Thursday, October 31, 2019

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is for Sloppy Joes.  There are so many versions of  this recipe, but this is my go to recipe - so easy and it has excellent flavor!

Sloppy Joe's
2 pound hamburger, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion, optional
4 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup catsup
2 tablespoons mustard
Put browned hamburg and onions in bowl and microwave on high until hot. Add cornstarch, salt and sugar and stir together. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Microwave on high for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. This recipe reheats well, so may be refrigerated for later use or just place on low in slow cooker to keep warm.
*This makes a large amount.  I make half of this for Bob and I and it's still enough for a few meals.
**Bob's family always put cheese on their sloppy joes, so that has continued in our home.  You should try it - it's good!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Monday, October 28, 2019

She's growing up!

Last week was Alaina's birthday.  She turned 8!  She's really looking older and acting older too.
She got her ears pierced on her birthday, and Laura and Aaron stopped by with her after it was done so she could show us.

 See those cute earrings?

 She was pretty happy!

 Ruby thought she needed to get into a photo too.

And here's what else happened last week.  She got braces!

Aaagh!  Time is going too fast!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Autumn Drive

I think the colors are about peak in our area, and will probably not last long, because it keeps raining!  We've had lots of wind and rain.  Lake Michigan has had huge waves that have been causing a lot of trouble with erosion.  But, when the sun is shining, the colors are just gorgeous!
Here's what things are looking like in my neck of the woods.

 Close to home - in our front yard, Bob has been blowing leaves.

He's also been working on those never ending acorns.  This is clean up number 4 - and this is just from one section of the front yard!

Here's some pics taken around our town.

And back home again.  This is our street, our driveway is just beyond the pine tree on the left.
Hope you enjoyed the West Michigan color!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cooking Thursday

Here's a great Fall recipe for you.  Since it's time for pumpkin, I thought I would make some pumpkin bread.  This is the best recipe for pumpkin bread, it's moist and so full of flavor, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin (not pie mix, just plain canned pumpkin)
1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup raisins, optional
Combine all ingredients.  Place in large, greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until it tests done.
*You can triple this recipe and use one of the large cans of pumpkin (29 ounces = 3 cups of pumpkin).  You will have 3 loaves of the bread and it freezes well.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Monday, October 21, 2019

Making Pumpkins

I did such a fun craft with Alaina and Ruby last week.  It was easy and really turned out nice.

 We started with a roll of toilet paper.  We unrolled it 8 times...

then loosely wrapped it back up, occasionally twisting it, to give it a more rounded shape.

 Then you take an 18 inch square of material  (we used plaid flannel), put the toilet paper in the middle and pull up one corner, tucking it into the tube in the middle.  Continue around the whole piece of fabric, tucking as you go but not pulling too tight, so it keeps a pumpkin shape.

Once your fabric is on, take one or two twigs and tie green ribbon around them.

Push the twigs into the middle tube with the fabric.  Trim the ribbon and your pumpkin will be done!

 Two completed pumpkins.  Aren't they cute?  They turned out so good that I think I'llmake one for myself too.

The girls were proud of this project and couldn't wait to show their Mom when they got home.

*1/2 yard of fabric makes 2 pumpkins.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The week that was...

Last week was Bosses Day, and I thought you might like seeing a few fun things we did for our Administrator and Director of Nursing.  We so appreciate both of them and they enjoyed these fun little tokens.  

This little container is filled with paper clips.  The tag on the top says "You hold the pieces together."

This one is filled with M&M's.  The tag on this one says "Thanks for being m & m, marvelous and magnificent!"

This one has York Peppermint Patties.  The tag says "For your enjoy-mint.  Thanks for your encourage-mint, commit-mint, invest-mint, involve-mint."

These were fun and were easy to put together.

The other thing going on last week was flu shots.  This is a big deal in long term care facilities, getting consents signed by all the guardians and residents, giving the shots and then documenting them.

I went back in to work on Monday evening and gave almost all the residents their shots.  A few had received them already and a few refuse them.  After they are given, there is so much documentation!  It needs to be put into a preventative health file on the computer, into a vaccine book at the facility and then into a State of Mich website, including date, lot number, type of vaccine, site...  so it takes quite a bit of time.  I worked on this much of the week.

But Friday was a day for more shots.  It was the day to do the employee vaccines.  I try to do a few things to make it a little more fun than just coming to my office and getting poked.

I buy candy so they can have a treat, and they all like chocolate!

I also get fun band-aides.  I had 3 different types - minions, emoji's and mickey mouse.  The staff members always laugh at this.

Here's the desk - set up with consents, vaccine information, alcohol wipes, candy, band-aides and the shots.
I ended up giving 124 shots last week.  I'll be doing more this week, for employees that couldn't make it in and for residents who didn't have their consents turned in on time.  I'll also be doing documentation for the employees.
It's always a big relief to have this done, and I'm close!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is a perfect thing to make in the Fall, with fresh apples available in abundance!  Heather made this for our family gathering on the weekend and I made it to take to a friends lunch this week.
It's so good, and is very easy to mix up!

Toffee Apple Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  English toffee bits (10 ounces)

 In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugars and vanilla. Fold in toffee bits.
Serve with apples. Refrigerate any leftovers. Yield: 2 cups.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Autumn is here

It's really cooled off here - from temps in the low 70's last week, to temps in the 40's.  Along with that are other signs that Fall is really here.
Here's what it's looking like.

 The corn is no longer green.

The trees are showing just a hint of color.

 More corn, ready to harvest.

 A field of gourds.

 A little more color here.

 Roadside stands selling pumpkins and gourds.

In our back yard the flowers on the grasses are turning purple.

Things will probably really change in the next week!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Weekend fun

This weekend Heather and Andrew had a little party.  The reason for the party?  It has been 14 years since she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  The doctors think it was caused by a virus as both her pancreas and thyroid quit working at the same time.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and is no fun to deal with but she's done a great job and has been able to maintain her blood sugar levels at a good number, which is the important thing in avoiding issues later on.
So - they had a "Diaversary party!"  Andrew said "we can cry about it or laugh and carry on."

 Bob and I were there, along with Laura and girls.  Aaron was out of state for work. We had a nice supper.  The red balloons were a tongue in cheek reference to blood drops from so many finger pokes checking blood sugar levels over all those years.

 There were a few little gifts for Heather to open, Alaina and Ruby were happy to help.

Oliver was in a friendly mood, and the girls were happy to spend a little time with him.

Andrew even made this cake.  The blue part is a pancreas.
We are so thankful she is doing well, and that Andrew is such a great support to her.  We're also thankful for their good attitude about it.

The girls came home with us and spent the night.

 Bob made pancakes for breakfast which was a big hit!

After breakfast, Ruby brought me her beloved bunny to me, his ear was coming off.  She was so happy to have it sewed back on.

 Grandpa and the girls had a little tea party while I got ready and started some laundry.

 The girls spent a little time outside.  Ruby was riding bike and Alaina was gathering acorns for me,  We were also looking for some little sticks for a project I'll share with you later.

Speaking of acorns, here some of acorns Bob raked up from the yard on Tuesday.

And here's how things are looking already on Saturday!

We picked up lunch at McDonalds and ate with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma before going home.
Fun times with family are the best!