Sunday, October 17, 2021

Woodland Animal Pumpkins

 Last weekend when Alaina and Ruby stayed over, we made some cute pumpkin crafts. The girls love animals so this was perfect for them.

These were made using fake pumpkins.  One stayed orange, the other I got ready ahead of time by painting it gray. I also cut some pieces out of felt and cardstock.

Here's Ruby gluing some pieces together. She chose the orange pumpkin and was making it look like a fox.

Alaina took the gray pumpkin which was going to be a racoon.  

We glued together ears, tails, faces and feet.  Then we glued all those pieces onto the pumpkins to make our animals.

Here's Ruby with her fox.

And here is Alaina with her racoon.

Aren't they cute?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 Todays recipe is one of my favorite pasta salads.  It's pretty with the red and green vegetables and is full of flavor.  I get asked for the recipe often, so I'm sharing it with you.

Italian Vegetable Pasta Salad

8 ounces uncooked tri-color pasta
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup cubed Monterey Jack Cheese
1 1/4 cup Wishbone Robusto Italian Dressing *

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.   In large bowl combine all ingredients except dressing and mix well.  Add 1 cup dressing and stir together.
Refrigerate overnight.  Before serving, stir in additional 1/4 cup of dressing.
* Using this specific flavor makes a big difference in how the salad tastes.


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Monday, October 11, 2021



This is a picture of my Dad and his sister Esther.  She was about 15 months younger than my Dad and passed away last week at 88.  If you saw her, you wouldn't have thought she was 88.  She still got around well and had a great sense of humor. She had a stroke and passed shortly afterward.  Her daughter said that even when she was dealing with the issues that came with the stroke, she talked of how blessed she was, and how God took care of her.  She was a joy to know.
My Dad came from a family of 9 kids.  He was right in the middle - 4 older, 4 younger.  One died as a child, and now all the kids older than him have passed, and now Aunt Esther being just a little younger is gone as well.
We have been very blessed to be part of this family.  They have stayed close through the years and always support each other.  The siblings that are living still meet up for breakfast frequently.
Dad and Aunt Esther were always known as the jokers of the family.  I want to share a few things we heard about the 2 of them when they were younger.
When they were quite young, Dad got a new winter coat. This was in the 30's so the Depression was going on and a new coat was a big deal.  Well, he was teasing Esther so much, that she got mad at him and threw his new coat down into the outhouse.  He got in big trouble, and she never confessed until she was married.  
Another story is from when they were older.  Dad told her he had set up a blind date for her.  She got all ready for it, and when there was a knock on the door, she went out to the entry, only to find a old man from church.  Dad knew this guy was coming to have a meeting with his Dad and totally set Aunt Esther up.
That's just the tip of the iceberg.  We've said that our Grandma was a saint to put up with all the shenanigans in that house, but we sure do laugh now.
It's sad to see another family member pass, but a blessing that she went quickly and we know were she is, and we'll see her again.
It was also good to see lots of family at the funeral, catch up and laugh over some of those old stories!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Weekend adventures

 We had Alaina and Ruby overnight this weekend.  Ruby said it had been at least 2 months since they were over, so they should come again next week.  It hasn't been 2 months, but it has been a while, so we were looking forward to it.

We surprised them by going to the frozen yogurt place after we left their house.  They've wanted to go there since I took them when we had their shopping day with me, and they were excited to show Grandpa all the good stuff there.  However, Grandpa didn't want gummy worms or swedish fish in his ice cream!

When we got home, Ruby was having fun looking at pictures with Grandpa.

Alaina was playing with the Newtons Cradle, which is something they get out all the time.

We stayed up late and watched a movie.

They slept until shortly before 8 the next day.

They were having fun playing house and hide and seek in the family room downstairs while I did a little cooking and laundry.  Then we did a fun craft together before we took them home.

We stopped at my sister Cheri's house on the way home because the girls wanted to see her new puppy.

This is Henry - isn't he cute? He's a little wet, as he had been outside and everything was soaked after a big rain.  So Alaina held him, but Ruby didn't want to get wet.

Something crazy happened in our town on Saturday.  A trailer tipped over, leaving a huge load of pumpkins and gourds all over the road.
They pushed them off to the side, and said people could pick them up, so we stopped to get a few.  The girls were quite excited about this!

Here's our stash, ready to go out on their steps.

We stopped at my Dad and stepmoms house to eat lunch and get Dad's meds set up.

Ann gave them some cookies to take home.  Ruby says great-grandma makes the best cookies in the world!

It's so fun to see them together.  I love seeing their relationship.  They are 6 and 9, Dad is 90 and Ann is 92.  Many kids don't get to know a great grandparent as well as they have.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 I have one more fun meal we made while on vacation.  This is something Bob saw and thought would be good.  And it was!

Muffin Tin Pizza Bombs

frozen dough for rolls
pepperoni or ham
pizza sauce
 cheese, sliced or cheese sticks, cubed
olive oil
Italian seasoning
Grated parmesan cheese

Place amount of rolls you want in greased muffin pans. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non stick spray.  I like to let mine thaw overnight in the frig, but you can take them out in the morning and let them thaw and rise on the counter too.
When dough has risen above the muffin cups, take each roll out and flatten it.  Spread pizza sauce over it, then pieces of ham or pepperoni.  Last, add the cheese.
Pull the dough over the ingredients to make a ball.  Place each dough ball back into the muffin tins, putting the spot you just closed on the bottom.
Allow rolls to rise again, until they rise above the muffin cups.
Brush tops with olive oil.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese on top. 
Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Monday, October 4, 2021

October Garden

 Things have really changed in the flower gardens, but there is still beauty there.  Here's a few things happening in our gardens.

Not a flower, but the very last cherry tomato on our plant.

Our Black Eyed Susan's are blooming for the second time.

Autumn Joy Sedum.  The flowers just get deeper red as the days go by.

This is Hardy Ageratum.  I love the color and the fuzzy look of the flowers.

Seed pods on the Rose of Sharon bushes.

Not a flower but some sort of berry in our wooded area behind the flower beds.

These look like blueberries but they aren't.  It's another wild berry in the wooded spot of the back yard.

Our hydrangea tree is just loaded with flowers this year.  The branches are hanging down because of it.

Here's what one of the flowers looks like.  They turn darker pink as the days go by.

And a few mums and pumpkins on the front porch.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A Day in my Life

 October!  The first day of October came in beautifully.  The sun shone, the temperature was perfect.  Here's how my day went.

It's definitely darker in the morning.  This was at the corner of our road about 7:10 am.


And then, a little ways down the road.  The sun is coming up and the mist is hanging over the road.

Our office and therapy hall.  It's about 7:20 and I am the first to arrive.  You can see the light shining out of my office door part way down.  

Simple pleasures!  I am funny about ink pens, maybe because I use them so much.  This is my favorite pen and my last one had run out.  So I was happy to have a new package to start with on this morning.  This will probably last me 8 months or so.

One of my jobs at work is ordering supplies for feeding tubes, tracheostomies, catheter kits...   They are delivered on Thursday and our maintenance man stacks them up in our supply room.  On Friday morning, I get a cart and bring things to the nurses supply room, and organize what's left in this room.

It was a busy day.  We had an in-service to attend in the afternoon.  I also worked on staff competency reviews, lab orders and trying to close out infection control things for last month which is something that takes several days.  I also had to talk to the Dr several times about things going on with our residents.  Then we had an admission come at 5.  By the time I got orders put in and got him settled it was nearly 6. 
Friday night is date night for us.  We almost always go out for supper, so I went and picked Bob up.  He had been home since 4 so was ready to head out.
We went to a town about 20 minutes from us.

I had a turkey panini and Bob had a BBQ bacon burger, which he said was the best ever.  My sandwich was also very good.

This is the beautiful sunset we saw as we were driving home.  

We got home close to 8 and relaxed the rest of the evening.

Happy October!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Friday Funny


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 Todays recipe is another one we made on our vacation.  It's for veggies, grilled in a foil packet.  So simple, so good, and no mess! Bob grilled chicken breasts to go with the veggies, and it was perfect.

Grilled Vegetable Packets
Veggies of your choice - small redskin potatoes, onion, pepper, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes...
olive oil
Garlic powder
salt, pepper

Cut potatoes in half, cut up other vegetables into small pieces. If you're using potatoes, put them in the microwave for about 4 minutes to ensure they are cooked through.
Place veggies in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil.
Place a square of heavy duty foil on the table, put in a serving of veggies and sprinkle spices to taste over them.  Seal foil packet and repeat with remaining veggies.
Place on grill for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Open carefully to let steam escape.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Monday, September 27, 2021


You may recall that we have been working on a porch project.  It seems to be the never ending project...
We started 3 years ago.  We thought we had a contractor lined up, but he just never started.  So - last year we actually got started with a new contractor.  Everything seemed to be a waiting game.  They poured cement, we waited.  They started framing, we waited.  They came to do the roof and then we waited.  You get the picture.
However, by last Fall a lot was done.  We were waiting for painting to be done on the rest of the house, stone work needed to be done on the pillars, Bob had to redo the landscaping...
I'm happy to say that now we are almost done!  The painter has to come back and do the windows and trim in the back, but that's all.
Here's a few pics from the beginning.

Here's a photo of what the house looked like before we started.

The cement has been poured.

The porch is finally taking shape.

Here is how things ended last year.  The porch was on, the roof was done.  We had a new front door and window installed and the siding was put on the front.

Although you can't see it well, Bob put in a new landscaping bed at the side of the house, that includes the 3 oak trees. 

This shows the stone work done on the pillars and the beams  and pillars all painted.

Bob painted the front door and the garage door.

Bob also painted the garden door white.  Prior to this it was natural, but with everything else being painted white, he did this too and I think it looks really nice.

One thing we are still waiting on is 2 white glider rockers.  Like everything else, they are held up.  We ordered them in April and last week they told us they are now anticipated to arrive in mid-October.

We love this finished porch and sit out here often!