Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm lookin' for inspiration for this year's Christmas tree

I thought this monkey tree was adorable...even tho' it didn't even merit a ribbon.
Took these shots at the Kentucky State Fair, and I've been saving them in hopes they would inspire me when it came time to decorate for Christmas. Decorating the house for Christmas on December 1st has been my tradition, so that's my plan for tomorrow. Not looking forward to it...I did mention I'm lazy, right? ;)
This candy tree won Best of Show.
Blue ribbon simplicity! 
   Wish me luck with my decorating...and I wish the same for you! Would LOVE to see what everyone is doing for decorations this holiday season, so please leave a link to a post on your blog if you'd like to show off your decor this season, whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa...whatever!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Donut delights on Small Business Saturday!

My two favs: a Chocolate Bon Bon and an iced Jelly Donut. Disgustingly sweet? Yeah, but gotta love ' was cheat day after all. ;)
Finally winding down after Thanksgiving. All the out of towners have gone home...they will be missed! Until next time...
Rolling Pin Pastry Shop: my favorite little locally owned and operated Mom and Pop shop!
What's not to love?
Supporting small businesses isn't so hard now, is it? ;)
   Saw some snow today. Well, it was mixed with rain but it still counts, eh? I'm wearing a t-shirt, a top over that and a sweater over that and STILL I'M COLD. I was not ready for this colder weather. We're only using the woodburner on weekends when we're sure Grandbaby's not coming over. Prefer the cleaner air for one as young as she is, but sure missing that wood heat!
   Hope you're staying nice and toasty over at your place...or nice and cool if you're on the other side of the world!

Friday, November 18, 2011

On My Mind: Great Grandma sews, inspired by Joel

Inspired by the DIY Baby Sun Ray Toy over on Made by Joel, Great Grandma (my mom) sewed a baby "book." Needless to say, the book's a big hit with Grandbaby!! 
Great Grandma's creation, inspired by Joel. Gotta love those crafty folks who can turn scraps into something fun. Grandbaby says THANKS, GREAT GRANDMA!
   Thanks, Rhonda at Down-to-Earth, for this On My Mind concept. What's on your mind today?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy America Recycles Day!

Happy America Recycles Day...really, check out their site!! Yup, baring my recycle "bins" for all the world to see! ;) The bag hanging on the cabinet door knob contains greeting card fronts that I save for a local veterans' association, postage stamps saved for someone who sells them per pound to raise funds for her community's archives, plus the Campbell's Soup Labels for Education and Box Tops For Education we save to benefit a rural school. P.S. The peppers are being stored in the relatively cool garage, waiting to be cut up.
Finally satisfied my craving for onion rings! Lovin' this Crispy Onion Rings recipe I found in Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen. Basically it was just a beer batter, but I think the key was her advice to mix up the batter then let it sit for three hours before using. The onion rings turned out great, but now I'm left with a couple of quarts of used canola oil. Maybe it would be better if we eat onion rings only when eating out at a restaurant. ???
Hey, I found some "sustainably caught" salmon. It cost a "fortune" compared with most canned salmon, but the added cost eases my conscience re: any overfishing being done by this brand. My salmon patties were a riff on a crab cake recipe of Bobby Flay's.
   Not as healthy as yesterday's meal, eh? ;)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meatless Monday: Firecracker Corn, Southern Cafe Stewed Apples

Ken Hom's Firecracker Corn, only I added green pepper
Almost forgot it was "Meatless Monday"! So, I went with deviled eggs, canned pork-n-beans, Firecracker Corn and Southern Café Stewed Apples. This is my favorite cooked apple recipe. It's best with Granny Smith's, but these are galas.
   I accidentally bought some non-organic apples, and since apples top the list of foods--the Dirty Dozen--with the highest pesticide residue, I decided to peel and cook these instead of eating them raw as we usually would. Usually when I cook apples, I'll leave the peel on, but that was out this time.
   Anyway, the corn and beans from lunch found their way into my soup, which turned out might fine! Hubby ate leftover spaghetti with Italian sausage tonight. Clearly, I am going to have to work harder on preparing something much more spectacular for our meatless main meal, so Hubby will be less likely to resort to eating meat for his dinner.
   Ah, well, there's always next time!!
Southern Café Stewed Apples, from Two for the Road by Jane and Michael Stern
Leftover veggies from lunch made their way into my supper! (Btw, this is not my soup bowl...Love my tiny Crockpot!
   For curiosity's sake, care to tell me what you'd have done with leftover corn and baked beans?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheating is way more fun than decluttering

What is it about "our stuff" that makes us hold on to things, even if they no longer fit in our lives? 
My house woke me up in the wee hours this morn. The wind must've blown hard enough to bang the porch swing into the house, and I woke up disoriented and momentarily afraid of the darkness. As a child, I was afraid that mice came out in the dark, and I guess I've held on to some of that old fear of darkness despite the fact that we've never had a mouse in this house. Guess some old habits are hard to leave behind forever. Same goes for some objects.
   My angel with a broken, glued wing has been around as long as I can remember, and I distinctly remember unpacking my stone mushroom in a new home in Tennessee, when I was twelve or thirteen. I've moved MANY times since then, and with each move, I became more and more discriminating about sentimental attachments.
   But there are still a few hold outs. Neither this angel nor this mushroom ever gets displayed in our home anymore. Other mementos with far more value--whether sentimental or monetary--have displaced these two trinkets. They're usually "out of sight, out of mind," so why am I finding it so hard to finally let go?
   Yesterday was cheat day, and I had a fine time eating pasta and cake. Soo easy eating what I want when I want it. Wish decluttering were as easy as cheating!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks, Veterans!

Thank you for your service to our country!

This moment: Lexington's Parkette Drive In

Lexington's Parkette Drive In: Love visiting locally owned joints...especially those with history!
Thanks to Soulemama for this Friday photo sharing concept. Hope you'll share a link to your moment!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ten On Ten: Lovin' November

Thanks, A Bit of Sunshine, for this Ten on Ten Photo Project, capturing some element of our lives at the top of every hour. I will add photos throughout the day...might need to refresh the page if you visit again.
No sun—no moon—no morn—no noon,
No dawn—no dusk—no proper time of day,
No warmth—no cheerfulness—no healthful ease,
No road, no street, no t’ other side the way,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
Thomas Hood
Almost Six O'Clock-ish: Yup, takes a little effort to get me out of bed when the sun's no help. Ten to fifteen minutes of my "Happy Light" glaring at me gets me off my tuchus every time!
Seven O'Clock-ish: Every time Grandbaby comes to visit, I get on the exercise bike for at least fifteen minutes while she watches. I aim to make an exercise lover out of her by example! ;)
Eight O'Clock-ish: Making bread pudding with some Butterscotch Amish Bread that was baked without any oil (OOPS!).
Nine O'Clock-ish: Snack time--roasted soybeans. These were as dull as dishwater 'til I added some seasonings.
Ten O'Clock-ish: Bread Pudding out of the oven. Not a fan of the stuff, I think this pic looks gross. (Hubby likes it!)
Eleven O'Clock-ish: This little one is much easier to entertain than her older sisters! ;)
Twelve O'Clock-ish: Let there be lunch! Some minced jalapeño sure revved our salads up!
One O'Clock-ish: See our little mistletoe crop up in the maple tree? The apple tree is hanging on to its leaves for dear life; most of our other trees have already shed theirs here in western Kentucky.
Two O'Clock-ish: Story Time! (SHORT story!)
Three O'Clock-ish: I prefer to pop my own on the stove, but this stuff I bought from the Boy Scout who lives next door isn't bad.
   Would love it if you'd leave a link to your own Ten on Ten...or to anything else you'd like to share!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Amping up boring baby stuff; Decluttering, inspired by Zero Waste Home

The other side of this bib has some ridiculous quote about fast food embroidered on the other side, so I only used the plain underside even before adding the embellishment. Also pictured here is my "sewing case," which was originally my Barbie case made for me a hundred years ago by my Papaw. My childhood Barbie collection included two knock-off Barbies: one with a pinched boob and one with a hole in her abdomen. Unlike me, my mom doesn't insist yard sale purchases be gently used. Even skanky knock-off Barbies were hers for the taking if the price was right. Btw, this case happens to be one of my favorite repurposings!
Not being one that thinks baby must wear $$$ outfits, I buy plain white onesies and embellish them to suit me. These appliqués are iron on, but I just tack 'em on, as the sticky backing didn't make it through many washes for the first of these I did. Back in the day when our DD was just a babe, I embellished her plain Jane clothes--mostly hand-me-downs--with little rosebuds. To supplement the items given to us or that I bought used, I would scour the stores at the end of each season for the best clearance prices on items that would fit the kiddo the next year. 
   I figure not spending big bucks on short-term-use items like clothes for a fast growing little one is one of the reasons that Hubby and I were able to pay off our house and other debts quickly. One of the reasons he is able to be retired and me not working at 50. We may not live like kings, but we're happy!
   Of course, we didn't do it all right, but what I wish I hadn't spent money on will have to wait for another day's post.
   Rainy, rainy day here in western Kentucky...but the little one is expected in a bit, so she will definitely brighten up this day for us! Hope something wonderful brightens your day today!!
Made a solemn vow to declutter an item every time I read a post over on Zero Waste Home. These are my two latest declutters: the only remaining peignoir item from my wedding trousseau and a pan I'd bought for a quarter at a yard sale, because I misunderstood what type of pan Hubby wanted to put under his seedlings. Seems a pan with holes in it will NOT suit for watering the little seed pots from bottom up. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hubby's outdone himself lately: Triggerfish with Spicy Lemon Caper Sauce, Cajun Meatloaf, Smoked Pork Loin

Hubby cooked this Triggerfish with Spicy Lemon Caper Sauce from the first recipe that came up when he Googled "trigger fish." Luckily, he came across an excellent recipe on a blog that hasn't been updated in years...this is one of the BEST fish dishes we've EVER had!! I think Hubby's plate here also has some mackerel on it. The fish was gifted to us by a friend when who went deep sea fishing on his Florida vacation--$75 for the two hour ride out to the deep, two hours fishing, two hours back. That's the cheapest price I've ever heard of for deep sea fishing. Wonder if the oil spill is still affecting Florida tourism?
I may be the chief cook and bottle washer around here, but as I've said, Hubby can hold his own. Moreover, he is the Chief Grill Cook and Chief Fish Cook in this family, and I probably have a pound or two to show for his expertise in these areas! ;)

Back in the day when I bought and cooked as much beef as the average American, I came across Paul Pruddhome's Cajun Meatloaf recipe. We promptly fell in love with it...even me, despite my lifelong aversion to meatloaf. Since I learned of beef's high carbon footprint, the only beef I eat anymore are Hebrew National Beef Franks and the occasional burger. These days, Hubby makes Pruddhome's recipe with his ground venison and likes it just as well. (I'll have to take his word for that. I don't much like venison, so I've never tried his venison meatloaf!)
Hubby's most recent Smoked Pork Loin. I got nervous when I saw how he'd slashed this loin, thinking it would let the juices run out, but instead the slashes just let the smoke flavor in as he roasted this bad boy "low and slow" in his Big Green Egg. Smokey...Juicy...YUM!!
   I'm not crazy about the time change, but maybe I'll find more time for the computer now that it gets dark so soon. *SIGH* I miss the daylight already!! And for some freaky reason, I've awakened at 4:30 the last two mornings. UGH!! Hope you're adjusting to the time change in a more reasonable way than I have?!! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On My Mind: No such thing as waste!

Thanks, Deb Goes Green, for this video..."There's no such thing as waste, only stuff in the wrong place!"
Cannot tell you how VERY HAPPY it made me to find a local place, GreenWorks Recycling, that reclaims/recycles so many of the items that would otherwise make their way into a landfill: used batteries of ALL types and sizes, plus loads of electronics and appliances. They'll even shred your hard drive while you watch if you donate a CPU. GreenWorks recently took our broken dishwasher off our hands, oh, yeah!! Clearly thrilled to be a part of the process, this man was such a peach to show me all around--even called off the dogs first! *wink* (Hope you're lucky enough to find this kind of jewel in your neck of the woods.)
   Well, that's what's on my mind today. What's on yours? Hope you'll share your link here or on down-to-earth!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Make over: Unwanted cereal to snack; On a roll with leftover pork

  Double click on the pic if you'd like to enlarge the recipe. Bake at 250F for 15-20 min.
Oh, yes, I did buy Cheerios in a humongous, bulk package. Oh, no, Hubby won't eat them, and now that I'm into breakfast smoothies, I won't either. Solution: make snack food of the cereal--now Hubby's eating it by the handfuls. Though better with oyster crackers, this recipe worked well with the cereal too.
Ranch Cherrios
Hey, I didn't forget Meatless Monday yesterday. I had "Big Salad" for lunch. Really need to get on the ball and come up with some impressive vegetarian entrees though, if I intend for Hubby to embrace this Meatless Monday business. His salad had turkey on it. That's my favorite commercial salad dressing, btw. If I could make a Caesar dressing homemade that tasted as good, believe me I would!
   I am completely and utterly addicted to mellowcreme pumpkins. In fact, I consider it my great fortune that the only candies I crave are seasonal: these Brach's pumpkins, Brach's Christmas peppermint nougats, and Whoppers' Robin Eggs. Best thing about lovin' seasonal candies is that I get to buy 'em half price after the holidays!  
The sweetest little helper assisted me in making lunch this morn! Boy, do I LOVE using an infant front-pack carrier...and so does Grandbaby! We vacuumed this morn and then made lunch together. No worries, baby was sleeping when it came time for the frying!
Can't believe I ever used loads of paper towels to soak up grease, when newspaper topped with ONE paper towel turns the trick. LOVE spending less money on one-time-use products like paper towels.
I am the condiment queen. My Swiss chard/pork/carrot/onion egg rolls tasted so yummy with a mixture of hoisin and sweet chili sauces. These egg rolls transformed 1 1/2 leftover pork chops into our lunch today with enough leftovers for Hubby to have some tomorrow too. We are still getting Swiss chard and peppers from the garden. Yea! Oh, yeah, I ate the egg rolls even tho' it's not cheat day. Shamey Shamey! ;)
   Any leftover makeovers goin' down at your place tonight?
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