Friday, July 31, 2015

A Day At The Pool

Last week I took our 3 grandsons and met my step-daughter, her husband, and their daughter so we could spend a day at the pool and the kidss could play. 
when I pulled up to pick up the boys only mom was outside on the front porch, so she called for them to come outside. The next thing I knew she was yelling (not talking in a stern voice ~ that I could understand) at the middle boy and threatening to send him inside and not let him go along. He was crying....and I was thinking that maybe no one would go if they all could not. I guess he didn't remember what she had told him the night before. She then asked the older boy if he remembered and he said he wasn't paying attention (he is usually no trouble at all), so she just kept on after J. Finally we got it tamed down and we were on our way. Whew!!!
The last time I took them someplace I pulled onto the side of the road  twice and YELLED the 2nd time. 
The youngest boy knows how to push the middle one's buttons and J falls for it. The youngest one would NOT listen to me a couple of weeks ago...but mom doesn't care about that, he's the baby...he's almost 5.
I'm happy to say all was fine on the way to Jessica's.

They definitely had a good time.

I brought suntan lotion, snacks, water, swim trunks, and a towel for grandson J..(he left his trunks here). But I forgot my own suit :-(   POOL....Linda what don't you understand about the word POOL??? I was told we were going to Pollack Pool. Well, I  saved the $3 senior admission fee for myself (since I was not going in). I did roll up my capris and wade once or twice. I watched and took lots of photos. 

We ate at Pizza Ranch before the pool and we filled our tummies again before we came home.
Two of the 3 boys slept on the way home. The youngest one slept all the way (about an hour and 1/2). It was nice and quiet....ahhh

Yes, it was a good day!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

This 'n That on Thursday

Our ten year old grandson comes over almost every saturday've often seen his pictures and read about him. As a baby he was slow to crawl, to walk, and we didn't think he'd ever get potty trained. But he sure could talk early and intelligently. I am not one to use baby talk.....I hate it. I know his family used the typical baby talk but it didn't happen in our house. I watched him on weekends and for a short time when mom had a day job. I liked to take him for walks in the stroller; our regular route was to the thrift store, then to Walgreens (they have a big bathroom), and on the way home we'd stop at the park if he was awake. I loved pushing the stroller and walking kept my weight down too. I'd talk about lots of different things: the color of the flowers, leaves, and point out different trees, small critters, and we'd look at the fish in the pond that's next to the sidewalk. I'd talk to him like he was a young person, not just a little kid. We still talk a lot, he feels I am one of the few people who really care about what is going on in his life. I listen. I am the one he gives his school papers to at the end of the week. I have his back pack with all his school stuff in it. On saturday night I ask him about the best part of his week and also the worst. Quite often he doesn't have a worst part.....does that make him an optimist? 
Helping grandpa put the new grill together

We were talking Sunday afternoon and I asked him if he thought he'd get married (his parents marriage just isn't working) he said 'yes'. I also asked if he wanted children, 'yes, I want to adopt'. I didn't ask him why....I am usually a WHY person. We did talk about the fact that some people just can not take care of a baby. I did not tell him that I encouraged his parents to put him up for adoption, but we did discuss his 2nd cousin who is adopted and has a wonderful adoptive family. That would be Deb at Sharing Interests.  BTW I am so glad (for my sake) that he wasn't put up for adoption!
His plans for the future are quite lofty - 
*pastry chef
*some kind of doctor

I pray he does do something with his life!!

About 10 days ago I had a Wildtree freezer workday at my I had to purchase freezer bags. I bought Glad bags, but at least 3 of them ripped down the sides when I opened them. So a few days later I called the company...I think it's best to talk to a person. I talked to a gentleman and he asked a few questions, he wanted the numbers from the boxes, but I couldn't find what he wanted. He said 'no problem' and offered to send me a $5.50 coupon, which I received this week. Great customer service. It pays to complain...but I always do it nicely.

Have a great's almost here!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

My flowers aren't worthy of a garden walk post...but I enjoy them. They're not in full bloom yet, remember we got a late start?
The misshapen whisk became a flower.

This l/2 dead geranium given to me by a friend is really coming around. I'll bring it in this fall. It's from a plant that our Red Hat group gave to Carolee upon her surgery several years ago. We've both tried to keep cuttings every plant died last winter. I just could not take care of my plants. 

I found these amongst the weeds, far from any in my garden. 

I got the idea of planting the callas in a pot from a friend. 

Yes, you can use Command hooks to hang things on your garage. I didn't have the outdoor ones, just used the heavy duty ones I had here. 

Two tomatoes starting to get ripe. Can't wait to have a real BLT, even if I am on LSD. (low sodium diet)

Ok, sorry.............this post was not so wordless. Maybe next time. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hand Painted Scarves

Last week our library had a silk scarf painting class. They want to do more crafty events....yay!!! I went to the fairy garden activity that was held in spring and really enjoyed it....I am not that into fairy gardens, I just like the little gardens.
A good friend and I decided to paint a silk scarf...for free! I have always loved libraries .....'back in the day' when you had to whisper inside and could only get books; at one time my local library loaned artwork,  and now there are movies, music, toys, e-readers, e-books, and  magazines to borrow. And it's all FREE! Summertime brings lots of children in for the summer reading program and the activities...I haven't taken the boys to any this year. The library offers so many free things. I wish more parents would take advantage of it.
Back to the scarves........
We made flower centers by taking a bottle cap, twisting it, and securing it with a rubber band. Now, this didn't have to be a flower, but mine was....sorta.

Next we painted the dyes!

We watched them bleed into various shapes.
Carla and I really had a good night and loved it....maybe we'll do it again??? 

 As I was on my way out I heard a familiar voice and saw a (maybe) familiar face.

Annie and I met early this spring at an Art Night. I noticed she had her head shaved and thought she was also a cancer patient so I went to talk to her, But she had shaved it for her son who was a cancer patient. I didn't know who she was and never saw her after that. We chatted a bit and caught up, she's very philosophical and I enjoyed talking to her again. I posted this picture on facebook and a mutual friend tagged her. We hope to get together again, now that we know who each other is. 
It's a small world. 

Last week was a busy's more to come!
Stay tuned!!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Couple More Books

Our book club is reading A GOOD AMERICAN. I finished it last week....but our meeting isn't until Aug 12th....I hope I remember the book by that time. 
A pregnant young woman and her fiancee sail to America from Germany in the early 1900s. They end up in the middle of America in Beatrice MO, where she gives birth to a son and they settle. Life is not easy but Frederick is a hard worker and loves America. His wife, Jette. is not quite that happy in America. He does his best to be what he thinks a good American is.
The story takes us through 3 generations; from Frederick's 2 children to his grandchildren. It's told from the point of view of Joseph, a grandson. 

I encourage reading any way you feel comfortable
Next I read FINDING ME, another book by one of the Cleveland kidnapping survivors. A story of strength, love, and hope. As a child Michelle's life is not pleasant at all, but compared to her captivity it's a piece of cake.

It's truly amazing that these 3 young women/girls have survived and not gone totally crazy. Their lives have been forever changed but their outlooks are so positive. 
A must read. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Relay For Life 2015

 I wasn't sure if I wanted to or not, but about 2 weeks before the event I decided to walk in the survivors lap at Relay for Life.
I wasn't on a team and didn't raise any money, I just walked the survivors lap and another lap with my supporters. Three of my Red Hat friends came with me. I did receive compliments on the flag I had along with me :-)

We are hoping that next year we can get a team together. We have several survivors in our Red Hat group and we also have friends who've been affected.

I am towards the front of the can barely see the top of my head in the above photo.

This is the start of the relay.
The first lap, the survivors lap was at 10AM and there really were not a lot of people in attendance. I was disappointed. It was warm, low 80's....when the sun went under a cloud and the breeze hit you it was almost perfect. More shade would have been ideal.

I haven't gone to Relay for Life for many years, it used to be in the small city where I live, but this year it's in a neighboring city. Usually it is an overnight event...but it's not this year either.

We think it will be back in our city next year, that way you can go home and rest when you want and come back later for the evening events. It's usually so cool, various decorated tents, the luminaires, etc.
I've had precancerous cells and some squamous cell skin cancer  but not REAL cancer until last year so I never heavily participated before. 
It was also sad to see that the veterans who were there were all old, no young men or women participated. 
Who is going to be responsible when all the retirees are gone??? Who?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Never Again

Never Again???
What do you mean, 'never again?' I'm sure you've done something and said never did you ever do it again??? Just curious.
I mean that I don't think I'll EVER prep 20 main dishes at one time, ever again.
A while back my bff had a Wildtree tasting party. Have you heard of that company? Check them out here. It's a company that offers many organic seasonings, some are low sodium and no sodium. Since I am on a low sodium diet and sooooo many foods I cook  seem bland now I decided to try them out.
One event they suggest is to get together with friends and prep main dishes. It's suppose to be more fun cooking with friends. For about $79 you get all the seasonings you need to prepare 10 meats/protein main dishes. When you're finished you'll have roughly half of your spices left to keep on hand for future use. You purchase the protein and vegetables you need, cut up what needs to be cut up, pack it up into a cooler, and head for a friend's house to prepare. Last Sunday I volunteered to have a workshop in my house. I hardly ever have parties of any kind....and I don't go to any either. 
Thankfully only 2 other friends came over kitchen is small. 
We had our meats and veggies in freezer bags, added the oils and spices and sealed up the bags to freeze for use at a later date. Viola!
Half of the work is done!

Most of my friends are retired and with only 1 or 2 people in the house there's no need to prep meals for 4-6 people at a time. I thought it would be a great idea because I never know what to cook and if we only ate 1/2 of the meal I could freeze the remainder.

As usual grandson J was there to 'help'. He watches all kinds of cooking shows and likes to help in the kitchen...but is THE pickiest eater I have ever seen!
We did have fun getting together, but one gal headed home as soon as she finished so she could get her food into the freezer. Michele and Deb stayed to visit...we relaxed outside and talked.

Carolee and I did 20 meals...........not the suggested was a lot of work and a bit confusing....somewhat messy too....or maybe I am just messy....I know I am. I'm glad to have the main dishes in the freezer with only sides to make. Half of my battle is deciding what to make, but for 19 more meals I don't have much to worry about.

I've only made one meal so far and we liked it. My other friend's families all liked their meals too. A win win I'd say.

Do you cook meals ahead? Sometimes I'll make an extra meal loaf or freeze the leftovers for a later date. I do like the idea of having something in the freezer and just having to pull it out. 
Make ahead crock pot meals anyone???

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Weeds Happen

Saturday was the biennial garden walk for this area. For a $10 donation we toured 6 beautiful gardens.
I woke up to thundershowers and rain. I was so disappointed that they didn't have one last year but yet I didn't want to go in the rain. When my friend called we decided to cancel. 
About an hour later the sun was trying very hard to peek out, the rain was over. So I called our other friend who was going and asked if she still wanted to go, she did. We waited to be sure the rain was over....another of her friends picked us up and we were off to look at some beautiful gardens.
The bees loved 'em too.

Yes, weeds certainly do happen.
Under this tall weed is the sign WEEDS HAPPEN.
So is it a weed? or a flower?

This shady garden had lots of hostas.

....and a hammock, a comfy chair, a bottle of wine, a spilled glass of wine (ok, that's a fake glass of wine).

 An Interesting display.

A hollowed out log makes a great planter.

I just loved this color combination.

My husband would die (or I would) if I put an old dresser and lamp in the garden.

We saw a few bottle trees, I am not so fond of them, but I did like this peacock.

I like all of the birdhouses on top of the fence. They were made with recycled materials....a door handle, old key, etc.

This pear tree was trained to grow in an 18" wide space....yes, it has pears on it.

This yard was so me.....I could sit in that chair (cushion please) in the sun and read all afternoon. I tried to get the 3 tier display shelf in the corner for my three metal watering cans...but the homeowner wanted to keep it. 

This is part of the view from the green chairs.

Another way to use a watering can.

 I like the bottles on this old ladder.

 I think this is a Lady Slipper??? Whatever it is my good friend got a cutting from it. Yes, the homeowner was super nice and gave it to her.

 I didn't take pictures of the gardens as a whole....a regular iphone camera just doesn't do it justice. 

I hope you enjoyed this little walk around the gardens with me. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Brown Butter Cherry Bars

I made these bars last night after we had the cherries pitted. I froze most of them and saved a few just to eat. I had cherry bars for breakfast. 
I did not line my pan with parchment paper, I do recommend it. Another suggestion is to be sure to watch the butter when browning it. I burned my first batch.

Brown Butter Cherry Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup graham flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
6 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Whisk together flours, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Combine melted butter, sugars, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture and fold in until incorporated. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish and bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
To prepare filling, cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup to cool slightly. Whisk eggs, sugar and extracts in a medium bowl; add flour and salt and whisk until smooth. Gradually pour in cooled brown butter; whisk until completely blended.
Pour filling over crust; arrange cherries in a single layer across the top, gently pressing them in. Bake for 37 to 38 minutes, until filling is puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Just before cutting, chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Carefully lift parchment to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board; cut into squares using a serrated knife. Store bars in a single layer in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let come to room temperature before serving.
Yield – 32 bars
Calories – 160 (per bar)
Carbs – 18
Here's the website where I found the recipe. Let me know if you try it. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cherry Picking In Door County

The other day I went with a good friend and her daughter and son in law to Sturgeon Bay in Door County, WI to pick cherries. I went along with them 2 years ago also. Door county is a very beautiful, touristy place to visit. I could have spent the whole day (and more) sightseeing....but there wasn't time. We had sticky, icky, fun. We entertained the couple that was picking next to us with our lively conversation. He was from close to the area that I grew up in. It was a perfect day to pick and eat cherries. After I went to bed I thought "Maybe I ate too many cherries".

Of course we had to have a group photo.

For many of my younger years I was called a carrot top. Now I finally am one....and my hair won't just isn't fair.....

Yup, I had to try this is GOOD! I highly recommend it!

I did get some of the cherries pitted and frozen. Our grandson wants to try pitting some....but he's usually over on saturday so I'll have to save a few for him to do.

This is the kind of cherry pitter I have. I think it works pretty good.
Now to do some baking.........looking forward to eating some cherry muffins. Should I drizzle some cherry caramel topping on top????

Thursday, July 16, 2015

More Bargains

The other day I did find some 'good stuff'.
The game THERAPY. 
Nope, I've never heard of it either. I just liked the box and the game board.....maybe I need a little therapy??? It would be neat to hang on a wall, I've always liked that idea....whether I'll do it or not is a different story.

I don't think I'll play it....but who knows someone here MIGHT be bored enough to try it.

I also picked up a loooooooooong valance which I will turn into a new one for my laundry room.
Two very small be used in a craft project?
A Green Bay Packer baseball cap for one of the grands.
A barely worn pair of Champion shoes, they are a lot more comfy than my current tennis shoes. I'd like to wear them when I go cherry picking but I don't want to get them I'll wear my old ones.
I also picked up a magazine and 2 paperback books (we donated them to one of the Little Free Libraries)

All of these treasures for $6.83

I took 2 bags of donations to the thrift store and brought 1 bag least it wasn't the other way around. 
Slowly, VERY SLOWLY cleaning up around here.

Hope you are having a fantastic's going fast!