Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday's Musings


It's almost the end of May and what a full and busy month it has been.  We've had company every weekend, attended end of year celebrations, and we're gearing up for our family trip to Disney World in less than 2 weeks.  Summer has almost officially arrived!



Last Friday the door bell rang and when I opened the door there was a cute box that obviously had food in it.  As I opened the box I saw that my nephew and his girlfriend had sent the box as a "thank you" for our hospitality last weekend when they came to visit.  Amanda lives in Chicago so I'm thinking that she probably knows Lou Malnati's well and that their pizza is delicious.  We will be chowing down on this one day soon for sure.  It seems that today any and everything can be shipped, just add some dry ice and all is well.  It was such a thoughtful gesture on their part.  You should check out the website . They have all kinds of good looking food items that would be good for yourself or to send as a gift. And, I love that the side of the box says, "someone must really like you."  ~again, it's the little things~

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Our #1 Princess had her dance recital this past Friday evening.  Need I say that she definitely looks like a ballerina with those pretty long legs.  But, of course, ballet is not her favorite part of dance, she's more into tap and jazz.  This dance recital is a huge production and very lengthy.  I would dare say that both Moms, Dads and daughters are relieved that the recital is over and they can think about something else now. ~smile~
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While browsing through the new issue of Southern Living magazine the other day I ran across a recipe that intrigued me.  The name was Blueberry Cornmeal Cake.  I wasn't sure I had read the name correctly, I mean, cornmeal in a cake.  I wasn't too sure about that but I love all things blueberry and decided to make it.  And, it's made in a springform pan which is also different.  Well, the cornmeal is added, so the recipe says, for added texture, but I truly was not all that fond of it.  And, it's not very sweet at all but it is definitely full of blueberries.  Hubby and our company thought it was good and that's all that counts but it likely will not make my  favorite baked goods list. I'm wondering what would happen if I omitted the 1/2 cup of cornmeal and added that much additional flour.  I'll think on that one.
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I can hardly believe that this rose bed is barely a year old and they have grown and bloomed by leaps and bounds.  They make such a statement as we look out the back windows.  And, our Bougainvillea that we planted a month ago in pots has already tripled in size.  I thought the pots we planted them in were entirely too big but Hubby assured me that they were not.  And, again, he was right. ~what can I say~  Of course, the backdrop of the pond is soooo pretty.  It's just a small body of water but it's right out our backdoor and we enjoy it so much.

Until next time...............



Friday, May 19, 2017

Lea's Favorites



It's time for some of my favorites, tested, tried and liked or enjoyed by ME! How much better could it be?


This fragrance has been around for many years and it's been many years since I have used it.  I was in need for some new and decided to get it again.  I loved it the last time I used it and I love it this time just as much.  Lady Primrose makes several different fragrances but Royal Extract is my favorite.  It isn't heavy or overwhelming, just a light and clean smell.  And, the other part that I like is that it is not found in department stores, thus not every woman in the country wears it. ~wink~  If you are in need of a new fragrance you might give it a try.  And, the body cream is wonderful as well.  It is no more expensive than nice fragrances and these will last me about a year.  I love the gold bee that is on the front of the perfume bottle. ~it's the little touches~


If you don't know about these little goodies, you are missing out on a delightful, low calorie snack.  I love the BIG drumsticks but they have wayyyyy more than 110 calories.  So, very often these serve as my night time snack and I savor all 8-10 bites. ~smile~  They really are good!

I started using these air freshening pearls about 2 years ago and  have used them in our bathrooms ever since.  They come in several scents and offer a light refreshing scent.  I prefer the Fresh Linen scent.  Over time the little pearls dissolve until the jar is empty (about 3-4 months).  I generally place them on the back of the commode.  These and diffusers have pretty much replaced my using candles in any shape, form or fashion.


If you are looking for a lower calorie chip that doesn't taste like cardboard then look no further.  I first tried the plain baked and truly they are full of crunch but that would be all for sure.  But, when I bought these it was like a party in my mouth.  They are soooo good.  I think they have another flavor as well but I am so pleased with these that I'm sticking with them.  I usually eat a half sandwich every day for lunch and I HAVE to have chips.  I'm by chips like some folks are chocolate.  I love them so I'm so glad they came out with some with a lot less calories and a whole lotta crunch.

I ran across this treasure a couple of months ago and I snagged myself a jar.  I LOVE peanut butter and like the crunchy kind but, my teeth prefer that I stay away from larger pieces of nuts in anything.  It's awful when you have so many root canals, crowns and implants that you must be careful of what you eat.  Anyhow, this is great and has crunch without large pieces of peanuts.  They are ground into every bite of the peanut better and it's even more delicious on a vanilla wafer with a dallop of chocolate hazelnut spread on top. Yum, yum, yummy!!



When we moved into our new house almost 2 years ago I bought a new mixer.  I know that KitchenAid is suppose to be "the be all, do all."  But.................have you ever tried to move one of those babies.  I did not opt to have an appliance garage or a mixer lift so I need to carry my mixer from the pantry when I  use it.  In my research I came across this compact mixer by Bosch and decided to order it.  The rest is history  I absolutely love this mixer and I doubt that it weighs 5# and it fits very nicely on a pantry shelf.  It's around $175 which is half the price or less than the famed Kitchen Aid. ~just sayin'" ~ 

And, there you have it, another edition of Lea's Favorites.  Hope one of these will soon become a favorite of yours.

Have yourself a wonderful weekend.  We will be enjoying more family guests this weekend.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Hodgepodge

And, it's Wednesday, once again, and here's the Hodgepodge questions.

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...
Hummm..........I think not.  Celebrating something sounds like to me you are endorsing it and folks don't need encouraging to hang on to "stuff."  It's epidemic as it is without a celebration.


Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.
I am definitely not a pack rat.  I make regular trips to the thrift stores in our areas.  I do have some of our children's baby clothes, some keep sakes  and a few other items that I would have great difficulty parting with.


2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?
#1 - I'm should know all the ins and outs of all the gadgets on my vehicle. I know about the ones I use on a regular basis and that stressed my brain enough so I left the others to the wind.

#2 - I can say the same thing about our Smart TV's.  I know how to do enough to make them work for us and our interests but they can do far more than we'll probably ever use them for. 

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.
I do not crave sugar.  I enjoy something sweet but it isn't "do or die" for me.  I do add Stevia to my coffee.  Often I will split a dessert with someone.  I think the whole key to sugar and eating period is self control.  I don't deprive myself of anything but I practice portion control.  To me a little is better than none at all. ~big chuckle~


4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?
Well, the first thing that came to my mind was leggings and jeggings.  I said I would not be caught dead in either.  I begin seeing them paired with cute tunics (the kind that cover everything properly) and I really liked the look.  First thing I knew I had bought myself some and now wear them a lot and feel very comfortable in them.


5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.
Well, it wouldn't be just one song, but when I hear any of the old hymns (Just a Little Talk With Jesus, Jericho Road, Whispering Hope, His Eye Is On The Sparrow,etc) it takes me back to the days of my Dad's early pastorates in small rural churches.  Those were precious times for me and evoke memories of  a very different time.


6. Insert your own random thought here.
I have spent the past two days working feverishly closing out 2 bank accounts, our home and our business.  We have done business with the same bank since we married, 46 years ago.  At that time it was a locally owned bank and customer service couldn't be beat.  We have watched it sell about 3 times and it is now a part of one of the nations largest banking systems and they do not know what customer service is in any fashion.  We have wanted to move our accounts for a few years but it is such a difficult task that we just kept putting it off.  Well, we have 2 other accounts at another bank and we been more than pleased with their overall operation and customer service.  Sooooooo, I took the bull by the horns and began the process on Monday of moving our main accounts there.  I first opened the accounts, then ordered new checks, then began the dreadful process of dealing with all the automatic drafts and automatic deposits.  Goodness, I feel like I have run and won a marathon!  The wheels are in motion now and I "think" I have remembered to dot all my "i's" and cross all my "t's."  It will likely take about 45 days for everything to  gel but I think we're on the right track.  So, there you have my random thought! ~chuckle~



Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday's Musings



Whee! what a fun, fun Mother's Day weekend it was around here.  If we had had any more fun, I'm not sure Poppa and I would have survived. ~grin~  It all began on Thursday evening when my nephew and his girlfriend arrived. Aren't they just the cutest!


Warren just finished his junior year of college and will be doing an internship in Chicago this summer.  Amanda graduated from college this past Dec. and is now serving as a tour guide for 2 of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses in Chicago.  They are both so, so talented and love the theater and even shared a bit of their talent with us this weekend.


Warren is my Dad's youngest grandchild and he and Amanda shared some very special moments with Daddy this weekend. He thoroughly enjoyed being with them.


They had a great time doing things, such as riding the 4-wheeler, that they never have a chance to do.  They got to see what life in rural America is all about. ~grin~ And, might I add, they are both so thoughtful and respectful and renewed our hope in the young adults of today.


They had a blast fishing and took our little boat out, cruised the pond and caught a couple of fish in the process.


Tommy had a great time giving Amanda all the tips of fishing and teaching her to drive the boat. And, yes that is a Disney fishing pole she has in her hand that our Grans use.  But, it is a great pole and she caught her share of fish on it.


On Saturday evening our son and his family joined in on the fun and my Daddy even got in on the action.  I'm not sure we ever realized what fun this pond would be.

It was fun to see the cousins enjoy each other as well.  They've always lived many miles apart so their time together has been very limited.  



This was probably the best Mother's Day I have had since my Mom died 8 years ago.  It is always so sad for me and we had so much going on around here that I didn't have time to be sad.  Bridget sent me that gorgeous bouquet of flowers and Brandon and family gave me one of the new inverted umbrellas and an insulated monogramed water bottle for our upcoming Disney trip.  



These two pictures came to me as both our daughter and DIL were headed out the door to church with their sweet families yesterday.  I am so proud of both of them and the wonderful Mothers they are to our Grans.

It was indeed a most special family weekend!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Lea's Favorites



It's been a couple of weeks since I shared any of my favorites with you but I have some good ones for you today.  


These Perfect Portions bags are great if you, like myself, often buy bigger packages of meat and then divide them out into smaller portions.  I use them for chicken, pork chops and hamburger patties.  I can put each individual portion in one of these and then put them all in a Ziploc freezer bag and remove just what I need, one at a time.  You can find them where all the Ziploc products are found.

I have a couple of different bottled waters to share with you.  The first one I just found a couple of weeks ago.  I drink a lot of water and sometimes I tire of plain water.  I've used the flavorings and have tired of them as well.  So, I started looking for flavored waters and I found this by OceanSpray.  It is a cranberry infused water and it is soooo good.  I order it from Amazon but I'm sure that a lot of grocery stores carry it, just not in our fair city. ~shucks~ And, something else I like about this  is the plastic bottle is very thick and not flimsy.



This is my other favorite flavored water.   Nestle makes 3 flavors, Mandarin Orange, Acai Berry and Mixed Berry.  They are all very good and they are not too strong, just the right amount of flavor.  The one thing I do not like is that the Nestle bottles are very, very flimsy.  You have to be very careful just taking the top off of the bottle or you will get water all over you. ~ugh~ But, once you get the hang of it, it's not a big deal.


Okay folks, if you have never owned a steam mop then you are missing out on a great cleaning tool for your floors.  I just recently bought one of these.  I have owned a steam mop in the past but bought the Swiffer brand this time. I only use a steam mop on my wood floors about 2 times a year and on my ceramic anytime I want to.  Steam cleans better than any cleaner on the market and it leaves your floors squeaky clean.  And, I love the sizzle of the steam when using the mop. ~big grin~



You gals may have been using this for a long time but I just found it a few months ago.  And, I have no idea if it's a rather new product or been around for ages.  Like I said, I just found it and the word "gel" is what attracted me to it.  I like cleaners with bleach but you have to be so, so careful if they splash.  One drop on a bathmat can ruin it, so I love the fact that this cleaner is not "splashy."  I sometimes stand on the cleaning aisle at the store and study the various cleaners.  In fact, that's exactly how I came across this.  The choices are endless and it causes me to wonder just how many different ingredients can there be for cleaners.  It's sort of like facial skincare.  I mean, I think the names are just changed and minor alterations made to the ingredients and a price attached and their often pretty much the same. ~just my thoughts~


And, last but certainly not least, is this extra big and loud timer!  I have always used a timer even though my stove and washer and dryer have always had buzzers and timers on them.  My kids would be quick to tell you that timers going off at our house use to nearly drive them crazy.  They saw no need for it. ~smile~  But, I prefer this timer to any other.  And, since moving in our new house I have used it more than ever and turn it up as loud as it will go.  I couldn't hear the buzzers on our appliances if I had to. (and I think I still have good hearing)  They have a very polite sound and one could only hear it if they were in the room.  And, my washer and dryer are a long ways away from the living area.  And, yes, I do use the timer on my Iphone a lot but sometimes it is just easier to grab and set this.  It can be bought directly from the ThermoWorks website, believe it or not, it is NOT on Amazon! 

Okay, there you have it for this edition of favorites.  Hoping one of them becomes one of yours as well.  I'm off to enjoy another weekend with family!  Moms out there, have yourself a wonderful day on Sunday.




Lea's Favorites



It's been a couple of weeks since I shared any of my favorites with you but I have some good ones for you today.  


These Perfect Portions bags are great if you, like myself, often buy bigger packages of meat and then divide them out into smaller portions.  I use them for chicken, pork chops and hamburger patties.  I can put each individual portion in one of these and then put them all in a Ziploc freezer bag and remove just what I need, one at a time.  You can find them where all the Ziploc products are found.

I have a couple of different bottled waters to share with you.  The first one I just found a couple of weeks ago.  I drink a lot of water and sometimes I tire of plain water.  I've used the flavorings and have tired of them as well.  So, I started looking for flavored waters and I found this by OceanSpray.  It is a cranberry infused water and it is soooo good.  I order it from Amazon but I'm sure that a lot of grocery stores carry it, just not in our fair city. ~shucks~ And, something else I like about this  is the plastic bottle is very thick and not flimsy.



This is my other favorite flavored water.   Nestle makes 3 flavors, Mandarin Orange, Acai Berry and Mixed Berry.  They are all very good and they are not too strong, just the right amount of flavor.  The one thing I do not like is that the Nestle bottles are very, very flimsy.  You have to be very careful just taking the top off of the bottle or you will get water all over you. ~ugh~ But, once you get the hang of it, it's not a big deal.


Okay folks, if you have never owned a steam mop then you are missing out on a great cleaning tool for your floors.  I just recently bought one of these.  I have owned a steam mop in the past but bought the Swiffer brand this time. I only use a steam mop on my wood floors about 2 times a year and on my ceramic anytime I want to.  Steam cleans better than any cleaner on the market and it leaves your floors squeaky clean.  And, I love the sizzle of the steam when using the mop. ~big grin~



You gals may have been using this for a long time but I just found it a few months ago.  And, I have no idea if it's a rather new product or been around for ages.  Like I said, I just found it and the word "gel" is what attracted me to it.  I like cleaners with bleach but you have to be so, so careful if they splash.  One drop on a bathmat can ruin it, so I love the fact that this cleaner is not "splashy."  I sometimes stand on the cleaning aisle at the store and study the various cleaners.  In fact, that's exactly how I came across this.  The choices are endless and it causes me to wonder just how many different ingredients can there be for cleaners.  It's sort of like facial skincare.  I mean, I think the names are just changed and minor alterations made to the ingredients and a price attached and their often pretty much the same. ~just my thoughts~


And, last but certainly not least, is this extra big and loud timer!  I have always used a timer even though my stove and washer and dryer have always had buzzers and timers on them.  My kids would be quick to tell you that timers going off at our house use to nearly drive them crazy.  They saw no need for it. ~smile~  But, I prefer this timer to any other.  And, since moving in our new house I have used it more than ever and turn it up as loud as it will go.  I couldn't hear the buzzers on our appliances if I had to. (and I think I still have good hearing)  They have a very polite sound and one could only hear it if they were in the room.  And, my washer and dryer are a long ways away from the living area.  And, yes, I do use the timer on my Iphone a lot but sometimes it is just easier to grab and set this.  It can be bought directly from the ThermoWorks website, believe it or not, it is NOT on Amazon! 

Okay, there you have it for this edition of favorites.  Hoping one of them becomes one of yours as well.  I'm off to enjoy another weekend with family!  Moms out there, have yourself a wonderful day on Sunday.




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Mother's Day Hodgepodge


It's the Hodgepodge and Joyce has made a few changes that hopefully will help her conserve some time and us as well.  She is so faithful to conjure up these questions week in and week out and that in itself can definitely take a lot of time.  Hopefully this new format will help us all in the time arena.


1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.
My Mom was one of the most meek and mild women I have ever known, in fact, she was almost too much so.  She would withhold her own preferences in situations to make sure everyone else's preferences took priority over hers.  She would often take second place too and since my Dad was in the ministry this happened often.  She took her position as the pastor's wife very seriously and felt very honored to hold that position.  I've often thought how she should have taught a class on how to be the "perfect" pastor's wife.  'Just thinking about the woman she was brings a smile to my heart.

I'm not even sure how to answer the last part of this question but one big difference would be all of the modern conveniences that I enjoy that were not available when my Mom had children at home. 


2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.
Well, our family has not one, but two teachers.  Our daughter teaches elementary and our DIL teaches special ed at a middle school.  I love that both of them take their jobs very seriously and truly want to make a difference in the lives of the students they teach.  There are definitely days that they feel like throwing in the towel but they pick themselves up and continue on doing their usual great job.  I'm so proud of both of them.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?
I'll take chicken salad on just about any kind of bread and I also enjoy it on a bed of lettuce with some crackers.  I prefer not to have grapes, apples or any other kind of fruit in my chicken salad. ~I know, I know, strange~ 

4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?
Oh, yes, I have two desks, one for my desktop computer and another where I take care of business and paperwork.  Both are very organized, a place for everything and everything in it's place.  I sit at my desktop or in my recliner with my laptop to blog.  Both are very comfortable.

5. When I was nine years old....
my Daddy entered the ministry and we made our first move from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Alma, Arkansas where he pastored a small rural church.  It was the beginning of a different life for our family and one that I enjoyed very much as we moved from here to there.

6. Insert your own random thought here.


Taken during their performance of Last Train to Nibroc in Feb.

I'm preparing for Round 3 of company this weekend.  This cute nephew of mine and his adorable girlfriend will be gracing us with their presence this weekend.  We look forward to their visit and showing them a little bit of rural life.  Warren is from DesMoines and Amanda from Chicago so our little town will be like rural America to them.  We might even talk them into doing some acting for us, you never know.  Whatever we do, it's sure to be fun with these two.