Monday, June 30, 2014

Misty morning

I love driving to work in the morning when the sun is just coming up. If there's a little mist on the ground, it's even better. I had one of those mornings last week. It was so pretty that I would have liked to just keep driving. It's a reminder of what a great artist God is!

Just down the road from my house.

A little mist can even make an old shed look good.

At this corner I had to turn toward a main road. Time to put the camera away and go to work!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shower time

This past week, my 2 sister-in-laws and I had a bridal shower for Bobs nephew Christopher's, girlfriend. Chris and Trisha are getting married in the beginning of August, so we thought we'd have the shower before she was too busy.
 Bob's mom arranged for us to use a room at the independent living facility she lives at.  The room was really nice and no one had to worry about getting their house ready.  :)

(my girls)
We started  the evening with a little laugh, when Laura and Heather both arrived wearing khaki capri's and a navy top.  My sisters and I have been teased for doing the same thing, so we told Laura and Heather they were taking after me.

We started with supper; chicken salad croissants, fruit salad, veggies and dip and this yummy cake.

Here's a few guests from left to right:
Laura, niece Alicia, Bob's sister Karla, Mom and his sister Diane

Of course there were gifts to open!

And games to play...

You can see that there were a few people that got a lot of candy.  That was from this game:

This was a memory game. These squares were covered by numbered post-it notes.  People had to choose 2 squares, trying to match a phrase with a candy.  If they got it right they got the candy.  Some examples of match ups:  Airheads - bridesmaids, Lifesavers - parents, Nerds - in-laws, Sweet Tarts - bride and groom, Baby Ruth - something we'll all be waiting for...   It was a fun game.

Here's Tricia with a picture of Chris - she was trying to make a face to match his.  :)
This was another game.  Each person was given a sealed envelope when they arrived.  They all opened them together.  Each one had a picture of some famous man, but one had this picture of the groom.  The envelope with the groom was the winner. 
It was a fun night and we're all looking forward to the wedding in August.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Celery Farm

Last week I drove past the celery farm I worked at when I was in high school. That's been some time ago, but they are still growing celery there.  I thought I would share a few pictures of it, because although it's grown a lot in my area, I know it isn't really common.
Celery grows in dirt called muck.  Muck is black, very rich dirt, that really holds water.  If you see a puddle sitting on top of it, you would be smart not to step in it because you might get stuck!

This is a planter. The planter I used 30+ years ago was smaller.  2 people sat on it, each had a box of baby celery plants in front of them.  We would take a handful of those plants and insert them, one at a time into a metal disc which circled around, placing each plant into the ground.
We used to get a nice tan on our planter, wearing shorts and tank tops and putting our feet up on the little fenders.  We didn't worry about skin cancer then and we thought that was a great bonus!

We used to stop if we missed a plant or to get a new box.  Now they have someone walk with them to take care of those issues.  Look at all those little plants in a row!

Here's a field of celery that's been growing for a little while.  I've always thought the rows of celery in the dark dirt was a pretty sight.

Soon the fields that were planted first will be ready to harvest.  There is a machine that pulls up the celery and puts it in a wagon.  It then comes into a barn, where it's trimmed - the bottom cut off and suckers pulled off. It then goes on a conveyer belt where the top is trimmed and it's washed.  It's then sorted by size into crates.  Usually the crates are trucked out, but sometimes each bunch of celery is bagged first.

I really enjoyed working on the celery farm.  I was able to work in each area during my years there - from the greenhouse, to the planter, to the trimming station, to the packing station - all hard work, but we had fun too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cooking Thursday

I made this Mac and Cheese last week and it turned out really good.  The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be started ahead of time and then put in a crock pot.  If you like cheesy, creamy mac and cheese you should give this one a try!
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces cooked elbow macaroni, cooked for half the time specified on box
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
2 -8 ounce bags shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Dash of paprika

Spray a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray and add evaporated milk, whole milk, butter, salt, pepper, and eggs. Stir in macaroni, then stir in all but ½ cup of the cheese.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese and paprika on top.
Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
*This recipe can also be cooked in a 9 X 13-inch pan coated with butter and placed in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Silly Boy!

It was another weekend to have Alaina overnight. When I picked her up, she started talking about going to see the "silly boy". It took a few minutes before I realized what she was talking about.

This is the silly boy.  It's next to our bank and she saw it from the car the last time she was over.  She kept reminding me on the way home that we had to see him.  However - she was sad when we turned in and he wasn't outside.  It was raining and they must have taken him in.

On Saturday she brought it up again, so when I took her home we went by, and he was outside.  She wanted to get out and see him, so we parked and walked over.

She was much braver in the car than in person.  The fan makes quite a noise and he was pretty tall.  This was as close as she would go.  She was happy to have seen him though!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Take me out to the ball game...

Saturday night we were invited to a baseball game at our local minor league ballpark.  Heather's boyfriend, Andrew was given tickets to a Whitecaps game by his workplace and he had 2 extra so we went along.

You may remember that in January, I shared this post about a large fire at the ball park.  This whole area was burned and had to be rebuilt.  You would never know it now!

A Whitecaps game is always entertaining.  They do something between every inning, and you never know what it might be.  Where else would you see an eyeball race?

And I bet you've never seen monkeys on dogs, herding goats!

It was quite a sight!

Here's Heather and Andrew enjoying the game and putting up with my picture taking...

Heather retaliated by taking a picture of Bob and I.

We saw some good hits.

Although it was kind of cloudy, it was a beautiful night.  We ended up leaving, because the game went into overtime and I had to go to work the next morning.  It ended up going for 11 innings, but our Whitecaps won, 6-5!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jazz for Cows

See what happens when an American based band stops to play some jazz music for a herd of cows in France!  I thought they were pretty good and I think the cows liked it too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cooking Thursday

Here's something new I tried last week. It was quite easy to make, other than getting the manicotti filled without breaking them. I split mine up into 2 8x8 pans - one to eat, the other to freeze. It was good!

The Best Cheese Manicotti

1 (14 count) box manicotti
1 jar marinara sauce
1 (30 ounce) container ricotta cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese (more if you like a lot of cheese)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (not grated)
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper (optional)
minced garlic (optional)

Cook the manicotti shells according to the directions on the box. Drain in colander and set aside to dry.
Mix all the ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan in a bowl.  Add an extra handful of mozzarella and a little more parmesan if you like it cheesier.  Add the basil and Italian seasoning.
You can also add a dash of salt and pepper if you like or a little bit of garlic. 
Preheat oven to 350.
Once the shells are drained and the cheese is mixed together, begin stuffing the shells.
I put the cheese mix in a large plastic bag, and cut off one corner, then squeezed the cheese mix into the shell.  Be careful because they have a tendency to split.
Pour about half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and spread evenly before you place the shells in the dish.
Once all the shells are arranged in the baking dish, pour the remainder of the marinara sauce on top.
Add any leftover cheese on top of the sauce.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
If you want to freeze this, wrap tightly with foil and thaw before baking.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tip for Tuesday

The next time you paint a room, I have a tip for you. Get one of these!
This is a paint shield.  Bob picked this up when we painted.  It only cost a little over a dollar.  It fits right into the rim of the can and lets you pour the paint, without getting it into the ridges.  It worked perfectly.  When I took it off, the rim was nice and clean, which makes putting the top on and getting it back off later, so much easier!

Here's my clean paint can!  The shield rinsed off easily and is ready for the next use.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Our not so green yard, and some critters!

Although the weather has been gorgeous lately, our grass is not looking green, because it's covered with seeds and oak tassels.  It's the season for trees to be dropping things!

These tassel looking things drop from Oak trees in the Spring and are called Catkins. There are so many this year that our front lawn looks brown!

There are so many, they're starting to pile up next to the road.

Meanwhile, in the back yard the Maple tree is also dropping seeds, or helicopters as we call them.

Some of the critters are very happy about this.  We've been seeing several black squirrels happily eating back there.

This little brown squirrel was collecting seeds and running to this tree to eat them.
They sure can be fun to watch!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

In honor of Fathers Day on Sunday, I have a cute video to share with you.  I know it will make you smile!
Happy Father's Day to the wonderful Dad's in my life; my Dad, my husband and Bob's stepdad.  I'm blessed by all three!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cooking Thursday

I'm sharing one of our favorite sandwiches/easy suppers today.  This is one that I usually make up the day before I'm going to use it, then all I have to do is spread the meat on buns and broil them.  They're yummy!

Open Face Cheeseburgers

1 pound hamburger, browned
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon mustard
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 hamburger buns, sliced.
Mix browned hamburger with salt and minced onion.  Stir in cream of chicken soup and mustard, then stir in shredded cheese.
You can now place mix in the refrigerator until ready to use.  
When ready to use, microwave mix for 1-2 minutes, just until it's soft enough to stir and spread,
Spread mix onto bun halves, then place under broiler until browned.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Verbena bush

 Last week I posted this picture in my Wordless Wednesday post and a lot of you wanted to know more about this plant.  This picture is deceiving as it looks like this is growing on the ground.  Actually, it's a Verbena bush. 
This particular type, gets flowers not just at the end of the branches, but along the top of each branch.  It's really beautiful when the flowers open up.

Here's another picture of the same branch, with the flowers opened up.


 And here's a picture where you can see the whole bush on the right side of the arbor.

 This is another type of Verbena bush we have in the back yard. This one gets flowers on the end of the branches.  These flowers are so unique.  They get a circle of little flowers around the center, making one larger flower.
I enjoy both of these every Spring and wish those flowers would last longer!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cutest little foot!

Last week, Bob and I had the privilege of going with Laura and Aaron to an ultrasound of the new baby.  Aarons mom was also there, as we were going to find out if they were having a boy or a girl.
The baby was very active and the technician was having a hard time getting some clear pictures.  At one point, this little foot showed up on the screen, and there was a chorus of awww's in the room.
Finally, she was able to get some clear shots and she was able to say...
It's a girl!
Everything looked good, the baby appears healthy and the dates lined up with what Laura  had been told earlier.  The due date is October 27.  We're all anxious to meet this baby girl!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekend Report and a birthday!

Hope all of you had a nice weekend!  Mine started on Friday, when I woke up with one eye swollen, draining and painful.  :(
So, I was off to the Dr, was diagnosed with an eye infection and given a prescription for antibiotic eye drops and steroid eye drops, with instructions to call if things weren't better by Sunday.  She was concerned about how quickly this came on, combined with an infection close to the brain and didn't want to take chances.  (Me either!)
On Saturday, the outer part of my eye seemed better, but the actual white of it was swollen, and not too comfortable and on Sunday the whole thing started getting more painful again.  I called the Dr and am now on oral antibiotics as well, and I'm hoping things will soon be back to normal.

Saturday night we had a little adventure with our cat Oliver.  Bob had just gone to bed and I was trying to finish something up when I heard a bumping sound.  I thought he had gotten closed into a room and was trying to get out.  I asked Bob if he had been in the bedroom with him, and he then got up to help me look.  A while back, you may remember that Oliver had gone into a heating vent when we were working on our bedroom.  We are currently painting another room and the register is off.  We keep the door closed, but there was that fear that maybe he snuck in while we were in the room and had gone into the vent again.  We went downstairs, checked the ductwork, looked everywhere in the house that we thought was a possible spot and couldn't find him.   Bob was ready to open the ductwork but we didn't know where to begin.  We started opening doors again, and then Bob found him.  He was in a cabinet under the bathroom sink!  He must have snuck in while I was in the shower and was stuck when I shut the doors and left.
Here he is after we found him - he doesn't appear too concerned!  It was now midnight, and we all headed to bed!

Monday is a special day at our house.  It's Bob's birthday!  He's working and then has a meeting at church, so we'll be celebrating later.    Our family is blessed to have such a wonderful husband, Dad and Grandpa.  Happy Birthday Bob!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Deal of the week - or maybe month!

I have to share the amazing deal I got last week!
This is a Fisher Price Pirate ship.  It usually sells on Amazon for $49. It's currently on sale there for $34.  Last week Kohls online had it on sale for $32.  I had one code that gave me cash off, another that gave me a percent off and free shipping.  I ended up paying a little over $12 to have it shipped to my house!
I'm not sure if I'll use it as a gift, or save it for Alaina and other kids to play with here, but Fisher Price toys have always been a good purchase for me, and with a deal like that I couldn't say no.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing today is for some cookie bars with M&M's in them. Yum! They make a big pan full so they work well when you need to bring something to share.

M & M Squares
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup oleo
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups M & M's

Beat together peanut butter, oleo and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix flour, oatmeal, soda and salt.  Add to oleo mixture.  Mix in 1 cup M & M's.  Press into jelly roll pan.  Sprinkle remaining M & M's over dough.  Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Baby birds

When Bob was working on the yard, he found a nest with baby robins.
I love watching baby birds and was excited to take pictures of them, but I could see they were pretty big already. 

This is what I found when I went to take a picture the next day.  They had already flown away!  Glad I got that one picture.  :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Everyday Life on June 1

Last month I joined Sweet Tea and took part in a meme called My Everyday Life, where you share pictures of your day, taken on the first of the month. It's time for another installment - here are my pictures from June 1. 
I have to work every other weekend and this was my weekend to work.
I got up at 5:10, but forgot to take a picture until 5:32am.

6:35am - on my way to work, pulling out of our road.

6:45am - driving to work - it's a beautiful morning!


7:30am - I've been at work for half an hour.  I've gotten report from the 11-7 nurse, stocked up my med cart and am ready to start the morning med pass.  This is the time that we give out the most medications and I won't be done with this until about 9:45am.  At noon I'll do another med pass, but it's much quicker than this one.

Since I can't share pictures of our residents for privacy reasons, I'll share a few other things seen around the Nursing home.

This is our resident bird, named Shakespeare.  This bird is a girl, despite the male name and was named by a resident several years ago.  She gets a lot of attention from the residents and visitors.  She sits across from the nursing station and occasionally drives me crazy when she squawks while I'm on the phone.  :)

One of the residents has this sign hanging by his door.  He has a good sense of humor!

Weekends can be a little quieter than weekdays because the department heads aren't there, we don't have people going out for appointments, Dr's don't come in...   So, after I got my meds passed, treatments done and charting done I had time to work on a continuing education course.  We have to do 2 or 3 of these a month, and it's nice to get started on the first day of the month.
This one was on vision and hearing loss in the elderly.

3:35pm - home from work and walking around the yard.  The lilacs are blooming!

3:45pm - in the house I find Bob taking a little nap.
After a glance at the paper, I took a short nap too. We had a calm, quiet evening spent relaxing and enjoying a phone call from our son in Kentucky.
Although I really miss being able to go to church on my working weekends, it was still a nice day!