Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Holidays are Here and saying Goodbye to 2021

 When you think of Christmas and your fondest memories what comes to mind, what was it that made you the happiest? Is it the people or the places you traveled, the food you ate or perhaps the gifts received, maybe even a gift you gave?

Having a birthday near Christmas and as a child always feeling a bit let down if I had to pick out a Birthday gift from under the tree, or receiving a gift at a party that was wrapped in Christmas paper, I was used to think, why can't people just use birthday paper like the rest of the year? Don't get me wrong I loved Christmas but I always wanted it to be very separate from "my day". There was even a time in my life for a few short years when I changed my birthday to April, just so I could actually have a gift that didn't come from under the tree and a cake decorated for a birthday and not Christmas. It didn't mentally damage me though to have a birthday close to Christmas, but it made me care for Christmas just a little bit less especially as as a child.

As I've gotten older (yeah much older) I've had more time to reflect on the things that have meant the most to me and when it comes down to it, none of them had anything to do with the gifts under the tree, one less or one more would not have made a difference of course when you are little one less can be a pretty horrible thing especially when you have to pick the one that is coming out before Christmas.

As a much younger girl living in Long Beach, CA. with my family, my mom and dad borrowed a white tree one year, I think to make us feel more like we were back home on the East Coast where trees would have naturally been covered with snow, it was fully decked out with ornaments and tinsel, I don't remember if there were lights on the tree, but I know that mom had also borrowed a revolving 4 color disc light that was facing the tree and as it turned those colors would light up the tree and the ornaments on it. She also had a borrowed set off world dolls which were proudly displayed on the windowsill in our family room for all to see as they walked by outside. I don't remember any of the gifts I got that year, or the food we ate at our Christmas Dinner, but I do remember how loved it made me feel being there with my whole family enjoying that Christmas.

This year as we approach another holiday where we should be socially distancing as another type of covid spreads, I invite you to think about those years when maybe you didn't have as much as you wanted, or you weren't with those people you wished you could be with, take a trip down memory lane and remember what made you the happiest. So many this year will be alone for the first time, some will be homeless, so many facing indefinite futures. Help where you can, be kind and give whatever you have the capacity of giving, for some it will be financial, and for some it may just be a smile or a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line, just do it, see how it makes you feel, and remember to find some joy in the season and pass it on.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Updates ... I suppose!

It's been a hot minute since I've checked in and updated my blog, so long as a matter of fact I couldn't even remember the blog address, LOL, it took a few tries.

1.  We moved from the Condo we were living in back in early 2019, we weren't expecting to move, but someone in our life made a move which meant the condo we were in had to be sold.   It was very upsetting to have to move again.

2.  Found a nice house, in a nice beach community and were approved for rental.  It's small with 3 small bedrooms, 2 baths, and a kitchen/living room combination.  What we love most is that we have a nice fenced in backyard for our puppy girls, they LOVE being able to go outside without a leash and just lay in the sun all day long. 

3.  My girl had moved in with us, but that didn't last long as she and her boyfriend were given a chance to rent a nice apartment in another beautiful beach community, so off she went.  The only sad part is that she is about 40 minutes from us and I don't drive the freeways, so I don't see her often.

4.  The hubs and I are finally "empty nesters" ... we LOVE it, I can't even imagine living with our kids now.  It's great to see them, but living with your grown adult kids isn't easy on anyone.

5.  Covid 19 aka Corona Virus hit the United States and has virtually shut us down (no thanks to Donald Trump).  Nine months in to this and we have over 220,000 deaths, incredible numbers of those who have been sick with it, people losing jobs and companies have shut down, restaurants cannot seat people inside, it's been crazy.  We wear face masks everywhere we go, we carry hand sanitizer and use it like it's going out of style.  Even doctors offices have been doing zoom video appointments for non-emergencies to lessen the risk of becoming infected.  It's been horrible, families are becoming homeless, marriages breaking up due to the stress involved, and suicides, depression and anxiety are up as well.  Praying for things to get better, but I expect it will be a good while before we see a change.  The only good thing to come from this mess is that the hubs and I have been picking up take-out once a week or so and going down to the bay to watch the boats come in and out while we eat, we even catch a great sunset sometimes.

6.  November 3rd we will be voting for a new President.  I have voted already and am hoping for a great change.  God Help us all if Trump cheats and gets in again. 

7.  My Uncle Carl died, he fell and hit his head, he had a brain bleed and we suspect a stroke.  He was my last surviving uncle, and was like a dad to me as my own dad died when I was a child.  Life will never be the same without him, I miss him terribly.

8.  I've had some medical struggles lately, my diabetes has been a bit hard to control, but part of that is my fault, I need to try harder with my diet and exercise.  I also have Stage 3 Kidney Disease, but am hoping that if I can get that Diabetes under control the kidneys will not get worse anytime soon.  I'm also having a rough go with my Triglycerides, they are much to high, so I'm taking meds for that as well.  

9.  Crafting and Card Making has been my sanity most days.  I make tons of cards and I craft some other fun stuff once in awhile.  My latest creation is a Halloween Decoration for my girl, its a Spell Book, kind of like the one from the movie Hocus Locus.

10.  Not much else is new around here, I'll try to keep up here when I have more to say.

Thanks for reading this far, I hope you are well and safe and gosh darn it, go Vote.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Day You Left Us


2556 Days

61,344 Hours

3,680,640 Minutes

That's a very long time
and yet
It seems like just yesterday!

That day I received a phone call from the Principal at your school,
she called to tell me you had been taken by ambulance to Lawrence & Memorial,
you were unconscious, and they had found you on the floor of your classroom.

My ears started to Buzz ...
I couldn't hear what she was saying anymore ...
I remember screaming in the phone "Is he dead"
I screamed again "I'm on my way".
I called for Morgan to come home immediately from her job which thankfully was literally right around the corner that day.

We drove to the hospital ...
Not knowing what we would find when we got there ...
I remember telling Morgan, I think he died.
Then when we walked in to the hospital they got the doctor to come and talk to us,

I'm so sorry to tell you that your husband had a massive heart attack and passed away, we were unable to revive him.

... and there's that buzzing in my ears again, it just wouldn't stop.
How does one go on from that point,
you just do, even when you don't want to, you just do.
It wasn't easy, I walked around waiting for someone to tell me it didn't really happen ...
but no one did.
Thank God for all the family and friends that helped to get both Morgan and I through your passing.
We didn't get through it unscathed,
there were tears
and anger
and yet
we carried on, because that's what you would have wanted us to do.

There are still hard moments and days when we think about you and miss you, I suppose that will never change.

You filled our lives with joy and love.
You changed our world for the better.
You will never be forgotten Brian.
Me and the Girl

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Recipe Share ...

A Recipe Share for everyone today.

I love You Tube, and follow quite a few people there.
Sometimes they share cooking video's and recipes,
and sometimes I like them so much I want to share them as well.

The following recipe is from "The Queens Cabinet".
The creator is a lady named Shelby who is currently cooking a Keto Diet for her family, as her husband has rejoined the national guard and needs to make his Army weight.
Basically she is going through her own recipes and converting them for Keto and WW.

This one is a recipe for a Artichoke Dip that she made and then used on top of grilled chicken breasts, which she popped in to the oven for just a few minutes to bubble up the dip.
It looked amazing and she said it was a 10 out of 10, something she will make again for sure.

How many ways might you find to use this dip in your healthier eating.  At our house we need to eat less carbs so this would be delicious used with the chicken in the recipe, used with fresh veggies, perhaps even fish (I don't eat fish but my husband loves it).

Here's the Recipe for the Dip.

Creamy Artichoke Chicken
-4 grilled chicken cutlets -1 cup mayonnaise -1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated -14 oz can artichoke hearts drained and quartered -1 clove garlic finely minced -4 oz diced green chilies
Place grilled chicken on sheet tray. Mix remainder ingredients in bowl and mix. Top each chicken breast with 1/10th of the mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden. 1/10th of dip recipe is 1.2 carbs, 190 calories and 7 WW Smart Points

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Things That Bug Me ...

You guessed it, this post is all about things that bug me.

1.  People who home school without a plan.  I watch a lot of You Tuber's and many of them home school their kids.  Now that's not a bad thing if you have a plan, if you follow a program, if you are making sure that you are teaching your kids properly and that you are making sure your kids have a chance to socialize properly.  One family I watch lives in Utah, they have 9 children, some of which are adopted.  They are by their own admission "unschooling" their kids.  I asked if they follow a curriculum daily and was told "no, our kids are responsible for education at their own pace, we encourage them to do what they enjoy and not get caught in the binds of a strict state designed curriculum.  Most given days the kids are "playing", building forts, chasing one another outside, going on hikes with the mom and dad, making jewelry, yada, yada, yada.  They do not take state mandated exams and it is up to the parents to decide when they are ready to graduate.  HOW CAN THIS BE OK?  The other day on a trip to a big box store looking for a gift for their dad, one of the young daughters, who appears to be about 12 years old did not know what an outside Thermometer was used for (something you might learn if you went to school) she by the way spend much of her time making earrings to sell.  Another son recently who is old enough to have two jobs went in to the thrift store looking for toys that he is obviously to old for and he was being dropped off at work early because he was bored, there was nothing to do at home (how about Math, Science, or Reading).  I guess Utah does not have any strict guidelines for home schooling, in my opinion they need some.  The good thing I've seen now is that they have enrolled their youngest two in school for a bevy of reasons, both have speech problems as they were born in another country, one of them is down syndrome and cannot guide herself in education, this makes me happy.  Then their oldest who would be a senior in high school has decided to go to school for all electives in things he enjoys, apparently the school is OK with his having done all his core work on his own, I guess some schooling is better than none.  Then today they mentioned two of the middle aged kids have decided to go to school on a short day program, thank goodness.  I believe those kids are bored stiff and need some socialization outside of their home and church activities, sometimes when their parents turn the camera on them and ask them what they are up to they say "nothing".  What makes me really sad is that so many people think this is the way to go and it worries me that we are raising a generation of self indulged kids with no idea how to work with time restraints and schedules.  Kids need structure, they need guidance and discipline and they need to know they can't live their whole lives getting up when they please, working if they feel like it, learning if they "like" it and not just because it's what will help them in the future.  If you're going to home school, do it right and don't think your little ones can "do it on their own without their parents guiding them, they cannot". 

2.  Contractors really drive me crazy, mostly because they work on their own schedules and never show up on time.  We've had them here a few times over the past few weeks, lots of "we'll be there by such and such a time", they they either don't show up at all or they literally show up hours later.  There's nothing we can do though, we certainly need their skills.

3.  Cell Phones at the Dinner Table, it drives me insane especially when everyone has one pulled out to text, check Face book, emails etc. and no one speaks.  Put your DANG Phone away for 20 minutes.

4.  Bugs, bug me ... especially when you live in a condominium and the association should take care of treating for the little and big pests and they sit on it.  Spray, treat ... kill them and make sure they don't come in my house. 

Sorry nothing super positive, just a few things on my mind that I needed to get out of there.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fall is Coming

I love Fall!
I really miss my Fall days back east as we don't really get them where I live in Southern California, yes some of the trees turn colors (much later in the season than the East Coast), we can purchase delicious apples at the Farmers Markets, but it's not the same.  There are no cool mornings with the smell of cold dew on the leaves that have fallen, smoke in the air from fireplaces warming homes, and wool sweaters and socks to keep us warm.

I'm sitting in my living room right now, with the sun shining brightly through the windows here at home.  The sliders and windows are all open to let in the fresh air and my fans are all on while I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
Certainly none of that brings to mind a cool Fall day.
I am home a lot during the days, taking care of my pups and paper crafting when the mood hits.  I also watch a lot of You Tube video's in search of inspiration of many kinds, card making ideas, cooking, knitting and crocheting and just daily vlogs from some of my favorite you-tubers. 
I especially love cooking vlogs and meal plans.
One of my favorite You-Tubers is a lady by the name of Shelby.  
Her You Tube channel is called "The Queen's Cabinet".
She lives in Cooperstown, NY and she and her husband are building an amazing property around their home that when finished will be complete with an apple orchard, a trout pond and a huge garden for the kitchen.  I cannot wait for them to post pictures when it is all done.
Here is one of the recipes she cooked recently, it looked and sounded so delicious, I'm definitely going to try it soon, maybe you would like to try it too, and Yes I think it will make a wonderful Fall dinner for your table.
Here you go, enjoy!

Creamy Pesto Chicken

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
10 Skinless Chicken Thighs
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
3 Tablespoons Pesto
2 cups Heavy Cream
5 Ounces Baby Spinach
12 Ounces cooked Penne Pasta
Parmesan Cheese for Garnish

Saute chicken thighs in oil until cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add Sun Dried Tomatoes, pesto, heavy cream and spinach and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove Chicken Thighs and stir cooked pasta in to cream sauce.
Serve to individual plates and top with 2 chicken thighs per portion,
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

*Note Shelby recommends using bone in Chicken thighs for the extra flavor, however I do not like meat on the bone, so I will be trying this recipe with boneless, skinless thighs.

That's it, a recipe that appears pretty easy and sounds amazing.
I hope you will give this recipe a try and while you're at it check out Shelby's You Tube channel "The Queen's Cabinet", I promise you won't be sorry, it's filled with so many yummy recipes, menu ideas and her charming spirit.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, I hope you'll chime in here and tell me what you love about Fall, I'd love to know.
I appreciate you, have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pineapple Mango Salsa "Dump" Chicken (A Crockpot Recipe)

Summer for me means "easy" kitchen cooking.
I hate to heat up the house and end up not wanting to eat because we're all too warm.
Turning on the oven is a big NO-NO.
Eating out every day is expensive so we try to find things that can be done simply at home.
The Crockpot or the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is the way to go.
What "easy" recipes do you make for during the summer to lighten things up and cool things down?

Pineapple Mango Salsa "Dump" Chicken 

A Crockpot Recipe 3 Large chicken breasts 1/2 cup of Salsa 3 Tbsp. of Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce 1 cup brown sugar 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks drained 2 cups diced mango (this can be canned and drained) 15 0z black beans drained 15 0z sweet corn 4 oz green chilies 1 Tbsp. of garlic powder 1 Tsp onion powder 1 Tsp smoked paprika 1 Tsp salt Dump all ingredients into a crockpot and Cook 6-7 on low or 4 hours on high.
*Note: This is a good "freeze ahead" meal, dump all the ingredients in a bag prior to cooking and freeze it until you are ready to enjoy, then dump in your crockpot and you will be good to go.

Serving Suggestions: Delicious served over brown rice with heated tortillas on the side.

*Note this recipe is not my own, it was shared on Pinterest and by Kiera on a You Tube channel that I watch and enjoy.