Thursday, April 22, 2021

Taking a break

 I'm going to be taking a blog break to do some fun things!
You'll have to wait till I come back to hear what they are, but they include:

Fun times with Alaina and Ruby!


Fun times with Cassie, who has just turned 4 months!

See you all in a little while.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 I made these muffin/cupcakes last week and thought I should share this recipe again.  This recipe originally came from a friend who got them from weight watchers.  You would never know it from the taste though.  The are fudgy and delicious!  On top of that, this may be the easiest recipe ever - only 2 ingredients!  
Try them out - you'll like them!

Weight Watchers Chocolate Muffins

1 box Devils Food cake mix
1 can (15 ounce) solid pack pumpkin

Mix together. Do not add any other ingredients. The mixture will be very thick and you will be tempted to add something to thin it, but don't!
Place in muffin tins, sprayed with non-stick spray or with liners.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
This makes 12 muffins
Each muffin is 180 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 37 carbs, 2.5 grams fiber, 2.5 grams protein.

*I made this into 18 muffins instead. They were still good sized and cut the calorie count to 120 cal each.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Tip for Tuesday

 I eat boiled eggs for breakfast quite frequently.  I saw a tip about boiling eggs that I had to try.  I don't know about you but I have a terrible problem with eggs cracking when I put them into boiling water.  It's a rare thing for me to not lose at least one egg.
I've heard a lot of people start their eggs in cold water to avoid this, but I can't stand to wait around for it to come to a boil, plus it makes it harder to peel
So - the tip I saw, said to poke a tiny hole into the wide bottom of the egg.  This allows the air to escape from the pocket at the bottom and  that makes them less likely to crack

I tried it:

Here are the eggs, the holes are poked into them and they are ready to boil.  You can see the tack I used to make the hole.

I put them into the boiling water and guess what?  Not a single crack!

Here's the eggs, freshly boiled and not a leak out of those little holes.

When I went to use them, they peeled like a charm!
I've done this several times now, and not one egg has cracked.
I'll be using this method in the future.  It's well worth the little bit of time it takes to poke those holes.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Little Critters

 Last week, I had a day where I had a few unusual critter cross my path.

It started in the morning on my way to work.  This is not unusual because several homes near us have chickens, and they are free range.  They like to cross the road, and don't feel that they need to hurry for any vehicles coming their way.  This chicken was with a few others, who slowly meandered in front of me and then made their way into the woods.

After I had been at work for a little while, I saw something outside my window..  We have a storage building behind our facility, and something was walking in front of it.

It was a racoon!  He really wanted to get inside.

He finally gave up and wandered off.  I'm glad the doors were all closed up though, because he would have made himself at home in that building!

Last was the craziest sighting!
I got out of work early because I had to come back and work at night.  I hadn't had lunch, so was driving through McDonalds.  I was asked to pull ahead and wait.  There was another car in front of me, and imagine my surprise when I saw this critter, come out the window and hang out on the drivers arm!

A beautiful, brightly colored parrot!  This is not a common sight in our area,

He was huge, and you can't see how long his tail was.  It was so cool to see.
I got my lunch and came home.  No more critters were seen on my drive.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 Todays recipe is one I've shared before, but it's been awhile.  This time of year I make more salads.  This is a pasta salad that is so good!  I got the recipe from Carrie at Northwoods Scrapbook some time ago, and I make it quite often.  Everyone always likes it, so I thought I would share again!

Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad

8 ounces bow tie pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 slices bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 cup Fresh Gourmet honey roasted almonds

Cook pasta as directed on package, drain and rinse with cool water.
Cut broccoli florets from stems and separate into small pieces.
Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, onion, vinegar and salt.
Stir together pasta, grapes and broccoli, then stir mayonnaise sauce in.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.  Stir almonds and bacon into salad immediately before serving.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021


 It's the most wonderful time of the year!  That song is about Christmas, but for me, it's Spring.  I love living in an area where there are seasons and I do enjoy each one, but after winter, Spring brings such joy!

A few short weeks ago we had snow.  Now it' been warming up and Spring flowers are starting to bloom.

Here's a few photos of what's happening around here.

Grecian Windflowers

The maple trees in the back yard are starting to bud!

We have a new robins nest in the back yard.

Miniature daffodils and English bluebells

Forsythia is blooming

The sedum is coming up.

The forsythia in our back yard.

Look!  The trees are turning green.

"for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing[a] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land."
2 Solomon 2: 11-12

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Stormy Morning

 Last week I was driving to work in the morning and the sky in the north was so dark!  It was lightning, but hehind the clouds so instead of seeing the lightning strikes, I saw glowing areas in the clouds,
It was really beautiful.  So, I pulled over to the side on that empty dirt road and tried to get a few pictures. I got just a few to share with you.

"He makes the clouds rise from the ends of the earth, fashioning lightning for the rain,
 bringing the wind from his storehouses."
Psalm 135:7

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Friday Funny

"Notice all the computations, theoretical scribblings, and lab equipment, Norm.  
Yes...curiosity killed the cats.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is one from my childhood.  I remember my mom making these when I was in elementary school, and now I'm 60, so this is an old recipe!  My daughter Laura mentioned making them and said the girls love them. I hadn't made them for some time and decided it was time to make a batch!  Besides, chocolate and cream cheese is always a winner!

These are so tasty, the recipe makes a bunch and they freeze really well.  They even taste good right from the freezer.

Topsy Turvy Cupcakes

2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat, then stir in 12 ounces chocolate chips.  Set aside.

Stir together:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
2/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Beat until well mixed.  Fill cupcakes 1/2 of chocolate mix.  Top with one tablespoon of cream cheese mix.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Makes 30 cupcakes

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021

Stamped clay eggs

 Here's something fun we did last weekend when the girls stayed over.
We made stamped, clay eggs.  You can make any shape, but with Easter coming, we made eggs.

To do this, you need craft clay that can be baked.  We used Fimo brand.  You also need a rubber stamp and ink of your color choice.

First, you take a small piece of the clay and roll it out.  We put ours on waxed paper with another piece of waxed paper over top, then used a roller to make it thin and even.  You can see from Ruby's face that this was hard work.
Then use a cookie cutter or clay cutter to cut out your desired shape.

Ink your stamp and press it lightly into the clay.  You can use just a corner, or fill the whole cut out with a design.

Here's Alaina stamping one of her eggs.

This is the stamp we used, a simple pattern that could be used in several ways.

Here's one of the eggs that's been stamped.  We then used a straw to cut a little circle into the top of it.

We put all the eggs onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  We baked them for 25 minutes at 200 degrees.
When they cooled, we put a piece of cord through the hole and tied it so they could be hung.

Here's Ruby's eggs.

And Alaina's eggs.

And a close up so you can see the finished product!

This was lots of fun.  The girls thought we should do some little ones to make into necklaces.  I think we'll do that soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

A Day in my life - April

 April is here!  I'm so happy to see it because it means Spring is really here.  Here's what I did on the first day of April.

I'm off to work at 7am.  It was cold (23 degrees) and we had a little snow during the night, which you can see on the side of the road.

I got to work at 7:15.  This is our front entry.  When we come in we have to check our temp, sanitize our hands, fill out a health questionnaire and put on a KN95 mask before we go in. The temp gets rechecked every 4 hours we are there.  No covid cases in our building!

April 1 fell on a Thursday.  This is a doctor day for me.  Our Dr comes every Thursday, so I gathered charts and information that he would need, printed labs and gathered other paperwork he would need to sign.
On this day I also had a Physician Assistant student from the nearby University with me for the day.  She was to spend the morning with me and the afternoon working with the Dr.
I went over our Infection Control program with her and showed her several things I need to check for every resident, like a site that gives information on vaccine status, another one that we have to review for every resident that is on narcotics.  Those things took quite a bit of time and before I knew it, it was nearly noon.

We went out to meet a few new residents and get paperwork signed.  On the way, we passed our courtyard, which is starting to look inviting as the weather improves. 

Soon the doctor arrived and started going over things with our student.

At one point we had a scare when something hit the windows.  It turned out to be window cleaners - another sign of Spring!

The Doctor and the student left around 4:30.  I had to finish making notes, calling families to inform them of changes and orders and putting all the charts and paperwork away.  I left around 5:30.

Driving home - it was beautiful!  The temps were in the 40's and the sun was shining.

Such a pretty drive home!

When I got home I took a walk around the yard and found these daffodils getting ready to bloom.

Bob works late on Thursday, so I heated some leftovers to have for supper.  I made lunches for the next day and started the dishwasher.

Then I put together these little gift bags for our girlies. I knew I would be working all weekend, so I wanted these to be ready to drop off the next day.  This was an idea I saw online, that just took a lunch bag and a pompom.  It was quick and easy.

When I ran my dishwasher, I had extra space, so I put these old bottle in for a quick clean up.  This shelf is in our bathroom and the bottle get dusty quickly, so I try to take advantage of the dishwasher from time to time,

I also threw these old telephone insulators into the dishwasher.
Nice to have them all shiny and clean!

Bob came home a little after 8 and sat down to relax for a while!

Later in the evening I got this photo from our daughter Laura.  They love April Fools and playing tricks.
Laura gave them a bowl of popcorn for breakfast and was singing in an opera voice instead of talking to them.  In spite of Alaina's look here, they did think it was pretty funny once they realized what day it was!

And that's it for April 1!