Thursday, March 31, 2022

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 I made pasta for supper last week, and made a new recipe to go with it.  It's cheesy garlic bread, simple to make and very tasty - soft on the inside, crusty on the outside and full of flavor!

Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread 

1 Loaf French bread
1/2 cup salted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Colby jack cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your French bread loaf lengthwise and place on top of a baking sheet.
In a small bowl combine softened butter, garlic powder, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. Spread evenly on each side of the garlic bread. Top with Colby Jack and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until butter is melted an bubbly. You can also broil the top for 1-2 minutes at the end to give it a more crisp top.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Wordless Wednesday

(Buds on a tree outside the window at work.  Spring is coming!)

Monday, March 28, 2022

Spa Day

 I had a lovely day on Saturday.  Life has been a bit crazy and busy lately, and my sister Cheri suggested we get a facial and relax.
She had done this once before and really enjoyed it.  I never have but after doing it, I recommend it!

We started by going out for lunch.  We looked for a place close to the spa and ended up at a restaurant we'd never been to before.

This was at the entrance, a pretty little waterfall and a koi pond.

The restaurant is on a lake, and has large windows to enjoy that view.

Here's our yummy lunch.  We split a gourmet grilled cheese and had some bruschetta.  It was so good!

Then it was on to the spa!

Here's our room.  It smelled wonderful because of the essential oils being used.  The blankets were warmed and it was so comfortable.
They lowered the lights, and we had our facial, with a scalp and neck massage as part of it.  It was so relaxing and our skin felt soft and smooth.
When it was done we didn't want to get up!
So, if you ever have a chance to do this, go for it!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

An evening with Cassie

 Friday evening we went to Heather and Andrews house, and had pizza together.  Andrew wasn't there, a he was helping with a project at church so it was just Heather and Cassie.  
Our reason for going there was to drop off a cute shopping cart that someone at our church gave me to pass on to Cassie.  It's perfect for her right now, because she loves to push things, and put things into things like boxes, so she'll be loading this up and pushing it around.

Excuse the blurry pic.  It's very hard to get a picture of her, because she doesn't sit still!

She's still not too sure of us, and wanted to make sure Mom was close by, but she warmed up as the night went on. (Do you like how Bob matches the pillows?  We didn't even notice till I looked at these pictures!)  :)

She loves to crawl into things.

A funny thing she has started doing is imitating funny faces or movements.  Here she was making a face back at Heather.

And here she was blowing raspberries back at Bob.

She loves books, and Bob was thrilled that she sat by him to look at one.

What a fun evening!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 Today's recipe is for a great make ahead dessert.  The recipe says it's better after sitting a day or two in the frig.  It's also a good one for a potluck or a crowd.
It's made using a cake mix which is mixed up and put in the pan, then another layer, made of ricotta cheese is poured over top.  Somehow they change places during baking, and you add another layer of topping, so you are left with a pretty, layered dessert!

Chocolate Italian Love Cake
1 chocolate Cake mix, plus ingredients to make it as listed on box
2 pounds ricotta cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 5.1 ounce package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup cold milk
1 8 ounce package Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9x13 pan with non stick spray.
Mix cake mix according to directions on box and pour into pan.
Beat together ricotta, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Pour cheese mix over cake batter in pan.  Spread carefully to cover the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Remove from oven and cool completely.
Whisk pudding mix and milk together, then stir into Cool Whip.
Spread over top of cake and place in refrigerator.
Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving, it tastes even better the next day.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Wordless Wednesday

 Some grass plumes from last summer, that made it through the snow; shining in the Spring sunshine.

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Rising Sun

 I've been really enjoying my drive to work in the morning.  There's been very little snow in the last 2 weeks, so the roads have been clear.  I take country roads, most of the way there, and it's been so pretty.

Here's some photos from last week when there was a gorgeous sunrise one morning.

Soon, I'll be enjoying seeing the leaves pop out on the trees.

Seeing God's hand in our creation is such a blessing!

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Update on my Dad

 Last week at this time I shared with you that my Dad had been admitted to the Critical Care Unit of the hospital.  He had just turned 91 and we really thought he wasn't going to make it.
He had lots of people praying for him and had an amazing turn around.
By Friday, they were ready to discharge him.  However, in the middle of this, my stepmom was diagnosed with Covid!
She wasn't very sick, but we didn't want Dad exposed and we didn't think it was a good idea for 2 sick people in their 90's to be hanging out together!
So, Dad was discharged on Friday, but he came to our house.  My sister Terri went to pick him up in the afternoon, and my work place let me out early so I could pick up his prescriptions and be home when they got here.
Our first night went well and Dad slept until after 9 on Saturday. He's usually an early riser, but as you know, no one gets much sleep in the hospital and it was good to catch up.

Saturday at lunch time we had some visitors.  Laura and Aaron stopped with Alaina and Ruby.  They brought some lunch for him and the girls made some pictures which he really liked.

Later in the afternoon, Heather and Andrew came with Cassie.

Isn't this the sweetest picture?  It's amazing to see him well enough to hold Cassie and read to her.  She didn't stay there long, but we were glad she let him hold her.

My sister Cheri brought over some soup and bread for supper, which we all enjoyed.

We had a nice evening, talking about some of Dad's adventures when he was younger.  It's always fun hearing those stories.

On Sunday, I skipped Sunday School but did go to church as Dad was pretty self sufficient.
And in the afternoon, we brought him home!  Ann's quarantine was going to be done after Sunday and she was feeling good.  Dad was also feeling good and talking about going along to bowling next week, even if he didn't bowl.  And, they missed each other...

Ann was sitting outside when we arrived.  Here's the homecoming greeting.


We got everything put away and let them sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.
I talked to him Sunday evening and he said everything was going well.
Dad has a nurse coming to check in on him for a few weeks, and I'll be taking him to his heart doctor on Tuesday.

Thanks to those of you who checked in on him and for praying too!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 This is a recipe I found recently when I had leftover sliced ham and turkey to use.  These sandwiches were really good.  Bob said I could make them again any time!

Baked Turkey and Ham Sliders

Sliced Deli Oven Roasted Turkey
Sliced Deli Ham
Bacon Slices, cooked till crispy

12 slices Swiss Cheese
12 slices Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup spicy mustard
10 slider buns or enough to fill whatever baking dish you will be using!
2 TBS butter melted
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl mix together mayo and mustard, set aside.
Cut open slider buns (it works well to leave them attached, just cutting the whole top off, and then separating them once they are assembled).  Spread the mayo mustard mixture over the bottom of the buns. 
Layer the turkey, ham, cheddar cheese, bacon and then the swiss cheese, then place tops of buns on.
Place into a 9x13 pan.
Brush the butter over the tops of the buns and sprinkle grated cheese over all.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Wordless Wednesday


Update - My Dad is still in the hospital but is doing better.  They've got a lot of fluid off and his kidneys are showing slight improvement.
Thanks for the sweet messages and prayers!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Spring in Michigan

 We have a little saying in Michigan (you may have the same saying in your area).  The saying is; "If you don't like the weather, wait a bit and it will change.

This Spring, it seems we go from warmer weather and sunshine, to snow.  You just don't know what you will get!

This is a happy sign of Spring around here.  Last week I saw several areas where the Maple trees were being tapped for sap to make Maple syrup.  On this day, it was nearly 60 degrees and the sun was shining.

The next day I woke up to snow and slippery roads!

This was the view from my work window.  It doesn't look like Spring, does it?

But it's coming, and I'm so ready for it!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Birthdays and Hospitals

 It's been a week!  Last week I had to take my Dad in for a procedure on his heart called a cardio-version.  He had been having an irregular heart beat so they put him out and shocked his heart.  It took 2 times, but he converted into a regular rhythm.  He's not been feeling well and they thought this would help.
However, at the end of the day Wednesday he called me at work and asked me to stop and check him.  When I got there I couldn't believe how short of breath and wheezy he was and I took him to the ER. They ran tests, nothing really showed up.  They adjusted his meds and sent him home.
Thursday he wasn't any better and Friday was his birthday.  91 years old! 

(Dad and Ann in January)

I called him and he said he was doing ok, but not up to getting out. (This is not his normal.  He usually is up and about and bowls twice a week),  He said he would like us all to just come over.  We ordered takeout and gathered at his house.

My 2 sisters and their husbands, my brother and Bob and I came.  A few granddaughters came too.

(Dad and Cheri)

He still wasn't feeling well and was really wheezing, but he loved having the family around.

When I got home, I was just not comfortable with how he was wheezing, even though the hospital said to just wait and let the med changes work.  I call the on-call for that night, who turned out to be his primary care Dr and knows him.  He said to go back to the ER, and this time he would call ahead.

It was crazy busy that night. We got their around 9 and had to wait for almost an hour to get into an ER room.  Then there was test after test - which were not showing anything.  However, it was obvious he was sick.  Finally at 5:30 he was transferred to the Critical Care Unit.  He has a lot of extra fluid around his belly, and his kidneys aren't working well.  They will be doing more tests and trying to get some of that fluid off.
I went home about 6:30 that morning.
My Dad is a really sweet guy, the nurses always say he is so cute!  We agree that he is pretty special and it sure wasn't a great way to spend his birthday night.

I went back up on Sunday morning.  Here's his room, nice and big. However, the crazy covid rules continue, and he can only have 2 visitors in a day, so we are having to plan out who can visit and try to arrange for our stepmom to be one of those people.

And this is the view from his window - 6 stories up.

He said he was feeling a little bit better.  They were giving him a lot of diuretics while monitoring his kidneys.
They plan to drain the extra fluid in his abdomen, possibly on Monday.
If that's successful it will help him feel quite a bit better.
I'll try to update you on how he is doing in the coming days.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 On my Day in my Life post, I told you I would share the recipe for the artisan bread I made, so here it is!  This recipe is so easy, but turns out classy looking and is very good.  It's a keeper!

Artisan Bread

Proof 1/2 teaspoon yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 3 cups of flour. Stir until combined.
Allow to rise 8-24 hours. covered with plastic wrap. 

Flour hands and pull bread out of the bowl and place on floured surface. Pull sides up and toward the middle of the dough until it forms a disc and is less sticky.
Flip it over and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Slice the top with an X.
In the meantime, place parchment paper in the bottom of a dutch oven and then place the dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. You want to put the dough into a hot dutch oven when ready to bake.
When ready, place dough in dutch oven into oven, x side up. Cover dutch oven and bake for 33 minutes, then remove the top and bake for another 18 minutes.
This is a plain, base recipe. You can add cheese, herbs, etc.
Place into bag to store while a little warm to keep the crust soft.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Monday, March 7, 2022

A Happier Cassie

 Andrew and Heather stopped by with Cassie this weekend.  You may remember that she stayed with us a few weekends ago and missed her parents the whole time. Since then, she's not done well in church nursery either, so it appears she's going through one of those phases.

She was much happier this time, because the parents were here!

She loves boxes.  In this case it was a kleenex box, and putting the kleenex in and out of the opening.

If she can, she likes to put herself in the box!

This toy makes noise and plays music.  She's a fan of that!

She is always happy with her Papa!
Hopefully this separation anxiety doesn't last too long, and she can come spend the night again soon.  However, we always enjoy seeing all of them and we had a nice evening.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

A Day in my Life - March

 It's March! I'm so happy to see it arrive.  It seems like it's been a long winter and I am so looking forward to warmer weather and Spring flowers.

Here's how the first day of the month went for me.

It was my day off, but I wasn't able to sleep late.  My car was in the station having the brakes repaired, so I was up early to take Bob to work, so I could use his car.

Here's the kitchen at 6:30 in the morning, it's still dark outside and we were just leaving to get Bob to work.

Bob works about 10 minutes from our home, so it didn't take long to drop him off.  I needed to get groceries, and thought that since I was already up and out I should do it early.  Here I am arriving at the grocery store at 6:45.

When I walked out of the store, the sun was coming up.

I got home and put groceries away, and started some laundry.

This is our laundry chute.  Our washer and dryer are in the basement, and this chute opens up in the half bath.  I keep a laundry basket next to the washer, and the clothes dropped down the chute end up there.  Our kids thought it was pretty fun to put clothes down it when they were younger, and occasionally I would find a toy or some other article down there too.

A friend from church had surgery and church set up a meal delivery for them.  They asked to get their meals at lunch instead of supper, so I made some soup to bring over.

I brought over Wild Rice Chicken Soup, rolls and some chocolate chip cookies.

It was kind of a dreary day, but the temperature was 43 degrees, so the snow was melting.  I took this photo when I left my friend's house.

After I left my friends home, I had my hair cut.

When I got home, I got to work on our taxes.  I've been meaning to work on them for a while and now it was time to get them done.
I use Turbo Tax and it guides you through, once you gather up all your paperwork!  It's a relief to have this done.

I had mixed up Artisan bread and it was raising on the counter.

At 3:30, I had a text from Bob.  He was ready to be picked up

The sky was blue and the ice on this pond was melting.

On this road, the warmer temps have melted most of the snow.  Unfortunately, more snow fell the next day.

Here I am to pick up Bob.  His store is in the middle of a big addition.  The store used to end before the window on the right and now it extends well past that.  Bob's been putting 20,000 steps a day on his fitbit, moving and setting things up in the addition.

As I was driving to get him, I got called that my car was ready. Perfect timing!

Isn't this place cute?  It feels like you've stepped into an old service station in the 50's-60's.  I paid my big bill, and took my car home.

When I got home, I got supper ready and put it in the oven.

While it was cooking, I did some work on my weekly Bible study.  I showed you this last month too.  Our study for this week was the Feast of unleavened bread.

Soon it was time for supper.  Here's the bread that was rising earlier.  You may remember that our church was having a bunch of workshops that people could attend.  I taught one on Freezer Meals and kitchen tips.  I went to one on making Artisan bread.  I was thrilled with how this turned out.  It was pretty and tasty too.  I'll be sharing the recipe with you later.

Here's supper!  Pesto chicken with peppers and tomatoes, and green beans - and of course, a slice of bread.

I went outside to the back yard after supper.  We have a lot of trees, so still have plenty of snow because of the shade.

Soon it was time to get on my pj's and snuggle under a blanket and do some reading.  No tv for us on this night.
It was a very nice start to March!