Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The "jury" is still out.....

....on this little gadget.

Do you remember when I featured it earlier?

Here is evidence of its handiwork.  This is zucchini "pasta."

After steaming, it was topped with Italian chicken sausage in marinara sauce.  

It was good, though making the strands of the zucchini wasn't all that easy, for some reason.

The Husband used it with potatoes one morning.  They were good (of course!), though he has the same hesitation about a whole-hearted endorsement as I have.

The Veggetti isn't taking up such a huge space for storing, so we will try again with something else.  If you have one of these, let me know how you use it.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weather lore....

Many of you have undoubtedly heard winter predictions using signs of nature as your guide.  For many years, there was a woman in our area who was respected for her winter predictions.

Today, I want to join a group of winter weather predictors.:-)  Take a look at what actually came into our house!

That is what we have always called a "woolly worm!"  The fact that it is black all over does not bode well for a mild winter!  If there had been brown on it, that would have meant part of the winter would be mild, but part might be more severe.  We will just have to wait it out and see.  What surprises us is that it found a way to enter the house!  We saw it on the sunroom floor!  Hopefully it wasn't searching for that warm spot to hibernate for an early-approaching winter!

What kinds of weather lore do you remember?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014....

Quoting once again from Apples of Gold, compiled by Jo Petty, there are these words....

"To will what God wills brings peace."

From the United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar for today, we have the mission focus.  It is the Wesley Community Center in Houston, Texas.

May this be a day of love, joy, and peace for you.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"It's football time.....

....in Tennessee!"  Those are the words that a previous sports announcer used to lead into the game that was soon to follow on radio.  We were loyal listeners, as we rarely attended any of the games.  Now, on the SEC Network, it's possible to watch games from just about any of the SEC stadiums.  Today we will be watching as Tennessee visits Georgia for this week's game.

That is not the only team in which we have an interest.

Emory and Henry, the blue and gold, will be playing today as well.  Actually, a number of years past, they played the University of Tennessee!  They didn't win, but caused so much annoyance to the UT team, that they were called "pesky little wasps," and that is where Emory and Henry came up with that nickname.  

We are ready here to ease into "football mode."  

Who can go wrong with M&M candies in school colors?:-)  That popcorn bowl will fill as well, and we will be ready for the kick-off.  Our cooler weather has almost disappeared, and the temperatures are heading upward now, so a cool pitcher of Almond Tea will be greatly enjoyed!

I hope the team  you support will win today!  

I've picked up extra followers!  Thank you for coming along!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Friday, September 26, 2014

On the corner....

That's where Maurice very often found himself.  After all, there was really nothing for him at "home," and he might come up with a few coins that would help him buy something to eat.

It was at this location that Laura Schroff passed one day.  The small boy panhandling was not an unusual sight on a New York street corner, and she walked on past.  Suddenly, in the middle of crossing the street, she turned around and came back.  Thus begins a relationship that has spanned almost three decades.

Laura takes Maurice for something to eat at McDonald's, and plans are made to meet the next week, on the same day, at the same location.  As the relationship develops, Laura eventually invites Maurice to her apartment for a meal, and even takes him to her sister's home for special holidays.

Maurice has not known a stable background, as there has been domestic violence as well as the involvement of family members in the drug culture.  Oddly, Maurice has not become a victim at the age of eleven, and the "invisible thread" that ties him to Laura and her influence.

Laura was a successful ad sales representative in Manhattan when she met Maurice.  Her days were busy with the kinds of activities one would imagine for someone in this position.  When  marriage brought about a move out of the area, the ability for her and Maurice to continue to meet was affected.  As the marriage progressed, it became apparent that Laura's husband could not fully embrace her interest in reaching out to Maurice. 

The move of Laura's sister to another state also removed the possibility of having Maurice participate in family celebrations. 

Through all this time, however, Maurice continues to be influenced by the compassion that Laura had shown to him, and the decisions he makes are colored by that friendship.

An Invisible Thread is written by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski.  It is one of the books that is mentioned on the United Methodist Women Reading List for 2014 in the Social Action category.  The copy I read was in large print, and I easily finished it in one afternoon!

I am linking today here for this fourth Friday book review.

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate your comments.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another "gadget...."

....just what I needed! LOL  However, this one is one I'm sure many of you have.  I'm just late acquiring one.

Here it is - still in the box!

It even comes with accessories!

It has already been "in service," and I don't know what took me so long to add this to my kitchen! 

It was definitely a "must have" for this:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup!  Yum!  Of course, it was too early to be served in those pumpkin bowls in the last post, so there will have to be more soup in our future. :-)  I used that wonderful mug from Camp Wesley Woods, and it was perfect.

Here's that simple recipe.  Oh - it is one that a Weight Watcher friend shared.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 cups fat-free chicken (or vegetable) broth
- Make a roux with butter and flour; stir about 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth, onions, and cauliflower.  Heat to boiling and reduce heat to simmer about 20 minutes.
- Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Topping with grated Parmesan or Romano is optional, but really good.:-)  
Four servings, 1 1/2 cup each

I've added a new follower!  Welcome, and I hope you enjoy coming along with us!

I am really having problems working my usual blog visiting into my routine these days!  I hope you understand, and I will be around as time permits.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The dishes are appearing.....

As we are now officially in the much-anticipated season of Fall, isn't it time for something to find its way to that table?:-)

It was a gradual, albeit a bit slow, process, but I think we are just about ready!  Only flatware and crystal are to be added, and we need a pot of soup for those pumpkin soup bowls!   

China - Noritake Vineyard, now discontinued.  I have had this china since before we were married, though we did receive some pieces as wedding gifts.

Pumpkin Bowls - Williams-Sonoma.  Just couldn't pass them up when they were on display at the store in our local mall.

Soup - It's on the way!

I notice I've added a new follower!  Welcome, and thank you for coming along.

Also, there were  many lovely comments on the post yesterday as I remembered Mother's birthday.  Thank you to all of you for your comments.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


On this day, in 1908, a baby girl was born to my grandparents.

Here they are when she was a bit older....

....and here she is older still....

....and still older.

I am remembering how Mother taught me about whipping egg whites to make meringue, though that is something I do not do very often.  She also taught me about tempering eggs before adding them to a hot custard mixture. 

So - on this day - I especially think of her and the occasions we were together specifically to celebrate her birthday. 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, September 22, 2014

This and that....

Just a few "catching up" things today - on this first day of fall!

Have you heard Jason Gould sing?  He is Barbra Streisand's son, and Sirius radio has been featuring her music on the channel I follow as I am driving along.  I find "How Deep is the Ocean" that they sing together to be absolutely beautiful!  So - I do this Internet search to see how to find his albums.  On to Amazon!  Well, the MP3 version is very affordable, but I have nothing that will utilize that version.  Why is the CD so terribly expensive?!?  I'll just have to hope to luck into a radio station somewhere that will play his music sometime.

Outside the other afternoon, I was unnoticed by those little birds that like to come around.  They are very skittish, and off they will fly at the first movement.  I was surprised that I was able to catch the following two shots.  Now, they are taken with the iPad, and they may be blurry.  That happened as I was trying to do some editing of them.  Some of you post some lovely pictures of birds that are near your place, and this seems to be the best I can do.:-)

One more thing.  Since fall has officially arrived (or it will at the time of the Equinox tonight), here is something to consider that uses pumpkin.

We are not much for French Toast around here, but this Pumpkin French Toast really sounded good to me!  Turkey bacon, additional egg (scrambled), and applesauce cooked by The Husband made us a good Sunday night supper!  Do you ever have breakfast for supper?  

Oh - that recipe!  For three slices of bread, mix 1/4 cup pumpkin with one egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.  For this version, use a brush to apply the pumpkin/egg mixture, place the slice of bread pumpkin side down into the skillet first, then brush the mixture onto the other side.  I will use bread that is not as flavorful the next time so the flavor of the pumpkin will come through better.  All I had was this Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread, and it has lots of flavor already.:-)

The church garden has now donated 2,331 pounds of produce to local food pantries.

I wish everyone a happy Monday!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014....

Again today, from Apples of Gold, compiled by Jo Petty, come these words ~

   "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,

              we must carry it with us or we find it not."

Today's Mission Focus from the United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar for 2014 is the Southside Community Center, San Marcos, Texas.

May love, joy, and peace surround you on this Sunday!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Getting there....

Happy Saturday!  Are you glad to have a week-end?

The thermometer is finally cooperating here with some nice, cool morning temperatures.  So - fall is on its way.

I'm slowly "getting there," too.

I've baked some Molasses Cookies....

.....and I've begun to "ready" the table.

Now we just need to set this table so it will be ready for possible company.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What do you know....

....about Bhutan?  Have you heard of the name of this very small country tucked in between India and Tibet in the eastern Himalayas?  There have been efforts in the past to keep the country rather isolated from the rest of the world by limitations on communication from the outside world.

However, the monarchy, in 1999, permitted television to invade the country.  This was one of the reasons many young people opted out of the agrarian lifestyle of their ancestors and were motivated to try for work in other areas - behind a desk with a computer, for one.

In 2006, the king permitted other media to enter the country with the licensing of two private weekly  newspapers, creating another option for the young people who wished to forge a different direction than of their ancestors.  

Next came Kuzoo FM radio, designed to be a youth-focused station and originally broadcasting fro an old closet in a government building that housed the youth sports department.

It is into this country that Lisa Napoli travels to give a period of time to this radio station.  

Also from the UMW Reading Program list for 2014, this book is listed in the Education for Mission category.  Using her experiences in Bhutan, Ms. Napoli has written an interesting account of this brief period in her life.  Is Bhutan really the "happiest kingdom on earth?"

It will not be easy to put this book down once you begin to read.  It is one more for me along my path to achieve Plan IV during this year!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Do you really want to know?

We are finally having some nice, cooler weather - a good lead-in to the official arrival of Autumn next Monday.

Some of you know about this already, so for you, feel free to skip over it if you wish.

On August 27, I underwent surgery for the removal of the cataract on my right eye.  All has gone well with it, and I continued ahead with the same procedure on the left eye on September 10.  For those of you who have had this experience, you know that it often brings about changes in your vision.  Such has been the case for me.

After several years of wearing bifocals, I find that they are no longer needed!  That has been a pleasure to discover.  In fact, my close-up vision also seems to have improved.  So - The Husband looked around through his supply of reading glasses (which he actually doesn't even need) and came up with some for me to use.

Well, they were not exactly suitable, so last Friday, when I went to Lake Junaluska, I headed to the gift shop.  Look what I found!

Aren't they wild?!?:-)  They are really "not me," but they are serving me very nicely until everything stabilizes with both my eyes in a few weeks.  

I have gone from the days of eight different drops in both my eyes down to only two drops now - one per eye!  There were week-long restrictions for each eye - no water in the eye, no makeup, eye patch at night, no heavy lifting - and, as of Wednesday, those restrictions have been lifted.  Progress is being made!

Now - if something could just be done about this sciatica.....:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another gadget....

While out shopping one day, I happened to find this:

No time to use it as yet, but it's in my plans.:-)  I thought it was a bargain at under $10!

Do you happen to have one of these gadgets - or something similar?  How do you use it?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Creeping in....

Good wishes to you on this Tuesday!  How are things with you today?

I have been looking for signs of Autumn for a couple of weeks.  

The door has been adorned and waiting!  

There has been some gradual changing here.

Yes, the burning bush is coming on board with the changing seasons!  

These flowers are even coming on board!

Are you having some Autumn signs where you are?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, September 15, 2014

About the week-end....

Monday has arrived!  Did you have a good week-end?  Do you expect a good week ahead?

It was a busy week-end for me.  It was time for our Conference UMW Annual Meeting and Training, so I was off to Lake Junaluska, NC.  In addition to being present for our yearly business session and worship, this was also time for me to provide the Program Resource Room for the members.

A "first" for Annual Meeting was a special concert presented by the musicians who had been asked to come to lead us in music.  We were blessed by wonderful hand bell selections as well as outstanding vocalists!  It was a truly special time!

I apologize for the lighting in this picture.  I was supposed to be seated on the stage, and I just had to try to sneak in this picture of the altar!  The word "Love" is on the highest point above "Hope."

"Feed My Lambs" was announced as the new theme for the next two years, and the artwork was chosen for illustrating the theme.  As soon as a copy of that is available, you will probably be seeing it on the blog.:-)

So - it was a very full week-end, and the week ahead will probably be busy as well.  I have not been able to make those usual blog visits, comments, or replies, and it will take me awhile to work back into the routine.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014....

Continuing on with a quote from Apples of Gold, compiled by Jo Petty, we find these words:

     "Let us realize that what happens round us is largely outside our control,

          but that the way we choose to react to it is inside our control."

The Mission Focus from the UMW Prayer Calendar for 2014 for today is the Houchen Community Center in El Paso, Texas.

May today hold many special blessings for you!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Still thinking pink....

Saturday is here!  Do you have some good plans for a relaxing week-end?

Continuing with the motivation to post pink on Saturday, here are some more to enjoy.  

Beginning preparations.

If there are glasses, there needs to be a pitcher!

More mugs needed for that hot tea!:-)

The mugs, from the left, are a Mother's Day gift, a souvenir from Emory and Henry, a Longaberger special, and the mug/pitcher set that came from a resale shop, as did the glasses.

The tray was a special sale purchase at Target this summer!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's on the way....

Cooler temperatures, that's what!  At least, that's our forecast for the week-end.  So, with that possibility, perhaps it is time to head straight ahead into plans for Autumn!

What is better for doing that than this book?

This is just about the best resource I have ever seen for helping us prepare for the coming season.  The edition I have was published ten years ago and has been out-of-print for awhile, but those of you who do not have one are in luck!  A special ten-year anniversary edition has just been released and is available for order from Susan Branch's website - Susanbranch.com. 

In addition to her on-going commentary of making meaningful Autumn memories throughout the book, there are recipes for delicious Stuffed New Potatoes,  Indian Shuck Bread, Crunchy Chicken, and those wonderful Butter-Bit Croutons.  That is just in the Appetizer section!

This little book is packed with other wonderful ideas including Roasted Beet Salad, Sweet Potato Casserole, Pumpkin Cheesecake,  plus super ideas for a Spooky Halloween!  What I'm heading off to do, though, is bake some of those Molasses Cookies!

I didn't mention something else that makes this book special.  Susan has done her very own water color illustrations throughout, and everything is written in her very own handwriting!

This is truly a special book, and I don't think you'd be disappointed to have a copy on your shelf!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More September surprises....

Thursday already!  This means the week-end is not far away!  Has it been a busy week for you?

Our garden continues to surprise us.

Does anyone know what happened to cause this sweet potato to be like this when it was dug?  All the sweet potatoes from one plant were like this, but worse.  Never fear, though.  The Husband was able to find these:

We have good luck with keeping sweet potatoes through the winter months, and this is only a portion of what we hope we will find as the rest of them are dug!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A true Southern dessert....

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

We recently had the opportunity to enjoy this:

Now, the big question is this:  What is underneath that meringue?

Banana Pudding!

This is truly a Southern dessert!  I have childhood memories of this going from our kitchen to church for a monthly pot-luck supper!  Mother made the custard "from scratch," of course, and that is when I learned all about tempering the eggs before adding them to the boiling custard.  

Alternating layers of vanilla wafers and sliced bananas, the custard is then poured over the layers.  The meringue then is added to cover the top, and then it is baked until golden brown.  I used recipes that I have used from Betty Crocker cookbooks through the years for the custard/pudding and meringue.  Betty Crocker was the first cookbook I had all those years ago when I first began to "keep a kitchen."

By the way, very few leftovers remained from this dessert.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Offering a choice....

As I have mentioned previously, we have a few vegetarians among us, so meal preparations are carried out with that in mind if we are having a family gathering.  The picture shows one way.:-)

Oops!  I guess I cut off the top of the pie stand.  It is a Longaberger design, and I have had many opportunities to use it.

The top choice is Spinach Pie, a favorite of Country Girl and City Girl!

10-oz. frozen, thawed, drained, chopped spinach
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
2 garlic cloves
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
grated onion, to taste
dash nutmeg
- Spray pie dish.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all together and pour into dish.  Bake 45 minutes.  4-6 servings

This recipe appeared on a WW thread a number of years ago.  To make this more weight conscious, you may substitute fat-free ingredients.

The choice on the bottom is called Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche.  I will post that recipe next week.

Remember, there is a giveaway going on in my post for Monday.  If you want your name to be considered, the comment needs to be on Monday's post.

For my "fresh start" today, I will finish that first two cups of water by noon!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, September 8, 2014

And - the winner is....

Happy Monday to you!  How does the week ahead look for you?  It will be a busy one here, but before all the activity begins, I will take time to announce the winner of the giveaway.  It is Gert whose blog is Gert, Tom, and Rusty Too.  Gert has been notified by email, so I am waiting to hear from her.  She will receive a subscription to this:

Update on our church community garden donation - Last week, 163 pounds were donated, bringing the total donated to 2,076!  The goal is still to donate 3,000 pounds.

The Vols were victorious over Arkansas State on Saturday, winning with a score of 34-19.  The next game will not be in town, as the team travels to Oklahoma for the coming week-end.

We had a rare occasion this past week-end.  The Muncho/Macho family came to visit, as did City Girl.  That prompted the decision by the Country Couple to come join the clan for dinner.  Unfortunately, both had to work on Saturday, so they were not able to linger.  The Munchkins were as entertaining as usual.:-)

I had requested your thoughts for Beth last Thursday as she was having surgery for cancer.  She has returned home, which is good to hear.  

I hope you have a good Monday and a good week ahead.

Thank  you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014....

Jo Petty has included this quote in her compilation Apples of Gold.

         "Keep ascending the mountain of cheerfulness by daily scattering seeds

                  of kindness along the way as best you can, and, should mists hide the mountaintop,

             continue undaunted, and you will reach the sun-tipped heights

                  in your own life-experience."

The Mission Focus from the United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar for 2014 for today is Dallas Bethelem Center in Dallas, Texas.

May this day be one of great joy for you!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pink for today....

Happy Saturday to you!  I hope you have some good plans for this first Saturday in September.  

Buttercup at Buttercup Counts Her Blessings has motivated me to dedicate this post to pink!

As pink has long been a favored choice around here (having reared three daughters, and now with a granddaughter), establishing a pink theme is quite a pleasure!

China - Strawberry Fair by Johnson Brothers, now discontinued.
Crystal - Found at a resale shop - details unknown.

Cake stand - From a resale shop.
Table linens - Napkins - from a resale shop; lace cloth - a gift many years ago.

Giveaway news - If you are interested in checking that out, check the post from Monday, September 1.  To enter, leave a comment on THAT post.  Winner will be announced on Monday, September 8.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Another for youth....

Friday has arrived, and as has been my custom for several months, today's post is about a book.

The Smell of Old Lady Perfume by Claudia Martinez is from the 2013 United Methodist Women Reading Program listing.  This is aimed at upper elementary or middle school age readers, and is the story of Chela Gonzalez as she begins sixth grade.  Unfortunately, the school year is marred by the sudden illness of her father.  When her grandmother arrives to help the family, the "smell of old lady perfume" is what surrounds Chela.  

This is an excellent book illustrating the challenges of fitting into a middle school setting, with a new group of "popular" girls.  I recommend it for this age group.

Thank you for readiing.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday thoughts....

My thoughts today are with several friends who are facing difficult times due to cancer. 

Beth, whose blog is Day by Day With Beth Marie, was in remission.  Unfortunately, the cancer has returned, and she is facing surgery today.  Please join me in keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A September surprise....

Happy Wednesday to you!  This is mid-week already.  Does it seem as though the week is passing quickly?  

The Husband took a walk to the garden, and he found this to bring to the house.

It isn't a very large one, but we are definitely happy to have it!  There has been another one that we gave to the Muncho/Macho family a couple of weeks ago.

This was actually cut in half, although the picture appears that the melon wasn't evenly divided!  Regardless, it has been very delicious!  This is the latest we've had to wait for watermelons to ripen.

Latest donation of produce from our church community garden was over 1,900 pounds!

The last post mentioned the expression "fresh start."  As someone commented, each new day brings an opportunity for a fresh start.  I hope this day will be a happy one for you.

A reminder - there is a giveaway underway.  Check out Monday's post for details!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Front page news....

Around here, college football is "big news" when fall rolls around, so it isn't unusual for this to be "front page news."

The University of Tennessee opened their football season with a sold-out home game with Utah State.  This was the first sold-out opener since 2007, and it was televised on the new SEC Network.  The final score was 38-7, with UT winning the game.  

The past few years have not been smooth ones for the football program at UT, so it is good that this is an opportunity for a "fresh start."

Sometimes there are areas in our life when we wish to have a "fresh start."  If you are in that place, I send along encouraging wishes to you!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, September 1, 2014

This is it....

On this Labor Day, I have a giveaway for you!

Several weeks ago, when my follower number reached 100, I mentioned a special giveaway to celebrate that milestone.  Since that time, even more followers have been added!  

So - here is that giveaway!

A year's subscription will be awarded to the person whose name is drawn on this coming Friday, September 5, 2014.  The announcement will be made in next Saturday's (September 6) post!

Though I am a "child of the South," I have a real love for New England, and Yankee Magazine is one of my favorites.  

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  It would be interesting if you might mention your favorite part of the country, but there is actually no requirement to do that.  Just simply leave a comment!

Now - I send wishes for a good week ahead!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.