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!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Life lately

Last week I shared about our wonderful, peaceful vacation.  Unfortunately, the week that followed was not so peaceful.  While I was in church Sunday, I got a message that the State had shown up at work, for our annual survey and they needed all the managers to come in.  I was not happy about them showing up on a Sunday, but after church I went in.  
When they are in the building, we can't leave until they do, so there were some late days.  Our building, like every health care place around is dealing with lack of staff.  The surveyors said they see this everywhere, but they aren't any easier on us because of it.  And, because of the pressure of them being there, one of our new nurses quit, saying she couldn't handle it.  Then our ADON put in her notice because missing another nurse makes those of us on call, have to work even more.  This leaves our Director of Nursing and myself, to be on call every other week and fill in whatever holes are in the schedule, and also get our own work done.  It's getting exhausting and I'm feeling like I can't handle it much longer. But, I love my job and really don't want to quit...  We are needing nurses, nurse aides, housekeepers and kitchen staff!  In our area there are help wanted signs all over.  In health care around here, they are offering big sign on bonuses, but even that doesn't seem to help. 
So, I'd appreciate your prayers for direction and staff!

On another note, I took my Dad in for surgery on Friday.  He had a nodule on his vocal cords that was really affecting his speech.  He's had it removed once before and it had some precancerous cells.  Now it had grown back.  The Dr felt it was still the same cells, but he took more out this time, to hopefully avoid it coming back too soon.
The surgery went well and he was able to go home shortly after with instructions to not speak at all for 2 days, then speak minimally for a week.  The nurses couldn't believe he was 90!

Here he is, all ready to go home.  I'm thankful everything went so well.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 Our vacation cottage had a nice kitchen, so we took advantage of it and made some fun meals.  One of them was monkey bread that I made for breakfast.  It makes quite a bit, so we had leftovers and heated it up, but it heated well in the microwave.  It was very good. It isn't very healthy, but fun for vacation!

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
2 large cans Grands Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large bundt pan with cooking spray.
Open the cans of cinnamon rolls, set frosting aside and cut each roll into quarters.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon together.  Roll each quarter of the cinnamon rolls into the cinnamon/sugar mix and place half of them in bundt pan.
Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour half over the rolls in the bundt pan, then repeat with remaining cinnamon rolls and the butter/brown sugar mix.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until center of rolls are cooked through.  Let set for 10 minutes, then invert onto plate.
Heat icing for 10-15 seconds and drizzle over rolls.  Enjoy warm.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Visiting a vineyard

I mentioned in a previous post that the Mission Peninsula is the perfect climate for growing grapes.  There are so many vineyards there and we decided to visit one.  One of them is named Mari Vineyards, and with a name like that, we knew it was the place to visit.

The Mari vineyards are named after the owners Italian Grandma, whose name was Teresa Mari.  The owner is Marty Laguna, who is seen on the show - The Curse of Oak Island.  If you haven't seen the show, he's not an actor, but is looking for a lost treasure there.

Anyway, back to the vineyard...

The vineyard is on a hill, and when you drive in, you see this.  It's underground storage.

Here is the front of the building.

The entrance

A sign inside.

We signed up to do a wine tasting and could choose whether to sit inside or outside.  It was a perfect day, and the setting was so beautiful, that we sat outside.

This was the view from our spot.  The blue in the back is Lake Michigan.  And how do you like that stone table?
Our server told us that when they were building, someone from Italy was there to help set up properly.  He looked around and said the Winery itself needed a name and called it 'Bella Vista', which is Italian for beautiful view.

We had 3 types of wine to try, and they were very good.

After the tasting, we walked around the property and saw lots of the different types of grapes growing.

Here's a side view of the Winery, and some of the grapes.  We kind of felt like we'd just taken a little trip to Italy.  It was such a beautiful place, and a peaceful morning.

That was our last day in Traverse City.  It was good to have time relaxing and enjoying all the beauty around us!

Monday, September 20, 2021

More Traverse City

 Here's a few more things we did on our vacation.

We love lighthouses.  Michigan has a lot of them to visit.  We've seen this one before, but stopped to see it again.  This is the Old Mission Lighthouse on Mission Point.

We went inside this one, and climbed to the lantern deck.

Look at these "stairs".  It was quite a feat to get to the top!

The Lighthouse is on the 45th parallel.  

Near the lighthouse is this old log cabin.  It was built in 1844-1846.

Look at the size of the logs!

The Mission Point drive is so pretty.  It's a peninsula so you can often see the lake on both sides.  It's also perfect grape climate, so there are fields of grapes all over, and also a lot of orchards.

We spent a little time in Traverse City at the Commons, which was formerly a huge mental hospital.  It was built with the premise that beauty is healing, so the buildings were gorgeous, there was fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers were abundant and music and art was celebrated.  It closed in the 70's and was falling apart, until a group took over and renovated it.  There are now condo's, shops, restaurants...  occupying these buildings and they are so enjoyable to walk through.

There was a huge farm that fed the residents in the hospital.  It's now turned into a botanical garden and this labyrinth is part of it.

We visited an ice cream shop called Moomers.  We had heard they had the best ice cream, made fresh from their own dairy farm.  They have been on Good Morning America and been named best ice cream in the United States by several magazines.
The ice cream was good, but the view blew me away.  They have a huge deck, where you can see the farm and the cows.  With the sun going down, it was very scenic!

Speaking of sunsets, we went out to the lake most every night and watched the sun go down.  It never gets old!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Traverse City getaway

Last week Bob and I had a little vacation and spent the week in Traverse City, Michigan.  We stayed in a cute little cottage we had rented before.  We enjoyed it so much that time, that we wanted to do it again.  It's on a lake, is peaceful and quiet, and only 10-15 minutes from all that Traverse City has to offer.

Here's a few of the fun things we did while there.

We drove to Leland Michigan, also known as Fishtown.  It's the site of an old fishing village, and many of the old buildings remain.  I love these old buildings!

Some are still used by the fishermen, but many have been changed over to little shops.  It's a fun place to wander around.

One of the shops had this banner hanging outside.  I love it and think it's very good advice.

There is also a harbor that has it's own charm.

After we left there, we drove to Northport to visit the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.

It was a beautiful day, and perfect for walking around the lighthouse and Lake Michigan.

The lake was clear and beautiful on this day.

Near our cottage was a buffalo farm.  We enjoyed watching these magnificent animals.

I don't want to post too many photos at once, so I'll share a few more tomorrow.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Time for a break

Bob and I are having a little getaway next week, so I'm taking a short blog break.  See you soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Cooking Thursday

 I'm sharing a recipe that I really like but hadn't made in some time, because I forgot about it!  It's so good, and is made in the crockpot, so that's a winner for me.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

1  package (20 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1  jar (15 oz) Alfredo pasta sauce with roasted garlic 
1  jar (7 oz) sundried tomato strips, cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup) 
1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese  
1  teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup chopped spinach
Pasta of your choice

Sear chicken breasts on each side, about 3 minutes per side until browned.
Stir together pasta sauce, sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in crock pot.
Place chicken breasts into sauce and cover them.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours until chicken is cooked through.
Stir in spinach and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve over cooked pasta.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

A Day in my life - September!

 I think the months go quicker in Summer.  It seems once the 4th of July is here, Fall is just around the corner.  I love Summer, warm weather, long days, flowers... and I hate to see it come to an end.  But, ready or not, September is now here!
Here's how I spent the first day of the month.

Could the day start any prettier?  This is a field just around the corner from our house.  It was a little before 7, and there was a low lying fog on the ground as I drove to work.

This is the mailbox outside my door.  It's amazing how many things can fill it up from the time I leave around 5, till I come back the next day.  :)

Ever since the beginning of Covid, we've had to have our doors locked.  People have to ring the doorbell and be checked in to get inside.  This is a temp check, and and checklist of symptoms. Staff is once again testing twice a week as the Delta Varient has increased.  Visitors are asked to test but its not mandated.
It's really quite a pain in the neck, because that doorbell is always ringing and someone has to run and open it and go through all that stuff...

All that to explain, that when I get to work, I usually start by going to both units to make sure the nurses are doing ok.  As I was walking, I heard the bell and went to let someone in.  I noticed these beautiful hydrangea bushes and stepped out to take a photo.  The bench in front of them was donated by a dear family in memory of their Husband and Dad after he passed.  We have a few benches like this.  I notice them so often as I walk in and remember both the resident and their families.

After I let this person in, I noticed someone else walking from the back of the parking lot.  To my dismay - it was a state inspector!  She was here for a revisit, after a previous inspection.  I checked her in and she immediately started walking the facility to watch staff.  I then called our other managers to tell them to come in.  
I have no other photos from the day.  When the state is there, it's always very busy and stressful.  They ask lots of questions, are always out watching whats happening and it makes everyone nervous.  Because I'm the infection control nurse, she talked to me a lot, as they are focusing on that with covid.
It was a long day.  I finally left a little after 6, knowing I needed to be back before 7 because she would be back again!

It was a beautiful drive home, with scenes that show Fall is coming.

I love the hay bales in the fields.

And barns!

The corn is nearly ready for harvest.

And these crates and stacked up, ready to gather pumpkins.

I got home and Bob had heated supper.  It was so nice out, that we sat out on the porch to eat and talk.
The evening was quiet and soon it was time for bed.  
It wasn't a great start to the month at work, but at least that inspection is done.  And it was a gorgeous day!