Thursday, October 30, 2014

~ Halloween Veggies ~

A friend shared this with me and thought you might enjoy too! There's really no recipe for this ~ it's certainly self-explanatory. :)  Just a quick share for those that may be having a Halloween party.  A great idea for an appetizer, so easy, healthy, colorful and of course could be used anytime by just changing the pepper's design.

Sharing with ~ 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

~ Heaven has received another Angel ~

I really had planned to share a bit of the inside of my Casa ~ and I will soon!  I asked for prayers here and perhaps another time in the past 2 months. For those that may not know, Joyce was my kid's step-mom for 37 years. She treated them the same as her own and I cannot tell you how much that has been appreciated!  She lost her fight to cancer earlier today. Even though it was expected, the finality is still difficult. 

Cherish every moment with your loved ones ~ life is precious and fleeting. Sometimes we all get wrapped up in "stuff" and, in the scheme of things, it is just that ~ stuff!   Take a few minutes for that hug or kiss, make that call, invite family and friends over, play more and laugh a lot!  Make amends if need be, be sure everyone important to you knows they are loved and don't have any regrets.

One of my first thoughts was that she will see Abby first!  What a reunion ~ :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

~ Where I Live ~

I really haven't shared my humble abode since I moved last year. The move was just a few days after Abby's service and it was a very long time before I felt like unpacking boxes, decorating or just living day to day. For those that are not aware, I'm single and retired and have no desire to try and maintain a home with all the chores, expenses, lawn care, you name it!  :)   I loved it when I was younger but not now. 

This post is picture overload ~ just letting you know!

This is the entry and a glimpse of the incredible landscaping. 

This is the front of the main building. The office is on the left as you enter and there is a "Welcome Center" on the right with TV's, coffee and other beverages and cookies. There are several private rooms for meetings, luncheons, parties, etc. The business center, workout facility, kitchen and dining area, mail room and restrooms are all located on the first level.  The main pool is located behind this building. Actually, I'm on the 2nd level on the right and the very back of this building.There is a small dog park but my boy has a few "interpersonal skills" problems ~  :)

One more glimpse of the landscaping and flowers ~ there are lots of rose bushes and other foliage all over the property. 

Isn't this beautiful?  There are huge TV's in every area you can think of and sitting and dining facilities located throughout the property.  Notice the lounge chairs on the right that are sitting in the water!

And more of these lovely lounge chairs on the left side of the pool. Excellent to try and cool off in the Texas heat!

A lovely fountain. This view looks toward the back of the main building. The bank of windows looks out from the kitchen and dining area. One can reserve that for private parties.

One more view ~ 

More lounges to the right of the pool.

Gas grills and another seating area.  These are located through out the property.

A closer look ~ 

The lap pool.

These huge pots are scattered through out too.

More flowers ~ 

Well, we've covered a lot of the outside...maybe I'll let you come inside very soon!  :)  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

~ Witch Hats ~

I'm sure you've seen these cookies in the past. Seems they always come back around for Halloween. I did these for the grands when they were small ~ made a hit!  :) They're so, so easy and not at all expensive. Great for Halloween gifts, treats for the office, school, whatever.

(4.25-ounce) tube orange or red decorating frosting
(11 1/2-ounce) package fudge-striped shortbread cookies (32 cookies)
1/2 (13-ounce) package milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped (32)

Pipe a small mound of frosting in center of each chocolate-covered cookie bottom; press a chocolate kiss on frosting. Pipe a frosting band and bow around base of each kiss.

Joining ~  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

~ Love, Gratitude and Water ~

I'm not sure if you've ever heard of Dr. Masaru Emoto but I feel compelled to share his work. He passed away on the 17th at age 71 ~ much too early. He left an amazing legacy for all.  

The Emoto Family's announcement read, “His last word was ‘Arigato’, which means thank you in Japanese. We believe his last word was to the people who shared his vision for peace, the people he met along his journey, and everybody who came into contact with his life’s work.”
“He was so grateful for the friends he made throughout his life. He thanked you all so very much.” said his wife Kazuko Emoto. “In his last book, 'Hidden Messages From Water and The Universe', he wrote, ‘Life is love, which is a gift from God and parents, and death is gratitude for going to a new dimension’. So now he is in another dimension and continues to look over us warmly with love and gratitude.” she said.

I invite you to check out more information about him here.

Arigota, Dr. Emoto ~ may you rest in peace.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

~ Silent Sunday ~

~ Not Going to Miss You ~

"The Rhinestone Cowboy"

This is just heartbreaking!  This song was recorded in January, 2013 with music by his kids and a teleprompter to help him with the words. About 6 months ago he was admitted to an Alzheimer's special care facility in Nashville.

"I'm still here, but I'm gone...."
when a legendary musician finds he has Alzheimer's -- his poignant 
last song
 "Not Going to Miss You"

This is so sad...

Wanna laugh?  Eons ago, in the dark ages, before CD's and DVD's ~ I was married and living in Amarillo. A dear friend lived in the next block from us and we both worked for First Federal Savings & Loan.  My ex bought a new car that had...wait for it! 8 track tape player!  LOL  Most young people have no idea what that is. :) Anyway, Gale and I would go to lunch in my car...get something quick to eat and just drive around listening to Glen Campbell's tapes!  We were both in "lust" with him. At one point, he came to Amarillo to perform and played golf with Gale's husband. We begged & pleaded for him to take us but no, it was a "guy" thing. :)  Anyway, I think Glen has had a great singing career and made a positive impact on many lives. My heart goes out to his wife and family.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

~ Dressed-up Tomato Soup ~

Dressed-up Tomato Soup Recipe

A quick and easy tomato soup with great flavor!  Just add a typical grilled cheese sandwich and you have an easy lunch or dinner.  :)

  • 28-ounce can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes 
  • 1 26-ounce can tomato soup, undiluted Progresso Diced Tomatoes With Italian Herbs is my choice.
  • 32-ounce container chicken broth 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream; chopped fresh parsley, basil, chives, or rosemary; croutons; freshly grated Parmesan cheese; grated lemon rind.

  • Pulse 1 (28-oz.) can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until finely diced. Stir together tomatoes; 1 (26-oz.) can tomato soup, undiluted; 1 (32-oz.) container chicken broth; and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • To serve, we topped the soup with a dollop of sour cream (I don't care for sour cream but my family loves it.) and sprinkled it with chopped fresh parsley. Other tasty additions include chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh chives, chopped fresh rosemary, croutons, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and grated lemon rind.

  • Joining ~ 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

~ Autumn at the Dallas Arboretum ~

All photos are from the Arboretum's advertising.

If you're anywhere in Texas...or close by...or just hop a bus, train or plane and get here!  :)  They do such an incredible job with each season and fall is a favorite of mine. 

There are tons of activities for all ages. Tiny Tot Tuesdays with games, face painting, etc. Concerts for adults and this time of year in Texas it is enjoyable to be outside in the evenings.

Can you guess how many different types of pumpkins, gourds and squash are used in the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village? 30 different types of pumpkins, 15 different types of squash and 8 different types of gourds make up the display of


Can you imagine how many Pumpkin pies, cakes, breads, etc., that could be made from all these?

A part of "Pumpkin Village" ~ can you see the horses? :)

"Pumpkin Village"

 VP of Gardens, Dave Forehand, highlights a few of his favorites including the beautiful monarch butterflies, making a stop in the garden, Cassia ‘Popcorn’, Croton ‘Sloppy Painter’, and more!

In the Garden: Dave Forehand, VP of the Gardens created a big welcome to the TX/OU fans for the annual football game/rivalry. You would be seeing orange and red... pumpkins that is, all 65,000! Whether you were going to the game or just in town, this is one of "America’s Best Pumpkin Festivals," recently noted by Fodor's Travel.

Just as an fyi ~ my brother got married in the Botanical Garden many years ago. It was in the spring and absolutely gorgeous!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

~ Ebola in Dallas ~

day 9 ~
Big Tex welcomes you to the State Fair in Dallas.

This photo is in jest, of course, but it's kinda scary in this area. The man that had Ebola passed away this morning and one of the Dallas policemen that served the quarantine papers to the family is now in the hospital. He could just be sick with a "bug" or the flu but they're checking him out for the virus. They seem to be finding more and more people that could have been exposed. At first the CDC said the virus could only be transmitted by bodily there's a possibility that it could be airborne. I'm not one for crowds anyway but will certainly be cautious when I'm out. I'm not in the city of Dallas but you never know. I pray that his friends and family and anyone else in contact with him will be ok. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

~ See You Again ~

And on the 8th day ~ just keepin' it real my friends ~

7/08/97 ~ 6/21/13

I have had a difficult day and couldn't decide whether to post this or not. I am making an effort to post 31 days...or less this month. There are brighter days now but today I just felt sad all day. I went to get my hair cut and then decided to run an errand ~ just to stay out and not be at home. When I was almost in tears in the car, this song "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood played on the radio. Carrie wrote and recorded this song after the Sandy Hook tragedy. It was one of the pieces of music we chose for Abby's memorial service.  After that, my daughter and I would hear it constantly...very often in the same area where we would be driving regularly. (cue Twilight Zone music) Anyway, I hadn't heard it in months and yet today when I was feeling the worst, it was sent to me. I don't believe in coincidences/accidents ~ I think there's a greater force at work and we're given gifts such as this from the other side.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and listen ~

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

~ 31 Days....or less ~

(Gwen Moss)

My sweet friend, Leslie is conducting an experiment of being fully present each day in October.  Check out her post on October 1, "Owning Your Life". She shared some thought provoking issues and I totally understand the overwhelm, comparison, not good enough and NOT being present in the moment.  That's all we really have ~ this moment. Sure, we can make plans, have a lengthy to-do list and a calendar full of appointments, meetings, run here/run there and I know we're missing out on something very special in our midst ~ kids asking questions or needing your attention in some way, a husband/boyfriend/significant other, other family members, friends and acquaintances all vying for "time" with you.

October is my favorite month so I'm going to attempt to join Leslie in this project. I know you're laughing out loud as I've never posted daily. Frankly, I don't know how people do it, especially if they have small children.  Where do you find the time?  Do you sleep at all?  :)  And please notice, the "or less" in the blog title. I've already missed a few days but my intention is to finish the month.

Please visit Leslie ~ if you are not aware of her blog, you're really missing out!  Let me know if you feel like joining in too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

~ Blue Cheese-Ricotta Dip ~

This is a fun, easy and tasty appetizer to serve this time of year. Add the wine and you're set!  ;-)

~ Blue Cheese-Ricotta Dip ~

1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese  
8 ounces blue cheese,  crumbled (2 cups) 
2 T. apple cider (can use milk)
Freshly ground black pepper 
Snipped fresh chives or your favorite herb 

Green and/or red apple slices 
Breadsticks, crackers, pita chips ~ your choice!  

Allow ricotta and blue cheese to stand at room temperature for 1 hour. In a medium bowl stir together the cheeses, mashing with a fork until well combined. Stir in the apple cider. Add pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chives or garnish as desired.  You can form the mixture into the desired shape that you prefer. It's fun to try for a pumpkin this time of year!  I use a cake pan that I bought when I was working at Williams-Sonoma for awhile. You can also clean out a small pumpkin or gourd and use it as the serving dish...lots of choices!

I've shared this in the past but figured it was ok as a Fall rerun.  

I'm joining ~