Friday, September 29, 2017

Lea's Favorites

It's buzzing here at the Culp house.  My youngest brother is here and our daughter and two grandsons as well.  It's going to be a big weekend and we will celebrate our son's 41st birthday, Clancy's 9th and Hanna Beth's 8th birthday.  Their birthdays are all in the first 7 days of Oct.  And, since we've only all been together for their birthdays one other time, this is very special.  But, for now, let me share some of my favorites with you..............

A couple of weeks ago I ordered this little jewel, a touchless soap dispenser by Simple Human.  I've seen them many times but never thought about getting one until now.  AND, we love it!  It dispenses just the right amount of soap and it has an adjustment so you can set it to the amount that you prefer.  You just merely place your hand under it and out the soap comes.  It's like magic!  This is the 8 oz. size but there is a larger size if you prefer.  I think it looks like a permanent fixture by our kitchen sink and I love the neat and clean look it has.  Yes, you can get it from Amazon. ~big grin~

I was browsing in the deli at our local Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago and came across these "bad boys."  Oh, my goodness!  I am a lover of highly seasoned foods and the Jalapeno Popper, Habanero, and Buffalo are HOT with a capital H.  They are soooo good and the calorie count is very doable.  I generally only eat about 5 Doritos with a little of one of these on them.  Makes a great afternoon snack!  Not sure why it's called "Man Dip" but this woman is a big fan of it.

About 15 years ago I took over an empty office at my husband's office and it is a very favorite room of mine.   It houses all of my gift wrap, gift bags,ribbon, raffia and packaging supplies.  Several years ago I had a gift wrap business called, "It's A Wrap."  As a result, I still have all kinds of gift wrapping supplies and this is the perfect place to keep it.  It is also the place I keep all my Christmas gifts and after they are wrapped and ready, I bring them home.  And, I also have a whole lot of other "stuff" in there and the best part about it, is that none of this is at my house to clutter it up.  Yep, it's definitely a favorite of mine! And, I'm betting most all women would enjoy having a room like this at their disposal. 

I decided that our front porch needed a BIG lighted Jack-o-Lantern for this time of year.  I found this one that makes quite a statement and hopefully the few folks that might drive by after dark will enjoy seeing it.  Regardless, it makes me happy when I see his smiling face and I'm pretty sure the Grans are going to love him.  He is my only Halloween decoration, so guess that makes him my "favorite."

Two weeks ago I began this wonderful Bible Study, Finding I Am by Lysa TerKeurst. The study addresses how Jesus cares for us and wants to see us through whatever it is we are facing and going through.  And, yes, I have known that for more years than I can count., but digging deeper in the scripture and reminding myself of these truths is so refreshing. It's all about how Jesus can fully satisfy the cravings of our hearts and I never tire, and I need to hear, it time and time again.  And, I have found that when I am not involved in an organized Bible Study that I am not in the Word like I need to be.  It's the prompting that I need.  It's such a great group of ladies, young and those of us that are more mature ~smile~, about 70 of us.  It's a most favorite time of my week for sure!

Now I'm off to enjoy my weekend and I hope you will enjoy yours!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's the first Wednesday of fall and here in NE Louisiana we really haven't had any sign of fall.  I'm more than ready and hopefully the coming days will bring it on.  Meanwhile, I'll busy myself with the HP questions.

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.
I only have memory of one dog and it was a Cocker Spaniel named Baby.  He was black and was an outdoor dog.  When he was still quite young he was run over and died.  My brother, that is 3 years younger than me, was best buds with Baby and he grieved and grieved over the loss of that dog.  I liked Baby but was not attached.  I've never been much of an animal person and I do realize that I am in the minority. 

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

I will attend a Bible Study that I am doing and run errands and then continue on with preparations for a big family weekend here.  Our daughter and 2 grandsons and my youngest brother are all arriving tomorrow, so it's all hands on deck for me today and until they arrive tomorrow.

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?
I was living right here in the same city but a different house.  I have no idea what I was doing.  We had no grandchildren but that changed the very next year.

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?
Apple dumplings would be my choice and perhaps just a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  I tried my hand at chicken and dumplings many years ago and they were so "doughy" that I've never tried again.  But, I've found a great frozen brand that I use and they are very good.  We're not much into chicken and dumplings anyway.

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?
I would probably be secretly hoping I didn't find an adventure.  I've never been very adventurous, I like knowing what lies ahead. ~chuckle~

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This picture was taken yesterday

We found out last week, after a visit to Dad's retina specialist, that Daddy has scar tissue forming on the back of both of his eyes.  Daddy only has about 30% vision due to Macular Degeneration and this scar tissue formation is a result of the MD.  He began noticing a cloudy film over his eyes a couple of months ago and this is why.  The Dr. said that it will eventually take what vision he has left. Of course, he can't tell us how long it might take but we are praying that it will be a slow progression and he can keep what little vision he has for the rest of his life.  He will be 88 on Nov. 9th and isn't he looking mighty dapper?  

Friday, September 22, 2017

All Things Fall.............

Awe, fall sweet fall!  Today is the first official day of fall and it makes me so excited.  Our temps are not exactly fall like but I'm crossing my fingers that changes real soon.  But, for now, wanted to show you how I'm welcoming fall here at our house.

I've put out the fall pillows on the front porch benches and tied some fall bows on them.  I think it says, WELCOME, very well.  I always want our house to look warm and welcoming inside and out. Since moving into our new house I have not used wreaths on our front door as it is a HUGE ornate iron door and I think a wreath would just be way too fussy.  The door makes statement enough without it.  

I added these mercury glass gourds and pumpkins to my dining table scape.  

I used my gold rubbed pumpkins and gourds on this big pewter leaf and then added larger mercury glass pumpkins to the dining room buffet.  

Love, love this platter and pitcher that I found at Homegoods and I found the perfect spot for them.  This was one of my "finds" on our recent visit to Atlanta.  Oh, how I wish we had a Homegoods!!!! It rates even higher than Tuesday Morning and TJMaxx.

I should have removed this plant from the table runner so that you could see just how pretty it is.  It is beaded and so full of fall color and it was another of my "finds" at Homegoods!

I've enjoyed these copper pumpkins and candlesticks for several years and this year decided to put them in the middle of the bar.  (Please excuse the crock with my dish scrub brushes in the background)  

Two more platters on the top of a long cabinet.  The one on the left came from Pier 1 and the one on the right from Amazon and the bundle of wheat, yes, you guessed it, from Homegoods.  I have really gotten into using platters displayed on stands for a lot of my holiday decorating.  They are so easy and they make such a nice statement and they make so, so many beautiful ones these days.

So, there you have it, my contribution to fall here at our home.  Did I mention that I love all things fall!  Have yourself a wonderful "fallish" weekend!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday, another Hodgepodge.  

1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

I'm betting there will be all kinds of different answers to this but my answer is going to be Branson, Missouri.  Yes, that's right!  Why?  Well, it's full of beauty, wonderful entertainment of all kinds, and it's only about 6 hours from our house.  We have probably been to Branson 10 times are more over the years and we always look forward to the next trip.  We happen to be going again the end of Oct. and have tickets for some great shows.  And, one of our favorite places to stay, The Keeter Center, is located there.  It's a 10 out of 10 for sure!  And, if you have never been, you should go!

2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?
Anything to do with landscape or yard maintenance.  I absolutely LOVE beautiful landscape but I do not like or enjoy any kind of yard work.  Thankfully I'm married to a man that is quite the opposite and while he doesn't do a whole lot of yard work anymore, he sees to it that ours is always perfectly manicured.  I do enjoy working on our porches and patio and taking care of our potted plants that are on them.  I look forward every spring to getting them all decked out, but yard work, NO, NO!

3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

It was several years ago when we lived in our last house.  I had come home from a big grocery shopping spree and pulled to the front door instead of pulling in the carport.  Well, there were 4 steps up to our front door and I had my arms and hands as full as possible with groceries.  I mean, you should carry as many as you can so you will have to make fewer trips, right?  Wrong!  I had my hands and arms so full that I could not see the steps and I went flying up them and mis-stepped and fell and fell and fell, strewing groceries all over the place.  Thankfully the worst injury was my pride but it really reinforced for me how quickly a fall can happen and how careful I needed to be in the future.  Falls at any age are tough, but, at my age, they can cause issues for the remainder of your life.  I don't time for that!

I'm falling for "all things fall" right now.  I LOVE this time of year and the decor is out of this world.  And, I'm constantly finding something that I don't have.  And, I'm constantly reminding myself that I DO NOT need any more fall decor!!!!  ~really~

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-
National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?
I have not been to any of the festivals listed but for sure would love to go to the Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine.  I'm betting it is wonderful!

Our town use to have a fall Arts and Crafts Festival of sorts that was a most lovely affair.  But, things have changed and it is no longer.  We did have a May Madness Festival this year and it was quite a success and it's my understanding that it will be happening again next year.

5. What is your goodbye message to summer?

You started with a BANG
when our family went to Disney
but all good things must come to an end
and Fall is arriving day after tomorrow
It was a fun summer but I'm
most excited for Fall!
(I'm not a poet and I know it)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Meet Miss Lucy!  This is the rag doll kitten of a dear friend of mine.  We stopped by their house the other night and Lucy was perched in the middle of their dining table and for a minute, I thought she was a part of the table scape.  To say this little miss rules the roost would be an understatement. And, I love her most of all because she doesn't belong to me. ~just kiddin'~  But, I do think she's about the cutest little kitten I've ever seen.  ~does that count?~

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday's Musings

Another Monday means another new week.  We have 15 weeks from today until Christmas. Wow, this year has literally flown by and it really is true that the older we get the quicker time goes by, or maybe time just flies regardless.  Meanwhile, I have a few tidbits to share with you today.

We recently went to Atlanta to visit family and while there, my SIL and I went to the Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain.  There is pretty much any and everything there.
It seemed that every other booth was jewelry.  I'm not sure I've ever been to a show with more jewelry vendors.  And, there were some lovely pieces for sure, but enough is enough.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be outside and very cool.  The only negative was the terrain is very uneven and a bit tiresome to walk on for very long and there were so many folks there.  And, there were strollers and wheelchairs and the pathways were very tight.  But, we trudged through and found a few items we couldn't leave without.
Pictured above it an item I bought.  I'm not really sure what it is called but it is made of ceramic and inserted in the open hole is a "florist frog."  It is great to place flowers in for a very neat look.

Here it is with some sunflowers in it.  I cut the stems off very short and it looked so cute.  And, you don't have to have any real flower arranging ability and that is a very good thing.

One evening we went to this neat place to eat.  It was called The Horseradish Grill and I'm not sure why but it was cute and the food was good.  The grounds surrounding it are lovely as well.  There are always so many fun things to see and do and great places to eat when we go see Steve and Susan.

And, we topped off this past weekend by watching the LSU/Miss State game.  Tommy and I were all decked out and cute in our LSU attire but that did not matter, LSU just did not show up for the game.  Mississippi State played awesome and made their fans very happy.  Well, it's just a game and the sun came right on up the next morning and we never missed a beat and there's always next week. ~smile~

Have a wonderful 37th week of 2017!!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lea's Favorites

It's time for a few favorites and today's is all about food items.  I always enjoy hearing from folks about their "kitchen secrets" and today I'm sharing some of mine with you.  You can thank me later!

My son and DIL shared this "secret" with me a few weeks ago.  These are seasoned chicken breasts that are ready for the grill, the stove or the oven and they are so good "they will make you slap your pappy."  ~giggle~  They come in Tuscan, Lemon Pepper and one other that I can't recall. They are vacuumed sealed and last a long time in the refrigerator or they can be frozen. We get these at Wal-Mart but I'm betting other grocery stores have something very similar. Makes for a very good meal.

Surely everyone reading this knows about Steamables.  But, in case you don't, I feel it's my duty to inform you.  I use these a lot for my lunch and eat the entire bag.  These shown are so very low in calories and I like eating them with some crackers.  I occasionally do use them for a side dish with our meals.  They are so easy and very good.

On our recent trip to Atlanta my SIL and BIL introduced me to Halo Top.  It is a great low calorie, high protein, low sugar ice cream.  There are several flavors to choose from and I was so glad that our Wal-Mart carried them.  I was afraid I would get home and not be able to find them.  Now, they are pricey at $3.89 a pint.  Ouch!  but for a real treat once in a while it doesn't hurt to splurge! As to the name, I don't have a clue where that came from.

Fall is teasing us a bit and I've gotten excited about making "pots of" stuff.  A couple of weeks ago I made a pot of gumbo and I always use the above mix to make mine.  Yep, this gal doesn't make her own roux and I can almost promise you that you would not know the difference if you tasted it.  I was told about this great base 4-5 years ago and I have so enjoyed using it.  In fact, I had never made gumbo until I found out about this. I generally make 3-4 packages of this at a time, share it with friends and freeze some for later.  It freezes beautifully!

The recipe on the back of the gumbo base package calls for water, something like 8 cups.  Well, instead of water, I use this low sodium chicken broth and I think it adds soooo much more flavor.  And, I reduce the water by 2 cups.  I like hearty gumbo!  And, I use shrimp, chicken and sausage in my gumbo and of course, okra, and I use a bag(s) of the frozen kind.

And, again, surely all of you reading this know about Seasoning Blend!  I also use it in my gumbo and a whole slew of other dishes.   I have probably never chopped onions, peppers and celery since this came out and again, I do NOT think you can tell the difference.  But, if you still chop your own, that's fine with me but you really should try this! ~just sayin'~  Talk about quick and easy!  So, now you know my favorite way to make gumbo and some of my favorite ingredients I use to make it. And, I'm really not bragging, but my Hubby says it's the BEST!  So, give it a try, it is a Louisiana staple!

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's the Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce gives us the questions and we come up with the answers.  Sounds simple doesn't it, well, let me assure you that it isn't always that simple.  Joyce can really make us think with many of her questions. 

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
I have a gallery wall of canvas prints of our Grans in one of our hallways.  There are just no words to convey what these pictures say with their smiles.  At least in this CiCi's mind. 😙  But, do I think that pictures, in general, are worth a thousand words, absolutely NOT!  How can a picture replace 1000 words?

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?
I have been to California 3-4 times but I have never had the privilege of driving or riding any part of the Pacific Coast Highway.  Yes, I would love to do so as I have heard that it is such a beautiful drive.

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is? 

I love the changing seasons, especially spring and fall and look forward to them.  I'm getting plum excited right now in anticipation of fall's arrival.  It isn't a season but it takes me a little while to adjust to regular Central Time after being on Daylight Savings Time.  Goodness, I'm ready for bed when it gets dark. ~chuckle~

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

I'll take grilled pork tenders, potato casserole, some kind of broccoli dish, mandarin orange congealed salad and homemade rolls.  AND, for dessert, it would be a cheesecake made by my very special friend, Mary K., let me just say, she makes the very BEST!
This is a picture of me enjoying a piece of her cheesecake on my birthday this past July.  Now, that's a true friend for sure!

No, never lied about my age and never will.  I'm too thankful for every year that the Lord has given me and after all, age is just a number. Right?

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

Well, can't say that it's been recently, but I do seem to "relearn" it over and over again.  That is that all the fretting in the world does very little good, but somehow it does help me get through the situation. ~smile~

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I don't know that I have ever shared with all you dears about the deliciousness of the Oats and Honey Granola Pie.  If you have never had this pie then do not let your shirt hit your back before you head out the door to get the ingredients to make it.  No joke, it is awesome!  And, for your eating pleasure, here is the recipe:

Oats and Honey Granola Pie


box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box 


cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
cup packed brown sugar
cup corn syrup
teaspoon salt
teaspoon vanilla
LAND O LAKES® Eggs, lightly beaten
Nature Valley™ Oats 'n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches from 8.9-oz. box), crushed (3/4 cup)* 
cup Fisher® Chef's Naturals® chopped walnuts
cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
cup Hershey's® semi-sweet or milk chocolate baking chips
      Whipped cream or ice cream, if desired


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.
  • 2
    In large microwavable bowl, microwave butter on High 50 to 60 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended. Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs. Stir crushed granola bars, walnuts, oats and baking chips into brown sugar mixture. Pour into crust-lined pan.
  • 3
    Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
NOTE: I always use Marie Callender frozen pie crusts as I think they are the best crust on the market.  And, I prefer the pie without the chocolate chips but that's just a personal preference.  AND, I always make 2 at a time and they freeze absolutely beautifully and the filling works well in the little miniature pie crusts as well.

You can thank me later!

Monday, September 11, 2017

10 Things I Love About My House - 10 on the 10th

I'm linking up with Erin for her 10 on the 10th link and I've so enjoyed this particular one.  This month's subject is: Ten Things You Love About Your House.  Well, I had no trouble coming up with 10 things, I had trouble deciding which 10 I would list and talk about.  We have been in our new house 2 years and 1 month and I pretty much love everything about it.  So, I'll try to consolidate my list to 10

#1 - The Master Bedroom - I love the colors, the cool and calm feeling that it has and it's the perfect retreat for Hubby and I.

#2 - Faucet fixtures and door handles - You may chuckle at these two items being on my list, but I do love these.  I love that there is only one lever on all our facets.  It moves easily from side to side to get either hot, cold or warm water.  And, all of our door handles are the lever type.  They are so, so easy to open and especially if you have your hands full of something.  Both of these were chosen because of their ease of use and our age.  We tried to think of any and all things when we built this house that would make things easier as we get older.

3. Pull out shelves - Oh, my goodness, I didn't know what I was missing when I didn't have these.  These make getting things out of the back of shelves a breeze.  Shucks, when we moved from our old house I found things in the back of our kitchen shelves that I literally had not seen in years and years.  It was just way to much trouble to dig them out.  ~not any more~

4. My Pantry - And, I double love my pantry!  I have never had a pantry and again, I just didn't know what I was missing.  Back when our old house was built, pantries were just not "the thing."  I so enjoy this space to keep food, bigger pots and pans, extra supplies of items and plastic storage bags, foil, saran wrap, and garbage bags.

5. - Storage Rooms - this is 3 pictures of our 2 storage rooms.  One of them houses all of my "stuff" that is in plastic containers and the other one houses closed cabinets where I keep my extra , mainly seasonal, decor.  And, it also houses our extra refrigerator and freezer and hubby's gun safe.  It is easily accessible and very handy!

6. Dish cabinets -  I have a wall about 10 feet long of floor to ceiling cabinets right off the kitchen.  This is where pretty much all of my dishes are kept and I so enjoy having them so readily available.  And, of course, all the bottom cabinets are more pull out shelves.

7. - My Diva Den - Better known as my home office.  I spend a lot of time in this room, blogging, working on my husband's office records, etc.  I absolutely love having this space!  I worked very carefully on the design and layout of this room to make it exactly what I wanted.  I have a TV on the wall facing the desk.

8. Guest suite -  This area was an after thought and we are so very glad we added it.  This is the area above our garage and Hubby's shop and it makes the perfect private quarters for over guests.  We have a king size bed and two twin beds, a seating area with recliners and a TV, a microwave, a coffee pot, and refrigerator.  It's the next best place to home  and we've so enjoyed sharing it with family and friends.  It is the ONLY upstairs area we have and we would have preferred that it not be upstairs but it was the perfect space for this type room.

9. - The Open Space - this is the view of the inside of our house when you walk in the front door.  It is a very open concept with lots of windows and we love it.  

10. - Our view -  And, this would be about our most favorite thing about the house, the view looking out our back windows.  We both love a water view and while this is only a small pond, it is water and provides for us such a beautiful landscape to enjoy.  We put big windows are across the back of our house so that we could enjoy the view from all rooms.

It has been such an enjoyable 2 years and we pray that we will be able to enjoy it for many more years.