Thursday, April 30, 2009

Busy Sewing!

I've been busy sewing on my various quilts the last few days. I'm trying to finish a couple of camping quilts before we leave to go camping with Dad and Mae on May 15th. I'm just sewing together bits and pieces of leftover fabric to make crazy tops. I'll post photos when I get them finished.

Speaking of photos.....I like to take photos of all my quilts that I make. I had several photos on my computer when it crashed one day. I hadn't had a chance to back up the I have to go back and retake the photos so I can have them printed out for a Quilt Brag Book. I wanted to get this project done so I can have it to show my 2 younger sisters, Nancy and Sandra when we are camping.

Oh, did I tell you that my 2 younger sisters and families will be camping with Dad and Mae the same weekend as we will in May. Now if I could just convince Bobbie and Mike to come for the weekend. All 4 of us girls would be together for the first time since our mother's funeral.

I'm off to work on my Camping Quilts some more today and maybe take some photos.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Save The Frogs Day

When I saw that today was Save The Frogs day I instantly thought of my sister, Nancy. She loves frogs.....has them all over her home. I found the cutest frog material and made her a quilted table runner for Christmas. I found her a pair of cute glass frog candle holders and placed battery operated mini votives in them. She said now she can have candles burning in her bedroom and not worry about fire.

Not all frogs are cute like Kermit........some can be deadly! But each and everyone of them deserves a full life. We all need to do what we can to protect and save the creatures of our planet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Before we know it Zucchini Season will be upon us. We will be searching for ways to use all of those zucchini that keep multiplying even if you rip out the plants by the roots. When my Grandfather was living and was able to garden he always planted enough zucchini for the family, friends, neighbors and those unsuspecting people that might stop by to visit. I swear even if you locked your car up while visiting.....those pesky zucchini found a way to get into the car. We would go home with a backseat full of them each and every time we visited during Zucchini season. I didn't want to waste any of the zucchini so I found various ways to use them.


2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini (if using sure and drain well)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. In a large bowl whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Stir in flour mixture and remaining ingredients. Divide into prepared pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire racks to room temperature.

Book Review: The Noticer

The Noticer by Andy Andrews
Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Noticer is a small book compared to others. It only has 156 pages. However, within those pages are some powerful messages about life.

The story takes place in Orange Beach, Alabama. Folks are feeling unsure about their futures. An old drifter, named Jones, mysteriously makes his way through the town giving simple wisdom and sound hope. He doesn't tell people what they need to do to improve their lives. He helps them see the options. Then he lets them make the choices that are right for their lives.

The Noticer is not a book to pick up and read straight through in one sitting. You need to stop at the end of each chapter and absorb the message that is being learned by the people.

At the end of the book is a Reader's Guide for each chapter. This not only helps understand the book. It helps you place yourself in situations like the folks in Orange Beach, Alabama.

I would highly recommend this book for everyone. It will make you stop and think about the choices you have made in your life. It will help you realize that you, yourself are in charge of your destiny.

Andy Andrew's "The Noticer" is a must have book for your library.

Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Earth Day Fair

Rich and I attended the Earth Day Fair this morning. It wasn't as nice as last year. There wasn't as many vendors or giveaways. They didn't have the people there that was giving away trees last year. We was looking forward to getting a couple of free trees to plant. We did get a couple more bird feeders (unassembled) and a bird house (unassembled)from US Wildlife. There was so many people building the bird feeders and bird houses that we just brought ours home unassembled. They had all the parts taped together, wires and nails were in boxes on the table. There was also free bags of bird seed for the feeders.

There was a lot of vendors there promoting solar heating and electricity, $300 compost machines and a lot of high priced gadgets. I wanted to see more practical and inexpensive ways of recycling, reusing and reducing waste.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pepper Plants

I transplanted my sweet and chili pepper starts into larger pots yesterday. They look pretty good today. I also planted my small basil plants in a large planter bowl where I had some chives growing. I had to replant tomatoes as they got to tall and spindly. I might have to buy some tomato plants. I like the Roma tomatoes because they are meatier and make great pasta sauce. They also have fewer seeds......which I always wash out of regular tomatoes along with the slimy juice. Just don't like that part of tomatoes.

I hope to grow enough tomatoes and peppers to make pizza sauce, pasta sauce, relishes, salsa, diced tomatoes with green chilies, vegetable soup and dehydrate some for cooking. If not I hope to be able to buy some at one of the local farms in our area.

Rich and I took inventory of what we have left of our home canned foods over the weekend. We got all the empty canning jars located together in one area. I've been purchasing jar lids since last canning season. I buy 2-4 dozen each time I do my bi-weekly grocery shopping. I have also purchased other items that I will need for canning along the way.

I wanted to can some asparagus but could not find it at an affordable price. It's not a savings if you have to pay over $2 a pound for the time you clean and discard the tough ends it would be too expensive. I did buy a little and put it up in the freezer. It's not as good as canned......but still tasty.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Feeling Sad and Angry

Yesterday Rich and I drove around the countryside of our hometown, Medford Oregon. During the spring when we were growing up our families would drive around the countryside and see and smell the beautiful pear orchards. There was thousands and thousands of pear trees dotted all around the Rogue Valley. The smell was at times overpowering and could cause you to sneeze. We always knew that after the spring blossoms we would soon see the small pears forming. Then in late August and early September the harvest would start. Our families always canned Bartlett pears that would find there way to our tables during the cold, damp winter.

Yesterday, when we drove through the countryside around Medford........gone was our beloved pear orchards. Now there are vineyards where once the mighty pear trees grew. Or even worse........the subdivisions that cover the acreage where the mighty pear trees grew. Rich and I was both saddened and angry over what so-called progress has done to our beloved hometown.

Earth Day 2009

Happy Earth Day to all my family and friends. Today is a day to celebrate our wonderful Earth and to learn more about taking care of it.

Rich and I have been busy this morning getting ready to go to the dump. We only have approximately 1 trash can of garbage every 6 - 8 weeks....sometimes it isn't full. We try to recycle as much as possible. Today is recycling day......tin cans, plastics, milk jugs, newspaper, etc. We usually only take items for recycling every other month.

The Earth Day Fair will be this Saturday at the fairgrounds. Last year we attended and had a lot of fun. We got lots of information, free samples, 2 trees to plant and we got to build birdhouses, bird feeders and suet feeders.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rich's Vacation

Photo is Rich and I celebrating our 10th Wedding anniversary at my parent's home.

Today is officially Rich's first day of vacation. Can you believe that we got to sleep in this morning. Rich got up at 2:30am and fed Misty and she didn't wake us up at 4am and we slept until 6:30am before waking up.

Rich went and washed the van and vacuumed it out this morning at the local car wash. I've been out puttering in the garden. Everything is looking good so far. I did have to get some Snail and Slug killer the other day and put on the garden. I hate using the stuff but it is the only way to get rid of the snails and slugs. They can devour a whole area in the garden before you can see the buggers.

We've been eating green onions already and soon should have radishes to eat. The garlic and multiplying onions are doing good. I have 28 garlic plants that I will harvest later this summer. I dry most of the heads and then grind into powder to use for cooking. I will use some in dill pickles and cooking. It sure tastes better than the store bought stuff.

My basil is growing like crazy!!!!!!!! I had received 3 small packages of seeds free and I planted them a couple of weeks ago. There is lemon, Genovese and Dark Purple Opal varieties. I would have to say the Dark Purple Opal variety is growing the best so far.

I also have tomato, green pepper and chili pepper plants that are doing good. I need to transplant the tomatoes into bigger pots. The pepper plants will probably need transplanted next week. It's still not warm enough to plant the tomatoes and peppers out in the garden yet.

I would love to have a greenhouse for my seedlings. I keep wishing and dreaming for one.

Well, I better go see what Rich wants to do today! Tomorrow we are going into Medford as I have to go see my rheumotologist for my fibromyalgia. It's a 6 month checkup. Then we are going to visit Rich's parents, my sister Bobbie and my brother-in-law Mike and several friends that we don't get to see often.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Trying to Prepare Food Menu

You would think that preparing a 2 week menu for 2 adults would be easy! Right? NOT!!!!

The trouble is not with me......I'm fairly easy to please. I can do without meat, love most fruits and veggies, brown rice and other grains and will willingly try new recipes.

The problem lies with my other half.......he has to have meat - preferably beef and ground, his idea of veggies is potatoes, carrots, corn and green beans, his idea of fruits is cantaloupe, apples, bananas, canned pears, applesauce and occasionally canned peaches, white rice and no other grains, pasta.....but not whole wheat or no yolks, eggs, milk and long as it is Cheddar, Pepper Jack and occasionally Mozzarella on his pizza, pepperoni, salami and bologna, white wheat or other funny flours as he calls them, chocolate and plenty of it and of course his beloved Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup and is worse than a child when introduced to a new recipe.

I am trying to develop healthier recipes because Rich was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic. He now has to take oral medication daily as I do. We both need to lose weight and the only way we are going to do that is Healthier Eating and Exercise.

It is so hard to introduce new recipes to Rich. As I said he is worse than a child. He tells me that he doesn't like the food before he will even take a bite. If the recipe looks healthy or has an ingredient he doesn't like at times he won't even try it. I consider myself a good cook......I cook home-style and don't do a lot of fancy dishes.

My moaning and groaning are not going to help me prepare my menu and shopping list for tomorrow. I'm off to try again and see what I can find......and maybe some tricks to hid some healthy ingredients into our foods so Rich can't see them!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Win a Panasonic Inverter Micowave

Over at The Mom Buzz blog she is having a giveaway for a Panasonic Inverter Microwave. Let me tell you this is a top of the line microwave that can do everything except for the shopping.

Check it out!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Been Snowing This Morning

Around 7am I looked out the kitchen window and it was SNOWING!!!!!!!! It was coming down in big huge flakes. The porch and pickup was covered with snow. Not much but still covered. The snow lasted for about 30 minutes and then stopped. The snow has all melted. I did take photos this morning but I'm having technical difficulties downloading them onto computer.

Snow today........wonder what Tax Day tomorrow will bring with the weather??????

Monday, April 13, 2009

Misty's Favorite Place to Sleep

At night Misty loves to sleep in our bedroom in front of the dresser. She will stick her little paws under the edge to get the warmth from the heater vent. We have to be careful in the middle of the night if we get up so we don't step on her.

Recipe of the Week


These pints of spicy tomatoes are ready for casseroles and skillet suppers, or any recipe calling for stewed tomatoes with green chilies.

12 medium tomatoes
3 green peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Scald, peel and chop tomatoes; place in a kettle. Add remaining ingredients. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 45 minutes, stirring often. Cool slightly; pack into freezer containers. Yield: 3 pints.

Note: I freeze my Zesty Tomatoes in Zip-Lock bags. They lay flat in the freezer for easier storage.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all my family and friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tornado hits Mena, Arkansas

This morning I was shocked when I saw that Mena, Arkansas had been hit by a tornado. My Dad grew up in and around Mena. In fact, Dad and Mae are back in that area on vacation right now.

Dad and Mae was supposed to visit my Aunt Velma who lives in Arkansas. I called her this morning and asked if she had seen Dad and Mae. She said that they had spent the night at her house and then on Thursday they left for Branson, Missouri. They were going to spend a couple of days in that area. That made me feel better to know that they was in Missouri.

Dad and Mae are supposed to be attending a family reunion in the Mena area on the 18th. We have several cousins in that area. I pray that they are all okay!

UPDATE: I TALKED TO MAE'S SON THIS MORNING AND HE HAD RECEIVED A CALL FROM DAD AND MAE LAST NIGHT FROM THEIR MOTEL IN MISSOURI! They were miles away from the area. I'm still praying that my cousins that live in that area are safe. No word from anybody yet!

SATURDAY UPDATE: Dad called me last night. He said he knew that I would be worried and wouldn't rest until I heard from him. Yep.......he was right. They are headed back to my Aunt Velma's and then they well be headed down to Mena and surrounding area.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Have you finished those Easter projects????

Have you finished those Easter projects yet? I know I haven't finished Rich's Easter basket yet? Still trying to decide what to put all his Easter goodies into this year. Do I do a decorated bucket........A decorated cloth bag........A decorated basket.....decisions, decisions.

I had to find the perfect Chocolate Bunny for Rich. He doesn't like the solid chocolate bunny so I had to find a hollow bunny. I was shopping at Walgreen's and found the perfect bunny and peanut butter eggs. I then found packages of small peanut butter eggs, jelly beans and some filled Sports ball eggs at the Dollar Tree.
I made a cute crocheted bunny to go with the goodies. I will make a batch of Soft Rolled Sugar Cookies in Easter shapes tomorrow.

I know that I have to get busy and decide what type of container I'm going to use for Rich's Easter Goodies.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Recipe of the Week


See note below.

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup catsup
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 Hamburger buns, split and toasted

Cook and stir gournd beef and onion in 10-inch skillet until beef is brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except buns.

Cover and cook over low heat just until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes. Fill buns with beef mixture. Serves 4-6.

Note: I add 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning to mixture. I also serve open-face with grated cheese, chopped green onions and sliced olives.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Book Review: His Name Is Jesus by Max Lucado

When I first received the book I was in awe of the beautiful slipcover covering the book. When I pulled out the book it was just as beautiful inside and out. The pages are beautifully illustrated. The book covers the life of Jesus from birth to His resurrection and beyond. It is written in layman's words and easily understood by all.

I was impressed how this book was written. Each chapter is like a short story. At the end of each chapter you need to stop and reflect upon what you have read. It is not a book that you read from cover to cover in one sitting. The more I read about Jesus' life I found myself thirsting for more. Throughout the book there are references to the Bible for further in depth reading.

As you follow Jesus through his life you find out that Jesus struggled in his life just as we do in our daily lives. I feel that the book followed along with the Bible teachings that I have learned over the years.

I would recommend this book to both people that are just learning about Jesus and to those who need to be reminded of Jesus' love and sacrifice for us. After reading this book you will find that it has touched your heart.

Shirley Bishop
Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger

Monday, April 06, 2009

Update on Van

I do believe that we should go back to riding a horse for transportation!!!!!!!!

After doing more research on problem with van starting yesterday......Rich decided that it was the starter.

This morning Rich was ready for work and tried and tried to get van way....Jose!!!!!! So Rich called in and told them he wouldn't be in today.

As soon as our favorite auto repair shop opened Rich got the van started finally and drove down to the shop.

Diagnosis: Starter needs replaced. Cost: $215 Ready: Today at noon!

The cost may sound terrible to some.......some might think that we should just buy a new car.......fact is the van was paid for with cash at the time we bought it. In the 5 years we have owned it we have only spent $854 for repairs. Broken down over 5 years thats $178 per year or $15 a month........I don't think we could buy a new car for $15 a month.

In a few hours Kermie will be back on the road. Yep........we call the van Kermit the Frog.

UPDATE: Kermie is back on the road and running like a charm!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Potatoes, Onion Sets, Lettuce and Our Van

We own a 94 Plmouth Voyager Le van like the one in the photo. Ours is the same color. You might wonder why I tittled my post as I did.

Yesterday I told Rich that I was going to go to Canyonville.....small community about 9 miles south of where we live. I was going to Commonwealth nursery to see if they had any seed potatoes left. I'm a little late planting them and hadn't been able to find any when I shopped last week.

They had a nice selection of seed potatoes. They had Yukon Gold, Red Pontiacs and Russets. I decided to get Yukon Gold and Red Pontiacs. I grow my potatoes in potato sacks so I only needed 3 pounds. They were 80 cents per pound.

Then I found some yellow onion sets.....we harvest some as green and leave the rest to mature.

I loved the look of the mixed lettuce starts so I bought a 6- pack of them to plant for salads.

By now you are probably wondering about the van. You see I don't drive it more than 3-5 times per month. Rich drives it to work 5 days a week. When I got in the van it didn't want to start. Rich came out and told me to pop the hood. He jiggled the positive battery cable and the van started. He told me that it okay now and I shouldn't have any problems. Yeah right!!!!!!!!!!

The van started fine when I left the nursery. I needed to stop at the small store and pick up a couple of items. When I came out the van wouldn't start no matter what I tried. I had to call Rich. Our pickup is currently running so he had to ask a neighbor to drive him to Canyonville where I was waiting.

When they got there they tried everything to get it started. They thought that the starter might have went out. I panicked when our neighbor said that he could tow it back to our house with his vehicle. My Dad taught me to never tow a vehicle that was an automatic. So, I told Rich and our neighbor that I would rather the van be towed home. I went to call a tow truck and they got the van started before I could call. That was a relief as we don't have towing on the van.......we will have as soon as I can get signed up for AAA.

When we got home the van started up just fine.

Somehow, I don't think the van likes me.......because if it is going to act up it does it when I'm driving it.

This morning we decided to go get the newspapers. It wouldn't start again. Finally Rick dropped the gear shift down into neutral and it started. So Rich thinks it something in the ignition switch area that needs replaced.

Tomorrow Rich will be checking to see where he can get it fixed.

I'll be scrunching the budget to get it repaired.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger

I'm so excited a few weeks ago I applied to become a Book Reviewer with Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was accepted and could order a new book to review. I ordered my book, "His Name is Jesus" by Max Lucado. Today my book was delivered by UPS.

Now I get to read the book and then post a review of at least 200 words here on my blog and also on a commercial site......such as, etc. Then I will be able to order another book to review.

Being a book reviewer is something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Stay tuned in a few days for my review of "His Name is Jesus" by Max Lucado.

Research on Lap Band Surgery

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion about Lap Band Surgery. If you have had this procedure done......I salute you because you have more gumption than me!

As some of you know I struggle with my weight. I will admit I'm addicted to food.....especially carbohydrates.

I've been considering Lap Band Surgery. My insurance will cover the expenses....I've checked on that already. I know where to find the doctors in my area that will do the surgery. I've been reading how you eat after having the procedure done.........I JUST DON'T THINK I CAN LIVE THAT matter how much I want to lose weight.

I found the following information on Women's Health

The first 3 to 4 days following Adjustable Gastric Lap-Band surgery patients must follow a clear liquid diet. Failure to follow the prescribed diet can cause complications such as band erosion or slippage that require additional surgery.

If you are a regular coffee, tea, or soda drinker you should be aware that no caffeine is permitted for the first three months after surgery. Carbonated beverages; both diet and regular may cause gas, bloating, and an increase in stomach size due to the carbonation and are not recommended at any time for Lap-Band patients. HOW CAN I GO 3 MONTHS WITHOUT TEA?????? LET'S FACE IT.....I'M ADDICTED TO DIET DR. PEPPER.

The second phase of the Lap-Band diet consists of 5 to 6 weeks of a modified full liquid diet; the key component of this phase is consuming two ounces of a protein shake every hour for ten to twelve hours a day with two ounces of other liquids such as soup, baby food, or sugar-free gelatin three times a day. I'D DROWN DRINKING THAT MUCH LIQUID......WOULDN'T I?????????

During the second six weeks following Lap-Band surgery patients may eat food that is shredded in a food processor prior to eating. The basic foods on the Lap-Band diet include meats or other forms of protein, vegetables, and salads. The Lap-Band diet does not include most bread, potatoes and other starchy vegetables. The length of these phases may be altered according a patient’s personal weight and weight loss goals – my first phase is five weeks, followed by a two week second phase. NO BREAD, POTATOES......WHAT WOULD I LIVE ON????????

Eating after Adjustable Gastric Lap-Band surgery means taking tiny bites, and eating very slowly. You should think of your new stomach as a “baby” stomach. You’ll be drinking protein shakes and relearning eating skills much the same way as a new baby eats formula (or breast milk), and slowly adds new foods from blended baby foods to chunkier baby foods.

Certain foods may never be well tolerated by Lap-Band patients. These foods include:

* Meats that are especially tough such as steak and pork chops. Some Lap-Band patients have difficulty digesting other meats that contain gristle such as hamburger.
* Oranges and grapefruits may not be tolerated unless the membrane is removed before eating.
* The seeds and/or skins of all fruits and vegetables.
* High fiber vegetables such as celery and sweet potatoes.
* Spicy foods.
* Fried foods.
* Certain spices including cinnamon, pepper, or onion or garlic salt.
* If you are unable to tolerate milk, it’s important to add other calcium and protein rich foods such as cottage cheese. Dry milk can be added to foods for added protein. I JUST DON'T THINK I COULD GIVE UP EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST!!!!

Any medicine you take may need to be adjusted following Lap-Band surgery since you will not be able to swallow pills that are aspirin-size or larger, or capsules or irregular-shaped pills. THIS WOULD BE A MAJOR PAIN FOR ME.....AS I TAKE SEVERAL LARGE PILLS.....SOME THAT SAY DO NOT SPLIT OR CRUSH.

So, in conclusion........I'm just going to go back on a low carb eating plan and start walking 1 hour 5 days a week. I lost 85 pounds before........and I can do it again.

Whenever I feel sorry for myself and feel deprived......I'LL REMEMBER WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT HOW YOU HAVE TO EAT AFTER LAP BAND SURGERY....and be thankful that bread, potatoes, etc. are not FORBIDDEN......just limited!