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

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More son bragging and Thanksgiving stuff

A little more son bragging....

Youngest son Jim knew I was very busy this week and offered to take care of supper for the 10 of us at this home tonight.  He ordered take out from Olive Garden- big pans full of piping hot baked tortellini, chicken cutlets with veggies on top of angel hair pasta and lasagna. 
It was all delicious and so fun to have 3 entrees for supper instead of the usual 1 choice. 
And with all the other cooking I've done the last week, it was especially nice to have meal prepared and planned by someone else.
Sons Bob and Jim are just 14 months apart but are very different. One is really handy with tools and the other is really skilled with words.  
I am thankful for their loyality to each other and to our family and how they jump right in when something needs done or just because they want to spend time with us. 



I am one those crazy people that had to do some grocery shopping today. I went to Walmart (which was so messy but not busy at all) and Aldi. It was a little busy but not much different from any other day.  
I am thankful my shopping time was not full of aggravation like I thought it might be and also thankful it is done!

Meals are planned for the next 3 days and much of the prep work has been done already. 

I hope all of you are ready for your Thanksgiving activities and I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving-turkey day. 



Thankful for helpful sons

Warning- the bragging in this post may be too sweet

Our son Bob is a very handy guy and he is also very generous sharing his talent and working hard.
We bought a new gas double oven range as our old electric range was not working right. 
Bob came to install it and he made it look easy, even with changing out the electric service and activating the gas service. 
His little Andie had fun "helping" Mostly she pointed at the spot where the oven goes and said "uh-oh" many times until the kitchen was normal again. 
Hooking up the oven was quick. 
So Bobby suggested they go to Lowes to get new light fixtures for our garage. The old lights were buzzing and flickering. He had those fixtures installed before lunch. 

We had lunch and his sister was here. Their hot water heater broke. A plumbing company had looked at it Friday and said they would replace it on Monday. With 2 little ones in their home, that is long time with no hot water. 
Bobby said hot water heaters were easy to install so after lunch, they all went to Lowes to buy a hot water heater. 

That just took a couple hours and saved his sister hundreds of dollars.
He was back at our home by midafternoon, still looking freaks has a daisy even though he had done 3 pretty big jobs.
He then showed his knife skills by carving an apple to look like a swan. 

Oh, he hung that tv on the wall for us last year.  

This family is thankful for our Bobby- 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thankful for a good pecan harvest

A generous coworker of my husbands brought us a bag of pecans from their yard.
They are really nice and big pecans. My husband started cracking them after supper and picked out 20 ounces in a short time.
Fresh pecans are the best, much tastier than the roasted and older ones that can be bought in bags in a grocery store. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday thrift store purchases


I went to one thrift store this morning and found a few treasures. 

3 Aunt Chicks cookies cutters - an Oklahoma company since 1948. 


And some assorted clothes
A ColdWater Creek blouse for me, cute jeans and lace trimmes leggings for a grand daughter and some cute little boy clothes for grandsons.
I spent $10 there.


Aunt Chicks cookie cutters - my mom and grandmother all used these same style cookie cutters at Easter and Christmas. 

Thanksgiving prep Thursday and the Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Today, I mixed up the cornbread dressing that will be served on Thanksgiving. In the South, it is called dressing, not stuffing- and it gets baked in a pan along side the turkey, not stuffed in the turkey.
In the South, dressing is made predominately of corn bread- not wheat bread.
This year, my dressing will be simple- onions and celery sautéed in butter, mixed with dried and crumbled cornbread, sage, black pepper and chicken broth. 

Like the cookies and sweet potato casserole, this pan of dressing is sealed up and in the freezer now- waiting to be thawed on Wednesday and baked on Thursday. 

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 t each of salt, baking soda and baking powder
3 cups of oatmeal - regular and quick oats both work equally well
Cream the butter  and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Then add the eggs, one at a time. 
Then add the flour, cinnamon, salt and b.s. and b.p.
Lastly, stir in the oats.  This week, I made a double batch and everything worked in my Kitchenaid mixer until I got to the oats. I had to stir them in by hand as the bowl was very full. 
I use a medium size cookie scoop to dish them out. 
Put the cookie balls onto greased or parchment lined baking sheets. 
Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven, about 12 minutes or just until they look done. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thaksgiving prep Wednesday

I just made a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving.  This is my Mom's recipe and we have been enjoying it for at least 30 years.
The sweet potato layer is cooked and the topping has been added.
It will be frozen, then thawed in the fridge the day before and baked on Thanksgiving.
It is really delicious but very sweet for a side dish. We serve it with the meal but it really could be dessert. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Deals and Thanksgiving cookies

I had to go to town (the post office and stores are about 4 miles from my home) to mail a letter so I stopped at 2 stores for some stocking up good deals.
Walgreens has 1 ounce bottles of Mccormicks pure vanilla for $1.50. 
Sundays paper had coupons for this item $1.75/2
However when I went to Walgreens, they were out of it. 
I needed to go to Walmart anyway so I just price matched it there
The regular price at Walmart was $2.98 a bottle, with this deal, I got all 4 bottles for $2.50. 
Walgreens has Purex B1g2free. 
I used $1.50/2 coupons printed from the Swagbucks site. 
Thankfully Walgreens did have the detergent in stock as Walmart does not price match this kind of deal. 
If you miss this deal this week, I saw that CVS will have this same deal on Thanksgiving day- and I am not saying anyone should or should not shop on that day, but they are having the Purex B1g2free.
These 6 bottles were $8.54 after sales and coupons. The cashier and my receipt said I saved $23.96
Yippee!


Getting ready for Thanksgiving, I baked a double batch of plain oatmeal cookies. 
They will go in the freezer as soon as they cool- but I better keep some out for my husband and grandsons to have for dessert tonight.
We will have family here for several days around Thanksgiving and I know they will all be happy to have homemade oatmeal cookies. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Planning for Thanksgiving

Good morning! Thanksgiving is 10 days from now and I have not done much planning as we have just been focused on husbands surgery. That seems to of been a big success, he even went back to work today on light duty.
So, yesterday I started a list of things to do for the Thanksgiving meal and to start getting ready for Christmas.
One thing that is easy to do ahead is pie crusts.
I used my favorite recipe and made 2 batches. So, there are 5 pie shells in pans and 3 discs of dough that can be rolled out for top crusts or if we need more bottom shells.
This is the recipe I have been using for about 20 years, complete with a few splatters. 
I use regular Crisco for pie crusts and that is about the only thing I use Crisco for except for my Aunt Bernice's brownie recipe. 

I know Crisco has a terrible reputation with the food police but it doesn't scare me much. My grandmother baked a pie or 2 every morning, even before she cooked breakfast. Grandpa loved homemade pie so that is what she cooked. 
Even eating all that pie, Grandpa was healthy all of his 89 years and Grandma enjoyed 99 years on this earth. I don't bake pies every day but we certainly enjoy them at holidays and pie always remind me of my sweet grandparents and all the special times we shared. 
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My pie making and pie eating grandparents on their 33rd anniversary in 1949.
I am very thankful they were my grandparents.  

This is going to make kitchen cleanup for the Thanksgiving 2013 a lot easier!
A brand new dishwasher- it is so quiet and cleans dishes better than any dishwasher I have ever used. 



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crafting time with my favorite 4 year old

2 of my grandsons were here today. 4 year old Gavin brought 2 bags of pompoms that he got at his church, I think they must of been cleaning out some junk closets.
He wanted to do some crafts with his pompoms so we looked at Pinterest for some inspiration. 
Gavin found a train engine he liked so we tried to copy it.
We also made letter shapes covered with pompoms.
The inspiration train was made with pompoms in just 3 colors and with pompoms all the same size. 
Gavin wanted to use some of all his pompoms so his train is especially colorful and cheerful.  His train has soul. 

Children just like to do make things- it gives them a big sense of accomplishment, especially if we grown ups don't interfere with too much assistance, 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Coupon shopping at JCP and CVS

JCPenneys has a big sale going on and $10 off $25 coupons too. I got a coupon in the mail, 2 in the newspapers and more in an email. At the jcpenneys.com website, you can print off all you want but they do expire today.
I did 2 transactions and bought 4 long sleeved casual shirts for my husband. After the sale and coupons, each shirt was $7.99- plus sales tax.

Just a small purchase at CVS.
2 boxes of hair color were $5.99 each and I used a $5/2 coupon them.
Dawn was .88 and I used 50 cent coupons on both.
The pain relief medicine was free with a scanner coupon. 
And I used a $5 ECB from last week. 
I spent $3.95 cash and got a $2 ECB for later. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Where are transfats?

Did you watch any news this week? I did and I saw so many stories about the banning of transfats, how nobody should be eating them ever, etc.
it was rather alarming listening to them.
So, I straightened up my pantry and went on a hunt there for the transfats.
  I think we eat more healthy food than unhealthy food, even so, our pantry had about 3 kinds of store bought cookies, chips, assorted crackers, assorted Helper mixes, Spam, Crisco shortening, microwave popcorn, stone canned soups, granola type bars, cereals.....

Guess what? I found ZERO products with transfats in our pantry. 

Do any of you know of any specific foods that still contain transfats? besides the transfats that naturally are in meats?  I am just wondering.  


When I straightened the pantry, I found a nice assortment of nuts. I set them out on the counter, a sort of snack station, for my husband to get some extra protein while he continues to heal. 
I did not make the patchwork placemat but I am fortunate to have 2 sets of them,
This set with the green borders belonged to my grandmother and I think she made them. I also have a set with red binding that was a wedding gift (33 years ago)  from a very sweet honorary Aunt. 
I have used both sets a lot and some of the bindings are getting worn though. But I am going to keep using them as I like them so much. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Morning doings


I baked a New York Crumb Cake for breakfast, it was delicious and this home smelled so good for awhile. Recipe.  I made just a half recipe today and baked it in a 8 by 8 inch square dish.
But it doesn't smell good anymore! I am using this time without the grand babies here to do some home keeping,
There is vinegar running through both brewers to remove the lime deposits.  That smells pretty strong. 

And since that smells bad, this seemed like a good time to run the self cleaning cycle on the oven. 
The oven was overdue for a cleaning do it may be a few hours before I can turn it off.

It may smell bad for awhile, but I will be happy the clean results from both tasks. 
The laundry is going, I hope to clean the floors and I already cleaned both bathrooms. 

If the smells get to me, I will go outside and do some much needed trimming of the rose bushes and move some bulbs. 

Anyone else cleaning today?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This weeks CVS deals

When I clipped the Sunday coupons and looked at the new ad, I made a CVS list - just in case I had an opportunity to shop there. After being away from home for the hospital stay, I am really happy to stay home and did not know if I would shop there this week. Then one of my husbands prescriptions was switched and CVS called to say the new one was ready, so I did a little bargain shopping on the same trip to get his medicine, 
I had $16 in ECB from previous weeks. 
Everything I bought was on sale. I used 3 small coupons on the 54 rolls of Cottonelle
A scanner coupon to get the paper towels free
A $2/$10 scanner coupon on the Caress as well as 2 $2 coupons. 
A $1 coupon on the deodorant
I spent $14.07 and got a $5 ECB for the next shopping trip.

I'm sure glad I made that list earlier! 

Thrift shopping- online


Shopping is not something I love to do. Lately I have only been brick and mortar shopping for groceries at Aldis, sale things at CVS and just a few other things at Walmart and Joann's. I don't think I have even been in a thrift store in a month.

In October, I bought just a few things online. The first 3 are used books bought on half.com. Books there can often be bought for less than $1 + the $3.99 shipping.
I bought this one because my friend Tammy at My Corner of the Prairie said her grandson likes it so much.  She was right about it being a little boy pleaser. My grandson thinks it is great too. Thank you Tammy and Brad.
We watched a 25 year old home video of my children a few weeks ago. One of our sons had been at kindergarten that day and was trying to recite something about  " a snoring granny and a dreaming child"   In the video, he was thinking so hard to remember all the lines.
I did not know what it was so I googled it and found this book, The Napping House. 
I read it as soon as it came in the mail and I am sure my grands will like it as much as their uncle did. 

I ordered this book as Jilly at Nutmeg and Linen blogged about it. 
Of course I want more elegance, order, beauty and joy, who doesn't?

And........

My very favorite find
My mom made this very same sampler for her sister, my Aunt Bernice. I have wanted one and have been looking on EBay and Etsy for years. I finally found a kit, still in its factory package and it appears to be in perfect condition, on EBay just before we went to the hospital.
I'll be stitching on this later today- I need to get out some hoops and embroidery hoops first, and I may need to finish off the edges of the linen before I stitch too.  The stitching part is pretty simple.  
It is the verse that I think is so special 

“Overheard in an Orchard"
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.”      ―by  Elizabeth Cheney in 1859

Monday, November 4, 2013

Last of October fun.....




I sewed aprons for my son and a friend to wear at a costume party, inspired by a tv show I have never seen. I used an apron pattern I found in my stash. Mccalls 5551. I don't know if it is still in print. 
It has a different feature as the stings are all adjustable, there is a casing for the facing on the top slanted part. The sting goes in the side bottom and then down the other side and ties in the back. 

It was a style that sewed up especially quickly.  My daughter made the iron on emblem on the apron fronts with her silhouette machine and heat press. 
The only problem was the drawstring, made as the patten said, was too short. They said they could barely tie them in a knot and not the bow that aprons are usually tied with. 
I may make this apron again so I wrote that change on he patten envelope before I stored it away. 




Our church had a fall carnival, we did not go as we were at the hospital.
My son in law's step mother made and worked this fun booth at the party. 
It is a big nose and the children reached inside and either got candy or slime. Ewww
Knowing Patty, only big boys who would appreciate slime got slime. 
Sweet or squeamish little girls only got candy. 
I hope the nose does not offend any of you but just makes you smile. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

At the hospital.....

My husband had surgery this week, the second revision to his 3 year old artificial knee replacement.
The hospital stay, at a civilian hospital paid for by his employer provided insurance, was so nice. 
I cannot say enough good things about it and we are just so thankful that it went so well.
This photo was less than 24 hours after surgery. He was already alert and happy. 
He has taken very little pain medicine since because he says even though he has some discomfort from the surgery, his knee hurts less now than it has in 2 years. 

He is feeling so good, we even went to church this morning. He was tired by the end of service but I am so happy he felt good enough to try. 

 Another happy surprise was the food at the hospital. We both could order anything we wanted off the room service menu. I was given complimentary meals for being his coach. It was so nice to eat in the room with him and not have to leave the hospital when I needed to eat. 

The meals were really good too. 

My breakfast tray one morning- fruit, oatmeal with little containers of cinnamon and brown sugar, bacon, blueberry muffin and hot chocolate.
Husbands tray- croissant sandwich with a cinnamon roll and fruit and orange juice. 

After the second day, we ordered less. Even though it was a real treat and tasted so good, we knew we should not eat quite that much.


Our last night, we did not order. This fancy meal was provided by the physician- steaks with steamed veggies, rice pilaf, dinner salad and chocolate lemon cheesecake.  
Who ever imagined a steak dinner in a hospital? 

We are home now and a home health nurse came this afternoon  Some of the advice she gave was to eat extra protein to help speed up healing after surgery.  The protein doesn't have to come from meat but her advice made the steak dinner seem like an even better idea. 


Thank you all who left comments and for the prayers. It meant so much to know others were thinking about us.
It is too early to know for sure, but we really think this surgery was a success!

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda