Tuesday, November 29, 2011

~ Prayers Requested ~

I'm sure everyone has heard that AMR, the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy today. I spent 30 years with American prior to early retirement in '03. How this will affect my pension is unknown and very, very unsettling. I don't know when we'll have answers. This is really a time to walk the talk and have total faith in God.  At the moment, I'm not in the mood for much of anything.  I would really appreciate your good thoughts, prayers, positive energy, etc.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

~ Saturday Smile ~

I don't have this particular problem anymore but I've certainly felt this way!  ;-)

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  Such a wonderful time to be with family, friends and be more aware of all our many blessings.

It's getting colder here ~ north winds are very strong and blowing the leaves off the trees. I so hate to see them go.  I've cleaned my kitchen, dishwasher is almost finished, bathroom is clean and all the laundry is done.  Christmas music is on and....NOW...I'm going into the far recesses of my closets.  If I don't surface in a couple of days, please send help!

Enjoy your weekend ~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

~ Happy Thanksgiving! ~


Wishing each of you and your loved ones a fun, safe, blessed and very Happy Thanksgiving!

Please don't forget to say "Thanks" to our military personnel that cannot be with their families on this special holiday. USO

Sunday, November 20, 2011

~ Monogram Tray ~

This is just a simple tray I made for a gift.  It's not rocket science at all ~ :-)   I found the tray at Walmart and wanted to use a textured spray paint.  It really didn't turn out as a "raised" surface as much as I would like but hey, it's ok for a first try, right? 

Just a simple tray ~

I used Rust-oleum's Multicolor Textured spray in Desert Bisque. It looks like a stone effect. Be sure and wrap the entire tray in plastic so only the stencil area is spray painted. That takes longer than anything. :-)

Here she is ~ done!

This pic is not that clear, however, it's just another view.  I placed the initial to the far right so pumpkins, candles, candy dish,  wrapped cookies or whatever could be placed on the side that's still clear. These could be done in many ways and would make a great personalized hostess or thank you gift!

Friday, November 18, 2011

~ Ramblings ~

I've had a bug of some sort this week...have not felt 100% at all. I haven't baked, cooked or done much of anything. Not fun!  Reading blogs and responding has taken a back seat, along with everything else.  I'm going to try and catch up this weekend!

Winter temps arrived for a couple of days, however, we're supposed to be back in the high 70's on Sunday.  One day it's the a/c, the next the heat is on. Crazy!

I've never, ever had such a difficult time trying to do a bedroom. I've almost lived here a year and it's still not finished. I cannot tell you how many comforters I've bought....and taken back!  If you need any lessons in "taking back", I'm here to help. :-)  I had a king size bedroom set prior to moving and there was no way it would fit in my very small bedrooms. Honestly, I was tired of it anyway and I gave it to a good friend's grandson.  I then purchased queen size bedding and it's tall/oversized, to say the least. A regular queen size will hardly fit and the last 2 king sets I purchased were too big. Oh yes, and the chocolate brown bedding I purchased fit just fine but the brown just isn't me.  I just ordered a king size quilt from Overstock so we shall see.  I'm thinking and hoping and praying and wishing and dreaming that all my pillows, new & old, will dress it up and I'll use my drapes I already had.  Cross everything, ok?  I might finally throw a Southern hissy fit if this one doesn't work!

Have you been making a list of all you're grateful for this week?  I love to keep a Gratitude Journal and this time of year it just feels more important to do so.  So many are planning impeccable tablescapes, houses decorated to the hilt and meals that would be fit for a King. I think of those that have nothing, little children that are hungry and our military personnel in horrendous situations. We have sooooo much don't we?

I hope that each of you have a fabulous weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by ~ YOU are wonderful and I'm extremely grateful for each of you.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
  ~William A. Ward

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

~ Love The Pie ~

Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by CherokeeUSA,  Le Creuset,  WiltonBags by Bloom, and  Harvard Common Press

FORWARD: This is a rerun! ;-)

This is one of the best apple pies ever! It's made a little differently but that adds to the overall flavor. I'm posting the original recipe and noted my changes along the way.

1 recipe pastry for a double crust 9" pie ~ I allowed the frozen crusts to thaw as I mixed the rest.
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced ~ I used 6 apples and you can see it was plenty.
I added cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice...more cinnamon than anything! Did not have Apple Pie Spice on hand.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. (I used a whisk to ensure there were no lumps & continued using it after adding the water & both sugars. Once the mixture was smooth, I stirred with a wooden spoon.) Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. (As you will see, I did not do the lattice work crust.)

3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft. I covered the pie in foil after the first 15 min as it was already browning. I also baked it an hour at 350'...apples were still not tender. I then turned the oven off and left the pie inside, covered until the oven cooled. Perhaps I used too many apples?? ;-)

First, the peeling/coring/slicing of the apples ~

All peeled and tossed with a small amount of lemon juice to help prevent early browning.

Now, the bottom crust ~

I used Marie Callender's frozen pie crusts ~ 2 in a package. Let me tell you, they are the closest to homemade that you will find....and so much easier! I really stuffed the apples in here ~ :-)

Be SURE and have your pan/cookie sheet lined with foil! Hopefully will avoid spills & running over. Now, pour the liquid ingredients over the apples....and be very careful as it is hot and tends to run every which way. I moved some of the apples around a bit with a fork in this process.

That part is done! Now we add the top crust. I cut 3 apple shapes out of the center of the 2nd pie crust to vent as well as placing the little apple shapes on top as decoration.

I used the tiny cutters I had from Williams-Sonoma.

I brushed milk over the entire top crust and sprinkled with sanding sugar...helps the browning and a prettier crust when baking is complete.

All done and your kitchen will smell like heaven!

I am so NOT a photographer so some pics came out larger than others. You can tell those that are blurry didn't publish well. :-(
I do hope that you will try this! I know you'll find it as delicious as we all did.

By all means, grab your cup of coffee or tea, relax and go over to Tidy Mom's blog and see all the wonderful pies ~ you know you want to!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

~ Products I Love! ~

I apologize in advance for the poor quality photos ~ I've searched and could not find any that were better.  :-(   Just wanted to let you know what to look for if you choose to try these.  I just recently bought my first skin care products from the Boots #7 line at Target.  I have very dry skin and it's difficult to find a product that feels like it's working....is not heavy or greasy. So far, I'm very pleased.  I think it's been about 3 weeks with no adverse affects.  I had read a review in one of the style magazines and the products were featured on ET one evening.  Good Housekeeping has given their seal of approval ~ for whatever that may mean.  :-)  They do offer a line of make-up, lipsticks and gloss, eye shadows, mascara, etc.  My daughter did buy one of the eye shadows and she loves it!  One item I just purchased was the Lip Protect and Perfect.  Oh my word, you cannot imagine how wonderful it feels!  You apply prior to lipstick or gloss in the morning and then however you'd like through the day & evening.  I promise, you'll love it!

 Check the website here for more information and all the products ~ Boots no7
You can also go to this site for a coupon!       Boots - Target

To see the full line at Target ~   Target - Boots No7
I'm joining ~


Friday, November 11, 2011

~ Thank our Veterans! ~

Today is not just 11-11-11...it's a special day set aside to honor all veterans that have protected us since WWI and some gave their all to do so. It would be great to find a way to really honor them personally. If you are related to one or have a veteran among your friends or social circle ~ give them a call, write a personal note or email them, stop by a local VFW and just say "Thank you!"  You just cannot imagine how much these words mean to them.

I feel very strongly about supporting our military personnel on active duty also. They are in horrible situations and in harm's way every hour to protect us. One way to honor our military is, once again, just to say "Thank you!"  You can easily do that by offering a prayer for them.

America The Beautiful ~ Ray Charles

America The Beautiful ~ Elvis

America, Why I Love Her ~ John Wayne

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

~ Chile-Garlic Shrimp

A friend shared this recipe with me eons ago.  It's great as an appetizer or you can serve with rice, make tacos or fajitas...whatever sounds good to you.  Just make a LOT!  :-)

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (1.6oz) pkg.buffalo wing seasoning mix (such as McCormick® Original Buffalo Wings Seasoning Mix)
5 T. unsalted butter
2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. lime juice
4 lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

Rinse the shrimp with cold water and pat dry with paper towls. Add the shrimp and seasoning mix to a plastic bag and shake to coat.               

Heat the butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat until the butter has melted. Raise the heat to medium-high; when the butter begins to pop and sizzle add the shrimp to the pan. Cook and stir the shrimp until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook.               

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Garnish with lime wedges and serve hot.

I'm joining ~

Yvonne at Stone Gable for On The Menu Monday ~

Monday, November 7, 2011

~ Did God Make You? ~

Only a Grandparent would understand this reasoning!
It is not how old you are, but how you are old. -Jules Renard, writer (1864-1910)

Out of the mouths of babes!  ;-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

~ Crazy, Busy Week ~

This is a good description of me this past week!  

I wanted to thank you for stopping by or emailing....for all your good thoughts and prayers. I had an appointment or something else scheduled each day and really have not been on the computer except for a couple minutes.  I had 1,971 emails this morning!  Took awhile to delete those that were not important and I still have not responded to those I want to. Please bear with me, ok?  :-)

I met with the cardiologist on Thursday for the results of the tests I had the previous Friday. I am extremely grateful ~ he said the heart is strong and there are no blockages. There is, however, an underlying "something" that is causing the EKG's to be abnormal.  One thing he said that is a possibility is if I have old fillings and/or crowns...they could be leaking and that goes into your blood stream. So now, I go to the dentist to see about that. Also, have to work on my cholesterol & triglycerides.

My mammogram appt was early Wed morning. Long story short, the girls at the reception desk were severely lacking in customer service skills and I waited forever. Once they finally took me to the back to change clothes, etc., that room was also packed. I asked about the wait there and it was going to be close to another hour.  Nope, not for me!  The girl said I was 'welcome' to return later as they started again at 1:00 p.m.  The technicians were all at lunch between 12-1p so she said I should be back at 12:30. I asked her why I should be back then when they were all at lunch...she responded that I could be seen at 1:00 that way. I told her no, I could understand returning 5-10 min prior but the additional 30 min wait was unacceptable.  I left and joined friends for breakfast. I tried calling the facility manager in the afternoon but they said she was in a conference.  I waited until 5:15 and no call back so got online and contacted the corporate office. Within 10 min of sending my email, a lady called from that office. I explained the rude behavior, the waiting, etc.  She apologized and got the manager on the phone also...the one I had been waiting on to return my call. One comment made was this was their busiest time of the year. I told her that was not my problem...it was theirs for the way they were scheduling ladies and that I had made my appt over a month ago.  We had a lengthy chat and I am to return early Mon so we shall see if things are improved!

My daughter put up 3 Christmas trees Monday evening and did a lot of decorating. :-)  I took one of her dogs and mine to be groomed on Tuesday and it was fun to see what she had done. She and a couple of her friends did more decorating today ~ that girl LOVES Christmas!

We had our first frost yesterday morning. I turned on the heat the night before just to make sure it was ok....nope, cool air and would not shut off. Finally got it turned off and called the office yesterday morning. Then it was like a swinging door here while they did the inspection and then repaired it.

I honestly don't know where the week went. I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you and see what exciting things you've been doing ~ cooking, painting, sewing, decorating, etc.  IF you got this far, I appreciate your reading!  I'm always excited to have you stop by and leave a comment. It's like I've been missing good friends all week. Hope everyone is warm and cozy and enjoying the weekend!