Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pumpkin and Lavender

This will be quite the long post, so pardon me as I go on and on.  : )

The first thing I wanted to share with you is a new recipe that I tried on Sunday.  When my husband and I got home from church I warmed up some leftover soup and while that was warming up, I whipped up some Pumpkin Cornbread with Cinnamon Honey Butter.  It totally helped that I had already mixed up the dry ingredients for the pantry shelf so it made it quick and easy.  And we enjoyed it immensely.  So here is the recipe for those of you who would like to enjoy it immensely too.  : )


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
You can stop at this point and put all of these ingredients into a ziploc bag for future use if you would like.

To use the mix:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk the above mix into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1 cup canned pumpkin.  Mix in 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 eggs and mix until well blended.  Pour this mixture into the flour mixture just till combined and no streaks of flour remain.

Spray an 8 x 8 pan and pour batter in, spreading it into an even layer.  Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or till toothpick comes out free of batter.  Cool slightly and then cut into squares.  Serve with the:


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whip butter till smooth - add honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon till combined and then till light and fluffy.  YUM.  : )

I feel like I'm gaining a little weight lately - gee, I wonder why?  : o

The next thing is to give you a recipe for a scented vinegar rinse for your laundry.  I'm still doing the soaking thing with my clothes, but I wanted to add a scent to the rinse water along with the vinegar, so I found this:


Using 1/4 cup vinegar in your laundry's rinse cycle keeps clothes soft (no more expensive fabric softener!).  You can set aside a vinegar jug just for laundry and add about 2 dozen drops of your favorite essential oil (I use lavender) to the vinegar - or use as much as you feel is necessary.  You'll need to be careful in using EO but I'm finding when it's diluted like this, it's just a hint of lavender and the clothes really are softer and sweeter.  

The other product I'm using is a:


This is wonderful on sheets and pillowcases.  Lavender is a soothing smell and it helps for a good night's sleep.  In a jar combine 2 Tbsp. witch hazel and 10 drops of lavender EO.  Place lid on and shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine.  Open jar and add 6 Tbsp. water.  Replace lid and shake another 15-20 seconds to combine.  Pour mixture into small spray bottle and then spray onto the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases.  VERY DREAMY.  : )

And then I wanted to share an idea that some of you have probably already heard of.  It was new to me until last Christmas when my friend told me that she and her husband received two of them for the Advent season in December.  It was such a loving and meaningful gesture for them at the time that I really wanted to do one this year for someone.  It is called an Advent Basket.  You gather 25 gift items (one for each day of Christmas beginning with the first Sunday in Advent) and then you wrap them and number them if you'd like for each day.  Put them all in a basket and think of someone you would like to bless (actually, I think you should have a person in mind before you purchase your items so that it can be personalized somewhat - if it's for a man, obviously what you buy is going to be a little different than if it's for a woman).  The basket is given anonymously so that means you will have to ask someone to deliver it to the recipient.  Then when they open the last gift you'll also have a little note or card telling them who gave it to them (you).  My husband and I went on a shopping spree one day and then yesterday I had the fun of wrapping everything up.  I did it early so that I could post it ahead of time hoping to spur all of you on to do one yourself for someone you know that might need a lift during Christmas.  Here is the "before" picture:

Here is the "after" picture:

All ready to be put into a basket.  I already know to whom this is going and I already have someone who will be willing to take it to her.  : )

If you've ever watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", at the end when he likes Christmas after all and feels love and care, you'll see the heart inside of him grow bigger until it almost pops out of his chest.  Well, that's truly how I felt yesterday in putting this together.  My heart was just so excited in knowing that just maybe I can bring joy to someone this year.  I hope you can give this a try. If you think that there isn't anyway you can afford to do this, it is VERY do-able!!!  And the gifts are not meant to be expensive or extravagant.  I think that would make the recipient uncomfortable.  These are gifts that can be used and used up and meaningful.  Here is a list of ideas for the gift items to purchase:


*snack foods
*body wash
*coloring book and colored pencils
*note cards
*warm socks
*fridge magnet
*tea or coffee packets
*nail polish
*an ornament
*pretty paper napkins
*microwave popcorn
*canned cookies
*Vitamin C lozenges
*gel pens
*dried fruit
*LED night light
*picture frame
*takeout cup
*hand lotion
*coffee cup
*word find or crossword puzzle books
*paper clips
*planner or calendar
............and you could add to this list easily!  Just think of someone who might be struggling right now - loss of a loved one, loss of a job, stressed out, health issues, etc. and bring some brightness to their lives.  It's a little thing with big impact.  'Tis the season for giving!!!!!

And, lastly, if you haven't realized it yet, tomorrow is November.  Seriously?  Yes.  So, as with every month, I will post the November to-do's.  Fortunately it's not a lot, but just enough to keep up with the care of your home.  Here they are:

*winterize your trees and shrubs so those rabbits don't ruin everything!
*last minute garden clean-up
*clean out your gutters
*test and hang Christmas lights
*winterize your cars - air in tires, the right oil, windshield washer fluid, extra blankets, etc.
*start planning Thanksgiving (I'll have another basket to show you soon!) - will you go somewhere, will you have company, what will you bring, what will you serve, etc.
*start Christmas shopping - November is perfect to do some holiday preserving and baking for gift giving.

That's it!  Not bad at all. 

And, I think that's it for this post too.  Can't think of anything else.  Thank you for dropping by for a visit - I love it when you do!  : )  God bless.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

To Tell the Truth

My husband and I do get up early every day (except Saturday - but even then I think I sleep in maybe a half an hour later), but one day this past week my husband had a very early meeting so I was able to hear James McDonald from Walk in the Word radio broadcast (which you can always listen to on-line).  His message was on John 5: 1-9.  He is one of my favorite teaching pastors on the radio because he says it like it is.  No feel-good theology (unless, of course, it's biblical!).  And what he was sharing hit home with me.  I've been thinking about it since and wanted to share it with you too.  Here is the passage he was reading from in the Bible:

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.  Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.  Here a great number of disabled people used to lie-the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.  While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The emphasis in Pastor McDonald's sermon was Jesus' question to the invalid - "Do you want to get well?"  And the message was about how we pray.  How we ask for certain things and outcomes in our own lives.  And how we sometimes have excuses as to why things and circumstances are the way there are and how we just can't seem to get victory over them.  And then comes the question.  "Do you REALLY want this?"

The reason this hit home for me is that there have been three specific prayers that I've been praying for for quite a while now.  One is for a specific health concern, the other two are about relationships.  After hearing this message, I really had to think about what and how I've been praying.  And I have to admit, that I could honestly say "yes" to two of the three requests and "no" to the other!  I THOUGHT I was praying honestly for the one I said "no" to, but in all honestly, I guess not.  The other two were definite.

I think Jesus was trying to pull this honesty out in the invalid.  Do you really want to get well or are you comfortable in the state you're in?  On the outside, yes, you're coming to the pool every day and every day you're making the excuse that the reason you're not getting well is because you can't get into the pool fast enough, so you go home and start all over again the next day.   I was finding that same mentality in myself.  The one relationship that I was praying about I absolutely wanted healing and restoration, and for the other relationship I found that I was going through the motions because I thought that's what I should be praying for but not feeling it in my heart.  Jesus knows that - he just wanted me to know that.  

Nothing is coincidence in this life.  God directs and composes and orchestrates our lives in how He sees fit.  It wasn't coincidence that we had to get up extra early that morning.  It wasn't coincidence that I just happened to hear a message that He knew I needed to hear.  Because ever since I heard what I needed to hear and prayed how I needed to pray, I have received a "peace that passes all understanding" ever since.

God wants us to be truthful in our talking to Him.  He knows and sees our heart.  He knows when we are fake and pretending.  The truth is for our sake.  It relieves our heart and mind so that we don't have to waste precious energy on covering up.  Be honest.  God is God.  He can take anything and work it for good.  Trust Him enough to allow it to happen.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  When you have your next prayer time, tell the truth and see what happens.  

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pumpkin Party

Photos from our 2nd annual pumpkin carving party!  Aren't they wonderful?!  There were 11 of us last night with lots of fun, silliness, and laughter.  Just what this quiet, old house needed.  : )  Memories were made.

I began on Thursday preparing for this time together and enjoyed every minute of it.  And yesterday was the most delicious day as far as weather went - windy AND snowy!  THE perfect time to bake cookies.  There was a moment when my husband had to run a couple of errands so while he was gone on put Pandora on and listened to Christmas music!  : )  Oh, the nostalgic feeling was running high.  Warmth, baking, hospitality....the things of home.

Our menu consisted of a baked potato bar (the potatoes in the Crockpot is one of the best time-savers of all - wash them, put them in, bake on High for 4 hours - done), with all the fixins' (cheese sauce, crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, sour cream, butter).  Oh yum.  To go with the potatoes, I tripled the Quick Chicken Taco soup.  And for dessert, I baked a cookie platter consisting of molasses crinkles, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies.  We provided a variety of soda pop, water and the Keurig seemed to be going throughout the evening with a variety of coffee, apple cider, and tea.

Now today is the clean-up.  But that will be just as okay as in the preparing.  There is nothing on the calendar today and I can methodically go through the house and put things back and clean the rooms.  The wonderful thing about a small house is that every room gets used.  People are all over the place and I love it.  We're not just sitting around in the living room - we were everywhere!!!!  : )

So, I'd better get to it!!!  I hope you can enjoy your day today.  Thank you for your visit.  God bless.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cornmeal Pancakes

We had cornmeal pancakes the other evening and enjoyed them very much.  I love cornmeal - cornbread, cornmeal muffins, etc., but have never tried pancakes.  This is something that I will make from now on.  I made our homemade syrup and served them with bacon.  SO good.  : )  Here is the recipe:


1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. coarsely ground cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix with a fork to distribute all ingredients.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat egg with fork.  Whisk in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Add, all at once, to flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until moistened.  Batter will be thick and lumpy.  

Heat a griddle or large skillet that's been lightly coated with a little oil - over medium-high heat.  Pour batter onto skillet (I use 1/4 cup measuring cup) and cook until bubbles appear, flip and cook until done.  Serve immediately with softened butter and warmed syrup.

A little extra information:
*to keep the pancakes warm until serving, heat the oven to about 200-250 degrees and put a rack on a baking sheet - as soon as the pancakes are done, put them on the rack in the oven until all are finished.
*always have a pancake mix in your pantry by combining the first 6 ingredients and put it into a ziploc bag - label it, date it, and put the rest of the directions in your recipe book or box so it's ready to make when you're ready to eat!
*I have the powdered buttermilk in the fridge at all times for use in other recipes, so along with the dry ingredients in the ziploc, I measured 4 Tbsp. of the powdered buttermilk and added it to the rest.  When substituting the liquid buttermilk in the recipe, I just added 1 cup water instead.  The only thing I need to remember about this is that the powdered buttermilk needs to be refrigerated, so the packets of pancake mixes will need to be stored there instead of on the pantry shelf.

The finished product.  Not exactly Instagram-pretty photos, but this is the best I can do! LOL

Thanks for dropping by!  God bless.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tuesdays in the Kitchen

Our sunset last night.  SO beautiful.

Tuesdays are definitely my time to be in the kitchen.  It always begins with doing my menu for the week and then the subsequent grocery list that follows.  While doing both, I'm checking the freezer, the refrigerator, and the pantry shelves to see what I have available and then to notice what needs to be used up before buying more.

On a pantry shelf in the basement I have two big bowls - one holds onions and the other holds potatoes.  So in looking at the potatoes, I could tell that they really should be used up and since my menu didn't call for a side dish of potatoes in the next couple of days, I decided to peal, quarter, and boil them to mash (because I am going to have mashed potatoes on Sunday with a beef stew).  Mashed potatoes can be frozen so that's what I did!  : )

We are then having our son and daughter-in-law over for supper tonight, so some food prep for that had to happen.  We are having Stromboli, lettuce salad, and homemade ice cream (they love ice cream).  : )

Lastly, I made a brownie mix that goes into a quart jar (this will be used at the end of the week for a pumpkin carving party):

These are our favorite brownies by far.  They are the moist kind, not the cake-y kind.  Here is the recipe:


1st layer - Combine 1 cup flour with 1/2 tsp. salt
2nd layer - 6 Tbsp. baking cocoa
3rd layer - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
4th layer - 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
5th layer - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
6th layer - 6 Tbsp. baking cocoa
7th layer - 1/4 cup each - white and semi-sweet chocolate chips

To bake:  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or what I like to do is make a sling with 2 sheets of foil - still greased - for ease of taking them out of the pan).  Whisk brownie mix in a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup melted butter, 3 eggs, beaten, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Spread into pan.  Bake till toothpick comes out with a few crumbs still left on it, approximately 35 minutes (your nose will tell you! Yum!)  Cool.

I have given these as gifts - so welcome for a busy person that would still like to bake something homemade - everything is all measured out for them.  : )  Again, I hope you give it a try!!!!!!!  

That's it for today - thank you for dropping by for a short visit.  God bless.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

I want to do some sewing this afternoon, so I thought I'd get this to you first.  : )  A while ago I had mentioned trying one of two recipes that I found using applesauce and this is the one I chose.  It is SO good, so moist, so easy.  I have often read of recipes that use applesauce in recipes for moisture but have never tried it before.  I will make this often.  Again, my mom would call it a snack cake - a single layer pan (but it makes two - one to eat now and one for the freezer).  Hope you can try it!  : )


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
2 cups applesauce
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 cup miniature chocolate chips (I didn't have these so I just used the normal size - I think it would have been prettier with the miniature though)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2, 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients except chips and mix well.  Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and return to oven to melt slightly.  Cool well.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, or it's great on it's own.  SO yummy!!!!

Have a blessed day.  : )

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Is God Worth the Time and Effort?

The above question popped into my head at different times throughout the week.  It takes only seconds to invite Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior of your life and be saved, but it takes a lifetime (and that will be different for all of us because we all accept Jesus at different points in our life) to get to know God and what He wants for our life.

Getting to know God requires time and effort.  It's what should get us up on Sunday mornings and worship Him together as a body of Christ.  It's what should get us to set aside a good block of time to just spend with Him alone reading the Bible and praying.  It's what should help us to seek out small groups to talk about God and reason together and learn together.  It's what should motivate us to help others in their need.  All of these things require time.  We are doing it for Him.  Is God worth it?  It's a very personal and thought-provoking question.  Would we rather sleep in?  Would we rather be self-centered and/or self-indulgent?  Would we rather be a little lazy?  We can give all kinds of excuses - I'm finding that more and more nowadays.  We can rationalize anything if we want to.  But God is God.  He created us - He didn't have to.  He gave us everything we have and enjoy - are we grateful?  How do we show it?  What can we do, starting today, to show God that He is THE most important person in our life?  That we live for Him?

Here might be a few ways for us to take the time and effort to honor our Lord this week:

*go to church - I know that there are people with physical limitations and other reasons why they cannot go and there is grace for them - I'm talking about those of us who can go but don't (*also, be very careful that the church you are going to is speaking truth from the Bible - there are a LOT of watered-down churches now).
*read your Bible DAILY - God has blessed us with this book, we need to read it.
*pray - be grateful, remember God's mercies, pray for others.
*find a group of people that you can study the Bible with and talk things through and meet each other's needs.
*do things on your own that would bless others - we are not here on this earth to be Lone Ranger's - we need to look around and fill the needs of others.  Next week I will show you a couple of ways to do that which is very do-able for most of us.

Is God worth the time and effort?  Is serving others worth the time and effort?  Only you can answer that, but maybe the answer will come a bit easier when you begin to see how the Lord has blessed you and has been there for you.  Have a wonderful Sabbath day - remember it and keep it Holy.  : )

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Homemade Applesauce

October.  Everything apples and pumpkin!  I do wish that October was a month that is two months long!  We have just come out of a week with nothing but blue skies, brilliant leaves, and warm weather.  The weather is still warm today, but the skies are gray, the leaves are still brilliant but now falling due to the "delicious" rain.  Praise God.  We NEEDED the rain!  And as you've read in past posts, I love the rain.  : )  

Anyway, the topic of this post is homemade applesauce.  I keep a few jars of applesauce on my pantry shelf to have at the last moment, but we much prefer homemade.  It's so quick and easy and much more flavorful that I hope you can give it a try.   *A side benefit of cooking applesauce is that your kitchen (the whole house in fact) will smell like Autumn.  : )


In a large pan or Dutch oven, combine 3 lbs. of cooking apples (peeled, cored, and quartered).  Add 1 cup water, 1/3 - 2/3 cup sugar (this will take a little trial and error depending on how sweet you like your applesauce - I used 1/3 cup), and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.  If it seems a bit soupy, I usually leave the cover off for about 10 minutes and continue cooking.  If not soupy enough, just add a bit more water.  Remove from heat and then mash with a potato masher if you like your applesauce on the chunky side or in a blender on puree' for a finer consistency.  Serve warm or chilled.  Stir before serving.

I served this last night alongside homemade sloppy joe's for a rustic, informal supper.  So good.  This makes quit a bit, which is great for a larger family, but if you know you won't be eating it all very quickly (although it does stay fresh in the fridge for a while), it can be put into freezer jars and frozen for the upcoming winter months.

When I was looking through the newest "Capper's" magazine we received, I noticed a couple of recipes that included applesauce - Chocolate Applesauce Cake and Applesauce Blondies.  I haven't decided which one I want to bake today but whichever one I choose and if it's good, I'll be sure to post it.  : )

Before I go, I just noticed a new list of the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticides on them and you might want to consider buying organic, and then the new list of the "Clean Fifteen" that are okay to buy not organic.  Here they are:

Dirty Dozen
Sweet Bell Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes

Clean Fifteen
Sweet Corn
Sweet peas, frozen
Honeydew Melon

There.  Please remember to eat your fruits and vegetables and it doesn't have to be fresh.  If you would rather buy frozen, that is a good option.  But each one of the foods has nutritional value that our bodies need.   The best way to eat them, of course, is in the natural form without cream sauces, etc., but you can find recipes for stir-fries and other ways of preparing them that are so wonderful.  Like I ALWAYS say, I hope you can give them a try!  : )

Well, must go for now.  I have to take advantage of this cozy day.  : )  Thank you all for stopping by - I SO appreciate it.  God bless.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Keep Learning Homemaking Skills

"I love living in a world where there are Octobers."  Anne Shirley

I know memory can be a fickle thing, but I'm not sure when I've seen a more lovely Autumn.  Maybe there has been, but I'm definitely enjoying this one.  : )

Talking about fickle, that word can be used for my back too.  I pulled it out big time so am limping along rather tenderly today.  Ice helps.  Meds help.  Rest, not so much.  It's worse when I sit so am trying to stay as busy as I can.  But I wanted to post this, so it will be rather hurried.

I think it's important for women at home to keep learning.  To keep learning different skills and perfect others.  There is one area that I don't want to learn however - technology.  Seriously, is it going to matter whether or not I have a smart phone and know how to use it?  I think not.  I have no idea what or where the "cloud" is and to be blunt honest, I don't care.  To me that's useless information.  What I DO care about is how to handle a budget, how to cook from scratch, how to get by when money is tight, how to sew (simply, yes, but still sew), how to garden (I'm not a master gardener, but if I have to grow our own food, I'll know how), how to survive if the electricity goes out for a few days, how to stock up, and I could go on.  These homemaking skills have been so very important since the beginning of time and they used to be passed on from one generation to another.  

I have to admit that I had a mom who didn't pass much down to me.  She was always so busy and so tired, I think it was just easier for her to do everything by herself.  So when I got into home economics in high school, and 4-H, I just ate it up.  I loved it.  Although I also have to admit that in the 70's, home economics was getting pretty watered down.  When my oldest sister was in high school in the 50's, she learned how to tailor suits and make clothing from old clothing - things like that.  Things that really mattered and were very helpful.  Albeit, I did learn a few things back then and couldn't wait to have a home of my own so that I could put them into practice.

The love of everything home has never left me.  I still want and need to learn more.  Better techniques, doing things in a more natural and healthy way, how to cook and bake better, etc.  I could say that I "pretend" to be in school still and pull out certain books and magazines from time to time to read and re-read in order to learn more.  Here are just a few:

These 3 magazines are loaded with wonderful, helpful information.

This book no longer had the dust jacket and the binding  had no writing on it, so this is from the inside.

Just a sample of the "food" section alone in this book.

This is where I learned the importance of keeping our cleaning products pure instead of chemical-based.

And I could show more - the different vintage cookbooks that have a ton of old-fashioned, yet never outdated, information along with recipes that are tasty and frugal.  The gardening books and magazines that help with the very basics and you can work your way up to learning the different herbs that benefit your health.  And so on........

Yes, the internet does help too.  But there is something homey about having books around.  You can pull one off the shelf and sit in your comfy corner (did you start one yet?) and just peruse.  On some of the pages of these books and magazines I put tabs on them so when I'm in a hurry, I can just look at the tabs and turn to the appropriate page right away.

Homemaker, please don't stop learning.  It truly is information that is important.  And don't forget to pass it on to your children and grandchildren.  If you are blessed to still have any one of those amazing people around, get them into the kitchen and the garden.  Teach them so that they know how to take care of their own home some day.  : )

Well, I've got to get up.  Thanks for stopping by!!!!!  God bless.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Homemade Stovetop Stuffing

You can't actually see the stuffing mix in this photo.  It is hidden underneath in a chicken casserole I made last night for supper (I will give you the instructions for that too later).  : )

First, I will need to give you the Poultry Seasoning Mix recipe - that is step one.


2 tsp. ground dried sage
1 1/2 tsp. ground dried thyme
1 tsp. ground dried marjoram
3/4 tsp. ground dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. finely ground black pepper

Mix well and put in seal-able container.

Step two is:


1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. instant chicken bouillon
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

This you would mix well and put into another container specifically for the stovetop stuffing.

Now, there are two ways to make your stuffing - the baked way or the stovetop way.  I'll give you both.


1 cup diced celery
1 Tbsp. diced onion
1/4 cup butter
4 cups partially dried bread cubes
1 pkg. stuffing mix (above)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten

Saute' the celery and onion in the butter till soft.  Add the bread and seasonings.  Mix well and cool slightly.  Add 1 1/4 cups chicken broth and the 2 eggs, beaten.  Bake in a casserole for 1 hour (30 minutes covered, 30 minutes uncovered).


1 cup diced celery
1 Tbsp. diced onion
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg. stuffing mix
1 1/4 cups chicken broth

Saute' celery and onions in the butter.  Add chicken broth and seasoning mix.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the bread cubes.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Cover; remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

This stuffing is as good, if not better (in our opinion) than the store-bought version.  Full of flavor!!!  It's good to make the Poultry Seasoning Mix, the Stuffing Mix, and have cubed bread in the freezer for ease of preparation.  It goes together so quickly that way.  I hope you can give it a try!!!!  One less thing to buy at the store!!!!  : )

And now for the Chicken Casserole.  I just put this together with no recipe really but here it is:


Grease a casserole dish well with butter.  Put anywhere from 2 - 4 cups of cooked chicken on the bottom.  Add a small can of drained mushrooms (optional) on top of the chicken.  Pour that delicious stuffing on top of the mushrooms and chicken to cover completely.  And then top it all off with a can of cream-of-chicken soup mixed with about 1/3 cup water.  Bake, uncovered, in 350 oven for 1 hour.  We thought it was very tasty.  It's a wonderful way to use up leftover chicken (or turkey).  Yummy.

Now for a few pictures of our afternoon walk today - the weather here has been just lovely:

Hope you enjoyed the walk.  : )  Bye for now.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Afternoon

Black Hills of South Dakota

"Let me say I believe God will supply all my need, and then let me run dry, with no outlook, and see whether I will go through the trial of faith, or.........sink back to something lower."  Oswald Chambers

I have to admit that I have gone through trials in my lifetime.  You cannot live this life without trial - it's what you do with it that matters.  The trials have brought me low as the above quote says but when I've been brought low it's because of me and my own thinking.  I don't remember a time where I've shaken my fist at God.  The sadness I've felt, the loneliness, the worry, the fear has all been my doing.  I realize that the things that happen to us (or to those we care about) is because things happen.  I cannot blame God.  

We live in a world where there is sickness, illness, death.  I would prefer we all live totally healthy lives.  A world where people aren't what we want them to be and we aren't who we should be with them either.  I would rather like to be perfect and everyone around me to be as well.  A world where we can easily be deceived.  I would rather that all people could be trusted.  A world that is increasingly more violent and immoral. I would rather see purity in everyone. But I'm sure not going to point my finger at God and wonder what's going on.  I'd be a fool to do that.  There is evil in this world and we are sinners in this world.  Reading the Bible will take any confusion about that absolute away.

God is still God and to think He isn't mourning at what He sees happening in this world isn't correct thinking.  He created us and He loves us with an everlasting love.  He sees our need.  He sees our tears.  He sees our pain.  Are we going to sink into despair, or are we going to trust?  Are we going to believe that He WILL supply all our need even in the very worst of times?  It takes all that's within me at times to answer these questions, but I truly believe that God is Emmanuel - God with us.  ALL the time.  I truly believe that Jesus came to deliver us and that He will come back some day so that we will live that perfect life I yearn for.  And I truly believe that God provides His Holy Spirit for us to live day after day in this imperfect world to help us, to teach us, to be with us for the daily strength.  Do you?  Please say yes today.  Please invite Jesus to be your personal Savior today.  It's never too soon and it's never too late.  He is waiting.  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Do You Have A Special Corner?

The photo is dark, but you can see the chair in the corner.  This is pretty much MY corner.  : )  It's where I bring out my embroidery and stitch while listening to some classical music.  It's where my teapot and cups are to have a spot of tea on occasion.  It's where I pull out "Anne of Green Gables" and sit in Marilla Cuthbert's sparkling clean kitchen, or tidy parlor, or the pleasant front porch, or go off with Anne and experience all the people and places in her life.  I can also read "Little House on the Prairie" and watch their family go through the wonderful, happy, times of living off the land, or experience the difficult and devastating times of hardship and need and learning from them what it's like to hang in there.  Or, I can pull a Grace Livingston Hill book off the shelf and read about the next heroine who, through many difficulties, always thinks of ways to be frugal yet beautifully restores something from literally nothing.  In this corner, I sometimes do nothing at all.  Sometimes I sit and daydream.  Sometimes I sit and pray.  Sometimes I sit and think about things.

From this corner I can see into the kitchen so that if something is in the oven, I'm close by to check on it.  I can see the front door (which is always open) and watch the people and cars go by.  I can see into the living area and remember the good and fun times that were had with others as company.  

I really believe everyone needs a corner, with a comfy chair, a place to go that is yours, a place that beckons, a place that will always be there for rest and comfort, a place where you can get away occasionally.  

Do YOU have a special corner?  If not, why not try today to make one.  We all have corners in our rooms and it may seem like they are all taken up with other things, but with a little imagination you could transform a corner into a special corner that, once you have it, will be your favorite place in the house.  Play with this idea.  Of course you will first need a chair.  You will need a lamp.  Add a few loved books that you know you will go to and pull out.  Maybe a couple of green plants.  Maybe some old photos or favorite photos so that when you look up from what you're doing they will be there to look at.  Maybe a pretty rug.  Maybe a foot stool.  Maybe a small table on which to put your tea or coffee.  The fun is in the tweaking.  Sit and use your space for a while and you will immediately feel what you need to change.  I hope you can give it a try!!!!!!  : )

Thank you once again for your visit.  May you have a wonderful day in taking care of your home - it's important work!  God bless you in your efforts.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Easy, Peasy, Taco Meat

Now that it is just husband and me eating at home, I'm cooking up some things that make a lot so that I can fill the freezer for the upcoming winter months.  The other day I baked our favorite pumpkin muffins (it makes 36!) and today I have taco meat in the Crockpot (that serves a crowd).  This is a recipe (if you want to call it that since it has only 3 ingredients) I found last year and served it at our annual pumpkin carving party and we really enjoyed it.  So here is the recipe:


3 lbs. of ground beef (Aldi had a good sale on organic so I'm using that!)
3 cups of salsa (from what I made last week!)
3 tsp. chili powder (of course, more or less to taste)

Brown the ground beef and drain.  Put into Crockpot along with the salsa and chili powder.  Mix well and cook on Low for 4-6 hours.  That's it!!!  Couldn't be easier.  : )  

We will have a taco salad for supper and the remainder goes into the freezer for another time.  We are also enjoying the Honey Crisp apples right now - my goodness - I don't know how an apple can taste SO good.  : )

That's it for today.  Just having a nice day preparing for the weekend (cleaning, organizing, etc.).  Thank you for your visit - I enjoy it when you stop by.  : )  God bless.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Quick, Easy, Rustic Bread

I found this recipe in the "Tightwad Gazette II" book the other night and just had to try it.  So glad I did!  The house smelled amazing and it went perfectly with the homemade chicken noodle soup we had for supper this evening.  I made it all in our stand mixer with the dough hook on - how easy it was.  : )  Hope you can give it a try!


5-6 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
Sesame seeds

Mix 4 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar and salt.  Pour the hot water in and mix for 3 minutes.  Mix in the remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky and mix for another 8 minutes (with the dough hook - this will replace kneading it by hand).  The bowl should be clean and the dough beautifully smooth.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Let rise for 15 minutes.  Punch down and divide the dough into two round pieces.  Place on a baking sheet.  Cut an X on top and brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or poppy seeds).  Place on the middle shelf in a COLD oven.  Place a cake pan of hot water on the lowest shelf.  Heat oven to 400 and bake for 40-50 minutes until a deep golden brown.  YUM.  : )

A little Autumn evening beauty.

"It is not years which make people old; it is ruts, and a limitation of interests.  When we no longer care about anything except our own interests, we are then old, it matters not whether our years be twenty or eighty."  Anna Comstock

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Day After

Wow.  The day after.  Now that it's just husband and me at home this evening, it's hitting us.  He's not here this evening to say "good night" to and he won't be here in the morning to say "good morning" to.  He belongs to another.  The house seems lonely at the moment.  There was something about having that other person in the house to liven it up a bit.  Now it's quiet.  

It's been a busy weekend with carrying out plans, decorating, fixing food, meeting and greeting visitors, photo ops, late nights, early mornings (I even got a few dances in at the reception! - haven't done THAT in years!).  Anyway, we're tired and we're emotional and from what I hear it is as it should be.  Aren't they a cute couple?  : )

I really want to take a long break this week.  There are now things that I'm seriously questioning and need to sort through them.  One of them is this blog.  I have read from other bloggers that they encourage people to comment because that's the only way of us knowing whether or not you enjoy what we write about.  For a long time now, I've been kind of content with no comments because some people (on other blogs) are SO mean and rude and downright awful.  So when I check and see no comments there is almost this sigh of relief.  Whew.  No one thought I was weird or strange or an idiot (those are words from some commentors on another blog that I read).  But now, I'm kind of hoping I'd get some comments just to help me know how I'm doing.  So the question (for myself) is should I continue?  What good does this serve?  Is it just for me?  Am I helping anyone in anything?  Does anyone REALLY care how I do my laundry or what new recipe I've tried?  These are legitimate questions for me and I need to really think them through.

The other is my Etsy shop.  I love being creative but after browsing Hobby Lobby a while back (or any craft/hobby store) I'm constantly thinking of "why would anyone want to buy what I make when they can buy something ten times more beautiful somewhere else"?  So, again, why am I doing it when I only get a sale maybe once or twice a year?  Is it worth it?  

I have to admit that if I stop both of these things there will be time for other pursuits, but I'm even asking what THAT would look like?  So, as you can see, I feel I have a lot of thinking to do and a lot of questions to myself that I need to ask and do a personal inventory.  I'm not exactly looking forward to it, because like I've said in the past, it requires change.  I've been doing certain things in a certain way and now I have to figure out a different way.  The one thing that I have remembered is that I need to give it the Lord for His help.  I know myself well enough that if I try to venture out on my own, I will just end up confused and with no direction at all.  I need His ideas, His strength, His motivation for something in my life and not depend upon myself for the answers.

So, I will be in a lot of thought and prayer this week and hope that the answers will come.  I know there needs to be a change, I just don't quite know right now what it is.  

Thank you for your visit.  Like I've said in the past - I really do appreciate it.  : )  May God bless the rest of this day for you and the upcoming week!!!!