Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doctor -- Brunswick Stew

Frank and I both saw our family doctor this morning. My bloodwork was okay and no apparent reason for the extra tiredness. I didn't do well with the Ambien (sleep aid)... I felt like I was in another universe... and not a good one. During the daytime I was a little loopy. Frank said I was really weird when we shopped at WalMart the other day. He said I kept staring at the shelves... just looked confused. The plan for me right now is to do nothing.... if I continue to be so tired.. then we'll do something else; which the doctor didn't want to reveal yet. I have a referral to an orthopedist on the 12th of May that might help figure out my shoulder pain. My shoulder keeps me awake a lot at night, so maybe just figuring out the cause of the pain and a good treatment plan is all I need to get rid of my extra tiredness.

Some numbers on Frank's bloodwork were a little high (which was expected), but the doctor said his body may still be reacting to the surgery... so he does more bloodwork in a month. Frank is trying to get the once a month treatment of octreotide figured out with the oncologist surgeon today. I think he has the process about completed. Once a month sure beats three times daily!


I love soups and stews! Brunswick stew that is what we fixed for dinner yesterday with enough left over for today. Its great for the main dish or a side dish for barbecue ribs... just anything off the grill.

I need to find out how to photograph food... I can never get it the way I envision it. Anyway the stew was better today than yesterday. Go over to my Recipe Blog for the recipe.


Pictures Around The Yard

First Happy Birthday Marcy!

A few pictures that I took yesterday and today. I encourage you to look at the pictures in a larger view... they are much better that way :-) For larger views; right click on the pictures and choose open in a new window to avoid reloading this page.

A moth that was sleeping by the door. I searched and could not figure out what type it was. View it large... what a big eye it has... and where is the other antennae.

The Aurora Light Blue Delphinium is blooming.

A closer look at one of the flowers. You have just got to look at this one in larger view... Isn't it beautiful!

This Dwarf Coreopsis has been chewed upon and has part of its petals missing... I think the damage was done by slugs. Frank put out slug bait last night and no signs of slugs this morning. The insect on the right of the picture is a hoverfly... not sure what the other one is, but they are both small. This is another picture that really needs to be seen in the larger view.

In the garden the tomatoes are beginning to bloom. They were backlit with the sun this morning. Okay... now look at it in larger view so you can see the sun shining through the bloom.

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. -- Ansel Adams


Monday, April 27, 2009

Bargains - Coupons - Special Offers

Do you search for coupons and Special Offers?

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a free sample of Total Cranberry Crunch cereal. Here is the package. The flip side has my address... this side made for a better picture ;-)

Inside the package was a coupon and a half cup sample of the cereal... which made a nice snack. The cereal tasted pretty good and with a good price and the coupon I'd buy it.

You can get your sample here.

I signed up for a free roll of foil from Reynold's Wrap... the new recycled product... on Earth Day. I have to purchase a roll by May 4th then send the rebate form in. Trouble is... I haven't found a store that has it in stock. With luck we'll find it.

Reynold's does not have this offer any more, but they do offer a 5o¢ coupon here.

If I ever find the product I will place it in our travel trailer. I usually buy an industrial size roll for the kitchen. Frank uses a lot for grilling. In the kitchen I mostly use the non-stick foil. A lot of times I can just wipe the foil off and use it several times... like when I bake frozen biscuits. The foil gets recycled right along with the aluminum cans.

Pillsbury usually has coupons in the Sunday newspaper, but you can also register at their site and print coupons from there.

Here is a product that perhaps one would not like to talk about, Poise Pads. The coupon savings there is usually $2.00.

Dove Hair Care has a free sample offer of either Heat Defense Therapy or Intense Damage Therapy.

Often the drug store is the place to buy such things as vitamins. At regular price they can cost more there than at discount stores, but catch a sale of buy one get one free and it can be a lot less than the discount store.

If you use some name brands all the time check their web site for coupons. A $2 coupon from Post Trail Mix Crunch. A 55¢ coupon on Banana Nut Cheerios . How about a $1 savings on Hershey's Bliss . Nestle... makers of carnation milk... has monthly coupon offers. Save 60¢ on Jello Sugar Free Jello or Pudding. and are other place to get coupons. Your favorite magazines may also offer coupons on their web sites. If you don't want to do the keyboard work you can sign up free at a site like

Some web sites may require you to register. I use a email address for such things and that easily separates them from family and other emails.

Wherever you print your coupons from... make sure you have ink and paper in your printer and that the printer is turned on. With some coupons you are only allowed to print one.

Don't forget to check your bank for bargains. Do you let your CDs and IRAs just roll over? You can sometimes get a better rate... just go by your bank or call and see if a higher rate is available when the account has matured... with our bank we have within 10 days of the maturity date to change the interest rate. I also suggest you take time to get to know the personnel of your bank... It makes a difference.

Silver Dollar

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. -- Benjamin Franklin


A Little Surprise

I looked down into the flower pot that has the purple verbena and purple salvia and I see this beautiful verbena.

Right click on the picture and choose to open in a new window for a larger view.

It put a smile on my face. I have never seen this color of verbena. The tiny unopened buds make me think of the roses Daddy grew along the fence. Just a wild rose he saw growing along a fence somewhere. He took a few cuttings and next thing you know these tiny roses are growing along the fence. I don't have my Daddy's green thumb. He could stick a cut from any plant into the dirt and it would grow.

Don't you just love little surprises?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I did not do much this weekend. Frank grilled chicken leg quarters on Saturday. The potatoes were on their last leg... not the ones from the garden, they have a ways before they are ready to be dug. Frank asked for potato salad. So I made it. It was good.

There were some bananas that were ripe and they disappeared from site. I asked Frank what happened to them and he said he put them in the freezer. I will probably make a banana cake with them one day.

I did work in the yard a bit yesterday. The azalea bushes were way too bushy, so they got a hair cut. I'm not the best at it. I just used just plain old hedge clippers.... wishing that I had an electric one :-)

Frank has talked with his Dad a lot this weekend. His Dad's sister passed away last Thursday. The funeral is tomorrow. Iola lived in Mobile Alabama and will be buried in a family cemetery in Mississippi. Frank was not up to going. His sister is going with their parents and that eases our minds some. It is a six hour plus drive to there. Would you please pray for their safety and that they might be comforted by the Spirit?

Today... I need to do some laundry and get the vacuuming done. I really need to call Mama. I think Frank said that he is going to try and get the yard mowed.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ham and Noodle Casserole

I had some asparagus... on its last leg... in the frig. I wanted to make a casserole with it. I also had some ham in the freezer. I search the world wide web over and found this recipe at COOKS.COM. It didn't state who had submitted it.

Frank and I ate this casserole for two days. Frank gave it a very high grade... I did too :-)


1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped asparagus or broccoli (I use fresh broccoli)
½ c. chopped onion
½ tsp. salt
1¾ c. milk
¼ tsp. pepper
½ lb. cheese, cubed (I use Cheddar)
¼ c. butter
2 c. cooked ham, diced
¼ c. flour
2 c. egg noodles, cooked
1 c. fresh bread crumbs
2 tbsp. melted butter

Place asparagus or broccoli in greased 12x8 dish. Cook onions in butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings. Add milk gradually. Stir until thickened. Add cheese - stir until melted. Stir in ham and noodles. Pour over vegetables. Top with crumbs, tossed with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

May be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Bake when ready to serve.

Other meats may be substituted - chicken, turkey, tuna, hamburger or stew meat. Serves 8.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My changes were: I used fresh asparagus. After I put the ¼ c. Smart Balance in the pan I realized that was too much and scooped about half of it out. I was too lazy to go to the freezer for flour and instead used about two tablespoons of cornstarch which I mixed with a bit of water and added it to the butter, seasonings and milk. I omitted the salt... the ham cheese and Smart Balance had enough salt for the dish for us. I don't have a 12 x 8 dish... I do have a dish that is 10¾ x 8½ and it worked great. Something I wish I had added was mustard. But it was a great tasting dish as is was. I also feel that the asparagus could have been pre-cooked for just a few minutes... some of it was a bit crunchier than I like. I also cooked the casserole a few minutes longer, but I think if the veggies are pre-cooked for just a few minutes that the 25 minute cooking time would be fine. The bread crumbs were browning, so I put foil on over the top while the casserole cooked those last few minutes... but not necessary if baked just the 25 minutes.

As stated at the end of the recipe any meat could be used. In changing the meat you could change the cheese and spices. I also agree that broccoli cuts would work well too.

You will probably laugh, but I had to look up how to make fresh bread crumbs. It has been years since I've made any. Most of my casseroles use a dry bread crumb topping. I think if chicken was used in this recipe and a bit of basil or oregano or italian seasoning was added to the sauce that a topping using herbed stuffing mix would work well.

I wish that I had taken a picture. The casserole looked so beautiful. Frank even held off dipping out the food because he thought I might want a picture. I told him I would wait until the next time I made it... if it tasted good. Good it did taste, so eventually I'll get a picture of it and it will have a permanent place in my recipe box.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Yesterday - Faithful Fridays With Joy - Show and Tell Friday

Yesterday was my turn for the doctor. I've been feeling a little more tired that usual. First step was an EKG. It was fine. Next step is blood work. That was fun.... four tubes and my blood decides it will just trickle out. It took forever, but the nurse really didn't want to stick me again.

I was also given samples of Ambien CR. I took one of them last night and it was just a really weird night. I'm not so sure that I slept any better than I have been.

I go back in a week. Frank all ready had an appointment scheduled for then and our doctor wanted me to join him. Our family doctor is treating us as a couple. I think he thinks we are so close together that it is the best way to treat us :-) I usually ask Frank to come with me to my appointments because one word said from the doctor can send my mind on a tangent and I miss something that was said. I sometimes forget to ask questions... but have learned to type my questions out and then the doctor goes over the list with me.

Yesterday was my 100th post of my blog. I'm sorry to say that there is no giveaway at this time. Maybe on my 200th post or year anniversary or maybe just out of the wild blue.

Faithful Fridays

Frank and I are really blessed to have each other. I'm grateful that we compliment each other so well.

I'm thankful for blue skies and trees that give fruit.

I'm grateful there are medications that help me breathe when the pecan trees are in bloom.

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Click on the picture below to join us in Show & Tell Friday over at Kelli's. Kelli is showing some of her bibles.

Show and Tell

You may have noticed this broach in the picture of my Red Goose Shoes in yesterdays post.

The Christmas I was eight years old I was given a small amount of money (probably fifty cent) to buy myself something. I bought this broach at Rosenburgs. It was normally an expensive store, but at Christmas they would set counter bins up outside the door of the business and have jewelry on sale.... like three pieces for a dollar. The stones have fallen off the broach so many times. Then I super glued them onto the piece and they have stayed in place. The paint was gone from the broach and I made the piece look a bit gaudy by painting it. I've always liked the piece and wore it on my winter coats for many years. Now it sits in my Amish made cabinet with many other treasures.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Red Goose Shoes


Do you remember Red Goose Shoes? These are my pink Red Goose sandals from when I was a toddler. I think I got a lot of wear from them :-) I keep them in our Amish made curio cabinet along with other treasures.

Don't forget to click to enlarge... if you right click on the picture you can choose to open in a new window or tab and don't have to worry about reloading this page.

Who knows why Mama saved these... and the box too!
Take a look at the price... $1.98!

They were bought in Tifton GA where we lived at the time.

For those of you that can't remember the Red Goose Shoes the following is a bit of history.

The Red Goose Shoe Company of St. Louis, Missouri, began selling shoes to pioneer families headed west in 1869. The company's name was originally Gieseke-D'Oench-Hayes, after its founders, but when the company became advertising conscious in the early 1900's, they changed the name. Gieseke is German slang for "goose" so the goose image came naturally. The red color came later when, during the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, some stock boys painted the goose on the cartons red. The head of the company liked the idea, and so Red Goose Shoes was trademarked in 1906.

As you can see on the shoe box the shoes were manufactured by International Shoe Company. I wish I could find a better history of the Red Goose Shoes.

The Founding of International Shoe Company

Roberts, Johnson & Rand Shoe Company was a footwear jobber organized in St. Louis in 1898 by Jackson Johnson, Oscar Johnson, Edgar E. Rand and John C. Roberts. Peters Shoe Company, originally formed in 1836 and organized under Missouri law in 1891 by Henry W. Peters, was engaged in manufacturing and wholesaling footwear. These two companies had been competitors, but their policies, ideals and business standards were so closely allied that they were drawn together by a wholesome mutual respect. Without submerging the individuality of either company, the two companies were merged in 1911 to form International Shoe Company under the laws of Missouri. In 1912, International Shoe Company purchased Friedman-Shelby Shoe Company, another St. Louis-based shoe manufacturer. It, too, became part of International Shoe Company without loss of identity and individuality.

On March 16, 1921, International Shoe Company was incorporated in Delaware as the successor to the Missouri corporation of like name. The stockholders of the 1911 Missouri corporation exchanged their stock for stock in the 1921 Delaware corporation. This is the corporation which exists today.

International Shoe Company was once the largest footwear manufacturer in the country, with such recognizable brand names as Red Goose and Poll Parrot. In 1953, International Shoe acquired substantially all of the common stock of Florsheim Shoe Company. This represented an investment of $24,980,246. A year later, the company acquired all of the common stock of Savage Shoes Ltd. of Canada. By 1961, the company’s 50th anniversary year, the company had grown to $294 million in sales, had 91 footwear manufacturing facilities, tanneries and warehouses in the United States and employed over 33,000 persons. The company's presence in St. Louis helped to identify that city as the home of “Shoes, Booze and Blues.”

The Red Goose Shoe Store was one of my favorite stores to visit. I only remember the one here in Albany. If you bought shoes you would get to pull the Red Goose's neck and a golden egg would be laid. Inside... if I remember correctly.. was a toy and maybe candy. I think that is where we got the little whistles. Seems like water was put in the whistle that looked like a pipe and had a bird shape somewhere on the pipe.... or maybe that was Cracker Jacks. My memory is fading fast!

On Sundays we would go downtown when the stores were all closed and window shopped. I would hope that soon it would be shoe shopping time.


My niece, Marcy, seems to have her 'post comment' working. So hopefully now you can leave a comment on one of her wonderful cakes at Lady M's Cake Decor.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Update - Baby Carolina Chickadees

Frank finished the Octreotide injections last Saturday. That didn't work out too well. During the night... really very early Sunday morning where the jp drain became a big blister (Frank says it looked like a nipple.. which is true) and you could see fluid under his skin to the side of where the drain had been. It really needed to be lanced.

The doctor's answering service said no one was on call. Well... that just doesn't happen! The emergency room would be a long wait... so Frank lanced the blister himself. He alchol swabbed the area and used a sterile syringe to lance it. Boy did it drain!

The doctor isn't in his office on Mondays. We went by there anyway and left a message with one of the doctor's nurses. No phone call from his office until Tuesday. The nurse calls back several times on Tuesday and then again about 2:30 and says the doctor wants to see you now. Well she should have just said 4 o'clock and saved us some waiting time. It was almost 5:30 when we saw the doctor.

The doctor said that Frank should go back on the octreotide... maybe for several more months. There is a once a month injection and we are trying to get that set up. Pharmacies don't order this med much here. The once a month injection is only through name brand name and not the generic octreotide name... so more confusion. What is strange is that Frank had to do this research and not the doctor's office. We both think the doctor is a good doctor, but his office management isn't the best. The doctor said that he was on call Sunday and doesn't know what was up with the answering service and he would check into it.

Frank will have the daily injection meds tomorrow. We have been changing the bandage several times a day and Frank even had to change it during the night last night. This process of healing just seems never-ending. Your prayers would be appreciated.


The other day I opened the bird box when I was sure no parent was in there feeding the chicks and took a couple of pictures. The pictures aren't very good.... so hard to get the camera at a decent angle. The four Carolina Chickadee babies were sleeping. I won't take more pictures because I don't want to interupt their feeding. The parents are coming often today with food...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lady M -- Buying Flowers

First... Lady M. My beautiful niece, Marcy... who lives across the country from me in Puyallup Washington... has started a blog. She is married to great man and has two wonderful children. Marcy has decided to home school her son... so she has her hands full for sure now. Marcy likes photography like me, but her blog is about her beautifully decorated cakes. Please make her feel welcome and comment on one or two of her cakes.

I planted a few flowers this weekend. I wanted perennials that would bloom from spring to first frost.

I took these pictures with my old Sony F717... it is lighter in weight than my newer camera. My arms are sore from digging.

As we were walking into Lowe's we spotted the pots with Purple Verbena and Purple Salvia. I liked them and put them in the cart. The verbena is the perennial type from what the girl putting plants outs said... but who knows, she may know about as much about plants as I do.

Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena

Purple Salvia
Purple Salvia

Frank put some potting soil in the cart and then went inside Lowe's to do his shopping. I wanted perennial plants that would bloom from spring to frost. I bought two Homestead Red Verbena and two Dwarf Coreopsis.

Homestead Red Verbena
Homestead Red Verbena

Dwarf Coreopsis
Dwarf Coreopsis

Then Frank joined me and on the way to the checkout we spot the beautiful Aurora Light Blue Delphinium. Frank loves blue. He picked out the healthiest looking plant, but its blossoms haven't opened yet.

Aurora Light Blue Delphinium
Light Blue Delphinium

I know not many plants, but for me who hasn't done much digging in the dirt in a long while... it was a job. I moved a couple of mexican petunias around and a couple of irises. I'll take more pictures as time goes on.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Faithful Fridays With Joy

Faithful Fridays

Today is Faithful Fridays With Joy. Click on the graphic above to join in. Joy is also having a very nice giveaway to celebrate her 50th post, so sign her post to be registered.

I was thinking back through my life.... how many times have I been guided by the Spirit. It is so many that I can't count.

There are times that I really prayed very hard for help with my school work. I had such a hard time comprehending things when I read them. I still often have that problem... I sometimes have to read something several times before I truly understand it.

When I was in the seventh grade... I think that would put me at eleven years old at the time... I did a book report. The book was about Ulysses. I honestly don't remember if it was the book that James Joyce is so famous for or not. The day of the report came and I was so nervous. There was to be an oral report to go along with the written report I did. I was and am still very shy. The teacher called my name I took a deep breath; said a little prayer; and walked to the front of the room. My classmates became a blur to my eyes. I said my report and my teacher said I had done well as I handed her my written report. I received excellent grades on my oral and written reports. I had very happy parents. I was happy too and thankful that Someone stood beside me as I read the book, wrote my report and gave my oral report.

We need to remember to ask for guidance and help as we walk through our lives.

We bought a few plants today. I'll tell you more about them later.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Update - Hummingbird - I Dreamed A Dream

Yesterday Frank had his appointment with the oncologist surgeon. The doctor says that Frank is doing well. In a month Frank will have another CT scan and another appointment with the surgeon. No appointment in between unless Frank starts feeling bad and running a fever.

Flower Divider

This is a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Not the greatest picture, but the best I could get the other day. I'll keep trying.

Flower Divider

I wish that I could embed this video into this page. The video is of a show like the USA's American Idol called Britain Has Got Talent. The voice of Susan Boyle is the best I've ever heard. She is singing the song "I Dreamed A Dream" . The seven minutes or so you listen to her is not wasted... you will be uplifted; I promise.

Here are the words to the song:

I Dreamed A Dream

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.

And still
I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.


Making Whole Wheat Bread

A member of the church we went to while we were stationed at Ft. Sill Oklahoma (in the mid 1970s) showed me how to make this whole wheat bread. I wish I could remember her name.

This bread is not small nor light. It is a heavy (each loaf probably weighs in at 2 or more pounds) whole wheat delight to go with any meal.... especially when sliced thick, warmed and slathered with butter or your favorite buttery spread. We grind our own wheat, but store-bought whole wheat flour works. Dough Enhancer can be used to make a lighter bread texture and the bread is suppose to have a longer shelf life. I like heavy bread, so doubt I will ever try a dough enhancer.

Frank and I made this bread last Thursday. The recipe can be found over at my Recipe Blog.

Right click on the pictures to open in a new window or tab for a larger view... that way you don't have to reload this page.

Grinding the Wheat

In goes the wheat into the grinder.
There is some venison stew cooking in the slow cooker. The stew is served over a piece of whole wheat bread that has been topped with cheddar cheese .

The grains go down the whole and between the stones and are finely ground.

Then it is sifted and the grain's bran will be used for cereal... sorry forgot to take a picture of that part.

Mixing the Dough
The yeast is proofing nicely.

The ingredients are mixed together with the dough hook...

... just until the dough can be handled. Then it is turned out onto a well-floured (at this point we use all purpose flour.. it makes for a lighter bread) counter top. (which has been thoroughly cleaned beforehand) If you have a commercial grade mixer it may handle the kneading, but it is so satisfying to knead bread and bang it on the counter top.

It is kneaded for five minutes... banging on the counter a few times to get one's frustrations out

The dough is then divided into two balls and placed in oiled bowls (Frank sprayed the bowls with a spray oil... like Pam. I usually just wipe the bowls with oil) and turned to coat the tops.

Tea towels are placed on top of the bowls and the bowls placed in a warm place. (I sometimes preheat the oven to 200° and then turn off the oven and place a pan with hot water on the lower rack and place the dough bowls on the mid rack)

Wait about an hour for the dough to double in size.

Shaping the Dough
Divide the dough evenly into three balls. Roll each ball into a rectangle. Not much bigger than what is shown below... a hand and a half or so. This process pretty much eliminates those holes in bread that the peanut butter and jelly fall through and makes for a nice grain of bread.

I do have another rolling pin, it is large and awkward for me. This old one does not have its handles any more, but it does the job. The handles are safely packed away in a drawer.

Roll into a log shape pinching the dough as you go. Right click on the picture to open in a new window or tab to see a larger view. See my fingers pinching the dough together? I hope you can.

Pinch together the seams and turn the ends of the loaves under and pinch those seams together to seal too.

Place formed loaves into lightly greased large loaf pans... seam side down. Frank formed the loaf on the far left. He smooshed the dough down flat after putting it in the pan. It is okay to do, but the end of the dough tends to hang over the side of the pan when the product is finished baking and making it more difficult to remove from the pan. If you are using the dark coated pans you will probably have to lower the oven temperature according to the manufacturer's suggestions. We bought some of those pans and I hate them. I'd rather use my old dented and scratched pans.

Let rise in a warm place... again a warm oven with a pan with hot water in it will do. The loaf in the foreground below is the one Frank flattened and you can see the dough hangs over a bit after rising.

Baking the Loaves
The loaves need to be covered with foil after the first 10 minutes or when they begin to brown. Ovens differ, so check before ten minutes your first time baking this bread. These loaves still got a bit over-browned on their tops. After baking place bread pans on a rack to cool for about 5 minutes. The bread will come out of the pans easier. Brush melted butter on top or do like I do and rub either butter or something like Smart Balance on the tops. I'm a hands on cook

Now doesn't this remind you of the story of The Little Red Hen...


"Give us this day our daily bread" is probably the most perfectly constructed and useful sentence ever set down in the English language. -- P.J. Wingate