Friday, November 29, 2013

My Best Turkey Ever

As promised earlier I did keep turkey day simple. I peeled the potatoes and cooked the turkey Wednesday night. By the time Thursday morning rolled around I was able to do some last minute picking up.

I've heard a lot about brining the turkey and this year I decided to try it. Here's the recipe-

 Chef Jeff's Turkey Brine Recipe:
1 gallon water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup table salt, non-iodized
Mix all ingredients together in a container larger enough to cover the thawed turkey with the brine.  Place in the refrigerator up to 4 days.  Depending on the size of the turkey, you can brine it for 1 day up to 4 days.

I had mine sitting in the garage for 4 days.
That's about the only thing good about having cold weather at Thanksgiving is good for. I cooked it, breast side down, in my Nesco and did not use any other seasonings. It was my best turkey ever, tasty and moist.
Thursday morning I sliced the turkey, added the juices, and warmed it in my small Nesco. That is how I'll be making my turkey from now on!
At one point I almost wished that I had invited more people over for dinner.

 Some my goofy grandkids. They love to play dress up. I have a lot of dresses so now I am on a mission to find some dress up things for the boys. 
The boy in the red sweatshirt is a nephew.
 The only girl who was here is the one in the pink dress.

 Hubby's son with his son, the 'master of disguise'. He's a she in this picture, wearing on of my mom's old wigs and a beautiful bow in his hair. 
 Hubby's daughter with her gray haired 5 year old.....
another of my mom's old wigs. I don't think she'd mind the kids having fun.
 The 'master of disguise' changed his look in the above photo, and as a she below.
I had a really nice day, in-spite of the fact that hubby had a hisssy fit the night before because my kitchen light went out and he had to stop what he was doing and drive 12 miles to get new light bulbs for our old fluorescent light fixture.
It could have only been better if my whole family would have been here.

I could not get to sleep last night, was up until after 3:30, then hubby's friend calls at 8:15AM and wakes me up. I probably could have went back to sleep but I hate wasting my day by sleeping it away.
I went out briefly to the local thrift store, no crowds there.
This afternoon I pulled out the Christmas gifts I've purchased already and picked up the mess that the kids left in the extra was picked up somewhat.....  I ate leftovers and now it's time to relax.

How did you spend Black Friday?

Monday, November 25, 2013


No, not that kind of K.I.S.S.

When I belonged to (rubber) stamp(ing) club we used that acronym, putting the emphasis on the fact that every card did not have to be elaborate, many times the best ones were clean and simple. 
Keep It Simple Silly!!!
That's my plan for this Thanksgiving - simple! I like to make different things so we have a choice of foods. 
Not this year.....I am making the turkey (it is soaking in brine now), mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, gravy, dinner rolls, and buying pies and canned cranberries - fini, perfecto, the end!
Less work, less stress for me.
My friend is bringing 2 dishes, she's a life saver. I asked hubby's son and daughter to bring something too!
I use to make a cranberry salad but my friend and I are the only ones who eat it.
Since our basement is messier than usual (due to the refrigerator replacement) I think it's a good time to sort through all the odds and ends that I save and haul some to St Vinnie's.

Remember to KISS! and have a blessed turkey day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What I Do On The Weekends

Usually our 8 year old grandson comes over saturday night and spends the day on Sunday.
Today we made cake pops.
I sent most of them home with him. I also kept some unfrosted ones for me.

Later that sweet, serious, (?) little boy tackled grandpa. 
Earlier in the afternoon they filled up our extra refrigerator with soda. When Kevin and I got married 23 years ago we each had our own appliances, so we put his fridge (the better of the 2) in the basement and got a new one for our 'new' house. That harvest gold fridge quit last month. It was really hard without a 2nd one or even a freezer so hubby went shopping yesterday and bought us a new one. Merry Christmas to us!
J's dad's birthday is on friday so we made a gift for him. 
It started out with a bunch of small jewelry boxes, similar to this. 
Stack 'em together and glue, being sure to keep the bottom flat, if you are going to stand it up.

 J picked out the boxes and arranged them.
After I had them glued I painted them all the same color. 
BTW I found this on Pinterest, where else???
J decorated the insides of the boxes with the shaving cream paper we made the weekend before.
If you look really closely you can see that he did cut out some hearts and write notes in some. 
Did you notice that the 2 long narrow boxes are placed to form an L??? I didn't have anything to do with that.
I was hoping that he'd fill the boxes with something more artistic, but it was his protect and I let him do what he wanted to do.
Eight year old boys are not always the most artistic.

 The one who comes to our house can certainly be lovable though.

How was your weekend?
Turkey day is closing in on us......guess I better get to the grocery store and finish my shopping.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thoughts on Thursday

I am wondering if it is an epidemic????
Piles of clothing?
Mine only looks like this when I am sorting  & doing laundry.

 Yesterday morning, when I was at work, a woman called me before 7:30 saying that her daughter's water heater was getting water all over, it was an emergency, and she needed someone right away. She was kinda cranky. We did some scrambling (it's BUSY at work) and got someone to replace the water heater right away. 
A couple hours later she called me to apologize and say that her daughter has young children and is not very good about folding her laundry, so the floor was full of clothing. Kate and her husband were driving to the daughter's house to shut the water off and pick up the clothing. I understand that the daughter didn't know how to shut the water off....but couldn't she pick up her own clothes??? Mom and dad to the rescue again.....
I will give the young mom the benefit of a doubt and assume that she had to get to work. But why aren't we teaching our children how to be adults and take care of themselves????
You know me, I can't let my soapbox sit idle for too long.

Another more serious thought.
Hubby found out earlier this week that his employer is closing the plant where he works and building a new one, probably in Texas. The present employees will be offered jobs, but he will not move and I don't know if I'd want to either. I know he is worried, even though he doesn't say much.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love comments!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dining and Friends

Girlfriends are so important, at least in my book! As I get older I often tell younger women not to forget their girlfriends when they get married. Maybe that's because I've never been married to man who is my best friend or maybe it's because I know women need other women to share life's up and downs with. Girl friends like to shop, get together for cooking or canning, sew or make crafty items, go to a 'chick flick', talk about the kids and the day's events with their friends. It's a rare man who will partake in most of these activities with his wife. Men have their place in our lives; we love them, we wanna be with them, we love our families! But, women friends have a place in our lives too.

I don't have a lot of friends, or maybe I do. Each of my friends is different, most of them know one or more of the others, but not all. The friends I am talking about today are relatively friends I've made since I moved here in 1990. Considering that I am retiring in the spring I think of them as 'new'. I still keep in contact with some of my 'old' friends.

Each of my friends very different but some are friends with each other. The past few days I've had lunch with most of them, one day at a time.

On Thursday I had lunch with Kathy. I had something new - Rueben soup - very 'sauerkrauty', I liked it. We try to get together once a month, it doesn't always work. We use to belong to the same church and many years ago she asked if I'd like to attend a retreat with her. It was my first Christian retreat and I loved it. That's when & how I got into stamping and scrapbooking. We had been trying to get together for about 2 morning I finally had time and called her. She answered right away and said she had a really bad morning and was praying for someone to talk to. We chatted and made a date for lunch a few days later. She's a seamstress, has young adult children that she worries about, and is enthusiastic about Jesus.

On Friday I had lunch date with my daughter's mother in law. Bev's a little older, more educated, and a little more worldly than I am. We just hit if off when we met and try to get together once in a while. We talk about how wonderful our 3, shared, grandchildren (and their parents) are. I've been to their 'cottage' a couple of times. We meet 1/2 way, in Appleton (about an hour from here), near the mall. We met at Barnes & Noble (we & our grandkids love books) and we did some other shopping too. We had lunch at an Italian Bistro and she talked to the owner (they have a mutual friend). We have another lunch date next month on the day of our 5 year old granddaughters concert.

Saturday night my grandson talked me into taking him to the restaurant a few blocks away from our house for supper. He's a great kid and I enjoy his company.

On Sunday, after church, my bff invited me to Bible study with her. Grandson J was in Sunday school and it was pouring out and I enjoy it so I went. Our Pastor is a very good teacher and talked in depth, but in language that easy to understand. Pastor even took the time to explain the components of communion to my 8 year old grandson who had a question. Deb and I met when I married her sisters husband.....oh yea, her sister had passed away 2 years previously. Her son and my step son are close in age so we had that in common. Deb and I stamp & scrapbook together, started a our Red Hat group, we go on trips & retreats, we solve the world's problems, we cry, we laugh, and on and on.

Monday's lunch date was with one of my Red Hat friends. Janice got married and moved away over a year ago but still comes to town once in a while. She was having work done on her car and would be in town so I said I'd love to have lunch with her. She is a very bubbly, kind-hearted, giving person. We just chatted about her new house and new life.

Thank goodness I had to work today....I couldn't afford another lunch date.

I have one more very good friend I want to include. I met Carolee through rubber stamping and our friendship just evolved..............We stamp, scrapbook, are in the same book club and Red Hat group, we LOVE to go on Red Hat trips and stamping conventions, we go to different events in the area. She keeps me grounded, or tries to.

I'm good friends with my former sister in law. Her son is about the same age as our grandson so we sometimes do things together with the boys.

Yes, I am blessed with a lot of great friends, each different but some common threads run through all. One thing they have in common is they are all genuine, truthful women. These are just some of my great friends.....I love all of you! I don't know what I'd do without you!

I hope you have good friends in your life too!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Cards

As I wrote in a previous post I was busy this weekend putting Christmas cards together.
Some the cards were already made and only need a sentiment stamped inside, a bonus!
Others had been started but not finished.
Most cards were made from bit and pieces of Christmas card embellishments and stamped images that I had on hand from previous years. 
I have over 30 cards ready to go (some still need an inside saying).
I tackled this project partly because I had all the elements together (that was what I was going to do at the scrapbook retreat if my photos didn't arrive in time.) Everything was all together and ready to go.
I had some time before my grandson came over and didn't feel like

The red frame on this card is the scrap from the Stampin' Up Top Note die. I hate to throw things out.

This is made from scraps.
I had the blue piece with PEACE stamped on it, there's a smudge above the PEACE.
You can't see it because I covered it (as stampers do). The mother and child was an image that was leftover from something and it was cut in just that shape.....a light went on and I layered it over the smudge. The left side of the card needed something.................buttons work for me!

I had the embossed white background and the ornaments.
I had to hand cut the green ornament (can you believe I don't have any real green?) because I don't have that punch or die. I embossed the ornaments, they were too boring otherwise, and strung some discarded yarn through the holes (thanks Michele) and called it a cute card!

I found this adorable stocking card already done, ready to go. I think it's Stampin' Up.
The cuff on it pulls up.
Looks like a great place to put a gift card to me.

I am extremely pleased that I have so many cards ready to mail sooooooo early! No 2 cards are the same, so if anyone asks how I made it, I'll have to see the card first.
Hope you enjoy my cards.
Now I need to concentrate on Thanksgiving.

Have a blessed week!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I think fall clouds are interesting, even though they may seem gray and foreboding....I still like to look at them. X marks the spot.....saw this over Lake Michigan on my way to work the other day. 


The next 2 are sunrises.

 If you look closely you can see the ducks.

Mid-afternoon clouds on a rainy day this afternoon.

I know these are not fabulous photos, many are taken from my back or front door, and all I have is an inexpensive point and shoot camera.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Makin' Cards

 Today I spent most of my afternoon making Christmas cards. I have tons of 1/2 finished cards. I have quite a few fronts done, these are just some of them. Grandson J decided to pose for me (in our extremely messy basement).

When I am tired of making fronts I have to stamp sayings inside and them I am good to go!!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thoughts on Thursday/Doing What I Don't Want To Do

My mother always said I had a mind of my own....what does that mean? I'm taking it to mean that I wanna do what I wanna do and not usually not what I'm told to do. Yes, I am respectful of those in authority but I do like to march to the beat of a different drummer on occasion.

Don't we all have to do things we don't want to?.....whether it's cleaning the toilet, the garage, or going out of town for work. As responsible adults we force ourselves to complete the tasks that have to be done, no matter how mundane.  Don't you??? Or don't you have to follow the rules??? OK, sometimes I bend the rules. I think that to get along somewhat successfully in life (your family situation, at your job, with whom or whatever 'rules' you),  you have to do certain things that you may not want to do. That's just life - deal with it!

 ...but I don't want to: get up when the alarm goes off, clean the bathroom every week, vacuum and dust, shop for groceries. When I worked full time I didn't want to go to work every day, but I did. I always hated dragging myself out of bed when one of my babies woke up, but I certainly did that! And who wants to pay taxes? Who wants to save up money for a new refrigerator when what is really wanted is a night out on the town? I don't really like cooking, maybe because hubby doesn't like to try new things....I'd rather bake. I make dinner every night (not so much in the summer) because it's what the wife does (unless the husband likes to do so). There are times when I don't want to go someplace, I just wanna stay home and be alone.  In my younger life, if forced to attend a social function that I didn't want to attend, sometimes I'd end up in an argument with someone. I don't want to live in the snow and cold all winter, but I don't have a choice. I don't like cleaning up after myself, but no one else I do it.

I really don't want to cook Thanksgiving dinner or even go out...but I am cooking again this year. I'm sure once the food is done and we're visiting and enjoying it I'll be fine...but for now I'll grumble about it and plan the menu and go grocery shopping. Maybe I'll report back in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun - Some Messy and Some Not So Messy

Last weekend our grandson spent some time here. He hadn't been here for 3 weeks so I was almost getting use to doing my own thing. Our saturday night routine is embedded in J's brain. Bath-time, popcorn, movie/TV....bed. Grandpa usually makes the popcorn with J assisting, but now, at 8, he makes his own.....microwave popcorn is easy. But grandpa has J hooked on LOTS of butter....I said "That looks like a lot of butter". "That's how much grandpa uses", is the reply I get.  I sigh. 

He has a very loose tooth that's bothering him, he wiggles and wiggles it and the next thing I know he's showing me his tiny tooth. The tooth fairy left him money and a note. The funny thing is that he said he heard grandpa come upstairs in the wee hours of the morning, but grandpa said he didn't,  so we determined it must have  been the tooth fairy. Grandpa also said someone tracked a trail of leaves into the house when he was asleep, so that sealed the deal. 

He couldn't fall asleep Saturday night and wanted to play a game. At 8:30 at night, when I'm already snug in my bed, I do not feel like playing games. J decides we could play hangman. He has a pencil and I find a notebook and we snuggle in my bed and play. I'm not sure why we had so much fun playing, but we did....we shared some good laughs. 

Sunday we decided to do a craft project but it didn't we moved to plan B. Plan B was shaving cream paint/paper. All of grandpa's shaving cream is gone now....glad I buy the cheap stuff. We filled up a cake pan with shaving cream, added some craft paint, swirled it around, and made some pretty papers. 

It's rather messy.....I am still trying to get the acrylic paint off the Packer shirt. I wasn't thinking about the side effects of the paint when I used it. 

We are not sure what we are going to use the papers for. If he comes over this weekend we'll work on it. 

This is my short week at work, so my weekend has begun (on Wednesday night) - Yay me!!!! I have some fun stuff planned, hope you do too!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thrift Store Shopping

Even though I am keeping my spending down it doesn't mean that I don't still stop at the thrift store......I get there when I can but I am just more selective with my purchases.
How could I not bring home this book for .25? 
The first book by this author is Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman. I hope I find that one too!
I kinda wanted a 3 tier plate holder...not necessarily a snowman one though, an all season one would have been better for my use. He was $4, I also picked up the green plate on the bottom and the floral middle plate (less than $1 each). The top, little plate (that you can't see) is hand painted by one of my granddaughters. I do not like things too much matchy matchy! He may just be sitting on my Thanksgiving table. We are not too formal here.
The thrift store that I found him in has the whole big basement dedicated just to Christmas. I think a person could buy all their Christmas decorations there! I just glanced at the items because I am trying to get rid of stuff...not bring more home!
I almost wish I had the storage and need for pretty, seasonal dishes, I see so many of them at the thrift stores. If I had 'em I'd use 'em.....pretty things make me smile. 

Our bedspread was getting pretty shabby looking and I was not about to spend $50 - $100 on something that no one would see but us, so I kept my eyes open to something that would go with the light blue/green walls (that I am not fond of, but not ready to paint again - yet). I found this queen (king?) size spread for $8, it's in great condition and very affordable. It wasn't quite was I was looking for but it looks good in the room.
 I picked up this scruffy wreath for $1.50. The lights and bow will come off, not sure about the pine cones. I have a plan and wanted a sparse wreath. If my project turns out good I'll post it, if not???
I also got this adorable 8 X 8 scrapbook which I will give to one of my granddaughters, it was probably $1 or $2. The candle and soap paint I might use with my grandsons. We've already made soap, but we could do candles...or maybe they can paint with the paints.
 Last, but certainly not least, I got this lovely gown for my was.....drum roll......FREE when I stopped in on Halloween. All the costumes were free, there wasn't much left, but this was in the window and I asked if it was was! They'll love it!

Just some of my latest finds. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Some Nifty Tips

After you've eaten the mini M&Ms (or your grandchild has) save the containers. They are great for storing eyeliner, brushes, or lip pencils when you travel. I used one when I was away at scrapbook retreat and the pencils and brushes were all in one place. I did loose my blush though.  I'm sure they'd work for crafty items too. 

Turn this throwaway hanger into something useful:

The ends make a nice clip for snacks or the chocolate chips you add to zucchini and banana bread and then try to hide from yourself. You do hide the chocolate chips too, right???? It takes a little 'elbow grease' to cut/break off the ends, but the price is right and they work darn good.

I may have posted this idea previously......I keep my computer passwords in an old address book. They are much easier to look up because everything is listed alphabetically. If you are worried about others finding all your passwords just keep it in an obscure place. The new address books have places now for email address, websites, and more, but the old ones work great for passwords and are easily found at thrift stores. I have an old 3-1/2" X  9", spiral bound book that works great for me to write lists on. I need a 'to do' list or I may forget.

The clear, plastic spice bottles work great for storing all those small office items that get lost in my junk drawer: rubber bands, paper clips, push pins, etc.

Those are all the nifty tips I can come up with this saturday morning. Have a great weekend. Looks like it will be a cool, but somewhat sunny day today.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My New Toy/Silhouette Cameo

In September my bff and I attended a class at Archivers (a great scrapbooking store) about how to use the Silhouette Cameo. I feel in love and purchased one. It is a cutting machine that runs from a computer program and needs to be connected to your computer. It's similar to the Cricut except the Cricut uses cartridges, that are expensive to purchase, and online images, no computer is needed.  The Cameo uses only online images, most are only .99, the weekly clearance designs are .50, and they offer one free image each week. It cuts any font that you have installed, it can print an image and then cut it out, images found online can be traced and cut. It can cut nearly everything: paper, adhesive vinyl, fabric, heat transfer material, magnet paper, temporary tattoo paper. I think it is really versatile.

My scrapbooking/stamping career started many, many years ago. I have always taken a lot of photos and 'back in the day' I put my photos in an album as soon as I had them developed. Now???? I take 100's of photos, have some on memory cards and lots more on snapfish. I don't print them unless I am going to scrap them. Anywho......I attended a retreat and a consultant from a scrapbooking company was there....Perfect.....I'll start scrapbooking! But I started stamping and making cards, I enjoy the immediate gratification. For many years I exchanged cards with several people. Now, about 20 years later, I am making few cards and concentrating on scrapbooks. I thought the Cameo would be perfect. I wouldn't need to buy dies for my Vagabond or cards for my Slice (I like my gadgets) and I could cut any size I desired.

I feel bad because friends are having stamping parties and I don't attend or purchase anything. Just like all paper crafters, I have LOTS of supplies and don't need anything. I am also trying to cut back on spending, the Cameo was not cheap and I have to learn to live on cash less than 6 months I won't be working anymore. I'm happy (?) to say I passed up a nice pair of leather boots that were 'today's special value' on QVC the other day. They were everything I wanted, including wide width. I also did not succomb to the 'free' makeup (with purchase) at the Estee Lauder counter last month.

I don't have any fabulous pages to show you.....I have cut out a few things. I designed something and cut it but the paper didn't cut well. Certain papers are too fibrous and tear, so now I am keeping track of what paper I buy. I have been spending a lot of time with my laptop on my lap (nice and warm now that it is getting colder) looking for free files and have found quite a few.

 I made designed the FUN WITH AVA title.
Another FUN below, using the letters cut from above. The circles are just punched and glued onto a gold thread, can be used as a border or a photo or journaling can be on the larger ones.
 The control area template is one of the many free designs that come with the Cameo.

Thanks for reading this long winded post. If you have any questions or comments about the Cameo please leave a comment. I hope to have some pages to share in the upcoming weeks.

The weekend is almost here...........enjoy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Scrapbook Retreat

Last weekend my friend and I attended a weekend scrapbook retreat at a church camp in central WI. Crossways has 3 camps in WI, this summer I toured 2 of the 3 and have been to the other camp.
I was looking forward to it. I had my photos downloaded and ordered them ahead of time, but apparently not early enough.....because thursday night, when I packed my supplies, I didn't have any photos. Friday morning, just as I was leaving to pick up Deb, I saw the mailman on our street. So after I picked her up I swung past our house and found my photos in the mailbox. I quickly switched out the project I had packed and put my Louisville scrapbook supplies in. I forgot to throw in embellishments, other than 2 sticker my pages are pretty plain. 
This is our view as we worked. Saturday it was gloomy but Sunday it was sunny.

The chapel.

The Cedar Lodge is going to be taken down. We were lucky enough to have Marty, the camp director, give us a tour and home history of the building. There is some beautiful wood inside.

 This our crafting room. There were 7 of us upstairs and 4 ladies downstairs. Evergreen Lodge is really nice. Most of the rooms have 2 beds and 2 rooms share a bathroom. Bed and bath linens are supplied. Three wonderful meals are served every day. All we have to do is walk the short distance to the dining hall and clear our dishes. 
 Before we left on sunday afternoon we took a short walk around the camp. LOVE the cross with the Pine lake in the background. 
 Some very basic pages.

 I kinda like the collage of all the architecture. 
 I tried some 'project life' type pages. I'm not sure if I like this style.
It was a good weekend. We started out a little later on friday than I had planned. About 1/2 way there we had lunch at Red Lobster and stopped at Archiver's where we each got a free 5" X 7" photo and a few other items. We also stopped at another thrift store and looked around.
We arrived at camp early and were planning to drop our scrapbooking totes off then find someplace to eat. BUT we were pleasantly surprised (because we didn't check the website first) that dinner was included in our fee. After we left on sunday afternoon we stopped at a liquidators that is right on our way home and picked up a couple of things there.
I got home about 5PM and boy was I glad to be home. I made a quick dinner for hubby (who at work) and  decided to go to bed  really early.....and got 2 phone calls. No one calls me all weekend, except when I want to go to bed on sunday night. 

That was my weekend....hope yours was great also!