Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Not so Wordless Wednesday - and a break!

I had to stop while on my way to work to let this cute family pass in front of me!

After today I'm taking a blog break.  Bob and I are taking a vacation to celebrate his retirement. We're going to visit our son and DIL, take in some history and are also going to spend time with a certain pirate!  I'll tell you all about it when we come back!


Monday, May 29, 2023

Recent happenings in our yard

Here's what's happening in our yard right now...

I was standing on our porch to take this picture. Bob was on the roof, with his leaf blower, because the roof, and the rain gutters were loaded with what you see falling down.

And here he is, blowing off the walks and the flower beds.

Look at it all!  What is it?  It's called Oak Tree Tassels. They form before the acorn grows, and fall off in late Spring. Each one is just a small little fuzzy string, but when you have a lot of oak trees, they make a big mess!

Our oak trees are all in the front yard, but this stuff falls all over the roof, and then blows off it into the back yard as well.
Bob says our oak trees are the gift that keeps on giving.  They give these tassels, lots of shade, acorns in abundance, and then lots of leaves!

We also have things going on in the back yard.  Bob sent me this photo last week shortly after I left for work. 
One of the drawbacks of living in the country is having a drainfield instead of city septic services.  If it goes bad, you have a big fix with a big price tag!  That's what's happening here - an excavator arrived to replace our drainfield.

Here's the area when they finished.  That's the side of our property with Bob's shop on the left.

Here you can see that much of our back yard was torn up, there is also a big path from the road to this area that got messed up because of heavy equipment.  Unfortunately, that tree, which is a nice Maple tree Bob planted years ago has to be cut down as well.  It's roots are causing big issues.  Bob had to take out a big flower bed that was by that tree also.  He's now planning what to do with the new blank slate he has, but I'm afraid in involves a lot of work.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Cooking Thursday

 Bob loves sausage dishes, he also loves peppers, so I knew this was a recipe I needed to try.  It's made in a skillet, other than boiling the pasta, and goes together quickly. It's a good one!

Creamy Sausage and Pepper Pasta
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Boil Spaghetti as directed on package.
  • Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a skillet until cooked through.  Then transfer to paper towel lined plate.
    Add oil to the skillet, along with the onion and chopped peppers.  Cook until onion is lightly browned and peppers are softened.
    Reduce heat and add butter and garlic to skillet.  When butter melts, stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously.
    Stir in the cream, making sure there are no lumps from the flour.  It will thicken quickly. Stir in Italian Seasoning, then stir in the parmesan which will melt quickly
    Add in the cooked sausage and the spinach, stir/toss.
    Drain the pasta and stir into the skillet.  Toss until spinach is wilted and pasta is coated with sauce.
    Serve with salt and pepper as needed and sprinkle with extra  parmesan cheese if desired.
  • Tuesday, May 23, 2023

    Monday, May 22, 2023

    Kids and some paint...

     I'm a little late in sharing this, but here it is anyway!
    I saw this cute idea for a Mothers Day gift. I thought it would be fun to do with our granddaughters for their moms.  It was easy to do and they had fun!

    All you need are some linen towels, fabric paint and some foam brushes.

    Here's Alaina with her hand painted green.  Ruby is ready to paint her hand, but was telling me the sun was in her eyes.

    Bob was helping Cassie put her hands down, leaving a cute little handprint.

    Once the handprints are done, you have to let it dry for 24 hours, then turn it over and iron the other side to set the paint.

    Alaina and Ruby with their towel for their mom.  Ruby had blue paint, Alaina had green.  I took a black sharpie and wrote their names and the years on the bottom.

    Here's Cassie with hers.  She got both red and yellow paint.
    Laura and Heather liked them and the kids were proud of their work.

    Sunday, May 21, 2023

    Some change is happening here!

     Last week something happened that Bob has been anticipating for some time.  He retired!  He will turn 65 in a few weeks and had been planning this for some time.
    He isn't going to completely quit working; he'll still be going in a few days a week but won't be having to do manager duties, work Saturdays or stay late one night a week.  There will be more time to spend with family and do things around the house.
    His workplace did some things to send him off nicely!

    On Monday, when he wasn't expecting anything, they had a surprise party.  Here he is with a bunch of the people he worked with.

    They decorated his work area.

    They wanted him to wear this crown - he said he wore it for a few minutes but wasn't going to do it all day.

    They planned a lunch for him.

    The girls and I had been notified and invited, so we were there for a while.  Bob was showing Cassie around,

    Laura, Heather, Me, Bob and Cassie

    "Most of us will miss you!"

    This is Chad, one of the owners, doing a little presentation with a gift thanking him.  Take note of the decorated walker!

    This is something Chad wrote and put on the store facebook page about Bob retiring:

    "A bitter sweet moment for us here at Allendale True Value. We are sending off our own Robert Bruins to enjoy some retirement. We just want to take a minute to acknowledge who Bob has been for us and our True Value Family for the past 24 Years.
    Many hats this man has worn for us from setting our displays to serving our customers. He has always been willing to move into whatever the need was at that time (and there have been many needs over 24 years). Bob really excelled at keeping the store neat, organized and well merchandised so we have big shoes to fill here.
    We are most grateful for the time that Bob spent praying for our team, our families, our customers and our community. It's quite possible I have never met a man that has been more faithful in surfacing his Bible at the lunch table and when we'd invite him in to pray at a meeting or event it was a sermon in a prayer every time. Know that if you are reading this message, you've likely been prayed for!
    Robert Bruins, thank you so much for your willingness to stand strong in your faith, be courageous in your walk and look out for us along your journey. We so appreciate your time with us and are super grateful you'll be hanging around yet for a couple days a week. We all hope and pray your time away from work is fruitful, healthy and some how used by God to further His kingdom. We have no doubt you'll be used some way!
    If you are in the store today, be sure to wish Bob well. He'll be leaving for a few weeks vacation and then coming back at a part time level which we're extremely grateful for."

    On his last day, employees lined the main aisle and cheered him as he left.  He was touched by all the kindness.

    That night, we went out for supper, to a restaurant we both like that is in an old building with great ambiance.

    I'm so thankful for all his hard work for all these years, and pray that he enjoys a little more free time.  He's not one to sit around, so I know he'll be finding lots to keep him occupied!

    *People keep asking if I'm retiring too.  Not yet, I'm enjoying my job and will see how things go!

    Thursday, May 18, 2023

    Wednesday, May 17, 2023

    Cooking Thursday

    Here's something new we tried a few weeks ago.  It's easy to make, a good way to use leftover chicken and is filled with cheesy goodness!

    Cheesy Chicken Dorito Casserole

    3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
    6 ounces egg noodles, boiled and drained
    1 tablespoon chopped chives
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can Rotel
    1 can corn, drained
    2 - 8 ounce bags Mexican cheese 
    1 bag Doritos, crushed

    Stir together all ingredients except Doritos until well mixed.
    Place half of mix into 9x13 pan, spread 8 ounces cheese over top, then spread rest of chicken mix over cheese.  Sprinkle remaining bag of cheese over top.
    Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
    Remove foil and sprinkle crushed Doritos over top.  Return to oven for 5 minutes.

    * I made mine in 2 8x8 pans and froze one to use later.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2023

    Wordless Wednesday


    The celery is growing!

    Monday, May 15, 2023

    Cassie spends the night!

     You may remember that our Cassie has only spent a few nights with us, at least not overnight.  She is fine coming over, but not a fan of staying when it's bedtime.
    We tried again this weekend as she's been talking about coming over.  This time we had Andrew and Heather come over for supper, and let them put her to bed.  It worked!  She slept all night, no waking up and was happy as can be again in the morning.
    Beware - lots of photos coming up!

    I was trying to get some photo's of her - but didn't have much luck.  She wasn't looking at me....

    and sitting still is an issue!

    Trying to sniff a dandelion was kind of messy!

    I got one of the three of them

    Playing with Grandpa

    Showing me her new pj's

    She was not a fan of Animal - after this she wanted him put away.

    She loves the rest of the stuffed animals and packed them all aroudn Grandpa on the couch.

    She was quite excited about having waffles with Grandpa, and "helped" him make them.

    She wanted strawberries and blueberries with her waffle.

    I wish I looked this cute when I got up in the morning!

    We both had to read her some books.

    Showing her shirt which says - "mine version of mom"

    We had such fun!  Hopefully this will happen again soon!

    Sunday, May 14, 2023

    Mother's Day

     I had a very nice Mother's Day.  Church and time with friends there earlier, then supper at Laura and Aaron's house, joined with Andrew, Heather and Cassie, and also Aarons parents.

    A little fun in the backyard

    Aaron grilled some yummy burgers for us - and a hot dog for Cassie.

    Cassie loves her cousins and always wants to be next to them.  Both Alaina and Ruby are so patient and good with her.

    My girlies!

    Heather and Cassie

    Laura with Alaina and Ruby

    Me with all my girls.
    Such a blessing to spend time with my kids and grandkids!
    (Andy is in KY so I didn't get to see him, but did talk with him!)