooooo cool - you just use the template for cutting and then baste the fabric on:

these are all basted and I just put them together to see what it will look like before stitching together.

After stitching them together, you take the basting out and pull the paper template out as well.  Fun! Can't wait for the final product.  

I bought a couple of other things that I will show later - if it works out and looks okay.  ; )

So, that is that.  I am home feeling a touch bit better than when I left this morning.  Looking at such fun and pretty things just takes me away from everything else for a while.  It works that part of the brain that wants to think things through and plan on stuff that has nothing to do with anything else.

Hope to see you again soon - thanks SO much for stopping by.  God bless.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Never Forget

A piece of the World Trade Center.

With sadness today, we remember the horrible terrorist attacks on the United States sixteen years ago. Along with everyone else in this country, I remember that morning.  The shock.  The fear.  The unbelievable sorrow.  And knowing that our world would never again be the same.   I was glued to the television watching the accounts over and over again trying to process it all until it became too overwhelming.

Sixteen years later, the tears still flow.  And I hope with each and every anniversary they don't stop flowing.  We cannot forget the lives that were taken.  We cannot forget the heroic acts.  Can we stop, and remember? Can we please put aside the hate and the differences and just reflect on what happened? And pray for those who lost their loved ones and for those who are forever changed by this?  

Never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Sometimes, because what we say doesn't even come close to what we feel, I hope you read (or listen to) this prayer by John Piper in regards to the hurricane:

May God lift your hearts up to Him today.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


A fun outing with friends at the zoo.

One thing that I like to do is to try to motivate people.  I think we all just get into such a rut and routine, that we can't think outside the box.   To look around at things we could and should be doing not only for our own good but for the good of others.

I'm pretty sure it's the Fall season that does it for me.  Like New Year's Day, the Fall season is almost like starting new.  Remember the new crayons, the new notebooks, the new books, the new clothes? The cool air revives and everything pumpkin is out.  A friend just bought me my first pumpkin latte the other day!  : )  Yum.

There are SO many things to get us out of the rut and routine.  But motivation is key.  Asking questions like:

*what do I REALLY enjoy doing?
*what will it take to actually do it?
*what supplies, if any, do I need to accomplish it?
*will this be something for myself or someone else?

There are four areas of our life that need to be nurtured - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

*am I getting the proper exercise daily?
*am I eating properly?
*do I read every day?
*do I do things that take more mental exercise - puzzles, crafts, studying something new?
*do I allow myself a good cry once in a while?
*do I put care into others' needs or do I just live for myself?
*do I go to church on a regular basis?
*am I involved in Bible study?

It's these kinds of things that make life alive and interesting.  It can help us when we feel lonely and depressed.  It can get us off the couch.  The old saying that "a body in motion tends to stay in motion" is true!  Once we have a plan and then work to carry it out, we naturally want to do more.  

We tend to go through the motions of our daily life - get up, go to work, go to bed.  But there is so much more to it.  It can be better than that.  And attitude is a big part of whether we are doers or just sit on the sidelines and watch.  I know that we need to give ourselves a break once in a while, but it's dangerous when we let that break become the norm.  We were meant to do and give and create and think.  

So, I would greatly encourage you to think of something today that will give you joy.  What does that look like?  Let today be the day that will change you and excite you and motivate you.  It doesn't have to be a big major project that will only frustrate - start small - just one thing.  See what happens. 

God bless your day and weekend!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

That Fall Feeling

Can you feel it too?  The feeling that change is in the air.  The seasonal change from summer to fall.  It happens every year, but it's always a nice surprise.  : )

The "getting ready" sets in and things start to happen:

*baking pie (blueberry from canned blueberries in the pantry) -

Note to self - make pie crusts for the freezer!  I don't know why I don't do this as they are so quick and easy to make.  Having said that, I'm comparing lard crust (which I made above), to using vegetable shortening, and then an all butter crust to see which one we like best.  The lard crust was very good and, of course, better for you.  : )

*making chicken noodle soup with the remains of our Labor Day chicken:

The finished product was good - because of all the spices that went on top of the chicken, the broth ended up a bit spicy as well which was kind of fun for a change of pace.  Sometimes chicken broth can be a bit bland.

*and this is what my husband is up to -

He is making barn quilts.  We are both working on our Etsy shop trying to get things into the shop for the upcoming holiday season and this is going to be his contribution.  I think he found something that he truly likes to do!  This particular one is ours.  : )  It went up on the fence this morning.  Of course we don't have a barn, so this is a miniature version (2' x 2').  We are going to try to get another one he made into the shop tomorrow.  Fun!

So, we are working hard at keeping busy, both with creativity and the daily chores around the house. 

I will finish up for now and hope to talk again soon!  God bless.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Chicken Recipe

This is a recipe that a friend told me about months ago, but hadn't tried it until yesterday for a simple but good meal for Labor Day.

Here it goes:


4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 large whole chicken
1 cup chopped onion

Combine all the spices.  Remove the giblets from the chicken.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry.  Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure that it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin.  Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 pan.  Seal with foil and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to roast the chicken, stuff the cavity with the onions.  Roast, uncovered, at 250 degrees for 5 hours.

After the first hour, baste the chicken with pan juices every half hour to 45 minutes.  If you don't have enough juices after 3 hours to baste, add 1 cup of water to the pan.  Let the chicken rest about 10 minutes before carving.

*Just a note here - I didn't read the directions first - I just went ahead and put the rub on the chicken right before putting it into the oven.  I didn't refrigerate it overnight.  But it was still really good.  Juicy, moist, and VERY flavorful.  But next time I will try the overnight thing and see if there is any difference.  Hope you can give it a try!!!!  : )

Sorry.  I forgot to take a picture of the chicken BEFORE takings the legs off!!  It does look better with the legs on.  LOL

Here's another thing that I'll do more often - baked potatoes in the crockpot!  There was only the two of us yesterday, so I got my little crockpot out, washed a couple of baking potatoes, poked them a couple of times and dropped them in.  Put the lid on and set it on High for 4 hours and they were perfect.  So between the chicken baking all afternoon in the oven, and the potatoes in the crockpot, all I had to do was boil a couple ears of sweet corn and called it good.  : )  So simple.

A good meal all the way around.

That's it for tonight.  Again, a busy day and I'm tired so I'll go and relax a bit.  God bless.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This whole morning for us here at home has been on the topic of generosity.  It began while my husband and I were watching a morning television program while eating breakfast.  The program admitted that it was kind of risky asking people to stop being SO generous.  Every time a hurricane hits, or an earthquake in other countries, or tornadoes, or floods, or all of the above, our generous nature kicks in.  We all want to do something, to give something that might help out.  But our generosity can turn into disaster.  We need to stop.  And think.  What really would be best?

This program showed tons (literally, tons) of food, water, and clothing going to waste because there is NO room to store these things!  This is, of course, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey but they were showing other parts of the world as well.  And after viewing it, it made SO much sense.

Yes, there is great need.  But giving money is THE best thing we can do.  In saying this, we all need to be careful in WHERE we give.  Unfortunately there are many scams out there so be sure that when you give, give to someone reputable - someone (organization) that you've heard of and can be trusted. Franklin Graham's Samaritans Purse is one, the Salvation Army is another.  Do your homework first.

The money then goes to the actual area in need and they, then, can spend the money locally (which benefits their own community) to buy the actual needs at a specific time.  Not only do they have to find temporary housing for people who lost everything, let's not inundate them with stuff.  It's a WONDERFUL thing to want to be generous and to want to help, but let the organizations who are staffed and expert in this kind of thing be the ones to figure it out.

I know everyone feels that there is no way they can give financially.  I understand that.  We have been through seasons here where we have had very little, and then there have been seasons of being better off.  But, truly, ALL of us can give something.  Even if every person gave $10 or $20, can you imagine how much that would add up to?  And, I'm always of the thinking that if we give, God is able to multiply it.  Not everyone can give hundreds or thousands of dollars (though I think we would all love to be able to do that), we can give SOMETHING.  

Then, our sermon in church today was on generosity.  Time and time again, the Bible teaches that when we are generous it not only helps the people we are helping, but it also gives back to us in feeling that we've done our part.  We are not called to be tight-fisted, but give generously with open hands.  It is God who gives to us and we are to give back.  It's not a suggestion, it's a command.  And if you feel you haven't any money to give, remember the Bible story of the widow's mite - Jesus commended her giving not because she was like others who gave out of their wealth, but because she gave out of her poverty.

We can make such an impact on the lives of others who really need it if only we remembered that it is not our money.  Though we work for it, God blessed us with the work.  And we can bless others with the fruit of our labor.  Pray about it, think about it, but let generosity flow from your hands.   May God bless this day for you.