Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's here!

Shel Silverstein has written these words:

                                                           On Halloween

                                          On Halloween I'll go to town

                                          And wear my trousers upside down,

                                          And wear my shoes turned inside out

                                          And wear a wig of sauerkraut.

Yes, Halloween is here!  Does this poem sound anything like what you plan to do today?:-)

I was busy in the kitchen yesterday with these:

Ready to deliver!

I have 24 baggies of three cookies each to deliver for my Circle Halloween party at a nearby Assisted Living center.

On a serving plate, they look like this:

Well, except for the gingerbread cookies in the front!

The cookies in the baggies are chocolate chip, thumbprints, and dipped chocolate cookies from one of the Pioneer Woman's shows last December. 

Plate - Vineyard by Noritake, now discontinued.

I want to welcome new followers!  I am honored that you have chosen to follow my blog.

Now, I must decide what to do about that all-important costume!:-)  What about you?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pasta Day....

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope your week is progressing well. 

Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations is really good about keeping us informed of all the special food observations throughout the year.  Last Friday was Pasta Day!  What is not to like about pasta?

On Friday, I relied on that basic elbow macaroni for my pasta dish.  I have been reviewing recipes in my files, and this is one of them.  I have no recollection of the source or even how long it has been in my files, but it seemed a good time to make it.

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 cup sour cream
- Brown beef, add onion and garlic, cooking till tender.  Add remaining ingredients.  Turn into 2-quart casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Serves 6.

Before baking.

After I took this out of the oven, I thought it just needed something else, so I added some grated cheese.  The cheese melted from the heat of the casserole, and I didn't have to put it back in the oven. Plus, cheese is good with just about anything.:-)

Baking dish - Longaberger

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That box of Rice Krispies....

Happy Tuesday to you!  I hope your week is off to a good start and that today will be a good day for you.

You may remember that I recently posted a recipe that featured Rice Krispies.  (Those wonderful cheese wafers that I don't need to have around).:-)  It isn't often that I buy a box of Rice Krispies, so I try to find a reason to use them in other ways.  The following recipe is one I have used several times in the past.  It was clipped from the newspaper sometime in the past ten years, but I didn't write a date on it.


2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (morsels)
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 cups toasted rice cereal
- Heat morsels and 3/4 cup peanut butter in small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from heat.  Add sugar; stir vigorously until smooth.
-Place cereal in large bowl.  Add 1 cup chocolate mixture; stir until evenly coated.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  (I used a pizza-size aluminum foil pan).  Using small metal spatula, shape into 10-inch circle with slightly raised 1-inch-wide border Pour remaining chocolate mixture in center of circle; spread to border.
- Place remaining peanut butter in small, heavy-duty plastic bag.  Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to pipe concentric circles on top of chocolate.  Using wooden pick or tip of sharp knife, pull tip through peanut butter from center to border.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.  Cut into wedges.  Makes 12 to 16 servings.  To trim it up for this season, add a plastic spider!

Rice Krispie base, ready to spread that melted chocolate.

I forgot to take a picture of mine before it left the house.:-(  This is the way it would look perfectly done.

When I make this for the Munchkins, I use almond butter.  It is just as good!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The week-end....

....began with a low temperature of 28 degrees F. here on Saturday morning, and we had our first real frost.

....Also visible in the morning sky at 8:00 was a half-moon!  Sorry.  No pictures.:-(

....Saturday morning found us going to the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, the first such event for us to ever attend.

....The Vols made a trip to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama on Saturday afternoon.  We were under no illusion that they would return home with a victory.  Final score - Alabama-45, UT-10.  Oh, we watched every minute on TV.:-)

....The World Series is now all even, with at least two more games to play before the winner is declared.  Looks like that will happen in Boston.  We did watch part of the games on TV, but just don't make it awake long enough for them to finish.  So - we are surprised when we read the score in the paper the next morning.

....After Saturday's cold beginning, this morning is 25 degrees warmer!  Not much sun, though.

The week ahead....

I will be baking LOTS of cookies for my Circle to take to an assisted-living center this week.  The Circle will host a Halloween party for the residents.  So - there may be some recipes, plus I will hope to have some pictures.:-)

I send along wishes to you for a good Monday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For Sunday....

There is a quote from Dostoevsky that says:

                "Only the heart knows how to find what is precious."

The United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar for 2013 lists today's Mission Focus as the Community United Methodist Center in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

On this last Sunday in October, may you experience peace and joy!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The last rose of summer....

On Wednesday afternoon, with the local weather forecasters predicting frost, The Husband and I went out to see what might be needing to be protected, brought inside, or forgotten until spring.

I headed to the knock-out rose bushes, and this is the result.

I added some mums for extra color.  Not much of a flower arranger, though.

The Husband cut off the tops of the sweet potato plants (the late planting), picked all the peppers and  okra, and also picked all the tomatoes. 

We didn't have any damaging frost on Wednesday evening or on Thursday evening.  I am writing this on Friday evening - for posting on Saturday morning - and the forecast is for below-freezing temperatures by Saturday morning!  It is definitely cold outside!

I hope you have a good Saturday.  Our Tennessee Vols have traveled to Alabama to play the #1 ranked team in college football.  Then, the World Series picks back up tonight, this time in St. Louis.  I expect we will be keeping up with both football and baseball just a bit.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, October 25, 2013

When the weather turns colder.... is a good time for this:

Reading a book, and a hot cup of coffee in that Loveless mug!

Many of  you will recall my mentioning that I serve my Conference United Methodist Women as Secretary of Program Resources.  My major responsibility with this office is promoting the reading program.  Each year, there is a new list of books to choose from for participating in this reading program.

There are five categories - Nurturing for Community, Educating for Mission, Spiritual Growth, Social Action, and Leadership Development.  The book pictured is from the 2013 list for Leadership Development. 

Deborah M. Kolb, Judith Williams, and Carol Frohlinger have written a book that is an outstanding resource for women who are taking the step into senior leadership positions.  Anyone in this role will learn from the insights in this book.  You may be able to read these words on the cover: "A Woman's Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success."

We have had some colder-than-usual weather here, but not any of the snow flurries that some of you have mentioned.  Before the week-end is over, we are predicted to have our first below-freezing low temperatures for the season.  It will definitely be a cold time for outdoor activities, and the Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled for Saturday!   Do you have some special week-end plans?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A "tricky" treat....

Happy Thursday to you!  Do you realize that there is only one more week left in October?!? Where did this month go?!?  Halloween is just one week away!  Do you have your treats ready?

Here is something you might enjoy that is a little "tricky" to put together.:-)

The first "trick" is to have these two ingredients on hand.

Of course, you may use any brand of peanuts you prefer.  These were just what were available where I was shopping.  I picked up the candy corn at the Cracker Barrel!

Now, here is the next "trick."  Combine equal parts of candy corn and peanuts; mix together well.

They will look like this.  Uh, oh! Are they going into that jar?

Yes, that is the next "tricky" part.  It is good there is a spout on this mixing cup!  This treat is heading for that jar!

And - here it is!

The next "trick" is leaving the lid on the jar so there will be something to offer your guests if you are going to have a party!  Just be sure, when you try it, that you have a bit of each - candy corn and peanuts - and you will enjoy a flavor in your mouth similar to a Payday candy bar!

Oh, there were peanuts left in the jar.  That is another "trick" - leaving them alone!:-)  Of course,  you would not want to offer this treat to anyone with a peanut allergy.  

Yesterday morning was the big occasion!  The stitches were removed from my injured finger!  The doctor was very pleased with the progress made toward total healing.  There is still some soreness, though that will improve with time.  Lesson learned - be sure your fingers are out of the way when closing a locked car door!

I want to give a shout out to the new followers I have gained this week!  Thank you for coming along.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I did it!

Happy Wednesday to you!  Here we are at the middle of the week already!  From this point, the week seems to fly along for me. 

I have managed to accomplish a small cooking project this week, using some of that cheese I featured in a post last week.

2 sticks soft butter
2 cups flour
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups Rice Krispies
Red pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, if you want these to be spicy)
- Mix all together and form balls; flatten slightly with fork.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Makes about 50 small wafers.  (I had 52.)

On pans, ready for the oven.

Out of the oven, cooling on racks.
Although this was the first time for me to make these, the recipe  has been in my files for many years.  I have been working through my files to determine which ones I want to keep, and freezer space is becoming tight!:-) 

Now that I have a box of Rice Krispies, I will have to see just what will be next!:-)

This is the day for me to have these stitches removed from my finger!  I hope the doctor finds that the healing has been satisfactory.  

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the way....

I send wishes to you for a happy Tuesday.  The week well on the way!  Also on the way are cooler temperatures later in the week, maybe even freezing or below for low temperatures!  Of course, a little rain will come first, possibly today.

The last blog mentioned our trip to Homecoming at Emory and Henry this past week-end.  On the way, we stopped in Abingdon where we stayed with a very good friend who operates a superb bed and breakfast there.   We took some time to walk along the street and poke around in a shop or two.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take the camera and regretted it when I saw the first lamp post display.  When we were in the car later, I attempted to photograph what I thought was such a good thing to share with you.  Let's see how these two pictures will appear here.

Are  you able to see the display on the corner?

Heading west into town.

Well, I am disappointed in myself because I have failed to show you the cute little ghosts that were attached to the lamp posts where the bales of hay and corn shocks were positioned.  They were on each post and just a cute as could be!  They would light up at night!

When we were leaving town on Sunday, we stopped at the gas station.  Crossing the sky were at least 50 geese in several groups.  Some of the groups were more successful than others in forming the customary v-shape.  I have never seen that many geese flying together before, and it was really exciting to me to see them!  Taking a picture was almost impossible as they were not near enough for good focus.:-(

There may be a recipe with pictures in the next post!  You never know!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.  


Monday, October 21, 2013

Missed photo ops....

Happy Monday to everyone!  Did you have a good week-end?  Are you ready for another good week?

First, I want to thank you for your encouraging words for the healing of my injured finger.  I am happy to say that the swelling is much-improved, and I find I am able to use it for limited typing once again!  On Wednesday, I will have the stitches removed.  Until that time, I continue to follow the doctor's instructions of removing the bandage while I am at home, but reapplying the bandage when I leave the house. 

It is the last part of that last sentence that contributed to my missing some photo ops this past week-end:-(  The inability to rely on this left forefinger when holding the camera interfered with picture-taking when I was at Emory and Henry for Homecoming.

It was a beautiful week-end, with only a few half-hearted showers on Saturday morning.  Having an opportunity to greet friends from those earlier days as students was such a joy!

Another instruction from the doctor is that the injured finger should be kept dry.  Following this instruction has made cooking a bit of a challenge, so it may be awhile before there is a recipe post.  I will just have to see how things progress. 

Until I assume a more normal routine (for me, anyway), I will be spending time enjoying these publications.

Eek!  Spiders!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

For Sunday.....

Joan Walsh Anglund  has written these words in "The Circle of the Spirit."

                   "Only the open gate

                                            can receive


                      Only the open hand

                                             can receive


                      Only the open mind

                                             can receive


                     Only the open heart

                                           can receive


The Mission Focus in the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2013 for today is the Wesley-Rankin Community Center, Dallas, Texas.

I wish you a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

While I was away last week-end....


Waiting on these for awhile!
....finally bloomed!  We have been watching the buds for what seems like weeks and weeks!  I picked up the pumpkin at Trader Joe's for the best price I had seen around where I shop.  They were disappearing quickly!

I send along wishes for a good Saturday to you!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Another short one....

Happy Friday to you!  I hope you have some week-end plans that are fun for you!

I'm trying for another short post today.  It is about stories or poems to read around Halloween.

Have you read any of these books?  Strangely enough, they didn't seem to be very popular with third graders many of the years I taught.  When I was a child, I wasn't fond of reading those scary stories, either.:-)

I DID like Halloween, though.  I want to share this short poem by Nina Willis Walter from the book in the above picture, "A Pumpkin Full of Poems."

"On Halloween "
 The witches fly
Across the sky.
The owls go "Who? Who? Who?"
The black cats yowl
And the green ghosts howl,
"Scary Halloween to you!"

I am happy to report that my finger is improving some, though it is still awkward to type due to the location of the stitches.  I am reading your blogs, though not commenting on all of them.  I will be around with that as soon as the stitches are removed.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trying a short one....

Happy Thursday to everyone!  I am trying for a short post today.  I think I will be able to manage one.:-)

Several days ago I took this picture:

The moon!

You can tell that this was the moon in a bright blue sky!  It was 6:00 in the afternoon!  I haven't noticed the moon before at this time in the day. 

I've tried to visit some of your blogs, though I've not left a comment.  Typing is still sort of a chore, but I expect that will improve in the days ahead.  Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

For the season....

Happy Wednesday to you!  I hope you are having a good week thus far.

Here is something that is good to have around for "children" to enjoy.


2 cups animal crackers
1 box chocolate Teddy Grahams (I used Annie's organic chocolate bunnies)
1 box honey Teddy Grahams (I used a package of Earth Fare Teddy Grahams)
2 cups small pretzel twists
2 cups raisins (optional)
1 large bag M &Ms in Halloween/autumn colors
2 cups miniature marshmallows (optional)
 - Mix together; serve!

Very tempting!

There are some "words of wisdom" I want to share with you this morning.  When  you are closing your locked car door, be sure to have your finger out of the way!  If you are unsuccessful in that, just don't pull your finger out of the partially-closed, locked door!  Needless to say, I am still learning how to deal with such an event!  I presently have eight stitches in my left forefinger!  The hour and a half I spent in the doctor's office on Tuesday afternoon was not on my schedule!  Typing is a bit of a chore, so I will probably be missing from my usual blog rounds for a few days.  Also, regular posts to my blog are "iffy."  I will do as much as I find I am able.

There will probably not be very much cooking going on around here, either.  As you can tell, the above recipe needed very little expertise.:-)

I have noticed new followers, and I appreciate you coming along!  Also, Sharon and Buttercup have their scarves on the way to them!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The week-end....

Happy Tuesday!  Is your week going well thus far?

In the previous post, I mentioned the activities of my week-end.  It was once again time for a Conference UMW Executive Committee meeting, and I headed out of town almost two hours away for a series of meetings.  On the way, I took time to stop here:

Oops!  I didn't think the picture would come out so dark!

Anyway, this is a marvelous market on a nice rural road.

This sign tells what is available inside.  I apologize for the bad photography!:-(

Of course, there was no problem finding something to bring home with me.:-)

Pecans, cheese, stick cinnamon, mini-chocolate chips!  Might there be some cooking planned soon?

Oh, yes!  There are plans for these purchases!:-) I failed to include the oil of peppermint in the picture!:-(  There was much more that I could have brought back with me.:-)

We continue to have lovely October days here.  I believe rain has been mentioned in our forecast before the week's end, though, and cooler temperatures afterward.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.


Monday, October 14, 2013

As promised....

Happy Columbus Day to you!  Is this a holiday for you?  It wasn't part of the holiday schedule of our school calendar when I was teaching, so we would try to have a special Columbus Day assignment or two on this day.

As promised, this is the post that announces the winners of the scarves.  So, without further adieu -

Buttercup - you have won Scarf #1!  I will have it in the mail to you on Tuesday!

And - the winner of Scarf #2 is Sharon Calvert!  Sharon, if you will send me your contact information, I will send this one on the way to you.

Congratulations to the winners!  I will have another giveaway in a month or so.

In this post, I usually tell about my week-end.  That will come along tomorrow, so come on back!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

For this Sunday....

From Max Lucado's book Hope - Pure and Simple comes this quote:

                                "The past you cannot change,

                                           but your response to your past you can."

The Mission Focus as listed on the UMW Prayer Calendar for today is the Wesley Community Center in Houston, Texas. 

May you have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October's gifts....

Happy Saturday morning!  The week-end is here!  I hope you have some plans made to enjoy a good October week-end.

The garden continues to surprise us.

Early in the season, these carrot seeds were planted!  We try for them every year, though it doesn't seem easy for carrots to grow where we are.  These were the first two (there are others still in the ground), and they were delicious! 

Leaves, footballs, and pumpkins - oh, my!

A tasty treat, trimmed or untrimmed!

It just seemed to be the time to bake some gingerbread cookies!  Often, they are trimmed with some kind of icing.  The Husband prefers them plain, however, so they were quickly ready for him to enjoy.:-)  One of the "gifts" of October!

Remember to leave your response to be entered in the scarf drawing, another way to gain a "gift" in October.

Scarf #1

Scarf #2

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, October 11, 2013

For the season....

Happy Friday to you!  The week-end is almost here.  Do you have special plans?  We have had gorgeous weather here this week, perfect for outdoor activities.

I seem to have begun to feature books in the Friday blog.  Today's choices are perfect for Halloween reading.

Full of good ideas.

Do you have any special October projects underway?  I always enjoy reading through the books I have.  Sometimes I gain motivation to try something different.:-)

Remember!  There is a giveaway of these two scarves.


If you want to be considered for the giveaway, leave a comment and tell me which scarf has your interest by Sunday evening.  That is when The Husband will pull the winning names from the hat!  I will announce the winners in Monday's post.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Are you interested?

Happy Thursday to everyone!  In case you are interested, I am still having connectivity problems with the computer!:-(  There are times when I am unable to access some of your blogs.  Then, if I am able to access them, there are times I am unable to comment.  I wait and wait, then receive the message that the connection has timed out, whatever THAT means!   I will have to make time in a few days to see what can be done to make it work as it did at the beginning.

We have been having beautiful fall weather!  The temperatures have been cooler, and we even had the thermostat set overnight for the heat to come on if needed.  Well, I heard it during the night, then again this morning!

Changes in the temperature bring about changes in our wardrobe.:-)  Have any of you been sorting through clothes to be sure you have things in order for the cooler weather?  I have been doing a little - not much, mind you, but enough so that I have a couple of things to share with you.

Scarf #1

Scarf #2  

These scarves have actually never been used.  I have shown them folded in fourths.  If you are interested in either of the scarves, leave a comment mentioning which one, and I will include your name in a drawing on Sunday night, for announcing on the blog on Monday, October 14 - Columbus Day!  Please specify which one - or both, if that is the case - is of interest to you.  There will be two winners!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Connectivity issues....,

Here it is Tuesday afternoon, and this post is just now being made!  I have had some sort of connectivity issue; therefore, I am running a bit later than  usual!  I've no idea what the problem is - or if it is actually solved - but here I am at this point.:-)

Several days ago, when it became apparent that we were going to be having several guests, I began to search through my recipes and books for something that might be a good and simple dessert,  I found this one in a Bisquick cookbook from 2000.  Now, I know that some of you may not be able to purchase Bisquick where you live.  Perhaps there is a comparable product available as a baking mix.  Anyway, this dessert combines both favorites - pumpkin and pecans - and is sure to satisfy many tastes.


1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup evaporated milk (I used skim evaporated)
1/2 cup Bisquick (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping (I actually used real whipped cream, whipped)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Extra pecan halves
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4 inches.
- Stir all ingredients except pecans and Spiced Topping until blended.  Stir in chopped pecans.  Pour into pie plate.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  Cut pie into slices.  Garnish each serving with Spiced Topping and pecan half, if desired.  Store covered in refrigerator.
- To make Spiced Topping, stir ingredients until smooth.

Easy to put together and good for dessert!

As it is so late in the day for this post, it will take care of the usual "Recipe Wednesday" that I have been trying to feature.  I'll just leave this up until Thursday.:-)

We have had a beautiful October day here today!  Our morning temperature was right around 50 degrees F!  Today's high temperature is expected to reach the low seventies, and I think we are there now.  The skies are beautifully blue!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apples galore....

....and more!  That was the theme of our week-end!  Thanks to Samplings from Spring Creek, we located a wonderful source for local apples.

Located west of Crab Orchard, TN on Rte. 70.

Beautiful apple trees in the distance!

Pretty flowers near the door way.

These - and more - came home with us!

Of course, the first order of business is one of these!

Not the pettiest that has ever come from our kitchen, but it certainly is tasty!

On our "Saturday jaunt" we stopped at a church that had announced a rummage sale and the making and selling of Pear Butter.  Sadly, there was no Pear Butter when we were there!  We left our contact information, and we will be called when there is more Pear Butter available.  Then - we were directed to the neighborhood pear trees with the direction to help ourselves to some!

So - The Husband picked a dozen!

We are poised to have our very own "Apple Festival" here.:-)  There will be some serious work with apples in the days ahead, so there may be an onslaught of recipes.:-)

What is your favorite way to enjoy apples?  Do you have a favorite variety? 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

For Sunday....

Today is World Communion Sunday.

Honoring this day at our church.


                                  "Worship is when you're aware that what you've been

                                          given is far greater than what you can give."

                                                                               - Max Lucado, from Hope, Pure and Simple.

We are also celebrating UMW Sunday at our church today.  Today's Mission Focus from the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2013 is the Southside Community center, San Marcos, Texas.

May you have a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

On an October morning.....

.....I took a walk down the street.  I stopped to take some pictures along the way.

Just outside our door.

Knock-out Roses still in bloom at the end of our driveway.

There is some red appearing in the neighbor's trees.

This dogwood is beautiful in the spring.

Morning Glories at the mailbox.

Two more dogwoods changing color.

Lovely colors of fall.

More Knock-out Roses down the street.

Recently completed stone work.

PINK Knock-Out Roses!  I LOVE these!

Some white mums.

Still some Crepe Myrtle blooming.
Thank you for joining me on my walk!  We have certainly had a beautiful first week of October here.  What about where you are?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.