Wednesday, November 26, 2014

what's cookin good lookin?

So... whatcha making?  If you are anything like me then you have several things to make and bake on your list of "things to do next."  I try to make a couple of things ahead.  So far I made the cranberry relish, leaving out the pecans, and I have thawed the pie crust in the refrigerator.  Tonight I plan on  putting a jalapeno dip together to bake for Wednesday night when we will hang out with pals and smoke our turkeys on the big smoker.  I will also cook my sweet potatoes on the smoker, wrapped in foil.  They don't turn out too smoky tasting at all but it's something "getting done" while we're hanging out.  Then Thursday morning I will get up and get busy.  I am making pecan pie, chocolate pie, two batches of sweet potatoes, oh and I'm also bringing sangria!  The sangria I am putting together Wednesday night also so the fruit has time to beautifully marry the wine to bring us great tastes as we decorate our gingerbread houses on Thanksgiving afternoon.  Ah what a wonderful and full day it twill be!!

Here are links to recipes that I have adopted and treat as my own.

And just incase you are seriously stressing in the kitchen... 
try this kitchen trick I learned from Julia Child.

And here is my own concoction and plans for the sangria pretty much using what I've got.  Except the wine... that I have to buy but it is my very favorite.  I think the Mad Housewife Sweet Pink wine would be really good for this also.  I also didn't have the raspberries on hand but got them at Kroger because they were on sale for ninety nine cents and will look stunning might I add!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  
Don't burn the biscuits!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

gingerbread house ideas

I know many of you are just dying to know of my plans for my gingerbread house this year.  Well... I am not hiding my thoughts this time or at least not all of them.  My house plans are usually top secret.  This year I am going to try my best to make my house a log cabin.  Keeping it simple on the actual decorations and concentrating more on the look of the actual house.  I am going to try and tone down the gaudy and tone up the structure.  We will see what happens.  

I have turned to library books on the subject and pictures on pinterest for ideas.  I have bought my building supplies and hopefully the icing will be extra sticky!  I also want to color some green for my trees made on sugar cones and plan to make a final dusting with powdered sugar when everything is in place.  I'm pretty excited!

Want to see more??

Monday, November 24, 2014

weekend shots

Weekend shots and a week of Thanksgiving.  
Thanksgiving really is one of my favorite holidays.
I like to cook and share with others.
Not to mention all the other good food to eat.
And being around family.
And making gingerbread houses.
And four wheeling.

I did all the decorating for Christmas on Sunday that I plan to do.
I feel the need and urge to just keep it simple and
decided against putting the big tree up this year.
Instead I have white Christmas lights scattered here and there with
simple glittered pine cones sparkling around.  
I put two alpine trees on top of the fireplace. 
It still really gives a bit of special to the season without 
it being everywhere. 

We also had the turkey shoot at my father-in-law's farm on Saturday.
Which was also Shaun's birthday.
All in all it was a good weekend and I'm ready for the week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

end of the week soup

Since it's getting colder out, since we have left over veggies and since I really do enjoy soup, for the last few weeks I have been totally taking advantage of the three and making soup for lunch on Thursdays at the day care.  Until today I was the only one enjoying it.  I usually only make a small amount for myself but when the kids saw me dipping my grilled cheese sandwich in my bowl they got curious and wanted to try.

I tell you, when I was introduced to minestrone soup my life changed.  Tomato based soup with basil accents and pasta floating not to mention vegetables swimming around is heaven in a bowl to me.  When I make green beans, mixed veggies or carrots as a side at lunchtime for the kids there is generally some left.  I would much rather throw them in a pot and gobble up the nutrients than throw them away.

My soup here consisted of about 1/4 cup tomato juice, 1/4 cup left over pizza sauce, 1/8 cup green beans, 1/8 cup mixed veggies, some garden zucchini  1 cup or more of water and 1/4 cup macaroni.  Bring it to a boil before adding the pasta and stir like crazy once you add it.  Mine always wants to stick to the bottom for a reason that I have yet to figure out.  This makes enough for me to have for lunch and sometimes enough to freeze half for a different day.  Who knows... looks like I will be sharing it more!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

a dc scavenger hunt

I love when a new game pops into my head.  Especially one as easy as this.  
If you have the ease of a computer and digital camera this indoor scavenger 
hunt can be made in minutes.  
I began by walking around the day care and taking pictures of this and that.
I wound up with about twenty or so pictures.  
Then I went in to Microsoft Publisher, because it's my favorite, to create the cards.
You could probably do it in Word or another program I'm sure.
I chose to make a circle and fill it with a picture that I took.
I did this for all of the pictures.
Then I printed the pages of circles onto white card stock.
I also chose to use a laminating sheet over the pictures.
Next I cut them out and now I have a neat little stack of picture circles.
Now today... let's see how well these kids know their surroundings.
I'm guessing the game won't last real long.  
My older ones are pretty observant.
That's why I threw in some harder ones to find.
I hope it will really make them think.
I feel round two coming!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

misplaced goods

I have lost three things lately.  Truly four if you count the ability to remember what I did with these things.  I carried around the first dvd in my yoga set, my favorite one, and a brand new taxidermy dvd that I haven't even watched yet in my bag back and forth from home to the day care for a couple of days.  I last remember sticking them in between pages of a book so they wouldn't get scratched up tossing loosely in my bag.  I am almost convinced that I returned them to the library in whatever book I stuck them in.  Or maybe not.... I still glance around and in a new place that I may have stuck them every day.  It's been almost two weeks since I've seen them.

The other thing is more valuable and more important as it is one of my hand guns.  It stays in it's little blue and black case that is about the size of a wallet.  It is always either in the kitchen or in my car and it is in neither at this point.  I almost remember the last time I thought about it accompanying me on a journey to the mall.  I don't remember if I put it in the car with me that day or not.  Either way, it is not where it is supposed to be.  That mall trip was early October.  I realized it's misplacement also two weeks ago.

What happens to short term memory?  I can remember what I wore to work yesterday and what I cooked for supper last Friday night.  I can even remember what I did on my birthday last month.  I remember easy things and these lost items too should be easy but the fact of their misplacement is where it gets foggy.  I am certain that I thought it was a good idea to lay them where I did at the time.  Partially it is my own problem of not putting things back where they belong.  "Oh, I'll remember" is what I think at the time.  Then days later I haven't a clue.

They say it happens as you get older but I've pretty much always been this way.  Shaun just taps his foot and rolls his eyes with a smile every time I misplace my keys.  I am the absolute worst at that.  It's safer for me just to leave them in the car.

I know I will feel so much better when they've been found.  I plan to ask the library if anyone turned the dvd's in and if not I plan to forget about it for a while.  The pistol will show up and I will slap my forehead and call myself silly for putting it where I did.   The part I dislike is that it constantly weighs on my mind.  On top of every little stress and part of daily life there it lies like a cherry on the sundae.  Makes me feel like a bag lady carrying around bags full of little troubles ready to sit them down.  But then again I'd probably forget where I put my bags.

Monday, November 17, 2014

the weekend

You know... it was a good weekend.  However, the winter blues are still very apparent in my soul... especially when I am alone.  It takes a while for me to accept the change.  I find myself walking around the house aimlessly and finding it hard to settle on what to do.  Luckily, I do get over it when I finally have to.  The snow that we woke up to this morning, early as it may be, may just help.  Once winter is here and I am convinced that spring is not far behind I begin to feel better.  I am simply being honest here.  The winter blues are definitely a real thing.  I would be a complete basket case if we lived any further north than Tennessee.  No thank you.

Never-the-less, I did manage to clean up the basement (with a little sisterly help) and use my dutch oven twice, watch a movie, start several things that I didn't finish and do a hint of Christmas decorating around my kitchen window.

Are you too a winter blues sufferer?  What did you do this weekend?

This chicken made the prettiest presentation.  Pretty good flavor too.

This is the cheapest thing I've done in a while that turned out so pretty.
I got the pine cones from my sister Marty's yard, sprayed them with spray glue 
and sprinkled gold glitter on them.  Then strung them from my herb drying pole
over the kitchen sink which I also draped a strand of white lights from.  
Suspended, they move slightly which makes them sparkle.
I could see them from the couch in the living room.  
I told Shaun that I may just not put the tree up and put the presents in the kitchen sink this year.
He said he was certain his present wouldn't fit in the sink.
I am going for the majorly imperfect Christmas decorating look this year.

A craft I began using my fair pictures from years past.
Didn't finish... did clean it back up though.

I love that picture of me and my head up off holding my jugs of elder flower cordial that I made.

I made the apple bread again.  So delicious.

This morning's dusting.

Friday, November 14, 2014

who knew??

I've been lucky enough to run across a few things lately that I didn't know existed. 
Not that there aren't a million things that I didn't know were around.
But I was pretty impressed by these.
I've been compiling my little list for a few weeks now.
And feel I could keep it going and going and going.
Maybe it will be a new Friday series.
Once a month or something.
I would be happier than a pig in slop for you to share something new with me.
Something I probably didn't know was out there.
Or maybe I did.
Either way.... Talk to me!
Here Goes.

Colored glue sticks!
Decorative Love Potion Bottle
They seem pretty purposeful in this project found on FreePeopleBlog
I am sure the possibilities are endless for these.
I found them for sale on Amazon.

Apparently these are from the seventies as am I.
Good old fashioned drip candles...I miss them. They are the coolest!!!!
I have my own bottle going where drippy candles live.
It feels so Italian restaurant-ish.
I originally saw the pictures on pinterest.
But have found the candles for sale on Amazon.
I hope to find them in my Christmas stocking.
Even if I am the one who put them there.

This yarn holder looks pretty original and cool.
Pretty and perfect for the knitting type.
Of which I am not.
Have never been able to get the actual hang of it.
Or sit still that long.
Found on UncommonGoods.

This song by Waylon Jennings.
It's called Big D from his early album Cedartown Georgia.
I was listening to a classic rock station out of Bowling Green, Ky.
That I found on a foggy morning recently.
I was surprised to hear Waymore that morning.
But very happy at the same time.
I also stumped Shaun with it which is hard to do.
When it comes to Waylon.

My favorite wild orchid.
5 Rattlesnake Plantain(Goodyera pubescens)
That is named Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyerapubescens)
It grows naturally at one place that I have found at our creek.
I overwintered one plant that I found lying loose a few years back.
Then replanted it the next spring.
You can buy them on etsy HERE.

The same lovely shop also sells Jack in the Pulpit bulbs.

Which I have never seen in our woods.
But would love to.
Even if I plant them.
You can buy the bulbs HERE
Picture found HERE.

A "Who Knew" from a reader...
"I was recently in Kmart and truly didn't know they had try on rooms."
~Mary Evelyn

Who Knew???

Thursday, November 13, 2014

the listening walk

I checked out this book from the library.

It is a terrific read.  I read it to the children at the day care and then we decided first to step out of the porch to see what we could hear.  Then we walked the perimeter of the playground to listen further.  We also took a tablet and pen and wrote down all of the things we could hear in our outside world.  

Mainly, we could hear the interstate.  It happened to be a particularly loud day for it.  But we also heard, as they pointed out, the wind in the trees, feet shuffling, crickets, grass moving, a swing squeaking, laughter, a sea gull and the pond.  Not sure how the last two were heard but I wrote it down anyway.  

It's nice when you actually sit still and take note to all of the things that can be heard.  Things that we hear every day and don't really pay attention.  You hear a lot more than you acknowledge most of the time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

say hello?

Are you one of those people who hides and avoids talking or making eye contact with someone you know or once knew at the store?  Are you a person who pops up excitedly in front of an acquaintance to say hello no matter where you are? Or does it really just depend on who it is that you see?  I saw a lady who works at our bank, who's son my husband has done a lot of work for, and who we've seen at parties who I have also spoke with about keeping their children, at the store Friday and although she didn't see me, I turned and walked the other way even though I had all the time in the world.  I also saw a family at the flea market a couple of months ago of which I follow the blog that the mother writes.  I recognized them right away and the son even looked right at me when my face awed at the sight of them yet I turned and walked the other way.  Why is it hard to say a simple hello sometimes?  Is it really going to take that long to say "how ya doin?"  Probably not.

I wonder how many people see me and turn away.  None I would hope.  I don't think I'm that scary.  When we were attending church I ran into a gal who's husband taught our Sunday school class and with whom I knew for a long time and was even in a wedding with her.  She looked directly at me in the meat department and quickly looked away.  I was shocked.  Would it have killed her to smile?  She didn't have to have a twenty minute conversation with me... a smile would have worked.  I did make her talk to me as I loudly said her name and hello to her after she snubbed me.

So it hurts to be ignored but it doesn't hurt to ignore.  I think it does hurt in a way to ignore.  I have obviously thought about the blog gal for a while and the bank lady since last Friday.  I wish I would have said hello.  Maybe, with the holidays approaching or maybe just the next time, when I see someone I recognize, I am going to try to say a simple hello.  I don't snub every time but when I do that split second decision to run can leave a lasting little scar on my bubble that I find myself living in sometimes.  I guess one never knows how much another person needs to be recognized.  I can throw out a random compliment to a stranger but not a hello to an acquaintance.  Kind of confusing isn't it.  But true at the same time.

Being Present- Be The One – Smile, Say Hello, Pay Attention, Listen

pic from pinterest

Monday, November 10, 2014

comfort food

With temperatures dropping significantly this week, my kitchen calls me to make warming, comfort food.  I was home all day yesterday and wanted something in the crock pot to fill our home with the scent of good food.  I made cabbage and polish sausage in the crock pot and topped it off with my Granddaddy's stick cornbread recipe.  I would have and wanted to make PW's cornbread recipe that is my favorite but I lacked enough of one key ingredient in cornbread.... corn meal.  Her recipe calls for one cup and after I had already made some make-shift buttermilk I realized I didn't have enough.  I really didn't want to pour out the buttermilk.  I thumbed through my recipes and found the piece of scrap paper with Granddaddy's recipe on it and remembered the Tuesday evening at his house in 2011 when he taught it to me as he made the recipe that he catered down for himself to only make seven corn sticks which is how many is in one cast iron corn stick pan.  It called for 2/3 cup self rising cornmeal and as I measured out the little bit of cornmeal that I had it perfectly measured out to 2/3 cup.  Thanks Granddaddy... now help with the rest of the recipe that I short-handedly wrote down as you made yours!  Apparently he did because it turned perfect AND it didn't even stick in the pan.   The cornbread and cabbage with sausage was fantastic especially after a cool evening of sitting in the deer blind where I had a two second shot but didn't shoot my first deer.  That is a pretty intense feeling.  I was glad to have supper when we got in the house at least.  I had pictures of the whole crock pot dish but left my camera at home today.  Have a great week!

Friday, November 7, 2014

lovin right now

This Lovin' Right Now looks like it should be Valentines!  All this love!  I admit... I bought the Gypsy Cold Care herbal tea from the grocery last year thinking that it was "cold care" like when you are sick.  Not so much... so yesterday, as it had been ugly cold for the first time this season, I got chilled.. which is abnormal for me anyway.  I had my hoodie on, in the house and still couldn't really warm up.  I though about a cup of something warm to drink and thought of the tea so I made a cup.  It really is soothing and very warming from the inside out.  I'm glad I have it going into cold weather. 

My yoga teacher mentioned a sea salt bath that is better than Epsom salt in your bath and my ears perked up.  She showed me the product after class and I took a bucket home with me.  Last night I had the most amazing bath I have ever had.  Mind you the water was oddly hot as my claw foot tub generally cools the water down pretty quick.  I had ran the dishwasher and I guess the water was freshly heated but the temperature wasn't the only thing.  The dead sea salt and minerals is relaxing, soothing, and detoxifies your skin.  You really aren't supposed to stay in the tub over twenty minutes.  So I didn't but I sure slept good after all that!  Find them at DeadSeaWarehouse.

My loving husband gave me some money to get new underwear for my birthday (at my request... him in Victoria's Secret... no).  I ordered a couple of new items online and absolutely love the "everyday perfect panty.'  I really do.  They are smooth and comfortable and... so far... stay in place.  Find the link directly to these HERE.

I realize the Scooby Doo graham crackers don't really mix with all this love but if you have tried them you might think otherwise.  They kind of remind me of Teddy Grahams... just larger and no they aren't dog treats although they are shaped like dog bones.  I almost don't want to share them with the kids!  I found them at Dollar General on 31W.

Last but certainly not least is another one of my polish favorites from OPI.  I've been polishing my finger nails lately, on a whim as I've always been a biter, and they've actually grown out.  Lincoln Park After Dark is one of my all time favorite shades and I've had it on for a few weeks now.  Now.. if I could only keep it from peeling off!  You can find it at Target or Sally's.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

dc thankful tree

Every day at the day care, as we all sit down to eat lunch together, we go around the table and name something that each of us is thankful for before we say the blessing.  Some of the kids say the same thing pretty much every day and some of the others say very spur of the moment things.  While looking around the world of blogs, I found a site that used a "thankful tree" for her family and each day during the month of November they list what they are thankful for and place it on their tree.  I thought this would be a wonderful project for my day care kids.  

This morning we traced hands on card stock to get a good template and while they were playing outside, I traced hands on colored paper and cut out just enough for today.  At lunch time I wrote down what each of them were thankful for and after lunch, wrote it on their hand cut outs and taped them to the wall around our thankful tree.  

My plan as of right now is to let each child draw their own tree on poster board and place all of their hands of what they are thankful for to take home with them the day before Thanksgiving.  I think it would be neat for their families to see what all they have named that they are thankful for.  So sweet.

We also read a really nice library book today by P.K. Hallinan called "I'm thankful for so many things."  It gave them a touch of inspiration and me a whole bunch more than a touch.  I nearly teared up reading it to them and wouldn't mind having this one on hand.  Such wonderful illustrations and and truths in thankfulness.

The lovely blog where this idea came is found HERE

And since I can't find a good picture of the book mentioned above... I took pictures of the one that I have.  

Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good".