If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December in our home

Son Bobby noticed our home needed some TLC on the outside.
  He offered to power wash and paint all of the outside
and he did!
It looks great too.
 He is same son that helped us tile our floors just about a year ago.  
2011 beautiful fresh evergreen wreath that my brother made.
He makes one for me every Christmas and this is one especially fresh and pretty

and doesn't it look great on the freshly painted entry way?

that wonderful real wreath is how we ended up with this assortment of trees for  Christmas  2011

We own several big green artificial trees but when I set them up,  they looked awful -
just squashed and straggly and not nice at all.

So with Gavin here to help me,  we packed away the green trees and set up these 3 trees.
One is silver, one is pink and one is white.

I like them but I  am hoping to do a big fresh real tree next year.  

By the comments from people that have been in our home,
they seem to either really like this tree medley
or they think it is just bizarre.  



Gavin and Elizabeth 
having a little Christmas fun


and in case I don't get another blog post done before Dec. 25,
Merry Christmas 
to you all with love
from Rhonda and Jeff

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

4 generations
Me, little Elizabeth,  my daughter Nina and my mom Rowena


My Mom's birthday is this week.

Happy birthday with love to you!  


Friday, November 18, 2011

the little stuff is at the top of my thankful list


Some cookies I baked today for a baby shower that Nina is hosting tomorrow.
The new mom is doing this new baby daughter's room in hot pink and zebra. 
Nina saw some cookies similar to these on Pinterest and thought they would be perfect for this occasion. The Pinterest version used peanut butter cookies dipped in pink sugar.  
The new mom is a RD so I am sure she follows the no nuts eating recommendation to avoid passing on allergies to the baby.
So I baked a double batch of  thumbprint cookie dough from Betty Crocker,
 and tinted it heavily with rose food coloring.   
The center is a Hugs flavor of the striped Hershey kisses 
I don't think I have ever made such hot pink cookies before,  these turned out delicious though!

I saw this cartoon on Facebook and  really like it .
I am just not a fan of rushing from holiday to the next,
I am not really a fan of rushing anything
So I will just be enjoying Thanksgiving for the rest of November.  
The December issues of Country Living and Martha with  their very pretty Christmas covers have arrived
but I will just wait until Dec. 1st to read them.


Sweet little Gavin and Elizabeth this morning
just a coincidence that they both wore Eskimo Joe shirts


Jimmy came for lunch and Elizabeth was so excited to see him.
Gavin would of been excited too but he had already left today.    


I am thankful for little things like a lunch visit from my son,  
sweet grandchildren, 
 fresh cookies,  
a funny cartoon,  
and new magazines

there are lots more things I am thankful and this is just the things I am thinking of right now



I added a few kind of new blogs to me on my sidebar.
One is the fun activities of an American family living in Europe.
One is a homemaker in New Zealand who follows Pinterest and actually makes something she pins everyday, then blogs about it.  
Another one is about thrifty things made at home and 
the one is  called Life at Kilkinney Glenn



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November update

November is halfway over and  I finally put out some fall/Thanksgiving decorations this week,
I think I might be the very last blogger to do so........
Anyway,  decorations are very simple this year.
Everything is stuff I already had.
The jars on the mantle are filled with faux apples and pears

I just made the thankful banner this week,  so I guess it is new.
But I used only supplies I already had
I used a Cricut to cut out the brown oak leaves and cream letters, them glued them to a some craft ribbon.

2 wreaths made by my brother,
 this wall leads into our kitchen and faces the dining room.

keeping it real - can you see the trash can?  

plastic canvas candlestick Pilgrims and Indians I made 10 or more  years ago
The turkey salt and pepper shakers belonged to my grandmother.  

more turkey S&Ps, that will actually be used.
I don't care if these get handled but I would be very sad if  something happened to my grandmother's set

my father in law painted this turkey and it is hanging by our front door.

some very simple silhouettes I made of my grandchildren

I took profile pictures of them, printed them and cut them out of black paper.
Then I scanned them and shrunk them to fit these little frames and printed them
in black and white on paper.
I've seen lots of method to do them,  this is just my method and probably not the best but I am really happy with them.
The frames were 10 cents at a yard and I have 4 of them,
so when future grandbabies come along,  I can add their profiles to this grouping.



One other change I made is about comments on my blog.  I used to allow anonymous comments but I have been getting so much spam,  about 3 day and they've mostly been anonymous.
I am not going to add the word verification but I did change the settings to not allow anonymous comments anymore.
So if you want to leave a comment but don't want to do the blogger thing,  then just email me
stwoliver3@yahoo.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

Okie humor



Not sure who to give credit for making this funny graphic,  it is being forwarded among most all us Okies.
The weather has been so extreme the past 12 months,  we just have to laugh at it and wonder what is coming next.

I may not be doing much blogging for awhile.  I am fine however my days are busy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

25 Shutterfly Christmas Cards -winners announced!

Update by Rhonda
I apologize for being so pokey about announcing the winners of this contest.  I thought Nina was picking and notifying the winners and she thought I was .

the winners are Cindy, Dawn and Emily.
thank you to all who read about and entered this contest.
Shutterfly really is one of my favorite online companies.



Hi Everyone!  This is Nina, Rhonda's AMAZING and AWESOME daughter (hee hee, Momma told me I could write whatever I wanted!) here.  I am so excited to tell you about one of my favorite online companies - Shutterfly.

I first found Shutterfly in 2007 when I was planning my wedding.  I didn't want a "normal" guestbook for my wedding, I wanted something that everyone could write a message in, so I made a Shutterfly Photo Book out of our engagement pictures.  I made sure to leave plenty of white space around the edges of the pages so everyone would have plenty of room to write.  I also wrote the story of how John and I began dating and the proposal story in the beginning of the book, so we would always remember the "funny little things" that have happened.


BUT! I'm really here to tell you about their Holiday Cards!  I have used Shutterfly for my holiday cards for the past 2-3 years and I have always been thrilled with the results. They have so many different designs to chose from.  Every time I look at their cards, I find new favorites!  I'm so indecisive that I usually order several different designs.  We haven't had our pictures taken for our cards yet, so I'm using some pictures we took on our beach vacation this summer.

Here are a few of my favorites this year:


I am always on the search for "Religious" Christmas cards without them being cheesy or old fashioned.  I really like the new designs Shutterfly has this year.  They still convey the message, but they are also fun and modern.


They also have a large variety of items on their Stationary Page.  They have Invitations for Christmas Parties, Address Labels, Gift Tags and even Thank you cards if you are feeling extra ambitious! 

Now for the fun part!! Shutterfly will give 3 of you a code for 25 free Holiday Cards!  Yay!  Here's how to enter (Please leave a separate comment for each entry you complete):

1 Entry - Leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday tradition (can be a current tradition, on you had growing up, or a neat one that you've heard from someone else).

1 Entry - Blog about this Giveaway on your blog


I will choose three lucky winners on Saturday, October 29.

P.S. if you like hearing from me, let my Momma know and maybe she'll have me back to share again! :)


Disclaimer: Shutterfly provided us with 50 free holiday cards and free shipping (along with the 3 codes that I am giving away).  But all opinions/thoughts/random musings are all mine.  


this contest is over and closed  

talking a little about family and state

cowgirl in pink
cowgirl in orange and black



We live in a college town and our football team is doing especially good this season,  
they are undefeated and currently ranked 3rd in the polls.  
I am sure they are so successful because of how cute little Elizabeth roots for them.  


Son Bobby was here today too.
He rightly calls himself a grillmaster as he enjoys cooking outside.
He grilled a trayful of chicken breasts dipped in Head Country barbecue sauce for our lunch.
That chicken was delicious and I am happy we have leftovers too.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Corn Doilies for Fall

While Gavin napped yesterday,  I did a little fall updating.
I put the green polka-dot sheers back on the front window -I found them several years ago at a thrift store for $1 :)
and the yard sale green tablecloth replaced the red and white checked summer cloth.  

Aren't these doilies wonderful?
My mom, The Queen of Crochet, made them several years ago 

I think they look like candy corn.
Have you all seen the candy corn crafts that are the rage this year?
I searched for candy corn on Pinterest and found 80848 pins for candy corn!

Mom was way ahead of the times when she crocheted these.  

A few weeks ago, I saw on Elizabeth's blog, that she had some pretty colored glass up in a window very similar to the window over our front door.  
I put my grandmothers glass paperweights up in ours and they really look pretty when their is bright light coming through.  

oops - looks like I need to add clean dead bugs off windows to my to-do list!

I sewed up this new handbag for me this week.
The bird fabric was a preprinted apron panel,  also found at a thrift store.
I used a free internet pattern that I have used before
Artsy Craftsy Babe's Pleated Tote

it is an oldie but goodie pattern,  very easy to sew up and does not require a huge amount of fabric.
Jeff's got a  cold but has gone to work anyway.  
Both grandbabies are here today. 
 I've got some sirloin cubes thawing to make beef stew in the crock pot for supper. 
 And son Jimmy is coming over this evening so I can hem the pants of a new suit he just got.
What are you doing today?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing it all ????

We have neighbors that have the most beautiful well-manicured lawn I have ever seen,  They spend lots of time mowing it just a certain way and redoing the flower beds.  They do most of the work themselves but they also have professionals come to trim the trees and  do the feeding-weeding-and bug-killing spraying.

Our lawn turned brown this past summer from the heat and drought but our neighbors have a had a beautiful golf course quality lawn year round.

They are very nice people, busy with work, their son, golf, redoing a classic car and lots of yardwork.   

So what do my busy neighbors have to do with this cute picture of my granddaughter in a 1999-ish diaper?



Elizabeth in a retro diaper from neighbor Marcus

Well,  Mrs. Neighbor stopped me last month when I was out walking with my grandchildren.  She  had a package of diapers for us,  she sheepishly explained that their only son, who is 6 feet tall and 14 years old,  found the diapers in his bathroom cabinet.  They were his diapers but obviously he has has not needed them in at least 11 years. The diapers have been stashed away in a cabinet all this time.
I am glad she shared the diapers with us,  even if she was a little embarrassed about still having them.

I  have organized cabinets and a brown yard, while my neighbor may spend less time on her cabinets and has a green yard.    I don't think either of us is right or wrong,  we are just doing what works for us.

The moral of this little story- other people/bloggers may look like they have everything just perfect but really,  nobody can do everything.  Don't put other people who seem to be perfect on pedestals and don't look down on others or yourself when things are less than perfect.

Do what you can,  let other people do what they can and lets just enjoy others and ourselves as we all do the best we can -and not stressing about stuff that does not matter.

Monday, October 17, 2011

3rd & 4th batches of no-knead dough

3rd batch of no-knead 14 day dough
made into 6 buns
On the dough's 13th day,  I shaped half of what was left into 6 sandwich buns.  We had sloppy joes for supper that night,  It was very nice to already have the dough made on a busy day.
They rose up almost as good as fresh dough.
However,  we were not crazy about this batch either.  They are certainly edible but the crust, especially the part that bakes on the stoneware, is just not good.  It is chewy in an unpleasant way.

Since we were not thrilled with any of the first 3 baking attempts,  I threw out the 4th batch.

In the future,  I will try this no-knead method again.  I plan to use a different recipe though, maybe one that includes at least a little sweetener and fat.

Have any of you had any more success with this method than I did?

Friday, September 30, 2011

2nd portion of no-knead dough

I used the 2nd of 4 portions of the no-knead bread dough we mixed up Saturday.  It has been waiting patiently in the fridge ever since and does not seem of changed much.

From the second portion,  I made one good sized pizza.  It was topped with chunky tomato pizza sauce (no off spring at this meal to complain about that)  onions, bell peppers, a little sausage and mozzarella cheese.  
It baked up just about like any good pizza dough.  

We liked it,  just not quite as well as my regular pizza dough.


Unbaked

baked

one slice

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Batch #1 of no knead Artisan bread

 The dough has been in the fridge for almost 24 hours.  It is deflated and very yeasty-scented.
I used a rubber spatula to break off about a 1/4 of it.   Then I just shaped it into a ball and turned the edges under until it was smooth.  
 Then,  I put it on a sheet of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal.  
 The instructions said to let it rise for 40 minutes,  it was slow to rise so I left it set for an hour.  
The recipe said to use lots of flour but I used just enough to keep it from sticking.  


After it had raised enough,  I cut an X in the top with a sharp knife.



Then I picked up the whole sheet of parchment paper and transferred to a dutch oven that had preheated at 450 for 10 minutes.  
For the first 30 minutes, it baked with the lid on the dutch oven.  


 Then I uncovered it and let it bake 10 minutes more.    
The bread did a lot more raising in the oven.  
 It came out golden brown.  Even with no fat, it did not stick at all to the parchment paper.  
Sliced

The bread has a great flavor.  The round loaf looks pretty but it takes a long time to bake.  
Also, the crust is very sturdy,  I would not describe it as crisp or tough,  just sturdy.  

We liked it alot  even though it was not our favorite bread of all time.
It was excellent for the first try I think.  
I plan to shape the  next loaf  more like a traditional loaf of French bread and will bake it on a stone or baking sheet..  

Maybe I will bake loaf #2 on Thursday.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Follow our 14 day no-knead Artisan bread project

 I've been hearing and reading about 2 new popular methods of making bread.  One is called the No Knead method and the other is called 5 minute artisan.  I even found a copy of the 5 minute artisan book at a yard sale for just $1.
Anyway,  even though the mixing seems simple,  other parts seem complicated.  
One drawback for me is that the 5 minute book recipes call for unbleached flour, which is hard to find in my small town and expensive if it is found.
The other part I did not like is that the oven is supposed to be pre-heated for 30 minutes at a very high temp.  That seems rather energy wasteful to me.
Well,  I have been doing some online research on this easy to mix up bread and have watched several videos on Roku where the cooks make this bread.
Seems the unbleached flour and long pre-heating are not necessarily required.  

Nina and I picked out one of the simplest recipes and mixed it up before lunch today.  

We used 
3 cups of water
1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 T salt
1 C whole wheat flour
5 1/2 C bread flour   - thats it,  no sugar or oil of any kind in these recipes. 

So it is thriftier and lower calorie than most bread recipes.



the actual pages from the book - click on them to enlarge if you want to read the book's details.  



Just stir up the ingredients,  the dough was thicker than I expected it to be.


 Cover loosely and let set at room temperature for 2 hours.  

Ours actually sat out for 3 hours because we went to some thrift stores and forgot.
Then it goes in the fridge and just stays there for up to 14 days.
When you want bread,  you break off a lump and form your loaf,  Then let it rise for 45 minutes and bake.

If you want to see the first loaf,  I plan to bake one tomorrow.  
This batch is supposed to make 4  1 pound loaves.  
I may use one lump for pizza and some for buns as the 14 days go on.  

Anyone make this kind of bread?  Any advice?

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda