Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall colors

The colors are at peak here, but it's been raining all day and I think it won't be long till the branches are bare. Here are some pictures I've taken in the last few days to show you what it looks like around here.

Not much color here yet, but I like the look of this country road!


I like the different colors on this tree.


This tree isn't too colorful, but I thought the way they left it in the middle of the road was so unusual and I had to share it.


I always enjoy the bright yellow trees and the way the leaves contrast with the bark.


Our wooded area has some pretty trees too.


Last - our road!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I have for you today could be used for breakfast or as a side dish. It's quick and easy to make, and it has bacon in it, which is always good. :)
 My friend Sandra took a break from hosting Cooking Thursday when she moved, but I'm happy to tell you she is back. For more recipes, stop over at her place.

Bacon Cheese Pull-Aparts

1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 16.3 ounce Pillsbury Grands Flaky Biscuits
2.1 ounce package pre-cooked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11x7 glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat egg and milk with wire whisk until smooth. 
 Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in bacon, cheese and onions. Spoon mixture into sprayed dish; arrange biscuit pieces in single layer.
Bake at 350°F. for 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

(Red bellied woodpecker)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Being thankful

My fellow workers at the nursing home have been reminded of this fact this week.  We get so caught up in our busy lives and often complain about little things, when we need to remember to be thanking God for each day he blesses us with.
We had a couple come to the nursing home about a month ago.  I knew them from the community and always enjoyed talking to them.  When they were admitted, they were both in poor condition, he more so than his wife.  Before I tell you about what's been going on with them, I have to tell you a little history.  The man had 2 wives pass away before he married this woman.  Both wives dies of cancer. He also had a daughter killed in a car accident when she was 16, and another daughter died of cancer in her 30's.  The woman's first husband also passed away and she lost a son to suicide.  Both have already been through a lot.
Now we come to what's happening now.  The mans daughter lives out of state.  She came back to see her Dad.  While here, she ended up in the ER with terrible pain.  She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and is now starting chemotherapy.  The woman has one daughter who lives nearby.  The daughters husband has been driving the step sister to the hospital for her chemo treatments.  Last week, while the daughter was at the nursing home, she got a call that her husband had collapsed at the chemo center.  He had a heart attack and passed away.  
The original couple isn't expected to live for long - maybe a week or so, and I can't imagine what that daughter is going through, planning her husbands funeral while sitting at her dying Mom and stepdads bed.  And the other daughter going the chemo at this time is also having a hard time.
This was a real reminder about how quickly our lives can change.  We always need to be assured of where we are going when we pass away, and also be thankful for each day we are given.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Party time!

Alaina turned 2 last week and we had her birthday party Saturday night.  Here's a few shots of the fun!

Reading the cards - she seemed to enjoy them.


She figured out the whole opening presents thing very quickly!


This picture doesn't look like it, but she blew out the candles on her cake.


Eating cake...



Fun times playing with new toys.

We had a great night.  She's at such a fun age, talking, running, giggling... and it seems she learns something new every week.   It's a joy to watch her grow, but then it also seems she's growing too fast!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nature trail

Last week our small group from church got together. We have four couples in our group and we meet monthly to talk about what's going on in our lives, discuss any questions or concerns, pray together, care for each other and have fun! 
The couple who hosted this months gathering have a wooded back yard, where Garry has put in a nature trail for his grandkids.  It winds back and forth through the woods, and he's added little things for them to enjoy, like plastic bugs and lizards on trees and logs.
This time of year, the walk was really pretty.

The red maples are gorgeous this year.


I love these fuzzy seed pods.


See the nest?


The walk was short, but so pretty.  What a nice way to start the evening together!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Alaina!

Our granddaughter Alaina is turning 2 on Thursday! It's hard to believe how quickly those 2 years have gone by.  It's been so fun to see her learn and grow.  We enjoy every moment we get to spend with her.
Alaina - Happy Birthday from Grandpa and Grandma.  We love you lots!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seeing apples in my sleep...

Do you remember me telling you about all the apples on my Dad's trees this year?  This past week it was time to do something with them.  Dad brought lots and lots of them to my sister Cheri's house and we tackled them there.

Here's Cheri, hard at work, cutting apples.

We used this strainer that allows you to cook the apples with the skin on, then when you run them through here, the skin is separated.  It saves a lot of apple, and lots of time too!

Cheri had this wonderful set up - the stove was saved for cooking apples, and out on her deck was the canner, run by propane.  It helped keep the kitchen cool too.

Here's some of the finished product.  We ended up with over 40 quarts.  Lots of work, but worth it in the end!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's pumpkin time

I've been postponing decorating for Fall, because I wasn't really ready for Summer to be done. However it's really cooled off here and the leaves are changing, so ignoring it wasn't working! Last week I went out for some decorations for our porch.

Along the way we admired the colors of the changing leaves.  We stopped at a roadside stand and bought some little pumpkins for $1 each.


Then we stopped here for some that were a little bigger.  They have plenty to choose from!


Here's one of our pumpkin piles.


We also got this big mum and a few unusual pumpkins.  I put out my Autumn decorations in the house too, so now I guess I'm finally ready for Fall.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Congratulations to comment #8 who is the winner of the Audrey Bunny book.  It's Jenny, from I'm having a Thought Here!
Jenny - I know you'll love this book as much as I did.  It'll be delivered to your house soon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tonight you belong to me

If you have 3 minutes to spare you have to watch this video.  I have to admit to watching it several times, because I think this Dad/daughter duo is the cutest thing.
Apparently this little 4 year old was supposed to be going to sleep, but she kept thinking she was hearing fireworks.  To distract her, the Dad said they should sing a song together.
I don't think it worked too well to get her to forget the fireworks or to go back to sleep, but it sure gave me a smile.  Plus - you have to give kudos to a Dad who is willing to play a pink guitar!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is one I've shared before, back when I first started blogging. It's a favorite around here and when I made it the other day, I thought I should post it again. So here it is - hope you like it too!

 Slow Cooked Pepper Steak

1 1/2 -2 lbs round steak
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T. oil
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 c. soy sauce
16 oz. diced tomatoes
1 T. minced onions
2 lg green peppers (cut into strips)
1 clove garlic
1/2 c. cold water
1 tsp sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

Cut beef into 3 x 1 inch strips. Brown in oil in skillet. Transfer to slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, onion, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and ginger. Pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 5 - 6 hours, until meat is tender. Add tomatoes and green pepper. Cook another hour on low. Mix water and corn starch. Remove liquid from crock pot and thicken on stove with water/cornstarch mix. Pour thickened sauce back over meat and vegetables. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Audrey Bunny (Review and giveaway)

I was given the opportunity to review a new children's book this week.  It was written by Angie Smith, who is the wife of Todd Smith, the lead singer of Selah.

The story is about Audrey, a stuffed bunny, sitting in a barrel at a store, waiting for someone to choose her and take her home.  However, Audrey is quite sure she will never be chosen, because she has a smudge, just over her heart.  But one day, Audrey is chosen by a little girl named Caroline!  Audrey tries to keep the smudge hidden because she doesn't want to be returned to the store.  You'll have to read the book to find out what happens.  For a trailer on this book, or to order it, go here.
Another thing you should know is the fact that Todd and Angie Smith had a baby girl named Audrey who passed away a few hours after she was born.   Here is a link to Angies blog, where she talks about this book, and includes a short clip about Audrey Bunny's mark.

This book is beautifully written and illustrated.  I first read it, thinking  it would be a good book to read to Alaina.  After reading it, I had to wipe away tears and I now think it's a book that isn't limited to small children - everyone should read it!
At the end of the book is a Parent connection with questions and actions, which uses Psalms 119:73.
"Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands."

This book is a wonderful reminder that God made each of us, He loves us and has a plan for our lives.  The publisher has offered a book to be given away to one of my readers.  To be entered, all you need to do is leave a comment.  I'll be posting a winner on Saturday! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's happening at the home?

Every once in a while I post about the happenings at the nursing home I work at. I thought it was time for a little update.
It's been very hectic and crazy lately.  We've had lots of admissions.  We get a lot of people that come in for rehab and they always seem to come and leave at the same time.  Both  admissions and discharges are tons of work, and when there are several of them, it can make for not a very good day, but it goes with the territory.
We also have had a few tough admissions; one that had a lot of psych issues and was very nasty and mean to the staff, one that needs constant watching because she's a huge fall risk, and also a few that are really sick and need watching because of that.  Also, we just gave our residents their flu shots and they all needs temps monitored for 3 day, plus - a lot of people are sick with nasty colds, that have turned into pneumonia in a few cases.  All of that means busy days, and long ones too.
However, there's always good things going on as well!

Our nursing home was presented with this award.  It's always nice to be recognized for the care we give, especially when  things are a little tough!

We love to have fun with our residents.  There is always teasing and laughing in our halls.  We recently had a lady in for rehab who was in an accident and had a lot of fractures.  The first day I met her, I may have teased her just a bit.  (You can tell who enjoys this - with some I just go about business because they don't appreciate goofing off).  Anyway, this lady started threatening to toss a little water on me.  After a few days of this, a sliver of ice "happened" to slip down her back.  I told her ice was good for pain!  The next day I was talking to her from the doorway, and she asked if I was scared to come in.  I went in and was promptly doused with water.  She had gotten therapy to give her a big syringe without a needle, and filled it with water.  (They can shoot water a long distance!)   She was laughing so hard, she could hardly breath, especially with her broken ribs! The day she went home, I had a day off, and was presented with this gift from her the next day:

Yes - that's the water shooting syringe, with the note she left.  It gave me a good laugh.  Therapy tells me there is still another "gift" waiting for me in their room.
Yes, we have some tough days, some difficult patients along with some sad times, but we also have a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Signs of Fall

There's not a whole lot of color in the leaves around here yet, but it's starting. I am seeing some other signs of Fall though.

This is along the road in front of our house.  They're opened Beech nuts from the neighbors tree across the road.  We've never seen so many before, usually it's just a scattering of them.  I have to wonder how many are in their yard if it looks like this over here!


The berries on the viburnum are brilliant red and the leaves are starting to change too.

This little vine looks pretty next to the weathered gray fence.
Are you seeing much Fall color in your area?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cooking Thursday

I don't know about you, but I cook differently when it starts getting cooler.  This is a recipe I came across that's perfect for cooler weather.  It's got a lot going for it - it's easy to make and you get a whole meal in the crockpot. Plus - the roast is melt in your mouth tender!

Slow Cooker Coca Cola Pot Roast

1 beef roast of choice (use the size roast and the amount of vegetables you need to feed your family)
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 (12 oz) can Coke
Red potatoes, halved
baby carrots

Place roast in crock pot and top with dry onion soup.
Mix cream of mushroom soup and coke and pour over roast.
Place vegetables around roast.
Cook on low for about 10 hours.  (The longer you cook it, the more tender it gets)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Changing every day!

We try to have Alaina overnight every couple of weeks, and it's amazing what a difference a few weeks can make. She spent the night here on the weekend and we couldn't get over how much she's talking. She's also figured out how to charm Grandpa (And I'm afraid me too) She looks at him and says "More, please"? It's awfully hard to say no... She was asking for more of this show called Bubble Guppies. She loves it and we just tolerate it because of her.    :)
Here's what else she's doing:

I got this mini quad from a friends garage sale.  She likes it, but isn't too sure about pushing the go button herself, so Grandpa walks alongside and does it.


This is the tricycle our kids used. She was working on peddling...


And she figured it out!


All kids seem to like to go up the slide, instead of the ladder!


Having fun in the fort with Grandpa, peeking at Grandma.
It's such a joy to spend time with her!