Friday, October 30, 2009



Halloween can be lots of fun, and I love what our old neighbors always do in their yard.  This year they have tons of tombstones and all the sayings on them are so funny!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Dad's Surprise Birthday Lunch 2009

October 13, 2009 came a little early this year, it came on October 10th!  

Almost everyone (kids and grandkids) who lives around my Dad was able to come and surprise him with a Birthday Lunch at Cabelas.  

He was really surprised, he had no idea we were going to do this.  One fun part was my brother and his wife were here from Wyoming and were finally able to come to one of the surprise dinners/lunches. 

So the people at Cabelas put us in the Book Cliffs conference room.  We were by ourselves and able to visit without a lot of outside noise.  

We thought being in the Book Cliffs room was awesome, but the big mural was of elephants!  However, hidden behind the drop down giant white screen was a large mural of a fish.  That is a better picture, but a large buck would have been the best!!

Here's wishing that everyone could have been there!!  We missed all of you who weren't able to come!  Grandpa missed you very much.

One thing we did this time that was special was each of us took a turn and told Grandpa/Dad how much we appreciated him.  Some told experiences that they shared with him with all of us.  We had laughs and tears.  

Then Dad told us how much he loved our mom/grandma.  He bore his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and shared his love for the Gospel and admonished us to pray and study for our own testimony and help our testimony grow stronger.  

It was a very wonderful afternoon.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 Garden Cantaloupe Harvest

2009 Garden Cantaloupe

Small but sweet. It was so fun, we grew 3 cantaloupe this year.


Above: the one on the left was very small and weird skinned. The right one was perfect.  There was a second one like the one on the right, but we ate it before it could be photoed.

This is the small one, the morning after we cut it open.  Sorry for the late photo, but the color inside was good and it tasted fine.  The outside was just weird- but that is the same with people.  Sometimes if we judge people by just their outsides we may be surprised to find their true self is very different than what we thought.

Have spoon will eat.  This is a teaspoon.  The cantaloupe is so small but they tasted so wonderful.

Here they are de-seeded.  Don't they look delicious?  They really were. 
So next year we need to do this again only with more plants and probably let them grow up a fence, that would be ideal.


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Food On Friday's !!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Make-Do Book Marks that make Me Smile

see below for alternative button
At Make-Do Mondays we discuss how we’re simplifying, downsizing, repurposing, buying used, and using what we’ve got.

It’s a carnival celebrating creative problem-solving, contentment, patience and ingenuity. To participate, share your own make-do solution in the comments or write up a Make-Do Mondays post at your blog, then return here to link via MckLinky. Enjoy others’ ideas by clicking on their link in the MckLinky list.

Make-Do Mondays with Shari

 So have any of you noticed that I like dangly items?  Well you would if you hung around me in person.  

In this photo I have the tops of my bookmarks, my pen's CTR charm and my phone's strap.  The cool strap I used to have on my phone with a lot more dangles in now on the trailer keys.  

I might get that back when we return the trailer- that should be this week.  And then the driveway will be back to normal!  Hurray!!

But back to dangles.  I was getting bored with using a plain old standard card stock bookmark.  The stereotypical boring marker that was given out free from a convention I attended.  Now I must say that for a free marker and even though it was boring, it had a very wonderful saying/message/poem on it. 

"Only as high as I can reach can I grow, 
only as far as I seek can I go, 
Only as deep as I look can I see, 
only as much as I dream can I be."  -Karen Ravn

Now this bookmark's theme fits right in with my Strategies for Success class, but their size and shape works real nice in covering up my Medical Terminology words as I study in the book.  


But I still need my dangly stuff. So I made these easy bookmarks with some left over beads and tiny 1/8th inch wide ribbons.

The dangles make me happy.  Keeping my place in my books makes me happy.  And these bookmarks don't fall out like the cards can do.  

I just took my two colors of ribbon and measured how long I wanted them, added a bit for knots and doubled the length and finally cut the ribbon.  Then I folded the ribbon in half and tied a knot in the 'top' at the loops. 

Then I threaded on a few beads- on all 4 ribbon pieces and pulled them up to the top knot.  then I put more bead on the ends of each ribbon tail and tied a good knot at the very end.  

The knot has to be big enough to keep the beads on, of course you know that...........  just saying- I thought I would mention it.............. from a little personal experience I had................... lol..................

The main thing is that they make me smile, and I am sure the smiley face beads enjoy seeing me smile back at them.  This is an Easy-Peasy quick project and I know I will be making a lot more, because these are not the first ones I have made and I know they will not be the last.  But they are the first ones I have posted about.  

Have a wonderful idea filled day and week.  See you next week for another wonderful Make-Do Monday!!!


with Shari

with Ann Kroeker

If the main button is too big, try this one:


Crock Pot Tip & some ramblings.......

Do you know that when I don't feel good, I get grumpy and down right ornery?  

Well ask anyone in my family. 

Just cover your ears if you really don't want to know the truth about me!  

I am a grumpy ole' bear at times and with this Yucky Swine Flu, I have been quite a grumpy bear!!!  

I will rain on your parade!  
I promise.  

Just watch me sitting on the rain cloud letting it drip on you and yours- if you are trying to have a fun day.  If you are well, well you'll be wet if I can catch you!!  

I have a bad case of Cabin fever! I'm tired of Coughing! I'm Hungry!  Nothing sounds good to eat.  I am Wheezing.  I have had enough Headaches.  I am done with my high Fever.  I am over the worst of the Chills and Sweats...................... 

(Don't get worried by the wheezing, it is benign, nothing serious, 
I just had to add it in as it adds the element I wanted!!! lol......)

This swine flu is really bad stuff.   
Stay away from coughing, feverish looking people!  
You don't want this!!

The good news is that we are getting over it!  I see the light at the end of the Sickie Tunnel!!  We are nearly well again!!  Hurray for us!!!

We are also now immune to the Swine Flu!  What a nice silver lining.  Unless of course the swine flu decides to mutate and we catch a mutated version?  I hope not.  I would like to think that we are immune!!  Yeah, I'll stick with that.

Do you want something?  
Are you still reading?  
OK, I see you are still here 
so here is a food TIP for you.

I received some chicken from my parents while we have been sick.  My parents have brought us stuff and left it on the door step, then they call and tell us there is a surprise on the door mat.

My Dear Hubby took the chicken and put it in the fridge.  I thought the rest of the family had been nibbling at it.  I also thought it was a whole chicken from the rotisserie.  

Gasp! No one has eaten at it!  

My first thought was to put it in the crockpot and heat it up take off the breast and thigh meat and then make soup out of the rest of it.  

That is when I found out it was chicken pieces, fried or baked pieces.  Still wonderful.  

So I dumped the chicken into the crock straight from the fridge and turned it on high.  Now it smells heavenly in the kitchen!  and the pieces are piping hot and ready to eat.  

Then after the bones are scoured, I will cover them with water and make some chicken broth.

I changed my mind.  Not really enough to make soup with.  The meat is tender and falling off the bones.  We will eat it all.  Just give us a couple of minutes.

So my tip was to reheat the chicken in the crock pot not the microwave.  It took a bit more time, more energy, but it is, oh, so much nicer and tastier!!  

Since we weren't going to be eating for a while throwing it in the crock was one of those 'toss it in and forget it for a while' meals.  

Now mashed potatoes, gravy and corn will round it out and we are eating a nice meal that was Easy-Peasy to put together all thanks to my wonderful parents who have been helping us out during our time of isolation!!!  

(Those of you who know me don't read this.  For the rest of you don't look the messy countertop!) 

(Yes we do have chocolate powder.  I just took it out of the cupboard, it needs to be used.)

My food here is on a small salad plate.  Funny how the thigh became a heart shape as I picked on it while it was in the crock pot!!

Reheating in the crock might make sense sometimes.  It did today.  I think I will watch for other opportunities to use the crock pot.  After all, next to my cast iron, my crock is my favorite cookware!!

Hope your day is being happy and healthy.  Stay away from those swine!!!  They are not selfish they share their germs with anyone and everyone!!!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Make-Do Electronic Cord Containment

see below for alternative button
At Make-Do Mondays we discuss how we’re simplifying, downsizing, repurposing, buying used, and using what we’ve got.

It’s a carnival celebrating creative problem-solving, contentment, patience and ingenuity. To participate, share your own make-do solution in the comments or write up a Make-Do Mondays post at your blog, then return here to link via MckLinky. Enjoy others’ ideas by clicking on their link in the MckLinky list.

Make-Do Mondays with Shari

....How I Contain Those Unruly Electronic Cords That I Carry Around In My Computer Bag....

These are just a few of the cords I get to carry in my computer bag.  They get so messy and out of control.  So, I addressed the problem with them today.  

I wanted a container that I could see through and that would be mailable and thin enough to fit comfortably in my computer bag.  I also did not want to keep each cord in it's own container.

First, I thought about what I had available:  
  • Plastic Zip bag
  • rubber bands (or in this case, narrow cut section from a bicycle tube)

Second, I coiled up the cords and put a band around them.

Third, I put them in the plastic bag.  
And then stuck the bag in my computer bag.  
It fit just like I wanted. 


Oh, man, this one is so Easy-Peasy that I can't believe I left it a mess for so long.  The only thing left to do to make this that much better would be to label each cord for easy retrieval.  

I guess we will see if I get that final step done!


with Shari

with Ann Kroeker

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cookies for Pilot and Angel

I was asked to make cookies one morning as Pilot left for school.  "You'll have plenty of time, 'cuz you don't have school for a couple of hours."  Right, plenty of time.  Dishes, laundry, straightening, homework, studying for a 200 terminology word mid-term test............... right, nothing to do, plenty of time for baking!
(This was a couple of weeks ago.)

So I decided to bake the cookies.  He really had asked so nicely and he has been quite a good boy lately.  He wanted chocolate chips. 


I decided to make-do, by making some cookies with chocolate, but not chocolate chips.  You see, I had some m&m's that needed to be used.  Let me tell you a little story of my m&m mishap.

You ask, what happened to your m&m's?  Well let me tell you.  We have been using a camping trailer this summer and have been having a wonderful time.  I bought some snacks in June and stuck them in the trailers pantry.  Amongst those snacks was a huge bag of m&m's 24oz or so, big bag but not a huge Costco or Sam's Club size.  

I opened the bag and had a small handful and then put them back away for the next trip in July. So these wonderful snack items stayed in the trailer and lived in the hottest heat of the summer.  When we went camping over labor day weekend, I was so looking forward to snacking on my stash of m&m's.  However, when I tried to pour out a handful, I felt lumps and what was like crumbs.  Then I noticed, they had gone to dust.  They bloomed, the chocolate had bloomed!

So I put them in a zip lock bag and brought it into my kitchen.  I was so sad, but there was no way I would throw this stuff, awful as it looked, away.

So as I was contemplating making cookies for Pilot and Angel, I thought of the m&m's sitting on my countertop waiting to be saved from the trash.  So I pulled out a Chocolate Chip recipe and started making the cookie dough.  

I did this in my breadmaker as usual, and it was a little dry, but I finished mixing with a spoon. It was dry because when I put the crumbled m&m's in the bowl, there was a lot of chocolate powder and it was like having chocolate flour and I did not compensate by cutting down on the flour or adding any extra moisture.  

It really was fine because when I squeezed a ball of dough, it stayed together, so I new it would be just fine.

I plopped dough balls on the cookie sheet and flattened some of them slightly just to see if it was better to do that step.  It turned out is really didn't matter, both ways turned out just fine.

I did about 4 trays of 12 cookies and left them out for the kids to find after school.  I didn't take any to school with me to snack on, and I sure I had 'cuz I could hear them calling me all the way at school!

I really wanted a whole bowl of cookies to myself, but I didn't do it.  I just tossed them in this bowl to take a photo.

We liked the cookies.  They turned out quite tasty.  I only used half of the m&m's, so I can make another batch.  


It is sad to say, they only lasted a couple of days, as usual, in our house.  But we did enjoy them bunches.

I used half of the remaining blossomed m&m's and made more cookie dough.  I also made a box of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies.  

What I did was mix the brownie mix according to the box, pour that into a 9x13 pan, then I took a hand full of the cookie dough and patted it flat and laid it on the brownie mix.  I did this with all the cookie dough.  Then I baked it.  I don't remember at what temperature or for how long.  It was a true experiment and I forgot to photo and take notes.

The cookie dough layer was harder than the brownie layer, so I put the whole thing into zip lock bags and left it over night.  The next day the moisture had evened out- from the brownies to the cookie layer.  

They really were good.  I won't even tell you who in my house has nearly eaten the whole batch.  I am quite sure you could never guess.  But if I am what I eat, I am a little bit squishy, a little bit hard, a little bit chocolaty (OK a lot chocolaty), a bit cracked up and colorful (broken up m&m's) and just all around interesting!!!



Return to Ann's Blog for the Food on Fridays carnival and find more posts that might be
anything remotely related to food.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Food on Fridays Oct 16 - The Garden is Frostbitten!

   I know, my tomato plants are spindly and unkempt, but hey they are producing!  This is what they looked like in September.

Look at this scrumptious tomato~!  It made the most delicious tomato and cheese sandwich.  Got to love those fresh, homegrown garden fresh toms!!!

These guys are huge!  I need to plant more next year.  They came from a local nursery and I hope I have the tag still in the garden telling me what variety they are.  

That reminds me, I should just make a Garden Journal or add it to my Gratitude Journal.  I would only need to draw a quick 'stick' drawing of the garden and write the plant variety in the spot on the drawing.  Then I would always know what I had.  
(Note to Self: DO THIS!!!!)

Do you see the tiny tom in the bottom center?  Well it came off our other variety plants.  They are plum size, but a regular tomato versus a roma.  They tasted good too, but were small and harder to make tomato slab sandwiches.  They were great to chop/dice up for salads and chopped salad sandwiches.

I am grateful for garden fresh tomatoes.  
I still have one plant that is alive and kicking.  The others got frostbite and have died.  
I forgot (or was too lazy tired from school and life responsibilities) to put a blanket over them when the first frost was forecast.  
I am sad I lost my plants and some of their fruits to the cold, cruel Jack Frost! 

The photo above is our toms that grow in front of our front porch. The one on the left shows more dead plants than the one on the right.  I still have a bunch of good plants with growing fruit on them, they are buried beneath the frostbit plants.  They also stay warm from the concrete on the porch front. These are part of the same plants that are in the first photo above only taken a month later.  

Please do not look at the lost fruits.  
I feel really bad about the waste, but somewhere I dropped the ball and did not keep up on the gathering of the crops.  
I am making myself a promise, that next year I will do so much better than this year, in gathering and using my garden bounty.
It wasn't just the toms I wasted, but some red hot peppers too.  Now they might be OK, I have not checked on them as in feel-touch.  Maybe tomorrow.  Oh, who am I kidding?  They will just look nice, red amongst the white snow!  Again maybe next year..................

Here are the frostbit plants from the back garden, notice the still green onion shoots:
and the wonderful flowers, that are still green and some still flowering:
mmm.............. I have a lot of repenting to do over the 'spilt' garden waste...................  Times are hard right now and I really do feel bad that I wasted so much produce.  OK I won't whine any more.  I will 'fix' my situation and make sure I do better in the future!  

Have a wonderful fall day.  


Return to Ann's Blog for the Food on Fridays carnival and find more posts that might be
anything remotely related to food.


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