Friday, January 30, 2015

5 thing Friday - Un-cake, neckline adjustment, wrap, cane, sweet boys

As per usual, these are in no particular order...
We had a nice dinner with Firstborn last Sunday.  We rarely see him, except at dinnertime on some weekends.  Hubby fixed really great babyback ribs, jalapeno poppers, baked potatoes, and ranch beans.  And since everyone is pretty cake-d out from the holidays we did a Hey!Cupcake with homemade chocolate chip cookies.  You only get one candle on a cupcake.  It's the rule.  Hubby's birthday is tomorrow, but he'll probably get a pie.
I've been doing on-line shopping for most of the last three months and have rediscovered Old Navy.  I love this tunic style knit top, but why is the neckline so deep?
 I couldn't keep wearing it with a safety pin.
 Buttons to the rescue.  I might order another of these tops - super comfy, long length, and long sleeves. Plus, easy to care for.  Me like.
I limped over to World Market, late for the Christmas season, like I misplaced the invitation.  Nevermind - got all my wrap for next Christmas at 90% off.  And found some very sweet brown baker's twine in the mix - 40 cents a spool. My rule is I can only buy what I can carry in one arm-full.
Goodbye crutch, you will go to live in the garage with your mate.  The therapist gave me a cane, which took some getting used to, and already I am weaning myself off of it.  I feel like progress stops and starts, stops and starts.  So frustrating.  I would like for my leg to stop spasming, too, please.  And for someone to come make my bed.
I can across this sweet photo from about seven years ago.  It's not a great photo, but it reminds me that the three of us used to pal around while the older two were at work.  My boys are still in my house, yet I miss them.  Why can't kids stay little a little longer?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

My favorite breakfast

Whenever we have baked potatoes, invariably there is one person, every family has one!, that won't eat their potato.  Or they eat half.  But that leftover potato, plus a couple extra things makes a lovely breakfast the next day...
Dice it, sizzle it in butter til crispy brown, scooch it over and fry an egg, then plate the potato, a little grated cheese, and the egg.  Get your coffee dolled up and park yourself at the table.  Enjoy the silence from everyone having left for school and work.  Ahh...
All kinds of wonderful things can be combined with an egg.  In the past I've combined Dutch oven potatoes with green onions, and a bit of steak.  Or scrambled it with leftover pico de gallo with some chips and cheese.  I'll take it over oatmeal any day!   Have you done the same with leftovers at breakfast?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why I'm not going to hell in a handbag

 {Please enjoy happy children's art to mitigate sadness in this post!}
Last Friday, while Scout and I were grocery shopping, my mother called.  I knew I couldn't concentrate on following my list, not falling, and driving the cart all at the same time, so I declined the call.  Thinking to myself  "I'll call her back when we get home and all of the groceries are unloaded and put up, and I can give her my undivided attention".
 Rustown Art
So, that's what I did.
I'm not going to lie about wanting to call her right back - I dragged my heels for sure.  I ate lunch and drank a glass of wine with it.  Then I called her.  Let me just say, I'm glad I had the foresight to have that wine cause the convo went all kinds of sideways like it has lately.  Which explains why I put off calling her back.  Oh yes, this has become a trend when she and I talk.
Somewhere in the course of the conversation, after she had spent a fair amount of time complaining about anything and everything she thought I could let her get away with, she told me YET AGAIN that I was not going to heaven.  I think the woman thinks that she's somehow God's spokesperson and he values her input to the point that she can make pronouncements like that.  But I think not.
Rustown Art
It's distressing to hear your mother tell you that you have no faith and will spend your eternity in Hell.  I'm not sure when she arrived at that opinion.  Is it based on the way I live my life?  Is is based on the way she lives hers?  I could go into the differences in how we both go about our business on this earth, and you might think it as ironic as I do.  I'd love to know where I am faltering, but I want that info from God, not my mother.  I think it's ludicrous.  Vastly unfair.  And untrue.  But I refuse to plead my case with her and try to change her wrong-headed opinion.
Rustown Art
Prayer to myself:  Help me lift my children up in their daily lives.  Counsel them and instruct them.  Praise them when they are on the right track.  Remind them when they aren't.  But never tell them I have the power to damn them!  And love them until the end of my days.  That way, if I become insensate or senile, they will know better than to believe any nonsense that comes out of my mouth to the contrary.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lazy Bean Pot

When I was growing up, a pot of beans on the stove meant my mother was having to be as frugal as possible - probably because payday was a few days away and she was single mom to three kids.
 And she never used a crockpot.  But I have discovered over the years that my peeps LOVE a big pot of whatever kind of beans seasoned with whatever leftover meat we may have.  They could care less that it is frugal. Last week I plopped the leftover ham bone from Christmas into the crockpot with a pound of dried butter beans and enough water to cover the beans a couple of inches.  I added a tablespoon of the seasoning blend I make, and then I just walked away.  (I never soak the beans, but I sort for rocks and rinse them)
Hours later, perfection.  The only thing my peeps requested as a side was cornbread and chopped onion.  I'm glad they like beans so much - Christmas bills are arriving...a crockpot of beans is a win all around!

Friday, January 16, 2015

5 thing Friday - decor?, Olay, New Year's feast, drudge, Firstborn

It's been pretty boring around here after the holidays.  I am glad they are over, but I look back on them thinking they were all-in-all nice.  Even so,  I am grateful for the end of 2014.  I'll probably say that a few times more before we get out of January.  Other than my PT and daily drudge I haven't done much.
We managed to get the rest of  Christmas down and stored Sunday.  I left out some winter-y looking decor because 1. Hello, it's still winter, and 2. I just can't do it all yet with the decorating and the fussing.  I can't climb step stools and don't feel like killing myself to haul stuff around.  Plus, I can't be going to Hob Lob or Michael's.  So, nothing exciting to see at my house.
I ran out of body wash so Hubby bought me this.  It's fab, go get some!  I usually struggle with very dry skin in the winter that itches and requires loads of lotion.  Not since I've been using this bodywash.  It smells fresh and wonderful, too.
New Year's Eve, we found that we were last minute empty nesters.  Hubby and I had the most delicious meal and a very nice time, just the two of us.  Hello NY strip, scallops, stuffed portabellos, and roasted brussel sprouts.  YUM.  We may have also had lots of wine and managed to stay up until midnight to text all of the kids. We decided it was going to be our new thing!
UGH.  Some things never change.  At least in here I can sit while I iron. 
My sweet Firstborn turns 25 on Sunday.  We will celebrate with ribs,loaded baked potatoes, ranch beans, and Big as Yo Face cookies*.  Firstborn is coming into his own as an adult.  That's both gratifying and terrifying.  We've been able to keep him close while letting him go; no easy trick.  I wish for him a year of opportunity and growth, filled with love.  Wish I could wrap that up and give it to him on Sunday!

*These are giant chocolate chip cookies.  I will make extra to send home with him, too!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chicken and Sausage Stew

It was pretty cold last week, and I was in the dumps over not returning to work as planned.  More on that...someday.  I fixed a stick to your ribs dinner for the boys and I.  Made in one pan for easier clean up!
Chicken and Sausage Stew

1 lb. boneless chicken, cut into cubes (I used chicken breast)
1 lb. light Kielbasa, or any light sausage (I used turkey), sliced into chunks
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 c. apple cider
2 T tomato paste
salt and pepper, or seasoning blend of your choice
*you can dredge the chicken in flour before browning if you like a thicker stew*

Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in your skillet while you season up the chicken chunks.  Add them to the pan and brown them, then scooch them to the side and add the celery and onion.  
 Cook for about five minutes, then stir the chicken and veggies together.  Add the sausage chunks. 
 Mix the apple cider with the tomato paste, and pour it into the skillet.  
Cook on low, covered, for about 25 minutes, or long enough to make:

Biscuit Bread
I used 2 c. all-in-one biscuit mix, added a touch of sugar, mixed with 2/3 c. milk and poured into an 8x8 glass dish with 1/4 c. melted butter.  I baked it at 400 for about 20 minutes and cut it into squares.
That was such a good dinner on a cold, hard day...

Friday, January 9, 2015


Have you ever made a Wordle?
We got a new printer/fax machine/copier for Christmas and I was thrilled that I can now make color copies of the fun free printables I find on blogs and Pinterest.  And Wordle, too!  I found an empty frame and printed up a Wordle with colors that coordinate in my kitchen.
I made it a Winter/New Year's theme.  Then I just played around with fonts and layouts until I got it how I liked.  It sits next to my cookbooks, making me smile.  Free and fun - go make a Wordle!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ranch Baked Chicken

Hubby has been doing all of the grocery shopping based on my menus and list.  But occasionally he will find a deal on something and buy it to freeze.  Recently he found a good deal on chicken breasts.  Perfect for seasoning up with Ranch and garlic and parmesan.  YUM.
Ranch Baked Chicken
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 pkt dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 t. garlic powder
3 large chicken breasts, cut in half*
The breasts were so huge, I knew I would have to halve each one.  I brined them all afternoon, then rinsed and cut them in half.  You could also make this with boneless chicken thighs - it's what I usually do, but a deal on chicken is...well, a deal on chicken.  {You wouldn't need to brine thighs, but I find breasts to be too dry if I don't.  I mix kosher salt, water, a little sugar, some seasoning.  Then soak them for three hours or so in the fridge, rinse, and cook.}
Mix the parmesan, Ranch seasonings, and garlic in a dish.  Heat the oven to 350.  Dredge each breast in the mix and lay in a greased casserole dish.  Bake about 45 minutes.
I served these with a salad and some tater tots - I am getting the freezer cleaned out.  If you have some left over, it makes for an excellent chicken salad sammie the next day!

Friday, January 2, 2015

5 thing Friday - The Girl at our house, breakfast out, a scowler, blog changes, return to work

The holidays have come and gone in a blur, as per usual.  And since my camera was often out of my reach, the only pics I have to post are from my phone, which does a less than stellar job.  Oh well. We invented a drink for Christmas Eve - Bailey's, whiskey, Coca Cola.  Tasted like an ice cream float!  {But I still missed my martinis.}
We enjoyed a two day visit from The Girl, hot off the graduation stage.  She was rested and happy!
 She brought us a new board game to play.  It was LOUD and lots of fun.
 She also baked and frosted Bubbie's birthday cupcakes on Christmas afternoon.  And we had a delish dinner of spiral sliced ham, steakhouse mac and cheese, broccoli, and dinner rolls.  Everything was so good!
Her gift to us was Christmas candy - Reindeer Noses.  The red ones are You Know Who.   She's pretty darn handy to have around with her mad "I'm out of College" cooking skillz.  I will worry for her and miss her come January 5th when she heads to Florida for training, then Houston for her internship.  I will be chewing my nails down to the quick.  So much for growing them back.
 Yes, it's true!  I drove myself to physical therapy this week, and took the boys out to breakfast at Cafe Java.  I had the barbacoa tacos with beans, hashbrowns,and eggs.  The most glorious breakfast since our anniversary trip.  Bubbie still refuses to simply smile for pics.  So, you're welcome for yet another scowl of his.  He's 16, people.  'Nuff said.
 As much as I like tinkering with my blog, there are changes to be made.  Instead of posting a mealplan on Mondays, I'm going to post a recipe. (Thanks to Carol, for the suggestion!)  And on Wednesday, I will post one word and a photo - maybe that will inspire me to take better pics, we'll see...And hopefully, I can make up for lost time on the home front and with crafting.  I am looking forward to a great year!
I miss my job.  Really.  I am so ready to get back.  As of this post I am on one crutch around the house, driving myself, and 12 days from the end of my FMLA.  It's go time!  I'll either be ready to return, or very very close to.  Wish me luck!
And Happy New Year!


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