Saturday, November 28, 2015

Good Morning Everyone

    Well have you all eaten so much that you are too stuffed-and shopped til you drop??  LOL

     We have been enjoying the pies I had made for breakfast and snacks now   I made an apple-raisin pie, pumpkin pie, and my Mom's recipe for blueberry-cranberry pie. Nice to have pie to share with friends too.
     I also finally got a gluten free pie crust to work-I am using Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 flour with my standard recipe but adding an egg to it-can't tell it's gluten free and easy to roll out and get it into the pan-finally success with that.

    I made my turkey different this year; decided to brine it. Have never done this before but I read a tutorial on it from one of my friend's blogs, and I also watched Farmhouse Rules on Food Network where she brined hers with hard cider. I used Angry Orchard's hard cider and added two bottles of water per one bottle of cider. The day it was cooking I was not so sure about it though, it just smelled not good. However, the turkey was very very moist and delicious with just a hint of the apple. The following day the meat was still very moist-so was pleased with the results.

   My floor is down and I am very thrilled. The installers were very professional and knew what they were doing-unlike the first person that came out. I did not need to level the floor at all, so it was done in one day. Also they moved the furniture from one side to the next instead of having to empty the room-it just went so smooth. The first person that came out did not order enough caulk so we needed to go to Lowes to buy more. Still working on hubby to get that finished so I can set up my desk area. I am about ready to do this myself but I am really terrible with caulk so am trying to be patient.
     We also had a trouble area between the dining room and the living room and the installers fixed that-it just needs a good caulking now on the edges. I am not going to worry about a threshold piece there since the height is still quite different between the two rooms.
   In all my reading I had not read that Pergo laminate flooring can not have any water on it at all-so I am deciding no shoes on this floor, and no more food or drink in my living room either-except my coffee cup on my desk. I went with a rustic look-Pergo laminate has many choices now-and I am very happy with this look-highlights the stone wall and my ranch oak furniture pieces really look nice too.(photos will enlarge)

       I found rugs at LL Bean online-the one in front of the woodstove area is a real wool hearth rug-very thick. I also bought a usa wool handmade braided rug that I thought would just fit under my loom-but I had forgotten about the oval being smaller on the ends-sigh-doesn't fit, so am hoping this will work by my desk-if not I will use it under the coffee table. Larry has a couple wood pieces; a filing cabinet and another piece that I am hoping to use behind my desk-that will also get my computer workings off the top of my desk except for the monitor, speakers, and keyboard which will give me more room when doing bookwork. 

   I did find someone to reuphoster my couch and recliner, (can't remember if I mentioned that here). My Mom had these vintage pieces redone about 30 years ago so they really need it. He has time to do it mid January. I am much happier keeping this solid oak furniture then turning it into something I don't care for from China. I looked at allot of companies and just nothing appeals to me.

   One fun thing was to put back all the electronics on the big projection tv-good thing I took photos and labeled all the cords-otherwise I would still be without a tv lol Just in time to watch the Green Bay Packers and Chicago game-which I mostly wanted to see Brett Favre's number 4 being retired and posted in the stadium. It was so special too that Bart Starr was able to attend.

   I think this will be a lazy day today-cold and gloomy outdoors, which by the way I am loving our gas furnace heat-a warm bathroom is the best part. I am so glad I was able to afford to do this-as hubby's fall a few months back has been really bad on him.

  I also wanted to share a book I learned about on the PBS NewsHour last night Reclaiming Conversation  They were interviewing the author about her book and her studies-and wow everything she was saying I can see first hand. This is about the effect of the digital age on our lives.
   When we retired in 2003 there were no smart phones as of yet, and we moved very rural in the woods so now wi fi and these fancy phones don't work well and we didn't need cell phones any more with our lifestyle-especially these smart phones. But when I observe our friends when they come down, and a couple of hubby's employees I can see how many are so glued to their phones they have lost their communication skills, and even their etiquette too. Very sad-a real eye opener of what is happening. Just wanted to share this.

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Week to all my American friends

  This week will  be a busy one for many of us.  Although it is just the two of us-I will be busy too-my new floor install starts tomorrow and will be finished by end of Wednesday-It has been stressing me out and getting me excited at the same time.
    This year I am going to brine a turkey for the first time ever-not sure yet if I want to serve us a whole turkey or just the turkey breast. I am going to use hard cider (angry orchard) for the brine. Of course I will be making us a pie, and other home made dishes.

   In this busy week I want to take time to be thankful and I am very thankful. This has been a rough year and actually seems like a long year too-but I have much to reflect on and to be thankful for.

   Happy Thanksgiving

Click here for your lovely Thanksgiving card

Saturday, November 21, 2015

It's Cold, Very Windy, and Snowing this Morning-It's a Hot Cocoa Morning

Looks like a winter wonderland this morning-the snow won't last long or get much deeper-but it sure is beautiful. Click photos to enlarge

I love hot cocoa on these kind of mornings, and I just happened to have a little of my own mix left over from last year.

Kathy's Healthier Version of Cocoa Mix

1 cup dry milk-like Carnation or from the health food store
3/4 cup sweetening-to keep the sugars down-I use half Splenda and half coconut sugar
1/2 cup cocoa-I use Hershey's special dark, or a very dark cocoa-your choice.

Stir to blend than store in an air tight container-I usually double or triple this recipe to last the whole season.

To serve: I fill up a large mug with almond milk-or any milk of choice or water-and stir in 3 tablespoons of the mix I pop in the microwave til warm-whisk again-and then heat til hot-then top with mini  marshmallows.

I started making my own mix after really reading what is in those store bought mixes-the no sugar ones are usually very high in salt and fat, and the sugar ones are high in fat and sugar-with this mix you can use the sweetening and type of cocoa of your choice. To make dairy free, just mix up the cocoa and sweetening and add to your non dairy milk

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's Been Awhile

  Good morning friends-so much has happened in the world since I last posted-our world is changing before our eyes and too fast for me.

  I won't get into politics, we all have our own views that never seem to waiver, but I am reaching out with love to all terrorists victims and the rest of us not to panic-but to do what we can to spread peace in the little worlds we live in.
   And not debating anything here but I do want to share, if you are not aware, that there is a bill being introduced this week that is saying the Feds must assure that any incoming refugee is safe and not a terrorists this bill is written more clearly and gives more accountability to those in the Federal agencies letting refugees into our country. I do not see anything wrong with that-the American people need to be protected from more terrorists entering our country. This bill just wants us to do a better job of the process-of course we all know that President O will veto this but I am hoping members of Congress understand the importance of this extra precaution and over ride his veto. 

    This coming weekend looks like our very first hard freeze-amazing really this late into November that we have green grass and nothing left in the veggie garden that is frozen.
     Deer camp went well which is mostly good eats and enjoying our friends that come down from Illinois and Wisconsin. No deer taken as it was just too hot to process the meat-so most went out into the woods just to enjoy it and watch lots of deer running around lol We were in the 70s and high 60s f.
    Next week the installers will come to lay my pergo flooring, one day to empty the room and level the floor and the next day to lay the floor and put everything back in place.
    I have been on the hunt to find a good furniture upholsterer. My vintage solid oak furniture needs new fabric and new cushions. The local furniture store referred me to another business and he came out yesterday to look at my furniture. He is booked up til mid January so he will be back then to pick up my furniture. I am so excited about this, I just don't care for the cheap but high priced (for what it is) furniture being sold today. These pieces have been in my family since I was old enough to remember them and about 30 years ago or so Mom had re upholsered them as well. I need to drop by his shop and choose fabric-how fun.
       Last week our gas heat was hooked up. what a blessing this is. We have not had a furnace in this home since '98 only fire wood for heat. I do miss the warmth of the woodstoves allot-but having a warm bathroom finally-is such a treat. I may break down and buy a load of firewood so we can supplement when it gets really cold like in the 20s. that will seem strange with acres of wood here lol  no fun getting older that is for sure.

   With all the hard work I have done on my living room I am anxious for the floor to be installed and back to more normal, and to be able to get back to my crafts. I miss working with my creativity so much.

  Enjoy your day-and pass on a smile or a hug to that somebody that needs one

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome in November and Congratulations to the KC Royals

   I haven't been this caught up with a sports team since I was glued to every game with Brett Favre playing for the Green Bay Packers

  And like I have written before I have never cared for baseball until about 3 years ago when I caught a game of the Royals. Sometimes you can just tell when a team is very special-the team is a family, they have heart, and their desire to win keeps them at the top of their game. I soooo enjoyed the games-just an amazing team to watch. Congratulations Kansas City Royals on your World Series Championship.

  This week will be more like a mid October week than November with temperatures climbing to the mid 70s for most of this week. I am hoping to get my veggie garden cleaned up and a few other areas with weeds pulled. 
   I got myself so stressed out after the Lowes guy came for the measurements-he was very late and I got the feeling he was working on padding my bill with leveling of my concrete floor-felt like I would be leaving myself open to a huge bill tacked on to the install--Lowes is suppose to call me today sometime so hope to learn more.
    With deer camp coming fast on the 14th  I just decided to get the living room in place enough for guests, start cleaning house, and plan food, and not worry about my floor right now--I am really close though to taking this flooring back for a refund and doing something else-like just paint it and put down nice throw rugs. For now I am working on staying calm about this and not make any hasty decisions just yet lol.

  On a happier note I harvested my sweet potato crop and wow I am so pleased, got many really nice sized potatos and a good amount as well when I was bringing them indoors to cure it felt like at least 30-40 pounds. I have another bag laid out similiar to this one, and another one with the smaller potatoes-and we both love sweet potatoes too. 
      I have learned through the years-they need to "cure" til they are dry and no longer damp-so I will be turning these and putting dry bags underneath from time to time too. Then I will wrap each potato seperately in newspaper and lay them in a cardboard box-they will stay good this way for 2 years or longer-my utility room seems to be a good spot in the house for them.

Have a good week!


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