Showing posts from September, 2016

Weekend Reading: Fall Fun

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals.  I like to go out for breakfast best of all meals.  I thought this slide show interesting on what other countries eat for breakfast.
I don't know why I feel compelled to build up my ready prepared foods in the freezer.  I know it's convenient to have a few casseroles tucked away.  This slide show had some ideas.
Since I seem to be all about slide shows this week (and food!) how about desserts you can make in your slow cooker?
I like these fantasy retirement locations...I love to watch International House Hunters, too.  I have this dream of being foot loose and fancy free and live abroad in Europe.  Then I think of my grandchildren and children and settle myself right in my own home, an arm chair traveler at best.  Still, of these particular choices, Valencia seems like a great place!

Frugal Friday: Wishing and Hoping and DOing

I've  been enjoying sunrises and sunsets of late.  While this is an old photo, they are still one of the best 'shows' I get to see.  Each day's viewing is different and lovely and full of marvel. 
Saturday:  I didn't have a real meal plan today.  I took out a roast to thaw and planned to put it in the crock pot and there my brain stopped.  John suggested I make sandwiches, something I typically would not do twice in a single day but today we did.  We lived.  I have a good bit of roast leftover.  Enough to have sandwiches and another meal or two.
We had leftover chicken rice soup for supper.
Made John's work lunch for tomorrow.
Pulled grapes out of fridge and sat them down next to John and I.  This meant we ate them instead of letting them languish in the fridge.
Washed a full load of dishes.  I used a shorter cycle.
Sunday:  Sent John off to work with a good breakfast and his packed work lunch.
There's a reason why we set the manual clock alarm...because som…

October Goals

I did very well with my September goals and so I thought I'd share my October ones.  The incentive to finish up September goals was so strong courtesy sharing my list last month that I feel it's very worthwhile to share.

It should be cooler this month.  I hope to get quite a bit of work done outdoors:  No to every item on this list.  I cleared the pots of dead plants, trimmed some roses.  It's been hot and not in the least cool.

Purchase more block and finish up the one flower bed I couldn't quite finish for September.  I had all the mulch needed but I fell woefully short on the landscape edging blocks. Should be able to buy blocks this week to finish that up.

Start next area (South end of the house).  I'm working my way around the house at present.  At the very least I want to buy some materials.  Not this month!

Move the iris next to my shed to another spot now that John needs that area cleared.  It's too dry to move the iris and all the other plants I'd…

Eat Health Part II Carbohydrates: Energy Powerhouse Foods

Carbohydrates are necessary foods in any diet.  That is why you've never heard of a NO carb diet.  No, you might well eat lower carb foods but you will eat some form of carbohydrate.  When it comes to carbohydrates it's what you eat and when that is key to sound nutrition. 
Carbohydrates produce energy.  The body does this by converting carbohydrates food into one of two forms: starch or sugars.  Starch is produced when you eat grains, cereal, pasta, rice, bread and some vegetables such as potatoes and winter squash.   Sugars are produced from the natural sugar content of the foods you eat: most leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, fruits and dairy and from those items which contain additional sugars such as baked goods or soda.  Even meat products have a low carbohydrate count.  Nearly all the food we eat does.
 Many of the carbohydrate rich food items also contain something else that is of major importance in a healthy diet: fiber.  Fiber can be found in raw fr…

Eat Health: Why We Need the Foods We Eat

One of the things I've learned over the past year or so of studying nutrition and dietary needs is that all foods act together for a healthy body.  You can't cut out a whole food group and remain healthy.  All parts of the food groups are as necessary as all parts of the body working together.

A nutritionally sound diet consists of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats.  Over time, our vision of a nutritionally sound diet has changed.  Look at the following images, in the order they are given and just see the changes from one to the other.  Both are US Government recommendations, one based on what our parents were told was a healthy diet and one based on what the government studies reveal is now healthy?  Why the change?  For one thing, the availability of foods overall has changed.  For another, we've moved from a nation that was formerly one in which people worked long hours at hard physical labor.  With industrialization and the elimination of manufacturing and agricultura…

Seed Faith, A Penny Ann Poundwise re-post

I had  this post from September 2009 up to post in mid-August.  I decided to hold it until September and so here it sat, waiting for edit.  In the last few weeks, we have again had reason to study 'seed' and the principles of  seed faith.  As we learned this time, John requested that I 'name our seed' when I wrote out our usual tithe check.  I did.  I named it 'New Flooring'.  That was during this last pay period.  Three days later we were informed we would be receiving a  monetary gift..  I don't consider it coincidence.  God is the provider of all we have and I love how often he likes to 'remind' us of how he can and will do so.

There was a little frame of time when we could have doubted we'd get new flooring after all.  The first quote we received was roughly double what we'd been given!  We went right on packing up boxes and someone at John's work recommended a guy who lives in our county.  He came out and measured and gave us a quot…

In My Home This Week: Dreaming of Things to Come

In my home this week...

I am contemplating the changes new flooring will bring.  I've been looking at pillow covers today on Amazon (hard not to consider them when they will cover existing pillows for under $5), that will bring more colors into the room.  I am discussing a custom piece of artwork with Katie for the gallery wall.  Changes, changes, changes.   Gracious there's an air of change here!

I didn't get much done in the house this past week. It is staying so very clean of late.  I am pretty sure it's because it's simply hot here still.  I am so looking forward to cooler air! I don't want to move too much indoors and haven't done a thing outdoors.   But it's more than that hot weather.  We are not messing the house up very much at all.  I'm not sure quite what that is all about.  It may be because John keeps moving things away from the wall and cleaning under them.  He bought more of those handy furniture gliders this week. Now every big hulki…

Weekend Reading

Isn't it lovely?  The picture, I mean.  Because so far autumn doesn't even begin to describe the appearance of our landscape.  The trees look a little thinner, the lawn looks terribly dry, the flowers look scrappy and the golden rod just can't seem to make that final push and really bloom.  But hey, I've got a picture full of fall beauty right there.

I saw this on MSN last week.  I love big piles of fall leaves and this series of videos captures the joy they can be for kids and pets.

I plan menus here on the blog.  I then forget all about them and have to have the computer up and running in order to see what my plan was.  Nine times out of ten I won't bother.  I thought menu plan sheets might change all that.  I haven't printed any out just yet.  I had to buy new ink cartridges just in case I ran us completely dry, since the warning sign keeps coming up.  Perhaps tomorrow I can choose something pretty and print it out for my home notebook.  Here's a post I…

Frugal Friday: Working Steadily On

Saturday:  Made up John's work sandwiches yesterday evening.

Sat on the back porch last night and watched the Harvest Moon rise.  It was lovely.

I made three apple pies yesterday.  I think I failed to mention that I saved the peels and cores from the apples in the freezer.  It is my hope to make a small batch of apple jelly from them in the week ahead. 

This morning I made my first batch of Soft Baked Pretzels.  They were easier than I'd imagined (though there is definitely a misprint in my cookbook) and went far quicker than I'd thought they would.  In retrospect, I could have baked them much later in the morning.

I made German potato salad, and Cheddar Beer Dip.  I was not too fond of either one.  The potato salad was not as flavorful as I'd hoped it might be and the Cheese dip was bitter.  There were plenty of both leftover, naturally.  Haven't you ever noticed how often things we least like, even when others pronounce them delicious are always leftover?

I pack…

Iced Tea Chat: The Last for the Year?

Come in...I hope that soon we will be in autumn mode and able to share a coffee chat once more.  For now, it's hot so have some more iced tea.  Blech.   I am well over my sorrow that summer is ending and ready for the next season.  Mama amused me no end when we were out the other day and I mentioned that it was meant to be hot through next week.  "I'm ready for WINTER!" she said.  Well good luck with that since we can't seem to get autumn off the ground just yet!   I'm always impressed with how nature will hold on until the proper season is evident to do something major.  Like last Easter when it was so very cold and early, too and the dogwoods looked absolutely bereft of life and yet two or three days before Easter they suddenly bloomed out, just as they do every year.  How do they know?  Well now it's the golden rod.  It's almost but not quite at bloom, just tipped with color and that's the state it's been in for the past few weeks.  What i…

A, B, C, D, E Building Blocks for the Body

I am not a nutritionist...Let me make that clear right from the start.  I am not a nutritionist but I've been studying nutrition in some manner over the past four years because of a general desire to improve my health.  Last year, after being diagnosed as a diabetic during an emergency hospitalization for pulmonary embolisms, I began to review what I'd been learning and amped up my studies.  I knew that the lung problem was serious enough on its own but one that was taken care of by a surgical procedure.  Diabetes is a lifelong condition.  I'd been taking some vitamin supplements and somewhat changed my eating habits  over the past four years and had considerably improved my overall health, but I could tell from about February of last year that something was off.  Once my blood sugars were lowered and more balanced, I felt considerably better.  I was given insulin among other drugs while in the hospital and the endocrinologist gave me a plethora of prescription diabetic d…

The Household of the Ant

photo source:

I was recently reading through the book of Proverbs and was, as always, intrigued by the references made to the ant.   As a child, I often lay upon the ground and watched ants as they worked busily.  I loved to watch them on their self-made super highways traveling from job site to ant mound and back again, often in as many as six lanes, three headed out and three headed in. Considering how frequently we battle them here, I was curious as to why the Bible mentioned them at all.  Well with good reason, as it turns out.  Here's what I read and what I learned in research.

Solomon mentions the ant in Proverbs 6:6-8  Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow!  Learn from their ways and be wise!  For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.  (TLB)  Other versions say, "having no king, or overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in summer and gathers her food in the harvest…

In My Home This Week: The Great Unknown

In my home this week, I...

have altered two of our main living areas.  I don't know...I just plain don't know.  The truth is that I was perfectly happy with the arrangement of things and the house felt peaceful and calm.  People obviously felt at home here.  All we wanted to do was put down new flooring.  When that first quote was so extremely high over what we had planned to pay, we were caught up in this cycle of change that just keeps on going.  This past week, I emptied the living room of most of the things that gave it some sort of personality.  I emptied the bookcases and when we vacuumed under them and went to put them back, they wouldn't go back exactly as they had been.  Not mind you because they didn't fit but they no longer looked right.  We ended up spacing the three evenly along the wall.  And that meant moving the toy box and John was enamored with the new placement of it and said that was where he really wanted it to stay.  Friday, Mama came by for coffe…

Frugal Friday: Determined

Saturday:  John worked last night so a big breakfast was in order this morning.  I made hash browns from scratch, cooked with a bit of Polska Kielbasa on top.  We didn't need a whole package of the sausage so I cut into two pieces, one larger to set aside for another meal and one smaller to have for breakfast.  I also beat three eggs to make scrambled eggs.  If seen on the counter, it might be said that three eggs weren't much, but beaten ready to scramble no one but myself is aware that it's 'only' three eggs and yet it's plenty. 

Put a turkey breast in the oven to roast slowly over the morning.

Made succotash using leftover butter beans. Georgene asked how I make my succotash.  I keep it pretty simple.  I prefer fresh cooked butter beans, which I rinsed this morning, then add a can of drained whole kernel corn to the beans.  You'll want about 2 cups of each.  I chopped some red bell peppers only for added color and had perhaps 2-3 tablespoons of that.  1…

Progress on September Goals

I said I would be accountable to you all this month, so I thought I'd share what I have and haven't done and why on my goals for the month.

Week 1: Kitchen
Clear and clean, declutter and organize the casserole/appliances cupboard.

No...I haven't had time to even think of working in this area, much as I am sure it really does need it.  You see, we thought we'd be getting new flooring this month and that necessitated a lot of other jobs to prep for floor work.  Now we're up in the air, but since all this removal has begun we can't seem to stop.

Sort out the chiffarobe in the kitchen.  This means deciding once and for all where to store the odds and ends in one drawer and matching lids to containers and jars in the other two drawers.  I might do a little re-organizing of that space altogether.  It's better than it's been but not all it could be. Yes...In fact the chiffarobe is empty save a single drawer of vitamins and plastics needed to use in the kitchen …

In Memory of Grandmama C

I was digging through archives of Penny Ann Poundwise this week and discovered a newsletter devoted to the memory of Grandmama C.  I thought I'd share two or three portions of that old newsletter with you. 

September 5, 2003
PennyAnn Poundwise Newsletter

Dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Elizabeth Crowley 1918-2003

A Note from Penny

This past week we buried my grandmother. She was active right up to the last moment, and as I entered her house, it was, as usual, spotless. Grandmother had grown up poor, the oldest of six, five of whom she raised while her mother worked in the cotton mill.   Her upbringing made her especially careful of her possessions. 30 year old living room furniture looked brand new. Appliances were
polished until they gleamed. To the end, her life was personified by the great care she took to preserve her home and make it attractive. 

I've written often of Grandmother and her frugal ways. She was my inspiration when I first married and began k…

In My Home This Week: Un-Doing

In my home this week:

...I'vebeen busy in-doing.  Taking down pictures and removing books, emptying cabinets and bookshelves.  Even though we have not yet received a quote on the flooring work we want to have done, I have been removing things from the three rooms.  It is an act of faith on my part to do this.  It's been a little unsettling; a bit like packing up to move without knowing just where we're headed.  And a little exciting;  a bit like clearing the decks so that something fresh and wonderful can take it's place.  It is my hopes it's new flooring but at the very least a new and more artful arrangement of things perhaps?
I have been editing things as I remove them.  I've said I was all done with the decluttering but I think I was wrong.  Very wrong.  I've looked long and hard at things I've removed, at empty pieces of furniture even and asked myself "Do I want this any longer?  Does this serve the purpose it's meant to serve?  Is it nece…

Weekend Reading

Interesting reads this week.  The FDA determined that hand sanitizers weren't all they were meant to be.  In fact, some of them were proven to be harmful!  The first link has a video and article:

And then this on electric hand dryers.

Revolutionary idea:  We should actually EAT our vitamins instead of taking supplements.  Also includes a video/slideshow.

Frugal Friday: Getting On Top of the Business of Home

My Home Keeping Notebook is about to be revamped as part of my quiet work this month.  This is where I keep track of home goals, my monthly calendar, necessary information that I like to have a hard copy of, quarterly budget sheets and lists of needs, etc.  I'm going to make this notebook still more functional this month with address sheets, and a few other items that will make it far more useful to me and eliminate a few of the other notebooks on my desk.

Saturday:  I heard from quite a few of you other ladies about Target's abysmal Plus Women's sections which apparently is a problem nation wide!  Well, I want to share with you all that after I completed that service survey (on my receipt from Thursday's shopping) I actually heard from the store's team leader.  She told me that they had already begun to revamp the space thanks to the concerns I voiced.  I've been invited back to view the improvements in the near future.    By all means ladies, be sure you all t…

Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My!

Gracious!  I very nearly forgot this post this month!  I only do this post because I so long to address comments and questions asked during the month.  Truth, I can't quite keep up with all the replies and too there is great wealth in things you all share or say that I think all could benefit from, and so I like to share them.
I do wish you could see outside my window.  The leaves are steadily drifting from the pecan tree, and the little Gingko did it's usual sneaky performance of stripping bare in the night and so we'll see no wealth of gold from that one yet again.  Silly shy little tree...It's not idea how lovely it's leaves are when they change or it would be in no hurry to shed them.  For all that leaves are tumbling to the ground, the AC is most welcome.  Mornings are lovely (and I've worked hard out there this morning, scrubbing down the porch railings and roof rafters and flooring and emptying bins in the shed so I can refill them and carry out more of…

Coffee Chat: Waning Summer, Waxing Autumn Days

It might be a little bit early to have a coffee chat...I mean we might as well have iced tea on hand as well since it is still a little warm, but the three cooler days we had over the weekend really inspired me...and so it's coffee chat season in theory if not yet in fact.  I'll offer you your choice, okay?

Years ago, I had a Family Circle cookbook, one of those special edition magazine type things and therein was a recipe for an apple cake.  It began with a bundt pan that was greased and then dusted with bread crumbs.  The apple cake had finely diced apples in it.

The apple cake is the main idea but you see I've rabbit trailed just so quickly down many lanes of memory.  The cake was tender and delicious with moist bits of apple and wasn't iced but might have had a drizzle glaze.  It wasn't loaded with oil either which is mostly what I find online.  I am pretty sure it must have had either shortening or butter since I loathe cakes with vegetable oil.  But I don…

Small Economies in a Big Economy World

image source: karensperspective

This morning as I stood at the kitchen sink washing zippered baggies in hot soapy water, I mused to myself about my savings.   A 75count box of name brand quart sized zippered bags is advertised at Walmart for $6.88.   For the sake of this post I'll use that as my example.  That works out to about 9cents per bag.  I know some who think that washing baggies is a waste of time.  In a month's time they might well toss the contents of the box after a single use.  That's fine.  No harm no foul for me.  But if I wash those baggies and find another source to store meat products (bread bags or cereal bags come to mind) and get only one more use from them, I've saved the cost of a box of bags.  If I can reuse the bags say 8 times, I've saved $48.16 ($55.04 - $6.88 my initial cost).  It is a small economy but it is an economy.

I asked myself this morning, just why I think this is a…

This Week In My Home: Clearing Out

This week in my home...

...I laughed to myself as I surveyed my to do list for this month, having started planning to add in fall decorating thanks to Katie's photos the other day and then we added an upcoming task that involves a lot of work.  I've got a whole lot of packing up and moving stuff to do so my September goals list might well become mostly October's Goals list.  We are going to be doing some work in the main living areas of the house this month, or at least so we've planned.  We are waiting on a quote which will be done this week, but I'm pretty sure we're going to move ahead this month with the work. We will definitely pay the men to move the big heavy and bulky pieces of furniture but all the books and decorative items are on me, myself and I. 
It shall be quite the task and I mean to go ahead and start it this week.  I figure if it all goes kaplooey and we can't do the work, then I'll just have cleared surfaces for a fresh start f…

Book Review: Jefferson's America by Julie M. Fenster

I got this book late this past May, perhaps early June.  I set it aside at that time due to the family we had staying with us for an extended time and only recently have I picked it up once more.

The book interested me because I am slightly enamored with Thomas Jefferson as a gardener, architect and naturalist of sorts and I enjoy history.  The idea of reading how lands were surveyed, added to the U.S. territories and such seemed to me worthwhile.

Unfortunately, I found the author's delivery of such information as the book contains was dry.  It's not done in a logical manner so that theinformation about exploration and addition of this land or that is not all together but scattered and mixed up with information about other lands and explorations.  It becomes confusing unless one can back track to discover just what the current subject matter pertains to. 

I was disappointed in the book overall.

This book was provided in exchange for my view by

Weekend Reading

Image I've only recently discovered this site and I must say she has some awesome sounding recipes.  I've even tried on or two of them and they stand well on the quick and easy side of things as well as being delicious.  I thought this article about whether or not one might freeze meat again a good one.

Frugal Friday: Ushering in a New Month

Saturday:  We generally stop for breakfast on our way up to Katie's but I told John there was no need this weekend.  We'd just have our usual bagel and coffee breakfast and call it well enough. 

I packed a supper for John and I to eat on our way home.

We filled the car with gasoline.  I don't worry about this 'extra' usage as I have a travel fund set up in our checking account.  The money to cover gas for visits is covered already.

Gratefully accepted a super cute peplum cut orange shirt from Katie.

Katie and Matt saved Coke points for me.  I'll enter them later this week.

Sunday:  We slept a little later than usual but breakfast was an easy one.  I took frozen French Toast from the freezer to reheat in the oven.  It shaved a little time off my morning and insured we got out of the house on time for church.