Monday, October 31, 2011

Thankfully, the snow did not last!

Another woman’s daybook entry for today….

Outside my window…there is huge improvement over the weekend.  When the weatherman last week hinted at snow for this past weekend, I scoffed. Well, I guess the joke was on me.  It did, indeed, snow…and sleet, and rain, with some freezing rain and then more snow.  We did not have accumulation but just down the road (no joke) they had a couple inches.  In my mind, October is WAY too early for snow!

I am thinking….about the holidays.  (and I’m okay with snow on Christmas!!)

I am thankful….for November almost being here – just one more day!  Not sure why but October seems to have been long and I’m looking to “that clean slate feeling” that comes with flipping the calendar:)

I am wearing….house-cleaning clothes – which basically means nothin’ too pretty and I haven’t even done my hair yet!  But I have been productive this morning – have both the refrig and the pantry completely cleaned and reorganized.

I am remembering…..the first days of Tyler’s diagnosis – all the tests and “urgent” doctor appointments and being hurled into a whole new “world” that was so foreign to us…we really did not know to be terrified.  Now when I look back – I do know.  I don’t often “go back”….but, lately, I have.

I am going….to work tonight – at the store.  Why the retail world starts Christmas so early is beyond me??  It is insanity in our store but I have noticed that not a soul is buying the Christmas merchandise – they are just trying to navigate around it to find one simple card!  Trust me…it is that bad. 

I am reading…..nothing really.  Need to start reading some new recipe ideas to get my brain in gear for holiday cooking and menus.

I am hoping….to keep my weight in check and under control over the next two months.

On my mind…..Tyler.  My own health. Tyler.  A young man (a relative of a friend at church) named Andrew who recently arrived at Bethesda after being severely injured in Afghanistan (a triple amputee).   Oh, and Tyler.

From the kitchen….corn chowder! 

Around the house….it is quiet except for the Smoky Mountain Hymns playing through the stereo.  Some days I just “need” some mountain music:)

Plans for the week…other than work:)  there is Bible study on Tuesday – studying God’s promises!  Wednesday the carpets are getting cleaned – hooray! And, HOPEFULLY, we can take a day trip on Saturday…we will see if that one comes together.

One Some of my favorite things: flannel sheets, candles that smell like coffee, sugar free chocolate candy – especially Russell Stover, Christmas music (no, I haven’t started it…..yet!) and lunch dates with a girlfriend.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Counting Blessings

Well, after a week like this past week – you know one of THOSE weeks:) – some times it is best to simply count your blessings!…and enjoy a little photo love of the J-man!!

Thankful for:

   **autumn color – the trees have fully changed into their fall colors and look so pretty

   **white pumpkins – still love the orange ones but something about the white ones are so pretty among all the other pumpkins and gourds

   **faithful, praying friends

   **email – I do love to send a written note now and then, but it is amazing and wonderful to be able to so quickly share news and connect with friends and loved ones when you need them

   **sweet co-workers

   **sharing morning coffee with my hubbie to start our day

   **pumpkin bread…or pumpkin pancakes…or pumpkin donuts:)

   **compassionate doctors

   **Rascal

   **sweet comments – all comments! – from my blogging friends

   **crock-pot meals – gotta love whoever invented the Crock Pot!!

   **creating the prefect word on Words with Friends – on a TW spot….sometimes, it’s the little things!

   **the weekend (and time to catch up with my blogs!)

AND -

sleeping Jack

jack on tummy

I mean, really, what’s not to love!!  Next time: some Riley shots!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Love Note from God

Well, I will admit I’m still pretty much in the dark about pinning.  Apparently, you either (really) love it…or, more of you than I thought, you just aren’t ready – or willing – to take on another on-line obsession!  The verdict is still out for me.  Blogging just might be enough for me (at least, for now……)

I have always had a desire to use my blog in order to honor the Lord…and certainly to give Him praise whenever I can!  I am not sure I do that adequately but it certainly is my heart’s desire.

Often it is challenging to give praise specifically – because I am not able (or wanting) to discuss, specifically, “the need” before the praise…if that makes sense.  However, God has been so good to me this week.  I am humbled – and grateful.

It has been a difficult past few days for me (weeks, actually).  While seeking God’s face and waiting for His answers, I have determined to learn more about Him….and the things He has shown me have been precious.  I wish each of you lived close by and I could share my heart with you for awhile over a cup of coffee!

But let me share one quick story.  I was headed to work on Monday evening.  It had been a busy day – that included another doctor’s visit – and I had lots of things mulling through my mind.  It was a beautiful day, mind you. Sunny, bright and lovely.

And there – right in front of me was one of the clearest – and broadest – rainbows I have seen in a VERY long time!  No clouds.  No rain.  But a rainbow, indeed.  It was amazing.

I started looking at some of the other drivers, curious to know if they were amazed and awed but this “random” rainbow.  No one was even acting like they noticed it.  How could they not – it was beautiful. And large!

rainbow one

I actually tried to take a picture…as in while I was driving…with my cell phone…without my glasses!  Oh brother.  Please tell me you can see that rainbow:)  Its just above the trees.  Bad photography aside, that rainbow was a true gift from God.  He could not have said any clearer, “Jennifer…I love you!”

God is faithful.  God is in control.  God cares about me.

Have you ever heard the old gospel song, “God Put a Rainbow in the Cloud”??  It has been in my head ever since.  Literally.  If we ever have a chance to share some coffee, I’ll sing a few choruses for you!

God put a rainbow in the cloud
(God put a rainbow in the cloud)
Well, it looked like the sun wouldn't shine anymore
God put a rainbow in the cloud

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are you Pinning???

Honestly, just a short post today…..

Happy Monday!! and another quick question (thanks for all the feed back on Friday – apparently I’m actually in the majority with blogs unread by the Hubbies!  Who knew??)  So, for today, I would really love to know…

What is this whole Pinterest craze??  and do you “pin”??  and that’s about all I know.  I really don’t understand how it works.  If I were to start making boards(??)…can everyone else see my boards?  Just curious.  And I suppose you need an invitation to start??  Don’t totally get that but, then again, I’m a bit in the dark with the whole thing.

The one thing I do know – I really enjoying looking at other’s boards – HA!  Especially the decorating ideas and party ideas.  There are so many cute ideas and talented people out there!!

So – please tell me what you think!  Love your thoughts:)

Friday, October 21, 2011

You Gotta Love ‘Im

The other day Lois had an interesting question – and conversation to follow – on her blog about comments.  Today, I have a question: does your hubbie read your blog??  Mine, does not.

I used to think it would be so sweet if he anxiously awaited for my posts each morning – eager to know what was on my mind.  But that so never happened….and, I’ll admit, there was a time (or two) that I  was miffed.  Until I asked him about it.  His answer was something along the lines of…”why would I read your blog???  Isn’t that a bunch of you and your friends discussing recipes, decorating and stuff??”

Well, sorta.  Kinda.  You would have to totally know my sweetie to appreciate his thinkin’ that blog reading is akin to reading “Good Housekeeping” or joining me for Ladies Day Out at the mall.  But, I totally got him – and his point.  And now I am blissfully fine with enjoying the blog world all by myself:)

Now that does not keep me from updating him on all the cool things I read/learn/discover while enjoying my blog time.  And I even tell him about some of my (wittier) posts – ha ha!  For instance, I was telling him about my list of things I do not do….and the fact that there are more than just a couple of us who do not eat tomatoes!  I’m not sure he believes me as he does love himself a good tomato!

Anyhoo, we were quick to list several things he does NOT do.  So,

john stateroom

just for public record…….In addition to NOT reading my blog, he -

- does not text….nor does he have any desire to ever learn (sorry, kids, I have done everything to try and change this but it ain’t happenin!)

- does not go over the speed limit (at all. ever.) …..this one just might put me over the edge one day!

- does not eat tuna casserole (again…at all. ever.)  He is good sport about just anything I serve him but the whole tuna casserole – absolutely not.

- does not miss his afternoon nap…..but he looks good:)  and is really healthy so it must be workin’ for him!

- does not share food or drink.  Too funny – but if I take a bite of food off his plate, he’ll just give me the rest of it.  He’s done.  When the kids were little, he was the same way if they drank out of his straw, etc.  Go figure.  But we did go to Panera the other night and “shared” a Pick Two.  I didn’t really consider it sharing as the two things came on two separate plates but it was a big step for him!!

I’ll admit – this post will probably only amuse my family…but hopefully all “my blog girlfriends” have a wonderful weekend, too!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweet Smellin’

I try to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday…and here it is 10:00PM (bedtime!!) on Wednesday….better late than never, right?!  I don’t feel totally terrible about getting on the computer late as today was a very productive day!

Hubbie was home today and we cleaned house…deep-cleaned…all day!  Do I love cleaning?  No. But how much nicer it is when we are able to work on the big projects together – and I totally DO love the finished work!  Is it just me…or do you just feel good when the house looks nice.  And the smell:) That sweet mixture of Murphy’s Oil, Pledge, Windex and just a bit of bleach…..makes me swoon!!

While I was dusting – and enjoying the clean scents around the house – Ephesians 5:2 came to mind:

“….Christ…hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”

Christ’s obedience to become our saviour was a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.  How wonderful smells really are!!

 

caramel apple candle

Perhaps, just like the smell of my clean house makes me feel happy…the sweet smelling savour, or scent, of my obedience is pleasing to my heavenly Father.  I sure hope so.  I want the prayer of my heart to be for Him to “create in me a clean heart” that is quick to hear His voice and willing to obey.  Then that the aroma of obedience will waft Heavenward……

Now, I suppose there is such a thing as” too much of a good thing”.  On the way to church this evening, we stopped by the store and bought some Simple Green.  We have heard from several people how wonderful this stuff is at getting all kinds of stains out – from clothes, carpets, etc. etc.  Even a random lady in the store who saw us buying it told us that Simple Green was great stuff!  Wonderful.

Unbeknownst to us, that very bottle of Simple Green, which apparently did not have its lid on correctly, leaked out all over the back floorboard of our car on the way to church.  I noticed it when I grabbed my Bible bag and it was soaked…as was my Bible and all the other things in the bag.  Not happy.

Not even happy with the “aroma”…..or the highly concentrated scent of “fresh pine forest” that was covering everything I brought into church.  It was Simple Green overdose.  I just sat through the service hoping everyone thought the cleaning lady (who was sitting right behind!) did an exceptional job this week!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Do Not Do

I was reading a post over at the Pennington Point – where Lisa writes and a blog I really enjoy – and she had a post of Ten Things She Does Not Do.  Then I started to think of the ten things I do not do…and things actually started coming to my.  As in, thinking right on the spot, which is not usually the norm for me.  (Put my brain on the spot and it tends to go blank….as in I can’t even list the names and birth dates of my children)!  So, just for fun – and to capture my moment of instant thinking, I thought I would post my own little list of……

Ten Things I Do Not Do (in total random order):

1 – I do not eat tomatoes.  Yes, I know I have mentioned it already a time, or ten, but just for the record…..Blech!!  Lisa was nice enough to say if she is offered tomatoes (she doesn’t like them either….yeah there are two of us!) at someone’s home, she is polite enough to eat them.  Hmmm.  I very politely pass, “No thank you.”  I hope that counts.

2 – I do not go to the movies.  Just a personal conviction here against Hollywood garbage.  Yes, I suppose there are a couple (well, maybe one) “good” movies out there but, for me, it is best to just draw the line.  No movies.

3 – I do not eat fast food.  I know what you’re thinking…..that I LOVE (yes, love) Chick Fil-A.  But when I think of fast food, I think greasy! hamburgers (served with sugary sodas).  Yuck.  Since there is not a burger to be found in my favorite chicken spot – I feel totally justified in enjoying each and every visit to Chick Fil-A (and there are many!) and claiming my motto of “no fast food”!  I guess I make my own rules?!?

4 – I do not do Facebook.  We discussed this one just recently but it fits the list so I mention it again.

5 – I do not “do” bumper stickers.  No real conviction here –just something I learned from my dad.  He hated said stickers.  I never really knew why but he certainly passed his opinion on to me.  I’ll admit – most bumper stickers are simply rude.  Or dumb.  But, even if I could find a good one, I would give one minute’s thought to putting it on my car.  I know Dad would haunt me from the grave – literally.  Funny thing – my own kids now think the same.

6 – I do not shop at Walmart.  Probably best if I just keep going here….

7 – I do not like winter.  You will, no doubt, here that sentiment here again 20 or 30 times over the next coming months:(

8 – I do not leave the house without makeup.  This is not a boastful pride thing – I just try to look decent and in order when I go out of the house.  Actually, I wear some makeup even at home – its part of my routine just like washing my hair and brushing my teeth.  The “au naturelle” look on me is just plain scary – seriously, folks.  Sweet story here:  several years ago when I went through cancer the first time, at the end of my chemo treatments, I got sick.  Really sick.  In an attempt to avoid being hospitalized, I had to get up each morning and go into my doctor’s office for full days of monitoring and IV meds.  The hardest part of this plan was the getting up each morning!  My sweet daughter (who would have been about 15 at the time) would get up and do my makeup for me before I left for the doctor…..just to help me not feel so crummy and depressed.  That labor of love, alone, was probably the best medicine ever!!

9 – I do not exercise.  Now, this one is a problem.  I thought I should include this one just for myself.  Most of this list, I’m ok with…but, I’ll admit, some “I do not dos” need a change.

10 – I do not celebrate Halloween.  I’m not really sure why anyone who claims to be a Christian would….although I know more than few who do – and I love you anyways!  Just thought I would end here as October is fast coming to an end – now my opinion is out there – and I won’t mention it again!

Happy Monday, friends!!  BTW, what is it that you do not do???

Friday, October 14, 2011

On Boots, Getting Lost in the Corn and Butter

Five for Friday….
that’s five random thoughts that have absolutely nothing to do with each other but just my thoughts for the week – which, in other words, could mean a glimpse inside my head….scary to be sure!!  Nevertheless, here goes:

1 – on the way home from work on Thursday evening, I was in the single worst storm I, personally, have ever witnessed!  It was insane.  The rain was so hard that I cannot even think of words to describe it.  The hail was pounded by car so hard it was completely deafening.  Add to that – out of control wind (yes, a few tornadoes touched down in our area), lightning, thunder….and it was so powerful, and so awe-striking – not to mention, just a bit terrifying!
Right before the hail started, a guy on his motorcycle passed me.  His motorcycle.  There really was no place for him to stop so I’m sure he was just trying to get home – or get anywhere! – but he had to be in pure misery.  I felt terrible for him.
On the other hand, earlier (on the way TO work)…it was not storming but it was rainy and nasty…and the lawn guy was cutting the grass in the next neighborhood.  Did not feel sorry for him – just thought he was a nut!

2 – as if Pumpkin Spice bagels alone did not completely excite my taste buds……I recently discovered this:

bytter

Have you tried this cinnamon butter?  DIVINE.  Just about anything you can imagine that tastes wonderful with butter…this would only make it most wonderful.  I can’t wait to put some on a fresh baked sweet potato.  Have mercy.

3 – Just one more thing to love about fall is all of the pumpkin patches, fall festivals and corn mazes.  I really miss the fun field trips to the pumpkin patch when my kiddos were little.  Corn mazes are not just kid fun, either!
But did you hear on the news (it made national news) about a lady and her two children that got lost in the corn maze – literally lost.  They called 9-1-1- to get out.  I’m sorry…but I could not help but laugh.  I’m sure they were panicked and it may have been getting dark so it was, maybe, two parts scary.  But, it was really just four parts funny.
Having been, many moons ago, a police dispatcher…I would have loved to have been the one who took that call.  Truly, I do.

4 – In fashion news, the “hot” thing for this fall and winter season is, supposedly, boots!  I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with boots.  I LOVE the look of boots.  I LOVE all the boots I see on the cute models in magazines and ads.  I LOVE the idea of wearing a cute pair of boots (especially with my tights).  However, I HATE how boots look on my (huge) feet.  I HATE the way boots look on my legs.  I HATE the way boots hurt my feet – always.  And I HATE that boots do not immediately make me look cute and sassy like those models in the magazine.

Do you wear boots?  I promise, I won’t hate.

5 – These are my two sweeties….waiting in the doctor’s office.  Both were feeling under the weather – but are still just as cute as ever!!
at the doctor

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apples and Apps

Happy Wednesday!  Its grey and drizzly – but still a nice day here…how about in your neck of the woods?  I can’t believe I didn’t get a post up on Monday.  I was doing so well at posting regularly – Mon., Wed. and Fri. – and then, all day went by this past Monday, and I never got to the computer.  At least, not to post…I do enjoy reading everyone’s posts, though.  Fall always seems to bring a new energy to life…and everyone is busy with so many interesting hobbies, tasks, trips and such!

I had a fun weekend away this past weekend – I’m waiting on pictures in order to post about it.  No, Rose, I have yet to find my camera (boo) but hurray for phones!  Goodness, some cell phones take better pictures than my (missing) digital camera!  My girlfriend was our official picture taker this weekend, which means the pictures will be much better than if I had been the appointed one…but I have to wait.

Speaking of phones (and I’m so on a rabbit trail here)…I heard there will soon be an app for your phone that will allow you to go in the grocery store….get your items….pay through your phone app….and done!  Not even a need for a cash register.  So bizarre to me.  Actually the whole app explosion is way beyond me!!  Way beyond.

So – how many apps do you have downloaded on your phone??

In other news……I’m just sharing a recipe today.  I have been on apple overload.  Honestly, I have enjoyed searching/reading/drooling over recipes online as much (almost) more than actually eating the tasty treats.  But that is just me.  And I’m just about appled-out!!  Time to think pumpkin (and a little less sugar!)

This apple crisp was rather tasty but quite sweet.  Would be nice for dessert if company was comin’ – that way not too much leftovers….just one yummy helping would be satisfying enough.  After this crisp, I plan to make an apple cake today and, then, the apples should be done.  Would not have minded more applesauce but….

It is what it isSmile

So, today’s apple crisp:

 

1 quart peeled, cored, sliced apples

3/4 cup sugar (would so try Splenda)

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix all together and pour into a lightly greased baking pan.

 

3/4 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all together and sprinkle evenly over the apple slices.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  Enjoy

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bailey

Rumor has it that one of our dogs might be completely, beyond reason, spoiled…..

Just to lay that rumor to rest -

spoiled bailey

I don’t even know what to say. I read this quote…

A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself. Josh Billings

which is cute, but the more accurate saying around our house might be….

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. – Cory Ford

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Kitchen Recap

Just a quick post this morning….as, every time I get on the computer for “just ten minutes” my morning magically fades away and not a thing from the to-do list is even crossed off!  It’s a mystery but avoiding the computer altogether does seem to help a bit!

I made applesauce on Monday – that was delicious.  It was almost perfect…and would have been if I had vanilla.  Any perfect applesauce has to have vanilla and, who knew I was out!!  How does one run out of vanilla…..and not know it?!  So, I guess Nittany apples were true to their word and great “for sauce”!!

Also made a new chicken recipe for dinner last night.  It had chicken in it (I know, shocking) so it could not be bad but it was actually very tasty!  Simply pound some chicken breasts flat, layer on top quartered mozzarella balls and sundried tomatoes, and then roll-up, secure with toothpicks, season and bake.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

It was a great plan – until I remembered that Monday night’s apple dumplings had bubbled over and left a HUGE buttery mess in the bottom of the oven….which burned into a horrific smoke cloud that continued to billow for forever!  The dogs were panicked.  The house smelled horrible.  And I’ve just about all the burnt offerings for dinner jokes that I can tolerate!!

Goodness.

And in a cruel twist of fate………

I crawled – quite pathetically and unenthusiastically – back onto the diet wagon this week.  I never did see the last diet all the way to the end and then, shockingly, I gained a few pounds back while on vacation.  I am determined NOT to go there.  And, so, I began again.  And don’t you know…….

I found THESE in the grocery store!

pumpkin bagels

WHAT??!  Pumpkin Spice. in a bagel.  Have mercy.  (and yes that is my kitchen counter….I bought them.  But I haven’t eaten one.  yet)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cox Farm

Happy Monday, friends!  How did you spend your weekend?  Has fall settled in?  It certainly has here – I cannot remember the last time we really enjoyed the sun….it has been hidden by grey, thick clouds.  Every day.  And most days are damp, drizzly and (rather) dreary.  I don’t know how our northern west coast friends do it!

And did I mention chilly – really chilly?  Really pushing my comfort zone.  But we did use the fireplace this weekend.  Love it!  A Sunday afternoon nap in front of the fire is pure heaven!

Our plans for this past weekend had included plans to go to an apple orchard.  Remember I had been looking forward to that trip with my girlfriends last week?  Yep – rained out (and I was not very good at hiding my disappointment with that….sorry, girls.)  So, Hubbie and I thought we would try again on Saturday.  And, yep….drizzling and not pretty.

But not to be outdone…..we headed to a local farm where they have this out-of-control pumpkin patch and other related activities. It really was impressive.  The parking lot was packed with cars (apparently the weather does not frustrate others like it does me)…but – as fun-lovin’ empty-nesters that we are….we told the parking attendant we were just there for the market and headed to the front of the parking lot next to the store!  Beautiful.

cox farm 5

Such a fun place – a fantastic place to savor the sights…the smells…and the tastes of fall!!

cox farm 3

 

cox farm 6

Lots of ORANGESmile

cox farm 4

even an orange VW…..

cox farm 7

We had a good time – although we couldn’t stay as long as we might have because we didn’t wear jackets.  Why??  I don’t know.

cox farm 2

 

They had plenty of apple varieties to choose from – some I had never heard of but we pick ourselves a peck!! and grabbed some (overpriced but delicious) bread and butter pickles, too!  Apparently, you don’t HAVE to go to the orchard and pick ‘em yourself in order to have fun getting apples!!

So, this morning I am making applesauce from these:

cox farm 1

Don’t know that I’ve heard about Nittany apples but supposedly they make good sauce!!  I’ll let you know.  It certainly smells delicious in here!! I’ve already made some apple dumplings and plan to make apple crunch and apple cake later this week!  Oh, yum.

Hope you have a yummy week planned ahead!!