Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year End Summary

2016 Family and Friend Events

January -  Our Pal, 16 year old Rat Terrier died.
February -Family man, and longtime friend, my first husband died after long illness.
March -  Neighbor’s husband and friend died after long illness.
May - Longtime beach friend’s husband died. Shortly thereafter their Boston Terrier Samson, suddenly died.
June - Attended beautiful outdoor wedding and were considered honorary grandparents for dear family friends.
July - Daughter’s Boxer Lexi, age 12 died.
July - Daughter got new dog, a Yorkie mix, Sadie May.
August - Sister, 74, died after struggles with bladder cancer.
September - Another daughter’s aged Boston Terrier, Pasquale died.
September - Birth of 8th Great Grandchild, Sophia. 
October - Significant Other of son (age 58) diagnosed with colon cancer a year ago is now cancer free!
November - Neighbor’s wife unexpectedly died at age 60.
December - Grandson diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia and is still being treated after diagnosis a year ago and getting through it.
December - Old friend who fell, broke wrist, arm, ribs, spleen removed, and suffered concussion one year ago is recovering with amazing grit.
December - Longtime friend and babysitter of my two youngest offspring died.  We shared many good times with her and her husband as couples for many get-togethers in the past.   
ME-Turned 80. Had MRI (for back pain)and ultrasounds for both venus and artery bilats. Using canes. Really ill with upper respiratory issue for over a month.Good now.
HE-Turned 81. Still lots of stamina with multiple health issues - treatments going well. Does many tasks and chores.
Next Year - Anticipating birth of 2nd Great Great Grandchild.

New Stuff
•Husqvarna Snow Thrower
•Weber Grill, cart and hose
•Frigidaire AC
•Toilet Seat

Repairs (Professionally Accomplished)
•Log home maintenance and restoration.
Power washed, minor repairs, stained entire cabin outer logs.
•Rocks and small trees removed from ditch and bank behind cabin.
•Removal of large limb that fell into rock garden.
•Removal of pine tree limbs blocking view. 
•Replacement of propane heater fan.
Replacement of clothesline - by us!

By the way, I baked a lot in 2016 and over exceeded my skills in that department. It was a goal!

Baked Stuffed Pasta Shells
Split Pea Kettle Soup
Lemon Jumbos Cookies
Applesauce Muffins
Apple Pie
Vanilla Bundt Cake
Louisiana Bar-B-Que sauce
Corn Casserole
Peanut Butter Bars
Meatloaf (large)
Chocolate Chip/Peanut Butter Cookies
Lemon Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chicken Spiedies
NOTHING! Yard and flowers ruled.
Lemon Coconut Pie
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Chicken Spiedies
Strawberry Shortcakes
Lemon Jumbo Cookies
Peach Cobbler
Peach Crisp
Lemon Jumbo Cookies
Peach Pie
Peach Cobbler(s)
Peach Freezer Jam
Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
Apple Pie(s)
Apple Cake(s)
Peanut Butter Cookies
Peach Crescent Rolls
Peach Biscuits
Key Lime Pie
Meringue Cookies
Baked Spaghetti
Apple Pie(s)
Oatmeal Cranberry & Walnut Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies (traditional)
Peanut Butter Cookies (via cake mix)
Bran Raisin Muffins
Meatloaf (large)
One Bowl Apple Cake
Apple Pie
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pies
Applesauce Cake
Applesauce Muffins
Corn Casserole
Chocolate Chip Cookies (x 2)
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Candied Cereal
Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates
Split Pea Soup from Hambone

Old Family Photo Albums Repairs & Restorations
Note Cards with Photos
Note Letter and Handmade Envelopes
Nail Polish Paintings
Papercraft Rosettes, Leaves, Butterflies
Contemplation Tower
Suncatchers from Pony Beads
Applehead Agnes

So now all of my various directories and calendars have been updated for the year 2017 and I start all over.

By the way, death is part of living in my mind. It is just another path. We leave the old and anticipate the new every year, don't we? It doesn't mean that we don't remember but we do move onward.

“Count your blessings instead of your crosses.

Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes.

Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears.

Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full times instead of your lean.

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth.

Love your neighbor as much as yourself.”

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016


I was careless this morning. Yeow! Yesterday I trimmed the hambone and stewed it all day for broth to make split pea soup. The trimmings then were saved to grind into ham salad for sandwiches, using my good old Gem grinder. In order to clamp the grinder on the countertop, I have to remove the large tempered glass cutting board. This I did, placing it on the floor against the lower cupboard doors. I promptly then forgot it was there when reaching for a bowl, and kicked it at the bottom. It fell hard against my shin and slid down. When it hit my leg, I knew immediately I had a problem. The blood from the upside down "C" cut was spouting like a fountain out of control and ran down and filled my sheepskin slipper! I ran for the bathroom, knowing there was a large roll of paper towel readily accessible to press against the site. It was a good thing that I was wearing fleece sweat pants or it would have been worse. After getting the flow to subside, using tons of towel, I called the Mister to help, instructing him what to pull from the closet so I could repair the damage. I squeezed almost an entire tube of Neosporin onto a large gauze pad and then wrapped medical tape around several times to hold it in place. His next job was to flush out my slipper and then to clean my foot and leg. It would have been difficult to do all of this if I were alone. Kind of a "funny" site, me, sitting on the toilet top, he, kneeling on the floor fixing me. 

The funniest thing is that he was in the chair waiting to help me with the ham and I yelled, BLOOD! BLOOD! while running to the bathroom. He thought I had yelled FLOOD! FLOOD! and thought I had a bladder problem, so didn't help right away until I told him I hurt my leg and needed his attention.

Yesterday, I just told a friend to always expect the unexpected. I need to follow my own advice!

Sure hope it heals (I'm a slow healer) and doesn't get infected but I don't see how it can because it was washed out so well with the red stuff. There goes my shower for a few days! Oh well, it isn't the start of the new year today so I haven't spoiled it - yet!
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Ow! Still hurts. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dinner with Daughter

.....and dogs and deer! We were privileged to enjoy several hours just across town at our daughter's home. The food there is always plain and exceptional at the same time. The feelings of love and warmth come across strong and we are happy and relaxed. We returned home with some sweet treats, a box of something that promises potential projects, and more. We are so fortunate to have such sharing and caring folks in our lives. Our grandson and his girlfriend were a big help and made the day easy for us oldies.
I took the deer pictures through the kitchen window. 
Sadie May and Charlie joined the fun.
Their home was warm and decorated in a lovely way. 
Best of all the dinner was delicious and the company enjoyable.  Our other children touched base with phone calls. 
LOOK! Fun  ahead!
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

It's a Date

In the February, 1922 issue of the The Ladies Home Journal,  page 98, is a story about how good dates are good for you. They have been around for a while!

Today's jumbo-sized dates are now filled with cream cheese and rolled in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. I shall bring them to my daughter's tomorrow. Years ago, I remember my mother buying dromedary dates from the produce section in the Food Fair store and then having to dig out the pits before filling the centers with cream cheese or peanut butter.  Those dates were small and a bit tough but they were my dad's favorite sweet treat at holiday time. The ones she bought must have been even older than the ad above because I know they had pits! I remember that she also made date nut bread in a tin coffee can. 
 This is a batch of small ones that I prepared in 2012.
It is a nicer presentation as it was for a party. I can't find the red bowl anyway, and must have left it behind.
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Friday, December 23, 2016

Updates and Such

Today is the first day of the ice fishermen's arrival. We watched them test the ice and then settle in for serious fishing. 
The icicle that had previously started to develop simply melted away during a warm spell and has started to form again. 
The Mister said he thought he would die before I made his favorite dish again. Well I was ambitious this morning. Surprise! And...we both got into it at lunch! Now what shall we have for supper?
Guess who took the larger section. (We both like the corners!) Recipe below. I don't make a sauce. I create it the way my mother did. We like it best this way.

The gift that a dear friend who lives in Hawaii sent, has been put to another use. The wicker basket with the bright red Merry Christmas satin ribbon was once filled with samples of scrumptious cookies, but alas! They have disappeared!
And another was sent from within my state, and arrived securely packed and wrapped with tape so well I wondered why. Upon its opening, I knew why. A lovely porcelain ball was enclosed, with a special Irish greeting. How wonderful!
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Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni & Cheese

You Will Need:

9 inch X 13 inch Pan
Heavy Duty Foil
Pam No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 - 10 oz. block EXTRA Sharp Yellow Cheddar Cheese 
1 - 10 oz. block EXTRA Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
(Preferably Helluva Good Cheese Brand or Cracker Barrel or Cooper)
1 - Box (16 oz.) Elbow Macaroni (Preferably Mueller’s Brand)
1/2 Stick BUTTER (Preferably Keller’s Brand)
1 Cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs (Preferably Progresso Brand)
Parmesan & Romano 100% Grated Cheese (Preferably Kraft Brand)
Black Pepper (Preferably McCormick Brand)
5 Cups WHOLE Milk

Line pan with foil and spray with Pam. “Release” brand foil may be used instead of Pam (double lined pan).

Hand grate yellow cheese into bowl and put in freezer until ready to use.
Hand grate white cheese into another bowl and put in freezer too.

(Put a dash of corn oil in the water before cooking)
Cook macaroni at full rolling boil for 11 minutes. Do not salt. Drain.

Dump 1/2 of the macaroni into pan and spread around evenly.
With hand, sprinkle yellow cheese over macaroni.
Dump remainder of the macaroni evenly over the yellow cheese.
With hand, sprinkle white cheese over macaroni.

Generously sprinkle black pepper over all.

Evenly cover all with bread crumbs.
Generously sprinkle Parmesan & Romano cheese over all.
Cut butter into pats and place pats in two rows over top of all.
VERY GENTLY - pour 4 cups of milk along sides of pan.
Tilt pan forward and backward and left to right to make milk flow inside macaroni

Preheat oven to 350º
Bake one hour at 350º. After 1/2 hour do the “tilt” procedure again.
If dry, pour one cup milk over all.
It is done (approximately another 1/2 hour) when no milk can be seen as liquid.

Cool about 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers may be frozen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I made candied cereal this morning - just in time to share with the dependable man who faithfully picks up a bag of trash here every Tuesday. He is often the recipient of a "goody bag" when we see him coming. This time I included the recipe for his wife.

There is a mouse in our house or maybe two very large ones who have almost completely nibbled the once upon a time full tray of delicious treats empty! You should see it now since I took the pictures!
please click on image to see the goodness
Here is the recipe - it came from my mother. Dig out a heavy pot.
Candied Cereal                       

•Boil together for 5 minutes stirring constantly

1 C Granulated sugar
1/2 C water
1 tsp. Vinegar (apple cider)

Then add:

2 T. Molasses
1 T. Butter
1/2 tsp. salt

•Boil (stirring constantly) until a few drops in cold water becomes hard & brittle.

Stir in 1/2 box Puffed Rice that has been pre-crisped in oven.

Spread on buttered pan to cool.

(Can use Kix or Cheerios-no need to pre-crisp them.)

3C Cheerios is just the right amount. 

Can add peanuts if desired.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Yarn Compulsion

Does anyone "out there" feel compelled to create a yarn ball when it comes in a skein? I do! I really think this is because I've done it ever since I can remember. When I was in first grade, ALL students knitted squares, boys as well. When they were complete, they were turned in to the teacher to be sewn together by an adult and then they were sent to soldiers as blankets to keep them warm. That is what we were told. My grandmother and my mother started my squares for me. I think they had to be 4 inches square, but am not sure. Sometimes they had left over yarn to use so they wouldn't have to purchase any. Almost all mothers had saved leftovers for future projects. My point is, that back in 1942 yarn came in hanks that had to be rolled into balls to be used. One person would open their hands, spread their arms apart, another would place each end of the loop over each hand forming a circle of the yarn and another would roll the tail into a ball. The ball rolling person was supposed to slip a finger under the yarn as it was wrapped so the ball wouldn't be too hard or tightly rolled. Later on I also remember that it could be a one person job by slipping the skein over the back of a chair.

Today most skeins are already formed and not in open hanks as they were in the past. Some are even in  type of ball where you can use the yarn by pulling from the inside to the outside.

My yarn compulsion is that I HAD to make a ball. Now I'll have to figure out how to use this ball, as I bought it for another purpose than knitting or crocheting and that idea didn't work out for me.
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The Mister says he remembers being the holder while I was the roller. WOW, I must be really old!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bright Cold Morning

At 7am I took a picture of the thermometer as it was showing the coldest temperature we have had this season. We know it will get colder but I like to document the start of the approaching cold winter. It was +4° then.
When I looked out 45 minutes later, the sun had risen and the temperature went down 2°! It went to +2°. We have seen this before and don't know why but it is common.
A large icicle has started to form. I asked the mister to not knock it down until it is larger so I could get a picture.
As I looked at the snow covered ice in front of the cabin I see three  of the openings that the lake bottom springs have kept open - for a while. 
AND...something small has left tracks and maybe even a tail swipe - perhaps a muskrat?
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Soon the ice fishing people will come. Maybe we can give away all of the equipment for that sport that we have stored in the shed. It is just taking up room now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Snowy Past

Anni thought my story yesterday showed a lot of snow. Well I have to disagree. Now I will show her what snow we had in 1993 and 1996. These are the deepest I remember, from around 20 years ago. We were snowed in 1993 for many days until the giant plows could come and break through to clear the road. These were taken when we had an Ashley wood stove in the basement and a working fireplace on the main floor of the ranch house across the lake where we lived from 1972-1997. Power was out during the time, but I don't remember for how long. We improvised and got by. I remember the high hill north winds blowing during those storms, which were doozies! We had horses and the trek to the barn and the mucking and water carrying were difficult chores.
We hadn't moved across the lake and into the cabin until October 1997
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Monday, December 12, 2016


I have been very sick with something upper respiratory but finally feel stronger. It all started around October 25 and today is "almost" gone. Tons of meds, and absolute lack of energy prevailed throughout November, but I'm gainin' on it - finally. 

We purchased a new snow blower last January 24 and today the Mister put it to work for the first time. The heavy wet snow only accumulated about four inches, but needed to be removed. The blower along with other equipment is in our shed, which
has a ramp. The ramp has to be cleaned off before the doors will open.  These pictures may be boring to you but they show the work being completed with the help of the new equipment. The Husqvarna is smaller and lighter weight than the old (29 years) one, which was traded in. It did a good job. I'm the lucky one who can watch it work and document how it is here today. 
January 22, 2016 John Deere 29 years service

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Now it is stored and covered beside the carport for easy access, and is ready to go again.