Saturday, March 31, 2018

Last Saturday of March

Well, time is definitely marching on.  Another month ended and a new one ahead.  And, there are things to do and get done in order to keep our homes in order.  The importance of daily, weekly, and monthly chores is so that the work doesn't become overwhelming.  We want to enjoy our homes and not have it become a source of aggravation.

Here is the to-do list for April (remembering that not all of these pertain to all of us - just choose what applies to you):

*Inspect and adjust window hardware
*Replace any cracked windowpanes and/or screens
*Tune up the lawn mower (as I look out this morning at a new coat of snow on the ground this seems a bit odd - but I have hope!)
*Look up (if you don't already know) which trees/shrubs in your yard need pruning - there are some that can be pruned in the Spring and others have to be pruned in the Fall
*Rake up winter debris (right now the debris is definitely covered up)
*Repair your walkways/driveway (up here in the northland, the thaw/freeze cycle really does a number on our surfaces)
*Store your winter clothes properly (unless you still need them LOL)
*Remove storm windows/put screens on (clean them thoroughly)
*Clean out the garage (ours is so dirty from all the winter icks the tires bring in)
*Reseed your lawn (what lawn - again, LOL)  : )
*Put your garden furniture out (and sit in the snow)  : )
*Level your major appliances (houses tend to settle and everything else with it)
*Bring garden hoses out (maybe not until the end of April for us?)
*Clean your BBQ grill (and then have a cookout with your winter coats on sitting on your lawn furniture in the snow!)
*Clean your birdbath(s) - (and then go out every once in a while to chip away at the ice as it freezes over)
*Start preparing your garden beds (except if the ground is still frozen)
*Assess summer clothing needs and tweak your budget if you need to buy a few things 

As you can tell by the above comments after some of the list items, I have been a little sarcastic.  Please believe me that it is all in fun.  Where we live, March and April can be very fickle months.  We have had 80 degree days in past years by now and then I suppose I would be complaining about how hot it is already!!!  So, we take the days as they are, but the to-do list is something to plan ahead for.  Love those lists!  : )

Also, there is a new recipe I tried a couple of days ago and wanted to share it with you because it was very good and it made enough to have for a couple of meals so here it is:


Boston Bibb, Butter Leaf, or Romaine lettuce leaves
1 lb. ground beef
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 Hoisin sauce
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1, 8 oz. can of water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
4 tsp. Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat dry being careful not to tear them.  Set aside.  In a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in oil stirring often; drain and set aside.  Saute' the onion in the same pan till tender, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, stir and let simmer for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the chopped water chestnuts, green onions, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, browned meat and sesame oil and continue cooking until the vegetables begin to wilt.  

To serve, each person spoons a portion of mixture into a lettuce leaf and wrap it like a burrito and then enjoy it!!!!  It does get a bit messy, but who cares - it's really very good.  : )   I served it with rice on the side and fresh fruit.

*What we did the first night was, after wrapping it in lettuce, we also put it inside a small flour tortilla to give it more strength and that worked out pretty well.  The second night, I just ate it in the lettuce leaf, but my husband ate it over rice without the lettuce.  So there are a few ways in which to enjoy this delicious meal.  Hope you can give it a try.  *Another tip would be to make sure you have everything cut up and measured out before cooking as this goes together very quickly.

I'm looking forward to all the Easter work I need to do in preparation for tomorrow.  Lots of things to make ahead of time and thaw out.  Our plans have changed a little (like plans have a habit of doing).  Our daughter-in-law is out of state with her family to a funeral this weekend, so instead of 4 of us, there will only be 3.  But I'm still going to serve the traditional meal after church.  It seems for some holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc.) it doesn't seem like a holiday unless you make it special in some way and do the traditional thing.  So we'll just do it and then have the two of them over for another meal at another time that works.  I'm trying to learn to be flexible (which is VERY difficult for me).   And the fun craft project will have to wait as well.  : (

So, for today:

*make the ham ahead of time so I can just re-heat it tomorrow
*make the fruit skewers
*since we'll be having more of a brunch type meal, I will thaw out all the sweet rolls and muffins
*thaw the potatoes for the cheesy potato dish
*boil the eggs and make the deviled eggs 
*make the dessert (which is undecided at this point as to which one to make)
*set the table

And because I know we will be hungry again towards evening, I will be making ham buns and serve them with chips, relishes, soft drinks and then that undecided dessert.

There.  I think that does it.  So, instead of staying here and talking about it, I'd better get to the days' work!  : )

I pray you will enjoy your own preparations and enjoy your home today.  God bless your efforts!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday

Since you are reading this post today, I'm assuming you have access to it via some form of technology.  So today, on this Good Friday, I'm going to encourage you to use that same technology and look up four passages in the Bible (and, yes, the Bible is on-line) and read for yourself about the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus.  Those passages would be:

Matthew 27: verses 45-61
Mark 15: verses 21-47
Luke 23: verses 26-56
John 19: verses 17-42

I pray that you would take these words and let them sink in.  Let the words show you what Jesus Christ did for us.  They are difficult words to read.  To know that Jesus went through the awful agony of the cross for our sins should make us fall to our knees in gratefulness.  

There has been a part of me from a long time ago that has always wanted - "from the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land." Matthew 27:45  And I have always wanted - "the earth shook and the rocks split."  Matthew 27:51  There is a part of me that says, surely if these things happened now as they happened when Jesus was crucified, surely everyone would come to Christ and know that He is Lord and Savior.  But then the realistic side of me says, no, it still wouldn't be enough for people to come to Christ.  Science would put a spin on it and people would believe that instead.  The media would interview people who are "experts" and their conclusion will be that of a strange phenomena of some kind.  

But in my heart, the readings of the Bible today will pierce my heart.  The fact that God loved me so much that He gave His one and only Son to die on my behalf - to rescue me - to redeem me - is so overwhelming that it will be the only thing that I can think of today.  Until Sunday.  When we feel the joy of His resurrection!!!  Hold on to that in the midst of the darkness.  Hold on to that when you feel like the earth is shaking under your feet.  There is HOPE and His Name is JESUS.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Baked Key Lime Donuts

When my husband retired, he began to go grocery shopping with me on Wednesday mornings.  While shopping we were enticed by the baked goods so we would pick up a donut for each of us and then have it as an afternoon break (which we only take on a Wednesday afternoon).  Well, even though a donut is minimal in cost, I began thinking of why I couldn't just make something at home (it would be, or could be, rather, a bit healthier too).  

I know I posted a baked donut a while back so I wanted to post this one as well because I made these yesterday and again, we enjoyed them.  The lime flavor isn't strong (I suppose you could make it more so) but the hint of lime is nice with a cup of tea or coffee (or milk).

I spent the afternoon in the kitchen yesterday.  I made a new recipe for supper that I'd like to post tomorrow (it was also very good), but with just the prep work and the making of the donuts and then the prep work for the new recipe, it took the whole afternoon.  So, even though I enjoyed being in the kitchen, I felt that I didn't get a whole lot done.  But then, I did enjoy the process of it all so there is a LOT to be said about that.  : )

Here it goes:


1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh key lime juice
1 tsp. key lime zest
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray your donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In separate bowl, mix the yogurt, sugar, lime juice, lime zest, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until everything is incorporated.  Pipe or spoon the batter into the donut cavities (the recipe says that it makes 8 donuts, but I made them in my 6 and it was fine).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Remove donuts from the pan and cool on wire rack.

For the glaze:

Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. in small bowl until combined.  Either spoon the glaze over or dunk.  Allow the glaze to harden for about 10 - 15 minutes.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  : )  God bless your day!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday

I look back on the past week with gratitude.  Grateful for so much even in the midst of trials.   In our Bible study class on Wednesday morning a woman spoke up and said that she is learning that there really can be joy amidst the sadness of life.  And it's true.  The joy of the Lord is our strength.  I think we confuse happiness with joy.  Happy is the external stuff and joy is from within.  The joy from within is what helps us rejoice with a friend or family member in their blessing and it's what helps us to mourn with another friend or family member in their sadness.  You wouldn't think that we could be both at the same time but God truly has given that to us.

The other thing learned in our Bible study on Wednesday was what the author of the study wrote in our study notebook.  We were looking into what Moses went through in the Book of Exodus (I encourage you to read the story of Moses beginning at Chapter 2).  The author made note that Moses had to experience his own desert times before he could ever lead his people out of Egypt into the desert.  Desert times means a time of hardship.  A dry, arid, time of our lives where God seems so far away while we're experiencing difficulty.  Have you had desert times in your life?  A feeling of being alone?  Afraid?  Questioning what your purpose is?  Questioning who God is?  I have never met a person yet who hasn't gone through this.  The only way for us to be of any help to someone else who is experiencing their own desert moments is by us going through them as well.  And it hurts.  And it's hard.  And it seems to last forever (for Moses it was 40 years!).  But once you go through it, once you experience it, you will have the strength and confidence to help someone else.  It's a wonderful lesson to remember because when we're going through it we can't see beyond the next hour let alone think that we will be able to be of any help to anyone.  But God will give and God will lead.  We only need to be patient and have a willingness to learn.

I'm also in the Book of Isaiah in my morning Bible reading and I'm finding a lot of things to underline.  I love it when God's Word speaks to my heart.  That is a gift to me.  Chapter 7, verse 9b says "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all."  To me, standing firm is to stand up for Jesus.  The words from the old hymn - "Stand up, stand up, for Jesus, ye soldiers of the Cross" came to mind yesterday.  I haven't thought about that hymn in a long time, but it came to my mind as if I always sing it.  : )  For we are soldiers, you know.  There is a spiritual battle in this world that wants to do away with Christianity.  As hard as they try, Jesus has already fought the battle with His death and resurrection and He won as we celebrate that next Sunday for Easter.  And as Moses in the desert had to learn the hard lessons in order to become a great leader for his people,  we daily carry our cross as Christ did His.  My crosses have consisted of past hurts, fears, worries, bad habits, disobedience, etc.  And we bear them because of the fallen world in which we live knowing that one day the crosses will be lifted and no longer a burden to us.

Finally, the text in church today for the sermon was, of course, about the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem during the Passover.  As He rides in on a donkey, the people are shouting "Hosanna!" (which means "Save!").  And then this........Chapter 21, verse 10 in the Book of Matthew - "When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "'Who is this?'"  And isn't that a question for us too?  It's a question that we all need to ask but it's a question we all need to answer.  Who is Jesus to you?  How you answer is of utmost importance.  Is He just a good man like so many people think?  Or, is He your Lord and Savior that will one day soon take you as His own?  

So, in closing, we think of Moses and how God prepared him by putting him in difficult times - in the desert so that he could lead his people out of it.  And then Isaiah, who penned the words of God for us to read and reminds us that God is God no matter what the world around us thinks.  And Jesus in His final week before the Cross.  The ultimate sacrifice for mankind.  God's perfect plan of salvation.

Let us come this week with mindfulness.  With awareness.  Read your Bible.  Get it set in your heart and mind about who Jesus really is.  He is a personal Savior.  You will not get into heaven just because all your family members were of some certain religion or that you were a "good" person.  You get to heaven by having a personal relationship with Jesus.  He gave it all for you - He loves you that much.  Let us love Him back with gratefulness and gladness and joy!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday Morning

Early morning sun shining upon the angels.  : )

Saturday once again.  I don't think there is a feeling like knowing it is a Saturday morning.  It's just different.  There isn't this hurried feeling but more of a relaxed slower pace that gently leads you into the day.  It's also different in routine.  For me, I still have my list up in the kitchen of things that I want to get done:

*light housecleaning because I didn't get to it yesterday
*put our homemade spaghetti sauce into the slow cooker
*bake some cookies for the freezer
*address Easter cards
*work on something crafty

but on Saturdays I kind of let it flow and enjoy the process a little more.  During the week I tend to be a bit more rigid only because I know that if I don't do something on a given day, it only becomes one more thing to do on the next day which is usually already full of things to do.  It isn't a bad thing - I don't get overly stressed out about it - I just like getting things done.

So, this Saturday morning I'm still in my jammies with a cup of coffee by my side and visiting with you!  : )

One thing I've done this week that I'm excited about is re-opening my Etsy shop.  If you'd like to visit it and take a look it's at -  I have had this shop since 2010 and have opened it and closed it a couple of times.  But I reopened it because I love to craft and sew and I love vintage items but I can't keep everything so I wanted a place that I could still be creative.  I don't want to give that part of me up because it makes me physically feel better.  There is something very calming and restorative when a person creates.  

I've also been thinking ahead to Easter.  I was thinking back to past holidays when my mother-in-law was alive and she was the one to have the family over for many of the holidays and how nice they were and how much fun we had.  She had the gift of hospitality and it's something we haven't had for many years now.  Well, at this point in our lives, I NEED to bring some of that back.  So I was trying to remember the different things she did.  

One thing was that after we all ate and everything was cleaned up, she would have a family craft time.  She would think up crafts that we could all sit and work on and it was so much fun.  I'm going to do that this year!  I mean there is only so much you can sit and talk about and I'm so done with just trying to fill up time and not have it mean anything and then everyone leaves and it all feels so hollow and there is always that wish that you could go back and do it over differently.  I don't want to feel that way this year.

The craft idea that we'll be working on is decorating birdhouses.  I have bags of pretty stones and bags of moss and pinecones and buttons already, so I will go out and purchase the unfinished birdhouses and some cute architectural embellishments and other things.  I will have to go out and gather up some twigs as well.  They won't be birdhouses that the birds can actually use, but they can be pretty accents for our gardens this year!  : )  I really think it will be fun.  I went on-line yesterday to get ideas and some of them are gorgeous.  SO looking forward to this!

Well, I think that's about it for now.  Thank you SO much for dropping by.  I hope you enjoy the day in your home.  Enjoy it, be creative, think of others.  God bless your homemaking efforts.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Szechwan Shrimp Freezer Meal

Tonight's supper was from a freezer meal that I put together before Christmas and I really wanted to give it a try.  It was excellent!!!!   Here are the directions to put it together for the freezer and then the cooking directions will follow:


For the sauce packet:

4 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Mix well and pour into a small freezer bag.

For the vegetable packet:

Slice 1/4 cup green onions, and mince 4 cloves of garlic

In a large freezer bag:

*add the sauce packet
*add the vegetable packet
*add a 12 oz. pkg. of cooked shrimp
*add a pkg. of precooked rice

Be sure to label your large freezer bag (which should contain 4 packages) and date it.  

The night before you are ready to enjoy this meal, pull your large freezer bag out to thaw everything.   Now, because you have everything ready, this meal goes together SO quickly -

1.  In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil on medium-high heat and take the packet with your green onions and garlic and pour them in and cook for 1 minute.  Now take your shrimp bag and add that to the skillet and stir to cover in oil.  Lastly, take your sauce packet and pour that in and cook and stir until bubbly and thickened.  Turn the heat off and cover.  Meanwhile, take your precooked rice and pour it into a microwave-safe dish and heat up.  There you have it!!!  Done.  Serve with a side of vegetables if you like.  : )

The individual packets.

The onions and garlic in oil.

*I didn't put precooked shrimp into my large freezer bag - I put in a package of the raw peel 'n eat shrimp.  So for that, I had to peel the raw shrimp first and then add it to the skillet and just cook until pink so that took maybe an extra five minutes in the prep part of this meal. 

The wonderful sauce added.

Same photo as above.  Seriously, the taste of this was exactly like what we have eaten in a Chinese restaurant.  It was that good.  The ONLY complaint was that it didn't make enough.  The recipe said that it fed three people so I thought for the two of us it would be enough.  No.  I'll definitely double it next time.  Because there WILL be a next time.  Yummy.  : )

Hope you will try it.  Especially as a freezer meal because I was late in getting to the kitchen today and with everything thawed and ready to go, I had supper on the table in about 20 minutes.  Love that!

Thank you for dropping in for a visit.  So glad you did.  God bless.

Monday, March 19, 2018

White Cake Mix

I love the early morning light in the house.  : )

I've posted before on how I like making homemade pantry items to have on the shelf for ease of cooking and baking.  I had this white cake mix on the shelf for a few months and wanted to try it.  The original recipe says to bake it in a 9 x 13-inch pan, but I always make cakes in 2, 9-inch rounds.  I serve one and freeze the other.  It seems like, unless you want a cake for a special occasion, or you're going to want a bigger cake for more people, one layer is fine for just the two of us.

This cake mix made a very moist and very flavorful cake.  I seriously thought it was exactly what you would find at a bakery and I would even say that if you needed to make a wedding cake, this could do it.  It was that good.

So here is the mix recipe and then the directions on how to pull it all together:


To make 1 jar of mix:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar

Mix everything well and pour into a jar.

To make the cake:

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. shortening (use the white, not the butter-flavored)
3 egg whites
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 jar mix (above)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan (or 2, 9-inch rounds, or cupcake tins although I don't know how many it would make).  Combine everything in a bowl (I used my standing mixer) and mix very well.  Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on which pan(s) you use).  Check for doneness when a toothpick comes out clean, or when you lightly touch the middle it leaves no imprint, or if the cake pulls away from the sides.

I also served this without frosting, just a dusting of confectioner's sugar on top.  And then one day I served it with frozen raspberries that had been thawed and sweetened with sugar to bring out the natural juices.  That was our favorite.  : )  I hope you can give it a try!!!!

Well, that's all I have for you tonight.  It has been a very busy day, and I am very tired so I will be calling it a day and have an evening of rest.  

God bless you in your homemaking - every little thing you do in your home to make it pretty, comfortable, and clean is a blessing.  It's important work!!!  : )

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Sunday Morning in March

I don't know about you, but I can't believe March is half over.  I know that I probably say that about every month, but the way time goes by is astonishing.  Yesterday was a most beautiful day as far as the weather goes.  We went out and about on a couple of errands, but then after lunch we went to a nature center and went for a walk (even though a bit icy on the trails).  We just knew we couldn't stay in the house on such a day.  When we arrived home we took a couple of chairs and sat outside on the patio in the sun to soak it in and warm our bones.  It was rather strange because my chair was right next to a pile of snow that is still almost 3 feet high, yet the sun was so warm that I had to take my jacket off.  Go figure.  : )

My mind has been looking ahead a couple of weeks to Easter.  I was telling our Bible study buddies on Thursday that since I've been saved, I always thought it would be so awesome if Jesus would come back on Easter Sunday.  Can you imagine sitting in church on Easter Sunday morning and be raptured?  And then there is always a part of me who wakes up on the Monday after Easter and is a little sad that it didn't happen.  Obviously my ways are not God's ways and my thinking is not His thinking.  

I know that I am saved and will go to Heaven one day.  I know that because I confessed that I am a sinner and have repented and have been walking in a different way ever since.  I know that I'm saved because Jesus died on the cross - a death that should have been mine.  I know that I'm saved because I believe that He rose again on the third day and lives and reigns now in Heaven.  He is seated at the right hand of our Father in Heaven.  I know that I'm saved because I believe He is coming back again.  And what a glorious day for all believers that will be.  My wanting Him to come back on Easter is a selfish want because when He comes back I know that I'll be with Him.  Forever.

I say that it's a selfish request because there are millions of people on this earth who have not yet put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  And God is waiting.  He is waiting for the right time because He does not want anyone to perish but to have eternal life.  His patience astounds me.  But that's how much He loves us.

How many parents have had wayward children.  They go off on their own without any direction and leave the security of a mother and father and get into trouble.  That's the way it is with us.  Father God is our Father in Heaven and we are His children.  And we, unfortunately, go off on our own and lose our direction and get into trouble.  Just living in this world there is so much pull to go off on our own and forget about Creator God.  Yet He patiently waits for us to come back.  For some they will die before making that decision and will be eternally lost.  How about you?  Will you please make that decision to come to Christ and invite Him into your life so that you will be one of those who will have life eternal?

Jesus just may come back for us this Easter, but then again He may come for us today.  Are you ready?  Let today be the day that you will have certainty in your heart.  

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Genetic Eating

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I'm part Irish, so when this day rolls around, we always do something in a small way to celebrate.  When our son got married, his now father-in-law said that it was so fun to see that everyone was enjoying themselves at the reception without having alcoholic beverages.  And I wish that everyone could enjoy themselves today without the alcohol.   It seems that St. Patrick's Day has turned into a day of drinking.   Even our newscasts are telling people to make sure they have designated drivers which tells me that they are saying "hey, go out and drink all you want but be safe".  Hmmmm...........  All that alcohol does is make you say and do things that you'll regret the next day.  There is nothing good about it.  

When I say that we celebrate in a small way, all it means is that I'll wear green (so I don't get pinched) and serve an Irish meal.  We don't like the traditional corned beef and cabbage, so I make an Irish Stew and bake my Irish Soda Bread to go with it.  That's pretty much it to our celebrating!!!!  But it's still fun.

Speaking of cooking traditional foods, I went to the doctor yesterday just to consult with him on changes in my health.  I needed a professional opinion about certain things and in our conversation, I told him about our eating habits and how I try to cook from scratch for better nutrition and he told me something that was SO very interesting that when I got home I got to work on looking things up on-line.  He was telling me that we all need to go back to where our ancestors came from to help us with what we should be eating.   Even though we live here in the United States, we all come from another country and what our ancestors ate in those countries are foods that, because of our genetic makeup, would be foods that won't (or would lessen) cause us problems such as food allergies or gastric problems.  Before I begin to eliminate certain foods, I was to consider the following:

For instance, there is a certain people group who don't suffer from peanut allergies because the country of their ancestors grew up eating nuts (where they originated from) for the protein it offered and so their bodies can handle it.  Another example is the Inuit people in Alaska.  They eat a high-fat diet and they have low (or no) disease or certain cancers.  But if we ate that same diet, we would get sick from it.  I love this kind of information!!!!

So, I went on-line and got the information I needed.  My ancestory is German and Irish.  My husband's ancestory is Norwegian, English, and Polish.  I looked up all the traditional foods from these countries and wrote everything down and what amazed me more than anything was the fact that most of the traditional foods were foods that we already cook and eat!  So, could it possibly be that the foods that haven't originated in "our" countries are the foods that might give us problems?  It truly is something to consider.

The foods that my husband and I have in common according to what our ancestors ate are:

*Oats, oat flour, oatmeal
*Fish - cod, salmon, oysters, crab
*Cabbage, sauerkraut
*Pork and beef 
*Barley, spelt
*Vegetables and Fruits (especially berries)

I did notice that Ireland and Germany didn't say anything about milk or milk products such as cheese.  Could that be why milk is beginning to bother me a bit?  Whereas on my husband's side, they did mention milk and yogurt.  Again, this is all so very interesting to me.  Our son has bean allergies - well, in my investigating this, there was no mention of any of our ancestral countries eating beans.  So, could that be why it bothers him?  I also know that the foods back then were not genetically modified as they are now, so even if we do eat what our ancestors ate, I would think that I would need to know that it is organic or not genetically modified.

Again, this is what I'm doing for our family.  It will definitely be an experiment and I'm looking forward to seeing what the results will be.  You would have to decide on your own if you want to take this on and then definitely talk to a doctor about it because if you are on certain medications, even if you can eat certain foods, some of those certain foods could react with the medication.  

Well, that's it for today!  Hope you enjoy this day the Lord has made and be glad in it.  : )

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blog Break

Good afternoon!  Just here to say that I will be on a blog break for a while.  I feel that there are things that I need to attend to here at home.  I wish you well in your homemaking and hope to visit with you soon!!!!  : )  God bless you.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


I think more than any other day of the week, I wish I could be out in the country on Sundays.  There is a calmness, a beauty on earth and in sky, that makes us KNOW who God our Creator is.

I look back on the past week on Sundays.  I take note of anything that went well.  Any grace given.  Any lessons learned.  I also think of others who may have had a praise in answer to prayer and think of those who are waiting.  And lift a prayer of thanksgiving for these times.  I also think of people who are truly suffering, who are truly sad, who cannot see beyond this moment.  And I lift a prayer of mercy for these times as well.

While watching an episode of the Walton's, they were facing a difficult time and the father was telling his oldest son that good times and bad times come to us all.  We can't stand around shaking our fist at God - it might make us feel better, but it's not going to change things.  How true.  Although I have never shaken my fist at God in terrible situations (it kind of sounds irreverent to me), I have questioned.  I have asked that question "why" and then as soon as I ask I hear "why not"?  

In my lifetime I have experienced watching others go through some of the hardest things.  My oldest brother being run over by a truck, a brother-in-law killed in a truck/train accident, attending the marriage of a cousin and then a week later at the funeral of them both because of a car accident while on their honeymoon, another brother so filled with cancer that they didn't know where the cancer originated, a sister-in-law who has to spend the rest of her life with a feeding tube, a good friend dying of brain cancer, and now a nephew who is also dying of brain cancer.  And I could go on.  Never once had I thought of shaking my fist at God, but I did ask "why".  And that's okay.  God can take it.  As a matter of fact, He wants to take it.

In Matthew 11: 28-30 Jesus says " Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Jesus has compassion.  And He knows how tough life on this earth is.  He knows the sorrows.  There have been times when I cannot sleep and there is no peace until I get up and read His Word until I can't read anymore and then go back to bed and rest.  There is comfort in God's Word that can get us through the times we are forced to go through.

The tougher the times, the more I pray for Jesus to come back for us.  To take us to our real home in Heaven.  But, also, it's what we do with the tough times while we're still here.  My first reaction to sad news is to cry.  I cry until there are no tears left.  God holds those tears in His hands.  He understands from whence they come.  It's a cleansing in our soul.  That's when our Heavenly Father holds us close.  For some they simply cannot feel that, the sorrow is so deep.  For others they know and are comforted by it.  Whatever the feeling, He's there.  He's patient.  He knows.  He knows because He saw men crucify His Son to a cross and die the most horrible death.  He saw and felt the pain just as we do.

If you are in the midst of the hard stuff of this life, go to Jesus, go to God's Word, pray, and let HIM WHO KNOWS comfort you.  This life is not all there is.  For those who trust in Christ and are saved we will stand before God whole, changed, and our tears will be wiped away.  Hold on to that.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ice Cream and Coffee Substitute

I would love to be up north again to see a beautiful sunrise such as this (and for winter to be over).

I'm trying to take the stomach problems I had last month as a blessing.  It has gotten me into really researching different foods and the effects of them upon our bodies.  I've said in past posts that I'm not in the medical field and I'm not a nutritionist, so what I say here is for me (and my family because I'm the cook in the family).  Everyone's body is different, and we all react differently to different foods.

But I have learned a lot and want to continue to learn so I do consider that a blessing.   In my particular case (stomach issues), I have learned that dairy can be a culprit.  So, other than Greek yogurt, Kefir, and butter to cook and bake with, I've limited the dairy (which is SO hard for me).  One side benefit from that is I've noticed that my sinus problems have lessened dramatically.  Citrus can also be a problem along with tomatoes and tomato products (because of high acidity) so I've stopped them as well.

The other "biggy" is coffee (which is also high in acid).  We are supposed to keep our bodies in a more alkaline state rather than acidic, so I was determined to stop drinking coffee.  I tried to drink hot tea in the morning but that just didn't cut it.  I needed something more "full-bodied".  I went on-line and read about coffee substitutes and came across this:

It's an herbal "coffee" with good-for-you ingredients and, although it isn't that coffee we all know and love, I have found it to be a very good and satisfying substitute.  Mornings are now happy again.  : )
Here is a list of the ingredients found in Teeccino and the health benefits from each one:

*Carob - antioxidant, improves digestion, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
*Barley - keeps intestines healthy, protects against gallstones, boosts immunity, good source of selenium, controls cholesterol levels
*Chicory - aids in digestion, reduces arthritis pain, promotes weight loss, treats constipation, boosts immunity, reduces anxiety
*Dates - relieves constipation, strengthens bones, stimulates digestion, treats anemia, boosts energy
*Almonds - boosts brain health, regulates cholesterol levels, improves bone health, antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, reduces inflammation, regulates blood pressure, boosts energy
*Figs - prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol, high in fiber, strengthens bones, helps with macular  degeneration

That's pretty good!  The down-side is that it's pretty expensive for a bag.  But for every 2 cups of water, you only need 1 Tbsp. of grounds and it can be made in your drip coffee maker which I like because not only do I enjoy the taste of coffee, I also love the smell of it brewing.  It's very comforting and homey.  I know there are other coffee substitutes out there and I may give them a try as well, but for now I'll just stay with this - I want what I drink to also be healthy and I feel this fits the bill.

And, like I said above about limiting dairy, I've been looking for recipes that use coconut milk in them or Greek yogurt (especially for ice cream).  I found one from the Country Living magazine that I tried yesterday and thought it to be very good.  Here is the recipe:


1.  In a food processor, pulse 1 cup of frozen strawberries, from a 1 lb. bag, (I used organic) until finely chopped.  Transfer to a metal bowl (I used a bread loaf pan).

2.  In same food processor container, puree 1 cup 2 % Greek yogurt (I had non-fat on hand so I just used that), 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, and remaining frozen strawberries until smooth.  Transfer this to the pan with the chopped strawberries and stir till well combined.

3.  Cover and freeze for about an hour until firm but not hard.  (This I didn't do - I froze it until solid only because we weren't going to eat it in an hour - so it did get hard but it was still very good).

The final product.  Very easy and tasty and, again, good for you!  Hope you can try it.  : )

Well, it's Saturday again.  Don't the weekends roll around quickly?  A few things are planned for this day:

*Get our Chow Mein into the Crockpot for supper tonight.
*Finish up a Bible study lesson.
*A little light housecleaning.
*Make some cards.
*Hopefully cut out a dress pattern.

I guess that's it!!!  I hope you enjoy this day and your home.  It's all important work.  Have fun with the things you do.  Thank you for your visit.  God bless.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

I had leftover chicken meat in the freezer and wanted to make a chicken pot pie for quite a while, so last night I decided to put one together.  I made the piecrusts earlier in the afternoon so they could go into the fridge for a while to get cold (cold piecrusts, hot oven you know!).  : )

I don't have step-by-step photos for the instructions because when I got around to putting this together, it was getting late (fortunately I made those pie crusts in advance!).  The recipe says to use store-bought pie crusts, but since we ARE trying to be frugal as well as healthier in our consumption of food, I made mine.  

Having put this together and into the oven it went, I had NO idea that my husband doesn't like pot pies (I had never made one in our 30 years of marriage).  So, naturally, when I pulled it out of the oven and on to the stove-top to dish up, his face did not match my enthusiasm.  Sad face emoji inserted here.

We sat down at the table to our meal - one taste, and ........... he actually thought it was very good!  Now, a sigh of relief inserted here. WAS good and I hope you can try it too.  Here is the recipe.


CRUST:  Refrigerated pie crusts (or make your own! - it only takes a few minutes and is better for you).


1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (I used the peas, carrots, corn, and green beans mix)

1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Make pie crusts to fit a 9-inch glass pie pan.

2.  In 2-qt. saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended.  Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.

3.  Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables.  Remove from heat.  Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan.  Top with second crust; seal edge and flute.  Cut slits on top for steam to escape.  Brush with a little melted butter or beaten egg for a beautiful shine.

4.  Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or till crust is golden brown.  During last 15 - 20 minutes of baking, cover the crust edges with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*This is a big pie and has a lot of filling which could easily feed maybe 6 people?  So, we had leftovers and enjoyed some at lunch today - but just to let you know - the crust, of course, won't be as crispy as it was when freshly pulled from the oven.  So, it would be good for a casual company get-together or when you are looking forward to leftovers and it's just you so that you don't mind whether or not the crust is still crispy.  

This is something that I will make again.  It was very much a comfort food on a cold evening.  

That's it for today.  Thank you, once again, for your visit and I look forward to visiting again with you.  God bless.

Monday, March 5, 2018

No Butter, Eggs, or Milk Carrot Cake

I have had this recipe for a long time and Saturday I finally got around to baking it.  This is such an easy cake to make (mixing ingredients in one pan) and the outcome is a delicious moist snack cake that would be excellent for the freezer as a quick way to show hospitality.  Here is the recipe:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.  Measure out in your prepared pan:

1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 pinch cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix and make three wells in the baking pan.

In one of the wells, add 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil; in another well, add 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar; in the last well, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract.

Pour 1 cup water over it all and then add 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots.

Carefully mix all the ingredients in your pan until combined and smooth.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or till toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool.  Frost with your favorite frosting recipe, but I found that just sprinkling powdered sugar on top was just fine.  : )

The End.  Hope you can try it.  : )

We are in the midst of another winter storm.  It started about an hour ago and already it's hard to see across the street.  We got freezing rain throughout the night so the snow will be on top of that.  I really am rather ready for the snowstorms to end.  Fickle March though - it seems like this is pretty typical.   

It was a good day as far as getting things done - all the laundry, dusting, vacuuming, and rearranged my craft area downstairs.  Now I need to get into the kitchen and begin braising our pork chops - the sweet potatoes are already in the oven.  Time to get some good smells in the house.  : )

Thank you for dropping by - I do appreciate your visit.  God bless.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Sunday Afternoon

After watching the funeral of Reverend Billy Graham on Friday, there was sadness mingled with joy.  Sad that the earth will not have him any longer, but joy that he has made it home to Heaven after being a good and faithful servant.  He was a man of love, compassion, humility, fervency, prayer, honesty, nobility, strength, kindness, truth, integrity.  As a young man he was called to preach the Word of the Lord - he answered that call and millions were saved because of him.  In this upside-down world, it's difficult to lose a man like this because men like this are getting harder to find.  And we need men of courage and faith now.

I have a Bible that I read from before bed and, in it, they have put quotations from famous men throughout history about their faith in God and Jesus.  Here are just a few quotes:

*John Jay (1745-1829), the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, stated:
"By conveying the Bible to people, ....we thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.  The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, who has made atonement "for the sins of the whole world," and ....has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve."

*Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787-1862), a U.S. senator and president of Rutgers College wrote:
"Let the Bible find its way into every cottage until the whole mass of our population shall yield to its elevating power; and under the benignant smiles of Him who delights to bless the Word, our government, the last hope of liberty, will rest on foundations against which the winds and waves shall beat in vain."

*Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863), the revered Civil War general whose death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, had written in a letter to his wife:
"Don't trouble yourself....these things are earthly and transitory.  There are real and glorious blessings, I trust, in reserve for us, beyond this life.  It is best for us to keep our eyes fixed upon the throne of God...It is gratifying to be beloved, and to have our conduct approved by our fellowmen; but this is not worthy to be compared with the glory that is in reservation for us, in the presence of the glorified Redeemer...knowing that there awaits us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Notice, if you will, the dates following the names.  They had a few quotes from men in the 20th century, but mostly they were from history past.  Whenever I read one of these quotes, I ask the same question - "are there any men who speak like this anymore?"  Billy Graham did.  

I heard this morning in church that people are still coming to Christ by watching old videos of his crusades on-line.  He constantly spoke of the love of God.  "God loves you" was the message.  In a world that is out of control, we need to hear that message now more than ever.  There are still millions of people who need to hear that they are loved by God.  That they can enjoy the life that Billy Graham is now living, simply by putting their trust in Jesus.  The following hymn was sung at the Billy Graham crusades and has been a favorite of many for years.  Sing it today!  Loudly!  : )


O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed,

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;


And when I think that God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin;


When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!