About Me

My Photo
Hi! Welcome to my little corner of the world - I'm glad you are here! This is the personal journal of my life in south-central Florida. Would love for you to follow along.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today we had Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  This year was certainly different than last year.

Last year we had twenty something people here at the house - and the house was in it's original shape.  This is a picture of the Thanksgiving table last year. 


This is the same room, just a year later - and a much smaller group for dinner.  (But if you look real close you can see that the same decorations are used in both pictures - just in different ways!)


This year it was just our immediate family, and by 'immediate' I mean the family that lives here in Lake Placid - Mom, Melissa, Justin, Dan and I.  We had a somewhat untraditional dinner as we did not have turkey this year.  Melissa and Justin don't like turkey, and Mom only eats white meat, so we decided that we would have ham this year instead.  Dan put it on the smoker and it turned out GREAT!  Then I fixed candied yams, dressing, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, green beans with slivered almonds, and rolls.  Melissa fixed desserts, as she really enjoys baking.  This year she fixed a pecan pie and an apple pie.  I was so full from dinner that I haven't had any dessert, but the two guys said that both pies were fabulous!

The kitchen is now cleaned up, all the leftovers are put away (there weren't a lot of leftovers this year - except for the ham), and Mom and the kids have headed home.  Actually, Melissa and Justin are driving up to Lakeland this evening to spend the night at Justin's parents house before heading up to Georgia to see Melissa's dad and sisters for a couple of days before heading back home on Sunday.  This is always such a busy time of the year for everyone, I'm just thankful that she was feeling good today and was able to eat dinner without getting sick.  She actually had a pretty good day yesterday until late - and then she got sick again.  Maybe, just maybe, we are getting a handle on this "morning" sickness thing.  I sure hope so, as I feel so bad for her when she is so sick everyday.

Today is the first time I really noticed her little baby "bump".  I guess the clothes that she had worn to school has camoflagued the bump, but she had on a dress today.  I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture above or not, but she is definately showing now.  She is already complaining that she can not wear most of her pants - she says she has one pair of jeans and a couple of pairs of work pants that she can still wear.  I told her that I know she doesn't like my "style", but if she wanted to try some of my jeans that are a size 6 (and I also have a few pair that are size 8) and see if she can wear them she is more than welcomed to them.  I don't know if she will or not, but we shall see (I just think jeans are jeans, but Justin already said my jeans are "mom jeans" which I assume is a very bad thing!).

I don't have much else to say today other than to let everyone know that there are so many things that I am thankful for - from the obvious things - Melissa's preganacy and the finding (and fixing) of Dan's heart blockage to the everyday things - my health, a beautiful home, the love of a faithful man.  There are many times that I worry about money and how things are going to work out, but I know that things will work out somehow.  Sometimes lately, I have had the tendency to "live in the past" and wish we had done some things differently - which would put us in a different position now.  But you know what, IF we had done these things we would not have met some of the people that we have met that I think of as friends and I hope that they think of us as friends.  I know that God took us on the path that He did for a reason and I need to live in the moment and let go of the past - enough said.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  Talk to you later!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Garage Sales

Today we were suppose to have our garage sale.  Notice I said suppose to - no, we didn't get it together this week with me working/volunteering four days and then going into the doctor's one day.  So, I guess we will try and get things priced and ready for the first weekend in December (not going to try and do it the weekend after Thanksgiving - we don't think that it will be a good weekend to have a garage sale - but then who knows!)  The main thing is we have to get the furniture that we have stored in the neighbors garage out before they get here for the winter.  I'm not sure where we are going to put it since our garage is STILL a bloody mess (sorry Donna, I still haven't been able to get it clean)! 

Which leads me to my next problem.  I really want to get the garage clean - I have decided that my clean and Dan's clean are two entirely different ideas when it comes to the garage.  We have made some head way in the straightening department by buying four large shelves that we have placed back to back beside the closed cabinets.  We have decided that the front half of the garage will be Dan's workshop and the back half will be the area that I can have clean (at least, that is the plan).  Right now, we still have to get Dan a workbench and move some things around before we can really make it into what Dan really wants - but we will get there.  It is just going to take some time (and money)!

I hope to work on some areas here in the house this week and try and figure out, for sure, what I am going to be doing for Christmas presents this year.  Most things will be made - I have already made a couple of things and I have some ideas for some other things - it will just finding the time to get everything done that I want to get done - but I'm sure it will all work out.

Now, as far as working/volunteering.  Right now I am planning on going to work with Melissa everyday until Christmas break (that will be three weeks, I think).  I think that if we can make it through Christmas we will, hopefully, be through the "morning" sickness stage.  Of course, we will just have to see how things go - and I will do what I have to do.  Thursday we pretty much "tag teamed" the kids.  When she started feeling bad I would take over and she would sit until she felt better, then she would take over again.  By us being able to do this she was able to make it all day (and the kids didn't suffer any - in fact, I think they had it made - they had two teachers for the price of one!).  Friday she was better - she pretty much "grazed" all day - when ever she started feeling bad she would eat just a little bit and sit - that seemed to work.  Hopefully, when we get past that magic three month stage the morning sickness will go away and things will be better - at least that is our prayer!

This next week, between trying to get some organizing done, garage sale pricing done, garage cleaned, Thanksgiving cooking done, and hosting Thanksgiving dinner we will also be putting up Christmas decorations!  Yep, time to start thinking about Christmas decorations.  It is a tradition in our house to put up Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving - so, Friday Thanksgiving will be packed up and Saturday and Sunday Christmas will be put up.  Whew!  Will be a busy week.

Well, I'm going to sign off for now - but before I do - one last word.  I'm going to say that I am just going to do my blog the way I have always done my blog.  I will just tell it the way it is in our house and not try and be someone I'm not.  I might still do the recipes on Wednesday - especially with the holidays, but then again, I might not (doesn't seem like a lot of people want them anyway!)  I'll show you the projects that I have done and the things that we are working on.  I hope you will continue to come back and read about our hectic life - take care - and I'll take to you later!

Carol

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Roasted Turkey for Recipe Wednesday

I know this post is a little late in the day, but I taught again today, so I just got home.  I will have to figure this schedule out IF I continue to teach every day!  (Actually, so far it hasn't been bad - the kids are definitely better than last year and I haven't minded it at all!)  You just never know what is going to happen around my house!

Okay, lets get to cooking - I told you last week that I wanted to look at Thanksgiving recipes.  Well, the star of all Thanksgiving dinners is the Turkey, right?  I know that so many of you are afraid to cook a turkey and I really can't understand why.  It really is NOT that difficult IF you start with the right turkey.  Now, before I go any further, I want to make it understood right up front - I AM NOT A GOURMET COOK - I AM NOT EVEN WHAT I WOULD CONSIDER A GOOD COOK.  I AM JUST A REGULAR PERSON WHO HAS TO MAKE DINNER JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!   (I actually find it pretty funny that I am trying to show you how to cook - that is really funny!)  That being said - I know that we all can get a little paranoid about cooking a turkey - what if I overcook it and it's too dry, or I under cook it and it's raw.  Well, I have found out that IF I pick the right turkey then it's really just a piece of cake.  For example, just look what I did.


I cooked this turkey last Saturday afternoon for Dan and I.  Yep, I cooked an entire turkey for just us - and why not?  After we had dinner with this lovely little bird we had enough leftover that we had the drumsticks and wings the next day for lunch.  Then today, while I was at work, Dan took the leftovers and made turkey salad.  (He also ate some leftovers on Monday while I was at work too!)  So, this little bird will feed us for close to a week.

So the next question will probably be - so, how hard was it to cook it?  Well, how about taking it out of the freezer - taking it out of the outer package (leave it in the inner cooking bag), set the oven at 425 degrees, cut 6 slits in the cooking bag, put the turkey in a roasting pan, cook for 4  to 4 and 1/2 hours.  That's it - easy, peasy.  No, seriously - that was all there was to it.  And it was good - very moist.  See that little plug on the right side of the turkey breast?  When it pops out it means the turkey is done - another little fail safe built in to this turkey that made it very easy.

Okay, I'm sure you are now wondering how much it cost - you are probably thinking that turkey's are expensive - especially one this big.  Well, think again.

Yep, you are reading that correctly - I paid a total of $8.01 for this turkey - I saved $1.98 PER POUND on this turkey.  Are you going to find this kind of deal all the time - no.  But, if you look you can find them - and I bought this one a couple of weeks ago.  (Let me just say, when we got to the register, the cashier ran it up at the original price which was over $30.00!  I called her attention to the sale price, which she immediately changed the amount she rang up.  A pretty good deal, right?)

This is the package that the turkey came in - as you can see, it is "freezer to oven to table".  (Oh, it also came with a packet of gravy, but I didn't think it was that good but Dan liked it!)  Now, you might wonder why this turkey was so cheap.  We really don't know for sure.  The only thing that we can figure out is the package was ripped - not where the actual meat was - but at the top where the "handle" was suppose to be.  If you look at the picture above, now look between where it says  "freezer" at the very top and "to oven" you will see the plastic is ripped - well, that was done at the store.  That was the only thing wrong with the package - it was not out of date.  IF you do find a sale like this be sure to check the date.

So, what is the point of this little exercise.  Well, I have been know to order a turkey in the past  from places like Publix or Sonny's.  Last year I even ordered the turkey from a meat market here in town (and paid an outrageous price for it!) but you don't have to. We have even fried a turkey before.  However, you need to remember that  YOU CAN  cook a very good turkey that you and your guests will enjoy and it won't cause undue hardship.   There are many "cook in the bag" turkey's out there - just pay attention to what you are buying and you will do fine. 

I have faith, and remember -

 IF I CAN DO IT ANYONE CAN DO IT!

So, get out there and buy that turkey and cook it up - whether you are having a group at your house for Thanksgiving or if you are only cooking for you immediate family.  Then let me know how it goes.  I really would like to know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Subbing

Well, today I taught school again.  Yeah, I know - I wasn't going to do that again, but you know, when your baby is sick you do what you have to do.  What is in the world am I talking about?  Well, those of you that have read my blog for awhile know that my youngest daughter teaches Middle School and I taught at the same school last year.  Then I re-retired at the end of the school year last year ( a lot of that due to the trouble I had and part due to the budget cuts and my position being cut).  We also know that my youngest daughter is expecting her first child - and she is having a really rough time.  She is having a lot of morning sickness - well, I really shouldn't even call it "morning sickness" it should be called "all day sickness".  She is sick from the time she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night (almost).  So, she asked me if I would go on the sub list so I could teach her classes when she has to be out.  Well, I am now on the sub list and I taught for her today.

You know what?  I'm whipped!  I think you forget how much energy it takes to teach school all day - you are walking, on concrete floors, all day long.  And talking - all day.  You don't realize how much you have to talk when you teach - until you have to teach.  Okay, you don't talk ALL day - but it sure does feel like it!  Anyway, today was NOT a bad day.  Of course, there were a couple of kids that wanted to talk all the time - that happens everywhere- but it was a pretty good day. 

I will also sub some at the elementary school - just to see if this is something I would consider going back to do.  I know that some of you will think that I am nuts, but I really do enjoy teaching - I do love to help students learn.  Do I like all the paperwork and the other garbage that goes along with it - that is what I need to figure out.  So, I will do some subbing this year and see what comes up for next year.  But then again, next year I'll have a sweet little baby to take care of - I think that will be soooooo much better than teaching school.  What do you think??????

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

RECIPE WEDNESDAY

Today is my first blog on what I might call "Recipe Wednesday" (do you like the sound of that?).  I thought I would blog about Thanksgiving meals, but then I realized that I didn't have any pictures of food that I had cooked for Thanksgiving.  Well, that is not exactly right - I do have some of Thanksgiving dinner from about four years ago, but I don't have any of the individual dishes being prepared or the steps to prepare them.  So, how am I going to share with you the recipe's if I don't have pictures to go along with the recipes?  I haven't figured that one out yet, Dan just might be a Guinea pig in the next couple of weeks so I can have pictures (but I am sure he won't mind).  However, before I do get to the recipe that I have done for today's blog I wanted to explain why I wanted to start the Wednesday Recipe segment.

Have any of your noticed the "menu's" being featured in all the magazines for Thanksgiving dinner?  Okay, just in case you haven't let me give you some examples:
Thanksgiving Menu:
Mediterranean Puffs
Goat Cheese-Pistachio Cheese Ball
Wild Mushroom Soup
Golden Roasted Turkey With Pan Gravy
Cranberry Apple Mold
Green Beans & Brussels Sprouts
Classic Mashed Potatoes with Green Onion & Chives
Apple-Sausage Stuffing
Checkerboard Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Cauliflower With Cheese Sauce

I promise you, that is the menu that is printed in a very popular magazine that you can buy at any register in any grocery store in the country (and I am NOT talking about some high end magazine - initials FC mean anything to anyone?).  Now, maybe some of you are fancier cooks than I am, but the only thing on this "menu" that MIGHT find it's way onto my Thanksgiving table would be the "Golden Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy".

Okay, just in case you think that this might be an exaggeration, here is another example:
Thanksgiving Menu:
Cream Cheese and Chutney Roulade
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pecans
Maple-Glazed Turkey with Onion-Cider Gravy
Slow-Cooker Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing
Pomegranate Pear and Arugula Salad
Two Potato Gratin
Mulled-Cider Cranberry Sauce
Spiced-Apple Iced Tea
Fall Fruit Crumble for dessert

So, where did I come up with this one?  How about that magazine that a lot of people buy because it has so many coupons in it.  (Once again, not one that people consider a "fancy" magazine.)

So, what would one of the "fancy" magazines have as their Thanksgiving dinner?  Well, they don't have just ONE dinner - oh no, they have several different options of how to prepare the "basics classic seasonal recipes" such as:

Creole Deep-Fried Turkey
Apple-Bourbon Turkey and Gravy
How about a
Citrus-Grilled Turkey Breast
or
Roasted Turkey with Bearnaise Butter

For Sides you have to choice of:

Creole Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread Crumbles
Shrimp and Grits Dressing

or:
Wild Rice and Mushrooms
Balsamic-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
New Ambrosia

and they can't leave one dish alone - they have to mess it up with
Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole

"They" even messed with the Cranberry Sauce by making it into Cranberry Salsa (really, Salsa?).

Now, I don't know about you, but these aren't any  "classic" recipes of mine.

After looking at all this I started thinking (that is never a good thing) and I wondered - what happened to the good ole Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Dinner from our childhood?  I wondered IF anyone even knows what comprises that anymore, or if we have gotten so used to someone else telling us what we are suppose to fix and eat that we are always trying to out do each other.  Or we work so hard at trying to make that "perfect"  Thanksgiving dinner that it can never lives up to what we dream about in our heads, and we have worked so hard at preparing it that we don't enjoy the day and our family which is what is really important. 

So, what I had thought about doing wanted to do was to write about what a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner in my house was when I was  a little girl, and what it evolved into when my girls were little and what I  continue to prepare.  I will admit that, yes, I have fallen into that "have to make it better" trap sometimes that we all read about in magazines and see on television - until, one day I realized - this isn't what is important.  The being together, the traditions of the day, and the family recipes are what is really important.  So, yes, I will share my family menu for Thanksgiving here (and guess what, it changed yesterday), but that's okay.  Your traditions and your family is different than mine - and that's okay and the whole point of "Recipe Wednesday".  I would like for you to stop and think about what is special to you and your family - and if you don't have any traditions yet - start some for your family.  You might be surprised where they might lead.

So, what is my Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner?  Well, this is the typical menu:

Roasted Turkey with Pan Gravy
Spiral Cut Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Steamed Green Beans w/slivered Almonds
Honey Glazed Carrots
Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Sauce (good ole Ocean Spray Jellied)
Rolls
Desserts Vary, but you can bet on these always being there:
Pecan Pie
Apple Pie
Cherry Pie

Sometimes we add a tossed salad and sometimes we add Ambrosia (but usually we save the Ambrosia for Christmas - don't ask me why because I can't answer that, but we do.)  As you can see by the menu - it is NOT fancy - just a good ole basic meal - just a lot of food. I guess that is what makes it Thanksgiving.  You might also wonder why I have two meats when none of the other "Menus" feature two meats and most people don't think of having two  - well, to be real honest - one of my girls does not eat turkey, so when she was little I started out with just a ham steak - but as the 'family' grew to include in laws and other family members we have gone to a spiral cut ham.

What I wanted would like to do with Recipe Wednesday was is to take various items off "my" menu and show how I make it - and also give some variations - for those that are beginners and for those that are more experienced cooks (and believe me - I AM NOT AN EXPERT COOK -   NO PAULA DEEN LIVES IN THIS HOUSE HOLD) but I might be able to help someone out there.  If so, then it will be all worth while.

Now, while this may be the long range plan (meaning the next month - who knows, we might even do Christmas dinner - we'll see how this goes) -but,  what about today?  Well, I do have a recipe for you - but it won't be for Thanksgiving (but you might be able to use it for leftovers - instead of Chicken Salad you could make Turkey Salad). 

Chicken Salad

The first thing you are going to do is cut up your chicken into bite size chunks.  Okay, I can see some of you saying - Wait, Wait, where did you get the chicken?  Well, this is where the stages comes in.  If you are a beginner (or just don't have a lot of time) you have two options -

1.  Buy a pre-cooked chicken from the deli and pull it off the bone and cut in bite size chunks.
OR
2.  Buy Tyson Grilled Chicken in the bag - it is already cut up into chunks for you AND all you have to do is pour it in the bowl.

Now, if you have the time, you have another option:

Take a whole chicken, season with favorite seasoning.  Place in crock pot and cook on low for about 5 hours.  Let cool and then pull off bone and cut up.  (If you choose this option, I usually cook the chicken on the day before I want to make the salad)
Put cut up chicken in large bowl.



Cut up seedless grapes.  You can use either black seedless, red seedless, or green seedless; whichever you prefer.  This is not rocket science - so the amount you put in is also up to your taste.  I usually do about a cup and I cut them into fourths.



Next step, cut up some scallions.  Once again the amount you use is up to you.  Dan likes a lot of onion in his chicken salad, my daughter doesn't - so IF I am making JUST for us I add more onion.  If my daughter is coming over, I'll put in less.  This is four scallions cut up.  Add them to the bowl with the grapes and chicken.




Add mayonnaise, I put in about one cup (my daughter adds more, she loves her mayo), salt and pepper to taste.  Fold together.  Do NOT over mix, as this will break down your grapes, which you don't want.


I told you this was a very simple recipe for my first one - and it is one that you can add to or use just as is.  You can also do wraps with this salad or serve it on a bed of lettuce.  It is good for a lunch (as this was for us) or as dinner (if served on lettuce or as a wrap).  The salad keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.

I hope you enjoy this recipe - let me know how it turns out for you.  I would love to hear from you with ideas on what you would like to see on "Recipe Wednesday".  Also, if you would like to, drop me a line and tell me about what your Traditional Thanksgiving Menu consists of.  I would love to know!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful

Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is coming up and that November is the month that everyone stops and looks at their lives and picks things that they are thankful for.  Boy, do I ever have things (multiple) to be be thankful for this year!  Not that I haven't had in the past, but I think I am just like everyone else - we just take SO much for granted.

Well,  the author of one of the blogs I read (which I have included a link to at the end of this post) Becky has challenged people to name things that they Thankful for every Monday during the month of November.  Okay, I'm going to do that - only I will start a day late - although I guess you could say my second post yesterday could be my Monday Thankful moment - even though I did not title it as such.

If, by chance,  you did not read my post last last night, allow me to regress a little.  My youngest daughter and son-in-law are expecting their first child early next summer.  This precious child will be my first grandchild, and to say that I am excited would be a major understatement!  To say that I am Thankful would be a colossal understatement.  I just can not explain to you how much this child is going to be loved by everyone around him/her. 

We do have our first "pictures" of the little  "our" precious baby -


ultrasound week 8

Now, I have to let you know - this is NOT a picture of "our" baby - but it is a picture of a baby at the same time frame of "our" baby.  Actually, I don't have a copy of the picture that my daughter and son-in-law have, but I just wanted to let you see about the size that "our" little guy is now.  (Okay, I know that I am calling this "our" baby, and I know that I had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the conception of this precious baby - let us NOT go there, but THIS WILL BE MY FIRST GRANDBABY - SO JUST DEAL WITH IT, OKAY????)

Oh, and before you ask, NO we do not know what she is having yet - it's too early.  And, I'm going to tell you now - IF they ask me NOT to tell - then I will honor their wishes and it will not be revealed until early next summer when this precious little one makes his/her appearance.

Now, I'm sure you are tired of hearing all about this little bundle - but just know that this is one of the things that I am thankful for this year.  There are many more things that I will be discussing all this month.  As promised here is the link to Becky's blog -

Organizing Made Fun: Thankful....a month of Thanksgiving!

I want to thank her for letting me link up with her blog. 

I hope any of you from Becky's blog will keep coming back.  I would love to hear what you are thankful for - and if you would like to link up, please feel free to!

Monday, November 7, 2011

SURPRISE!

Well, This has to be a record - two posts in one day - but I just could not wait to let you know the fantastic, fabulous news.  I have been waiting patiently (well, maybe not patiently, but I have been waiting)  for over a month to be able to tell you and I can finally let you know the fantastic, fantabulous news  -------


           Melissa and Justin, my youngest daughter and son-in-law, are expecting their first baby!   

I'm just "over the moon"!  I am sure positive you will hear a lot about this in my future blogs, but I just wanted had to let you know.


The proud parents to be!
              I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

         I am going to have my first grandchild early next summer.

                                                           YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Changes


Well, this is the patio area in the back of our house - I have shown it as the header for the blog now for a little over a year (since we have moved into the house a year ago last August).  However, this space has gone through a LOT of changes in the last year.  I wonder if you can spot them all.


The first picture was taken in October of 2010.  We had just gotten the new patio furniture and had arranged the patio.  We were pretty pleased with it at the time.


This picture was taken just two months later in December of 2010.  Can you spot all the changes that we had already made (other than the Christmas decorations)?  There are quite a few.


Okay, this one was taken in May of 2011, right after we moved back into the house after the remodeling project was finished.  Can you spot all the changes in this one?  (I think this is the one that is the header on the blog now, but it will probably change in the next few days for .........)

Finally, this is a shot that I took today - other than the decorations for Thanksgiving - can you spot the changes that we have made since May?

So, what is the purpose of this little exercise?  I think I wanted to let you know that I (we) are always changing things.  Nothing is ever completely "finished" - you can always 'tweak" things and change things around.  You might like something when you first do it, but as you live with it you realize that, if you did "this" (whatever "this" is) it would work better for you and your family.  Or, you might find that it just looks better.  I think that sometimes we (I mean the collective "we" here) try to fix things and think that we are all done - I don't think things are ever 'all done'.  Our tastes change - our lives change - we are NOT stagnate - so I don't think our homes should be either.

Does that mean I want you to go out and spend a lot of money on stuff to change your house/decorating?  Good heavens, NO!!!!!  Case in point, other than the changes that were made during the remodeling (and there was one) any changes made in any of the above pictures was very minimal cost wise - in fact, most were made with things that we already owned and had been in storage or had been used somewhere else previously.  If you do need to buy things to decorate your home, do it in stages!  Don't go out and try to buy everything all at one time, get a few things and live with them for a little while before adding new things.  Sometimes it takes a while before you know how you are going to use a room (remember how Dan and I went back and forth on whether we were going to use the front room as the living/family room or the dining room?  If we had not moved the living room into that room and lived with it for a couple of months and realized that it just wasn't the right fit for us we could have made a very costly mistake when we did the remodeling project!)

Over the next few weeks I would like to show you more of the house with the before/during/ and now (notice I didn't say "after") shots so you can see the process I go through as Dan and I are making our home here work for us. 

I also am going to try and make one other "change" in the blog itself.  I am going to try and post some recipe every week that I have made during the week - or, since Thanksgiving is coming up, I will make for Thanksgiving dinner.  You might find something that you can use - at least I hope so.  If I have additional time I would also like to show you some project that I have been working on - but that might not be as easy since some of the things that I am doing right now are Christmas presents, and I think my girls still read my blog (at least occassionally) and I sure wouldn't want them to see their Christmas present!  I'll see how that works out.  Let's see how that plays itself out.

Okay, I will be interested to see IF you can find all the changes that have been made over the year that we have been in the house.  Leave me a comment and see if you can tell me where all the changes are - I'll be looking to see who can spot them!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Decorations


Thursday was the day to change from Halloween decorations to Thanksgiving.
I started at the front door and the entry way table.



Then I moved into the Dining Room - first, of course, was the dining room table.  There wasn't much to change around there - just took the cypress knee "ghost house" out of the arrangement and added the long legged turkey.



I did do the turkey and the horn of plenty on the hutch.




On the buffet I just added the soup tureen and the Thanksgiving plaque.


The Hoosier only saw the addition of a shelf sitter and a candle with candle ring.



The baker's rack on the back porch got another turkey and fruit arrangement - candle and "Harvest" arrangement with some flowers.





The fireplace mantle has it's own theme and fall/Thanksgiving decorations.
I think the house is all set for the holiday - now I just need to get the menu set for "the" meal.   I will write about that next week - I am somewhat on my "soapbox" again, but I will save that for later.

Thursday night, while I was fixing dinner, I had a little disagreement with a knife.  Guess who won?  Yep, you guessed it, wasn't me!  I ended up cutting the heel of my left hand - thank goodness it was not that deep and did not require stitches - but it is a little sore and is bandaged up (Dan is quite the nurse).  It is much better today and I am able to use it much more than I have been able to the past couple of days.

Friday, we took the boat up to our son-in-law to see if he can find out what is wrong with the motor.  He is a really good mechanic and, hopefully, Mark can find the problem and fix it without it costing us an arm and a leg (keep your fingers crossed!). 

Today we did some garage sales this morning (really didn't buy anything - I really envy wish we had the kind of garage sales that I sometimes read about - but so far, Dan and I have yet to see any of those) after drinking our coffee and reading the paper in front of our second fire in the fireplace.  It was a nice cool morning and the small fire sure felt good - it was a nice change from all the hot weather we have been having here in South Florida.   Of course, we really don't need anything at the garage sales (in fact, we need to have ours)- so I just say that it's research  and it gives us something to do on a Saturday morning. 

After the garage sales we went into Sebring to Lowes to look at some flowers for the front flower beds and Walmart to pick up a few groceries and a set of dumb bells for Dan's exercise program that he is suppose  now going to be on.  I sure walked him more than his allotted 15 minutes today, and it wore him out.  In fact, while we were in Walmart he was so tired he was just leaning on the cart - so I told him to go to the truck and I would finish up and just meet him out side.  We came straight home and after I fixed lunch he went straight to his chair where he has napped off and on the rest of the afternoon.  I think that sometimes we both forget that he still has not built all his strength back up yet and he tends to over do.  He'll get it back but it will just take a little time and we need to be patient.

So, what do you think of the Thanksgiving decorations?  Do you decorate your house for the holiday?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Organized Freezer


I don't know if you remember, but a couple of weeks ago I talked about organizing my freezers - both the side by side in the house and the one outside in our garage.  Well, I never posted pictures of the project - so I thought I would do that today.




This is a picture of all the stuff out of the freezer inside the house.  Now, you can't tell from this picture, but when we did the house remodel I wanted a farm sink - so, we got a HUGE one.  There is a lot of stuff here - and before I couldn't find anything.  Which meant, when I went to the grocery store, I just bought more of what we already had OR I would think I had something and I would get ready to fix it and, you guessed it, I really wouldn't have what I needed!  ERRRRRRR!

This lead to the decision to stop the madness and organize the freezer  (imagine a deep voice and an echo sound effect).  So, what do you have to do to organize your freezer, you might ask.  The first thing is to measure the shelves in your freezer - not just the height between the shelves but also the width of the shelves and the depth.   Then you can take a trip to the Dollar Store with your measurements.  Since I had two freezers to organize I decided I needed six plastic baskets.  You really need to buy plastic to hold up to the cold -  believe me - don't try wicker - it won't be pretty. 

Okay - now I have purchased my baskets and I've emptied my freezer - now what?  Well, you have to decided how you want to organize your freezer - by meals or by category.  I decided by category.  So, in the freezer in the house each self/basket holds a type of meat - chicken, beef, pork, and the wire basket on the bottom (that comes with the freezer) holds things that are too large for my plastic baskets (whole chickens, turkeys, etc.)  Of course, the top shelf holds my dh's ice cream (and where I do my flat freezing before being placed in the baskets).



The outside freezer holds my fruit, breakfast foods, overflow meat, vegetables, and bread.  There is even room for a couple of milk jugs with water for the cooler when we go out on the lake.

Now, I'm pretty satisfied with the ways this turned out - As you can see the outside freezer has a couple more wire shelves than the inside freezer - but it all works out.  Also, I don't know if you can tell, but I always freeze stuff flat first then put the food in the baskets standing upright - easier to find.  Especially when I precook things like chicken and hamburger meat.

Well, let me know what you think - I would love to hear some feedback on my little freezer redo!  Then we will see what I do with other areas of the house!

For other ideas try this blog: